Tag Archives: chant

Oliver Dowden is wrong on-air about peaceful protest

Oliver Dowden: his script tells him Israel-good, Palestine-bad, so he only cares about the loss of Israeli lives. Palestinians are not interesting to him.

Tory Deputy Prime Minister Oliver Dowden seems to have no understanding of anything beyond his script.

Here, in an appearance on LBC radio, he complains about the ‘From the River to the Sea’ chant being offensive to Jews – without understanding that it is likely to have been made offensive to them by an Israeli propaganda campaign in 1967.

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He goes on to say that we should be outraged at the loss of more than 1,000 Israeli lives – but has nothing to say about the 9,000 Palestinian lives, including those of 3,000 children, that had been lost to cold-blooded Israeli shelling since October 7:

It seems Israeli propaganda – and Israeli lives – mean more to this politician than the facts.


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If Downing St is worried about ‘from the river’ chant, why not get a court verdict on it, like the Netherlands?

Rishi Sunak: he’s worried again.

There is power in two-line rhyming chants – to sway public opinion, for example – so on the face of it, it isn’t unreasonable for Rishi Sunak to be concerned.

He’s probably worried that it’s encouraging people to support Palestine rather than his Israeli buddies. Hmm… there might be something in that!

So this should be no surprise:

Downing Street has expressed concerns over the chant “from the river to the sea,” describing it as “deeply offensive” to many, amid growing controversy surrounding the rhetoric used in recent pro-Palestinian demonstrations.

The Prime Minister’s official spokesman said it is a matter for the police to decide on the appropriate response when confronted with the use of such chants during public demonstrations.

Leaving it to the police is okay as far as it goes – but suppose they arrest someone, it goes to court, and the judge throws out the charge?

Then, Sunak will have wasted the time of everybody involved – and people like This Writer will be accusing him (rightly) of irresponsibility.

So why not go Dutch?

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By that, I mean he should simply refer the question to the courts in advance, as has happened in the Netherlands:

I reported on it before, here.

Oh, but wait!

The ruling was that the pro-Palestinian slogans … “are subject to various interpretations” and “relate to the state of Israel and possibly to people with Israeli citizenship, but do not relate to Jews because of their race or religion”.

Novara Media article I quoted also stated: “As to the claim that the slogan expresses a desire for Israel’s ‘destruction’, the historian of Palestine Maha Nassar has suggested that this eliminationist interpretation may derive from a post-six-day-war Israeli propaganda campaign that asserted that Palestinians wished to ‘throw Jews into the sea’.”

So the claim that the chant is anti-Semitic may be nothing more than Israeli propaganda?

I’d call that interesting.

Sunak, with his vested interest in supporting Israel, might have another word for it. That may be why he hasn’t taken the matter to the courts.

Source: Chant ‘from the river to the sea’ deeply offensive to many, says Downing Street


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