27 July 2014

Palestine

I doubt very much whether the present Hamas armed campaign against the Zionist state complies with our Christian doctrine of the Just War. I adhere to that doctrine and to that tradition.

But, given that Hamas is not run by Christian theologians, I find it unsurprising that they attack the Zionists as they do. Hamas represent a people whose land was stolen by immigrants who continue to oppress the remnants of the Palestinian people. Where a nation has for generations been displaced and denied justice, instability is inevitable.

This background, and the difference in the numbers of those killed on the Palestinian and Zionist sides respectively, demonstrate that there is no equivalence between the wrongs done by Hamas and those done by the Zionists.

The Zionists only get away with what they do because of the guilt which is felt in Western liberal circles on account of the Holocaust; which I regard as an undeniable fact of History. There is, moreover, their unprincipled trick of contriving to imply that anyone who makes these points is anti-Semitic, a term which they pervert so that it really means anti-Zionist. But they can count me out of their cynical manipulation of guilt.

I do not feel at all guilty about what Hitler did to European Jewry when I was just a toddler and my father was serving against Hitler in the armed forces of the British Crown. And if anybody gets kicks out of calling me anti-Semitic because of what I have written above, then, in my view, they get their kicks in very perverted ways.

9 comments:

Michael Ortiz said...

Father, I agree. I hadn't seen the lack of proportion in casualities, to be honest, as a decisive point, but it does tell against the Israelis.

Once, when I was in the Israeli embassy, here in Washington, DC, where I live, an official was asked about the plight of the Palestinian people. His answer: "We admit there is a Palestinian narrative; the Palestinians, however, completely deny there is an Israeli narrative. That's one of the differences."

Yes, the UN has put a thorn in the side of the world, and it seemingly will not go away without worlds of grace.

Bob Kurland said...

I'm commenting again, because in the heat of a first reaction I did not say all I needed to say. Given your general erudition, your ignorance of history is, to say the least, surprising. "Palestine" was a Roman province, an administrative district of the Ottoman Empire, and then, under the misguided nation-state creations of European (and British) diplomats, a British Mandate. These arbitrary states compressed unlikely combinations of tribes and sects into one nation--witness Iraq.
Would you complain about the atrocities committed by Muslims against Jews and Christian in the Middle East, I would find your screed more creditable.
And as to what the Zionists have done--do you wonder where is the symphony orchestra of Riyadh, the Technion of Quatar?
Jews try to protect children and civilians--Muslim fanatics use them, their own and others as weapons.
Since you have shown such lack of compassion and insight in this issue, I do not trust what you have to say in the future.

Jacobi said...

Father,

As someone who believes that the Catholic Church did not start in 1965, I have a certain sympathy with Jews who believe that Israel did not start in the early 20th century. There are any number or references in the Bible to suggest otherwise.

The returning Jews were perfectly prepared to share the land with the then locals until Islam turned on them. The rest has followed.

Having said all that, I personally am only interested in the situation on the ground. There is Israel, which will not be eliminated short of mutual nuclear vapourisation, going far beyond the Middle East and there is Islam, an inherently evil religion, which will not give up and will have to be supressed by the rest of the world, including USA, EU, Russian Federation, China, India,etc,etc.

ps I won't be at all upset if you don't publish this comment!

the Savage said...

Oh dear. I am such a great admirer of all things Hunwickean that it is sad to find such a large area of disagreement. But let me try to point out a few of the flaws in what you have written. First, while the term "Zionist" has a perfectly honourable history, it tends to be used in contemporary political discourse (like here) as a term of opprobrium. Why not say "Israel" or "Israeli"?

As for the allegation that the Palestinians had their land "stolen by immigrants", that simply does not accord with the facts. There were Jewish settlements in Palestine hundreds of years before the state of Israel, and subsequent waves of Jewish immigrants purchased their land legally. The Jewish settlers (promised a state by Lord Balfour) were quite willing to accept the smaller state proposed in the UN partition plan, and the larger territory it acquired was as a result of wars against Arab states that weren't willing to accept that even Tel Aviv or Haifa should be Jewish.

But more to the point, Israel now finds itself attacked by Hamas from precisely that territory that it gave back to the Palestinians along with billions in economic aid. The expectation was that an independent Gaza could have demonstrated what a larger independent Palestine could become. But instead of developing industries and beach front hotels, its Hamas rulers chose to invest in bombs and tunnels, leading to the present conflagration.

Yes, the Palestinian people have suffered more from the conflict than the Israeli people, but that is because they are being deliberately used as pawns and human shields by Hamas which is only too happy to see more civilian casualties inflicted on its own people, which is why it locates missile batteries in schools, hospitals, etc.

Timothy Graham said...

I know I shouldn't, Sir, while you are out of the room, but I can't help chalking this on the board:

Less statement, more argument please to support
(1) Palestinians - a "nation" for "generations" who had their land stolen. By the Romans? the Crusaders? the Ottomans? the Brits?
(2) Hamas "represent" - or manipulate the media to think they do, discounting the occasional village massacre of their own people?
(3) Moral prizes to be awarded by respective numbers killed in warfare?

One doesn't have to be a blinkered supporter of Israel to question these assumptions.

Mario Josipovic said...

Dear Father,

I guess this post is evidence that no one is perfect, Father!

I did not expect a straw man argument from such an esteemed commentator: “Zionists only get away with what they do because of the guilt which is felt in Western liberal circles...” Really? In North America, there is a strong “Divest from Israeli Apartheid” movement among campus intellectuals and mainstream Protestant churches. Toronto even has a “Queers against Israeli Apartheid” movement. Liberals, at least here in North America, have long since turned on the Zionist project.

I also did not expect such gross historical simplification: “Hamas represent a people whose land was stolen by immigrants...” Really? You can readily obtain the history of Zionist land purchases from the early and mid-1900s – under first the Turks then the British Mandate - which was a case of voluntary land exchange between individuals, even if the Mufti of Jerusalem opposed the growing Jewish population there. The admittedly tragic expulsion of numerous Arabs from Israel (and corresponding expulsion of Jews from Arab nations) would not have happened but for the 1948 invasion of the new state of Israel by numerous Arab countries. And if we are to "undo" those 1948 expulsions, should we do the same with the almost exactly contemporaneous India/Pakistan population transfers, and the Eastern European expulsion of Germans? The settler movement is admittedly aggressive, but does not explain the bulk of the historical reality of why Jews now live in an independent nation of Israel. (Incidentally, when Israel pulled its settlers out of Gaza, Hamas dialed up the rocket attacks.) By any measure of international law and basic fairness, the Jews currently living in Israel belong there under the security of an overtly Jewish state.

Hamas wants Israel as a Jewish state destroyed, plain and simple. You can read the Hamas manifesto in English, which among other things cites as fact that demonic Okhrana creation, the Protocols of the Elders of Zion. Are we being a little too even-handed as between the fire-fighter and the fire?

Having said all that, I do wish and pray the Israeli army ceases its siege. They are playing into the hands of a Hamas movement that readily sacrifices its own people.

Patricius said...

Father, one wonders whether certain commenters here are entirely innocent of the Gospels!

Seamus said...

The returning Jews were perfectly prepared to share the land with the then locals until Islam turned on them.

Correction: The returning Jews were willing to share the land with such locals as found themselves a minority in a Jewish-dominated state. What they were unwilling to do was to remain a minority in a unitary Palestine. In that respect, they are like Hispanic immigrants to the southwestern United States would be if they insisted upon partition of the United States and the creation of a separate Hispanic state, created from such portions of the Southwest that, due to recent immigration, now had a Hispanic majority. (And the Hispanics, like the Jews in Palestine, could claim that the land used to belong to their ancestors, so it would only be fair to give it back to them now.)

Seamus said...

And if we are to "undo" those 1948 expulsions, should we do the same with the almost exactly contemporaneous India/Pakistan population transfers, and the Eastern European expulsion of Germans?

Yes, just as the Greeks who were expelled from Northern Cyprus should be permitted to return.