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Slip of the Tonge

British Liberal Democrat MP, Jenny Tonge, has been publicly displaying her licensed copy of ‘Root Causes Version 2.0’:

“I was just trying to say how, having seen the violence and the humiliation and the provocation that the Palestinian people live under every day and have done since their land was occupied by Israel, I could understand and was trying to understand where [suicide bombers] were coming from,” Dr Tonge told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme.

She was speaking to a pro-Palestinian lobby when she said of Palestinian suicide bombers: “If I had to live in that situation – and I say that advisedly – I might just consider becoming one myself.”

Well, if Mrs Tonge feels that she really must blow herself to smithereens, then so be it. But before she turns herself into an abstract art installation, I hope someone takes the trouble to ask her for an explanation of this:

With the identification of two suicide bombers in Israel as British subjects, Britain faced suggestions Thursday that young British Muslims, previously associated with militant Islamic groups in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen and elsewhere had now shifted focus to terrorism in the Middle East.

The identification as British citizens of Asif Hanif, 21, who died in a bomb attack that killed three people in a Tel Aviv nightclub Wednesday, and an accomplice, Omar Sharif, 27, also represented the first known instance in recent years of Britons prepared to kill themselves launching a terror attack. The news seemed to leave British officials stunned. “We think that the terrorists had British passports, which is something especially sad,” said Sherard Cowper-Coles, Britain’s ambassador in Israel.

As on previous occasions when British Muslims were found to have been fighting for the Taliban in Afghanistan or planning alleged terrorism in Britain, the suspected terrorists seemed to have grown up in innocuous, middle-class or blue-collar environments far from the conflicts they came to espouse as their own. That seemed to differentiate them from the more usual image of suicide bombers molded by the hardships of Gaza or the West Bank.

Small wonder that people like Mrs Tonge have conveniently chosen to forget this particular case of ‘desperation’.

51 comments to Slip of the Tonge

  • Euan

    I left it on the bus this morning, but did anyone else happen to read in the Metro free paper the statement from the CRE in respect of this case – that they “don’t get involved” in cases concerning who is allowed to say what?

    I’m sure Kilroy-Silk will find such comments encouraging.

    Both Silk and Tonge are, IMHO, rather silly, but it illustrates that freedom of speech presumably means freedom to say one agrees with the prevailing liberal/envirohippy/pc point of view.


  • A_t

    d’oh!! or maybe it’s to do with the fact that she may have said something contraversial, but you’d have a hard time portraying it as racist. If she’d said “I hate Jews”, the CRE would be involved. As is, she didn’t, & didn’t say anything that could be interpreted as that, unless you’re of a very paranoid disposition, so no trouble there.

  • CRE does not give a damn if you are a Judenhass. If Silk’s comments warrant attention from the CRE then Tonge’s do as well.

  • Rob Read

    Gosh Howard Dean commits electoral suicide and now another lefty scum talks about literal suicide.

    These things come in three’s, lets wait for the Kelly suicide report to bring down are current leftist clique.

  • Duncan S


    I think the “we don’t get involved” quote from the CRE was in relation to the story about a man who had been charged with people smuggling (the smugglees (is that a word?) had hidden in his car.

    His defence was that he would never have smuggled asylum seekers as he was a racist.

    I believe he got off.

  • Millie Woods

    I find this devotion to the Palestinian cause truly inexplicable. The immigration policy of the government of Canada has been to favour immigrants from the Arab/Islamic lands over the past seven or eight years. The amazing thing is that the enclaves where they settle take on a strong resemblance to the Gaza strip in no time at all. Heaps of rubble, garbage and broken cars everywhere. Dysfunctional families scream at one another in shopping malls while their children run through the shops creating havoc, pulling at displays and shoplifting. They seem incapable of creating anything but a dystopian nightmare wherever they are. No wonder they’re humiliated.

  • Speaking of Palestinians and abstract art, the Sonning Prize for contributions to European Civilizaton has been announced:

    Entrails Carpet Advances European Civilization

  • Jacob

    “she didn’t say anything that could be interpreted as that [racist]….”

    Ok, she only said that it is understandable to blow yourself up in a crowded place and murder xx innocent men, women and children.

    That’s right. That is not racism. As long as she didn’t state the race of the supposed victims she can’t be accused of racism. A perfectly tolerable statement indeed. So the CRE is only supposed to prosecute racial hatred speech. You need another agency to deal with incitement to suicide bombing.

  • Johnathan Pearce

    Well said Jacob. A_T tried gamely to downplay the disgusting nature of this woman’s remarks, but such sophistry will not wash. An MP, who is a spokeswoman on overseas affairs for what is allegedly a serious political party, has openly sympathised with islamic fanatics who vow to kill Jewish civilians indiscriminately.

    There is no way one can finesse or obscure the outrageous nature of what this fathead has said. If Charles Kenney, the Lib-Dem leader has any moral decency whatever, he should sack her, and the party should cease to grant her the whip in the House of Commons. If no such consequences follow, then the Tories and Labour will, I trust, use it to turn that wretched party into dogfood in forthcoming elections.

  • A_t

    Man… talk about putting words in someone’s mouth. What she said was “if i was in that situation, I could imagine maybe doing that”… So can many others. It doesn’t mean we approve, or condone; just that we can understand how some combinations of circumstance may lead people to evil actions. Seems like, unless you’re going to think of suicide bombers as human beings, and perhaps look into why they’re doing it (rather than going “insane evil!!”, “no rationale!!”, “if you try to understand, you might as well just be a murderer”), you’re no closer to stopping more people from signing up.

    I’m not going to go into the rights & wrongs of the entire conflict, but can you deny that currently Israel makes the lives of many Palestinians a misery (at least from the palestinian “who’s visibly oppressing us” point of view)? Can you imagine growing up under military occupation of your country, your village? Suffering beatings & a feeling that you’re a second class citizen as land around you is stolen & handed to ‘settlers’ who aren’t delayed & harassed at checkpoints? Can you honestly tell me that, under those circumstances, you wouldn’t wish to exact some kind of revenge.

    It’s a horribly messy situation. I *don’t* advocate or condone suicide bombing; i think it’s disgusting, and doesn’t help either side’s cause, but that doesn’t mean I can’t understand why people might consider it, & I can’t say for sure that if I had grown up over there, I wouldn’t think about doing it. Nor could any of you here, if you’re honest about it.

    Furthermore, if she said something about Jews being evil, or killing Jews being justifiable, the CRE would totally have come down on her; contrary to tin-foil-hat right wingers’ theories, there’s no visible antisemitic conspiracy going on. As is, she was talking about Israel, which is a nation.

  • Nemo

    Let’s try and be intelligent about this. Presumably not all suicide bombers have the same motivation for a start. Someone driven insane by personal tragedy is not in the same category as ideologically motivated lunatics. Some motivations may be more understandable than others. I take ‘understandable’ to mean ‘explainable’, and I don’t see why, rationally, we should think of suicide bombings as inexplicable.

    Further, Palestinians may create dystopian nightmares (I wonder why? Is it a racial characteristic?) which lead to them being humiliated, but to describe what is happening every day to Palestinians in the illegally occupied territories as ‘humiliating’ is shockingly euphemistic. See http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/386064.html or example

    What is the underlying agenda behind these remarks?

  • Euan

    Duncan_S – yes, I may have got the stories mixed up. As I said, I left the paper behind.

    Anyhow, I believe the CRE has been (not unexpectedly) silent on the case. Had she said the she could sympathise with a hypothetical Israeli suicide bomber blowing up Palestinian “targets”, I’m quite sure they would have been a tad more vocal. I’m not a Zionist (I profoundly disagree with the idea of having a right to land because a 3,000 year old book of metaphysical speculation says so), and I do think suicide bombers of whatever persuasion are lunatics. I think this particular woman is also a little unhinged, but then she is a Liberal Deomcrat so one should perhaps not mock the afflicted.

    I don’t think it’s really possible to rationalise what suicide bombers do. I think if one ever did get inside the mind of such people, the chaotic mess of complaint, envy and self-inflicted failure would preclude any logical analysis. I think pretty much the same applies to Islamist zealots, Zionist fundies and Christian born-agains.

    As far as I’m concerned, it’s a question of freedom of speech. I don’t agree with Tonge, nor do I particularly agree with Kilroy-Silk, but I can’t see any justification for moaning about what they said, still less demanding apologies.

    Perhaps if all of humanity spent the rest of eternity apologising to each other for every conceivable wrong, however remote, the liberal community would be happy.

    Maybe it’s time to seek compensation and an apology from the Italian government for the depradations of the Roman army in Britain. How dare they exercise cultural relativism and linguistic hegemony by insisting that we learn Latin? Then again, since we’re in the EU now, Britain would no doubt have to subsidise the Italian payment.

    That was irony (sort of) for the benefit of any Liberal Democrats who have overcome their revulsion at the ethnocentric arrogance of the English speaking internet long enough to log on and read this.

    That was recursive irony.

    This is becoming a meandering diatribe, so it’s time to stop 🙂


  • lucklucky

    Saddam killed 5% of is own population
    but i dont remember suicide bombings …

    Maybe oposition wasnt built by an hate industry?

  • jdm

    I’ll deny that “currently Israel makes the lives of many Palestinians a misery” – at least when compared to the degree that Arabs make the lives of many (other) Arabs a misery and most certainly to the extent that Palestinians make the lives of each other a misery.

    But we don’t see much about suicide bombers in Egypt, Syria, Iran (OK, they’re not Arabs), et al. And I certainly haven’t read anything about how people (in particular, suicide bomber apologists) wonder why there aren’t more Arabs-targeting-Arabs suicide bombers in various Arab countries and how they might consider becoming one themselves.

    No, no, only when Jews or Americans are involved.

  • A_t

    jdm, yeah that’s right… phew! We’re just all antisemitic & anti-American. No need to think further then.

    Which Arabs in particular do you think might incur suicide bombings against themselves? The oppressive governments of many middle-eastern nations? I’d certainly understand the people of many Arab nations reacting violently towards their crappy governments, but suicide bombing’s not the most effective anti-government tactic really. In fact, it’s not a very effective tactic for many things, including bringing about any kind of peace.

    But why expand the whole thing; talk about “arabs” in general? We’re talking about Palestinians in particular here, just as we’re talking about Israelis, & not Jews in general.

  • ed

    The only reason that Palestinians conduct suicide-bombings in Israel is because the rest of the world actively rewards them for it. That’s it and there’s no other reason whatsoever. You can talk about root causes until you are blue in the face and you’ll still be wrong. The reason, and the ONLY reason, is because the world has rewarded the Palestinians for murdering Israelis.

    The only way to stop suicide-bombings is to stop rewarding such behavior and start punishing it. Until that happens the killing will continue.

  • Johnathan Pearce

    The idea that the Palestinians who blow themselves up, often killing dozens of civilians, can be “understood” is correct in a way, rather as one can “understand” by people become Nazis, drunks, wife-beaters, or whatever.

    What was clear as day from the MP’s comments – she has now been sacked, BTW — is that she sympathised with such bombers. At no point did it cross her mind – not a long journey – that such folk have been convinced of a profound hatred for Jewish people. Of course one can criticise Israel on a number of grounds – as I would – but trying to “understand” killers of teenage students in pizza joints or whatever is depraved. No amount of hair-splitting will avoid that point.

    Anyway, the stupid woman has been fired. Obviously Charles Kennedy has some sense after all.

  • jdm

    Well, I didn’t state you(‘re (all)) anti-semitic/anti-American. I implied that people only seem to try to justify suicide bombings against Israelis (and based on the initial comments by many after 9/11, Americans). Now, if you’re admitting you are, then fine.

    As to which “Arabs in particular do you think might incur suicide bombings against themselves”, I’d say any if the reasons of the suicide bomber apologists have any merit. It is ridiculous to claim that somehow the Israelis are so nasty that they somehow merit the tactic of suicide bombers but the various other oppressors of Arabs in general and Palestinians in particular do not.

    The thuggish intra-Palestinian behavior is condoned and possibly directed by the Paestinian leadership(s?). It is also, as far as I can tell, indistinguishable from being ruled by gangsters. But no problem there, Palestinian victimology, radical Islam, and the misappropriated guilt of many in the West justifies the killing of Jews with suicide bombers as an understandable reaction to an egregious situation.

    Sorry, that dog won’t hunt for me.

  • nemo

    The reason for trying to understand such things as you mention is so that they can be prevented from happening. This is not hair-splitting. As long as any attempt to suggest that there might be a EXPLANATION why people do these things is met with hysteria then someone will be forced to go on clearing up the mess afterwards

  • She didn’t just say that she “understood”, she said that she might do the same thing herself if she were in the same circumstances: that is a major leap of the imagination.

    Look, A_t and Nemo: this is not about the merits of the Palestinian position versus the Israeli position. It is perfectly possible to favour Palestinian political aspirations whilst condemning terrorist tactics such as suicide bombing.

    I find it truly depressing to see the extent to which people are prepared to empathise with murderous fanatics yet cannot manage the much easier task of empathising with the ordinary Israeli who could be blown up for eating a pizza.

  • Nemo; a serial killer may have any kind of half-baked ludicrous “rationale” for his murders. Pehaps they were inspired by listening to a Beatles LP: who cares?. It is of little use in preventing future serial killers to examine in minute detail the “reason”s proferred by such a killer.

    There will always be crazy people. The first priority is to protect yourself against crazy people. Getting sucked into the crazy worldview is a very good way of losing sight of that priority.

  • Michael

    The idea that the Palestinians who blow themselves up, often killing dozens of civilians, can be “understood” is correct in a way, rather as one can “understand” by people become Nazis, drunks, wife-beaters, or whatever.

    Next you’ll be saying that criminals cause crime……………………………………………..

  • A_t

    “I find it truly depressing to see the extent to which people are prepared to empathise with murderous fanatics yet cannot manage the much easier task of empathising with the ordinary Israeli who could be blown up for eating a pizza.”

    Sorry… I probably wasn’t being clear. I should have said, I can empathise with that too; it must be terrifying. What’s more, I can understand the common Israeli urge to clamp down hard on Palestinians as a whole; try & stop this crap once & for all. If I were born in Israel, perhaps I’d be totally gung-ho & helping “defend Israel”. Who knows. Does that statement mean that I condone all the IDF atrocities?

    The trouble with both these understandable reactions (condoning suicide bombers, condoning repressive policing by IDF), is that they both aggravate the situation. I still see no harm in understanding them/empathising with the people who support them though. Seems to me that the alternative is to dehumanise those who support whichever side you don’t support, & that’s not a realistic world view.

    As for the serial killer thing, yes Frank, very clever… and yes, it’s pretty pointless analysing the motives of serial killers/trying to ‘get inside their heads’ (not that millions of people don’t do so, and aren’t judged as ‘reprehensible & sick’ or ‘condoning murder’ for doing so)… but if a small town or state produced serial killer after serial killer, it might be useful to look into why that was, no?

  • As I have said in other places; the Kurds have suffered far more than the Palestinians yet they have not resorted to suicide bombings of civilians. They have been executed en masse, bombed and WMDed but no suicide bombings of civilian targets. I wonder why?

    The woman was justifying the killing of civilians not military targets. That is the major factor here, it is in fact irrelevant to whether or not the Palestinian cause is just.

  • Steve in Houston

    A_t, definitely you’d want to check into that.

    But what if you found behind it all

    — a charismatic leader encouraging those serial killers to engage in such acts (while denying any part in it because, hey, he didn’t pull the trigger/draw the knife) and being rewarded for his community service
    — a cottage industry devoted to excusing and or glorifying the acts of the serial killers, and eventually blame the whole problem on the people in the community for their selfish desires to a) get on with their lives and b) protect themselves and their loved ones and c) answer condemnation by much of the rest of society, all the while hearing calls for annihilation by, say, police and religious bigwigs in neighboring communities?

    No one can beat me at run-on sentences.

  • Bombadil

    … but if a small town or state produced serial killer after serial killer, it might be useful to look into why that was, no?

    If a small town taught its children that to be a serial killer was glorious and a worthy ambition for their lives, if that small town celebrated the memory of previous serial killers and held public displays of adulation for them – it might not be too difficult to see why that small town kept producing serial killers. The obvious reason: PERFIDIOUS JOOOS!

  • Bombadil

    Ah, Steve In Houston beat me to the punch – curses!

  • wade

    Can some one give me the American equivalent of an MP?

  • Jacob

    ” Does that statement mean that I condone all the IDF atrocities?”

    Sorry, A_t, IDF does not commit *atrocities*.
    As I know from your previous comments that you are generally fair and honest, I must assume that you are missinformed in this case, or brainwashed by propaganda.
    IDF fights a very difficult and exceptionally ungentelmanly war that has been imposed on it. It does it’s best to protect it’s people and country from annihilation and daily massacres. War is not a nice thing to behold, in general, and mistakes are not infrequent. Still, IDF goes out of it’s way to try to avoid what might seem to be “atrocities”. While, as I said, some mistakes are made, and maybe some idividual soldiers behave wrongly (and are usually disciplined for it), IDF does not commit intentional, premeditaded atrocities.

    So, here is my protest at the use of that horrendous word “attrocities”, it’s false and slandering use.

  • Jacob

    Want to know why the Arabs don’t commit suicide bombings against Arab regimes (like that of Saddam) ?
    That’s an easy one.
    Because after such a suicide bombing the whole family of the bomber, father, mother, siblings, their spuses and children, and some notable persons from that clan or tribe will be thrown in prison, and some, maybe accused with accomplicity in murder and executed. Not to mention all members of the terrorist organization that sponsored the suicide bomber. Furthermore. After some token executions, it will be made perfectly clear that any additional suicide bombing will be met by an increased quota of executions. The Arabs have their traditional ways. Those mass graves discovered in Iraq weren’t there for nothing.

  • Bombadil


    If I remember correctly, MPs are members of the House of Commons (ass opposed to the House of Lords)?

    That would make “Representative” the nearest US equivalent to “MP”. “Senator” would be roughly equivalent to “Peer”, and “Congress(man)” would be equivalent to “Member of Parliament”.

  • Bombadil

    That would make “Representative” the nearest US equivalent to “MP”. “Senator” would be roughly equivalent to “Peer”, and “Congress(man)” would be equivalent to “Member of Parliament”.

    Duh, that was stupid. Disregard “Congress(man) = Member of Parliament” – not previewing my own text.

  • ernest young

    For all those commenters who excuse this person by saying she is entitled to her version of ‘free speech’.

    They should be aware that anything described as ‘free’, does bear a level of responsibilty in it’s use and application. Too much flippant or careless use diminishes the value of these freedoms for everyone.

    This person, expressed herself in a stupid careless way, although, no doubt she thought that she was being quite clever and showing her ‘sympathy’, and just how ‘caring’ she could be. All she did was to show that she was just another one of those ‘useful fools’, that our enemies find so amusing.

    If she was at all interested in seeing an end to the bombings, she might try ignoring them. Without the publicity even they might find the sacrifice to be futile. But then she would be denied the opportunity of a little self-advertisemnent, which as we all know, every third-rate politician needs.

  • Theodopoulos Pherecydes

    I just wish the British (Canadians, Australians, Americans, et al.) would quit trying to stifle speech.

  • Well, Kennedy sacked her, a decision that can’t have been easy for a man who shared a platform with Tony Benn, Tariq Ali and Andrew Murray.

    The truth is that members of his Party have been encouraged to be intellectually renegade since the 1950’s. “Independence of mind” is a badge of pride for them and gets an honourable mention in most of the LibDem literature that arrives unbidden in my post. How often do they tell us that their new policies become (Labour) law a decade later?

    Sometimes, though, the impulse to think the unthinkable merely comes up with the unthinkable, as it has here. It’s an occupational hazzard of being an outside-the-envelope, blue-sky, left-field sort of Party. It’s all rather sad, really.

  • ernest young


    No-one is trying to stifle free speech, if you have that impression, well, that is from your perspective and understanding of the phrase. It’s the mindless babbling and inane comments that irk, especially from supposedly intelligent people such at that (ex)MP. who really should know better.

  • Shawn

    There is no such thing as a Palestinian. There is no Pa;estinian People. There is no Palestinian nation. They are Arabs. The land they are on is occupied, by themselves. It is Jewish land.

    Israel must cease the so-called “peace-process”. It is this, and the international support for the Arab propaganda lie about a “Palestinian” people that rewards suicide bombers.

    Israel must expel all of the Arab invaders permanenetly,. That alone will ensure peace. The Arabs occupying the West Bank and Gaza will never allow the Israeli’s to live in peace so long as they are there.

  • Guy Herbert


    That’s a troll, right?

    If not, could you explain to those of us unenlightened souls embedded in the rational individualist meta-context how property can have a religious affiliation rather than identifiable direct or indirect personal owners?

    On the execrable Tonge:

    Her remarks strike me as rather similar to some attributed to Cherie Blair. The problem is not genuine sympathy for suicide bombers but Dianafication.

    These exceedingly privileged and comfortable women have absolutely no hope of understanding much of the world, looking at as they do through the blinkers of therapy culture. They attribute “reasonableness” in their own sentimental form to people who don’t share any of their presuppositions. (They do it to you and me, too, but the dissonance is not quite so jarring.) Their only mode of discourse when faced with something they don’t understand is pseudo-empathy–“I feel your pain”–when they’ve never felt any genuine fear, hunger, desperation, or had much to do with people who do.

    It’s emotional myopia. So great is the concern with making the immediate object of attention into a victim, that the “victim’s” victim is forgotten, as are all those in similar circumstances who behave decently.

  • Picky

    Wade – A Member of Parliament is the equivalent of a US Senator. Bombadil’s reasoning is wrong because the House of Lords doesn’t represent the electorate. The highest elected representative in Britain is an MP – and in America, it’s a Senator.

  • Chardonnay

    If this Tonge individual wishes to make an international fool of herself, that is her privilege. Although the intemperate nature of her comments did indicate that she shouldn’t be holding any form of public office, and she’s now off the national map (if anyone had ever heard of her before), she had a right to voice her opinion.

    BTW, Kilroy-Silk’s article recited facts, not opinions, so Furher Trevor Phillips was doubly moronic in pursuing him for having “controversial views”. Some Arab states amputate limbs of thieves. Fact; not an opinion. Some Arab state repress women. Fact; not an opinion. Some Arab states encourage suicide bombers. Fact; not an opinion. Trevor Phillips is a chippie, power crazed thought fascist. Fact; not an opinion.

  • Guy Herbert

    Curious, Picky… I was under the impression that the highest elected representative in the US is the President. And if Members of the European Parliament have any power over EU legislation at all–which is debatable–then they are higher than MPs, since EU legislation trumps UK.

    (The analogy breaks down all over, but I’d say Commons = House, Lords = Senate is as close as you are going to get. Nominally they together make up the legislature in their respective systems. [Nominally, because in Britain the legislature actually has very little influence over legislation.] And the Commons and the House are elected roughly proportionally to population. And the Lords and Senate change slower. And there’s a similarity in that the Commons/House drive money bills. The two houses of Congress were undoubtedly modelled to some degree on the two British Houses, and the Senate as originally constituted was not directly elected.)

    {Excessive pedantry ends}

  • Nick Timms

    I hope that your comments were not meant to be taken seriously. If they were you need to study a little history. Israel as a state did not exist until 1948 prior to this it was Palestine and was administered – rather badly – by us.

    Unfortunately for the arab/muslim Palestinians, Jews from all over Europe had been migrating to Palestine for most of the first half of the 20th Century. This migration and the recognition of Israel as a state was actively promoted and supported by enormously powerful zionist movements in Europe and the USA.

    This zionist powerbase is still in existence and has a very large influence on the foreign policies of most western nations but especially USA and UK.

    I suspect that if the middle east “problem” is ever to be solved then arabs/muslims must establish and equally strong political powerbase in these countries.

    This will certainly have more chance of success than suicide bombers which I can state categorically will never work.

  • ernest young


    Try reading some real history before you say something that you may regret, or worse yet – be branded a racist……pamphlets and periodicals really dont cut it. 🙂


    A History of Paletine I


    The Balfour Declaration. Typical piece of diplomatic smarm.


    History as per the Palestine Police Force!

    The real culprit was the old League of Nations, the forerunner of the notorious United Nations. Both histories mentioned above take little note of the pressure put on Britain by the LoN, and by the pressure of anti-semitism in Europe. Germany was not the only country to persecute Jews, Russsia’s history of persecution goes back to the time of the Czars.

    With the rise of anti-semitism a solution had to be found, and one idea was to create a State of Israel. As Britain held the mandate for that particular piece of land which had previously been Jewish, it fell to us to establish it. You could say that we drew the short straw!

    I believe that I am correct in saying that the L.o.N. were the originators of this idea, and it met with the approval of the Jews, on the basis of past history. There never was a country of Palestine, it was a part of TransJordan, and it was governed by the Turks, (Ottoman Empire), until 1917 when the British took the mandate and governed until 1948.

    It would seem that both parties have equal right to the area, but Arab hatred will allow no compromis. Ironic really, as both factions stem from the same cultural and religious roots.

    None of the above links are ‘heavy reading’,, but they do give an idea of the problem.

  • Nick Timms


    The comments I made were in response to Shawn. I did not intend to give a chapter and verse history lesson as I aware that I would have had to refresh my memory first by doing some reading.

    I fail to see how anything I said could be branded racist as I expressed no preference for the arab or the israeli causes and I certainly made no comments about their races.

    In fact I share your sentiment that it is all rather ironic as the semitic peoples of the middle east share a similar heritage. That is semitic in its correct meaning of peoples who are said to be decended from Shem and share semitic languages which include hebrew, arabic, aramaic, assyrian etc.

  • Jacob

    ernest young:
    “It would seem that both parties have equal right to the area, but Arab hatred will allow no compromise. ”

    Bravo !
    Here is the whole bloody ME conflict fully explained in one concise sentence.

    BTW – about the League of Nations – they were as irrelevant then, as the UN is now. They adopted the Balfour declaration in one of their resolutions, but never initiated anything.

  • MeTooThen

    The lie that is the so called “root cause” of suicide mass murder is well described here:

    The Associated Press, citing Israeli security officials, reported yesterday that Raiyshi was an adulteress forced to carry out the attack to restore her family’s honor. “

    Surely at some time, perhaps after there are similar attacks in Paris or its suburbs, that the “intifada” is part of a larger phenomenon that is the death cult of Islamofascism.

    And this, from the same report:

    The officials told AP on condition of anonymity that Raiyshi’s illicit lover recruited her, giving her the suicide bomb belt. Palestinian security officials said her husband drove her to Erez to carry out the attack.”

    Whether manifest by “honor killings” or “honor rape,” the driving force behind them and the genocidal war against the Zionist Entity (read Jews) is the same.

    Paul Berman in his excellent monograph, “Terror and Liberalism,” reveals this with astonishing clarity.

    Norman Geras and Oliver Kamm are correct in their formulation of Dr. Tonge’s murderous and shameful statement. The surprise is not that she thought such things, or that she even expressed her beliefs publicly. Rather, what does astound is that Dr. Tonge still enjoys significant support, despite the swift and appropriate repudiation given her by her own party.

    Let me add that her characterization of her opinions as coming from her experience, “as a doctor” are especially vile.

    And yes, giving legitimacy to the “cause,” (IRA, Fatah, Islamic Jihad, Hamas, Hezbolah, Soviet Communism, Castro’s Cuba, etc.) is legitimizing their actions. In this case, terrorist mass murder.

    This is the crucial linkage that is missing from the argument of those who support Dr. Tonge. Their support for her comments are not a tacit approval of suicide mass murder, but rather, an explicit approval of it.

    For those who truly believe in liberal democracy, they must accept this fact.

  • Shawn


    That’s a troll, right?”

    No, its an opinion.

    Controversial opinions are not trolls merely because they are controversial.

    “If not, could you explain to those of us unenlightened souls embedded in the rational individualist meta-context how property can have a religious affiliation rather than identifiable direct or indirect personal owners?”

    The land of Israel belongs to the Jewish people. Jews are a people, not simply a religious affiliation.

  • Shawn


    “Shawn I hope that your comments were not meant to be taken seriously. If they were you need to study a little history. Israel as a state did not exist until 1948 prior to this it was Palestine and was administered – rather badly – by us.”

    I have been studying Israeli/Jewish history since I was 15, for nearly 25 years in fact. Palestine was not a soveriegn nation, it was an Imperial administrative territory. Israel was founded as a soveriegn nation in 1400 BC. Despite repeated invasions, by the Assyrians, Greeks, Romans, and lastly the Arabs, the Jewish people have never given up their rights to their land, and Jewish people have lived continuosly in Israel from 1400 BC to today. Time does not extinguish property rights. If you were wrongfully removed from your property, and after some years came back to find squatters on it, you would rightly want to reclaim what is yours by right of prior ownership. The Arab/Islamic conquest of Israel (while it was under the imperial rule of the Roman/Byzantine invader) was simply the last in a long line of violations of the Jewish peoples property rights. The actions of 1948 did not found Israel, they liberated her from foriegn slavery. The Arabs living there, and claiming to be “Palestinians”, are squatters. They have no rights to the land in question.

    Zionism is the national liberation movement of the Jewish people.

    If we accept the claims of the so-called Palestinians, then we accept that people can invade your property, and through the simple passage of time, come to have rights to your property. From a libertarian POV, this makes no sense.

    Now as it happens I am not automatically opposed to a two state solution to the current problem. But two things should be kept in mind. First, the Arabs have no rightful claim to the land, so any granting of rights must be done only with the voluntary consent of the state of Israel, and on Israels terms. Second, the Arabs must prove by word and deed that they will recognise the right of Israel to exist, and cease any and all attacks upon her, and any and all claims to any part of the Israeli state, including giving up the claim to a so-called right of return. So far they have failed to demonstrate any real commitment to either of these issues.

  • A_t

    Shawn, that’s just nutty. How far back does this go? If I discover that some ancestors of mine had land stolen from them 300 years ago, do I have the right to go & reclaim that land? If not, why not?

  • ernest young

    The land that is now called Israel was part of Trans Jordan and was a British Protectorate, having previously been occupied by the Turks.

    With the advent of anti-semitism, (in Europe as a whole as well as in Russia and Germany), the ‘International community’ i.e. the League of Nations et al, decided that a homeland for the Jews should be found.

    What is now Israel was just one of several places suggested by the L.of N. I was reminded that Kenya was also a suggestion at one point.

    The International Community (may God forgive it’s black, well-meaning heart), offered the land to the Jews, which of course, was accepted on grounds of history, religion etc.

    They did not conquer the land – it was offerd to them by the aforementioned ‘International Community’, (L.of N. and it’s ‘Son of Satan’, the United Nations) courtesy of the Balfour Declaration. The decision to offer the land was passed without veto or dissension.

    On purely moral grounds the International Community (a.k.a. the U.N), should foster and nurture Israel, as it is really an “International Community creation. It may be the bastard son of Lord of the Manor, but it is still their creation and therefore their responsibilty.

    That the land given to Israel was not the U.N.’s to give is a separate argument.

    As it stands, it is yet another monument to the flawed thinking, and half-baked diplomacy of that part of the International Community, known as the U.N.

    Sorry to be repetitive as most of this was covered in earlier comments.

  • R C Dean

    That the land given to Israel was not the U.N.’s to give is a separate argument.

    It sounds as if the land was Britain’s to give (as a British Protectorate), and that Britain consented to the transfer, so from the perspective of chain of title, Israel has good title to the land within the original borders.

    Now, the so-called occupied territories were conquered by Israel “fair and square” while responding to a war of aggression. As I recall, some if not all of the Gaza Strip and West Bank were in legal suspense – they hadn’t really been settled on anyone yet, as the Palis had not yet come up with a governing authority that even the international community could stomach.

    Traditionally, of course, all nations acquired title to their lands by conquest, so it is hard to rule out Israeli title to the OT in principle. It may be that we have gotten to a point where we want to abandon conquest as a root to title, given its inherently non-consensual nature.

    However, the international community has certainly not gotten to the point where peoples or regions are allowed to secede at will, meaning that they can be forced to remain part of a larger polity without their consent. There is some movement on this front, perhaps (the dissolution of Yugoslavia, perhaps), but there are still many regions/peoples ruled against their will (cf, the Basques, the Kurds, doubtless others).

    I have a hard time coming up with a principled distinction between a nation that rules a territory against the will of its residents because it has conquered them, and a nation that rules a territory against the will of its residents because it refuses to allow them to secede. So, the very same nations that refuse to recognize Israel’s right of conquest are quite happy to refuse to allow their own disaffected regions to secede. One is hardly surprised to find hypocrisy and double standards in international “law”, especially where the Jooos are concerned.

    Of course, there was no such thing as a Palestinian nation before the creation of Israel. Any such nation created now would be just as artificial, and would have exactly the same origins and legitimacy, as the state of Israel itself – both would be gifts from the international community.