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British MPs call for concrete action to sanction Israel

Middle East
on 41 Comments

In Westminster last Monday, Dec 1, MPs called for the government to take concrete action to sanction Israel, with several calling for a complete arms trade embargo. The backbench debate highlighted increasing frustration within Parliament around the government’s failure to respond to the Oct 13 call for recognition of the Palestinian statehood, and on its wider failure to act to hold Israel accountable to its obligations under international law.

Responding to the petition END THE CONFLICT IN PALESTINE, which was signed by 124,490 people, Grahame Morris  —who previously, on 13 Oct, presented the historic debate which concluded that government should recognise the State of Palestine, began his speech decrying the lack of meaningful action by the UK government to help end the conflict:

“There has been a gap in the rhetoric of Ministers. I know they made tremendous efforts, but there is now a growing gap in credibility between rhetoric and action, which is unacceptable. If we want to see an end to the horrifying cycle of violence and abuses of human rights, and if we wish to bring both parties to the negotiating table in good faith, we need to close that gap.”

He went on to propose a three steps that UK government must now take:

“What should we do? Members, and hopefully the Minister, may wish to consider my proposal that we put an end to trade with and investment in illegal Israeli settlements in the West Bank.

“Personally, I do not think that we should have to boycott settlement goods; we should not be allowed to buy them in the first place. The UK Government should work at EU level to ensure that such products of suffering and exploitation are banned.

“There is overwhelming evidence that we should also end the arms trade with Israel, based on United Nations evidence that serious breaches of international law occurred before, during and after the most recent assault on Gaza. The UK should have no part in them or in supplying arms and components that allow such things to happen.”

Morris’s sentiments were echoed by many other members stating only sanctions and an arms embargo would work. Labour party MP Sir Gerald Kaufman referenced George Bush Sr. withholding £10 billion of loan guarantees to Israel and MP Hywel Williams suggested following the “example of the Spanish Government” who froze arms sales to Israel last summer during the slaughter in Gaza.

MP from Northern Ireland Mark Durkan made the point that Israel couldn’t “go on believing that it can ignore all the world all the time.”

The debate was by no means one-sided. A number of MPs defended the government position, repeating Israel talking points about Palestinian “unilateral declarations” and blaming the Palestinian Authority for incitement, urging only greater efforts to “restart direct talks”.

Following protocol, the session concluded with the government Minister, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, Mr Tobias Ellwood, responding to questions, in which he restated the government’s position on Palestinian statehood, and rejected out-of-hand any prospect of sanctions:

The Honorable Member spoke about introducing sanctions. I do not believe that should be done when we are trying to get people back to the table. It would be a retrograde step bearing in mind where we are right now.

We agree that Palestinian people deserve a sovereign, independent, democratic, contiguous and viable Palestinian state living in peace and security side by side with Israel. However, I am afraid we continue to reserve the right to recognise Palestine when that is most likely to lead to a two-state solution.

There were 40 speakers in a session lasting 4 hours. The general tone of the debate was one that urged concrete unilateral action; that the time for talking is over, acknowledging public opinion across the UK, and highlighting the glaring gap between the UK government’s grand words of condemnation but meagre action.

The full text of the parliamentary session is available here.

pshoben
About Stan Hoben

Stan Hoben is a software engineer and human rights activist living in Northern Ireland. Follow him on twitter @newryforgaza

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41 Responses

  1. RoHa
    RoHa
    December 3, 2014, 5:45 pm

    Goodness, they’ve really got the bit between their teeth, haven’t they? Who do these people think they are? Well, even in his current deLapidated condition, I’m sure King Bibi will be able to slap down Sir Gerald and the other anti -Semites.

    • Steve Macklevore
      Steve Macklevore
      December 4, 2014, 2:43 am

      Sir Gerald Kaufman is a Jew, you idiot!

      • bryan
        bryan
        December 4, 2014, 3:54 am

        Steve you might be the idiot. Once upon a time antisemitism meant irrational hostility towards Jews and the Jewish religion. Those days are long gone, and those who bandy the term around, using it as an attempt to stifle debate, apply the term to any reasoned criticism of the state of Israel.

      • RoHa
        RoHa
        December 4, 2014, 4:14 am

        Sorry, Steve, but you need to turn on your sarcasm detector. I know Kaufmann of old, from the days when I lived in Britain. Here’s his most famous bit.

        https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=qMGuYjt6CP8

      • RoHa
        RoHa
        December 4, 2014, 4:16 am

        Though clearly not well enough to refrain from adding an extra n to his name.

      • eljay
        eljay
        December 4, 2014, 8:58 am

        >> Steve Macklevore: Sir Gerald Kaufman is a Jew, you idiot!

        What seems idiotic is the suggestion that it is impossible for a Jewish person to be anti-Semitic.

      • ritzl
        ritzl
        December 4, 2014, 10:27 am

        I believe RoHa’s comment was sarcasm, given the Zionist propensity to label anyone critical of Israel an anti-semite.

      • Theo
        Theo
        December 5, 2014, 1:39 pm

        When the first time I have seen that speach of Sir Kaufmann I was most impressed, because I can imagine how much pressure from the local zionist community he must withstand!
        If only we not jews could muster the same courage and face up to those congressmen and senators in Washington, who long forgot who in the first place sent them there.

      • RoHa
        RoHa
        December 5, 2014, 6:33 pm

        Psssst, Theo. “Sir” always goes with the given name. You can’t use it with the surname alone.

        “Sir Gerald” if you are addressing him or referring to him in a familiar way.
        “Sir Gerald Kaufman” if you are talking about him in a formal way. “Kaufman” for academic reference or if you don’t want to bother with titles.

    • DaBakr
      DaBakr
      December 4, 2014, 4:03 pm

      i would say the exact opposite: that once upon a time the term ‘anti-semetic’ was used to describe blind and irrational hatred of Jews but over time was watered down to include the terminology for any people of middle eastern descent which includes Arabs and most Palestinians and then was utilized by the most devout and true Jew-haters as a perfect screen where they could hide their irrational and violent Jew-hatred behind the cover of criticizing Israeli policy.

      So now the term has become SO muddled and convoluted its almost useless and a new more plain term should replace it which is unambiguous: Jew-hatred. It doesn’t imply hatred of Israeli policy nor does it equivocate between those who hate Arabs and those who hate Jews. And it could no longer be used as both @roh and @ej have to scold those who use anti-semite incorrectly to attack those who oppose israeli policy.

      But on the other hand-it would also deprive those who truly hate Jews from using the excuse of opposing Israel as a screen for them not being labeled Jew-haters, which they most definitely are. I can not think of any egregious poster on MW* but there are quite a few on other popular anti-Zionist sites who definitely hide their Jew-hatred behind anti-Zionist policy. And a new term would also free up those whop truly hate Israel but do not hate Jews to espouse that sentiment w/o the anti-semetic term.

      * I would say there is a poster here who is particularly adept at pointing out minor and meticulous factoids about the Nazis/nazi regalia and seems to relish in every detailed comparison between nazis and Israelis (which I firmly do believe is the mark of a true Jew-hater, even if they happen to be Jewish. But luckily, the whole ‘nazi-meme’ has become so wide spread and so frikkin absurd that it is much easier then ever before to just relegate ANY nazi comparison as a joke, not serious and almost worthy of embracing as an ironic twist. Like young people want to be identified as outlaw hoodlum bikers- everyone is a nazi now.

      In fact-I would say because of groups like IS an Boko Harum-the nazi atrocities are more quickly fading into the hazy world of historic anomalies. And those like Norman Finklestein-though perhaps objectinable as a personality-has definitely added to the conversation by pointing out those Jews (and others) who over-utilized the memory of the Shoah to promote Israeli policy. While this meme was used in the first 20 years of building up Israel as a nation it has definitely outlived its usefulness as a constant reminder of the evil that humans do. We have too many modern examples from Pol Pot to Rawanda to remind us that “never again” requires constant vigilance and it should not be used as a recruiting tool.

      But even I am guilty of this ‘normalization’ of nazi edification. How it might be wondered?

      A cousin who was flooded out a while back and while helping him clean his ceramic shop he gave me a bag and said-“here, my (much older) brother was at the Battle of the Bulge and I know you like tools, knives and stuff”. I opened the greasy paper bag and there were three bayonets. Two were regular German army eagle head. But one was an ivory handled ceremonial dress dagger of a major’s rank or higher. It has pure silver braids, festooned with swastikas and sheathed in nazi fantasies of a 1000 year reich. It was truly a magnificent item made with high design and lasting impact in mind. (kind of like the joke the other day about the Hugo Boss connection to those ‘cool’ looking nazi trench coats.

      Years ago I might have thought ritual burning and/or destruction of nazi artifact would be appropriate. But now-considering the US, Russia and allies beat their asses and their 1000 yr reich is nothing but dust and the modern Germans are mostly a very changed people—it almost seems quaint to possess an instrument of their glorification and almost no different then the intricately engraved bronze/gold Roman spearhead I found as boy on the lower plains of Syria in the 70s. Its a trophy, for certain, but it shows that time slowly does heal many if not most wounds but Jew-hating lives on as -in my internet quest for information on exactly what kind of nazi dagger I had-turned up a slew of fanatical jew-haters who are pining for another ‘reich’ and offered me obscene amounts of money for this ceremonial item that touched a nazi commanders dna. Go figure. Its mounted on my wall-and yes-I do think it was worn by a man who most probably would have accepted the complete destruction of my people with no regard at all. And I also know that Palestinians had nothing at all to do with its manufacture or ideology and yet they have still paid a price for the sins of the 3rd reich. and so…..

      • annie
        annie
        December 6, 2014, 2:40 am

        And it could no longer be used as both @roh and @ej have to scold those who use anti-semite incorrectly to attack those who oppose israeli policy.

        when you say “to scold those who use anti-semite incorrectly to attack those who oppose israeli policy.” are you referencing jonathan cook’s “How Israel is Engineering the “Clash of Civilizations”” http://www.counterpunch.org/2006/09/23/how-israel-is-engineering-the-quot-clash-of-civilizations-quot/ ?

        Israel alerted the world to another wave of anti-Semitism in the early 1980s, just as it came under unprecedented criticism for its invasion and occupation of Lebanon. What distinguished the new anti-Semitism from traditional anti-Jewish racism of the kind that led to Germany’s death camps, said its promoters, was that this time it embraced the progressive left rather than the far right.

        The fresh claims about a new anti-Semitism began life in the spring of 2002, with the English-language website of Israel’s respected liberal daily newspaper, Haaretz, flagging for many months a special online supplement of articles on the “New anti-Semitism”, warning that the “age-old hatred” was being revived in Europe and America. The refrain was soon taken up the Jerusalem Post, a rightwing English-language newspaper regularly used by the Israeli establishment to shore up support for its policies among Diaspora Jews.

        Like its precursors, argued Israel’s apologists, the latest wave of anti-Semitism was the responsibility of Western progressive movements — though with a fresh twist. An ever-present but largely latent Western anti-Semitism was being stoked into frenzy by the growing political and intellectual influence of extremist Muslim immigrants. The implication was that an unholy alliance had been spawned between the left and militant Islam.

        ….Binyamin Netanyahu warned that latent anti-Semitism was again becoming active:

        “In my view, there are many in Europe who oppose anti-Semitism, and many governments and leaders who oppose anti-Semitism, but the strain exists there. It is ignoring reality to say that it is not present. It has now been wedded to and stimulated by the more potent and more overt force of anti-Semitism, which is Islamic anti-Semitism coming from some of the Islamic minorities in European countries. This is often disguised as anti-Zionism.”

        Netanyahu proposed “lancing the boil” by beginning an aggressive public relations campaign of “self-defence”. A month later Israel’s president, Moshe Katsav, picked on the softest target of all, warning during a state visit that the fight against anti-Semitism must begin in Germany, where “voices of anti-Semitism can be heard”.

        But, as ever, the main target of the new anti-Semitism campaign were audiences in the US, Israel’s generous patron. There, members of the Israel lobby were turning into a chorus of doom.

  2. Kay24
    Kay24
    December 3, 2014, 5:53 pm

    This is really great. The Minister makes a lot of sense. There is no point voting to recognize a Palestinian state, and then doing sweet nothing about it. That MUST be followed by stern action against Israel. Spain did the right thing freezing arms sales to Israel during it’s relentless attack of Gaza, and I am ashamed to say the US disgustingly okayed more ammunition, to massacre more civilians. Since the US is under the control of Israel (there is no other explanation), it is up to the EU to take the leadership role and sanction Israel. Nation after nation, the majority votes to recognize a Palestinian State, and it shows a strong support for the Palestinians.
    B D S. The only way now.

    • Marnie
      Marnie
      December 4, 2014, 8:33 am

      It’s so refreshing to hear people in government speaking their minds and not cowering in fear of the state of israel. If it wasn’t for the largest israeli settlement in the world (the US) life would be better, instead of only bitter.

      • Kay24
        Kay24
        December 4, 2014, 10:40 am

        It is especially refreshing for us, because we will never witness such a miracle in the US.

  3. seafoid
    seafoid
    December 3, 2014, 6:12 pm

    “The debate was by no means one-sided. A number of MPs defended the government position, repeating Israel talking points about Palestinian “unilateral declarations” and blaming the Palestinian Authority for incitement, urging only greater efforts to “restart direct talks”

    Prolly Ulster Unionists.

    Goodbye Milikovsky’s way

  4. David Doppler
    David Doppler
    December 3, 2014, 8:10 pm

    This is a very fluid and important time, with the Israeli elections looming, Netanyahu clearly running to his right, courting those who view the prospect of peace as an existential threat. Kerry came out with a statement hoping there will be a new Israeli government determined to achieve peace, with his own history of being dissed by the Israeli hard right for being messianic about peace. Washington hasn’t found a voice for peace yet, other than various people who’ve been disciplined by AIPAC: George HW Bush, Chas Freeman, Walt & Mearsheimer, and a few ex-Congresspersons. But we see more on the pages of the NYTimes now than we did. I think there’s an opportunity to take the Neocons on with righteous indignation about their mendacity.

    And I like that GHW Bush is being cited in Britain as a positive example for taking action to influence Israeli policy (even tho it may have cost him his second term). I sincerely hope there will be very close coverage of the Israeli elections, and that Americans understand that we have the ability to influence them. We may be the last best hope to stop the build up toward the Likud Lucifer Effect that threatens not only Israel, but the entire Middle East, with deep global implications.

    Now’s a good time to challenge the Neocons in their blathering. They are long past due some accountability for all the suffering they have enabled in the world and damage they’ve done to US global standing. And the Neocon-Likud alliance is both very strong and recorded in detail in The Clean Break and Project for the New American Century papers, originally published as a “break” from Rabin’s Oslo Peace Efforts. Let’s have a full blown debate about whether Israel and the US need four more years of Likud leadership away from peace, and Neocon influence to draw the US into more utterly destructive regime change initiatives, or whether it’s time for our own clean break, out of the Likud version of the Stanford Prison Experiment. Let’s use Israel’s elections as the excuse for detailed coverage of the whole Likud-Neocon corruption of American values. I’ve long thought Netanyahu was so heavy-handed that he will destroy himself. Better that happen in this election, than in another term run by the right wing free of constraints, such as they’ve been, from Yesh Atid and Labor.

    • eGuard
      eGuard
      December 4, 2014, 7:02 am

      This is a very fluid and important time, with the Israeli elections looming

      Methinks the upcoming British elections are more significant.

  5. just
    just
    December 4, 2014, 4:02 am

    ““Personally, I do not think that we should have to boycott settlement goods; we should not be allowed to buy them in the first place. The UK Government should work at EU level to ensure that such products of suffering and exploitation are banned.

    “There is overwhelming evidence that we should also end the arms trade with Israel, based on United Nations evidence that serious breaches of international law occurred before, during and after the most recent assault on Gaza. The UK should have no part in them or in supplying arms and components that allow such things to happen.””

    Say it loud, say it proud! Thank you, Grahame and Stan.

  6. Kay24
    Kay24
    December 4, 2014, 6:53 am

    Barbara Boxer slaved for her dear nation (I don’t mean the US), the rest of the servants followed.
    Israel cracked that whipped, but did not get ALL it wanted. Awww.

    “Congress passes watered-down bill on U.S.-Israel ties
    Bill doesn’t include Israel joining U.S. Visa Waiver Program, something Netanyahu, pro-Israel lawmakers pushed for during almost two years of legislative wrangling.

    AP – Congress approved legislation Wednesday deepening U.S.-Israeli cooperation after softening a push to grant Israelis visa-free travel rights to the United States even as Israel persists in blocking some Arab and Muslim Americans from its territory.

    The bill, passed by a voice vote in the House, now goes to President Barack Obama for his signature. It cleared the Senate with unanimous support in September, but only after the elimination of language that critics saw as an endorsement of Israeli discrimination of some Americans. The bill now calls only for Israel’s inclusion in the U.S. Visa Waiver Program when it meets the requirements, the most elementary of which is reciprocal treatment for Americans.

    Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., who spearheaded the effort, hailed Congress’ two houses for speaking “with one voice” to strengthen ties between America and its closest Middle East ally”.

    http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/1.629908

  7. OyVey00
    OyVey00
    December 4, 2014, 8:52 am

    So, did Israel finally take it too far? Or is this just meaningless chest-thumping again? We’ll see.

  8. Theo
    Theo
    December 4, 2014, 9:02 am

    I stopped believing in that great father sitting on the clouds, little red ridinghood and the good in any politician a long time ago, therefore I say what the man from MO did: “you told me, now show it to me”. In the USA, GB and Canada all politicians are controlled more or less by the zionist interest, so this may be just a shadow boxing for the crowd.
    Sweden recoignised Palestina, should GB do the same then I say bravo, but not before.

    • DaBakr
      DaBakr
      December 4, 2014, 4:15 pm

      Wait. You say you stopped belivening in Santa Claus and the tooth fairy yet you firmly belive that the Zionists(Jews) control the US, Canada, GB (which means Australia and a few others as well)

      Hmm. Read the Protocols of Zion much? Ever heard of the Arab Lobby? Its called Big Oil. Ever heard of the Insurance Lobby? Its about 1000x larger and more powerful then AIPAC. Ever heard of the NRA which has forced the US congress’s hand to make absurd gun laws which protect the right to own not just hand guns (which I support) but weapons of war like AKs and assault guns? But its Zionist who control this all, right? Got it.*

      *Not possible that supporting Israeli policy is actually a patriotic thing to do since Israel pretty much supports US policy in ME even when it goes against the self-interest in Israel. (like supporting Iraq in first gulf war when Iran under Khomeini had NO ANIMUS towards Israel and then switching to supporting Iran when Iran had come around to supporting Hezbollah, Shia extremists and started to wage a PR war against Israel. Hmmm)

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        December 4, 2014, 7:21 pm

        “yet you firmly belive that the Zionists(Jews) control the US, Canada, GB (which means Australia and a few others as well)”

        What is your problem? Do you not understand the meaning of the phrase “more or less”?

      • Shingo
        Shingo
        December 5, 2014, 5:26 am

        Ever heard of the Arab Lobby? Its called Big Oil. Ever heard of the Insurance Lobby? Its about 1000x larger and more powerful then AIPAC.

        How is it that it’s 1000x more powerful, yet those Arab State still have to pay for their own weapons and not even 10% of those lining up to kiss AIPAC’s ring do so for the Arab Lobby?

      • Theo
        Theo
        December 5, 2014, 1:22 pm

        DaBakr

        Most of my life I worked in the life insurance business and I am also a registered financial adviser and let me tell you the following; for such a small minority the jews sure have a large presence in those two businesses!

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        December 5, 2014, 6:01 pm

        Theo, there is always the possibility given all the financial camaraderie and cultural espièglerie of being Jewish, many of those people were ‘ringers’ or phonies. It’ll all be cleared up by rigorous DNA testing and, boy, are they gonna be sorry!

  9. pabelmont
    pabelmont
    December 4, 2014, 12:39 pm

    This UK thing is a signal of increasingly OPEN we’ve-had-it-up-to-here with impunity and immunity of both the State of Israel and its leaders as individuals w.r.t. illicit violence against Palestinians.

    In the USA, immunity and impunity are, of course, still all the rage, for police officers who kill people, for torturers who torture people, etc.

    The USA is so backward that one naturally expects EU to get “there” first, where “there” is some principled action (going beyond mere words) on this Israel thang.

  10. HarryLaw
    HarryLaw
    December 4, 2014, 1:29 pm

    Some good contributions in that debate particularly from the Rt Hon Sir Alan Duncan and the Rt Hon George Galloway as usual, one excellent observation was by the Rt Hon Sir Gerald Kaufman: “My hon. Friend is absolutely right. You cannot appeal to the Israelis’ better nature, because they do not have one. You can, however, threaten”.
    The Rt Hon Hywel Williams said I was glad of the opportunity to restate Plaid Cymru’s position on the matter. I have also welcomed the decision by my local authority, Gwynedd county council, not to invest in or trade with Israel. He must be reading Mondoweiss and our own RoHa.

    • seafoid
      seafoid
      December 4, 2014, 1:49 pm

      “You cannot appeal to the Israelis’ better nature, because they do not have one”

      So true

      Such a miserable shower of people.
      And to think that they were chosen by God.
      She must have been having a laugh.

      • DaBakr
        DaBakr
        December 4, 2014, 4:19 pm

        yup. Thats Israel. A “miserable shower of people”. And btw-you (as well as many others) have absolutely no concept or understanding of what the torah said and meant by “chosen”. typical, you types take it SO PERSONALLY. As if it means you yourself weren’t or couldn’t be chosen. Well, news flash: you can be chosen too. I have no idea how but I am sure somebody you know could figure it out. And while they are at it make sure they are not chosen to “suffer”, bare the consequences of being chosen and all the other wonderful things that go along with religious doctrine for religious Jews.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        December 4, 2014, 7:25 pm

        Oh, you poor barbella, DaBakr! You’ve decided to add to your ‘charm offensive’ (and it certainly is) by throwing a whine party, with all the finest vintages.
        Good move, I’m glad you’ve decided to throw off the pretense of being a macher and let us see you for the weak, pitiful, pious creature you are.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        December 4, 2014, 7:34 pm

        “As if it means you yourself weren’t or couldn’t be chosen. Well, news flash: you can be chosen too”

        What about the GENES, “Dabakr”? Where are they gonna get the freakin’ Genes?

        Hey, they can dahven all day and night, even well, let’s just say ‘modify’ their genitals, if they want, but where are they gonna get the Jewish genes?

      • DaBakr
        DaBakr
        December 4, 2014, 9:17 pm

        @mooser

        you may be the funny guy here and you may be an atheist or not, I don;t know. But you know absolutely nothing about religious Jews except for the derogatory remarks you make. I am not a religious jew but I happen to know quite a few. And I don’t here anybody whining except you. Do you actually care to have any understanding of what the concept behind being ‘chosen’ is or are you content to spout of crp -the same way many pro-Zionist spout of crp about Islam and derogatory comments about the nature of the Prophet and the nature of islam? You always ask me “what your problem” but its becoming obvious it is not I with the problem. I understand that peolple here are VERY passionate about their views and thats to be respected even if, imo, aggressively opposed with more language and more thought. But if your just making silly stupid jokes and not making any sense-what is the point of responding ?
        Oh-sorry. I KNOW that Annie ‘loves’ your funny comments but I would say that Annie is both up front and straight-forward with her views and leaves little room for puzzling over idiocy. I said it once in response to your personal querie and I’ll say it once again: I have little tolerance for inanity. Humour? fine. (the hugo boss comment was terrible-but humourous) cryptic phrasing is not my thing.

        Lastly-as to your comment about genes: I would think you might be aware that converts to Judaism are embraced warmly and held in esteem by religious figures which means that people can choose to become Jewish though it may not be particularly easy. But there would be no basis for a genetic connection and in addition-my Daughters are fully ‘Jewish’ by birth from their converted Mayflower princess, DAR, mother so they probably wouldn’t ‘get’ your joking about ‘genes’.

  11. seafoid
    seafoid
    December 4, 2014, 2:16 pm

    Concrete action is interpreted by the bots as building more homes for Jews only

    • Mooser
      Mooser
      December 4, 2014, 7:27 pm

      “Concrete action is interpreted by the bots as building more homes for Jews only”

      Seafoid, you know a lot about this stuff. Is that what the Torah means by “the chosen People”?

      • DaBakr
        DaBakr
        December 4, 2014, 9:20 pm

        asking Sfd to explain the meaning behind the Jews being ‘chosen’ is like asking Martha Stewart to explain NASCAR racing to a class of blue-haired biddies.

  12. RoHa
    RoHa
    December 4, 2014, 7:27 pm

    This debate does not constitute a change in British Government policy (though it may well lead to one) but it is notable nonetheless.

    And. like the preceding debate, it will affect the general European position.

    Like the preceding one, it shows that there is a good deal of disquiet among the MPs, and – importantly – that they are not afraid to show it. Clearly they think that their chances of being re-elected will not be destroyed by speaking against Israel, regardless of the threats of withdrawal of support that were recently thrown at Ed Miliband from various British Jews.

    It also show that the disquiet is spread widely across the political spectrum. Fiery lefty George Galloway, who would never be invited to speak to the Royal United Services Institute, was immediately followed by, and (at least in part) supported by, Conservative Sir Alan Duncan, who just had. (Though I noticed that Sir Ian did not explicitly deny the suggestion about camels.)

    Some good lines.

    “Many outside the House are bemused by the fact that the policies of successive Governments remain unchanged, despite their repeated failure.”

    “Mr Balfour, on behalf of one people, offered to a second people the land that belonged to a third people, without consulting any of the three peoples involved.”

    “Why cannot a democracy such as Israel learn to underdo its reactions from time to time, rather than overdo them?”

  13. RoHa
    RoHa
    December 4, 2014, 11:35 pm

    And Tom Clarke pointed out that Israel is the only country systematically to persecute children in military courts.

    On which topic we see what must surely be a world record: an 11 month old arrested and imprisoned.

    http://www.addictinginfo.org/2014/11/28/israel-just-jailed-an-11-month-old-child/

    • eljay
      eljay
      December 5, 2014, 8:57 am

      >> RoHa: On which topic we see what must surely be a world record: an 11 month old arrested and imprisoned.

      Why does that eleven-month-old child hate Jews so much?! :-(

      • RoHa
        RoHa
        December 5, 2014, 6:25 pm

        Inherent anti-Semitism. It is a genetic mental disorder. Everyone who is not a Jew is afflicted by it, though some hide it better than others.

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