Again it is the Guardian the illuminates an issue that seems to hit the UK (at http://www.theguardian.com/business/2014/aug/17/sainsburys-removes-kosher-food-anti-israel-protesters). The header ‘Sainsbury’s removes kosher food from shelves amid fears over protesters‘. Let’s take a look at the sanity of this. First, about Kosher foods, if we accept this explanation: “Kosher food is food prepared in accordance with Jewish Dietary Laws“, which makes the act of Sainsbury an act of discrimination. These same protesters were actually quite busy ignoring events as Hamas was sending thousands of rockets into Israel; in addition, they seemed not to care about the acts of Islamic Jihad Movement in Palestine against Israel. No one seems to be asking the question how missiles weighing well over a ton (FAJR-5), and also not the cheapest of ordinance makes it into Gaza. The option where we suddenly see, but no serious questions are asked on how Iranian hardware gets there, in an age when there is a block on all things Iranian. It seems that big business has more than just a small hand in keeping the imbalance going. Yet, ‘these bullies’, is that even correct?
You see, Sainsbury acted preventively. There were protesters and I do believe in free speech, so there is nothing against protesters, as long as they respect the choices of others. There will always be the bullies in these places, who by their acts will escalate an issue into something more. It still makes the act of Sainsbury a discriminatory one and as such, there could be legal ramifications for Sainsbury.
The quote “Louise Mensch, the former Tory MP, accused Sainsbury’s of racism” is not incorrect, yet the information is slightly off the boil. I should also add the quote from Sainsbury “A spokesperson for Sainsbury’s said it was ‘an absolutely non-political organisation’ and said the food was returned to the shelves ‘as soon as was practically possible’“. This has a ring of truth, so basically, we can argue that the store manager in question had made a bad call, but that is something for Sainsbury to address.
So why are we looking into the issue of hiding behind the bully. There is a sound to it, that links to it, that corrupts the nature of acts, which is not a good thing either. We act according to our values, our insights and often by our direction. It makes the act of the branch manager of the store in Holborn questionable, but not necessarily wrong, evil or racist. We are confronted with dilemmas in the face of a crisis and we all at times make not the best choice, which is not saying that we made the wrong choice.
And as we look through the coloured glasses we see a pattern, coloured by the bullies. In this case the accusation by Louise Mensch, the former Tory MP and Facebook user Gavin Platman who had a much more down to earth pragmatic response. He voiced a view that “move blurred the line between a political statement and a hate crime” was that so? Perhaps the store owner feared the consequence of vandalism with possible added dangers to his customers. As stated, the act remained questionable, but there is enough evidence that this was not an act of Malice, but simple fear and worry, enough doubt to state it was absent of political issues and absent of hate.
I have my views in the matter of Gaza, some formed whilst I was there in 1982, some formed by the news and some by other information. It is also important to show another side. Even though I have spoken out against journalists often enough, there is a view you must know about. There is a headline “Journalist quits Australian newspaper after suspension over ‘offensive’ response to Gaza column complaints“, this is because of the article the journalist wrote (at http://www.smh.com.au/comment/israels-rank-and-rotten-fruit-is-being-called-fascism-20140724-zwd2t.html).
I do not agree with some of his views, but they ARE HIS views and he is entitled to them, plain and simple. The quote “Yes, Hamas is also trying to kill Israeli civilians, with a barrage of rockets and guerrilla border attacks. It, too, is guilty of terror and grave war crimes. But Israeli citizens and their homes and towns have been effectively shielded by the nation’s Iron Dome defence system, and so far only three of its civilians have died in this latest conflict” is one of the quotes I do not agree to. His facts are straight, yet this system was designed in 2005 and it had been in service since 2011. Yet, before that already hundreds of mortars and missiles had been fired upon Israel. The issue I raised in ‘Puppet on a string‘ on June 30th and in a few blogs before that. Consider the amount of missiles fired, who is supporting Hamas, because this entire mess is escalating because some people behind the screen are funding all this, the article NEVER goes into that. My issue is that the writer seems to rely on a missile defence system that is 3 years old, whilst the Israeli people had been under attack for decades. It seems that to the lesser extent, hatred for the Jews has never stopped, not since WW2. What we see now is a nation that has been under attack and in fear of extinction for 4 decades. The writer does touch on some of the events and also is adamant in calling both sides guilty, which is fair enough. The other quote is do not completely agree with is “The Israeli response has been out of all proportion, a monstrous distortion of the much-vaunted right of self-defence“, yes, from the directness of what happens now he is stating the truth, yet decades of missiles has made Israel angry and perhaps worried and in fear. More than 1300 missiles were fired upon Israel last year. Someone with a massive fat wallet is funding Hamas, yet the Iron Dome also requires funds every shell Hamas fires requires another $25.000. How long until the funds runs out for Israel? These sides are not shown or talked about. He ends in “That is why the killing and the dying goes on. Ad nauseam, ad infinitum. And the rest of the world, not caring, looks away“. That I can partially agree with. The issue is still, until funding runs out for one of them. A side no journalist seems to be looking at. It is a simple view in any analytical premise. So is there a bully here?
Yes, I speak out against certain journalism, or better stated lack thereof. Mr Carlton was ‘judged’ as we see the quote “An Australian newspaper columnist has resigned after being suspended for telling people abusing him over a column on Gaza to ‘f*** off’” Is that reason enough? How was he wrong? Have you seen some of the trolls we see in social media? So he tells an abuser to (F word omitted) off. How does that even closely justify suspension? I might not agree with the view Mr Carlton had (at least partially), yet he had a right to his view. I might counter it, but I will not abuse him for it. Here it seems that the Sydney Morning Herald was hiding behind the Bully. The question becomes, who was that bully? The fact that Mr Carlton responded to the abuse was also not the greatest idea, but it was HIS RIGHT to do so, it seems that this side was also ignored, especially as we look at the weeks of suspension result.
So as we look for the bullies and look for the result of their acts, we should also realise that we all react to some extent here, not all in the greatest way, sometimes we think it was not important, sometimes to not rock the boat and sometimes because it seems like to only act available to us. But whether we give in to the bully, or hide behind the bully, we gave the bully that what he wanted and never deserved, so does the bully have an identity? To the Palestinians it is Israel, to the Israeli’s it is Hamas, and to Hamas they are the Jews. And as the vicious circle grows we see more players pointing towards their own demons, whilst the actual bully points towards his or her own ignorance and fears.