A blog by Luke Akehurst about politics, elections, and the Labour Party - With subtitles for the Hard of Left. Just for the record: all the views expressed here are entirely personal and do not necessarily represent the positions of any organisations I am a member of.

Friday, July 21, 2006

What would we do?

As usual in any Middle East crisis there are a queue of worthy figures calling for a ceasefire - undoubtedly for the best humanitarian reasons. The BBC today reports a list of them - http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/5202216.stm - the Archbishop of Canterbury, Kofi Annan, Chris Mullin, Claire Short, the Lib Dems.

As usual what's missing is any empathy with the position Israel finds itself in. If we in the UK had a country only 20 miles wide at one point, much of which could be randomly shelled by artillery fire from neighbours, if we had a history as victims of genocide, as having had to fight three wars of national survival in the first 40 years of our national existance, if we had a recent history of suicide bombings - not the once that we experienced on 7/7 but as a repeated risk every time you take a bus or go with your family for a pizza - would we be so quick to rush to judgement?

What do the well-meaning ceasefire callers think would be acheived if a ceasefire came before Hezbollah has been disarmed and the kidnapped IDF soldiers returned?

What would we do if were in Israel's strategic situation - the analogy is of the south of Scotland - a weak and failed state - being occupied by a terrorist army that preached the genocide of the English and the liquidation of England as a state, armed and financed by neighbouring fascist countries, one of which has a state ideology of wanting your state removed from the map and is developing nuclear weapons to enable it to do it. This terrorist army is equipped with rocketry and missiles which it fires across the border, hitting Newcastle and Sunderland. In Berwick and other border towns the population are living in air raid shelters. The terrorist army crosses the border and kills members of an army patrol and kidnaps two of them, taking them north of the border and suggesting they are swapped for many hundred convicted terrorist prisoners.

If this was our strategic situation we would be demonstrating in the streets demanding our government acted in exactly the way the Israelis are doing. But we are lucky and we don't have such neighbours or such a history, so our Archbishops and our former Ministers can take the moral highground.

Thankfully we have leaders in the UK and USA who are for the moment standing firm behind Israel. If the IDF do destroy Hezbollah they will have struck a blow for the whole democratic world, not just Israel. I'm content for that to be done "in my name."


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I actually can't believe I've just read what I have. "What do the well-meaning ceasefire callers think would be acheived if a ceasefire came before Hezbollah has been disarmed and the kidnapped IDF soldiers returned?" I would say that the murders of hundreds of innocent civilians, be they Lebanese or Israeli, and the destruction of entire districts, infrastructure and livelihoods, would be avoided. Hezbollah may well be a terrorist group, but when has violence met with violence ever proved a speedy end?

I felt like disowning my country when I heard the news that the UK Government were not going to condemn Israeli actions ... now I find that a councillor in my own borough - one of the most diverse in the country - is in agreement. Do you imagine that war helps different nationalities to live in peace? Tell me that the Lebanese will not harbour long-lasting resentment of the Israelis after this bombardment and invasion.

This makes me so so angry. If we're going to become an offshoot of Bush's America then I shall go and join those cheese-eating surrender-monkeys across the channel.

2:46 pm, July 21, 2006

Blogger A soft socialist said...

Mate, I tend to agree with what you say about Israel and Hezbollah are a terrorist group that are behaving in a sick way.

But look at Israel's disproportionate use of force. Look at the fact that they are violating international law. The only reason they haven't been sanctioned is due to their American buddies on the security council.

It is absolutely disgusting the way they are behaving and I am not anti imperialist or anti-american; but I am seriously scared of America's foreign policy.

11:54 pm, July 21, 2006

Blogger El Tom said...

yeah, btu a ceasefire means a cease fire for hezbollah too luke.

they should pack the place out with UN troops.

12:34 am, July 24, 2006

Blogger El Tom said...

but, even.

12:34 am, July 24, 2006


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