As this blog is home to the cream of Zionist, racist, imperialist, colonialist intellectual thought, I shall share with you some Israel-related spiel.
Firstly, our friends at the BBC have been at it again:
To get you in a better mood, enjoy this: http://www.collegedowntime.com/media/dumbblonde.php
Also I had a 2 minute rant on BBC Radio 5 on Friday morning, after the CST report came out showing a rise in antisemitic incidents in the UK. The BBC felt the need to host a talk show on whether antisemitism really was on the increase. Empirical evidence seems not to be enough for them - facts are apparently disputable - the kind of "objective" journalism and editorial decisions we have come to expect from them.
Anyway, they allowed me on to say my piece - I said that as a result of this kind of debate and the volume of attacks, and the constant hostility I receive (from Jews as well) for being an outspoken Zionist, I feel "different" to other UK citizens. I no longer think I can be British and Jewish at the same time. For me, Jewish now means Israeli who hasn't gone home yet after millenia of exile. Dual nationality has its limitations, and with Mayor Ken's outburst adding insult to the injury of the Howard/Fagin episode, I think we have reached them.
And finally, seeing as The Times aren't publishing my letter, I shall do it here. First, the cause of my annoyance, a letter entitled "Israel's approach to making peace", in Tuesday's paper:
The second intifada was not sparked off by Yassir Arafat (leading article, February 9) but by Ariel Sharon who, on September 28, 2000, visited the area of the mosques on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem with right-wing legislators and about 1,000 armed soldiers and police, many already in riot gear.
This visit was apparently intended to symbolise Israel’s continuing possession of the Temple Mount, the status of which was then under negotiation between Ehud Barak, the Israeli Prime Minister, and Arafat.
The biggest potential obstacle to (a just) peace is in my opinion the “facts on the ground” assiduously and consistently built by Israeli governments over decades. These include the settlement blocs, whose population increased during the Oslo “peace” years, the huge road system linking the settlements to Israel proper, and now the separation barrier/wall. All these are built on Palestinian land and are widely considered to be illegal.
Why is all this an obstacle to peace? Partly because it makes a viable, contiguous and independent Palestinian state virtually impossible, and partly because it demonstrates to Palestinians that Israel is not serious about a just peace.
M. H. BARNES
So I felt a response was in order...
Dr Barnes (letters, 15th Feb) carefully avoids mentioning the approach to peace taken by the Palestinians and Arab nations since Israel was born.
Yasser Arafat's own staff admitted that he was planning the second intifada BEFORE even attending Camp David - Sharon's walk on the Temple Mount (accompanied by Arab members of the Knesset) was merely a pretext.
The Muslim religious authority on the Temple Mount, the Waqf, has systematically destroyed artefacts found there that identify the site's Jewish origins.
The Israeli "facts on the ground" only emerged after a war started by Arab provocation in 1967. Organised terrorism against Jews by Arabs existed in 1929, before there was even a Jewish state, and the PLO was founded in 1964 with its aim as the destruction of Israel.
The bypass roads constructed by Israel are there because of incidents such as the lynching in 2000 of two Israelis who got lost and accidentally drove through, rather than around Ramallah.
The just peace Dr Barnes and all right-minded people seek must involve, in Sharon's words, "painful compromises" - on both sides. What was offered by Israel at Camp David, what they agreed to with the Road Map, and their withdrawal from Gaza, shows a willingness to compromise on the Israeli side. Would Dr Barnes like to venture some examples of compromise on the Arab side?
That's it for today, come back soon for more on "Zionism 101: how to feel unashamed about wanting your nation to exist".