Tag Archives: atrocity

Abbott pilloried for sharing Zoom platform with racists – by hypocrites

Diane Abbott: she has suffered more racist abuse than anybody you can name – along with any other criticism her detractors can throw at her.

Diane Abbott is under attack again (it’s a Sunday; presumably these people have nothing better to do) – for sharing a Zoom call with racists.

I’ll let her explain:

Before we get into the meat of this, let’s set one thing straight right away: some ignorants have claimed that she was wrong to refer to Uyghur as a place. They were wrong:

Perhaps more serious is the allegation that she deliberately shares platforms with apologists for atrocities:

Some critics have claimed that she could have looked up the named people with whom she was sharing the call, and should have boycotted it when she found out it included atrocity apologists. However:

The reference to John Rentoul is accurate. See:

The point by “Marl Karx” is a good one, though: de-platforming is a recent phenomenon – and not a very clever one. If you leave an event because you don’t like some of the other people on it, you are giving them more space in which to put forward their views. Isn’t it better to attend, and challenge?

Finally, there is the issue of double-standards:

This claim about Starmer provoked a strong adverse response from people who claimed Starmer stuck around. However:

There’s also this:

Inevitably there’s the spectre of Tony Blair. I wish I had Owen Jones’s research resources (or maybe the amount of spare time he seems to have) – although I obviously don’t share his views on what Abbott did. His comments on Blair are interesting and I include only the beginning and the end of them here, so take a look at the whole thread.

Finally, there’s the issue of unwitting support of atrocities by people who denounce them:

It’s possible that we are all guilty of this kind of behaviour. We cannot know that the products we buy are produced under duress, in circumstances we should deplore, if we’re not told.

But then, why aren’t we told?

Have YOU donated to my crowdfunding appeal, raising funds to fight false libel claims by TV celebrities who should know better? These court cases cost a lot of money so every penny will help ensure that wealth doesn’t beat justice.

https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/mike-sivier-libel-fight/


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Backlash against Zionism as Israeli soldiers commit more atrocities

Let’s remind ourselves of the things done by representatives of Israel in the name of their ethno-political ideology, Zionism:

Israeli soldiers shot on Thursday a restrained Palestinian teenager they had detained for suspected stone-throwing as he was attempting to flee, although he was blindfolded and handcuffed.

The soldiers pursued the detainee near the Palestinian village of Tekoa in the West Bank.

The suspect was kept detained at the scene even after he had been shot, however, after clashes between soldiers and Palestinians at the scene, the Palestinians evacuated the suspect to receive medical treatment.

There is video evidence:

It is in this context that supporters of Israeli Zionism including Labour Friends of Israel and the Jewish Labour Movement demanded an apology from Labour MP Richard Burgon after video evidence emerged of him saying Zionism was “the enemy of peace”.

And in this context it is welcome that Jewish lawyers Geoffrey Bindman and Stephen Sedley wrote to The Guardian to express their dismay at the pressure that was put on Mr Burgon, and their shame at Israel’s mistreatment of the Palestinian people.

They wrote: “As Jewish lawyers who have been concerned for much of our lives with opposing racism in general and antisemitism in particular, we see no reason for any such apology.

“We are among the large number of Jews, worldwide, who regard with shame the military oppression by Israel of the Palestinian people and the ongoing appropriation, by illegal settlement, of the little land that is still theirs.

“The Jewish Labour Movement, a pro-Zionist group within the Labour party, has no entitlement to speak for Jews at large in seeking to stigmatise all criticism of Zionism as antisemitic. The undoubted misuse of “Zionist” as a surrogate for “Jewish” has to be dealt with case-specifically, not by immunising Zionism from all criticism.”

Last year, one of the accusations against This Writer, under which the Labour Party wanted to expel me, was that I outed the Jewish Labour Movement as the “Zionist Labour Movement” and said it spoke for Zionists who supported Israel rather than for all Jews – which is exactly what these learned men have said. Apparently this was proof of anti-Semitism.

Labour’s National Kangaroo Court Constitutional Committee decided to find the case against me proved, despite having had it demonstrated that there was no anti-Semitism at all in my comment; it was merely a statement of the facts.

Now these learned gentleman – who are Jewish – have supported my statements. I think I deserve a rather large apology from the Labour Party, don’t you?

Or are these lawyers also “the wrong kind of Jew”?


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‘Zionism’ remarks: Burgon urged to apologise – to supporters of atrocities

Richard Burgon: He has no need to apologise.

I can’t say I’m impressed with Richard Burgon’s rationalisation of his remarks about Zionism, that were caught on video five years ago.

Investigative journalist Iggy Ostanin posted a video showing Mr Burgon denying having made the comments to the BBC’s Andrew Neil, followed immediately by proof that he did:

Interesting clip, that.

It’s from 2014, when the Israeli government had launched Operation Protective Edge, a hugely-controversial offensive against Palestinians in Gaza in which it was estimated that more than 2,125 Palestinians were killed and more than 10,500 wounded, compared with 67 military and six civilian Israeli deaths, with 469 Israeli soldiers and 87 civilians wounded.

It is known that Israeli government policy is to deprive the Palestinian people of their land and – if they resist – of their lives. We have seen that in action but if you would like evidence of their behaviour, here’s some:

According to Maureen Murphy, “The Israeli military killed one Palestinian child in the West Bank and Gaza per week on average last year, typically injuring them in their upper body and head. You can’t blame Hamas for Israeli snipers training their guns at children’s torsos and heads, however hard you try.” She supported this with a link to evidence. Read it here.

The ideology that informs these atrocities is Zionism. It is an ethno-political belief that a Jewish nation in what is now Israel should be established and – now that it has been – developed and protected. It should never be connected directly with the Jewish people as a whole; they are separate and many Jews reject Zionism, especially as it is practised by the Israeli government and its supporters.

It is an ideology of hatred. Before Israel was established, it was considered by many to be anti-Semitic. Think about it: anyone saying they support the migration of Jewish people away from their current home to a foreign land (that was already occupied, remember) could open themselves up to accusations that they hate Jews because they are Jews – the classic definition of the anti-Semite.

Now Israel has been established, anybody supporting the Zionism practised by its government and soldiers is supporting the theft of Palestinian land and the displacement – or genocide – of Palestinian people. And it could still be said to be anti-Semitic as the behaviour of the Israeli government and its soldiers is likely to breed opposition against them that develops into hate. That hate could then be spread to apply to all Jews.

Oh, and it turns out there are many Jews who don’t support Zionism. Many do, but if anyone tries to tell you they speak for all Jews in supporting this ideology, they are lying.

In this context, it is clear that Mr Burgon’s comments in 2014 were reasonable expressions of opinion, based on the facts. As they continue to be. It’s just a shame he felt he had to backtrack on his words about Zionism as practised by the Israeli government.

His critics – defenders of Zionism like The Board of Deputies of British Jews (who don’t represent a huge number of British Jews at all – secular Jews represent a third of the population in the UK and have nothing to do with the BoD), Jonathan Goldstein of the Jewish Leadership Council, Labour Friends of Israel director Jennifer Gerber and Jewish Labour Movement chairman Mike Katz – have tried to equate peaceful opposition to their hate-filled ideology with hatred of all Jews and that is nothing but a lie. It’s a despicable lie, at that.

Why have they done it? Well…

Another commenter, Phil Vanes, suggested: “Do remember me saying some time ago that because Corbyn is untouchable, his opponents will instead concentrate on picking off his close supporters one by one. Well guess what? It looks like it’s Richard Burgon’s time now.”

One more point: In the clip of him attacking Zionism, Mr Burgon calls for Labour Friends of Israel (LFI) resign from that group “to show support for all humanity” instead of supporting the atrocities carried out by the Israeli government and its soldiers, yet we have seen LFI’s Jennifer Gerber, and Mike Katz of the Jewish Labour Movement, condemning those words.

Logic dictates that they must therefore support the atrocities in the articles to which I have linked above.

LFI and the JLM support the theft of Palestinian land.

LFI and the JLM support violence against – and the murder of – Palestinian people.

Their outbursts against Mr Burgon prove it.

Or are we about to see a protestation of opposition to these Israeli atrocities? I won’t hold my breath waiting.


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A worrying new anti-terror law is sneaking through Parliament – UK Human Rights Blog

[Image: David Icke (he might think the Royal Family are lizards but he's got a point about this).]

[Image: David Icke (he might think the Royal Family are lizards but he’s got a point about this).]

Our security services are under pressure and seeking new powers, it is reported by Angela Patrick on the UK Human Rights Blog.

The spectre of the Communications Data Bill is again evoked. These reports mirror renewed commitments yesterday to new counter-terrorism measures for the EU and in France.

The Counter-Terrorism and Security Bill completed its fast-track progress through the House of Commons earlier this week, after a handful of days’ debate and only six weeks after its publication in late November. In a departure from ordinary procedure, the Bill will have its Second Reading in the House of Lords on Tuesday.

A quick consideration of its contents illustrates the seriousness and breadth of the proposals it contains:

  • The Bill will introduce a power for the Secretary of State to exclude a UK citizen from returning to the UK, except on conditions stipulated by the Minister. Early announcements by the Prime Minister promised a new “exile” for terrorist suspects travelling overseas to Syria and Iraq; after the publication of the Bill and likely consideration of legal advice, Ministers now seek “managed return” (Chapter 2) (See further below).
  • The Government proposes that police and immigration authorities should have new powers to seize passports at ports and airports (Chapter 1) (See further below) .
  • The Bill makes new provision for the extension of TPIMs orders under the Terrorism Prevention and Investigation Measures Act, including to reintroduce old ‘control-order’ powers of relocation formerly criticised as a form of “internal exile”, permitting the Secretary of State to move a person suspected of involvement in terrorist activity to a place of her choosing up to 200 miles from their home (Clause 12).   The Bill will provide that the ordinary civil standard of proof that must apply when a TPIMs order is made by the Secretary of State – she must be satisfied on the balance of probabilities that a person is more likely than not to be involved in terrorism related activity (Clause 16).
  • It also adds to the controversial surveillance powers in the Data Retention and Investigation Powers Act 2014 (DRIPA), requiring internet service providers to collect and retain additional data about their users, including communications data and/or other relevant data which can be used to identify the user of a particular IP address any particular time (Clause 17). It appears that the power to inspect goods is to be amended to permit the interception of mail without a warrant (Clause 35).
  • It would introduce a new Privacy and Civil Liberties Board to assist in the oversight of surveillance and counter-terrorism legislation. However, even after debate in the House of Commons, it is far from clear what the functions or membership of this body will be, how it will relate to the work of the Independent Reviewer and whether it will add any value to the existing limited provisions for the scrutiny of Government work in counter-terrorism and national security (Clause 36).
  • Finally, the Bill will introduce broad new powers – principally in secondary legislation – which will permit the Secretary of State to direct a range of public bodies, including schools, universities and local authorities, to take steps to “prevent people from being drawn into terrorism” (Part 5).

Yet, even before Paris rightly dominated the headlines, the Bill’s progress attracted little public or press attention. Briefings of organisations like JUSTICE rarely spark the excitement of the mainstream press. Given the support in principle of the official opposition for many of these measures, there seems little political excitement for journalists to report.

The full report is on the UK Human Rights Blog.

We should be more disturbed by this. Given the rise of claims – perhaps by rabid conspiracy theorists, perhaps not – that the Charlie Hebdo atrocity was a ‘false flag’ attack, carried out by a Western security service in order to lay the blame on somebody else, perhaps we should all be hawkish about our governments’ responses to these incidents.

In the UK, considering its silence, it seems the Labour Party may be complicit. Let’s have a statement of Labour’s position on this, please.

Are our politicians creating the perception of a problem, simply so they can ‘solve’ it with more draconian powers that severely limit the freedoms of their own people, rather than actually fighting terrorism?

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‘It is cheaper to help people die rather than support them to live’

Lord Carey: He may be demonstrating the amount of thought he has given to what unscrupulous people will do with his "change of heart".

Lord Carey: He may be demonstrating the amount of thought he has given to what unscrupulous people will do with his “change of heart”.

A “change of heart” by a former Archbishop of Canterbury over ‘assisted dying’ has dismayed at least one campaigner for the rights of people with disabilities.

Mo Stewart has been researching and reporting what she describes as the “atrocities” against the chronically sick and disabled in the UK for the last four years. She said Lord Carey’s decision to support legislation that would make it legal for people in England and Wales to receive help to end their lives would “play right into the hands of this very, very dangerous government”.

Justifying his change of position, Lord Carey said: “Today we face a central paradox. In strictly observing the sanctity of life, the Church could now actually be promoting anguish and pain, the very opposite of a Christian message of hope.

“The old philosophical certainties have collapsed in the face of the reality of needless suffering.”

The Assisted Dying Bill, tabled by Labour’s Lord Falconer, would apply to people with less than six months to live. Two doctors would have to independently confirm the patient was terminally ill and had reached their own, informed decision to die.

But Mo Stewart warned that the proposed legislation, to be debated in the House of Lords on Friday, would be subject to ‘function creep’, with unscrupulous authorities taking advantage of people with depression in order to relieve themselves of the financial burden of paying for their care.

“If this law is granted, what will be deemed a possibility for the few will, very quickly I fear, become the expected for the many,” she wrote in a letter to Lord Carey which she has kindly provided to Vox Political.

“It’s cheaper to help people to die rather than support them to live.

“There is a catalogue of evidence demonstrating that, in those countries where assisted dying is permitted, very often those taking their own lives are suffering from a clinical depression and leave our world to resist the perception that they are a burden to loved ones.

“I am stunned that you would use your voice to try to permit this to happen in the UK.”

She pointed out that medicine is an inexact science and policy changes such as this could have an enormous detrimental impact: “My own webmaster, who is now desperately ill with possibly only weeks to live, was advised he had less than six months to live over four years ago.

“Until very recently, he still enjoyed a high quality of life with his wife, family and friends; a life that could have been removed four years ago” had the Assisted Dying Bill been law at that time.

“What this debate is demonstrating is the failure of guaranteed high quality palliative care in the UK, that makes those with a life-limiting diagnosis feel that self termination is a reasonable solution,” she warned.

“If palliative care was at the peak of quality and access then there would be no need to ever consider such a Bill for this country, as those who wish to access self termination are usually living in fear of the possible physical suffering they may need to endure. This is a highway to clinical depression when quality of life is deemed to have disappeared with diagnosis.”

The current Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, has described the Bill as “mistaken and dangerous” and Mo said she believed he had explained the dangers well.

He said: “This is not scaremongering. I know of health professionals who are already concerned by the ways in which their clients have suggestions ‘to go to Switzerland’ whispered in their ears by relatives weary of caring for them and exasperated by seeing their inheritances dwindle through care costs.

“I have received letters from both disabled individuals and their carers, deeply concerned by the pressure that Lord Falconer’s bill could put them under if it became law.”

Mo Stewart’s letter concludes: “In the real world, this Bill – if passed – would, I have no doubt, lead to abuses where some were actively persuaded to self terminate for the convenience, and possibly the inheritance, of others.

“It’s really not a very long way away from an assisted dying bill to an assisted suicide bill.”

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