The Zionist Mentors of the Death Adders in the Knesset

Draft

Copyright (c) 2018, Christopher John Brickill. All rights are reserved, and the moral rights of Christopher John Brickhill as the Author have been asserted by him.

The Beginnings of Zionism

In the 19th century, a small number of Eastern European and Russian Jews began to think about whether a Jewish homeland or state would be viable. They were the first Zionists, and the forces that drove European nationalism also drove Zionism. At this time, 80% of all Jews were European. Most of the rest lived in the US and Canada. The Jewish population in Palestine was tiny; indeed, some Zionists thought that Palestine was completely unoccupied and Zionist propaganda of the day included slogans like “A land without people for a people without land”, in spite of the 600,000 Palestinian Arabs.

Theodor Herzl, a proponent, gave the movement its name, Zionism.[1] It was one of several European nationalist movements. It was born of discrimination, persecution, anti-Semitism, pogroms, the exclusionary nationalism of some European states, and Jewish secularism. The latter is the belief that Jews were not only united by religion, but by birth. There were non-religious Jews, and religious and non-religious Jews together constituted a Jewish identity. Earlier in the 19th century, Jewish enlightenment, fertilized by events like the French Revolution had led to an expression of Jewish identity, encouraged by the exclusion of Jews from emergent of European nations. Jewish racial rhetoric was as valid as religious rhetoric and supported a Zionist expression of identity with two parts. The study of science and literature pushed the boundaries of traditional Jewish religious education. Some Zionist thinkers romanticized and created a lost homeland imbued with animistic mysticism. Moreover, a Jewish homeland would isolate Jews from anti-Semitism, persecution and discrimination.

As Zionism developed, anti-Semitism became central. Herzl:

We naturally move to those places where we are not persecuted, and [from]where our presence produces persecution. This is the case in every country, and will remain so, even in those highly civilized, for instance, France until the Jewish question finds a solution on a political basis. The unfortunate Jews are now carrying Anti-Semitism into England; they have already introduced it into America.[2]

There is no doubt that many Jewish communities suffered unwarranted discrimination and persecution and that there were anti-Semites. Societies sometimes refused to integrate Jews resorting to legislation and sometimes by state instigated mob violence. In many cases mob violence was used to distract angry populations from their economic woes. However, to claim that Jews were the victims of discrimination and persecution, to any greater extent than other minorities was unjustified and self-absorbed. Religious minorities of all shapes and sizes have suffered, and continue to suffer discrimination, as have dark skinned persons, gypsies, homosexuals, physically and intellectually disadvantaged persons, etc. What needs to be addressed is not anti-Semitism per se, but all forms of discrimination and the persecution of all minorities. To propose that a separate state for Jews would eliminate the problem is speculative to say the least, and does not progress what needs to be done. It is irresponsible as it side steps the fundamental issues. When Israel reminds us of the Holocaust, and the murder of six million Jews, it rarely mentions that two million Poles, four million Russians, and millions of others were also murdered, and more recently between 2 to 3 million Cambodians.

When Israel became a state, it began to abuse the notion of anti-Semitism and the Holocaust as justifications for its own purposes and existence. For example, in a short period beginning in 1648, the Khmelnitsky pogroms took place and thousands of Jews were slaughtered. These events are presented in Israel’s schools as an example of anti-Semitism, and that Jews were the helpless victims of Christian aggression simply because they were Jews. This has no merit. The reason for the pogroms was that Jews were often agents for the real targets of the aggression, and their targeting had nothing to do with their being Jews.

Nationalism was a 19th century preoccupation in Europe, and Herzl was not the first to write about Jews and nationalism in the same breath. His was a quest to transform religion into a political. To be able to do so meant letting ethnicity into the equation. In 1882, the Bilu Group in Constantinople had published a manifesto which spoke of oppression, the false hope of assimilation and an ancient Jewish civilization.[3]  No connection was established between the Judaism of ancient Palestine and Bilu Judaism, however, Bilu proposed re-establishing a Jewish home in Palestine, initially given to the Jews of ancient Palestine by a god. The aspiration was a Jewish home in Palestine as a part of the Ottoman Empire. The Bilu Group was not good on facts, it was delusional, and it aspirations unrealistic.

Zionism had roots in Christian Zionism. The Christian world, in its own interests required that the Jews return to the Holy Land, Palestine. The religious prophesies connected the end of the world, the conversion of all Jews to Christianity, and a voyage to Palestine, and Christian Zionism embraced Christian colonialism. Lord Shaftesbury, a British politician in the early 19th century championed Christian Zionism, and convinced his Prime Minister, Lord Palmerston to support it, and the British stationed officials in Jerusalem. Shaftsbury charitably thought the Jews were “sunk in moral degradation, obduracy, and ignorance of the Gospel”, but were worthy of salvation and furthermore, Christian Zionism was necessary for Christianity’s own salvation.[4]

Moreover, a Jewish community in Palestine would serve a useful political end as it might buttress the waning Ottoman empire. It would serve Britain’s foreign policy, and Palmerston tried to convince the Ottomans, without success, to accept a Jewish community in Palestine, as part of the Ottoman Empire.

A Jewish community in Palestine would also rid Europe of the Jews. This was not necessarily an anti-Semitic consideration. For whatever reason, the Jews had been s source of problems, and one way to solve this was to remove them.

The first Jewish immigrants to Palestine, from 1882 to 1904, is what the Zionists call the First Aliyah. The second wave, from 1904 to 1914 was the Second Aliyah. The immigration attracted so much attention that by 1910, at the insistence of the Palestinian Arabs, the Ottomans halted the sale of land to Jews. In Europe, Jews usually could not own land nor property, and in Palestine they quickly became preoccupied with acquiring it. For both theological and political reasons, Zionism in the 19th century had won the support of Britain. The support coupled with the immigration created concerns among the Palestinian Arabs, who boycotted Zionist Jewish settler goods.

Herzl thought that the reason that a large number of European Jews lived in ghettos was because there had been centuries of hostility to Jews resulting in oppression and persecution. Some Jewish communities had certainly been blamed for disasters like the Black Death, and Jews had often been forced to live in restricted areas.[5] In some communities, Jews were banned from the professions, and sometimes denied the right to vote. However, to make a connection between living in ghettos and oppression was farfetched. Herzl did recognize that other groups were oppressed, but believed that Jews had suffered more than others, which was simply false, and furthermore, self-serving.

In 1881, when Alexander III became Czar of Russia, times became difficult for Russian Jews, and anti-Jewish mob violence and pogroms were not uncommon. Herzl had experienced anti-Semitism in Hungary where he was born, in Vienna where he lived, and in Paris where he was a journalist for a short time. The Dreyfus Affair in 1894 was an example of the spread of anti-Semitism westward, from Russia, and Germany.

As far as Herzl was concerned, anti-Semitism was not restricted to Europe, persecution was not a temporary phenomenon, and Jewish assimilation was never going to be possible, so Jews would always remain targets. He did not recognize that this was the fate of many European minorities, and of the poor, and did not balance his thinking with the fact that there were very many successful European Jews, financially and otherwise. Nor did he take into account that a large number of Jews had been assimilated into the US. In short, he did not look for a reason for the persecution. It was simply there and for Herzl would always be. The only way to deal with it was to run from it.

Herzl wanted a home for Jews with legal safeguards, so he proposed the creation of a Jewish state: “The idea that I have developed in the pamphlet is a very old one: it is the restoration of the Jewish State”.[6] The state to which he referred was annihilated more than two thousand years beforehand, and of course, states then were very different kinds of things than they were in 19th century Europe. They were not states.

It is important to recognize that Herzl’s ideological foundation was derived from European nationalism, not traditional Jewish religious beliefs. Zionism, as a coherent political idea was anything but a movement with sound foundations, and it changed what it was, and where it went, to suit the times, and when it needed. Its pronouncements wrung of the appalling notions of racial purity and eugenic reproductive prejudice, it was simplistic, made exaggerated claims. Herzl was comfortable with this. He was both a racist, and an anti-Semite, as we will see.[7]

The World Zionist Organization

Herzl convened and chaired the inaugural World Zionist Congress in August 1897, in Basel, which established the World Zionist Organization (Zionist Organization until 1960), the WZO, as a permanent umbrella movement for the embryonic Zionist movement. The WZO was to provide a political and juridical solution for the ineradicable anti-Semitism which took it to the need for a Jewish state.

The Congress was the governing body of the WZO and would determine Zionist policy. Neither non-Jews, nor women could vote. The latter had to wait until the second congress. At the time of the Congress, and for many years thereafter, very few Jews were members of this small fractious, racist minority.

The Congress declared Zionism’s goal, to “create for the Jewish people a home in Palestine secured by public law”. Later Herzl wrote, “were I to sum up the Basle Congress … at Basle I founded the Jewish State.”[8] So we see in 1897, the resolve of the WZO was to remove Palestine from the clutches of Turkey and make it a Jewish state. The relevant motion was:

Zionism aims at establishing for the Jewish people a legally assured home in Palestine. For the attainment of this purpose, the Congress considers the following means serviceable:

  • The promotion of the settlement of Jewish agriculturalists, artisans, and tradesmen in Palestine;
  • The federation of all Jews into local or general groups, according to the laws of the various countries [to attract the Jewish diaspora];
  • The strengthening of the Jewish feeling and consciousness;
  • Preparatory steps for the attainment of those governmental grants that are necessary to the achievement of the Zionist purpose.

The WZO’s program, it became known as the Basle Program, included the immigration of Jews to Palestine, and legitimizing the Zionist state by obtaining the assent of a government. Furthermore, the Congress noted the “colonization of Palestine”.

The rights of the 600,000 Palestinian Arabs occupants of Palestine were never considered. It did not even occur to the Zionists at the Congress that they should not only matter, but they were the only ones that did matter, the only population, or ethnic group with a right to occupy Palestine. Some did, however, recognize the consequences. After a visit to Palestine in 1891, Ahad Ha’am, a Zionist and humanist was prescient. He had written years before: “If a time comes when our people in Palestine develop so that, in small or great measure, they push out the native inhabitants, these will not give up their place easily,”[9] In 1891 he wrote that the Palestinian Arabs “understood very well what we were doing and what we were aiming at”. Herzl’s reaction in 1897 was, “ We shall try to spirit the penniless [Palestinian Arab] population across the border by procuring employment for it in transit countries, while denying it employment in our own country … Both the process of expropriation and the removal of the poor must be carried out discreetly and circumspectly”.[10]

The Zionist strategy to obtain legitimacy was to leverage the connection between Jewish religious beliefs and Palestine. This was the reason that, ultimately, Palestine was chosen. Many, perhaps most, who attended the Congress, were not religious, but Palestine gave rise to a good story and was shrouded in history and the mystical, and suggested a right of some sort. The invention of a Jewish nation had begun with the identification of religious Jews.

One might wonder why the Zionists did not consider North America. It was easy to understand why a European location was out. It was occupied and the home of the persecution from which the Zionists wanted to escape. Most Jews that had left Europe had immigrated to North America, along with other immigrant groups. The Jewish migrants saw success, and there were few complaints. In fact, by 1900, almost a million Jews had settled in the US, a country with 76 million inhabitants, and whose population was rapidly expanding. There was persecution and anti-Semitism in some parts of the US, but these could be avoided. Immigration to the US was clearly an option and the option that most Jews who wanted to emigrate took. For Zionists, however, the US was out. It could never be a Jewish state.

Herzl realized that the immigration of Jews, as a colonial exercise, needed patronage and substantial financial resources, so he tried to recruit powerful nations as sponsors. He tapped the financial resources of wealthy European Jews. In Der Judenstaat the options for a Jewish state, included Palestine and Argentina, and in 1903, the British offered Uganda. This proposal was put before the Sixth Zionist Congress in August 1903, but went nowhere. He negotiated with the German Kaiser, the Ottoman Sultan, and the Russians. He asked the Italian King to give the Zionists land in what was to become Libya. The response was that the territory belonged to others.

The advantage of Palestine was that it was easy to sell to Jews for the reasons that we have set out already, but Herzl considered other options because he was concerned that any efforts to settle in Ottoman Palestine might fail. The Ottomans had rejected his overtures, and he reasoned that the existing Palestinian population could, in time, become hostile, and without Ottoman support, could result in immigration being restricted. His views were alarmingly prescient. Another advantage of Palestine was that the seeds had be sown by the Christian Zionists.

In itself, this tells us a number of things about Herzl’s views. He was aware that Palestine was populated. He expected Jewish immigration to be significant. He understood that the existing Palestinian Arabs might come to understand that they could be displaced by a Zionist state. The question he must have asked was whether the Zionist program could go forward successfully without its Palestinian story, its propaganda.

The Zionists did not simply want a home. For a start, there was one in North America. They wanted a home that was entirely Jewish and one in which Zionists would be the masters, so North America was not an option. For Zionist sovereignty, they were prepared to forgo the benefits of an established safe community. They were prepared to be colonizers, and to take what was not theirs.

Herzl’s program was in every respect a settler colonialist program. A place would be chosen, and immigrants would build houses, roads, bridges, railways, etc. and be the colonial masters. It was with two exceptions the same as European colonialism in Africa, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, the US, South America, the Indian sub-continent, and parts of East and South-East Asia. It was not dissimilar to the Japanese colonization of Korea. As a consequence, the colonized, the Palestinian Arabs would have no rights. The first exception was that the Zionists were not a Great Power (like Britain, France, Germany, the US and Japan), and had nothing to offer in return for their domination. The second was that they wanted to remove the indigenous population.

Herzl’s proposal was not for a Jewish state, but a Zionist Jewish state, and a state for Jews only. It had to be a sovereign state, large enough to be self-sustainable, and enjoy the recognition of other states.

The 1897 Congress delegates were well aware that their vision trespassed human rights. They avoided the word state and used homeland instead. They could not risk being upfront. For a start, it would have informed the Ottomans of the Zionist agenda. Then, of course, it was obvious to all that Palestine was populated. Herzl wrote, “No need to worry [about the phraseology]. The people will read it as Jewish State anyhow.[11]

When Herzl died, Palestine, the first choice, became the only choice, and Zionism became the movement for the creation of a Jewish state in Palestine. It was championed by a tiny minority of religious and non-religious Jews. There were many hurdles. There were very few Jews in Palestine, Jews had no right to immigrate and inhabit Palestine, and Palestine was already populated by the indigenous Palestinian Arabs. The Zionist immigrant Jews would have to remove them, by force if necessary. The Zionist vision was racist in the true sense.

Herzl’s Zionists were parochial, xenophobic, myopic, outmoded and self-absorbed. They denied the new liberalism that opposed oppression and colonialist adventurism, and which promoted democracy and human rights. They reveled in emotional and spiritual fantasy. They said the Jews had survived for centuries because of solidarity with the Holy Land. It was delusional rubbish.

Herzl was not a man who deserved respect. He lived in awe of German culture, and embraced a philosophy that took him from the beauty of literature and art to moral good. He believed that uncultured Hungarian Jews, like himself, could rid themselves of their “shameful Jewish characteristics” and become civilized. Herzl thought that orthodox Jews were inferior. “Merely to look at him … let alone approach or, heaven forbid, touch him was enough to make us feel sick”. He thought they needed to be removed from society, “a hideous distortion of the human character, something unspeakably low and repulsive”. The orthodox did not accept Zionism, and he thought that a self-respecting Jew must be a Zionist. He described the Jewish homeland as a “European rampart against barbarism”,[12] and he saw no problem with using Jews as a tool. There is no wonder that he ignored the indigenous occupants of Palestine. Herzl was an appalling creature.

The Roots of Jewish Culture

The story of the history of the Jews is somewhat different to what the Zionists have portrayed, and reduces the claim that there is a Jewish ethnicity to speculation if not pedestrian nonsense.[13]

A study of the history of Jews and Jewish culture does not reveal, as is the case in other cultures, a single entity that has endured in space and time, that may disappear and reappear later under a new name, but at least four distinct Jewish cultural episodes, in contrast to the Arabs, the Chinese or Western Christendom. The episodes were discontinuous in space and time, and there has never been an independent Jewish sociological, political, nor territorial entity since the time of the Roman expulsions in 70 CE. What has persisted are a core of religious practices.

A putative Jewish identity would be comprised, in part, of religious beliefs, cultural practices and ancestry. While religious Jews possess an identity, there is no single Jewish cultural practice, but a collection of practices found in the communities that call themselves Jewish. Some have argued that there is a common Jewish ancestry that makes all Jews descendants of the Abraham of the Old Testament. This is a myth, and there has never been any acceptable basis for this assertion. Similarly, there is no basis for a Jewish ethnic group. Ethnic markers common to populations of Jewish communities exist, but they are as significant as the ethnic markers than one finds, for example, in blue eyed or dark skinned individuals. Blue eyed dark skinned persons from Kazakhstan do not share an ethnicity with blue eyed Zulus. Sholom Sand has argued that the Ashkenazi are descendants of the Kasara, who underwent a religious conversion.[14] His analysis is subject to further confirmation, but what is clear is that today’s Sephardi, Mizrahi and Ashkenazi are cross breads. Notably there are genetic markers shared by the Sephardi, the Mizrahi, but not the Ashkenazi, and the Palestinian Arabs. There is thus a lack of a genetic basis for Jewishness in today’s Jews who identify as such. There is no evidence whatsoever that Jewish communities share a common ancestry back to Abraham of the Old Testament, if indeed there was such an individual, or any individual who lived in Palestine in Biblical times.

We can study cultures by exploring linguistic evolution as it provides clues which trace the histories of potential ethnicities. These evolutionary clues reveal four Jewish episodes, cultural ages:

  • Hellenistic Judaism, the culture expressed in the Septuagint, and by Philo in pre-Ptolemaic times, expressed, largely, but not exclusively, by the adherents of specific religious beliefs;
  • East Aramaic Judaism, the culture of Babylonia and the Talmud, also expressed by adherents of religious beliefs, many but not all of which were similar to the religious beliefs of the Hellenistic Jews;
  • The Jewish culture of medieval Spain, with both Arabic and Spanish expressions, and which provided the road on which Greek and Arab science and philosophy travelled to Europe, also expressed by common religious beliefs, similar to, but not the same as those of the Hellenistic and East Aramaic Jews;
  • The Jewish culture of Eastern Europe in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, centered in Poland and Lithuania, and which spread its wings into Russia and Romania. In this culture, we find both religious and non-religious Jews, and significant differences between the religious practices of those that adhered to religious Judaism.

Among these episodes, the was no common vernacular. In the Hellenistic world the languages of the Jews were Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek, in Mesopotamia, Hebrew and Aramaic, in medieval Spain, Hebrew, Arabic and Spanish, and in Eastern Europe, Hebrew, German, Yiddish and Polish.

We need to disregard the language of the synagogue, sacred Hebrew, the significance of which was similar to that of Latin for the Romance languages, Sanskrit for the languages of the Indian sub- continent, and the classical Arabic of the Koran. The vernaculars, Aramaic, Greek, Arabic, Spanish, German, Yiddish and Polish were the languages of discourse, the family and the street, and the languages which defined culture. Vernaculars evolve and trace ethnic entities, sacred language does not and does not evolve in any significant sense. Consider the differences between medieval and today’s Spanish, or German, or ancient and today’s Greek.

The Jews were multilingual in all four cultures, and in the first three, their role as translators exposed them to science and philosophy. In contrast, ghettos in the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, housed Jews which occupied by messianic ideals and mystical piety, and who eschewed rational and intellectual pursuits. The 19th century Enlightenment was an anathema to orthodox Jews, but it proposed a path to emancipation, the abolition of ghettos and Eastern Europe’s discriminatory laws and customs, and to the professions.

Herzl’s Jews were the Jews of Eastern Europe. We know the first two Jewish episodes were linked ethnically, and the migration that led to the second from the first has been well documented. However, no significant ethnic connection has been established between these two episodes and the latter two, nor any ethnic connection between the ancestors of the Sephardim, and the Ashkenazim.

Let’s spell this out a little. It is clear that some Jews in Roman times found themselves in Spain, but it is also clear than the connection between the first two episodes and the Jews of medieval Spain was nothing more than a religious connection. Jewish religious beliefs were transported to Spain, and found adherents, and those that did the transporting procreated, but there is no evidence that the procreation was significant. The Jews that carried the Jewish religion to Spain were absorbed into the Spanish gene pool.

Geneticist David Goldstein has established that while there is no matrimonial link between modern Jews and the historic middle eastern populations, there are minor patrilineal links.[15] A 2013 study headed by Costa et al suggested that the Ashkenazi Jews, the most populous classification of Jews, had roots in pre-historic Europe, not in the Middle East, and converted to Judaism 2,000 years ago.[16] The conclusion that we must draw is that there is little evidence for a distinct Jewish ethnicity.

What we have said does not rule out ethnic connections, but it is surprising that no reliable account has ever been given which links, ethnically, the Jews of the second Babylonian episode, and the Jews of medieval Spain, hundreds of years later. The latter were adherents to the Jewish religion, and indeed, some parts of Hebrew made a way into the vernacular. However, it would be an astronomical leap of faith to say that the Jews of ancient Babylonia had any significant ethnic connection to the Jews of medieval Spain, as any connection would have been diluted beyond recognition. The time from when the Jewish religion first appeared in Spain until those that had adopted Judaism were expelled was marked by periods of favour and disfavor for followers of each of Judaism, Islam and Christianity. Each faith adopted and integrated followers of other faiths. Jews became Christians, Muslims became Christians, and Christians became Muslims and Jews. Ethnicities became absorbed and mixed. Jews, as did the adherents of Islam and Christianity, at one moment served kings, then were banished, and then were restored to favor and prominence.

Similar remarks can be made of the supposed link between the Jews of Spain, and the Jews of Eastern Europe. When the Jews were expelled from Spain it is likely that fewer than 40,000 made their way northwards. Descendants of these groups may have indeed made their way into the ethnic stock of the Eastern European Jews, but it is clear that the evidence points to the fact that the absorption of Spanish Jewry into the Jews of Eastern Europe was insignificant.

It is clear that the Israeli claim that the European Jewish immigrants that were the settler colonizers of Palestine were descendants from the Jews of Biblical times is myth, as is the claim that the Jews of the Bible formed a nation.

Putting the Zionist Plans For Palestinian in Place

The Zionist plan was that Zionist Jews would establish a state in Palestine. This meant that land and property had to be acquired by purchasing it, or confiscating it, and Jews would have to move to Palestine.

In 1901, the Jewish National Fund was created at the fifth World Zionist Congress to facilitate Jewish land acquisition. Agricultural land was to be acquired, only by Jews or Jewish organizations, after which it could only be leased or resold to Jews. The Jewish National Fund was to “redeem [that is acquire] the land of Palestine as the inalienable possession of the Jewish people”. Most land acquired, however, was urban, and not agricultural, and the early efforts of the organization were a failure.

Later, Israel would try to justify its presence in Palestine by claiming that Palestine was unpopulated, and that there were no Palestinian Arabs. If this was indeed the case, there would be no need to buy land, and no need for the Jewish National Fund. After drawing the attention of the Jewish Zionists to the contradiction, the justification became that the purchases were for land sold by absentee landlords. Again, absurd, as landlords have tenants, and in any case, there were very few absentee landlords. The Ottoman Tanzimat reform records show clearly who owned Palestinian land, and where they lived. We will have a lot more to say about this issue later, and how the atheist David Ben-Gurion waved the Bible in the face of British Peel commission in 1937 and claimed that it was the land registry for Palestine, and proved that the Zionist Jews were entitled Palestine, contrary to what the Ottoman registry recorded.[17]  God’s Biblical promise was his justification for the colonization of Palestine.

Even though the Ottomans had restricted land and property sales to the Zionist Jews, and many immigrants during the first and second Aliyahs did not stay in Palestine, the small numbers that did stay remain were a source of problems. Arab labour was cheaper than Jewish labour, which led to prejudicial employment, when Arabs were denied work. Tensions began to arise.

Although the immigrants included adventurers, entrepreneurs and merchants, most were those from the lower end of the food chain, and the social classes of the Zionist Jew immigrants were similar to those of the US immigrants.

The land the Jewish National Fund financed had been held by Palestinian Arab families for generations. These families held possessory rights, but because of the 1858 Tanzimat land reforms, Jewish National Fund acquisitions meant Palestinian Arab displacements. The 1905 World Zionist Congress recognized this and was concerned that the displaced Arabs might seek to take back what they had been deprived of, and, if necessary, use force. “Will they not seek justice from the strangers that placed themselves over their land?”[18]

Contrary to buying land in the areas of biblical significance, in Judea and Samaria, in accordance with the Zionist plan, the immigrant Jews bought land in the areas that had greater economic potential, in the coastal areas and valleys, and eschewed the religious sites. The amount of land actually acquired was a small fraction of the land in Palestine.

When Herzl died, support for Zionism dissolved until awakened by Balfour, and what led to it during the last days of WW I. We will take up the story in Volume II when we come to the Peace Conference at Versailles, after the cessation of hostilities.

Opposition to Zionism

Zionism attracted considerable opposition and criticism. It was an immediate failure. Only after the rise of the national socialists in Germany did Jewish immigration to Palestine become significant, and the Zionist plans could begin to take shape.

Many religious Jews have no time for Zionism, nor its creation, Israel. Rabbi Hirsch in the US wrote in 1978:

The 12th principle of our faith, I believe, is that the Messiah will gather the Jewish exiled who are dispersed throughout the nations of the world. Zionism is diametrically opposed to Judaism. Zionism wishes to define the Jewish people as a nationalistic entity. The Zionists say, in effect, ‘Look here, God. We do not like exile. Take us back, and if you don’t, we’ll just roll up our sleeves and take ourselves back. … This, of course, is heresy. The Jewish people are charged by Divine oath not to force themselves back to the Holy Land against the wishes of those residing there … Zionism was diametrically opposed to Judaism.[19]

The good Rabbi Hirsch not only distinguished between Judaism and Zionism, and denied that the Jews formed a nation, he recognized that the Palestinian Arabs were rightfully entitled to Palestine. Rabbi Hirsch meant religious Jews when he spoke of Jews, and his assumption was that secular Jews had no connection with Palestine. They were not religious Jews. The implication is that Israel cannot declare itself to be a state of religious Jews, and moreover, secular Jews have no justification for establishing a putative state or living in such a state in Palestine against the wishes of its people, the Palestinian Arabs.

Rabbi Judah L. Magnes, the first president of the Hebrew University in Jerusalem:

A Jewish Home in Palestine built up on bayonets and oppression [is] not worth having, even though it succeeds, whereas the very attempt to build it up peacefully, cooperatively, with understanding, education, and good will, [is] worth a great deal even though the attempt should fail.[20]

Both rabbis are saying that the creation of the state of Israel was unjustified from a religious perspective. Furthermore, there can be no other justification. They are not far short from classifying the injustice to the Palestinian Arabs as monumental.

The ultra-orthodox Jewry saw Zionism as contrary to the principles of Judaism. Many thought that Zionism was a dangerous form of secularism blended with an unwanted modernization of their religious practices. They preferred to cut themselves off in traditional Jewish religious communities. These and other orthodox Jews believe that god had expelled the Jews from the Holy Land (to Babylon) and that it was up to him to decide when the Jews should return. Ben-Gurion was one of many atheist Jewish leaders and had no right to dictate a return. The few that had returned did so to live and die in Palestine, for religious reasons, and not to form a political entity. This, for the orthodox was acceptable. For them there was no Diaspora. Judaism was a worldwide religious community, and not an ethnic community.

Many Rabbis forbade their followers from having anything to do with it, which they considered messing with god’s will to keep the Jews in exile until the messiah descended and the dead would be resurrected. Centuries of Jewish wisdom, law and customs could not be overturned by secular, politically minded Jews.

The Zionists reaction was to ridicule the ultra-orthodox.

Religious myths add little to any rational discussion of the justification for Israel. Many proposed justifications, however, are derived from documents treated by religious Jews as informing. The views of Rabbis Hirsch and Magnes show that there is no unanimity. Furthermore, discussions which invoke the ethics of religious Judaism condemn Israel as heretical.

Non-secular Jews questioned whether Zionism would result in increased anti-Semitism because it opened up issues of loyalty. They aspired to assimilation into non-Jewish communities. They were Jewish when it suited them, and their visits to synagogue were token visits, and Jewish holidays had little religious significance.

Some intellectuals thought Zionism would be a danger to the emancipation of the Jews. Some prominent European Jewish families like the Rothschilds were opposed to it on the grounds that it might endanger the Jewish communities in Europe.

A third group, the Reform movement searched for a modernized, religious life, and had no time for Jewish nationalism. The Reformists, until the creation of Israel as a state, viewed Judaism as a religious community and eschewed any semblance of a return to a Jewish state. Liberal Jews reasoned that anti-Semitism was only one form of unacceptable behavior, and full assimilation was the cure. In Russia, socialist Jews saw Zionism’s provocative side, that it contributed to anti-Semitism by asking Jews to forego their birthright, and by doing so questioned the human rights.

The indigenous Jews of Palestine reacted negatively to Zionism. They did not see the need for a Jewish state in Palestine and did not want to exacerbate relations with the Palestinian Arabs.[21] There were few problems and tensions between Jews and Palestinian Arabs only began to develop when there were dispossessions. The tensions increased when the Jewish Zionists began to claim during the first days of the Mandate, that Palestine was the rightful possession of the Jewish people, to the exclusion of its (large majority) of Moslem and Christian inhabitants.[22]

Zionists debated whether Zionism should be secular. Ahad Ha’am thought so, and he cautioned settlers not to arouse the wrath of the Palestinian Arabs. He was appalled at the behavior of some of them:

Yet what do our brethren do in Palestine? Just the very opposite! Serfs they were in the lands of the Diaspora and suddenly they find themselves in unrestricted freedom and this change has awakened in them an inclination to despotism. They treat the Arabs with hostility and cruelty, deprive them of their rights, offend them without cause and even boast of these deeds; and nobody among us opposes this despicable and dangerous inclination…[23]

The parliamentary discussion of Balfour raised considerable opposition to Zionism. Edwin Montagu, a cabinet member, and a Jew wrote that Zionism was “a mischievous political creed untenable by any patriotic citizen of the United Kingdom”. It endorsed a conflict of loyalties. In a memorandum to the Cabinet, 23rd August 1917, he wrote,[24]

… I assume that it means that Mahommedans [Muslims] and Christians are to make way for the Jews and that the Jews should be put in all positions of preference and should be peculiarly associated with Palestine in the same way that England is with the English or France with the French, that Turks and other Mahommedans in Palestine will be regarded as foreigners, just in the same way as Jews will hereafter be treated as foreigners in every country but Palestine … I deny that Palestine is today associated with the Jews or properly to be regarded as a fit place for them to live in … The Ten Commandments were delivered to the Jews on Sinai. It is quite true that Palestine plays a large part in Jewish history, but so does it in modern Mohammedan history, and, after the time of the Jews, surely it plays a larger part than any other country in Christian history … Perhaps also citizenship must be granted only as a result of a religious test.[25]

Montagu remarked that Zionists were “animated by the restrictions upon and refusal of liberty to Jews in Russia”, but that the Russian problem no longer existed. He believed that there was no Jewish nation, “It is no more true to say that a Jewish Englishman and a Jewish Moor are of the same nation than it is to say that a Christian Englishman and a Christian Frenchman are of the same nation”. If Jews are given a home in Palestine, then “every country will immediately desire to get rid of its Jewish citizens, and you will find a population in Palestine driving out its present inhabitants”, and “a religious test of citizenship seems to me to be only admitted by those who take a bigoted and narrow view of one particular epoch of the history of Palestine”, and finally, “Palestine will become the world’s Ghetto. Why should the Russian give the Jew equal rights?”[26] He noted that only a third of the world’s Jews could be accommodated in Palestine. Where would the rest go?

Montagu was saying that Palestine would become an ethnically driven state, absent religious freedom and freedom of intermarriage. It would be a state based on a tribe and a religion, and a ridiculous mystic belief in a peculiar soil. If Zionists were willing to ignore the rights of the vast majority of the non-Jewish population of Palestine, what else might we expect?[27] Montagu’s prescient views were alarming and accurate.

In 1936, the Social Democratic Bund, with all major Jewish organizations in Poland, expressed extreme hostility to Zionism, and emigration to Palestine. It asked that Polish Jews fight anti-Semitism in Poland by remaining there.[28]

Albert Einstein was offered the presidency of the state of Israel. His thoughts:

I should much rather see reasonable agreement with the Arabs on the basis of living together in peace than the creation of a Jewish State. Apart from practical considerations, my awareness of the essential nature of Judaism resists the idea of a Jewish State, with borders, an army, and a measure of temporal power, no matter how modest. I am afraid of the inner damage Judaism will sustain.

Establishing a Zionist state in Palestine was fraught with legal problems from the very beginning, and these we shall considerable time on in the subsequent chapters..

Colonialism

When King Edward XII ascended the throne on the 9th August 1902 he came to rule over the largest empire that the world had ever known. By WWI, the British Empire had 412 million subjects, almost one quarter of the globe’s population They occupied almost one quarter of the Earth’s land. The Age of Discovery had begun in 15th century, and in five centuries, the Europeans had colonized most of the planet. They created new, white European nations and replaced the indigenous nations, and kingdoms.

Colonial powers established colonies for many reasons. Religion, racism, xenophobia and territorial expansion were centre pins. The white man was superior, in all respects. Colonies reordered humanity into master and slave races, and masters were entitled to exploit the slaves of Asia, Africa and America. The white masters had promised equality and liberty at home and required territories abroad to deliver land, food and raw materials to mollify the disaffected in periods of rapid social and economic change. Racial supremacy was exercised by slavery, segregation, ghettoization, militarized border controls, ethnic cleansing, genocide and mass incarcerations. The local indigenous populations in both north and south America were massacred, and the remaining populations, if any, were confined to reservations.

Ho Chi Minh: “nothing but dirty negroes … good for no more than pulling rickshaws”. The dirty negroes, however were good enough for cannon fodder, and could join European armies.

Cecil Rhodes wrote in 1895, that imperialism was a “solution for the social problem, i.e. in order to save the 40 million inhabitants of the United Kingdom from a bloody civil war, we colonial statesmen must acquire new lands to settle the surplus population, to provide new markets for the goods produced in the factories and mines”.

By the 19th century, colonialism had become informed by social Darwinism, and a nation risked extinction if it could not provide living space for citizens. Thus, it was natural for uncivilized peoples to be exterminated, terrorized, imprisoned, ostracized or radically re-engineered. Colonies were where racial exterminations took place and contempt for civilian lives were cemented. All European armies committed genocides in their colonies. Natives were animals, worse than brutes when their passions were aroused, and sexual relations between European women and black men were prohibited, although not between European men and African women.

When the Kaiser sent troops to Asia he presented their mission as racial vengeance: “Give no pardon and take no prisoners,” make sure that “no Chinese will ever again even dare to look askance at a German”.

Lieutenant General Lothar von Trotha made his reputation in Africa by slaughtering the indigenous and incinerating their villages. He named his policy terrorism. He said it would help to subdue the natives. In 1904, von Trotha ordered that the Hereros, who had been defeated militarily, were to be shot on sight or banished into the Omaheke Desert. Between 60 and 70,000 Herero from a population of 80,000 were wiped out.

King Leopold II of Belgium reduced the population in Belgium colonies by half, and killed eight million Africans. Brigadier General Jacob H Smith, a US general in the US conquest of the Philippines, “I want no prisoners. I wish you to kill and burn. The more you kill and burn the better it will please me”.

We have said that the colonial powers made agreements during WW I that they did not keep. The bloodbath reveled the belligerent nature of colonial, imperial domination and racial superiority.

In the 20th century, wars ignited by racism continued the practice of genocide. In 1920, a year after condemning Germany for its crimes against Africans, the British devised aerial bombing as routine policy for their new Iraqi possession. “The Arab and Kurd now know what real bombing means,” a 1924 report by a Royal Air Force officer put it. “They now know that within 45 minutes a full-sized village … can be practically wiped out and a third of its inhabitants killed or injured.”

Mahatma Gandhi wrote in 1938[29]:

Palestine belongs to the Arabs in the same sense that England belongs to the English or France to the French…What is going on in Palestine today cannot be justified by any moral code of conduct … If they [the Jews] must look to the Palestine of geography as their national home, it is wrong to enter it under the shadow of the British gun. A religious act cannot be performed with the aid of the bayonet or the bomb. They can settle in Palestine only by the goodwill of the Arabs … As it is, they are co-sharers with the British in despoiling a people who have done no wrong to them. The Arabs are resisting unacceptable encroachment upon their country. But according to the accepted canons of right and wrong, nothing can be said against the Arab resistance in the face of overwhelming odds.

Settler Colonialism

Settler colonialism is a form of colonialism. There are some small differences between conventional European colonialism and settler colonialism. Both are abhorrent, and illegal.

  • Conventional European colonialism was conducted in the service of an empire, the government remained with the empire, and profits were made in the name of the empire. Settler colonialists were refugees and seeking a homeland;
  • Conventional European colonialists declared the sovereignty of the Empire over the colony. In the case of Australia, the US and New Zealand, the British claimed sovereignty over the colony, and raised the British flag; Settler colonialist did not make a declaration of sovereignty;
  • Settler colonies relied initially upon an empire for survival, and the settlers were not usually citizens of the imperial power that supported them. For example, South Africa and Palestine;
  • Settler colonialists sought to confiscate the land of the foreign country, but typical European colonialists wanted to exploit the natural resources;
  • In the case of Palestine, settler colonialism was the product of a movement, the Zionist movement. The Zionists told the settlers that those the inhabited Palestine were not indigenous, and had no rights to Palestine.

Settler colonialists established their homeland using traditional colonialist tools: genocide, ethnic cleansing, dehumanization, oppression and developed apartheid states. In as much as it was possible, indigenous populations were eliminated.  They were considered inferior, without any entitlement to the rights as the settlers.

In the case of Palestine, the homeland the settler colonialists coveted was already the homeland of existing indigenous populations. They thus had to find a reason for colonization, and this reason was a divine reason. Notwithstanding Israel’s secular claims, Israel’s justification lay in the Bible. We will have more to say about this later.

The settler colonialist goals of the Zionist Jews were adopted by Israel, and the occupations of the West Bank, the Gaza Strip, the Golan Heights are its attempts to occupy southern Lebanon are in accordance of taking as mush land as possible with as few Palestinian Arabs as possible. The creation of a Jewish state offered the US and the Europeans an easy way out of the Jew displaced situation in Europe. Thus, Palestine was colonized, stolen and not redeemed, and its people dispossessed.

The Palestinian Arabs have a right to resist their dispossession. Israel portray this resistance as anti-Semitism. This is nonsense. Palestinian Arabs residence began only when it became clear that the Zionist settlers did not want to live alongside them but in place of them. Resistance was strengthened when it became clear that the Zionists were forcing the Palestinian Arabs out of Palestine’s labor market. We will, in later chapters, and in Volume II, discuss the efforts of the Mufti of Jerusalem al Hajj Amin al-Hussein, the Muslim-Christian Society, and the drive for Palestinian independence, whether it was to come about as part of a pan Arab state, a greater Syrian state or a Palestinian state territorially defined by the Ottoman administrative districts, the sanjaks, and then by the Palestine Mandate. Palestine was united by customs, a common history, a dialect, a way of life and leaders which led the Palestinian Arabs. From 1919 until the late 1929, the Palestinian National Conference Executive negotiated with the British, and the Zionists.

The Zionist Jews were determined for absolute control of Palestine. When the British called for equality of both Zionist and Palestinian Arab representation, the Zionist Jews accepted the proposal until the Arab Higher Committee accepted it. The Zionist Jews backtracked and rejected it because it would mean an end to their planes.

When the British handed the problem to the UN, although the Zionist Jews had built a state within a state, they had failed in two ways. They owned only 6.3% of Palestine, and they in the minority, 30%, and they wanted exclusivity. The solution was annihilation and removal of the Palestinian Arabs from their homeland.

Colonialism Violates Customary International Law

On the 12th January 1951, 1951 the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide set forth in General Assembly resolution 260 adopted the 9th December 1948 became effective, and on the 14th December 1960. On the 14th December 1960, the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples, set for the in General Assembly resolution 1514 adopted on the same day, became effective. On the 4th January 1969 the International Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Racial Discrimination became effective. The State of Israel has violated each of these agreements, resolutions and conventions. They are listed in section Please see the section International Law Agreements on Page 226. Israel is an illegal state and continues to pursue its colonial occupation in Palestine.

We will spend some time looking at the illegality of the Israel state and its lawless behaviour in further chapters. For now, we can say that the former European colonial powers, including Britain, claim they are aware of their colonial legacy, and condemn the centuries of enslavement and savage exploitation of Africa and Asia. Britain however has not resolved the Question of Palestine.

[1] Theodor Herzl, “Der Judenstaat”, (1896), reprinted in Walter Laqueur and Dan Schueftan (eds.), The Israel-Arab Reader, Penguin, 2016, Zionism from Mount Zion in Jerusalem,

[2] Ibid.

[3] Bilu Group: Manifesto, 1882. The Bilu Group had its origins in Russia in part motivated by the Russian pogroms. The Manifesto is reprinted in Walter Laqueur and Dan Schueftan (eds.), op cit.

[4] Shaftsbury, London Quarterly Review, Volume 64, Pages 104-5

[5] Often in specific cities, and in the Pale of Settlement, or simply Pale. A limited number of Jews were exempted from the restriction like titled, affluent, members of the armed forces, or university educated individuals. The Pale was in the western region of Imperial Russia, in eastern and central Europe, and existed from 1791 to 1917.

[6] Theodor Herzl, Der Judenstaat, op cit.

[7] Theodor Herzl, Der Judenstaat, op cit.

[8] Herzl, Theodor, The Complete Diaries of Theodor Herzl, volume I, New York, Herzl Press, Thomas Yosecoff, 1960, Page 343

[9] Tony Kushner, Wrestling with Zion, Grove Press, 2003, Ahad Ha’am, Page 14-15

[10] Theodor Herzl, The Complete Diaries (N.Y. Herzl Press, 1969), vol. I, p. 88.

[11] Esco Foundation for Palestine, Palestine: A Study of Jewish, Arab and British Policies, vol. I, New Haven, Yale University Press, 1947, Page 41

[12] These are quotes in Thomas Suarez, and I need to dig out the reference in Herzl’s notebooks.

[13] Christopher Dawson, Lecture at Brandeis University, 1959, published in Orbis, Winter, 1967.

[14] Shlomo Sand, The Invention of the Jewish People

[15] David Goldstein, Jacob’s Legacy: A Genetic View of Jewish Legacy, Yale University Press, 2008

[16] M.D. Costa et al., “A substantial prehistoric European ancestry amongst Ashkenazi maternal lineages,” Nature Communications, 2013.

[17] The Peel Commission was one of the many commissions undertaken to find a resolve to the problems that plagued the Mandate. We discuss in in Volume II

[18] Yitzhak Epstein, quoted by John Quigley, Palestine and Israel: A Challenge to Justice, Duke University, 1990, locn 506

[19] Rabbi Hirsch, Washington Post, 3rd October 1978

[20] Rabbi Judah L. Magnes, quoted in “Like All The Nations?”, in Brinner & Rischin, (eds)

[21]  John Quigley, Palestine and Israel: A Challenge to Justice

[22] Sami Hadawi, Bitter Harvest

[23] Hans Kohn, “Ahad Ha’am: Nationalist with a Difference” in Gary Smith, (ed.), Zionism: The Dream and the Reality, Harper and Row, 1974

[24] Edwin Montagu, “Memorandum of Edwin Montagu on the Anti-Semitism of the Present (British) Government” 23rd August 1917. As we have said we will discuss the Balfour at length, and during this discussion we will have more to say about Montagu.

[25] HM Government, British Public Record Office, Cabinet Number 24/24, August 1917

[26] Edwin Montagu, ibid

[27] John Quigley, op cit, adapted from Morris Cohen. [91]

[28] Professor William Rubinstein, The Myth of Rescue

[29] Mahatma Gandhi, Segaon, 26th November 1938, quoted in Mendes Flohr, A Land of Two Peoples

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Before the Death Adders in the Knesset

Draft

Copyright (c) 2018, Christopher John Brickill. All rights are reserved, and the moral rights of Christopher John Brickhill as the Author have been asserted by him.

Israel is an Apartheid State. Governments, institutions, companies and citizens must join to resist Israel and and stop stop its murderous activities.

 The Current Situation

Most Arab regimes have accepted Israel and are no longer calling for its end. They agreed at the Arab League summit in 2002 to accept peace with Israel in return for its withdrawal from all Arab territories occupied since 1967, its acceptance of an independent Palestinian Arab state with East Jerusalem as its capital, and a solution to the Palestinian Arab refugee problem. Some states, Iran for example, do not recognize Israel as a legitimate entity. Some states, Ecuador for example, consider Israel to be a terrorist state.[1]

What the Arab states want from Israel is the same as what the Palestinian Arabs want. Except for two issues, the requirements have not changed for more than 100 years, since they were discussed by Colonel Sir Henry McMahon, Britain’s High Commissioner in Egypt, and Sharif Hussain ibn Ali al-Hashimi, Grand Sharif and King of Mecca, and Protector of Islam’s Holy Places in the Hejaz.[2]  The refugee issue arose in 1948, and again in 1967, and the Palestinian Arabs want Israel to permit Palestinian Arab refugees to return to their homes in Palestine. The territory issue was modified, from all of Palestine to 22% of it, conditionally upon Israel taking certain actions, which, however, it has not. Some argue that as Israel has repeatedly not kept to its side of the bargain, the Palestinian territorial claim has reverted to 100% of Palestine.

The Arab-Israeli conflict is a global issue, and opinion weighs heavily in favour of the Palestinian Arabs. Muslim countries generally support them and are critical of Israel. Most non-Muslim countries recognize Israel’s legitimacy, but are critical of it as it has not kept to its side of the many bargains and agreements it has made, and because of its treatment of the Palestinian Arabs in the occupied territories of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. We will use oPt to refer to these territories.

Human rights groups, and most countries, accuse Israel of extensive abuses of human rights abuses, ethnic cleansing, genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes. Indeed, most say that Israel’s treatment of the Palestinian Arabs is appalling, both inside and outside of Israel, and that it is an apartheid state. It is an aggressive war mongering state that has fought multiple wars with each of its neighbors, all of whom support the Palestinian Arabs, and all of which provide a home to large Palestinian Arab refugee communities. Jordan accommodates the largest number of Palestinian Arab refugees, and in all cases, they are crowded into inadequate camps.

Israel would have us believe that the Jews were a poorly maligned and threatened ethnic group that were forced out of their mostly European homes and fled to an unoccupied Palestine for safety. They say they have a right to Palestine, and have renamed it Israel. They say that all they have done is returned to their ancestral homeland. They say that today they live in fear of terrorism, so tight security measures are necessary. They say that the Palestinian Arabs are terrorists, and often say they are anti-Semitic, as are the other Arab states. They say that they are compulsive liars and not trustworthy.

The Palestinian Arabs, however, have a different view. They say they have been imposed upon by Zionist Jewish colonial settlers, who have no right to be in Palestine, nor have they ever had any right to Palestine. They have opposed the Zionist settlers, and their struggle is a struggle of liberation, for the restoration of their inalienable rights, the principles of which are enshrined in international law and various treaties, charters, and United Nations, hereafter UN, resolutions, and in justice. Their homeland, Palestine, was taken from them by force by the Zionist Jews, and they are not terrorists. The Jewish Zionists are the terrorists

Furthermore, the Palestinian Arabs maintain, as does the UN, and almost all its member states, that Israel’s use of force against those that live in the oPt is uncalled for, and when exercised, it is excessive and disproportionate, and constitutes war crimes. Furthermore, the both the UN General Assembly and the UN Security Council have passed countless resolutions criticizing Israel and demanding it abide by international law, and take certain actions.

The problem with Israel’s story is that apart from being a European minority community that has been persecuted and threatened from time to time, the rest is not true. The problem for us is why, given that Israel’s story is nonsense, there is an issue today? Why does the conflict remain? Why is there not a state of Palestine recognized by all, and why does the US support Israel? If it were not for the US, there would be no Israel as we know it today.

The following quotation from Golda Meir, Israel’s Prime Minister from 1969 to 1974 informs:

When peace comes we will perhaps in time be able to forgive the Arabs for killing our sons, but it will be harder for us to forgive them for having forced us to kill their sons.

These words were used to try to find a defense for Israel, and impossible task. To unpack it, Meir is saying that Israel’s behavior constitutes rational self-defense and Palestinian Arab aggression is irrational terrorism, and devoid reason.

Palestinian Arabs have been resisting the Zionists from 1920, from the first days of the British Mandate (we will take about the Mandate in a few paragraphs time), when the British were colonial rulers of Palestine.[3] The conclusion that we will draw is that it is not the Palestinian Arabs that are the problem, it is Israel. The Jewish Zionist state, Israel, has no grounds for being in Palestine, and its behavior is unacceptable in all respects.

Some History

We will expand on what we say here in subsequent chapters and Volume II. As we said in the footnote, we will need to postpose a discussion of many of the details.

A movement developed in the late 19th century in Europe, the Zionist movement, comprised of Jews, and which from its first days, while understanding that Palestine was occupied by a substantial indigenous Palestinian Arab population, planned to remove it so that a state could be established that was entirely Jewish. They wanted a place where Jews could be masters of their own destiny, given their perceived history of Jewish oppression. Jews would immigrate to Palestine and create a Zionist Jewish state. Zionism was grounded in the abhorrent colonial world view that the rights of indigenous inhabitants were of no account. Colonialism was, and is illegal, and its practice breaches international law.

During World War I, WWI, the European colonial powers, Britain, France and Imperial Russia made promises they could not keep. These included in a number of agreements, including the McMahon-Hussain and Sykes-Picot agreements, and their many confirmations, and the Balfour Declaration, Balfour, which the Zionists took to be a promise.[4]

The jingoism which plunged Europe into a bloodbath in 1914 revealed belligerent cultures, the rectitude of imperial domination and racial superiority. It was exploited to bolster national self-esteem. When peace arrived with the armistice of 11th November 1918, it was compromised by the Treaty of Versailles in 1919, which set the stage for another world war. The power brokers had little intention of radically change the world. In 1917, US President Woodrow Wilson, “to keep the white race strong against the yellow” and to preserve “white civilization and its domination of the planet”.

The butchery of WWI gave birth to Zionist Israel, Europe’s original sin.

After WWI Palestine became subject to a British Mandate. Colonialism had been strongly denounced by the President Wilson, and so the League of Nations, the League, created mandates. A mandate was given to a mandatory power whose job it was to administer a mandated territory and bring it to independence. Rather than creating colonies from the territories captured in WWI, they would become mandated territories. Many mandates were awarded by the League, however in just one case, Palestine, the mandatory power, Britain, was given an additional task. It was to assist in the creation of a Jewish community in Palestine.

The Mandate for Palestine was awarded in 1920, and Jewish immigration to Palestine became egregious. With the support of Britain, the Zionist project could never have been realized without the military backing of the British, an international power. Force was needed to realize the Zionist goals. Land and resources were forcefully usurped by the Zionist Jews and its economic and cultural infrastructure systematically destroyed. Eventually an attempt was made to wipe out the entire Palestinian Arab population. In contrast to what had happened in the 19th century, the Palestinian Arabs survived.

The Palestinian Arabs soon understood the intentions of the Jewish Zionists, and objected to ongoing Jewish immigration, strenuously. They saw that it posed a real threat to the very existence of the Arab society in Palestine. The Palestinian Arabs’ opposition to Zionism wasn’t based on anti-Semitism, as Israel maintains, but rather, on the reasonable fear of dispossession. no evidence whatsoever for the Israeli claim of anti-Semitism has ever been presented, rather, there is strong evidence to the contrary.

The Mandate ended in 1948, after 28 years, a period when violence was ever present. The Zionists pushed forward with their plans and the Palestinian Arabs fought back. The disruptions led to many commissions and investigations, and finally on the eve of another world war, WWII, Britain, after its plan to partition Palestine between the Jewish Zionists and the Palestinian Arabs was rejected by both parties, decided to create a democratic state in Palestine. As the Palestinian Arabs were very much in the majority, this meant that a Palestinian Arab state would be established, and the Zionist plans would come to an end. The outbreak of war intervened, and during and immediately after its cessation, Jewish Zionist terrorism reached new heights in what became a civil war. The British outlawed two Jewish Zionist terrorist organizations, the Irgun and the Lehi. They had massacred Palestinian Arabs and bombed and destroyed public buildings and villages. They ethnically cleansed large areas of Palestine, forcefully evicting Palestinian Arabs.

Britain could not control the violence and handed the matter, the Question of Palestine, to the UN. On the day that the British left in 1948, Israel proclaimed itself a state, and the next day the neighboring Arab states joined the disorganized and meagre Palestinian Arab forces, and the civil war became a war between nations, the first was of the Arab-Israeli conflict.

The UN tried to resolve the conflict, a mediator was appointed, cease fires were negotiated, agreed and broken, and Israel took military control of 80% of Palestine, and applied to the UN for admission. The UN agreed to admit Israel if it implemented certain UN resolutions, Israel agreed, was admitted, but reneged on all its agreements.

Since that time, there have been very many attempts to find a resolution to the Arab-Israeli conflict. They have been called accords, peace plans, roads to peace, road maps, initiatives, and so on, but there has never been a resolution. Both sides say the other does not want one. The truth is that Israel has never wanted one, and has destroyed all attempts to find a peaceful solution. The Palestinian Arabs want, simply, their state.

Why Has the Conflict Never Been Resolved?

In the concluding remarks of his book, Palestine Peace Not Apartheid, published in 2007,[5] US President Jimmy Carter asked why no resolution of the Arab-Israeli conflict had been acheived. He observed that the open issues, the issues to be resolved had been agreed, so what needed to be done was clear.

Carter observed that the 1979 agreement between Egypt and Israel demonstrated that Israel was able to come to an agreement with an Arab state, and the subsequent agreement between Israel and Jordan in 1994 reinforced this view. Nevertheless, all the attempts to resolve the issues have gone nowhere.

Carter considered a solution with two states, the two solution. It was assumed that this was the only way to go forward. Later we will look at both the single state solution and the two state solution. For the moment, Carter assumed that an Israeli state and a Palestinian state would emerge from a resolution of the Arab-Israeli conflict. What was needed was agreement by all:

  • Israel would withdraw to its pre-1967 borders, and a Palestinian Arab state would be created from the oPt. Israel and Palestine would recognize the sovereignty of each other and agree to peaceful coexistence. The Palestinian Arabs would thus be restored to a nation in which its citizens exercised self-determination;
  • The Israeli settlements in the oPt would be dismantled and removed;
  • Jerusalem would be apportioned between the state of Israel and the state of Palestine. It could be internationalized, perhaps;
  • The Palestinian refugees could return to their homes, in Israel or in Palestine. If their homes were in Israel, and they chose not to return, then Israel would pay compensation.

There were minor modifications on the table, but these were the essential go forward conditions. One such modification was a land swap. Some Israeli settlements might not be dismantled, but become part of Israel in an exchange of territory. Another was that both states would become demilitarized, and a UN peace keeping force put in place. Israel strongly objected to demilitarization, but demanded that the Palestinian state was demilitarized. The point, however, is that these two provisions, and there were a few more, were resolvable, and would not stand in the way of a peace agreement.

The Palestine Liberation Organization, the PLO, the representative of the Palestinian Arabs, the Palestine (National) Authority, the PA, which governs the oPt, and Hamas, a political party which emerged in the 1980s, and dominates Palestinian Arab politics, have stated that these were the issues to be resolved to have peace.[6] The Quartet (the US, Russia, the UN and the EU) proposed a solution which incorporated Carter’s proposed items for agreement, and the Palestinian Arabs have concurred with it. A subsequent version, the Geneva Initiative contains these items too, and the Palestinian Arabs have concurred with it as well.

Israel is the only party that has never agreed to a solution, although it accuses the Palestinian Arabs of rejecting peace because it rejects Israel’s counter proposals. Although a majority of Israeli citizens, agreed with the Quartet’s proposal, but the government of Israel counter proposed ludicrous, unacceptable caveats and prerequisites. This is what Israel means when it says that the Palestinian Arabs reject peace proposals. They reject, with good reason, Israel’s proposed modifications to what everyone else has agreed.

Prior to the Quartet’s proposal, Israel had agreed to Security Council Resolution 242 adopted 22nd November 1967 and Security Council resolution 338 adopted on 22nd October 1973, the Camp David Accords, Accords, in 1978 and the Oslo Peace Agreement, Oslo, in 1993, all of which were ratified by the Israeli Knesset.[7] Carter’s four requirements were part of these resolutions, agreements and accords. Furthermore, all members of the Quartet have stated that the borders of Israel are the pre-1967 borders, that Israel’s occupation of the oPt, and the settlements are illegal and violations of international law, the Hague Convention of 1907, Hague, and the Geneva Conventions of 1949, Geneva. Israel in fact refuses to define its claimed borders. The International Court of Justice, the ICJ, has ruled that the occupation and settlements are illegal. The legal issues and the international agreements are set out and discussed in the section International Law Agreements on Page 220.

The reason is that Israel has no interest in a peace agreement is that it wants to absorb the oPt, the territories that it occupied in the 1967 war, and as much other territory in the Middle East as it can take. Israel, for example, has annexed Syrian and Lebanese territory, and tried to annex other parts of Lebanon. This policy has not always been Israeli policy. Although there have always been some who have wanted a Jewish state in all of Palestine, the state itself has vacillated. By the time that Ariel Sharon became Prime Minister in 2001, the policy of continued colonization became set in stone. Israel today considers that it has the right to confiscate and colonize more Palestinian Arab land. There is a problem, of course, with this objective. It is illegal.

There is another problem that all Israelis must face. It is how to explain Israel’s sustained subjugation and the persecution of the Palestinian Arabs, its ongoing abuse of human rights, its continues ethnic cleansing, which at time verges on genocide, its crimes against humanity and lengthy list of war crimes. The Palestinian Arabs have reacted to the oppression, and often resorted to violence, and Israel has responded with retribution and oppression. The retribution has been extreme, at measures that far outweigh reason and justification. This has resulted in further Palestinian Arab opposition, and more violence. It is a vicious circle for which only Israel is to blame.

The US is Israel’s only supporter, and a question we must ask is why the rest of the world, despite the countless condemnations of Israel, has permitted this circle of repression, oppression, and violence to continue. There is every indication that the majority of Palestinian Arabs and Israelis want a resolution along the lines of the many proposals that have been put forward. The rest of the world appears powerless, and moreover, the ongoing cost of dealing with the problem has been high, aside from the large loss of life.

For 25 years, the actions of Israel have been in direct conflict with the international community, and its international agreements. In order to wall off Gaza, Israel has committed war crimes and denied basic human rights. It removed the settlers and the IDF, but left the Gazan Palestinian Arabs in a jail, and eschewed any responsibility for them. From September 2000 to March 2006, 3,982 Palestinian Arabs and 1,084 Israelis were killed in the second intifada. There were 708 Palestinian Arab and 123 Israeli children killed. It is obvious that if Israel withdrew from the oPt, violence would cease.

Israel continues to carve out parts of the West Bank for itself, leaving the Palestinian Arabs destitute, and with small and fragmented pieces of their own land, to live in Bantustans. Israel has refused to permit the Palestinian Arab refugees to return and has destroyed their villages and expropriated their land, orchards, houses, businesses and personal possessions for the use of the Jewish population of Israel. This was done by force, but the Palestinian Arab victims are blamed for resisting their own dispossession.

Israel wants to absorb the oPt into its territory. One of the tactics is to impose harsh conditions on the Palestinian Arabs, so that they leave, so that eventually Israel can take the oPt.

The US White House and Congress have been complicit in the illegal Israeli actions. The US has used its Security Council veto to support Israel and has blocked more than 40 resolutions criticizing Israel. The reason is that the US has a second agenda for the Middle East, and sees Israel is its tool. Many years ago, the US has wanted a strategically important location in the Middle East in order to block Soviet expansion. Today it wants to control a strategically located  part of the globe. Furthermore, there are powerful political, economic and religious forces in the US. For example, AIPAC, which is discussed in the chapter, US Support for Israel on Page 229. As a result, Israel is not questioned nor condemned, and most Americans are unaware of the reality. As a consequence, the US has lost credibility, and this has contributed to anti-American feelings and terrorist activity.

Israel’s actions, indeed Israel’s terrorism, has led to a situation from which it may be difficult to recover. It is difficult to see that even with US backing, Israel’s enormous military power will be sufficient to prevail over Arab might. Peace can only come to the Middle East when Israel complies with international law, the relevant UN resolutions, and honors its prior agreements.

Like all other colonial enterprises, Zionism was based on the complete disregard of the rights of indigenous inhabitants. As such, it is indefensible, morally and legally. Today, Israel’s obligation is to make amends, not resist a Palestinian Arab state in the oPt with East Jerusalem as its capital, or in all of Palestine, and pay reparations. All laws that discriminate against non-Jews living in Israel must be repealed.

The US has an obligation to see that justice is done. Financial aid has enabled the occupation and suppression, and a pre-condition of any further support, must be that Israel must abide by global opinion and the relevant UN resolutions. It must withdraw to its 1967 borders, and facilitate the two-state solution, or it must agree to a one state solution, in which, clearly, the Palestinian Arabs will be in the majority.

Israel tries to persuade the world to accept it as a moral and just response to the horrors of the Holocaust. Most think otherwise.

In a recent BBC poll, Israel was the fourth-most-disliked nation on the globe, behind Iran, North Korea, and Pakistan. In October 2003, the International Herald Tribune surveyed 7,500 Europeans across 15 European Union, EU, countries and determined that Israel was the single biggest threat to world peace, a threat bigger than Iran, North Korea, and Afghanistan.

The Thoughts of Some Commentators

Chomsky

The US Jewish community has found it difficult to face the fact that the Palestinian Arabs have suffered a monstrous historical injustice. Until this is recognized, discussion of the Middle East will remain stalled. “Only by admitting culpability and making amends can Israelis live with their neighbours in peace. Only then can the centuries-old Jewish tradition of being a people of high moral character be restored.”[8]

Hanan Ashrawi

Responding to a statement by US Secretary of State Madeline Albright in 2000, that Palestinian Arab rock throwers had placed Israel under siege, and that Israel was simply defending itself, Hanan Ashrawi responded:

It is Israel that is the belligerent occupant of Palestine, Israeli tanks and armoured vehicles surround Palestinian Arab villages, camps and cities, Israel deploys US made Apache gunships and fires missiles at Palestinian protestors and homes. It is Israel that is confiscating Palestinian Arab land and importing Jewish settlers and creating illegal armed settlements in the heart of Palestinian Arab territory. The settlers are rampaging in the West Bank and Israel terrorizes Palestinian Arabs in their own homes. Israel commits atrocities against Palestinian Arabs with total impunity, and yet [Albright] maintains, that Israel is besieged. Albright’s understanding and comment were laughable, wrong and shocking.[9]

Uri Avnery

World opinion, with the exception of the US, is on the side of the Palestinian Arabs who are fighting a war of liberation against a foreign occupation. We [Israel] are in their [Palestinian Arab] territory, not they in ours. We are the occupiers, they are the victims. This is the objective situation, and no minister of propaganda can change that.[10]

Author

The reality is, that although the Palestinian Arabs had no part in any prior persecution of the Jews, they were a weak and defenceless ethnic community, an ideal victim for an act of revenge against a community that has nothing whatsoever to do with any Jewish persecution using anti-Semitism as an excuse and justification. Israel is at war with the Arab world because it has committed the sin of colonialism, and not because it is a Jewish state.[11]

Edward Said

The first challenge, then, is to extract acknowledgement from Israel for what it did to us [Palestinian] Arabs.[12]

Rashid Khalidi

Justice demands an uncontested, sovereign, independent Palestinian state. Its practical, for without it there will never be peace in the Middle East. The conditions as stated above are not negotiable. Moreover, the state must be contiguous, and politically and economically viable, with no Israeli presence of any form, on the ground, in the air, or in the waters.[13]

Justice demands that Israel acknowledges the suffering and hardship that Palestinian Arab refugees have faced as a result of their eviction from their homeland and must assist in their rehabilitation and reabsorption.[14]

Ze’ev Sternhell

Israel occupied the oPt and established settlements because no one believed that the Palestinian Arabs deserved the same rights as the Jews, and they shamefully did not accept basic human rights. If a “Jewish State” that does not recognize the absolute equality of all human beings … [then we need to forge] an identity detached from the mystical ramifications of our religion and the irrational side of our history.[15]

Anat Biletzky

We must, as academics, never forget our political agenda: the eradication of evil. And the Israeli occupation of Palestine is the epitome of evil. We must constantly, as academics, identify with Palestinian teachers and students in conditions of severe repression. We must constantly, as academics, criticise the acquiescence of others in Israel to the occupation. And we must constantly, as academics, call for condemnation of the occupation[16]

[1] There are peace agreements between Israel and Jordan, however these should be seen as quite ancillary.

[2] We need to proceed leaving a lot of the details for later sections. McMahon and Hussain wrote a number of letters to each other which culminated in an agreement that Britain would assist the Arab communities in the Ottoman provinces in the Middle East to become independent in the event Britian was successful in its war time campaign against the Ottomans. In return, the Arabs joined forces with the British and fought the Ottomans. The details in Volume II, and we will refer to the agreement as McMahon-Hussain.

[3] We will have a few words to say about the mandates in a few paragraphs, and more fully, in Volume II

[4] Sykes-Picot and Balfour, like McMahon-Hussain, will also be discussed in Volume II.

[5] Jimmy Carter, Palestine Peace Not Apartheid, Simon & Schuster, New York, 2007

[6] Hamas, which dominates the PA, and has string support in Gaza, will not recognize Israel unless it comes to the table and negotiates a solution that is accepted by a majority of Palestinian Arabs in the oPt. At that time, Hamas has said, it can accept Israel. The PLO, the PA, Hamas and the Quartet and Geneva Initiative are discussed in Volume II.

[7] The Accords and the Oslo are discussed in Volume II.

[8] Noam Chomsky, Peace in the Middle East?

[9] Hanan Ashrawi, The Progressive, December 2000

[10] Uri Avnery, “12 Conventional Lies About the Palestine-Israeli Conflict”, Palestine Media Watch, http://www.pmwatch.org.

[11] Christopher Brickhill

[12] Edward Said, The Progressive, March 1998

[13] A.S. Khalidi

[14] A.S. Khalidi, New York Times, 11th February 1997.

[15] Professor Ze’ev Sternhell, Tikku”, May/June 1998.

[16] Anat Biletzky, Conference on the academic boycott of Israel, American Association of University Professors, 2006

Death Adders in The Knesset

Copyright (c) 2018, Christopher John Brickill. All rights are reserved, and the moral rights of Christopher John Brickhill as the Author have been asserted by him.

Israel is an apartheid state, it commits war crimes egregiously, and does not abide by agreements and UN resolutions that it has committed to honor. A good question to ask is why Israel’s law makers, the members of the Knesset have permitted this to come about. To answer this question, it helps to look at a few of them. They are repulsive.

There have always been unsavory politicians. Today’s Knesset members remind us of Hitler, Mussolini, Pol Pot, and Stalin, just some of those in the list of the ethically deprived. The long history of aggressive Zionist thuggery that began long before Ben-Gurion embraced it remains alive and well.

Today’s Israel quite possibly tops the all time list of governments with inhuman humans. In this article, we’ll name six of them, and tell you what they think, and say.

Avigdor Lieberman

On Sunday 8th April 2018, one of Israel’s most vile individuals, Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman, of the secular, right wing, Russian immigrant based Yisrael Beiteinu party, said there are ”no innocent people in the Gaza Strip”. He continued that “Everyone’s connected to Hamas, everyone gets a salary from Hamas, and all the activities trying to challenge us and breach the border are Hamas military wing activists”. Lieberman made his announcement shortly after an unarmed Palestinian journalist, Yasser Murtaja, a 30 year old father, and wearing clearly identifiable journalist credentials was shot and killed, murdered by the IDF. Another killed was 15 year old Hussain Mohammed Madi, who was shot with an expanding dum-dum bullet. Dum-dum bullets wreak havoc inside the body and are illegal. Their use in conflicts is a war crime.

Yisrael Beiteinu’s progenitor is Ze’ev Jabotinsky, the terrorist founder of revisionist Zionism. It does not want peace, and does not want Arabs in Israel. It proposes a Palestinian state that contemplates an exchange of a few Arab dominated parts of Israel for Jewish inhabited parts of the West Bank.

When Lieberman spoke, there had been days of protests marking the 70th anniversary of the 1948 Nakba, on the Gaza side of the perimeter fence with Israel. There had been no breaches of the border, nor its containing wall, yet the IDF killed 33 and injured more than 3,000 Palestinian Arabs. Three of the dead and 445 of the injured were children. The vast majority of the casualties were in tent camps, 700 meters from the perimeter. The IDF had stationed 100 or more snipers along the border, and there were no IDF casualties, nor injuries.

As an attempt to justify the grossly extreme actions, the IDF said that a couple of militants were shot and killed after they breached the fence and entered Israel, but they produced no evidence, and said they had to withhold the bodies for security reasons. The Israeli air force fired missiles behind the protesters, and a farmer unconnected with the demonstration, was shot and killed while working on his land. During this period, in the West Bank, 715 Palestinians, including 165 children, were injured by the IDF, and settlers shot, killed and injured many more, claiming self-defense. Settlers set Palestinian property, including vehicles, on fire, and spray painted racist graffiti on walls. They threw Molotov-cocktails.

Israel said that it fired only when it expected attacks on the perimeter fence. It was clear, however, that individuals posing no threat whatsoever were fired on using live ammunition. In a tweet, subsequently deleted, the IDF noted, “Nothing was carried out uncontrolled; everything was accurate and measured, and we know where every bullet landed”. The IDF knew who they had murdered. The IDF questioned the number killed, murdered, and injured, and maintained that their targets were armed groups.

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights stated that those killed, or wounded, were unarmed and did not pose any threat to Israel’s security. The Commissioner noted that many of those shot had been running away from the fence. The UN Secretary-General has called for an independent investigation, which Israel has rejected, as usual. The International Criminal Court has cautioned Israel and reminded it that its actions may be criminal, and that the situation is under preliminary examination.

Apart from being devoid of fact, and self-serving rubbish, notably Lieberman provided no evidence for his remarks. Even if they had contained a semblance of truth. there would be no justification for the actions of the IDF. The Palestinian Arabs were harmless sitting ducks. There was no evidence that the protestors were armed, nor that they breached, or intended to breach the border fence.

Comments on the Middle East Eye article reporting these incidents on the 8th April 2016 include, that Lieberman is no better or different than Hitler, that he is Nazi scum, and that he has no respect for human life, that innocent Palestinians have been murdered, that he is a thief, and that he should be sent to The Hague.

In response Lieberman tweeted, that the IDF soldier who appeared in a video firing on peaceful protesters in Gaza “deserves an accolade”.

Lieberman considers that it is acceptable to treat the Palestinian Arabs in Gaza as game animals, objects for slaughter. He is a butcher. He should suffer the same fate as the Hitler henchmen who murdered Jews in Nazi Germany.

Miri Regev

Miri Regev is an ex-IDF Israeli politician, and a member of the Likud party. She is the current Minister of Culture and Sport. She is a vulgar, poorly educated, opportunistic, colourful, but dangerous fool. She is a Sephardi Jew and a Likud attack dog. She has little time for the cultural elites. The insecurity that stems from the discrimination she has experienced as a consequence of her Moroccan origins surfaces often, and accounts for her frequent loud-mouthed ravings à la Donald Trump. She too suffers from a desert between her ears and has the same regard for honesty and the truth as Trump. None at all. She is the Israeli version of Sarah Palin,

Regev equates artistic freedom with what she calls the “Freedom of Funding”. She uses kindergarten language to describe what is required, “Loyalty in Culture”. Artists must prove their loyalty to Israel before being funded. If you think you are hearing an echo of Nazism, you would be right. She does not understand that it’s not up to her to decide who receives public, tax payer money. For Regev, being loyal means agreeing with her, and her views are extreme.

Her understanding of the arts is, well, minimal. She confuses Chekhov, a contemporary author with Maimonides, an ancient philosopher, scientist. They both could read and write, but Regev makes no finer distinction. It raises the question of how well she reads and writes. Not well, we can safely assume. Similarly, she asks why classical music must be supported, and why music from Andalusia attracts no funding. She does not see the differences. It raises another question, how well she can listen. Not well.

She is the ultimate bimbo. She dresses like a whore, with tasteless makeup splashed over her cheeks and nose, and focusses pimp like on voters. “Cut the bullshit” she said at the beginning of a speech, as she uncoiled an Israeli flag.

She is an accomplished opportunist. When she entered politics, she sought a place on the Labour electoral list, and when rejected, Likud’s list. She exploits her poor background. She attacks the cultural junta, the secular, the Left, and the Ashkenazi elite, who she says exploit the uneducated, poor Mizrahi. She promotes everything Mizrahi, no matter how culturally valueless, at the expense of the cultural elite, regardless of how valuable.

She does not see the disconnect between her reliance on Arab support in Israel and her demonization of the Palestinian Arabs in the occupied territories. The reason she does this, of course, is that only the Israeli Arabs are able to vote. She refuses funding to artistic groups that do not perform in the communities which support her and penalizes Arabs who do not wish to perform in the settlements. She tells the Arab members in the Knesset that they are traitors and should go to Gaza.

But now, to the real problems. She supported a move to require NGOs who received foreign funding, many human rights groups, to wear badges in the Knesset, so they could be identified. Another reminder of Germany in the 1930s. Kristallnacht. For her, human rights are subservient to Jewish rights. Human rights go if they conflict with Jewish rights.

She says the ”Sudanese [migrant worker] infiltrators are a cancer in the nation’s body”, and apologized to cancer patients for making a connection between them and the Sudanese. The patients are human. The Sudanese are not.

Regev’s views are derived from the basest impulses of the disadvantaged. She does not recognize human rights. She is a hypocrite with a Trump like need for approval, and she is foul.

Danny Danon

Danny Danon is in his late forties, he is secular, and a blight on humanity. Even his colleagues in Israel’s right wing Likud party want little to do with him. “Whenever I see him representing my views, I am embarrassed,” a prominent Likud figure said. He has been a Knesset member, has served as Deputy Speaker, and a Minister. He was banished to the UN in 2015, where Israel is ostracized, where what he says is irrelevant, and where he can no longer embarrass Netanyahu and Likud.

When the US hosted the signing of the 1993 Oslo Accords and Rabin and Arafat shook hands on the White House lawn, Danon went to Washington to protest. “I had to spoil the party”, he said. He does not want a peace agreement nor a two-state solution. He wants all of Palestine for Israel with “the minimum number of Palestinian Arabs”. Danon says, “The biggest problem in the state of Israel are the Arabs of Israel”. In 2013, he said that the Likud party has no place for anyone who supports a peace agreement with the Palestinian Arabs.

“We have [the] rights to the land”. He thinks that Israel has biblical rights to Palestine. There are no such things as biblical rights, and in any case the biblical account conflicts with the reality, the history of Palestine, and certainly does not give Palestine to the Jews. He thinks that international law gives Israel the right to the occupied territories, when the law clearly says that it does not, and demands that Israel withdraws. He says that Israel has historical rights, which obviously it does not, and he has invented a new kind of right, which he describes as a common sense right: “We won. When you win, you keep what you [have] won.” He is wrong again.

He says that Israel will annex what it wants of the West Bank, after which it will have no responsibility for the Palestinian Arabs who may remain in their unannexed towns. This will avert the “threat to the Jewish and democratic status of Israel by a growing Palestinian population”. He is incredulous. He wants Israel’s apartheid state to continue in order to protect democracy in the Jewish part of Israel.

Before he was banished, he wanted to propose a motion forbidding Palestinian statehood, and he introduced a bill requiring all citizens to pledge loyalty to Israel as a Jewish and democratic state in order to get a passport or driver’s license.

Prime minister Netanyahu fired him because he vehemently opposed, publicly, Netanyahu’s contemplated agreement with Hamas. He wanted no truce. On 10th November 2011, in Facebook, he posted “for every missile that falls in our southern towns, we retaliate by deleting a neighborhood in Gaza”. In July 2014, he advocated cutting off all electricity and fuel supplies to Gaza, and undertaking punitive attacks on civilians, and Gaza’s infrastructure. That same month, after the kidnapping of an Israeli soldier, “If we don’t get the soldier back within a few hours we should start levelling Gaza.”

In December 2010, when Turkey demanded that Israel apologize for killing nine Turks on a Gaza-bound ship, Danon read on the Knesset floor: “We are sorry that, due to the IDF’s over-cautious behavior, only nine terrorists were killed.” Pointlessly inflammatory.

He meddles in the affairs of other states and embarrasses all parties. “When we see a lack of leadership coming from the White House, that’s what brings leaders in Turkey to attack Israel the way they do, … that’s why we see the leader of Iran … continuing to build the nuclear reactors.” Not surprisingly, Danon took Sarah Palin on a tour of the Western Wall.

He reacted to the UN Human Rights Council vote condemning Israel on Friday, the 25th March 2018 with threats. The Council had passed anti-Israel resolutions addressing human rights in the occupied territories, the right of the Palestinian Arabs to self-determination, the settlements and the necessity for accountability and justice for all violations of international law in the occupied territories. Danon threatened that there would be “significant consequences … these actions against Israel are hypocritical and cause irreparable damage to the cause of those who truly care about real human rights violations around the world … We will put an end to the absurdity that this Council represents”. He is a disturbed individual.

We should recall his first speech at the UN, when he demanded that the UN must change.

The people of Israel want peace. The Jewish people have suffered centuries of exile and persecution, and simply want to live as free people in their land. There was of course one pre-condition, Israel’s security, which would override every other consideration. He did not mention that Israel’s security equates to territorial greed and expansionism.

Danon said that he had experienced Palestinian terrorism first hand, as his father had died as a result of it.

He branded all Palestinian Arabs terrorists, and accused them of years of unprovoked attacks on Jews driven by no other reason than deep hatred. Hatred was taught in schools, and a generation of Palestinian Arabs had been brainwashed with bigotry, and raised to dehumanize Jews, and glorify violence. The Palestinian Arabs have a culture of hate, and are the entire problem, and Israel is simply defending itself. What can you say to such a deranged individual? The Danons of Israel are the problem.

He accused president Abbas, and the Palestinian leadership of accusing Israel of trying to change the status quo in Jerusalem. He gave his reasons. In 1928, the Jewish Agency announced that it had no intention of claiming the al-Aqsa Mosque. The reason that it said this was that lies had been spread to incite violence against Jews. Then he lost it completely. He said that in 1928, there had been no Israeli presence on the Temple Mount, no settlements, and no state of Israel, the very developments that had driven Israel’s attempts to claim Jerusalem as its capital, and take the al-Aqsa Mosque.

Rather than see the reality behind Abbas’ claim, he accused the Palestinian Arabs of “employing old tactics” to incite violence, in order to manipulate the international community. Instead of penalizing the Palestinian Arabs, the international community rewarded them. Israel will not agree to an international presence on the Temple Mount. His reason? No nation would accept the presence of international forces in their capital. He had forgotten that Jerusalem was not the capital of Israel, that this was an agreement, and go forward basis for the UN partition. and the dozens of examples that contradicted this statement.

He wound up by saying that the only way to bring closure was by negotiation, something that had failed for 70 years. It had failed because Israel, in all cases, had caused it to fail.

Danon is not only undesirable, he is a dangerous, inflammatory, ethics free individual who, like the others described in this short piece needs to be locked up for his own good.

Ayelet Shaked

One of the least desirable of the Knesset undesirables is Ayelet Shaked. She is approaching 40 years old, she is secular, she is a fascist, and although she describes herself as an intellectual, she has an IQ barely in high double figures. Another intellectual dim wit, Miri Regev, in comparison, appears to be an Einstein.

Her secularism enables her to escape the settler stereotype, religious, fanatical, gun toting red neck. This is probably why she is secular. She has been the Israeli minister of justice since the 14th May 2015. Apparently, Netanyahu’s well is not deep.

She has attracted enormous opposition from both the right and the left in Israel because she is obnoxious. When criticized she hits back not with a reasoned explanation, but with personal and professional vindictive attacks. Ha’aretz, is irresponsible, she says, and as a result, occasions violence.

An Israeli writer, “… the reason I am on the brink of burning my Israeli passport [is] because behind the wide-eyed innocent face lurks the Angel of Death”.

She holds untenable, confused and nationalistic opinions and wants to curb the powers of the Israeli Supreme Court, so that it cannot interfere with the Knesset. No checks and balances is fine with her. She also wants to eliminate regulations which she says hamper economic growth. Who should decide what is what are the people, and that means the Knesset. Again, she does not understand the contradiction.

She wants legislation to secure Israel as a Jewish state, and does not support two states, and certainly not a Palestinian Arab state. Her proposal is to strengthen the Palestinian Authority in the occupied territories, so that it becomes economically viable, and more dependent on the Israeli economy. She does not explain that this is apartheid, and would provide Israeli citizens with a source of cheap, domestic labour. This of course will mean changing the law, and the educational system, so that Jews can be taught their Aryan, superior stature.

Israel is “the national home of the Jewish people”, and keeping the Jewish majority is necessary, even when it constitutes a violation of human rights. The right to exercise national self-determination in the State of Israel only applies to Jews. Along with this goes the demotion of Arabic, the language of 1.8 Israeli Palestinian Arabs, from an official language. This, she says is reasonable, as it would only denigrate the non-Jewish, Palestinian Arab minority, Israel’s second class citizens. She does not see the contradiction, which is not surprising as she does not see very much at all. She tells us in Ha’aretz, “there are places where the character of the State of Israel as a Jewish state must be maintained, and this sometimes comes at the expense of equality”. There can be civil rights, but this does not mean equal national rights, and this means human rights are dead and buried, unless you are Jewish.

She wants to legalize the settlements as Israeli territory, and pass laws that give settlers security. The settlements are not occupied, but Israeli territory, and the settlers need to know that they will always be part of Israel.

The day after the bodies of three kidnaped Israeli teens were found, and the day before six Jewish Israeli louts kidnapped and murdered, burnt alive, Palestinian Arab teen Mohammed Abu Khdeir in a revenge attack, Shacked posted a quotation from an article written by the deceased author Uir Elitzur on her Facebook page, dated 7th July 2014, that called Palestinian children little snakes and said it was justified to bomb civilians when they gave shelter to evil. She called for the genocide of the Palestinian Arabs. “They have to die, and their houses should be demolished so that they cannot bear any more terrorists … They are all our enemies and their blood should be on our hands. This also applies to the mothers of the dead terrorists”. “Behind every terrorist stands dozens of men and women, without whom he could not engage in terrorism. They are all enemy combatants, and their blood shall be on all their heads. Now this also includes the mothers of the Martyrs, who send them to hell with flowers and kisses. They should follow their sons, nothing would be more just. They should go, as should the physical homes in which they raised the snakes. Otherwise more little snakes will be raised there.”

In an attempt to justify her Facebook post, she said that she was simply repeating the words of someone else. That she would attempt to exonerate herself in this way was sickening. But then again there is little between her ears.

The prime minister of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan responded. “An Israeli woman said Palestinian mothers should be killed, too. And she’s a member of the Israeli Parliament. What is the difference between this mentality and Hitler’s?” Not a lot. She is endorsing a Palestinian Arab holocaust.

Ayelet Shaked, a failed computer scientist attempts to justify some of her positions by referring to academics. She tells us that Locke’s ideas were not actually what they were, drawn from Roman law, and the Athenian states, but were restatements of what is in the book of Genesis. They are secured by Judaism. Enough for stupidity, ignorance and ineptitude. What we need to do is put this Angel of Death where she belongs, in the jails of The Hague.

Eli Ben-Dahan

Ben-Dahan is a particularly nasty piece of work. He has served as a member of the Knesset for a party that would be outlawed in a civilized state, the ultra-right wing fascist Jewish Home Party. He has held ministerial appointments as Deputy Minister of Religious Service and Deputy Minister of Defense. He is an Orthodox rabbi. Ben-Dahan thinks that:

  • A Jew always has a much higher soul than a gentile, even if he is homosexual. He has clarified, that he strongly opposes homosexuality, but that a homosexual Jew is superior to a Christian or Muslim of any sexual preference;
  • Palestinians are like animals, they are not human;[1]
  • It is legitimate to execute those who throw stones at the IDF.[2]

Reuven Hammer, a past president of the International Rabbinical Assembly, has denounced his views as pernicious and a perversion of Jewish teachings. They are heresy. He should resign from the Knesset, or be expelled.[3] Ben-Dahan is a racist. It’s easy to see how the second and third above, are consistent with the first. He is a blight against humanity, and uses fabricated religious views, views identified as such by other religious Jews, as an excuse for demonic elitism, illegal land confiscation and ethnic cleansing. He should not be a free man. His own ethics demand that he be caged, although our ethics say that he should remain behind bars for the rest of his life, in a civilized country, in The Hague.

Naftali Bennet

Naftali Bennett is one of the few truly vile persons on the planet.

We saw the standards of veracity take a dive when Donald Trump assumed office, and we now have the Pinocchio awards. Bennett easily upstages Trump! I have written about this in my posts on this site: The Appalling Naftali Bennet and Pinocchio Naftali Bennet At It Again

In those posts you will see that he thinks that Israel, which he incorrectly calls democratic, that the bible gave the Jews the right to claim Palestine. He says that the Palestinians are immigrants, mostly illegal. This does not stack up with the facts. The Jews, like everyone except the Palestinian Arabs, have no claim whatsoever to Palestine. Not only that, such a claim is beyond rational discourse, beyond discussion, it’s preposterous and absurd. The Zionist claim to Palestine is not supported by international law, and with the exception of Israel, not the law of any of today’s almost two hundred states. The people that has ownership rights in, and nationhood rights to Palestine, are the Palestinian Arabs.

For many of his, often demonic ideas, Bennet relies on the bible, notwithstanding there is little evidence supporting the biblical account of history.

More importantly, Bennet has murdered an unspecified number of Palestinian Arabs and he is proud of it. “I’ve killed many Arabs in my life and there is no problem with that”. This comment came in a Knesset committee discussion. The question was how to deal with what Israel might suspect to be Palestinian Arab terrorists. It was costly to put them on trial. Much simpler to execute them. No need for due process. We see this daily in the occupied territories. It’s just like Nazi Germany.

Bennett was widely condemned for these words, though he denied that he said them, even though what he said is in the Knesset records. He is a liar. He said that he said “terrorists should be killed if they pose an immediate life threat to our soldiers when in action”.

Bennett was a poor IDF commander. During Operation Grapes of Wrath, he led 67 troops into Lebanon, and violated the battle plan without informing his superiors, who he thought were cowards. Bennett’s troops were ambushed, and 102 civilians were killed, including four UN peacekeepers. When criticized, true to form, he called himself a hero, rather than an irresponsible fool. He has never been held to account for the civilian losses. He should be.

Bennet thinks that the West Bank, Judea and Samaria are part of Israel. In February 2012, Bennett published “The Israel Stability Initiative” which called for the complete annexation of the West Bank. He opposes the creation of a Palestinian state, “I will do everything in my power to make sure they never get a state … there is not going to be a Palestinian state within the tiny land of Israel”.

The Gaza Strip would become part of Egypt, and Areas A and B in the West Bank would become a sort of Palestinian canton. The IDF and Shin Bet would “ensure quiet, suppress Palestinian terrorism, and prevent Hamas from taking over the territory”. That would give the Palestinian Arabs 38% of the West Bank. They would occupy only 8% of their land, Palestine, but they would not rule it. They could choose to become Israeli citizens or permanent residents but the vast majority of Palestinians, those exiled, would be unwelcome, as would those in the Gaza Strip. He says that in this way, Israel can live with the Palestinian problem. When Trump was elected, Bennet proclaimed that “The era of the Palestinian state is over”.

Bennett is opposed to same-sex marriage. His rationale is laughable. “just as we don’t recognize milk and meat together as kosher”.

In December 2014, Scholars for Israel, called on the US and EU to impose sanctions on Bennett and others “who lead efforts to insure permanent Israeli occupation of the West Bank and to annex all or parts of it unilaterally in violation of international law”.  Their mantle is “pro-Israel, pro-Palestine, pro-peace”. They demanded that the US and the EU freeze Bennett’s foreign assets and impose visa restrictions.

Like Dumb Thug Trump he claims credit for everything. He recently claimed credit for a small improvement in Israel’s economic performance. However, according to Ha’aretz it was due to a fall in global commodity prices.

He says that Palestinian Arab terrorists should be shot, and has proposed a death sentence bill. The Knesset has approved a first reading of the bill making it applicable only to Palestinian Arabs taking part in “operations against Israeli targets”. Extremist defence minister Avigdor Lieberman, endorsed the bill. The approval was narrow, 52 to 49 but needs a second and third reading before it could become law.

The bill violates international law as “The conflict between the Palestinians and Israelis is not criminal in nature but nationalist,” so Israel cannot sentence Palestinian prisoners to death under the provisions of the Fourth Geneva Convention. It’s a problem as Israel refuses to be bound by international law, the Geneva conventions and the international Criminal Court.

[1] Both remarks in Tamar Pileggi, The Times of Israel, 11th October 2015, https://www.timesofisrael.com/new-deputy-defense-minister-called-palestinians-animals/

[2] Dana Nasi, Jerusalem Online, 16th July 2015

[3] Reuven Hammer, The Jerusalem Post, January 2014

The First Intifadah, a Lame Excuse for More Israeli War Crimes

Copyright (c) 2018, Christopher John Brickill. All rights are reserved, and the moral rights of Christopher John Brickhill as the Author have been asserted by him.

Intifadah means to shake off or to get rid of. Its use conveys aggressive, but legitimate nonviolent resistance.

There were two intifadahs. The first began in December 1987, and lasted until the Madrid Peace Conference in 1991, although some might argue that the complete cessation was not until the Oslo Peace Accords in September 1993, and the creation of the Palestinian Authority, with limited self-rule.

The combination of economic depression, political repression and politicization is combustible. The first intifadah began in a refugee camp, at an army road block in the Gaza Strip, on the 8th December. An IDF truck collided with a car and killed four Palestinian Arabs and injured nine others. It appeared that the deaths were intended. The funerals ignited popular protests, and the initial unrest grew into spontaneous demonstrations and disturbances throughout the oPt.

The IDF used live ammunition against the unarmed Palestinian Arab protesters, which resulted in high casualties and stimulated an expansion of the violence.

The uprising spread to the West Bank and Jerusalem, and to subdue the protests, the IDF, the police and the Jewish settlers used live ammunition, shot and killed unarmed Palestinian Arabs, ambushed them, and subjected them to harassment and severe beatings.

In December 1987, immediately after the intifadah began, the PLO Executive Committee met. It delivered a strongly emotional expression of support for those involved, and a tirade against the Israelis. It called them fascists and Nazis. It wanted the international community involved.

The Security Council met at the request of (Democratic) Yemen,[1] on the 11th December and on nine other occasions during the month. On 22nd December, it adopted a resolution, 14 votes in favour to none against with 1 abstention, the US, that the Security Council “strongly deplored the policies and practices of Israel, the occupying Power, which violate the human rights of the Palestinian people in the oPt, and in particular the opening of fire by the Israeli army, resulting in the killing and wounding of defenseless Palestinian civilians”. It reaffirmed that the GCIV was “applicable to the Palestinian and other Arab territories occupied by Israel since 1967, including Jerusalem”.[2] The Security Council requested the Secretary-General to examine the situation in the oPt, and recommend a way to ensure the safety of the Palestinian Arabs under Israeli occupation.

Despite demands that it not do so, Israel violated the GCIV and deported Palestinian Arab civilians from the oPt. On the 5th and then on the 14th January, the Security Council adopted further resolutions which demanded that Israel act lawfully and refrain from deporting Palestinian Arab civilians, and “to rescind the order to deport Palestinian civilians and to ensure the safe and immediate return to the occupied Palestinian territories of those already deported”. Both resolutions were passed unanimously, 14 votes in favour to none against with 1 abstention, the US.[3]

The Fourteen Point Memorandum

The Palestinian Arabs in the oPt issued a Fourteen-Point Memorandum on the 14th January 1988. It made demands of the Israeli occupiers and asked for the International Peace Conference.

The PLO Executive Committee and the Higher Committee for Occupied Homeland Affairs had issued a joint statement in December 1987:

Peace cannot be achieved except through the recognition of Palestinian national rights, including the right of self-determination and the establishment of an independent Palestinian State on Palestinian national soil. Should these rights not be recognized, then the continuation of Israeli occupation will lead to further violence and bloodshed, and the further deepening of hatred.[4]

It continued, the uprising “affirms that all fascist Zionist crimes, terrorism, and repression cannot save the criminal occupation, … their defeat and removal from the sacred Palestinian land”, and the “the Zionist rulers today appear before the world as inheritors of Nazism and fascism”.

The message was that there was no point in proposing solutions that did not meet the demands that the Palestinian Arabs had made continually since the first days of the Mandate. The Accords, the Reagan Plan and similar proposals were pointless. If the demands were not met, there would be more problems.

The way forward was a decision-making UN International Peace Conference. Israel’s only ally was the US which had vetoed almost all UN Security Council resolutions detrimental to Israel. Outside of the Security Council the US would not have a veto, and the International Peace Conference would support the Palestinian Arabs overwhelmingly. Israel’s survival thus depended on being obstructive and doing anything to prevent the Conference from coming about.

The Fourteen-Point demands were actions that Israel had to take before the Conference. I have summarized them as follows:

  1. Abide by the GCIV, and all other agreements pertaining to the protection and rights of civilians under military occupation, to declare the Emergency Regulations of the British Mandate null and void, and “to stop applying the iron fist policy”;
  2. The immediate compliance with Security Council Resolutions 605 and 607, calling upon Israel to abide by the GCIV, and the Declaration of Human Rights;
  3. Release all prisoners and rescind all proceedings against them;
  4. Cancel expulsions, allow all those exiled to return, release administrative detainees, cancel house arrests, and accept the hundreds of applications for family reunions;
  5. Lift the siege of Palestinian Arab refugee camps, withdraw the IDF from population centres;
  6. Undertake an inquiry into the IDF and settler actions in the oPt and detention camps, and take punitive measures;
  7. Cease all settlements activity and land confiscations, release confiscated land, end the harassment of Palestinian Arabs by settlers in the oPt, curtail the provocative activities of Sharon and the ultra-religious settlers;
  8. Refrain from any act which impinges on the Muslim and Christian holy sites or which might introduce change to the status quo in the city of Jerusalem;
  9. Cancel VAT and all other Israeli taxes imposed on Palestinian Arab residents the oPt, end the harassment of Palestinian Arab business and tradesmen;
  10. Cancel all restrictions on political freedoms, and permit municipal elections;
  11. Release all monies deducted from the wages of laborers from the oPt who have worked or still work inside the green line, and return it with interest;
  12. Remove all restrictions on building permits and licenses for industrial projects and artesian and agricultural development programs in the oPt, and rescind the measures taken to deprive the oPt of their water resources;
  13. Terminate the discrimination against industrial and agricultural produce from the oPt, remove the restrictions on the transfer of goods within the green line, and place restrictions on the transfer of Israeli goods into the oPt;
  14. Remove the restrictions on contact between the inhabitants of the oPt and the PLO, so that Palestinian Arabs in the oPt can participate in the Palestinian National Council.

The reason for the detail, and the description of actions for Israel to take, but which would not be necessary when Israel was removed, was to show case the depth of Israel’s repressive behavior and its flouting of the law.

During the intifadah, there was an attempt by the US to resolve the problems. On the 6th March 1988, US Secretary of State George Shultz proposed a plan based upon a combination of bilateral negotiations and the contemplated International Peace Conference. He suggested that the Palestinian Arabs and Jordan negotiate as a team with Israel. For this reason, the plan was dead in the water before it began. The Palestinian Arabs had written off direct negotiation with Israel.

Following the Schultz proposal, the PLO Executive Committee in April, made a statement on the intifadah. It said it would continue, and it wanted to dismantle the blockade which Israel had erected solely to conceal what they were doing from the rest of the world. It rejected all the proposals, including the autonomy half measures and restated its views:

The PLO believes that the appropriate framework for a just solution is a UN-sponsored international conference with effective powers attended by the five permanent members of the Security Council and all the parties to the conflict in the region including the PLO, on an equal footing with the other parties and on the basis of international legality and UN resolutions on the Question of Palestine and the Middle East.

The command of the intifadah managed work days within the strikes so that the Palestinian Arabs could survive, and managed schools and other educational resources. It emphasized self-sufficiency, and, for example, the need to manage water and water wells, health care and legal aid. There were also special protest days, and it remarked that the intifadah marked 20 years of persecution and oppression and attempts to destroy the Palestinian identity.

Report of the Secretary-General of the 21st January 1988

In response to the Security Council’s request, the Secretary-General dispatched a representative to Israel and the oPt to examine the situation and explore ways to ensure the safety and protection of the Palestinian Arabs. The representative met with Israeli officials and about 200 Palestinian Arabs. On the 21st January the Secretary-General submitted a two part report to the Security Council.

The first part, “The situation in the occupied Palestinian territories” addressed Israel’s abuse of human rights, and the domestic conditions of the Palestinian Arabs. It reported that the Palestinian Arabs rejected the Israeli occupation, and complained about, or that:

  • The practices of the Israeli security forces including the IDF, the border police, the civilian police and the General Security Services, the GSS, also known as Shin Beth;
  • Palestinian Arabs were treated with contempt and arrogance that was deliberately intended to humiliate them and undermine their dignity as human beings;
  • The routine violence in detention centres, and administrative detentions;
  • The purpose of interrogation was to extract confessions that would be used in military courts;
  • There was extreme physical violence, and psychological pressure, for example, the GSS used techniques like hooding;
  • Political activity was banned;
  • Land was stolen and used for settlements;
  • Palestinian Arabs were deported.

The second part, “Ways and means for ensuring the safety and protection of the Palestinian civilians under Israeli occupation”, considered the need for a settlement, the GCIV, and ways of protecting the Palestinian Arabs. The report noted:

  • More should be done to ensure the protection of the Palestinian Arabs;
  • Any measure would be palliative absent Israel’s withdrawal from the oPt, and Security Council and General Assembly resolutions have declared the inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by war, and insisted on Israel’s withdrawal;
  • An urgent effort is required by the international community, and the Security Council to achieve a lasting settlement;
  • In the opinion juris of the world community, the GCIV applied to the oPt, so Israel must apply GCIV. If it did not, those signatories of the GCIV which have diplomatic relations with Israel, should ensure that Israel respected all its provisions, in all circumstances.

The Security Council, should ensure, urgently, protections for the Palestinian Arabs:

  • Physical protection included armed forces to deter, and fight, threats to the safety of the Palestinian Arabs;
  • Legal protection included judicial and political interventions;
  • General assistance meant resistance to violations of the rights of the Palestinian Arabs, and measures to cope with the day-to-day difficulties of life under occupation, security, curfews and harassment;
  • News media protection meant enabling publicity.

The recommended actions included:

  • The International Peace Conference;
  • The UNRWA to address the “squalid living conditions in many of the camps, especially in the Gaza Strip, resulting from the lack of such basic amenities as paved roads, sewage, water, lighting and housing of a minimum standard”;
  • The UNDP to address the economic development of the oPt.

He summarized that an urgent effort was required by the international community, and the Security Council.

The Secretary-General received a number of responses:

Kuwait as a member of the UN, wrote to the Secretary-General. The OIC had adopted a communiqué addressing the desecration by Israeli forces of Masjid (that is, Mosque) al-Aqsa during Friday prayers on the 15th January.[5] Israeli troops stormed the Mosque, opened fire and launched tear gas grenades at the worshippers. There were serious injuries. The OIC condemned Israel, and its violations of the GCIV. It supported the uprising.

The Chairman of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People expressed, again, its concern over Israel’s violation of the rights of the Palestinian Arabs, the GCIV, and UN resolutions. The Committee specifically protested Israel’s illegal exercise of collective punishment. The Committee endorsed 38/58 C, and the International Peace Conference, and appealed to all states and parties to provide food and other necessities to refugees in the camps.

The Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Soviet Union, pointed out the urgent need to take concrete steps to implement the decisions of the General Assembly. He proposed that the Security Council should become far more active and more aggressive. He suggested that the Foreign Ministers should be involved, and endorsed the International Peace Conference.

The Secretary-General’s report was discussed by the Security Council at five meetings between the end of January and the beginning of February. The overwhelming majority demonstrably criticized Israel for its repressive and harsh measures against the Palestinian Arabs. He said the only way forward was the International Peace Conference.

The non-aligned states drafted a resolution which demanded that Israel, as illegal occupier and signatory of the GCIV, accept, de jure, its applicability in the oPt, including Jerusalem, to comply fully with its obligations, desist from violations of the human rights of the Palestinian Arabs, and facilitate the task of the ICRC and UNRWA. It requested the Secretary-General to monitor the oPt and affirmed the urgent need to achieve a comprehensive settlement of the conflict.

On 1st February, the draft was put to the vote, and was unanimous, except for the single US veto. The resolution was thus not adopted. It was disastrous. Despite the failure to adopt the resolution, the significance of this document, cannot be overestimated. It established, clearly, that Israel existed only at the pleasure of the US.

Israeli Policies and Actions in the Intifadah

During the intifadah, there were strikes, disruptions, non-violent and violent demonstrations, and boycotts of the Israeli civil administration. Demonstrators threw Molotov cocktails, stones and firearms. Palestinian Arabs refused to work on Israeli products, set up barricades, withheld taxes, and refused to drive cars with Israeli license plates. There was widespread destruction and human suffering.

The Israeli military response was extreme as usual. Despite world-wide condemnation, Israel continued with its iron-fist policy. This resulted in mass injuries and heavy loss of life. Many of the elderly, and many women and children were murdered. Specialized, toxic tear gas attacks killed hundreds. Children rarely survived and miscarriages among pregnant Palestinian Arab women were common. Palestinian Arabs were indiscriminately beaten and subject to other forms of physical abuse. They were attacked violently by the settlers. Prolonged curfews, collective punishments, administrative detentions, and deportations were standard practices. House demolitions were used to punish families.

The US Department of State, in 1988 noted that Israel contravened the GCIV, and The Hague Conventions of 1907. There was a “substantial increase in human rights violations” and “frequently used gunfire in situations that did not present mortal danger to troops, causing many avoidable deaths and injuries”. There were five cases of Palestinian Arabs in detention being executed “by the detaining officials”. “abuse, and harsh and demeaning treatment of prisoners and detainees” was usual.

On 19th January, Itzhak Rabin, Israeli Minister of Defense, confirmed that Israel’s policy was “force, might, beatings”.[6]

Palestinian Arab and foreign physicians, human rights organizations, and the international and Israeli press reported that the practice of using clubs to break limbs, and beat Palestinians who were not involved in disturbances, was widespread. Families were evicted from their homes during the night, and were made to stand for hours. Men and boys were beaten in reprisals.[7] Palestinian Arab children were treated as adults for security offences, which were defined fluidly. The Israeli Attorney-General of Israel declared these practices illegal.

To conceal its actions from the international community, Israel resorted to a media and information blackout, and imposed increasing restraints on the freedom of expression.[8]

The IDF deployed 80,000 soldiers, 1,200 Palestinian Arabs were killed, and 20,000 wounded. Thirty thousand youths were targeted, regularly, for beatings and physical abuse. One hundred Israeli civilians and 60 IDF servicemen were killed, 1,400 Israeli civilians and 1,700 servicemen were injured. 12,000 Palestinian Arabs were held in detention for indefinite periods of time, and hundreds deported.

In short, it was a bloodbath, where Israel’s war crime and its affront to humanity hit new levels.

The intifadah cost the Israeli economy hundreds of millions of dollars and cast a significantly further dark light on Israel, especially as the number of deaths of Palestinian Arab children became known to the world. Israel lost large amounts of foreign support.

The Commission on Human Rights

During the Intifadah, the international community stepped up its political, humanitarian and economic support for the Palestinian Arabs.

The UN, the EEC, the League of Arab States, the OIC, the OAU, the Movement of Non-Aligned Countries, the Nordic States, the Inter-Parliamentary Union, the Gulf Co-operation Council, the Caribbean Community and the Association of South-East Asian Nations all took actions, and the Commission on Human Rights continued to focus on Palestinian Arab human rights.

The Commission resolved in March to demand that Israel abide by the GCVI, and condemned the killing, wounding, arresting, and the torturing of Palestinian Arabs, kidnapping Palestinian children, its use of physical violence, specifically, to break the bones of men, women and children, and causing women to miscarry. It condemned Israel’s annexation of Jerusalem. The Commission reaffirmed its support for the International Peace Conference, and 38/58 C.

The Commission recommended that the Security Council adopt Chapter VII enforcement measures, against Israel, including military enforcement, to restore international peace and security.[9]

United States Tried to Block PLO UN Representation

The US tried all sorts of tactics to interfere in the Israeli-Arab dispute. It adopted the Anti-Terrorism Act of 1987, in order to close the Permanent Observer Mission of the PLO.

The presence of the Mission was covered by the UN Headquarters Agreement, an agreement between the UN and the US, according to which, the PLO had the right, as did all UN member states and observers, to maintain facilities in New York. Its personnel were permitted to enter and remain in the US in order to carry out their duties and functions.

The US challenged the Headquarters Agreement, but the International Court of Justice on the 26th April delivered a unanimous opinion that should the US wish to pursue the matter further, it must seek arbitration. The US District Judge in Manhattan, on the 29th June dismissed the US case seeking to close the PLO Mission. The US chose not to appeal, and the dispute was closed.

Developments, the Question of Palestine

During 1988, apart from the Israeli oppression, Israel continued to attack the PLO directly. On the 16th April it sent commando force into Tunisia and assassinated Khalil al-Wazir (Abu Jihad), the Deputy Commander-in-Chief of the Palestinian Armed Forces and a member of the Central Committee of the PLO. The Security Council considered the assassination between the 21st and 25th April 1988, and resolved on the 25th April, by a vote of 14 in favour to none against, with 1 abstention, to condemn vigorously the aggression perpetrated on 16th April against the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Tunisia in flagrant violation of the UN Charter, international law and norms of conduct.[10] It would seem that Israel was a law unto itself. It disregarded all agreements, and took no notice of the globe’s condemnations.

By mid-1988 uncontrolled Israeli and terrorism, and its continual breaches of territorial integrity made it imperative to find a solution to the Question of Palestine.

In June 1988, the PLO announced that the PLO would talk to any party chosen by Israel to represent it. PLO accepted Security Council resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973) within the framework of a UN resolution that recognized the Palestinian Arabs inalienable rights. It said that the PLO would accept and an international guardian for the oPt, and it would insist on international guarantees for the security of all countries in the region. Bilateral peace negotiations with Israel would be undertaken within a UN International Peace Conference.

On the 31st July 1988, King Hussain of Jordan announced a confirmation of the Rabat decision to acknowledge the PLO. Jordan would sever its administrative and legal links with the occupied West Bank because of the need to focus on the distinct Palestinian Arab identity in all issues related to the Question of Palestine. He noted the bonds between the entire Arab community, and that the Jordanian Palestinians remained citizens of Jordan, and Jordan would continue to fully support the Palestinian Arabs, the uprising, and their national objectives. The Jordanian Parliament, which included representatives from the West Bank was dissolved. This PLO which assumed responsibility for the administration of the oPt.

On the 28th August, Yasser Arafat and the UN Secretary-General met in Geneva and discussed the political and material assistance that the UN may provide the Palestinian Arabs.

On the 13th September, he addressed the Socialist Group of the European Parliament in Strasbourg, France. He spoke about the plight of the Palestinian Arabs under Israeli occupation, and the intifadah. He made it clear that for the PLO would only agree to a UN sponsored International Peace Conference, and with the participation of the permanent members of the Security Council and, obviously, the parties to the conflict, and Israel. The PLO wanted an independent Palestinian Arab State, liberated from Israeli occupation, with democratic, multi-party politics, which respected human rights, where there would be no distinctions among its citizens resulting from difference in color, race or religion. The Conference must assume agreement by all parties with the relevant UN resolutions on the Question of Palestine, including Security Council resolutions 242 and 338 and acceptance of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian Arabs. Arafat eschewed terrorism, as set out in the 1985 Cairo Declaration and General Assembly resolution 42/159 of the 7th December 1987. Arafat also acknowledged Israel’s right to exist within its 1967 borders, and that with the formation of an independent Palestinian state, normal relations with Israel would be acceptable.

Special Session of the General Assembly

On 30th September, the Secretary-General made a number of observations.

All members of the Security Council had agreed on the UN sponsored International Peace Conference. There were differences of opinion over the framework, and who should take part, but all agreed that it was urgent.

The situation in the oPt, however, continued to deteriorate. Collective punishment of the Palestinian Arabs became more frequent as did extended curfews. The Israelis continued to demolish Palestinian Arab houses. There were military sieges of towns, villages and refugee camps. Sanctions also included closing schools and universities, and outlawing labour unions.

The Group of Arab States asked for a special meeting of the General Assembly on the intifadah. The agenda item was a “Report of the Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Population of the Occupied Territories”.

On the 3rd November, the General Assembly adopted a resolution,[11] 130 in favour, 2 against, with 16 abstentions, condemning “the opening of fire by the Israeli army and settlers that result in the killing and wounding of defenseless Palestinian civilians, the beating and breaking of bones, the deportation of Palestinian civilians, the imposition of restrictive economic measures, the demolition of houses, collective punishment and detentions, as well as denial of access to the media”. The General Assembly also called upon the signatories of the GCIV “to take appropriate measures to ensure respect by Israel, the occupying Power, for the Convention in all circumstances in conformity with their obligation under article 1”.

The Secretary-General, and the UN Centre for Human Rights, (the secretariat for the Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Population of the Occupied Territories), said that it was essential that Israel comply.

The Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People,[12] voiced again its grave concern of “the increasing resort by Israel to armed force and other draconian measures in an effort to suppress the popular uprising, which began in early December 1987, against the continued occupation and gradual annexation of the occupied Palestinian territory and against the Israeli policies and practices violating the rights of the Palestinian people”. The Committee drew the attention of the General Assembly and Security Council to Israel’s flagrant violations of the GCIV, its attempts to prevent the Palestinian Arabs from attaining their inalienable rights, and thwarting international efforts to bring about a peaceful settlement of the Question of Palestine.

The Nineteenth Session of the Palestine National Council[13]

The Nineteenth Extraordinary Session of the PNC was a land mark event. It produced two major documents, “The Political Communiqué of the Palestine National Council” and “The Declaration of Independence”. The Session also set up a provisional government.

The Political Communiqué affirmed the determination of the PLO to reach a comprehensive settlement of the Question of Palestine within the framework of the UN Charter, the resolutions of the UN, the resolutions of the Arab summit conferences, the right of the Palestinian Arabs to return to Palestine, the exercise of their self-determination, and to establish an independent Palestinian State. The PNC wanted:

  • The UN International Peace Conference, as contemplated;
  • Israel’s unconditional withdrawal from the oPt and other Arab oPt;
  • Removal of the settlements established by Israel;
  • The oPt to be placed under UN protection for a limited period of time;
  • A Palestinian Arab state;
  • The refugees’ problem to be resolved, in accordance with UN resolutions;
  • Religious freedom, etc., for all religions;
  • The Security Council’s assurance of peace and security.

On the 15th November 1988, the PNC declared its continuing support for the intifadah, which should be intensified, and asked for international support on a number of matters, and issued the Palestinian Declaration of Independence which proclaimed an independent State.

It noted “Despite the historical injustice done to the Palestinian Arabs in its displacement and in being deprived of the right to self-determination following the adoption of General Assembly resolution 181 (II) of 1947, which partitioned Palestine into an Arab and a Jewish State, that resolution nevertheless continues to attach conditions to international legitimacy that guarantee the Palestinian Arabs the right to sovereignty and national independence.”

The Zionists had first claimed that Palestine did not shelter a population, however the absurdity and self-serving nature of this remark was quickly noted. Article 22 of the Covenant of the League and the Treaty of Lausanne recognized that all Arab territories, including Palestine, of the formerly Ottoman empire were to be granted freedom, and sovereignty. General Assembly resolution 181 (1947) partitioned Palestine, which confirmed the legitimacy to the claim of Palestinian sovereignty.

The Declaration continued:

By virtue of the natural, historical and legal rights of the Palestinian Arab people to its homeland, Palestine, and of the sacrifices of its succeeding generations in defense of the freedom and independence of that homeland, “Pursuant to the resolutions of the Arab Summit Conference and on the basis of the international legitimacy embodied in the resolutions of the United Nations since 1947, and … Through the exercise by the Palestinian Arab people of its right to self-determination, political independence and sovereignty over its territory and … in exercise by the Palestinian Arab people of its rights to self-determination, political independence, and sovereignty over its territory, The Palestine National Council hereby declares, in the name of God and on behalf of the Palestinian Arab people, the establishment of the State of Palestine in the land of Palestine with its capital at Jerusalem.

The main features were:

  • The State of Palestine was for all Palestinians, wherever they then were;
  • Religious and political beliefs, and human rights and dignity to be safeguarded;
  • Palestine to be a parliamentary democracy, with an independent judiciary, and with respect for the rule of law;
  • Respect for minorities, no discrimination in civil rights on the grounds of race, religion or color, between men and women, mutual tolerance, etc.;
  • Palestine to be an Arab state, and a part of the Arab nation;
  • Palestine was committed to the UN, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and would be an unaligned state.

On the 28th November the Secretary-General noted that the intifadah had been an inspiration behind the PNC session at Algiers.

The State of Palestine was immediately welcomed by the international community. Within a month, independent Palestine was recognized by 80 States in Africa, Asia, Europe and Latin America.

The US finally recognized the PLO on the 14th December 1988, ending the US’s embarrassing estrangement from the world community over the Question of Palestine. It took five more years for Israel to accept the PLO. Its hand was forced, and it did so on the 13th September 1993.

Forty-Third Session of the General Assembly in Geneva

The PNC decided that Chairman Yasser Arafat should head the PLO delegation to the forty-third session of the General Assembly when it considered the Question of Palestine. Arafat would participate and make an opening statement. The reaction of the US was to deny him a visa, and attempt to block his entry to the US.

In the first instance, the US maintained that Arafat was a security threat, but when it became obvious that this was absurd, the US said that his entry and presence in the US did not meet certain relevant standards. A similar issue had been resolved by a previous Secretary-General, Dag Hammarskjöld. The UN legal team responded: “I am of the opinion that the host country was and is under an obligation to grant the visa request of the Chairman of the Executive Committee of the PLO, an organization which has been granted observer status by the General Assembly.”

The General Assembly dealt with the matter on 2nd December.  A resolution, “Report of the Committee on Relations with the Host Country” was put to a vote. It deplored the failure of the host country, the US, to honor the request of the General Assembly and admit Arafat, and elected to consider the Question of Palestine at the UN Office in Geneva. The resolution was adopted by a vote of 154 in favour, 2 against with 1 abstention, and the UN session moved to Geneva. The Question of Palestine was considered from the 13th to the 15th December 1988. The attempted US obstruction was petty.

On the 13th December, Arafat addressed the General Assembly again.

He began with an historical retrospective, after which he reminded the delegates of the numerous peace plans proposed during the past decades. He underscored the role the intifadah, and specifically reminded the delegates of the PNC’s position on terrorism.

He summarized a peace plan:

  • The preparatory committee to be convened, and in accordance with the initiatives of President Gorbachev and President Mitterrand presented to the General Assembly the previous September by Mitterrand;
  • With the single exception of Israel, the problem that gave rise to the Question of Palestine, the UN International Peace Conference commanded universal support;
  • The UN must place the oPt under temporary UN supervision and deploy a force to protect the Palestinian Arabs, and supervise the withdrawal of Israel;
  • The PLO will work to achieve a comprehensive settlement between the States of Palestine and Israel, and the other neighboring states on the basis of Security Council resolutions 242 and 338.

The peace plan was welcomed by almost all delegations, which also endorsed the Palestinian Arab struggle for their inalienable rights, and the newly established State of Palestine. Israel was severely criticized, and there was concern about Israel’s attempts to crush the intifadah.

On the 15th December, the resolution calling for the convening of the UN sponsored International Peace Conference, with the provisos and conditions described above, was adopted by an overwhelming majority of 138 votes in favour to 2 against, with 2 abstentions.[14]

A further resolution acknowledged the State of Palestine, and that the designation Palestine should be used in place of Palestine Liberation Organization. The resolution was adopted by 104 votes in favour to 2 against, with 36 abstentions.[15]

The US announced that it was prepared to “engage in a substantive dialogue with the PLO”. It was opposed to the resolution convening the International Peace Conference because it did not explicitly agree to direct negotiations, and the US neither accepted nor did not accept the independent Palestinian State. The PLO-US dialogue resumed on the 16th December.

Glasnost

Syria and the other Arab nations lost political and military support of Moscow, and Egypt came back into the Arab League in May 1989, and Israel permitted hundreds of thousands of Soviet Jews to emigrate to Israel. but the US became largely distracted by the Gulf War against Iraq by the spring of 1991. However, the efforts of Secretary of State James Baker lead to the Madrid Peace Conference in October 1991.

[1] Yemen was the Chairman of the Group of Arab States in that month.

[2] The resolution was 605 of 1987.

[3] The resolutions were 607 and 608 of 1988

[4] The Israeli-Arab Reader, Page 316

[5] At an urgent meeting, at the UN, New York, 19th January 1988

[6] New York Times, 23rd January 1988

[7] UN Country Reports on Human Rights abuse in Israel and the oPt, Page 1397

[8] Ibid, Page 1382

[9] 44th Session, 1st February to 11th March 1988, the resolutions were 1988/1 A, 1988/1 B and 1988/3

[10] It was 611 adopted 25th April 1988

[11] It was 43/21

[12] In its 1988 report to the General Assembly

[13] From the 12th to the 15th November 1988, Algiers, Algeria

[14] It was 43/176

[15] It was 43/177

Five Years of Israeli War Crimes and Abuse of Human Rights, Continued

Copyright (c) 2018, Christopher John Brickill. All rights are reserved, and the moral rights of Christopher John Brickhill as the Author have been asserted by him.Israel’s denial of peace

The 1980s were marked by Israeli’s abuse of human rights, and execution of war crimes. During the years 1984 to 1988, there was a drastic lowering of the living conditions of the Palestinian Arabs in the oPt, a direct result of Israeli aggression and its eschewal of human rights. To address this problem, economic and social assistance was provided by the UN and private relief organizations. Many Palestinian Arabs were forced in order to survive, to seek employment in Israel where they were grossly mistreated.

By the end of 1988, in the wake of the Geneva session of the General Assembly, Israel found itself isolated, globally. Between 1984 and 1988, the UN’s influence increased substantially.

The UN sponsored International Peace Conference, gained, except for Israel, universal support, not only as a way forward, but as the only way forward.

During 1984

After the General Assembly passed resolution 38/58 on the 13th March 1984 calling for an International Peace Conference, the UN -Secretary-General, sent letters to nineteen member states, and the PLO, soliciting opinions on the matter.[1]

The US was opposed to the Peace Conference, and to resolution 38/58 C. It said that the way to peace was on the basis of Security Council resolutions 242 and 338 and that a Peace Conference would hinder the peace process. The US provided no reasons for its position, and moreover, few disagreed with 242 and 338, which required Israel to withdraw from the oPt, an item on the International Peace Conference Agenda. Its position simply reflected Israel’s position, a position with no rationale. It was grossly irresponsible.

Israel too was opposed to the Peace Conference. It said that it would serve “as a forum for the dissemination of anti-Israel propaganda”. This was certainly true, and appropriate. The entire world, except the US was at loggerheads with Israel. Israel rejected any UN sponsored peace conference. It did not say why, but the reasons were obvious. Israel would face opposition from across the globe.

The other seventeen, and the PLO, were very much in favour of the Peace Conference, and its agenda.

The USSR strongly supported 38/58 C, and an international collective effort, as it “would open up a real path towards an all-embracing solution for all the problems generated by the Middle East conflict”. On the 29th July 1984, it submitted “Proposals by the Soviet Union on a Middle East settlement”. These Proposals focused on the inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by force and the International Peace Conference Agenda. The Proposals noted the need to end war in the region. The Security Council, or its permanent members could guarantee peace.

The PLO was very much in agreement with 38/35 C and the proposal for the International Peace Conference. It was critical of the US response. It added its support for Fez as the minimum measure of justice, and the International Peace Conference Agenda. The PLO also declared its supported the involvement of the US and USSR.

The Arab states that were directly involved, Jordon, Lebanon and Syria were fully supportive of the International Peace Conference and its Agenda, and 38/58 C.

Jordan stressed the importance of international law and the inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by force. It explicitly stated that it accepted 242 and 338.

Lebanon added that it was host to a large number of Palestinian Arab refugees and had been subjected to illegal Israeli acts of aggression, and the invasion of its territory, notwithstanding that it was an innocent bystander in the conflict.

Syria added that Israel’s policy of aggression and force was a significant obstacle to peace. It expressed strong support for the July Soviet proposals.

Egypt reiterated its support for the International Peace Conference Agenda and in the justice and legitimacy of the Palestinian cause. It called upon the Secretary-General to exert every effort to make the International Peace Conference happen.

The UN Secretary-General, in September 1984 reminded all parties that the International Peace Conference would require the participation of those directly involved, the US and the USSR, but that neither Israel, nor the US had agreed to it. He added later that only a comprehensive settlement could deliver the International Peace Conference Agenda, so all parties needed to talk, under the auspices of the UN.

The Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People expressed regret over the Israeli and the US decisions but emphasized that this would not deter them from pursuing the International Peace Conference.

A number of prominent intergovernmental organizations such as the European Economic Community, the Movement of Non-Aligned Countries and its Committee of Nine on Palestine,[2] the Organization of African Unity, the Organization of the Islamic Conference and its Al-Quds (Jerusalem) Committee were all strongly in favour of the International Peace Conference.

In summary, although the support for the International Peace Conference was universal with the exception of Israel and the US, planning did not progress because of the single US Security Council veto.

During 1985

During 1985, the Security Council debated the situation in the Middle East on many occasions. On the 12th and 13th September 1985, at the request of the Group of Arab States, it considered a draft resolution that deplored the repressive measures that Israel took against the Palestinian Arabs in the oPt and demanded that Israel desist, release the detainees and refrain from deportations. It demanded that Israel abide by GCIV. The resolution was vetoed by the single US vote.

During its February session,[3] the UN Commission on Human Rights considered the “Question of the violation of human rights in the occupied Arab territory, including Palestine”. It denounced the refusal of Israel to allow the Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Population of the OPt access to the oPt. It reiterated the deep and disturbing concern of the Special Committee with Israel’s actions in the territories and confirmed that many, including Israel’s breach of the GCIV, were war crimes and an affront to humanity. It demanded that Israel refrain from such actions, and implement all UN resolutions. It reiterated its call to all states not to recognize Israeli changes in the oPt and to avoid actions which might help Israel pursue its appalling policies. It requested that the General Assembly recommend to the Security Council the adoption of enforcement measures against Israel.

In a declaration adopted by the Asian-African Conference[4] in April, the participating states expressed their full solidarity with, and support for the Palestinian Arabs and the PLO. The Conference condemned Israeli practices, and reaffirmed that there could be no resolution of the Middle Eastern conflict until Israel unconditionally withdrew from the oPt, including Jerusalem.

The Ministers for Foreign Affairs of the Ten States Members of the EEC, on the 29th April, reaffirmed that peace required the participation of all concerned parties, and their willingness to contribute to the peace process.

Later, in July, the Assembly of Heads of State and Governments of the OAU[5], it reiterated its unwavering support for the Palestinian Arabs and the PLO, and strongly condemned any initiatives that did not take into account the aspirations of the Palestinian Arabs.

In August, the Summit of Arab States,[6] stated the necessity for continued Arab support for UN resolutions on the Question of Palestine. The Summit said that the International Peace Conference, with -the participation of the permanent members of the Security Council, and the concerned parties, would deliver peace.

In September, the Conference of Foreign Ministers of Non-Aligned Countries,[7] reaffirmed 38/58 C, and that a solution to the Question of Palestine could not be achieved without the complete and unconditional withdrawal of Israel from all Palestinian Arab and other Arab territories, including Jerusalem, and the implementation of the International Peace Conference Agenda. The Conference stressed the urgent need for the International Peace Conference.

The Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People[8] reported in 1985, that the resolution of the Question of Palestine had reached a critical phase, and urged renewed efforts to find a solution under UN auspices. The Committee was convinced that the International Peace Conference described in 38/58 C would lead to a solution.

In its 1985 annual report,[9] the Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Population of the OPt, stressed once more the hardships of the day-to-day life of the Palestinian Arabs under Israeli occupation. Israel continued to ignore GCIV. Israel’s abuse of human rights had skyrocketed because of the uncontrolled and vicious violence of the armed Jewish settlers directed at the unarmed Palestinian Arabs:

The extent and force of the activities undertaken by these settlers in regard to the Palestinians in the oPt showed that, in fact, it was the settlers who constituted the real authority in the country …

The civilian population remained without any protection whatsoever. Corroborative of this attitude of the Israeli authorities is the leniency with which members of the Jewish underground found guilty of murder and physical abuse of the civilian population were treated by the authorities. … There remains no doubt that the true political force in the oPt, which determines the fate of the civilian population, is made up of the settlers implanted illegally in these territories.

At the fortieth session of the General Assembly, in 1985, it resolved[10] that convening the International Peace Conference would be a major advance towards solving the conflict in the Middle East, and called upon Israel and the US to reconsider their positions towards peace.

The UN Secretary-General’s 1985 report[11] on the Middle East stated that the Security Council had a universally recognized responsibility for the explosive problems in the Middle East, and he acknowledged that there were difficulties. He was referring, obliquely, to Israel’s abominable attitudes and behavior.

During 1985, Israel reinstated the 1945 British Mandate’s emergency regulations enabling it to deport Palestinian Arabs and to detain them, with neither charge nor trial, for renewable six-monthly periods. The regulations permitted Israel to shut down the news media for any reason it chose. This was the cornerstone of the new repressive policy. Israel had continued to confiscate Palestinian Arab land, it had continued to increase the size and number of the settlements, and continued its policy of economic subjugation. It had also extended Israeli infrastructure into the oPt.

During 1985, all parties agreed that the conditions in the oPt markedly worsened, as did the appalling conditions of Palestinian Arab refugees in southern Lebanon, both as a result of Israel’s demonic policies and actions.

During 1986

By 1986, the UN sponsored International Peace Conference was seen by all, including Israel and the US, as the only means of resolving the Question of Palestine and achieving the International Peace Conference Agenda. It was certainly true that Israel did not want peace if the cost was the oPt. Ever since the first Zionist Congress in Basel in 1987, the Zionists had coveted the West Bank. Since 1967, they had occupied it, and they intended to keep it. With the US as its ally, it was not threatened militarily. An International Peace Conference could force it to remove itself from the West Bank. The US simply followed Israel.

The Question of Palestine, however, remained on the Security Council’s agenda throughout 1986.

The OIC and its Al-Quds Committee held a number of meetings in 1986 and considered the Question of Palestine. In January,[12] the Al-Quds Committee recommended, in order to effectively oppose the Zionist occupation, the support for the Palestinian Arabs should span multiple levels, and consist of political, military and economic support. Later in the year, on the 2nd October, the Ministers for Foreign Affairs of the OIC, emphasized the importance of the International Peace Conference, as contemplated by 38/58 C.

In March, the UN Commission on Human Rights considered the “Question of the violation of human rights in the occupied Arab territories, including Palestine”.[13] The Commission reaffirmed that the occupation itself was a violation of the human rights of the Palestinian Arabs. It expressed deep concern over Israel’s homeland doctrine which contemplated a Jewish state which included the oPt. It condemned and rejected Israel’s decision to annex Jerusalem and the changes it had made to its physical nature and demographics, the changes it had made in the oPt, and stated categorically, that these measures were null and void. The Commission condemned Israel’s failure to abide by the GCVI, it strongly condemned Israel’s torture of Palestinian Arab detainees and prisoners, and their deportation. It demanded that Israel co-operate with the Red Cross, and similar organizations.

The UN Secretary-General’s March report, despite the endorsement of the International Peace Conference by all parties except the US and Israel, expressed concerns over the obstacles. The report stated:[14]

In light of the debate of the General Assembly on the above resolution and other available information, I believe that the obstacles which have so far prevented the convening of the International Peace Conference on the Middle East as called for by the General Assembly still exist. However, I also believe that the observations contained in my report of 22 October 1985, which are recalled above, remain valid.

The Inter-Parliamentary Union adopted a resolution in April[15] on the Question of Palestine. It demanded the full, immediate and unconditional withdrawal of Israel from all oPt and affirmed the International Peace Conference Agenda. The Conference called for parliaments and governments, globally to support the International Peace Conference.

In its 1986 report, the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People[16] noted that Israel continued to remain in the oPt, in violation of numerous General Assembly and Security Council resolutions. It continued to repress the Palestinian Arabs and expand the settlements. The Committee stated that Israel was primarily responsible for the tensions and violence that continued to mount in the Middle East. Israel thus compromised international peace and security. The priority was convening the International Peace Conference.

When Israel violated the Haram al-Sharif, Morocco as Chairman of the OIC, requested an emergency session of the Security Council. It tabled a draft resolution on the 30th June which read: the Security Council was deeply concerned at “the provocative acts by Israelis, including members of the Knesset, which have violated the sanctity of the sanctuary of the Haram al-Sharif in Jerusalem”, it deplored these acts, and affirmed that “such acts constitute a serious obstruction to achieving a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the Middle East, the failure of which could also endanger international peace and security”. It criticized Israel’s violation of the GCIV. The resolution was vetoed by the US, but voting was otherwise unanimous.

In July, the Council of Ministers of the OAU[17] reiterated once again, their support for the Fez Arab Peace Plan and the International Peace Conference. They called upon the Security Council to be a guarantor of the rights of the Palestinian Arabs.

The Movement of Non-Aligned Countries considered the Question of Palestine many times. In September, it reaffirmed its solidarity with the Palestinian Arabs, and the Arab countries, victims of Israeli aggression.[18] It condemned agreements that violated the rights of the Palestinian Arabs. It stressed the urgent need for the International Peace Conference and confirmed the International Peace Conference Agenda. It called on the Security Council to direct a preparatory committee, comprised of its permanent members, to set the wheels in motion for the International Peace Conference.

During the forty-first session of the General Assembly, in September, an overwhelming majority adopted a resolution calling on the Security Council to establish the preparatory committee and ensure that the International Peace Conference went forward immediately.

The UN Secretary-General’s October report[19] noted the alarming absence of any active negotiating process, and the singular position of the US. On the prospects for the International Peace Conference on the Middle East he said that:

… the idea of an International Peace Conference to be gaining wider support and a number of procedural proposals have been made in bilateral contacts involving the parties in the region and others who are interested in a settlement of this long- standing conflict. Important disagreements nevertheless remain on the scope of the Conference, on its timing and especially on the question of participation. The latter question, more specifically how the interests and rights of the Palestinian people should be represented, has so far proved impossible to resolve in a manner acceptable to all the potential participants in the proposed Conference. Agreement on that issue would do more than anything else to unblock the present deadlock in the negotiating process.

In 1986, the Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Population of the OPt, revealed new information.[20] It announced that there was an escalation of violence as a result of Israel’s revived iron-fist policy. There were increased arrests and trials, increased detentions of civilians, including minors, for political or security offences, and large scale expulsions and deportations. The Special Committee concluded:

… the policy pursued by the Government of Israel in the oPt continues, as in the past, to be based on the principle that the territories occupied by Israel in 1967 constitute a part of the State of Israel. This is at the source of the policy of annexation and establishment of settlements in oPt, which constitutes a flagrant violation of the international obligations of Israel as a State Party to the Fourth Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War.

During 1987

The year 1987 was the anniversary of a number of significant events. It was the seventieth anniversary of the signing of the 1917 Balfour Declaration, the fortieth anniversary of the 1947 UN partition resolution, 181 (II), the twentieth anniversary of the 1967 war and the fifth anniversary of the 1982 Sabra and Shatila massacres. The Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People designated 1987 as The Year of the Palestinian People.

The Fifth Islamic Summit Conference in January, vigorously recommended the International Peace Conference, and the Security Council preparatory committee.[21]

In February, the EEC endorsed the International Peace Conference in its “Declaration of the Foreign Ministers of the Twelve States Members of the European Community on the Middle East”.[22] The Twelve wrote to the UN Secretary-General to convey their strong views.[23]

In March, the UN Commission on Human Rights adopted “Question of the violation of human rights in the occupied Arab territories, including Palestine”,[24] which strongly condemned the State of Israel’s terrorism, and its iron-fist policy. It noted Israeli settler violence sponsored by the State. The Commission strongly condemned Israel’s restrictions on religious freedom, and again demanded that Israel comply with the GCIV.

In March, the Foreign Ministers of the Scandinavian States issued a statement supporting the International Peace Conference.[25] In April, the Movement of Non-Aligned Countries also issued a statement supporting this Conference.[26] Also in April, the Palestinian National Council [27] strongly endorsed the International Peace Conference, the Security Council’s preparatory committee, and there timely go forward.

The UN Secretary-General in his report on the Question of Palestine focused on the Security Council. He remained determined to continue his efforts to establish a process that would lead to peace in the Middle East:

All members of the Security Council were concerned about the Middle East problem, and all expressed support for a continuation of the Secretary-General’s efforts to bring about a just and lasting peace in the Middle East. Moreover, in contrast with experience of recent years, none of the Council members opposed in principle the idea of an International Conference under United Nations auspices. It was clear, however, that wide differences still existed regarding the form that a conference should take. It was also generally agreed that the position of the parties themselves remained far apart on a number of issues of procedure and of substance but that in recent months there had been indications of greater flexibility in attitudes towards the negotiating process and that this should be encouraged.

The Political Consultative Committee of the States parties to the Warsaw Treaty on Friendship, Co-operation and Mutual Assistance stated in May, that the UN conference would be “of great importance” for a comprehensive settlement, and lasting peace in the region. The preparatory committee could be a “great practical step”.[28]

In November, the UN Secretary-General submitted a further report on the Middle East to the General Assembly[29]. He said there was strong international backing and support for the International Peace Conference. The differences, and he meant the differences between Israel and the US, and everyone else were “differences about the procedural aspects of a conference”. These could be bridged. He made thhe observation:

The major obstacle at present, however, is one of a different kind, namely, the inability of the Government of Israel as a whole to agree on the principle of an international conference under United Nations auspices. Until the Israeli Government accepts that such a conference is the best way to negotiate a peace settlement, the way forward will remain difficult.

The Secretary-General concluded:

… the idea of an international conference under United Nations auspices has been given high priority among the Arab parties to the conflict and has been the subject of lively debate within Israel. These positive trends, combined with the growing international consensus in favour of the early convening of a conference, demand of us that we consolidate and build on the foundation that has so far been established.

The Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Population of the OPt in its 1987 report, stated that repression in the oPt had had very negative consequences. The reality faced by the Palestinian Arabs was one of day-to-day harassment and humiliation, expulsion and deportation. The Special Committee concluded:

… the situation in the oPt denotes a continuing deterioration of human rights and fundamental freedoms by the civilian population. The relevant provisions of the Fourth Geneva Convention continue to be disregarded. The persistent policy of annexation of the oPt, which meets with fierce resistance on the part of the civilian population, and the cycle of tension and repression that the implementation of such a policy involves, have led to an explosive situation that seems bound to provoke yet more dramatic events in the future.

The 1987 report of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People noted that the level of appreciation for the need to ensure the inalienable rights of the Palestinian Arabs had reached new heights. It noted, however, that the deterioration of the conditions of the Palestinian Arabs could easily result in more violence, with disastrous consequences for the region, and the globe. Urgent action was required by the Security Council on the Committee’s recommendations. It must intensify its efforts and convene the International Peace Conference.

Before the year was out, in November, the Arab Summit[30] affirmed again its support for the International Peace Conference.

The International Peace Conference was a major issue at the forty-second session of the General Assembly. There was an intense sense of its urgency, and the debates reflected the keen demand of the international community for a solution to the conflict.

By an overwhelming majority, the General Assembly adopted resolution 42/66 D which demanded the International Peace Conference urgently. There was an “urgent need for additional efforts by all Governments in order to convene the Conference without further delay”.

In summary, by the end of 1987 the Question of Palestine remained high on the agenda for most members of the international community, a consequence of the growing understanding of the issues. Apart from Israel, there was universal support for the need to ensure that the Palestinian Arabs attained their inalienable rights, and that Israel must vacate the oPt, unconditionally. Israel’s attitude, however, stiffened, and its violence against the Palestinian Arabs increased, with disastrous consequences for them.

From September through December, the unrest among the Palestinian Arabs in the oPt grew. There were violent demonstrations, armed clashes, petrol bombs and grenades. Many lost their lives, and many more were seriously injured.

By the end of December, the Question of Palestine had entered a new phase.

[1] The fifteen Security Council members were China, Egypt, France, India, Malta, the Netherlands, Nicaragua, Pakistan, Peru, Ukraine Soviet Socialist Republic, USSR, UK, US, Upper Volta (today Burkina Faso) and Zimbabwe. The directly involved states were Israel, Jordon, Lebanon, and Syria. Note that Egypt was invited as a member of the Security Council.

[2] Established at the Seventh Conference of Heads of State or Government of Non- Aligned Countries, New Delhi, India, 7th to 12th March 1983. At this time its members were Algeria, Bangladesh, Cuba, India, Palestine, Senegal, Yugoslavia, Zambia and Zimbabwe

[3] Geneva, the 4th to the 15th February

[4] Bandung, 24th to the 25th April

[5] Addis Ababa, 18th to the 21st July

[6] Casablanca, Morocco, 7th to the 9th August

[7] Luanda, Angola, 2nd to the 7th September 1985

[8] Records of the General Assembly, Fortieth Session, Supplement No. 35 (A/40/35), paragraphs 167-168, 1985

[9] Report of the Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Population of the OPt (A/40/702), paragraph 323, 1985

[10] The resolution was 40/96 D

[11] Report of the Secretary-General on the situation in the Middle East (A/40/779-S/17887), paragraphs 39 to 40, 1985

[12] The tenth session, at Marrakesh, Morocco, from 21st to 22nd January 1986

[13] Its forty-second session, from 3rd to the 14th March, which adopted two relevant resolutions, 1986/1 A and 1986/1 B

[14] Report of the Secretary-General on the Question of Palestine and the situation in the Middle East, 14th March 1986 (A/41/215-S/17916), paragraph 2

[15] Its Conference, Mexico City, 7th to 12th April 1986

[16] Held in April, reported in the Official Records of the General Assembly, Forty-First Session, Supplement No. 35 (A/41/35).

[17] At their forty-fourth ordinary session, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, 21st to 26th July 1986,

[18] The eighth Summit Conference of Heads of State or Government of Non-Aligned Countries, Harare, Zimbabwe, 1st to 6th September 1986,

[19] 29th October 1986

[20] Report of the Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Population of the OPt (A/41/680), 1986

[21] Kuwait, 26th to 29th January

[22] Adopted by their meeting in Brussels, Belgium, on 23rd February 1987.

[23] 24 February 1987 from the Permanent Representative of Belgium to the United Nations addressed to the Secretary-General (A/42/151-S/18718)

[24] The forty-third session, 2nd February to 13th March 1987; the resolutions were 1987/2 A and 1987/2 B

[25] Reykjavik, Iceland, 25th to 26th March 1987

[26] Committee of Nine on Palestine, Harare, Zimbabwe, 14th to 15th April 1987

[27] Eighteenth session, Algiers, Algeria, 20th to 26th April 1987

[28] Berlin from 28th to 29th May

[29] Forty-Second session, November 1987

[30] Amman, Jordan, 8th to 11th November 1987