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Alan Shatter's Road to Damascus?

category national | anti-war / imperialism | opinion/analysis author Thursday June 03, 2010 23:16author by Raymond Deane - IPSC (in a personal capacity) Report this post to the editors

A Zionist TD changes his tune

At a meeting of the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Foreign Affairs on 3d June, über-Zionist Alan Shatter TD (Fine Gael) caused some jaws to drop when he expressed some unexpected opinions on Israel's blockade of the Gaza Strip.

When it comes to the issue of Palestine, meetings of the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Foreign Affairs (JCFA) could truly give the impression that all Irish political parties are left of centre. Apart from the inevitable unthinking obeisance to the shibboleth of a "two-state solution", representatives of Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael, Sinn Féin, The Greens, Labour and independents alike often seem to be singing from a hymn-sheet composed by the Ireland Palestine Solidary Campaign.

Given the ongoing inaction on any but a rhetorical level by the Irish government, it would be a mistake to overrate the importance of such consensus, but it is nonetheless something unique among European parliaments.

I attended the JCFA's meeting on 3d June. Originally, this was to have seen the Israeli Ambassador answer questions on the murderous hi-jack of the Gaza Freedom Flotilla by Israeli commandos in international waters, but Mr Evrony politely bowed out. His place was taken by the imperturbable Shane Dillon, mate on board the Challenger 1 which was intercepted by Israeli commandos at the same time that they slaughtered at least 9 passengers on board the Turkish cruiser Mavi Marmara. Shane was "deported" from Israel, a country he had not sought to visit, on 1st June.

Shane started proceedings by giving a quiet and eloquent account of the sequence of events from the moment the Israeli state terrorists boarded the Challenger 1 to the moment of his "deportation", pointing out for the umpteenth time that the implements found on the Mavi Marmara and designated as "weapons" by the Israeli army - knives, steel rods, a sledge-hammer - were part of the normal equipment of any seafaring vessel.

One after the other the august members of the Committee welcomed Shane back and congratulated him on his courage. Dr Rory O'Hanlon (FF) called Israel's actions "a symptom of an underlying cause", viz, the Israeli blockade of Gaza that everybody - even Billy Timmins TD (FG) - seemed to agree was illegal, and which was defined by Michael D. Higgins, TD, as "collective punishment". Michael D. pointed out the significant fact that even An Taoiseach Brian Cowen had described it as illegal. Senator David Norris berated the Israeli spin-machine that "is wheeled out even in this small country of ours", pointed out that Hasidic Jews in London had demonstrated against the Zionist state and in favour of Palestinian rights and that the Freedom Flotilla included 86-year-old Holocaust survivor Hedy Epstein, and criticised Ireland's vote in favour of Israel's accession to the OECD and our government's repeated failure to call for suspension of the EU/Israel trade agreement. He astutely pointed out the irony of Israel's interdiction of the importation of cement for reconstruction in Gaza, while Irish cement, provided by multinational CRH, is used for constructing Israel's illegal Apartheid Wall. Aengus O'Snodaigh TD (SF) called on the government not to proceed with its plan to purchase bullets from Israel Military Industries. Senator Mark Deary(Greens), from whose home town of Dundalk the Irish ship MV Rachel Corrie sailed (it is still en route to Gaza), made a truly moving speech of homage to the motives and ideals of the Free Gaza Movement.

So far, so more or less predictable. However, throughout the proceedings one Committee member remained ominously silent, apart from a burst of chat to his neighbour during the contribution of his old sparring-partner David Norris. This was Alan Shatter TD (FG), a man whose role-model sometimes seems to be his US colleague (they are both lawyers) and namesake, the mouth-foaming Zionist Alan Dershowitz. Finally, when chairman Dr Michael Woods (FF) had asked if there were any more comments or questions, Mr Shatter made his contribution.

Denying "the widespread view" that he was "myopic" on the question of Israel/Palestine, Mr Shatter went on to express his myopic - or indeed blind - views on the links between Hamas and Iran, Hamas's opposition to something called "the peace process" (which doesn't exist), and the sterling virtues of Fatah, which calls for a secular two-state solution, and "President" Abbas, who would be assassinated were he to visit Gaza, unlike Deputy Shatter, who was there last year and somehow escaped assassination.

However, I'm cheating. This was, in effect, a postscript to the main burden of Mr Shatter's intervention, which began with the astounding words "I oppose the blockade of Gaza". In my notes I was about to write "support" when I suddenly realised what he had said. He went on to describe Israel's lethal actions against the Mavi Marmara and its passengers as "the consequences of an ill-conceived policy" that was "politically and humanly counter-productive." He expressed his hope that the Rachel Corrie would be allowed bring its aid cargo to Gaza, and that all crossings to Gaza would be opened.

Now, many people will react to this with "who cares what Alan Shatter says?" This is a phrase I have frequently used myself, and in all probability will use again. However, I think it would be a mistake to underestimate the importance of such a dramatic change - not of heart - but of perspective on the part of an intractable and irrational Zionist, a man who in many other respects (and this is a difference between himself and Dershowitz) is rational and even humane in his views. This change, I hope and believe, is a symptom of a fundamental loss of confidence at the core of support for Israeli intransigence and belligerence.

The deaths of the 9, or 19 or 99 victims of Flotilla 13, the "elite" Israeli naval unit that botched the Mavi Marmara operation, may not have been in vain if this is true. However, Zionism has in the past reconstructed itself repeatedly after what seemed like irreversible setbacks (Israeli reaction to the Sabra and Shatila massacre in 1982, world reaction to the 2006 Lebanon war, etc.). It is up to the worldwide activist community - which has never been more united, even if this is "unity in disarray"! - to ensure that this is not a transitory moment. Our governments - and I include the Irish one, embedded as it is in Atlanticism and the EU's "common foreign policy" - will be eager to ensure the opposite; we must remain metaphorically and literally on the streets until words are followed by actions, Zionism goes the way of South African Apartheid, and the Palestinian people gain their long-deferred self-determination.

author by opus diablos - the regressive hypocrite partypublication date Fri Jun 04, 2010 23:00author address author phone Report this post to the editors

who spiked my omlette.If this is true then the blockade is chipped.We can only hope deputy Shatter keeps his shoulder to this side of the wheel and lives up to his name.Think I'll sell my CRH shares.viva Rachel.

author by anti-semanticismpublication date Sat Jun 05, 2010 00:07author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Since Shatter is a self-proclaimed Zionist I doubt Shatter was being 100% honest. In all my years on this planet the only time I've ever heard a Zionist tell the truth was when they were being openly racist or openly fascistic, I doubt Shatter was being 100% honest.

It's more probable that Shatter was merely seeking to avoid having to publicly defend the indefensible (to rational people) actions of the people he has, until now, vociferously supported every time he makes a comment on their actions- he even supported the Gaza massacre of early 2009 - he could get away with it in 2009 but this time there were a number of Irish people whose lives were very publicly put in danger by the sort of Israeli barbarism the Gazans have had to suffer almost daily

As far as I am aware, despite the blockade being in the news a number of times over the last couple of years, Alan Shatter has never made any pubic comment which would even hint that he does not support 100% the actions of his fellow Zionists in these matters.

Personally I doubt that Shatter relished the prospect of having to deal with the negative fall-out of having to make the usual public statement, replete with all the usual Zionist misrepesentations of the truth and all the usual Zionist outright lies, in support of these murders - so it seems likely to me he merely decided to avoid all the furore, which a public comment supporting murder would cause him

Shatter is a politician and they are not generally known in this country for their honesty - but more importantly Shatter is a Zionist - and THEY are not known anywhere for their honesty

like the Politician he is, Shatter chickened-out - which is perfectly normal behaviour for an Irish Politician - maybe he worked out a deal with his fellow craven FGers - 'You don't complain too loudly, and I won't make any statements in favour of the murdering bastards I feel such affinity for' :-)

author by Jewpublication date Sat Jun 05, 2010 21:29author address author phone Report this post to the editors

"But more importantly Shatter is a Zionist - and THEY are not known anywhere for their honesty."

Small wonder that the Israelis arm themselver to the teeth.

author by stfupublication date Sun Jun 06, 2010 00:49author address author phone Report this post to the editors

you mean so they can lie and kill with impunity ? I guess you're right there

author by donlylemorepublication date Sun Jun 06, 2010 01:19author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Before ''we'' ( read Eu ) can regain credibility we must dispose of Tony Blair ; the worst possible choice as an EU/ Middle East interlocutor. Mr Blair is contaminated beyond cure to the Arab world . How a self serving , preening Bush puppet could even consider himself to have the credentials to negotiate anything with any Arab where he is reviled is beyond me,
Then there ie the ''We''. Michael Martin acquitted himself quite formidably in being one of the first to take the ''' long road route'' into Gaza
In this regard he stole a march on almost all his EU peers.
Talk about sending home diplomats is unwieldy.
I think I would pull an ambassadorial stroke such as the Israelis did to the Turkish ambassador.
Call in the Israel ambassador , and if he comes put him sitting on a lowly bar stool while the minister sits on a high throne . The Israeli flag would be taken down for the occasion. Then I would start expelling the juniour ranks; spread it out over several weeks ending with the expulsion of the Israeli ambassador .

But rabbinical pride will not allow this to happen . He wont respond to any summons.
What then ? arrest him ?

author by Rachelpublication date Sun Jun 06, 2010 03:23author address author phone Report this post to the editors

It would be nice to think that Alan Shatter has embarked on some kind of Damascian conversion. However, the realist in me thinks that this is probably a TD that has probably realised the full extent of the public's feelings on the actions of the Israelis during the last week and knows that his support for those actions probably wouldn't go down well.

author by opus diablos - the regressive hypocrite partypublication date Sun Jun 06, 2010 11:39author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Too soon to call whether Shatter is dropping his blinkers or not.As for thinking he is on a hiding to nothing on this one,I think I can recall him defending even worse atrocities than this week's.Time will tell.He is a clever man.Maybe he just got tired of the schitzophrenic contradicions between the good work he has done in fields like kids rights in this country and the Israeli treatment of Palestinian kids.I would extend the benefit of the doubt and give him a chance.It should not be long before he backpedals if he gets a reminder of where his loyalties should lie.If it is not possible for people to undergo such transformations,whether Shatter's apparent change represents one or not,then all debate is vain.That just puts us on a warpath.He would make a better and more credible ally than any other TD if he has woken up so dont shoot the piano player till we hear the tune.

author by Zionism makes me want to vomitpublication date Sun Jun 06, 2010 13:15author address author phone Report this post to the editors

He would make a better and more credible ally than any other TD if he has woken up so dont shoot the piano player till we hear the tune.

You'll be sorryyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy

author by opus diablos - the regressive hypocrite partypublication date Sun Jun 06, 2010 14:01author address author phone Report this post to the editors

For what?Not jumping down into your narrow little trench and cheering on your simplistic polarisation program?How do i know you are not a Zionist stirrer in liberal fleece?Hope thats not a Mossad passport in your pocket and that you're just sorry to see anyone trying to recognise the world aint as black and white as your self-gratifying vision.Shatter has been a bigot,and may still be one with a sudden(and passing)reservation.but we would not have the beginnings of debate about comon problems if McGuinnes and Paisley had stayed in their tunnels.visit reality,sometime.It might upset your fixed and comfortable stance.But we wont fix the shit in Gaza by failing to recognise the possibility of change.and we wont even help the people in Gaza if we dont deal with Zion.or did you miss the fact that the Shankill ordinary decent prods are the ones now standing up to the UVF.It is Gush Shalom and the Israeli refuseniks that are being tarred with the simplistic pitch of both sides,and who scare the Likud hard-liners more than Hamas ever could.RSVP.

author by Sceptic - None whatsoever .publication date Sun Jun 06, 2010 14:04author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Miserable oul so and so , he is so crooked he couldn't lie straight in his hammock , dont for one miniscule of a second
believe a word Shatter tells u . Look up his deplorable conduct on www.Rate-your-solicitor.com & it will allow one an insight
into his deplorable behaviour as a practicing so called solicitor . The comments cant all be wrong .

author by opus diablos - the regressive hypocrite partypublication date Sun Jun 06, 2010 14:18author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I dont need to do that research,Sceptic,I've heard his double speak for as many years as you I'd imagine.I've also been up in the glens when Big Ians Third Force were training.you dont make peace with your mates.As I stated originally,its early days.If his brain is stirring,dont drive it back into its shell.Or are you going to keep your back turned till he wraps himself in a Palestinian flag? Lie straight in a hammock?Thats no fucking hammock,thats Irish politics.You want to play with the girl guides go ahead.I doubt Likud will pay you any attention.the ones they listen to are the international Jewish lobby,so it might be an idea to try and expand their oppositional ranks rather than thwart any enlargement of their ranks.Now whose agenda might that suit????

author by you haven't got a cluepublication date Sun Jun 06, 2010 14:53author address author phone Report this post to the editors

you really haven't got a clue how these guys operate, have you?

If Shatter is telling the truth about being against the blockade, which is extremely doubtful, IMHO, why then has he kept silent until now? He's had plenty of opportunity to voice opposition to before now, yet remained totally silent.

Shatter is not really saying he's against it in principle - merely that he appears to be against it because it he thinks it's hurting Israel's image as a 'victim' - which means he still doesn't give a damn about the harm it causes to ordinary Gazans, but only that it might make it harder for the Zionists to justify the continuing program to keep stealing Palestinian land

author by NOT shattering Newspublication date Sun Jun 06, 2010 15:05author address author phone Report this post to the editors

read his words again - S.L.O.W.L.Y. this time

"the consequences of an ill-conceived policy" that was "politically and humanly counter-productive."

'politically . . . counter-productive' - NOT 'inhumane' or 'illegal' or 'Bad for ordinary Gazans'

author by opus diablos - the regressive hypocrite partypublication date Sun Jun 06, 2010 23:55author address author phone Report this post to the editors

A life on the ocean wave,a home on the rolling deep,
For the spark that nature gave I have there the right to keep.

They give me the cat-o-nine tails, whenever I go ashore,
Then ho! for the flashing brine-- I'm a natural commodore!

Ambrose Bierce,The Devil's Dictionary.(circ. 1906).
Definition:Land,noun,A part of the earth's surface, considered as property.

The theory that land is property subject to private ownership and control is the foundation of modern society, and is eminently worthy of the superstructure.Carried to its logical conclusion, it means that some have the right to exclude others from living: for the right to own implies the right exclusively to occupy : and in fact laws of trespass are enacted wherever property in land is recognised.It follows that if the whole area of Terra Firma is owned by A, B, and C there will be no place for D, E, Fand G to be born,or, born as trespassers, to exist.

Dont mistake the superstructure for the foundation,Sceptic.Its deeper than Zion.

author by anti-semanticismpublication date Tue Jun 08, 2010 12:36author address author phone Report this post to the editors

"the consequences of an ill-conceived policy" that was "politically and humanly counter-productive."


The latter part of Alan Shatter's statement is completely and utterly meaningless, 'humanly counter-productive.' It means nothing, and is in fact provably 'nonsense-English.'

Shatter, being a Lawyer, knew damn well that the phrase "humanly counter-productive" was completely and utterly meaningless, when he carefully chose his words.

2 definitions of 'humanly' are; http://www.google.ie/search?q=define%3Ahumanly

# in the manner of human beings; "humanly possible"
wordnetweb.princeton.edu/perl/webwn

# In a human manner
en.wiktionary.org/wiki/humanly


So his statement could read "in the manner of human beings counter-productive" OR "In a human manner counter-productive" both of which are nonsense, when used in this context.

It seems likely that Shatter merely wanted to insert something that sounded 'humanitarian' into the statement, so as to make it sound like he actually gave a damn about the effect the illegal blockade was having on the humans trapped in Gaza.

The real message in that statement is that he considers the blockade to be "politically . . . . counter-productive." meaning that he believes that he is concerned only because the blockade is hurting Israel politically.

By phrasing the statement as he has, by inserting the nonsensical but 'humanitarian-sounding' phrase, "humanly counter-productive", Shatter has shown that he is still firmly in the Zionist camp - like all true Zionists his first and only priority, in this matter at least, is to the well-being only of the Zionist regime currently ensconced in Tel Aviv.

One of the essential 'human' qualities is 'Empathy. 'Empathy' is what distinguishes ordinary humans from Psychopaths.

Like all true Zionists he has not got one ounce of sympathy or empathy for the humans trapped in the hell that is Gaza

author by opus diablos - the regressive hypocrite partypublication date Tue Jun 08, 2010 21:52author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Ther yar,Anti,couldnt find yin the crowd.
You were referring to Goldstone over on on the other page as a Zionist.Would you agree his report was fairly honest and useful?Or not and why?
And if so should we not let Shatter have a bit of credit for at least showing signs for a change that he can,if not falter in his lockstep,at least cast a furtive glance at himself and maybe think again?Or should I cut down on the hooch and have a word with Lucky and Pozo?

author by anti-s_______________publication date Wed Jun 09, 2010 02:32author address author phone Report this post to the editors

he could - but based on his choice of words, has he done so? No -

His choice of 'humanly' proves it to me anyway- you seem to keep forgetting that he's a lawyer - he didn't just pick 'humanly' at random, he's a lawyer, and the statement was obviously prepared since he waited til the end of the session to deliver it after remaining silent throughout .

He knew, being the premier Dail Zionist, that something was expected of him - and he knew that a shit-storm was on it's way should he be seen to support the endangerment of the lives of Irish citizens by piratical militarists operating in international waters, so he chose to wrong-foot the shit-stormers by slipping in the word 'humanly' and claiming to be against the blockade - but he also had to keep an eye on his Zio-buddies so he wouldn't get 'Goldstoned'--between-the-shoulder-blades (maybe "Dersch'd" would be a better word?) like the Judge. Although in reality Ireland is a small country that hardly matters to the Zionists, all Zio-eyes would have turned in Shatters direction had he made any real criticism such as calling them 'a bunch of murdering fuckwits'

PLUS Goldstone and Shatter are different types of Zionist - Shatter has always been the cheerleader for Zionism in Ireland throughout his career, and it appears he enjoys the responsibility, quickly stepping up to defend the Gazan massacre for example - but as i said, no Irish citizens were involved. So in this respect Shatter is pretty hard-core-Zio-Glee-Club

Glodstone on the other hand was not a self-chosen cheerleader for Zion, but more of a Zio-lite(ish) figure in the SA Jewish community. He was not a Politician for example, just a Judge, so he wasn't expected to publicly be an attack dog for Zio-crims like Shatter is, nor does it appear that he wanted to occupy such a position. As such i presume his dedication to the dissemination of Zionist-propaganda is not as cast-in-stone hard-core as Shatter's appears to be.

Perhaps it is as you have speculated and Shatter's faith in the absolute rightness of the light-onto-nations, in all matters, has been somewhat rocked, but on the basis of this statement, that appears to be extremely unlikely - he seems to have merely excersized the powers of sophistry for which lawyers are legendary the world over. Otherwise why spin a meaningless phrase such as 'humanly counter-productive?

Why not go the whole hog and actually use the word he was pretending to use: 'Humanitarianly' ?

His faith in Zionism still appears to emerged with it's shatter-proof coating completely unscathed

I know - why dontcha bookmark this page and come back and post a simple 'told ya' when I'm proven wrong? i won't mind . . .

author by opus diablos - the regressive hypocrite partypublication date Wed Jun 09, 2010 10:32author address author phone Report this post to the editors

But you are not doing what you say on your tin.Lotta semantic nuance creeping into the graphics.I dont waste time with 'told ya's.I'll be critical if I disagree.If you are wrong and dont take it aboard you are not my responsibility.My point is that if the Zionist tortoise is putting its head out to look around it is not too productive to shout BOO at it just when there is a glimmer.Lets wait and watch.When he betrays his real position is the time to hit like a stinger.Meantime Michael Martin is keeping his head down when its him we should be pulling up for betrayal of ministerial responsibility.
The Zionists might think Shatter is 'the real Taoiseach'. No need for us to follow their decoys.Evrony &Co will be more worried by Shatter baulking at their overweening brass than all Martin's posturing.Our job should be to make Martin fulfil his democratic duties to our citizens by ensuring penalties are paid for usurping our sovreignty.Martin is quite happy while we vent at Shatter and Evrony,suits all three and their ringmasters.Our focus should be getting Martin squirming, he is the one politically vulnerable and exposed. And no,I have not forgotten Shatter's trade.Nor his verbal polychromatic capabilities.I just think a lot of the comment has been reactionary steam that reflects as negatively on the commentators' entrenchment as on Shatter's.Only reason I'm posting at all is to turn the spot back on the ministry at fault in this democratic betrayal.Evrony and Shatter are 'just obeying orders'.Martin HAS the initiative but not the balls to take it.He needs to stay low and hope it blows over or his future ambitions might take a hit.Thats our point for pressure.If we actually want movement that wil help those on the ground in Gaza rather than any old head,preferably reeking of Zion, on a plate.

author by Anti-Semanticismpublication date Wed Jun 09, 2010 12:04author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I agree with your point about Martin - but this thread is about Shatter. And if you weren't insisting, against all evidence (IMHO) and reason (based on experience), that Shatter has softened his views then we wouldn't still be talking about Shatter and could easily have moved onto Martin.

But if you want to keep the focus on Martin, then YOU need to make start a comprehensible and legible Thread about Martin and then make comprehensible and legible posts on your thread about Martin - something you've kind of been failing to do so far, IMHO

So off you go - now's your golden opportunity to start a comprehensible and legible Thread about Martin - I'm right behind ya, buddy - GO Team Opus!! ;-)

author by opus diablos - the regressive hypocrite partypublication date Wed Jun 09, 2010 14:23author address author phone Report this post to the editors

My thread is a while ravelling and is not confined to your corner or conditions.Besides, I dont have your familiarity with this medium( actually as a novice my range has already been checked for overreaching), and have more interest in getting the decoyed ducks back on track (or getting my own misperceptions corrected) than running something I recognise I dont yet have the experience for.You put words of 'insistence' into my posts that I believe were never there, another semantic sophism.Not a great aid to the clarity you claim to seek.I think the evidence is there to contradict your assertions,for any who care to look.Oh, and you'll have to translate your shorthand IMHO before your next lecture on comprehensibility.You run your 'team', I'm more interested in the issues,not segmenting the threads for your tidy categorisations.If you do think its necessary you would be doing it already instead of playing polemical handball.I'll erase and resist the response I think you are actually trying to elicit.Shalom.

author by anti-semanticismpublication date Wed Jun 09, 2010 16:09author address author phone Report this post to the editors

dude - it's der intarvebz - google it!

as regards the rest of your post: you are the one making the case, NOT me. Making excuses for not taking your own advice is kinda hilariously ironic. I never said anything other than that I agree with your points (as opposed to 'disagree' with them) - YOU are the one who has made statements telling everyone what YOU think should be done - therefore the onus is upon YOU to follow your own advice - alternatively, if you're not prepared to follow YOUR own advice then YOU could just stop lecturing/badgering everyone else about it - either way the end result will be the same for me - I won't have to listen to someone being hypocritical - and that's the ultimate WIN/WIN as far as I can see

OMFG ( google it)- It's astoundingly ironic that you felt the need/justification for using a phrase like "My thread is a while ravelling and is not confined to your corner or conditions" while at the same time lecturing others on the need to conform to conditions as set down YOU, BTW.( google it) That you appear to not see the immense irony in your own personal chosen method of cyber-posturing is hilarious, IMHO ( google it) - I wonder if you are this hilariously unaware of your inadvertent hilariously-ironic posturing, IRL ( google it)

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