Monday, March 12, 2012

340 The lesson of Purim: If Jews want to survive, they must lobby for power - Gilad Atzmon

The lesson of Purim: If Jews want to survive, they must lobby for power - Gilad Atzmon

(1) The lesson of Purim: If Jews want to survive, they must lobby for power - Gilad Atzmon
(2) There is no one to stop Iran's rise or Turkey's growing extremism - Ari Shavit
(3) Turkish soldiers & civilians are being killed by Israel-backed Kurds - Israel Shamir
(4) Conservative Friends of Israel back Israel's blockade

(1) The lesson of Purim: If Jews want to survive, they must lobby for power - Gilad Atzmon

From: Sadanand, Nanjundiah (Physics Earth Sciences) <sadanand@mail.ccsu.edu> Date: 25.06.2010 06:24 PM

Connecting the Dots

By Gilad Atzmon

June 24, 2010

http://www.gilad.co.uk/writings/connecting-the-zionist-dots-by-gilad-atzmon.html#entry8072121

A few weeks ago the Jewish Chronicle published a list of Jewish MPs in the UK parliament. It named 24 in total, encompassing 12 Conservatives, 10 Labour, and two Liberal Democrats. Author and peace activist Stuart Littlewood elaborated on these figures and presented the following analysis:

“The Jewish population in the UK is 280,000 or 0.46 per cent. There are 650 seats in the House of Commons so, as a proportion, Jewish entitlement is only three seats. The conclusion is pretty obvious. With 24 seats, Jews are eight times over-represented. Which means, of course, that other groups must be under-represented, including Muslims…If Muslims, for instance, were over-represented to the same extent as the Jews (i.e. eight times) they’d have 200 seats. All hell would break loose.”

A question must be raised here. Why are Jews overwhelmingly over-represented in the British parliament, in British and American political pressure groups, in political fundraising and in the media?

Haim Saban, the Israeli-American, multibillionaire media mogul offers the answer. The New Yorker reported this week that at a conference last fall, Saban described his pro-Israeli formula, outlining “three ways to be influential in American politics…make donations to political parties, establish think tanks, and control media outlets.”

As I have mentioned many times before, there is no such a thing as Jewish conspiracy. It is all done in the open. In front of TV cameras from all over the world, listed Israeli Propaganda Author as well as British Foreign Secretary David Miliband gave the Israelis a green light to operation Cast Lead, suggesting in Sderot that “Israel should, above all, seek to protect its own citizens.” Miliband, in practice, made us all complicit in a colossal war crime committed by Israel. Staunch Zionist Lord Levy funded the Labour party when this party launched a criminal war that intended to erase the last pocket of Arabic resistance to Zionism. He also wasn’t at all shy about it. In the media, shameless Jewish Chronicle writers David Aaronovitch and Nick Cohen enthusiastically advocated the same criminal war in the name of ‘moral interventionism’. Nick Cohen also founded the Euston Manifesto ‘think tank’ to support dubious Neocon ideologies on this side of the pond.

Levy, Cohen, Aaronovitch, Miliband are all in line with Saban’s formula: influence, donations, think tanks, media. Yet they don’t necessarily know Saban, and may never even have heard about the Zionist media mogul. It isn’t necessary. The fact is, Saban didn’t invent anything himself. His formula is deeply brewed in the Judaic religious tradition, Jewish culture and ideology.

United Against Purim

The Book of Esther is a biblical story that is the basis for the celebration of Purim, the most joyous Jewish festival. The book tells the story of an attempted Judeocide, but it also tells a story in which Jews manage to change their fate by means of political influence. In the story, the Jews do manage to rescue themselves and even to mete revenge, all through an infiltration into the corridors of power.

It is set in the third year of Ahasuerus, and the ruler is a king of Persia usually identified with Xerxes I. It is the story of a palace, a conspiracy, an attempted Judeocide and a brave and beautiful Jewish queen (Esther) who manages to save the Jewish people at the very last minute.

In the story, King Ahasuerus is married to Vashti, whom he repudiates after she rejects his offer to 'visit' him during a feast. Esther was selected from the candidates to be Ahasuerus's new wife. As the story progresses, Ahasuerus's Prime Minister Haman plots to have the king kill all the Jews without knowing that Esther is actually Jewish. Esther, together with her cousin Mordechai saves the day for their people. Esther warns Ahasuerus of Haman's murderous anti-Jewish plot. Haman and his sons are hanged on the fifty cubit gallows he had originally built for cousin Mordechai. As it happens, Mordechai takes Haman's place, becoming the Prime Minister. Ahasuerus's edict decreeing the murder of the Jews cannot be rescinded, so he issues another edict allowing the Jews to take up arms and kill their enemies, which they obviously do.

The moral of the Biblical story is rather clear. If Jews want to survive, they had better make their way into the corridors of power. They had better bond to the rulers of the world. With Esther, Mordechai and Purim in mind, AIPAC, Levy, ADL, David Milliband, Saban and the notion of 'Jewish power' all appear to be an embodiment of a deep Biblical, tribal and cultural ideology.

However, here is the interesting twist. Although the story is presented as an historic tale, the historical accuracy of the Book of Esther is largely disputed by most modern Bible acholars and historians. The lack of any clear corroboration of between any of the details of the story with what is known of Persian History from classical sources is what has led scholars to come to the conclusion that the story is mostly, or even totally fictional.

In other words, though the Jewish moral is clear, the attempted genocide is fictional. Seemingly, the Book of Esther sets its (Jewish) followers into a collective Pre-Traumatic Stress Disorder. It transforms a fictional fantasy of ‘destruction’ into a vivid ‘ideology of survival’. And indeed, some read the story as an allegory of quintessentially assimilated Jews who discover that they are targets of anti-Semitism, but are also in a position to save themselves and their fellow Jews.

The Book of Esther exists to form a coherent exilic tribal identity. It is there to plant an existential stress. It introduces the Holocaust mentality. Furthermore, it fixes the conditions which turn the Holocaust into reality. In hermeneutic terms, the text shapes the reality. In practice, it is the fearful mind the sets itself into a tragic trap of self-fulfilling prophecy. The Shoa ideology matures into a real event.

Interestingly enough, the Book of Esther (in the Hebrew version) is one of only two books of the Bible that do not directly mention God (the other is Song of Songs). As in the case of Zionist secular ideology and the Holocaust religion, in the Book of Esther it is the Jews who believe in themselves, in their own power, in their uniqueness, in their sophistication, in their ability to influence, in their ability to take over kingdoms, and in their ability to save themselves. The Book of Esther is all about empowerment. It conveys the essence and metaphysics of Jewish power, as described by Haim Saban and performed by AIPAC.

Zionism and Democracy

Zionists seem to love democracy. The Jewish state outrageously claims to be ‘the only democracy in the Middle East’. Israel’s supporters around the world also advocate conflicts in the name of ‘democracy’. Why do they love democracy so much? I guess that the answer is devastatingly simple. Democracy is the ideal political platform for the Zionist influence merchant.

Democracy in its current state, especially within the English-Speaking world, is a political system that specializes in positioning inadequate, unqualified and dubious characters in leading positions. Two democratically elected leaders launched the illegal war in Iraq. Two democratically elected leaders marched the west into a financial disaster.

Running a state is not an easy task. It surely takes some talent and training. In the past, our elected political leaders were experienced politicians who had achieved something in their lives, whether in academia, industry, military or the financial world. In the past, our candidates for premiership had a curriculum vitae to share with us. Apparently this is not the case anymore. Time after time we are left with a ‘democratic choice’ to give our vote to one or another laughable young failure. Time after time we see rising political ‘stars’, people have really achieved nothing in their lives, and who are unqualified to run even a corner shop, let alone a state.

You may want to ask yourself what qualification Blair or Bush possessed before they took the wheel in their hands. What experience does David Cameron have at his disposal in order to rescue Britain from total disaster on every possible front (financial, Iraq, Afghanistan, education, NHS and so on)? What kind of experience does David Miliband bring with him in the bid for the Labour premiership? The answer is none. Our lives, our future and the future of our children are in the hands of ludicrous, clueless characters. This may explain why Britain ended up with a hung Parliament. Not a single leader in this country could convince the public that he had the talent, the integrity or even just a seed of true leadership.

But here is the news. As much as our elected leaders are totally clueless, the Sabans, the Lord Levys and the Wolfowitzes know exactly what to do. The Jewish religion, culture and ideology provides its followers with a narrative that saves us of the democratic limbo. The Sabans of this world are far from being amateurs or clueless; they know exactly what to do. They have been doing it for three thousand years. They are the followers of Mordechai and Esther. The Sabans of the world know how to translate the moral of Purim into British and American practice.

Stuart Littlewood seems to wonder why Jews are over-represented. With Purim in mind, we may be able to suggest an answer. We are dealing here with an exilic cultural setting that preaches for lobbing, influence and control. Shaping politics, media and thoughts is the true meaning of the Book of Esther. Saban was either just genuine or foolish enough to admit it in public. However, the absence of a Book of Esther within the heart of Muslim or Hindu culture may explain why other marginal migrant groups in Britain are adequately and proportionally represented in British politics and media. Moreover, it is unlikely that this will change soon. As opposed to most minorities and marginal identities in the West, Judaism is an exilic national religion and the Jewish identity is a product of tribal indoctrination. This may explain why emancipated Jews who live in Britain for generations as seculars still operate within Jewish political and social settings, and under Jewish political banners.

It is not a secret that a few Jews out there are very gifted. It is also rather obvious that some Jews are amongst the leading contributors to the humanist and universal discourse. However, this is not something we can say about Haim Saban, who openly desires to influence American foreign policy by means of donations, think tanks and media control. Similarly, David Milliband, who struggled to amend British universal Jurisdiction to make it easy for Israeli war criminal visit his kingdom, should not be regarded as a great humanist either. Nick Cohen, who founded the Euston Manifesto, a think tank that promotes Zionist interests within British intellectual culture, cannot be regarded as an ethical icon. Amazingly enough, they all did it in the open.

If we care about peace and about our future generations, we must be brave enough to connect the dots. The Mordechais and Esthers within our media, intellectual and political life must be confronted. We must unite against Purim. If the Labour party still carries any ethical responsibility, it should put David Milliband in his place. If our parties want us to believe in their agendas, they had better learn to say “NO” to Zionist money and Jewish proxy donators. If our media outlets want us to believe in their ‘impartiality’, they had better identify the enemy within. How many Iraqis will need to die before the penny drops? How many peace activist should die in high seas before we all say ‘NO more’? How many British workers will need to lose their jobs, homes and hopes before we can allow ourselves to say “NO” to Zionist wars and their advocates in our midst?

(2) There is no one to stop Iran's rise or Turkey's growing extremism - Ari Shavit

From: Sadanand, Nanjundiah (Physics Earth Sciences) <sadanand@mail.ccsu.edu> Date: 25.06.2010 06:24 PM

Ignoring the Tsunami

The superpower under whose patronage we shelter is becoming increasingly weak and increasingly distant, and the Middle East is becoming unstable

By Ari Shavit

June 24, 2010 "Haaretz"

http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/opinion/ignoring-the-tsunami-1.297986

Things have never been better: The number of millionaires in the country soared by 43 percent between 2008 and 2009, with 2,519 new ones joining the 5,900 we already had, for a total of 8,419 Israeli millionaires. Their total net assets rose by about 41 percent, from $30.1 billion at the end of 2008 to $42.4 billion at the end of 2009. No wonder it's impossible to find a luxury apartment to buy or to reserve a table at a top restaurant in Tel Aviv, or that tickets for "Nabucco" were so hard to get. Never was so much owned by so few Israelis. Never has life been so good here for so wealthy an elite, as the country is poised at the brink of the abyss.

Things have never been worse. The superpower under whose patronage we shelter is becoming increasingly weak and increasingly distant. As a result of these two mutually amplifying processes the Middle East is becoming unstable. There is no one to stop Iran's rise or Turkey's growing extremism, or to provide security for the moderates in Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Palestine. The states to the east fear the U.S. withdrawal from Iraq, while those to the north are building up their forces in anticipation of a nuclear Iran. And a firestorm of hatred for Israel raging throughout the world. Israel's legitimacy as well as its deterrence are eroding. It's no wonder that the national security adviser is nostalgic for the first term of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, or that the army chief of staff pines for the days when Ehud Barak was chief of staff. The geostrategic situation is grave. And we are partying on the beach while ignoring the tsunami already visible on the horizon.

Never has the gap between our economic and international situations, or between the state of our consciousness and our security situation, been greater. Not even in the days leading up to the Yom Kippur War were we in such a deep state of denial. Everything's great: Inside Israel the economy is booming, there is general jubilation - la dolce vita at its sweetest. But all around, the siege is tightening. No reasonable remedy is in sight for the twin threats of missiles and of a nuclear Iran, nor does an end to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict appear imminent.

While 8,419 millionaires increase their own capital using Israel's uniquely excellent human capital, millions of Arabs and Muslims wondering whether the Jewish state will last. They see a declining West that turns its back to Israel and a rising East that challenges Israel. They see an Israel that repeatedly demonstrates shortsightedness. Many of our neighbors are starting to have secret, dangerous thoughts.

Israel is not weak. If any of its neighbors makes a mistake, it will receive a knockout punch. But if there is a government in Jerusalem it must make every effort to stop the decline, to revive the peace with Egypt and with Jordan, to leave no stone unturned on the Syrian track, to expedite the territorial division, to create a common forum for cooperation with the United States and with the moderate Arab states, and to create a stabilizing process to counterbalance the destabilizing process that threatens the Middle East. The government understands everything but does nothing. Its inaction constitutes negligence, as does Kadima's unwillingness to let the government change its shape and its course. Netanyahu's foot-dragging on the one hand and Tzipi Livni's pettiness on the other perpetuate a catastrophic paralysis.

The Israeli public will not take to the streets. It is exhausted and confused and despairing. But the economic elite, the 8,419 Israelis who became so much richer last year, can bring about change. If they were to use their wealth and influence to demand that Netanyahu, Barak and Livni join hands, they would very likely succeed. It's time for those who have benefited greatly from living here to accept responsibility. Given the gravity of Israel's situation, wealth is not only privilege, but also obligation.

(3) Turkish soldiers & civilians are being killed by Israel-backed Kurds - Israel Shamir

From: Israel Shamir <adam@israelshamir.net> Date: 25.06.2010 06:19 PM

Israeli recipe for dealing with the world says “if force does not work, use more force.”

Turkey is the Key

By Israel Shamir

http://www.veteranstoday.com/2010/06/24/israel-shamir-israeli-recipe-for-dealing-with-the-world-if-force-does-not-work-use-more-force/

Bombs go off in Turkey, a great spree of terrorist bombings and attacks. Practically every day Turkish soldiers and civilians are being killed. The killings are done ostensibly by the Kurd terrorists of PPK, but this is a new step in Israel’s warfare against Turkish independence. Encouraged by Israel, PKK extended its operations to the Aegean and the Black Sea resorts all the way to Izmir.

Israelis armed, supplied and trained Kurdish terrorists for many years; they have turned the Iraqi Kurdistan into their territory with many Israeli businessmen doing their affairs waiting for Kirkuk oil to flow to Haifa as it did in the days of colonial British rule. The Kurds remained a hidden tool of Israel in the region for many years; its activation now shows that Israel still wants to teach Turks a lesson.

The main neocon magazine in the US, frontpagemag.com, openly called to support the Kurds to retaliate for Turkey’s support of Palestine. Another Jewish right-wing think-tank speaks of mobilising the US congress to condemn one-hundred-years-old Armenian tragedy as a means to undermine Turkey. After many years of siding with Turkey, the Jewish Lobby now decided to switch sides and support the Armenian claims. So Turkey is now under attack from all sides. It could be expected, for the popular Israeli slogan says “if force does not work, use more force.”

This was the explanation of the Flotilla Massacre on May 31, 2010. The Mavi Marmara attack was intended to be a short, sharp shock to the increasingly independent Turks. Israelis intended to terrify and frighten them into obedience; that is why they ordered a blood bath on board the Mavi Marmara. As we know now, the Israeli commandos began shooting well before encountering any resistance. They did not want to play soft ball, submission was what they are after. Murder was not a result of surprise or miscalculation: it was an open attack on Turkey.

Israel’s conflict with Turkey was not an unfortunate result of the murderous raid. The confrontation between them became acute two weeks before the massacre, on May 17, 2010. Together with Brazil, Turkey has arranged and signed the Tehran Declaration of a nuclear fuel swap deal with beleaguered Iran. This declaration could derail the US-Israeli plans of sanctioning Iran to death prior to bombing it.

Israel wants Iran destroyed; as much as she wanted Iraq demolished, Gaza starved and the rest cowed. The swap agreement undermined all the logic behind the sanctions. All the plotting of Israeli lobbyists in the US and Europe was wiped out in an instant. Indeed, as the Muslims say: they plot, but Allah plots better.

Israel received the news of the Turkey-Brazil-Iran agreement as a heavy blow. “We were defeated by the crafty Turks and Iranians,” read the headlines of Israeli newspapers. Not so fast. The US State Department minimized the damage, effectively asking: “Who cares what these lowlifes agree about? If we have decided to bomb somebody, bomb we shall. We shall never allow facts to confuse us.” Thomas Friedman in the NYT was disappointed why “a Holocaust-denying thug” is allowed to live.

Brazenly disregarding the agreement, the Security Council approved the sanctions on June, 9. Moscow and Beijing were bribed or blackmailed to agree. China preferred to play ball in order to avoid confrontation over North Korea. The story of sunken South Korean ship provided a pretext for an attack on North Korea, and such an attack could cause much damage to China. The Chinese are also vulnerable to the Western meddling in Xinjiang and Tibet.

The Russians have received some precious gifts: Ukraine returned into Russia’s fold, Georgia was marginalised, the new nuclear arms treaty was better to Russia than anything they could expect. At the same time, Moscow suffered a severe terrorist attack reminding the Russians of their enemies’ ability to seed trouble. Still, Turkey voted against the sanctions, proving its new regional role as a reliable new pivot for the Middle East.

The conflict between Turkey and Israel did not start with the Iran swap: it began earlier, in January 2010, when the Israeli deputy Foreign Minister Dani Ayalon invited Turkish ambassador and publicly humiliated him. In Oriental fashion, Ambassador Chelikkol was offered to take seat in a sofa lower the Ayalon’s armchair. Ayalon refused to shake hands with the ambassador and told journalists in Hebrew while cameras were rolling: “We would like to show that he takes lower seat and there is only one Israeli flag on the table”.

Or perhaps the conflict began a year earlier, in January 2009, when the Prime Minister of Turkey Recep Erdogan walked off the stage at the World Economic Forum in Davos. Erdogan was annoyed by an attempt of a western moderator to stop his response to the Israeli president Shimon Peres who justified mass killings in Gaza.

Or perhaps it started in September 2007 when the Israeli planes flew over Turkey to bomb Syria without as much as ‘by your leave’.

Perhaps it was even earlier, when Turkey began to assert its independence by discarding its century-old and worn ideology of Kemalism. Secular nationalism of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk was a trap for the former Empire. Brutish Kemalist Turkey was necessarily a member of NATO, an enemy to Arabs and Iranians, a docile client of the US, a loyal ally of Israel and a persecutor of Kurds.

Now is the time to thank the Europeans for doing their bit to reform Turkey. In endless negotiations with Turkey, the European Union demanded to release the Army’s iron grip on power. Without this gentle prompting from Europe, Turkey would be still ruled by a Zionist general or by a Zionist generals’ appointee. With people being free from military rule, the Turks had ended their violent secularism and regained peace with Islam and with their neighbours.

I visited Turkey last Christmas, and had met with the activists who were about to depart for Gaza. Turkey is doing well: no economic crisis, steady growth, peace with the Kurds, a brave attempt to make peace with Armenians, and a perfect balance of religion and freedom. Who wants may go to a beautifully restored Ottoman mosque and pray, who wants may go to a café and drink very good Turkish wine. Girls are forced neither to shed their scarves nor to cover their arms.

“We lost Turkey”, said Robert Gates, the US Secretary of Defence, and blamed the European Union for refusing to accept Turkey. But we have to thank the Europeans for this refusal. We do not want Turkey in the EU; we need Turkey for ourselves, for the region.

There is a great new plan of creating a Middle East Union as a regional equivalent of the European Union. This is the right place for Turkey, in the head of this new formation. In a way, it will be restoration of the Ottoman Empire: to the same extent the European Union is a restoration of Charlemagne’s Empire. The difference is that Europe was fragmented for centuries, while our region was united until 1917. Even if full political union may be a far-away perspective, this is good to start moving towards this goal.

There are already free trade treaties between Turkey and its Arab neighbours; the spiritual dimension is there, for Istanbul was the last seat of the Caliphate. Now Turkey may establish a regional International Court to deal with regional problems, among others, with Zionist excesses. Europe is still not free from Zionist control and that is why the International Court of Justice and International Criminal Court in The Hague are unsuitable places to try Zionist criminals. Moreover, their present location reminds of Eurocentric world of yesterday. A regional Court may also convincingly deal with war criminals in occupied Iraq and other Middle Eastern countries. Great lawyers like Richard Falk and Judge Goldstone could be invited to seat in it.

Establishment of the International Court (East) would be a serious and realistic step towards further decolonization of the region and its future unification in a Middle East Union.

(4) Conservative Friends of Israel back Israel's blockade

From: Sami Joseph <sajoseph2005@yahoo.com> Date: 24.06.2010 05:57 AM

http://www.palestinechronicle.com/view_article_details.php?id=16080

The Palestine Chronicle

06/23/2010

The Knesset Comes to Westminster

By Stuart Littlewood - London

The new line-up at Britain's Foreign and Commonwealth Office looks like this:

Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs – William Hague
Minister of State – Jeremy Browne
Minister of State – David Lidington
Minister of State – Lord Howell of Guildford
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State – Henry Bellingham
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State – Alistair Burt

Hague has been a Friend of Israel since the age of 15. Burt is an officer of the Conservative Friends of Israel. Naturally he’s in charge of Middle East affairs. Lidington also frolics with the Israel flag wavers.

Before his elevation to the House of Lords Howell was MP for Guildford, in the south of England. His daughter is Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne's wife.

Here is Howell in action in a House of Lords debate on the Free Gaza flotilla a couple of weeks ago…

Lord Howell - My Lords, the United Kingdom is in regular contact with the Israeli and Palestinian Governments and our international allies regarding the current humanitarian situation in Gaza and the wider issues relating to the peace process. As my right honourable friend the Foreign Secretary said… it is essential that there should be unfettered access to Gaza, not only to meet the humanitarian needs of the people of Gaza but to enable reconstruction of homes and livelihoods and permit trade to take place.

Lord Campbell-Savours (Labour) - My Lords, in the face of threats to intervene and break the blockade by Iranian Revolutionary Guard naval units, why cannot the United Kingdom Government announce that they are prepared to challenge the blockade by providing a naval escort for a flotilla of ships carrying humanitarian aid into Gaza, aid which has been given prior clearance by the European Union in the way that Bernard Kouchner has suggested? Would that not be a far better way to proceed? The Israeli Government are far more likely to heed that kind of initiative.

Lord Howell - I recognise the noble Lord's strong feelings on this matter, but we simply do not think that that is the right way to proceed. We think that the right way is for the restrictions and the so-called blockade to be lifted beyond the present arrangements, by which some humanitarian supplies get in but not enough. We think that the right way forward is to put maximum pressure on Israel to do that. That is the sensible way forward…

Lord Hylton (Crossbench) - I agree entirely with the Minister about unrestricted access to Gaza, but are there not immediate questions to be discussed with the Government of Israel concerning the ships themselves, their cargoes, now under arrest, and possibly the personal possessions of persons who have been arrested?

Lord Howell - I cannot answer the noble Lord on the personal possessions issue. With regard to the humanitarian goods on these ships, the idea is that they should be shipped on into Gaza. However, unfortunately, it appears that the Hamas group has not been very keen on accepting all that aid at the moment. But that is the procedure that the Government of Israel are trying to adopt in the face of attempts to run the blockade or break the restrictions, which are apparently to be promoted by a number of countries, including some of the Iranian authorities.

Baroness Ramsay of Cartvale (Labour) - Does the Minister agree that, while there is a great need to improve the access for aid and commercial goods into Gaza, it still requires any new regime allowing new materials into Gaza to take great care not to allow in weapons that might be used against Israel?

Lord Howell - The noble Baroness is absolutely right. This is the dilemma. Israel does have the right to restrain the import of weapons, bombs and so on into the control of Hamas. At the same time, we all want to see the sufferings of the people of Gaza minimised and the maximum supplies of food, building materials, medical supplies and so on imported into Gaza. That is the dilemma that must be solved. The right way forward is along the lines proposed, with pressure on Israel to do that rather than creating some head-on conflict with Israel when it is the country with which we need to co-operate to achieve the two-state solution that we all want to see.

Lord Dykes (Liberal Democrat) - In the mean time, my Lords, will my noble friend confirm that the peace talks and the proximity talks are proceeding apace, despite the continuing weakness of the quartet mechanism, which is deeply disappointing to all observers? Will he reassure us that the sinister rumours that George Mitchell is less than even-handed between Israel and Palestinian lobbies are not true?

Lord Howell - I can give that reassurance…

Lord Anderson of Swansea (Labour) - The Minister must recognise that Israel has legitimate security concerns and cannot be expected to allow unfettered access. How, then, do the Government respond to the specific proposal from Bernard Kouchner that the European Union offers to provide some form of border monitoring for material entering Gaza to ensure that it is only for humanitarian purposes?

Lord Howell - There may well be something in that idea. Of course there is the other border on the Egyptian side, which was open temporarily and has now been closed. All these matters are to be pursued to see whether we can find that key reconciliation between the need to end the suffering of the people of Gaza and Israel's legitimate security concerns.

The Bishop of Bath and Wells - My Lords, while I recognise the appropriate need for Israel to be protected, the issue of building materials in relation to the people of Gaza is nevertheless important, given the recent campaign against Gaza involving bombing and the destruction of houses. What can Her Majesty's Government do in the interim to encourage the Israeli Government to allow building materials to go into that country? Surely they are fundamental to the humanitarian effort.

Lord Howell - The answer has to be that maximum pressure and encouragement must be placed on the Government of Israel to do what is actually in their own interest, which is to minimise the restrictions, to lift the blockade as far as they can consistent with their security and to continue to expand the amount of provisions already going into Gaza from Israel as well as from Egypt. That is the way forward and we should not be deflected from it.

He veers from saying there should be unfettered access to Gaza to saying the blockade should be lifted only as far as it suits Israel’s “security”. He thinks pressure on the Israeli government rather than action will work when decades of experience tells us it won’t. He fails to understand how Israel sees its own interest. He says Israel has the right to “restrain” the importation of weapons. Is he sure about that? I don’t think he knows international law or the UN Charter or the Geneva Conventions as well as he should. Palestinians, as an illegally occupied people, have a right to take up arms to defend themselves.

And why can’t he make it his business to answer the simple question about the personal property of British nationals stolen by the Israelis on the high seas?

Eighty per cent of Conservative MPs are claimed to be signed-up Friends of Israel. Now, for your entertainment, let’s see how their website reports a recent House of Commons debate on Middle East Policy …

Supporting Israel

• Conservative MPs voice support for Israel in House debate on Middle East Policy.
• On Monday, the Government held a debate in the House of Commons on UK policy towards the Middle East.
• The debate was well attended by Conservative MPs, and provided an excellent opportunity for MPs discuss events surrounding the flotilla incident of Monday 31 May, as well a wider issues of the Middle East Peace Process.
• Israel received positive support from a number of Conservative MPs, with many contributors displaying a considerable understanding of the wider issues at play in the region such as the Iranian smuggling of arms into Gaza, Hamas ideology of violence and the need to bolster the moderate Palestinian Authority.
• Alistair Burt MP, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, led the debate for the government and presented an even-handed case, whilst expressing support for Israel.
• Alistair Burt began by reassuring the House that the government would “engage with as much energy as we can in the Middle East Peace Process” to bring about a lasting two-state solution to resolve the Arab-Israeli conflict.

“The only long-term solution to the conflict is a secure Israel living alongside a sovereign and viable Palestinian state. We will continue to press for progress, working with the US and through the EU, while supporting Prime Minister Fayyad’s work to build the institutions of a future Palestinian state… The UK is a committed friend of Israel and a friend to the region”.

• Re-stating the government’s resolve to continue pressuring Iran to end her nuclear programme, Burt welcomed the UN Security Council resolution recently passed.

“We remain resolved to address concerns through a twin-track process of preventing a nuclear-weapons-capable Iran while reaching out with an offer for constructive engagement. We cannot allow Iran to act with impunity”.

• CFI's Parliamentary Chairman and Chairman of the Defence Select Committee, Rt Hon James Arbuthnot MP presented an authoritative account of Israel’s predicament and began by praising Israel for embodying many of the values that exist with Britain.

“Everyone in this House should have an interest in Israel, because it is a country that embodies the values that we should stand for. Israel [has] become a bastion of the rule of law, democracy, free speech, business enterprise and family values. If that is not what this country also stands for, I am disappointed.”

• Applauding “Israel’s determination to stand up for its continued right to exist in peace and security”, Arbuthnot lamented at the difficult position Israel faces as a result of Hamas’ belligerency.

“When peace is destroyed by Hamas kidnapping Gilad Shalit and continuing to hold him prisoner for years, nobody should expect Israel just to accept it. When that peace is destroyed by rocketing from Gaza, nobody should expect Israel to say, ‘Yes, flotillas can be allowed to import whatever they like into Gaza, including perhaps explosives and rockets’.”

• James Arbuthnot also spoke of Israel's difficulty in preventing smuggling of weaponry into Gaza, citing the case of Karine A.

“On one ship, the Karine A, which was not involved in this convoy, the Israelis found tons of weapons for Hamas. Were they simply to assume that this particular flotilla contained no such weapons to be used by Hamas against both Israel and the population of Gaza, whom Hamas treats so cruelly? Surely not. So obviously the flotilla was going to be stopped and boarded”.

• James Arbuthnot also cited the fact that Israel’s military had not sought violence, as seen by the peaceful boarding of five of the six flotilla ships.
• He noted that the flotilla was a deliberately calculated attempt to create publicity and that violence resistance aboard the Mavi Marmara had been premeditated.

“Given that the flotilla was designed to be provocative and to end in violence, we should not blame Israel for the violence against which it failed to guard itself; the blame lies with those who went on to the flotilla expressly seeking martyrdom.”

• Bob Blackman MP assessed the problematic role of Hamas, which presents a considerable obstacle to not only the peace process, but progress for the Palestinian people.

“We are challenged on the position of humanitarian aid, yet the state of Israel allows some 15,000 tonnes per week of humanitarian aid to enter Gaza. However, there is the role of Hamas: it holds up the aid. It uses it as an incentive to control the people of Palestine, and as a means of repression. Until it ceases its repression, the people of Palestine will not see the benefit of having a properly, democratically elected Government who truly represent them.”

• Bob Blackman urged the House to be clear on the dangers of negotiating with Hamas without pre-conditions.

“It is very difficult to negotiate with people whose fundamental aim is to destroy one’s Government and one’s very being”.

• Lastly, Nick Boles MP gave the House a fascinating speech on Israel's excellent record of democracy, freedom and human rights.

“In Israel, Israeli Arabs have always had all rights-the same as Israeli Jews-except for one: they do not have to serve in the armed forces, because the state of Israel recognises that it would be unfair to set them against their Arab brothers. However, they can vote and be elected, and many have been. There is even an Arab-Israeli serving on the Supreme Court in Israel… Israel is an oasis in a desert-an oasis of freedom, democracy and human rights in the Middle East”.

• Robert Halfon MP was not called upon by the speaker but had prepared a fantastic speech, which he has since published on his online blog.

The whole thing can be seen here at where you’ll also find the comical “Israel’s legitimate right to impose the blockade”.

I offer no comment other than to say that Mark Regev, Israel’s propaganda specialist, must be exceedingly proud of his pupils. They now speak it fluently. Readers with only the slightest knowledge of the situation in the Holy Land will be aching with laughter and howling in derision at the tosh these stooges put around.

Yes, the Knesset has come to Westminster.

Let’s end with Halfon, the former political director of Conservative Friends of Israel, who is especially well versed. Here’s a flavour of that “fantastic” speech he so wanted to make:

• In 2005 when Israeli PM Ariel Sharon oversaw Israeli withdrawal from every inch of the Gaza Strip…
• Gaza has become a terrorist state. Over 5,000 missiles have been fired into Israel since Hamas takeover in June 2007. Terrorists continue to infiltrate Israel from Gaza to execute brutal terror attacks. Weapons and explosives - supplied by backers Iran and Syria - are continuously smuggled into the Strip to be used against Israeli citizens and territory. This sort of situation is untenable. No country can be expected to live under this sort of pressure.
• It must be noted that 5 of the 6 ships were peacefully intercepted and safely docked at the Israeli port of Ashdod without incident. Unfortunately, a significant minority of ‘activists’ on the Mavi Marmara reacted with extreme violence to the Israeli military personnel… it has become apparent that these ‘activists’ had prepared for violence by accruing various weapons, amongst which were knives and sharpened metal bars.
• Security footage on the boat shows these men preparing their ambush and television images have shown these same individuals chanting horrific anti-Semitic songs. Before the incident, various spokesmen for the flotilla stressed that the intention was to make a political statement and “break the siege” rather than delivering the aid itself.
• Flotilla or no Flotilla, blockade or no blockade, we must never forget that Israel, a democratic state, is battling for its survival against an enemy that seeks its destruction. The West faces the same enemy on the battlefields of Afghanistan and Iraq. A free and just Palestinian State and a secure Israel will only come about, when these terrorist movements have been vanquished…

Every line a gem. Vintage Regev…almost.

- Stuart Littlewood is author of the book Radio Free Palestine, which tells the plight of the Palestinians under occupation. For further information please visit www.radiofreepalestine.co.uk. He contributed this article to PalestineChronicle.com.

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