History lessons: the Palestinians will defeat Israeli colonialism

History is full of lessons and one of them is that nation states can make grave errors, especially when led by ideologically driven leaders who lack morality, integrity and foresight.

Of course, Nazi Germany is the modern benchmark for this. Yes, Germany would have come to dominate Europe economically, but where exactly did the Holocaust spring from? Hitler and the Nazis did terrible and unnecessary things to the Jews, Gypsies and Russian prisoners of war. Shockingly, they were elected democratically and supported by the bulk of the German people.

How the wheel of history turns and surprises us. Now in Israel we have a Jewish state that has been brutally suppressing an ethnic group, the Palestinians, for many decades. The Israelis have been operating an Apartheid system to keep down the Palestinian population that it feels will demographically overwhelm it. It is reminiscent of South Africa’s Apartheid system but is arguably even more brutal. For, as Ronnie Kasrils pointed out, the Israeli states colonial settlers aim to remove the indigenous Palestinians and turn the country into a purely Jewish (racial) state.[1] 

If Israel has a leader with the vision of FW de Klerk it might still change course by voluntarily dismantling its Apartheid system. It could then work with the Palestinians (including Hamas) to help build a democratic one-state solution, as proposed by the late Edward Said. If the Afrikaners of South Africa could do it, why not the Israelis?

Genocide

Yet events have taken a far darker turn with the Israelis going down the path of genocide against the Palestinians. Indeed, renowned Jewish scholars of the Holocaust have even highlighted the fact that Israel’s actions constitute genocide. And yet the US funds and arms its ally, in part down to the power of the pro-Israel lobby in the US. That isn’t some racist conspiracy theory, as Professor John Mearsheimer has previously explained in his book, The Israel Lobby and US Foreign Policy. I’d urge you to watch his videos.

The bulk of the mainstream media has swallowed the Israeli government’s lies about the events of October 7th and its causes, much as it did about the Ukraine war, in order to manipulate public opinion in support of Israel. Israel has also proven itself to be an effective propagandist, hiding the fact that it killed some of its own people in it is disproportionate response to the Hamas attack that day. 

In addition, there were no Israeli babies baked in ovens by Hamas, 40 Israeli babies did not have their heads chopped off, yet the media in Britain and elsewhere covered these stories as if they were true. Sadly, these lies were used to fuel the genocidal hatred of the Israelis (and their supporters worldwide) towards the Palestinians. Liberation has outlined some of this in an excellent article.

Ironically, they provided justification for countless war crimes by the Israeli military against the Palestinians. The so-called ‘Israel has the right to defend itself’ response much beloved by the British Prime Minister and his erstwhile ally Sir Keir Starmer to normalise state terrorism against a largely defenceless population.

The approach of the media was in stark contrast to the way the Ukraine war was treated. RT still isn’t allowed to be broadcast in the UK but Israeli propaganda is given free reign even while the IDF continues to torture hundreds of thousands of children, having murdered approximately 10,000. God only knows how these children have been damaged by the events of the past few months.

Despite the best efforts of the mainstream media, ranging from The Guardian to the BBC the truth is now, slowly coming out. However, even on the BBC today (December 14th, 2023) a reputable BBC journalist, Jeremy Bowen, repeated Israeli assertions that the Israeli civilians who died on October 7th were all killed by Hamas. In reality, it appears many were killed by the IDFs indiscriminate attacks against the houses in which they and the Hamas fighters were in.

The false narrative about the causes and the events of October 7th has been used to manipulate public opinion both inside and outside Israel. The aim appears to be to justify ethnic cleansing and the removal of the Palestinians from Israel.

Hamas is cited as the enemy but the comments of the many in the Israeli government as well as Israelis make it clear that in reality no distinction is made between Hamas and Palestinian civilians. 

The fact that Israel itself helped create Hamas to weaken the PLO is conveniently ignored. As is the fact that Hamas won elections back in 2006 and is essentially no more a terrorist organisation than was Nelson Mandela’s ANC fighting South African Apartheid. 

Greater Israel

The Zionist aim of a ‘Greater Israel’ that requires the removal of all indigenous Palestinians is immoral. Similarly, is it fair that in Israel an American Jewish settler has more rights than a native Palestinian?

The brutality used to enforce this genocidal project does in some respects have echoes of Nazi Germany. ‘Ein Volk’ (One people – the Jews) need more ‘Lebensraum’ (room to live) and a ‘Final  Solution’ must be deployed to deal with the indigenous Palestinian population who are ‘Untermensch’, racially inferior. If it wasn’t for social media and 24/7 reporting of these Gaza genocide who knows how far Netanayahu might go? One of his fascist ministers even suggested nuking Gaza! (He wasn’t sacked).

The crazy thing is you’d assume a people who were on the receiving end of The Holocaust would be sensitive about inflicting genocide on another people. Sadly, that isn’t how humans appear to operate. And history, lest we forget, is created by the victors.

Even a cursory knowledge of history (which doubtless I’ll be accused of possessing) appears to show that genocide has happened time and time again. If the people were wiped out successfully the victors were able to bury those skeletons in the cupboard of history. Ethnic Russians wiped out native peoples in their expansion east. The US pretty much did the same to the Native Americans, the Spanish to the indigenous Indians in the Americas , the British to the Australian Aborigines, the Belgians to the Congolese…well, you get the idea. Had the Germans won WW2, I doubt you’d even know about the Holocaust.

The endgame

Given the bloodthirsty intransigence of the current regime in Israel, only the US has the ability to prevent a much wider war in the Middle East, by making Israel stop the genocide in Gaza and its ethnic cleansing. It must then facilitate a genuinely even-handed political settlement between the Palestinians and Israelis while there is still time. Eventually, Israel won’t be in any position to choose how to proceed as the hatred its actions have created will eventually lead to the destruction of its Apartheid state. Better to grasp the nettle and make peace, while the US is still backing it.

I’m personally of the opinion that a single democratic state is the best solution for all concerned. Yes, it sounds idealistic but in Ireland and South Africa things changed for the better despite much hatred and bloodshed over centuries. If the British could make peace with the Irish and South Africa could end Apartheid, nothing is impossible with bravery and goodwill. I believe both Israelis and Palestinians possess those qualities – even if their leaders have yet to measure up to Nelson Mandela and FW de Klerk.

In the last resort, Israel can’t stand against the world without US backing, and that backing won’t last forever. Nor can US promises necessarily be relied upon. Just ask Zelensky, who stupidly bet all his chips on the US. US attention will eventually turn to China as it attempts to maintain the mantle of global hegemon. Where will that leave Israel in the future if it doesn’t make a comprehensive peace settlement soon?

The lesson of history is that an effective resistance will eventually defeat colonialism.

[1] Ilan Pappe‘ (ed.), Israel and South Africa: The Many Faces of Apartheid

Forever chemicals in UK drinking water

Despite a reluctance on the part of water companies and the government to admit the risks posed to the population, irrefutable proof now exists that our tap water contains unacceptably high levels of toxic ‘forever chemicals’.

I researched and wrote this article, Revealed: Toxic ‘forever chemicals found in tap water near airports, which Open Democracy was prepared to publish. I hope the instances investigated in this article will spark public debate.

They are only a fraction of the many examples that will eventually come to light as more journalists are able to spend the time to investigate further. 

We need far more disclosure from water companies and the government to take immediate action to clean up our drinking water, which is going to cost many billions of pounds. Personally, I believe the water companies and polluters, not the general public, should pay for the costs of this.

We need far tighter regulation of PFAS chemicals and industrial pollution in general, which have contributed to a hidden public health emergency. 

Sadly, PFAS chemicals have the greatest impact on children. Thus, for the very future of this country, we can no longer ignore this problem.

The scientists quoted in the article really deserve great admiration and support for their tireless work in bringing these issues out into the open.

I hope you also appreciate and support public interest journalism.

Play your part

If you want to find out the extent to which toxic PFAS chemicals are in your tap water, and what your water company is doing about it, I suggest you make a formal Environmental Information Request to your local water company. 

You could then contact your local paper and environmental groups to help disseminate this knowledge. Working together we can make a difference and contribute to the change we want to happen.

Marketing masterstroke milks MOU

Seeing Machines managed to raise its share price today with a masterstroke of marketing; a fluffy RNS that while looking lovely on the surface had very little in terms of actual content.

Said creation mentioned a memorandum of understanding (MOU) but provided few details as to the ‘global semiconductor company’ it was with, and no indication as to the the likely timeframe for any eventual deal nor any mention of the likely monetary value (even a range would have done) of an eventual contract.

Call me a cynic (I’m actually a realist) but when after umpteen yearly fundraises, never-ending RFQs, imminent aviation contracts that have yet to materialise, missing train contracts and umpteen launches (e.g. BDMS) and partnerships (Mix Telematics and Progress Rail) that vanish into the ether, I feel I’ve paid the high admission fee charged by the Realist Investing Club.

To be fair, I’ve witnessed a lot of shenanigans from a wide variety of stocks over the years. Possibly it has left me bitter and twisted. Moreover, most of the instances quoted above pre-date the present senior management of Seeing Machines.

I love See’s tech (as much as I understand it – that is a joke for you tech geeks out there) but am sadly cursed by an inability to sacrifice my journalist sensibilities in the pursuit of profit. Nuts, eh?

Why MOU now?

What perplexes me is this: why mention a MOU now, yet provide no details as to the party it is with, nor indicate the likely size of the eventual contract and a date by which it is likely to be signed?

Perhaps it is super smart marketing, big tease before delivering the details. If the contract is signed soon, great: get a double share price rise from one contract. I will be happy to have my lingering fears dispelled as I watch the share price rise and count my profits. 

Yet, if this proves to be part of a well-planned, pump and fundraise operation I (and many PIs) will be sorely tempted to do an El Jefe and scream: “Bring me the head of Paul McGlone” — while berating its nomad Cenkos for allowing such an RNS to be released.

In short, I’d have preferred an RNS that announced an actual contract/license deal with a monetary value attached (even a vague value range). This would have enabled the share price to sail past 5p, particularly if it put to bed any need for a further fundraise. For the record, I’d certainly not be keen to see an eventual contract announced in a month or two alongside a fundraise, in classic AIM style.

I’m saying this publicly as I hope Seeing Machines responds by soon putting my fears to rest. I want greater transparency. I want further details of this MOU. Better still, quickly provide an RNS that gives something more solid: details of a contract worth millions.

The writer holds stock in Seeing Machines

End the threat of nuclear war

While Governments around the world have devoted huge resource to fighting Coronavirus most are ignoring a far greater threat to humanity; nuclear war.

My article on how to end the threat of nuclear war by encouraging Nuclear Disarmament, has just been published in Reader’s Digest (UK edition). Please give it a read. In includes comments from Noam Chomsky, Kate Hudson General Secretary of CND, Beatrice Fihn executive director of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), Alan Robock a renowned US climatologist and Tom Collina at the US-based Ploughshares Fund.

In addition, here is a short interview with Noam Chomsky on the threat of nuclear war.

Coronavirus mania is overdone

Can I be the only person who thinks the state-encouraged Coronavirus panic is overdone to an absurd degree?

Before you label me a ‘nut job’, deep clean your computer and order a few more face masks, please hear me out.

I admit Coronavirus exists. I admit it is fairly virulent and does kill people just as flu does. However, it is not nearly as deadly as the ebola virusAccording to the World Health Organisation (WHO) the average ebola virus disease case mortality rate is around 50%. Case fatality rates have varied from 25% to 90% in past outbreaks.

With Corona virus the mortality rate is only around 1%. It does not appear to kill people who aren’t already suffering from underlying health conditions. Generally, people who are older than 60, or have a weakened immune system or chronic illnesses like lung disease, heart disease or diabetes, have the highest risk of becoming severely ill if they contract the coronavirus or the flu.

Flu kills more

One crucial fact should not be forgotten; the numbers who are dying from it appear to be far less than die from seasonal flu each year.

According to the WHO across the globe up to 650,000 people die from respiratory diseases linked to seasonal flu each year. So far, approximately 178,000  have died from Coronavirus worldwide. (While every death is regrettable we need to keep a sense of proportion).

Public Health England estimates that on average 17,000 people have died from the flu in England annually between 2014/15 and 2018/19. However, the yearly deaths vary widely, from a high of 28,330 in 2014/15 to a low of 1,692 in 2018/19.

Those who are still terrified should ask themselves: do I personally know anyone who has died from the coronavirus? 

So why the utter panic in the West? Why the shutting down of everyday life in the UK?

Boris using coronavirus

I personally think that there are multiple reasons in the UK:

Firstly, this Government doesn’t want to be seen not to be taking the threat seriously. It certainly doesn’t want to be blamed for austerity-related lack of NHS resources (nurses, hospital beds, respirators) to cope with the extra strain put on an underfunded health service.

Secondly, the economy both here, (as in the US and EU) was in trouble before coronavirus. The Government would most likely have had to create billions of pounds to support the economy in the months ahead and stave off a deflationary spiral. The coronavirus has hastened that process. Moreover, it offers a perfect opportunity to kill 2 birds with a big bazooka of money. If the result is economic growth and inflation that shrinks our already debt burden, that is a perfect outcome.

Boris Johnson has cleverly decided to turn what could have been a PR disaster (public at risk from underfunded NHS, pollution and inadequate social care for the elderly) into an opportunity. He is using this pandemic scare and the fears of the population to try to unite a divided country, bail out failing businesses and a weak economy and secure the mantle of Churchill, something he has long craved.

Now I’m not saying that Coronavirus isn’t real. What I am saying that the health emergency we face is a direct result of underfunding of the National Health Service. Also, the economy and stock market was likely to crash very soon anyway, Coronavirus just acted as a catalyst to hasten the process.

Of course, most of the mainstream media is happy to go along with this charade. Just as they failed to acknowledge how weak the UK economy was before Coronavirus occurred, they want the British public to act herd-like and follow the current orthodoxy.

Soon, we’ll read in our press and the  BBC and ITV how Boris saved the country from Coronavirus with his extreme measures and rescued the economy. Readers, you need to dig a little deeper and understand how you are being manipulated.

Be in no doubt, there will be a reckoning. When the UK public wakes up and realises it has been had, it won’t be happy. Then again, aided by the servile and unquestioning British media Boris Johnson may very well get away with it. At least until some historian comes to examine the facts many years from now.

Resistance isn’t futile: it is crucial

As I watched this historic victory for the Conservative party unfold, I felt a mixture of emotions: disbelief, incredulity and anger, soon overcome by a wave of despondency. Sitting here in a cold dimly lit room in the early hours it was easy to become hopeless, imagining oneself alone and in minority.

Yet, despite romping home with a thumping Parliamentary majority the Tories don’t have a majority of the electorate. They were backed by a minority of electors across the UK (43.6%). They won in England and Wales because of our first-past the-post election system. A majority of the country still oppose their policies. That point should be remembered.

The platform the Labour Party stood on was a progressive one that made sense and seems to have been well received. However, its changed Brexit stance was unpopular in its northern heartlands. 

What have we learnt?

My initial takeaways from this are the following:

  • This ‘Brexit’ election was a freak and those in Labour heartlands who voted Tory this time around will regret their actions when they realise they’ve been conned by Boris Johnson, one of smartest, most deceitful politicians in British electoral history. (Disraeli, eat your heart out).
  • The Labour right wing will try and reverse the progressive moves made under Corbyn. This must be resisted. Labour didn’t lose because its social, economic and climate change policies were unpopular. It lost because a large chunk of voters in its traditional heartlands in England & Wales didn’t like its Brexit stance.
  • Scotland has spoken out as clearly as England & Wales: it wants the SNP and to have an independence referendum. That has to be respected. All progressive people should support this wish as Boris Johnson will try and avoid doing so. Indeed supporting the right of Scotland to have a democratic independence referendum is a touchstone for every progressive. Scottish resistance in the event of the Tories refusing to allow an Independence Referendum should be fully supported.
  • We must change the electoral system to some form of Proportional Representation, as the current system isn’t fair. I’d be saying that even if Labour had won a majority.
  • Re. climate change, I doubt Boris Johnson will do what needs to be done. Time is short, so mass civil peaceful disobedience has to be one means to push for change in the future. Again, progressives should fully support these actions.
  • We need to develop our own media to communicate progressive ideas to the masses. BBCNews and the mainstream media is effectively controlled by the establishment. It was able to effectively influence this election.

Remain is now dead for England, Wales and Northern Ireland. That has to be accepted. But resistance to the policies that penalise the poor, increase division and racism in our society should be resolutely opposed.

This morning Labour is down as are the Greens and Lib Dems, but never out. Millions are relying on Jeremy Corbyn and his successor to continue to resist the forces of oppression and neo-liberal economic policies as they fight against climate change.

Resistance isn’t futile, it’s crucial if we are to get progressive change. That’s what enabled people to win the vote from the grasping hands of the establishment.

This is a battle lost but the fight for a fairer, more environmentally-friendly world must continue if we are to win the war.

Jeremy Corbyn

I am sure Jeremy Corbyn knows that much better than me.

Personally, I’d like to say thank you to him for staying the course and putting up with an unprecedented vilification campaign. He’s the reason I rejoined the Labour Party after disillusionment over the the Iraq War. He is a wise man.

Remember, resistance isn’t futile: it is crucial. We must keep fighting for what we know to be right. 

Good luck.

Revenge of the Killer Zombie Government

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Killer ZombieOur ‘Their’ UK Government is clearly incompetent, too ideologically obsessed with cutting regulations and implementing muddle-headed, ’balance the books’ austerity to care for us peeps.

That much we know after Grenfell Tower fire burnt down the last remaining veil hiding the Tories’ duplicity and selfishness. The exact number of dead in that fire is probably well into triple figures – but don’t expect a realistic death toll until the heat of the summer is long past. Tempers might combust and the establishment don’t want their stage-managed democracy torched by the angry masses.

But I digress: up and down the country most people can increasingly smell the stink of this Tory Government’s rotting corpse. With every passing week the stench gets stronger. Even the DUP’s futile attempt to give it the kiss of life won’t revive it.

What is especially shocking is that this Zombie Government cares more for the dead than the living. Theresa’s May’s wet dream would be the death of Corbyn. I imagine she’d happily splurge on a state funeral if it meant her failing grip on the cliff edge of power became a little tighter. She might not be alone in twisting and turning in orgasmic delight at such a fantasy – but Boris doesn’t kiss and tell in public.

How do I justify that statement? Well, first I’d cite the ‘fact’ that I believe it to be true. Okay, that’s too weak – though I think you may believe it also.

Secondly, they’re doing little to prevent pollution from diesel vehicles that is sending many to an early grave and damaging the lungs of children.

Lastly, what else can explain the fact that, while •thousands are injured and many killed in road accidents every year caused by driver fatigue and inattention, ‘our’ Government is doing little to encourage the adoption of technology that could drastically reduce those numbers.

Yes, that’s right. The technology to warn drivers when they’re falling asleep at the wheel or distracted (for example, by using a mobile) exists.

Yet the Government does nothing to encourage its adoption: it doesn’t test it or mandate it on UK roads.

Noblesse ought to oblige the Government to do the decent thing but this mob in power don’t give a fig for the living.

• According to figures from the Department of Transport, in 2015, driver distraction was cited as a factor in 2,920 crashes, which resulted in 61 fatalities and 384 serious injuries. Similarly, driver fatigue was a contributory factor in 1,784 car accidents in 2015, resulting in 58 fatalities and 331 serious injuries.