Reply sent to Milband's standard letter

james armstrong james36armstrong at
Sun Nov 15 11:40:05 GMT 2009

Mr David Miliband ,
Foreign & Commonwealth Office,
King Charles Street,
London SW1A 2AH                                                                                14 November 2009
Dear Mr Miliband ,
Thankyou for your general letter from the NearEeast group  not personally addressed,  regarding  The Goldstone Report..
I note you had a large volume of letters .
That you have “concerns” about the report is to be expected. There is no evidence in your letter that you have concerns about the genocide by the IDF ground troops against Palestinian civilians. Others see the report as only supplementing the overwhelming evidence that  the state of Israel violently oppresses civilians and  adds even more weight to the need for HMG to act. The action required is  to bring about change not to continue to acquiesce by ‘investigating further ‘?.
 You state the Israeli ‘right to protect its citizens’ but  the Palestinian rights go unmentioned in your letter, rights to their land, to freedom of movement , freedom from bombing in Gaza,, return of refugees , enjoyment of basic rights and  to having their rights supported and represented by UN members such as the FCO. of HMG. Otherwise how is the world society to advance?
You attribute rocket attacks to Hamas. All rocket attacks?  Why? Do you know of  Haganah? Irgun? The Isreali secret police?   The historical employment of death  squads by the  Israeli state suggests another source. What evidence have FCO for the source of rockets which you attribute to Hamas? Were FCO given access to this other crucial information?  Are there not enough oppressed Palestinians to  retaliate with any means to hand?  Why single out Hamas? Ten years ago President  Yassar Arafat and P.L.O. were vilified by Hamas are to-day.Of   Likud? Labour Party of Israel? …nothing.
You do not mention daily attacks by armed settlers on unarmed Palestinian residents.
You give no mention to the  overwhelming preponderance of  rocket fire by I D F from aircraft on civilian targets in Gaza, the widely reported  devastation on lives and property caused by the Gaza invasion by the state of Israel, nor  continuing (since 1947) refusal to 1.5million Palestinian refugees living in camps abroad of return to their homes. 
The term you use, ‘Both sides’ tends to misrepresenting  the truth to the extent it is deliberately misleading.   Only one 'state', that of Israel is the  concern of the international community of  states.  HMG is  uniquely positioned to address the issue at state level, with the government of Israel. You equate individual  partisans taking  disorganized and random violence with  an oppressive nuclear state deploying in a very confined area  the modern  full range of weapons and armaments and  ground troops.   This does not tend to win respect from reasonable people  for the views set out in your letter.  Your letter acknowledges FCO has ‘no contact ‘ with Hamas. This supports  the case for HMG acting  in the appropriate  sphere at government level where it has unrivalled professional   contact , against the infringement  o f human rights by the Israeli state.
The gross partisanship of the FCO  letter writer is apparent.
FCO advances weak arguments for inaction  when HMG actively pursues policies and action supporting Israel.  . 
The ‘way forward’ sugested in your letter, i.e., ‘for more investigation’, disguises the actions (not investigations)  HMG is pursuing in another sphere.  While HMG speaks and writes of peace, Israel is given enhanced trading privileges with the E.U. and licences to import UK arms.With universal conscription in Israel   it is inevitable that Israeli citizens allowed access to UK have been actively oppressing Palestinian civilians.   Readily available and appropriate peaceful action is not deployed against Israel  yet violent non peaceful action is taken by HMG  in invading Afghanistan and Iraq.  Any action, sanctions,  public condemnation etc  which might register  on the ground, is not taken by HMG regarding Israel.
The partisanship of  the writer of the  FCO letter is breathtaking. It would attract derision in a schoolboy's  essay.  The FCO is apparently so concerned with the detention of one IDF soldier.   The detention of 1.5million Palestinian refugees in Lebanon , Syria, and Jordan since 1947 and the refusal of Israel to allow their return is ignored.  Has FCO any reason to think that the soldier concerned was not one of those who carried out the IDF supervised attrocities in the Shatila refugee camp or other IDF attrocities?
One wonders to which constituency this  standard FCO letter of reply  was addressed when one Israeli citizen is named?  How many Mohammeds, Ahmeds and Ali’s are detained without trial by the IDF?
What information  regarding the names of Palestinian detainees does FCO have?
You may wish to investigate racial discrimination within the FCO.
Would FCO please seek an answers to this  and treat this   as
 a Freedom of Information request?
Repeating the ‘ two state solution’ and ‘comprehensive peace’ mantras, distracts from   attention to the need for peaceful action by HMG at state level designed to bring the Israel state into line with civilized standards of behaviour.   
To answer your question, your letter is unsatisfactory. It fails to acknowledge the  unique role of  FCO in acting at state level,  is contentious in equating  untraced  individual rocket attacks with state intervention by IDF and is partisan in isolating the case of one Israeli individual and ignoring completely some thousands of imprisoned Palestinian activists and one and a half million refugees refused the right of return. It savours of racial discrimination 
Might I have a reasoned response addressing the specific issues I raise avoiding the use  of stock phrases and conducted at an adult level  of reasoned argument addressed to the issues raised?
Yours faithfully,         James Armstrong
A less superficial approach might be expected from an informed  HMG department .
FCO has ‘concerns about the report.
 In the context of other overwhelming evidence that years’ long oppression of Palestinians as a people  the concerns you have at issues within the document which has UN support, are in appropriate .
The report confirms what is otherwise manifest, that    
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