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You can delete this message once you've noticed it but I believe the link to this thread is supposed to read, "Cameron backs Hague's criticisms of Israel." Not Cameron backs Israel's criticisms of Israel." Not trying to be a smart arse just thought i'd point it out.

"Anyone who saw those pictures of the results of the terrible bombing of Qana couldn't, I think, come to any other conclusion than that some elements of the Israeli response were disproportionate."

Eh? Where has he been? More to the point, what's he been reading?

Get a grip, Dave.

(I am trying not to become alarmed by this ignorance. No - forget that. I am alarmed.)

I'm delighted he has broken his holiday to say something eminently sensible that nearly all of the british people agree with, and is right.

You can't win this war without winning a hearts and minds campaign, and you can't win that without speaking out when children are bombed. His words were very carefully selected, and I'm delighted he's said this.

Notting Hill dwelling cheese-eating surrender monkey.

In short, Dave's gone LibDem on defence.

I'm sure he thinks this is a obvious spin to keep the LibDems onside, so OK Dave, if you are indeed a candid friend, surely you need to detail not just what you think your friend is doing wrong, but how you think they should have behaved (to make the response 'proportional')?

Otherwise,at a time when Israel is under a barrage of rocket attacks, it receives a phone call from Notting Hill telling them they are misbehaving? I'm sure they appreciate the 'constructive' thought!

When a British Labour Prime Minister is in agreement with Conservative friends in the USA, Canada and Australia and the leader of the Conservative Party in Britain is in disagreement with such allies, instead backing corrupt bureaucrats in the EU and UN there’s something seriously wrong. By siding with the EU over the US, Australia and Canada Cameron is an embarrassment internationally. Unless this is a one-off I know my support for Cameron is pretty tenuous.

It’s depressing how silent Israel’s critics are on her provokers in Hezbollah, Iran and Syria. Their inability to grasp the basic fact that Israel’s enemies are operating from areas with a high concentration of civilians, rendering Israel’s aim of minimising civilian casualties difficult is frustrating. And their muted criticism of Hezbollah and Iran is outright disgusting. The only thing disproportionate meanwhile is the unfair criticism of Israel.

Littlejohn, although lacking the eloquence of the excellent Melanie Philips made some good points in a recent article;


If Cameron has come out with this, he is wrong, as we have discussed again and again on here - it is correct that he appears to be siding with the EU against the Anglosphere, which is a worrying pointer towards the direction of his future foreign policy should he ever become PM.

Incidentally, superb Mark Steyn piece on "proportional responses" here:



The invidious comparison to Blair is OTT. As I understand it, he has merely endorsed Blair's remarks. Why is Blair on the left-hand side of the title graphic? Surely he should be on the right-hand side with Cameron?

I'm no great admirer of Cameron, but on this occasion he is 100% right.

The pro-Israel lobby has far too much power in our party. I'm proud to say that by encouraging some fine young British muslims to come forward and join our association I have helped even out the odds and reduce the racism associated with certain interest groups.

I look forward to progress towards a non-racist Tory Party which will be 100% evenhanded on Palestine.

Anglo-sphere?! do we really need another way to divide the World? anyway... onto my real comment...

Well done David. There are far to many people who treat this is a black and white issue. Such as the now infamous CH contributer Victoria Kluk taking a blinkered view from one side, to those "peace" protesters yesterday carrying Hezbollah flags.

It becomes worrying when such attitudes are prevailent among leading statesmen and it is re-assuring that David Cameron is prepared to question the actions of both sides.

Exactly what kind of peace do the 'Hawks' expect? Even if Israel destroyed Hezbollah, Hamas are still next door, let alone numerous hostile nation states. What progress is this war really making toward peace?

You can rest assured he would not have been conservative leader if we had known he would be like this.

Exactly what is proportionate to missile attack? After all two airplanes flown into a building means you can bring down governments and invade countries, was what the French did in Algeria proportionate? How about what we did in the Falklands? After all the Argentineans have a similar claim to the Falklands as the Arabs have to Israeli land.

There is no proportionate response to terrorism just because it’s a few people with a few weapons does not mean you can’t respond with deadly force. This is a psychological as well as a military war, it is going to go on until the Arabs get it into their heads that Israel is here to stay.

As for Cameron, he is going to have to start singing a different tune else he will be leader of a party with little members and little supporters much like Blair has got now.

I am so annoyed at the editor of this website when he speaks of foreign affairs. He is nothing but a Neo-Con and totally out of touch with the British people. The idea that the Conservative party is a branch of the Republican party is laughable! British Conservatism has nothing in common with the bible-loving fanatical strain of right-wing thought in America. It was this thinking that destroyed the Tories in this country.

I was vehemently opposed to the war with Iraq, and have been a strong critic of Israel, normally at odds with Tim's view but in this particular issue I am struggling to see what is in Cameron's words that could help the situation with Lebanon/Israel in any form.

What does Cameron actually think would be a 'proportionate' response? Any chance of a suggestion what he considers proportionate, to back up why he thinks Israel has acted disproportionally? No, thought not.

Of course he details nothing, just throws out an easy word to keep the LibDems onside whilst offering nothing tangible to understand what he believes Israel should have done.

Criticism is easy, advice how to act is what a "candid friend" would seek to offer, but Cameron criticises without offering any alternative. How is Israel supposed to respond to that?

Regardless of rights or wrongs, this is clever politics. Red Livingstone has shown that being anti-Israel is a vote winner in a city with a significant Jewish population. It's an absolute vote hoover in any other town in the UK.

What I hate most of all is the suggestion that bombing Hizbullah back into the Dark Age it belongs in is somehow a recruiting sergeant for likeminded Islamist terror groups. On the contrary - the reason young men join these terror groups is because they hate the very existence of Israel, not its "disproportionate" acts. Whether Israel is a dove or a hawk, Hamas and Hizbullah will still exist because Syria and Iran want them to and because extremist Islamism still has a hold over so many hearts and minds.

While Blair comes across as the statesman riding against unpopularity, Cameron seems not so much nuanced as opportunistic.

I was vehemently opposed to the war with Iraq,

I was opposed to the war with Serbia over Kosovo - the first European War since 1945 - on Iraq I was neither Pro nor Anti........but when Israel is under rocket attack I find Tony Blair a more convincing leader than David Cameron.............and it looks as if Labour is a more credible party !!! Simply unreal, but plainly self-evident.

The whole hallmark of this issue is that plenty of people are queuing up to slate Israel for acting "disproportionately", but none of them are prepared to say what they would consider to be "proportionate".

Hizbollah has not been able to kill as many Jews as it would like simply because its weapons are not sophisticated enough-not for want of trying or desire.

Hizbollah's bases are not in the clouds and its weapons did not appear by magic. Hezbollah operates from Lebanon, whose government is complicit in Hizbollah terrorism. Hizbollah built up its strength permitted by Lebanon, financed and armed by Syria and Iran. It allowed all the Hizb's arms to enter its borders. It cannot now pretend it has no responsibility for the suffering of its people.

DC's stance is extremely worrying because it equates Israel, a democratic, pluralistic and tolerant state with racist and fascist organisations like Hamas and Hizbollah which want to destroy Israel and kill the Jews. He is helping to confirm the myth that Muslims are uniquely victims and thus feeding the Islamist fantasy in this country-endangering us. Neither he nor Hague, who is as useless as part-time Foreign Shadow as he was party leader, seem to get it.

If the purpose is to show we are not US puppets then it is not the time to do this when the US and Blair are right-we should do it when they are wrong. This policy line is catastrophic and needs to change pronto.

Would Israel want to be Cameron's friend anyway?

Just looking at the way he has treated the Tory mayoral candidates would put off anyone wanting to be his mate.

This is another example of Cameron displaying his major weakness: simply reflecting a consensus and thinking it will make him popular. That is not leaderhip. Leadership is, as Lynton Crosby wrote in the Telegraph today, taking an unpopular policy and making it popular. Blair knows this, so does John Howard, and so does George Bush. Hopefully DC can still learn.

Do voters want authenticity or do they want someone who reflects opinion polls? Tony Blair was much more popular when he focus grouped everything than when he became a post 9/11 war leader - challenging public opinion.

David Cameron and William Hague ARE demonstrating considerable leadership and moral courage with their comments. It is all too easy for Conservatives, because we are friends of Israel and the US, to automatically back them in everything they do. Sometimes it is the role of friends to speak candidly and openly. Lets not fall into the trap of saying that gently questioning elements of the tactics of the Israeli and American governments is the same as being anti-Israeli or anti-American (or even pro-terrorist as some seem to be suggesting!). Many Israelis and Americans have difficulties with their governments at the moment. Just because the majority of the British public agree with the Conservative leadership on this, it doesn't instantly make the position wrong! What about the wisdom of crowds which we hear so much about on this site?!?!

The editor poses a difficult question! Clearly, always flying in the face of public opinion won't get you elected. But politicians are supposed to lead public opinion, spark public debate and, on some level, remain true to what they believe in. If not then what purpose do they serve.

On the current crisis, public opinion is what it is because of the bias of the media. Most of us here know that there is a real case to be made for Israel and their actions, and I think people could be persuaded. I also believe voters will respect a politician for showing integrity and authenticity.

By all means learn from opinion polls and focus groups, they're a valuable political tool. But please let's not be slaves to a consensus we know to be wrong.

Well, in answer to your question Tim, the public respond positively (to pollsters) to policiticans who fly on the wind of popular opinion (who doesn't like people who say nice things), but they actually vote for politicians who change the direction of the wind.

Thanks TC. I'll probably pose my question as the main topic for a future thread as it may get lost within this one.

By the way, on the subject of media bias, look at the photos used to illustrate this piece. The Conservative leader surrounded by awful pictures of Chirac and co. And on the other side warm fuzzy pictures of Bush, Howard and the Labour leader either beaming or looking resolute. Find it hard to believe that these pictures were chosen at random (look particularly at the photo of Howard and Chirac).

He hasn't gone far enough in criticising Israel, why can't people call a spade a spade and just say that Israel's actions are appalling?

Oh Dear!
No tea at the White House for Dave but I bet Hans-Gert Poettering will buy him a coffee should he ever deign to visit Brussels or Strasbourg over the next THREE years.
I hope he's not chasing the Islamic postal voting block at the expense of Jewish donations.

This time Dave is 100% right (never thought I'd say that). Israel's actions are uterly unacceptable.

It is sad that the world's reaction so far has been a meaningless vote to consolidate Israel's new land-grab with an international force.

If the invasion and destruction of a neighbouring country had been perpetrated by any other country, everyone would have been falling over each other in the rush to denounce it.

A lot is said about "democratic Israel" and the need to spread democracy in the Middle East; but, er.... Lebanon and Palestine have democratically elected leaders and ruling bodies - it seems democracy is only supported if people the West likes happen to win the elections. We must be even-handed in our judgements if our diplomacy is to be listened to. Go on Dave, speak up for the majority of us, who abhor the current violence, the invasion of Lebanon and the killing of its innocent people.

Chad: "Notting Hill .....monkey" Spouting irrelevant rubish again. What party are you supporting this week? Can I find it on FruitCakeHome.com?

Oh dear there goes Stanley Kalm's cash, Cary Street here we come.

Tory Bunny @ 21.56 - '...even if Israel destroys Hezbollah, Hamas are still next door, letalone numerous hostile states'.

Well yes, and what do YOU suggest that Israel do then, just say to Hizbollah and Hamas, OK OK just make yourselves at home, do what you like! Get real.

Actually I am a bit disappointed that David Cameron didn't make a more independant statement, rather than tying his comment to William Hague.

Cameron and Hague are right. Irrespective of the fact that the assault is justified, most people look at the scale of the damage done to Lebanon's infrastructure in a war which they didn't choose and think it's wrong.

One thing that is disproportionate is the destruction of the infrastructure such as power, airports, sea ports and fuel storage facilities. Israel could easily have blockaded the airports as they are doing to the sea ports, so why blow them up? And they could interdict fuel tankers heading into Southern Lebanon, so why create an ecological disaster by dfestroying the depots?

Another thing that is disproportionate is the use of aircraft and artillery to take out houses where there is no evidence of military presence (as at Qana) - this is deliberately placing civilians at risk. Restricting such weapons to support of ground forces would reduce the collateral damage. With better intelligence from the field, civilian casualties would be reduced.

Public opinion is not being warped by media bias - the public is fervently against moslem terrorists like Hezbollah and Hamas. It is simply responding to what it sees. The media coverage of the conflict reflects the differing levels of damage inflicted on each side. They look at the bodycount of children and conclude Israel is no better than the terrorists that attack it. That's why opinion polls show support for Israel waning.

Who is calling Israel a democratic state.Is it not true that the settlers in the West Bank vote in Israeli elections while Arabs in East Jerusalem are not allowed to?
Is the treatment of the Palestinians the sort of treatment the proIsraelis would like meeted out to themselves and are they in favour of more West Bank land being annexed-all very democratically of course- so people from abroad can settle there who have of course have votes while Palestinians dont.
What is the long term aim of Israel? How does it expect to see the mid East in 50 years or 100 years? Why are all its supporters so keen at the smashing up of Lebanon the most pro western state in the mid east and a real democracy ?

Lebanon is a confessional state and not a true democracy-if you are a Sunni Muslim you vote in Sunni Muslim constituencies-likewise if you are of another denomination. Parliamentary seats are parcelled out according to which religion you belong to according to a ludicrously out of date census. Moreover, the Lebanese government is surely responsible if a terorist group operates from its soil.

We bombed Serbia to defend Bosnian and Kosovan Muslims and killed civilians. Were we wrong? Those like Orwell who resisted Franco killed a lot of people. Was he wrong? We killed a lot of German civilians to crush Nazism-and people in the countries we liberated. Were we wrong to fight racism and fascism because a lot of people were killed in the process?

Hamas and Hezbollah are racist anf fascist groups dedicated to exterminating the Jews. To treat them and Israel on the same level is a betrayal of our duty to fight racism

>Tory Bunny @ 21.56 - '...even if Israel >destroys Hezbollah, Hamas are still next >door, letalone numerous hostile states'.

>Well yes, and what do YOU suggest that >Israel do then, just say to Hizbollah and >Hamas, OK OK just make yourselves at home, >do what you like! Get real.

so are you suggesting they attack every threat in the region?
Patsy, perhaps you need to get real and explain what the positive end result of this war is going to be?

>but none of them are prepared to say what >they would consider to be "proportionate".

Actually I did. I commented on an earlier page that if it had happened to the UK we would most probably have used MI6 & the SAS to attack the true source, not started bombing a nation. One can only guess, but if you consider what Israel have at the disposal I'd imagine this would be quite possible and then they might have maintained support from the international community (you know the 100+ nations not in the 'Anglosphere').

"Can I find it on FruitCakeHome.com?"

:-) LoL. Great start to the week!

Rallie said

"You can rest assured he would not have been conservative leader if we had known he would be like this."

Who's "we" Rallie?

I think it would be very interesting, but maybe not surprising, to learn who "we" are.

Also what's all this talk of "Anglosphere", Another idiotic racist construct.

This thread has failed so far to recognise the historic fact that the state of Israel was created through terrorism:

The evidence presented in these files is fairly compelling:


And this excellent history of the Palestine conflict: Avi Shlaim: The Iron Wall (Penguin Books, 2000)

Avi Shlaim, who holds joint Israeli-British citizenship, is professor of international relations at St Anthony's College, Oxford.

In the UN debate in November 1947 on the future of Palestine, the then British government chose to abstain saying that partition would lead to continuing conflict, an insight that has proved tragically prescient.

I am reassured to see that the benefits of a PPE education in Oxford have not been wasted on William Hague and David Cameron. The issue of whether Hezbollah is a terrorist organisation is logically and ethically distinct from the issue of whether Israel has acted "disproportionally" in Lebanon. Either or both propositions may be true of false at the same time.

So ToryBunny @ 6.56 - You seem to be suggesting that Israel should be doing nothing to defend herself, perhaps you should read Cllr Lankester's post just above yours @ 1.14am, and then ask yourself if you are not being either a little unrealistic or perhaps hypocritical. After all it seems to be alright if we bombed other places, for reasons that WE think are justified, but not if not if that 'pesky' state Israel defends itself, and in the process kills innocent people - as WE HAVE DONE also, and as for Hizbollah and Hamas since when have they ever concerned themselves with innocent people???

The only way Israelis can be absolutely sure of rooting out Hezbollah from Lebanon is to kill everyone there and turn the country into a desert.

Is that the intention?

I think we should know.

"This thread has failed so far to recognise the historic fact that the state of Israel was created through terrorism"

Bob is right. Israel is a racist state, in some ways even worse than apartheid South Africa.

Years ago I made myself unpopular with a racist clique in my Conservative Association. I am still here and they are gone, thank God. One joined the BNP.

I learned that this clique were members of the shadowy Conservative Friends of Israel as is Lord Kalms who thinks he can dictate to Cameron.

Let's hope he fails.

There is an emerging story that Israel had planned some time ago an attack on the Lebanon to reduce Hezbollah's capability to attack. Reports have a touch of conspiracy theory in linking Jack Straw's removal with the reports that Tony Blair was advised some time ago of this planned assault. However it does bear on the proportionate v disproportionate arguement.

Many friends of Israel have thought the response to a cross border attack by Hezbollah has been disproportionate in the destruction of much Lebanese infrastructure, the Lebanese economy and the undermining of an emerging pro-Western Lebanese government.

If however the assault had been in planning for some time I am even more behind Cameron & Hague as there less excuse for mistaken targetting and wrongly chosen targets. There is an understandable desire to confront terrorist organisations in a full on display of military might but this can only succeed if it is quick, overruns their positions and does as little damage as possible to adjacent & civilian areas. Israel had a plan to cut supply links and bomb out Hezbollah from the air which has been shown to be the wrong tactics. It has caused disproportionate damage to civilians compared to Hezbollah.

Hezbollah has already won in the court of public support across the Middle East just by holding out for weeks. It's capacity to damage Israel has been demonstrated and will give heart to those who wish to destroy Israel. It's likely the victors in this camaign will be the extremists.

Orwell was wrong as were the Serbian and Bosnian wars- i would question whether Hezballah and hamas want to exterminate the Jews as opposed to conquer them and possibly enslave some or all of them, however i actually agree with councillor Lankestor otherwise

Cameron and Hague deserve our full support.

Anybody who takes the contrary view should be asked whether they belong to the Conservative Friends of Israel.

They may be friends of Israel but they are NOT friends of the Conservative Party

Cameron and Hague deserve our full support.

Anybody who takes the contrary view should be asked whether they belong to the Conservative Friends of Israel.

They may be friends of Israel but they are NOT friends of the Conservative Party

"shadowy Conservative Friends of Israel"

Michael, you're not the first person to conceive of a shadowed Jewish conspiracy to undermine the nation and the party. Perhaps look at your own beliefs before condemning Israel as a racist state (a nation which actually has 7 Arab nationalist representatives in the Knesset)?

Is it true that Israel has created Jews only highways?

Is it true that arab cars have to have a licence plate identifying themselves as arabs, whereas Jews dont?

Is it true that the wall has separated palestinians from their land, requiring them to spend hours queueing to get through and meaning their crops are withering?

I am opposed to all forms of racism including anti-semitism.

And that means I'm opposed to the Zionist racism of Israel, along with its window-dressing of tame Arabs.

You seem to know al lot about this Tom. Sure you're not a member of CFI

Do none of our politicians understand the core issue in the ongoing brutal suppression by the Israelis of the Palestinians and its blitzkrieg on an innocent friendly government? Well, look at the so-called 'defensive Wall' which, in reality, delineates the borders of Israel. Because Israel failed to negotiate its intended land-grab, it has embarked on a barbaric policy of terrorisation and humiliation of the Palestinians as would be expected since its creation as a State showed the World that terrorism can succeed. How can the World leave the resolution of the problem to Israel and its puppet the USA? Its time that the World clamoured for a State of Palestine which eventually would bring peace to the area.

As to those who excuse the Israeli wholesale destruction of Lebanon and the mass murder of civilians, they are blinded by prejudice and some racist notion that Arab lives count for nothing. An Israeli General let slip the truth that Israel knowingly and, therefore, deliberately target civilans when he stated that Hezbollah are to blame because they fire their rockets from civilian areas and then run away. Why then annihilate an area if the freedom fighters are not there? Terrorists? Civilised and humane people know who the real terrorists are and areoutraged that the vast majority of our cowardly politicans do nothing but hang on to Bush and Blair's butchering overalls.

The Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI) / Rabbis for Human Rights (RHR)


The Supreme Court orders the IDF and Israel Police to protect Palestinian farmers, and their property, from attacks by violent settlers, and to act immediately and decisively to permanently uproot this phenomenon

The verdict, that was issued today in response to the petition submitted by ACRI and the organization Rabbis for Human Rights, severely criticizes the lax approach displayed by the police and security personnel in their law enforcement work against violent settlers, and ruled that the closure of territory to Palestinians in order to protect them from settlers, is akin to granting a prize for violence.

Supreme Court Justices, Dorit Beinisch, Eliezer Rivlin, and Salim Joubran, issued their verdict on the petition that was submitted by ACRI, and the organization, Rabbis for Human Rights, in 2004 by ACRI Attorney Limor Yehuda, in the name of the heads of five village councils in the West Bank. The verdict, that was written by justice Dorit Beinisch, specifically states that the IDF and the Israel Police must take all the necessary measures at their disposal to protect Palestinian farmers who wish to work their land, and to protect their right to ownership. Ensuring the personal safety and the right to ownership of local residents, the court adds, is one of the most basic responsibilities of a military commander in the field. Justice Beinisch also states that despite a certain improvement that has occurred in relation to this issue, the state of affairs is far from satisfactory, and that the results [on the ground] have not been successful in the area of law enforcement against criminal Jewish settlers.

In their verdict, the justices denote the principles that should guide the work of the security forces when dealing with incidents involving violent attacks against Palestinian agricultural workers, and deliberate damage to their property. Firstly, they state, action must be taken to ensure the personal security of the Palestinians, and when required, to physically protect them during the course of their agricultural work. This protection should be provided with the minimum disturbance to their work. Secondly, the verdict adds, clear and unequivocal instructions must be issued to forces deployed in the area as to what action to take to ensure that the farmers are not denied access to their agricultural land, other than in exceptional circumstances. Thirdly, security personnel should be allocated to protect the Palestinian residents’ right to ownership, and fourthly – complaints filed by Palestinian residents should be fully investigated as quickly as possible. With regard to this issue, the verdict further states, explicitly, that an investigation must be opened upon receipt of a report of an attack, and patrols (of security personnel) dispatched whose purpose is to uncover such actions. The verdict further states that it is highly doubtful that the police units that were established for this purpose have been provided with all the necessary means to enforce the law. Thus, the verdict continues, the law enforcement investigative and prosecution mechanisms must be upgraded.

The justices also accepted the organizations’ claim that the tool of territorial closure, to prevent Palestinian entry to land surrounding Jewish settlements and illegal outposts, had been illegitimately utilized. However, the Supreme Court did not accept the organizations’ claim, which was endorsed by a statement of opinion prepared by security experts, that there was no need in the current case to close off territory even when its stated purpose is to protect settlements in the area. The petitioning organizations are saddened that the Supreme Court chose to disregard their claim that part of the territory that was closed off was in order to defend illegal outposts. It should be noted, however, that as a result of the petition and its hearings, there was a significant reduction in the amount of territory to which Palestinians were denied entry. The court expressed a particularly severe criticism of the practical methods used to close off areas to Palestinians in cases in which the stated purpose is to protect Palestinian farmers from attacks by local settlers. Justice Beinisch states in relation to this issue that, “in order to protect Palestinian farmers, the military commander again chose to act against them, even when they are the victims of the attack”. The danger to Palestinians, she clarifies, should be prevented by forces that are designated for their protection, and through the imposition of “limitations that will act as an effective measure against individuals who are in breach of the law and attack Palestinians”. Justice Joubran further adds in regard to the limitations that were imposed on Palestinians in this context, that they are “akin to the granting of a prize for violence, and that they convey an erroneous message of submission and surrender to the individuals who break the law, even at the price of violating the basic principles upon which the state’s governing system is founded”.

For further details please contact Attorney Limor Yehuda at: 02-6521218, or Yoav Loeff, ACRI spokesman, at: 02-6521218 / Beeper: 03-6106666, subscription 36477, or Rabbi Arik Asherman, Executive Director of Rabbis for Human Rights, at: 02-6482757 / 050-5607034

Sorry Michael, not guilty.

Israel just isn't racist. Jews may get automatic citizenship, but that's because it's the Jewish state, intended to provide self-determination for a harassed and intimidated diaspora (and who says Jews have to correspond to a black-haired, white skinned stereotype? - thousands of black Ethiopian Jews were airlifted to Israel in the 80s and early 90s.) But that ignores the fact that non-Jews can also gain citizenship. Over 20% of the population are not Jewish and they have freedom of religion.

To say Arabs in Israel are tame is just a blatant misrepresentation. Both the parties represented in the Knesset are committed to an independent Palestine - hardly kow-towing to some imagined Israeli imperialist agenda.

But what about Hizbullah? Are they not racist? Didn't they apologise when one of their rockets killed a Israeli Arab but rejoice when it killed an Israeli Jew?

The foundation pillars for a civil society are human rights,the rule of law, property rights,and an accountable government. By his blind support for Israel and his refusal to listen to either his Cabinet colleagues or the electorate Mr Blair is turning his back on the core values established in Great Britain over hundreds of years. We need new Civilised leadership now.

Sounds like the allegedly moderate Michael is a fellow traveller of Hezbollah....because of you regard Zionism as being racist, then you presumably wish to see the State of Israel liquidated??


For those of you who missed it, the lead 8.10 interview on Today this morning with Benjamin Netanyahu was very interesting.

That's, by the by, the Benjamin Netanyahu who celebrates the terrorist murder of British soldiers and civilians.

So John, we're supporting these fundamental rights by aligning ourselves with a medieval band of Iran-backed zealots who want to create a religiously and ideologically homogenous Islamic Republic across the Middle East (ie. kill the Jews)?

Believe me, these men are not on the side of civilisation.

A little googling quickly yields the insight that Ehud Olmert's own father was a member of Irgun, a jewish terrorist organisation led by Menachem Begin who went on to become Israel's prime minister 1977-83.

But then:

"George Bush's grandfather, the late US senator Prescott Bush, was a director and shareholder of companies that profited from their involvement with the financial backers of Nazi Germany. The Guardian has obtained confirmation from newly discovered files in the US National Archives that a firm of which Prescott Bush was a director was involved with the financial architects of Nazism."

I would be disturbed to see ANY Conservative support for Israel, which has behaved in a thoroughly racist manner towards its Arab citizens.

I comment David Cameron's sensible comments on the issue. We need to get on side with the civilised world and cut out the far-right lunatics.

All moderate, caring and decent Conservatives will support him.

And what do all those self-styled "moderate, caring and decent Conservatives" have to say about the medieval brutality, racism and corruption which are endemic in that well-known paradise, the Islamic Republic of Iran, and among Israel's neighbours? Presumably nothing.....just as in 1938.

The Guardian has obtained confirmation from newly discovered files in the US National Archives that a firm of which Prescott Bush was a director was involved with the financial architects of Nazism."

Old old story - Prescott Bush was a banker with Brown Brothers Harriman and they underwrote LoCs and other matters with companies trading with Germany.

Now let's look at the Ford factories in Cologne, and the GM-Opel factories in Ruesselsheim making trucks with slave labour throughout the war to equip the Reichswehr.

The Guardian is a joke newspaper dredging up very old stories. Then again Bob B believes in attacking through the family tree - this was a favoured Nazi approach - indeed Helmut Schmidt the former-German Chancellor had a Jewish grandparent - but The Guardian did not publish it so he survived.

celebrates the terrorist murder of British soldiers and civilians.

unlike Gerry Adams MP, Martin McGuinness MP,

Harriman Bank was the main Wall Street connection for German companies and the varied U.S. financial interests of Fritz Thyssen, who had been an early financial backer of the Nazi party until 1938, but who by 1939 had fled Germany and was bitterly denouncing Hitler. Dealing with Nazi Germany wasn't illegal when Hitler declared war on the US, but, six days after the attack on Pearl Harbor, President Roosevelt signed the Trading With the Enemy Act. On October 20, 1942, the U.S. government ordered the seizure of Nazi German banking operations in New York City.

The Harriman business interests seized under the act in October and November 1942 included:

* Union Banking Corporation (UBC) (for Thyssen and Brown Brothers Harriman)
* Holland-American Trading Corporation (with Harriman)
* the Seamless Steel Equipment Corporation (with Harriman)
* Silesian-American Corporation (this company was partially owned by German entity; during the war the Germans tried to take the full control of Silesian-American. In response to that, American government seized German owned minority shares in the company, leaving the U.S. partners to carry on the business.)

The assets were held by the government for the duration of the war, then returned afterward. UBC was dissolved in 1951. Bush's interest in UBC consisted of one share. For it, he was reimbursed $1,500,000. These assets were later used to launch Bush family investments in the Texas energy industry. This presupposes that Union Banking Corporation was worth $4 billion, of which almost all would have been paid to the Harrimans. http://www.straightdope.com/columns/030214.html by Cecil Adams addresses this claim with some skepticism.

"The Guardian is a joke newspaper dredging up very old stories."

The Guardian was very tardy in picking up reports in American media. Try instead: http://www.john-loftus.com/Thyssen.asp

John Loftus was a prosecutor in the US Justice Department's Nazi War Crimes Unit:

"How the Bush family made its fortune from the Nazis"

"Europe should stop 'preaching' to Israel about the number of Lebanese casualties caused by its war against Hezbollah, the Israeli prime minister has said. In an interview with Germany's Welt am Sonntag, Ehud Olmert asked, 'Where do they get the right to preach to Israel?'"

A little googling quickly yields the insight that Ehud Olmert's own father was a member of Irgun, a jewish terrorist organisation led by Menachem Begin who went on to become Israel's prime minister 1977-83. Try the MI5 files at:

Speech of Charles Linbergh at Des Moines, Iowa on 11 September 1941:

"The three most important groups who have been pressing this country [America] toward war [WW2] are the British, the Jewish and the Roosevelt administration."

On 11 December 1941, Germany and Italy declared war on the USA:

Britain had declared war on Nazi Germany on 3 September 1939:

To be honest, Cameron couldn't win either way. If he truly believes in defending democracy and civilization, he could have stood up and defended Israel, but then he would have been left in Tony Blair's shadow.

Having plumped for the moral relativism option favoured by most of the British public and European leaders, he at least acquires a distinctive voice in the political discourse at home (forgetting irrelevant Ming) but will have lost a lot of goodwill from the parts of the Tory Party, and the Jewish community.

It pains me to say it, but this episode demonstrates to me that Cameron clearly lacks the leadership qualities of Churchill, Thatcher, and even Blair.

My great-uncle was a Jewish policeman in Palestine under the mandate and he was murdered by the Stern Gang.

Although my father's family has Jewish roots (I am a Christian) I am very suspicious of the racist, extremist and violent tendencies of Israel.

Support from Bush and other US elements does not reassure.

One of my relatives was born in Peshwar which Britain transferred from India to Pakistan in 1947.

Things are in a much worse state in Pakistan than in India, and terrorists and religious fanatics seem to have made a very unstable country.

Britain's foreign policy is increasingly dominated by the politics of Pakistan despite people thinking this new country created by Act of Parliament would have nothing further to do with us.

A) What the leader of the opposition says in Britain has no effect on the ground in Israel/Lebanon, so some of us should calm down.

B) Elements of Israel's attacks are disproportionate. I said on Friday that bombing power stations and water treatment plants was of little military value (Any Hizbollah camp/tunnels will have generators, und unlikely to be on mains water!). I also said that Israel should've used ground troops more and air strikes less.

Cameron is absolutely right with his measured (and mild) criticism of Israel. Hopefully he will one-day also admit the Iraq war was a dreadful mistake.

C) There is zero chance of Hizbollah wiping out Israel, and a near-zero chance of Israel wiping out Hizbollah (especially since the Lebanese people are now firmly suportive of Hizbollah). Israel's only jope is that they destroy enough of HIzbollah that they agree to stop firing rockets at Israel for a while.

That just about sums it up Jon.

"Cameron couldn't win either way. If he truly believes in defending democracy and civilization"

The Palestinians democratically elected Hamas to run the Palestinian Authority in place of Fatah. By news reports, the Israelis have arrested most members of the Hamas government. So much for for all the empty rhetoric about bringing democracy to the Middle East.

I think there's a lot of agreement here between all people of goodwill behind David's courageous stance on the problem.

It's only a vociferous fringe minority who are excluded from our consensus.

Cameron is increasingly pathetic. And Hague is once again proving that he has awful political judgment.

"I think there's a lot of agreement here between all people of goodwill behind David's courageous stance on the problem."

IMO David Cameron's big mistake - and where I fall out with him - was in supporting the Iraq war, unlike the older and wiser heads such as Dougals Hurd, Malcolm Rifkind, Ken Clarke, Douglas Hogg etc.

"Most of the Cabinet, including Mr Straw, and most of the Conservative Opposition, including David Cameron, support the action in Iraq, but have serious reservations about its conduct." - from: "How the US fired Jack Straw" by Rees-Mogg in today's The Times:

Why? Surely they weren't taken in by that claim Blair made at the G8 summit in Evian in 2003:

"Speaking at the G8 summit in Evian, Mr Blair said he stood '100%' by the evidence shown to the public about Iraq's alleged weapons programmes. 'Frankly, the idea that we doctored intelligence reports in order to invent some notion about a 45-minute capability for delivering weapons of mass destruction is completely and totally false,' he said."

Diligent followers of news about the Iraq war are unlikely to have missed this report on MSNBC of 19 August 2004:

"WASHINGTON - At least $8.8 billion in Iraqi funds that was given to Iraqi ministries by the former U.S.-led authority there cannot be accounted for, according to a draft U.S. audit set for release soon.

"The audit by the Coalition Provisional Authority’s own inspector general blasts the CPA for “not providing adequate stewardship” of at least $8.8 billion from the Development Fund for Iraq that was given to Iraqi ministries.

"The audit was first reported on a Web site earlier this month by David Hackworth, a journalist and retired colonel. A U.S. official confirmed that the contents of the leaked audit cited by Hackworth were accurate. . .

"One of the main benefactors of the Iraq funds was the Texas-based firm Halliburton, which was paid more than $1 billion out of those funds to bring in fuel for Iraqi civilians.

"The monitoring board said despite repeated requests it had not been given access to U.S. audits of contracts held by Halliburton, which was once run by Vice President Dick Cheney, and other firms that used the development funds."

That missing $8.8 billion is an awful lot of money.

You're right. He should have opposed the Iraq war.

But I think he could be learning by his mistakes.

IMO David Cameron's big mistake - and where I fall out with him - was in supporting the Iraq war, unlike the older and wiser heads such as Dougals Hurd, Malcolm Rifkind, Ken Clarke, Douglas Hogg etc.
It's got nothing to do with age, I happen to think it was the right thing to do, in the very early stages I was worried that they might simply march in kill Saddam Hussein and march out again leaving a Civil War situation (in fact this appeared to be what Douglas Hurd was advocating, he objected to regime change, but seemed perfectly happy to do what wouold effectively have caused a civil war), but when it became clear that it was their intention to leave behind a stable government then I was all for it - I am 35 but if I had opposed it I would still be 35, many of those opposing it were students or Marxist or Liberal politicians, you could find examples of people of all ages who took various views on it, it isn't even as simple as being pro or anti the war, it was obvious that Donald Rumsfeld had had an abysmal strategy for prosecuting the war not having plans prepared for a move towards forms of self government either by Iraq or newly partitioned states and he committed far too few troops - John McCain (no Spring Chicken and a War veteran himself) supported the war but made a number of observations on it.

I'm quite supportive of what Israel is doing in Lebanon but I do think it is important to point out that from the only polling done on this question DC appears to be on the side of Tory supporters even if he is not on the side of the 'Anglosphere'.

Per ICM 59% of Conservative supporters felt Israel had overeacted against 30% who felt they hadn't.

Tori Bunni @ 6.56 - you know as well as I do that I could not predict the outcome of this war any more than you can, however, I think it is fairly safe to say that if Israel had treated Hizbollah and Hamas with 'kid gloves' and offers of round the table discussions, their (Israel's) major cities would already have had major casualties and be badly damaged. But even then 'nothing would have been sorted' (to use modern parlance), because this would have been an invitation to H and H to continue what they would see as the 'good work', but maybe you would have agreed with that!

It is absolutely crucial that we regain autonomy over Britain's foreign policy before it is too late and the Neo Cons running the Bush administration entangle us in something we shall deeply regret. That piece by Rees-Mogg in today's The Times about the US sacking Jack Straw from his job as foreign secretary is very ominous IMO.

At the best of times I've not trusted Blair's judgement on most issues apart from when he agreed to a referendum on the mooted EU Constitution after a lot of shoving and pushing - remember all that enthusiasm he had about joining the Euro until the Treasury (thank heavens) concluded in June 2003 that wouldn't be in Britain's *economic* interest after all, or at least for a long time? And I think that Blair is now much preoccupied with his prospective career after he steps down from being PM here and hands over to Gordon Brown or whoever - and by several reports it appears that he is looking for a new career in America.

Btw is anyone offering odds on Blair taking up US citizenship?

Remember how Rumsfeld set the US administration going on the road to the Iraq war? Don't take my word for it:

"(CBS MarketWatch) -- A second former Bush administration official is set to accuse top presidential aides, including Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, of planning retaliatory strikes on Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, despite briefings from intelligence officials explaining that Iraq likely wasn't responsible. The accusation from Richard Clarke, a counterterrorism official at the White House until February 2003, will come first in an interview on CBS News '60 Minutes' set to be broadcast Sunday, the network said. Former Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill made similar accusations on '60 Minutes' in January."

Lebanon is being used as a proxy by Syria and Iran. They calculated that Hizbollah pressure would gradually wear Israel down and show Arab/Muslim states that Israel is a paper tiger and should be put under pressure by all Muslims. The Israelis have done what Syria and Iran did not expect and taken decisive action.

Just to show the fantasy we are seeing in the media President Lahoud of Lebanon was given a fawning interview on ITV. Lahoud is a Syrian stooge who remains from the days when Syria had agents in each Lebanese goverment and Syrian troops throughout the country. He arranged for Hizbollah to be established and for its rockets to be brought into Lebanon, supplied by Syria and Iran. This crisis is to a large extent his responsibility.

Tonight the BBC did at last have some military analysis of how HB hides its rockets-only 3 weeks after the conflict began!

What DC and the party leadership should be doing is to tell the truth repeatedly so that some of the posters here have their mistaken views corrected-that Isreal, with all its faults does not persecute non-Jews, whereas most of the Arab states treat non-Muslims as 2nd class citizens and have ethnically cleansed nearly all their Jewish citizens-ironically sending many of them to live in and strengthen Israel. There used to be 800,000 Jews in the Arab world. Damascus, Bagdhad, Cairo and Alexandria were great cosmopolitan cities with large Jewish populations. Where are they now?

It needs to be clear to all our people regardless of religion that in this country we have tackled racism over the last 40 years. We have some way still to go. But the Arab world has made absolutely no such effort. Indeed, unfortunately a sense of Arab superiority and Mulim supremacism is prevalent. True peace in the ME can only come when all the Arab confrontationist states respect the right of Israel to exist-but more; acknowledge that Arabs and Israelis, Jews, Christians and Muslims are equally worthy of respect.

In this country DC should be continually challenging the myth of unique Muslim victimhood-the idea that only Muslims are victims and Muslims can only be victims. The people who are promoting this dangerous myth are as evil as the BNP. We need to wake up and aim our equality and anti-racist policies at those who want to divide our multi-cultural nation in a sectarian way.

"In this country DC should be continually challenging the myth of unique Muslim victimhood-the idea that only Muslims are victims and Muslims can only be victims. The people who are promoting this dangerous myth are as evil as the BNP."

Actually in this situation the Muslims are indeed the victims and I've got news for you...

...the racist BNP are now supporting Israel.

John G is seriously living in fantasy land if he believes the BNP will ever truly support Israel. For Hizbollah and BNP fascists the central enemy is always the Jews.

Muslims and indeed all people of all faiths and ethnic backgrounds enjoy more freedeoms and respect here than in most countries in the world. Moreover, contrary to the pessimists we are the best integrated country in Europe with more mixed marriages and people saying they have more friends of other religions than almost anywhere else.

Unfortunately this is not reciprocated in most Arab countries. It is true that when we travel to many of these countries we are treated as honoured guests (because we are outsiders-native Christians are not treated equally)-as I have been. But then I am not a Jew. It distrsses me to have heard so many spontaneous Jew-hating remarks on my travels. What I am saying is that it does not help to cover up the truth and to try and tell a noble lie. We cannot solve problems by covering them up.

John G is seriously living in fantasy land if he believes the BNP will ever truly support Israel
One of their numerous offshoots Brimstone had an article strongly supportive of Israeli actions very recently, then again I notice that the BNP site itself had an article critical of Israeli shelling of Lebanon so they are probably hedging their bets, either that or they are just confused over the issue - then again it's not as if the BNP position on the issue really matters a jot as they are like an incarnated version of the Tower of Babel and whatever it is that Nick Griffin is actually trying to do he is never actually going to be PM and at some point no doubt the party will break apart into a number of other groups some of which will be absorbed by other partys.

Actually in this situation the Muslims are indeed the victims and I've got news for you...
Rather a simplification as in fact many Lebanese are Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox or Druze - in fact lebanon primarily has been victim to Syria, the PLO and Hezbollah; there was an agreement under which the Lebanese State was to disarm Hezbollah, this was not done and Hezbollah began launching missiles into Israel hitting non-Israeli settlements in the West Bank and an Arab Israeli community in Haifa among others, Israel was not holding any Lebanese territory and as such was fully honouring it's side of the deal, ultimately they have the right to defend themselves.

I think we owe it to David Cameron to get right behind him on ths issue.

I can recall when Isael was once popular and respected in Britain, but that's before its moderate Labor leadership was kicked out and replaced by fascist-style extremists, many of whose leaders were involved in terrorism against Britain during the mandate.

Now Israel has become a pariah state. Visit any of our European partners, as I do, and you'll discover the dislike is even greater than here.

Conservatives need to work to bring Israel into line with moderate world opinion and to show that we believe in peace, not aggression.

A State of Israel exists and, now has a right to exist. Without doubt, however, its creation was one of the worst blunders of the post-WWII period, not least because it showed the World that acts of terrorism could achieve unjust ends. Because of the injustices heaped on the Palestinians, cells of sympathizers developed, mainly, in Muslim countries. Powerless to resist the might of USA arms, these groups resorted to Israeli terrorist tactics as the only way to demonstrate their resistance. Frustration with Western support for Israel and impotence against far superior armaments translated eventually in a 'jihad' mentality against the West. Even the IRA was considerably strengthened as a response to the Palestinian injustice.

Israel's neo-con lobby incited the gullible USA regime to invade Iraq and, now, Israel concentrates its 'spin' on inciting the USA to demolish the Syrian and Iranian regimes.
All of this warmongering simply so that Israel may extend its borders by force, having failed to landgrab by negotiation.

Israel's possession of nuclear weapons is the spur for the Iranian nuclear programme -and who can blame the Iranians who can foresee that, unless justice is done for the Palestinians, they may well become embroiled in a war against Israel.

Israeli jackboots cannot be allowed to continue trampling all over the Middle East. It is time that the UN pressured the USA so that responsibility for the area rests with the body that started 'everything'.

There is only one way to resolve the otherwise endless conflict and that is by the establishment of a 'Home for the Palestinians in a Palestinian State'. The UN imposed a State of Israel so now must impose a State of Palestine. Before the atrocity of Israel's blitzkrieg on Lebanon and Gaza, there were enough realistic and/or moderate Palestinians who would agree to equitable borders drawn up by an unbiassed international court. Even Hamas had indicated its readiness to accept an Israel. Let us hope that some remain after Israel's latest horrific crimes against humanity.

Of course, after a Palestinian state is created, some vestigial resistance will continue but the perpetrators will be acting against the national interests of the State of Palestine and will rightly be termed terrorists rather than freedom fighters. Muslim extremists worldwide will lose their cause.

Yes, the whole World will benefit if the West helps bring justice to the Palestinians.

The Tory Party has the chance to be hailed as the saviour of the World by espousing the cause of a 'Home for Palestinians in a Palestinian State'.

Excellent points, Roger. No reasonable person could disagree with what you say.

There are many places where the Jewish national home could have been established without conflict. Palestine was not one of them.

I'm delighted to see that David Cameron has distanced himself from the militarist lobby, but he should go further.

The Conservative Friends of Israel is a far-right influence comparable to the Monday Club. Today's moderate party must prove that it will have no truck with either the MC or the CFI.

I understand that, like the BNP, the Monday Club is pro-Israel.

Does anybody know what UKIP policy is?

You can certainly tell these people by their far-right friends.

John, I find your comments truly disturbing. To characterise CFI, a legitimate sub-section of the party, in the manner you are doing not only shows a disdain for plurality and freedom of speech, but also demonstrates the absurd crisis in Western culture - that standing against Hizbullah should be considered 'far-right' and 'militarist'.

actually the BNP is very anti-Isreal and Zionist , indeed thier leader wrote a book about a jeiwh conspiracy to rule the world only a few years ago

Sadly there is absolutely no evidence that the establishing of a deserved Palestininian state will lead to lasting peace. The Arabs could have had a Palestinian state in 1948. They chose to try and throw the Jews into the sea-and failed. This was at a time when Israelis lived on land they had bought, or had owned for generations. There were no occupied territories and hundreds of thousands of Jews still lived in Arab countries, whereas now there are virtually none. Every time there have been negotiations, the Palestinians' leadership have chosen to maintain their goal of destroying Israel.

We should also remember that after 1948 the Gaza strip and the West Bank were indeed occupied-by Egypt and Jordan. They could have built a Palestinian state then. Instead they chose to maintain their occupation and allow the PLO to launch terrorist attacks on Israel (and "moderate" Jordan destroyed every synagogue in the OLd City or turned them into store, including animal pens).

Too many of the posters here, as is normal concerning the ME, have not bothered to learn any history. Time to study some. (I'm a history teacher).

Sorry Tom Welsh, but anyone who tries to excuse the blitzkrieging of a friendly state, a fellow member of the UN, the total destruction of civilian infrastructure, the deliberate targetting and resulting mass murder of innocent men, women and children and equate the horrific atrocities to 'standing against Hezbollah' has to be a psychopath, devoid of any human compassion.
The World is supposed to have moved on since the dark days of WWII which resulted in so many conventions setting ethical and moral standards, defining war crimes and abuses of human rights. Israel has broken every single one in its goal to create a Greater Israel.

Any half-civilised person recognises that the government of Israel and, apparently, most Israelis are, by any definition, war criminals. Seeing Olmert with that Rice woman, grinning like a jackanapes, whilst hundreds of Palestinians and Lebanese were being slaughtered was one of the most sickening sights ever witnessed.

If there are any perceptive and honest politicians in the West, they should impress on the USA, the self-proclaimed champion of freedom and democracy, that there will be no peace in the Middle East or, indeed, the World, until there is justice for the Palestinians. That justice cannot be left to the Israelis to determine; the only solution they see is 'might is right'.

What a pathetic, ludicrous idea it is that a multi-national force in Lebanon will assist in reaching a permanent ceasefire. Have we learnt nothing from Iraq? Why not deal with the root cause of the conflict in the region and of most terrorism in the World? The prospect for eventual peace must start with a HOME for the PALESTINIANS in a PALESTINIAN STATE.

"Too many of the posters here, as is normal concerning the ME, have not bothered to learn any history. Time to study some. (I'm a history teacher)"

Well Mr Lankester, maybe you'd like to tell us upon what *historical* basis vast numbers of Europeans emigrated to Palestine and usurped the land and rights of the native population?

Someone else commented about CFI. Well the far-right Monday Club has rightly been shown the door by the party and now it's time for the far-right CFI to follow suit.

I don't accuse either MC or CFI of being racist. That's for others to decide.

Well Outsider, you may be a history teacher but you are clearly no historian. Any fool can list events without analysis or choose to ignore those which are inconvenient. The fact remains that the Palestinian Arabs suffered a massive injustice which has led to six decades of conflict in the region and has been the cause of most terrorism in the World and, latterly, to Muslim Extremism.

If there were any legitimacy in imposing a State of Israel on an unwilling people, then, as the World no longer accepts the annexing of land by force of arms, the legitimate borders of Israel were delineated. The majority of Palestinians, including, I believe, Hamas is ready to acknowledge the right of an Israeli state to exist.

Of course, there is no evidence that the establishing of a State of Palestine will lead to a lasting peace but the prospects are certainly brighter than allowing the failed policies of suppression, humiliation and state atrocities to continue. There will doubtlessly be a few hardline anti-Israel groups carrying on the fight for a few years but the new Palestine will be required to give assurances that they will gradually be rooted out and prevented from operating out of Palestine. With guarantees from the UN of immediate intervention against any State-instigated violence, there is every chance of an eventual peace.

Not worth a try?

Correction to above: for 'Outsider' read 'Cllr Lankestar'.

Well you know what they say. Those that can, do; those that can't....

The good news from across the pond is that peaceloving Democrats in Connecticut have DESELECTED pro-war Senator Joe Lieberman.

That's why David is right to trial US-style primaries here. If Labour followed suit peacelovers across the political spectrum could remove all warmonger candidates and I have no doubt that this would rapidly happen.

In the meantime all our selection committees should question candidates carefully on their views on Israeli aggression. If we are to build a modern, compassionate Conservative Party, we need to screen out all far-right warmongering bigots.

Let's make it happen!

Roger Thomas @ 19.02:
"Why not deal with the root cause of the conflict in the region and of most terrorism in the World? The prospect for eventual peace must start with a HOME for the PALESTINIANS in a PALESTINIAN STATE".

Absolutely right. I contend that Bush/Blair should not have embarked on their adventure against Saddam when they did (expecting a quick victory against a country without an air force). They should have devoted themselves to the much worthier cause of establishing a nation state for the Palestinians and obtaining recognition, the one for the other, for both Palestine and Israel.
Had they done so, I do no think that we in this country would now be so fearful of another terrorist outrage and the muslim community would not feel so unsettled.

It's time for the Conservative Party to become the party of peace.


Any other line would be racist because ethnic minorities in the UK are 97% against these vile anti-Muslim crusades.

The foundation of the state of Israel was endorsed by a vote of the UN. I don't think that some of these posters have even bothered to read what I wrote. Its Arab neighbours immediately tried to annihilate it with the Arab League president declaring it would be a greater massacre than the Mongols & that the Jews would be driven into the sea. A peaceful acceptance of Israel would have led to a general peace and perhaps (if Egypt and Jordan had agreed, but remember that in nearly 20 years of occupation they did not) a Palestinian state.

The idea that Syria and Iran are so outraged about the Palestinians that they arm a racist and fascist Hezbollah is ludicrous. HB launches rocket attacks to kill Jews and openly declares it wants to destroy Israel and Jews worldwide-Nasrallah is on record about this. It launched a bombing campaign against Jewish community centres in Argentina in the 1990's which murdered 120 Argentine Jews just to show that it is serious about this goal.

Unfortunately the Arabs and Palestinian leaders are their people's worst enemies-preferring to dream of ridding the ME of "The Zionist Entity" on any borders rather than making a true peace.

"The foundation of the state of Israel was endorsed by a vote of the UN"

That was a case of shutting the stable door...

As a historian maybe you'd like to give us the details of the way in which the native peoples of Palestine were consulted prior to this decision, and tell us how much weight was given to their feelings.

"The foundation of the state of Israel was endorsed by a vote of the UN"

That was a case of shutting the stable door...

As a historian maybe you'd like to give us the details of the way in which the native peoples of Palestine were consulted prior to this decision, and tell us how much weight was given to their feelings.

Cameron is not too bothered about the rights and wrongs of making 'disproportionate' comments, or of humiliating our eurosceptic MEP's. It's all about brand positioning.

Taking Israel, the truth might well be that when an enemy fires missiles into your country using a civilian poulation as a shield, you have little choice but to attack your enemy where he is. This attack might be highly effective in persuading Lebanon to alter its management of Hizbullah. Likewise in Gaza, the descent into chaos is bringing about internal change inside Gaza and might lead to the Palestinians seeking a settlement.

But the truths and the realities are not important. Cameron is seeking to be elected to power. The media game he is playing is as deadly as any military calculation. Brand Cameron is set on victory at all costs.

Truth and traditional allegiances are all expendable in his ruthless pursuit of power.

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