Wednesday, November 7, 2012
Myths Lies and Damn Lies (Part 1)
1) Link between concessions and readiness to negotiate.
In fact the opposite applies – when Britain intervened in the Conflict in Northern Ireland against the Irish Republican Army it insisted that in order for negotiations on a peaceful settlement to begin there must first be a period of calm. This meant not a single act of violence must be committed by the IRA during this time. The resulting peace translated into 19 months without any sectarian violence in Northern Ireland before the agenda for a single meeting was set. Only then would negotiations in good faith commence. Israel offered to negotiate if the Palestinians could guarantee 12 months without violence and then 6 months without violence and then 2 months …eventually it was reduced to 2 weeks. All these concessions to violence took place against a backdrop of public pressure by the USA on Israel to begin negotiation without any preconditions. Let us be clear that it was Israel that was told to negotiate without pre-conditions. Eventually, the ‘no violence clause’ was dropped. There is a causal link between concessions and violence.
2) Link between settlements and negotiation.
The only period of progress in the conflict has been during periods in which expectations were low or non-existent and most important of all, the Palestinian side had something to lose by not negotiating. If Palestinians perceived that they were negotiating from strength they became more belligerent, not less. When Obama extracted 9 months of no settlement activity from Israel there was no negotiation between the two sides despite Israel’s acquiescence to the Presidents (and the Palestinians) demand. The only benefit to either side was that the Palestinians felt more confident that a long term strategy of disengagement and violence worked in their favour.
3) Palestinians are victims of aggression.
The Guardian published a table that took past conflicts or tyrannies and recalibrated their death tolls so their scale could be directly compared with contemporary events. For instance the death toll in WW2 was 55 million people (it ranges higher amongst some sources). This is equivalent in 20th century terms to 55 million people. The Middle Eastern Slave trade (controlled by the Islamic, mostly Arab world between the 7th Century CE and the 19th CE) cost 18 million deaths which in 20th century terms is 100 million dead. It is the third greatest (continuous) act of carnage in recorded human history. The Arab Israeli conflict saw 50,000 deaths between 1950 and the present or between 100,000 and 200,000 deaths between 1881 and 2012.
It is difficult to seriously consider the Palestinians as victims of ongoing aggression when as Arabs they persecuted both immigrant and indigenous Jews. This was one of, if not the driving force behind a desire for Jewish self-determination. Put simply: Palestinians (Arabs) committed most of the acts of aggression against Palestinians (Jews) and Palestinians (Arabs) and Palestinians (not-Arab and not Jewish). If you preach hate and incite others to violence then you cannot, except within a warped moral universe, claim to be the victim of aggression when the victim fights back and historically it is the Jews of Palestine who have been the victims of aggression who have indeed in less than the last century began to fight back.
4) Islam 632 CE (AD).
Many intelligent people assume that Islam is a faith at least as old as Hinduism or Judaism. We may take the death of Muhammad in 632 CE as the date at which Islam became something greater than one man’s personal empire. Islam may or may not have been the creation, in the 7th Century CE, of a man named Muhammad. His followers fleshed out the narrative, the myths and ethos of the faith over the next couple of centuries. But the theological genius was in stating that Islam preceded all human thought and that Allah was in every man’s soul from the beginning. Therefore all acts of creation are Islamic and all acts of destruction either anti-Islamic or Allah’s punishment to the unworthy infidel. It makes all culture and all civilisation products of Islamic thought.
This is cultural theft but also highly effective propaganda. It creates the theological justification for imperialism because the Muslim may take by force what is Islamic by right. Every act of cruelty or deception is mandated by God. If the Law is the word of God it is unchangeable and as a consequence cannot be revised. All of the racism and religious bigotry, all of the calls to ethnic cleansing and genocide cannot be set aside because they are the unalterable word of God. But if Islam is no more than ‘a’ rather ‘the’ final phase in human development then logically we should all, including all the Arabs, become Mormons! (I am sure Mitt Romney would agree with that one). It is not frivolous. Theology is central to Islamic aggression and to Arab hostility. Prove one to be invalid and you remove the justification for almost 1,500 years of Muslim conquest.
The Arab - Muslim / Liberal – Left propaganda machines have turned the Arab people into the indigenous inhabitants of Palestine; and all Jews, European (or American) into interlopers. It may embarrass African American President Obama as he considers his victory today (and the start of his second term as President of the most powerful nation on the Earth) that the ruler of Palestine has told black Jews to ‘go back to where they came from’ (mainly Ethiopia and the USA). Racism in the Arab world is never acknowledged but it is fundamental to a world view that places the Arab race above humanity.
5) Zionism is Racism
Zionism is no more and no less than the right to Jewish self-determination in the negotiable geographical area delineated by Biblical Israel. Any nationalism will have its extremists. I am British. This does not make me a supporter of Combat 18 or the BNP (the former neo-Nazi, the latter extreme right-wing). Nationalism is defined simply as identifying a group of people as having the characteristics of a common group that ties them (either spiritually or ‘physically’) to a specific geographical area. Zionism does not have to be specifically Jewish but it does require Jewish political autonomy. In a theoretical future the possibility of a non-Jewish majority having control over a Jewish state is not at variance with the principle of Zionism. The necessity for a Jewish majority is not a requirement for political control of Israel as long as there is acceptance of a dominant Jewish political identity.