Opinion: Starling On Solidarity with Palestine

July 14, 2014

[Opinion column written by Jonathan Starling]

While Bermuda continues to have its own political intrigue, it has been to ignore the extremely concerning developments in Palestine.

I unreservedly condemn the continuing Israeli aggression against the people of Palestine and I hope that the military strikes are halted immediately.

While Bermuda does not control our foreign affairs, our Government can call on the UK government to demand the Israeli Government halt its military action immediately.

The killing of three Israeli settler youths [the settlements themselves being illegal under international law] was a tragedy, but the retaliation from settlers and the Israeli state – even before launching these military strikes – is utterly disproportionate and unjustified, amounting to collective punishment.

To date the Israeli’s have not provided any evidence that Hamas was behind this tragedy. Furthermore, Israel broke the terms of the ceasefire that Hamas had been observing through the rearrests of prisoners released under the terms of that ceasefire [over 400 Palestinians have been arrested, without charge, and five Palestinians killed, in the immediate reaction by Israel at the beginning of July].

So far over 160 Palestinians have been killed, and over a thousand injured, the vast majority – approximately 70 percent – indeed, two days ago, when the death toll was 100, 74 of the dead were civilians, and included 23 children.

The Gaza Strip is one of the most densely populated areas in the world, and is seeing death and destruction rain down on 1.7 million people who, trapped in the strip without access to escape routes [the borders being policed by Israel] cannot flee Israeli aggression.

The collapse of the already fragile ceasefire and peace talks more generally is something that is completely the responsibility of Israel.

Israel’s refusal to find a settlement based on the recognition of the rights of Palestinians and a respect for international law lies at the roots of this current conflict. Additionally, Israel’s continued construction of more illegal settlements in the West Bank throughout ‘peace talks’ was quite simply a provocation and a breach of good faith.

There can be no peace in the Middle East until the root causes of this conflict are addressed.

The roots of this conflict lies squarely in Israel’s decades-long occupation of the West Bank, the construction of illegal settlements in the occupied territories, the forced takeover of Palestinian homes in east Jerusalem, and the very birth of the Israeli state through terrorism and acts of ethnic cleansing.

Israel has built an Apartheid system, no less brutal [in many ways it is even more brutal] than the horror that was Apartheid South Africa.

This Apartheid state includes discrimination towards Israeli Arabs and non-White labourers [especially those of African descent], and the equivalent of townships and reservations in the form of the Gaza strip and the West Bank.

It is an inhuman Apartheid system that has sought to systematically remove the most basic rights of Palestinians.

This current Israeli aggression isn’t about ineffective rockets from Gaza [which have killed zero Israelis during this flare-up].

It’s about Israel maintaining its control over Palestinian lives and lands.

It’s about Israel committing war crimes with complete impunity.

It’s about the global media giving greater value to Israeli lives than Palestinian lives.

It’s about millions of Palestinians living under illegal occupation.

It’s about over 60 laws that discriminate against Palestinian citizens of Israel.

It’s about ethnic cleansing and colonisation – including over 500,000 illegal settlers.

It’s about Israel’s systematic violations of international law and Palestinian human rights.

It’s about the horror of Apartheid in the 21st Century.

During the horrors of South African Apartheid a policy of boycott, divestment and sanctions helped contribute to first the isolation of Apartheid South Africa and, ultimately, to the end of Apartheid.

It is time for the world to adopt a similar approach to Israeli Apartheid.

Despite not controlling our foreign affairs, Bermuda has passed legislation against states such as Iran as part of international sanctions concerning its nuclear program. There is no reason why Bermuda cannot pass similar legislation today against Apartheid Israel.

Bermuda should:

  1. Boycott any goods produced from illegal Israeli settlements in the West Bank
  2. Divest from financial holdings in any companies, funds or organisations complicit in the ongoing illegal occupation and oppression of the Palestinian people
  3. Place sanctions against Israel for its continued illegal occupation, flouting of international law and construction of an Apartheid regime

There is no place for Apartheid in the 21st Century. Just as many Bermudians stood in solidarity with the people of South Africa in opposing Apartheid South Africa, so must we stand today in solidarity with the people of Palestine in opposing Apartheid Israel.

- Jonathan Starling

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Comments (41)

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  1. Kangoocar says:

    Why am I NOT surprised that starling would support the people of Palestine???

    • Samuel L. Jackson says:

      Why am I not surprised that snobs would support the aggressor? I’d rather stand with the likes of Nelson Mandela who stood strongly in support of the Palestinian people. Mandela agrees with starling.

    • Luis Suarez says:

      Wow, starling this is insane.

      This is heavy handed government vs terrorists.

      And you choose the terrorists as the good guys? Wow.

  2. aceboy says:


  3. Annie says:

    Most Bermudians won’t get this since they are brainwashed into thinking the Israelis are good and the Palestinians are bad. Americans are even worse when it comes to this brainwashed thinking. They believe everything they see on CNN and think all Palestinians are evil terrorists.

    They don’t see or care about the innocent men, women, children and BABIES who have NO part of these ‘wars’ and aren’t hurting anyone, yet who are terrorized and pay with their lives every single day in some way or another. People don’t bother to do the research-they just buy into the propaganda that is shoved down their throats…it’s disgusting!

    This will NEVER end as long as the real terrorists get away with this. Sad, sad, sad and shame on us all.

  4. Terry says:

    What else do you expect from a confessed Communist Marxist Stalinist.

    Anyone can copy and paste propaganda.

  5. serengeti says:

    Has Hamas renounced the use of violence?
    Has Hamas stopped lobbing missiles?
    No. They’ve launched 550 of them in the past few days.

    • Samuel L. Jackson says:

      Starling you are a fine human being. I cannot BELIEVE there are people here supporting apartheid. I’m curious as to the political, racial and social demographic of such scum. I hope it isn’t what I suspect.

      • serengeti says:

        I’m not supporting apartheid. Any chance of Hamas stopping firing missiles?

        • Samuel L. Jackson says:

          Israel, the Apartheid terrorist state, bulldozes and bombs Palestinian homes and replaces them with illegal settlements creating millions of refugees and murdering thousands. Then they built an apartheid wall around the entire Gaza strip making it a prison and stopping basic supplies including fresh water from getting in. They regularly storm houses at night to kidnap children from their families and threaten the children with rape if they do not implicate their relatives for the horrendous crime of….stone throwing. They regularly assault children on their way to school by firing tear gas at them and blocking their routes. They collectively punish the Palestinians by bombing and murdering hundreds at a time indiscriminately just like they are doing now the death toll is 180 as we speak. And all you can come up with is a sob story about some virtual firecrackers that these people are defending themselves with that cannot reach anywhere or even cause proper damage. You ask if there is any chance that the oppressed would stop trying to fight for their freedom and right to self determination after watching their home country, culture and way of life WIPED OFF THE MAP. Just as the Nazis demanded that Jews just like up and get in the gas chambers. Just like the racist South African Apartheid regime demanded that their victims abandon their struggle for freedom. And here you behave like a rapist who demands that a woman stop biting, scratching, kicking, screaming, doing anything she can before he finds the decency to decide not to rape her. You support the terrorist apartheid state of Israel and you support genocide and oppression, rape and torture. I stand with honourable men like Noam Chomsky and Nelson Mandela who unapologetically and unwaveringly support the Palestinians in their struggle against their Holocaust. Now why should I entertain scum who cannot hold a candle to Mandela?

          • Creamy says:

            So this morning Israel has agreed to a cease fire and Hamas is still firing missiles.

  6. aceboy says:

    Yup, Hamas starts shooting until the Israelis start shooting back and then they (Hamas) claim to have been attacked.

    • Kangoocar says:

      Thank you, “aceboy” the amount of ignorance is astounding in this island!!!!

  7. Alvin Williams says:

    The state of Israel is only increasing the blood debt they owe the Palestinian people with their murderous bombing of the people of Gaza. And they have the nerve to claim that they are killing in the name of democratic freedom; while they continue to take Palestinian land; subject them to apartheid like restrictions and expect them not to support their brothers and fathers who are mounting a resistance. All the while keeping their foot on the neck of the Palestinian people. There was not one Palestinian guard in the concentration camps in Europe in world war two; whereas the soldiers and airmen of the survivors of the holocaust have much in common with the Nazis who killed six million Jews and they expect the world not to make a judgement.

  8. 32n64w says:

    What would Starling suggest is a realistic solution or response when dealing with an aggressor who feels the state of Israel should be obliterated from the the map?

    Not to mention the surrounding countries who fell the same way?

    • Kangoocar says:

      The type of ignorance that these local supporters of Palestine is even shocking me??? One thing is for sure, it now totally explains their support of the plp and why the plp was allowed to create the amount of carnage on Bermuda that they did!!! These supporters of this nonsense, should move themselves to Palistine to fight the Israelis themselves!!! All I can say is Bermuda will be much better off without them, and I have no doubt after the Israelis get down with them, the whole world will be better off!!! What a bunch of SICK individuals???

      • Coffee says:

        There is no man as blind as the man who refuses to open his eyes and see … You are a sad sight to see Kangoocar !

      • Samuel L. Jackson says:

        I KNEW IT!
        How DARE you insinuate that all of the honourable Bermudians who denounce the terrorist apartheid state of Israel support only PLP? Just how do you know that? You are revealing yourself as the propagandist you are.
        This post of yours is the most insidious and evil vomit-inducing sewage I have ever seen from anyone on this site and that’s the truth. How dare you insinuate that half of Bermuda’s population deserves to be exterminated by Israel like they exterminate the defenseless Palestinians? You are being so evil I want to cry. There, you’ve made me cry. Congratulations maniac.

        • Creamy says:


        • Kangoocar says:

          Hamas, is using their rockets for political purposes and then using their civilians as human shields!!! This makes them terrorists!!!!!!! End of story my friend!!!

      • Samuel L. Jackson says:

        I KNEW IT!
        How dare you insinuate that there are no honourable OBA supporters who denounce the terrorist apartheid Israeli regime? Just how could you know that? You are revealing yourself as the zionist propagandist you are. And how DARE you suggest that roughly half of all Bermudians deserve to be exterminated by Israel like they are exterminating the defenseless Palestinians? This post of yours is the most vile vomit-inducing sewage I have ever seen from anyone on this site and that is the truth. Your evil words are going to make me cry. There! You’ve made me cry! Congratulations maniac. I hope you’re proud.

        • Terry says:

          Seems like Uncle Elvis and Mike Hind may have shared a bottle.
          Not that it helps.

  9. Coffee says:

    For the lives of three Jewish teenagers , the Israelis are determined to kill at least three thousand Palestinians by the end of Ramadan .

  10. I’m with what the American political commentator Bill Maher stated about Israel in 2012, and still rings true today:

    “There’s just not another country in the world that would allow missiles to be rained down on them without fighting back. What I find so ironic is that after World War II, everybody said, ‘I don’t understand the Jews. How could they have just gone to their slaughter like that?’ OK, and then when they fight back: ‘I don’t understand the Jews. Why can’t they just go to their slaughter?’ It’s like, ‘You know what? We did that once. It’s not gonna happen again. You’re just gonna have to get used to the fact that Jews now defend themselves — and by the way, defend themselves better.”

    • Samuel L. Jackson says:

      Tell that to the Jews who denounce the state of Israel outright. This is precisely what Hitler claimed as he exterminated the Jews, that He was “fighting back” to defend against a threat. The Israelis are the new Nazis and Palestine is the new holocaust. Orthodox Jews DENOUNCE the state of Israel so your logic is, well, illogical.
      Before the apartheid state of Israel was created Jews lived side by side with Christians and Moslems in complete peace and security for CENTURIES! So that hogwash about being in danger is just that, hogwash. It was Christian Europe that persecuted the Jews and they sought and received refuge and protection in Moslem lands. Now you expect the Palestinians to just accept THEIR slaughter and when they fight back with firecrackers you call them rockets meanwhile the real rockets are fired indiscriminately into what’s left of Palestinian homes murdering children and entire families. How dare you call ethnic cleansing defense? Your generation is a dying breed.

  11. Peel the Onion says:

    This conflict has roots that go back hundreds of years. I doubt anyone on this thread understands the complexities and nuances. As with most wars, there is no good side and bad side, no clear cut right or wrong. If you have never experienced the fear of a rocket exploding on your child’s birthday party, I don’t think you have a right to condemn Israel.

    • Samuel L. Jackson says:

      It does NOT go back hundreds of years. That is a lie. It goes back to 1945. Before that those people lived in total peace together for CENTURIES. You talk about a rocket exploding on an Israeli child’s birthday but you say nothing about the Palestinian children MURDERED by actual missiles and who are kidnapped from homes and threatened with rape and tortured. Desmond Tutu said that when you decide to remain neutral in situations of injustice then you have chosen the side of the oppressor. There is a good side and a bad side and Israel and it’s apartheid terrorist regime is definitely BAD. SHAME ON YOU!

      • Peel the Onion says:

        Thank you for proving my point. You are ignorant if you really think the conflict began in 1945. Get your PhD in Modern History of the Middle East and your opinion will be more informed. I am not saying that the IDF’s actions are deserving of a medal of honour. What I am saying is that there have been atrocities committed by both sides and casualties suffered by both sides. I doubt you know how it feels to live in fear of terrorist attacks. While you live in paradise, you should reserve judgement on those who have a much more difficult life than you.

        • Samuel L. Jackson says:

          First you claim that the conflict goes back hundreds of years which is a blatantly unfounded, uneducated fabrication, then you speak about the IDF as though your own memory is only 50 years long. The problem began when Britain promised Jews who were persecuted and who’s families massacred by Christian Europe someone else’s land who had nothing to do with it.
          The mere suggestion by yourself that I require a PhD to know that Israel has and continues to bulldoze and steal Palestinian land to build illegal Jewish settlements reveals the monstrosity of an ignoramus you must be and the intellectual dishonesty born of your pseudo-scholarship. Please stop the masquerade. People are being exterminated and you are on the side of the Nazis this time. Gaza is surrounded by an Apartheid wall making it a virtual prison while Israel bombs and terrorises those poor people. Unless you live in Gaza then maybe you should kindly hush if you want to play that card.

    • Terry says:

      Vietnam/North Korea et all come to mind.
      History is a b

  12. Richard T says:

    It laughable that Mr. Sterling thinks anyone cares what Bermuda thinks. Sterling is completely ignoring the facts from Israel’s side in such a biased opinion article. For those that don’t know history or the reason for the conflict here is what the Israel’s think.

    The whole of what was the State of Israel at its founding belongs to the Israel’s according to their beliefs. It is the Promised Land that was given to them by god. When the Romans sacked Jerusalem they scattered and after WW2 they returned to find in their view squatters on land that is rightfully theirs. After WW2 when they returned the Arabs living there at the time tried to destroy them and failed miserably. Israel has since been sandwiched between countries that a have majority people that hate them.

    Israel’s response is heavy handed as it always is since they have a far right government. Hamas can fire all the rockets they want it won’t do much of anything. If Israel really wanted to evict everyone they have the capabilities of carpet bombing the West bank and Gaza Strip and nothing anyone says could stop them.

    Illegal settlements is a word thrown about by idiots. How can a settlement be illegal if those creating it believe they are building on land that is rightfully theirs?

    This is the truth; Israel will do what it feels it needs to protect its people and could care less what anyone thinks. There will never be sanctions on Israel that is a fact. Even if the US stopped its support of Israel, Israel could still carry on as their defense infrastructure is so powerful that only countries such as Russia, China or the US could stop them, but that won’t happen.

    • Terry says:

      Right on Richard.
      You have no clue of what you speak.
      Really. No clue.

      • Samuel L. Jackson says:

        All he did was expose the Israelis sick ideology Terry. You clearly don’t belong to the large body of honourable Jews who openly denounce the Apartheid terrorist Israeli regime.

    • Samuel L. Jackson says:

      So basically what Starling doesn’t get is that the terrorist Israelis consider the Palestinians who lived there for CENTURIES nothing more than squatters because their book told them so? Well you sure cleared it all up because I was so certain that they considered the Palestinians as equals and they are passing out candies. Thanks because I was totally in the blue about the sick religious origins of their ideology of death and extermination. That’s why Starling is suggesting sanctions.

  13. aceboy says:


    Watch and THEN comment Mr. Jackson.

    How DARE you compare Israel with the Nazis!

    You have no clue whatsoever about the nonesense you spew.

    • Samuel L. Jackson says:

      Just finished watching your “Israel video network” video about Syria, Iran, Saudi Arabia, and Lebanon and NOT about Apartheid Israel or their victims the Palestinians. The Holocaust of our times is happening and these red herrings amount to nothing more than trying to say “Israeli ethnic cleansing isn’t bad because other countries are doing other bad things”. No, sorry that just won’t work aceboy. Now I have some videos for you to watch that actually are about the subject. Can you deal with the truth?
      Israeli Military Torturing Palestinian Children

      An honest Israeli Jew tells the Real Truth about Israel http://youtu.be/etXAm-OylQQ

      Jimmy Carter (Former US President) unveils truth about Israel: http://youtu.be/uvtC_qzHVM4

      We can do this all day. Stick to the topic. Every single a arab or moslem country could be as corrupted as a choir boy. That does NOT dismiss apartheid and genocide. I’d rather side with Nelson Mandela, Noam Chomsky, President Carter, and numerous other real human beings. You are despicable.

  14. aceboy says:

    We develop missile-defense systems to protect our citizens, while they use their citizens to protect their missiles. And this is what makes all the difference.

    Israeli Prime Minister

  15. leagle eagle says:

    Amazing how Starling+Jackson can tap into and insite the amount of anti-semetism still existing in Bermuda!

    • Samuel L. Jackson says:

      So what do you call the Jews like the ones in the video I posted who denounce Israel? Anti-semitic? what do you call Nelson Mandela, President Carter, Noam Chomsky? How about Norman Finklestein who’s entire family was exterminated in the Holocaust and outright condemns the Apartheid and genocidal state of Israel. That tune is played out. The biggest soap in the face is that the Palestinians are also semitic, in fact all Arabs are. If anything is anti semitic it’s zionism, genocide, and apartheid. Next time look up the meaning of semitic before spouting the CNN narrative of a decade ago.

  16. mai says:

    wow! This is amazing! I posted something similar on my page (Maj,s list on Facebook, feel free to join) and getting bashed all over. But i refuse to take it down though. I am boycotting all Israeli products being sold in Bermuda! I will not support MURDER!