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  • Technorati: graph / links

    Quilliam statement on Avigdor Lieberman


    by Sunny on 13th May, 2009 at 2:25 pm    

    Some of you asked what the anti-terrorism thinktank Quilliam Foundation were saying on the arrival of Avigdor Lieberman into Britain. Today afternoon, they sent out this statement:

    —-
    The British Foreign and Commonwealth Office is today hosting Avigdor Lieberman, the Israeli foreign minister who is also the founder and leader of the Yisrael Beiteinu, a hardline nationalist and extreme Zionist political party in Israel. In view of Lieberman’s previous openly racist and violence-inciting statements, as well as his alleged involvement in a terrorist group banned in the US and Israel, this decision to host Lieberman is inconsistent with recent Home Office decisions to exclude other individuals on the specific grounds that they “promote hatred, terrorist activities and serious violence” and “advocate hatred and violence in support of their religious beliefs”.

    Lieberman’s views:

    Recommends murder of Palestinian prisoners
    In 2003, Lieberman, then Israel’s transport minister, opposed Ariel Sharon’s plans to release hundreds of Palestinian prisoners, saying “It would be better to drown these prisoners in the Dead Sea if possible, since that’s the lowest point in the world.”

    Calls for attacks on civilian targets
    In 2002, Lieberman reportedly called for military attacks on Palestinian civilian targets, telling a cabinet meeting: “At 8am we’ll bomb all the commercial centres … at noon we’ll bomb their gas stations … at two we’ll bomb their banks” In 1998, Lieberman said that, if war broke out with Egypt, Israel should bomb Egypt’s Aswan dam which provides essential water and electricity to millions of Egyptians. Both of these attacks would have been illegal under international law.

    Calls for trial and execution of Arab-Israeli MPs
    In 2006, Lieberman called for Arab members of the Israeli parliament to be put on trial for treason and – if found guilty – executed for meeting with members of Hamas. He said: ”World War II ended with the Nuremberg trials. The heads of the Nazi regime, along with their collaborators, were executed. I hope this will be the fate of the collaborators in this house.”

    Calls for forcible transfer of Arab-Israeli citizens
    In 2004, Lieberman said: “If we want to stop the conflict, we must separate the two peoples. The main problem is the Israeli Arabs. I think separation has to include them. I am talking about a land swap as well as a population swap. This seems brutal and sounds brutal, but there is no other solution.” Such a transfer, carried out against the will of those transferred, would be a breach of international law.

    Allegations of membership of extreme party
    The Israeli newspaper Haaretz has also reported that Lieberman was formerly a member of Kach, an Israeli far-right party that is banned in Israel and the US under anti-terrorism laws. The newspaper reported that Yossi Dayan, the former secretary of Kach, had said that he was willing to testify against Lieberman were he to deny the claims.

    Quilliam statement:
    The FCO’s decision to host Avigdor Lieberman in London illustrates that the government’s policy of excluding extremists from the UK is inconsistent. Lieberman clearly holds views that are no less extreme than those of many other racists and bigots who have been banned from the UK. The government’s apparent double-standards on such key issues can bolster extremist and Islamist narratives that seek to portray Western governments as biased and unjust.



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    21 Comments below   |   Add your own

    1. Rayyan — on 13th May, 2009 at 2:40 pm  

      Good statement!

    2. Leon — on 13th May, 2009 at 3:01 pm  

      Indeed. The QF have gone up in my estimation.

    3. Farid Ali — on 13th May, 2009 at 3:42 pm  

      Quilliam - you guys rock!

      I am actually beginning to admire your fairness. You expose Islamists, but you’ve also got the balls to take on Israel’s extremists too.

    4. Sunny — on 13th May, 2009 at 3:46 pm  

      Douglas Murray and Melanie Phillips will no doubt be fuming. Heh.

    5. Naadir Jeewa — on 13th May, 2009 at 4:05 pm  

      QF Respect +1.

    6. marvin — on 13th May, 2009 at 5:03 pm  

      Wow, QF now in the good books now it opposes a Jewish extremist too!

      Cor, for a while there I thought QF was completely out of the window on PP for focussing on Islamists! Even though it’s Muslim organisation specifically with that focus…

      Still it’s only a matter of time before some throw their toys out of their pram and hate QF again, like the way the BBC was despised and it’s entire existence opposed because of a fallout with leftists over a one-off issue, even though it were two star-crossed lovers for over years immemorable…!

    7. fugstar — on 13th May, 2009 at 5:16 pm  

      It depends entirely if its Sid or Sunny doing their official or unofficial PR.

    8. dave bones — on 13th May, 2009 at 5:45 pm  

      Thats better. Did you go to that Quilliam anual thing Sunny?

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

      Its not bad but as a think tank Sunny I’d expect some ideas as well on making progress towards peace.

      But a start.

    10. Leon — on 13th May, 2009 at 8:42 pm  

      I am actually beginning to admire your fairness. You expose Islamists, but you’ve also got the balls to take on Israel’s extremists too.

      Brave move really, putting the organisation between a rock and a hard place like that.

    11. Laban Tall — on 13th May, 2009 at 10:53 pm  

      While I hold no brief for the poorly-named Mr Lieberman, what’s this about dam busting and forced population transfers being illegal under international law ?

      Has anyone told Wing Commander Guy Gibson VC ?

      As for forced population transfers, what about

      a) the Greek-Turkish swap (Turkish Christians / Greek Muslims) in the early 1920s

      b) the removal of the German inhabitants from great swathes of Eastern Europe (particularly East Prussia) after WW2 ?

      c) don’t even get me started on Stalin’s expulsions - he shuffled ethnic groups all over the Soviet Union … not to mention the forced expulsions in 1947 Punjab …

    12. Andrew — on 14th May, 2009 at 2:24 am  

      It appears that StWC organised a demo against him. Anyone know how that went?

      The problem with banning foreign politicians is that it can just increase their popularity in their own country. That has been the case with Geert Wilders. If people such as Avigdor are allowed into this country there should be demos organised against them, and they should be closely questioned on what they believe, if at all possible.

    13. Naadir Jeewa — on 14th May, 2009 at 8:02 am  

      @11. You’re right about transfers after WWII regardless of their current illegality. Quite a few scholars of nationalism do propose ethnically homogeneous borders as solutions to ethnic conflict. This would entail population transfers in former Yugoslavia and Israel/Palestine amongst other locales.

      See http://belfercenter.ksg.harvard.edu/publication/618/when_all_else_fails.html for example.

    14. munir — on 14th May, 2009 at 9:26 am  

      Laban Tall
      “While I hold no brief for the poorly-named Mr Lieberman, what’s this about dam busting and forced population transfers being illegal under international law ?”

      Quite right. Laban Tall should be transferred out of the UK and exchange for someone from (non EU) Eastern Europe who wants to come here

    15. munir — on 14th May, 2009 at 9:29 am  

      marvin

      “Wow, QF now in the good books now it opposes a Jewish extremist too!”

      No because it is showing some sembelance of balance and suggesting everyone be treated the same.
      For that same reason it is falling out of favour with Mel Phillips, HP , yourself and the rest of the rabid zionist crew.

    16. imran khan — on 14th May, 2009 at 9:34 am  

      @13 - “@11. You’re right about transfers after WWII regardless of their current illegality. Quite a few scholars of nationalism do propose ethnically homogeneous borders as solutions to ethnic conflict. This would entail population transfers in former Yugoslavia and Israel/Palestine amongst other locales.”

      This is just a poor way of resolving the issues at hand. The fact that the populations might have lived amongst each other isn’t likely to help solve the conflicts.

    17. Andrew — on 14th May, 2009 at 2:05 pm  

      Sunny, I’d be interested to know your view on this comment by Sunder Katwala on the Fabian Society’s Next Left blog. She doesn’t seem a bit impressed by QF’s press release on Avigdor’s visit.

      http://www.nextleft.org/2009/05/david-miliband-avigdor-lieberman-and.html

    18. Refresh — on 14th May, 2009 at 4:36 pm  

      I have little regard for QF posturing. Sunder’s view is quite disappointing. It seems to rest on ‘democratically’ elected this and ‘democratically’ elected that, which is a joke.

      On the one hand Sunder castigates QF for not understanding international politics and then seems to rest his/her case on the democracy argument. Only phrase missing was ‘the only democratic western country’ in the region, which is a well-worn defence and accepted by no one but those in Israel who think they can get away with it just one more time.

      Now, let no one presume I am defending QF. They are a long long way from being coherent. And even further from being credible.

    19. Tobias — on 14th May, 2009 at 9:53 pm  

      Will this site be posting the opinions of Policy Exchange, Civitas, CSC, Ippr…. or any other think tank?

      Why is the QF getting free PR on this site?

    20. imran khan — on 14th May, 2009 at 10:45 pm  

      QF is actually a think tank run by ethnic minorities and deals with Ethnic Minority Issues which this blog does.

      I am no great fan of QF but they are news in the Asian Community. The other tanks you mention are widely covered on other right wing blogs where QF doesn’t have a presence.

    21. Ben — on 17th May, 2009 at 7:23 pm  

      Considering that most Moslems in Britain are of Pakistani origin, it is a bit rich to read how Sunny et al are appalled by Lieberman proposing population transfer (actually, he proposes territorial exchanges, which are far less disruptive). It never occurs to them to consider the partition of India and the creation of a religiously-based state called Pakistan in 1947.

      If Sunny and others like him want to be taken seriously they should examine the actions and behaviour of their own kith and kin before judging others.



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