One of my fellow writers, Mike Cunningham, over on A Tangled Web has picked up on a piece by BBC Newnight by reporter/commentator/Hamas publicist Mark Urban. Urban complains about recent damage by Israeli rocket fire to war graves, including that of his great uncle, in in the British War Cemetery in Gaza. Mike addds “I wonder why he doesn’t also go to Hamas and demand some compensation from them. Compensation for having no doubt stationed their rocket, mortar and anti-aircraft gun crews in the same hallowed area, thus bringing down the wrath of Israel’s armed forces when they finally decided that enough was enough!

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19 Responses to USING THE WAR DEAD

  1. Cockney says:

    The last sentence is intriguing.

    “It seems these days that some people either care more about today’s conflict than respecting those values, or indeed actively dislike what the cemeteries stand for.”

    One would doubt that Israelis would “actively dislike” the defeat of the Ottomans in WWI so this seems to be implicit acceptance that Hamas was fighting from the area. If so why doesn’t he spell it out?


  2. David Vance says:


    Yes, it’s implicit, isn’t it? Seething anti-Semitism just below the surface. That’s “some people” for you…


  3. Grant says:

    And who respects “those values” more, the Israelis or Hamas ?
    If Urban is suggesting that the Israelis targetted cemeteries deliberately, because the Israelis do not respect the values of the West, his “thinking” goes beyond the normal BBC bias and anti-semitism and into the realms of mental illness.


  4. Dick the Prick says:

    I love these human interest stories with leading presumptions and a message.

    I watched Huw Edwards do a thing on Dave Lloyd George last night and he was sooooo unvelievably patronising. ‘Mention DLG to most people and they won’t be able to tell you much’ – alrighty Huw – could it be because they’re BLOODY STUPID? Tosser.


  5. Sue says:

    “For once my mission in Gaza is personal.”
    Bravely holding back his crocodile tears at the pock marks on his great uncle’s gravestone he tenderly places a plastic poppy on the grave that he has been prevented by the Israelis from bothering to visit, and strides away muttering meaningfully, “Sad.” He turns briefly to the other Commonwealth graveyard, hastily glossing over the fact that it has been completely flattened by Islamist extremists, and strides away, still muttering sadly to himself at the evil Israelis. Laughable.


  6. JohnA says:


    Can you please spell that out a bit more.

    Damage to the cemetary where Urban’s relative is buried – sounds like collateral damage ? And how much damage ?

    But the other cemetary – was it shown on screen, when and how much was it damaged, by whom ? Any more background ?


  7. Sue says:

    JohnA | 25.02.09 – 10:27

    You have to skip half of it but it’s on Newsnight iplayer


  8. Umbongo says:

    I recall reading in newspaper accounts of the 1967 Israeli victory of the respect that Jordan – a Muslim monarchy – had shown for cemeteries. The Israelis discovered that many of the gravestones from the old Jewish cemetery in Jerusalem (which had been under Jordanian jurisdiction from 1948 until 1967) had been removed and used to build latrines. Nice.


  9. David Preiser (USA) says:

    Maybe this will make a few Beeboids a little more sympathetic the next time some Hamas supporters desecrate Jewish graves in Britain. I doubt it, though.


  10. Grant says:

    Maybe a point is whether Urban had ever visited his ancestors grave in the past. Whether he even knew of his existence. If not, why did Urban suddenly discover him now ?


  11. Jon says:

    Grant | 25.02.09 – 5:07 pm |

    My thoughts exactly. My great Uncle died in a train accident – I never knew him – Would I be so full of tears if I stumbled across his grave – I doubt it. You greave for the people you knew.


  12. Garden Trash says:

    Hands up all those who knew their Great Grandfather,let alone knew they had a Great Uncle.


  13. Jon says:

    Look at slide 6.


  14. Sue says:

    Grant | 25.02.09 – 5:07 pm
    He implied that he had not visited before, – no-one had visited for a very long time – because of course, the Israelis wouldn’t let them.

    Maybe the Who Do You Think You Are team did the research for him and got lucky.

    It was so hammy it was almost a parody. All it lacked was some dramatic music, and in the background, a masturbating kangaroo.


  15. deegee says:

    Not the 1st time it has happened

    In 2004 armed Palestinian vandals destroyed 30 graves in the War Cemetery.


  16. Bryan says:

    It’s becoming impossible to listen to the World Service. A few days ago it was clasping that Mohammed whatshisname terrorist warmly to its ample bosom, and inflicting him on its audience throughout the day instead of rightly regarding him as Ethiopia’s problem and enthusing a little less over him. And there was plenty of room on the aforementioned ample bosom for the Gaza doctor who lost three of his daughters because of Hamas. (Except that the World Service didn’t put it quite like that, of course.)

    So it was a surprise to see World Have Your Say produce a fairly balanced show on Holocaust denial and freedom of speech, even allowing a few outspoken Jews like Deborah Lipstadt have their say. A couple of really vile Holocaust deniers were allowed to spew their venom at length, but after all this is the BBC so we can’t expect miracles.

    I haven’t listened to it all and might come to a different judgement on it later:

    What’s wrong with questioning the Holocaust? ask the pseudo-intellectuals at the BBC.

    How much time do you have? would possibly be a fair reply.


  17. Sue says:

    ‘Lady’ Michele Renouf was thoroughly discredited on that programme, I thought. A fraud and a supporter of holocaust deniers, she was previously known by another name in Australia. Yet she has enough credibility with the BBC to speak on behalf of Bishop Williamson on the World at One with Shaun Ley.
    I listened to that whole WHYS programme from your link, and nobody at all was in favour of making holocaust denial a crime. It wasn’t a proper debate. But nobody said anything about the context, which is the real issue, rising antisemitism and increasing Islamisation being the crucial factor in what makes this sort of thing so dangerous.


  18. Bryan says:

    Sue, agreed. Chloe Tilly has this bee in her bonnet about having a conversation and not going into history or going off on tangents, but of course one has to in order to make any sense at all of the issues involved.

    The Have Your Say crew is young, idealistic, woefully undereducated and excruciatingly pc. And most of them have little intellectual depth. Still, sometimes they do try and I thought this particular effort was not too bad.

    They even let Deborah Lipstadt have an uninterrupted go at that antisemitic “lady,” saying she was “spewing Holocaust denial,” and also let her call Williamson a “low life,” without comment.


  19. Bryan says: