Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Today's papers on Israel and Gaza

A clever proposal from Nick Clegg in the Guardian: "Brown has to stop sitting on his hands, halt British weapons exports and insist the EU do the same".

Excellent article by the veteran Middle East correspondent in today's Independent. "Why do they hate the West so much, we will ask", is Fisk's rhetorical question.

"We'll almost certainly have the Hamas-was-in-the-UN-school lie and we will very definitely have the anti-Semitism lie. And our leaders will huff and puff and remind the world that Hamas originally broke the ceasefire. It didn't. Israel broke it, first on 4 November when its bombardment killed six Palestinians in Gaza and again on 17 November when another bombardment killed four more Palestinians."

On the other side of the fence, Daniel Finkenstein in The Times writes that "Israel acts because the world won't defend it". Throwing in a reference or two to Bielsen and the persecution of the Jews during WWII, just in case you feel too strongly against Israel's current deeds, Finkenstein argues that "the whole conflict could be avoided" if only the Palestinians said "that they will allow Israel to exist in peace". Without the magic words, off we go with carpet bombing.

The Telegraph, quite measured in its reference to the Gaza crisis so far, highlights the worrying rise in the number of anti-Semitic attacks in Britain, citing "24 incidents since December 29". In a separate piece, Tim Butcher writes of 60 members of the same Palestinian family killed by Israeli strikes in Gaza.

Finally, a great article by Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg in The Guardian, "We must stop arming Israel" is the least pilatesque stance by any of our political leaders since the Gaza crisis began. "Israel's approach is self-defeating", Clegg writes, "the overwhelming use of force, the unacceptable loss of civilian lives, is radicalising moderate opinion among Palestinians and throughout the Arab world".

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