• Family

    • Ala Abbas
    • Clairwil
    • Daily Rhino
    • Leon Green
    • Liberal Conspiracy
    • Sajini W
    • Sid’s blog
    • Sonia Afroz
    • Sunny on CIF
  • Comrades

    • 1820
    • Angela Saini
    • Aqoul
    • Bartholomew’s notes
    • Blairwatch
    • Bleeding Heart Show
    • Bloggerheads
    • Blood & Treasure
    • Butterflies & Wheels
    • Campaign against Honour Killings
    • Chicken Yoghurt
    • Clive Davis
    • Daily Mail Watch
    • Dave Hill
    • Dr StrangeLove
    • Europhobia
    • Faith in Society
    • Feministing
    • Harry’s Place
    • IKWRO
    • Indigo Jo
    • Liberal England
    • MediaWatchWatch
    • Ministry of Truth
    • Natalie Bennett
    • New Humanist Editor
    • New Statesman blogs
    • open Democracy
    • Our Kingdom
    • Robert Sharp
    • Rupa Huq
    • Septicisle
    • Shiraz Socialist
    • Shuggy’s Blog
    • Stumbling and Mumbling
    • Though Cowards Flinch
    • Tory Troll
    • UK Polling Report
  • In-laws

    • Aaron Heath
    • Ariane Sherine
    • Desi Pundit
    • Get There Steppin’
    • Incurable Hippie
    • Isheeta
    • Neha Viswanathan
    • Power of Choice
    • Real man’s fraternity
    • Route 79
    • Sarah
    • Sepia Mutiny
    • Smalltown Scribbles
    • Sonia Faleiro
    • The Langar Hall
    • Turban Head
    • Ultrabrown



  • Technorati: graph / links

    Peaceniks Today


    by Sid on 11th January, 2009 at 7:18 pm    

    From the comments

    Sunny, if you watch the pictures from the two rallies you’ll understand why the pro-Israel rally was a rally for peace, and the pro-Hamas rally was a rally of hate.

    In the pro-Israel rally, the marchers carried signs saying such things as “Stop the Rockets”, “An End to Terror”, and “No peace in Gaza if there’s no peace in Israel”

    Indeed, “Stop the Rockets” and “End To Terror” are infinitely elastic terms which can easily be encapsulated in the rather pithy message of this placard [see photo], from a Peace Rally in support of the IDF, in the US.



      |   Trackback link   |   Add to del.icio.us   |   Share on Facebook   |   Filed in: Middle East




    95 Comments below   |   Add your own

    1. SE — on 11th January, 2009 at 7:23 pm  

      Switch Gaza for Israel and the BBC would’ve been all over it.

    2. marvin — on 11th January, 2009 at 7:49 pm  

      Why would they be all over it? This is from the US. At rallies all over the world, including the UK, protesters were asking for the destruction of Israel (some asking for “Jews to go back to the ovens”). Was this mentioned on the BBC SE?

      Sid makes a valid point there are scum bag nutters on all sides. This is one such scum bag nutter and I’ve no qualms about saying so.

      Out of interest, out of the 4,000+ people at todays Israel/Gaza peace rally, does anybody have any evidence of anybody at all calling for genocide against the Palestinians? Any juicy signs? At all?

    3. Refresh — on 11th January, 2009 at 8:07 pm  

      Sid, that placard (in the photo) seems to be more honest than most. It seems to spell out the Israeli aim, with the opposing ‘peace wing’ that hopes to carry on until the ‘international community’ restrains it.

    4. Imran Khan — on 11th January, 2009 at 8:12 pm  

      Marvin - The problem is it isn’t one nutter in america there are many who think like this in the Jewish Community and it is far more right wing than here. What makes it worse is that most of the are leaders of American Jewry and are frankly not helping the situation.

      I can’t even recall the last time a major Jewish Organisation was critical of Israel in its treatment of the Palestinians or in its settlement activity.

      Peace is about leading people to that point and in America you’ll find that the major leading Jewish Organisations won’t do that and haven’t done it for decades.

      Also as has been explained to you that there were not any signs which called for Israel to stop its land grab and withdraw to its ‘67 borders. So the people today were accepting all of Israel’s human rights violations without question.

      Show me where there was a sign saying “Yes for peace, Stop Settlement, Stop Blockades, 2 States for 2 people.”

      Where were the spekers who said that?

      Did Henry Grunwald call for a cessation of all settlement?

      Did Sacks call for a withdrawl to ‘67 lines?

      Did Bayfield call for negotiation on Jerusalem?

      Did they show any of the innocent children on both who have been killed to remidn people that peace is needed?

      In fact where was the message of peace and two states.

      This was a rally to support Israel’s action and that was it.

      Just cause they said it was for peace doesn’t make it a reality unless you are at Harry’s Place.

    5. Imran Khan — on 11th January, 2009 at 8:24 pm  

      BTW Marvin contrast Sacks approach with that of his predecessor who said Israel would ahve to negotiate the territory it had won in ‘67. Now that is leading people because he like everyone else could see and can see that without this the cycle of violence won’t end.

      Sacks hasn’t ever made such far reaching statements in regards to Israel. His silence is an indicator that he accepts Israels’ actions. Even now he hasn’t joined a call to Israel to stop and instead issues vague baseless calls for peace.

      Sacks is a failure in providing leadership to peace and is simply a Cheerleader for Israel and her actions.

      The other point is that Muslim leaders have visited Sacks but when has he been to a Mosque to hear what Muslims think? Its been one way traffic which in turn has meant that the Orthodox haven’t built a relationship with Mosques they should have. So Sacks has failed on that level. He talks the talk but his actions don’t back up his words.

    6. Sid — on 11th January, 2009 at 8:26 pm  

      Refresh, I thought so too. The man in the photo went to a “peace demo” but is actually rallying (showing solidarity) for the IDF, the fourth largest military in the world. The IDF’s intentions are pretty clear, they’re on that placard.

      If you’re rallying for “Peace for Israel and Gaza” what you’re really doing is showing your solidarity for the boys and girls in the IDF. And that is problematic given the pictures of corpses sprawled on the streets of Gaza, which appear whenever you see a news report.

    7. Imran Khan — on 11th January, 2009 at 8:31 pm  

      Well the other interesting aspect is that no one also in attendance is trying to or appalled by the placard. The man seems to have no problem displaying it and noone appears angry that he is displaying it. The people around him don’t seem to mind.

      So it isn’t just a single nutter and those around him are happily carrying on as if all is ok.

    8. Sunny — on 11th January, 2009 at 8:38 pm  

      A Jewish ‘friend’ on Facebook said to me after my status read like my placard: ’so what if 600 Muslims died, they were going to be suicide bombers anyway’.

    9. Imran Khan — on 11th January, 2009 at 8:54 pm  

      Well Sunny the tide is turning even in the USA where Jewish people are starting to speak out, though some fear reprisals for their business. Check out:

      Rethinking Zionism
      http://www.huffingtonpost.com/philip-weiss/rethinking-zionism_b_156955.html

      The Idea of Israel:
      http://www.prospect.org/csnc/blogs/tapped_archive?month=01&year=2009&base_name=draft_draft_draftthe_idea_of_i

      In the US, War of Words Over Gaza
      http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2009/01/09/MNGU156LEQ.DTL&type=politics&tsp=1

      I believe the same is happening here, that Jewish people are being put off by the grotesque behaviour of Israel.

      Never before did you hear rag tag rockets - it was always made to sound like these were cold war intercontinetal ballistic missiles!]

      Now Jews are speaking up and public opinion is turning heavily.

      People want peace and want a stop to the excess.

      I’d say your Jewish friend isn’t the majority anymore. The march today with its low numbers, in America the people are speaking out. Even Jon Stewart on on CNN (I think!) is speaking out.

    10. Amos Keppler — on 11th January, 2009 at 8:59 pm  

      The sign is indeed exposing the pro-israel rallies.

    11. Katy Newton — on 11th January, 2009 at 9:00 pm  

      For fuck’s sake. Calling for peace for Israel and Gaza is the same as supporting the IDF? One bloke with an offensive placard negates a whole rally? I’ve seen some of the signs that were carried on Saturday, but fortunately I’m rational enough not to assume that those sentiments were shared by anyone who wasn’t carrying the same sort of sign. Notice, for example, that I don’t accuse you of being a cheerleader for Hizbollah or Hamas despite the many flags that were carried, nor do I suggest that you want to drive the Israeli Jews “back to Europe”, although I could stick a photo of that sign on my own blog and claim that it PROVES that everyone on the rally on Saturday wants the Jews out of Israel.

      Those of us who call for peace for Israel and Gaza want peace for Israel and Gaza. I’ve agreed with a lot of what you’ve said on here, Sid, and I normally admire your evenhandedness, but I can’t agree with what you’ve said here.

      A Jewish ‘friend’ on Facebook said to me after my status read like my placard: ’so what if 600 Muslims died, they were going to be suicide bombers anyway’.

      One Jewish “friend” makes a shitty comment. It’s a disgrace and I hope you told him so and then defriendulated him. But all communities have their arseholes, don’t they? There are racists and fascists of all colours and all creeds. Let me remind you again of some of the signs that were carried on Saturday, not to mention some of the antisemitic comments that have appeared on and then been deleted from this website. You know perfectly well that for every Jew that says something disgusting about Muslims there’ll be a Muslim that says something disgusting about Jews. That’s just the way it is. I’m afraid all your anecdote about your “friend” proves is that you need to choose your friends more carefully.

    12. Imran Khan — on 11th January, 2009 at 9:04 pm  

      The IDF has now said after many days that the shell fired into a UN building was fired in “error”.

      This after making all the newswires say the site was used for firing rockets now the news slips out quietly that the rocket launch site was 30 metres away.

      So the usual tactic of say it was a terrorist site then slip out the news it wasn’t. Wonder if old Bushad will now have the guts to condemn this given that the IDF have investigated it!

      Full story at:

      http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1054284.html

    13. Sunny — on 11th January, 2009 at 9:05 pm  

      You know perfectly well that for every Jew that says something disgusting about Muslims there’ll be a Muslim that says something disgusting about Jews.

      I think that is obvious to everyone Katy…

      What we’re doing is providing some balance to the view that the Pro-Palestinian rally on Saturday was full of potential suicide bombers and the one on Sunday was full of fluffy bunnies.

    14. Imran Khan — on 11th January, 2009 at 9:07 pm  

      Also Gideon Levy hits the nail on the head and will annoy Harry’s Place again. He has nominated Al Jazeera English for its unbiased coverage of the Gaza war.

      http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1054282.html

    15. Katy Newton — on 11th January, 2009 at 9:13 pm  

      What we’re doing is providing some balance to the view that the Pro-Palestinian rally on Saturday was full of potential suicide bombers and the one on Sunday was full of fluffy bunnies.

      Oh, was your Jewish friend on the rally today?

    16. Imran Khan — on 11th January, 2009 at 9:23 pm  

      Katy - Emotions are running high on all sides. Everyone needs to calm down as it isn’t worth losing good friends. You are a valuable contributor here and just because people are criticising the actions of Israel they are not having a go at you.

      By the same token it doesn’t mean that everyone is supporting everything the Palestinians do.

      I’ve also highlighted over the past days that leading Jewish personalities are speaking out.

      So there is a balance that yes there are nutters and yes there are people speaking out on both sides.

    17. Leon — on 11th January, 2009 at 9:24 pm  

      What we’re doing is providing some balance to the view that the Pro-Palestinian rally on Saturday was full of potential suicide bombers and the one on Sunday was full of fluffy bunnies.

      Exactly. Challenging idiotic reporting or media narratives is critical.

    18. Katy Newton — on 11th January, 2009 at 9:39 pm  

      You are a valuable contributor here and just because people are criticising the actions of Israel they are not having a go at you.

      I do not think so.

    19. El Cid — on 11th January, 2009 at 9:44 pm  

      Yep, I agree. It’s very important.
      But you can’t expect the reporter to ignore a mini-riot when it happens.
      You are seeing the march in its proper international context, but for those living and working and forced to police the mass of people, the context is that of disruption, broken glass, and telegenic action.
      Petty it may be in the grand scheme of things. Irrelevent it is not.
      At the end of the day, the people you should really blame are those eeejets who fancied a ruck and showed they couldn’t care less about the people of Gaza by their failure to grasp that effective PR is a lot more powerful than sticks and stones.

    20. RedSeaPedestrian — on 11th January, 2009 at 9:45 pm  

      “What we’re doing is providing some balance to the view that the Pro-Palestinian rally on Saturday was full of potential suicide bombers and the one on Sunday was full of fluffy bunnies.”

      Translation: Harry’s Place is acting like a bunch of assholes and so now we are too.

    21. El Cid — on 11th January, 2009 at 9:47 pm  

      Here we go again

    22. Boyo — on 11th January, 2009 at 9:48 pm  

      “the news slips out quietly that the rocket launch site was 30 metres away.”

      Hm. I don’t want to rake over old ground, but 30 metres is not exactly a football pitch… that’s 50 yards? Near enough to expect your enemies to think twice about firing back, just far enough for them to think it was worth a go…

    23. chairwoman — on 11th January, 2009 at 9:48 pm  

      Have just logged on.

      I do not approve in any way of the poster Sid found, which has also been mentioned and criticised on other sites, some pro-Israeli, but to say that nobody around him is doing anything about it, doesn’t make any sense, for based entirely on the photo supplied here, which is the only one I have seen, nobody around him would have been able to see it, as he has it hanging over the barricade, and the rest of the marchers (or whatever) are behind it.

    24. Sid — on 11th January, 2009 at 9:58 pm  

      I’ve seen some of the signs that were carried on Saturday, but fortunately I’m rational enough not to assume that those sentiments were shared by anyone who wasn’t carrying the same sort of sign. Notice, for example, that I don’t accuse you of being a cheerleader for Hizbollah or Hamas despite the many flags that were carried,

      Katy
      You most certainly haven’t and I don’t ever expect you to. But this was directed at those who labelled yesterday’s event a “Rally for Hamas” and today’s event “Peace for Israel and Gaza”, but which lacked any calls to address the humanitarian crisis that is happening on the ground now.

    25. El Cid — on 11th January, 2009 at 10:07 pm  

      All this has made me think that thousands can come out in support of something and just one carefully planted saboteur can undermine all their efforts with a single placard. I’m not saying this was a plant, by no means — I get the point of this thread.
      I’m just saying that if one wanted to, and had some balls, one could.

    26. Shamit — on 12th January, 2009 at 12:30 am  

      I think the most important bit about both rallies was the overwhelming demand for peace and for a better life for Israelis and Palestinians alike.

      Those were the thoughts of the majority irrespective of what some dumb assholes thought or did. I think human beings were and are still feeling the pain and suffering of other human beings.

      No one group or individual has monopoly on compassion or morality. I am conflicted. While I hate Hamas and everything those bastards stand for and I am all for the rights of Israel to defend itself — nothing makes me feel worse than parents weeping over their child’s dead body. A sight that our television screens have been flashing way too often over the past 2 weeks.

      Leaders have responsibilities towards their people. And, when those leaders use the death and destruction of their people to further their own political agenda — situations like those in Gaza take place. And it was at best naive of Hamas and at worst cruel and cold calculation what the impact of those 3,000 rockets would be?

      Why is it so often we view support for innocent civilians in Gaza to be against Israel or vice versa? I don’t have an answer to that question. But I do know that Hamas lost all its legitimacy by not only firing rockets in Israeli territory but more importantly by bringing death and destruction to people they were entrusted to protect and deliver a better quality of life.

      There is a humanitarian crisis in Gaza right now. No one with eyes can deny it. But the problem is if Israel retreats, Hamas would claim victory and this would be unacceptable to Israel and to be honest to me as well. But the death of innocent civilians is equally unacceptable.

      The solution lies in the hands of those great leaders of Hamas (coward fucks as I call them)- pledge to give up arms and rocket attacks, and accept Israel’s right to exist. Interestingly, the new Czech EU Presidency said similar things which is so refreshing after the usual crap sprouted by Sarkozy and Barroso.

      And, finally, who cares about the rallies? Do you think either Hamas or the Israeli Government give a toss? So why go on about whose rally was bigger or more righteous?

    27. Imran Khan — on 12th January, 2009 at 12:44 am  

      What brought Hamas to power as much as Fatah corruption was a blood thirsty ogre now comatosed who had his own idea of caging the people of Gaza and allowing nothing to prosper.

      The fault of this mess is primarily:

      1. Israel
      2. Fatah
      3. USA
      4. Arab World
      5. Europe

      because it allows Israel to do everything to deny the Palestinians a right to freedom and properity.

      There are no rockets coming from the West Bank as Pro-Israelis are fond of ssaying. But Israel is still continuing its policy of land grab, carving up the territory.

      So why won’t Pro-Israelis have the damn guts to acknowledge they made this bloody mess by their policies to keep the territory and that is why the Palestinians are at the point they frankly don’t give a shit how many die as long as they get their freedom.

      That is what drives the revenge and thirst to kill.

      It is wrong but only Israel can put it right.

      Olmert has realised too late what is needed. Livni is only interested in convincing the electorate she is as tough as Bibi.

      Israel’s policies have brought this situation because no one else had such control over matters.

      Sharon happily flew Bush over areas and showerd him maps of what he wanted to keep.

      I mean how bloody difficult is that to understand that behind the rhetoric Israel has created this situation by wanting to control every aspect of Gaza and West Bank life short right down to who has the right to drive on what road and who has access to what fresh water.

      How on earth can you deny that Israel is most responsible even under international law for this mess and it isn’t interested in making peace because it wants to keep the land at almost any cost. Every withdrawl has been with the aim of keeping most of the West Bank and caging up Gaza.

      Even ordinary Jews can see that now which is why so many are speakign out and the numbers grow daily.

    28. Steve M — on 12th January, 2009 at 12:49 am  

      I’m an ordinary Jew and I agree with every word written by Shamit above.

    29. Katy Newton — on 12th January, 2009 at 12:51 am  

      I think the most important bit about both rallies was the overwhelming demand for peace and for a better life for Israelis and Palestinians alike.

      No, Shamit, it wasn’t. You have to be on a side, you see. If you don’t unreservedly condemn one side, you must be on the other. That’s how it works. You can’t be on both sides. You aren’t allowed to sympathise with people on both sides at the same time. Providing “balance” is accomplished, not by trying to identify areas of consensus and facilitating a constructive discussion about the way forward, but by identifying injustices that you think the other side are doing to you, and then mirroring those injustices and doing them right back.

      And once you understand that, it’s easy to see why it’s important that the rally on Saturday was the good one and the rally on Sunday was the bad one, and why the people on Saturday were the good people and the people on Sunday were the ones who revel in the thought of dead civilians. There’s a right side and a wrong side. If you went to the one on Sunday, you were on the wrong side, and you must have been calling for the destruction of Gaza, even if you were carrying a placard calling for peace for Israelis and Palestinians. Because you were in the wrong rally. If you wanted peace, you’d have gone to the right rally. See?

    30. Imran Khan — on 12th January, 2009 at 12:51 am  

      “The solution lies in the hands of those great leaders of Hamas (coward fucks as I call them)– pledge to give up arms and rocket attacks, and accept Israel’s right to exist.”

      No no no - it lies in the hands of Israel which is in control of every aspect of Palestinian lives in Gaza and rthe West Bank. It lies in the hands of the cowards who sit in the Knesset and carry on this nonsense so they can stay in power.

      They can bring peace and reduce violence by creating a viable and economic Palestine and they won’t and haven’t for over 40 years.

      They have twisted every agreement made to avoid having to hand back the basic necessity of state - LAND.

      Until they do that and you stop deluding yourself that it is Hamas then nothing will happen. Hamas is a product of the situation borne of decades of frustration and denial of freedom.

      This mess can only be repaired when Israel stops lying to its people and accepts it needs to get the fuck out of occupied land. When Israel’s PM says we are going back to ‘67 borders most ordinary Palestinians won’t need to fight fo rtheir freedom.

      Pretty fucking basic concept really. Leave the occupied territories and see what they do. By always making excuses is like a drunk who needs to pee but can’t get his trousers down so he only ends up pissing on himself. By holding onto the West Bank and Gaza Israel is pissing on its own people.

    31. Imran Khan — on 12th January, 2009 at 12:57 am  

      Katy - With respect you are talking nonsense. It isn’t about sides its about what is needed for peace.

      Shamit’s post is another one which says Israel right and Palestinians wrong.

      Palestinians stop fighting for your freedom and we’ll give it to you promise even though when there wasn’t an intifada on the West Bank we just went ahead and started colonising the place to make sure you couldn’t have it back.

      The root cause of all this is the occupation and you won’t admit that, you can’t admit that and you don’t want to admit that.

      It really is simple make peace and not colonies.

      Colonies are what brought Hamas to power borne of frustration.

      Now you are saying well lets ignore all that and if you stop we give you what we have denied you for 40 years. Why should anyone believe you when Israel is planning new settlements - brand new in the West Bank. When it is encircling Jerusalem.

      What hope for peace and two states.

      Tell me please.

      Because in all my life growing up I have never seen Israel say we’ll leave the West Bank and Gaza and live in out own territory and meant what they said.

    32. Boyo — on 12th January, 2009 at 7:43 am  

      Im @ 31 “The solution lies in the hands of those great leaders of Hamas (coward fucks as I call them)– pledge to give up arms and rocket attacks, and accept Israel’s right to exist.”

      No no no - it lies in the hands of Israel…

      Im @ 32 Katy - With respect you are talking nonsense. It isn’t about sides its about what is needed for peace.

      Heh… I appreciate you don’t mean to take sides Imran, but in effect you are: and ironically illustrate how the conflict is intractable. As you rightly point out earlier - a whole lot of other people created Hamas (and Israel) and only they can guarantee peace.

    33. Boyo — on 12th January, 2009 at 7:43 am  

      30 & 31, but you know what I mean.

    34. Cold Beer — on 12th January, 2009 at 8:02 am  

      Sunny wrote: “Just because David T caught the pictures of a few nutters doesn’t mean it solely consisted of them.”

    35. cjcjc — on 12th January, 2009 at 9:09 am  

      There were plenty of nutters on the pro-hamas, sorry, peace march on saturday.

      Is this the best you could do, though, Sunny, a picture from a US march??

      BTW it does seem to be the case that the nutters on both sides are much more aggressive outside the UK.
      Thank goodness for our English temperament!

    36. Kenwood — on 12th January, 2009 at 9:25 am  

      I was at the rally on Sunday. This is what happened.

      There were about seven speakers. The rally started with everyone being asked to text a number - 81400. By doing so, everyone was making a donation to a hospital in Gaza and a hospital in Israel. Did this happen at Saturday’s rally? Of course not. Feel free to do so yourself, if you can bear the thought that you might help to save a Jewish life as well as a Palestinian one. I appreciate that this might stick in your throat.

      Every speaker spoke about the need for two states to live side by side in peace and every time they did so, they were cheered. Did this happen on Saturday? of course not.

      I stood next to a group of orthodox Jewish guys and girls in their late teens/early twenties. Every time there was a gap in proceedings, they would start up a chant of “peace now”. Did the equivalent group of Muslims do this on Saturday? Of course not.

      To conclude we sung two or three songs in Hebrew, all of them about peace. Did this happen on Saturday? of course not.

      Ask the police what their views are towards the groups that they were looking after on the two days? Which group had a positive message looking to the future and which group was all about negativity, destruction, racism and hatred? Which group caused destruction and injuries on the streets of London and which didn’t?

      And, as always, we sang the national anthem at Sunday’s rally. Can you imagine what would have happened if that had been suggested at Saturday’s rally?

      Sunny, I have praised this site to many people over the past year or so. I am afraid that you have now lost me, but clearly you don’t care about that. I and many of my friends should be your constituency - liberal, antiracist, moderate, only wanting everyone to treat each other decently and allowing everyone to follow their own path, religious or otherwise.

      I do not want another death in Palestine, Israel or anywhere else. Nor did anyone else that I could see at Sunday’s rally. I understand the anger felt when babies are being killed. So did everyone else at Sunday’s rally. There was no warmongering, just regret that this war had to take place (and yes, it did have to take place) and praying that it would be over very, very soon.

    37. cjcjc — on 12th January, 2009 at 9:39 am  

      Ooops, I mean is this the best you can do, Sid, not Sunny.

      I know Sunny is as opposed to Hamas as anyone.

    38. Imran Khan — on 12th January, 2009 at 9:40 am  

      Kenwood - “There was no warmongering, just regret that this war had to take place (and yes, it did have to take place) and praying that it would be over very, very soon.”

      You just don’t get it do you. Seriously you don’t understand the frustration.

      Again you repeat tired old mantra that there is regret but this war had to take place.

      The reason these things happen is because of the living conditions of the Palestinians most of which are controlled by Israel.

      Talking of peace please tell meon Sunday how many of your fellows said that Israel needed to stop building settlements? How many mentioned the carving up of the land with apartheid roads for Jews only? How many spoke of the need to build Muslim communities in Jerusalem? How many spoke of the water crisis affected daily Palestinian life? How many spoke of the danger Palestinians face from “Settlers” when they go to harvest?

      Do you actually give a damn about how Palestinians are greeted beyond mere gestures and lip service to peace?

      Every honest analysis in Israel says there is no military solution and negotiations are needed now. The Chief Rabbi said it might take one hundred years or more at which point what is left to negotiate.

      This constant ranting of you lot don’t like us but we want peace really whilst noone speaks about the crimes being committed in your name that have forced ordinary Palestinians into such positions that thye don’t care who dies. That means you have pushed them beyond the limit and they see no hope. Do you undertsand that they see no hope at all.

      Yes it is wrong but when you drive human to that point and pay lip service to peace and contribute towards a hospital it don’t mean anything. These people are fighting for their freedom from a brutal occupation which is controlled by the very country you are marching for.

      The occupier will always have a much more gentle march those occuppied will also have more emotion.

      I don’t suppose you’ve seen any pictures now or before of soldiers pointing guns at 3 - 4 year old children. Did any of your speakers complain about that?

      Did any of your speakers complain about the fact Israel bombed a UN School and in fact yesterday admitted there was no rocket launcher there and they mistargeted which they knew but didn’t release?

      Did any of your speakers complain about the latest war crime to emerge where people were herded to a house and then 24 hours later it was bombed?

      Did any of your speakers complain about the fact that the 4th most powerful army in the world with crack snipers and every piece of modern weaponry shoot children in the areas of vital organs?

      Did any of your speakers dare to complain about the treatment of the Palestinians?

      Many Jews are disgusted by what they see and are increasingly speaking out with brutal honesty even those with in the IDF and its a damn shame people here can’t admit that.

    39. Imran Khan — on 12th January, 2009 at 9:47 am  

      Why does everyone keep going on about Hamas - Hamas are a by product albeit a vicious by product of the brutal occupation.

      No Occupation = No Hamas

      It is bloody simple. Isreal by its actions and ongoing settlement means that the Palestinians feel they need a Hamas.

      When there was quiet in Gaza and the West Bank Israel still wouldn’t negotiate would it? Why did Israel need to colonise the land? Why did it need to built apatheid roads so it could ensure that nothign was given back?

      The Syrian front has been quiet for over 40 years and Syria offered Israel full peace for the return of the Golan and oh shit I forgot peace loving Israel annexed the land. Oh thats ok then.

      I forgot that they are allowed to annex what they feel like and you people will always say that those who have been brutalised are wrong.

      Imagine living in an area where you see daily death and occupation and an army.

      If Israel is so sure it is rightthen why aren’t journalists allowed in to see what is goign on. Whats to hide? Maybe the white phosporous they may be using? Maybe the tactics they are using?

      You can’t see and you won’t hear what is going on.

      If Israel wants peace then stay within the ‘67 borders and don’t let “Settler” thieves occupy the land so people see hope. Pretty damn simple.

      But no it is always the other sides fault after all they cuddly settlers are lovly I am sure a few have some in your homes.

    40. Kenwood — on 12th January, 2009 at 10:07 am  

      Imran

      Actually, here is where we differ.

      Of course, any decent human being understands the frustration felt by the average Palestinian (and their supporters). If I was a Palestinian, and all I had known for my whole life was the shit that is Gaza, I would also be kicking out against my enemy. And if I was fed up with the lack of progression in my conditions being improved, I might even have voted for Hamas in the last elections.

      When I was growing up, probably 5% of the Jewish community in England thought that there should be a Palestinian state. Now, a significant majority believes that there should be one. Why? Because we accept (in some cases begrudgingly) that that is now the only way forward

      The key difference is this: I recognise the hell that is the life of the average person in Gaza and I understand that you will have an obvious default emotional response in favour of your brethren.

      You have no recognition for or understanding of Israel’s position and you find it impossible to understand that I might have an obvious default emotional response to my brethren.

      You don’t care that this has moved on from a dispute over a piece of land. We know, and the proof is all around us on our television screens, computer screens, bus shelters, synagogue walls, school and kindergarten entrances, that this is about a religious war. If we allow Hamas/Hezbollah and Iran to win, it is the end of world Jewry. Of course negotiations are the only way forward but not with someone whose primary aim is to butcher me because I am Jewish, not to build a new state.

      You have no idea of the increased personal threats that many Jews are now under. It has always been a disgrace that so many of us have to give up vast chunks of our time to undertake security duties for our children’s nurseries, schools, community buildings and synagogues because the local authorities and national government do not provide us with the resources to defend our buildings. And who are we defending ourselves against? Not the far right like in the 70s. No, our only threat now is from the Muslim community which has been hijacked by fundamentalists and who want all Jews to vanish off the planet. Maybe, with their vast numbers, they will win one day. But we are not going to make it easy for them and we are not going to allow Hamas the opportunity to do so on their behalf.

      It is interesting to note more and more in the press how the average Palestinian is feeling braver in stating their disgust with Hamas for bringing this war upon them. And how many Arab and European leaders accept that this war was a necessary evil if any progress is going to be made.

      Let’s hope that this will soon be over.

    41. marvin — on 12th January, 2009 at 10:40 am  

      No Occupation = No Hamas

      Israel withdrew from Gaza in 2005. Militants celebrated by firing thousands of rockets at Israel.

      Hamas sees the entirety of Israel as an ‘occupation’. Nothing less than the destruction of the Zionist entity would appease Hamas, Islamic Jihad.

    42. The Dude — on 12th January, 2009 at 10:43 am  

      Katy

      Now you see WHY my original decision not to go on either of the marches was the correct one.

      Kenwood

      Until you’ve walked a mile in the shoes of a Palestinian civilian living in (and dying) in Gaza, do us all a favour and shut up. Today I listened to Sir Jeremy Greenstock on R4 and what he said about HAMAS and the West’s mishandling of the peace process as opposed to Tony Blair was breathtaking, as well as accurate.

    43. Kenwood — on 12th January, 2009 at 11:02 am  

      Dude

      Very constructive. Can you see why you and your cohorts piss off possible supporters of your views?

      But obviously hating is so much easier than the alternative.

    44. marvin — on 12th January, 2009 at 11:10 am  

      The Dude has listened to R4, man. He knows what it’s like to be a living (dying) Palestinian civilian, he heard it all on the radio. So yeah, shut up Kenwood, what do you know.

    45. Rumbold — on 12th January, 2009 at 11:15 am  

      Thank the gods for Shamit.

    46. MaidMarian — on 12th January, 2009 at 11:20 am  

      Looking at the picture, does anyone know what the flag in the background is? There is a bloke in a light blue jacket in the foreground, the flag I mean is made up of colourful stripes and it is visible over the right shoulder of the man in a blue coat.

      There is a reason for wondering this, not least my curiosity. Too many people are getting themself tied in knots over marches because increasingly these marches are not about an agenda, they are about the agenda of whoever shows up. StW started this trend when it sought boots on the ground rather than purity of cause, but these marches seem to have reinforced this trend.

      These marches seem to be articulations of every sentiment from destroy Gaza to we are all Hamas to peace on Earth. The point I am getting at is that these marches seem to be ever more fora for malcontents to get all off their chest rather than an articulation of a social sentiment.

      CND put these marches to shame.

      The truth is that over I/P we have been chasing the collective tail over endless shades of grey for more than 40 years. These marches tell us nothing we don’t know already and if anything just become self reinforcing at the extremes. This is not to say, ‘no marches,’ but fewer, better marches would be a start.

      Here’s a thought. At its height, CND had a million plus people paying to be a card-carrying member, in the early 1980s economic downturn. How many would pay money now to join StW? ‘Get it all off your chest’ may get boots on the ground, but it’s thin. So thin that it needs the extremes, as in the picture, to get it going. This goes some way to explaining how Bush and Blair both got reelected post Iraq really quite comfortably.

      Causes can not be built on malcontentment, however much interent oppobruim gives that impression.

      BTW, can someone sort the numbering on comments out please?

    47. fug — on 12th January, 2009 at 11:46 am  

      what an ugly protest, what ugly protesters, what an ugly face of israel.

    48. chairwoman — on 12th January, 2009 at 11:52 am  

      what ugly protesters,

      How petty and small-minded.

    49. marvin — on 12th January, 2009 at 11:54 am  

      As opposed to the beautiful pro-Palestinian rally, whereby all the speakers were effused with affinity for Hamas terror, and rioters punched kicked and threatened police and buildings. Try looking at LiveLeak.

      The 95% of the signs at the UK rally called for Peace for Gaza and Israel. Why is that ugly?

      What percentage of signs on Saturdays rally called for Peace in Israel too? Apart from Tatchell and Hundal, very few indeed.

    50. Cold Beer — on 12th January, 2009 at 12:03 pm  

      As compared to the ugly protest, ugly protestors and ugly face of Palestine presented here?

    51. cjcjc — on 12th January, 2009 at 12:03 pm  

      A nutter - at a US rally - on the sidelines.

      Now here’s another nutter - aka Azzam Tamimi - who was one of the invited speakers on Saturday in London.

      Do you understand the difference?

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V3D8F-2Iujk

    52. soru — on 12th January, 2009 at 12:05 pm  

      I do think it would be a good thing if, instead of pro-Israel marches attended by some people who want peace and some people who want victory, and pro-Palestine marches attended by the same two camps, there was just one demo for people who wanted peace. Then, perhaps, there could be a separate joint demo for all those who agreed war was a better plan.

    53. fug — on 12th January, 2009 at 12:08 pm  

      only topped by the ugliness of female israeli offence forces spokespeople.

      the minnions of zion demo was a sorry display for the cameras

    54. douglas clark — on 12th January, 2009 at 12:13 pm  

      Maid Marian,

      Might the flag you were asking about be this one - scroll down to the 1925 flag?:

      http://www.fotw.net/flags/int-ica.html#org

    55. marvin — on 12th January, 2009 at 12:13 pm  

      Soru I don’t think it would be a very good idea for Jews (who aren’t calling for the destruction of Israel) to turn up to a rally with Hamas, Hizbollah and Al-Qaeda supporters…

      Fug would be up for it tho. Teach ‘em a lesson eh!

    56. MaidMarian — on 12th January, 2009 at 12:32 pm  

      douglas clark - Thanks, it could be.

      No idea what that organisation would be doing at that rally though!

    57. Golam Murtaza — on 12th January, 2009 at 12:39 pm  

      I don’t know fug…. I mean, some of those seriously FOXY young female IDF soldiers. Come on chief, be honest. Wouldn’t you??

    58. Imran Khan — on 12th January, 2009 at 12:40 pm  

      Marvin - withdrawl and having complete control of access to the outisde world is called imprisonment in anyones book.

      Kenwood - I do understand your position. Despite what you think I fully understand what you say. Which is why I keep saying and Chairwoman agreed that we need a major community event to remind Jews and muslims how they lived together.

      The basic fact is that I only reply when a Pro-Israel supporter goes over the top in their eulogy of Israel and all it has supposedly done.

      Put bluntly both sides have done little if anything meaningful to achieve peace. Both will say they have and the stupid leadership here on either side will parrot the same. But they haven’t. They’ve done parctically nothing.

      At the end of the day the entire leadership in Israel and Palestine need to be jailed indefinately for their failures. They are all useless selfish idiots all of them.

      In the meantime as I said I suggest you contact The Community Security Trust and ask them to contact one of the major mosques and ask if a community event can be set-up.

      If you want I’ll also contact them.

      In the meantime I’ll contact the mosques and see if we can do something which isn’t connected to the I/P issue.

      But at the end of the day there needs to be a mutual understanding of the failure of both sides and an understanding that this can’t go on.

    59. Kenwood — on 12th January, 2009 at 12:50 pm  

      Imran

      I appreciate your latest comment and its tone.

      However, I am still confused. You now say: “The basic fact is that I only reply when a Pro-Israel supporter goes over the top in their eulogy of Israel and all it has supposedly done.”

      Please explain where in my first post I mentioned anything about Israel at all? I just described what happened at the rally.

    60. Imran Khan — on 12th January, 2009 at 1:03 pm  

      Look all this they did and we did and they do and we do isn’t helping.

      Both sides have held their protest and both sides see a need for peace.

      So how do you get the parties there rather than arguing who had the prettier rally.

    61. Kismet Hardy — on 12th January, 2009 at 1:12 pm  

      Rallies always turn ugly when the ‘war’ in question involves traditional soldiers doing what they’re meant to - kill lots of people - against men in civvies doing what they’ve been told not to do - kill lots of people. Angry rallies, guerilla tactics and cowardly bombings wouldn’t be an issue if two sides were allowed to fight the good old-fashioned way with soldiers killing soldiers in the field

    62. Shamit — on 12th January, 2009 at 1:19 pm  

      Imran

      I for one respect your views even if I do not agree with them always.

      If we are looking at history, I agree there is a lot of blame to go around. We, the Brits, have been the real problem — we are the ones who created nations by drawing lines in the sand and then walked away from it without resolving the situation.

      However, if we go down the memory lane, all we would do is end up with more frustrations and anger and cry out at the ineptitude of our political leaders of all colour and creed of the times. While it could be an interesting past time, reiterating how five Arab Armies attacking Israel in 1967 and starting the Yom Kippur war — or how Israelis killed and butchered Arab families to get them evicted out of their lands — I find little positive to gain out of that process. And I am sure you would agree.

      I do not agree with the land encroachment of Israeli settlers and I find their behaviour towards Arab neighbours despicable. But, I want to move on and I want peace and prosperity in the region. I believe you share that thought too.

      The request I have is please do not equate Hamas with ordinary Palestinians — it would be similar to equating LeT with ordinary Pakistanis. That bunch are cowardly thugs who should be in incarceration. Days of Ben Guiron and Moshe Dayan are over — terrorism or defending acts of terror in the name of nation building are gone forever.

      But the difference between Moshe Dayan or Ben Guiron and Hamas — they never deliberately made sure their own people lost blood and sought glory in that blood. They did not hide behind innocent children and sought political gains by bringing death and destruction. But if you think, I support Israel’s encroachment or the acts of undue violence and unfairness you are very wrong.

      Hamas was legitimately elected - no one disputes that. But in today’s world, every legitimate government has to abide by certain basic norms which Hamas flouted almost from the day they took office. And they claimed that they would not honour the agreements in place already but sought to continue a reign of terror which was the reason the duly elected President of the Palestinian People dismissed their government following constitutional norms. Hamas could have gone into another election and ran a candidate for President — but no they used that excuse to start another reign of terror against their own people.

      Defend Palestinian rights - you got my support. Defend Israel’s right to exist - you got my support but please don’t expect me to say Hamas is doing the right thing or they are in any ways representing the aspirations of the Palestinian people. That is insulting and dare I say you end up in the position of defending something which is indefensible.

      In my book, Hamas and Hezbollah are both terrorist outfits which the entire UN Security Council agrees and they use the blood of their own people to find glory. That is disgusting and NOT ACCEPTABLE.

      I want the operation to stop but I am not willing to grant any victories to those who target innocent people without remorse — and more importantly fail to protect those who elected them.

      You are better than that

    63. Imran Khan — on 12th January, 2009 at 1:22 pm  

      Kenwood - “Please explain where in my first post I mentioned anything about Israel at all? I just described what happened at the rally.”

      I wasn’t referring to anyone specific it is more the way this discussion is going.

      Now people are complaining about the looks of spokeswoman!

      As regards the rest of what I said I am serious that we need to do something so please do contact The CST and the big mosques in London and I will do the same.

      If they won’t do anything to help settle community relations then we need to kick them to it ;-)

      It is needed with the tension so lets try our best and see what develops.

    64. Shamit — on 12th January, 2009 at 1:25 pm  

      The way forward lies in Hamas accepting that there is no way in hell would they succeed in their goals of making Israel weep in Gaza. Unfortunately, it would be the innocent Palestinians who are and would be weeping.

      They need to declare that they have no problems with Israel’s existance and adhere to the rule of the law, the Palestinian Authority Constitution and accept the authority of the legitmately elected President.

      If I was Israeli PM, there was no way in hell, could I retreat unless Hamas says Israel can exist because granting a victory to these assholes would make them spill more blood.

      US/EU cannot stop Israel — and no American Politician would dare to tell the Israelis to back off and let Hamas declare victory. Not even Obama — he has got an economic package to pass and he cannot alienate House of Reps who would have to run for re-election in 2010 and neither would 1/3rd of the senate who would have to do the same. AIPAC is way too powerful and his own Chief of Staff would resign — so would probably his Secretary of State.

    65. Shamit — on 12th January, 2009 at 1:28 pm  

      And please folks for sanity ignore Platinum786 — he may sugarcoat his words but Jai and others here have taken his cloak off many times.. He is a bigot and a divisive character at best

    66. Golam Murtaza — on 12th January, 2009 at 1:31 pm  

      He probably just needs to get laid more often.

    67. Sid — on 12th January, 2009 at 1:35 pm  

      I’d just like to add that Platinum786 is banned from my threads - all further posts by him will be deleleted without question.

      If you want to be an irresponsible, immature cretin then save it for the Pakistani Defence Forum, where that kind of stuff is probably appreciated.

    68. Shamit — on 12th January, 2009 at 1:45 pm  

      “Sunny, I have praised this site to many people over the past year or so. I am afraid that you have now lost me, but clearly you don’t care about that. I and many of my friends should be your constituency - liberal, antiracist, moderate, only wanting everyone to treat each other decently and allowing everyone to follow their own path, religious or otherwise.”

      Kenwood, while those comments were made for Sunny - as a regular on this site, I find them unfortunate. I think Sunny and the rest of the PP editorial team do a wonderful job and they do their best to get rid of nutters without hampering the flow of the debate. All of us have biases and sometimes words are written which reflect them. But in general, this site is very moderate and progressive and my request to you and your friends would be to embrace this site and make it better rather than criticising and leaving. I disagree with Sunny a lot but you have to give him the credit for the vision and for the hard work the team puts into this without any remuneration.

      And, once again all of us who use this site to vent or discuss owe the entire PP team our grateful thanks.

    69. Rumbold — on 12th January, 2009 at 1:57 pm  

      Very kind of you to say so Shamit. We always appreciate comments like that.

    70. Shamit — on 12th January, 2009 at 2:03 pm  

      no problem mate - its the truth and i mean every word in the comment.

    71. douglas clark — on 12th January, 2009 at 2:17 pm  

      I agree with what Shamit has had to say on this thread, and also the comments he’s made about the PP team.

      I’ve had a thought buzzing around in my head for a day or two. Does anyone else see parallels between what happened over Georgia and what is happening in Gaza?

      In the sense that the leaderships of the hawks in Georgia and Hamas have been left out to dry by the international community. And, indeed, what international support that does seem to exist is for the victims, the South Ossetians and the Palestinians respectively.

      Just asking.

    72. Imran Khan — on 12th January, 2009 at 2:24 pm  

      Shamit - “US/EU cannot stop Israel — and no American Politician would dare to tell the Israelis to back off and let Hamas declare victory. Not even Obama — he has got an economic package to pass and he cannot alienate House of Reps who would have to run for re-election in 2010 and neither would 1/3rd of the senate who would have to do the same. AIPAC is way too powerful and his own Chief of Staff would resign — so would probably his Secretary of State.”

      And there in lies the core of the problem itself. All of the above are happy to tell the Muslim world but won’t tell Israel.

      Its the they won’t dare pressure us which leaves Israel able to pursue its objectives and the Palestinians feeling they have to fight their way to freedom as no one will help them.

      So why does Israel have to come to peace if no one will dare tell them?

      That is why we are where we are and why when you march for Israel you are not supporting peace because no one including you can pressure Israel or dare to pressure Israel.

      This is why many Muslims don’t trust the USA as a neutral.

    73. Leon — on 12th January, 2009 at 2:45 pm  

      I think Sunny and the rest of the PP editorial team do a wonderful job and they do their best to get rid of nutters without hampering the flow of the debate.

      Would like to echo Rumbold and say cheers, much appreciated.

      In addition I should say we don’t ban people without consideration, it’s never an easy decision (personally I hate having to but at the same time won’t tolerate people trying to purposely undermine the great community of contributors here).

    74. Leon — on 12th January, 2009 at 2:57 pm  

      Does anyone else see parallels between what happened over Georgia and what is happening in Gaza?

      Interesting question, I don’t follow the Georgia situation really (only so many hours in the day etc) but I do support all people’s right to self determination. How that’s achieved and under what condition’s however are another story.

    75. The Queen of Fiddlesticks — on 12th January, 2009 at 3:24 pm  

      When I find myself in times of trouble
      Mother Mary comes to me
      Speaking words of wisdom, let it be.
      And in my hour of darkness
      She is standing right in front of me
      Speaking words of wisdom, let it be.
      Let it be, let it be.
      Whisper words of wisdom, let it be.

      And when the broken hearted people
      Living in the world agree,
      There will be an answer, let it be.
      For though they may be parted there is
      Still a chance that they will see
      There will be an answer, let it be.
      Let it be, let it be. Yeah
      There will be an answer, let it be.

      And when the night is cloudy,
      There is still a light that shines on me,
      Shine on until tomorrow,
      let it be.
      I wake up to the sound of music
      Mother Mary comes to me
      Speaking words of wisdom, let it be.
      Let it be, let it be.
      There will be an answer, let it be.
      Let it be, let it be,
      Whisper words of wisdom, let it be

    76. The Dude — on 12th January, 2009 at 3:48 pm  

      Kenwood

      I can’t and won’t talk for the Palestinian people for the simple reason that I’m not one of them. Get It! Call Sunny what you will but for me, he is a stand up guy.

      When the TWO state solution was suggested in South Africa, the ANC rejected it out of hand. Doing so would have legitimised the original offence (against the Africans) as well as given credence to an immoral Apartheid state. I also remember white South Africans demanding equality (before the court of public opinion) and support from the rest of the world for being the victims of black terrorism, as if the two sides were in some way equal. Their argument was a joke then, as it is now, the only difference now being that the place in question is called Israel and the people making up the noise are called Jews.

    77. Shamit — on 12th January, 2009 at 4:41 pm  

      Imran,

      I find it laughable when people talk about the Muslim world. It seems that all Muslims have the same political beliefs and agendas — unfortunately, history has shown that’s simply not the case.

      Why is there a Shia-Sunni bloodbath going on in Iraq currently? Or if we go back in history — why the sectarian violence?

      Why did the genocide happen in then East Pakistan now Bangladesh — attrocities were committed by fellow Muslims and that included rape, torture, indiscriminate killing.

      Where is the Muslim world in condemning the violence and genocide in Sudan? Where were these muslims who distrust the Western Government so much when Britain, US and France put troops in Serbia - Bosnia to protect Muslims?

      Where is the condemnation of the Muslim world at the state sponsored terrorism perpetrated by some state agencies in Pakistan on India where muslims died too?

      Where is the fellow brotherly feeling of Muslims in the Arab World — why haven’t the Palestinians been given citizenship in Arab states except for in Jordan? Why don’t the Muslims take exception to the treatment meted out by Arab Muslims on their brethren from South Asia and treat them less than fellow human beings?

      This Muslim World is a myth — an utopia which only exists in the minds of the radicals and those who wish there was that united muslim front. Either way, I find it laughable and sad.

      There is a common bond of humanity and that common bond supercedes all others. Every human being has some undeniable rights — somehow those rights are always less in so called Islamic Republics or Monarchies — and bringing religious fervour into an already emotive issue clearly shows your colour Imran.

      The question is about the rule of law — the question on this thread is about bringing in peace and driving towards a united Palestine and a secured Israel. Both nations could prosper and live in Peace. The biggest problem is a terror outfit called Hamas - which does not want peace as peace would bring demise to its existance. Hence they use religion as a cover for their attrocities. And using religion as a basis of your argument you end up supporting these assholes.

      Israel is under pressure from all sides to curtail settlements — why the hell do you think Olmert and Sharon used IDF to push back settlers? Israel is under considerable international pressure. But every sovereign state has a right to defend itself like every human being.

      I did not see you coming out and condemn the actions of Hamas in November when they walked out of a meeting chaired by President Abbas where he proposed reunification under a national unity government — the condition was give up arms against your own people and accept the agreements in place. There was no Israel involved.

      No they rather fire 300 rockets the day the cease fire ended and fired from civilian heavy localities. I want you to condemn that — but you wont. I am not an apologist for Israel but I am tired of the world using religion as a cover to legitimise actions by terror groups.

      So please dont try to tell us that you are balanced - because clearly all you see is one side. I myself said in a post before that the days of Moshe Dayan and Ben Guiron are over — no one would accept what they had done in the name of nation building anymore. But at lease they did not willingly bring about death and destruction of their own people — rather tried to protect them.

      I get angry when I see intelligent people claiming its Muslims vs the World. Sorry, mate, the blasts in Rawalpindi, Lahore, Karachi, or the indiscriminate killings by different groups in Iraq have mostly caused Muslim deaths. Out of the 170 odd who died in Mumbai — many were Muslims. So dont you fucking dare say its the Muslim World?

      No its terrorists vs the rest of the world. States make mistakes and democratic states with independent judiciary have provisions for recourse and appeal — Hamas or Hezbollah does not. I have many Muslim friends — don’t you dare try to equate them with these bunch of thugs.

      Imran, if you want a debate — I am all for it — but if you want to use religion as a cover for the actions of Hamas then I feel sorry for you and you cut a pathetic figure especially when I am sure your intellect tells you otherwise.

    78. fug — on 12th January, 2009 at 4:45 pm  

      There were lots of jewish banners and people around me and ma peeps at saturdays huge and characterful demo.

      Respect to them, and to naomi klein and the israeli academics appealing to the outside world to boycott, divest and sanction israel.

      IOF forces are ugly in body, mind and soul. So are their defenders, spoonfeeders and string pullers.

    79. Imran Khan — on 12th January, 2009 at 5:02 pm  

      Shamit - I don’t intend to reply to your long rant. The situation is caused primarily by the occupation and Israel may be under pressure but it doesn’t yield to that pressure and carries on regardless.

      I have never backed Hamas and have said enough times they are idiots and murderers. The reason they are in pwoer is due to Fatah corruption and Israel’s activities but if you want to deny that then nothing will persuade you.

      You version of a debate is to limit things to areas where you can win rather than addressing the overall situation and hence people like you accept what is going on.

      Israel can carry on but it is now Jews who are openly questioning Zionism as a whole and how long Israel will last if it carries on as it does.

      You are simply here to make sure that Israel is free of blame in this mess so it is pointless discussing anything with a Pro-Israel handwasher.

    80. Shamit — on 12th January, 2009 at 5:23 pm  

      Israel is not free of blame and cannot be. It could have lifted the economic blockade and made life much easier for Palestinians in Gaza and could have brought some sort of normalcy in Gaza.

      It could have stopped its settlers long before it started to. I do not disagree with your evaluation of Fatah and Israeli occupation and policies especially under Netanyahu’s regime.

      He was the worst manifestation of any Israeli politician. I am not denying that in anyway — also the behaviour and the treatment of even pregnant Arab women in the hands of Israeli settlers cannot be defended and I wont defend that either.

      I will still not equate Israel with Hamas. But this particular crisis is Hamas’ handiwork. You might agree or disagree. Sorry mate, I cant - and I think the question is about land and not really religion.

      And the only reason, Israel cant back down is because you cannot grant victory to a terror group as they would spill more blood.

      I am all for a Palestinian state which follows rule of law and follows international norms. You make me sound like part of a Zionist propaganda machine.. I am not. I am defending the rights of a sovereign democratic state against terrorists who would kill their own people to seek glory.

      You cant see the differentiation and you call me blind. May be and what you call rant was exasperation at your efforts to claim to be bringing the entire Muslim world under one umbrella and making statements on behalf of them. I disagreed with certain examples — examples that you cannot refute.

    81. bananabrain — on 12th January, 2009 at 5:40 pm  

      i’ve been doing a bit of thinking about this over the weekend and it seems to me that demonstrations epitomise precisely what i find so frustrating about the polarisation of debate. everyone is concerned about which “demo” they should go to, about what other people at the demo might yell or put on their placards and about what the speakers might say, whether by being at the demo, they are “associated” or “endorsing” all of these statements, sentiments and policies. once you start down this road you’ll never be done and you’ll end up, as we have indeed done here, arguing about what the putative supporters of the putative sides are in favour of rather than what should actually happen.

      i had a conversation with my auntie this weekend (she lives in the north of israel, within range of rockets from lebanon) and we had a short chat about what we thought was going on and what was needed. normally we don’t agree on a great deal, her being a likudnik and a proponent of the “if you show restraint, it is interpreted as weakness, so you have to show you are not to be messed with” school of thought. however, she does not, like some right-wingers, consider my point of view naive - she thinks my way of thinking is important to consider and act on if possible. her kids, my cousins, are getting called up as reservists at present and a couple are probably already in gaza. so, as you can imagine, i don’t want them to be there for no good reason, i don’t want them ordered to do stupid, counterproductive or immoral things and i certainly don’t want them in the dock at the hague. i also have relatives within rocket range in ashdod and friends within rocket range in sderot and be’er shev’a. none of them hate palestinians, but they don’t see how they can continue to sit there and do nothing as rockets are fired. that’s the view on the ground at any rate.

      anyway, the interesting thing for me was that she agreed with my diplomatic analysis. both of us think we’re wasting our time in gaza, because this isn’t really about the palestinians at all.

      this is, and has been for some time, about iran. you know, the guys who gave the christmas message on channel 4?

      let’s ask that good old lawyerly question again: cui bono - who benefits?

      not the vast majority of palestinians, that’s for sure. it’s not like they can get rid of israel, or even cause very much damage. so what do they get out of this, other than sympathy for the response?

      how about hamas? well, diplomatic gains of course, plus any benefit they receive from being seen as brave, plucky little resistance fighters on the famous “arab street”, as opposed to their corrupt and ineffective domestic rivals within fatah. plus, of course, by being seen to stand firm they can count on increasing their grass-roots support as long as they are able to present their actions as “resistance”, rather than provocation. as i’ve said elsewhere, by not turning up the temperature they presumably would have to deal with day-to-day tasks like stimulating the economy and getting people back to work. needless to say, while there’s a war on they don’t have to do stuff like that.

      of course, they continue to get their ongoing financial incentives and resupplies from their paymasters in tehran. but, in real terms, do they get any closer to their ultimate aim of a worldwide islamic state? not really if they’re aiming to wipe israel off the map like they’re always saying. remember hamas is the “*islamic* resistance movement”, affiliated to the muslim brotherhood, not a palestinian group at all. in fact, hamas ideologues have gone on record as saying that nationalism is actually against their aims, that the idea of a state of palestine is in fact un-islamic. so they have to be looking at a wider campus, taking in the activities of the ikhwan in egypt, jordan, syria and elsewhere in the islamic world. as amir taheri puts it in asharq al-awsat:

      Hamas has already lost because it has destroyed the biggest achievement of the Palestinians since 1967, that is to separate the issue of Palestine from the bigger power rivalries in the region and beyond. One again, the fate of Palestine depends on foreign powers, this time including Iran, with their own agendas.

      the question is, who benefits from the strengthening of the muslim brotherhood? well, again, this has to be iran. regardless of whether the ikhwan’s aims are ideologically and practically compatible in the medium-to-long-term with the khomeinists, at present the heirs of hassan al-banna are the most important domestic opposition/fifth column/grass-roots/whatever to the “shaykhs” of the arab world, the incumbent kings, sultans, emirs and dictators from morocco to pakistan. whatever weakens them or makes them appear more oppressive works in the favour of iran. it’s the classic win-win scenario: if they make life uncomfortable for the “shaykhs”, good. nobody will shed many tears for the likes of mubarak or the saudis. and if the “shaykhs” oppress them even worse, it’s a propaganda victory and, of course, let’s not forget that from the khomeinists’ point of view, they’re only sunnis after all. i will gloss over the underlying 1300 year-old racist undertones, the persians have never forgiven the arabs for dethroning their empire when islam took over the middle east. so either way, this is hardly a downside for them.

      the other question is whether the iranians’ other assets in the region benefit - the most obvious being hizbollah. well, they’re certainly being supportive, but appear taken aback by the extent of the israeli campaign, to the extent that they are subcontracting their own rocket attacks to palestinian groups in order to maintain a diplomatic facade, “plausible deniability” if you like. well, nasrallah is trying his best to make hay out of it without upsetting his party’s chances in the looming lebanese election, so with any luck there’ll be no official escalation in the north.

      the other iranian asset is of course the syrian regime, which gives us the final clue about timing; they were negotiating with the israelis in ankara under the auspices of the iranians’ great non-arab enemy, the turks. an escalation in the south from hamas was designed to do one thing - disrupt those talks by forcing an israeli retaliation, embarrassing the turks; this is one way in which the iranians can try and prevent the syrians’ moving out of their sphere of influence. hamas’ leadership is also based in damascus and they would be a bargaining chip that the syrians would naturally find it easy to part with for the right diplomatic price. the palestinians, as usual, would be left to twist in the wind, but what’s new?

      so the other question, then, is what the israelis have to gain from the attack. again, they can’t be unaware that this will cost them dearly on the diplomatic front especially in europe. US interregnum or not, they will be starting the obama presidency by putting him in a difficult position just at the point at which he will be looking to differentiate himself from the bush administration. some people seem to think that because his chief of staff is israeli, that will automatically mean that israel is determining US policy, but in reality obama is going to have to bend over backwards to make it clear that this is not the case, or it will harm him both domestically and internationally just at the point at which he wants to get away from the unilateralism of the bush years. i can’t see what they have to gain on the US front by being seen to be this difficult at this point.

      how does it benefit them domestically? clearly, the elections are one factor, barak and livni have to be seen to be at least as tough as netanyahu will be to be taken seriously. also, most of the israeli electorate is sick and tired of the rockets and wants to see that the gaza disengagement (remember that? removing the settlements was supposed to lead to peace?) was not simply a bad idea.

      how does it benefit them with regard to gaza? well, i suppose their aims have to be around reducing rocket fire to a manageable level - although i struggle to understand what that would be, certainly they’re not going to be able to stop it 100%. certainly they have nothing to gain by stoking further hatred and creating more martyrs. they have everything to lose by making it harder to live for the people of gaza unless, i suppose, they finally turn on their rulers for lying to them and pushing them into a corner, but given that hasn’t happened before now it is hard to see how it would. it is stupid to think that the palestinians will knuckle under if hit hard enough, the reverse seems to be the case. i can only conclude that they have certain limited objectives with regard to gaza itself in terms of destroying smuggling tunnels, weapons dumps and going after the command structure.

      how does it benefit them with regard to the palestinians in the west bank? well, i suppose there is an element of “pour encourager les autres” going on; perhaps this is a warning to the rest of proto-palestine not to go down the route the gazans have gone down if they ever want a disengagement from the remaining occupation? certainly fatah have got that particular message loud and clear.

      i think my conclusion would have to be that the israelis concluded that this was a scenario they had to have up their sleeve if and when the iranians tried to disrupt the negotiations with syria and they have now put it into effect. this would mean that there are two main foreign audiences for the gaza campaign, the most immediate being hizbollah - that they have learnt from the 2006 fiasco and upgraded their tactics and equipment, so don’t mess with them again. this message would appear to be having the desired effect, especially with the lebanese elections coming, as i’ve said.

      the main audience, in this case, has to be iran proper. and it’s instructive to see what is going on - in the first couple of days there were announcements about training suicide bombers for export to help their oppressed brethren, now the “supreme leader” khameini has put the kybosh on it. perhaps the iranians are realising the israelis are not as ham-fisted as they look. i would expect, therefore, a ramping up of rhetoric from ahmedinejad and his allies, with a corresponding dialling-down of activity.

      this brings me, then, to what israel is doing wrong, other than laying itself open to untrue accusations of genocide, irrelevant diatribes about “proportionality” but nonetheless deserved scrutiny about what appears to be a morally disastrous and brutal lack of regard for civilian casualties. i don’t believe israel can remove hamas by force, nor should it. i’ve seen one opinion that according to international law, other than civilian deaths through callousness and negligence, they are within their rights to respond to the provocation they’ve received, so if anyone ends up being done for war crimes, it’ll be the likes of meir shitreet or people in the army command, it seems to me and, sad to say, perhaps that is what israel needs, to understand that they need to focus on what israel is for and really about in my opinion. amir taheri again:

      Israel will also lose because it lacks the unity and resolve to pursue this war until a new status quo is created in Gaza. Israel may win in military terms, as it did in Lebanon, but would lose politically because it would leave behind a smaller but emboldened Hamas still capable of holding Gazans hostage to a strategy ultimately decided by others.

      as a focus i am increasingly convinced (and, in this, i am in agreement with my auntie) that what is really needed is for the israelis to take the battle to the iranians by all feasible means. i’m not (unlike her) advocating military strikes at this point, to make that clear, not because i particularly care if people misrepresent that as warmongering, but because i think this is a clear opportunity to take the moral high ground. israel must expose the iranians’ strategic play at every level. they must gather *evidence* in gaza to prove this point. they must use every means at their disposal to isolate the iranians diplomatically. they have already demonstrated what they can do if roused. i think they must have their eye on a post-khomeinist regime in iran, which could once more be an ally as it was before the revolution, but this time on a different basis, not merely morally dubious american subcontractors - after all, the cold war’s over. all in all, they must build an international consensus to put iran firmly back in its box and stimulate regime change.

      and in this, they just might have some unexpected supporters who stand to benefit considerably thereby - the arabs.

      i’m just throwing this out there for discussion, i think it merits it. it’ll also move us beyond the present absurd state of accusation and counter-claim. i’m not going to get back into the pointless who-condemned-what-in-which-terms point-scoring exercise; sheesh, as if henry grunwald, jonathan sacks or tony bayfield (!!) have either the mandate or the expertise to assess and criticise israeli policy, this is exactly what katy means when she points out that no matter how much diaspora jews may feel ourselves separate from the policies state of israel, we’ll be treated as if we’re not only part of the electorate, but part of the executive! even if i hadn’t had two kids to look after on sunday, i wouldn’t have gone to any fecking rally.

      b’shalom

      bananabrain

    82. Imran Khan — on 12th January, 2009 at 6:17 pm  

      Shamit - ” am defending the rights of a sovereign democratic state against terrorists who would kill their own people to seek glory.”

      A soverign democratic nation which until any rule of law does not have the right to behave as it does by imposing crippling hold on the lives of Palestinians.

      Dress it up how you want and blame everyone as much as you want but the reality is that Israel has never and is unlikely to ever stop this without adhering to the principles you talk of.

      Hamas is the excuse you use, I don’t support Hamas and have been widely criticised by people I know for speaking out against them. But the fault is primarily Israel’s because it doesn’t want to give up the West Bank and it wants to cage Gaza.

      What you have is a case of blind support. I don’t support Hamas but I have the sense to realise that Hamas is in power due to the policies of Israel and the stranglehold it has on Gaza.

      It isn’t about religion on either side it is about control of land.

      Israel left Gaza but never really left. Israel wants peace but has never truely pursued it.

      The reality is that Israel had the power to make life better for Palestinians and chose not to. Why would it do that? So it could claim that it can’t give up the land and thus carry on getting arms, money and keep the land.

      Israel itself is born from the very terrorism you speak of. So to say it can’t back down is nonsense. It has to back down and will as it did in Lebanon.

      The Palestinians can’t back down because they can’t see Israel ever giving them a state and that is a situation that needs to be addressed.

      Israel has the stronger hand to play and it isn’t willing to play the hand of peace.

      Your blind support is just that. Even Barak said if placed in the same situation he’d do the same so why keep saying Israel can’t back down.

      If the roles were reversed would you be telling Israel to stop or would you be telling them to fight?

      Israel can stop all this today and accept the plan on the table from the Arab world. It won’t so you can see where its intentions lay. It is for an ongoing occupation and only the blind can’t see that.

      What you fail to differentiate is support for the freedom of Palestinians and anyone who states why Hamas has come to power you immediately say is a Hamas supporter when they aren’t. They see the situation for what it is.

    83. Sid — on 12th January, 2009 at 6:20 pm  

      BB, hmmmm deep and wide stuff #81. Probably the most clear minded analysis I’ve read on this so far, by far. Much to cogitate over on my journey home.

      But I have one question, if Israel wanted to push its “don’t fuck with the jews” message to the various stakeholders, in particular Iran and its proxies (Hizbollah in the North and to an extent Hamas in the south) why did it have to be so “final”, so callous? Why couldn’t it have pulled its punches just a little, relying on the Lebanese elections that Nasrallah to embarrass him, or confronted the Iranians directly?

    84. marvin — on 12th January, 2009 at 6:34 pm  

      bananabrain that was very informative, thanks. That should be printed in The Times!

    85. Sunny — on 12th January, 2009 at 6:38 pm  

      A good analysis there Mr BB. I think that should be turned into an article, though it would need a bit of cutting down first :P

    86. Imran Khan — on 12th January, 2009 at 8:26 pm  

      Bananabrain - Most of what you have written is good. But again you are just prolonging on going bloodshed by promoting war with Iran.

      The only way to stop this and neutralise Iran is by agreeing the Arab peace plan and withdrawing. This would quiet the Arab street and steer people away from Iran.

      Bombing Iran just brings more support to their agenda.

      It is gross negligance to bring in Iran to the equation. Common sense says make peace and stop the influence of Iran and make war to spread it.

      In addition giving back the Golan neutralises Iran.

      So to minimise the influence of Iran isn’t by bombing Iran it is by making peace. Making peace involves giving up land and Israel doesn’t want to do that.

      Afetr Iran who do you plan to bomb next and then who after that? What does Auntie say?

      Lets start with bombing Iran, then Pakistan, then Syria, then Lebanon - oh we’ve done them already, then Turkey because recently they dared to criticise us, then Indonesia, then Saudi Arabia, then Sudan, then who next?

      Haven’t you learnt yet that constant war is what got us to this point and you want more.

      All that means is that other countries will want to be armed against Israel and all you are doing is triggering an arms race and a nuclear one at that.

      Frankly you are mad to suggest such an idea.

      Where has 40 years of war got any of them in that region?

      The only way to reduce the influence of Iran - who by the way have said quite clearly that they will abide by any agreement Hamas and the PA make is to make PEACE - LAND 4 PEACE.

      Despite the myth none of the Muslims countries are any threat to Israel including Iran. They can’t even defend themselves let alone fight a war. We saw tat in Iraq and how quickly they folded.

      The threats are over emphasised to avoid the price of peace.

      Israel needs Iran and Iran needs Israel as each others bogeymen so they can carry on the stupid war for influence.

    87. Imran Khan — on 12th January, 2009 at 8:36 pm  

      Oh and Bananabrain if as you say Sacks, Bayfield et al haven’t got the mandate - fair enough but why then do they have a cheerleading mandate?

      Sacks is a disaster for the Jewish Community and he sits smugly in his residence not getting out there to build relations. I can’t even find when he visited a mosque and most Muslim leaders visit him and not the other way round. Much the same for his cabinet. But he keeps talking of the need to build bridges with Muslims but won’t actually do it.

      East London Mosque invited him but he sent a written response. What’s that all about?

      Clearly the man is saying and doing two different things. It silly and he neesd to change.

      Bayfield - what can I say.

      There is no difference between Sacks and Sacqranie because they talk the talk and don’t walk the walk.

      You’ve just excused Sacks by saying he doesn’t have influence and mandate but then that gives him leeway to say what he wants and not act as a cheerleader. Please get me his address so I can send him and Sacqranie some pom-poms cause that is all they are fit for at the minute.

    88. BenSix — on 13th January, 2009 at 7:29 pm  

      http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=FABqq_jjRRo&eurl=http://leninology.blogspot.com/

    89. Muhamad Lodhi — on 14th January, 2009 at 2:58 pm  

      I’m with Katy Newton.

      You might come up with some convoluted reasons as to why you’d want someone to think that you’re not anti-Semitic but it seems Mr Hundal and his minion reprobates have no qualms in being anti-Israel and anti-Jews.

    90. bananabrain — on 14th January, 2009 at 5:44 pm  

      imran,

      as usual, you are claiming that the truth and correctness of your opinion is self-evident. and, as usual, this is far from being the case. you can say “the reality is” as much as you like, but that doesn’t actually make it reality.

      Israel can stop all this today and accept the plan on the table from the Arab world

      the plan isn’t even accepted by hamas, let alone israel! it’s not a workable plan either and won’t be until hamas concedes that it must renounce violence and recognise israel. a hudna is not peace.

      But again you are just prolonging on going bloodshed by promoting war with Iran.

      that’s not actually what i’ve said, if you read it properly. however, it *is* definitely sabre-rattling, because without the threat, it will be ineffective and the iranians know that very well.

      The only way to stop this and neutralise Iran is by agreeing the Arab peace plan and withdrawing. This would quiet the Arab street and steer people away from Iran.

      it is a waste of time for israel to attempt to influence the arab street, the only way that can be done is within the muslim world itself. israel already works with al-jazeera to put its points across, but the arab street doesn’t bother with that sort of channel, or something like asharq al-awsat. the “shaykhs” know how to influence the street - get something they can buy into and they’ll use their pet newspapers like al-ahram to do it.

      In addition giving back the Golan neutralises Iran.

      that doesn’t actually make any sense.

      So to minimise the influence of Iran isn’t by bombing Iran it is by making peace. Making peace involves giving up land and Israel doesn’t want to do that.

      yes, you’re quite right, because it’s not like they did that with sinai, or south lebanon, or gaza - oh, hang on, yes they did and they only got a bona fide (albeit cold) peace with egypt. the iranians didn’t exactly dial it down when the israelis pulled out of lebanon, did they? there’s a workable solution for both the west bank palestinians and the syrians, all that is needed is to settle the price. the iranians, however, can’t make that sort of promise, because this isn’t actually anything for them to negotiate - they have no territorial stake in the game. all they can do is *prevent* negotiations going anywhere, which is exactly what they’re doing.

      Oh and Bananabrain if as you say Sacks, Bayfield et al haven’t got the mandate - fair enough but why then do they have a cheerleading mandate?

      i don’t see either of them cheerleading for israel’s tactics. they are cheerleading for peace. tactics and strategy is not their concern. this is why they are irrelevant to this matter except for making their own side feel better, which is why i don’t think demonstrations prove anything.

      I can’t even find when he visited a mosque and most Muslim leaders visit him and not the other way round. Much the same for his cabinet.

      umph. there are internal reasons why it is difficult for him to work publicly in interfaith, but he is i believe a patron of the CCJ and i think the three faiths forum. there are other initiatives under way but nothing has yet come of them.

      East London Mosque invited him but he sent a written response. What’s that all about?

      could be anything, really - isn’t the east london mosque a stronghold of various islamist groups? would you have expected him to visit finsbury park when abu hamza was there? i don’t know the context, so i can’t really say.

      Lets start with bombing Iran, then Pakistan, then Syria, then Lebanon - oh we’ve done them already, then Turkey because recently they dared to criticise us, then Indonesia, then Saudi Arabia, then Sudan, then who next?

      at no point have i said anything of the sort. you’re straw-manning me and not very well either.

      @sid:

      But I have one question, if Israel wanted to push its “don’t fuck with the jews” message to the various stakeholders, in particular Iran and its proxies (Hizbollah in the North and to an extent Hamas in the south) why did it have to be so “final”, so callous? Why couldn’t it have pulled its punches just a little, relying on the Lebanese elections that Nasrallah to embarrass him, or confronted the Iranians directly?

      because “pulling your punches” led to hizbollah claiming they defeated israel in lebanon in 2006. arguably, in strategic terms, the more “final”, the more of a deterrent it actually is. but i think you’re completely right that they should have confronted the iranians directly.

      another thing i’ve heard suggested today is that the israelis should have used their special forces to go after the hamas leadership and make it clear that this is personal to hamas and not a general war on palestinians. and, as i say, i would support that. i think, unfortunately, that the reason this has not been pursued is that it would lead to a lot of israeli casualties and this is one thing the israeli public - as opposed to the palestinian public - does not see as a propaganda victory, but rather evidence of bad tactics and woolly thinking. my suggestion would be to, say, secure a perimeter around a controversial site, say a mosque or school used to store arms, or an ambulance with fighters in it, seal it off and then go in fully documenting it as they go, with embedded journalists. that, to my way of thinking, would be smart PR. i’m not militarily savvy enough to know if that is a tactical no-no, however.

      b’shalom

      bananabrain

    91. Sofia — on 14th January, 2009 at 5:56 pm  

      ‘could be anything, really - isn’t the east london mosque a stronghold of various islamist groups?’

      Now which ones would that be?

    92. Imran Khan — on 16th January, 2009 at 12:57 am  

      Is it really just cuddly rallies for Israel - Check this out:

      http://www.alternet.org/story/119372//BUSINESS/759755828

      Yet barely any news coverage and no condemnation.

      Will Jewish Leaders in America like Muslims here condemn this - unlikely.

      Some of the cuddly words:

      “But hatred was plentiful at the rally Paterson addressed. Right in front of the stage, a man held a banner reading, “Islam Is A Death Cult.” Rally attendees described the people of Gaza to me as a “cancer,” called for Israel to “wipe them all out,” insisting, “They are forcing us to kill their children in order to defend our own children.” A young woman told me, “Those who die are suffering God’s wrath.” “They are not distinguishing between civilians and military, so why should we?” said a member of the group of messianic Orthodox Jewish Chabad-Lubavitch group that flocked to the rally.

      No one I spoke to could seem to find any circumstance in which they would begin to question Israel’s war. No number of civilian deaths, no displays of extreme suffering — nothing could deter their enthusiasm for attacking one of the most vulnerable populations in the world with the world’s most advanced weaponry. There are no limits, no matter what Israel does, no matter how it does it.”

    93. Imran Khan — on 16th January, 2009 at 1:15 am  

      Bananabrain - Just because you claim you thought about things doesn’t make your one sided and continually biased Pro-Israel opinions balanced.

      Israel rarely leaves territory completely and always needs a bogeyman so they can continue their wars.

      They left Lebanon and held the Sheba Farms so not a total withdrawl and you know that. You’ll come up with your crap about ownership in dispute but it wwasn’t in dispute when they went in was it?

      “In addition giving back the Golan neutralises Iran.

      that doesn’t actually make any sense.”

      What I said was that by giving back the Golan which of course they have annexed (- so much for wanting peace huh?) then Syria is at peace and has much to lose by siding with Iran. Thus by giving back the Golan they neutralise Iranian involvement with Iran.

      “i don’t see either of them cheerleading for israel’s tactics. they are cheerleading for peace. tactics and strategy is not their concern.”
      What nonsense their statements clearly supported Israel in the run up and they have always endorsed Israel’s approach. This time they were caught off guard by the reaction of the Jewish Community and thus changed their tune by the rally.

      “umph. there are internal reasons why it is difficult for him to work publicly in interfaith, but he is i believe a patron of the CCJ and i think the three faiths forum. there are other initiatives under way but nothing has yet come of them.”
      Oh come on you know this statement is nonsense. He is just scared that he’ll come under pressure to quit which highlights that in the background the Orthodox community is largely against better relations with Muslims which is saying something.

      Muslims leaders do that and its national news and Sacks does it and its internal reasons!

      “could be anything, really - isn’t the east london mosque a stronghold of various islamist groups? would you have expected him to visit finsbury park when abu hamza was there? i don’t know the context, so i can’t really say.”

      Utter nonsense from you again in light of Sacks own comments in 2002:

      http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2002/aug/27/israel.religion

      “The chief rabbi is bound to cause further controversy by calling for dialogue with the most extremist representatives of radical Islam.

      In today’s interview, timed for the publication of his new book, The Dignity of Difference, which is serialised in the Guardian this week, Prof Sacks says he would even sit down with Sheikh Abu Hamza - the fundamentalist north London cleric who admits to sharing the views of Osama bin Laden and who describes himself as a Taliban sympathiser. Yesterday the sheikh was quoted saying it was “OK” to kill non-Muslims, and equating Jews with Satan.

      Nevertheless, Prof Sacks says a meeting between the two is “a thought worth pursuing. I absolutely don’t rule it out.”

      The chief rabbi, 54, also reveals that he has already met one of Iran’s highest-ranking clerics, Ayatollah Abdullah Javadi-Amoli. At a meeting brokered by the Foreign Office and never disclosed until now, the two met for secret talks during a UN conference of religious leaders in New York in 2000.

      “We established within minutes a common language”, says Prof Sacks, the “particular language believers share.” ”

      But he didn’t mean what he said - I could say it stronger.

      But the man clearly panders to the media and your statement that would I expect him to sit down with Abu Hamza is answered by his own words. He said he would sit down with Abu Hamza but he won’t sit with Muslims.

      So he says words that he has no intention of living up to and yet you defend this nonsense.

      He recently said that Jews needed to build better relations with Muslims but then he won’t do that himself.

      Brilliant! Isn’t it time you admitted that he either he doesn’t mean what he says or he is failing in his leadership?

      “at no point have i said anything of the sort. you’re straw-manning me and not very well either.”
      You call it sabre-rattling now but you mentioned the threat of bombing Iran. My question is legitimate that where will you stop. So you sabre rattle about Iran (not meaning it) but Israel decides it has enough support from World Jewry and then goes ahead then who next do you sabre rattle?

      Have you not learned that the it was sabre rattling that eventually led to war in Iraq?

    94. Imran Khan — on 16th January, 2009 at 1:20 am  

      Sofia - “‘could be anything, really - isn’t the east london mosque a stronghold of various islamist groups?’

      Now which ones would that be?”

      One could accept that excuse put forth by the unofficial spokeman for Sacks on this blog if he didn’t hold meetings at his own residence with the very same people.

      It is known that Sacks has met MCB officials at his own residence so what stopped him going to the mosque?

      http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/3766567.stm

    95. [...] of a Muslim extremist is a nice tabloid touch, though anyone with two brain cells to rub together can replicate that; it hardly constitutes an argument. His argument amounts to: I don’t like Sunny’s [...]



    • Post a comment using the form below

    Pickled Politics © Copyright 2005 - 2009. All rights reserved. Terms and conditions.
    With the help of PHP and Wordpress.