General Election: Shhh … Don’t Mention the Occupation

In the run-up to Britain’s general election we’ve heard next to nothing about Middle East policy from the three main party leaders in their much-publicised debates on TV.

They have studiously avoided all mention of the outrage in the Holy Land and the way it impacts so directly on world peace.

The plight of the Palestinian people ever since Britain abandoned its mandate responsibility, and their endless struggle for freedom from Israel’s military occupation, threatens our safety but word of it never passes their lips. And the programme bosses appear to block questions on the subject.

Early in the campaign I received a message from a local Liberal Democrat MP saying: “I urge everyone to get to Norwich and help elect our fantastic candidate Simon W.”

But hang on … before rushing to volunteer I wanted to know just one thing. What was Mr W’s personal stance on Middle East policy and especially Israel’s 43-year illegal occupation of the Holy Land?

It’s an important question for the simple reason that the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) has such a vice-like grip on the private parts of US congressional representatives that Israel’s interests are put ahead of America’s. And due to the influence of the Israel lobby here in the UK we too are so embroiled in their perpetual strife with the Islamic world that we’ve been sucked into the same stinking swamp.

Britain is now one of the most hated nations on earth thanks to our cosy association with US-Israeli ambitions in the Middle East. Party leaders talk passionately about cleaning up politics but carefully avoid addressing this, the most corrupting and dangerous influence of all.

A recent Channel 4 Dispatches programme alleged that 80% of Conservative MPs and MEPs are signed-up Friends of Israel. The Conservative shadow Foreign Minister, David Lidington, has promised that Conservatives will be staunch defenders of the State of Israel.

The Liberal Democrats allow a similar lobby group to flourish within their party. Its main aim is to “maximise support for the State of Israel within the Liberal Democrats and Parliament”. And I note that when the MP who contacted me visited Israel and the occupied West Bank he went with a Friends of Israel delegation.

I emailed the candidate Simon W twice with my question but he didn’t reply. Needless to say, he got no help from me.

All our political parties, strangely, have little to say in their manifestos about action (rather than meaningless words) to end the ethnic cleansing and blockading of the Holy Land and the terrorising of its residents, including the Christian communities. I have seen not so much as a hint of sanctions like those they are eager to apply against Iran for much less reason.

It has been reported that powerful Christian businessmen are now bankrolling the Conservatives. This is the party that backed the Iraq war, has a majority of Israel flag-wavers among its MPs and whose leader, David Cameron, is a self-proclaimed Zionist.

Cameron says: “If I become Prime Minister, Israel has a friend who will never turn his back on her… Israel is a democracy – Hamas want to create a theocracy. Israel strives to protect innocent life – Hamas target innocent life…” Side-splitting stuff. But what’s truly scary is that if the Conservatives get elected, it’ll be business as usual – full steam ahead – with the loons and psychopaths in Washington and Tel Aviv.

The party also has the support of a Christian organization, the Conservative Christian Fellowship, which claims to include in its ranks a large number of election candidates. The group says it “contributes to the life and thinking of the Conservative Party”. When its chairman, David Burrowes, visited the Holy Land the trip was paid for by Conservative Friends of Israel and the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and judging from his remarks in Parliament it is clear that his sympathies lie with the lawless entity that blitzed, vaporised and shredded the jam-packed citizens of Gaza and a year later still has them on the torture rack, allowing a paltry 81 items only to be imported for the starving and homeless among the tiny enclave’s ruins. The huge range of forbidden goods includes jam, chocolate, wood for furniture, fruit juice, tinned fruit, textiles, and plastic toys.

Israel, with typical bloody-mindedness, has made life for humanitarian groups exceedingly difficult by refusing to actually publish a list of banned items. They make it up as they go along to create a permanent state of confusion and deprivation. Is this the sort of thing real Christians endorse and defend? I don’t think so.

Christian Conservatives are put to shame by the Israeli human rights group, Gisha, who has been trying for more than a year to squeeze information from the Zionist regime about what exactly they allow and forbid to cross into Gaza, and why.

Gisha has even taken the Israeli authorities to court to force them to come clean. Gisha’s director, Sari Bashi, says: “Preventing children from receiving toys, preventing manufacturers from getting raw materials – I don’t see how that’s responsive to Israeli security needs.”

The Israelis explain their rationale thus: “The limitation on the transfer of goods is a central pillar in the means at the disposal of the State of Israel in the armed conflict between it and Hamas.” You and I know it as collective punishment. They take their spite for Hamas out on women and kids. Nice “friends” you have there, CCF. You realize, of course, that the thugs who run the Israeli regime are persecuting your Christian brethren as well as Muslims.

Or maybe they don’t count because Palestinian Christians are some sort of lesser breed?

Now the final straw. We’ve arrived at the point where we can’t even take the piss out of Israel’s illegal occupation on the airwaves. Comedian Frankie Boyle was rebuked for doing just that by the BBC governors. He explains in an open letter:

In case you missed it, the jokes in question are:

“I’ve been studying Israeli Army Martial Arts. I now know 16 ways to kick a Palestinian woman in the back.”

People think that the Middle East is very complex but I have an analogy that sums it up quite well. If you imagine that Palestine is a big cake, well… that cake is being punched to pieces by a very angry Jew.

I think the problem here is that the show’s producers will have thought that Israel, an aggressive, terrorist state with a nuclear arsenal, was an appropriate target for satire. The Trust’s ruling is essentially a note from their line managers. It says that if you imagine that a state busily going about the destruction of an entire people is fair game, you are mistaken. Israel is out of bounds.

So there you have it. Party managers, political leaders, election candidates, the mainstream media, the rest of the Establishment including our state broadcaster and even the Church and its assorted hangers-on, are all working to suppress any debate about what’s probably the biggest menace to world peace … and praying that most British people go to the polls on May 6 blissfully ignorant of their country’s complicity.

Stuart Littlewood’s book Radio Free Palestine, with Foreword by Jeff Halper, can now be read on the internet by visiting Read other articles by Stuart.

10 comments on this article so far ...

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  1. MichaelKenny said on May 6th, 2010 at 9:45am #

    Without disagreeing seriously with the above, my comment on John Pilger’s article applies here too. The US elite a.k.a. the Israel Lobby has a gun to Europe’s head.

  2. Ismail Zayid said on May 6th, 2010 at 11:37am #

    Nothing seems to have changed in British politics. The current political leaders are, evidently, following in the steps of Arthur Balfour, whose generosity with other people’s land is the primary cause for the tragedy that befell the Palestinian people and the continuing conflict in the Middle East.

  3. Haggai One Nine said on May 6th, 2010 at 3:34pm #

    It is only the majority of British people who go to the polls blissfully ignorant. Unfortunately, even though I am now in my 75th year, I was one of them until I woke up to reality within the last decade. Amongst other things, I then came to the awful realisation that I had been born only 20 miles away from the stately home of another Yorkshireman who had been the English Establishment’s chief architect of the carve-up of the Middle East in 1916. Among the varied literary efforts of English journalists and commentators over the last 80 years, there is no shortage of informed truth with which to dispel your “blissful ignorance”.

  4. mary said on May 7th, 2010 at 12:43am #

    You refer to Sykes I believe.

    Whoever steps over the threshold of No 10 Downing Street following the horse trading which now ensues, they are sure to be a member of the PIP – (Pro Israel Party)

  5. Mulga Mumblebrain said on May 7th, 2010 at 10:26am #

    The dominance of Zionists in Western societies is unavoidable, I believe, for two reasons. First the capitalist democracies (pardon the self contradicting expression) are essentially corrupt, being based on parties that are owned and hence controlled by their rich benefactors. And, secondly, no-one plays the political influence through money power game more assiduously and more ruthlessly than the Jews.The evidence is, of course, unambiguous (Jews contribute 60% of all US Republican donations for one instance) but that does not stop Zionist liars and the Zionist controlled mainstream media from, not just denying it, but vitriolically vilifying any who dare speak the truth. Truly disturbing,of course, and a situation fraught with dangers for us all, including Jews, because such control of a country by a tiny minority with suspect loyalties is bound, eventually, to cause great resentment.I know that if Israeli politics was controlled by, say, Arab money that there would be high dudgeon, to say the least, amongst Israelis.

  6. mary said on May 7th, 2010 at 10:32am #

    As you were saying Mulga…

    “But Israel is not without stalwart friends in the Conservative party. Foremost among them the party’s leading ideologue, Michael Gove. Some of the views expressed in his speeches and opinion articles over the past few years would put the mainstream Likud to shame.”

  7. Mulga Mumblebrain said on May 8th, 2010 at 12:32am #

    I heard the repellent Gove (the true face of a new Thatcherite generation, although he does appear to pluck his eye-brows) the other day.In my opinion his combination of arrogance and barely suppressed viciousness is the quintessence of Zionism, so his fervour in that despicable cause is unsurprising. Zionism long ago became a sort of de facto cult for the global Right,it being the perfect racist, supremacist ideology for the coming age where a global apartheid system is to be inflicted on all the ‘two-legged animals’ of the planet by the White masters of Judeo-Christian Western Civilization (sic). The horrors inflicted in Gaza, Iraq, Afghanistan,Pakistan, the fruit of the ‘Zionist Plan for the Middle East’ are the future for much of the world.

  8. mary said on May 8th, 2010 at 1:45am #

    Perhaps the eyebrow advice comes from his wife. (Can you imagine anybody getting married to this weed?). She works for the Murdochracy as Beauty Editor on the Times and penned this tosh about the night of his election victory.

    What a smug little piece she produced.

    She is as lightweight as the husband but probably not as nasty. Definitely a member of the ‘haves’ brigade . The single comment is spot on.

    PS He has also taken a shekel or two from Murdoch over the years.

    ‘Michael Gove is Conservative MP for Surrey Heath. He worked on The Times from 1995-2005. He makes regular appearances on BBC Radio 4’s The Moral Maze and The Late Review on BBC2, and has written a biography of Michael Portillo.’

    He was also mired in the expenses scandal on his second home allowance but scuttled out of it like the land crab he resembles.

    God help us as this Cameroon crowd take over.

  9. Mulga Mumblebrain said on May 8th, 2010 at 3:31am #

    mary, I noticed that various revelations of just how far to the ultra-Genghis Right the Ziotories lurking behind Cameron’s ersatz ‘charm’ really were quickly disappeared as the election campaign unfolded. They are closely aligned ideologically to the Republican far Right in the USA, are anthropogenic climate change denialists, Islamophobes, slavish grovellers to Zionazism and even, hair-raisingly, advocates of US style gun laws. Fortunately they have not reached power, yet,and their true agenda of vicious class revenge and the completion of the Thatcherite project to institute neo-feudalism and joining, enthusiastically,in the Zioamerican project to establish a globalised apartheid system and condemn the majority world to eternal squalour and misery until they die out or are devastated by some convenient plague or other, may have to wait awhile yet.

  10. mary said on May 8th, 2010 at 7:31am #

    Mulga I can’t locate the post where we discussed the intended eviction of the Yanks from Okinawa. Sort of ‘Get Out! You are not wanted here’ from the people.

    Mr. Littlewood will have to excuse me using his.

    Difficulties are still being encountered by Hatoyama!