The latest action by the cabal of British anti-Zionist academics almost strikes me dumb. It’s impossible to find words that adequately express my disgust at the expression of support for the completely barbarous Hamas from intellectuals in a supposedly civilized country (although history shows that ‘civilization’ can be a thin veneer indeed).
They wrote, in part,
The massacres in Gaza are the latest phase of a war that Israel has been waging against the people of Palestine for more than 60 years. The goal of this war has never changed: to use overwhelming military power to eradicate the Palestinians as a political force, one capable of resisting Israel’s ongoing appropriation of their land and resources…
Israel must lose. It is not enough to call for another ceasefire, or more humanitarian assistance. It is not enough to urge the renewal of dialogue and to acknowledge the concerns and suffering of both sides. If we believe in the principle of democratic self-determination, if we affirm the right to resist military aggression and colonial occupation, then we are obliged to take sides… against Israel, and with the people of Gaza and the West Bank.
I am not sure how they plan to take sides with ‘the people of Gaza and the West Bank’, given the nasty Fatah/Hamas split, but I presume that they would be happy with any solution that could be characterized as an Israeli defeat.
Although it’s a dreadful place, we should try to understand where they’re coming from.
Their argument rests on their acceptance of the Palestinian story in which Palestinians are only victims, acted upon first by the dastardly colonialists (including especially the British authorities of the early 20th century) and then by the Jews. But this story leaves a great deal out.
The nakba [‘catastrophe’ of 1948] is everything in this story, but according to it there is no Palestinian responsibility. The fact that the Palestinian Arabs attacked Jews all through the 1930’s and ’40’s, that the Mufti supported Hitler and tried to bring the Holocaust to the Middle East, that the Palestinians rejected partition in 1947 and fought alongside five invading Arab nations in 1948, in a war which they lost — all these facts are not part of the Palestinian story.
It is correct that a war has been waged for 60 years, but it has been the Arabs — Palestinians and others — both on their own initiative and as proxies, first of the Soviet Union and today of Iran — who have waged the war on Israel.
Not only do the Palestinians and the Arab nations bear the primary responsibility for the nakba, but they bear the primary responsibility for the condition of the refugees and the lack of a Palestinian state today. The Arab nations never permitted any solution to the refugee problem other than ‘return’ of an absurd number of hostile Arabs claiming refugee status to Israel, and UNRWA kept them fed and subsidized their reproduction so that today there are almost 5 million ‘refugees’.
The choice of Yasser Arafat as a leader and terrorism as a tactic put great obstacles in the way of statehood. Arafat dealt dishonestly with the Oslo process, funding and encouraging terrorism, all the while inciting Jew-hatred in all Palestinian Authority institutions. Then he rejected the Clinton-Barak offer in 2000, lied about what had actually been offered, and began the murderous enterprise of the second Intifada.
And of course those who voted for Hamas in 2006 knew what the Hamas program was. Unfortunately the ‘educational’ system and media set up by the Original Terrorist seems to have guaranteed that the faction perceived to be most capable of kicking the Jews out will always be the one that wins.
The British intellectuals see none of this. They simply take Palestinian claims at face value. Everything is Israel’s fault, especially the present war. The believe all atrocity stories about the IDF, no matter how far-fetched or how biased the source. They apparently miss the fact that Hamas is is a movement that deliberately sites itself in civilian populations, cripples or murders members of its its political opposition, is explicitly racist, antisemitic, anti-Christian and genocidal in intent. They ignore the fact that Hamas is doing Iran’s work: Ahmadinejad himself has said that Israel will be destroyed by Palestinians, and has supplied Hamas with an ever-growing variety of weapons to fight Israel with.
They are so consumed with hatred for Israel that they don’t seem to realize that by supporting Hamas, they are supporting a return to a society based on 7th century principles for Palestinians, as well. But of course this never was about Palestinians.
The academics would probably say that they are not opposed to the existence of Israel (or maybe by now they wouldn’t say this) but only to the ‘occupation’. Gaza, according to them, is occupied even when there are no Israelis in it because Israel must take security measures to protect herself from the wave of terrorism that would otherwise emanate from there.
“Ending the occupation” for them means facilitating Hamas states in Gaza and the West Bank with no restrictions on what comes in or goes out. Look what Hezbollah has accomplished under similar circumstances in Lebanon — tens of thousands of missiles capable of striking anywhere in Israel. Indeed, look what Hamas ‘accomplished’ in Gaza alone, and they had to depend on tunnels to get their explosives.
The tone of the message is that the British intellectuals — some of whom are Jewish or even Israeli, like renegade Israeli academic Ilan Pappé — are sick and tired of Israel. They have come to the end of their patience.
The feeling is mutual.