One may be excused for thinking that if ever there’s a wrong side on which to be on whatever issue, Seumas Milne will be found there. This is, of course, the man who only days after the 9/11 attacks was chastising grieving Americans. This is the man who supports the ‘resistance’ in Iraq and sneers at the opponents of Ahmedinijad. This is a man who harbours romantic nostalgia for communism – don’t you just love those old school Reds who never actually had to live under a repressive regime themselves, but seem to delight in wishing it upon others? This is a man who supports the infamous ‘Stop the War Coalition’ led by our old friend George (cash for Hamas) Galloway and makes speeches at rallies calling for Britain to pull out of Afghanistan because he believes that there was no terrorist threat to his country before British troops went there.
Given this track record, it comes as no surprise that Milne’s CiF article of December 17th demonstrated his usual toxic medley of selective vision and fact-tweaking.
“The rockets that were supposed to be the justification for Gaza’s devastation have been virtually silent all year, as they were for much of the six months before the assault, policed by Hamas.” Interesting use of the word ‘virtual’ there Seumas; I doubt that the residents of Sderot and its environs think that well over 200 rockets and mortars since the end of Operation Cast Lead are ‘virtual’, even if it is an improvement on what they previously had to put up with.
So, pull up a comfy chair, make yourself a hot drink and come wade with me through the selection of comments which Milne’s thread generated. Even the faithful CiF Watch team was unable to work fast enough to record them all, so you can tell how bad it was. On second thoughts, you may need something a little stronger than tea…Let’s ease into it gently with some advocates of boycotts and sanctions.
17 Dec 2009, 8:38AM
Until Israeli politicians, soldiers and their legal poodles face sanctions, they will continue to act in defiance of human decency and international law.
Until more of the Israeli public learn compassion and humanity, it will tolerate the crimes committed in its name.
Time for action.
17 Dec 2009, 9:10AM
Well said, Seumas.
Until we can send the leaders off to the Hague, a boycott of the Israeli economy is the answer. It is a slow trudge but gradually they will feel it.
17 Dec 2009, 12:32PM
I believe several countries have reacted in the same way as the UK to the threats from Israel. It is hard to understand that in this situation it is the state, acting against international law that sets the agenda. I think that those who call for an embargo on Israel are right.
I apologise if this is double- or tripleposting.
17 Dec 2009, 2:03PM
An indefinite boycott of Israel in all possible and practical ways.
(Tourism, Cultural events, film fetivals and the like. just don’t go near them)
until Israel puts something on the table that the Palestinians of both factions can take seriously.
Collective punishment of Israeli artists, fim -makers, restaurant owners etxc etc Yes. Sorry. As their government often tells them and the world at large : Well life’s like that. The World is often unfair.
Now let’s progress to examples of believers in the famous ‘Giyus conspiracy’.
17 Dec 2009, 1:08PM
On every tread where Israel is mentioned you get the same loony left posters who bleat,whinge and whine and repeat and throw the same worn out bromidic platitudes, the same blaaah,blaaaaah,blaaaaa.How sad,how pathetic,how bloody boring.
Only matched by the official Israeli Cheerleader Squad, who will misrepresent any action no matter how brutal, tell any tale no matter how tall, and are always looking the other way when the IDF are shooting, in order to make their team look good. They never succeed. You can’t turn shit into gold.
Oh, and there’s also half arsed, so called “fans” who simply mouth idiot platitudes (can’t find the bromide) because their own prejudice makes any real appreciation of what’s going on impossible.
Blah blah blah. Sorry to have kept you awake. Try some heroin for the boredom, although many find it more boring than death, you shouldn’t let that stop you.
17 Dec 2009, 11:35AM
Best ignore nusadua. He’s a recent arrival and very active on the Israel-Palestine threads.
Most likely a giyus troll.
Then there are those who already ‘know’ that war crimes have been committed and by whom. Note the ever increasing appearance of posters suggesting a UK/US/Israel axis.
17 Dec 2009, 8:40AM
Let’s all look forward to the day when Tzipi, Tony and George are restricted to life in either the USA or Israel: the civilised world should not be a welcoming place for war criminals.
17 Dec 2009, 9:26AM
Good article, Seamus. When one appreciates that, as others here have said, the leaders of the US, UK and Israel are birds of a feather singing from the same page, this mutual support network of sorts becomes inevitable. The real axis of evil looks after its own, naturally. Miliband, Livni, Brown, Obama … enemies of humanity, the lot of them.
17 Dec 2009, 1:45PM
people who initiated this dumb arrest warrant against Livni owe her an apology.
Using white phospherous as a weapon is a war crime. Dropping it indiscriminately
on a civilian population is evil.
And an excellent article.
17 Dec 2009, 4:36PM
I would be very happy to see Livni, Blair, Bush, Mugabe, Hu etc in the dock. They are all criminals. It would be difficult to do the same with Hamas however as Israel assassinates their leaders with impunity along with any innocent women and children in the area.
To follow; the age-old ‘chosen people’ trope, and some Nazi analogy.
17 Dec 2009, 4:31PM
of how i see the error of my thinking now, not realising that you have the god given right to do whatever you want, as you are of a race that is chosen specifically by an all powerfull god, excuse my misunderstanding for even dare state a contrary postion from yours.
i am now converted into championing your crusade to bring religous and humanitarian enlightment and tolerance to the world, may the israeli state rise above the shackles of this petty international UN interfering legislation that dares to critise, limit and question your rightful place as the moral and spiritual superiors that you are!
17 Dec 2009, 3:57PM
Excellent article – Well said! How contemptible the israelis continue to be – but not more contemptible than our own politicians, who, had they have lived in the 30’s, would probably have made excuses for the nazis.
Everybody’s favourite ‘moderate’ then informed us what ‘Good Jews’ should not be doing.
17 Dec 2009, 9:06AM
Great piece, Seumas. How depressing to see the UK Foreign Office Minister Ivan Lewis apologising to the Israelis and saying that the UK government is “determined to take whatever action is necessary so that Israeli leaders can visit us at any time.”
Of course, this is the same Ivan Lewis MP who so disgracefully took part in a pro-Israel rally in Manchester at the height of the Israeli bombardment and invasion of Gaza earlier this year saying that he stood ‘shoulder to shoulder with Israel’.
Next; some ‘Israelis are colonialists and generally nasty people’ comments.
17 Dec 2009, 11:20AM
Why is the racist, apartheid, terrorist state of Israel in Palestine allowed the right of Self-defence, but the democratically elected Hamas Government and its freedom fighters are condemned and isolated? Israel commits war crimes every day and should not be exempt from the law and justice. If Hamas committed those offences against the Israelis, not only would Nato have intervened but there would have been mandatory sanctions against them.
These double standards continue and I’m sure it has nothing to do with the fact that the majority of White Israelis are European and American.
17 Dec 2009, 9:22AM
Israel, like most of us, is her own worst enemy. Spoilt, arrogant, self-justifying, with a massive chip on each shoulder while constantly bickering and jostling and fighting herself and neighbours as she re-arranges deck chairs on the Titanic.
Still not feeling too queasy? Good, because the majority of comments on this thread came from subscribers to the conspiracy theory of Jewish/Israeli control of no less than Her Majesty’s Government, as recently promoted by the Channel 4 ‘Dispatches’ programme.
17 Dec 2009, 8:54AM
Israel’s leaders act like spoilt children because we spoil them, giving into every mischievous whim and every act of petty spite. Some one will always be there- paid or unpaid- to find an excuse. That’s why we have a Minister for Israel (sorry, the Middle East).
And like the famous spoilt child, Violet Elizabeth, in the William books, Israel “screams and screams and makes herself sick” when she doesn’t get her own way.
You’d have to have a heart of stone (as Oscar Wilde said) not to find some of the outrage hilarious.
17 Dec 2009, 12:26PM
I would never dare to even suggest that a small part of the reason why an evil rogue state like israel enjoys impunity in the west is due to the (implicit and explicit) jewish lobby &, in the US & the UK, the influence of jewish politicians
[recreated from DPerone99 17 Dec 12.33pm]
17 Dec 2009, 12:38PM
the small but powerful Jewish circle pulling the strings of an unwitting gentile nation
again: that’s your interpretation of my words, reality is much more complex and nuanced than the evil caricature that you draw, in an attempt to discredit that (complex) truth
17 Dec 2009, 1:01PM
What I cannot understand is why it is taking so long for the British government to obey a direct order from Jerusalem. I think that hesitating over obeying a direct order is just as bad as not obeying it at all.
17 Dec 2009, 1:10PM
whilst israel continues to infest western countries with its agents with which to mold malleable government officials into the’ israel-first ‘ way of thinking, the one-state solution is as distant as ever……….time to call a spade a spade……………….
17 Dec 2009, 1:54PM
A good article Seamus.
But me think this is all a storm in a teacup but with sinister motives. It is just another calculated ploy to make Labour more unpopular.
The reaction of some government ministers was predictable given their deep rooted association with the Zionists and the state that is Israel. Given the shift in public opinion since its slaughter in Gaza, Israel figured that telling British leaders to change its laws enshrined in the 1949 Geneva Conventions on behalf of alleged war criminals will not go down well with the public.
It is also a shot across the bows of the potential government in waiting, of which half of its shadow cabinet and 80% of its MPs are already sitting in Israeli pockets. Israelis have not been happy with some anti-Israeli decisions of late such as not participating in the vote against Goldstone report and the re-labelling of West Bank products. It is a win win for them.
17 Dec 2009, 4:55PM
I was glancing through the posts on this thread and couldn’t help noticing that a very large number of them had your name attached. That many posts must be worth reading I thought, so I began. I read every single one and can honestly say I am impressed, even taking into account the many previous articles on Israel/Palestine, which consistently exhibit reams of ridiculous assertions from the Israeli supporters, it is a fact that you have won the main prize for writing absolute bollocks. Congratulations.
Now to the case in point. I notice that the post made by bebiking at 12.13pm, in which he/she pointed out that both government ministers involved in the decision to lift the warrent , David Miliband and Ivan Lewis were Jewish, has been deleted.
On a thread that is about the relationship between the British government and Israel, and the influence of the Israeli/Jewish lobby on that relationship, I would have thought that the fact (it is public knowledge) that the Home Secretary and another senior government minister are Jewish was eminently relevant. It should at least call into question the impartiality of the Ministers involved. Even in the House of Commons an MP has to declare any interests in the subject under discussion.
Or has it got to the stage in the UK where the Israeli/Jewish lobby has grown so powerful that that even the Guardian can’t print the public fact that a person is Jewish? I have no interest per se in anyone’s religion or race, but I am concerned about possible vested interests possibly perverting International Law in my name.
We live in a free democracy and I would have expected to be able to discuss issues such as this one without having relevant and reasonable comments of a factual nature censored.
17 Dec 2009, 5:14PM
Once upon a time the sun never set in the British Empire.
Not any more obviously for over a century, but still how does it feel to be British today and watch Israel, essentially a second world country issuing orders at the behest of Uncle Sam, it’s prime benefactor, to a once proud nation.
If I was British I would be horrified
The European Union is letting Israel away with murder, literally but Britain seems to be caught in a very compromised crouched position.
As the Latins like to ask; Has Britain become Israel’s play thing?
17 Dec 2009, 6:23PM
yes, that is how we work. Do you insinuate any country that backs Israel it is under UNDUE lobby pressure.
This is being discussed in the US and there are lots of people there who think that the answer is yes:
The Lobby Within
Are you British? It makes a difference you see, because you keep calling for British allies and British politicians to be arrested.
I haven’t been calling for British politicians to be arrested until now. Maybe Miliband and Brown who are trying to change the law to protect people acused of war crimes and possible crimes against humanity should be arrested. Yes, I’m calling for the arresting of Livni. What’s the problem?
Your answer was bad. I said that some people aduce facts which leads them to say of Israel what you say of Hamas. You are not able to refute them.
17 Dec 2009, 6:28PM
My comment was deleted. When it comes to Israel nobody can voice opinions like this.
Israel owns Britain.
@giants – you will be zapped for your last comment
At times like this I almost feel like getting a T-shirt printed: ‘Israel Lobby – Staff’. Joking aside, an example of another recent Channel 4 programme’s effect was also in evidence. The ‘Unreported World’ documentary from November 27th 2009 reported ‘on the growing influence of ultra-orthodox Jews in Israel’ and obviously, the message was received loud and clear.
17 Dec 2009, 3:27PM
@ nusadua, you do realise that most people i know, from all political spectrums, view isreal as a murderous, despotic, bullying, genocidal state.
“The Israeli army has a strong moral code of ethics that is unmatched by any other army in the world,it doesn’t need lessons in morality,least of all from CiF posters.”
really? how laughable! how out of touch with the reality of the situation over there are you? i see a state that is run by fundamamental religious extremism, and a state thats had a nuclear arsenal for some decades, now thats scarry.
i applauded the judge for taking the decision to issue the arrest of tivni, truely cheered my day when i read that some aspects of our legal systym still works as it should do and doing what it morally should do.
i do hope the moderate isreali people take over and some humiltiy is shown by the extreme israeli factions
Well I hope you’re still with me after all that because we also have some examples of pro-Israel comments which got the moderator’s chop.
17 Dec 2009, 1:46PM
“But the barbaric siege of the Gaza strip continues unabated, backed by the US, Britain and the European Union, leaving 70% of Gazans living on less than a dollar a day, without clean water or the means to rebuild the 21,000 homes, 280 schools and 16 hospitals partially or completely destroyed last December and January.”
The usual rubbish.
There was a recent article about starvation in Nepal, and I did a little digging to see how Nepal’s needs and aid compare with the Palestinians (remember – the only group in the world which has its own special UN welfare agency) which is worth repeating here to put the situation in Gaza in perspective:
UNRWA’s General Assembly-approved cash budget for 2008 is US$ 541.8 million. Registered refugees 4,671,811 , registered refugees in camps 1,373,732 (UNRWA Annual report 2008)
Nepal’s population is 28,581,687 – 2008 Source: World Bank, World Development Indicators
According to Nepal’s Ministry of Finance, total foreign aid committed in fiscal year (FY) 2003 was US$555 million, with 63.3 percent in grants and 36.7 percent in loans.
So 28M Nepalese get about 2/3 the grants that 4.7M Palestinians get, and the rest is loans. (Ever hear of the Palestinians having to repay a loan???)
Per capita, the Palestinians get 7x the assistance given to the Nepalese, and if you use the number in refugees “camps” (sic – townships) its something like 20x.
According to Ed Douglas, “The WFP need $7m a month to restore its food programme in Nepal.”
So the palestinians are doing quite a lot better than many others.
But the squeaky Palestinian wheel gets the grease – have there been 10 articles this week about Nepal, or Sudan, or Sri Lanka, or Congo, where conditions are far worse than the “barbaric siege of the Gaza strip”? This “barbaric seig” of a terrorsit run area where Israel allows tons of food every day to pass into the Strip, provides H1N1 flu vaccine, and treats Gazans in its own hospitals if Hamas terrorists allows them to leave?
There’s never been a barbaric siege like this in history, perpetrated by the victims of 8000 rockets fired at its citizens (“only” 242 this year – a mere pinprick that I’m sure would pass unnoticed if they had landed in Britain – not!!)..
What a load of fictional hate-mongering this article is.
17 Dec 2009, 1:51PM
A characteristically unbalanced and context-free article.
I wonder when the Guardian will start being published with the byeline “Die Juden sind unsere ungluck.”??
17 Dec 2009, 2:16PM
@usini, as you are probably aware, that was the byeline of Der Sturmer, a viciously antisemitic newspaper in Nazi Germany. I thought that the implication of my comment was pretty clear and relates to the lack of balance and overt bias of too many Guardian opinion pieces and CIF comments.
When a journalist with a record like that of Milne writes a blatantly one-sided article such as this, it is quite easy to anticipate a vivid demonstration of that shameless symbiosis which exists between below the line commentators and above the line writers at CiF. And very unpleasant viewing it is too.