Tag Archives: rafah

Dont vote Liberal Democrat if you value Israel

Just when I have my mind on starting another thread George Galloway has hit the headlines yet again. If this man could divide himself into three it wouldn’t be enough.

George is a sometime TV personality, a Respect Party MP, a Radio presenter, a newspaper columnist and one of the most committed pro-Palestinian activists this country has seen. He would fit in well with Liberal Democrat foreign policy but he did an Ariel Sharon and set up his own party after leaving Labour.

Last year on a speaking tour of North America he was banned from entering Canada and now he has been deported from Egypt, according to activists, having tried to get back to the Rafah crossing into Gaza to join the Viva Palestina convoy that crossed into Gaza on wednesday, after much violence and the death of an Egyptian border guard at the hands of a Palestinian sniper.

But why do so many normally reasonably minded people in the world not get what Israel and Egypt both get: That Gaza is trouble.

True, the people of Gaza are hemmed in. But that does not mean they are not receiving basic provisions. As Jonathan Hoffman has reported, in December alone:

– Six more water desalination systems were transferred to the Gaza Strip;
– 15 truckloads of cellular communications equipment were delivered to the Palestinian mobile phone carrier, Jawal;
– Strawberries and flowers were exported;
– Glass was brought in for home repairs and renovations in preparation for the winter;
– 750 tons of aggregate were transferred for maintenance of the North Gaza Wastewater Treatment plant.
– 2179 truckloads (48,237 tons) of humanitarian aid entered via the Kerem Shalom cargo terminal and the Karni conveyor belt.
– 7,173,468 litres of heavy-duty diesel for the Gaza power station and 2276 tons of cooking gas were delivered via the Kerem Shalom crossing and the Nahal Oz fuel depot.

But then you have the leader of one of our more respectable political parties, Nick Clegg MP of the Liberal Democrats, also being consistently anti-Israel.

Nick Clegg MP, Liberal Democrat leader.

For many years this hasn’t mattered but with the British general election in June this year expected to be close we could find the Conservatives or Labour (i.e. the biggest party but not big enough to form a majority) trying to entice the Libs into coalition and one of the jobs offered to the Libdems could be that of Foreign Secretary. Worryingly, David Cameron has suggested that he would work with the Liberal Democrats in coalition.

And the current Liberal Democrat Shadow Foreign Secretary is Ed Davey, who has called on the British Government to act on the Goldstone Report which has accused Israel of committing war crimes during the Gaza War.

Ed Davey MP, Liberal Democrat Shadow Foreign Secretary

It is worrying for Israel that a party of only 63 MPs and 11 MEPs (one of whom, Chris Davies MEP for North West England, told a Jewish constituent that he hoped she enjoyed wallowing in her own filth) is so packed with anti-Israel polemicists.

Then there are Lord Steel of Aikwood, the former leader and Baroness Tonge, who recently said: “The way Israel behaves is just not kosher. Jewish people should be totally ashamed of themselves that they are not doing more to stop them. It’s absolutely disgusting.”

Sarah Teather, the Liberal Democrat MP for Brent East, is also a regular at anti-Israel events.

And now to Nick Clegg, the current leader. He just doesn’t get Gaza or how dangerous it is. If both Israel and Egypt think Gaza is dangerous (both are building walls to keep the terrorists out of these respective countries) what right does Mr Clegg have to call for a complete ban on the sale of arms to Israel, which he did last January when Israel was fighting Hamas.

Now he has called for a lifting of the blockade of Gaza by both Israel and Egypt as if this is all just some big game.

The Liberal Democrats have always been anti-Israel (it still amazes me how many Jews vote for them) but putting the civilians of another country at risk by not selling the country arms to defend itself against Islamist terrorists illustrates how misguided these polticians are.

This thursday afternoon Kassam rockets were once again hitting Israel’s southern towns.

The Kassams were fired by the Popular Resistance Committee. Luckily, no one was injured but Israel hit back and, once again, has dropped thousands of leaflets telling the people of Gaza not to co-operate with the terrorists or approach the security wall.

William Gladstone, Liberal Party founder

The Liberal Democrats have some very reasonably minded people in their party, including Vince Cable and Chris Huhne, and a small but active Liberal Democrat Friends of Israel. But a few individuals apart it is a shame that the party founded by William Gladstone has been brought so low that it can call for a country like Israel, which is defending itself against brutal terrorists who target innocent civilians, to be essentially disarmed.

Things are, sadly, hotting up again on Israel’s southern border and when Israel has to fight Hamas again and Britain has a new government with, possibly, Ed Davey as its Foreign Secretary, don’t be surprised if Britain’s support, minimal as it is now, becomes totally non-existent.

The Liberal Democrats may have some interesting and innovative domestic policies but their biased musings on the Middle East conflict will not contribute to peace in any way, shape or form.

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More blood shed for Gaza (Viva Palestina)

Palestinians are not adverse to internecine violence (as noted previously 539 Palestinians were murdered by their own people between November 2000 and August 2008, and that before the Gaza War when we saw footage of Hamas members pushing Fatah activists off the the tops of high buildings with their hands cuffed behind their backs). But now they are murdering other Arabs.

The Viva Palestina convoy of 500 people and 200 vehicles bringing aid for the Palestinians was left stranded in Aqaba in Jordan for five days having been turned away from Egypt’s nearest crossing point into Gaza. Then, inexplicably, the convoy was forced back up through Jordan to Syria from where flights were boarded and ferries taken to get the convoy back to El Arish on Egypt’s Mediterranean coast at a cost of $300,000.

Proposed route to Gaza before the convoy was sent back up to Syria at huge expense (vivapalestina.org)

Well, the convoy has now arrived. And guess what, it still isn’t being allowed into Gaza!

To be exact 59 of the 198 vehicles are not being allowed into Gaza via the Rafah, Egypt crossing and have to go to Gaza, if at all, via Israel now.

The distinction seems to be that the vehicles required to go via Israel contain “pickup trucks, sedans, generators” and, more worryingly, “other equipment”. Only medical aid and passengers are allowed via Rafah, Egypt into Gaza.

The simple explanation could be over worries that the trucks, generators, sedans and other equipment could have a sinister use and if Israelis, or Egytians, get killed from a Kassam rocket or suicide bombing manufactured by this equipment then the Egyptian government doesn’t wish to be blamed.

But negotiations are carrying on as we speak to get the whole convoy into Gaza via Rafah, Egypt.

Sadly, a life has been lost. After Hamas called for protests at the Egytian blockade it then tried to disperse the crowd by firing shots. Soon after an Egyptian border guard was shot dead by a Palestinian sniper. There is no suggestion that the border guard was behaving aggressively.

Palestinians riot just before an Egyptian was shot dead (bbc.co.uk)

Many others have been left injured after violent scuffles and stone throwing by Palestinians.

The Viva Palestina campaign has put out an emergency call. People are being asked to boycott Egypt and protest to Egyptian officials at Egyptian Embassies worldwide. Kevin Ovenden, the convoy leader, said: “We have now blocked the entrance to the port and we are now faced with riot police and water cannons and are determined to defend our vehicles and aid”.

And Dr Hanan Chehata, who is travelling with the convoy and who is director of public relations at the Middle East Monitor (MEMO), asks: “Why is Egypt adding to the suffering of the Palestinian people?” “Why are the Egyptians not helping their Muslim brothers and sisters – aren’t they part of the Muslim Ummah (community) as well?”

I have tried to answer those questions above but more interesting is Dr Chehata’s lack of interest in Gaza’s Christian community. Gaza has Christians too! Palestinians constantly remind us that Gaza’s Christian Arabs are a quickly diminishing community and blame Israel. (Christians are generally financially better off and so are more able to leave the poverty, unemployment and radicalism of Gaza. It has nothing to do with Israel).

We wait with bated breath as to when the Viva Palestina convoy will enter Gaza and from where. The convoy has been long complaining about the lack of publicity for its charitable gesture of travelling thousands of miles over land, sea and, now, air to support the even longer suffering people of Gaza. But with violence erupting, one dead and many injured there will be no shortage of publicity.

And an Egyptian family begins to mourn its loved one.