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The West has drifted away from Israel — and itself

16 July 2014

9:18 AM

16 July 2014

9:18 AM

Is Israel drifting away from the West? That was Hugo Rifkind’s claim in his column in the magazine last week. Hugo wrote:

Israel drifting away. Never mind whose fault it is; that’s a whole other point. But it’s happening. It’s off. No longer does it exist in the popular imagination as our sort of place. Once, I suppose, foes and friends alike regarded it as a North Atlantic nation, but elsewhere. Then a western European one, then, briefly, a southern European one. When was it, do you think, that Israel stopped being regarded as fundamentally a bit like Spain? Early 1990s? Then they shot Yitzhak Rabin, and Oslo didn’t happen, and it set off, perhaps via a sort of listless Greek interim, towards the Orientalish bafflingness of somewhere like Turkey.

Let’s leave aside that ‘they’ (‘they shot Yitzhak Rabin’? as opposed to lone assassin, Yigal Amir, who remains in an Israeli prison, serving a life sentence after his trial by an Israeli court). And let’s also leave aside the notion that Oslo ‘didn’t happen’ for any reason other than that the terrorist leader Yasser Arafat was unwilling to give up his USP.

What is more interesting is this idea of Israel drifting away from the West. In his heartfelt and admirably frank piece Rifkind says of Israel: ‘I like it far more than Syria, China, Zimbabwe and plenty of other countries, but less than I do north London.’

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I can understand why Rifkind and other westerners, Jewish and non-Jewish, might feel more culturally aligned to North London than to Israel. North London isn’t my thing, but life there seems fine. There seem to be few existential questions beyond the discussion of house prices and whether people can afford to send the kids private. Life is easy, life is good. Not especially noble, but nice.

Israel shares many of these characteristics. But it is also a nation which currently has to do what people in countries like this one — even people in North London — used to have to do but seem to have forgotten about: it has to fight for its survival. Israel is surrounded by enemies, as we have been for much of our history. But today we like to think that enemies are a thing of the past. There are no enemies, just phobias we haven’t been cured of yet.

Today Israel is also distinguished by a deep sense of its values and ethics as well as a profound awareness of their source — things we also used to have. Deep questions of survival, the tragedy and triumph of the past, present and future remain the stuff of every Israeli house I have ever been to, though are rarely heard among the residents of North London. So yes, these are very different lives.

Of course there are parts of Europe where such existential questions may re-emerge. I know Jews in France who are starting to think of moving away again. Last weekend in Paris a mob attacked a synagogue, trapping hundreds inside. Across Paris many ‘anti-Israel’ protestors seemed far more interested in ‘Jews’ than ‘Israelis’, up to and including the moment when the petrol bombs came out. ‘Dirty Jewess, inshallah you will die,’ one young Parisian Jew was told. Others were greeted by the crowd with the simpler chant of ‘Death to the Jews.’ But that’s East Paris. And North Paris. A world away from North London.

What I am coming to is that it seems to me — from many visits there, and seeing the country in peace and war — that it is Israel that remains the truly western country. It is Israel which takes its history seriously, thinks deeply about where it is going and what it exists for. It is Israel which takes western values seriously and fights for the survival of those values rather than sitting back and assuming they are simply part of some birthright. Israel’s questions and dilemmas are not the stuff of North London or other parts of western Europe these days, though they remain febrile in much of the US. In conclusion, and despite my admiration for his frankness, I cannot help thinking that Hugo has got this wholly wrong and upside-down. Geography aside, it is Israel that is still truly a western country. Far more than many parts of western Europe now are.

A gap may well be emerging. But not because Israel has drifted away from the West. Rather because today in much of the West, as we bask in the afterglow of our achievements — eager to enjoy our rights, but unwilling to defend them — it is the West that is, slowly but surely, drifting away from itself.

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Show comments
  • IzlamKillzz

    The West is drifting away because of islamisation, something I have predicted for over 10 years. It is thus surprising to see the words islam and muslims don’t even appear once in this article. As long as The Spectator and other news outlets don’t call a spade a spade, nothing will change. This is why this article is disappointing-it misses the point.

  • Stuart Ballan

    Informative, objective video interview, even though the chap on the right expressed a level of naivity with some of his questions. Profound, easy to understand, logical statement/conclusion about Israel and the West.

    I’ve been living in Israel for 17 years … If you find my perspective, published yesterday, on the current situation, interesting, please comment in the article and Share.

    http://blogs.timesofisrael.com/waaaaaaah-waaaaaah-waaaaah-babies-or-sirens/

  • montana83

    Europe has a history of killing and expelling its Jews. So the Jews returned to Israel. Europe and to a smaller extent America under Obama are importing millions of Muslims. In Europe there are 25 million Muslim and few Jews. The left wing parties and some center parties think this is a great voting bloc. It is called suicide.

    Israel will do far more business with Asia in the future and will eventually have a falling out with Europe. I really don’t think Israel cares. Europe is abandoning the West to embrace bureaucratic socialism with a Culture and Religion soon to be Muslim. This is deemed brilliant by the Eurocrats. It is suicide.
    Good luck Europe.

  • Beatrix17

    The West follows America’s lead and America is led by Obama who spent 7 years of his youth in Indonesia a Muslim country where he learned religion in a religious course
    designed for young people. This is the knowledge he brought home to America about Islam—a child’s simple, idealized insights.

    These are the insights he applies in his dealings with Iran. He can’t even handle a obvious propagandist like Abbas whom he identifies with his unknown father, but he argues about allowing nuclear power to Iran, a country whose leaders run circles around him in sophistication and guile. Europe, not that interested the Mideast or any where else that isn’t Europe, follows him without question.

  • Catherine Waterman

    Well, taking a leaf out of Baldrick’s book, I have a cunning and fantastical plan…let’s hope the Islamists aren’t listening, ‘cos it goes like this:

    We get a team of the cleverest film makers and laser light show organisers. Then, on some auspicious date in the Islamic calendar, the techies light up the night sky over Iraq or Iran, (no matter which) with a massive rainbow hued hologram of Mohammud on a winged horse flying in from Paradise. From hidden speakers with amazing amplification, old Mo proclaims, “LOVE THEY NEIGHBOUR”, before disappearing from whence he came…

    Oh what fun, in an instant the Islamic worldview would change beyond recognition. We’d witness a tossing of the veil and burning of the Qu’ran at dawn!

    • ahad_ha_amoratsim

      Yeah, that’ll work. Or get ahold of an almanac, find out when the next solar eclipse is, and tell them you’l blot out the sun if they don’t behave. Mark Twain used that one to great effect.
      Now, do you have any actual advice?

      • Catherine Waterman

        Ahad, come on now. That was supposed to be my idea of a joke, though not without an element of realism. Rejected here maybe, but it’s a feasible outline for my next fantasy novel !

        The only way to change the mindset of Islam is for a re-write of the Qu’ran (e.g. scrap all passages which glorify violence and misogyny), or encourage a big ritual burning of said book – which will never happen, of course. Muslims are awaiting the second coming of Mohammud, in the belief that he will lead them into next phase of existence. Only then will Muslims be persuaded to make any changes to their guide book.

        So, my fantasy light show idea of a old Mo on his winged horse giving renewed instructions to all Muslims could have worked. Oh yes, it would have been the catalyst needed to transform Islam into a ‘love and peace man’ style of religion!

        Some years ago I explored Jungian psychology. Jung was especially good at easing the troubled minds of people suffering from schizophrenia. One Jungian therapist of my acquaintance recalls the time she had to quieten a patient who wouldn’t sleep. He was found sitting at the end of his bed, driving an imaginary car into the night. His voices had convinced him that he must keep driving until he received the signal to stop. If he were to stop the car sooner, the hospital would be bombed by aliens.

        The therapist asked if she could get into the car with him. He agreed and she sat beside him. After a while of entering into his strange world and gaining his trust, eventually she said something like, ‘Look, can you see the red traffic lights ahead? This is the sign you need, it’s OK to stop now. ” In this way, he was persuaded to settle back down to sleep.

        So, do you get my gist?

        • ahad_ha_amoratsim

          Sorry for my missing the irony. Sadly, your joke is not that different from what many people who should know better have proposed in earnest.

  • James Lovelace

    “But that’s East Paris. And North Paris. A world away from North London.”

    No, it’s not. It’s just that the British media and most jewish groups decide to keep quiet about what’s going on in London.

    Most attacks on jews in London are by muslims/arabs (muslims are 12% of the London population).

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/7831897.stm But the BBC frames that report by the CST as if it was ANYONE BUT muslims who were attacking jews. Moreover, the BBC makes it look like muslims are jews closest allies. The same BBC that spent £millions in legal fees making sure its own internal investigation (the Balens report) into anti-Israeli bias at the BBC never saw the light of day. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-17038937

    Only one jewish organisation in Britain points out that a hugely disproporationate threat to British jews comes from muslims, arabs, “immigrants”: the Jewish Defence League. And what does Faith Matters, the owner of the muslim-grievance mongering business “Tell Mama” want to do: it demands the government ban the JDL, meanwhile demanding that the government should not ban Hizb ut Tahrir (a muslim party banned in most of the world for its anti-semitism and insurrection).

    • Damaris Tighe

      Tell Mama was discredited & lost government funding after it wildly exaggerated attacks on muslims following Woolwich.

      • James Lovelace

        Doesn’t stop the CST, a jewish organisation, from being in bed with Tell Mama.

        • Damaris Tighe

          Then they’re fools.

  • Jamie Jackson

    How patronising to suggest people are throwing away some imaginary kind of relationship with a fellow western or European state as though it were just another travel destination you might drop for another more cool. The fact is Israel is acting more like a latter day post empire state like South Africa and or Australia by imposing it’s rules on a group of people it does not want to understand or make peace with but rule by might alone. Ofcourse it’s not that simple but that’s how people see a bully.

    • ahad_ha_amoratsim

      The Israelis understand perfectly that the Arabs in Gaza and the West Bank keep electing people who want to murder every last Israeli Jew and replace Israel with a Jew-free state. They also understand that recent Pew polls show a sizeable majority of Arabs in those areas share that goal. How unreasonable of Israel to impose rules aimed at preventing the acheivement of that goal.

  • Larchmont

    Interesting piece that skillfully avoids the real issue. Israel is drifting away though perhaps not in the way Rifkind said. Israel’s leaders have settled for a status quo existence with no road map to solving the crisis long term. And the heavy handed military response to each incident is eating away at society. First it doesn’t work. At most it gains a few months, a year, before the next one starts and in the process the IDF is shown to be powerless to stop the pinpricks and the civilian cost must be having a moral affect on soldiers and citizens alike. Second it just makes it even harder to find common ground with moderate palestinians. This is made worse by a less than “Western” approach to the occupied territories. The steady encroachment on land, the cynical use of historical religion to justify appropriations, the less than equal treatment of Israeli Arabs; Israel’s record is bad and that makes it much harder to justify the military side. It just feels that Israel creates civilian distress that feeds Hamas et al.

    This more and more is not where the West is heading. And then there is just the fed up factor. even the Jewish community in the US is starting to criticize Israel’s roadblock approach. Israel deserves our support but not blind support. Since Sharon Israel has been wearing out the welcome mat. What Israel seems to ignore is that its supporters in the UN don’t like being obliged to defend behavior that is deeply unpopular at a common level.

  • nunofed

    Leaving aside the debate on borders and dates and returning to the article itself, I’d like to congratulate Douglas Murray on getting to the root of many postures on Israel – the fact that it believes in itself and is willing to physically and verbally take on genocidal maniacs, makes many Westerners realize how feeble and scared they are.

  • Pat Conway

    The terrorist state of Israel has begun a ground offensive.

    • TNT

      Yay! I wish them every success!

      • Pat Conway

        Success for the IDF means killing women and children.

        • ahad_ha_amoratsim

          No, success for Hamas means manuevering as many woemn and children as possible where they will be at risk of being killed by IDF soldiers shooting at the Hamas murderers firing rockets from schools and hospitals in violation of the laws of war, and cowering behind the children while shooting at the IDF.
          Success for the IDF means protecting innocent Israeli women and children from rockets, bullets and mortar fired by cowardly Hamas murderers who are hiding behind women and children, all the while avoiding harm to Hamas’s human shields to the extent possible.
          But you knew that.

        • TomSolomon

          Please stop playing on the internet. Your comments are beyond stupid.

          • Pat Conway

            Stupid comments? Why? Because I disagree with Israel? 80% of Palestinians killed by Israeli strikes are civilians and now since the ground offensive began more civilian casualties.

            • ahad_ha_amoratsim

              According to Al Jazzeera, nearly 80% of the Gazans killed in the aerial bombing were males of military age. Of course the terrorists refuse to wear uniforms despite international norms requiring it. Regardless, many of the dead were known members of terrorist organizations.
              About 13% of the dead were female. The percentage of the dead (I do not have the numbers handy right now) that were children was well under the percentage killed by UK/US bombing raids in the Balkan campaign.
              Looks to me that the IDF is going out of its way to hold civilian casualties to a minimum, and is doing a pretty good job of it. Or course, anything above zero casualties is tragic, even when it is due to Hamas deliberately putting its own civilians in harm’s way, but only someone who thinks Jews have no right to self defense would blame it on the IDF.
              As to your comment that success for the IDF means killing women and children, I part company with TomSolomon. Your comment was a deliberate, malicious, transparent and oft-debunked lie, disseminated as part of a propaganda effort to help Hamas and Fatah murder as many Jews as possible. Stupid and evil are two very different things.

              • Pat Conway

                ahad, go on believing the lies and deceit from the israeli media.

                • psydneyh

                  Where do you live, and what is your country’s history?

                • ahad_ha_amoratsim

                  Including Al Jazeera?

            • Damaris Tighe

              Right. So no defence can be mounted if there’s the slightest risk of civilian casualties. That’s what you’re saying, right? Please confirm that this also applies if your own family is under attack.

            • psydneyh

              We (USA) bombed Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Need I say more? But, we needed to defeat the Japanese, and we did.

        • TNT

          There’s nothing wrong with that when it’s either kill or be killed, Pat.

    • nunofed

      Do you mean ‘brave professional soldiers fighting Islamic terrorists while you cower with a latte’. But you knew that……keep typing, while Israel fights for freedom in the Middle East.

      • Pat Conway

        ‘Brave professional soldiers’ who murder children?

        • James Lovelace

          It is the muslims who murder their own children, by using them as human shields.

          The muslims have been doing it for decades, as the quote from Golda Meir shows: “We can forgive the Arabs for killing our children. We cannot forgive them for forcing us to kill their children. We will only have peace with the Arabs when they love their children more than they hate us.”

  • William Burns

    Israel is the truly western country because its the one that’s still engaged in stealing land from brown people.

    • ahad_ha_amoratsim

      What are all the brown Israelis doing? But your real point is that anything a Jew bought, even at top dollar, is really stolen. Otherwise you’d admit that the towns and farms that the Jordanians, Iraqis, Syrians and Egyptians stole from the Jews during 1948 (often armed, trained and officered by the British) were built on desert and swamp land that no one else wanted, that Jews bought for top dollar and made fertile.

      • William Burns

        Not talking about 48, pal, talking about now. You don’t actually believe that Israeli Jews are paying “top dollar” for the land they’ve “acquired” on the west bank?

        • ahad_ha_amoratsim

          We’re talking about land they owned, not stole, and that they recaptured when the Arabs were dumb enough to start a second war of extermination in 1967. You don’t have to pay again for something you bought when you get it back from the person who stole it from you.
          And I don’t care to be pals with racist liars.

          • William Burns

            Just out of curiosity, non-pal, is there anything an Arab legitimately owns if a Jew wants it?

            • ahad_ha_amoratsim

              Yeah. Anything he owns. Next question, Jew-hating racist creep? Actually, don’t look for an answer to the next question. You’re not worth the effort. I’ll continue praying for you, but you won’t like it.

              • William Burns

                Dude, not even the Israelis claim that the settlements are all built on land owned by Jews pre-1948. You really don’t know much about this conflict, and most of what you do think you know is wrong. I’d recommend some books you could read if you wanted to be taken seriously, but I doubt if it would do any good.

    • TNT

      “Brown people” as you patronisingly put it have been stealing land from whites and from each other for 1400 years. That’s why we now have 57 Islamic hell-holes burdening this planet.

  • Mark Thomason

    “They” did shoot Rabin. The campaign of vilification in which Netanyahu was prominent led to the assassination, and Rabin’s own widow explained it well and with great bitterness. No, it wasn’t just one guy.

    • Milford M

      They got rid of him because he was genuinely working for peace with the Palestinians. He wasn’t a war monger so he had to go.

      • DemsDaBreaks

        Except that Ehud Barak and Ehud Olmert — two Prime Ministers in office decades after Rabin — made more generous offers than anything Rabin ever contemplated. Other than that, your argument is sound.

        • ahad_ha_amoratsim

          Well, that and the conspiracy theory.

    • ahad_ha_amoratsim

      People tend to forget that St. Rabin gave as much vilification as he got. The conspiracy theories that his murder was anything but the work of a lone nut have about as much credibility as the conspiracy theories surrounding the murder of JFK, the 9/11 bombings or FDR’s complicity in Pearl Harbor. But people who regret the existence of Israel will believe what they want to believe.

  • 2catsmeow

    Cultural suicide. For a few decades of self-indulgence. Pity.

  • Hugo Rifkind

    Douglas, this is an excellent riposte, and I don’t even much disagree with it. But I’m simply not sure what difference it makes. Does it matter whether it is Israel who has changed, or everybody else who has changed? The drift remains.

    Does Hamas present an existential threat to Israel? Certainly, it would like to. But try as I might, I cannot begin to advance a moral case that the action against Gaza, and the civil casualties it entails, is a suitable way of dealing with that problem. Does Hamas fire rockets from hospitals? Almost certainly. Is Israel bombing that hospital a reasonable way of dealing with this problem? Sorry, no, I don’t see that it is. You may say there are no other ways of dealing with this problem, and you may be right. But bombing a hospital? Really? I would set a pretty high bar for that. Wouldn’t you?

    You are correct that there are few existential threats in North London. I suspect that’s true where you live, too. And perhaps I kid myself that I would rather live under an existential threat – and particularly one of the quite crap, ineffective sort that Hamas poses to Israel – than be the guy who was blowing up kids on beaches. Frankly, I have very little stomach for being that guy indeed. I don’t see this as being particularly weak or shameful.

    Maybe it is. Either way, that is what I think. I cannot stop it from being what I think. It’s what most of the West, I suspect, increasingly thinks. I find it very hard to relate to the fact that it is not what a majority in Israel seem to think. And I cannot help but wish it was.

    • 2catsmeow

      Very Christian of you. Course your values depend upon details such as Is your head still attached to your neck, etc. Usually, when the knife blade touches the skin, thoughts tend to simplify and focus; however, until then, from a bar stool in a gastro pub, your sentiments are noble and intelligently expressed.

      • Catherine Waterman

        It’s a different matter when the blade touches the skin. Of course, our instinct is likely to be self-defence – although fear can also paralyse the senses.
        But surely it takes a psychopath to go into a school of ‘the enemy’, look into the eyes of a roomful of children, then gun them down. Yes, the likes of Isis would do it with glee, but a decent human being would falter – that is, unless the person is caught up in the frenzy of a bloody battle. That’s when a person’s essential humanity is in danger of deserting the senses.

        • mightymark

          Put like that, of course the answer would be no, of course one would not gun them down. But I’ll make a similar point here as I made to Hugo. What if the choice is not between good and bad but bad and worse. What if a rocket is embedded in the school and you are in the position of an Israeli government minister whose prime responsibility is for the safety of the Israeli people. Iron Dome is not fail safe – the rocket could get through and kill perhaps a room of Israeli schoolchildren. What should an Israeli minister do?

          • Catherine Waterman

            I wouldn’t choose to be a government minister, nor would I take part in active battle. It would be a military decision, not mine. But I certainly wouldn’t feel good about the deaths of innocent children – nor the death of any other citizen for that matter. But the death of a child is especially traumatic. I can’t begin to imagine the pain of a parent whose child has been slain. I want to block it from my mind, which I suppose is the only way that the military are able to carry out such attacks.
            I can’t help the way I feel. I mourn for the failings of humanity.

            • ahad_ha_amoratsim

              Catherine, no one but Hamas feels good about the deaths of civilians, let alone innocent children. That’s what all the armchair critics and hand-wringers, to say nothing of the Israel-bashers and Jew-haters, tend to ignore. But how can you ask the Israelis to have more compassion on the enemy’s family than on their own, let alone more compassion on the enemy’s family than the enemy does?

              • Catherine Waterman

                Where children are being maimed and killed, my compassion is always for the child. At the moment, Israeli children are relatively safe, so there is no real dilemma of ‘their family, or mine’. Obviously, the individual would have no choice but to choose their own family, should they find themselves trapped in an intimate confrontation with the enemy. Indeed, I’d put my own family first if push came to shove.

                I just think there has been a lot of hostility towards Hugo who is only expressing how he feels. As I said, no one can help how they feel. Feelings are always lingering beneath the surface and perhaps should be faced in the hard light of day. I think he’s brave to voice these thoughts in public, especially as it goes against the grain of what he might normally have taken for granted.

                As for my own feelings, warfare is evil, there is no other word for it. Just discussing it, brings out the worst in people as we are witnessing in this forum. The only way to get through a war is to demonise the enemy, so that their pain and suffering doesn’t touch us. Nevertheless, I still support Israel’s struggle to remain on the map.

                • ahad_ha_amoratsim

                  I am sorry to disabuse you, but they are not relatively safe. In many parts of the country they are seconds away from being killed or maimed, and they know it. The rates of PTSD are heart breaking. I cannot ask the Israelis to have more compassion on their enemy’s children than their own when it is their enemy who is putting both sets of children in harm’s way.
                  Warfare is evil? I agree. So is famine, disease and slavery And so is allowing evil people to slaughter you and your family because you were passive or inadequate in the face of their warfare.

                • Catherine Waterman

                  I didn’t say anything about being passive. Like most other mothers, I would fight tooth and claw to save my own child. At the moment (I’m not saying things remain exactly the same), it’s not absolutely essential for Israel to bomb schools and hospitals, especially now that we know children are being used as shields.

                  Certainly only a few days ago Israel was showing the world through video exactly how it avoids bombing places where civilians are shielding target buildings. This sort of publicity is for the good and will encourage the anti-Israel lobby to think again. It is possible for people to suddenly change their view – as I have done. Indeed, I used to regard Israel as the bully. Only within the last few months have I changed my view of this complex situation.

                  I support Israel’s right to exist, and I think there are signs of a change of heart within the British political sphere. Cameron has already voiced his support of Israel. I notice that people like Caroline Lucas of the Green Party and Nick Clegg, both of whom were apt to criticise Israel. They are intriguingly quiet about Israel at the moment – unless I’ve missed their recent comments. I wonder if they are beginning to see the reality of Israel’s position.

          • ahad_ha_amoratsim

            In fact, in towns like Sderot which are too close to Gaza, Iron Dome is useless. Sderot is 15 seconds by rocket from Gaza. By the time Iron Dome can calculate the trajectory and get the countermissile there, the Hamas rocket has already struck.

        • ahad_ha_amoratsim

          You mean the way that Arabs have done in Jewish schools on countless occassions, and that the Israelis have never once done in an Arab school? Yes, I agree it would take tremendous depravity.

    • Catherine Waterman

      I understand where you are coming from. I, too, cannot understand how any thinking, feeling person could possibly bomb a hospital or school, no matter that Hamas is shielding weapons in such places. I’m sure it would be impossible for any thinking, feeling human being to target a hospital if they were forced to do it face to face whilst looking into those fearful eyes.
      The clinical distance of dropping bombs from a warplane must make it easier. But the chilling truth is that warfare is another form of collective madness, often fuelled by religious mania. A double whammy explosion of insanity!

      Nevertheless, I recognise the need for Israel to defend herself. Perhaps Iron Dome is a good enough device? I don’t know. But it is at least preventing most rockets from falling on towns and cities.
      When all’s said and done, our propensity to engage in warfare is arguably the greatest evil of humanity. Post battle, once the rude awakening occurs, it’s little wonder that many soldiers (and others caught up in war zones) suffer post traumatic stress syndrome.

      Please don’t ask me to suggest a solution to the Israeli/Palestinian conflict because I really don’t know. The more think about warfare, the more I despair of our species.

      • Suzy61

        Catherine, this may make you feel better but for God’s sake…get real. Nobody LIKES war or death….but when it is brought to your doorstep you have to deal with it! Talk about how it is not how it should be.

        • Catherine Waterman

          I think we must talk about it because if we keep quiet and never question the act of legalised killing, we will never put an end to war. People always assume that it’s ‘normal’ to fight and kill our enemies. Indeed, sometimes we have no choice as we must defend ourselves. I’ve made that clear enough.

          If you can honestly say that you feel nothing at all when you see those dreadful images of wounded and dead children (albeit, they are being displayed by the media to elicit sympathy for the Palestinians) then you are a stronger person than I am.

          It certainly doesn’t make me feel better to know that children must be maimed and killed for any reason at all. It hurts me. How can you say that such pain is making me feel better? If you have children of your own, how would you feel (goodness forbid) if they were killed or seriously injured by a bomb?

          I know that Hamas is putting children in harm’s way, which is the greatest evil of all.

          One thing I will say, the fact that you are annoyed with me for saying these things tells me that you do have feelings and probably know that I’m making some kind of sense. But of course, Israel is in an extremely unenviable position. I still support Israel, I just wish it were possible for them not to fall into Hamas’ trap of emotional blackmail.

          • Suzy61

            Catherine, I am not annoyed with you. Of course I have feelings and yes, I am a Mother. You say the way to ‘get real’ is to put ourselves in another’s shoes. I do. I imagine being an Israeli Mother…maybe you imagine to be a Palestinian Mother? But, as an Israeli Mother I would believe that my child’s death was as an unfortunate, yet brave consequence of the defence of my country. Maybe a Palestinian Mother believes the same…although the evidence shows that it is much more likely that her child will have been sacrificed on the altar of propaganda. We all would like to live in a world of love and peace. The best we can hope for is that the politicians we elect try to do so on our behalf. The Palestinians elected Hamas – a terrorist organisation devoted to the absolute destruction of Israel, and the retribution that brings. As a Mother..I would reflect on that.

            • Catherine Waterman

              A mother is a mother, whether Israeli or Palestinian, a child is a child. So I’m not taking sides in the way that you imply. I’m afraid I’m not especially patriotic, so losing my child for the sake of my country would not ease my pain at all. Pain is pain, loss is loss. True, it might be a slightly different experience for each individual, but for most mothers, the loss of a child is the greatest loss of all. Personally, I can’t imagine anything worse.
              Rather than being patriotic, I’m afraid I’d abandon my country and go and live elsewhere, if I felt it would keep my child out of harm’s way. But that’s not an option (nor even a yearning) for most people. My heart goes out to all those who suffer, whatever their nationality. The only adults I have no sympathy for are the likes of ISIS and HAMAS. But I do pity their children.

    • SouthOhioGipper

      Hamas alone isn’t an existential threat to Israel. The entire muslim world is and they are just waiting for Israel to give up the.occupation, declare peace, and sit for a few years. Then the muslim world will once again station tanks, artillery and infantry on the border of Israel and then invade in a massive blitzkrieg to finally wipe out the jews.

      As long as the possibility of a future massive invasion by a muslim army using the west bank as an invasion route exists, Israel cannot give up that land. To do so goes against every military rule in the book. You don’t give up.strategic land.

    • mightymark

      I think what you are arguing in effect is that Israel should have more regard for the lives of people in what are after all, hostile territories than for its own people. Just how high would you place that bar?

      It is true that Israel seems to have a good record at shooting the rockets down but not I think all. Suppose israel took your call to heart – could have knocked out a rocket situated in or around a hospital but didn’t and say, 60 Israelis died as a result. What country would take that risk?

      • Hugo Rifkind

        I think you misunderstand my point. I’m not arguing about whether it’s right or wrong. Who knows? They clearly think it’s the right thing to do, and as a result make a different calculation from the one I would. And that’s the whole thing.

        • mightymark

          Well yes, I do see that, but we are talking about the decisions of a government with responsibility for its citizens’ safety. That is a serious matter, so morally, and given the context, doesn’t one have to put oneself in their shoes to make a really worthwhile comment? You say their calculations are different from yours but why should we accept yours rather than theirs?

          • TimboX

            You really do have this all backwards. Muslims don’t respect or value life like Christians, Jews, Sikhs and Hindus, and every other religion in the world. Islam is a cult of death worship.

            So when they attack the peace loving people of Israel, from hospitals and schools, you should be happy for them when they are bombed by Israel. They get to be martyrs. This is actually what they want and dream about. Muslims aren’t like other people in the world. They are different form normal human beings. That is why they are so violent and blood thirsty.

            Really, Israel is doing them a big favour! We should encourage Hamas to put more children in the line of fire, so as many as possible get to be martyrs.

            I’ve donated money to the IDF, if you care about muslims reaching their full potential as martyrs, you should to! Lets make their dreams come true!

            • mightymark

              Pathetic – I know plenty of Muslims who get with and enjoy life, and certainly do not want to be martyrs.

              • James Lovelace

                “I know plenty of Muslims who get with and enjoy life, and certainly do not want to be martyrs.”

                Irrelevant. Some muslims choose to be “martyrs” because that’s what their doctrine tells them they are if they die imposing islamic subjugation on non-believers.

                Hamas follows that doctrine, and they children who they use as human shields around gunmen and around weaponry are considered martyrs if they die in these circumstances.

                Muslims who don’t want to be martyrs are muslims who don’t fully follow islamic doctrine. Those muslims who kill or who die imposing islam on others are guaranteed a place in paradise. That is how islam came to dominate so much of the world.

              • ahad_ha_amoratsim

                So do I. Fortunately those are the same ones who are least likely to be hurt by the IDF.

          • Hugo Rifkind

            Well, you shouldn’t. As I’ve been arguing. Like I said, you’ve misunderstood my point.

        • ahad_ha_amoratsim

          Does it matter to you that the Geneva Convention fully supports Israel in that respect, and places the blame for civilian deaths solely on the party who turned the hospital into a launching pad and munitions storage?

          • Hugo Rifkind

            Depends what you mean by “matter”. Personally, I’d be reluctant to bomb a hospital regardless of whose “fault” the Geneva Convention would say it was.

        • ahad_ha_amoratsim

          You certainly seem to be arguing that its wrong for Israel to fight back if civilian casualties will be inevitable, or even likley, despite Hamas pursuing a strategy of maximizing the number of inevitable civilian casualties.

      • ahad_ha_amoratsim

        He is also demanding that Israel show more regard for the lives of the Gazans than the Gazans have for their own lives and for their own children’s lives.

    • Suzy61

      “For example, does Hamas fire rockets from hospitals? Almost certainly.”

      Where is your condemnation of this?

      How high do you set the bar for them?

      Not at all, it seems.

      • Hugo Rifkind

        Do I need to condemn it? Is it not a given that I condemn it? Hamas are bloodthirsty savages and not rational agents. As such I am not wildly disappointed when they fail to act in a manner I can understand or approve of, because I never expected them to, because they are lunatics. Israel is another matter. It’s a liberal democracy, like us. It’s even full of my family. So I have certain moral expectations and am disorientated when i feel they are not met.

        • James Lovelace

          “Hamas are bloodthirsty savages and not rational agents. ”

          Put into power by the people of Gaza.

          • ahad_ha_amoratsim

            After Condi Rice, in violation of Oslo, forced Israel to allow them to run for office.

        • Catherine Waterman

          The tragedy of warfare is that it’s almost impossible not to feel disorientated when moral expectations are not met. The military may start out with idealistic intentions in targeting only buildings. But the reality is that it’s impossible to avoid maiming or killing civilians by mistake – even when civilians are not being used as human shields.
          I often try to step outside of myself and view humankind as though I’m an observer from another planet. From this perspective, the insanity of warfare is all too clear. The word ‘moral’ in this context is an oxymoron.

          • ahad_ha_amoratsim

            Catherine, let me ask you the question I asked Hugh. If the only choices are bombing the hospital that is being used as a missile site or letting missiles be fired at the people you are sworn to protect, what would you do? Iron Dome is not a permanent answer. Sderot has taken more than 10,00 rockets since Israel withdrew from Gaza, and is too close to Gaza for Iron Dome to work. Life there has shut down — you have 15 seconds from the time the siren sounds to get into the bomb shelter. That includes 4 small kids, an infant, and your elderly father in a wheel chair. It is not moral to insist that innocent people live that way simply because blood thirsty murderers are willing to put their own children at risk so they can continue their murder attempts.
            So as I asked Hugh, suppose someone surrounded himself with his children, then he and his brothers and cousins knelt down behind them, and started shooting at your children. Suppose escape were impossible, and there was no one else to help you. Perhaps people are even cheering the shooters on. Would you shoot back, if you had the means and the ability, and try to kill the people who are shooting at your children? Would you have more compassion on his family than on your own? Would you have more compassion on his children than he does? Or would you do the natural thing, put your children’s lives first, do your best to end the threat to them while trying not to hurt his children, praying you don’t hurt them, and cursing him and his brothers and cousins for putting you in this predicament?

            • Catherine Waterman

              Ahad, I’ve already replied to this (or a similar post of yours), but it’s probably ended up lower down the pecking order. The posts are coming in thick and fast and I’m replying in the wrong place ‘cos I can’t see where it’s gone. Perhaps try scrolling down the page and you’ll find it somewhere..!

        • Suzy61

          Hugo, you cannot impose moral judgement on one and not the other. It is not a ‘given’ that you condemn their actions – because so many do not. And so many who would read articles like yours would not bother to search any harder for the truth.

          I don’t have any family in Israel so I am not ridden with guilt. I just see right and wrong. I would argue that Israel is much more tolerant than we would be be in the same circumstances.

          Don’t be ashamed of your people, be proud of them.

        • ahad_ha_amoratsim

          Hugo, one town alone, Sderot, has taken more than 10,000 rockets from Gaza. A generation of children there has never known life where they can be more than 15 seconds from a bomb shelter. Think of what that means. No playing out doors, certainly no swimming — not even being able to undress for bed or relieve oneself without mortal danger. Iron dome is no help because Sderot – which is within the Green Line — is so close to Gaza. And no matter what anyone tells you, people have been killed or maimed by those ‘crude rockets.’ Like any other state, Israel has a moral duty to protect its citizens from armed attack.

          Suppose someone surrounded himself with his children, then he and his brothers and cousins knelt down behind them, and started shooting at your wife and children. Suppose escape were impossible, and there was no one else to help you. Perhaps people are even cheering the shooters on. Would you shoot back, if you had the means and the ability, and try to kill the people who are shooting at your children? Would you have more compassion on his family than on your own? Would you have more compassion on his children than he does? Or would you do the natural thing, put your children’s lives first, do your best to end the threat to them while trying not to hurt his children, praying you don’t hurt them, and cursing him and his brothers and cousins for putting you in this predicament?

    • Augustus

      Israel could easily have carpet bombed Gaza from the air, not just now, but many times over, as quite a few generals and commanders in the West, I suspect, would have advocated. But it doesn’t, it prides itself on the morality of its forces which take every precaution to prevent the death of civilians, even going so far as to warn them to evacuate areas they are about to target and aborting airstrikes when civilians are spotted in those areas. In past years condemnation of Israel for ‘disproportionate’ use of force only served to reinvigorate Hamas, and left alone to decide what to do with multi-millions of euros and dollars to play with it decided, with Iranian backing, to rebuild its arsenal and infrastructure in order to resume again its sordid rocket attacks on Israel. What Israel needs to do now is to go literally door to door in Gaza, and to snuff out terrorists and stamp out tunnels and arms caches once and for all.

  • rsilverm

    To all the anti-Israel posters here:

    You are the reason we have Israel. So Jews can protect themselves from people like you. This is why Israel must be a Jewish state with secure borders all the way out to the river.

    Thank you all for demonstrating the necessity of Israel’s continued existence.

    • alexa44

      Indeed we must thanks all anti Israel protesters in Europe mainly France. YOu are the reason jews are coming to Israel. We thank you for making the number of Jews grow up in israel., Please continue with your good work we need more people.

      • TNT

        When I looked at the pictures (of the protesters), however, it was the usual crowd of loony beards and women gliding around in hijabs and niqabs like Daleks. Very few people give a damn about Muslims anywhere on this planet any longer, as they have grotesquely overplayed their hand.

    • Ingenious Cognomen

      The river Nile?

  • chrismoyler

    Brilliant in its simplicity. A spot on observation of what is happening to the Western world today. In short, Israel is being replanted into the land where she was born, and because she is back in her own land, she is coming to life as never before.

    Meanwhile, we in the West are choosing to renounce our Christian roots. Actually they are in truth Judaeo-Christian roots, since Christianity has no existence apart from the place and people of its birth. Our determination reject our truest roots is causing untold damage to us. Therefore this article is absolutely correct; it is we who are moving away.

    The only way back is to return to those deep roots which served us so well for so long. If we continue on our arrogant path of independence from our Creator, then he is quite right to abandon us to our fate, since we have stated emphatically that his rulership and care of us is no longer required or desired. C.

  • ybrandstetter

    Thank you mr Murray. The West is an offshoot of the Bible. And the Bible begins “at first, God created heaven and earth, and the earth was chaos and disorder, darkness over chasm, and the spirit of the lord was hovering over the water. And the Lord said ‘let there be light’, and there was light”. That is not Jewish. Its universal. There is a God, there is good and evil, there is purpose, there is light and darkness. Israel is now the light, the West which repudiates its own universal truth is in twilight, and darkness is trying its best to invade from all directions. I gather the forces of darkness have tried to shut you up. Keep up the good work.

    • Pat Conway

      The Bible is a work of fiction.

      • ahad_ha_amoratsim

        You may think so. But clearly your hysterical accusations about Israel and the IDF are. And not even interesting fiction.

      • TNT

        So? The Arabs don’t need to be anywhere near Israel, and the Quran is a work of bad fiction.

        • Pat Conway

          Primitive man created god through fear and ignorance.

    • TNT

      Jerusalem is mentioned 600 times in the Old Testament. Not once in the Quran. It is outrageous that Muslims should make any retrospective claim on that area. They should have been moved on into neighbouring Islamic hell-holes a very long time ago.

      • Damaris Tighe

        Islam abounds in retrospective claims. Like Abraham & the prophets were ‘really’ muslims. Islam is supposed to be the ‘original’ religion & conversion is called ‘reversion’. It’s a totalitarian ideology that tries to incorporate lands, beliefs & peoples that were originally outside it.

        • TNT

          Conversion to Islam isn’t reversion. It’s regression.

          And it’s about as much an Abrahamic religion as Scientology, but way more dangerous. The perfidious prophet co-opted two existing faiths in order to give his ongoing land-grab project some kind of legitimacy through divine sanction. The first thing that Muslims do whenever they get access to symbolic Christian or Jewish sites is vandalise or destroy them.

          As I am sure you will agree, Arabs don’t need to be in and around Israel at all. It’s time for Gaza to be absorbed fully into Israel. The UN can pay Egypt to take the ‘Palestinians’ in – God knows the rest of the world has taken in enough Muslims.

  • Babs

    Thank you Douglas. As ever the voice of reason and intelligence. Shame that so many who reply are not. They let themselves and this site down

  • gelert

    Once it was fear of Arab oil being cut off. Now it is the fear of the militant Muslims that have been allowed into western Europe.

  • dgb

    Any chance it is because of things like killing 4 seven to twelve year old human beings playing on a beach. Looks like that famous picture of a Palestinian boy in the bullseye of IDF snipper is just a norm. Remember the score now, 4 -174. Can anybody insert the correct comparison symbol between 4 and 174?

    • noix

      Strange that the focus is on 174 in Gaza rather than on 200,000 in Syria. Is that because it is coreligionists doing the slaughter?

      • ahad_ha_amoratsim

        No, if it were Christians, communists, Hindus, Buddhists or anyone but Jews defending themselves, no one would care either.

    • mnemos

      You protect what you value. Israel protects its people, Hamas protects its rockets. That is the current norm.

      • dgb

        Score up date: 4-264

        • mnemos

          Score update: 29-580.
          Israel still values life 20x more than Hamas.

  • robert Davis

    For some DECADENT reasons the West is trying the so called appeasement method but it is doing in such WRONG way that appeasement is bringing more war than a steadfast Israellike method. Appeasement is in a phase of “humanitarism” but the worse kind of it an AGGRESSIVE,BELLIQUOUS,DEMOGRAPHIC “humanitarism” which can only lead to ww since demography is what historically has always lead to wars: when mongols had a large demography,gehhis khan invaded the world,when france had the largest population in europe,Napoleon invaded the world,germany and its 100 million population lead to 3rd ww etc.Now arabs’ popuartion has grown in 1 century from 50 million to 300 m. and we are importing it in…europe! What are the chances to avoid a 3rd ww?

    • 2catsmeow

      Quite high. Keep surrendering.

  • Shorne

    Something which never seems to get mentioned is these passages from the Qur’an

    Sura 5:21] “O my people, enter the holy land that GOD has decreed for you, and do not rebel, lest you become losers.”
    Sura 7:137] “We let the oppressed people inherit the land, east and west, and we blessed it. The blessed commands of your Lord were thus fulfilled for the Children of Israel, to reward them for their steadfastness, and we annihilated the works of Pharaoh and his people and everything they harvested.”
    [Sura 7:144] He said, “O Moses, I have chosen you, out of all the people, with My messages and by speaking to you. Therefore, take what I have given you and be appreciative.”

    Seems to me that Islam’s holy book says that Israel belongs to the Jews…?

  • Catherine Waterman

    I’ve posted a belated comment on Hugo Rifkind’s article, but have decided it’s worth saying much the same here and bit more.

    Hugo was understandably taken aback by the Israeli politician’s shocking comments about the Ultra Orthodox Jews who refuse to join the military and fight for Israel. Sadly, it appears to be human nature to turn on those who live apart from the mainstream. It’s a deeply tribal reaction against perceived difference, heightened by primordial feelings concerning territory.

    The tragic human propensity to engage in warfare over territory can be witnessed on the micro level too. I’m thinking of the numerous disputes between neighbours – a fence erected just a few inches over the border of Mr and Mrs Jones’ garden is likely to result in a war of words and a solicitor’s letter. People (er, mostly blokes) will occasionally restort to fisty cuffs over something as trivial as a disputed parking space!

    Interestingly, we never hear about the Orthodox Jews and their protests against the bombing of Palestine. Such protests are normally ignored by the mainstream media. Carry out a brief Google search and you will find images of Orthodox Jews throughout the world taking part in peaceful protests, carrying anti-war placards against the bombing of Gaza.

    Orthodox Jews have no wish for a homeland procured and secured through bloodshed. They continue to await the coming of the Messiah who will lead the Jewish people to the Promised Land. Yes, they will have a long wait…

    • mightymark

      I think you are talking about the “two men and a dog” who make up the grouplet called Naturei Karta. The overwhelming majority of orthodox Jews support the State of Israel as do most progressive Jews. Your post is a fantasy of wishful thinking.

      • Catherine Waterman

        There’s no wishful thinking. Please read my other posts, I’m sympathetic to the cause of Israel too. I’m merely stepping back and looking at the human condition from many angles, including the viewpoint of Orthodox Jews who are mostly ignored. I’m trying to empaphise with different mindsets in order to make some kind of sense of how the human psyche works.

        I think religion, more especially fundamentalist religion, is deeply disturbing. Islam is especially worrying. Why? Because no other religion in 2014 is spawning suicide bombers. As long as religion is kept separate from politics, we are unlikely to be physicaly harmed by it. Whether or not religion harms the mind in other ways, well that’s another interesting debate!

        Whilst on the subject, I will also put forward the idea that organised religion, including Orthodox Judaism with its strange rituals involving food (e.g. burying of plates in the earth if contaminated by the wrong food) and rocking motions during prayer (among many other ritual behaviours) would be regarded as symptoms of Obessive Compulsive Disorder if displayed in an individual outside the framework of a religion.

        Yes, I believe that rigid fundamentalist religion is a form of collective madness!

        • mightymark

          Your views on religion are irrelevant to your earlier point about “orthodox Jews “hav [ing] no wish for a homeland procured and secured through bloodshed”. Indeed if they are as you claim victims of “Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (or even autism)” why do take their views in the matter seriously at all, let alone endorse them?

          And it is an odd form of “sympathy” with Israel that falsely delegitimises it as being “procured and secured” [presumably solely] “through bloodshed”.

          • Catherine Waterman

            You have misunderstood my words entirely. I’m talking of toxic belief systems which condition CULTural beliefs. We’re all conditioned by our cultures and have little idea of how our collective behaviours and thoughts are viewed by others of a different view.

            Let me return to Hugo’s article in which he expresses shock about the hateful words against Orthodox Jews coming from an Israeli politician. Hugo was wondering why the politician expressed so much hatred. It’s probably because Ultra Orthodox Jews are pacifists. Pacifists are often hated even more than the enemy who actually maims. The fate of Gandhi comes to mind here.

            I’d also like to add that the only politician I’ve ever really admired was Nelson Mandela. Formerly a terrorist, but someone who came to realise that peaceful resolution is the superior way. I may be wrong, but I don’t think he was religious either.

            I recognise that it would take a miracle for Hamas to suddenly realise that peace is superior to war – especially as they won’t be satisfied until they’ve wiped Israel from the map.

            • mightymark

              Yet you appear to endorse the “pacifism” you tribute to the “orthodox Jews”. First I’ve heard of it, but taking your bait here, does this “pacifism” arise because or in spite of their religious “toxic” “collective fantasy”?

              • Catherine Waterman

                I endorse pacifism if at all possible, but I do believe in self-defence. As said, the Orthodox Jews are waiting for the Messiah to lead them to the Promised Land, thus their particular pacifism is born of their religion. As also said, they will be waiting forever, alas. If Hamas were to take over Israel, no doubt they would murder the poor blighters, as the death of all Jews is part of the Hamas Charter.

                • ahad_ha_amoratsim

                  As Orwell observed, objectively the pacifists aid the Fascists.

                • Catherine Waterman

                  Quite – and this would certainly be the case if the Orthodox Jews were to face the likes of Hamas. My original post which mentioned Orthodox Jews (in response to Hugo’s article) was misconstrued. Whilst I do respect an individual’s right to be a conscientious objector if they so choose, I certainly don’t abide by any religious doctrine as I’m a humanist. Without doubt, if every nation on earth took the pacifist stance, we’d be a bunch of happy humans. Alas, humanity as a whole is yet to reach such a state of enlightenment.

                  Suffice to say, to force the Ultra Orthodox Jews into National Service (which some in Israel are advocating) is not the right approach in my opinion as it’s inhumane.

                  I will also point out that pacifism is not the easy route, as some would also have us believe. Pacifists are usually despised by those who regard them as ‘cowards’ or ‘traitors’. It brings out the killer instinct in some – considering the fate of Gandhi and the way all pacifists were despised during the two World Wars.

                  I do draw line on religious freedom when it comes to Islamism – the merging of religion, politics and Sharia law. This is dictatorial brutality and something we must never allow to become the dominant force in the world.

        • Damaris Tighe

          Orthodox judaism is indeed weird, but at least they keep themselves to themselves.

      • ahad_ha_amoratsim

        My son learns in Jerusalem and tells me it’s not even most of the Naturei Karta, just a small but loud offshoot of them. In other words, a tiny minority of a tiny minority.

        • mightymark

          Thanks Ahad. Useful to know, and I hope your son is safe and well.

        • Damaris Tighe

          Hope your son stays safe ahad.

          • ahad_ha_amoratsim

            Amen. Thank you, Damaris.

  • Hegelguy

    The real trouble with Israel is that it is not IN the West. Had it been a lot of us would have had no problem supporting it strongly. Everyone knows the history of unprecedented persecution suffered by the Jews at Christian hands in Europe and would want to make amends for that. A Jewish state established on German or Austrian territory at the end of World War Two would have made all the sense in the world.

    But this did not happen. Instead the Jewish state was established in an Arab majority land called Palestine, far away from the West and in the Middle East. That makes no sense and is obviously extremely unjust to the Arabs.

    This is the fundamental reason that many of us cannot support Israel.

    • Augustus

      “…the Jewish state was established in an Arab majority land called Palestine.”

      Jews had been in the region for millennia (the word Palestine or Filastin does not appear in the Koran. The term peleshet appears in the Jewish Tanakh no fewer than 250 times). The Ottomans didn’t use the term for the region, but after WW1 the British began applying the term to the area, but it also included present-day Jordan. And did you know that modern Jewish immigration into the region started already in the 1880s. And at that time fewer than 250,000 Arabs lived there, and even the majority of those had arrived in the previous few decades. So you’re giving a totally false (and probably brainwashed) impression of what actually happened.

      • Hegelguy

        If this is the best you can do, it is pitiful.

        A Jewish state established on German or Austrian territory at the end of World War Two would have made all the sense in the world.

        But this did not happen. Instead the Jewish state was established in an Arab majority land called Palestine, far away from the West and in the Middle East. That makes no sense and is obviously extremely unjust to the Arabs.

        This is the fundamental reason that many of us cannot support Israel.

        • Augustus

          No, your historical revisionism is what’s pitiful. German or Austrian territory indeed, in 1948! You’re completely nuts!

        • ahad_ha_amoratsim

          Great idea. Just look at the warm welcome the handful of Jewish death camp survivors got from their Polish and Lithuanian neighbors after the war. I think the technical term is ‘pogrom’ or ‘massacre.’ That’s one reason that of the few survivors, most of those who could not get into the US opted to go to the future Israel, even though they had to sneak past the British to do it.

  • Hegelguy

    test

  • AndrewMelville

    I think it was when the Jewish terrorists bombed the King David Hotel and hanged two British sergeants. It was then that I realized that these were disgusting people who would stop at nothing to achieve what they wanted. The Arabs have proven just as bad. Frankly I think the two deserve each other. We on the other hand have nothing in common with either of them, and quite honestly little interest in what two sets of beasts do to each other. I just don’t care to hear about it – the sanctimonious self justification gars me boke.

    • Chris Morriss

      Thanks Andrew for the voice of common sense here. I cannot understand why most western governments can’t see that that in culture and attitude to the rest of the world, there’s little to distinguish between the Israelis and their neighbours, apart from the fact that Judaism has had longer to perfect its mendacity.

      • Jacky Treehorn

        ”there’s little to distinguish betwen Israelis and their neighbours”
        Are you kidding? Decapitating,stoning,throwing gays from buildings, throwing political opponents from buildings suicide bombers, child suicide bombers, torture, extortion, kidnapping, indiscrimiate rocket attacks and the charming way woman are treated by the arabs and you think they are the same?
        And of course if you had to choose between living in Israel or any of it’s surrounding arab neighbours you would pick the latter..

      • Jacky Treehorn

        ”there’s little to distinguish betwen Israelis and their neighbours”
        Are you kidding? Decapitating,stoning,throwing gays from buildings, throwing political opponents from buildings suicide bombers, child suicide bombers, torture, extortion, kidnapping, indiscrimiate rocket attacks and the charming way woman are treated by the arabs and you think they are the same?
        And of course if you had to choose between living in Israel or any of it’s surrounding arab neighbours you would pick the latter..

        • Damaris Tighe

          Many Arabs do so choose. Gay Palestinians flee to Israel, & when it was suggested that some Israeli Arab towns be incorporated in Palestine in a land swap, they were up in arms against the idea.

        • ahad_ha_amoratsim

          Now, now, don’t be fooled by our Jewish mendacity that Chris says we have been perfecting for millennia.

        • ahad_ha_amoratsim

          Yeah, but let’s not go to extremes. It’s not like Jews have the right to live, or anything, and certainly not where people don’t want them.

      • ahad_ha_amoratsim

        Glad to know that it’s all about Israel for you and has nothing to do with Jews.
        Give a Jew-hater a keyboard and he will out himself.

  • StephanieJCW

    “In his heartfelt and admirably frank piece Rifkind says of Israel: ‘I like it far more than Syria, China, Zimbabwe and plenty of other countries, but less than I do north London.’”

    Ditto. It’s not even a remarkable statement. I am British, I am not Israeli. Israel to me is just another foreign country. That’s not meant in a bad way, I just don’t see why I should hold a special affinity towards it.

    Would like to go on holiday one day though

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