William Morris Interview. New Century Foundation

William Morris, Next Century Foundation

Last week I interviewed William Morris of the Next Century Foundation. They are involved in conflict resolution in places such as Gaza, Iraq and also facilitate track 2 dialogues, for example arranging confidential discussions between Hamas and people who publically claim they’re not/ cannot talk to them. These meetings are a way of initiating a process of dialogue. So far British and European parliamentarians have participated. I am confidently predicting there will be similar contacts between the State Department and Hamas this year. An example of such a process would be the secret talks between the UK and the IRA that ultimately led to the peace proccess. Audio interview with William Morris (mp3 14.5MB) If you’re interested in this, you should also check out my recent interview with a member of the European Parliament who was recently in Gaza, indeed he was shelled by the Israelis during the conflict.

Europe, Gaza and how the European Parliament works

Chris Davies MEP
Chris Davies MEP
We have two excellent interviews with Chris Davies, one of Britain’s most effective Members of the European Parliament and recently nominated as MEP of the Year.

He’s recently visited Gaza, and blogged from there. He’s also known for leaking a report into MEP’s expenses and was recently busted for posessing cannabis as part of his decriminalisation campaign.

In this podcast, we covered a lot of ground and Chris spoke freely and interestingly and gave a real insight behind the parliamentary walls.

In this podcast the Lib-Dem MEP discusses a wide range of issues including;

Part 1: Gaza and Israel ( 14.37, 13.3MB, mp3)
His trips to Gaza, including during the conflict, dealing with Hamas and looking for a peace process, the Arab Peace Plan.

Part 2: The European Elections and the European Parliament (32.34, 29.8MB, mp3)
On prospects and effects of the BNP gaining seats, discussions on how to counter the far-right, The difference between European and national parliaments, the political process in Europe, the pro-Europe case, the Euro, the forthcoming elections and why European politics is boring.

Further Reading:
Chris Davies MEP official site – Contains articles, speeches etc.
Chris’ Weblog – includes his blogging from Gaza

Starbucks responds to attacks on their stores

Counterterrorism blog:
Gaza conflict provokes anti-Jewish violence
in Europe

From Starbucks:
Facts about Starbucks in the Middle East (after several Starbucks in London were trashed, firebombed, and vandalized)

Is it true that Starbucks provides financial support to Israel?

No. This is absolutely untrue. Rumors that Starbucks Coffee Company provides financial support to the Israeli government and/or the Israeli Army are unequivocally false. Starbucks is a publicly held company and as such, is required to disclose any corporate giving each year through a proxy statement. In addition, articles in the London Telegraph (U.K.), New Straits Times (Malaysia), and Spiked (online) provide an outside perspective on these false rumors.

There unquestionably is now a rising tide of Anti-semitism in the wake of the Gaza invasion. This is as mindless as blaming all Americans for the policies of George Bush.

Firebombing a Starbucks because you think their CEO is a Zionist is sickening and thuggish. An economic boycott might be a genuinely effective approach, but it should be launched against companies that sell weapons to Israel and are thus profiting from the war.

Tip: UJ in a comment here.