Blog bullet points
On Saturday 17th February, I was, with others, giving out leaflets for the Stop the War Coalition meeting ( 1st March at the Central United Reform Church 7pm. Our Chairman Mushier Al Farra is speaking).
We were approached by a young man who said he was opposed to what we were saying. Given that we were arguing for peace, we were a little taken aback. It turned out that he objected to one of the placards. It said ‘Free Gaza’. He then stated why he believed the slogan was wrong. We could have just dismissed him as ill informed. However given the vast misinformation in the media, we would dismiss a huge chunk of the British population if we adopted that approach. It was clear that we were not going to win him over to a solidarity position there and then. What we did was to flag up where we disagreed. We asked him to check a number of things that showed that Israel was an expansionist, racist state, that was oppressing the Palestinians. It would have been nice if he had asked us to accept ‘facts’ that were uncomfortable to us. He declined to do so.
This blog is intended to highlight some of the key facts that Israeli supporters don’t like but cannot hide.
- Israel was born with the ethnic cleansing of 700,000 Palestinians. The ethnic cleansing was well under way before any Arab army intervened. See for example “Daniel Blatman, an Israeli historian and head of the Institute for Contemporary Jewry at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, penned an op-ed for the Israeli daily Haaretz stating that ethnic cleansing “is exactly what happened in 1948.” To support this, “determined that most of the Arabs in the country, over 400,000, were encouraged to leave or expelled in the first stage of the war—even before the Arab nations’ armies invaded” or The ethnic cleansing of Palestine by Illan Pappe The UN passed a resolution stating that the Palestinian refugees should have a right of return to their homes. This right was denied by Israel.
- Israel is expansionist (From PSC) Israel won wars in 1948 and 1967. It has expanded its illegal settlements ever since. The UN security council stated ‘1. Reaffirms that the establishment by Israel of settlements in the Palestinian territory occupied since 1967, including East Jerusalem, has no legal validity and constitutes a flagrant violation under international law and a major obstacle to the achievement of the two-State solution and a just, lasting and comprehensive peace;’ 2334 December 2016 Israel ignored the resolution and just over a month later announced a new settlement. There are between 600,000 and 800,000 illegal Israeli settlers in the West Bank.
- Israel has established an Apartheid state There is a definition here. If there are separate laws, separate courts, separate areas, separate roads then there is Apartheid. This is the ex Israeli Ambassador to South Africa Alon Liel “In the situation that exists today, until a Palestinian state is created, we are actually one state. This joint state — in the hope that the status quo is temporary — is an apartheid state,” A UN sub committee stated that “This report concludes that Israel has established an apartheid regime that dominates the Palestinian people as a whole. Aware of the seriousness of this allegation, the authors of the report conclude that available evidence establishes beyond a reasonable doubt that Israel is guilty of policies and practices that constitute the crime of apartheid as legally defined in instruments of international law”. Desmond Tutu: ‘U.S. Christians Must Recognize Israel as Apartheid State’
- Israel mistreats Palestinian children. Sarah Champion has described the abuse of Palestinian in Israeli courts here.
- Israel steals Palestinian water. Israel won the war in 1967. Its military dominance lets it take 80% of the water that Palestinians need. Israelis get four-fifths of scarce West Bank water, says World Bank
- Blockade of Gaza “Gaza is a prison camp” Davis Cameron “…the policy of blockade that preceded the operations and that in the Mission’s view amounts to collective punishment intentionally inflicted by the Government of Israel on the people of the Gaza Strip.” and “U.N. Goldstone report. “ and “deeds by the Israeli armed forces and words of military and political leaders prior to and during the operations indicate that, as a whole, they were premised on a deliberate policy of disproportionate force aimed not at the enemy but at the “supporting infrastructure.” In practice, this appears to have meant the civilian population.” The Goldstone report.
We had hoped he would return a little less ill-informed and ready to continue the discussion. Sadly, he did not. I am putting this as a blog in the hope that he and other pro Israelis will read it. I am human, I may have made a mistake. Please point out any errors. If you read it and find no errors, surely you should join us and demand justice for the Palestinians.