And there’s more lies and bile spewing forth from the odious Kaufman, including his statement of fact that an Arab bus driver who was found to have committed suicide was actually tortured to death (based on the palestinian’s view, because, well, they never lie).
Sir Gerald Kaufman (Manchester, Gorton) (Lab): We debate in cosy Westminster, with tea and muffins down the stairs and the Christmas lights coming on, so let us hear from a Palestinian friend of mine, who e-mailed me a few days ago. He said:
“Clashes are daily occurrences now in Jerusalem. A week ago, things were about to calm down when a Palestinian bus driver was tortured and hanged in his bus. It instigated a lot of anger which mounted after the Israelis suggested that the man committed suicide, although Palestinian doctors who examined him produced evidence of torture on his body. As you may guess, the doctor who produced these evidence is summoned to questioning by the Shabak now.
A day after the incident, two men have committed a terrible act of killing four Jews in a synagogue near where the incident took place. Unfortunately, many Palestinians do not see a difference between civilians and militants in Jerusalem. They have started to consider even those who incite…the killings as fair targets even if they were civilians. And now on daily basis you hear about incidents of stabbings and lynchings all over the city. The Palestinians in Jerusalem are feeling hopeless, and since the torture and murder of the young boy Abu Khdeir in summer, clashes did not stop. More than 1,000 Palestinians in Jerusalem have been arrested in the past 4 months. Houses, especially in Silwan, are being captured by settler groups. Family houses of Palestinians taking part in any of the stabbing or killing incidents are being demolished, or will be demolished. Israeli officials and Israel police officials have given public orders to their men to execute any Palestinian who is involved in any incident on the spot.
This situation will only escalate. I’ve never seen that amount of fear and despair among Palestinians in Jerusalem before. Economic situation is on the low, settlement movement escalating, attacks on Al-Aqsa mosque is on the rise, and no one sees any hope. So I’m afraid that this will lead to the escalation of desperate acts. And more citizens will be seeking vengeance on their own and as they see fit.”
This is a man who is living it, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. It is a living hell. We rightly talk about the horror of Gaza, on which the Israelis have imposed a total blockade. After killing 2,000 people and demolishing huge amounts, they are not permitting any real rebuilding. We pay too little attention to what is going on in the west bank and East Jerusalem. It is a living hell for the people who dwell there and want to live peaceful, decent lives. We are doing nothing about it. We get clichés from the Government. We get minor condemnations, but nothing is being done. Barack Obama could have backed up John Kerry when he made a proper effort to bring peace about, but he sat in the background.
Grahame M. Morris: My right hon. Friend is, as always, making an excellent contribution, but does the lesson of history tell us anything? When George Bush senior applied economic sanctions in 1990, that led to some progress at Madrid and at Oslo.
Sir Gerald Kaufman: My hon. Friend is absolutely right. You cannot appeal to the Israelis’ better nature, because they do not have one. You can, however, threaten them financially. When £10 billion of loan guarantees were withheld by George Bush senior, the Israelis scuttled off to Madrid. It is only sanctions and an arms embargo that work. The anticipation of a two-state solution, which we all support as a cliché, is bogus, because there will not be a two-state solution. The Israelis have the fourth largest military force in the world and nuclear weapons. They believe that they can get away with anything, but they had better take a look at how the Berlin wall fell. They had better take a look at how apartheid in South Africa crumbled overnight. They had better take a look at how peace was brought about in Ireland. They do not have time on their side. There are now more Palestinians than Israeli Jews—