Who cares about Israel and Palestine?

31 January 2014

The thing that most surprised me about Scarlett Johansson being asked to cut ties with an Israeli company she was brand ambassador for was that the company in question was Soda Stream.

Soda Stream? Does she also work for Betamax and the Atari ST? I had no idea people still drank this 1980s icon, let alone that it was caught up in the world’s most interminably boring debate.

For Israelis and Palestinians the quest to find a peaceful settlement in this tiny piece of land, only 1.2 Waleses in size, is a matter of life and death. For foreigners active in the conflict on one side or the other it is an obsession.

I’ve always found it strange that people in the West are so fixated by the subject, especially now that the rest of the Middle East is filled with daily atrocities and injustices that dwarf anything in the Holy Land.

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In fact one of the few concrete benefits of the 2011 Arab uprisings is that there has been a marked decline in the number of people offering an opinion on Israel/Palestine. I know that 100,000 dead in Syria is a high price to pay for that, but I suppose we should look at the upsides.

There are still a few, such as those people at St James’s in Piccadilly who, despite Christians in the Middle East suffering one or two more pressing problems, decided to construct a replica wall to protest against Israel. Of course the Israeli barrier is a serious problem for the Christians in Bethlehem, and people in Beit Jala now face losing their homes. But surely there is an issue of perspective this year at least? How would they show their solidarity with Egyptian Christians – by burning down the church?

Still, many of the internet supporters of Israel are not exactly nuanced either, refusing to see fault in anything it does; but then the tribal Israel/Palestine question is the world’s largest proxy debate, the issue fused on to a number of other issues, none of which make the blindest difference to the lives of Israelis and Palestinians.

What’s your view on the world’s super-powers? Are you pro or anti-America? That will say much about your view on Israel and Palestine. Is Islam a threat to the West or is the wWest a threat to the Arab world? That will predict your view on Israel/Palestine. In fact so confused is the issue that one’s views on a whole range of issues will predict to some degree your opinion on the Middle East. As Jeremy says in Peep Show, ‘Mark likes Israel, I’m Palestine’.

Lots of conservatives also side with Israel because not only does it protect them from accusations of anti-Semitism, which has traditionally dogged the Right, but it also deters anti-Semites from joining their organisation. Look at the pro-Israeli EDL, which Nick Griffin was apparently convinced was run by Zionists, as if once on board his El Al flight Tommy Robinson suddenly starts chatting in Hebrew on his phone. On the other side Palestinianism is part of a broader third world struggle against the west, which puts people on the left alongside some of the world’s biggest murderers of gays, liberals, socialists and religious minorities.

All this fury burns despite the fact that it’s hard for a foreigner to tell Jews and Arabs apart, since a sizeable proportion of Israelis descend from Mizrahi Jews. All foreigners should do is encourage both sides to reach some sort of compromise along the 1967 border, and discourage politicians who push further. That’s what’s on offer now. Aside from that, outsiders do neither side any good by turning this problem into a proxy conflict for all the arguments in the world.

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Show comments
  • OpiumNights

    For APARTHEID ISRAEL—-CHRISTIAN PALESTINIANS ARE KRYTONITE as well as to Israeli Hasbara & Israel FIRSters and all Zionists knows it. First of all, because most people are not aware that Palestinians are also Christian. Second, because it shatters the crafted narrative of “enlightened Israel versus evil Muslims” . In short, it does an enormous damage because it has the power to change the entire perception and narrative. And while Israel can live with Muslim hatred, it cannot survive without the Christian West support. Christianity is the majority in the West.
    Mention abuses by Israel against Christian Palestinians…and the Zionists glow Neon green with fear that the TRUTH is OUT.
    ——–Jewish writer in MondoWeiss

  • Muzeli


    I f Iran had threatened the UK government with nuclear attack what would we do? You’ll find the Iraq WMD was seen through over here, and we had the biggest anti war demo ever. So first we would have to prove they had the capability. Blair was a liar and is now seen as a war criminal. It is seen as wrong to wreck a country and have regieme change. At the end of the day Iraq was about oil, not WMDs.
    Afghanistan was due to 9 11, though Saudi was the culprit.

    However around the world North Korea is a rogue state but the allies won’t and shouldn’t go in on threats. Ditto the China Japan current dispute.

    Considering the current war in Syria and the problems of the Egyptian Christians i’d say to go into Iran would be tragic.

  • Fergus Pickering

    Shouldn’t we encourage the Sunnis and the Shias to kill each other thus culling the muslims as we cull foxes and reducing their threat to anyone else?

    • Fred Scuttle

      Indeed we should.

  • Michael Sager

    it’s hard for a foreigner to tell Jews and Arabs apart,

    This is a seriously dumb statement I’m afraid. Arabs are an ethnicity plus a culture, and you can’t opt out or in. Jews are a religion plus a culture, which you can opt into. Like the Jewish Swedish blonde and the rather darker Jewish Yeminite I had lunch with today.

    • Daniel Maris

      Many “Arabs” clearly have European, North African, Persian and Turkish genes in them, so your statement is incorrect. Anyway, you’re misusing the term “ethnicity” which means more than genes – it includes notions of culture.

  • GraveDave

    What’s more does any one actually believe she drinks the disgusting stuff.

  • mike karam

    I’m still trying to figure out the point of this article but it appears to have spawned the biggest rash of ignorant and half baked comments I think I have read on the Middle East in a long time.

    • Penny

      I’d be interested in hearing your rebuttal, Mike.

    • Lord Edmund Moletrousers

      ” Where does one begin to demolish such stench filled pile of garbage?”
      by getting your post removed ! you are reported !

  • Samir Halabi

    Christian Aid have always shown their true colors!!!! Anti-Israel to the core.
    i would never donate even 1 pence to them. They are bigots to say the least.

  • Fordyce

    It seems to be fashionable to be pro-Palestinian in a manner that suggests an underlying general antisemitism.

  • Augustus

    The Palestinians/Palestine was an invention of Egyptian Yasser ‘dish cloth’ Arafat, family member of the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, Amin al-Husseini , and WW II war criminal. There is already a ‘Palestinian’ nation: Jordan. There’s plenty of room there for them, but they don’t want that, and won’t rest until Israel is wiped from the map. And bravo to Miss Johansson for resigning from Oxfam. Oxfam, Unesco and others, that originated from the UN, serve a lot of false purposes other than those they were originally founded for. Soda Stream employs 900 Arabs and pays them double the wages paid by Palestinian employers. But Oxfam would rather they became unemployed. Oxfam is not pro-Palestinians, but anti-Israel.

    • anotherjoeblogs

      Got to admit, as well as the invention of the Palestinians, Old ‘ dish cloth ‘ Arafat invented a nice fashion accessory with the Keffiyeh, which is indispensable for trendy haters of the tiny jewish state which is the only country in the ME where their values (?) can be practised.

      • global city

        Gays for Palestine… if you were a gay in Palestine you would have to move to Israel…

        Said by one of the Spectator’s contributors. Very funny, very good, perfectly sums up the vile idiocy of the New Progressive Left in the West.

  • Bonkim

    Israel is judged by higher standards than the Muslim rabble that inhabit the Middle-East. Israelis are almost western despite a few Orthodox that are no different than the Muslims – but by and large under US protection.

    The West has a, lot invested emotionally in Israel whereas the Islamic rest is expendable. Simple!

  • Samuel Johnson

    What is the point of these mindlessly contrarian articles? What do they actually tell us?

    • SarahAB

      I thought it was a pretty sensible article.

  • roger

    Are you so thick that you don’t know that the Palestine issue has been the open sore contaminating all relationships within and to the region since the Great War, even worse since 1948.
    The British government were stupid to take the mandate in 1920, it cost the country blood and treasure for nothing, if Turkey had been left in charge then the region would still be the multi-faith backwater it was for centuries.

    • Bonkim

      No place on earth is now backwater – the world has shrunk and television has bred familiarity.

      • Lord Edmund Moletrousers

        except Tower Hamlets

    • Daniel Maris

      The Arabs seem happy to kill each other even where there are no Jews claiming land…whether it be in Western Sahara, or Oman or Yemen or Algeria, or Libya or Iraq or Lebanon or now Syria. Yes…and I am sure some will believe it’s all down to dem damned Zionists.

  • cbinTH

    Great article!

  • Chrisso

    I agree with the author, why the rest of the world spends the time, effort and money trying to solve this nasty little regional conflict is beyond me. Clearly there are significant elements on both sides who don’t want a lasting peace. They seem more interested in brutalizing the other side to the point that serious negotiations are almost impossible. Given that land is the central issue, it is hardly surprising that Israel’s bully-boy tactic of taking land around East Jerusalem and the West Bank for settlements is posing a major obstacle to talks. Similarly, have the Palestinians not learn’t after all these years, that trying to force the Israelis to negotiate with home-made rockets etc. is just not going to work. Most of the Palestinians (and Arabs in general) display the negotiating and diplomatic skills of a premenstrual 16 year old. Also, the idea that solving this problem would solve all the problems between Islam and the west are just fantasy. A pox on both their houses. Let us find another intractable localized conflict where at least one side is interested in finding a solution, although to be honest, I can’t think of any at the moment.

    • Febe

      At last a voice of reason amongst the hysteria…….thank you Chrisso

  • saffrin

    Someone needs to tell those religious types that man made god and not the other way around.
    Once they learn to understand all their religious teachings are based on pure unadalterated bollix, maybe they’d stop killing each other over something that doesn’t exist.
    No pycological damage intended.

  • David

    I hope nespresso doesn’t go the way of soda stream. That would be to much to bear.

  • Fred Scuttle

    Work for Betamax? Who they?

  • John Standley
  • tjamesjones

    What I love about this sensible article, is that nothing on God’s earth is more certain than that the debate in the comments section will be on the merits of the Israeli v Palestine causes. There will be threads and subthreads, abuse, insinuation, the “full proxy conflict for all the arguments in the world”

    • Fred Scuttle

      God’s earth? Who or what is God?

      • Bonkim

        figment of someone’s imagination.

  • Josh

    The right wing can’t afford to be neutral, since Israel depends almost entirely on NATO military funds to survive. To withdraw from it would be a near-automatic victory for the enemies of Imperialism.

    • anotherjoeblogs

      Israel depends on NATO funds ? How much ?

      • Muzeli

        Both sides get plenty of money and or help.

        • anotherjoeblogs

          which two ‘ sides ‘ ?

          • Muzeli

            Like I’ve said a long time back, I don’t get involved.

            • anotherjoeblogs

              Well they say the sense of time is relative to one’s psychology – you know when having fun, time passes swiftly. A long time back ? An hour ago ?
              You made a comment and I asked a simple question and you retorted with ‘ I don’t get involved ‘. ok.

              • Muzeli

                Never mind, but the DT did disappear one of my comments explaining my views on the muslims there, but it fell on deaf ears.
                Being on the other side in discussions when someone calls you a name it doesn’t endear you to them, but the DT and Guardian both do it, then everyone piles in.
                Anyway its only a comment thread.

          • tastemylogos

            Which 2 sides do you think?

            • anotherjoeblogs

              Dunno, I am thick ( had to get that in before you ) OM TAT SAT.

              • tastemylogos

                you don;t know? indeed, a little thick to make a comment without knowing what you are trying to say.

          • saffrin

            The Jews and the Israelis.

            • tastemylogos

              When 90% of UK Jews (higher still in America and Europe) hold a deep affinity to Israel (Ipsos MORI), they are one and the same thing, no matter how much it disgusts Chomsky.

      • saffrin

        $60 Billion in foreign aid annually the last I heard.

        It makes me wonder how much of that ends up the pockets of US Senator and Presidential election funds as regardless of who wins, Israel always gets the money, the weapons and the political support.
        It certainly explains why US foreign policy is entirely dependent on the Israeli viewpoint.

        • Josh

          I’m all for not getting involved; but the fact is that Israel would be fucked were that to be the case. The US would never stand for it.

          • gerontius

            If you need to swear sonny, go elsewhere and do it.

            • Josh

              Sorry grandad

              • gerontius

                Apology accepted .

        • Penny

          Where did you hear this $60billion figure, Saffrin? The true figure is around $3 billion. But, as mentioned to Andrew (above) this is recycled back into the American economy. The program used to be called CIP: The Commodity Import Program. Since around 1980 Israel has had to provide assurances and guarantees to the Agency for International Development that its non-defence imports from the US would exceed the level of economic assistance.

        • tastemylogos

          $60 billion is the size of the isreaeli economy. Not knowing this is absolutely fine but entering a debate so badly misinformed does baffle me. Would you go into another debate so blindfolded (Bangladeshi-Bahiri relations for example)? I guess you wouldn’t so you must have an ulterior motive…. tell us… what is it?

    • cinnamona

      not all trolls are ignorant, but you certainly are.

      • Josh

        If I were trolling, wouldn’t that make me particularly intelligent?

        • Lamia

          It’s possible to be a troll who knows much less than he thinks he knows. As you’ve demonstrated.

          • Josh

            Doesn’t that add to the trolling potential, though?

    • gerontius

      “enemies of Imperialism”

      How cute!
      I haven’t heard anyone talk like that for 40 years – I’m getting quite nostalgic.

      • Josh

        40 years? Haha, I bet you can even remember the start of the Israel/Palestine conflict!

        • gerontius

          The conflict between civilisation and islamic savagery predates me by a long way.
          Go and play with your toys Josh.

    • Lamia

      How much money would this be, and what percentage of Israel’s GDP would it be?

      You don’t know, do you? You’ve just heard it said, and you thought you’d say it too.

      To withdraw from it would be a near-automatic victory for the enemies of Imperialism.

      The end ofIsrael would mean the end of Jews living as anything better than second class citizens in the Middle East, as surely as night follows day. I bet you can’t wait for Jews to be packed off back to their ghettoes and to know their place. That’s those few who aren’t exterminated outright.

  • Muzeli

    The Telegraph is attracting very heated commenters on this subject, and if you don’t throw in your support for Israel you’re some ‘lefty nasty anti semitic’. Apparently you can’t be neutral, and have no interest in the Middle East saga.
    By all means Israel defend itself, for example, on Iran, but don’t bring the UK into it, we’ve done enough there already.
    Anyway why didn’t she just advertise cosmetics, SodaStream so downmarket.

    • anotherjoeblogs

      people who are neutral and not interested in an issue usually just ‘ sit on the fence ‘ and only respond when pressed for their opinion. What’s the point visiting sites to say you are not interested in the subject and you are neutral and then visit another site to make some glib comment about SodaStream and write about your uninterested venture on the D.T. ? There is a world at your fingertips, do a bit exploring.

      • Muzeli

        My comments on the DT were about Scarlett herself, and not the ME saga for starters. But it was my first time on a thread on the ME even though there are always plenty to choose from there, but you’re saying I should never comment but stick to the usual blogs I comment on???

        BTW one is an Ed West fan, read him here often and he sums it up.

        How about the Cyprus problem?

    • tastemylogos

      > nd if you don’t throw in your support for Israel you’re some ‘lefty nasty anti semetic’

      That’s nonsense.

      Dismissing their right to self determination, holding them to higher moral standards, singling them out for criticism, etc, etc would get you branded an anti semite though. Because, those that do this will pretend they are merely anti-zionist, but we all know they mean anti-semitic.

      • Muzeli

        Its not nonsence. It was implied on the DT thread, yet I mentioned no politics.
        Israel can do what it wants, just don’t bring the UK into it.

        But what I have again seen here is being trolled and the guilty until I prove myself innocent of being anti semetic etc.


        If I want to go on any thread in future I will, and if insults or smears are thrown at me, then i’ll use the same level or retort, ‘ars*hole’ for instance might be a good one.

        • Penny

          I don’t think Israel does bring the UK into anything – but, by the same token, I’d imagine Israel would be quite grateful if we butted out of their affairs! And when I say “we”, I mean our funding of at least one suspicious NGO; our FCO (not called the Camel Corp for nothing!); some of our media and our BDS-crowd. And that’s just a few examples.

          • Muzeli

            I guess I’m thinking of the Iranian enrichment program, but everythings gone quiet on that now.
            By all means criticise any government UK or Israeli, facts are better than one word smears.

            • Penny

              The UK imposed sanctions on Iran, Muzeli, as part of its own foreign policy, EU and UN commitments. In a small world, enrichment programs are going to be a cause of concern and I doubt that any country acts in support of another unless it serves their own national interests. And there’s nothing wrong with that.

              I think we are a little lacking in self-reflection when it comes to Israel. We seek out every possible tiny story that casts Israel in a bad light without looking at ourselves. By contrast, we don’t see Israeli reporters scouring our inner cities and reporting back on drunken, drug-fuelled and gangland behaviours (I’ve not seen anything like it in Israeli cities). They don’t turn up at Dell Farm or other sites when we’re evicting Travellers or desperate people who can’t pay the rent. Their councils don’t put “Boycott British products” on their agendas. Their diplomats don’t turn up in our courts to observe how we’re dealing with Muslims. They haven’t sprung into defence of those who perpetrated 7/7 or the two who murdered Lee Rigby – but some Brits do defend Palestinians suicide bombers.

              In short, we have plenty of our own problems here: some mirror those in Israel, others don’t exist there at all. I think we need to be a little more aware of them before we wag fingers.

              As for the DT blogs – you get a lot of bizarre stuff going on. And hypocrisy. I recall a couple of blogs carrying articles when Cameron wanted to intervene in Syria. “None of our business!” was the majority view. And then along came an Israeli issue where suddenly, many of these same “none of our business!” types transformed into people pretending concern not only for Palestinians but every possible national link to Israel (except Syria, of course!).

              • Muzeli

                The BBC has a soft spot for Muslims, and ethnic minorities. It equally likes to report on the worst aspects of Britain as it does around the world, so no double standards. China frequently gets a bad press, and not all countries like to dwell on their problems and so do not appreciate the BBC sticking its nose in their affairs. East Asians countries typically would never do what we do here, and wouldn’t harp on about the negatives, its a different culture.

                Eg Aung Sun Suu Kyi while recently a heroine will be quickly brought down here if she continues to say the Buddhists are merely defending themselves against violence instigated by the muslims.

                Lastly it was Israel looking to America for support or to get involved against Iran’s nuclear plants, the UK is not being threatened. Besides nothing has been gained with the wars in Afghanistan or Iraq. I don’t want intervention in Syria or Iran. However if Israel wants to send over a few missiles and damage their facilities then that’s its business, every cou try can defend its own interests.

                • Penny

                  Most media report on the negatives but the point I wanted to make was that Israel doesn’t seize on aspects of British life as we do theirs. Last week, for example, I heard on the radio that over a 12-month period our police held several hundred mentally ill children in cells. That sounds quite sensational and I daresay if a police spokesman had been asked to comment we’d have had a better idea of the circumstances. As far as I’m aware this particular piece of news did not generate blog articles and comments. But supposing it had been “Israeli police held x-hundred mentally ill children in cells”? I’m fairly sure the response would have been rather like piranha feeding time.

                  My point is that with many stories about Israel we can draw parallels here, but Israelis are not feverishly digging dirt on Britain and blowing it out of all proportion.

            • Lamia

              I think if Iran’s government had spoken repeatedly about wanting to wipe out Britain, I would expect the British government to interfere, as forcefully as it likes, in any Iranian nuclear programme. Any other country with some military wherewithal would do so. France would. Russia would. China would. It would be perfectly wise and justifed self-defence. It would also be right to ask for help from allies to this end if necessary. That is what military allies are for – you help safeguard each other.

              You appear to be holding Israel to a different set of standards, and expecting it to take risks with its own defence that no other nation would, or to act completely unaided.

  • Raw England

    Indeed. It is a complicated issue now, but actually very simple as well. Here’s the situation:

    Firstly, its been vile to watch the Muslims stalk, threaten and attack Scarlett for choosing to work with Israeli company, Soda Stream. They all hated the fact that an attractive woman was promoting Israel.

    Muslims are genocidal towards Israel. And not just the ‘extremists’, its all Muslims. The Muslims genocidal, openly murderous hatred of Israel is one reason why I SUPPORT Israel.

    So I do support Israel. Not just because all Muslims hate it (which is a good enough reason as is), but because a powerful non Muslim nuclear state is a very good thing to have in the Islamic middle east, for obvious reasons.

    My only personal gripe with some Jewish people is that they tend to roundly support immigration and multiculti.

  • monty61

    You are a bit slow old chum. Cook shops in Henley, Marlow, Bath and other middle class bastions are chokka with the things which are most decidedly making a comeback (even in these increasingly sugar-free days). Sodastream is no longer a 70s relic. (Reassuringly pricey too in case the hoi polloi get any ideas).

  • AndrewMelville

    Couldn’t agree more. Two nasty tribes greedily beating each other up and denying that the other exists or has any rights.

    Who cares? In truth, absolutely no one. Both tribes are greedy whingers living off remittances from their diaspora and massive subsidies from the west. Why we pay them any heed and so much money is one of the world’s great mysteries.

    Strategically important? No, not in the least. Yet these bores dominate the media – they are the tribal equivalents of Paris Hilton – utterly without talent or intrinsic interest or importance, but merely famous for being famous.

    • Penny

      I’d hardly call the Israelis “greedy whingers living off remittances”. For a start, they’ve built a thriving state in less time than it takes my particular shire county to fix its pot holes (and that is an actual fact!) Perhaps you need to take a closer look at their contributions in terms of medicine, science, technology, agriculture and intelligence services. America does give Israel aid, but it is recycled back through the American economy by virtue of purchases.

      • AndrewMelville

        There is lots to admire about Israelis, Israel and its economy. But the latter received massive boosts from confiscated wealth, remittances and foreign aid.

        “Recycled back” – what nonsense! On that basis the US could aid me personally and do well from the deal.

        Whingers is an apt term to describe both parties.

        • tastemylogos

          they do receive only 3 billion in foreign aid to be fair. or about 5% of GDP.

          I think its a bad idea. It gives america far too much leverage on Israeli foreign policy. Look at their schitzophrenic approach to the Gulf. Why Israel allies itself to Saud rather than Iran baffles even most Israelis.

          Though, to be fair, the Israelis have walked the tightrope quite brilliantly throughout the Arab Winter.

          • AndrewMelville

            I think Israel has had a clear and consistent strategy from the conception of the Zionist idea. They have executed it well. There is a conundrum now: Greater Israel or the two state solution. They lack a statesman who have lead them through this difficult choice.

            Greater Israel will mean the end of a Jewish state, except through violence and suppression, endlessly.

            The two state solution will trigger a near civil war, thanks to the mischief of the late, but not lamented butcher, Sharon.

            It is an almost unsolvable problem, which is why the Israel government will adopt almost any shift to stop the forward movement of the peace process. The Palestinians, as usual are bereft of a leader or any ideas, and are completely unable to take advantage of Israel’s dilemma.

            • tastemylogos

              >” think Israel has had a clear and consistent strategy from the conception of the Zionist idea”

              That would be impressive considering Zionism preceded Israel by 51 years. I think you have it the wrong way around.

              > ” Greater Israel or the two state solution. ”

              Thank God not everyone is as shallow and unimaginative as you, hey?

              > ”The two state solution will trigger a near civil war”

              Says the purveyor of all that is true. Audience, I introduce you to Clairvoyant, Melville.

              >”, thanks to the mischief of the late, but not lamented butcher, Sharon”

              You seem to have bought yourself into, ‘Thatcher’ syndrome… no matter how far removed and no matter how complex a situation… blame it on Thatcher (Sharon). Intelligent you are.

              > ”which is why the Israel government will adopt almost any shift to stop the forward movement of the peace process.”

              According to…?

              You make, not one single substantive point. Bloody impressive.

              • AndrewMelville

                Check your Depends, you seem to have become very cranky.

                I have clearly laid out Israeli’s strategic dilemma. It has my sympathy, even if it is of its own making. Many thanks to you for your thoughtful and insightful remarks.

                • tastemylogos

                  > ”cranky.”

                  Pointing out that everything you say is premised in conjecture and ‘gut feeling’ is not cranky. You offer nothing substantive. I have read your posts to check whether I can actually cite anything substantiated…. nothing.

                  Your point seems to be, ‘Israel has American foreign policy over a barrel’. Based ooooooon……. well, nothing.

        • Penny

          It is recycled back into the American economy, Andrew. Why don’t you do a little checking instead of declaring something to be “nonsense!” because you think it is. I’d also check out the value placed on Israeli intelligence versus the CIA.

          What confiscated wealth and remittances are you referring to.?Aid-wise, I’ve already covered America.

          When does Israel “whinge”?

          • AndrewMelville

            Darling Penny, I know it is recycled back into the American economy. That is why I referred to the US in my reply! My point was that on that basis the Yanks could subsidize me and get it all back – daft? – you bet. As is the notion that aid to the Israelis is cost free to the Yanks. Tastemylogos elsewhere on this thread says it is about 5% of Israeli GDP which he thinks is a small number. I think that is a large number.

            Israel provides superb intelligence to the Yanks – because they are patient, clever, focused and willing to play the long game with real people working undercover. The Yanks are unable or unwilling to any of these things. They rely on technology, which is why Yankee Intelligence is big, glossy, sexy, expensive and … not very good.

            Confiscated wealth = massive seizures of land, goods and money from the Palestinians when they fled / were driven out in 1948. Largely a one time thing – but it was quite big at the time.

            Yes, yes, I know the Israelis claim an offset from the resettlement of Jews fleeing / driven out from arab countries.

            Remittances: Jewish charities are very active in my neighbourhood and in the US selling Israeli bonds and raising cash for charities such as the Jewish National Fund (aka the Fund to Dispossess the Palestinians :-)).

            • Penny

              I find much of your first paragraph bewildering. As for aid: Israel receives only military aid which in Dec 2012, Daniel Doron (who has served on an economics advisory group for the government) puts at 1% of GDP – a burden Israel could feasibly bear herself.

              Re: confiscated wealth. Land I can understand as being appropriated following the war of independence, wealth – not so much. I am not suggesting that all Arabs were villagers and farmers, but neither is it the case that they all possessed massive amounts of money and goods. Palestine wasn’t cosmopolitan Cairo but a barren backwater of the Ottoman empire. But in any case, it has already been agreed that compensation will form part of a peace deal.

              I’ve not heard Israelis make this “offset” claim in terms of Palestinian assets – it makes little sense if they are prepared to pay compensation. No such compensation has been offered by the Arab countries to those Jews who fled or were expelled (and, incidentally, my husband’s family is among their number) and although the story of these particular Jewish refugees has not received much attention, there is more awareness now. Even so, I can’t see it forming any “offset” principle in a peace deal because it is illogical. Israel is negotiating with the Palestinians, not the Egyptians, Syrians, Libyans, Iraqis or any other country from which the Jews came. Also, only a little over half the refugees went to Israel. The rest went mostly to Europe and the USA. Israel can’t claim compensation for them – not that there’s a snowball’s chance the Arab world will pay up!

              • AndrewMelville

                Read the Israeli reports about how to deal with massive amounts of booty fleeing Palestinians left behind.

                I have found it a pretty standard response to refuge claims from Palestinians. I agree that there is not a snowball’s chance that the Arabs (or the Israelis) will pay up.

            • tastemylogos

              You should know better than misrepresent my views. 5% is a high number. I noted that it was high enough for Americans to hold Israeli foreign policy over a barrel. Which has been demonstrably detrimental to Israel’s interests (mostly concerning relations with Iran).

              I was making the point that it is hardly a number akin to ‘bankrolling’ the country.

              • AndrewMelville

                I apologise for misrepresenting your views. I misread “only” and “to be fair.”

                American has minimal influence over Israel. I have no idea why it continues to subsidize it.

                If you thought that Israel could tackle Iran on its own, you would be daft. Israel has used every lever it has to push the US to deal with Iran. Wisely, the US has ignored Israel and appears to be following its own strategic interests for once. Which of course is what it should do.

                • tastemylogos

                  Used those words in the context of rejecting the idea that america ‘bank rolls’ the country.

                  >”American has minimal influence over Israel”

                  Up to the point of conceding the West Bank for no quid pro quo return, that is utter nonsense. The Israelis were desperate to not sign Oslo, not to pull out of Lebanon in 2000, desperate to destroy Saddam Hussein’s scud launchers. 3 of may cases were American influence over Israeli policy has been made apparent.

                  >”If you thought that Israel could tackle Iran on its own, you would be daft.”

                  Unless you are in the know, you have as much idea as me. ie, none.

                  >”the US has ignored Israel and appears to be following its own strategic interests for once.”

                  That old cheastnut. Israelis dictate American policy. You sounded reasonably intelligent up to that point.

    • disqus_KdiRmsUO4U

      May I extrapolate to conclude that you believe the Jews have no talent… !!!!!!

      • AndrewMelville

        Wow! How could you draw that conclusion? I think they are among the most talented, hard working and accomplished group of people ever. I like and admire them tremendously.

        • disqus_KdiRmsUO4U

          A/Melville asks me how I concluded he believes the Jews have no talent.

          You have edited your post.
          What was there allowed me to draw the conclusion I did
          Unless it’s still present somewhere and I cant see it.

          • AndrewMelville

            Er no I edited out a typo immediately after posting. An iPad frequently jams when typing with even moderate speed. Save and edit is often the only way to complete a post.

            I’m happy to accept your apology any time.

    • tastemylogos

      bit bizarre to suggest that a country leading the way in technology, medicine and enterprise is talent-less to be honest. Though i appreciate the substance underlying your post.

      Why people care whether one side or the other is ‘RIGHT ON’ bemuses me especially when the VAST majority of those commenting, know more about quantum physics than they do about the region, its history and its people… ie nothing.

      • Penny

        I certainly agree with you that the vast majority know very little. Time and time again the same old stuff is trotted out but the blame really lies in the media who do very little to rectify that.

        • tastemylogos

          People wouldn’t care if they did, sadly. The vast majority are not stupid, understand the concept of assymetric information and therefore take a neutral stance on the matter (Jews and Muslims aside). It is the idiotic white noisy minority (tiny) that make fools of themselves.

  • Nathan

    The Israel-Palestine issue is crucial because it represents one of the most sinister threads of continuity in western foreign policy: the propping up of morally dubious regimes in order to ensure success for their own quasi-imperialist agendas.

    The fact that so many commenters on this article have bought into the idea of terrorism as, not only some sort of metaphysical threat, but one that is conducted exclusively by followers of Islam is disconcerting. I forgot that white Judeo-Christian people are incapable of committing terrorist acts.

    As Edward Said warned, the history of this conflict is being distorted by Middle-East ‘Orientalists’ who relish in stirring up latent western prejudice towards Muslims.

    • Penny

      Edward Said was once the uncontested guru, but no more. I suggest you take a closer look at the emerging critiques and analyses of his work.

    • Raw England

      So what if we prop up powerful, nuclear NON Muslim nations in the ME? We unashamedly admit to it.

      Having a nuclear armed non Muslim nation in Islam’s land is good for us. It gives us options. It gives us the ultimate option for when the inevitable WW3 with Islam comes.


    • Shazza

      I think the Muslims do a pretty good job of stirring up western prejudice themselves.

    • disqus_KdiRmsUO4U

      Its possible to sympathise with the Arabs in their territorial dispute over Palestine and recognise that Islam is a danger to the Western world.

    • Lamia

      You are surely not expecting that the name of Edward Said will evoke fearful apology and respect? In 2014? The man was a fraud. That’s widely known now. It won’t work anymore.

  • Augustus

    By the time Israel became an independent Jewish state in May 1948 it held only a small portion of the territory originally allocated for the Jewish National Home. The rest of the country was in the illegal possession of neighbouring Arab states who had no sovereign rights over the areas they illegally occupied, that were historically a part of Palestine and the Land of Israel, and were never intended for Arab independence or the creation of another Arab state. The racist Arab world makes a big deal about the Jewish State in its midst. But what about the 40 million Kurds, with their own language, culture and territory, who were the original inhabitants of the Middle East? Conquered and divided by Persians, Turks and Syrians they are the biggest stateless nation around the world and still struggling for freedom and independence. And yet never have any areas been returned to them by Arabs while they keep demanding land within Israeli borders. How hypocritical is that?

    Israel has an economic and inventive output comparable to that of Silicon Valley. In comparison, the surrounding Islamic world is an intellectual desert, full of irrationality, tribal infighting and hatred. And that same anti-culture is now among us too, in the suburbs and cities all over Europe, generously assisted by oil capital and socialist multicultural benevolence.

  • almondaxles

    ” it’s hard for a foreigner to tell Jews and Arabs apart”

    Yes, that because they are genetically identical. Mumbo jumbo written a thousand or more years ago is what divides them.

    Historical suffering is undeniable. That doesn’t mean a better future is impossible.

    • tastemylogos

      > Yes, that because they are genetically identical

      There is a difference between ‘identical and ‘similar’.

      Jews, being far smaller in population and not seeking to proselytise ‘others’ have experienced far more mutation within their genome than that of the Arabs hence the above average IQ within subgroups, deficient genetic structures in some cases and other mutations.

      > Mumbo jumbo….

      Your outlook is incredibly simplistic.

    • Eurocentric

      Too simplistic. It’s like saying all Chinese look alike, but they know the ethnic differences. It is in fact much easier to tell Jew and Arab apart than Jew and Greek! There may be some genetic similarity but both have mixed genes, including the so-called Palestinians, who deny what in fact is well documented if you look for it: many of them are not indigenous to the region but were brought to it by the Ottomans in response to Jewish settlement in the late 19th century. They thus have no better claim to regional ownership than what they say about the Jews. It’s a complicated issue and the mumbo jumbo on both sides has hardly helped.

  • Wessex Man

    Given that both parties freely persecute the Christians through out the Middle East, I think we in Europe should first give aid and shelter to the Christians and then shut the door and let them get on with it!

    • Penny

      This doesn’t make sense to me. “Both parties”, I assume means Israel and Palestinians? If that is the case how can either persecute “through out the Middle East”?

      • Wessex Man


        • Penny

          That’s not an answer.

          The Israelis are pretty bad at the “freely persecuting” stuff. Millions of Christians visit Israel annually and the Christian population has grown 345% since 1949 (i.e. from roughly the declaration of independence.) The Christian growth rate as outpaced the Jewish growth rate in the last dozen years. From 1995 – 2007 the Jewish growth rate was 21%; Christian growth rate in the same period was 25%

    • tastemylogos

      persecute the Christians?

      You’ve never seen Israel’s thriving Christian communities in Qiryat Shemona, Jerusalem and Haifa, have you?

      You;ve never even been.

      Growing population too. Not really similar to the Christian experiences in the rest of the region really, is it?

      • Wessex Man

        yeah of course and you’ve flown to the moon!

        • tastemylogos

          1) Wessex man spouts judgemental, prejudiced nonsense premised in ‘pamphlets’ read and youtube videos wathced

          2) Wessex man is challenged as to how he could be so demonstrably wrong (which you are… demonstrably) and be taken seriously

          3) Wessex man is completely bamboozled to be on the receivng end of such logic propelled lashings he panics and writes a nonsensical, non-sequitur ridden post in response.

          4) Wessex Man obliviously repeats stages, 1,2 and 3 ad-infinitum

    • global city

      Sunni and Shia… yes, their extremists persecute people merely for being Christian. Did you mean another group persecutes Christians throughout the Middle East?

  • Oli

    what i cant wrap my head around is why jewish israelis – a people who have been persecuted for centuries – dont have more sympathy for other persecuted people

    • La Fold

      Simple answer, some of them do.

    • Daniel Maris

      In what sense are the Palestinians being “persecuted”. They refuse to accept the UN settlement agreed back in the late 40s that the land should be shared between two states and continue to seek the elimination of the Jews in the area. They suffer, although you be hard pressed to find a better fed population in the area.

      • disqus_KdiRmsUO4U

        The Arabs refused to accept any incursion into Palestine way before 1947 (?) UN resolution.
        They opposed the influx of Jews as it accelerated from about 1880 when the Zionist proclamations were made.
        BOTH sides committed atrocities in the ensuing conflicts.

        What was the legitimacy of the Ben Gurion regime when declaring the Jewish state ? None as far as I can fathom out.
        In Palestine as a whole the Jews were a 2:1 minority. Something like that anyway.

        If you believe God gave the Jews Palestine then there is little to be said not least because the Arabs say Allah doesn’t agree !!!

        It seems obvious to me that the Arabs who had lived in the area for at least 1000 years have proper title to it.

        To claim that the Arabs are not persecuted is absurd.
        Cast your mind back to the remorseless shelling of Beirut when Arafat took refuge there (even the BBC didn’t need to slant the news)


        the flattening of whole city blocks for what reason I have forgotten. (Two israeli soldiers taken hostage ?)

        • Tom M

          I suggest that you refrain from quoting ancient histor as a definition of rights to the middle East. We could trade dates all day and never reach an agreement.
          I suggest that you start in 1947. Britian could not have the two warring sides in the region reach an agreement. So they did what civilised people do. They sought arbitration from the rest of the countries in the world at the UN. Both sides put their case. A vote was taken (the UK abstained) and the state of Israel was approved.
          The response to this from all of the arab world was to start a war (that in my opinion is not the civiised wa

          • disqus_KdiRmsUO4U

            re your touching faith in the UN:
            I assume you are in favour of the 60/70 or so resolutions holding Israel to account for various ‘transgressions’ be implemented. ?
            Especially the almost unanimously agreed ones condemning the settlements.
            Only the US and four Pacific nations oppose .

            I am not sure the Arabs lost the the first war.
            There was a settlement allowing the Jews to nick a bit more land.
            The Jewish military performance was and has been ever since remarkable.
            Just as well I think.

            re the 1967 War ; Wasn’t that the one when Israel; launched a pre emtpive strike on Egypt.
            Please remind me ?.

            • tastemylogos

              >”re the 1967 War ; Wasn’t that the one when Israel; launched a pre emtpive strike on Egypt.”

              The one with 200’000 Egyptian troops lined up on Israel’s border and Nasser calling for ‘The Reckoning’. Yes, that one.

              It’s a bit like saying Britain started WW2 because of the technicality of declaring war. We all know WW2 began with the German invasion of Poland.

              You do seem to make a habit of cherry picking, it has to be said.

            • tastemylogos

              Clearly. The Arab invasion of Israel in 1948 was defeated. On any count.

              Death count, international recognition, loss of territory (re: Resolution 181), consolidation in region, no other existential threat until Nasser’s madness of 1967. On every basis, the Arabs lost that war.

            • Penny

              Look at the makeup of the committees issuing resolutions against Israel. I think you’ll find that instructive. Also remember that this is the General Assembly and resolutions are not necessarily binding.

              Another interesting fact is that in 2013, the UNGA issued 22 resolutions against Israel and 4 against the rest of the world combined. Given just one of the conflicts raging last year – Syria – do you not think UN resolutions are just a little suspect? Syria, with some 200,000 dead and chemical weapons used is, to the skewed makeup of some UN committees, not as bad as Israelis building homes and/or defending its civilians against rocket attacks.

              • tastemylogos

                There is no, ‘necessary’ about it. Chapter 6 resolutions (GA) are not binding. Only Chapter 7 resolutions (SC) are binding.

                • Penny

                  Thanks for that info.

                • tastemylogos

                  I would like others not so concerned with the region or the conflict to be better informed about the situation, instead of information being cherry picked by monopolies of discourse such as the BBC and NGOs, etc!

                • Penny

                  I agree – 100%!

                • tastemylogos

                  I am not into propaganda or any of that nonsense. It is for people to read further if they wish to know more and there are areas where I would say, Israel’s behaviour has been unsavory (Lebanon 1980 for example). But just like with the conflict in the Balkans and other places around the globe, the degree of cherry picking references really makes my blood boil and casts a disproportionately unfair light on the state. Demonstrably so. It is borderline disgraceful.

                • Penny

                  Again – I agree. My concerns are a little wider. I married into a middle eastern family and lived in the region. Back in the UK, life was hectic and I didn’t have time to pay much attention to the region until Operation Cast Lead. I was utterly astonished by the misreporting, misinformation and bias. The BBC’s in particular was, and is, worrying. This is an institution we should feel we can trust. I no longer can – not only on I/P issues.

                • tastemylogos

                  I’ve learned to be critical ever since I saw the horrors of Croat and Bosniac war crimes against Serbs with my own eyes and laughably (I use that word lightly), the BBC ‘forgot’ to publicise it.

                  Ever since, on a whole range of issues one notices that they seek to subvert honesty and objectivity. On Sri Lanka, the silence on the plight of Bhiri in Bangladesh who live REAL Apartheid, the lack of real vigor in challenging the folly in Iraq, the utter decimation of Christianity in the ME, the plight of the Kurds etc, etc. Long list of misdemeanors.

                  I/P is the jewell in the crown of their dishonesty

                • Penny

                  There is an excellent site – BBC Watch – that I would recommend. Some “watch” sites can be off-putting but this one is intelligent, factual, well-written and uses as it’s modus operandi the BBC’s own guidelines. It provides links to decent resources, too. Its focus is Israel.

                • tastemylogos

                  Much appreciated, Penny! Veyr kind, but if it’s propaganda I’m really not interested. I like to seek truth, not revisionism.

                • Penny

                  I wouldn’t direct you to propaganda sites because I don’t know of any. As I said, the site simply holds the BBC to its own guidelines. I think it’s listed in the top 100 political blogs on Technorati (have I got that name rights?). Anyway – the choice is yours – obviously!

                • tastemylogos

                  Will have a critical look. Thank you.


                • newname

                  How do you define propaganda? Where do you find the “truth”?

                • tastemylogos

                  Truth is impossible to obtain but through reading and experience you can get as close to it as possible. One way of ensuring you won;t get there is reading the Jpost, the BBC, watching Youtube or the SWP and believing you have all the facts. Hasbara is as much a nonsense as Palestinian propaganda spouted by the likes of Jeremy Bowen.

                • newname

                  All I see here are some statements with no evidence to back them up. On what do you base your claim that Hasbara is a nonsense?

                • tastemylogos

                  All propaganda is ultimately dishonest. In its very nature.

              • disqus_KdiRmsUO4U

                Look at the vote for/against resolution 181 (the 1947 partition vote)
                Not supported at all by the Arab nations.whose population was most effected.

                Re Syria and Sunni/Shia dispute: in general it represents the behaviour of people whom I would describe as insane.

                Bullding homes on other peoples’ land.
                How cosy is that ?
                Has not even the US acknowledged it to be wrong ?

                • Penny

                  The Arab population already had over 70% of the land originally designated as a Jewish homeland: it was created as TransJordan. The Jews accepted this. They accepted further losses via partition – the Arabs did not. What you appear to be suggesting is that all ethnicities were entitled to their own homelands but not the Jews of the region.

                  What do you mean by “building homes on other peoples’ land”?

                • disqus_KdiRmsUO4U

                  The proposed redistribution set out in res. 181 would have resulted in the Jewish population having only a small majority.
                  Since the Arabs are more fecund than the Jews and the Jews believe in democracy , at least when their interests are not threatened , the Jewish leadership foresaw a problem.

                  Solution kick the buggas out and kill them if they wont go.

                  Please google dear old peace loving Manachem Begin and what he was prepared to do to further the establishment of an Israeli state.
                  His organisation even murdered British soldiers.
                  What can be more perfidious than that ?

                • Penny

                  No one “kicked the buggas(?) out”. The five arab armies decided to wage war on Israel. If that had not happened the situation today would not exist. And if you think these armies attacked in order to support Palestinian Arabs and allow them self-rule you’d be quite wrong. They would have extended their own territories.

                  As for what can be more perfidious? You do know that the Arabs rose up against the British, don’t you? Look for the Arab Revolt 1936 – 1939. Also look for the collaboration between Palestinian Grand Mufti Haj Amin al-Husseini and Hitler.

                • disqus_KdiRmsUO4U

                  When the Arab nations of the primarily Arabic Levant seek control over what is today Palestine you see that as invalid.

                  When the Jews establish control over parts of the same area you see that as valid.

                  Is that double standard ?.

                • Penny

                  The Arab armies staged a war of aggression against a legitimate state. The Jews didn’t “establish control” illegitimately!

                  This is like nailing jelly to a wall. You don’t understand how countries came into being after the fall of the Ottoman Empire. If you claim Israel is somehow illegitimate then ALL the others are.

                  Go and find out the facts – do some research instead of posting stuff you think is true.

                  Also realise that Israel is tiny. Size-wise it is 1/6th of 1% of the Arab world entire.

                • disqus_KdiRmsUO4U

                  Whenever I ask you question you cant answer you tell me to go and find out the facts hehehehehe

                  Re your ‘legitimacy’ of Israel point you have dodged that question on at least two occasions.
                  The Arab nations were mostly created by outsiders in the 1920’s
                  Israel created itself after a series of Zionist congresses taking place outside of the Levant.
                  As far as I know the Arabs had no say at those congresses.
                  The 16th taking place in Zurich being a critical one.
                  You go and check the facts about the Zionist congresses

                  re your jelly wall analogy my jelly is really a thick solid steak it’s your hammer that’s wobbly.

                  re your size of Israel point:: the state of Israel was instituted by an illegitimate Agency led by Ben Gurion
                  They took control of a land in which they were a MINORITY..
                  That’s a FACT which most poster refuse to acknowledge.

                  Many Islamic apologists do think that the Arab states are illegitimate and blame ‘whitey’ for the current mess in Iraq
                  ditto Syria I expect.

                  Today many claim that Israel is the only democracy in the region.
                  If true now it’s because the opposition was the 40’s.

                • Penny

                  No, it’s jelly. The problem is that your knowledge is so scant and so full of silliness that, as mentioned above, either a) informing you would require a history lesson and neither have I the time to be teacher nor is there room in on this blog – or b) I have answered but you don’t know enough to comprehend that it is an answer.

                  I told you to go to YouTube and, in the first few minutes of Prof. Kontorovich’s talk you will get a brief history of events following the fall of the Ottoman empire along with the conferences relevant to the region.

                  As for Israel being created by Zionists outside of the Levant; Winston Churchill essentially “created” Jordan out of wider Israel and installed the Hashemites – not Palestinian Arabs despite them being the majority. Look up the concerns of Jordanian Palestinians today.

            • Tom M

              I presume you forgot the first UN resolution to be passed concerning Israel and Palestine. That being Resolution 181 when far from recognising the requirements the arabs (all of them) started the first war against Israel.

              As to 1967 war I submit this:
              May 15th 1967 UAR mobilises their armed forces in the Sinai desert
              May 18th 1967 UAR asks UN to remove their buffer peace keeping forces UNEF from the armistice line in the Sinai desert. Having achieved this the UAR continue an armed build up in the Sinai.
              May 22nd 1967 President Nasser blockades the Gulf of Aqaba to Israeli shipping (please note that in the just causes of war blockading the free passage of a country’s shipping is considered itself to be an act of war)
              May 26th 1967 President Nasser of Egypt speech to Arab Trade Unions: “……our basic objective will be to destroy Israel”.
              May 31st 1967 President Aref of Iraq: “……..our goal is clear – to wipe Israel off the map”.
              June 5th 1967 Israel launch their armed forces against the surrounding arab states.
              I suggest to the arabs that If you don’t wish to have wars don’t sound or act like you are about to start one.

              • disqus_KdiRmsUO4U

                Possibly I’m being censored not sure but here is my reply.

                You have posted the conventional explanations as to why Israel attacked Egypt.

                I quote Menachem Begin
                (..)in order to argue for an Israeli invasion of Lebanon in the 80s,
                reminded the Israeli Knesset that unprovoked strikes were already part
                of Israel’s history, remarking in regards to the 1967 war that, “The
                Egyptian army concentrations in the Sinai approaches do not prove that
                Nasser was really about to attack us. (…) We decided to attack him

                You can also find documented admissions by Israeli officials that the Egyptian troop movements were defensive in nature or were made in order to prepare for intervenention if Syria was attacked.

                Syria was attacked…premptively.

                Also Israeli UN spokespersons claimed that Egyption initiated military action.
                This was UNTRUE.

              • disqus_KdiRmsUO4U

                Just to clarify one aspect of what I think re the M/East
                if ever the Arab military does defeat Israel , seemingly most unlikely, then a bloodbath may well be initiated but would be stopped by the US.

                The problem as I see it is, based on current Israeli actions there is going to be an unstoppable short sharp covertly initiated devastating incident in Israel.

                Am I wrong ?

                • Tom M

                  The US also stopped the IDF from going straight to Cairo in 1973. A sensible US intervention I thought at the time although, if memory serves, only after the USSR threatened to intervene militarily.
                  If the event you refer to ever happened I indeed hope the US would intervene in that case also.
                  As to your second point I fear you may be right as it is the belligerent arabs states (the latest being Iran and Ahmadinejad’s reported wish to eradicate Israel with nuclear weapons) that want to eradicate Israel not the jews who wish to eradicate the arabs. The initiative always rests with the agressor.

              • disqus_KdiRmsUO4U

                I replied to your timeline of the build up to the ’67 war but the post seems to have disappeared.

                in a nutshell:
                Menachem Begin is on record as admitting the Israeli action was preemptive and inferring that he knew that the Egyptian troop movements were preparatory ( Syria being attacked) and/or defensive.

                Israeli UN representatives lied when claiming the Egyptians initiated the ground war.

                Didn’t the Liberty incident take place during the war ?

                I wonder what the Israeli’s were trying to achieve there.
                Unmarked aircraft too !

                • Tom M

                  Read my timeline for 1967 again especially the bit about the blockade and the UAR requesting the removal of UNEF. All very good indications of a neighbour’s warlike intentions.
                  The Liberty incident was an American intellgence gathering ship and has nothing whatsoever to do with how the 1967 war started..

                • disqus_KdiRmsUO4U

                  Re the Liberty incident; it shows how Machiavellian the Jews were in the 67 war.

                  A top ranking US officer, and I mean Admiral/General, whose views were NOT reported by the US independent media hehehe , ( tho’ they are present in the congressional record ) described it as an act of war.
                  He was correct.

                  it was clearly designed to cause the US to believe it was perpetrated by Egypt.

            • Daniel Maris

              General Assembly resolutions have no legal force.

        • Penny

          Jews also lived in the region for millenia – why do they not have title given that, clearly, they were there first. Arabs are, after all, from Arabia?

          Your entire post suggests you have very little knowledge of the region or how the current states in the ME came into being.

          • disqus_KdiRmsUO4U

            Penny: if I know nothing about the Palestine problem perhaps you could tell me what I posted that was incorrect ?
            Most important please provide a post explaining the legitimacy ( spelling it out: the right to do what it did , declare UDI ) of the Ben Gurion regime ?
            Very very important is that !!

            Jews were a massive minority in 1880 and as I say about 2: 1 in the 1940’s
            TomM wants to start considering the problem from 1940’s ‘cos that’s when its most convenient for the Jews.

            If only Muslims had immigrated into the UK and if they were as dynamic as the Jews the UK could possibly face the same problem that befell the Arabs in the M/East.

            As it is some form of strife… I was going to say is inevitable when in actual fact it has already occurred.

            Re the UN vote on partition/new nation state if it tried to reassign Scotland Bradford or Cornwall should Cameron agree ?

            • tastemylogos

              not really true. Arabs were migrating into Palestine in HUGE numbers before 1948. Indeed, the 1929 riots began as Arabs from Transjordan began flooding into the city, driving the Jews out.

              Churchill noted this in a letter to Allenby.

              Therefore, your analogy to the UK is false.

              • disqus_KdiRmsUO4U

                population stats of Palestine in 1000’s

                Year Jews Christians Muslim
                1800 7 22 246 275
                1890 43 57 432 532
                1914 94 70 525 689
                1922 84 71 589 752
                1931 175 89 760 1,033
                1947 630 143 1,181 1,970
                Obtained from the Wiki.

                note the high birth rate of the Jews between 1931/47. hehehehehe

                Jewish population increased by a factor of four the Arab by LESS than two
                In any case the Jews were a minority a FACT I have posted more than once.

                Take care who or is it whom you accuse of cherry picking

                • tastemylogos

                  sorry, I wasn’t aware of the rules of this game. Let me get it right. Basically, I have to select bits of the message, and ignore the rest? Right. Got it now.

                  I didn’t disagree that there was Jewish immigration, did I?

                  You are selecting facts because you dismiss Arab immigration. It didn’t happen, right????? Would you like me to repeat?

                • disqus_KdiRmsUO4U

                  If you cant see that my comment about UDI of Bradford is meant only as a whimsical fancy but would be ANALOGOUS , should it occur , to the Israeli UDI then you are lacking perspective.

                • tastemylogos

                  > UDI


                  > whimsical fancy

                  so what’s the point????? whimsical fancy is an argument?

                  As the UK is a nation state with borders, and the UK hasn’t witnessed a 100% increase in ethnic white Brits entering the country during and immigration war, WHY DID YOU MENTION IT? What’s the point??

                  You can make anything fit if you really want it to.

            • Penny

              I can’t speak for Tom, of course, but I can’t imagine he’s pointed to 1947 because it’s more convenient for the Jews! It isn’t – not if you’re trying to explain the facts to someone who doesn’t know the earlier history.

              You need to go further back to the fall of the Ottoman empire after WW1. This empire had ruled for centuries over a swathe of the middle east. There were no autonomous countries – just a single region. When the empire fell countries were redefined (look at the map – there are quite a few straight lines!) and some were created. Israel is one such country and to question her legitimacy you must question the others, too.

              • disqus_KdiRmsUO4U

                Thanks for the info, re Ottoman control of the Palestine province of their Empire.
                Funnily enough that empire I believe to be the longest lasting ever.

                What i DID asked you to EXPLAIN to me is any error of principle that I have posted re the Arab/Israeli conflict.
                Especially how a minority regime (Ben Gurion/Jewish agency ) can legitimately lay claim to territory. in which overall they are a minority.

                That you didn’t do.

                i am no defender of Islam and I am no enemy of Israel.
                I just post my opinions based on my world view.
                That view leads me to conclude that the long term future of Israel is NOT secure.

                Someone FALSELY thinks the Jews did not gain more territory after the first Arab/Jew conflict and someone else believes that declaring war doesn’t start war.
                The reference was WW2

                The first Arab/Jew war was preceded by what amounted to civil war when I BELIEVE the expulsion by force of.the Arabs from villages where they had lived for at least 1000 years took place.
                THe expulsions CERTAINLY occured later but are rationalised with the claim that surrounding Arab nations told the villagers to leave prior to their planned assault on Israel.

                Just to add a touch of controversy the UK declaration of war on Germany was a major error which we were very lucky to survive.

                Some believe that Jewish agitation was present in the background.
                I am not sure whether is true or not.

                • Penny

                  Re the “That you didn’t do” bit.

                  I did. I told you that after the fall of the Ottoman empire countries and their borders were redefined and, in some cases, created. The same was true for the Austro- Hungarian empire. Jordan, for example, came into being as Transjordan on around 78% of the land previously desginated as the Jewish homeland. That was the original Paelstinian Arab homeland and today they are in the majority in Jordan. The Arabs didn’t accept this and so partition was proposed. They didn’t accept that either. Ben Gurion didn’t just seize bits of Palestine for himself. There were legal processes prior to Israel’s declaration of independence. Processes which involved the international community.

                  Look – I can’t give you a history lesson on a blog. You’re missing far too much. And in any case, I do think this is something you could research for yourself rather than asking others to simply tell you. Perhaps go to YouTube and look for Prof. Eugene Kontorovich’s video “The Case for Israel”. He is an international lawyer and the first few minutes give you a brief history of events after the fall of the Ottoman empire.

                • Lamia

                  Funnily enough that empire I believe to be the longest lasting ever.

                  That’s very funny.

                  The Ottoman Empire lasted from 1299-1922, i.e. 623 years.

                  The Eastern Roman Empire lasted from 303-1453. That is 1150 years. That’s over five hundred years longer.

                  The Holy Roman Empire lasted 844 years.

                  The collective Roman Empire (East and West) lasted 1849 years. That’s nearly three times as long as your longest-lasting ever Empire.

                  The Khmer Empire lasted 630 years

                  You are partisan ignoramus.

                • disqus_KdiRmsUO4U

                  I made a minor blunder in my post by ‘believing’
                  testing 123[b]believing[/b]
                  that the Ottoman empire was the longest lasting ever.
                  What that demonstrates is that I post based on my world view and do not check everything via google.

                  In the context of a thread about the existential threat posed to Israel I then made a MAJOR blunder by posting about the UK decision to declare war on Germany.
                  I have long held the view that it was a mistake, the declaration I mean., but I should not have introduced it here.

                  The inevitable happened: it was taken as support for Nazism which I must point tho’ awful almost from 1933 did not gather full momentum until 1942..
                  I’m speaking of social repression not military expansionism.

                  My guess is that I may be one of the few who has no problems with the invasion of Iraq tho’ I always have believed it was done to protect Israel.

                  The ensuing carnage demonstrates the madness under pinned by religious fundamentalism of many many Muslims.
                  Does that make me an anti semite in the conventionial use of the expression ?

        • Daniel Maris

          So why is it OK for Palestinians who are Turkish (left over from the Turkish occupation of Palestine) to remain?

      • disqus_KdiRmsUO4U

        re the birth of Israel it seems fairly obvious to me that a conspiracy existed between the US and Jewish movement in general.
        The USA were actually informed of the UDI and accepted it within hours.
        It’s possible the UK was involved.tho’ we had earlier tried to limit the number of Jews entering Palestine.
        Paul Newman put the lid on that.

        We offered Palestine to the Arabs due to their support in defeating the Turks and to the Jews in order to get the US into WW1.

      • victor67

        Its all relative , but Israel cannot remain Jewish and a democracy while it controls the lives of 3 million Palestinians. Israel will not be defeated militarily but demographically. It depends on the US for financial, military and diplomatic protection but their are signs Uncle Sam’s love affair with Israel is cooling.
        Fortress Israel will only get them so far.

        • Penny

          Victor – Israel doesn’t control 3 million Palestinians. What would be the point of the PA and the elections if that were the case?

          Perhaps look up the civil and security administrations in Areas A, B and C. I think you’ll find the PA are evident.

          • victor67

            Israel has sub-contracted the Occupation to the PA. The two state solution is dead in the water. Many Palestinians view that as another tragedy but longer term its a bigger problem for Israel

            • Penny

              But the Palestinians have a state, don’t they? They have some UN status; banks; passports; area and ip codes; a government (albeit one that seems to shy away from elections). All they need is final status agreements on borders.

              How do you know the views of many Palestinians, Victor?

  • Cyberquill

    The West’s disproportionate focus on matters relating to Israel may, at least in part, derive from the perception of Israel as a fellow Western-style nation, governed by familiar precepts more akin to the Western Judeo-Christian world view than is the Arab sharia system, which seems more alien to us Westeners.

    • global city

      and the fact that all those weird, religious obsessed bigoted Arabs want to literally murder all the Jews, every Jew, and not just the ones in Israel.

      This, er, new holocaust mania’ is the problem to a solution, nothing else.

  • Pootles

    Uh oh, West. This will now become a rational argument free zone. Incoming !!

    • tastemylogos

      There is plenty of sensible conversation too. Sadly you have to simply sift through it. But ‘Muzeli’ upvoting you has got to be an attempted case at irony.

  • zanzamander

    Firstly, it is the Left that indulges in antisemitism and then blames the Right. Right has to correct this.

    Secondly, I doubt anybody in the Third World is fighting the West, it is only Islam(ism) and the Western useful idiots who are at war with us.

    Thirdly, no matter how you cut it, Arabs/Muslims will never allow a Jewish state to exist in the ME.

    And lastly, for me it is not very complicated at all. The fight between Israel and her neighbours is a fight between good and evil. Sadly, but no doubt inspired by their innate antisemitism, many of us have gone over to the dark side.

    • Shazza

      Israel is the canary in the mine. Once this brave little country falls to the ‘Palestinians’ i.e., total islamisation, then Europe is next. And us.

      • mightymark

        Ed says:

        “I’ve always found it strange that people in the West are so fixated by the subject, especially now that the rest of the Middle East is filled with daily atrocities and injustices that dwarf anything in the Holy Land.”

        One of the problems is that many in the west believe that “solving” the Israel/Palestine problem (whether with Israel’s survival or otherwise) is the key to solving the problems Western civilisation/culture has with a resurgent and often militant Islam that they don’t really undertsand and which frightens them. “Solving” I/P which they ususally taake to mean dumping on Israel, is a kin of “quick fix” for this mentality.

        As you say however they have this all the wrong way round. Forcibly disadvantaging Israel will actually encourage the militants.

        • Shazza

          Totally agree. The deluded West believe that if the I/P situation is resolved, all our problems with militant and indeed demographic islam, will miraculously disappear. Islam is playing the long game and unless we in the west wake up very, very soon, it will be game over if it is not already.

          • roger

            But there shouldn’t be a I/P situation, just a single region without religious based states. The UN messed up in 1948, the British messed up in 1920. The mandate is at the heart of the problem.

            • Shazza

              Unfortunately, that would not have protected the Jews from total annihilation at the hands of the ‘Palestinians’.

            • Penny

              Turkey picked the wrong side in 1914, Roger.

              • Avram Cohen

                I would hope so,, the Islamic crypto Jews of the Ottoman empire did a great job in brutally wiping out 3,5 million Christian Armenians, Assyrians and Greeks!

            • global city

              How would that have stopped the Jew hate… and the Sunni Shia hate and the plans for the Caliphate hate and the anti Western hate, the Christianlands hate, the Infadel hate….and the rest?

              You should refer yourself to the above post that explains precisely where people like you have got the issue so utterly wrong.

            • Lamia

              There was just one region; it was called the Ottoman Empire. Do you suggest reinstituting Turkish rule over the Middle East?

        • sarah_13

          It’s true the problem seems never to have been israel, it is the battles between the infidel and muslims, then sunni and shia, and then anyone deemed an apostate and the observant muslim and so it goes on until one can imagine there is only one person left standing.

          The whole issue really was crystallised for me recently with the lib den parliamentary candidate who retweeted the mo and jesus t shirt thing. He is a muslim and said he wasn’t bothered and that he was not offended, but other muslims basically rounded on him and have tried to bully him into submission.

          So now a parliamentary candidate is not free to say what he wants for fear of offending someones sensibilities, not because the law stops him but because the threats of violence by a small minority are effectively stopping him. Its call the “hecklers veto” in the us; In the US the government is responsible for creating free spaces in which all can speak freely, the fact of offence is irrelevant. We really have to have something like the first amendment here, and we need to do it soon before a consensus of “received wisdom” deny us the right to even discuss this, before we are all bullied into submission.

      • zanzamander

        Not just Israel but the entire Jewry is the canary in the mine. Look at the plight of Christians in the Muslim world, now that Jews have been nearly totally eliminated from the Islamic world, they’ve turned on Christians. History has shown that it is always the Jews who get it from the fascists, bigots and racists and if you don’t stand up for them, just as night follows day, you will be next.

        (btw, I say the above as a non-Jewish person, I don’t want antisemitic bigots to think “oh look there goes another Jew mouthing off”).

        I/P is a fight between liberty, freedom and progress against repression, slavery and subjugation (if you’re lucky). Take your pick, I know which side I’m on.

        • Shazza

          Agree on all accounts including the point you make about not being Jewish. Neither am I – just a very, very concerned individual who despairs at the perfidy of our ‘leaders’ and the naivety and ignorance of the general population.

      • Penny

        There exists – or used to exist – two vids on YouTube in which Palestinian MP’s Yunis al-Astal and Fathi Ahmad were preaching the ambition to “turn to Rome” (and Europe, USA) once the battle with Israel was won.

        If Israel fell the psychological boost to all jihadis around the world would be immense. It would be a sign that Allah had prevailed and the winds of change – Islamic change – are blowing.

        • Shazza

          So true Penny and so frightening. The cowardice of the MSM/politicians who willfully distort and hide the reality of our situation, is truly breathtaking.

          • Penny

            I’m a little unsure as to the meaning of “turn to Rome”. It could mean the heart of Christianity (Catholic, anyway!) or it could mean Western Europe.

            • Shazza

              I would take it to mean the Vatican, St. Peter’s and the heart of Catholicism. Conquer and convert this to islam and then the rest of Europe followed by the USA. Destroy Christianity and with it, Western civilisation. Establish the world wide caliphate.

              • Penny

                It’s been a while since I watched these videos but I think they drew a distinction between “Rome” and eastern Europe – (they include this region – it’s possibly not Islamic enough for them) – which is why I was puzzled as to the meaning of “Rome”

                • global city

                  They have been fighting against Christians since before the great schism, so ‘Rome’ is short hand for Christianity and the Christian lands… including the Orthodox areas nowadays. They took Constantinople.

                  You have to remember just how backward the zealots are, they talk like it is still the 11th C.

            • global city

              It means both… physically invading Europe and destroying ‘the Christ cult’

        • Tom M

          Israel perhaps but first Pakistan. The nuclear armed jewel in the crown for the jihadis. After that………

          • Penny

            Quite possible, Tom.

            I went to hear Jordanian Palestinian Mudar Zahran speak and he felt Pakistan was a red light flashing away that we (and Israel) ignore at our peril.

      • Daniel Maris

        Absolutely. We should defend Israel as a democratic UN authorised state.

        • Avram Cohen

          and turn a blind eye while they bulldoze property of the Palestinians, who are Muslims and Christians!? Because nothing Israel does can be wrong, even apartheid…

      • pp22pp

        Europe is set to fall a lot sooner than Israel.

      • mike karam

        Can explain to me why you feel that the “Palestinians” represent “total islamisation (sic)”?

        • global city

          They don’t… but it is you who is confusing the issue.

    • disqus_KdiRmsUO4U

      quote >Thirdly, no matter how you cut it, Arabs/Muslims will never allow a Jewish state to exist in the ME.

      I agree with this.
      That is why IMO some form of major ‘terrorist’ strike against Israel will eventually succeed.

      Each side wants more than the other can concede.

      • Daniel Maris

        I think this is essentially right. The Israelis are in a far more perilous position than most people realise. The Arabs aren’t stupid – they hope to bring down Israel, ant-style, by a thousand bites, and they hope to make the bites more poisonous.

        • tastemylogos

          > The Arabs aren’t stupid

          What evidence is there of this in recent decades? The Iranians certainy are not stupid but thats not a surprise considering their perilous geographic position and thriving culture.

          The problems in that region are complex but a major contributing factor to them, is an over emotional feudal people not understanding what is in their interests and elevating emotion over prudence. They perpetuate the status quo to the extent that their own people are willing to be held hostage in an apartheid system of refugee status within Arab countries, even if it means their children will grow old, poor, homeless and derelict of education.

          • Penny

            Small niggle: The Iranians aren’t Arab (although 3% may be ethnically so). They’re Persians.

            • tastemylogos

              I know. I didn’t suggest they were.

              NB An even smaller niggle. They are not Persians, they are Aryans (Iran = Aryanam: Land of the Aryan). Ignorant westerners call them Persians. Iranians hate it.

              • Penny

                My apologies if I misunderstood!

                And yes, I’ve read the Aryan thing. What Iranians prefer to be called seems to vary. I’ve certainly heard/read some who, as you suggest, prefer Aryan – and can be quite heated about it – but equally, some prefer Persian. I’ve tried to understand this but it isn’t exactly light bed-time reading!

          • Daniel Maris

            I mean from the point of view of their ruling ideology – Islam (mixed in with Arab racism).

            Wherever you look, you see this. Take for instance the decision to create permanent “refugee” status for the Palestinians.

  • black11hawk

    Is that Mark Carney on the left in that picture?

  • La Fold

    “I know that 100,000 dead in Syria is a high price to pay for that, but I suppose we should look at the upsides” I know this is meant to be tongue in cheek and irreverant in a BBC 3 comedy sort of way but even I found this particularly distasteful.

    • Mr Grumpy

      It’s rather brilliant and the point it makes is deadly serious. Because there really are lots of people for whom, even now, the security barrier, the settlements and the blockade of Gaza are the most evil things happening in the Middle East. That’s what’s distasteful.


      • La Fold

        I fully concur with your point. Personally I just find the deaths of mostly innocent men women and children being reffered to in such a glib fashion left a bitter taste in my mouth.

        • Mr Grumpy

          Fair enough, black humour doesn’t tickle everyone’s funny bone. I’m glad we agree on the substance.

          • La Fold

            strange thing is gallows humour usually doesnt faze me. Must be getting soft in my old age.

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