Gransnet forums

News & politics

Israel/Palestine - To think this is how I feel

(448 Posts)
TerriBull Mon 06-Nov-23 06:06:23

"Britons despair of violence instead of taking sides"

A head line from yesterday's Sunday Times who printed the results of of a YouGov Poll with possibly an interesting statistic of the different age demographics and how they are lined up in their support of the opposing sides in this terrible conflict. I'm focusing here on the middle ground headed up where sympathies lie,

"Both sides equally" as follows: 18-24 17%, 25-49 28%, 50-64 39%, 65 plus 37% Possibly that response of the older generation, could be argued reflects the more measured attitude of knowing that, as with most conflicts, there are two sides and situations are generally more nuanced than the superficial black and white.

Hamas attack on the defenceless citizens of Israel was the stuff of nightmares, there was a headline, a few days ago in particular, as to what was inflicted on babies which I wish I'd never seen, but once read cannot be unread. This was premeditated, barbaric in the worst possible sense, enough to think "we've come so far in how mankind has developed, but something like this happens and we might just as well be back in ancient times" We know there is another side, The Palestinians have undoubtedly been treated most unfairly, but nothing justifies the brutality that was meted out that day.

Now the Jewish communities of the western world are having the full force of the hatred of the Israeli government well and truly dumped on them. Why? THEY HAVEN'T DONE ANYTHING WRONG! they are communities like the rest of us just peacefully trying to go about their daily lives. Stars of David have been daubed on Jewish houses, businesses, within their communities in Germany and France and to a lesser extent here, all resonant of previous nightmare times Jewish people lived through. The other day a Jewish woman in Lyon was stabbed, how much worse is this all going to get, it's unbelievably depressing that one community can be so unfairly reviled in this way. What of the pro Palestinian marches, whilst I accept many marching are doing just that supporting Palestine, there are equally plenty of agitators and Hamas supporters. Posters pin pointed have shown comments such as these "make this a Jew free world" "Rid the world of the Jews" the hate is there in full force, once again for the umpteenth time they are being "othered" singled out, attacked, blamed, just to be Jewish is to be conflated with whatever the government of Israel is doing. The demonstrations are becoming more and more aggressive in their stance, should they for example be allowed to occupy the concourses of London train terminals, where commuters have to pass through that throng, and if Jewish, I imagine that could be alarming as it was on the tube train recently, when the train driver, who I hope was sacked, decided to initiate a completely inappropriate support Palestine chant amongst commuters on his train. Some of those demonstrating aren't doing it in that passive, dopey way of say Just Stop Oil, it's full on vitriol on the part of some militants, less about support of one faction and more about haranguing our Jewish community. IMO they should not be allowed to occupy areas where the general public have to pass through and the police should do more to arrest those that are overtly committing hate crimes against Jewish people.

In summary, another heartbreaking headline in yesterday's paper from Palestinian Dr Izzeldin Abuelaish "An Israeli shell killed three of my girls, but hate will only prolong the horror"

M0nica Mon 06-Nov-23 07:04:20

Civil wars are always the most vicious. - and what is this war, but a civil war between one ethnic group divided by religion.

it was the same in Northern Ireland.

maddyone Mon 06-Nov-23 08:44:30

I wonder why our police and leaders are not being much tougher on what is clearly demonstrated as hate crimes. It is very disturbing to turn on the television news weekend after weekend and see the hatred being demonstrated against the Jews. I despair when I see that the Star of David has been daubed on Jewish properties in Germany and France. Have people not moved on in the last 70 years? Wasn’t that happening once enough for them? Some are asking if multi culturism has failed. It’s looking that way on our screens at the moment. Can we come back from this hateful situation?

Curtaintwitcher Mon 06-Nov-23 09:17:32

This has put us in a difficult situation. We have always supported Israel, even though we often disagree with their tactics towards the Palestinians. We now have a very large number of Muslims living in our country, and we are seen by them as being anti-muslim. The government has got to handle this very carefully.
There are many who will take the opportunity to stir up anti-British feeling, even though we have been extremely generous towards all those who wish to come and live here.
People need to get their heads out of the clouds and face up to the reality of the consequences of mass immigration.

fiorentina51 Mon 06-Nov-23 09:18:48

I'm just back from visiting family near Florence. We took a trip to the city last week and decided to visit the beautiful synagogue not far from the cathedral.
Security was strict but what saddened me was seeing 2 Italian soldiers clutching large guns standing guard on the entrance to the Jewish school next door.
Listening to the happy sounds of the primary school children and responding to their cheeky waving from the windows, jarred with the image of the armed guards.
What a world we live in.

TerriBull Mon 06-Nov-23 09:46:39

Having got up at stupid o'clock this morning to come to this forum with my thoughts, as so much of this often on my mind, I went back to bed and returning now . Of course there are several threads on the subject already so at the risk of going over well trodden ground, I suppose my thoughts are very much reflected by many of us who feel the despair of violence without wanting to take sides. I'm nevertheless haunted by the fact that babies, children the old and defenceless were harmed in a pre meditated and brutal way, a deliberate act of callousness, without trying to suggest that The Palestinian people are in any way deserving of the retributions they are experiencing.

Whilst I'm not suggesting that everyone who marches with the pro Palestinians are doing so to intimidate our Jewish community, I strongly believe there are those who do just that and are spoiling for a fight. I think allowing a march on Armistice Day is inappropriate and has all the potential of spilling over into violence. I hate! hate! the way the Jewish community are being scapegoated and forced to live under a cloak of fear and to wonder if this is going to end in history repeating itself for the umpteenth time, are we not better than that now, have we not moved on at all? sad How would any of us feel if we were part of the Jewish population and possibly feel the police and powers that be are not doing enough to protect them.

GrannyGravy13 Mon 06-Nov-23 10:11:27

TerriBull excellent post, describes how I feel.

Anniebach Mon 06-Nov-23 10:52:20

Describes how I feel, thank you TerriBull

sf101 Mon 06-Nov-23 11:18:10

Agree with TerrtBull. All faiths live peacefully in Israel but Jews are not welcome in any of the surrounding countries.

Callistemon21 Mon 06-Nov-23 11:36:05

Your thoughts deserve this separate thread, thank you Terribull.

This all feels like history repeating itself, yet we are supposed to have learnt lessons from the past.

There are wrongs on both sides and it seems no-one is willing to step in and stop this.

What is the UN for??

Callistemon21 Mon 06-Nov-23 11:39:20

For protest groups to threaten to disrupt Armistice Day and Remembrance Sunday just shows how ignorant some of these people are.

They do not remember or do not know that people of different faiths fought together in WW2 to defeat fascism.
Their names are on war memorials all over the country.

maddyone Mon 06-Nov-23 11:48:43

There’s another thread on the UN Callistemon. Most posters seem to think it’s totally lost it’s way, particularly with Iran taking chairmanship of the Human Rights Committee this month.

Shelmiss Mon 06-Nov-23 12:16:07

TerriBull this is a great post, thank you. You’ve put everything across so eloquently in a way that I can’t.

TerriBull Mon 06-Nov-23 12:23:09

Thank you all for verbally expressing that you feel as I do, and I imagine those feelings are borne out around our country, I've always thought many don't like what is going on but keep their thoughts to themselves with a vociferous minority over represented who always seem to shout the loudest. It does seem that is outlined in this recent YouGovPoll, not everyone is partisan to one side or the other they possibly just keep quiet about their inner feelings and fears and there were a fair amount of "Don't Knows" as well, which is probably many a response to the widening gulf of what would seem the insoluble. As discussed on a separate thread, The UN, well what can you say about them when Iran is thought by that useless behemoth to be a suitable arbiter of human rights, John McEnroe's "you cannot be serious" springs to mind. The fact that the world doesn't have a fit for purpose independent body who could bring pressure to bear on the two opposing sides is in itself depressing.

I think what I found the most deeply affecting and shocking , is the act of deliberate violence against a baby, any baby irrespective of race, ethnicity, colour, surely an inner voice tells humanity any tiny vulnerable soul should evoke feelings of protectiveness but clearly that isn't a given, how driven by hatred/deranged/off their face could anyone be to harm the most young and vulnerable.

I've never really understood partisan hatred, yes we've had it much closer to home with the whole catholic/protestant thing, hating because "they're different" in an ideal world under other circumstances "a so called bitter enemy" could become the very best person you could ever meet, a soul mate, a best friend, lover, partner spouse, but dismissed because they're from the wrong religious tribe. Shakespeare knew a thing or two when he wrote Romeo and Juliet which is why that play transcends time and could be set anywhere and has been where there is some sort of conflict.

I do feel strongly that Armistice Day and Remembrance Day should remain sacrosanct in deference to those who died in those two World Wars to preserve our freedoms, freedoms we have in our country that many other nations are denied.

I also feel more should be done to protect our Jewish citizens. Once again I've heard extracts from some extreme Muslim preachers cranking up the anti, extolling their followers to commit acts of violence against Jews, how come they're allowed to get away with this? I'm not trying to imply that is the case in all mosques I know there are plenty of mainstream Islamic Imams who take the opposite stance, one of peace.

M0nica Mon 06-Nov-23 13:34:55

Terriball Thank you for everything you are saying.

Anti-semitism is far more deeply imbedded in British society than racism, even though it is a form of racism. Back in the 1950s I went to a convent grammar school that had 3 or 4 Jewish girls in every class.Why? Because the local Cof E grammar school had statutes that said tha they could only admit Christians, all other faiths were banned. Nobody thought to change them, even when the Holocaust and the war had ended less than 10 years earlier. We, outsiders, catholics and Jews, stuck together. It didn't strike me then, it does now.

We have until very recently congratulated ourselves on our open and wlecoming attitude to other cultures, to let other groups settle together, to uphold their customes and beliefs and integrate them into our lives.

We are now seeing the other side of that welcome. some of those cultures have assumed that this tolerance means that they can call the orders, that they have a right to exercise their own hatred of other ethnic and religious groups, within both their communities and in areas and places where all should feel free to walk and talk.

We have all tried to turn our backs on the downsides of multiculturalism, in fact we have been very successful in doing so, and we are now reaping the results.

One group that has always asserted its right to be itself, to live in ghettos and be handled with kid gloves, is now quite open in its desire to persecute another group, which has also kept its cultural exclusiveness, but has at the same time integrated itself into general society.

The Jewish community is a victim of our delusion that letting newer community groups settle in this country and respecting their cultural attitudes while not expecting any such respect by them for ours, is a recipe, not for community vcohesion, but community warfare.

Ilovecheese Mon 06-Nov-23 13:52:15

I dont think that this thread should be used as an excuse to attack multiculturalism. We need to come together not stir up division

SueDonim Mon 06-Nov-23 14:02:11

Thank you Terribull for your calm reasoning on this topic and other posters responses. As someone with both Jewish & Muslim in-laws, it’s a terrible quandry. I am appalled by what happened to the Israelis on 7th Oct but I am equally appalled when I see the destruction being wrought on Gaza.

We recently spent time with our Jewish family. Initially unbeknownst to us, we were being guarded by a covert armed police presence because we were collectively in danger. I was so shocked to learn of that, I never imagined that I would ever be in such a situation.

How much worse for those who live with that every day of their lives.

Shelmiss Mon 06-Nov-23 14:10:19

SueDonim it’s like that for my sister who works in a Jewish primary school here. The school is guarded every day…..just in case.

bmacca Mon 06-Nov-23 14:25:41

The Cenotaph hysteria about the plan for a Palestine march on November 11 is a totally manufactured controversy – the march was on the Saturday not the Sunday and was never going anywhere near the Cenotaph.

Apparently, it is ok for London to host 9 football matches, the Lord Mayor’s Show and myriad other events on 11 November, but not a march calling for a ceasefire on the day which marks the armistice – or ceasefire – at the end of the First World War.

maddyone Mon 06-Nov-23 14:38:43

But Monica asked unpalatable questions that need to be asked. We need to look at how we have arrived at this situation. I never thought I’d live in a society that openly attacks Jewish people and I don’t like it.

GrannyGravy13 Mon 06-Nov-23 14:40:02


But Monica asked unpalatable questions that need to be asked. We need to look at how we have arrived at this situation. I never thought I’d live in a society that openly attacks Jewish people and I don’t like it.

Yes, it really is unacceptable.

Joseann Mon 06-Nov-23 14:40:36

Thank you for this thread TerriBull concentrating on the experiences and feelings of those well away from the actual conflict. I think I said previously that I do not take sides or apportion blame.
I didn't want to mention earlier that I have Jewish heritage (my father), but am a staunch Christian (mother's father was a vicar). Two very different religions with conflicting teachings.
My father was absent in my life, but despite my mum being very careful not to criticise or incite animosity, I still picked up on the hostility towards Jewish people because they were somehow very "different" in their way of life and conduct. Without going into it any further, apart from having a Jewish name, I never really knew much about my background, but somehow from somewhere, (I lived in East London), I picked up that Jews are fine and welcome, AS LONG AS they don't behave like Jews? In other words, I understoid it that people accept people of other religions provided they don't look for special treatment.
Interestingly I have a close Jewish friend, who wrote on Facebook something along the lines, that she will never forgive the silence from certain people she thought were friends, that it was insensitive. Sometimes, however, people just don't know what to say in difficult circumstances, it doesn't mean a lack of care.
I wish we could all live and let live, because it must be awful to feel fear going about one's daily life.

Callistemon21 Mon 06-Nov-23 14:43:10


The Cenotaph hysteria about the plan for a Palestine march on November 11 is a totally manufactured controversy – the march was on the Saturday not the Sunday and was never going anywhere near the Cenotaph.

Apparently, it is ok for London to host 9 football matches, the Lord Mayor’s Show and myriad other events on 11 November, but not a march calling for a ceasefire on the day which marks the armistice – or ceasefire – at the end of the First World War.

hysteria ?
manufactured controversy?

The ability to hold football matches and other events bringing enjoyment to people is because we live in a peaceful country.

Protests with all the violent rhetoric and slogans we are seeing have no part on Armistice Day.

I and others will pray on that day for an armistice in all the present conflicts and for peace.

GrannyGravy13 Mon 06-Nov-23 14:47:16


The Cenotaph hysteria about the plan for a Palestine march on November 11 is a totally manufactured controversy – the march was on the Saturday not the Sunday and was never going anywhere near the Cenotaph.

Apparently, it is ok for London to host 9 football matches, the Lord Mayor’s Show and myriad other events on 11 November, but not a march calling for a ceasefire on the day which marks the armistice – or ceasefire – at the end of the First World War.

The Lord Mayors Show dates back over 800 years. It is an integral part of the London calendar.

Any football matches being played early will observe the two minutes silence.

Having watched the Free Palestine protests and heard the antisemitic chants, seen the antisemitic banners along with the calls for Jihad, it is not something I wish to see in the capital on 11/11.

The Jewish silent vigils have been held with such dignity and totally peaceful, despite having the photos of those held hostage torn down, and in one town in U.K. where they had tied balloons to represent the babies and children held hostage in Gaza had them popped and/or severed from their tethers.

TerriBull Mon 06-Nov-23 14:49:16

Thank you Monica, SueDonim

I also went to a catholic convent school, with a protestant intake. Those protestant girls who filed out when we , the catholic contingent, were forced up into the chapel for a saints day mass were often "othered" by the nuns with a whole load of "pray for their protestant souls" and other drivel. Quite honestly I thought they were wrong to crank up their obvious dislike for the protestant faith,but of course I couldn't say so then we weren't allowed any dissenting point of view. I don't really think those Christian sectarian divisions existed in 60s England, but they, our nuns were mainly southern Irish and possibly those innermost feelings were instilled in their native Ireland and of course we know how the catholic church since its inception deviated from the very essence of Jesus who was a beacon of tolerance and they being anything but.

There is an organisation called Hope not Hate, because the world could really do with a strong dose of that right now I clicked on to their website thinking there might be mention of their support for the Jewish community at this time. It does seem their main concern is with the far right, Tommy Robinson for example. Well of course the far right are certainly concerning, but it does appear to me that the Jewish community suffer from a three pronged assault, The far right, the far left and militant Muslims, supporters of Hamas. As far as the far right and the far left are concerned, imo there is little to choose between them, both equally fascist in their illiberal outlook of not allowing any dissenting point of view. However, all three factions are extremes and the majority of us don't fall between those narrow parameters. Maybe we could convey that to our Jewish posters, the people that would seek to persecute your communities are minorities that don't represent the majority, we're quieter and they are loud in their respective echo chambers. Even if there are 100,000 marching through London as a percentage that is infinitesimal, and they attract the ridiculous who seek to trot out that cliche of being on "the right side of history" such as for example "Queers Supporting Palestine" were one such contingent marching along, right side of history they may consider themselves to be, but the wrong side of an organisation such as Hamas if they were ever to live under such a regime. Naive doesn't even begin to describe their stance, a bit like the young school girls who were beckoned by ISIS and then found out just what it is to lose freedoms and end up a subjugated non person.

It isn't an attack on multi culturism per se, because often that can work wonderfully well, no race, ethnicity is a homogeneous mass, all will encompass the very best and very worst of humanity, it's just some shout louder than others, but maybe the quieter ones amongst us all need to stand up and say when the next banner along the lines of "rid the world of Jews" is conspicuously waved, "you don't stand for us, that opinion is wholly unacceptable!"