Déjà Vu (again) in Palestine ….

19 Oct


Can anyone explain to me the difference between the French Resistance  fighting hopelessly against the Nazis who had invaded their land and the Palestinian terrorists trying hopelessly to get Israel out of THEIR land? Before there is a knee-jerk reaction to this question, I should say it is couched from the perspective of a Palestinian and not from someone sitting comfortably in his or her lounge in some safe and cosy corner of a far-away western, country.

This is a problem which I have tried to approach with objectivity and logic, and having done so, it seems to me bizarre that the western world so casually accepts the occupation of Palestine. And we all do accept it, don’t we? Where are the sanctions? Where is the pressure on Israel to do anything?

In fact, the whole scenario defies logic. We are well out of our pram about Iran, which in fact occupies NO foreign land and has (as yet) NO bomb and yet nobody suggests (least of all successive craven American administrations) that we should take any steps against Israel which A) occupies someone else’s land and B) already has a bomb.

Of course, Israelis in the main are not Muslims, perhaps that’s partly why they are very PC despite their status as invaders and occupiers. Frankly, our policies are pretty bonkers …… especially if you look at them from an Arab’s point of view. Is NOBODY doing this even after 9/11?

After WW II because of the guilt Europe felt because of what the Nazis had done we helped Israel to expropriate land where Arabs had lived for generations. Many thousands had to flee from their homes into exile, and have never been able to return. Yes, maybe the Jews deserved a homeland, but that doesn’t alter the fact that it came at the expense of other people.

If an invading army took over your home in the Forest of Dean; Esher, Tunbridge Wells, Rhode Island or – Heaven Forbid, Martha’s Vineyard – or wherever through no fault of your own, how would you feel? The Arabs naturally felt deep injustice at the theft of their land …… and then the demagogic Abdul Nasser of Egypt (Nasser) decided to try to put things right and of course lost even MORE land.

After the victory of 1967, Israel occupied the West Bank and started settling its people on it. There has been NO CHANGE in this policy since then, over forty years ago. Recently, an Israeli cabinet spokesman was quoted as saying: “There a certain things unresolved that people are just going to have to live with for the foreseeable future.” Perhaps he means until a nuclear war in the Middle East?

But you have to use EMPATHY, the ability to feel what others are feeling. Israel continues building in the west bank, does not consider ANY solution to the problem of the Palestinians in exile since 1948. It continues to occupy the west bank and set up roadblocks which prevent the people from going about their business IN THEIR OWN COUNTRY. Through conquest it claims Jerusalem as its own in its entirely, even though a large part of the city has been Arab for over ONE THOUSAND YEARS.

Is it ANY WONDER that the surrounding countries are angry? Once again, how would YOU feel?

The tragedy is that the Palestinians are the ONLY Middle Eastern people (apart from Iraq thanks to the hated George Bush) that are in any way democratic. They are well-educated and basically peace-loving and do not deserve the treatment Israel is imposing on them.

But what is bizarre is, as I said, not so much that Israel is pursuing this policy. In the modern world (but perhaps it was ever so) might is usually “right”, and in general, many people and nations do whatever they can get away with; the “ethical foreign policy” evoked by the late Robin Cook remained just that, an evocation. No, it is the fact that so many other people and nations are shrugging their shoulders and accepting this situation. Barack Obama came to office with the stated intention of doing something about the Palestine problem. Not only has he been totally ineffectual, with so far as one can see no effective pressure whatsoever put on Israel either in private or in public, he has even been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for this total lack of any achievement. He recently stated that he was “disappointed” that Israel cannot even continue a freeze on development in the west bank even while Peace Talks are going on.

“Disappointed”? Were you President, wouldn’t you be “furious” instead of merely “disappointed”? In the last 100 years many British and Allied troops died in the fight to maintain the principle of “no territorial gain through conquest”, so it is sad to see us accepting it with such complacency in 2009. And what happened to the post 9/11 promises?

In Palestine there is nothing but disappointment which may once again turn to despair. In the various dictatorships run by assorted despots and/or fundamentalist lunatics such as Iran, Burma, North Korea and plenty of others there was delight that they will now face a US which is going to present a friendlier, less bullying face than George Bush. Great; if only Hitler could have faced more friendly faces in 1939 then we could have avoided WWII. Too bad about Russia …..

As for the concrete achievements towards world peace that this Obama friendliness is going to achieve, we are still waiting.

It’s a funny old world.

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Posted by on October 19, 2010 in Politics


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