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Political posturing won’t save Israel There is something hateful about politicising such a complex conflict

Mohammed Hamoud/Getty


May 13, 2021   4 mins

My wife was 11 when the first gulf war started in 1991. Saddam Hussein warned that he would “burn half of Israel”. And on the night that coalition forces invaded Iraq, he launched salvos of Scud missiles into Israel, mostly aimed at the greater Tel Aviv region where she lived.

She still feels sick at the smell of those rubber gas masks. She remembers decorating her gas mask box with colourful stickers, the natural reaction of a child to normalise the horrific. She remembers the fear of chemical weapons, sealing up the windows with plastic sheeting and keeping wet towels under the door, she remembers her class constantly practising how best to get into the school’s air raid shelter as fast as possible. She remembers being huddled round the radio listening out for news. She remembers having to give the dog a Valium as the sirens sounded.

How little has changed.

From my mother-in-law’s house, the nearest air raid shelter is in a small park about 500 yards away, beside the children’s swings. But when the sirens sound, it may already be too late to make it over there. The house is old; it doesn’t have a specially designed safe room. So she stands in the corridor between the loo and the bedroom. That is where the walls are the thickest. The dog wails and she waits.

Qassam rockets have no guidance system. They fall where they will. Hundreds were fired in her general direction yesterday. Most were intercepted. Some not. One of them fell less than a mile away, in Giv’atayim, next to her partner’s flat – twenty kilograms of hate and frustration flung from one world to another.

Luckily, her son and grandchildren do live in a house with a reinforced strong room. She phones to see if they are OK. The children are terrified but safe. When they were younger, these moments were explained to the little ones as a drill, a kind of game. Hide and seek. But that will no longer wash. Just as it is for my wife, the experience will stay with them forever.

Perhaps you are thinking, but what about the children of Gaza. And you would be right to do so. When I visited Gaza in 2004, someone fired a machine gun at me and a group of Palestinian children as we went to visit the homes that the IDF had destroyed close by the Egyptian border. Earlier in the day we were playing football, them lauding their hero: “Zidane, he is arabi.” These children would have an hour of anger management classes before school, throwing balls against a wall to express their frustration, to get it all out so that they could concentrate on their lessons. I expect some of them will have been recruited by Hamas and may now be lining up rockets, pointing them towards Israel. Some of them may well be dead. Palestinian health officials have reported 13 children dead in the last few days.

More children have died in Gaza than Israel. But it’s not a competition. And one of the ugliest reactions to the current tragedy is the instinct to play up the sufferings of one group and to minimise those of another, so as to make a political point. But the taking sides instinct is too great for many to resist. So to the idea that because of the overwhelming military superiority of the Israelis, they are necessarily and always the aggressors and Palestinians simply the victims.

David Baddiel makes the important point in his recent book Jews Don’t Count that because of the perception that Jews are wealthier or more powerful – and we know the poisonous history of that idea – they are considered by some to be somehow less deserving of concern. The Nazis smashed down the doors of both wealthy and poorer Jews, leading them off to be murdered. Being middle class was no protection against genocide. And it is no protection against rockets falling from the sky either.

When I went to Gaza all those years ago, I too thought the situation reasonably clear cut. I would lie in bed in Gaza City and listen to Israeli drones buzzing about overhead. Gaza felt like a one massive prison camp, locked into poverty and despair.

Seventy miles up the coast, and in sharp contrast, Tel Aviv feels a little bit like Barcelona. It’s got great restaurants, million-dollar beachfront penthouses, beautiful tanned women. Yes, it has a darker side too. And there is much poverty in Tel Aviv also. But its little wonder that people are signing up to go there for a holiday now Israel is on the Covid Green list. It’s a fabulous city.

But it is also a problematic one because this striking contrast can triage our sympathies in profoundly unhelpful ways. When I was on the Left, I felt an instinctive default solidarity with whoever I perceived to be less powerful in any given situation. And, insofar as it goes, I don’t think there is anything wrong with that. But this same take can also be accompanied by an instinctive hostility to those who are considered to be the more powerful within any given situation. And that is when things start to get tricky. For this kind of power analysis can be used as a convenient shorthand for finding your way around political antagonisms about which one knows very little. Find the weaker party, be on their side. Find the stronger, oppose them. Put like that, it is obvious rubbish. Power clearly does not track right and wrong. But embarrassingly, that is how I used to think.

Moreover, if you think Palestine and Israel represent some sort of David and Goliath respectively, then what about Israel vs. Iran/Syria/Lebanon, a tiny democratic state set within a vast sea of enemies? So who is the big bully now?

So I don’t have my own obvious fix for the Israel/Palestine. I am a Zionist because I believe in the right of the Jews to a homeland of their own. And that goes with a right to defend themselves. I also believe that Palestinians deserve the same, which is why I believe in two states for two peoples. I may not know how best to achieve what most others want too. But this much I do know: frightened children look very much the same, wherever they come from. And there is something especially hateful about taking the suffering of some and using it as justification for the suffering others.

In such a situation, the much derided “thoughts and prayers” are probably a much more helpful and sophisticated response than so many of our prĂȘt-a-porter political takes rolled out as instant answers. Not that religion is an innocent party in all of this. Not a bit. Nonetheless, prayer is able to hold even adversaries in a kind of loving attention, while refusing to be sucked into the sort of boo-hurrah politics into which our political instincts can all too easily descend. The Psalmist had it right, all those millennia ago: pray for the peace of Jerusalem.


Giles Fraser is a journalist, broadcaster and Vicar of St Anne’s, Kew.

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Johannes Kreisler
Johannes Kreisler
3 years ago

When I was on the Left, I felt an instinctive default solidarity with whoever I perceived to be less powerful in any given situation. 

That’s a common judgement flaw, quite typical to leftists. I’m glad to read that it’s in past tense now with Fraser.

And, insofar as it goes, I don’t think there is anything wrong with that. 

Oh but there is. A lot. It can lead to injustice. There’s a reason why Justicia is blindfolded: so that she cannot be swayed by perceptions and perception-based instincts when making justice.
Whoever cries louder is most often perceived to be the victim, and whoever is able to keep his/her composure is perceived to be the perpetrator, even when the truth is the opposite. The whole ‘vulnerability’-industry is built on this charade.

Last edited 3 years ago by Johannes Kreisler
Tim Bartlett
Tim Bartlett
3 years ago

Justice is not and has never been blind. It always follows the ideology and mores of the dominant group. Easy to ignore when you’re in that group, troubling and confusing when you find your hands prised from the levers of power.

Johannes Kreisler
Johannes Kreisler
3 years ago
Reply to  Tim Bartlett

Justice is not and has never been blind. 

Of course it is not; but at least blindness is what it’s supposed to strive for in principle. Now that principle is being attacked and undermined by the grievance industry.

when you find your hands prised from the levers of power.

Having your hands “prised from” would indicate an attempted power grab. And what exactly that has to do with the principles of justice?

Last edited 3 years ago by Johannes Kreisler
mike otter
mike otter
3 years ago

I too outgrew leftism but i don’t think you have to be a leftist to show natural support for the underdog, just have a sense of fair play. There are no winners in the fight for the holy land. The civilian victims on both sides are the underdogs, the fighters in Hamas and IDF etc are also meat in the sandwich. The problem is the puppeteers – though Russia, KSA and Turkey sometimes swap puppets they are no better than Iran, UK/EU and US who are just as happy to stir up trouble regardless of the innocent blood spilt on the ground. The only thing that marks out the lefties from the rest is the racist nature of their siding with Hamas etc, on the basis that any enemy of the Jews is a friend of theirs. They probably cannot understand that Arabs, Christians and Atheists also live in Israel.

Johannes Kreisler
Johannes Kreisler
3 years ago
Reply to  mike otter

The civilian victims on both sides are the underdogs

Yes, it’s the underdogs throwing stones, burning cars, breaking shopwindows etc. too. ‘Civilians’. However, in a theocracy where every man, woman and child is a “soldier of Allah” by default, ‘civilian’ is not quite a clean-cut category.
I don’t really like the term “underdog”. It only informs us of a person’s (group’s) relation to power, but nothing else beyond that. I don’t think underdog status should bestow any intrinsic value on anyone, or should be an excuse for anything.
I’m not disagreeing with anything you wrote (i agree with you), just trying to explain my take on the underdog issue.

Arnold Grutt
Arnold Grutt
3 years ago
Reply to  mike otter

“The problem is the puppeteers”

No human being is unable to resist compulsion, but many choose to out of cowardice. One does not need to explain religious conformism by the conjuring up of non-existent third parties wielding some mysterious ‘control’. No-one has to believe anything. Every ‘belief’ is a free choice.
Nor is such a conflict as the present one decideable on the basis of a ‘right to occupy territory’ (as if ‘God’ were some kind of superior conveyancing lawyer). The right of any one person or group to rule any territory depends of the free consent of those he or they rule, and his or their ability to defend borders against hostile others. That’s all it is. This means accepting the existence of hostility, and the right of a ruler to exclude the hostile from a domain which is ‘closed’ in nature. Otherwise no peaceable dispensation could ever arise over time.
This is why the British Government would not, in my view, be culpable if it ejected those, living here, who nonetheless oppose the existence of the UK. They can always form their own domains, governed as per their choices. elsewhere, or submit to other rulers whose laws they prefer to those of the UK. But it is now regarded as horrifying among the ‘right-thinking’ for such a thing to happen. What will happen if it doesn’t is that even those who thought they were reaching ‘freedom’ will eventually find themselves ruled by people who are their enemies, whom they thought were ‘friends’.

Last edited 3 years ago by Arnold Grutt
Huda
Huda
3 years ago

Nice try but not quite. The Palestinian cause is legitimate on its own merit, not due to the relative weakness of Palestinians. Likewise the Zionist cause is illegitimate on its own merit, not due to the greater military etc power of Zionists.

Johannes Kreisler
Johannes Kreisler
3 years ago
Reply to  Huda

How so? The territory in question historically belongs to the Jews. The Arabs were only trespassers – still are.

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
3 years ago

How far back do you go? Should England go back to the Celts and Pagans, instead of the numerous invaders it has had since, such as descendants of Romans, Saxons, Vikings, Normans etc? Should America be given to the Native American Indians, or the whites move out of Australia or New Zealand? If not why is it the Jews should have land they haven’t controlled for millennia be gifted to them due to some vague historical claim from a religious book, whereas for numerous other peoples it’s seen simply as part of history? Let’s not forget East Jerusalem is also a sacred site to the Muslims, so why does one religions claims to the territory trump another?

Arnold Grutt
Arnold Grutt
3 years ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

Here’s fact. Some Islamists would quite like it if ‘the Jews’ were exterminated or subjugated at the very least. The Jews would quite like it if Islam were just ‘friends’ (There are Israeli Arabs. How many Jewish ‘Palestinians’ are there these days?).
Now, who would you want to have a pint with?

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
3 years ago
Reply to  Arnold Grutt

I’ve never met any Palestinians, though I have worked with Muslims from North Africa and the Subcontinent and I’ve always found them to be nice people. The few Israelis I’ve met on my travels have been some of the most arrogant, unpleasant people I’ve ever had the misfortune of being stuck in a room with, however I’d hope they weren’t representative of the entire nation, and I’ve met Jews from elsewhere who have been nice people. I notice you also failed to answer my question, why should the Jewish of Israel have a claim to land they’ve not controlled for thousands of years, yet the same can’t be said for the American Indians who only lost theirs a few hundred years ago?

Vilde Chaye
Vilde Chaye
3 years ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

Because they’ve fought for it and won. Just like the Europeans in America. Your analogy supports the position you oppose. Quite funny, actually.

google
google
3 years ago
Reply to  Vilde Chaye

This is the best comment. Land has always been fought over, and taken by the victors, and people eventually accept it. For some reason, some people continue to throw fuel on this particular fire, and I think it ultimately comes down to hatred of Jews by some sections of society.

Vilde Chaye
Vilde Chaye
3 years ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

Your analogy of Native American Indians or Australian aborigines actually supports the Israeli position. White Europeans took North America and Australia/NZ and no it shouldn’t be given back. The Jews fought and won a war in 1948 for Israel so no it shouldn’t be given back to its previous inhabitants. Actually, the Jews have a better claim than the Europeans in Oz and America because it’s their ancestral homeland. Europeans did not have a similar claim on the lands they took. Furthermore, Israel wasn’t “gifted” to the Jews — that’s another slur. They had to fight and win a war to get it, and then fight additional wars to keep it, right up to the present.

Arnold Grutt
Arnold Grutt
3 years ago

Shifting this to questions of ‘ownership’ is however entirely the wrong way to go about things. It is about the right to rule, which can only ever be exercised by consent (normally abstract and formalised in law). We can deduce that Judaism is a religion which exists by consent, whereas Islam is (sometimes self-) enforced ‘submission’ (so it has apostasy laws). Speaking for myself the issue boils down to that alone.

Last edited 3 years ago by Arnold Grutt
Arnold Grutt
Arnold Grutt
3 years ago
Reply to  Huda

“The Palestinian cause is legitimate”

Who is the lawmaker?

Last edited 3 years ago by Arnold Grutt
mwebb851
mwebb851
3 years ago
Reply to  Huda

Your assertion of the Palestinian’s legitimacy as opposed to that of the Zionist’s without any supporting argument is fallacious and disingenuous and displays a clear prejudice. FACTS matter. Johannes Kreisler backs his arguments up at least.

Annette Kralendijk
Annette Kralendijk
3 years ago

Israel’s new war? Israel didn’t fire the first rockets.

Last edited 3 years ago by Annette Kralendijk
Johannes Kreisler
Johannes Kreisler
3 years ago

Yea that caught my eyes too. Israel doesn’t typically wage jihad.

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
3 years ago

Israel does however force people from their homes, confiscate large areas of Palestinian land and force the Palestinians to live like prisoners in their own country. I’m not defending Hamas’ rocket attacks, and Israel has a right to defend itself, but it’s in their power to end the conflict by moving the Jewish settlers back to within the original boundaries

Chris Mochan
Chris Mochan
3 years ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

You can’t seriously be so naive to think that Hamas will give up and go home if the settlers are moved back? It will be presented as a victory and tighten their grip on power. Their mission is so destroy Israel, no concessions or gestures will change that. As far as Hamas are concerned the only way the fight ends is with the annihilation of the Jewish state.

Jonathan Smith
Jonathan Smith
3 years ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

Land for peace eh? Because that’s never been tried before… you can’t keep doing the same things and expecting a different result.

Jihad is baked into the constitution of the Palestinian parties. The change must begin there for the sake of Palestinian and Jewish children.

Jonathan Ellman
Jonathan Ellman
3 years ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

You mistakenly think the conflict is about land rather than about Arab anti-semitism.

Andy Martin
Andy Martin
3 years ago

Anti-semitism is too mild a term, it’s more Islam mandated Jew hatred.

Stephanie Surface
Stephanie Surface
3 years ago

In Germany demonstrations took part in front of synagogues, calling for „Juden raus“ If you look closer at the film clips, you see Merkel‘s migrants or Turkish/German citizens. For them Israel is a symbol of the evil Jews. Germans are shocked and embarrassed that something like this could happen in their country again.

Annette Kralendijk
Annette Kralendijk
3 years ago

Let’s hope so

Giles Chance
Giles Chance
3 years ago

Yes, but Israel has to help itself. Beating up/ killing Palestinians and bombing Gaza with disproportionate violence is not the way forward, even with the United States behind them. This week’s episode has demonstrated clearly that Israel’s traditional response – to react with much greater force, and rely on American support in the UN and elsewhere – has run out of road. A new approach is needed by Israel. They will see that.

Last edited 3 years ago by Giles Chance
adlerpfingsten
adlerpfingsten
3 years ago
Reply to  Giles Chance

Pray tell…exactly what is the right proportion when over 2000 missiles are indiscriminately fired toward civilians?

google
google
3 years ago
Reply to  Giles Chance

Wars ought to be ended quickly and decisively, rather than prolonged with proportionality. One way or another, Israel will win this, and the sooner the better.

Jonathan Ellman
Jonathan Ellman
3 years ago

But not shocked and embarrassed enough to do much about it.

Simon Melville
Simon Melville
3 years ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

Israel has a right to defend itself, but it’s in their power to end the conflict by moving the Jewish settlers back to within the original boundaries”
Fantastical comment of the week winner

Alex Lekas
Alex Lekas
3 years ago
Reply to  Simon Melville

whenever I see a statement like that, one with a very prominent “but” after the opening clause, a good rule of thumb is to ignore everything that preceded the but.

Andy Martin
Andy Martin
3 years ago
Reply to  Simon Melville

So how did moving Jews out of Gaza work out?
Within a short time, the rockets were launched and a n intensified tunnel building program began.

Adam Kennedy
Adam Kennedy
3 years ago
Reply to  Andy Martin

So how did moving Jews out of Gaza work out?

Or indeed anywhere else in the Arab world

Colin Cook
Colin Cook
3 years ago
Reply to  Simon Melville

Palestinian Arabs should have had property rights before the invention of the Jewish state of Israel. If you have read “The Bible” you will find that it is almost totally unholy . It is, therefore, not to be taken into account over any property squabbles. But it was. That “mistake” is the problem, and the undoing of it is the only solution, unless both sides accept compromises.

adlerpfingsten
adlerpfingsten
3 years ago
Reply to  Colin Cook

Good Lord…take your idea to the Islamists and tell them they are not take into consideration the Koran in their deliberations. But out of curiosity, just how is the “unholy” bible factoring into the “property squabbles”?

Christin
Christin
3 years ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

Lol. Nothing you say is true in any way.

mike otter
mike otter
3 years ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

Trouble is which borders? Are we talking Canaan (larger than present), Roman Judea (much smaller) Saladdin or the Mamluks (huge) or Modern Israel 1948-present (little bit smaller than Roma Judea)?

Last edited 3 years ago by mike otter
Annette Kralendijk
Annette Kralendijk
3 years ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

There is no country called Palestine.

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
3 years ago

The last time the name was officially used was when the Emperor Hadrian created the Province of Syria Palaestina in 135AD.
It was an Imperial * Province governed by a Legatus of Consular status, and garrisoned by two Legions.

(* As opposed to a Senatorial or Public Province)

Last edited 3 years ago by CHARLES STANHOPE
opn
opn
3 years ago

Palaestina Prima, Secunda and Salutaris continued up to the time of Heraclius.

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
3 years ago
Reply to  opn

Yes as a subdivision of Dioceses Orienties, as reorganised by Diocletian wasn’t it?

However, as you know I was referring to the old/original Provincial system.

opn
opn
3 years ago

Actually, the Verona List of the early 4th century lists one province of Palaestina, along with two provinces called Arabia. The more southerly of the latter (Arabia Petraea) became Palaestina Salutaris in 357/8 and the threefold division of Palaestina is mentioned in the Notitia Dignitatum of ca. 400. One may as well get one’s pedantry right.
ï»ż

Vilde Chaye
Vilde Chaye
3 years ago

And it was named after the long-departed Philistines specifically as a slap in the face to the Jews of Judea who had revolted against Rome again.

Meghan Kathleen Jamieson
Meghan Kathleen Jamieson
3 years ago

There was no country called Israel, either. You can believe in modern state making, or not, but you can’t have your cake and eat it too.

adlerpfingsten
adlerpfingsten
3 years ago

Archaeologists would disagree and refer you to the Merneptah Stele, the Mesha Stele, the Tel Dan Stele, and the Kurkh Monolith
all of which record the existence of ancient Israel.

Vilde Chaye
Vilde Chaye
3 years ago

Actually there was. After Solomon’s death, there were 2 Jewish states, Judah and Israel. And after that, the Hasmonean state of Judea existed. Maybe a different name, but still a Jewish state. Sticks in your craw, doesn’t it?

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
3 years ago

I think you’ll find there used to be. It’s the slither of land wedged between Egypt, Jordan and Syria that the Ottoman Empire captured in the 16th century

Huda
Huda
3 years ago

@Annette Kralendjik

There doesn’t need to be. It makes no difference whether the land being stolen is part of a nation state or not, the bottom line is that it was stolen. Another tired old Zionist quip. Yawn.

Colin Cook
Colin Cook
3 years ago

There is if enough people say there is.

Kremlington Swan
Kremlington Swan
3 years ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

I doubt that. Perhaps Israel would do this if it thought it would end the conflict. But my sense is that for those firing the rockets into Israel the only legitimate end to this conflict comes with the annihilation of the state of Israel, and the death of every Jewish person living in it.

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
3 years ago

I don’t doubt Hamas will be anti Israel until the the day it dies, but Israel could take away its popular support tomorrow by moving back to within the 1967 lines.
I think Hamas are a terrorist organisation personally, but if you keep expanding Jewish settlements onto Arab land, displacing peoples who have lived there since before Israel was created you’re going to get violent pushback.
The only way this conflict will ever finish is when America can no longer afford to fund the Israeli military

Annette Kralendijk
Annette Kralendijk
3 years ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

It’s not Arab land. They lost it in the 67 war. If they want it back, they’ll have to negotiate for it. And very likely have to accept some conditions they may not like.

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
3 years ago

So if the Arab’s managed to drive the Israelis into the sea you’d happily accept that outcome? If Israel is destroyed by force then you’ll still abide by your might has right principles?

m pathy
m pathy
3 years ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

Such a world would not be worth living in but yes, that’s the way the world has always operated. And yes, that’s just about the scale of the problem and Israel sees her choices clearly. She may not have anyone to depend on. Europe sat by twiddling its thumbs as the yazidis and christians were massacred in the ME in recent years.

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
3 years ago
Reply to  m pathy

The world hasn’t operated like that for 100 years. We’ve moved on a bit from might has right and empire building, or the civilised world has anyway. Israel obviously didn’t get the memo

Arnold Grutt
Arnold Grutt
3 years ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

“We’ve moved on a bit from might has right”

Have we? Name an anarchist state.

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
3 years ago
Reply to  Arnold Grutt

There’s a big difference between giving the elected government a monopoly on force for the good of social cohesion, as is the case of many advanced countries, and living under a totalitarian dictatorship that rules by force. However that wasn’t the point I was making, it was more a reference to land grabs by nation states

Vilde Chaye
Vilde Chaye
3 years ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

Really? Tell it to the Crimeans (a few years ago), the South Vietnamese (1975), the Ethiopians (1936). the Japanese and Germans (1945), the Baltic states (1940-1991), Tibetans (1950), and also let the Taiwanese know there’s no need to defend their island, because the world hasn’t operated like that for 100 years. What a laugh!

google
google
3 years ago
Reply to  Vilde Chaye

Lefties don’t care about any of this. They are weaned on Palestine.

Vilde Chaye
Vilde Chaye
3 years ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

As if the world has operated any other way! Amazing how some people discover morality only when it comes to what Israel/Jews do.

Jack Henry
Jack Henry
3 years ago

Yes, what Billy Bob says is quite right. By your logic any territory the Arab states might manage to take from Israel in the future automatically belongs to them. You happy with that?

m pathy
m pathy
3 years ago
Reply to  Jack Henry

Obviously the prospect fills you with glee. I’d imagine that land is not the issue, we know the Arabs will kill every jew they find to the last child.We have seen carnage in the ME and know what they are capable of. What are the vaunted international institutions like UN or human rights organisations like HRW going to do in such a situation?

Vilde Chaye
Vilde Chaye
3 years ago
Reply to  m pathy

You know the answer: SFA.

Vilde Chaye
Vilde Chaye
3 years ago
Reply to  Jack Henry

I’m not happy with that, but I’m even less happy with the idea that Israel was “gifted” to the Jews when they had to fight for it, and even less happy that people talk about Palestinian “oppression” when all that needs to be done to end said so-called oppression is for the Palestinian leadership to sincerely negotiate an end to the conflict, something they reject, in favour of a maximalist, loser-take-all position. If they really wanted the “oppression” to end, all they have to do is negotiate an end to it. But they refuse to do that. Do you support THAT position?

Last edited 3 years ago by Vilde Chaye
Jonathan Ellman
Jonathan Ellman
3 years ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

Hamas has popular support because of its anti-semitism.

Giles Chance
Giles Chance
3 years ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

The missiles and unrest won’t end until the Palestinians feel they are being fairly treated. It will go on, until even the Israelis have had enough.

Vilde Chaye
Vilde Chaye
3 years ago
Reply to  Giles Chance

So much BS, so little time.

m pathy
m pathy
3 years ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

In the case of Sheikh Jarrah, those pesky jews had land deeds form the 19th centuries and were driven out more than once. There was a long painstaking legal process and much more complications than your western media feeds you. It isn’t a simple a land grab. And if it was, after 3 wars with Arab armies enmassed against her, Israel is welcome to grab what she wants as far as I concerned. The Palestinians are so lucky they haven’t an enemy like China or even Indonesia.

Vilde Chaye
Vilde Chaye
3 years ago
Reply to  m pathy

Or Putin. Or, especially, another Arab country.

Vilde Chaye
Vilde Chaye
3 years ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

Except that wouldn’t end the conflict. What would end the conflict is if the Palestinian leadership indicated a sincere desire to negotiate to end the conflict. So far, they haven’t been forthcoming at all in that regard. And they’ve had plenty of opportunities.

kathleen carr
kathleen carr
3 years ago

Biden and his new lot will be pleased. As today’s letter, signed by 200 retired American generals, said Biden has been really busy reversing all Trumps policies-one of which was securing some sort of agreement in the middle east. Happy days are here again as far as new military industrial complex is concerned.

julian rose
julian rose
3 years ago

No, but itÂŽs currently doing very well waging apartheid.

Johannes Kreisler
Johannes Kreisler
3 years ago
Reply to  julian rose

And i wish they will continue to do so, for as long as it’s necessary.
From the river to the sea, Greater Israel shall be.

Vilde Chaye
Vilde Chaye
3 years ago
Reply to  julian rose

ah yes, the “apartheid” which HRW shamelessly admitted it had to redefine in order to slander Israel with it.

Armand L
Armand L
3 years ago

The non-stop settlements and ethnic-cleansing of Arab neighborhoods in Palestinian land is all Israel.

If you cannot defend Israel’s actions, don’t rewrite history. Nothing about this is one-way-only.

Mark H
Mark H
3 years ago
Reply to  Armand L

Similarly, can you defend the actions of Hamas?

Simon Baggley
Simon Baggley
3 years ago
Reply to  Mark H

Did he try to – Hamas is a result of the Jewish treatment of the Palestinians

Annette Kralendijk
Annette Kralendijk
3 years ago
Reply to  Simon Baggley

Ah Hamas would be just fine with Israel existing if only the borders were addressed? That’s sheer fantasy.

Simon Baggley
Simon Baggley
3 years ago

we’ll never know will we

Annette Kralendijk
Annette Kralendijk
3 years ago
Reply to  Simon Baggley

Not as long as the Palestinians refuse to negotiate, no.

Jack Henry
Jack Henry
3 years ago

Nor as long as Israel allows blatant injustice/provocation like kicking people out of their homes in East Jerusalem. I also don’t agree that the hardcore of Hamas would ever be satisfied, but the Israelis’ could stop their own severely unjust practices and take away Hamas’ own justifications for non-negotiation.

Simon Baggley
Simon Baggley
3 years ago

Since 1994,Hamas has frequently stated that it would accept a truce if Israel withdraws to the 1967 borders paid reparations, allowed free elections in the  territories, and the right of return of Palestinian refugees – you obviously know better

Annette Kralendijk
Annette Kralendijk
3 years ago
Reply to  Simon Baggley

There is no right of return. There is no going back to the 67 borders because Israel cannot protect itself in that situation. When you attack another country, and you lose, you will have to accept conditions you may not like. Otherwise, you don’t get anything. See Germany and Japan.
Hamas cannot win, surely you must recognize this. They will always lose more lives than Israel. If that’s worth it to them, so be it.

Simon Baggley
Simon Baggley
3 years ago

Then there will be no end to it

Annette Kralendijk
Annette Kralendijk
3 years ago
Reply to  Simon Baggley

Possibly. And the Palestinians will always lose more lives. If that’s what you want, so be it.

Last edited 3 years ago by Annette Kralendijk
Simon Baggley
Simon Baggley
3 years ago

To them it will always be worth it and the end game is that the Palestinian population is growing

Annette Kralendijk
Annette Kralendijk
3 years ago
Reply to  Simon Baggley

As I said, so be it. It’s not my kids they are sacrificing. They’ll probably need to grow their population to replace the people they are sacrificing.

Last edited 3 years ago by Annette Kralendijk
Stephanie Surface
Stephanie Surface
3 years ago
Reply to  Simon Baggley

As Germany lost the war, over 2 million refugees had to be absorbed by the West. My German parents’ families were all refugees losing their home. Now their home is an integrated part of Poland and they had to accept it. Same goes for the many Polish refugees who were forcibly moved into Silesia. They were transferred in cattle trains from the lands around Lemberg (nowadays Ukraine) and lost their home. I met some old Polish people on a visit to Silesia on a wish to reconcile, who were still crying from the memory of their brutal treatment by the Soviets. But life goes on and for the sake of peace comes acceptance.

Last edited 3 years ago by Stephanie Surface
m pathy
m pathy
3 years ago

It doesnt work when you are dealing with delusionists with maximalist demands. With people who can barely put together a functioning society.

google
google
3 years ago

There is a moving documentary about this called The Savage Peace. One of the saddest things I’ve ever seen; and as much as it deserves to be seen, I don’t think I’ll be able to ever watch it again.

m pathy
m pathy
3 years ago
Reply to  Simon Baggley

Facts on the ground.

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
3 years ago

As the Romans would have said:
“ Vae victis” -“woe to the vanquished”.

It means that those defeated in battle are entirely at the mercy of their conquerors and should not expect or request leniency.*

(* Livy: Ab Urbe Condita . 5: 34-49)

Annette Kralendijk
Annette Kralendijk
3 years ago

Yes although I prefer the UN’s take on it. If you want back what you lost in war you started, you have to negotiate for it.

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
3 years ago

I beg to disagree, you have to fight for it.

Very little in history was ever granted but from a position of strength.

Annette Kralendijk
Annette Kralendijk
3 years ago

Well that isn’t the UN’s position. If you’re the loser in a war you started, you lose your land unless you can negotiate an agreement for its return, an agreement in which Israel’s security would be paramount.
Germany, after losing WWII and subsequently lands that Germany considered part of Germany, sued for peace. They did not fight for the land back.

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
3 years ago

‘Losers’ are in a difficult position whatever the overpaid, overfed, Utopian UN thinks about it.

Germany did” not fight back” in 1945, because they had been totally and utterly defeated, castrated in effect.

By contrast the wretched Palestinians & their acolytes have never really been hammered into the ground, as they so richly deserve. Thus they feel they are still entitled to ‘argue the toss’, as we used to say.

Had they been reduced to the total and utter degradation that both Germany and Japan were in 1945, we wouldn’t be faced with this problem today.

Frankly, as yet again we used to say, the ‘Arabs’ “rise above their station” and should be treated accordingly.

Jack Henry
Jack Henry
3 years ago

What about Germany and Japan? Two of the wealthiest most productive, comfortable, prosperous and culturally rich nations in the world? They had to accept severe conditions of defeat, yes, but not never ending occupation, trespass and humiliation.

Mark H
Mark H
3 years ago
Reply to  Jack Henry

Some parts of German and Japanese territory were lost to those nations forever.
By a combination of fair treatment by the victors and a willingness to learn from the mistakes of their aggressive pre-1945 governments, Germany and Japan have been restored as nations.
And even then, Eastern Germany was effectively under thumb of another power – occupation and humiliation – all the way to 1989.
Sadly the same factors of generosity in victory and willingness to compromise in defeat would be needed, from both sides, for there to be peace in Palestine.

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
3 years ago

I didn’t realise large settlements full of Jewish civilians outside of the 1967 borders were essential for a nations defence

Christin
Christin
3 years ago
Reply to  Simon Baggley

As soon as you’ve solved this one, you should definitely get Putin to leave the Crimea, and then tell Communist China to return Tibetan sovereignty. Israel has been attacked by its mooselim neighbors since the moment of its inception. The religion of death has been killing Jews since 632. Why don’t you just join ISIS?

Jim Jones
Jim Jones
3 years ago
Reply to  Christin

What a retarded comment

m pathy
m pathy
3 years ago
Reply to  Jim Jones

No, It isnt. It explains why many of your ilk obsess about the jews but cannot find West Papua on a map.

Jim Jones
Jim Jones
3 years ago
Reply to  m pathy

What do you mean of my ilk, I don’t obsess about Jews and yes I’m aware of Indonesian misdeeds in New Guinea. However asking somebody “Why don’t you just join ISIS?” is just asinine

Noah Ebtihej Sdiri
Noah Ebtihej Sdiri
3 years ago
Reply to  Christin

When it comes to “killing Jews”, Europe takes the crown.

Andrew Fisher
Andrew Fisher
3 years ago
Reply to  Armand L

The Palestinians were offered 99% of what they wanted at Camp David. Arafat refused the offer and did not even make a counter offer. The Palestinians have been disastrously led by leaders right back to when they thought hijacking aircraft and killing athletes was a good strategy to follow.

That is tragic, but you can’t keep on fighting a war, losing it, appealing to international action, saying one thing to Western governments and another to your own supporters for ever.

Israel as the world’s only Jewish state, should, and does, primarily look to its own security and not to the hypocritical words and double standards of the ‘international community. For example, can you imagine what the Chinese, or even the Indians would have done in a similar situation?

I simply would not trust an overwhelmingly hostile movement with Israel’s security, just look at how tiny – and narrow – country Israel is.

Dorothy Slater
Dorothy Slater
3 years ago
Reply to  Armand L

I had to double check and make sure I wasn’t reading an Evangelical magazine as I read all of the Anti-Palestinian comments here on UNHERD. I am hardly an expert after two trips to Israel and the Gaza strip but I am aware of the lush homes that Israelis are given – and SO MANY New Yorkers amongst them–, when they exercise their own “right to return” to the land God gave them thousands of years ago. It’s all right there in the Bible after all.
Then of course there is the 3 billon plus dollars the US gives Israel every year which allows them to buy the weapons they use against the Palestinians. Glenn Greenwald is perhaps the only voice in America who dares to defend defend the Palestinians but then he is on Substack.

Alexei A
Alexei A
3 years ago
Reply to  Dorothy Slater

And you left out the billions that have been given over the years by the EU and various Arab states to the Palistinians, most of which has been spent by their leaders on weapons and rewards to families of terrorists – not to improve the lives of ordinary Palestinians. As many have said, the latter have been very ill-served by their leaders, whose aim is to keep the conflict going for their own purposes.

Annette Kralendijk
Annette Kralendijk
3 years ago
Reply to  Dorothy Slater

You believe a US ally under attack should not be supported? Really?
The Palestinians have had plenty of chances to make peace and they have steadfastly refused to do so. And with the Abraham accords, they have likely lost bargaining power as well as any chance to do so in the future. The Middle East has moved on. Today, Israel is seen by other ME nations as a security ally against Iran and as an attractive trade partner. There’s no going back to an all-consuming focus on people who want Israel not to exist.

Noah Ebtihej Sdiri
Noah Ebtihej Sdiri
3 years ago
Reply to  Dorothy Slater

Actually, a great number of the alternative press is supportive of the Palestinians. The vast majority of the American people support a two-state solution. The American Congress is unequivocally pro-Israeli because of the lobbying efforts of organizations like AIPAC and the Jewish Defense League. They are legally classified as “domestic” organizations yet, in effect, defend the interests of a foreign nation.

Jonathan Ellman
Jonathan Ellman
3 years ago
Reply to  Armand L

The explicitly stated genocidal intentions are one-way-only.

mike otter
mike otter
3 years ago

True and if they wished the IDF could quickly tip Gaza into the Med and still have enough capacity left over to neutralize the entire UK Labour Party 10 times over. The fact that they’ve done neither indicates they and their political masters still hope for a peaceful outcome in the long term. The same cannot be said of Hamas, Iran and their lefty cheerleaders. They are forever on about wiping this or that race or country off the map and it shows how crap they are because they are either afraid or unable to carry out their threats. They can’t even win a by-election in Hartlepool, a constituency Labour created soon after the Redcliffe-Maud commission purely to Gerrymander the votes in rural Durham.

Last edited 3 years ago by mike otter
Annette Kralendijk
Annette Kralendijk
3 years ago
Reply to  mike otter

Yes the IDF could level Gaza tomorrow and there would not be a thing the Palestinians could do to stop it. If that’s what they wanted.

julian rose
julian rose
3 years ago

They donÂŽt need to. They have drones. And tanks, and missiles, and Nucs, and … well, everything really in the killing department.

Annette Kralendijk
Annette Kralendijk
3 years ago
Reply to  julian rose

Which makes it pretty nonsensical for the Palestinians to keep attacking Israel, doesn’t it?
in any case, yes drones could level the places along with missiles. As I said.

Jim Jones
Jim Jones
3 years ago

Why do Americans love Israel?

Annette Kralendijk
Annette Kralendijk
3 years ago

“Perhaps you are thinking, but what about the children of Gaza.”
yes, mostly how much better off they would be if the adults in Gaza were not firing rockets at Israel. That never works out well for the children of Gaza.

David Brown
David Brown
3 years ago

Quite so, but that’s part of the Hamas strategy. You set up your rocket launcher next to a school, or a hospital, and chuck your bombs into Israel. If any get through the Iron Dome (and you send so many that some definitely will), Israel will retaliate, as any other nation on the planet would. Maybe your launch site crews are killed, but if the Palestinian dead includes a few children, you win, as the world’s media condemns the “Israeli atrocity”, completely ignoring the Hamas atrocity that preceded it.

Annette Kralendijk
Annette Kralendijk
3 years ago
Reply to  David Brown

I don’t think the world supports sacrificing kids anymore. I may be wrong and the world may be just fine with using kids to draw the fire of a country you’ve attacked. But then it isn’t the “world’s” kids is it. If it’s easy for anyone to say it’s okay for Palestinian kids to be sacrificed, they aren’t well enough to participate in anything and they should volunteer their kids for it.

Last edited 3 years ago by Annette Kralendijk
Vikram Sharma
Vikram Sharma
3 years ago

In any prolonged conflict, over time both sides will have committed enough atrocities and suffered enough to be the victim in their own eyes and perpetrator in the other’s. Like Mr Fraser, I am torn between support for Israel’s existence and the desire for Palestinians to be free in their own land. As long as Iran or Hamas seek complete abolition of Israel, no solution is possible. Both sides have to see the other’s humanity and reach out. Easy for me to pontificate though.

Alex Lekas
Alex Lekas
3 years ago

what about the children of Gaza. That would be a good question to ask of Hamas, of Abbas, and of all the previous iterations of Palestinian “leadership.” Perhaps when they love their kids more than they hate Israel’s, something will change.

John Lewis
John Lewis
3 years ago

Greens, Lib Dem’s, hard-left “old” Labour, Muslim influenced “new” Labour.

It’s a mixed old bag of people who are unlikely to agree on pretty much anything. However there is one common theme which unites them all and these latest hostilities fit the bill.

A worthy article Giles and while I admire your sentiments I wish to point out that for the above parties it’s not just about supporting the weak against the strong. Their hatred runs far deeper.

Last edited 3 years ago by John Lewis
Andy Paul
Andy Paul
3 years ago
Reply to  John Lewis

and it is indicative of the unholy union between the Western Left and progressive classes and Islam..

Aaron Kevali
Aaron Kevali
3 years ago

I really don’t know who to support. On the one hand, we have this prosperous functioning nation-state called Israel, with delightful requirements for citizenship (no civic nationalism here!), almost the only decent country in the entire Middle East. On the other hand, the “Palestinians” (basically unlucky Arabs) actively oppose LGBT, feminism, degeneracy and actually believe in God (with above-replacement fertility to boot). What a conundrum.

Jonathan Ellman
Jonathan Ellman
3 years ago
Reply to  Aaron Kevali

with delightful requirements for citizenship” … you are aware of why that is?

Stanley Beardshall
Stanley Beardshall
3 years ago
Reply to  Aaron Kevali

Aaron, I can give you six million reasons why you should be on the side of Israel.

Simon Baggley
Simon Baggley
3 years ago

Ridiculous statement

Stanley Beardshall
Stanley Beardshall
3 years ago
Reply to  Simon Baggley

Well, Simon, I was born in 1939 and I live 12 kilometres from a French Nazi concentration camp so I suppose I would tend to take sides…

Aaron Kevali
Aaron Kevali
3 years ago

Don’t care. Literally don’t care what one nation (not mine) did to another nation (also not mine) before I was even born.

Christin
Christin
3 years ago
Reply to  Aaron Kevali

Yes! So true! Ignorance is bliss! Be happy! Stay stupid!

Johannes Kreisler
Johannes Kreisler
3 years ago

Aaron’s comment was made in jest.

Alex Lekas
Alex Lekas
3 years ago
Reply to  Aaron Kevali

the Israelis do not believe in a god? Really?

Aaron Kevali
Aaron Kevali
3 years ago
Reply to  Alex Lekas

Gay Pride parades in Tel Aviv. Nuff said.

Alex Lekas
Alex Lekas
3 years ago
Reply to  Aaron Kevali

so your objection is that the Jews are not like Muslims and slaughtering gays? Maybe you’d like them to engage in mutilating females, too, or simply treating women like cattle.
Your god-fearing Islamic world routinely kills more Muslims than any outside entity. Unlike Orthodox vs. Conservative Jews, or Baptists vs. Methodists in Christianity, Sunnis and Shias have no problem killing each other over sectarian differences.

Jonathan Ellman
Jonathan Ellman
3 years ago
Reply to  Alex Lekas

Nuff said.

Jim Jones
Jim Jones
3 years ago
Reply to  Alex Lekas

Well they mutilate baby boys already so it’s only fair they mutilate females too

Last edited 3 years ago by Jim Jones
Aaron Kevali
Aaron Kevali
3 years ago
Reply to  Alex Lekas

“Your god-fearing Islamic world routinely kills more Muslims than any outside entity”

Yet another reason to support the freedom-fighters of Palestine – allahu akbar as they say.

Last edited 3 years ago by Aaron Kevali
Aaron Kevali
Aaron Kevali
3 years ago
Reply to  Alex Lekas

Moronic. Their own god Yahweh is the one against LGBT. They choose to ignore him. I don’t care ether way, not my country remember? But I note that when a country founded on Hebrew/Israelite identity doesn’t seem very Hebrew/Israelite, it will probably fall to far more religious people who value fertility and family. Appropriately, the only fertile Jews in Israel are the Orthodox – God bless ‘em.

Christin
Christin
3 years ago
Reply to  Aaron Kevali

Right! Only those that actively persecute gay people believe in god.

Aaron Kevali
Aaron Kevali
3 years ago
Reply to  Christin

“Persecution” isn’t how they perceive it, anymore than we ‘persecute’ zoophiles or paedophiles. We simply don’t see it as persecution, and they do not see what they do as persecution either. Not out place to tell them how to organise their society, and we have already lost the ability, as well as the right, to do so.

Danny K
Danny K
3 years ago
Reply to  Aaron Kevali

_

Last edited 3 years ago by Danny K
Aaron Kevali
Aaron Kevali
3 years ago
Reply to  Danny K

But but but Danny how can I show everyone on Faceborg and Twatter what a good person I am!

Last edited 3 years ago by Aaron Kevali
Gary Greenbaum
Gary Greenbaum
3 years ago

The usual leftist claptrap claiming that Israel is somehow the aggressor for daring to retaliate against indiscriminate rocket fire.

Last edited 3 years ago by Gary Greenbaum
Aaron Kevali
Aaron Kevali
3 years ago
Reply to  Gary Greenbaum

I agree with the sentiment, but it is more complicated than that. Apartheid-era South African terrorists (black) murdered men, women and children (whites, and black collaborators), engaging in utmost barbarity against those deemed ‘oppressors’. I think consistency demands a slightly more nuanced view.

Stephen Colman
Stephen Colman
3 years ago

What do you do when the underdog deliberately stays the underdog?

The Palestinians have been given billions of dollars in aid yet they are still living in poverty. Yasser Arafat died a billionaire. Where did this money come from? Money is given to Hammas and the PLA to help ordinary people yet it is diverted into arms and pockets. Hammas uses human shields to protect its rocket sites.

This current escalation is political posturing by Hammas to gain the leadership of the Palestinians away from the PLA. Israel is piggy in the middle of an internal political conflict. Of course we should feel sorry for everyone caught up in this but let’s not lose sight of why this escalation is happening.

George Bruce
George Bruce
3 years ago

When I was on the Left, I felt an instinctive default solidarity with whoever I perceived to be less powerful in any given situation. And, insofar as it goes, I don’t think there is anything wrong with that.

Okay, so why the

embarrassingly, that is how I used to think.

a few lines later?
Which is it?
For what it is worth, I think Giles is right to be embarrassed. It is a really narrow-minded way of thinking.

Annette Kralendijk
Annette Kralendijk
3 years ago

It’s revealing that the world isn’t suddenly jumping in one different sides in this latest conflict. The Abraham accords have moved the focus of the Middle East away from the Israel/Palestinian conflict and more towards a generalized realization throughout the Middle East that Iran is the problem and that Middle East countries now see Israel more as a security partner than a country that must be destroyed.
If you live in a Muslim country in the Middle East, you want Israel as an ally in the event of an Iranian attack. It’s one of the few countries that could be helpful in that event. You also might be more interested in trade with Israel than in hoping the Palestinians will eventually recognize that Israel is not going to disappear.
it is very sad that the Palestinians continue to sacrifice their own children. But no one can recognize for them that their attacks are futile and that they will always be on the losing end of any death counts.

Last Jacobin
Last Jacobin
3 years ago

So I’m A N Other Palestinian father wishing this bombing would stop. How exactly do I stop sacrificing my children?

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
3 years ago
Reply to  Last Jacobin

Emigrate ASAP.

Mark H
Mark H
3 years ago
Reply to  Last Jacobin

Support local leaders who will not allow Palestinian territory to be used for indiscriminate attacks against civvies.

Last Jacobin
Last Jacobin
3 years ago
Reply to  Mark H

I agree with that. The exact same could be said of Israeli fathers who wish the bombing would stop but the poster wasn’t accusing them of sacrificing their children.

m pathy
m pathy
3 years ago
Reply to  Last Jacobin

One side builds an iron dome to purely defend its population, the other fires from behind its women and children and feels little shame doing so.

m pathy
m pathy
3 years ago
Reply to  Last Jacobin

Start by not teaching them hate. Build up your social structures, the way the jews did when they lived as 2nd class communities in Arab muslim states. Look beyond the koran for your education. Tolerate diverse voices instead of throwing them off tall buildings.

Johnny Rottenborough
Johnny Rottenborough
3 years ago

Israel vs. Iran/Syria/Lebanon, a tiny democratic state set within a vast sea of enemies
In reality, it is ‘Israel/America vs Iran/Syria/Lebanon’, which evens things up a bit. The Jerusalem Post reports:
‘Washington and Israel have signed an agreement which would see the US come to assist Israel with missile defense in times of war and, according to [Brig-Gen Zvika] Haimovitch, “I am sure once the order comes we will find here US troops on the ground to be part of our deployment and team to defend the State of Israel.”
‘And those US troops who would be deployed to Israel, are prepared to die for the Jewish state, [Lt-Gen Richard] Clark said.’

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
3 years ago

‘And those US troops who would be deployed to Israel, are prepared to die for the Jewish state, [Lt-Gen Richard] Clark said.’

Isn’t that what US troops have been doing for the past twenty years, albeit in Iraq & Afghanistan?

Johnny Rottenborough
Johnny Rottenborough
3 years ago

CHARLES STANHOPE—Indeed.
‘Iraq under Saddam Hussein did not pose a threat to the United States but it did to Israel, which is one reason why Washington invaded the Arab country, according to a speech made by a member [Philip Zelikow] of a top-level White House intelligence group.’—IPS

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
3 years ago

Thank you.

Last Jacobin
Last Jacobin
3 years ago

It is, Charles. Why?

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
3 years ago
Reply to  Last Jacobin

Presumably the same applies to Syria where a myriad of insurgents have been trying to overcome President Assad & Co?

Last Jacobin
Last Jacobin
3 years ago

I think we’re agreeing on the reason for the troops. If not the validity of the reason.

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
3 years ago
Reply to  Last Jacobin

Thanks to the British,* the Arabs were released from Ottoman bondage in 1918.
After a suitable pause they achieved independent nation status.

Our only proviso, fully publicised in 1916 in the Balfour Declaration was the we intended to facilitate the establishment of a Jewish State. In other words the Arabs were to get 95%+ of the Levant, and the Jews a tiny state, about the size of Wales

Like many Englishmen I am frankly astonished at the ingratitude of the Arabs, and wonder if it hadn’t been better to have left them to the tender mercies of ‘Johnny Turk’, who had no hesitation in ‘putting a bit of stick about’.

For years now this festering Middle Eastern boil has plagued the West. The Israeli strategy of selective restraint patently hasn’t worked. Perhaps they should now lance this boil while they still can, and with everything thing they have got, for all our sakes?

(* Mainly Generals Allenby & Maude and not the male hysteric commonly known as Lawrence of Arabia).

Mark Gourley
Mark Gourley
3 years ago

Well said re the division after the end of the Ottoman Empire, such as it was post World War 1. But “Florence of Arabia” surely?

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
3 years ago
Reply to  Mark Gourley

I stand corrected!

Sandy Tatham
Sandy Tatham
3 years ago

My grandfather Jack Tatham was a Trooper with the Wellington Mounted Rifles, New Zealand, and he fought with the British and ANZACs in the Sinai-Palestine campaigns. He died of malaria just ten days before the Ottoman Turks surrendered. This was a grandfather that I never had the chance to meet, and my own father only knew his dad for the first six years of his life. I’m currently living in Dahab, Sinai, just over the border with Israel and I can’t help but wonder if the Arab Muslims will ever show gratitude for those whose lives helped them gain ‘release from Ottoman bondage’.

Last edited 3 years ago by Sandy Tatham
CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
3 years ago
Reply to  Sandy Tatham

Gratitude is an unusual commodity in the human race.

To answer your question: No off course the Arabs will never be grateful, it’s just not in their DNA.

However before we feel too smug, were the French or Italians grateful that they were released from German bondage? Off course not!

Were the Japanese grateful they were not exterminated? Off course not!

Uniquely the UK doesn’t have to be grateful to anyone, so illustrious is our history. However should we be in that unenviable position, we would probably be as ungrateful as everyone else!

Zorro Tomorrow
Zorro Tomorrow
3 years ago

I’m always surprised that the much vaunted Mossad don’t remove those significant Hamas and their paymasters from the face of the earth. They had no such compunction with Gerald Bull in Paris. That the underlings fire their rockets from schools, hospitals and civilan areas is not seen for the cowardly acts by our leftists says as much about the West.

Kremlington Swan
Kremlington Swan
3 years ago

You’ need to be a better man than me to see a way out of this.
However, I, too, am instinctively on the side of Israel.
For those who instinctively side with the underdog, maybe remember that every prisoner with a full life term for acts of abominable depravity and violence is also an underdog, and locked up for every good reason. It is worth remembering, too, that it is only the forbearance that is part of a modern liberal democracy’s framework that keeps these prisoners alive. Most want them dead, and no longer costing money.
It is true that if it were not for its military superiority, Israel would long since have vanished from the face of the earth, and all its citizens who could not flee with it. That is the reality with which Israel lives.

We, here, would be every bit as determined to keep ourselves alive were we so threatened. We would also be telling our critics to to take a long walk off a short plank. The threat to `Israel is existential,
and the Jewish people above all others on this earth have the absolute right to crush those who would end their existence in a heartbeat.

Last edited 3 years ago by Kremlington Swan
Jorge Espinha
Jorge Espinha
3 years ago

Catholicism has its failings, but I don’t remember the nuns telling me about the glory of holy war and dying as a soldier of Christ. There was the unhealthy obsession with guilt and sin, but we weren’t supposed to wash our sins with the blood of the heathens. Islam is a religion where the faithful walk around with their heads up their arses, what a waste of the gift of life, what a prison!

Matt Whitby
Matt Whitby
3 years ago

The exile of Jews in Yemen is what would happen in Israel if they don’t defend themselves. They don’t want peace they want the Jews out of the area

m pathy
m pathy
3 years ago
Reply to  Matt Whitby

You have countries that proudly declare themselves 100% muslim like the Maldives or many that are 97 or 99% muslim – that’s the plan for the ME and the driving impulse behind the global support for the Palestinians. The jews will only be tolerated if they are a minuscule proportion of the population who can be safely be kept underfoot. Please be honest enough to admit this.

James Chater
James Chater
3 years ago

I

Last edited 3 years ago by James Chater
Tony Buck
Tony Buck
3 years ago
Reply to  James Chater

The two sides aren’t quarrelling about religion. They’re quarrelling about land, money, power.

John Mcalester
John Mcalester
3 years ago
Reply to  Tony Buck

The history of religion for the last thousand years has been about land, money and power.

James Chater
James Chater
3 years ago
Reply to  Tony Buck

If not ‘about’ then ‘through’ religion, certainly.
If in one ‘holy book’, ‘god’ says ”that’s yours” then you as a true believer feel justified in taking it. Just as if another ‘holy book’, ‘god’ says the ”unbeliever” deserves to have his head removed from his shoulders, you as a true believer can feel justified doing it.
Being reductive, I would say religion is repulsive given what it has inspired – murder, tortue, destruction. ( The art, music, literature and architecture do not ‘compensate’.)
Looking closer, literal reading of any ‘Scripture’ has given pious religious maniacs everywhere terrifying free rein because so many others innocently believe in ‘god’. I would say it’s the deepest ‘evil’ any person can commit.
People should be forgiven for hating religion.

Johannes Kreisler
Johannes Kreisler
3 years ago
Reply to  James Chater

The art, music, literature and architecture do not ‘compensate’.

How come? Those are the only things what survive. People come and go.

James Chater
James Chater
3 years ago

Because a person’s a life is the most precious thing to them. Art is dead, it can be replaced. There is no equivalence.

Andrew D
Andrew D
3 years ago
Reply to  James Chater

Ars longa vita brevis

Johannes Kreisler
Johannes Kreisler
3 years ago
Reply to  James Chater

To them.

Art is dead, it can be replaced. 

No, actually it cannot. People, on the other side….

Aaron Kevali
Aaron Kevali
3 years ago
Reply to  James Chater

Talmudic/Old Testament quoting is purely backdated reasoning to justify what has already been done. All nations have founding myths after all. It is quote obvious that the modern Israeli state does not regard Yahweh as having a major place in their essentially secular culture (spare me the blah bah Jewish state, blah blah rabbis need to conduct weddings, blah blah, it’s Judaism is more ethnic than religious in Israel).
“Being reductive, I would say religion is repulsive given what it has inspired â€“ murder, tortue, destruction. ( The art, music, literature and architecture do not ‘compensate’.)”
Nuts. Of course it does. There would be nothing to destroy if religions had not built first. Religions inspire murder, they inspire mercy. Religions inspire torture, they inspire kindness. Talking about “religion” like this is sixth form level pseudo-intellectualism, you might as well blame “music” for giving us Nickleback, of “sex” of leading people to rape.

James Chater
James Chater
3 years ago
Reply to  Aaron Kevali

There is nothing ‘pseudo’ about it. It’s not a game. Less of the believer’s self-satisfied, patronisng, maybe?
I use my senses – what I’ve seen and heard, my experiences, to say religion (or any blind faith) has the power to obstruct, to frustrate reconciliation and yes ‘inspire’ tribal reprisals.
(And no, I wasn’t sodomised by monks or anything like that, making me the cliched embittered hater of religion.)

Last edited 3 years ago by James Chater
Andy Martin
Andy Martin
3 years ago
Reply to  Tony Buck

“You shall find the strongest in enmity towards the believers to be the Jews and the polytheists.” (Qu’ran 5:82)
https://www.memri.org/tv/snr-hamas-official-fathi-hammad-urges-people-jerusalem-cut-off-heads-jews-knives-day-reckoning-moment-destruction
Watch the video.
Can you still claim religion plays no part in the animus the Arabs in the region have towards the Jews?
Read the Hamas charter too.
Which is not to deny that land, money and power are not also factors.

Aaron Kevali
Aaron Kevali
3 years ago
Reply to  Andy Martin

Of course it does. But hey-ho. Unless you have plan for converting the Arabs to another religion (i.e. Christianity, because lets face it, Buddhism and Hinduism are even less likely), then saying “religion play a part” is as silly as saying “hot climates play a part in the contracting of malaria”. Yes dear, we know; what of it?

Johannes Kreisler
Johannes Kreisler
3 years ago
Reply to  James Chater

If it’s not religion, then it’s some other form of nontheist ideology. The radically anti-religion communist regimes killed more than any religious war ever.

James Chater
James Chater
3 years ago

Certainly. In the 20th century totalitarian regimes killed 1000,000s. Theist and non-theist ideologies are essentially the same in terms of potential oppression and destruction of human beings, who do not believe or believe something else.
(If we must have religion could it be based on the living individual human being first, us, not ‘Scripture’ or the ‘Law’?)

Last edited 3 years ago by James Chater
Aaron Kevali
Aaron Kevali
3 years ago
Reply to  James Chater

(If we must have religion could it be based on the living individual human being first, us, not ‘Scripture’ or the ‘Law’?)
Oh dear. So basically secular humanism, the alcohol-free version of religious lager. Not interested, vast majority of humanity isn’t interested. Seculars and/or humanists are invariably infertile and their religion is simply a fancy way of saying “don’t believe in anything other than my personal happiness and being nice to others, mostly”. This isn’t religion, it’s a set of manners.

James Chater
James Chater
3 years ago
Reply to  Aaron Kevali

OK, let’s not have a back-and-forth about religion. Neither of us will ‘win’. All I will say is I’d pour a ‘heap of burning coals on the head’* of any fundamentalist nutcase, who quotes ‘scripture’ back to me to ‘justify’ their appalling behaviour. I have seen and experienced enough ‘religion’ to know what I am talking about.
Not interested, vast majority of humanity isn’t interested.’ Yes, correct ‘not interested’ in humanism or religion.
*Deliberate ignorant, misuse of ‘scripture’.

Johannes Kreisler
Johannes Kreisler
3 years ago
Reply to  James Chater

If we must have religion could it be based on the living individual human being first, us, not ‘Scripture’ or the ‘Law’?

No. Religion, a manmade construct, is discerned with the abstract. Deity is abstract. Humans are not. Humanism is a fetishistic idolatrous dogma, not different from worshipping a golden calf or a plastic toy.

Matt B
Matt B
3 years ago

On the Green Line of Gaza by Sderot in 1984 tattooed survivors of the Nazis still worked alongside Palestinian day workers eking out a living from the crowded 1948 block houses of Beach Camp. The chickenwire and fences of a border kibbbutz poultry coop, run by an Entebbe veteran, echoed the razorwire and watch towers of the kibbutz itself, let alone the stone’s throw neighbouring Gaza Strip Green Line – or, as some Israelis joked darkly, the perimeters of europe’s death camps. The conflict action in 1984 was northward in Lebanon, but inevitably it came south again as Israel left the Strip, the PLO gave way to Hamas, repeated intifadas took hold and Oslo died. Asked what would happen in Gaza ahead of all this the coop colonel’s brutal honesty proved correct: no-one knows. As it happened the kibbutz became uninhabitable as rockets and tunnels breached the fences; Gaza cringed under each retaliation; neighbouring Sderot resident and former general/prime minister Ariel Sharon passed away, and artillery still filled the void. So many outside commentators seem to know the answer to this, but over the past 40 years, and since Camp David, what has been achieved? It comforts some to take singular stances in others’ quagmires – sometimes by just favouring one side over another. Iran has ‘a plan’, and this seems as popular amongst some as anything that e.g. Trump did to break the logjam without all-out war or annihilating the jews – again. This and the latest cross-border exchanges underline that chicken farmers for now seem to know more.

Last edited 3 years ago by Matt B
Johnny Rottenborough
Johnny Rottenborough
3 years ago

‘Political posturing won’t save Israel’, and Stephen Steinlight worries that US demographic changes won’t be much help either:


is the emerging new multicultural American nation good for the Jews? Will a country in which enormous demographic and cultural change, fueled by unceasing large-scale non-European immigration, remain one in which Jewish life will continue to flourish as nowhere else in the history of the Diaspora? In an America in which people of color form the plurality, most with little or no historical experience with or knowledge of Jews, will Jewish sensitivities continue to enjoy extraordinarily high levels of deference and will Jewish interests continue to receive special protection? Does it matter that most Latino immigrants have encountered Jews in their formative years principally or only as Christ killers in the context of a religious education in which the changed teachings of Vatican II penetrated barely or not at all?

In a nutshell, will the new America continue to give Israel financial, diplomatic and military support?

Annette Kralendijk
Annette Kralendijk
3 years ago

Yes.

Ian Perkins
Ian Perkins
3 years ago

There is something hateful about politicising such a complex conflict
ï»żSurely this is a political conflict through and through. I find something sinister in pretending otherwise.

Last edited 3 years ago by Ian Perkins
cjhartnett1
cjhartnett1
3 years ago

It’s a good article.
Like you Giles, I’m all for Israel existing. They remain God’s people on a Biblical basis and Jerusalem is theirs. As is that scrap of land they’ve managed to turn into a successful democratic nation. As opposed to the grievance seeking eternal refugees and the quangos, Iran and dark lefty forces that fuel the conflict.
If the Arabs and Islamists dropped their guns, there’d be peace.
If Israel dropped theirs, there would be neither Jews or Israel..
Therein lies the difference.
Biden was the white flag, Trump had performed miracles and now we are getting what follows, when an election is stolen and the dark forces of Kerry and Brennan are restored.
Like you I pray for Israel, and know full well that it makes errors. But it’s the only democracy in the region , and Jews are in mortal peril without a state of their own as we’ve seen in recent history.
Golda Meir hoped for the day when Arab and Islamist parents and families would love their own children more than they hated the Jewish ones. Fifty years on. No further progress.

Aaron Kevali
Aaron Kevali
3 years ago
Reply to  cjhartnett1

“If Israel dropped theirs, there would be neither Jews or Israel..”
I would say this is true for all nations at one time or another, including the Arabs. They will be replaced on lands many have lived on for centuries, but a line was drawn by foreign powers, and they were on the wrong side of it. But this is the nature of human conflict, sometimes there has to be a winner. An adult trying to pretend that Israel will kindly stop expanding into Hebron and West Bank because the Arabs demilitarize, is, frankly, astonishing.
I am surprised that nobody tells Israel about the benefits of diversity and the potential for a glorious new rainbow nation, just look at South Africa since those horrible colonists gave power to the oppressed!

Paul Goodman
Paul Goodman
3 years ago

A 2019 study by the Washington Institute for Near East Policy found a majority of Palestinians do not think a two state solution should be “the end of conflict with Israel”. Draw your own conclusions on the prospects for peace in the light of that information. Is there perhaps something both addictive and contagious about Jihad?

Last edited 3 years ago by Paul Goodman
Ellen Finkle
Ellen Finkle
3 years ago

 prayer is able to hold even adversaries in a kind of loving attention
How about
 Verily, you will find the strongest among men in enmity to the believers (Muslims) the Jews
Koran 5.82

Giles Chance
Giles Chance
3 years ago

This long comment string indicates very clearly the nature of the Israel problem. In the string, we have pro-Israel comments receiving multiple + votes. Comments which are adverse to Israel have received multiple – votes. The pro-Israel readers are trying to cancel out, or delete, their opposition. Exactly the same as it occurring now on the ground in and around Israel. I repeat: there will be no peace in Israel until the Palestinians feel they have been fairly treated. The violence will go on, probably more fiercely, with many lives lost and not just Palestinian ones. It’s a tragedy. I believe that even the Israelis will become sickened by the violence and the slaughter, and eventually they will seek a lasting settlement. I pray so. It can’t be much fun living in a small country, with the threat of attack 24/7.

hijiki7777
hijiki7777
3 years ago

One of the triggers of the violence in Israel at the moment is the policy of the Israeli government to forcefully evict Palestinians from their homes. There is nothing they can do about it. They can’t vote for anyone to stop this from happening. The courts are often against them. I am not in favour of the destruction of Israel, but is it not surprising that they want the destruction of Israel given it is Israel that is the cause of the destruction of their community? What would be a reasonable way for them to resist Israeli aggression towards them?

Alex Lekas
Alex Lekas
3 years ago
Reply to  hijiki7777

the only trigger appears to be Israel’s stubborn insistence on not dying.

Andy Martin
Andy Martin
3 years ago
Reply to  hijiki7777

Concerning the “triggers of the violence in Israel at the moment,” I’ll quote someone who has been resident in Israel since 1969 and who seems a reliable and well informed source;
“The issue is delinquency in payment of court-ordered monthly rent (determined as about 1/4 of the going rate for similar Jerusalem homes) by Arab tenants living in homes owned by Jews prior to the 1948 war, who were expelled by Jordan.After the 6-Day War, courts awarded the legal owners of record recognition of ownership, but due to the political sensitivity, reached a compromise of the current residents paying a symbolic rent, acknowledging that they were not the legal owners of the property.
After the Oslo Accords, the PA “recommended” that the tenants stop paying the monthly rent (mid-1990s) and the issue of non-payment has dragged on since then, again due to the political sensitivity of the issue.
Just to make it clear, before 1948, the neighborhood was known as Shimon HaTzaddik, since it was a Jewish neighborhood.”

Bryan Green
Bryan Green
3 years ago
Reply to  hijiki7777

The homes in Sheikh Jarrah are actually owned by Jews and it has been a private land dispute in the courts for decades. In 1948 Jordan together with the combined armies of five Arab countries invaded and attacked the new one day old State of Israel with the expressed aim of destroying Israel and driving out, or killing, all the Jews. Jordan captured East Jerusalem, illegally occupied it and ethnically cleansed all it’s Jewish inhabitants including the owners of those homes. In 1967 the Arab armies again attacked Israel but again failed to destroy Israel who captured East Jerusalem in a defensive war. The Arab families were given permission to stay as long as they paid rent to the owners, something they have failed to do. Thus these Arab families are now being evicted and the homes are being returned to their rightful owners.

Linda Brown
Linda Brown
3 years ago
Reply to  hijiki7777

Pay the rent that i owed to the owners of the homes.

Francis MacGabhann
Francis MacGabhann
3 years ago

Is the conflict “complex”?

Aaron Kevali
Aaron Kevali
3 years ago

Maybe. Jewish settlers immigrate (legally I might add), their numbers grow, locals aren’t too happy, logical consequences follow.

rrostrom
rrostrom
3 years ago

When I was on the Left, I felt an instinctive default solidarity with whoever I perceived to be less powerful in any given situation.
In the 1860s, there was a prominent French liberal (anti-clerical, anti-monarchist, pro-civil-liberties, etc) newspaper editor/publisher. He took the side of the Confederacy in the American Civil War because they were rebels fighting for independence.

Justin Netter
Justin Netter
3 years ago

Hmmm…not really a great piece of writing. ‘The world’s a bad place, I wish it wasn’t but I don’t know how to fix it.’

Jorge Toer
Jorge Toer
3 years ago

A beautiful and charming writing,,thanks, you have my honor for that,,is in this days different opinions&views are published,,and most of them call to stop the Israeli aggression???
Everyone, from Turkish lider to Arabs liders,,progresives americans liders ,,blood are in hands of most of them and coming the opportunity to clean this in jewish blood&palestinian .
Shame everyone of them ,demonize Israel with the same rhetoric,,every Israeli knows that are alone ,in time of warfare is not friends,,and the normal ones are silent,,exept Czech and Austrians Austrians goberment openly are in our side,,thanks to them ,must God bless them.

vince porter
vince porter
3 years ago

How can religion be the salve when it is obviously the cause?

Jorge Toer
Jorge Toer
3 years ago

Thanks for the comments,,,but blood is in the public news,,the Guardian&The Independent=Palestinian kids kill in Gaza,,,London manifestations in favor of “Palestine”,, Israel is the occupation&aggressor?????
Humans lost my respect,,especially london progresives with arabs.

Steve Payne
Steve Payne
3 years ago

I agree it is not the case that because Israel is more powerful it must be the aggressor. But because Israel is more powerful it has the greater opportunity and responsibility for building peace. Israel still needs to learn that there will never be peace without the perception of justice. The contrast between Gaza and Tel Aviv screams injustice. Who’s fault that is is not the issue. For Israel to have peace it must win hearts and minds. As the Hebrew Scriptures say “If your enemy is hungry feed him, if he is thirsty give him drink, and you will heap burning coals on his head”

Ed B
Ed B
3 years ago

Really depressing to see that the response from the “right” here largely just being a mirror image of the response on the “left”: Israel Good, Hamas Bad rather than Hamas Good, Israel Bad. Then adding to the mix: left stupid, right clever vs right stupid, left clever.

Angus J
Angus J
3 years ago

“My wife was 11 when the first gulf war started in 1991. Saddam Hussein warned that he would “burn half of Israel”.”
Hamas want to burn twice as much of Israel as Saddam wanted to.

Last edited 3 years ago by Angus J
Giles Chance
Giles Chance
3 years ago

There will only be peace for Israel when the Palestinians feel they are being fairly treated, instead of being bullied, marginalised, having their land stolen. This is, or should be, the big takeaway from the hostilities and deaths, Will we see anything fair now ? No, just more bullying, backed up by the United States. So it will go on, year after year, with more deaths, mostly but not entirely Palestinian, until it gets intolerable, even for the Israelis.

John Morris
John Morris
3 years ago

It’s one thing to approve of a homeland for Jews but another to approve of Zion which claims all the land between the Red Sea and the Euphrates.

Huda
Huda
3 years ago

Ah yes, more attempts at drawing moral equivalence between criminal and victim to obscure what is otherwise clear cut to all functioning humans:

The basic bottomline is the same as always: ‘israel’ is built on land stolen from Palestine. No amount of Zionist tantrums can do anything to change this. The world supports Palestine because it is a cause easily relatable to every human versus the demented ethnocentric VIP-complex mess of modern Zionism only palatable to those intellectually devastated by severe indoctrination.

Giles Chance
Giles Chance
3 years ago
Reply to  Huda

…and palatable also to American politicians (and British ones, too) whose parties and whose persons have been the grateful recipients of Israeli largesse. See this C4 Dispatches documentary, shown 2 years ago. about the insidious and powerful penetration of British political life by Israel.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vw2TQSmzU6U

Jake Jackson
Jake Jackson
3 years ago
Reply to  Huda

Please inform us plebs about unstolen land. Thanks.

George Bruce
George Bruce
3 years ago

I am not at all a fan of Islam, which pretty automatically bars me from being a huge fan of Palestine.
But I would say I am very surprised how pro-Israel commenters on this article are.
I think the American dog is wagged by the Israeli tail and that has a lot of very dangerous implications.
If you are not already aware of it, it is worth reading about the visit of Netanyahu to the US during the presidency of Obama. His speeches to the American politicians very much sounded like one of those Communist-era situations where everyone glances around to see if anyone had stopped clapping yet, because you could not be the first to do so.

Last edited 3 years ago by George Bruce
Alex Lekas
Alex Lekas
3 years ago
Reply to  George Bruce

You are surprised that people here tend to support a society that shares Western values, that includes Arabs and Muslims, that does not behead or otherwise persecute social and ethnic minorities over a society that has no tolerance for others, uses children as shields, and finds death an aphrodisiac? Perhaps you can explain why.

George Bruce
George Bruce
3 years ago
Reply to  Alex Lekas

I am surprised how strong the support is. I see it as a very flawed state rather than one that supports Western values.

Alex Lekas
Alex Lekas
3 years ago
Reply to  George Bruce

Every state has flaws. Those in Israel do not include the ones evident among its neighbors. A two-state solution has been offered repeatedly. The same side keeps rejecting it.

George Bruce
George Bruce
3 years ago
Reply to  Alex Lekas

Fine. All I would say is 15 years ago I was as pro-Israeli as most of the commenters today seem to be. I am much less so now. I have not liked a lot of the things I have seen since, including the manipulation of Christians in the US.

Alex Lekas
Alex Lekas
3 years ago
Reply to  George Bruce

fair enough.

Annette Kralendijk
Annette Kralendijk
3 years ago
Reply to  George Bruce

Because Christians would not support a democracy under attack absent “manipulation”? Seems highly unlikely.

Gary Greenbaum
Gary Greenbaum
3 years ago

Mr Bruce’s claim of originally being an Israel partisan converted to his present state by events seems unlikely to me and offered merely for rhetoric.

George Bruce
George Bruce
3 years ago
Reply to  Gary Greenbaum

Actually, it is true. I was very much taken by the high intelligence and level of culture of the Jewish people I knew in London.
But I now do not think I should have extended that to what was then a fairly unconditional support of Israel.

Last edited 3 years ago by George Bruce