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Harringay, Haringey - So Good they Spelt it Twice!

For HoLiners who would like to sign and support this Petition.

It asks the Council to support the call for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza and

to divest its pension fund from companies complicit in the illegal occupation of Palestine and the ongoing military onslaught in Gaza. Thanks. 


Note: this Petition is for people who live, work or study in Haringey.

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Replies to This Discussion

Thanks for replying, Gordon Farcas.

I would ask you to consider an alternative priority and a more urgent and immediate "emergency". I mean: saving the lives and health of Gaza civilians - especially children and other vulnerable Gaza residents.

After 7th October 2023, Hamas may be seen by much of the world as a dangerous threat. But I'd suggest that much of the world may also see the Government of the Israeli State as no less dangerous. Neither Hamas nor The State of Israel appear to show any willingness to obey international law. I have seen Hamas denounced as "evil". Should we consider everything the Israeli Government has done since 7th October to be moral, ethical, proportionate and in accordance with International Law?

About your framing of the issues, is there really such an overriding "emergency" and does this threat really extend "to Israel, Jewish people worldwide, innocent Gazans and even us here in England". 
I'm glad you mentioned "innocent Gazans". But in the meantime these innocents are being killed, maimed, traumatised and starved. Denied clean water and medicine with their homes destroyed and families decimated.

The latest news about Rafah is now reported daily. There are two journalists I tend to trust. They are Amira Hass and Gideon Levy. Both formerly lived in and reported  from Gaza - that was until the Israeli Government banned them doing so. They are both mentioned on this Egyptian website.

The situation in Gaza has worsened  since 27 February when this thread began.
Not only have Israeli State Leaders rejected the International Court's judgement, but they have continued the killing and maiming.
Here's a clip from the BBC today.

The question was posed of whether our elected Council can or should "take a moral position on an issue of such gravity?"
In this thread HOL members thought this was "irrelevant". Also ... "complex and requires specialist knowledge". As well as "highly nuanced and developed after careful consideration of the UK's dynamic security and economic interests. Therefore, it is the preserve of the national government and informed by experts in the civil service, armed forces and the security services."

Well, all these interests have been carefully considered by the expert advisors. The reps from the U.S., the UK and other countries have now called for an immediate ceasefire. So I'm wondering whether anyone on HoL has changed their view?

* * *
Years ago my eyesight was sharp enough to read smaller print books.  In the Oxfam Charity shop in Crouch End I bought a good secondhand copy of 'The Sleepwalkers' by Christopher Clark.  It describes how Europe stumbled into the First World War.

I hope my comparison with Gaza is  wrong. Even so as human beings don't we have a moral responsibility to speak out? I too once owned old books.
"And whoever saves a single life is considered by Scripture to have saved the whole world."

It's a little much to tar HoL members with those views. The 'lets wait and see what the experts say' line was like every other transparent piece of hasbara... based on fallacy or outright falsehood.

The general public has made very clear from October their thoughts on Israel's slaughter of Palestinian civilians. The polling was and remains overwhelmingly against the ongoing mass murders. They seemed quitel capable and willing to form those judgement without waiting to hear from our 'experts'. Sometimes commonsense really does exist.

Engaging with hasbara for any other reason than to call out its dishonesty is not helpful.

Like your previous view that Lammy has somehow seen the light and that Starmer is singlehandedly denying the Labour party from behaving with integrity, these attempts to appear considered are based in delusion. Our political representatives in Harringay, Tottenham, Haringey, and the UK have brought shame on their offices. It's not complex or difficult. Please don't play the hasbara game. 

JamesN, I apologise if I've failed to set out my views clearly and plainly enough. Let me take up a few of the criticisms you make.

Tarring Hol members
I referred to HoL members "In this thread" - not as a whole.  I put their specific words in quote marks.

I prefer to avoid words in another language especially when their meaning may be contended. Many people may not know the Modern Hebrew word Hasbara  - means roughly "explaining". Although in this context the word "propaganda" may be more accurate. And when an Israeli Government spokesperson says on TV that "children aren't starving in Gaza" the phrase which comes to my mind is: "lies. damn lies, & statistics". (Originally attributed to Benjamin Disraeli.)

Let's wait and See; and Hear from experts.
Not my own view but offered by another HoL member. The point I was making is that now we've waited and now we've seen. As have David Cameron and Joe Biden and their myriad experts.

I'd hoped my own views were evident from in my postings. If not, it's mainly:
Cease Fire. Stop Killing & Maiming. Supply water, food, electrical power, and medical treatment. Stop the Genocide. End Apartheid and Ethnic Cleansing.

"Whoever saves a single life is considered by
 Scripture to have saved the whole world."

Surely an ethical precept which shouldn't need explaining?

Alan, I have no doubts about your views on Israel's intent and actions. My concern lies with the reality that Palestinian children and innocent civilians are currently being culled and there is still this belief (as evidenced by your and our local representatives' approach) that this ought to be the subject of high school debate club level discourse. 

A couple of, HoL members made spurious, factually incorrect and demonstrably false comments in an attempt to support their prejudice and bigotry. Your choice to engage with them and their ideas is the problem I raised. 

That you find foreign words anathema is odd and really unhelpful. That you find the particular term 'hasbara' so difficult to parse smacks of antisemitism... if we are to follow the lead of our soon to be cabinet members and Labour apparatchiks. It's a word devised by Zionists, used and promoted by the Israeli state. Your refusal to allow their 'language and voice to be heard' is surely antisemitic in the current climate of lunacy and state-funded political influence in UK politics.  

Now, I and most rational people don't think this makes you an antisemite, but you hang with a very strange crowd. And given the funding and influence of the Israeli state, they'll call you anything that they're told to (see Paul Mason and his Kilburn meltdown).

To bring this back to the original post and to a local perspective, the equivocating, vacillating and sheer cowardice of the local Labour party (Lammy, Ahmet, Starmer etc.) over the past 5-6 months has shown their political capture by the Israeli state, or their fundamental lack of conscience and judgement, or, more probably, a combination of the two. 

As for the invocation of Scripture, it's too often the last resort of scoundrels. But let's take it at face value. This one life you speak of... do you think the ethical precept precludes differentiating between the 1001st life and the 40001st?

Because dicking about and engaging with the lies (rapes, burned and beheaded babies, breasts being hacked off women, hospital bombings, UNRWA complicity, etc etc etc) has resulted in the 40001st. When we could have simply listened to what the Israeli government had said they would do, believed them, and shut this down at the 1001st death.

As for the petition, its all too late for our local representatives to now fall into line like sheep. They have shown venal cowardice in the face of one of the clearest, least complicated and most disturbing displays of human depravity of our lifetimes. 

Finally, to be clear, I don't doubt your motivations. But I do question your judgement in pandering to hasbara. 

JamesN - your posts are increasingly ridiculous, factually incorrect and offensive. You're basically a mouthpiece for Hamas. You owe Alan Stanton an apology. Shame on you! 

Gordon Farcas and JamesN

No apologies are needed for anyone's honestly expressed views on Israel / Palestine / Gaza. Nor for strong feelings.
Truth may shock, of course. And shouting at one another - literally, or in print or on screen - can prevent learning. But if people come with open minds, genuine respectful dialogue may be possible.

On the other hand if people just want crude brutal honesty (and forget dialogue) they might try YouTube. A family member told me they were shocked by a news item with BBC journalist Orla Guerin. She interviewed "Settler Leader" Daniella Weiss. I typed both names into the YouTube search engine.

Alan, you are again highlighting my point.
Dialogue is a device, often a means. It is not an end in itself.

Only sections of the chattering classes and politicians ever regard it as otherwise. These people share the characteristic of never standing for or by anyone other than themselves. They tend to be well insulated from the kinds of attrocities we've witnessed since October, and have unsurprisingly been central to the extent and duration of the horrors suffered by the Palestinian people.
It would take a smug and quite dark arrogance to suggest that dialogue take primacy over truth and honesty, however 'crude' or jarringly they might be presented. I do note that our local politicians don't appear worthy of a dialogue here, despite them being the topic at hand. I suppose the £70k David Lammy pocketed from Gary Lubner on Nov 7th is a particularly jarring, crude, and illustrative truth in any context.

Gary Lubner. A successful Jewish man donating part of his fortune to Starmer's faction as a reward for suppressing the anti-semitic looney wing of the Labour Party. Sounds like money well spent to me.

Gordon Farcas
To the best of my personal knowledge, many if not most of the people Keir Starmer and his "wing" targeted appeared to be anti-Zionists. Hundreds of them Jews who were or are critical of the policies of the current Israeli Government. Policies which have led directly to the tragedies in Gaza and southern Israel.

There is of course a further important issue: the power of money in UK elections. To me countries where very rich people can "buy" politicians don't seem much like democracies. And that's before  we get to "titles", seats in legislatures, and other flimflam.

Once upon a not very long time ago, the UK Labour Party's funds were very healthy. This was due to an enormous rise in Party membership. My impression - after some forty years in the Party - now over - was that these members were not "loony" but serious and rational people. They had entirely justified concerns about inequality, poverty, racism, health, housing, education, the environment  and many many other key issues.

Can I assume you once read The Pickwick Papers and recognise aspects of the Eatanswill Election? And why a series of Electoral Reform Acts were needed through the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. And always need updating as the rich find new ways to influence politicians and voters.

'Fizkin's people have got three-and-thirty voters in the lock-up coach-house at the White Hart.'


Yes, personally I am: "well insulated from the kinds of atrocities ... since [ 7th ] October, and have unsurprisingly been central to the extent and duration of the horrors suffered by the Palestinian people." 

Although you rightly refer to atrocities and horrors "we've witnessed", I imagine that few Londoners reading this website have actually been recent witnesses from either side of the Israel/Gaza borders.

Journalists and others have used a range of media to report these horrific events. And to discuss the causes; factual truths; and untruths of the reporting. Also of future implications.

Reporters and commentators have also enabled many people to see 26 January 2024 as a further highly significant date, because of the preliminary rulings of the International Court of Justice (ICJ).

If the ICJ had ruled in favour of the Israeli State's arguments its supporters might now be making far-reaching claims for its significance.

For many years the U.S. historian Norman Finkelstein has written books, articles and commented online extensively about Israel /Palestine including detailing the horrors of Israel's actions towards the Gaza strip and its residents. Until last year he thought the possibilities for any significant change were bleak. He now accepts that he was wrong. But not with any greater hope for just outcomes. 

People may have seen Prof Finkelstein regularly on websites such as Novara. For anyone interested in full strength updated Finkelstein I strongly recommend watching him talking at Princeton University yesterday 28th March 2024. 
My link takes you to near the beginning of his talk. If you want to see Chris Hedges as well just move the slider.  (It's ad funded so there's no paywall.)

Prof Finkelstein refers to another video which included Israeli Zionist historian Benny Morris. (If you prefer that sort of thing.)

Media responses to the latest news from Israel/Palestine suggest a welcome and substantial shift in outside opinion. Even the BBC - usually highly cautious (or is it nervous?) - has given airtime to voices critical of the Israeli Government policies.

With rapidly changing events it's useful to have comments from former UK government figures including Alan Duncan and Jack Straw challenging the sale of arms to Israel.  The former has now been attacked for speaking out. If the latter gets similar treatment I doubt he is worried. In fact it may embolden others who want to stand up against bullying.


Public opinions are formed by actual events and not just how events are reported and presented by spokespeople and media commentators. If the Israeli Government wants a better public image then they can seize on the shock and grief at the deaths of aid workers as a moment to call a ceasefire. And to stop the bombing, killing, maiming and starving of children and everyone else in Gaza.

I have good reasons to think that David Lammy MP and Catherine West MP may have similar views.
I'd urge everyone to take a few minutes to email them on this issue.  They want and need our votes. If this genocide continues and they say and do nothing then they don't deserve our votes.



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