Last week the UK’s Guardian expressed shame over what it called “the worst error of judgment,” namely the British 1917 Balfour declaration guaranteeing Jews a right to a “homeland.” It may not have been the error in judgment the Guardian alleges. The strain of anti-Semitism in Britain runs strong and deep, dating from the arrival in England of those Jews fleeing Eastern European persecutions even before the Middle Ages, and reflected in some of their names: the Anglicized St. James (Sint Yames) and Disraeli. They were different, they wore enormous cartwheel sable hats, they spoke Polish, Yiddish, Lithuanian, God knows what other abominable languages, and they smelled of garlic. (You don’t have to be Jewish to love garlic! But if you do, you are certainly not British.)
The world of 1917 belonged to an era in which settler colonialism had not yet been exhausted, and what better place to rid England of its Jews than a tiny enclave in the Middle East, a region that would be chopped up into the pieces of post World War I Iraq, Afghanistan, etc. It hardly made a difference at the time because it was all on paper anyway.
Fast forward to now: the Israeli bombing of the Gaza headquarters of World Press, Associated Press and Al Jazeera, indicating that Israel needs to censor anything coming out of the Occupied Territories that might look atrocious to the outside world, including the massed crowds of delusionals dancing in jubilation at the slaughter outside the Jerusalem wailing wall, including the posting of a fake 2020 video from Syria to justify its bombing campaign. In war it’s better to keep the country’s delusionals under wraps, and to preserve the perceptions of foreign born delusionals that “Israel has a right to defend itself,” voiced by the U. S. president and others in high office; to somehow minimize the slaughter of some 109 Gazans, including 28 children, the wounding of 62l, the eviction of 13 families from Jerusalem’s Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood (it’s important to understand that over many generations old Palestinian families never move), the invasion, tear gassing, and use of live ammunition at Al Aqsa Mosque where Palestinians were observing the last day of Ramadan, the destruction by bombing of 350 housing units, displacing some 500 families, and the use by members of the IDF of the knee-to-neck maneuver that murdered George Floyd.
| 58,000 Palestinians displaced by Israel bombs|
Palestinians remained undeterred. Tens of thousands of Muslim worshippers observed Eid al Fitr at Al Aqsa and then rallied in its courtyards in solidarity with the Gazan resistance. Abroad, Palestinian unionists are building international solidarity. The resistance has fired 1,000 rockets into Israel, most falling into the desert, but the asymmetry of this war has been described as “shooting fish in a barrel” by Juan Cole writing for Informed Comment. (This particular article includes important statistical background on the occupation.)
On April 27 Human Rights watch released its over 200 page report “A Threshold Crossed: Israeli Authorities and the Crimes of Apartheid and Persecution” pegged on the 1998 Rome Statute, the race-based order through which Israel “governs” the Jewish and Palestinian population, which allegedly amounts to Apartheid. More than ever, the time for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions has come, and that is exactly why Boris Johnson, the UK’s version of #45, is intent on banning public bodies from launching any boycott campaign.
Some 20 years ago both Israeli and Palestinian representatives joined forces in Madrid to start a “peace process” laying down the groundwork for a “two-state Solution.” But as the bombs rain down on Gaza, that solution seems even farther beyond grasp. The carnage is aided and abetted by the U.S. Our very own Democratic president is rumored to have blocked a UN cease fire resolution, and trumpets the bromide that “Israel has a right to exist,” ignoring the hot war that is now taking place there. I used to think that the blind support of AIPAC in this country had to do with serious blackmail, namely U.S. complicity in the events of 9-11. It seems gonadly pitiful to imagine that Jeffrey Epstein’s honey pot operation here in N.Y.C. and the Caribbean, may be playing a bigger role.
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