Anti Israel, or anti Jewish?

It’s always difficult when the question of when something can be reasonably classed as anti Semitic and when a legitimate critical stance against the actions of the Israeli state. There has to be a line (however movable), otherwise there is little chance of any discussion on Israel ever taking root in any genuinely open discursive space. That said, there are occasions when criticism apparently aimed at the Israeli state betrays an obvious anti Jewish undercurrent. Typhoo, the blogger who provides much of the YouTube content we use here on Slugger has been taking photos of anti Israeli graffitti in the vicinity of the old Jewish Cemetary on the Whiterock Road in West Belfast. Of course, it could just be coincidence. Then again, as I noted a few years back, systematic vandalism has been evidence inside the cemetery for a number of years now.

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  • Dec

    That said, there are occasions when criticism apparently aimed at the Israeli state betrays an obvious anti Jewish undercurrent.

    Certainly there are, but “Gaza bleeds, the world fiddles” is not one of them. Given the hysterical tone of the piece, it was no surprise to see the blame laid at SF’s door by the second sentence.

  • nmc

    Indeed. And “Gaza Burns” written twice making up the remainder of the three pieces of graffitti which I have seen. Factually correct as far as I can tell.

  • pfhl

    I suppose their will always be some stupid people out there that wish to identify every conflict with the north. As a consequence of this they will take sides. Remember the C-18 loving loyalists who also had a love for Isreal. It is unfortunate these people feel they need to put their feelings up around where they live in order to target a religious group, and spell their insults wrong as well. Shows you the intelligence of these people.

    These actions only take away from the credible criticism people may have for the Isreali state and its actions.

  • Mick Fealty

    Dec,

    Does that mean you believe it is just a coincidence?

  • Dec

    Mick

    I can’t say for sure, but from the photographic evidence provided, the first grafitti (“Gaza bleeds, the world fiddles”) is off the Falls Road itself and well away from the cemetary.

    The other two photos are on the opposite side of the Whiterock Road from the cemetary (why not on the cemetary wall if Judaism is the real target?). That road is virtually deserted after dark and hence is the perfect location for a bit of nocturnal paintwork.

    However, Typhoo has trodden all over the line you correctly identified (not to mention the early “it’s all the shinner’s fault” mini-rant) and it’s difficult to take seriously someone who views any reference to Gaza as unabashed anti-semitism.

  • kensei

    Hmmm, tricky one. I think the graffiti in itself isn’t anti-Semitic, certainly not in the traditional sense, being more concerned with politics and the fate of the Palestinians than race or traditional Jewish stereotypes. But the anger it expresses is clearly being directed at a community that has little or nothing to do with any of it.

    Does the conflation between Israel and Judaism alluded to at the start run both ways? In other words the use of the accusation of anti-Semitism to deflect criticism of the Israeli state reinforce the association of the two as indivisible? Perhaps I’m over analysising crude attacks, but it would explain things a little.

  • sms

    the same graffiti is on the wall at the royal Victoria hospital.Bet its aimed at Jewish doctors

  • mm

    There was some for a long time on the Lisburn Road near the footbridge entrance to Musgrave Park. That’s bound to be aimed at Jewish kids attending the integrated college.

  • Shore Road Resident

    The degree of equivocation on display here is absolutely jaw-dropping.

  • kensei

    The degree of equivocation on display here is absolutely jaw-dropping.

    No, your knee has just jerked so high it has hit your mouth.

  • sms

    mick, since the vandals were a Germanic tribe them I suppose your anti Jewish theory must be right

  • Mick Fealty

    Well, sms, I am open to any and all plausible proofs or disproofs.

  • Rory

    Vandals and small minded racists will always be among us and we will of course continue to deplore both. What we must not allow to happen is for the crude Zionist campaign which attempts to blacken all criticism of Israeli expansionism and murderous attacks on Palestinian homes as anti-semitic. Since the very strongest opposition to Israel’s policy comes from among Israeli Jews themselves we must not allow ourselves to be deterred by any fear of being lumped in with anti-semetic racists and vandals. That would amount to moral cowardice and we should live to regret it.

    Vandalism and the desecration of graves is wrong and so is the bombing of defenceless civilians in Palestine. We do right to condemn both but the latter is more pressing, more urgent and of much more importance – human life is at stake.

    To suggest that condemning Israel’s actions places one in political and moral kinship with the vandals and desecrators is not just silly – it is grossly offensive. We do not stop condemning the sexual abuse of children for fear we might be seen to be on the same plane as those brutal thieves and killers within the prison system who attempt to recreate some form of moral superiority by slashing the faces of “nonces”.

  • Twinbrook

    Israel is spelt wrongly that sums up the idiots who scrawled this on the wall quite a number of years ago…

    but then how would the powers to be who run this site know, as they have never set foot there!

    Secondly, not many people in Belfast never mind West Belfast, know that a part of the City Cemetery has a Jewish section!

    But then its nothing new for this site to put one and one together and get ten!!!

    Whatever you do…

    don`t mention where the majority of racist hate crime is situated…

    Loyalist areas across the North of Ireland..well according to the PSNI!

  • Gum

    Mick – anti-Semitism in Ulster is an important topic that is not addressed enough. Thanks for raising it.

    I think what makes this a difficult issue is that many are automatically labelled anti-Semites if they say anything that is critical of the Israeli govt. They might well be anti-Semites, but if their statement is not anti-Semitic in itself we should not try to guess what their attitude is to Jews. The effort against anti-Semitism is seriously undermined when those critical of actions of Isreal are condemned as being anti-Semites. It is SO important that we draw a distinction between legitimate criticism of a state and the evil of religious bigotry.

    In the case of the graffitti in the Jewish cemetary – I don’t think it is a coincidence. There are high levels of anti-Semitism in Belfast (and I am not counting the many occasions where I have heard angry comments on Israeli govt. politics).

  • Mick Fealty

    There’s a very prominent graffito of a similar type written on the shutters of the newsagent at the top of the Donegall Road. It’s possible that, as Twinbrook says, that the guys who did this did not do it to cause offence. But that’s not necessarily how it reads to the outside world.

  • Well Done Rory

    I thought Gaza was a football player. The Spurs fans are always moaning, always with the beggging bowl out. Sowhat if there is some anti Spurs graffiti. Look at all the media crap these baby killer get in the States.

    Are the Zionist Spurs Army still being imprisoned in Gaza and Lebanon by the way? The ones Israel went to war for recently?

    I also thought it funny these professional beggars and extortionists expect European armies to guard their Lebanese border for them. Terrorist, nuke toting murderers.
    (I am sick of hearing about them and their moral blackmail).

  • Chris Donnelly

    There are strong racist and anti-semetic prejudices at play within this society. Breaking them down will take a very long time, but that is a challenge we will all face in the time ahead as our society becomes increasingly multi-cultural.

    I first realised that when, as a ten year old who had just moved here from the US, I heard a school teacher in my classroom use the ‘n’ word in front of pupils without so much as an eyelid being batted.

    Of course, that was the mid-1980s, when black footballers were dodging bananas in the English First Division- and Scotland’s big two were still yet to disgrace themselves by following in kind.

    Officially, Belfast is a different place today. We are encouraged to be embracing, tolerant and more politically correct; but beneath the surface, the prejudices still linger, as in the States and other less monocultural societies than our own.

    There are very legitimate reasons for people being angry with the Israeli state over their appalling treatment of the Palestinian people.

    But that should not be an excuse for anti-semitic expressions, regardless of their location.

    Last weekend, I heard an Arsenal football fan on radio openly make reference to the ‘jewish’ identity of the rival north London team, Spurs, in a disparaging manner that simply wouldn’t have been tolerated were the comment to have been about ‘colour.’

    I too find it difficult to believe that the siting of this graffiti is not related to the presence of the old Jewish cemetery adjacent to the Whiterock Road.

    As for the attempts to suggest that Sinn Fein are somehow implicated in this, I would contend that such an assertion simply reveals a lazy sectarian mindset- ‘if it happens in west Belfast, republicans must’ve done it.’

    Such perceptions merely confirm the power of prejudice in this society. Never mind the fact that the leading authority on the City Cemetery is a Sinn Fein councillor, who has written a book on the graves contained in this historic cemetery, and who has spoken out before about similar graffiti in the vicinity of the Jewish plot.

    Nah, if it’s in the west, the Sinners done it…..

  • Those who prefer to cloak their rancid anti-Semitism do so under the euphemism that they are merely anti-Israeli. The pathetic slogans daubed in west Belfast merely show how deep anti-Semitism runs in that area. Mind you, to be fair, compared to the United Nations, it’s almost civil. All around Europe, Jewish cemetaries are targeted by the same type of loathsome scum that cannot even let the dead rest in peace.

  • DAY not Knight

    Sometimes there is a spurious charge against critics of Israel implying anti-semetism (and sometimes it’s accurate of course), but it’s the same sort of shoddy tactics to say that people who criticize Israel are ALWAYS branded anti-semetic. Like any contentious political discourse, some take the high road, others can’t even see the high road with a telescope. There are some of each in here.

    It seems though that the question isn’t as specific as “is this graffiti anti-semetic” or “what should be the outcome of the tragic Israeli/Palestinian conflict,” but rather “are the communities here moving in the right direction in terms of tolerance and diversity of (amongst other things) opinion. The answer is probably yes and no, and not moving in the right direction fast enough.

    Meanwhile, why paint anti-semetic slogans on the sides of Tesco? Will that reform Israel? And why did no one object when Bernadette Devlin said (as close as I can get to a verbatim quote, I think I’m at least 95% dead on) “the really terrible thing about the Holocaust was that it led to the creation of the state of Israel”?

    Israel, as I’ve said here before, is full of fault (as are the Palestinians), but mindless criticism of this type, whether it’s on the walls of the city or in the halls of the city, is some sort of masturbation rather than a constructive contribution to the future of the situation, there or here.
    Ben

  • Wilde Rover

    “Those who prefer to cloak their rancid anti-Semitism do so under the euphemism that they are merely anti-Israeli.”

    Firstly, I think you’ll find that the headline of the thread is “Anti Israel or anti Jewish?”

    Kudos to Mick for getting it right (although he does use “anti-Semitic” in the body).

    The Semites consist of the Akkadians, the Phoenicians, the Arabs and the Hebrews.

    The residents of Gaza and the West Bank, like the residents of Israel, are Semites.

    You seem to be saying that if Palestinians take issue with the state of Israel then they hate themselves.

    I will grant you that many of those who criticize Israel are conspicuous in their lack of criticism for other states in disputed zones, and that they are as blind in their support for the Palestinians as the pro-Israel grouping are for Israel.

    It is entirely probable that some of them are Judeophobes who don’t really care about the Palestinians at all, and in that sense your criticism would be correct.

    However, your carefully crafted sentence leaves one with the impression that anyone with any criticism of the actions of the state of Israel is a racist.

    You seem to be trying to disenfranchise that part of the Israeli electorate that is opposed to the actions of their government, thereby reducing the only functioning democracy in the area to a totalitarian state.

    In short, if you were attempting to defend Israel then I would gently suggest your efforts have backfired spectacularly.

    “The pathetic slogans daubed in west Belfast merely show how deep anti-Semitism runs in that area.”

    By that logic, if I were to go up to your neighbourhood and daub “little boys are sexy” on walls I would be justified in claiming that your locale is a hotbed of kiddy fiddlers.

  • Gum

    David, I agree with you that anti-Semites do cloak their hatred of Jewish people in what they claim is legitimate criticism of Israel. Would you agree that there can be criticism of the Israeli govt policies by those who are not anti-Semtitic in anyway?

  • gaza burns

    “Gaza Burns” is the nom de plume of the artist, and nothing to do with the question of Palestine!

  • runciter

    Given the recent anti-semitic slaughter in Gaza, this focus on the “offensiveness” of anti-Israeli graffiti seems bizarre.

  • Gum,

    Yes. I criticise Israel’s government under Olmert for being excessively feeble in its prosecution of the war on Palestinian Jihadi like Hamas and Fatah. So one can support Israel and yet criticise the government. I am accused of many things, being anti-Semitic ain’t one of them.

  • RepublicanStones

    ‘for being excessively feeble in its prosecution of the war on Palestinian Jihadi like Hamas and Fatah.’

    the brute ignorance of the above statement is quite astonishing and laughable. it seems mr Vance is blissfully ignorant of the situation, and so lumps Fatah beside Hamas as ‘Jihadi’.

    One interesting point this thread has illustrated, colonizers will support other colonizers. some seem to have (but will never admit to) a sense of superiority over the ‘lower’ indigenous people, as if they are less than. Judaism and Zionism are not inextricably linked. to criticise one is not to be critical of the other. its akin to saying criticism of unionism is anti-protestant. Neturei Karta are anti-zionist, but i’ll bet there will be some eejits on here trying to label them anti-semitic as well.

    its a sad state when it takes graffiti targeted at a religion other than the ‘big two’ for people in the north to feel as if theres something rotten in Denmark. Are we just content to put up with the festering boils of hate our own sides harbour against the other?
    unfortunately it seems so !

  • Wilde Rover

    “Yes. I criticise Israel’s government under Olmert for being excessively feeble in its prosecution of the war on Palestinian Jihadi like Hamas and Fatah.”

    So you think Olmert is “soft on Semites”?

    But you’re not anti-Semitic?

    I see. Like the fellow who says the queers don’t get bashed hard enough and then claims he isn’t homophobic?

  • Wilde Rover

    “One interesting point this thread has illustrated, colonizers will support other colonizers.”

    Ah, but that’s where you’re wrong RepublicanStones.

    The basis of the state of Israel is that the Hebrew Semites are natives and the non-Hebrew Semites are Johnny-Come-Latelys.

    So, if you take a purely pro-Israel stance then you believe that the Hebrew Semites are the natives and the non-Hebrew Semites are the colonizers who need to be removed.

    So, logically, anyone on the island of Ireland who believes that it is right and just to extend the borders of Israel to the east is, by default, saying that anyone who is genetically non-Gaelic should be put on a ferry at Larne this instant.

    So, logically, anyone who takes this position should also regard Republican Sinn Fein as a bunch of royal brown nosers and stoops for the moderate positions they hold.

    Which is why it is delightfully ironic.

  • Republicanstones,

    And what would you call the Al Aqsa Brigade – a key part of the Fatah movement?

    Wilde Rover,

    Being soft on killing terrorists is the basis of my comments, not sure where your homophobia comparisons come from

  • Jo

    100 killed in Gaza, including children, by Israel over the last week.

    Not hard enough for the likes of Mr Vance.

    Also, its not the sort of thing you hear him mention much on the BBC, is it? I wonder why.

    It would seem that not enough Taigs were killed over the Troubles for his liking?

  • Wilde Rover

    “Being soft on killing terrorists is the basis of my comments”

    I’m afraid you have me at a disadvantage. I haven’t really met any Israelis whose polital stance is to the right of Olmert.

    The Israelis I have met on my wanderings are of the Karma Kosher variety found on secluded beaches in Asia.

    Many of them tended to be of the opinion, after reflection, that maybe there is another way.

  • Wilde Rover

    oops.

    political

  • Gum

    David,

    I remember you making that argument in a past discussion of this on Slugger. What about someone critical of the Israeli govt who argues that they’ve gone too far in responding to attacks? Would you accept that it is possible for such a person to be critical of the govt without being an ant-Semite?

  • Gum,

    It would be absolutely valid in my view, since no government is perfect!

    Jo,

    You’re a troll unworthy of a comment. However you can catch me on the BBC tomorrow, hope it makes your day.

    Wilde Rover,

    Interesting that you haven’t met any Israelis with a political stance to the “right” of Olmert. Olmert’s approval rating is in single figures, half the Israeli electorate vote for right of liberal parties – so I’m not surprised I have you at a disadvantage. I know plenty of Israelis through my contributions to the likes of Israelinsider, they are all to the right of Osloid Olmert.

  • Wilde Rover

    David Vance,

    “I know plenty of Israelis through my contributions to the likes of Israelinsider, they are all to the right of Osloid Olmert.”

    I imagine many of them are descendants of members of Irgun, Haganah, and the Stern Gang.

    My understanding is that, from a British perspective, these groups were regarded as being terrorists.

    I presume you take the British perspective, and that therefore you regret that the British forces at that time were so “soft on killing terrorists” and you regret their parents and grandparents were not shot dead by the British army, and by extension, you regret that the current generation, the ones you know, were ever born.

    I must also presume, based on your dislike of groupings given the designation “terrorist” by a British government, that you do not recognize the legitimacy of the state of Israel.

    So if you believe the Hebrew Semites and the non-Hebrew Semites are terrorists that should be killed then perhaps you should petition the British government to nuke the whole area and turn it into a glass car park.

  • Jo

    “you should petition the British government to nuke the whole area and turn it into a glass car park.”

    Strangely enough, this approach has been advocated on his site.

    Seems neither the Israeli government nor Bush in Afghanistan and Iraq is violent enough for a certain world view.

    To be consistent, this same approach was taken to our own conflict. Not enough killing. It was, apparently, an unfortunate decision that the Army didn’t use “daisy cutters” against the IRA in south Armagh.

    Not that any civilians would be killed by Mr Vance’s hardline advocacy of violence against “terrorists”.

    Well, only Muslims and Catholics. Those who vote for what he regards as “terrorists” bring on themselves the violence of the worlds greatest military powers. They’re fair game, given who they vote for, aren’t they?

    No. Not to any sane human being they’re not.

  • Jo

    There’s a connection between this story and the opening of the Victoria Centre (happening as I write)! 🙂

    http://www.historyfromheadstones.com/index.php?id=727

  • Wilde Rover,

    “I imagine” is the most coherent part of your last post. I’ll leave it like that.

  • RepublicanStones

    Wilde Rover, Mr Vance no doubt believes that colonizers have a right to terrorize and murder their way toward establishing a country, but that any reaction by indigenous people is deemed morally abhorrent. this is why he no doubt feels the Stern gang, Haganah, Carmeli brigade et al, were good old chaps. He would hardly hold such warm affection for Hamas, Al Asqa (which is a splinter group from Fatah, now defucnt i believe, and not Fatah itself)or Hezbollah. Even though alot of countries have not proscribed Hezbollah.
    Mr Vance seems to be one of these people who looks only at the action of the ‘terrorist’ and not the reason why he or she felt the need to take such action, because then he would be faced with several uncomfortable home truths.

  • mick

    RS,

    ‘no doubt’ in this case indicates opinions you are ascribing to Mr Vance not what he has said. Can we just stick what people say and cut the straw men out completely?

  • RepublicanStones

    Mick, Mr Vance’s opinions are there for all to see

    ‘Being soft on killing terrorists is the basis of my comments’

    the above amounts to his criticism of the Israeli state and its terrorism directed against the Palestinians.

  • Mick Fealty

    All I am asking for is attention to the text offered here. That way you are more likely to make contact with the ball cleanly.

  • Jo

    Graffitti in Jewish cemeteries, or vandlaism in any cemetery, approaches the lowest of the low.

    Not sure if its a modern phenomenon as my perception is that in times past there was a universal human respect for the dead.

    That said, there is an image in my mind, from *Schindlers List* of a footpath at the concentration camp – composed of Jewish tombstones.

    Such images and practices are close to ultimate degradation. But they do not in any sense justify the descendants of those who experienced this treatment taking the lives of Palestinian children sixty five years on.

  • Wilde Rover

    Perhaps the graffiti writers could have selected other regions in the world to criticize as well, in the interest of balance.

    David Vance,

    ““I imagine” is the most coherent part of your last post. I’ll leave it like that.”

    My apologies.

    I shall attempt a more coherent post.

    I should preface by saying that I recognize the right of a state of Israel and a state of Palestine to exist, and I believe those who propose all Israelis should be driven into the Mediterranean are being as unhelpful as those who propose every non-Israeli should be driven into the Euphrates.

    Some accuse the Palestinians of terrorism while others accuse the Israelis of state terrorism. Personally, I don’t see the point of the word terrorist. To me it just results in people being led down an intellectual cul-de-sac.

    To illustrate my belief that its use has led you to be entangled in a semantic web,

    “Being soft on killing terrorists is the basis of my comments”

    “I know plenty of Israelis through my contributions to the likes of Israelinsider, they are all to the right of Osloid Olmert.”

    let us take three instances from history.

    1. 1987 Enniskillen bombing.
    2. 2005 7/7 London bombing.
    3. 1946 King David Hotel bombing.

    All terrorists:
    If this is the case then it seems strange that a person would choose to align themselves with the more hawkish elements of Israeli society, who I can only assume feel that the Brits in the King David Hotel got what they deserved.
    Would it not be correct to call it a form of political sadomasochism?

    Bad terrorists, bad terrorists, good terrorists:
    This would imply a belief that the last group are terrorists, but that it is OK to obfuscate, apologize, and rationalize for them because in some way they were not really bad terrorists like those in the first two instances.

    Are terrorists, are terrorists, aren’t terrorists:
    This would necessitate saying how the blowing up of British civilians in the first two instances was terrorism, but that the blowing up of British civilians in the third instance was not terrorism.
    If that is the case then I look forward to hearing how they differ.

    “You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.”

    Inigo Montoya

  • Quare and Balanced

    I see one of the contributors to this thread has called for ethnic cleansing on his own site in response to the shootings in Jerusalem yesterday:

    What can you say about such people other than observe that they demonstrate such inhumanity that rather than reward them by giving them a State – as the “International Community” wishes – they should be forcible removed from the land they infest and dispersed to those many neighbouring Arab states that are so concerned about their well-being.

    This demonstrates that his concern about being tough on terrorists is little more than a sick joke.

    It also demonstrates the more general fact that, while we might be quite sensitive to anti-Jewish racism and its manifestations, people feel they can be as racist as they want about Arabs (note use of the word ‘infest’ and think about what it might mean to talk about Jews ‘infesting’ the West Bank, for instance), and still expect to be taken seriously.

  • Jo

    “still expect to be taken seriously”

    Long given up on that one.

    However, if it was a case of such people being taken seriously as advocates of mass murder in the Middle East, then yeah, theres no problem at all!

    And, equally, a similar approach to conflict resolution nearer to home (K.A.T?) isnt exactly consistent with self-presentation as some sort of reasonable media commentator.

    But hey, it conmes around. In fact, it already has.

  • Wilde Rover

    Quare and Balanced,

    Interesting reference you have located there.

    So the Palestinians “infest” the West Bank?

    And they should be “dispersed to those many neighbouring Arab states that are so concerned about their well-being”?

    So I guess the upside of that would be the people in Israel would have more “living space” to the east?

    Paging Mr Godwin to the white courtesy phone, paging Mr Godwin to the white courtesy phone.

  • Jo

    The above quotation demonstrates that even if every last *terrorist* in the world was killed, that something very evil would remain.

  • Those who danced with joy in GAZA at the slaughter carried out in Jerusalem are savages, pure and simple. That some would reward them by giving them an even larger territory to practise their hatred of all things Jewish clearly seems logical to some here. Then again – if you support the IRA in government I guess supporting Hamas is just a logical extension of moral depravity. 8 more dead young jews – time to hand out the sweets and celebrate, such civilised people, right?

  • Wilde Rover

    “Those who danced with joy in GAZA at the slaughter carried out in Jerusalem are savages, pure and simple.”

    “Being soft on killing terrorists is the basis of my comments”

    So expressing joy at death makes one a savage?

    “8 more dead young jews – time to hand out the sweets and celebrate, such civilised people, right?”

    Is handing out sweets traditional when celebrating death?

    I’ll take your word for it.

  • Wilde Rover,

    Dancing in the streets with joy whilst handing out flowers and sweets at the news of mass murder DOES indicate a savagery, a nihilistic barbarity. But there is no need to take MY word on it..why not watch it for yourself. They love death like we love life….

  • Jo

    Kill ’em all, eh, David?

  • Wilde Rover

    “Dancing in the streets with joy whilst handing out flowers and sweets at the news of mass murder DOES indicate a savagery, a nihilistic barbarity.”

    It is chilling to imagine that this is the type of thing to set people off on a street party. Gaza does seem like a twisted place, where suicide bombers are heroes and people to be emulated.

    But then again Gaza is the world’s largest open prison. That revenge seems to be the only thing that keeps some of them going is tragic. That they cheer for the deaths of those students is also tragic.

    “They love death like we love life….”

    And why wouldn’t they have an obsession with death? Living where they are, in the conditions they find themselves, death is a release.

    What have they to look forward to, besides hate and death?

  • Wilde Rover,

    They imprison themselves through their choice of terrorist leaders. Gaza is the recipient of BILLIONS of $$$$ and yet, oddly enough, it never seems to reach the people. A corrupt evil sewer of a place, I’m afraid, that celebrates murder, that has schools for Jihad and which delights in barbarism.

  • Garibaldy

    So David you wouldn’t link that reaction to the deaths of around 100 people in Gaza, overwhelmingly civilian, and including an 18 day old baby shot in the head by the Israelis?

    And in fairness, this was not an ordinary school. It was linked to the settler movement – which is a spreading and illegal occupation, and a land grab by people from other countries seeking to improve their socio-economic status. Don’t you oppose unchecked economic migration?

    People do not develop their morals and behaviour in a vacuum (surely a good Burkean like yourself knows that).

  • Wilde Rover

    “They imprison themselves through their choice of terrorist leaders.”

    Hamas is in the business of attacking Israel, and it is clear they would like it if Israel didn’t exist.

    Clearly, Israel is entitled to ensure safety within its own borders.

    However, I’m not sure the electorate decided to dump Fatah because they weren’t “terrorist” enough.

    Corruption does seem to be an intractable problem in the area, of that there is no doubt. My understanding was that the people elected Hamas to try and stop the corruption under Fatah.

    As for the money they receive, it is fair to say that having infrastructure blown up by fighter jets and knocked down by bulldozers is also a cause of financial loss.

    Hypothetically speaking, if the tables were turned and it was a dominant Palestine offering the Israelis an Israeli Bantustan, and if the Israelis were lobbing rockets from Tel Aviv into a Palestinian controlled Jerusalem, applying the word terrorist to the Israelis would not be helpful either.

    I’m afraid that your critique is flawed because you do not concede that the state of Israel is in any way responsible for the general situation as it stands, indeed, much like those who unreservedly defend the Palestinians neglect to mention any possibility of wrong doing on their part.