A rally to support Israel, not peace


by Sunny
9th January, 2009 at 3:30 pm    

Brian Klug has written an excellent short piece for Comment is Free. He says:

Attached was a flyer for a “Mass Rally in Support of Israel” organised by the Board of Deputies of British Jews and the Jewish Leadership Council, with “the support of the major organisations of UK Jewry”, to be held in London this weekend. The flyer proclaims: “End Hamas terror!” No ifs and buts here either. No hint at the unspeakable state terror being unleashed, day after day, by the Israeli military. It defies belief.

It does indeed. If the rally on Sunday says nothing about the dead Palestinians or the death of innocent lives in Gaza, then its a rally to support state terrorism, nothing more nothing less. I have no problem carrying a banner saying ‘End Hamas Terror’. But there will be no peace unless that is accompanied by another banner saying ‘End Israeli attacks’.

Leon updates: Progressive rabbi: Trafalgar Square rally not for him

Rabbi Danny Rich, the chief executive of Liberal Judaism, has dissociated himself from Sunday’s Israel solidarity rallies in London and Manchester.

In a statement issued today, he said he could “not subscribe to the tone of the response, believing that, in accord with my Jewish teaching and humanitarian instinct, the appropriate reaction is to call for an immediate ceasefire (perhaps the Franco-Egyptian proposal) which may prevent further tragedy engulfing the Palestinian civilian population and save injury and worse to both Israelis in uniform and their fellow citizens in their homes.”

He said; “I am convinced that the continuing violence in the region will exacerbate tensions, nurture hatred, and make more difficult a peaceful resolution which is in the interests of both the Palestinian people and the State of Israel.”

The Liberal head is the first UK Jewish religious leader to publicly break ranks by declining to endorse the pro-Israel campaign agreed by Jewish leaders earlier this week.

He revealed that he had instead signed a statement with other faith leaders calling for a ceasefire and would be addressing a Muslim meeting in Batley on Sunday.

Rabbi Rich said; “I know that many of my colleagues and friends will be disappointed that I have gone public with these very serious reservations, and I have only done so after much prayer, reflection and thought.”


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Filed in: London Politics,Middle East,Terrorism






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  1. Boyo — on 9th January, 2009 at 3:32 pm  

    Yeah, well that’s obviously proof you were right all along Sunny. We are not worthy.

  2. chairwoman — on 9th January, 2009 at 3:35 pm  

    The advert in the Jewish Chronicle says either ‘Peace for Israel and Gaza’ or ‘Peace for Israel and Palestine’. Unfortunately, I can’t reach it and there’s nobody to get it at the moment, but it was definitely one or the other.

    But what do I know?

  3. Rayyan — on 9th January, 2009 at 3:36 pm  

    another banner saying ‘End Israeli attacks’ Can’t imagine there will be too many of these on Sunday’s pro-war rally. As some of the rabid ranters on here have shown, any criticism of Israel by those who align with it is unacceptable and must be considered treason.

  4. Rayyan — on 9th January, 2009 at 3:38 pm  

    ‘Peace for Israel and Gaza’ or ‘Peace for Israel and Palestine’ That’s funny, because that’s exactly what the march on Saturday is for! Again, why is it people try to pretend to be “above taking sides” when all they really want to do is silence criticism of Israel?

    The only decent thing to feel at the present time is outrage. The only thing for decent people to do right now is to condemn, without reserve or qualification, the brutal campaign that the Israeli military is waging against the population of Gaza. Every if and but derogates from decency.

    This is the argument Israel’s slavish supporters fail to understand. Methinks they doth protest too much… on the wrong day.

  5. kardinal birkutski — on 9th January, 2009 at 3:39 pm  

    Klug (hope you’re not German because that would be the
    misnomer of the century). Have you read the Hamas Charter? Anyone who supports Hamas in anyway is supporting self-avowed racism and pathological hatred.

  6. chairwoman — on 9th January, 2009 at 3:40 pm  

    Are you going to be there yourself on Sunday, Sunny? Purely as an observer?

    And if not, why not?

  7. platinum786 — on 9th January, 2009 at 3:40 pm  

    Well I’ll be going Saturday, am I welcome to Sundays march?

  8. Sunny — on 9th January, 2009 at 3:41 pm  

    The advert in the Jewish Chronicle says either ‘Peace for Israel and Gaza’ or ‘Peace for Israel and Palestine’

    chairwoman, the question is about now… is the march on Sunday about ending the current attacks or not? If they’re thinking: “sure we want peace in the long term, just as long as we’re allowed to bomb the fuck out of Gaza now”, I’m afraid that doesn’t quite work…

  9. chairwoman — on 9th January, 2009 at 3:41 pm  

    And I, like many others, both support Israel and want peace.

    That means, for those who live to get it wrong, is that I support the existence of the State of Israel living in peace alongside the State of Palestine.

  10. Leon — on 9th January, 2009 at 3:42 pm  

    Yeah, well that’s obviously proof you were right all along Sunny. We are not worthy.

    Sure because that’s what he said. I wish you plebs would actually engage in what’s being written on the screen not just arguing with what’s in your heads.

  11. Rayyan — on 9th January, 2009 at 3:43 pm  

    Platinum, I suspect anyone wishing to criticise Israel and highlight their war crimes probably won’t be welcome on Sunday. Such division. Things are bad enough, why do we have to replicate the division over there, on our streets? Saturday is a march for peace, please

  12. chairwoman — on 9th January, 2009 at 3:45 pm  

    @7 Not if you’re shouting ‘Kill the Jews (or Juice)’.

  13. chairwoman — on 9th January, 2009 at 3:47 pm  

    @11 And you don’t think there’ll be any antisemitic chants and slogans on Saturday, Rayvan?

  14. Jai — on 9th January, 2009 at 3:51 pm  

    @7 Not if you’re shouting ‘Kill the Jews (or Juice)’.

    Given the fact that Platinum786 is on record as referring to Jewish victims of the Holocaust in WW2 as “cockroaches” along with making remarks about “Jew infestations”, perhaps it would be a more accurate reflection of what his real stance is on the matter.

  15. Rayyan — on 9th January, 2009 at 3:52 pm  

    Not from anyone I know, like or have any responsibility over. Oh I see, just because the march on Saturday is prepared to criticise “your side”, you want to tar everyone going with the same brush? This circular logic defies belief.

    It’s as mad as saying Israel is responsible for the rocket attacks against its civilians

  16. LW — on 9th January, 2009 at 3:54 pm  

    unlike the pro-Palestinians, the pro-Israels are simply against terror. we acknowledge that many innocent Palis have died, but that is a result of Hamas twisted ideologies. whilst we want the end of Hamas so that Israel and Palestinians can live in peace, the pro-Palestinians ignore the fact that Hamas is a terrorist organisation that causes the death of their own people, instead placing all the blame on Israel. ironically, they say they want peace but they burn the Israeli flag, wear fake suicide belts and carry fake rockets in solidarity, the very ideology of the terrorist organisatoin they are supporting, yet they claim they want peace

  17. chairwoman — on 9th January, 2009 at 3:56 pm  

    No that wasn’t what I meant and you damn well know it.

    Don’t insult my intelligence with that sort of fourth form argument.

  18. Rayyan — on 9th January, 2009 at 3:57 pm  

    we acknowledge that many innocent Palis have died, but that is a result of Hamas twisted ideologies so it was they who told civilians to gather inside a building then shelled it the day afterwards?

    By the same “logic” Israel is entirely to blame for the rockets being fired on it. You see, you’re talking nonsense

    No one is placing all the blame on Israel – just blaming it for what it has done, which is enough by itself

  19. Sunny — on 9th January, 2009 at 3:59 pm  

    And I, like many others, both support Israel and want peace.

    That means, for those who live to get it wrong, is that I support the existence of the State of Israel living in peace alongside the State of Palestine.

    chairwoman, the second bit I clearly support. The question is, do you want peace now? Or not?

  20. Rayyan — on 9th January, 2009 at 4:00 pm  

    It wasn’t what you meant? So why bring the issue up? I am not responsible for what others decide to do. The march is for peace and justice for all sides. Read as much hate into that as you wish

    The organisers of the Sunday march told people that it was a march in support of Israel, No ifs and buts here, just solid support for the perpetrator in the midst of the horror it is perpetrating (from Klug’s article). What has what you said got anything to do with that? If you think my argument is fourth-form, I can’t imagine in what esteem you hold your own “logic” and constant attempts at distraction and mis-direction.

    I support the existence of the State of Israel living in peace alongside the State of Palestine I agree with that 100%. It’s apparent Israel does not, which makes one wonder if its supporters, so quick to excuse any crime it commits, truly want that as well or are just trying to silence any criticism. If we are to have peace then Israel must stop committing this sort of crime – all sides will.

  21. chairwoman — on 9th January, 2009 at 4:06 pm  

    Rayvan, I am sure that’s what the organisers and you have in mind.

    Yes I support Israel, I don’t however, support all Israel does.

    Sunny – After 3 years here I would have expected you to know the answer to that. Or you certainly would have done in your previous incarnation.

  22. Sid — on 9th January, 2009 at 4:16 pm  

    There are many Jews who feel uncomfortable about marching on Saturday because of the association with antisemititic demagoguery of the far left and Islamist extremism. I find that completely understandable. However, if we could all march with our best mates it would be nice and cosy but wouldn’t amount to much because the whole idea of a march is show unity and consensus around a number of common issues.

    Which is why I will be most comfortable marching with people who find common political ground. Groups, grassroots orgs and people who condemn the theocratic extremism of Hamas in its entirety as well as the crimes against humanity committed Israel in the last 2 weeks.

    So it is depressing to think that there will be a march that exclusively supports Israel, refuses to condemn its actions by people who think that that constitutes a march for peace.

  23. Sofia — on 9th January, 2009 at 4:20 pm  

    so when Israel quits bombing the crap out of Gaza because of Hamas, will they break down the wall they are building on the West Bank..or is that because of Fatah? how can they talk wanting peace when they have such overt symbols of injustice…

  24. platinum786 — on 9th January, 2009 at 4:38 pm  

    Jai, you never did provide a single shred of evidence for that accusation.

    Unfortunately I won’t be able to attend Sundays March anyway, but i think for comedy factor someone should go, dressed in arab garb… holding a pro Palestine banner.

    Something reading … “Help Israel… to stop committing war crimes”

  25. Beavis — on 9th January, 2009 at 4:41 pm  

    Platinum your post on PDF was cut and pasted, enough proof for you?

  26. chairwoman — on 9th January, 2009 at 4:41 pm  

    So it is depressing to think that there will be a march that exclusively supports Israel, refuses to condemn its actions by people who think that that constitutes a march for peace.

    You’re all so clever. You know in advance exactly what’s going to be said!

  27. Sofia — on 9th January, 2009 at 4:41 pm  

    comedy factor? yeh cuz this is a really funny situation…ppl need to grow up…this is human lives we’re talking about….

  28. The Queen of Fiddlesticks — on 9th January, 2009 at 4:42 pm  

    Personally I would not go to either … since I agree with what was said about picking sides, it only leads to more fighting. there is even fighting over the intentions of the “other” protest.
    I would say a joint rally with supports of both sides would be a start …. coming together peacefully. But I don’t see that happening.
    I vote for a good old fashion candlelight vigil.
    just imagine if millions of people wanting peace …just stood together .. silently in peace.
    I think thats what I will do.
    good luck to all you “peace” advocates this weekend.

  29. platinum786 — on 9th January, 2009 at 4:43 pm  

    Jai, if you provide me with the link that’d be good, i could then explain to you what my comments mean in context and allow others to understand then in the correct context.

  30. chairwoman — on 9th January, 2009 at 4:46 pm  

    I vote for a good old fashion candlelight vigil.
    just imagine if millions of people wanting peace …just stood together .. silently in peace.

    *Applauds

  31. Sid — on 9th January, 2009 at 4:46 pm  

    but i think for comedy factor someone should go, dressed in arab garb… holding a pro Palestine banner

    comedy factor? Isn’t that your normal daywear?

  32. Rayyan — on 9th January, 2009 at 4:55 pm  

    http://www.vigilforgaza.net/ – please attend and wrap up warm!

    You’re all so clever. You know in advance exactly what’s going to be said!

    “Mass Rally in Support of Israel” kind of gave the game away. And you predicted with psychic accuracy a swarm of hostile chants on the peace march tomorrow. That must make you the cleverest of them all.

  33. Imran Khan — on 9th January, 2009 at 5:02 pm  

    Chairwoman with respect please review the press release for the march on Sunday and what the main Leaders for the Jewish Community are saying. Clearly from the majority of their comments its a march for Israel.

    It may not be what the majority of the community think they are going to but that is what they say.

    http://www.boardofdeputies.org.uk/page.php/COMMUNNAL_LEADERS_CALL_FOR_SOLIDARITY/256/103/3

    ” “Israel needs and deserves your support now – please be there on Sunday.”
    Henry Grunwald QC, President of the Board of Deputies of British Jews and Chair of the Jewish Leadership Council

    “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.”
    Rabbi Sir Jonathan Sacks
    Chief Rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the Commonwealth

    “Please join our Rally, Sunday morning and help end Hamas Terror by showing your support for Israel’s just cause.”

    Alfred Magnus
    President of the Board of Elders of the Spanish & Portuguese Jews Congregation

    “Everyone should support Israel’s determination to weaken the hold of the terrorists. It is only when terror and blackmail are successfully opposed that the moderate majority can feel safe to make peace.”
    Rabbi Dr Tony Bayfield
    Head of the Movement for Reform Judaism

    “The Assembly of Masorti Synagogues urges its members to stand with Israel at this critical time and join the rally on Sunday.”
    Jeremy Kelly & Bill Benjamin
    Co-Chairmen, Assembly of Masorti Synagogues

    “We ask all London Jewry to attend the rally in Trafalgar Square this Sunday to express their fervent wish that Hamas terror should end so that there will be peace for all the innocent people in the region.”
    Simon Hochhauser
    President of the United Synagogue”

    So in all of that where is the mention for two states side by side, where is there a call for ending a genocidal war.

    People loathe what Hamas say but in fact Israel is destroying the Palestinians albeit slowly but that is what is happening. They are slowly strangling to death any prospect of peace with continual looting of land, making ordinary people’s lives miserable to drive them away and then say they want peace. In fact all of these tactics existed even when there was quiet in the West Bank and also exist on the Golan so how can people say Israel wants peace when its actions are the direct opposite?

    Sorry but the statements above are vastly different to your noble position. Maybe they need you to speak instead of the line up given abobe ;-)

    So for a rally called “Rally foer Israel and Rally for Gaza” the leadership are hardly showing any leadership for the good of Gaza in the build up now are they?

    It would be more balanced if a few leaders actually said at the outset what you are saying. But your community leaders are not saying whta you are saying. Your views are the opposite of theirs as their statements above clearly indicate.

    In fact out of the leading Rabbi’s only Rabbi Danny Rich has spoken out in the manner your describe.

    I am afraid the Jewish Community is being misled as in America by its own leadership and that is a gross failure considering what is going on.

    I am afraid the Jewish Community is being duped into thinking this is for peace when in fact the build up is the complete opposite.

    Also of interest may be this CNN clip:

    http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=3wPOfi_iFnI&eurl

    Basically when Israel wants to prod a war and strengthen its hands it provokes the other side to react by carrying out so called operations that they know will bring a response and then they ask World Jewry to demonstrate and scream out loud. It happens each and every time there is calm. This is only for one purpose and one purpose only and that is to avoid negotiations whilst the land grab goes on.

    What the Jewish Leadership is doing here is simply continuing to support this pattern. You’ll see on Sunday that their won’t be any concrete support for a two state solution that the majority of those attending want.

    Teh majority of Jewry in this country want a two state solution but the majority of the leadership don’t and we can see that above.

  34. Jai — on 9th January, 2009 at 5:14 pm  

    Platinum your post on PDF was cut and pasted, enough proof for you?

    Thanks Beavis. You’re absolutely right, of course.

    It’s interesting that Mr 786 (I’m assuming that’s his real name) feels able to plausibly deny it, when the written evidence was right there in his own words on a website he moderates.

    ***************************

    Platinum786:

    Jai, if you provide me with the link that’d be good, i could then explain to you what my comments mean in context and allow others to understand then in the correct context.

    Yeah I bet you could, assuming of course that you haven’t already deleted the offending post from PDF via your privileges as a moderator, since you’ve subsequently been busted.

    It’s still here on PP though, as is your subsequent remark about “Europe’s own Jew infestation”. Dig around and find it yourself. And that’s even before we get your repeated references to Hindus as “dogs” and India as “the gutter next door”.

    I’m not going to spoonfeed you an opportunity to try to bullshit your way out of it.

  35. Sunny — on 9th January, 2009 at 5:16 pm  

    Hi chairwoman I’m not having a go at you, so please stop being so defensive. If you also support a cessation of hostilities now then we’re agreed. I was under the impression you were not because of a thread earlier involving Steve M who said he didn’t support a ceasefire.

    That said, my original point stands. And you agree these Jewish orgs are wrong for a rally just to support Israel?

  36. Beavis — on 9th January, 2009 at 5:16 pm  

    No probs, Jai, I know someone who went to Nottingham uni with him, the reality is a lot funnier than the internet persona, if yo get my drift…

  37. Imran Khan — on 9th January, 2009 at 5:18 pm  

    Here is a press release from the MCB with comments of various faith leaders:

    http://www.mcb.org.uk/features/features.php?ann_id=1789

    “”Behind all the horrors of death and destruction in Gaza are human faces and human stories. Behind all the statistics for those killed and wounded, on either side, are human beings, each one a child of God” said The Rt Revd Michael Langrish, Bishop of Exeter

    In a call on UK citizens to take a stand the Bishop continued:

    ‘When a child of God suffers no believer in God can stand idly by. Urgent action is required to end the violence, to secure immediate and effective humanitarian relief, and to encourage a genuine dialogue for justice and peace.’

    Rabbi Danny Rich, chief executive of Liberal Judaism, said: ‘I am convinced that the continuing violence in the region will exacerbate tensions, nurture hatred, and make more difficult a peaceful resolution which is in the interests of both the Palestinian people and the State of Israel.

    ‘I believe that, in accordance with my Jewish teaching and humanitarian instinct, the appropriate reaction is to call for an immediate ceasefire which may prevent further tragedy engulfing the Palestinian civilian population and save injury and worse to both Israelis in uniform and their fellow citizens in their homes.

    ‘I am strengthened by the verse in Isaiah 62:1 “For the sake of Zion I will not be silent” and I am comforted by my confidence and hope that in time the Israeli and Palestinian peoples will have the opportunity to fulfil the Micah 4:4 vision of a land and two states ‘where every person shall sit under the vine or the fig tree and no one shall disturb the other.

    ‘I am aware that my actions may be misinterpreted and misused by those who have no real interest in supporting peace in the region and would deny the right of the State of Israel to exist, and by those who, fearful of anti-Semitism and anti Israel activity, believe that this is a time for the British Jewish community to speak with one voice.

    I have only gone public with these serious reservations done so after much prayer, reflection and thought. And because I do not wish Israel’s relationship with the EU to be damaged.’

    Dr Muhammad Abdul Bari, Secretary-General of The Muslim Council of Britain, said: ‘The scale of this man-made tragedy requires maximum international support and participation.

    ‘The Muslim Council of Britain welcomes the efforts of Christian Aid to deliver relief to the Palestinian people in the Gaza Strip.’

    ‘While this emergency aid will undoubtedly go a long way toward easing the pain and distress the MCB reaffirms its call for a political solution to that ensures; an end to the siege of Gaza, a reopening of all border crossings and an end to Israel’s illegal occupation of Palestinian land.’

    Stephen Poxon, President of the Methodist Conference, said: ‘So often during violent conflict the powerless and vulnerable suffer most said .The shelling of schools and other civilian targets is absolutely unacceptable under any circumstances.

    ‘Our hearts go out to the people of Gaza. They have suffered from lack of food and fuel and yet over the past 18 months Israel has often blocked or limited the passage of relief aid. At this critical time both sides must agree to an immediate end to fighting in order that the humanitarian needs can be addressed.

    ‘It is clear that the international community needs to find fresh approaches to managing and resolving this conflict. A new US administration must make the achievement of international consensus a high priority. We commit ourselves to prayer for a lasting resolution built on justice and rights for Israelis and Palestinians.’

    Graham Sparkes of the Baptist Union of Great Britain, said: ‘The crisis unfolding in Gaza should fill us all with horror because we all bear responsibility for what is happening. Together we share a commitment to basic human rights, and so we cannot allow the current situation to go unchallenged. There must be an immediate ceasefire and the provision of vital humanitarian aid. Nothing less is acceptable.

    ‘When power is used to kill innocent civilians, then it is an abuse of power and must be condemned. A new future can never be shaped by violence; it will come about only through a just settlement that allows the people of Gaza to live with freedom and hope. It is vital we support partners in the region who seek genuine peace with justice.’ ”

    The words of Rabbi Danny Rich stand out as words of common which need to be said on Sunday but instead we have the poor words I listed earlier.

  38. Imran Khan — on 9th January, 2009 at 5:24 pm  

    Please lets be clear the actions of Israel and the actions of Hamas/Fatah are not in any way representative of the ideas of Judaism or Islam and the good they promote.

    People can take out of context but the majority of people of those faiths do not support what is going on.

  39. Jai — on 9th January, 2009 at 5:24 pm  

    No probs, Jai, I know someone who went to Nottingham uni with him, the reality is a lot funnier than the internet persona, if yo get my drift…

    Beavis mundea, nerdy coding monkeys from sunny Derby have historically been renowned for their martial prowess on the battlefield, as we all know.

    “Pakistan Defence Forum” my ass.

  40. Shamit — on 9th January, 2009 at 6:12 pm  

    Jai

    Oi mate — u having a go at blokes from west midlands? Man thats so wrong cos m originally from that part of the world.. but you know what as usual you are right going after this bozo.

    Isnt this the same bloke (786) who was really being stupid after the Mumbai attacks? He gets on my nerves all time..

    *******************************************

    Now, on the discussion or lack of that is going on here — I think its about time we stop calling each other names. I dont think anyone in their right mind could rejoice death of children — its tragic, inhuman and heart wrenching.

    But I do support Israel and I do support the cause of the Palestinian People — and I believe they should have a state supported by the International Community.

    But there’s no way in hell, will I ever equate Hamas or Hezbollah as patriots or martyrs or anything but terrorists and fucking cowards who would bring destruction and death to their own people to become heroes.

    Neither do I support those — actually I detest those who call themselves British but are willing to attack their own country for something that is going on thousands and thousands of miles away. Even if they dont do it threatening to do it is a CRIME IN MY BOOK. And it is indefensible.

    I wonder what I would have done if I was the Israeli PM — what options do I have open? Talk to whom — who wants me dead. That is a bit rich — wouldn’t you think?

  41. Katy Newton — on 9th January, 2009 at 7:04 pm  

    I don’t know very much about the Sunday rally, but I can say that if I was going to either rally (I can’t) I would be carrying a placard that called for Israel and Hamas to cease fire immediately and permanent peace and security for the citizens of Gaza and Israel.

    Sid, no Jewish organisation plans events for Saturday. I think one point that BB did make was that the general habit of planning rallies for Saturdays effectively cuts out even moderately observant Jews from attending, although no one is suggesting that it’s deliberate.

  42. persephone — on 9th January, 2009 at 7:26 pm  

    @ 37 “When a child of God suffers no believer in God can stand idly by.”

    Atheists, agnostics, spiritualists etc cannot also stand idly by. They too have compassion.

  43. Cold Beer — on 9th January, 2009 at 7:37 pm  

    Think of how much trouble could have been prevented if everyone had marched against the rocket attacks during the so-called ceasefire. A stitch in time…

  44. Sunny — on 9th January, 2009 at 8:14 pm  

    Think of how much trouble could have been prevented if everyone had marched against the rocket attacks during the so-called ceasefire

    And did you march against the blockade….?

    you see? this is so circular and endless.

  45. Rayyan — on 9th January, 2009 at 8:15 pm  

    the general habit of planning rallies for Saturdays effectively cuts out even moderately observant Jews from attending, although no one is suggesting that it’s deliberate He or someone else did imply it was deliberate, but in any case this is a serious issue that needs to be dealt with. I will write to the organisers of the marches and raise this with them. Everyone should be able to attend peace marches. There is also a peace vigil opposite Parliament taking place for those that can’t make the march.

    Beer – we should have marched against the Occupation, and saved 40 years of suffering. There’s still time yet.

  46. Leon — on 9th January, 2009 at 8:28 pm  

    Think of how much trouble could have been prevented if everyone had marched against the rocket attacks during the so-called ceasefire. A stitch in time…

    Think of how many deaths could have been prevented if everyone had marched against Israel’s breaking of the ceasefire on November 4th.

  47. Roger — on 9th January, 2009 at 8:42 pm  

    Given the number of people who attack Israel- not Israel’s policies, actions or tactics but Israel’s existence- it isn’t surprising that there are people who assume they should support Israel without question.

  48. Rayyan — on 9th January, 2009 at 8:50 pm  

    it isn’t surprising that there are people who assume they should support Israel without question Supporting any state without question, no matter how heinous their war crimes, strikes me as counter-productive and illogical: because anyone else can immediately do the same for any other state and you get nowhere. If it is done from behind pretenses of wanting peace, then it’s also disingenuous and hypocritical – in a war, you can’t get peace without criticising one or more sides.

  49. Cold Beer — on 9th January, 2009 at 9:05 pm  

    Rayyan – exactly! An independent Palestinian state and Arab League recognition (or better yet, membership) of Israel 40-50 years ago would have prevented endless heartache.

    Pity nobody thought of that.

  50. Roger — on 9th January, 2009 at 9:15 pm  

    Hamas and many of their supporters do not merely criticise or attack the state of Israel Rayyan, they deny the very right to exist of the nation of Israel.

  51. Rayyan — on 9th January, 2009 at 9:20 pm  

    That doesn’t mean Israel can do whatever it likes in return – there are ways of dealing with hate without creating more hate. What Israel is now doing is in fact counterproductive to its own security and its own future existence – the only way it will secure its borders and live peacefully in the Middle East is if it convinces its opponents in the region it is no longer a threat to them, and is willing to compromise. Someone has to be bigger and take the first step: Israel has the weapons so it might as well lead with diplomacy too. You could say, well why should it be Israel, but I would say, why not? What is there to lose from seeking to settle old scores with one’s enemies?

  52. Roger — on 9th January, 2009 at 9:30 pm  

    Very wise proposals, Rayyan. Unfortunately, some of Israel’s enemies- including Hamas, which Israel encouraged to damage the P.L.O.- are not willing to compromise or accept Israel’s existence and justify any action, no matter what, that they suppose damages Israel, which means that many Israelis accept and justify any action, no matter what, that they suppose dmages Hamas.

  53. Rayyan — on 9th January, 2009 at 9:38 pm  

    Well Israel encouraged Hamas to damage the PLO – it all goes round in circles! The thing is, if Israel doesn’t at least try serious diplomacy, the kind of diplomacy where they have to at least believe peace is possible, and resigns itself to a worldview where its enemies will never compromise, then it is as inflexible as its enemies. I think Israelis have to recognise that if they disregard diplomacy, all that is left is war. The fact that, despite overwhelming military superiority, Israel and its supporters are still so insecure and afraid of world opinion, suggests that Israel isn’t certain it can always win that war.

    Diplomacy is the only way: you say its enemies are unwilling to compromise, but if that’s the case, then what does Israel have to lose by at least seeking diplomacy? It has nothing to gain from war, and there is a possibility, however remote, that one day Hamas et al might change their mind on Israel. It doesn’t help that Israel is killing civilians, occupying the Palestinian territories, and blockading Gaza. It doesn’t need to give its enemies any more reason to hate it.

  54. chairwoman — on 9th January, 2009 at 9:50 pm  

    Rayvan et al – Diplomacy was been going on between Israel and its Arab neighbours long before Golda Meir slipped into Jordan disguised as an Arab man, and I have no doubt it still does.

    It would just be nice, if once in a while, when the diplomats went home to their respective Governments with the agreements they had reached amongst themselves, that their lords and masters just bloody well rubber stamped them.

  55. MaidMarian — on 9th January, 2009 at 10:06 pm  

    Rayyan (51) – ‘That doesn’t mean Israel can do whatever it likes in return – there are ways of dealing with hate without creating more hate.’

    – That might very well be true, but I have no idea what that might involve realistically. I’d certainly be interested on what you think that might entail?

    ‘What Israel is now doing is in fact counterproductive to its own security and its own future existence – the only way it will secure its borders and live peacefully in the Middle East is if it convinces its opponents in the region it is no longer a threat to them, and is willing to compromise.’

    – Again, yes, but I’m not sure how that fits in with the script from the earlier part of your comment I quote. All of that somehow does not entitle Hamas to do whatever it wants. OK, the Israelis are not exactly going out of their way to keep a lid on the hate and make compromise, but Hamas have not altogehther covered themselves in glory. I realise you do not claim that they are.

    I think that chairwoman (18) makes an interesting point. There may well be more people genuinely wanting peace than events would suggest. I really hope so. But making that stick is the bigger question and I have no idea who could do that. Finding someone, anyone, who could make a deal stick is possibly even more important than terms. Whether that someone is Obama is another question. Frankly I doubt it.

  56. Leon — on 9th January, 2009 at 10:17 pm  

    I think that chairwoman (18) makes an interesting point. There may well be more people genuinely wanting peace than events would suggest.

    I think there is, and I think it’s our (ie good folk here and elsewhere) to seek out examples of that and share it widely.

  57. The Dude — on 10th January, 2009 at 4:48 am  

    I lost faith with the Chief Rabbi Jonathan Sacks along time ago but if he and others want to organise a march supporting Israel, who am I to stand in their way. I just won’t be on it.

    A silent candle lit vigil for peace is quite another thing….

  58. Vikrant — on 10th January, 2009 at 5:29 am  

    Given the number of people who attack Israel- not Israel’s policies, actions or tactics but Israel’s existence- it isn’t surprising that there are people who assume they should support Israel without question.

    Exactly! Coupla days ago I was at the historic Jama Mosque in Old Delhi witnessing an anti-Israeli rally. Though most of the banners were in Urdu, i remember one of them which said in English “From sea to sea one day Palestine will be free.” i.e the Jewish state will not exist. The root of the conflict lies in vast majority of Arabs denying Israel its very basic right to exist. 3 whole generations of Palestinians and Arabs have been raised on vicious anti-semitic propaganda fed to them by their media and government. And from what i’ve read and seen, many of fail to differentiate between Jews and Israel. So i guess unconditional support of Israel by some Jews in understandable!

  59. Bartholomew — on 10th January, 2009 at 9:38 am  

    I see the Sunday rally ad tells us “flags and placards will be provided” – same “brand identity” as in 2006.

  60. marvin — on 10th January, 2009 at 11:34 am  

    In contrast the pro-Palestinian rallies have been a bastion of peace and tolerance.

    In Toronto, anti-Israel demonstrators yell “You are the brothers of pigs!,” and a protester complains to his interviewer that “Hitler didn’t do a good job.”

    In Fort Lauderdale, Palestinian supporters sneer at Jews, “You need a big oven, that’s what you need!”

    In Amsterdam, the crowd shouts, “Hamas, Hamas! Jews to the gas!”

    In Paris, the state-owned TV network France-2 broadcasts film of dozens of dead Palestinians killed in an Israeli air raid on New Year’s Day. The channel subsequently admits that, in fact, the footage is not from Jan. 1, 2009, but from 2005, and, while the corpses are certainly Palestinian, they were killed when a truck loaded with Hamas explosives detonated prematurely while leaving the Jabaliya refugee camp in another of those unfortunate work-related accidents to which Gaza is sadly prone. Conceding that the Palestinians supposedly killed by Israel were, alas, killed by Hamas, France-2 says the footage was broadcast “accidentally.”

    In Toulouse, a synagogue is firebombed; in Bordeaux, two kosher butchers are attacked; at the Auber RER train station, a Jewish man is savagely assaulted by 20 youths taunting, “Palestine will kill the Jews”; in Villiers-le-Bel, a Jewish schoolgirl is brutally beaten by a gang jeering, “Jews must die.”

    http://www.ocregister.com/articles/hamas-gaza-jewish-2277487-muslims-state

    I wonder how many will be calling for Arab genocide at the pro-Israel rallies? Hmmmm.

  61. Imran Khan — on 10th January, 2009 at 1:31 pm  

    Marvin – “I wonder how many will be calling for Arab genocide at the pro-Israel rallies? Hmmmm.”

    There is no need to call when the genocide has already started and has been going on for over 40 years. The rally on Sunday is in support of Arab genocide.

    Muslims may only shout and do a little bit but Israel is doing it on mass with US Tax Payers money.

    The fact you pretend that Israel isn’t ethnically cleansing the area doesn’t mean it isn’t going on. The fact that you think up cuddly names for vicious crimnals such as “Settler” when they are a bunch of thieves doesn’t make it right.

  62. Imran Khan — on 10th January, 2009 at 1:50 pm  

    One other point is that this war being backed by Bush may be designed to deliberatly increase tenstions to preserve the Bush legacy and continue his so called war when he is out of office by whipping up the Muslims world into further confrontation with the West. In this scenario Israel can then continue to cement its hold on the West Bank and thus complete the legacy of the neocons and the evangelicals.

    It may be designed to deliberatly tie Obama’s hand and thus preserve the doctrine of neocon thinking and Bush’s aims.

    Events are indeed strange but Israel and Bush have been bed partners now for eight years in which Bush did nothing to help peace. With Obama vowing attention and engagement on this issue, Israel and its mistress Bush may have decided on this scheme to cement their position.

    A 40 year policy of ethnic cleansing finally to ensure that no peace can ever come by whiiping up the arab street when finally many Arab leaders accepted a two state solution and a president who has vowed to pursue peace must have scared the hell out of Israel, AIPAC and the evangelical lovers to fear they may not continue their genocidal aims.

  63. Imran Khan — on 10th January, 2009 at 1:58 pm  

    Marvin – You claim Israel is a democracy but why in a so called Democracy is the rule of law not upheld by the miltary junta that actually runs the country. Freedom for the press is stopped by the military junta that actually runs the country.

    Most of the Israeli leadership is part of the miltary junta that actually runs the country.

    Journalist have not been permitted access to Gaza which isn’t part of Israel by the military so the war crimes and genocide are not seen. A single Israeli dies and the military junta make sure it is news. Hundreds to Palestinians and the military junta decide that free press isn’t allowed.

    An appeal is made to the supreme court and it overrules the ban which the military junta ignore.

    And you claim Israel is a democracy when in fact it is a military junta run by generals and ex-generals and Shin Bet.

  64. marvin — on 10th January, 2009 at 5:02 pm  

    There is no need to call when the genocide has already started and has been going on for over 40 years. The rally on Sunday is in support of Arab genocide.

    A genocide lasting 40 years! That’s the most piss poor attempt to wipe out race I’ve ever seen!

    See, lies and propaganda pretty much par for the course on the pro-Palestinian side.

    The absurdity of the charge is also clear from the demography of the disputed territories. While detractors make outrageous claims about Israel committing genocide or ethnic cleansing, the Palestinian population has continued to explode. In Gaza, for example, the population increased from 731,000 in July 1994 to 1,324,991 in 2004, an increase of 81 percent. The growth rate was 3.8 percent, one of the highest in the world. According to the UN, the total Palestinian population in all the disputed territories (they include Gaza, the West Bank, and East Jerusalem) was 1,006,000 in 1950, and rose to 1,094,000 in 1970, and exploded to 2,152,000 in 1990. Anthony Cordesman notes the increase “was the result of improvements in income and health services” made by Israel. The Palestinian population has continued to grow exponentially and was estimated in 2004 at more than 3.6 million.

    from here

    Imran, sir, you talk rubbish. You will not change anyone’s mind by being so obtuse, shrill, and delusional. Are you from MPACUK? The Palestinians have legitimate grievances, but what you have said comes straight out of an Islamist internet forum.

  65. Imran Khan — on 10th January, 2009 at 5:18 pm  

    Marvin – “Imran, sir, you talk rubbish. You will not change anyone’s mind by being so obtuse, shrill, and delusional. Are you from MPACUK? The Palestinians have legitimate grievances, but what you have said comes straight out of an Islamist internet forum.”

    For some one so full of shit and reading Zionism for Dummies you are one to talk.

    When you have something constructive to say rather than your propoganda come back please.

  66. marvin — on 10th January, 2009 at 5:21 pm  

    Propaganda? What, the facts? Do you understand the nature of facts? It means something that is verifiably true. Now, can you verify any of the outlandish claims you make? Thought not! :P

    So, just to clear things up Imran, you’d like to see the destruction of Israel, right?

  67. The Queen of Fiddlesticks — on 10th January, 2009 at 5:38 pm  

    I hate to add this in a way that takes anything away from the lives that have been lost …. 1 would be too many.
    But
    “The fact you pretend that Israel isn’t ethnically cleansing the area doesn’t mean it isn’t going on. The fact that you think up cuddly names for vicious crimnals such as “Settler” when they are a bunch of thieves doesn’t make it right”

    The fact you think up words like ethnically cleansing is unacceptable.
    The population of Gaza is 1.5 million…. last I saw 800 was the count of deaths … and it is claimed half of that was civillian… How is 400 out of a million genocide?

    How will there ever be peace there at all!!! ever!!! IF now everything will have all been part of Bushes palns to ….
    what exactly ???

    Stop spreading hate!
    Anyone who truly hears the voice of the palestians peoples suffering would first off stop fueling the fire that feeds Hamas!
    If Israel is not permitted to fight them who is?

  68. Imran Khan — on 10th January, 2009 at 6:54 pm  

    Marvin – “So, just to clear things up Imran, you’d like to see the destruction of Israel, right?”

    As I said you are full of shit. You have no facts just Meir Propoganda which you think are facts.

    Just to clear things up no I don’t want to see the destrction of Israel.

    Now to clear things up why do you support the destruction of Palestine?

    Queen of Fiddle – Ehtnic Cleansing it is, you see dear ethnic cleansing isn’t just about killing people it is also about making their lives so unbearable that they leave which is happening. What do you call what is going on in Jerusalem?

    You are the one spreading hate by actually denying whta is being done to people for god sake. Human beings who are being treated like caged animals and you just want to tap your keyboard and say it isn’t that bad when you should be shouting to Israel to stop.

    The fire that feeds Hamas dear is started and controlled by Israel not me. The blockade, the killing, the land theft. All that feeds Hamas and the fact that you can’t admit it means that you turn on anyone who says Israel is wrong in anything.

    Why if Israel wants peace is it treating its neighbours like this?

    Hamas wouldn’t have come to power if Israel had acted for peace. Hamas came to power from the frustrations of a peoples aspirations ot peace. People who your fellow Jews here have denied even exist so isn’t that adding fuel to the fire but you accept that without comment.

  69. Imran Khan — on 10th January, 2009 at 6:55 pm  

    Also Marvin – Just to clear things up are you a Meir Khanane supporter? Do you support Likud? Do you support a two state solution?

  70. marvin — on 10th January, 2009 at 7:38 pm  

    I have no idea who Meir Khanane is, yes I support a two state solution as most normal people do. I am not particularly familiar with Israeli politics, so no I am not a Likud supporter, and if I were I don’t think I would be.

    Human beings who are being treated like caged animals

    I think you are getting confused with 1940′s Germany’s Nazi concentration camps. Easy thing to do, if you are an hysterical pro-Palestinian supporter. These ‘caged animals’ have a higher life expectancy than Glasgow. Here’s a picture of Tony Blair’s sister in a the terribly starved and destitute Gaza a little while ago.

    Lying (or deluded exaggeration) does not help your cause, it causes people to just ignore you or worse just take a contrary position, even when they normally wouldn’t do. Try sticking to facts for start, i.e. figures, statements by politicians etc. That helps. Most people will have sympathy for both sides as I do, you’d be better off appealing to the better nature of your apparent foes…

    LW, indeed. Just see the latest pics at Harry’s Place. Saddening, depressing, but not surprising I’m afraid.

  71. Imran Khan — on 10th January, 2009 at 8:20 pm  

    Marvin – I think much of what you’ve written above applies to you. I am merely responding to your over the top support of Israel.

    BOTH SIDES ARE AT FAULT HERE

    Sadly if your refernce for things is Harry’s Place then I can understand why you have a one sided approach.

  72. SE — on 10th January, 2009 at 8:38 pm  

    @LW:
    You can fuck off back to Israel then, Fascist.

  73. chairwoman — on 10th January, 2009 at 8:43 pm  

    @LW:
    You can fuck off back to Israel then, Fascist.

    The ultimate response of the English man to the ‘foreigner’.

  74. El Cid — on 10th January, 2009 at 8:52 pm  

    SE, you’re an idiot. someone delete him please

  75. Imran Khan — on 10th January, 2009 at 9:23 pm  

    And what about LW who is making statements which are hardly accurate?

    Ken Livingstone was encouraging Islamic Extremism – you don’t rebuke that. Ken addressed a rally and thats encouraging extremism because it goes against what LW wants!

    “why can’t people see that if they’re not supporting Israel then they are supporting terrorism??”

    Another statement that goes unchallanged by you. I mean fro crying out loud that is a ludicrous statement. Yet noone even bats an eyelid to the poster but someone responds harshly and they are to be deleted.

    What is going on here?

    Someone comes on and says if you don’t support Israel you support terrorism and people think thats ok but someone says f off – which isn’t the best way to respond and they should be deleted and the original poster whose views are inaccurate gets away free.

    No wonder the Palestinians are getting a beating if a blog is telling people who respond to such provocation tha they will be deleted. Worlds gone mad.

  76. chairwoman — on 10th January, 2009 at 9:52 pm  

    It’s the ‘Get back to your own country’ tag that I was objecting to Imran. Frankly I am appalled that somebody who constantly rails against being prejudiced against for being brown should consider that an appropriate comment in any circumstances.

  77. Roger — on 10th January, 2009 at 9:56 pm  

    Livingstone invited Tariq Ramadan, a muslim who wants to kill homosexuals, to a rally and decribed him as a moderate. Whether Ramadan is moderate by muslim standards or Livingstone’s, I don’t know.
    I have no doubt there were people who wanted peace at today’s march, but from press coverage and the demonstrators I saw, many of them would define peace as the complete elimination of Israel and probably jews as well. Bigots and Sparts United.

  78. Imran Khan — on 11th January, 2009 at 11:11 am  

    Chairwoman – “It’s the ‘Get back to your own country’ tag that I was objecting to Imran. Frankly I am appalled that somebody who constantly rails against being prejudiced against for being brown should consider that an appropriate comment in any circumstances.”

    Chairwoman don’t worry I wasn’t referring to your comment and I understand and back what you said. It was the other comment I referred to you.

    You were spot on with your comment :-)

  79. Jai — on 11th January, 2009 at 1:32 pm  

    Shamit,

    Oi mate — u having a go at blokes from west midlands? Man thats so wrong cos m originally from that part of the world..

    Nah I have nothing against people from the Midlands — like plenty of other British Asians, I have family connections to that part of the UK too. I’d take the piss out of Mr 786 regardless of what part of the country he lived in.

    Isnt this the same bloke (786) who was really being stupid after the Mumbai attacks? He gets on my nerves all time..

    Yes it’s the same guy. He was getting up to his usual tricks on another Mumbai-related thread while you were away on your break during xmas: http://www.pickledpolitics.com/archives/2610#comments

    Same old same old ;)

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