Another day, another complaint of ‘offensive anti-semitic’ behaviour.

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Just a short while after the remarks of the Liberal Democrat MP on the treatment by Israeli jews of Palestinians, sparked outrage in the Jewish community and saw the term ‘anti-Semitism’ being used left, right and centre, another case has caused offence. This time a cartoon, printed in The Sunday Times, by cartoonist Gerald Scarfe depicting Israeli PM Netanyahu building a brick wall on the bloodied bodies of Palestinians. Of course, after the powerful Jewish voices on the Board of Deputies of British Jews screamed in anger their offence at the ‘anti-Semitic’ cartoons, a public apology quickly surfaced from media mogul Rupert Murdoch. 

It seems quite a big deal has been made from this cartoon, I understand how this may have upset some Jewish people, as the timing came around Holocaust Memorial Day, and some may have drawn comparisons between the two. However, to be named anti-Semitic is for me, uncalled for. Upon seeing the cartoon, it may be seen, as the cartoonist himself expected it to be, as an attack on Netanyahu’s policies as the PM, in which his re-election raised issues of his continuation in building the wall in the West Bank separating the Palestinian land from the occupied territories, as well as his continuation to build settlements, deemed by the UN to be illegal. Not, as many interpreted it to be, as an attack on the Jewish people. If a cartoonist was to depict the British PM’s policies in a negative light (as we have already witnessed with Tony Blair), I don’t think the British public would be offended in themselves and outraged by such portrayals. 

It feels as though in this time and age, our minds have become so riddled with political correctness that our thoughts and actions have become constricted. I am in no way suggesting that people should have the liberty to intentionally cause offence to a particular religion or belief, as I am myself completely against that, but when it comes to politics, parallels are constantly trying to be drawn, and reading between the lines has been taken to a whole other imaginative level. For example, if this cartoon depicted in a negative light a certain figure in the Jewish religion, I would have been the first person against it, as I have been when the Danish cartoons depicting the Muslim prophet in a negative light surfaced (but that is a very complex situation that I will not delve in now), as that was seen as an attack on a religion, and not simply an (alive) politicians policies and way to ideals on ruling a country.

Some may think that my comparisons are unjustified, and that all the above are very different instances, however, this is how I see it in my uncomplicated-with-political correctness mind, and they are just my personal thoughts. Therefore, if I have caused any offence it was unintentional. 

And the UK jumps onto the bandwagon of intervention in Mali.

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As expected, the UK was not far behind getting involved in this Afghanistan-like drama. History seems to be repeating itself, the BBC article read

“The UK had already said it would contribute to the training mission and has now promised to deploy about 350 British military personnel to Mali and West Africa in a supporting role for French forces.”

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-21240676

this sounds very similar to when the UK deployed troops to Afghanistan to ‘contribute in the training mission’ and ‘offer a supporting role’ to American troops. I know i’ve mentioned this in my previous post, but as the events unfold and the story develops the parallels drawn become more and more evident. 

Have they learnt nothing? There are still problems closer to home that deserve the attention of the Government; unemployment being one, and also the continuing economic problems this country is facing. We may have supposedly come out of the recession alive, but these problems will continue to play a part in pulling the UK down. Unnecessary interventions in countries on a different continent is not where the people want their tax payers money to go. They may help build propaganda of a united front against ‘terrorism’ for the government, which is what the UK wants out of all of this isn’t it? 

Mali and The West.

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(French troops in Mali)

This is not very recent news, but I felt that it is a story that is continuing to have an effect on the politics in not just Mali, but of Africa as a whole, and the role Western powers will play.

France’s military intervention in Mali is said to have been a result of the rise of Islamists in the region and their aim to control it. This sounds quite familiar, when was the last time a Western Power intervened militarily in a country in order to stop the rise of the so called ‘Islamists’? Yes, Afghanistan. And how did that end? It still hasn’t. Mali is quickly becoming France’s Afghanistan. This was seen quickly after France’s decision in Algeria, as the hostage crisis was said to have been a response to Mali. So a short time after the West’s intervention, a crisis occurs leaving in its wake civilian deaths, this just begs the question, what more will have to happen before they realise they made a ‘mistake’ and call for the withdrawal of their troops after what they will call ‘a successful mission’ to avoid further embarrassment. However, it is interesting to point out that the Algerian hostage crisis was used as proof by the West that intervention was necessary, and not in fact as a dire result of their intervention, and what they would have called in different circumstances ‘collateral damage’. But seeing as the Algerian governments rash use of power in an attempt to rescue the hostages ended up in the death of British and other citizens, it was not praised for having ended the crisis and said that any deaths would have been necessary for the wider good. It was instead seen as an act of terrorism that could justify the West’s intervention in Africa.

Many have raised the question of why, if the West was really interested in protecting civilians from persecution in Africa, did they choose now to intervene, when the whole region has seen violent uprisings and revolutions from Tunisia, to Egypt, to Libya and still until now in Syria. Was it because they were afraid of the reaction of the Arab world? Or was it because they didn’t initially support the uprisings, and because they weren’t uprisings against Islamists, but regimes that they themselves used to support and encourage that they didn’t intervene militarily? Or was it, better yet, that the Western powers had nothing to gain from these countries, unlike the possible materialistic gain that can be achieved from Mali’s various gold mines? Some may argue none of the above , but that instead the events happened too fast for an intervention to be worthwhile.

But now that France’s Hollande has gained a better image from his bold intervention decision, who knows where and when this will end. Will it expand, with the help of the US or even the UK to regain a western foothold in Africa, into Algeria, or even across eastern Africa. We can just hold our breaths and hope for a time when military interventions by the West take place across parts of the World every couple of years with hidden agendas and ulterior motives.

Just a thought.