Thursday 26 October 2023

September 11 repeated


I asked an Oxford educated English friend the other night what his reaction to September 11 had been. He said that he thought that this was the understandable consequence of America ignoring world opinion on the Arab-Israeli question.

'But this was blasphemy in Britain!' 

My reaction was the same as his. I didn't know it was blasphemy, though. We both deplored the deaths then and the Hamas attacks in Israel now but they are episodes of a long, tragic story.

The 3,000 murders on September 11 were nothing compared to the deaths and the damage done to 'Western interests' and humanity in the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

As for 7 October, I am sure that Hamas was as amazed as the whole world that their men got into Israel so easily and stayed so long. 

They therefore killed and took hostage far more people than they expected, humiliated Israel more than they had hoped and invited greater retribution on their heads.

I imagine that Iran and Hezbollah will be careful to stay out. 

The death toll in the Hamas attack has probably already been dwarfed by the civilian deaths in Gaza, although figures provided by Hamas are not to be taken in the least seriously.

What I care about are two things. 

I want the killings to end and I do not want the huge problems the UK and Europe has with integrating Muslim newcomers to be linked to the Arab Israel dispute. 

That quarrel is not our business. 

Anyone who backs either side without reservation or caveat must have made terms with murder. Many murders.

Many (most?) of the survivors from the Hamas attack say they want a peace deal with the Arabs.

I agree (for once) with UN secretary-general who told the Security Council that “it is important to also recognize the attacks by Hamas did not happen in a vacuum,” and that “the Palestinian people have been subjected to 56 years of suffocating occupation”. 

The AP published a news piece and then took out four paragraphs including these.

"If Hamas hadn’t converted their water pipes into rocket launchers, no Gazans would be be thirsty today. What that does to our moral responsibilities is hard to say – but it’s not nothing." Guido Fawkes

The story that Israel hit a hospital in Gaza City on 17 October is almost certainly not true (it seems only the car park was hit and probably by Hamas) but the hospital was hit by Israel on 14 October (they admitted it) and many more will be, barring a miracle.

Patrick Cockburn was one of the couple of journalists I trusted on Syria. Left-wing journalists are much better on foreign affairs than the centre right. 

He says there is no such thing as a precision missile. Every missile attack kills civilians. 

He goes on:

I agree with Emmanuel Macron who says a large-scale Israeli ground invasion of Gaza will be a "mistake".

Better to seal the border with Gaza to save innocent lives although, I admit, that would be interpreted by Arabs as weakness.


  1. 'the attacks by Hamas did not happen in a vacuum'

    "I believe that each of us, if we were born in a concentration camp and had no prospects to give our children, would be a terrorist".

    Giulio Andreotti in 2006, on the floor of the Italian Senate

    1. The wife, son, daughter and grandson of Wael Dahdouh, Al Jazeera Arabic’s bureau chief in Gaza, have been killed in an Israeli air raid.

      Footage aired on Al Jazeera showed Dahdouh entering the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Hospital in Deir el-Balah on Wednesday to see his dead wife, son and daughter in the morgue.

      He was shown crouching and touching the face of his 15-year-old son, Mahmoud, who wanted to be a journalist like his father.

      Later footage showed him holding the shrouded body of his seven-year-old daughter, Sham, seeming to speak to her as he looked at her bloodied face after the attack on the Nuseirat refugee camp.

      Looking shocked, Dahdouh spoke to Al Jazeera on his way out of the hospital: “What happened is clear. This is a series of targeted attacks on children, women and civilians. I was just reporting from Yarmouk about such an attack, and the Israeli raids have targeted many areas, including Nuseirat.

      “We had our doubts that the Israeli occupation would not let these people go without punishing them. And sadly, that is what happened. This is the ‘safe’ area that the occupation army spoke of.”

      Dahdouh’s grandson Adam was declared dead two hours later.

      “The indiscriminate assault by the Israeli occupation forces resulted in the tragic loss of Dahdouh's wife, son and daughter, while the rest of his family is buried under the rubble,” Al Jazeera Media Network said in a statement.

      “Their home was targeted in the Nuseirat camp in the centre of Gaza, where they had sought refuge after being displaced by the initial bombardment in their neighbourhood, following Prime Minister Netanyahu’s call for all civilians to move south.”

    2. The Israelis have killed 15 journalists in Gaza. Why do British media not mention this?


  2. MIA
    Oct 22
    I don’t support the killing of babies by Israel or by Hamas.
    I don’t support terrorism nor do I support war crimes.
    This isn’t that hard, folks.

    Alessandra Bocchi
    Oct 23
    When people say the IDF warns civilians to evacuate hospitals, have you ever been to a hospital? Do you have any idea what it means to evacuate hundreds of people who are maimed or incapacitated?

    Michael Tracey
    Oct 24
    The US is being thrust into a catastrophic war in the Middle East, while already party to a catastrophic war in Eastern Europe, and preparing for yet another in East Asia. If your main response to this situation is to whine about “woke” college activists, you may lack perspective

  3. Gad Saad
    Individuals leave nation X to move to nation Y: "Please, please let us into your society. We wish to escape the hell of X to be a part of Y."

    Once generously allowed into Y: "We hate Y. We despise all that Y stands for. Y is a miserable cancer. We will make sure that Y will become like X once we have the power to do so."

    Politicians of Y: Best way to address this issue is to increase the number of people from X.

    Ten years later: Politicians from Y are utterly baffled why their societies are failing.

    Good night the West. You had a really good run.

    1. Uncontrolled immigration is a symptom and not the cause of the West's demise.

    2. Wiki:
      "Saad was born in 1964 in Beirut, Lebanon, to a Jewish family. His family fled in October 1975 to Montreal, Quebec, Canada, to escape the Lebanese Civil War."

      The irony!

    3. An immigrant complaining about immigration... Jeez!

    4. Immigrants do all the time
      I do. Anyway he does not say all immigrants complain about the country they move to. I sing Romania’s praises constantly and only regret the modern EU and US inspired political correctness.

  4. Dave Chappelle | Space Jews

  5. Worth reading.

    1. Yes I already read that and think it most interesting - exactly what should be reported in the mainstream media and is not. Instead we get lachrymose propaganda. The mainstream and social media are the biggest obstacle to democracy, except restrictions on freedom of speech.

  6. Scott Ritter, who is on Russia's side in the war in Ukraine, speaks very interestingly about the crisis and about Netanyahu. I note that the developed world gives Israel carte blanche to do many things that would cause a huge outcry were Iran, Russia or any other country to do them.


  8. Perhaps the figures for deaths in Gaza are accurate, unfortunately.

    1. According to the Guardian.


  10. In full agreement, for once...

  11. In reality Israel is judged much more harsely than any other country in the world.

    As for Prime Minister Netanyahu - he has been very weak, but had he cut off supplies to the Gaza Salient many years ago (as he should have done) I suspect you would have condemned him.

    Paul Marks

  12. Fair and judicious article
    ISnt the Tory party ISraeli occupied territory?
    That is the problem
    Also close friendship between Mossad and MI6