This editorial is primarily about Israel as a nation, and only secondarily about the Jews inhabiting it. As a preface, I will state my personal position and biases (or lack of them) on the subject of Israel, and of Jews generally.
Growing up in Canada, in the neighborhood where I did, we had little information and less personal knowledge about Jews, and none about Israel as a nation. My only memories are of vague comments that Jews were people ‘who kept to themselves’ and who were generally ‘too clever with a dollar’. No personal first-hand experiences one way or the other.
Secondly, being raised a Catholic in a Christian country, we were told in our schools that with luck maybe someday the Jews would convert to Christianity, and that that would be a good thing although even as an elementary student it seemed to me this was more wishful thinking than a plan.
Beyond that, and fast-forwarding to the next memory, I had a few friends at university who were Jewish – and they still are. Friends, I mean, and good ones. In fact, the few Jewish people I met at university all became good friends.
Fast-forwarding again, I’ve had occasion in the past as a management consultant to have done business with some Jewish people (and Jewish companies) and those were totally satisfactory in all respects that I can recall. And, more to the point, I don’t recall them at all being ‘too clever with a dollar’. It was more like ‘pay and be paid’.
The only negative encounters I can recall are two: One was seeing 3-year-old Jewish children in Toronto wearing T-shirts saying, “I will never forget”. That seemed a bit much to me, and I recall thinking that maybe it was time to forget and move on. It particularly seemed a bit inappropriate for parents, who were clearly bound by their religious and other ideologies, to be using their young children as public billboards for such statements, and I recall thinking I probably wouldn’t care to have a long discussion with those parents.
The second was the father of my best Jewish friend. He owned a men’s clothing store and my friend wanted to buy a summer overcoat. The only one in the store was too short and quite unsuitable, but his father would have let him buy it – and he might have, without my interference. I never forgot that event because it surprised me so much, but I attributed it to the failings of one man rather than to a people.
And over the years, I’ve had the odd casual encounter with other Jewish people who, so far as I can recall, were fine and warm-hearted.
With these few brief experiences, I cannot say that I have any particular fondness for Jews as a people, nor reason for any dislike – of either individuals or the race of Jews generally. This is neither positive nor negative, and is based entirely on my own experiences. I would say I feel the same way about the Spanish or Bulgarian people since my experience with them is just as limited.
And a Couple of Other Issues
Having said all of that, there are two relevant additional matters I would introduce.
The Power of the Jewish Lobby
One is a factual matter from observation of a condition I find surprising, that being the certainly powerful and apparently pervasive and effective Jewish lobby. It is no secret that the Jewish lobby in the US is extremely powerful and influential, to the extent that Jewish Prime Ministers have boasted that they effectively control the US government and have nothing to fear from the US. And certainly the Israeli newspapers are not short of disparaging articles about the US – which seems exceedingly strange, considering that without the extensive cash, arms and other US support Israel would quickly falter and probably disappear.
But an example that is perhaps more to the point. During the mid-1980s when the Jews in Israel were conducting their great pogrom in Palestine, Canada’s Globe & Mail ran an article that was severly critical of Israel’s actions and of the death and destruction they were causing.
And a day later there appeared a large photo in the same Globe & Mail, centered on the top of the front page, of a Jewish soldier giving candy to a (supposedly) Palestinian child.
I have never forgotten that event; it’s been burned into my mind, not so much because of the blatant dishonesty of it (which I assume had to be apparent to any thinking person) but of the power of the Jewish lobby to bring such a prominent and independent newspaper to heel, in such short order. One needn’t have much of an imagination to know what must have occurred behind some closed door, to bring about that result.
That lobbying power is very much in evidence today. There are very few articles in any North American paper that dare to criticise any action of Israel or its military. Any negative opinions involving anything Jewish are heavily muted, and most critical news about Israel simply never appears in the media in Canada or the US.
Europe is a bit more free of this influence. In 2009 there were mass protests in most of the large cities in Europe, many tens of thousands of people in many locations, demonstrating against Israel’s attacks on the civilians in Gaza, on the use of phosphor bombs and a host of inhumane acts. It was much in the news overseas, but I found nothing at all in any North American paper – not a single mention.
That’s true lobbying power, and to my best knowledge no other nation in the world possesses it. The US cannot prevent the media anywhere from publishing critical articles, nor can the Ukrainians, the Russians, certainly not the Chinese. But the Jews can. And they do. Constantly.
Avigdor Lieberman, Israel’s foreign minister, has ordered its embassies in 10 European countries, including the UK, each to recruit 1,000 members of the public to act as advocates for its policies in a new public relations offensive aimed at improving Israel’s standing in Europe.
The have been instructed to identify 1,000 people by mid-January to act as “allies” to Israel. One source described them as “friends who are willing not just to receive (Jewish) messages but to actively promote these messages”. These individuals – likely to be drawn from Jewish or Christian activists, academics, journalists and students – will be briefed regularly by Israeli officials and encouraged to speak up for Israel at public meetings or write letters or articles for the press.
The Israeli government, military and various embassies are adept at using social media such as Twitter, Facebook and YouTube to promote material. Organisations such as Bicom, the Britain Israel Communications Research Centre, in the UK and the Israel Project in the US, which describe themselves as independent, are dedicated to promoting Israeli policies.
This extensive organisation is part of the source of the power of the Jewish lobby, and you would have to be blind to not see it, and a fool to deny its existence. The Jews aren’t the only ones with lobbying power of course, but the Palestinians unfortunately have none. It’s an extensive propaganda campaign to ‘cleanse’ Israel’s image abroad.
My objection to it is that in this context it is used to cover up brutality and atrocities on the part of the government of Israel. I cannot say that all Jews everywhere are in favor of this, but I’m not aware that many of them file complaints either.
Inconvenient Truths: Anti-Semitism, Hate Speech and Freedom of Speech
This lobbying power leads to the next item which involves freedom of the press, free speech, and North Amerca’s laws against what is called ‘hate speech’.
From my memory, I cannot immediately recall any news reports that are critical of Israel, and in fact, few reports on Israel at all. It is only in the recent past (2009-2010) that some papers permitted comments on any online articles involving Israel or Jews. Before this, comments were always closed.
This has changed slightly, but from everything I’ve seen one must be exceedingly cautious in any comments on this topic. Even apparently innocent comments made in good faith are routinely deleted from the media websites. Criticisms of Jews or of Israel are not permitted, and even minor comments can quickly lead to accusations of one being ‘anti-Semitic’ or a ‘Nazi and a Jew-hater’.
Canada has what we call ‘anti-hate laws’, legislation intended to prevent the dissemination of hateful and racist accusations against another people, especially if they are likely to inspire negative or violent actions. I applaud the plan; we could use more of it. Unfortunately, these laws, regulations, and newspaper editing appear to be applied in a less than equitable fashion.
I could be wrong, but my conclusion is that these laws were intended only to silence criticism of, and opposition to, Israel and the activities of the Jews there, and not really meant to apply to any other nation of people.
I don’t make that accusation carelessly. As a case in point, at about the time these laws were enacted, there was a book published titled “The Hajj”, which received some popular acclaim. I no longer recall much of the content, but one passage remains in my mind – a description of an Arab woman who, while admittedly attractive, was of such inferior and primitive stock that her infant was happy to lie in its bassinette, eating its own excrement.
I recall thinking at the time that if that passage had been written about a Jew, there would have been hell to pay. But in the event, nobody raised a fuss and nothing happened, at least nothing that came to my attention. And from that point onward, I have never seen anything to change my original conviction that these laws were introduced by fierce Jewish lobbying pressure only to ensure that Jews would not be subject to public criticism.
I can say Anything I Want, But not About You
I once lived in Italy, in Roma, for a long period. I could tell you that I really don’t much care for Italians, that half of them are honest but the other half are born thieves. I could tell you that they are often corrupt, not always clean, and will seldom do you a favor without arranging a reward for themselves in the bargain. I could tell you that I am anti-Italian. I could publish all of that in a newspaper article, without fear of reprisal. Some Italians would object, of course, but the powers of the law would almost assuredly be absent. (The above comments are untrue, by the way. I make them only as an illustration.)
I believe that I could stand on the steps of the Parliament Buildings in Canada or in front of the US House of Congress, and yell out that Arabs were all insane terrorists, primitive nomads, sub-human animals who should be exterminated, and nothing much would happen. In fact, I have so little faith in Stephen Harper, Canada’s Right-Wing Religious Extremist Prime Minister, that I believe he or President Obama might commend me for a medal. But once again, I doubt very much that any anti-hate laws would come out of the woodwork to defend the Arabs from my hateful tirades.
However, I also believe that if I were to make any of the above claims about Jews I would most likely be imprisoned. In part, there is no effective Italian lobby to demand satisfaction from the government, and likely no Arab lobby at all – whereas there is definitely a very powerful and well-connected Jewish lobby.
As a conclusion, our freedom of the press is in reality heavily circumscribed, our freedom of speech is the same, and our anti-hate laws have been pre-empted to serve only one race of people. I see nothing to be done about it, but I find it distasteful and unacceptable.
But still, those lobbies should not affect the actual operation of Canada’s police and courts, and yet they surely would.
Why is it OK for Henry Kissinger to be Virulently Anti-Semitic, but not OK for Me?
Richard Nixon and Henry Kissinger at an appearance As revealed in the recent release of White House recordings from the Nixon era, Henry Kissinger, the former US Secretary of State told President Richard Nixon in a 1973 conversation that it wouldn’t be an American concern if the U.S.S.R. sent its Jews to the gas chambers.
Nixon had met with then Prime Minister Golda Meir, a meeting at which the issue of the oppression of Soviet Jewry had apparently been raised.
Kissinger said in a subsequent recorded conversation with Nixon, “The emigration of Jews from the Soviet Union is not an objective of American foreign policy. And if they put Jews into gas chambers in the Soviet Union, it is not an American concern. Maybe a humanitarian concern.”
The transcript of the recording created consternation among Jewish groups because Mr Kissinger is a German-born Jew who fled the Nazis as a child and is regarded as a staunchly pro-Israel figure. Mr. Kissinger’s defense: “It is hurtful to see an out-of-context remark being taken so contrary to its intentions ..”
And of course, the Jewish Anti-Defamation League issued a statement saying this was a reminder that “even great individuals are flawed”. How touching. If you or I said anything similar about Jews, I doubt the judgment descending upon us would be quite so generous.
What is so Wrong about Anti-Semitism?
This is a puzzlement of sorts. In Canada or the US, I feel perfectly free to tell anyone, even a judge in a Federal Court, that I am genuinely ‘Anti-Italian’ or anti-Bulgarian, or anti-Chinese. I can tell anyone that I’m anti-American, without fear of reprisal in any way. Some listeners might choose to agree, or disagree, or argue, but not more than that.
And in fact, a Jew in Canada wrote one of the most insane, unjustified and hateful articles about a nation of people that I have ever seen. The man’s name evades me at the moment, but the article was published in Canada’s Globe and Mail and in the National Post. It stated flatly that China rounds up all the Falun Gong members that it can find, and uses them as specimens for donor organs on demand. You need a heart or a liver? Sure, just have a seat and wait a moment. So if Jews can be so ‘Anti-Chinese’, what is the problem with anybody being “Anti-Semitic”? Why is it ok for me to be anti-American or anti-Italian or anti-Chinese, but not anti-Jewish? Why isn’t it the same? If it’s ok for me to be anti-Italian, why is it a crime to be anti-Semitic?
I can say quite openly that I don’t like Bulgarians or Saudis or the Gypsies, or the Russians, and most people would feel I was entitled to my opinion even if they didn’t share it. Nobody would condemn me for not liking a particular people. But if I want to say I don’t like Jews, that suddenly takes on the character of a moral outrage and a crime against humanity and makes me deserving of a prison sentence. Why is that, exactly?
And that is the power of the Jewish lobby and the campaign to silence all criticism of Israel and the Jews. You must admit it’s effective.
The Power of Guilt
And it’s driven by guilt, or at least it was in the early stages so far as I’m aware. And, if I want to be honest, I would have to say there is good reason for that. Before the Second War, the Jews were not generally much liked as a people, for reasons that I’m sure were more or less unjustified – victims of ignorance, racism, bigotry and prejudice. Not nice qualities.
But those qualities were sufficient for much of the world to sit by quietly and let Hitler carry out his plans to exterminate the Jews – and the Gypsies too. The world indeed deserved to feel guilt and shame. And they did, but it didn’t end there.
It’s my assessment that the Jews – whom I believe are actually quite good at playing on guilt – overplayed their hand. It wasn’t enough to have the world face their great crime of silence in the presence of the real horrors being committed, but it seems the intent was to play on that guilt, to become perpetual victims, and to use that to bully the world in many different ways.
And I would have to say that while I am aware of the past tragedies, I was not a part of them. While I can feel much compassion for the suffering and the loss of life, I myself have committed no wrongs – not against the Jews nor against anyone else. And I find I deeply resent attempts to make me feel guilty for things that happened before I was born and over which I had no control.
I resent anyone attempting to control my thinking, to make me timid and hesitant in my own opinions, to make me fear reprisal for speaking openly of my honest thoughts and feelings. Those are characteristics of a fascist police state, not of a free world.
As I wrote earlier, I have no dislike for Jews. But I reserve the right to state my dislike if I ever develop it, and I don’t expect my government to cower in fear of a powerful racial lobby and to throw me in prison as punishment for my personal preferences. And perhaps even more to the point, I don’t expect my government to be cowardly and hypocritical on such an important issue, to the extent of telling me I am free to dislike Native Indians or Arabs or the Chinese (whom we all know are god-forsaken commies), but the Jews are off limits because they’re God’s Chosen People.
Let’s Talk about Hypocrisy
In simple terms, hypocrisy is my gaining an advantage by pretending to be something I despise or, perhaps more commonly, the pot calling the kettle black. The US government accusing the Chinese government of human-rights violations is hypocrisy of a high order. The last time I looked, it wasn’t China that fabricated volumes of data to justify invading another country and killing maybe a million civilians. It wasn’t China that reveled in Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo Bay, or a host of other things.
And, in my view, the Jews in Israel accusing the Palestinians of terrorism is the same. And you can scream as much as you like.
Of all the people in the world who should understand what it’s like to be a nation without a home, to be hated and despised, to be set upon, to be driven from their homes, often with violence, to lose everything including their lives, it should be the Jews. But the travesties the Jews in Israel inflict every day upon the Palestinian people are as bad as (and likely worse than) any treatment they ever received themselves.
The incredible injustices inflicted on the Palestinians are legion, and are well-documented in many places – including by the United Nations, Human Rights Watch and many other relief organisations. How can any thinking people – how can the Jews – defend such consistent and brutal, even savage, actions, against another people, while proclaiming their holiness and innocence (and their own suffering) to the world at large?
How can a people like the Jews, who want (and are pressing hard for) many countries to build ‘holocaust museums’ to commemmorate their suffering, in turn inflict even much greater injustices and suffering on another innocent people?
And now the entire world is repeating precisely the same mistake it made about the Jews before and during the Second War – watching the devastation of an entire nation of people – recognising the illegality of it, the savage brutality, the injustice, the degradation, the humiliation, the poverty and hopelessness. And watching, and watching. Silently. Too cowardly to speak out.
But we aren’t afraid to criticse China for what are in fact quite minor issues compared to the events in Palestine. Religion and Political ideology will be the death of us all.
So Much for the Jews; What about Israel?
Here, my observations change markedly. I am in no way a supporter of Israel as the nation it is today – a medieval, fascist, racist and brutal, military regime. But let’s back up a few steps and look at a bit of history.
First, and once upon a time, the Jewish people lived in the land we now know as Israel. For reasons that neither I nor apparently anyone else knows, the Jews abandoned their land some 2,000 years ago and were scattered to the four corners of the world – the diaspora – all strangers in a strange land.
It seems reasonable that every nation of people should have their own homeland and, in the case of the Jews, more than reasonable that they should want to re-establish one in their old historical location. I have no problem there, but this is where things become messy.
In spite of common rhetoric, the Jews have no valid historical claim to the land we know today as Palestine. In fact, it seems their tenure there was quite short, some 400-odd years at best, and even that residence period was shared with many other races of people. History has been partially silenced and partially rewritten – to give Jews the pretence of ‘a land without people for a people without land’, but in fact it was no such thing. There are many scholarly references available on the inhabitants of Palestine during the past 2,000 or so years.
It seems clear that one aim of the Zionists was to denigrate, dispossess, and somehow ‘fabricate away’ all the real inhabitants of Palestine, making it appear that the homeless Jews were simply moving into an abandoned and unoccupied area of land that nobody wanted. A Jewish Harry Potter would wave his magic wand and these inconveniences called the ‘Palestinians’ would just disappear. Nothing could be further from the truth.
It appears that in the late 1800s and early 1900s, small numbers of Jews began to slowly return to the land of Palestine – including the portion we now know as Israel – and began to settle there. I do not now have the documents at hand, but I have read many that appeared valid to me about this period.
One relates to a document referred to as “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion”, essentially a treatise on the hope and intent of some Jews to re-establish themselves in their historical homeland and attempt control of portions of the world. That’s a bit simplistic, but I’ll leave it to you to do your own research on this document, if you’re interested.
In any case, the document in question was dismissed by various Jewish organisations as having been written by some anti-Semitic Russians in an attempt to discredit the Jews. From what I know, this appears to be a far-fetched and imaginary dismissal, though I can understand why Jews would want to dismiss it. I have done no scholarly research on the subject, but I tend to think the document itself may be real and valid, though I’m not sure that leads to any useful conclusion given the passage of time and the intercession of so many more recent events.
Moving further, while I no longer have the documents at hand, I have read articles which gave the semblance of authority and detail that paint a disturbing picture in the early stages of the Jewish settlement of the lands in Palestine. I refer particularly to a time in the early 1900s when the then present Jewish settlers in Palestine put out a world-wide call for money. In this case, as I recall, the request was made to all Jews in all nations for a total of 250 million US dollars – an almost unbelievable amount of money for that time.
From everything I have read and managed to document, the funds were indeed raised and were used to purchase arms – almost entirely from Poland at the time. And the arms were to be used to capture increasingly large portions of the Arab lands to be used for Jewish settlement.
If this is true, and I’ve seen nothing authoritative, nothing free of ideology or obvious bias, to tell me otherwise, this would have to be recorded as one of the stupidest strategic blunders in modern history. A quarter of a billion dollars in the early 1900s was so much money, that the Jews could have bought the entire country of Palestine from the then current inhabitants and settled the country without a problem.
But instead they used the money to buy arms with the intention of taking the same land by force and violence. That process has never ended, and this is where the Israeli Jews and I part company.
History records well that the Jews continued to settle in Palestine in increasing numbers, and to take by whatever means the possession of increasing amounts of land – simply by pushing out the (perhaps partly nomadic) current inhabitants – who still had all the necessary justification in the world to consider those lands their home by right.
Even though they did inhabit those lands for some time and, as much as we can sympathise with the plight of the Jews in not having their own homeland, this was not their land to take by force of arms and violence after an absence of 2,000 years. If you haven’t lived in a place for that long, you can hardly return and reclaim the land as if nothing had happened, because in fact something did happen, even if we don’t clearly know what it was.
It is well-documented that in order to obtain legitimacy for their occupation of those lands, the Jews did make entreaties to various Western governments who then had considerable power over those lands, to make formal grants of those same lands to the Jews for the foundation of a State of Israel. Nothing wrong there. And in fact, such a formal grant was made.
However, the Palestinians were badly betrayed in the fact of this granting. For one thing, those who gave the land to the Jews to form the State of Israel – it wasn’t their land to give. The Western powers not only abused their power to effectively steal lands from another people, but they lied to the Palestinians about their intentions.
In 1922, the League of Nations granted Britain a mandate over the area presently occupied by Israel, the West Bank, Gaza Strip, Jordan, Syria and other parts. Britain’s role after the fall of the Ottoman Empire was essentially to manage these areas until they were capable of self-government and then relinquish control to the local inhabitants. This was done in part, with Jordan for instance, but in the case of the Palestinians they were for years told one thing while something very different was actually occurring.
The lands were in fact be entrusted to the Western advanced nations until such time as the local population could handle their own affairs, and this concept was incorporated into the Treaty of Versailles on June 28, 1919. In the case of Palestine, the administrative control, in the form of a Mandate, was given to the British.
I will leave it to you to do your own research on this topic, but in the end the Palestinians were surprised to find that much of their homeland had been summarily taken from them – partly to satisfy the Jews and partly the imperialist ambitions of the West. And here we have the seeds of a disease that has long since become incurable.
The one simple fact that nobody today appears interested in addressing is that a nation of people have had virtually their entire homelands taken from them by authority, by force and violence, by people who had no such right to do that. To the Palestinians, the land is theirs, it was taken from them without authority, and they want it back.
And Then What?
In spite of recriminations, battles, small wars, hostile declarations, the matter might still have been resolved peacefully in the end, if the Jews had been satisfied to stop with what they had. But they didn’t stop. After the local skirmishes, the Jews in Israel captured and occupied progressively more land in Palestine until today they control perhaps 95% of it. And it appears very clear they will not rest until they have all of it.
I watched a very interesting interview with a Jewish historian granted to The UK Guardian newspaper, where he stated flatly that the intent of the Jews was to drive out all the Palestinians who remained in Palestine – and to kill those who refused to leave. The Guardian asked if there were no other solution to the problem. His reply was, “There is no solution. It’s their land. We took it, and they want it back.”
His words may seem harsh, but they appear to accurately reflect reality as it transpired. The Jews now occupy not only the land granted to it by the Western Powers to form the State of Israel, but about 95% of the remainder – and they show no sign of stopping.
It was for many decades hoped that some solution could be found, that Israel would return to the legal borders of the state provided to it, but there is no chance of that now.
Ever since the skirmishes in the 1960s and 1970s, the Jews in Israel have occupied progressively more land. In the middle 1980s, there was a pogrom of terrorism launched against the Palestinians the like of which the world doesn’t often see. The powerful Israeli military moved into town after town, village after village, driving out all who lived there. In some celebrated cases, entire villages were massacred – every living person was killed for refusing to leave their homes.
For a time in the mid-1980s, it was so bad that hundreds of thousands of Palestinians fled huge entire areas of the country, for fear of their lives. They abandoned their towns, homes, farms, livestock, everything, fleeing for their lives ahead of the Jewish military. It is to me a blot on the face of the entire world that every country sat back and watched, unwilling to take any action.
In this, and many other similar actions, large and small, the inhabitants and owners of those lands were driven out and forced into a smaller and smaller area in which they might live. Eventually, the Arabs held only the Gaza strip – a tiny 5-mile-long piece of desert – and the West Bank of the Jordan River.
The Tragedy of Gaza
Today, Gaza is a filthy concentration camp where residents are totally controlled by a perimeter held by the Israeli Jews. By all reports, it isn’t a fit habitation for man or beast, and there is little chance that will change.
The Gaza Strip is a human tragedy almost beyond description, and it is made all the worse since it was created under the watchful eye of the Western world, most particularly the US, who had the ability to control it.
The Gaza strip is a military quarantine zone, with no free travel in or out by any Palestinian without permission by the Jews. The radical element in the strip occasionally fires rockets into neighboring Jewish towns. Dozens of these have been fired and, according to all reports, only one or two have ever caused any damage and only one or two people have died as a result.
But in retaliation, the Israeli military bombs to rubble hundreds of Arab homes each time. That’s meant to be punishment to the Arabs, but it is rather more diabolical than mere punishment.
Gaza is under an Israeli military blockade, which means that nothing enters or leaves without inspection and approval by the Jews. Israel claims it is preventing the import of weapons – and this is certainly something it would want to do – but the blockade is not about weapons at all.
The first category of items banned by this blockade is construction materials. And that means that no Arab homes can be rebuilt after the Israeli military destroys them. And after any dispute, real or imagined, the Israeli military bombs more Arab homes to rubble, homes which cannot be rebuilt due to lack of materials, forcing the Palestinians into a progressively more inhumane and inhuman existence.
The Jews have consistently targeted not only private homes, but all the schools and educational sites in Gaza. They have virtually destroyed the Gaza University, and recently destroyed two UN schools, killing hundreds of Palestinians including children. They have targeted the police stations, the public security offices, the property and other records locations – anything that will help to eviscerate the fabric of Palestine civilisation.
The Jewish historian referred to above, may have been telling the truth as is really is, more than anyone before or since. The Arabs are free to leave Gaza if they intend to migrate to another Arab country – which was the plan from the begining. In fact, the initial thoughts were that the Palestinian people were so scattered, weak and without leadership that they would just disappear into the night, leaving all of the land to the Jews. All of the violence in that area has occurred because the Arabs didn’t act according to Jewish expectations. They didn’t leave; they stayed, regardless of the pain and violence.
The West Bank of The Jordan
The West Bank has been steadily infiltrated by Jews entering lands which clearly are not theirs by all of the world’s legal measures, to the point where the remainder will be useless for habitation by anyone.
The Jewish extremists who create the settlements in the West Bank with the active assistance and protection of the Jewish military, have taken and occupied all the locations that have water. The UN estimates today that the several hundred thousand Jews who now live illegally in the West Bank have control of 90% of all the water, leaving only 10% for the more than 5 million Palestinians who will need that land for their eventual homeland.
The entire world claims that these settlements are illegal, against all local and international law, but that doesn’t stop the Jews from continuing to create new settlements. Even worse, when challenged with the facts of the lack of water, Israel’s government glibly states that it isn’t their problem, that if the Arabs don’t have enough water then perhaps they should build desalination plants. Too bad even rich countries don’t have the money for things like that.
The settlements of the West Bank are far more unjust and brutal than much of the Western press relates to us – again, especially in the US and Canada.
Every year, there are constant and numerous reports of olive trees in the Palestinian West Bank being burned, uprooted, chopped down or stripped of their fruit by Jewish settlers, under the protection of the Israeli military. Rabbis for Human Rights claimed that the olives from about 600 trees near the settlement of Havat Gilad were stolen before their Palestinian owners could harvest them. The attacks and damage go unpunished.
Typically, a group of Right-Wing extremist Jews will decide on a location for a new settlement and, with the protection of the Israeli military, will move in and begin construction. If the Palestinian residents cannot be driven off their land by fear, the Jews will typically douse with gasoline and set fire to all the olive trees on which the Arabs depend for their living. Either that, or simply chop them all down. Now, you have no reason to stay. Events like these are never reported in North America, but they are daily life in Palestine.
Here is a report prepared by Human Rights Watch, December, 2010 (980K), titled “Separate and Unequal: Israel’s Discriminatory Treatment of Palestinians in the Occupied Palestinian Territories”. You can download the .pdf file by clicking Here
The city of Jerusalem was settled by many Palestinians and was to the capital of their new home. But by all reports the Jews have been systematically driving Palestinians out of Jerusalem and filling it with Jews instead. The Israeli government’s official position is that they will never relinquish that city to the Arabs because it will be a Jewish capital.
Palestinians have been forced from their homes in Jerusalem, often, according to reports, by forced sales, by confiscation, by fraudulent documents proving that a Jew had prior ownership of the home and the current title was therefore invalid, and so on. Arab homes are destroyed by the Israeli military and bulding permits are not issued for replacements. The Palestinians are simply being driven out, small part by small part, until none will remain.
Netanyahu called Israel’s sovereignty over the entire city “indisputable”. Israelis and Palestinians view Jerusalem as their capital and east Jerusalem holds several sites holy to Jews, Christians and Muslims.
The case of the Shepherd’s Hotel, in the Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood of the city, has been seen as a typical example of Jewish expansion in a predominantly Arab neighbourhood. The American millionaire Irving Moskowitz, who purchased the building in 1985, plans to demolish it and build apartments in its place. The hotel sits amid several diplomatic missions, including the British consulate.
The US and Britain have asked Israel to stop the building project but aides close to Mr Netanyahu said the issue was not up for discussion.
The Right of Return
One hope the Palestinian people clung to for such a long time was the promise of the ‘right of return’, which meant that if and when this sordid story reached a conclusion, they would all be able to return to the lands they had once owned, even if within the borders of Israel itself, but also and especially in all the illegally occupied areas. They would have the right to return to their towns, their lands and homes and continue with their lives.
The Jews in Israel, and their government, fought this hope for decades but it appeared too resilient to die. The Palestinians simply would not relinquish their right to reclaim their own lands and homes. So the Israeli government found a clever solution.
In reports that were extensively documented at the time, the Israeli military invaded all the then Palestinian-occupied territories, entered all the municipal buildings, some schools, hospitals and other places, and seized all the records – including all the hard drives from all the computers. These were the locations that contained all the land records of the Palestinian people and, after these records were seized they were presumably destroyed.
So now the Palestinian people can have their ‘right of return’. If they want to resettle lands that are rightfully theirs, all they need do is prove prior ownership. But without records, there is no proof of ownership of anything, so we can kiss this hope goodbye. No Palestinian will ever return to any of his prior homes or land.
The Peace Process
There have been countless ‘peace talks’, all of which have been sabotaged at the last minute by the Jews themselves. At the crisis point of yet another hopeful round of talks, the Israeli military will conduct yet another unprovoked campaign, will permit and encourage yet more new settlements in the West Bank, will renege on the right of return or some other critical issue, and the talks collapse. The fact is that Israel, and the Jews in it, do not want ‘Peace’; they want victory. And to them, victory is the cleansing of the entire country of Palestine – cleansing of Palestinians – so that all the land will become part of the State of Israel.
With each round of peace talks, for example during late 2010, Israel has again approved more illegal settlements, has demanded oaths of allegiance to the Jewish state from all Palestinians, and the talks are dead one more time.
There will never be peace in that part of the world, not until all the Palestinians are gone or dead.
Terrorism – One Man’s Terrorist is Another Man’s Freedom Fighter
Let’s address this issue, since it is one that colors the Middle East very much, and accusations of terrorism have indeed been a black mark against the Arabs fighting for their land and their country.
“Terrorism” as we have come to know it – the suicide bombings, the airplane hijackings – began here. It might be useful to try to remember how and when this all started, because before the tragedy in Palestine there was no such thing as ‘terrorism’.
Terrorism should be used to mean blind and usually violent acts of anarchy, but the word has become a label so badly over-used, and with such emotional baggage attached, that it isn’t easy to describe it sensibly. Today we have internet terrorism, economic terrorism; the word is applied to seemingly everything we dislike.
From my own memory, the evolution of what we might properly call (and condemn as) terrorism began in the Middle East with plane hijackings, as a way to draw the world’s attention to the plight of the people in Palestine. And deteriorated after that. How and why would such a development occur?
By the late 1960s, the Palestinians had already watched themselves be driven off their lands for perhaps 40 years, suffering violence and death in the process. They had been, at least in their eyes, betrayed by most of the world, and there was no sign of anyone coming to their aid. I can still recall the first acts that we now refer to as terrorism, the hijacking of a plane somewhere in the Middle East, as one of these acts motivated by resentment and desperation, designed to attract international attention.
It seems to me that it is quite easy for us to demonise the Palestinians if we close our eyes to their almost-century-long progressive misfortune. After generations of attacks and massacres, of being progressively driven from their homes and land, after decades of injustice and betrayal, I believe almost all people would begin to fight back in any way possible.
This in no way justifies the attacking and killing of innocent civilians, but these acts existed and persisted on the part of the Jews for decades. The Palestinian people had no organised military, nor any arms of consequence, and it was therefore entirely civilians who perished under the persistent onslaught by the Jews. The Palestinians responded by throwing stones – the only weapons they had – which resulted in many killings.
If the Palestinians had arms, they would attack the Jewish military instead of the civilians. But they have no arms, no means of defending themselves. And eventually, desperation and even a simmering hatred of the people who have been brutalising you for decades, will lead to the kind of activity we have seen – the attacking of civilians who are the only available target. It’s easy for us to term this ‘unforgiveable’, but we haven’t lived there. They have.
A question that has always been in my mind is why the Western world is so ready to condemn Arabs for something the Jews have been doing for decades. I do not know the total death toll of the Palestinians, but it is at least in the hundreds of thousands if not more, and virtually all of those have been civilian deaths. And those deaths were not the result of lost military battles but of ordinary people resisting while being driven out of their land. These are mass civilian murders by the Jewish state, most of which go unannounced, and all of which go unpunished.
Israel does a great job of publicising the occasional (and brutal) acts by the Palestinians, but we read virtually nothing about the savage brutality of the Jews. It isn’t the Arabs that were dropping phosphorus bombs on Jewish children, but the other way around. The UN has repeatedly condemned Israel for hundreds of such brutal acts, but the Western press is almost always silent.
In 2010, it was Israel that attacked and boarded a relief vessel headed for Gaza and killed 9 members of the crew. Israel claimed ‘self-defense’, but some crewmen were shot 5 and 6 times in the back of the head. The world was angry for a few weeks, Israel defiantly refused any international investigation and, with the protection of the US, the matter died. It’s always been the same.
Israel has such a pervasive and powerful military that Palestine is helpless. The people cannot fight battles because they have nothing to fight with. They cannot defend themselves in any useful way, but all we read in the West is about Israel’s need for ‘security’. Well, what about the Palestinian people’s need for security?
It’s easy for us to say that the other side should stop their actions first, but that has never helped because Israel constantly provokes, either by attacks, by building new illegal settlements, or other actions. The Jews persist until the Arabs retaliate, and then blame the victims for the intensive ‘cleansing’ actions undertaken against them.
What are the Palestinians to do, as they watch what is left of their country become further absorbed by the Jews? At what point do patriotism and hopelessness become ‘terrorism’? For how many decades would any of us endure such treatment as the Palestinians have endured in their country, before we began to fight back? With no military there would be no army or air force to battle Israel. Not that it would help much against such a superior force.
So what would be done? The only remaining actions are the more desperate ones of defiance, perhaps some with international implications, actions to perhaps get the attention of the world and put an end to the grave injustices being done.
And that is very much what has happened in Palestine. The Arabs there have endured more than 80 years of increasing and genuine ‘terrorism’ at the hands of the Jews, watched their homeland gradually disappear under the military might of the Israeli military, with no help from anywhere.
Who among us, experiencing this first-hand, living the experience, would not eventually be filled with resentment and even hatred for the occupying forces, and want to punish and retaliate in whatever way was possible?
Israel’s “Security” Concerns
It has often been said that if you repeat a lie five times, most people will believe it. I accept this statement, and for sure it has succeeded in the context of claims about Israel’s need for “security”. Israel’s stated goal is to be the fourth-largest military power in the world, and it is well on its way. Israel invests a hugely disproportionate part of its GDP into arms and weapons – research, manufacturing, trading – and has perhaps the largest and best-trained (and most ruthless) military in the Middle East.
Israel receives 3 billion dollars each year from the US, largely for arms and weapons. Israel has spy satellites, submarines, an active but small navy, and nuclear missiles. It has attacked many countries on its perimeter and is contemplating an attack on Iran. Are all these the signs of some poor downtrodden sandy republic without the means to protect itself?
Israel is one of only two countries, the other being the US, that carry out state-sponsored murders. By their reasoning, anyone they don’t like, in any country, is a valid target. Of course, other countries cannot do that to them because that is against international law, but the Jews, like the Americans, are not subject to the laws of other countries. And Israel has a documented history of sending agents to other countries to assassinate or murder those who stand in their way. Is this a sign of a sadsack nation that can hardly defend itself?
In late 2010, Jewish agents using fake UK passports, killed a man in Dubai, and escaped. But they’ve been active much longer than this. When Mordechai Vanunu released details of Israel’s nuclear bomb program, he was lured to the UK by a woman planted by the Mossad, kidnapped and returned to Israel to stand trial. There have been many of these incidents, using counterfeit passports from Australia, Canada, the UK and other countries.
Also in late 2010, Israeli agents on motorcyles planted bombs on the passenger cars of two nuclear scientists in Teheran, killing both and escaping. How do you avoid categorising the country of Israel as a terrorist state?
Israel has one of the most extensive spy networks in the world, the Mossad, which is responsible for all these killings and more. These agents spy on friends and enemies alike, as with the case of Jonathon Pollard who was convicted for spying on the US. There have been so many reports of Israeli telecom equipment eavesdropping throughout the US and other countries where their equipment has been installed. Even Bill Clinton was recorded as stating his conviction that the White House phones were tapped – and not by the Secret Service.
All claims about Israel defending its security are pure rubbish, and it is astonishing that so many people and so much of the Western media regurgitate this garbage.
The Only “Liberal Democracy” in the Middle East
Hardly. Israel today is about as democratic as Apartheid South Africa was, and has about the same level or dispersion of ‘human rights and freedoms’. Israel is fascist and racist, by design, and the Zionists have no intention of changing these policies. A distasteful part of the campaign for Israel’s ‘security’ is the oath that all citizens must now take, pledging allegiance to the “Jewish” state.
Almost all rights and freedoms in Israel belong only to the Jews; Palestinians have virtually no rights of any kind. They can be arrested without cause, held indefinitely, imprisoned without charge, and convicted on the basis of hearsay. They are forced under torture to sign confessions in a language they do not understand; court proceedings are only in Hebrew, which many or most Palestinians cannot understand, and they are not permitted to have counsel or a translator.
Torture of Palestinians is rampant all through Israel and especially in the prisons; it occurs even on the streets and in schoolyards on children. Many are so terrified that they refuse to seek medical treatment. Jewish organisations, the International Red Cross, Human Rights Watch and many more, have all confirmed hundreds if not thousands of cases.
Palestinians cannot plant so much as a tomato vine, to say nothing of a fruit or olive tree, without written permission from their Jewish overlords. They cannot build any structure without a permit – which is virtually impossible for them to obtain. The list is endless. More than one member of Israel’s government has boasted that the Palestinians have lost everything and been turned into ‘hewers of wood and drawers of water’ for their masters.
Israel as a democracy, as a bastion of freedom and human rights, is an obscene travesty. It is unbelieveable that the World will not gather the moral courage to sanction this country of Right-Wing religious extremists and put an end to this festering boil on the face of the earth.