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Re: Preserving this message list

Responses to Hadi and John Smith

Dear Hadi

Many thanks for your note.

> Your inability to recognise any linkages between the issue of sanctions on
> Iraq and Palestine demonstrates how little you understand the Middle East
> and why CASI alienates Iraqi's and Arabs generally from joining CASI.

I apologise for not making a longer and clearer statement earlier. Of course
there are ways in which the present crisis in Israel/Palestine affect the
'sanctions on/humanitarian crisis in Iraq', and these are of course
unavoidable and important topics for this list. They can be discussed, they
should be discussed and they must be discussed, and my suggestion of a
separate list was in no way an attempt to prevent discussion of those

However, it is clear to me that to broaden the discussion on this list more
widely to the Israel/Palestine conflict itself would be to lose a very
precious resource.

This is a place where people of very diverse opinions on a range of
political and religious questions can work together on a particular issue of
burning significance for millions of people, and to find ways of helping
those millions of people out of a dreadful situation.

Once we begin arguing about some of the wider issues on which we hold
divergent views, we lose our focus and reduce our unity and reduce our
usefulness to the people of Iraq - in my view.

So I think that I am in line with John Smith's comments to this effect in
his thoughtful comments on the situation.

> Thirdly, the anti Sanctions movement regularly suffers from being excluded
> from the  agenda of debate in order to prevent any progress being made in
> raising public awareness and exposing the genocidal nature of sanctions.
> Surely you as a campaigner against sanctions recognise this. Yet you are
> trying to hurt an equally just and linked cause by trying to block it from
> the agenda of debate.

My suggestion of a separate list was an attempt to promote the agenda of
debate by encouraging the creation of new spaces for that debate.

Those who wish can then join that discussion and debate on the wider issues,
those who wish to concentrate on the humanitarian crisis in Iraq (including
the implications of the Israel/Palestine crisis for that tragedy) may do so.
The creation of new list(s) should enhance all of our efforts rather than
detract from them.

Best wishes


PS Many thanks to Nadje for her comments.

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