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Wednesday, January 07, 2009


An excellent article from Nick Clegg in this morning's Guardian on the Israeli invasion of Gaza:

Brown must stop sitting on his hands. He must condemn unambiguously Israel's tactics, just as he has rightly condemned Hamas's rocket attacks. Then he must lead the EU into using its economic and diplomatic leverage in the region to broker peace. The EU is by far Israel's biggest export market, and by far the biggest donor to the Palestinians. It must immediately suspend the proposed new cooperation agreement with Israel until things change in Gaza, and apply tough conditions on any long-term assistance to the Palestinian community.

Brown must also halt Britain's arms exports to Israel, and persuade our EU counterparts to do the same. The government's own figures show Britain is selling more and more weapons to Israel, despite the questions about the country's use of force. In 2007, our government approved £6m of arms exports. In 2008, it licensed sales 12 times as fast: £20m in the first three months alone.

There is a strong case that, given the Gaza conflict, any military exports contravene EU licensing criteria. Reports, though denied, that Israel is using illegal cluster munitions and white phosphorus should heighten our caution. I want an immediate suspension of all arms exports from the EU, but if that cannot be secured, Brown must act unilaterally.

Finally, the world's leaders must accept that their response to the election of Hamas has been a strategic failure. The removal of the EU presence on the Egypt border in response to Hamas's election, for example, has made it easier for the rockets being fired at Israel to get into Gaza in the first place. An EU mission with a serious mandate and backing from Egypt and Israel would help Israel deal proportionately and effectively with the threat from weapons smuggling.

Your very brave posting this Mr Black, it could be seen in some circles as promoting Hamas, and the promotion of a terrorist group (like Hamas) is now Illegal under the Brown/Blair regime.

I too are appauled by the fact and the TV coverage of White Phosphorus being used in a built up area where civilans are present. Probably the last time such a weapon was used in Europe was against Panza and Tiger Tanks in the days, weeks and months following D-Day.

Watch your office doesn't get raided by Special Branch, your don't want the police calling around at your house do you!

Gary Lewis
Ogmore Lib Dems
but peter what about the rockets that iran is supplying to hamas? Rockets that hamas continued to fire at israeli civilians despite the two sides having at one time agreed a ceasefire!

It of course being in response to this constant barrage that israeli forces invaded gaza - does anyone imagine the british govt or any govt for that matter standing idly by while 100 rockets a day were being fired at its population for months on end!!!

So israel - the only democratic state in the region of course - is not the only culprit here. Hamas and its iranian backers are equally culpable and any lasting agreement has to include an agreement from the iranian regime to stop supplying hamas with the long range rockets it has been bombarding israel with. A regime who's leader of course - Ahmadinejad - has repeatedly stated his desire to wipe israel off the face of the earth!!!

The article does not apportion blame entirely to the Israelis it says both sides are equally to blame and that we should do all we can to bring the conflict to an end, that includes dealing with those issues that are within our power such as the supply of weapons to Israel.
its quite difficult for us who watch it on TV. e are not Palestinians in Gaza, or Israelis being rained on with rockets. There are 2 facts we can be sure of. 1 Hamas does not believe that Israel has a right to exist. 2 they fired rockets indiscriminately into Israeli civilian areas.
There is a third point, Morgan Hen.

3. Israeli is using white phosphorus in towns so burning civilan women and children.
hamas has ben firing iranian supplied Katyusha rockets at israeli towns - injuring civilian women and children!

Hamas has now threatened to kill jewish children 'anywhere'!

Yes, and the third point! Hamas is not even the legitimate government of the PA. Its leader Ismail Haniyeh was fired by Mahmoud Abbas in 2007. Strangely enough I have not heard too much about white Phosphorus in the news lately. BTW gary have you ever read Hamas's Charter? Well please do. I swear some of it looks like it came out of "Mein Kampf" If Hitler was alive he would sue for breach of copyright. Joking apart and this is certainly no joking matter. If you want to understand Israel's problem with Hamas then read their charter.
And how is apportioning blame solving anything. Both sides are guilty of some dreadful atrocities, our priority must be to find a peaceful solution and surely that must start by stopping the flow of weapons to both sides so as to get them around the negotiating table.
Blame has to be apportioned Peter, because without justice no peace will hold.

Morgan Hen posted that Israel is the only democratic state in the region. While this is true, the only other democratic nation (though they are not yet a state) is the Palestinian territories. So Israel is attacking the only other democratic peoples in the region.

A convenient fact that Leigh and Morgan forget to mention is the fact that Hamas rockets- which no person of peace should support- have only been fired because Israel has been maintaining the siege of the Gaza Strip. A siege which was the reaction to Hamas winning a free and fair election.

When Hamas first came to power it reined in the rockets. They only resumed when Israel murdered the Ghaliya family on gaza beach in June 2006.

And yes, let's apportion blame- one side has killed 14 in the current conflict. The other side has now killed more than 900 according to the UN.
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