There are two general things happening through this election.
One of them is that the Conservatives keep getting caught doing very public, very stupidly bad, disinformation actions.
During the BBC Question Time leaders special, the CCQH Twitter account – which is a blue-tick verified account and therefore is not allowed to change its display name without informing Twitter – changed its display name/header image to appear at first glance to be a fact-checking account and proceded to tweet support of Boris Johnson.
For at least two thousand years, if not longer, people have been calling that particular area of the Middle East “Palestine”.
You only have to look at an animated map of Europe for the past two thousand years to understand that names of countries and national boundaries are constantly changing.
In 1709, there was no country called Israel in the Southern Levant, but you’d have found Palestine on the maps. The modern Zionist movement began less than two centuries ago: even by the 1880s, numerically Muslims were the majority faith, Christians second, and Jews third. The modern Zionist movement from the 1880s onward was a movement of European and American colonisation of Palestine.
The idea that Jews around the world have some mystical religious “right” to live in the Southern Levant because there have been Jews living there for several thousand years or because God gave that land to them is absurd. I am an atheist, and historical claims from past millennia are not made valid by religious faith.
You only have to look through the casualty lists at B’Tselem to see that in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, a tragedy equal to Rachel Corrie’s death happens every week, in bad times every day.
Maamun Muhammad Zuhdi a-Dam: 12 year-old resident of Gaza city, killed on 20.06.2012 in Gaza city, by a missile fired from a Aircraft. Did not participate in hostilities. Additional information: Killed when hit by a missile as he played near his parents on agricultural land belonging to them east of a-Zeitun in Gaza City.
On 5th February this year I wrote about Khirbet al-Tawil – one of the Palestinian villages on the West Bank that is scheduled to be destroyed because Israeli settlers are to have their land and their water.
This is not unusual. Roads and settlements which can only be used by Israel citizens are being built all over the West Bank.
Khirbet al-Tawil sits on the sides of a hill that descends into the Jordan Valley, between the Palestinian town of Aqraba and the Jewish settlement of Gitit. The village is accessed by a muddy road, which took us a long time to find. On the rocky terrain in between the fields, there were several buildings – either houses or shacks – next to animal pens and coops. When we entered the mosque, accompanied by two researchers from the Israeli human rights group B’Tselem and a researcher from the Association for Civil Rights in Israel, the residents were absorbed in lively conversation. It was noon, and they turned first to pray, kneeling on the wet rugs, their faces toward Mecca.
The stone ruins of the ancient, magnificent houses in Khirbet al-Tawil attest that Palestinians lived here for centuries.
I’m not a rap fan. Having just listened to about 8 minutes of Hip Hop M1X with Charlie Sloth, I can say this with some certainty. The rapper I listened to is “Margate’s finest, Mic Righteous” – and I can’t imagine I’d be writing a blog post about him except that something weird happened during his rap: one word was obliterated with the sound of breaking glass (and the shot used did not show Mic’s mouth, so the BBC are wise to lip-reading).
The word obliterated was “Palestine”: Mic Righteous, explaining to his fans that despite his recent success he’s no sellout, says “I can scream Free Palestine for my pride/still pray for peace” or as the BBC preferred “I can scream Free *SMASH GLASS* for my pride/still pray for peace.”