Thursday, January 15, 2009

LabourList: Five Point Do List for Progressives on Middle East

Sunder Katwala has contributed by far and away the most thoughtful, positive and useful post of Labour List's short history. How can progressives support those working for peace in the Middle East? he asks. And he has five positive suggestions:

1. Add voice to cessation and just peace calls including this one from Avaaz.

2. Support humanitarian relief in Gaza, perhaps via the TUC Give to Gaza appeal.

3. Get Informed. With a particular plug for a rather brilliant Fabian publication by Tony Klug:
'How Peace Broke Out in the Middle East.

4. Avoid 'Whataboutery' (Liberal Conspiracy) and reactionary bad taste (Mr GuF). Though I think the menu was doughnuts for doughboys, not pizza Sunder.

5. Promote cross community dialogue, as for example in this Asam Siddiqui/Adrian Cohen piece (Comment is Free).

Sunder makes it clear that his proposals do not require neutrality or even even-handedness. And he gives his own view:

Personally, I believe Israel's current military operation is wrong. I believe the Hamas missile attacks are wrong too, and want to see a cessation of all violence. I recognise Israel's responsibility to protect its own citizens, but believe that this must be undertaken in a way which respects international law and its particular responsibilities to the stateless Palestinians too, and that the scale of civilian casualties can not be justified.

I agree with every word of this. And agreeing with this I tend to blog to rebut Tory and IDF spin. Hamas are wrong but that does not make Israel right. Israel are wrong but that does not make Hamas right. Might does not make right.

ILLUSTRATION: From the UN Observers with any resemblance to a young Sunder Katwala purely coincidental.

FOOTNOTE: Whether through extreme moderation or general wonderment at this post there are very few published comments. As well as this first non- yah boo post LabourList has added a permalink to its most recent (yah boo) editorial. Tracking Osborne's pitiful slide towards the door. Perhaps they're listening?


Newmania said...

The problem with that is in effect you are putting pressure on Israel to pull out. In effect you support Hamas.
Right and wrong have little to do with it once its started and one of the groups who added to the likeliehood were the Bleeding heart left for whose benefit the human sacrfices are taking place.

Having said that Sunder is a vast improvment on most

Chris Paul said...

In effect I support Hamas? What rubbish Mr Newman. I haven't called for Israel to pull out. Though I certainly didn't think it was even in their own interests to do as they have done.

Perhaps there is a clever post on the matter at your own blog? Explaining your delirious assertions that right and wrong don't matter and that bleeding heart liberals are responsible.

The Klug pamphlet is excellent. Take a look at that.

Anonymous said...

not blogging on the stringer nonsense Chris?

Chris Paul said...

I may have something to say about grumpy Sritgner soon enough ... what is he playing at?

Dirty Euro said...

I am fed up with the argument that the right put forward that the left have to support attacks on countries if thet nations are right wing in some views. I hate the saudi government does not mean I would support nuking their capital.