Monday, November 27, 2006


Since its birth 58 years ago, Israel has always been prepared to compromise for peace. From Begin's agreement with Sadat in 1979 to the Arafat-Barak talks at Camp David in 2000, Israeli leaders have been prepared to challenge their own people in pursuit of peace. Last summer Israel withdrew from Gaza, angry settlers and all. Yet the terror from the Gaza Strip has continued - more than 1,000 rockets have been fired into southern Israel in the past year. Since 2000, nine fatalities have been caused by Qassam missiles.

Some media have reported the panic these missiles have caused but they downplay the impact because of the small scale of fatalities compared with those on the Palestinian side. My husband, a British soldier, is currently serving a tour of duty in Iraq. His unit has come under mortar fire nearly every night for the past six months. Not many service personnel have been killed by these missiles but every soldier fears that the next one might have his or her name on it. Do you think that a child, a parent or a grandmother in one of the towns bordering Gaza thinks there have been "only" nine fatalities? Can you imagine what that does to a civilian population?

We need to think carefully about the consequences of questioning the defensive reactions of a nation-state that is constantly bombarded by an enemy calling for its destruction, especially after it has withdrawn from Lebanon and Gaza. Would we as British citizens accept a single rocket on a British town, let alone hundreds?

The commentators' objection is that the response is "disproportionate". But how does a nation-state defend itself against a terrorist organisation or organisations that are part of, and deliberately hide behind, ordinary citizens? Of course the Israeli military and all military forces must act ethically. But if the number of civilian casualties continues to be the main issue, there is no incentive for the terrorists to stop using the civilian population as a shield.

We live in dangerous times when, in parts of the left especially, you can't be a friend to Islam or to Muslims unless you are anti-Israel. That is exactly what al-Qaida wants us to think. Events in Rochdale at the last election represent a microcosm of what we are sleepwalking into globally. The Islamists and the left argued that, because I supported Israel and its right to exist, all my work for my Muslim constituents was a lie. They suggested I was an opportunistic, neocon Zionist, aiming to dupe them.

Israel's willingness to compromise for peace has never been enough, because Israel alone cannot gain peace. The Palestinians and others in the region also have to want peace. Israel needs a serious interlocutor so that peace can stand a chance. So my question to the left is this: why not concentrate your attention there, rather than on the one player in the region who has always been serious about peace?

More here



There is a most interesting Bible study here on the theology of serving in the military.

Enlightened Saudis: "A presenter from King Saud University at an international medical seminar at the King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Center caused a stir yesterday when he insisted that all women - including medical and media professionals - leave the room before he would enter the room to give his presentation. Initially some women expressed consternation at the request, but later relented and left the room so the doctor and orthodox man could give his presentation about Islam and the ethics of organ donation and end-of-life issues. Prior to the presentation by Dr. Yousef Al-Ahmed, the audience was informed that the doctor would not be in the same room with women when he spoke about medical ethics"

Russia helps Iran: "Russia has begun delivery of Tor-M1 air defense missile systems to Iran, a Defense Ministry official said Friday, confirming that Moscow would proceed with arms deals with Tehran in spite of Western criticism. The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss the issue, declined to specify when the deliveries had been made and how many systems had been delivered. Ministry officials have previously said Moscow would supply 29 of the sophisticated missile systems to Iran under a $700 million contract signed in December, according to Russian media reports.... Russian officials say the missiles are purely defensive weapons with a limited range. According to the Interfax news agency, the Tor-M1 system can identify up to 48 targets and fire at two targets simultaneously at a height of up to 20,000 feet."

Muslim violence closes hundreds of Thai schools: "Hundreds of schools in Thailand's restive south will shut their doors in response to increasingly vicious attacks by suspected Muslim insurgents against teachers and schools, an official said on Saturday. The closure, which begins Monday, affects all 336 primary and secondary schools in the province of Pattani, where two teachers were fatally shot by suspected insurgents in the past two days. In one of the killings, attackers shot a school principal on Friday, then set his body on fire. The principal became the 59th teacher or school official killed in three years of violence, said Bunsom Thongsriprai, president of the Teachers' Association in Pattani. "Teachers can't bear what has happened," Bunsom said. "They are paranoid, worried and afraid." He said the province's schools, which teach about 100,000 students, will reopen when teachers feel safe. More than 1800 people have died from violence in Thailand's three southernmost, Muslim-majority provinces - Yala, Pattani and Narathiwat - since an Islamic insurgency flared in January 2004."

Canadian Tories pledge annual tax cuts: " The Conservative government issued a "guarantee" yesterday to Canadians that it will cut their taxes annually -- starting at $700-million next year and up to $1.4-billion in 2011 -- by redistributing the savings Ottawa secures from paying down debt. "We will do this every year: pay down debt, achieve interest savings and apply those savings to personal income-tax reductions," Jim Flaherty, the Finance Minister, said in describing the government's "tax-back" guarantee. "It's time to give Canadian taxpayers a direct stake and a direct benefit from balancing the budget each year and reducing government debt."



"All the worth which the human being possesses, all spiritual reality, he possesses only through the State." -- 19th century German philosopher Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel. Hegel is the most influential philosopher of the Left -- inspiring Karl Marx, the American "Progressives" of the early 20th century and university socialists to this day.

The Big Lie of the late 20th century was that Nazism was Rightist. It was in fact typical of the Leftism of its day. It was only to the Right of Stalin's Communism. The very word "Nazi" is a German abbreviation for "National Socialist" (Nationalsozialistisch)

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