Monday, January 05, 2009

Death in Gaza – there is no alternative

It used to be axiomatic that history was written by the victors. But then came the mainstream media, and the triumphant annals of the victors were joined by wailing obituaries of the vanquished. And then came blogs - and the argument, plot, and sub-plots of history are now written by anyone and everyone, no matter how much or how little they know or do not know.

Postmodern history is neither science nor art, but a random sequence of feelings drawn from a melting pot of misinformation concocted from a myriad of disparate anecdotes and distorted concepts embroidered by the half-light of relativity.

And so it is with the eternal Arab-Israeli conflict.

The piteous images of the dead and wounded in what has become known as the ‘Gaza Strip’ are convenient for the Jew-hater or for those who are pathologically disposed to the elimination of Israel. The babies who had barely breathed, the children who had scarcely played, the young men and women who were on the cusp of falling in love, and the elderly and infirm whose life it was to dote on their children and grandchildren, all cruelly cut off by the barbarism that is war.

Why is this happening? What is the cause? Who is to blame? How can peace be found?

No-one will deny that life on this godforsaken, besieged strip of land is hard. Jobs are scarce, the economy is in ruins, health is poor, education is poorer, and the future (should any bother to consider it) has always been bleak. It was bleak when Israel governed the land, but it has become bleaker since withdrawal and the systematic eradication of the Israeli settlements.

From the moment Hamas were elected to govern in 2006, the welfare and interests of the Palestinian people have been subjugated to the religio-political objectives of its divinely-ordained charter. Instead of spending the billions of dollars and euros it has been given in aid on social infrastructure and the realisation of progressive policies, it has squandered it on military hardware and political propaganda. The militant ruling party has had little concern for the long-suffering of the Gazans, determined, as they have been, to ensure increased social trauma and worsening strife, in order that Muslims across the world might be provoked to rise in anger against Israel – the author of all that evil in the world.

Hamas has only one objective – the destruction of Israel. It is championed by Iran, which would also like to see Israel ‘wiped off the map’. Hamas have therefore rained down missiles into Israeli towns and villages for the past three years – 6000 of them, to be precise. And not one has been aimed at an Israeli military target, but purposely fired randomly at residential areas to maximise the civilian death toll.

Israel has tolerated this for years. It has turned cheeks, blind eyes, deaf ears, and mute mouths (if one turns a mouth). And while it was doing so, no-one was marching on the streets of London, Paris, Berlin, Rome or Washington demanding that Palestine halt its indiscriminate bombardment of Israel. No-one co-ordinated mass demonstrations, no-one besieged any Arab-Muslim embassies, and the mainstream media was silent on the slaughter of Jewish men, women and children.

You see, not enough were dying.

If only Israel had thought to orchestrate a few devastating missile hits, to conceal explosives in the basements of its synagogues or beneath apartment blocks, to preserve a few bodies of babies and children in morgues so they could be produced for the world’s cameras when required.

But even then, few would have cared. And fewer would have equated such a tale with Israel’s fight for survival. For Israel, you see, has not only been framed by Hamas, it has been systematically and chronically demonised by the Islamists, by the Left, by the pathologically anti-Semitic media, and so by all the mindless, undiscerning idiots who obtain their ‘truth’ from the fount of all untruth.

So the British Foreign Secretary demands a ceasefire, and so does his Shadow. And they along with their leaders advocate dialogue. They demand a cessation of hostilities and a peace agreement. They will doubtless organise another summit (equally doubtless presided over by the President of the United States), at which they will attempt to address the ‘underlying causes’ of the latest conflagration, only to discover that they are the same underlying causes which were discussed last year, and the year before, and the year before that; and last decade, and the decade before that, and the decade before that; and last century, and the century before that...

You see, the ‘underlying cause’ is not simply (or complexly) political, and neither is it social, psychological or straightforwardly territorial.

The ‘underlying cause’ is theological, or, to be more precise, religio-theological-historical-political.

It all comes down to which son Abraham almost sacrificed.

For Jews it is revealed in the Torah (Gen 22:1f) that it was Isaac – from whom the Jews are descended. The Christians corroborate this (Heb 11:17; Js 2:21). But to Muslims it is revealed in the Qur’an (Surah 11:69-73, 37:112-113, 51:24-30) that it was Ishmael – from whom Arab Muslims are descended. They believe that the ‘promised son’ was Ishmael and scribes later corrupted the original reading in Genesis to 'Isaac'.

This is possibly the most important bit of redaction in the history of the world. Genesis according to the Torah reveals that Isaac was the ‘promised son’ and so the Jews are the chosen of YHWH. But Genesis according to the Qur’an reveals Ishmael as the ‘promised son’, and so Muslim Arabs are the chosen of Allah.

So who is the chosen ‘promised’ son? Who inherits the land? The second-born of the first wife, or the first-born of the second wife?

There is no consensus to be found here, no agreement to be had, no concordat to be drawn up by the Tony Blair Faith Foundation, for not even the Middle East messiah peace envoy will be able to resolve this intractable antithesis and irreconcilable mutual exclusion. There is no convenient fudge, no compromise, and no third way.

For most Arabs, Israel is an Islamic land ‘occupied’ by the Jews. And this is the fault of the UK (who double-crossed and deceived them in 1948), and the US (who support Israel militarily). Peace can only be restored when the Jews of Isaac surrender that which they illegally occupy to the Muslim-Arabs of Ishmael.

It is not clear to where Hamas (et al) propose that Israel’s Jews should move, but presumably they simply want an exodus of millions of the sons and daughters of Isaac which will then become someone else’s problem – presumably that of the United Nations.

Alternatively, the sons of Ishmael could accept that the Jews of Isaac are related to them through their father Abraham, and extend true Middle-Eastern hospitality to their distant cousins by acknowledging firstly their right to exist, and secondly their right to a homeland, and thirdly by sharing copious quantities of kosher wine and halal beer. It is not much of a life without a home, and one cannot build a home without land, and one cannot obtain land without rights, and one cannot be granted rights if one does not at least have the right to exist.

But sadly, formal recognition of Israel (and peace agreements signed) by all Arab countries is a pipe dream, whatever they may be smoking or drinking. Iran’s leadership has recently condemned Israel in the strongest terms over their airstrikes against Hamas, and are beginning to register volunteers to fight against Israel in the Gaza strip. Iran's Supreme Leader Khamenei earlier issued a religious decree declaring it the duty of Muslims around the world to fight back against Israel in any way.

There will always be radical factions within the Islamic ummah which hate Israel, and past signatories to peace treaties have paid with their lives.

So Plan C is to leave it to Tony Blair to sort out.

But this is a futile pursuit, for he is busy building his Fantasy Faith Foundation and preparing to be President of Europe.

Plan D is to leave it to President Obama to sort out.

But even the half-black, half-Muslim Christian will not end the suffering or bloodshed, even with his magnificent oratory of postmodern platitudes. Wars do not wait for inaugurations, and he is already losing a war he does not even know he is in. He will learn that he cannot bring ‘change’ to Israel any more than he can turn water into wine.

So we are left with an intractable dilemma, a problem without resolution, a devastatingly inevitable and utterly unavoidable scenario in which nothing but the return of the concept of a victor and a vanquished will lead to anything approaching peace - with all the attendant suffering, pain, death and trauma.

Innocent people will be killed by the hundreds and terrorised by the thousands because ultimately this is a battle between good and evil. And there are good and evil people on both sides. But the leadership of Hamas has no moral equivalence with the leadership of Israel.

Whatever the Islamists may spout, whatever the Left may splutter, and whatever the mainstream media may self-righteously declaim, Israel is on the side of morality and justice. There is one civilised force in this war, and one barbaric horde of genocidal maniacs.

If liberty is to result, if stability is to ensue, if peace is ever to be known, one had better pray for Israel as much as one weeps for innocent victims of Hamas.

Shalu Shlom Yerushalayim.

41 Comments:

Anonymous Rebel Saint said...

Nail on the head.

Problem is the likes of Annie Lennox and Alexi Sayle & their ilk have no idea who Isaac & Ishmael are or what their relevance to this is.

5 January 2009 at 09:58  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

One can write all manner of narratives about the history of Palestine over the last century but none are 100% coherent. For example, it was Israel that funded the creation of Hamas. And [some] Zionists who sought to make common cause with the Nazis and fight the British. Or that 50% of Palestinians evicted from Jerusalem in 1948 were Arab Christians. And that Arab Jews and the Zionists were originally on opposite sides.

Nevertheless, as the biggest s**t ever to have graced the UK political scene once said, we are where we are. The only solution I can see is for Israel and the worldwide Jewish community to pay off the Palestinians and give them land elsewhere. If that had been done many years ago, instead of trying to get the land for nought, there wouldn't be this mess today.

5 January 2009 at 10:41  
Anonymous BlairSupporter said...

Well written, Cranmer. Though I don't agree with your thoughts on Mr Blair, and never have - he is not the "Messiah" or a self-server, just possibly an "enabler" - sadly you seem to be right in your analysis as to the intractability of this situation.

I too have written about this - or rather referred to another's thoughts - on the historical political/religious ownership arguments. Your readers might wish to read it.

One of the most worrying issues for me is that there is an Islamic determination that once land is owned by Muslims it can never be 'dis-owned'.

We, the largest colonisers ever, take the complete opposite view - that a land which we once owned should NOT be ours forever, but was/is held temporarily in trust.

Until we in the west understand what we are up against, and unless people of religious conviction, from whichever angle, come to terms with liberty, freedom and democracy, the fundamentalist shroud awaits all of us.

I DO still hope that people with greater diplomatic and political skills than I can bring wisdom to bear on today's Middle East.

http://keeptonyblairforpm.wordpress.com/2009/01/04/palestine-israel-gaza-whose-land-is-it-really/

5 January 2009 at 10:43  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

BlairSupporter,

Your comments about land are partially correct. Much of the best land in Palestine (ie with water) was originally owned by absent landlords in Turkey. Tenants enjoyed fixity of tenure, under Islamic law. The Zionists bought the land rights and then sought to evict the Arab tenant farmers, via the British Mandate courts. This is where many of the problems began, at a time when there were but a few tens of thousands of Zionists (and very many more Arab Jews). If one studies the times of the Mandate, one finds that this issue of land ownership was the cause of great dispute. Also the common Zionist policy of not employing Arabs on their farms - creating the roots of that divided society.

5 January 2009 at 11:01  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Unsurprising conclusion from you Cranmer. Instead of the wooly nonsense that you use about liberty and justice why don't you have the courage to say what you really think - that the reason you are on the side of Israel is that they are jews and on the other side there are Muslims and as a christian you will always favour the jews ahead of any Muslim anywhere in the world regardless of fairness or who is right or wrong.

5 January 2009 at 11:10  
Blogger David said...

"And there are good and evil people on both sides. . . . Israel is on the side of morality and justice. There is one civilised force in this war, and one barbaric horde of genocidal maniacs".

Your Grace, touch of wanting to have your cake of moral grey, and eat it black and white, here? Dropping bombs on civilians is never justified. The only shred of justification that could be found for it in Christian belief would be if, by so doing, you could prevent a far greater evil; e.g. carpet bombing of German cities in the war hastening the end of the Holocaust. And even then.

The reasoning of the Israelis, such as it is, appears to be that the lives of their civilians are more important than those of Palestinian civilians in Gaza. While this is understandable, this is hardly ethical reasoning or consistent with the commandments of the Old and New Testaments. If nothing else, it boosts support for the Gazan militants; just as their immoral attacks on Israel are used as justification for Israel's reaction. As a consequence, 'do unto others as you would have them do unto you' has morphed into 'if they do this wrong to us, we can do a similar wrong to them'. Supporting that is a counsel of despair not a pathway to peace - other than through the miraculous Providence of Christ working through and despite our actions, in which your post appeared to lack much hope.

5 January 2009 at 11:56  
Anonymous the recusant said...

Anonymous,

I don’t usually respond to Anonymous but your comment is simply not true. I have sparred with His Grace for a few years and I have never had occasion to suspect his integrity which you do when you say “you will always favour the Jews ahead of any Muslim anywhere in the world regardless of fairness or who is right or wrong.” And if you read his archive you will find this is not true.

His Grace does not need me to defend him and we do not agree on quite a few topics but to my mind his veracity and sincerity is without question.

5 January 2009 at 12:15  
Anonymous Preacher said...

Your Grace.
There are so many anon's this morning that it's hard to be specific, I'm afraid that a peaceful solution will never be found, Hamas will never be 'bought off', as one contributor says, as you rightly observe billions have been poured into the coffers of Hamas and simply used for propaganda or weapons. BlairSupporter is correct in saying that Islam sees land it once owned as permanently owned, thus any peace plan is finished before it starts.
The collective sins of humanity are the cause of the conflict, the corruption of power & the greed of those that sell arms to kill the innocent & helpless are to blame. We can only wait fearfully & prayerfully for The Lord's final solution as written in the book of Revelation for justice to be done & peace to finally reign.

5 January 2009 at 12:15  
Anonymous Rebel Saint said...

It is interesting how many of the comments miss the point altogether ... that this current episode of conflict isn't about who did or did not do things in the last century. It is about much deeper spiritual/theological issues altogether, ones that are millennia old.

Any discussion/debate which ignores that will always come up with flawed conclusions. That is why most contemporary secular commentators - and increasingly religious commentators (an indictment on our Biblical knowledge surely) - come up with such woefully ineffective solutions.

This IS NOT a battle for a tiny strip of land. It is about the dominance of one religion over another. About one God over another. As Elijah once threw down the gauntlet ... people will have to decide which God they will serve. A secular political solution will NEVER EVER be found.

I choose the God of the Israel.

5 January 2009 at 12:32  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Preacher,

It might not be possible to buy off hardline Hamas types, but I should have thought that many Palestinians would be quite agreeable to an offer of, say, 100,000 dollars/euros per head and a passport entitling them to live in the USA, Europe or somewhere of their choice in the Middle East. I suspect this has been the Israeli objective for some time, but they want somebody else to pay.

5 January 2009 at 12:33  
Anonymous Preacher said...

Anon.
I wish it was so simple, firstly people have roots & family which despite the terrible situation offers a feeling of belonging to an area, thats why the jews have always aspired to return to Israel.
Secondly like it or not, the world is in terrible economic straits & the influx of many refugees would probably spark protests & riots. Thirdly I feel that it would be made difficult or immpossible for these poor souls to emigrate, the money would be siphoned off by the government, as happens in so many countries to relief aid given by western charities, Hamas would lose a civilian shield & also a valuable propaganda tool, so I couldn't envisage your plan working. I hate to see the misery & suffering of the innocent & regardless of age creed or colour but I feel that if it was a workable solution it would already have been applied.

5 January 2009 at 13:09  
Blogger Christian-Jedi-Alliance said...

THE SPIRIT OF MAN Lyrics

WAR OF THE WORLDS


PARSON: Listen, do you hear them drawing near in their search for the
sinners?
Feeding on the power of our fear and the evil within us
Incarnation of Satan's creation of all that we dread
When the demons arrive those alive would be better off dead!

BETH: There must be something worth living for
There must be something worth trying for
Even some things worth dying for
And if one man can stand tall
There must be hope for us all
Somewhere, somewhere, in the spirit of man

PARSON: Once there was a time when I believed without hesitation
That the power of love and truth could conquer all in the name of salvation
Tell me what kind of weapon is love, when it comes to the fight
And just how much protection is truth against all Satan's might

BETH: There must be something worth living for
There must be something worth trying for
Even some things worth dying for
And if one man can stand tall
There must be some hope for us all
Somewhere, somewhere in the spirit of man

People loved you and trusted you, came to you for help

PARSON: Didn't I warn them this would happen?
Be on guard, I said.
For the Evil One never rests.
I said exorcise the devil.
But no, they wouldn't listen.
The demons inside them grew and grew.
Until Satan gave his signal.
And destroyed the world we knew.

BETH: No, Nathaniel
Oh no Nathaniel!
No, Nathaniel, no
There must be more to life
There has to be a way
That we can restore to life
The love we used to know
Nathaniel, no
There must be more to life
There has to be a way
That we can restore to life
The light that we have lost

PARSON: Now darkness has descended on our land and all your prayers cannot save us

Like fools we've let the devil take command of the souls that God gave us

To the altar of evil like lambs to the slaughter we're led
When the demons arrive, the survivors will envy the dead!

BETH: There must be something worth living for

PARSON: No, there is nothing!

BETH: There must be something worth trying for

PARSON: I don't believe it's so

BETH: Even some things worth dying for
If just one man could stand tall
There would be some hope for us all
Somewhere, somewhere in the spirit of man

PARSON: Forget about goodness and mercy - they're gone.
Didn't I warn them...
Pray I said.
Destroy the devil, I said...
They wouldn't listen.
I could have saved the world.
But now it's too late.
Too late!!!

BETH: No, Nathaniel
Oh no, Nathaniel
No, Nathaniel, no
There must be more to life
There has to be a way
That we can restore to life
The love we used to know

Nathaniel, no
There must be more to life
There has to be a way
That we can restore to life
The light that we have lost

PARSON: Dear God! A cylinder's landed on the house! And we're underneath it - in the
pit!

JOURNALIST: The Martians spent the night making a new machine. It was a squat,
metallic spider with huge articulated claws - but it, too, had a hood in which a Martian
sat. I watched it pursuing some people across a field. It caught them nimbly and tossed
them into a great metal basket upon its back.

PARSON: Beth! She's dead! Buried under the rubble. Why?
Satan! Why did you take one of your own?
There is a curse on Mankind.
We may as well be resigned.
To let the devil, the devil take the spirit of man

JOURNALIST: As time passed in our dark and dusty prison, the Parson wrestled
endlessly with his doubts. His outcries invited death for us both - and yet I pitied him.

Then, on the ninth day, we saw the Martians eating. Inside the hood of their new
machine, they were draining the fresh, living blood of men and women and injecting it
into their own veins.

PARSON: It's a sign! I've been given a sign! They must be cast out and I have been
chosen to do it. I must confront them now!

JOURNALIST: No, Parson, no!

PARSON: Those machines are just demons in another form! I shall destroy them with
my prayers! I shall burn them with my Holy Cross! I shall -

JOURNALIST: The curious eye of a Martian appeared at the window-slit,
and a menacing claw explored the room. I dragged the Parson down to the coal
cellar. I heard the Martian fumbling at the latch. In the darkness I could see the claw
touching things, walls, coal, wood, - and then it touched my boot! I almost shouted! For
a time it was still and then, with a click, it gripped something. The Parson! With slow,
deliberate movements, his unconscious body was dragged away... and there was nothing
I could do to prevent it.

5 January 2009 at 13:21  
Blogger McKenzie said...

I have this vision in my mind's eye: it involves Annie lennox, Alexi Sayle, Ken livingstone and Tony Ben and a Martian death ray.

5 January 2009 at 13:38  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Preacher,

It has been my suspicion for some time that Israel's hyper-enthusiastic support for Turkish membership of the EU is the mechanism by which the 'exit door' is being opened for the Palestinians. The combination of stick (ie extreme poverty) and carrots (ie substantial cash handout and a freshly minted Turkish/EU passport) could prove irresistible to many - all the more so when the dust settles on this conflict, which could well involve Iran very shortly.

5 January 2009 at 13:38  
Blogger Alcuin said...

Your Grace, that is about the most pithy, succinct and honest description of the Israel-Palestine issue that I have yet read. We British made many mistakes - cutting Palestine in half in 1922, backing Al-Hosseini as Grand Mufti, and then washing our hands in 1947. But that is done and cannot be undone.

Anonymous: The only solution I can see is for Israel and the worldwide Jewish community to pay off the Palestinians and give them land elsewhere

That is not a solution. The Arabs do not want land elsewhere. Land once conquered by Muslims is according to their "holy" writ, theirs in perpetuity. They want Israel, and nothing else will do. And then they will want East Timor, and then Andalusia, and then Poitiers. Israel hurts them particularly as they see it as a dagger close to the black heart of Islam, wielded by people they despise and have downtrodden for centuries.

This is the seminal struggle not only of our time, but is the coming to a head of 1400 years of jihad, a river of blood and suffering that is finally reaching the sea. The predator Islam is a wounded beast, lashing out at all in its death throes, but mostly at its hated nemesis. Many will die in this final struggle, and unfortunately they must, for us all to remember something about ourselves that if not tamed, could destroy us all.

5 January 2009 at 14:35  
Anonymous Rebel Saint said...

You think this situation would be solved with cash hand-outs and re-location packages? Poor sad, deluded fools. Next you'll be telling me that what we need is a 2.5% cut in VAT to stimulate the economy.

5 January 2009 at 14:37  
Blogger McKenzie said...

'Tis queer that the men who started all of this are long since dead, and yet here we are hanging by the strings of dead men's folly. Or is it some other sinister agent alive and at work amongst us? This is true I know, but what earthly language is there to even point the direction? None.

His Grace, I detect, knows full well the truth, but where eagles dare on Earth, a man of His Grace's standing could never return from this place that shall for ever be sealed.

5 January 2009 at 14:41  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rebel Saint & Alcuin,

Everyone has a price.

Incidentally, the Arabs originally agreed to the creation of a Jewish homeland in Palestine. Remember, that's when they got their lands too.

5 January 2009 at 14:49  
Anonymous oiznop said...

Sunny Hundal is typical of the ignorant masses - he says in The Gruniad that it's about land, not religion:

Bringing God to the protest won't help the cause.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2009/jan/05/israel-palestine-gaza-demo-london

I marched on Saturday to express solidarity with Palestinians and anger at Israel's bombings, not to attend a religious demoComments (160)
Sunny Hundal guardian.co.uk, Monday 5 January 2009 10.30 GMT Article historyOn Saturday I attended the London demo held in solidarity for the people of Gaza. I realise that is enough to set off an argument worth 300
comments but I'm not interested in having that discussion for now. You're welcome to read my writings on PP or LC. I attended the demo, I support Palestinian self-determination, I support the right for Israel to exist, and I oppose the invasion of Gaza. End of story.

My quibble is more with some aspects of the demo itself. Wandering around and taking pictures I didn't hear anything antisemitic, which was a relief. A bunch of "rudeboys" with their faces covered by bandanas performed like monkeys for the television cameras as usual. The atmosphere was generally light, even while charged with emotion. Not many cheered when George Galloway was introduced (thank God for small mercies).

I had an uncomfortable feeling I couldn't articulate until I was leaving via Charing Cross tube. It was crowded inside as we made our way to the trains. Two girls started to chant "We are Hamas" (I'm not, thank you very much) but were almost immediately drowned out by "Free free Palestine" before I had the chance to get annoyed. And then it came: Allah hu Akbar, Allah hu Akbar on repeat. Our fellow white travellers said little.

And therein lies my problem. I came to the march to express solidarity with Palestinians and express my anger at Israel's bombings. I didn't come to express solidarity with Hamas, nor want to come to a religious march. If I wanted to hear "God is Great" I could have gone to a mosque or a gurudwara. But I didn't. People can say what they want – freedom of speech etc – but I think this encapsulates a broader problem.

British Muslim organisations have broadly failed to capitalise on the widespread support for Palestinians in the UK, compared to the United
States, by constantly bringing religion into a dispute essentially about land.

Muslims aren't alone in this: every year Sikh groups hold a protest in London to highlight human rights abuses by the Indian government since the invasion of the Golden Temple in 1984. And almost every year you get people burning the Indian flag and screaming Khalistan Zindabad and other religious slogans to keep up the symbolism.

Suffice to say their behaviour ensures most Sikhs don't bother coming and an issue about human rights gets hijacked by people who want a separate homeland for Sikhs. The mixture of religion with human rights by extremist elements denies it widespread support and the Indian government can afford to ignore it.

The same applies here. Most non-Muslims who go to such marches don't really have an interest in exploring Islam: they care about human rights. Religious chants merely end up alienating the very people Palestinians need the support of – a wide swathe of the population.

But many Britons, despite their sympathies, won't I suspect because they feel such events are dominated by religious types who like to shout
Allah hu Akbar, and rudeboys with kaffiyeh bandanas who like to prance around in front of the television. Let me tell it to you straight: it doesn't help the cause.

The issue needs a certain amount of political maturity that neither the Socialist Workers Party nor the Muslim Association of Britain, the chief
organisers, are able to muster. Arguably, this is done to the origin of these organisation themselves.

Either way, it also explains why, following the massive anti-war march of 2003, not much really followed through. Their focus was on creating a
narrow Muslim/socialists alliance which ended up turning off most well-intentioned middle-of-the-road people not long after. The "We Are
Hizbullah" movement was especially ugly, following the Israeli invasion of Lebanon, as is the inclusion of extremist groups such as Hizb ut-Tahrir.

My point is this: unless Muslim, Sikh and other organisations find ways to broaden their coalitions, whether through language or focus, then
their issues can easily remain neglected. Many of the Muslim organisations who organise these marches, for example, are rarely seen expressing solidarity when non-Muslims are involved in human rights abuses. I think that's short-sighted.

If support for the Palestinian cause, or even British Muslim issues generally, is to be expanded, then it takes a public relations effort too. It doesn't help when some give their opponents easy ammunition to demonise them as a whole.

5 January 2009 at 15:12  
Anonymous not a machine said...

no chance of a more esoteric meaning then being understood by both sides then????

as we have seen over here , the excuse then comes that israeli actions have now led to radicalisation being preched in the mosque .

Allah peace be upon be upon him , but not it seems the gun toting warlord clerics , that put themselves in the theologically impossible position , of speaking on behalf of Allah with lethal intent.

i maintain that islam has lost its civililty , it has become the faith of terrorists and radicals , it is uanble to see the mote in its own eye .

threats like if you gont do what we ask we will preach hate and radicalisation in our mosques and create another generation of matyrs for an armed political struggle.

if islam is a radical faith why not try somthing really radical and stop your preaching of hate and see if your faith is really big enough to work for peace .

one day the youth of islam will see through the manipulations and the spent lives and all those clerics that sought death will hand there heads in shame .

5 January 2009 at 15:21  
Blogger McKenzie said...

oiznop.

You're a dick.

5 January 2009 at 15:22  
Anonymous oiznop said...

Your Grace,

McKenzie is abusing your hospitality again. There's no justification - just an insult. How can I be a dick just for quoting The Gruniad? I didn't say agreed or disagreed - if anything I was giving a Leftist example of the refusal to engage with the religious dimension His Grace highlights.

5 January 2009 at 15:55  
Blogger McKenzie said...

You seem to have jumped to some kind of conclusion about the meaning of the word 'dick'. But if the cap fits......

5 January 2009 at 16:49  
Blogger Dr.D said...

Anonymous can take his suggestion to the Preacher that we give each Palestinian $100k and bring them to the USA and stuff it! The last thing we want in the US is more muzlims! We can see what wonderful things they have done for Great (?) Britain, Europe and the rest of the world ... No, a thousand times NO! They cannot live in peace where they are; we certainly don't want them here.

5 January 2009 at 16:54  
Anonymous Simon R said...

Cranmer - your Wikio ranking makes you by far the UK's most influential blogger on religion. Your blog is even more influential than big political names like Dan Hannan (at No.36!):

24 Cranmer
115 St Aidan to Abbey Manor
120 SPCK/SSG News Notes and Info
130 The Cartoon Blog
137 Heresy Corner
140 Of Course I Could be Wrong (Madpriest)
141 Holy Smoke
143 Metacatholic
159 Anglican Mainstream
163 Slugger O'Toole

Libby Purves and Ruth Gledhill aren't ranked at all for some reason. Neither is Gerald Warner or Will Crawley. But your position is impressive and it looks unassailable - thanks for all the enlightenment.

5 January 2009 at 17:28  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dr D,

Well as Israel/Palestine is pretty much the USA's 51st state already and seems to enjoy an air-bridge link with NYC, it really wouldn't be such a big step as you might think.

5 January 2009 at 18:05  
Anonymous len said...

The God of Israel, the God of the bible, came to earth to die for his children on the cross at calvary.
The god of the Quaran sends his children out to die for him.
The difference between love and hate.
Israel is a stumbling block in a spiritual. battle .

5 January 2009 at 19:09  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Spirit of Man

5 January 2009 at 20:53  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hamas has only one objective – the destruction of Israel. It is championed by Iran, which would also like to see Israel ‘wiped off the map’.

This is opinion, and not a well thought out one either, in my opinion.

For these reasons.

International or national terrorism is a MODERN idea. In the past things such as these respectively resulted in open WAR or horribly nasty forms of insanely bloodthirsty and torturous execution.

Whats worse, is that that was BEFORE the advent of things such as The United Nations. Who's main job and reason for existence is precisely SORTING out these types of problems, at whatever cost.

The UN could have sorted this whole sorry mess out and could have done it even easier 60 years ago, or at anytime up until today.

It has not done so for a SELF EVIDENT reason. The collective will of the UN and especially the murderously greedy and power mad, establishment criminals that control the UN, are quite happy about the Middle Eastern situation in general.

Otherwise the Americans for example under a UN flag would have invaded the place on some made up reason, say potential WMD. Spent many billions setting up the place, very much like they did in Japan, and turn the place into a popular holiday resort within 10 years.

This may SOUND fanciful, but they really could do it if they wanted to, or indeed anyone wanted them to. They just don't. So now ask yourself WHY they don't, and have no intention of even thinking about doing so in the future.

Atlas Shrugged

5 January 2009 at 21:26  
Anonymous John Reid said...

Peace is in the air.

"Iran: We have 70,000 suicide bombers ready to strike Israel

By The Associated Press


More than 70,000 Iranian student volunteers have registered to carry out suicide bombings against Israel because of Israel's assault on the Gaza Strip.

According to the official IRNA news agency, hardline student leader Esmaeil Ahmadi says the students want to fight Israel in support of Hamas - Gaza's Islamic militant rulers.

Five hard-line student groups and a conservative clerical group launched a registration drive last week to ask the government to allow them to stage the suicide attacks.


President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's government has not responded to the call yet.

The government never responded to similar requests in the past. This raises the likelihood that the calls are mainly for propaganda purposes"

End news item

5 January 2009 at 21:54  
Blogger McKenzie said...

We are all dicks really. We are trying, and hoping, but we are not sure how this all goes, are we?

Calling all Angels!

5 January 2009 at 23:52  
Anonymous Phil R said...

This blog entry is so inaccurate in it’s observations both historical and current, Hamas is lead by extremists who we all wish would fall from power but it’s not the right of Israel to attempt to remove them in this way.

And that’s ignoring the fact that Israel is largely responsible for the dire condition that Gaza was in before this conflict began and that the primary reason for this current intervention is electioneering on the part of the current Israeli regime.

Your closing statement "Israel is on the side of morality and justice" would be completely laughable if this weren’t such a pitifully awful situation.

6 January 2009 at 00:01  
Blogger McKenzie said...

Phil R

Is your passport up to date? Can you go over there ASAP and sort it all out, its so simple when you explain it, I am sure the whole nightmare situation will dissolve immediately when you explain it to them.

There will be a small danger that the Israelis will just laugh at you, and well, the Palestinians may just cut off your head and shuv it up your arse.

6 January 2009 at 00:43  
Anonymous The Incredible Shrinking Map of Palestine said...

http://sabbah.biz/mt/archives/2006/05/10/the-shrinking-map-of-palestine/

6 January 2009 at 01:00  
Anonymous Anonymous 2 said...

Anonymous @18:05: Oh yes it would be a big step.

Plenty of people in the US need that $100,000 for themselves. Loyal, hard-working Americans don't need Moslems walking in, looking down their noses, and offering 'to hire' the people earlier inhabitants, whom they consider their inferiors. Because that's what they do.

The Americans in question, by the way, can be three or four times better educated than the incomers.

6 January 2009 at 02:00  
Anonymous no nonny said...

"Postmodern history is neither science nor art, but a random sequence of feelings drawn from a melting pot of misinformation concocted from a myriad of disparate anecdotes and distorted concepts embroidered by the half-light of relativity."

Great definition, Your Grace! Thank you.

6 January 2009 at 02:07  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Another useful definition: “History is the version of past events that people have decided to agree upon.” Napoleon Bonaparte (an early Zionist)

6 January 2009 at 08:59  
Anonymous shaven-headed tattooed knuckledragger said...

Muslims threaten terrorist attacks on UK unless British government condemns Israel: http://www.muslimnews.co.uk/index/press.php?pr=259

6 January 2009 at 10:41  
Blogger len.allan said...

Everyone has an opinion on the age old conflict between jew and arab. Yahweh however has the full knowledge of the situation, and His solution is the only one that will work!.
This is a spiritual matter and secular solutions are doomed to failure.

6 January 2009 at 13:33  
Blogger Dave said...

France culture news last night:

"the worst thing that could be done is to think of this conflict in terms of religion."

11 January 2009 at 10:21  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ien.Allen is right. "This is a spiritual matter and secular solutions are doomed to failure."
The real root of the matter is that Satan, from the beginning, has been diametrically opposed to God's Messiah whose descent was from Abraham/Isaac/Jacob.
No lasting solution is to be expected until prophesied return of Jesus Christ in great power and glory.
Any 'peace settlement' that you read of in the press will be short-lived and followed by greater conflict.
"Even so 'Come, Lord Jesus'".

I am anonymous but 'Fratello' is my pen-name.

11 January 2009 at 15:29  

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