Sunday 29 October 2023

'The past is never dead. It's not even past.' (William Faulkner)


"This will be a long war. It is our second war of independence.” Benyamin Netanyahu on television last night. 
People sometimes forget that, at least to start withthe first Israeli War of Independence was a terrorist campaign fought against Britain. The Irgun began it in February 1944, while Britain was preparing to invade France. (Talk about a stab in the back.) It led the British to hand back their mandate to the UN in late 1947. Open war erupted on November 30, 1947, with the announcement of the United Nations approval of the partition of Palestine. It was followed the next year by Palestine's Arab neighbours invading the inchoate Jewish territory. Had they not done so and lost, Israel would be very much smaller now. They should have spoken to the British, who knew that the Jewish forces would defeat the Arabs. The Irgun stopped being terrorists after the Jews won (as Hamas would do if they won) and became the Likud, Benyamin Netanyahu's party.
                                       Lord Balfour by Laszlo

“Weizmann has never put forward a claim for the Jewish Government of Palestine. Such a claim, in my opinion, is clearly inadmissible and personally I do not think we should go further.” Arthur James, first Earl Balfour in 1919. He invented the Jewish homeland by his declaration of 1917.

In June 1921, replying to a question about the meaning of “a national home” in Palestine, Winston Churchill said: “We made an equal pledge that we would not turn the Arab off his land or invade his political and social rights.”

"SIR – It was clear within days of Hamas’s terror strike that it would be impossible and undesirable for Israel to control Gaza and the West Bank in the future.
Israel has been an economic and innovation miracle, and Jewish people everywhere celebrate the 1917 Balfour Declaration and its conception of a home for the Jews. Yet a key part of that document said that “nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine”. Since 1948, this has not been adhered to, and the ever-widening gap between the creeds and living and working conditions of the two communities has become unbridgeable. Everyone asks what is to follow Israel’s purge of Gaza, but for now all diplomatic efforts are focused on humanitarian concerns.

Palestinians will not respect any involvement by non-Muslim nations; if neighbouring Muslim countries, bar Iran, want a long-lasting and peaceful solution for the region, then they need to work out a way to regenerate the Palestine economies with a contribution from Israel and Western states – and then police the areas.

The inhabitants of Gaza and the West Bank have been friendless for decades, and unless something along the lines of the above is initiated in short order by, say, Saudi Arabia and the signatories of the Abraham Accords, with the help of the United Nations, then the misery will continue. "

The present Earl Balfour in the Daily Telegraph, 24 October 2023

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