Yet again Councillor Brian Coleman is up before the Standards Committee. Coleman's excuse this time? He thinks that because people hold a different point of view to him, he can be as rude as he likes. Colemans pomposity knows no bounds. This time, he feels it's OK to call Mr Ron Cohen, an Israeli, disloyal because he disagrees with the policies of the Israeli government. Am I disloyal because I disagreed with the policies that lead to the Invaasion of Iraq? As far as I'm aware, Mr Cohen has not called for the destruction of the state of Israel, which clearly would be an act of disloyalty. He has simply called for the Israeli government to take a different course in it's dealings with the Palestinian people.
I fully understand why many Jewish people in Barnet feel a great sense of loyalty to Israel. After decades of terrorism, I fully understand their antipathy for elements of the Palestinian community. I certainly understand their attitude towards Hamas. I can understand why some of them may feel rather cross with Mr Cohen, for his comments. The point is that Brian Coleman isn't Jewish and he isn't an Israeli. I regularly get correspondence from all manner of people imploring me to write about the situation in Israel. I choose not to get involved, because the last thing the situation needs is ignorant outsiders poking their noses in and inflaming the situation.
My father worked in Palestine prior to the creation of the state of Israel, he was a commercial pilot between 1946 and 1951 and was based in the middle east. He returned to the state of Israel in 1969 on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land. My father had British friends killed by members of the Stern gang, during the Israeli struggle for independence. When he returned from the trip, he completely changed his opinion of Israel and said it was a fantastic country. Whilst I have little knowledge of the country and the political situation, I would always bow to my fathers knowledge of the area, he spoke Arabic and was familiar with the region and customs of the people. He stated that if the Arab people could put the past behind them, embrace Israel as a dynamic part of the Middle Eastern community and work with them to develop the region, every community would benefit. If all of the money spent on tanks, weapons and security measures, was spent to the benefit of the people of the region, Muslims, Jews and Christians, it would be the most fantastic place on the planet.
I asked him, shortly before he died in 1987, whether he thought this was achieveable? His view? As soon as outsiders stop interfering, pumping in weapons and using the region as a geopolitical chess game, it is inevitable. His view was that eventually their would be a global economic crisis, where the superpowers would not have the cash to splash fighting proxy wars. At that point, sanity would have to prevail. Maybe now is that time.
In the meantime, maybe the likes of Coleman would do well to shut their mouths and stop stirring the pot, purely for a few votes in the GLA elections. If anyone thinks Colemans intervention helps anyone, they really need to wake up and smell the coffee. It really is time Coleman learned some manners.