By Richard Millett, London.
What a nasty, bigoted, ahistorical piece Donald Macintyre wrote for yesterday’s Guardian. Macintyre is upset that while there is a Jewish state in light of the 1917 Balfour Declaration there is no Palestinian one and, predictably, he blames Israel 100 years later for this and thinks that the best way to resolves this is to destroy Jewish communities living in the West Bank. Macintyre suggests:
“Britain would ideally use the new economic relationship it will have to strike with Israel post-Brexit to exercise leverage on it by deciding on a clear boycott, not of Israel proper, but of trade with and goods coming from the settlements.”
Targeting Jewish communities for destruction resonates for Jewish people. Protagonists have always invented a reason to punish Jewish communities and Macintyre’s reasoning is just the latest fad.
Macintyre tries to back all this up by quoting the Balfour Declaration, which he claims has been breached by Britain because “the rights of ‘existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine’” have been prejudiced.
The wording of the Balfour Declaration is pretty ambiguous because it did not define exactly where “in Palestine…a national home for the Jewish people” would be.
That said the original League of Nations British Mandate for Palestine included what is now Israel, Jordan, the West Bank and Gaza for Jewish settlement. Then in 1922 Jordan was hived off as an Arab-Palestinian state with the intent that Jewish settlement would be restricted to what is now Israel, the West Bank and Gaza. A future Israel, therefore, lost some three-quarters of its potential land mass in 1922.
Nevertheless, this significantly reduced land mass set aside for future Jewish settlement became part of international law via the League of Nations. Macintyre chooses to ignore this.
Macintyre further ignores ALL the various attempts to reduce this already reduced land mass for Jewish settlement even further, for example via the Peel Commission which in 1937 offered the remaing local Arab population 80% of this reduced land mass.
The Jewish leadership accepted its 20% but the Arab leaders rejected their 80%!
Massive Arab violence then erupted leading to the British to close the borders of the Mandated area to all but 75,000 Jews escaping Europe in 1939.
In 1947 the United Nations voted to partition the reduced land mass with circa 55% for a Jewish state and circa 45% for another Arab Palestinian state. Once again the Arab leaders rejected this and went to war against the Jews and the nascent Jewish state.
And again similar occurred in 1967 after which Jews began to resettle the land in the West Bank as was their right under the League of Nations Mandate.
Macintyre mentions nothing of this. Nor does he mention Hamas’ desire to destroy every single Jew and the PLO’s desire to demographically destroy Israel via the so-called Palestinian “right of return”. They will never accept Israel’s existence as a Jewish state.
All we read from Macintyre is the usual anti-Israel hyperbole that the Balfour Declaration was born out of British antisemitism.
Every effort was made to accommodate yet another Palestinian state. Every offer was rejected as were the more recent offers made to the PLO during the Oslo Accords in 2000 and 2001 and by Ehud Olmert in 2007.
If anything the breach of the Balfour Declaration was against Israel. Not only was the potential Jewish national home reduced in land size by some three-quarters but the delay in its implementation by some 30 years contributed indirectly to the oppression, boycott and, then, slaughter of virtually all Europe’s Jews while the leader of the Palestinian Arabs, the Mufti of Jerusalem, offered his support to Hitler (see above).
Again, not mentioned by Macintyre.
Macintyre wishes to publicise a conference in London on October 31st entitled Britain’s Broken Promise, Time For A New Approach which claims “will offer an opportunity to commit ourselves to support Palestinians and Israelis in building a peaceful future based on equal rights for all”.
It’s more like a euphemism for the “one state solution” and the disappearance of the only Jewish state. And the conference features Sir Vincent Fean who prefers Israel unable to defend itself.
While Israel continues to thrive and contribute so positively to the world Macintyre merely offers more of the predictable anti-Israel activism journalism so prevalent in the Guardian.