* Good news and bad from the UK elections
* Lebanon files official complaint with UN Security Council after goats wander over border
* Israel saves life of top Hamas official’s daughter
* Lebanon retakes world’s biggest hummus title from Israel
* The foreign media never seems to report on these ongoing destructions of Jewish-owned homes in the West Bank by Netanyahu
* Hamas says Egypt gassed four Palestinians to death (Western human rights groups barely raise a murmur)
There is another dispatch today, which can be read here: Goldstone’s death sentences for blacks: Just following orders (& Turkey’s first nudist hotel opens).
1. Some notes from the British election
2. Another defeat for the Baath Party
3. George Galloway meets Saddam and offers “heartfelt greetings”
4. Galloway on Iranian TV: a comatose Ariel Sharon should be tried for war crimes
5. Rejection of right-wing fascists too
6. A Green’s muddled view of the world
7. An increased number of subscribers to this list enter parliament
8. Israeli forces continue to demolish settlers’ homes
9. Abbas spokesman denies Palestinian leader is suffering from severe heart problems
10. Israel saves life of top Hamas official’s daughter
11. Hamas says Egypt gassed four Palestinians to death
12. Iran calls UAE foreign minister “Zionist”
13. Israel stole our goats, Lebanon tells UN
14. Lebanon back in front in Hummus war with Israel
[All notes below by Tom Gross]
SOME NOTES FROM THE BRITISH ELECTION
Below are some notes concerning the British election results.
For background, please the dispatch: “If Clegg were British foreign minister...”
ANOTHER DEFEAT FOR THE BAATH PARTY
George Galloway, who I have criticized on many occasions in these dispatches over the years, lost the Poplar & Limehouse constituency in east London.
Galloway was leader of the extreme left-wing Respect Party, which some observers said bore similarities in its worldview to the Baath party, which formerly ruled Iraq and still rules Syria.
As a non-MP, it will be harder for Galloway to hide behind the protection of parliamentary immunity – or to charge expenses while rarely showing up to vote.
Galloway’s right-hand woman Salma Yaqoob lost her bid for the Birmingham Hall Green seat, in part because some among her natural constituency of Islamists accused her of apostasy for even standing for elected office.
GEORGE GALLOWAY MEETS SADDAM AND OFFERS “HEARTFELT GREETINGS”
Here Galloway praises the former Iraqi regime:
GALLOWAY ON IRANIAN TV: A COMATOSE ARIEL SHARON SHOULD BE TRIED FOR WAR CRIMES
Here, Galloway tells Iranian TV that Ariel Sharon should “burn in hell for eternity.” He was speaking live on Iran’s English-language propaganda arm, Press TV, which is now broadcast throughout Europe and beyond.
REJECTION OF RIGHT-WING FASCISTS TOO
It is not only neo-Fascists of the Left, like Galloway, that were rejected by British voters, but right-wing ones too.
The British National Party not only failed to win their prize seat of Barking in the House of Commons, but they lost all 12 of their seats on Barking and Dagenham council. (Municipal elections were held at the same time as the general election last Thursday.)
A GREEN’S MUDDLED VIEW OF THE WORLD
The election of Caroline Lucas as Britain’s first-ever Green MP is bad news for Israel.
She has said some very hostile things in the past. For example, as I noted at the time, during the Mumbai massacres in India of 2008, interviewed on BBC Radio’s Any Questions, Caroline Lucas blamed this “terrible act of terror in Mumbai” on “the ongoing Israeli absolute strangulation of Gaza with this siege on Gaza feeding so much anger right across the world.”
Not even the terrorist who last week was convicted of the Mumbai attacks put the blame on Israel, as Lucas did.
AN INCREASED NUMBER OF SUBSCRIBERS TO THIS LIST ENTER PARLIAMENT
Many MPs that subscribe to this list were returned to the House of Commons, including Labour MPs such as Denis MacShane, John Mann and Louise Ellman (Labour), and likely Cabinet ministers if the Conservatives form the next government, such as Michael Gove and Ed Vaizey.
A host of other long-standing subscribers to this email list, such as Luciana Berger (Labour) and Robert Halfon (Conservative) won seats in parliament for the first time. (Many members of Britain’s upper chamber, the House of Lords, also subscribe to this list. These include David Cameron’s national security advisor, Dame Pauline Neville-Jones.)
ISRAELI FORCES CONTINUE TO DEMOLISH SETTLERS’ HOMES
Several more Jewish families were evacuated from their West Bank homes by force last week before their houses were demolished.
In Hashmonaim, about 100 protesters surrounded one house after two other homes had been razed there a short time earlier. The homes were believed to be violating the 10-month West Bank construction freeze.
The owners claimed that their houses had been built legally, Ha’aretz reported. Family members barricaded themselves inside in an attempt to prevent the demolition.
Earlier in the week, several buildings were demolished in the northern West Bank settlement of Shavei Shomron.
The foreign media never seems to report on these ongoing destructions of Jewish-owned homes in the West Bank by the government of Benjamin Netanyahu.
ABBAS SPOKESMAN DENIES PALESTINIAN LEADER IS SUFFERING FROM SEVERE HEART PROBLEMS
A spokesman for Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has denied media reports that Abbas is suffering from severe heart problems. “Reports about the president being ill are not true. The president is in good health,” his spokesman told Reuters.
Abbas, 75, has reportedly made several “secret” trips to Jordan so far this year to receive medical treatment.
Abbas became President of the Palestinian Authority and leader of the dominant Fatah movement within the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) after the death of Yasser Arafat in 2004. His presidential term should have expired, triggering new elections, but the split between the PLO and the Islamist Hamas movement, which seized Gaza from Abbas’s forces in 2007, has left the constitutional processes in limbo.
ISRAEL SAVES LIFE OF TOP HAMAS OFFICIAL’S DAUGHTER
Israeli doctors have saved the life of the three-year-old daughter of a top Hamas leader in Gaza, but instead he told Arab media that Jordan had saved her.
After the daughter of Hamas Interior Minister Elham Fathi Hammad was the victim of an unsuccessful heart operation in Gaza, the Israeli army rushed her for treatment to Barzilai Hospital in the nearby Israeli coastal city of Ashkelon, which has been bombed many times by Hamas. There, Israeli doctors worked round the night to repair the damage from her earlier surgery and to stabilize her.
A Jordanian helicopter then picked her up and escorted her for recuperation in Amman. Hammad later issued a public statement thanking Jordan. He did not mention Israel at all.
HAMAS SAYS EGYPT GASSED FOUR PALESTINIANS TO DEATH
Hamas officials have charged Egypt with using poison gas to clear out workers from a smuggling tunnel dug between Egypt and the Gaza Strip, killing four and wounding six.
Egypt has previously used gases designed to disperse crowds, but if the Hamas allegations are true, this would mark the first time a toxic substance might have been used.
A statement issued by Hamas said, “The Interior Ministry confirms that the citizens’ cause of death was the Egyptian security forces spraying poison gasses into one of the tunnels.” Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum told the Associated Press: “It was a killing in cold blood.”
Naturally (since Israel wasn’t involved) there is near universal silence on this matter by international media commentators and human rights groups.
IRAN CALLS UAE MINISTER “ZIONIST”
Apparently, Emirati Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed al-Nahayan, who has a track record of anti-Israeli activity, is now an Israeli collaborator, according to the Iranian regime.
An Iranian government spokesperson made the allegation in the context of Emirati claims to the ownership of three Persian Gulf islands occupied by Iran.
The Emirati Foreign Minister had angered Iranian officials when he called on Iran to end the “occupation” of the three islands of Greater Tunb, Lesser Tunb and Abu Musa.
ISRAEL STOLE OUR GOATS, LEBANON TELLS UN
A diplomatic quarrel developed over the weekend after Lebanon claimed Israeli soldiers confiscated 185 goats that wandered across the border into Israel.
Beirut filed a complaint with the UN Security Council and UN truce observers on the border reportedly appealed to the Israelis to return the goats, which have been duly handed back.
Last year, UN peacekeeping troops shot dead a cow that had crossed over from Israel to drink in a watering pool.
LEBANON BACK IN FRONT IN HUMMUS WAR WITH ISRAEL
Beirut has won the latest battle in its ongoing culinary war with Israel, after Lebanese chefs prepared the largest ever dish of hummus, retaking the official Guinness world record title won by an Israeli restaurant earlier this year.
The 10-ton dish made up of chickpeas, sesame paste, lemon juice and olive oil, was more than double the Israeli 4-ton dish which an Israeli chef had prepared inside a huge satellite dish.
Ten tons of hummus! It sounds like a Weapon of Mass Destruction.
[All notes above by Tom Gross]