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I agree with the above - I'm not sure 'disproportionate' is a good word to use re the Lebanon war but I think it's correct that Israel was wrong to extend attacks from Hizbollah to Lebanese civil infrastructure, especially civil infrastructure outside Hizbollah controlled areas, such as the Beirut airport. I don't think it was justified morally, it was a PR disaster, and I think it did not achieve any useful goal. That is not to deny Israel's right to defend itself against Hizbollah attack.

Good strong support from Cameron there, very welcome. Any moves to bring the likes of Syria or the Palestinian state into the peaceful ranks of regional co-existent countries such as Jordan and Egypt should always be accompanied with this stong and vocal support for Israel. As the only country in the region even vaguely resembling our tradition of free markets and liberal democracy Israel deserves our support and should never feel that a path to a wider peace puts that in question.

Thank you david for your support for the State of Israel, trust me we need it because there is alot of Israel bashing by the left wing British media and the one sided view of the bbc that does not give any sort of balanced reporting and by doing so infuriates British muslems and left wing idiots to make the lives of the Jewish community alot tougher and also gives them the excuse for more 7/7s because they believe everything the beeb tells them even if its all lies like the footage and reporting during invasion of Lebanon that they never appologised for and I am sure you have seen it with the so called Jenin massacre when the bbc said Israel had killed 300 or so Palestinians when in fact the number was around 15 militants so please help us clear the ru bb(c)ish and lets have a bit of truth for once. So when you are PM lets do some good and for IDS COYS he should know what that means.

Well if he knows what IDS COYS are he is one up on me!

Me too!

Iain Duncan Smith Come On You Spurs ?

The stealing of land from the Palestinians by Israel, by building a wall and settlements undermines much latent good will towards Israel. The Nazis had a word for this kind of action.
They called it 'lebensraum'.
It gives terrorists a concrete grievance against Israel. This is reflected on to Western countries and we are now paying a heavy price for this situation.

I think Cameron - in common with some previous Tory leaders - is allowing himself to be far too closely drawn in to taking a partisan stance on this conflict.

Of course we all support Israel's right to exist and her right to defend herself, but that's as far as it should go. Israel is one among many other foreign countries all of which have a right to expect impartial treatment from any future Conservative government.

Words matter, and Cameron made a grave mistake in explicily aligning the party with 'Zionism'. His qualification (which would make me a 'Zionist' also) will be forgotten immediately.

'I am a Zionist' will be long remembered.

Nice 1 Victoria you really do know your stuff...

Fair Play

The West Bank and Gaza were won in a defensive war. The Israelis also gave Gaza to the control of the Palestinians two years ago. How is that equivalent to Germany invading Poland, France, Belgium, Netherlands, Luxembourg, the Soviet Union, Norway, Dennmark and a few others?

The stealing of land from the Palestinians by Israel, by building a wall and settlements undermines much latent good will towards Israel. The Nazis had a word for this kind of action.
They called it 'lebensraum'.
It gives terrorists a concrete grievance against Israel. This is reflected on to Western countries and we are now paying a heavy price for this situation.

I cannot understand why people compare Israel with nazi Germany all the time like our friend the Leftie who wrote the above blog so
lets get this right, China, Iran, Russia, SUDAN, and so many other countries that commit crimes against humanity everyday dont get compared to nazi's why Israel, are you a friend of george galloway, tony benn and red ken?

Well, at last somebody who is not afraid to say some truths.

It's undeniable that Israel had committed some big mistakes and even crimes but the loudest voices against these has been those of Israeli citizens. Because Israel is a democracy and freedom of expression is guaranteed.

This is very different than the Arab countries when the only possible demonstrations are those which are against the West and Israel, which are the scapegoats of the failure of Arab regimes.

Islamists have an agenda. First, Israel. Then, Spain (Al-Andalus). Then, Europe. Then, the world. (Do you remember that Muslim demonstration in London with banners saying "Islam will dominate the world"?)

Don't believe me. Read the Islamist blogs and Web pages and get to your own conclusions.

If Israel is conquered, then it would be our turn.

On the circumstances concerning the foundation of the state of Israel, I suggest David Cameron would do well to read Avi Shlaim: The Iron Wall - Israel and the Arab World (Penguin 2001).

Avi Shlaim, who holds dual British-Israeli citizenship, is professor of international relations at St Anthony's College, Oxford. The book includes this passage about an event at Qibya in October 1953 in the early military career of Ariel Sharon:

". . 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.’” [p.91]

On Zionism, I found Gerald Kaufman's speech in the House of Commons on 16 April 2002 educative:

In the news today, I read that Ehud Barak is now back again as leader of the Labour Party in Israel:

When Barak was previously leader and prime minister of Israel (1999-2000), a visit to Israel, Gaza and the West Bank by a US-based human rights group, Physicians for Human Rights (PHR), led them to make this report in November 2000:

"The PHR team found that the Israel Defense Force (IDF) has used live ammunition and rubber bullets excessively and inappropriately to control demonstrators, and that based on the high number of documented injuries to the head and thighs, soldiers appear to be shooting to inflict harm, rather than solely in self-defense. . . "

And us British are Saints and do not have a history of violence? Wake up Jew hater....
I can also cut and paste propaganda from the WWW.

I thought I would never agree with cameron - but on this one, he is absolutely right. Israel has a right to defend itself and so it shall.

The Palestinian people were essentially let down (and forced to live in squalor) by their Arab brethren. The autocratic Arab states used Israel as an excuse to stifle their own people.

And now, Israel is the vanguard against Islamic extremism. We cannot afford to see Israel weaken. Well done cameron.

I have been debating online for more than 10 years now.

From that experience I've learned that it can be absolutely guaranteed that any criticism I venture of the state of Israel or the behaviour of Israeli politicians - albeit with links to extensive, robust documentation - will lead to me being called "antisemitic", "a jew hater", "a friend of David Irving" etc etc..

The safe and solid conclusion is that the case I make is basically sound and irrefutable when the response back is just facile abuse. After this, I must also conclude that Jonathan Sacks, Britain chief Rabbi, must also be antisemitic by the same logic:

"Britain's chief rabbi, Jonathan Sacks, today delivers an unprecedentedly strong warning to Israel, arguing that the country is adopting a stance 'incompatible' with the deepest ideals of Judaism, and that the current conflict with the Palestinians is 'corrupting' Israeli culture."

As the Party slogan had it in George Orwell's 1984: Ignorance is Strength

Wake up Jew hater....

That is utterly unnecessary, but so, oh so typical.

As somebody states above, the most trenchant critics of aggressive Israeli policies are often Israeli Jews, and the abuse and threats with which they have to put up is quite appalling.

In my experience the very worst abuse deployed on the internet often comes from gentiles who, for various and often oddball reasons, see themselves as 'Protectors of Israel'

However their motivation is very often simple anti-Muslim racism.

...and well done Yogi for expressing your support!

I never said Israel were saints did I?

Traditional Tory? dont you mean New Labour!

Bob B

I'd be very grateful if you could condemn the actions of Palestinian terrorists, as well as those of the state of Israel? If you believe that what Israel has done is wrong, then would you care to denounce the thousands of people killed by suicide bombers, the daily random attempts at murder through Kassam rockets, the rejection of the 2000 Camp David peace deal by Yasser Arafat, and the beliefs of Hamas and others in wishing to wipe out the state of Israel & all of its Jewish inhabitants?

Well said Powellite, it is always one sided.

By way of follow-up, the point Cameron makes about equivalence is amply illustrated by this just in from the Jerusalem Post:

"The Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) announced Wednesday that it had arrested two Palestinian women who were planning a double suicide bombing in Tel Aviv in late May.

One of the women was a 39-year-old mother of eight in her ninth month of pregnancy, and the other was a 30-year-old mother of four. Both were arrested at Erez Crossing."

Is this the sort of thing that Israelis do? Thankfully many Palestinians do not condone actions such as this, but is it really Israeli 'occupation' which leads a pregnant mother to blow herself and her child to bits, as Jenny Tonge and other believe?

Are you seriously suggesting that Israel's actions should be judged in comparison with these maniacs?

I believe that Israel should be judged in comparison with the western democracies.

Trad Tory

I take your point, but let me ask you this: how many other western democracies face suicide attacks on a weekly basis (most of which are foiled by the excellent Israeli security forces and go unreported in the rest of the world)? How many other western countries have rocket attacks against them every day? How many other countries face enemies such as Iran whose leader wishes to annihilate them? How many other western countries are refused diplomatic recognition by Arab and Muslim countries simply on the basis of their existence?

In the face of all of these things, it's remarkable that Israel is restrained as it is. What would your response be?

"I'd be very grateful if you could condemn the actions of Palestinian terrorists, as well as those of the state of Israel?"

C'mon. Wake up to the realities. The foundation of Israel was steeped in blood long before the manifestation of Palestinian suicide bombers:

Consider the sinking of the Patria in Haifa harbour - an early example of a Haganah atrocity and in 1940 when Britain was already at war against Nazi Germany:

"In January 1941, Stern attempted to make an agreement with the German Nazi authorities, offering to 'actively take part in the war on Germany's side' in return for helping Jewish refugees to come to Israel into a Jewish State. Another attempt to contact the Germans was made in late 1941, but there is no record of a German response in either case."

Terrorist bombing of the King David Hotel, Jerusalem on 22 July 1946 proved that terrorism pays - the organiser of that atrocity, Menachem Begin, went on to become prime minister of Israel 1977-82:

The deir Yassin atrocity in April 1948:

The Qibya massacre in October 1953 - Ariel Sharon implicated: see above for citation of Avi Shlaim: The Iron Wall.

"The 1982 massacres of Palestinians at Sabra and Shatila refugee camps claimed the lives of at least 800 civilians, murdered by Lebanese Christian militiamen allied to Israel during its brief occupation of the Lebanese capital, Beirut. The killings are considered the worst atrocity of Lebanon's 15-year civil war and perhaps during the entire Middle East conflict. . . Mr Sharon resigned his post after an Israeli commission of inquiry established that he bore indirect responsibility for the deaths for 'having disregarded the danger of acts of vengeance' by the militias when he allowed them into the camps."

"Khiam prison was a detention and interrogation centre during the years of the Israeli occupation in Southern Lebanon. From 1985 until the Israeli withdrawal this May, thousands of Lebanese were held in Khiam without trial. Most of them were brutally tortured - some of them died. Israel has always sought to escape responsibility for what was done in Khiam; Israel Accused asks where the blame for what Amnesty International calls 'war crimes' really lies."

The PHR report in November 2000 quoted above.

The Lebanon War last summer - in which approximately 10 times as many Lebanese were killed compared with Israeli fatalities - and a third were children, according to UN reports.

And so it goes on and on. At the UN debate in November 1947 on the future of Palestine, the then British government abstained on the substantive motion to partition Palestine saying that partisition would lead to continuing conflict - which has proved to be a thoroughly sound judgement about the future. As the situation stands today, I doubt that a two-state solution for Palestine is feasible now.

Btw can anyone here seriously believe that calling me a "jew hater" is going to compensate for this appalling documented history of atrocities.

IDS' article on Israel being the most vulnerable nation on the planet at the time of the second Lebanon war was one of the most viewed and commented on articles we've ever had on CH. Might be worth a look...

I sympathise with their position and admire their tenacity but I do not accept that their struggle is our struggle.

Ultimately demographic change will doom the Jewish national state and these sacrifices will have been for nothing.

Bob B

Whilst I accept that someone could take serious issue with what Israel does and has done, I'm very sorry that you believe that it is a justification for mass-murder to take place. I was always taught that the deliberate murder of innocents was something which could not be tolerated, and it's something I still hold to. I fervently hope that you will do so too, and I would invite you again to condemn unequivocally the actions of Palestinian terrorists in murdering innocents.

Bob B, I thought you were going to come back with a balanced reflection on the actions of Palestinian terrorists, too. Sadly not.

"C'mon. Wake up to the realities. The foundation of Israel was steeped in blood long before the manifestation of Palestinian suicide bombers."

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I read that as thinly veiled justification for terrorism - if not that, at least an alleviation of responsibility on the terrorist's part. There is no excuse for terrorism.

I believe Israel has a right to exist, and I think a two state solution is the only viable one - Gaddaffi's idea of a Federal Holy Land was an interesting idea, but I don't see it happening. What everyone has to accept is that, like it or not, Israel exists. We see the same line of argument on troop withdrawl from Iraq and Trident renewal - people do not like the original action, so they act accordingly 'oh just pull out of Iraq', 'get rid of nuclear weapons and Kim will have a change of heart'.

Israel exists. I personally feel it has a right to. Whether people agree or not, that doesn't change the fact it is there. All plans must accept this fact, otherwise we'll get nowhere.

Boris Johnson summed it up very neatly in his Telegraph column at the time of the last Lebanon bombing.

Every time an Israeli bomb killed an innocent Lebanese civilian, it was because it missed its target.

Every time a Hizbollah rocket killed an innocent Israeli citizen, it was because it hit its target.

The two sides are not morally equivalent.

Israel may be hamfisted and disproportionate at times, but then so is the US (and so are we) in Iraq and Afghanistan!

I absolutely condemn ALL terrorism and atrocities, including the atrocities, terrorism and torture inflicted directly or indirectly by Israelis on their adversaries - that's the big difference between me and the pervasive activists in the Israel lobby.

My criticisms of Israel and Israelis are largely based on what I've learned from jews like Gerald Kaufman, Avi Shlaim and the Jews For Justice For Palestine - and all praise be unto them for publicising the truth about these matters.

While we are about it, perhaps someone here can help to illuminate this amazing bit of history:

"[Robert] Maxwell was given a funeral in Israel better befitting a head of state than a publisher, as described by author Gordon Thomas:

"On November 10, 1991, Maxwell’s funeral took place on the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem, the resting place for the nation’s most revered heroes. It had all the trappings of a state occasion, attended by the country’s government and opposition leaders. No fewer than six serving and former heads of the Israeli intelligence community listened as Prime Minister Shamir eulogized: 'He has done more for Israel than can today be said' (Gideon's Spies: The Secret History of the Mossad, St. Martin's Press, 1999).

"Maxwell's death triggered a flood of revelations about his controversial business dealings and activities. It emerged that, without adequate prior authorisation, he had used hundreds of millions of pounds from his companies' pension funds to finance his corporate debt, his frantic takeovers and his lavish lifestyle. Thousands of Maxwell employees lost their pensions."

What's your point Bob B? That Israel is, in your view, so morally corrupt and bankrupt that it ought to cease to exist?

Israel is a legitimate state. It isn't going anywhere.

Withdrawing to the 1967 borders sounds like a nice idea, but experience of withdrawal from southern Lebanon and Gaza demonstrates that it in all likelihood wouldn't be enough. Indeed, if Gaza is anything to go by, withdrawal from the West Bank may well unleash a bloody civil war where the participants take time out from killing each other to prove their worthiness to lead by attacking Israel.

What's your solution?

Bob B,

You can easily trumpet what you claim are individual acts of Israeli aggression, but you refuse to condemn Palestinian agression explicitly and by name, only lumping them in with "all terrorists".

To me that's a great big red anti-Semitic flag right there.

Palestinian terrorism. Not "suicide bombers" - they target and kill Israeli civilians. Will you or won't you explicitly condemn Palestinian terrorism, as such, and specifically Palestinian?

Otherwise, yes, I certainly put you in the anti-Semitic bracket.

What's your point, Bob B? So Maxwell was a crook, not everyone thought so the day he died. As your own cut'n'paste job says "Maxwell's death triggered a flood of revelations about his controversial business dealings and activities" - i.e. it wasn't widely accepted before (albeit some dissident voices did shout about it at Private Eye for example). Are you really trying to say that Israel would deliberately lionise a money-grabbing thief? If you are the accusations of prejudice above may not be so wide of the mark!

Bob B,

Personally I have no particular allegiance to either Israel or Palestine in this. I want peace and self determination for all. So let me ask you some questions.

If a terrorist group wanted to destroy the United Kingdom, would you put the criticism of the actions of British forces above and beyond the carnage caused by the terrorist attacks upon this country?

Would you unilaterally accept the criticism of our European partners or the USA eventhough we were under attack and act in a conciliatory manner to those terrorists even if that increases the risk of attacks on the innocent in this country?

Furthermore, would you seriously expect our Government to negotiate with a group who are insistent on taking away your country and pursue their goals by subjecting you and your fellow citizens to frequent suicide bombings and missile attacks?

Finally, how do you think your standpoint of highlighting some of the dreadful moments in Israel's turbulent history are going to help in brokering peace and freedom for the Palestinians?

Here's another point Ladies and Gentlemen: What is the legitimacy of even believing in a two-state solution? Prior to the six days war, the West Bank was occupied by Jordan. This occupation was illegal. If you look at the San Remo Accords that set out the formalised borders of the new Middle Eastern states in 1920, it was agreed that the Palestine mandate would encompass all land up to the River Jordan; the state of Transjordan did not include the West Bank. Transjordan seized the West Bank in the Israeli war of independence in 1948 - formally annexing it in 1950, an annexation that only Britain recognised.

All the events of 1967 did was replace one form of illegal occupation with another. Why is there a 'right' for a new Palestinian state to include this land?

The stealing of land from the Palestinians by Israel,

So your are an Irredentist then ? Do you support the Sudeten Germans in their struggle to recover their land in Czechoslovakia from which they were expelled in 1945-48 ?

Or do you support the Poles seeking to recover their ancient city of Lwow from Ukraine ?

The only country that would benefit if Israel did not exist is Syria which would have borders with Saudi Arabia. It is Lebanon which the French created on Syrian territory - redrawing maps will be bloodier than Iraq has been - do you have children willing to fight ?

Even Human Rights Watch has now been forced to condemn the Palestinians:

The Human Rights Watch organization Wednesday condemned Hamas and Fatah for committing ‘serious violations of international humanitarian law, in some cases amounting to war crimes’ in violence in Gaza in recent days. It also took the Islamic Jihad and the Fatah Al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades to task for a June 9 incident in which gunmen used a jeep bearing ‘TV’ insignias to allow them to approach and attack an IDF post in southern Israel, calling it a ‘serious violation of the laws of war.’ In internal Palestinian fighting over the last three days, both Fatah and Hamas military forces have summarily executed captives, killed people not involved in hostilities, and engaged in gun battles with one another inside and near Palestinian hospitals,’ the organization said in a statement.

The above is a extract from today's entry in Melanie Phillips Diary. It is also reported that some of the Palestinian elite wish that the Israelis would return to govern. Read it all.

Bob B and some of the commenters: you are so one sided that I can only conclude that listening to the BBC has addled your thinking, or perhaps you have a death wish?
Even the Boy has seen the light and isn't so "disproportionate" as he was.

I was there and I thought DC was excellent. He knew alot of the detail of what he was talking about - not just full of gut reactions. He rightly pointed out the fact that Israel is a democracy that should supported, and that sorting out the Israeli- Palestine issue is not going to sort out terrorism by itself - Osama Bin Laden didn't get into this because of Israel - the lack of democracy and the despotic corruption in most muslim countries is a key cause.

"That Israel is, in your view, so morally corrupt and bankrupt that it ought to cease to exist?"

Good grief - for heaven's sake look at the evidence I've posted above and this:

Yitzak Rabin, prime minister of Israel, was assassinated in 1995 by a right-wing fanatic evidently enraged at the prospect of progress in the peace process with the Palestinians.

Just in the news today, Simon Peres has had to take on the presidency of Israel as the incumbent, Moshe Katsav, had to step down pending a trial on an indictment for rape:

Haim Ramon, the justice minister at the outbreak of the Lebanon war last summer, had to resign after a conviction on charges of sexual harrassment of a subordinate:

Sharon's son, Omri, was jailed on corruption charges:

On the compounding evidence, Israeli politicians are completely morally bankrupt.

The bizarre excuse of Boris Johnson that hundreds of Lebanese civilians and children were slaughtered by accident is at odds with the UN reporting the widespread distribution of cluster bombs by the Israelis just before hostilities ended. Boris would do better to lay off the viagra if that is the best defence he can mount on behalf of Israel.

Frankly, The Israel lobby bleating in unison, like the sheep in Orwell's Animal Farm: Israeli atrocities goood, Palestinaian atrocities baaad, isn't very convincing. In the face of all the evidence, Cameron risks looking at best foolish by backing Israel.

At the UN debate in Novermber 1947 on the future of Palestine, Britain's then government warned that partition would lead to continuing conflict, a wise assessment at the time that has proved to be well-founded by what has happened since.

You must be so disappointed that your side lost in 1945, Bob B.

"You must be so disappointed that your side lost in 1945, Bob B."

It's precisely that sort of pathetic comment that proves the complete moral and intellectual bankruptcy of the Israel lobby.

I repeat, most of what I've learned about the history of Israeli atrocities has come from jews like Avi Shlaim, Gerald Kaufman and Jews For Justice For Palestine.

When it comes to it, the history of serial atrocities is well documented. Pointing to the history of atrocities doesn't logically imply that I'm therefore a supporter of National Socialism or a holocaust denier - it happened that a V1 Flying bomb landed down one end of the road in London where I lived in June 1944 and then in January 1945, a V2 ballistic rocket landed down the other.

Why would I want to support Hitler or fascism when I later counted German refugee families among my boyhood friends and then among my girlfriends?

What happens to all the Israelis once you've dissolved the state of Israel?

It won't be a matter of me dissolving the state of Israel - more a question of what happens when the international community gets thoroughly sick of tolerating the atrocities of the corrupt, racist state of Israel.

A far more relevant and pressing issue is what is going to happen to Israelis who are presently occupying land conquered in the Six Day War in 1967.

'Bob B' - It is interesting, given your apparent sympathies, to see how at this very moment, the Palestinians are demonstrating (entirely amongst themselves) how absolutely qualified they are to run a country! Tribal factionalsim, running around shooting at anything and everything, throwing people off roofs (apparently), they won't be able to govern a country until they realise it involves paper and pen, and not endless guns.

Of course I am sure you will organise an argument to 'prove' it is all the fault of Israel.

Bob B it would seem from the evidence of what you have posted on this thread that the racist, in a particularly pernicious, trotskyite, way, is you.

However I'm not going to get into arguing the case itself I just wish to say that I support Cameron's comments 100% and am much heartened to know that that is what he believes and the Conservative party continues to stand for.

Come on Bob, have the courage of your convictions and actually type out what you think plainly for all to see.

You'd quite like to see Israel cease to exist. As such, your 'solutions' can ignore the need for Israel to be secure because you not concerned with it being secure.

Kenya by all accounts is a pretty corrupt place, what bearing does that have on our relations with them? What about South Africa given the unpleasant things the ANC used to get up to? What about the central Asian republics of the ex-Soviet Union?

Israel is in the front line of the war against Islam and the Muslim atrocities in UK have proved that we're not far behind.

The big difference is that under Bliar we shilly shally around while the Israelis ACT. They know their enemy and they know how to deal with them.

Bob B is typical of the kind of clown who think you can make peace with (a) Hitler (b) The Alien Menace which threatens Israel Britain and the whole of Europe.

We can learn from Israel. Unite with the Israeli fighters against Terror.

Bob B

I repeat my call. If you are not an anti-semite, specifically condemn Palestinian terrorism, not just "all terrorism", and condemn the Palestinian bombers as murderers, not just "suicide" bombers. They kill Israelis, not merely themselves.

Yitzak Rabin, prime minister of Israel, was assassinated in 1995 by a right-wing fanatic evidently enraged at the prospect of progress in the peace process with the Palestinians.

Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi was heading to an afternoon prayer meeting in New Delhi on 30 January 1948, when out of the crowd gathering around him, rushed a man brandishing a Beretta revolver. The man -- a Hindu militant called Nathuran Godse -- went straight up to Gandhi and shot him three times at point-blank range.

Your point is ?

"the racist, in a particularly pernicious, trotskyite, way, is you"

Now I'm a "trotskyite" instead of a Nazi - anything, but anything, to avoid addressing the real issue of the deeply shameful history of serial Israeli atrocities which have been well documented by some commentators on the Middle East who happen to be jews - like Avi Shlaim, Gerald Kaufman and Jews For Justice For Palestine.

For the sake of objectivity, go away for starters and read Avi Shlaim's widely acclaimed book: The Iron Wall (Penguin 2001) for a history of the foundation of Israel and relations between Israel and the Arab World. The author holds joint British-Israeli citizenship and is professor of international relations at St Anthony's College, Oxford, hardly a hotbed of rampant National Socialism, Trotskyism or antisemitism.

After debating many different issues online for the last 10 years and more, by now I'm thoroughly familiar with the standard tactic of the Israel lobby of heaping personal abuse on anyone who stands up to criticise Israel and Israeli politicians and, worse still, carefully documents the issues. That experience rather conclusively demonstrates for me the complete moral and intellectual bankruptcy of the hugely active Israel lobby. The way I figure it is that if they had anything of case then they would pick up on the links posted to the extensive documentation and cut down the vacuous personal abuse which proves absolutely nothing.

"I repeat my call. If you are not an anti-semite, specifically condemn Palestinian terrorism, not just 'all terrorism', and condemn the Palestinian bombers as murderers, not just "suicide" bombers. They kill Israelis, not merely themselves."

In my world view, the logical implication of quantifier "all" includes both Palestinian and Israeli terrorists.

The fact is that Menachem Begin proved very graphically with the bombing of the King David Hotel, Jerusalem in July 1946 that terrorism does work. By electing him as PM of Israel 1977-82, Israelis showed that they esteemed terrorists. So be it. They can hardly complain if others draw similar conclusions.

Bob B is fighting old wars. What Begin did is long ago and he is dead. In the past I would have agreed with him on that.

Like a lot of older Conservatives I was brought up in a family which was rather anti-Jewish in a casual sort of way.

I mean my father, who was a true blue Tory all his life used to use words which wouldnt be allowed nowadays and I think most oldtime Tories thought that way. He wasnt a Nazi. He hated all Germans. Funny thing for some reason he always used to lump the Jews in with the Germans. He said they were behind the Kaiser.

But now the Jews and ourselves are on the same side against this new worldwide terror menace. Open your eyes and see that for yourself.

We must fight force with force just like the Israelis do.

Good to hear this from Cameron - fleshing out, growing in confidence, making more sense. He should also be listening to the Hamas side. See Spectator interview at The Coffee House with the senior Hamas figure. There are two sides to the conflict, and both need to be listened to.

Anti-semite and racist.

You will condemn Israeli terrorists (as you call them) specifically, but will not condemn Palestinian ones in the same way, only lumping them in generically.

Congratulations to David Cameron for defending the state of Israel.

bob b,or is it (BOBBC) is it that you can only read anti Israeli propaganda e.g. Avi Shlaim, Gerald Kaufman and Jews For Justice For Palestine, try reading something else for once like A Place Amongst the Nations by B Natanyahu that is pro Israeli and is full of facts that you can confirm (by source) so you can have a balanced opinion, just a thought! and as for Israel's violent past I will again say, just look at your own first.(people who live in glass houses comes to mind)

I agree with Tapestry. While people like Bob B seem to betray an anti-Zionism akin to anti-Semitism, that should not blind us to the danger of 'taking sides' in a dispute which is not our dispute, but which nevertheless threatens the peace and security of the entire world.

In recent years we have heard a great deal -much of it false - about Conservatives being totally out of step with public opinion (Immigration, Europe, blah, blah, blah.)

But on the Israel issue many Tories are totally out of step with the general opinion even of the most apolitical men and women in the street.

I am not saying that ultra pro-Israeli Tories should necessarily change their sincerely held opinions, but I do sometimes wonder whether they 'get out' as much as they should.

If they did, they might realise that the support of the public can certainly not be relied upon, and that they have a massive battle to win hearts and minds.

Possibly - very possibly - this doesn't concern them.

Traditional Tory - I am surprised to hear you make that argument. You are usually arguing for purist principles over pragmatism. The principled position is that Israel has a right to exist in peace within secure borders (and so does Palestine) and that they have the first right of every nation, namely self-defence.

There is nothing "ultra" about this moderate and reasonable position. Nor is there anything "ultra" about stating that there is no moral equivalence between homicidal Palestinian terrorist bombers and the democratic state of Israel.

The public mostly see what they are fed by the BBC. An incoming Conservative government must look at anti-Israeli BBC bias.

I am neither a Jew nor am I an Israeli citizen, I am however an objective viewer of Middle Eastern affairs, who has spent a great deal of time in both Israel and the Palestinian Territories.

Israel is the only fully functioning democracy in the Middle East. Within Israel women, gays, Christians, Jews and Muslims all have equal rights. Indeed Muslims living within Israel have more rights than Muslims living in many Arab countries.

In Israel the rule of law applies, that is why politicians such as Moshe Katsav, Maim Ramon and Omri Sharon have to stand down when they are found to have done wrong and in the case of some of them, they actually go to jail. So Israel has a few crooked politicians, so what? After all in Britain we have Peter Mandelson, Stephen Byers, Lord Levey, Lord Archer, and Jonathan Aitkin to name but a few!

Israel has been under constant attack since 1947, not just from the Palestinian Territories but from all of her surrounding countries. Israel has a right and a duty to defend her borders and her citizens from these murderous attacks.

There is nothing wrong with criticising Israel; I myself often criticise certain aspects of Israeli government policy. You, Bob B go well beyond what would be regarded as reasonable criticism of Israel.

The situation in the Middle East is desperately sad. I do wish people would stop making matters worse with their disproportionate attacks on Israel while turning a seemingly blind eye to the actions of other nations.

As bob b and others on this blog have said recently aswell as arab leaders and media outlets have long been addicted to comparing Israel to the Nazi regime while at the same time demeaning the extent of the Holocaust,well here are some facts. This obsession with defaming and antagonizing the Jewish people and state was on full display in recent months and reached a crescendo – or rather nadir – the day before Pope John Paul II visited the Temple Mount during his Holy Land pilgrimage. The Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, Sheikh Ekrima Sabri, just hours before hosting the Pope, gave a series of press interviews, first telling the AP: "The figure of 6 million Jews killed during the Holocaust is exaggerated and is used by the Israelis to gain international support… It’s not my problem. Muslims didn’t do anything on this issue. It’s the doing of Hitler who hated the Jews," asserted the acid-tongued Mufti – a figure appointed by Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat. "Six million? It was a lot less," Sabri repeated for an Italian newspaper. "It’s not my fault if Hitler hated the Jews. Anyway, they hate them just about everywhere." The Mufti finished the day with Reuters, charging, "We denounce all massacres, but I don’t see why a certain massacre should be used for political gain and blackmail." However, as a matter of record, there was a well-documented, thriving relationship between the Arab/Muslim world and Nazi Germany, with perhaps the most significant figure linking Hitler to the Middle East being none other Sabri’s very own predecessor, Grand Mufti of Jerusalem Haj Amin el-Husseini. Here is a brief review of that dark, overlooked chapter in history.

The Führer’s Mufti: After World War I, the Great Powers of Europe jockeyed for influence in the Middle East’s oil fields and trade routes, with France and Britain holding mandates throughout most of the region. In the 1930s, the fascist regimes that arose in Italy and Germany sought greater stakes in the area, and began courting Arab leaders to revolt against their British and French custodians. Among their many willing accomplices was Jerusalem Mufti Haj Amin el-Husseini, who fled Palestine after agitating against the British during the Arab Revolt of 1936-39. He found refuge in Iraq – another of Her Majesty’s mandates – where he again topped the British most wanted list after helping pull the strings behind the Iraqi coup of 1941. The revolt in Baghdad was orchestrated by Hitler as part of a strategy to squeeze the region between the pincers of Rommel’s troops in North Africa, German forces in the Caucuses and pro-Nazi forces in Iraq. However, in June 1941 British troops put down the rebellion and the Mufti escaped via Tehran to Italy and eventually to Berlin.

Once in Berlin, the Mufti received an enthusiastic reception by the "Islamische Zentralinstitut" and the whole Islamic community of Germany, which welcomed him as the "Führer of the Arabic world." In an introductory speech, he called the Jews the "most fierce enemies of the Muslims" and an "ever corruptive element" in the world. Husseini soon became an honored guest of the Nazi leadership and met on several occasions with Hitler. He personally lobbied the Führer against the plan to let Jews leave Hungary, fearing they would immigrate to Palestine. He also strongly intervened when Adolf Eichman tried to cut a deal with the British government to exchange German POWs for 5000 Jewish children who also could have fled to Palestine. The Mufti’s protests with the SS were successful, as the children were sent to death camps in Poland instead. One German officer noted in his journals that the Mufti would liked to have seen the Jews "preferably all killed." On a visit to Auschwitz, he reportedly admonished the guards running the gas chambers to work more diligently. Throughout the war, he appeared regularly on German radio broadcasts to the Middle East, preaching his pro-Nazi, anti-Semitic message to the Arab masses back home.

To show gratitude towards his hosts, in 1943 the Mufti travelled several times to Bosnia, where on orders of the SS he recruited the notorious "Hanjar troopers," a special Bosnian Waffen SS company which slaugh-tered 90% of Bosnia’s Jews and burned countless Serbian churches and villages. These Bosnian Muslim recruits rapidly found favor with SS chief Heinrich Himmler, who established a special Mullah Military school in Dresden.

The only condition the Mufti set for his help was that after Hitler won the war, the entire Jewish population in Palestine should be liquidated. After the war, Husseini fled to Switzerland and from there escaped via France to Cairo, were he was warmly received. The Mufti used funds received earlier from the Hilter regime to finance the Nazi-inspired Arab Liberation Army that terrorized Jews in Palestine.

The Arab Embrace of Nazism: Husseini represents the prevalent pro-Nazi posture among the Arab/Muslim world before, during and even after the Holocaust. The Nazi-Arab connection existed even when Adolf Hitler first seized power in Germany in 1933. News of the Nazi takeover was welcomed by the Arab masses with great enthusiasm, as the first congratulatory telegrams Hitler received upon being appointed Chancellor came from the German Consul in Jerusalem, followed by those from several Arab capitals. Soon afterwards, parties that imitated the National Socialists were founded in many Arab lands, like the "Hisb-el-qaumi-el-suri" (PPS) or Social Nationalist Party in Syria. Its leader, Anton Sa’ada, styled himself the Führer of the Syrian nation, and Hitler became known as "Abu Ali" (In Egypt his name was "Muhammed Haidar"). The banner of the PPS displayed the swastika on a black-white background. Later, a Lebanese branch of the PPS – which still receives its orders from Damascus – was involved in the assassination of Lebanese President Pierre Gemayel.

The most influential party that emulated the Nazis was "Young Egypt," which was founded in October 1933. They had storm troopers, torch processions, and literal translations of Nazi slogans – like "One folk, One party, One leader." Nazi anti-Semitism was replicated, with calls to boycott Jewish businesses and physical attacks on Jews. Britain had a bitter experience with this pro-German mood in Egypt, when the official Egyptian government failed to declare war on the Wehrmacht as German troops were about to conquer Alexandria.

After the war, a member of Young Egypt named Gamal Abdul Nasser was among the officers who led the July 1952 revolution in Egypt. Their first act – following in Hitler’s footsteps – was to outlaw all other parties. Nasser’s Egypt became a safe haven for Nazi war criminals, among them the SS General in charge of the murder of Ukrainian Jewry; he became Nasser’s bodyguard and close comrade. Alois Brunner, another senior Nazi war criminal, found shelter in Damascus, where he served for many years as senior adviser to the Syrian general staff and still resides today.

Sami al-Joundi, one of the founders of the ruling Syrian Ba’ath Party, recalls: "We were racists. We admired the Nazis. We were immersed in reading Nazi literature and books... We were the first who thought of a translation of Mein Kampf. Anyone who lived in Damascus at that time was witness to the Arab inclination toward Nazism."

These leanings never completely ceased. Hitler’s Mein Kampf currently ranks sixth on the best-seller list among Palestinian Arabs. Luis Al-Haj, translator of the Arabic edition, writes glowingly in the preface about how Hitler’s "ideology" and his "theories of nationalism, dictatorship and race… are advancing especially within our Arabic States." When Palestinian police first greeted Arafat in the self-rule areas, they offered the infamous Nazi salute - the right arm raised straight and upward.

The PLO and notably Arafat himself do not make a secret of their source of inspiration. The Grand Mufti el-Husseini is venerated as a hero by the PLO. It should be noted, that the PLO’s top figure in east Jerusalem today, Faisal Husseini, is the grandson to the Führer’s Mufti. Arafat also considers the Grand Mufti a respected educator and leader, and in 1985 declared it an honor to follow in his footsteps. Little wonder. In 1951, a close relative of the Mufti named Rahman Abdul Rauf el-Qudwa el-Husseini matriculated to the University of Cairo. The student decided to conceal his true identity and enlisted as "Yasser Arafat."

Bob B would probably go with the Mufti if he had the chance, right?

So Islamo-fascists really are closely aligned with the Nazis. That's no surprise.

Let's unite with the Israelis to fight the enemy within

"Bob B would probably go with the Mufti if he had the chance, right?"

You are evading the issue of serial Israeli atrocities again. None of that stuff about the Mufti accounts for the terrorist bombing of SS Patria in Haifa harbour by Haganah in 1940:

Or the terrorist bombing of the King David Hotel in Jerusalem on 22 July 1946, organised by Menachem Begin, who went on to become PM of Israel 1977-82:

Or the massacre of Palestinian Arabs at Deir Yassin during 9-11 April 1948:

Or the massacre at Qibya on the West Bank by a special unit under the command of Ariel Sharon on 18 October 1953:

Etc etc.

Read Avi Shlaim: The Iron Wall (Penguin 2001)

As we learned to our cost in Northern Ireland - extremism begat extremism.

Do you not mean as we are still learning in Northern Ireland?

So what do you want to see happen Bob B? Every nation makes mistakes including Britain. I have been quite critical of some of Israels. Nevetheless the Israeli system of government and most of its politicians are far ,far superior to any others in the region. So I ak again, what do you want to see happen in that region?

Bob, do you really believe everything you read on Wikipedia? WOW!!! for a second I thought you were intelligent.

Bob you really want to know about what happened at Deir Yassin or you going to carry on sticking your head in the ground or closing your eyes.

So much has been written and said about what happened at Deir Yassin that the battle waged on the morning of April 9 has become known as the 'Deir Yassin Massacre'. It is important to analyze the events and to distinguish between fact and fiction.
Massacre means the killing of defenceless people. The 1929 slaughter of the Jews of Hebron by Arabs in the middle of the night was a massacre. When Arab workers at the Haifa refinieries assailed their Jewish co-workers in February 1948, murdering more than 40 of them, a massacre can be said to have taken place. In both cases, the killings were premeditated. The brutal murder of settlers at Kfar Etzion by Arab Legion soldiers in May 1948, after the defenders had surrendered and were defenceless, was also a massacre.
But Deir Yassin?
Firstly, strict orders were given in advance to the fighters not to harm the elderly, women and children. It was also stated explicitly that any Arab who surrendered was to be taken prisoner.
Secondly, an unprecedented action took place at Deir Yassin - a loudspeaker was installed on an armored car to inform the population that the road to Ein Karem was open and safe, and that whoever left the village would not be harmed. The strike force was actually prepared to forfeit the surprise element of battle in order to issue these instructions and thus to prevent Arab civilian casualty.
The Arabs do not deny the use of a loudspeaker; indeed, an Arab League publication entitled "Israeli Aggression" states, inter alia:

"On the night of April 9, 1948, the peaceful Arab village of Deir Yassin was surprised by a loudspeaker, which called on the population to evacuate it immediately."
Thirdly, it is universally agreed that there was bitter fighting at Deir Yassin. More than 100 Arab fighters were well equipped and had large amounts of ammunition. The Arabs occupied fortified positions in stone buildings, while the attackers were exposed to enemy fire. The fierce gunfire directed from the houses forced the attackers to charge, throw grenades and, in several cases, to blow up houses. As a consequence, women and children were among the dead.
According to all the documents and testimonies, it is clear today that fewer than one hundred Arabs were killed at Deir Yassin, and not the 240 as published. Moreover, this was the first instance in the War of Independence where battle had taken place in a built-up area, and such fighting typically claims numerous victims. For the same reason, the number of Irgun and Lehi members injured by Arab fire was 35% of the force (5 dead and 35 wounded).
All the Arab casualties were killed in the course of the fighting. Villagers - men, women and children - who surrendered, were taken prisoner and came to no harm. When the firing ceased, they were transported by truck to East Jerusalem and handed over to their Arab brethren.
The Deir Yassin affair had a strong impact on the course of the War of Independence; the battle was summed up as follows in the "History of the War of Independence", prepared by the History Division of the IDF General Staff:
The Deir Yassin affair was publicized throughout the world as the 'Deir Yassin Massacre', causing great harm to the reputation of the Yishuv. All the Arab propaganda channels disseminated the story at the time, and continue to do so to the present day. But the battle indubitably served to expedite the collapse of the Arab hinterland in the period which followed. More than the deed itself, this was achieved by the publicity it received from Arab spokesmen. They wanted to demonstrate to their people the savagery of the Jews and to instill in them a spirit of religious fervor. In fact, however, they intimidated and alarmed them. They themselves now admit their mistake.
Hazen Nusseibeh, an editor of the Palestine Broadcasting Service's Arabic news in 1948, was interviewed for the BBC television series "Israel and the Arabs: the 50-year conflict." He describes an encounter with Deir Yassin survivors and Palestinian leaders, including Hussein Khalidi, the secretary of the Arab Higher Committee, at the Jaffa Gate of Jerusalem's Old City.
"I asked Dr. Khalidi how we should cover the story," recalled Nusseibeh, now living in Amman. He said, "We must make the most of this". So we wrote a press release stating that at Deir Yassin children were murdered, pregnant women were raped. All sorts of atrocities."

A Deir Yassin survivor, identified as Abu Mahmud, said the villagers protested at the time.

"We said, 'there was no rape.' Khalidi said, 'We have to say this, so the Arab armies will come to liberate Palestine from the Jews'."
In an arlicle "Deir Yassin a casualty of guns and propaganda", by Paul Holmes (Reuters) (http://www.metimes.com/issue98-16/reg/deir.html) he interviewing Mohammed Radwan, who was a resident of Deir Yassi in 1948, and fought for several hours before ruing out of bullets.
"I know when I speak that God is up there and God knows the truth and God will not forgive the liars", said Radwan, who puts the number of villagers killed at 93, listed in his own handwriting. "There were no rapes. It's all lies. There were no pregnant women who were slit open. It was propaganda that... Arabs put out so Arab the armies would invade" he said. "They ended up expelling people from all of Palestine on the rumor of Deir Yassin."
In the book "War Without End", by Anton La Guardia (Thomas Dunne Books, N.Y. 2000) we find the following: "Just before Israel's 50th anniversary celebration, I went to Deir Yassin with Ayish Zeidan, known as Haj Ayish, who had lived in the village as a teenager.
'We heard shooting. My mother did not want us to look out of the window. I fled with my sister, but my mother and my other sisters could not make it. They hid in the cellar for four days and then ran away.'
He said he never believed that more than 110 people had died at Deir Yassin, and accused Arab leaders of exaggerating the atrocities.
'There had been no rape', he said. 'The Arab radio at the time talked of women being killed and raped, but this is not true. I believe that most of those who were killed were among the fighters and the women and children who helped the fighters.' "

Adam: Predictably more diversions and personal abuse - anything, but anything, to evade the basic issue of Israeli atrocities.

There are many other sources of documentation besides Wikipedia - try Avi Shlaim's book: The Iron Wall (Penguin 2001) and Gerald Kaufman's speech in the House of Commons on 16 April 2002:

Over the years, I soon learned that posting any criticism of Israel and atrocities inflicted by Israelis whatsoever is instantly written off as rabid antisemitism.

Of course, this is immensely convenient because it means that Israelis can go on committing atrocities with a clear conscience. After all, the victims are only Palestinians. . .

Bob, please just read it.

Why don't you condemn Palestinian atrocities going on daily? Anybody can see your gross anti-Semitism. Luckily, the Conservative party under David Cameron will not be pandering to you and your ilk.

I do apologise to any of our Jewish readers having to wade through this one-sided drivel.

No response from Bob B! What a predictable suprise!

Bob, here are some more facts you may not want to read about the SO CALLED massacre at Qibya.

There has never been a "ruthless crusade" against Palestinians. The only ruthless actions in the history of the Arab-Israel conflict have been those perpetrated by heartless Arab leaders who have mounted an endless terror war against Israel, punctuated periodically with full-scale armed invasions. And Mr. Sharon has devoted his life to defending his country against this ruthless, relentless hate-filled terror war.

Singh's version of Qibya is merely a mindless regurgitation of the Arab propaganda. He neglects to mention that the village was the base for Arab terrorists who routinely crossed from the West Bank into Israel to kill innocent civilians in the early 1950s, and that the Red Cross verified the Israeli version that the IDF gave warning before it began to destroy the homes where terrorists hid. Dead Arabs were either the armed terrorists who died while shooting at the Israelis, or Arab civilians who hid in the houses, unbeknownced to the Israelis, and disregarded the Israeli warning.

He waxes almost poetic in his complaint about the IDF cutting off water and food to Beirut in 1982, but neglects to note that Arafat had literally taken over Southern Lebanon in 1970, and used it as a terror base for 12 years of almost daily attacks against Israeli civilians. During that same time, the PLO (Arafat's terror group) waged almost constant war against the Christian Lebanese whose homes they razed. The Red Cross estimates that more than 95,000 Christian Lebanese were killed in the 12-year reign of terror imposed upon Lebanon by Arafat, and nearly 500,000 made homeless. The Christian Lebanese greeted the IDF as liberators, not as invadors.

Even such a clear-cut and indisputable issue as Sabra and Shatilla gets mangled in Singh's faux history. The Israeli army never facilitated the massacres there. The Phalangist Christian army needed no facilitation. The Lebanese Christians had suffered a score of massacres at the hands of the PLO between 1970 and 1982....the most horrific at Damour, where 25,000 innocent civilian Christian Lebanese were slaughtered, some hacked to pieces by ax-wielding Palestinians. Children were the target of choice for the bloodthirsty brutal Palestinian murderers. Sharon's indirect responsibility was in that he did not forsee that the Phalangists would use Sabra and Shatilla as an opportunity to even the score.

In his litany of complaints about the sad fate of the Palestinians, Singh seems unaware of the undeniable historical fact that between the offers made by the UN, the UK, the USA and Israel, the Palestinian leadership has had fifteen (15!!) opportunities since 1937 to create their own state peacefully alongside of Israel. Israel has accepted every one of these offers, and the Palestinian leadership have rejected every one with war, terrorism, violence, murder, or some combination of these.

The Palestinian people are suffering today only because of the obdurate hate-driven Arab refusal to make peace with Israel, and because their psychotic leaders are committed to "terrorism until victory or martyrdom"....no room for negotiation there.

All of the suffering that Singh decries would disappear if the terrorists would lay down their arms, and the Palestinian leaders would make peace.

If the terrorists laid down their arms, there would be no more violence. If Israel laid down its arms, there would be no more Israel.

As David Cameron is now a Zionist-incidentally an ideology which was abhorrent to British Jews in general until the Balfour Declaration-perhaps he would clarify what are the boundaries of Zion whch we must support.

"BOB, BOB, Where's BOB"

Have the Zionists/Israeli's ever apologised to us for the campaign of terror that they conducted prior to independence in 1948.
Shooting police and soldiers in the back, kidnap and murder, bombings, attacks, robberies, not only against us, acting under League of Nations and subsequently UN mandate, but the indiginous Arab population.
I believe that i read recently, that they had placed a memorial plaque at the King David Hotel, site of the infamous bombing and then an Army Command Centre, but not for our dead, but celebrating the terrorist killers.
The country was born out of terrorism and war. Those european Jews who went to Palestine, as it was then called, had no time for the Arabs or the Brits and just steamrollered their way to independance and power.
Attitudes are very entrenched in the Middle East as a result of actions since the 20's, but perhaps Israel can do more to find peace, after all, they are the new kids on the block who stole part of the block and displaced the original dwellers.
DC needs to take care.

He supports ethnic-nationalism for Jews - all well and good, so do I. But why stop at Jews: if ethnic-nationalism is permissible for them, why not for the British peoples?

Are not the Englih entitled to a homeland; a country of their own; and a state which formally seeks to safeguard their interests above all others?

Why must we become a 'global-traffic-station' and our historic, particular, identity globalised and deracinated? And why is a Labour MP, Frank Field the only man who complains about this?

very good point by saltynick, anyone?

Just found this by the Anti-Defamation League - Fight the Boycott campaign

saltynick:"Are not the English entitled to a homeland; a country of their own; and a state which formally seeks to safeguard their interests above all others?"

I agree, though excluding the adverse ethnic/racial connotations (- anyway a little difficult to sustain as a criterion in an English or British context, even looking back beyond latterday immigration.

Home rule for England (whether re UK or EU).

For years, the "international community" has been trying to convince the Israelis that Gaza is full of moderates, and by supporting Mahmoud Abbas and Fatah with money and guns, they were advancing the cause of peace in the region.

Even when Hamas were overwhelmingly elected by the people of Gaza, the "international community" failed to admit that Gaza's people chose extremists.

Now the truth is clear. Gaza is Hamas. Palestinian 'truces' are a joke. Talk of peace is merely talk before the killings.

saltynick @ 11.33 - Well said, I like the descriptive words 'global-traffic-station', its a pity it can't be used more widely as an expression, because even the most unthinking of people would be able to understand what that means. And yes, we are definitely in danger of losing our identity, although some people may say that is progress?!

Even when Hamas were overwhelmingly elected by the people of Gaza, the "international community" failed to admit that Gaza's people chose extremists.

Just as in Iran voters elected extremes to purge corruption, instead they got a Pied Piper who simply took them hostage.

Hamas and Fatah are really fighting to see who can get at the EU money, since the EU pays the security forces directly Abbas packed them with tribal gunmen to buy votes and now Hamas wants the money

The EU and USA are running a major welfare state in Gaza and The West Bank with population boom and taxpayer funded Socialism

Hamas, Fatah, Sunni, Shia, who cares, all words, ultimately its tribal. The settlement of old scores, the search for power, influence and control. If a few thousand innocents die in the crossfire, well inshallah, kismet, there are no neutrals when it comes to a tribalistic civil war.
Hamas had its genesis as Fatah become old, complacent, corrupt and increasingly irrelevant. They became the new broom, offering change and the alternative. By refusing to recognise them, the West has simply legitimised their armed struggle to displace Fatah and seize the levers of power.
Like all things in the Mid-East, concerning Palestine and the Palestinians, a culture of dependance has been spawned, resulting in the EU/UK pouring vast sums of money into a corrupt black hole, whilst being publicly reviled as supporters of Israel, zionists and anti-Arab.
Best thing to do? Leave, let the Palestinians sort their own problems out, they will have to ultimately, as the rest of the Arab world won't, they have a vested interest in keeping the cancerous sore open.

Traditional Tory - I am surprised to hear you make that argument. You are usually arguing for purist principles over pragmatism.

My 'purist' positon is that I see no reason for British Conservatives to become so deeply involved in a foreign quarrel, regardless of the merits of the protagonists.

I only raised the question of public opinion (as in all matters conditioned by the idiot box) because it is the contention of Cameron and his supporters that public opinion, or at any rate supposed public opinion, should rule Conservative policy.

The principled position is that Israel has a right to exist in peace within secure borders (and so does Palestine) and that they have the first right of every nation, namely self-defence.

I agree, but that is surely their business, not ours.

Will Cameron be addressing a 500-strong dinner of the Conservative Friends of Bolivia or the Conservative Friends of Ecuador next time there is a spat between South American banana republics?

Lots of comments such as
"If Israel is conquered (by Islamists), then it would be our turn"

I think these are silly, (a) Islamists are fully capable of multi-tasking, and (b) many of Israel's traditional enemies, such as the PLO and Syrian regime, are not Islamists and are not going to attack the UK.
Certainly the Muslim Brotherhood/Hamas seeks Islamic global conquest as well as the destruction of Israel, but they are fully capable of pursuing both aims at once, through a variety of methods, political, demographic and violent. It's quite possible for the Islamisation of Europe to proceed apace even if Israel survives unscathed.

It's time that the settler state of Israel was made to accord with the reasonable expectations of the international community.

How about; total and unconditional withdrawal of all settlers and military to behind the 1967 Israeli borders; similar withdrawal from the Syrian Golan Heights; payment of restitution to those Palestinian families who were forced from their land and homes since 1947; a binding pledge of non-interference in the internal affairs of neighbouring States, including Palestine... that should help the Israeli case.

You might find groups such as Hamas quite receptive to such proposals.

Somehow I doubt that the present regime in Tel Aviv would stomach them... and why should it, since it has Washington on its side, always ready to side up with Israel against the Arab nations?

Problem is that if Israel continues on its present course, it is increasing the likelihood that as a State it will be pushed into the sea sooner or later.

"There is something deep in our Party’s DNA that believes in Israel"

What does David Cameron mean by that, exactly?

More like deep in the party's coffers, eh?

Ken Stevens June14/11:58: I agree, though excluding the adverse ethnic/racial connotations (- anyway a little difficult to sustain as a criterion in an English or British context, even looking back beyond latterday immigration.

Home rule for England (whether re UK or EU).

The English are one of the most well-defined, ancient, historically-documented ethnic groups in the world Ken, and they happen to be White.

Israel has the kind of "home-rule" you value so much, but if Israel was not a formal Jewish homeland such self-determination would not count for much in any Zionist's eyes. A peoples secure existence counts for much more than any political abstraction.

It's a strange and unnatural phenomenon this: White European men and women passionately committed to the rights of indigenous peoples who happen not to be White Europeans; committed to supporting the ethnic-nationalisms of Jews, Tibetans, Palestinians, Kurds, Africans,...; yet equally passionately OPPOSED to the same rights for European peoples. Such one-sided ethnic and racial and civilisational altruism can only end one way.

Cameron should not have used the word Zionist. For one hes is now a marked man. Its pretty inflammatory language to use and while us mere bloggers can get away with it, he cannot.

Why are we so behind Israel? Whats the point?

Felicitations, saltynick June 15, 11:10.

Despite nearing completion of my family tree, demonstrating that we are of "pure-bred" British stock, albeit with a distinct peasant tinge and alas much Scottishness, I am not racist. Hitler demonstrated the problems of such definition by regarding Aryan as blue-eyed/blonde, disregarding the inconvenient fact that the original Aryans were actually Indo-Persian. Nor did he see the incongruity of being brunette himself. There are not discrete compartments of white, black, etc; rather a continuum of colour.

What I unashamedly am is a rabid culturalist. Trevor Macdonald and Moira Stewart are paragons of Englishness to me. However, show me a 3rd or 4th generation supposedly English chappie who speaks & acts Caribbean and my reaction is to wish that he would go back to the slums of Kingston (- Jamaica, not On Thames).

I fully support Israel for its people's sense of identity, irrespective of their racial origins. One might criticize Israel for certain acts or misjudgements with tragic consequences, just as we get criticised for our own nation's fatal errors at times. Nevertheless I reject any notion of moral equivalence between Israel, in its efforts to defend itself, and those who have repeatedly attacked it over the decades by military force or by terrorism.

I am envious that we do not similarly have a government equally solicitous and protective of culturally English folk, irrespective of their racial origins. I abhor the fact that we house, clothe, feed and grant citizenship to overseas terrorists (pink as well as dusky) yet do not confer citizenship as of right to those, such as Ghurkas, who serve in Her Majesty's armed forces.

Long live Israel.
Reinstate England!

Gosh, the pro-Israel lobby's keeping some, uh, 'interesting' company of this thread. But I suppose it would be wrong to smear them by association. Fitting, sure, but wrong.

UK Patriot

"You might find groups such as Hamas quite receptive to such proposals."

I admire your optimism! However, I'm terribly afraid to say that Hamas, being an Islamist organisation based on jihad principles, don't allow reasonable compromises such as the one you are suggesting. Their constitution, and very raison d'etre is the elimination of the state of Israel, and the eradication of all Jews from lands once held by Islam. If you listen to what they say in their native tongue (and not the English news reports), they aren't the most conciliatory of chaps. I've just found this from their charter:

"Hamas derives from Islam its way of life and strives to raise the banner of Allah over every inch of Palestine. Only under the shadow of Islam could the members of all regions coexist in safety and security for their lives, properties and rights." Be assured that 'shadow of islam' does not mean equal rights and freedom of speech either - it's funny that in Gaza recently internet cafes, bookshops and music stores have all been attacked for permitting the sale of 'un-islamic' material. Dhimmi status is the only possible future for non-Muslims living under Hamas.

I'm very happy to leave it to you to negoiate land-for-peace, but I fear you may not get very far...

"You might find groups such as Hamas quite receptive to such proposals."

As a quick follow-up thought, the proposals put forward by Ehud Barak in 2000 were along these lines, and an absolute gift to the Palestinian cause. And what did Yasser Arafat of the 'secular' PLO do? He rejected them, without even offering counter-proposals.

The Palestinian leaders will only have peace when it offers more to their cause than the fruits of terrorism. Unfortunately, the latter is still reaping great rewards for them.

Whatever. What we need to remember is that Israel is in many ways like apartheid South Africa. That means that when we do business with them we have to answer to decent world opinion.

Would Mr Cameron have said that Apartheid was in his DNA? I sincerely hope not.

There are also distinct parallels between the illegal occupations of the West Bank and Gaza and the pursuit of 'Lebensraum' in Eastern Europe by the Nazis.

Eastern Europeans were forced off their land to make way for ethnic German settlers; the Poles who were forced off their land often ended up in the 'General Government' area of Poland, which was reckoned to be a sink... much like Gaza was. The Gen Government, incidentally, was under German rule... as was Gaza until recently.

So what's the difference between the German settlers in the 1940s and the American/Russian/European Jews of the occupied territories in the years post 1967? I have left the Jews out of the European example, for obvious reasons, and am thinking solely of the Gentile Poles and other Eastern Europeans. The parallels are clear.


I admire your debating skills and engagement with the arguments.

"There are also distinct parallels between the illegal occupations of the West Bank and Gaza and the pursuit of 'Lebensraum' in Eastern Europe by the Nazis."

It is true that the settlers are a bone of contention. However, firstly the territory of the West Bank/Gaza has been Israeli since 1967. If you win it in a war, then it's yours. Unless the other side wins it back in a war, or is given it by the victor. As in the case of Gaza.

Secondly, as I mentioned earlier in the thread, I'm not quite sure the comparison rings true. The Nazis invaded Belgium, France, the Netherlands, France, Czechoslovakia, Poland, Denmark, Norway, to name but a few. How is that similar to the Israeli situation?

I'm not quite sure what you mean by Apartheid either - would you be able to provide me with some examples of how this is worked out?

I must remember that one. If I use the phrase 'whatever' I'll never lose an argument again! Thanks UK Patriot!

If you've visited Israel then you will know of the settler roads and the tunnel, you might have seen armed settlers with soldier escorts shopping in the Old City.

You might have seen armed settlers in occupied Palestine filling up with petrol, you might have seen the Israeli flag flying from Beit Sharon in the Arab Quarter (the house Ariel Sharon had seized for himself in the Old City and which remains unoccupied to this day).

You might have seen armed Israeli settlers in occupied houses in East Jerusalem with flags flying and guns poking out of doors and windows, you might have had your papers checked at gunpoint, you might have seen young American Jews on tours of their 'homeland', you might have seen young men cowering at gunpoint in West Jerusalem just because they looked Arabic,

All very much like the horrific racist tyranny of Apartheid.

You might also have seen the isolated Palestinian villages in the Jordan Valley where people are confined to a few acres of land for much of their life, you might have seen the ruined Arab houses in Jaffa or Tiberias.

You might have been to the Israel Museum and seen the mosaics removed from Christian churches destroyed when Israel was established and hundreds of Arab villages were bulldozed from the map, you might have seen boarded up mosques in Israel since the Muslims have long gone,

I see the settler movement as the body which through religious extremism will bring about WWIII. They actually want to demolish the al-Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock to make way for the third temple

Many of them, Rabbi Josef's mob in particular, want to invade and seize parts of Jordan and anywhere else they think is theirs according to the books of Moses (whose burial site is attached to a mosque in the West Bank).

The settlers are vicious racists, far worse than even the BNP because they have religious fanatacism to tell them they are right.

They will not listen to any view that doesn't accord with their own and are prepared to kill, even the Israeli Prime Minister, to get what they want.

UK Pat

Thanks for replying. I have visited Israel and went through the West Bank and didn't see the things you saw, but I obviously didn't go to the right places.

Whilst I very much admire your concern for the Palestinian people, I think you overestimate the power of the settlers. Some of them may have views which you consider repugnant (I don't know, having not met any), but I don't really think that the problems in the area would go away if all the settlers were withdrawn. Weren't the settlers withdrawn from Gaza? Do please correct me if I'm wrong. Besides, these guys are not necessarily representative of the Israeli nation as a whole.

As for Apartheid, I can see why you might think that, but from what I can understand the two situations just don't compare. In Israel, Arabs and Muslims have far more rights and freedoms than Jews do in Muslim nations. What do you make of Muslim MKs?

And as a final point, if you believe Israel is a racist, apartheid-style state, I'd be interested in hearing your comments on these words from Hamas in Gaza today:

"Hamas' media outlets threatened to reach Fatah and the PA's official radio and telelvision stations, and provided the names of senior Fatah officials they planned to execute. "We will reach you," Hamas members told the Fatah leaders.
"This is the first step in the establishment of the Islamic state," a Hamas member told Ynet from inside the Preventive Security Service building. "This is Islam's victory, Allah's victory, and we pray to Allah for bringing us this victory."

I take it from you comments - please correct me if I'm wrong - that you'd prefer a state built along these lines than on the Israeli principles of liberal democracy?

It's for Muslims to build the type of state which they choose. Western democracy doesnt suit all peoples.

Even if Israel were a model of democracy and humanitarianism - which it isnt - it would still be a settler state of Europeans imposed by force in Arab lands.

That makes it like SA, Rhodesia, Algeria or any other colonial outpost where indiginous peoples are oppressed by incomers.

Maybe that gives one clue to why the Americans are so pro-Israel.

UK Pat

Interesting points - I accept to an extent what you say about Western Democracy, but let's just turn the clock back a little. Islam started out in a tiny area of Arabia. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't think it spread to the whole of the Middle East, North Africa, Iberia, Tours and the gates of Vienna through knocking on doors and handing out leaflets. What about the people who lived in those lands before the Muslims came and took them over and forced them to live as Dhimmis? By your logic that would amoung to "indigenous people oppressed by incomers." I don't think that the indigenous people of Algeria are Muslim Arabs, but I'm happy to defer to wiser heads than mine.

And as a final point. I take it you agree that Hamas' fundamental aim is to annihilate the Jewish state and impose an Islamic state? It may just be me, but that sounds a little they want to oppress people through violence. Is it ok to do that as long as the people who are being murdered aren't the original 'indigenous' people? It all depends on how far back you go to talk about 'indigenous' people...

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