I have a tree in Israel, and I once had a certificate to prove it. In about 1950 a lady from a Zionist organisation planted it for my support of the Zionist Youth Movement in Ireland. But it is all so long ago that it has probably been cut down by now, and I have lost the certificate. At the time, like many young Europeans with left-wing views, as the full horrors of Nazi genocide became known, I supported the new state. But now I have totally changed my mind.
I have reached the conclusion that the Zionists have absolutely no right in what they call Israel, that they have built their state not beside but on top of the Palestinian people, and that there can be no peace as long as contemporary Israel retains its present form. I hasten to make clear that none of this gives me any pleasure, but in the great scheme of things my personal wishes do not weigh heavily in the scale pans of history. I wish I did not think what I do, I hope I am wrong. My conclusions are based on the answers to five questions.
1. Did the Jews of the Old Testament come from what is now Israel? The answer is No.
2. Are the Jews of the world today simply the descendants of the people of the Diaspora two thousand years ago? The answer is, only in part.
3. Does the right of return apply to people who occupied some land two thousand years ago for a historically brief period, to the detriment of those who have been there since? Obviously no. Imagine a world where every people claimed that right.
4. Did the Balfour Declaration give the Zionists the right to establish a state in Israel? The answer is no. At the time the British Government had no right to give.
5. Did the United Nations Resolution of November 1947 gave Zionists the right to establish the present state of Israel? The answer is no, and they have continuously and relentlessly violated that resolution for more than half a century, so that any tatters that now remain are void, by their action.
I want briefly to look at each point separately. Some of what I say is taken from a book called My People by Abba Eban, who was Israeli Foreign Minister. He says the Hebrew Tribes came out of Mesopotamia. They moved from Ur in southwest Mesopotamia to Haran, in northwest Mesopotamia. It was here that Abraham was told, by the God that the Jews had invented to leave his land and kinsmen for a new country. Obedient to the divine voice, he moved into western Palestine, the land of the Canaanites. The above is loosely but accurately quoted from Eban. It follows that the Jews came from far away, that they claimed the land of Canaan because their God gave it to them, and there were Canaanites there already. Israel’s Declaration of Independence in 1948 states, “The Land of Israel was the birthplace of the Jewish people.” This was a self serving and untruthful Zionist myth.
My second point is that the assumption that the Jews of the world (all of whom claim the right of return) are descendants of the Diaspora takes no account of the Kingdom of the Khazars, about whom Arthur Koestler wrote a book arguing that he and other Ashkanazi Jews were their descendants. Also, it assumes that no Jewish girl ever got pregnant (over 2,000 years) by a non-Jew, and brought the child home to her parents, and it also forgets that the converted wives or husbands who were born non-Jewish can, on conversion, claim the right of return.
Point three: At the time of the Balfour Declaration, the Ottoman Empire, which was the ruling power in Palestine, was falling apart, but the British Government had no rights in the area. The Declaration was made to a private person, the head of the Rothschild family, and while Balfour was promising the Jews a nation home in Palestine, T.E. Lawrence was promising the same thing to Palestinian Arabs. In law and in equity it has no validity.
Finally, when the United Nations passed its historic resolution (with Britain abstaining) it was a plan for partition. What was new and crucial was that it recognized Jewish sovereignty. The flight of the ignorant Palestinian peasants was founded on such atrocities as the massacre at Deir Yasin where Zionist terrorists filled the well with slaughtered peasants, and went to adjoining villages saying, “Look what happened over there.” In addition, there were bogus broadcasts purporting to come from Palestinian leaders, advising flight. The Jewish-Arab partnership, pleaded for so eloquently by David Ben Gurion -“based on equality and mutual assistance,” to quote his words – was from the beginning a lie which Zionist fundamentalists did not believe
Those same fundamentalists, who are in the ascendant now, can only say, “We are here because our God gave it to us.” That is too weak for me, I’m afraid.
All of this is a huge tragedy for ordinary Zionist people, who have been led up a blind alley by fanatics. But it is more. Jews have made an immense contribution to civilization, developing as they were between the great empires of Mesopotamia and the Nile, with both of which they had intimate contact, and by which they wanted to avoid being swallowed. They developed a religion and an ethos based on independence, liberty and democracy to which we all owe a debt. That religion is based on the twin concepts of Law and Righteousness, which inspired over the millennia extraordinary contributions to culture and morality. All admirable. In Israel/Palestine, where are they now?
Zionists have betrayed all of this, and that is a tragedy not just for Jews, but for all of us.