Thursday, January 08, 2009

Gaza conflict fuelling anger in UK, Muslims warn Brown.

Gordon Brown is to be warned today that he should distance himself from Bush's White House and their deluded stance on what is taking place between Israel and the Gaza Strip as Britain's Muslim community's are reaching "acute levels of intensity" that could have an effect on national security because of Israel's actions.

In a letter to the prime minister, representatives of Muslim organisations will say the Israeli government's use of "disproportionate force" to combat threats to its security has "revived extremist groups" and "empowered their message of violence and perennial conflict".

The letter, a copy of which can be read on the Guardian's Comment is Free website, also says that the "current, partisan and simplified narrative" emanating from the White House is of "serious and direct harm" to relations between the UK, North America and Arab countries.

I think he should distance himself from the White House simply because what they are saying is so far removed from reality. The letter speaks of a "partisan and simplified narrative" which is a polite way of saying that we are being sold a lie.

They say it is imperative for the UK to distance itself from the Bush government. The letter goes on: "We urge you to make concerted and successful efforts to convince the US administration of the dangers of its approach and to ensure the incoming Obama administration forges a more enlightened direction. We also believe the UK - bilaterally and as part of the EU - has an important role to demonstrate to Israel that the threshold of acceptable behaviour has been perilously transgressed."

The letter adds: "As you are aware, the anger within UK Muslim communities has reached acute levels of intensity. The Israeli government's use of disproportionate force ... has revived extremist groups and empowered their message of violence and perennial conflict. For Muslims in the UK and abroad, we run the risk of potentially creating a loss of faith in the political process."

In other words Israel's actions are coming dangerously close to inciting terrorist acts within the UK from the Muslim community.

And Brown's traditional stance of parroting whatever nonsense the US might spout on this conflict will only further exacerbate anger within that community.

Israel are, of course, seeking to portray their actions in Gaza as part of George Bush's "war on terror" but the message from the Muslim community is that such action may actually be encouraging terrorism.

Their intervention follows a meeting on Tuesday between Bill Rammell, foreign and commonwealth affairs minister, and 30 people drawn from Muslim organisations such as the Muslim Council of Britain and the Islamic Society of Britain.

In what was said to be a testy meeting, representatives told Rammell the government's position on Gaza could provoke UK terrorist attacks. One of those present was Dr Hany el-Banna, youth worker and co-founder and president of the charity Islamic Relief.

He told the Guardian: "We are all working tirelessly to try and cool them down. I am telling them to change and bring something positive, but they see these images and they trigger extremist thoughts in the simplest individuals. Many millions of people will see these images in the media, what do you think the affect will be?

"The government is responsible for the country and its foreign policy. I don't want something to happen here."

This has been the problem with George Bush's entire "war on terror"; to what degree does it encourage the very thing which it sets out to defeat?

Tony Blair once said that nothing would do more to win the "war on terror" than ensuring a fair settlement between the Israelis and the Palestinians as that dispute is the one which causes most anger amongst the Muslim community.

But the US under Bush have been relentlessly pro-Israeli, ignoring the basic injustice of the Israeli occupation and constant land grabbing in Palestine.

This problem will never be sorted until a peace deal is reached which accords with UN resolution 242.

So Brown is not being warned of anything that we don't already know. Every time I read of this recent Israeli invasion I am flabbergasted that all history is stripped from most reporting. We are asked to believe that Israel is reacting to recent rocket fire from Gaza and are asked to ignore what might be encouraging such rocket fire.

We are supposed to forget a brutal forty year occupation and the most recent eighteen month siege of the people of Gaza and pretend that history began when the first Gazan rocket landed in Israel.

Another participant in the discussion, Khurshid Drabu, said there was widespread concern about radicalisation. "What we are looking for is equality of treatment when international law is breached. When a Muslim country does that the weight of the world is on them, why does Israel have such impunity?"

The only answer ever given to that question is that Israel is an ally of the US, as if international law is somehow malleable when it comes to the US and her allies. It's simply not a good enough answer.

Unfairness causes anger, and what we are witnessing is unspeakably unfair.

Click title for full article.


joe six-pack said...

Anger management is a real problem throughout the Islamic world.

Kel said...

Yeah, occupied people tend to resent it as the US discovered in Iraq. And this anger is not limited to the Islamic world. Injustice produces such anger in many people.