06/06/2020 by socialistfight
Letter to the Southern Star 6-6-20
Sir – Maerton Davis (Southern Star letters, May 30) uses many obscure references and makes many incorrect allegations against Bob Storey, from Skibbereen, because this Zionist wishes to undermine support for the Palestinians against Israel in Ireland. Our identification with the Palestinians is so strong given our own history of oppression by a powerful and ruthless neighbour. The expulsion of 750,000 Palestinians in the 1948 Nakba, repeated in 1967 and again looming now resonates with us; we remember Cromwell’s “to hell of the Connaught” and the flood of refugees from the North due to the genocidal attacks by that state and its Loyalist thugs in 1969.
His rambling account of the actions of the Keren Kayemet LeYisrael (the Jewish National Fund JNF-KKL) is only designed to confuse. The JNF was founded in 1901 and in 1953 it became the JNF-KKL. Its mission was to buy and develop land in Palestine and subsequently Israel and the Palestinian territories) for Jewish settlement. It appropriated (stole) the ‘absentee lands’ (belonging to Palestinian refugees) after the Nakba. The JNF-KKL began operating in the illegally occupied Palestinian territories after the Six-Day War in 1967.
British prime ministers Tony Blair and Gordon Brown had been Honorary Patrons of the JNF-UK, like all British prime ministers before them but its charitable status came under attack and David Cameron resigned as Honorary Patron to JNF-UK in 2011, due to political pressures motivated by the JNF-KKL’s discriminatory policies in Israel. No leader of any of the main British political parties has become an Honorary Patron since. In 2012 the Green Party called for the JNF to be stripped of its charity status and called the charity “racist”. The JNF-UK supports Jewish people only in the state of Israel and abroad. It does not have a duty to practice equality towards all citizens of the state and does not do so. Only Jews can buy, mortgage or lease JNF land; Palestinians legally cannot. They are 20% of the citizens of Israel, but second class citizens.
Amnesty International reported that a Bedouin village, the residents of al-Araqib whose claim it is on ancestral land dated back to the Ottoman times were suffering severe discrimination. Israeli authorities have allowed the JNF-KKL to landscape the entire area of the village to make way for a forest. Al-Araqib was demolished and rebuilt nearly 60 times since July 2010. The 250 men, women and children erected makeshift shelters every time the bulldozers left but then (2017) they were living in a cemetery driven there by Israeli riot police in February 2011. There are more than 40 such ‘unrecognised villages’ in Israel. In 2003 Israel passed a law preventing any citizen of Israel from living with a Palestinian spouse from the Occupied Palestinian Territories. That was called miscegenation in the US Jim Crow South.
United Nations Security Council has resolved more resolutions condemning Israel (54) than on the rest of the world combined, but the US vetoes many. Resolution 2334 was adopted in 2016 which condemned the illegal Israeli settlements in Palestinian territories occupied since 1967, including East Jerusalem, because Barak Obama abstained. The resolution states that Israel’s settlement activity constitutes a “flagrant violation” of international law and has “no legal validity”. It demands that Israel stop such activity and fulfil its obligations as an occupying power under the Fourth Geneva Convention. Donald Trump is determined to reverse that, and plans are well advanced now to steal a vast section of Palestinian lands in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.
Seen in an online video an Israeli soldier, Elor Azaria, put a bullet in the head of an unconscious comatose Palestinian and got 9 months for manslaughter! Just a month more than Ahed Tamimi, the heroic young woman whose ‘clan’ Davis condemns because she slapped an IDF soldier illegally occupying her land (in their front garden!) just after another soldier split open the skull of her young cousin with a rubber bullet. The United Nation’s International Law allows resistance to illegal occupation. A slap!
Davis also refers to the “Al-Husseinis (Nazis who supported Hitler)” whose best-known leader was the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem. In 2015 Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu alleged that it was he, and not Hitler, who came up with the plan for the Holocaust: killing all Jews rather than expelling them, in a meeting on Nov. 28, 1941. However, the Times of Israel showed that the record of that meeting is “is readily available online. It is a fascinating and important document. Not only does it make clear that Netanyahu’s accusation is false, but it also sheds light on the true origins of the Holocaust, and why Hitler undertook it when he did”. We remember similar British imperialist accusations against Irish Republicans Sean Russell and Frank Ryan.
And what kind of twisted logic would refer to the heroic Barghouti clan as “thugs”? Marwan Barghouti, in prison in Israeli, is the inspirational leader of the First and Second Intifadas. And what logic justifies today’s Israeli atrocities against the Palestinians with wild allegations about what ‘Muhamadan tribes’ did a millennium and a half ago?
Bob Storey is not an anti-Semite for pointing out the truth about Israel, and neither am I. But pro-Palestinian and anti-Israel I certainly am.