Thursday, April 17, 2008

Happy Birthday, Israel: 60 years of. . . .

I wanted to say "screwing the Palestinians," but that would be rude. God forbid we be rude and say a word like "screw." Someone might get upset.

But we don't get upset over 60 years of oppression of the Palestinian peoples. Go to for a good account of the history of this oppression.

Church leaders around the world are signing on to a document that states clearly the oppression of the Palestinians, and Christian complicity in that oppression. Click here to read about it.

Part of the story recounted in Human Smoke (the history of the beginnings of WWII I'm currently reading) is that the Jews were sent to Palestine because no one else would take them. Great Britain refused. The United States refused. No one would let the Jews from Germany emigrate because everyone hated Jews. Everyone else in the Western world shared the antisemitism of Hitler and Goebbels and Goering. So we refused to let them emigrate to our countries, largely leaving them in Germany to be slaughtered, then afterward sending them to Palestine and thus giving away the land that had belonged to the Palestinians for centuries. Yes, the western nations gave away land that wasn't theirs. Why? Because we could. We had the military might to make it stick. The Palestinians couldn't resist against it.

So, Jews were slaughtered in Germany because of German/European antisemitism; Jews were banished to Palestine because of British and American antisemitism. We continue to suffer from terrorism today because of an antisemitic past. And here's the really neat trick: we disguise it by creating a Jewish state! So, it LOOKS like we are "Pro-Jewish"!!! Ingenious!

We owe both sides a deep apology.


Russell said...

Chip -- You can't try to re-write history that has already been re-written. Oh, I'm sorry are you now working for a book company...then it is OK to interpret how you wish. As long as it is patriotic.

I love this country, but when will we own up to our mistakes and take responsibility for them? Freedom and power comes with the need for honesty and transparency.

Email me...because I have continued to be baffled about this situation.

chip said...

Well, I'd be glad to email you if I knew for sure who you are. jI have more than one candidate with "russell" in their name somewhere. You don't have your profile set up to let others see it. Big chicken. :-)

Ty said...

You need to read The War for Palestine: Rewriting the History of 1948. It takes the actual data, diaries, government documents, and interviews about the situation in Palestine but does not ignore the human element (Edward Said wrote the afterward, BTW). They make no excuses for Israel, but they also make no excuses for the Muslim nations who were (and in many cases still are) making life just as hard or harder for refugees than Israel does.

My sense of fairness tells me that we should not focus on Israel while leaving the nations that interred Palestinians in "refugee" camps unmentioned. Lebanon and Syria were the worst (if my memory is correct), but Egypt and Iraq teated the Palestinians like pre-Holocaust Jews: controlling their movements and arresting them for seemingly random reasons.

As for responsibility: what is the suggested solution? Should the US and UK dissolve Israel? Yeah, that's going to stop the violence¡ At what point does it become counterproductive (and a bit arrogant) for a country to "take responsibility" for her actions?

Recognition of the ethical results of one's past actions, and attempting to prevent them in the future, though, is the most ethical approach to history that I have yet found.