Setting the record straight on Israel


By Sonia Klein
April 27, 2010
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Last night we held a coffee evening in Ilford North to discuss the Middle East. Walter Wolfgang kindly lead the frank and open discussion.

Walter is a survivor, previous member of the Labour National Executive and Vice Chair of CND. Many differing views were explored.

I've been asked to clarify my own position, so here is a brief summary...

I believe in a two state solution. I believe it is time for all Muslim Nations to recognise the State of Israel based on the UN mandated 1967 borders.

I deplore terrorism in all forms. Violence cannot solve anything and will create new wounds. There is no question that terrorism, suicide bombing and killing of civilians is wrong on both sides.

However, I believe we must talk to Hamas, as the democratically elected Government, as we did with the IRA. I would link aid payments to Palestine with a genuine and enforceable commitment by Hamas to stop all attacks on Israelis.

I would expect the Israeli government to stop all building in the settlements. Israel must stop disproportional use of force against civilians, violation of UN mandates and International human rights legislation. I believe economic sanctions should be applied if the Israeli or Palestinian government violates International Law.

I would urge Nations to establish Consulates in both regions and support economic growth in the State of Palestine.

Only when both Nations feel safe, people are free and the young can again dream about what they could be when they grow up will we have peace in the region.

Sonia Klein is the Labour candidate for Ilford North.

This blog is part of the JC.com's On The Campaign Trail blog for the Election 2010 where candidates in key Jewish areas have been invited to blog. Read more on our Election 2010 page

COMMENTS

Jonathan Hoffman

Tue, 04/27/2010 - 13:58

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Are you saying the same things to Jews and Muslims in your constituency?

(according to unpollingreport.co.uk 10.3% of your constituents are Jews and 6.4% Muslims).

Allegedly you refer to Israel as "an apartheid state" - is that true?


Jon_i_Cohen

Tue, 04/27/2010 - 14:18

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http://www.mpacuk.org/story/140410/sonia-klein-will-support-palestinian-...

Is this you Sonia?
(Or perhaps it is someone impersonating you!)

Are you not aware of the UK Terrorism Act ?
The Act proscribes Hamas, Islamic Jihad and Hizbullah as Terrorist Organisations

Do you support terrorist organisations?


Akiva

Tue, 04/27/2010 - 15:33

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1. Comparing SF/IRA to Hamas is absurd and dangerous. By Hamas's own admission their battle is a religious one.

2. You would expect civilians to stop marrying, having children and living as free people in their land, in exchange for "steps toward peace". You must be mad.

3. Israel CANNOT exist within the 1967 borders, which are a danger to her security. Israel has a right to secure borders.

4. The only heart we Jews can take from all this is that polls show you probably won't have the chance to see these dangerous, odious ideals come to fruition.


Joshua18

Tue, 04/27/2010 - 15:58

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And a most appropriate endorsement for Mrs Sonia Nabila Klein from the Muslim Public Affairs Committee

Sonia Klein will support the Palestinian Cause

[Extracts]

1) At a public meeting on Sunday 11 April 2010 at her Ilford North constituency, the Labour party parliamentary candidate, Mrs Sonia Nabila Klein, informed the audience that if she wins at the upcoming elections then she will support sanctions against Israel and support the Palestinian cause."

2) "So there you have it, a Muslim PPC for Labour in Ilford North whom will openly denounce the atrocities committed by Israel and will vote against any potential conflicts if she becomes the MP for this constituency or Lee Scott of the Conservative Party who is the current sitting MP for Ilford North - an ardent supporter of Israel."

http://tinyurl.com/2uc25pk

Incidentally, Hitler was also democratically elected. Individuals or organisations are no less evil simply because they have been democratically elected. That they have been so elected in fact casts a dark shadow over the whole population and not just the elected officials.


Joshua18

Tue, 04/27/2010 - 16:01

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"However, I believe we must talk to Hamas, as the democratically elected Government, as we did with the IRA."

The IRA has never been committed to the destruction of the entire UK. Nor did it engage in the kind of Nazi-like racism that so typifies Hamas.


Jonathan Hoffman

Tue, 04/27/2010 - 16:05

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Sonia

Did you sign up to the pledges of the PSC (Palestine Solidarity Campaign)?

I will check.


Jon_i_Cohen

Tue, 04/27/2010 - 16:05

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Jonathan Hoffman

Tue, 04/27/2010 - 16:30

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"However, I believe we must talk to Hamas, as the democratically elected Government, as we did with the IRA."

=> Like all who say this, you naively ignore the fact that the UK did not talk to the IRA until they agreed to renounce violence. Hamas is light years from this.

http://www.davidtrimble.org/publications_misunderstanding.pdf

Please read this


mattpryor

Tue, 04/27/2010 - 18:36

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Dear Sonia,

I think it is great that you have posted your views here. I have a few questions and concerns about your view of the situation.

You describe Hamas as "democratically elected". Please could you tell me, what kind of democratically elected party murders its opposition following elections to ensure they are the only faction left? Surely that is not democracy, that is rule by terror. I simply cannot believe that you would seriously advocate negotiating with such people.

By the 1967 "UN mandated borders" I presume you mean the (indefensible) post-1948 borders when Jordan occupied the West Bank and Egypt occupied Gaza. They are not borders, they are ceasefire lines. No borders have ever been agreed, and are borders not a subject for negotiations between the two contesting parties?

Sonia I would like to stress that this is a conflict with two sides and two claims to the land. Why do you believe that the British government should take one side's claim over the other's? That is not the position of a facilitator to negotiations, it is the position of a bully that takes sides. Is that the direction you would like to take British foreign policy in?

Is this the official Labour party view or just your own?


Jonathan Hoffman

Tue, 04/27/2010 - 19:02

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Sonia - you will be answering the many questions posed here, won't you?


Jonathan Hoffman

Tue, 04/27/2010 - 19:31

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http://cifwatch.com/2010/03/07/the-truth-about-hamas/

Sonia - Have you watched the two videos in this link?

WARNING - THEY ARE NOT PLEASANT

And are you aware that the Hamas Charter advocates the genocide of Jews?

If there was a terrorist group which advocated the genocide of Muslims but which was elected into office somewhere, would you be advocating talking to them?

Would you even talk to Gerd Wiilders?


Joshua18

Tue, 04/27/2010 - 19:46

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There is perhaps something that we really haven't taken into consideration here and that's Sonia Klein's safety. Put it this way, there are a number of Jews who lambaste Judaism, openly call for Israel's destruction and even support extreme anti-Semitic positions. Nobody even thinks about the security of those individuals. As much as other Jews might loathe them they wouldn't dream of harming them in any way. However, can you imagine what would happen if Sonia Klein came out firmly in support of Israel and further suggested that Hamas was an evil organisation with which Israel should have absolutely no truck? I know that if I were a close relative of Ms. Klein's, I would in those circumstances be absolutely petrified on her behalf.


Jonathan Hoffman

Tue, 04/27/2010 - 20:37

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http://tinyurl.com/2uc25pk

Sonia

MPAC is supporting you. They are also supporting Matthew Harris, the LibDem in Hendon. But he has not welcomed their support:

“I am pleased and proud to be a friend of Israel, campaigning for a two-state solution that will bring peace, justice and security to Palestinans and Israelis alike. I strongly dislike MPAC's policies and its campaigning methods. But if anyone is thinking of voting for me because MPAC has advised them to vote Lib Dem or Tory as a way of ousting Hendon's Labour MP, I would advise them to vote for someone else - I reject MPAC's support.”

http://tinyurl.com/2utlzws

Do you similarly reject the support of MPAC ?


ibrows

Tue, 04/27/2010 - 23:37

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Jonathan,

your bullying approach is perhaps the reason that Sonia has chosen not to respond. blogging is about engaging in dialogue with others, not attacking them brutally as you dont agree with them. Sonia appears from what she has said to oppose violence, and recognise Israel, two things which i am assuming you also endorse, so why has the debate turned into bullying and a personal attack? Simply because you oppose her view of speaking to Hamas, this treatment of Sonia is awful, what happened to freedom of speech Jonathan?

The IRA is indeed an example of how militant and violent groups can move into mainstream politics and give up their weapons, this is often the case when the occupations end


Jonathan Hoffman

Wed, 04/28/2010 - 00:13

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Sonia

The current MP, Lee Scott, always answers his constituents' questions. It is well known that he is one of the hardest working MPs.

So if you don't answer the questions above, it won't compare very favourably - and the electors of Ilford North might get the wrong impression.

Just trying to be helpful.


Joshua18

Wed, 04/28/2010 - 00:21

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"your bullying approach is perhaps the reason that Sonia has chosen not to respond."

Bullying? Personal attack? Oh, please. Vigorous debate is part of a long and honourable tradition in British politics. If she is such a delicate flower, she has no business being in politics in the first place. And she should consider herself lucky she isn't living in the 17th century. Then we'd have been sitting on roofs and throwing brickbats at her.

"The IRA is indeed an example of how militant and violent groups can move into mainstream politics and give up their weapons, this is often the case when the occupations end"

You obviously did not read or could not understand the answers given above regarding this absurd analogy (a much better analogy would be between the Nazis and Hamas). Before you make an even bigger ass of yourself, I suggest you go read 'em now.


Jonathan Hoffman

Wed, 04/28/2010 - 06:33

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@ibrows

Which other candidates are you shilling for?

Kaufman?
Linton?
Galloway?


Jonathan Hoffman

Wed, 04/28/2010 - 07:39

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Sonia

Your website features prominently a section "Do You Really Know Lee Scott?" This appears tobe a comprehensive attempt to smear Lee Scott on the basis of his membership of the Conservative "Cornerstone" Group.

I can find no similar attempts on Lee Scott's website to smear you.

Why do you have so little confidence in your policies that you have to resort to smearing?

And how do you feel about Lee Scott being the victim of death threats?

http://www.ilfordrecorder.co.uk/content/redbridge/recorder/news/story.as...


Akiva

Wed, 04/28/2010 - 07:58

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ibrows:

No, there is no comparison between SF/IRA and Hamas. Even aside from the obvious point that SF/IRA had to renounce terrorism and decomission all their weapons before they were even invited to negotiate peace, there's simply no comparing the two.

For a start there's ideology, the Hamas charter states clearly that it's aim is not only to destroy the Zionist state, but all the Jews as well. The PLO charter states much the same, though at this point they might have become "less hard-line" enough just to accept the land as Judenrein without having to kill the infidels. Delightful.

Sonia:

We appreciate you being honest with your clearly biased, uneven and divorced from reality opinions on the Middle East. I should hope this would serve as a wake-up call to what British Jews can expect should they vote Labour: Obama Mark II.


Joshua18

Wed, 04/28/2010 - 09:10

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UK Muslims systematically supporting anti-Israel candidates in British election campaign by Robin Shepherd

http://tinyurl.com/37c3tmk


mattpryor

Wed, 04/28/2010 - 12:13

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"I believe economic sanctions should be applied if the Israeli or Palestinian government violates International Law."

Well firstly there is no such thing as a "Palestinian government", there never has been, and there is no immediate possibility of such an entity emerging, especially not until Gaza is freed from the tyrannical and ruthless regime that currently runs things (from Damascus and Tehran, I may add).

I very much doubt that you would be willing or able to advocate sanctions against Palestinian factions without angry mobs of pro-Pally sympathisers throwing bricks through your windows (or was it balloons filled with blood during Cast Lead)? Since the only people apparently capable of committing breaches of "international law" are Israelis (mainly because they are the only party in this conflict that gives a toss about international law) this seems like a pretty one-sided and hostile statement. It's pretty obvious that you throw in the possibility of sanctions against Palestinians to appear balanced but in actual fact you would (or could) never even consider this possibility.

Sanctions are for our enemies. You know, the people that stand up and scream "death to the West" and burn Union Jacks, attack our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, secretly and nefariously build nuclear weapons to use against us.

Israel is not Britain's enemy Sonia, Israel is Britain's friend, trade partner and military ally. I'm sure that many people in this country would very much like to change that situation, but they will have a bloody good fight on their hands from a large section of the British public - and not just Jews.

Many, many people in Britain support Israel Sonia. Just because we do not riot, smash up BBC buildings and issue death threats against those that disagree with us, does not mean we have no opinion. In fact it is worse than that - many of us are afraid to stand up for our views because of the ever present threat of violence from the people that you advocate for.


Jon_i_Cohen

Wed, 04/28/2010 - 12:28

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mattpryor
very well said!
We are still waiting for Sonia to address all the earlier postings - her silence is deafening!
and defining!


mattpryor

Wed, 04/28/2010 - 13:50

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Looks like Gordon's just ruined any chance of Sonia being elected anyway!

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/election_2010/8649012.stm


Jonathan Hoffman

Wed, 04/28/2010 - 14:23

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@Matt

Indeed - it's massive


Joshua18

Wed, 04/28/2010 - 15:19

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Can I ask Sonia Klein who I understand is a Senior Consultant for PricewaterhouseCoopers whether her employer is aware of her call to boycott Israel? What is Ms. Klein's position regarding PricewaterhouseCoopers: Israel? Does she believe that that division of PricewaterhouseCoopers should be boycotted?

Sources:

Sonia Klein for Parliament

http://tinyurl.com/2vvpc7k

PricewaterhouseCoopers: Israel

http://tinyurl.com/39b2e2n

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