There are always two views on Israel, those that say it is a legitimate state and those who accuse it of atrocities, and declare it is an "illegal" state. There is a great deal of emotion about it on both sides, but what does rather detract from the anti-Israel argument that it is alone in the Middle East as a fully democratic and 'inclusive' state. Those who argue that its treatment of the "Palestinians" disproves that very conveniently overlook that fact that "Palestine" is the result of an attempt to overturn the UN accepted establishment of Israel in 1948 - which failed. Its much argued "pre-1967 borders" are not "borders" but were the ceasefire line agreed in 1948.
Thereafter, in defiance of the Geneva convention which forbids it, both Jordan and Egypt deliberately set about "resettling" the people who are now called "Palestinians" in these areas. The Geneva Convention forbids the "settlement by an occupying power" of any "sovereign territory" it has seized as a result of military action. A look at the maps that formed part of the original 1948 UN Resolution clearly shows that the "occupiers" were not the Israelis, but the Jordanians and the Egyptians - but that has, in the nature of political "debate," and I suspect to a large degree to keep the Islamic nations "sweet," been turned on its head. It should be no surprise that many of the files held by the British government are under embargo and may not be opened for probably another 30 years - and even then I suspect much of their content will have been shredded.
The fact is that British politicians and civil servants, having spent the period 1917 - 1939 drawing up one plan after another, found it expedient to throw the Jews to the lions in order to keep the oil flowing. So they quietly ignored the Grand Mufti of Istanbul's raising an SS Division of followers to send to fight for the Nazis i their campaign to exterminate the Jews. They ignored the declaration by Islamic scholars and leaders throughout the 1939 - 1945 period declaring that the Holocaust was 'the Will of Allah' and that they would 'purge the stain of the Jews from Palestine' as soon as the British withdrew. What can one say of the British decision to close the borders to Jewish refugees and permit an influx of Arabs to the area now called Israel? Or to their signing a document with the "king" they'd created in Jordan handing him control of the whole territory and the weapons arsenals (even assignig British Army officers to lead, train and command it) knowing full well that the clauses in it to make the Jews a "protected minority" were unenforceable and unworkable?
The "Palestinians" (a people who didn't exist until the name was created by Yasser Arafat in the 1960s - it speaks for itself that he was Egyptian and not even born in any part of the territory now argued over) have declared war on Israel. Is it therefore any surprise they are subjected to some draconian restrictions and controls? What would the reaction in Britain be, to France annexing Kent, then resettling a lot of Bretagne farmers there with UN acquiessance? Then, having established their presence, to their starting a campaign demanding the "return" of the whole of England to the "British?" I rather suspect our response would be pretty much that of the Israelis - someone declaring 'war' on us should expect a warlike response - though, given the attitude of some sections of the political spectrum in Britain, we'd probably 'negotiate' the whole country away and then fete the invaders ...
I note that in some sections of academia and of the political classes, Israel has been re-branded as "Palestine" and is now de-legitimised by subtle and not so subtle propaganda. One of the least subtle is to brand the country as an "apartheid state." Clearly those who parrot this term have no concept of what apartheid was or how it fundtioned. For the record, Israel is not an "Apartheid" state. It has no laws discriminating against any section of its population - and, by their own choice, the "Palestinians" are not Israeli citizens. They demand nothing less than that the whole of Israel be handed to them, but don't wish to be a part of the democratic state that is there already, they wish to create yet another undemocratic theocracy of fundamentalism to replace one. What is astonishing to anyone who actually takes the trouble to study this situation instead of simply parading the failed ideologies that led to it, is that the biggest supporters of the "Palestinian" cause claim to be wanting to replace "Israeli tyranny" with "democracy." Obviously their understanding of that term, is not mine.
The history of the British relationship with Israel in the last 65 years is not indicative of a 'friendly' one. All the political Parties have adopted policies which suggest that there is still a British hope that the Arabs will prevail and the "Jewish Question" will be finally "resolved" for them. The trouble is that the "establishment" is incapable of admitting they got it spectacularly wrong in the 1930 - 1947 period, and that they are entirely responsible, through their endless double dealing and compromising everyone, for the situation we now face. What is worse, their constant attempts to appease the more radical demands for Islamification of nations, is feeding the sort of situation we see across the Middle East with the "Arab Spring" rapidly becoming a "Winter of Fundamentalism." The real problem here is that no one in Westminster understands anything outside Westminster or Whitehall, and because the "history" has been distorted and rewritten to present the "history" they wanted rather than reality, they now are trapped by their own deceitfullness.
I'm proud to be British. I'm proud of my British roots and entecendents, but I am thoroughly ashamed of the actions of the British government over Israel and over their subsequent machinations, always supporting Arab and Islamic claims, and always painting Israel as the aggressor. Sadly, in a "war" of propaganda, the first casualty is truth. Israel is not a perfect state, but I defy anyone to show me a country, surrounded by those who wish to detroy it, that is. In my book, its doing a whole lot better than any of its neighbours.
Phoenix Shot Tower in Baltimore, Maryland
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