Sunday, July 30, 2006

British MP and women activists deported from Israel

And no, it wasn't George Galloway.

According to this news story, Lynne Jones, Labour MP for Birmingham Selly Oak, Yvonne Washbourne, President of Birmingham Trades Council, and Salma Iqbal of Respect (the article calls her a "Councillor" - actually this isn't true, she did not win the seat she stood in at this year's local elections), have been deported from Israel after arriving at Tel Aviv airport en route to Ramallah. They were to pay a visit and do some work building links with women's groups in Palestine. Again, this really shows just how paranoid the Israeli state has become.

I've met two of the three people on that delegation, one being the long-standing trade unionist Washbourne (at the time of writing the BBC article has her name wrong, calling her "Washbrook"), and the other being the left-wing Labour MP Jones. Both are utterly decent, and the idea that they could possibly constitute any threat to Israeli security, is a nonsense. I also have no doubt that the same is true of Iqbal, whom I have not met personally, but who gives one no reason whatsoever to suspect her of any sinister intent. So, in the absence of any legitimate security concerns, one is led towards the conclusion that the deportations can only have been either the product of paranoia or political motivation.

Either way, it's the wrong thing to have done. And given the rate at which Israel is currently losing international credibility, it's also utterly stupid.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lynne Jones - i remember when she posted on her website an article about Israeli soldiers on the West Bank raping Palestinian women. It was proven to be totaly false and she had to pull it from her site. So do i give a shit if she was rsfused entry into Israel. Not likely - she's scum

4:25 PM  
Blogger Jim Denham said...

Salma *is* an elected "Respect" councillor for Birmingham Sparkbrook- unfortunately.

4:55 PM  
Blogger voltaires_priest said...

No, she isn't - that's Salma Yaqoob, not Salma Iqbal.

11:53 PM  
Blogger voltaires_priest said...

Anon - so she put up an article that turned out to be incorrect, and took it down again when she was informed? That's exactly what I'd do if someone showed me info that proved one of my sources was wrong. So how does that make her "scum"?

3:25 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Voltaire : She refused to take it down even though there was no proof. It was up for weeks until finaly she took it down when even Amnesty Int said the article was wrong.

6:57 AM  
Blogger voltaires_priest said...

Anon; even if you're right (and I'd need a lot more evidence to be convinced of that), then that might make her wrong and stubborn; but it doesn't make her "scum".

3:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

VP. Yes you are correct - i was just showing my dislike of her after what she did. But i just wonder why she posted something so carelessly. AT the time she said the info' came from one of her constituents and she had no reason to disbelieve her constituent. No doubt it fitted in with her view on Israel and she was quite happy to publish it. Hardly does anything to encourage moderate Israelis. Anyway its something that for some reason i remember every time i hear her name and yes i strongly dislike her for it and question her motives.

1:25 PM  
Blogger voltaires_priest said...

What, you're saying you think she's anti-semitic?

3:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

VP. Are you trying to put words in my mouth ? I'm not saying she is anti-semitic. I'm sure she is not. I'm sure she does not hate Jews. But perhaps she hosted it on her site because it fits in with her viewpoint. As you know many (though not all) people on the "campaign group" left believe that Israel is a bad state that should not exist. They demonise and try to delegitimise it. AWL have pointed this out many times from a left perspective. Take a look at what her neighbouring MP Clare Short has been saying over the last 12 months.

7:30 AM  
Blogger voltaires_priest said...

No, I'm not trying to put words in your mouth, just to ascertain what your exact view is - and I think your last post clarifies it very well.

8:56 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks VP. problem is that there is often the accusations that anybody who criticises Israel is denounced as an anti-semite. But in reality this very rarely happens (apart from some crazy right wing supporters of Israel). What has happened is that some people who criticise Israel get the accusation in first that they will be called an anti-semite.

9:46 AM  

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