Wednesday, January 07, 2009


Having read thousands of words on the subject, I find I have nothing intelligible or helpful to say about Gaza. But I do remember sitting in a history class in school in 1967. Before the teacher came in, one enthusiastically belligerent boy had drawn a map of the Israeli advance across the Sinai in the Six Day War. We cheered. We felt that these were our guys. That would be unthinkable now that Israel, a country I love, has allowed herself to be seen as the world's bully.


  1. Read Avi Schlaim in the Guardian. I have often been to Israel and the West Bank and while I would not go as far as to say I 'love' the place - the region and all its peoples are compelling.

    I am dismayed by what has been happening since that disgusting Wall was constructed. The Gaza onslaught is, fundamentally, more of the same. Long live 'Peace Now'...

  2. Are you sure? that sounds like a discarded scene from Alan Bennett to me. all we got was bell ends and bazoomies.
    I don't know, England is a country, Israel is a state, no?

  3. I'm not sure there is anything to say, except that everyone is obviously wrong. This doesn't help much, admittedly.

    And of course that Annie Lennox should stick to singing.

  4. Fear ye not you good Gaza strippers, Tone is on the job. And there's more, Carla,s weekend shag is in on the act plus some Swedish bloke, he just merged into the wallpaper.
    Your problem seems to be that you're caught between your own mob who are happy to use the dead bodies of your children as props in an obscene propaganda excise gnawed over by the worlds media and the thick Israelis, the sledgehammer for your nine years old walnuts.
    Unfortunately you have no oil, gas or diamonds to offer the outside world so as far as the movers and shakers are concerned, well, they just wish you would go away.

  5. Same here. Colonel Hulton, late of the North West Frontier, suspended the French lesson in favour of an exposition of the fighting, complete with a map showing the knock-out strike against the Egyptian air force. I've only been to Israel once. It seemed a tense and unhappy place, no more so than at the Horns of Hittin. By golly some dreams ended there.

  6. Many commentators seem to treat Hamas as a single entity. However, there have long been tensions between its external political leadership (in Damascus)and the hardliners who seized control of the organisation in Gaza (a schism facilitated by Israeli policy of isolating the Strip). The Gaza hardmen resent the external leadership's cozy circumstances- rather in the way Belfast Shinners got fed up seeing an Armani clad Adams at Washington parties. The IDF will presumably be hoping that it has so 'degraded' the Gaza militants that the external leadership will resume a greater degree of control. This seems to be Obama's calculation too, if rumours reported in the Guardian that he is to allow Richard Haas (famed for being tough on Sinn Fein/IRA) to have clandestine talks via the CIA or European or Egyptian spooks with Hamas. The external Hamas leadership seems to want a 15,25 or 50 year "truce"- switching tactics to building up its overall infrastructure, in line with the policy long pursued by its parent organisation in Egypt, the Muslim Brotherhood who also play a very long game with Mubarak. Meanwhile, divisions between Hamas and Fatah (who are jostling for position in the next Palestinian elections) will make it impossible for anyone to implement a two-state solution- highly improbable anyway if you've studied the huge cost (to the US taxpayer) of removing a mere 8,000 settlers from Gaza after 2005, rather than the couple of hundred thousand now ensconced on the West Bank. Hezbollah, by the way, won't make any moves, since Iran is keeping them up its sleeve lest Israel decides to attack its nuclear facilities. Of course there are plenty of Sunni terrorist groups operating in southern Lebanon under Hizbollah's umbrella. So there's a lot more going on beyond the simple tales being spun by Jeremy Al Bowen and all the other hysterical British journalists.

  7. Bryan,
    Israel are still the good guys. Hamas are barbarians and need to be treated as such. If that means the poor sods in Gaza get in the way then that's a shame but... Well they did elect the murderous theocratic lunatics.

    I was at the pro-Israel rally today in Manchester. The contrast between the good-humoured and dignified pro-Israel rally and the rabid ranting of the usual suspects in the counter-demo was palpable. You know: the Socialist Worker scum, blokes with beards you could lose a stoat in and self-hating Jews. There was even a banner for "Whalley Range Peace Campaigners" (!)

    look at it another way. Kids in Southern Israel under 8 have never known anything but the 15sec warning and "duck and cover". You can't negotiate with the likes of Hamas so what do you do.

    Frankly I don't do the equivalence with the hideously squalid conditions for kids in Gaza because that hell-hole (like Whalley Range) is basically a shitteration of their own making.