Sunday, 22 July 2012


I just saw a newspaper headline to the effect that Israel, as if that were a person, fears an attack upon its athletes at the Olympics.

Which puts me in mind of something I heard on the radio at dawn. Today is the anniversary of the bombing of the King David Hotel in 1946 by the Irgun.

Why might Palestinians attack Israelis? Because they see Israelis as having stolen their land and treated the survivors as contemptible inferiors.

Why did the Irgun do what they did? As part of the campaign to steal Palestine.

I keep asking anyone and everyone what justification there is for the existence of the supposed state of Israel.

Generally, there are two answers. One is that it has been recognised by U.N.

I tend then to ask how that stands with Israel's selective acceptance of U.N. decisions. The answers, when they come, vary but they are always special pleas. Often merely asking the question ends the conversation  and perhaps the dialogue.

I am careful to use the word Israelis. I value my Jewish friends. Many of them have broken that friendship because of my position...

The other answer takes a number of forms: (a) the bible says it is the promised land... and I can't be bothered with that. I suspect that is going to be the end of any intelligent discussion. Sometimes I have said that I am glad they mentioned that because the night before God spoke to me and told me he had changed his mind. You can imagine how that goes, although there is some variety.

(b) Jews have always been in Palestine. They say "Israel" of course. Well, yes, but that takes us back to the Balfour Declaration -- a homeland, not a state. They would, I suggest, have been welcomed if many had not tried to take over, if they hadn't grabbed the best, if they hadn't behaved like racists, if they hadn't asserted the priority of their beliefs. In general, this produces an idiots' response: I don't know about that.

I feel much as I did over "9/11". Are you really surprised? Are you so assured of your innate superiority and right to behave as you wish, that you cannot see how your behaviour looks to those you walk on?

The answer -- on the few occasions I have ever put that question to gung ho USAmericans or Israelis -- is incomprehension: it seems to me they don't allow themselves to understand.

Some years ago, I met a friend whom I had not seen in a couple of decades. He is ethnic Polish. His family fled Poland in the 40s. His mother was in the Warsaw uprising. As the alcohol was consumed, he began speaking to me of the world wide Jewish conspiracy. I asked how he of all people could believe such crap. He just went into bullshit denial and assertion. I won't repeat it. It became abusive. I should just have walked out. That is the end of that.

And I feel the same about Israel. I feel it especially when they insist that they must have a homeland, that it is a right to have a homeland... One not long ago insisted that I have a homeland and therefore should demand he has one; and refused to accept my rebuttal. On a world scale, I said, I may be in relatively quite fortunate circumstances; but I do not feel as if I am in my country -- I have no country -- I have a passport but -- I am not at home here; I am not English...

He refuted that and went on to reassert that, because of *his ethnicity he has a right to decide where he belongs and where he does not belong; and, by implication, this has the force of law on all of us. Who knows but it may justify for him his right to plant bombs as part of the argument. We didn't get that far and there was no suggestion of it; but the logic would seem to have a foundation there in that false assertion. I derided his special pleading so strongly that the conversation came to an end; but there was no debate to be had.

He said: "I do not know what you mean by special pleading". He said "I never do know." so I must have said it before. I explained (again). He professed not to understand by means of an exceptionalist argument. I explained that itself is a special plea. He said "No it isn't". I remarked that he had just denied knowing the meaning of the term. He said "No I didn't"

How many more must die while this nonsense goes on?

None I hope; but I am not hopeful.

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