Monthly Archives: December 2008


The Foreign Secretary, David Miliband, has been speaking to various media outlets on the crisis in Gaza and explaining the Government’s position.

Five days into Israel’s bombing campaign, and hundreds of Palestinian deaths later, the Foreign Secretary still could not find the words to outrightly condemn Israel’s actions.

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  ENGAGE has obtained an email from the Director of Forward Thinking, Oliver McTernan, in which he reveals the truth behind allegations that Hamas are preventing injured Gazans from getting treatment in Egypt.

You can read the email here. Please contact the Foreign Secretary by calling the FCO on 020 7008 1500 or email David Miliband – – and demand that the Government put urgent pressure on Egypt to open the Rafah border crossing to injured Gazans and issue a clear statement condemning the Israelis for their savage bombardment of Gaza.

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  The Foreign Press Association in Israel has written an open letter to the Israeli authorities demanding that journalists from around the world be allowed independent access to Gaza to go in for themselves and report on events.

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What can YOU do to help the Palestinian people of Gaza? Read the ENGAGE 10 Point Guide and get working TODAY!

‘During the last seven years, 14 Israelis have been killed by mostly homemade rockets fired from the Gaza Strip, while more than 5,000 Palestinians were killed by Israel with some of the most advanced US-supplied armaments in the world’, Seumas Milne, The Guardian, 30 December 2008.

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  Anyone will know that wars are not won on battlefields alone. To win a decisive victory aggressors must also win over the minds of those that would otherwise criticise their belligerence and question its morality. No surprise then that Israel has unleashed an assault in the media to dominate the presentation of events in Gaza to its advantage as can be read here in an Israeli media strategy document mailshot obtained by ENGAGE.

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  ENGAGE has written to the editor of BBC News Online concerning a story that appeared on the news site on the Israeli attack on Gaza on December 25th.

ENGAGE’s Advisor on Research and Policy wrote to the online news editor to question why the news item, whilst heavily focusing on Hamas, failed to include a single comment from a representative of the organisation.

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    Just three days ago, the UK government via the Foreign and Commonwealth Office quickly went out of its way to publicly rebuke Channel 4 for giving airtime to the Iranian President, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, to broadcast a peaceful Christmas message to the people of Britain.

Yet, today, given the savage and indiscriminate slaughter carried out by the Israelis (using US supplied planes and bombs) in which over 200 Palestinians including many children have been killed – the same UK government has gone strangely mute and cannot yet seem to find the words to condemn the Zionist war machine. Why is this?

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    Writing for the Jewish Chronicle this week, Alex Brummer (who is also the City Editor at the Daily Mail), predicts that the economic woes afflicting the newspaper industry could result in an even greater pro-Israeli position being adopted by our UK press in 2009.

Brummer surveys the current state of the UK press and notes that:

“…the Murdoch titles, with the possible exception of the Sunday Times, remain firmly in the pro-Zionist camp reporting in detail on events across the Middle East. The Sun rarely pronounces on foreign affairs but when it does, there is no doubt where its sympathies lie.”

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Islamophobia Watch reports on a press release circulated by the anti Muslim think tank, the Centre for Social Cohesion, which accuses Asghar Bukhari of the Muslim Public Affairs Committee (MPACUK) of ‘glorifying terror’.

The CfSC has urged mainstream media outlets to desist from using MPACUK as a spokesperson on Muslim affairs.

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The Liberal Defence of Murder, Richard Seymour

Flat Earth News, Nick Davies

The Israel Lobby and US Foreign Policy, Mearsheimer and Walt

Why There Almost Certainly Is a God, Keith Ward


The Liberal Defence of Murder, Richard Seymour (Verso Books, 2008)

A war that has killed over a million Iraqis was a ‘humanitarian intervention’, the US army is a force for liberation, and the main threat to world peace is posed by Islam. Those are the arguments of a host of liberal commentators, ranging from Christopher Hitchens to Kanan Makiya, Michael Ignatieff, Paul Berman, and Bernard-Henri Levy. In this critical intervention, Richard Seymour unearths the history of liberal justifications for empire, showing how savage policies of conquest – including genocide and slavery – have been retailed as charitable missions. From the Cold War to the War on Terror, Seymour argues that the colonial tropes of ‘civilization’ and ‘progress’ still shape liberal pro-war discourse and still conceal the same bloody realities.

Flat Earth News
, Nick Davies (Chatto and Windus, 2008)

In Flat Earth News, award-winning journalist Nick Davies takes the lid off newspapers and broadcasters, exposing the mechanics of falsehood, distortion and propaganda; naming names and telling the stories behind stories. This website is intended to be a focal point for exposing past, current and future media abuse.

The Israel Lobby and US Foreign Policy, Mearsheimer and Walt (Allen Lane, 2007)
For the past several decades, and especially since the Six-Day War in 1967, the centrepiece of US Middle Eastern policy has been its relationship with Israel. The combination of unwavering support for Israel and the related effort to spread ‘democracy’ throughout the region has inflamed Arab and Islamic opinion and jeopardised not only US security but that of much of the rest of the world. This situation has no equal in American political history. Why has the US been willing to set aside its own security and that of many of its allies in order to advance the interests of another state? One might assume that the bond between the two countries was based on shared strategic interests or compelling moral imperatives, but neither explanation can account for the remarkable level of material and diplomatic support that the US provides.

Instead, the thrust of US policy in the region derives almost entirely from domestic politics, and especially the activities of the ‘Israel Lobby’. Other special-interest groups have managed to skew foreign policy, but no lobby has managed to divert it as far from what the national interest would suggest, while simultaneously convincing Americans that US interests and those of the other country – in this case, Israel – are essentially identical.

Why There Almost Certainly Is a God, Keith Ward (Lion Hudson, 2008)

Richard Dawkins recently claimed that ‘no theologian has ever produced a satisfactory response to his arguments’. Well-known broadcaster and author Keith Ward is one of Britain’s foremost philosopher- theologians. This is his response. Ward welcomes all comers into philosophy’s world of clear definitions, sharp arguments, and diverse conclusions. But when Dawkins enters this world, his passion tends to get the better of him, and he descends into stereotyping, pastiche, and mockery. In this stimulating and thought-provoking philosophical challenge, Ward demonstrates not only how Dawkins’ arguments are flawed, but that a perfectly rational case can be made that there, almost certainly, is a God.