Correspondence in Rapid Response BMJ re Boycott of Israeli Medical Association
I recently returned with six colleagues from my seventh visit to the
remnants of Palestine. The suffering of the 3.7 million people has
never been greater. The siege that was put in place by 29 nations,
including Israel, in March 2007 was another cruel and unlawful turn
of the screw.
And yet the picture painted by Dr Blachar in the letter quoted by
Owen Dyer is one of IMA interest and benevolence. Unlike the British
press, the Israeli fourth estate is searching and pulls no punches.
It is fair to assume that the members of the IMA are well informed
about their neighbours in the Occupied Palestine Territories - OPT.
Liberty can not be preserved without general knowledge among people' John Adams 1775
The fires in California are dying now. Eighteen hundred homes and businesses have been consumed. Many thousands are homeless and a quarter of a million people were evacuated. About one dozen people lost their lives but charred bodies of Mexican immigrants who were camping in the canyons are being discovered. The Federal Emergency Management Agency - FEMA had its faked press conference with employees posing as reporters and then ate humble American pie. But then Hollywood was down the road. A resident star, John Travolta, 'admits he was forced to fly his helicopter over the region to ensure his family were safe'. Arnie, the Governor, visited the fires several times; most recently he raised the likelihood of arson. He promised the forces for right would hunt the perpetrators down. 'Smoking them out' might have seemed tasteless.
This element of nature has been known in these hills for millennia during drought and the sprawl of building into them has risked this disaster. There was a time perhaps when fire was used by the white colonist to drive the North American Indians from their tepees and their caves. Gunfire, fire, smallpox and other imported disease erased twenty million natives from the land of open sky and prairie. The colonist's descendants and the many late comers would not have dwelt on the justice of these acts of God but instead heat gave rise to hyperbole.
Firefighters described scenes of devastation, with one pilot battling fires in San Diego telling his commanders: "It looks like an atom bomb is going off over there," the Los Angeles Times reported. Another firefighter, Mitch Mendler, said the area "was like Armageddon. It looked like the end of the world." Good that a US citizen has had a glimpse of both.
David Halpin considers the hypocrisy of British Minister for International Development Shahid Malik, who whinges at being held by the US authorities while on a trip to the USA but condones state-sponsored Anglo-American aggression.
This minister in the Department of International Development was delayed for 40 minutes at Washington's Dulles airport by security officials whilst his luggage was searched for traces of explosive. He had been at meetings to do with tackling “terrorism”.
The same happened at New York's JFK airport last November when two other Muslims were held aside. On that visit he had been a keynote speaker at an event organized by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), alongside the FBI and Muslim organizations, to talk about tackling extremism and defeating terrorism. The Register of Member's Interests records that his flights and accommodation were paid for by the Pakistan Cultural Association (?where), the FBI and Homeland Security.
David Halpin argues that, under the pretext of “war on terror”, Israel and its allies are practising torture with impunity while the rest of the world looks on.
To inflict severe pain or mental suffering, especially as a punishment or to extract information: Latin – tortura, torment.
On this the 59th anniversary of the International Declaration of Human Rights by the UN one can hear the thuds, splutters and screams in a good many of those united nations. When did man first start applying physical and mental pain to his fellows? I doubt those artists and masons who made the beautiful cave paintings at Lascaux 20,000 years ago did this to neighbouring peoples. No, this expression of the worst in homo 'sapiens' came with political power and religious belief. It has been used more for confession and subjugation perhaps than the extraction of supposed information.
The dedicated fibre optic cable between Downing Street and White City that replaced the earlier cosy channels of communication is in danger of meltdown.
On Friday of last week we were treated to a BBC ‘exclusive’. Twenty ‘Al Qaeda’ personnel had been arrested three months previously in the Yemen. They had ‘confessed’ to planning a truck bombing of the British Embassy there. A connection with Iran was conveniently alleged. By midnight the Iran bit was omitted and by next morning ‘confessed’ had become ‘admitted’. The rawness of the word torture needs to be kept from our sleeping populations, as well as the fact that we provide both the political and electrical stimuli for such.
"Truth has to be repeated constantly, because Error also is being preached all the time, and not just by a few, but by the multitude. In the Press and Encyclopaedias, in Schools and Universities, everywhere Error holds sway, feeling happy and comfortable in the knowledge of having Majority on its side."