Helen Mirren Israel 2
Israel

Helen Mirren: "I love Israel – I think it's a great, great country"

 

In 1967, shortly after the Six-Day War, Helen Mirren worked on a the HaOn kibbutz on the shores of the Sea of Galilee. She hitch-hiked throughout Israel, and slept on the beach in Eilat. It was, she said in a speech at the Israeli Film Festival, the beginning of her love for “a great, great country”. In thinking about “the building blocks that lead you towards becoming who you become”, her early visit to Israel was “one of the really important building blocks” of her life. And she paid tribute to the “incredible Israeli film industry”, and to the “courage and commitment” of the Israeli people.

Celebrity matters. Perhaps it oughtn’t to, but it does. Perhaps it always has, but only now, in this vacuous age where one may be famous merely for being a celebrity, is it possible to embellish any and every political cause with celebrity endorsement. They usually all swing left. We’re so used to hearing from the famous actors, writers, film directors and academics demanding support for BDS and the universal boycott of Israel that we easily forget that a good many celebrities reject political correctness; understand economics and the causes of debt and poverty; support Israel; oppose cultural boycott, and even vote Conservative.

Jews are being summarily stabbed on the streets of Jerusalem, and blown up on the Mount of Olives. The media aren’t telling Israel’s story, so Stand With Us is doing so. “We believe that education is the road to peace,” they write. “StandWithUs is dedicated to informing the public about Israel and to combating the extremism and anti-Semitism that often distorts the issues. We believe that knowledge of the facts will correct common prejudices about the Arab-Israeli conflict, and will promote discussions and policies that can help promote peace in the region.”

It’s a start. And the stardust of theatrical royalty certainly helps, along with literary celebrities like JK Rowling and Hilary Mantel. And then there’s this full-page ad in today’s Guardian:

Israel boycott

The fight-back against insidious BDS propaganda has been long coming, but the only route to lasting peace and reconciliation in the Middle East is to stop demonising and discriminating against the only democracy in the region. If Israel’s “occupation” of “Palestinian land” is so intolerable that artists must never perform there and academics must boycott all research, why do those same crusaders for human rights and international justice not also rail against China’s occupation of Tibet, India’s occupation of Kashmir, Turkey’s occupation of Northern Cyprus, or Russia’s occupation of Crimea and Ukraine? And what of the current Saudi Arabia onslaught against Yemen, in which thousands of innocent civilians are being slaughtered and millions upon millions displaced?

Criticise Israel if you wish: it is not perfect in its polity, or righteous in every policy. Condemn Benjamin Netanyahu if you will: he is ultimately just another politician who must cling to power in order to realise a vision. But if you wish to single out the Jewish state for unique boycott, you clearly have a problem with Jews or Jewish institutions. There’s a name for that.

  • mkey

    Thank you, YG.

  • dannybhoy

    “In thinking about “the building blocks that lead you towards becoming who you become”, her early visit to Israel was “one of the really important building blocks” of her life.”
    I’d second that. My experiences of living and working in Israel certainly helped shape my outlook on life, religion and society.

    “The fight-back against insidious BDS propaganda has been long coming, but the only route to lasting peace and reconciliation in the Middle East is to stop demonising and discriminating against the only democracy in the region.”

    And yet the democracies of the world line up to condemn that “only democracy”.
    I’ll tell you what’s greater than freedom and democracy, and that’s fear and intimidation by those who hate freedom and democracy.

    • CliveM

      “I’ll tell you what’s greater than freedom and democracy, and that’s fear and intimidation by those who hate freedom and democracy.”

      Good post DB, I would disagree with your last sentence however.

      Problem with so many critics is that they don’t live in a country under constant attack. If they did they might be a little bit more understanding of Israel’s ‘mistakes’.

      It’s easy to pontificate from the position of safety and comfort.

      • dannybhoy

        My point is mon ami,

        that it is the influx and influence of Muslim communities into the West, that has affected (secular humanist) democratic governments attitude to Israel.
        Anyone here remember Salman Rushdie’s “Satanic Verses”?
        That was a seminal point in our attitude and treatment of Muslim sensibilities in the UK.
        Not only has it cost us millions to protect the life of this ‘traitor to Islam’, many if not most major booksellers withdrew Satanic Verses from sale.
        Now why did they do that, do you suppose?
        The reality is that as Islam begins to spread and grow and gain influence in Western democratic secular humanist societies, the more our msm and political systems acquiesce.
        Hence the West’s disownment and vilification of Israel and Jewish people…
        It’s as though we never won ww2.

        • CliveM

          Fear and intimidation may at times be more powerfull, but never greater!

          • dannybhoy

            True, but at the moment our country is a shadow of the nation which in generations past rallied to the flag.
            In fact and truth to tell, we will never be able to face an enemy as a united people.
            A significant proportion of our population would either flee the country or actively seek to undermine us from within.

        • Dreadnaught

          has affected (secular humanist) democratic governments

          This is so typical: no matter what the issue, you think you can use the expression ‘secular humanist’ in some way to distance yourself from the nonsense of your statement and get a cheer from your fans. Gets a big Razzbry from me for being so sloppy in your line of reasoning.

          • dannybhoy

            Why thank you!
            So you don’t believe that individuals in a free democratic secular humanist state can be intimidated by other individuals in that state, who are willing to use corruption, blackmail, coercion, intimidation, violence and the threat of violence to changfe public perceptions?
            You never heard of the IRA??

          • Dreadnaught

            Secular Humanist? as opposed to what?
            As for hearing of the IRA: I used to shoot them.

          • dannybhoy

            As opposed to a government that stands by Christian values or acknowledges a Supreme power.
            For example, if you were a patriotic American you would at least recognise and respect the idea that “In God we Trust.” symbolises and defines the founding and shaping of your nation.
            Or a government of patriotic Englishmen, Welshmen and Scots would acknowledge the part that Christianity and Christians have played in shaping and reforming our country, and accept Christian values are the best guidelines in building a decent, compassionate and opportunities rich society.

            When I say ‘secular humanist’, I am essentially describing a people or a government who do not believe in or accept any obligation to any interpretation of God whatesoever; who believe in evolution only and assert that values are what the majority say they are.
            Is that sloppy enough for you?

          • Manfarang

            Any patriotic American will tell you there is a separation of church and state in his or her country.England is not a secular humanist society.The Cof E is still the established church. Don’t mistake the widespread indifference toward religion in England as support for secular humanism.The leader of the opposition still has to sing hymns.

          • dannybhoy

            “England is not a secular humanist society.The Cof E is still the established church. Don’t mistake the widespread indifference toward religion in England as support for secular humanism.”
            If that were true, one would have to ask why then Christians and Christian values are increasingly singled out for attack and ridicule.
            Manyt people seem to prefer “Dead Enders” or “Consternation Street” to attending church..
            It’s all a farce, all designed to maintain some kind of status quo because the alternative is unthinkable.

            You seriously think our historical British history and practices will continue when we are ‘compassionately’ filling our country with people who care not a fig for our culture and would like to see Shari’a law instituted?
            You’re deluding yourself.

          • Manfarang

            From outside the EU (Christian countries) immigration is heavily restricted and only small numbers of Syrian refugees have been accepted so the country is not being filled as you say. English law prevails and will do so into the future (only where two parties agree can Shar’ia law be privately used as can Jewish law- mainly for wills and family law.Shar’ia law is not a uniform code)
            No one will stop you if you want to go to church on Sunday or probably even say anything to you.

          • dannybhoy
          • Manfarang

            http://www.dailystar.com.lb
            If you want to look at a real newspaper.

          • dannybhoy

            Thanks for the link, I’ll have a good read later.

          • Dreadnaught

            So you think that being secular or humanist means you can’t really be a patriot? I am all three and have the scars that prove it.

          • dannybhoy

            Nothing to do with whether you are a patriot or not. I am quite sure you are and that you have served your country in a military capacity.
            My point is that we do not have a Christian government and the influence of Christianity that was so much in evidence when I was young has largely disappeared. There are still national symbols and rituals that remind us of our Christian heritage, but they too are under pressure. So we or rather the government of the day, pays lip service to those symbols, but actually practice secular humanism.

          • Dreadnaught

            I am on record here time and again acknowledging England’s Christian history and heritage.
            What I object to is people using expressions as ‘Secular’ or Humanist’ as a somehow pejorative broad brush reference attack that implies that in being so, is akin to being involved in devil worship or pedophilia or some other kind of abomination.
            You harp on about the time when we presumably had a golden age in British politics that was underwritten by Christianity – which you and I know has never been the case.

            I believe that a secular state underpins the freedom to follow you religion of leaning but does not impose the obligation on all people to follow ‘the faith or faction’ of the monarch or be stripped of citizenship. That happened in the 13th Century when a totalitarian church state expelled the Jews not to mention the centuries of Protestant vs Catholic vs Puritan vs Ranter vs Lollard etc, etc.

          • alternative_perspective

            FYI, during the reformation Humanism was a return to the scriptures away from theory and philosophising. Thought you might be interested.

          • Manfarang

            I think you mean the PIRA. The ones that got arms from Libya (and America)

          • dannybhoy

            Whatever.
            The ones who killed innocent shoppers on the main;land and NI, as well as soldiers and their horses in London…

  • Jon Sorensen

    “If Israel’s “occupation” of “Palestinian land” is so intolerable”
    What is the solution then for Palestinians after Netanyahu demolishes their houses in West Bank?
    http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/sep/07/israel-demolish-arab-buildings-west-bank-un-palestinian

    • Martin

      Jon

      Perhaps the solution is for them not to fire rockets at Israel. But then that doesn’t fit in with your preconceived notions of what is right, does it.

      • CliveM

        Better watch it Martin, you’ll be getting your second up vote in a week from Hannah :0)

        • Dreadnaught

          Hannah? ..Who’s He?

          • CliveM

            Eh? SHE has been on the blog for simply centuries!

          • Dreadnaught

            And so have I old chap : plenty of time to join the dots!

          • CliveM

            You know sometimes things get so cryptic on this blog I have difficulty keeping up!

          • Dreadnaught

            It’s only sensible not to be too open anywhere on line and its not a bad thing to use an avatar, but sadly anonymity is open to abuse by some fantasists.

          • Pubcrawler

            Too true.

      • Jon Sorensen

        Just because you can create a strawman it doesn’t mean you assessment of my right and wrong is correct.

        I get that if you support Israel you want Palestinians to do the first move, and if you support Palestinians you expect Israel to do the first move. For long time we have seen this attitude and it has not lead to a solutions. I would think any viable solution requires that you propose your team to do as much as the opposite team, maybe even a little bit more.

        So what is a solutions you see there so people could love thy neighbour?

        • carl jacobs

          There is no solution. The problem is intractable. Any minimally viable Palestinian state on the West Bank would create an intolerable strategic vulnerability for Israel. That’s why the Palestinians are never going to get a state.

          So the problem from the Israeli perspective is to stop the Palestinians from engaging in asymmetrical warfare. No state is going to tolerate random rockets falling onto its cities. The problem from the Palestinian perspective is that asymmetrical warfare is the only leverage the Palestinians possess. They need to keep launching attacks or their cause dies. So the Palestinians fire off rockets, and the Israelis retaliate by blowing up houses.

          The only actual “solution” to the problem is the same solution applied to end the war in Yugoslavia – separate the populations. There are obvious problems with that solution however, since it would be a war crime. So the Israelis are left the difficult task of containing a low-level Palestinian threat. The Palestinians suffer from the relentless pressure to stop those attacks. If the Palestinians would stop firing rockets, the pressure could be released. But they won’t. And so all of this will just go on and on into the indefinite future.

          Martin was right. He didn’t offer a strawman argument. He was directly on point.

          • Jon Sorensen

            “There is no solution”
            I think we can do better than that. Anyone else want to try?

            Martin’s strawman: [not to fire rockets] doesn’t fit in with [Jon’s] preconceived notions of what is right.

          • carl jacobs

            Your Question: “So what is a solutions you see there so people could love thy neighbour?”

            Martin’s Response: “Perhaps the solution is for them not to fire rockets at Israel.”

            He was absolutely right. His perception of your ideas about right and wrong has no effect on the truthfulness of his answer. Palestinian intransigence is what keeps this conflict going. If the Palestinians want to remove the burden from their backs, they need only stop the asymmetrical warfare. If the attacks stop, the Israeli retaliation stops. Why then don’t they stop the attacks? Because they don’t want to stop the attacks. They want to leverage those attacks into a Palestinian state. Do you disagree with this or not?

            I think we can do better than that.

            Heh. No, you can’t. You are trying to create a state that fulfills all of these conditions:

            1. Fully sovereign in the Westphalian sense.

            And yet …
            2. Can’t conduct a foreign policy.
            3. Can’t form a military.
            4. Can’t control its borders or airspace.
            5. Can’t control its resources.

            The Palestinians demand 1. The Israelis demand 2-5. The imposition of 2-5 denies the possibility of 1. That is the problem.

            If you want a separate Palestinian state, then I suggest you consider Jordan. That’s as close as you are going to get.

          • Anton

            I agree with you, but the Hashemite monarchs of Jordan weren’t too happy with the behaviour of their Palestinian refugees in the early 1970s, I recall…

          • carl jacobs

            I didn’t mean to suggest that Jordan should become the Palestinian state. I only meant that if a Palestinian state is necessary, then it will have to be formed out of what was once Jordan.

            But that won’t solve anything. This conflict is about which culture dominates the land. That circle can’t be squared. That’s why the Palestinians won’t relent. Their ultimate goal is the subordination of the Jewish state to Muslim/Arab dominance.

          • Anton

            Agreed, and it won’t happen.

          • Jon Sorensen

            “Palestinian intransigence is what keeps this conflict going.”
            So Israel announcing that they will in the future demolish over 10000 Arab buildings in West Bank is not what keeps this going for years. Remember some of those home owners want nothing to do with the conflict.

            “If the attacks stop, the Israeli retaliation stops.”
            It’s not true isn’t it? Israel already announce that the future demolishing of homes.

            “No, you can’t [do better than that]
            Clearly you are not part of the solutions then.

          • carl jacobs

            Clearly you are not part of the solutions then.

            I guess not. Neither am I a part of the solution to that whole “Build an elevator to the Moon” problem.

            But … returning to Martin’s original statement about your perception of right and wrong (which suddenly seems quite relevant btw) … a question.

            Do you or do you not think the Palestinians should stop firing rockets at Israeli population centers? That question stands (or at least should stand) completely independent of any other consideration. In other words, do you think the Palestinians should stop firing those rockets regardless of any other circumstance?

            Because I am beginning to suspect that you think these rockets are a rational response to Israeli oppression – that the Israelis are to blame for their own bombardment. Am I wrong?

          • Jon Sorensen

            Sad to see that you don’t want to be part of the solution.

            Yes. The Palestinians should stop firing rockets at Israeli population centers.

            So let me ask you if your country and your neigbouring country would we in low level war for a long time and it appears that your country is losing, should you stop firing rockets and accept the defeat or should you keep on fighting?

          • carl jacobs

            So let me ask you if your country and your neigbouring country would we in low level war for a long time and it appears that your country is losing, should you stop firing rockets and accept the defeat or should you keep on fighting?

            In the first place, the Palestinians aren’t fighting. They are shooting rockets at cities with no discernible military purpose other than to create terror. They are simply trying to kill random people. The low-level war continues only because the Palestinians won’t stop it. And the Palestinians aren’t doing so well because the Israelis have gotten good at preventing Palestinian terror attacks. In this context, “losing” means “the Palestinians aren’t killing enough Israeli civilians to make a political difference.”

            In the second place, your question illustrates exactly why I qualified my question with “completely independent of any other consideration.” You shouldn’t have even thought to ask that question. Unless you think that the Palestinians are justified in shooting those rockets. Martin’s straw isn’t looking much like straw at the moment. What was it Martin said ?

            But then that doesn’t fit in with your preconceived notions of what is right, does it.

            You began your question with “Your country is losing.” So what? That has nothing to do with firing those rockets. That’s what you said, anyways. Or should I not have read your response that way? But then you immediately followed up with a choice of defeat or perseverance where defeat is equated with no longer firing the rockets. And you also implicitly equated “keep on fighting” with firing the rockets. You seem to be standing right where you said you weren’t standing. And you seem to have vindicated Martin. Completely.

            You really do think the Palestinians are justified in shooting those rockets, don’t you. The Palestinians are just reacting to provocation. You think the Israelis are to blame for their own bombardment.

          • Jon Sorensen

            I note that you avoided answering my question.

            Let me try another one.
            Do you or do you not think the Israelis should stop demolising those 10000 Palestinian houses?

            “losing” for an average Palestinians means losing your home, land and self-determination.

            Sad that Palestinian lives don’t matter to you. They are humans too.

          • carl jacobs

            I note that you avoided answering my question.

            I didn’t avoid anything. Your question was badly formed because it presumed to cover Palestinian terror with the mantle of legitimate military action. There was no way to answer that question without legitimizing its underlying premise. I refused to do that.

            Do you or do you not think the Israelis should stop demolising those 10000 Palestinian houses?

            Why are they being demolished? Because it certainly has nothing to do with terror attacks. You have to answer the Israeli case and not just show me the Guardian throwing around a lot of innuendo. If am willing to hear your arguments.

            “losing” for an average Palestinians means losing your home, land and self-determination.

            Life’s a bitch when you start a war of annihilation and lose, isn’t it? You just remember that if the Jews had lost in 1948, there wouldn’t be any Jews in Palestine today. They would have all been dead by 1949. If you play for big stakes, you risk losing big stakes.

            Sad that Palestinian lives don’t matter to you. They are humans too.

            Yes, now who is creating strawmen?

            So are you ever going to get around to answering the questions I have asked you repeatedly on this thread about whether the Palestinians are justified in their tactic of bombarding Israeli cities? Do you consider it a rational response? Do you hold the Israelis responsible for it?

          • Jon Sorensen

            “I didn’t avoid anything. Your question was badly formed because it presumed to cover Palestinian terror”
            You avoided and my question and it wasn’t even related to Palestine

            “Why are they being demolished?”
            You avoided the second question too.

            “Life’s a bitch when you start a war of annihilation and lose, isn’t it?”
            Meanwhile a baby dies in West Bank tear gas “incident”
            http://www.skynews.com.au/news/world/mideast/2015/10/31/baby-dies-in-west-bank-tear-gas-incident.html
            But I guess you don’t care because his ethic background is same as some terrorists in the area. Sad that you support ethnic cleansing.

            carl said “Do you or do you not think the Palestinians should stop firing rockets at Israeli population centers? ”
            Jon said “Yes. The Palestinians should stop firing rockets at Israeli population centers”
            carl said “So are you ever going to get around to answering the questions I have asked you repeatedly on this thread about whether the Palestinians are justified in their tactic of bombarding Israeli cities?”
            Jon is confused… can carl read at all? And carl will not answer Jon’s questions but demands Jon to answer his. carl can live by his own rules…

          • dannybhoy

            “The only actual “solution” to the problem is the same solution applied to end the war in Yugoslavia – separate the populations.”
            And in support of your statement the problem is that the Palestinians (who never were a State or a nation), see themselves and are seen by other ME states, as part of the Islamic Caliphate.
            The real problem for them is that Jews and Christians whilst being ‘people of the book’ are nevertheless inferior. They are not regarded as equals, they have no political representation, because they are essentially infidels.

          • Manfarang

            In the Jordian Parliament 9 seats are reserved for Christians so to say they have no representation in the ME is not true.Some Palestinians are Christians and the others are not all Salafists.

          • dannybhoy

            True, but Jordan is a close friend of the UK and a ‘next to’ neighbour of Israel.

            I remember that when Jordan made noises about attacking Israel after the ’67 war and just before the Yom Kippur war of ’73, Israel ‘gently’ reminded Jordan of just how close her bases were to Israel’s airforce.

            Not only that but whilst their King is of the Heshemite dynasty who ruled Mecca continuously from the 10th century until its conquest by the House of Saud in 1924, Beduins presently control the security agencies and the army.
            Oh yes, and a great many of the civilian population are actually Palestinians..

          • Anton

            Steady on, there are plenty of Christians among those Palestinian Arabs. They have every wish NOT to be part of an Islamic Caliphate. They don’t love Israel but the time will come when they prefer it to the alternative.

          • dannybhoy

            As far as I know there are not plenty of Christians amongst the Palestinians. Certainly not in Gaza.
            I don’t know about the West Bank, but when I was in Israel there were very small congregations of Christian Arabs in Israel, and Christian Arabs from elsewhere would try to get into Israel.
            Not only that, but since the West Bank authority has taken control of the “Holy Land” eg Bethlehem, (Arab) Christians are experiencing more persecution, attacks and coercions to convert to Islam.
            You want proof I can provide it.

          • Anton

            I agree with you. The Christian proportion of the population of Gaza is now under 0.5%, but in the “West Bank” it has declined from 8% to less than 2.5% in recent years. The reason for this migration is hotly disputed; some people say it is the rise of Islam, other say it is the throttling of the economy by Israeli security measures. Probably both.

          • dannybhoy

            “some people say it is the rise of Islam, other say it is the throttling of the economy by Israeli security measures.”
            Israel cannot afford to lose control of her borders or to lose a war.
            Period.
            There is nowhere else for them to go.
            Israel has tacit arrangements with various nearby Muslim nations, but none would come out in overt recognition or support of Israel.
            Israel can live with that as long as it means peace. Where Israel has given freedoms to Gaza or the West Bank, their leaderships have used it as a base to harbour anti Jewish/Israeli elements, propaganda and attacks.
            Christian Arabs like those in Bethlehem are now under the cosh in a way they never were under Israeli occupation, yet there are still Christians especially Anglicans who talk about the ‘Holy Land’ as though it were somehow separate from the nation of Israel. That therefore Jesus was born in Palestine, not Judea…

          • Anton

            You seem to think I am disagreeing with you; I’m not! I’m adding to the points you make and I believe that the Jews are entitled to jurisdiction over the land area specified in Numbers 34 under the terms of the covenant with Abraham.

            I do often call it the Holy Land in conversations with Christians who do not share that understanding, simply because it is a mutually acceptable term. Not even the Jews call it Israel, by the way; they call it Eretz Israel, meaning “the land of Israel”. Furthermore if I call it “Israel” then some people wrongly suppose I am drawing a contrast with the “West Bank”, properly known as much of Judea.

          • dannybhoy

            Gotcha!
            It can sometimes be very difficult to catch the nuances in internet communication so I apologise for misunderstanding you. (we don’t usually disagree anyway).

            As you say the Israelis generally refer to Israel as ‘Eretz Israel’, literally (the) land of Israel) or ha aretz – (the land).
            Politically it’s ‘Medinat Yisrael (the State of Israel).
            Bethlehem was usually described as part of the ‘shetachim cavoshim’ (occupied areas).
            People often forget that Jewish people are not ambivalent towards things and places Christian, having experienced plenty of ill treatment and persecution at the hands of the Church.

            ……

          • Manfarang

            As with other Christians in the ME most Palestinian Christians have emigrated to other parts of the world. The 2003 invasion of Iraq resulted in Christians bearing the brunt of the civil war and many have fled.
            There are Christian Arab populations in the north of Israel.

        • Martin

          Jon

          Loving your neighbours tends to exclude making threats against them.

          If you poke a lion with your stick there’s a chance he might bite you.

          • Jon Sorensen

            We all know that as we know that it excludes demolishes their houses. Do you have any solutions?

          • Martin

            Jon

            I gave you my solution, do not emulate Albert.

    • The Inspector General

      but…but…but…they were homemade rockets fired from outside their muslim homes into Israel, and everyone has the right to defend themselves from attack. You excepted, of course.

      Surely even you can see the best response is to make your attacker homeless. It’s the cleverest thing to do, and also stopping imports of concrete reaching Gaza. Now THAT is smart! So a few muslims spend the rest of their lives living under a tent for it. One could live with them suffering that, no problem.

      • Dreadnaught

        So a few muslims spend the rest of their lives living under a tent
        That’s the traditional Arab way innit? I’m sure Gadaffi followed in the traditions of ‘the prophet’ and pitched up his tent on some-else’s front lawn not so long ago.

      • Jon Sorensen

        “they were homemade rockets fired from outside their muslim homes into Israel”
        I bet it was not the home owner who did it and he loses his home. So according to your logic from whatever building a terrorist lauches a rocket we should demolish. LOL

        “So a few muslims spend the rest of their lives living under a tent for it.”
        Well they are not “a few” and they will not live in a tent for long. Hamas and other organisations will have no trouble recruiting young men living in tents.

        “One could live with them suffering that, no problem.”
        Such a heartless approach. How can you call yourself a Christian or a human being saying that.

        • The Inspector General

          It’s called collective responsibility. Or perhaps collective guilt would be more appropriate. Having to point this out to you makes a fellow wonder if you have any understanding of how humanity operates. But of course you realise, you are merely here to annoy, aren’t you…

          • Jon Sorensen

            Yep. Every dictator has used the “collective guilt” excuse for genocides. You are in a good company.

            Punishing people for their own action is not the Christian way I guess
            “The child will not be punished for the parent’s sins, and the parent will not be punished for the child’s sins. Righteous people will be rewarded for their own righteous behavior, and wicked people will be punished for their own wickedness.”

          • The Inspector General

            What genocide? A few people had their homes destroyed because their fellows decided to kick off, is all. Rather reminiscent of the 1940 Blitz. Only the Germans had to wait some time before their homes were smashed to pieces too. The Israelis got in PDQ, so well done them…

          • Jon Sorensen

            “What genocide?”
            You wouldn’t even notice as you don’t care

    • Dreadnaught

      The West Bank was part of the original land carve-up that created the Jewish homeland and Jordan(East bank), Lebanon and all the rest of the basket-case countries of the middle-east until that is, Jordan crossed the River Jordan and grabbed the West Bank and lost it when Israel chased them back across the river.
      If you build a house here without planning permission, you will be told to tear it down. I do hope you checked this out before maligning the Israeli President – that they all had PP and stuff and nonsense like that?: of course you did!

      • Jon Sorensen

        “The West Bank was part of the original land carve-up”
        By whom? I bet they did not ask Arabs who had lived there for centuries. And I bet when you claim “originally” you mean last century, not the time when Arabs settle the area.

        “If you build a house here without planning permission, you will be told to tear it down. I do hope you checked”
        Except a lot of building predate 1947 and 1967 events. So if UN decides to give your country to Russia you’ll agree to that, and you are ok Russians to bulldoze your house because you did not get building permission from them? You logic is so cool.

      • Anton

        I think you mean 1948 – that is when Jordan crossed the River and annexed the West Bank, and the Jordanians lost it in 1967.

        It is far harder for Arabs to get planning permission than Jews. And Jon is right that Arabs have a difficulty proving land occupation even when their families had been there for years, because of document loss during the turbulent events of the 20th century.

        What Jon does not take into account, however (I hope he read this), is that the Arabs were not autonomous before the British Mandate; they were under the Turks, and they loathed it – hence Lawrence of Arabia. So what happened is that they exchanged one set of masters for another, and had they remained peaceable then they could all have kept their homes. Furthermore nobody has ever sought to deny them freedom of worship. Nevertheless Jamal Husseini, the Palestinian Arab leader, candidly told the UN Security Council during the civil war in 1948, The representative of the Jewish Agency told us yesterday that they were not the attackers, that the Arabs had begun the fighting. We did not deny this. We told the whole world that we were going to fight. If you start a fight then you should not expect too much sympathy if you lose.

        • Dreadnaught

          You are probably correct MrA.

  • Anton

    Well said, Your Grace.

  • IanCad

    Beautiful!!

  • he [Norman Podhoretz] notes that Jews emerged from the Middle Ages ‘knowing for a certainty that—individual exceptions duly noted—the worst enemy they had in the world was Christianity.’ Podhoretz reckons it ‘was a knowledge that Jewish experience in the ages to come would do very little, if indeed anything at all, to help future generations to forget.’Seth Lipsky

    there is something that many American Jews fear in their heart of hearts even more than they fear Moslem anti-Semitism, and that is white Christian anti-Semitism.Lawrence Auster

    It was only after World War II that [US] immigration law was drastically changed. In one of the first pieces of evidence of its political coming-of-age, the Jewish community had a leadership role in effecting those changes.—Earl Raab, Jewish Bulletin, July 23, 1993

    If you wish to single out white Christian nations for destruction, you clearly have a problem with whites or Christianity. I wish there were a name for that.

    • carl jacobs

      Egad! The Jews are out to kill me. But then I have known that harsh truth ever since Avi tried to get me to eat that Salted Herring … shhhh-tuff. Fortunately, I am wise to his sneaky Jewish treachery.

      • Try gefilte fish with horseradish.

        • carl jacobs

          You’re not helping your cause here.

          • Um…giblet stew?

          • carl jacobs

            Giblet? What the …

            [Google Google]

            GAAAAGH!

        • IrishNeanderthal

          Over here, some people are concerned about supermarkets offering halal meat without labelling it as such.

          If one really wants to avoid it without going veggie, then it looks like a choice between sticking to pork or finding a Jewish butcher.

          Says one who likes Arab food.

          • The wonderful thing about free enterprise is that sooner or later someone will find a way to cash in. So, along with, Organic, Fair Trade, حلال‎ and כשר we can have “T” for treif!

  • len

    The survival of the Jewish people is truly amazing despite everything the World has thrown at them.The re birth of Israel is a testimony to the faithfulness of God to His people and to His Word….

    • IanCad

      They have kept the Commandments of God – All of them.

      • Anton

        ?

        Ezekiel (36:24-26 ) speaks of a return to the Holy Land in unbelief, followed by a spiritual cleansing. That does’t match the return from Babylon, which was led by the most zealous, but it matches the foundation of an essentially secular Israeli State in our time. Now watch God fulfil the second part of this promise and cleanse his people! He has not forgotten them and he never will.

        • alternative_perspective

          I’m waiting to see how God is going to give them their Deuteronomy borders.

          On a parallel theme, Isaiah’s burden against Damascus seems to be nearing complete fulfilment. And the Ezekiel 38 players are eerily associating in the middle East… It does look as though at least one of the parties of gog Magog will be Russia.

          Bless you all, bless Israel and may a peaceful settlement that preserves Israel’s territory with the Palestinians be found.

          • Sirbastion

            I was just enjoying those scriptures this morning. Much tribulation to come but greater salvation still!

    • David

      Amen to that !

  • Dreadnaught

    Great post Cranny.
    Islamists have scared the bejeziz out of all the Western politicians who have colluded in their own state of global impotence by sacrificing the spirit and reality of what freedom of speech is supposed to mean even within their own lands. They still however have the gall to point the finger at any other country that does the same.

  • CliveM

    Considering the circles she moves in, I think it quite brave of her to make a stand for Israel. In the UK at least I don’t believe it will be a majority opinion amongst her peers and may potentially lose her work and subject her to abuse.

  • Blessing, to you and friends here, Your Grace. Good words to take into the Sabbath this evening.

    Not your cup of tea perhaps, the “Judeo-Rasta” music, but the guy …once totally non-political and kind of on the left…and the brave in-yer-face performance in Spain that started this welcome anti-BDS response rolling:

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=jTIBqDa5nnU

    • dannybhoy

      Jah, Rastaman!
      Shabbat Shalom Avi

  • carl jacobs

    In related news, I see the White House held a press conference today to announce that the President is a TOTAL F___ING IDIOT!

    http://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/u-s-deploy-special-operations-forces-syria-official-n454506

    • He’s American, what can one expect? Plus, he’s probably worried about President Putin’s growing influence.

      • carl jacobs

        I am also an American, and I would handle this completely different. So your “expectations” are the product little more than a condescending British superiority complex.

        • Pubcrawler

          We may have had our empire ripped from us, but we still lead the world in being condescending.

          (It’s ‘differently’. 🙂 )

          • Anton

            As Harold MacMillan put it to Dean Acheson: “Henceforth we shall be content to play Athens to Washington’s Rome.” (Albert likes this comment, as I recall.)

          • Pubcrawler

            Nice. The old Roman could at least say ‘satura quidem tota nostra est’. The new one must concede that the new Athens leads on that too.

          • carl jacobs

            I refuse to write “completely differently.”

            Update: Yes, some puritanical Grammar Nazi might point out that this sentence is an inherent contradiction. There is a reason we shot the Nazis, you know.

          • Pubcrawler

            A little playful ribbing and you get all huffy. Sigh.

          • carl jacobs

            I wasn’t being serious. 🙂

    • Anton

      I was unimpressed with his decision to back a nice but powerless third party in Syria when the real choice is Assad or ISIS. Fairly obvious choice for the West, too. Now Putin has filled the gap.

      • Dreadnaught

        They should have let Putin get on with it all on his ownsome and give the Russian people another Afghanistan to remember him by after they boot him out. The people will do for him what the West can never hope to achieve. C.I.A. = Can’t Identify Anything.

        • Anton

          Politicians have hamstrung various US institutions with political correctness and in particular by insisting that they view Islam as benign, but I still wouldn’t bet that the CIA wouldn’t prefer Assad and that Obama overruled them. As for an isolationist US policy in the region, that is extremely hazardous in the long term. With superpower status comes superpower responsibility.

          • Dreadnaught

            But thats exactly what Putin has done. We should let him get on with it. There are many millions of Muslims in Russia never mind Chechnya, Dagestan and the Crimea. When they get the call to avenge their brothers and sisters in ISIS Russia will be hit with bombs in cinemas while watching their soldiers being beheaded. Let him reap the consequences and trust his future in the hands of the Russian people; give him enough rope etc.

          • Anton

            I am not saying that the USA should necessarily have boots on the ground at present, but I repeat: an isolationist US policy in the region is extremely hazardous in the long term. With superpower status comes superpower responsibility.

          • Dreadnaught

            got you loud and clear first time. there are other ways using influence and power.

          • Anton

            Agreed. Diplomacy needs to be backed by credible threat though.

        • “Then, gentlemen, let us wait a little; when your enemy is executing a false movement, never interrupt him.”

          –Napoleon, 1852

          • Dreadnaught

            I think also that is why Churchill & Co were against rubbing out Uncle Addy as he was shaping up to be a tactical asset.

    • Dreadnaught

      Oh ffs. O-Bummer is supposed to rely on the intelligence agency for advice – has anyone checked they have an entry exam that can prove that intelligent life exists within?

    • The Inspector General

      Chin up, Carl. You people are the world’s policeman these days. Don’t forget that. Anyway, the Inspector suggests that your field commanders adopt the same strategy as the US forces when battling the SS after the Malmedy massacre. To wit “if any of you men bring back any ISIS prisoners, I will personally shoot you myself”

      • carl jacobs

        You people are the world’s policeman these days.

        No, not any more. There is a new sheriff in town – Fatou Bensouda. She and her International Criminal Court can deal with this. Maybe issue some arrest warrants or something.

    • Gosh, Carl, all thesese years you kept your peace and now this. The guy bowed and scraped to sheikhs, got ISIS going by pulling outof Iraq, screwed up Benghazi, dumped US allies, tanked your economy, ignored Russia and China, gave Iran the bomb and promissed to defend them if harrassed and you get worked up over this?

      Anyway, I can’t handle the pressure! I know you’ve been biding your time. When are you going to congratulate us on our new PM, Prettyboy Trudeau?. Go on, get it over with. I can take it.

      • The Inspector General

        You’re fairly lucky, Avi. Your PM has a tattoo. Ours has a queer fixation…

        • The Explorer

          Theirs has probably got both.

        • Ours has a fixation with burkas and wants to airlift 30 000 Muslim migrants before New Year’s.

      • carl jacobs

        Eh? Canada? Isn’t that a Ginger Ale Company?

        • Hard to miss us, a behemoth looming over you. But that requires a passing familiarity with geography, and having been in the US, I wouldn’t be surprised if the majority thought we’re a gingerale brand.

          Anyhow, care to share your GOP nomination preferences? (Unless you’re a secret Sanders groupie) I’ll go first; a Dr Carson-Carly Fiorina ticket. Always go for the brains, I say.

          • carl jacobs

            I’m not paying attention yet. Still too early. And as a general rule, my primary choice tends to wash out pretty quickly.

          • Well, Bush and Trump are on their way down…can’t imagine either being your choice. I can see you as a Cruz man, though…alrhough, he’s Canadian born and that might be a bitter pill for you to swallow.

      • Anton

        Who on earth voted for a carbon tax and political correctness?

        • Nobody. They voted for a pop star and were bored with a stable economy and security. I overestimated the public and didn’t see it coming.

          • Anton

            I keep checking Ezra Levant’s website. What he says on the subject is true and depressing.

          • Ezra, an acquaintance, isnow in the midst of forming a grass roots org for renewing and reviving the federal Conservative Party. A good idea. I might sign up in policy and PR.

            Many, including me, got too confident, assuming that Harper”s good …no, incredible record and legacy by all standards… would speak for itself even while his obviously incompetent campaign management team was screwing up with pointless wedge issues for months.

            The silver lining is the emergence of new, energised faces in the Party, who can think and move on their feet. By 2019 they’ll be up against a tired kleptocracy of old Liberal establishment cronies, a dead oil ang gas sector and a savaged economy.

          • Anton

            The battle against what in Canada are called Liberals is the battle against electoral bribery using the tax-and-welfare system.

          • Well, that’s part of the larger problem with all democracies and it’s the beginning of the end of universal suffrage. Eventually, there will be no one to pay for the Free Stuff and the elites will have squirrelled away their “broker’s fees” in sage investments while the rest of us are left scratching pur heads and holding our nuts.

  • John Thomas

    Good to hear of this, Cranmer, well done. But … did The Guardian actually, really, publish this ad you feature? I’m gobsmacked – surely not!

  • James M

    So support Israel. It could do with it.

  • Anna

    A few words about “… India’s occupation of Kashmir…”

    Kashmir was originally a Hindu kingdom, which, from the 14th century onwards, experienced a series of Muslim invasions. Each invasion meant new waves of Muslim settlers to the beautiful valley, coerced conversions to Islam and dispersal of significant numbers of Kashmiris (the Nehru family among them) to the Indian plains; as a result, the population of ethnic Kashmiri Hindus in the valley declined over the centuries.

    At the time of Indian Independence and partition, the indigenous Kashmiri Pandits were greatly outnumbered, with Muslims constituting over 70% of the population; yet Kashmir’s Hindu ruler chose to merge his state with the Indian union. Pakistan’s founding leader, Jinnah and the Muslim League had bargained for a considerably larger chunk of the Indian territory, with Delhi as capital. Bitter about their ‘moth eaten country’, Pakistan invaded Kashmir on four occasions.

    Following growing Muslim militancy – aided by Pakistan- in the nineties, the remaining Kashmiri Pandits abandoned their farms and homes, and are now scattered all over India. So while Pakistan may stake a claim to Kashmir on the basis of its majority Muslim population, it is wrong for the international community to ignore the rights of the indigenous Kashmiri Pandits. To them, Kashmir will always be a part of India (never Pakistan) and the idea of an Indian occupation, outrageous.

  • Matthew Rowe

    ‘human rights and international justice not also rail against China’s occupation of Tibet’

    Er well they won’t because that would mean trouble for the labour party which most of the BDS are members of ,see it was Labour who sold Tibet out to China in a oh so Labour kinda sneaky way the then Foreign Secretary, David Miliband, slipped out on the FCO website on October 29 2008 that he had folded to china over Tibet and gave them all they wanted !