Dear Mr Burden, please don’t wish us a “Happy Chanukah”.

Last night I was enjoying the warm glow of first night Chanukah, having lit the candles and having gone to a public lighting (see my clip above), when later in the evening I read a tweet from Richard Burden MP, Labour MP for Northfield, which simply stated “Happy #Hanukkah everybody”.

Mr Burden is no friend of Israel so why is he wishing Jews a “Happy Hanukkah”, I thought. Many of Burden’s tweets (or retweets) are aimed at demonising the Jewish state.

He has recently been demanding, via Twitter, that Israel release all Palestinian “child prisoners” and when I asked him who he classed as a “child” he answered anyone “under 18”.

Now, as you can imagine, even a Palestinian aged 16 or 17 is capable of inflicting severe casualties on Israel’s civilian population.

So can a “child” like Izzedine Abu Sneineh who was arrested when 15 and convicted of “weapons training; attempted murder” and possession of “weapons/ammo/explosives” (as you can see from Elder of Ziyon’s link the New York Times wrongly reported that Sneineh was arrested for throwing stones and hanging Palestinian flags).

Abu Sneineh was freed in the second tranche of Palestinian prisoners as agreed in the Gilad Shalit exchange deal.

When I asked Burden what he thought of Sneineh’s release and whether Britain should also release ALL of its prisoners who were under 18 he simply referred me to his previous answers to my questions.

These answers, via Twitter, were:
“1. Prisoners being released anyway under #Shalit swap. Issue here is should they include detainees aged under 18? I say yes”
“2. UNICEF say any state holding under 18s should only do so in accordance with UN Convention. I agree”
“3. I’ve seen conditions in which #Israel’s child prisoners held. Read evidence hear yourself @DCI_Palestine”

I looked at DCI_Palestine, an “NGO devoted to defending the rights of children living in the Occupied Palestinian Territories since 1992” ( and read a description of the arrest of 16 year old Rasheed J by the IDF. It was, allegedly, a brutal arrest in which Rashid J spent many days in isolation and was told that:

‘You Arabs like to fuck camels and donkeys and go to brothels to fuck whores. You have no honour because your mother’s a whore.’

This would be unforgiveable if it were true but it is uncorroborated and I just don’t believe it based on many similar lies.

The other main accusation in the piece about Rasheed J’s arrest is that Palestinian prisoners, like Rasheed J, are kept in custody in Israel “in violation of Article 76 of the Fourth Geneva Convention which prohibits transfer out of occupied territory”.

But who, with any properly constituted legal authority, has declared it “occupied territory” for the purposes of Article 76? No one. This is because there is no Palestine and so Palestine cannot be “occupied”. Article 76 is, therefore, totally irrelevant.

Furthermore, Burden likes to retweet a horrendous story about Israel, whether it’s true or not.

On 16th December he retweeted The Guardian’s story that Israel had hastened the death of the Palestinian Ambassador to the UK’s wife by forcing her back to Jerusalem to renew her residency rights while she was undergoing treatment for cancer, despite denials by Israeli officials that this was the case.

The allegation levelled at Israel was that she became “infected by a virus on her plane journey back to London in May and died three months later”; basically, Israel was now responsible for her sad demise.

In fact, as cifwatch states, the reason for her visit to Israel was to “seek a second opinion on her condition from doctors at Hadassah Hospital”.

So does anyone really believe that Burden sincerely wishes Jewish people a “Happy Hanukkah” when the rest of the time he makes every effort to demonise the Jewish state with its five and a quarter million Jews, some of our family and friends included, while calling for the release of Palestinians like Abu Sneineh who planned their murder?

10 responses to “Dear Mr Burden, please don’t wish us a “Happy Chanukah”.

  1. the question who is a child and who isn’t is one vexing me regularly. On the one hand when Gaza casualties are counted anybody under 18 is a child

    on the other hand I have listened to lectures telling me that academics are debating who from the (African) child soldier community should be considered a child and the debate seems to center on should it be 14 or 15.

    Now why do I ask myself are undoubtedly soldiers so much longer considered children when they are Arab than when they are (black) Africans? Is it still believed like not so long ago (presumably a left-over from imperialist times when the guys preferred their women to be young) that southerners and Africans in particular “mature” earlier? (I don’t know or remember whether there is a child soldier problem in Asia). As of which age can somebody enlist in the US-Army? 17 right? but Gazans can be soldiers only at 18. They must be a peculiarly late “maturing” variety there.

  2. Richard, Happy Hanukkah from a friend of Israel and the Jewish people.

  3. Does this Buredensom man know what Hanukkah really is? His good wishes contradict his support for those who would that Israel didn’t exist. Maybe he should listen to this really catchy Hanukkah song – all the rage this year.

  4. At least not everyone hates us!

  5. This MP sounds like he is keener on using the Palestinian cause for posturing than he is on sincerity or fact.

    That said, the allegations about abuse being shouted at Rasheed J are not necessarily so outlandish. Police around the world sometimes shout horrific things at people they arrest.

    • Let me put absolutely on the record what Jeremy [Corbyn] said. Neither I nor anyone else on this panel has any truck with antisemitism, any truck with racism, whatsoever.

      Of course, Tricky Dicky, of course.