Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Why Blair Treats Ming With Contempt

Here's the text of a LibDem Press Release today...

At Prime Minister’s Questions today, Liberal Democrat Leader, Sir Menzies Campbell called on Tony Blair to condemn Israel’s continued bombardment of Lebanon. Sir Menzies also asked the Prime Minister whether it was American policy to allow Israel a further period of military action. He said: "How can we be even-handed, if we are not willing to condemn Israel's disproportionate response, which the Prime Minister of Lebanon described as cutting his country to pieces."

So, the leader of Britain's third biggest political party, aspirant Prime Minister and supposed expert on foreign affairs believes that the only democracy in the Middle East should be treated on an equal footing with a ragbag bunch of kidnapping thugs and terrorists. No wonder the Prime Minister treats him with utter contempt at PMQs. With views like these he should expect little else.


Anonymous said...

Ming's been talking to too many mandarins at the FO.

Israel, the only democracy in the ME, understands its enemy and they know what it is going to take to crush them. I support Israel.

Anonymous said...

I thought you were going to have a complete rest after your revelation about DUP/UKIP/BNP, but instead of listening to Dr Henry's wise suggestion you have decided to
blog about Israel while you're still feeling funny.

Jock Coats said...

Huh? You lost me there Iain. Indeed I argue the other way - that it's Blair et al who are granting Hamas/Hezbollah the moral equivalence of a sovereign state.

Anonymous said...

LibDems think life is won on points and have the pacifists approach to survival: ie. they live because the aggressor wants them to, if he wants them to die that's okay by them too.

Iain Dale said...

Mark Senior, I woudl expect better of you. Israeli inspired terrorism?! This all started because Hezbollah kidnapped Israeli soldiers. Get a grip!

Praguetory said...

Mark Senior - You know that no war is being waged on "women and children" by the Israelis. Let's try some empathy. Say that rockets were raining randomly down on your home town and you had the means to stop it, I would consider you to be a simpleton at best if you didn't take the required action. What precise course of action do you expect the Israelis to take at this time?

Anonymous said...

True Verity that the FO (and sadly much too much of the British Liberal classes generally) have long been pro-Arab and anti-Israel - this arises from a wierd mix of closet anti-semitism, love of Lawrence of Arabia boys own sagas (Lawrence was in reality a faschist and a nutjob) and I suspect a tie-in with love of Arab money; if you admire sheikh wealth and corruption and secretly covet your own harem, you cannot but loath Israel which has always stood for at least a modicum of human decency within a sea of decay. But despite all this, is Mingh wrong? Just now, Israel appears to be trying but failing to specifically target Hisballah - the main thrust of their attacks have been against Lebanese infrastructure and people, which is different. In reality only another land invasion can really attack this Syrian-led organisation, and Israel does not want to get bogged down; so the US style "shock and awe" over-reliance on air raids, which actually achieve nothing. I fear deeply for the first time for the future of Israel since it is now locked in a less assymetric conflict with a well-armed group and in a situation where it cannot execute a single military campaign to resolve it. Unless the US attacks Syria and Iran. So Cambell, whilst he is an arse, is unfortunately onto something, since the main hope now is negotiations.

Anonymous said...

I think Ming's point was a fair one, and reflects the views of many people unhappy at the Israeli response to every threat- bomb and bomb again until the terrorist opposition is wiped out for a few months, before the terrorists invariably regroup, with thousands of new supporters outraged at how their homes have been destroyed.

Israel breaks many, many international resolutions. They have made great progress- but setting out with the aim to take Lebanon (I should point out a DEMOCRACY) back '20 years' is really good work that shouldn't be questioned by Ming?


Anonymous said...

No offence Iain, but you don’t seem to have much of a clue what you’re talking about on this one. Lebanon is weak because it’s been a playground for Syria/Iran and Israel to get at each other for the past couple of decades. Hezbollah operate there because there is no one to stop them. Similarly, Israel used the country’s decay to effect when they has huge number of women and children in slaughtered in the Sabra and Shatila refugee camps. Seemingly indiscriminately blowing innocent civilians up isn’t perhaps that useful.

This hasn’t been a very good day for you Iain – partisan hackery and ill-considered smears. I think you’ve cheapened your blog rather.

Anonymous said...

mark senior - You don't think Hezbullah has to be crushed? If you believe it does, here are two routes:

1. As dazza noted: Force the PM of Lebanon to take control of the country he was elected to govern. If he cannot do this, he should call an election in the hope that a strong man will get in.

2. Bomb Lebanon as a kind of mnemonic for 1. (above).

The Israelis have not declared war on women and children (as you well know). The people who occasioned this war are responsible for those deaths and injuries, not Israel. No one wants innocent people to die, but this cannot be presented as blackmail for giving in to terrorists.

Question: Why don't the wives, mothers and sisters of the terrorists stop them from committing their atrocities? Strange that their own community doesn't control them, isn't it? Why don't the elders, who these murdering psychopaths supposedly hold in such regard, force them to stop their terrorist activity? Why do they let their own communities get so far out of control?

Anonymous said...

Phone Cam, "Wake up to what that scummy little country is.
They are not our friends nor friends of the Americans. " How do you manage to support such a grotesque statement? Israel is the only truly democratic country (and it has a real, vital democracy with the rule of law, robust courts and a very multi-racial electorate) in the whole region. It's enemy Hisballah invented the suicide bomber and entertains itself on quiet days by lobbing rockets at school children. Is there a shred of decency in this? Who is the scum? I share your concern about the arrogance with which Israel deals with the British and other naval forces, but one look at the so-called Britons getting on the ship (many of whom look like typical Shias) would give pause to any military commander, particularly given Britain's long history of sheltering terrorists who hate Israel with complete governmental indifference protecting them, an indifference only shaken (and then only barely) by 9/11 and 7/7. Have you perhaps forgotten those incidents? Hesballah soldiers danced in the streets firing guns in the air to celebrate! And you call Israel scum! Shame on you.

Anonymous said...

"Only democracy in the Middle East"

What about our little nation building exercise in Iraq then?

Iain Dale said...

Roy, I stand corrected!

Anonymous said...

Are you wearing camo gear?

Anonymous said...

I support no-one here. Both sides have been thoroughly unhelpful for decades, endangering peace and wrecking the world economy.

Anonymous said...

Anon 10:58 You mean those so-called British being rescued at the expense of the British taxpayer are not even British, except in the fevered mind of the BBC?

Anonymous said...

Iain I am shocked at your and most of your commentators' prejudice and ignorance of the situation in the Lebanon and the unthinking support for Israel. The Israelis appear determined to destroy the Lebanon and kill its people. They say it's in retaliation for what Hezbollah has done but that seems to be the excuse rather than the cause. The least that this government could do would be to take an even handed approach and condemn the violence on both sides rather than tacitly support the Israelis. There is nothing more virtuous about their actions than those of Hezbollah. Even Gerald Kaufman is appalled by what the Israelis are doing. Their extreme response to the kidnapping of two of their soldiers will result in nothing but a terrifying descent into extreme violence and the death and dispossession of thousands of ordinary people most of whom are blameless and powerless to influence the actions of Hezbollah.

What is it about the Middle East that excites such vicious feelings in people?

Anonymous said...

Oh dear, Iain, oh dear.

Why does Blair treat Ming with contempt? For the reason that he treats us all with contempt. Because he can.

Anonymous said...

Whether or not you agree with Ming and the Lib Dems, it is surely a good thing that one of the major political parties is raising concerns about this conflict and calling for even-handedness. The Tories got it badly wrong on Iraq; they may well get it badly wrong this time.

It is perfectly possible to be opposed to terrorism and at the same time to be deeply concerned by Israel's tactics.

The killing by the Israeli military of innocent Lebanese civilians, and let's face it the Lebanese military casualties are mostly innocent too, is as troubling to some people as the killing of civilians by terrorists.

As with Iraq, it is difficult to see how this onslaught against Lebanon is going to do anything other than destabilise the region and act as a recruiting sergeant for Hizbollah?

Anyone would think Israel deliberately wanted to pull Syria and Iran into a conflict... if such a situation occurred, would Iain still be so gung-ho?

Iain Dale said...

Admin note: anyone who posts on this thread anonymously using over the top language will have their comments deleted.

Why is it that one cannot have a rational debate on anything to do with Israel without people resorting to anti-semitic diatribes?

Anyone who wishes to do that can bugger off to another blog.

Anonymous said...

I have never been one of a crowd, but today I have to accept that the majority is probably right and your true calling is in and around parliament. But, you have a lot of moral courage in posting our little criticisms of your views on this knotty problem. Courage is the first requirement.

I know you are going to think I am an arrogant pompous tosser for writing this and you are probably right.

indigo said...

Israel would behave very differently if America did not write her a blank cheque - paying for her munitions and for mending things that Israel breaks. Without US financial and military support, Israel would have to find an accommodation with her neighbours.

I am with the Lebanon. Two kidnapped Israeli soldiers does not justify killing several hundred men, woman and children, destroying roads and bridges, hospitals, and livelihoods of those reliant on the tourist trade.

Anonymous said...

I am not surprised if Tony Blair doesn't condemn the killing of children and innocent people by Israel.

I am however, surprised and bitterly disappointed that Mr Dale chooses to belittle those that are critical of that policy.

Shame on you Mr Dale. Shame on you.


Chris Palmer said...

If the terrorists cared about their so called people, then they wouldn't hide in family houses and fire rockets from them. Engaging in sneaky underhand acts of violence is just asking for trouble.

Anonymous said...

A couple of people have asked 'well what would you do if you were Isreal?' seemingly with no sense of our own history.

For decades the IRA waged what they called a 'war' against the UK including attempting to murder an entire Government.

We dealt with those outrages through rule of law. We didn't launch bombing missions against Dublin or Washington because known and suspected terrorists were (and indeed still are) hiding in Eire and the US.

I don't accept that these are acceptable ways to respond and suspect that if this was the UK or US bombing an area of Iraq and killing innocents after the kidnapping of one of our troops many of those supporting Israel would take a different stance.

What I've also noticed from comments here and on other blogs is that people seem to have a belief that any one life is worth more than another - they are not.

Nor do I accept the claims of those who say that the Israeli soldiers are fair game - especially as those kidnapped all seem to be conscripts.

They and their families must be scared witless but equally so will those who are unconnected with this agression and run the risk of death at the hands of Israeli artillery and bombing.

This militatry action won't offer a long term solution and unless the tragic cycle of blame and counter-blame, killing following killing is broken many more people on all sides will die and suffer.

People of all religions should think that a shame.

Anonymous said...

I am getting seriously worried I have got it all wrong. I hate hate-fests, although I have never seen one against our esteemed Blogger-in-Chief before.

Iaando, I'm coming in. Just give me a minute to think of good reasons for killing these Lebanese and supporting the only democracy in the Middle East (plus Iraq!).

Anonymous said...

injured cyclist: "I agree with neither side but do feel Israel's response is disproportionate."

Why cannot people understand that there is no disproportionate response to aggression? The "proportionate response" is the response that works.

Indigo (I like your name!) said: Two kidnapped Israeli soldiers does not justify killing several hundred men, woman and children, destroying roads and bridges, hospitals, and livelihoods of those reliant on the tourist trade.

It is no more "disproportionate" than the War of Jenkins' Ear. Countries must stand behind their fighting forces unequivocally, given that all of our (legitimate) fighting forces are carrying out the policy of their governments. Israel was correct to lash out against the kidnap of two of her soldiers. I admire the Israelis because they have clarity of vision and they don't equivocate.

Anonymous said...

Martin, "We dealt with those outrages through rule of law." The IRA didn't lob missiles over the water every 20 minutes at our cities. If they had been doing that, I can assure you the tanks would have rolled. And in case you've forgotten, our troops were all over Northern Ireland for 20+ years.

Anonymous said...

Phone cam fooley
Your ignorence is quite astounding.
My mother a Jew married my father a Christian. What law are you refering to as I know of none. As for emmigating to Israel. Have you ever tried to emmigrate to anywhere outside the EU? You will find it is difficult if not imposible to emmigate to any country including places like India unless you have a large amount of money and or are a well paid professional.

You have convinced me that you have all the makeings of a true Nazi. I suppose the fact that you are a self confesed member of the BNP, should have given us a clue. I think that being a member of said party is one reason why they would not have you there even if you were Richard Branson.

Anonymous said...

What a ridiculous post. This false choice between supporting Israel or the surrounding arabic countries is absurd. If you are really concerned about stopping people dying, choosing sides does not deflate the situation. Israel's response has been disproportionate given that 8 soldiers were killed and 2 soldiers were kidnapped. Israel delcared this an "act of war", failing to notice that only STATES can declare acts of war. The consequences on civilian locations and infrastructures has been horrific. How can it be justified that the whole nation-state including its innocent civilians are held accountable for a small act committed by an organisaton against military officials? I quote from the BBC website:

"Even though Hezbollah is operating from Lebanese territory and the militant group has two ministers in the Lebanese government, central government is almost powerless to influence the militant group."

If you think Israel's actions are justified, you lack empathy and a commitment to defusing the situation. And at no point am I implying that the initial act against Israel was justified. It was underhanded and wrong. But it doesn't follow that I have to agree with Israel's ruthless response.

Anonymous said...

Why do America and Britain love Israel? What do we get except shit in return for unstinting support of this brutal country? I'm not defending Islamic nutters but Israel's response to Hezbollah is like Britain bombing Dublin in retaliation for the Docklands bomb. (Though no doubt a few on here would have agreed with that).

Anonymous said...

"...the only democracy in the Middle East should be treated on an equal footing with a ragbag bunch of kidnapping thugs and terrorists."

Do you mean the "democracy" founded by a ragbag bunch of kidnapping* thugs and terrorists in 1948 who expelled 100,000's of Palestinians to make the numbers right for their "democracy"?

Please explain why you give so much support to a state that got away with what Serbia tried to do?

*The kidnapping I am referring to is that of two British sergeants who they subsequently murdered.

Maybe we should have set the RAF on them and not be left with this sore.

Usually you come across as quite intelligent. On this issue you come across as some barstool pundit spouting the usual crap at how goody goody the Israelis for killing civilians because they spin that they didn't mean to.

Run the figures and see who's killed the most in the Middle East - and that goes for thsoe who have killed the most Britons.

Talk about suckers for spin.

Anonymous said...

martin hoscik - Dear God - if one more person tries to reduce the war in the ME and the proposed obliteration of Israel from the face of the earth, I will scream and frighten the iguanas.

It is irrelevant. Please stop trying to reduce the issue to something you can understand within the United Kingdom. We are not, as in the implication, "as bad as they are". You are failing to make distinctions in your rush to condemn the Israelis.

We used to be made of sterner stuff. Remember the War of Jenkins' Ear. And damn' straight, too! Every country should have the steel to protect and avenge its armed forces who are not acting as freelance decision-makers but are carrying out the policies of their countries.

To those pacifists who whimper about "disproportionate response", here's a tip: the response that works is the "proportionate response".

I too am sorry for the children and the women, but their menfolk perhaps should have been more mindful of their welfare when they boldly embarked on this latest manifestation of religious fervour – which is, so often, territorial fervour, wouldn’t you agree?

Anonymous said...

Could someone explain to me what was the British government doing starting war against Germany in 1939 on the same day as Poland was invaded, without one single British death and not one bomb landing in Britain? What was Churchill doing destroying the French fleet at Cadiz killing hundreds of french people. Why did America drop two Atomic bombs on Japan?

The answer was because the Allies wanted to win. Thats why. Win with the minimal deaths of their own troops and civilians. Is that not what any responsible national government is expected to do?

Disproportionate!!! In WAR this term is tottaly meaningless. Unless you want Israel to lose that is. Please understand that Israel has no intention of losing, whatever you Tony Blair George Bush Putin or in fact anyone says. Like that FACT or not.

Anonymous said...


You do your position no good with obvious lies such as

"You are failing to make distinctions in your rush to condemn the Israelis"

I haven't condemned anyone and indeed if you bother to reflect on my surname you might even understand that me condemning Jews out of hand isn't very likely at all...

ian said...

Just because you don't approve of the results doesn't make Palestine any less democratic. The main obstacle to increased democracy in Palestine is Israel kidnapping the government.

That's why Israel should be treated equally to a bunch of kidnapping thugs and terrorists. That's what Israel is.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous - our troops were deployed in support of the police within our own borders.

Anonymous said...

If Israel can cause enough damage to Lebanon the international community will have to step in and refocus on achieving peace. Peace and justice are what we all want.

Anonymous said...

I think you're wrong here - this won't do Ming any harm at all. Particularly with disaffected Labour voters and the media. Blair is discredited on this one because of the Bush connection, and Cameron is again showing his lack of foreign affairs experience. The TV pictures from Lebanon are going to get worse, as casualties mount, and the dull interviews on Sky with fleeing Britons will all be anti-Israel. Its actually Ming's first smart move, and puts him ahead of the curve. Charlie would have done the same.

Anonymous said...

Personally I thought Ming's questions to the Prime Minister in the G8 Debate yesterday and PMQ's today were good. The Prime Minister and Labour Government came to power claiming they would practice a ethical foreign policy, that should surely entail the PM being more even handed than he is now.

Anonymous said...

martin hoscik says: "We dealt with those outrages through rule of law." No, you dealt with them through appeasement. That is why they won. Geddit?

More Martin Joscik: I've "reflected on [your] name" as you request, but can't seem to read the runes. What does this gnomic statement mean?

old cynic: "That's some clarity of vision, to die for a cause you weren't involved in but say 'Hey Ho, that's life (and death)'

But they are involved. It's the cause of Islamic aggression in the cause of their allah who requires that the whole world be Muslim and states in their koran that Jews are the sons of monkeys and pigs. Despite pigs and monkeys both being highly intelligent species, doesn't this turn your stomach?

This has nothing to do with events, as you quote, "100 miles away". How provincial. This thinking permeates Muslim beliefs all over the earth, wherever there are Muslims, which is why they have to be contained.

Anonymous said...

Verity, you are about to put me in a bad mood. Are you happy at home?

The Military Wing Of The BBC said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Davide Simonetti said...

only democracy in the Middle East? The Americans and their poodle constantly tell us that Iraq is a democracy now don't they? Surely they wouldn't be telling lies. Lebanon was a democracy too, a democracy in need of help in order to get rid of its extremists. Israel with the support America and poodle have destroyed the country and any prospect of it being democratic. The extremists will have won now... just like Iraq. Way to go!

The Military Wing Of The BBC said...

See I thought the Leb was a democracy as was Iraq.
What's starting to p me off is that Israel, according to many today in the UK, is entitled to do all this stuff, whereas on 29th August 1979* the UK couldn't have done anything ("but that's paid off in the long term").
if any members of HEZBOLLAH, pitched up at Heathrow, claiming whatever, they'd be treated the same under our laws as widows of Brits who've been killed in Iraq fighting for us. Its starting to p me off - you can't keep justifying fighting for our values by proxy in the Levant, its either fight for them here, in the UK, WITH THE GLOVES OFF or condemn Israel for fighting with the gloves off, not neither.
*18 members of the Royal Green Jackets were killed by members of the IRA located just over the border in the Republic of Ireland. On the same day as Lord Mountbatten and 2 others were blown to bits, also in Southern Ireland.

Joe Taylor said...

Yes, Iain, the government of Israel should be treated on an equal footing with the government of Lebabon. Why? Because their citizens are equal stakeholders in the situation, and have an equal right to life in which the legitimacy of their governments is not a factor.

Do the citizens of some countries deserve to die for the shortcomings of their governments?

Like it or not, democracy is simply not in the blood of the Arabic world. We can't force democracy on them - not because democracy itself would be a bad thing, but rather because it won't work without full participation. We can however do what we can foster, encourage and protect it in those countries where it takes root, and we've been bloody awful at that.

Lebanon is - or was - one of those countries. Despite having a GDP per capita smaller than Turkmenistan, the people managed to band together, chuck out the Syrians and hold free legislative elections, and all without us needing to invade them. Now we've almost certainly sent them back into the arms of the extremists.

I'm disappointed, Iain, that you and the Conservative Party would take such an establishmentarian view on this. US/UK policy in the Middle East has consistently failed for 50 years precisely because of a failure to treat all stakeholders equally. Blair has brought nothing new to the table in nine years of government. Why not call him on it? I'd like to see Her Majesty's Opposition doing some opposing, please.

Now is the time to ask the difficult questions. Why hasn't the U.S. Secretary of State been to the region yet? Why aren't the U.S. State department demanding an immediate cease-fire from both sides? Why aren't we? What did Ms. Rice mean when she said that the U.S. would wait to pursue a cease-fire until "the conditions are right"?

Are the "right" conditions when thousands of people are dead, the rest are without food, water, electricity or transportation and severely pissed off, and the Hezbollah leadership are in hiding in Syria?

This is not hubris; you can deride Ming until the cows come home and not hear a peep out of me. We're all being fed a line here, and you and the Tories are helping it happen. That sticks in my throat.

Anonymous said...

Mossad/CIA Plan:

1) Level Lebannon - destroy all infratructure necessary for Hezbollah, Republican Guard, Islamic Resistance and Syrian army.

2) Destroy all significant commercial interests of the above in Lebanon.

3) Disperse Shia population out of south Lebanon.

4) Deplete as far as possible stocks of Hezbollah munitions.

5) Tie-up all forces described in 1) above and prevent inventory and manpower going to IRAQ.

6) Punish Aoun for failing to disarm Hezbollah and detach Christians from this unoffical alliance.

7) Warning to Assad of what Israeli airpower could do to Syria.

8) Let Syria and Iran pay for the clean up.

9) Wait for suitable provocation (kidnap of IDF conscripts) to unleash hell.

10) Beware the wrath of a patient man...

Anonymous said...

Henry Mayhew - What an amusing little self-important statement: "Verity, you are about to put me in a bad mood".

The interest I have in your moods is ... well ... oh, 'xcuse me, was I yawning?

Israel is correct to go in and take care of the problem. Leave them alone. When the Israelis have sorted it out, you will benefit. Ever thought of that?

BTW, could the posters who denigrate Israel learn to spell the name of the country? It's only six letters, so shouldn't be too hard to remember for mahatamas such as yourselves.

Anonymous said...

Has anyone got a sensible idear on how you fight any type of war disproportionate of otherwise with out the high risk of children getting killed. Because this concept is "cload cookoo land."This is not the battle of Waterloo.

The only time Israel since 1947 has had any prolonged period of peace is after they have won victories over their enemies on the Battlefield. This is Israeli history experience and their reality.

You could argue I think very well that it is also Britains and Americas. Come to think about it, also the worlds. Sorry to depress you all but that is just how human history is.

The bigger the victory the longer the peace. Also people, and that inclues children, get killed. At the end of the day we all care about our own children more than we care about those that belong to people that may kill our own. Some of you people nead a real reality check.

Some of you peoples wooly thinking is why "bad situations" are allowed to carry on long enough so they can get really out of hand.

We all, I hope, know how the Battle in the Pacific ended, so try to all stop talking crap, unless you want this one to end the same way. Iran here we come, sooner or later.

Anonymous said...

Please try not to compare this siuation with N. Ireland. We have reletive peace because the people of the place wanted it. The IRA were fighting for a united Ireland which they did not get. So infact we won. But not until over 3000 men women and CHILDREN had been killed.

I like you do not have 20-20 hindsite so you can not say that the situation could not have been better handled by simply rounding up all the IRA leaderships. We knew where they were and where they all lived.

The IRA never declared war on the British people or had the express wish to destroy Britain state. Was not funded or run by a foreign countries government, that also has nukes. Also the IRA delliberately tried not to provoke the British people into a silly response. This was never part of their plan.

The British government did not lob missiles at N Ireland, because N Ireland is British and is full of British people. If the French or the Germans or the Italians or the Spanish or the Argentinians had been doing what the IRA was doing. I can Bett you all the money in your wagepackets you would have seen a much more different response. As you did in 1982 remember.

Anonymous said...

It's important to note here that Phone Cam Fool is a BNP supporter as declared on this site, and that Henry Mayhew called for the land of Israel to be taken away from the Jews and for Israel to be "moved to America" on Conservative Home

Anonymous said...

Lebanon is a concept not a self governing state. Hezbollah, now more puppet than indendent is acting on behalf of Syria and more importantly Iran. Iran will be the dominant force in MEast within five years as it leads the anti Israel coalition. Objective is to destroy Israel.Palestine provides a useful cover to recruit the bleeding hearts.
Re death of woman and children in Beirut. Keith Graves summed it up best on Sky Report. Hezbollah armouries operate from domestic residences. Who are the criminals.

Anonymous said...


Some uncomfortable facts. The Israeli soldiers were seized on the Lebanese side of the border. Hardly kidnapped.

There are thousands of Lebanese citizens who have disappeared into Israeli prisons without due cause, basically kidnapped. It's a big issue in Lebanan.

indigo said...

Israel is a nuclear power. It is incumbent upon Israel, as upon everyone else, to observe international law. Whining that everyone else has to toe the line first, before Israel need abandon illegal aggression is the reasoning of a fifth-former. Eg parties to a conflict have the obligation to exercise precaution and respect the principle of proportionality in all military operations so as to prevent unnecessary suffering among the civilian population. "Indiscriminate shelling of cities constitutes a foreseeable and unacceptable targeting of civilians", she said. "Similarly, the bombardment of sites with alleged military significance, but resulting invariably in the killing of innocent civilians, is unjustifiable".

The latest escalation of misery and oppression in Gaza started AFTER Israel abducted two Gaza civilians, a doctor and his brother, on 24 June, that the ONE Israeli soldier was then abducted. Nothing has been heard since of the doctor and his brother. The utterly craven Beeb isn't, as far as I know, reporting the first abduction (by the Israelis).

Anonymous said...

livingstone_get_lost: I'm sure you're well aware that those Lebanese phalangists were sent in under instruction of the Israeli army and that Gen. Sharon was widely considered personally responsible for the massacre. Stop spinning.

Anonymous said...

"...the only democracy in the Middle East..."

- You mean that Lebanon isn't a democracy?

Anonymous said...

And just the fact that Israel is a democracy doesn't justify killing innocent civilians.

Benedict White said...

Iain, Just in case you had not noticed, the Lebanon elects its parliament.

Israel spent donkeys years trying to defeat Hezboulah militarily and failed. It looks like they are also failing here.

Bombing civilians is wrong, no matter who does it, hezboulah bombing Jews Christians and Muzlims in Israel or Israel bombing then in the Lebanon.

Your approach is far too simplistic I am afraid.

Anonymous said...

gary powell said: "The IRA never declared war on the British people or had the express wish to destroy Britain state. Was not funded or run by a foreign countries government, that also has nukes. Also the IRA delliberately tried not to provoke the British people into a silly response. This was never part of their plan."

Sorry but you're wrong.

The IRA most certainly did declare war on the British people and I'm not sure how else to characterise the attempted assassination of an entire Government but the IRA than as an attempt to "destroy Britain state".

Further, as well as the good people of New York the IRA DID receive funding from hostile nations. They also received weapons and training from them - where do you think all those shiny AK-47's and the Semtex used to kill innocents came from?

To claim it's somehow different because when Libya and others armed them those nations didn't have Nukes is a pretty odd distinction.

Ross said...

{The Israeli soldiers were seized on the Lebanese side of the border. Hardly kidnapped.}

Do you have a source for this claim? I've seen people on a few blogs make it but it appears to be a bare faced lie.

Anonymous said...

You haven't really thought this one through have you. As someone else has already said, your comments do rather cheapen your site and reveal, perhaps, a considerable lack of understanding on your behalf of the situation.

Dully, the whole thing is slightly more complicated than Israel good/Lebanon bad or visa versa. Whilst a response is needed against Hezbollah the destruction of what little democracy there is in Lebanon is only going to destabilise the situation further. Maybe you should think beyond the good old fashioned knee jerk response.

Anonymous said...

Indigo - the BBC did report Israel seizing two men in Gaza.

Very easy to find - just search "Gaza" on the BBC News and go back to the 24th June. Surprised you couldn't find it yourself.

Anonymous said...

Quite right too Iain - it seems anti-semitism is the last acceptable prejudice out there.
About time these people accepted Israel's right to exist, in peace, and to defend itself vigorously.

Jeff said...

I have a question,

If the terrorist organisations attacking Israel, and lets not forget that is what they are.

If these organisations are so willing to die for their cause why not have the bottle to stand up and fight.

Instead they hide behind the Civilian population and scream that Israel are killing innocent people.

Who put these pepole in the firing line in the first place?

Knowing Israels response to rockets being fired from your house, would you say ok to your freindly neibouhood terrorist when he knocked on your door and said "excuse me sir would you mind if we built a rocket launching platform on your roof"

Get real people. terrorist will not bow to those who do not show the willingness to hurt them and the ones they care for.

In fighting fanantics the rules must go out of the window.

To sum the sitution up who would you want ruling tha area of the middle east.

A state that will protect it's people and come down hard on terrorrism, or a bunchof fanantics who would happily cut your throat because they disagree with things like you having the right to share your views as we do here?

Anonymous said...

it may be worth pointing out that after 9 days of bomabardment, 300 deaths is a very small number in modern warfare. that is not a callous statement, however, it must be realised that Israel goes to greater lengths than eny other country to avoid civilian deaths.
People seem to miss the point that Israel have no intention of claiming sovereignty over Lebanese land, this is purely an operation to eliminate the threat of Hezbollah.

Iain Dale said...

Several people on this thread have alleged that the ISraeli soldiers were in Lebanese territory when they were kidnapped by Hezbollah. This is utter rubbish. They were in Israeli territory. As well as kidnapping two Israeli soldiers they also killed 8 Israeli citizens. These are not interpretations. They are facts.

Benedict White said...

Iain, My understanding was they killed 8 soldiers and captured 2 alive, as oppossed to 8 civilians.

That said I don't know where the claims of them being on the Lebonease side of the border come from.

On the 300 dead in modern warfare bit, having grown up in Beirut you can tell when people are trying to limit civilain casualties and when they are not.

Neither side is doing much in that regard right now.

BTW Iain, when will you ever learn that the best way to start a pointless argument is to try getting a reasoned debate on the issue?

Anonymous said...

Although I support Israel whole-heartedly in this and most things I don't think that people who don't agree with me are "anti-semitic". It's an infantile and leftie habit to start flinging around epithets at people who hold opposing opinions.

Someone noted that Phone Cam Foolery votes for the BNP. So what? It's a legal party.

Anonymous 11:51 - Good points. I wish the circus in Britain masquerading under the name of "government" had the steely determination to fight terrorism that Israel constantly demonstrates.

Indigo - You couldn't find any purple ink for your underlining? Another one promulgating this chimera of "international law".

Where are these "international laws" made? Where is the debating chamber where they are debated? When was the election for our representatives, because it slipped right by me?

There is no such thing as international law. Only treaties and treaties only exist, and have ever existed throughout history, until they no longer suit one side, in which case, the treaty gets ignored and it's dead in the water. There is no "international law".

Benedict White said...

Verity, international law does exist by treaty in part but also by virtue of the UN, where binding resolutions are passed by the security council containg 15 members, 5 permenent.

The reason for its creation is fundamentaly because we don't want to go through another bloodbath like the second world war.

The Military Wing Of The BBC said...

phone cam foolery - USS Liberty - you know I've never before heard of this incident. Perhaps the BBC should mention it during the current Royal Navy operation to rescue the British Tax Exiles, sorry I mean refugees, from the Lebanon.
I know this may sound brutal but I think qualification for the protection of the RN should extend only to those people who have actually been paying for it for the past 20 years. People with British P60s, not British Passports.

Anonymous said...

and yet Benedict White the UNO is structured in a similar manner to The League of Nations

The League Council had the authority to deal with any matter affecting world peace. The Council began with four permanent members (the Britain, France, Italy, Japan) and four non-permanent members elected by the Assembly every three years. The first four non-permanent members were Belgium, Brazil, Greece and Spain. The United States was meant to be the fifth permanent member, but the United States Senate was dominated by the Republican Party after the 1918 election and voted on March 19, 1920 against the ratification of the Treaty of Versailles, so the fifth permanent seat was taken by China. The composition and the number of members of the Council subsequently, with the number of non-permanent members increasing to six on September 22, 1922 and to nine on September 8, 1926. Germany joined the League and became a sixth permanent member of the Council on September 8, 1926, taking the Council to a total of fifteen members. With the departure of Germany and Japan from the League, their places were taken by new non-permanent members.

The Council met on average five times a year, and in extraordinary sessions when required. In total, 107 public sessions were held between 1920 and 1939.

Each Member of the Assembly had one vote and The Secretariat organised the Agenda

The League oversaw the Permanent Court of International Justice and several other agencies and commissions created to deal with pressing international problems. These were the Disarmament Commission, the Health Organization, the International Labour Organization, the Mandates Commission, the Permanent Central Opium Board, the Commission for Refugees, and the Slavery Commission.

A case of Deja-Vu.

Benedict White said...

Rick, not entirely as the UN has mandated the use fo force and such force has been used, for example in the first Gulf war. The League on the other hand talked a lot and as far as I know, no army went to defend the principles of international law for example in Ethiopia.

It does nto help when both the UK and USA drops its standards because all the really bad guys can say "but you do the same"

Anonymous said...

Rick - thanks for that.

Benedict White - their "laws" have no legitimacy because I didn't have a vote formy representative. I was disenfranchised! I want my vote!

I didn't vote for any representative of any of the thugs representing Libya, Somalia, Zimbabwe, Syria, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Algeria, Sudan, Egypt, Venezuela, Pakistan,Bangladesh and the thugs,when coupled with the socialists - and very often they vote the same way, both being of a controlling nature - are in the majority.

So the majority in the UN will inevitably vote against democracy and the democratic and reasonable voice will always be silenced. (Well, not always, because America is robust enough just to ignore them and pursue its own interests regardless.)

I also didn't get to vote for the corrupt thug who's inexplicably at the head of it and has a son who is shoulder deep in UN corruption. I also didn't vote for any of the people who, under the guise of "humanitarian aid", went to African and raped hundreds of children. Or the inept, corrupt and laughable people who run the UN "peacekeepers".

The UN has absolutely no legitimacy and its resolutions are binding only in the way that treaties are binding: until they stop suiting one of the signatories.

Benedict White said...

Verity, the point of the 5 permenent members, 3 of them democracies is that they can veto things taht they do not like.

If you just go on the might is right philosophy then at some point China is going to have the might, and getting into a protracted arms race will cost massive amounts of cash.

Furthermore if you have nowhere for diplomacy to take place you just end up with more wars. They cost lots of money.

Benedict White said...

Just out of interest William Hauge has just described Israels use of force is disproportionate. Common sense, just why I am a Conservatve.

He is also pointing out why a "peace keeping force in Southern Lebonan is a bit tricky.

Anonymous said...

Benedict White - oh, gosh! How did we ever manage to construct the Treaty of Versailles without input from a Ugandan ex-general, a Libyan ex-general and a Somali warlord? We Westerners must be very clever indeed!

Mankind has been making (and breaking) treaties since two fellas of roughly the same size faced off with two clubs of roughly the same weight. They wrought a peace treaty. It worked until one of them found a way to get extra men on his side and he invaded.

You are seriously misreading China or you haven't done much reading about China at all. They are not interested in extraterritorial adventures. They've got all they can do managing a population of 1.2bn.

Within 50 years, there will be three superpowers - two of them in the Anglosphere: the United States (which may or may not include Britain by then), India and China. None of these three will be going to war - or engage in proxy wars - against the others. Rich is the new war.

All the other countries - including the united socialist republics in the EU - will fade in importance, except as customers.

The Anglosphere will retain its influence because of our language and our population. Not as large as China's or India's to be sure, but with the United States, Canada, Great Britain, Australia, New Zealand, the West Indies, Sri Lanka, the Philippines, it's pretty huge.

It's going to be a hell of a ride. I can't wait!

Anonymous said...

Oh dear Iain. Censoring replies ... sad.

Benedict White said...

Verity, I don't know which country you are from, but you appear to be a svivel eyed loon to me. An atlantasist fantasist of the first order.

As for China's ambitions, what about Tibet?

You may also have not noticed how they are going around the world extending their grip on a lot of raw material resource, dealing with places like The Sudan, and Zimbabwe.

As for the treaty of Versailles, lots of people were represented their, and as I recal the structures put in place did not appear to prevent the second world war.

Iain Dale said...

Anonymous, I will repeat what I said above. If you do not put a name to your post, and post anonymously with either blatant lies or insults, then I will indeed intercept your Post. I make absolutely no apology for that.

If you're so sure of your facts, put a name to your posts. Not that difficult, I'm sure you'll agree.

In six months I'd say I have only intercepted less than 30 posts, mainly for abusive swearing or racist abuse. In the last 24 hours I've had to delete about a dozen, partly for that reason but also for telling outright lies.

If you don't like it, go and annoy someone else.

Benedict White said...

Iain, can you give an example of an outright lie?

Anonymous said...

Benedict White - true to form for the angry inarticulate. If someone doesn't agree with you, or makes a comment to which you object, why, they must be a swivel eyed loon! Not a person with an opposing point of view. No! A swivel eyed loon! It's the only reasonable explanation! Anyone who doesn't agree with you is mad, mad!

To answer your points briefly and courteously. You are right about Tibet, but this was an adventure they embarked on - what? - 50 years ago. It was a different regime and a different China then. They could vacate it, I suppose, although there doesn't seem to be any pressure for them to do so, and they have just built a sky train across the Himalayas. I haven't read anything about their plans for Tibet, but I don't see them giving it up. But that was then. My point is, China will not be embarking on any new territorial adventures. They are too busy making money.

You say they are securing resourceds, as though that were something sinister. Why on earth shouldn't they secure resources? We do the same. Presumably they are paying the market rate for them, rather than marching in and taking them?

They need them. Their growth rate is currently at eight per cent. They are consuming vast amounts of raw materials for their manufacturing base and also for the infrastructure to serve that manufacturing base. Roads, docks, bridges, airports, warehouses, factories. And they are selling them peacably, all over the world.

As for your comment on the Treaty of Versailles, yes. That was exactly my point. Treaties don't mean diddly.

If you respond to one of my posts again, keep a civil tongue in your head.

Hey said...

I am deeply ashamed that the country of my ancestors and my queen has sunk so low. We used to fight and die for principle, fought for our troops, our people, and our allies. Now, you lot are complaining that Israel is trying to stop frequent cross border rocket attacks (which have been ongoing since 2000 from Lebanon and last fall in Gaza) and the cross border kidnap and murder of its soldiers.

In support of this you bring up the idiotic and shameful example of the British government's continual surrender to communist terrorists in Ireland. That my Queen and her ancestors surrendered her citizens to a group of thugs in the south is horrible, and the creeping surrender of the rights of the loyalists is treason by the government against its citizens. Boston truly desrves to be destroyed for its continual support of terrorism, and I truly hope that the British government will at some point take that up with the US.

I am truly astonished at the anti-semitism of Britons. Why do you hate Israel and the Jews so much? You will have to face up to yours sins, and hopefully your savior doesn't take that out on you too harshly (I wouldn't get my hopes up). I hope that you see the error of your ways and regain the humanity and honor that you used to embody. Course, you could just be a bunch on unreconstructed Mosleyites, which would explain a great deal.

Benedict White said...


China is doing all sorts of deals supporting all sorts of people we would regard as undesiable. That is my point.

It is true however that everyone making money tends to reduce the likely hood of wars, but that is not always the case.

And I stand by my comment. You want to end all concept of international law, leave the UN, and become the 51'st state. That seems to be a view very far from the norm.

Anonymous said...

Iain, I posted two links from other news sites which mentioned the location of Israeli soldiers when they were seized - ie. in Lebanese territory. There was nothing remotely abusive. If you don't agree with the reports, that's fine, but to label them outright as lies is very disappointing.

In the meantime I will get an account - we'll see how much good that does.

The Military Wing Of The BBC said...

- I guess whats going on here is a discussion as to the strategic value to the UK of supporting Israel.
International treaties/alliances in the past have been of a selfish nature and normally have little to do with "the high moral ground". eg our treaty with Stalin, our sell out at Munich.
Isreal recognises that it is pointless relying on any European power and has planned not to need to do so. What does the UK get in return for its implicit support for Israel?

Anonymous said...

Benedict White - China is doing deals with undesirable people. So do we. Governments are pragmatists.

Yes. I want the UN shut down. It's corrupt, inept, ineffective, weak and is run by thugs and gangsters of the lowest order. It accomplishes absolutely nothing that is not done better privately, or by elected national governments. The UN is a giant maw for taxpayers' money and it produces absolutely nothing.

We don't need intermediaries for making treaties. We've been doing it on our own for thousands of years without help from African strongmen and presidents for life and S American dictators. The UN is a liability because it confers respectability on totalitarian regimes. For example, Libya was chairing the Human Rights Commission.

Re statehood. If we did get accepted as a state, there would be surprisingly little change. All the states make their own laws, so we could keep all of ours, including driving on the left. We could also keep our royalty, as the Hawaians have done.

I would like to see us remain independent, of course; but if the choice is between being subsumed in the European Union of Socialist Republics or the United States of America, then I vote for democracy, freedom and capitalism.

Obviously, it will be advantageous to belong to one of the big three trading blocks. (Being part of India might be rather exciting, but I don't think it's on the cards.) Of course, in another sense, the US is also part of the Anglosphere, along with Canada, India, Australia, New Zealand, Malaysia and Singapore, all of which operate on English Common Law. So in that sense, we have a close allegiance with the US in any event. By my reckoning, the Anglosphere has around 2bn people. China has around 1.2bn.

I hold out applying to join the US as an option, that is all. The world is going to change fast and we have to be positioned to take advantage of it.

Benedict White said...

Oh, and the real problem is that Israel have entered into a ground war is finding it harder going than it thought, so we could end up with the worst of all worlds, Hzboulah being "victorious" again, getting to rebuild bits of the Lebanon with money ithas got from elsewhere thus shoring up its support and making it much harder for the Lebonease government to deal with the problem.

Anonymous said...

"Israel have entered into a ground war is finding it harder going than it thought".

No. The Israeli military is not stupid enough to enter an arena it does not understand or isn't familiar enough with. They are meticulous. They always prevail.

Benedict White said...

Verity, I have lived on the lebonease side of the border, and clearly you are a gibbering idiot and I claim my five pounds.

Just in case you had not noticed, Israel did not withdraw from the Lebanon in 2000 as an act of a victor they did so because they were beaten. Go read haaretz you stupid woman.

As for Hezboulah I can't understand why they are attacking a majority Palestinian city (Nazereth) and a minority Palestinian city Haifa. That said Katushkas are inacurate by their nature, but not so inacurate that they can kill civilians regardless.

Anonymous said...

Benedict White - I told you to keep a civil tongue in your head when responding to my posts. You termed me a "swivel-eyed loon" (not spelled correctly, if I recall) because I didn't agree with you about the United Nations and "international law" and now you refer to me as a "stupid woman" because I didn't live in Lebanon.

Even had you spelled your posts correctly, you would have been out of line:

"Verity, I have lived on the lebonease [sounds like a reclining armchair] side of the border,"

Also, in the same post: "Go read haaretz you stupid woman."

I don't mind an argument at all - it's why we're all here - but you are way over the line.

You do not respond to other men in such an angry tone.

Iain Dale said...

benedict - tone it down. yellow card!

Benedict White said...

Sorry about the yellow card Iain, but I know and have seen real people die in front of my eyes.

Verity, go read haaretz, and my comments on about how this would all come to pass.

I said several days ago that Hezboulah provoked thos because they knew what would happen.

It is true that Israel has been remarkably more brutal, and commited more war crimes than usual (Hezboulah has also) however Hezboulaf are still there, still undiminished, but more able to stand the internal political preasusre of the Lebonease government.

Could I suggest you look at the Beirut star and Haaretz because I fear you have no idea about the situation on the ground.

indigo said...

Reply to dr maybe: that detail was omitted from all the Radio 4 bulletins that I heard. The BBC has a statutory responsibility to maintain balance, and most of Middle England does not sit on computers all day. International law makes a distinction between capturing civilians and capturing soldiers, and I think that the BBC should bring that out in one short sentence.

To someone else who alleged that the British are anti-semitic: no, you are mistaking being anti-oppression, anti-cruelty, anti-lawless, anti-criminal for being anti-semitic. The invasion of Iraq has radicalised me more than anything before has done so, and one of the things that shocks me most is the cruelty of Zionists and pro-Zionists towards non-Jews.

Anonymous said...

I am sure no-one other than our esteemed ed. is still reading this thread, but for the record, Anonymous (the coward) is lying when he says I wanted Israel to "be taken away from the Jews" and "called for Israel to be moved to America", over on ConservativeHome. The sentence on CH was:

"My view, is that in the long run Israel will be re-established in the States and the problem will be solved."

I happen to believe that for demographic and geo-political reasons that will be the long-term outcome. 100 years plus.

It is not nice to be misquoted maliciously.