Clowns & Jokers

Stuck in the middle.... Left, right, centre. It's a mess out there.

Friday, July 14, 2006

Israels Night

Last night, quite randomly we met an Israeli in a bar at her leaving party. She's on her way back to Israel where she expects to get called up (shes a weapons expert). She invited myself and my friend over to join her. Kritztina (my Hungarian friend...argh, a scary Euro!) initially arrived at the bar and the first words out of her mouth were

"Wow Israel, thank God..they take no shit!".


This young Israeli woman was remarkably relaxed about what she might be facing and it was a privilege to spend the evening with her and her friends. I'd like to wish her luck.

To be honest we were both a bit choked when when we left the bar. Jumped in a cab and the usual banter from the cab driver ensued "Have a nice night love?". I used the word interesting to describe it and didnt mind telling him. (You can always talk politics with cabbies here).

Turns out he was a Jew. He described himself as 'a proud English Jew' an 'Englishman first', 'a Jew second'. A lengthy conversation about Israel ensued. He didnt feel that this young woman was likely to end up on the front line, trying to make me feel better, not til i told him she was a weapons expert. Then he wasnt sure. I hope he's right and she doesnt.

His parting comment:

"'They don't want peace. After all the concessions..they respond with idiocy and escalate the violence...they want WW3. They want to kill the likes of you and me...jews and christians...we're the infidels"

Its always 'refreshing' to hear random people you dont know (specially in liberal London) spout the things you hear on blogs.

Most recommended comment over at the BBCs Have Your Say:-

"This is an absolute disgrace. According to the UN, Israel withdrew completely to the recognised international border, and does not occupy one inch of Lebanese land.

This just demonstrates what happens when Israel shows weakness by withdrawing. Since the withdrawl from southern Lebanon in 2000, Israel has been attacked on numerous occassions from Lebanon, and the same situation was seen in Gaza.

I guess the left will still find a way to blame Israel"

I don't care. Way to go Israel. (my parting comment to the cabbie).

Israeli minister Mr Herzog in response to Skys line of questioning early this morning, where Sky suggested Israel was losing global support and overeacting. At the G8 summit. ( I typed it as he said it)

Regards civilian casualties:

The terrorist activity is contained within civilian areas. We have consistently warned over and over that they get out and attack only when we believe that they have moved out


If you want to talk about proportion, consider that 30 towns and cities have been attacked by Hizbollah, 50 israelis attacked and killed. We are attacked after pulling out from Lebanon, pulling out our forces from the northern border, pulling out of Gaza, and still the terrorists continue. With all due respect we now have full justification to uproot the terrorists and to sink them into the abyss.

The Lebanese government never fulfilled their committments to the UN back in 2000 and rounded on Hizbollah - we are insisting that they do so. We insist that Hizbollah dismantle their weapons. They have been instigating activities from Gaza, have continued to kill many citizens over the years ...

International community response:

Id like to ask President Putin to consider how he himself deals with terror when he is confronted by it?

Regards attacking the airport

Let me clarify for you quite simply: it is a base for ammunition for all the capabilities for Hizbollah. We gave an advance warning of the attack.

In conclusion:

Israel has taken many many steps for peace (exasperated). For what? Now we will pull back unilaterally.

We will now change the rules of the game in the region

London? No. San Francisco. I honestly thought they only dressed up like terrorists at these demos over here in the UK/Europe.

More at Little Green Footballs


At Friday, 14 July, 2006, Blogger Wolfie said...

That's something I love about London; you get an interesting class of taxi-driver.

I would just like to add this. I have both Lebanese and Jewish friends and colleagues and have been getting opinions from both sides on the in the last 24 hours and I think you might be surprised about the views some have expressed (I was). Anyway, the Lebanese chap commented that his family are utterly fed-up with Hezbollah. They have been working hard to improve relations with Israelis and were looking forward to attracting Israeli holiday-makers to their resort this summer. He blames Syria for this.

At Friday, 14 July, 2006, Anonymous Steve said...

I understandthat the Israelis want to take Hezbollah out but do they really need to bomb the airport and other civilian targets to do that?

If Britain had bombed Dublin airport when Eire was giving tacit support to the IRA, we'd have been condemned by everyone - including the USA.

Lebanon's peace is based on a fragile coalition. Israel won't win friends in Lebanon if it attacks random Lebanese targets. If Isreal stirs things up too much the whole place could descend into civil war again, as it did when the PLO arrived in the 1980s. That would only be to Syria's advantage.

At Friday, 14 July, 2006, Blogger Wolfie said...

"That would only be to Syria's advantage."

Spot-on Steve and pretty much the line Emily Maitlis took last night on Newsnight during her interview with, er I think it was the Israeli ambassador (memory fails me). She was quite vociferous , the new Paxo maybe?

At Friday, 14 July, 2006, Anonymous alison said...

Hezbollah choses to stake itself out in civilian locations, the suburbs. Israel has made its mission plainly and openly clear to all. I dont see that Israel stirred anything up. They withdrew from Gaza, concessions and all etc etc. The shit stirring reponse came from the terrorists.

At Friday, 14 July, 2006, Anonymous Maggie said...

I was watching tv last night and noticed in an Israeli tank or armoured vehicle, a young girl, in uniform, her long hair billowing out from under the headgear. She was taking part in a situation beyond her control and valued for her worth. How different from the muslims and their attitude to women. I would also like to answer Steve (above comment), the Israelis bombed the airport runway where usually not too many civilians reside! Maybe the Israeli are over reacting but it might concentrate minds on their fire power and stop further incursions by the Hezbollah.

At Friday, 14 July, 2006, Anonymous alison said...

I dont get what Hezbollah thought THEY were achieving never mind the Israelis bombing the airport - which i think is a show of strength aimed at a non civilian location. And as before Hezbollah, and Hamas, use high density civilian locations from which to wage their war.

At Friday, 14 July, 2006, Anonymous alison said...

Sorry Maggie you were posting when i was posting - they crossed. But think we agree.

I hope she remains safe as I hope the young woman i met last night is too.

"Israeli planes dropped leaflets in Beirut suburbs and some southern cities urging residents to stay away from Hezbollah offices" telling them *clearly* "Nothing is safe".

At Friday, 14 July, 2006, Anonymous alison said...

Interesting comments guys btw.

And yes Wolfie we have the best cabbies. Hurray!

Just read this:

"Saudi Arabia broke ranks with the Muslim world, indirectly blaming the crisis on the "irresponsible actions" of Hezbollah."

Not that I hold the Saudis in TOO high a regard but given Iran are stoking this into an attack on the islamic world, i guess its something.

At Friday, 14 July, 2006, Blogger associatecontributor1 said...

Funny that it only took the U.N a couple hours to draw up a resolution condeming Israel as opposed to their dithering for months about North Korea and Iran.

At Saturday, 15 July, 2006, Anonymous Maggie said...

What a completely useless, facile organisation the UN are. Been dithering about Darfur and they dare not oppose North Korea or Iran. The same countries veto, the same countries oppose. Some countries, because of their human rights issues should not even be represented. It's been limping along for donkey's years wrap it up.

At Saturday, 15 July, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good opinion piece over at the Jerusalem Post

Now this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning."

Winston Churchill said these words on November 10, 1942, after the allied victory over Gen. Rommel's Nazi army in what he called "the Battle of Egypt."

The war against militant Islamism, by contrast, does not generally pitch armies against each other. But it is no less of a war; the jihadis seek to subjugate both Muslim nations and the West, and the West is fighting to defend its freedom and security.

What is strange about this war, almost five years after 9/11 and after numerous follow-on attacks, is that - unlike World War II - the West is still confused about who the enemy is, how to fight it, and even over whether it is at war at all.

At Saturday, 15 July, 2006, Anonymous alison said...

I liked this bit "We cannot even say we have reached the end of the beginning before free nations show something of the solidarity and clarity of purpose that the jihadis - in Iran, Syria, Hizbullah, Hamas and al-Qaida - show against us". Brilliant. They DO catch us out with our own regulations (UN and the like) and tie us up in knots.

At Saturday, 15 July, 2006, Blogger James said...

I dont get what Hezbollah thought THEY were achieving

The last time Hezbollah kidnapped an IDF soldier several hundred prisoners were released. The soldier was returned dead.

They got everything they wanted last time. Let's hope they get everything they deserve this time.

At Saturday, 15 July, 2006, Anonymous alison said...

I agree James. I also found this on Israels position after the Lebanese withdrawal pretty useful:

According to Resolution 425, the UN will take action to fill the vacuum that is created following the withdrawal of Israeli forces, and will deploy appropriate armed forces with the capacity to ensure the return of Lebanon's "effective authority" in the area.

— Israel expects that, subsequent to its withdrawal from Lebanon and the restoration of Lebanese authority, the Government of Lebanon will fulfill the remaining obligations of Resolution 425, primary among them, the restoration of "international peace and security" to both sides of the Israel-Lebanon border.

— As part of its obligations under 425, the Government of Lebanon will bear the responsibility for preventing terrorist attacks against Israel from within its borders, as well as terrorist reprisals against individuals in those areas from which Israel has withdrawn. Furthermore, as long as other parties maintain presence and control in Lebanon, they also bear responsibility for events in the area.

Pretty clear to me.


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