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.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009


I haven't got round to blogging about Gaza yet but my colleague at work, former NUS NEC member Daniel Rosenstone has just started a blog -http://danielrosenstone.blogspot.com/ - and the current crisis in the Middle East is what he's been writing about, so I thought I'd link to him.

As regular readers might expect, I agree with him on this.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

So you agree with hundreds of innocent women and children being killed and maimed in the name of Zionism?

3:50 pm, January 06, 2009

Blogger Luke Akehurst said...

You don't have to be a Zionist to realise the responsibility for the tragic deaths in Gaza lies with Hamas who could have avoided this conflict at any point by stopping unprovoked missile attacks on Israel.

I assume you would define anyone who does not support the destruction of the State of Israel as a Zionist?

4:01 pm, January 06, 2009

Blogger Merseymike said...

I sincerely hope that any seat you try for recognises your position as it would ensure you would never be selected anywhere.

This latest debacle has sgown quite clearly that Zionism is simply unacceptable and that the presence of Israel and world peace are incompatible.

Hamas are simply the product of Israeli expansionism

I sincerely hope that others will follow me in boycotting the Holocaust remembrance events this year. I could not stand and 'remember' knowing that the Jewish state is now carrying out its own version and it proving itself an oppressor through and through

Israel was a mistaken creation borne out of misplaced guilt. It was not right to create s a state in someone else's country who were not responsible for the atrocity. The Zionist experiment has failed and needs to be brought to an end.

10:43 pm, January 06, 2009

Blogger susan press said...

Gordon Brown has said the latest murders by the Israelis are the "darkest moment yet" of this appalling conflict. He is right. 30 innocent children have died - and 600 Palestinians - in the last 10 days. What possible justification can there be for such atrocity?

10:47 pm, January 06, 2009

Blogger Merseymike said...

None, Susan. But the Zionist 'Israel can do no wrong' lobby will certainly find ways of doing so.

10:49 pm, January 06, 2009

Blogger Luke Akehurst said...

What do you propose to do with the Israelis if you want to get rid of Israel?

What other bits of the post war settlement would you like to unpick at the same time as destroying Israel? Can the Finns have Karelia back from Russia, or the Germans have East Prussia back from Russia, Sudetenland from the Czechs and Silesia from the Poles?

Your comparison of the deaths of millions by industrial genocide in the holocaust and the deaths of hundreds in the fighting now in Gaza is deranged.

10:49 pm, January 06, 2009

Anonymous Anonymous said...

"unprovoked missile attacks on Israel" - so death and destruction of women and children is all Hamas' fault? What planet are you on? This is a human rights issue - no country, even an unhinged rogue state like Israel should get away with this. So its alright for Israel to break the ceasefire, and blockade Gaza for months, starving Palestinians? This is not'unprovoked' -You and all apologists for this genocide should go and live there for a week, before you make your glib statements!

10:56 pm, January 06, 2009

Blogger E10 Rifle said...

I certainly wouldn't boycott any holocaust remembrance events as a result of all this. That's inhumane - and it also plays into the zionists' hands by throwing the holocaust (instigated by white European Christians) into the mix of the current maelstrom in the middle-east. The Israeli government's defenders love invoking the holocaust as some kind of excuse for their current atrocities - let's not give them excuses for doing so. Holocaust remembrance stands unaffected as vitally important.

That said, Luke's 'blame the victims' non-analysis of the current situation in Gaza is sickening and cruel. And stupid, stupid politics. Luke, practically, can you honestly say - hand on heart - that the way Israel's government is behaving now will actually IMPROVE the chances of a sustainable peace? Seriously? Is there any historical evidence, anywhere in the world, for believing such?

1:27 am, January 07, 2009

Blogger Luke Akehurst said...

I'm not blaming the victims - the ordinary people of Gaza - I am blaming the Islamo-fascist regime led by Hamas that rules them.

Hopefully the current action will remove them from power and put Gaza back under the control of the Palestinian authority.

Then the international community needs to put its money and people where its mouth is and provide the security forces to keep the peace in Gaza and the humanitarian aid to rebuild it.

7:31 am, January 07, 2009

Anonymous Anonymous said...

im with israel on this the moslems have been rocketing israel for the last 3 years if it was us would we have had as much patience as for the ordinary people not being involved well i think they are they voted for hamas so they reap what they sowed you get the government you voted for by the way i went on the bnp website bnp.org.uk and they were very strongly pro israel which kind of dispelled the belief that they were anti jew i was surprised

8:02 am, January 07, 2009

Blogger Luke Akehurst said...


actually I don't blame the people of Gaza (some of whom by the way are Christians not Muslims). They didn't all vote Hamas - Hamas only won narrowly - and any innocent children who have died never had the chance to vote for anyone.

You should take the BNP's position with a pinch of salt - they are temporarily promoting Islamophobia more than anti-semitism but ideologically they remain holocaust deniers and neo-Nazis.

8:21 am, January 07, 2009

Anonymous Dan Judelson, JfJfP said...

I don't blame the people of Gaza. I blame people like Luke who demand people end - actually demand SOME people end - violence but then when they win democratic elections, are isolated. The oppressed face sanctions, the oppressors are feted.

Luke displays his ignorance in blaming Hamas - they kept to the ceasefire, it was Israel who broke it on November 4th. It was Israel who refused to consider extending the ceasefire on December 23rd when Hamas offered to, in exchanged for lifting the blockade. But starving the population of Gaza had been one of Israel's pre war weapons, as Ehud Barak made clear last year. And it was Israel who refused to allow the West Bank to be included in the ceasefire and where they have, during that time, continued targeted assassinations, woundings and arrests of Hamas activists in repeated attempts to provoke rocket fire as an excuse to invade.

There are two basic war aims. Livni and Barak need to tub thump before February 10 elections in Israel. and the IDF wants to restore its credibility after the Lebanon debacle of 2006.

But hey, don't take my word for this, read Daniel Levy, who says the West is turning Gaza into another Somalia, who says that the isolation of Hamas by US/UK/EU has worsened, not helped the situation.

Read Ami Isseroff - no friend of Jewish peace activists like me - who has carefully outlined how Israel deliberately built up Islamic opposition to Arafat and Fatah by backing Sheikh Yassin (yes, the same guy who founded Hamas and who they later assassinated) in the late 70s & early 80s in the Village Leagues and the Islamic University of Gaza.

And ask yourself this. If Hamas or other terrorists were hiding out in London or New York or Belfast, would the response be to rain down guided missiles, inaccurate artillery and send in tanks and troops? Because if not - and i am assuming you do not - allowing Israel to do the same means you hold Palestinian lives as less valuable than those of Israelis.

We have never seen eye to eye politically but we are both Labour members and activists. I never expected to be in a situation where I would refuse to campaign for a Labour candidate.

Congratulations on another first.

To everyone else criticising Luke: please come on the demonstration on Saturday if you can, please write to MEPs demanding they do not upgrade relations between the EU and Israel but please do not conflate Israel and all Jews and certainly do not boycott Hoocaust memorial events. Zionism predates the Nazis by almost half a century - as does criticism of it from Jews:

"the Zionist behave towards the Arabs with hostility and cruelty, trespass unjustly upon their boundaries, beat them shamefully without reason and even brag about it, and nobody stands to check this contemptible and dangerous tendency"

Ahad Ha'am, c1891

10:22 am, January 07, 2009

Anonymous Moshe said...

Merseymike said...I sincerely hope that others will follow me in boycottremembrance ing the Holocaust events this year.

Please don't do that! It has taken decades to get the authorities to acknowledge (albeit begrudgingly) that not just Jews, but also the Roma people, homosexual men, disabled people, black people, Seventh Day Adventists, Freemasons, etc, also suffered and died during the Holocaust. The Remembrance Day is for their memory too.

And don't forget that, unlike Luke, many of us Jews (in Europe, the USA and elsewhere) don't support what is currently happening in Israel and occupied Palestine.

So please don't boycott the Day.

10:27 am, January 07, 2009

Blogger Merseymike said...

I have thought about this and simply feel that to actively support the holocaust remembrance day whilst Israel behaves as it does in Gaza, is something I could not do. Its a personal decision but one which is a conscience issue as far as I am concerned. It would be akin to saying that Israel's behaviour is acceptable. They do need to be treated as paraiahs for that is what they are, and to separate the creation of Israel from the holocaust is very naive, I think.

I represented one of the other groups you mentioned Moshe, and I do appreciate that not all Jewish people are Zionist. But I think Israel's behaviour has simply gone too far and that taking part would indicate that we can separate the issues. I don't believe we can.

12:21 pm, January 07, 2009

Anonymous Anonymous said...

its hamas that should be made paraiahs not isrtael they are terrorists and should be hunted down and liquidated stop jumping on the anti jewish left wing bias

1:10 pm, January 07, 2009

Anonymous Dirty Euro said...

It is a tough issue. What about the claims some make the Israel is trying to force the palestinians out of Gaza.
Send in international peacekeepers like in Bosnia.

1:15 pm, January 07, 2009

Anonymous Dirty Euro said...

I can see Israel has to be worried though in having iran and saudi arabia nearby. But international peace keepers on the border would help the issue.
Maybe Germany should give some land to Israel.

1:17 pm, January 07, 2009

Blogger Mark Still News said...

So you believed that during the time of the IRA and bombings in the UK -That we should have launched attacks on Northern Ireland killing thousands of innocent people?

Then you would say that was down to the IRA!

The insurrection of 1948 forced in the state of Israel.

Israel was founded on Terrorism!

The Israelite's have now proved that they are not only any better than the Hammas but in fact 10 times worse!

1:21 pm, January 07, 2009

Anonymous Anonymous said...

it seems to me that israel does not have to worry about the right or so called far right bnp any more its the left who have taken up the mantle of anti semitism is it because they are a shade lighter in skin colour

4:55 pm, January 07, 2009

Blogger MR said...

Daniel Finkelstein may be a Tory, but he sums it up beautifully in the Times today.


From reading and from talking to people with connections to Israel it becomes very apparent that there are Palestinians who want to kill for no good reason as there are terrorists behaving so all around the world.

Israel pulled out of Gaza and businesses which thrived before now fail under Palestinian management.

The answer could be simple: Palestinians have to stop having so many children. Even professional people who should know better have huge families and there is a proportionally huge population of young men. Most countries with large populations of young men are in a state of civil war (including a civil war between Palestinians) because there are not enough positions of status for more than the firstborn son in a family. All of these leftover young men just fight each other to feel that they have status and belonging and purpose, just as they are in amongst the Palestinians right now.

Have fewer children, take responsibility for improving your own way of life and just leave Israel alone.

6:00 pm, January 07, 2009

Anonymous Rich said...

Hamas just has to stop fighting, stop firing rockets and start talking. They have to play the long game as firing rockets into Israel is not going to achieve anything.

Hamas are hardly the innocent party here and I'm sure we would not be very forgiving if we had daily rocket attacks.

Anyway so much for Tony Blair the peace envoy.....great job Tony.

8:54 pm, January 07, 2009

Blogger Merseymike said...

Danny Finkelstein is also, surprise, surprise, a Zionist.

10:44 pm, January 07, 2009

Anonymous andrew isaacs said...

Merseymike's profile:-

"I'm a 46 year old man, living in Liverpool with my civil partner David. I'm vaguely left-wing, usually argumentative, gay, and have a PhD"

Do you have any idea what the Muslim extremists would do to a loud-mouthed gay like you?

Do you need reminding of what the Nazis done to your sort?

You're a laughing stock.

Part-time lecturer my arse! Full-time wanker more like.

I can't imagine having a delusional imbecile like you against them will do the Israeli cause any harm.

I would love it if you and your "civil partner" marched alongside the extremists hand-in-hand, camping it up!

Go on. I dare you...

12:56 pm, January 08, 2009

Anonymous Dan Judelson, JfJfP said...

"Loud mouthed gay"? "Your sort"?

Gee Andrew, your liberal tolerance is truly plain for all to see.

4:11 pm, January 08, 2009

Anonymous Rich said...

Muslim Extremism is a modern day hitler movement with the sole purpose of destroying the west. Most of us on this forum would almost certainly be beheaded is we were living under such an extreme regime. I've seen people stonned to death for being accused of infidelity or being the victim of rape. These countries are an absolute disgrace to humanity and should be left to implode.

4:57 pm, January 08, 2009

Anonymous andrew isaacs said...

Dan Judelson, Merseymike is a "loud mouthed gay" by his own admission.

And unlike the Islamists he claims to support, I have no desire to behead him.

I'll re-issue my challenge: let him march alongside those wielding placards supporting Hamas, flaunting his gayness. What's he waiting for, I wonder?

5:01 pm, January 08, 2009

Anonymous Anonymous said...

How do you know he wasn't marching the other week?

I saw one Hamas banner from all the tens of thousands of people marching across the country.

Maybe merseymike should have sought out the banner and stood next to it just to prove your point?

5:03 pm, January 08, 2009

Blogger Luke Akehurst said...

Worth Mike knowing this: Mahmoud Zahar, the most senior leader of Hamas in Gaza, believes in an Islamic society that bans mixed dancing and describes gay people as “a minority of perverts and the mentally and morally sick”.

He made these statements after a Hamas-led council halted a dance festival and Islamist gunmen stopped a rap band performing in Gaza. “A man holds a woman by the hand and dances with her in front of everyone. Does that serve the national interest?” Dr Zahar said on the Arabic website Elaph. “If so, why have the phenomena of corruption and prostitution become pervasive in recent years?”

Another Hamas human rights triumph:

In December 2008, the London-based Arabic-language newspaper al-Hayat reported that Hamas had recently passed a radical Islamic bill ushering whipping, dismembering and execution as standard punitive action into the Gaza penal code. The bill passed its second reading in the Gaza Parliament, by unanimous majority of three – the only three members of parliament who were present at the meeting.

The bill is made up of 214 subsections. Section 59 states that “any Palestinian found guilty of raising a weapon against Palestine in favour of the enemy; countering Palestine's interests in a negotiation with a foreign government; and placing Palestine's existence in danger by committing an act of aggression against a foreign country... will be sentenced to death.” Section 84 stipulates that anyone found guilty of “drinking and harassing the public will be punishable by 40 lashes and three months in jail.” The whip will be used on anyone “engaging in games of chance, offending religious beliefs and defaming others' character.”

5:05 pm, January 08, 2009

Blogger Ravi Gopaul said...


I'm not sure I like your tone in your reply to Mike, namely "your sort" "and camping it up", was this intentional?

Of course certain Zionists, right leaning, evangelical Christians ones especially, might not like Mike also and not because he is an antizionist.......

If you want an example on how to put an opposite view across in a far or erudite manner take a look at how Daniel Rosenstone answers critics of Israel (like Mike and yes me); a very good link Luke, I may disagree with him, but the lad knows how to argue.

Hamas are not ideal; anti Semitic (a Mickey Mouse clone telling Palestinian kids to hate Jews) and their indiscriminate rocket attacks on Israel hitting homes and schools are reprehensible.

The slayings of innocent Israelis are repugnant, as is the machined slaughter of innocent Palestinians living in Gaza.

If Israel wants the rockets to stop falling they have to cease operations immediately, ease the restrictions on Gaza and speak to the Hamas government (whether they accept their government/country or not, they have to live in the real world ).

If the Palestinians want to have the siege lifted they have to cease all rocket attacks on Israel and have Hamas enter peace talks with her government (whether they accept Israel or not, they too have to live in the real world). They have to stop their racist rantings too which frankly insult the Palestinians intelligence.

Talks have to mean something as this is not a problem that lends itself to a military solution. I still think the Jewish state image of Israel needs to be removed and instead have a multifaith secular state unified state (i.e not a 2 state solution as I can’t see how a Palestinian state would be viable) where minorities (Christian, Muslim , Baha’i)can hope for the high offices of President or Prime Minister just as much as their Jewish compatriots. Only that will end the violence.
MR, the problem is not Palestinians having more children (which sounds moderately racist), rather the uncontrolled immigration of Jews to Israel (more so since the collapse of the USSR) as afforded to them in the Israeli constitution (the right to return) another thing that needs to be jettisoned.
With Mike and Holocaust Remembrance day, I think (as I assume he does) we should remember the many people who were murdered by the Nazis, but I don’t think people got his point. The point he was trying to make was genocide did not end with the Nazis, we’ve seen it in Bosnia, Rwanda, and other places. He has placed the siege of Gaza in that category. Harsh, maybe, but accurate, I would say so. There have been many individuals in the Israeli leadership over the years talking about dealing with Palestinians. They have been compared to insects, speeches made saying how they must never return to their homes and even having their very existence questioned. If the leadership of Israel has such sentiment it is easy to see how with a modern well equipped army they can dispense with their “Arab Problem”.
I’ll remember Holocaust Day by hoping one day we can all treat each other as human beings and remember not only those who were murdered by the Nazis but all people who have died and are dying in genocides since then.

5:21 pm, January 08, 2009

Anonymous David Floyd said...

"This latest debacle has sgown quite clearly that Zionism is simply unacceptable and that the presence of Israel and world peace are incompatible."

I'm not a great fan of nationalist movements but I think Zionism is a legitimate nationalist movement - unless the position is that everyone's allowed to have a nationalist movement apart from Jewish people.

And, irrespective of what should or should have happened 60 years ago. I can't imagine any relatively peaceful way forward that involves Israel not existing.

Both Zionism and Israel are realities that the international community has to work with constructively.

I'm not supportive of what Israel's doing at the moment (and I worry that is Israel did dismantle completely the Hamas-run state in Gaza, the alternative that emerges may actually be worse) but I think a key factor in the current situation is Bush administration's failure to use it's influence to push forward the peace process.

Hopefully Obama will change things.

5:55 pm, January 08, 2009

Blogger Ravi Gopaul said...

No surprise about an extremist has homophobic views. On February 20th 2008, Shlomo Benizri, an Israeli MP from a party, in Olmert's ruling coalition), said

"Why do earthquakes happen? .. One of the reasons is the things to which the Knesset gives legitimacy, to sodomy."

Just to add some more of this man's wisdom, He recommended that instead of reinforcing buildings to withstand earthquakes, the government should pass legislation to outlaw "perversions like adoptions by lesbian couples" adding this little nugget
..... "a cost-effective way of averting earthquake damage would be to stop passing legislation on how to encourage homosexual activity in the State of Israel, which anyways causes earthquakes."

Mmmm nice.

I'm sure there are a lot of anti gay zionists out there (no pun intended) Luke (may be the Palestinians might be better looking to Jordan's gay laws as a template).

Not everyone who wants to stop the invasion of Gaza are Hamas supporters. I would probably guess most of us are not. I’m not.

I've read time and again how Israel should not talk to Hamas, in fact some say it might be tantamount to supporting these religious whack jobs. What I would say is we spoke to the USSR and look where that got us. We speak to China, Saudi Arabia even Libya, to paraphrase Margret Hodge "we should all get together over a cup of tea and a chocolate biscuit" Hopefully chocolate Hob Nobs not those crappy chocolate bourbons, who likes them?

6:06 pm, January 08, 2009

Anonymous Bronzist said...

@Ravi Gopaul

That's one of the most hilarious things I've ever heard! This chap should have Brand's old job at the BBC.

On a more practical note, I'm sure he could easily be persuaded - given his, er, opinions - to become a passionate campaigner for homosexual freedoms - amongst the Palestinians, at least...

7:43 pm, January 08, 2009

Blogger Merseymike said...

I do find it intriguing how opposition to Israel's behaviour can be seen in any way as supporting either Hamas or extremist Islam.

Let's make a few things clear.

1. I dislike conservative religion of all types
2. I do not support Hamas and think that the Palestinians have not been at all well served by their leadership over the years
3. That does not mean that dislike for Hamas means that Israel's behaviour is justified.
4. And given that I haven't a lot of time for any claim to land using ancient religious precepts, my concern is to maintain peace in an area which threatens world peace. Ideally, I still support a two-state solution, but I can't see it happening, and in that situation, it must be Israel who must withdraw from occupied territories.

As for Andrew Isaacs poorly-disguised homophobia and personal attacks, other than to have a go, I can't see the point he is making. I have never expressed any support for Hamas. I do think, though, that there is evidence that Israel did encourage their formation as a means of destabilising the PLO, and that much of their support is based on reaction to Israel's stance. I would certainly be much happier with moderate leadership, but Israel has hardly been a friend to moderate Palestinians over the years.

I am all too aware what extremists do to 'my sort', and I think you will find that extremists on the Jewish side feel much the same as those you mention. have a look at the film 'Trembling before G-d'. But, then, I'm not a religious or political extremist, which is why I do not sympathise with Zionism. It is also a reason why I have always kept my distance from the organised anti-war movement and groups such as Respect, who I regard with great suspicion. I've been on the marches, but so did many who do not support Hamas. Indeed, many of the local Palestinian support group who I know are from Christian backgrounds or are secular.

Ravi - agree with all you say

8:18 pm, January 08, 2009

Blogger Mark Still News said...

There are thousands of innocent people getting slaughtered by the Israelis who have nothing to do with Hamas!

These evil bloodthirsty actions of Israel will only prolong and escalate this conflict. More people in the Gaza will support the Hamas now.

Just imagine if we flattened Belfast in the 70's and 80's killing thousands of innocent people, because of the actions of a few IRA Terrorists? The Israelis are wrong!

8:28 pm, January 08, 2009

Blogger MR said...

I don’t know why my last message didn’t get through, but let’s try again.

Ravi, I would make a case for most countries in the world not having too many children, including the UK, so I would not consider myself racist. I have already mentioned the civil wars and it is also very damaging to the environment. The world has finite resources and I have even heard a prediction that the British will have to go to war for drinking water within the next 200 years. Rwanda was directly caused by people having too many children because the country could not feed everybody and people were driven to behave the way that they did.

I would be interested to hear your reasons for why the immigration of Jews to Israel is a problem as the country seems to have plenty of capacity to take them.

10:38 am, January 09, 2009

Blogger Ravi Gopaul said...

Fair point MR, here is the problem, I don't think there is enough space in Israel for continued migration of Jewish people because it would mean building settlement on disputed land.

Why should people not born in Israel have the right to settle there on the basis of ethnic origin? Especially when you consider arabs born in Gaza and the west bank (not so long ago annexed to Israel)cannot claim citizenship or residency if they marry an Israeli citizen. Does that sound a little racist to you?

I think it does.

I am asian and I was born here. I am not Indian, not Mauritian I am a British subject by virtue of my birth, the same applies to Jewish people born in the UK, they are not israeli, but they are british. People should be able to live in the country of their birth free from discrimination (yes that includes Jewish people born in Israel/British Mandate Palestine.).

Your comment sounded at best moronic and at its worst, racist as you only honed in on the Palestinian people having too many babies, what about the increasing number of Jewish people coming from the former USSR? That can't help race relations can it?

11:49 am, January 09, 2009

Blogger MR said...

Ravi, what my comment referred to were the problems with Palestinian families with huge families (even nine, ten or more children) and the civil war between Hamas and Fatah. As evident from the experiences of other countries around the world, the resulting high populations of young men breed the conditions where such wars begin, bringing misery to all involved. The case in Gaza also results in the alienation where young men are attacking Israel.

From my experience, I personally can’t see similar tensions and the eruption of civil war as a near possibility within Israel due to immigration, but perhaps I stand to be corrected. I also see over the past few years Israel pulling of settlements rather than building them. Israelis do move to other countries too and they have excellent methods of growing huge amounts of food. There is a high vegetarian population so the country needs less land to feed its people in any case, leaving more available for housing and infrastructure.

Anyway, a work colleague who is married to an Israeli and who spends a few months a year there talks of concerns that the Jewish population is not growing at as fast a rate as the Muslim population and that the Jews may find it increasingly difficult to defend their safety in the future.

2:59 pm, January 09, 2009

Anonymous andrew isaacs said...

Of course, it's easy to accuse me of homophobia, but I'd like to see you stand up to the Muslim extremists. I have no desire to execute you. What you do in private is your business.

Try organising a gay pride parade in Iran. Or Lebanon. Or Gaza.

See what happens to you and your "civil partner".

Can't really say I care, it'll just be interesting to see if you've got any balls to back up your words. Say it loud and proud!

The Israeli state do not execute homosexuals. If you and your "partner" went over there and minced around you wouldn't be shot. Try doing it in a country ruled by Muslim extremists and you're likely to be stoned to death.

Tell me, Merseymike, do your students know of your extreme, non-sensical views? And do your employers?

I look forward to seeing you and your other half holding rainbow banners alongside the Hamas supporters at the next anti-Israel march! Out and proud, Mikey!!

3:14 pm, January 09, 2009

Blogger Ravi Gopaul said...

OK MR, here is what I am getting from you.

In your own words,

"The answer could be simple: Palestinians have to stop having so many children......"

......because they have a disproportionate male population

Is that right, or have I misinterpreted you?

You further theorise, because these men vie for status they want to kill, am I right?

You see the problem with that thesis is that it is fundamentally flawed. Can I ask you what the proportion of people employed in Gaza is? What sort of economy does it have?

Unemployment breeds dissatisfaction, we only have to look to Germany in the 1930's to see that, might even explain Hamas support.

You want the disproportionate young male population to stop killing people? Then give them hope for a better future for themselves and the families. They must have jobs, real jobs for real people; if necessary the state should create public companies to employ such men.

Why are there some people out there who cannot accept the Palestinian, like the Israeli is a human being? Why would anyone think the racial profile of an individual can somehow predetermine their behaviour? To put in another way, violent young men in the world is not race dependent, but rather a symptom of the economic realities of the last 30 years, and in the case of Gaza, never ending wars as well as the economic conditions I outlined above.

Give people jobs, bread and a home they will have little to grumble about, or if you like socialism ("you can have barbarism or socialism").

In fact they move away from extremists and prefer moderates instead.

This is why Labour were right to sing the virtues of the mixed economy because if you build your economy only on profit motive you add to misery (redundancy, low pay, no trade union rights, etc)and help elect religious, racist bigoted bastards like Hamas.

Andrew, do you really think right wing Zionists are any better than Hamas regarding homosexual rights?

In fact since we have gathered you don't mind what Mike does in his own home, why not strike a blow against the homophobic right wingers in the Zionist movement and say you are embarrassed and insulted such people have no regard for others who are different from them and you totally disassociate yourself from their views (even though you happen to agree with them regarding Israel), like Mike did with Hamas? Something like being love is hard enough to find, and if two people of the same sex love each other thats fine, its natural, I don't want to steal your thunder so go ahead....

Luke, whist I am glad you rose to the defence of the Palestinians living in Gaza, I can’t understand why you have said nothing about right wing Zionists who preach hatred please rectify so we can move on, I'm sure Dan would.

At least we have the liberally minded Andrew to say something about it, don’t you Andrew?

6:05 pm, January 09, 2009

Blogger Luke Akehurst said...

Luckily for me most of the Zionists I've ever met are leftwing and progressive on social issues like gay rights but I guess that's an NUS and UJS thing. I would never excuse someone being conservative just because I agreed with them on Israel.

9:03 pm, January 09, 2009

Blogger kris said...

Hamas are pros at making themselves out as victim du jour. The most amazing PR coup of the last 50 years.

So guys, Hamass poke the bear and cry when they get it back in spades? They hide weaponry in mosques and cry when they are bombed? They use women and children as human shields and then blame the West for a humanitarian crisis?

Do me a frickin' favour.

1:29 am, January 10, 2009

Blogger kris said...

Sorry, but who's bleating about "anti-gay zionists"?


like there aren't anti-gay islamists, in this country, who want us thrown off the nearest cliff.

No, really. LMAO

1:32 am, January 10, 2009

Blogger Ravi Gopaul said...

Problem here Kris, its not Hamas that are hurting.

I praised Luke for saying this (and on this we agree), not all the palestinians in Gaza are Hamas supporters, in fact the only won narrowly in 2007.

All this action will do will rurther erode any power Fatah have, as there will be a groundswell of support for Hamas.

Thats the problem with collective punishment, it does not work.

1:41 am, January 10, 2009

Blogger Ravi Gopaul said...

Kris said

"Sorry, but who's bleating about "anti-gay zionists"?


like there aren't anti-gay islamists, in this country, who want us thrown off the nearest cliff.

No, really. LMAO"

Yep there are those too, I was trying to demark the boundries of this debate. You can be pro or anti Israel as much as you like, it does not mean you have to agree with nut job fringes on either side of the argument, so if I am against Israeli action in Gaza I am not endorsing Hamas (racist religious bigots) and if you support Israeli action in Gaza you don't have to endorse some of the racist and extreme views of a pro israel camp (e.g. "there is no such thing as a Palestinian" and "gays cause earthquakes").

This means we can have a far better debate with out it being drawn into silliness.

I hope that clarifies the issue.

By the way what does "ROFLMAO" and "LMAO" mean?

1:54 am, January 10, 2009

Blogger Merseymike said...

Andrew: I don't think you read a word of my previous post, did you?

I would not go on a 'pro-Hamas' march, I do and have commented on attitudes of all religious conservative groups, and (now, lets repeat this again) opposing Israel's actions does not indicate any sort of support or enthusiasm for Hamas or for conservative Islamic views.

You appear to be saying that I should excuse Israel's current actions just because they are more liberal overall on gay rights issues. No logic there at all. I do think Israel has made welcome progress in those areas, but how does that affect their attacks on Gaza?

I should also add that I used to be pro-Israel, but the Begin government and the policy of settlements and expansionism made me think again. I do think it was tragic that Rabin was murdered. I always felt that Arafat and Rabin would have eventually signed a two state agreement. Hamas and Netanyahu don't fill me with the same optimism.

I think Ravi's stance on these issues is much the same as mine.

2:06 am, January 10, 2009

Blogger Ravi Gopaul said...

According to my search engine LMAO could mean:

Laugh(ing) My Ass Off
Land Mail Art Objects
Lick Me All Over
Laughing My Ankles Off
Laughing My Arms Off

Thanks for the offer of "Licking you all over", erm maybe my natural sexiness is oozing through cyber space, I, er think I'll pass if its all the same to you (might have been different if you were Lucy Pinder and I was single.....)

2:07 am, January 10, 2009

Blogger kris said...

Ravi et al

I'm no longer rolling on the floor, but I'm still laughing my ass off.

Anyone with any coherent answers to the points raised?



1:19 pm, January 10, 2009

Blogger Ravi Gopaul said...

Kris responded,

"Ravi et al

I'm no longer rolling on the floor, but I'm still laughing my ass off."

Aahh thanks, though I still think I'm sexy (you might agree.....) I'm afraid I don't text people much(I prefer talking to people face to face if I can...) so I am not familiar with its parlance.

ISYCCMAL!!!!!! (answers on a postcard.....)

With regards to your points, I think they were already addressed before you joined this thread.

Those of us opposed to the siege and ground assualt in Gaza fear this will result in more terrorism and greater support for Hamas. Already some voices in the Fatah movement are saying thy'll support Hamas (common enemy you see).

In Hindu legend there is a story of a violent demon called Raktabeeja, who when his blood hit the floor, a million clones of him were immediataly generated to carry on fighting. The legend said in order to stop his regeneration (Dolly style, rather than Dr Who) God came down in the from of Kali to drink the blood he spilt before it hit the ground.

Violence is like Raktabeeja, it only generates more of the same, only when we stop the blood being spilt we can end the violence (i.e. terrorism) then we won't have to worry so much about the fanatics you mention here or abroad.

1:54 pm, January 10, 2009

Blogger Tendryakov said...

What fascinates me is that those who are fervently pro-immigration in a British context are fervently anti-immigration when the immigrants are jewish, and the country is not the UK.

5:29 pm, January 10, 2009

Anonymous andrew isaacs said...


C'mon Mikey, have at go at the black Muslim government in Senegal.

Organise a march against them.

Protest outside the Senegalese Embassy.

You and your "partner" should stand up to this extremist anti-gay Islamist government and so shaould Ravi Gopaul and all the rest of you Lefties who are condemning Israel.

Or are you gonna go in for the Galloway/Ken Livingstone approach of only condemning supposed anti-gay Christians/Westerners, while turning a blind eye to the sexist, homophobic, Sharia-esqu Islamist regimes like Senegal or Iran?

Remember Yusuf al-Qaradawi anyone?

He's what he said about gays:-

When asked about the punishment for people who "practise sodomy or lesbian activity", al-Qaradawi replied: "The same punishment as any sexual pervert - the same as the fornicator."

I demand you and your lefties condemn him and denounce Ken Livingstone for cosying up to him.

5:44 pm, January 10, 2009

Anonymous Rich said...

The funny thing why are we worried. Let these countries fight it out and in the end they will learn to live in peace. The only thing we can do is condemn both countries for being so wreckless, the rest is up to them. I really hope this doesn't result in yet more extremism in this country.

War brings nothing but misery and I would have thought after 100s of years of it people would have realised that wars in the end are too costly. Too costly for the men and women who fight them and too costly for the innocent who always get caught up in them.

There will always be wars of some kind but at the moment there appears to be so many. These days I just switch off the news and spend my days enjoying the good things around me. I have seen too much and been involved in too much and I don't want my children to have to do the same.

It is time to pull out of Iraq and Afghanistan and mend the broken relations back home. If we don't we could end up with civil war here.

9:57 pm, January 10, 2009

Blogger Ravi Gopaul said...

Just as on the point of extremist islamist regimes, I have spoke out against them Andrew, and will continue to do so.

Tendryakov, I am also against the ethnic cleansing that is going on in India (Kashmir, where Hindus are being moved there to counter balance the muslim population) and also in Western Papua (where muslims are being relocated to western papua to ethnically imbalance the native population). It was one of your fellow zionists (JDC) who told me about it. I've written to the Foreign Secretary and the Indonesian Embassy regardng this issue. And regarding India, made my life a little harder when I argued this point with the Indian High Commisoner (see what cirles I pervade in!!!)

This is not a race or religious issue, we are humans first, everything else, ethnic identity, religion, political creed last and sexuality last, you agree with that don't you? That is why I said eariler Hamas's rocket attacks which resulted in the deaths of four innocent souls was horrific, but the deaths of innocent gazans at the hands of the IDF is just as bad.

Will Andrew and Tendrykov make a statement regarding the innocent loss of life in Gaza, (like Luke and Dan)or are you so full of hate you can't bring yourself to be human just once?

10:40 pm, January 10, 2009

Blogger Ravi Gopaul said...

Oh Andy, regarding Ken and Yusuf al-Qaradawi, I've already done that, (I hope Sham remembers that post!!) I think that was just over a year ago on either on this blog of Owen's.

On top of that I have critised the Taliban, Cuba, China,the Saudi goverment, Pakistan, Turkey's behaviour to the Kurds and as we all know now Hamas (if you don't believe me revisit the posts).

Oh although I was too young to really protest or anything I was against the aparheid regime in South Africa (I sang "Free Nelson Mandella" in my primary class, the teacher gave me lines for disrupting class)

By the way, I am still waiting for your statement decrying the extreme views on homosexuality made by right leaning zionists like Luke did, whats the matter cat got your tongue?

10:50 pm, January 10, 2009

Blogger MR said...

Ravi, thank you for proving my point that society in Gaza does not have room for so many young men as they can't even find jobs, thus breeding the kind of conditions which bring about warfare, just as the depression and the urge to want to blame the Jews allowed Hitler to be elected in 1930s Germany.

11:44 pm, January 10, 2009

Blogger Merseymike said...

Is this thread about the situation in the Middle East or which countries are best for gay rights?

I'm happy to agree that Israel is better for gay rights than any of its neighbours (though if Likud gets in that may not remain so as influence for change came mainly from Labour, Meretz and Shinui )

But that hasn't got anything to do with what is going on in Gaza.

12:41 am, January 11, 2009

Anonymous Dirty Euro said...

Jewish people are the most left wing white people in the USA. They want peace. They were the only whites who voted for Obama. Most of the whites voted for Mccain, and Bomb Bomb Iran.
It is ironic their bosses make pals with war mongering neocons.
The neocon support for Israel is not always useful for Israel. There are reilgous extremists who want all jews to be killed, some neocons probably just see Israel as some stategic hub in the middle east.

11:47 am, January 11, 2009

Anonymous Dirty Euro said...

Everyones goes on about the "jew lobby" in the USA. But what about the amercian lobby in Israel. Is Israel really doing this war for Isarael or the USA. I do not see what the long term benefit of all this is for Israel.
Meanwhile middle east instability can help fund american arms manufacturers, oil barons, and other greedy billionaires. Plus they do not even to use up american people.

Most Jews voted for the so called crypto muslim Obama. While most other white people in the USA voted for Mccain. So people cannot claim the jews as the most right wing whities.

1:15 pm, January 11, 2009

Blogger Ravi Gopaul said...

So MR, considering this conflict is likely to continue for a few years, in addition to contraception (or maybe we could go down the Indian route and have the Palestinians sterilised)we need to do something about the already large male population, what do you suggest?

We could create an enviroment which is so unsanitary people can die of disease which can't be treated because there we can restrict the flow of medical aid, or maybe we can starve them by imposing a siege on the getto they live in, I know maybe we should send in helicopter gunships and blast them into oblivion?

What do you think?

Those ungrateful Palestinians.....

2:17 pm, January 11, 2009

Anonymous Rich said...

Both sides need to stop.....but it looks like the conflict is close to its end game. Hamas are broken.....Israel will stop by the end of the month.

10:11 pm, January 11, 2009

Blogger Merseymike said...

Rich: sounds all too reminiscent of what people were saying about the Taliban

The thing is that the ideas promoted by Hamas, have, unfortunately , probably been strengthened considerably by Israel's actions. Moderate Muslims who have been strong critics of Islamism such as Ed Husain have even felt the need to speak out.

You can temporarily remove the threat of a particular group by bombing them into submission. But that doesn't kill the ideas which inspired them.

12:54 am, January 12, 2009

Blogger Mark Still News said...

Hi Comrades,
please see message below,for a Public meeting on the Gaza, Tomorrow.
Trades Council meeting this Thursday,we hope to also have a speaker on this very subject,from Islington friends of Yibna....... ITUC

Islington public meeting to protest against the Israeli attack on Gaza:

Date: Wednesday 14 January, 7.30pm
: St Luke's church, Hillmarton Road N7 9RE
: Daphna Baram (Israeli journalist), Jeremy Corbyn MP, Muhammed Qeshta (from Rafah, co-founder of Islington Friends of Yibna) and Shihab Sikora (Palestinian activist).
: StW together with Islington Friends of Yibna, Hackney-Islington CND and Islington UNISON.

12:28 am, January 14, 2009

Anonymous Rich said...

Mike, you may well be right. This whole conflict is very complicated and the implications for the region could be far reaching. If this action strengthens Hamas then all of us will suffer.

It is very weird that 9/11 made the IRA realize that there was nothing to gain from terrorism. This was a key event in the IRAs decision to lay down its arms.

I think Israel should realise that the only way they are going to break Hamas is by getting the people of Gaza on their side. Bombing innocent people isn't going to do this. The question is how do they do it, Hamas virtually controls everything from the media to education in schools.

I really don't know what the answer. I just wish the men on both sides would grow up and be responsible.

8:45 pm, January 15, 2009


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