Tuesday, 22 July 2008

Brown Out On A Limb Backing US & Israel

You can't keep a good Prime Minister down. or even - it seems- Gordon Brown as he turns up in the Middle East and throws his weight around.
Palestine, Israel and Iran have all felt the rough edge of the unelected leaders tongue these last few days as well as handing out cash and declaring Israeli alliance's straight out of the mouths of the nominees for the American Presidential election.
Either willingly or by sheer ignorance, Brown has walked straight into the trap laid by Israel and the US into maneuvering Iran into the gun sights.
Brown's remarks could well be seen as a signal that Britain would be prepared to support a military strike against Iran and that is not going to play well with the electorate for two reasons.
The first is that as the coffins of our servicemen are still being dispatched
back from the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts, there is little taste for yet more wars.
Secondly, and more controversially, a majority of the British have mixed feelings about Israel and find their treatment of the Palestinians abhorrent. The ongoing drama to boycott Israeli academics is just one example of the strength of feeling it engineers and it isn't improved any by the pictures in the newspapers today of the IDF soldier shooting the blindfolded and handcuffed Palestinian from a matter of feet away.
Brown may well be trying to soften us up for the next conflict with rhetoric and demonising Iran and its leader but hopefully we can see Brown for what he truly is. A drowning leader clutching at anything that he considers will give him a lift. By teaming up with the US and Israel in the 'let's threaten Iran' brigade, he has seriously over played his already weak hand. It may play well in the States with their religious voting block but Britain is a different kettle of fish.


Cody Bones said...

I realize that it's rather De rigueur ( I had to google it) for Europeans to paint the U.S. as being extremely religious, but I just don't know any religious nutters, and I live here. Seriously, I live in a freakin metropolitan area of 9 million people, and I don't see these wackjobs that you keep talking about. Where are these people hiding? Probably at Church, right? Lucy, you might want to be careful about painting us with Daniel's brush. But don't worry, I'll light a candle for you at mass the next time I go.

Cheezy said...

"Seriously, I live in a freakin metropolitan area of 9 million people, and I don't see these wackjobs that you keep talking about."

I think that's the key though. Isn't extreme religiosity more likely to take root in rural areas, rather than large connurbations like Chicago?

Some might suggest it's the lack of things to do (out in the sticks) that is a major cause of this trend... A case of the Good Lord making work for idle minds to do? ;)

I don't have the statistics at hand, but I've a feeling they'd bear out this half-arsed theory of mine :)

Cody Bones said...

Cheezy, I've visited or lived in about 40 of the 50 states, rural and urban, and I still have never met anyone who votes on the basis of who God tells them to vote for. I realize that they are out there, but I do think that this stereotype is used by an extremely lazy media, that throws the whole God, and Gun thing together because both words start with g, and have three letters.

Look, we have weird people who live in the sticks, so do you. We have idiots in bars (myself included), so do you. My point is that this stereotype is way overdone, and quite frankly, not true.

A column was written last month that I think sums up the situation nicely. Here is the link, let me know what you think.


Cody Bones said...

Political religous link

Maybe this will work

Cheezy said...

" I still have never met anyone who votes on the basis of who God tells them to vote for."

I guess there's two points to make here.

# 1: How do you know that? In terms of people I've met during my life, I wouldn't have a clue about their voting behaviour - i.e. who they vote for and why. Maybe you're different. But I'd be surprised. Having said that, I'm sure you're correct that extreme religious weirdos aren't as "in your face" as many in other parts of the world seem to think... And I know for a fact that you're correct about Britain having lots of weird people both in farms and in pubs...

# 2: When Lucy refers to the "religious voting block" in the States (and you can correct me if I'm wrong, Lucy), I don't think she's referring only to people who think they hear the voice of God in their heads, telling them how to vote. I thought she was mainly referring to the 'Bible Belt' i.e. the states where the Evangelicals and the Southern Baptists proliferate - whose voting behaviours are greatly influenced by how 'Godly' they think a candidate is - and without the support of whom it is very difficult to attain political power in the USA. Thus, they need to be assuaged - or at least not totally alienated - by politicians who are seeking their vote.

Also, leaving aside the Bible Belt, Lucy is alluding to there being more religiosity in the USA as a whole (as compared to Europe).

A 1991 study found these interesting facts:

Belief in God:
Poland - 66.3%
US - 62.8%
Ireland - 58.7%
Italy - 51.4%
New Zealand - 29.3%
Great Britain - 23.8%
W.Germany - 27.3%
Norway - 20.1%
Russia - 12.4%
East Germany - 9.2%

Belief in Evolution:
US - 35.4%
Poland - 35.4%
Russia - 41.4%
Ireland - 60.1%
Norway - 65.0%
Italy - 65.2%
New Zealand - 66.3%
W.Germany - 72.7%
Great Britain - 76.7%
East Germany - 81.6%


In terms of religious belief in Europe, only Poland can really compare with the USA. The rest of those European countries think very differently, and are much more secular. Not saying they're better or worse, but they are different. Which I think is an ancillary point to the one Lucy made.

In this context it's hardly surprising that the much higher incidence of religious belief in the USA has had a significant impact on the political landscape. It reflects democracy, in fact.

I read that link, Cody. Cheers. It's very interesting - and encouraging too - to read stuff from tolerant, non-Hellfire-and-damnation religious types... (yes, I know there are a lot of them around!)...

Lucy said...

Cody, no brushes were tarred in the making of this post. I don't know how you got the idea from that last sentence that i was branding America as awash with nutters bashing each other over the head with Bibles. Cheezy sums it up nicely, there is a powerful religious voting block there, espeically in the south and central parts it seems, and as discussed previously when i asked what America gets out of backing Israel, it is to keep this potentially president choosing huge voting block sweet. That is why McCain & Obama pander to them, we have no such block in the UK so Britain is a different kettle of fish. We don't have a large religious voting block unlike the USA, just over a third of all US voters according to the gallup poll i just looked at. We do have a large trade union voting block though.

Cheezy said...

"We do have a large trade union voting block though."

That certainly exists too although, as with religious voters, this has its exceptions too e.g. me! I'm in a trade union but I didn't vote for Labour in 2005. I decided that I'd rather perform bowel surgery on myself in the woods with a stick, rather than vote for Tony Blair.

Anonymous said...

Cody, I think Lucy is correct. I also think you are correct. It did sit well with some religious people in the U.S. But that isn't really as many people as the American far left and American press (synonymous with far left) would have the world think.

Cheezy, I find the survey results you shared incredible (that is a challenge, as in, not credible). Mind you, I'm not challenging you. I'm challenging the data.

I do not believe that only 35% of Americans believe in evolution. At 52 years of age, having worked across the U.S. (simply because I work for a Fortune 500 company) I can't think of one person under 80 that totally rejects evolution. I know that there are some Americans that reject it, but no where near 65%.

I'm a religious nut and I even believe in evolution. Now, I don't think evolution explains how nothing became atoms. And I'm also not convinced that it explains how atoms became living creatures (though I admit it does seem plausible). But, I completely accept that evolution explains how living creatures have changed over the eons.

The questions asked in a survey have a lot to do with the results. So does the selection of the sample. I've seen many terrible surveys. I doubt this one... it doesn't pass the sniff test.


Anonymous said...


While religion is certainly a factor in American politics and I'm not surprised that 30% of Americans are influenced by religion, I don't see much evidence that supporting Israel because they are God's chosen people gets votes (except for Paster John Hagee and some of his followers) - unless maybe you are Jewish.

I still think the reasons for supporting Israel include:
- a U.S. launching point into Africa, Asia, or Europe in case of war
- a Democracy in the middle of Kingdoms
- alliance with the most powerful nation in the region and on the African continent
- history, the enemy of my enemy is my ally (former USSR, at one time Egypt, Syria, Libya, etc.)


annie said...

right here, in my tiny little town in uber-liberal northern california, i can think of people that base their voting decisions on their religious beliefs. in fact, i work with one. another co-worker admitted to me some time back that she believed in intelligent design, not evolution. (i was stunned, but didn't let on.)

maybe it's harder to pick out religious folk when you are one yourself, no matter the level of belief. just a thought.

Lucy said...

I didn't really know why US supports Israel until a post back in April when a list of suggestions was helpfully put forward. All made sense but the one that i hadn't considered before was concerning the religious 30% block supporting Israel and even my rough maths counts that to approx 100m voters and no politician could distance themselves from that number of voters and still win.
I also admit to being surprised at Poland being the most religious country here, i would have expected
somewhere like Italy or Malta to top the list.

David G said...

Unfortunately the gap between what Americans believe themselves to be and what they really are is infinite.

As with religion, belief can be very dangerous and, in some cases, result in derangement and imperial dreams!

Anonymous said...

I agree with david g.


Anonymous said...

David g. - Luckily the U.S. is the only in the world where people are ignorant, arrogant, clueless, etc.

Annie - I'm sure you can find people that fit Lucy's description. I didn't say nobody was like that. I said it is not as many as the far left and the press would have the world think. I was a loud atheist until about the age of 45. I think I can still tell the difference between religious people and secular people...


Cody Bones said...

Oh thank God, Daniel is back.

Cheezy, not to say I doubted your figures, but they did seem a little strange. So instead of working diligently today, i surfed the web and went to the U.S. and the U.K census bureaus. Now, as a small government classic liberal in the tradition of F.A. Hayek and Milton Friedman, I hesitate to give government numbers much credence, but what the hell it's all I got so here goes.

U.K. Census 2001

Religion Number %
Christian 42,079,000 71.6%
Muslim 1,591,000 2.7%
Hindu 559,000 1.0%
Sikh 336,000 0.6%
Jewish 267,000 0.5%
Buddhist 152,000 0.3%
Other religion 179,000 0.3%
Not stated 4,289,000 7.3%
No religion 9,104,000 15.5%
Total religious 45,163,000 76.8%

Now here are the figures from the U.S. census bureau

↓ 1990 ↓ 2001 ↓ Change
in %
point ↓ Numerical
in %
terms ↓
Total Christian 88.3% 79.8% -8.5% +5.3%
Catholic 26.8% 25.9% -0.9% +10.6%
Baptist 19.8% 17.2% -2.6% -0.4%
Methodist 8.3% 7.2% -1.1% -0.2%
Christian - no denomination reported 4.7% 7.2% +2.5% +75.3%
Lutheran 5.3% 4.9% -0.4% +5.2%
Presbyterian 2.9% 2.8% -0.1% +12.3%
Protestant - no denomination reported 10.0% 2.4% -7.7% -73.0%
Pentecostal/Charismatic 1.9% 2.2% +0.4% +38.1%
Episcopalian/Anglican 1.8% 1.8% -- +13.4%
Mormon/Latter Day Saints 1.5% 1.4% -0.1% +12.1%
Churches of Christ 1.0% 1.3% +0.3% +46.6%
Congregational/United Church of Christ 0.3% 0.7% +0.4% +130.1%
Jehovah's Witnesses 0.8% 0.7% -0.1% -3.6%
Assemblies of God 0.4% 0.6% +0.2% +67.6%
Evangelical 0.1% 0.5% +0.4% +326.4%
Church of God 0.3% 0.5% +0.2% +77.8%
Seventh Day Adventist 0.4% 0.4% -- +8.4%
Eastern Orthodox 0.3% 0.3% -- +28.5%
Other Christian (less than 0.3% each) 1.6% 1.9% +0.3% +40.2%
Total other religions 3.5% 5.2% +1.7% +69.1%
Jewish 1.8% 1.4% -0.4% -8.1%
Non-denominational 0.1% 1.3% +1.2% +1,176.4%
Muslim 0.3% 0.6% +0.3% +109.5%
Buddhist 0.2% 0.5% +0.3% +169.8%
Hindu 0.1% 0.4% +0.3% +237.4%
Unitarian Universalist 0.3% 0.3% -- +25.3%
Others (less than 0.07% each) 0.6% 0.7% +0.1% +25.4%
No Religion/Atheist/Agnostic 8.4% 15.0% +6.6% +105.7%

As you can see, 76.8% of the residents of the U.K. in 2001 consider themselves religious, while 84.6% of the U.S. population in 2000 considers themselves religious, BTW the numbers in both countries are dropping. I personally don't consider myself religious, but I do have spiritual questions that are my own and no one else's.

I have always thought the reason that religion has a better foothold her in the U.S. is because of tolerance. This country was founded on religious tolerance, and we are home to thousands of religions, Christian or not. It's not just the Church of England and Catholicism. Cheezy, I still don't know what to say about the evolution statistics except that IMHO they are dead wrong. Annie, don't forget that anyone who believes God invented evolution is automatically a "Intelligent designer"

Lucy, I still think that Q is right, and that his list of causes for the support of Israel have more to do with his reasons, and less to do with evangelicals (who have been shown to be less than 1% of the entire population, but they damn sure give the media a good sound bite).

A very large percentage of the African American population is religious, does that mean they will support John McCain? What about the racist atheist? Who speaks for the Mormons now that Romney is out of the race? I know that some of your contributors like nothing better than to speak in hyperbole Annie, Daniel) but as usual, humans defy typecasting, and the truth is somewhere in between. Sorry for the long comment Lucy, but what the hell, it's been a quiet day. See ya

annie said...

what is hyperbolic about pointing out a bit of my local demographic?

12 years ago, the family and i moved to the first of two very small towns in northern calif. this occured after living in santa cruz for many years, and being born and raised-up in san francisco. (both gigantic, comparatively)

the most profound difference for me has been the presence of many more overtly religious people. that is not a problem, although there is sometimes a group mind sort of judgment that goes along with not going to the church your neighbors do. or any church, for that matter.

i was baptized catholic and attended catholic school. i did my time!

i guess i'd have to say that we all experience life around us differently, cody.... i used to think that was a good thing. more and more, the differences seem to divide more all the time.

David G said...

"I have always thought the reason that religion has a better foothold her in the U.S. is because of tolerance." Thus spake Cody.

Not only has the widely travelled Cody not met any religious nutters but it seems he hasn't heard about the severe racial problems that exist between tolerant white Americans and coloured people either. Wow. Just imagine how America would be if Americans weren't so tolerant!

P.S. When you 'foothold her,' Cody, does she eventually submit?

Cheezy said...

"I have always thought the reason that religion has a better foothold her in the U.S. is because of tolerance."

I think it's great that this has been your experience, Cody. And doubtless many other Americans would see it the same way. However, whatever the reason for this "foothold", do we at least agree that it definitely exists, and continues to exert an influence on political life far more than it does in most (relatively secular) European countries?

"Cheezy, not to say I doubted your figures, but they did seem a little strange. "

I think they're more 'your' figures than 'mine', mate, because they're from the National Opinion Research Center (NORC) at the University of Chicago! :)

This is not to say that statistics like these aren't open for debate and analysis - I think they always should be (as you'll see in a moment) - but I didn't grab them out of thin air, is what I'm trying to say :)

My other point is that I think the census figures you provided are very misleading. If you look at the census figures in isolation (76.8% Christians in the UK vs 84.6% in the US), then you could conclude that Britain isn't much more secular than the USA. However I think that it definitely is much more secular.

For instance, a 2006 survey of 12507 people found that only 35% in Great Britain believe in any kind of God or supreme being, compared to 27% in France, 62% in Italy, 48% in Spain, 41% in Germany and 73% in the USA.


There's probably no point in getting involved in a game of "my statistics are better than your's", however I will say that this apparent paradox - of a large percentage of British people self-identifying as 'Christian' while, at the same time, not believing in God - is explicitly tackled here:


"So, for example, of the 45% of the UK that say they believe in form of god, many of these will as a result call themselves a Christian. Despite them not believing that Jesus Christ was resurrected, etc. This is because as a result of secularisation in modern countries, the very fundamentals of religions are unknown to people, and complex issues such as the difference between a general theist and a Christian are unknown to most people.

I would guess that many of that 45% are just theists who believe in God, but in terms of their actual beliefs should not be said to be a member of any particular religion, even though for cultural reasons if they embrace some ritualistic ceremonies or symbolism it is likely to be that of the state religion (out of lack of known alternatives). "

There are also those who identify as cultural Christians but who don't believe in any kind of God. A bit like being a secular Jew then.

The study points also points out that British Christians are relatively 'inactive' compared to other religions (i.e. non practicing)...

An ancillary statistic is that 33% of British people consider religion is important in their lives, compared to 60% of people in the USA.

The study's overall conclusion is:

"Organized religion in the UK has severely declined to the point where it is generally overlooked and ignored."

I completely agree with that. Religion really does not feature at all in our political life. A mate of mine once embarked on a Political Studies thesis entitled (something like) 'Politics and the Church in the UK since 1980' or something similar. He abandoned it after a couple of months research when he decided that most of his chapters would have to be concluded by stressing the fairly inconsequential effect that the church has had on 'the body politic' in recent years. Which would have gotten a bit monotonous in an 80,000 word essay.

Can the same be said about the US though? To my knowledge, large tracts have been been written, and continue to be written, on the significant inter-twining of politics and religion. Anyway, I'll leave that question for others, particularly you locals, to answer.

Anyway, I'll end with something amusing (and perhaps slightly relevant) that my boss said to me last week. The boss lives next door to an Anglican vicar in a small town in Hampshire, so he knows him rather well.

BOSS: He's a very modern kind of churchman, you know what I mean?
ME: Not really...
BOSS: Well, for a start, he told me that he doesn't really believe in God anymore!

Note to self: Try to limit your verbal diarrheoa on other people's blogs, Cheezy...

David G said...

Cheezy, I'm thinking of starting a new Society. It will be called: The Royal Society For The Prevention Of Cruelty To Americans (RSPCA).

Its charter will focus entirely on allowing the bulk of Americans to believe whatever they want to about themselves, no matter how ridiculous it is. Holding up truth-telling mirrors for them will be strictly forbidden!

Will you join?

Cheezy said...

No thanks. I'm not much of a 'joiner' of things, and even if I were, I'd probably pass on this one anyway.

I think most Americans are more than capable of speaking up for themselves... including Cody, who I believe you're having a swipe at here, and who does so very eloquently, I think.

Keep it seemly, chaps.

Lucy said...

I am Church of England and apart from a church fete i attended a few weeks back (and won some home-made jam in a raffle which tasted interesting), i go to church to see weddings, funerals and christianings or to swipe candles otherwise i have nothing to do with religion whatsoever so i would fall into the technically a Christian but really an atheist category.
Email me if you need any candles.

Cody Bones said...

Ok, I'm back, sorry it's been awhile, but I've been out oppressing minority's and foreigner's in the name of the almighty. Now, where was I, oh yeah, Daniel, your still an Idiot. Great, now that we have that sorted out lets get on to my inelegant points, and try to flesh them out.

1. Yes, in comparison to the U.K. we are a more religious society, as well as a more diverse one. I do still think that the stereotype is overdone by a lazy media. Just my opinion.

2. The religious voting bloc. Hmm. I will admit the the evangelicals will vote as a group, but according to the census data, they are a very small minority. In the upcoming election, Sen. Obama is easily more religious (Christian, I'm not stupid)than Sen. McCain. McCain is like Lucy, where he goes to church for the jam on occasion. I don't see this "bloc" flocking to Sen. Obama. The word is they will just stay home, we shall see. Again just my opinion, but as a U.S. voter, I find the religion thing to be about 112 on my list of important issues.

3. I just wish that people wouldn't be categorized as one thing or another, rather we would all realize the immense depth of the human race, as well as individuals, and not argue on the basis of sound bytes.

4. I still stand by my assertion that religion is prevelant because of choice, don't like Catholicism, try Zoroastrianism , or maybe Wicca, or the Church of Steve. Trust me, we have them all. Free to choose

5. Cheezy, any time you care to read something from the University of Chicago you have my enthusiastic support. May I recommend The Road to Serfdom by F.A. Hayek (written in Britain, for Britain), or Freedom and Capitalism by Milton Friedman. The Dirt by Motley Crue was also fantastic, but hey, give it a shot. Good times, good times.

Cheezy said...

Cheers Cody, good tips (apart from Motley Crue of course - if I wanted to listen to guys who look like girls then I'd... erm... yeah, I guess I'd listen to Motley Crue!).

I read a fair bit of Friedman back when I was studying. Not sure I read all of that one, but I think I dipped my toe in at least. Overall I'm more of a Galbraith man, but Milton has his place.

Anyway, all fair comments, well expressed.

Lucy said...

McCain is more than welcome to my share of the jam Cody. While it is appreciated that some little old lady stood over a hot jam making machine for days creating jam until her fingers bled, but it did taste like it had been strained through a footballers socks.

David G said...

"...rather we would all realize the immense depth of the human race,..."
says Cody.

Even a cursory knowledge of world history would expose the complete inanity of this statement. And that it is made by an American (atom bombs, Vietnam, Afghanistan, Iraq, Abu Graib, Gitmo, etc) makes it even more farcical!

Cody Bones said...

Compared to a guy from a country that gave us Men at Work? I don't think so Daniel. Why don't we just agree that I'm a sunny optimist, who is impressed with the potential of the human race, and you are a cranky doom sayer who obviously was beaten up as a child by someone dressed like Uncle Sam. We'll meet back here in 100 years and see who's right. Now go away and sulk in the corner until then.

annie said...

I was never a men at work fan, but would prefer listening to them over the lies our country tells us any day. I don't know many citizens who feel terribly optimistic just now. from all walks of life.

Noah "Nog" M. said...

-"I personally don't consider myself religious, but I do have spiritual questions that are my own and no one else's."

So you are religious.

-If we count in pantheists like cody bones, then yes 70-whatever or 80-something percent of folks are "religious". Otherwise those numbers are pretty high.

-"Belief in God...Belief in Evolution"

I put knowledge of God and the laws of mechanics in the same basket myself and it seems as though others are truthful enough to say that they, on the other hand, put in the same basket of belief.

-"the severe racial problems that exist between tolerant white Americans and coloured [sic] people"

There are "problems"; but they are not this sort of problem.

-"i was baptized catholic and attended catholic school. i did my time!"

Although I think Popishness is ultimately in grave error, I don't know that a Catholic who actually is Catholic would find the atheistic faith more appealing.

-"i go to church to see weddings, funerals and christianings or to swipe candles otherwise i have nothing to do with religion whatsoever so i would fall into the technically a Christian but really an atheist category."

You aren't in the minority here.

-From my experience with "incredibly intelligent atheists" and "incredibly intelligent theists" and the opposites of each, I've found that while the dumbest theist is dumber than the dumbest atheist, the wisest theist is far wiser than the wisest atheist.

Theism seems to occupy the intellectual bell curve extremes while atheism seems to occupy the mean. Similarly, theism is hard to defend rhetorically, but atheism is logically indefensible.


Cheezy said...

"So you are religious."

That's you told then, mate! :-o

David G said...

The numbers of people in the world beaten up by 'Uncle Sam' are legion, Cody. You probably haven't noticed living as you do in your Hollywood-induced fantasy world.

I guess you represent the majority of people in America (though fortunately not all). That explains why Bush was elected (twice) and why there's been no real move to oust him or to change the flawed American Constitution or to move away from your destructive, polluting, war-mongering, imperialist capitalist system, etc.

Dream on, Cody. You wouldn't recognize truth if you fell over it!

Noah "Nog" M. said...

"That explains why Bush was elected (twice) and why there's been no real move to oust him or to change the flawed American Constitution or to move away from your destructive, polluting, war-mongering, imperialist capitalist system, etc."

Elected twice? No, only once, but the United States have a political system that doesn't frequently resort to internal violence to settle their political fights. And remember, unlike many other nations we have term limits. And no move to oust him? What does this mean? What makes a "move to oust him"? Is there some other nation that actually enforces its legislated laws (which exist on paper) on their executives as much as they say they should?

And a flawed constitution? As compared to who's constitution? Who has a better one? The "Constitution of the United States" on paper certainly doesn't have as much bearing as it ought to but it actually works well.

"destructive"? What is this? What standard do you measure the "destructiveness" of a government by? The last I checked, the United States are the most powerful nation in the world because they are the most creative.

And war mongering? By what measure are you making this claim? If you're comparing every nation on the planet, then sure, since we actually have an army and we have things that others might want to take, we use it. But so would any other wise folk.

Imperialist? If you're talking about an "Empire of Freedom", I plead guilty. And while the government might make mistakes, that doesn't make them the Nazi Party.

"capitalist"? Yes. Go me here for the most part. We like our capital. Actually many European countries are bigger on some of the capitalism stuff than we are now. It's a shame. We are as good a people as any, when it comes to planning for the future and making good reality oriented decisions. I can't deny this.

There seem to be a lot of "worst of America vs. best of everyone else" concepts floating around here. Sure, the worst American isn't as great as the best from some other place, but this doesn't have any substantive bearing on anything.


David G said...

Nog, are you Cody's twin brother?

Jack said...

Secondly, and more controversially, a majority of the British have mixed feelings about Israel and find their treatment of the Palestinians abhorrent. T

The fact that so many Brits suffer from moral equivalency is very telling.

Iran consistently threatens Israel with destruction, but that doesn't even come up in conversation.


Lucy said...

It does come up jack but it is all so entwined that the subject always leads back to the treatment of the Palestinians.