See here for article and comment

This paper suggests that this test, a new high tech ‘personalised’ (but actually still a population risk score) genetic signature, enables women to judge whether it is worth risking chemotherapy (in addition to the mastectomy they have already had etc) to prevent a recurrence. In effect it promotes use of the test. But there is more to this than meets the eye.

This is my comment

The wrong Question?

This research promotes the use of this test.

The list price of this test is £2500 a time, in the UK.

It will be offered as ‘good practice’ to thousands of women.

It will cause financial hardship to those who pay privately – many in countries such as the USA without adequate public health services financing.

A few key points:

• The test has not been compared with the currently available free test to assess recurrence risk.

• As such it may be adding zero clinical benefits and only adding cost.

• When budgets are limited for healthcare ( as they are for publicly funded health services as in the UK NHS) such ‘new’ tests must be paid for out of existing monies: so, a) that money is not available for other services and b) replaces other more cost effective care so that overall health gain is actually reduced.

• Many patients being over treated with chemotherapy to prevent recurrence have already been overtreated with mastectomy as a result of overdiagnosis by screening.

The ‘science’ and discourse of this research promotes a neoliberal pragmatism wedded to innovation and a flow of new products for the market.

It should be put in a diagnostic and socio-economic context otherwise it is harmful and misleading.

The test is OncotypeDX

It is commonly said, and I quote from a recent letter from my conservative MP Douglas Ross dated 14th May 2018 (even as IDF snipers are cold bloodily killing peaceful protesters in Gaza) that: “A two state solution brought about through agreement is the most effective way for Palestinian aspirations of statehood to be met”.

In fact, a two state solution has always been an impossibility ever since the UN General Assembly agreed to partition Palestine in 1947, because this partition gave the zionists and its militia the go ahead to expel the Palestinians with impunity, and to colonise Palestine and to continue colonising Palestine to create Greater Israel: a ‘nation’ sans frontiers. 

Facts on the ground:

One of the ways the racist Israel state expands is by creating facts on the ground: settlements, which it can do with impunity largely due to continuing USA support, military aid, UN vetoes and propaganda.

The following graphic illustrates the way the illegally occupied territories, here the West Bank, have been increasingly, illegally according to international Law, colonised by Jewish settlers.

Two things should be clear:

a) with the West Bank so heavily colonised and broken up a Palestinian state could not function.

b) the persistence rhetoric of an eventual 2 state solution is deceitful and fulfils a function as propaganda for the current apartheid Israeli state that makes continuing colonisation publicly acceptable.

The following maps show how Palestinian land has been stolen and is disappearing.

This video provides a little more background. The important points being the massacre and expulsion of up to 1 million Palestinians from their homes and land that provided them with the mean to survive, and the ongoing settler colonisation of the Occupied Palestinian Territories such as the West Bank.


a) anybody who is still talking of a two state solution is complicit in Israeli state plans to continue colonising the occupied territories, and is complicit in effect in an ongoing genocide of the Palestinians in Palestine that began in 1948.

This includes not only Douglas Ross, my conservative MP, but also, for example, UK’s so-called Labour Friends of Israel.

b) the only just solution is a single binational democratic state from Jordan to the sea, where Jews, and all other denominations and citizens have equal rights and nationality.

This has been described by Jeff Halper:  The ‘One Democratic State Campaign’ program for a multicultural democratic state in Palestine/Israel.

As Jeff begins:

As the Leonard Cohen song goes, “everybody knows” the two-state solution is dead and gone. Zionism’s 120-year quest to Judaize Palestine – to transform Palestine into the Land of Israel – has been completed. Every Israeli government since 1967 has refused to seriously entertain the notion of a genuinely independent and viable Palestinian state alongside the state of Israel. Any possibility of a viable Palestinian state in the OPT has long been buried under the massive “facts on the grounds.” Israel’s Matrix of Control has rendered its control over the entire country permanent.

This is a very brief background to the confusing border between Israel and the occupied West Bank. It differentiates between the planned but never to be ‘Partition’ and the Green Line, and emphasises the impact of the 1967 war and the subsequent Israel’s militarisation of the Green Line after the first intifada, 1987-1991.

Up to 1948 Palestine was a relatively thriving area between Syria, Lebanon, Egypt and Jordan, cultivated, well educated, cultured, with good transport links between for example, Jaffa, Haifa and Lebanon. It was not as some zionists like to suggest ‘a land with no people’.

Since the First World War it was under the governance of Britain which had been mandated to be the governing body by the European International Powers.

Even well before the Second World War European zionists planned to colonise Palestine and turn it into a Jewish state called Israel. In the 1940s, even during the Second World War, Zionist terrorist groups were destroying Palestine’s infrastructure, terrorising the civilian population and attempting to drive the British, and then the Arabs, out, all achieved with, especially, USA Zionist support. (Suarez’ “State of Terror” provides a detailed account)

The Partition was a plan to divide Palestine according to Resolution 181 in November 1947 of the UN General Assembly. It was suggested by USA/Europe a) as a way for Britain to wash its hands of Palestine and its Palestinian inhabitants, to turn its back, and b) for Israel to achieve statehood – a status that transformed its army from being regarded as terrorists into a national ‘state’ army and enabled rapid expansion of settler colonisation with impunity. It provided Israel with a beachhead – a military front from which the rest of Palestine could be conquered.

Of course the partition was never going to be enough for the zionists. And in fact it never even materialised as a border of any kind.

This plan never materialised because, before and during the Nakba (catastrophe) of 1948, the Jewish Terror units (Irgun, Lehi, Palmach and Hagana of the Jewish Agency) over-ran, massacred and displaced 750 000 Palestinians from their lands and homes and intensified settler colonising.

Instead the zionists took 50% of the area allotted to Arabs under the Partition plan and a so called Green Line was marked out on the map in 1949 separating the State of Israel from the occupied territories.

This could be crossed freely even after it was over-run after the 1967 six day war that drove Jordanian control out of the West Bank and East Jerusalem.

From an article by Prof Newman in 2014 (dean of the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences at Ben-Gurion University) :

Although the line was overrun by Israel during the Six Day War of 1967, it has never ceased to be the administrative line separating sovereign Israel from that area which is controlled/administered/ occupied (delete whichever terms is least suitable to your personal political preferences). Israel has never formally annexed the West Bank and, as such, has left the Green Line in existence by default. The one exception has been Israel’s policy regarding east Jerusalem.

However, since the first intifada, (a Palestinian uprising against Israeli occupation 1987-1991), the Green Line became the line of curfews and check points.

Those remaining inside Israel became Israeli citizens, while those in the West Bank were transformed into stateless citizens, initially under Jordanian administration and, since 1967, under Israeli control.

Of course the wall is situated to take as much Palestinian land as possible and often strays well over the so called Green Line of 1949 into the occupied West Bank.

The United Nations Office for the Conduct of Humanitarian Affairs (UN OCHA) has issued a report:

Humanitarian snapshot: mass casualties in the context of demonstrations in the Gaza Strip

Since 30 March 2018, the Gaza Strip has witnessed an enormous increase in Palestinian casualties in the context of mass demonstrations taking place along Israel’s perimeter fence with Gaza. The demonstrations have occurred as part of the ‘Great March of Return’, a series of mass protests, expected to continue up to 5 June. The large number of casualties among unarmed Palestinian demonstrators, including a high percentage of demonstrators hit by live ammunition, has raised concerns about excessive use of force by Israeli troops. Gaza’s health sector is struggling to cope with the mass influx of casualties, due to years of blockade, internal divide and a chronic energy crisis, which have left essential services in Gaza barely able to function.

2018: May – massacre in Gaza

This is a serious violation of international humanitarian law, acts of pure terrorism – of intentional lethal military action against peaceful protesting civilians to provoke fear.

This is not at all about Israel ‘defending itself’.

The demonstrations by the Gazans have been peaceful – peaceful in the sense that they posed zero threat to Israeli life – peaceful therefore even whilst throwing some stones and flying some flaming kites over the fence.

Since international humanitarian law is being violated the UK government should revoke licenses for the sale of arms to Israel.

Amnesty International has called for an arms embargo.

I quote from a letter sent by my MP Douglas Ross dated 14/5/2018:

A license would not be issued if there was a clear risk that any exports might be used in the commission of a serious violation of International Humanitarian Law

So, even in a conservative MP’s own words, the arms licenses for sales of arms to Israel should be revoked immediately.

as MediaLens put it:

1. Israelis Deliberately Killing Palestinians, Including Children

A recent media alert highlighted the mass killing and wounding of Palestinians in Gaza, including children, by Israeli armed forces in what the media often describe as ‘clashes’. Before the latest major massacre on May 14 (see below), Israeli forces had already killed over 50 Palestinian protesters and injured over 5000, including 1700 by live fire, during Great March of Return protests that began on March 30. UN Special Rapporteur Michael Lynk condemned Israel’s actions as violations of international law.

An open letter to our local MP, conservative Douglas Ross.

The United Nations Office for the co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN OCHA) has summarised the ongoing tragedy:

Since 30 March, 41 Palestinians, including five children, have been killed by Israeli forces during the course of the demonstrations. In addition, 12 Palestinians were killed during the same period in other circumstances, including five shot at the fence or after crossing into Israel, whose bodies are reportedly withheld by the Israeli authorities. The cumulative number of injuries has exceeded 9,800, of whom nearly 5,000 have been hospitalized. As of 4 May, at least 169 health personnel had been injured and 18 ambulances damaged, according to the MoH in Gaza.

The UN Secretary General has called for an independent investigation. The Israeli government is responsible for the deaths of Gazans ‘armed’ only with symbolic slingshot. It’s excuse – the need to protect Israel from invasion. Really?

As Amnesty International says, there must be an immediate boycott on selling military equipment to Israel.

The Israeli government is fuelling global instability – it is no ally of the people of the UK or anywhere else.

The Israeli government demonises the secular and Shia neighbouring states, and illegally occupies the Golan Heights (with its oil reserves and links to the Murdoch and Rothschild empires through Genie Energy). It is inciting war in order to pursue its racist, expansionist and profiteering aims.

I think that there is increasing local UK and global awareness of the increasingly destructive nature of the Apartheid government in Israel. And, that politicians who wish to be re-elected would be wise to increasingly acknowledge this and to begin to publicly withdraw support from Israel. For example: Make public your criticism of and resignation from Conservative ‘Friends of Israel’, make a plea for military sanctions, and support BDS.

Future conservative political power may well depend upon a willingness to acknowledge and call for an end to Israel’s apartheid policies and unacceptable actions.

Specifically, will you support a) Amnesty International’s call for a military boycott and b) the UN General secretary’s call for an independent investigation into the murders in Gaza?

Interesting post from Eyal; provokes thoughts about when language reveals ‘white privilege’, racism, and the impossibility of ever being in the ‘other’s ‘ shoes (perhaps the impossibility of the sexual relationship too, obliquely anyway).


Truth from Eretz Yisrael

I love Tamer Nafar. What an excellent performer! I love his music and his politics. Never spearing his audience the burden of politics, and the multilayered difficulty of being a Palestinian, combining criticism of the West and Israel, with that of Palestinian society, and of those observing it. I thoroughly enjoyed his show last week, which was part of his UK tour, where he tried new electronic material, this time in English. It was a huge hit, if you ask me. Very different to his previous works, and really taking his art to the next level, upping the game and giving the audience an extraordinary time.(*)

But what was particularly evident for me in comparison to previous DAM songs, is that it really expressed more forcefully how tired he is of it all, and how he just wants to live his life and be happy. Aren’t we all!? The best…

View original post 434 more words

Amnesty International have called for an arms embargo on Israel (as well as on armed Palestinian groups). In other words, for example, the U.K. (and the USA etc.) should stop selling arms to Israel.

This is because of the irrefutable video evidence that Israeli snipers are deliberately killing unarmed protesters in Gaza.

The protesters are Arab/Palestinian refugees enclosed in a strip of land on the western, mediterranean coast of what is now called Israel. They were put there, or driven there, in the late 1940s early 50s after Zionist militia massacred many Palestinians in order to take their land – a disaster called the Nakba.

The protesters are protesting their right to return to the villages of their origin as they are entitled to do under International law – having fled conflict – and being now displaced from what is rightfully, legally, theirs, their homes.

[on the 11th of December, 1948, the UN General Assembly resolution 194 recognized the right of return of Palestinian refugees, and this resolution, seventeen years later, has been reaffirmed more than a hundred times since, and more than any other resolution in UN history.]

Many UK politicians turn a blind eye to these murders saying Israel is our ‘friend’ and a ‘democracy’ – this is sheer hypocrisy. Motivated by a thirst for power and domination of the Middle East.

Just imagine if Assad, or Kim Jong Un, or the Chinese were doing this. The outrage would be in the headlines of the mainstream media.

What can we do? Perhaps consider writing to your MP – ask them what they are doing about this.