Britain’s colonial past is a feature in UK culture. Many in Britain believe there is a collective guilt about the part our ancestors played in the exploitation and slavery in the British empire. (though British William Wilberforce triumphed in his mission to end slavery.)
There is much in the media and in print about our unfathomable mindset during those colonial years, while we seemingly wanted to dominate the world scene from India to Australia..
Today Britain’s grandchildren and great-grandchildren find it difficult to understand the old mentality, as more and more discoveries of heinous actions of some British “Red Coats” are still being uncovered. For a lot of Britons, it cements shame on the memories of us parading around the world in “military style”, subjugating nations, and controlling races and peoples.
After World War 2, colonialism began to be a truly reviled system. Countries under British rule finally broke free as the oxygen of freedom and independence began to spread and crack Britain’s empire.
The new generation of Britons now considered their colonial past as a huge blot on the historical landscape of their country like a scar, of which we are often from the tales of those who still are alive, and who lived under British rule.
We have tried to eradicate that old colonial mindset completely from our culture, as did the world at the same time.
Could that be why, when the Boycott Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) or Pro-Palestinian movements, declare Israel to be a new colonial state, some Britons, with their pre-disposed guilt at their old colonialism, will condemn Israel as a supposed domineering state, lording it over the indigenous peoples…..like we did!
In many eyes across the world, the Palestinians have now become the new Aborigines, Indians, Africans etc.
Is that why we are prime targets, sitting ducks if you will, for the BDS movement, as they put pressure on the UK and the world to target and delegitimize Israel.
In the UK, we are often drip-fed anti-Israel sentiment with no recourse to any other side, save perhaps a line or two saying what Israel’s statement is, in an entire newspaper piece mostly berating Israel.
When Sussex Friends of Israel meet outside Ecostream on a weekly basis, to counter the BDS’ lies and hatred, it often emerges that some members of the public are genuinely unaware of any other narrative apart from which the anti-Israel media presents. So when the boycotters arrive on the scene with placards and posters showing Israel as a tyrannical entity, there is nothing to refute it, and simply backs up what the public themselves have been already drip-fed!
That is why Sussex Friends of Israel’s mission (apart from countering the BDS) is quite simple: To share and communicate Israel’s side of the story to a public who actually may never have heard it, and to give perspective and clarity to those who may have only heard one side.