Your Man in the Hague (In a Good Way) Part 2 358

There was a very good feel at the end of the South African presentation on day one. Everyone felt it had gone extremely well, and left very little room for the court to wriggle away from provisional measures. We left the public gallery, and I went with Corbyn and Mélenchon to meet the South African delegation. This caused some concern to the security officials, who told us that members of the public had to leave immediately and not meet delegates or speak to the media, who were grouped outside the court but still within the precincts.

This was fairly impractical as the media very much wanted to speak with Corbyn and Mélenchon. There was a lot of flapping of arms and waving. All my friends of the queue had left, while I stayed sticking close to Jeremy, partly because I didn’t like to leave him unsupported, but mostly because his wife Laura was somewhere looking after my phone. The ICJ staff seemed scared to tell off Corbyn and Mélenchon, so kept getting pretty shirty with me as a proxy, saying we must leave.

It was quite strange. The situation was very friendly; there was no tension. There were about sixty delegates and about the same number of journalists, who were all supposed to be there. Then there were Corbyn, Mélenchon and me, who were apparently supposed to have left, but whose presence made no actual difference to events. People being in slightly the wrong place entirely peacefully after proceedings had finished, seemed to me an unnecessary source of anger. But a succession of female officials arrived, getting increasingly cross.

At this stage the South African delegation returned to their allocated office inside the building to finalise the formal press statement. We went with them. I was chatting to Amaar Hijazi, Palestine’s Deputy Foreign Minister, who I know a bit. One of the ICJ ladies came in with a clipboard, asked for silence, and then asked the assembled group in the manner of a public proclamation: “is this a legal meeting or a political meeting?”

Nobody seemed inclined to answer. So I replied “That’s rather a philosophical question. I am not sure if you can make that simple binary distinction”. Rather more usefully, Varsha [Gandikota-Nellutla of Progressive International] assured her it was a legal meeting, and the official said “good, political meetings off the premises”, waving her clipboard for no apparent reason. After a bit of a conflab we went out again.

I was enjoying Mélenchon enormously; he seemed to have unlimited stores of bonhomie and was unstoppably voluble with everyone. Whether the security guards wanted a lecture on workers’ cooperatives I am not sure, but they certainly got one.

We wandered back out the front door again and back into interviews. Two ladies came up to me looking very stern and said I must leave. Jeremy was giving an interview to Israeli TV and Mélenchon had bustled back into the building. One of the ladies said to me, “I am asking you to leave and you are refusing to do what I say”. I replied, “Oh no, certainly not. Of course I am doing what you say. Just very slowly”.

By now I had three enormous security officers with me, as I tried to keep an eye on Jeremy as he drifted through the milling journalists, while I kept running in to people I knew. I have to say the security people were very friendly, and seemed unsure why they were shadowing me too. Shortly a fourth turned up, a mountain of a man with a bald head and beard, who said, “Here you are; we’ve been looking for you everywhere”, which seemed strange. Possibly they couldn’t see me surrounded by their massive bouncers.

Laura had somehow got in, and gave me back my phone. Jeremy was slowly heading for the gates, but he is incapable of being impolite and not having a friendly word with anybody who addresses him, whoever they are. Once we were outside the gates he showed no sign of stopping with the much larger crowd outside, so I said my farewells and headed back to the hotel. My toes had gone very painful again and I was keen for another warm bath.

After the bath I went down to look for some food. I felt exhausted and drained. It was not just the cold night standing in the queue with no sleep, it was the immediately preceding 40 hour, four economy-flight journey from Bali, with virtually no sleep either, to get here. I hadn’t been in a bed, I calculated, for 85 hours.

I was also feeling a bit unappreciated. I had in fact played a role in this happening at all. Copies of my initial articles on invoking the Genocide Convention had been physically in front of South African cabinet ministers when they took the initial decision on 8 December to ask their excellent legal services to prepare a case. It was not me that arranged that and I cannot break confidence by telling you how it came about. I didn’t expect any acknowledgement, but it seemed an unfair twist of fate that had me standing all night in the cold trying to get in.

I was, dear reader, simply wallowing in exhaustion and self-pity, and in a kind of ridiculous teenage sulk. My tired brain was fogged and I was seriously worried about finding the energy to write up day one, which I had to do immediately. I wasn’t sure that my body was physically capable of another night of no sleep and standing in the freezing cold. I was fed up with being in exile over this laughable terrorism investigation, and I was missing my children.

I made up my mind – I could not do another night. I would have to explain to readers that I had done what I could. A great feeling of relief came over me, and I decided to go to bed.

That very second, out of the lift walked the eminent British lawyer Tayab Ali, with a short, unassuming bearded Arab gentleman.
“Hello Craig, how’s it going”, he asked, but they were evidently in a hurry, going somewhere: “This is Ghassan”.
We shook hands briefly and then the realisation struck me.
“Are you the surgeon?”
Ghassan looked diffident, slightly abashed.
“The surgeon from Gaza?”.
“Yes, I am Ghassan Abu SItta.”
“I am honoured, sir. Greatly honoured”.
He looked slightly embarrassed, and they dashed off to their meeting.

I felt even more embarrassed. I had just met the man who had stayed operating in Shifa hospital while Israel bombs and missiles struck it and Israeli snipers fired through the windows. He had continued to operate with no electricity, with no bandages, with no antiseptic, with no anaesthetic. He had worked 20 hours a day, amputating the limbs of children or trying to piece them back together. He stayed and stayed and stayed through weeks under fire. He did this for love: he is a top British plastic surgeon and could have been in the UK making millions.

I felt deeply ashamed. This man had endured so much, and done so much, and seen so much suffering. Here was I giving up over sore toes and lack of sleep, and over wanting to be important. I had an epiphany; I realised I can be a dreadful egoist, and I hated myself for it. Nothing stopped hurting, but I had a new surge of adrenaline and decided to get on with it. Perhaps nothing I did would help prevent genocide, but we all have to do that which is within our power to try.

I accept you may wish to scoff, but for me that encounter with Mr Abu Sitta revealed an important element of greatness – the ability to inspire others to do more that they believed they could, to transmit will. Even without actually saying anything.

I did, however, retain the sense to know that I had to prepare, so I got a taxi to a camping shop. There I bought the warmest sleeping bag I could afford, a reflective groundsheet, thermal socks and a flask.

I then took a taxi back, went straight to my room and started to write. The first three paragraphs flowed very easily. Then suddenly I was opening my very groggy eyes with my head on the keyboard, not sideways but leaning on my forehead. I had been asleep like that for three hours.

After that it was like wading through treacle. The phrases still rushed into my head as always, but there was a strange disconnect to my fingers and what they typed, which often was a phrase that sounded a bit like the one I was trying to get down. I recall typing “to assist them” as “his big cyst hen”. It was slow going.

At 11pm I went to see if there was a queue yet for the public gallery the next day. Nobody was there. I was worried that after the arguments at the gate the previous morning, with many people disappointed, the queue would start to form much earlier for Day 2. I decided to just publish what I had written so far, with an explanatory first paragraph, and check the queue regularly. The cold walk woke me up. It was notably warmer than the previous night – plus 2 rather than minus 5 – but the ground was all wet with a heavy dew and there was a lot more wind chill.

I checked again at 1.30am, still nobody had come. But at 3am there were eight people in the queue. I rushed back to the hotel, picked up my sleeping bag and groundsheet and published the now almost finished Day 1 article. I joined the queue as number 9 of the 14 who would be let in. I met a wonderful Dutch lady who had joined the queue with the intention of giving me her place if I arrived too late. I am ashamed to say I forget her name.

I was disappointed that not one of my new friends from the previous night’s queue was there again. I felt we had bonded through a pretty tough experience and a mutual cause. Almost all had said they intended to do both nights, and I presume the cold and exhaustion just got to people. This second night was much more jolly, I think because it was not quite so cold.

The reflective groundsheet was a big success, dry and surprisingly effective at stopping the cold seeping up. The mummy sleeping bag proved more of a problem. I am not as slender as I used to be, and with several layers of clothing and my ski jacket all on, it was a very tight fit. I got the zip up pretty well, but I couldn’t do the last bit that would bring the cowl over my head, not least because by that stage the bag had immobilised my arms.

Thankfully several wonderful young ladies came to help and zipped me up tight. This involved a lot of laughing. We could have invented a whole new genre of internet porn, in which fully clothed old men get zipped into bags. Although it probably already exists. I am not going to google for it, given the frequency with which the security services seize or steal my electronic devices. It might be misunderstood.

So at 3.30am I lay down my head, and did in fact sleep until about 5.30am. It was not comfortable, but it was not cold. I then wandered off to find a bush for a pee. When I returned, three women had taken over my groundsheet and were using my sleeping bag as a blanket. They joked that they had occupied my sleeping bag. I said I perfectly understood – surely their ancestors had a sleeping bag there 3,000 years ago. It was not brilliant repartee, but this kind of thing kept us going. The 14 of us who made the public gallery took group pictures.

There were some changes from the day before. We are to be allowed pens. But in view of “people wandering around” the day before, they said huffily, we were to be escorted in via a back door and leave the same way, and strictly forbidden from talking or interacting with anybody not in our group. So we entered the tiny public gallery. It has only two rows, and I now discovered that if you sit in the second row you cannot see anything. From the hall you can’t even tell there is a second row to the gallery. Once again, I marveled at the lack of attention to the dreadful design of the courtroom.

Luckily for me, a young man who apparently should not have been there was ejected from a front row seat, and finally I got to watch the Israeli presentation.

As with the South African case, according to court procedure the Israeli case was introduced by their “agent”, permanently accredited to the court, Tal Becker of the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He opened with the standard formula “it is an honour to appear before you again on behalf of the state of Israel”, managing to imply purely through phrasing and tone of voice that the honour lay in representing Israel, not in appearing before the judges.

Becker opened by going straight to the Holocaust, saying that nobody knew more than Israel why the Genocide Convention existed. 6 million Jewish people had been killed. The Convention was not to be used to cover the normal brutality of war.

The South African case aimed at the delegitimisation of the state of Israel. On 7 October Hamas had committed massacre, mutilation, rape and abduction. 1,200 had been killed and 5,500 maimed. He related several hideous individual atrocity stories and played a recording he stated to be a Hamas fighter boasting on WhatsApp to his parents about committing mass murder, rape and mutilation.

The only genocide in this case was being committed against Israel. Hamas continued to attack Israel, and for the court to take provisional measures would be to deny Israel the right to self-defence. Provisional measures should rather be taken against South Africa and its attempt by legal means to further genocide by its relationship with Hamas. Gaza was not under occupation: Israel had left it with great potential to be a political and economic success. Instead Hamas had chosen to make it a terrorist base.

Hamas was embedded in the civilian population and therefore responsible for the civilian deaths. Hamas had tunnels under schools, hospitals, mosques and UN facilities and tunnel entrances within them. It commandeered medical vehicles for military use.

South Africa had talked of civilian buildings destroyed, but did not tell you they had been destroyed by Hamas booby traps and Hamas missile misfires.

The casualty figures South Africa gave were from Hamas sources and not reliable. They did not say how many were fighters? How many of the children were child soldiers? The application by South Africa was ill-founded and ill-motivated. It was a libel.

This certainly was a hardline and uncompromising start. The judges appeared to be paying very close attention when he opened with the 7 October self-defence argument, but very definitely some of them started to fidget and become uncomfortable when he talked of Hamas operating from ambulances and UN facilities. In short, he went too far and I believe he lost his audience at that point.

Next up was Professor Malcolm Shaw KC. Shaw is regarded as an authority on the procedure of international law and is editor of the standard tome on the subject. This is an interesting facet of the legal profession, where standard reference books on particular topics are regularly updated to include key extracts from recent judges, and passages added or amended to explain the impact of these judgments. Being an editor in this field provides a route to prominence for the plodding and pedantic.

I had come across Shaw in his capacity as a co-founder of the Centre for Human Rights at Essex University. I had given a couple of talks there some twenty years ago on the attacks on human rights of the “War on Terror” and my own whistleblower experience over torture and extraordinary rendition. For an alleged human rights expert, Shaw seemed extraordinarily prone to support the national security interests of the state over individual liberty.

I do not pretend I gave it a great deal of thought. I did not know at that time of Shaw’s commitment as an extreme Zionist and in particular his long term interest in suppressing the rights of the Palestinian people. After 139 states have recognised Palestine as a state, Shaw led for Israel the legal opposition to Palestine’s membership of international institutions, including the International Criminal Court. Shaw’s rather uninspired reliance on the Montevideo Convention of 1933 is hardly a legal tour de force, and it didn’t work.

Every criminal deserves a defence, and nobody should hold it against a barrister that they defend a murderer or rapist, as it is important that guilt or innocence is tested by a court. But I think it is fair to state that defence lawyers do not in general defend those accused of murder because they agree with murder and want a murderer to go on murdering. That however is the case here: Malcolm Shaw speaks for Israel because he actually wants Israel to be able to continue killing Palestinian women and children to improve the security of Israel, in his view.

That is the difference between this and other cases, including at the ICJ. Generally the lead lawyers would happily swap sides, if the other side had hired them first. But this is entirely different. Here the lawyers (with the possible exception of Staker) believe profoundly in the case they are supporting and would never appear for the other side. That is just one more way that this is such an extraordinary case, with so much drama and such vital consequences, not least for the future of international law.

For the reason I have just explained, Shaw’s role here is not that of a simple barrister plying his trade. His attempt to extend the killing should see him viewed as a pariah by decent people everywhere, for the rest of his doubtless highly-paid existence.

Shaw opened up by saying that the South African case continually spoke of context. They talked of the 75 years of the existence of the state of Israel. Why stop there? Why not go back to the Balfour Declaration or the British Mandate over Palestine? No, the context of these events was the massacre of 7 October, and Israel’s subsequent right of self-defence. He produced and read a long quote from mid-October by European Commission President Ursula von Der Leyen, stating that Israel had suffered a terrorist atrocity and had the right of self-defence.

The truth is that this is not genocide but armed conflict, which state has existed since 7 October. That was brutal, and urban warfare always involved terrible civilian casualties, but it was not genocide.

He then turned to the question of genocide. He argued that South Africa could not bring this case and the ICJ had no jurisdiction, because there was no dispute between Israel and South Africa on which the ICJ could rule, at the time the case was filed. South Africa had communicated its views to Israel, but Israel had given no substantial reply. Therefore a dispute did not yet exist at time of filing. A dispute must involve interaction between parties and the argument had been on one side only.

This very much interested the judges. As I noted on day one, this got them more active than anything else when Professor John Dugard addressed the same point for South Africa. As I reported:

The judges particularly enjoyed Dugard’s points, enthusiastically rustling through documents and underlining things. Dealing with thousands of dead children was a bit difficult for them, but give them a nice jurisdictional point and they were in their element.

They were even more excited when Shaw tackled the same point. This gave them a way out! The case could be technically invalid, and then they would neither have to upset the major Western powers nor make fools of themselves by pretending that a genocide the whole world had seen was not happening. For a while, they looked visibly relieved.

Shaw should have given up while he was ahead, but he ploughed on for an hour, with some relief when he continually muddled his notes. A senior KC with zero ability to extemporise and recover was an interesting sight, as he kept stopping and shuffling paper.

Shaw argued that the bar for judging whether South Africa had a prima facie case must be significantly higher because of the high military and political cost to Israel if the court adopted provisional measures. It was also necessary to show genocidal intent even at this stage. Otherwise the genocide was a “car without an engine”. If any illegal actions had taken place within Israel’s carefully targeted military action, Israel’s own military courts would investigate and act on them.

Random Israeli ministers and officials making emotional statements was not important. Official policy to protect civilians would be found in the minutes of the Israeli war cabinet and national security council. Israel’s strenuous attempts to move civilians out of harm’s way was an accepted measure in international human law and should not be viewed as mass displacement.

It was South Africa which was guilty of complicity in genocide in cooperation with Hamas. South Africa’s allegations against Israel “verge on the outrageous”.

Israel’s next lawyer was a lady called Galit Raguan from the Israeli Ministry of Justice. She said the reality on the ground was that Israel had done everything possible to minimise civilian deaths and to aid humanitarian relief. Urban warfare always resulted in civilian deaths. It was Hamas who were responsible for destruction of buildings and infrastructure.

There was overwhelming evidence of Hamas’ military use of hospitals. In every single hospital in Gaza that IDF had evidence of military use by Hamas. Mass evacuation of civilians was a humanitarian and legal measure. Israel had supplied food, water and medicine into Gaza but supplies had come under Hamas fire. Hamas steals the aid for its fighters.

Next up was lawyer Omri Sender. He stated that more food trucks per day now entered Gaza than before October 7. The number had increased from 70 food trucks to 109 food trucks per day. Fuel, gas and electricity were all being supplied and Israel had repaired the sewage systems.

At this stage Israel had again lost the judges. One or two were looking at this man in a highly quizzical manner. A couple had definitely fallen asleep – there are only so many lies you can absorb, I suppose. Nobody was making notes about this guff. The judges may find a way not to condemn Israel, but could not be expected to go along with this extraordinary nonsense. Sender continued that the scope and intensity of the fighting was now decreasing as the operation entered a new phase.

Perhaps noting that nobody believed him, Sender stated that the court could not institute provisional measures but rather was obliged to accept the word of Israel on its good intentions because of the Law of the Unilateral Declarations of States.

Now I have to confess that was a bit of international law I did not know existed. But it does, specifically in relation to ICJ proceedings. On first reading, it makes a unilateral declaration of intent to the ICJ binding on the state that makes it. I cannot see that it forces the ICJ to accept it as sufficient or to believe in its sincerity. It seems rather a reach, and I wondered if Israel was running out of things to say.

That appeared to be true, because the next speaker, Christopher Staker KC, now took the floor and just ran through all the same Hamas stuff yet again, only with added theatrical indignation. Staker is the lawyer I suspect would happily have appeared for either side, because he was plainly just acting anyway. And not very well.

Staker said that it was astounding this case could be brought. It was intended to stop Israel from defending itself while Israel would still be subject to Hamas attacks. Hamas has said it will continue attacks.

If you look at the operation as a whole including relief efforts, it was plain there was no genocidal intent. Israel was in incredible danger. The proposed provisional measures were out of proportion to their effect. Can you imagine if in the Second World War, a court had ordered the Allies to stop fighting because of civilian deaths, and allowed the Axis powers to keep on killing?

The final speaker was Gilad Noam, Israel’s deputy attorney-general. He said that the bulk of the proposed provisional measures should be refused because they exposed Israel to further Hamas attack. Three more should be refused because they referred to Palestine outside Gaza. There was no genocidal intent in Israel. Ministerial and official statements made in the heat of the moment were rather examples of the tradition of democracy and freedom of speech. Prosecutions for incitement to genocide were under consideration.

The court must not conflate genocide and self-defence. The South African case devalues genocide and encourages terrorism. The Holocaust illustrated why Israel was always under existential threat. It was Hamas who were committing genocide.

And that was it. Israel had in the end not been allowed to show its contentious atrocity video, and it felt like their presentation had become repetitive and was padded to fill the time.

It is important to realise this. Israel is hoping to win on their procedural points about existence of dispute, unilateral assurances and jurisdiction. The obvious nonsense they spoke about the damage to homes and infrastructure being caused by Hamas, trucks entering Gaza and casualty figures, was not serious. They did not expect the judges to believe any of this. The procedural points were for the court. The rest was mass propaganda for the media.

In the UK, the BBC and Sky both ran almost all the Israeli case live, having not run any of the South African case live. I believe something similar was true in the USA, Australia and Germany too.

While the court was in session, Germany has announced it will intervene in the substantial case to support Israel. They argue explicitly that, as the world’s greatest perpetrator of genocide, they are uniquely placed to judge. It is in effect a copyright claim. They are protecting Germany’s intellectual property in the art of genocide. Perhaps they might in future license genocide, or allow Israel to continue genocide on a franchise basis.

I am sure the judges want to get out of this and they may go for the procedural points. But there is a real problem with Israel’s “no dispute” argument. If accepted, it would mean that a country committing genocide can simply not reply to a challenge, and then legal action will not be possible because no reply means “no dispute”. I hope that absurdity is obvious to the judges. But they may of course wish not to notice it…

What do I think will happen? Some sort of “compromise”. The judges will issue provisional measures different to South Africa’s request, asking Israel to continue to take measures to protect the civilian population, or some such guff. Doubtless the State Department have drafted something like this for President of the court Donoghoe already.

I hope I am wrong. I would hate to give up on international law. One thing I do know for certain. These two days in the Hague were absolutely crucial for deciding if there is any meaning left in notions of international law and human rights. I still believe action by the court could cause the US and UK to back off and provide some measure of relief. For now, let us all pray or wish, each in our way, for the children of Gaza.



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358 thoughts on “Your Man in the Hague (In a Good Way) Part 2

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  • Allan Howard

    I was half listening to the BBC News Channel in the early hours of this morning and there was a segment in which the mother of one of the three hostages killed by the IDF says she blames Hamas for his death. Anyway, I was only half listening as I was doing something on my laptop, so I just did a search on the BBC News website and, as such, found the following article entitled ‘Mother of killed Israeli calls Hamas videos ‘psychological warfare”, posted fifteen hours ago (at the time of writing). And there’s several things said in it in passing that are, shall we say, interesting:

    A video released by Hamas on 15 January appears to show the bodies of two hostages, Yossi Sharabi and Itay Svirsky.

    Hamas said the two had been killed by air strikes. But in the deaths of other hostages which the group has blamed on air strikes, Israeli forensic officials say post-mortems on the bodies do not support this.

    Yeah, sure, as if Hamas would kill any of their ‘bargaining chips’! And it’s EXACTLY what you would expect the lying genocidal Israeli psychopaths to say.

    Then this:

    Over 24,000 Gazans have also been killed – most of them women and children – in the Israeli bombardment since then, according to the Hamas-run health ministry. Israel says more than 9,000 of those it has killed were Hamas fighters.

    How the fcuk would Israel know how many Hamas fighters they’ve killed with their indiscriminate carpet bombing of Gaza?!

    And I’ve not heard/read THIS before, which is undoubtedly a Big Lie:

    According to the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), a command was given to hold fire and Yotam was told to come forward. But one of the soldiers shot nonetheless, killing him. According to the official investigation, the soldier didn’t hear the order because of noise from a tank.

    Oh, right, all the other soldiers heard the command to hold fire, but just one of them didn’t hear the order because of the noise of a tank and fired and killed him. If you believe THAT, you’d believe ANYTHING!

    And yet, at the time that the three hostages were killed by the IDF, we were hearing all this stuff about the soldiers thinking it was all a trick by Hamas, including playing a recording of someone calling out in Hebrew. Yeah, as if! Did we ever hear of Hamas playing such tricks on the IDF prior to them killing these three guys? I certainly hadn’t. And it’s no doubt complete B/S concocted and contrived to get the IDF soldiers off the hook.

    Put it this way: If Hamas HAD played such an elaborate trick on IDF soldiers prior to this episode and, as such, fooled some IDF soldiers and killed one or more of them, then it would have been relayed to every single soldier involved in the ground offensive in the following 24 hours or so, and Hamas would of course know that they would have warned all of their soldiers about such a ruse and, as such, KNOWN that there is/was no way they could get away with such a ruse/deception a second time. Of course they would! They are not stupid! But my point is of course that it never happened in the first place and, as per usual, the IDF/Israel were lying through their teeth.

    • Nota Tory Fanboy

      The amazing thing about the incident is that the IDF can’t even claim something like they had to shoot them because they were wearing suicide vests as they were topless…

    • Brianfujisan

      Thanks for sharing that clip Harry.. I love Clare.. watching her tell the Genocide enablers off is like a breathing in cool fresh air atop a mountain.

      • Zelda Hall

        Thank you so much for your presence at the ICJ.
        And thank you too for the humour with which you have managed to write about the experience.
        I don’t know if I would have had the forbearance to deal with queuing which I dislike at the best of times, in the circumstances of those nights!

        I have not watched all the presentations in both sides. But even the statement that it couldn’t be deliberate slaughter because the Israelis had gone to such great lengths to help people avoid being bombed, had me shouting at the screen.
        As David Brooks says, “The essence of evil is the tendency to obliterate the humanity of another.”
        How can evil be defended?

  • harry law

    UK reporters now acting on behalf of the Police such as this ‘sting’….
    Palestine Action activist Sean Middleborough was remanded to prison yesterday following his arrest on Sunday morning over an alleged plan to disrupt business at the London Stock Exchange (LSE), charged with ‘conspiracy to commit public nuisance’ under the draconian Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Act 2022,
    The arrests came after a Daily Express ‘journalist’ spied on the group in order to report on activities and hand information on alleged plans to the police. Most of the UK press and broadcast media have ignored Israel’s crimes and worked to manufacture consent for its ongoing genocide of Palestinians, which so far has killed almost 32,000 Palestinians, mostly women and children, according to the latest Euro-Med Monitor report. If failing to report even the basic facts of Israel’s crimes – including against its own people on 7 October – wasn’t bad enough, ‘reporters’ have now gone as far as acting on behalf of the state to criminalise direct action movement opposing Israel’s war crimes.

  • Allan Howard

    So Israel is just defending itself (by mostly indiscriminate bombing of Gaza), but Russia was supposedly just gonna let the war-mongering NATO nutters set up camp on their border. In other words, we’re supposed to believe that Biden and Co didn’t think that Russia would react to such a scenario. As if!

    I don’t know how many people have been killed altogether (or how many have been maimed), but it’s more-than-likely in the hundreds of thousands, and mostly young men, and the MSM in the West have the blood of them all on their hands just as much as Biden and Co and his Nato buddies, and perhaps even MORE so, because THEY could have prevented the conflict from happening in the first place if they’d wanted to.

    Just as the Israeli MSM could have prevented October 7th if they had campaigned for a two-state solution 20/30 years ago.

    • Pears Morgaine

      ” Russia was supposedly just gonna let the war-mongering NATO nutters set up camp on their border. ”

      Prior to 2022 Russia and NATO countries already had 754 miles of shared borders. If that’s so unacceptable to Russia why didn’t they attack one of those countries? Since Finland’s accession to NATO the length of shared borders has more than doubled to 1,584 miles so that worked well for Russia. It’s still only 11% of Russia’s land border.

      • AG

        If I am correct Germany attacked France in 1871/1914/1940 via the same northern routes every single time. And every time they either quickly defeated the French (1871/1940) or pushed them back 30 miles off Paris (1914).
        From what I have learned in the recent 2 years geographically the Ukrainian “belly” side of Russia seems to be simply a security issue in military terms inviting attackers to choose that route for various reasons.
        The sheer length of borders has nothing to say about their weaknesses.
        And this should be even more true regarding WMDs.
        From the geostrategic POV UKR has not been singled out by US military planning since the 1940s without good reason.
        So if you want an answer you might get one from RAND, or STRATFOR, or NATO or some of the CIA declassified documents. They will most likely tell you the same any Russian MoD analysis will tell you.
        CIA e.g. never supported the Hungarian uprising in 1956. Geostrategically it made little sense concerning RU. Whereas supporting right-wing UKRs at the same time did so much more. For obvious strategic reasons I guess.

      • harry law

        George Kennan US statesman foresaw the dangers when he said in 1998 the expansion of NATO would be an ‘epic fateful mistake’ and a “strategic blunder of potentially epic proportions” Other political scientists said this expansion meant war with Russia.
        Also remember the Soviet Union lost 27 million people when Hitler invaded the Soviet Union through Ukraine, Putin was not born yesterday.

        • David Warriston

          Putin lost an an elder brother, one he never knew, to the Nazis.

          From what I can gather Scholz, he of the Nord Stream explosion, lost a grandfather in Estonia at the hands of the Red Army. This military man was an ardent Nazi who joined the NSDAP around the time of the Munich Beer Hall putsch.

          • Lapsed Agnostic

            SS-Gruppenfuhrer Fritz von Scholz died in battle near Narva, Estonia in 1944, David. He had no acknowledged children. The current German Chancellor’s grandfather worked on the railways in Hamburg.

          • Paul Greenwood

            You should check facts. Scholz did not have such an ancestor. It is a common enough name but that story came from a Telegram Channel and is crap.

            As for Putin he did have an elder brother who died as a child in the siege of Leningrad.

            Kohl had an elder brother who was KIA on the Ostfront and Schroeder‘s father was MIA and revealed in 1990s to have been KIA in Romania retreating before Red Army.

            Kohl and Schroeder were determined never to have conflict with Russia and were trusted in Moscow.

            Scholz had connections with Egon Krenz of GDR when a Juso radical but he is simply weak and subject to Baerbock and Habeck, who are US puppets.

          • Bayard

            “The current German Chancellor’s grandfather worked on the railways in Hamburg.”

            Did he only have the one? Sounds rather pharaonic.

          • Tatyana

            Although I agree that certain views of parents are likely to form similar views in their children. But those German citizens who joined the Nazi party in the 30s and 40s of the last century did not have Nazi fathers. So the ideology of the fathers is not at all a prerequisite.

            Most likely the connection is this: if a certain idea exalts you above others, then you will willingly accept it. If your parents adhere to it, then you will grow up with the idea that this is the natural state of affairs. conscious vs unconscious.

          • Lapsed Agnostic

            Thanks for your reply Bayard. Probably not – though it’s not completely beyond the realms of possibility. The point I was trying to make was that, despite having the same surname, Gruppenfuhrer Fritz von Scholz was very unlikely to have been the grandfather of Olaf Scholz. According to the German government, both of the current Chancellor’s registered grandfathers worked on the railways in Hamburg during the war, and they dismiss any suggestion that he is related to Fritz von Scholz as ‘utter nonsense’ – though our host has addressed those very words to me on here after I stated that 48 divided by 221 is approximately equivalent to 22% rather than a third, so we are where we are:


  • harry law

    It seems Germany and the EU can’t do enough to help with the Genocide in Gaza, like the war in Ukraine which is threatening EU econimies and destroying Ukraine, this pandering to Israel will backfire bigtime. Scholz is worse than Biden.

    German government officials have “fundamentally agreed behind the scenes” to supply Israel with thousands of rounds of 120-millimeter precision ammunition to fuel the war in Gaza, according to a report by Der Spiegel.

    Since receiving an Israeli request for the tank shells in November, the Chancellery, the Defense Department, the Foreign Office, and the Ministry of Economic Affairs have been holding talks to fulfill the request.
    Once completed, the deal would mark the first public arms delivery from Berlin to Tel Aviv since the start of Israel’s ethnic cleansing campaign in Gaza. Der Spiegel reports that Germany has so far mainly supplied Israel with “medical supplies and protective equipment.”

    “Both sides have agreed to keep quiet about the request to send lethal weapons because Israel does not want to allow any conclusions to be drawn about its military capabilities,” the report highlights.

    In response to the news, Hamas officials lambasted Berlin, saying that sending tank shells to Israel would turn Germany into a “direct partner in the war on our people in Gaza.”

    “It seems Germany is reproducing its history full of sins against humanity. It is undeterred from the lessons of the recent past,” the statement added.

    • AG

      By now I am pretty sure that despite the entire anti-Nazi education program of the post-45 era, Germany would find every way to talk away extermination of Palestinians.
      By that I mean the killing of several Hundreds of Thousands of Palestinians. Think 5 years from now, each year costing e.g. 50.000 peoples´ lives. Every year German media would report about some human tragedy due to hunger and what not and the repeated bombing by IDF. You would end up with 300.000 Palestinians killed.
      The only question is what would be the limit for Hezbollah. And may be RU and CHINA to urge the US to stop it.
      But that would not be Germany.
      And just like in any pre-modern era be it the Spanish Inquisition, US slavery, British rule over Ireland, or any other such endeavour the ruling media elites would spend thousands of pages and hours of bullshit talk to justify it.
      I am just wondering what are all those countless academics doing in this area right now – copying each other’s studies?
      So no one steps out of line accidentally.

      • Paul Greenwood

        You do surprise me. If you actually understood your own contention you would see for German political elites this is a „Get out of jail card“.

        Much as US has now sanitised Nazism by having Jews revive it in Ukraine – Kolomoisky, Poroschenko, Yats, Zelensky and Azov. – and in Canadian Parliament – Germany can show that bombing civilians and starving them and murdering them is not really „genocide“.

        Well there is not much left, other than the Allies apologise for Nuremberg and attack Russia.

        This is German reversal of history – they get invited to WW2 Commemorative Events like D-Day and Russians are excluded.

        There are Germans who actually think it was a US war without Britain being involved ……. Others behave as if it was US with Germany against the USSR.

        History is NOT taught in German schools.

        • AG

          The German case is indeed a bit complex.
          After all it does concern the psychology of 80 mio. people.

          (My notion of “education” above was ironic since education as ritual won´t do anything. I mocked the stately rhetoric.)

          Here you will find countless who oppose NATO and Western “handling” of the UKR sit, who however will back off in regards of Israel.
          It´s crazy but thats a fact.

          Even though intern. law and the situation in its entirety is so much more undisputed in Gaza, its easier in Germany to find opposition to the war in the East. And much has to do with family history. It does not concern me. But many natives I know.
          So you can of course mock and condemn this. I myself am obviously outraged (even though not surprised.)

          But in order to change the state of the matter in the FRG attacking these people, many of whom are much more advanced re: RU, won´t help. 90% of them are not bad people. They are everyday beings without any VIP agenda. They have high moral standards, are caring for their environment and friends and politics.

          If you ask me for the reason: it´s simple lack of adequate info about Palestine and its history in the past 75 years.

          The “Holocaust” as a subject of historic studies and academic research captuers EVERY aspect of study related to Israel. That is a prerequisite of you go into the Israel complex in Germany. Its incredibly difficult to escape this. Thats also why “self-hating jew” can still be heard today. Even thoug its deeply insulting of course.

          Anything re: Israel is dominated and pre-conceived by that Holocaust perspective.

          So if you speak about sports in Israel. Holocaust will somehow twist the view.
          if you speak about achitecture in Israel, H. will inform that.
          And the more political it gets the more dire it becomes.

          You have to understand this to unerstand the idiotic and scandalous behaviour producing this irresponsible genocidal public projection.

          p.s. latest polls claim well over 60% want peace in Gaza. Well that´s easy to say. But that doesnt give you the detailed view of what people think WHY there is war.

          If books like “Gaza: An Inquest into Its Martyrdom”, Pappé, Levy, Hass, Khalidi, even Said are not read or instead denounced where should the knowledge come from.

          In fact you are better off with people who have no “education” on this at all. They react in common-sense ways. but those group won´t matter for media discourse.

          • Dorah Rosen

            Seriously as a Jewish person with family members killed in the Nazi genocide, I am so sick of the exceptionalism and entitlement that so many Israelis and Jews invoke to excuse all kinds of horrors by the Zionist State of Israel. “The” holocaust is only one of many, many attacks against ethnic &/or religious groups, allegedly on the basis of their evil characteristics – look at the extermination of Indigenous peoples worldwide especially by colonizers from European nations, enslavement of Slavic people by the Muslim caliphates and Africans by Europeans and Americans, oppression of Irish by the English and their Scottish proxies of the plantation system, the Clearances in Scotland, Armenians in the Ottoman Empire, Tibetans and other ethnic groups in China, Kurds in many countries of the Levant, & Tamils in Sri Lanka. Those are ones that are just on the top of my head.

      • Mr Mark Cutts


        The MSM don’t really have anything to say on the ‘War’ apart from: “Israel has the right to defend itself”.

        On occasions the Israeli Hostages are talked about as back up for the deaths of thousands. Lots of ” They say” (meaning the IDF or the Israeli government have told them), and usually it is taken as read that these sayings are true. If they want a cop out “IT remains unconfirmed” (particularly if it’s the Gazan officials who are informing them).

        Unfortunately (or willingly in some cases) some reporters are enjoying their embedding. Not dissimilar in, Ukraine where someone stands on the Kiev rooftop in front of that beautiful Church opining on what’s happening in the East whilst being hundreds of miles away from where the actual extremely deadly fighting is going on. You won’t find out any truths standing in Tel Aviv or Kiev well away from the real horrible actuality of conflict.

        The internet MSM and newspapers just snipe at Putin and Russia (mini Gotcha! moments that are childlike) and The Express tells us that it is cold in the UK and Ukraine. What is worse is that they say, that any person across the globe who doesn’t watch/read or listen to their crap output is being misled and lied to by the alternative news sites. They should be the only Beacon of Truth.

        The ‘truth’ is that the MSM has been lying by omission for many, many years to the peoples of their nations and due to the internet the omitted is being monitored and recorded for posterity or infamy indeed.

        Apparently the internet has been off in Gaza since October the 7th and no doubt the Israeli government will say it’s for Military reasons – security. I doubt that but it may be for cover-up reasons as the 3 UN investigators who turned up in Israel cannot make their enquiries re: the dead (Israelis included) as the government has banned Israeli medics from speaking to them (see the Guardian for details).

        I also doubt that the BBC will say anything about it either. The Disinfectant of truth has been watered down tremendously over the years, so despite the “No Spin” idiocy from the BBC male reporter who assisted in the (embedded) ‘Liberating of Baghdad’, he (and the MSM) and his colleagues need a billion gallons of Izal to get anywhere near the truth.

        Morally they are knee deep in filth and need disinfecting themselves. Plus – they are cowardly human beings.

        • Paul Greenwood

          Did MSM in your world mention 10,000 rounds of 120mm tank ammunition Israel has requested from Germany apparently to be supplied from Bundeswehr stockpiles ?

          • mark cutts


            They didn’t say.

            They mentioned the germans once but I think they got away with it.


            There are many MSM members of the Awkward Squad including Craig plus the late John Pilger and definitely Julian Assange but despite the net alternatives the main news points (as in what the MSM want you to see – their menu of suggested news) are the most seen by Western viewing populations.

            There are forces as you all know whose whole raison d’etre is to prevent people from seeing what they shouldn’t.

            They are nearly all paid for by governments.

            Similar governments who were responsible for jailing Julian Assange and continue to jail many others across the so-called ‘Free world.’

            We all know on here and elsewhere that this happens but the majority of people who gain (or, are presented with) some information the MSM want them to see don’t know what actually happens and how the news they see is carefully selected for their eyes and ears.

        • Tom Welsh

          ‘The MSM don’t really have anything to say on the ‘War’ apart from: “Israel has the right to defend itself”’.

          Perhaps I might complete the thought:

          The MSM don’t really have anything to say on the ‘War’ apart from: “Israel has the right to defend itself and all the land and property that it stole by murderous violence from its rightful owners; and the right for its tens of thousands of cynical murders not only to be forgiven but forgotten”.

          • Brianfujisan

            Tom… Yes most, if not all recent wars could have been stopped by the MSM if only they had the balls..
            But it’s good to see Australian journalists and staff taking on management over twisting truths and bias in favour of Israel and outside influence – namely the Israeli lobby.
            It all started when Austrailian – Lebanese journrnalist Antoinette Lattouf was fired from government funded ABC news for sharing a Human Rights Watch instagram post accusing the Israeli government of using starvation of civilians as a weapon of war in Gaza.
            But thankfully Lattouf has the support of some 200 staff members who have been threatening to walk off the job over Lattouf’s firing.. the staff are demanding a meeting with the Managing director..

          • mark cutts


            You know that – I know that and many people on here the same. But the populace of The Western countries don’t know that because they are not told any facts. They are just presented by the MSM with emotional stories and they are busy surviving in the UK (if they are poorish) or shopping (if they are richish).

            Distractions all round.

            On Sky News this morning Trevor Philips showed a YouGov Poll on the upcoming GE. As part of the Ashcroft Poll the ‘concerns’ of the British people were:
              •  The Post Office Scandal 56%
              •  The Attack on Yemen 14%
              •  The Conflict in Gaza 9% (I think)
              •  And surprisingly The Ukrainian Conflict. a very low 8%.

            So parochial but indicative of a lack of a world view. Meaning purely individual concerns – quite understandable on a lot of issues but the MSM and fake patriotic politicians in all the Western World don’t know much about history or even politics so it’s unlikely that the populace will ever learn anything from the suppliers of facts/news as they don’t understand what’s going on themselves.

            As George Galloway correctly says: They are ‘expensively educated’. Meaning their ‘education’ was only an education in what are referred to as: ‘Western Values’.

            These ‘Western Values’ are on show daily in Israel for example and there are many many more exhibited in history and many to come. The fact is until the MSM Teachers get a good education re: THE World – not THEIR World then the West will only go backwards – slowly at first but, like bankruptcy, collapse in one day.

          • Allan Howard

            It has never occurred to me, until just now, to do a search re Craig being stopped and questioned by the Counter Terror Cops, and his flight to Switzerland that followed, and I see that it was covered by a number of news outlets, including The Times and The Telegraph (I haven’t got round to reading any of them yet). But what led to me doing so was something that occurred to me a bit earlier – ie that perhaps Craig could contact the Daily Mirror about his situation/predicament and see if they’re interested in doing an interview with him and an article based on the interview. Thinking about it – as I just this second DID – perhaps the SUNDAY Mirror would be a better bet. Anyway, it’s just a thought, and once it’s in the public domaine how long Craig has been kept waiting to hear what it’s about, it might prompt the CT cops to stop prevaricating and playing their infantile fascist games..

        • AG

          Finkelstein used the very good nutshell example:
          “IDF, the most moral Army in the world.”

          It´s like believing in Santa Claus since there ARE NO moral armies. It contradicts the idea itself.

          But like any nation brand and cliché it´s very resilient and stubborn.

      • Dorah Rosen

        Hello, AG, I’m not disagreeing with your main point here – as a sidebar, let’s refer to Israel’s armed forces as the Israeli military not the IDF–Israel Defense Force – just as the US Dept of Defense is the War Department
        In every military, atrocities such as rape and homicide/murder are committed.

        • Tom Welsh

          I like “IOF”, as used by Al-Mayadeen and others.

          “Israeli Occupation Force”.

          Just because an occupation force has been occupying (and killing) for 75 years doesn’t make it any less of an occupation force.

          Just ask the Japanese and the Germans.

  • Tatyana

    our news reports something that sounds at least strange.

    “Israel has asked doctors not to cooperate with UN officials investigating the Oct. 7 Hamas attack on Israel, Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Lior Hayat told NBC News.
    “Hayat told the TV channel that the UN commission of inquiry into events in Israel was allegedly headed by three “well-known anti-Semites.” Among these three people, in particular, was the representative of South Africa, Navanethem Pillay, who was the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights from 2008 to 2014. In addition, Hayat expressed dissatisfaction with the lack of a clearly defined time frame for the commission to conduct an investigation.”

    our media link the NBC home page, so I’d be grateful if someone could please quote the excerpt from the original article.

  • harry law

    The events of Oct 7th are spoken of in Israel as war crimes on the part of Hamas, however many obververs have described Israel’s Hannibal doctrine whereby Israeli forces have been instructed to kill Hamas and Israeli abductees alike even at the cost of all lives involved.
    So the Israeli gunships and Tank assaults killing everything that moved on that day is also a war crime.

    • Tatyana

      In my opinion, Hamas committed an act of terrorism, and I am not of such radical views as to justify terrorism. Logically, I can understand how desperate people begin to simply kill everyone around. But this is an outburst of hatred, an act of desperation and perhaps an extreme way to draw attention to one’s situation. I don’t see how this act really helped the Palestinians.
      I can also understand the Israelis who were attacked. Nobody deserves this.
      And as an outside observer, all I can say is that I am very sorry for all the losses on each side. People should learn to show tolerance, then perhaps they would not become enemies. An uncompromising attitude no longer works; there are more people on the same size planet. You choose either ultimatums and death, or compromise and coexistence.

      • harry law

        Tatanya, you seem to imply the Hannibal doctrine is understandable and not a war crime. The Israelis have proven they do not want to co-exist with the Palestinians. It is Israel that has shown an uncompromising attitude. The Palestinians have been under brutal occupation since 1967 and still Israel wants to kill and ethnically cleanse them, because Israel claims all the land [Judea and Samaria]. Your claim that people should show tolerance flies in the face of everything that has happened to the Palestinians in the past 57 years. With all due respect, I reject your arguments.

        • Roger Tonkin

          I’m with Tatyana on this, Harry. Your position makes sense, but only if you believe that war solves anything when, if you look at history it’s plain it does not: any apparent resolution is only temporary, and further wars are inevitable based on the outcome of previous wars. Ultimately co-operation and tolerance (“compromise and coexistence”) are the only solution to the planet’s problems. Sadly it appears that most of us are not yet capable of this disposition, but that doesn’t mean that more conflict and debasement of people is the answer.
          For me, talk about “war crimes” is absurd – as though some part of the indiscriminate killing of people is *not* a crime.
          Likewise with the talk about terrorists and terrorism. As someone once said, “Terrorists are people who have bombs, but no aeroplanes”. These terms – and “extremists” is another – are used by vested interests to anathematise and dehumanise others so their killing and other maltreatment can be justified. It seems to me that most countries are governed by extremists of one sort or another, and a good few are terrorists as well.

          • Tom Welsh

            “Your position makes sense, but only if you believe that war solves anything when, if you look at history it’s plain it does not: any apparent resolution is only temporary, and further wars are inevitable based on the outcome of previous wars”.

            History (and prehistory) suggests otherwise. When did the Romans get kicked out of Greece, Asia Minor, and the Balkans? Never. The Byzantine Empire was eventually overthrown by Persians, Turks, and Muslims – coming from outside its periphery to invade it.

            When did the Muslims regain control of Spain and Portugal?

            And how about the Native Americans, throughout North and South America? When are they going to get their land back? Or the Maori, or the Australian aborigines? Or, for that matter, the Anglo-Saxon kings of England? The Norman Conquest looks pretty permanent to me.

            Actually, your wording is itself so vague as to be almost meaningless. You talk about belief “that war solves anything”. Well, that depends on what you mean by “solves anything”, which is completely unclear (to me at least). If someone threatens me with a knife and I shoot him dead, that certainly solves something from my point of view. When the forces of NATO, using the Kiev gang as camouflage, gathered their forces to obliterate Donbas and possibly invade Russia in 2022, the Russians sensibly launched a preemptive special military operation that neatly nipped the planned operations in the bud. That solved problems for a lot of people, even if it caused new ones for nasty people in Washington, Brussels, London, and elsewhere.

          • Mr Mark Cutts


            Completely agree. War doesn’t solve anything it only puts off the inevitable.

            All the great Empires did war to try and save themselves – it never works but still doesn’t stop big players from doing it.

            The Second World War was put off until many years later after the First. Coldly put – to sort out (in an even more terrible way) unfinished business.

            The Third World War will be put off – I hope for a while but the business between World War Two – The fall of the USSR and the collapse of the Berlin Wall and of course the rapid rise of China and the US’s decline is the biggest bit of unfinished business so far in human history.

            The reason? Because an awful lot of States have Nukes and local wars become Global wars which although not meant to happen develop a very dangerous life and momentum of their own. Then the danger is to the whole of Humanity and not a certain corner of the world.

            Imagine the victors (if victory it is?) standing in their pile of ashes in the nuclear fallout and a Sun that can’t be seen (once they have to come out of their Bunkers of course) and claiming “That was our victory – let’s get on with rebuilding the World in our image”.

            And how exactly are the ‘Victors’ going to do that? That victory was the End of The World – not the start of it.

            Pyrrhic is a word that literally and actually sums the whole thing up.

      • Tatyana

        ancient times come to mind when monarchs ruled everywhere. When they got tired of fighting with each other, they arranged for their children to get married and voila – whether you want it or not, people had to give up hostility at least for a while.

      • Paul Greenwood

        Tatjana, Menachem Begin was a terrorist and so was Yiztak Shamir and yet both were Prime Ministers of Israel.

        Irgun and Lehi were foundational components of IDF yet had murdered a UN Envoy and a British Emissary and blew up the King David Hotel and massacred civilians in Deir Yassin.

        And yet Josef Stalin was the first leader in the world to recognise Israel.

        So Israel is built on terrorism.

        Hamas is attacking Israel on Palestinian territory occupied by Israelis – Kibbutz are not built on US or Russian territory.

        Hamas is Resistance under Occupation.

        Next you will condemn Soviet Partisans for terror against German Wehrmacht on the Ostfront.

        • Tatyana

          Harry and Paul, ok guys, I’m not stupid and I know when it’s time for me to shut up and not express my opinions, since they are more based on emotions and a desire for a peaceful solution than on real facts. With your permission, I’ll continue to participate in the discussion, but in the form of asking questions. It seems like I need to get acquainted with a lot of things before I speak out.

          • Ian Stevenson

            I often don’t agree with you on the Ukraine issue but your emotions are quite valid in wishing for a peaceful outcome and less suffering. They are those of any decent person.
            Making a judgement about a situation does depend on knowledge and interpretation. It is never complete but that should not stop us from participating in a discussion and regarding those with different opinions with respect – until they prove they they do not reciprocate.
            I don’t come here so often now but I hope you continue to contribute.

      • Bayard

        ” Logically, I can understand how desperate people begin to simply kill everyone around. But this is an outburst of hatred, an act of desperation and perhaps an extreme way to draw attention to one’s situation. ”

        That presupposes that the object of the Hamas attack was to kill Israelis. Lots of people have been saying this, and then going on to excuse it along the same lines as you. What evidence, however, do we have for this? Lots from the Israelis, but they would say that, wouldn’t they? It is certainly possible that the object of the Hamas attack was simply to take hostages. The result was that the potential hostages and others with access to arms defended themselves and the Hamas fighters shot back. Lots of people on both sides were killed, many, if not most, it seems, both Hamas and Israelis, by the IDF. There is an expression in English, “damning with faint praise”. In this case it’s more like “damning with feeble excuses”.

        • Tom Welsh

          You may call me cold-blooded – and I’m sure some will – but can you deny that the Hamas attack led directly to the current South African case against Israel for genocide? And to the Houthis shooting up Israel-related shipping? And the locals firing missiles at American bases in a fairly sincere effort to get them to feel unwanted and go home? All those things are surely good. And in this world – as opposed to any Platonic or Christian ideal worlds – you cannot make an omelette withour breaking eggs.

      • Coldish

        Tatyana. It’s great to have your contributions. I read every one. Don’t stop!
        I may have missed some of the relevant reports, but I’m not aware of independent evidence that Hamas fighters**, who seem to be a relatively disciplined and well-trained force (at least compared with their Israeli counterparts), carried out any atrocities during their break-out from Gaza on October 7. As I understood it, the order of the Hamas operation on that day was essentially the capture of hostages. The capture or destruction of military posts on the border was a means to that end. There would have been no purpose in intentionally killing or harming civilians. The capture and imprisonment of military personnel during a conflict is not a crime. Prisoner exchange has become a recognised and accepted practice during hostilities. Hostage-taking of non-combatants is indeed criminal in most jurisdictions and internationally, but is not in itself an atrocity.
        ** There may well have been, almost certainly were, other, non-Hamas, Gazans who took advantage of the many breaks in the Gaza fence to invade Israel on October 7. Some of these people may have carried out atrocities. If so, the appropriate response would have been to bring any surviving suspects before a court to answer charges, whether in Israel or in Gaza. Of course that couldn’t happen, as the Israeli forces simply lashed out with tanks and helicopter gunships and tried to kill everyone around, including Israelis, then covered up and tried to destroy the evidence.
        Soft-zionist commentator Peter Beinart has pointed out that the two stated aims of the Israeli military assault on Gaza – (a) destruction of Hamas and (b) release of hostages – are mutually contradictory and incompatible. Adopting one rules out the other. In fact only one – the release of hostages – was ever achievable. But that required the Israeli authorities to refrain from attacking Gaza and deal directly with the Gazan government – i.e. with Hamas. When they did, through the mediation of Qatar, deal with Hamas, some non-combatant hostages were exchanged. But what Israel really wants is not the release of hostages, it’s the destruction of Palestine. That’s the priority.
        I have Israeli friends and used to regard myself loosely as a ‘friend of Israel’. Like I once described Keir Starmer as ‘sound’. Shame on me! Sorry about that. We all make mistakes.

      • CabbagePatch

        The Zionist State terrorist group Genocide of Palestinians is ongoing, the Perpetrators of the Genocide laid out at length in the Hauge, and reporting on by our host, continue unabated in the West Bank/East Jerusalem where the futility of waiting for the Fascist Ukrainian nationalists in Tel Aviv to murder them is daily shown. That’s their alternative – fight and maybe lose, or wait to die. See how many Russians you can convince to pick the latter, why do you expect any less of Palestinians.?

        The bald facts are the Zionist State terrorist group has no legitimacy and no future occupying Palestine. It’s utterly economically dependent on the US, which will throw them under the bus when it suits.

        There has been much vile accusation but what has been substantiated by named people in the Israeli media as being witness testimony differs rather sharply. ‘At that point, it was clear to me that our role is to be a human shield between our forces that arrived and them (Hamas),’ says Hadas Dagan [9]

        They are accused of a lot of things, but what direct witness statements suggest they as occupied people broke out of a death camp onto their own land, fought and killed the armed combatants, not harming unarmed combatants, and took hostages as leverage for the thousands of Palestinian Male hostages, Palestinian Female hostages, in addition to Palestinian Children hostages in the Zionist Gulags – denied any rights, kidnapped in the dead of night, and abused. [11]

        The IOF clearly killed many more people than the attackers during the military assault [4] on the military bases [5] surrounding the Gaza Ghetto, besieged for 17 years, and under belligerent occupation for 75 years. – Just listen to the helicopter pilot interviewed on TV [7] or the survivor testimony here [8] or here [9]

        What does emerge is a picture of overrun bases, and trigger happy IOF killing everybody hostages, and fighters alike, without discrimination[4]

        It’s widely reported [10] that the Death of hundreds of people inside of 1948 occupied Palestine were due to the actions of the IOF use of tanks [1], helicopter gunships [2], and indiscriminate fire[3].


  • Jack

    It will be very interesting or rather telling how the ICJ will judge what is going in Gaza.
    Will the ICJ succumb to the absurd rationalization we constantly hear from Israel to justify their killings? Is there any legal room to do that?

    Examples of rationalizations like:
    A palestinian child was killed = Israeli claim: the child was “accidently” killed/used as a human shield by Hamas
      – is that what the ICJ also is going to claim?
    A journalist was killed = Israeli claim: 1 The person was not a journalist or 2 The person was a journalist but had ties to Hamas
      – is that what the ICJ will claim in their judgement?
    A refugee camp was hit =Israeli claim: 1 It was an accident hit by Israel or 2 Someone from Hamas were in the camp/human shield
      – What will ICJ claim?
    Raiding, evacuating, forcing people out of hospitals = israeli claim = there are tunnels below the these buildings
      – Again, what will the ICJ claim?

    There is no other alternative than that Israel have either deliberately killed or (deliberately) indiscriminately killed some 30000 people by now. There is in my view no way out for Israel on a legal standpoint.
    The absurd claim of “accident” may perhaps been hard to prove in a court if the incidents were 3-5 cases but the constant, every single day now, constantly killing civilians along with the vocal expressions of all the palestinians are enemies by israelis reps., what is that if not acts of genocide?

    As I said before, if ICJ rule in favour of Israel – it would be a pathetic mockery of international law, perhaps the final nail in the coffin, palestinians should declare that OK, Israel are free to kill our people with any repercussion, therefor we will succumb to the same terror against them. Because if palestinians cannot even get the support from the law, what other alternative do they have?
    Perhaps bluntly, stupid, naive by me… I do not know, but something got to give now.

    • Bayard

      “Will the ICJ succumb to the absurd rationalization we constantly hear from Israel to justify their killings? Is there any legal room to do that?”

      As Craig suggests, it seems more likely that Israel will get off on a technicality – that there isn’t a dispute between SA and Israel. That way the judges can avoid making fools of themselves or spoiling their retirement plans, everyone will have had their day in court and nobody who matters will end up in the dock on charges of aiding and abetting genocide.

        • Bayard

          Quis custodiet custodies ipses? To whom do the South Africans appeal, if they think that the judges have ignored precedent and therefore wrong in their judgements, if they do let Israel off on a technicality?

          • Steve Hayes

            The question here is whether the individual judges care to have their decision-making process scrutinised as it will be if it’s as indefensible as it would be if they sweep this under the carpet. Yes, the West and its media would strive to shield them but the West is far from being the world and surely there must be a shred of professional pride in there?

          • Coldish

            Bayard (19/01, 17.05): as I iunderstand it, there is no appeal against ICJ judgments. South Africa and its allies would need to find another channel to continue their campaign. It does however seem unlikely that the ICJ can let Israel completely off the hook. Almost certainly some provisional measures will be imposed, while the court at its leisure considers the merits of South Africa’s accusation of genocide on Israel’s part. That would leave the door open for South Africa or others to bring charges of supporting genocide against those supplying weapons and intelligence to Israel: the USA, the UK, possibly in due course also Germany. That could be worrying for current members of the governments of those countries, who might ultimately be at risk of criminal charges before the International Crimínal Court.

    • will moon

      Jack, just watched G Galloway interview Ronnie Kasrils, a South African Jew who was an important part of the struggle against apartheid in SA. Kasrils give some context surrounding the ICJ case and you may find it useful. He discusses outcomes regarding the court case and touches on several points that you have raised previously, both above and elsewhere, vis-a-vis the overall meaning and utility of the case for genocide brought by South Africa at the ICJ against Israel. Apologies if you have already seen it but I found it very moving and informative and some of your queries came to mind as I watched

      • Coldish

        I second Will Moon’s recommendation of Galloway’s interview of Ronnie Kasrils on Galloway always lets his interviewees have their say.

    • Nota Tory Fanboy

      Owen Jones just published a very good video [link] ripping apart this the way the “human shields” narrative has been presented in the MSM.

    • JeremyT

      Yes, ultimatums or death. Zionism or else. These words do matter if we are going to stop the killing.

      I’d stop the words ‘settlement’, ‘settlers’, ‘resettlement’. Nothing is settled. In fact, dissettling Al-aqsa has led to war.
      There’s a word used since 1967 – Occupation – as in occupiers, displace to occupy etc.

      Bibi has confirmed there’s no State he’s negotiating. He’s not settling, he’s occupying after displacing.

  • Peter Mo

    There is absolutely no question that Israel has given intent to wipeout Hamas mostly by killing anyone with any links to it. Putting aside the legality of this we come to TRANSFERED INTENT which means that by any reasonable assessment the killing of so many civilians the transferred intent now becomes far more serious i.e. genocide.,perpetrator%20is%20still%20held%20responsible.

  • barbara deutsch

    I had previously requested a link to the remarks made to Jan. 14 London marchers, by Ghassan Abu Sitta;
    I have not located one, however given response to this doctor by Craig Murray himself, and among readers,
    I thought others might wish to know about a recent conversation with Ghassan Abu Sitta and another
    angel of mercy ministering to Gaza’s hospitals, Dr. Swee Chai Ang:

  • harry law

    Israeli media discussing ‘horrifying’ mass ‘friendly fire’ killings by IDF – but UK media stay silent
    Israeli media has begun to freely discuss as fact the mass murder of Israeli citizens by so-called ‘friendly fire’ from the IDF during the 7 October Hamas raid near Israel’s border with Gaza.

    The reality of the killings has not been treated with any serious doubt by Israeli papers and broadcasters for weeks – they could hardly do otherwise, when they have interviewed survivors who have talked about it, Israeli police have admitted it and even the IDF issued a statement to Israeli press saying it would not be ‘morally sound’ to investigate the ‘immense and complex’ deaths its troops, tankers and pilots had caused on that day.
    So how is it possible that the BBC and the rest of the western media keep revisiting the horrors of October 7 but never to raise these issues , even though they have been so prominent in the Israeli public space for many weeks?

    The only possible answer is that western media outlets are consciously censoring this story because it directly conflicts with the West’s ideological and strategic agenda. It raises disturbing questions about western complicity in genocide.

    • Xavi

      Mad, isn’t it? Less integrity & dignity even than media in Israel of all places, world capital of unscrupulous liars. Last week the BBC also suppressed SA’s presentation at the Hague while giving a full airing to the zionist rebuttal. It is hardly a revelation that the BBC is dishonest & biased but never have they been less artful than in this great “cause” – trying to justify & perpetuate the starvation & butchering of some of the world’s most vulnerable people. Proper degenerates who’ll soon enough revert to posturing as the embodiment of decency juxtaposed against Trump, Putin, Corbyn etc.

      Nobody should ever forget what the BBC did in this moment. What they openly showed themselves to be.

      • Tom Welsh

        Actually it makes sense that some of the traditional Israeli media are more open and honest than those in “the West”. Israelis tend to be opinionated, entitled, and insistent on being kept informed. So any Israeli paper that wants to stay in business – Haaretz, for example – has to do a lot more honest reporting than any British, US, or European ones.

        Although it is essential to bear in mind that the English-language editions may not always say exactly the same things as the Hebrew-language ones…

        • Xavi

          Maybe that’s why, although when Max Blumenthal first revealed the truth about October 7th I remember Haaretz responsed with a smear piece.

          In any case even if Israelis are more insistent on knowing the truth than other people it still doesn’t explain why the British Broadcasting Corporation is so hungry for Palestinians to be genocided. There cannot have been many news organisations in recent years that have harped & postured more incessantly on the issue of racism.

  • Ebenezer Scroggie

    There are credible reports that the IDF is rigging high capacity pumps and pipelines to start flooding the tunnels. This is deeply sinister in a couple of ways.

    First, it adds ecocide to genocide. The rock type is highly porous sandstone and vast quantities of seawater will percolate down to the fresh water aquifers, thus poisoning them for decades or centuries.

    Second, it is quite certain that most or all of the hostages are being held in those tunnels. It therefore appears that the IDF has given up on the hope that they might rescue them. So, it’s an implementation of the ‘Hannibal’ ploy, ie kill the hostages so they can’t be used as negotiating tokens by Hamas.

    • glenn_nl

      This will salt the ground too, ensuring nothing will grow there for centuries. Goodbye to the olive trees which Palestinians have tended on this land for thousands of years, and provided much of their income.

      • Bayard

        “This will salt the ground too, ensuring nothing will grow there for centuries.”

        Exactly as the Romans did to Carthage. Feature not bug?

  • harry law

    Britain’s chief rabbi, Ephraim Mirvis, spoke at a public event at a synagogue earlier this month to extol the “outstanding” performance of the Israeli military in Gaza.

    “We can be proud of the state of Israel, what it represents .. what Israel is doing is the most outstanding thing a decent responsible country can do for its citizens”
    British Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis praises Israeli forces at a recent talk at Cranbrook United Synagogue during a Melava Malka on Motzei Shabbat.
    Since October 7, over 23,000 Palestinians have been killed in Gaza – mostly women and children.
    Words cannot describe the degeneracy of this man.

  • Dorah Rosen

    Thank you for your witty summing up of a massive yet farcical tragedy. As an Ashkenazi Jewish US citizen & taxpayer, I feel betrayed by the US government and by those sharing my ethnic background and religious heritage while turning the State of Israel into a sexist, racist, bullying terrorist client of the world’s foremost white supremacist bullying terrorist warmonger state, the USA. With all your vast experience, training and first-hand knowledge, you have written very close to what I feel, viewing the situation from my own life experiences. It’s disturbing that you are reinforcing my thoughts, which I’d be very glad to discover are cynical and unduly pessimistic. But, as you rallied when meeting the noble Palestinian-British surgeon Ghassan Abu Sittah, I’m taking heart in the resilience and steadfastness (sumud) of the Palestinians whom I know and analysis such as your own.

  • Allan Howard

    So just four/five days after Grant Shapps dissembled his bollocks about the ‘Pre-war Era’ – ie that we are in a pre-war era – we now have yet more bollocks re ‘unprecedented rise in terrorism threat since October 7th’. I just happened to tune into Sky News earlier just prior to the news summary, and it led with this total B/S about the terrorist/terrorism threat. The following is from an article on their website posted two or three hours ago:

    ‘UKs counter-terror chief warns of ‘unprecedented’ rise in terrorism threat…..’

    Police have seen an “unprecedented” rise in the threat from terrorism following the conflict in Gaza, which has become a “radicalisation moment”, Britain’s most senior counter-terrorism officer has said.

    Metropolitan Police assistant commissioner Matt Jukes said there had been a 25% increase in intelligence coming into counter-terrorism police, “a significant increase on our usual levels”.

    “In simple terms, that means more intelligence about potential terrorism and violent extremism, flowing through our systems than in recent years, from online reports, public reports and from MI5,” Mr Jukes told a briefing of journalists.

    And that’s about it – ie it’s a very short article. But I didn’t know that it had finished and, as such, scrolled down the page, and then came across yet ANOTHER brief article, this one entitled ‘Warning people could be conscripted into armed forces over fear of all-out war’:

    A top military officer has warned people could be conscripted into the armed forces after Nato admitted it is preparing for an all-out war with Russia. Admiral Rob Bauer, chairman of Nato’s military committee, delivered a chilling message that civilians must brace themselves for the prospect of being called up for military service. In a stark warning, he said we must all be ready for a full-scale conflict with Russia in the next 20 years that would completely change lives

    Yep, the war-mongering fear-mongering hate-mongering manipulating fascist scum are really ramping it up big time, and as I said in a post a few weeks ago, I really wouldn’t put it past these anti-human beings to carry out a false flag, which they are more than capable of, and murder a number of us in the process. So three-and-a-half months after October 7th, we’re now being told about this ‘unprecedented’ increase in the terrorism threat! I wonder if we’ll be getting any details? I doubt it somehow!! These people really ARE pure evil.

    • Allan Howard

      I didn’t twig at first – having not long woken up – that the ‘short’ article(s) were on MSM News, and I just did a search on Sky News and found the full article re ‘unprecedented’ increase in terrorism threat:

      Since the Hamas attacks on Israel on 7 October there have been 33 arrests for terrorism offences – 19 related to protests, 13 to social media and one to an alleged attack. Seven people have been charged as a result of the arrests and the rest remain on bail or under investigation.

      There has been a “surge” in calls to the anti-terrorism hotline and in the two weeks after the initial attack, the number doubled.

      • glenn_nl

        AH: “There has been a “surge” in calls to the anti-terrorism hotline and in the two weeks after the initial attack, the number doubled.

        I wonder if these calls to the anti-terrorism hotline were along the “I saw a Palestinian flag on the back of a car parked in Cardiff today” variety. And that sort of nonsense “surged” from three calls a week to four, and has since doubled to six.

        Without giving us anything specific, this is nothing but fear-mongering.

        • will moon

          glenn_nl I saw a list of so called “hate” incidents from America, most were marches calling for an end to the genocide. To me this is the inversion of moral reality for destructive purposes.

          For all this “antisemitism” nonsense, there is no mention of racism based on the colour of someone’s skin, yet in the city I live in there is no antisemitism (i.e. insults in popular discourse); but there is racism based on skin colour, yet this is never mentioned – the stench of hypocrisy is overwhelming.

          To protest against the slaughter of tens of thousands of civilians and have this called “hate” is a clear indicator of the moral bankruptcy of those crying “hate”.

          This fear-mongering is perpetrated by people who have forgotten the story of the boy who cried wolf.

    • Tom Welsh

      “In a stark warning, he said we must all be ready for a full-scale conflict with Russia in the next 20 years that would completely end lives…”


      For the UK to attempt to fight Russia would be like a kitten attacking a bear. Unfortunately, the UK has nuclear weapons – otherwise the Russians could just smilingly ignore it. In a nuclear exchange, Russia could render the entire UK uninhabitable in about half an hour.

      • Allan Howard

        Tom, just for the record, it says ‘change lives’, not ‘end lives’. Anyway, I assume Craig was one of the 13 people on social media, and supposedly still being investigated, after THREE months! I mean how long does it take to determine if someone should be charged?! Talking of which, did the Berlin police ever complete their (totally absurd) investigation in respect of Roger Waters on suspicion of incitement? I’ve not heard anything, and it’s been eight months now!

        And I wonder if the Met Police ever tracked down the two guys at the big London demo in November who were wearing ‘Hamas-type headbands’ who they were ‘hunting’?! And I wonder who took the close-up photo of the two of them and passed it on to the MSM?? I saw it in the DM article headlined: ‘Hunt for London’s most wanted after pro-Palestine protest chaos: Police issue images of activists and counter protesters including woman screaming ‘death to all Jews’, men in ‘Hamas headbands’ and group who hurled racist abuse in Waterloo station’. As for the woman allegedly screaming ‘death to all Jews’, how many police were there policing that demo?! I’m pretty sure it was 1,400, but maybe I’m wrong, and it was MORE. but whatever the case, there were numerous police, and it’s inconceivable that they wouldn’t have heard someone screaming such a thing and arrested them then and there.

        Oh well, at least they managed to protect the Whitehall Cenotaph from being descercrated by the pro-Hamas anti-Israeli mob! What a joke!

        • Tom Welsh

          Allan, I made the change deliberately. “FTFH” means “Fixed that for him”: used when suggesting what a particular piece of phraseology really means.

          • Allan Howard

            I’ve not come across that one before Tom (the FTFH whatsit, that is), but I should have guessed that you were highly unlikely to have mistakenly put ‘end’ instead of ‘change’! My apologies.

          • Allan Howard

            In the end I forgot to say that it isn’t people wearing Hamas-type headbands etc that increases the terrorism threat, but the British Government’s foreign policy (along with US and its Nato buddies), as JC pointed out some years ago just prior to the 2017 GE.

          • Tom Welsh

            Contrariwise, Allan; my apologies to you. I shouldn’t have assumed the abbreviation was self-explanatory.

            It’s usually “FTFY” – “fixed that for you”, which can be a bit more confrontational. Seen often on Slashdot, for instance.

      • Allan Howard

        I’m sure that 98/99 percent of the people on the planet would infinitely prefer to live in a world free from war and conflict (and hunger and poverty and injustice and the destruction and polluting of our world), but, for the Few, it’s all about power and control and wealth, and wealth begets power and control, and power and control begets wealth. In the final analysis, it’s the strongeest instinct – ie Survival – gone completely haywire in the Few, in the sense that the more you have, the more you have to lose, and so the more you have to do to protect and maintain it, and enlarge it if you can. And the irony is that it’s that very instinct that’s going to end up destroying the Ruling Elite(s) one way or the other – if a meteorite doesn’t wipe us out first – along with the rest of us and and the whole planet, and make it uninhabitable. And I believe it’ll happen sooner than anyone anticipates it will, when Nature just breaks down completely under the strain of all that’s being done to her, unless we rapidly change course and create a sane world, that is. But those with the power and the wealth will do everything they can to prevent that from happening, because they just can’t let go..

        • nevermind

          Well spoken Howard. Why else would our most intelligent institutions need and nurture taxes thrown at MoD research. You have a look at almost 1/3 of all research in biology, physics, as well as the natural sciences and you will find our taxes propping up over-committed universities.
          The most vile new weapons and killing machines are being developed in so-called noble institutions and longstanding companies; the killing has some class behind it, not just unlimited funding and greedy investors.
          Unless our universities reject being complicit in unsustainable dark life-limiting research, we will never see an end to wars.
          Unless we stop voting for mealy-mouthed politicians such as Lammy and or Mrs. Cooper-Balls, restrict their rights to play musical chairs with our democratic rights and institutions, wars will always be on the horizon.
          Finally, we must reject the ‘rights’ to build arms for ecological reasons and return to un-armed combat, if must be. The honour between two individuals can stand for much more than bristling missiles and hard steel; it has decorum at the beginning and end of a limited combat.
          Nothing else can be acceptable. All else is ugly greed and pathetic pompous tub-thumping that kills millions of innocent humans on all sides.

          Say NOtoNATOandNOtoWAR…and vote accordingly if you must/can vote.

          • nevermind

            Sorry Allan Howard, I addressed you without mentioning your first name, me bad, will try better.

      • Tom Welsh

        I think the answer to that eminently humane and sensible question lies in the old saying that, “It takes two to start a fight”. One of the most foolish things ever said by anyone.

        Of course, it does depend on what you mean by “a fight”. If a big bully with a stick attacks an inoffensive little man and beats him to a pulp without meeting any resistance, is that a fight? Because it obviously took only one person to set on the other.

        So as long as there are people – no matter how few – who believe they can gain by violence, violence will be used. Ironically, the fewer who put up active resistance, the more violence there is likely to be. As someone once wisely (but rather callously) said, “An armed society is a polite society”.

        Of course, where one party has an overwhelming superiority – or an actual monopoly – of force, you could argue that there are no actual fights. One reason why all our Western governments are so keen that citizens must possess no weapons.

        • will moon

          Tom, arms don’t have anything to do with politeness. Have you not heard of a country called America? From what I can see in the media there is a politeness problem.

          The Confederacy was an armed polity and was polite, gallant even unless of course you were black, then you lived a very different dream.

          I read once a SF series by A.E. van Vogt called the “The Weaponshops of Isher”. He discussed the point you make in great detail, over many novels – he didn’t convince me in any shape or form.

          There are guns in my community, illegal guns. I don’t have any contact with these holders of illegal weapons and even the mere rumour of a person being connected with illegal firearms is enough to make me and most people avoid these individuals like the plague.

          Do you really think the situation in my community would be improved by everyone being armed?

          • Nota Tory Fanboy

            Couldn’t agree more will moon!

            Tom Welsh obviously doesn’t know that in the UK you can legally have a gun but you must meet the rather sensible regulations in order to do so, regulations which are sorely lacking in the US. Most people who are shot dead in the US, are shot with their own firearm by a relative, often a young child.

            White supremacism is the greatest threat to national security in both the UK and US, after climate change.

          • glenn_nl

            NTF: I lived in the US for a number of years, and it’s got increasingly crazy. The amount of ‘freedom protectors’ some people own is utterly ludicrous, with ‘preppers’ often having scores of guns, ranging from handguns, shotguns and AR-15s. Giving one to your kid for a 16th birthday present is actually considered a good idea in large parts of the country.

            I means, look at this site:

            You’d swear these things are an important part of everyday life. There are more gun stores than petrol stations. You see people swaggering around in Walmarts etc with them. You never know what sort of nutcase in the queue behind you is packing heat, or the state of their mental health (which is another big problem in the US).

            That “armed society is a polite society” is from the same crock that the NRA pulled BS ‘wisdom’ like a bad guy with a gun requires a ‘good guy with a gun’ to stop him. Sure, and the whole place becomes a shooting gallery.

            The idea that you can keep the government in check with your ‘freedom protectors’ is just as absurd.

          • Nota Tory Fanboy

            Sorry, I got that stat wrong:

            It’s that in the US you’re far more likely to be killed by your own firearm, by one of your close relatives than be killed by a terrorist. IINM more Americans have been shot dead by other Americans than have ever been killed by terrorists.

          • Bayard

            “Tom, arms don’t have anything to do with politeness.”

            If you are not armed and you are talking to someone who is, you tend to be a lot politer than you would normally be.

          • Tom Welsh

            The statement originated in the USA. It is rather assumed that the people who are armed have a certain minimum level of intelligence and self-control; obviously many modern Americans lack either or both.

            Van Vogt wrote precisely two books about the weapon shops of Isher. They were fantastic science fiction, set thousands of years in the future. Moreover, Van Vogt was a highly imaginative, impressionistic writer who at one stage even made a practice of awakening himself in the middle of the night to jot down his dreams as potential book material. Accuracy and realism were not his strong points, any more than Tolkien’s.

          • Tom Welsh

            Exactly so, Bayard. Indeed, the principle applies even if both of you are armed.

            Incidentally, the same principle applies to relations between states. Those that have nuclear weapons tend to be treated with a lot more politeness – or at least caution.

          • Tom Welsh

            Nota Tory Fanboy, you wrote: “Tom Welsh obviously doesn’t know that in the UK you can legally have a gun…”

            That’s not obvious; I certainly wrote no such thing. I wrote, “One reason why all our Western governments are so keen that citizens must possess no weapons”.

            Luckily, we have not yet reached a state of affairs in which everything the government wishes is automatically the law. (Although it does seem to be rapidly approaching).

            More generally, it would be nice if commenters would refrain from telepathically diagnosing what others know and don’t know, and what they want and don’t want.

            As Count Korzybski was wont to observe, “I have said what I have said. I have not said what I have not said”.

          • Nota Tory Fanboy

            Tom Welsh if you are unable to see that stating “all our Western governments are so keen that citizens must possess no weapons” implies that you “must not possess” a gun in the UK, that is nothing to do with me acting a telepath and rather more to do with your cognitive dissonance…

            If it is not that, then either you don’t consider a gun to be a weapon (which you surely do, given your comments), or you don’t believe that the UK Government is a Western government.
            Those two would both appear to be even more absurd than you having a go at me for taking you to account over your own statement.

          • Tom Welsh

            Nota Tory Fanboy, your understanding of implication seems rather weak.

            “…if you are unable to see that stating “all our Western governments are so keen that citizens must possess no weapons” implies that you “must not possess” a gun in the UK…’

            I most certainly am unable to see that. In your mind, apparently, “the government is keen that citizens must not do X” implies that “citizens must not do X”.

            A counter-example may help you to understand.

            It is probably true that, at this moment, the UK government is keen to be re-elected. But in fact, informed opinion expects the government to be heavily defeated.

            “The government is keen that X” is not the same as “X must happen”.
            Nor does one imply the other.

          • Lapsed Agnostic

            If *all* Western governments are so keen that their citizens possess no weapons, Tom, then why have gun laws in the US been hugely relaxed over the last 20-25 years?

            Anyway, completely unrelated: looks like someone’s been having a bit of fun at the Vauxhall station branch of Sainsburys Local. (The label says ‘Apartheid Hummus’ if you’re struggling to read it).


            The funniest thing though is that, to any informed and vaguely objective observer, the real label would actually be more offensive:


          • will moon

            Respect induces politeness, Tom Welsh

            It is possible to respect someone because they are armed as you suggest. It is also possible to respect someone for a myriad of other reasons . As I said above the Confederacy was polite to the in-group and hideous to the out-group. It was a fully armed polity yet contradicts your assertion equating the mass ownership of arms with politeness. Can you clarify your usage here?

            I can only surmise that your social mileau is considerably different to mine.

          • glenn_nl

            I don’t see it as a particularly polite gesture to threaten – openly or just implied – another with severe injury or death. I mean, if you’re showing a willingness and ability to shoot me to death, that’s not going to make me like or respect you very much.

            It’s all NRA-inspired BS anyway. Having guns does not make anyone nicer, safer or freer – quite the contrary in every case, as exceptionally well demonstrated in that armed madhouse, the US of A.

            Having nuclear weapons was supposed to end all hostilities, we were once told, because nuclear armed nations would never have to worry about being attacked, and wouldn’t need to attack anyone else (the implied threat being good enough).

            How’s that working out?

          • Tom Welsh

            “It is possible to respect someone because they are armed as you suggest. It is also possible to respect someone for a myriad of other reasons”.

            will moon, I wouldn’t say that someone is “respected” because they are armed. Unfortunately such words have a very wide range of meanings. In the sense that I respect Tatyana for her obvious decency and mild yet persuasive language, you wouldn’t respect someone simply because they are armed. You would fear them, or be wary of them. Now sometimes that is also described as “respect”. Worse still, thugs demand “respect” and use violence if they sense that it is lacking.

            Most people can be respected for some reason or other. My point was that their possession of a weapon tends to focus the mind, and make one more ready to notice their admirable qualities and to choke back comment on their less admirable ones. Let’s say it helps people to restrain their violent impulses and think things through before acting. Van Vogt’s “cortico-thalamic pause”, if you will.

            “As I said above the Confederacy was polite to the in-group and hideous to the out-group. It was a fully armed polity yet contradicts your assertion equating the mass ownership of arms with politeness. Can you clarify your usage here?”

            That one is much easier. When I said that an armed society is a polite society, I meant that people are much less ready to be rude to someone who is armed. The black people in the antebellum South were not armed. It’s quite likely that, after hours of being forced to be polite to men with guns, some weak people were tempted to take out their feelings of resentment on the first helpless slave they met.

            If the slaves had been carrying guns, they would not have been abused or harmed. Of course, they wouldn’t have been slaves either.

    • Tom Welsh

      If only there were a little intelligence filtering into the police and other public organisations. Sometimes it seems as though they recruit only people with IQ below 100.

      As for conscription, that is really stupid. A war against Russia would not require lots of infantry – we have seen what results from that in Ukraine. Over 500,000 dead Ukrainians for absolutely no gain of any kind.

      Maybe our mentally subnormal rulers should remember that this is 2024, not 1854 – when Britain invaded Russia for no better reason than “to teach the Tsar a lesson”. He had been exerting pressure on the Turks to get them to stop persecuting Christians; Her Majesty’s Government obviously could not tolerate that.

      Then we and the French landed large armies in Crimea, won one or two battles, and eventually captured Sevastopol. As of today, what do you think that gained us? Every single living Russian knows that Britain and France invaded Russia just because they could, and killed hundreds of thousands of Russians. How many British and French people remember? Obviously not many.

      • Ebenezer Scroggie

        I do!

        When ‘we’ captured Sevastopol in the 1850s ‘we’ trashed the place and then fucked off.

        Pure malice, not else

        What has changed?.

        • Tom Welsh

          One thing that has changed is that the next bunch of British or other NATO blokes who try to invade Crimea will end up roasted at the bottom of the sea.

          There is a grim fascination to watching the NATO people continually poking and prodding the bear, joking about how passive he is and asking whether he’s asleep.

          I still remember a visit to a zoo in England back in about 1970. There was a mangy old lion, obviously almost dead, lying on the floor of his cage for all the world like a heap of old rags. Then a keeper cautiously opened a section of the cage about 15 feet off the ground, and gingerly inserted a pole with a chunk of meat on the end of it.

          Without any apparent lapse of time, the lion was suspended in mid air, with its feet some way off the ground, and the claws of one paw had hooked the meat and dragged it down. Then the lion settled down to eat its meal.

          Just saying.

      • glenn_nl

        TW: “How many British and French people remember? Obviously not many.

        I certainly didn’t. Just asked a Russian friend, who said of course! Everyone knows about it, particularly (as she put it) “…it was peculiar in that it was a war… how you say… without a goal, other than the war itself”. Also, it’s pronounced Savva-stopple, not the way we usually say it.

        • Bayard

          “…it was peculiar in that it was a war… how you say… without a goal, other than the war itself”

          As is made clear in the Wikipedia entry. The Crimean War happened because the French and British governments had whipped their respective peoples into such a war fever, they dared not pull out when the dastardly Russians acquiesced to their demands and pulled back their troops. How dared they do what we asked them to do and deny us a chance of a war?

  • Dana Arenson

    Craig, even if the judges got uncomfortable when Backer mentioned that Hamas operates from UN facilities does not make it any less true. There is ample evidence. In fact, it is not a moot point.

    • frankywiggles

      There is actually no evidence whatsoever and the UN has always denied it. Surely you are not taking seriously the “evidence” presented by some of history’s most comically evil genocidal psychopaths?

  • harry law

    Gustave Gilbert interviewed Herman Goering after the war, there is some truth in what he said especially after Condoleezza Rice spoke of going to war in Iraq because we do not want to see a mushroom cloud over New York and Tony Blair warning as he presented a British intelligence dossier affirming that Hussein could activate chemical and biological weapons “within 45 minutes.
    “Later in the conversation, Gilbert recorded Goering’s observations that the common people can always be manipulated into supporting and fighting wars by their political leaders:

    We got around to the subject of war again and I said that, contrary to his attitude, I did not think that the common people are very thankful for leaders who bring them war and destruction.
    “Why, of course, the people don’t want war,” Goering shrugged. “Why would some poor slob on a farm want to risk his life in a war when the best that he can get out of it is to come back to his farm in one piece. Naturally, the common people don’t want war; neither in Russia nor in England nor in America, nor for that matter in Germany. That is understood. But, after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy or a fascist dictatorship or a Parliament or a Communist dictatorship.”
    “There is one difference,” I pointed out. “In a democracy the people have some say in the matter through their elected representatives, and in the United States only Congress can declare wars.”
    “Oh, that is all well and good, but, voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country.”

    • Allan Howard

      Yes, it’s child’s play to the so-called political elite, and their numerous highly paid propagandists in the MSM – ie duping and deceiving and manipulating the common people, or firing them up for war. And it’s astonishing how war-mongering (and all the jingoism and patriotism etc that goes with it) can transform a politician’s lot. Thatcher went from being the most unpopular PM ever to being the most popular on account of the Falklands War. And it’s no wonder she ordered the Belgrano sunk, as peace was in danger of breaking out before the conflict really got going. And many others have used it of course to improve their ratings.

      Anyway, I was just checking out The Canary, which I haven’t been on for months, and came across this comprehensive article from October 15th by Steve Topple, which is well worth a read:

      • glenn_nl

        There was a cartoon I recall seeing somewhere, when I was in the US.

        A paratrooper is about to leap out of the back of some troop-carrier plane, and has his arm around the shoulder of a much younger paratrooper. He’s asking him, “So – how are you enjoying your first re-election campaign?”

        • Allan Howard

          Yes, exactly! And the irony of it for JC is that he wasn’t only an antisemite, he was a Peace-loving antisemite! I can understand the war-time mentality when we are at war with another country that threatens us and atttacks us, but I really don’t get it how people can be ‘activated’ when there is no threat to us whatsoever. But then in such circumstances, they just make it up anyway, as Blair did.

          Oh right, and Russia and Putin have got us all in their cross-hairs, although not for twenty years or so, thank heavens, which is a relief. Funnily enough – I mean it is almost laughable! – not long after I posted about the Admiral saying that we must be ready for war with Russia in the next twenty years, I came across an article about Grant Shapps recent Pre-war Era claptrap, in which HE says that we must be ready in FIVE years! Yes, well there is a GE this year, and the Tories are miles behind in the polls!

          As I’ve said before….. roll on the day that everyone on the planet sees through these inhumans, and they become impotent and powerless, and somewhere in a beautiful future a bunch of teenagers llisten to the following track on Ourtube, and shudder momentarily in disbelief at the darkness that once enveloped the Earth. And are then elated at the magic reality they live in:

          The Call: Turn a Blind Eye (YouTube music video, 3m 48s)

          PS I had to get the track in somehow Mod!

          • glenn_nl

            NTF: Not wanting to speak for AH, but I’m 99% sure that he was being sarcastic (in a good way), and was speaking positively about JC and the ludicrous smearing of him by the corporate media and their moles in the supposed ‘liberal’ media.

          • Allan Howard

            It was my contempt for the fascist smearers expressing itself by ridiculing them – ie as if a man of peace could possibly be a rascist or an antisemite. I’m sure that like all decent folk, the only people Jeremy despises are the war-mongering hate-mongering fear-mongering mass-murdering planet-destroying character-assassinating democracy-subverting etc, etc, etc psychopathic sadistic fascistic inhumans.

  • harry law

    “BRUSSELS — NATO will launch next week its biggest military exercises in decades with around 90,000 personnel set to take part in months-long wargames aimed at showing that the alliance can defend all of its territory up to its border with Russia, top officers said Thursday”.

    How much will this boondoggle cost the taxpayer, don’t even think about it because “evil Russia” this lunacy reminds me of the children’s nursery rhyme. The Grand old Duke of York, he had 10,000 men, he marched them up to the top of the hill, and he marched them down again.

    • Bayard

      “That Norwegian piece of wood,
      He’d ninety thousand men,
      He marched them up to the Baltic Sea,
      And he marched them back again.”

  • Tatyana

    Listen, friends, we are discussing a lot here about who invaded where, where is whose land, and the like. It seems science may have the answer!

    The results of extensive research into the genetics of Europeans have been published in the Nature magazine. In short, hunters from Asia came to Europe 45 thousand years ago, and their genes are responsible for Alzheimer’s disease and type 2 diabetes. The second wave occurred 11 thousand years ago and these were the farmers of the Middle East, their genes give us bipolar disorder and the ability to digest lactose. And finally, about 5 thousand years ago, a wave of herders came from Eastern Europe and Western Asia, bringing lactose intolerance and multiple sclerosis.
    So, in any territorial disputes, I propose creating a commission of people with Alzheimer’s, Bipolar and Sclerosis, and giving them the final say, as representatives of the indigenous population.

    Links here, for those interested

    • Nota Tory Fanboy

      Very amusing!

      It’s almost as if we are all human beings with only one planet (for the time being) on which to live…

      • Tatyana

        A fun fact about us is that not everyone will view this scientific fact in the same way as you.
        I bet there are those who will proudly say ‘my grandfather had Alzheimer’s and diabetes’ implying the same meaning as in ‘my ancestors arrived on the Mayflower’.

          • Tatyana

            well, then people with atavisms, like a tail, excess hair or extra nipples, are the real direct descendants of the true original inhabitants of this land, and they have priority over your red-haired Neanderthals, and even more, over all sorts of newly arrived sclerotics, bipolars and Alzheimer’s.

    • CabbagePatch

      it’s amazing how hard it is to accept the bald fact that Palestine was inhabited by Palestinian from 4000 years until the present day.
      A terrorist encampment in Palestine by Terrorists from Poland, Ukraine growing behind the “Iron Wall” provided by Britain until the terrorists grew strong enough to Murder and dispossess the largely defenseless people of Palestine post the disarming by the British in 1936.

      The colonizers came and stole the Land recently in living memory from people who still have the deeds and keys.
      The absurd idea that Eastern European Terrorist campaign of murders, rapes and theft is somehow complicated because they did them to Western Asian Palestinian is absurd.

      In 1947 A Palestinian family lived in their home, in 1947 a man came from Poland with a Gun from America and a Bomb, killed them and blew up the house. The Man from Poland with the American Gun is the Terrorist. That’s it, other than attempts to blame brown people for being colonized by Zionists.

  • SA

    Meanwhile the level of hypocrisy in the west is rising to new heights. Netanyahu recently having been emboldened by the unconditional support for his ethnic cleansing and genocidal actions in Gaza, has overstepped the limits by stating clearly that there will not be an independent Palestinian state and that there will be no two-state solution. A few days earlier the ultra-Zionist Labour leader had already paved the way for this rejection of the two-state solution by dumping the previous Labour policy of recognition of a Palestinian state.
    But imagine now how self-righteously incensed Western politicians have reacted to Netanyahu’s tearing up of the fictitious fig leaf of Oslo which has merely served to let Israel do what it wants and increase settlements, annex more land and transfer the capital to Jerusalem – all actions that have rendered the two-state solution effectively inoperable. From Grant Shapps to Biden, from David Lammy and Yvette Cooper to Starmer contradicting himself with a quick u-turn. This is a farce. Where have all these politicians been and what interest have they shown in the two-state solution before 7th October? If they really believed in this could they not have pointed out that the failure of the progress of the two-state solution by Israel’s deliberate obfuscations, and the West’s ignoring of the gradual erosion of a viable Palestinian state is the real background behind the Hamas attacks? I reckon that none of these politicians have any interest in seeing a two-state solution but have now used the outrageous comments from Netanyahu to try and backtrack a little from full support of this monster that they have tolerated. They also know that all that this will lead to is a return to the status quo ante, which means the continuous occupation and erosion of Palestinian statehood.

    • harry law

      I agree with you SA. What Western Politicians have done is pander to the Israeli settlement enterprise by not enforcing sanctions on it. Settlement is an integral part of Zionism, in reality they [the West] have guaranteed Israel will cease to exist, possibly in the very near future, in my opinion. Here is why…
      40 years ago the US/Israel could dictate to the Muslim states surrounding Israel any policy they liked; if they did not obey they would immediately be subject to sanctions; if the recalcitrant states were slow on the uptake, then the big imperialist stick would be wielded.
      Several things have changed,
      1/ Russia with its massive natural resources are doing big deals with Middle Eastern states, notably Iran, Iraq and other BRICS nations in the area. Also China is making big inroads in the same countries.
      2/ Technology has advanced to such an extent that, for instance a computer the size of a large washing machine was needed to make a precision missile, plus millions of dollars for other technology. Now a dumb rocket can be transformed into a precision missile simply by using a $150-dollar smartphone and a pair of winglets. Hezbollah have thousands of these missiles which can reach every part of Israel and most US bases: witness the latest attack on Al-Asad airbase in Iraq. Details are still coming through, but what is known is that less than 20 missiles were used, patriot missiles used to protect the base; they could not stop the attack.
      The US have in the past retaliated against the [PMU] resistance, even though they are an official part of the Iraqi army. The US bases are now sitting ducks who must be withdrawn. Leaving the postage-sized monstrosity to its inevitable demise.

    • Bayard

      The two-state solution was never going to work. Syria and Lebanon are internationally recognised separate states, but that hasn’t stopped Israel nicking bits of them. The only workable solution is the one state solution where the original inhabitants and their descendants have equal rights with the immigrants and their descendants.

      • SA

        Bayard I know that and you know that but the West thinks that this which is equivalent to from the river to the sea, will mean the removal of the current non Arab population, However what it really means is that we would have a truly democratic multiethnic country with equal rights to all its citizen but apparently this concept is not what the ‘democracies’ of the west find acceptable. However by its very action and the extreme racism and annexations Israel has de facto left only one way forward for a lasting peaceful settlement which is the one state solution.

        • Bayard

          I suspect the “democracies” of the West don’t want such a state of Israel, because it might well decide to make its own decisions which were not along the lines of what the US wants.

  • mark cutts

    The flooding of Sea Water into Hamas Tunnels is ‘poisoning’ the Water Table of Gaza or parts of Palestine.

    It is nothing more than a biological/chemical attack.

    I refer any MSM Journalists to Saddam Hussein and chemical weapons for reference.

    It is without doubt a War Crime.

    Geologist. may know better but it could affect the Water Tables in Israel too.

    Similar to the diseases prevelent amongst the Gazans.

    Disease does not stay in one place – it spreads – that’s its job.

    • Nota Tory Fanboy

      Indeed – it’s as if we’ve learned nothing about virii at all…
      But when you have Israeli ministers suggesting that they should nuke Gaza, should we be surprised that they don’t even think of nuclear fallout, the wind etc.?

      • Mr Mark Cutts

        Nota Tory Fan Boy.


        A lot of these ‘advisers’ are lunatics. So not surprise at all.

        I haven’t seen that Settler who keeps mouthing off and waving his pistol around head North to take on Hezbollah though. He’s still in Tel Aviv probably after being ‘displaced’.

        I have known many genuine lunatics in my time and the real ones don’t care who they fight or where they do it. They are truly mad and fearless. What they had in common was that you would not know what they were going to do – no warnings – they just did it.

        The current bunch are mouthy but insincere. They don’t really believe all the guff they are emitting to the BBC and others. They will not personally die for Israel – they get others to do that for them. I think I can safely say that if all this vicious stupidity goes pear shaped they will use their Dual nationality to escape the madness they had a part in causing and end up in New York/London/ Paris and wherever.

        p.s. If anyone in the West believes that there has been a ‘War on Terror’ since 9/11 and that these States are protecting their own people needs a reality check.

        In the Manchester Arena attack a skinny kid was walking around with a backpack bigger than him an heavier than him. Now usually the police notice a ‘Foreign’-looking person with or without a backpack. Somehow they saw him but did nothing. No questions were asked of course.

        The Bataclan in Paris was attacked and the people were left in their for hours until eventually the trained police went in. You know the others I’m sure.

        The war on terror and Terrorism does not extend to the Plebs. Simple as that and if an atrocity does occur in the UK or elsewhere
        then we will know why it happened and the media will pretend that before that day there was no reason for anything like that to happen. It will be a surprise to them.

        Like Condoleeza Rice’s “We never thought that airplanes would fly into tall buildings!” Even though she was on a Committee discussing just that scenario five months earlier. As usual because of the mood in New York and the US no journalist had the guts to point that fact out to her. It would have been in bad taste of course as the MSM always know what to do in a National Crisis. It always say nothing and salute the flag.

  • Allan Howard

    I think just about everyone who follows Craig or any other left-wing or independent news sites will have concluded months ago that BN and Co had advanced knowledge of the attack on October 7th and, as such, decided to let it go ahead, and did so for a variety of reasons, not least that they could then justify the slaughter of thousands and thousands of Palestinians and the mass destruction of Gaza. Anyway, I posted a section from the wikipedia entry for the October 7th attack a couple of weeks ago, and here’s another section headlined Advance Israeli Knowledge:

    According to The New York Times, Israeli officials had obtained detailed attack plans more than a year before the attack. The document described operational plans and targets, including the size and location of Israeli forces, and raised questions in Israel about how Hamas learned these details. The document provided a plan that included a large-scale rocket assault before an invasion, drones to knock out the surveillance cameras and automated guns that Israel has stationed along the border, and gunmen invading Israel, including with paragliders. The Times reported, “Hamas followed the blueprint with shocking precision.” According to The Times, the document was widely circulated among Israeli military and intelligence leadership, who largely dismissed the plan as beyond Hamas’s capabilities, though it was unclear whether the political leadership was informed. In July 2023, a member of the Israeli signals intelligence unit alerted her superiors that Hamas was conducting preparations for the assault, saying, “I utterly refute that the scenario is imaginary”. An Israeli colonel ignored her concerns.[82]

    According to Haaretz, Israel’s domestic intelligence agency, Shin Bet, and IDF military commanders discussed a possible threat to the Nova music festival near kibbutz Re’im just hours before the attack, but the festival’s organizers were not warned.[83][84]

    According to a BBC investigation, surveillance reports suggested that Hamas was planning a significant operation against Israel, but senior IDF officers repeatedly ignored the warnings.[85]

    • Allan Howard

      Thinking about it, as I just did (but haven’t actually thought it through yet), it’s a shame that Egypt didn’t make it public a week or two or three BEFORE the attack that a big attack by Hamas was imminent, regardless of whether or not they ALSO mention that they have warned Israeli Intelligence or whoever. They wouldn’t actually NEED to say that they had, because THAT would be what they were in effect doing by putting it into the public domaine. I mean if a leading Egyptian newspaper initially reported the story, it would very quickly have been picked up by the rest of the Egyptian MSM and then, in turn, other media outlets all around the world, and in such a scenario, the Israeli media could hardly ignore it. And BN and Co ignore or dismiss it. They would have been forced to act.

      • Allan Howard

        The Sunday Times article cited in the wikipedia entry (in the section that I copied and pasted above) is behind a paywall, but I managed to ‘grab’ the following when I refreshed the page:


        Nova festival: Israel ‘withheld warnings’ about Hamas massacre

        Domestic intelligence agency Shin Bet allegedly knew of threat but did not inform festival organisers

        George Grylls, Tel Aviv
        Wednesday December 06 2023, 1.30pm, The Times

        No warnings about the imminent attacks were passed on to the organisers of the Nova festival, where 360 people died and a further 40 were taken hostage

        I should add that this is news to me – ie that Shin Bet knew of the threat but didn’t warn the festival organisers. It’s one thing having absolutely no doubt whatsoever that BN et al knew in advance etc, but it’s entirely another matter when there’s actual proof that they did. I wonder if this is what Ebenezer was alluding to a couple of days ago in a reply to me.

        I’ve no idea what it then goes on to say in the ST article, but the fact that they even covered it is quite astonishing. But did any of the other MSM cover it given that they must have been aware of both the Haaretz article, and the ST article. I’ll do a search a bit later, but I can only assume that most of the MSM kept schtum about it:

        Haaretz is also behind a paywall of course, but here’s what is visable:

        ‘This Massacre Should Have Been Prevented’ | Despite Israeli Intelligence Warnings About a Hamas Attack, the Army Didn’t Evacuate the Nova Festival

        Top defense officials held urgent consultations the night before October 7 about a possible Hamas attack. But no one in the IDF notified the the Nova festival organizers or the party-goers, hundreds of whom were mown down – and for nine hours, no one came to save them

        Yaniv Kubovich
        Dec 5, 2023

        Hours before Hamas’ October 7 terror attack, Israel’s security forces had enough warning signs to prepare – at least partially – for the possibility that terrorists would seek to infiltrate from Gaza into Israel.

        • Allan Howard

          In the wikipedia entry for the October 7th attack (in the section that I posted earlier today) it cites a BBC article headlined ‘They were Israel’s ‘eyes on the border’ – but their Hamas warnings went unheard’, in which it says the following:

          They are known as Israel’s eyes on the Gaza border.

          For years, units of young female conscripts had one job here. It was to sit in surveillance bases for hours, looking for signs of anything suspicious.

          In the months leading up to the 7 October attacks by Hamas, they did begin to see things: practice raids, mock hostage-taking, and farmers behaving strangely on the other side of the fence.

          Noa, not her real name, says they would pass information about what they were seeing to intelligence and higher-ranking officers, but were powerless to do more. “We were just the eyes,” she says.

          It was clear to some of these women that Hamas was planning something big – that there was, in Noa’s words, a “balloon that was going to burst”.

          The article isn’t actually dated, but it says that it’s been up for six days, so I assume it was published on January 15th. Anyway, as many readers probably know, JVL reposted a Haaretz article on November 21st in relation to this – ie two months or so prior to the BBC article. But never-the-less, it’s good to see the BBC have now covered it, and they actually expand on the Haaretz article, and it continues:

          The BBC has now spoken to these young women about the escalation in suspicious activity they observed, the reports they filed, and what they saw as a lack of response from senior Israel Defense Forces (IDF) officers.

          We have also seen WhatsApp messages the women sent in the months before 7 October, talking about incidents at the border. To some of them it became a dark joke: who would be on duty when the inevitable attack came?

          These women were not the only ones raising the alarm, and as more testimony is gathered, anger at the Israeli state – and questions over its response – are mounting.

          Several watchwomen who did fear a major attack was coming have told the BBC they felt their concerns were not being listened to…..

          Retired IDF Maj Gen Eitan Dangot says the tatzpitaniyot play a major role in “pushing the button that says something is wrong”, and that concerns they raise with a commander should be passed up the chain “to create an intelligence picture”.

          He says the look-outs provide key “pieces of the puzzle” in understanding any threats.

          In the months leading up to the Hamas attacks, senior Israeli officials gave public statements suggesting that the threat posed by Hamas had been contained.

          But there were many signs along the border that something was very wrong.

          It’s a really long article, and I doubt I’ve posted even a quarter of it, but it’s well worth taking the time to read it. Here’s another bit from further on in the article:

          When she noticed the vans on the border, Roni says the protocol was to alert her commander and then to keep watching until the vehicles were no longer in her section. She would then file it in a computer system where it would be “passed on”.

          But, she says, she has “no idea” where these reports actually went.

          “Probably to intelligence but whether they do something with it or not, I don’t really know,” she says. “No one gave us an answer back about what we had reported and conveyed.”

          Hmm, I wonder why not?!

  • Alyson

    So what about the gas under Gaza?

    What about the half a million Israelis who were out on the streets protesting their government’s declared intention to make all of Palestine Israel, and a homeland for Jewish people?

    What about the lack of response initially on 7 October when the alarm was raised?

    What about the silencing of dissent in the media following that horrific attack?

    What about the media silence in Israel about the desecration of cemeteries, the flattening of hospitals, the settler attacks on Palestinians in the West Bank, the direct attacks on Christian churches and mosques, and the atrocities of starvation, lack of clean water, direct targeting of journalists, and the tens of thousands of unarmed civilians, men, women and children being targeted for agonising deaths under the rubble of their homes?

    And now our governments are meeting to agree on the pipeline development for the beneficiaries of the trillions of gallons of gas which BP first drilled for, then sold to a Dutch company, which pulled out when Israel stated it would not allow the Palestinian Authority to reap the rewards for ownership of the gas.

    • Alyson

      For the detail of the gas exploration:

      ‘B ehind Israel’s ‘end game’ for Gaza: Theft of offshore gas reserves
      By Betsey Piette posted on November 14, 2023
      In 1999, British Gas (BG) discovered the existence of natural gas in the Gaza Marine fields, 20 nautical miles off the coast of Gaza, at a depth of 610 meters below the surface. Further exploration by BG through two successful wells — Gaza Marine 1 and Gaza Marine 2 — determined the field could contain up to 1 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. (, April 5, 2018)

      — SNIP —
      [ Mod: Just so you know – the comments facility is for comments, not for copied articles. You don’t need to reproduce long passages of text from a page that you’ve already provided a link for. ]

      • Ebenezer Scroggie

        I worked on those two exploration wells on behalf on BG. We travelled through Israel on the pretext that we were working for a fruit & nut company!

        My abiding memory is the Israeli taxi driver bawling verbal abuse at every Arab he saw. He was quite manic.

    • Peter Mo

      All revenue from gas must be applied to reconstruction of Gaza. The world must get behind that concept.
      Why I am here? 3 talking points:
      1. Why no reaction to IDF sending gas down tunnels to kill Palestinians in them?
      2. Why no reaction to Israel firing captured Hamas rockets at their own citizens as false flag to help prolong the slaughter? Article on that in the Times of Israel of all places.
      3. Netanyahu may think Trump can win presidency and that Trump will probably go along forcing Palestinians out of Gaza.

      • Alyson

        Indeed The Times of Israel is an excellent publication, often expressing a broad range of views on any matter of interest to Israeli citizens. They reported the protests across Israel against their far-right elected government, which had been abruptly honest about its intentions, frightening Israeli citizens concerned about risks of reprisals. Netanyahu then got the position of chief spokesman and negotiator that he had previously held when leading the government, and made every effort to speak soothingly to the citizens, even when 400,000 protesters in Tel Aviv were learning with some disappointment that the police were not on their side.
        Reprisals will be on the table, but it is my considered opinion that the agreements between Israel and Russia and Iran have not been breached. The trigger point will be if either Israel or Iran attacks the sovereign territory of the other, then Putin has been clear that he would support whichever side is attacked by the other. Proxy wars are okay, attacking citizens outside of their own country is okay, attacking neighbouring countries is okay, but a reckoning will come, and our kleptocratic government in Davos is very short sighted and uncompromising with regard to outcomes.
        Victoria Nuland’s “Fuck Europe” statement, in the Congress debate in 2013 which planned the revolution in Ukraine to oust the democratically elected president, and the consequent funded bombardment of the Russian speaking regions, and Trump’s recent declaration that he intends to reduce NATO’s commitment to defending Europe, suggest that our current dismantlers of national sovereignty in favour of global business corporations may not be of sufficient stature to comprehend and address the issues.

      • Allan Howard

        Peter, Do you have a link to The Times of Israel article (re your second point)? I’ve tried searching for it (both a general search and then on their website) but I can’t find it. Thanks.

        And I didn’t find anything directly related to your first point, but I came across a Times of Israel article headlined ‘IDF says remains of recovered hostages show they were not killed in strike’ and sub-headlined ‘Doctors unable to determine exact cause of death of Ron Sherman and Nik Beizer, families told; Maayan Sherman claims her son was poisoned by IDF gas bomb, blaming government’, in which it says the following:

        Sherman’s mother, Dr. Maayan Sherman, a veterinarian, claimed that the results of the report suggested he was murdered by poison gas allegedly used by the IDF in the tunnels, accusing the government of knowingly putting the hostages at risk.

        “Not by Hamas, think more in the direction of Auschwitz and the showers but without Nazis and without Hamas. Not by accidental fire, not by friendly fire, but premeditated murder: bombs with poison gas,” she wrote in a Facebook post.

        • Allan Howard

          Also came across the following Jerusalem Post article from May, 2021, which makes you wonder about the two hundred kilometers, (if I remember correctly) of tunnels Israel has been claiming Hamas has since the October 7th attack. If Israel destroyed their tunnels previously, why would they let Hamas build so many kilometers of tunnels and not at any point destroy them. And I’ve wondered on a few occasions how Israel could know that Hamas has 200 kilometers of tunnels:

          The IDF released an animated video on Saturday evening providing an inside look at the Hamas “Metro” underground tunnel network which the Israeli Air Force destroyed late Thursday night in a massive assault on the Gaza Strip.

          On Thursday evening the IDF took Hamas by surprise, luring them into their tunnel network, known to the IDF as the “Metro”, before destroying it, killing an estimated 300-400 Hamas operatives.

          The “Metro” had been built in the years after the 2014 war in the Gaza Strip, also known as Operation Protective Edge. It was a network of dozens of kilometers of tunnels that crisscrossed Gaza and provided safety for Hamas operatives from Israeli aerial incursions.

          So it was only ‘dozens of kilometers’ in 2021. Hmm…..

          The London Underground only has 113 miles (182 kilometers) of tunnels!

        • Alyson

          The Times of Israel today reports that European Union foreign ministers are meeting with Israeli and Palestinian counterparts to try and negotiate a two state solution to the conflict. No link provided. It is in today’s news if you look it up, Borrell to present peace plan. This will of course be perceived as an antisemitic stance, which we of course are anxious to avoid

          • Jack

            Sounds like another stupid Balfour declaration, a partition-plan that will put the corrupt Palestinian authority in power of some “sovereignty” thus breeding another resistance movement, beyond Hamas. Useless!

            Even though I am not a fan of what RUssia is doing, but how come it is called meddling regarding their actions in Ukraine, their neighbour, but EU, somehow believe they have a say in the middle east, a region many hundreds of miles away!?
            Absurd how pacified the political-left have become in the west because we need a resistance to this bullshit going on.

          • Allan Howard

            I don’t know if this was the article you were referring to Alyson, or if there’s another, more specific article:

            EU foreign ministers to meet Israeli, Palestinian counterparts

            EU foreign ministers will hold separate talks later today with their Israeli and Palestinian counterparts on the prospects for lasting peace after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu rejected calls for a future Palestinian state.

            The 27 EU ministers will first meet with Israel’s foreign minister Israel Katz, before sitting down separately with the Palestinian Authority’s top diplomat Riyad al-Maliki……

            The meeting is largely devoted to the Middle East but also taking stock of the war in Ukraine.

            In addition, the European Union’s foreign policy chief Josep Borrell will present a ten-point plan for peace between Israel and the Palestinians.


            And I must say it was very interesting going on The Times of Israel main page where they list their recent articles. I’ve saved seven or eight to read later, but the headlines to the articles tell a few stories in themselves:

            Most believe Netanyahu’s wartime decision-making mainly motivated by personal interest

            Police drag away protesters blocking Knesset at rally calling for new elections

            Hostages’ families pitch tents outside PM’s home, demand immediate deal

            Relatives of hostages burst into Knesset Finance Committee, demand government action

            Thank goodness we didn’t act like we talked

            US, Egypt, Qatar said pushing plan to end war, free hostages, form Palestinian state

            Netanyahu: No full Palestinian state, no ‘surrender’ in exchange for Gaza hostages

            How can anyone who supports Israel call for a two-state solution now?

            So that’s my bed-time reading sorted!

          • Tom Welsh

            We can be sure right now that the Israelis will never accept a Palestinian state, unless it is formed entirely outside Israel.

          • Tom Welsh

            Actually the Balfour Declaration wasn’t anything nearly as definite or concrete as a plan. It was a private letter from Balfour to Lord Rothschild, with a request that he pass it on to the Zionist Federation. Its text, in full, read as follows:

            “His Majesty’s Government view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavours to facilitate the achievement of this object, it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine, or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country”.

            It’s a classic example of political vapour, making absolutely no promises or commitments.

            Do you think that driving half of the Palestinians clean out of the country, stealing their land and property, and killing thousands of them counted as prejudicing their civil and religious rights? Obviously the Zionists didn’t. Or, more likely, they didn’t give a single solitary damn what the British government, or anyone else, thought.

  • nevermind

    If the ICJ rules that Israel is not committing genocide due to a technicality, it is given a Green light to the continuing mass murder of women and children, innocent civilians.
    They have already maligned their young victims, average age 5, by calling them terrorists, when it is their abominable actions over the last 50+ years that created opposition and resolve against their Zionist outrage and racist policies.

    The ICJ’s judgement will allow this rogue state without declared borders to continue their pirating of land and continuous murder of Lebanese and Syrian civilians, they will be handing Zionist controlled Israel a carte blanche to do as they like with US/UK/Germany’s approval.
    All that we as voters have left is 5 seconds at the ballot box, with the collaborating BBC and the varies MSM outlets trying to make out that national policies matter more than international humanitarian actions.
    Who will be called up next in their murderous behest? Our sons and daughters? against their will?

    • Jack

      Indeed! I believe especially the african nations should leave ICJ and also ICC asap, there is no reason to join these western-infested organisations that will in the end only target african/non-western allies and most likely speaking on this topic, palestinians themselves.
      I would not be surprised if the ICJ turn down the South African claim and will instead pick up a lawsuit that palestinians commited genocide and or crimes against humanity, on the 7th october.
      Enough of this charade.

    • Bayard

      “If the ICJ rules that Israel is not committing genocide due to a technicality, it is given a Green light to the continuing mass murder of women and children, innocent civilians.”

      Do you really think that murdering 25,000 civilian men, women and children is somehow OK, so long as it is not genocide? You’ve got to have a pretty warped mind to think that, nothwithstanding the fact that getting off on a technicality doesn’t imply that they are innocent, it just means they can’t be prosecuted under that particular piece of legislation. Genocide doesn’t need an ICJ ruling to be genocide.

      • Tom Welsh

        Exactly so, Bayard.

        If the ICJ doesn’t condemn Israel, nevertheless Israel is committing a hideous crime.
        If the ICJ does conemn Israel, no one will do anything about it. (Except those, like the Houthis and Hamas, who already have been).

        Elementary logic tells me that the existence or otherwise of the ICJ makes no difference at all to anyone. (Except its employees, who get paid regardless – and who will not want to get unpopular with the powers that be).

      • Jack


        No? I believe of course Israel is commiting acts of genocide. What I said was that the ICJ/ICC is corrupted/westerncentric/infested and there is a great risk they will turn down the South African claim and that a rejection of the South African claim by ICJ would be as immense as a pro-South African vote by the ICJ.

        • Bayard

          “a rejection of the South African claim by ICJ would be as immense as a pro-South African vote by the ICJ.”

          No it wouldn’t. If the ICJ reject SA’s claim, nearly everyone will simply respond “Well they would say that, wouldn’t they?” It is the expected result. If however they rule in favour of SA, that would be immense, as it it would show that the ICJ is not simply a poodle of the West like the ICC.

          • Jack


            Dead wrong. Most people in this world are gullible/ignorant to these type of organizations (ICJ/ICC), especially westerners, if the ICJ would rule against South Africa, prepare for a major setback.

            I do not understand the claim that ICJ is not as western-centred as the ICC. ICJ is filled with judges from either western states or pro-western states. Go figure how such a group of judges would vote.

          • Bayard

            ‘Most people in this world are gullible/ignorant to these type of organizations (ICJ/ICC), especially westerners, if the ICJ would rule against South Africa, prepare for a major setback.”

            It is undoubtedly true that most people are gullible and/or ignorant, but it is also true that these people have no interest in what is happening in The Hague. They wouldn’t even notice which way the verdict went as they would never have known anything was happening in the first place. Those who are interested, those who are protesting against Israel, those are the ones that will take an interest and those are the ones that are expecting business as usual and that Israel will be got off.

  • Jack

    The hypocrisy by the west is just laughable, how can people be so cunning and at the same time be so horribly bad at it? Are they not realizing that people see through their judicial convolutions and double standards!?

    Leo Varadkar/ the Irish Govt sees genocide in what Russia is doing to Ukraine — but not in what the Israeli army does in Palestine. Be very interested if they can explain the difference.

    Not to mention this absurd comment!
    So @LeoVaradkar
    — Ireland’s Prime Minister — has said

    “I would be a little bit uncomfortable about accusing Israel, a Jewish state, of genocide given the fact that six million Jews were killed.”

    • Allan Howard

      I wonder how many Palestinians would need to be killed before he would feel comfortable in accusing Israel of genocide?!

      Anyway, just came across the following a bit earlier – ie one of the articles in the daily email RT sends out:

      Letting Ukraine into NATO is ‘basis for World War Three – member state

      Slovakia will veto any attempts to bring Ukraine into NATO, its Prime Minister Robert Fico warned

      I can’t open and read it because RT has been banished, and there’s nothing there. But I did a search and found the following article:

      • Pears Morgaine

        In the same way Fico’s predecessors were persuaded to give up the Sudetenland to guarantee peace in 1938?

        That worked didn’t it.

      • Jack


        +1, and what happend with the “Responsibility to Protect” that we have heard so much from the west…up until this human rights atrocities by Israel?
        Also use to reach RT and to reach Sputniknews , funny how these mirror-sites still work and are not banned by the EU.

    • Bayard

      “I would be a little bit uncomfortable about accusing Israel, a Jewish state, of genocide given the fact that six million Jews were killed.”

      but he’s quite happy accusing Russia of genocide even given the fact that 27 million Russians were killed during the same period.

  • Allan Howard

    I was just having a quick blast of Lovely Evening by Clive Langer & The Boxes on youtube before turning off my laptop and hitting the sack, when I noticed the following Damo vid (11mins 26secs) in the list of recommendations, and had to check it out:

    Yemen have just declared the US and UK to be ‘terrorist’ states!

    Yemen are of course just saying what most people on the planet have thought for years.

    • Alyson

      The problem is the billionaires. Bernie Sanders is sharing his speeches to Congress on FB revealing the extent of US commitment to the atrocities being carried out on Gaza. Like the half million Israelis who took to the streets to protest the plan in advance of 7th October, he respects the many many thousands of Americans who are out protesting the actions against the captive populace of Gaza. The war is for Gaza’s gas, just as the destruction of Nordstream was a necessary precursor to getting Europe backing for the genocide. The billionaires want control of all the oil and gas, including Russia’s and Iran’s, but people everywhere are appalled that the billionaires, like those in AIPAC and Davos, are able to commit national armies and airforces to their heinous aims.
      We are all hostages to their atrocities and there seems to be nothing we can do to turn away from the course they have set us on.
      Jeremy Corbyn and Bernie Sanders would have been such a constructive leadership for the West, despite their deep differences on some matters, but the media is corrupt and democracy is in the bin, and journalists are in peril everywhere.

      • Bayard

        “people everywhere are appalled that the billionaires, like those in AIPAC and Davos, are able to commit national armies and airforces to their heinous aims.”

        They haven’t studied history, then, or they would know that that has always been the way.

  • Ebenezer Scroggie

    With the bombing of Yemen by UKUSA last week I did wonder whether it would result in a reduction or an increase in the Houthi attacks against suspected Israeli shipping.

    The fact that the bombing has been repeated suggests that the previous attack was something less than successful.

    I suspect that the next UKUSA air raids will be similarly ineffective. During The American War in Vietnam they dropped a million tons of bombs on the Vietnamese people. That didn’t work, so they dropped another couple of million tons. That didn’t work either, so they dropped a further three million tons. Six million tons altogether, that’s more than the total explosive power used by all parties in WW2, including the two buckets of sunshine dropped on Japan.

    Bombing people is a rather poor way of dealing with them.

    • Mr Mark Cutts

      Ebenezer Scroggie

      As far as I can glean, the Yemenis (or the greater part of them) are proud and say that they are preventing a Genocide in Gaza and The West bank, I hear.

      The South Africans are doing the same in a Litigious way and the Yemenis are doing it in a practical way.

      The practical way is working.

      Cameron is a Lord and doesn’t have to talk to the MPs. Lord Legit (so named because he always runs away from the consequences of his actions) is an Eton educated berk. Like Johnson he thinks he has the right to rule just because he has been to Eton runs through his semi-blue blood. Johnson and Osborne the same.

      So, if I were the Yeminis I’d get my Globe out look, at the size of Britain, read up about the Elites, and sleep with a happy heart knowing that by doing wrong (in Western eyes of course) that I am actually doing right. The Yeminis have the utmost moral high ground doing what they are doing.

      The moralising Elites are lower than a Snake’s Belly and the White man really does speak with forked tongue. The West does not want to smoke the Peace pipe.

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