The situation in occupied Palestine never improves much, and just demonstrates how one war leads to another. Israel was only established (on stolen Palestinian land) in the aftermath of World War II, largely due to the guilt of the Axis and Allied powers. The Axis for the Holocaust of course, and the Allies for refusing to take in more refugees.
The reasons for establishing the state of Israel in the Middle East were illogical in the extreme. Surely it should have been foreseen that stealing land from the Palestinians who had lived there for centuries would make foreign Jewish settlers living on the occupied lands far less safe than they would be almost anywhere else in the world?
As to the Jewish ‘right of return’ to the so-called Promised Land where they lived many centuries ago, this is plain nonsense. We could ALL cause chaos by claiming the right to return to lands our ancestors came from – Anglo-Saxons could all head for Saxony in Germany, non-native Americans would return to countries all over the world and start claiming land. The fact is that after 100 years or so have passed, i.e. the maximum lifetime of a human being, all rights of return to lands of ethnic origin should not be recognized, since other people now live in that land. Their rights come first, not the ‘rights’ of foreigners to return to the lands of their ancestors. And Israel is a tiny countryÂ – it could not possibly accommodate all the Jewish people in the world to whom it promises the ‘right of return’. America has wide open spaces – they’ve already practically given Utah to the Mormons, maybe they can spare one of their 50 states for the Jewish people? Though in principle I’m against states based on religion or race. All states should be secular and multi-racial.
Israel is an American-backed WesternÂ settler racist state set down in the Middle East. Of course it was going to cause endless wars and strife because it was established on Palestinian land without the agreement of the Palestinians, who were for the most part kicked off their land.
It was a great mistake to establish Israel in 1948, but now over 60 years have passed it is impossible to undo this. At the very least Israel should be confined to its pre-1967 borders, and full recognition given to an independent Palestinian state, to include the West Bank andÂ Gaza, with the currentlyÂ Israeli-occupied East Jerusalem as its capital. Another divided city is inevitable as long as Israel and Palestine remain separate entities.
(East Berlin functioned perfectly well as ‘Berlin, capital of the GDR’ for 40 years, and since 1974 North Nicosia has been capital of the Turkish Federative State of Cyprus and then theÂ Turkish Republic of North Cyprus and South Nicosia capital of the Greek-Cypriot Republic of Cyprus.)
In the current Israeli/Palestinian conflict, as in previous ones, there is wrong on both sides. Hamas shouldn’t be firing rockets on Israeli civilians, even if it does see them as illegal occupiers/settlers. Israel shouldn’t be firing shells, dropping bombs, etc. on Palestinian civilians in Gaza. And USA most certainly should not be supporting Israel by supplying it with arms and moral support.
There has been no major persecution of Jewish people in USA or UK in living memory. Indeed the Jewish lobby is a powerful force in American elections. If I were Jewish from an American or West EuropeanÂ backgroundÂ and living in Israel I’d think seriously about returning to my country of ethnic origin. Even Germany and Austria are now far safer for Jewish people than Israel, surrounded by hostile Arab states and liberation movements determined to crush what they see as the illegal Jewish state out of existence.
As to Jewish people with other ethnic backgrounds, if they fear persecution in these countries due to their race or religion then they are in the same position as other minorities. Remember gays, gipsies andÂ the mentally or physically disabledÂ were also victims of the Nazi holocaust, but none of these other groups got a ‘homeland’ granted to them at the end of the Second World War. All victims of serious persecution because of their race, beliefs, lifestyle, etc. should be offered refugee status and asylum. Taking land from other people just creates more refugees – as happened in Palestine in 1948.
We probably have to reluctantly accept, for the foreseeable future, the racist state of Israel, and unfortunately this will probably lead to the establishment of an Islamic state of Palestine. My preference would be for a united secular state to include all of Israel, the West Bank and Gaza, where all races/religions/beliefs have equal status. Then Jews, Arabs, Muslims, Christians, etc. could hopefully all live together peacefully, but only if all Palestinians were given the right to live in the multi-racial secular state. Jewish peopleÂ born or currently living inÂ Israel/Palestine would also have this right.
As this is very unlikely to happen now the mistake has been made of establishing Israel as a Jewish state, the best we can continue to hope for is that America stops arming Israel, and pressure is put on it to negotiate a lasting peace with the Palestinians, which will involve the establishment of an independent Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza.