- Hugh Walter
- No Fixed Abode, Home Counties, United Kingdom
- I’m a 51-year-old Aspergic CAD-Monkey. Sardonic, cynical and with the political leanings of a social reformer, I’m also a toy and model figure collector, particularly interested in the history of plastics and plastic toys. Other interests are history, current affairs, modern art, and architecture, gardening and natural history. I love plain chocolate, fireworks and trees but I don’t hug them, I do hug kittens. I hate ignorance, when it can be avoided, so I hate the 'educational' establishment and pity the millions they’ve failed with teaching-to-test and rote 'learning' and I hate the short-sighted stupidity of the entire ruling/industrial elite, with their planet destroying fascism and added “buy-one-get-one-free”. I also have no time for fools and little time for the false crap we're all supposed to pretend we haven't noticed, or the games we're supposed to play.
Wednesday, March 31, 2010
Taking gummed paper parcel/book binders tape, cut lengths to cover all tares, piercing holes creases and other structural blemishes (sometimes I will reinforce the whole length of fold-lines), in this instance I've just run a strip down the feeder-holes for the figures, and there were a couple of small tares - not photographed. Soak the paper on the gummed side (really wet it with a slow tap, licking it won't work, it'll dry-out and come off in a month or two), and place carefully where you want it, then dab it down with kitchen paper, getting the excess water off at the same time. Dab only, if you stroke across it while it is still very wet, it will slide and fold and you'll have to start again while the restored card gets wetter and wetter!
Because - up to this point - both this and the earlier post represent about 45 minutes in real time this afternoon, the iron is still warm, so dry everything off with it. Again; both-siding it.
Note: to prevent the paper leading to curling, days or weeks in the future (or when you iron and it dries-out quickly) you NEED to do two layers, crossing the tape, which you will see has a natural tendency to curl one way, wet or dry. If doing tiny mends, you will need to mark them with tiny pencil marks which can be rubbed/erased after it's all dry.
Once everything is dry - properly cheek-test dry - cut out any pieces that overlap the product, that cover a 'meant' hole - as here - or that are blocking a cut line (when you reinforce the torn end flaps, of a box for instance, its best to cover the flap, side and main panel with large pieces of paper tape overlapping onto the work surface, and then trim everything back afterward (in the past I've stuck the whole lot to a piece of paper underneath to hold it all together, and then when you trim the tape the paper falls away).
The reason for the end-grain being useful now comes into play, trimming without damaging the original, especially on something as complicated as these feeder-holes, is best done on a very smooth polished surface (stone cutting board if you have one) or an end-grain board, or the sort of thick card you get under a note-pad. If you use a long-grain work table, it can grip the tip of the blade (always use a very fine blade for this job - I use a Swan Morton No. 3 handle with size 11 blade) and carry it into the product in a millisecond, if you're not very careful - and I'm not!
Last would be to replace any clear panels (Airfix or Matchbox boxes for instance) by cutting a piece of the correct material bigger than needed, gluing with a contact adhesive, waiting until both surfaces were dry, then lining up the clear sheet, carefully dropping one corner in and then working across on the diagonal to the far corner, keeping everything smooth. Best thing is to use a plastic scraper or ruler to 'draw' the sheet across/down onto the product.
Finally you can re-fold/re-build the box/card/container, at this stage old card will crack down the fold-lines, or existing flaps of the surface material (most cardboard's are ply-laminates) which were on the outside and haven't benefited from the work on the interior/reverse will pop up. These are best fixed by a little bleeding in of a thin superglue and then smoothing down with a whetted finger, careful not to stick yourself to your beautiful new/old box! There's a knack to this, if you daren't try, use an accelerator pen instead, holding the piece to be clued with the fine point of your knife or a pin or toothpick.
The rubber band is due to the fact that while I was fixing the tiny flap in the photo, the opposite corner ripped (not cheek-test dry enough!) and I had to glue it, or start again! Nightmare! But these things happen when you're restoring 40 year + paper products!
Larger cracks will probably/should have had gummed paper applied to the inside, so will be less problematical and can have white/wood-glue bled into them, which will soak in and dry with less marking...too much super glue, or resorting to the accelerator pen will result in a permanent matt white bloom, given the thing was all but wrecked earlier, it's a small price in my book, but you may think differently. The white glue option at this point will require an overnight drying.
The finished tray. The figures needed to be placed-in as I was reconstructing, in fact set 20-s should be Morocco Infantry 1954 Standing, but someone else got that lot at the auction, so if you have the troops, but a Highlander box (17-s, Scottish Infantry 1914 standing) I'll swap Yah! You would have bought them from the 'Short Equator'.
If these two posts have been useful - albeit long winded - let me know and I'll try and do others in the same vein. The whole process including photographing took an hour or so. it's taken half the night to process the photo's and write it up!!
I also pierced a piece of card ready to take the trees, once they had been formed into something recogniseable! Couldn't find my big bottle of wood-glue, so had to use a small tube left over from some flat-packed book cases!
Well, this was always going to be an experiment from a vague idea, so filling the sink to wash my hands, and anything else (I was still thinking this would be a very messy business), I got stuck in with a long stream of white glue! In fact once it had been rolled in my hands for a few seconds it started to get so dry so quickly I had to add more glue and a bit of water.
The balls then got nicely soggy and I placed them on the twigs, I suspect I'll need to get some clear glue into the branch tips once it's all dried tomorrow. Other than my hands, it was quite a mess-free exercise.
The finished trees, well, I say 'finished', I think they look alright for the outcome of a mad idea, however I'm going to try highlighting one with a contrasting wash, covering another in flock of some kind and spotting the third with 'blossom' and see what they look like. I also ran out of glue and carpet strands! So will have to get more of both before I continue.
I abandoned the hedge, it wouldn't really work how I'd envisioned it, however I will try winding a single lose strand round the pad to give texture and then flock it...some time, maybe!
Top - this is how the Lord Of The Rings (LOTR) figures from DeAgostini/Games Workshop come/came, with issue two of a part-work, with below - the packaging for the new Mantic elves - sculpted by Bob Naismith. They seem to be using an old video box to market their figures, with double boxes for the larger items or 'army packs'.
We looked at the packaging for the Mithril figures the other day, while the two GW 'Warhammer' elves came attached to a copy of White Dwarf magazine a (fair?) few years ago.
Inset is a comparison of the various figures in approximately chronological order of first issue. The GW Warhammer's are vast in comparison with the other three ranges while the Mantic seems to reference the armour of the LOTR figures but with a waspish waist which stops them being my favorites. Their detail is better than the other two (DeAgostini and Mithril) but the anatomy makes them a little too alien...humans and elves are supposed to be able to mate, everybody knows that!
Well, I started looking at doing four archers, but didn't have a Mantic archer, so decided to have a spear-man, then I photographed the packaging for the two big-sprued sets and remembered that my GW figs. had come with White Dwarf, so thought - I'll do both figures and add another each of the Mantics and LOTR's. So we have a mixed war-band of 7 likely souls.
Paint-job was going to be the daffodil yellow and azure blue of the Mithril girl, but I think she'll get a repaint and the group will get a bottle-green and deep red scheme which is an old favorite of mine. But...elves are supposed to be all light and airy? Or is that only post-Peter Jackson, some sources have them altogether darker and more sinister, while the Victorians put them in the same vein as faeries? Oh G..osh, you'd think colour would be the least of my problems!
Well, got to put them together first...
Then, the really nerve-stretching bit; run the tray under a warm tap, warm water will penetrate more easily than cold and seems to help soften the card, although this may be pure imagination. This phase needs to be very quick, I had a firm hold of one large area of card and my fingers are supporting the other main area underneath. All you're trying to do is get it damp all over.
Immediately the card is covered with water and has changed/is changing colour as the water penetrates, get it on to a porous surface, I'm using an end-grain cutting board (for reasons that will become apparent in part two), and start to dab of the excess water with copious amounts of kitchen-roll.
Inset - where there is damage of the twisted/scuffed-card type, gently ease the card back into its proper shape/position, or press down as I'm doing here, below is the torn piece now back in place. [In fact - you can see in the left hand photo, how it was scrunched-up]
Note: Depending on the printing type, you might do this phase with the printed surface uppermost. Later (1970/80's) laminated card might stick to the under-surface at this point ant peel-off when you try to lift it. Because this is earlier print which is fixed into the card it's safer to do it this way as you can see more blemishes on the undecorated side.
Now we come to the (another) really nerve-stretching part! Dry the board after the card has been dabbed, and lay down a couple of sheets of unbleached paper, printer/craft/artist or type-writer, just make sure it's unbleached, so that while the product is still damp it doesn't take up some bleach which will cause problems in years to come. Not to say that it may not already have bleach in it! - yellowing packaging is a sure sign of bleached paper/card.
Holding another piece of the same unbleached paper (see how I'm carefully over-emphasizing the bleach thing, I'm so good to you!!!!), proceed to iron the product with a dry (that's DRY, not steam) iron on a low setting, you don't want to burn it by accident, taking too long on one area. Lift and move the paper regularly (burn thing again) so you get an idea of how it's going, in the picture you can see how it's starting to dry-out from the bottom left.
Once it's all reasonably dry on one side, you will notice it starts to curl up (as a single sheet though, not individual tags or flaps as it had aged. At this point turn it, iron the other side until it too starts to curl, then turn it back give it a quick go again on the first side and stop. You should now have a single sheet of reasonably stiff card which is all but dry (the cheek test - laundry - will reveal it is still slightly damp), it should now be left for 20 minutes or so to dry-out fully under the head now within it, check for curling after ten minutes or so, if it's curling profoundly, give it another go both sides, a slight curl can be ignored.
Notes: If doing say a first-version Airfix (cartoon artwork) box, you'll find the card very delicate while the ink will take a lot of punishment, while the later 'Blue' and 'White' boxes will have better card but delicate print. The 'Long' boxes are pretty robust in card and print, but the later grey-blue Humbrol and current boxes will de-laminate with a POP! if the iron is remotely hot, so warm-to-touch and patience. Not that you'd bother with a modern box as you can just source a replacement. The thing I'm getting at is - Experiment with packaging you're not fussed about until you've 'got' the techniques you're happy with. I've reinforced boxes by painting them with wall-paper paste in the inside, letting that dry naturally and then damping them with a spay-bottle before following these steps, to prevent the card sticking to the paper, I used foil, and a higher heat. If you give it a try, you'll soon have techniques of you're own you'd swear by!
More next time, when we sort out the tares which are still there, half-hidden by the ironing and rebuild the package only to have a minor disaster!
Then I went to look for trees...I found rose-clippings, which seem to be about right and will die to a nice mahogany tinged with green. I also cut a former for the hedge from a standard kitchen scouring pad.
At the back is the SAE box I said some time ago I'd renovate and put up as a post, to the left, some bottle/olive green carpet strands I pulled off the carpet under the leaf mould pile when putting this years 'soil conditioner' on the veg. patch, which I'm going to try turning into a couple of trees and a hedge! To the right a gathering of Elves (one female Mithril, two Games Workshop - 1x 'Warhammer' and 1x DeAgostini 'Lord Of The Rings' - and a new Mantic 'Games of War'), we'll have a bit of a paint session with them...Watch this space!
Sunday, March 28, 2010
Some second version packs with my old lose figures, the first version had the black and white map as seen in 'The Hobbit' and drawn by Tolkien, as the background rather that this colored version.
I painted these a long time ago, I hate to think when. I used to paint 'flat' colour and highlight with a fine mapping pen, something I wouldn't recommend as it was very pricey in mapping pens!
The range is still available I'm glad to say, and getting these out to photograph has given me the impetus to try and get a few more. They can be found here; Mithril Miniatures LOTR(TM) . However I'll be trying eBay for a few bargains!
Nothing too exciting here, but I thought I'd do a close-up of the unfinished girl, and maybe have a go at finishing her and the unpainted crone above, as an exercise in trying out these new ink washes I started experimenting with on the HaT chariot. Hell, might even get that finished as well!
I really like these Mithril figures and it's a pity they've semi-disappeared under the tide of Del-Prado's tsunami of chunky shite. With these the anatomy is just right, not the overblown 'Great Womble' stuff you get from 'Godawful Workshops'.
Mithril was the 'magic' Elven silver compound Bilbo's mail-shirt was made from and which he gave to Froddo.
Thursday, March 25, 2010
What follows is my take on the speech, fully annotated with my OWN opinions. All mauve text is from official Israeli press sites, all white or aqua text is copyright (C) Hugh Walter 26 March 2010. I listened to the speech so know the text is accurate, indeed it was listening to the opening lines that got me so incensed I first started taking notes, then produced this counter blast!
Before the speech proper, he started off with the usual thanks to various attendees, including certain dignitaries and ambassadors who may have been there by way of invitation or convention rather than because they were supporters of ‘The cause’. It’s a cheap salesman’s gimmick to give the viewing public the impression you have greater support than might be the case.
The speech proper;
As the world faces monumental challenges, I know that Israel and America will face them together. We stand together because we are fired by the same ideals and inspired by the same dream, the dream of achieving security, prosperity and peace. This dream seemed impossible to many Jews a century ago.
Really? You’re arguing about illegal settlements and are about to make a speech which will annoy your hosts further!
One of the 'monumental challenges is the worlds financial crisis, as you only exist due to massif third-world levels of aid yourselves, you're hardly going to help us with that are you? World peace? I don't think you're on the same page as us there either.
This month, my father celebrated his one-hundredth birthday. When he was born, the Czars ruled Russia, the British Empire spanned the globe and the Ottomans ruled the Middle East. During his lifetime, all of these empires collapsed, other powers rose and fell, and the Jewish destiny swung from despair to a new hope - the rebirth of the Jewish state. For the first time in two thousand years, a sovereign Jewish people could defend themselves against attack.
So are you stating that in your own opinion, what is now Israel was home to someone else for those two thousand years? Does this mean that in the flawed logic of the Israeli State, the Angles and Saxons of the UK can return to Denmark and Schleswig Holstien and recolonise, by force if nessesery?
Before that, we were subjected to unremitting savagery: the bloodletting of the Middle Ages, the expulsion of the Jews from England, Spain and Portugal, the wholesale slaughter of the Jews of the Ukraine, the pogroms in Russia, culminating in the greatest evil of all the Holocaust. The founding of Israel did not stop the attacks against the Jews. It merely gave the Jews the power to defend themselves against those attacks.
Is it not time the Jews asked themselves why? Why the bloodletting, why the pogroms, why the holocaust? Why were they carted off into slavery – more than once? Why did they have their Temple raised to the ground…more than once? I would suggest they start by reading The Merchant of Venice, by one 'William Shakespeare'.
My friends, I want to tell you about the day when I fully understood the depth of this transformation. It was the day I met Shlomit Vilmosh over forty years ago. I served with her son, Him, in the same elite unit in the army. During a battle in 1969, Haim was killed by a burst of gunfire. At his funeral, I discovered that Haim was born shortly after his mother and father had been freed from the death camps of Europe. Had he been born two years before, this daring young officer would have been tossed into the ovens like a million other Jewish children. Haim's mother Shlomit told me that though she was in great anguish, she was proud. At least, she said, my son fell wearing the uniform of a Jewish soldier defending the Jewish state.
Time and again the Israeli army was forced to repel attacks of much larger enemies determined to destroy us. Recognizing that we could not be defeated in battle, Egypt and Jordan embraced the path of peace. Yet there are those who continue the assault against the Jewish state and who openly call for our destruction. They seek to achieve this goal through terrorism, missile attacks and most recently by seeking to develop atomic weapons.
They didn’t recognize you couldn’t be defeated in battle, they recognized you couldn’t be defeated while UN negotiated ceasefires allowed for ‘emergency’ American arms shipments without which you wouldn’t be talking to us today!
A Peace treaty is only worth the paper it’s printed on, ask the Europeans!
The ingathering [sic.] [a choice word! From the dictionary of snake-oil sales no doubt, somewhere between ‘collateral damage’ and ‘friendly fire’] of the Jewish people to Israel has not deterred these fanatics. In fact, it has only whetted their appetite. Iran's rulers say Israel is a one bomb country."The head of Hezbollah says: "If all the Jews gather in Israel, it will save us the trouble of going after them worldwide."
These are the ranting of madmen, there is also a twisted logic to the statements, but quoting the ranting of madmen in an important speech, only devalues the speech.
My friends, these are unpleasant facts, but they are the facts. The greatest threat to any living organism or nation is not to recognize danger in time. Seventy-five years ago, the leading powers in the world put their heads in the sand. Untold millions died in the war that followed. Ultimately, two of history's greatest leaders helped turn the tide. Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Winston Churchill helped save the world. But they were too late to save six million of my own people.
The total is mere semantics and may be larger, or smaller. It includes hundreds of thousands of Gypsies, MUSLIM Gypsies (Sinti and Roma), non-Jewish Poles & Russians, homosexuals, criminals, mentally and/or physically retarded individuals (including Germans), Catholics, Protestants, North African Arabs and anyone else the local Gauleiter took against the look of. While it was a horrendous experience for the Jews and I would never deny that, it was actually a mass exercise/experiment in eugenics in which the Jews were just one (the largest) group identified - as being sub-human.
What of the Armenian and Ukrainian ‘Holocausts’ of the 1920’s and ‘30’s, what of the myriad other massacres, pogroms and brutal suppressions in history? Never again, they said, yet we have Tibet, the Karen in Burma, Rwanda, Kosovo, the Balkans, the Montagnards abandoned by the Americans to their fate in Vietnam, your own Christian Phalangist allies in Lebanon – abandoned by you?
The Druids; In a long weekend the Romans showed how you really ‘do’ genocide, totally obliterating a religion older than Judaism and the culture around it. Do we reserve the right to cut off their water every time an Italian says something nasty about us?
The future of the Jewish state can never depend on the goodwill of even the greatest of men. Israel must always reserve the right to defend itself.
Defense is one thing, the daily humiliation of the peoples who used to live in what you now call home is quite another.
Today, an unprecedented threat to humanity looms large. A radical Iranian regime armed with nuclear weapons could bring an end to the era of nuclear peace the world has enjoyed for the last 65 years. Such a regime could provide nuclear weapons to terrorists and might even be tempted to use them itself. Our world would never be the same. Iran’s brazen bid to develop nuclear weapons is first and foremost a threat to Israel, but it is also a grave threat to the region and to the world. Israel expects the international community to act swiftly and decisively to thwart this danger.
We are all well aware of the Iranian ‘Question’ (as are the majority of its own people – give them time) and our leaders are acting tirelessly to address the problem. Stop trying to make-out it’s inextricably linked with the Palestinian/Israeli ‘Question’, as it isn’t.
Equally; before making expectant demands, how about considering the fact that the international community ‘expects’ Israel to conform to the various UN resolutions it continues to ignore?
But we will always reserve the right to defend ourselves.
So you’re going to bomb Iran? And you wonder why you get massacred from time to time? Also you’re starting to repeat yourself.
We must also defend ourselves against the lies and vilifications. Throughout history, the slanders against the Jewish people always preceded the physical assaults against them and were used to justify them. The Jews were called the well-poisoners of mankind, the fomenters of instability, the source of all evil under the sun. Like the physical assaults, these libelous attacks against the Jewish people did not end with the creation of Israel. For a time after World War Two, overt anti-Semitism was held in check by the shame and shock of the Holocaust. But only for a time...In recent decades the hatred of the Jews has reemerged with increasing force, but with an insidious twist. It is not merely directed at the Jewish people but increasingly at the Jewish state. In its most pernicious form, it argues that if only Israel did not exist, many of the world's problems would go away.
Again – the frequency with which this hatred of the Jews rears its ugly head is something the Jews need to explore rather than just quoting it as justification for their actions since 1946.
My friends, does this mean that Israel is above criticism? Of course not. Israel, like any democracy, has imperfections but we strive to correct them through open debate and scrutiny. Israel has independent courts, the rule of law, a free press and a vigorous parliamentary debate believe me, it’s vigorous. I know that members of Congress refer to one another as my distinguished colleague from Wisconsin or the distinguished Senator from California. In Israel, members of Knesset don't speak of their distinguished colleagues from Kiryat Shmona and Beer Sheva. We say well, you don't want to know what we say. In Israel, self-criticism is a way of life, and we accept that criticism is part of the conduct of international affairs. But Israel should be judged by the same standards applied to all nations, and allegations against Israel must be grounded in fact.
Democracy is about more than elections, it’s about justice and the rule of law. If every time you are filmed, sniping a TV cameraman, or bulldozing a peace activist or dropping WP (white phosphorous) munitions on civilian dormitories, the subsequent inquiry finds no one to blame, or exonerates those named, it not only teaches the next generation of IDF what they can get away with rather than what they shouldn't do but makes claims of shared ‘western’ values hollow and meaningless. And it adds to the multi-layered resentment among the Palestinians while lessening your support abroad.
Here is one allegation that is not. The attempt by many to describe the Jews as foreign colonialists in their own homeland is one of the great lies of modern times. In my office, I have on display a signet ring that was loaned to me by Israel's Department of Antiquities. The ring was found next to the Western wall, but it dates back some 2,800 years ago, two hundred years after Kind David turned Jerusalem into our capital city. The ring is a seal of a Jewish official, and inscribed on it in Hebrew is his name: Netanyahu. His name was Netanyahu Ben-Yoash. My first name, Benjamin, dates back 1,000 years earlier to Benjamin, the son of Jacob. One of Benjamin's brothers was named Shimon, which also happens to be the first name of my good friend, Shimon Peres, the President of Israel. Nearly 4,000 years ago, Benjamin, Shimon and their ten brothers roamed the hills of Judea.
Using biblical references brings you to the uncomfortable truth that you stole the land first time around. Jericho? You took – by force – the lands of the Amorites, the Bashan, the Midianites, Moabites and others and that was just for starters, you have prior ‘form’. As they are no longer with us and your books tell us they were smote and smite to the last man, that ugly word ‘genocide’ rears up [never-] again.
There's a David or two in the Bible (my middle name), but I don't think it gives me the right to turn up in the Holy-land, take a Palestinians house, bulldoze his olive-grove, cut off his electricity, water supply and 'phone while I conduct my military maneuvers, accidentally shoot his 5 year old son dead (and get off with a reprimand from all the other Davids up at the courthouse), prevent his eldest crossing into the neibouring town to get married and then cut him off from his elderly mothers house with a 30 foot wall and 3-lane highway.
Ladies and Gentlemen, The connection between the Jewish people and the Land of Israel cannot be denied. The connection between the Jewish people and Jerusalem cannot be denied.
No sensible person does deny it, but equally the connection between the Phoenicians/Philistines/Palestinians and the land currently called Israel can’t be denied either. The connection between the Palestinians and Jerusalem can’t be denied either.
The Jewish people were building Jerusalem 3,000 year ago and the Jewish people are building Jerusalem today. Jerusalem is not a settlement. It is our capital.
In Jerusalem, my government has maintained the policies of all Israeli governments since 1967, including those led by Golda Meir, Menachem Begin and Yitzhak Rabin. Today, nearly a quarter of a million Jews, almost half the city’s Jewish population, live in neighborhoods that are just beyond the 1949 armistice lines. All these neighborhoods are within a five-minute drive from the Knesset. They are an integral and inextricable part of modern Jerusalem. Everyone knows that these neighborhoods will be part of Israel in any peace settlement. Therefore, building them in no way precludes the possibility of a two-state solution.
The ancestors of the Palestinians were building Jerusalem 4000 years ago...
Menachem Begin’s ‘policies’ included terrorism and blowing-up civilians, so I’d distance myself from him if I were you.
Jerusalem is not some Tokyo type megalopolis, it's - by World Standards a medium-sized town, so; ‘just beyond’ is too far. You’re not talking about balconies overhanging by six inches, you’re meaning groups of structures hundreds of yards over the line, whole developments build on the land obtained by compulsory evictions a half a mile into ‘Palestinian’ areas. Consider this; The ‘international community’ might object less, if you gave back those properties you took as well as taking those used in the interim by refugees, however, your land-grab for ‘Lebensraum’ is entirely one-sided, an ‘ethnic cleansing’ if you like. The tragedy is - with every settlement peace moves further away and the current US administration has - it would appear - worked that out.
Nothing is rarer in the Middle East than tolerance for the beliefs of others. Israeli sovereignty in Jerusalem has ensured that the religious sites of all faiths have been protected. While we cherish our homeland, we also recognize that Palestinians live there as well. We don’t want to govern them. We don’t want to rule them. We want them as neighbors, living in security, dignity and peace.
You segregate streets so that even tourists or secular scholars can’t with ease move from one place of worship to another, you block access regularly with ‘security’ clampdowns and use the meeting places as a useful location for picking up ‘the usual suspects’ to cart off for interrogation and western media is prevented from operating freely in these areas, so, where’s the tolerance?
Yet Israel is unjustly accused of not wanting peace with the Palestinians. Nothing could be further from the truth. My government has consistently shown its commitment to peace in both word and deed. From day one, we called on the Palestinian Authority to begin peace negotiations without delay. I make that same call today. President Abbas, come and negotiate peace.
If you wanted peace you wouldn’t behave the way you. You used to say you wouldn’t talk to Arafat; he’s dead now, so you find new excuses for not sitting down, or for walking out of talks. The Oslo accords called for a halt to settlements, you keep building. And while it’s true to say the 2000 Camp David Summit was scuppered by Arafat, it was your insistence on sovereignty over settlements, and the right to position roads as you saw fit in another's future territory which were the major stumbling block.
Leaders who truly want peace should be prepared to sit down face-to-face. Of course, the United States can help the parties solve their problems but it cannot solve the problems for the parties. Peace cannot be imposed from the outside. It can only come through direct negotiations in which we develop mutual trust.
At least we agree on something.
Last year, I spoke of a vision of peace in which a demilitarized Palestinian state recognizes the Jewish state. Just as the Palestinians expect Israel to recognize a Palestinian state, we expect the Palestinians to recognize the Jewish state. In the past year, my government has removed hundreds of roadblocks, barriers and checkpoints in the West Bank. As a result, we have helped spur a fantastic economic boom there. Finally, we announced an unprecedented moratorium on new Israeli construction in Judea and Samaria.
You’ve replaced them with an 8 meter (30 feet) high wall! Built contrary to international law and built it despite the lessons of your own Bar Lev and Tegart...Or Berlin, Maginot, Siegfried, Hadrian, Antonine…Walls don’t work, they present a challenge to be jumped over, tunneled under or knocked down. Of course, the presence of a wall also paints another layer of resentment, pushing peace further away still.
This is what my government has done for peace. What has the Palestinian Authority done for peace? Well, they have placed preconditions on peace talks, waged a relentless international campaign to undermine Israel's legitimacy, and promoted the notorious Goldstone Report that falsely accuses Israel of war crimes. I want to thank President Obama and the United States Congress for their efforts to thwart this libel.
The European Union, without the bias of the US administration in the face of the very lobby group you were speaking to, endorsed the report, a one-all draw I think, not the same thing as libel at all.
The Palestinian Authority has also continued incitement against Israel. Less than two weeks ago, a public square was named after a terrorist who murdered 38 Israeli civilians, including 13 children. The Palestinian Authority did not prevent it.
And how many squares, parks and public buildings have you named after Menachem Begin or other members of Irgun or Lehi (the Stern Gang)? One man’s freedom fighter…the pot calls the kettle black?
Ladies and Gentlemen, Peace requires reciprocity. It cannot be a one-way street in which only Israel makes concessions. Israel stands ready to make the compromises necessary for peace. But we expect the Palestinian leaders to compromise as well. But one thing I will never compromise is our security.
Both above and further down your ideas about the flexibility or inflexibility with regard to negotiation and preconditions are so hypocritical as to make a nonsense of the whole speech, without the other lies, misconceptions and half truths.
If you want to understand Israel's security predicament, imagine the entire United States compressed to the size of New Jersey. Next, put on New Jersey's northern border an Iranian terror proxy called Hezbollah which fires 6,000 rockets into that small state. Then imagine that this terror proxy has amassed 60,000 more missiles to fire at you. Now imagine on New Jerseys southern border another Iranian terror proxy called Hamas. It too fires 6,000 rockets into your territory while smuggling ever more lethal weapons into its territory. Do you think you would feel a little bit vulnerable? Do you think you would expect some understanding from the international community when you defend yourselves?
This allegory is frankly puerile, in fact it’s as puerile as my own on the Druids above, the difference being; I’m an unknown blogger, you would have yourself taken for a world statesman.
A peace agreement with the Palestinians must include effective security arrangements on the ground. Israel must prevent a repeat in the West Bank of what happened when it withdrew from Lebanon and Gaza. Israel’s main security problem with Lebanon is not its border with Lebanon. It is Lebanon's porous border with Syria, through which Iran and Syria smuggle tens of thousands of weapons to Hezbollah. Israel’s main security problem with Gaza is not its border with Gaza. It is along Gaza's border with Egypt, under which nearly 1,000 tunnels have been dug to smuggle weapons. Experience has shown that only an Israeli presence on the ground can prevent weapons smuggling. This is why a peace agreement with the Palestinians must include an Israeli presence on the eastern border of a future Palestinian state. As peace with the Palestinians proves its durability over time, we can review security arrangements. We are prepared to take risks for peace, but we will not be reckless with the lives of our people and the life of the one and only Jewish state.
Is this your third or fourth ‘precondition’? Yet you state - more than once – that the Palestinians must have no such demands at the table; can you not see the rank hypocrisy of your stance?
Ladies and Gentlemen, The people of Israel want a future in which our children no longer experience the horrors of war. We want a future in which Israel realizes its full potential as a global center of technology, anchored in its values and living in peace and security with all its neighbors. I envision an Israel that dedicates its creative and scientific energies to help solve some of the great problems of the day, foremost of which is finding a clean and affordable substitute for gasoline. If we can help find an alternative to gasoline, we will stop transferring hundreds of billions of dollars a year to radical regimes that support terror worldwide.
Noble goals, but first you need to approach peace with a little more seriousness than this speech so far suggests you are willing to.
I am confident that in pursuing these goals, we have the enduring friendship of the United States of America, the greatest nation on earth. The American people have always shown their courage, their generosity and their decency. Time and again, America has stood by Israel's side against common enemies. From one President to the next, from one Congress to the next, America's commitment to Israel's security has been unwavering. In the last year, President Obama and the U.S. Congress have given meaning to that commitment by providing Israel with military assistance, by enabling joint military exercises and by working on joint missile defense. So too, Israel has been a staunch and steadfast ally of the United States. As Vice President Biden said, America has no better friend in the community of nations than Israel.
Kind of makes you wonder why British, French, Danish, German, Dutch and Canadian…Australian, Spanish, Italian, Polish and Estonian soldiers are dying in Afghanistan, if America has a better friend? But that’s for another blog another day.
For decades, Israel served as a bulwark against Soviet expansionism. Today it is helping America stem the tide of militant Islam. Israel shares with America everything we know about fighting a new kind of enemy. We share intelligence and we cooperate in countless other ways that I am not at liberty to divulge. This cooperation saves American lives. Our soldiers and your soldiers fight against fanatic enemies that loathe our common values. In the eyes of these fanatics, we are you and you are us. To them, the only difference is that you are big and we are small, you are the Great Satan and we are the Little Satan. This fanaticism's hatred of Western civilization predates Israel’s establishment by over one thousand years. Militant Islam does not hate the West because of Israel. It hates Israel because of the West because it sees Israel as an outpost of freedom that prevents them from overrunning the Middle East. When Israel stands against its enemies, it stands against America's enemies.
You are not helping to stem the tide; your actions constantly re-boil the cauldron that breeds them. And they don’t hate you for the same reasons they hate us. They hate us for supporting you, they hate us for being decadent, for letting our women wear trousers and go out to work and drive and show their faces. They hate you because you are Jews and because you treat their fellow Muslims like ‘untermensch’.
President Harry Truman, the first world leader to recognize Israel, said: I have faith in Israel and believe that it has a glorious future not just as another sovereign nation, but as an embodiment of the great ideals of our civilization.
How he must turn, restlessly, in his grave.
My Friends, We are gathered here today because we believe in those ideals. And because of those ideals, I am certain that Israel and America will always stand together.
As I write you 'stand' for an extra day, after being made to 'stand' at the doors of the White House, to be met by an underling and kept 'standing'. How we would like to be flies on the wall of your ‘further talks’. You keep talking of Palestinian compromise, might I suggest in order to continue to ‘stand together’ you need to explore this concept yourself.
This was a bigoted and jingoistic speech, I don't know if it was self-delusional or carefully tailored to his audience. The real tragedy seems to me to be that it is all part of some terrible cycle which will only end in another pogrom against the Jews.
This week a US spokesman for several senior Israeli statesmen as good as stated on (very late-night!) television that a nuclear attack on Iran by Israel is a near certainty? What is guaranteed to unite the otherwise fractious and internecine Arabs than a nuclear detonation with Jerusalem's fingerprints all over it?
And why, why like Shylock, do they self-destructively force the issue all the time? Within 30 years the Christians, Arabs and secular-Israeli's will make up the voting majority, and peace will happen, in the meantime the ruling - religious - elite would keep fear real, stoke the fires of hatred and treat the Palestinians like an 'Untermench'?
When I was a kid, it was fashionable in the UK to support the state of Israel, almost without question, now we've grown-up and watched, listened and made up our own minds, more and more of us are minded to say "No, you are not blameless, you don't have a 'Right' to active, aggressive 'defense' of a land which is only half yours, and you can't trade on the horrors of the Holocaust, or our perceived guilt forever. You can't demand that the Palestinians come to the table with no preconditions, while laying out half-a-dozen of your own in just this one speech. You can't take land, take property and take life without giving of the same"
It's your god who says...no, I'm not going down that road, you know what he said and you know what he meant.