THE LAST DITCH An Englishman returned after twenty years abroad blogs about liberty in Britain
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The Football Association and Israel

The Football Association was asked to light up the iconic arch at Wembley Stadium in the colours of the Israeli flag. They refused. This has been widely condemned. In my view sport should never "do" politics. When a friend asked me to write to the FA in support of the request to light up the arch, I politely refused on those grounds. So, in a sense, I think the FA is right. However, having virtue-signalled relentlessly on other non-sporting issues for years, there is something sinister about the fact that it won't in this case.

The FA had footballers kneel in solidarity with a single foreign criminal who was unlawfully killed, but won't express sympathy with more than a thousand murdered innocents. After the terrorist attack in Paris in 2015, the FA's officials lit up the arch in French colours. They were happy to express the support many of us felt for a nation that, if presented with a big red magic button that would erase England from history, would lose lives in the stampede to press it. Yet they choose to remain neutral between the vicious, anti-semitic, baby-butcherers of Hamas and their victims. 

It was undoubtedly a mistake ever to mix sport with politics. I should not be put into a position at Craven Cottage where the nice young asian guy who sits next to me has to wonder if I am a racist when I don't stand when our players "take the knee." My refusal to acquiesce in virtue-signalling at the behest of the Marxist monsters of BLM isn't racist at all but I am not at the Cottage for a political discussion. I'm there for the joy of sport and an escape from the tedium of my politically-polluted life. I deeply resent the Premier League, Football Association and indeed the club putting me in an awkward political position at a football match.

The truth is that the FA's inconsistency arises from cowardice. On the day of the Hamas invasion, its supporters were dancing for joy (as captured on video by Countdown's Rachel Riley and published on her Twitter feed) on a street 0.6 miles from where I live in West London. According to the 2021 census, our city's cultural diversity is enriched by the presence of 1.3 million adherents of "the religion of peace." Quite a few – it seems from such celebrations – take pleasure in Hamas barbarism. The FA is unsure of how many fall into that category and – given their history of violent response to perceived slights - is afraid to annoy them.

The FA might also be justified in worrying that The Metropolitan Police force service is so afraid of offending British Muslims that – if they did kick off at Wembley in the non-football sense – it wouldn't hold them to the same legal standards as other Londoners. I wouldn't personally be surprised to see the Met – firmly a part of Britain's Leftist Establishment – side with them.

I don't agree with those calling for the police to suppress pro-Hamas celebrations or demonstrations. Hamas is legally designated as a terrorist group in the UK and it is a crime to support them, but I think that's a legal mistake. They are no more revolutionary, violent or bloodthirsty than many social science lecturers in our universities and no-one is calling (nor should they) for their vile Marxist ideology to be suppressed. Besides, I welcome their free speech. As a practical matter, I need to know who are the murderous sorts among my neighbours. I need that knowledge to inform my decisions about my socialising, my shopping and indeed whether I choose to keep living where I do.

I have every confidence in the Israel Defence Force's ability to respond appropriately to Hamas. I am on Israel's side – as every civilised human should now be – and simply wish them (as they would wish themselves) a speedy victory with minimum bloodshed. I am more interested in what I have learned in the past week about the state of my own nation and its capital city. Evil is among us and our response to it is – as evidenced by the FA's pusillanimity – far too naive, timid and weak. I fear we are going to pay a price for that before too long.


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Yes I meant Floyd. My choice of words was based on the murder conviction of the police officer who killed him and the city’s payment of damages of $27m to his family.

Rich Rostrom

"...a single foreign criminal who was unlawfully killed..."

Do you mean George Floyd? The medical evidence showed fairly clearly that he took a fentanyl overdose, and there was no sign of any compression trauma to his airway. So the medical examiner found death by "positional asphyxiation" (where the torso is squeezed such that the victim can't inhale).


I have tried to answer you in depth but keep being timed out.

Therefore in brief:
1. I agree politics has no place in sport.
2. Yes both the FA and the Met
..and the political body generally..are cowardly and seek political approval in their actions. You and I are more likely to be targeted than those committing anti Semitic violence
3. I agree Hamas should not have been declared a terrorist group in the UK
4. I do not agree that the Palestinians as a people are beyond the Pale; but many individual Palestinians are. To condemn an entire people leads to Germany 1933-45
5. I do not agree that the Palestinian claim to have been dispossessed is a total scam but it is a grievance which is very much overplayed
6. A two state solution is the obvious answer to problem...and may eventually be possible but not for many years and only if Israel's security can be assured
7. I do not agree that Iran instructed the recent atrocity; it does not benefit from it...and cannot. It can only lose. Again they are not psychopaths, but actually rather shrewd..


It seems we are not really so far apart on the main issue on the ground. I am glad you fully support Israel's right to exist in a defensible form. What are your thoughts on the aspect I actually wrote about - i.e. the craven response of British institutions like the FA and the Met to the dangerous presence amongst us of tens and perhaps hundreds of thousands of violent racists?


I don't think that wider conflict can be avoided. The Biden idiots are trying to distance Iran from this, but Hamas is Iran's proxy and it's naive to assume it didn't sign off on this, if not (more likely) actually order it to disrupt the imminent Israel/Saudi treaty. So naive in fact that I don't think even Biden's people can really believe it. They're just trying to avoid giving Israel a casus belli with Iran. To Iran that must seem like the weakness it is.

A psychopathic plan to cause death and injury to as many Palestinians as possible in order to win sympathy would not be surprising. That has been the Arab world's strategy since the beginning. Their propagandists say locals were driven out of Palestine on the foundation of the Jewish State but in fact most of what was then called Palestine is what's now called Jordan. The first Israeli government asked the Arab locals in their territory to stay and become Israeli citizens (as 20% of Israelis are - with full and equal civil rights) but the Arab countries told them to leave and go into refugee camps until they could drive the Jews out.

When they failed to do so, they refused to take any of the refugees they had created themselves. The propaganda schtick of displaced Palestinians is a fraud that has been systematically maintained by their Arab "brothers" who could easily have accepted any that (stupidly, because they'd be much better off) didn't want to be Israeli citizens.


I have not held Israel to a higher standard or only asking "these questions of Israel". I fully support Israel's existence and its right to defend itself.
My stance is entirely pragmatic. The Netanyahu response is the wrong one and is falling into the trap which has been laid.
If one cannot understand the thinking of one's aggressor, then there is no chance whatsoever of defeating them. Ascribing psychopathy to them is futile. The strategy seems very well thought out, and is working.
Driving hundreds of thousands of people from their homes is neither good "PR" nor strategically effective. An invasion of Gaza will be disastrous for the IDF; it always has been.
And the risks of a much wider conflagration are rising by the day.


Why are these questions asked only of Israel? Hamas is the elected government of Gaza. The civilian population chose them. If British babies had been beheaded by men under the orders of the democratic government of France, the response would not be surgical.

Not that any military action is ever surgical. War is brutal and nasty and there’s collateral damage. Dresden. Hiroshima. Not to mention the US and their allies’ response to 9/11 which wasn’t even to attack the right target.

Are those holding Jews to higher standards subconsciously thinking they are God’s chosen people and should reflect His ethics? Or can Jews simply do no right?

You may be correct in thinking Hamas set out to provoke the IDF to hurt its own people. If you are right they are psychopaths. We normies are tired of second-guessing the world’s psychopaths and their sociopathic apologists who “get” their motivations even if they wouldn’t personally have been crazy enough to act on them. Asking us to think like psychopaths is not a good look, frankly.

Israel’s stated objective in Gaza is to leave Hamas with zero offensive capability. The IDF is disciplined, trained and usually restrained. But I’ll be damned if I will ask them to put more soldiers than necessary in harm’s way if they can achieve those objectives from the air. Even if that means a few more collaterals among a virulently anti-Semitic population led by racist psychopaths.

The Palestinians have put themselves beyond the pale. It would be bad enough if they’d accidentally revealed their genocidal intent. If, as you surmise, they've done so in a calculated way to provoke a response that sociopaths can use to portray them as victims, that’s worse not better.


I cannot see that answering a barbaric massacre of civilians with the aerial bombardment of an area heavily populated with civilians is an appropriate, or indeed proportionate response.

The correct response is surely the one Israel used to use ie the hunting down and elimination of the perpetrators and planners of the massacre. It is the one used after the Munich massacre.

Further the purpose of the massacre seems not to have been considered. Almost certainly it was to provoke the exact reaction which Israel is now embarked upon; a former MI6 officer believes that to be the case. The intent is to get non Western opinion supporting the Palestinian cause, and possibly to get Iran to intervene (it has said it will if Israel invades Gaza...). That will provoke a US response...and then god knows what happens...

Having idiots like Netanyahu and Biden in charge at a time like this is a recipe for utter catastroph, from which Britain will not be immune.

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