This is Melanie McDonagh in the Spectator.
Israel’s 70th anniversary celebrations ignore an inescapable fact. I think she meant ‘inescapable fiction’ unless she had the same history teacher as Ken Livingstone.
“The founding of Israel was the consequence of an historic injustice to the people already living there.
Look at that sentence. Does it make sense? It’s as if she’s seen something on a pro-Palestinian forum - say: “The consequence of the founding of Israel was that those already living there suffered a historic injustice.” then decided to chop it up with scissors and reassemble it in random order.
“The founding of Israel was the consequence of an historic injustice to the people already living there” is not even a coherent sentence in the English language Melanie, but even if you re-arranged the wording to mean what I assume you intended it to, it would still be wrong because the founding of the state of Israel needn’t have been an injustice to the “people already living there”, some of whom were Jews by the way.
If the Arabs had stayed put, as the founders of the new state of Israel advised them to, they would have become citizens of Israel and benefited from the prosperity that the Jews brought about, just like the Arabs who chose to remain where they were.
If the surrounding Arab countries hadn’t waged their intended war of annihilation there needn’t have been any conflict at all. If only the Arabs weren’t so intransigent, so intolerant of Jews their self-inflicted Nakba need never have happened. Their unnecessary wars are the sole reason for their catastrophe.
‘But to say so has become not just an error of taste but risks putting yourself in very bad company, of anti-Semites and the kind of people who make up groups such as Momentum.”
And if you did say so, that’s exactly what you would be. Very bad company, antisemitic, and appallingly ill-informed. I really didn’t expect to see such nonsense in the Spectator. Not above the line, at any rate.
“And that, as I say, is the problem. Because when it comes to the founding of the state of Israel 70 years ago, the inescapable fact is that it was founded on the expulsion or displacement of over 700,000 people”
Change “inescapable fact to “inescapable fiction” and you might be near the mark. I wonder if McDonagh reads the comments. If so, she will have been put right by several of them. She doesn’t seem to be aware that hundreds of thousands of Jews were forcibly displaced from Arab and North African countries said to number 850,000.
“Palestinians who had next to no involvement with the persecution of the Jews in the Holocaust which gave urgency to the question of a Jewish state.”
“Why should the “Palestinians” be “punished” for the crimes of the Germans?” seems to be Melanie McDonagh’s message. We’ve heard that line of reasoning before. In fact, we heard it the other day on the Today Programme from the founder of Hamas, Dr. Mahmoud al-Zahar.
“You put your enemy in our land,” said he. ”You English inflicted them (The Joos) on us to compensate for what Hitler did.”
Are these views representative of the Irish/Catholic mindset? I am very sorry the Spectator allowed this past their quality control.
“They did not intend to vacate their homes for the founders of the new state; they left terrified, but, by and large, fully intending to return.”
Yes, poor things, they were supposed to return when the Jews had been eliminated. Too bad it didn’t work out, Melanie.
“Three, four, generations on, they are still refugees, and the consequences for neighbouring states like Lebanon has been nothing short of catastrophic.”
Wrong. The Lebanese are suffering a different catastrophe; Hezbollah is virtually in control there. No other set of refugees can pass down their status through the generations. You must know that, surely.
I repeat this section from the piece I appropriated the other day, from Aviv Ezra, in American Thinker.
“This is the real tragedy of the Palestinian Arabs. Those who left their homes wound up not far from home, in Arab countries which had supported their cause during the war. They were among other Arabs, who spoke the same language, had the same culture, and the same religion. No refugee population should have had it easier, given that Arabs wound up among their own people. But the Arab countries refused to allow normal resettlement, as usually occurs with refugees, instead relegating many refugees to squalid camps, in which their families have lived now for 3 or 4 generations. Many Palestinians have chosen to remain in these camps dreaming of a return to Israel, clanging old keys from 70 years back, or been threatened if they wanted to leave. But how can you “return” to a place where you have never lived or even visited? The truth of the matter is that there may be no more than 25,000 refugees remaining alive from the 1948 war. The rest are descendants -- children, grandchildren even great-grandchildren of original refugees, none of whom have been in Israel or left it.”
Why am I complaining about a piece in the Spectator on a blog about the BBC? Because this BBC-like version of history paves the way for what’s happening right now in the Israel/Gaza border. ITV is as bad, as is Channel 4. Lindsey Hilsum upped the number of displaced Palestinians to one million and threw in an imaginative ‘massacre’ for good measure. Check out Emma Murphy on the ITV website, too:
“During our time here the phrase we have heard over and over again from Gazans is they live in an open air prison and Israel is their warder.
It is not hard to see why.
There’s a lack of jobs, electricity, clean water and the basic services needed for a well functioning society. A Palestinian colleague summed up the crisis in medical care telling me, “If you get a cancer diagnosis you may as well start digging your own grave. They can’t treat it properly here and there’s little chance of getting out to get care.”
This stretch of land is under almost complete blockade and has been for a decade. The Israelis control the north and eastern crossings, as well as the sea to the west and the skies. The Egyptians control the southern border crossing.
It's all there, nicely packaged into one inflammatory, grossly misleading, Israel-bashing message. She even topped it off with the “not enough Israelis have been killed” meme.
“So far, with no death or injury on the Israeli side, 49 Palestinians have been killed in six weeks of protest and thousands more injured.”
The Today Programme had a go, too. John Humphrys was decidedly snappy with Dore Gold.
“Israel is celebrating its birth as a nation 70 yrs ago today and the US is recognising Jerusalem as its capital by opening its embassy there from Tel Aviv where it’s always been much to celebrate but also much to fear. Hope of a peaceful settlement with Palestine has evaporated over the years and the talk today is of war with its powerful neighbour Iran. I’ve been talking to a man who’s been closely involved over the years in trying to find a peaceful settlement. Dr Hussein Agha of Oxford University…..
(In the absence of the Today Programme’s ‘running order’ facility, it took me ages to find out who Dr. Agha is.)
“….who tried and failed, during the Obama administration, to broker and Israeli Palestinian peace agreement”
I steeled myself for the pro-Palestinian propaganda that I expected would follow, but apart from insisting that Mahmoud Abbas believes in achieving peace through diplomacy, (presumably, as opposed to 'through violence') which seems decidedly at odds with his behaviour during the so-called ‘stabbing intifada'. (Not to mention the 'vehicular intifada'; oh, and the glorification of martyrs and murderers.) But apart from that, as I was saying, he seemed very reasonable.
This was further endorsed by the next speaker, Dore Gold, who praised Dr. Agha and made some wise observations of his own vis-à-vis Iran and the global political situation in general.
Humphrys hastily steered the conversation away from that, returning to the specific issue of the US Embassy move and the use of live ammunition on the Gaza border:
“shooting so many protesters dead”.
“That’s more than a provocation, that’s a positively criminal act. Israel has to behave in a more reasonable manner”.
Mr. Gold made a lighthearted remark about Israel’s PR, (it could do with a shot in the arm) which was immediately pounced upon by the scathing anti-Israel brigade on Twitter, then he continued:
“I will say this. What’s going on in Gaza, and the misunderstanding about Gaza is extremely problematic - you basically have an illegitimate organisation, Hamas, regarded as a terrorist organisation by the Arab States, and they are pursuing an illegitimate goal, which is to break down the border fence between Gaza and sovereign Israel and they’re doing it by illegitimate means, using children as human shields”
“Well..” (JH, interrupting)
“I would expect the foreign policy establishment, certainly in the west and certainly in the UK to reflect that reality…
“Alright, well..” (JH, interrupting)
“I’m afraid that isn’t happening.”
“We’ve run out of time.”
After a doom-laden piece from Tom Bateman, who acts as a spokesperson for the Palestinians - (remember Alan Johnson pleading “But I’m telling your story” as he was being whisked off and held captive for months by the very people he was supporting?) Maybe Hamas will kidnap Tom Bateman.
All day the Israel-bashing has been going on, so I’ll end with this from Col Richard Kemp, writing on the Gatestone Institute website:
I predict a riot — and much worse. The Palestinian terrorist group Hamas is orchestrating a 'demonstration' at the beginning of this week of up to 200,000 people on the Gaza border with Israel, and is intent on turning it into an orgy of death and bloodshed. If that happens, the UN and EU, human rights groups and many Western media organizations will have helped bring it about.
This is what they do. The BBC, ITV, Channel four - and now the Spectator - are all ‘helping to bring about’ the bloodshed as well as the subsequent vilification of Israel and the consequential anti-Semitism. I didn’t expect it from the Spectator, but there you have it.
“…………. so the true and malevolent purpose of Hamas's plan is to incite violence in such a way that the IDF has no choice but to respond with lethal force, killing Gaza civilians. This makes Hamas the first government in history to deliberately lure its enemies to kill its own civilian population. Why does it wish to sacrifice its people so barbarically? To bring down upon Israel the vilification of the Western world. To isolate and criminalise the country and cause condemnation by political leaders, the UN and the EU, human rights groups, academics and the media.”