Shock as Tony Blair’s ‘offer’ to Palestinians is soundly rejected


9:20 am - September 21st 2011

by Flying Rodent    


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Tony Blair’s reputation for scrupulous impartiality has been rather compromised after he presented Palestinian leaders with his most generous proposal – namely that, in exchange for dropping their bid for statehood and recognising Israel’s right to do whatever the fuck it likes, they would earn the right to re-enter the same negotiations that have been so very productive these last few years.

After all, Benny Netanyahu may have built his career upon the solid bedrock of opposition to a Palestinian state, but who’s to say he won’t change his mind tomorrow?

Unsurprisingly, the Palestinians remained unmoved by Tony’s proposal, failing as they do to share his confidence in the internationally sponsored peace process.

Perhaps their faith in Tony’s neutrality has been shaken somewhat by his unfortunate habit of touring the Holy Land telling the Israeli political class how bloody awesome they are, while their faith in the peace process is quelled by a quick glance at the evolving map of the region, which shows up its aims rather starkly in steel girders, stone and tarmac.

Perhaps Palestinian indifference to Tony’s proposals is related to his habit of asking them whether they believe him, or their lyin’ eyes.

The Times yesterday advised our current Prime Minister to join with the Americans in vetoing the Palestinians’ bid for statehood, on the grounds that this would “evoke the ‘special relationship'” in some vague way that would confer squarely no benefits upon us, but would shower fortune and plenty upon the Obama administration.

As best I can tell, their hacks believe that the United States’ lonely veto will undercut American claims to independent arbitration, leaving the casual observer with the impression that they have some kind of ulterior motive or something.

Combine that with the fact that the Israelis are threatening dire consequences, should the Palestinians ask the United Nations for the same rights that each of its member states take for granted, and you can see how this might start to look a bit suspect, from a justice angle.

Well. While it’s fun watching all these statesmen proclaim that nobody could deny that the Palestinians deserve statehood from one side of their mouths while muttering that they can’t have it from the other, I suggest that it would probably be better if the UK kept its own counsel.

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Flying Rodent is a regular contributor and blogs more often at: Between the Hammer and the Anvil. He is also on Twitter.
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Reader comments


“Tony Blair’s reputation for scrupulous impartiality has been rather compromised after he presented Palestinian leaders with his most generous proposal – namely that, in exchange for dropping their bid for statehood and recognising Israel’s right to do whatever the fuck it likes, they would earn the right to re-enter the same negotiations that have been so very productive these last few years. ”

Abbas made it crystal clear that if Israeli illegal settlement building continued on occupied territories, there could be no progress in the peace negotiations. Despite that explicit warning, illegal building of settlements continued. Even the Obama administration was calling for a halt to the illegal settlement building – which those striving now to gain the Republican nomination for next year’s presidential election are making an issue of.

It needs to be internationally recognised that negotiating with Israeli governments tends to be fraught when a sizeable chunk of the Israeli electorate believes that it has a divine right to occupy all Palestine and that Israeli governments are usually coalition governments dependent on the support of the several religious parties. In Israel, theocracy tends to prevail.

Call me Dave is having secret meetings with Blair. We don’t have any democracy now.The same Murdoch backed, oil war, pro Zionists just continue to govern.Does not matter which party you vote for.

There can be no ‘solution’ to this problem that fails to take into account the rights of Jewish settlers.

Too many liberals in the West operate a double standard on this issue. If someone were to propose that Muslims should not be allowed to settle in the UK (because they were Muslims), then you would (rightly) be appalled. But the idea that Jews should be forbidden to live or settle in what would become a Palestinian state is seen as okay.

Well it isn’t.

The idea of declaring territory Jew-free should have gone out fashion by now.

17% of the population of Israel is Arab.

The Jewish settlers account for only 10% max of the current population of the West Bank. And given the expected level of Palestinian return, would account for only around 8% going forward, if the Palestinians achieve statehood.

WTF is wrong with that?

Jewish settlers are not the obstacle to a peaceful resolution.

The real obstacle is the bloodthirsty and crazed ideology of Islamism and the very understandable fears it arouses in the minds of the Israeli public.

Would you be happy with a state next door whose leaders supported bombing school buses and pizza restaurants, made speeches expressing genocidal intent, and who would doubtless use the West Bank to fire missiles at civilians, just as they use Gaza?

Israel is too small and geographically vulnerable to put up with that.

There will be no peace – and no state – while the big political divisions are between gangs of thugs like Hamas and Fatah.

When the Palestinians develop a polity where the divisions are between Social Democrats, Liberal Democrats and conservatives, then we’re talking.

They have had 40 years to think about NOT electing terrorists, but there’s some way to go, it seems.

The idea of declaring territory Jew-free should have gone out fashion by now.

Notice, wannabe political operators – this is what we call “Framing the issue”.

@ 2:

Yeah, that’s right, the government is in thrall to the pro-Zionists. Funnily enough, I think there was another group of people who held similar views, named after a distinctively-coloured item of clothing. Now what was it? The orangeshorts? The bluecaps? Damn, can’t quite remember now…

If someone were to propose that Muslims should not be allowed to settle in the UK (because they were Muslims), then you would (rightly) be appalled.

If muslim settlements in the UK were armed camps, with explicit writtien rules banning non-Muslims from living there, and the decision to found new ones was taken in Syria or somewhere, there would be a certain amount of appallment going on.

Despite that, the PA’s actual position on the hypothetical case of the settlers being willing to take up dual citizenship is:
http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/features/pa-settlers-can-become-palestinian-citizens-1.276727

those residents of Ma’aleh Adumim or Ariel who would rather stay in their homes could live under Palestinian rule and law, just like the Israeli Arabs who live among you. They could hold Palestinian and Israeli nationalities. If they want it – welcome.

Combine that with the fact that the Israelis are threatening dire consequences, should the Palestinians ask the United Nations for the same rights that each of its member states take for granted…

Notice, wannabe political operators – this is also what’s known as ‘Framing the issue’. This is why internet discussions about Israel and Palestine are so wonderfully enlightening.

this is also what’s known as ‘Framing the issue’

Maybe so. Feel free to balance it up, if you like.

9. Truth Teller Inc

“Israel’s right to do whatever the fuck it likes”

I think it’s actually the right to exist!

Jews can being up the same religious supernatural rubbish to state their right to be there as Muslims can.
Just as Christians were in Iraq way before any Muslims were.

“If muslim settlements in the UK were armed camps, with explicit writtien rules banning non-Muslims from living there”

Sounds almost exactly like the UK.

@6

If muslim settlements in the UK were armed camps..

Jewish settlements are not “armed camps”. What they resemble more than anything are those timeshare golfing villages in the Algarve, without the golf course.

Sure some residents are armed (they’re not stupid) but if security were so tight, then people wouldn’t be able to break in and slit families’ throats in the middle of the night, would they?

I see no point in seeking to engage in I/P rights & wrongs again but I do wish to make the following observations: –

– Liberal Conspiracy is a left of centre blog which probably implies various general political positions. One definite position is that it is an anti- Israel blog. It cannot pretend it is not. One only needs to look at the ‘Across Blogs’ articles to see that whenever Israel is concerned such articles will always take an uber critical position of Israel. E.g recent Mearsheimer and Walt mainstreaming’ one. I believe increasingly that the LC position goes further (just like the Guardian) to push for a one state solution (i.e.destruction of Israel and what happens to the Jews then? Can they come here to the UK?). Now, you may say so what? However, surely if LC wishes to be regarded as a place of gravitas it should both reference and commission articles which may take a different view of Israel.

– Yes, there are people on the left who are broadly supportive of Israel on a macro basis but have concerns about various wrongdoings on a micro basis. However, do we really want to associate and support those LC contributors whose Israel hatred seems to go beyond what is necessary.

– Referring back to ‘mainstreaming’ is not anyone concerned that Gilad Atzmon is becoming ‘mainstream’? Or perhaps Sunny and the LC lot think he is an ok middles of the road sort of fellow?

@11 Why does a one state solution require the expulsion or possible persecution of the current Jewish population of the area? Could you explain that one for me please.

The solution is to move Israel to TExas. The red neck Cristians love the state of Israel because Jesus is not going tocomeback to earth until Israel is secure. The Americans have got loads of land. Problem solved.

@3: “There can be no ‘solution’ to this problem that fails to take into account the rights of Jewish settlers.”

The Palestinians have every right in international law to object to illegal settlements on occupied territories.

It’s all very well to keep insisting on the “right of Israel” to exist – on what boundaries? – but then not only to deny the right of the Palestinians to have a sovereign state but also to claim it is an outrage if they apply to the United Nations for international recognition as a state when peace talks have broken down because Israelis persist in building more illegal settlements on Palestinian territories.

Talk about double standards.

“Israel’s right to do whatever the fuck it likes”

I think it’s actually the right to exist!

Does any other country have a “right” to exist?

If so, based on what?

If not, why should Israel?

The solution is to move Israel to TExas. The red neck Cristians love the state of Israel because Jesus is not going tocomeback to earth until Israel is secure. The Americans have got loads of land. Problem solved.

Why not Madagascar? There’s an idea with the sort of history you seem to admire so much Sally.

Madagascar does not to my knowledge supply Israel with F16 fighter planes,and apache gunships, and veto any attempt to inforce Un resolutions that Israel does not like.
The Americans love Israel, and particularly this increasingly fascists Israel, they should house it.

is not anyone concerned that Gilad Atzmon is becoming ‘mainstream’? Or perhaps Sunny and the LC lot think he is an ok middles of the road sort of fellow?

Wow, that really is an impressive example of plucking accusations out of cold, fresh air.

Let me try….

I notice that the American counterjihad movement is gaining traction while employing increasingly violent & apocalyptic rhetoric about Muslims. But perhaps Paul D isn’t concerned about any of that? Maybe, just maybe, he worships the ground on which Pamela Geller walks, and wants to spend the rest of his life sitting in a tree with her, K-I-S-S-I-N-G?

19. flyingrodent

…do we really want to associate and support those LC contributors whose Israel hatred seems to go beyond what is necessary.

Given that I’m the subject of this question, I have to point out that the appropriate level of “hatred” for individual countries is “zero”. How much “hatred” do you think is “necessary” for people to maintain for either side, in this instance?

@9

I think it’s a bit rich of the only nuclear-armed state in the region to claim existential threat. One can be against the policies of Bibi and the Likudniks without being anti-Israel altogether.

Sally’s right about one thing though, supporting Israeli hardliners is a twofer for the US right in that it keeps the dominionist fundies onside with their apocalyptic claptrap, but also maintains a big-spending and fiercely loyal customer for LockheedMartin/Raytheon/Boeing/BAE Systems in perpetuity in the form of a bellicose Israel.

Why does a one state solution require the expulsion or possible persecution of the current Jewish population of the area? Could you explain that one for me please.

I’m not sure about “expulsion” but I think the whole “hating the shit out of eachother” thing might make it difficult for Israelies and Palestinians to share a state. Seven decades of resentment – and a fair dollop of theologically-inspired bigotry – won’t be forgotten overnight.

To: Larry@ 18.

Sigh! What a childish response (sitting in a tree stuff – that may say more about you). By your mentioning the odious Pamela Geller and assuming that because I don’t hate everything about Israel that I must somehow be in agreement with her, you sort of prove my point. I.e. that in the eyes of the Israel detesters anyone who thinks Israel has its good points must be a nasty extremist, right wing, tea party GOP type and couldn’t possibly be left wing. Oh no!

I have no absolutely no time for the movement to which you refer.

I also think that Gilad Atzmon and his ilk are dangerous extremist types and are far removed from just being acceptably anti Israel – i.e opposed to various Israeli government policies like extension of settlements. I also think that Atzmon is being welcomed into the mainstream and being presented as a Jew who is against injustice and as he is a jazz musician then that’s ok isn’t it/. There is I am afraid more to him than that.

To Flying Rodent – My comment was not written with you specifically in mind. I do not know enough about your views. I was perhaps immediately thinking of Ben White who had an article on here only a few days ago.

23. DisgustedOfTunbridgeWells

There can be no ‘solution’ to this problem that fails to take into account the rights of Jewish settlers.

Easy enough, because they haven’t got any.

Easy enough, because they haven’t got any.

That’s either a stupid exaggeration or a remarkably unpleasant self-revelation DOTW.

What a childish response

Yes, that was rather the point. See, the norms of debate outside of the playground are that one tries to counter points made by others with which one disagrees.

You on the othe hand pick a random topic no-one has mentioned, such as Gilad Atzmon, invent something about it (“perhaps Sunny and the LC lot think he is an ok middles of the road sort of fellow”) and then throw it at people you don’t like.

So Paul D, you don’t like Pamela Gellar… I wonder why, perhaps you’re some sort of woman-hating mosogynist or something!!

Anyone want to state why Jews should not be there?

History (true history) shows Jews were there thousands of years ago.
And seeing as LV seems to lick the arse of Islam…I gather it thinks religious garbage is to be respected.
In that case The Bible states the Jews have a right to be there too. Or is it only the Quran that gets recognition on LC?

I have no time for some of the things Israel does. But much of it (not all) is down to the years of terrorist atrocities carried out against it and it’s people.
The wall exists thanks to Palestinian bomb attacks in Jewish civilians.
Oh dear. Hard luck. Reap what you sow.

And seeing as all the Islamic nutbags did when the Jews moved out of Gaza was to turn it into the world’s biggest rocket launching platform you have all the evidence you need of Palestinian attitudes to peace!

And not mentioning the barbarity carried out by zealot ridden Hamas against fellow Palestinians and the few surviving ‘Infidels’ in the region is also an obvious bit of bias.

Try being a Christian in the most holy Christian place on earth, Jerusalem, and see how peaceful, tolerant and embracing Islam is. Christians there have been as good as cleansed from the area by population Jihad and out and out threats.
It’s like if Westbro Baptist church built the worlds biggest church in Mecca.
But you’d moan about that.

Both sides, all sides, need to be fairly covered. And not this ceaseless pro-Islam, anti-Israel at all costs bias sen here on a weekly basis.

27. flyingrodent

You know, I can’t help but notice that the post expresses the opinion that the Americans are not honest brokers in the peace process, but are instead seeking to assist one side in attaining its preferred outcome; and that the UK should have no part in this.

I don’t recall mentioning ethnic cleansing, crazy saxophonists, states’ rights to exist*, the Bible or a whole host of other unrelated issues.

Ever thus. Tim J is right about discussions on this issue, but I think it sometimes helps to lay things out in stark terms, so we can appreciate the sheer absurdity of it all.

*So far as I’m aware, this is an entirely meaningless phrase attached to no legal or political mechanism, and it exists purely as a boo-yah for arguing.

28. organic cheeseboard

the original article is pretty much perfect (more so on rodent’s own site, as there are more swears). I’d like to read the times leader just to see the batshit inasnity for itself. This really is an issue where people who can normally at least attempt to present things logically come totally unstuck, isn’t it?

It’s like if Westbro Baptist church built the worlds biggest church in Mecca.
But you’d moan about that.

sorry – is this a reference to the dome of the rock? dear lord, if that’s the best you can do…

I’m sympathetic, in principle, to the statehood bid – but reading this makes me wonder whether it would solve anything.

http://www.dailystar.com.lb/News/Politics/2011/Sep-15/148791-interview-refugees-will-not-be-citizens-of-new-state.ashx#axzz1Y47VH7hU

Paul D – good points.

30. flyingrodent

I think it’s very likely it might make things worse for the Palestinians, but it is their mistake to make, after all.

31. DisgustedOfTunbridgeWells

That’s either a stupid exaggeration or a remarkably unpleasant self-revelation DOTW.

This guy disagrees, you should have a word with him.

http://liberalconspiracy.org/2010/02/01/where-is-that-compassionate-conservatism-now/#comment-101473

@26: “History (true history) shows Jews were there thousands of years ago.”

That is a totally fatuous argument – try reading Avi Shlaim: The Iron Wall (Penguin Books). Jews were very much a small minority in Palestine until immigration around and following WW2.

The state of Israel was created through terrorism – the sinking of SS Patria in Haifa harbour in November 1940, blowing up the King David Hotel in Jerusalem in July 1946: the organiser of that atrocity went on to become Israeli PM 1977-83, the Deir Yassin massacre of April 1948, the Qibya massacre of October 1953 etc etc.

Within 300 metres of where I sit there is a bricked up cave which contained evidence of human habitation going back at least to the middle stone age according to the London Encyclopeadia.

A few year back, archeologists uncovered the foundations of a substantial Roman villa in the neighbourhood.

The place name is Saxon, as are most place names hereabouts, and seven Saxon kings were crowned in Kingston, about 5 or so miles away.

OTOH the parish Church is part Norman, as is the nearby manor house which has roof timbers over the great hall going back to the 14th century.

Does this mean the district where I live is really owned by: (a) pre-Celtic neolithics, (b) the Romans, (c) the Saxons, (d) the Normans?

British monarchs used to lay claims to huge swathes of France based on historic sovereignty and territorial conquests after the battles of Crecy (1346), Poitier (1356), Agincourt (1415). Does anyone this side of sanity suppose Britain is entitled to reassert those claims now?

@21

I’m not sure about “expulsion” but I think the whole “hating the shit out of eachother” thing might make it difficult for Israelies and Palestinians to share a state. Seven decades of resentment – and a fair dollop of theologically-inspired bigotry – won’t be forgotten overnight.

Can’t really fault that, but I did notice that is a much more nuanced and thought out position than “to push for a one state solution (i.e.destruction of Israel and what happens to the Jews then? Can they come here to the UK?).”

34. Margin4error

Can I offer a defence of the Times.

The Times set out a range of options available to the British Government.

One of those options was to back a US veto. It highlighted that a benefit of this would be to strengthen engagement with the USA and evoke the special relationship. It also highlighted that a cost to this would be to undermine the valuable political capital the UK had built up because of its response to the Arab Spring.

Likewise the Times also offered suggestions including proposing a non-state state solution that would give Palestine a Vatican-like status internationally while it built up its economy and institutions and pressed for peace.

And it suggested the UK could vote in favour of recognising Palestine as a nation – and offered pros and cons to that.

Mostly though it offered a lot of very positive commentary on the remarkable success of the Palestinian government that has generated growth, infrastructure and jobs and has improved services for its people in recent years – while building up good relations beyond its natural backers in the muslim world.

I actually think the notion of a vatican-like status would be a good move. Nationhood would confer a lot of responsibilities and costs on Palestine, and create a lot of tension with Israel at a time when it’s long term aims would be best served by continuing its focus on its economy and its wider engagement in the world.

But whatever I happen to think – the Times does not deserve to be slurred the way it was in the knee-jerk and extreme account posted in the article here.

@1. Bob B: “…when a sizeable chunk of the Israeli electorate believes that it has a divine right to occupy all Palestine…”

This is the first time in ages when I have read the expression “divine right” where it is used accurately. The countries of Israel, Palestine, Jordan, Egypt and Syria cover the area that religious people call “the holy land”. It is the region where Judaism, Christianity, Islam and other faiths took off.

Holy land history is an area of ignorance for me but I believe that it used to be a tolerant region. I love the singing of Yasmin Levy, the songs that were shared by people of different backgrounds. I can remember when Hanan Ashrawi, a Christian, was the star spokeswoman for Palestine.

My belief is that religious intolerance in the holy land is a modern phenomenon (acknowledging that it was not always heaven and honey, given the Crusades and Iberian Caliphate). There will be some post-1948 settlement causes, other causes relating to national pride after being beaten at war by Israel. And there are intolerant Jews too. But today the primary causes of religious intolerance and political instability come from outside the region. From Persia, Arabia and America, with the Chinese and Russians chipping in their inflammatory contributions.

If I was farming in the holy lands, I would know my enemies: weather and lack of water. The governments of Israel and Jordan know their enemy called water supply; when the two countries proclaimed that they did not speak to one another, they managed the water.

And assume that there is an Israeli/Palestinian settlement: Is that not just a starting point for civility and respect in the region? Are we supposed to believe that an Israeli/Palestinian agreement will directly change Lebanese politics or deliver democracy to Syria?

To Flying Rodent@27 – I have some sympathy with what you say – although perhaps it is naive to hope that an article that mentions Israel and Palestine will strictly stick to the debate set out in the article.

For what it’s worth, I am in favour of a Palestinian state but it does ultimately need to be negotiated with the Israelis. If a state is declared unilaterally now I am not in fact sure if this is actually in the Palestinians own interest at the moment.

To Cylux@ 31 – Yes, my comment was intentionally provocative as I think a lot of people who think there should just be one secular state haven’t really thought it through (e.g. will Hamas then be happy to work side by side with Israelis?)

To Bob@32 – You can give me a ‘history’ lesson and I can give you one back. That is not going to get us anywhere. I would just warn you that the author you quote – Avi Shlaim – does not represent mainstream opinion. You can’t just base your knowledge of history on a book that is taking a particular slant. I would recommend Benny Morris above all others of the so called revisionist historians.What you say about the Jewish population before WW2 is simply not true. What is true that of the Mandate that the British controlled after WW1 a significant amount was taken by Jordan. But as I have said, here is not the place for a detailed history lesson.

To Larry – you are obviously trying to wind me up but I’ll save cheap comments for another occasion. My introducing Gilad Atzmon to the debate was not random but relevant to my point about the position taken by LC over Israel. I am not accusing Sunny over anything – I am just expressing an interest as to where this blog stands over someone like Atzmon. I would hope Sunny would agree he holds an extremist rather than a centrist position.

@35: “My belief is that religious intolerance in the holy land is a modern phenomenon (acknowledging that it was not always heaven and honey, given the Crusades and Iberian Caliphate). ”

Sovereign power-subject and inter-faith relations in the Holy Land were occasionally marked by tolerance but often not. King Herod of Judea, as I recall, had some trouble with first born male babies and the Romans felt impelled to engage in that famous seige of Masada in 72AD to suppress a rebellion. By repute, while Saladin was tolerant of other faiths besides Islam, the Christian Crusades of the Holy Land amounted to travel tours of murderous brutality.

To Cylux@ 31 – Yes, my comment was intentionally provocative as I think a lot of people who think there should just be one secular state haven’t really thought it through (e.g. will Hamas then be happy to work side by side with Israelis?)

Depends on what they mean by one secular state, do they mean it as the end goal, or something that should just happen tomorrow and damn the consequences?

@ 37:

“the Christian Crusades of the Holy Land amounted to travel tours of murderous brutality.”

Not really true — Muslims were allowed to live in the Holy Land relatively unmolested. Certainly they didn’t face enough difficulty to justify calling the Crusades “travel tours of murderous brutality”.

40. Leon Wolfson

Nah, this is: Thanks for the Hamas propaganda. Next.

Oh, and thanks for showing your true colours there Sally. How unsurprising!

@37. Bob B: “Sovereign power-subject and inter-faith relations in the Holy Land were occasionally marked by tolerance but often not.”

Which is why I did not try to present the holy land as a perfect region of tolerance. Face to face intolerance is new, I believe.

Turkey has maintained good relations with Israel. 100 years ago, Istanbul was home to thousands of Jews; for a Jew it was a good place to live, less so for a Cypriot Greek. Today, Istanbul is a bigger city (by magnitudes of population) and there are fewer Jews. Fewer Jews in number, not just by population ratio.

Presumably those Jews have emigrated, which is a loss to Turkey. Turkey has not only lost citizens but part of the cultural sole of the nation. For 100 years or so, Turkey has tried to establish itself as a secular nation. Good luck to them on that but Istanbul, Damascus and Lerwick have to become places where anyone can live.

@39: “Not really true”

C’mon. Just for starters, try the various accounts of the eventually successful seige of Jerulsalem in 1099 during the first crusade and the massacres of jews and muslims which followed..

Paul D,

I am not accusing Sunny over anything – I am just expressing an interest as to where this blog stands over someone like Atzmon.

Sure, sure. And when I suggest that you want to marry Pamela Gellar and have posters of Robert Spencer on your wall, all I’m doing is ‘expressing an interest as to where you stand on the counterjihad movement’.

Grow a pair, Paul D.

You accused Flying Rodent of “Israel hatred… beyond what is necessary” and you accused Sunny of thinking that the lunatic Atzmon “is an ok middles of the road sort of fellow”. But rather than standing behind these accusations, or perhaps retracting and apologising for them, instead you feebly deny having made them at all.

@41: Charlieman: “Good luck to them on that but Istanbul, Damascus and Lerwick have to become places where anyone can live.”

Of course, I agree but the way that Israelis have behaved in and around Palestine for the last 60 or so years hasn’t promoted faith in their amity towards people of other ethnicities and faiths.

The state of Israel was founded through terrorism and the Israeli terrorists have often been elected subsequently to high political office in Israel – such as Begin and Sharon, to name the most conspicuous examples. In that context, it’s hardly surprising if countries in the region have become increasingly intolerant towards jews, not least since jews almost anywhere are often – although not always – aggressively protective about Israel even when citizens of other, distant countries. It’s become verging on standard practice to accuse European critics of Israel of being Nazi sympathisers.

In the UN assembly debate on the future of Palestine in November 1947, the UK representative, who abstained in the vote on instructions from the UK government of the day, predicted that partition of Palestione would lead to continuing conflict – which it surely has.

Sorry Larry, I did not make such accusations.
I threw something out there and thank you for agreeing Atzmon is a lunatic.

Goodnight and sleep well.

@36: Paul D: “To Bob@32 – You can give me a ‘history’ lesson and I can give you one back. That is not going to get us anywhere. I would just warn you that the author you quote – Avi Shlaim – does not represent mainstream opinion. ”

What matters is whether Avi Shlaim’s analysis (in: Iron Wall) is well documented and cogent, not whether his analysis is “mainstream” on the highly emotive subject of the Palestine conflict – whatever “mainstream” is construed to be.

Readers might like to know that Shlaim holds joint British-Israeli citizenships and is professor of international relations at St Anthony’s College, Oxford, hardly an extremist CV.

Part of his thesis is that Israeli governments have repeatedly refused to negotiate in a conciliatory way. While Israelis insist on the abstract right of Israel to exist regardless of contested boundaries, they refuse to acknowledge the right of Palestinians to have a state and oppose the Palestinians looking to the United Nations to arbitrate when the peace process has run into the sands because of persistent illegal building of Israeli settlements on occupied territories.

Most external observers are thoroughly well aware of Israel’s double standards. All that theocratic stuff about Israel’s divine right to Palestine doesn’t carry international opinion regardless of how many Palestinians Israelis kill to prove it.

@46 – And you’re using the language of a one-state solution. An Arab state, to be clear.

Care to declare why?

@47: “Care to declare why?”

I believe that the UK’s position in that UN assembly debate in November 1947 on the future of Palestine made sense: partititon of Palestine did lead, as predicted, to continuing conflict.

Of course, the UN can’t turn the clock back but it can and should now extend recognition to the Palestine state when the peace negotiations have been bogged down for decades because of persistent illegal building of Israeli settlements on occupied Palestinian territoritories.

The Israeil government knew full well that settlement building would stall the negotiations and the settlement building continued.

Most international observers realise now that Israel was playing for time so the settlement building could continue indefinitely to establish facts on the ground. Without recognition of the Palestine state, the settlement building will go on as before.

Flying Rodent

So far as I’m aware, this {Israel’s ‘right to exist’} is an entirely meaningless phrase attached to no legal or political mechanism…

Frankly, I’m amazed that a liberal, left-wing blog no longer recognizes the right of national self-determination.

It was, after all, the main plank of progressive thinking leading to national liberation from colonialism around the world.

As for ‘legal mechanisms’ – the aspiration of the Jewish people for national self-determination was recognized by the League of Nations – hence the British mandate to facilitate its establishment. Israel itself was set up largely under the tutelage of the UN in 1948. It is a member state of the UN and its right to exist is as strong and real and legal as that of any other member state. FFS that right is recognized in treaty even by Egypt and Jordan. Theoretically, it is accepted by Fatah (though they never actually got round to changing the PLO constitution as promised). However, it is explicitly rejected by Hamas.

50. Leon Wolfson

@48 – The *British Mandate for Palestine* divided the regions in 1922.

“it can and should now extend recognition to the Palestine state ”

And in the language you are using, de-recognise Israel.

You’re twisting facts to suit your agenda, which is extremely hostile to the continuation of the Jewish State. There should be two states, but that’s TWO, not ONE.

@49 – Oh please. The UN vote was only a small part of the groundwork, the British directly precipitated the foundation by the state by declaring the end of the Mandate. The vote was 4-2 in favour by the leaders of the People’s Council (yes, the official vote was unanimous, but the earlier, real vote was 4-2).

There was already conflict on the ground before the vote, which rapidly turned hot and with foreign intervention the next day. The state exists only because of the strength of arms of the Jewish people, in the crucible of a eight month, bitterly-fought war.

These little facts tend to be glossed over.

51. DisgustedOfTunbridgeWells

However, it is explicitly rejected by Hamas.

Incorrect – http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2006/jun/21/israel1

A Palestinian state IS, however, explicitly rejected by the likud charter (http://www.knesset.gov.il/elections/knesset15/elikud_m.htm) that tends to be conveniently overlooked by kahanist apologists;

“The Government of Israel flatly rejects the establishment of a Palestinian Arab state west of the Jordan river. The Palestinians can run their lives freely in the framework of self-rule, but not as an independent and sovereign state. Thus, for example, in matters of foreign affairs, security, immigration and ecology, their activity shall be limited in accordance with imperatives of Israel’s existence, security and national needs.”

52. Laughing Boy

QUOTE- Frankly, I’m amazed that a liberal, left-wing blog no longer recognizes the right of national self-determination.

It was, after all, the main plank of progressive thinking leading to national liberation from colonialism around the world. – QUOTE

OO! Zing!

Sadly it’s the hypocrisy that taints all modern ‘liberal’ thought.
Backtracking on liberalism where attacking Israel or defending Islam is concerned.

@50: “And in the language you are using, de-recognise Israel. You’re twisting facts to suit your agenda, which is extremely hostile to the continuation of the Jewish State.”

Predictably, when I recap in internet forums on the well-documented facts about the long history of Israeli terrorism and persistent Israeli building of illegal settlements on occupied Palestinian territories, the hugely active international jewish lobby for continued injustice in Palestine complains that I’m “antisemitic”, “a friend of David Irving” and, now, “extremely hostile to the continuation of the Jewish state”.

All of that is mendacious rubbish put about to distract attention from the relevant public issues of the valid boundaries and illegally occupied territories of Israel, international recognition of a Palestinian state, and the regular perpetration of Israeli atrocities on Palestinians.

I hope that as a consequence of the current application to the UN by the Palestinians for recognition as a state, there will be an official UN report on: (a) why the Palestine peace process has stalled after 20 years, (b) the long history of UN resolutions which Israel has disregarded, (c) the history of Israeli atrocities – it would be timely to republish the the UN report on the Qibya massacre in 1953 to remind current generations about how long the abuse of Palestinians has continued.

Btw it would rightly be considered an outrage if a British government declared Britain to be a white, Christian state. A jewish friend reminded me many decades ago about how difficult it is to convert to Judaism as compared with converting to Christianity or Islam. Abbas’s advisers include Palestinian Christians, like Hanan Ashrawi. How many Christians or Muslims are there on Netanyahu’s team?

@Margin4Error: The Times set out a range of options available to the British Government. One of those options was to back a US veto.

Exactly right, and I would’ve linked to that article, if not for the fact that almost nobody pays the Times for online content.

It was mischievous of me to suggest that, because the Times endorsed throwing our lot in with the Americans as usual, that the author of their leader would be aware of how that option was being presented by his fellow hack in his own newspaper.

Perhaps Britain’s government needs this timely reminder of this illuminating example from the Israeli press of Israeli “tolerance” towards departures from orthodox judaism:

“Miriam Shear says she was traveling to pray at the Western Wall in Jerusalem’s Old City early on November 24 when a group of ultra-Orthodox (Haredi) men attacked her for refusing to move to the back of the Egged No. 2 bus.” [15 December 2006]
http://www.haaretz.com/woman-beaten-on-j-lem-bus-for-refusing-to-move-to-rear-seat-1.207251

FR: So far as I’m aware, this {Israel’s ‘right to exist’} is an entirely meaningless phrase attached to no legal or political mechanism…

Flowerpower: Frankly, I’m amazed that a liberal, left-wing blog no longer recognizes the right of national self-determination.

Well, look. Let’s be clear on one thing – a country’s “right to exist” and its people’s “right of national self-determination” are entirely different things, and the pretence that these are synonyms is not accidental. It is deliberate, for propaganda purposes.

I’m happy to be corrected here, but AFAIAA states don’t have “rights”. They are created and thrive or fall, but they are not people. Belgium does not have a right to bear children and Thailand doesn’t have the right to free speech; Fiji doesn’t have the right to avoid cruel and unusual punishment; Guatemala can’t be enslaved anyway and Israel, like all other nations, does not have a “right to exist”.

On the other hand, I believe that the people of the area called Israel, like people elsewhere on Earth, have a right to “national self-determination” – that is, to decide upon their own government and laws, draft an army, regulate trade and defend their borders etc.

As if that weren’t confusing, sharp-eyed observers will also note that the Israeli people’s right to self-determination is not even at stake in the debate over Palestinian statehood* – quite the opposite, in fact. It’s the Palestinians rights that are under discussion.

Now, I’d forgive anyone who smelt a rat when, in a discussion over the Palestinians’ right to self-determination, the entirely bogus issue of a supposed threat to the Israeli people’s rights – which are not affected by the issue – are repeatedly and angrily raised, under a sly propaganda disguise which does not actually convey the meaning that it appears to at first glance.

That’s because you are dealing with bullshit disguised as outrage. So it goes.

OO! Zing! Sadly it’s the hypocrisy that taints all modern ‘liberal’ thought.

I stopped reading at “Zing!”. Anyone who got further than that probably stopped reading at “liberal” in scare quotes. Anyone who read the whole thing deserves to have read the thing

*More on that “right to exist” and the entirely mendacious deployment thereof…

Despite its tiny size, Israel is the most heavily armed nation for more than a thousand miles in every direction and it can deploy more than enough well-equipped mobile infantry and cutting edge missile and fighter aircraft technology to defend its right to elect its own rulers and, in fact, to devastate all of its closest neighbours, up to and including their absolute destruction within half an hour via nuclear warheads.

Frankly, the idea that Israel’s right to self-determination is in any way threatened by the Palestinians, say, seating a delegate at the United Nations, is just hilarious on its face. In fact, it’s so utterly risible that we can conclude that anyone making claims to the contrary is wilfully bullshitting for political reasons.

Well said – Blair is simply propagating the awful American stance on the Palestine, just like he did with the awful American stance on Iraq and Iran etc etc etc.
We analysed the Palestinian request here:
http://www.allthatsleft.co.uk/2011/09/should-we-support-the-palestinians-bid-for-full-un-status/

58. Steven Van der Werf

I wonder if Tony will ever figure out that the best thing he can possibly do in any given situation is shut the fuck up and leave someone that people actually trust and respect to do the grown-up work instead.

though I currently struggle to think of many people that would fit that bill.

Still, it’s pretty much a given now that anything he says will be immediately repudiated by just about every sensible being on the face of the planet.

ps. of course Palestine can’t be an independent state. Like, duh. Cos… it just can’t, alright?!

@55 Flying Rodent

I’m happy to be corrected here, but AFAIAA states don’t have “rights”.

Well, I’m happy to correct you.

They do.

They are recognized and promulgated in what’s known as International Law.

The International Law of the Sea, for example, grants states certain rights such as “the right of navigation” ( Every State, whether coastal or land-locked, has the right to sail ships flying its flag on the high seas.) or “the right of hot pursuit” and so forth.

The right of self-determination of peoples is explicitly recognized numerous parts of international law.
For starters: Article 1(4) of Additional Protocol 1 of the Geneva Conventions recognizes it as a “right in international law”.

One of the major instruments of International Law is The United Nations International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

Article 1 (1) reads:

All peoples have the right of self-determination. By virtue of that right they freely determine their political status and freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development.

The right of the Jewish people to a national homeland of a Jewish cultural character has been recognized in international law since the time of Woodrow Wilson.

Israel……does not have a “right to exist”.

Simply not true. See above.

the idea that Israel’s right to self-determination is in any way threatened by the Palestinians, say, seating a delegate at the United Nations, is just hilarious on its face.

Straw man argument. The threat comes from bombs and missiles, and the vast numbers of people brought up to hate Israel in surrounding states. The threat to Israel’s existence is frequently declared as a policy aim by some Palestinian political leaders. This gives rise to understandable apprehensions among Israelis that a Palestinian state on the West Bank would be used as a base to launch terrorist actions aimed at destroying or severely harming Israel. Equally, proponents of a “one state solution” represent a self-declared political threat to Israel’s continued existence as Jewish state.

A democratic, peaceful Palestinian state that explicitly accepted Israel’s right to exist would be another matter. But that’s not on offer…..yet.

60. flyingrodent

They are recognized and promulgated in what’s known as International Law.

Find the article – UN convention, whatever – that says “states have a right to exist” and I’ll say Boy, Flowers, I was wrong and you were right. It’s not a point that I have strong feelings about, beyond its deployment for deceitful purposes, so I’ll be quite happy to agree on this entirely tangential point.

All peoples have the right of self-determination. By virtue of that right they freely determine their political status and freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development.

I’ve just said that you are intentionally eliding a theoretical “right to exist” with an existing “right to self-determination”; I noted that the two are not identical, and said that the former is almost exclusively deployed in argument with intent to mislead. You’ve responded by eliding the two again.

The non-existence of the “exist” point is the reason why, every time somebody is picked up on this “right to exist”, they immediately backtrack and start waffling about self-determination instead, as you’ve done at least twice so far.

Let’s repeat here – the issue at stake is whether the Palestinians have the right to declare the formal creation of a Palestinian state. Invocations of the Israelis’ right to self-determination, which will remain unaffected*. are an attempt to sidetrack, at best.

Straw man argument.

The post you’re responding to, which I wrote myself, is about American duplicity in the peace process, and it recommends that the UK should resist calls to adopt the same stance as the United States on Palestinian statehood.

You’ve responded by asserting that Israel “has a right to exist”, an issue that is not merely unconnected to US/UK diplomacy, but is utterly divorced from the question of whether the Palestinians should attain statehood.

So, you’re in no position to accuse anyone else here of making fallacious arguments.

*The central difficulty the Israelis will face if the Palestinians are successful is that they will no longer be able to treat their neighbours as they see fit, with total impunity. This is not to say that they will face significant problems or repercussions – in all likelihood, they won’t – but that is the primary concern of the Israeli government here. Israeli self-determination is irrelevant to the question.

That’s a point that is worth bearing in mind, when you see these innumberable OMG Israel will be destroyed arguments. Whether honestly or not on this issue, they are deployed, not in defence of Israel, but in defence of its right to operate outside of the normal boundaries of law without repercussions.

61. Leon Wolfson

@53 – When you use the language which is hostile to the continued existence Israel, and the life of it’s Jewish inhabitants, you then whine when someone points this out.

I chose what to criticise, because I know my history. Then you bring up other points – that I’ve never disputed – to try and worm your way out of your clearly anti-Israel (and again, the term is picked deliberately) viewpoint.

Never mind that Israeli Arabs hold 10% of the seats in the Knesset. That a Christian Arab sits on the Supreme Court. That Druze Generals hold critical positions in the Israeli military. That a Muslim Arab is in the cabinet… (Britain also has one, for reference)

That Israel’s record as a *democratic* state is far better than that of it’s neighbours, and it’s been proposed that the Isralie Arabs in border regions should have dual nationality by the Israeli government or…

No, you’re still stuck using the language of Zionism equalling racism.

And yes, we’re not a religion which wants converts. We’re not expansionist. Want to discuss the history of Christianity and Islam’s expansion-by-the-sword? There are 13 million Jews. 300 million Arabs. 1.5 billion Muslims.

62. Leon Wolfson

@60 – Actually, the Israelis will have a STRONGER right of action in international law against an independent neighbour who does not block terrorist attacks originating from their territory than they do at present.

And of course the right to exist is relevant. TWO states, not ONE.

@61: “@53 – When you use the language which is hostile to the continued existence Israel, and the life of it’s Jewish inhabitants, you then whine when someone points this out.”

Rubbish. What you object to is my pointing out the long documented history of Israeli terrorist atrocities and that the so-called peace negotions finally stalled after decades because Israel persisted in building illegal settlements on occupied Palestinian territories.

Abbas warned that negotiations would end if the settlement building continued – so the Israeli government continued to sanction the building of even more settlements. Netanyahu is just playing for time so the settlement building can continue indefinitely to stall negotiations and establish more facts on the ground. Any moderately informed observer of the Palestine conflict has realised that since a long time back.

Short of reopening hostilities, the Palestinians have no other option than looking to the UN to arbitratre. The US position of saying the only road road to peace lies through Jerusalem and Ramallah is just fatuous unless the Israeli government stops sanctioning the building of more illegal settlements, which it won’t because religious parties in the governing coalition believe that Israel has a divine right to occupy all Palestine.

Israel has been an independent state since 1948 yet in all that time Israeli governments have been unable to prevent orthodox jews from forcing women to sit at the back of buses – see the report from Haaretz @55. What hope can there be of rational negotiations with Israeli governments?

64. Leon Wolfson

@63 – I was being quite specific. You’re ignoring that and behaving in a way which is clearly anti-Semitic. This is, of course, your choice.

You’re a revisionist and a polemicist.

Oh please stop with this right to exist clap trap. It an admission of defeat when you have to resort to such nonsence. As the only country in the region with nukes (even though they lied to the international comun8ty and the UN that they had them) and even today refuse to admit it, and with F16 fighter planes, and apache gunship helicopters, nobody is going to push them into the sea
You are a straw man pusher.

@ 60 Flying Rodent

you are intentionally eliding a theoretical “right to exist” with an existing “right to self-determination”; I noted that the two are not identical….

Pure sophistry.

In this context (let’s leave the ontological aside), where one group (Hamas and its supporters on the Left here) deny Israel’s right to exist and mischaracterize its founding as an unlawful “land grab”, then the fact that International Law has (since at least the San Remo treaty of 1920) recognized the right of the Jewish people to exercise national self determination by establishing a Jewish state in Palestine is effectively an endorsement and legitimation of a (disputed) “right to exist”.

If you prefer not to use these terms, try:

the territorial inviolability and political independence of Israel

or

acknowledgement of the sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence of Israel

– both of which are affirmed in UN Resolution 242.

Legitimacy + sovereignty + territorial integrity + territorial inviolability + guarantee of political independence + the principle of national self-determination = a right to exist

….. surely even you can see that?

It is only because some people deny Israel’s right to exist or (like you) deny that there is any such thing as a right to exist, that we are even discussing it. Fortunately, the law is clear.

I wonder why Israel has to be so heavily armed and indeed defended?
Hmmm mm mm…..

Could it be because it is literally surrounded by hostile Arab/Muslim states and people’s that want to see it destroyed?

Could well be. If Israel had not been thus armed it would have been attacked a long time ago and just like ALL other religions in this stinking so called ‘Mulim World’ the Jews would have been killed, arrested, converted and generally shit upon a long time ago.

And the Islamist crap hole that Gaza has become has been ignored again I see.
Ahhhh…. Fake liberals, I love them so I do.

68. flyingrodent

…effectively an endorsement and legitimation of a (disputed) “right to exist”… the territorial inviolability and political independence of Israel and so on and so forth.

(Shrugs)

Okay, then. Let’s say that Israel as a state, in the precise terms you cite, has a “right to exist”.

And? Is this right seriously threatened by the existence of a Palestinian state? Will the Palestinians use their seat at the UN to orchestrate the negation of this right?

See, the point I’m trying to get across is that all of this booyah over rights to this and that are very clearly propaganda terms aimed, not at clarifying anything, but at muddying the waters.

So what? I might say. By that standard, Burkina Faso has a “right to exist”. So do Paraguay, French Guyana and Bhutan. If you’re right, it’s like asserting a nation’s right to enter a football team with FIFA. What, exactly, is your point, caller?

But as can be easily spotted from the thread above, we know the point, don’t we? It’s like calling yourself Friends of the Earth – a way of pre-speaking the idea that anyone who disagrees with you is in fact a mortal enemy of the Earth.

Who could disagree with someone asserting a state’s right to exist? Why, only someone who wished to see civilians driven en masse through the streets and into the desert by the armies of darkness could!

So. The Americans are not honest brokers in the peace process. But Israel has a right to exist! Oh, I see. In that case the Americans must be honest brokers after all. Devastating logic.

Or, in shorter form – Jesus, grow up. I know blog posts on this issue are generally pointless and vicious, but childish bullshit of this nature is insulting to everyone’s intelligence, and it makes the herd of sheep from 1984 sound like Peter Ustinov on cracking good form.

@67: “Could it be because it is literally surrounded by hostile Arab/Muslim states and people’s that want to see it destroyed?”

Could that be because of the Deir Yassin massacre in April 1948?

“The Deir Yassin massacre took place on April 9, 1948, when around 120 fighters from the Irgun Zevai Leumi and Lohamei Herut Israel Zionist paramilitary groups attacked Deir Yassin near Jerusalem, a Palestinian-Arab village of roughly 600 people. The assault occurred as Jewish militia sought to relieve the blockade of Jerusalem during the civil war that preceded the end of British rule in Palestine. Around 107 villagers were killed during and after the battle for the village, including women and children—some were shot, while others died when hand grenades were thrown into their homes.”
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deir_Yassin_massacre

And the Qibya massacre in October 1953?

“. . Unit 101 was commanded by an aggressive and ambitious young major named Ariel Sharon. Sharon’s order was to penetrate Qibya, blow up houses, and inflict heavy casualties on its inhabitants. His success in carrying out this order surpassed all expectations. The full and macabre story of what happened at Qibya was revealed only during the morning after the attack. The village had been reduced to a pile of rubble: forty-five houses had been blown up, and sixty-nine civiliains, two-thirds of them women and children, had been killed. Sharon and his men claimed that they had no idea that anyone was hiding in the houses. The UN observer who inspected the reached a different conclusion: ‘One story was repeated time after time: the bullet splintered door, the body sprawled across the threshold, indicating that the inhabitants had been forced by heavy fire to stay inside until their homes were blown up over them.’”
Avi Shlaim: The Iron Wall (Penguin Books, 2001), p.91.

70. Leon Wolfson

@69 – No, Bob, your neo-nazi screed doesn’t demonstrate anything of the sort.

Firstly, there is considerable reason to disbelieve your version of Der Yassin, and Wikipedia’s ongoing bias is an issue. Both the Haganah and the Palestinians, for their own reasons, talked up the event at the time for propaganda.

Secondly, you’re trying to paint things as one sided, when there were events like the massacre of the defenders of the Jewish settlements in the Etzion Bloc after their surrender.

Thirdly, the invasion of a state of Israel by the Arab countries surrounding it was never in doubt.

This guy disagrees, you should have a word with him.

That’s quite a stretch from ‘human rights are definitionally conditional’ to ‘there are no human rights’. Enough of a stretch to be classified as a misrepresentation. I assume you knew that though.

@70: “@69 – No, Bob, your neo-nazi screed doesn’t demonstrate anything of the sort.”

That personal abuse is just par for the course.

As my sources @69 for those Israeli atrocities at Deir Yassin in 1948 and Qibya in 1953 were, respectively, Wikipedia and Avi Shlaim: The Iron Wall (Penguin Books) I can only deduce that you regard those as “neo-Nazi” too. ROFL!

@72 – Abuse? No, abuse would involve insults. I’ve just stated the creed you have followed in your posts. If you find it offensive, then you’re a hypocrite.

And yes, you’re relying on Wikipedia, which is massively biased on the entire topic, for a serious reference. This really says everything people need to know about your research skills and how much you actually know about the issues.

Thanks for that.

All this is about the divine right of Israelis to occupy all Palestine because of their exclusive contract with Jehovah. I joke not.

The “game” being played out – and Israel has some of the best game theorists going – is to stall the peace negotiations by building illegal settlements on Palestinian territories – which the Palestinians had forewarned would stop the peace talks.

The Palestinians then seek arbitration by the United Nations by applying for recognition – after all, if the UN could recognise Israel then it can also recognise the Palestinian state.

Predictably, the UN application fails because of the American veto in the Security Council. To punish the Palestinians, the Israelis build even more illegal settlements on Palestinian territories.

Sooner or later hostilities break out and the Israelis kill a few more thousand Palestinians while claiming there is no dealing with such evil people who refuse to recognise the “right of Israel to exist”. To improve security, Israel builds more illegal settlements on Palestinian territories.

External observers who illuminate this transparent process are promptly denounced by the jewish propaganda machine as “neo-Nazis” and “antisemites”.

I’ve seen all this being played out for decades. Absolutely nothing changes. Nothing will change unless the “international community” declares Israel a pariah state just as it declared Apartheid South Africa a pariah state. Otherwise, Israel has nothing to lose by stalling the peace process indefinitely and continuing to build illegal settlements – believing that it has a divinely granted entitlement to do so.

@ 68 Flying Rodent

And? Is this right seriously threatened by the existence of a Palestinian state?

Depends.

If it were a peaceable, international-law-abiding Palestinian state, no.

But if it was like the Hamas regime in Gaza writ large, and if it were to invite the Iranians to station hundreds of missiles on its territory, operate as a base for terrorist attacks and suicide bombings and enshrine its leaders’ customary blood-crazed genocidal rhetoric into its constitution, then – yes.

Given recent history, would you take the chance if you were an Israeli citizen?

No, you would oppose it pro tem …. and ask your allies to oppose it too…… until the time was opportune to establish a stable, democratic state instead.

76. Leon Wolfson

@74 – No, your being an ill-informed Fascist isn’t a joke.

The most right-wing party in the Israeli government coalition is highly secular. The second most right-wing party is just fairly secular. Those are the two biggest parties. The Left, in Israel, has has coalitions involving more religious parties than the right, historically.

You don’t have a clue what you’re talking about, as usual. And you want to empower an armed military organisation whose charter calls for eliminating Israel, and who refuse to accept any kind of peace process which doesn’t involve effectively eliminating Israel. This is your idea of “reasonable”.

People forget why the current borders hold…they were taken in wars, wars of aggression against Israel.

@76: “@74 – No, your being an ill-informed Fascist isn’t a joke.”

More puerile name-calling as though that settles the issues of continued Israeli building of illegal settlements on occupied Palestinian territories to stall the peace talks so the settlement building can continue.

Netanyahu heads a coalition government with religious parties in it. The religious parties mostly believe that Israel has a divine right to occupy all Palestine.

Try this commentary by independent observers of action by Israeli settlers:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GgZbbQ4s-M8

YouTube is a rich source on continued Israeli settler terrorism inflicted on Palestinians – which hardly ever gets reported in western media.

The only fruitful way forward IMO is for the international community to declare Israel a pariah state.

78. Leon Wolfson

@77 – You are once again ignoring the facts. This government has /less/ than the average number of seats from religious parties, and includes a largely anti-religious party. The smaller religious party in the coalition has pointedly refused to talk about land (they have other priorities), and Shas is far less emphatic on supporting settlements than either Yisrael Beiteinu, Likud or lndependence, all of which are secular!

But no, you have to try to impose YOUR version of events over the facts.

Of course you want to see Israel destroyed and the Jews living there killed, you’ve made that utterly plain. And heavily edited YouTube propaganda videos? Well, what a shocker. Can’t read sober, thoughtful intellectual analyses, gotta have videos which tended, last time I checked, to quote the protocols of the elders of zion.

Latest news update:

“Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas has submitted his bid to the UN for recognition of a Palestinian state.

“He presented a letter requesting full membership of the UN. He is addressing the General Assembly to argue the case, after a rapturous welcome.”
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-15033357

Naturally, all that applause came from all those neo-nazis and fascists in the international community, represented in the UN General Assembly, who want to kill off all jews . . . add the usual paranoia stuff

ROFL!

I’ve been discussing issues in internet forums of one kind or another since December 1995. Every time the issue of the Palestine conflict comes up, it is routine practice on the part of the well-oiled international jewish propaganda machine to label anyone saying that the Palestinians do have a case as neo-nazis, foaming antisemites who want to kill all jews etc etc.

Anything, but anything to divert attention from the substantive issues – Israel’s supposed divine right to occupy all Palestine with an entitlement to build settlements on Palestinian territories regardless. It’s become as predictable as the sun rising in the east.

80. Leon Wolfson

@79 – Ah, so you’re an experienced internet troll.

Well, that would explain why YOU, not me, called many of political leaders of the world neo-nazis and fascists.

You’re hung up on this being a religious issue. Which is many ways is the very least of it. You’re just another fascist who doesn’t understand the issues but pretends he has anything on his mind but getting Jews killed for the greater glory of the sadly departed Reich.

81. Steven Van der Werf

Bob B and Leon Wolfson

hi guys. I’m following your debate via email updates. While I admittedly don’t know *quite* enough to form a complete informed opinion on this subject, I will say this:
The actions of Israel have looked /deeply/ suspicious for a very long time. The continued illegal settlement building and widely acknowledged ‘secret’ nuclear arsenal being points of note.
I don’t know enough to comment on how justified those practices are, but it does seem to be the case that Palestinian complaints are somewhat justified.

and I’m afraid, Leon, that you are most definite coming across as the frothing loon here. Bob’s comments seem both more logical and reasonable. I know you from other threads to be a calm and intelligent debater, so this is clearly a deeply important matter for you… and you’re not doing yourself any favours.

[not that a couple of guys raging on the internet is going to change a damned thing. Just sayin’]

@81: “I don’t know enough to comment on how justified those practices are, but it does seem to be the case that Palestinian complaints are somewhat justified.”

The indigenous people of Palestine have long been the serial victims of the well organised – and well-funded – international jewish propaganda machine and of Israeli terrorist groups.

Up to around WW2, jews were very much a minority in Palestine and their numbers grew through immigration – supported by terrorism. Britain, designated by the League of Nations as the authority for managing the Palestine mandate, warned in the UN general assembly debate in November 1947, that partition of Palestine would lead to continuing conflict – which it obviously has. Any who have pointed this history out have been promptly labelled nazis, antisemites etc – and I’m speaking from personal experience from debating online in international forums going back to the mid 1990s.

The Palestine peace process over the last two decades finalled stalled because the Israelis persisted in building illegal settlements on occupied Palestinian territories – despite clear forewarnings that the negotiations would end if the settlement building continued, which it did. The issue of whether Israel has a “right to exist” can’t be resolved without addressing the boundaries question. It is transparently obvious that Netanyahu is playing for time so settlement can continue to establish more facts on the ground – and being supported in that course by the American and British governments.

It’s worth checking out YouTube video clips on Israeli settlers. A robust history source on the Palestine conflict is Avi Shlaim: The Iron Wall (Penguin Books 2001).

Update:

Try this video news report from al Jazeera: Who will support the Palestinian bid for statehood?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cUqFHqXEsVc

In it, there’s an interview with Shlomo Ben Ami, a previous Israeli foreign minister – he was a key figure in the Camp David negotiations in 2000 – who is saying to camera that the present coalition government in Israel makers it virtually impossible to progress peace talks.

Btw I discovered that Ben Ami has a book which looks most interesting: Scars of war, wounds of peace: The Arab-Israeli Tragedy (OUP 2007). Googling shows that there was a review of the book in the Guardian.

Steven van der werf @ 81 and Bob B @ 82

What is wrong with Jews building settlements?

If you support a “one state solution” where Jews and Palestinian Arabs live together in one state, then Jews putting down roots in Judea and Samaria shouldn’t be an issue – it’s all going to be one country, right?

And if you are a “two-state solution” supporter ,then, given that around 17% of Israel’s population is Arab, then surely it’s no big deal if 8-10% of Palestine’s population is Jewish, is it?

Only if you think that no Jews should be allowed to reside in Palestine would settlements or “facts on the ground” be a big problem.

When Arabs build houses in Israel to accommodate their burgeoning population, you don’t cry “foul”.

Looks like a double standard. Can’t you see why Jews find that racist, anti-semitic etc?

@84

What is wrong with Jews building settlements?

The general fear is that any national boundaries would be drawn around them once the Palestinian state is eventually recognised.

86. Steven Van der Werf

@84.

ok. Here’s the problem.

The argument seems to be, every time ‘that’s anti-Jew’

completely, abjectly ignoring the fact that just doing it is currently illegal. completely, abjectly ignoring the fact that doing so automatically stops talks from happening.

if you look at any timeline map of the territory, you see the Palestinian territory shrinking year upon year, month upon month. That, from a purely ‘they are NOT one state yet’ perspective, incredibly telling.

IF the talks were getting along perfectly well and a peace process was totally happening and everyone was getting along just fine, then building more settlements would be just dandy.

that is NOT the case.

the way is seems to be is that Israel doesn’t give a fuck whether the process works, and has no intention of granting Palestine independence anyway. They are building entirely irrelevant of the wishes of Palestine, knowing full well that this is making talks impossible.

this is not about Semetism. It’s about two groups of people. One set of people is living in territory that the surrounding group wants. If they all got on perfectly well and were willing to cohabit as one political entity, it wouldn’t especially matter in the slightest. But they aren’t. It’s the group surrounding the area that wants in, while the group *actually living there* would quite like a say in that, thanks very much.

What would be quite nice is Palestine and Israel sorting out their differences FIRST, then they can all agree on who gets to build what, where.

I may be terribly over-simplistic in that view, but that’s the way I’ve seen it for quite some time.

My opinion here may be somewhat influenced by living in a country that was threatened with constant invasion by a larger neighbour for a few hundred years. A neighbour that felt it had a divine right to the land, and caused vast quantities of political trouble and bloodshed in that process. A neighbour that reacted rather badly when the people rose against them to regain their land, freedom and dignity. I live in a country that still, to an extent, dreams of independence, some 300 years after those wars ended. Which only recently re-gained its own Parliament, and some right of self-governance.

I am not anti-English in the slightest. I just want to live in a Scotland that is allowed to run itself, without the yoke of leaders in Wesminster.
[you may note that Catholics are banned from the throne of England, due to troubles caused by Kings of that denomination. Nor am I anti-Catholic]

and I cannot help but wonder if Palestine feels the same way, irrelevant of Israels ‘right’ to that land.

87. Just Visiting

Steven

Yup, I reckon many palestians would feel the same as you.

But…. Scots have never had an ideology that says England and the english should be destroyed. Nor current leaders saying that.

Whereas…Hamas and Hezbolah do.
And (some would argue) that Islamic theology itself is anti-semitic.
Certainly islamic authority figures are saying it week on week aroyund the world.

Here’s an interesting fact – many thousand of Palestinians were killed by the Jordanians in Jordan – (Black September) but none of the neighbouring Islamic countries have called Jordan out on that?

Is it possible that what unites the neighbouring countries is not the welfare of Palestinians – but a common enemy of Israel and the jews.

If you look on Youtube – you’ll find Hamas kids TV shows, where anti-semitism is played out as a kids game.

A shock for liberal thinkers like us. We find it hard to believe that ‘down trodden minorities’ can be bad.

88. Leon Wolfson

@82 – Or people could read deacent historical books, not propaganda. You’re called an anti-Semite because you ARE.

@86 – Ah yes, one of those. Did you also sent cash to the IRA?

@87: “Scots have never had an ideology that says England and the english should be destroyed. Nor current leaders saying that.”

Rubbish. Why do you suppose the Roman Emperor Hadrian, on visiting Britannia, ordered the construction of a wall some 70 miles long across the north of England from coast to coast? Construction started in 122AD and the wall was still being modified when he died in 138AD? The construction has been described as the most formidable fortification on the boundaries of the Roman empire.

And that is not all. Ever watched the movie: Braveheart (1995), starring Mel Gibson, about historical events in the 13th century? What of the Jacobite Rebellion of 1745 when an invading Scottish army got as far south as capturing Derby, only a little more than 150 or so miles north of London?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jacobite_Risings

According to various estimates, public expenditure per head in Scotland is currently about 20% higher than the average for England. It’s a pure net fiscal drain on the national exchequer but represents the sort of annual tribute that has to be paid to prevent further rebellions and invasions.

90. Leon Wolfson

…and 89 shows exactly what I mean about bob. Xenophobia, when allowed to run rampant has no boundaries. Only the “pure” are exempt from the paranoia.

The highland clearances which followed the Jacobite rebellions shattered the power of the Scottish clans, and destroyed their way of life…even today the Highlands are underpopulated.

There’s no “Scottish menace” north of the the border, just a legacy of the first modern-style ethnic cleansing.

@90: “There’s no “Scottish menace” north of the the border, just a legacy of the first modern-style ethnic cleansing.”

Why did the Roman Emperor Hadrian order the construction of a wall 70 miles long across the north of England?

I didn’t invent the Jacobite Risings of 1745 and the capture of Derby by an army from Scotland – remember this was a century after the civil war of the 1640s and nearly half a century after the Glorious Revolution of 1688 which had ended the principle of the divine right of kings.

92. Leon Wolfson

@91 – Because he couldn’t free the troops he needed to conquer the Highlands. Come now, this is an elementary school difficulty question. What happened in Roman times doesn’t have a bearing on the Scots being some kind of red menace now.

And the rebels retreated to Culloden from Derby…their position was utterly untenable, and London was defended such they’d had no chance of taking it. The Clearances which followed *broke* the Scottish clans, and scattered many of them across the colonies, ending the Jacobite cause for good. It’s been over 200 years since the nominal Stuart king even bothered to formally assert a claim.

You’re paranoid, and this reflects on your views as a whole.

Bob B @ 89:

“Rubbish. Why do you suppose the Roman Emperor Hadrian, on visiting Britannia, ordered the construction of a wall some 70 miles long across the north of England from coast to coast? Construction started in 122AD and the wall was still being modified when he died in 138AD? The construction has been described as the most formidable fortification on the boundaries of the Roman empire.”

That was actually to keep the Picts out — I don’t think that the Scots had emerged yet as a distinct people, and if they had, they’d still have been kicking around in Ireland rather than invading places. And given that this was three centuries before the Anglo-Saxon migrations, there wasn’t really an “England” to invade. And anyway, events which happened two thousand years ago have little bearing on the current political situation. You might as well point to the invasions of Claudius and Julius Caesar and claim that the Italian government has a burning desire to conquer Britain.

“And that is not all. Ever watched the movie: Braveheart (1995), starring Mel Gibson, about historical events in the 13th century?”

Braveheart is an OK film, although frankly if you want something historically accurate you’d be better off watching The Lord of the Rings. Besides, the whole point of Braveheart is that the poor oppressed Scots are fighting for their freedom against the invading English, so I’m not sure why you think it supports your case.

“What of the Jacobite Rebellion of 1745 when an invading Scottish army got as far south as capturing Derby, only a little more than 150 or so miles north of London?”

Jacobitism was a minority cause even in Scotland. And Bonnie Prince Charlie marched south because he wanted to make himself King of England as well as of Scotland, not due to any ideological desire to ethnically cleanse the English and settle Scotsmen there instead.

“It’s a pure net fiscal drain on the national exchequer but represents the sort of annual tribute that has to be paid to prevent further rebellions and invasions.”

England’s population is some ten times as much as Scotland’s. The idea that Scotland could possibly represent a threat in the foreseeable future is ludicrous.

@92: “You’re paranoid, and this reflects on your views as a whole.”

Yet more labels. ROFL! Understandably, the monarch and Parliament got worried when an army from Scotland in 1745 could march down through England, ravaging as it progressed, and capture Derby, which isn’t that far from London. Predictably, they did something about it in response to ensure something similar wasn’t likely to happen again anytime soon.

Enough is enough when this sort of thing had been going on since the Emperor Hadrian’s time.

@93: “You might as well point to the invasions of Claudius and Julius Caesar and claim that the Italian government has a burning desire to conquer Britain.”

But that is just the sort of (daft) historic argument often presented to account for why Israelis are entitled to occupy all Palestine. Btw note the Icenii rebeliion led by Boudicca and the sacking of London in c. 61 AD.

“England’s population is some ten times as much as Scotland’s. The idea that Scotland could possibly represent a threat in the foreseeable future is ludicrous.”

That consideration didn’t stop the Picts when Britannia was part of the Roman empire, which is why Hadrian’s Wall got built, the most fortified boundary of the Roman empire, and it didn’t stop the Jacobite rebellions either in the 18th century leading to the capture of Derby in 1745.

@94 – Labels? Yes, but they’re labels hung on you for a reason. Unlike your stereotyping of entire peoples.

Please keep up the pretence that watching Braveheart is an example of good research, though.

@96: “Please keep up the pretence that watching Braveheart is an example of good research, though.”

Braveheart is a travesty of history. Even so, I’m told that it is hugely popular with Scottish audiences. The interesting question is how did a film like that come to be made?

As for my xenophobia, I can easily post links to several news reports in 2006 of physical attacks made on English folk living in Scotland who rashly displayed flags with the St George’s Cross during the last World Cup Football Tournament.

The huge annual Orange Order parades in Glasgow during July are celebrating the outcome of a battle in Northern Ireland in 1690 when a protestant army was victorious over a Catholic army.

Oh no, several people getting beaten up! The Scottish menace threatens the security of Great B…wait, what?

No, I can no longer take you seriously at this point.

99. Steven Van der Werf

@88 Leon

‘one of those’?
‘Did I ever send cash to the IRA’?

thanks, I needed some cheering up. You just marked yourself as an *utter twat* in my list of silly internet people, which kinda unfortunate since I’ve enjoyed your comments elsewhere.

Braveheart did a lot more harm to the Scots than you’d think. It’s not very accurate, missing several key events and inventing several others. But beyond that, it kicked off a wave of anti-English sentiment that seriously did not need to happen.

Hadrians Wall was built because Caledonia was considered too miserable and dangerous to expend the resources necessary to conquer.

The Highlands were severely diminished by the Massacre of Glencoe [politically rather than in blood]. The clearances in general were not a pleasant thing.

Anyway, I’m done here as the sheer level of frothing lunacy is getting beyond the point of entertainment value.

100. Leon Wolfson

@99 – You didn’t deny it.

You just labelled yourself as someone who’s unable to deal with someone who takes the issues seriously. That you think this is a site for light entertainment speaks of your moral values.

I’m absolutely convinced. Deep in the heart of the Negev Desert, there must be a top secret Israeli computer facility which churns out abusive and insulting labels to apply to critics of Israel.

I go by the compelling evidence. From the time of the Roman Emperor and Hadrian’s Wall through to the massive bank failures in 2008, the Scots have been a proverbial menace to themselves and neighbours. The Act of Union of 1706 got passed to bail out the Kingdom of Scotland which was flat broke broke because of the ill-conceived Darien project.

To quote from the Wikipedia entry: “In practice the undertaking was marked by poor planning and leadership, lack of demand for trade goods, devastating epidemics of disease, and increasing shortage of food; it was finally abandoned after a siege by Spanish forces in April of 1700. As the Darien company was backed by about a quarter of the money circulating in Scotland, its failure left the nobles and landowners – who had suffered a run of bad harvests – almost completely ruined”.

How depressingly familiar that reads now.

With the Act of Union and Stuart monarchs on the throne, the English hope was that there would finally be an end to the pillaging invasions. That fond hope was short lived. A series of Jacobite rebellions ensued through to 1745 and the capture of Derby. My theory is that what drove us to build a global empire was to find far flung places for the Scots to go off to to govern the natives instead of creating more bother back here.

What we need is a secure homeland for the English with protection from the Scots.

102. Flowerpower

Bob B

your prejudices against Jews and Scots are very silly.

You say

According to various estimates, public expenditure per head in Scotland is currently about 20% higher than the average for England. It’s a pure net fiscal drain on the national exchequer but represents the sort of annual tribute that has to be paid to prevent further rebellions and invasions.

How do you square that with the fact that Scotland has 8.5% of the population but supplies 9.5% of the tax take (and that’s excluding North Sea oil revenues)? Also, the fact that parts of Scotland have some serious social and economic problems. If you were to look at government spending on Teesside and Tyneside, I expect you’d find it was higher than average too.

@102: “your prejudices against Jews and Scots are very silly.”

As Mandy Rice Davies memorably put it – before she went off to run a night club in Tel Aviv: You would say that, wouldn’t you?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mandy_Rice-Davies

Some readers will have noticed that I post well-documented evidence to support observations made about Israel, Israelis and the Scots – that is what really irks some because the evidence can’t be denied – not least Avi Shlaim: The Iron Wall (Penguin Books) on the Palestine conflict and the recent interview with Shlomo Ben Ami linked @83.

“How do you square that with the fact that Scotland has 8.5% of the population but supplies 9.5% of the tax take (and that’s excluding North Sea oil revenues)? ”

That’s a daft comparison. Scotland may have 8.5% of the population and supply 9.5% of the tax take but what percentage of public expenditure does Scotland absorb? The pre-crisis estimates of Oxford Economics showed only London and the SE region as making net fiscal contributions to the national exchequer.

104. Laughing Boy

Let’s highlight the hypocrisy ere by changing words in sentences said on this thread.

Again Israel/Jews get it, while Islam is always defended.

Seems this perfectly covers Islam/Muslims in the UK. But don’t say that as that’s (non-existent race) ‘Racism’.

“you see the INDIGENOUS ENGLISH territory shrinking year upon year, month upon month”.

“The indigenous people of ENGLAND/UK have long been the serial victims of the well organised – and well-funded – international ISLAMIC propaganda machine and of ISLAMIC terrorist groups.

Up to around WW2, MUSLIMS were very much a minority in the UK and their numbers grew through immigration – supported by terrorism.”

Oh dear…Seems the fucking Palestinians are far more worthy of British ‘liberal’ defense than the British

@104: “Again Israel/Jews get it, while Islam is always defended.”

Not so. I’ve often been hugely critical of Jihadist terrorism and have been dubbed prejudiced against muslim terrorists.

What sticks with some here is that I’ve cited and documented Israeli terrorism – as with the sinking of SS Patria in Haifa Harbour in 1940, the attempt of the Stern Gang to form an alliance with the Nazis to hamper Britain’s war effort, the terrorist bombing of the King David Hotel in Jerusalem in 1946, the Deir Yassin massacre in 1948, the Qibya massacre in 1953 etc.

Bob B @ 101:

“The Act of Union of 1706 got passed to bail out the Kingdom of Scotland which was flat broke broke because of the ill-conceived Darien project.”

1707, actually. And it was passed to stop the Scottish parliament inviting James II & VII back to Scotland and reviving the alliance with France.

“With the Act of Union and Stuart monarchs on the throne, the English hope was that there would finally be an end to the pillaging invasions. That fond hope was short lived. A series of Jacobite rebellions ensued through to 1745 and the capture of Derby.”

The Jacobite rebellion was a dynastic conflict, not a national one. Jacobitism was a minority cause in Scotland as well as England.

107. Leon Wolfson

@101 – Yay another conspiracy theory. Lmao.

And wiiiikipedia as a source. Right.

I’m a third gen immigrant and thus your enemy by your lights, of course. I look like a nice White British boy, but I’m not….

108. Jimboydavey

If your are an immigrant you should be thanking the English and their hospitable country. But of course the English and England never get any thanks.

109. Leon Wolfson

And of course you don’t understand “third generation”.

Also, it’s the least Britain, not “England”, Britain could do for my ancestors, after their atrocious behaviour at Evian and in the Mandate.

“England” is as far as I’m concerned a subdivision of Britain which has only historical and administrative significance.

England is a country. English is a race (unlike Muslim) and only cunt racists say different. And like so many who dwell in England so many show no such respect as they wallow in all we give and offer .

End fucking off!

111. Leon Wolfson

And here we have it kids, a typical highfalutin EDL member. He’ll be here all week!

@110

English is a race

I suspect you mean Caucasian, given that a second generation immigrant will be English. (or Scottish, or Welsh)

Typical. Denying a race makes it easier to destroy all signs of it, as we see.
And they would be British, not English Cylux.

Leon sees ( aswith all religious nuts) himself as Jewish and not British I see. Sigh!

@113 Er yeah, sure. How do mixed-race children factor into your nationalistic version of race? Hell, let’s stick to Caucasians; is a child between an English man and a Polish woman, born and raised in Liverpool – English?

Polling news on Palestinian bid for UN Recognition:

A strong majority of people in three large EU countries – France, Germany and the UK – have said their governments should vote in favour of Palestine’s UN bid.

The poll by YouGov and Ifop for pro-Palestinian NGO Avaaz showed that 69 percent of people in France, 71 percent in Germany and 59 percent in the UK want their leaders to take the step at this year’s UN General Assembly, which starts in New York on Tuesday (13 September).
http://euobserver.com/24/113581

News update:

Five EU countries have joined France in saying the UN should upgrade Palestine’s status. Three have joined the UK in saying No. Others fall in between the two camps or are staying out of the debate for now.

Belgium, Greece, Luxembourg, Portugal and Spain in their UN General Assembly speeches over the weekend joined France in backing the upgrade.
http://euobserver.com/24/113734

117. Jimboydavey

No Cylux they would be British!
I like how LC pricks defend a non-race with cries of racism over Muslims but deny an actual race like the English.
Sigh.

As bad as the BBC who call the latest batch of Islamic freaks arrested on terrorism charges just ‘men’! Seems ‘men’ have terrorist plans.
Better to smear an entire gender it seems than call a Mulim a Muslim.

PC LC hee hee!

@117 Well. There ya go. I was completely wrong at 112, not Caucasian – but Aryan, sorry, “the English”.
Well at least that adds another layer of meaning to those tiresome bellends that march about blathering on about being “English-not-British”.

119. Leon Wolfson

@117 – The English are an ethnic group, not a race.

And my race is Ashkenazi Jewish. My nationality is British. They are not the same thing at all.

@114. Cylux: “How do mixed-race children factor into your nationalistic version of race? Hell, let’s stick to Caucasians; is a child between an English man and a Polish woman, born and raised in Liverpool – English?”

Comprehension of minority rights/respect in the UK has not been helped by the titles of laws that have been passed to support rights/respect. Quoting the Wikipedia description of the 1976 Race Relations Act: “Items that are covered include discrimination on the grounds of race, colour, nationality, ethnic and national origin in the fields of employment, the provision of goods and services, education and public functions.” Which is all very good.

But look at the long title for the act: “An Act to make fresh provision with respect to discrimination on racial grounds and relations between people of different racial groups; and to make in the Sex Discrimination Act 1975 amendments for bringing provisions in that Act relating to its administration and enforcement into conformity with the corresponding provisions in this Act.”

Ethnicity is not mentioned in the long title for the 1976 act but execution of the law is (correctly, IMO) based on ethnicity. We do not have community agreement on whether Jews are a race, but there is almost unanimous agreement that Jews can be defended against hate or discrimination under its terms. As a community, we understand that some Jews are black, that some Muslims are white and that we defend their ethnic rights irrespective of skin colour or notional race.

As for your hypothetical Liverpudlian child, it is for the child to determine ethnicity: British, English, Polish, Scouse. The odds are that British nationality would appear on the child’s passport; there is no box for ethnicity on the UK passport. We should
and will continue that way.

@120 I’m not disputing any of that, course I’m also not the one claiming that there is a specific English race which is under threat, and from which it is rather easy to be disqualified from by mixing with those of the wrong blood. (Or indeed if you’re a *ahem* wigga and/or chav, apparently.)

@121 Cylux: We have had too many conflicts in recent time, Cylux. Occasionally I am a grumpy git. Sometimes I ask questions that require a grumpy answer. Most of the time, we are similar grumpy farts. Does our conflict reveal anything?

@122 Grumps like to harump? 😉

Happy a good night Cylux.

125. Steven Van der Werf

Nope

English is a Nationality.
hence English, Scottish, Welsh, Northern Irish Nationalism.

I had this same argument many years ago, and I was wrong.

on a similar note, division based on Religion is, I believe, Sectarian [or Bigotry], of which the west coast of Scotland suffers massively [see Rangers vs Celtic]. Fortunately that’s being slowly driven out.

[I’m East coast and agnostic, thus entirely unaffected by this]

“Fortunately that’s being slowly driven out.”

Slowly? It’s probably got a century or two to run yet. After all, this sectarian divide goes back to the outcome of Battle of the Boyne in 1690, which was between the contending armies of two rival claimants to the English throne.

News update on Tuesday 27 September 2011

Israel approves new settler homes in East Jerusalem
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/sep/27/israel-approves-new-homes-east-jerusalem?newsfeed=true

Surprise! Surprise!

Latest news on Wednesday 28 September:

Israel fails to reach consensus on Quartet plan for talks with Palestinians
http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/israel-fails-to-reach-consensus-on-quartet-plan-for-talks-with-palestinians-1.387164

No surprise there, again, as expected.


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