Foot in mouth award

Shimon Peres is the latest Israeli leader to be awarded.  Earlier, while Benjamin Netanyahu in an equally disgusting show of contempt for the people who make it possible for Israel to exist made disparaging remarks against America which didn’t even cause a ripple stateside, Peres’ remarks about British politicians being anti-semitic caused more of a firestorm in England.  Americans are so used to being bitch slapped by Israel we just sit back and take the abuse dished out by our scorned lover, but the British who practically gave Palestine to Europe’s Jewish community took umbrage at Peres’ remarks so much so that he had to deny he ever made them.

Peres’ initial remarks that he now denies making, included references to the influence of Muslims on British policy, as if influencing the policy of a government  is something Israel would never do to any western ally, but it clearly shows the Israeli government’s attacks on Islam extend far beyond the borders of Gaza and the West Bank.  It didn’t help Peres that the Tablet confirmed his remarks and the reasons behind them while he was trying to deny them, the fact is his denial is a lie.

This illustrates two things common in both Netanyahu and Peres’ attitude.  First they are extremely manipulative of western governments by asserting  Israel is a victim in the ongoing battles with its neighbors in which Israel is always the aggressor and second they are scornful of their state sponsors, who have all but guaranteed their existence at the expense of Israel’s neighbors, by even refusing to acknowledge this support, usually undertaken  at great expense to sponsor states but little or no expense to Israel.  The recipients of this award  for a baffling comment by a public figure goes to both Peres and Netanyahu.  Please don’t congratulate them.

An impressive list of people

have lined up to show their support for the beleaguered people of Gaza, and I salute them for their moral courage.  Quite an array of academics from across the British spectrum have signed the letter which appears below.    I hope to publish an equally challenging list/petition originating from the US, but for now take a look at what citizens from other parts of the world are saying about the atrocity that took place in Gaza over the last three weeks.

The massacres in Gaza are the latest phase of a war that Israel has been waging against the people of Palestine for more than 60 years. The goal of this war has never changed: to use overwhelming military power to eradicate the Palestinians as a political force, one capable of resisting Israel’s ongoing appropriation of their land and resources. Israel’s war against the Palestinians has turned Gaza and the West Bank into a pair of gigantic political prisons. There is nothing symmetrical about this war in terms of principles, tactics or consequences. Israel is responsible for launching and intensifying it, and for ending the most recent lull in hostilities.

Israel must lose. It is not enough to call for another ceasefire, or more humanitarian assistance. It is not enough to urge the renewal of dialogue and to acknowledge the concerns and suffering of both sides. If we believe in the principle of democratic self-determination, if we affirm the right to resist military aggression and colonial occupation, then we are obliged to take sides… against Israel, and with the people of Gaza and the West Bank.

We must do what we can to stop Israel from winning its war. Israel must accept that its security depends on justice and peaceful coexistence with its neighbours, and not upon the criminal use of force.

We believe Israel should immediately and unconditionally end its assault on Gaza, end the occupation of the West Bank, and abandon all claims to possess or control territory beyond its 1967 borders. We call on the British government and the British people to take all feasible steps to oblige Israel to comply with these demands, starting with a programme of boycott, divestment and sanctions.

Some of the signatories of the above letter, their numbers are in the hundreds, include, Professor Gilbert Achcar, Development Studies, SOAS,Arshin Adib-Moghaddam, Politics and International Studies, SOAS, Dr. Nadje Al-Ali, Gender Studies, SOAS, Professor Eric Alliez, Philosophy, Middlesex University,Dr. Jens Andermann, Latin American Studies, Birkbeck,Dr. Jorella Andrews, Visual Cultures, Goldsmiths
Professor Keith Ansell-Pearson, Philosophy, University of Warwick
John Appleby, writer,Dr. Claudia Aradau, Politics, Open University
Dr. Walter Armbrust, Politics, University of Oxford, Dr. Andrew Asibong, French, Birkbeck, Professor Derek Attridge, English, University of York, Burjor Avari, lecturer in Multicultural Studies, Manchester Metropolitan University, Dr. Zulkuf Aydin, International Development, University of Leeds, Dr. Claude Baesens, Mathematics, University of Warwick ,Dr. Jennifer Bajorek, Cultural Studies, Goldsmiths, Professor Mona Baker, Centre for Translation Studies, University of Manchester, Jon Baldwin, lecturer in Communications, London Metropolitan University ,Professor Etienne Balibar, Birkbeck Institute for the Humanities, Dr. Trevor Bark, Criminology, WEA Newcastle, Dr. Susan Batchelor, Sociology, Glasgow University.

A group of people mostly in the entertainment field had this to say about what is taking place in Gaza.

We regard Israel’s indiscriminate killing in Gaza as a crime against humanity. We protest against Israel’s exterminating tactics and offer our wholehearted support to the people of Gaza.

Among them are, just to name a few, Stephen Frears – Film Director – UK, Nigel Kennedy – Musician, Poland/UK, Miriam Margolyes – Actress UK,Brian Eno – Musician and producer UK, Robert Wyatt – Musician UK
William Dalrymple – Writer and historian,Dhafer Youssef – Musician France and Dave Robinson – Producer & pioneer of Stiff Records, UK

What absolutely amazes me is how governments can ignore the voices of their people without consequences? While I’m not all that familiar with the British parliamentarian system of government, our own Congress seems hell bent on pursuing a course that has nothing at all to do with why its members were elected. The present Gaza genocide and Congressional resolutions supporting it is just one example among many where the representatives of the people are anything but that! Every two years the House should turn over a new leaf if its members aren’t supporting the wishes of the electorate…but that’s for another blog post. For now, I hope you add your voice to those who are protesting the Gazan Holocaust.