Gaza protests across UK this weekend


by Sunny
31st December, 2008 at 2:16 am    

There will obviously be some nutters and extremists there, but I think the weekend protests are worth going to…. the massacre of people in Gaza has to stop:

British demonstrations against Israeli bomb attacks in Gaza will gather momentum on Saturday with thousands of people expected to attend a rally in London and smaller protests planned in cities across the UK, say organisers. Yesterday, in the third consecutive day of protest within shouting distance of the Israeli embassy in Palace Green, London, numbers had diminished to around 200 and there were no arrests. The protests are planned to continue tomorrow and on New Year’s Day. A rally will be held at the Egyptian embassy in London on Friday to demand that the country’s border with Gaza be opened, while the capital’s larger rally will assemble on the Embankment at 12.30pm on Saturday

Violetta Thomson, 73, from London, said it was the first day that she had attended. She said she could not watch anymore on television without doing something. “I was brought up in fascist Spain and came here 30 years ago. I can recognise fascism when I see it and this is really what Israel is doing. The Israeli people are not fascists, I don’t think they really see the carnage their government is responsible for,” she said.

Beside her, Vicky Scarlett, 75, said: “Human instincts say you must do something about this, it shouldn’t be going on. In the most moderate of terms it is unjust. It’s an abomination for the world to stand and watch this happening.”.


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  1. Boyo — on 31st December, 2008 at 8:36 am  

    “I don’t think they really see the carnage their government is responsible for.”

    I think that says much about the quality of thinking behind all the excitement.

    Here’s an article by David Grossman

    http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1051008.html

  2. Sofia — on 31st December, 2008 at 10:32 am  

    “nations never see themselves clearly in the mirror, much less when war preys on their minds..”

    I’m going on Saturday…first demo for a long while, since i was so disillusioned after the anti war marches

  3. Sid — on 31st December, 2008 at 10:39 am  

    Let’s hope the placards say:


    Stop the bomb attacks of Gaza
    Stop the bomb attacks of Sderot

  4. dave bones — on 31st December, 2008 at 10:50 am  

    Why were you disillusioned Sofia? What do you want to happen? How do you think things could be different?

  5. Ravi Naik — on 31st December, 2008 at 10:58 am  

    Why were you disillusioned Sofia? What do you want to happen? How do you think things could be different?

    To start with, I hope that there are no “Today we are HAMAS” placards.

  6. Sofia — on 31st December, 2008 at 11:05 am  

    I was disillusioned because it made no difference to bloddy Tony Blair…they lied and expected us to lap it up…
    i’m not going to this demo because i think it will make a long term difference…i’m going because i have no other way to express my sadness and anger..

  7. Squanderer — on 31st December, 2008 at 11:16 am  

    I will be going to support the Gazans and am not making a political point of supporting Hamas etc.

    It’s clear that Israel has not yet bombed enough targets which is why it’s holding out on a ‘ceasefire’. I reckon that after 3 condemnations by the EU, Quartet etc are made will they bow to some sort of pressure. Be sure that no sanctions will be imposed aside from curt words, and even then what will the poor Gazans stand to gain -until the next time?

    The hapless Arab League, the Middle East Peace envoy who has never set foot in Gaza (Tony Blair) are all planning to do something next week -this week they are all far too busy. So, I urge everyone to show some solidarity of condemnation against Israel’s bombing and stand shoulder to shoulder with the Gazans in London this Saturday.

  8. Hari2 — on 31st December, 2008 at 11:20 am  

    Sid wrote

    Let’s hope the placards say:

    Stop the bomb attacks of Gaza
    Stop the bomb attacks of Sderot

    What are the chances of that?

  9. Steve M — on 31st December, 2008 at 11:28 am  

    About zero I’d guess. I quite liked the “Kill the Juice” poster displayed at a recent demo but unfortunately I don’t have the link to the photo.

  10. Squanderer — on 31st December, 2008 at 11:28 am  

    Sid wrote:

    Stop the bomb attacks of Gaza
    Stop the bomb attacks of Sderot

    Hari2 wrote
    What are the chances of that?

    I say:
    I think as much chance as Israel stopping its bombing by Saturday and agreeing to stop its bombing massacre of Gaza.

  11. blah — on 31st December, 2008 at 11:37 am  

    Let’s hope the placards say:

    “Stop the bomb attacks of Gaza
    Stop the bomb attacks of Sderot”

    Perhaps for every 300 “Stop the bomb attacks of Gaza” placards you could have 4 “Stop the bomb attacks of Sderot” to reflect the deaths.

    Oh but that would imply a Palestinian life is equal to an Israeli one.

  12. comrade — on 31st December, 2008 at 11:38 am  

    Statements
    Search Proletarian search

    End the massacre in Gaza
    Issued by: CPGB-ML
    Issued on: 29 December 2008

    The CPGB-ML condemns the massacre that is currently being perpetrated against the people of Gaza by the Israeli state. We join with all progressive and freedom-loving people around the world in calling for the immediate cessation of Israel’s bomb attacks, and we state our unreserved support for all Palestinian groups involved in Gaza’s defence.

    Over the last two days, nearly 300 Gazans have been killed in air raids, with up to 700 others wounded. Saturday (27 December) was the single deadliest day in Gaza since the 1967 war.

    Predictably, Israel has claimed that its actions are a legitimate response to Palestinian rocket attacks since the collapse of the ceasefire last week – Israel says militants have fired 110 rockets into Israel over the last few days. This sentiment has been implicitly (and in some cases explicitly) backed by the self-appointed ‘international community’. As hi-tech bombs were raining down on Palestinian civilians, that seasoned stooge Zalmay Khalilzad, US ambassador to the UN, had the audacity to claim that “the way forward from here is for rocket attacks against Israel to stop, for all violence to end”.

    What a joke! Imagine the outcry in the imperialist press if 300 supporters of the ‘Movement for Democratic Change’ were killed by Zimbabwean state forces – the various bourgeois scribblers would be lining up to condemn Zimbabwe, and the plans for a commemoratory rock concert at Wembley Stadium would be well under way.

    As we have said before, one cannot equate the violence of the oppressed with the violence of the oppressors. Israel is not under siege; it is not an occupied country; its citizens (at least its jewish citizens) are not denied their basic human rights; its water, electricity and medical supplies have not been cut off; it is not in the midst of a humanitarian crisis. Meanwhile, Gaza has over the last two years been effectively turned into a giant concentration camp. Gazans cannot move in or out of their country; the supply of food, electricity, water and medicines has been cut off; frequent Israeli bombing raids take place; the unemployment rate exceeds 80 percent and the people are living a miserable existence well below the poverty line.

    Are the Palestinian people expected to simply give up their right to existence? The right to resist occupation is enshrined in international law, and the Palestinian military resistance to Israeli occupation is legitimate and laudable.

    Still, one does not need to accept the legitimacy of the Palestinian rocket attacks in order to condemn the massacre that is taking place in Gaza. According to detailed information released by the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs, a grand total of 15 Israelis have died as a result of Qassam rocket attacks since these were first fired over seven years ago (in October 2001). Meanwhile, close to a thousand Gazans have been killed in Israeli military raids this year alone. These lopsided figures alone are enough to give lie to Israel’s claim that it is simply protecting its citizens from rocket attacks.

    Israel’s agenda is clear enough: not happy with the democratic choice of the Palestinian people, it is seeking regime change in Gaza (having already effected regime change in the West Bank). Foreign Minister Livni said in an interview with the BBC: “We took Hamas by surprise, we targeted Hamas headquarters, so this is the beginning of a successful operation, I hope, but the idea is to change realities on the ground.”

    Recently, Ms Livni told a meeting of the Kadima party that she would topple Hamas if she was elected prime minister in the coming general election, saying: “The state of Israel, and a government under me, will make it a strategic objective to topple the Hamas regime in Gaza. The means for doing this should be military, economic and diplomatic.” It would be difficult to be clearer than that.

    If Israel genuinely wanted to stop the Qassam rocket attacks, it could have done so very easily by complying with the terms of the ceasefire, under which it was supposed to lift the blockade against Gaza in order to end the humanitarian crisis there. It totally failed to respect those terms, and therefore should not be surprised that the ceasefire has collapsed. As has happened many times before, Israel has violated the terms of a ceasefire and used the Palestinian response to ‘justify’ the unjustifiable.

    We reiterate the call of Khaled Meshaal, leader of Hamas, for a renewed intifada against Israel. Only through the intensification of the Palestinian resistance will Israel be forced to recognise the right of the Palestinians to freedom from colonial occupation.

    NB. While Israel’s crimes are being ignored, 10 people protesting outside the Israeli Embassy in London have been arrested by police under trumped-up charges (our party comrade, who is among those arrested, is being charged with “threatening words and behaviour”). We call for the immediate release of these ten people, whose only ‘crime’ is demonstrating their support for, and sympathy with, the people of Gaza.

    [ back to Statements index ]

  13. Sid — on 31st December, 2008 at 11:45 am  

    Perhaps for every 300 “Stop the bomb attacks of Gaza” placards you could have 4 “Stop the bomb attacks of Sderot” to reflect the deaths.

    yeah but the actions of muslims will be judged by their intentions, remember**? So whose fault is it if Hamas can’t tell the firing end of a rocket launcher from a lamb shawarma?

    ** “All actions are judged by motives, and each person will be rewarded according to their intention. Thus, he whose migration was to God and His Messenger, his migration is to God and His Messenger; but he whose migration was for some worldly thing he might gain, or for a wife he might marry, his migration is to that for which he migrated.”

    -Saheeh Al-Bukhari, Saheeh Muslim

  14. Steve M — on 31st December, 2008 at 11:46 am  

    comrade, The Hamas Constitution is both anti-Semitic and dedicated to destroying Israel. If Hamas had any desire to help their own people they might start by changing this and moving towards a negotiated settlement.

  15. bananabrain — on 31st December, 2008 at 12:01 pm  

    without in any way doing anything to minimise the tragedy of innocent people dying on both sides in this entirely avoidable fiasco, i feel that it is important to point out that there is something larger going on. if you won’t take it from me, perhaps these influential voices from the arab press might be more convincing:

    we must blame Hamas because its goals are clear. It seeks a battle with Israel, and doesn’t care about the results even if it means Israel annihilates Gaza, and this is what its prime minister, Ismail Haniyeh said. Hamas wants a fight to put pressure on Arab countries to take action in its favour. It wants to appoint itself as a political power in spite of the Palestinian Authority based on the pretext of confronting the enemy and it doesn’t care how many Palestinians are killed in the process.

    With the exception of the Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit, everybody is standing behind Hamas that has starved 1.5 million Palestinians for months and has led them to destruction today. Stupidly, Hamas is launching rockets towards Israel and Israel is responding with bloody attacks so everybody is forced to remain silent about what Hamas has done so as not to be accused of siding with Israel.

    - abdul rahman al-rashed, al-arabiya television, writing in the independent daily “asharq al-awsat.”

    If this current escalation was caused by Hamas and Iran to prevent the expected negotiations between Syria and Israel, then let us call a spade a spade. And if [the current escalation] was caused to strengthen the Syrian position, then let that be made clear also.

    It is also an Arab duty to inform the public that what Hamas is doing in Gaza –and the thwarting of the peace efforts made by Egypt- is equivalent to casting a vote for Netanyahu in the Israeli elections. For the extremist always look for an extremist [on the other side] to justify his position. Netanyahu’s ascension to the head of the Israeli cabinet will justify the actions of Iran or Hamas, or even the existence of Hezbollah weaponry, in Arab public opinion.

    Israeli’s obvious crimes must not blind us to what Hamas did and is still doing to the people of Gaza, and to the Palestinian cause as a whole, otherwise we will have become false witnesses in the glorification of bloody positions. Therefore leniency towards Hamas will cause the Arab world to become a partner in [causing] the suffering of the Palestinians.

    Standing besides those involved with the [Palestinian] issue does not mean turning them into [political] playing cards to be used by Hamas, and those who stand behind Hamas. The Arabs must call a spade a spade so long as Hamas and those who stand behind the Hamas movement do not hesitate to make accusations and bring charges of treason against the Arab world. Let them bear the responsibility [of their own actions], if only once.

    - tariq alhomayed, editor-in-chief of asharq al-awsat

    “If you can’t kill the wolf, don’t pull its tail” [note the question being begged here, by the way - the implication being that it would be a good idea kill the wolf if you can]

    “Palestinian officials who do not want peace and seek empty heroism did not take Egypt’s warnings seriously,”

    “The day of the Israeli foreign minister’s visit to Egypt, the militants sabotaged mediation efforts to reach a cease-fire agreement by firing 60 rockets at Israel.”

    abdel bari atwan, editor of the egyptian weekly “al-ahram”

    i don’t have much to add to what aaronovitch (and, rather to my surprise, mick hume) said, actually, except that for those who are concerned with “proportionality”, this year over 3000 rockets (not all of which were qassams, either) were fired into israel by hamas or its subcontractors in islamic jihad.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Qassam_rocket_attacks
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Qassam_rocket_attacks_in_Israel_in_2008

    as a variety of sensible israeli commentary has it, this has to be about what will work in the long run. i understand that the citizens of southern israel (the population of sderot has shrunk to a quarter of its former size) are demanding that something be done about the daily rocket attacks on them, but the government is being criminally stupid, not to mention callous, if they think that they can bomb gaza into submission. the most they can expect to achieve is to force the leadership of hamas, sitting in their reinforced concrete bunkers whilst their human shields, sorry, their “people” suffer above, to lose any further credibility they may have in the arab world. i think in fact one of the most productive things the israelis could do would be to get rid of khaled meshal, who is sitting in damascus (naturally) demanding martyrdom for everyone except him.

    to paraphrase something that someone said to me elsewhere, israel’s military perceives its sole job to be minimizing the number of israeli casualties, regardless of how many casualties that costs on the other side and, as we can clearly see, they have been quite effective in diminishing the number of israelis lost. i also find it hard to see how they have any duty to allow their own citizens to die before they take preventive action, although i do consider their indifference to the number of civilian casualties inflicted as a byproduct to be morally disastrous. nor do i think that israeli electoral considerations should be ignored – if kadima don’t look as tough as likud, netanyahu will win the election. stupid but true.

    b’shalom

    bananabrain

  16. Rayyan — on 31st December, 2008 at 12:06 pm  

    Why are people so obsessed that the protest placards actively distance themselves from Hamas, and ‘stand up’ for Sderot? Where does this liberal urge to ensure that everything and everyone else agrees entirely with your position, that prevents you joining a demonstration against Israeli attacks and in solidarity with the people of Gaza?

    We all know Hamas has a bad charter. So why the need to add that as a disclaimer to any support of the people of Gaza?

    I think you’re too obsessed with being seen to be on the fence, rather than interested in making peace happen and showing solidarity with the victims. I don’t have to have an anti-Hamas placard or pro-Sderot placard to express those opinions, much as me not going on the non-existent march for peace in the DRC not organised by Melanie Phillips, Nick Cohen, Aaronovitch, Harry’s Place, Steve M et al doesn’t mean I don’t care about the plight of people in the DRC.

    Smoke and mirrors

  17. david — on 31st December, 2008 at 12:11 pm  

    The fact that people will protest the defense (the Israeli strikes agains hamas militants) and remain silent during the attack (incessant Hamas rocket attacks on civilians) reveals that people are not in touch with reality.

    If you do not protest the Hamas rocket attacks against innocent Israeli civilians, you have no right to protest the Israeli attempts to defend their people – unless, of course, you are irrational or bias!

  18. Sid — on 31st December, 2008 at 12:12 pm  

    Why are people so obsessed that the protest placards actively distance themselves from Hamas, and ’stand up’ for Sderot?

    One word: civilians.

  19. Rayyan — on 31st December, 2008 at 12:28 pm  

    So you think just because people march in solidarity with the people of Gaza, it automatically means they have no sympathy with the people of Sderot? That’s ridiculous, and insulting. You should call out these protesters on not displaying “Free Tibet” or “Down with Mugabe” armbands at the weekend then, too – that would be consistent with your approach

  20. Rayyan — on 31st December, 2008 at 12:29 pm  

    Also, looks like Israel has rejected calls for a truce to allow aid in:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/7805558.stm

    Hang on, I thought Israel wanted peace, and wanted to minimise civilian casualties?

    Hmmm.

  21. douglas clark — on 31st December, 2008 at 12:31 pm  

    It does seem to me that the ‘hawks’ are in charge, both in Israel and in Gaza. This is a dangerous time to be a civilian in either jurisdiction.

  22. Sid — on 31st December, 2008 at 12:33 pm  

    So you think just because people march in solidarity with the people of Gaza, it automatically means they have no sympathy with the people of Sderot? That’s ridiculous, and insulting.

    Not as ridiculous and insulting as saying this:

    I think you’re too obsessed with being seen to be on the fence, rather than interested in making peace happen and showing solidarity with the victims.

    I’m interested in solidarity with the bereaved of Gaza and Sderot and a peace settlement and that is all.

  23. david — on 31st December, 2008 at 12:48 pm  

    Rayyan,
    I’m not sure who you are responding to.
    Nevertheless, my personal argument is not that the protestors should be demonstrating against both sides in the current protests. Rather, that they are irrationaly protesting the defense rather than the attack. Why did these same people not protest the rockets fired by Hammas at Israel prior to the Israeli response? Isn’t there something drastically wrong with terrorists firing at innocent children? Perhaps it is because the protestors did not protest back then, allowing Hamas to continue its barrage, that they find themselves protesting now. In fact, perhaps they should be protesting against their own passiveness during the Hamas attacks – if they were intellectually honest perhaps they would!

  24. Steve M — on 31st December, 2008 at 12:49 pm  

    I’m interested in solidarity with the bereaved of Gaza and Sderot and a peace settlement and that is all.

    Amen to that. I would more than anything like to see a peaceful Israel alongside a peaceful Palestinian state in Gaza and the West Bank, all living within agreed borders. I’d like to see some hope for the people of Palestine in terms of a developing economy and advanced systems of health and education. A large proportion of their population are under 18. Let them have some hope for their future and their children’s future.

    This will not and cannot happen as long as Hamas maintains its current aims and philosophies and these are embodied in its Charter. It’s not for nothing that while Israel bombards Hamas they are cheered on from the sidelines by the Government of Egypt and the Palestinian Authority.

  25. Steve M — on 31st December, 2008 at 12:52 pm  

    david, forget the demonstrators. They will never be even handed in their views. I expect to see a fair mix of “We are all Hamas” and “Kill the Juice”. In the end they will have no relevance at all and it’s their onesidedness that robs them of credibility.

  26. david — on 31st December, 2008 at 12:57 pm  

    Steve,
    A powerful message.
    David

  27. Rayyan — on 31st December, 2008 at 1:00 pm  

    “I would more than anything like to see a peaceful Israel alongside a peaceful Palestinian state in Gaza and the West Bank, all living within agreed borders. I’d like to see some hope for the people of Palestine in terms of a developing economy and advanced systems of health and education. A large proportion of their population are under 18. Let them have some hope for their future and their children’s future.”

    Why aren’t you condemning Israel’s actions, then? Surely if that’s what you actually want, then what Israel is doing is counter-productive, not to mention vicious. That robs you of any credibility: a view that is either extremely one-sided itself or totally dishonest.

    If you are painting what is going on as “the defence” then perhaps you would say the same of the rockets now being fired at Israel in response to the IDF’s airstrikes? I’m waiting for you to organise protests against Hamas, and against Ugandan rebels.

  28. Steve M — on 31st December, 2008 at 1:12 pm  

    Why aren’t you condemning Israel’s actions, then? Surely if that’s what you actually want, then what Israel is doing is counter-productive, not to mention vicious. That robs you of any credibility: a view that is either extremely one-sided itself or totally dishonest.

    Because I don’t think that Israel’s actions are counter-productive. I see a weakening of Hamas as a good thing.

    If you are painting what is going on as “the defence” then perhaps you would say the same of the rockets now being fired at Israel in response to the IDF’s airstrikes?

    As a matter of fact I think that in the current state of all out war Hamas’ rocket strikes are reasonable. They will lose.

    I’m waiting for you to organise protests against Hamas, and against Ugandan rebels.

    ‘Protests’ are not my style. I did try on my blog to campaign for helicopters for the UN peacekeepers in Darfur but I didn’t achieve anything. I’m probably more suited to participating in online debates like this one.

  29. Rayyan — on 31st December, 2008 at 1:17 pm  

    “I see a weakening of Hamas as a good thing.”

    Not that the deaths of three hundred plus seem to bother you, but any sane person can see that this will only embolden Hamas, giving them more reason to attack, and more people will join their ranks. Violence begets violence: a ceasefire and negotiations are the only ways the kind of outcome you pretend to want will be achieved.

    “As a matter of fact I think that in the current state of all out war Hamas’ rocket strikes are reasonable”

    Have fun convincing your mate David about that one

  30. marvin — on 31st December, 2008 at 1:20 pm  

    It will provide the media with some pictures of Islamist nutters and Socialist/Communist nutters with inevitable pictures of swastikas, Hamas flags etc. Are the SWP All Hamas Now? Or have their learnt lessons from before?

    It’s all very well to be anti-war, but sadly, previous demonstrations by said groups show they are anything but.

    Sid great comments, people like you are that can cross the divide are the ones who are truly able to change things.

    I don’t quite know the tree Rayyan is barking at, or even sure the tree exists…. I know from his website he has real trouble understanding the nature of the I/IP of the conflict, he sees Israels’ actions as simply racism. A one-stater are you Rayyan?

  31. Steve M — on 31st December, 2008 at 1:25 pm  

    Have fun convincing your mate David about that one

    Rayyan, I don’t know David. I don’t think we’ve ever met.

  32. david — on 31st December, 2008 at 1:28 pm  

    Rayyan,
    Many people will argue that Israel’s actions are not counter-productive:

    a)Peace agreements are only possible if both parties are genuinely prepared to negotiate. Hamas is not, for they will not be satisfied with any agreement unless it entails utter obliteration of Israel. Thus, Israel has no choice but to defend itself militarily.

    b)If the impervious Hamas government is eliminated through the current Israeli actions, and a reasonable civilized government replaces them, then indeed talk of peace can become a reality.

    Did you not hear about how many rockets were fired at Israel during the ostensible ceasefire? And, do you not know that the number increased to 120 in a span of two days immediately after the ceasefire? How can you question who is attacking and who is defending?

  33. Sofia — on 31st December, 2008 at 1:47 pm  

    so if the israelis are bombing the shit out of gaza to protect their citizens, what was the siege for?

  34. Sofia — on 31st December, 2008 at 1:47 pm  

    and david you really make me laugh…

  35. david — on 31st December, 2008 at 1:56 pm  

    The blockade was an attempt to apply pressure on Hamas to stop firing rockets into Israel. A blockade is a) less severe than a military strike and b)more manageable. Since the blockade was ineffective at putting a halt to the barrage of civilian directed rockets, Israel has to use the only other option which is an attempt to topple the Hamas government. Israel is not retaliating, it is defending its people. That is the moral thing to do.

  36. leon — on 31st December, 2008 at 2:01 pm  

    Hmm I might be there…

    Sofia, I’m the same, the anti war ‘protests’ went nowhere ultimately -in terms of their objectives- but I also blame the politically impotent stwc too…

  37. Squanderer — on 31st December, 2008 at 2:03 pm  

    I second Sofia’s commment about David’s one sided ‘balanced’ comments.
    You can’t say that only the state of Israel is ready to talk peace (clearly statements from the Israeli cabinet today reveal that they aren’t) and Hamas have no interest in a peaceful settlement of sorts…the reason the bombing by Israel was initiated was because the ceasefire that Hamas and Israel had negotiated had expired and Israel had a pretext to conduct all out war. Hamas hadn’t renewed the 6 month ceasefire as the blockade by Israel (land, sea and air) was as bad as ever and they received no recognition for stopping a big portion of rocket attacks into southern Israel .

    BTW don’t say that rocket attacks continued and so Israel had a right to defend itself. Almost like saying that the American occupation of Iraq guarantees that no one will bomb Iraq anymore on its watch…

  38. bananabrain — on 31st December, 2008 at 2:07 pm  

    sofia:

    by the same token, if the israelis had pulled out of gaza and removed the settlements, what was the never-ending barrage of qassams for, during the so-called “lull”? what was the purpose of kidnapping gilad schalit 920 days ago? israel closed the border because hamas would not renounce violence, as demanded not just by them, but by the whole international community.

    why on earth should they have an open border with a territory whose government’s founding charter says it is committed to eliminating them? you seem to be suggesting that israel is obliged to employ gazans and trade with gaza regardless of the political situation. it was always simple – hamas needed to grow up and become a responsible, mature political organisation, not a bunch of swivel-eyed, radical jihadi wingnuts. instead, they chose to follow the direction set for them by their iranian paymasters and pick a fight they couldn’t win. far easier to be intransigent and blame the israelis for everything than to actually grasp the nettle of trying to govern properly. they can’t even get on with the egyptians, because they are too concerned with their islamist agenda, so that border is fecked as well. all those smuggling tunnels – despite the siege, they still seem to be able to get guns, ammo, explosives and spare parts for rockets, don’t they? why not bring in, i don’t know, food and books?

    if you ask me, the nicest thing the israelis could do for the palestinians is send their air force to take a smack at the iranians instead. there are wider things going on here, sofia – didn’t you read my earlier post?

    b’shalom

    bananabrain

  39. Sofia — on 31st December, 2008 at 2:19 pm  

    yes and take it all with a massive pinch of salt..i could stick a whole bunch of stats on how bad the little israelis are and what a murdering bunch of fascists they are, but I won’t because you’ll then go and get another bunch of stats on hamas..please note, i did not comment on hamas, but on the innocent ppl of gaza who once again pay the price for living where they do…

  40. Sofia — on 31st December, 2008 at 2:21 pm  

    and as for your comments on iran…yeh let’s not just sod the whole thing and nuke the middle east

  41. MaidMarian — on 31st December, 2008 at 2:33 pm  

    Take a step back.

    I think that what many of these comments actually tell us is that we no longer have a ‘real’ peace movement in the UK, at least not in any real sense of the word.

    CND gave up after getting 250,000 out at its high water mark.

    Stop the war and the various bits that constituted it may be opposed to violence but not in a per se way – and certainly it was more about waving the collective genetalia at Tony Blair.

    I simply do not believe that any movement that comprises the BNP and radical muslim groups, as StW did, can be legitimately called a peace movement.

    To pick on one comment at random (apologies Sofia (38), it’s just that you were the last comment.)

    ‘how bad the little israelis are and what a murdering bunch of fascists they are,’ is hardly the most peaceable sentiment ever expressed on PP.

    I suspect that one reason that there is a reticence on the part of some to go on these demos is that they are not peace demonstrations. Opposition to a particular conflict is not the same thing as peace.

  42. blah — on 31st December, 2008 at 2:47 pm  

    MaidMarian

    ” I simply do not believe that any movement that comprises the BNP and radical muslim groups, as StW did, can be legitimately called a peace movement.”

    The STW comprimes the BNP? Are you nuts? the SWP people are the main anti-BNP protestors. The BNP strongly backs Israel.

    But you belive a country like Israel which occupies land of 4 other nations, starved and bombs an entire population it has previouly herded into a tiny strip of land and is supported by insane loonies religious and secular outside and in is a peaceful nation.

  43. bananabrain — on 31st December, 2008 at 2:48 pm  

    well, sofia, what exactly do you think ought to be the response to the iranians trying to take over the entire middle east, using the palestinians and lebanese as their patsies? should we just sit around and wait? i mean, what on earth are you thinking? i mean, it isn’t a serious suggestion, just a measure of despair at how much those feckers seriously need to be taught a lesson.

    could stick a whole bunch of stats on how bad the little israelis are and what a murdering bunch of fascists they are, but I won’t because you’ll then go and get another bunch of stats on hamas..

    which proves what an utterly pointless exercise it is trying to blackguard one side whilst excusing everything the other side do. all i was trying to do was point out how the arab world are as fed up with hamas (and iran) as the israelis are.

    please note, i did not comment on hamas, but on the innocent ppl of gaza who once again pay the price for living where they do…

    i agree. and the innocent people of sderot, ashdod, ashkelon and now be’er sheva are paying the price for living where they do. my point is that hamas are holding the innocent people of gaza and southern israel hostage, along with gilad schalit, because it suits the iranians and their own lunatic ideology for them to do so, rather than renounce violence, recognise israel, get the hell to the negotiating table and get their citizens back to work. the israelis certainly don’t want to be in the situation where they can do nothing and get fired at, or they can send in the air force and get condemned, or they can send in the army and lose even more people. i mean, seriously, sofia, are you suggesting that they should just sit there and continue to let a substantial segment of their population get bombarded for the next few years? what would you suggest, given that no concession short of leaving the country entirely would satisfy hamas and iran? i really want to know, because i think you’re a nice person and i can’t see how best this situation could be resolved.

    as for you, blah, you can kiss my fat sefardi arse. it is people like you that are the reason the israelis don’t see any point in waiting for the international community to be fair and even-handed.

    b’shalom

    bananabrain

  44. MaidMarian — on 31st December, 2008 at 2:51 pm  

    blah –

    Well, I was in London on the day of the big march with my foreign then girlfriend (now wife). we were visiting the British Museum and the Elgin Marbles. The BNP contingent on that march were not altogether holding back.

    I understand that that march was the largest gathering ever of BNP members. If the BNP were not a composite part of StW’s big day, then no one was exactly encouraging them to leave.

    I also like the way that you confuse StW and SWP there!

    I think you misunderstood my point – to turn up on one of these stop conflict marches is not the same thing as demanding the universial application of peace and good will. The marches may well have been good protest and allowed everyone to get it all off their chest – but I saw very little peaceable in any meaningful sense of the word on the streets that day.

    Your last pararaph is an ample demonstration of what I am getting at.

  45. Sofia — on 31st December, 2008 at 2:58 pm  

    maid marian..do you understand sarcasm…? it really irritates me when ppl take things at face value..it’s lazy

  46. MaidMarian — on 31st December, 2008 at 3:01 pm  

    Sofia – yes – I am sure that any number of Israelis will see your humour and revel in the type of sarcasm that sees them labelled as, ‘murderous fascists.’

    Christ on a bike – don’t go into after dinner speaking. Please note that this is not a joke/sarcasm.

  47. Sofia — on 31st December, 2008 at 3:02 pm  

    I went on all the london anti war marches and never saw any bnp contingent?

  48. Sofia — on 31st December, 2008 at 3:03 pm  

    well then whoever reads it the way you did is lazy too..and i frankly don’t give a shit if a lazy idiot reads it wrong.

  49. comrade — on 31st December, 2008 at 3:04 pm  

    Steve
    The Hamas Constitution is both anti-Semitic and dedicated to destroying Israel. If Hamas had any desire to help their own people they might start by changing this and moving towards a negotiated settlement.

    Why didn’t the Iraeilis negotiated with the PLO. They accepted the Two State Solution.

    Mervin,

    Socialist/Communist nutters with inevitable pictures of swastikas,

    Wasn’t it the Jewish socialist/ communist nutters the first one’s to be killed by the Nazis, wasn’t it the Red Army communist nutters who defeated the the Facist. Is it not true, the people behind the Baracade in Cable Street where socialist/ communist, is it not also true, that this nutters continue to confront the BNP , while we sit behind our keyboard.

  50. MaidMarian — on 31st December, 2008 at 3:06 pm  

    Sofia – The PP voice of peace and toleration.

  51. Steve M — on 31st December, 2008 at 3:10 pm  

    comrade, the Israelis did negotiate with the PLO at Oslo with Yasser Arafat, Yitzhak Rabin and President Clinton.

  52. Sid — on 31st December, 2008 at 3:17 pm  

    love, peace and harmony ?
    oh, very nice
    very nice
    very nice
    very nice
    very nice
    …but maybe in the next world

  53. comrade — on 31st December, 2008 at 3:32 pm  

    Steve
    the Israelis did negotiate with the PLO at Oslo with Yasser Arafat, Yitzhak Rabin and President Clinton.

    What happened?

  54. Sofia — on 31st December, 2008 at 3:34 pm  

    maid marian…i’m neither peace loving nor tolerant…you can shove that up your lazy ass with a stick of dynamite

  55. Sofia — on 31st December, 2008 at 3:35 pm  

    oh and i just renewed my membership of hamas dontcha know

  56. MaidMarian — on 31st December, 2008 at 3:40 pm  

    Sofia (54) – ‘oh and i just renewed my membership of hamas dontcha know’

    Well…You did say you were involved in the anti-war marches so hardly a surprise.

  57. Sid — on 31st December, 2008 at 3:44 pm  

    Well…You did say you were involved in the anti-war marches so hardly a surprise.

    That’s known as guilt by association. There are lots of nasty bastards and causes associated with the pro-war contingent, so beware.

  58. Sofia — on 31st December, 2008 at 3:47 pm  

    i give up…the word idiot comes to mind but that makes me a warmongerer

  59. Steve M — on 31st December, 2008 at 3:56 pm  

    comrade,

    the Israelis did negotiate with the PLO at Oslo with Yasser Arafat, Yitzhak Rabin and President Clinton.

    What happened?

    They lost :-(

  60. Steve M — on 31st December, 2008 at 4:15 pm  

    But seriously comrade, here is the Wikipedia link on the Oslo Accords (usual Wiki disclaimers apply, etc.)

  61. bananabrain — on 31st December, 2008 at 4:19 pm  

    there was actually a serious issue here a few posts back, but no, obviously, who says what on anti-war marches is the important point here, rather than actually looking at solutions.

    b’shalom

    bananabrain

  62. MaidMarian — on 31st December, 2008 at 4:51 pm  

    bananabrain –

    It is a serious issue and one directly related to the article. The article was about Sunny striking a balance between the reasons to attend (I think the weekend protests are worth going to…. the massacre of people in Gaza has to stop’) and not attend (‘There will obviously be some nutters and extremists there’).

    My point earlier was about what this says about ‘peace movements’ in the UK relative to, say, CND about 25 years ago.

    The serious point I was getting at was how a mass out-and-out peace movement was able to give us a million+ paid up members and Greenham whilst the current shower give us a dilemma about whether we want to stand next to some bloke shouting about how we are all Hamas.

    I assumed that the serious point in the article was about the nature of contemporary protest in the context of I/P. Or am I misssing something?

  63. bananabrain — on 31st December, 2008 at 5:04 pm  

    what concerns me is the apparent need for people here to knock spots off each other rather than perhaps try and look at new solutions, perhaps different ideas, instead of which there seems to be a combination of handwringing, demands for condemnation, name-calling, whataboutery and moral equivalence. if this is what they call “progressive”, they can keep it. i am just so tired of this, tired of the same old arguments, tired of being told i’m defending the indefensible when i’m just trying to add some nuance and context, but no, people would rather be right and stick with their tribal alliances. i don’t see why i can’t deplore the lack of imagination of israel’s political class without being forced to join ijv or jfjfp or some other bunch of not-in-my-namers. i learned that “kol yisrael arevim ze-la-zeh”, all jews are responsible for each other and, moreover, that “whoever saves a human life saves the world”. there is nothing more important than peace, but nor can there be peace by lying down and letting someone kill you.

    b’shalom

    bananabrain

  64. MaidMarian — on 31st December, 2008 at 5:19 pm  

    For what it’s worth, I think you are spot on – more nuance and context would be nice, but I doubt it will fly with the in-crowd.

  65. douglas clark — on 31st December, 2008 at 5:38 pm  

    bananabrain,

    You seem pretty clued up on this. Would you care to comment further on how, apparently isolated, Hamas is from Arab governments? I think Hamas is being hung out to dry, but I’m no expert. If they are the impediment to peace – in the longer term – then, what?

    Is there a strategy, do you think?

    I have always respected your comments on here, even though I can’t say I’ve agreed with everything you have had to say.

  66. Steve M — on 31st December, 2008 at 6:33 pm  

    I’m no bananabrain but I have a feeling that when the war stops the civil war may be even worse.

  67. Ravi Naik — on 31st December, 2008 at 6:35 pm  

    what concerns me is the apparent need for people here to knock spots off each other rather than perhaps try and look at new solutions, perhaps different ideas, instead of which there seems to be a combination of handwringing, demands for condemnation, name-calling, whataboutery and moral equivalence. if this is what they call “progressive”, they can keep it. i am just so tired of this

    I totally agree.

  68. douglas clark — on 31st December, 2008 at 7:19 pm  

    Ravi Naik @ 67,

    This was / is a promising place.

    It is probably the only place in the known universe where the idea of debate over I/P has been nurtured. Between folk that are not extremists and do not go looking for extremists on the other side, simply to highlight difference.

    Rather than a ‘Jets’ -v- ‘Sharks’ philosophy which entertains. There is no other word for it. Sites like Harrys’ Place and MPAC. When push comes to shove their Liberal credentials, if they ever had them, burn, baby, burn.

    This is not where you read about the green birds:

    http://www.hurryupharry.org/2008/12/31/the-green-birds-of-gaza/

    with perhaps this years’ most pathetic tail.

    Nor is it, nor has it ever been where you read:

    http://www.mpacuk.org/content/view/5203/102/

    There is no middle ground on either thread.

    However.

    There is a fiercely fought middle ground on here.

    It is a place where you and bananabrain can and do discuss things. And, out of that comes you, saying to him,

    I totally agree.

    On this New Years Eve, I’d hope it was reciprocated.

  69. comrade — on 31st December, 2008 at 7:34 pm  

    here was actually a serious issue here a few posts back, but no, obviously, who says what on anti-war marches is the important point here, rather than actually looking at solutions.

    The only solution is a viable Palestinian State, nothing less nothing more. And this will only be decided by the Palestinians and the Jewish State. My personal view, it’s not going to happen. The Israelis will not accept the return of the Palestinian refugees, as this will be suicidal for the Jewish State. Come the election, you will have the ‘Arabs’ in power. And the Palestinian will accept nothing less than the return of the refugees.

  70. Rayyan — on 31st December, 2008 at 7:49 pm  

    That is a typically pathetic HP post by David T. No real surprise he doesn’t give a toss about dead Palestinians. Regardless of whatever solutions might be, surely a first step we can all agree upon is a truce to allow humanitarian aid in.

  71. douglas clark — on 31st December, 2008 at 8:30 pm  

    Rayyan,

    That is a typically pathetic HP post by David T. No real surprise he doesn’t give a toss about dead Palestinians. Regardless of whatever solutions might be, surely a first step we can all agree upon is a truce to allow humanitarian aid in.

    Agreed. This is Mr T doing his usual retreat into ‘us’ and ‘them’. with allusive shit about F-16s.

    The question is, are you big enough to see the MPAC garbage the same way? After all, these humanists have said:

    http://www.mpacuk.org/content/view/5203/102/

    How silent have they been on terrorism against Israel? What about the silence of their so-called scholars who could start a fight in a fucking brothel?

    So, who’s to choose?

    They are both acting like ridiculous extremists.

  72. Steve M — on 31st December, 2008 at 9:26 pm  

    In times like this of war, people become particularly fearful and often emotions can override judgement. Jews, Arabs and Muslims even more so when the war is in Israel and Palestine.

    I have met Mr. T on a couple of occasions and have had conversations with him. He certainly does ‘give a toss’ about Palestinians and desperately wants what most of us want which is peaceful co-existence between Israelis and Palestinians in two states, the borders and terms of which are negotiated and agreed. I will not speak up for some of the commenters at Harry’s Place (on both extremes) but I believe that their expressed house policy is to allow, as far as possible, free speech, while being clear that they are against both anti-Semitism and hatred of Islam.

  73. douglas clark — on 31st December, 2008 at 9:53 pm  

    Steve M,

    I do not deny that David T can, sometimes, ‘give a toss’. My point is that when push comes to shove, he retreats.

    I actually love the guy when he speaks out. Which he only does when it suits him. Like, when he comments here, once in a fucking lifetime. There is a cost to David T being reasonable, it is agreeing with him.

    So, he doesn’t try to be reasonable often enough.

    Anyway, what did you think of his ‘green birds in the sky’ stuff?

    I thought it was shite. Like weeping Mary statues…

  74. comrade — on 31st December, 2008 at 9:57 pm  

    We have decided to cancel our new years celebration, and in stead hold a two minute silence at midnight for all the victims, Palestinian/Israelis. I hope you will join us

    GOOD NIGHT

  75. Steve M — on 31st December, 2008 at 10:23 pm  

    Happy and peaceful new year, comrade.

  76. Refresh — on 31st December, 2008 at 11:18 pm  

    Bananabrain, your contribution is wholly unsatisfactory when it comes to pushing forward solutions. Two in particular:

    1. More assasinations
    2. Another war, this time Iran.

    Assasination of political opponents is a corrupt practise which astonishingly you claim as acceptable – you cannot deny this behaviour has contributed to the failure.

    Israel wants a war on Iran, as it wanted one in Iraq.
    Because you claim they are taking over the Middle East.

    I think if you can clear the fog over those two issues then perhaps it would be worth considering who you think should and shouldn’t attend the demonstrations.

    For me I would like a permanent demonstration outside the Israeli embassy as we did throughout the 80s against apartheid South Africa.

  77. Refresh — on 31st December, 2008 at 11:20 pm  

    I understand the original population of Ashkelon is actually sitting in Gaza, and has been since 1948.

  78. douglas clark — on 1st January, 2009 at 4:41 am  

    A solution to the I/P Question.

    Arabs should allow themselves to eat other humans. And so should Jews.

    It is quite clear that the solution to the Middle East crisis rests in cannibalism.

    What is wrong with eating a Jew? They are not people, they are less than that. They are quite tasty, in a stew.. Or what is wrong with eating a Palestinian, who also tastes good with cous cous? And lemon juice.

    The ridiculous notion that either are human beings is beyond the pale. They are nothing of the sort. They are food. No more, no less..

    It is interesting that the younger, and more stupid, the meat is, how much more delicious it tastes.

    We have enjoyed the meat of virginal bombers, which comes in a delicious death sauce. We have enjoyed the more mature flavour of a dead for 21 days IDF soldier.

    This is what a gourmet loves. Death in the afternoon, and dinner later.

    [With respect to Jonathan Swift's, "A Modest Proposal"]

  79. blah — on 1st January, 2009 at 12:56 pm  

    “but I believe that their expressed house policy is to allow, as far as possible, free speech, while being clear that they are against both anti-Semitism and hatred of Islam.”

    Absolute garbage. They have commentators on there like John P whose vitriol against Islam and Muslims is genocidal and they do nothing about that.

    David T acts as a balanced person and friend of the Arabs and Muslims while barely being able to disguise his obsession and vitriol towards them. The comical swimming pool exercise indicates that.

  80. comrade — on 1st January, 2009 at 2:54 pm  

    Steve M
    I hope you had a pleasant New Years Eve.

    the Israelis did negotiate with the PLO at Oslo wit
    h Yasser Arafat, Yitzhak Rabin and President Clinton.

    check this out.

    http://www.issi.org.pk/journal/2001_files/no_2/articleS/2a.htm

    http:/www.lalkar org/issue/contents/jul 2007/Palestine

  81. The Dude — on 1st January, 2009 at 3:25 pm  

    Could everyone here please ask themselves one relevant question. Why does HAMAS exist? I can tell you this. HAMAS did not come about by accident or spring forth out of a void.

  82. comrade — on 1st January, 2009 at 3:38 pm  

    Could everyone here please ask themselves one relevant question. Why does HAMAS exist? I can tell you this. HAMAS did not come about by accident or spring forth out of a void.

    creation of MOSSAD

  83. Steve M — on 1st January, 2009 at 3:38 pm  

    Thanks for that. Although neither of your links worked directly, I did manage to read the Institute of Strategic Studies, Islamabad report (well, the beginning and end bits) by chasing through the menu system.

    There have been many analysis’ and opinions, including those by Clinton and others who were present in Oslo at the time. I’ve also seen a number of interviews on the BBC’s ‘Hardtalk’ programme – which often provides fascinating insights as to what goes on behind the scenes. The opinion of Dr Malik at the Institute of Strategic Studies, Islamabad should not be considered definitive, although certainly interesting.

  84. Steve M — on 1st January, 2009 at 3:41 pm  

    Hamas was created in 1987 by Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, Abdel Aziz al-Rantissi and Mohammad Taha of the Palestinian wing of the Muslim Brotherhood at the beginning of the First Intifada. (Wikipedia)

  85. comrade — on 1st January, 2009 at 4:34 pm  

    Steve M
    Hamas was created in 1987 by Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, Abdel Aziz al-Rantissi and Mohammad Taha of the Palestinian wing of the Muslim Brotherhood at the beginning of the First Intifada. (Wikipedia)

    See if this works.

    http://globalresearch.ca/articles/ZER403A.html

  86. Steve M — on 1st January, 2009 at 4:57 pm  

    comrade,

    This page also makes interesting reading (look for the part near the bottom entitled “THE MOSSAD-HAMAS CONNECTION”). http://stommel.tamu.edu/~baum/ethel/2002_03_31_ethel-archive.html

    These are the relevant paragraphs:

    (1) What Israel in fact backed was Sheik Yassin’s Gaza chapter of the Muslim Brotherhood, an organization that goes back to the 30s. Yassin, a quadraplegic cleric, set up the Gaza chapter in the early 70s, and Israel backed it in the 80s. During the period they backed it, it was a service organization attached to mosques and universities. They were completely non-violent and almost completely non-political. Sheik Yassin’s conversion to the use of violent means was extremely abrupt. The first intifada traumatized him, and within 3 months he had set up a military organization to resist it. Sheik Yassin is still Hamas’s spiritual leader today.

    (2) Hamas is the Arabic acronym for “Islamic Resistance Movement” and means “zeal” in Arabic. When it first came into existence, the name only referred to the military wing under Yassin’s control, and was distinguished from the service wing, which was still called the Muslim Brotherhood. So therefore technically, Israel can say it never supported Hamas. What it supported (with millions of dollars) was the non-violent group out of which Hamas was suddenly created.

  87. comrade — on 1st January, 2009 at 8:53 pm  

    STEVE M

    Have a read of this article in May/June 2008 on Palestine, Be warned this Link is not for the liberal minded

    http://www.lalkar.org/index.php

  88. Steve M — on 1st January, 2009 at 11:07 pm  

    Yup, every sentence tilted and tipped with venom. I don’t suppose you’ve considered leaving the ‘anti-imperialist’ sewer and joining the Conservative Party? ;-)

    Meanwhile, to hasten such an outcome, the Palestinian people must intensify their resistance, including armed resistance, to the occupation. Towards that end, they must achieve unity by putting behind them the divisions of the past two years. Hamas and Fatah must revive the Mecca Unity Accord and establish a government of national unity. They must integrate their security forces into a single Palestinian national army, which fights against the occupation forces and not the Palestinian people.

    Yup, that’s going to happen.

    Victory to the resistance!

  89. Steve M — on 1st January, 2009 at 11:17 pm  

    Hey comrade, you haven’t escaped from Lenin’s Tomb have you? :shock:

  90. comrade — on 2nd January, 2009 at 1:56 pm  

    Steve M

    Hey comrade, you haven’t escaped from Lenin’s Tomb have you? :shock:

    If I want to indulge in making crass comments I’ll log on to Sihknett or some other reactionary site. The only reason I am on PP is, there is good inteligent debate and diccusion,and points of views, let’s stick with it. Because only through debate we become wiser.

  91. faayez — on 2nd January, 2009 at 6:59 pm  

    Logical definitions:
    The true terrorises: Israel group (it is not country).

    Objective: Kill innocent people including children, destroy land, kill all types of animal and cut trees, distribute rumours and lies as much as they can.

    Racism: Hope to be the only nation on the land.

    Traits: liars, cheaters, Traitors, Hypocrite and no sense of humanity.

  92. Greg Anderstein — on 4th January, 2009 at 7:00 am  

    Please protest the violence towards innocent civilians that caused this in the first place, over and over and over. Let me get this right, you stand in place A and shoot rockets indiscriminately into neighborhoods in place B and protest when people from place B come and kick your ass, that’s brilliant.

    Is anyone else having trouble with this logic? And I don’t care about occupation or history, bla bla bla. Break it down to immediate cause and effect. It has to stop somewhere so let’s grow up and get real.

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