It was a long time coming, but during the recent trip to Israel I went back to areas controlled by the Palestinian Authority. A decade ago, this type of visit would not have happened given the upsurge in violence in Gaza. Violence in one area, raised tensions in another. Since the Gaza withdrawal and the rise of Hamas, this is progressively proving to no longer be the case. Why? Recent history isn’t the only reason.

Palestine as colonial construct

In 1919, as the British prepared plans for their temporary control of areas in the Middle East, they considered the southern regions of what is now Israel as ‘Egyptian’ because of the tribal affiliation of those living there. Take this extract from a memorandum on British understandings during the early days of the 1919 Peace Conference (Versailles):

Palestine Palestinian border definition

memorandum in National Archive FO 608/99

‘As to the southern boundary, there are a number of different considerations. On the one hand it is contended that the cultivable areas south of Gaza ought to be part of Palestine, because they are necessary to the subsistence of the people.  On the other hand this area is inhabited by Bedouins of the desert, who look really towards Sinai, and ought not to be associated with Palestine at all. It is suggested by the Foreign Office it would be a sound principle to include in Palestine all the southern country capable of cultivation, e.g. in the direction of Rafa and Beersheba; and that the remaining area south of Gaza and to the Dead Sea, should be reserved to the Bedouins and attached to Egypt since the tribes are identical with those in the Sinai Peninsula and the pre-war frontier is quite arbitrary from the tribal point of view’.

Decolonising Palestinian identity

The British cut the cloth for the mandate that was then given a name, ‘Palestine’. As a national identity, Palestine was a colonial construct whose borders were first defined in European cities less than a hundred years ago. Had the British not interfered, Palestinians would not exist as *a nation of people* today. If the British cut the cloth differently, then many of those in Gaza would wave an Egyptian flag. Had the British designed the Northern border differently, then some of today’s Palestinians would be proud Lebanese citizens. This is historical game-play that ardent anti-Israel activists should consider. ‘Decolonising Palestine’ doesn’t touch the Jews, nor the Jewish homeland, it only deconstructs the colonial identity the British created within the borders that they called ‘Palestine’.

The cracks today

Palestinian 'martyr'The cracks between the different populations become more evident as time goes by. A conversation with an Israeli Arab quickly highlights this. So do discussions with many Arab residents of East Jerusalem, people who exhibit open reluctance to return to ‘PA’ control. Arabs of Ramallah have become unwilling to place their relative prosperity at risk for Hamas led Gaza. Beyond a dislike of Jews and Zionism, there is little ‘political or national bonding’ amongst many of these populations.

This is often missed by visitors to Palestinian towns. Walk through a neighborhood during times of conflict and look at the pictures of ‘martyrs’ in the streets. Walk down one street and you’ll see the image of a ‘martyr’, a terrorist who died killing or trying to kill Israelis. Turn into a different street and a different image appears. Palestinian streets are families, the images are members of their clans. The funeral procession will not venture into, nor be welcomed in, another clan’s street. They are often rivals. In reality it is surprising how numerous, deep and localised those divisions can be.

This is not a denial of modern Palestinian identity, it is merely history supported by verifiable observations. It has serious repercussions in the search for peace. Just which Palestinian group do you negotiate with? And how many people do they represent? Does a signature by one group mean anything, when rival groups will always reject some of the terms?

In any event, for our group this meant that as Gaza marched to the violent tune of Hamas, we could head towards the calm atmosphere of ‘Area A’. The region under direct control of the Palestinian Authority.

Gush Etzion

Gush EtzionThe day started with a drive into the area of Gush Etzion. In the modern era, Gush Etzion was settled by religious Yemenite Jews. In 1927 they founded ‘Migdal Eder’. It lasted just two years. In 1929, as massacres of Jews took place in cities such as Hebron and Tzfat, ‘Migdal Eder’ was attacked and destroyed by Arabs. In 1935 another attempt was made, and Kibbutz Kfar Etzion was founded. It too only lasted a couple of years, as the violence of the 1936-1939 Arab revolt, drove the religious Jews from their homes.

A third and more substantial attempt was made from 1943. Kfar Etzion was resettled and three further Kibbutzim were built, ‘Ein Tzurim’, ‘Massu’ot Yitzhak’ and ‘Revadim’. These became known as the ‘Etzion Bloc’.

During the civil war, these kibbutzim were besieged by local Arab villagers and forces of ‘Arab irregulars’ that had illegally entered the Mandate lands to fight Jews. Convoys to bring supplies to the Jews were attacked. In just one incident on 15th January 1948, ‘the convoy of 35‘ (it was actually a convoy of 38, because three survived) set out to resupply the bloc. Thirty five bodies, many mutilated, were found by the British.

The bloc did not survive a single day of Israel’s war of independence. By 15th May 1948, 157 of the 161 people still inside Kfar Etzion were massacred. The other Kibbutzim fell and the area was ethnically cleansed of Jews. When Israel took these lands back in 1967, Kibbutz Kfar Etzion was re-founded. Many others followed. Today there are approximately twenty-two settlements with over seventy thousand residents. These lands are considered ‘occupied’ and the settlements ‘illegal’ by most of the international community. Given the history of this particular ‘bloc’, one could argue that view is somewhat perverse.

Building bridges that go nowhere

Until the first Intifada, there was daily interaction between hundreds of thousands of Israelis and Palestinians. In Israeli towns, in Arab towns, in markets, at work, the two communities experienced high levels of peaceful co-existence. People moved about with relative ease. When I first went to Israel, the market in Gaza was full of Israelis buying produce. Today that level of co-existence is nowhere to be seen.

As a result there are grassroots movements that seek to bridge the gap between communities of Jews and Arabs who never cross paths outside of the context of the conflict. All forms of dialogue are positive and any sincere communication is to be commended. Yet however much I may support the idea behind some of them, the relevance of these groups is often overstated.

There are two different types of movement. One type, is formed by left wing Israelis who are highly critical of Israel and have unsurprisingly found counterparts from the Arab side who agree with them. We saw a group of this type on the first day of the tour in Israel when we met ‘Women wage Peace‘. When I meet people like this I always think it would be nice if the imaginary world in which they live existed. Everything sounds lovely and the vision is enticing, but none of it is real.

These groups are always driven from within Israel, which is indicative of the problem. Regardless of how many Israeli groups of this type spring up, they will remain irrelevant for as long as there are not reciprocal movements on the other side. Without this, it is just a fringe group of Jews, and some of their Arabs supporters, blaming Israel for almost everything. Inaccurate, irrelevant, pointless and even self-harming.

Roots

With its operations between Gush Etzion and Bethlehem, our group went to visit grassroots movementShoreshim‘ (‘Roots‘) before entering Bethlehem. ‘Roots’  is a different animal and a movement of the second ‘type’. These are politically more ‘ambiguous’. These groups contain people who have ‘agreed to disagree’ and try to build bridges between communities by talking about anything other than the conflict.

‘Roots’ brings together ‘settlers’ and Palestinian nationalists in dialogue. I admit it was a fascinating experience and one of the few times on the trip my understanding was challenged by what I saw. Joseph Cohen from the Israel Advocacy Movement has uploaded a video onto YouTube of one part of the talk. Some parts could not be filmed, which is indicative of the same problem that the left-wing movements suffer. These are all Israeli led initiatives which play to Israeli / international audiences.

It was great to see this ‘little piece of farmland‘, but theirs is no more than a niche argument with a solid anti-secular underpinning. It contains too many awkward foundation stones to be anything more than a quirky idea, but it is refreshing to see Palestinian and Israeli in dialogue no matter how flawed the context. Yet Roots highlights another often misunderstood element of this conflict. Real co-existence is supported far more on the right-wing, than the left. But more on this another day.

From Bethlehem to Ramallah

As we moved from Area ‘C’ to Area ‘B’ and then ‘A’, there were some nerves in the group. Some of those travelling had never been to the PA areas before. It was interesting watching their understanding of the situation confirmed by what they saw. Big houses, clean streets, luxury cars. The more time we spent inside PA areas, the more relaxed the group became.

The first place we stopped at was Bethlehem. I have already written an account about the antisemitism we saw inside the disgraceful Banksy ‘Walled Off Hotel’ in Bethlehem. Having left Bethlehem sickened by what we experienced, we set out for Ramallah (area A). That city was different. In Ramallah there is no sign of conflict.

Ramallah is the norm. Across the 67 lands there are *hot-spots* that every anti-Israel activist is taken to see. A few points on the map where the disturbing reality of a localised situation is used to provide a distorted lens. One tiny part of Hebron is the most famous example of this. Hebron is unique, yet the word ‘microcosm’ will appear on every leaflet on Hebron handed out by anti-Israel organisations. No activist tour is complete without seeing a single street in Hebron and being deceived into believing that all of Hebron looks the same.

Hebron

The idea that this tiny section of Hebron is a miniature example of the wider situation is absolute poppycock and once you leave any of these deliberately chosen propaganda ‘hot-spots’, you quickly arrive at ‘normalville’.  Ramallah is a great place to go if you want to see how out of sync anti-Israeli activism is with reality. The only weapons are in the hands of the Palestinian police, there are many affluent neighborhoods, building is taking place everywhere and there are a lot of very flashy cars. Ramallah had always been my favourite Arab city and it has developed a lot since I was last there. We didn’t go to the city centre, but if you get the chance, it is a ‘must visit’ destination. Ramallah has a vibrant heartbeat.

Ramallah

Statistically speaking

In Ramallah we met with Khalil Shikaki, the Director of the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research (PCPSR). The NGO focuses on surveying attitudes on the Palestinian street. They work alongside Israeli academic institutions at times and produce detailed surveys or reports. We were in their offices for quite a while, heard Shikaki talk and then were free to ask questions.  It was an interesting discussion but my own obsession with numbers would never have been satiated in a short exchange.

Despite the current depressive trends that are highlighted (no faith in the peace process and exasperation with current leadership), immersion in the statistics that PCPSR produce can be refreshing. We can relate to and understand surveys, and if you can get past picking at a useful headline (‘x’ amount of Palestinians support terror attacks), there is a lot of  information sitting inside.

Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research

Rawabi, the masterpiece?

Having left Ramallah, we stopped for lunch in Birzeit, before heading to the new Palestinian city of Rawabi. I still haven’t made up my mind about Rawabi, is it a stunning part of the future, or just another white elephant built on sand, like so many mistakes of the past. Rawabi is a new city, it was the dream of entrepreneur Bashar Masri and so far the project has cost over a billion dollars to build. Visually, the city is incredible. A modern, well planned masterpiece that sets out to spoil those that live there.

(It is important to note that the BDS movement opposed Rawabi. For them, Palestinians cannot live in comfortable cities, they must live in refugee camps. Rarely is the cruelty of BDS so brutally exposed as it is over the Rawabi project.)

Rawabi

photo – courtesy of IAM

Rawabi, the white elephant?

But the big-name shops, every one of them, were completely empty. We saw a couple here and there, and there was minor foot-traffic in the pedestrian mall (outside, not inside, the shops) but this is not a living city. Something just seemed ‘off’. There was a difference between what we was being said by those taking us around and what we could see, and it all had to do with a missing population. We were told (when we asked) it was because everyone was at work, but that excuse doesn’t cut it. Only ghost towns have no children.

I know this project received a lot of support from the west but I cannot help but feel that may be the problem. The more I come to understand the history and the landscape, the more I believe western interference continues to be, as it has always been, more of a problem than a help. It does not matter how good (or bad) the intentions are. The situation between Israel and its neighbours will not be solved by applying strategies developed in Europe or the US. This is the Middle East and things that grow there should be developed from within. I am not convinced Rawabi is one of them.

The central truth of the tour

For some there was a feeling of relief as we crossed back over the 1967 lines. for me it was disappointment it was over. I miss being able to cross into these cities without thinking.

My take-home was a single underlying truth that was on show for the entirety of the trip. It wasn’t the free movement our taxi experienced with the Palestinian driver from East Jerusalem. Nor was it the calm we saw or the obvious presence of affluence. The truth is one we actually carried around with us everywhere we went. It was us.

This was a group that included key representatives of Sussex Friends of Israel, North West Friends of Israel and the Israel Advocacy Movement. Yet at no point did we look out of our depth. Yes, there were one or two minor flashpoints, but regardless of who we spoke to, we could communicate on topic with everyone we met.

The tour confirmed for us that our positions have validity. We can take what was say in the UK and without changing a word, use that same conversation in Ramallah or East Jerusalem.

Can you imagine an anti-Israel activist talking to everyday Israelis? Could they have a conversation? The answer is no they could not. Their version of events, their understanding, is so far removed from what is real there would be no common language. They would need to adapt to speak, re-educate themselves by investigating what is really going on. If they didn’t, then nobody would know what they were talking about.

Yet we could sit and discuss issues with those they claim to represent, and every note was on key, every question relevant. This was the true confirmation that we received on the tour. We live in the real world. As depressing as that thought may be, it is reassuring to receive absolute confirmation that it is still the truth.

 ———————————————–

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228 thoughts on “Beyond the great divide, a trip inside the Palestinian areas

    1. Cobbs and Denison would be more properly drscribed as key representaives of the dumber wing of the criminal fraternity.

      The truth matters

      1. Tell us what you saw on your recent trip inside the Palestinian areas Bellers. Any photos?

              1. Bel would not let the truth get in the way of some good Jew baiting….

              2. What did I see there Ian ?

                ” I saw the great blunders my teachers had made and I entered a delirium gladly”

                Consequently I am not a big fan of ” political education ”

                Solzhenitsyn got it

                What did you see there ?

  1. David,I found this trip most interesting for you and your compatriots,but this was brought to life and showed how ignorant are so many people who wish only to denigrate Israel,because they can do so as easily as using words like Apartheid and Occupation.Rawabi is a shame and perhaps reflects that the Palestinians are discouraged from getting out of a refugee mentality.
    I don’t know who Stephen Bellamy is,but he is presumably one of the leaders of “ignorance is my name”

    1. Mervyn, Stephen is a regular visitor. A quick search through the archive shows that he normally likes to be the first to post. His aim is to put a quick deflection in place and there usually follows an attempt to demean the author. By his own admission he has no interest whatsoever in the subject matter here but has some obscure personal grudges against certain individuals and normally resorts to copying and pasting massive extracts from his own blog in order to promote these grievances. Normal discussion simply isn’t on the agenda and you have probably seen that he has nothing to contribute to this article. You can draw your own conclusions from here.

    2. Mervyn – Bellend infests the Internet with his thick ignorant drivel, (a) with a stupid infantile blog that nobody reads, (b) here, (c) similar unhinged nonsense over at UK Media Watch.

  2. Counter chant this…

    From the River to the Sea,
    Pal-e-STINE Will Never Be!

  3. “If the British cut the cloth differently, then many of those in Gaza would wave an Egyptian flag” – but David, after 1949 they did. The current lunacy of regarding them (and the rest of them, to be sure) as ‘Palestinians’ has little to do with the 1919 Foreign Office.

  4. One get to learn more of realities reading The Onion I’m afraid to say.

      1. Chris Rogers – being the expert you say you are I would bave expected you to carefully demolish David’s post sentence – by – sentence. After reading your response above it is clear that you are a Jew baiting ignoramus. I’d stick to reading The Onion, if I were you.

        1. Norm (Garfield the Stalker)

          Your accusations of ‘Jew Baiting’, as ever are vile and indicate clearly what type of low life you are – I suggest readers look out for Norman Garfield in The Jewish Chronicle to gauge that he’s a perjurer and falsifier of facts.

          That’s said, and despite the lovely PR job done here, perhaps readers would be better advised to visit Jonathan Cook’s Blog – Mr Cook of course being a former Middle East Correspondent for The Guardian, who so happens to actually live in the Occupied Territories, namely the birth place of Christ, Nazareth.

          Nice try Mr Stalker, please try again with your Hasbara Trolling and mind your language, which is quite Antisemitic I’m afraid to say.

          1. Chris Rogers – One thing I am an expert on is what a Jew baiter is like. I have met enough of them!!!! Your sole intention is to attack and vilify Jews who support Israel’s right to exist. You are an unrepentent antiZionist Jew baiter and as far as I am concerned antiZionists are antiSemites. As I have told you before every time you post your rubbish here my antisemitism detector blows a fuse. Well done.

          2. “namely the birth place of Christ, Nazareth.”
            OMG!
            How do you know?

            1. How many Muslims and Mosques were in Jerusalem when Jesus was born?

  5. Yeah. Not for you this one Chris. David was there so the old ” oh no it isn’t” routine’s going to look a bit dim isn’t it? You could always confirm with Mrs Chris. Apparently she’s a Zionist.

    1. In spite of the tour being commissioned by the Zionist Federation it’s possible that David is being perfectly honest with this blog.

      For David is an honourable man;

      And David is an honourable man

      And David is an honourable man.

      And, sure, he is an honourable man.

      1. Dumb Davy your Islamist handlers don’t pay you extra if you just write the same thing over and over. You should know how it works by now.

              1. Dumb Davy – Lame, lame, lame. When I have an opinion I want to share with you, you dumb jew hating jerk, I will share it. Is that clear enough!

      2. No intelligent person would pay Dumb Davy for his posts because they have zero content, zero credibility, zero value.

        But there are lots of Dumb Bells out there on the sub normal side of the Intelligence
        Bell Curve and that’s why Dumb Davy continues to mutter.

        1. Edward (Trump voting Zionist)

          And what is your contribution Edward?

          Are you going to paint us an Hasbara pretty picture too?

          1. I laugh at your Taqiyya. It only works with morons like you.

            Every terrorist attack proves what a moron you are because if Zionism was the problem, then Muslims would be living in Peace and with respect with other people, but they are NOT.

            Happy Nakba you fascist pig. 🙂

          2. Vile creep Rogers is enraged by Zionists (people who believe that Jews are entitled to be free in their own country).
            That tells us everything about the pondscum Rogers.

      3. Davy (or is it Farmer?) continues to dribble his idiotic nonsense.

        1. Davy reckons that this blog is as valid as a Holiday rep. writing his own company’s trip review.

          Are you Edward’s feminine?? side?

          1. Well it was pretty predictable. ” I went to Israel / Palestine and guess what ? I discovered that I was right as ever !!!!! ”

            Nothing to see here.

    2. Ian,

      If I want white washes, i’ll come I read stuff here, if I want facts from an actual Journalist of repute, I’ll visit Jonathan Cook’s Blog, which paints a somewhat more realistic picture to anything painted here.

      1. No, Chris Rogers, Jonathan Cook looks to me like just another Jew hater……

        1. Norm (Garfield the Starker)

          Every single individual residing in the UK is a ‘Jew Hater’ in your book( unless they themselves are ardent Zionists), and as we have seen, your lies and deceit have been called out in an English Court of Law, which means your words ain’t worth anything as you known perjurer.

            1. What does Chris mean, Norm? Were you taken to court?

              The truth matters.

              1. Ms. Carole Swords appears to be as guilty as hell, from that article. Anyway, I thought I was supposed to be ‘Scoffy’ but now I am ‘Stalker Garfield’. Hilarious! (I could be both, of course)

                1. Norm,

                  Your right, its Harvey (Harv) who’s Garfield, memory playing tricks on me. Alas, you’re still an ardent Zionist, which means we can hardly get impartiality from you. We do get impartiality from Jonathan Cook, who’s work I’ve appreciated for a long time – you can tell how good he is as he was dropped by the NeoConservative Guardian for telling the bloody truth – as many others have been dropped, with two of them personally known by me.

                  1. > many others have been dropped, with two of them personally known by me.

                    Narcissist Chris, always quick to insert himself in the limelight.

                    You are pathetic. Do you walk around looking in a mirror or your cellphone forward facing camera for constant selfies?

                  2. Creep Rogers continues to spew drivel:

                    “Your right, its Harvey (Harv) who’s Garfield, memory playing tricks on me”

                    It’s spelled ‘You’re’, you pathetic illiterate creature.

                    “Alas, you’re still an ardent Zionist, which means we can hardly get impartiality from you”

                    Vile shit Rogers doesn’t like Jews having a free country (yes, you shit: that’s what Zionism means).

                    1. What’s a “free country”, Leah?

                      Only Jews, Leah?

      2. Chris,
        You’re only slightly more literate than Dabydoo dumb dumb.

  6. If you’re still following this thread Melvyn you’ll see I wasn’t wrong about Stephen and the value of his contributions. It does raise a broader question when discussing the Arab communities in Israel; namely would the article be considered in a different way if it was present by an Arab?

    As an example it would be interesting to hear about life in these areas from someone like Salim Joubran, our former Supreme Court Justice and an Arab. Readers may consider his view in a different way to that of Jewish author or a collection of obvious troll respondents. Perhaps it would be worthwhile to hear from Brigadier General Dr Badar Tarif, the IDF’s most senior medical officer and an Arab or even someone from the world of business; someone like Johny Srouji, SVP of Apple, Technion grad and an Arab.

    It may be that a testimony on life as an Arab in an Arab community may be received in a different way if it was presented by an Arab author or speaker.

  7. Further considering the subject here and the perspective that could be gained from an Arab view of the Arab communities I imagine that the opinion of Nawaf Massalha, the first Arab Muslim to hold a ministerial position in the Israeli government would be worthwhile. From the world of diplomacy the view of Ali Yahya, our ambassador to Greece (and formerly Finland) would also offer a balanced perspective. If a more artistic aspect was sought then the view of Rana Raslan, fashion model, former Miss World and an Israeli Arab may further balance the scales of opinion.

    I wonder what response would be attracted by a blog of this type authored by any of these people expressing their perspectives on the Arab communities.

  8. What bothers you more Bellers; the fact that we’ve had some or that you’ve had to go to the bother of checking up on it?

    1. Some ? First rule of advocacy. Never ask a question the answer to which you don’t already know.

      As for what bothers me most Thats easy. Its the endless stream of headless rabbits Gnasher keeps leaving on my back door step

  9. Never mind Bellers. It’s not as if you give a toss about any of it.

    1. Figuring out what I give a toss about is not your strong point is it Ian ? Maybe you should leave figuring out to those of us with an aptitude for it ?

  10. Bellers gold, copied and pasted more often than the massive extracts from your own blog airing your personal grudges. Why were you so bothered about so many successful Israelis being Arabs?

    1. Ian I couldn’t give a flying fuck how many successful Israelis are Arabs. I am more bothered about how the results in last Sundays fixtures in the 4th division of the Albanian basketball league didn’t go the way I would have preferred.

      Ian who are you selling to ?

      Oh yes the “readers”

      Good night Irene, good night Irene, I’ll see you in my dreams

  11. So you’re not arsed about Israel or Arabs and your only other remarks are predictably directed at specific individuals. As this has been your only consistent area of interest over the last year or so you can’t carry on telling us that it’s not about the personal grudges. You don’t write about anything else.

  12. Chris, do you have any thoughts on this article? Would you have any thoughts if a similar article was written from the perspective of one of the successful Israeli Arabs mentioned above? Would you attend a public forum in which they were the main speakers given your assertion that it is with them that you side?

    Bellers gave this a very wide berth as you’d expect but you’ve always appeared braver and more open in your approach.

      1. Please list the past 10 Presidents of pre-existing “palestine”.

  13. Is this you not giving a flying fuck Ballers? Make your mind up.As I asked before why does it bother you How many successful Israeli Arabs we’ve had?

    1. Speaking of wide berths.

      “Is this you not giving a flying fuck Ballers? Make your mind up.As I asked before why does it bother you How many successful Israeli Arabs we’ve had?”

    2. They would indeed be special and privileged to have made it in a state designed for Jews.

      Someone has to be the token.

  14. Nah, your double act has a life of its own; Scoffy & Bloffy has a nice headline symmetry and the personal grudge angle is a great niche.

    Anyway busy day ahead. Can’t be mucking around with you all morning.

    1. It’s a blog designed to destroy.

      Insults are just insults. Par for the blog.

  15. Richard, I think you’ve seen enough of the ‘contributors’ here to have managed your expectations appropriately. I thought that the following article gave a sort of insight into the tactics of the pro-Arab propaganda machine as much as the pay-to-post nutcases here;-

    https://www.timesofisrael.com/idf-vet-receives-death-threats-after-shes-falsely-accused-of-killing-gaza-medic/

    It must be quite a well established stunt as you will have seen Mr. Chris and the anonomafia trying the same thing earlier in this thread when they made accusations against a poster only to discover they’d got the wrong man.

    As Mrs Chris pointed out, since her errant spouse started David’s following has increased by 3000. Lets hope that he and his mates stick around a while.

    1. Following? Countering!

      Hence the volume of posfs and counter-posts on this blog.

      David’s methodology is to attempt an untruth or flawed statistic as a certain truth.

      Should it be accepted as an off-the-shelf fact his work is done.( a falsehood is halfway around the world before truth etc.)

      Mud sticks of course.

      Other blogs are factual, and so attract much less debate, but at least David and the posters are exposed to alternative versions of the truth. The seed is sown.

      1. “David’s methodology is to attempt an untruth or flawed statistic as a certain truth” – you sad, sad freak.

      2. Point me in the direction of what you consider a ‘factual blog’. I will happily and publicly deconstruct their work, through a blog post of my own. Don’t worry – I will give you the credit for the idea.

        1. You know to whom I’m referring.

          No need for credit, David. Lack your narcissism.

          1. No Davy. I am not here to play games with you. I want a blog that you consider ‘factual’. You cannot just make snide comments here, hundreds of them, without actually making an argument. I spend a lot of time researching and supporting my work with examples. You suggested my “methodology is to attempt an untruth or flawed statistic as a certain truth. Should it be accepted as an off-the-shelf fact his (my) work is done.”
            You then said other blogs have less traffic because they are ‘factual’.
            Which blogs?

  16. Richard, I’ll let you defend Mrs.Chris’s honour here. As a self declared Zionist she deserves better than to have her word as a lady questioned on social media.

  17. Can anyone picture someone holding nuts and trying to f–k them
    You are losing it Stephen; possibly because you can’t rubbish Arkush and the BoD in the same breath since he left that organisation
    Hold tight Stephen, otherwise you may fall off

  18. “Can anyone picture someone holding nuts and trying to f–k them” …… other than Richard Galber?

    Hasn’t Arkush just lied about Jeremy Corbyn since leaving the pro-Israeli group?

  19. Careful Richard. You’ll end up on Bellers’s “write up” list with David and me. But as the guards said to my relations as they entered the showers ” don’t hold your breath.”

    #idontdopersonalgrudges

    1. Is that you begging a mention, a sentence of infamy perhaps.

      The showers? Is there something you’ve been keeping quiet about these past 80 years lest folk appease you?

  20. And in sports news Apolonia beat rivals Flamutari in the Albanian Basketball league.

  21. Went bust in 2007 when long term sponsor Khalid’s Kites pulled out. The fire sale was amazing.

  22. Exactly

    But anyways given the option, would you rather party with the guys and gals of Jewdas or a miserable self pitying aresole like Arkush ?

  23. I imagine that a quiet soiree with you, the Chrises and the other anonomafia would be a delight. We could lay on some heavy curtains for the more timid to hide behind to enable them to speak without fear and you could play your mix tape of lovely folk tunes. How the conversation would flow if people chose to be normal and it was less easy to deal with an obstacle by just being a dick or saying “yeah, but my pretend cat..” and then legging it to the loo for 6 hours. Wonder who’d win in a fight between Mr and Mrs Chris?

    1. Nah I’ve been to a Jewdas party, the one featuring Daniel Kahn in Whitechapel. I think you would be much happier sticking to soirees with tired old men in suits that make up the Israelist establishment. No chance of anyone saying boo !!!! to you.

      Your old, your hands are grey, go home and stay, we’ve all heard your dirty stories.

      I.m guessing there isn’t a Mrs Ian which would explain your obsession with commenters wives.

  24. Asking you. It’s your word. I’ve never seen it before. What is it?

  25. Yes, Bellers. We’ve covered folk tunes. What is an Israelist?

  26. Wimp! Make up a new word then refuse to explain it.

    This is why your dinner party idea is doomed to failure.

    Mrs Stephen; ” LOVE !!! For the fifth time, do you want gravy on that?”

    I’m afraid I have prior commitments that night and must decline. I’m sure the Chrises will be on form.

      1. He’s still harking on about wives is he?

        Pity its Monsoon season, so have poor internet, as would be fun to engage. Not!

  27. Ha! I knew it would start trending. But you’ve done the gag at least 5 times already, normally as your opener to a new article. I’m well up for the shtick but lets keep it fresh.

  28. Mrs Chris; ” Don’t talk to me about weather Jean. It’s teaming down here and old droopy draws has had a right face on him. He can’t do his racism or any of his other hobbies since we lost the signal. He’s taken to writing long angry letters to a bloke in Israel, Crook I think he said. He reckons he knows him but he won’t answer any of his calls and blocked him on Facebook. To make matters worse I spoke to mum earlier. She said the weather in Tel Aviv’s boiling and they’re all going down the beach. Lucky buggers!”

    1. Ian, bringing posters’ wives into it is having the manners of a pig. But being a Zionist, you’ve shown you’re low on morals.

      Time for you to grow up, Mr. Kay.

        1. Yours doesn’t qualify, but you wouldn’t expect it to, would you David? You write opinion pieces.

          But then ‘facts’ I suppose could be viewed as opinions.

    1. You know you are so fucking stupid you think I have a problem with the question.

      On the other hand…..

      Who was the second Arab Israeli minister ? Who was the last ?

    1. Not telling you yet Its mildly amusing watching you ” think” . After all I know the answer to my question O ) So why should I give you anything until it pleases me to do so ? Especially when you are behaving like a complete fucking idiot ?

      1. But anyway its funny watching UK Iraelists who were telling us how wonderful Argentina was a couple of days ago, now with both their legs in one knicker, telling us what an antisemitic hell hole it is.

  29. Ha!!

    Sid Applebaum was spot on. What did he call you….”the Don Quixote of activism”.

    Priceless.

  30. Proper activist come-back that !

    What are “the hard-won freedoms” that you reckoned were under threat from the still un-defined Israelists?

        1. So group that currently only exists in your mind is threatening you in a way that you can’t describe. I see.

          I must speak to Mrs Chris immediately and let her know that she should be counting her blessings. I wonder if she and Mrs Stephen speak.

                    1. Does Mrs Stephen threaten your hard won freedoms?

  31. Stephen

    The only idiot is you
    You have never answered a question ever

    1) why is Israel a basket case in your opinion
    2) why a nd howq is Israel the most dependant nation in the world
    3) why and what proof that Arkush is a Tory voting, Trump loving racist (answers to each with fact, not bigoted opinion)

  32. David

    The most interesting thing about the comments from this particular article is the fact that not one of the usual troll(y) babies has commented directly on it
    Insult and petty slander have been their sole contribution this time around

    I found the content of your article excellent because it illuminated a side that is never touched in reporting on Israel; what goes on after the cameras and the media and the foreign adventure tourists go home and everyone reverts to real life, rather than the idealised and demonised caricature that we get fed internationally

    1. “The most interesting thing about the comments from this particular article is the fact that not one of the usual troll(y) babies has commented directly on it”
      Wasn’t really anything to comment on. Like a Judith Chalmer’s take on Paris, if you haven’t been there yourself you either believe it … or not believe it. Not everyone get’s a Zionist Federation funded jolly to places. Given the ‘facts’ concluded in David’s other blogs we take them or leave them.

      Insult and petty slander have been their sole contribution this time around? It’s a feature of his blogs. Both writer and posters indulge.

    2. It isn’t unusual Richard. If you go back to almost any blog you will find the comment section is used to deflect from the content of the blog itself. Posters like Davy contribute nothing and I am currently looking into comment section options. I don’t have time or inclination to moderate each post. I don’t want to close the comment section, nor do I want to ban anyone, but I feel increasingly unwillingly to permit a circus of deflection to continue.

      1. Whereas your pet, Edward, contributes racism… in abundance ….. and it bothers you not.

        1. You don’t get to decide what bothers me and what doesn’t. Anyone who has been paying attention to the blog knows both that I abhor racism and that I have allowed for a fair amount (not absolute) of individual freedom on this comment section. Thing is Davy, I cannot open up the forum to anti-Israel activists AND close it down to racists, because of the concentration levels of racism within anti-Israel activism. I thought it would help in my research. It hasn’t. Instead I have people like you who simply throw insults to my work but won’t link to the ‘factual’ blogs you cite. That isn’t constructive or informative. I am in effect permitting people to simply paint graffiti over my work without them needing to justify what it is they are doing or saying. I should be grateful to you, because you are the one who made me realise that the current situation is not just pointless, but self-harming (you and the various complaints I continually receive).

          1. And you don’t get to decide whether someone’s criticism of Israel or Zionism is as a result of antisemitism!

            Your refusal to give me your definition of Zionism is also not constructive or informative.

            Criticism of the veracity of your ‘work’ has resulted in your own insults too.

            1. Dumb Davy, It’s Davids blog. Not yours. David sets the rules, not some fascist pig like yourself.

              You don’t like it, then just suck your thumb and ESAD.

              1. But David doesn’t get to set what’s true or correct. Much as it may upset.

                Fascist? You’re weird.

  33. Stephen

    We know you can do it; we all know you can swear; so now we all know that you are a big boy

    Now answer the questions

  34. Mrs Chris; ” Yes Jean, we got the signal back this morning, more’s the pity. Old Cloth Ears was straight onto his Facebook to see if his Israeli mate Crooky had unblocked him but saw my page that I’d left open instead. Yes, all the pictures of mum on banana beach, mum at Carmel market, mum and Aunty Sheila at that nice Arab cafe we love in Jaffa. Well of course he saws his arse. We haven’t spoken all day and he went and got his old kite out of the shed and headed off with it down the rec with a bottle of 2 stroke and a packet of Swan Vestas. Men eh!”

      1. Ian,

        Your bollocks is beyond a joke. However, in the real world I note even the former Leader of the Conservative Party, Lord Michael Howard – who himself happens to be Jewish, has slammed Bibi for the massacre of innocent Palestinian’s in Gaza during the Great Return March.

        Do I take it Lord Howard is now a ‘self hating Jew’, following in the footsteps of that other renowned UK ‘Self Hating Jew and Antisemite, Sir Gerald Kaufman?

        Real World stuff Ian, not the whitewashes one reads here.

        1. no he hasn’t and no he is not. You are distorting what happened at an event yesterday and reading it with your own distorted glasses. Many people DO NOT UNDERSTAND why live fire was used, rather than water cannons or rubber bullets. These people are not soldiers, nor military advisors, nor were they in possession of the intelligence on the ground at the time. They are complaining because killing people is a horrific thing to do and we all have been brought up to believe every other alternative should be tried first. So when people die and anti-Israel activists call it a massacre of innocent people (which it wasn’t), these types of criticisms naturally surface.

          This was in the news THIS week (not that you would know it from the lack of coverage):

          The UK should “come clean” about its role in attacks on the Syrian city of Raqqa which allegedly killed hundreds of civilians, a charity has said. Amnesty International said it has found evidence air strikes by a US-led coalition were “potential war crimes”. The charity spent two weeks in Raqqa, which had been targeted in the war against the so-called Islamic State (IS), interviewing 112 witnesses. Both the UK and US said civilian casualties were minimised.

          Coalition spokesman US Army Col Sean Ryan said Ms Allen should “leave the comforts of the UK” and see how the forces are “fighting an enemy that does not abide by any laws, norms or human concern”. He said there are “rigorous efforts and intelligence gathering” before any strike to “effectively destroy IS while minimising harm on civilian populations”. Col Ryan also said IS fighters used non-combatants as shields “in order to sadistically claim the coalition is killing civilians”. An MoD spokesman said the aim of the campaign was “keeping Britain safe from terrorism” and the department has been “open and transparent”.

          He said: “We do everything we can to minimise the risk to civilian life through our rigorous targeting processes and the professionalism of the RAF crews but, given the ruthless and inhuman behaviour of (IS), and the congested, complex urban environment in which we operate, we must accept that the risk of inadvertent civilian casualties is ever present.”

          https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-44366521

          1. David,

            Nothing is distorted, unless you are accusing UK Newspapers of egregious Antisemitism by breaching the ‘New Antisemitism’ crap you espouse here.

            Further, I note with delight that now The Guardian’s renowned Cartoonist, Steve Bell, has had one of his cartoons spiked by The Guardian due to the hysteria produced by the ‘New Antisemitism’ tripe you and the likes of Jonathan (Scoffie) Hoffman produce on a weekly basis.

            It would now be apparent that any criticism of Israel is off quarters and not to be tolerated, which means Freedom of Speech is under attack by much of the crap you espouse.

            Of course, I was fully aware that with all events surrounding the Palestinian Great Return March that accusations of Antisemitism would go through the roof – as has proven to be the case.

            Anyhow, here’s the HuffPost, which no doubt, like Steve Bell, must be Antisemitic for covering this nonsense: https://www.huffingtonpost.co.za/2018/06/07/guardian-cartoonist-steve-bell-denies-anti-semitism-claims-after-drawing-spiked-by-editor_a_23453156/

            I wonder where it will all end David, particularly given the hysteria now from Saul Freeman, who proclaims he’s going to Israel allegedly due to the huge Antisemitism that is apparent here in the UK – pogroms no doubt!!!!!!

            Such a shame Police statistics, Crown Court Cases and CPS figures don’t underscore these crass claims.

            Still, do keep up the great work as it gets more surreal by the day.

            1. And a complete deflection by Chris.
              You are one of those who uses EXCEPTIONS to prove the rule. You speak in absolutes. Your working rule is ‘this example is poppycock, therefore all of it is poppycock’. It’s childish and simplistic.
              I note I am blamed for something going on at the Guardian. You have several hundreds of thousands of words of mine to choose from. Can you point to a few of these cartoons, people and so on that *I* have unfairly claimed are antisemitic? Or perhaps Jews I have called a ‘self hating Jew’?

              Or do you just come here to accuse me of stuff that I am not a part of?

                1. everything can be a narrow line Stephen when distance distorts. It is about perspective. There aren’t blocks or groups but rather every single person stands in a line on a horseshoe spectrum, with two extremes that virtually mirror each other. Everyone is holding the hand of the person next to him. There are always those down the line (on both sides) you would refuse to hold the hands of. Everyone has their ‘red lines’. The further away you are from a position, the more blurred the image becomes of those you are looking at. The closer you are, the more you see each nuance that separates individual positions. Thus those further left, see all Zionists as hilltop settlers and those further right see every criticism of Israel as the work of rabid antisemites. From where you stand it seems you are not able to distinguish distance between me and others. It’s okay, I put it down to a natural distortion rather than one of sinister intent.

              1. David,

                What are you accused of?

                I’ve stated clearly you have contributed to mass hysteria over alleged Antisemitism here in the UK by pushing the ‘New Antisemitism’ meme, which conflates any, and all criticism of Israel with Antisemitism. Remove this fake Antisemitism definition, one promulgated by leading neoconservatives, and you’ll find a low level of AS here in the UK – its not Eastern Europe and its not Russia, its bloody the UK. And if criticising Israel for human rights abuses is good enough for that other Welshman, Lord Michael Howard, then its good enough for me!

        2. Crazy Chris, HAMASS admitted that 80%+ of the dead were Hamass operatives.

          The rest were eager useful idiots, not unlike yourself.

          Happy Nakba!

          1. Edward (I’m A True Voting Idiot)

            Your racist intent with your crass sign-off is getting deplorable – however, as Hillary Clinton noted, you are indeed a deplorable if you did not support her, so, she’s correct.

            However, and as you believe how funny you are, the fact remains that 20% of more than 110 person murdered by the IDF were not associated with Hamas – which means 100% they were murdered, among these being at least two medics.

            How funny Edward> Do you laugh about the six million murdered in the Holocaust as well by any chance, for if you do, in many Nations you can be imprisoned for that crime?

            1. Crazy Chris desperately playing the “racist” card again. LOL!

              Hey MORON, “palestinian” is NOT a race. It’s a pseudo Nationality claimed by some crazed Egyptians, Jordanians, Lebanese, Iraqis, Syrians.

              BTW, just 2 days ago was the 50th anniversary of the1968 assassination of US Senator Robert F. Kennedy, by a “palestinian”.

              https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Assassination_of_Robert_F._Kennedy

              1. “palestinian” is NOT a race.” .

                Well spotted. Seems that you’re knowledgeable enough to know that Israeli is also not a race, and that many non-Arab Israeli citizens are not of Jewish blood, merely followers of a faith.

                Good to know that describing the vile state as a vile state is NOT ‘antisemitic’…… however it’s touted by certain folk.

              2. Edward – Trump Voting Idiot,

                The only bat shit crazy person is you old bean, still, must be lovely on Ward 5, however, rather confused how you can type when wearing a straight jacket?

                Maybe you have a Mac that you can dictate too!!!!!

                1. Crazy Chris, a victim of TDS – Trump Derangement Syndrome.

                  There is no cure, but we can all watch Crazy Chris’ descent into irreversible madness.

                  I wish a Happy Nakba to you and your loved ones, who care so little for you.

                2. Wow. Crazy Chris demonstrates once again that you can’t educate an old dog like Crazy Chris.

                  Crazy Chris’ IGNORANCE shows once again with his “straight jacket”.

                  F’n MORON, it’s STRAITJACKET you dumb shit.

                  The only good you can do is offer up yourself as a Useful Idiot Human Shield for Hamass.

          2. Hamas governs Gaza.

            Hamas runs the schools, the hospitals etc. because ig is the Government?

            Membership of Hamas does not mean that you are a terrorist. You may be a teacher and a member of Hamas.

            Only those with a deceitful, mischevious mind would assert that being a member makes you a terrorist, any more than working for Israel makes you a murdering IDF thug.

            Of course Israelists will twist anything to whitewash that state.

            1. Let’s hope the people of Gazastan overthrow the Hamassholes that have made Gaza into the Islamofascist Hellhole it has become.

              So too I hope the Persian people overthrow Satans Ayatoolas and frees Persia from the Iranian fascists who are trying to start WW3 to trick their “mahdi” to pop out of a well and usher in an Islamofascist “Paradise” that

              – hangs gays
              – stones women/girls to death over “family honour” slights
              – denies the Holocause
              – calls for death to the US and Israel
              – kills Sunnis and Kurds and Zoroastrians

              Happy Nakba to All!

              1. Think you’ll find the ones most likely to start WWIII are Israel and its Nanny, the US.
                Trump wants to be king of the world and control all its nations …….. thinks if he slaps them that all will capitulate.

      1. I see.

        But honestly you don’t have to work that hard to make your case. I’m really not arsed what you get up to. I’m only here for the banter.

          1. Is that a job offer Bellers? Does it come with access to your secret words and pretend causes, maybe Mrs Stephen’s recipe for kneidellach? Throw in an allegorical cat and I’m in.

            See. Top banter.

              1. I’ll take that as a NO to the job then. Pity. I’ve heard great things about Mrs Stephen’s kneidellach.

        1. ” I’m only here for the banter.”?

          You should try some, Ian. Ditch the perv.

    1. IHRC – Islamic Human Rights

      The Islamic “Human Right” to slaughter innocents all over the World as on
      – 9/11
      – Pan Am 103
      – Thwarted in-flight bombing of passenger planes with bombs hidden in sneakers and underwear
      – London’s 7/7
      – Manchester bombing
      – Car ramming on London and Westminster bridges
      – Lee Rigby
      – Daniel Pearl
      – Islamic SIS beheading and burning videos of captives
      – Assassination of US Senator Robert F. Kennedy
      – Charlie Hebdo
      – Bataclan
      – Bastille Day truck ramming in Nice
      – Death sentence on writer Salman Rushdie
      – Death sentence on Danish cartoonists
      – Boston Marathon
      – Pulse nightclub in Orlando
      – San Bernardino
      – Mumbai India
      – Nairobi Kenya mall
      – Madrid trains
      – Bali
      – Moscow subway
      – Brussels airport
      – Palmyra
      – Damascus w/barrel bombs
      – Halabja w/poison gas
      – Destruction of the 1,500 year old Buddahs of Bamiyan Afghanistan by the Taliban
      – Execution of gays in Gazastan and Fascist Iran
      -Stoning of girls over “family honour”
      – Near nuclear war between Pakistan and India over ownership of Kashmit
      – 8 year War between Iraq/Fascist Iran
      – Thwarted attack on Garland Texas by “art critics”
      – Luxor

      Any attempt to prevent atrocites like the ones above is an attack on Islamic Human Rights!

      1. Mrs Majid and I are no longer speaking. She reckons she saw a Facebook picture of me order ruggalach in the Abulafia Bakery with Mrs Chris and went mental. Social media ironically killing my social life. Hard won freedoms eh! Still, it got a LIKE and an ironic self aware Israelist emoji from Mrs Stephen.

    1. I think we both know that if I am there, I will be marching with the #Hezbollah

      1. As it’s the political wing,you could take the opportunity to discuss peace with them. It’s what Israelists seek most …. after Eretz Yisrael that is.

  35. When all the bollox is stripped away; all the sneering and posturing, all that’s left is two equally ineffectual and mostly insignificant blokes having a go at each other. I suppose that the Scoffy & Bloffy show still has a pulse of sorts and its good to know that it has nothing to do with personal grudges.

    #everythingtodowithpersonalgrudges

    1. It is no sin not to have the remotest fucking clue what is going on but it is rather dumb to take every available opportunity to highlight it.

    2. Personal grudges? As with David’s vile smear campaign against Jeremy Corbyn?

      Well, that was fruitless wasn’t it.

  36. “It is no sin not to have the remotest fucking clue what is going on.”

    Or put another way “nobody understands me except me” .

    Sid Applebaum was right. “The Don Quixote of activism”.

  37. So you’re sticking to your story?

    “Nobody understands me except me?”

  38. Careful Bellers. Dissing the god-botherers is harsh and a bit off topic for this site. Remember even they claim to have “hard won freedoms.” But like yours they’re all a bit abstract and ill-defined. Are they Israelists?

      1. “Windy Miller, Windy Miller sharper than a thorn,
        Like a mouse he’s spry and nimble when he grinds the corn.”

        One day you’ll see a real windmill Bellers…….

  39. Well, talking about Palestine and Palestinians, here’s the renowned Middle East Correspondent, based funnily enough in Nazareth, demolishing some more Israeli myths, you know, the myth that all are equal in Israel, or as George Orwell remarked: “All are equal, but some are more equal than others.” Still, lets put this in our pipes and smoke it shall we: https://www.thenational.ae/opinion/comment/three-rebuffed-parliamentary-bills-show-how-little-legal-recourse-palestinians-have-against-residential-apartheid-1.738581

  40. Ian,

    Who’s Blocked me and for what may I enquire, given you handg on every sentence I type on this Blog?

    Still, the next David post is a real humdinger – the hysteria is ridiculous.

    Again, where are the pogroms in the UK please, where are formal figures for all these qualified HATE CRIMES against the UK’s Jewish inhabitants, as from my vantage point, you have less chance of being impacted by violent crime if Jewish in the UK, than being a white working class bod from one of the UK’s numerous dump Estates.

    Maybe I’d better join the EDL and link up with Paul Besser?

  41. Mrs Chris

    Of course you will parrot what Cooky says, because you are his clone.

    The language he uses is as biased and one sided tunnel vision rhetoric as yours

    Just because he says something does not mean it is factually 100% correct or even true.

    Naturei Karta, a miniscule Jewish sect still living in the 17th century, says Israel shouldn’t exist , so every Tom, Dick and Harry anti -Israel and anti-Jew fanatic gives them massive coverage because they love what these dodo’s say, despite the fact that probably 80% Jews world wide disagree with their biblical interpretations.

    You and your ilk pick and choose whatever tit bits of fact (and fiction) you like a parrot them as the gospel

    Remember opinion is not fact, it is opinion

  42. Rodgers da bogle

    Maybe you should join them to save us this continuous stream of bigotted drivel that is supposed to pass as reasonable critisism of Israel

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