Mark Steel on Gaza

December 31st, 2008 § 0 comments § permalink

Mark Steel:

The gap between the might of Israel’s F-16 bombers and Apache helicopters, and the Palestinians’ catapulty thing is so ridiculous that to try and portray the situation as between two equal sides requires the imagination of a children’s story writer.

The reporter on News at Ten said the rockets “may be ineffective, but they ARE symbolic.” So they might not have weapons but they have got symbolism, the canny brutes.

It’s no wonder the Israeli Air Force had to demolish a few housing estates, otherwise Hamas might have tried to mock Israel through a performance of expressive dance.

The rockets may be unable to to kill on the scale of the Israeli Air Force, said one spokesman, but they are “intended to kill”.

Maybe he went on: “And we have evidence that Hamas supporters have dreams, and that in these dreams bad things happen to Israeli citizens, they burst, or turn into cactus, or run through Woolworths naked, so it’s not important whether it can happen, what matters is that they WANT it to happen, so we blew up their university.”

Gaza links

December 31st, 2008 § 0 comments § permalink

Not really much I can add to all the words written about the Gaza situation, so here’s a few links, pulled from various sources:

Lenins’ Tomb – The Intelligence:

Israel’s control of the situation is immense. They have detailed intelligence, sattelite imagery (which they like to show off at press conferences), sophisticated guidance technology, etc. It has planned this assault for months in advance, and its leadership is ostentatiously proud of how all the branches of military and intelligence, from Shin Bet to the Southern Command, have gelled in this attack. If an assault on major public facilities is timed to coincide with children being in the streets, this is not accidental: it is intended to leave a number of children lying in their own blood, and terrorise others.

Jews san frontieres – On Sderot and Ashkelon:

I will not minimize the very real suffering of the people living in Sderot (and now also Ashdod and Ashkelon) today. That suffering is not on the same scale as the suffering in Gaza, but it is still horrible, horrible, horrible.

These towns are on the receiving end of rocket fire, however innaccurate, and they have been so for many years. There are casualties, property damage, and years of psychological scars from stress and fear. The criminals responsible for the suffering in Sderot and Ashkelon ought to be tried at the Hague and sent to prison. That would be first and foremost Olmert, Barak and Livni.

Johnathon Cook [znet] – Israeli Electioneering with Bombs:

In the run-up to the election, observed Michael Warschawski, a founder of the Alternative Information Centre in Jerusalem, “all Israeli leaders are competing over who is the toughest and who is ready to kill more”.

Mr Netanyahu, pushed out of the spotlight, has had to turn his fire away from the two other parties and instead lambast easy political targets: in recent speeches he has questioned the loyalty of Israel’s 1.2 million Arab citizens and demanded the resignation of the only Arab government minister.

Mr Barak, an unpopular former prime minister but Israel’s most decorated combat soldier, has the most political capital to gain from the current military campaign. With his once-dominant Labor Party languishing in the polls, he will take the credit or blame among voters for the outcome in Gaza.

Ms Livni is in a more precarious position. Her glory, if the operation proves a triumph, will be of the reflected variety. But as Mr Netanyahu’s fortunes have grown, her political fate has become increasingly dependent on a continuing centre-left alliance with Mr Barak. The two, it seems, stand or fall in these elections together.

Mike Power – Why I hate ‘intellectuals’:

The war-mongering (or is it ex-war-mongering, now that he’s decided to no longer support the Iraq debacle) Marxist who likes to get his head up the arses of his neo-con chums gets worked up because Nir Rosen seems to ‘justify’ the killing of civilians which, of course we all know is ‘terrorism’.

Ten Percent – Israeli Navy Rams FreeGaza Ship In International Waters:

On Tuesday, December 30, at 5 a.m., several Israeli gunboats intercepted the Dignity as she was heading on a mission of mercy to Gaza. One gunboat rammed into the boat on the port bow side, heavily damaging her. The reports from the passengers and journalists on board is that she is taking on water and appears to have engine problems. When attacked, the Dignity was clearly in international waters, 90 miles off the coast of Gaza.

The gunboats also fired their machine guns into the water in an attempt to stop the mercy ship from getting to Gaza.

I’d love to hear how some pro-war pice of shit justifies attacking a boat delivering medical aid, no really, feel free to make a dick of yourself and line up with war crimes, history is full of such rationalisations of evil.

The Daily Mash – Loving this, admit Israel and Hamas:

Israeli prime minister Ehud Olmert said: “You’ve got to hand it to Hamas, they are the dog’s bollocks when it comes to unrelentingly insane terrorist opponents.

“Fatah and Mahmoud Abbas are so sensible and tedious. It’s all talking and protesting and chucking a few rocks once a week.

“Sure we can flatten a few streets but it’s not the same. Rocket attacks mean you can go balls-out crazy apeshit. I just love Hamas. They really get us.”

Meanwhile a Hamas spokesman said: “Hats off to the Israelis, they’ve done it again.

“This is the sort of top drawer, high quality violence that could keep us all going for years and years. Vintage stuff.

I’ve just been reminded aboutShell Israel. Not a particular post, just the whole thing.

Balanced? Bollox.

December 30th, 2008 § 2 comments § permalink

Iain Dale:

Whenever I write about Israel it provokes some vile comments, even if what I write is balanced. I am a critical friend of Israel.

Iain Dale:

As you can tell, I support Israel 100% in their actions in Gaza.

Looks like the trip, payed for by the Conservative Friends of Israel is being repaid.

A question for the weak

December 29th, 2008 § 0 comments § permalink

Nir Rosen:

An American journal once asked me to contribute an essay to a discussion on whether terrorism or attacks against civilians could ever be justified. My answer was that an American journal should not be asking whether attacks on civilians can ever be justified. This is a question for the weak, for the Native Americans in the past, for the Jews in Nazi Germany, for the Palestinians today, to ask themselves.

Terrorism is a normative term and not a descriptive concept. An empty word that means everything and nothing, it is used to describe what the Other does, not what we do. The powerful – whether Israel, America, Russia or China – will always describe their victims’ struggle as terrorism, but the destruction of Chechnya, the ethnic cleansing of Palestine, the slow slaughter of the remaining Palestinians, the American occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan – with the tens of thousands of civilians it has killed … these will never earn the title of terrorism, though civilians were the target and terrorising them was the purpose.



December 28th, 2008 § 0 comments § permalink

Electronic Intifada:

Sirens are wailing on the streets outside. Regular power cuts plunge the city into blackness every night and tonight is no exception. Only perhaps tonight it is the darkest night people have seen here in their lifetimes.

As of this writing, more than 220 people have been killed and at least 400 injured through attacks that shocked the Strip in the space of 15 minutes. Hospitals are overloaded and unable to cope. These attacks come on top of the already existing humanitarian crisis that came about because of the 18-month Israeli siege which has resulted in a lack of medicines, bread, flour, gas, electricity, fuel and freedom of movement.

The gag reflex

December 28th, 2008 § 0 comments § permalink

Wikileaks, Northern Rock vs Wikileaks:

The combined publishing might of the British press and the Internet has proved unfit (with the exception of Wikileaks), to provision a key document in British politics to the public. Every insider has it. Surely the British people deserve to see it, after all they’ve paid for it — £400 each.

The UK press is the most injuncted, litigated and censored among the liberal democracies. The population suffers accordingly and as we have seen, this hobbling of the UK press is now exported world wide via extra-territorial claims. The claims have limited power in theory, but are effective tools of suppression in practice as neither profit motivated ISPs nor publishers with UK business dealings will stand their ground. It is time for urgent reform.

And now

Wikileaks previously released the gag order for the Northern Rock bank collapse, now we release the secret gag order made by High Court Justice Tugendhat on Dec 15, 2008 aimed at covering up an email leak from the British establishment. The secret order first targeted UK newspapers, but our copy was destined for the UK Parliamentary blogger ‘Guido Fawkes’, editor of ‘’. The summary states:

1. The identities of the Applicants/Claimants must remain confidential.
2. The fact of the existence of the Orders must remain confidential.
3. The terms of the Orders must remain confidential.



Age Ratings

December 27th, 2008 § 0 comments § permalink


The Culture Secretary is young and media-savvy; can he really believe that cyberspace is susceptible to top-down regulation from government? The notion of ratings for websites betrays a fundamental misunderstanding of how the internet works. Dubious, bizarre and revolting material can be accessed from virtually any computer screen in Britain, and teenagers are probably quicker at finding it than anyone else. Mr Burnham talks about “child-friendly web access”; in fact, this is readily available, but it needs parents or responsible adults to install and monitor the appropriate software.

At risk of sounding like a libertarian. It is your responsibility to ensure that your child is viewing only child friendly stuff on the internet. Just like it is your responsibility with regards to what your child watches on the telly. No ratings there is there?
More to the point, how is this going to be implemented? With registration of websites? What are the sanctions going to be if the age rating isn’t displayed? Are only websites that have an age rating going to be allowed through the government firewall? Doesn’t it sound a bit like what everyone is giving China shit for?

It. Isn’t. Going. To. Work.


Pees and queues

December 27th, 2008 § 0 comments § permalink

I just got back from the Next sale in Luton with Mrs -O. What a horrible experience. And that’s not even taking into consideration the rampant consumerism.

We were there an hour and got bumped about. unintentionally I will admit, but only three people said sorry, or excused themselves before pushing past. Ignorant fucks.
What does it take to just murmer one or two words instead of standing expectantly close behind me in the hope that I will telepathically know that they want to get past. How about a bit of a warning with the words ‘excuse me’ before bouncing me out the way? I don’t expect a full on apology, but at least an acknowledgement that I’m here and they’ve tried to stand in the same place as me at the same time.

But the things that really pisses me off is the queue. Why do other people have to stand so close that the coat hangars they are carrying poke me in the back? They’re bags on the floor, why do they have to push them forward so they keep hitting the back of my legs? Just back off a bit, eh?

Let’s all give each other a bit of room and curtesy. It doesn’t cost anything and it might stop stop someone ruining your day.

A Note

December 24th, 2008 § 1 comment § permalink

Being as organised as ever, I haven’t sorted out a proper Christmas post. Y’know the sort, funny, satirical, thought provoking or just a plain ol’ ‘fuck Christmas’ item.

I would just like to say, and I don’t do heartfelt nicey nicey stuff very well, at the end of this year:

Cheers guys. It’s been fun.

Next year there will be a couple changes, for a start I’m changing software to wordpress so there will be those little extra functionalities that make things easier and one or two other things that I’m keeping quiet about in case it doesn’t happen.

Anyway thanx for reading and commenting and have a good time over Christmas/New Year.

Infallible bigot

December 23rd, 2008 § 4 comments § permalink

NHS Blog Doctor:

There is no more culpable protector of paedophiles than the appalling Joe Ratzinger. He should be in jail. Sadly, he is not. He is Pope. He is therefore infallible. Comes with the job. His latest outrage is a gratuitous attack on homosexuality.

Daily Mail:

The Pope has declared that saving the world from homosexual behaviour is as important as saving the rainforests.

Tim Almond:

how well are practising homosexuals doing at “destroying man”? Post-1950 europe (largely tolerant) has seen it’s population rise only 50%


How are practising homosexuals destroying man? Do they emit large amounts of greenhouse gases or summat?

Tim Almond:

Dunno. I think Ratzy somehow hasn’t worked through the “not outbreeding straight people” part of his theory.

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