Wednesday, 10 May 2017

Some facts about Israel/Palestine | Melanie Phillips at Berkeley

West Bank, aka "Occupied Territories", aka Judea & Samaria
There's an argument about the demographics in Israel at the time of partition in 1947.  Benny Morris is one I've read a fair bit of, and I think he's reasonably straight, though rather critical of Israel, for my taste.  Demographics are not completely neutral.  You can have Jewish or Arabic majorities, depending which part of modern day "Palestine" or which part of historical "Mandatory Palestine", or which part of ancient historic Holy Lands, you take as your base.  My understanding is during the early part of the 20th century, during the time of the Peel Commission, the Balfour Letter and declaration, the League of Nations then United Nations, in the area that is now core Israel (i.e., not including West Bank, Jews were in the slight majority.
Then again if you trace it back -- as the Palestinians are always wont to do -- then the essential point is Melanie's: "we wuz here first".
She also gives UN resolution 242 a bit of an over-fast spin. It doesn't specifically give Israel the right to keep the West Bank; rather that a condition for giving it back had be the recognition of the state of Israel to live in peace. Israel accepted. The Palestinians did not. (As they said at the time, Yasser Arafat never missed an opportunity to miss an opportunity.)
In any case, a Melanie Phillips gives a useful summary here of the state of play with history. And one that university of Berkeley banned for fear its students would be "triggered" and 'harmed" by ideas. This is a truly scary development. Google "antifa" demos to see how fascist the "antiFascist" left can be...
Melanie's conclusion:
So we all have a choice. We can support the racist, colonialist, anti-democratic Palestinian agenda based on a police state, the oppression of gays and women, the goal of occupying the Jews' own country, antisemitism, racist ethnic cleansing and the expropriation not just of a people's land but their own history.
Or we can support Israel, the only country in the Middle East where Arabs and Muslims, women and gays have political and religious freedom, which stands for upholding democracy, law, justice and human rights and which genuinely wants coexistence rather than conflict.