Monday, August 24, 2015

Stephen Daisley and Israel

It's hard to miss the fact that Israel is something of a preoccupation for STV's online columnist Stephen Daisley. I don't think I've ever seen him more animated than when he was defending Jim Murphy against the charge of being a "mouthpiece for international Zionism".

Today, he's penned an article which takes the familiar approach of branding much of the Left as being anti-Semitic or borderline anti-Semitic on the basis of associations, and inferences that can supposedly be drawn from things people don't say, rather than things they do. It strikes me that it's only fair that a journalist who follows that approach should be subjected to exactly the same scrutiny himself. We don't hear much - in fact we barely hear anything - about what Daisley thinks of Israel's treatment of the Palestinian people. But can we gain any clues from his critique of the pro-Palestinian lobby? Unfortunately, the answer is yes, and the picture it paints is rather disturbing.

"Perhaps they don’t quite revere [Corbyn] like the other JC — a Jew born in Bethlehem and therefore an illegal Israeli settler..."

Now, obviously that's intended as a comedic aside, but what intrigues me is where the humour is supposed to lie. It's very hard not to interpret it as poking fun at the 'extreme' or 'loony left' position of caring about whether Israel builds illegal settlements on Palestinian land. Is it not reasonable to conclude, therefore, that Daisley thinks 'normal' people don't and shouldn't care about illegal settlements? Does he really think that's an attractive or 'moderate' view to take?

"Why deny the Holocaust when you can throw it back in the Jews' faces by fictionalising Gaza as a concentration camp?"

Is this not the silly rhetorical dodge of pretending that our horror at the prison-like conditions in Gaza is bogus unless the plight of those who live there can be shown to be fully as bad as that of the occupants of a Nazi concentration camp? If, on a scale of 0 to 10, a concentration camp ranks as 10, what score would Daisley give to Gaza? Is he really saying that anyone who thinks the score is higher than zero is the moral equivalent of a holocaust denier? If so, how does he even begin to justify such an offensive proposition?

"Why hurl rocks at a Jew in the street when you can hurl endless vexatious UN resolutions at Israel?"

A supremely ironic comment given that Israel is protected from critical Security Council resolutions by the immense good fortune of having an ally with veto-wielding powers. Under a more democratised international system, Israel would have several times as many resolutions to deal with, and it wouldn't be good enough to haughtily dismiss them all - or even any one of them - as "vexatious". Wasn't it Daisley's idol Tony Blair who felt that a heroic interpretation of a couple of UN resolutions was more than sufficient to justify the invasion of a foreign country?

"There is nothing anti-Semitic about sympathising with the plight of the Palestinians (though it might be nice to recognise their culpability in the conflict too)."

Sorry? What's that? The culpability of "the Palestinians"? Is that the Palestinian people collectively, as opposed to their political leadership or Hamas? You can be absolutely sure that anyone who failed to carefully distinguish between the State of Israel and the Israeli people would be swiftly dismissed as an anti-Semite, so I'm not sure why lesser standards should apply when talking about Palestine.

Of course, what Daisley is really moaning about (although again he's mysteriously shy about saying this directly) is that "the Palestinians" aren't recognised as being equally culpable. But that recognition will never come, for the simple reason that they're not equally culpable. Israel occupies Palestine, not the other way around. The fighting is invariably asymmetric, with ten (or more) innocent Palestinian civilians being typically killed for every innocent Israeli civilian. Can't it be reasonably inferred that anyone who believes that both sides are equally culpable thinks a Palestinian life is worth only one-tenth of an Israeli life? How would Daisley justify that proposition?

"There is nothing anti-Semitic about lacerating Israel for walls and checkpoints and bombs (though do address your alternative strategies to Beit Aghion, 9 Smolenskin Street, Jerusalem, Israel.)"

It does sound suspiciously like Daisley is saying that our moral outrage at atrocities committed by the Israeli state can't be considered legitimate unless accompanied by a fully-fledged alternative "strategy" (what an appalling choice of word). OK, how about this? Israel retreats to its internationally-recognised pre-1967 borders, and then it defends THOSE borders any way it likes. As things stand, many of the walls, checkpoints and bombs are in someone else's country. Am I being "immature" for pointing out that inconvenient fact, Stephen?

"Why don’t the policies of the Chinese government in Tibet or against the Uighurs in Xinjiang inspire comparable protests and boycotts? Why do none of our cultural warriors demand the Edinburgh Festival kick out Russian-sponsored acts over Chechnya or Crimea?"

It could just as easily be pointed out that Daisley's idol Tony Blair was hopelessly inconsistent in denouncing Saddam Hussein while remaining the best of friends with several other equally ghastly tyrants. If left-wing people did heap as much opprobrium on China or Russia as on Israel, would Daisley then accept their views as sincerely-held, or would he cast around for another desperate excuse to blame the whole thing on their anti-Semitic instincts?

"Israel has become the Jew of world affairs, affluent, successful, provocatively different."

Is "provocatively different" code for the military occupation of a neighbouring land? That is, after all, something that only a tiny number of other countries are currently engaged in. Again, does Daisley think the occupation is a good/benign thing? If so, why can't he say so directly? Isn't it because he knows his true views are unsayable and literally unjustifiable?

"A rooted cosmopolitan that is to blame for being the only country in that region that is free and open and truly democratic."

Which Israel is it that is "truly democratic"? Is it the one which stops at the internationally-recognised pre-1967 borders? Is it the one which includes the illegally annexed East Jerusalem, in which voting rights are extended to Palestinian residents? Or is it the one that supposedly also incorporates "Judea and Samaria"? Because the latter is not a democratic state. It could hardly be much further removed from being a democratic state. It's an apartheid state in which most Palestinians are denied both citizenship and suffrage on the basis of ethnic origin alone.

"To be an anti-Zionist is to say the Jews alone have no national rights."

Alternatively, you could be Stephen Daisley and say that the Palestinians alone have no national rights. Because that is the status quo - the Israelis have a state and the Palestinians do not. Israel does not even recognise that the Palestinians have a theoretical right to a state. When you're ready to challenge that status quo, Stephen, get back to us, and then maybe you can talk about the Left's alleged anti-Semitism with a touch more credibility.

* * *

On a separate topic, I thought there was something fishy about this passage from Daisley the other day -

"[Corbyn's] prescriptions sound original to them because they are not old enough to remember the last time they were tested in government. Endless strikes and flying pickets are inconceivable to those who grew up after trade union reform. If you try to tell them about rubbish in the streets and bodies left unburied they will accuse you of scaremongering. Inefficient state monopolies, a top rate of income tax at 83%, the debilitating culture of managed mediocrity — all these mean nothing to millennials."

And now I know what the problem is. Daisley was earlier today rueing the fact that he will turn 30 in four months' time. That means he was born in either late 1985 or early 1986, and can't possibly have even the vaguest direct political memory from earlier than around 1991. He doesn't remember Mrs Thatcher as Prime Minister. He doesn't remember Neil Kinnock taking on Militant. He doesn't remember the miners' strike. He doesn't remember the Poll Tax riots. He doesn't remember the campaign against apartheid. He doesn't remember a time when Eastern Europe was under communist rule. I do (sadly) just about remember all of those things, so I now feel qualified to pat Stephen on the head and tell him that he just doesn't get it. The poor boy has clearly been brainwashed by the experience of seeing New Labour come to power at the ultimate impressionable age, 11.


  1. Is he a member of the Henry Jackson Society?
    Maybe his mate Murphy got him in?

  2. STV's Stephen Dailsey sounds increasingly like Lord Robertson to me. While Robertson was adamant that Scotland had no culture, Daisley likes to undermine anyone that seeks to identify and, God forbid, celebrate it.

  3. I must admit it does intrigue me why STV would employ someone so blatantly biased and who always sounds like he's fishing for a job at Fox News.

    Not exactly the brightest of ideas when trust in the media continues to plummet to ever lower levels in Scotland.

  4. Survation for the Jewish Chronicle ran a poll asking a 1k UK Jewish sample about the Labour leadership... Jeremy Corbyn et al. When you see 2015 past vote data, it's hardly surprising he wasn't that popular with respondents, never mind the leading question about his apparently close links to holocaust deniers:

    78% Con
    17% Lab
    3% Lib
    1% UKIP
    1% Green

    Does raise the question as to whether the whole 'Labour Friends of Israel' thing is worth the bother certainly.

  5. brilliant, relentless takedown, well done. Daisley's smearing of anyone who dares to criticize the Israeli government is appalling.
    I fervently wish all such defenders of the indefensible could be turned into Palestinians for just a few days. I'm pretty sure they'd undergo a remarkable evolution in their views

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  7. It is not legally possible in Israel for a Jewish citizen to marry a non-Jewish citizen.

    Is this acceptable to Stephen? Why would a country do this and is there a term for it?

    1. It is not legally possible in Israel for a Jewish citizen to marry a non-Jewish citizen.

      Yes it is, there are several ways to go about it, up to and including civil partnerships.

    2. Up to and including civil partnershi? Does that mean marriage is not possibl? I know that Arab so-called "citizen" of "theregion's only democracy" are not allowed to pass on this great gift the Israelis have bestowed on them to either their spouses or children if they are Palestinians. The Israelis and their self-serving lies get right upmy nose, but their apologists engender nothing in me but the most profound and utter disgust.

    3. I am referring to Civil Marriages in Israel.

    4. In addition to the advice of the US Embassy in Israel I linked to above, this article in Haaretz includes a diagram for illustration "Who would you be able to marry in Israel ..."

      I guess this will continue as long as religious authorities control official marriages.

    5. I'm afraid your Haaretz link is behind a paywall, but I think I get the gist of your point, which is specifically about Jewish Marriages (rather than marriages containing a Jewish person).

      Currently there are 3 ways to get a legally binding marriage in Israel :

      1 - From any of the 9 recognised religions (including 2 Islamic and several Christian faiths).
      2 - Nip over the border. Even if both parties are Israeli citizens, any marriage performed abroad has full legal status in Israel.
      3 - From 2010, take a civil partnership. Unlike some other countries, these have full legal status, but I believe require both consenting parties to be non-religious. So not much use if you are a declared Jew.

      Getting an Orthodox Jewish marriage to a non-Jew inside Israel is going to be pretty much impossible though. But as you rightly said;

      I guess this will continue as long as religious authorities control official marriages.

      Sadly I doubt the influence of the Orthodoxy is going away any time soon.

  8. Had a go at reading his articles for a spell after having come across a few retweets on twitter. He's not up to much. It's entirely possible that he doesn't actually believe anything he is saying, just making ham- fisted attempts at promoting arguments that he hopes will take him somewhere where the real coin awaits. In his world we are the imbeciles for actually giving a shit, hence the contempt for popular causes like Palestine, Scotland etc

  9. Israel gets a bad rap. They are the only democracy in the middle east worthy of the name. Human rights are observed as well as equality for women and LGBT people (in sharp contrast to the surrounding despotisms). It may be an officially 'Jewish' state but Israeli Arabs prosper within the country and even get elected to parliament. Within Israel proper, life is good.

    Apart from the fact that it is permanently under siege from terrorist scum who tunnel into its territory, kill people, fire rockets at cities and breach ceasefire upon ceasefire. These are the same people who would hurt us in the west if they could - blowing up buildings and public transport.

    It is our responsibility to stand with Israel - sole true democracy in the middle east and bulwark against Islamist extremism.

    1. Rather like the Scottish Nationalists do with Westminster and England, it's important to distinguish between the people of Israel (and Palestine) as opposed to their leaders.

      I have great sympathy for the residents of both countries, but none at all for the idealogical theocrats running both states, fighting and killing their own citizens over the contents of a two thousand year old book.

    2. Might be YOUR responsibility, Buster, but as fast as I'm concerned, Israel can sod right off. They're as democracy the way apartheid SA was a democracy - only members of the proper race need apply. They attacked and destroyed Lebanon because the Lebanese are better business people and we're attracting all the region's inward investment, and because it was a democracy at least comparable to Israel. Everyone forgets that one, don't they?

    3. They attacked Lebanon because Hezbollah terrorists were launching attacks on Israel from that territory.

    4. Isn't that like attacking Ireland in response to the IRA?

    5. A poor analogy. The Republic of Ireland didn't launch missiles across the Irish Sea at British cities. Had they done so, I suspect the RAF would've gone over to really feck them up.

    6. Neither did Lebanon launch missiles into Israel.

    7. Not sanctioned by the Lebanese government, no - but they still allowed missiles to be launched from their territory into Israel by terrorists. In that sutuation is the government much better than the terrorists? If you punish the government perhaps future terrorist control will be tightened up.

      What you can't do is live under a barrage of missile attacks and do nothing. We wouldn't accept that here - nor should we expect anyone else to have to put up with it.

    8. British terrorist groups operate/have operated in N.Ireland. Irish nationals were casualties / targets. Not 'officially', ahem, sanctioned by the British government...

    9. The troubles of Northern Ireland did not escalate to the point where missiles were being rained down on cities day and night.

      Would you want your kid walking to school amidst a missile barrage or would you want your government to perform its first duty of defence of the realm and engage in a bit of mass killing in response?

      You see, it's easy for us to sit in judgment. A stable part of the world, peaceful and prosperous for 70 years. We've forgotten what it is to suffer and be afraid. Yet we dare to preach from this ivory tower to people who are in a state of violent siege.

      Well, some of us do. I say bomb bomb bomb away Mr Netanyahu!

    10. I was referring to Israel's assault on Lebanon when they bombed Beirut Airport in the 1960s, and later when they deliberately used the dislocation of thousands of Palestinian refugees to destabilize an economic competitor. All of this was years before Hezbollah. Israel did it all to destroy a neighbouring country, then they whinge because that country can't control what the Israelis themselves maliciously unleashed.

    11. Before my time I'm afraid. I was dimly aware of Beirut being a lawless place growing up. And there was something about a guy chained to a radiator...

      What I have witnessed in my time of being aware of such things is a tendency of arabs to always try to resolve things by violence. They are the first to strike and the first to break ceasefire. The far more powerful Israel, understandably, then swats them like a fly - to which the world always gets completely outraged, for some reason.

      For a while, though, there was peace in the middle east. In the late 1990s it looked as if the conflict was finally over. But then the Palestinians decided to launch the "2nd intifada" (uprising), against Israel. The cause? The Israeli PM visited a shrine and the Muslims found his presence offensive.

      That's just madness. You can't reason with that.

    12. I'm sorry, Also, I was operating under the impression that you'd studied the history and had some vague notion of what you were talking about. My mistake. Yes, of course, Arabs are all mental and they deserve it. The Lebanese were abducting people long before the Israelis collapsed their country because they (the Lebanese) were out-trading the Israelis in business and commerce. The Zionists were not actively modelling themselves on the Nazis in the 1930s when Hitler was Time magazine's Man of the Year and when the first Holocaust survivors began to arrive in the New state of Israel in the 1950s, they were not treated like lepers because they didn't fit the image of the nobel Jewish warrior. That was all "before your time".

    13. Aldo. Simple answer to you. Last year about ten Israelis were killed, six of whom were attacking soldiers, ONE injured from the 'rocket' (damp squib) attacks. Whereas 1600 Palestinians including 600 children, four playing footie on a beach, were killed by Israelis by means of a REAL barrage of rockets, bombs, rifle fire etc from warplanes, warships and infantry. Gaza under siege, houses, schools and admin buildings flattened, and many services cut off. Yes the Palestinians are REALLY attacking Israel aren't they?

    14. The brief that Lebanon were firing missiles at Israel is....a lie as Uri Avnery who was there explains

      "THE LIES started with the official name: “Operation Peace in Galilee”.

      If one asks Israelis now, 99.99% of them will say with all sincerity: “We had no choice. They launched katyushas at the Galilee from Lebanon every day.................
      The simple fact is that for 11 months before the war, not a single shot was fired across the Israeli-Lebanese border. A cease-fire was in force and the Palestinians on the other side of the border kept it scrupulously. To everybody’s surprise, Yasser Arafat succeeded in imposing it on all the radical Palestinian factions, too.

      At the end of May, Defense Minister Ariel Sharon met with Secretary of State Alexander Haig in Washington DC. He asked for American agreement to invade Lebanon. Haig said that the US could not allow it, unless there were a clear and internationally recognized provocation.

      And lo and behold, the provocation was provided at once. Abu Nidal, the anti-Arafat and anti-PLO master terrorist, sent his own cousin to assassinate the Israeli ambassador in London, who was grievously wounded.

      In retaliation, Israel bombed Beirut and the Palestinians fired back, as expected. The Prime Minister, Menachem Begin, allowed Sharon to invade Lebanese territory up to 40 km, “to put the Galilee settlements out of reach of the katyushas.”..............................................................................................................
      The lie “they shot at us every day” has taken such a hold on the public mind that it is nowadays useless to dispute it. It is an illuminating example of how a myth can take possession of the public mind, including even of people who had seen with their own eyes that the opposite was true.

      NINE MONTHS before the war, Sharon told me about his plan for a New Middle East.

      I was writing a long biographic article about him with his cooperation. He believed in my journalistic integrity, so he told me his plan “off the record” and allowed me to publish it – but without quoting him. So I did.

      Sharon had a dangerous mental mixture: a primitive mind unsullied by any knowledge of (non-Jewish) history, and a fatal craving for “grand designs”. He despised all politicians – including Begin – as little people devoid of vision and imagination.

      His design for the region, as told me then (and which I published nine months before the war), was:
      1.To attack Lebanon and install a Christian dictator who would serve Israel,
      2.Drive the Syrians out of Lebanon,
      3.Drive the Palestinians out of Lebanon into Syria, from where they would then be pushed by the Syrians into Jordan.
      4.Get the Palestinians to carry out a revolution in Jordan, kick out King Hussein and turn Jordan into a Palestinian state,
      5.Set up a functional arrangement under which the Palestinian state (in Jordan) would share power in the West Bank with Israel."

    15. AldoAugust 24, 2015 at 7:53 PM: "Israel gets a bad rap. They are the only democracy in the middle east worthy of the name."

      What on earth does this mean? Israel has taken control of Palestine and is gradually annexing the land with its settlements and roads, but in such a way that the inhabitants have no rights in Israel, although they are not allowed to operate as a separate state. What's wrong with you that you believe this is a morally defensible situation?

      If you see Palestine as a colony of Israel, then talking about how Israel is democratic at home is rather liking saying India should not have resisted British rule, as Britain was a democratic country.

      Israel / Palestine has been compared to Sth Africa in the apartheid era, which is perhaps a better comparison. Israel controls the whole of the region, but the Palestinians have no voting rights, in any formally acknowledged state.

      If you look at the situation within Israel, it is debatable whether it can be seriously considered democratic. A friend of mine married an Israeli but found it impossible to live in Israel. Their marriage was not recognised, but on the other hand his wife was not eligible for e.g. an unemployment benefit because she has married a non-Jew. Their son was born in London and the hospital refused to circumcise him as he had a heart murmur. When the child was ill in Tel Aviv, three hospitals refused to treat him as he was uncircumcised. I defy

      Barbara McKenzie

  10. All sounds very similar to the Irish situation!

    Swap republicans for Palestinians and Anglocentric Northern Irish protestants for Jews. The republicans who wanted their country back were demonised by Thatcher as terrorists which some were. The Protestants were described as loyalists.

    Straight away the inference was that the Brits were the good guys and the republicans the traitors.

    It's what imperialists do.

    1. There is no comparison with the Irish sutuation.

      In Gerry Adams and Martin McGuinness we basically have two sensible men. Men of our culture. Men who can be reasoned with. Even firebrand Rev Ian Paisley mellowed out towards the end of his life.

      At no point did Irish terrorists run into crowds wearing suicide vests, shouting "God bless tha Holy Faither!", before blowing themselves to kingdom come.

      Islamists are a completely different breed. They cannot be reasoned with. They are absolutely mental.

  11. He does have a point about the boycotts, though. Why is this particular sanction applied against Israel far more than any other country? Plenty of people deliberately avoided going to see Israeli theatre groups etc when they invaded Lebanon, but I don't know of anyone who stops going to see (say) American films when the US goes on one of its regular killing sprees.

    1. But Israel is not the only country to ever be the subject of a boycott, and the other examples can't be blamed on anti-Semitism. When the Americans boycotted the 1980 Moscow Olympics, was that anti-Slavic? When sporting sanctions were applied to apartheid South Africa, was that anti-Afrikaner?

    2. Your examples are boycotts of government-run events. The Israeli boycott is the only one I'm aware of which applies to private groups which happen to originate in Israel. I don't know whether anti-semitism is the cause, but it's certainly curious.

  12. Do not pass Go. Do not collect $200.

    That is the game Aldo plays.

    If I, perish the thought, was against the death of Palestinian children, then, according to Aldo it is all their own fault, and probably mine too.

    They sent rockets into Jewish settlements and deserve the full force of the IDF. The degree of difference is something Aldo is insensitive to, he is in favour of might is right.

    And I am now, in the mind of Aldo an anti-semite.

    How convenient is that?

    It is thus.

    If you have ever been the victim of a pogrom, if you have ever been the victim of a death camp, then you can do no wrong. Whatever you do is somehow justified by the evil that was done to you.

    This is a spiral into despair.

    It excludes words like 'good' or 'decency' or balance'.

    I consider the broader holocaust a huge stain on humanity. But it is not a get out of jail card. The idea that it allows anything whatsoever is just plain wrong.

    Aldo allows it.

  13. I am utterly sick of the endless 'whataboutery' that surrounds every attempt to protest the indefensible actions of Israel as it carries out its own illegal occupation of Palestinian territories. I am quite happy to admit I have gone on marches protesting the Israeli government but not similar marches protesting the Malian, Zimbabwean, Chinese or Uzbek governments. Partly this is because I'm not naturally an organiser or a joiner. Partly it's because I don't have the time and energy to educate myself about each injustice that someone might have a problem with.

    To insist that in order to legitimately care about one issue or injustice you must demonstrate that you have organised politically on every other remotely comparable question, renders political protest about any issue outside your own borders effectively impossible. It is the position of people who have never attempted to effect real political change on any question. It is the kind of attitude that leads inevitably to a disengaged, depoliticised populace that never sees beyond their own front doors. In other words, exactly the kind of situation that would best suit Daisley's preferred politicians.

  14. Here is another convenient Aldoism:

    Islamists are a completely different breed. They cannot be reasoned with. They are absolutely mental.

    How convenient is that?

    I suppose Aldo would keep his equanimity if he was being bombed by say the IDF in Gaza, or the UK and USA in Iraq, or is it Syria today (?), or anywhere else the drones can go?

    Y'know, if he was under that barrage, I do not think he would be seeing the people doing it as his friends.

    But, of course, he could never be there, never on their side. He has the advantage of first world uniqueness, for that is what he brings to the table. A wonderful detatchment from other peoples reality.

    It is perhaps a uniquely Western perspective. The death of another is not like the death of a 'proper' person, is it, Aldo?

  15. It's terrible when kids and innocent people end up suffering - of course it is. But you can't expect Israelis not to do anything when their people are targetted by terrorists. Maybe, if the provocation were to stop, the retaliation would stop and a peaceful, productive dialogue could begin. Israel is a modern, liberal, western nation. Peace is there to be had. But the fucking idiot jihadists would rather glory in war than try to coexist peacefully. They are a violence/torture/death cult - just like ISIS, just like Boko Haram. When I say that you can't negotiate with these people, it's not just a convenient statement. You actually can't negotiate with them. And when you can't negotiate with people, you really only have one option left to you - wipe them out.

    1. Aldo,

      You are very brave to repeat yourself, for that is all you do. May I quote you?

      Of couse I can:

      It's terrible when kids and innocent people end up suffering - of course it is.

      Except when it isn't? It suits you. I have never heard you say that suffering is wrong in anything other that the abstract sense? Convenient for them but not for us?

      Who should suffer? Us or them Aldo?

    2. Not quite sure what you're on about douglas.

      I would prefer that no one has to suffer, anywhere, ever. But as you know, bad stuff happens.

      We bombed fuck out of Germany in WW2 and saved the world, literally, from the most evil regime ever to stain humanity. People got hurt - obviously. Women, children, disabled people (those who Hitler hadn't got round to gassing) - all died horribly.

      Does that mean we should have stopped? Would the nazis have had such misgivings?

      I see fundamentalist Islam as being a threat to civilisation. We must give it no quarter.

    3. I wonder how Aldo would react if he were ever to discover that over 10% of Palestinians are Christians, and a good many others are secularists.

    4. The problem is that Islamic extremists gain much of that extremism because of double standards of the West.

      As long as the Israeli occupation is defended, it's hard to take the moral high ground.

  16. "But you can't expect Israelis not to do anything when their people are targetted by terrorists."

    Of course not. The most rational course of action would be to end the occupation. If Israel operating within its legitimate borders were ever to find itself seriously threatened, it wouldn't be short of allies.

    1. It expanded beyond its original borders due to the 1967 Arab/Israeli war. Again, an unprovoked attack by several Arab states against Israel - which seized the West Bank and Gaza strip as 'spoils of war'.

      Normally I would agree with you about the withdrawal. But going back to pre '67 borders would mean a tiny strip of Israel connecting the North and South, running between the West Bank and Mediterranean Sea. This would leave Israel vulnerable to being cut in two by an invasion force. Allied forces might not get there in time to save Israel.

      Maybe the Arabs shouldn't have attacked in '67.

    2. I presume Britain should have been forced to cede the West Country as punishment for invading Egypt in 1956?

    3. Don't be silly, James. Wtf would anyone want with the west country?

    4. Cider, IMO. :)

  17. "Allied forces might not get there in time to save Israel."

    I guess Israel's nuclear weapons might do the trick (well, in a way).

  18. Stephen Daisley's bio from the Times of Israel, for which he has written in the past.
    Describes himself as 'a Catholic, a Zionist, and centre-right'.

  19. Daisley was earlier today rueing the fact that he will turn 30 in four months' time. That means he was born in either late 1985 or early 1986, and can't possibly have even the vaguest direct political memory from earlier than around 1991.

    Don't let him off the hook so easily, James. I'm 31 myself, which makes me only about 1-2 years older than Mr Daisley. True, I cannot meaningfully remember politics aside from a few names that always sprung up, but I do remember what my life was like then: community groups closing down, industries shutting up shop, unemployment and malaise and the oppressive presence of Polaris just across the river from me. I don't remember the nuances of the political debates, but I do remember the effects. It's only later that I could rationalise the causes of the things which ruined and destroyed my community all those years ago.

    Mr Daisley should know better by now.

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  21. It is interesting that most, indeed all, posts on here allowed, via a reply button, the facility to debate. Strangely enough, our good friend Aldo's posts do not allow us to do that?

    I give you:

    AldoAugust 25, 2015 at 1:18 AM

    No facility to reply?


  22. Good analysis of a hysterical loon who doesn't merit being taken seriously.