Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Cameron drinks the Kool-Aid

Melanie Phillips

The Times (£) says that David Cameron’s decision to step down from being a patron of the Jewish National Fund shows the British government is becoming cool on Israel.

You don’t say. Any cooler and it would be frostbite territory. Precisely why Britain’s Conservative-led government has drunk so deeply of the anti-Israel Kool-Aid isn’t clear. Sucking up to Obama? Muslim demographics in the UK? Part of Cameron’s hopey-changey-lefty-loopy repositioning of the Tory Party? Yet another bone tossed to the blood-libelling knitted organic vegan victimologists, aka his LibDem coalition partners?

Whatever. Who cares. The unpalatable fact is that Britain has now reverted well and truly to type in professing with hand on heart an unbreakable bond of brotherhood with Israel while cutting it off at the knees, sliding a stiletto between its shoulder blades and bashing its head in.

The JNF thing (despite Downing Street's unconvincing claim that Cameron has stepped down from a number of charities through lack of time) is the latest act of aggression against Israel by HMG, and is particularly offensive. For the JNF is identified closely with the foundational Zionist dream of making the desert bloom, by buying up and developing the land for decades before the State of Israel was established. And so now– of course – it stands accused of the ‘theft of Palestinian land’, ‘ethnic cleansing’ and even ‘war crimes’. Ah yes – that terrible weapon of mass destruction, the sapling.

Without getting into the imbecilic interstices of precisely what and where, one key, crucial, overarching, all-important, nothing-else-matters-as-much-as-this point needs to be made (and yes, I have made it before many times, but it needs to be taped to Cameron’s eyeballs and rammed down the throats of the malevolent mandarins of the Foreign Office and delivered by diplomatic cable to Israeli spokesman as their line–to-take in answer to any statement-disguised-as -a-question about their intrinsic belligerency routinely lobbed at them by the Guardian-of-the Airwaves, aka the BBC).

This is quite simply that the territory beyond the ceasefire lines (formed when Israel fought off the attempt by five Arab armies to destroy it at birth in 1948-9, and now falsely deemed to be Israel’s ‘border’) is not Palestinian land. It is not land that is owned by the Palestinians in general, or to which they have any general right or title. On the contrary, it is land to which the Jews in general are legally entitled. All of it. This is not some crazed, ultra-nationalist dogma. It is a matter of historical fact. international law and basic justice.

This fundamental fact, which gives the lie to the anti-JNF libels and the Palestine Solidarity Campaign libels and the rest of the anti-Israel madness, was reiterated in the last few days in a letter to the UN Secretary General Ban ki-Moon from dozens of lawyers from Israel and North America, explaining why the proposed unilateral decision to establish a Palestinian State violates international law. The lawyers said:

The legal basis for the establishment of the State of Israel was the resolution unanimously adopted by the League of Nations in 1922, affirming the establishment of a national home for the Jewish People in the historical area of the Land of Israel. This included the areas of Judea and Samaria and Jerusalem, and close Jewish settlement throughout. This was subsequently affirmed by both houses of the US Congress.

2. Article 80 of the UN Charter determines the continued validity of the rights granted to all states or peoples, or already existing international instruments (including those adopted by the League of Nations). Accordingly the above-noted League resolution remains valid, and the 650,000 Jews presently resident in the areas of Judea, Samaria and eastern Jerusalem, reside there legitimately.

3. ‘The 1967 borders’ do not exist, and have never existed. The1949 Armistice Agreements entered into by Israel and its Arabneighbors, establishing the Armistice Demarcation Lines, clearly stated that these lines ‘are without prejudice to future territorial settlements or boundary lines or to claims of either Party relating thereto’. Accordingly they cannot be accepted or declared to be the international boundaries of a Palestinian state.

4. UN Security Council Resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973) called upon the parties to achieve a just and lasting peace in the Middle East and specifically stressed the need to negotiate in order to achieve "secure and recognized boundaries".

5. The Palestinian proposal, in attempting to unilaterally change the status of the territory and determine the "1967 borders" as its recognized borders, in addition to running squarely against resolutions 242 and 338, would be a fundamental breach of the 1995 Israeli-Palestinian agreement on the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, in which the parties undertook to negotiate the issue of borders and not act to change the status of the
territories pending outcome of the permanent status negotiations.

6. The Palestinians entered into the various agreements constituting what is known as the ‘Oslo Accords’ in the full knowledge that Israel's settlements existed in the areas, and that settlements would be one of the issues to be negotiated in the permanent status negotiations. Furthermore, the Oslo Accords impose no limitation on Israel's settlement activity in those areas that the Palestinians agreed would continue to be under Israel's jurisdiction and control pending the outcome of the Permanent Status negotiations.

7. While the Interim Agreement was signed by Israel and the PLO, it was witnessed by the UN together with the EU, the Russian Federation , the US, Egypt and Norway. It is thus inconceivable that such witnesses, including first and foremost the UN, would now give license to a measure in the UN
aimed at violating this agreement and undermining major resolutions of the Security Council.

Not only has Britain’s Prime Minister apparently totally ignored this legal history and instead swallowed entirely false propaganda about Israel’s ‘illegal’ encroachment onto 'Palestinian land’; worse still, Britain is threatening to vote with Mahmoud Abbas and co when they declare a ‘Palestinian state’ at the UN.

If so, the wheel will have come full circle, and history played first as tragedy will be replayed as tragedy. For in the three decades after it undertook to re-establish the Jews' national homeland in Palestine , Britain tore up international law when it reneged on its own treaty obligation to settle the Jews throughout that land – which included what is now called the West Bank as well as Gaza, not to mention the whole of Jerusalem where Jews had been in the majority since the mid-19th century -- and instead took the side of the Arabs and tacitly encouraged their aim of wiping out the Jewish presence from their historic national home. Indeed, when the UN voted to create the State of Israel Britain actually abstained.

Now Cameron has threatened that Britain may support a move which will once again make a mockery of legality by tearing up international agreements and binding UN resolutions – and voting for a Potemkin state whose ‘unity’ government comprises people committed to the annihilation of Israel and every Jew in the world.

It does not seem to trouble Cameron that, once again, Abbas has reiterated that a future state of Palestine will have not one Israeli living there – by which he means, no Jews. (For sure, not many Israeli Arabs will be volunteering to live in ‘Palestine’ and thus sacrifice their human rights.) Every single person who supports the Palestinian cause should thus be asked why they are supporting a racist state committed to the ethnic cleansing of an entire people; and why they are supporting the establishment of such a state with a government comprising people committed to the genocide of the Jews. The government of Israel should now be asking this same question of the British government – and using the most public of international platforms to do so.

It is beyond distressing that, instead of fighting the anti-Israel and Judeophobic bigotry now poisoning British public life, the Cameron government is instead giving it further legs, and providing respectable cover for such bigotry and its denial. With academia in the forefront of the demonisation of Israel, the academics’ University and College Union has now rejected the EU definition of antisemitism -- on the grounds that this incorporates the demonisation of Israel. Thus in true Orwellian mode, the UCU has redefined language itself in order to insulate itself against accusations of Judeophobia arising from its obsessional hatred of Israel. And to do so, it has thus effectively said that no hostility towards Israel can ever be anti-Jew. This is clearly absurd, as Eve Garrard writes on Normblog:

Here we have the academic union wanting to declare that presenting Jews as malignant forces of sinister power, controlling the media and the economy and the government, can’t be anti-Semitic. That the assertion that the population of Gaza (around one and a half million and rising) is in the same position as the population of the Warsaw Ghetto (around half a million falling to virtually zero after three years, as part of a deliberate genocide) just can't involve any prejudice against Jews. That singling out Jews, and the Jewish state, for condemnation and punishment alone among the nations, just can’t be anti-Semitic.

Whatever casuistry these people employ to sanitise the fact that they are singling out Israel for a campaign of demonisation and delegitimisation, double standards, falsehoods and fabrications, blood libels and conspiracy theories which just happen to replicate exactly the unique tropes of Jew-hatred down through the centuries, the undeniable fact remains that they are currently promoting the cause of racist ethnic cleansers and genocidal Jew-haters. They are endorsing aggressors against their victims, reversing truth and lies, tearing up law and justice and turning history upside down.

And the British Prime Minister has now joined them.

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