Thursday, 17 May 2018

Eyeless in Gaza


I was originally angry with the Israeli army for killing fifty civilians trying to storm the border with the Gaza Strip, but reading about it - in particular what was written by Colonel Kemp, a retired 
British officer, in the Telegraph - it seems the Israelis did what they could to avoid fatalities and are not to blame for the civilian deaths. 

The army did not shoot indiscriminately and it has now been revealed by the Palestinians themselves that 50 of the 62 dead were Hamas members.

Hamas wanted to breach the wall and
 to flatten the fence at numerous points to allow hundreds or even thousands of Gazans to enter Israeli towns, overwhelming the Israeli security forces ability to protect the townspeople from the infiltrators, thus requiring the Israeli security forces to use lethal force against all those who infiltrated.

Similar demonstrations have taken place each week since March. The reason that this
demonstration was a very big one was that it marked the 70th anniversary of the creation of Israel, rather than the Americans moving their embassy to Jerusalem, but it was moved a day to take advantage of the publicity around the opening of the embassy. 

Behind the women and children who died were, in some cases, armed men intent on killing Israelis. So the Israelis claim, at least. Israeli soldiers would rather kill 100 of the other side's people than have one Israeli soldier killed, which I think is reasonable.

I am reminded of 
Frauke Petry, the AfD leader in Germany, who got into trouble for saying in the last resort border guards have to shoot. She, of course, was right.

Whatever Likud should or should not do, Europe has to guard its frontiers. At the moment a stupid EU policy is responsible for many deaths.

Widespread condemnation of Israel is very understandable - it is fueled, in many cases, simply by sympathy for the victims and in other cases by a political animus against Israel based not on anti-Jewish feeling but anti-colonialism. Yet, though there are strong arguments that Israel's title to the land she occupies is at least shaky and her treatment of the Arabs objectionable, the fact that the Jewish state is a colonial settlement, an old-fashioned ethnic state, a democracy and an oasis of Western civilisation are not reasons for disliking but for liking Israel.

What we can certainly say is that Israel is a lesson in why mass immigration is often disastrous. Europe, please take note.

Northern Ireland is another lesson.

North America, Australia and New Zealand, on the other hand, turned out fairly well, but they were conquered - the Englishmen who set up in Virginia in the seventeenth century were settlers, not immigrants. There is, or should be, a very big difference.

I sympathise with the Arabs very much, but also with the Jews. Israel is a great place to live if you are an Arab whose grandfather did not leave and was not ejected in 1948. An old Arab priest in Nazareth told me Israel's the best place to be a Christian in the Middle East. 

I know Hamas are dangerous terrorists. I know Israel was built partly by terrorists like the Stern gang, who killed British soldiers.  

In fact the whole issue is for me a huge bore and has nothing to do with my country's interests, although I know that Great Britain created the problem a hundred years ago. Why does America care about this endless conflict? Why not let Israel, Iran, Russia, etc. sort things out or fail to do so?


  1. For some time I've been treating the whole question as simply a continuation of the decolonisation controversy, and in the West it really seems to be just that. The same political (should I say international socialist) tendencies that supported revolutionary nationalism in the colonies are for the revolutionary nationalism of Palestinians. Generally, it is those who stand up for Western interests and civilisation rather than "right to self-determination" of the Third World that stand up for the West's proxy in the region - Israel. Of course, given that today's right is just the left from decades ago, they don't have the balls to say that colonisation was okay and beneficial (though worse than simple trade) to both parties. So instead they have to argue that Israel provides better overall living conditions, as if a state needs such nonsensical humanitarianism to justify its existence.

    Being pro-Israel offends progressive sensibilities who were all for decolonisation. Being pro-Palestinians is pretty much the same as being pro-Mendela, pro-(Algerian) National Liberation Front, etc. as well as having faith in the UN.
    Ideally, Israelis should either be left alone to win their conflict once and for all (which will stop money from flowing to the UN's humanitarian missions in the region, and will allow Palestinians to accept defeat and go live in safer conditions in Egypt). Or else the US annex Israel as a part of its empire and call the shots on said territory, which can have the same effect. Israel is already to a certain extent part of the US.

    But as I said, this offends leftist sensibilities.

  2. What? If you turn live ammunition on unarmed people this is what you get. Actually David and Goliath comes to mind and you know what happened there.

    1. David in Belgrade20 May 2018 at 12:56

      @Anon 08.59
      Are you sure?
      Slings and knives can be as deadly as firearms.
      What do you think would have happened if the border fence had been breached?

  3. "Widespread condemnation of Israel [...] is fueled, in many cases, simply by sympathy for the victims and in other cases by a political animus against Israel based not on anti-Jewish feeling but anti-colonialism."

    I think there is another reason, that we are displeased to acknowledge: an electoral one based on demography. How many ethnic Jews vote in Western democracies? How many Arabs?

    1. I don't notice comment by Muslims in the media but that will increasingly be a factor. We are busily importing the Middle East into Europe.