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Wednesday, 30 July 2014

A gesture made more for PR than humanitarian reasons.

Cameron pledges £3m in extra UK aid

Gaza Humanitarian crisis

How does David Cameron expect this "extra aid" to reach the people of Gaza?
Is there some sort of by pass arrangement which will allow the British aid to beat the Israeli/Egyptian blockade?
Essential medical supplies, food, blankets, water and substantial other humanitarian supplies have been blocked by the Al-Sisi regime at the crossing points into Gaza by the  Egptian army for the past two weeks, with little prospect of the the border guards allowing the supplies through any time soon.. A few £50 notes in a brown paper bag is hardly likely to make one iota of difference to a humanitarian crisis unfolding day by day on the streets of the districts in Gaza.
This donation is nothing more than a gesture, a small amount of conscience money, donated to allow Cameron to boast that the Brish government is doing something other than hanging onto to the American coat tails and repeating, parrot fashion, the now well worn cliche of "Israel has the right to defend itself" and "we along with our American cousins, suppprt Israel".  Cameron should also take on board a growing feeling within this country that Palestinians in Gaza have a right to defend themselves too and that resistance to the aggression of Israel will continue
Cammeron would be better employed pressurising the Egyptians to open the Raffah crossing and other entry points into Gaza to allow the free flow of humanitarian aid into the enclave and the evacuation of wounded civilians. However, Al-Sisi in Cairo, Obama in Washington and Netanyahu in Tel Aviv will not allow that to happen, regardless of what these duplicitous hypocrites may say in public at press conferences or during interviews with the media.
At the end of the day, Cameron will do as he is told.
He has clearly been allowed to promise £3 million in additional aid  for the Palestinians, when only yesterday the State department in Washington promised an additional $400 million of "defence equipment" for Israel to be shipped immediately.
Perhaps Cameron should follow suit and do what many people in this country would prefer to see, and announce the shipment of "military aid" to the Palestinians in Gaza along with humanitarian supplies.    
The effect on Cameron's public image would be substantially enhanced and it would be significantly more than a squalid PR gesture.

Even "Readers comments" are severely restricted in the national media.

 The government propaganda officers (P O's) are even targeting "readers comments".

It is incredible although not surprising, the way comment from readers is being restricted in the national press, in respect of the current conflict in Gaza.
All too frequently, the news paper publishes a story but provides no facility for the reader to offer any comment. Where such a facility is provided, it is clear that the "Comments for this story are now closed" has been applied soon after publication of the article.
It is as if the media are acting under instructions to restrict comment or criticism on the matter. Perhaps the government propaganda officers (P O's) who sit permanently on the editorial boards of our newspapers, have something to hide or are trying to prevent the growing tide of criticism being spread to an even wider audience.

Another UN shelter bombed by the Israeli's

Israeli shelling hits another Gaza UN school killing at least 20 civilians

Jabaliya refugee camp one of the most deprived and densely populated areas in Gaza

Another UN school being used as shelter for civilians in Gaza has been bombed by the Israeli forces. It is reported that at least 20 civilians have been killed. The school is in the Jabalia refugee camp and was attacked by tanks and aircraft.
Yesterday I blogged that the Israeli intention is to completely flatten Gaza and drive the Palestinians into the sea. Last nights indiscriminate bombardment brings the toll to at least 1250 Palestinians killed with thousands more injured, the majority of which are civilians and of those there are at least 300 children.
This genocidal ethnic cleansing of Gaza, has been continuing in its present intensity for over three weeks, with complete destruction of homes, mosques, schools, hospitals and other essential infrastructure. Gaza is now completely without electricity, as the only power station supplying the whole enclave with electricity was destroyed by Israeli tanks during yesterdays attacks.
The western world, particularly the United States and to a lesser extent the United Kingdom, twitter on about a ceasefire, humanitarian truce or other empty platitudes at the United Nations and yet do nothing practical to stop Israeli genocide.
In any other theater around the world, (but not any conflict involving Israel), the west would have by now taken a stand.
Were the same commitment to preventing genocide and other atrocities applied in this current conflict, NATO or the United Nations or both would have by now bombed targets around Tel Aviv, Haifa, Ashdod and other military areas in Israel sending a clear message to Tel Aviv to "Stop and withdraw or face the consequences".
However, as I have argued on may previous occasions, Israel can do no wrong in the eyes of western governments especially the United States government, where even as recently as yesterday, John Kerry, at a press conference in Washington, reiterated at least 20 times, that " we stand with Israel our closest ally" and "we fully support Israel and its right to defend itself" and at the same time, the State Department announced another $400 million of military aid is on its way to Tel Aviv.

John Kerry press conference in the Whitehouse Treaty Room

The western appeasement to Israel continues when it is abundantly clear that, as in the case of Germany in 1938, only force will stop them.
However appeasement destroys the backbone of government to do what is right and in the meantime the attacks on Palestinian homes, mosques, schools, hospitals and the people of Gaza will continue until there is nothing and no one left.
History will condem the governments of today for acquiescing to the destruction of an entire people in Palestine by perusing a policy of appeasement to a vicious and evil aggressor.

Tuesday, 29 July 2014

The Press Conference and the true intentions of Israel

 Benjamin Netanyahu reveals his intentions

Benjamin Netanyahu, the Prime Minister of Israel

Benjamin Netanyahu, the Prime Minister of Israel, finally threw off the mask to reveal his and his governments true intentions in respect of the current aggression into Gaza. At a press conference held shortly after the fragile ceasefire which had been in place for less than 24 hours broke down with Israeli missiles hitting the Beach refugee camp, killing many civilians including 10 children, Netanyahu told the world how Israel should "prepare for a protracted campaign" in Gaza and how "any solution to the crisis would require the demilitarisation of the Palestinian territory"
.Not too long ago, and now constantly repeated (and misquoted) by Israeli spokesmen, Iran allegedly made a threat to "drive the Israeli's into the sea".This remark has been turned into grim but ironic reality, by Netanyahu  and the IDF but the victims are not to be the Israeli's but the Palestinians of Gaza.
During the course of this press conference, Netanayahu made a number of specific points and even threats against the Palestinians and people of Gaza specifically. He started by saying that the Security Council statement, calling for a ceasefire between Hamas and Israelis, did not address Israel’s demands for the demilitarisation of the Gaza Strip. Nor did it address the question of destruction of the tunnels between Gaza and Israel.
It was clearly made evident that the Israelis are intent on demolishing vast sections of Gaza and to reduce the civilian population to an existence in an area of land 40% smaller than existed three weeks ago. The Israelis have announced a new buffer zone 3 km deep running around the border between Gaza and Israel which in effect has restricted all 1.8 million people living in Gaza to an area of less than 85 square miles. I repeat less than 85 square miles. To put that into perspective, the Isle of Wight has a population of 139,000 living in an area of 149 square miles. Gaza was already the most densely populated location in the world and now the Israeli's have increased that overcrowding 5 fold.
It is clearly obvious that Palestinians have no place in the new Greater Israel.

Ambassador to the UN Ron Prosor

Meanwhile at the United Nations, Ambassador to the UN Ron Prosor, responding to the (UN) statement, said with signature sarcasm that the statement “miraculously managed” not to mention Hamas. Israel has grown tired of being vilified and demonized, Prosor said, particularly as organizations like ISIS and Boko Haram commit terrorist attacks, conveniently forgeting that Gaza has been under continual blockade for nine years, and that Palestine has been under Israeli occupation for at least 47 years.

In the 24 hours since the press conference, Israel has embarked on the most aggressive and vicious bombing campaign using tanks and aircraft and ships, and over 100 civilians have been killed in that period. It has been described by many witnesses to the be the most intense and unrelenting bombardment that has occurred since the Israeli attack on Gaza started three weeks ago. From what Netanyahu said last night and the actions of the Israeli for occupation forces today the long-term objectives of the Tel Aviv government are clearly evident. No matter what may take place in Washington or in Cairo or in other centre in an attempt to broker a ceasefire,the Israelis will continue with the bombardment until not one buildingis left standing in the whole of Gaza and the population has been either killed or smashed into submission.The Israelis are intent on ensuring that this operation "Protective Edge", will achieve the objectives which were denied by previous ceasefires. The Israelis are also intent that there should be no end to the blockade of Gaza and the occupied territories will eventually be annexed and absorbed into Israel.

Hamas and all Palestinians are determined to resist this and no new ceasefire agreement would be acceptable unless there is a guaranteed commitment tolifting the blockade and ending the occupation of Palestinian lands. It seems that these two positions are completely irreconcilable and there is no foreseeable solution to the current fighting. It is however clearly evident that the so-called two state solution lies buried in the rubble in Gaza.

The corrupt fraudsters within the banks must be prosecuted.

Lloyds fined £217 million over Libor rigging

Lloyds Bank

The bankers should be subject to criminal law the same as everyone else. It was not "the bank" which corrupted the Libor rates and made huge profit from the speculation. It was specific individuals within the banks who conspired together and committed a crime.
They went on to re introduce the obscenity of awarding themselves large bonuses and at the same time, carried on receiving payouts from the British tax payers. A benefit claimant would be hounded and persecuted for wrongly claiming a few pounds in benefits and yet "the bank" can receive £ millions and nobody says a word.

These corrupt fraudsters, must be prosecuted and jailed if trust in our banks is to be restored.

Monday, 28 July 2014

A very one sided "truce".

President Obama presses Netanyahu to call ‘immediate and unconditional’ Gaza ceasefire 


Netanyahu and Obama

The United Nations Security Council unanimously passes a statement calling for an immediate and unconditional ceasefire on humanitarian grounds, in Gaza. In the meantime President Obama has a long telephone conversation with Benjamin Netanyahu Prime Minister of Israel, pressing Netanyahu to call an immediate and unconditional ceasefire.

With this flurry of diplomatic activity at the United Nations, the two sides in Gaza, observe a fragile ceasefire. Paradoxically even during the supposed truce, Israel continues with its programme of destruction of Palestinian tunnels and other infrastructure. It is indeed a strange phenomenon that's the invading forces, the aggressor in fact, continues with his programme of destruction while at the same time the Palestinians are expected to show maximum restraint in defence of their territory. I cannot recall any other instance where a truce or ceasefire has been in place and one side is allowed to continue its activities whilst the other side is expected to remain passive. However in the strange world of the Middle East, particularly where Israel is concerned, the normal rules seem not to apply.

Israeli Ambassador to the UN 

Ron Prosor

Palestinian U.N. Ambassador Riyad Mansour

It is now reported that within the last hour 11 AM 28 July 2014, Israeli planes have attacked targets in Gaza and tanks are shelling residential districts. The Eid Festival, marking the end of Ramadan has started with a continuation of hostilities which have been going on since early July. Neither the Israelis nor the Palestinians, are prepared to accept the statement from the United Nations Security Council, calling for an immediate ceasefire. The Israelis consider that the statement goes too far and would prevent them from completing the objectives in Gaza was on the other hand the Palestinians consider that statement does not go far enough. It fails to address the fundamental problems of listing the blockade and ending the occupation together with the release of Palestinian prisoners. In the light of this is difficult to see a solution certainly in the short term, where both sides, remain fixed in their respective positions. The intervention from President Obama has not been well received in Tel Aviv, with the Israeli press from all sides of the political spectrum critical of both the Obama and Secretary Kerry, who it is felt have gone too far towards the Palestinian position seeking to bring about a commitment from Israel to address Palestinian aspirations in respect of lifting the blockade. There is a growing lobby in Tel Aviv intent on expanding the current military operation to completely destroy Palestinian infrastructure and demilitarise Gaza by disarming Hamas.

This seems to be little prospect of any reconciliation of these opposing views in the foreseeable future and until such times as Israel recognises that the illegal blockade of Gaza must be lifted and the land borders between Gaza and Egypt must be opened it is inevitable that the current round of hostilities will continue.

Moreover, Israel must be made to realise that their continued imposition of the blockade and occupation of Gaza is rapidly losing support in many countries around the world. In this respect Israel is becoming more and more isolated on a daily basis. The hysterical outbursts from both Netanyahu and from the usual Israeli spokespersons on television and in the press are indicative of a government turning in on itself and becoming more and more isolationist in his attitudes. This is both unhelpful in solving the underlying problems and can be dangerous in respect of relationships within the area.