Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Demo at the Knesset and Tomorrow in Ramallah

I'll be writing up the day's events in Jerusalem a bit later, but I thought I'd just post this. We have just spent an hour talking to the leaders of one of Israel's minor parties at the Knesset. We then went into the chamber, but as we made our way out of the building we saw arouind 100 people runniging towards us shouting and brandishing red flags, having breached the security barrier. The security people told us to run in the opposite direction. I have to say we ambled as we were more interested in getting pictures on our cameraphones (I will add one later). For a fleeting moment I must admit I wondered what might happen next, but everything was OK. They made their point and within a few minutes were making their way out again. I had a word with one of them and it turned out that it was a good old fashioned student protest about education cuts.

Those who seem to think I am on an indoctrination trip and that I can't possibly have a mind of my own (in which case why do they come back here?) will be delighted to know that tomorrow will be spent visiting Ramallah, going to a 'refugee camp' and talking to various representatives from the Palestinian Authority and the British Consul. Then we're going to Bethlehem. Unlike some of the people who have commented on previous threads I like to see both sides of the argument.


Anonymous said...

"Unlike some of the people who have commented on previous threads I like to see both sides of the argument."

If you're referring to me, Iain, the point is you can see both sides and pay your own way as the rest of us proles have to do.

But you took the King's shilling.

That will inevitably colour your take on what you see.

Like looking into Lebanon as if it were East Germany. Go into Lebanon and look into Israel, but be careful you're not shot by the IDF.


Iain Dale said...

Tony, people like you seem to have chips on both shoulders. Are you seriously suggesting that people in politics shouldn't go on fact finding trips unless they are all paid for them privately? What a weird world you inhabit.

Just because this trip has been paid for does not mean that I switch off my brain and my power of reason. And if you really think that I just cannot understand why you waste your time reading a blog of someone you clearly think can easily be brainwashed.

Anonymous said...

LOL, you have not spent equal time with both "sides". Don't be a statistical dick

Iain Dale said...

Sorry, it's you that's the dick. I never claimed I had spent equal time with both sides. But factually, I will have spent one day talking to Palestinians, one morning talking to academics, one afternoon talking to counter terror people, and one day talking to Israelis and one day touring. I'd have thought mthat counted as pretty balanced, but to idiots like you, it clearly isn;t enough. Perhaps I should have spent the whole time in Ramallah, but even then you'd think of some way of twisting it.

Anonymous said...


As Tebbit told Osborne; "Sleep with dogs, you get fleas".

No one suggested Osborne switched off his brain and power of reason on Deripaska's yacht.

But he still compromised his integrity.

So have you.

And that hurts many of us who like to read your blog.


Anonymous said...

Hmm.. I can see your point, Iain, but if we were reading a restaurant review, or a travel writer's report, I would want to know whether it was a 'freebie', or whether, like say Simon Calder, he has 'paid his own way'.

Of course, the fact that someone has received a free dinner does not mean one will pass an uncritical report if the food was dreadful and service terrible.

But it is simply impossible to be totally objective, and to be seen to be objective, when one side or the other is funding the trip. But no 'media' is totally without bias - the main thing is that as long as you have declared your interest we can judge it accordingly.

Ultimately my view is that no blog, even one as good as yours, or single TV programme, however well researched, can fully cover a story like this.

Several books have to be read and the opinions of many people sought. The problem is that is very difficult and time-consuming to do, which is why the media knows well enough that repeating certain 'truths' long enough and loud enough will make them reality for the vast majority of people.

Anonymous said...

Tame Palestinians ?

frankly.... that neck of the woods bores the arse of me ..

How can a place with so many different places of worship and homage to the same god soooo bloody hateful .

Just supply the Arabs with the same amount of weaponry as the US does to the Jews , then let them sit at the table .......or blow themselves to their next kingdom ............either ways Just give us all a gawd damn break ...!

Iain Dale said...

Could anyone please point out where I claimed to have spent equal time with both sides? Otherwise, shut the f*** up.

Iain Dale said...

Oh, and I suppose getting a free ticket for a theatre production guarantees a good review does it? Or a review copy of a book? Does it hell.

ashley said...

ignore these morons and give us the next update. it seems like you are having an eye-opening time.


Jeremy Jacobs said...

Iain, all you've got to do is ban "Anonymous" posts. Who needs them?

Ramallah should be interesting. Never understood why the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan just gave up on Judea and Samaria having occupied it from 1948 until 1967.

Unsworth said...

@ Tony

Whaddya mean 'compromised' integrity? This is Iain's blog, it's his choice who the hell he talks to - or doesn't talk to - and it's none of your damn business.

Or have you got some sort of 'rule book for bloggers' inscribed on tablets of stone for us all to abide by?

It's about time that some people understood that this is opinion territory, it's nothing to do with The Search for Ultimate Truth.

Good Grief!

Wrinkled Weasel said...

I only speak for myself here but I would have thought a lot of regular readers of your blog are a bit fed up of anonymous and ad hoc posters who clearly havn't a clue about you or your motivations and tastes. They jump on one or two words as if it is some kind of points scoring exercise.

Anyone who has stuck around long enough to get to know you realises that you have a mind of your own and it is fairly transparent and straightforward and, consistent.

You seem to me to have gone to Israel with an open mind. What more can you do?

Anonymous said...

Of course it's Iain's blog.
Iain asks for reaction and opinion. He's getting it.

Wrinkled Weasel.
Your real name is it, and not another spelling of Anonymous?
Of course Iain has a mind of his own, which he should, IMHO, protect.

Jeremy Jacobs doesn't “need” anonymous posts so urges Iain to ban them.
This sounds like Rule 1 of the Jeremy Jacobs' 'Rule book" for bloggers.


Wrinkled Weasel said...

Tony old fruit, you are an arsehole. My real name is not a secret but I am not helping you out there. It has been published on this blog. The idea of any nom de ordinateur is to give regular readers of blogs some handle on the personality of the owner. It means I remain private but to some extent accountable as I always post under that name, both here and elsewhere. In the same way, Jeremy and Unsworth have credible identities.

As it happens I believe I have been contributing to this blog for two or three years. You, on the other hand are just a "Tony" - in fact - a nobody who has popped up in order to make asinine comments. So be a good chap will you and piss off back to nowhere.

(word verification - scofsaye)

Abe Bird said...


Tame Pakistanese ?

frankly.... that neck of the woods bores the arse of me ..

How can a place with so many different places of workshop and homage to the same goods soooo bloody hateful .

Just supply the Muslims Hindus and the Africans with the same amount of weaponry as the British does, then let them sit at the table in Westminster .......or blow themselves to their next British Kingdom on the Themse............ either ways Just give us all a gawd damn break ...!

Abe Bird said...

Jeremy Jacobs;
Well Jordan itself occupied the "West bank" from the "West Bank" of Palestine and the UN voted against some time later. Only Britain and Pakistan voted with Jordan and recognized the occupation as legal. Pay attention that the meaning of the "west bank" here refers to the smaller part of Western Palestine, the portion that Jordan occupied accidentally in 1948-9 war. Jordan had to give back the "West Bank" to Israel or to the UN guardianship.