…by Stuart Littlewood, Britain
On that day, after their terror groups had plundered and massacred, they declared statehood on another people’s lands, and that included Old Jerusalem. Everyone who has been there is charmed by this exquisite city of great antiquity. It has survived two dozen wars and is the focal point for the two peoples – Palestinians and Jews – and the three religions, Judaism, Islam and Christianity.
Its many holy places are a magnet to the faithful of all denominations from all corners of the world, which is why Jerusalem was designated an international city under separate management in the UN’s 1947 Partition Plan.
Zionists claim Jerusalem is theirs by right. Actually, it was already 2000 years old and an established, fortified city when captured by King David. It dates back 5000 years and the name is derived from Uru-Shalem, meaning “founded by Shalem (the Canaanite God of Dusk)”.
The claim of even those Jews with roots in the Holy Land is not particularly significant. Jerusalem, in its ‘City of David’ form, lasted only 73 years. In 928BC the Kingdom divided into Israel and Judah, and in 597BC the Babylonians conquered the city and destroyed Solomon’s temple.
The Jews recaptured it in 164BC but finally lost it to the Roman Empire in 63BC. Before the present troubles the Jews, in total, controlled Jerusalem for some 500 years compared to the 1,200+ years it was subsequently ruled by Muslims and the 2000 years, or thereabouts, it originally belonged to the Canaanites.
A burning issue today is control of, and access to, the Temple Mount, the holiest site in Judaism, the third holiest in Islam after Mecca and Medina, and the centre of Christian belief. Here, according to Biblical tradition, Solomon built the first temple, completed in 953BC but destroyed by the Babylonians in 586BC.
When, after years in exile, the Jews were invited by the Persian to return, they built their second temple, which was destroyed by the Romans under Titus in 70AD. And when the Jews rebelled against Roman occupation a second time Hadrian barred them from the city.
The 4th century saw Jerusalem become a Christian city and the building of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. The Persians came again and went. Then, after the Islamic conquest in 690, two major shrines were constructed over the ruins of the earlier temples, the Dome of the Rock from which Muhammed is said to have ascended to Heaven, and the Al-Aqsa Mosque.
The Crusaders took Jerusalem in 1099 and The Temple Mount became the headquarters of the Knights Templar. In 1187 Saladin ended the Crusader Kingdom and restored the city to Islam while allowing Jews and Christians to remain.
Now Jewish religious groups want control of the holy site for their spiritual centre and a third temple to be built in accordance with ancient prophecies. Their plans threaten the Muslim shrines and only serve to keep political tension boiling.
Israel is glaringly racist
Today Israel illegally occupies the West Bank and East Jerusalem, including the Old City, and has Gaza in a vice so pitiless as to have caused a long-term humanitarian crisis and irreparable environmental damage.
For over 70 years millions of dispossessed Palestinians and their families have languished in refugee camps, and those who were able to remain in their homeland – Christian and Muslim alike – live miserable lives under brutal military occupation while the ever-expanding state of Israel continues to annex and swallow up their lands and destroy their livelihoods.
In the West citizenship and nationality mean much the same thing, but in the new Israel nationality bestows greater rights than citizenship and only Jews can be ‘nationals’. Their nationality rights are granted by the Law of Return.
By the same token the national lands in Israel don’t belong to the people, unless they happen to be Jews. The land becomes ‘national’ land through purchase or confiscation by the Jewish National Fund in a process called “redeeming the land”. It’s a concept taken from the Bible – except that the State, rather than God, returns the Jewish people from ‘exile’ and re-unites them with the Biblical lands which, magically, have become their inalienable and exclusive property.
So the racist nature of Israel, recently reinforced by the passing of discriminatory Nation State laws, is obvious and setting up a political party to campaign for a secular state to represent all of the people equally is banned by law. Israel is plainly not the liberal Western-style democracy they would have us believe.
And Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention forbids an occupying power to deport or transfer parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies. The International Criminal Court, set up in 1998, regards such practice as a war crime. But because Israel, along with Iraq and the US, didn’t sign up to the ICC it feels free to carry on with its illegal squatter programme (they hope the term ‘settlements’ sounds more palatable) regardless.
Genuine settlers come in friendship and with consent. But Israeli settlers are mostly hardline religious squatters who support their own government’s use of violence against the indigenous Palestinians and, in return, are supported and shielded by Israeli occupation troops.
Their squats are usually fortified colonies with gun towers, mine-strewn death strips and army back-up. No doubt they appear heroic in Israeli eyes but are offensive to most other people – especially the Palestinians – and breach all international understanding of what constitutes acceptable behaviour.
Theft of Jerusalem and the entire Holy Land is almost complete
Israel is the most-favoured ally of the world’s most powerful nation, from whose taxpayers it receives $3-4 billion a year in military and economic aid. It sees itself as a military super-power, is the third largest manufacturer of arms, has the fourth largest nuclear arsenal, and is pprobably the strongest economic power in the region thanks in part to US subsidies. And in Palestine it is the Occupying Power.
Israel, which never declared its borders, has been formally recognised by the Palestinians and the Arab League within the internationally recognised ‘Green Line’ border. So it is not “fighting for its existence” as many of its supporters claim. And if international law – and in particular the Fourth Geneva Convention – were enforced the Occupation would collapse under the weight of its own illegality.
As things stand Israel has all but succeeded in making its illegal Occupation permanent. There is no sign on the ground that Israel is willing to hand back enough land and relinquish enough control for a truly viable Palestinian state to be established. On the contrary, annexation of ‘Greater Jerusalem’ continues as does squatter settlement.
The ‘Apartheid’ Wall still bites deep into Palestinian territory and steals Palestinian resources. Israel clearly intends to retain control of the entire country while shunting the Palestinians into an ever more whittled-down, fragmented, semi-sovereign, non-viable, non-militarised mini-state denied free access to the outside world.
What right have these ‘Israelis’ to be there in the first place?
Recent DNA research indicate that most of those living today who claim to be Jews are not descended from the ancient Israelites and the Palestinians have more Israelite blood than the Jews – they are the real Semites.
Research by Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and published by the Oxford University Press in 2012 on behalf of the Society of Molecular Biology and Evolution, found that the Khazarian Hypothesis is scientifically correct, meaning that most Jews are Khazars. They conclude that probably no more than 2% of Jews in Israel are actually Israelites.
The Khazarians, who were never in Israel, converted to Talmudic Judaism in the 8th Century. So even if you believe the myth that God is some sort of real estate mogul who gave the land to the Israelites, he certainly didn’t give it to the Khazarians. Eastern European ‘Jews’ who flooded into the Holy Land intending to kick the Palestinians out, have no biblical or ancestral connection to Old Israel.
Has the Johns Hopkins study been refuted? If they are correct, and Palestinians are the true Semites, the whole anti-Semitism argument falls down. The anti-Semites are actually the Israeli regime, its nasty witch-hunters and the brainwashed stooges among our politicians, in our Government and embedded in our political parties.
“Israel is the criterion according to which all Jews will tend to be judged. Israel as a Jewish state is an example of the Jewish character… Any flaw in Israeli conduct, which initially is cited as anti-Israelism, is likely to be transformed into empirical proof of the validity of anti-Semitism. It would be a tragic irony if the Jewish state, which was intended to solve the problem of anti-Semitism, was to become a factor in the rise of anti-Semitism. Israelis must be aware that the price of their misconduct is paid not only by them but also Jews throughout the world.” Not my words, of course, but an observation by former Israeli Director of Military Intelligence, Yehoshafat Harkabi, in his book Israel’s Fateful Hour. His opinion is held by many other Jews.
So if nothing is done to address the causes of anti-Israelism (which is the outrage many people feel) it may turn into so-called anti-Semitism. Is this not a matter between Jews everywhere and best left to them?
Why did Balfour do it?
Arthur Balfour, British foreign secretary in 1917, penned a letter to the most senior Jew in England, Lord Rothschild – pledging the Government’s “best endeavours” to facilitate the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people. Balfour also wrote: “We do not propose even to go through the form of consulting the wishes of the present inhabitants of the country.”
It amounted to a betrayal of our Arab allies in WW1. Many in Parliament objected, including Lord Sydenham who remarked: “What we have done, by concessions not to the Jewish people but to a Zionist extreme section, is to start a running sore in the East, and no-one can tell how far that sore will extend.”
So what made Balfour do it? The more you delve, the more incredible the answers if you’ve been unaware of the growing influence of worldwide Zionism. Support for the movement and its ambition to create a New Israel was quite fashionable in the corridors of power around the time of WW1.
The story I find compelling is that, while Britain struggled against German U-boat successes and ammunition shortages, the Zionist power-brokers of Germany and Eastern Europe consulted with their opposite numbers in America and decided, given their grip on money and media, that they could bring the US into the war against Germany and its Ottoman ally if Britain were to promise them Palestine for a Jewish homeland afterwards.
Balfour was a Zionist convert (as were many others including prime minister David Lloyd-George) and in the right position. The proposition was put to Britain in 1916. The Zionists delivered, the US entered the war. In the meantime immigrant Polish-Zionist chemist Chaim Weizmann offered a solution to the production of enough acetone, a critical ingredient in cordite for artillery shells, to satisfy the war effort. He demanded the same promise. Balfour handed the Zionists their ‘receipt’ in November 1917 even though Palestine was not, and never could be, Britain’s to give away.
At the Paris Peace Conference in 1919 when the Great Powers carved up the territorial spoils of war a Zionist delegation produced Balfour’s promissory note. It planted a powder-keg in the Middle East. Britain accepted the mandate responsibility for Palestine and eventually in 1947 the Great Powers pushed the United Nations into partitioning the territory, again without consulting those who lived there. The fuse was now lit.
‘Name of the game: erasing Palestine’
Balfour had inserted into his ‘declaration’ that “nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing and non-Jewish communities….” on the insistence of the only Jew in the British Cabinet, Lord Montague, who was anti-Zionist and opposed the deal. But this safeguard was jettisoned as soon as Britain lost control of events.
Not content with the territory allocated to them under the 1947 UN Partition Plan the Zionists declared statehood ignoring all boundaries. Their ‘Plan Dalet’ offensive, begun beforehand, had seized much Arab-designated land at gunpoint.
Jewish militia – the Irgun, Haganah, Palmach and Lehi – raided towns and villages forcing inhabitants to flee. Numerous atrocities were committed including the bombing of the King David Hotel in Jerusalem (headquarters of the British administration) in 1946 murdering 91, and the massacres at Deir Yassin and Lydda in 1948.
Those crimes stand as an indelible stain on the flag of the United Nations, which hadn’t the backbone to take action then and still hasn’t.
Acceptance of Israeli state was conditional
In a cabinet meeting in June 1948 Israel’s first Prime Minister, David Ben-Gurion stated: “They [the Palestinians] lost and fled. Their return must now be prevented…. And I will oppose their return also after the war.” Ben-Gurion’s words were echoed by Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir who in 1992 declared that the return of the Palestinian refugees “will never happen in any way, shape or form. There is only a Jewish right of return to the land of Israel.”
On 15 May 1948, one day after the declaration of statehood, Israel applied for membership of the United Nations, but it was not acted on by the Security Council. Israel’s second application was rejected by the Security Council in December 1948 by 5 to 1, with 5 abstentions.
The application was renewed in 1949 after the Israeli elections and the Security Council, strangely, adopted Resolution 69 on 4 March voting 9 to 1 in favour of membership. Great Britain abstained. But Israel’s membership was conditional on its acceptance and implementation of Resolutions 181 (the Partition Plan) and 194 (concerning, among other things, the status of Jerusalem and the return of Palestinian refugees).
Israel and its supporters are fond of accusing anyone criticising Israel’s ‘squatter’ position as ‘delegitimizing Israel’, in other words denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination, and denying Israel the right to exist.
But Israel, from the start, had done a splendid job of de-legitimising itself. In the wake of the 1947 UN Partition Plan, which granted the Jews territory within defined borders, they declared statehood on 14 May 1948 without borders, grabbing as much extra land as they could by armed terror and ethnic cleansing. The new state of Israel’s admission to the UN in 1949 was conditional upon honouring the terms of the UN Charter and implementing UN General Assembly Resolutions 181 and 194. It never had any intention of doing so and to this day repeatedly violates provisions and principles of the Charter.
Article 11 of Resolution 194 states that “refugees wishing to return to their homes and live at peace with their neighbours should be permitted to do so at the earliest practicable date, and that compensation should be paid for the property of those choosing not to return and for loss of or damage to property which, under principles of international law or equity, should be made good by the Governments or authorities responsible.”
This was based on recommendations by the UN Mediator for Palestine, Count Folke Bernadotte, who was afterwards murdered by Jewish para-militaries for upsetting their plans for domination.
Israel even fails to comply with the provisions of the EU-Israel Association Agreement of 1995 which requires adherence to the principles of the UN Charter and “respect for human rights and democratic principle [which] constitute an essential element of this agreement” in return for trading privileges. It gets the privileges without delivering on the obligations and is even rewarded for breaching those priniciples and disrespecting the terms of the agreement.
In 2004 the International Court of Justice at The Hague ruled that construction of what’s often referred to as the Apartheid Wall breaches international law and Israel must dismantle it and make reparation. But Israel continues building its hideous barrier with American tax dollars. The ICJ also ruled that “all States are under an obligation not to recognize the illegal situation resulting from the construction of the wall and not to render aid or assistance in maintaining the situation created by such construction”.
And, all along, the Israelis have been de-legitimising the Palestinians by denying them their right to self-determination and freedom of movement.
You simply couldn’t make it up…. at least, not in any sane world.
10 May 2021
Mazin Qumsiyeh, who describes himself as a bedouin in cyberspace, regularly sends me his human rights newsletter from Occupied Palestine. He says of the weekend’s events:
“It really warmed our hearts to see the Jerusalem uprising. Started with Israeli racists chanting death to Arabs in Jerusalem and progressed as Israeli authorities insisted on going ahead with more ethnic cleansing in the Shaikh Jarrah neighborhood and… the same racist authorities denied rights of native Christians and Muslims to have access to their holy sites in Jerusalem over Easter and Ramadan. As usual the mainstream western media were silent or if covered events tried to equate oppressor with oppressed.
“The Palestinian authority of Mahmoud Abbas continued to organize with Israel against ressitance (part of the shameful Oslo ‘surrender’ accords). Other governments were spineless (giving pointless verbal declarations while supporting the oppressor in practical ways) so the local people acted and resisted the encroachment. In one case as the occupier thugs entered the third holiest shrine in Islam,
the natives tried to stop them and 205 were injured (several shot in the eyes, two losing both eyes).
“Tomorrow will be pivotal as Zionist racists ‘celebrate’ their occupation of Jerusalem and the natives vow to resist the ongoing attempts to make Jerusalem Jewish.
“Next week we commemorate the Nakba (the ethnic cleansing of Palestine which is still ongoing)…. and still 7.5 million of our people are refugees and displaced people.”
After working on jet fighters in the RAF Stuart became an industrial marketing specialist with manufacturing companies and consultancy firms. He also “indulged himself” as a newspaper columnist. In politics, he served as a Cambridgeshire county councilor and member of the Police Authority. Now retired he campaigns on various issues and contributes to several online news & opinion sites. With a lifelong passion for photography, he has produced two photo-documentary books, one of which can be read online at www.radiofreepalestine.org.uk.