It Rains Rocket from Gaza, Never Bombs from Israel

By Stuart Littlewood

Alistair Burt is the UK Foreign Office minister in charge of Middle East affairs. He is also a former officer of the Conservative Friends of Israel lobby group. He resigned from that position when he became a minister, but leopards don’t suddenly change their spots.

Judge for yourself.

I sent a question through my MP asking why Government ministers such as Burt quote exact numbers of rockets fired from Gaza without also giving the corresponding numbers of bombs, rockets, shells and other ordnance poured into Gaza by the Israeli military.

In his letter of reply Burt says “there are no reliable statistics on the number of bombs and other ordnance fired by the Israeli Defence Force on Gaza and Israel does not make public this information”.

In that case, should he not make it clear when quoting Gaza’s rocket numbers that Israel refuses to provide numbers of their own vastly superior missiles used to bombard Gaza?

Yesterday in Parliament David Amess, another officer of the Conservative Friends of Israel, was playing the familiar game of planting Parliamentary questions designed to deflect attention from Israel’s malodorous reputation. He asked Mr Burt what recent reports the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs [William Hague] had received on the number of rockets fired from Gaza into Israel since 30 October; what recent discussions he has had with the government of Israel on such attacks; and if he would make a statement.

Mr Burt obligingly replied: “We have received reports that 287 rockets were fired from Gaza into Israel between 30 October and 14 November. According to Israeli Defence Forces figures, 1,443 rockets were fired during the period 14-21 November.” He added that Mr Hague spoke to Mr Lieberman on 17 and 21 November and he, Burt, spoke to him on 21 November and again on 22 November.

Such precision is of course commendable but grossly lopsided and plainly calculated to mislead Parliament and public. It is astonishing that in all its discussions with Israel’s ministers the Foreign Office hasn’t managed to extract data on Israeli bombing and rocket attacks.

Mr Burt, I venture to suggest, ought to paint a balanced picture and not simply regurgitate Israeli propaganda without caveats and facts from the other side. He should inform the Israeli authorities that British ministers will not in future quote figures for Palestinian rockets unless accompanied by corresponding numbers of Israel’s. These should then be cross-checked with Palestinian and independent sources for proper monitoring.

The same goes for any remarks about Iran’s so far non-existent nukes. There should be equal emphasis on Israel’s vast arsenal of WMDs.

– Stuart Littlewood is author of the book Radio Free Palestine, which tells the plight of the Palestinians under occupation. He contributed this article to

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  1. Couldn’t agree more…..actually more specifically and to be forensically accurate would be to find out the total explosive power of all the “rockets” fired at Isreal vis-a-vis all the stuff dropped and lobbed into Gaza by the Israeli war machine. This would require a bit of research but I imagine the figures would be something like100:1 to 500:1 in Israel’s favour.
    If such figures were routinely quoted in the press it would make a mockery of this obscene narrative that equates the desperate actions of a people under occupation with that of there jailors.
    Elsewhere in this forum i have suggested that the solution to the Gazan rockets seemingly indiscriminate targeting is simple…..give the militias the hi tech targeting equipment that Israel routinely uses. That way the militias might be able to accurately target the military resources of their oppressor. Such a suggestion, whilst made somewhat tongue in cheek, parallels the West’s oft repeated wish to arm the resistance in Syria.

  2. Since Gaza doesn’t have planes nor pilots with the skill to fly them, who was the one dropping bombs on Gaza if it wasn’t Israel? Netanyahu stated he was going to attack Gaza because of their shooting of rockets that landed in open land 99% of the time in Israel. Why he is claiming Israel wasn’t involved makes no sense. Netanyahu not only wanted to show Israelis how strong he was to keep his political position come January, 2013, but also to return some vengeance on people that he knew he could push around. Netanyahu just got more than he bargained for with the variety of rockets fired and the longer distances and variety of places in contrast to those 4 years ago. Also he didn’t receive a pleasant reminder from Hilary when she required that he not only stop firing at Gaza but also open the port for shipping and allow better transportation in and out of Gaza to Palestine and/or Israel. Yes, some of this came with the help of Morsi. But since they are neighbors and Israel wants economic treaties kept with it, he has to play ball with some of Morsi’s rules, not just his or Hilary’s. Negotiations and compromises must be made between Gaza and Israel–hopefully Palestine too–if for no other reason than both sides have become too strong to have one always override the other–in Israel’s favor. Military superiority will no longer do.

  3. Why do we refer to those people attacking german occupation forces during WWII all over Europe as “Freedom Fighters” or underground heros, but choose to apply the name of terrorist to anyone resisting the US or Israeli occupation?

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