Tuesday, 30 December 2008


On the situation in Gaza, which was raised by a couple of people in comments on the previous post... Tempting though it might be, I can't blog on controversial international issues, particularly not where there is a DFID element. (In the same way Tom Harris didn't blog about Transport issues when he was a Minister).

I've had maybe 10 emails so far from constituents, all along the same lines, and have replied to them all. I don't think it would take a genius to work out what I think, given my past record on this subject, but I'm not going to blog about it. I have also spoken to some colleagues who are concerned about the situation, and to Douglas, and will be writing to the Foreign Secretary as soon as I'm back from Dorset.

All I can say is that I expect David Miliband will make a statement to the House when we return on January 12th. We also have Defence Qs on the 12th, FCO Qs on the 13th, and PMQs on the 14th, which will provide an opportunity to raise the issue, but that is obviously some way off, and much will be said and done behind the scenes before then.
You are of course welcome to comment on here, or you might want to look at Andy Reed's site - from what he's said on Twitter, I think he's been blogging about it. But I won't post comments which mispresent my position, as I'm not able to respond and put things straight.


Remember Remember said...

Well personally I think that the pro Israel fanatics have by FAR to much political and media influence in Britain and indeed the whole west.
Israel has a smaller population than a big city yet holds the world record for disregarding UN resolutions and is not even part of any nuclear treaties.
As such it fits the bill of "rogue nation" (nay "colony") and should be boycotted and shunned.
Never have so few managed to become such a big thorn in so many people's sides.

DaveA said...

Hi Kerry I hope you are enjoying your break.

With the economy in not its best shape I am doing business out in the middle east. One of my clients is Palestinian. He is highly educated (MSc from an American university) and a professional man running a multi million pound business through out the Arabic world. I am a recuiter in computer software development. If you wanted to speak to him about his take on the current situation I am happy to put you in touch.

Anonymous said...

"Despite my determination to be festive and jolly this week"

Can't be done, can it.

Anonymous said...

What on earth is a "pro-Israel fanatic" when they're at home?

I support the right of Israel to exist; it's a country recognised by your glorious UN. But I'm not in the slightest bit fanatical about it.

I consider it pragmatic. In the same way I consider it pragmatic to support a one state/two state/any sodding state solution to the problem.

All this talk of colonies, rogue nations, boycotts, shunning (interesting word that one - all kinds of fundamentalist religious claptrap tied up with it) and thorns in the side (ooh some more religious imagery!) actually sounds a bit fanatical to me.

What is it about this conflict that drives often quite rational people into these fundamentalist camps?

Old Holborn said...


But weren't the Palestinians perfectly happy until Israel decided to force them off their land, steal everything they ever had and then throw them in prison, forever?

Just asking, like.

Steven_L said...

Sod the Israelis and the Palestinians if you ask me, it's the Zimbabweans we should be concerned about.

Remember Remember said...

Bristolbog: An "Israel fanatic" is a Zionist who either is already politician of a foreign country (Like Rahm Emanuel, Wolfowitz or hundreds of others) or attempts to influence them by a variety of means (usually successfully) to do favour to Israel. It could also be the editor or management of media like newspapers or TV.
Whichever, they tend to put the interests of Israel above that of the host country.
They also have a tendency to slander all those who object or criticise with the term "anti-semite" in the hope that nobody has the brains to figure that Zionism is actually a political doctrine quite separate from judaism. Many jews are anti-zionist too. HTH

Anonymous said...

The main reason that Israel tends to garner support from across a wide spectrum of people and ideologies - including not only your rather narrow examples of Jewish US politicians but also many genuine leftists and progressives of considerable pedigree - is because Israel is a sophisticated, multicultural, liberal democracy.

Regardless of any particular dodgy right-wing thuggish government it might elect, many people understand that the kind of values that underpin Israel are the best hope for peace in the middle east in the long term and they are also the kind of values that tend to underpin progressive politics in general - at least as most of us understand them anyway.

This is a much more likely explanation for widespread support of Israel than your suggestion that all these people are secret followers of an obscure - and largely irrelevant - 19th century jewish political doctrine.

timbone said...

Several millenia ago, a nomadic tribe found a land which they thought suited their purposes, think it was called Cannan. Anyway, they moved in and sorted out the indigenous people (a bit like what happened in the Americas).
They had their ups and downs, but formed quite a strong community, well, being God's chosen people helped I suppose, and were doing quite well until the Romans came along.
In 70AD, an uprising against Roamn occupation resulted in them being totally decimated as a nation, and, as the Book says, were scattered to all four corners of the earth. by the 20th century, they had some pretty strong communities in many places, including Germany.
Now it was 1863 years after they had lost their own country that a rather odd Austrian who loved Charlie Chaplain took over the captaincy of Germany, and he didn't like them, I don't mean he didn't like them much, he really didn't like them, and set about some pretty appalling stuff, real nightmare, horror story kind of stuff.
After a big war to get rid of this odd guy and his henchmen, these people who had lost their country 1875 years previously, were helped to get back to their homeland.
Unfortunately, it had been a long time, so it wasn't really their country any more, so they sorted out the indigenous people..........

Terry said...

What a load of fools on here. The point is, HAMAS decided to launch rockets into Israel soon as the ceasefire date expired. Now children if Rockets were landing near you, what would you want our Govt to do?

markzoom said...

Terry, you are indeed the fool if you think people who are driven into concentr... eeer, refugee camps will sit there quietly for generations and be grateful.
Check out the satellite maps of one of the most densly populated areas of the planet.

Unless the Zionists commit genocide, more ethnic cleansing or return most of the lands they stole and give compensation (fat chance) similar to what many Israelis receive from Germany , there will never be peace there.

Terry said...


Let's try and help you out. Now this is a simple question. Who started the aggression after the expiry date of the ceasefire? Try hard to get it right.

Anonymous said...

Just like there would never be peace in Northern Ireland without a united Ireland, eh mark?

Some people confuse the terms 'peace' and 'victory' don't they?