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  • Technorati: graph / links

    ‘Fascist’ comes to London, no one’s outraged


    by Sunny
    12th May, 2009 at 8:14 pm    

    Israel’s foreign minister Avigdor Lieberman comes to London tomorrow to meet David Miliband and William Hague.

    This is the same guy that conservative American columnist Andrew Sullivan rightly called a ‘fascist’ because:

    Lieberman advocates “reducing the number of Arabs who are Israeli citizens” through giving the Palestinian Authority Arab-Israeli towns near the West Bank and having Arabs who remain Israeli citizens take loyalty tests and recognize Israel as a Jewish State. Those who refuse would be stripped of their citizenship, but could remain in Israel as permanent residents.

    And yet if this were some Muslim theocrat the Daily Mail and Daily Telegraph brigade would be outraged. The blogs would be fizzing with anger at someone so blatantly racist being allowed into the UK and meeting our foreign secretary. Lieberman is worse than people like the banned Michael Savage because he isn’t just a shock-jock, he is actually in parliament and leads a far-right party in Israel.

    All I hear from these so-called defenders of human rights and people who hate “moral equivalence” is tumbleweed. Complete silence.


                  Post to del.icio.us


    Filed in: EDL,Middle East,Race politics






    128 Comments below   |  

    Reactions: Twitter, blogs
    1. pickles

      New blog post: ‘Fascist’ comes to London, no one’s outraged http://www.pickledpolitics.com/archives/4535




    1. zani — on 12th May, 2009 at 8:57 pm  

      I am not usually moved to commenting on this blog however, where is all the moral outrage from the users of this blog. where are there comments why are they very quiet. where is their moral outrage!

    2. unseen — on 12th May, 2009 at 9:23 pm  

      I think you confuse serving Government Ministers with MPs etc. Nobody has ever seriously discussed excluding a Government Minister because it would break international law to do so.

    3. Sunny — on 13th May, 2009 at 2:35 am  

      Nobody has ever seriously discussed excluding a Government Minister because it would break international law to do so.

      Yeah but David Miliband isn’t obliged to see him, is he? And that hasn’t, in the past, stopped people from being outraged anyway.

    4. Laban Tall — on 13th May, 2009 at 7:08 am  

      Be fair, Sunny. How many people know he’s coming ? If it’s not in the Daily Mail we don’t know about it …

      But I’m pretty sure we’d have heard about any foreign minister who was keen on “reducing the number of Jews who are xxxxxx citizens”.

    5. Shamit — on 13th May, 2009 at 7:42 am  

      Yeah but David Miliband isn’t obliged to see him, is he?

      Sunny — I think protocol dictates that the Foreign Secretary meet his counterpart — not as the person but as the representative of the Government of Israel. So I don’t think David has much choice.

      And William Hague has a similar conundrum — if they are voted into power next year then they do not want a bad history between Governments.

      So I think you can forgive them for meeting with this nutter.

      But why did Bibi appoint someone as FM who is definitely not the right person to be handling diplomatic negotiations as no party would give this guy any benefit of the doubt. Not a very astute move is it or is it one of Bibi’s stupid defiance. I hope Pres. Obama bursts this asshole’s bubble soon.

    6. The Common Humanist — on 13th May, 2009 at 8:43 am  

      Sunny

      Because, distasteful though I think L is, he is a serving Government Minister.

      And, if the Obama Admin is to strongarm the Israelis into a long term peace deal then the US, UK and the like need L unruffled and open to persuasion rather then piqued by the UK banning him. It is really that simple.

      We can’t ruin a decent chance of a deal just to stick it to a fraction of a man, despite how much fun that would be.

    7. The Common Humanist — on 13th May, 2009 at 8:44 am  

      Shamit,

      Agreed. Bibi is a first class cock. An utter tool. However, now he has to deal with Obama and Clinton.

      I wish I could be in the meeting when Obama tells a few home truths to the Isaeli PM. Could be priceless.

    8. DisgustedOfTunbridgeWells — on 13th May, 2009 at 8:59 am  

      I’d suggest arresting him, but apparently the UK doesn’t recognise kach as a terrorist group.

      Which is nice of us.

    9. imran khan — on 13th May, 2009 at 9:21 am  

      The government doesn’t have to meet him and if Miliband does meet him will he have the balls to say what needs to be said?

      This is stinking hypocracy. Imagine the outcry if Ahmadinajad was here and would Miliband be obliged to meet him. There’d be protests by the Jewish Community and every paper would be screaming murder. The L man is visiting, the Jewish Community is mute, the government is compliant and the press is quiet.

      Also is the Jewish Community rolling out the red carpet and where are the demands for condemnation of the Jewish Community?

      The Muslim community is asked to apologise for every extremist so why isn’t the same true of the Jewish Community. This is the second such man to visit after the Chief Rabbi who advocated ethnic cleansing and not a word was said by the press or the government to his call for the removal of Palestinians from Gaza which our friendly interfaith rep said wasn’t so bad.

      I want to know what the Jewish Community is doing to counter this nasty person’s visit. I suppose Bananabrain like last time will say how he isn’t so bad.

      When Ahmadinajad visited the USA was Bush obliged to meet him? Nope. So why is Miliband meeting someone like Lieberman and also why is the Jewish Community so quiet? Where are the protests?

      There are two seperate rules for Israeli and Palestinians.

      In another story which hasn’t made the press here a British Actress who is Jewish has been banned from performing for elderly Jewish People in Australia because she took part in a play critical of Israel’s actions in Gaza thus her right to free speech is compromised and no one says a word.

      Where is the outrage from MP’s? Where is Louise Ellman now complaining?

      So Bananabrain can you tell us how your community intend to treat this man and how he will be feted on his visit as a lovable rogue?

    10. imran khan — on 13th May, 2009 at 9:36 am  

      His agenda is here:

      http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/may/12/israel-lieberman-miliband-protests

      The “cuddly” chap is being accorded many rights. Hague is meeting him as well.

      The Jewish National Fund which is laughably described as “a humanitarian and environmental charity” is meeting him. Now as a charity will they be investigated like InterPal for supplying funds to extremists given they are hosting one? Will Panorama now launch an investigation on this as they did for InterPal. Will the bank accounts of the charity be frozen?

      Why is this blatent double standard allowed?

      How can a charity meet with someone whose policies are in direct contravention of basic human rights, EU Policy and UK Government Policy and get away with it?

      The blatent hypocracy on show here is that whilst the Jewish Community is rightly campaigning against the far right here it isn’t doing the same against the same people in its own community who have a similar policy.

      That same community is also mute on the tremedous work being done to foster better relations within the Muslim community.

      This is a disgrace and it doesn’t serve the Jewish Community well to sit by quietly and allow this man to go by unchalanged.

      Isn’t it interesting that the Labour Friends of Israel that claims it supports peace:

      “We are fundamentally sympathetic to Israel’s position as a liberal democracy facing constant security dilemmas and existential threats. But we are not uncritical. Positive engagement with all sections of the Israeli political spectrum is important, as is an effective working relationship with Palestinian representatives. We are friends of both an Israel, secure and at peace with her neighbours, and of a viable and democratic Palestine.”

      Yet it is promoting his visit and calling on the EU to upgrade relations with the most right wing government in Israel’s history and there is no criticism of Lieberman.

      Strange what you can get away with if you are elected even if it isn’t by all the residents who live on the land huh?

    11. imran khan — on 13th May, 2009 at 9:39 am  

      Sid - As you do lunch with “Ed Hussein” then ask him why he is so silent about this visit? He stuck up for the rights of Wilders, criticises Muslim extremists and their visits but why so quiet on Lieberman’s visit?

      Is he afraid of upsetting his friend Mel?

      Will “Ed” be protesting this visit?

      Also you like to bash the Muslim community frequently but where was your comment on this? Why was it left to Sunny?

    12. imran khan — on 13th May, 2009 at 9:52 am  

      As usual Freedland comes through with excellent vision again:

      http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2009/may/12/obama-israel-summit

      Why does this man get so much less coverage than Mel?

    13. imran khan — on 13th May, 2009 at 9:56 am  

      BTW Lieberman has called for the execution of Arab MK who meet with Hamas:

      “The Second World War ended with the Nuremberg trials and the execution of the Nazi leadership,” said Lieberman, whose party failed to reach a coalition deal with the ruling Kadima party and will remain outside the government.
      “Not only them, but also those who collaborated with then. I hope that will also be the fate of the collaborators in this house,” referring to the Knesset.”

      http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/pages/ShArt.jhtml?itemNo=712521

      So again why is the JNF who have Blair, Brown and Cameron and are a cahrity hosting Lieberman and why are they not facing investigation for their links to extremists who have called for the the execution of democratically elected members of the Israeli Parliament?

      Would the Jewish Community find it as acceptable for the British PM, the ex-PM and possibly the future PM to be part of a charity who hosts even a Muslim who calls for any of this? So why are the leaders of the main parties part of a charity which is hosting such a person? Why is the press quiet on this?

      Why?

    14. Shamit — on 13th May, 2009 at 10:13 am  

      Imran Khan — or Avi Cohen.

      Your self loathing does not change international politics and protocol.

      People like you with vested agenda actually gives idiots like Bibi and L more credibility than they deserve. And as for your love for Freedland, he is stupid and he built his career around hating Blair and obviously that is very popular with the Guardian “loony” left readers like yourself. So spare us the fucking lecture…I am tired of these utter nutters from all sides who do not like a rational discussion but like hysteria.

    15. imran khan — on 13th May, 2009 at 10:22 am  

      Shamit - spare me your nonsense and bullshit.

      “Your self loathing does not change international politics and protocol.”

      Complete nonsense. It odes change as required. As I said Bush extended no such protocol to Ahmadinajad on his visit to the USA so it shows clearly that the protocol doesn’t have to be enforced.

      If you can’t see that in your crap analysis then you shouldn’t even comment.

      International protocol doesn’t mean that you have to give time to extremists.

      International protocol wasn’t obeyed by the UK and EU with regards to Mugabe so why the need to obey for a mere extreme FM?

      You position is given away by your lurve of Blair and hatred of people who exposed him. So spare us your bullshit and crap and go back to your hole.

    16. Shamit — on 13th May, 2009 at 10:32 am  

      “Complete nonsense. It odes change as required. As I said Bush extended no such protocol to Ahmadinajad on his visit to the USA so it shows clearly that the protocol doesn’t have to be enforced.”

      My dear Mr. Cohen or Khan

      Let me explain few home truths about protocol — I think I know a little bit about this.

      1. Ahmadinajad is the President of the Republic of Iran which does not have any diplomatic relationship with the United States and I am a dinner jacket went to the UN and not on a visit to the US. And therefore President Bush did not need to meet him nor did any of his State department as they have no relations.

      He was given Secret Service protection though.

      2. Mugabe amd his senior entouage by EU Council directive is banned from EU and is not recognised as the legitimate government of Zimbabwe and still because he is head of state at the Africa - EU summitt — Sarkozy had to let him in and he had to shake hands with Mugabe.

      3. Are you suggesting that we remove all diplomatic relationship with Israel — no thats a non starter.

      As I said, no one likes this guy or Bibi — but idiots such as yourself trying to overcompensate go about making arguments which are silly so get off your high horse.

      Amd I think Blair was a good prime minister on many counts — you are too thick to realise that — check out his record on education, health, local Government empowerment, British rights in Lisbon Treaty and a democratic Iraq — thats just a few. And he was by god a leader — something this country lacks now

      I really have to work and arguing with everything Israel does wrong (imran khan) or Muslims are always wrong (qidniz) — is really tempting but I got a business to run.

      So make your comments and I will come back with adequate responses you nutters deserve later on.

    17. imran khan — on 13th May, 2009 at 10:41 am  

      Shamit - as a blair arse licker you would pout the nonsense you do. You don’t deserve to be engaged as a supporter of a man who lied as he needed to when he wanted to suck up to bush.

      Your nonsense about protocol and the selective bullshit you employ show a lack of knowledge of the subject.

      If you can’t behave in a civilised way to engage in discussion the piss off as I have no time to talk to you.

    18. imran khan — on 13th May, 2009 at 10:57 am  

      Shamit - “3. Are you suggesting that we remove all diplomatic relationship with Israel — no thats a non starter.”

      Did I say that or is that more of your blairesque bullshit?

      What I am saying is that he doesn’t have to be accorded the protocol you so demand. Israel doesn’t accord protocol to people who decide to meet Hamas even if they have relations with that country so they can defy protocol but you don’t want the UK to be able to do the same.

      Blair was a liar and not a leader, he lied as he needed to. The only leadership he showed was following the neocons into an illegal war based on lies. A liar isn’t a leader he is a liar. Blair lied about the war, about his faith and about much more. Blairs leadership during the Lebanon war was to run off and talk to Murdoch instead of his party, the House of Commons and the people who voted him in. He refused calls to examine his decision to go to war and the lies employed so if he was a leader what was he afraid of?

      Its Blair arse kissers like you who still probably believe in the 45min claim! Why don’t you go to HP where others like you hang out?

    19. damon — on 13th May, 2009 at 11:48 am  

      Wow, he really is a nasty piece of work. He would ”give back” parts of Israel in Galilee, and want to keep places like where he lives deep inside the West Bank.

      Instead of diplomatic nicieties, it should be put to him wherever he meets the likes of Miliband and Hague that this kind of thing is not acceptable.
      That it’s more akin to the grand designs and desires of fascists.

      I was pleased to read that even the Jewish Chronicle says he is bad news.
      http://www.thejc.com/articles/lieberman-betraying-israel

    20. Refresh — on 13th May, 2009 at 11:52 am  

      Guys relax.

      Lets focus on how Liebermann and Netanyahu will bring honesty to the situation. Ethnic cleansing is an honest position, a kill ratio of 10:1 is an honest strategy, a better one for some would be 30:1.

      Its worth reading Max Hasting on the matter

      http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2009/may/09/israel-middle-east-max-hastings

      where he mentions when he first came across Netanyahu.

      And also how King Abdullah of Jordan has ‘Lumleyed’ Obama:

      “If there is procrastination by Israel on the two-state solution or there is no clear American vision for how this is going to play out in 2009, then all the tremendous credibility that Obama has worldwide and in this region will evaporate overnight.”

      And of AIPAC who are up in arms, and consider an even-handed approach is anti-Israel.

      No need to fight amongst ourselves, we need to move to a watching brief.

      Netanyahu is the neo-con par excellence whose time has come. His wooing of US christian fundamentalists has run its course. The world has changed beneath his feet.

      Sit tight guys.

      If we do end up discussing Liebermann then we will have to analyse in detail the makeup of Israel, and it will not take very long to realise that Israel has no particular call on being accepted as a ‘western nation’, whatever that means.

      Max Hastings gets it.

    21. imran khan — on 13th May, 2009 at 12:00 pm  

      Oh and for those reading “Shamit”‘s comments these protocols are unwritten rules and are not always followed to the letter. Governments may break these rules to show displeasure at another countries policies.

      So for example Israel refuses meetings with officials who meet with Hamas even though it is breaking the rules that shamfullofsmit is saying are so sacricent.

      http://www.reuters.com/article/worldNews/idUSL1464259420080414?feedType=RSS&feedName=worldNews&rpc=22&sp=true

      So for example Israel refused security cooperation for Carter’s visit as he met Hamas even though this isn’t in line with the protocols that shamfullofsmit is saying are part and parcel of diplomacy.

      Shamfullofsmit’s claims that such protocol is part of diplomatic relations is exposed by the fact that Israel and the US have close diplomatic relations but when it suits the protocols are broken:
      “Another source described the snub as an “unprecedented” breach between the Israeli Shin Bet and the U.S. Secret Service, which protects all current and former U.S. presidents, as well as Israeli leaders when they visit the United States.”
      http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/24107417/

      In the case of the visit of Lieberman the FCO could have sent a junior minister to meet him to express displeasure at his utterances.

      Diplomatic protocols are often violated by states to express displeasure but a blair supporter who probably still got cut outs of the weapons of mass destruction lies wouldn’t know that!!

      Shamfullofsmit wouldn’t know that people break diplomatic protocol regularly:

      http://www.prlog.org/10212545-what-happens-when-the-diplomatic-rule-book-is-thrown-away-before-millions-of-viewers.html

      Shamfullofit here is another diplomatic protocol break:

      http://indiatoday.intoday.in/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=20070&issueid=95&sectionid=65

      Between India and Qatar.

      The fact that your Blair boy has failed to do jack shit in his time as Peace Envoy apart from prance around and do nothing highlights that you simply want hot air boy and not progress. Blair is a massive failure as Peace Envoy and his lies when he was PM and promised to work to resolve the I/P issue if he was allowed to go to war and the fact he didn’t keep his word and even when given the job won’t keep his word highlights you and your support for what it is.

      You leader preferred to brief a newspaper baron than come back and report to Parliament as events in the Middle East spiralled out of control expose your protocol for bullshit.

    22. imran khan — on 13th May, 2009 at 12:08 pm  

      Refresh - What Shamfullofsmit fails to realise is that sometimes even friends need to be told forcefully when they are out of order.

      Equally I have no issue with any Palestinian being snubbed if their statements or actions are out of order and don’t help the situation.

      I’m not biased against Israel or the Palestinians and if they want to behave badly then we don’t need to accord grown up protocol for spolit children.

      I don’t agree with Miliband meeting either party if they are extremists and don’t want peace. Its that simple. If he is to meet then lets be clear about the position.

      Our Blaite colleague is frankly spouting bullshit in his support of protocol as it isn’t necessary and can be circumvented when required.

      In addition the Blair licker fails to realise that the press was hysterical when King Abdullah made a state visit and indeed Vince Cable broke with the protocol he keeps spewing:

      http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/7066754.stm

      and didn’t partake in any events.

      So why the hypocracy now. If a Muslim leaders visits then its ok to be hysterical and demand protocol isn’t obeyed but for the others lets stay fucking quiet even if they are most pleasently extreme because we can’t let protocol go to one side.

      It shows how far down the gutter Blair took us when his supporters uphold his biased views on protocol for people whose views are bloody extreme to say the least.

    23. imran khan — on 13th May, 2009 at 12:11 pm  

      Damon - The JC article is by Jonathan Freedland and Shamfullofsmit has already decreed that as Mr. Freedland exposed Sham’s Messiah then he isn’t a worthy journalist to quote!

      All Hail 45 min Blair and his neocon allies including Bibi.

    24. imran khan — on 13th May, 2009 at 12:15 pm  

      ShamfullofBlair - Can you enlighten us as to what your esteemed leader did to keep his word to work for peace in the Middle East if he was allowed to invade Iraq?

      The short answer like much of your bullshit is nothing. He swans around demanding palacial accomodation and doing nothing to the point that even his most loyal supporters are calling on him to step down as he isn’t helping. But on your scrap book you can’t see that.

      Blair is so pro-Israel that his bias is unreal that it can never bring peace.

    25. Rebrander — on 13th May, 2009 at 12:33 pm  

      For all this talk of diplomatic protocol, Egypt has agreed to meet Netanyahu but not Lieberman:

      http://www.thepeninsulaqatar.com/Display_news.asp?section=World_News&subsection=Gulf%2C+Middle+East+%26+Africa&month=May2009&file=World_News2009051365911.xml

      Shamit - the British government has relations with Iran

    26. damon — on 13th May, 2009 at 12:42 pm  

      That was a very interisteng article by Max Hastings.
      He might be a Tory, but I respect him greatly on many of his opinions on Internationl politics.

      I was also reading this rather long interview with in the Jerusalem Post with Avigdor Lieberman.
      http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1239710807376&pagename=JPArticle%2FShowFull

      The most interesting bit from the JP interview, I thought, was at the top of page five where he talks of solutions, and mentions the Sudetenland area of Czechoslovakia at the end of WW2.
      And then partition in Cyprus.

      He says: ”What was the situation in Cyprus before 1974? The same situation as in Israel. The Greeks and Turks were living together. There was friction, bloodshed and terror and war. After ’74, they concentrated all the Greek population in the southern part of the island and the Turkish part of the population in the northern part of the island. There is no peace agreement even today. But there is stability, prosperity and security. ”

    27. Shamit — on 13th May, 2009 at 12:56 pm  

      Israel is an ally and you need to be honest with your allies and I think both Miliband and Hague are not going to mince words about his statements or the need for a Palestinian State.

      I have a feeling that Obama is not going to mince words with Yahoo either about the need for a Palestinian State.

      This guy L is an asshole of the highest order but unfortunately he is the foreign minister of a democratically elected Government of a country which is an ally and so Miliband and Hague should meet him and call spade a spade. That I have said always.

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

      Now equating Israel with Hezbollah or Hamas as Mr. Cohen/Khan seems to be doing at all times is something unacceptable. I am not an apologist for Israel and I did not support its actions in Gaza (excessive force) and in Southern Lebanon.

      But in both instances the reason Israel could give validity to its actions was because two terrorist outfits use civilians as their defence and attacked Israeli civilians and its forces. And both are terrorists as defined by the UN Security Council (unanimous).

      Israel does need to stop building more settlements and demolish those they have built and their treatment of Israeli Arab citizens is despicable. But do not equate them with Hamas and Hezboolah — those two outfits would use their own civilians as fodders to claim victory and glory.

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

      As for Blair — I think he made the right choice in backing Israel in lebanon — my opinion - I know many would disagree. And there are numerous successes in foreign policy as well such as Kosovo, Sierra Leone, Largest International Development Aid, and I consider Iraq a success. There are many more — one of the least spoken one is averting a full fledged nuclear confrontation in 2002 in S. Asia.

      On the domestic front, there are many successes — and the difference between having a leader and not having a leader of a party was shown yesterday. The PM was mum on expenses and Cameron was decisive. Thats leadership and whatever you may call Blair, he was decisive.

      You do not have to agree with an elected leader’s decision but you pay him to make decisions and stick by them — and sometimes against the will of the electorate. In the next election after Iraq, Tony Blair still got more majority than Thatcher — so, Mr. Cohen — fuck off.
      *******************************

      Rebrander — I know UK and Iran have diplomatic relations and if I am a dinner jacket comes to london — he would most likely not only meet the PM and the FM but also the Queen.

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

      Refresh -

    28. Ravi Naik — on 13th May, 2009 at 1:08 pm  

      Thats leadership and whatever you may call Blair, he was decisive. You do not have to agree with an elected leader’s decision but you pay him to make decisions and stick by them — and sometimes against the will of the electorate. In the next election after Iraq, Tony Blair still got more majority than Thatcher

      Shamit, I disagree that “decisiveness” should be the top quality for a leader. W Bush was a decisive leader, but look where he took us!

      To me, a good leader is someone with sound judgement, intellectual curiosity and good temperament. We now know that Blair lied about the 45-min and about WMDs. He didn’t have the proofs, yet he made it sound like he had. At the very best, he was extremely naive to have followed Bush blindly. He should have known that there was no plans to deal with the occupation and reconstruction. This negligence is almost criminal.

      A good leader would have apologised for making such mistakes - he hasn’t.

      I agree with you that given Israel’s status as an ally, different rules apply. And I rather have these people brought into the game, then alienate them.

    29. Shamit — on 13th May, 2009 at 1:17 pm  

      Ravi

      You and I disagree on the Iraq war and Blair — we already had those arguments and I think we agreed to disagree on that. And I don’t think either one of us could change the opinion of the other.

      I agree with much about your statement above. .

      Blair made an apology if people thought he misled them but he said he won’t apologise for getting rid of Saddam. Something I agree with. And he said “with hand on heart ……. what I believed to be true”.

      Was it negligent — heck yeah? Was it the wrong war at the wrong time? Heck yeah. And I believe that your disagreement with Blair is not about personal twisted agenda as Mr. Cohen/Khan seems to have.

      He is a nutter who has started attacking sid, Bannana Brain and everyone for this guy. As if anyone is acting as an apologist for this guy.

    30. imran khan — on 13th May, 2009 at 1:22 pm  

      Shamfullofshit - “Israel is an ally and you need to be honest with your allies and I think both Miliband and Hague are not going to mince words about his statements or the need for a Palestinian State.”

      You really are full of your own shit aren’t you. An ally who is dictating who can and can’t be part of negotiations in terms of EU participation isn’t an ally its a fucking dictatorship you fool.

      They’ve been saying there should be a Palestinian state for decades now but done jack shit about making it happen.

      “Now equating Israel with Hezbollah or Hamas as Mr. Cohen/Khan seems to be doing at all times is something unacceptable. I am not an apologist for Israel and I did not support its actions in Gaza (excessive force) and in Southern Lebanon.”

      Are you a complete fiction writer or is this an occassional thing? When did I equate that?

      You are an apologist for Israel. I am not an apologist for either and am on record as criticising both. But show me where I said what you falsely claim - now.

      I criticise both sides something you can’t do and something your lord messaiah Blair failed to do and still does as he prances about pretending to bring peace.

      What you don’t like is the exposure of your messiah and his lies.

      “As for Blair — I think he made the right choice in backing Israel in lebanon — my opinion - I know many would disagree.”

      You are so full of shit - selective use of policy is no real policy. Blair advocates the use of force as required except when it may affect funding for his foundation then we should negotiate. See the hypocracy.

      Money talks in making policy. Why the fuck did Blair not fulfill his promise to pursue peace and how many donations did that bring for his foundation?

      “The PM was mum on expenses and Cameron was decisive. Thats leadership and whatever you may call Blair, he was decisive.”

      Oh fuck off - It was under Blair who promised open government that we got whitewash enquiries designed to lionize Blair and we had the start of the dodgy expense claims. How can it all be the fault of Brown when the Blair years saw this take off.

      “In the next election after Iraq, Tony Blair still got more majority than Thatcher — so, Mr. Cohen — fuck off.”
      No you fuck off - because he’s been proven to be a liar and he lied to the electorate to get elected and you can’t fucking see that in a war situation the electorate normally backs the PM. If Blair was so fucking loyal why has he got his snout in the trough in the USA when you claim he is more fucking popular here? He went to his paymasters to get his pieces of silver.

      If Blair is so fucking honest then let him come back and prove his lies were real. 45 mins till launch for a start.

      Oh yes Blair is facing questions over how he funded his empire on a PM’s salary:

      http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/mps-expenses/5301764/MPs-expenses-Tony-Blair-facing-questions-over-the-296000-mortgage.html

      Blair’s fucking receipts have also been shredded to protect who?

      http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/politics/article3953909.ece

      http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/article703557.ece

      Oh yes and the fucking hair cutting bills were necessary for an image concious messiah and his family:

      http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/4929026.stm

      Oh and why did he keep fucking off abroad as he became unpopular which we the taxpayer paid for:

      http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/1524755/Cost-of-Blairs-foreign-trips-fly-past-2m-mark.html

      Now he makes money

      http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/politics/the_blair_years/article3056707.ece

      But still he doesn’t do his jobs properly.

      You can’t see past the false messiah to see the fuck up he left behind in the Middle East.

    31. imran khan — on 13th May, 2009 at 1:25 pm  

      Shamfulofshit - “Blair made an apology if people thought he misled them but he said he won’t apologise for getting rid of Saddam. Something I agree with. And he said “with hand on heart ……. what I believed to be true”.

      Was it negligent — heck yeah? Was it the wrong war at the wrong time? Heck yeah. And I believe that your disagreement with Blair is not about personal twisted agenda as Mr. Cohen/Khan seems to have.

      He is a nutter who has started attacking sid, Bannana Brain and everyone for this guy. As if anyone is acting as an apologist for this guy.”

      I haven’t attacked anyone apart from you who is spewing shit.

      I asked questions about the policy of some people that isn’t an attack.

      You smears are simply to hide your own false statements like protocols when its clear that countries break them all the time.

      Lieberman and indeed Hamas need not be accorded protocols whilst innocent people die. So you can take your bloody protocols and shove them up Blairs arse.

    32. imran khan — on 13th May, 2009 at 1:39 pm  

      Shamfullofshit - “Blair made an apology if people thought he misled them but he said he won’t apologise for getting rid of Saddam. Something I agree with. And he said “with hand on heart ……. what I believed to be true”.”

      See again this is whatabouterry from you to divert from Blairs lies.

      Was Blairs original aim of war regime change? No it was to get rid of WMD’s and not regime change and in fact he went out of his way to say it wasn’t about regime change but due to the imminent threat.

      When there were no WMD’s then he changed course and said he wouldn’t apologise for getting rid of Saddam.

      So even here his own words betray a lack of reality and truth from events at the time.

      If he wanted to get rid of Saddam why not say that was the aim at the outset and why then lie about WMD’s and the 45min claim.

      The fact is that Blair is a major cause of the problems and is part of the reason for the rise of the right in Israel and Lieberman.

      The reality is that Israelis don’t feel safe and are lurching to the right and that is due to the inaction of Blair and Bush on this issue. On the Palestinian
      side there is no hope thanks to Blair so they lurch to extremism. Its all Blairs fault.

      All I am asking for is that we treat all extremists in the same way. So I support the lack of contact with Hamas until they mend their ways and I want the same with Israel. Is that simple enough for you to grasp?

    33. Sunny — on 13th May, 2009 at 1:53 pm  

      Shamfullofshit -

      what are you, five years old?

    34. imran khan — on 13th May, 2009 at 2:00 pm  

      Sunny - “Shamfullofshit -

      what are you, five years old?”

      So its ok for people to make false statements about me but I can’t reply.

      His statement - “Was it negligent — heck yeah? Was it the wrong war at the wrong time? Heck yeah. And I believe that your disagreement with Blair is not about personal twisted agenda as Mr. Cohen/Khan seems to have.

      He is a nutter who has started attacking sid, Bannana Brain and everyone for this guy. As if anyone is acting as an apologist for this guy.”

      is completely false but time and again you let people attack Muslims and if we reply we are called childish.

      There are others but if you are acting as a referee then at least be fair.

      Inotice you are also quiet about this gem:
      ““In the next election after Iraq, Tony Blair still got more majority than Thatcher — so, Mr. Cohen — fuck off.””

      Why????

    35. Ravi Naik — on 13th May, 2009 at 2:19 pm  

      So its ok for people to make false statements about me but I can’t reply.

      You obviously can reply, but can’t you defend yourself and your position without resorting to infantile name-calling? It makes you look weak and immature.

    36. The Common Humanist — on 13th May, 2009 at 2:34 pm  

      imran khan,

      As Sunny says, Do grow up, theres a good chap.

    37. Refresh — on 13th May, 2009 at 3:01 pm  

      Imran, Quilliam are backing your stance. It was my position when it came to Blair hosting Ariel Sharon at no. 10.

    38. Refresh — on 13th May, 2009 at 3:05 pm  

      Here is Tony Blair on Netanyahu:

      ‘Blair: Netanyahu can be a peacemaker’

      http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1241719496291&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull

      A particular comment to the report interested me:

      ’2. Britain misused its colonial power and had active participation in the creation of several countries, which today are a serious concern to the world
      and to billions of people who suffer from internecine violence because, in part, those borders were drawn on a map with complete disregard for the racial, religious and ethnic differences in their populations. Britain, in its arrogance, disregards the lessons of the past and continues in its delusion that it can continue to draw borders on a map and create a reality that only exists in their imagination. The people they call Palestinians are an explosive mix of religions, sects, and opposing visions for their future, and mired in an alarming lack of the civil culture required to form a state.
      Tracy W - Canada (05/08/2009 06:49)’

      Irony at its best.

    39. Sunny — on 13th May, 2009 at 3:42 pm  

      Well, you can’t really accuse Tony Blair of being perceptive when it comes to international affairs.

      There’s an amusing piece on CIF about his his Faith Foundation is being ridiculed everywhere:
      http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/belief/2009/may/13/tony-blair-faith-foundation

    40. Shamit — on 13th May, 2009 at 4:00 pm  

      “There’s an amusing piece on CIF about his his Faith Foundation is being ridiculed everywhere:”

      Is it everywhere Sunny? The article talks about the Catholic Church and its people —

      Regarding telling the Pope about gays and letting kids have abortion if they are raped is actually being progressive.

      And Since when is the Catholic Church representative of everywhere

    41. The Common Humanist — on 13th May, 2009 at 4:15 pm  

      Sunny, it is only the Vatican though. Hardly everywhere.

      Knocking Blair is fashionable I appreciate though.

    42. Refresh — on 13th May, 2009 at 4:30 pm  

      As for Blair, he’s tied his future to that of Netanyahu. That’s the interesting news.

      You have to hand it to him, he can read the writing on the wall. One scary guy.

      ‘Knocking Blair is fashionable I appreciate though.’

      We have to thank him for reminding us that going to war doesn’t make you right or even popular.

    43. Shamit — on 13th May, 2009 at 4:42 pm  

      “We have to thank him for reminding us that going to war doesn’t make you right”

      Kosovo was wrong — why [protect the innocent Muslim civilians right Refresh?

      Selective amnesia —

      And as for Bibi — what is Blair supposed to say no he is not going to be for peace.

      Isn’t that the same statement Obama’s state department made? Isn’t that what the white House Press SecretarY say the same?

      Of course — but they are not Blair.

      About popularity — the only labour prime minister who won 3 consecutive elections with more majority than any other…what does that tell you gents?

      Iraq is a fledgling democracy too. And guess what with over 70% voting in elections my friends.

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

      Don’t for a moment think I support Bibi

    44. Shamit — on 13th May, 2009 at 4:51 pm  

      who arranged for Gerry Adams to meet Hamas and pressured Barak to give him a visa to entry Gaza?

      Who is the first international leader who said that Hamas should be part of peace talks?

      On both counts Blair — yeah he knows nothing about foreign policy and peace making — he got it sorted in N. Ireland.

      Of course he doesn’t know anything — how could he? Has he ever run anything in his life?

    45. Sunny — on 13th May, 2009 at 5:03 pm  

      On both counts Blair — yeah he knows nothing about foreign policy and peace making — he got it sorted in N. Ireland.

      Well, there was a lot going on that helped seal the peace process that did not directly come from tony blair. He completely screwed up our response to Islamic terrorism though, in addition to the war in Iraq.

      And thanks to him, who said we would never forget Afghanistan, before promptly forgetting Afghanistan, we have a much more unstable South Asia.

      About popularity — the only labour prime minister who won 3 consecutive elections with more majority than any other…what does that tell you gents?

      It tells you the PM was great at presentation and platitudes, and was helped by a tory opposition out of touch with the public.

      And Since when is the Catholic Church representative of everywhere

      You mean apart from being ridiculed by all the groups he’s trying to engage with (in the Middle East), perhaps not much elsewhere. I hear he’s still very popular among Republicans in America - perhaps he should run that party now.

    46. marvin — on 13th May, 2009 at 5:05 pm  

      Love this comment by ‘seismic shock’ lifted from comments at the sauce. I hope he/she doesn’t mind…

      It would be interesting to see if the Independent and the Guardian will be publishing articles in the next few days broadly sympathetic to Lieberman.

      They might argue that we must understand the cultural context of Lieberman’s “anti-Palestinian rhetoric”, and not judge his “controversial remarks” as we are merely stuck in Western imperialist mindframe, and anyway, anyone who claims Lieberman is a racist is merely doing so to advance a particular political agenda. We should be aware by now of how certain groups seek to make the word “racism” meaningless.

      ^^^Such an argument as outlined in the above paragraph would be very wrong, and I would be suspicious of anyone who used it.

    47. geoffrey — on 13th May, 2009 at 5:20 pm  

      I’d just like to point out that the Jewish community hasn’t actually welcomed Lieberman to the UK.

      Most Jews don’t even know he’s here.

      some of the Jewish establishment figures have been meeting him, but alternative Jewish groups Jewdas, Independent Jewish Voices and Jew for Justice for Palestinians have been demonstrating against these meetings

    48. Refresh — on 13th May, 2009 at 5:41 pm  

      Shamit, I don’t really see the point in rehearsing arguments regarding Blair.

      My point in tying Blair to Netanyahu was simply that we are seeing the perfect storm brewing, and if Blair is now nudging Netanyahu then that’s a good thing.

      My view of Blair as the envoy, relates to his stance on Lebanon, and Netanyahu subsequently latching onto Blair’s proposal to focus only on the Palestinian economy. You might recall Netanyahu does not want an independent Palestinian state, but will magnanimously allow an independent economy in Palestine. Which itself takes us no further to what was there when Arafat was alive in Ramallah and Ariel Sharon destroyed the security aparatus, airport, and much else - in the hope the perception of a Palestinian state could be removed.

      So now, King Abdullah of Jordan in conjunction with Obama (and it seems the Pope) and the OIC is going to call the Israeli bluff on the two-state solution. Which itself must have been helped by Olmert declaring, in 2006, that the Greater Israel project was dead. It is now or never.

      Note that all the propaganda we had had denied that there ever was a Greater Israel project. So there are not too many fig leaves left.

      Except one. Iran. And both Blair and Netanyahu are playing that one too.

    49. Refresh — on 13th May, 2009 at 5:48 pm  

      Ravi,
      ‘I agree with you that given Israel’s status as an ally, different rules apply. ‘

      That comment whilst true needs to be assessed dispassionately. What return does UK plc get from this ally?

      One has to presume there is a return.

    50. imran khan — on 13th May, 2009 at 6:05 pm  

      Refresh and Sunny - Lets establish a broad fact. The Jewish Community isn’t welcoming Lieberman either here or in the USA.

      Lets also establish another fact that the election of Lieberman is down to the stupid policies of those serial clowns known as Bush and Blair.

      Bush at least in retirement has gone quiet unlike the other clown who wants to continue his circus career.

      The election of Hamas is down to the fact that the Palestinians see no hope of peace because of the lies and policies of Blair and Bush and the continual deception that they want to make peace.

      The election of Lieberman is down to the fact that Israelis see no hope of security and peace because of the policies of the previous two clowns Blair and Bush.

      The record of lies and broken promises is saying they want peace belie the fact that they never tried to bring peace and instead wrought misery and war on the people.

      Blair despite Shamits fictional writing lied and lied about pushing for peace and then did nothing to advance the process despite his assurances he would work for peace.

      The inactivity of the last 8 years gives us the extremists we have today. If Blair was a leader then he’d accept blame for his role but he never will.

      This who mess and the fettering of Lieberman is the fault of Blair and the fact that he is being hosted by only one Jewish Organisation and barely mentioned in the Jewish Press illustrates the fact that Jews are unhappy with this man. But the blame lies with one and his name is Tony Blair who refused to keep his word and promises to being peace.

      He wasn’t a leader and he is 50% to blame for this mess. Its that simple.

    51. Refresh — on 13th May, 2009 at 6:12 pm  

      Imran, perhaps a better comparison would have been how Robin Cook dealt with Joerg Haider, a fascist that made it into the Austrian government. An ally and an EU member.

      It would have been quite adequate to have let Netanyahu meet with Obama, as a necessity, whilst at the same time offering Liebermann a slap in the face as a must.

      Maybe we are looking at slaps behind closed doors.

    52. Shamit — on 13th May, 2009 at 6:34 pm  

      “Well, there was a lot going on that helped seal the peace process that did not directly come from tony blair. ”

      I guess you know better than Sen. Mitchell, Gerry Adams, Robinson, Mcguinness and Iain Paisley.

      http://www.reuters.com/article/homepageCrisis/idUSL1783372._CH_.2400

      Even Hamas is meeting his representatives including Gerry Adams

      Except for those Loony left and some with nothing but hatred for Blair thinks he is being ridiculed by everyone involved in the process. Seems like that from the Guardian land.

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

      Refresh — I agree I am not here to rehash Blair but when I see people going on about how bad and ineffectual he is — it just drives me mad.

      But I agree with you.
      ***********************************************

    53. Shamit — on 13th May, 2009 at 6:35 pm  

      And as for Mr. Cohen or Mr. Khan - your opinion does not count for much to me.

    54. imran khan — on 13th May, 2009 at 7:10 pm  

      ShamefullBlairWorshipper - for someone whose grasp on Tony Blair’s lies is distant your constant whinging about reality stinks.

      Blair lied about his intentions for war, he lied about working to bring peace to the Middle East. His own fundraiser was appointed Middle East Peace Envoy even though he held a biased position - not his fault but Blair couldn’t even employ a neutral envoy because he was more interested in raising dodgy money for his own career than promoting peace. That exposes the hypocracy that is Blair.

      You blame Brown for MP’s excesses but it started with your boy Blair and his own dodgy fundraising activities.

      You can call me every name you want but your position is in the same manure pile as Blairs.

      Blair’s own envoy has said he isn’t devoting the time needed to find peace and he needs to step down and you are coming here telling us how good Blair is. Blair spent more time trying to obtain good hotel accomodation in Jerusalem than trying to find peace which is err his appointed job for fuck sake.

      This is how your beloved Blair kept his promises by going back on them as Lord Levy explains:
      “I not only respected Robin - his intelligence, his wit, his dedication - but liked him hugely, which made what happened two years after my appointment especially difficult to handle.

      When the phone rang after the 2001 Election, and the familiar voice from the Downing Street switchboard said, “The Prime Minister would like to speak with you,” I expected a short, cheerful chat about an extraordinary victory.

      Tony had become the first Labour Prime Minister to have won a second successive term in office. But instead, his voice sounded sober and troubled, and he got straight down to business.

      “Michael,” he said, “I need your help - with Robin. I have told him I am moving him from Foreign Secretary and he’s really p***** off.

      “I’ve asked him to be Leader of the House and President of the Council, but I really don’t think he wants to do it.”

      I was furious, as Tony must have anticipated I would be. Twice during the past few years - the second time only weeks before the Election - he had told me he was going to keep Cook on as Foreign Secretary.

      It was an assurance that he knew (and made it clear he intended) I would pass on to Robin.”
      http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-563787/Lord-Levy-Blair-betrayed-Robin-Cook—told-clean-mess.html

      Blair was simply interested in promoting himself as Lord Levy says again, that when a supermodel couldn’t make dinner your beloved Tony told her husband there was no donner:

      http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-563793/No-Elle-dinner-Chequers-What-Blair-told-supermodels-tycoon-husband-revealed-Lord-Levy.html

      Show us what Blair did to keep his promise to backbenchers that he would work for Middle East Peace if they gave him backing for the Iraq War? The backbenchers gave him his wish and he did nothing to keep his word as an Honrable Member of Parliament.

      He gave his word to the country that he would work for Middle East Peace and he did nothing.

      When there was disquiet in the country over Israel’s war in Lebanon Blair preferred the company of Murdoch to those that were paying his wages and had elected him.

      That shows your boy for what he is.

      KIndly remind me as you feel I can’t remember my own fucking name how long your war monger took before he went to Gaza to view what went on when he was the fucking envoy responsible for bringing peace? How many fucking weeks did he wait to go in?

      In 2004 the two clowns promised to work for peace by the end of Bush’s second term and in case you’ve forgotten its come and gone and Blair is still prancing about doing jack shit in his roile as peace envoy.

      It is Blair’s fault that Bibi and Lieberman were elected to their posts and Hamas came to power in Gaza because he did fuck all to help the parties and still doesn’t.

      Show me what Blair did for Middle East Peace and I’ll show you its all a pack of lies.

    55. imran khan — on 13th May, 2009 at 7:20 pm  

      ShamefulBlairWorshipper - As you don’t like Jonathan Freedland then how about Pro-Israel Supporter David Aaranovitch:

      “David Aaronovitch of timesonline.co.uk writes:

      “The departing Prime Minister is Bliar, the mendacious, spin-obsessed, manipulating fraudster who lied to take us to war, undermined our independent civil service, took cash from the rich and rewarded them with peerages and favourable decisions, and suborn our politics.”

      “This Bliar is also, at best a naive, messianic prating fool when it comes to foreign entanglement, a US poodle, or at worst a war criminal who has done huge damage to international law and world peace.””

      Oh yes that excludes the fucking cost of hosting your peace failure which we pay for and his old allies on the right are now complaining about:

      “Peace mission or costly PR stunt … Just what has Blair delivered as £400,000-a-year Middle East envoy?”

      http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-567050/Peace-mission-costly-PR-stunt—Just-Blair-delivered-400-000-year-Middle-East-envoy.html

      An extract on your peace failure:
      “n Jerusalem it has become much harder to get a room in the city’s best hotel, a carved stone palace that was once the haunt of Churchill and Lawrence of Arabia.

      The reason for the shortage is simple. There are only 86 bedrooms at the American Colony Hotel and ten of them ? more than an entire floor ? have been booked indefinitely by Tony Blair to be used as offices by his mission to the Middle East.

      The cost, much of it borne by the British taxpayer, is considerable. The Mail on Sunday has obtained a copy of Mr Blair’s contract with the hotel, which shows it is being paid nearly $1.34million ? about £700,000 ? annually for the office rooms alone.

      When Mr Blair and his entourage of six bodyguards, a Press officer and Nick Banner, a former member of his team at Downing Street, are in town, the space available at the Colony shrinks still further.

      Although the well appointed British Consulate-General is just three streets away, they sleep at the Colony ? adding about £2,000 per night to the bill, not including food.

      Since Mr Blair’s appointment last June, the mission has also purchased a £75,000 armoured car and spent £55,000 on security, £15,000 on phones, computers and stationery, £2,500 on car rental and £20,000 on general administration.

      Naturally enough, when Mr Blair flies to Israel, something he does at least once a month, he and Mr Banner go first-class on British Airways, a return fare costing £2,424 each.

      The bodyguards have to put up with club, which costs £1,732.

      Mr Blair was appointed largely due to pressure from President Bush. He and his peace mission work for the diplomatic Quartet, an ad hoc coalition of the UN, the EU, Russia and the US.

      According to a UN spokesman, the biggest slice of the running costs is met by Britain ? to date that is £400,000.

      But it is not clear to whom, if anyone, Mr Blair is accountable.”

      The last line says it all we pay for the failure of a peace envoy and its not known to whom he is accountable and you are supporting this pile of manure.

      You say he is a peace envoy and the press say he is a sponger.

    56. marvin — on 13th May, 2009 at 7:53 pm  

      Imran you need to look up the term devils advocate. Then on second thoughts, I’m not sure we should confuse you any further! Aaronvitch argues in favour of Blair.

      He’s just very good at arguing the opponents position for them. It’s not that hard given the circumstances, pretty predictable stuff let’s face it. Same old record, same tired old bitchy accusations that we’ve all heard countless times before.

      He ends his first letter with:

      My hope is to get you to agree that in truth Britain is, in so far as any government had the power to make it so, a better country for having had Tony Blair as its Prime Minister.

      Try reading whole articles rather than cherry picking bits that sing to your prejudices. There’s something known as context which may aid in the decision making process…

      http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/columnists/article1774485.ece

    57. imran khan — on 13th May, 2009 at 9:15 pm  

      Marvin - in my hurried post to respond to the worship of Shamblairmit I mistakenly didn’t add the context.

      But either way it is clear Blair is a fraud masquerading as a Peace Envoy.

      “Try reading whole articles rather than cherry picking bits that sing to your prejudices.”
      Often thats said about you and your drinking from the Pro-Israel Neocon camp.

    58. imran khan — on 13th May, 2009 at 9:22 pm  

      Oh and Marvin even the Daily Mail home of your beloved right wing criticises Balir for choosing to visit the opening of an Armani Store rather than doing his bloody job to broker a ceasefire when the Gaza conflict was going on:

      http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1105250/As-Gaza-torn-apart-war-Middle-East-peace-envoy-Tony-Blair-Hes-HOLIDAY.html

      Yes Shamit your idol was so serious about his role and job he went to a store opening instead of actually doing his job for which he is holding a palatial room in a Jerusalem hotel whilst waiting for an Armani store to open. Quite obvious where your Idols priorities were then huh?

      Armani vs Gaza conflict oh yes the image concious liar must have an Armani suit then.

      Next time you pay homage don’t forget the contribution to the Armani store then.

    59. imran khan — on 13th May, 2009 at 9:27 pm  

      Again Blair eating at the trough of his paymasters where even the Daily Telegraph questions his suitability for a peace prize:

      http://www.telegraph.co.uk/comment/columnists/andrewpierce/4700154/Tony-Blair-peace-laureate-Have-they-heard-of-Iraq.html

      But hey I guess of you are a purchased politician then you’ll sell the Palestinians for a million pounds.

      How many pieces of silver is that now from his benefactors for avoiding his official duty?

      Bloody hell by comparrison Judas was a saint compared to this horrid man.

      1 million pieces of silver to sell the Palestinians down the river.

      Think of all the Armani suits that 1 million will buy so maybe we should rename him Judair.

      Are you sure you want to carry on worshipping at Temple Blair!

    60. bananabrain — on 13th May, 2009 at 9:31 pm  

      i see it is being assumed that i’m going to in some way apologise for lieberman. i’m on a residential course right now as it happens, which is why i haven’t said anything before on this. so, before imran decides to assign me yet more erroneous positions, i’d better say my piece.

      firstly: lieberman is, in my opinion, a crook, a racist and a scumbag. (unfortunately this hardly distinguishes him as a member of the israeli political class) i think people like this give zionism, israel and jews a bad name and confirm everything that bigots and idiot lefties want to be true. if you want to know my actual opinion, there it is.

      now, what do i do about it? actually, there’s not a lot i can do other than point out to all and sundry what a crooked racist scumbag he is and how shameful it is that he should be electable, let alone israeli foreign minister. the israeli satire industry has a great time showing him in rather similar terms to how spitting image used to show norman tebbit, complete with leather jacket, blackjack, goons in dark glasses and attack dogs. in fact i believe they have managed to attribute to him the phrase “from now on, i make the choices. you’re about to be served dinner on an airline - chicken or beef? beef.” unfortunately, in PR systems like israel has, that is the sort of thing that happens, cranks, loonies and wingnuts from coalition players are able to extract a huge price for their participation - lib dem supporters please note *cough* jenny tonge *cough*.

      now, as to what the UK should do about it? well, i think it’s the joerg haider question in a way, or, if you prefer, the jacques chirac question - what do you do when one of your allies comes for a visit and he’s a crooked racist scumbag and the answer is, you use your position to influence him. by the same token, blair went to syria and shared a platform with bashir al-assad, who has said some pretty racist things about jews in his official capacity. i note further that the people here who are up in arms seem to be pretty much unanimous that we should talk to hamas, who scarcely give much away to lieberman on the crooked-racist-scumbag front. btw, i think bibi is also a crooked, lying scumbag, but my jury’s out on the racism still.

      now, as to the difference between lieberman and, say, david duke or fred phelps: one is merely a racist scumbag and the other is a racist scumbag who is a senior official of an allied state; you are kind of obliged insofar as i understand the diplomatic world to deal with them, you don’t have to like it and, again, you can use your contact for good or ill. by the same token, ahmedinejad, though a senior official, is not from an allied state, so there are various means by which his visit can be discouraged if one is unwelcome. all these means are similarly available to lieberman but i suppose the political calculus does not add up to a boycott in this case. as for that chief rabbi imran keeps going on about, i’ve explained ad nauseam how irrelevant he is, but imran has this real bee in his bonnet about anyone with a “chief rabbi” label, failing to see how they have only credibility in their own constituency - judaism isn’t centrally run like catholicism.

      as for the jewish community meeting lieberman, well, about half of us think, i dare say, he’s not as bad as all that (i disagree, obviously) and of the rest of us, some are thinking “here’s our chance to influence him” and some are also thinking “only nixon can go to china”. personally, i would like to put myself in the last group - sharon, after all, delivered the gaza disengagement, “mr security” rabin delivered the oslo agreement and menachem “i used to run the irgun” begin delivered the camp david agreement. even bibi managed the dayton accords. it is the same reason i am willing to give the pope the benefit of the doubt on the various things i would like the catholic church the chance to change its mind about - nobody is going to be able to turn round and say, “oh, that ratzinger, he was always a leftie” - he is known to be conservative, which means that he can get away with selling change to conservatives. ditto with assad, in fact, albeit as far as i know he still hasn’t really got a secure grip on power, but that’s what my information is telling me.

      is that all right, or would you like me to stand on one leg and join in the chorus of ritual condemnation?

      b’shalom

      bananabrain

    61. Shamit — on 13th May, 2009 at 10:06 pm  

      Mr. Cohen or Mr. Khan -

      I have no interest in responding to your idiotic tirades.

      But I never blamed Brown for the MPs expenses — what I said how it was dealt with.

      Rather than give Tories the momentum on this the PM of the day could have taken a similar stance with his Cabinet and other ministers - which the PM failed to do.

      The reason political parties seek power is to deliver their policies for the electorate and the shambles due the lack of leadership in the labour party after Blair’s departure has ensured that Labour most likely is going to be out of power for a generation.

      On everything else — this is what i have to say — Cameron and Clegg actually like being compared to Blair and look at the poll ratings. So did Sarkozy.

      He specifically came to London and asked for his support and he campaigned on that in Paris and he beat the Socialists.

      If the country is electing Cameron as PM (and believe nme they are electing Cameron not the Tories) — what does that tell you about how Blair changed our politics?

      And as for your rants and name calling — it speaks volumes about you and not me.

      We should question our political leaders — that is our right and our responsibility — but we must not be blind. And we must give credit where its due.

      I disagree with Blair on one major issue — where I think he really got it wrong. and thats not Iraq but the draconian laws we have passed to protect ourselves from terrorism.

      I believe in a liberal democracy those who have been accused of the most heinous crimes must be given the same protection of the law. Something Blair got horribly wrong. This is a downward spiral and we must revise those draconian laws asap.

      Funnily, even Obama went in the same way by allowing the wiretaps and the secrecy and letting it actually go further than the Bush administration.
      *****************************************
      I reiterate that I have no love for Bibi (you can see my post in the begining of the day) and I don’t know why he has appointed L as FM. But you are not interested in that are you.

      You want to kick Blair — go for it it wont make an iota of difference to Blair

    62. Shamit — on 13th May, 2009 at 10:22 pm  

      Or how history judges Blair -

    63. Refresh — on 13th May, 2009 at 10:24 pm  

      The only point I want to make on Blair is that we should leave the kicking to another time. And there will be many opportunities, given he expects to be judged by history. That’s a lot of kicking.

      Right now he’s pinned himself to Netanyahu and that is a good thing - he can sink with him. I did say upthread that he was a scary guy. He has clearly made the calculation that Netanyahu will be under immense pressure, and he will give ground. Blair is only for himself, he is our man of history.

      An aside on the expenses scandal - he is also grubby.

    64. Refresh — on 13th May, 2009 at 10:32 pm  

      Bananbrain, whilst I understand your point about the calculus I do not see that Ariel Sharon could ever be included in the ‘Nixon to China’ analogy. It presumes that Sharon was attempting to deliver some good, whereas it was an attempt to isolate Gaza from the West Bank and rupture any dreams of a Palestinian state. You will of course recall how the IDF was sent in to destroy the airport and Arafat’s trips to meet with overseas governments and organisations. He looked too much of a head of a nascent state for Sharon’s liking.

    65. bananabrain — on 13th May, 2009 at 10:40 pm  

      well, refresh, you are entitled to your opinion of course, but i don’t think you understand sharon at all. i always detested him, but i think he had the courage to change and take on his strongest supporters in the settler camp - *they* certainly didn’t believe he was trying to help them in the long run, hence their opposition to the disengagement. i think we will have to wait for the verdict of history - and i confidently expect my point of view to be vindicated and yours to be shown to be politically parochial.

      b’shalom

      bananabrain

    66. Shamit — on 13th May, 2009 at 10:43 pm  

      I agree with you BB.

      Sharon’s famous remark — that from this chair (PMs Chair) things look a lot different.

      Sharon was the first Israeli PM who used troops to break down settlements but why bother with the truth when you have cohen/khan narrative here.

      “..and i confidently expect my point of view to be vindicated and yours to be shown to be politically parochial.”

      This one I believe would be true as well.

    67. Refresh — on 13th May, 2009 at 10:50 pm  

      ‘and i confidently expect my point of view to be vindicated and yours to be shown to be politically parochial.’

      I was of the view that Sharon was more persuaded by the ‘demographic timebomb’ than a need to reach a settlement.

      As for being right or wrong, I don’t particularly care as long as there is a just settlement. Not a process but a settlement, and soon.

    68. Shamit — on 13th May, 2009 at 10:54 pm  

      “As for being right or wrong, I don’t particularly care as long as there is a just settlement. Not a process but a settlement, and soon.”

      Refresh - very well said.

    69. imran khan — on 13th May, 2009 at 11:21 pm  

      ShamBlairworhsipper - It is you who started the name calling not me and you who went into delirium over Blair. I responded and you don’t like you or your messiah being exposed.

      The fact is that your idiotic approach speaks volumes for the stupid regard you have for a man who lied about his positions for going to war and who has never done the job he so pines to do - bring peace to the middle east. If you can see that then thats your issue but don’t hide behind the fact he may have done this or that on a few issues when on the major issues he based his whole premiership on the guy lied and has been exposed by those closest to him for doing so.

      Bananabrain - I never ascribed a position to you and your rather childish insistence on saying so is crude. I asked what your position was and questioned why the double standard and quiet towards the visit of Lieberman when say a Muslim extremist gets so much more venom from you and general claims of what a threat they are to your existence.

      Now we have a man here who is a threat to the Palestinians - one of your coreligionists and you are rather quiet old chap. Why? Despite saying that you had no problem if there was extremism in your community how you would speak out and how Muslims were lacking for doing so. Now the perfect opp presents itself and you are appearing hesitant.

      Again dare I say it shows how difficult it is to speak out against ones own community. Its always easy to do so about others. But here was the perfect opportunity and it slipped away.

      Also your nonsense about Sharon is so touching when he himself said that he was only interested in keeping hold of the West Bank so what change was there in him. He gave up a small uncontrollable strip for the bigger prize and you laud him as a changed man. He wasn’t changed and he even persuaded Bush to back his expansionist plan and you said he was changed. So pray tell in what respect did he change when his primary position of not granting Palestinians major rights was and is still the position?

      At least Lieberman is honest about his opinion and position which was more than Sharon ever was. Lieberman also for all his rhetoric is not as bad as Sharon whose bloody hands are a disgrace for all to see. He didn’t change a jot he just changed the image he projected.

      “is that all right, or would you like me to stand on one leg and join in the chorus of ritual condemnation?”
      Well the point is that you are willing to give the benefit of the doubt on a selective basis and if its a Muslim then you won’t give the benefit of doubt easily but if the person is Jewish and represents Israel even if they have advocated extreme positions then you think its ok to sit down over a nice cup of PG Tips and reason with them but if its a Muslim then they are a threat to your very existence.

      You don’t think Lieberman is a threat to Muslims then when he denies the rights of Palestinians? When he calls for Arab MK’s who talk to Hamas to be executed?

      So the double standard is interesting and at the same time troubling. What makes you think you can influence Lieberman where others have failed?

      Again there is often a call to say you will condemn but each time the moment arrives it is underpinned with the old they ain’t so bad line and the condemnation is rarely delivered or if it is it is delivered with careful wording to imply they are not so bad.

      So why are Jewish Extremists not so bad and Muslims the scum of the earth? surely they are both as bad - non?

      Amasingly and I never thought I’d be able to say this but the ADL has been more critical of Lieberman and his statements and yet we have interfaith man saying he wants to talk to Lieberman. Amazing.

      So what would it truely take for an Israeli politician to do for you to unreservedly condemn them and not talk to them?

      Oh and despite a certain persons bullshit I didn’t say that Lieberman shouldn’t be afforded protocol but at the same time I do question his meeting such senior members of Parliament.

      Refresh - if people like Shammit worship at Blairs Temple then we need to expose him for what he is. The man sold out his position and chose Armani Glitz ahead of rolling up his sleeves and pursuing a ceasefire.

    70. imran khan — on 13th May, 2009 at 11:27 pm  

      Sham - “Sharon was the first Israeli PM who used troops to break down settlements but why bother with the truth when you have cohen/khan narrative here.”

      You are so full of yourself. Sharon stated that his reason for giving up an ungovernable small strip of land - Gaza was to keep hold of the West Bank. It was a strategic move but hey why let the mans own words get in the way of your own bullshit huh?

      I guess if was due to advice such as yours and Bananabrains that Blair feted him.

      Also your bullshit about Sharon being the first PM to use troops to break down Settlements is not correct as the Sinai evacuation was handled by troops who broke down settlements and that shows what a good grasp you have on the subject like Blair - have we been shopping at Armani instead of reading our history!

    71. imran khan — on 13th May, 2009 at 11:30 pm  

      Sham - ““As for being right or wrong, I don’t particularly care as long as there is a just settlement. Not a process but a settlement, and soon.”

      Refresh - very well said.”

      Well its your neocon poodle that is failing to do his job in pushing for a solution and collecting money much like his premiership days for payoffs for not negotiating a solution.

      So its all very well saying well said when the Republican Poodle is failing in his role. Try tellinghim you want a solution and that he needs to stop plugging his foundations and asking for money and actually do his job.

    72. Refresh — on 13th May, 2009 at 11:43 pm  

      Imran, I am not sure I got my point across. Blair is irrelevant. Particularly in this regard: he has so soiled himself it is unlikely he will ever be able to hold his head up. If Netanyahu accepts the inevitable and we do achieve peace, Blair will not receive any reward. Its too late for him. The time to really lay into Blair is when he seeks the presidency of the EU.

      That is not to say the occasional crunching of his zeroes is not a nice sound.

      As for Liebermann, he couldn’t have come along at a better time, if only to show Israel for the absurdity it has become. Its the equivalent of Eugène Ney Terre’Blanche joining Pik Botha in the last days of apartheid.

    73. imran khan — on 13th May, 2009 at 11:46 pm  

      BTW Sham and Bananabrain - if Sharon was such a changed man then why did he choose to ask Bush to circumvent negotiations to keep hold of the West Bank which was a plan he hatched and showed to Bush when Bush was originally running for office?

      Why did he limit Palestinian sovereignty to enclaves which was a plan he hatched when housing minister?

      His plan since the last war was that the Palestinians would be a bit like the Vatican a state without control of its borders, no military and complete control by Israel of all major natural resources. Oh shit I apologise he did change didn’t he because he moved out of Gaza and said he’d keep everythig he wanted which was pretty much what he had in mind from his settlement days.

      Damn you boys are so good at seeing change in Sharon which is why he bypassed negotiations which he always said he would do.

      Yep Bananabrain another excellent endorsement from you and I am so sorry I doubted you. Sharon the man of Peace as Clown Bush said. So instead of being tried in the Hague for war crimes - Sharon a changed man who wanted peace and dictatorship at the same time.

      Listen Bananabrain please send me your address and I will pay for new glasses to replace your rose-coloured ones my friend. Tell me in your interfaith work do you champion Ariel Sharon as a man of peace?

    74. imran khan — on 14th May, 2009 at 12:00 am  

      Refresh - with respect Blair is beig feted here along with Sharon as men who strived to bring peace to the Middle East.

      So yes we do need to expose Blair for the man he is as he is the peace envoy responsible for the disaster we face.

      Its all very well blaming Lieberman but he was elected due to the massive failures and lies of Blair.

      Blair consorted with Sharon who we are told by our interfaith champion was a changed man who wanted to control the lives of Palestinians from the sea, land and air.

      Apparently Armani do nice teflon and rose coloured suits and the million pund donations to the Blair Foundation are for what peace and for whom?

      The same people here who are rather mum on Lieberman bash Muslims regularly for not condemning extremists but here we have people upholding extremists from two other religions. Its bloody nonsense.

      Lieberman is free to visit the UK but then why not have community and government officials say what needs to be said openly.

      We have Hazel Blears tellng Daud Abdullah that the agreement he signed in Istanbul advocated attacks on Jews worldwide and he must stand down from the MCB for Govt engagement. Then the hypocracy is that the JNF of whom Blair, Brown and Cameron are part of invites a man who is advocating extremism and not a word.

      Come on why can’t people see the double standard and why the quiet acceptance?

      I’ll say it for Bananabrain I don’t advocate the government talking to Hamas or anyone in the PA who advocates extreme measures against innocent Jewish Civilians. I don’t give a damn about protocol which isn’t worth a jot compared to an innocent life. I roundly condemn the actions of Hamas and Palestinians who do not value the lives of their neighbours.

      Will our interfaith champion join me in condemning the Sharon’s, Liebermans and Bibi and equally say they shouldn’t be accorded protocol and will it be unequivocal?

    75. Sunny — on 14th May, 2009 at 12:35 am  

      Shamit: Except for those Loony left and some with nothing but hatred for Blair thinks he is being ridiculed by everyone involved in the process. Seems like that from the Guardian land.

      I like the way anyone who dislikes Blair is dismissed as the loony left. Or perhaps, given the general hostility towards him just before he finally left, you should accept it was Middle England (Daily Mail included) who also thought he was a liar and bullshitter.

      But then, you really are making excuses now :)

    76. imran khan — on 14th May, 2009 at 7:02 am  

      Does anyone seriously think that a man obssessed with his image who’ll say anything to make himself look good will bring peace to the Middle East?

      Does anyone seriously think that Bush who paid no attention to Middle East peace making would put a serious negotiatior into that position?

      What are Blair’s major achievements in bringing the parties to peace?

      Its all very well blaming Lieberman but he is a byproduct of Blairs failure to keep his word and push the parties to peace.

      At the end of the day with a massive death toll and hositilities rising Blair chose celebrity - a visit to Armani’s store in London - ahead of duty - a visit to Gaza. That illustrates where his priorities lay.

      He’s never tried to change the perception that his position is not presented fairly and even his closest friends are saying he isn’t doing the job he is supposed to.

      He lacks impartiality and his achievements add up to zero. The parties don’t think he is helping and despite the hype his supporter here has failed to produce a single example of his success to counter all that has been said about him and his role in the Middle East and instead claims he won’t get into that debate and then proceeds to divert the discussion to other supposed claims of success.

      Facts are facts and there are many links from across the broadsheet spectrum to illustrate that the press and his own friends say he isn’t doing the job.

    77. imran khan — on 14th May, 2009 at 7:14 am  

      In Northern Ireland it wasn’t Blair who did most of the groundwork to bring the parties together it was others and he happily took the credit which is fine as PM but when your job is Peace Envoy then that involves actually doing the work you are titled with.

      Economic Success - He himself said that it was down to Brown as the best Chancellor ever.

      Blair was a due to a number of factors and many were out of his own hands. His legacy of deceit in the Middle East has left behind a region which is unsafe and more troubled than when he started and considering he started with the Clinton legacy of at least trying and active diplomacy then Blairs achievements are nil.

      As I said Lieberman’s rise is a direct result of Blair and Bush failing to keep their word and bringing the parties together. If there had been hope instead of despair and progress instead of reverse then Lieberman would be leader of a minor party in Israel. He is FM and able to visit this country precisely because Blair and Bush failed the people of the region and they went to extremists and not moderates.

      Eight years of promising talks and not actually delivering led to people concluding they couldn’t live together and simply led to one thing and that was a cushy job for life for Blair and a massive waste of tax payers money and nothing else.

      It will take significant help to get back to a point the parties can move forward from so yes a big thank you to the biggest failure as peace envoy ever - thank you Tony Blair.

    78. marvin — on 14th May, 2009 at 8:08 am  

      Oh and Marvin even the Daily Mail home of your beloved right wing criticises Balir

      You seem to be quoting the Daily Mail at lot recently, which is fair enough, I think you have a lot in common to be honest.

      Imran, the Daily Mail was pretty vehemently against the Iraq war and ‘Bliar’. So was the BNP actually.

      I was more on the Observer tip.

    79. imran khan — on 14th May, 2009 at 8:21 am  

      Marvin - If you chose to read the extract and not snippets you’d know that the article wasn’t referring to the Iraq War but Blairs lack of effort in trying to bring an end to the Gaza conflict.

      If I had a lot in common with the Daily Mail I’d be like you and saying all the time about how right Israel is wouldn’t I now ala Mel Phillips.

      The articles were to show that there is a fair spectrum of the press that state that Blair isn’t doing his job as peace envoy as the Blair Supporter claimed this was a Guardian and Freedland type thing.

      I very much doubt that the Daily Mail publishes Freedland.

      The press is sick of him, the people are sick of him and the Middle East is sick of him and in fact some of his own friends are sick of him but he still wants his title and position so the man stays and the region goes to pot.

    80. Ravi Naik — on 14th May, 2009 at 9:33 am  

      This is leadership: Obama warns Netanyahu: Don’t surprise me with Iran strike.

    81. Shamit — on 14th May, 2009 at 9:36 am  

      “Sunny: But then, you really are making excuses now”

      Probably I have gone further than I would have liked - I accept that. But amidst all this ranting and raving its hard to keep perspective.

      But just to be clear — I never thought you were part of the loony left mate.

      Now for the errant and truant kid Khan or Cohen
      “….biggest failure as peace envoy ever - thank you Tony Blair.”

      I hate to burst your bubble Mr. Cohen/Mr. Khan. But I think I am correct when I say that …Mr Blair’s mandate from the Quartet of Middle East negotiators involves trying to strengthen Palestinian institutions, but he cannot negotiate a peace deal.

      But truth and history has never bothered you has it now. And stop this juvenille ranting and highlighting articles from all the newspapers in the world which at one point of time or other has criticized every single political leader worth noticing. It does not bolster your argument — it makes you look well juvenille.

      This juvenille crap obsession with Blair has actually derailed a good thread which was about how the British Government should deal with an ally. Unfortunately, the ally’s Government has some very unsavoury characters to say the least.

      Anyway, Liberman is here today and if you want to make your protest known — make a placard and go stand in front of the FCO.

      But Miliband must meet with this idiot — because that is his job and it is in the best interest of this country.

      I am against Hamas being directly involved in the talks officially yet but I think back channels are open and Blair can be a good conduit. And, I think like Hezbollah — Hamas is going to convert itself into a real political party with aspirations and involvement in economy, creating opportunities for its citizens. And whether you like it or not — they will sooner or later accept the legitimacy of the Israeli state.

      And that would put Bibi under more pressure. Bibi Yahoo needs to be put on the spot and the best group to do it would be Hamas by saying we accept Israel’s right to exist.

    82. Shamit — on 14th May, 2009 at 9:41 am  

      Ravi - Spot on.

      But I think that has been the US position under Bush as well because he vetoed Ohmert’s intention to bomb Iran.

      And as I understand both McCain and Obama were kept in the loop about that.

    83. Refresh — on 14th May, 2009 at 9:43 am  

      ‘Bibi Yahoo needs to be put on the spot and the best group to do it would be Hamas by saying we accept Israel’s right to exist.’

      Now we are losing perspective. I thought the PLO had already done that and put Israel on the spot.

      Get real. Israel needs to know its now or never and that the US will not always be there.

      Obama needs to be giving the Palestinians the guarantees not the other way round.

    84. Shamit — on 14th May, 2009 at 9:50 am  

      “Obama needs to be giving the Palestinians the guarantees not the other way round.”

      Agree Refresh. But even Obama would require Hamas to accept the legitimacy of the state of Israel before he lets them through the front door.

      Thats reality

    85. Refresh — on 14th May, 2009 at 9:52 am  

      Ravi, I agree. Obama knows the Israeli addiction to creating facts on the ground only too well.

      It does underline my question about what return UK plc gets from this ally.

    86. Ravi Naik — on 14th May, 2009 at 9:53 am  

      I am against Hamas being directly involved in the talks officially yet

      Why, Shamit? Hamas was elected democratically, and you can’t have a peace agreement without Hamas. It’s time to stop this silly “don’t negotiate with terrorists” because in this conflict there are no good guys and bad guys: only losers. Obama said exactly what you are saying, and he is wrong on that account, and I am hoping he will reconsider.

      I understand that Blair is trying to salvage his career by engaging in the peace process, but his reputation has been badly damaged by the Iraq War, and he has little leverage in the Arab world. He had his chance, and he blew it.

      (I do not want you to feel upset over my comments about Blair - it is my personal opinion, and I certainly respect your opinion of Blair and the good things he did for this country)

    87. Jai — on 14th May, 2009 at 9:56 am  

      Well, I’m glad that all the screaming and shouting has finally died down. Dropping the f-bomb about a dozen times within the same post and making up “funny” names for one’s opponent tend to be counterproductive when, differences of opinion aside, the other party isn’t actually being malicious or deliberately disingenuous.

    88. imran khan — on 14th May, 2009 at 10:06 am  

      Jai - Selective criticism is a wonderful thing when your friend keeps saying “Now for the errant and truant kid Khan or Cohen”

      Nonsense I ma frankly getting fed up of. The name calling and twisting started with him so don’t blame me if I choose to reply in kind.

    89. imran khan — on 14th May, 2009 at 10:13 am  

      Shamit - “I hate to burst your bubble Mr. Cohen/Mr. Khan. But I think I am correct when I say that …Mr Blair’s mandate from the Quartet of Middle East negotiators involves trying to strengthen Palestinian institutions, but he cannot negotiate a peace deal.

      But truth and history has never bothered you has it now. And stop this juvenille ranting and highlighting articles from all the newspapers in the world which at one point of time or other has criticized every single political leader worth noticing. It does not bolster your argument — it makes you look well juvenille.”

      Are you always so selective when defending Blair? Do you actually have a grasp on history. As PM - As PM - Blair promised to work for peace in the Middle East if he was given mandate for war in Iraq. Do you deny that fact?

      He was given mandate and please tell me what he did when he had power to make peace in the Middle East?

      His role as envoy which is effectively a role as Israels Enforcer was taken on later. In that role he has achieved even less than his role as PM.

      Do you find it so hard to accept he is a massive failure and is simply a waste of space.

      How Britain deals with Lieberman is a byproduct of the fact that Blair is responsible for Lieberman being a senior Minister and not part of some minority party.

      Your grasp on the effects of Blairite Policy is astounding and your wishy-washy fictional assessment f Blairs role is astounding.

      Lieberman is here because Balir made his rise possible and now Brown is having to deal with a man Blair helped bring to power and consequence by his inaction, his lies and his failure to live up to his own promises.

      Do you grasp the simple concept that Blair didn’t keep his word to push for peace and even his own friends say that.

      You stil won’t show me his accomplishments in promoting peace in the Middle East when PM and his accomplishments as Peace Envoy.

      Indeed you still insist on trying to defame me by implying I am someone else to steer away from meaningful discussion. If you can read my name is Khan and not Cohen its quite simple.

    90. Shamit — on 14th May, 2009 at 10:14 am  

      “Obama said exactly what you are saying, and he is wrong on that account, and I am hoping he will reconsider.”

      Internationally Pres. Obama would be opening a Pandora’s Box — why not speak to the Taliban then? Why not speak to LTTE? Why not speak to LeT? They all have some legitimacy in eyes of their stakeholders. But no President of the United States or for that matter any country’s Government could adopt such a stance whereby you choose to speak to a group which does not accept the right of an UN member to exist.

      Domestically, he would have serious problems and if he chooses to speak to Hamas then he might even lose many seats in the upcoming congressional mid term elections. President of the US is not going to derail his domestic agenda by openly talking to a terrorist group and the laws of the US openly forbid it. And even a Democratic Congress would refrain from changing that law.

      “Blair…he has little leverage in the Arab world”

      It seems to me that Blair has the ears of the people who matter. Now, most Arab Governments do not have legitimacy in the eyes of large parts of their citizens except for maybe Jordan and the Emirates.

      King Abdullah of Jordan is working with Blair on fulfilling the Quartet’s economic mandate. And so has Egypt and so has Saudi Arabia and others. Even Hamas is working with them in the background. So the legitimacy factors may not be that much of an issue.

      As recently as last week king of Jordan said this “Israel, Syria, Lebanon and other Arab nations would sit down together to try to resolve the Middle East conflict under a new “combined approach” currently under discussion with the U.S.” and there is a key role for Blair — according to the King.

      But lets not get sidetracked with Blair — the issue is achieving peace and a lasting peace between two nations.

    91. imran khan — on 14th May, 2009 at 10:18 am  

      For those that can’t quite grasp the fact that Shamit started out by smearing me here it is from comment 14:

      “Imran Khan — or Avi Cohen.

      Your self loathing does not change international politics and protocol.”

      Its there and you people are saying I am name calling. The whole basis of his argument started with smearing and has gone from there and you people are finding that acceptable. Its nonsense.

      He started out by smearing instead of discussing and its that simple.

    92. imran khan — on 14th May, 2009 at 10:21 am  

      His behaviour carried on even though I referred to him by his own name and when it didn’t stop then I called him names. Scroll up and its in Black and white.

      Even at Comment 16 after I called him b his name he said:

      “My dear Mr. Cohen or Khan

      Let me explain few home truths about protocol — I think I know a little bit about this.”

      So lets stop this pretence that the name callig started with me.

      He choose to muddy the waters and continued doing so without any criticism from the people who are tellign me off now.

      He continues to do it with impunity.

    93. imran khan — on 14th May, 2009 at 10:22 am  

      Down to Comment 81:

      “Now for the errant and truant kid Khan or Cohen”

      Its carried on without a single word of criticism for trying to muddy the waters by name calling and not discussing.

      So why the double standard?????????

    94. Jai — on 14th May, 2009 at 10:22 am  

      Imran,

      Generally it’s still a better idea to sometimes take a step back and consider how one is coming across, not just to the other participant in the conversation but from the perspective of everyone else reading it (there is a wider audience here, remember). At least if you want to be effective in making your own point, irrespective of how the other individual may be perceived to act.

      And no, I’m no fan of Blair either and neither do I necessarily agree with the tone of some of Shamit’s earlier posts on this thread. However, calculated arguments and heated exchanges can sometimes cross the line into aggressive lengthy ranting, which just results in people ignoring one’s own points and basically tuning everything out. So nobody wins in those situations.

      Unless, as I said earlier, the other person is deliberately and persistently spreading malicious propaganda (particularly the bigotted kind involving race, religion etc) and/or being vindictive, in which case I think it’s fine to take the gloves off. But I don’t think this applies to either you or Shamit, either in terms of this specific conversation or your respective personalities.

      Your argument is quite wildly off-topic so I think it would be better for both of you to just agree to disagree and move on. Unless you genuinely think that obsessively continuing the fight is going to make an iota of difference in the real world.

    95. imran khan — on 14th May, 2009 at 10:26 am  

      Even this little gem was excused “so, Mr. Cohen — fuck off.”

      Do a simple search and the name calling and abuse have gone on unchecked for a long time and without criticism - why?

      Is Shamit given licence to denigrate people and call names as part of the T&C’s?

    96. imran khan — on 14th May, 2009 at 10:29 am  

      Jai - It isn’t off topic. How can it be off topic when Blair is being feted and he is responsible for the rise of extremism in the region and heis responsible for the accendance of Lieberman as FM in Israel?

      It is 8 years of failure that brought Lieberman to power. It wasn’t that Israel just lurched to the right and the Palestinians threw themselves into the arms of Hamas.

      “Generally it’s still a better idea to sometimes take a step back and consider how one is coming across, not just to the other participant in the conversation but from the perspective of everyone else reading it (there is a wider audience here, remember). At least if you want to be effective in making your own point, irrespective of how the other individual may be perceived to act.”

      Ok fair enough I shall step back and away.

    97. Jai — on 14th May, 2009 at 10:40 am  

      Imran,

      Both of you could still have made your respective points without descending into posturing and name-calling. There are sometimes extenuating circumstances when exceptions have to be made (especially when the other party is deliberately playing mind-games) — my little chat with our friend from the BNP is one recent example on PP — but that doesn’t apply in this case.

      Since neither you nor Shamit were actually involved in this debate from a position of maliciousness or nefarious agenda-pushing, ideally you should both apologise to each other for inflaming matters — but if that’s not going to be possible, then I agree that the best step would be for you to both just quietly drop it.

      Following on from that…..

      Ok fair enough I shall step back and away.

      Good idea ;) Hopefully Shamit will do the same.

    98. Shamit — on 14th May, 2009 at 10:43 am  

      Ravi sorry mate — I forgot to put your name on 90. I was responding to your points.

      Btw, the President of the US who was most critical of Israel and actually got them to stop their crap by saying that he would stop giving them arms was George Bush senior.

      Truman, Clinton and then George Bush junior have been squarely in the Israeli camp. I don’t disagree with that and as you would know, I do like Clinton a hell of a lot.

      But even with American pressure — how do you resolve the issue? What happens to Jerusalem?

      My suggestion has always been put a UN mandate together, put troops from Swiss guards and other unaffected nations and ensure security for both communities. Secondly, put Jerusalem under a troika administered by an UN administrator.

      This way the UN with the help of international donors can build up the infrastructure and the economic development that both West Bank and especially Gaza need. It also needs to build civil institutions so the power of the gun (both Fatah and Hamas are equally responsible) is not the final say but the rule of law.

      If anything can be learnt from South Asia, it is that one of the reasons democracy survived in India its because of the stability and the continuity of the civil institutions.

      Once the UN Mandate is taken, Israel automatically would lose the right to define who goes in or goes out of Gaza and the settlements made illegally would be broken. And I think the UN security council on this issue would have an unianimous vote especially with the Obama Administration in power in DC.

      This process would also address the legitimate security concerns of the israelis and that would be addressed by the UN mandate and UN troops. That would change the face of the world in many respects and for the better.
      ************************
      Jai — eloquent as usual.

      Mate - I expect everyone from every community to condemn actions which are reprehensible — I do not mince words when it comes to Modi or Al Qaeda or the Catholic Church or Bibi Yahoo.

      But I do not go around challenging people to go an condemn a particular action of an idiot like Imran did to Bananabrain and Sid. Niether do I like the portrayal of this issue be presented in the light of jews vs Muslim which he was trying to play up.

      I protested against that and I don’t reckon Freedland is a very good journalist.

      So while I respect your thoughts and opinions very much, I choose to stand by my comments that he has a twisted community agenda which does not go down well with me.

    99. Shamit — on 14th May, 2009 at 10:50 am  

      But I would refrain from name calling. Sorry Prinicpal Jai.
      ******
      Ravi sorry I meant
      “Truman, Clinton and then George Bush junior have been squarely in the Israeli camp. I don’t disagree with that and as you would know, I do like Clinton a hell of a lot.”

      I do disagree with truman and clinton and junior bush on this

    100. Refresh — on 14th May, 2009 at 10:55 am  

      Imran

      ‘As PM - As PM - Blair promised to work for peace in the Middle East if he was given mandate for war in Iraq. Do you deny that fact?’

      No one can deny this. And I will vouch for Blair on this point. His idea of peace in the middle east was the same as that pushed by Bush; total hegemony with a giant Israeli shadow cast from the red sea to the euphrates.

      ‘”I will fix your boundary from the Red Sea to the sea of the Philistines, and from the wilderness to the River Euphrates; for I will deliver the inhabitants of the land into your hand, and you will drive them out before you…’ Exodus 23.31

      Others would consider that to be mendacious. Let you think one thing but be furtively doing another.

      So when Blair talks about peace, be very careful to know what sort of peace he really means.

    101. imran khan — on 14th May, 2009 at 10:58 am  

      “But I do not go around challenging people to go an condemn a particular action of an idiot like Imran did to Bananabrain and Sid. Niether do I like the portrayal of this issue be presented in the light of jews vs Muslim which he was trying to play up.”

      A gross distortion. I asked why people who have called for condemnation of Muslim extremists were slow in doing so for extremists from other communities. That is a fair point and if you read the article was part of the original thread.

      “But I would refrain from name calling. Sorry Prinicpal Jai.”

      After having started off by name calling and gone the entire thread doing so this is a bit rich.

      I stand by my comments that Blair is responsible for the rise in extremism in the Middle East and I stand by the fact that there is a double standard and hysteria when discussing Muslim extremists and other extremists and the fact that people are selective in their critisism of such extremists.

      I am of the opinion that all extremists are to be shunned and as I recall you spoke up for diplomatic protocol to be observed for Lieberman as he was an ally which is itself a troubling aspect.

    102. Ravi Naik — on 14th May, 2009 at 11:00 am  

      Internationally Pres. Obama would be opening a Pandora’s Box — why not speak to the Taliban then? Why not speak to LTTE? Why not speak to LeT?

      Again, Hamas was *elected democratically*, so their legitimacy is not arbitrary.

      Domestically, he would have serious problems and if he chooses to speak to Hamas then he might even lose many seats in the upcoming congressional mid term elections.

      I disagree. I think he has enough capital to pull this off without damaging himself. I have no doubt that Fox News and other wingnuts will make a big deal out of it, but I suspect that the greater public understands that Hamas was democratically elected, and therefore should be a part of the negotiations. Also, Israel barbarically bombed civilians in Gaza, so I am sorry, I see little point in debating whose party is the “terrorist” at this point, nor should have any bearings in any future negotiation.

      As for recognising Israel, it is a fact that the UN does not recognise Israel’s occupation of the West Bank - so should we expect the UN to recognise Israel’s occupation before making it a participant? So, let’s stop with the same old narrative, or we will never achieve any sort of peace agreement.

    103. imran khan — on 14th May, 2009 at 11:02 am  

      Refresh - “So when Blair talks about peace, be very careful to know what sort of peace he really means.”

      You know that and I know that but others won’t accept that. What can I say.

      The simple fact is that if you are supporting the Palestinians you are seen as the anti-Christs, a threat to Western Democracy and causing communalk strife.

      The double standard when condemning Muslim extremism and other extremism is astounding.

      Anyway I am solely responsible for annoying a name-calling veteran of this blog so I need to keep mum as I need to put up with people saying I am lying about my name :-(

    104. Jai — on 14th May, 2009 at 11:04 am  

      Shamit,

      But I would refrain from name calling. Sorry Prinicpal Jai.

      Not “Principal”, mate ;) Just an objective third-party who’s been watching the unnecessary fireworks.

      And I understand your own remarks and motivations too, as you’ve summarised in #98.

      Perhaps the fact of the matter is that, in some areas (not necessarily all), there is actually an element of truth in quite a few of the various points both you and Imran have made in relation to Blair, his past actions and their ongoing consequences.

    105. Shamit — on 14th May, 2009 at 11:08 am  

      Ravi

      I don’t disagree but you still would have to get the US congress to pass the law which allows the President of the US to openly negotiate with a group that has been determined to be a terrorist group by the Congress.

      While we might hate FAUX NEWS — the issue is Bill O riley’s ratings are the highest in the US and has been for a long time.

      Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh’s wont make much of a difference — but opinion of the average American won’t be so receptive to speaking to Hamas. Thats my opinion.

      ********************************
      Ravi — why not use the UN mandate route? which would actually get results —

      Everytime the negotiations failed were because of jerusalem. Barak as PM was willing to agree to the two state solution and ready to declare it in late 1990s but the bone of contention was Jerusalem.

      So why not make Jerusalem an UN international city managed directly by the UN Secretary general’s office and a troika of representatives of all the three main religions as advisors to the Administrator of the city.
      ******************************

      Ltte actually won all the elections it participated in too. So why not speak to LTTE?

      Or should I crib different rules for Muslim terrorists and Hindu terrorists? Terrorists are terrorists irrespective of their religion, clan or legitmate grievances.

    106. Ravi Naik — on 14th May, 2009 at 11:09 am  

      I am of the opinion that all extremists are to be shunned and as I recall you spoke up for diplomatic protocol to be observed for Lieberman as he was an ally which is itself a troubling aspect.

      Shamit is right to say that there is a special protocol when it comes to our allies - I am not sure why you are complaining about it.

      Does Israel deserve to be our ally when they have a fascist in a high position? Do we get anything in return? These questions are totally irrelevant to Shamit’s main assertion.

    107. Shamit — on 14th May, 2009 at 11:17 am  

      Also the far left in US politics is getting pissed off with Obama slowly but surely. First the wiretaps rules which he extended and made it more secretive, second yesterday overruling the ACLU court victory citing national security.

      And too much focus on Hamas and Middle East would make him look like he is not interested in domestic issues — no President can afford that. Its political reality.

      If all the news cycles are about the President talking to Hamas the guy in Detroit without a job would wonder why is my President focused on this and not on the economy?

      The President has a lot of things on his plate and he does not want to use his political capital unless he is sure he can get a win.

      Can you guarantee speaking to Hamas would get him the win? No one can. Thats real politics unfortunately.

    108. imran khan — on 14th May, 2009 at 11:18 am  

      Ravi - “Shamit is right to say that there is a special protocol when it comes to our allies - I am not sure why you are complaining about it.”

      So if an ally is an extremist we still need to accord them protocol which then wil make them think their position is perfectly sound. Brilliant and then we wonder why extremism takes hold.

      Do you consider what type of message is being sent out worldwide by fettering Lieberman with diplomatic nicities?

      Its hypocracy because when it comes to Muslims then the diplomatic protocols don’t have to be observed.

      So the sum conclusion is that if you are Muslim and deemed extreme but an ally then screw diplomatic protocols and if you are judeo-christian then the dipolomatic protocols must be observed regardless of extremism.

      Do you not see the hypocracy and how this plays out on the world stage? Obviously not.

      It is precisely because the Liebermans are received in the West that the Palestinians feel they won’t achieve peace and have to fight and in turn Israel feels insecure and vote for Lieberman. So its these types of diplomatic niceties that can cause problems.

    109. Ravi Naik — on 14th May, 2009 at 11:21 am  

      While we might hate FAUX NEWS — the issue is Bill O riley’s ratings are the highest in the US and has been for a long time. Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh’s wont make much of a difference — but opinion of the average American won’t be so receptive to speaking to Hamas. Thats my opinion.

      Shamit, these guys - Bill included - only cater to 25% of the population who think that Bush is still a hero and Obama is a commie-muslim who wants to destroy the US with evil socialism. Meanwhile, Obama has 70% support and no opposition (the Republican party is largely over)… so Obama should use his capital to make a difference, and not continue with the same tactics as previous administrations. His new policy on Cuba, and the way he approached Chavez, certainly shows he is not afraid of what Fox News and other wignuts say.

    110. Shamit — on 14th May, 2009 at 11:22 am  

      “Its hypocracy because when it comes to Muslims then the diplomatic protocols don’t have to be observed.”

      This is not a Jews vs Muslims issue and by harping on this you are proving my point.

      I think the Saudi King who represents a regime which most progressives hate got a State Dinner and all the niceties that go with it. Did you object to that?

      The saudi regime or parts of it have been involved in funding Al-Qaeda especially after Bin Laden was kicked out of Sudan with nothing. But we still welcome them — because they are a strategic ally

    111. Refresh — on 14th May, 2009 at 11:27 am  

      ‘Does Israel deserve to be our ally when they have a fascist in a high position? Do we get anything in return? These questions are totally irrelevant to Shamit’s main assertion.’

      No, my question was related to Israel as a whole, and its not contingent on a fascist being in government. After all Liebermann isn’t the first.

    112. Refresh — on 14th May, 2009 at 11:37 am  

      Ravi, agree with your #109.

      As I said upthread, Liebermann could have been dealt with in the same way as Joerg Haider. That said, I rather Liebermann was talked to if the calculation is that he can be ‘talked to’. Politically speaking its better to have him in the loop, and if played correctly, neutered.

    113. imran khan — on 14th May, 2009 at 11:38 am  

      “This is not a Jews vs Muslims issue and by harping on this you are proving my point.”

      It is because there is different treatment meted out.

      “I think the Saudi King who represents a regime which most progressives hate got a State Dinner and all the niceties that go with it. Did you object to that?”

      Actually much protocol was disobeyed on that visit and Vince Cable as I pointed out to you refused to meet him. So protocols were broken. Now people are asking for the same with Lieberman you are objecting. Why?

      One strategic Ally we can break protocol for and one we won’t.

      There is a clear double standard at play. If you scroll all the way up thats the whole point of this thread.

    114. Ravi Naik — on 14th May, 2009 at 11:38 am  

      So if an ally is an extremist we still need to accord them protocol which then wil make them think their position is perfectly sound. Brilliant and then we wonder why extremism takes hold.

      Well Saudi Arabia is considered a close ally - so you know where I am going with this.

      Actually much protocol was disobeyed on that visit and Vince Cable as I pointed out to you refused to meet him. So protocols were broken.

      So what part of the protocol was broken? (sorry, just added this after #113 when I noticed you talked about Saudi Arabia)

      Here is the bottom line: if we start being picky about the people we want in table for peace talks - both in Israel and Palestine, we won’t find any. So, I am ready to give participants on both sides a clean slate, if they wish to sort this problem out. It sounds naive, but any sort of resolution needs to be focused on the future, not on the atrocities of the past.

    115. Shamit — on 14th May, 2009 at 11:41 am  

      Vince Cable is not part of the Government and an opposition party without any hope of coming to power can afford to take those silly stances to placate their core voters.

    116. Ravi Naik — on 14th May, 2009 at 11:46 am  

      Vince Cable is not part of the Government and an opposition party without any hope of coming to power can afford to take those silly stances to placate their core voters.

      It is a silly stance because we need the King’s oil, right? ;)

    117. Refresh — on 14th May, 2009 at 11:53 am  

      This argument has run its course.

      We should wait and see what Liebermann says and does after this visit, and Obama’s meeting with Netanyahu.

      Blair will not recover.

      And if we get peace, there will no peace prize for Netanyahu. The Nobel committee had already said they wished they could recall the one given to Simon Peres.

      Lets hope there is a prize at the end of this, and it should go to King Abdullah of Jordan and Obama. Along the way there will have been significant players who will go unrecognised, not least the OIC, the Arab league and the peace movement in Israel.

    118. imran khan — on 14th May, 2009 at 11:58 am  

      Look can I make clear I don’t have an issue with Lieberman being accorded protocol - frankly I don’t give a damn. Its the stinking hypocracy that the Muslim community needs to apologise for every damn extremists and others don’t that I despise.

      I am not asking the Jewish Community to apologise for Lieberman and I pointed out that he is largely being ignored by the Jewish Community.

      What I am saying is that the people who here and elsewhere pile in to demand that Muslims do this and that are not applying the same rules now Lieberman is here.

      Hence I asked questions about some people’s positions and was smeared. But its a serious point.

      Its liek the Gaza demos - the Palestinian Supporting one was full of deranged nutters we were told hell bent on caranage and the Pro-Israel one was a nice warm cuddly affair.

      Its the same here, Hamas is to be ostracised and Lieberman well we can have a nice cup of tea and talk to him. Its hypocracy and it sets back peace efforts.

      Its also a position that leads to extremism and promotes a double standard.

      As I said at least Lieberman is honest about his position. He is where he is due to the double standards which have led to the current inaction.

      Ravi - “Here is the bottom line: if we start being picky about the people we want in table for peace talks - both in Israel and Palestine, we won’t find any.”

      Precisely. One extremist is given diplomatic iceities and the other extremists are shunned and we say we want to make peace. Its hypocracy of the worst sort. If Lieberman is here then we have to have dialogue with the other extremists from the other side and bang heads together.

    119. Refresh — on 14th May, 2009 at 12:03 pm  

      I like how blogging has allowed us to develop new words for use in diplomacy.

      This is great - ‘iceties’. We should use that to mean the opposite of ‘niceties’.

      We accord iceties to visiting politicians who deserve a dressing down and niceties to ones who we want to cuddle or need cuddling.

    120. Ravi Naik — on 14th May, 2009 at 12:17 pm  

      Look can I make clear I don’t have an issue with Lieberman being accorded protocol

      When you said “So if an ally is an extremist we still need to accord them protocol which then wil make them think their position is perfectly sound., it did sound like you had an issue with it. Not that I disagree with you, but there is no double-standard against Muslims (if that was the insinuation) considering the way we treat Saudi Arabia.

      We accord iceties to visiting politicians who deserve a dressing down and niceties to ones who we want to cuddle.

      Heh. Cool. :)

    121. imran khan — on 14th May, 2009 at 12:36 pm  

      Ravi - Yes if its a general policy that we can reduce protocol to make people understand their behaviour is unacceptable then i am for it. But not on a selective basis.

      The double standard is against Muslims because there is hysteria when Muslim leaders visit and general quiet when say Judeo-Christian leaders visit.

      Abdullah was accorded a visit but it was also met with a hysterical response. Now Lieberman is visiting there is quiet.

      Thats the whole point.

      Lieberman is strutting round Europe dictating what is and isn’t acceptable from Europe and the Parliamentry Groups are mute.

      The blogs and quiet and the press is mum.

      Extremism isn’t dealt with evenhandedly. Where is Louise Ellman - oh I forgot she is busy plugging his tour of Europe. Its double standards.

    122. Ravi Naik — on 14th May, 2009 at 12:44 pm  

      Abdullah was accorded a visit but it was also met with a hysterical response. Now Lieberman is visiting there is quiet.

      Hysterical response from whom?

    123. Refresh — on 14th May, 2009 at 12:50 pm  

      Imran, please please stop using the term judeo-christian. Its a Norman Tebbit construct.

    124. imran khan — on 14th May, 2009 at 3:44 pm  

      Ravi - The simple fact is that King Abdullah who actually put a peace deal on the table was greeted with a hysterical welcome by Politicians and the Press for the fact some in his contry supported extremists. David Cameron even discussed a largely discredited report by a right wing think tank - Policy Exchange - with him even though the report was largely fabricated.

      Cameron made a point in the press that he would raise difficult issues with Abdullah. Thats fine and such things need to be discussed but then apply such things equally.

      Now we have Lieberman visiting and has Cameron made any similar statement about what his party will raise with Lieberman and have the press or other MP’s?

      Louise Ellman who is quick to point out issues in the Muslim communiy is now actually through her Labour Friends of Israel writing about Liebermans trip across Europe in glowing terms instead of challenging him on his views. Double standard anyone?

      Lieberman is here but who precisely has made the point to him that his views are exreme and unacceptable?

      Similarly the reaction to the visit of Al-Qaradawi where calls were made in Parliament to ban him - again I have no problem with that but then apply the rules fairly.

      We had the visit of one of the Israeli Chief Rabbi’s (a senior one) who came to this country and advocated ethnic cleansing and no-one in the media or politics said a word. Our friendly interfaith champion said it wasn’t so bad the comment he made. The ethnic cleaninsing Chief Rabbi of Israel then went on a tour of synagogues and were any reports written about the promotion of such extremism? No - so another double standard.

      We have senior community leaders supposedly egging on the likes of Melanie and at the same time advocating dialogue. So its ok to give the Muslims a kicking in the press then say we want to talk.

      As I said Lieberman was here and is recognised for his extreme views. A charity of which both Brown and Cameron are part - he JNF - hosted him and neither leader of the two biggest parties have said a word. Why not?

      Hazel Blears refused to allow Muslim Labour MP’s and other Labour MP’s to attend IslamExpo. So now why is she mute at MP’s being part of a charity hosting a known extremist? Thats a blatent double standard and a case of rules being unfairly applied to one side and not the other.

      The Chief Rabbi himself is part of the JNF and that itself leads to the bigger question of hostign of extremists by such organisations and how can that possibly help community relations.

      Another trend is that Hazel Blears is demanding Muslims Organisations recognise Israel without the reciprocal demand to the Jewish Organisations to recognise Palestine. Similarly she has failed to demand that the JNF clarify its postion with regards to its hosting of an extremist who has called for the exceution of elected officials who talk to Hamas and various other extreme statements.

      The central point I am making is that the rules need to be fairly applied in order to encourage peace. They are not being fairly applied and this itself is fuelling resentment.

      Our politicians have failed to do their duty and are applying open double standards.

      Refresh - The term isn’t being distanced so we have to look through such lenses.

      Shamit - Before you go off on one again. I’ve been told in the past by people that the Muslim failure to confront extremists in the community is a threat. So now I find Lieberman’s visit and dinners a threat and I am being told they want to sit down and chat with him So yes I want to challenge the double standard. I’ve happily condemned extremists in the Muslim community here but now the shoe is on the other foot we want to sit down and chat.

      I want a level playing field for all extremists who I blame for the lack of peace and I want them exposed and challanged for their views and yes screw protocol because justice is more important that protocol.

    125. imran khan — on 14th May, 2009 at 5:13 pm  

      Here is an interesting set of quotes from the Board of Deputies itself:

      http://www.thejc.com/articles/lieberman-welcome-visit-say-deputies

      None will criticise Lieberman for his views because he is after all Israeli and elected. So why then criticise the BNP for their views when they are elected? Why criticise anti-semtic views by elected officials such as Ahmadinajad?

      Why the exception for Jewish Extremism and the failure to address it?

      “Jerry Lewis, a former Board vice-president, who sees Mr Lieberman as “a bit of an enigma”, said: “We have to respect him as an elected person. He has made controversial comments in the past but I wouldn’t use the opportunity on behalf of the Board to criticise…””

      All those who spoke said that Lieberman would be welcome to visit the Board of Deputies.

      This is the same board that shouts hysteria at anti-semtic extremists but won’t condemn its own community for their extremism.

      They picketed Jorg Haider as an extremist - rightly so - but won’t say anything about extremism in their own community and have said that Lieberman would be welcome to their HQ.

      Will Hazel Blears criticise them? Will David Cameron bring this up?

      No.

      Blears was a guest at the recent annual Board of Deputies Dinner but no mention is made of any critical statements made by Blears regarding the stance of the board towards Lieberman and in fact said that “the Board’s efforts to get voters out for the European elections could “make all the difference” in stopping the BNP gaining a seat..” but failed to comment on their lack of effort in criticising extremism in Israel.

      Strange so are we to conclude that exremism in Israel is acceptable then and government ministers and indeed opposition ministers are quite happy to meet Jewish extremists and not question the community on it?

    126. imran khan — on 14th May, 2009 at 5:15 pm  

      Also worth noting is despite the promises the FCO website barely mentions details of the meeting and is fairly sparse with what was discussed.

      http://www.fco.gov.uk/en/newsroom/latest-news/?view=PressS&id=17685737

    127. imran khan — on 15th May, 2009 at 9:32 am  

      Contrast the Miliband approach with the French who have been forthright in demanding Israel stop taking Palestinian land, according to reports in Israel:

      “Lieberman’s meeting with French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner was particularly important. Ma’ariv has learned that the French foreign minister demanded that all construction in settlements beyond the Green Line be stopped entirely, including construction that is geared to met the needs of natural growth. Foreign Minister Lieberman replied that there was no real way to stop construction whose purpose was to cope with the natural expansion of a family.”
      http://israelpolicyforum.org/blog/avigdor-lieberman-meets-french-fm-and-clashes-settlements

      People keep talking about protocol but israel prior to Lieberman’s trip was dictating terms to allies about what they can and cannot do which is hardly in keeping with protocol:

      “An Israeli official said Thursday the warning was issued in a series of phone conversations in recent days between the deputy director of the Israeli foreign ministry’s European desk Rafi Barak and the ambassadors of Britain, France and Germany.
      “Israel asks the European Union to keep a low profile and conduct a quiet dialogue… But if these declarations continue, Europe will not be able to have involvement in the peace process and both sides will lose,” the senior official quoted Barak as telling the ambassadors.
      Israel earlier rapped the EU after External Relations Commissioner Benita Ferrero-Waldner said that a planned upgrade of bilateral relations would not be implemented until Netanyahu commits to the peace talks with the Palestinians.”
      http://ejpress.org/article/36299

      So Shamit Israel as an ally isn’t following protocol and is dictating terms for EU involvement despite wanting upgraded relations and yet you are saying that protocols need to be onserved. France’s FM managed to convey a strong message.

      I think Israel the natural growth nonsense is being manipulated to avoid meaningful peace and get round demands and the fact that ministers can’t say this is appaling and the fact that Jewish Organisations here are complicit is a disgrace.

      The fact that there is no one willing to criticise Israel because of protocol and because it isn’t the thing to do belies a double standard that ministers are allowing to continue and which fuels community problems.

      The fact that people are blase about Lieberman’s views and the government of Israel and making one sided demands of Palestinians and the Muslim community is grossly unfair and brings shame on MP’s who lack the courage to do what is just.

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