Notes from underground

يارب يسوع المسيح ابن اللّه الحيّ إرحمني أنا الخاطئ

Archive for the tag “Hamas”

Violence and values

All yesterday Sky News was still full of the Cumbria shootings. They seem obsessed with them, to the exclusion of all other news. Now they are interviewing survivors and witnesses. A fellow taxi driver who was shot, a little boy who witnessed the man on a bicycle being shot. They tell their stories calmly and matter-of-factly, in contrast to the breathless hype of the interviewers, going on about how terrible it is for such events to take place in a small and close-knit community in a beautiful part of England.

And then there are the expert counsellors, talking about the lasting trauma of those who witnessed these things, and how long it will take the community to get over it, and it is all so over-the-top. British soldiers have been doing such things as Derrick Bird did every week for the last few years in Iraq and Afghanistan, but nobody talks about the trauma they have caused in the small closs-knit communities there. Nothing about the trauma of the people on the ships taking aid to Gaza, hijacked on the high seas by Israeli pirates. There is something hugely disproportionate about it somehow.

I suppose it is understandable that Israel wants to impose a blockade on Gaza. Bombs are expensive, and running an air force to deliver them is expensive. So when you use bombs to break things you want them to stay broken. When you bomb people out of house and home you want them to stay homeless. If people bring aid to help people to rebuild their homes, then you are going to have to go to all the effort and expense of bombing them again to make them homeless again. It’s cheaper to stop them from rebuilding their homes.

When I was a child at school we used to amuse ourselves by kicking holes in anthills, and watching the termites scurrying around to repair the damage. And when they had just about repaired it we would kick holes in it again, easier the second time, because the mud was still damp and hadn’t hardened yet.

And it seems that grown-ups are no different, and just as cruel. It’s just that they can afford bigger bombs, and attack their own species. And no, I’m not overlooking Hamas as some have accused me of doing. Hamas and Likud are both terrorist organisations, playing a zero-sum game[1]. As my former blogging friend Facebook | Simon Hewitt says, “in spite of being utterly opposed to the attack on the Flotilla, will not be demonstrating tomorrow. Reason? : I’m just sick of marching alongside Hamas supporters and people chanting ‘we are all Hezbollah’. My enemy’s enemy is not my friend. My enemy’s enemy is an authoritarian, misogynistic, murdering bastard.” And they continue playing zero-sum games because it suits the more influential spectators for them to go on doing so.

So when it happens in Cumbria, Shock! Shock! Horror! Horror! from the Brit media. But when British soldiers do it elsewhere, they are heroes. Perhaps they should take Derrick Bird’s coffin in procession through Wootton Bassett.

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[1] terrorist n. one who favours or uses terror-inspiring methods of governing or of coercing government or community (from The Concise Oxford Dictionary of current English, Fifth Edition).

Hamas condemns the Holocaust

This article is unlikely to get much coverage in the Western media.

We are not engaged in a religious conflict with Jews; this is a political struggle to free ourselves from occupation and oppression

But it should be made clear that neither Hamas nor the Palestinian government in Gaza denies the Nazi Holocaust. The Holocaust was not only a crime against humanity but one of the most abhorrent crimes in modern history. We condemn it as we condemn every abuse of humanity and all forms of discrimination on the basis of religion, race, gender or nationality.

And at the same time as we unreservedly condemn the crimes perpetrated by the Nazis against the Jews of Europe, we categorically reject the exploitation of the Holocaust by the Zionists to justify their crimes and harness international acceptance of the campaign of ethnic cleansing and subjection they have been waging against us

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Hat-tip to The Western Confucian.

The Gaza bombshell

The hypocrisy of the USA is astounding. It recognises the “independence” of Kosovo led by the UCK (Kosovo Liberation Army), yet encourages boycotts of Hamas-led Gaza. It complains about genocide in Darfur, yet stands idly by while Israel rains cluster bombs on the children of Lebanon.

clipped from www.vanityfair.com

After failing to anticipate Hamas’s victory over Fatah in the 2006 Palestinian election, the White House cooked up yet another scandalously covert and self-defeating Middle East debacle: part Iran-contra, part Bay of Pigs. With confidential documents, corroborated by outraged former and current U.S. officials, David Rose reveals how President Bush, Condoleezza Rice, and Deputy National-Security Adviser Elliott Abrams backed an armed force under Fatah strongman Muhammad Dahlan, touching off a bloody civil war in Gaza and leaving Hamas stronger than ever.

The United States has been involved in the affairs of the Palestinian territories since the Six-Day War of 1967, when Israel captured Gaza from Egypt and the West Bank from Jordan. With the 1993 Oslo accords, the territories acquired limited autonomy, under a president, who has executive powers, and an elected parliament. Israel retains a large military presence in the West Bank, but it withdrew from Gaza in 2005.

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In the mean time

Earlier this week, American peace group Jewish Voice for Peace expressed outrage at the terrible loss of life in the latest escalation of violence in the Middle East in Gaza and Sderot. We also called for an immediate joint ceasefire, and an end to Israel’s blockade of Gaza, which has barred food, medical supplies and fuel from an already desperately poor and malnourished 1.5 million Palestinians.

Today, we mourn the loss of 8 students at the Mercaz HaRav Yeshiva in Jerusalem.

Jewish Voice for Peace believes the loss of just one person is one life too many. There is no difference in the immeasurable heartache felt by the parents of dozens of children killed in Gaza last week, or the parents of the 8 students killed yesterday in Jerusalem. All killings must stop.

British double standards on WMD and terrorists

The British government uses double standards over weapons of mass destruction (WMD), and also over which “terrorist” governments it recognises and fails to recognise.

How Labour used the law to keep criticism of Israel secret | Politics | The Guardian:

The full extent of government anxiety about the state of British-Israel relations can be exposed for the first time today in a secret document seen by the Guardian.

The document reveals how the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) successfully fought to keep secret any mention of Israel contained on the first draft of the controversial, now discredited Iraq weapons dossier. At the heart of it was nervousness at the top of government about any mention of Israel’s nuclear arsenal in an official paper accusing Iraq of flouting the UN’s authority on weapons of mass destruction.

The dossier was made public this week, but the FCO succeeded before a tribunal in having the handwritten mention of Israel kept secret.

clipped from www.guardian.co.uk

The removal of a negative reference to Israel from a draft of the discredited Iraq weapons dossier released this week illustrated the double standards which contribute to Palestinian anger and violence, a Labour MP said today.

Richard Burden, chair of the British-Palestine all-party parliamentary group, was responding to the revelation in today’s Guardian that a comment on Israel flouting United Nations resolutions was removed from the “Williams draft” after the Foreign Office appealed to the information tribunal, which had ordered the document’s publication.

But the Birmingham Northfield MP insisted the international community should “not be afraid” of saying that “Israel has been developing weapons of mass destruction for some years”.

Burden compared the government’s reluctance to offend Israel to the reaction after Hamas won the Palestinian elections in 2006. He said that after the Islamist group called a truce the response was “to ignore that and refer to them as terrorists”.

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As Burden points out, the recent revelations about British double standards on the question of WMD in the Middle East also highlight other double standards as well — denouncing Hamas as “terrorists”, but recognising the UDI by the UCK (Kosovo Liberation Army), which is just as much a terrorist organisation as Hamas.

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