"While dictators rage and statesmen talk, all Europe dances — to The Lambeth Walk."

Thursday, 15 January 2009

Bombs, Lies & Videotape

I was planning something slightly different for my introductory post, but I feel I can stay silent on the Israel-Gaza conflict no longer, so we'll begin here instead.
Welcome to 'The Lambeth Walk', a blog brought to you from The Real World. My only aim is to make someone, somewhere, think.

Anyway, to the point: The Israeli-Arab conflict, particularly the Gaza Campaign of 2008-09.
Of course violence and warfare are, and always should be, disturbing; certainly, such actions should always be scrutinised and questioned. I suppose in the era of 24 hour news channels, there's not too much danger that won't happen. However, having read as extensively as possible about this conflict and its origins, it seems to me that some people in the Western world today have a staggering lack of perspective.
The first link is a bit of a gem, particularly if emotive, shameless lies coupled with a (un)healthy dose of anti-semitism are your thing. My favourite quote is:
How else can any honest person relate to these phantasmagoric images that
keep coming from Gaza, haunting the conscience of every human
Israel had not introduced gas chambers in Beit Hanun and
Khan Younis or Rafah.
But we have F-16s raining down bombs and death on
sleeping children and women
and innocent civilians.

Well, at least they're honest about the issue of gas chambers, which frighteningly puts them in the slightly more sensible 20% of current anti-Israel rhetoric. However, they've let on more there than they probably care to realise; in this day and age, sadly, it really is all about images, 'Phantasmagoric' or otherwise (whatever that even means). But is this a good thing? I think not. Because, to paraphrase Peter Hitchens, in this day and age, whilst you're explaining, you're losing. The world seemingly doesn't care about logic, or facts, or even morality; why bother with those trifles when you can scream about dead children and run around with a swastika inside a Star of David, preferably whilst assaulting anyone who disagrees or is even perceived to disagree (all in the name of peace, naturally). So, in our brave new world we've progressed from the trite 'make love, not war' to 'burn a synagogue for peace'.

I must confess at this point that I've not attended either the pro or anti-Israel rallies that have taken place in London or elsewhere in England. Frankly I'm quite attached to my face the way it is, and I'm not sure I need to be disillusioned even further about the state of modern Britain. However, the reports I've read have been a mixture of fascinating and frightening. In these days of YouTube, it's not hard to get at least a sense of what went on; even in the video posted by anarchists who scream 'police brutality' at the camera every time they provoke a riot officer into pushing them backwards, it's not hard to see who's having a jolly good time and who is not.

Take this video, from outside the Israeli embassy. Not too much action, but the blurb is interesting:

Passions ran high as the number of dead Gazan children reached 300, and the UK
govt pathetically calls for a ceasefire rather than denouncing the bully tactics
of the IDF.The Police were very eager to hit people in the face with their big
perspex shields, and you can see early on in this video a guy get whacked in the
back of the neck by a brutal attack from a Policeman.

Sadly 'cveitch' fails to mention the part where men tried to hit a policeman with a heavy metal barrier, and the part where fireworks and bottles were thrown at the police. This video is slightly worse. Clearly, it's on a channel called 'Soviet Films', so it's not going to be an unbiased account. But, it's a like a testament to thuggery, it's been set to 'Firestarter', and it's fairly obvious the rioters are proud of the havoc they wreaked. At about 2.17 you can see them raiding a branch of Starbucks, then showing the logo on the cups to the camera before they're thrown at the police.

Of course, this could all be completely random, and other businesses were trashed. But Howard Schultz, Chairman and CEO of Starbucks, is Jewish. As sharper observers will note, many of the more, shall we say, excitable protesters seem to be young Arab or Middle Eastern men, augmented by a hardcore of white, leftist, 'useful idiots'. A lot of these marches actually remind me of the Oldham Race Riots of 2001, which occurred in northern England. Young Muslim men on the rampage, after a perceived slight; businesses of Sikhs, Hindus and whites attacked, apparently indiscriminately. But when it comes to young men who wear Palestinian scarves and hold signs saying 'we're all Hamas now', is it ever indiscriminate?

Being an eternal cynic, I expected the rioting and violence. I predicted that if I didn't already have a stance on this conflict, I could have happily picked mine simply by observing the conduct of the respective protesters. But what worries me is the justification for violence these people seem to think they have. When the Soviet Films video channel said in its blurb that the trouble occurred because over 800 Palestinians had died, he failed to mention (or perhaps didn't care) that at least 400 of those were Hamas fighters and another 200 police (and that is a very conservative estimate, in my opinion). Isn't it ironic then that these people are using violence as an excuse for violence, which is exactly what the Israelis are apparently so evil for doing? After all, what do the Metropolitan Police, Starbucks or even London's Jews have to do with the policies of the Israeli government? This is the part that worries me. Since the anti-war protests of 2003, there seems to be an increasing link between the extreme left and radical Muslims in the United Kingdom, and elsewhere in the West. These are people who think that dead Arab children are an excuse to attack the police and Jewish citizens. However, I've never seen such people march for the children killed by Arab militias in Darfur, or against continuing slavery in the Muslim world, the rights of women, or even repressive Arab governments which murder or jail their own citizens with impunity. Is it only wrong to kill if you're an Israeli?

The attitude of the left on this issue is appalling, because they try to pretend that there is at the very least an equivalence between Hamas and Israel. There is not. One is a murderous gang of thugs who subscribe to the most vile extremist beliefs and deliberately put their own citizens, even their own children, in danger. They regularly target civilians, and state their goal of wiping out an entire nation. The other is a sovereign, Western nation which, to all intents and purposes, is at war. Since Hamas took over the Gaza Strip in mid-June 2007 until mid February 2008, 771 rockets and 857 mortar bombs have been fired at Sderot and the western Negev. Israel is expected to put up with more than any other country on earth reasonably would, then is vilified as soon as it responds to often vicious provocation. I subscribe to the theory of classical international law, and I think Israel has every right to respond, when it is attacked, however it sees fit. However, there are deeper issues here. Do left wing people believe any nation has any rights? The way some of them talk, all nations and borders are evil, a form of discrimination. In my world, it's slightly different; a government has an obligation to its own citizens first, and all others second. When you have Gordon Brown and Nicholas Sarkozy lecturing Israel on their national interests, it must be bad. These two are to national interest what Pol Pot was to opticians. Surely Israeli national interest is to stop the rocket attacks on their civilians?

Israel does its very best not to target civilians, a task made much harder by Hamas, who deliberately store weapons and fire from civilian areas. The shocking truth is, they don't care about their children and citizens; I suppose they have their useful idiots and thugs on the streets of Western cities to allegedly do that for them. For them, every civilian death is a form of victory. Many argue that aerial warfare is evil, and bound to kill innocents. Maybe, but if you're serving in the IDF, softening the enemy up first is not 'evil', but good military strategy. Again, Israel owes more to its citizens and soldiers then those who wish to see it destroyed.

This brings us to an important question in the media war; 'proportionality'. A liberal friend said to me three days ago that he agrees Israel has a right to exist and defend itself, but this response is 'massively disproportionate'. Well, what should they do? Hand every citizen a rocket launcher and tell them to fire at Gazan schools and houses every time they're attacked? That may be proportionate, but it's morally bankrupt; it's because the IDF is so powerful and Hamas isn't that, in my opinion, their moral duty is to crush them totally. Only that will prevent more deaths in future, no matter how many it takes now. However, the left would rather falsely compare a legitimate military operation to the Holocaust, in a pathetic attempt to pretend Israel is like Nazi Germany, conveniently stripping it of all legitimacy.

As much as I'd like to think logic can prevail here, I fear it's too late. We already have Muslim thugs launching what can only really be described as pogroms on the streets of London, and people who consider themselves 'anti-fascists' joining in all the fun. As far as these people are concerned, Israel is an evil aggressor, an irredeemable thief of land and children's lives. The reality is of course very different, and although I recognise Israel has committed questionable acts in the past, this is certainly not one of them. If Israel really wants a genocide of Arab Gazans, it's going about it in a very peculiar way for a nation with, as we're constantly reminded, complete air, naval and military superiority. Is treating Arab children in Israeli hospitals genocide? Providing lorries full of aid, in a daily ceasefire which Hamas regularly uses to step up Qassam attacks? Of course not, but still the foul and completely inaccurate, emotive references to the Holocaust continue, a taunt more than an argument, especially from those who would happily launch the next one. Israel is struggling in almost impossible circumstances, and I wish every Western nation on earth today could be so brave and stoic in the face of such real danger, from the real genocidal maniacs; Islamists.

Let's hope that Israel crushes Hamas and the bloodshed stops sooner rather than later. God bless the men and women of the Israeli Defence Forces, and the innocents on both sides.


Aeneas said...

Welcome to the blogosphere. An excellent post that describes the reality of the current conflict in Gaza.

I think you have chosen an important subject to begin your blog. In the absence of objective reporting in the mainstream media, blogs are often the only way that people can find out what is really going on in the world.

It is good to see another blog that supports the Western World and the forces of reason and progress.

I have added you to my own blogroll.

Dymphna said...

May I second Aeneas?

Welcome to the slog of blogging!

I looked at your other site but couldn't get the image to come up.

Your provide a wealth of links. I was especially interested in the Oldham Race Riots of 2001. Had we been part of the internet world back then -- such as it was -- the information would have been most interesting to follow "live".

It is curious that the family of the old man who was so viciously beaten (I recommend you warn people of that 'graphic' photo included in the wiki account) were so adamant that the assault was not race-based. It could not have been otherwise, so I wonder if they were afraid of further retaliation.

Being an American, I divide things into pre-and post-9/11 so I noticed that this mess occurred about three months before Ground Zero. There must have been a lot of celebrating in Oldham, just as there must have been on 7/7.

A most informative post!

Kafir911 said...

Clear, informative and well written. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Nice piece

The cause of Hamas has proved a rallying point for every leftwing nutcase around. In the UK we have the toxic combination of the deepest recession since the 1930s and the most virulent antisemitism since the 1930s.

The Venerable 1st Earl of Cromer said...

Aeneas: Thank you! I agree this is a vitally important subject for those who care about the West and its future. In many respects I have been more disgusted with the stunning lack of objectivity in the media than the leftist violence; I fully expected the latter (after all, leftist causes and violence seem to be like rubbish tips and seagulls), but some part of me always hopes the former might be different. However I'm fairly sure that had BNP marchers trashed a Starbucks whilst screaming anti-semitic slogans, 2 + 2 might have started making 4 a lot quicker. That means our supposedly free press is fully implicated in this current madness, and it's a travesty.

The Venerable 1st Earl of Cromer said...

Dymphna: The old man who was beaten was alleged at the time to have stumbled into a 'no go zone' for white citizens in a Muslim area. Check out these links for more details:



Note the 'poor them, they're retaliating against evil racists' rhetoric. I feel a lot of these problems were caused by Tony Blair changing council house waiting list rules, so 'need' trumped the former system of waiting time and local links. This meant that immigrants with many children were placed above locals of any race in terms of priority, and both Asians and whites feel the other group is treated better.

Odd that you should mention celebrating 9/11, since I'm fairly sure there were quite a few cases in predominantly Muslim areas here where just that happened. I seem to recall a school librarian in Leicester being very shocked by this callousness, I'll try and dig out some links.

The Venerable 1st Earl of Cromer said...

Anon: It's frightening, and sometimes it seems like 1939 rather than 2009. It seems Jews are way down the ethnic minority priority list, which makes a mockery of the claim of anti-discrimination laws to help the oppressed and downtrodden. Some of these marches have turned into mini-pogroms. I don't feel such rhetoric or actions would be tolerated against any other minority group.

However something still tickles me about the 'peace and justice' crowd marching with the thugs of Hamas. Maybe they should go and live in Gaza for 6 months, and try to learn who the real murderers are. Having said that, it seems both groups are more than comfortable using violence to get their own way, so maybe that would be a match made in Heaven (sorry, Paradise).

Matt, London said...

What a fantastic post, I really couldn't have put it better myself.