(Jews are victims of the West’s Post-Colonial Ignorance and Postmodern Political Bigotry)
Immediately following the events of 10/7, across the world people were interviewed who explained that this was the actions of a people that had been waiting for 75 years for “return”. Mohammad Shtayyeh, the Prime Minister of the Palestinian Authority was more honest. He stated that Jerusalem (the whole city) must be the Palestinian Capital, and all the refugees returned to their homes inside Israel. The way that Israel’s enemies parroted an identical narrative of victimhood and need for return to pre-1948 lines would indicate that this latest twist in the conflict, was co-ordinated well in advance of the 10/7 massacres.
Since the creation of the State of Israel the revanchists have been assiduously rewriting Jewish history in order to fit that history into a straight-jacketed narrative that denied Israelis any rights of self-defense. Since 10/7 the bigots have escalated their rhetorical deceit to justify mass-rape, torture, and the slaughter of unarmed civilians. And it seems that so-called progressives have embraced this narrative. But then, none of this is new, we should not have been surprised. This narrative of ‘all actions by Palestinians are acceptable’ as demonstrated by the global (selective) human rights community, and so many more people besides is again, not news.
Revanchism – is from the French word “revenge” – and it means the political manifestation of the will to reverse territorial losses incurred by a country (or in this case, a missionary faith), often following a war or social movement” (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Revanchism)
Over many decades we have been negligent in our response, and this must change.
The Balfour Declaration was published in November 1917. It called for a national home for Jews. Nothing happens in isolation. The Declaration came as Russia, convulsed by revolution also called for national self-determination for the minority peoples of Russia. What then followed (in January 1918) was US President Woodrow Wilson’s Fourteen Points – this was a statement of principles for peace. It was intended as a guide for those negotiating the end of conflict in World War One. A key principle (number 5) called for political freedom in the colonies. In a speech to Congress on February 11, 1918, he further enunciated his fourteen points in what was referred to as his “Four Principles.” The two of relevance to this discussion are:
The peacemakers had to respect the rights of small nations and regions: “Peoples and provinces are not to be bartered about from sovereignty to sovereignty.” And: “the interests of local populations trumped those of the Great Powers.”
Any discussion of Jewish rights inevitably falls short of the truth when it is claimed that Jews were an insignificant minority in the Holy Land and therefore had (and have) no rights of self-determination. What is omitted is that for most of the period from at least, 1,400 BCE, Jews were the majority population within what was the Kingdom of Israel, the Kingdom of Judah, Judea, and Samaria. That presence in the land of Israel continued until a two-century hiatus ensued following on from the invasion of Israel in 632 CE by the Islamic-Arab imperial juggernaut. A Jewish return to Israel resumed prior to the Crusades. That immigration was fueled by a desperate messianic hope for any future other than the present, mired as it was, in relentless insecurity. The Jewish population rose and fell with the terror unleashed by successive Christian and Muslim conquerors.
From 1828 onwards Jerusalem had a Jewish majority (there were more jews than Christians and more Jews than Muslims). In 1864 a census undertaken by the British embassy revealed Jerusalem to be 80% Jewish. And yet, the social media record of this is inexplicably non-existent. As are falls in the Jewish population, often a collapse, whether in Jerusalem or elsewhere throughout Israel which curiously, was not accompanied by a commensurate Christian or Muslim cataclysm and was/is left unexplained.
To be clear about this: Jews have been yearning for or actually “returning” to Israel since 597 BCE. The Prophet Ezekiel, exiled to Babylon, wrote these words: “By the rivers of Babylon, there we sat down, yea, we wept, when we remembered Zion.” Zion – is where the movement and word “Zionism” originates. Spiritual and religious Zionism has existed for over 2,600 years. Political Zionism did not begin with Theodore Herzl. Rabbi Zvi Hirsch Kalisher (born 1795) promoted Zionism as did his contemporary Judah ben Solomon Chai Alkalai (born 1798). Both promoted a return to the land as part of a religious Zionist movement.
The persecution of Jews, “blaming” that oppression of Jews on Zionism is a lie based on ignorance or on a malevolent form of deceit. Anti-Zionism, the rejection of our return to Israel is based on a foreign, colonizing ideology. It is buttressed by a theology that believes all conquered land to be an Islamic inheritance. Accordingly, to oppose that theology is a blasphemy.
In a world that sanitizes hate as long as it springs forth from a theological fountain, domination is basic. In much of the world it is a religious mania; a theology that mandates captured territory to be an eternal patrimony. It is why al Qaeda bombed the Madrid train network in 2004, murdering almost two hundred people, and why neo-Ottoman Turkey conquered Northern Cyprus and to this day claims that the whole of the Mediterranean Basin belongs to it, contrary to all international maritime laws. It is central to a theological conquest philosophy. It is called Dar al-Harb. We humans complicate in order to obfuscate. The Muslim world hates Israel because Israel has freed itself from an Islamist theological prison; one that is suffered by minorities throughout the Near-East. This intolerance is not because it cries out for justice for Palestinians but because it demands inequality and usually, it institutionalizes it. But human rights organization will not issue any reports on this phenomenon, nor will they accuse any other nation of apartheid. Let us not forget that the world has conveniently ignored the plight of some forty million Kurds, persecuted, and denied the most basic right to self-determination in order to placate todays artificially created Near-Eastern nation states.
When European empires were disintegrating into a multiplicity of nation states the lines that were drawn were not perfect but reflected ethnic identities. None of this redressing of inequality occurred within the Near-eastern region, except within historic Israel.
At the time of the Balfour Declaration there were exactly five independent Muslim majority states. The only Muslim-majority regions not to be colonized by the Europeans were Saudi Arabia, Iran, Turkey, the Sultanate of Oman, and Afghanistan. Turkey was one of the first colonial powers in the world with the Ottoman empire having dominion over a vast region for over 6 centuries (from 1299 – 1922).
If the fascists want to argue that the first Balfour Declaration (there was a Second Balfour Declaration issued in 1926) is a tragedy for the Middle East, then they need to agree that the forty-four Muslim majority nations, that also aspired to and received their independence in the wake of that first Balfour Declaration are an even greater tragedy because of the human misery that many if not most of them have caused for the minorities in their midst. A single example will suffice. Lebanon was granted its independence in 1941 (from France). But it is a nation split along sectarian lines between Christian, Sunni Muslim, Shiite Muslim, and Druze, who after a fifteen-year civil war (1975-1990) that saw one hundred and fifty thousand people killed (about five percent of the total population) and almost one million displaced has, to this day, not enjoyed peace. It cannot. Each of the separate religious factions hate and fear each other. At one point in that war there were twenty-two separate internal armies operating against each other in constantly shifting alliances. The creation of that one Lebanese nation was a convenience for France but a disaster for the region.
The latest racist meme against Israeli independence refers to a 75-year injustice (Israel’s winning in 1948, against all the odds, of independence). The real injustice is that according to the logic of that meme (and human history supports this interpretation), Jews have no right to immigration, have no right to be declared “refugees” and have no right to choose where to flee. According to the racist, fascist, and anti-Jewish United Nations Special Rapporteur for the Palestinian Territories, Francesca Albanese, Jews have no right to defend themselves against an openly genocidal aggressor (Hamas). We should just “turn the other cheek,” have the good grace to die as previous generations did, in silence. The inhumanity is breathtaking.
Apparently, human rights only attach to other people wishing for a better life in the Western World. But not Jews.
There are few nations that have gained independence from their colonial overlords that have enjoyed everlasting peace, and they tend to be Western nations. Israel, however, is the only one that is unforgiven for its birth and survival.
Israel should not ever forget this lesson in duplicity, mendacity and bigotry.