Culture House Daily

Cultural boycotts are ineffective and wrong

25 July 2014

12:57 PM

25 July 2014

12:57 PM

Scotland’s national poet Liz Lochhead has been at it again. Two years ago she was petitioning against a dance company from Tel Aviv, this year it’s an Israeli theatre company that’s set to play the Edinburgh Fringe. Both companies are ‘guilty’ of being in receipt of state funding. So, we have another letter and another long list of high-profile signatories calling for boycott. However, we all know – as Lochhead must know – that a boycott won’t, of course, happen (it’s about being seen to take a ‘principled stand’, d’oh).

The nature of Incubator Theatre’s production is irrelevant – I gather it’s some ‘film noir-type hip-hop musical’. Suffice to say it’s not a political work, but circumstances have inevitably rendered it a political hot potato. More than 50 cultural figures have joined Lochhead in protest, with one, theatre critic Mark Brown, saying that the company have nothing on their website opposing the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territory. This, he feels, makes them complicit.

That, and the fact that they are partly funded by the Israeli ministry of culture. As it happens, the company are also in receipt of funding from the Beracha Foundation, which seeks to promote Jewish-Palestinian co-existence as one of its stated aims. In other words, Incubator are like every arts company the world over in trying to get by on whatever funding is available.

That said, there is a tide of blood rising amid the rubble of Gaza. And this is a difficult post to write, because I do feel some emotional tug towards the call to boycott (to ‘do something’). Palestinians are being discriminated against in so many humiliating ways. The basic right of freedom of movement is denied, and now they are being killed in their hundreds. What is to be done? Something, for sure, but not this.

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There are various writers I’ve read over the years, including persuasive campaigners like Naomi Klein, who support BDS (which sounds like a sexual practice but actually stands for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions, and it’s specifically targeted at Israel). When asked why they don’t target worse regimes that don’t even pretend to be democracies, they say that targeting Israel is about employing a practical tactic that might work in a particular situation, in the same way that it eventually worked in South Africa (which is the model they always cite).

Why ‘yes’ in this instance and ‘no’ in other instance, I’ll leave you to ponder yourself, but I will, and can say this about cultural boycotts generally: on balance, no. Free speech and free expression are not practical tactics, but abiding principles. Please don’t compromise them by denying artists, thinkers and academics – or anyone – the freedoms you enjoy. You do know two wrongs don’t make a right, don’t you?

Let’s not forget that cultural boycotts are usually an ineffective posture. An ineffective posture that comes at a high cost for the individuals caught in the middle. In other words it’s a very blunt instrument. Isn’t it the case that the blanket cultural boycotts targeting South Africa ended up trying to shut up artists and musicians that the boycotts were meant to help?

It’s easy to condemn white musicians who played lucrative concerts to white audiences in Sun City (and I do; they’re complete arseholes – that’s you, Queen, and you, Elton John). But what about the black musicians who played and recorded with Paul Simon when he broke the blanket UN boycott and defied the ANC? Listen to those black musicians. None of them were in favour of voluntarily shutting themselves away, or of giving up the chance to record Graceland, or of having lucrative careers outside South Africa as a result – as Ladysmith Black Mambazo did. Artists, Simon has said, should never be the tools of politicians, merely to do their bidding.

With Lochhead, what sounds well-meaning really isn’t. Here is a writer condemning other writers and artists to silence. But then sections of the Left have never lost sleep sacrificing individuals for some greater cause, as long as they’re not casualties themselves. If you were truly liberal you would think twice. And when you see artists and writers protest against fellow artists whose countries they disapprove of when they themselves take funding from their own governments whose domestic and foreign policies they, too, often reject and attack, it simply doesn’t feel right.

I’m not against economic sanctions. And I’m not against directing one’s ire towards governments. How many of us would be? But the arts, generally, elevate the notion of the individual in society. The free exchange of ideas among individuals must never be a casualty. In the end, even if we feel conflicted, we must uphold that abiding principle. It’s precious. It’s a basic human right.

Fisun Güner is the visual arts editor of The Arts Desk

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Show comments
  • Nkaplan

    How can these people complain that Israel is imposing ‘collective punishment’ on Gaza while at the same time demanding the collective punishment of Israel?

  • AndrewMelville

    W
    Hat a whiny git Synopsis: boycotts are wrong except the ones I support.

    They are all rubbish.

  • Rudi774

    Whoehaha! “Ladysmith Black Mambazo”? A must have for every righteous white person. “Who cares about Rod Stewart, as long as I have my Ladysmith Black Mambazo records”. Ladysmith Black Mambazo? Perhaps a new official title for Diane Abbott? Haha, I’m so glad I’m not British and I can still write this without being persecuted.

  • Archibald Heatherington

    Lefty logic. Ah, what a misnomer. This BDS nonsense (apart from requiring those subscribing to lose their iPhones and Microsoft devices – which use Israeli technology and development – I notice few of them bother with this) is very nearly as stupid as their constant claim that Israel is “ethnically cleansing” Palestinians / “committing genocide”. Does it not occur to them that if that’s what Israel actually wanted then there wouldn’t be any Palestinians by now?

    • Wessex Man

      Please explain what lefty logic has to do with my sickened view that Israel is acting completely at odds with my Christian views?

      • Archibald Heatherington

        Just addressing those Christian views for a moment – Israel is the only Middle Eastern country in which you could air them without risk of grievous bodily harm, for a start.

        Re explanation – it’s normally left wing logic that produces these fallacious arguments.

        • Wessex Man

          I wouldn’t call myself a left winger and nor would anyone who knows me, so explain to me why Israel is killing women and children, can’t you do that without a rant?

          • jjjj

            No one would call you a left winger that’s true. Like Bruce, you’re a fascist.

          • Archibald Heatherington

            Look, I don’t bear you any malice, and I’m not ranting. Let’s be nice.

            It’s extremely regrettable that civilians of any age are dying, especially if they’re children. However, there’s not a lot that Israel can do about it when Hamas launches missiles from schools and hospitals.

            Golda Meir, a great woman in many ways, had the measure of it: “What saddens me is not that Arabs kill our children but that they force us to kill theirs”. I’d also rather not have civilian deaths. But I stand by Israel’s right to remove the terrorist scourge from its vicinity. Please God we’ll only hear about destruction of tunnels and Qassam rockets from here on in.

            • Damaris Tighe

              Well said.

              • Archibald Heatherington

                Thankee!

          • HenryWood

            No, of course you would not call yourself a left winger, would you?
            So, explain to me why Palestinian terrorists murdered a whole family, not as any possible collateral damage of some attack, oh no! But as a definite killing strike against “The Jews” as taught to them by their masters Hamas, and the Palestinian Authority?
            Come on! You know all the answers! Bring it on! They were all murdered in their beds! They were not any accidents of war!

            Come on, Wessex Man – explain to me the reasoning behind these slaughters:

            Father: Ehud Fogel
            Mother: Ruth Fogel

            Children:
            Yoav, 11
            Elad, 4
            Hadas, 3 months old, ALMOST BEHEADED!

            And the settlement of Itamar had been the target of several murderous attacks before these killings.

            Come on, Wessex Man! The floor is all yours! Explain and excuse these slaughters “without a rant” ???

      • Damaris Tighe

        The fact that you feel sickened shouldn’t form the basis of sane policy.

        • Wessex Man

          another little rant best left to stew in it’s own hypocrisy!

          • jjjj

            Why? DT answered your question and you attack DT. If you don’t like responses to your questions than either don’t ask in the first place or learn to respond substantively. You need to drop this abusive stance here.

            • Damaris Tighe

              On the LibDem article threads he’s positively screaming.

              • Wessex Man

                no I’m not do grow up or don’t bother debating!

                • HenryWood

                  Oh yes you are! A message posted completely in CAPITALS is a yell and a scream as any phule kno! You did that. No denials now, little WeeWee Man!

          • HenryWood

            You never, ever answer an argument with an argument, do you?
            You rant. You rave. You yell. You shout.

            Were you on the “million man” March yesterday?

        • First L

          Do Israelis feel sickened? Here’s a whole group of them cheering and chanting and celebrating the shelling of schools which have killed hundreds of innocent children.

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h7qFACSfd_k

          No. Israelis don’t feel sickened. They are enjoying the murder of children.

          • Damaris Tighe

            You of course leave out the Israeli peace demonstrators. Only this group of unpleasant people represent Israel for you because it fits your bigotry.

            Tell me, when a group of BNP supporters go on the rampage, does that represent England? Does that tell you all you need to know about England?

            • First L

              BNP supporters get arrested. In Israel their equivalent get elected.

      • HenryWood

        I am still waiting for your “Christian views” explanation on another thread.

        As I asked there, are your “Christian views” still so very selective that your stated “Christian view” only views the likes of Israel as “acting completely at odds with *YOUR OWN* Christian views” when they allegedly do things against your very own view of life, which seems very twisted when compared to the Christian household I was brought up in.

        And yet, other parties in the Middle East are given carte blanche by you, and the likes of you, to not only commit maybe the same alleged crimes as you accuse of Israel, but indeed you and your cohorts (yesterday in London, Cardiff, et al) greet such war crime acts by Hamas and others with huge shouts of joy.
        Your hypocrisy concerning what is right, your shallow postings concerning what is allegedly wrong about Israel’s actions, and your immediate screaming and yelling at anyone who does not agree with your point of view, shows you are a true follower of the hopeful Israel obliterators.

        You continue to do your worst, Wessex Man. We will continue to do our best.

        The end result will not be as you, Wessex Man, hope for.

        You have backed a very big loser. The world is changing. Scales are falling from the eyes of those who once believed Islamic lies.

  • HenryWood

    180,000 Palestinian refugees lived in Yarmouk before the conflict began. Now only 20,000 remain. Amnesty International has called for the siege of the place to be lifted and allow food and medical supplies through as starvation is now causing one third of deaths. 22 civilians in the Jarabulus area , some of them children, were recently killed and thrown into the streets to intimidate the remaining population. Humanitarian agencies are calling for the disproportionate attacks on civilians to end. This weekend a “million man march” has been called in London but Yarmouk and Jarabulus will not get a single mention from the illustrious speakers. Why not? Because Jews are not holding the guns in those two places. They are both in Syria. So, are all these boycotters, marchers and protesters really pro-Palestinian or simply anti-Israeli, or perhaps even closer to reality, anti-Jewish?

    • Pelo Nord

      You’re right – when it’s Jews, or ‘Zionists’ or Israel, they get very emotional and if you call them out on this you’re accused of ‘whataboutery’ followed by something along the lines of ‘killing people anywhere is a terrible thing and I deplore those 700,00 deaths’ but in reality their hearts just aren’t in it.
      Consequently I find myself arguing with these people over their bigotry and hypocrisy when I do, in fact, feel great sympathy for the Palestinians of Gaza

  • AJH1968

    I thought ‘Scottish poet’ was an oxymoron.

    • John Lea

      You forget that Lord Byron was from Aberdeen. And modern scholarship suggests that Shakespeare was born in the Borders, somewhere near Hawick. (Actually I made that second one up.)

      • AJH1968

        Sorry the devil made me do it

        • cambridgeelephant

          William MacGonegal – now there was a real Scottish poet.

    • allymax bruce

      What would you know?
      I know something you don’t know; written & hidden in ‘For A’ That An A’ That’ (1814).

  • Pootles

    How many grants, hand outs, and other cash did the right-on literati refuse from the UK government over the war on Iraq?

  • global city

    Everyone should boycott Liz.

    • Shazza

      She obviously agrees with ISIS as they are affiliated to Hamas.

      • Wessex Man

        No she doesn’t it seems to me that according to you apologists for all thing Israeli anyone who raises objections to the wholesale slaughter of innocents are allies of ISIS. Do grow up!

        • Shazza

          If you really, really had to go and live in the ME, which country would you choose?

          Why on earth would Israel deliberately target civilians? They know full well the opprobrium that would bring.
          Israel is at the coal face in the fight against a barbaric culture.
          I prefer to support the civilised man rather than the savage.

          • global city

            and it is at that fundamental level you have to decide which side has more of your sympathy. Mine is with the Israelis.

            That is not to say that I welcome, indeed revel at the prospects of innocent people being blown to smithereens. I leave the jubilation at the death of innocents to those who ululate at such incidents….. now, where did that happen?

            • Shazza

              Could it be the celebrations and the sweets that were handed out on Gazan and other moslem countries’ streets after 9/11, 7/7 and other attacks on the kuffr?

              • Damaris Tighe

                I pointed this out to an anti-Israel commentator elsewhere. To my amazement s/he replied that s/he knew nothing about it! Talk about selective perception …

                • Shazza

                  I hope you looked it up on YouTube and pointed s/he in the right direction.

          • Wessex Man

            What do you call the killing of innocent women and children, it’s not make believe, we’ve all seen the gory details.

            Don’t dare try to say that I support savages as against ‘civilised man’ what are you on? there’s nothing civilised about the slaughter of of women and children. There’s nothing civilised about the actions of the Israeli Army!

            • Shazza

              Yawn. Hamas started this. Israel did not lob rockets into Gaza on a daily basis before this conflict started. Hamas hides behind it’s civilians, it’s good propaganda – remember they keep telling us these moslem terrorists, that they love death and we love life.

              As much as the BBC/Sky/MSM try to spin this, the truth will come out about Hamas’ treachery, their betrayal of their people and their refusal to live peacefully side by side with their neighbours, Israel.

              By your logic you would support ISIS as they are affiliated to Hamas.
              So therefore you approve of the antics of ISIS. Birds of a feather and all of that…..

              I support the civilised man against the savage.

              This is all I have to say and I shall not be replying to any more of your wild rantings.

              • Wessex Man

                oh dear oh dear, call yourself a Christian and spout rubbish, Hamas in their avowed aim to wipe Israel off the face of the earth are indeed a terrible organisation. ISIS are another bunch of nutters, who I don’t support, who seem to want to kill anyone not of their own narrow faith and you belong to a bunch of nutters that refer to the people forced to live in a narrow strip of land by Israel as savages, you should be ashamed of yourself.

                I so pleased that I have won the argument with you with ranying as you do and you won’t be replying to any more of my reasonable comments.

                • Pelo Nord

                  Netanyahu has just read your posts and I can confirm that he’s quite crestfallen.

            • Damaris Tighe

              Civilisation doesn’t include doing nothing when you’re attacked. Mind you, it’s looking as if western civilisation is doing nothing as it’s attacked, so it will die.

              • Wessex Man

                and it doesn’t include butchering people who have nothing to do with the Hamas rockets.

            • Pelo Nord

              It’s terrible. What do you care?

            • HenryWood

              And your unqualified support goes immediately to Hamas, eh?

              You do definitely support savages who place their own women and children into the direct line of fire of their enemies.

              Fortunately, their [Hamas] enemies [= Israel] have quite a bit more humanitarian thoughts in their souls than you and your rag-tag bunch of killers and slaughterers have ever experienced in your all too shallow lives.

              Shame on you, Wessex Man! Shame on you for supporting such a wicked, evil, *SAVAGE* bunch of murderers as Hamas!

              YES! Savages! You support Hamas? = You support SAVAGES!

              Live with it! Deal with it!

              You brought it down upon yourself! May it not descend upon your family!

            • Nkaplan

              Are you really incapable of distinguishing the unintended and much regretted killing of innocents (deliberately placed in harms way by their own government) by the armed forces of a democratic state, which does all it can to minimise those deaths whilst in pursuit of a legitimate military objective from “the slaughter of women and children”?

              Do you level the same rage against ISIS who deliberately target and kill innocents? Against Hamas? Do you level the same criticisms at the US and UK for their campaigns in Afghanistan and Iraq for the (far larger number of) deaths they cause? What of the bombing of civilian areas during WW2 by the allies? Are you equally or more angry about these things, do you march against them too? Or are you just an anti-Semite reserving his anger only for the actions of the Jewish state?

        • global city

          That’s not the point Wessex Man. Even if you think that Israel are going too far in their current response any context in which a boycott is called for/considered must be made in the wider context of that conflict. Essentially the Jews want the Arabs to leave them alone, whilst the Arabs want the Jews all dead.

          • Shazza

            Well said. I make a point of not buying any produce from a moslem country if I can help it. I am unfortunately, forced to buy petrol.

        • The PrangWizard of England

          You have not understood the point being made. Read the article again, but slowly, and ask a parent if there is anything you don’t understand.

          • Wessex Man

            Thank you all for your kind comments, it’s about what I would expect for daring to challenge the view that Israel can do no harm no matter what they do.

            Shazza, in that case I suggest you buy a bike.

            The PrangWizard of England, I don’t need to read the article again, the fact that I differ in my opinion to you it seems leaves me open to you attempted ‘humour’ which falls flat!

            • HenryWood

              […] I would expect for daring to challenge the view that Israel can do no harm no matter what they do. […]

              Oh, I see. In return may I respectfully ask: Can Palestinians do most definite harm?
              [I’m still waiting for your answer about that on another thread.]

              Take your time, love. Your chums have just refused another ceasefire.

              You will have all the time in the world to make your usual excuses, just as your heroes begin casting their own people into the flames of war once more.

            • Nkaplan

              “Thank you all for your kind comments, it’s about what I would expect for daring to challenge the view that Israel can do no harm no matter what they do.”

              Well no, your argument was not that Israel is capable of doing (and sometimes actually does) wrong – clearly it is and does. What you said was that Israel was deliberately “slaughtering innocent women and children” this is a quite different, false and disgusting allegation, which you should retract.

        • HenryWood

          Oh look! Some posters do not agree with a Wessex Man, so they must “grow up”!”

          Wot happens if they do “grow up!” and still disagree with the world according to Wessex Man?

          Come on, Wessex Man! Do tell! Wot happens next???

        • Nkaplan

          “slaughter of innocents”

          Are you aware that Israel drop thousands of leaflets, make phone calls and send texts etc before bombing any civilian area in order to warn people to get out. The IDF make more effort than any other military force to reduce civilian casualties, they are just unfortunate in that their enemy (the racist Hamas who are committed not just to the destruction of Israel but to the extermination of Jews throughout the world) hide their weapons in civilian areas and instruct people to remain in them when the IDF attack.

          What exactly do you suggest Israel do to defend itself and prevent Hamas deliberately targeting its civilian population?

  • Shazza

    Why don’t you put your money where your mouth is?

    Stop using your computer, smartphone, medical scanners and all the other great scientific and medical contributions Israel has given the world.

    Easy to boycott when it doesn’t affect you. Easy to cherry pick. Hypocrite.

  • allymax bruce

    I’m with Liz, Lochhead; and so are half the European Union countries, as well as a myriad of top stars, celebrities & famous people. I’ve nothing against ‘artform’, in-deed, I think it’s remiss of Mankind not to search for our ‘self’; culturally or otherwise. But, what Israel is doing now must be stopped by the International community of Nations; Israel are out of control, and must be compared to the worst attrocities we remember 70 years ago. We boycotted those that were wrong then, and we should do so again. Liz is right.

    • Wessex Man

      I agree entirely, the Israeli excuses for these disgusting attacks on Gaza are complete rot! They are now comparing the ineffective rockets from Gaza to the Blitz of London in the second World War. How many Israelis have been killed by these missilles compared to the hundreds of women and children killed by them in their relentless attacks. They even ignore the UN begging them to allow the women and children to be evacuated out of the school they eventually died in.

      The Israeli Military then try to say is was a missille from Gaza that killed them but not even investigators from Israel would go along with that.

      Every child that is killed by them encourages another sucide bomber!

      • Shazza

        Why would Israel deliberately kill civilians?
        What possibly could they gain from it?
        Instead of falling for all the taqiyya, try reasoning for a change.

        • Wessex Man

          So the UN are lying now are they? it seems to me that you are believing Israeli propaganda rather than what you can see with your own eyes!

          • Shazza

            The same UN designated Hamas a terrorist group.

          • Damaris Tighe

            The UN Is the mouthpiece of some of the worst regimes on earth & should not be taken seriously. It berates Israel but has nothing to say on countries like Sudan or Saudi Arabia.

          • jjjj

            Look who’s supporting your post, the antisemite of this thread and many other threads. Birds of a feather.

            • Wessex Man

              Flock together, yes I agree, you all do, you don’t want debate you want to brand anyone who might feel the slightest unease about the butchery of hundreds carried out every couple of years by the Isaely Army must be branded by your merry little gang!

              • jjjj

                Do learn how to write in correct English, old chap. Hard from your cave, but still.

                • Damaris Tighe

                  The Buckfast’s kicking in.

                • Wessex Man

                  Funny I thought it was a blog site no an Oxford debating chamber you halfwit!

                • Damaris Tighe

                  Calm down dear.

          • The_Missing_Think

            ‘Shazza’ is probably short for Sharon. A clue maybe?

            So I’d put my money on Shazza being a ‘My party race, right or wrong’ type.

            • Shazza

              I will put you out of your misery.

              I am not Jewish. I am a secular, culturally Christian, Conservative who admires Jewish people for their humour, great contributions to mankind and their great ability to survive despite unjust persecution over two millennia.

              We owe our great Western civilisation to the successful evolution of Greek/Roman/Judeo/Christian philosophies – the most successful civilisation to have ever graced this planet, sadly now in grave peril..

              In any dispute, I will support the civilised man over the savage.

              • Wessex Man

                I don’t believe it you, a christian seek to justify the slaughter of women and children because in your eyes those women and children are not part of you master plan to civilise the Western World, does mean master race?

                You see nothing ironic in referring to those stuck in tha Gaza open prision as savages, how savage do you reckon those boys playning football on the beach were four killed by Israeli rocket fire and the other three finished off by Israeli naval bombardment?

                I’m a committed Christian and find your views disgusting!

                • Damaris Tighe

                  As a “committed Christian” I wonder if you invest as much energy in combating the appalling treatment of Christians in the Middle East & Sudan as you do excoriating Israel.

                • Wessex Man

                  Yes I do, I have been to my MP’s Saturday Surgery to request safe haven for the Syrian and Iraqi Christians!

                • Damaris Tighe

                  That’s good. I wish more people did the same.

                • Wessex Man

                  I’m not asking for your approval!

                • Damaris Tighe

                  Ok, I withdraw it.

              • The_Missing_Think

                In any dispute…?

                Is that why you’re pro-Londonistan, because you’re just so civilised, compared to us pro-Londonistan ‘grey uniform’ savages?

                I guess you win, of course, white minority is a good thing.. how uncivilised of me, my mistake.

                Thanks fo your clear, one moral standard, for all people, wisdom.

                • Shazza

                  I am certainly not pro – Londonistan, just the opposite. If you read some of my postings, you will see that this is the case.

              • The_Missing_Think

                Well done Shazza, the ‘civilised’ delete key ruthlessly stamped out a 100% legal comment again.

                So civilised, behind the mask of faux decency.

      • allymax bruce

        Israel are an ‘occupying power’, under International Law Palestinians ate allowed to ‘resist’. In Belgium, a conviced prisoner even had that right to resist; if a prisoner breaks out of prison, bit is recaptured, it’s deemed as his/her right to escape/resist and no edges time is added to the original sentence. Strange thing is, the Jews, (not this bunch of murdering bastards of Zionists), actually never had prisons!

        • Damaris Tighe

          The Belgian law is extremely stupid.

      • MaxSceptic

        “Every child that is killed by them encourages another sucide bomber!”

        Ah… a form of BOGOF.

        So long as these suicide bombers practice first at home…

      • Damaris Tighe

        How many Israelis would you like to see killed before they’re allowed to take action against rocket barrages? 100? 1000? Maybe, as I suspect, there’s no ceiling.

        • Wessex Man

          I would prefer that the two were to live in relative peace but you don’t and no sensible state does achieve peace through butchering innocents.

          Your comment ‘Maybe, as I suspect, there’s no ceiling’ shows me that you are beyond reason, you probably would prefer that Gaza was empty!

          • Damaris Tighe

            Why do you think that I don’t want the two to live in relative peace? I support the left of centre in Israeli politics & if it were possible I’d like to see Israel out of the West Bank. I’d love to see the Gazans prosper as was planned before Hamas took over.

            I personally have probably done more for Palestinians in a material sense than you have.

            You demonise all who take a realistic view of what’s going on because you’re a pampered westerner who can’t face up to the realities of war.

            • Wessex Man

              ‘Why do you think that I don’t want the two to live in relative peace?’ Well mainly because of your previousl posts!

              How do you know what I have done for anyone but you and your associates are so blinded by your dislike of Palestinians you are not even prepared to enter into reasoned debate.

              I feel absolutely free to state what I feel about the barbaric actions being carried out by Israel, because I live in a real democracy where I’m allowed to say it.

              • Damaris Tighe

                Defending the right to self-defence shouldn’t lead you to conclude that I don’t want peace.

                Defending Israel’s right to self-defence shouldn’t lead you to conclude that I don’t like Palestinians.

                I’ve said nothing that should lead you to conclude that I don’t defend your freedom to say what you like.

                You really are lost. Stop frothing.

                • Wessex Man

                  oh for heavens sake This is how the Liberal Democrats debate when they’ve lost the argument, they try to paint thier opponents as ranting or frothing!

                  You’ve lost the argument so now try, poorly to pretend that I have!

                • mightymark

                  Nice try – but you still haven’t proven your accusation that DT doesn’t want peace. Until you can you will have lost the argument and in any case should apologise for such an offensive suggestion.

                • Damaris Tighe

                  Thank you :-)

              • Pelo Nord

                No, you assume posters here hate Palestinians because you hate Israelis and probably Jews.

            • Pelo Nord

              Agree totally and I’ve posted similar myself

              • Damaris Tighe

                Thank you. It really shouldn’t have to be pointed out.

          • mightymark

            “I would prefer that the two were to live in relative peace but you don’t.”

            Pathetic, childish – and stupid remark.

            • Damaris Tighe

              The pathetic childishness of people who can’t face up to hard, existential decisions. God help us if they’re ever responsible for our own defence.

          • jjjj

            Israel withdrew unilaterally and evacuated the city, Rafah, El Arish, Yamit and all the other settlements. And you know very well what happened. The savage Islamists took over and started lobbing missiles. They could have built something for themselves, instead of building something with all their new cement they built terror tunnels.

            Btw, Egypt controlled Gaza before 1967 and slaughtered Gazans there. Does a scum like you even know this?

            • Pelo Nord

              Negative fact about Arabs = hasbara

          • Pelo Nord

            Transference. You’d like there to be no Jews in Israel. Hmm?

          • mightymark

            Actually – if tragically – most peace agreements in recent years have followed wars that have involved considerable civillian casualties. The current Hammas/Israel war is not unique in producing civilian casualties and I have seen it suggested that the civilian:combatant ratio of deaths (roguhtly 3/4:1) is at least no worse than that of similar conflict.

            Amen of course to your:

            “I would prefer that the two were to live in relative peace”.

      • Pelo Nord

        But that’s a good thing from your point of view surely? More people to kill the evil Zionists?

    • global city

      what pig ignorance

      • allymax bruce

        That’s not at all kosher of you; fuking murdering knut!

        • global city

          Arseh*le

          Righteous priggery in abundance. How would you stop Hamas?

          • Damaris Tighe

            He wouldn’t global city. He’d like them to hurt those pesky jews.

            • global city

              Exactly. You could almost see the hate coming across in it’s post.

          • allymax bruce

            Hamas are the Democratically elected government; and, under International Law, they have a right to resist an illegal occupation by Israel. Oh, and thanks for your ‘platitudes’ at least my swearing is artistic. I’m going to enter it for next year’s Turner Prize. It’s brilliant art; I have taken the entities of oppression and placated them in words, that can be perceived in a multy-perspective. But your use of ‘platitudes’ ate droll and pathetically boring.

            • global city

              I thought that they were much more interesting than the ones you used first!

              Your argument falls in the face of the statements that Hamas regularly make. Your stance only has a ‘logic’ if you do not believe there should be any Jews in those lands or that there should not be a state of Israel.

              How would you stop the rockets being launched and other attacks if you ran the democratically elected Israeli government?

    • RobertC

      How many missiles do you think Israel should ‘accept’ before they say ‘enough is enough’ and what should they do when the missiles continue to rain down upon them.

      After all, they gave Gaza back as part of a peace deal.

      • Shazza

        Hamas’ charter states that their goal is to annihilate Israel. Their idea of a ceasefire is a ‘hudna’ and all that means is that it gives them time to regroup, re-arm and attack again.

        • Wessex Man

          and the Iraeli Army are their recruiting arm!

          • mohdanga

            So when Israel is attacked they should not respond in order that they can suffer further attacks? Got it.

            • Wessex Man

              So when Israel is attacked and no one is killed they shouldn’t kill over 800 women and children in retaliation, Got it.

              • Damaris Tighe

                You are wilfully avoiding the issue.

                • Wessex Man

                  I’m doing no such thing, if Israel really wanted to sort out the Rocket men they, it seems from the boasts, have te means to take them out not women and children!

                • Damaris Tighe

                  It’s been said before but I’ll say it again. If Hamas embeds itself in civilian areas (contrary to the international law that you’re so keen on invoking), civilian casualties are the inevitable result. I get it you don’t like war. Who does, except loons & nutters?

                • Wessex Man

                  How many Rocket men were in the shelter of the UN School that women and children were sheltering in and the UN were trying to get them safe passage before the Israeli Army took them out?

                • Damaris Tighe

                  I don’t know about that individual school but Hamas has form for hiding rockets in UN schools & it also has form for preventing – with brutality – civilians from leaving areas which Israel has warned will be targeted.

                • Pelo Nord

                  Women Women Women Women Women Women

              • Pelo Nord

                Men die too, or don’t they matter?

              • mohdanga

                Hey Mr. Mensa, Israelis flee to bomb shelters to protect themselves, that’s why the casualty count is low. They could keep doing this ad infinitum while Hamas continues to fire rockets for the next twenty years but what civilized society would accept this? If London was being continuously attacked the gov’t would probably do nothing, right?
                Hamas puts women and children in harm’s way, whose fault is that?

      • Wessex Man

        er, how many dead are there as a result of the missilles? ‘They gave them Gaza back as part of a peace deal’, how nice somewhere that they can’t live or trade with anyone or leave, this modern Irael is totally out of control and if it wasn’t for being the Yanks ‘ally’ in the middle east would be bombed by the Yanks!

        • Shazza

          Hope you feel the same way when this is happening in your home town.

          • Wessex Man

            ‘Hope you feel the same way when this is happening in your own town.’

            Now why would it? In my own town we’ve not attacked and killed hundreds in the neighbouring town.

        • Shazza

          So why doesn’t Egypt open up it’s borders with Gaza so that they can trade, or live , or leave?
          Why?

          • Wessex Man

            You tell me, you seem to have a comprehensive understanding of all thing middle east!

        • global city

          Are you suggesting that Hamas only fire them because they know they will not do much harm? Are you suggesting that they would feel remorse if one landed on a creche? Do you think that they would refuse to fire more accurate and damaging missiles if they could get hold of them? Do you think that they would refuse to use an atom bomb to wipe every Jew of the face of the earth if they had some? Do you suggest that if Hamas had the arsenal that Israel has they would restrict their actions to that which Israel is currently doing? Do you think that if Hamas undertook a campaign to take out all the tanks and missiles banks of the IDF they would then stop?

          i think not.

          • Wessex Man

            I’m not suggesting anything of the sort, what I am saying is that the slaughter of over 800 women and children is completely over the top, in typical Israeli Army fashion of the last few years.

            Every Jew in the world does not live in Israel, you are playing a race card, as does everybody who rush to the defence of the undenfencable actions of the Iraeli Army to shut down debate about their disgusting actions.

            I now anticipate an avalanche of idiot coments.

      • global city

        Or simply; How can Israel stop the missiles and the attacks on civilians?

        You will find that you just won’t get an answer from them.

      • allymax bruce

        You’re a pathetic knut. Don’t deflect from the article issue & argument. I want every American, and the whole world to boycott ALL THINGS Israel; that includes products, politics, and Zionist pishers!
        The issue of Israel’s evil murder of civilians, is more evil of Israel; you people have no morals at all trying to defend that with stupid ignorant trolling. What a bunch of evil bastards you are trying to defend massacre of little girls and boys. Israel is the pariah state in this world; everybody, and I mean everbody agrees Israel is the nastiest pariah uncontrollable state in this world. Israel are illegally occupying Gaza. Upon this, International Law must prosecute Israel for war crimes. Also, under said International Law,

        • Claire Finn

          When you say everybody, I think you missed a few people. Quite a few.

        • mohdanga

          Give this guy a prize for the looniest comment of the day!!
          If everyone boycotted Israel and the Arabs and Palestinians that work in Israel lost their jobs, that would probably be Israel’s fault too, right?
          And nary a peep from you about the endless daily killings of Muslims by Muslims in all the surrounding Muslim utopias.

      • Pelo Nord

        Bruce and his neo-Nazi friends are proof positive that Israel needs to exist and stay stronger than ever.

    • Shazza

      Israel is not out of control – it is the only civilised nation surrounded by a sea of hatred, bigotry and ignorance.

      • allymax bruce

        You’re too far gone with your own ‘chosen’crap to know what is, or isn’t out of control. You’re all a bunch of murdering bastards, and you’d come for me next if I let you. Zionist Koch Zucker berk

        • Shazza

          Wow. When losing an argument, always resort to ad hominem attacks.

          Pathetic.

          • allymax bruce

            And you think shooting Palestinians in a barrel is ‘constructive’ dialogue?
            You forgot the two basic things to hiding your Zionist principles; think Zionist, but act ‘British’. Ad Hominem betrays you; you’ve got it erse for elbow pisher

            • Claire Finn

              Zionists killed Jesus? Are you sure about that?

              • mightymark

                Yes …thats a bit off message isn’t it! Not to mention a bit of a give away.

            • Pelo Nord

              I was in a terrible mood on that day and still feel very bad about it.

          • jjjj

            Bruce is an antisemite. I’ve known him from old. Scum he is.

        • Tom Allalone

          “You’d come for me next if I let you” Congratulations! You win the most paranoid comment of the year award. By the way, there’s a Jew in your fridge

          • allymax bruce

            It’s not the Jews I’m talking about, it the Zionists. Bit you raise an interesting point; are the Zionist Israeli government leading their own People in the same way the Nationalist Socialists did in 1933?

            • Pelo Nord

              No dear, they’re not.

        • Pelo Nord

          I bit of chip on shoulder about not being ‘chosen’ eh? Not being special and being allowed to get away with stuff like the you-know-whos?
          Concentrate on the good things in yourself and you’ll be happier, really.

    • MaxSceptic

      “Israel are out of control, and must be compared to the worst attrocities we remember 70 years ago.”

      Any comparison between Israel’s actions – however harsh or misguided – and the Nazi’s systemic planned and executed genocide can only be the product of a very sick mind.

      Furthermore, had the enterprising and effective Israelis actually wanted to do such evil crimes, they would have applied their industry and ingenuity and the “Palestinian Problem” – such as it is – would have been ‘solved’ decades ago. Perhaps they should have acted more like their European Union detractors.

      • allymax bruce

        We act retroactive, or not.
        If you’re using past history to guide your present actions, then you will be punished a-la Nuremberg!
        Do yourself a favour, little pisher, step into little 21st century!

        • MaxSceptic

          “Nuremberg!”

          Bless! I bet you miss the torch-lit parades…

      • allymax bruce

        Your Zionist objective is to wipe out Palestine; beginning with the crimes against humanity of Palestinian genocide. Your method is the same the ‘British’ used against the indigenous American Indian; keep them from settling, move them on, and wear them down. Yoos lot are idiots; you can’t even think for yourselfs. All you know is stealing money; Fagin is as Fagin does! Fukov loser.

        • MaxSceptic

          “Zionist…. Fagin….”

          Haven’t you read the manual? Antisemites must not let on that they equate ‘Zionist’ with ‘Jews’ as it gives the game away.

        • Pelo Nord

          Poor guy. Although you have just reminded me of Fagin in Oliver and Ron Moody’s great performance and of the terrific music.
          I thank you for that.

        • Pelo Nord

          “I’m reviewing, the situation”

          • Damaris Tighe

            You’re making me crack up …

    • Claire Finn

      Why specifically the atrocities 70 years ago? Why not 20 years ago, 10 years ago, 40 years ago? There are plenty of atrocities to choose from. Why does it have to be the ones 70 years ago?

      • allymax bruce

        Because that turns the tables to enact war crimes vis-a-vis genocide with an ironic precedence.
        We can get them on this; the Hague is ‘their tent’!

        • Claire Finn

          Turns the tables on “them”? But I thought this Israel thing had nothing to do with Jews.

          • Damaris Tighe

            He can’t help himself.

          • allymax bruce

            What ‘Israel thing’ are too talking about?
            What conversation are you following! The Jews you cite are not on this thread, only murdering Zionist apologists ignoramus.

            • Claire Finn

              The Jews that died and those that escaped the Holocaust. What do they have to do with Israel. Why do you need to “turn the tables” on them?

              • allymax bruce

                No, you’re wrong; it was the Zionists that ‘instigated’ Nuremberg. USA & USSR weren’t too keen on making a big thing at the end of the war but ‘British’ was ‘advised’ to push for extreme penalties by the ‘British’ Zionists. Why? Because the ‘British’ Zionists were broke, and needed time to re-capitalise. Basically what they did in 2008 ‘manufactured crash’ and the same they’ll do again in 2015.

                • Claire Finn

                  I’m in your fridge plotting another Nuremburg, you nutter.

                • allymax bruce

                  Being an athiest doesn’t relieve you of your burden of being human; you have a responsibility to speak out against hese attrocious massacres happening right now. Orare you only iinterested in yourself.

                • Pelo Nord

                  Can you think of any other massacres recently that were ‘atrocious’ rather than regular or bog standard?

                • allymax bruce

                  Well, while you’re in there, get the milk out, and make me a cup of tea.

                • Pelo Nord

                  The massacres are ‘atrocious’ ones, not ordinary ones like you normally get around the world.

            • Claire Finn

              I’m an atheist

            • Pelo Nord

              murdering Zionist apologists.
              You must be frothing at mouth about those Muslims!

          • Pelo Nord

            They want to wipe Zionists off the face of the earth, not Jews, many of whom they admire (if they’ve proven their hatred of Israel ) and even have ‘Jewish friends’.
            Remember, these people are left-wing and are therefore NOT racist in any way.

            • Damaris Tighe

              Ha ha he he. Unfortunately the more simple-minded posting here don’t do irony.

      • Damaris Tighe

        Because it gives antisemites great delight to blame the victims of 70 years ago. The subtext is: you see, they really deserved it.

    • Damaris Tighe

      What bollox.

      • jjjj

        Oh, Bruce has form here. His previous posts from before this current crisis show a rabid hatred of Jews.

        • Damaris Tighe

          Sad.

    • edithgrove

      “And this is a difficult post to write, because I do feel some emotional tug towards the call to boycott (to ‘do something’).”
      Oh shut up, Fisun. Take the cheque and use it to write something decent (and unsubsidised) for a change. And Allymax B, you should lay off the single malt til after breakast.

      • allymax bruce

        The massacres of human beings in Palestine is the same if I have a single malt, or not. My outrage is proportionate to the trolls purposeful indifference. Children are being massacred on a crimes against humanity scale, and all you can suggest is decorum?
        I think it’s time more people showed their outrage at this.

        • edithgrove

          Point taken, but calling everyone who has a different opinion to you a ‘knut’ can’t be helpful, although ‘Koch Zucker’ was funny, but also not helpful.

          • allymax bruce

            Hi edithgrove, I’m a writer; I’m working on a new vein / style of poetry where I use unorthodox methods,using swear words is one way I do it. It’s like using words to ve two/multiple meanings. Like a double-entendre in reverse. You could say I have taken sweating to an artform. Also, I’m usually polite & accommodating, I don’t suffer ignorant trolls / fools gladly. But thanks for being nice.

        • Pelo Nord

          Just be honest and say “Children are dying at the hands OF JEWS – this is unacceptable.” then we know what you’re really thinking.

  • Damaris Tighe

    Usual woolly thinking: the only reason Gazans are denied freedom of movement by both Israel AND Egypt is that it stops Hamas causing mayhem & death. It may not go down well with the Chardonnay-swilling classes because it’s, well, unpleasant & we mustn’t condone anything nasty & realistic must we?

    • allymax bruce

      So tell us all how yoos idiots managed to lose the PR war, when you own ALL the PR?
      I’m (now) under strict orders not to experiment with my swearing poetry anymore like below, so I’ll have to leave it to the readers imagination for them to figure out how dumb yoos fuuxs are; f, m, z, k, still managed to lose the PR war, when you own it!
      Talk about useless cretins !

      • Nkaplan

        By ‘yoos’ owning all the PR I presume you mean the Jews?

        This just goes to show the disgusting anti-Semitism that is behind much of the disgusting criticism of Israel for having the audacity to defend itself from the murderous anti-Semites who make up Hamas.

        • Claire Finn

          “yoos” even rhymes with “joos”

      • Lamia

        Anti-semitism with an authentic Scots accent. How vibrantly bigoted. Perhaps you can get an arts grant for it.

        • zkharya

          And SSPSC as Guard of Honour.

  • John Lea

    It’s selective outrage as usual from the mediocre Lochhead and her left-wing ilk. I assume they will be petitioning all Russian companies after what has happened in the Ukraine, as well as anyone associated with Zimbabwe or Egypt.

    • Alexsandr

      will they be campaigning against Hamas for sending rockets indiscriminately into Israel, and having a stated aim in their charter to destroy israel. And also point out Hamas are affiliated to ISIS, the lot who want to mutilate the genitalia of every woman in the area they control.

      There again why do I care? never heard of Liz Lochhead or her work anyway.

      • Wessex Man

        so why are you commenting about it?

        • mohdanga

          Why should he not? Just because she’s a leftwing academic doesn’t mean her idiotic statements shouldn’t be challenged.

          • Wessex Man

            and just because you are a ranting idiot doesn’t mean your statements shouldn’t be challenged!

            • mohdanga

              Another brilliant retort from Wessex Man! Keep up the good work!

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