Alan Johnston freed…

Good news. At 2am this morning the BBC reporter Alan Johnston was released after 114 days in captivity. The BBC collected over 200,000 signatures of support in its campaign to have him freed. Interview here. We will now, thankfully, take down our button to the signature. Though it is as well to remember that there are many places in the world where even basic press freedoms cannot to be taken for granted.

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  • parcifal

    Hallelujah

  • Sam Flanagan

    The real news is what deals have been done in the background to bring about this BBC propagandists release?
    No doubt there are BBC and governemnt officials whose “stomachs turned” at what they had to do to bring about this situation. They should ask Willie McCrae what medicine he recommends for stomach ache.

  • On The Turn

    I would have thought the real news here, Sam, is that a man has been released from illegal captivity and mental torture to be reunited with his family.

  • I Wonder

    The REAL NEWS for any human being with a shred of empathy with their fellow beings is that an innocent man, doing his job and bringing us the news from an extremely dangerous place, has been freed and can rejoin his family and loved ones.

    Welcome back Alan!

  • parcifal

    sam,
    your argumuement turns goodness on its head, sweetness to you and Wee Willie tastes bitter.

    Peace in norn iron is still a bitter pill, for war and bitterness tastes sweet for the damned.

  • arnold

    It was the international pressure forced Abbas to show he could control Hamas/Army of Islam, that won Alan’s release…, that and an army of gunmen ready to kill everyone in a mile of the building where he was being held!

  • Ziznivy

    Hopefully he will have learned his lesson.

  • Belfast Gonzo

    I doubt if there was a deal. Securing the release allows Hamas to say: “We have control of security” to the outside world.

  • Harry Flashman

    I noticed in his first interview he was wearing a little Palestinian flag lapel pin, now I grant you he was still in Gaza and under Hamas “protection” but am I right in saying that in a later interview inside Israel he was still wearing the pin?

    Given that his friends and family had spent the past 114 days telling his kidnappers what a good friend of the Palestinians and how sympathetic he was towrds them (understandably given the circumstances) I think Alan Johnston will be joining the long list of BBC journalists whose journalistic integrity on the Israel/Palestine situation will be regarded as questionable.

    Having said that on a humanitarian level I am happy he has been released, I wish the same sympathy was shown towards other hostages held by jihadis in the Middle East who are not sympathetic BBC reporters.

  • huge airy

    there are also journalists being held illegally in guantanamo bay. I hope they get released too.

  • David

    Excellent news. He is a real journalist with courage and integrity.
    To those who are obviously spinning the Israeli line (and have never been to Gaza), you know nothing. Gaza is an open air prison where the Israeli military still control the entry and exit points and the sea and air ways. It is an international disgrace that our governments contrive in concealing this truth. The Palestinians who live there are truly wonderful…..their spirit is an example to all people who endure racism/sectarianism and oppression. Someday they will be free.

  • boshank

    David, are you serious? i mean that’s really what you think?

  • boshank

    David,

    “Gaza is an open air prison where the Israeli military still control the entry and exit points and the sea and air ways. It is an international disgrace that our governments contrive in concealing this truth. The Palestinians who live there are truly wonderful…..their spirit is an example to all people who endure racism/sectarianism and oppression. Someday they will be free.”

    Yes the entry and exit points are controlled for a reason. Do you want me to spell that reason out? rocket attacks, attempts at suicide bombings and other terrorist activities against Israel!

    the sectarianism and oppression, the open air prison of which you speak: fatah, hamas, ragtag islamofascist groups controlling areas and preventing development, and all sworn (with fatah being a common sense exception) to prevent negotiations for a two-state settlement. Meanwhile david as someone who obviously ‘knows’ gaza so well, here’s what went through the various entry and exit points recently:

    Summary: June 15-30

    Food, fuel and other supplies are transported from Israel to the Gaza Strip through the various border crossings on a daily basis, and Palestinians in need of medical treatment are escorted by the Israeli army to Israeli hospitals. All humanitarian aid in the Gaza Strip is carried out in coordination with the Gaza District Coordination and Liaison Office.

    The status of the various Gaza Strip crossings:

    The Kerem Shalom crossing has been the main transfer point for goods destined for the Gaza Strip since 15 June 2007. On 25-26 June, the crossing was closed due to rocket attacks from Gaza.

    The Erez crossing is an international crossing open only for the passage of foreign and Palestinian employees of international organizations, diplomats, foreign journalists, Palestinians with dual citizenship, and urgent humanitarian cases. Approximately 350 foreign nationals and several hundred Palestinian refugees left the Gaza Strip; Red Cross doctors and medical equipment entered.

    The Sufa crossing is a back-up for Kerem Shalom crossing, in the event of rocket attacks. Supplies, food and Red Cross medical equipment, as well as truckloads of food donated by Jordan passed through.

    The Nahal Oz crossing, used for the transfer of fuels, has been open since June 15 for the passage of fuel and cooking gas into the Gaza Strip, enabling the continued operation of the Strip’s power plant.

    The Rafah crossing (to Egypt): Closed.

    continues…

  • boshank

    continues from previous post…

    Following is a summary of the humanitarian aid transferred from Israel to Gaza since June 15:

    Between 19-30 June, the following goods passed through the Kerem Shalom crossing:

    Flour & wheat – 18 truckloads
    Basic commodities – 51 truckloads
    Meat – 4 truckloads
    Milk – 30 truckloads
    Animal feed – 6 truckloads
    Medicines & medical equipment – 6 truckloads
    Fruit – 13 truckloads
    Other goods – 5 truckloads

    Between 24-30 June, the following goods passed through the Sufa crossing:

    Flour and wheat – 36 truckloads
    Rice – 5 truckloads
    Cooking oil – 18 truckloads
    Beans, etc. – 5 truckloads
    Animal feed – 233 truckloads
    Milk – 15 truckloads
    Sugar, salt – 42 truckloads
    Medicines & medical equipment – 7 truckloads
    Fruit – 15 truckloads
    Other goods – 15 truckloads

    Since 15 June, the following amounts of fuel have passed through Nahal Oz to Gaza:

    Gas – 2,100 tons (84 tankers)
    Petrol, private use – 735,000 liters (17 tankers)
    Diesel, private use – 4,937,000 liters (107 tankers)
    Diesel, power plant – 4,800,000 liters (120 tankers)

    Daily reports of humanitarian aid to Gaza
    (Communicated by the IDF Spokesman)

    Despite the volatile security situation in the Gaza Strip and in spite of the constant threat of attacks on the crossings, the IDF is making special efforts to provide a response to humanitarian needs in the Gaza Strip.

    On June 19:

    * 22 containers carrying 200 tons of basic food products and 30 tons of medical supplies were transferred through the Kerem Shalom crossing into the Gaza Strip, in cooperation with the United Nations World Food Program and the International Red Cross.
    * Five Palestinians seriously injured in the course of infighting in the Gaza Strip in recent days were evacuated through the Erez crossing for medical treatment in Israel, in cooperation with the Red Crescent.

    The IDF will continue to assist the Palestinian population in the Gaza Strip to the best of its ability, while taking into consideration the security constraints.

    On June 20:

    Throughout the day the following humanitarian aid was transferred from Israel into Gaza with the coordination of the Gaza District Coordination and Liaison Office:

    * Trucks transferring food via the Kerem Shalom crossing: 200 tons of flour, 40 tons of meat, 90,000 liters of milk and 25,000 liters of cooking oil.
    * Medical supplies as well as 98,000 vaccines against chicken pox, tuberculosis, tetanus and rubella were passed via Erez Crossing.
    * 420,000 liters of diesel, 45,000 liters of gasoline, 43,000 liters of oil and 325 liters of cooking gas were transferred via the Nahal Oz fuel terminal.
    * Nine injured and chronically ill Palestinians were taken by the IDF to Israeli hospitals for medical treatment, including a 17-year-old teenager suffering from leukemia.
    * Over 150 foreign citizens staying in Gaza were assisted to cross into Israel.

    The DCL has also been handing out food and water throughout the day to the Palestinians staying at the crossing.

    continues

  • boshank

    continues from previous post…

    June 21:

    * Over 400 tons of food products were transferred via the Kerem Shalom crossing: 130 tons flour, 49 tons rice, 49 tons sugar, 5 tons tea, 8 tons milk powder, 33 tons crushed lentils, 19.7 tons lentils, 30 tons margarine, 18.5 tons barley, 34 tons macaroni, 20 tons beans, 15 tons humus and 2 tons soup.
    * 7 tons of disinfectants were also transferred through the crossing.
    * 160,000 liters of diesel fuel, 40,000 liters of gasoline and 40 tons of gas were transferred via the Nahal Oz fuel terminal.
    * Eight injured Palestinians were transferred from Gaza hospitals to Israeli hospitals for medical treatment.
    * Overnight, Palestinians at the Erez crossing interested in crossing over to Egypt were assisted to do so.
    * Approximately 100 Palestinians with dual citizenship crossed into Israel through the Erez crossing.
    * Two Red Cross surgeons passed into the Gaza Strip through Erez in order to assist hospitals in the region.

    June 22:

    * Basic products and medical supplies were transferred via the Kerem Shalom crossing: 75,000 liters of milk, 120 tons of animal feed and medical supplies for dialysis.
    * Five injured Palestinians were taken by the IDF to Israeli hospitals for medical treatment.

    June 24:

    * 20 trucks containing food products including sugar, cooking oil, eggs and milk products and a truck containing medicine, through the Kerem Shalom crossing.
    * 537 tons of animal feed and 581 tons of straw, through the Sufa crossing.

    Earlier today a meeting was held between Col. Nir Press, Head of the Gaza District Coordination and Liaison Office and Mr. John Ging, Head of UNRWA in the Gaza Strip, concerning the means for assisting in the transfer of humanitarian aid provided by the organization, including basic food products, into the Gaza Strip.

    June 26:

    Through the Sufa crossing:

    * 146,000 liters of milk
    * 733 tons of animal feed
    * 150 tons of flour (additional 292 tons were donated by international organizations)
    * 473 tons of sugar
    * Three trucks carrying seedlings
    * A truck carrying fertilized eggs

    A truckload of medical supplies, a truckload of food packages and a truckload of domestic equipment were also donated by international organizations.

    June 27:

    Through the Sufa crossing:

    * 581 tons of animal feed
    * 319 tons of straw
    * 327 tons of sugar
    * 164 tons of flour
    * 5 tons of semolina
    * 143,000 liters of oil
    * 134 tons of rice
    * 27 tons of seedlings
    * 32 tons of salt
    * 30 tons of baby formula
    * 24,000 liters of hypochlorite (a water purifier)

    In addition, 24 trucks with supplies were transferred through the Kerem Shalom crossing, 50,000 vaccinations were transferred through the Erez crossing, and 22 Palestinians were taken for medical treatment in Israeli hospitals.

    June 28:

    Throughout the day the following supplies were transferred from Israel into Gaza through the Sufa and Kerem Shalom crossings, with the coordination of the Gaza District Coordination and Liaison Office:

    * 569 tons of animal feed
    * 269 tons and additional 7 truckloads of flour
    * 222 tons of straw
    * 187 tons of sugar
    * 143 tons of bananas and additional 9 truckloads of fruits
    * 98 tons of salt
    * 78 tons of cooking oil
    * 28 tons of humus
    * 12 tons of milk powder and additional 300,000 liters of milk
    * 300,000 kg of seedlings

    In addition, 480 tons of wheat seeds were transferred through a conveyor belt near the Karni crossing.

    June 30:

    Throughout the day the following supplies were transferred from Israel into Gaza through the Sufa, Kerem Shalom and Erez Crossings, with the coordination of the Gaza District Coordination and Liaison Office:

    * 676 tons of sugar
    * 637 tons of straw
    * 375 tons of animal feed
    * 191 tons of fruits
    * 159 tons of salt
    * 116,000 liters of cooking oil
    * 79 tons of bananas
    * 71,000 liters of milk
    * 36 tons of rice
    * 36 tons of tea
    * 33 tons of meat
    * 21,000 liters of hypochlorite (a water purifier)
    * 20 tons of coffee
    * 20 tons of cocoa
    * 14 tons of milk powder
    * 5 tons of medical equipment for babies and 10 tons of diapers
    * 4 tons of fertilized eggs
    * 5 kg of medical equipment and 8433 vaccines

    continues…

  • boshank

    last post continued…

    July 1:

    Throughout the day the following supplies were transferred from Israel into Gaza through the Sufa, Kerem Shalom and Erez Crossings, with the coordination of the Gaza District Coordination and Liaison Office:

    * 676 tons of sugar
    * 637 tons of straw
    * 375 tons of animal feed
    * 191 tons of fruits
    * 159 tons of salt
    * 116,000 liters of cooking oil
    * 79 tons of bananas
    * 71,000 liters of milk
    * 36 tons of rice
    * 36 tons of tea
    * 33 tons of meat
    * 21,000 liters of hypochlorite (a water purifier)
    * 20 tons of coffee
    * 20 tons of cocoa
    * 14 tons of milk powder
    * 5 tons of medical equipment for babies and 10 tons of diapers
    * 4 tons of fertilized eggs
    * 5kg of medical equipment and 8433 vaccines

    July 2:

    Throughout the day the following humanitarian aid was transferred from Israel into the Gaza Strip with the coordination of the Gaza District Coordination and Liaison Office:

    Sufa Crossing:

    A total of approximately 2,500 tons and 78,000 liters of the following products: 556 tons animal feed, 530 tons straw, 360 tons sugar, 264 tons flour (and an additional 47 tons of flour for merchants), 205 tons salt, 78,000 liters oil, 61 tons spices, 48 tons rice, 49 tons halva, 39 tons bananas, 54 tons jam, 23 tons carrots, 30 tons barley, 29 tons humus, 40 tons corn, 20 tons hypochlorite, 14 tons canned meat, 6.5 tons tea, 100 tons powdered milk (donated by UNRWA).

    Kerem Shalom crossing:

    Twenty trucks carrying summer fruits, milk products, baby diapers, meat, medical supplies, fertilized eggs and oil.

    July 3:

    Throughout the day the following humanitarian aid was transferred from Israel into the Gaza Strip with the coordination of the Gaza District Coordination and Liaison Office:

    Sufa Crossing:

    Approximately 2,400 tons of products: 423 tons of animal feed, 505 tons of straw, 321 tons of sugar, 354 tons of flour, 74 tons of salt, 28 tons of spices, 28 tons of pasta, 14 tons of canned food, 29 tons of tomato sauce, 26 tons of fine flour, 24 tons of tuna, 27 tons of peanuts, 14 tons of jam, 13 tons of cooking oil, 7 tons of hyssop, 22 tons of canned full, 7 tons of raspberry juice powder.

    Kerem Shalom crossing:

    Approximately 350 tons of products and 5 truckloads of equipment: 22 tons of medicine and powdered milk, 40 tons of frozen meat, 66 tons of dairy products, 59 tons of meat, 5 tons of fertilized eggs, 115 tons of fruit, 42 tons of bananas, 2 truckloads of disposable diapers and 3 truckloads of medicine and medical equipment.

    As you can see David, it’s not as straightforward as you would try and present it. As a liberal Jew and Israeli supporter you would, of course expect me to say this.

    Personally i find the situation in Gaza extremely depressing. The contrast with the West Bank will become more marked as time goes by. Hamas are oppressing their own people and keeping them back.

    shalom.

  • Gréagóir O’ Fránclin

    This is great news!

    Reminded me of Brian Keenan’s ordeal. Anyone read his book ‘An Evil Cradling’ based on his kidnapping. What a harrowing 4 and half year experience!

  • Ziznivy

    Yes. I’ve read his book and some of his subsequent efforts and from a purely literary point of view it’s a great pity he was ever released.

  • willis

    It is indeed great news. I hope his parents get a great reception at Amnesty International tonight.

  • joeCanuck

    It’s a joyful day.
    Fuck the begrudgers.

  • Mauds gone

    I am delighted that Alan was released safely and will now be reunited with his family. What an ordeal for the poor man to go through.

    However, maybe now we can turn out attention to some other people who have been wrongly kidnapped. Alan, a white British person was kidnapped and imprisoned without trial in the middle east. And correctly so, it was called a kidnapping. However, how many non-white and muslim men have been kidnapped and imprisoned without trial? This is called “the war on terror” in western media. Does nobobdy else see a correlation?

    However, not to miss the main point, it is great to see Alan’s liberty returned and I wish him all the best.

  • Mauds gone

    boshank

    What are you going on about? There would be no need for any food to be carried into the Gaza if the people there had been left alone in the first place. Catch on to yourself!!

  • Comrade Stalin

    Sam Flanagan :

    Imagine you have a son or daughter imprisoned. Are you saying quite seriously that you would not use whatever means available to secure their release ? Do you mean to say that you would allow them to die so to preserve your political principles ?

  • GavBelfast

    Good news, ironic in a way that the victory of Hamas in the power-struggle appears to have helped with his release, though I wouldn’t overdo the gratitude to them.

  • David

    To boshank.

    You make the list as if the Gazans should be grateful. The Israelis control the strip…..which is occupation. The Gazans could build a port or re-open the airport…but Israel sys no. The list is nonsense except to prove the level of control the occupiers has. Little wonder Gazans resist. Just think about ‘boshanks list’ and realise it only proves the brutality of the occupation. Schindlers list would not have existed if the Nazis had not had the power of life and death over their victims.

  • I Wonder

    David

    I agree, I was initially impressed by the scale and contents of the list (raspberry powder?) but then I thought *wait a minute* and stepped back from it.

    This is AID – graciously (and probably ungraciously) permitted to a people who would not need it had their land not been illegally occupied by a state which has killed five Palestinans for every casualty it suffers.

  • Nice to see Hamas’s little helper freed. I wonder will those who cheer Johnston release also now campaign for the release of IDF Cpl Gilah Shalit, or, as I suspect, is it one rule of Pro-Pali BBC reporters and another for the Jews? What do you think?

    And while I’m on the topic of this intrepid free-thinking journalist, any idea why he has nothing critical to say about the death cultists amongst whom he lived for 3 years?

    This is all one big Hamas contrived PR scam and whilst one is glad to see anyone released from Jihad peril, it is impossible to avoid concluding that Johnston is a useful fool.

  • David

    It is hard to understand the thinking behind Mr Vance’s comments. Fair enough to support Israels right to exist, but to talk of Gaza as if the Israelis are somehow in the right. They are occupying it, as they do the West Bank. There are also thousands of Palestinians held by Israel. Only once Israel sets permanent borders can we begin to have peace…..It is the only country in the UN which cannot define its own borders. Explain that.

  • David,

    I’m most interested in your assertion that Israel is occupying Gaza. Not sure if you are familiar with what heppened back in August 2005 but here’s a clue, Gaza is Judenrein, the way the Nazi’s in Hamas like it. Do a little research before commenting on these matters. Then again, I guess Hamas rely on the ignorance of their global support base.

  • I Wonder

    David Vance

    Is it possible for you, just once, to comment on an issue, any issue, without insulting the person who disagrees with you?

  • David

    If Israel had ended the occupation of Gaza it would have given up the air and sea lanes above and out from the territory. It has not. It continues to assert control over the strip. Imagine if Britain had maintained control over the air and sea lanes of the 26 counties when it withdrew. The Israelis withdrew the settlers they did not recognise renounce what it might say are its sovereign rights. Thus it continues to occupy. If this were not true the Gazans could open the port and airport but Israel will not let them and as a result all the traffic through checkpoints could end. Also on the southern end the Israelis maintain the Philidelphia Road which means they control a thin strip of land that seperates Gaza and Egypt. Where else would another country be permitted to do such a thing? Israel remains an occupier.
    I can understand the anger at the actions of Palestinians who lash out in this situation but please do not deny the facts.

  • David

    To insinuate that somehow this is an issue about Jews is anti-semitic. It creates a false situation whereby anyone who opposes occupation must be against Jews. This is wrong as some of the most courageous men and women alive are those Jewish Israelis who campaign against the occupation. This is not about religion it is about territory and occupation.
    As we oppose occupation we must also oppose anti-semitism from any quarter.

  • Jo,

    Is it possible for you to argue on the substance of an issue? Just for once? Ah well.

    David,

    I note not a word of criticism of the death cultists in Hamas and Fatah. Allahu akhar, eh?
    I fail to understand the joy of Pali fathers and mothers who relish their kids turning into homicide bombers, and I fail to understand why a reporter such as Mr Johnston has anything critical to say about a people “who love death like we love life”.

  • Ulster McNulty

    David Vance

    I fail to understand the joy of Pali fathers and mothers who relish their kids turning into homicide bombers, and I fail to understand why a reporter such as Mr Johnston has anything critical to say about a people “who love death like we love life”.

    Exactly – your failure to understand anything about the middle-east is practically a phenomonen in itself. Thats why your contributions sound so stupid.

  • McNulty,

    Are you a philosopher by chance? Just wondering….

  • interested

    Couple of questions for David Vance,

    Would you support any limits on Isreal’s territorial claims?

    Do you support the contination of the settlement program in the West Bank?

    Do you agree with the removal of palestinians from this territory?

    Do you accept any right of the palestinians to defend themselves whatsoever? If not is there a racial basis or do you feel that they have just been unfortanate victims of an unavoidable situation and should accept their fate and dissipate themselves across the world?

  • Harry Briscoe

    What about journalists beng whacked in the Philippines and other places and ne’er a word about it. When we allow Nigerian scammers and Filippino “nurses” immigrate, are we actually condoning the corruption of the countries of origin of these economic refugees? Would it not be more progressive to deport them all so that thier own countries might change? Or should we allow everyone in and send the Aoife to help pick up the Africans who try to make it to Europe but currently drown? Johnston was lucky as he had Hamas behind him and the scammers and “nurses” have their networks. But what about the truly deserving but unsung cases?

  • Liam

    That was great news to wake up to yesterday, the ordeal must have been awful for him and for his family and colleagues.

  • Interested,

    Thanks for the sensible questions. Here’s what I believe.

    1. No. Wanting to exist seems reasonable to me. When I look at a map of the Middle East, there seems to be a whole lotta land for the Palis. And a tiny dot for the Jews.
    2. Absolutely yes.
    3. It would be a good idea.
    4. I do not accept the “right” of Palestinian Jihadists to murder and maim. I do feel sorry for the Palestinians however in that the corrupt political leadership – from Arafat to Abbas – has done them a great disservice as a people. They have become a death cult and that is sad as I am sure they are not ALL Jew-haters. But then again, they DID all freely vote for Hamas and we all know (except David and McNulty in the previous posts)just how genocidal they are.

  • interested

    David Vance,

    1. The number of Palestianans who are refugees that would seem refute your first claim.

    2. You openly admit you support the Isreali seizures of territory, in breach of international law, do you support the expansion of any other country? Again I must ask if you base this view on a racial basis.

    3. You admit freely you support the ethnic cleaning of people you describe as ‘palis’ – I presume this to be a slur of some description.

    I can only understand your answer to qu. 4. as no.

    You therefore clearly differentiate between the entitlements of two peoples and have expressed the view that one people (and that is the term you have used), whom you chose to describe with a racist slur should be expected to give up their land, homes, country and property in order to facilitate the territorial expanison of another people whose claims are based not in international law but on the Old Testimate.

    As up to 20% of British mandate Palestine was christian, I cannot assume a religous movitation behind your thinking.

    Therefore, (perhaps in violation of the ‘ball not man rule – thats not up to me), I must put it too you that you have openly expressed racist views on this forum and clearly you do not believe in universal human equality.

  • Dev

    I must put it too you that you have openly expressed racist views on this forum and clearly you do not believe in universal human equality.

    Posted by interested on Jul 05, 2007 @ 05:19 PM

    Here, here. Also, seeing as the Palestinians are a semetic people, Mr Vance, you appear to be an anti-semite!

  • I wonder…

    For the life of me I have never been able to understand the support of certain fundamentalist Christians for the state of Israel, unless it come down to the crassest of self-comparisons between the Ulster Protestant and the Israeli Jew.

    Mind you, I don’t think the Israeli flags flying up the Shore Road are the result of any in-depth ideological consideration of the similarities.

    I think I read once that “Red Hand Commando” paedophile and killer John McKeague said “if we were the Israelis, we’d be in Dundalk by now.”

    Such admiration apparently continues to the present day – in those frustrated that a peaceful solution has been found to our conflict.

  • redhaze

    David Vance,

    “Nice to see Hamas’s little helper freed. I wonder will those who cheer Johnston release also now campaign for the release of IDF Cpl Gilah Shalit, or, as I suspect, is it one rule of Pro-Pali BBC reporters and another for the Jews? What do you think?”

    How about one rule for combatants (occupiers) and one rule for non-combatants (journalist)?

    Would that make slightly more sense for you?

  • redhaze

    Ulster McNulty,

    So true its unreal. Well said.

  • redhaze

    “I must put it too you that you have openly expressed racist views on this forum and clearly you do not believe in universal human equality.

    Posted by interested on Jul 05, 2007 @ 05:19 PM

    Here, here. Also, seeing as the Palestinians are a semetic people, Mr Vance, you appear to be an anti-semite!

    Posted by Dev on Jul 05, 2007 @ 05:54 PM”

    Well said folks, Vance has demonstrated that he is an absolute racist louse bag.

  • Interested,

    I will address your points which are at least worthy of some response unlike the puerile drivel that followed from the usual Slugger kiddies.

    First, in what way does opposing the Palestinian desire to wipe Israel off the map make me a racist, exactly? I am sure you will be familiar with the declared aims of Fatah and Hamas? It is quite logical to assume that anyone who supports their views – to drive the Jews into the sea – are racists of the worst form. I suggest you have a little read of the Hamas charter – Articles 7 and 13 are interesting, genocide incarnate.

    Second, perhaps you could tell me exactly who are these “Palestinians” of which you speak? I’m with the revered Arab leader Auni Abdul-Hadi who said back in 1938 “There is no such country as Palestine. Palestine is alien to us. Palestine is a term the Zionists invented” If you mean the 600,000 Arabs that fled to become refugee pawns after the war of Independence in 1948, say so. Since 800,000 JEWS were kicked out of Arab nations at that time, can you tell me if you assert a “right to return” for them also? If so, can we look forward to he UN and Amnesty perhaps taking Egypt, Libya, Syria, Lebanon, Yemen and Iraq to task. Time to get that Jewish land back, right?

    Leaving aside the support that Arafats mentor, the Grand Mufti offered Hitler (Bit like the IRA back in those times, eh?) we come to the essential fact that Israel is NOT in breach of what you call “International law”! Just asserting this does not make it true. Please share with binding UN motions support your point or withdraw it.

    Perhaps you might also ask yourself why Palestinian terror warlords – such as the monster that was Arafat – the man who delighted in the death of Jews – never even got a cross word from the mighty “International Community” as espoused by the ..ahem..blatantly anti-Semitic UN. (Think Mary Robinson, think South Africa 2001) Do you think that “International Law” might just have a teensy weensy bias at all? No?

    I freely support the right of the Jewish people to their land. One holocaust on, I’m kinda glad that there is a Jewish State, in which Arabs enjoy greater liberty than in any surrounding Arab tyranny.

    Now let me deal with your accusation against me personally. You suggest I am racist. Nonsense. I openly object to terrorism. The Palestinian Death Cultists excel at this – I assume this is what resonates with a section of Irish Republicanism. Denying them the right to drive the Jews off their land is not in any way an expression of racism, rather the reverse. I put it to you that since I note at no time do you refer to Israel’s right to exist, perhaps you may be one of the racist here – accetping one rule for psychotic self-exploding IDF kidnapping Palestinians death cultists – and another for those bad Jews.

    I appreciate that here on Slugger Israel does not get a lot of support. But as far as I can see, the homicide bombers only travel in one direction to target the innocents in their disco’s, their pizza parlours, their wedding receptions. Hamas and Fatah are repellent to any civilised person and their apparent popularity here speaks volumes about the moral mindset of some on Slugger.

    Which brings me nicely to my final point. BBC/Hamas spokesman Johnston has yet to condemn the terrorists amongst whom he lived. His silence on this is as damning as the infantile gibberish from the pro-Palestinian apologists here on Slugger. Israel has plenty of friends around the world, and retains the ability and (as soon as Olmert is dumped) the drive to stand up for itself.

  • Ulster McNulty

    Vance

    “First, in what way does opposing the Palestinian desire to wipe Israel off the map make me a racist, exactly?”

    I think interested accused you of being a racist because you consider it a “good idea” to remove people of a certain ethnic origin (“palis” as you call them) from the west bank. It is normal practise to regard something like that as racist.

    Take for example the BNP – they have advocated removing people of a certain ethnic origin (or pakis as they sometimes call them) from the UK – a course of action most people would consider racist.
    Or Hitler, he advocated removing the Jews entirely from the face of the earth – most people would regard that as racist.
    The slave trade – removing people from Africa to work as slaves – that’s racist.
    Removing Jews from Arab countries – that’s racist.
    Removing “chinks” from areas of north Belfast – that’s racist.
    Likewise yourself, removing “palis” from the west bank – that’s racist.

    Apart from failing to understand the middle east it also seems that you fail to understand anything – at all. Lucky for you then that you have slugger kiddies to keep you right.

  • McNulty,

    Interesting definition of racism. Given that the Arab Nations I quoted drove the Jews out, all 800,000 of them, can you please confirm to the Slugger kiddies that, in your view, these Arab nations are racist to the core? Do you support their right of return? Have you wondered why the UN does not condemn them?

    And when we’re talking about those dear sweet oppressed Palestinians, isn’t it also refreshing to recall that Fatah radio referred to the Jewish people as “sons of pigs and monkeys” Not a hint of racism there, eh?

    When the Death Cultists in Gaza abandon their barbarism, then maybe we can talk again. But as for giving them a State, I wouldn’t give them a whelk stall to run. That’s not racism, it’s how it is.

  • Harry Briscoe

    The Israelis are a nation of bums. After their most recent destruction of Lebanon, they put in an inflated damages bill. Just like World War Two that they are still getting damages from, even though they weren’t combatants. Poland got nothing even tnough it suffered most.
    So let’s not confuse Johnston’s case with that of those sectarian pariahs. No wonder Palestinaenas support Hamas. They stand up to the Israeli Nazis.

    Calling Vance a racist is sily Internet banter. His dumb views are just a reflection of the Yankified propaganda we are all subsumed with. All the candidates in the American Presidential election display similar fascist tendencies when talking on Israel’s like to kill at will.

  • Prince Eoghan

    Dead Palestinians, especially children are mocked in the most grotesque way over at a fascist web. Perhaps we should be thankful that these hateful xenophobes are leaving the Taigs alone now that they have turned their wrath on Islam. Perhaps I am being selfish in hoping that Mr Vance and his acolytes remain so interested for the sake of us all.

    They need someone to hate, frigged if I can understand why.

  • David

    I think Harry Briscoe has got it spot on with his media comment. The truth about the Palestinian/Israeli conflict is a rare commodity in the west. What is most disturbing is how people identify the Israelis with Ulster prods and Palestinians with Irish Catholics. It is frankly ridiculous. In a museum in Ramallah the Palestinians display their British passports and land deeds as they see these as legitimate. In the Zionist museum in West Jerusalem Britain is described in terms akin to Nazis.
    No conflict can be described as the same as another (the dynamics maybe). And Mr Vance I wonder how you felt about the pronouncements of Irish Americans during our troubles. Ignorant, uninformed, biased opinions uttered by those who had no knowledge or experience of the situation on the ground????

  • Interesting that someone refers to Israel as “a nation of bums” and no one takes offence on Slugger. Absolutely pathetic, at times this site is dhimmification incarnate. Babble away.

  • I Wonder

    It is notable that despite the accusations levelled at Sluggerites and Sluggerettes, that no opponent of Israel’s policy to the Palestinian people actually revels in the violence perpetrated by Hamas et al.

    The same cannot be said of the recently departed pro-Israel lobbyist who is on record as calling the Lebanese women and children fleeing last summer’s Israel attacks as “rats” and more recently revelled in the shooting of Mairead Corrigan by Israeli soldiers.

    This is not a case of man rather than ball – it is the refutation of the accusation, of the very idea that opposition to Israel is support for violence. It is a legitimate argument and a moral compunction to point out that the person levelling accusations of support for terror is in fact a supporter of inexcusable violence by the IDF – against women and children.

  • boshank

    excusable or inexcusable is all down to perception. I had a debate with an american recently who equated the might of Israel with that of Gazan’s as a giant bodybuilder against a two year old. Her point was that violence is unjustified when the odds are so stacked in one person’s favour.

    I retorted that ok but what if the two year old kept coming at you with a knife and was intent on killing you and could not be reasoned with? there was no response.

    To read david’s and i wonder’s posts you would think that butter wouldnt melt in hamas’s mouth and that Israel takes a gratuitous pleasure in controlling the area for the sheer unadulterated bloodlust of it. to both posters i offer this sermon that is more than likely fodder in mosques in the strip…http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WmnpMXOpaM4

    We will never agree on these pages about whether IDF action is justified, whether it is self defence to me or naked sectarian agression to others. But let;s at laest have a recognition that palestinian terrorism is as responsible for the situation that Gazan’s find themselves in as much as real or preceived Israeli agression.

  • Ulster McNulty

    boshank

    “I retorted that ok but what if the two year old kept coming at you with a knife and was intent on killing you and could not be reasoned with? there was no response.”

    Allow me to respond on the lady’s behalf – what if you couldn’t be reasoned with and kept going at the 2 year old with samurai sword.

    “But let;s at laest have a recognition that palestinian terrorism is as responsible for the situation that Gazan’s find themselves in as much as real or preceived Israeli agression.”

    Likewise, let’s also have a recognition that Israeli terrorism is as responsible for the situation that Gazan’s find themselves in as much as real or preceived Palestinian agression.”

  • Ulster McNulty

    In fact, would you not agree that real or preceived Israeli agression / terrorism is as much responsible for the situation that Gazan’s find themselves as real or preceived Palestinian agression / terrorism.

  • boshank

    Ulster McNulty, i would agree as i draw no distinction. Violence is violence and i believe that on occasion in oder to preserve your freedoms you have to defend them by any means necessary and with as much ferocity and venom as is directed against you.

    I am quite content for others to refer to Israel’s actions as terrorism. For unlike other countries, Israel fights terrorism by any means. This makes many in the west uncomfortable.

    ref your point on the samurai sword. again we may disagree but in my experience of Israel, IDF tactics and government policy, 9 out of 10 ‘attacks’ from Israel are in self defence. either after kaz rocket attacks, intelligence about known movements of palestinian arms and munitions etc.

    I would be more than happy to see fixed borders, a withdrawal from the heights, and gazan’s to come and go as they please. But until an acceptance is forthcoming on Israel’s right to exist, and the rockets attacks stop, suicide bombings stop and Hamas and others accept that we will not be wiped off the face of the earth then i’m afraid it will continue to be an eye for an eye, whether two years old with a knife or a giant bodybuilder with a samurai sword. Both cut, both kill.

  • boshank,

    Thank’s for your comments, very reasonable. It’s a bit that others are so blinded by their hatred of Israel that they cannot see the obvious logic outlined in your final paragraph. Well said.

  • I Wonder

    Interesting to see how posters can defend the killing of a 2 year old in “self defence.”

    Perhaps they should have had a role in defending the murderers of James Bolger…sure, the wee lad had it coming, didn’t he?

  • boshank

    well ‘i wonder’…it’s tempting to get angry and rise to your bait. Have you ever seen the devastation and carnage caused by a gazan suicide bomber on israeli women and children, or the 91 year old auschwitz survivor or the countless others blown up, maimed, or just plain murdered…please do not be so trite or blinkered. i may be in trouble here for ball and not the man but frankly what a juvenile and disgusting argument to bring the bolger case into this debate.

  • boshank

    but seeing as you have decided to decend to this level then if james had of had dynamite attched to him by his parents and toild to blow himself up in the packed shopping centre then yes ‘i wonder’ he would have had it coming…

  • Ulster McNulty

    Boshank

    “i would agree as i draw no distinction”

    Good.

    “But until an acceptance is forthcoming on Israel’s right to exist, and the rockets attacks stop, suicide bombings stop and Hamas and others accept that we will not be wiped off the face of the earth….”

    Equally, until there is a genuine recognition of Palestine’s right to exist, an end to stealing their land, demolishing their homes, firing missiles at them, shooting them, bombing them, and all indiscriminate attacks with any weapon, it’ll continue….

  • boshank

    Ulster McNulty,

    please define “genuine recognition” in your terms as i would argue you will not find many israeli’s who deny the right of existence of a palestinian state.

    As to your other points. I agree other than on land stealing.

  • I Wonder

    boshank

    Perhaps when you consider how many children have been killed by the IDF and how many have been killed in the terrible circumstances which you describe, you might re-consider who inflicts the greater evil on children.

    You also misrepresent my position by implying I in any way support the killings to which you refer. To represent my position of opposing Israeli violence as supportive of other forms of violence is simply unevidenced and displays the same quality of irrationality and juvenile argument of which you accuse me.

    Mind you, there is a similar set of attitudes here in NI to the killing of children. It was well evidenced some time ago – when a schoolgirl, among other kids, was killed by a plastic bullet. I think the parents, the rioters, the IRA and the hunger strikers were blamed. A certain group of people could never bring themselves to ascribe responsibility to the soldier or policeman who fired the fatal shot.

  • boshank,

    It is little wonder than some cannot get past their deep-seated hatred of Israel and acknowledge that Israel HAS a right to defend its citizens from the Shahids who come to slaughter them care of the genocidal Hamas and Fatah. Israel is far from perfect, which State is not, but last time I checked it did not target disco’s, pizza parlours, bus-stops, wedding receptions for a spot of homicide exploding.

  • Ulster McNulty

    Boshank

    “please define “genuine recognition” in your terms”

    Recognition in practise as well as in theory. It’s easy to say “we recognise them and their right to exist” but at the same time assume the the right to steal their land.

    “I agree other than on land stealing.”

    I don’t know what you mean. Are you saying the Israelis don’t steal Palestinian land? Or are you saying that it’s OK for Israelis to steal Palestinian land?

  • boshank

    Ulster mcnulty,

    I agree, the numbers are definitely skewed against Israel. It is difficult however when combattants use human shields or choose to launch their offensives in heavily populated areas. War is a messy business and participating in terrorism or ‘freedom fighting’ depending on your viewpoint carries with it certain penalties that do not apply in the normal ‘queensbury rules of warfare’.those who indulge in terrorism must be prepared to have the indiscriminate nature of their activities reaped upon them.

    Apologies i never sought to misrepresent your position but i think what we fundamentally have is a similar debate to that i had with the american woman.

    There is no fairness nor moral equivalence in any of this, i want peace and i want a two state solution, i am not prepared however to bend my knee or extend the hand of friendship to those who don’t want to talk, they just want me dead.

  • boshank

    steal their land? which land are you refering to? (specific areas please)

  • I Wonder

    “those who indulge in terrorism must be prepared to have the indiscriminate nature of their activities reaped upon them.”

    I agree.

    But indiscriminate violence by paramilitaries does not justify similar indiscriminate action by the state. There needs to be rule of law.

    “i want peace and i want a two state solution”

    I agree.

  • boshank

    i wonder

    “But indiscriminate violence by paramilitaries does not justify similar indiscriminate action by the state. There needs to be rule of law.”

    ah, this is where you and i part company. This to me is the fundamental weakness of the west’s appraoch to terrorism.

    Why is the same treatment dished out by paramilitaries not good enough for them?

  • Ulster McNulty

    Boshank

    “..steal their land? which land are you refering to? (specific areas please)”

    Hill top settlements on the west bank, clearing land surrounding military installations, the big security wall etc, etc. etc.

  • I Wonder

    Because we condemn them for what they dish out to us and we can’t condemn them for doing that if we do that ourselves.

    We need to be better than them.

    We are better than them. When some act, in our name, as they do, we are all diminished.

  • boshank

    I wonder

    I don’t condemn them, they condemn themselves. If these are the rules they have chosen then so be it, the state has a duty to protect its citizens. In Israels case the attitude is we play by the same rules as the enemy.

    I would argue (or perhaps i’m just a bigot) that the only way to fight terrorism is to use the fear the terrorists attempt to use and turn it on them.

  • boshank

    ulster mcnulty,

    the security wall is a blight and something that i would like to see torn down asap. But it protects Israeli lives and therefore until a proper peace is established it should reluctantly stay up.

    As for other territories, i think it was fundamental error for successive Israeli governments to settle these areas. A withdrawal to the original agreed borders is what i advocate.

  • I Wonder

    Boshank

    Then, if the state uses the same terror tactics as do the “terrorists” it is legitimate and logical to regard it as a “terror state.”

    Hence my position and that of many others. However, most of us do stop short of demanding that Israel ceases to exist.

    However, even that demand may change over time. You may recall a certain group of “terrorists” who, for many years, demanded that another state should cease to exist. They now help administer British law in that state – and in that state alone.

  • I Wonder

    “it was fundamental error for successive Israeli governments to settle these areas. A withdrawal to the original agreed borders is what i advocate.”

    Again, reasonable people can agree 🙂

    Bye all, I’m off to sail Carlingford, mists permitting! xxxx

  • boshank

    I wonder,

    this is your perogative. personally i view it not as a ‘terror state’ but as a state unafraid of terror or unafraid to use terror to defend itself. As i said earlier it’s all about perception. This is a weakness to many western liberal democracies who do not, nor will ever face the sustained anti-semitic, islamofascist barrage endured by Israel. I do accept that there will always be an element of cause and effect on both sides.

    perhaps i oversimplify things, but until the basic recognition that my state has a right exist is granted by gazan’s or other palestinians then i fear we are stuck in a perverse world of social darwinism.

    lol i must say your last comment made me laugh, but i can never see palestinians wanting a say in Israeli affairs or determining Israeli law? Why would they want to? Two states. Autonomy and perhaps eventual co-operation. That’s my solution.

  • David

    boshank….
    The settlers? What would you do with them?
    The borders? What are they? If you don’t define Israels borders then you also don’t define Palestines and is that not the point….You don’t support Israels right to exist because you won’t define it. Make no mistake the biggest threat to Israel is the refusal by those who supposedly support it to define the borders.
    I support Israels right to exist and by extension I support a Palestinian state. How???? I AM WILLING TO DEFINE THE BORDERS(1967). Real supporters tell you what you need to hear. Fair weather aquaintances tell you what you want to hear.

  • I wonder…

    “(Israel is)….unafraid to use terror to defend itself”

    Well, the difference between my seeing Israel as doing that – and that being wrong – and you declaring that and seeing it as being okay, is where, indeed, we part company. However, in moral terms it is irrational to condemn someone, anyone, for doing something which you freely admit to do yourself. I feel my position is more reasonable. I detest political violence. Full Stop.

    David (Not Vance)

    UN requires Israel to return to its pre-67 boundaries. That, in my view and in the view of most of the world, is reasnable. Sharon removed some of the settlers. More need to go as well. From what I have read of them, they are not exactly pacifists. Perhaps some supporters could move from Donaghcloney to settle over there? Preferably without any Internet connection. 🙂

  • Jo (Not I Wonder)

    The UN DOES nothing of the sort. Are you referring to UNSC resolution 242 or did you just make that up like so much of the rest of your thoughts? Please provide UN chapter and verse to back up your claim or withdraw it. Then again, perhaps you may wish to move to PALI-land to feel their pain?

  • I wonder…

    HI David

    Speaking as someone who cheered the IDF when they shot Mairead Corrigan (did you mention that when you last appeared on the BBC?) I think your view that Israel can do no wrong is open to criticism.

    But then again, as you (as an advocate of *free speech*) ban me from your site, I can only express my criticism here on Slugger or when I see you on your (hopefully decreasing) public appearances where you are presented as some sort of “expert”. 🙂

  • Sean Graham’s Bookies

    http://www.atangledweb.typepad.com/
    http://www.davidvanceministries.org/index.html
    http://www.davidvancenudes.com/

    Which of these narcissistic sites belongs to the apologist for IDF baby killers?

  • Cruimh

    “appeared on the BBC”

    Jealousy in action LOL

  • Jo,

    Hope you caught me on the BBC this morning!

    Second,I always cheer when terror-enablers get what they deserve. You mention Corrigan, you could have added Corrie.

    Third, you are banned from ATW not because of your moonbattery, but because of the extreme personal nature of your comments. Pose all you want as a “voice of reason” here, charm personified, there is another side to Jo, isn’t there?

    Fourth, where’s the back up re your wild UN claims?

    Sean Graham Bookies,

    Another profound Slugger commentator I see. Andf I thought mugs just stuck to gambling.

  • I wonder…

    Hi David

    When you express on H and M the extreme views that you espouse on ATW and when you differentiate yourself from sociopaths, you will earn my respect, as someone who is a fwellow Unionist, as well as the respect of many Sluggerites and Sluggerettes.

    I believe you can’t do that, because the expression of your perspective cannot be in terms other than those which abuse your opponents.

    As and when you prove me to be wrong (a difficult task) I will accept your bona fides. Until then, you’re a parasite, abusing the right to freedom of sppech to express things that no decent human being would ever want to commit to print.

  • Cruimh

    “Hope you caught me on the BBC this morning!”

    ROFL – her head hasn’t stopped spinning. It’ll take ages to get all the goo off the files.

  • I wonder…

    I had a good night at the Hilltown *Boley* festival. Any other Sluggers there?

  • I wonder…

    *charm personified*

    Yeah,is me. I can imagine our ideal night out David. May I suggest: *Observe the Sons of Ulster…”

  • How about “Die Hard 4.0”? It’s very good…