"PEACE WILL come to the Middle East when the Arabs learn to love their children more than they hate us. We can forgive the Arabs for killing our children. We cannot forgive them for forcing us to kill their children."
That was former Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir in 1972. We hear the same stuff now from apologists for the bombardment of Gaza. If it were London rather than Tel Aviv that rockets were falling on, Israeli spokespersons regularly ask, wouldn’t British people want their government to punish and deter the perpetrators?
Blame for the deaths of children would fall squarely on the shoulders of the terrorist groups, which base themselves in heavily populated civilian areas.
The Israeli advice to the British during the Provisional IRA’s bombing of London would presumably have been to send bombers to blitz Ballymurphy. Any deaths of local children would be down to the Provos.
By now, almost certainly, there are bloggers, or Twitter-louts, somewhere with fingers poised at keyboards to expose me on account of the foregoing paragraphs as “a racist, anti-Semitic swine.” Jonathan Kellerman took the trouble to announce just this from Southern California. Kellerman is a very successful author. I am told that I ought to have heard of him.
Much mainstream coverage of the latest Gaza bloodletting accepts the Israelis’ narrative of recent events—that Hamas started it by, unprovoked, sending rockets into Israel. Even in the short term, this isn’t true. In the long term, it reflects an entirely false perspective. The business goes a lot further back.
Referring to the creation of Israel in 1948, Meir declared: “It was not as if there was a Palestinian people in Palestine, and we came and threw them out and took their country away from them. They did not exist.” Or: “How can we return the occupied territories? There’s nobody to return them to.”
This is the ultimate in dehumanizing people whose identity you have to deny in order to justify your actions towards them. It is a modern adaptation of the doctrine of terra nullius—empty land—which English colonists invoked to rob Australia from those who had lived there for 50,000 years. Meir and Captain Cook are sister and brother under the skin.