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  • Technorati: graph / links

    March with me this Saturday


    by Sunny on 7th January, 2009 at 2:20 am    

    On Saturday I’m going to be at the Gaza solidarity demo again. I didn’t get a chance last week, as I was a bit late and had to hurriedly get up and run, to make a placard. I want to make a placard that reads something like:

    No to the IDF!
    No to Hamas!
    FREE PALESTINE!
    Stop attacks on Gaza!

    Etc etc. I’d like a bunch of people to join me, especially as there are certain bloggers who would like nothing more than to pretend that everyone going is nazi/fascist/totalitarian (while they complain about hyperbole when a Muslim uses the word ‘holocaust’), ignoring completely the death and destruction on the ground.



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    173 Comments below   |   Add your own

    1. Rayyan — on 7th January, 2009 at 7:50 am  

      Good on you, Sunny. Although you shouldn’t really give a toss about what those certain bloggers think - Israel could have killed 1,000 by now and they still wouldn’t be convinced Israel has made a mistake.

      Those particular individuals might also demand we put something about the violence in the DRC on our placards too - because, as we all know, if it’s not on our placards and we aren’t drawing as much attention to it as the I/P conflict, then we can’t possibly care about it. Not that they could care less.

    2. bananabrain — on 7th January, 2009 at 9:05 am  

      well, how about also putting “no rockets on sderot”?that might go some way to providing some balance.

      b’shalom

      bananabrain

    3. Sofia — on 7th January, 2009 at 9:19 am  

      I’m unfortunately a bit immobile right and so can’t go:(….but hope it all goes well…i’ve organised a get together at my house to pray for innocent ppl dying..i know for those ppl who don’t really believe in God this may seem futile, but for those of us who receive comfort from their faith, i’m hoping/praying it will make a difference

    4. susie — on 7th January, 2009 at 10:42 am  

      Sunny - Stop the War are now saying the government is trying to stop the demo via the Royal Parks agency acting under the authority of culture sec Andy Burnham! Is the demo an art installation or “happening” then, to be in Andy ‘dolly lashes’ Burnham’s domain? Your placard idea is interesting, but critical though I have been of Hamas, I personally could not bring myself to include your 2nd item on the list on a placard - I don’t think at this juncture such a slogan would be in the best interests of the Palestinian people in Gaza - partly because pro-Israelis would seize on it. Maybe this makes me a hypocrite. As long as I don’t have to march under a “We’re all Hamas now” banner… Some of the Hamas official statements coming out of Gaza, while ordinary people pay the price, are disgusting.

    5. tim — on 7th January, 2009 at 11:04 am  

      I suspect by Saturday,,the only placard you’ll need is “Support the Ceasefire”.

    6. Sofia — on 7th January, 2009 at 11:23 am  

      let’s hope there is a ceasefire..

    7. platinum786 — on 7th January, 2009 at 11:48 am  

      Are they bussing people down again?

    8. Rayyan — on 7th January, 2009 at 12:26 pm  

      Here’s information about coaches to London.

    9. hermes — on 7th January, 2009 at 12:40 pm  

      Sunny,
      Are you hoping that if the police decide to charge with their batons they will leave you alone because of your moderate banner? Better make it a big one, with capitals because don’t think many of them can read.

    10. persephone — on 7th January, 2009 at 12:45 pm  

      Health warning: below is an unashamed plug for a related charity:-

      Members of my family have supported Medical Aid for Palestinians (MAP) for some time. If you were thinking of donating to Gaza they are an excellent route, with staff permanently on the ground in Gaza they are well placed to respond immediately to the crisis. They were able to respond within hours, sending out surgical kits to hospitals and working with hospitals to coordinate the supply of essential drugs, disposables and equipment and coordinating blood donations. MAP is a British charity that operates in the West Bank, Gaza Strip and Lebanon, delivering health and medical care to vulnerable Palestinians. They work with local NGO’s & the Palestinian Health Service to establish a permanent medical infrastructure in Palestinian communities, training health care practitioners, teaching medical vocational skills & addressing the requirements of particularly vulnerable groups such as people with disabilities. Its President is Baroness Helena Kennedy QC, Chair of the British Council, Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health and champion of civil liberties and human rights.

      web address: http://www.map-uk.org/

    11. Refresh — on 7th January, 2009 at 1:01 pm  

      Thanks Persephone, I have been thinking about how to get help out there efficiently. I shall pass that on.

    12. Refresh — on 7th January, 2009 at 1:03 pm  

      Sunny, don’t fall for it. Its a slippery slope. Before long you will need to add disclaimers on the reverse to cover every strand of whataboutery.

    13. platinum786 — on 7th January, 2009 at 1:08 pm  

      Sunny you want to get in TV, carry one with a swastika on it and a star of David, perhaps add a love heart and a rainbow to suggest they are gay.

      j/k

    14. MaidMarian — on 7th January, 2009 at 1:23 pm  

      Well…it is a bit nippy and darts is on this weekend so you’ve not picked the best time to be honest.

      In the (unlikely) event that there is any room left on that banner, can you add something about those of us who are not, ‘ignoring completely the death and destruction on the ground,’ but just feel that marching is the worst type of gesture politics but agree broadly with the sentiment.

    15. Kismet Hardy — on 7th January, 2009 at 1:27 pm  

      All this fuss about gaza. He’s just a sad old drunk. His family should be ashamed they’ve been documenting his downfall and making money from it. But I suppose he must have endorsed it for the doc to be aired. Gaza strip? No thanks.

      Good luck with the marching. It really helped stopped UK invading Iraq last time I went on one

    16. Leon — on 7th January, 2009 at 1:57 pm  

      Sunny, you got a meeting point and time for those interested in attending?

    17. Cold Beer — on 7th January, 2009 at 2:00 pm  

      Don’t do it Sunny, it’s a slippery slope! You’re either with us or against us, and you can’t be with us if you criticize Hamas!

    18. Refresh — on 7th January, 2009 at 2:20 pm  

      I don’t imagine you could ever be with Israel unless you accept all the killings so far are of Hamas Militants, Hamas Families, Hamas Children being sheltered by the Hamas branch of UNWRA.

    19. Leon — on 7th January, 2009 at 3:04 pm  

      Oh yeah Sunny as for slogans of what you’ve written it should be:

      No to the IDF!
      No to Hamas!
      Stop attacks on Gaza!

      or

      No to the IDF!
      No to Hamas!
      FREE PALESTINE!

      Four lines is too wordy…personally I prefer the second because it’s a well used slogan for this current set of protests and you’d be feeding into it in a slightly subversive way.

      Oh yeah, where and when you meeting? I think I’ll drag myself out of my cynical state and join you on this one (you could probably do with a big guy or two with you once you hoist that placard too!).

    20. bananabrain — on 7th January, 2009 at 3:06 pm  

      i’m “with israel” and i don’t accept that. i don’t accept your definition of what being “with israel” means. i am in favour of a ceasefire, but that has to be a complete ceasefire. no targetted assassinations on one hand and no subcontracting out to islamic jihad and saying “well it isn’t us firing”. i also don’t think you should suggest that supporting palestinians means you support using mosques, hospitals and schools as arms dumps and bases to fire from, as is done frequently by both hamas and hizbollah. it’s an effective tactic, of course, but completely immoral, not that anyone ever sees fit to criticise it apparently.

      b’shalom

      bananabrain

    21. Sid — on 7th January, 2009 at 3:07 pm  

      #13 - Can I suggest you replace the Star of David with the Pakistani Crescent Star in memory of the millions of Bangladeshis killed and raped by their ‘muslim brothers’ in the Pakistani military too?

      barakallah feek

    22. Sid — on 7th January, 2009 at 3:14 pm  

      There will be a Rally at Trafalgar Square Sunday Morning in opposition to Hamas’ campaign of terror, and for peace for the people of both Israel and Gaza. The Rally is supported by the major Jewish organisations in the United Kingdom.

      I wonder if the prospective attendees are agonising over what message to put on their placards. Will they be denouncing the bombing by Israel which has, so far, resulted in 680 Palestinians murdered in Gaza and (more than 215 children & 89 women) & 3075 injured?

      I have my doubts.

    23. Squanderer — on 7th January, 2009 at 3:14 pm  

      7- bussing?
      Most people don’t get bussed down, you idiot. Those of us who don’t live in London came on coaches, after contacting the organisers and paying our fares.

      15-marches don’t stop an action directly (eg Iraq war) but it shows that people feel passionate enough to turn up and make a statement. Couple of years down the line, the sentiment helped to get the bulk of British troops out of Iraq through the democratic process.

      Sunny -why give yourself get out clauses to express and make your statement? -you may as well add veggie-loving Buddha and the cops won’t target you at all and mistake you for a brown Muslim :)
      See you saturday

    24. bananabrain — on 7th January, 2009 at 3:39 pm  

      There will be a Rally at Trafalgar Square Sunday Morning in opposition to Hamas’ campaign of terror, and for peace for the people of both Israel and Gaza. The Rally is supported by the major Jewish organisations in the United Kingdom.

      note that this rally wants peace for both sides, not just for the palestinians. how many people at the saturday march will be calling for peace for the israelis? for feck’s sake, can’t you people even see how bigoted this discussion is getting? no wonder the israelis don’t think they can possibly get a fair hearing. i am sickened by some of the comments i have seen here, the blanket condemnation of anything israeli - i (and the other jewish commentators here) have never condemned “the palestinians” in such a way. perhaps you people can explain why the israelis are all so equally monstrous? perhaps you would like to see the consequences of this sort of discourse for me and my community?

      http://news.google.co.uk/news?hl=en&q=arson%20synagogue&cr=countryUK%7CcountryGB&safe=on&um=1&ie=UTF-8&sa=N&tab=wn

      it is at times like this that i start to wonder what the point of staying here talking to people is. demonise my relatives and co-religionists if you must, but you can take it from me: you understand them not one bit. you don’t understand what they want and you continually bend over backwards to excuse the outrageous behaviour of those criminal lunatics masquerading as the democratically elected government of gaza. i seriously think i need time out from this site.

      b’shalom

      bananabrain

    25. Sid — on 7th January, 2009 at 3:44 pm  

      note that this rally wants peace for both sides, not just for the palestinians. how many people at the saturday march will be calling for peace for the israelis? for feck’s sake, can’t you people even see how bigoted this discussion is getting?

      Time out, BB. It’s bigotted if I ask whether the placards will be univeralist on Sunday’s march but not bigotted when you ask the same of Saturday’s march?

    26. Leon — on 7th January, 2009 at 3:45 pm  

      BB, if you’re seriously believing half the crap spewing out of your fingers onto the keyboard about everybody on here you need more than time away from PP. You need therapy.

    27. Refresh — on 7th January, 2009 at 4:11 pm  

      BB, the problem is most people believe Israel actually had what it supposedly wanted years ago but it still does not stop. Which then raises the question: Do YOU really know what Israel wants?

      Right now I see that the UN Israeli Ambassador, like you, wants to pin it all on Iran; and before that it was Iraq; before that it was Syria via ‘proxy’ Lebanon. Not to forget the PLO, then Fatah alone, and now Hamas.

      I really truly want to know Israel’s goal. Is it resources that is stopping it from stopping, eg water or even gas off the shores of Gaza?

      The Palestinians are not going away.

      Genuine change can only come from within Israel and that will be a reflection of how it sees itself. And if that means the world (and I don’t mean governments) needs to keep holding up a mirror to it then that is what will keep happening.

    28. Rayyan — on 7th January, 2009 at 4:16 pm  

      Erm yeah the star and crescent is also the unofficial insignia of Islam, which is the majority religion of Bangladesh, my country of origin

      And bigoted? Please. Organising a separate march mainly for one religious/racial community on the day after the march for everyone - doesn’t seem the most inclusive thing to do. Of course the mainstream marches want peace for everyone - how can the Palestinians have peace without the Israelis having peace too? They live next door to each other! It’s not Palestine that has the military capability to guarantee a high quality of life for its citizens whilst bombing the hell out of its next door neighbour.

      Who elected you to speak on behalf of an entire community? I’ve been to two of these protests in recent weeks and both times there was a visible presence of Jewish anti-zionist and pro-peace activists there. Are you saying they don’t count as your “relatives and co-religionists”?

      it is at times like this that i start to wonder what the point of staying here talking to people is - if you’re just going to call everyone bigots and not engage constructively with the fact that Israel is killing civilians in huge numbers, and continue speaking out of your sunshinehole, then I would question why you bothered in the first place

    29. Sofia — on 7th January, 2009 at 4:19 pm  

      “Right now I see that the UN Israeli Ambassador, like you, wants to pin it all on Iran; and before that it was Iraq; before that it was Syria via ‘proxy’ Lebanon. Not to forget the PLO, then Fatah alone, and now Hamas”

      Amen to that!

    30. bananabrain — on 7th January, 2009 at 4:21 pm  

      *i* need therapy? i have a personal stake in this, leon. this isn’t discussion in these recent threads. it’s bile, it’s vitriol. it provides the discourse necessary for idiot lefties and rent-a-beards to drive petrol-bomb-filled cars into synagogues and . you may not understand this, but i do. these people are not playing by your rules - and that has actual, tangible consequences for me and people i know and love - not just in the middle east, but right here in london. i am having a really hard time seeing what is going on and it makes it all the worse when people that i consider to be intelligent, thinking individuals start being so ready to believe the worst and assume they know motivations where they really don’t.

      and “rayyan”, i don’t include you on this. you are simply a bigot and an ignorant fool.

      b’shalom

      bananabrain

    31. Rayyan — on 7th January, 2009 at 4:26 pm  

      that is pathetic, now anyone who disagrees with you is anti-semitic and wants to bomb places of worship?

      you have quite embarrassed yourself here! enjoy the time off - don’t *conveniently* forget to put something about all the Palestinian people Israel has killed on your placard

    32. Refresh — on 7th January, 2009 at 4:28 pm  

      Come on guys - this is geting out of hand.

      Lets cutout the baiting.

    33. Rayyan — on 7th January, 2009 at 4:32 pm  

      That’s right BB: ignore any points you can’t deal with and instead call the person who makes them names. How big of you

    34. Sofia — on 7th January, 2009 at 4:33 pm  

      A critical analysis of the palestinian crisis (the way israel wants you to see it)

      dead palestinians - hamas/palestinians (take your pick) fault

      dead palestinian kids - hamas’/palestinian (take your pick) fault. They hate their kids so much they use them as shields and if this is not enough they booby trap the buildings they shelter in..these palestinians are no better than animals

      Gaza blockade - hamas fault/palestinians stupid enough to vote for them. We let in humanitarian aid so what are they complaining about?

      The Israeli wall - of course separate the civilised israelis from the mad murdering west bank palestinians..led by Fatah…who we ‘like’ right now but let’s see if Abbas actually tows the line when his fellow palestinians are being taught a lesson…

    35. Katy Newton — on 7th January, 2009 at 4:34 pm  

      i am in favour of a ceasefire, but that has to be a complete ceasefire. no targetted assassinations on one hand and no subcontracting out to islamic jihad and saying “well it isn’t us firing”. i also don’t think you should suggest that supporting palestinians means you support using mosques, hospitals and schools as arms dumps and bases to fire from, as is done frequently by both hamas and hizbollah.

      Well, I must need therapy too, because I am 100% with bananabrain. And by the way, Leon, given how fed up YOU were with the amount of antisemitic bile you had to delete from this website over the last few days, how surprised are you that your Jewish commenters are fed up with reading it too?

      My feeling is that with a couple of exceptions this has turned into the sort of website where anyone who doesn’t absolutely adopt the majority position on I/P isn’t welcome. I don’t see the point of trying to discuss this on a website where the mere statement that you think both sides should stop firing on each other is enough to have everyone shouting you down. Have fun agreeing amongst yourselves.

      EDIT:

      And PS, Rayyan, it’s a bit rich to initially post a comment ending “Get a life you deranged loser” to bananabrain, and then delete it and accuse him of calling everyone names. So mature. What a blow for the oppressed civilians of Gaza. Well done you.

    36. Sid — on 7th January, 2009 at 4:36 pm  

      Erm yeah the star and crescent is also the unofficial insignia of Islam, which is the majority religion of Bangladesh, my country of origin

      Yeah, but I was talking about the insignia prominentl on the flag of Pakistan. Islam may be the religion of the predominant number of people in Bangladesh, but thankfully its not the state religion.

    37. Leon — on 7th January, 2009 at 4:40 pm  

      It’s getting out of hand because of completely unfair accusations being hurled about everyone on PP.

      provides the discourse necessary for idiot lefties and rent-a-beards to drive petrol-bomb-filled cars into synagogues and . you may not understand this, but i do. these people are not playing by your rules - and that has actual, tangible consequences for me and people i know and love - not just in the middle east, but right here in london.

      And you think that I and everyone on PP condone that shit or shouldn’t be critical of Israel because what a bunch of racism scum may do?

      Bullshit.

      I’m not responsible for their disgusting behaviour (where was this car driven into a Synagogue in London btw, I’ve not seen that on the news?).

      I utterly oppose those using Israel’s actions as cover for racism against Jewish people (and along with other moderators I have been deleting anything that comes even close to anti-sematism plenty of times in the last week on here).

      I will not be blackmailed into keeping my mouth shut over the horrors Israel is subjecting innocent Palestinians to in Gaza.

      I oppose the war crimes of both the IDF and Hamas.

    38. Leon — on 7th January, 2009 at 4:42 pm  

      how surprised are you that your Jewish commenters are fed up with reading it too?

      I can imagine but as I say above I will not tolerate bullshit by racism wankers or people using it as an excuse to label everyone on PP as no different. Nor will I tolerate the behaviour of said racist fuckers being used to silent my opinions on Israel’s actions.

    39. Katy Newton — on 7th January, 2009 at 4:43 pm  

      I’m sorry, it is not “blackmailing” you to point out that BB doesn’t need therapy because he has become upset about the tone of some of the comments on this site in recent days.

    40. Leon — on 7th January, 2009 at 4:44 pm  

      A critical analysis of the palestinian crisis (the way israel wants you to see it)

      And you know what’s as bad. Those who give every excuse for war crimes can easily be dismissed by the same absurd and limited world view.

      We get nowhere with this shit, really don’t.

    41. Sunny — on 7th January, 2009 at 4:45 pm  

      My feeling is that with a couple of exceptions this has turned into the sort of website where anyone who doesn’t absolutely adopt the majority position on I/P isn’t welcome.

      I think the majority position is that people are sick of Israeli bombing the hell out of Palestine and getting away with it internationally. That’s the only thing people have been saying to me. I’m afraid the Harry’s Place crew doesn’t reflect any popular opinion by any stretch of the imagination.

      And guys, please cut out the cussing.

    42. Katy Newton — on 7th January, 2009 at 4:45 pm  

      Nor will I tolerate the behaviour of said racist fuckers being used to silent my opinions on Israel’s actions.

      Is that what you think I’m doing? You tell BB he “needs therapy”, I disagree and point out how vicious the conversation’s got on this site, and that’s telling you you can’t say what you think about Israel? Where do you get that from?

    43. Leon — on 7th January, 2009 at 4:47 pm  

      I’m sorry, it is not “blackmailing” you to point out that BB doesn’t need therapy because he has become upset about the tone of some of the comments on this site in recent days.

      Upset doesn’t justify lumping us all in with those vile people whether you call it blackmail or not.

      The jibe about needing therapy may be considered bad taste but from where I sit he’s losing it and fast and therapy or some kind of reflection on why perspective is being lost to the extent that is evident is needed.

    44. Rayyan — on 7th January, 2009 at 4:48 pm  

      And I oppose war crimes no matter who commits them - whether in the Middle East, in Uganda, in Sri Lanka, wherever. Doesn’t matter who does it. The whole point is that in this conflict we need to be clear about how we can best achieve peace - and who we can put pressure on to help stop the cycle of killing.

      That isn’t taking sides - it’s trying to move things forward. Ignoring war crimes, and making excuses for them such as “they don’t mean to do it” or “we were actually trying not to commit them” (i.e. that school was full of people we want to kill) is contemptible. The IDF seems to be able to kill without impunity - that deserves criticism, and I will not refrain from it because someone else says that criticising this side or that is counter-productive towards peace: it’s a prerequisite for peace.

    45. Sofia — on 7th January, 2009 at 4:48 pm  

      it’s wrong to attack ppl here based on what is going on in Israel..absolutely…and if there are ppl who think that it’s ok then it reminds me of the muslims who were attacked in the aftermath of 9/11 and London bombings…or the backlash against irish communities when the IRA was bombing…

      Ppl need to look not only at Israel but at the countries that are complicit in this…that makes us all targets since all our countries have pretty much kept silent…

    46. Leon — on 7th January, 2009 at 4:48 pm  

      Is that what you think I’m doing?

      No but you then you’re being reasonable and not lumping all PP regulars and writers together in the manner he is. I see a real distinction between BB and you, proven by the fact that I consider you a real friend. But I stand by my opposition to his accusations.

    47. Katy Newton — on 7th January, 2009 at 4:49 pm  

      I think the majority position is that people are sick of Israeli bombing the hell out of Palestine and getting away with it internationally. That’s the only thing people have been saying to me. I’m afraid the Harry’s Place crew doesn’t reflect any popular opinion by any stretch of the imagination.

      Yes, I understand that’s the majority position on this website. It’s good to know that my position and BB’s position, which is that both sides should stop firing on each other immediately, puts us in the Harry’s Place camp. Should I take this as an invitation not to comment here anymore, or were you just taking a pop at me for the heck of it?

    48. Leon — on 7th January, 2009 at 4:50 pm  

      I think the majority position is that people are sick of Israeli bombing the hell out of Palestine and getting away with it internationally. That’s the only thing people have been saying to me. I’m afraid the Harry’s Place crew doesn’t reflect any popular opinion by any stretch of the imagination.

      Yep.

    49. Katy Newton — on 7th January, 2009 at 4:51 pm  

      I consider you a real friend

      Likewise, a real friend in real life, without question, regardless of what is said on here.

    50. Leon — on 7th January, 2009 at 4:52 pm  

      Should I take this as an invitation not to comment here anymore, or were you just taking a pop at me for the heck of it?

      It didn’t look that way to me. Look, I’ve only said what I’ve said in retaliation to BB’s unprovoked attacks. You’ve not said anything to me or in reference to me comparing me to racist scum.

    51. Sid — on 7th January, 2009 at 4:53 pm  

      this isn’t discussion in these recent threads. it’s bile, it’s vitriol. it provides the discourse necessary for idiot lefties and rent-a-beards to drive petrol-bomb-filled cars into synagogues and . you may not understand this

      I don’t see the “bile, vitriol” on any of the threads on PP. We take pains in addressing or deleting every anti-semitic comment that gets posted here BB. If you want to see “bile, vitriol”, take a gander at any given page on Harry’s Place which are replete with anti-Muslim bigotry. Apparently, HP is a left-wing website, which contradicts the leftism you seem to have issues with. You seem to be free and easy with the pejoratives to describe anti-semites but tell me where is the same kind of language used against Jews on these pages?

      It just doesn’t exist and no amount of histrionics from you, dear BB, will make it look otherwise.

    52. Leon — on 7th January, 2009 at 4:57 pm  

      Anyway….

      Sunny: what time and where for Saturday?

    53. sonia — on 7th January, 2009 at 5:06 pm  

      i can’t see actually how Israel is ‘getting away with it’ internationally. No more so than any other powerful states “getting away” with whatever wars they’ve been involved with.

      It’s not getting a certain kind of criticism from a certain country, which happens to be powerful, end of story.that country - can we say it’s “gotten” away with its own things? Maybe, and then maybe not. Its a system based on legitimacy from the powerful country/s so what does it mean anyway? Its all a load of bollocks.

      If we are saying we want the US to say to Israel, don’t do this, or we will take away the money we give you, well that’s one thing. And seeing as Obama’s not going to say anything yet, and we don’t know what he will say when we can say it - well. Besides, they have their internal dynamics, so most likely, it won’t happen.

      As far as i can see, there’s a near universal condemnation of Israel’s tactics. And if there is a partisan expression of sympathy for Israel because of cultural and emotional factors, well i see that happening on the other side too. Loads of Muslims do not demonstrate on anything and yet turn up to I/P - that’s just as emotional as anyone “supporting” Israel simply because they are Jewish or something.

      there is always the ‘if i do it, its ok’ if you do it, it’s not’ hypocrisy going on around the world - Israel is not the only one and as far as i can see, everyone is getting away with it. Yes that is a problem and its not just restricted to I/P.

      So i don’t see one side is ‘winning’ or any such simplicity. the reality is, that Right now, it matters what Israel thinks, and what Hamas thinks. If we can influence that, then great, and let’s try. Otherwise, this is a lot of the usual back and forth blah blah.

      Unless - as i say again, people really want to do something and in that case, pressure goverments to offer Asylum to whoever wants to leave the Israel/Palestine region. Otherwise, what are we going to do? I can’t see that anyone has actually offered solutions. Yes ask for a ceasefire - but then what? And should we not be asking Hamas to ceasefire too? and who are we asking to ‘free’ Palestine anyway - and do people mean by that? Much better to march and shout ‘rogue elements within the palestinians and israelis - make love not war, talk, don’t fight’. don’t screw up what both your countrypeople want by getting violent.

    54. Sunny — on 7th January, 2009 at 5:06 pm  

      It’s good to know that my position and BB’s position, which is that both sides should stop firing on each other immediately, puts us in the Harry’s Place camp.

      At which point did I say you were saying the same as Harry’s Place?

      Should I take this as an invitation not to comment here anymore, or were you just taking a pop at me for the heck of it?

      Even if Harry’s place people come here I don’t delete them, so I don’t see how that means you should stop commenting at all. the only people who I’d rather stop commenting are people like Morgoth etc.

      And I didn’t have a pop at you directly, I said the majority opinion was different to what you were saying it was. And I don’t mean opinion on this site, I meant the country. Hell, the Americans are split on the issue, and they’re far more pro-Israeli than the UK. I’d say right now about 70% of Britons think Israel is doing the wrong thing.

    55. Sunny — on 7th January, 2009 at 5:07 pm  

      Leon, 1:30pm trafalgar square? I think people will get to Trfalgar square eventually, and its probably best to meet there… whaddya reckon?

    56. Jai — on 7th January, 2009 at 5:08 pm  

      Given the fact that neither Hamas nor the IDF probably reads PP, and even if they did, I doubt that anything anyone says here will make much difference to the perspectives and actions of the major stakeholders “over there”, maybe it would be a good idea for everyone here to chew that over instead of raising their blood pressure and engaging in pointless protracted arguments on multiple threads.

      Unless you’re just using PP as an opportunity to “vent” and bounce ideas around with interested counterparties or provide counter-responses to people you disagree with on some point of principle, which is fine but you should just be completely honest about it. And we’ve all taken part in debates where matters have got a little heated, especially when we have some kind of personal vested interest in the subject matter.

      However, thinking that posting comments here will make any difference to the outcome of the current conflict or indeed the I/P issue as a whole is probably a bit misguided. Although it would probably give some food for thought to interested parties browsing PP, which I guess may spill over into the real world and the consequent influence (or lack) of “public opinion”…..But in the meantime, if anyone actually thinks heated arguments on PP will affect the actions of armed parties on both sides….Well, forget it, mate.

      I don’t see the point of trying to discuss this on a website where the mere statement that you think both sides should stop firing on each other is enough to have everyone shouting you down.

      Well I’ve given a handful of more neutral and balanced views along these lines but for various reasons (including the fact that historically discussions about I/P on PP have frequently spiralled insanely out of control) I usually keep well clear of debates on the subject on this website.

    57. douglas clark — on 7th January, 2009 at 5:08 pm  

      bananabrain,

      it is at times like this that i start to wonder what the point of staying here talking to people is. demonise my relatives and co-religionists if you must, but you can take it from me: you understand them not one bit. you don’t understand what they want and you continually bend over backwards to excuse the outrageous behaviour of those criminal lunatics masquerading as the democratically elected government of gaza. i seriously think i need time out from this site.

      b’shalom

      bananabrain

      I don’t think that. I don’t honestly think that you think that either. There are serious, and not so serious, folk on here.

      It would be your loss to assume that PP is your enemy.

      I think.

    58. Katy Newton — on 7th January, 2009 at 5:08 pm  

      I don’t think that BB is suggesting for a moment that any of the writers here or all of the commenters are antisemitic. He moderates an interfaith forum and deletes/takes issue with his fair share of antisemites, racists, Islamophobes himself. He did describe all of you (apart from Rayyan, and no offence, Rayyan, but given that you called him all sorts of names further up the thread I can see why) as intelligent and right-minded people. I think that Leon has done a brilliant job of getting rid of the antisemitic stuff that’s littered the site recently, but sometimes it’s up long enough for us to see it and that, combined with things like this:

      http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3651343,00.html

      is unhelpful. And it’s not just this site, either. You put up Harry’s Place as if that and this are the only two blogs that discuss IP, but there are many other blogs, unmoderated, which produce as much antisemitic venom as HP produces islamophobic venom.

      I have to admit that I am also frustrated by this sort of “oh, well, Hamas has been a bit naughty BUT LOOK AT ISRAEL” attitude. I’m not interested in trying to work out who’s to blame. You can do that round a negotiating table, if you think it’s productive. But at this point, with innocents dying, I’m more interested in calling on both of them to stop, and getting them TO a negotiating table. The more you justify either side’s position, the less likely they are to stop. It’s frustrating that very few people seem to agree, but apparently there’s nothing I can do about that. What I would like is for people to stop accusing me of being in favour of children dying, or not valuing Palestinian lives, because I refuse to say that Israel is a genocidal state, or likes to murder children for fun, or wants to wipe out the Palestinians. I find it very hard to sit through the news or to pick up a paper at the moment, although I make myself do both. I do care about these people’s lives, very much. The reason I say both sides should stop is not because I am a cheerleader for Israel or because I like to see children covered in blood or women weeping in the street. It’s because I honestly believe that the only way both sides will stop is if they perceive that no other country or person in the world thinks either of them is justified in continuing to fight. As long as people justify either side’s position, they’ll keep going, because they’ll see it as support.

    59. Jai — on 7th January, 2009 at 5:12 pm  

      I agree completely with Sonia’s post #53. Brilliantly said.

    60. Katy Newton — on 7th January, 2009 at 5:15 pm  

      Well I’ve given a handful of more neutral and balanced views along these lines but for various reasons (including the fact that historically discussions about I/P on PP have frequently spiralled insanely out of control) I usually keep well clear of debates on the subject on this website.

      I know, and should probably follow your example, but it’s very hard to refrain from commenting on a situation in which I think everyone wants the same thing (peace) and the only question should be how to achieve it.

    61. douglas clark — on 7th January, 2009 at 5:16 pm  

      Or our loss to lose. An intelligent voice, contrary voice is needed.

      We need you here, if PP is going to be anything other that a one sided proposition.

    62. Leon — on 7th January, 2009 at 5:21 pm  

      but sometimes it’s up long enough for us to see it and that, combined with things like this:

      That’s a fair comment, we do everything our work, relationships and lives permit to catch them as quick as possible.

    63. Katy Newton — on 7th January, 2009 at 5:21 pm  

      I meant to say, Douglas, that whilst I don’t always agree with everything you say, I really admire your general attitude and in particular your ability to debate without (generally) taking the debate to a personal level. I am not always very good at that myself but I very much appreciate it in you.

    64. Leon — on 7th January, 2009 at 5:22 pm  

      Leon, 1:30pm trafalgar square? I think people will get to Trfalgar square eventually, and its probably best to meet there… whaddya reckon?

      I like the time (being a night owl like you!) but isn’t that where the march finishes? I was thinking of bringing a camera to take a few snaps along the way…but yeah I’m up for going.

    65. Nyrone — on 7th January, 2009 at 5:26 pm  

      It’s pretty unbelievable how even in the thick of a crisis like this, in which toddlers are being blown-up and hospital wards are overflowing with dying, innocent people that so many of the academic black-hearted theoretical idealist masturbators still want to have dramatic blog-wars over small, irrelevant details that can be dealt with later..

      It’s not rocket-science. What’s happened these last few days is grotesque, inhuman collective punishment and as a human family we need to do more to prevent this kind of injustice from being normalized.

      Campaigning is a 20-prong attack on issues like this, and public protesting is one small element to keeping the spotlight on Gaza.
      If you can’t spare a few hours and you think it’s useless, don’t come, but do something else to help in some way.

      I’ll be there on Sat, and I don’t suspect things will change overnight, but its one small thing I can do.

    66. Rayyan — on 7th January, 2009 at 5:27 pm  

      Katy: all sorts of names? I called him a deranged fool: given the fact that he was accusing everyone else of being racist and apologists for people who drive petrol-bomb-filled cars into places of worship, I think that’s quite light. I did delete that, because I knew it would be pounced upon and could be unhelpful to the debate.

      You’ve just said that makes me not intelligent and right-minded, and justified him calling me a bigot. Cheers - as far as I can see all I did was respond to a deranged idiot by referring to him as such - I might not have done it in the right manner (according to you) so that is why I edited it.

      your ability to debate without (generally) taking the debate to a personal level. I am not always very good at that myself - it’s a fairly common thing to get annoyed when accusations of blanket bigotry start flying, then.

      The whole problem begins when simply because one states a particular view that others disagree with, rather than contend with the view insults are slung. How else am I supposed to respond to someone calling me a bigot? Nothing I said was bigoted, so why should I have to put up with that sort of rubbish? In any case, I deleted it!

      everyone wants the same thing (peace) and the only question should be how to achieve it - an immediate ceasefire is a start, and so perhaps a call for one should be on the placards on Saturday, rather than condemnations of this or that side.

    67. Leon — on 7th January, 2009 at 5:31 pm  

      I’ll be there on Sat, and I don’t suspect things will change overnight, but its one small thing I can do.

      Cool, would be good to see ya, you gonna meet up with me and Sunny or let the universe guide you to us on the day? ;)

    68. bananabrain — on 7th January, 2009 at 5:33 pm  

      katy is as usual saying what i would like to say if i was as good at writing as she is or if i wasn’t so totally fed up. and i’m pretty sure i would agree with almost everything sofia said at @#53.

      You seem to be free and easy with the pejoratives to describe anti-semites but tell me where is the same kind of language used against Jews on these pages?

      come on, sid, you can’t be serious. some of the commenters here (to be fair, it mostly isn’t regulars, but the regulars aren’t being nearly as outraged as i think they should be) rage against israel as if everyone there is in favour of genocide, they are routinely described as “nazis” and “fascists” when i don’t think anyone really understands the meaning of the term. it has got beyond a joke.

      leon - the car bombing happened in france and the molotov cocktail was in the netherlands. there has been at least one arson attack on a synagogue here already which i’m not sure has made it into the press. everyone is on high alert.

      I think the majority position is that people are sick of Israeli bombing the hell out of Palestine and getting away with it internationally.

      this is exactly the sort of one-sided view that is driving me nuts, precisely because i know sunny is neither anti-semitic nor anti-israel. i simply can’t understand how someone so usually sensible can suddenly turn so partial. if that is your majority position, then i am proud not to be associated with it.

      i’m looking at some of these tiny, bloodstained kids being carried in their parents’ arms and they remind me of my kids. and i can also understand the remorselessness of the strategic logic on both sides which leads to it. and i am struggling to reconcile this with my certain knowledge of the plans that the iranians have for israel and hamas have for every jew in the world. they must be stopped. but i cannot see how this will achieve it. there must be some other way.

      b’shalom

      bananabrain

    69. Sunny — on 7th January, 2009 at 5:35 pm  

      yeah man, I share your night-owl tendencies.

      Besides, its easier meeting at trafalgar square than before while people are marching, knowing from experience.

      People, instead of arguing, come join me on saturday! and yes, that includes you bananabrain.

    70. Leon — on 7th January, 2009 at 5:41 pm  

      the car bombing happened in france and the molotov cocktail was in the netherlands. there has been at least one arson attack on a synagogue here already which i’m not sure has made it into the press.

      Oh right, there was pitifully small amount of coverage on the news about attacks against Jewish businesses(my gf had to endure me ranting at the tv in anger on Monday evening). I had intended to find a piece about it and highlight it here yesterday but didn’t have time…

      I meant what I said, I’m sickened by those people that are using this conflict to subject Jewish people to racism and racist attacks. They’re scum.

    71. Leon — on 7th January, 2009 at 5:43 pm  

      yeah man, I share your night-owl tendencies.

      Besides, its easier meeting at trafalgar square than before while people are marching, knowing from experience.

      Ah yeah point. And if we get bored we can always go to the pub nearby (because beer always is a wise move when at a protest!)! :D Kidding…

    72. douglas clark — on 7th January, 2009 at 5:45 pm  

      Katy Newton,

      Bloody Hell.

      I have always admired your ability to grab the other end of a discussion on here and show it for the idiocy it was. You are one of the few people that has ever, actually changed my mind. You are that good.

      Ahem.

      Cheers, and thanks.

    73. Jai — on 7th January, 2009 at 5:45 pm  

      I know, and should probably follow your example, but it’s very hard to refrain from commenting on a situation in which I think everyone wants the same thing (peace) and the only question should be how to achieve it.

      Katy, I think that the problem in such situations is whether your audience is willing or able to listen to what you’re saying. In which case, you subsequently have to make a decision on either refining your approach to ensure that your voice is heard or just cutting your losses and not wasting your energy if it’s clear that your points are falling on deaf ears.

      I mean “you” in the general sense, of course, although in this case I guess it does apply to you personally too.

      Bear in mind also that, as with all situations in life, the reception you receive and the outcome of your efforts depend on the sincerity & integrity of the other party, their ability to engage in independent and objective critical thinking (regardless of what “everyone else” thinks), and their own internal agenda. But hey, you’re a lawyer, so you already know that ;)

      One point I do have to politely disagree with is the notion that “everyone wants peace”. This isn’t necessarily the case; some people want conflict and destruction first, followed by peace on their own selfish, self-serving terms. Or even continuous conflict, if they’re really belligerent and enjoy the experience too much (and can keep finding suitable targets to hate).

    74. bananabrain — on 7th January, 2009 at 5:57 pm  

      i can’t go to demonstrations on saturdays, even if i wanted to, for religious reasons. most jewish people can’t. having a demo on the sabbath is a great way to ensure there aren’t any jews there apart from non-religious anti-zionist ones and the usual suspects from ultra-orthodox anti-zionist sects who will walk there anyway just to prove a point, because they’re that nuts. that’s why the supporting israel one is on a sunday. i notice, however, that this is immediately condemned as discriminatory.

      b’shalom

      bananabrain

    75. Sunny — on 7th January, 2009 at 6:00 pm  

      this is exactly the sort of one-sided view that is driving me nuts, precisely because i know sunny is neither anti-semitic nor anti-israel. i simply can’t understand how someone so usually sensible can suddenly turn so partial.

      Firstly, my point about majority position wasn’t about the blog, though it undoubtedly is, but about the country.

      Secondly, I don’t see disagreeing with the current attacks on Gaza is anti-Israel. You’re so blind with your desire for revenge on Hamas that you don’t realise it will only make them stronger. Furthermore, I don’t see how the blockade and the attacks will make Palestinians want peace with Israel, or how international opinion will come on your side.

      So frankly, these attacks do more harm to Israel than good. If you don’t see it, but please don’t accuse me of being silly just because I don’t support your position.

      At least this website isn’t excusing the deaths of dozens of kids killed at a school by saying it was necessary, unlike others.

    76. douglas clark — on 7th January, 2009 at 6:07 pm  

      Jai.

      Or even continuous conflict, if they’re really belligerent and enjoy the experience too much (and can keep finding suitable targets to hate).

      But you do know that that is not your audience on here? It is true that there are nutcases like that around, but they are about as rare as fairy dust on here, are they not?

      My point, such as it is, is that you wouldn’t come to Pickled Politics if you thought like that. And if you did, you’d get shafted.

      Which would be only right. I think.

    77. Jai — on 7th January, 2009 at 6:09 pm  

      but the regulars aren’t being nearly as outraged as i think they should be) rage against israel as if everyone there is in favour of genocide, they are routinely described as “nazis” and “fascists” when i don’t think anyone really understands the meaning of the term.

      Well okay, for the record I have to say that it’s really out of order for supporters of Palestinians to deliberately (and inappropriately) use terms such as “genocide”, “Nazis”, and “holocaust” against Israel (and/or Jewish people in general) as a way of really going for the jugular and “hitting them where it hurts the most”, considering the historical ramifications of those terms for Jewish people in particular.

      It would be like Jewish people — or non-Muslims — deliberately calling Muslim groups or states “kaffirs”, “dhimmi” or” jahilliya”, referring to any actions by them as “Crusades”, calling Muslim territories “Dar-ul-Harb”, and so on, as a way of verbally attacking them and trying to undermine their position.

      Now if your intention is to fight dirty and “win the argument” by any means necessary, then that’s fine and completely your prerogative, but don’t claim any moral authority when doing so.

      As I keep saying, just be honest. If you’re gonna be a jerk, then be open about the fact that you’re well aware you’re being a jerk but that you think you’re justified. Also, take it for granted that your opponent will disagree with your claims of justification. And don’t start crying if the other party decides to take their gloves off and hits back using the same tactics.

    78. Jai — on 7th January, 2009 at 6:15 pm  

      And don’t start crying if the other party decides to take their gloves off and hits back using the same tactics.

      …..because, as with all situations in life, these things can escalate (”degenerate” may be a better word) into nastier and nastier situations, with victory ultimately coming down to who is strongest and meanest, not who is actually “right”.

    79. Don — on 7th January, 2009 at 6:28 pm  

      You’re so blind with your desire for revenge on Hamas…

      I don’t see that in any of b’brain’s comments. I don’t want to be presumptious but my reading is that he is as appalled by the carnage as anyone, but angry at the way it is being used as political kindling.

      b’brain,

      PP is now a well-known forum, it is not suprising that times like these bring out drive-by commenters with a fixed agenda. Leon et al have been furiously deleting the worst of these - and the responses - so it seems a bit pointless to play whack-a-mole with these people.May I suggest that you respond only to people for whom you have a measure of respect?

      Like Jai, I seldom comment on I/P threads because they become so polarised and I have little of substance to offer. Even so, it is difficult not to react to some of the viler comments, despite their being removed as quickly as is humanly posssible.

      Regular commenters here have built up a sense of mutual understanding and respect despite coming from all points of many spectra. Those who can’t do that don’t last long around here. We can afford to disregard the visiting spin machines as long as we recognise the core of honest good-will which exists.

    80. douglas clark — on 7th January, 2009 at 6:36 pm  

      Jai,

      …..because, as with all situations in life, these things can escalate (”degenerate” may be a better word) into nastier and nastier situations, with victory ultimately coming down to who is strongest and meanest, not who is actually “right”.

      Is that honestly what you think? I have my differences with Sunny. But I have never, ever, thought that he - or the rest of the commenators here - comes down in favour of the strong -v- the weak. I’d have been out of here on the first day he created this site if I thought that.

      So. I don’t. The point, I’d have thought, about a web site such as this is that supporting the weak against the strong is it’s raison d’étre.

      If you want to see the strong supporting the strong, go to daft sites like Harry’s Place or Guido Fawkes, where you can contribute a pizza to the IDF.

    81. Refresh — on 7th January, 2009 at 6:40 pm  

      Ok so can we now get back to the issue at hand?

      Bananabrain, you are unhappy that people don’t understand. And in that spirit I posted my #27. Can you explain what I am missing.

      You’re also keen on taking the position that Iran and Hamas want to wipe out jews worldwide - how do you get to this position? On the few occasions I’ve come across this line, its usually stressed that all muslims are programmed for this.

      Now I can’t believe you believe this. So what is going on?

    82. douglas clark — on 7th January, 2009 at 6:43 pm  

      Don @ 79,

      Wise words, as usual.

    83. chairwoman — on 7th January, 2009 at 6:47 pm  

      Refresh - You and I are real friends, and we agree politically on virtually everything apart from I/P, don’t we?

      To get some kind of comprehension of from where the Jewish attitude comes, I would like you to read Danny Finklestein’s piece in today’s Times. I assume it will be on line, but I read it in print, so I’m not sure.

      I have been trying all week to find a way of explaining this to you, but have dismally failed, I was going to tell you a story about my own family, but Finklestein has done it far better than I could, and you might get a glimmer of understanding. I don’t ask for more than that.

    84. Refresh — on 7th January, 2009 at 6:54 pm  

      Chairwoman, yes we are real friends. That will not change regardless.

      Thanks, I will find the piece. Catch up shortly.

    85. Sid — on 7th January, 2009 at 7:00 pm  

      come on, sid, you can’t be serious. some of the commenters here (to be fair, it mostly isn’t regulars, but the regulars aren’t being nearly as outraged as i think they should be) rage against israel as if everyone there is in favour of genocide, they are routinely described as “nazis” and “fascists” when i don’t think anyone really understands the meaning of the term. it has got beyond a joke.

      Yeah I know but we can’t be responsible for every drive-by commenter coming here to vent themselves with little concern for engagement or compassion. But you can’t say we don’t delete or ridicule comments of that sort. But frankly I don’t see that kind of thing from any of the resulars.

    86. Imran Khan — on 7th January, 2009 at 7:04 pm  

      Well if Israel wants rockets to stop how about opening the bloody border so that people can begin their lives. Israel always wants to control everything, the rockets are from the frustration of the cage that Israel has created so if you want rockets to stop then don’t make Gaza a prison and at least have the courage of your own religion not to support what is in actual fact war crimes.

      If the roles were reversed and Israel was blocked by the UN you’d be up in arms, but for the Palestinians it is acceptable for you.

      Look at this map and you’ll see Israel has never been serious about peace:

      http://flickr.com/photos/vaxzine/439976510/

      Then look at this map to see how they continue to carve up Palestinian Land:

      http://www.reliefweb.int/rw/fullMaps_Sa.nsf/luFullMap/FBA7D094D7B776E085256C2A004897BD/$File/wb_roadblock.pdf?OpenElement

      Then read Robert Fisk:

      http://uk.mg41.mail.yahoo.com/dc/launch?.rand=eh9fqnbd0u0hn

      The Deborah Orr:

      http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/commentators/deborah-orr/deborah-orr-there-wouldnt-have-been-gaza-rockets-without-the-blockade-1229944.html

      The Chief Rabbi is accepting war crimes with his silence as is the Jewish Community. You are quick to jump up and demand Muslims condemn Iran, Hezbullah and Hamas. But so so silent and happy to parade and back Israel no matter what it does.

      The lies are horrific with so called weapons factories being nothing of the sort. See YouTube.

      Now in one of the lowest actions Israel bombs a school and Jews want to parade in supprt of these action. Pathetic. The Jewish Community should be ashamed of such actions and not parading to support them.

      Israel has never wanted peace the maps above show it clearly.

    87. douglas clark — on 7th January, 2009 at 7:06 pm  

      I am in a sentimental mood, so I am.

      What is truly great about Pickled Politics, despite the bitching and the falling out, is that people from all sorts of backgrounds can debate stuff and not, generally, bring their back stories to the table.

      83 and 84, I think, ought to be the tone of discussion we aim for.

    88. SE — on 7th January, 2009 at 7:15 pm  

      Evangelicals and people who hate every single arab in the world are on Israels side, does that tell you enough about the Pro-Israeli sickos?

    89. Imran Khan — on 7th January, 2009 at 7:19 pm  

      Chairwoman - the article is full of propoganda and is frankly a work of fiction which belies actual reality which is continually repeated by Jewish writers.

      Oslo failed because Israel wouldn’t implement it as agreed and in the trust provided.

      If Israel was serious about peace then why the land grab which continues with your acceptance by publishing such nonsense as the Times.

      For a country wanting perace why settle and colonise land? Why carve up the terrotory to make peoples lives a misery and ethinically cleanse them?

      Why do Jews deny that Palestinians even exist?

      The fictional work you refer to is simply a article that seeks to minimise the suffering of the Palestinians who are fighting for their freedom. Have you seriously forgotten the gross acts committed by Jews in setting up Israel?

      Please get a grip on yourself and understand that Israel’s actions are about elections and land grabbing and not about peace. They have never wanted peace.

      You support that which is not supportable and the weasly words in the Times don’t sum up the position of World Jewry and never will as Jews if they knew the truth woudl never support what Israel is doing en masse.

    90. douglas clark — on 7th January, 2009 at 7:24 pm  

      SE,

      That is a self fulfilling piece of tosh. It is quite obvious that

      people who hate every single arab in the world are on Israels side

      But the question has to be how many people is that? I’d predicate a very small number. You, on the other hand…..?

    91. Imran Khan — on 7th January, 2009 at 7:32 pm  

      Also I am afraid you don’t see the Muslim community marching in support of Ahmadinajad when he makes unsavoury statements. But the Jewish Community is happy to line up behind Israel no matter what excess it commits. How many of those people parading on Saturday including the appaling leaders of the community will even give a damn about the innocent Palestinians and making their lives better.

      Sacks will eulogise Israel and mention peace but he is now an apologist for state terror of the most reprehensible kind.

      How different is Sacks from Bakri?

      Bakri tolerates any action of Muslims.

      Sacks tolerates any actions of Jews.

      Bakri is apologetic to killing of innocents abroads

      Sacks eulegises Israel when it kills innocents

      One is an extremist and one sits at the heart of a western democracy.

      The Jewish Community is shamefully giving Israel an excuse to carry on.

      Sacks isn’t fit to call himself a religious leader anymore and has gone beyond every boundary in his unstinting support for war crimes.

      The march to support Israel is a march of shame and those who remain silent inspite of war crimes that should result in indictment at the Hague.

    92. Don — on 7th January, 2009 at 7:38 pm  

      The Times piece is here.

      http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/columnists/daniel_finkelstein/article5461544.ece

    93. Imran Khan — on 7th January, 2009 at 7:41 pm  

      Oh and Chairwoman - rather than reading the nonsense and fiction written in the Times, please read this by someone who has served in the Israeli Army and isn’t an armchair Times writer:

      http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/jan/07/gaza-israel-palestine

      “Oxford professor of international relations Avi Shlaim served in the Israeli army and has never questioned the state’s legitimacy. But its merciless assault on Gaza has led him to devastating conclusions”

      These are people who you should read rather than an apologist for war crimes and state terror.

      Or try Avrum Burg

      http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,1869325,00.html?xid=rss-world

      “Can the Jewish People Survive Without an Enemy?”

      I am afraid that the lack of compassion and humanity for what is going on belies the fact that all innocent death needs to be condemned be it Jewish or Palestinian.

      The fact that people are choosing to apologise for a disproportionate response and excusing school chilkdren being murdered simply does Judaism and Islam no good what so ever.

    94. Don — on 7th January, 2009 at 7:41 pm  

      Imran,

      I have no liking for Rabbi Sacks, but if he eulogised the killing of innocents then the least you can do is link to it.

    95. The Queen of Fiddlesticks — on 7th January, 2009 at 7:46 pm  

      sunny,
      You’re so blind with your desire for revenge on Hamas that you don’t realise it will only make them stronger. Furthermore, I don’t see how the blockade and the attacks will make Palestinians want peace with Israel

      I would agree with you 100%…
      but there are some very big buts in that.
      like, but whats the solution then?
      All anyone seems to come up with is everyone should just start being nice.
      and again I have to ask, (from a neutral position) if you want to stand in the name of peace, how does screaming “free free palestine” not strengthen support for hamas and make an enemy of Israel?
      Why can’t people simply say PEACE NOW!
      I really really can’t understand the comments against supporters of Abbas now either?
      I read about the establishment of Israel as a state ..
      and there are some important necessities that need to be meet to qualify a people as a country …
      they are ….. a functioning government, a controlled citizens, and the ability and desire to participate in foreign affairs. Palestine’s only hope to archive any of that was with Abbas … no matter what any past actions were … forward was the desired direction for everyone but Hamas.
      Please explain how without an occupying force of some kind in gaza there will be peace? Israel isn’t allowed to do it, the UN seems to be worthless and the PA was overthrown….. but who is being blamed for all this mess?

      you also asked …. how international opinion will come on your side?
      I don’t know how either, especially since everyone in the world seems to be an expert on this subject now.
      Which we are not! No matter how much we think we know, very few have the ability to rationalize the big picture.
      Until now the comments here have been pretty balanced … what happened?
      No one wants to give up their own personal opinion, yet we all want peace?

      I agree with jai in the protest against the words being inserted … I wish to include “war crimes” and “palestinans” and “revenge” to the list.

    96. Imran Khan — on 7th January, 2009 at 7:47 pm  

      http://www.somethingjewish.co.uk/articles/2894_rally_for_peace.htm

      Chief Rabbi, Sir Jonathan Sacks added: “On Sunday we will come together once again in unity to show our solidarity for the people of Israel. I urge you all to join us. Our prayers at this time continue to be for a just and lasting peace for the people of the region”.

      No mention at all of the Palestinians murdered, the school children murdered.

      This man is the leader of the Jewish Community in the UK and he makes no mention of humans who have been indiscriminately killed.

      This is a man who stands by and rallies to support the butchering of innocents and says not a word of criticism. This man is supposedly a man of faith who is supposed to lead people in good and this is his example.

      This is the leadership taht tells Muslims to stand up to extremism supporting their own extremism and with impunity and no threat of jail.

      It shames Anglo-Jewry.

    97. Cold Beer — on 7th January, 2009 at 7:52 pm  

      “Also I am afraid you don’t see the Muslim community marching in support of Ahmadinajad when he makes unsavoury statements. But the Jewish Community is happy to line up behind Israel no matter what excess it commits.”

      You’re comparing a head of state to an entire country. Are you honestly telling me that no Muslims support Iran? Ahmadinejad is not Iran, and Israel is not Olmert.

    98. chairwoman — on 7th January, 2009 at 7:55 pm  

      Imran Khan - Almost 10 years ago, my life changed in a matter of seconds, leaving me with much time on my hands.

      I sat at the computer for about 12 hours a day, mindlessly looking up random things just to occupy my mind.

      Eventually, I decided on a project, I would try and trace my mother’s family. Only my grandparents, my grandmother’s brother and her cousin had left Poland, and they had left before WWI. The rest of their families remained behind.

      Now it’s pretty difficult to find details of Jewish families in Poland from NW London, especially when one’s knowledge of Polish consists of swear words, and a couple of nursery rhymes that I had learned parrot fashion. But I persevered, and eventually found the records of my grandfather’s family’s murder in Treblinka. The strangest thing was to see my mother’s name, which was shared by one of her cousins.

      Under other circumstances, her name would have been there too.

      Nobody cared what happened to us, as a people then, and very few do now. That was the point of Danny Finklestein’s story. But of course, it’s a lie isn’t it? His mother’s story is a lie, isn’t it? And you think it’s a lie because the teller of the tale is Jewish. Or Israeli Propaganda.

      Which heading do you put mine under?

    99. Imran Khan — on 7th January, 2009 at 7:56 pm  

      Here are look at all these maps about how Palestinians are prisoners in the West Bank and how Israel builds even now whilst claiming it wants peace (a lie)

      http://www.peacenow.org.il/site/en/peace.asp?pi=59&fld=60

      You claim Israel wants peace but just over 12 weeks ago more new settlement was being approved:

      http://www.peacenow.org.il/site/en/peace.asp?pi=62&docid=3418&pos=0

      When was the last time that the Orthodox or Reform Movement condemned the actions of Israel or the settlers? Your leadership has never done such a thing.

      Those that march in support of Israel on Saturday march in support of state war crimes and should reflect about what has been comitted.

      People fighting for their freedom from a country that has never intended to give them freedom.

      Prehaps people would do well to reflect on Jonathan Freedland’s excellent article:

      Israel has plenty of tactics for war, but none for peace

      http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2009/jan/03/israel-attack-hamas-gaza-peace

      or his other excellent article

      Gaza after a Hamas rout will be an even greater threat to Israel

      It is a shame people choose to read the same old tired journalists who write as the Israeli Embassy writes rather than those who see the attorcity for what it is an International War Crime.

    100. Katy Newton — on 7th January, 2009 at 7:58 pm  

      Our prayers at this time continue to be for a just and lasting peace for the people of the region

      And there I was thinking that was a prayer for peace in the Middle East. But no! It’s a rallying call for genocide! Man that Chief Rabbi is sneaky.

    101. Jai — on 7th January, 2009 at 7:59 pm  

      Douglas,

      But you do know that that is not your audience on here? It is true that there are nutcases like that around, but they are about as rare as fairy dust on here, are they not?

      Most of the time it doesn’t apply to the regular commenters, although occasionally there are exceptions when emotions are inflamed (particularly when vested interests are involved), but it definitely does apply to some drive-by commenters, some of whom I notice are becoming semi-regulars on PP.

      And, of course, unfortunately the real world is frequently a very different matter indeed.

    102. chairwoman — on 7th January, 2009 at 8:00 pm  

      “Chief Rabbi, Sir Jonathan Sacks added: “On Sunday we will come together once again in unity to show our solidarity for the people of Israel. I urge you all to join us. Our prayers at this time continue to be for a just and lasting peace for the people of the region”.”

      And that is eulogising the killing of innocents? You silly, silly, man.

    103. Imran Khan — on 7th January, 2009 at 8:07 pm  

      Chairwoman - “Nobody cared what happened to us, as a people then, and very few do now. That was the point of Danny Finklestein’s story. But of course, it’s a lie isn’t it? His mother’s story is a lie, isn’t it? And you think it’s a lie because the teller of the tale is Jewish. Or Israeli Propaganda.

      Which heading do you put mine under?”

      Tell me how many people care about the Palestinians who have had a 50 year holocaust? Do you? Does Danny Finklestein?

      You comment is frankly insulting to all the people (Christian, Muslim, Jewish, Sikh, Hindu etc.) who fought to help rid the world of the Nazi’s and gave their lives because they cared.

      People did care which why they risked their lives and lost their lives to defeat Hitler and the emmotional blackmail to claim they didn’t is a slap in the face.

      Who cares about you - I do and many other people do who fight for better understanding and relations. Who cares about the Palestinians? Is it The Jewish Leadership Council, The Board of Deputies, The Chief Rabbi? Who? All those people rallying to support Israel’s actions do they care about the children killed in the UN school? Who will speak for them at The Rally for Israel?

      Who???

      The actions of Israel can’t be hidden behind the holocaust. A wrong is a wrong and you demean the holocaust by apologising for state terror by bringing it into the equation.

      Your loss wasn’t the fault of the Palestinians and nothing excuses genocide then or now.

      Why I say the article is a lie is because it frankly glosses over any action of Israel and that can’t be allowed for any country.

      Millions of people from the Commonwealth fought and thousands died for you. Who fights for the Palestinians against their genocide? Who cares about them.

    104. Imran Khan — on 7th January, 2009 at 8:09 pm  

      Chairwoman - “And that is eulogising the killing of innocents? You silly, silly, man.”

      Silence is eulogising. Show me where he has critcised the actions of Israel this time, or the excesses in Lebanon?

      He is an apologist for Israel you silly silly chairwoman.

    105. Katy Newton — on 7th January, 2009 at 8:11 pm  

      Silence is eulogising.

      No it is not. That is not what “eulogising” means. “Eulogising” means “to praise highly in speech or writing, especially in a formal eulogy”. It is the exact opposite of silence. Now if you want to say that the Chief Rabbi should explicitly speak out against Israel, that’s your opinion and you’re entitled to it. But to claim that he has “praised highly/formally” the deaths of innocents and civilians isn’t just wrong, it’s misleading. It’s slander. It is, in short, a lie.

      And the whole of an article is not “lies” because you don’t agree with it, either.

    106. Imran Khan — on 7th January, 2009 at 8:16 pm  

      “Our prayers at this time continue to be for a just and lasting peace for the people of the region”

      When has he ever pushed for a just and lasting peace?

      “And there I was thinking that was a prayer for peace in the Middle East. But no! It’s a rallying call for genocide! Man that Chief Rabbi is sneaky.”

      Ok so show me where your Chief Rabbi has spoken continually for the rights of the Palestinians.

      What is his definition of a just peace? This is a man who has never spoken about Israel’s creation of the worlds largest open air prison. Prayer for a just peace don’t make me laugh.

      Next you’ll be telling us Mr. Nuclear Peres is a man of peace.

      Its all lip service dear. If Sacks has the balls to stand up and criticise the settlements, the growing desperation of the Palestinians, the land theft, the colonisation of Jerusalem then yes he is a man of peace.

      If he stands up on Saturday and says that The International Court Of Justice should investigate if any international laws have been broken then yes dear he is a man of peace.

      Until then as a religious leader he is paying lip service whilst supporting what is going on.

    107. Katy Newton — on 7th January, 2009 at 8:21 pm  

      It’s exactly this sort of nonsense that does nothing to advance your cause whatsoever, frankly. Isn’t it bad enough that hundreds of innocent people are dying without making up stories about people who have nothing to do with it in the first place?

      The Muslim religious leadership here was asked to speak out against terrorist activity in this country, and if you remember I thought that was unfair when it was discussed on this website. No one, as far as I know, has sought to hold British Muslims responsible for what happens overseas, or tell them to speak out about it.

      This whole line of argument comes from your failure to distinguish between the State of Israel and the Jewish community in Britain, which has no vote in Israeli elections and no sway over what Israel decides to do, any more than British Muslims have any say in what the government of Iran does.

    108. chairwoman — on 7th January, 2009 at 8:21 pm  

      All those who fought the Nazis did not do it for the Jews.

      How dare you say that support for the State of Israel equates with hatred or lack of compassion for the Palestinians.

      The article does not gloss over or excuse all actions taken by Israel. I assume that your self-righteous rage clouded your sight and prevented you from actually reading it.

      May I close by recommending Chamber’s Dictionary, and any good Thesaurus for your bedtime reading.

    109. Cold Beer — on 7th January, 2009 at 8:23 pm  

      “Millions of people from the Commonwealth fought and thousands died for you.”
      Really? You mean people marched into World War II holding banners saying “free the Jews”? And all this time I thought they just wanted to stop Hitler from taking over Europe!

      How many Jewish refugees did these Jew-loving Commonwealth countries accept during the war? At the Evian conference the Australian delegate said “as we have no real racial problem, we are not desirous of importing one.”

      http://www.holocaust.com.au/mm/i_australia.htm

    110. Jai — on 7th January, 2009 at 8:27 pm  

      Can I also state for the record that the words “holocaust” and “genocide” don’t actually mean what “Imran Khan” et al seem to think they mean.

      If the IDF was dropping daisy-cutter bombs on the whole of the Gaza Strip, with the intention of wiping out the entire population of the area, and/or IDF soldiers were marching into the territory and machine-gunning every single Palestinian man, woman and child that they could find, then these words would definitely be applicable.

      In any case, as I implied in #77, I think that the usage of such terms by those opposed to Israel are an example of disingenuous wordplay and psychological trickery — ie. attempt to undermine your target & push their most sensitive buttons by falsely accusing them of embodying their own worst nightmare.

    111. Katy Newton — on 7th January, 2009 at 8:31 pm  

      *sigh*

      Yes, lovey, that’s right. British Jews are responsible for the actions of overseas states. And praying for peace in the region is the same as speaking out in favour of the death of civilians. There is NO DIFFERENCE AT ALL.

    112. Cold Beer — on 7th January, 2009 at 8:33 pm  

      “If Sacks has the balls to stand up and criticise the settlements, the growing desperation of the Palestinians, the land theft, the colonisation of Jerusalem then yes he is a man of peace.”

      Then obviously according to you no Imam is a man of peace until he has the balls to stand up and criticize the rockets, the suicide bombs, the desire to destroy Israel and to keep Jews from their holiest sites in Jerusalem.

      Tough standards you have there.

    113. Imran Khan — on 7th January, 2009 at 8:40 pm  

      Katy - If British Jews are not responsible the pray tell me why they are rallying for a foreign state?

      It isn’t a prayer for peace - that is a distortion it is a Rally for Israel and to support what Israel is doing under the guise of being for peace.

      Chairwoman - “The article does not gloss over or excuse all actions taken by Israel. I assume that your self-righteous rage clouded your sight and prevented you from actually reading it.”

      Oh don’t talk nonsense. I read it, and he is excusing what Israel does because of the Holocaust. It is a crap argument and misleading.

      How dare you say that support for Israel’s excesses which is what the march is for being organised by many right wing Jewish organisations is support for the Palestinians.

    114. Imran Khan — on 7th January, 2009 at 8:45 pm  

      Katy - “This whole line of argument comes from your failure to distinguish between the State of Israel and the Jewish community in Britain,”

      Again it is your failure to distinguish that is alarming. Usually I respect your comments but you fail to distinguish here.

      The rally is being organised to support Israel in its actions against an oppressed people who cannot even move in and out of Gaza without Israel’s say so. Who cannot run their lives without Israel’s say so. So the rally is supporting Israel’s brutality.

      It is you and the rally that fail to distinguish between British Jewry and Israel.

      It is much like the rallies that support the Palestinians and fail to condemn their killing.

      So you fail to distinguish and instead of accepting that the Jewish Leadership needs to check Israel by offering advice that what they are doing is incpmatible with modern society and Judaism are insrtead backing it.

    115. Katy Newton — on 7th January, 2009 at 8:46 pm  

      For heaven’s sake, Imran, you don’t seriously think that the Jewish community in this country wants Palestinians dead any more than the Muslim community in this country wants Jews dead, do you?

    116. Imran Khan — on 7th January, 2009 at 8:48 pm  

      ColdBeer - “Then obviously according to you no Imam is a man of peace until he has the balls to stand up and criticize the rockets, the suicide bombs, the desire to destroy Israel and to keep Jews from their holiest sites in Jerusalem.”

      Damn right. No Imam should back killing of innocent civilians, suicide bombs or prohibit people from religious duty. No religion in the world allows this - none and it is nonsense for anyone to say they do.

      I say every Imam who advocates suicide bombing is a nutcase and not a man of religion.

      Is that clear enough.

      I say Hamas has no right to fire rockets at innocent civilians no matter the provication and actions of the other side.

    117. Katy Newton — on 7th January, 2009 at 8:48 pm  

      Usually I respect your comments

      Likewise. I think your heart’s in the right place, and I don’t blame you for being appalled at what’s happening in Gaza because it makes me want to cry too, but what I think is that you get upset and you start saying things about the Jewish community here that just aren’t justified. It is true that a lot of Jews feel that Hamas and Israel should both stop, and that a ceasefire should be called for rather than “NO TO ISRAEL” in isolation, but even if you disagree with that I am baffled as to how you say it’s the same as calling for more civilian deaths.

    118. Imran Khan — on 7th January, 2009 at 8:57 pm  

      Katy - “For heaven’s sake, Imran, you don’t seriously think that the Jewish community in this country wants Palestinians dead any more than the Muslim community in this country wants Jews dead, do you?”

      With respect I never said that and I don’t believe that.

      I said that people like Sacks who praise Israel unrelentingly fail in their duty to remind Israel when it has exceeded the bounds. He won’t criticise Israel’s actions and that was my point.

      Leadership is about telling people difficult things they don’t want to hear. He has failed in his duty to the Jewish Community, to this country and in fact to Israel by his silence.

      Similarly Katy I’d say that the likes of Iqbal Sacranie have failed in much the same way.

      I truly believe that it it the likes of people like you who do more good for community relations than these so called leaders who lack the will to speak out against such excesses.

      Sacks has an opportunity to speak out in a balanced way and he won’t and just because he’ll do a prayer for peace doesn’t mean he has showed leadership.

      He has failed in his duty to remind the people of the suffering of one side and will excuse Israel all its actions. You wait and see.

      If I am wrong bring me back the quotes.

    119. The Queen of Fiddlesticks — on 7th January, 2009 at 9:02 pm  

      you know I went to sleep last night telling myself I was not gonna think or talk about this any more … but here I go again.
      The march to support Israel is a march of shame?
      !!!!!!!!!!!
      I am starting to route for Iran getting nuclear weapons … no more Israel also means no more Palestine!
      Problem solved! Maybe then everyone will be happy huh ?!?
      Soooooo in 2oo9 we are all of a sudden to recognize the plight of Palestinian refugees who have suffered for the last 50 years under “Zionist oppression” …. starting with labeling the jewish refugees who founded Israel …. Zionist oppressors! we (including those forced and driven out of all Arab countries)it is all their fault/ plan from the beginning to become the majority and take over Palestinian land promised to muslims by God …we are then gonna go back to the Arab / Israeli war and find every reason we can to point out every drop of blood spilled by them and because of them!
      We will accuse them of being victors in said war, and demand they give back what was won - because it breaches the boundaries established pre-war.
      We will reduce years of internal terrorist attacks carried out by Palestinians inside Israel …
      http://tinyurl.com/7qrku2
      ….. to hamas - nit picking Israel from inside gaza with its tiny bombs that hardly kill anyone.
      While ignoring all death and destruction caused by hamas to the Palestinians them selves and any hope for a free palestinian state.
      No one will bother to ask why after 50 years people are still living in refugee camps …. or inside restricted borders. I am sure they are the people who really know what happened and what goes on today …..
      We will just continue to blame Israel for everything!
      If only they would negotiate peace!!
      evil blood thirsty baby killers!!
      Free Free Palestine!

      …. oh but I don’t support hamas really… I just want peace :)

    120. Imran Khan — on 7th January, 2009 at 9:03 pm  

      Katy - “It is true that a lot of Jews feel that Hamas and Israel should both stop, and that a ceasefire should be called for rather than “NO TO ISRAEL” in isolation, but even if you disagree with that I am baffled as to how you say it’s the same as calling for more civilian deaths.”

      The gross failure by the leadership of both sides to condemn the killing of innocent civilians on the other side is in my mind the same as agreeing to the call for harsher and harsher reprisals by both sides.

      That is how I mean they call for more civilian deaths by failing to speak out about the rights of the other.

      Frankly if Ahmadinajad did decide to try and kill all Jews and I stood by and said nothing then that makes me as bad as him. I’d like to think I would have the guts to stand up and say that is wrong and I hope I do.

      I expect the same of Sacks regarding Israel and lets say in this country Bari regarding the Palestinians. When they won’t I think they are endorsing the growing violence.

      You may not agree but leadership is about leading people to what is right and not just telling them what they want to hear. They are telling them what they want to hear and that isn’t helping the situation.

      Sorry but in my mind then they are failures.

    121. Imran Khan — on 7th January, 2009 at 9:19 pm  

      Katy - Look at this:

      http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1052871.html

      Even something like this asking for the protection of innocent from all sides would be a good start for both sides.

      This Rabbi means it, he isn’t taking the easy way and saying yes we are right no matter what we do. He is saying protect those of the other side who are innocent.

      Thats leadership and he isn’t resorting to the same lines that Sacks will use.

      One Rabbi in the actual area is showing leadership and one isn’t.

    122. Imran Khan — on 7th January, 2009 at 9:24 pm  

      BTW here is a story that shows the disgusting behaviour of the press:

      http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/4163641/Muslims-urged-to-write-letters-to-prominent-British-Jews-over-support-for-Israel.html

      Some Muslims suggested a letter writing campaign to prominent Jews and apparently a press hack tried to imply that they were targetting Jews for killing and this story rather than the reality made the press.

    123. Sunny — on 7th January, 2009 at 9:29 pm  

      I expect the same of Sacks regarding Israel and lets say in this country Bari regarding the Palestinians. When they won’t I think they are endorsing the growing violence.

      I agree.

    124. Refresh — on 7th January, 2009 at 9:43 pm  

      Chairwoman

      I’ve read Daniel Finkelstein’s article and it has left me deflated. I really wish he hadn’t gone off into politics, when what I wanted was a deeper understanding of the people.

      He says:

      ‘For there can be peace and prosperity at the smallest of prices. The Palestinians need only say that they will allow Israel to exist in peace. They need only say this tiny thing, and mean it, and there is pretty much nothing they cannot have.’

      ‘and mean it’ has got to be the most depressing of get out clauses I’ve come across. How and who would be the judge?

      Chairwoman, you and I came to a much better understanding than anything Finkelstein can offer. Since then my reading of the situation has been informed by that.

    125. The Queen of Fiddlesticks — on 7th January, 2009 at 9:45 pm  

      copied from harrys place comments …

      Peace isn’t going to happen unless people on the rally call for the end of the blockade, targetted assassinations and negotiations with Hamas. Oh and stop bombing the fuck out of Gaza would also help. Until then, this is just a lame rally.

      so Saturday is a gaza solidarity rally …sunday is a peace for isreal and gaza rally …. but that one is lame?
      I don’t get you at all? Please explain

    126. Imran Khan — on 7th January, 2009 at 10:13 pm  

      Sunday is a rally for Israel - but given the public opinion then they need to say it is for peace. It isn’t for peace its to endorse what Israel is doing.

    127. Sunny — on 7th January, 2009 at 10:13 pm  

      any call for peace must start with asking for a stopping the current campaign of bombing. The Saturday rallies call for that. If the Sunday rallies don’t call for a stopping of the current campaign, then you cannot credibly call for peace while you’re bombing innocent kids at schools.

      Basic common sense, really.

    128. Rayyan — on 7th January, 2009 at 10:49 pm  

      Video commentary from US chat show The Young Turks:

      “Would you bomb a school?”

      http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=cnV33mYIJOM

    129. Rayyan — on 7th January, 2009 at 10:56 pm  

      Also, another good one:

      “What is Israel supposed to do?”

      http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=ikCPMN6_-4I

    130. persephone — on 7th January, 2009 at 11:44 pm  

      @ 19

      YES
      To
      Humanity

      (i know its a bit long)

    131. Shamit — on 8th January, 2009 at 1:46 am  

      So we want ceasefire – that is the consensus. We want Israel to move out of Gaza and let things go back to the way it was before. Spare the civilians cry out the world – and I am no different. But will the ceasefire help the situation or embolden those who have been very much responsible for this mess? Sadly, I think the ceasefire will embolden Hamas, Hezbollah and their Godfathers in Tehran and guess what it would also embolden groups such as the LeT and their backers in Pakistan state along with their spiritual Wahabi Godfathers.

      In 2005, IDF moved out of Gaza and there was supposed to have been a ceasefire – and guess who broke the ceasefire – not once, not twice but numerous times. It was HAMAS – and who were they targeting? Those who choose not to remember – well civilian homes. And, when the Israeli Government for the last 2 years brought this up in every possible forum – every possible news conference – I haven’t seen half the protests and the anger that I see today. Why that happens? I don’t know but it sure does.

      An Israeli Government under Sharon and then Ohmert did more to curtail encroaching on Palestinian land and successfully pushed back Israeli settlers using the IDF than any other Israeli Government in history. But like all Israeli Governments since the one headed by Rabin (except for that likud idiot Netanyahu) they were all for a two state solution, provided Israel’s security was guaranteed. Well, Hamas was never prepared to do so and their Godfathers in Iran wouldn’t want them to or let them do it either. The biggest enemy of the Palestinian people are not Israel but Hamas and Iran – and many Palestinian editorials in recent days have implied so much.

      If we accept any Government’s fundamental and prime responsibility is to protect its citizens from attacks within and without; then the Israeli Government is trying to do its job. The question then becomes why attack or cause the death of civilians especially children? Surely, IDF and Israeli intelligence know that these people are not Hamas. Well, I put the blame of civilian deaths squarely on the shoulders of Hamas.

      Rockets smuggled through tunnels, piled up in areas where there is high density of civilian population and basing strategic locations within close proximity of hospitals, schools and mosques and then attacking civilian homes across the border — that is the operational blue print of both Hamas and Hezbollah. Both these organisations have been declared terrorist organisations by the UN.

      But who funds them? Well Iran. Iran’s President is on record saying that Israel should be wiped out from the face of the earth - A view shared unequivocally by both Hamas and Hezbollah.

      Is Israel using disproportionate force against Gaza? Yes. It is sad, heart wrenching to see civilians especially innocent children facing the brunt of the Israeli attack as the Hamas cowards make these utterly stupid statements and then go and hide in civilian heavy areas. By the way, the Israeli government flooded Gaza with leaflets, mass text messages telling people to get out of certain parts of Gaza city and other key areas.

      Rather than trying to resolve this situation militarily what option does Israel have with regard to Hamas?

      At the end of the day, these terror groups such as Hamas and Hezbollah don’t mind civilian casualties. These cowards want civilian deaths — only then can they win and get appeasement and become heroes. If we have a cease fire today, would that stop Hamas launching more attacks on Israel? NO. If Hamas is appeased today, I don’t think its going to make a safer middle east or the world. Ceasefire would be viewed by terrorists and their state backers as a win for Hamas — and that bodes for a dangerous world.

      I want the economic blockade on Gaza to be lifted - I want a ceasefire which includes disarming Hamas – I want a ceasefire which deploys International Peacekeeping force in Gaza and the Israeli Palestinian border – which would be responsible for ensuring Israel’s security. I want President Abbas to be handed over charge on the Gaza territory and build up an effective administration that is more concerned with bringing opportunities and basic amenities for its people rather than fighting the cause of destruction of Israel. I want a Palestinian state that lives in peace with its neighbours – Egypt and Israel along with Jordan are in peace with each other and that should be the goal. And I want groups such as the international development organizations along with the private sector philanthropy groups are brought in under an UN mandate to improve lives of people. And it can be done and should be done.

      Israel has a vibrant economy which is a powerhouse especially when it comes to creating companies and making them globally successful especially in the tech arena. And the biggest problem of the wider middle east is creating and sustaining economic opportunities for its youth – why cant the focus be on that.

      Why can’t we have a march focusing on these issues – not a ceasefire that appeases or makes Hamas look like winners? I am not big on marches as I don’t think they achieve much and to be honest there are much better ways of actually making a difference — and attempting to bring about change in the policy level. But if there is a silent march that highlights these issues of real peace and security and brining economic and educational opportunities to this region – even I would go and join one. Even though I personally think they are a waste of time.

      It does not mean I disrespect all those who are walking in the march – hey I have a hell of a lot of respect for Sunny and the ideals he has. I may not always agree but I nonetheless respect them as they are not based on opportunism but true ideals. I disagree with him though on the point that the average Palestinian would be less inclined to have peace with Israel based on this. Check out some of the editorials in the Palestinian papers — about how the missiles and their leadership have brought this one on to the palestinian people.

      Now this post I am sure would be rather unpopular – hell, I am expecting to be called a fool, bigot and what not. And guess what I wont react — that would be a first.

    132. Imran Khan — on 8th January, 2009 at 1:08 pm  

      Chairwoman - “Eventually, I decided on a project, I would try and trace my mother’s family. Only my grandparents, my grandmother’s brother and her cousin had left Poland, and they had left before WWI. The rest of their families remained behind.

      Now it’s pretty difficult to find details of Jewish families in Poland from NW London, especially when one’s knowledge of Polish consists of swear words, and a couple of nursery rhymes that I had learned parrot fashion. But I persevered, and eventually found the records of my grandfather’s family’s murder in Treblinka. The strangest thing was to see my mother’s name, which was shared by one of her cousins.

      Under other circumstances, her name would have been there too.”

      Now you have researched your family history may I suggest that you set-up a website to show and preserve your family history which itself may serve a few purposes:

      1. It keeps alive the history of your family for others to see including me and I would genuinely be interested as I am sure many others would.

      2. It may serve as a useful project for other people whose relatives suffered the same fate and could inspire them to trace their family.

      3. It may help you connect with other family and friends who too could be searching for you. So possibly the website could eventually be used to help Jewish families connect up with each other. In fact thinking about it you could have a section where people can load information and then add trees. In fact thinking about it this may help you find friends of your family who lived with your family and you may get more knowledge of your family and what they were like, who their friends were etc. So you may get to learn even more about your family as well.

      4. Your website may help other people whose family went through the same thing.

      You’ve done something positive and your experience of how you did it can help other families. Potentially you may get help from people to find more of your family and equally you may inspire other people to find members fo their family. It may be that other people want to do this but didn’t know where to start and your experience can help them and possibly help them with their grief.

      I think what you’ve done shouldn’t be understated as it is most likely very difficult and can be draining emmotionally to do such a thing. So you may inspire other people who lost family in the holocaust to do the same.

      One other point I would make is that it is quite possible that in 30 - 40 years time we’ll have Palestinian children and Israeli children who if we don’t stop this madness go through what you’ve gone through. They may have to trace their family who were killed in what is a solvable conflict.

      So lets work together to stop it and call upon the leadership of our communities to speak up or get out of the way and let us speak up to stop this.

      I certainly hope you at least set-up a website of what you’ve done which is a remarkable achievement given that you started with so little to get you going. More power to you.

    133. sonia — on 8th January, 2009 at 1:32 pm  

      “Why can’t we have a march focusing on these issues – not a ceasefire that appeases or makes Hamas look like winners?”

      shamit you have expressed yourself well and I think you have managed to move forward and make important points worth making. collaboration, opportunities for the future, lifting the economic blockade, - what are people actually going to do? the documentary on Hamas that i watched was worrying in the sense that it made it very clear that they were ending up with the same mindset the mujahedeen in afghanistan, and people who have been traumatised everywhere end up in after a while. not being able to ‘live’ and let go of violence, believing that death ‘honourably’ is better than living which ALWAYS requires COMPROMISE. its easier to kill and be killed with pride than swallow your pride and extend your hand to someone who has been the ‘enemy’. Death cults basically. And i can see how that happens and how it assuages a deep ideological desire to be ’strong’ AFTER OR once they, or their ‘communities’ and families have faced intolerable situations - for example- those in occupied palestine have found themselves in, the same for those who watched helplessly the Holocaust, and etc. etc. the world over, throughout history. the oppressed become oppressors so on and so forth. victims perpetuate their misery. The irony about those who sympathise with just either the plight of the palestinians, or just with those who have sought a home in israel, is that it is all the same thing really. that’s what is so sad and frustrating about all of this. So it becomes a deadly competition to see who can ‘out’ who in the game to be Top Dog, this is the failure of human society to be able to recognise this when it has been happening the world over for centuries.

      Hamas are not going to do anyone any favours - and neither is trying to crush them with ‘force’. in the long run it will feed movements such as Hamas, even if that one is ‘disarmed’. for me its not about who has the right to kill and who doesn’t. anyone should realise (whether state or non-state actor) that once you start killing, there is no reason. reason and violence do not go together. things get emotional and we end up where we are. violence perpetuates violence, and it becomes REALLY hard to stop it. All parties need to just stop, and not think, well i can get away with this because my God says its ok, to protect my people, WHATEVER.
      Similarly people need to understand that Hamas are effectively holding the Palestinian people hostage, or rather, keeping them hostage. As Shamit says, we need to find a way out for the Palestinian people - from under Hamas. they need some alternatives, and then they will go for it. People need to talk to each other - that means people need to talk to Hamas. Precisely because they are holding the people (and themselves) hostage ( and we can understand the dynamics behind how people get so screwed up, i’m not here to ‘Judge’) - yes its a fucked up situation and that’s why we need to talk to them. this business of not talking to terrorists doesn’t apply in this case, because if we don’t, nothing is going to change. Israel needs to stop giving Hamas an excuse to exist and legitimacy to the people they are keeping hostage. And everyone else around, needs to stop suggesting the sides don’t need to talk to each other, because they are completely in the right.

      because its not about ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ - its about life. we have seen that fighting about who is right and who is wrong, is too often a deadly game.

      What i want to hear about more - is the West Bank right now. What’s going on there?

    134. Katy Newton — on 8th January, 2009 at 1:36 pm  

      Sonia is as usual the voice of sanity and reason on this site.

    135. sonia — on 8th January, 2009 at 1:45 pm  

      so yes, this situation needs to be seen in the light of oppressed peoples getting violent and nasty with each other, what happens when we buy-in to the idea that land is promised to certain communities, and that we are disparate ‘communities’ - some strong, some not, rather than oppressed individuals all trying to make our way, and fighting and jostling with each other. AND THAT FIGHTING AND STAYING IN GROUPS DOESN’T WORK. NOT FOR ANYONE, NOT FOR ANY INDIVIDUAL, not even for the group. what has happened in Palestine and Israel is a very stupid resolve (though understandable) on the parts of some very traumatised individuals - to be strong in the way they have seen it practised around them.

      Folly, absolute folly.
      It is time to recognise this in order to move on. NO human should imagine that force - is ever going to work - (i.e. not result in some other force) we cannot demand land in the name of force, displace other humans (simply because we ourselves were displaced) because the world we have seen around us is competitive. it just continues the cycle. if we want to break it, we need to recognise this. Israel and Palestine symbolise this. The cycle of violence, people wanting to protect themselves, wanting the same things, and doing it by killing. What craziness. This is what we have all seen in our history, and nation-states continue to perpetuate this competition. Well i’m tired of the whole damn thing - one nation goes in search of a state, displaces other, whoever is strong wins. the loser goes somewhere else, starts it all over again. That is our history over and over and over.

      This is why - for me - the idea that citizenship should not be tied into your ‘community’ - and multi ‘cultural/ethnic/group origin’ states - has always been of paramount importance. to get away from the idea that there is enough land to house ‘communities’ separately - THERE ISN’T!! we have to all get on as we find ourselves on this planet - we need to COLLABORATE. there isn’t enough space to shove people off somewhere. Having a separate nation-state is a stupid idea, it doesn’t give you anything. Of course, its premised on the fact that people want to govern because they don’t like the way they were governed. But they repeat the same mistakes. Like Hamas, when it went from being a revolutionary resistance group to having to govern the palestinians.

      So orwellian, all this.

      Answer: we need better governance, WHERE we are, instead of rushing off to seek El Dorado where ‘we’ - the chosen peoples, the ‘kin’ - can do it better.

      And religion i must say - has a big part to play in keeping the fight up between ‘communities’ - and keeping up a VERY RESTRICTED idea of kinship. its disgusting to see the way both sides play on their God given rights to XYZ.

      I think if i were going to come to the demo, that’s what i’d have on my placard - fuck off the lot of you, especially those of you who think your religion and history gives you some God given right to some geographic spot in the middle of the f***ing desert! stop fighting and making a mess and adding to our CO2 emissions and our competitive society.

      that’s what we need to be demonstrating about, and making sure we understand what is so bloody depressing about the endless israel/palestine fight.

    136. Shamit — on 8th January, 2009 at 2:10 pm  

      Sonia

      I could not agree with you more — very very well said.

      I am not against speaking with Hamas but I am more interested in giving the Palestinian people a chance to live their lives normally with hope and aspiration — and may be parents would be able to tell their children that hope exists and they can be who they want to be.

      I want a situation where no Palestinian child growing up in Gaza need an exit visa to pursue their higher studies in the US, UK or wherever. But that is not going to be achieved through marching — its needs collaboration between various players at all levels.

      If we are truly progressive then we need to stop punishing people for the crimes of their fathers — if we are truly progressive then we need to encourage people to get out of their respective ideological holes. More importantly, we need to argue for the common bonds of a higher purpose and common humanity — death and destruction and natural calamities do not choose between religion, creed or colour — but it destroys.

      Rather than focusing on destruction, lets focus on developing human potential and let us not as Sonia suggests get bogged down in confines of one’s religion, creed, or nationality. If there is a march that focuses on that and not on the blame game — I am for it and would be happy to promote it proactively.

      But sadly, armchair pundits rather than understanding the real pain and costs of human suffering are willing to choose sides — and play the victim - abuser politics. That does no one any good.

      But we do need to stand up to groups such as Hamas who use civilians as human shields — and those who sponsor them in the name of religion. Its time the world says enough is enough.

    137. sonia — on 8th January, 2009 at 2:11 pm  

      thanks Katy.

      although i think my last post was written in a dystopic frame of mind. I just think its got to the point where its all completely out of control (not just the situation, i mean look at the commentary around it, its impossible) this constant who is right who is wrong. and i am being emotional in this last post - i’m just fed up of how blind we as humans have been - we really need some collective spirit as tired individuals who need help, not as the groups we have been fighting as. I think wars - show up- communities, i really do. I am aware my comments may suggest i am denying the right to people to have’kinship’ and not understanding feelings behind wanting such kinship - but what i mean is that sometimes, the abstract idea of kinship can be taken to the deadly extreme, and it attempts to become ‘immortal’. And I don’t think its worth it in those situations. And there are many people, who feel like that, but they are ‘hostage’ to those who think about the ‘group’ in abstract, rather than the reality of the individuals who are left behind. And that is the real tragedy. On ‘all’ sides.

    138. sonia — on 8th January, 2009 at 2:18 pm  

      shamit -

      “I am not against speaking with Hamas but I am more interested in giving the Palestinian people a chance to live their lives normally with hope and aspiration — and may be parents would be able to tell their children that hope exists and they can be who they want to be.”

      i agree - but i think to give the people a chance, Hamas do have to be dealt with - they are effectively the power there, and cannot be ignored. if they are fueling many people with an ideology that to compromise with the ‘infidel’ is wrong - that its good to be a martyr, then that is something that needs to be taken account of. (p.s. all governments suggest it is good to be a martyr - that’s what patriotism is all about actually, it sucks) if you’ve got them there saying that, then you either need an alternative to that, and bring them out on the same platform, otherwise, how do we deal with the attraction they have for people who don’t have hope?

      its all part of the same idea. keeping things ‘illegal’ only makes them attractive, and feeds their legitimacy. What we need is vision for people, alternatives, belief, that they CAN make decisions for themselves, peacefully, which will have an effect. That’s what we need to be able to offer to the Palestinian people, and at the same time, strong leadership they respond to, needs to convince them to give peace a chance. But it’s a circle, all sides need to really contribute something. the prob. is everything people want to offer is predicated on something else, and you need the balance. give and take - and it doesn’t all come at once. it seems too often people think i can’t have it all so fuck it! Which is understandable - but very short term thinking.

    139. sonia — on 8th January, 2009 at 2:32 pm  

      “But we do need to stand up to groups such as Hamas who use civilians as human shields — and those who sponsor them in the name of religion. Its time the world says enough is enough.”

      Yes absolutely.

      But the wider, really thorny issue, is land - it comes back to it. Who decides, and how, whose land is whose. Of course, historically, it has always been done by force. The stronger one won. their descendants benefited. and then had to defend it - if you lost, you lost. That’s what all empires did - including the Islamic empire.

      the palestinian crisis is a relatively recent one - so it is in our memories, and here in front of us now. the main issue is the statelessness question - when these situations happened earlier, before states were globalised, people moved on somewhere else, and settled there. Now you have international borders, and there is nowhere else to go, so it becomes clear, the plight of those who have ‘been left to the last’ to get citizenship, in a competitive world. where if you don’t have citizenship, you don’t have anything.

      this should open the discussion on how we address this question - in a world where conflict has not ended - how we are all squeezed into nation-states, and what happens to those who haven’t got in? Do we have the will to absorb them into existing nation-states? Do we have the will to recognise the ‘exception’ to the protection of nation-states - i.e. you’re screwed if you’re not in one? ( so naturally people try and start their own)

      normally most people are not interested in this kind of thinking - because it doesn’t bother most of us, but i think the I/P situtation throws it up in our faces. we cannot deal with I/P without thinking about these questions.

    140. Leon — on 8th January, 2009 at 2:38 pm  

      So…er Sonia, you coming on Saturday (with possibly the most nuanced placard in protest history!?)?

    141. Shamit — on 8th January, 2009 at 2:42 pm  

      Sonia

      Excellent points and you deserve a thoughtful response. I would do so now but got to rush to a meeting. But I will write up a response — can’t promise though that it would be half as thoughtful and clear as yourself.

      But bloody brilliant thinking..

      Shamit

    142. sonia — on 8th January, 2009 at 2:46 pm  

      :-) it would be a good placard wouldn’t it leon? i’ve half a mind to just for the heck of it.

      it depends on the progress of an ERDF bid i’m putting in - boring as it may sound, if there is not much time, (which there isn’t! the pissing LDA deadline is next week!) i’d rather use it in ways i hope will be constructive and give the organisation i’m writing it for a quarter of a million pounds - the capacity to build collaboration networks to enable individuals to work together, trade as independents with the benefit of the network, and overall: to catalyse the peer-to-peer collaborative economy. its meant to be a a global network, linking up civil society orgs and individuals to be able to hold our ground in a world of corporates and mammoth organisations. erdf funds would allow us to build the offering in London, and there are plans to use this project to extend these networks in conflict zones.

      So its something worth spending my time doing - and so its a trade-off of waving placards, vs. possibly getting closer to quarter of a million - what do you guys think i should spend my time on? I daresay the waving of placards will go fine if i’m not there, and seeing as i gotta write this bid meself…HMM

    143. Leon — on 8th January, 2009 at 2:49 pm  

      ERDF?

      Heh no probs, I fully understand the importance of funding bids. ;)

    144. sonia — on 8th January, 2009 at 2:51 pm  

      So Possibly you might have to wave such a placard in my place :-)

      (oooh, perhaps i could tie it in with the Atheist bus campaign..splash it on the side of London buses?) better stop before i get told to go over to the other thread :-)

    145. sonia — on 8th January, 2009 at 2:55 pm  

      thank you shamit, but i have to say I don’t think im very clear…the posts you have written generally on PP are i would say very thoughtful and generally much more clear than i have been. anyway, thanks.

    146. sonia — on 8th January, 2009 at 2:57 pm  

      No Borders Network - these guys should be turning up the volume right now - freedom of movement and equal rights for all.

      its where we want to be heading towards.

    147. Jai — on 8th January, 2009 at 3:02 pm  

      Maybe Sonia & Shamit’s last few posts can be turned into not only the most nuanced but also the wacking biggest 3-story-high placards in history :)

      Actually I do agree with what they’ve both said here. Sonia’s point about the wider historical context is also spot-on; people are acting as though civilians getting deliberately or accidentally killed in wars has never happened before (especially in conflicts over control of land, where one group aims to subjugate or displace another) or isn’t currently happening on an equal or larger scale anywhere else in the world.

      It’s also worth remembering that there’s a difference between attacking military targets and civilians accidentally getting killed, and deliberately attacking civilian targets even if no military targets are in the vicinity. Although both are of course equally tragic with regards to the deaths of innocents.

      Moral outrage and indignation are only appropriate if you do not believe in the concept of civilian deaths full-stop, regardless of the circumstance, regardless of the motivation, and regardless of which side the deaths are occurring on. Otherwise, at least have the honesty to admit your own partisan sympathies and biased viewpoint, and correspondingly the fact that civilian deaths in some situations push your buttons more than in others.

    148. Rumbold — on 8th January, 2009 at 3:09 pm  

      Speaking of placards…

      http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_z5hT1P0X79c/SWXaMqXOvTI/AAAAAAAADu4/T3DscUIAv8M/s1600-h/protest.jpg

      Or was it a clever way of not getting arrested?

    149. Leon — on 8th January, 2009 at 3:13 pm  

      Yeah saw that on Iain Dale’s blog today, yet more ‘evidence’ for the right mind that going on these protests is supporting Hamas…

    150. Rumbold — on 8th January, 2009 at 3:16 pm  

      I just thought it was funny. Especially the ‘Zionist’ in small lettering. So any juice that doesn’t support a Jewish homeland is okay.

    151. Ala — on 8th January, 2009 at 3:44 pm  

      I’m going to make it nice and simple: ‘free Palestine’, because I think all this can be solved with a free Palestine.

      So is a PP contingent going to the march?

    152. Leon — on 8th January, 2009 at 3:45 pm  

      Yes, make your intentions known on the new thread!

    153. Refresh — on 8th January, 2009 at 3:46 pm  

      Sonia

      Very good points in principle. But how your general philosophy then goes on to lend support to what Israel is doing is not clear at all. Myabe you are not, and I’ve misunderstood.

      I am also not clear who you are saying is trying to kick out whom. It could be easily read both ways.

      As for the cult of death - I am sure you would see that armies trained for battle are trained in much the same way. Kill or be killed. It would be interesting to see what the motivation is for the IDF, today and how it was say 30-40 years ago. This may go someway to understanding the motivation of the Palestinians who probably fear being driven into the sea or Sinai.

    154. Leon — on 8th January, 2009 at 3:47 pm  

      Refresh, are you going Saturday?

    155. chairwoman — on 8th January, 2009 at 3:52 pm  

      Imram - Thank you for your encouragement. It is a good idea.

      I was watching Sky News round about 6.00 this morning, and representatives of both The State of Israel and The Hamas were interviewed. Whilst a lot of it consisted of ‘Blah, blah, blah, it’s all their fault’, if I am not mistaken, both sides agreed that talking to each other was a possibility.

      Please, please, please don’t ask me who, what, where, links, etc. It was very early, I had only just woken up, and I was still in bed.

    156. Refresh — on 8th January, 2009 at 4:19 pm  

      Leon

      ‘Refresh, are you going Saturday?’

      Unfortunately no. I am trying to shake off ‘an acute febrile highly contagious viral disease’. Flu.

      But good luck to everyone who makes it, whether they are taking a simple placard or a scroll laden with disclaimers.

      BTW if you come across any ignorant ‘juice’ placards, give them a generous tongue-lashing from me.

      If you find someone walking against the flow of the march, that’ll be Peter Thatchell. Tell him I’ve got his book and want to know where to return it to.

    157. Leon — on 8th January, 2009 at 4:28 pm  

      But good luck to everyone who makes it, whether they are taking a simple placard or a scroll laden with disclaimers.

      Heh no placards for me, I’m genetically against carrying them things. I’ll be bringing a camera to shoot people of interest.

      If you find someone walking against the flow of the march, that’ll be Peter Thatchell. Tell him I’ve got his book and want to know where to return it to.

      Heh, I imagine the conversation would be like:

      Me: Hey Peter! Peter! *waves* Yeah Refresh wants to know where to return your book too??

      PT: Who the f**k are you??

      Me: Dude, Refresh wants to give you your book back (really nice meeting you finally btw)!

      PT: Who the f**k is ‘Refresh’?? What’s this about!? Who are you?!

      Me: Ugh..you know…um….Refresh…and stuff.

      PT: Get the f**k away from me man!!

      Cue PT running down the road with me chasing him shouting Refresh and book in random intervals….

    158. Jai — on 8th January, 2009 at 4:37 pm  

      Que PT running down the road with me chasing him shouting Refresh and book in random intervals….

      …..with the Benny Hill theme tune playing in the background.

      ;)

    159. Leon — on 8th January, 2009 at 4:39 pm  

      …..with the Benny Hill theme tune playing in the background.

      ;)

      Haha! Definitely! :D

    160. Refresh — on 8th January, 2009 at 4:44 pm  

      Leon

      Yes I see what you mean. Just remembered, to make it easier, call him ‘Thatch’ and he’ll start chasing after you. The expletives will be the same, although more frequent and at a generous volume.

    161. Refresh — on 8th January, 2009 at 4:45 pm  

      ‘…..with the Benny Hill theme tune playing in the background.’

      Now that will wind him up. He was never a fan.

    162. sonia — on 8th January, 2009 at 5:16 pm  

      “As for the cult of death - I am sure you would see that armies trained for battle are trained in much the same way. Kill or be killed.”

      of course. the competitive basis to the premise of the nation-state. why do you think everyone is so desperate to have their own state? for the pleasure of governing themselves? or for the ‘legitimate’ right to yield destructive force?

      and to expand your thinking - look at what motivates Israel today for what {new nation for displaced Palestinians} might be somewhere else someday. Someone once said, Give Scotland to the Palestinians.

      palestinians turn up, are supported by the americans in getting rid of the ’scots’, who are then penned up against hadrians wall. or something..the scots start rebelling, foraying into “palestinian” territory. the palestinians who are now a sovereign state, turn their armies against the Scots. ‘we have to protect ourselves, we have been through so much’ and on and on.

    163. sonia — on 8th January, 2009 at 5:22 pm  

      i’m not lending support to what israel is doing, don’t see how you understand that refresh. i suppose because im not too busy condemning their actions, i guess because i think it should be obvious it doesn’t sit well with me. i don’t buy into the simple ‘one side is right one side isn’t argument’, and i don’t mind if you or others think i’m lending support to israel. it doesn’t horrify me.

    164. The Common Humanist — on 8th January, 2009 at 5:38 pm  

      “palestinians turn up, are supported by the americans in getting rid of the ’scots’, who are then penned up against hadrians wall. or something..the scots start rebelling, foraying into “palestinian” territory. the palestinians who are now a sovereign state, turn their armies against the Scots. ‘we have to protect ourselves, we have been through so much’ and on and on”

      Sonia, much as I think you have been on blazing form along with Shamir I think that analogy is abit false in that Palestine is as much the homeland for the Jews as it is for the Palestinian Arabs.

      Now if they could have all just gotten along in 48 I wouldn’t have to watch this nightmare unfold on Ch4 news everynight since forever.

    165. iconiclast — on 8th January, 2009 at 5:45 pm  

      An interesting article in the Christian Science Monitor this morning about a European survey suggesting that Europeans are becoming mightily nervous about the Musim presence, their communalism, their sense of victimhood (anyone mentioned dhimmis yet?), their abject antisemitism, their propensity for violence, their wish to abrogate European values. Not all Europeans are complete fools. It may be the beginning of a sea-change. Muslims had better be aware of the ground shifting under their feet.

    166. The Dude — on 8th January, 2009 at 5:46 pm  

      I don’t know how I could go on this march. I no longer believe in the State of Palestine and I don’t believe in the State of Israel, for in the long term, neither states are viable. I do believe in a free, secular, democratic state encompassing both states. Until I start hearing that, I won’t be marching anywhere, anytime soon.

    167. Refresh — on 8th January, 2009 at 5:59 pm  

      Sonia, it just wasn’t clear. To me.

    168. The Dude — on 8th January, 2009 at 6:07 pm  

      Sonia

      Pray tell, please explain to me exactly how is HAMAS (democratically elected in a free vote) holding the people of Gaza hostage?

    169. Genghis — on 8th January, 2009 at 7:00 pm  

      Israel should simply withdraw to the pre-1967 borders!

      Remove the wall. Stop the occupation. Remove the settlements. Give the right of right of return. Then…we may get peace.

    170. chairwoman — on 8th January, 2009 at 7:36 pm  

      Genghis

      Should Islamic countries who expelled their Jews after 1948 have to give them and their descendants the right of return?

    171. Imran Khan — on 9th January, 2009 at 12:09 am  

      Chairwoman - “Should Islamic countries who expelled their Jews after 1948 have to give them and their descendants the right of return?”

      I’d say the numbers are being inflated by politicians to counter the Palestinian claim. But yes there are Jews who were forcibly removed after the creation of Israel - Libya I believe is an example so yes let them go back if they want to.

      But in answer to your question - YES! Why shouldn’t they be allowed to return if they want to as I am sure they can contribute much to those countries and did do so.

      Secondly as the BBC reported recently despite living in Israel many are very fond of their roots in Muslim countries where they have a long history.

      To improve the situation in that region you can’t lump Muslims in one area and Jews in another. They have to mix to bring harmony.

      We’ve seen what happens when they don’t.

    172. Imran Khan — on 9th January, 2009 at 12:18 am  

      Chairwoman - “Imram - Thank you for your encouragement. It is a good idea.”

      So please lets try and do it. Please don’t forget that many holocaust survivors are now old and so this needs to be done.

      My idea may bring much joy to people who went through that in that they see children of those who were murdered have grown up.

      I am happy to suggest ideas but this is a worthwhile project and I am sure many people here can add ideas to enhance this but it can do good.

      It doesn’t need to be a political thing but it needs to be a human thing.

      Lets see if anyone can come up with a decent name and get this thing going.

      http://www.holocaustfamiliesreunited
      http://www.victimsreunited
      http://www.holocaustfamilies
      http://www.traceholocaustfamilies

    173. Genghis — on 9th January, 2009 at 12:57 am  

      Chairwoman - Should Islamic countries who expelled their Jews after 1948 have to give them and their descendants the right of return?

      Yes.

      Wasnt that the argument used by Israeli negotiators at Camp David 2000 when the question of right of return came up?

      Secondly. Post Creation of Israel, most Jews chose to leave arab countries for fear of persecution. What numbers are we talking about ? they were not forcibly removed as part of any national policy unlike the systematic policy used by the zionists.

      Most of the discussions here (Sunnys posts more than others!!) seem to discuss this issue as if there isnt an Occupier and Occupied, there doesnt seem to be any semblance of who and what the oppressed are, and what position they are in, and no understanding of the conditions they have to live by on a day to day basis. The fact that anyone discusses this issue as if there should be a ceasefire from hamas or the palestinian side is both naieve and ignorant. These people are occupied. Their human rights are violated. The recognition of Israel took place in 1988…by the PLO, when Hamas was barely in existence. Even then Israel avoided peace.

      The facts are plain for everyone to see…some peole simply chose to ignore those facts.



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