English Diplomat Arrested for Shouting Anti-Israeli Comments At Gym

175px-her_majestys_government_coat_of_armssvgA top aide to British Foreign Secretary David Miliband has been arrested for shouting at the “telly” at his gym. The 47-year-old diplomat is accused of shouting “F***ing Israelis, f***ing Jews” while watching news reports of Israel’s bombardment of Gaza last month at the gym.

England has long maintained a tradition of free speech and civil liberties while preserving laws capable of denying those rights at the discretion of the government. It is one of the great distinctions between our countries. We rejected reliance on the good nature and purposes of the government in the use of such laws.

The unnamed diplomat should certainly be disciplined for public expressions that embarrass the ministry and could legitimately be tossed out of the club for obnoxious behavior. There is also no question that statements like Israeli soldiers should be “wiped off the face of the Earth” are intolerable. However, while he does not have a right to work at the ministry or work out at this club while making such statements, he does have a right to free speech. Instead, he has been arrested for inciting religious hatred.

Western countries have been yielding to demands to criminalize criticism of religion, a trend that threatens the foundations of free speech (here). This includes efforts to define criticism of religion as a form of discrimination, here.

For the full story, click here.

16 thoughts on “English Diplomat Arrested for Shouting Anti-Israeli Comments At Gym”

  1. Buddha,
    Thank you for that link although its’ truth was depressing. On one side you have a people beleaguered by near 8 decades of constant crisis facing off against another people who were kept in despair for those same decades by those that purportedly supported them in their cause. Behind the scenes you have a US Government pledging friendship and aid, while being run by people beholden to Big Oil and to the Saud family. Then you had the USSR playing their games until dissolution. Finally you had the Arab despots hating Israel on the surface, but needing its’ continuance to keep their own hurting masses distracted from the true source of their misery. I’ve always loved being Jewish and have always supported Israel. Having not been an Israeli citizen though, I can’t assess where my head would be if I was, but as an outside observer and supporter sometimes it’s hard to fathom the reasoning.

    A major part of this problem though must be ascribed to the ascending fundamentalist movements which are a cancer on major religions. Where fundamentalism gains power death and destruction follow. This is axiomatic because fundamentalism brooks no deviation from its version of divine authority, as stated by power drunk theologians, who use it to cover their own neuroses and secret desires. Their are truly pious and religious people in this world, I’ve met them. They are distinguished though by the love, charity and gentleness they exhibit. Unfortunately, being truly pious they don’t seek power.

  2. I don’t agree with the aide’s actions but I would not want to be living in England with their fascist ways.My apologies but no offense meant to my fellow British friends.

  3. I assume this happened in England. England has no first amendment right to free speech as we in the U.S. know it. In England, hate speech (like this example) can get you locked up.

  4. seamus,

    Kitten molesters need to stay in shape too.

    (I kid, I kid! Everyone knows they’re slobs.)

    Now it’s time to clean the iced tea off my monitor. Thanks again, seamus.

  5. I just want to know what the Hell this a-hole was charged with.

    Oh, and did anyone see the cover of the New York Post? There headline for the Alex Rodriquez/steroids story simply read “A-HOLE”; best headline since something about poisened fish testicles Turley had up here a few weeks ago.

    But I digress. The proper response when some one yells something defamatory in a gym is to yell something back at him like, “Hey fuck-stick, shut the fuck up, I’m loosing count of my squats!!!”

    Then he can yell something back. They someone can yell something about his mother or the size of his penis or how he molests kittens. Then there can actrually be a fight, making calling the police a good idea.

  6. As we all can see from Mike’s (different guy, not my alter ego) post above one can be anti-Israel and/or its’ actions and not be also
    anti-Jewish. I don’t know that provision of armament would improve the situation, but I agree with him that the Israeli’s should be out of Gaza and the West Bank.

  7. No one should be censored for telling it like it is. The illegal Israeli blockade of Gaza has caused hundreds of deaths and untold misery. The occupied, the oppresed have an absolute right to self defense.
    I would love to see the Palestinians have the full panoply of armament that we provide to the Israelis: jets, tanks, helicopters, bulldozers, the works.
    Perhaps then, the blockade of the Gaza Ghetto and the theft of the West Bank would end.

  8. Listen I’ve debated the back and forth’s of this whole conflict a lot and I just don’t think it’s profitable for me to continue. I don’t believe this man should have been arrested because I affirmatively believe in free speech. However, there is one aspect to this I do want to comment on. “F***ing Israeli’s” is an understandable response from someone who disagrees with Israel’s ME actions. “F***ing Jews” is bigotry, even though the Isareli’s are predominantly Jewish. Now I would not arrest the guy for saying “F***ing Jews” either because I believe in free speech no matter how much I abhor the sentiments.

    As a Jew though, please understand that this type of commentary is exactly why there is fierce diaspora Jewish support for Israel. All of those on this site would agree with the right of someone to shout out disdain for our President. however, I also believe that most on this site would be outraged about the same set of facts if someone instead shouted “F***ing Obama…F***ing N****r!”; or perhaps if someone shouted “F***ing Arabs…F***ing Muslims”;
    or perhaps some who hated India’s policies shouting “F***ing Indians…F***ing Hindu’s.” Now while the overwhelming majority of us here believe in the freedom of people to speak in these vile terms and its protection, I as a Jew see little protest when Israeli and Jew are used interchangeably.

    We Jews are a skittish people. We’ve had our Babylonian experience, our Hellenic experience, our Roman experience, our Islamic experience and our European experience. Most of these situations started out well and ended in expulsion and/or death for Jews. I love America, was born here, will die here and I’ve never been to Israel. I’ve also never given a dime to AIPAC or other Jewish entities of its ilk. Yet it is comforting to know that “if the S**t hits the fan” there is one place my family can go to. non-Jews may call it paranoia, I call it the lessons of history.

    On this site I have made specific criticism of Israeli policies.
    However, I and some of the Israeli Governments most fervent denoucers (Buddha for instance)agree on the need for Israel’s continued existence. So this is definitely not a Jew calling dislike of Israeli policies anti-Jewish. I must take note of the fact though that European’s and Brits have had a long history of disliking and disdaining Jews. Most European countries freely gave up their Jews, homosexuals and Gypsies to their Nazi occupiers. Most, despite the spread of post WWII myth, actually collaborated with their Nazi invaders and are now shamed by their actions more than a half century later.

    Many Europeans I am sure take some pleasure in Israel’s problems because in their mind it alleviates some of their collective guilt, lessens the horror of the Shoah and to them shows Jews unfavorably. Then too there’s the oil and the money involved. I get most outraged though by those, some on this site who liken the Shoah to the actions of the Israeli government. The Jewish Genocide, just like the Genocide of Slavery; Genocide of Native Americans; Armenian Genocide; or current African Genocides; are at a level far beyond Israel’s purported war crimes. That does not excuse Israel’s actions, but it shows a convenient blindness to the full evil of Genocide, that for some negates the “Jewish Experience,””Native American Experience,””Afro American Experience” and exculpates its’ perpetrators and collaborators. A few people on this site have stated opinions to the effect of “The Jews use the Shoah as an excuse for Israel’s actions.” Notice please “The Jews” as if discussing a monolithic group of people all following the same “Jewish Party Line.”

    Please understand, Jews are probably the most opinionated ethnic group on the planet. There is no entity that speaks for all Jews. Our religion is separated into many more factions than non-Jews can even understand and some of those factions are super religious but anti-Israel. Everyone is entitled to their particular opinions about the Israeli Government, but when you mix that up with being a member of that ethnic group that is where to me the line into bigotry is crossed.

  9. While it may be appropriate for his employer to punish him somehow, I don’t think he should be arrested for expressing an opinion, even this one.

  10. Mespo:

    The problem is that Hamas loves to fire rockets from innocent civilian homes or apartment buildings or schools. If Israel can never return fire (usually after giving warning) then you are basically making them fight with one arm tied behind their back.

  11. Didn’t the Israelis vote the Likhud into power.

    Violent right wing extremism breeds violent right wing extremism.

  12. Clint:

    If they tried harder to avoid civilian casualties they’d do better as well. Being in a war zone does not make you fair game if you’re a noncombatant, at least to civilized persons it doesn’t. And being attacked by criminals doesn’t give you the right to rush off and kill everything or everybody in your path, the Bush Doctrine notwithstanding.

  13. Wow, Jews can’t get a break. If the Israelis were to sit back and take their terrorist spankings like a more respectable country, they would still be hated by many.

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