It Just Doesn’t Look Good

19 03 2012

Category: Politics, Middle East

The Bristol City Council resolution in June 2010 condemning Israel and urging sanctions, a boycott and disinvestment (see here) needs to be seen in context; the other countries and issues that have earned such an extreme measure of condemnation.

As one councillor put it in that debate:

We cannot run away from this problem, we have a responsibility

And in the words of another

I believe in human rights and international law and when I see those rights being attacked day after day…I think we have an obligation to speak out

Well, they certainly spoke out on Israel;  disgraceful, despicable, outrageous, horrendous, barbarism, murderers, state terrorism, piracy, racism, villains, inhuman, rogue state, horrific, apartheid was what they said – see here for a previous post about that with video of the debate. But as for the context; it just doesn’t look good.

In six years of records of full council meetings and questions available online – see here – dating back to the beginning of 2006, the roll call of other nations, regimes, issues that earned their righteous ire is: Well, there isn’t a roll call. No other country, issue or dispute earned a mention. One country singled out in 6 years. On the face of it, it just doesn’t look good.

Not Darfur, not Tibet, not Libya, not Syria.

Do the councillors have a good reason their vaunted commitment to human rights does not stretch to Somalia, Burma, Sri Lanka or Zimbabwe?

Remember Chechnya? The Kyrgiz pogrom of Uzbecks in 2010? The Turkish treatment of the Kurds? It does not even accommodate Peter Tatchell’s denunciation (click here) of Iran’s treatment of Iranian Arabs:

Palestinian Arabs get the support of progressives and radicals everywhere; Iranian Arabs get no support at all. They swing from nooses in public squares like cattle hanging in an abattoir. Does anyone care?

Bristol’s conscience stops at Israel and that just doesn’t look good.



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