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Thursday, 15 January 2009

We use what we have to stand for justice, even our wallets

Whilst I think that George Foulkes' view in the Guardian that;
"the drive, inventiveness and initiative of the Palestinian people needs to be given an opportunity to flourish. And for that to have half a chance, the conflict must stop and it must do so now. That is the message that should be sent from us all, including all real friends of Israel, to its government".
I still believe that it does not go far enough. I think we need to act in support of a people suffering at the hands of a nation apparently intent on ethic cleansing. So I would add my support to Palestine Israel ethical shopping initiative. (piesi). Having called once for a boycott, I reiterate that call now as do the folk behind piesi. In a world where much of our individual power lies in our consumer choices so we should put that power to good use.


Anonymous said...

If you look at the Palestine Israel Ethical Shopping Initiative website it is clear that they do not think Israel even has a right to exist - with all the "stolen land" rhetoric.

There is the danger - which is already happening - of this spreading to become antisemitic thuggery. Two Starbucks shops in London have already been torched because they are owned by Jews and there have been calls for action against Tesco and Marks and Spencer - Jewish shops! It is a frightening time for Jews at the moment in this country and there are reports of lots more antisemitic attacks across Europe. Even a a Baptist Church has been attacked because of its name - Zion Baptist!

George Galloway called for the closure of "Isreal Shops" which has seen some nasty bullying in belfast and potentially worse. Maybe we should just make them wear a star of David so we can easily identify them?

Regarding your charge of ethnic cleansing, you might want to think about what else goes on in the world, particularly among arabs:

Sunni's vs. Shia in Iraq - just last week over 80 murdered by two Sunni female suicide bombers. Deaths to date, probably in excess of 75,000.

Arab Muslims vs. African Muslims in Darfur - 500,000 dead. (!)

Syria Government vs. northern tribes - death toll unknown, but estimated at over 30,000.

Iranian Government versus Kurds and Sunni Arabs in the south - death toll unknown, but estimated in excess of 20,000.

Finally, and this happened some time ago, the Jordanians in protecting their country, killed more Palestinians than the Israelis have managed in their existence. All in one short period (remember Black September?)

Look at the numbers in Darfur alone! Where are the marches, the outrage, the rolling coverage, the demands for UN condemnation, the demands for shopping boycotts etc?

There haven't been any. If there had, maybe there would be a lot more people marching & seeking an end to what is happening in Gaza.

Instead it looks like a parade of anti-Semitism or if you want to be pedantic anti-Jewish hatred. To see libertarians and those of the left allying themselves with Hamas - a radically homophobic, misogymist, totalitarian cult that would have no place for a Christian like you - is most disturbing

by the way I am posting anonymously only because my name and face would be recognised and in the current climate I fear the consequences of expressing such "heretical" views.


Ewan said...


Thank you for your response and for your explination about you anonimity. I am sad that you feel threatened by others for the views you hold. That too is not acceptable, as are the attacks on Starbucks and the Baptist church (how stupid was that!).

You need however, to be careful about assuming that, if two people have an agreement of common outcome, in this case, peace in Gaza and the rights of the Palestinian people to recognition and a place to call home, that those two people then agree on everything. I do not and never have aligned myself with Hamas but I do align myself with those suffering at the hands of others who have more power and the ability to choose to find peace in a non violent way.

That being said, we live in a sophisticated world built on simplistic understandings and so I recognise that the nuance of agreeing with the outcome but not with every stance of those with whom I am in agreement on an issue is one that I need to be careful about. Thus, i believe that land was stolen from Palestinians but that is not the same as believing that Israel has no right to exist. I would have no fears of using of ethnic cleansing against the actions of Arab state where that to be the case. This is not anti Israel but pro justice.

Graeme, I do not agree with all you say but you make some good points and you are welcome to use my blog to express you views which I will continue to respond to, I hope without you feeling any animosity

Anonymous said...

Ewan - thanks for that.


Anonymous said...

Awful things going on in Sri Lanka including the bombing of a UN hospital leading to many deaths.

For the sake of consistency, is it time for accusations of ethnic cleansing, a trade boycott, street protests and marches to the embassy? Or do we just reserve that for the middle east and in particular the Jews.


Ewan said...

I have not commented on Sri Lanka because I do not know enough to say something hat I could be confident about. I shall investigate and make comment in due course

Thanks for raising this with me


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