Saturday, January 17, 2009


It is not anti-Semitic to hate the actions of the IDF in Gaza and to feel incandescent with anger at the bombing and maiming, the traumatising and starving of the desperate people of Gaza.

But the anti-Semites, the conspiracy theorists, the stirrers, the haters, the bottle-throwers and swastika-daubers, the flag-burners, the extremists, those who fan the flames and hand out the leaflets calling for direct action and vengeance are out on the streets over it. Those who say 'we are all Hamas', those who send the texts swearing that 'asking the kufar 4 help is haram' and demanding that the 'Muslim Armies rise up' to drive the Israelis into the sea... they marched last week. Predictably.

The haters who camouflage their hate with their self-righteous politics marched in a diverse crowd of parents with pushchairs and pensioners and priests and protesters and students and Christians and Muslims and Jews and Hindus and Sikhs and atheists and agnostics and that crowd was at times 120,000 strong. The extremists are a tiny minority; they will always be a minority. Sometimes they are noisy, sometimes the media indulge them by giving them more coverage than they deserve. They grab the headlines, but they are not representative of the great majority of those who marched. They are bullies, knaves, liars and fools. I don't want their voices to drown out the peaceful majority. They do not represent me, or any of my friends, or anyone I have spoken to about Gaza these last weeks. I am particularly sick of extremists using Gaza to radicalise and recruit to their stupid causes.

Here's a police officer who was at the march last week with a report on it.
Here's FridgeMagnet's report on it.

I should have been on that march last week. Condemning the horrors out of hand is more important than my revulsion at those few who march with banners saying things that I despise.

Hamas are not heroes, they are a bunch of violent extremists. The Palestinian people are ill-served by such leaders. The Israelis are ill-served by their leaders. The actions of the Israeli military and the orders given by their commanders, the mendacity and propoganda of electioneering Israeli politicians, the putrid justifications, the spin...enough.

I know I will get shouted at by both sides but I no longer care. Violent extremism is never, ever the answer to anything, ever.

So I'm going to Trafalgar Square today at 2pm to stand in solidarity with those who are being tormented, terrified and killed. Everywhere.

Especially, today, in Gaza.


Blogger BB said...

ha ha hope you had a good one today. I like the link to the Policemans blog. They are going on about reclaim the Streets and everything over there. I am finding it very hard resisting temptation to join in.

Fascinating stuff. I was on the demo last week. I didn't notice anything I was offended by. There were a few idiots and some people up for a scrap but a much smaller number proportionaly were actually there to fight the police than for example on a lot of mayday anticapitalist protests I used to go on.

January 17, 2009 9:56 pm  
Blogger Andy Ramblings said...


It's a big media offensive, to the point that I just don't believe anything the Israelis say. There is never any reason to bomb, shell UN compounds.
The liberal use is WP over a heavily populated areas is simply a war crime. The whole Israeli should end up in The Hague.

January 17, 2009 10:59 pm  
Blogger DAVE BONES said...

I don't know why I am down as Claire, that was me dave bones.

I thought this might hearten you one of my Republican buddies found it!

January 17, 2009 11:33 pm  
Blogger Unknown said...

For another point of view on the police at this demo see Melville House Publishing. Thank goodness there is now a ceasefire in Gaza. The scale of the Israeli force used, including banned weapons against civilians in breach international law, as well as Israeli piracy against the medical aid ship "Dignity" on the high seas, sets a new low point in our collective inhumanity. With around 1,300 dead Palestinians, and many young children facing a life of disability, as well as many who will get cancer in the future, as a result of this offensive, a few idiots at a demo in London leave me personally stone cold. Today I listened to Noam Chomsky on YouTube and his sober and chilling assessment of Israeli government policy shows just how distorted our view of this tragedy has become. Chomsky is Jewish, so it would be hard to call him anti-semitic. Perhaps we can thank the Obama inauguration tomorrow for this ceasefire?
Another topic, Rachel. Hacker Gary McKinnon is in court tomorrow to try to prevent his extradition to the US. Perhaps we could all raise some support for him, as he suffers from Asperger's syndrome, and should face trial in the UK.

January 19, 2009 6:19 pm  
Blogger Rachel said...

99% of my anger is at what Israel has done, is doing, will do.

That is the main part of my anger. The other anger (small, but still there), is against the idiots who use this atrocity to spew crap and to try to make this all about them and whatever shitty political recruitment they are trying to pull off.

That many, many people I knew - who feel desperately anxious and angry about what is happening to the Palestinians - were afraid or unwilling to come out on the Free Palestine demos because of the violence outside the Embassies, the police charges, the being trapped in underpasses, and yes, because of some of the company they would have to keep on the demos is infuriating to me.

This is not a socialist issue or an Islamic issue, this is a HUMAN issue, a human rights issue.

And of course, what is also going on as backdrop to this post is personal to me: the long history of abuse from liars, extremists, fanatics, hate-mongers and conspiracy theorists that has gone on these last 3 years.

It sticks in my craw to march with people who have caused me and my family so much hassle in the past.

There are people who think the 7/7 bombings were done by the Government, that the '4 Yorkshire lads were patsies', all that idiotic crap, they turn up to things like this. They still write me stupid emails and comments and even letters which I chuck ignore, delete, throw into the bin.

I have written several times about Israel and Palestine and this specific post was about the demos and the violence that has been springing up, and the anger that is fanning the flames of some nasty passions, and it came out of frustration and despair

I naively thought that people reading might see that I am and always have been totally against the bombing and maiming of innocent people, (like, duh) and take my point about nutters and nasties on the latest marches, mingling amongst the protesters, but no, the shitty hate comments pour in, ignorant, poisonous, and f*cking wrong.

I'm not putting them through. You'll just have to take my word for it.

And this is why i am getting sick of this blog and thinking of shutting it down and starting a blog that is anonymous, like I used to be. I could write freely then, write whatever I wanted and it was great.

Right now, being 'Rachel North' is a bloody pain.

January 19, 2009 6:48 pm  
Blogger Rachel said...

Yeah, Chomsky was great, Gerald Kaufman was great.

Tomorrow I'm having an Obama day.

I'm sorry about the hacker and everything, but he isn't a huge priority: a conspiracy theorist who thought he could piss about with US military computers whilst they are fighting 2 wars and getting cyber-attacked from China and Russia - what did he think was going to happen?

January 19, 2009 6:53 pm  
Blogger Unknown said...

Rachel, I for one would be saddened if you did give up. We need every intelligent and independent thinker, who is prepared to stand up and be counted, that we can get. Like you, I find conspiracy theorists a bunch of loonies. So much easier to blame a secret cabal and read the runes, than to search for truth. It is always hardest to defend those that you do not have a natural empathy with. Gary McKinnon maybe an idiot, but, as someone who was at Autscape two years ago, I know a little bit about the Asperger mindset. It is an illness. One irony for me is that I have a good friend who is an Israeli academic with Asperger's. I've seen her have a panic attack, and know how difficult it is for her brilliant mind to live with perceptive chaos. Tomorrow I'll also be having an Obama day. No politics, just a celebration of hope. Following your blog over the years has been an inspiration. Please don't give up, you still have friends. Dealing with all the hate mail sucks, but your story is unique, and worth far more than all the idiots put together.

January 19, 2009 7:27 pm  

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