Mar 032016

With thanks to Jonathan Russell, Chair of Aberdeen and District Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament.

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The meeting should be of interest to all those who want to get a greater understanding of the conflict in the Middle East

The horrendous, bloody, escalating and never ending conflicts in the Middle East are rarely out of the news but few of us have a huge understanding of what is really going on, why and what the solutions could be.
Aberdeen and District Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament and Aberdeen Student Left are hosting two open discussion meetings the first of which Friday takes place on March 11th at 6.30pm.

All the speakers will come from the Middle East and the venue for the Open Discussion will be the MacRobert Lecture Theatre, the Macrobert Building, University of Aberdeen.

At our first meeting Izhar Khan the well-known local Consultant, Lecturer and activist will be giving a Historical account of the background of the conflicts. Next we will have Dr Khaled Bashir also an International Lawyer who lives locally and teaches Arabic will speak about Libya. Depending on his availability we hope next to have Murat Galem who will speak about the Kurds. Izhar Khan will speak about the Yemen in one of the meetings. The second meeting will concentrate on Iraq and Syria.

The open discussions will also encompass the conflict between Sunni and Shia, Russia and the West and the role of Saudi Arabia, Iran and Israel and Egypt play in these conflicts.

The meeting should be of interest to all those who want to get a greater understanding of the conflict in the Middle East and those concerned about the devastating effects on the people who live in these countries and on the refugee crises.

Jonathan Russell Chair of Aberdeen and District Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament said:

“We will be inviting local politicians from Westminster and the Scottish Parliament to the meeting but the open discussion is for everyone concerned about these tragic conflicts which have killed over a million people injured many more, destroyed communities and countries and led to the present refuge crises”

For more information please contact Jonathan Russell Chair Aberdeen and District CND mobile 07582456233 landline 01224 586435. E- mail

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  7 Responses to “‘Voices From The Middle East’ – Open Discussion 11.03.16”

  1. I believe there is only one country in the Middle East which is a fully functioning democracy and is surrounded on all sides by extremely hostile enemies, most of whom still refuse to accept the right of that country to exist and all of whom would gladly participate in it’s destruction and/or who have, in the past, embarked on military action with the intention of driving it’s entire population “into the Mediterranean”.

    Will there be any Israeli speakers at this event?

    • Yeah.. The fully democratic country that killed 504 children and injured 3,436 children, of whom 10% suffered permanent disability in less than two months (as perHuman Rights).

      You either don’t know much or changing obvious facts. The Israeli government is the one who wishes that the entire Palestinian population would sink into the medetatanean as the Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin Said in 1992, “I wish I could wake up one day and find that Gaza has sunk into the sea.” And they’re working brutaly on it.

      • Hi Mulham,

        I wondered how long it might take for me to be accused of ignorance or dishonesty, on the basis that my views on Israel are contrary to the intellectually inexplicable revisionist orthodoxy which currently prevails.

        One suspects you must have had to work extremely hard to not only find a quote, but then to stretch it so far out of context, from of all people, a man who lost his life as a result of his commitment to peace and who was rightfully awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, in order to maintain your apparent adherence to a distortion of history and reality which, in my view, can not be explained by mere ignorance alone.

        I would humbly and respectfully suggest to you that the election of a terrorist organisation dedicated to the destruction of a neighbouring State, the refusal to accept the right of that State to exist, the continuous and deliberate bombing of civilian areas within that State, from missile launchers deliberately sited near schools, and the use of civilians as “human shields” in the event of eventual retaliation, may not really be the best way to ensure the safety of one’s children.

        Now that we have engaged in an exchange of views, would you mind explaining which part of my initial comment you consider to be inaccurate, leading to your depiction of me as either ignorant or dishonest?

  2. Hello Bruce,
    There wasn’t a need to work ‘extremely hard’ to write the quote. It would ring a bell, to anyone who knows a bit about the conflict, when reading what you wrote about the ‘hostil enemies’ who are trying to drive the entire Israeli population into the sea. While it was said by an Israeli official.

    And yes it’s ironic and sad that this very person is a noble prize winner for peace, while he was responsible of the killing of thousands of civilians in the first intifada and his soldiers broke the bones of hundreds, where he got the ‘bone crusher ‘ name.

    To answer your question, I believe that for a person to support the Israeli’s government has to either not know much about the conflict or be turning a blind eye on it.
    Im of course against firing missiles to civilian areas near schools. But let’s look at the facts. How many Israeli were killed by those missiles in the last big series of missiles launched against Israel in 2014? 8 Israeli.
    How many Palestinians killed by the Israeli army as a reaction? 2300 civilians. Do I need to comment?!

    Please don’t tell me about the human shield stories! The Israeli army is the only party IMO using human shields (many times children). An example is what’s the Haartez themselves published where Israeli soldiers were convicted on using a child as human shield.

  3. Hi Mulham,

    It’s difficult, for a simple person like myself, to know where to start, when faced with the task of publicly disagreeing with your overwhelmingly superior knowledge and wisdom. That said, I’m going to give it a go anyway:

    As someone of your undoubted subject knowledge will be aware, there has never been an independent state in the territories referred to by some as “Palestine” other than the State of Israel, and there has never been an independent Palestinian State anywhere. Indeed, following the forced expulsion of the Jews, by the Romans, the territory was occupied and ruled predominantly and successively by the forces of Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman Empires, not to mention the Syrians, Egyptians and others, prior to the British Mandate following the end of the First World War. At no time throughout this period was there ever any notion or idea of Palestinian statehood. This was confirmed by Arab commentators during deliberations leading to the establishment of the State of Israel by the United Nations(UN) in 1948, although some of these commentators would much later go on to change their position and become prominent members of the so called Palestinian Liberation Organisation in 1964.

    Of course, the refusal of many of the “Palestinian” inhabitants of the new State of Israel and the refusal of neighbouring countries to accept the presence of a Jewish State led to the large – scale attempted annihilation of the Jewish citizens of Israel in 1948, 1967 and 1973, with never – ending and widely acknowledged terrorist attacks throughout this period, and which continue to this day. Fortunately for the people of Israel, their defence forces prevailed and the prospect of a second 20th Century holocaust was prevented.

    That Yitzhak Rabin played a prominent and heroic part in defending his fellow citizens, including peace – loving Arabs, during these conflicts and went on to pursue a peace settlement with those who had sought to destroy Israel, thereby setting a fine example for Ariel Sharon to follow with his unilateral withdrawal from Gaza, surely merits more positive recognition than you are willing to concede.

    One of the downsides of refusing to accept the existence of a nation State and maintaing continuous military and terrorist attacks upon such States, particularly when such a State has some experience of surviving attempted destruction and is forced to be eternally vigilant, is the prospect of a spectacular black of “success” and inevitable retaliation. I believe there is a debate to be had in relation to the proportionality of such retaliation but would respectfully suggest, particularly given your intellectual pre – eminence, that the skill, ingenuity and sophistication of the Israeli defence capability and vigilance of Israeli civilians are responsible for the prevention of comparable numbers of civilian casualties in Israel, rather than the proclaimed moral superiority of those who launch missiles at them on a daily basis.

    I would like to go on Mulham but sadly have work to do. I look forward with enthusiasm to your next tutorial and to reading your detailed critique of my original comments which, as you have said but failed to demonstrate, do not stand up to scrutiny.

    Just one question before I go Mulham: Do you accept the right of the State of Israel to exist or not?

  4. Bruce,

    Every time I reply on a specific point you mention, you deviate and move to another, instead of replying back.
    I didn’t give a tutorial in my previous post but it was you who gave a lecture.
    I can of course waste another 4 lines being sarcastic, in a try to be funny. But I’d rather write facts.

    As for your last jump:
    Yes, there wasn’t an independent state called Palestine, because it has a long sad history of brutal occupations and invasions, the worst is the Israeli one. But how is that relevant?!
    The land has always been inhabited by Palestinians since they started to be called so. So the fact that there was always someone stealing their land doesn’t give the right for another to do so.

    If the UN is your reference, then the UN Partition Plan and General Assembly Resolution 181 of 1947 did indeed declare an “Arab state” and a “Jewish state” in Palestine.
    However, it did so based on the population distribution at the time. It did not define a “Jewish” state so that Jews from all over the world would continue to migrate taking over Palestinian’s homes and lands, increasing the population from 600,000 to over 6,000,000 now.

    Over 77 resolutions were declared by the UN against Israel, one of them is 242 in 1967 where it stated that Israel should withdraw it’s army from the recent ‘occupation’ at that time. That of course or any of the other 76 resolutions weren’t respected. We’re not talking here about an organisation like Hamas that is recognised as a terrorist organisation by the western governments, but a government of a state.

    Now I’ll go back further in history since you mentioned the expulsion of the Jews.
    The Jews were expelled from Palestine in 70 AC. But when did they enter Palastine in the first place?
    As you probably know the Jews invaded what we call now Palestine in 1125 BC.
    So the Jews lived in Palestine for 1200 years, but they were outside Palestine for a much longer period of 1900 years.

    I can see that, just like any argument of this type, it’s not going anywhere.
    So will end it by answering your question.

    Israel didn’t have the right to be created. Israel exists through a biblical statement, Balfour’s illegitimate declaration, a promise of a land he didn’t own, by facilitation of another occupier of the land, and tens of thousands of dead bodies of rightfully Palestinian original land owners.
    Having said that, there is now a new Israeli generation who was born there and haven’t committed a crime or had a choice of being there on someone else’s land. So those people should have the right to live peacefully side by side by the Palestinians, only when the Palestinians rights, land and basic humanitarian needs are respected by the Israelis.

  5. I’ll take that as a No then!?

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