Israel’s evictions: British nincompoops? Or America’s “poodle”


Comment at end

5th August, 2009

From a spokesman for the British Consulate on the eviction of Palestinian families in East Jerusalem (03/08/2009):

“We are appalled by the evictions in East Jerusalem. Israel’s claim that the imposition of extremist Jewish settlers into this ancient Arab neighbourhood is a matter for the courts or the municipality is unacceptable. Their actions are incompatible with Israel’s desire for peace. We urge Israel not to allow extremists to set the Agenda.”

What IS going on here, Mr Miliband? Have you finally cracked?

I really can’t make up my mind as to whether Miliband and crew have gone bananas, or are just supporting “He Who Must Be Obeyed” (Obama, not Blair…  although, then again…)


If we Brits are all expected to fall in behind America’s line on this does this not put the Guardianistos & their ilk on the horns of a dilemma? Wasn’t it following America’s lead that got us into trouble before? Wasn’t it?


It is nothing like as simple as “whose land is it” as I have referred to here before. To those who look to history, it depends on when history started. For a definite on that, you’ll have to go to a higher authority.  But the present British “appalled” message is far more tasty for the anti-Israel press at home than it would be for our Foreign Office to  sound as though they know what they’re on about! Meanwhile, with Brown ‘in charge’ and Britain therefore mute on most foreign policy areas, Miliband is playing at home to the gallery hoping for a win, while depending on Blair to score away.

Melanie Phillips provides plenty of informed food for thought on British reaction to this, as does Robin Shepherd in his article below.

Shepherd (my bolding):

British government must issue clarification over Jerusalem evictions controversy

The Israel-Palestine conflict is surely complicated enough without the British government injecting ambiguity into the situation via statements which appear to contradict Britain’s commitment to the rule of law.

Responding to Israel’s decision to evict nine Palestinian families from two houses in east Jerusalem, the British Consulate in Jerusalem has issued an extraordinarily aggressive press statement condemning the move. The evictions followed long and complicated court cases in which it was established that Jewish families held the title to the properties while documents produced by the Palestinian residents were found to be forgeries. On Sunday, the police moved in to enforce the court decision.

The British consulate’s statement says:

“We are appalled by the evictions in East Jerusalem. Israel’s claim that the imposition of extremist Jewish settlers into this ancient Arab neighbourhood is a matter for the courts or the municipality is unacceptable. Their actions are incompatible with Israel’s desire for peace. We urge Israel not to allow extremists to set the Agenda.”

I’m struggling with this. In countries governed by the rule of law, it would seem clear that matters of such complexity can only be decided by the courts. Could the British embassy explain who else should have been called upon to adjudicate? And whilst we’re at it, I wonder if they could issue clarifications on a couple of other matters?

For one thing, the area concerned is referred to as an “ancient Arab neighbourhood”. Is it? In the latest blog entry by Melanie Phillips on the Spectator website (see below) she provides evidence that it is in fact an ancient Jewish neighbourhood and that the homes in question belonged to Jews as far back as the late 19th century. Jews were forced out due to Arab attacks in the 1920s and 1930s. Is the embassy confident it has got its history right? Did it bother to check?

Another matter for clarification is the use of the word “extremists” to describe the people who have now reclaimed their property. Perhaps they are “extremists”. I honestly do not know. But it would seem to be an unusual departure from standard diplomatic practice to describe people in such terms without providing even a modicum of evidence.

Yet another matter for clarification is the use of the word “settlers”. If, as the courts found, the people in question are in fact the rightful owners of the properties then the term “settler” as it is used in the Israeli context is obviously inappropriate. So why was such loaded terminology employed?

Now, let me say in conclusion that I have no opinion on whether the Israeli move was a good idea or a bad one. In addition, if the Foreign Office believes that, regardless of the legal niceties, it was likely to enflame the kind of tensions which would make peace-making more difficult it is perfectly entitled to say so. The Americans, who also condemned the move, appeared to be motivated by precisely such considerations calling it “totally unacceptable”.

The problem is that the British statement is so riddled with ambiguities and so obviously shrouded in the red mists of anger that it serves no other purpose than to slate Israel yet again while leaving us none the wiser as to what we should really make of this.

For a fascinating review of the case, see Melanie Phillips


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16 Responses to “Israel’s evictions: British nincompoops? Or America’s “poodle””

  1. Quietzapple Says:

    Israel stokes tensions and it is past time Obama ceased subsidising Israel’s defense spend by a few $bn per annum and devoted the money to Pakistan’s battle against Al Queda and their ilk on payment by results basis.

    If Melanie Phillips wants to support a reversion to C19th Palestine’s demographics her tendentious zionism will trip itself up Very quickly.

    I well understand HMG’s anger, Israel looks for trouble at almost every turn, presumably applying pressure on the USA and other peacemakers.

    Sooner or later Iran and other arab states may well have nukes, indeed for all we know Islamo-fascists already have WMDs, removed from Saddam’s desert, or taken from former USSR arsenals.

    There are other reasons for trying to make peace, but the prospect of annoying lunatic enemies is a reasonable alternative.

    • keeptonyblairforpm Says:

      “Israel stokes tensions”? Just Israel?

      Come on QZ.

      It’s clear that you are with the Guardianistos on this. I expect you are with the “heart-rending” story here too. Odd how these Palestinians are never described as “squatters”, even though a historical glance back proves they were.

      Most of the commenters in true anti-Israel CIF style agree with the writer, naturally! But this commenter has another take:

      Oh my, what a bunch of hogwash.

      My favorite quote from this article must be “The next stop in this attempt to cleanse the putative future capital of Palestine of its indigenous population is the Bustan area of Silwan which sits in the valley down from the Dome of the Rock and the Western Wall. ”

      Indigineous is a big word. My webster’s online dictionary translates it as ” having originated in and being produced, growing, living, or occurring naturally in a particular region or environment.”

      Does that describe the Jews or the Palestinians in the writers mind? And when answering that question, why don’t we remind everyone of some very basic fact regarding Jersualem that can be easily found anywhere on the web are indisputable, except to those people that would try to twist history:

      For over 3,300 years, Jerusalem has been the Jewish capital. Jerusalem has never been the capital of any Arab or Muslim entity. Even when the Jordanians occupied Jerusalem, they never sought to make it their capital, and Arab leaders did not come to visit.

      Jerusalem is mentioned over 700 times in Tanach, the Jewish Holy Scriptures. Jerusalem is not mentioned once in the Koran.

      King David founded the city of Jerusalem. Mohammed never came to Jerusalem. (Though he “dreamed” of it once, ascending to heaven. And therefore the muslims claim holy ownership, because of a dream.)

      Jews pray facing Jerusalem. Muslims pray with their backs toward Jerusalem.

      Indeed, the arabs couldn’t give a squat about Jerusalem, as its condition up until Israel obtained the city in the ’73 war can attest to. Only once it was returned to its founders did they have a fit.

      And Blair is supposed to do something – say something as a CIFer yells accusingly – about this?

  2. Quietzapple Says:

    “It’s clear that you are with the Guardianistos on this.”

    My Comments there have been removed by both sides, only a couple of months ago when I commented on a few such threads.

    I primarily back the safety of Great Britain, and self interest is anti the islamo-fascist menace, which Israel stokes.

    • keeptonyblairforpm Says:

      QZ – we agree on the Islamo-Fascist threat and if I recall correctly using that phrase was why you were removed from the Guardian. (The paper happy to allow reference to Blair as a ‘Nazi’.)

      But I can’t agree with the simplistic argument that Israel is “stoking” the menace. Is it ASKING to be attacked? Does it WANT its people selected as terror targets worldwide?

      The day I hear of a Jewish “terrorist”, fundamentalist or whatever, bombing mosques, soldiers and civilians is the day I accept that SOME or even ONE of them is “stoking” violence. Until then I should just remind you which “religion” supplies today’s terrorists.

  3. Quietzapple Says:

    The White South Africans used to produce stuff like your quote, to make out that they were there first, that the Blacks had no claim & etc. It is hogwash, any slippery tale is good enough to justify doing what they do,

    • keeptonyblairforpm Says:

      Which particular quote is hogwash? There are many, probably too many from all sides.

      I have not invented the views I have quoted. I linked to a page which had a historical view of who owned the land. He may be wrong, he may be right. The point was that it is not as simple as The Guardianisto view that the land is/was ALWAYS Palestine’s to lose.

      Your anti-Israel views are pretty unpleasant QZ.

  4. Quietzapple Says:

    Hardly, I have been a supporter of the right of Israel to exist since the war in the ’60s.

    Objective opinion intends that the occupied territories shall be ceded to the Palestinians and guarantees of Israel’s security made by other ME states.

    Many Israelis like that, those who don’t will continue to warmonger.

    I found the pictures of palestinians carrying their dead children unpleasant. The Telegraph stopped me using one such as an avatar. You’ll find more people moving to the center on this issue, Zionsim is becoming an increasingly isolated position.

    • keeptonyblairforpm Says:

      Citing “objective opinion” is a common fall back position used by many who insist they speak for the majority, QZ. We hear it all the time over Iraq. On Iraq ‘objective opinion’ was, and still is wrong, imho.

      Having said that I have NO firm opinion believe it or not on how the land should be divvied up. Though it might be difficult for Palestine to be to the east and west of Israel if Hamas and others in the region are still minded to be militant. Objective opinion seems a little naive if it thinks that Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Iran to name but a few Islamic states are going to agree to leap to Israel’s defence if they are attacked by A.N. Other in that number.

      Many Israelis like that. Those who don’t will continue to struggle for Israel’s survival.

      Why on earth would you want to use a dead child as an avatar? What does that prove? That war is evil? Do you think we don’t know that? Do you think Israel doesn’t know that?

      I do dislike emotive argument in cases of trying to work out who is the good guy and who is the bad guy in this case, or in any cases.

      I am glad to hear that you think more people are moving to my position – in the centre. As for “Zionism” a term I notice you are using disparagingly here. What is it today other than creating and maintaining a Jewish state? And was it ever any more than that?

  5. Quietzapple Says:

    BF: Objective doesn’t mean what the hoi poloi/majority think, BF it means based in fact rather than otherwise.

    If the oil rich states like Bahrain and the USA, who have the potential to assist development of the arab states around Israel push for a mutual defence or somesuch pact in time it will come. The pipers can pay more, if the tunes improve, and the near Middle East will soon be suffering more than usual.

    It is entirely reasonable to make clear by using a Palestinian Man carrying his dead child as an avatar at the time of the Gazzan war that Israel made war on women and children in Gazza, just as surely as the suicide bombers do, but Israel falsely poses as a civilised state, and some imagine that they make a proportionate response to the rocket attacks.

    Well BF, somehow your site seems to me to have a fair few blogs and comments which go against your own declared taste in non emotional statements in my view.

    Zionism was a Jewish terrorism for a racial state, and now it remains expansionary when it is time to make peace. The occupied zones are not being used as buffers, and the Palestinians are being treated as untermenschen. Time to call a halt.

    Oh, and I do not think that more people are moving to your right wing zionist position, however you trim it with doubts as to which land should go to which state. On the contrary you will continue to become increasingly isolated regardless of the views of those Jews who are so active whenever Israel is mentioned on the internet.

    • keeptonyblairforpm Says:


      I don’t have a right-wing zionist position. I just don’t think that Israel is necessarily the bad guy, while the Palestinians are necessarily the good guys. You, on the other hand, QZ, like many in your party, seem to know exactly who to blame.

      For how many more years were the Isralis supposed to allow daily rocket launching from Gaza without saying “enough”? Forever? Why? Would we allow the north of England to be attacked daily by the Scots without doing something to put a stop to it?

      Were the Gazans asking to be attacked in order that Israel, for its “disproportionate” response, would receive worldwide opprobrium for the “emotive” pictures of dead children? Did Hamas know that this would follow? Was it engineered for that result? (Just a question I pose. Not a “factual opinion!”)

      Your emotive argument on making war “on women and children” could equally apply to Iraq and Afghanistan. It is a recipe for doing nothing about anything.

      There is a bigger picture and I think we lose sight of it once we hold pictures up as proof of one side’s supposed inhumanity or “terror” as you put it, compared to another’s.

      And remember that one of the most famous pictures of a dead child is that of an American soldier weeping as he carries one in his arms, pressing his face against her tiny body.

      That was emotive too, but it showed the extent and complexities of human emotion, and of war. It isn’t as simple as saying MY side good, THEIR side bad.

      As for me being increasingly isolated, QZ! That’s what I’m here for, don’t you know? You tried that trick in the past telling me that Brown was the answer to our problems once upon a time, and I was backing the wrong horse. I didn’t think you were right then and I still don’t think so. But that’s another issue and Brown might yet prove me wrong.

      Whereas you seem to have such deep antipathy towards Israel’s position, I find it hard to work out where you’re coming from and why, and if you will ever see Israel as deserving of its own state. Your analysis indicates that anything that satisifies the Israelis and (therefore?) does not satisfy the Palestinians is erroneous, de facto. But I wonder … will ANYTHING other than Israel’s surrender and cessation to exist EVER satisfy the “Palestinians”?

      In the meantime, fire away. It is interesting to see what YOU think on the ‘evil’ that is presumably within ONE side of the Israeli/Palestine arguments.

  6. thenonconformer Says:

    I am clearly a Democrat- Liberal Party supporter over supporting the Conservative Party and I still do rightfully believe in God, but I gave up supporting the lying, hypocritical, Pharisaical Conservative party. It was also very clear to me that Sarah Plain’s family did not live what she herself had preached to the others too.
    One inappropriate graffiti on a Jewish Center wall in Calgary Alberta makes the national news of Canada.. many Palestinian homes torn down in Israel makes very little news, What real unacceptable Hypocrisy. Peace in the middle east is never possible but it is not just the Arabs but the Jews themselves clearly who are part of the unacceptable problem. None of this is politically correct.

    US ‘dismayed’ by Israel’s new settlements in Jerusalem – The White House has said it is dismayed by Israel’s decision to build new settler homes in Jerusalem saying it makes it harder to kick-start the peace talks.

    Do see also

    • keeptonyblairforpm Says:

      OK, non-conformer. You’ve got your links here. Justice it seems is in the eye of the beholder, a little like beauty and truth.

      Here in Britain’s press we hear FAR more in favour of the Palestinian cause than we do about the Israeli cause.

      We’re all for peace, but at what price?

  7. quietzapple Says:

    Sory Blair Friend, no time to address ALL of your points, information and tendentious disinformation.

    1968 I wore a fez with a star of Israel on it, most were just condemning one side of the other.

    I think we have now got to the stage where israel has to give way on some more of the land it stole.

    I have never said or written anything which might be reasonably interpreted as wanting Israel to be dissolved.

    Well BF, Trolling? You?

    • keeptonyblairforpm Says:

      So, QZ, MY information is tendentious whereas yours is unbiased, well-researched and accurate?


      As I have written before here – as in “Whose land is it , anyway?” – both sides argue that it is THEIR land. Unlike your good self I am in NO position to be sure about this. But I DO know that Israel gave ‘back’ Gaza to the Palestinians and look what they did with it. (I am referring to what they did with it before Israel bombed it over Hamas-supported/inspired daily rocket attacks. Attacks that had gone on for years, without the west taking umbrage.)

      So please, QZ, if you have no time to address ALL of my points, don’t bother to write to try to dismiss them with a wave of your oh-so-superior & knowledgeable hand over ‘MY’ bias.

      I try to argue the points to the best of my understanding. But, as with my support for Blair, I often find myself taking the counter-intuitive tack, especially when the British press and most politicians seem FAR TOO BIASED towards the Palestinians’ argument. Apart from that I am NOT and am never likely to be a Jew-hating Guardianisto.

      As I have asked you before, please write a sentence rather than sort of bullet points. It’s not actually all that clever. Innuendo never is.

      So, what the hell does this mean?

      “Well BF, Trolling? You?”

  8. quietzapple Says:

    BF always stood for “Blair Friend” suggest you look up troll.

    • keeptonyblairforpm Says:


      I understand what both BF and troll mean, FGS.

      What I don’t understand is where you say I’m trolling.

      One trolls, as I have always understood it, at others’ sites or at online communities.

      If you are referring to a site at which I have trolled, perhaps you can do me the courtesy of telling me at which one?

      I do not TROLL at my own site. I write what I think. That’s what blogs are about.

      You will recall, QZ, that we don’t agree on everything. Doesn’t make me a troll, any more than it makes either of us right or wrong.

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