Sunday, January 11, 2009

Raising 'Awareness'

This weekend London was once a again the scene of Gaza related demonstrations. On Saturday morning, Islamic Republic funded Press TV, almost entirely committed all its airtime to churn out the crowds in UK and Europe to demonstrate for Gaza by continuously showing pictures of dead and injured children. It was pure moral blackmail. The message was clear, if you did not join the demos later outside the Israeli embassy in Kensington, you had the blood of the Gaza children on your hands.

It was not just moral blackmail however, former British Intelligence officer, Annie Machon was on Press TV to tell the UK Muslims how hard done they were and how much they were discriminated against, just to get the Muslim blood boiling further.

Curious as to why some British citizens would turn out to support Hamas and how much they know about Hamas, I tried to talk to as many people as I could on the demo route in the short time I had on Saturday. To my first question, 'why are you joining this demo today?', probably 9 out of 10 people I talked to, straight away replied with the cliche answer, 'I want to raise awareness about Gaza!'. Yet when I had a chance to hold a dialogue with them, it soon became apparent that they themselves needed some serious awareness about what is going on in Gaza, what Hamas is all about and the Middle East in general.

None of the people in the demo I spoke to knew anything about Hamas's support for Saddam Hussein for example and that Hamas had declared three days of mourning after the Iraqi dictator was executed. Not one knew about the Iran-Contra affair, when Islamic Republic purchased weapons from Israel or when I asked them about the 'Black September', none of the young ones knew anything about how several thousand Palestinians were killed by the previous Jordanian King. I asked some who were older, why they had not taken to the streets when hundreds of thousands of Chechens were murdered, thousands more had become refugees and their entire cities were flattened into the ground by Putin's air force, and they didn't seem to have an answer, occupation of Chechnya and the massacre of Chechnyan Muslims was Russia's God given right it seemed.

I heard afterwards that some of the demonstrators had then attacked some of the shops and businesses in Kensington, including smashing the windows of a Starbucks Coffee shop, terrifying innocent bystanders and children, I suppose smashing shop windows was presumably to 'raise awareness' too!

Probably 6 out of 10 people I spoke to said their knowledge of Gaza was from watching the news on BBC television alone. Those of us who follow Iran news will know how badly informed BBC news coverage can be and talking of television coverage, I just didn't get to talk to anyone long enough to ask them what they thought about the Hamas TV, Al-Aqsa's porn blooper, when apparently a Hamas TV station technician who was bored with broadcasting the Gaza images on 7th Jan went on a Polish porn channel for 6 minutes before realising that it was all being broadcast live on Al-Aqsa TV :))



Anonymous said...

I don't get your point? You're telling me because British citizens are ignorant that Gazans should suffer?

How many people do you think know about all the factors that played into the genocide in Rwanda? But they still demonstrated.

And Burma? How many poeple do you think could even tell you how the ruling junta came into power or when they even changed the name of the country to Myanmar? Yet there were still demonstrations.

The ignorance of your fellow citizens is not an excuse to allow Gaza to continue to be pummeled.

And you need to stop seeing this conflict through your enmity for Hamas and the IRI. It's not right; not morally or academically.

be salamat,

Azarmehr said...

I know Barmakid, the post is rather superior to your intellectual capabilities and its hard for you to get the point, which is the demonstrators who were claiming they are taking part to raise awareness for Gaza hardly had any awareness themselves, and that most of them I talked to admitted their sole source of information was the BBC TV.

I have re-written th epost to simplify it for you.

However you made some good points albeit with wrong information. They were no similar demonstrations for teh Rwanda genocide. There were no similar demonstrations for Burma.

I don't want fellow human beings in Gaza to be killed or in any way harmed. There is a simple solution to this however which is Hamas to stop sending rockets, if the demo condemned Hamas as well Israel, I would join it, but I would not join a demo that waves Hamas flags.

My views on the matter are in fact similar to that of this student organisation in Iran:

Anonymous said...

دویچه وله : در ایران گروهی از فعالان مدنی، حقوقدانان و روزنامه‌نگاران که برای حمایت از زنان و کودکان غزه، در مقابل سفارت دولت خودگران فلسطین در تهران جمع شده بودند، با هجوم نیروهای امنیتی مواجه شدند.
تجمع ساعت ۱۱ روز یکشنبه ۲۲ دی‌ماه (۱۱ ژانویه) در مقابل میدان فلسطین به دعوت “مادران صلح ایران” برگزار شده بود. هدف آنان حمایت از زنان و کودکان غزه و اعتراض به جنگ و خشونت بود. شماری از فعالان جنبش زنان و فعالان سیاسی و افراد صلح‌دوست نیز در آن حضور یافته بودند.
اما این تجمع بلافاصله با هجوم نیروهای امنیتی و لباس شخصی مواجه شد که شعار “الله‌اکبر، خامنه‌ای رهبر” می‌دادند. مهاجمان هم‌چنین می‌گفتند: “مرگ بر صلح‌طلب”.

Anonymous said...


Indeed, there were similar demonstrations of the sort (on behalf of the monks as well as the Tutsis). I can't speak for the UK, but there definitely was in the U.S. and other countries.

Also, relax with the whole "stop firing rockets" garbage. They hadn't fired rockets for months before they resumed, and what happened? Did their situation get any better?

The answer to that is a big fat NO.

The rockets did not start this, the virtual imprisonment of a whole people is what started the current crisis.

You tell me what you would do if you only received electricity for 2 hours a day? You had no running water or plumbing? No Job? And constantly trying to overcome a "degenerating sense of nobodiness," as Martin Luther King once said.

I am not on anyone's side. In fact, taking sides only exacerbates the problem. But it will help if you could identify who the real obstacle to peace is: Entrenched Israeli politicians and Zionists.

be salamat

p.s. Even if those demonstrators don't know much about the issue, they still succeeded in raising "awareness," even if you want to lower yourself to such a petty level as to criticize activists thousands of miles away (from the real conflict) as a way to delegitimize the legitimate outcry from nations around the world.

If you want to be as petty as someone like Winston, then be my guest.

Winston said...

Naive white-guilt driven westerners are committing suicide en masse. How sad!

Azarmehr said...


Even if you choose to ignore 10,000 rockets fired by Hamas last year alone, how can you ignore the whole stated Hamas intention for the destruction of Israel. Even Hamas TV for children has characters like the equivalent of Bugs Bunny which tells the Gaza children he wants to eat Jewish children.

Stop taking the moral high ground, we all want to see the hostilities stop. I don't even like to see a child cry let alone physically hurt or worse killed when they have a life ahead of them, but if you want the children to stop dying, you need to put pressure on Hamas and its financier Iran to stop firing rockets not go to demos waving Hamas flags and looking like a moron.

Anonymous said...

Good post. But not all British citizens are ignorant - only the student union informed Trotsky rent-a-mobs are. Good to see a strong turnout to the peace demos on Sunday. These counter demos are getting stronger and stronger. Most people sit at home yelling at the stupid crowds of terrorist lovers on TV from the comfort of their own homes. Now it would appear they are more willing to join in counter demos- we are sick of watching these idiots.

The left's demos are selective according to whatever will generate maximum publicity for them as a political 'force' to HATE (they are big on hating) - and not really based in any genuine concern for the people of Gaza or indeed regional peace.

Sohrab said...

Saw the al-Aqsa blooper on MEMRITV - so funny!