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It not a joke!!! It is the truth!!!

Giving people what they want: violence and sloppy eating

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Incredibly, Bush is not the looniest most short-sighted world leader
mini me + poo
Doing some washing up on Monday evening, I was listening to the news on Radio 4. They had some Israeli loony going on about how Arafat was the cause of all the problems in the Middle East.

Then it turned out that the loony was making a speech to the Israeli parliament. Ok, lots of loonies there - their electoral system positively encourages small splinter parties.

(Upset with your party? Think you could get just 1% of the vote? Then split! Israel is treated as one constituency and anyone getting 1% of the votes is guaranteed a seat. The one good thing about it is that it shows how split down the middle the country is on the whole 'land for peace' issue - recent elections have been 51%-49% affairs, if not 50.25%-49.75%. With the UK system, one side or the other would have been given absolute power on 40% of the votes.)

Then it turned out that the loony was the Israeli Prime Minister, Ariel Sharon, the man responsible for the massacre of thousands of Palestinians in two Beirut refugee camps in 1982 and responsible for dozens of illegal settlements in the occupied territories.

And he thinks Arafat is the problem?!? Sharon should be in prison, not the premiership!

Someone with Sharon's record (I haven't even begun on his current policy of assassinating innocent and guilty alike, rather than the tedious process of putting people on trial) should be extremely careful about accusing others of being terrorists. Unfortunately, the country without which Israel could not exist - the USA - is currently trying to win the War Against Terrorism and is prepared to let him do what he wants.

It should go without saying that Israel has a right to exist. But it doesn't have the right to act as if other people do not, not least because this greatly decrease its chances of surviving.

How to encourage that? Well, we could stop buying food produced in the illegal settlements - if you want links to what effect they have on the local non-Israeli population, I can find them.

Typically, it turns out that produce from the illegal settlements is labeled as being from 'Israel', despite being from outside the country's internationally recognised borders. So that's the end of buying goods from Israel here...

Oh, and have a read of this from the Evening Standard and stop buying The Times too.

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"It should go without saying that Israel has a right to exist".

When you say this, do you mean its present government is good, its present constitution is good, its present borders are good, its present name is good, or just that the people who happen to be citizens shouldn't be massacred indiscriminately?

That's an interesting one - I think the answer is 'something like the vision of the early leaders in its pre-1967 boundaries', ie not with a constitution that denies basic rights to half the people living within its borders.

But what about the Law of Return?

The problem in my mind is that Israel's original concept of citizenship rights is fundementally based on race and/or religion (depending on how you define Jewishness - which I don't, if I can help it). While I was searching for references on this I found this very interesting article from nearly six years ago. Sadly the moves it cautiously suggests seem even further away these days...

Didn't the British government set up Israel?

(I am trying to remember, but can't for sure remember) in what 1947ish?

I do know however, that the British seemed to invent "holocaust" aswell, against the Jew, and Royal - sanctioned no less...

I must admit - The Jewish nation have their problems, and I suppose, deserve their own country, much like Saudi Arabia is the cultural country on Muslims - But they don't half love winding everyone up in the process, and pissing people off and making life hard on themselves... It certainly beats Northern Ireland for a struggle.

The big question is, can we do anything about it? Clarifier...can we do anything about it that wouldn't make things SO MUCH WORSE?

Let's also let the record show that this recent round of violence dates back to Sharon going to the Temple Mount...

Re: The question is...

since when is peacefully visiting a site illegal, or threatening...

my vision may be skewed, but somehow i don't see how blowing up busses, children, pizza places, discos, youth centers (where a friend of mine witnessd the bombing, and survide b/c of abour 3 min.) is equal to PEACEFULLY visiting the mount.

i'm not saying that persecution is just on either side, and the israelis are by no means innocent, and yes sharon is quite a militant person, however, if you look at the stats, the attacks are primarily on the palestinian side, whereas the israelis use military power to fight armed ppl face to face, of warn buildings where public lynchings took place to evacuate, so no ppl die.

Re: The question is...

And helicopter attacks against buildings are such a personal way to say "please stop". Violence on both sides has become retribution, which will continue to feed the cycle. Sharon's knew exactly what he was doing when going to the Temple Mount. He knew it would incite violence. He's been unable to recognize the Palestinian State's right to exist since the 1972 Olympics when he helped free the Israeli athletes.

Perhaps we ought to make the whole area a protectorate of the UN. Not that the UN would do much good in their either. Maybe we ought to declare it a World Park, or the like and just move everyone out. My point is, both sides are incredibly guilty, mostly of religious fanaticism. All of it is state-sponsored.

Re: The question is...

It depends on the person, the place and the situation.

A US President paying an official visit to the Dalai Lama would greatly upset the Chinese government, for example.

Similarly, expanding a series of illegal settlements on other people's land is violent, even if you don't shoot them when you do it.

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