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About helen

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  1. 70 years and counting

    Yes, it would seem natural to suppose that people who have known oppression would feel empathy towards others who are oppressed, but we know that all to often the opposite is the case and we hear of many examples of how the abused become the abusers. Israel has betrayed its founding mission of being a secular, egalitarian homeland for all its people and open to all Jews. Instead it has become increasingly theocratic, intolerant and hostile to outsiders even Jewish immigrants unless they are the right kind of Jews, that is the white European kind. Reports of hostillity towards Russian and African immigrants are common. It is interesting to see how this modern version of Zionism has struck a chord with the political far right in the USA, the alt-right, people not normally know for their Jewish sympathies. They see things in modern Israel that they recognise and can make common cause with. America’s mission to be a haven for the oppressed has been abandoned in much the same way, though not so quickly. Israel’s southern border fence was even the inspiration for Trump’s famous wall. When asked about it by the Mexican President, Trump was ready for the question. "Look at Israel," he said, "Bibi Netanyahu told me the wall works." In short what they see in Israel is an insular, white supremacist country of a kind they would like their own to be.
  2. 70 years and counting

    From a blog by Jennifer Lang, an American immigrant to Israel, published in The Wall Street Journal: “Israel’s education system is 99% segregated between Jews and Arabs. Even between Jews, your children will be segregated into classes that are are for the religious, the national-religious or the secular.” “Your community will be segregated, such that it will be most likely 99% Jewish.” “Those who move to Israel on aliyah (as Immigrants) enjoy more rights than Palestinians who have lived in East Jerusalem for generations, and many more rights than Palestinians living in the West Bank.“ “Israelis are tremendously racist and full of stereotypes for everyone that is different…. …Ethiopian Jews are “cushim”, the Israeli equivalent of the n-word… …If you are Ashkenazi (European), you will be expected to embrace this new invented “Ashkenazi” identity as an ethnic identity and encouraged to think of yourself as superior. Over time you’ll be expected to only associate with people ‘like yourself’ .” “There is censorship of media. Many “civil rights” people take for granted in the US don’t exist in Israel. You’re moving to a country whose heritage is closely connected to Eastern European-style Soviet policies, not America. It’s not “mini-America”. Disabuse yourself of this fact.” “You’ll find that up to 80% of immigrants leave (in the group that came in 2004 to Hebrew University with me this was the case).” Hasia Diner, professor of American Jewish history at New York University wrote in 2016: “…the Palestinian land that has been expropriated for Jews has grown by leaps and bounds and the tactics used by the State of Israel to suppress the Palestinians have grown harsher and harsher… …Nor do I need to say that the exponential growth of far right political parties and the increasing Haredization (rejection of secularism) of Israel, makes it a place that I abhor visiting” “I abhor violence, bombings, stabbings, or whatever hurtful means oppressed individuals resort to out of anger and frustration. And yet, I am not surprised when they do so, after so many decades of occupation, with no evidence of progress.” Yesterday Israel canceled its plan for the mass deportation of African refugees after it reached an agreement with the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, but Prime Minister Netanyahu's office said Israel will continue to address the legal status of some African Jewish asylum seekers in Israel. Mr Netanyahu praised an electrified fence running along its southern border with Egypt. "Were it not for the fence, we would be faced with severe attacks by Sinai terrorists, and something much worse - a flood of illegal migrants from Africa” he said. It seems even in the safe haven for the world’s Jews some animals are more equal than others, and African Jews are definitely less equal. I wonder why that is?
  3. Fools, Rules and Brexitation.

    It would indeed be an unexpected and unintended consequence if Brexit turned out to be the accidental architect of a united Ireland but I’am sure B Johnson would find some way to spin it as a victory. I can understand why long-sighted unionists would want to open talks now, if only to pre-empt a natural drift towards a Catholic majority in the north that might one day vote them out of the UK without them having any say in it. But, as someone in the interview said, they should ‘make haste slowly’. It is hard to imagine the hard core, drum banging orangemen taking it lying down. Who would they wreak their vengeance on? No surrender!… Never! Never! Never!
  4. 70 years and counting

    The partition of their country was a total loss for the Palestinians, they had nothing to gain. Why should they roll over and accept it? Who would? Partition and the two state solution is history. Netanyahu has declared he does not believe in it and he is in hock to factions even more extreme than he is. The colonisation of the West Bank is fait accompli and the Jews have no intention of ever leaving. They no longer talk of exchanging land for peace. Israel sets itself above man-made laws, the only times it behaves reasonably is when it is under pressure from the US, a country now with a Muslim hating bigot in charge and where Israel’s version of events is the only one that has ever been allowed. Rowlf asks what should be done about this Palestine situation. It’s a good question. Israel no longer acknowledges its existence, apart from the Gaza ‘ghetto’. It looks like their only policy is to keep two million people penned up there and will them to no longer exist. Trinity is not being fanciful when she speaks of the incremental genocide of Palestinians. It seems only a matter of time before I hear someone talk about a ‘final solution to the Palestinian question’.
  5. 70 years and counting

    You seem to have turned the last part of your post upside down, the Israelis were the invaders not the invaded, you missed that bit out. The 1967 war a belated attempt by the Palestinians’ neighbours to put that right. A Trumpish bit of paralogic on your part. By the way, should there be a comma after ‘Sir’?
  6. 70 years and counting

    The USA is moving its embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem today, 14th May. Pastor Robert Jeffress, leader of a Dallas-area Baptist church and a spiritual adviser to President Trump, is due to deliver a blessing at the new embassy at 4pm. Some have said he is and inappropriate choice. Pastor Jeffress has drawn criticism for calling Islam and Mormonism "a heresy from the pit of hell" and saying Jews "can't be saved.” Up to 2pm, According to Gaza's health officials at least 37 Palestinians have been killed and more 1400 wounded in protests at the border fence between the Gaza Strip and Israel. US ambassador David Friedman praises the “vision, the courage and the moral clarity“ of President Trump. Trump says, “A great day for Israel!” Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu “an amazing day.” War without end.
  7. What are rules for except ‘ the adherence of fools’? Lawyers acting for several whistleblowers have argued there is a case to prosecute the main pro Brexit campaign Vote Leave which, they allege, used a smaller pro-Brexit youth group – BeLeave – to get around the £7million spending limit by making a £625,000 donation to BeLeave before the 2016 EU referendum. In a 50 page submission to the House of Commons Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee they argue this money should have been declared as part of Vote Leave’s expenditure and have come forward with new allegations about how closely the two campaigns were linked. Lawyers for another whistleblower confirm that he was paid by Vote Leave to do web design and communications services for both campaign groups. Legal opinion submitted to the culture committee’s inquiry into fake news said: “We consider that there is a prima facie case that ... electoral offences were committed by Vote Leave in the EU referendum campaign and that these require urgent investigation so that consideration can be given to whether to refer the case to the Crown Prosecution Service for a decision on whether to prosecute.” Just a bit of sour-grapiness from the ever whinging remoaners? Or does it put the veracity of the referendum itself in doubt? Ministers B Johnson and M Gove have both spoken out in defence of Vote Leave. Mr Johnson described the claims as “utterly ludicrous”, Vote Leave “won fair and square – and legally”. After all, freeing us from nit-picking bureaucracy is what the Brexit is all about.