Israel, helping victims, and JCB: 14 June

Still aghast at the Israeli attack on the blockade-breaking ships. What will become of the poor Israeli people when the response to their government’s phobic and arrogant militarism fully kicks in?

Many Jews were just as aghast:

Rabbi Michael Lerner, in the US, with others issued a statement:

“We regret and deplore the killings which took place as Israeli troops, in defiance of international law, boarded and assaulted, wounded many and killed some  of the participants in a flotilla seeking to break the Israeli blockade of Gaza (itself a morally outrageous policy) to bring humanitarian aid…

… there was no need for any of this to have happened. Israel could have waited for the boats to arrive at shore and then sent military to search what was being brought to Gaza to ensure that it was in fact humanitarian aid. Moreover, as the Israeli peace movement Gush Shalom pointed out today, the core of the issue remains Israel’s attempt to starve and punish the entire population of Gaza for the activities of Hamas…

… We continue to support the State of Israel’s right to exist as a homeland for the Jewish people, and for Palestine to exist as a homeland for the Palestinian people. The violence must stop.”

For more see

Or see the UK organisation Jews for Justice for Palestinians:

Then Derek Bird killed and injured neighbours in Cumbria. Derek’s full background needs somehow to come out. What led up to him having no sense of any boundaries of decent conduct? What happened on his holidays in Thailand? What else did he do with his spare time? People don’t suddenly leap from ordinary to psychotic behaviour without some stepping stones.

It’s good to hear a fund for the victims has been set up. See At first the families were saying that they wanted all donations to go to the Great North Air Ambulance. Such a generous attitude, but I prefer to give directly to them. It’s part of us saying ‘We’re all affected. We’re in this together.’ ‘If one part of the body hurts, the others send resources for healing.’

12 youngsters from land contaminated by the Chernobyl nuclear accident are now spending a month in and around Ashbourne and Uttoxeter. This month will add two years to their lives. They’re a great bunch. A couple of girls on their way from a tour of the JCB factory near Utttoxeter to a picnic were saying to each other how beautiful the countryside is. On the way back home they were talking about which boys ‘liked’ which girls. They charged delightedly into the playground at Carsington Water shouting ‘Class!’ – the Russian equivalent of ‘Cool!’

Locals putting on these events for the Chernobyl children have been great too.

At JCB I asked the man taking us round why the firm has survived and done well, when so many other British companies have folded. ‘It’s the ownership,’ he said straight away. Mr John C Bamford set up the company after the war, inventing the digger as we know it. His family still own the whole company and his son runs it. They have nothing to do with the stock market – hence their ongoing global success.

Roger Harper


One Response to “Israel, helping victims, and JCB: 14 June”

  1. Stay in Europe, to be blessed by Europe: 4 May | Rogerharper's Blog Says:

    […] profit. JCB has flourished precisely because it has nothing to do with the stock market.  The City of London asset strips for the benefit of the rich of the world. To maintain and develop […]

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