Tag Archives: west bank

7 March 2024 – today’s press releases

  • Resolution Foundation reveals £8bn pensioner tax bombshell in Budget
  • “All the hallmarks of a backroom deal”- Welsh Lib Dems react to decision to keep new controversial Senedd voting system
  • Donelan scandal: Lib Dems demand ethics advisor probe and Science Minister to step aside whilst investigation ongoing
  • Carmichael calls for UK ban on imports from illegal Israeli settlements
  • SNP cancel bus fund after spending less than 6% – Rennie
  • McArthur responds to news that more crimes will not be investigated

Resolution Foundation reveals £8bn pensioner tax bombshell in Budget

Jeremy Hunt’s Budget includes an £8bn tax bombshell for pensioners, analysis from the Resolution Foundation has revealed.

All 8 million tax-paying pensioners will see their taxes increase due to the freezing of income tax thresholds. This will leave the average taxpaying pensioner £1,000 worse off by 2027-28, – or an £8 billion collective hit.

Responding to the analysis, Liberal Democrat Treasury Spokesperson Sarah Olney MP said:

Buried in the small print of this Budget is a disgraceful £8 billion pensioner tax bombshell.

People who have worked hard and done the right thing all their lives are being hammered by Jeremy Hunt with years of unfair tax hikes, leaving them an average of £1,000 worse off each.

This Conservative government has shown their true colours, pensioners are not their priority. They would rather cut taxes for the big banks than look after those who have given so much for so long to our society.

“All the hallmarks of a backroom deal”- Welsh Lib Dems react to decision to keep new controversial Senedd voting system

The Welsh Liberal Democrats have described the decision to keep the new Senedd voting system as having “all the hallmarks of a backroom deal”.

From 2026, votes will be cast for parties instead of individual candidates as part of plans to expand the Senedd.

Critics of the new voting system say that it takes power away from the voter and places it in the hands of political party bosses.

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Tom Arms’ World Review


Anti–Semitism is rocketing worldwide. In London, the Metropolitan Police, reported that that incidents of anti-Semitism increased 1,350 percent since October 7. Similar figures are emerging from the US, France, Germany, the Netherlands….

This is because the Israeli government has become a symbol violent oppression and far-right intolerance based on religion.

And the sad fact is, too many people conflate Judaism with Israel. They fail to recognise that there are a sizeable number of Jews in Israel who do not support Netanyahu and there is an even larger number of Jews outside Israel who do not support his Likud-led coalition.

However, a large number of people instead wrongly believe that the actions of the Netanyahu government are a mirror reflection of the views of worldwide Jewry. This is partly because Israel was created as a homeland for Jews and all Jews have the right to citizenship in Israel.

In a way the global wave of anti-Semitism is in the interests of Netanyahu. It reinforces the view of Jews as victims and allows him to claim that he is fighting for all Jews. Otherwise, why would people be attacking innocent Jews outside Israel?

It is complicated and sad. For many years – while successive Israeli governments struggled to establish the Jewish state against the odds – the link between Israel and Judaism worked in favour of world Jewry. Now that Israel is seen by many as oppressive and undemocratic it works against then.

West Bank

Spare a thought for the West Bank. In fact, focus on it, because if you fail to do so, it may well erupt into an even more violent conflagration then what we are seeing in Gaza.

The West Bank, unlike Gaza, is not under the control of Hamas. It is nominally controlled by the Palestinian Authority which in turn is controlled by the remnants of the PLO. In reality, however, security on the West Bank is in the hands of the Israeli Defense Force (IDF) which means Israel controls the West Bank.

Eighty-two percent of the West Bank’s residents are Palestinians. The remainder are Jews. They are illegal because since 1967 the international community has refused to recognise Israeli sovereignty over the territory and branded most of the Jewish settlements as illegal.

There are an estimated 600,000 Jewish settlers in the West Bank. Most of them are Orthodox Jews who claim the land as part of God’s contract with the Jews.

As the number of Illegal settlers have increased so have demands that the West Bank (Judea and Samaria of the Old Testament) be formally annexed. To help matters along, some settlers have taken to attacking Palestinian settlements, driving them out of their homes and, in some cases, murdering them.

Some members of the current Israeli cabinet are, in fact, illegal West Bank settlers. One of them, Itamar Ben-Gvir, is responsible for security issues. He has been seen in recent weeks handing out guns to settlers on the West Bank.

Since 7 October the settlers have increased their attacks on West Bank Palestinians partly because they see an opportunity and partly to pre-empt retribution by West Bank Palestinians in support for their countrymen trapped in Gaza. According to the UN, nearly 200 Palestinians have been killed in settler attacks since 7 October. The UN adds that the Israeli army has done nothing to stop the attacks.

There is little that West Bank Palestinians can do in response. There have been demonstrations in Ramallah, Hebron or Nablus, but security is tightly controlled by the Palestinian Authority working in conjunction with the Israeli military. For the moment they have a lid on the security situation. But then, they thought they had a lid on Gaza.

USA Republican Party

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Christians continue to suffer on the West Bank

There are constant reminders of the sheer awfulness of the illegal occupation of the West Bank by Israel.  The video which went viral last week showing an Israeli soldier assaulting a 12 year old boy, with his already broken arm in a plaster cast, is a case in point.  He was rescued by his mother and other women from the village, who are now depicted in much of the Israeli press as the attackers and the soldier as the victim! Minister of Culture Miri Regev said the troops should have used their guns!

The British media often presents the conflict as one between mainly Muslim Arabs and Jews, forgetting that there is a significant Christian Arab population, albeit one that continues to decline as more and more leave the country.  I am grateful to the Palestine Israel Ecumenical Foundation for sharing this information.

Christian communities suffer just as much as Muslim communities in the West Bank. In July, the Israeli High Court reversed a previous decision to halt work on the wall which will separate the mostly Christian-populated Beit Jala and the Cremisan Valley near Bethlehem, and the Cremisan monastery from its sister convent and school. The new High Court ruling has been challenged. Israeli forces however hastily uprooted dozens of olive trees of Palestinians and leveled land belonging to a number of families as part of its plans to resume the construction of the wall, which is also close to the illegal Israeli Har Gilo settlement.

Posted in Europe / International and Op-eds | Also tagged and | 17 Comments

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