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Thursday, 18 August 2011

Fascinating stuff from Chatham House (and Brian Paddick)

Today is a day when there is so much happening that I could frankly blog about lots of things. The tragic news from Israel's border with Egypt underlines the fragility of that region's stability; right on cue, I was really pleased to get an email from Chatham House (the Royal Institute of International Affairs, as was) about their Middle East and North Africa (MENA) Programme, including the Egypt in Transition project, of which a highlight is this paper on securing a democratic process over there - essential reading for anyone interested in a democratic future for Egypt. To anyone interested in the Arab Spring more generally, I strongly recommend this interesting overview of its underlying causes. The situation surrounding 'September' is moving too fast for me to comment on it and I am now hopeful that the Palestinians might not make a full, unilateral declaration of independence at the UN next month - let's see. Moving from the international arena to London, I enjoyed this Guardian interview with Brian Paddick, my choice to be the Liberal Democrat candidate for London Mayor. Oh, and if anyone wants to know what I think about the UK and Durban III (like they had to make a third one, after the first two were so bad), then I can do no better than refer you to the comments that I made some time ago.

2 comments:

  1. I've just read as follows:
    "Weisfeld's mindset is one of "democracy trumps everything". She is supported in this view by LibDem Friend of Israel's Matthew Harris who says that "Freedom of speech must allow Israelis to call for a boycott of settlement goods."

    As an Israeli, someone who made Aliyah from the UK,talking to you, a FAILED parlimentary candidate, let me say:

    Look after your own country (the UK), leave mine alone. You don't live here, don't pay taxes here, are too scared to serve in the IDF - you have NO RIGHTS to determine anything about Israel.

    Incidentally, your posts in the JC Blogs are puerile and sub-standard. MAybe you'll stop posting there?

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  2. Thank you.

    Your post has alerted to me Richard's comments on his blog (http://richardmillett.wordpress.com/2011/08/19/yachads-continued-support-for-calls-to-boycott-israeli-settlements-is-dangerous/) to which I have now posted a response over at that site.

    I am indeed a FAILED Parliamentary candidate, absolutely, and proud of it. It was a great experience, which I thoroughly enjoyed and from which I learnt a lot.

    You say: "Look after your own country (the UK), leave mine alone. You don't live here, don't pay taxes here, are too scared to serve in the IDF - you have NO RIGHTS to determine anything about Israel."

    It is perfectly reasonable for a British person to comment on overseas events, whether those events take place in India, Israel, Russia or anywhere else. It is equally reasonable for an Israeli person to comment on overseas events, whether those events take place India, the UK, Russia or anywhere else. That is why the UK has its Foreign Office and Israel has its Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

    So we all have the right to comment on what happens in other countries, and that includes me commenting on what happens in Israel (and Israelis commenting on what happens in the UK).

    I agree with you that I have no right to determine anything about Israel. I have no right to "determine" anything about anywhere, arguably including even my own country.

    But that doesn't stop me talking, including on the JC website. If you find my posts there (which largely consist of nothing more than URLs linking to this blog here) to be "peurile", then why do you read them? You are most welcome to ignore them. Indeed, nothing would delight me more than if you did. I am writing for people who are interested in having a serious debate, and I'm not certain that you fall into that category?

    You posted your comment in response to a post of mine about some papers from Chatham House that are actually nothing to do with Israel. Why don't you have a read of them? You might find them interesting.

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