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Don’t be fooled by the march for peace Middle-class Lefties are enabling Hamas

Cosplaying marchers for peace (@HurryUpHarry)

Cosplaying marchers for peace (@HurryUpHarry)


November 13, 2023   4 mins

These days, the fight against fascism has become a lot more complicated, more nuanced. And, because of this, more dangerous again. The war against Hamas has given people an alibi to say the most racist of things, and yet to retain all innocence in their own minds. And the more morally certain people are that they are right, the easier it is for them to miss their own complicity. During the month following the Hamas attack, the Community Security Trust reported the highest number of antisemitic incidents since they were formed in 1984 — a 531% increase from the same month last year. And I bet my bottom dollar that most of these incidents are not being conducted by, or even inspired by, Stella-fuelled cartoon fascists.

I was in synagogue on Saturday morning, having been asked to speak at their Service of Remembrance. The mood was sombre. We sang psalms, read from the Bible, opened the Ark to gaze on the gleaming Torah scrolls. Children said prayers, the Rabbi preached a beautiful sermon about the need to pray for those held hostage, those murdered — as well as for all those innocent Palestinians caught up in this horrendous war. In quiet dignity, many of us wept. The Last Post was played and we sang the British and the Israeli national anthems, back to back, many in the congregation proudly wearing their medals. “How much memory do you need?” a shop assistant asked me the other day as I was buying a new mobile phone. Here in the synagogue, memory is not units of data, but a way of speaking about who people are, where they have come from. Memory is not mere storage, it is existential; it is the stuff of life itself.

Security was understandably tight, a police car ready just round the corner throughout the service. Afterwards, several people told me that they have removed their mezuzah from the front door, no longer feeling that it is safe to give any public indication that they are Jews. And it wasn’t the beer-sipping Port Vale fan who was uppermost on their minds. At another London synagogue in St John’s Wood, Jews were abused as they left their place of worship. Cars flying Palestinian flags wound down their windows to shout insults and let off intimidating flares. A Jewish home in North London had red paint thrown all over it, designed to look like blood. On the “peace march” one Labour party member from Eastbourne carried a banner with a swastika entwined within a Star of David. Another chap wearing a keffiyeh over his face explained: “Hitler knew how to deal with these people.” Others thought it would be fun to cosplay with Hamas ensignia.

These are not what you might call “micro” aggressions. And hundreds of thousands marched through the centre of London many of them chanting “from the river to the sea” — which, however intended, amounts to a call for the eradication of Jews from Israel. October 7 shows what Jews face when they are not secure in their own land.

But drunk on their own righteousness — not Stella — even the most well-intentioned are often complacently Hamas adjacent, and literally so, marching alongside those who feel justified to use the most glaring of antisemitic tropes on their banners: Netanyahu with devil horns, a Jewish snake wrapped around the world, calls to “globalise the intifada”. I wonder how many of those who carry banners accusing Israel of being child murderers know that the blood libel was invented in this country in the 13th century with accusations that Jews murdered the children Hugh of Lincoln and William of Norwich and drank their blood. Can people really not see the connection? Of course there were good people on the march, but good people can also be the problem, providing cover for those who manifestly are not.

The antisemitism of the hard Right and the hard Left is easily spotted and readily damned. But it is the genteel, middle-class, soft-Left, hand-wringing antisemitism — the kind that wouldn’t dream of saying anything crass or extreme — that has been legitimised, has become high-status opinion even, on the streets of London. Do not think that your feel-good liberalism or soft leftism is any sort of prophylactic against your antisemitism. It isn’t.

Perhaps the most chilling thing I have ever read on the Holocaust was Christopher Browning’s Ordinary Men. First published in 1992, it tells the story of Reserve Police Battalion 101, a non-ideological group of Germans, many not Nazi party members, just ordinary people, who were persuaded to participate in the extermination of Jews simply from peer conformity and a deference to authority. As Browning challenges the reader in the final chapter, if people like these could end up murdering Jews, who among us could really be so confident that we would have acted differently? The reason we remember is, in part, to remind ourselves of the evil of which we are capable.


Giles Fraser is a journalist, broadcaster and Vicar of St Anne’s, Kew.

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Julian Farrows
Julian Farrows
8 months ago

The far left and the far right are two sides of the same coin. I’m not so concerned by them, however. It’s the low-information, milquetoast middle-classes that are the problem. They believe everything they hear from the left-wing press but don’t have the gumption to read up on anything. Basically, they are Orwell’s sheep in Animal Farm, mindlessly repeating everything their leaders tell them without the slightest inkling they are being fattened for slaughter.

Caradog Wiliams
Caradog Wiliams
8 months ago
Reply to  Julian Farrows

So, you have dismissed about 20 million people as bad, or at least not worthy of having an opinion. Where on the spectrum do you lie? What about other UnHerders?

Andy Iddon
Andy Iddon
8 months ago

You dispute the media is all about donating opinion, or that many of their consumers prefer to receive said opinion with no further synthesis? …… er, OK. Could also add their resistance to dissonant opinion as a possible characteristic – perhaps the behave like “fans” or “supporters” of their chosen news brand?

Last edited 8 months ago by Andy Iddon
El Uro
El Uro
8 months ago

Yes, most people eat porridge from newspapers and television. Does this surprise you? Me – not.
The rest (well-educated people, I want to note) firmly believe that the label “oppressed” gives the right to people with this label to do whatever they want with the “oppressors” and their property.
This is what was previously called Marxism, simply cleared of all the husks like “class struggle”, “proletariat”, etc. And what’s surprising is that educated people can easily consume this crap like an exquisite delicacy. There is no need to look for a revolutionary class, just take any crap, fortunately it is always at hand, and declare it “oppressed”. Job done!
During the Russian Revolution, soldiers who captured the Winter Palace defecated in priceless Chinese vases. I’m sure modern progressives like “Just stop oil” would applaud them.
PS. There is antisemitism in what we see now, but no less, if not more passion of the intelligentsia to eat crap

Last edited 8 months ago by El Uro
Peter B
Peter B
8 months ago

Who’s saying they are “bad” ? Certainly not Giles Fraser:
“Of course there were good people on the march, but good people can also be the problem, providing cover for those who manifestly are not.”
But you’re correct – there is a spectrum and not simply two extreme positions. That applies in Israel and Gaza just as much as it does here.
I think there’s often a conflict between people’s emotional response here (often quite extreme) and their rational response. And that some people prioritise one over the other.
While I think the protestors are “wrong” (in the sense that their actions will not make anything better and they risk effectively supporting Hamas (whether they believe that or not)), I think they do have some value in reminding us that there is a range of opinions here and that we should not ignore the humantiarian problems here even if we can actually do very little to alleviate them.

Ian Ogden
Ian Ogden
8 months ago

Caradog,
Do you agree that the peace loving middle class on the march should have told the other marchers to be a little more dignified and respectful towards the police escort small as it was. Or should the quiet middle class have held their own march so as to show how well behaved British people can be on a march for peace. Personally I think the middle class needed shirt tails to hang on to.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
8 months ago

Have you you ‘gone native’ old chap?
You seem to have a bout of ‘jungle fever’.
Best retire to bed with a cup of Ovaltine, you’ll feel fine in the morning.

A D Kent
A D Kent
8 months ago
Reply to  Julian Farrows

Who is the ‘left-wing press’ here? Is it the one with the likes of Jonathan Freedland, Simon Jenkins, Raphael Behr, Matthew, D’Ancona, Nick Cohen, Simon Tisdale and Giles Fraser writing for them or someone else?

Julian Farrows
Julian Farrows
8 months ago
Reply to  A D Kent

Yes.

A D Kent
A D Kent
8 months ago
Reply to  Julian Farrows

Thanks – they’re all Guardian columnists, at least one an editor & all right wingers if not complete neocons when it comes to the West and our wars. We don’t have a ;left-wing media, at the very most we have identitarian war-mongers – people that in the US many are (rightly) calling shitlibs.

Andrew Fisher
Andrew Fisher
8 months ago
Reply to  A D Kent

It’s truly ludicrous to call those characters “right wing”. Your own comments are all too revealing. What has the “West and its wars” (the West responsible for everything bad in the world – Iran, Syria, no.doubt North Korea) got to do with this murderous unprovoked assault on Israeli civilians? Actually, no just Jews and anyone associating with them .

Last edited 8 months ago by Andrew Fisher
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
8 months ago
Reply to  A D Kent

The BBC, The Guardian, The New Statesman, The Economist, The Times, The Telegraph, The Daily Mirror, Sky, The Daily Mail, The Daily Express, The Sun The Beano and those I have forgotten to mention.
Giles Fraser is an architype middle-class leftie who has trayed from the true path over this one issue

Caty Gonzales
Caty Gonzales
8 months ago
Reply to  A D Kent

Matthew Parris. Who perhaps would not describe himself as left wing, but is the left wing (the Lib Dem wing) of the Tory party.

Last edited 8 months ago by Caty Gonzales
Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
8 months ago
Reply to  A D Kent

SIR Simons Jenkins please!

When you write a leader in ‘The Times’ claiming that the naughty British SHOT Mr Erskine Childers in 1922, knowing full well it was the Irish Free State authorities you will ultimately be rewarded.

Such is our deplorably corrupt system.

UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
8 months ago
Reply to  Julian Farrows

You may have been partially correct 3 or 4 years ago; but not now the people have “awakened” on mass and especially can see through the tripe and propaganda of the mainstream news.

Seb Dakin
Seb Dakin
8 months ago
Reply to  UnHerd Reader

I hope you’re right UHR. I think COVID and it’s aftermath has really brought home to people both how much they are being led (nudged, or whatever) and how badly they are being led. The mainstream media was almost entirely complicit in uncritical cheerleading of policies that they can now see were at least contestable, and that when it counted the media damned those at the time (“anti-vaxxers” etc) who sought to contest the narrative.

Mark Carpenter
Mark Carpenter
8 months ago
Reply to  Julian Farrows

You might be more understanding of the boring and stupid middle class in America if you understood how they have been manipulated and demonized in recent years by formerly moderate institutions like the New York Times, which is the most influential paper on the Left.
The Democrats in America are currently seriously divided by the Culture War, and it is the NYT that is at the forefront of pushing the BLM and trans agenda. 3 out of the 5 SCOTUS judges that signed Obergefell were Jewish, and at the time all 9 judges were Ivy League. Totally unrepresentative. This is why the evangelicals opted for Trump-they knew the Manhattan elite hated him.
ï»żAll of our traditional religions are against what the Ivy league progressives are doing. NYT’s First female admiral, Rachel Levine, has imposed gender affirming care on us, which is much hated but the NYT will not admit that or even interview detrans people. Much of America is quite wary of being manipulated at this point. We have already spent the past years being called misogynist, racist, transphobic and homophobic. Anti-semitic seems like just more demonization.

Samantha Stevens
Samantha Stevens
8 months ago
Reply to  Mark Carpenter

American here. Don’t like your implication that Jewish judges are a problem, Mr. Anti-Semite, or that gay marriage is wrong. Lots of LGB people want nothing to do with trans nonsense. Don’t lump all of us who are upset with left-wing Democrats in the same boat.

Mark Carpenter
Mark Carpenter
8 months ago

I understand that you dont like the implications. The NYT doesnt either. Anything approaching my narrative is censored. That’s why my narrative sounds strange to you. But what if it’s true? I grew up in Southern evangelical Church. I witnessed all this. Northern progressives have been blaming Trumpism on misogyny and racism-White Christian Nationalism. But the main thing that led the evangelicals to Trump was the the sudden redefinition of gender and marriage. They get demonized for saying that, but it seemed like a huge undemocratic cultural power grab to states in the South and Center. It should have gone state by state and then through congress like Civil Rights did. The judiciary is the least democratic branch of government. Trump managed to get three new judges on SCOTUS. From the evangelical perspective, he’s a modern King David.
The censorship and propaganda used to deny the deleterious effects of Obergefell and Gender-affirming care are tearing our country apart. It’s the denial and the scapegoating and the gaslighting that has eroded public trust. Calling me anti-semitic means nothing anymore. Just more demonization.

UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
8 months ago

American here, too. The only Jewish justices who voted or have served as Justices were Elena Kagan and Ruth Bader Ginsberg.

UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
8 months ago
Reply to  UnHerd Reader

Maybe Breyer.

Mark Carpenter
Mark Carpenter
8 months ago
Reply to  UnHerd Reader

There you go.

Ben Shipley
Ben Shipley
8 months ago
Reply to  Mark Carpenter

If I’d landed from outer space, I’d probably assume your comment here was an unhinged rant. The truth is that you are 100% accurate. We live in surreal times.

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
8 months ago
Reply to  Mark Carpenter

So all leftist have the views they do because they’re too stupid to form their own opinion and have been tricked by puppeteers controlling the media? I seem to remember the exact same accusations being levelled against more right leaning people who voted for Trump and Brexit not so long ago

Mark Carpenter
Mark Carpenter
8 months ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

You might try steel-manning my position and see where it leads you.
What the problem is, is that the democrats have been tarred with some really ridiculous stuff and are now the object of ridicule in areas that used to be bread and butter democrat. NYT used to be reasonable but got taken over by DEI and Ivy League SJW and went along with all the BS, confirmed it and censored opposing viewpoints. This makes it difficult for dems to get elected outside college towns and Blue urban centers. When the NYT prints stupid things. it does get used by Fox and every republican against democrats. I am a democrat but I know how easy it would be to run against a democrat in South or center these days. All you have to do is talk about sex change for kids and lack of parental notification. NYT refuses to discuss this stuff honestly and that leaves all dems in non-deep-Blue areas vulnerable.

Last edited 8 months ago by Mark Carpenter
David Morley
David Morley
8 months ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

As a general rule only we ourselves and those who agree with us are capable of thought. Clearly the others aren’t. Otherwise they would agree with us too.

Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
8 months ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

There is far more identity politics at play in the left.

Charles Hedges
Charles Hedges
8 months ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

Those who founded the Labour Party were men such as keir Hardie, practical tough, patriotic Non Conformist, Methodist and and Baptist lay preachers who wanted to improve the quality of lives of the poor. Men such as Ernie Bevin and James Callaghan would be good examples. The Labour Party wanted to to ensure people had a decent days pay for a decent days work, safe working conditions, affordable education healthcare, dry and warm homes, pensions. There were not interested in class warfare and were not motivated by spite and pettyness.
Ever since the Middle Class Fabians and latterly the middle class Trotskyists; effete, affluent, spiteful, impractical, unpatriotic , comprising a largely public sector clerisy who feel entitled to live in comfort and secure from physical danger, have taken over the Labour Party; they have introduced Cultural Marxism and Third Marxism and treated the the blue collar practical manual workers who undertake dirty, dangerous work in arduous conditions, with contempt.
From Healey( Beachmaster on landings in Italy ) to Rayner,Callaghan to Corbyn, Bevin to Lammy; shows the decline of the Labour Party. Healey, Callaghan and Bevin had the ability to earn the respect, trust and loyalty from leaders of all backgrounds. Healey was the best Secretary of State for Defence and Bevin the best Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs Britain has had since WW2.
Since Jack Kennedy and M L King, the USA has not produced leaders who can earn the respect of leaders from across all sections of society.
The descent into spineless, petty spite is symptomatic of people who have never had to make life or death decisons when others have passed the point of physical and mental collapse.

Albireo Double
Albireo Double
8 months ago
Reply to  Charles Hedges

Excellent comment. Thanks.

Alison Wren
Alison Wren
8 months ago
Reply to  Mark Carpenter

“Rachel” is not, and never will be, female that almost always requires XX chromosomes in every nucleated cell in the body.

Richard Craven
Richard Craven
8 months ago
Reply to  Julian Farrows

Yup.

Terry M
Terry M
8 months ago
Reply to  Julian Farrows

They believe everything they hear from the left-wing press but don’t have the gumption to read up on anything.
Hence climate “emergency”, mask mandates, lockdowns, vaccine mandates, open borders, etc.
Yes, leftists are sheep, merely wanting to be seen virtuous by the leftist media and universities.
Do not think that your feel-good liberalism or soft leftism is any sort of prophylactic against your antisemitism. It isn’t.

T Bone
T Bone
8 months ago
Reply to  Terry M

Have you noticed that the bank robber masks have become a Permanent fashion statement?

Paul Devlin
Paul Devlin
8 months ago
Reply to  T Bone

Yes! Some young black men in both sides of the Atlantic are going round with them on as normal headwear. Nothing menacing about it….

Keith Merrick
Keith Merrick
8 months ago
Reply to  Julian Farrows

You may be right, yet still it’s strange the way pretty much everyone feels that they themselves formed their own opinions by deep reflection while everyone else – at least those who disagree with us – are mere sheeple. I know how annoying this can be because I too, due to my preference for Brexit over Remaining, was often dismissed as one of Farage and Johnson’s unwitting mugs. In this view I wasn’t a bad person, merely badly informed and thus easy fodder for those who wanted to manipulate me. Yet I actually had read up on it and thought about it. So I’m left with two options: either I really am more thoughtful and independent-minded than those unthinking Respectable Middle Class sheep described above, or these people too have pondered their views, turned them over in their minds and have finally, after much consideration, come to the conclusion that – incomprehensible though this is for us – they actually do see the world as most Guardian writers do.

Victoria Cooper
Victoria Cooper
8 months ago
Reply to  Julian Farrows

Decided not comment as you have said it all.

Graham Strugnell
Graham Strugnell
8 months ago
Reply to  Julian Farrows

The pigs don’t slaughter the sheep in Animal Farm.

Michael K
Michael K
8 months ago

I visited Auschwitz a few years ago.
My visit left me with the realisation that had I been born in that time I could have been a victim there. Or I could have driven a train to such a place, informed on a neighbour, been a guard.
Nobody can truly know how they would have behaved in such times.

We see so many ordinary folk lending their support to terrorists because they object to Israels response to the 7th October slaughter.
I’ve yet to hear of any of these marches calling for the release of the hostages but at every one ordinary, nice people call for the elimination of Israel.
The same people call for the sacking of the Home Secretary for calling them hate marches.

Never again is here and now.

A D Kent
A D Kent
8 months ago
Reply to  Michael K

As I commented here earlier – you know what the liberators of those camps went on to do don’t you – they developed and codified International Law. Concepts like ‘proportionality’ and ‘collective punishment’ and the responsibilities of occupiers and the occupied – that kind of thing.

Michael K
Michael K
8 months ago
Reply to  A D Kent

It also includes not taking hostages, not using civilians as human shields, not building your command posts and weapons infrastructure in locations such as hospitals, schools and religious buildings.

Gaza isn’t occupied and the Arabs living in Israel – around 2 million – have the same rights and benefits as everyone else there.
You seem keen to blame only Israel for everything.

A D Kent
A D Kent
8 months ago
Reply to  Michael K

Quite so. Hamas are a dispicable crowd of war criminals – that’s why I wouldn’t have supported their genesis and propped them up for the last two decades too as those currently in charge of Israel have done.

Michael K
Michael K
8 months ago
Reply to  A D Kent

Funny how no matter what is done to them it’s always the fault of the Jews…

A D Kent
A D Kent
8 months ago
Reply to  Michael K

Sometimes some things are the fault of some Jews. Pretending otherwise is probably a Trope of some sort (although there’s so many of those around nowadays it’s hard to keep up with them all).

Michael K
Michael K
8 months ago
Reply to  A D Kent

Sometimes some people are just anti Semitic bigots. Pretending otherwise is probably a Trope of some sort (although there’s so many of those around nowadays it’s hard to keep up with them all).

Charles Hedges
Charles Hedges
8 months ago
Reply to  A D Kent

By 1944 10 M people were being killed in WW2 per year. The quickest way to reduce deaths was win the war, it did not matter how.
In North Africa both sides acted with chivalry and there was little murder.
However, after the bombing Warsaw, Rotterdam and Coventry meant the Allies did not worry about civilian casualties. Once one side decides not to fight with chivalry it relieves of the other side of doing so.

JR Stoker
JR Stoker
8 months ago
Reply to  A D Kent

Israel will never be acceptable to you, will it? If they had imposed a settlement on Gaza that would be wicked. If they allowed Hamas to run Gaza that is wicked too. What about the ordinary people of Gaza, under a dictatorship of crooks and thugs? That’s fine in your book I suppose

A D Kent
A D Kent
8 months ago
Reply to  JR Stoker

Neither of those statements about my thoughts are true. Isreal has a right to exist – just not as an apartheid religious ethno-state. Plenty of people warned them about their policy of bigging up first the Muslim Brotherhood & then Hamas themselves to thwart a 2 state solution – that’s what is wrong by me – is it right by you?

Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
8 months ago
Reply to  A D Kent

You know nothing of apartheid, do you.

Peter Joy
Peter Joy
8 months ago
Reply to  Michael K

Israel purports – purports – to be a State, not only subject to international law but with ‘the most moral army in the world’. Are you saying that Britain and Germany should hold themselves, and be held, to the same standards as the Provisional IRA or the Bader Meinhof Gang? I guess the RAF should have done as Israel is doing, then, and levelled a few square miles of Belfast and Londonderry from 15,000 feet or so? That would have learned the Provos!

Michael K
Michael K
8 months ago
Reply to  Peter Joy

I love it when someone makes stuff up that I said so they can complain about it.
It’s not the Israeli army who are holding their own population hostage to use them as human shields.
What would you have Israel do in response to the 7th October slaughter? They have to wipe out Hamas or face the same sort of assault again and again.

Richard Craven
Richard Craven
8 months ago
Reply to  Michael K

“I love it when someone makes stuff up that I said so they can complain about it.”
The phrase you’re looking for is “straw man”. Keep up the good work.

P N
P N
8 months ago
Reply to  Peter Joy

It is not at all clear what Israel’s critics can rationally expect the Israelis to do when they are attacked. Suffer in silence? Surrender? Flee the Middle East?

Or — most unrealistic of all — fight a “nice” war, with no civilian casualties? General William T. Sherman said it all, 150 years ago: “War is hell.”

There is something grotesque about people living thousands of miles away, in safety and comfort, loftily second-guessing and trying to micro-manage what the Israelis are doing in a matter of life and death.

Paddy Taylor
Paddy Taylor
8 months ago
Reply to  Peter Joy

WHY do you think Hamas use civilians as a Human Shield?
Hamas knowingly puts its own civilians into the firing line. They want the Israelis to retaliate and kill civilians in the collateral damage, because it encourages apologists and useful-idiots to try and draw a moral equivalence. Hamas tunnels are deliberately dug under residential areas. Its headquarters and bomb factories are housed under schools and hospitals. Hamas boasts of this.
They know they are less likely to be hit because they know the Israelis will be very reluctant to bomb a school or hospital – but if they do, well then, that’s even better for Hamas. They know their own people will hate the Jewish state even more and they’ll elicit support from the know-nothing, bien pensant Liberals of the West.
What would happen if Israel copied Hamas tactics? Who thinks a Human Shield would be any sort of deterrent to Hamas?
A Human Shield is only an effective deterrent to those who value human life, who have some moral code. Israel wants to defeat Hamas. If they could do so without harming civilians, then they would. Hamas wants to defeat Israel, but more importantly they want to eradicate Jews. Slaughtering Jewish civilians is the point.
Anyone who tries to claim any equivalence here is either ignorant or morally bankrupt.

Charles Hedges
Charles Hedges
8 months ago
Reply to  Peter Joy

Martin McGuiness said under Roy Mason, the PIRA were three weeks from being beaten. Mason at a meeting hit the table with his fist and said the gloves were coming off. Labour lost the election in 1979, and the PIRA were saved.

AC Harper
AC Harper
8 months ago
Reply to  Michael K

Indeed. The leftish middle classes are so blinded by visions of their own virtue that they cannot countenance ever doing wrong. Which plays into the hands of those canny enough to turn their “victimhood” into “virtue” and thus escape criticism.
Ceasefire and peace is a worthy aim… but not at any cost. A lesson the Israelis have painfully learned.

Samuel Ross
Samuel Ross
8 months ago

The ‘peace brigade’ were the same sort who insisted on ‘peace in our time’, when Chamberlain went to negotiate with Herr Hitler for the Sudetenland. He came back waving a paper and declared, ‘Peace in our time.” Churchill stated, ‘We had a choice between war and dishonor. We chose dishonor. We will have war.”

Pat Davers
Pat Davers
8 months ago
Reply to  Samuel Ross

Oh look, someone using the “Chamberlain” gambit. I’ve never seen that before!
Seriously, why do so many people insist of viewing all conflicts through the lens in which all negotiation or compromise mounts to “appeasement” and the only true course of action is total war until the unconditional surrender of the enemy.
The way it looks, many people’s knowledge of history is limited to the Second World War, and a superficial reading at that. ….

Last edited 8 months ago by Pat Davers
Karen Arnold
Karen Arnold
8 months ago
Reply to  Pat Davers

So how do you see it?

Pat Davers
Pat Davers
8 months ago
Reply to  Karen Arnold

How do I see it? The way I see it is that whenever the prospect of armed conflict arises, the default tactic of the pro-war faction towards anyone who raises objections is to brand them as a “Chamberlain” or an “appeaser”.
Armchair warriors whose only historical point of reference is a cartoon-like representation of a single event in history, seem to be totally oblivious, or even wilfully ignorant, of the fact that in the absence of negotiation what we are left with it total war, with all the death and destruction which that entails.
I saw them trotting out this crude rhetoric over the invasion of Iraq, and the bombing of Libya, both of which conflicts left untold death and ruination in their wake.  
One ironic outcome of our quite deliberate strategy of destabilizing the middle east was the mass migration of their peoples, many of whom have ended up in the West and bringing their grievances with them, as we can clearly see right now. In a nut-shell, gung-ho warmongers, through their rhetoric and actions, have brought about the very conditions which they are now saying we should all get all gung-ho about.
How do you see it?

Adam Bacon
Adam Bacon
8 months ago
Reply to  Pat Davers

Well said

Julian Farrows
Julian Farrows
8 months ago
Reply to  Pat Davers

The situation is different, yes, but the blindness to evil isn’t. Hamas has committed horrific atrocities against Israel, yet these are being downplayed or denied because it is more important to care about how jihadists feel.

Pat Davers
Pat Davers
8 months ago
Reply to  Julian Farrows

Whereas it might be true, that the pro-Palestinian faction currently has the upper-hand in the propaganda war, I don’t see how this relates to my objection to anyone being “pro-peace” being branded as an “appeaser”.
I don’t think people who indulge in this kind of rhetoric really understand what war entails, and that if there is no negotiated settlement, then the only outcome can be war until one side annihilates the other.
Maybe we really have passed the point of no-return, and that a peaceful compromise is no-longer possible. In which case, those who are ramping up the bellicose rhetoric from a position of comfort had better hope that the horrors that will inevitably ensue will be confined to the immediate theatre of war, and not spill over into a general conflagration which will affect them directly. The way things are going, I see no guarantee of that – quite the contrary.

Rolf Wasén
Rolf Wasén
8 months ago
Reply to  Pat Davers

With dictatorial states appeasement seldom works!

P N
P N
8 months ago
Reply to  Pat Davers

You will of course have numerous examples of wars being ended and long term peace being secured purely through a negotiated settlement and not following the annihilation, surrender or withdrawal of one of the antagonists.

Personally, I can’t think of a single war or conflict in the 20th Century that was ended without the annihilation, surrender or withdrawal of one of the antagonists. Even the IRA had to be defeated militarily.

Charles Hedges
Charles Hedges
8 months ago
Reply to  P N

The Vikings stopped much of their raiding when they became Christians but that took hundreds of years.

Anna Clare Bryson
Anna Clare Bryson
8 months ago
Reply to  Pat Davers

I don’t quite get this. Who in the present situation is standing in the way of negotiation or “peaceful compromise”? And the question of whether it is wrong (or inaccurate) to call someone an “appeaser” or some policy ‘appeasement’ surely depends on the precise circumstances.

Geraldine Kelley
Geraldine Kelley
8 months ago
Reply to  Julian Farrows

No, because we are afraid to face the reality of what is in our midst.

Dorrido Dorrido
Dorrido Dorrido
8 months ago
Reply to  Julian Farrows

This comment shows complete ignorance of Israeli history, Israel’s continued and long term oppression of Palestinians, the blocade by sea, air, land, the sabotage of the two state template agreed by both parties. Netanyahu has made it central to sabotage this agreement since he was first elected. It is widely reported that he made a point of STRENGTHENING Hamas in order to weaken the PLO. If members of your family were murdered, your olive plants destroyed, intimidated into leaving your land, how would you react? This has been happening and is happening right now in the West Bank, widely reported even in the Israeli press:
Amid the Mourning, Israel’s Settlement Enterprise Celebrates a Great Victory – Opinion – Haaretz.com
The Israeli government has been described by Jewish scholars as a Judeo Nazi regime, of course this will not be reported in the UK or US mainstream media, if that is what you depend on for your information.
Jewish History, Jewish Religion The Weight Of Three Thousand Years By Israel Shahak 126pgs : Free Download, Borrow, and Streaming : Internet Archive

Peter Joy
Peter Joy
8 months ago
Reply to  Pat Davers

Exactly. These meddling, bullshotting war-hungry disaster-mongers have spent 30 years and trillions of dollars and pounds of our money creating this atrocious domestic and international situation. Every opponent of the USSA or UK State, from Nasser to Castro to Ho Chi Minh to Khomenei to Sadaam Hussein (only after he went rogue) to Gaddafi to OBL to Assad to Putin is cast as ‘literally Hitler’, allowing the President or PM to preen himself as Churchill and decry anyone opposing an aggressive (and generally disastrous) approach as a modern-day ‘Chamberlain’. Their answer is always ‘more war’ – while they lecture us about the need to maintain ‘regional stability’! In fact, Chamberlain’s approach was a lot less silly than is generally made out.
For anyone looking for historical analogies, btw, Israel has a far right, ethno-supremacist government intent on the seizure of living space from a people it now openly regards as sub-human, or at any rate sub-Jewish. Israel’s National Security Minister is Itamar Ben-Gvir, leader of the ultra-nationalist Jewish Power party. Before entering politics, he was known to have a portrait in his living room of Israeli-American terrorist Baruch Goldstein, who, in 1994, massacred 29 Palestinian Muslim worshipers and wounded 125 others in the West Bank, in what became known as the Cave of the Patriarchs massacre. This man once condemned by Israel itself as a racist is now responsible for safeguarding the rule of law across Greater Israel.
The first official ‘basic principle’ of Israel’s current government, as laid out in December last year, is that: â€˜The Jewish people have an exclusive and inalienable right to all parts of the Land of Israel. The government will promote and develop the settlement of all parts of the Land of Israel – in the Galilee, the Negev, the Golan and Judea and Samaria.’ Or, as Benjamin Netanyahu has stated: ‘Israel is not a state of all its citizens [but] of the Jewish people – and only it.’
Judea and Samaria is the Israeli official term for the Palestinian West Bank.

Last edited 8 months ago by Peter Joy
Stephanie Surface
Stephanie Surface
8 months ago
Reply to  Peter Joy

I agree with you about the ultra nationalists, who are sadly a small part of the recent Israeli coalition government. Many Israelis loathe these people, but even the opposition has now joined the government to go after Hamas to destroy their tunnels and weapons hidden in schools and hospitals. There will be an election and I am certain lots of soul searching after the war, but no country on Earth would tolerate the continuous daily bombings and above all the acceptance of the constant threat of another massacre after 7.10. Hamas‘ Charter is quite clear about Israel‘s total destruction and the annihilation of all the Jews. Could you imagine any country hoping to have peace negotiations with a neighbouring government, (Hamas is the Palestinian government) whose sole purpose is to wipe out her entire population?

Last edited 8 months ago by Stephanie Surface
P N
P N
8 months ago
Reply to  Peter Joy

“If you are not prepared to defend civilisation then you must be prepared to accept barbarism.” – Thomas Sowell

Ian Ogden
Ian Ogden
8 months ago
Reply to  Pat Davers

I see that it might be difficult to appease a culture that is growing, a culture that is not to UK benefit.

Charlie Dibsdale
Charlie Dibsdale
8 months ago
Reply to  Pat Davers

I am not pro-war, being an ex-serviceman with 23 years of service who has some personal experience, I vehemently opposed the second invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan at the time and thought the operations in Libya were absolutely the wrong way to get rid of Gadaffi and help the nation recover. The situation with Hamas is very different. They are vermin who espouse genocide, exercising their foul ideology in the most heinous and barbaric fashion when given any opportunity. There is no negotiating with these fanatics, as any concession to them invites further atrocity and a heavier butcher’s bill to pay later on. Ask yourself why other Arab countries will not take in Palestinian refugees today, look at what happened in the past when they did, Jordan fought an internal war for years to get rid of them. Hamas needs to be eradicated, and then some magnanimity might be extended in trying to solve the Palestinian issues.

Karen Arnold
Karen Arnold
8 months ago
Reply to  Pat Davers

I agree that quite a lot of the negative effects on the West is as a consequences (intended or unintended, I’m not sure) of action by Western governments over the past 30 years. But I also think a lot of the antisemitism is being manipulated from outside the west.

P N
P N
8 months ago
Reply to  Pat Davers

No one is pro-war. That is a straw man and bad faith argument. Similarly, to imply that you or the Pro-Palestinian marchers are the ones who are a pro-peace is a meaningless platitude, for everyone is pro-peace.

Where we are divided is how to ensure peace and on what terms should we accept peace.

Should the Israelis just suffer in silence and accept the sadistic and sexual violence in the hope of peace? Should they leave the Middle East? Hamas knows full well that it can attack Israel and Israel’s retaliation will be fettered by useful id1ots in the West calling for peace. Hamas knows it need not pay the full price for its horrific actions.

“If you are not prepared to defend civilisation, you must be prepared to accept barbarism.” – Thomas Sowell

William Edward Henry Appleby
William Edward Henry Appleby
8 months ago
Reply to  Pat Davers

Also, the Reductio ad Hitlerum fallacy.

P N
P N
8 months ago

It’s not a fallacy, it’s just a rule.

John Tyler
John Tyler
8 months ago
Reply to  Pat Davers

Churchill said , ‘You can’t negotiate with a tiger while your head is in its mouth.’ Hamas are solely interested in killing Jews (and all opposition) and only ever pretend to negotiate when they need to resupply their Iranian arsenal. Bullies and psychopaths never,NEVER respond constructively to morality or reason.

Peter Joy
Peter Joy
8 months ago
Reply to  John Tyler

One could much the same about the current Israeli government, which also contains a good many bullies and psychopaths.

Dorrido Dorrido
Dorrido Dorrido
8 months ago
Reply to  John Tyler

This is total BS and shows ignorance of history – or wilful propaganda, as is well known, Israel is a master of propaganda, presenting itself as the victim while massacring Palestinians. Hamas was elected in 2006, not on a campaign of eradicating Israel, but to GOVERN. When they were elected, Israel and the US proceded to blocade Gaza and punish the people of Gaza. The current Israeli government is an ethno supremicist government – its Defence minister has 8 criminal convictions, among which for support to terrorist organisations and incitement to racism. The Israeli government has used genocidal language reminiscent of the Rwanda massacre, and has murdered 12,000 Gazans in a bloodlust of hatred; it is not attempting to save the hostages, and may already have bombed them as nowhere is safe in Gaza. In the mezantime, while eyes are on Gaza, Israeli settler militias are on the rampage in the West Bank, attacking and killing Palestinians. The Israeli regime has been described by Jewish scholars as a Judeo Nazi regime, reported in the Israeli press, but never in Unherd or other mainstream media in the West
Amid the Mourning, Israel’s Settlement Enterprise Celebrates a Great Victory – Opinion – Haaretz.com

Jewish History, Jewish Religion The Weight Of Three Thousand Years By Israel Shahak 126pgs : Free Download, Borrow, and Streaming : Internet Archive

Charles Hedges
Charles Hedges
8 months ago
Reply to  Pat Davers

Hamas to longer demand destruction of Israel and release hostages may persuade Israel to halt the war.

A D Kent
A D Kent
8 months ago
Reply to  Samuel Ross

OK then Samual, if we’re playing the SWW game I’ll raise you the fact that it was those who went through it, who saw the horrors, who liberated and treated those in the death-camps, who ordered the fire and nuclear bombings in order to win who then went on to codify such things as collective punishment & proportionality into a thing called International Law. You may have heard of a couple of them – Harry Truman & Dwight Eisenhower. But yeah the only lesson we should learn is the Chamberlain one.

Martin Bollis
Martin Bollis
8 months ago
Reply to  A D Kent

Harry and Dwight having broken all of those principles to beat an enemy who would have laughed at them.
An enemy that literally posed an existential threat to the Jewish people. Ring any bells?

The argument against Israel’s actions isn’t moral, it’s strategic. They are doing what their enemies wanted them to do. Enemies only interested in generating hatred and discord. Enemies with whole armies of useful idiots across the world.

A D Kent
A D Kent
8 months ago
Reply to  Martin Bollis

Actually the argument is both moral and strategic. The latter for the reasons you stated, but the morality is clear to most of us too. Israel have been guilty of breeches of International Law for decades (indeed have so far been the only state found guilty by the ICJ for breeches of the right to defend themselves (as they were in 2004 with the construction of their wall). That the successors of Truman & Eisenhower have routinely vetoed them from facing any tangible repercussions does not detract from that fact.

Martin Bollis
Martin Bollis
8 months ago
Reply to  A D Kent

I don’t dispute the Israeli state is guilty of transgressing our modern idea of morality many times. We can trade tales about the lack of morality of Hamas, ISIS, and all their fellow travellers, grifters like Netanyahu, the pograms in Arab states (Farhud etc.) ad nauseum.

My personal morality doesn’t think much of using personal violence to solve disagreements. I suspect such principles would rapidly become irrelevant if someone was trying to kill me.

Israel’s struggle is existential. They’ve concluded they can’t deal with people like Hamas who don’t share our morality (just as AH didn’t.) The morality arguments are irrelevant other than to justify the useful idiots. The only pertinent question is whether what Israel is doing is strategically sound. It may prove not to be if said armies of useful idiots are able to influence the governments of Israel’s key strategic allies.

Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
8 months ago
Reply to  Martin Bollis

Don’t you think the US and UK have transgressed the modern idea of morality it that is what you are saying the Israelis have done. The US and the UK are far worse.

Martin Bollis
Martin Bollis
8 months ago

I’m sure you’re right. Realpolitik isn’t a moral matter. The subsequent rationalisations are where the morality play comes in.

JR Stoker
JR Stoker
8 months ago
Reply to  A D Kent

That says a lot more about ICJ than it does about Israel

Dougie Undersub
Dougie Undersub
8 months ago
Reply to  A D Kent

It’s breaches, not breeches.
More seriously, your faith in international law is touching but misguided. International law isn’t really law at all. There is no enforcement and no sanctions. Rather than law, it is in reality just a set of agreements between nations. Nations can withdraw their agreement as they can with any treaty. Those who choose to ignore it – Putin, Netanyahu perhaps – laugh in your face.
When survival is at stake, people – and nations – do whatever is necessary.

Richard Craven
Richard Craven
8 months ago
Reply to  A D Kent

After 7 October, Israel would have to be insane not to build maximal physical barriers between themselves and Gaza.

Terry M
Terry M
8 months ago
Reply to  Richard Craven

I expect that is precisely what they are doing in the northern portion of Gaza, clearing away a ‘demilitarized zone’. They would be wise to sew it with mines as well.

Guy Pigache
Guy Pigache
8 months ago
Reply to  A D Kent

The Israelis could draw a parralel to their current progress in Gaza and D Day. WW2 was yet to be wo . The things you laud the Allies for where after the unconditional surrender of Germany and Japan.

D Glover
D Glover
8 months ago
Reply to  Samuel Ross

There is a rational case to be made for Chamberlain’s ‘appeasement’.
The British military had been run down, especially the RAF. The appeasement bought time for re-armament.
We could have gone to war over the Sudetenland, but imagine the Battle of Britain fought two years earlier than it was. Gloster Gladiator biplanes chasing Dorniers.

Peter Joy
Peter Joy
8 months ago
Reply to  D Glover

Also, the public would not have accepted it. After 14-18, war had to be a last resort, and be seen to be a last resort.

Last edited 8 months ago by Peter Joy
JR Stoker
JR Stoker
8 months ago
Reply to  D Glover

That is the classic Chamberlain defence, and there is a little merit in it (though it also allowed Germany to rearm even more). But a study of Chamberlain’s speeches, letters, and notes, does not in any way suggest that is why he was so determined to reach a concorde with Germany. He was scarred by WW1 and did not want that slaughter again. Which again is a morally defensible position, but as a strategy a disaster.

D Glover
D Glover
8 months ago
Reply to  JR Stoker

A fair reply.
So, with the advantage of hindsight, what would you have done? Stand up to Hitler in 1938 without any cover from any allies? Hold off as long as possible? It’s not an easy one, is it?

Last edited 8 months ago by D Glover
John Williams
John Williams
8 months ago
Reply to  D Glover

There are those who argue that France alone could easily have sent the Germans packing in 1934 when the under strength Wehrmacht invaded the Ruhr.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
8 months ago
Reply to  John Williams

No chance, the French had, to lapse into the vernacular, lost ‘ their bottle’ thanks to 1.4 dead in WWI.
Incidentally twice the UK’s figures.

JR Stoker
JR Stoker
8 months ago
Reply to  D Glover

That is a very difficult question; but I think a considerably tougher line against Mr H would have at least slowed him down. Chirchill and Eden would certainly have formulated a much stronger defensive strategy. To have fought earlier would have been strategically advantageous but politically domestically probably impossible.

Dorrido Dorrido
Dorrido Dorrido
8 months ago
Reply to  Samuel Ross

Herr Hitler is Herr Netanyahu, committing genocide in plain sight, protected by the West with their pretense to support democracy; at the same time as israel is launching a barbaric assault on Gaza which has killed 11,000 people, mostly women and children, displacing 1.5 million people – all war crimes. It is Orwellian to deny what we all see happening before our eyes, and swallow Israeli propaganda. Where is the humanity?
(11) The Chris Hedges Report with Code Pink activist Medea Benjamin on the stranglehold the Israel lobby has over our political system and how it blocks a ceasefire resolution in Congress. (substack.com)
How Netanyahu’s Hamas policy came back to haunt him — and Israel | CBC News
Jewish History, Jewish Religion The Weight Of Three Thousand Years By Israel Shahak 126pgs : Free Download, Borrow, and Streaming : Internet Archive

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
8 months ago

You seem to have LOST your sense of proportion with that rant.
Better luck next time.

Eleanor Barlow
Eleanor Barlow
8 months ago
Reply to  Samuel Ross

Britain was not yet equipped to go to war with Germany at the time that the deal was made over Sudetenland. If we had declared war on Germany over Sudetenland, we probably would have been invaded. ‘Peace in our Time’ bought us time to prepare, to increase arms manufacture and plan for evacuation. It was all very easy for Churchill to cry ‘dishonour’ when he wasn’t the guy in the hot seat at the time. He was just doing a bit of virtue signalling.

Anna Clare Bryson
Anna Clare Bryson
8 months ago
Reply to  Eleanor Barlow

Munich delivered to Hitler a third of the arms manufacturing capacity of Europe, without a fight.

JR Stoker
JR Stoker
8 months ago

That’s a very good point, and one rarely mentioned. Austria and Czechoslovakia had very significant arms manufacturing capability which was handed to the Germans

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
8 months ago
Reply to  Eleanor Barlow

Churchill, despite his limited academic ability, was a virtue/vanity signaller par excellence!

‘We’ have been paying for it ever since,

JR Stoker
JR Stoker
8 months ago
Reply to  Eleanor Barlow

Britain in 1937 was in a better position for war than Germany, but was then rapidly overtaken. I know yours is the current revisionist position, but it is just not true

CF Hankinson
CF Hankinson
8 months ago

I found myself, a disenfranchised old leftie, largely agreeing with Giles Fraser.
My instincts recoiled at the knee jerk response by the MSM of the ‘cenotaph defenders’ as ‘football hooligans!’ Just over a hundred years ago they were the ones sent boarding the trains to the Front never to return, and then again in in ‘39
believing they were fighting for Eng(er)land. The unknown soldiers. Canon fodder. Yes they were drunk, they were uncouth, they wanted to fight. But the knee jerk snobbery, the complacency, nothing has changed. The lack of investment … They may be ignorant? And definitely drunk but no respect for the ggrandsons of most of the fallen in the two world wars fighting for a country they thought they were defending? They feel invaded. They are invalidated.
And as for the seductive calling for the ceasefire the marchers are calling for, wasn’t it a ceasefire they were under when Hamas attacked? How immediately the Jews were accused of being careless and unprepared for such an attack. You remember how they were accused of so meekly walking into the gas chambers?
I do believe that Israelis will fight to the death to survive and I believe Hamas will fight to the death to destroy.
My head is still reeling at why the horrendous attack by Hamas should have sparked anti-semitism. How does that equate?
All of my ‘tribe’ were on the march. And I realise how comforting being on the Left used to be. Not any more. I don’t know what will be forged from this crucible but it will not be old and familiar it will break the old molds and dare to challenge them. But I kid myself, it looks like checkmate. What fools we have been. And how mute we have become.
I no longer read The Guardian, or trust the BBC, the canary sang when misogyny reached such heights that even the word woman was seen as incendiary. The capture in all our seats of power has been taken without force.

William Amos
William Amos
8 months ago
Reply to  CF Hankinson

Sometimes i wonder if the Highland Clearances aren’t a relevant paradigm here. The wild and obstinate Duinewassals who are stubbornly refusing to be replaced by sheep on their ancestral land.
The old retainers are, after all, no better than they ought to be. The primitive Fyrd, the lingering remnant of that unsavoury crowd of fighting men that the ruling class once used to enlist to paint the world pink are now a whispered embarrassment to a trans-national, disbounded, dis-embordered clerisy who simply have no use for them now.
They are, perhaps, the last tardy generation brought up to feel, instinctively, the power of that other epitaph of Remembrance ‘These were our sons which died for our lands”
Poor fools, they really believed that their fathers fathers fought and died so that they might agree in the words of the late Queen at her coronation and ‘Cherish our own way of life”
Perhaps they were the last, at the last, to feel the far-famed, unsentimental efficiency of those who have the direction of old Perfidious Albion.
Tommy, this and Tommy that and Tommy ow’s yer soul…
Words, mere words.

Last edited 8 months ago by William Amos
Andy Iddon
Andy Iddon
8 months ago
Reply to  CF Hankinson

Yes. It’s basically class war – it’s at the root of a lot of british problems. It’s the institutionally wealthy who wage it and the masses it is waged upon.

Albert McGloan
Albert McGloan
8 months ago
Reply to  Andy Iddon

Yes, but whereas the middling class used to need the poor to work in their factories now they despise them utterly and want to simply not exist.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
8 months ago
Reply to  Albert McGloan

Duplication.

Last edited 8 months ago by Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
8 months ago
Reply to  Albert McGloan

Yes, and very disappointing indeed that only a mere 2,000* young white fascist/N*zis turned out to do battle with Mr Plod last Sunday. Hardly the expected rerun of Cable St.

However when Mr Nigel Farage is PM I am expecting a far better turnout, and the aliens who currently seek to pollute our streets will be asked to leave with any
luck.

(* Perhaps the football was more exciting?)

POSTED AT: 13.20 GMT.

Albert McGloan
Albert McGloan
8 months ago

One suspects many of those 2,000 young gentlemen have complicated relationships with elements of the police, security services and certain ‘charities’.

Andy Iddon
Andy Iddon
8 months ago
Reply to  Albert McGloan

We’re seeing the same picture.

Katja Sipple
Katja Sipple
8 months ago
Reply to  CF Hankinson

“They feel invaded.”
I would argue that it’s not just a feeling.

As for your question how the barbaric attacks could have resulted in such an outburst of anti-Semitism, I would like to point out that our society as a whole has moved left, and that the Left has always contained rabidly antisemitic forces. Karl Marx, whose writings are seeing a renaissance and are more popular than ever, wrote this of Jews: “What is the worldly basis of Judaism? Practical necessity, selfishness. What is the worldly culture of the Jew? Commerce. What is his worldly God? Money.” His proposed solution was to do away with Judaism. This attitude was very common at the time, and hatred of Jews/Judaism was widespread amongst socialists, too. I maintain that it survived just beneath the surface, often disguised as Israel criticism, and has now come to the forefront for a variety of reasons, but at least partly enabled by this shift to the left.

Richard Craven
Richard Craven
8 months ago
Reply to  CF Hankinson

Thank you. An absolute tour de force.

Jane Alexander
Jane Alexander
8 months ago
Reply to  CF Hankinson

Totally agree. The only difference being that I’m a disenfranchised Centrist (can there be such a thing?) Some would say that makes me an on-the-fencer, but I have never been able to fit myself into the political Left/Right boxes that we impose on everyone.
I’m atheist, so although the cultural/strategic/political issues of Israel/Palestine history are huge, its the religious imperatives are a matter of utter frustration & incomprehensibility to me. I think that Israel should never have allowed Jewish settlers to keep pushing themselves into the West Bank – I call it poking the bear – but what Hamas did is beyond all notions of human decency. So they are poking the bear too, and Palestinians are guilty of allowing them free rein to make jihad – they voted them in. So am I now both Anti-Semitic and Islamophobic? I don’t subscribe to the idea that humans can change sex – it’s an absurdity. So of course I am transphobic. I do happen to think that humans have to do better on the way we use fossil fuels, or we will find ourselves being decimated by the effects of climate change, so according to some I am of course an extinction nut. I didn’t agree with mandatory lockdowns when Covid came along either, so I’m probably a conspiracy theorist too.
Wherever you sit on this mad political spectrum, you will be given a hate label for disagreeing with someone – an ist, an ism or a phobic. 
I can’t remember a time when people were more divided.

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
8 months ago
Reply to  Jane Alexander

Very well said, my sentiments exactly all the way down the line.

Claire D
Claire D
8 months ago
Reply to  Jane Alexander

Once upon a time (pre 2000 approx) we had our discussions down the pub, in the Student’s Union bar or round the dinner table (if the rule of no politics or religion was not in place).
Now, here we are, online, commenting, tweeting, arguing, lying, being vile. Newspapers are reaching more people than ever before, there is 24 hour news with live coverage and incessant opinions, often worthless. A mob can be whipped up in a couple of hours, people can be manipulated all too easily. Social media and the internet have created a dangerous new world, especially for children. I wish we could turn the whole thing off and get back down the pub, I mean a real pub not a gastro travesty.

Last edited 8 months ago by Claire D
Jacqui Denomme
Jacqui Denomme
7 months ago
Reply to  Jane Alexander

I wonder what the percentage of us are, holding a moderate yet quiet ground in the midst of all of this wild chaos?

Last edited 7 months ago by Jacqui Denomme
Josie Bowen
Josie Bowen
8 months ago
Reply to  CF Hankinson

Well said.

Alison Wren
Alison Wren
8 months ago
Reply to  CF Hankinson

Thankyou so much for pointing out the class prejudice in the way MSM have portrayed the counter protestors. I’m actually frightened by the power that Islam seems to now have in this country. And saddened that so many mock and deride the Christian principles on which our legal system is founded.

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
8 months ago
Reply to  CF Hankinson

Well said.

Jeremy Bray
Jeremy Bray
8 months ago

Hamas don’t want a proportionate response to Israel’s existence and the security measures they enforce. A proportionate response will not kill the Hamas perpetrators of the 7th October attack. A proportionate response is a call for the cycle of violence to continue. Of course this can be argued over but our task in England is to ensure that the scourge of anti-semitism does not return to our shores and that the police stamp firmly on this whether from the numerous left or the tiny right.

A D Kent
A D Kent
8 months ago
Reply to  Jeremy Bray
Peter Joy
Peter Joy
8 months ago
Reply to  A D Kent

Exactly. Oh dear – should Netenyahu be sanctioned? They don’t want to talk about THAT.
No, just ignore that inconvenient set of facts, keep saying ‘Baa! Baa!’ and hit the down-vote button….

Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
8 months ago
Reply to  A D Kent

Blah blah. Proportionality clearly is not followed in wars. Even if it is law, it is foolish and is not being followed. Hamas is obviously not as easy to pick off as were the young party goer peaceniks and families in kibbutz’s. The only way to destroy Hamas (who hide behind civilians), is going to result in civilian deaths. This is an existential problem for Israel and needs to be dealt with.
https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/2023-10-19/ty-article-magazine/israels-dead-the-names-of-those-killed-in-hamas-massacres-and-the-israel-hamas-war/0000018b-325c-d450-a3af-7b5cf0210000

Last edited 8 months ago by Lesley van Reenen
Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
8 months ago

If that is your logic why not NUKE it immediately. It will instantly solve the problem and provide rather fine dawns when viewed from the Troodos Mts.

After all it’s only 2 million, petty change compared to Auschwitz and the rest, which I seem to recall was 6 million.

Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
8 months ago

My logic does not include nukes. The very point is that the IDF will not target civilians.

Claire D
Claire D
8 months ago
Reply to  Jeremy Bray

The scourge of anti-semitism has returned, it is too late. Young Jewish people are already saying they will leave this country for good. Blair, Cameron, May etc all made the choice to allow this to happen. Let’s be generous and call it liberal naivety – simpering, “everyone is nice really if only they are given the chance to adapt in a liberal democracy like ours”, while calling the realists “bigots”. Our loss.
I would like to know how Giles Fraser dares to despise anyone and call himself a Christian ? Extraordinary. If one of those rowdy men needed help to turn his life around he would not turn to you with that attitude.

Terry M
Terry M
8 months ago
Reply to  Jeremy Bray

our task in England is to ensure that the scourge of anti-semitism does not return to our shores
Return? As if it ever left. We are seeing it on full display here in the US as well. Shameful. A few leftists are shedding the scales from their eyes, however. Let’s hope they vote their renewed understanding of who the bigots are in the next election.

Mike Fraser
Mike Fraser
8 months ago

We are asking too much of the police to expect them to understand the underlying situation. It is not their business to understand or even to take notice of these more difficult political and religious movements which result in such marches. Nor would we expect them to understand.
It is their job to allow marches of protest and support to take place and police them to peaceful ends. Even if, as in these cases, they are unwittingly aiding serious problems for the UK further down the line.
Over the weekend, although there lurked behind the Pro Palestine march an evil guiding intent for a significant number of the marchers, the march itself apart from those obvious HAMAS banners and headbands (HAMAS being a proscribed terrorist organisation) and some evil atrocious placards, the obvious one being the swastika inside a Star of David by someone who has since been identified (a rare piece of good news) passed off, seemingly, peacefully enough.
The few thousand people who turned up to “protect the cenotaph” in their words were nowhere near as nasty and thuggish as the couple of 100 at the front who did behave in that way, from what I can see on careful study of the videos. Although in fairness to them their thuggishly, unpleasant behaviour is the only way that they know how to vent their extreme anger, that our country is being held to ransom by a minority of people who wish to do it harm.
Many of the free Palestine marchers are ordinary decent citizens of this country who are appalled at the death of so many innocent people particularly children and mothers in Gaza, as Giles describes with a correct caveat.
But they are accompanied by many Muslims who, by “Quranic” definition, are anti-Semitic.
They accompanied by immigrants, legal and illegal, first generation or not born here from many different countries and cultures which we have not been able to assimilate into this country because of the numbers involved.
Then came the rabid left who have a natural hatred of Israel as it is now and who possess Iranenvy (admiration of what others have and they can’t, so ban (try) it from others). They are accompanied by the usual suspects, the activists, who like nothing better than a dust up between the people and authority.

Most dangerous of all are those Muslims who are openly and publicly committed to the destruction of the western world in favour of Islamic and Sharia rule. These marches are their bread and butter, and they will spread on them anything, whether they believe it or not, which will produce results in favour of Islam. 
My apologies to any group that I have omitted.
So one can understand the veracity of Suella Braverman’s remarks last week, and realise that she is probably supported by a great silent majority of the people.
The Westminster bubble of Inadequate MPs, their sycophants and the Oxymoronic “Responsible Journalists” who wish to cover up this dreadful prospect of Islamic governance of our country should think very carefully before arranging the sacking of Suella Braverman.

Jonathan Nash
Jonathan Nash
8 months ago
Reply to  Mike Fraser

The “football hooligan” element of the attendance on Saturday reminded me of Wellington’s admiring observation of his troops who won Waterloo: “They’re the scum of the Earth”.

Wilfred Davis
Wilfred Davis
8 months ago
Reply to  Jonathan Nash

Quotations of this kind are notorious for being recorded in variable forms, and of course may have been made a number of times in differing forms. But here is a version from Wikiquote (my italics):

The French system of conscription brings together a fair sample of all classes; ours is composed of the scum of the earth — the mere scum of the earth. It is only wonderful that we should be able to make so much out of them afterwards.

And, as you say, they did win Waterloo.

Mike Fraser
Mike Fraser
8 months ago
Reply to  Jonathan Nash

They needed help from Bluther though. Not sure its relevant but still, the story of Waterloo is so fascinating.

Mike Fraser
Mike Fraser
8 months ago
Reply to  Mike Fraser

I reply to myself as I have just heard that Sunak has sacked Braverman. The Oxymoronic “responsible Journalists”, the Opposition, the left, that religious group which wishes us harm and the BBC must be rolling with laughter this morning.
Rishi Sunak what have you done. I have tried to understand your acts and non-acts without comment, but this act against what I perceive, and I believe the polls will show, to be a majority of the British public is your step too far for me.
If you did not know before, you will find out now, just how dreadful a decision you have may taken.
 

N Satori
N Satori
8 months ago
Reply to  Mike Fraser

David Cameron has been spotted in Downing Street. A sure sign of Sunak’s desperation and an indication of the leadership’s contempt for the Tory right.

Last edited 8 months ago by N Satori
Jonathan Nash
Jonathan Nash
8 months ago
Reply to  Mike Fraser

It looks like Nadine was right after all.

Caty Gonzales
Caty Gonzales
8 months ago
Reply to  Mike Fraser

Where does the Tory right go now? In the general election who is there to vote for?

George Venning
George Venning
8 months ago
Reply to  Mike Fraser

Guessing you weren’t there.
I’d be interested on your view of the proportion of the half million-odd people at the march who were “ordinary decent citizens, appalled at the death of so many innocent people” as opposed to Quranic anti-semites and rabid leftists. I didn’t personally see any Hamas headbands but, if you tell me that they were there, OK.
It’s a shame that my desire to see the lives of civilians protected has been so utterly discredited by these illegitimate actors that I failed to see.
Thank goodness that the couple of thousand people who turned up to protect the cenotaph from a peaceful demonstration held an hour later and a mile away, weren’t similarly discredited by the 10-20% of people who chose to riot and to assault the police.

Last edited 8 months ago by George Venning
Albert McGloan
Albert McGloan
8 months ago
Reply to  George Venning

On Saturday Evening near Apsley House there was a non-European gentleman with a sturdy walking cane. Being concerned with my own thoughts, and it being dark, it was a few moments before I realised he was part of group armed with identical, sturdy pieces of lumber. If you want a peaceful demonstration, prepare for war 🙂

Mike Fraser
Mike Fraser
8 months ago
Reply to  George Venning

Your guess is correct I wasn’t there. But there were plenty of people with cameras whose videos are all over the net. Perhaps you don’t believe those videos that is your prerogative. But I do.
I was not there either on October the 7th in Israel when one of those evil Hamas monsters held down a pregnant woman while another cut her open
I regret to tell you, I very traumatically regret to tell you, that I viewed the first 10 or so seconds of that video before turning away.
I did however believe its contents because the go-pro camera taking the action as it happened was worn by the man holding the woman down and he was eventually killed thank goodness and thank goodness his evil deed lived after him on his go-pro cameras, so that we can oppose any views that might be held by some who would deny those dreadful happenings.
Which I suppose brings me to your sarcastic comments teetering on the edge of disbelief that there could have been any other motive for that march by many of those who were part of it, than the wholly justified concern with the civilian deaths in Gaza.
I beg to differ. Of course there were many thousands who were there for that reason, again with Dr Fraser’s caveat, but also among the half a million odd (strange use of the phrase) on that march with you, I absolutely believe that there were many thousands with evil intent, none of which you saw of course.
I would venture, my broad evidential view with scores of videos would logically be more of the picture than one member buried in the middle of that march.

George Venning
George Venning
8 months ago
Reply to  Mike Fraser

I asked you what proportion of those on the march you thought were there to call for a ceasefire and what proportion you thought might have been anti-semites or Hamas supporters or whatever else. I didn’t say that there was no-one on the march whose views were reprehensible.
And I asked, not because I have any real hope of persuading you, but because I wondered what the world looks like from your point of view – how you come to see a vast and almost entirely peaceful march with a very clear central message, as somehow subverted by a minority that I certainly didn’t see, whilst a small and immediately violent riot near the cenotaph gets a pass.
That was strange to me and I wanted to understand it.
As to the abhorrent crimes committed by Hamas on the 7th and on many other dates – I hope it’s obvious that I condemn them, as I have on several occasions on this site alone.

Mike Fraser
Mike Fraser
8 months ago
Reply to  George Venning

you make it very clear how the world looks to you, so there is very little point of in explaining these particular facts to you. Don’t waste my time as Hitch so precisely put it. Just read all the correspondence here and you will see that you may have to ask the same of so many.

Arthur G
Arthur G
8 months ago
Reply to  George Venning

Anyone who calls for a cease-fire is implicitly a Hamas support. A cease-fire means Hamas survives to repeat Oct. 7th in the future. The world should no more offer Hamas a cease fire than we would have given the Nazis a cease-fire on June 7, 1944.

George Venning
George Venning
8 months ago
Reply to  Arthur G

And the carpet bombing of civilians creates more resistance in the future.
How does this end in your view?

Richard Bolton
Richard Bolton
7 months ago
Reply to  George Venning

It finished all resistance in Nazi Germany and they are now the de facto rulers of the EU and the worlds 4th largest economy so they did alright.
That’s how it ended for them

Cathy Carron
Cathy Carron
8 months ago
Reply to  Mike Fraser

Oops – Sunak just took Braverman down – not good sign, not good at all.

AC Harper
AC Harper
8 months ago
Reply to  Cathy Carron

Rule 1: Don’t talk about the LabCon uniparty. They are owned by the Administrative State.
Rule 2: Really don’t talk about the LabCon uniparty.
Rule 3: Vote Reform or Monster Raving Loony Party, anyone except the uniparty.

Rocky Martiano
Rocky Martiano
8 months ago
Reply to  Mike Fraser

For the ‘dreadful prospect of Islamic governance of our country’, like so many other evils we are facing, we have principally to thank Toxic Tony.
Not content with forcing multiculturalism down our throats, covering up the massive corruption of the largest arms deal in history with the Saudis, and trashing our reputation in the Muslim world by meekly playing the role of Bush’s poodle in Iraq and Afghanistan, he got himself a well-paid gig on leaving office as a Middle East Peace Envoy. Fat lot of good that did us…..and the Israelis now want him back! Of course they do.
Finally he swans off into the sunset to become JP Morgan’s sales rep to the global elites and tries desperately to remain relevant through the aptly-named TB Institute. He even managed to share a stage last year with now-convicted mega-fraudster Sam Bankman-Fried. The man’s depravity, hubris and lack of self-awareness have no bounds.

Ian Ogden
Ian Ogden
8 months ago
Reply to  Mike Fraser

We will never know…………If the police had stood to one side it is possible there would have been a peaceful march past the Cenotaph. The police could if damage had been done identified the culprits. In order to give freedom you have to sacrifice some control until the abusers do enough to hang themselves. This the police did only once, why?

Andy Iddon
Andy Iddon
8 months ago

Maybe problems have been created in our country that are now insoluble – like a slow-smouldering civil war

Last edited 8 months ago by Andy Iddon
Greg Morrison
Greg Morrison
8 months ago
Reply to  Andy Iddon

I absolutely despair of this, but you are right Andy. The hole we are in, we cannot vote our way out of. I can’t see any political solutions to this, in any direction. The hatred that has been imported en masse will continue and grow and the resultant tribalism will increase. The apparatus of our state and security services is more concerned with virtue signalling than with our safety, this is now very clear. I nearly laughed when Giles mentioned the police car around the corner from the synagogue he was at: not because a strong presence for deterrence is not needed to protect innocent Jewish citizens (in an utter disgrace to our country and civilization, protection for Jews now absolutely is necessary) but because he appears to think that such deterrence is amply provided by the Met Police. Really Giles? By the knee-benders and rainbow flag wavers? You think these people will help you, or any of us? They only serve themselves. The toleration of the gang rape of over a thousand young girls, most of them minors, happened in Rotherham and other cities, and not London. But if you think the police in London would have behaved any differently then you are deluded.

Andy Iddon
Andy Iddon
8 months ago
Reply to  Greg Morrison

Agreed. It’s a complex matter, but fundamentally it’s insoluble and the elephant in the room is the innate and virulent supremacism inherent to some imported cultures. Migration from “civil rights” based statute to “human rights” seems quite fundamental also, but that probably turns into a long and winding dialogue.

Last edited 8 months ago by Andy Iddon
A D Kent
A D Kent
8 months ago
Reply to  Greg Morrison

‘We’ are not importing this – our security services have been exporting & using this hate for decades (Mossad too). From Operation Cyclone onwards we’ve been at it – read Mark Curtis’s ‘Secret Affairs: Britains Collusion with Radical Islam’ for plenty of horrible examples. This isn’t ‘importation’ it’s blowback. Many of the marchers on Saturday understand this, it’s those on ‘the right’ who are mostly clueless here.

Peter Joy
Peter Joy
8 months ago
Reply to  A D Kent

There you are: they destroyed Arab Nationalism. That did for the Nasserites in Egypt, the Soviets in Afghanistan, the Baathists in Iraq and Syria and Gaddafi in Libya…. but gave us this instead. Nice work, MI6/ CIA. But hey – the more chaos they create, the bigger their empires get.

Andy Iddon
Andy Iddon
8 months ago
Reply to  A D Kent

Blowback? How can you collectivise so? You’re turning people (the native british) into objects to fit your overly simplistic view. The actions of the establishment have little to nothing to do with the people. How did these changes to our society occur if not by government policy?

Last edited 8 months ago by Andy Iddon
Lindsay S
Lindsay S
8 months ago
Reply to  Greg Morrison

The toleration of the gang rape of over a thousand young girls, most of them minors, happened in Rotherham and other cities, and not London.

How certain are you that it’s not happening in London?

Katja Sipple
Katja Sipple
8 months ago
Reply to  Greg Morrison

The slow-smouldering civil war is the current status quo, but what will happen, when emboldened by our weakness and increasing numbers, the other side decides that they are fed up with slow and smouldering? I am blessed (or perhaps cursed, in this case) with a vivid imagination combined with familiarity with the countries/cultures of origin and knowledge of Islam, and it’s enough to give me nightmares.

Andrew Vanbarner
Andrew Vanbarner
8 months ago
Reply to  Katja Sipple

If there’s hope, it lies with the proles, to quote Orwell.
There are likely still enough Englishmen left in England, and there are certainly enough Americans left in America, to push these movements away for the time being, or ideally to eliminate them, politically or by other means.

Richard Craven
Richard Craven
8 months ago
Reply to  Greg Morrison

“The toleration of the gang rape of over a thousand young girls, most of them minors, happened in Rotherham and other cities, and not London.”
There were 1500 White female victims of South Asian Muslim paedophile gangs in Rotherham alone. The total number nationwide is probably at least 10,000.

Roddy Campbell
Roddy Campbell
8 months ago
Reply to  Andy Iddon

Sometimes the real baddies aren’t revealed for 50 years – or more.

I wonder how long it takes before historians start to finger Blair as the individual who wantonly destroyed Britain.

Andy Iddon
Andy Iddon
8 months ago
Reply to  Roddy Campbell

100%. Cause and effect are poorly recognised….. and I’d argue it’s by design

Paddy Taylor
Paddy Taylor
8 months ago

Why does the Palestinian cause arouse the passions of the Progressive Left so much more than the suffering of other Arabs in other middle eastern conflicts?
Where were the demonstrations in support of the tens of thousands murdered by Isis? Why were those innocent victims not worthy of a march through the capital cities of the West? Why were the progressive Left not parading through European city streets flying Syrian, Iraqi or Libyan flags and calling their own Governments monsters for not intervening in the face of inexpressible savagery?
When dictators across the Arab world killed thousands of their own citizens, why was that not enough to get students out of bedsits and onto the streets to protest? When Bashar Al-Assad bombed Palestinians, where were they with their placards and flags then? More than 300 000 Yemenis have been killed by Saudi Arabia in the last 10 years – Civilians deliberately targeted in airstrikes. How is it that we saw no mass protests by progressives calling for a ceasefire?
ï»żHow many Yemenis would have to be killed, I wonder, to warrant mass protests in London on consecutive weekends? I fear it would be a number beyond counting because, whether the marchers would like to admit it to themselves or not, millions of Arabs have been killed by other Arabs without meriting so much as a message of condolence by the progressives of the West.
Yet when Arabs are killed by Jews? Well, that is a wholly different thing.
Do any of these people have the self-awareness to question why they care this time? What makes this situation different? What is the “variable”, if it is not simply that they can blame it on Israel, on Jews – even as they defend themselves following a genocidal atrocity? 
Most of these protestors would suggest that they only want peace, but it was noticeable and shocking that such supporters of Palestine were out calling for a ceasefire before the blood of Israelis had dried following the worst slaughter of Jews since the Holocaust, and before a shot had been fired in respone.. Where was the compassion for slaughtered Israelis and their families? Where were the calls from the bien pensant Left for hostages to be released? These people, attuned to micro-aggressions of the most trivial sort, were suddenly silent in the face of rape, torture and mediaeval barbarity.
Can they really not recognise that they’re being herded into choreographed fits of outrage by people with an overtly antisemitic agenda? How can they fail to see that the cause they think is ‘Pro-Palestine’ is just as much ‘Anti-Israel’, and a tissue-thin cover for ‘Anti-Jew’?
Anti-Semitism, whether marchers would admit it or not – is at the very heart of these demonstrations. It shames us as a nation that such numbers would march through the streets of our capital whilst rabble-rousers call openly for Jihad and the Police stand idly by – and even trouble themselves with trying to explain away such calls for a genocidal holy war.
I wonder if any who marched this weekend as Pro-Palestinians felt uncomfortable reading the story from Dagestan, where another group of ostensible “Pro-Palestinians” stormed an airport hunting for Jews to attack? Could they see any similarity, or were they able to completely ignore the parallels?
Like anyone of my age, my knowledge of the Holocaust came partly from school and partly through the cultural osmosis of books and films. Growing up in the 1970s it seemed an horrific yet remote event, entirely of another era. One thing of which I was absolutely sure was that when the civilised world said “Never Again” it was unthinkable that such systematised evil could ever reoccur. Suddenly none of my assumptions that we are past such monstrosity seem justified anymore.
In London, Jews are threatened as they walk from the synagogue, in Berlin Stars of David are seen daubed on the front doors of Jewish households. I’m sure there were plenty of well-meaning Germans in the 1930s who would never have believed that Kristallnacht and the horrors which followed could ever happen.
When our institutions, large parts of our media and those who think themselves “progressive”, imagine they are on the virtuous side of the argument to deny the world’s only Jewish state the right to defend itself against those who would see them annihilated, can we really pretend what happens next will be a surprise that we couldn’t see coming? All the while claiming it was something we were powerless to prevent?

Last edited 8 months ago by Paddy Taylor
Kirk Susong
Kirk Susong
8 months ago
Reply to  Paddy Taylor

I don’t think the issue is anti-Semitism – but anti-Westernism. Zionism was born during the final great flowering of Western imperialism – it seemed good and right to send Europeans to live in backwards countries, to settle there, and to import a more successful Western way of life. The Israelis have done this very successfully.
It is not Arab suffering that the Left throughout the West hates, but Zionist success, and by implication Western success. The middle Left just hates anything that validates the idea that Western societies are somehow better and different. They think it is racist, they worry it might validate Christianity, more than anything it means they must respect and thank their parents and grand-parents. A terrible thought for any unreformed juvenile revolutionary.

Rocky Martiano
Rocky Martiano
8 months ago
Reply to  Paddy Taylor

At last someone with the clarity to call out the double standards and selective memory of the ‘activists’ and their self-righteous hangers-on. Their inability to hold more than one idea in their heads at the same time (Israel evil, Palestine good is a much simpler paradigm to latch on to) is taking us down the route of Germany in the 1930s. Could never happen here? Don’t you believe it.
For a chilling illustration of how ordinary, well-meaning people get caught up in this maelstrom and become helpless to resist it, I highly recommend David Tennant’s performance in CP Taylor’s powerful drama “Good” by the Harold Pinter Theatre.

AC Harper
AC Harper
8 months ago
Reply to  Paddy Taylor

We used to ask ourselves “How could ordinary Germans allow the Holocaust to happen?”. Well now you know.

Paddy Taylor
Paddy Taylor
8 months ago
Reply to  AC Harper

Well said.
It’s often misquoted, but JS Mill said it first, and best: â€œLet not anyone pacify his conscience by the delusion that he can do no harm if he takes no part, and forms no opinion. Bad men need nothing more to compass their ends, than that good men should look on and do nothing.” 
But what can we individually do? I honestly don’t know, which is why my rage at the ignorance and callousness of so many of my countrymen feels so impotent.
The BBC, who never had an issue referring to the IRA or ISIS as “terrorists” suddenly become coy in the face of the obvious terrorism of Hamas. The Guardian didn’t allowed comments on any Israel related article for about 10 days after Oct 7th, presumably because they knew so many posters would be justifying – if not celebrating – the vile actions of Hamas.
The FA lit Wembley to support the French after the Bataclan attack, yet having been so quick to kneel to BLM and commemorate the death of a petty criminal in America, they refused to show solidarity with Israel. The same people who are usually hair-triggered when it comes to offence-peddling, who’ll condemn a contentious tweet as a hate-crime, suddenly change their rules when it comes to Israel.
I am at a loss to know what more one can do – except to challenge such attitudes where you meet them.

Mike Fraser
Mike Fraser
8 months ago
Reply to  Paddy Taylor

Excellent comment and you do get it.
Its NOT about LAND. Its about the elimination of the Jewish race and religion. It always has been.

A D Kent
A D Kent
8 months ago
Reply to  Paddy Taylor

Some of us have been protesting those too Paddy – not in the same numbers I’ll warrant – but then the Israeli’s Gaza response is a little different. Most pertinently, the bombing of Gaza is directly supported by both our Government and it’s Loyal Opposition and most of our political class.

Ian Ogden
Ian Ogden
8 months ago
Reply to  Paddy Taylor

Your words are a true criticism of those good people that marched. They are appeasers as and when the whim suits them.

Jonathon Greenhow
Jonathon Greenhow
8 months ago

Jews are some of the most integrated into British society while keeping their own culture and ways. The article is right – it’s not the thugs we saw Saturday being antisemitic; it’s the “peaceful” folk waving Palestinian flags. I’d bet that they aren’t remembering those who died for the freedom for them to march in London, nor will they ever be seen dead singing the British national anthem. I know which group I’d want to share these shores with.

Last edited 8 months ago by Jonathon Greenhow
Cathy Carron
Cathy Carron
8 months ago

And why have leftist actresses like Vanessa Redgrave and Emma Thompson who flogged for Palestinians for years on end been so quiet
..????

Shoel Silver
Shoel Silver
8 months ago
Reply to  Cathy Carron

Perhaps they remember the old days, when taking hostages and raping women and dismembering children used to be seen as bad, or even evil.

John Williams
John Williams
8 months ago
Reply to  Cathy Carron

How do people who supported the PLO and then Hamas feel when their blindness to Islamic prerogatives is suddenly cured and they realise that their firmly held views are absurd?
For instance, many argued for years that if all the Palestinians in the Muslim refugee camps were allowed back into Israel, (thereby outnumbering Jews in Israel, because despite constantly parroting the term Genocide at the Israelis the Palestinian population has massively increased), that there would be neighbourly peace.
After 7/10 the notion that Jews and Palestinians would all join hands and sing songs of peace is is simply risible.
Being forced to face the fact that your heroes actually revel and gloat at the Herodian like murder of Jewish infants must be devastating; so devastating that the only way to live with it is outright denial a la Roger Waters or staying out of sight like St Vanessa et al.

Last edited 8 months ago by John Williams
JR Stoker
JR Stoker
8 months ago
Reply to  Cathy Carron

No doubt Ms Thompson is on a Club Class flight back from somewhere hot sunny and luxurious to join her comrades

Stuart Bennett
Stuart Bennett
8 months ago

A stark illustration of the deluded self congratulatory moralism of the left. Thankyou, Mr Fraser. Nothing more than religious fascists and their useful idiots. Ayaan Hirsi Ali put it bluntly at the ARC conference recently “They’ll kill your babies too”.

Tyler Durden
Tyler Durden
8 months ago

These people are not well-meaning but cynics, aggressively taking advantage of the majority’s good will towards the modern multicultural model. They groom young people to scapegoat in the name of their redundant Trotskyite agenda. Predictable, easioy recognisable but like in France, unpleasant for the Jewish community.

Tony Taylor
Tony Taylor
8 months ago

The feral far left fascists need the loopy far right fascists because the pitifully few loopy cartoon fascists provides cover for the far more dangerous, numerous and pervasive far left stormtroopers.

Richard Craven
Richard Craven
8 months ago
Reply to  Tony Taylor

Succinctly and well put.

William Amos
William Amos
8 months ago

“There were several hundred of them on Saturday, boorishly shouting “En-ger-land” around the Cenotaph. Easy to spot, easy to despise. And I do.”
This is a very sad confession and quite a shocking thing to hear from a minister of Christ’s Gospel.
“He that saith he is in the light, and hateth his brother, is in darkness even until now.” 1 John 2:9
As I understand the Gospel, we don’t get to choose who is our brother, who is our neighbour. Although we all fall short we are all commanded to resist the impulse to despise, to hate, to abhor, to disown.
‘Easy to spot’ is perhaps even more worryingly complacent to hear from a vicar pledged to the cure of souls. Every one of us is made in the similitude of God be it ever so obscured. ‘Easy to spot, easy to despise’ is the origin of all faction, all hatred, all envy, all murder.
Hatred consumes the hater as much as it does the hated. We are commanded to love the unlovely, as Christians. And those who answer the call to be ‘masters and teachers’, we are told, are apt to receive the greater condemnation if they give place to hatred.

Last edited 8 months ago by William Amos
Citizen Diversity
Citizen Diversity
8 months ago
Reply to  William Amos

He that despiseth, despiseth not man but God… (1 Thess.iv.8).
Without natural affection…false accusers… fierce…despisers of those that are good (2 Tim.iii.3).
And he spake this parable until certain that trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others… (Luke xviii.19).
He that heareth you heareth me, and he that despiseth you despiseth me… (Luke x.16).
No servant can serve two masters…else he will hold to the one, and despise the other (Luke xvi.13).
Take heed that ye despise not one of these little ones… (Matt.xviii.10).
Base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen…to bring to nought things that are (1 Cor.i.28).
And my temptation that was in my flesh ye despised not…(Gal.iv.14).
Them that walk after the flesh…and despise government (2 Peter ii.10).
Art thou a master of Israel and know not these things? (John iii.10).

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
8 months ago

Shakespeare had some pretty good sayings as well.

pat lowe
pat lowe
8 months ago

I attended evensong at my local CofE church on 8th October. No special prayers were said relating to the previous day’s events. As I left the church and shook the hand of the female officiant I mentioned how dreadful the news of the 7th October massacre had been. Her response – uttered with the most dreadfully virtuous complaisance – was “Oh yes, well you can’t really blame the Palestinians.” I have never felt more like weeping.

Peta Seel
Peta Seel
8 months ago
Reply to  pat lowe

That is truly terrifying.

Ian McKinney
Ian McKinney
8 months ago
Reply to  pat lowe

I wonder if this was in Surrey perchance?

Kirk Susong
Kirk Susong
8 months ago

“The reason we remember is, in part, to remind ourselves of the evil of which we are capable.”
This encourages me that that the Vicar of St. Anne is remembering the core tenets of his Biblical faith… ‘total depravity’ is real, and there’s only one way out of it. As for his views on anti-semitism, I’m afraid he has it all wrong…
“But it is the genteel, middle-class, soft-Left, hand-wringing antisemitism that has been legitimised.”
It isn’t anti-semitism that the middle-class soft-Left has legitimised – but anti-Westernism, anti-colonialism, anti-imperialism. What the Left finds so terrible isn’t Jews in the abstract, but successful Jews showing up Muslim Arabs – i.e., European Zionists who took European social values to the desert, displaced some of the locals, and built a thriving Westernized society there. What the middle-class soft-Left simply can’t stand is the reality that Zionists have built a free market, open government democracy while the Muslim Arabs around them live in totalitarian dictatorships, suffused with corruption and religious hatred.
The middle-class soft-Left simply can’t bear the thought that they owe their own forebears gratitude rather than contempt. And Israel proves them wrong, over and over again.

Simon Tavanyar
Simon Tavanyar
8 months ago
Reply to  Kirk Susong

100 upvotes!

Samuel Ross
Samuel Ross
8 months ago
Reply to  Kirk Susong

Well said, KIrk.

Mike Robinson
Mike Robinson
8 months ago

And now by sacking Braverman, the British Government has surrendered to Hamas…

Michael James
Michael James
8 months ago

The latest version of antisemitism — the lies that Israelis are white supremacists, colonial settlers, blah blah — pretends to make it possible to be antisemitic without being racist. How about that?

Gayle Rosenthal
Gayle Rosenthal
8 months ago

The holocaust taught Christian Europe about their own potential for evil. Oct. 7, unfortunately will not teach Muslims about their own evil ideology because they are too blind and sick. Islam is a mental illness “to kill for Allah.”

denz
denz
8 months ago

It cannot be understated that the source of the evil of Hamas begins with the hatred held by Mohammed for the Jews. This hatred runs through Islam like a cancer. In the Al Fatihah, the Muslim prayer recited 5 times a day, Those cursed by God are mentioned – those people being the Jews. Muslim children are taught this prayer from a very early age, they are brainwashed with the hatred which leads to the monstrously evil acts committed by these Hamas people on the 7th.

Mrs R
Mrs R
8 months ago

Those covering their faces and wearing the green bandana signifying Jihad should have been arrested. It is so desperately worrying that such extremist behaviour is being tolerated.

j watson
j watson
8 months ago

There seems no doubt Hamas had the calculus that by using their own population as a shield they could potentially win a ‘world public opinion’ battle. What they may have miscalculated, short term at least, is the Israeli’s see this as so existential they won’t be receptive to it and that Iran/Hezbollah would back off escalation. And for now the West is supporting them whilst trying to get some humanitarian aid into Gaza where it can.
Truth is the depth of ignorance on most sides is huge and into that void are poured untruths, historical distortions and propaganda.

David Morley
David Morley
8 months ago

The irony of this, of course, is that it reinforces the absolute need for the Jews to have a homeland they can protect. And also that there is little point in them compromising with opinion outside Israel. If I were Israeli I would be thinking – thank god we have borders and a military force to protect them. If I were Jewish I would be thinking – thank god we have somewhere safe to flee to if things get bad.

Mike Fraser
Mike Fraser
7 months ago
Reply to  David Morley

Correct on both counts.

Timothy Baker
Timothy Baker
8 months ago

I consider myself right of centre. I believe in free markets, a strong defence policy, freedom of choice in education. The Guardian would probably describe me as ‘far right’ though I do not never have supported groups like the BNP or EDL NF etc. The marchers for Palestine are almost to a man hard left or fellow travellers and regrettably their anti-semitism is almost casual. They qualify their views by saying they are anti-Zionist not anti-Jewish, they may not think they are anti-Semitic, but equate Jews with capitalism, which of course they hate. Even environmentalist, like Greta Thunberg go for cheap victories by adopting Marxist views as part of their anti capitalist and anti growth agenda.
I stand with Israel because it is a democracy, because it believes in the rule of law, because it is tolerant of minorities within its borders, all qualities that chime with my own centre right views.

Darwin K Godwin
Darwin K Godwin
8 months ago

“How much memory do you need?” A brilliant comment and observation on our current state. I would also add that as a middle-aged, white, veteran, gun-owning conservative Christian with roots in the hillbilly forests of the United States, many people from the “well-meaning” left still feel the need to pin my arms to the floor so they can scrawl a swat sticker on my belly in order to justify their own desire for understanding and authority. Apparently a trope that is still very useful.

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
8 months ago

What on earth does this mean?

Darwin K Godwin
Darwin K Godwin
8 months ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

You know, Billy Bob, willful ignorance is not becoming on this site. However, unwilling ignorance masked as superiority is the currency of the day.
Entiendes esto? Mal Educado.

Last edited 8 months ago by Darwin K Godwin
Richard Craven
Richard Craven
8 months ago

I’m probably on your side, but share Billy Bob’s mystification.

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
8 months ago

It’s genuine confusion rather than ignorance. I understand what all those words in your comment mean, but when they’re thrown together in that order it doesn’t appear to make any sense

Ida March
Ida March
8 months ago

So … Giles Fraser despises the Stella swigging, pot-bellied En-ger-landers protesting at the Cenotaph against the march and makes sure we know it.
But the middle-class lefties who are on the march and supporting it, he refers to as “good people”, even while admitting they are enabling Hamas.
Typical middle class contempt on display from Giles Fraser.

Bill Hendrix
Bill Hendrix
8 months ago

For the life of me I cannot understand why all of a sudden there is such hatred of Jews. Until October 7th I didn’t notice the vitriol. Ever since, though, this hatred has reared its ugly head in all corners of the earth. That said, I ask this question… Is it possible that this mind-numbed left is simply just repeating the mantra they see on their phones? Reading my question, I see myself the naivety of even conjuring the thought. After all, how could such hatred manifest itself so quickly and so vast? Surely this was simmering just underneath the surface? But was it really?
I am a Christian, and an American. A conservative one at that. I believe we are called by God to protect His people. I do not have such hatred in my heart. How can people even described above even have it within their souls to not acknowledge that the murder and unspeakable horrors we’ve seen are pure evil, and that it must be stopped?

Mike Fraser
Mike Fraser
7 months ago
Reply to  Bill Hendrix

You have obviously had a busy and interesting life which has never touched on Anti Semitism before. I envy you. “All of a sudden it has raised its ugly head ” could not be further from the truth. It started with Mohammad the one they call the prophet and has continued every day when Muslims pray and repeat the mantra of “those cursed by God” ie the non believers and the Jews in particular. Look that up in your history books as well as some of many others …England bans jews for 400 years in 1290…The Spanish Inquisition…The Pale of Settlement…The Dreyfus affair…Kristallnacht…The Holocaust....Its been there for 1400 years

Last edited 7 months ago by Mike Fraser
P N
P N
8 months ago

It is not at all clear what Israel’s critics can rationally expect the Israelis to do when they are attacked. Suffer in silence? Surrender? Flee the Middle East?

Or — most unrealistic of all — fight a “nice” war, with no civilian casualties? General William T. Sherman said it all, 150 years ago: “War is hell.”

There is something grotesque about people living thousands of miles away, in safety and comfort, loftily second-guessing and trying to micro-manage what the Israelis are doing in a matter of life and death.

Walter Lantz
Walter Lantz
8 months ago

Western liberal democracies have enjoyed peace progress and prosperity because our secular governance and legal systems were based on the Golden Rule. It only works when individual beliefs are kept subordinate to collective values. You can think whatever you want but We decide how you act.
It is by no means perfect and requires constant vigilance and revision. Free democratic elections and our judicial systems are the tools we’ve used to ‘weed the garden’. Ask any person of colour or any woman or any LGB person if they think everything is perfect for them and they’ll rightly say “Hell no” but ask them if it is better now than it was 50 years ago and the answer has to be “yes”.
The Remembrance ceremonies of Nov 11 remind us of the terrible cost that is sometimes paid to protect our society from tyrants that prove themselves adept at using democratic tools to eliminate that very same democracy. But they can’t do that without help from within.
We are now witnessing what happens when the the guardians of a secular democratic society abandon their mandate. Flaws in our system that present as “injustice” – both real and perceived have been help up by the new tyrants as a proven indictment that our system doesn’t work. Like all tyrants before them they insist system must be replaced – it cannot be fixed. This latest tyranny is largely self-inflicted by indolence and indifference which spawned the creation of Identity Politics and Multiculturalism. Both are based in the destructive re-imagining of justice that allows, and indeed insists, that personal beliefs and values supersede that of society. Golden Rule universality has been cut adrift. There’s no one at the helm and we are literally at the mercy of shifting political, legal and moral winds and currents.
In the words of Marx (the funny one)
Those are my principles, and if you don’t like them… well, I have others

John Riordan
John Riordan
8 months ago

I don’t usually rate Giles Fraser’s articles but here today, he’s bang on target.

Peta Seel
Peta Seel
8 months ago

“As Browning challenges the reader in the final chapter, if people like these could end up murdering Jews, who among us could really be so confident that we would have acted differently?”
Exactly this. My late husband worked with a hugely successful German engineering company from just after the war until he retired, becoming very friendly with its German founder, originally from East Germany. At a dinner party one evening at this man’s house and at which my husband was the only non-German present, one of the guests said that it had to be remembered that not all Germans were Nazis. Their host interjected immediately saying very simply that yes, they were. They were too frightened to be anything else.
We all need to “remind ourselves of the evil of which we are capable”.

Last edited 8 months ago by Peta Seel
david barlow
david barlow
8 months ago

Thank you Giles.

Pamela Booker
Pamela Booker
8 months ago

It has always been my observation that the extreme Left and the extreme Right meet in exactly the same place when enacting their politics.

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
8 months ago

I do resent it when a writer, describing some negative behavior says”we”. I don’t identify with the behavior and never would, so please say “I” and don’t dilute responsibility for what you can relate to but I can’t.

Nancy Kmaxim
Nancy Kmaxim
8 months ago

Mr Fraser, despising those who you find physically or intellectually inferior doesn’t really comport with being a religious leader. I sense that you believe that you missed your calling. You might consider embracing your apparent intolerant activism. Your flock shouldn’t end at the door to your church. What’s the point in preaching to the choir?

Citizen Diversity
Citizen Diversity
8 months ago

Jesus of Nazareth was described as a ‘winebibber’ (Matt.xi.19). 
He was evidently also ‘up’ for a brawl (Matt.xxi.12; Luke.xxii.36-38). 
It’s not beyond impossible for an ‘edgy’ film producer and scriptwriters to craft a film depicting the Lord as some ‘fat bloke’, gut distended from all that drinking and feasting, yelling ‘Joo-dee-ah!’ at the Temple police, wineskin in hand, while with the other hand flogging the moneychangers and bird-sellers out of the holy place. 
Life of Brian was polite (and not entirely unscriptural – Mark.vi.3-4). 
Some people are particularly unlovely in their sin. Yet if Christianity is true, Christ came to save Fat Bloke, rather than the ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance. The Lord even came to save ‘the dogs’ (Matt.xv.22-28; Isa.lxvi.2). 

Last edited 8 months ago by Citizen Diversity
Martin Smith
Martin Smith
8 months ago

“We are not fooled. The BNP collapsed in 2010. Good riddance.”

Indeed. Moreover Nick Griffin is a proper fascist, a friend of Hizbollah, and agrees that Israel should not exist. Nice to see him in alignment with the bien pensant.

Last edited 8 months ago by Martin Smith
Keith Merrick
Keith Merrick
8 months ago

Terrific piece.

Ben Shipley
Ben Shipley
8 months ago

If you’ve read Ordinary Men, look for the more recent movie. It puts faces to the men in the narrative. The definition of chilling.