Dick Cheney

Israel – America’s torture consultant

Jamal Kanj notes that the similarity in torture techniques described in the Senate’s report and those used by the Israelis on Palestinians points to an Israeli role in America’s practise of torture. More »

UN-Palestine State

Israel’s splendid isolation

Uri Avnery reviews Israel’s international isolation and assesses the consequences of a US veto or non-veto of a draft UN Security Council resolution calling for an end to the Israeli occupation. More »

US torture

America and the forgotten futility of torture

Lawrence Davidson says showing once more that torture is futile will not stop it from recurring in the USA, and that the only deterrence is to hold the politicians responsible to account. More »

US imprisoned by Israel

US feels the heat on Palestine vote at UN 

Jonathan Cook says while Europe is becoming increasingly disenchanted with Israel, as shown by the growing recognitions of Palestine, US policy towards Israel is paralysed by fear of upsetting the Zionist lobby. More »

Ziad Abu Ein

Whitewashing a Palestinian minister’s murder

Jamal Kanj examines the murder by Israeli Wehrmacht soldiers of Palestinian minister Ziad Abu Ein and the subsequent propaganda blitz by Israel and its Western stooges and nincompoops to whitewash the murder. More »

Alon Ben-Meir

Israel’s Jews trapped in their own narrative

Alan Hart explains why Israeli Jews must acknowledge that a terrible wrong was done to the Palestinians by Zionism in the name of all Jews and that this wrong must be righted. More »

Media determinism

Free choice vs media determinism

Lawrence Davidson questions the extent of free will, whether in commercial or political choices, in the face of media manipulation amounting to determinism and exercised through advertisements and selective news and emphasis. More »

Sanctions Russia Israel

Palestine and Europe’s symbolic gestures

Alan Hart says Europe needs to go beyond gestures towards Palestine and submit a Security Council resolution with an ultimatum for Israel to withdraw from the Palestinian territories or face international sanctions. More »

Ethnic cleansing

Israel’s ethnic cleansing manifesto

Jamal Kanj argues that Israeli politicians such as the present foreign minister, the Moldovan former nightclub bouncer Avigdor Lieberman, are seeking to complete the ethnic cleansing begun by Israel’s founders in 1948. More »

Guernica

The nightmare we called the “Arab Spring”

Nureddin Sabir says the “Arab Spring” had been misunderstood from the start and, at least in Syria and Libya, what were said to be pro-democracy revolutions were in fact Islamist insurrections. More »

Daily Archives: January 28, 2013

Truth-telling British MP in Zionists’ crosshairs

Will David Ward’s scalp soon hang in the Zionists’ tepee?

Time for UK Liberal Democrats to reconnect with their principles

By Stuart Littlewood

Alistair Carmichael is the Liberal Democrats’ Chief Whip. His letter to Karen Pollock of the Holocaust Educational Trust about Member of Parliament David Ward’s remarks just before Holocaust Memorial Day is now in the public domain.

When I read it I hoped it was a hoax. It is shameful. And I say so as someone whose links with the Liberal Democrats go back to the old Liberal Party under the leadership of Jo Grimond, one of Carmichael’s predecessors in his parliamentary constituency of Orkney and Shetland and a man of great principle.

Remember, Mr Carmichael, the pledge to defend the right to speak, write, worship, associate and vote freely? And the commitment to fight oppression, ignorance and aggression wherever they occur?

What David Ward said on his website, which caused such an uproar, was simply this:

Having visited Auschwitz twice – once with my family and once with local schools – I am saddened that the Jews, who suffered unbelievable levels of persecution during the Holocaust, could within a few years of liberation from the death camps be inflicting atrocities on Palestinians in the new State of Israel and continue to do so on a daily basis in the West Bank and Gaza.

Years ago we knew the words of the constitution, and the preamble to it, off by heart and tried to live by them. Remember, Mr Carmichael, the pledge to defend the right to speak, write, worship, associate and vote freely? And the commitment to fight oppression, ignorance and aggression wherever they occur?

Remember our responsibility to promote the free movement of ideas, people, goods and services?

Remember our declared support for international law and the holding of individuals and governments to account for crimes against humanity?

Remember Lord Nolan’s Seven Principles of Public Life, especially the one about integrity? It said: “Holders of public office should not place themselves under any financial or other obligation to outside individuals or organizations that might seek to influence them in the performance of their official duties.”

Put away that scalping knife

If Mr Carmichael still holds these things dear, what objection could he have to David Ward’s remarks? Perhaps, when speaking of Jews, Ward should have differentiated between the Jews of the Jewish state, the Jews in the West who support their criminal enterprise at the Palestinians’ expense, and the Jews inside and outside Israel who bravely oppose the brutal occupation.

As for the professional moaners who are always poised to attack the likes of David Ward, do they represent majority or minority Jewish opinion in Britain? We need to know so that we can differentiate.

By the same token isn’t Mr Carmichael guilty of the same failing? He assured Ms Pollock that Mr Ward “does not represent the views of the Liberal Democrat Party in this matter in any way”. Oh? Was he talking about his close colleagues at Westminster or the party at large?

He also told her he wished to “dissociate the Liberal Democrats without reservation or ambiguity from these [Mr Ward’s] remarks”. Do all Liberal Democrats wish to be dissociated? I doubt it.

And wouldn’t it have been wiser to meet with Mr Ward before dashing off the condemnation that his remarks were “offensive”? What’s offensive, it seems to me, is the hounding of Mr Ward. And the people most entitled to be offended by this unseemly bickering are the terrorized, dispossessed, exiled and imprisoned Palestinians.

A much-respected Israeli Jew, Jeff Halper of the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions (ICHD), yesterday re-emphasized that

the two-state solution is dead, buried under settlements and infrastructure too massive and interlinked with Israel to detach, especially given the lack of will among international governments, led by the US and Germany, to exert the pressures on Israel needed to force such massive concessions. But the international community will not move beyond the two-state solution unless prodded – virtually forced – by us, the international civil society. We have the wind to our back. Over the years we have collectively transformed the Palestine issue into one of the world’s great causes, at the level of the anti-apartheid struggle.

The Liberal Democrats would do well to reconnect with the party’s basic principles, align it with this “great cause” and go see for themselves the situation in Gaza, East Jerusalem and the West Bank (though not of course by guided tour with Friends of Israel). Mr Carmichael says elsewhere that he made the trip himself in 2007, describing it as “eye-opening”.

So put away your scalping-knife, please, Mr Carmichael. With Holocaust Memorial Day behind us perhaps feathers can be smoothed and the issues addressed more calmly. The challenge to Israel’s unspeakable behaviour is not going away, nor should it until the regime’s attitude changes fundamentally and the occupation ends. In the meantime those who support, defend and perpetuate it must accept some of the blame.