Monthly Archives: November 2023

We have to respond to the pro-Israel bile on the social media

Apologists for Israeli genocide: every day, ordinary people take to their keyboards and turn themselves into trolls, propagandists and antagonists in favour of more killing in Gaza. They must be opposed.

Another day – another flood of bile from supporters of Israel.

This Writer responds to the posts that I see, and I try to do so from a rational perspective, even in the face of what seems to be outright lunacy.

Here are some of the messages I’ve seen today, with my responses.

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Please – if you see any of these hate-filled messages, make a response to it. Make it thoughtful and civilised, but make the point that they are distorting or ignoring the facts.

Thankfully there are an increasing number of reasonable, pro-peace posts appearing:

https://twitter.com/0Calamity/status/1729612831706767673


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Are we seeing through the nonsense about Israel/Gaza on the social media?

The nonsense is stacking up on social media servers across the world – but it seems our tolerance is wearing thin, as is that of the more professional public representatives.

For example:

Then there’s this:

The question is understandable, when faced with comments like this – and see my response also:

I wasn’t trying to make Hamas look better than Israel, of course; I was simply pointing out that neither side can take the moral high ground.

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I was making much the same point here:

Meanwhile, Israel’s representatives continue to make themselves look oppressive and unreasonable.

Here, one called Simcha Rothman suggests that the United Nations has kept refugees in Gaza for 75 years without finding a new home for them, in order to hurt Israel.

He wants them to be resettled elsewhere – but seems oblivious to the fact that the best place to resettle them is in the Palestinian land from which they were removed by Israelis; the land that was taken from them illegally. In fact, it is the only place to which they should be returned.

Here’s Israel’s prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, explaining how he manipulates foreign governments by pretending to support treaties and agreements, while actually finding loopholes that allow him to do only a fraction of what is expected of him:

Here’s a response, looking at the UK’s perspective on all this:

Look at the racism in the following tweet, based on a tweet purporting to show anti-Israel protesters telling the police they can ignore what the police are telling them.

Watch the video and you’ll see that police officers were trying to stop the protesters from using the “From the River to the Sea…” chant. But they admitted that it isn’t illegal, meaning there was no reason for the protesters to comply. So in fact, they paid attention to the police, comprehended what was being said to them and chose to ignore the request.

An IDF representative tells us that the handover of Israeli hostages was “heavily choreographed and rehearsed” – but why could the hostages themselves not say this? Where are they? Did they all want to be kept away from the media? Did none of them want to speak up for the record?

Here’s an American politician lying about the way Israeli hostages were treated while they were in Hamas captivity. Note that they ate the same food – in the same amounts – as their captors; if you starve a whole region, you starve everybody in it, including your own people:

Here’s more of the same kind of thing. Notice that the original posters don’t respond to criticism of their claims?

More usefully, efforts to prosecute Israelis for war crimes are moving forward. Here’s a surgeon who just got back to the UK from Gaza, describing his experience:

And here he is after meeting Scotland Yard’s war crime unit (wow – I didn’t know it had one) to give evidence of war crimes in Gaza to the authorities. Hopefully this will be passed to the International Criminal Court, which is already investigating.

And here’s Sex and the City actress Cynthia Nixon, making a strong point about the way Gaza is being deprived of food by going on hunger strike herself – (presumably) to pressure US President Joe Biden to influence Israel to reverse that decision:

More to follow (inevitably. And more. And more…)


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Book a vacation and buy your popcorn: Boris Johnson faces the Covid inquiry next week

Boris Johnson: and the welcome return of the image that revealed what was going on throughout the Covid crisis. Or did it?

It’s the one we’ve all been waiting for!

Boris Johnson will go before the Covid-19 inquiry next week. What will he be asked?

And how will he respond?

Mr Johnson will face difficult questions, including over claims he said he would rather “let the bodies pile high” than impose another lockdown.

The former PM will also be questioned about bombshell diary entries written by Chief Scientific Adviser Sir Patrick Vallance, who said he was “obsessed with older people accepting their fate and letting the young get on with life and the economy going”.

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Rishi Sunak – Johnson’s Chancellor – will face his own set of questions the following week.

He will face his own tricky questions, including over evidence heard by the Inquiry that suggested he believed ministers should “just let people die and that’s okay” during the pandemic.

We all lived through the monstrous mass death over which Johnson and Sunak presided.

We should all have a chance to see how they defend themselves.

Source: Date set for Boris Johnson’s Covid Inquiry reckoning as he faces grilling under oath – Mirror Online


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Tory MP Lee Anderson claims he was ‘guaranteed’ job to defect | BBC News

Lee Anderson with his best buddy Boris: the Tory party has changed a bit since BoJob was in charge but apparently the Leeanderthal isn’t keen to move on to a more Conservative organisation.

He should have taken the deal.

That’s if the Leeanderthal was telling the truth, of course.

Conservative Party deputy chairman Lee Anderson claims he was offered a financial incentive to defect to another party.

Mr Anderson alleges he was offered a job worth the equivalent of five years of an MP’s salary in the event he switched but failed to win re-election.

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Senior Conservative sources say Mr Anderson told them he had been approached by Reform UK.

Its leader Richard Tice has denied he offered any MP any money.


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Owen Jones goes to the movies – and Israel’s cheerleaders scream

Owen Jones: he has been slated by Israel’s cheerleaders and warmongers, for expressing views that should be held by all of us.

Last night – November 28 – This Writer was asked by a very young friend (she’s 21) which side I’m on in the Israel/Hamas conflict.

My answer surprised everyone who was there. I said I’m on the side of peace.

They had not considered that as an option. It won me applause all around – in contrast to what happened when a left-wing journalist said the same thing after watching Israel’s film that purportedly shows Hamas atrocities committed during the October 7 attack.

Owen Jones created a YouTube clip describing his feelings, which you can find below. I urge you to watch it before drawing any conclusions about the comments it attracted.

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In it, he says he was invited to a screening of the film, which the Israel Defence Forces specifically stated was intended to drum up support for their onslaught against civilians in the Gaza Strip.

He acknowledges from the start that the film confirms that Hamas committed war crimes (along with members of other groups who crossed the border on the same day, one assumes, although that isn’t actually made clear in the clip). He makes it clear that the taking of hostages is itself a grave war crime. It should be emphasised that he does not attempt to hide or minimise the fact that war crimes were committed. As I have mentioned several times in articles about Israel and Hamas (quoting Paul Newman in another – Hollywood – movie): “There are only murderers in this room.”

He emphasises the principle that “no cause on Earth justifies the killing of civilians”. This indicates that, no matter what Jones saw in the IDF film, it was never going to sway him into supporting the IDF’s operations in Gaza that are now said to have killed more than 14,800 people, including 6,000 children (Jones himself suggests more than 20,000 people – 20 times as many as the number of Israelis killed on October 7 and one per cent of Gaza’s population, including more than 8,000 children).

He makes the point that the 43-minute film is a selection of what the IDF says are thousands of hours of material, and concludes that it is likely to show the worst events the Israeli authorities were able to find. This is logical as they are trying to trigger outrage in their chosen audience of journalists and influencers, and support for ongoing slaughter in Gaza.

But it means the material is biased, and all footage gathered by the IDF should be submitted to independent inspection; this is basic journalistic practice – a genuinely independent journalist or historian would not be able to say they could accurately assess what happened on October 7, based only on this selection. For balance, Jones adds that some horrors may not have been recorded or be in the captured material.

The footage does not support some of the most serious claims made by Israel and the IDF in the weeks since October 7. So:

  • There is no material suggesting that babies were beheaded. There are beheadings – one of a dead soldier (therefore not an execution) and one attempt to behead a dying Thai migrant worker that fails.
  • There is no evidence of torture.
  • There is no evidence of rape and sexual violence. Bodies found without underwear do not constitute conclusive evidence of such crimes, as Jones states.
  • Some have claimed that there is material showing children being killed but Jones could find no evidence of this.

Jones makes it clear that this is not to say that none of these things happened. It simply doesn’t prove that they did.

The images are coupled with audio recordings, purportedly of Hamas communications that were intercepted. Jones questions their veracity. Other such clips have been released by Israel/the IDF in the past weeks, and have been dismissed as fake by experts. There is no reason for this material not to be passed on for independent assessment.

Some of the most shocking footage was of bodies burned beyond recognition – but we have learned that hundreds of them belonged to Hamas personnel, according to Israel spokesman Mark Regev. These people would not have been burned by their colleagues in Hamas – so Jones asks the obvious question: who burned them and how?

He also asks how many people were killed by reckless fire – from either side, although he does qualify this by saying evidence only suggests two incidents involved IDF forces allegedly killing Israelis – at Kibbutz Be’eri and at the Nova rave (and the rave claim is hotly disputed). This Writer would add the IDF’s Gaza Battalion headquarters, where the commanding officer, safe in a bunker, ordered an airstrike on the surface where his troops were engaged in combat with Hamas personnel.

Jones moves on to examine articles by other journalists, including one saying the film shows Hamas are worse than the Nazis – which he correctly describes as “insulting” and “ahistorical”, belittling the horrors of the Holocaust.

Then he tackles criticism of his own behaviour, and his words (found at around the 15-minute mark in the video clip) are worth quoting here: “The roots of my politics is a revulsion at human suffering. That is the entire point of all of my work. You might not believe it, you may have invented a perverse, bogeyman caricature in your head, of who I am, but that is the point of everything that I believe in.

“Watching this film of horrors – and they are horrors – does not lead me to want to support other horrors. Watching innocent civilians being killed in Israel does not make me more likely to support killing more innocent civilians in Gaza. Indeed, several times over more innocent civilians.

“The fact that this is controversial – and I know that … those who supported this screening and its purpose find this controversial – is absurd.

“Now, you have a choice, when you learn of the horrors that humans are capable of inflicting against each other. You either allow these horrors to deepen your humanity or you use those horrors to numb your humanity so that you can be complicit in even more, and indeed even greater horrors.

“This is a very basic and fundamental lesson from human history, which is never learned, with a grave human cost.”

He returns to this later in the clip: “It’s that point at which you either look at horror, you see horror, and you deepen your humanity – or you numb your humanity; you allow your humanity to be chipped away.

“And here’s how I understand the purpose of the screening can be used for just that, is that when attendees see what is happening in Gaza, the thousands of innocent civilians, many thousands of little kids among them, as well as maimed little toddlers, newborns suffocating to death, and feel horror and anguish – and then we are meant to think back to what we saw at those screenings, to remember those poor, injured little boys crying for their dead father, and then to wipe away the horror and anguish we feel about Gaza’s innocence, so that we continue – we can continue – to support a military onslaught which will take many more lives.

“This has happened throughout history, where you are encouraged to break down your empathy for the suffering of others by selectively focusing only on the suffering of some.

“I won’t do that.”

He continued: “Those behind the screening would rightfully regard even one of the killings of Israeli civilians which I saw as intolerable. I did.

“But 20,000 dead Palestinians, many thousands of them children – that’s entirely tolerable?

“Well, there we differ in our responses to the horrors that we saw.”

He concluded: “Throughout the tortured history of our species, horror at atrocities has long been used to build consent for yet more atrocities.

“I left that screening, yes… ashen-faced, horrified, disgusted, repulsed – and more determined than ever to spare innocent people from violent deaths and suffering. That should be your response too.

“No cause on Earth justified crimes committed against innocent civilians. And those crimes don’t justify collective punishment and the mass slaughter that the people of Gaza are now suffering.”

Here’s the clip:

The response Jones received for this display of humanity in the face of horror has been, itself, horrifying.

Here’s a selection, so you can see for yourself, and put names to those who have numbed their humanity and allowed themselves to become complicit in more and greater horrors:

I answered this one:

None of the people attacking Jones in the tweets above deserve any of your attention. They present as bloodthirsty warmongers intent on the annihilation – not of Hamas, but of Palestine and all Palestinians.

If you can remember all the way back to the beginning of this article, you may recall that when I was asked whose side I take in the Israel/Hamas conflict, I said I was on the side of peace.

You don’t get peace by invading somebody else’s country, subjugating them, stealing their land, walling in, oppressing and murdering them for 75 years – as Israel has discovered.

You don’t get peace by breaking through the walls and murdering your oppressors in a vain and (proportionately) tiny act of rebellion – as Hamas has discovered.

All you get is a perpetuation of the cycle of violence.

International law says Palestine has a right to resist the occupation of its land and the oppression of its people by Israel. But that does not give it a right to commit a single act of violence against a civilian.

Israel has a right to defend itself against acts of violence that are committed against its civilians. The issues are muddied here because it is questionable whether those acts of violence were committed on Israeli land or land that has been stolen from Palestine, in which case those civilians had no right to be there. But in any case, that does not give it a right to commit a single act of violence against a civilian.

Both sides are in the wrong. Both have committed war crimes. Both have committed atrocities.

In fairness, both have also been trying to whip up support for further atrocities. That’s why my friends were so surprised when I didn’t say I supported Israel or Hamas (or Gaza, or Palestine) but wanted peace instead.

The only way to get peace is to put the weapons away, sit down with the people you’ve been fighting and talk about how it can be achieved.

The longer that moment is delayed, they harder it will be to achieve that peace.

And yes, every one of us has a responsibility to seek that peace. You don’t get it by cheerleading for war and its atrocities.


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This video could be just pro-Palestine propaganda. WHAT IF IT ISN’T?

Israel says one thing; Palestine another. There may be fact in their somewhere – it is our job to decide what it is and act on it.

We’ve had to put up with a lot of pro-Israel propaganda – a lot of wild claims – about the events of October 7, 2023 and everything after. Here’s a video clip giving an alternative view.

Take it with a pinch of salt – it is highly inflammatory in favour of continued hostilities by Palestinians against Israel.

As bystanders, the people of other nations – like the UK – should have just one interest: peace.

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There are possibilities to win such a peace, mentioned in the clip.

Perhaps we should consider how we can help to do so.

See what you think:


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Rishi Sunak DOES know how to use a hammer. But do petrol pumps and contactless payments still elude him?

Rishi Sunak behind the wheel of a car: but he probably didn’t put any fuel in it.

After Emily Thornberry – and others in the Labour Party – posted on social media that Rishi Sunak does not know how to use a hammer properly, further information has emerged that he does – as discussed on the BBC’s Politics Live.

Here’s a copy of the post:

And here’s a clip of the discussion. Embarrassing for Emily!

He just can’t fuel a car or make contactless payments – unless somebody has shown him how, sometime over the last few months.

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Read this – on why Israel’s crusade against Hamas may be pointless

Between bombardments: this is northern Gaza. It looks terrible – but it seems Israel has failed to cause significant damage to Hamas.

This fascinating ‘X’ thread sheds a lot of interesting light on Israel’s tactics and behaviour in its war against Gaza, that was set to restart on November 27.

Read the thread and let This Writer know if you agree with its conclusions.

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So: not only has Israel’s campaign against Hamas failed to achieve any of its objectives, but it has actually enhanced that organisation’s reputation, both domestically and abroad.

So: Mossad is probably the worst intelligence agency in the developed world. This confirms a warning I gave to my buddies down the pub – that if Mossad agents were standing directly behind me, trying to assassinate me, everybody in front of me would be dead before I was.

So: Mossad’s domestic counterpart, Shin Bet, failed to detect what Hamas was doing under its nose; unsurprising, if it managed to confuse the head of Hezbollah (Hizballah?) with a greengrocer.

So: After 50 days, none of Hamas’s most important functions have been significantly degraded. Israel’s lack of effectiveness is demonstrated by a minister’s comment that it may use a nuclear weapon there.

So: Israel has attacked civil society in order to pressurise Hamas.

So: Israel’s strategy of slaughtering children and depriving an entire society of its basic necessities has not worked, and may result in disaster for that country, as it did for Nazi Germany in Russia, for example.

So: Israel has killed more UN staff, journalists and medical personnel than Hamas.

So: Israel’s sponsors in the United States and Europe are getting increasingly cold feet, realising that Israel’s conduct is damaging their interests in the Middle East.

Allegedly!

Do you think the facts fit the thesis above?

Let us know.


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Did James Cleverly call Stockton a sh*thole? Judge for yourself!

James Cleverly: has he put his foot in his mouth once too often?

Did Home Secretary James Cleverly describe an Opposition MP’s constituency in a very un-Parliamentary way?

The clip is here so you can judge for yourself, as the question was discussed on the BBC’s Politics Live.

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Duffield dropped(?) from Labour’s candidate list for ‘anti-Semitism’. Cue controversy

Rosie Duffield: she attacked Jeremy Corbyn over the false anti-Semitism claims against him and now an anti-Semitism claim has led to her deselection as a Labour election candidate, it seems.

A Labour MP who (it says below) was instrumental in attacking Jeremy Corbyn over alleged anti-Semitism in the party has been accused of anti-Semitism – and it seems to have been enough to have Rosie Duffield deselected as a Labour candidate.

Supporters of Ms Duffield have called “foul”, claiming that the accusation is false and was only made in order to have her removed.

Other observers have called them out over it – pointing out that the accusations against Jeremy Corbyn were also false and only made in order to have him removed. Sauce for the goose… hoist by her own petard… the metaphors are endless.

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Here’s the offending tweet that Ms Duffield is said to have liked, plus some commentary:

Do you think a decision to drop her for that would be justified? Or should she have been removed for falsely attacking Mr Corbyn, back in the day?


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