Saturday, April 20, 2002

Better late than never

It's the debate on the Middle East the Commons held on Tuesday. Some of the best contributions were from Gerald Kaufman, John Gummer, Andrew McKay and Julian Lewis. If you like emmotive speeches, then George Galloway's is your thing. A lot has been said about Mr Galloway, and I would tend ot agree with those who say that his speeches are no longer new, however he does know his stuff on the Middle East and his speeches are the best exposition of the secular Palestinian cause (a cause that excites me as much as year-old brie) that I have seen anywhere else. Far better than that piece of excrement Tom Paulin (notice to overworked bloggers, that reference has nothing to do with suicide bombers in cinemas).

Gerald Kaufman's speech was the one that was reported in the news when he referred to Sharon as a war criminal. Now it is often being reported as being critical to Israel, but as I have said before he is doing no such thing:

I became a friend of Israel when I was eight days old, and I have the scar to prove it.

Well, maybe that has nothing to do with the debate, but how could I not put in that line?

However Kaufman's interests are those of the Israeli Labour Party and his intention is not to be moderate on the Middle East but to unseat the democratically elected government of Israel. In his speech he mentions Sharon twenty times. Isn't that a bit of a fixation he has there?

I would suggest that Kaufman's views, and background, are probably more that of the BBC than George Galloway's. Israel perhaps suffers from BBC bias (hey - I know that the American press is biased the other way) not because its journalists are antagonistic towards Israel - but that they are antagonistic towards the more right wing elements within Israel. I never remember the BBC being critical when Israel had Labour governments.

You may also want to read the Foreign Affairs Question Time on the same day. Not that much of note in there, alas.


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