Beastrabban is a little better-read than This Writer when it comes to the history of the world’s religions so, when he says Zionism always contained an element of ethnic cleansing, I believe him.
His current piece is a response, both to Mark Regev’s propaganda piece about the Battle of Cable Street and my criticism of it, and draws on sources that modern Zionists like to quote, so there should be little argument over this.
This may seem a long way from This Blog’s original involvement with matters to do with Israel, Zionism and Judaism – my defence of innocent people who have been accused of anti-Semitism by supporters of Zionism in the UK.
But it is important to understand what modern, aggressive Zionists are actually doing to those of another religion in the Middle East before one can form an opinion on their accusations of religious bias against people here in the UK.
I believe that there was always an element within Zionism from the very start that contemplated and planned the dispossession of the Palestinians. In the piece ‘Same Old Same Old’ in Robin Ramsay’s ‘View from the Bridge’ column in Lobster 58, Ramsay notes how one of his readers spotted a paragraph claiming precisely this in a review of ‘Four Books About Islamist Terrorism’ in the Sunday Telegraph for 18th June 2009. This states”Meanwhile, the founder of modern political Zionism, the Austrian journalist Theodor Herzl, had earmarked a site for the Jewish state. In June 1895, he wrote in his diary: ‘We must expropriate gently the private property’ and ‘spirit the penniless population across the border’.”
Ramsay lays bare what this means
“Ethnic cleansing, in other words. Which is what the Israeli state has been doing since it was founded; but doing it piecemeal, slowly enough to avoid making too many waves in America.”
See: http://www.lobster-magazine.co.uk/free/lobster58/lobster58.pdf and scroll down until you get to the relevant section.
Now the quote from Herzl makes clear that he did not want it done violently. But as Ilan Pappe has documented in his books and lectures, it was done with considerable violence. Massacres and forced expropriation were committed from the very foundation of Israel in the 1940s. And quite often the worst perpetrator of these crimes were Labour governments under leaders like Golda Meir.
This does not mean that all Israelis support this programme of ethnic cleansing. Indeed, as I’ve said, there are many Israelis and human rights organisations in Israel, that are deeply opposed to it. These include B’Tselem, the human rights agency. There is a political party standing up for the Palestinians, which includes both Israelis and Palestinians. Israelis have protested against the house demolitions, where rabbis have also led down in front of bulldozers to protect Palestinian homes. Members of the Israeli armed forces have also protested against their country’s oppression of the Palestinians. And a few years ago a Jewish peace organisation occupied the New York headquarters of the Friends of the IDF.
And many modern anti-Zionists aren’t opposed to the state of Israel. Most of them, including Dr. Finkelstein, want a two-state solution, in which Israel withdraws to its pre-1967 borders. But Regev in his article lies and says Israel’s opponents want the complete destruction of the country. The Israeli government, however, firmly refuses to pull back from the Occupied Territories on the grounds that this would leave the country militarily vulnerable. And so they continue to justify their dispossession and persecution of the Palestinians.
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