DAY 107: Meanwhile….

November 4th, 2014 § 0 comments

Having missed marking Diwali, Hallowe’en, the anniversary of the invasion of Grenada (October 25th 1983), and even the infamous ‘Balfour Day‘ (Nov. 2nd 1917, since you asked), I might as well give up on festivals and pseudo-festivals. I should perhaps remind you that the anniversary of the October Revolution will be celebrated as usual on 7th November,

reds02Warren Beatty and friend in Reds

which always causes a storm of complaints online from people who have to have the discrepancy between the old (pre-revolution) Julian and new Gregorian calendars pointed out to them. I shall be celebrating as usual with a screening of October followed by a march to Islington Town Hall. We may have to fight off the SWP and their infantile leftism, but I’m counting on some support from Odessa.06142010_potemkin

In case…
you thought the ‘cease fire’ meant an end to attacks on Palestinians – and haven’t been following the news – here are a few updates:

For the first time since 1967, Israel closed down al-Aqsa Mosque compound, following the assassination of a number of Palestinians. PNN reports that, as a result, there has been a civil uprising all across the occupied West Bank and Gaza.


Israeli forces blocked worshippers from entering the mosque to pray, as hundreds gathered at the gates of the mosque, finally offering their prayers in the streets.

Violent clashes have been taking place in Wadi Al-Joz and the Thawri neighbourhood, as well as the Qalandiya and Shu’fat areas in occupied East Jerusalem, were young men threw stones and burning bottles.

Israeli forces have been responding with teargas grenades, rubber-coated metal bullets and sound grenades.

In Wadi Al-Joz, a ten-year-old boy was injured in the head by a metal bullet, but his injury was reported to be slight.

Forces in Silwan attempted to detain two Palestinian children, a two-year-old and a nine-year old, on suspicion of throwing rocks.

Members of the Jaber family told Ma’an correspondence that once Israeli soldiers had found out the nine-year-old boy’s name (Izz al-Din al-Qassam and also the name of a famous Palestinian national hero and used by Hamas as the name for its military brigades) they began questioning him.

Israeli soldiers apparently attempted to detain the nine-year-old boy based on the fact that he had “colored rocks” in his pockets, presumably to throw at soldiers but, when searched, the child was in fact found to be carrying nothing but candy.

According to a 2013 report by the UN’s Children’s Fund, Israel is the only country in the world where children are systematically tried in military courts and subjected to “cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment or punishment.”

Over the past ten years, Israeli forces have arrested, interrogated, and prosecuted some 7,000 children between 12 and 17, mostly boys, and at a rate of “an average of two children each day,” according to UNICEF.

The most violent of Friday’s clashes reportedly took place at Qalandiya checkpoint, where Palestinian youth burned a military tower, while Israeli forces again responded with intensive teargas and metal bullets.

In the Gaza Strip, a huge demonstration was launched following Friday prayers, in solidarity with Jerusalem.

At least 28 Palestinians were injured during clashes with Israeli forces which continued into the late hours of the night, on Friday, across Jerusalem.301608

Activist Jihad Oweida told Ma’an that one mourner, Attiya Shabbaneh, was injured by shrapnel from stun grenades in his face, and was subsequently taken to al-Maqasid Hospital for treatment.

Many suffered from excessive tear-gas inhalation while one received a fracture in his foot. A Palestinian youth identified as Rami Salah was detained by Israeli forces.

An official from Red Crescent said that 28 Palestinians suffered from light injuries, while three were taken to hospitals after they were hit at close range with rubber-coated steel bullets in the head, legs, and stomach.

Meanwhile, in al-Issawiya neighborhood, dozens also suffered from excessive tear gas inhalation, while unidentified Palestinian was reportedly detained.

AFP reports that a rocket was also said to have been fired from Gaza, hitting an open area in southern Israel on Friday, according to the Israeli army. No casualties or damages were reported. It is the first rocket from Gaza to be reported since September 16.

Al-Aqsa reopened on Friday, with hundreds of additional police deployed in the area, preventing entry for Muslim men under 50.

For more news – much more- on the West Bank, where there are daily arrests and even shootings – you can visit…
More on proportionality
I’m often asked:’Can I appeal to the proportionality principle in English law?’ I’d start by assuming that you aren’t a Yemeni (say) who lives uncomfortably close to someone the Brits would sooner kill by a drone strike. It does say in Magna Carta:BM4BMK_2439855b
‘For a trivial offence, a free man shall be fined only in proportion to the degree of his offence, and for a serious offence correspondingly, but not so heavily as to deprive him of his livelihood.’ (§20) It seems to me that if your offence is going to a wedding which is also attended by a member of Al Qaeda, you’d better take care in case our government decides to deprive all the mourners of their livelihood, indeed their life. But I think I’m mixing up human rights and IHL as usual.
While on the subject, no one had told me that Magna Carta said: ‘If anyone who has borrowed from the Jews any amount, large or small, dies before the debt is repaid, it shall not carry interest as long as the heir is under age, of whomsoever he holds; and if that debt falls into our hands [if the Jewish creditor dies and the king takes over his bonds], we will take nothing except the principal sum specified in the bond.’ This relates to an entirely different problem, that of barons borrowing large sums from the Jews so that they could go off to war and then getting killed (leaving their heirs to repay). I doubt if you could appeal to it now – say if you’d borrowed from to go and fight for some faction in Syria. For commentary see of course the  Jewish Chronicle.
Household Tips.
Lady M. asks: How do I remove bloodstains from a pale coloured lambswool M & S jumper?
Amazingly, I had exactly this problem myself (relates to the fall described in previous post). I was advised to soak it in cold water, which I did. And the bloodstains DISAPPEARED! No washing, and certainly no use of e.g. peroxide, which could be fatal. It may be that they were rather insignificant bloodstains, but as usual I pass on my experience for what it’s worth.
I’ve been meaning for some time to give you Oliver Goldsmith’s blast against the exploitative rich landlords, ‘The Deserted Village’. On consulting the online version, it looked a tad long for inclusion in toto, but this extract will certainly leave you scurrying to download the rest. Notice particularly how the twitcher’s ‘natural’ landscape haunted by lapwings and bitterns is in fact the product of the landlord’s despoliation. There’s surely matter for an article in Theory, Culture and Society (or something) on this.
Sweet smiling village, loveliest of the lawn,
Thy sports are fled, and all thy charms withdrawn;
Amidst thy bowers the tyrant’s hand is seen,
And desolation saddens all thy green:
One only master grasps the whole domain,
And half a tillage stints thy smiling plain;
No more thy glassy brook reflects the day,
But, choaked with sedges, works its weedy way;
Along thy glades, a solitary guest,
The hollow-sounding bittern guards its nest;
Amidst thy desert walks the lapwing flies,bewii79
And tires their echoes with unvaried cries.
Sunk are thy bowers, in shapeless ruin all,
And the long grass o’ertops the mouldering wall;
And, trembling, shrinking from the spoiler’s hand,
Far, far away, thy children leave the land.
   Ill fares the land, to hastening ills a prey,
Where wealth accumulates, and men decay:
Princes and lords may flourish, or may fade;
A breath can make them, as a breath has made;
But a bold peasantry, their country’s pride,
When once destroyed, can never be supplied.
   A time there was, ere England’s griefs began,
When every rood of ground maintained its man;
For him light labour spread her wholesome store,
Just gave what life required, but gave no more:
His best companions, innocence and health;
And his best riches, ignorance of wealth.
   But times are altered; trade’s unfeeling train
Usurp the land and dispossess the swain;
Along the lawn, where scattered hamlets rose,
Unwieldy wealth and cumbrous pomp repose;
And every want to oppulence allied,
And every pang that folly pays to pride.
Those gentle hours that plenty bade to bloom,
Those calm desires that asked but little room,
Those healthful sports that graced the peaceful scene,
Lived in each look, and brightened all the green;
These, far departing seek a kinder shore,
And rural mirth and manners are no more.
Having referred above to Reagan’s 1983 invasion of Grenada, I’ve unearthed a rare track by Nattydread (who is this?) which appears to be from the revolutionary period 1979-83. In any case, it obviously has lasting musical value, and is recommended.

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