UK Middle East Shame
Posted by Pat McCarthy
Am I the only one round here who is thoroughly ashamed of Britain's refusal to join the rest of the world in calling for a ceasefire. The Israeli Government is deliberately killing civilians and destroying the whole infrastructure of Lebanon; schools, hospitals, transport.
Is there no point at which Tony Blair is prepared to say: "you've gone too far". Remember Rwanda!
I would have expected that our country would have been at the very forefront of campaigns to bring about peace.
I know this has nothing to do with Hebden Bridge but a search on the website shows you have carried items on solidarity for Palestine so I hope you will put this up.
We should all be clamouring for our MP, jewish friends, our prime minister to say what Israel is doing is unacceptable.
Posted by Rev Tony Buglass
I agree, Pat - we should all be pushing for a cease-fire, because none of this mayhem will achieve anything except more hate.
However, while I do think Israel has over-reacted, I will not point the finger at Israel without also pointing an accusing finger at Hezbollah and Hamas. Whatever the real grievances that the Palestinians have, there can be no reason for Hezbollah stocking up with medium range unguided surface to surface missiles other than the deliberate mass murder of civilians by aiming them at cities like Haifa.
That, too, is going too far.
Posted by Burty Glavnesso
I agree with the Rev, there is no good reason for Hezbullah to stock up on weapons, they are clearly just going to use them to kill civilians. What's more they are not a trustworthy organisation unlike the democratic Israel. People often mistakenly argue that Israel should not have nuclear weapons while missing the point that they, unlike the Lebanon and Palestine can be trusted not to use them unless absolutely necessary. Thank you Rev Buglass for not being afraid to speak out and take an opinion that is too often regarded as controversial.
Posted by Pat McCarthy
Of course, both sides need to stop fighting.
But look at the casualties and damage. By a factor of twenty to one, it is Israel who are are slaughtering civilians, whole families, telling people to leave their homes, and then blocking the roads so they can't. And what about the old and infirm who can't travel anyway?
The Israelis would dearly like a puppet dictatorship in Lebanon. They tried in 1982 when they invaded the country. Nearly 20,000 Lebanese died that time, including hundreds, possibly, thousands of refugees massacred in camps.
Imagine if Lebanon destroyed every bridge in Israel, blew up the international airport, blockaded the ports, severed every arterial road, ordered people to leave their homes and then bombed them to pieces when they did. Do you think any Western leader would utter the words "Lebanon has a right to defend itself"?
George Bush and Tony Blair claim that Hizbollah is armed and funded by Syria and Iran. But Israel receives $3 billion of aid each year from the US.
Israel claims it is reacting to the kidnapping of two of its soldiers. But Israel holds a whole nation to ransom.
Some 78 percent of historic Palestine is occupied, and Israel intervenes at will in the remaining 22 percent. Four million Palestinians are refugees.
Israel, armed by the US and Britain, is the greatest source of violence in the region.
It is this violence that has bred resistance from groups such as Hizbollah in Lebanon and Hamas in Palestine - just as the US-led occupation is now breeding resistance in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Violence breeds violence.
But whoever is to blame, there should be a deafening cry for a ceasefire from the world community. My point was that I am ashamed that my country is not only not leading such a clamour but is colluding in encouraging Israel.
Posted by Rev Tony Buglass
I agree, Pat, I think Israel's response is grossly disproportionate. The damage and casualties are terrible, and the whole thing completely out of control. We do need a cease-fire, urgently. But we need much more than that.
Peace without justice is not peace. Israel does have a right to exist, as accepted by the UN in 1947 and 1948. Most of the major wars fought in the region between 1947 and 1982 were fought because the surrounding Arab nations had promised to push the Jews into the sea, and had urged the Palestinians to get out of the way while they did it. They failed, and were left with a refugee problem in Gaza and Lebanon which was very good propaganda. When the Arabs realised they could not overcome Israel militarily (because the US would not let Israel go down) they stepped back and hosted terrorist organisations like Hamas and Hezbollah, who have continued attacking Israel ceaselessly.
This is not about the kidnapping of three soldiers, although that was the trigger. It is about Israel being continually goaded into reacting, usually by the launching of Katyusha rockets into Jewish settlements, and latterly by suicide bombers - hence the wall. Israel has effectively stolen Palestinian land to build the wall, punishing those it blames for the attacks. That was over-reaction. So the terrorists have continued to goad, Israel has over-reacted again, and folk have then pointed the finger at them.
Peace with justice means Hezbollah and their friends recognising Israel's right to exist. It means Israel taking down the wall, and learning to be a good neighbour and accepting the rights of the Palestinians to their share in the land. Until that is done, there will be no peace, and the Holy Land will remain in an unholy mess.
I find the UKs and the USAs lack of action an endorsement of Israel?s indiscriminate aggression. We should remember that the actions of governments do not necessarily represent the ideals of the people who elected them. With this in mind we should be careful that the current anti-american and anti-semetic sentiments are not fuelled by this current despicable action.
I feel those of us who have a voice have a moral obligation to make our views known.
Email 'Yo, Blair' here and tell him what you think
Although I am not an expert on the 20th century politics of the middle east, what I do know is that the U.S. is giving its backing to the Israeli offensive, incurring massive 'collateral damage' (i.e. civilians). They do so because Israel is reacting to provocation - Hezbolah are a terrorist organisation who target the military and civillians. There are some similarities to recent times in the UK. Who can forget Warrington, Birmingham pub bombings, Enniskillen, etc etc?
I just wonder, hypothetically, if when republican terrorists, (based in Southern Ireland) kidnapped and on live tv beat to death two British soldiers, the United States would have so enthusiastically supported the UK bombing Dublin's airports, hospitals and residential areas - defending itself I believe is the term being used. Imagine bulldozers digging mass graves for members of the public, whilst the government carried on under the mask of defence, and the U.S. cheered on. Thank goodness this is hypothetical, but it makes you think.