3 August 2014

By their tweets …

On 31 July the new UK Foreign Secretary, Philip Hammond gave his first newspaper interview to the Sunday Telegraph which reported his remarks on 3 August, concentrating on the situation in Gaza. Notably:
“The British public has a strong sense that the situation of the civilian population in Gaza is intolerable and must be addressed — and we [the UK government] agree with them.”
He was also quoted as saying that:
The British public is “deeply disturbed” by the suffering of the people of Gaza …
Judging by some of the heated remarks on the normally calm parts of Twitter which I follow, he is probably right, and not just the British public. Perhaps people are being led into saying things they normally wouldn’t, or are just being careless about what they are saying. I couldn’t help being struck by this tweet (2 August, 16:02), one of many about Israel and Gaza from Louise Mensch (@LouiseMensch):

Two questions came into my mind reading this. Firstly, why “know” as opposed to “expect” or “suspect” or “wouldn’t be surprised if”? Secondly, why Shin Bet? This, as far as I understand, is Israel’s internal security service, as opposed to Mossad which operates externally.

Given its formidable reputation, I would be surprised if Mossad wasn’t aware of Mensch: a former Conservative MP retaining a keen interest in UK politics, living in New York with a Jewish husband, and writing a column for a Murdoch newspaper would seem to tick quite a few boxes as a person of interest. 

Her tweets often form part of a dialogue with others which can be combative at times. One of those with a different viewpoint from hers currently about Israel and Gaza is Richard Kemp (@COLRICHARDKEMP) who came up with these two among many others (2 August, 18:36 and 18:42):

“So-called” or “self-styled”? No matter. Kemp is a bit of an international man of mystery to judge from his single-page personal website:

but the website of his book, Attack State Red, is more informative and the description it provides would seem to support this particular point during a later exchange with Mensch:

but to be fair to both parties, their dialogue should be read in full.

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