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Daesh, Hamas, Fatah… if not Hezbollah… What do they have in common? They are all fascists

Cometh the hour, cometh the man, and it was the UK parliamentarian Hilary Benn who in December 2015 at last spelt out the moral responsibility to combat fascism in the Middle East. Benn referred to homosexuals being thrown from buildings, the destruction of cultural heritage, mass graves, sex slavery, and murder. He described how our values, tolerance, decency and democracy were held in contempt. Daesh*, he said, are fascists, and fascists must be fought.

While his words gave us focus on Daesh they can equally help us focus on the fascism of the Palestinian leaderships, militant groups, and among large swathes of the general population of the various Palestines (i.e. Hamas-Gaza-Palestine; Fatah-West-Bank-Palestine; and, King-Abdullah-Jordan-Palestine). Indeed, in throwing homosexuals from buildings, Daesh was copying the actions of Hamas in Gaza when they dispatched large numbers of opponents from tall buildings in the entity in the first few days after its election victory there.

The modern State of Israel has been fighting the fascism of Palestinian leaderships for decade after decade.

Fascism lives among elites and among the general population. Their fascism is destructive, and lives in the media, in mosques and in religious study-centres (madrassas). It creates a narrative that refers to the Shoah (the Holocaust) and to how 6,000,000 dead is an exaggeration if not a hoax (the gist of the doctoral thesis written by Mahmoud Abbas in Russia during the Soviet era).

The figure of Adolf Hitler figures large in the modern Palestinian narrative. They boast that they are sorry that Hitler didn’t finish his task, and how they will. All of this is woven into a distorted Palestinian world view and pseudo-historical narrative. In this revised narrative, Jewish presence never existed in the region.

Admiring references to Hitler’s Third Reich can be found in Muslim media, book-shops, and the internet right across the Arab world. Indeed, that Hitler found a key ally in the Holy Land is a historical truth. This ally was the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, Muhammad Amin al-Husseini – the man spotlighted by Benjamin Netanyahu earlier this year.

The Grand Mufti had been glorified by the German press as ‘the fuhrer of the Middle East’ when he visited Berlin in 1941. Al-Husseini organised a Muslim SS Battalion that slaughtered 90% of Bosnia’s Jews and made broadcasts to the Middle East urging Muslims to honour Allah by implementing their own Final Solution. Yasser Arafat, the founder of the PLO (you know… the great Palestinian… born in Egypt), was the Grand Mufti’s nephew and admirer.

The leaderships of the various ‘Palestines’ of Gaza and the West Bank are locked into a struggle for control over their peoples, and while they agree on very little they each fly the fascist flag, so to speak. As described above, the President in the Fatah-West-Bank-Palestine, Mahmoud Abbas, completed his doctoral dissertation in Russia (at the Institute of Oriental Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences) and published it in 1984 under the title, ‘The Other Side: the Secret Relationship Between Nazism and Zionism’. He claimed that 6,000,000 Jewish deaths at the hands of the Nazis is ‘a gross exaggeration’.

Then there is Hamas…  Hamas is an offshoot of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood, founded in 1928 by schoolteacher Hassan al-Banna, who modelled his organisation on Mussolini’s bully-boys and Hitler’s brown-shirts. The Hamas founder, Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, an admirer of Hitler, was also inspired by Izz al-Din al-Kassam whose followers killed Jews during the 1936-1939 Uprising – during the British period – and then joined the Grand Mufti in providing the Nazi-Germans with Middle Eastern operatives during World War II. Some of today’s militants in Gaza name their rocketry after al-Kassam – the Kassam or Qassam missiles.

Indeed, the Hamas founding charter (1988) relies heavily on the distortions and untruths of the proven hoax called the ‘Protocols of the Elders of Zion’. It is a charter that could have been written by Adolf Hitler, Joseph Goebbels, and any number of Austrian, Polish or Russian anti-Semites.

Unfortunately, there is never any real analysis of Palestinian society or its fascist ideologies, or any profiles of armed fascist Palestinian groups, or investigations into the Palestinian government (Mahmoud Abbas is still President in West-Bank-Palestine 6-years after the end of his term, 2005-2009… and since the Hamas election victory in Gaza in 2006 there has been no other election victory celebration there).

One person who has offered analysis of the Hamas leadership in Gaza is Suha Arafat. Last November (2014), on the tenth anniversary of her husband’s death, she expressed dismay at Hamas, and how the terror group had attacked Fatah leaders and buildings after its takeover of the Gaza Strip. Further, she said that Hamas was ruining the futures of Gaza youth, and committing ‘genocide’ upon its own people. The Hamas-generation has grown up with violence, without education, and with emigration as their only hope.

Other analysis has come from Bassem Eid, the founder and former director of the Jerusalem-based Palestinian Human Rights Monitoring Group (PHRMG). Eid is an advocate for peace with Israel, and a critic of terrorism and is part of the ‘Stop the Boycott’ movement.

Eid also reminds us of the statistics of the suffering brought upon Gaza-Palestine by Hamas and other terror groups and their affiliated Rocket Brigades: how some 5 million tons of rubble remains in Gaza; how 200,000 workers have lost their means of employment; how 80% of the Gazan people are surviving on welfare; how 40% of Gazans are living below poverty lines; and, how 22,000 Gazans are homeless.

He reminds us too how none of this is Israel’s fault and how the responsibility for the fate of Gaza-Palestine lies with its government – Hamas… not Israel.

We should all be reminded that Daesh, Hamas, Fatah, if not Hezbollah too, all have something in common. They are all fascists. Israel knows this, we should too.

*Daesh…: An acronym for the Arabic phrase al-Dawla al-Islamiya al-Iraq al-Sham (Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant) or ISIS or ISIL. The word ‘Daesh’ is preferred by many because it is similar to the Arabic words ‘Daes’, ‘one who crushes something underfoot’ and ‘Dahes’, translated as ‘one who sows discord’.

 

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Academic boycott – failure of BDS – loss of Palestinian jobs

The student newspaper of Edinburgh University (The Student, Tuesday 3 November 2015)  recently carried a report on the public pledge signed by UK academics to boycott Israeli universities. The piece offered reasonably balanced student and academic opinion about the matter, and included comment from both the Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC) and the Union of Jewish Students (UJS).

The pledge of the UK academics doubtless brought enthusiastic applause across Edinburgh campuses, not least among local supporters of the Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign (SPSC). However, let us get this all into perspective. Based on the number of academics and universities reported on, a mere 6-7 academics in each of the 72 universities appear to have actually signed the public pledge, according to the report. Since there are something like 109 university institutions across the UK, with 90-odd in England alone, and since the returns of the Higher Education Statistics Agency tell us that there were 194,245 UK academic staff in 2013-2014, the level of response must surely be read as a dismal failure of the much-lauded ‘latest salvo in the broader Boycott, Disinvestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign’.

It is always possible that the intentions of those 400 out of 190,000 or so academics are positive ones and completely devoid of bigotry, and simply the expression of a desire to ‘help’ Palestinians against particular Israeli policy, perceived policy, or set of Israeli behaviours. However, when there are no comparable boycott campaigns to exclude any other states based on this or that – when Israel is regarded almost as ‘the’ singular evil – then alarm bells ought to start ringing.

Why the focus on Israel? Why no criticism of Egypt for its demolition of houses in Gaza to make way for a barrier? Why is there not even a whimper, not a petition, not a protest, when Palestinians suffer in their thousands in Syria? Why no boycott of China (a country that ‘disappears’ dissenting Tibetans) or Russia for human rights abuses? Or of Myanmar for its treatment of the Rohingya community? Why no focus on the many states where freedom of the press and freedom of speech are lacking? Or of those where there is no functioning legal system? Why no focus on those countries where trade unions and political parties are illegal? Why no focus on countries where there is no democracy? Why no pressure on Palestinian leaderships to dump ‘rejectionism’ and become the actors in a conflict it is within their power to resolve?

Exclusive focus on Jewish Israel for boycott, will normalise Jews across the world as suitable targets for exclusion and punishment. If we can anthropomorphise things a bit, and look at Israel as a student playing in a playground of countries; if we then witnessed a teaching assistant look out the window to watch bullying students terrorising their classmates, and then yank inside for detention the Jewish kid trying to defend him or herself, then we’d want to start asking questions. We’d smell a vague whiff of bigotry.

The piece in The Student noted that the move by academics was ‘hailed by Palestinian rights groups’ and that their pledge ‘was lauded by Palestinian advocacy organisations’. Qatari-born Omar Barghouti, a founding member of the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI) and founding member of the BDS movement, and who has attended Tel Aviv University (can anyone else see the irony of that one) will doubtless have hailed and lauded the academics. But, what about the Palestinian Government? Has it hailed and lauded the UK academic boycott? Isn’t it the case that the Palestinian Government is disparaging of the BDS movement, and doesn’t believe that it serves the interests of the Palestinian people?

Though skilled at offering one view to Arab audiences and another to non-Arabic-speaking audiences, even Mahmoud Abbas has condemned the boycotting of Israel. Indeed, Palestinian infrastructural decision-making also tells a story far from supportive of BDS. For example, the first buyer of natural gas from Israel’s largest gas field in the Mediterranean will be the Palestine Power Generation Company (PPGC) which supplies power to Palestinian areas in the West Bank. PPGC will buy around $1.2-billion worth of gas over 20-years. The Israeli Leviathan Group will sell the PPGC as much as 4.75-billion cubic metres of gas when the Leviathan product begins to flow in 2016 or 2017. The Palestinian company aims to build a $300-million power plant in the West bank city of Jenin to produce electricity from the gas.

It would seem that local Palestinian economic policy is at odds with the shrill calls from distant Europe. Indeed, Professor Jonathan Rosenhead of the London School of Economics has made himself heard through the clamour. He tells The Student that if Israel continues with its policies ‘there are consequences’ and ‘Israel in the end will feel some of the disadvantages which Palestinians already have’. Really?

Isn’t it the case that BDS actions also have consequences, and add to Palestinian disadvantage? Didn’t the movement recently wreck Palestinian job opportunities? Didn’t the successful Israeli Sodastream business leave the West Bank for a new and larger plant at Rahat in the Negev Desert as a result of BDS activity? This action had the consequence of offering more jobs for Israelis and losing 500 Palestinians their employment in the West Bank. Sodastream had been paying them at Israeli wage levels, and had provided private health insurance. The producer of the Bagel-Bagel snack and a global producer of locks – Abloy – also left the West Bank for Israel proper once BDS got stuck in. More jobs for Israelis. Nice one BDS! Always doing something to help Palestine!

While BDS loses Palestinians their jobs, Jordanians are flocking to neighbouring Israel for employment (again, can anyone see the irony of that). This year, just like last year, some 1,500 Jordanian workers are being recruited in three groups of 500 to work in the busy Eilat hotel industry. Israeli Eilat lies adjacent to Jordanian Aqaba in the southern Negev at the top of the Gulf of Eilat, the same stretch of water that laps the beaches of Sharm El-Sheikh. Imagine what a peace treaty like the one between Israel and Jordan could do for Palestinians? Over to you Mr. Abbas.

As the BDS movement continues to show gross failure and incompetence, it is the 189,600 or so UK academics not signing the public pledge to boycott Israeli universities who will be seen to have stood on the right side of history.

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BDS, Suha Arafat, and some Jewish history

Small deluded groups of leftist opinion formers in western countries (e.g. the Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign) continue in their efforts to discredit Israel and to institute boycott, disinvestment and sanctions against the country. Meanwhile, Jordanian-born Suha Arafat (born in Jerusalem under the Jordanian administration, and widow of deceased Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat, who was born in Egypt) has instead stated that the time had come for the region’s Arabs to recognise the state of Israel, and that armed struggle to eliminate the Jewish state’s existence was no longer plausible.

Arafat has said that Arabs had to ‘clearly express […] recognition of Israel’. Further, she said that ‘no one can doubt its existence’. What she did not however say was whether or not she thought Israel had a RIGHT to exist… only that it DOES exist. The remarks had come on the tenth anniversary of her husband’s death last November 2014.

She had also expressed dismay at Hamas, and how the terror group had attacked Fatah leaders and buildings after its takeover of the Gaza Strip. Further, she said that Hamas was ruining the futures of Gaza youth, and committing ‘genocide’ upon its own people. The Hamas-generation has grown up with violence, without education, and with emigration as their only hope. She hoped that Hamas would finally understand that it should work towards peace.

While Arafat’s input was a milestone, Israeli officials speak about the need for Palestinians to acknowledge Israel’s right to exist. Doing so would recognise the state’s long-term sovereignty and permanence.

Israelis have a number of reasons for demanding their country be recognised as their national homeland. For the Jews, Palestinian recognition of the State of Israel as the national homeland of the Jews means the end of the conflict. They want to be sure that a Palestinian state bordering on Israel is the Palestinians’ final demand and that they accept the fact of Israel’s existence.

In some ways too the deluded European and North American BDS-ers also need to accept that fact of Israel’s existence, and to acknowledge that the State of Israel is simply not going to melt away. Boycotting Israel, whose agencies, institutions, universities, and laboratories have been responsible for so many Nobel Prizes and the creation of stunning advances for the good of us all, will not reduce Israeli academic nor military excellence. In boycotting Israel, the people likely to suffer most will be the thousands of Palestinian breadwinners who currently work in Israel’s factories and fields, both in Israel itself and in the West Bank.

The deluded also have to accept some historical facts, study a bit of Jewish history, and research with a great more depth the origin of the ‘Palestinians’ to whom they offer succour.

Firstly, in spite of the ancient Assyrian, Babylonian, and Roman exiles endured by many Jews of the region, Jews have nevertheless had a continuous presence there for thousands of years (particularly in Jerusalem, Safed and Tiberias). Indeed, Jewish history and Jews themselves have a presence in the Holy Koran as well as in the Old and New Testaments.

Secondly, it was the Romans who first applied the name Palestine (Palestina) to the region around 70AD – around the time that they destroyed the Jewish Temple in the renamed Aelia Capitolina (Jerusalem) – but it was not at that time a home to the Arabs whose universe at this point was still the Arabian Peninsula. Neither was Palestine a name that the later Ottomans would adopt, as their own imperial system used the ‘vilayet’ and ‘sanjak’ administrative system. They knew the region as composed of the Vilayet of Beirut, the Vilayet of Syria and the Mutasarrifate of Jerusalem or Sanjak of Jerusalem. European Christians (i.e. the Church of Rome) however would continue to use the Roman name of Palestine… hence our modern attachment to the name.

Thirdly, the Arab ancestors of today’s Moslems in the region only swept in during the 7th century AD and with the imperialist expansion of Islam. Fast forward to the 20th century and to the British presence in ‘Palestine’ (the name of the region applied by the Romans, but ignored by the Ottomans), reference was always made to the Moslem ‘Arabs’ and to the ‘Palestinian’ Jews… the Palestinians were the Jews, the ‘Arabs’ were the Moslems (indeed, the anti-Israeli BDS-er need only refer to English language newspapers of the period to read this for themselves). Then, post-1948, and right through to the Six Day 1967 and the Yom Kippur 1972 and a bit afterwards, references were always to the Jewish-Arab conflict, never to the Jewish-Palestinian conflict.

Fourthly, not all of the diverse Arab populations of Judea, Samaria and Gaza have lived in these areas for the many generations and the many centuries that many voices urge us to believe. Either they came with invading armies, or were imported as cheap labour by the Turks and British, or wanted to profit from the economic advances made by the Jews who had been returning to rebuild their homeland since the 18th century (returning to an empty and barren landscape). Others fled to Palestine from neighbouring Arab countries. While these same voices mock the dual-passport-holding modern Israeli, they ignore the dual-passport-holding Arabs of Judea, Samaria and Gaza many of whom have relatives in Israel, some in Jordan, some in Lebanon, some in Egypt, some in Europe and North America.

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Christmas – time of real danger for Israel

As Christmas descends on the western world, the moment of maximum danger for Israel emerges. Why is that? Because, as the Christian world gazes dewy-eyed towards Bethlehem in Judea, the relative calm and the relative prosperity of the West Bank (in comparison to the daily grind for Gazans under fascist Hamas for example) is not the scene that best serves Palestinian leaderships and the Palestinian narrative.

What better way to draw the attention of journalists from civil-war-torn Syria, and from the refugee camps of Jordan and Lebanon, than to stage aggravation between Palestinians and Israeli troops at Christmas time, and to launch a missile or two on Israeli civilians. Indeed, aggravation on the Gaza-Israel border has already occurred in the last 24-hours. What better way than aggravation to distract attention from the refugee camps of Jordan, always brim full of Syrians displaced by their own government. Moslems in camps do not serve the interests of Palestinians – the ‘only’ displaced people that has ever lived !

At this precious moment in the Christian calendar, Palestinian President-for-Life, Mahmoud Abbas, carrying on the narrative set by Yasser Arafat, will, as always at this time, release a Christmas message calling Jesus a ‘Palestinian messenger’ – no matter that the Roman term ‘Palestine’ would not emerge until some 70 years after the Nazarene’s death. Abbas will imply, as he does every year, that Israel persecutes Christians, but the facts on the ground tell a different story. The Christian population of Israel is the only one which is growing and thriving in the region. In Palestine, especially in Bethlehem, where they used to form a majority, Christian populations have shrunk. Many feel uncomfortable amid growing Moslem majorities that they see as becoming more outwardly and politically Islamist… not to mention intimidating and corrupt. It is Moslem terror organisations that persecute Christians and other minorities right across the Middle East. In Israel they find safe haven.

Regrettably, European and North American Christian groups, and their leading clergy, have accepted the Abbas narrative rather than the Israeli one, thus hastening the inevitable decline and ultimate eradication of a Christian presence in these ancient Christian centres.

As we go into holiday mode here in Scotland – effectively into self-congratulatory lockdown – this blog wishes all Israelis and all supporters of Israel, chag sameach ve l’shanah tovah !

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It is because of Arab malevolence that the State of Palestine does not exist… it is not the fault of Israel

In recent weeks recognition of the entity known as ‘Palestine’ has taken up the parliamentary time of Sweden, the UK and Scotland. It is almost as if the stand-off between Israel and its Arab neighbours is the one defining issue that will take us from the peaceful world as we know it (irony alert) and into a deep dark abyss.

In Sweden, the newly elected Social Democrat-led coalition decided that recognition of ‘Palestine’ was the most important matter for it to address, home as Sweden is to more than half a million Moslems and a safe haven to tens of thousands of refugees from Syria, Iraq and Somalia. Completely unable to affect the domestic scene because if it does carry out its promises of increasing social spending the Swedish Krona will take a battering in the markets, interest rates will go up and the labour market will be destabilised, the new Prime Minister Stefan Löfven took some kind of refuge in foreign affairs where talk is cheap and responsibility is everyone else’s except his.

No one in the new government thinks that a Swedish statement on anything Middle Eastern can affect the region, but there is a hope that jabbing Israel will impress the very immigrants whose presence is irritating a steadily growing number of Swedes and leading them to the far-Right. In the UK too, many MPs – especially in the decaying cities of England – have large numbers of Moslems in their constituencies and so a motion to recognise the so-called ‘state of Palestine’ seemed to excite lively debate in the UK House of Commons. Not to be outdone, Marco Biani of the Scottish National Party (SNP) tabled a motion in the Scottish Parliament on 13 October ‘that the Parliament recognises the state of Palestine alongside the state of Israel’.

According to the main proposer of the UK parliamentary motion, the Labour MP Grahame Morris, the international community has cruelly refused the Palestinians their right to a state and has thus hindered peace and security in the region. But this is simply wrong. The reason no Palestinian state exists alongside Israel is that the Arabs have consistently refused to accept one – in 1937 they refused (partition rejected by Husseini and Nashashibi), in 1948 they refused (making war with the new State of Israel), in 2000 they refused (Yasser Arafat turning down the Camp David offer), and in 2008 they refused (the Olmert Peace Plan). The answer from the Arabs has always been rejection, war and terrorism.

The reason that the current peace process has stalled is that – like Yasser Arafat before him – Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has one supposedly moderate face and message for the West and another quite different and hateful one for his own Arab-speaking constituency.

The so-called ‘Palestinians’ are stateless not as a result of callous Israelis, but of deliberate Arab malevolence. It is the Arabs who either stripped them of citizenship they already had (as King Hussein did in 1988), or precluded them from acquiring citizenship they desire. It was the Arab League resolution 1547 in 1959 that called on Arab countries not to allow Palestinian Arabs to obtain citizenship in their host countries.

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The recent conflict: reflections on Israel, on the Hamas, and the western media

In the recent conflict between Hamas-led Gaza-Palestine and Israel, the Health Ministry of Gaza-Palestine claimed that there were over 2,000 fatalities, making no distinction between militant and civilian deaths. Israel believes however that between 750 and 1,000 of the Palestinian dead were in fact militant fatalities. Numbers of deaths – especially the low Israeli casualty rate – were the fixation of foreign news correspondents covering the war. While any civilian death during war is tragic, civilians have always died in war, and the statistics ought to be contrasted with those mounting in the neighbouring Syrian inter-communal conflict. Over the past 3-years, the Syrian civil war has claimed an estimated 190,000 lives, or about 70,000 more than the number of people who have EVER died in the Arab-Israeli conflict since it began a century ago.

In spite of this, western news organisations have long decided that the Arab-Israeli conflict is much more important than say the killing of women in Pakistan (more than 1,600 women murdered there last year alone), many raped or burned, or the on-going rubbing out of Tibet by China and of the very idea of a Tamil Eelam by Sri Lanka, carnage in Congo and the Central African Republic, and the over 60,000 deaths in the Mexican drug wars. Nope… for westerners the most important story in the world is Israel, and for many local authorities in Scotland and other parts of the UK it is extremely important to show solidarity with Israel’s fascist opponents by flying their green, red, white and black flag.

What is especially important for the western press in the Israel-Palestinian story is Israel itself. There is never any real analysis of Palestinian society or its fascist ideologies, or any profiles of armed fascist Palestinian groups, or investigations into the Palestinian government (Mahmoud Abbas is still President in West-Bank-Palestine 5-years after the end of his term!! When is the next election to be held in Gaza-Palestine? Or, is it ok that the Hamas election victory was the last election victory celebration ever to be held there?). The western press narrative – and the one that we gobble up and support – is that ‘the Palestinians’ exist as passive victims.

While western media focus on the flag-waving jubilant Gazan mobs who actually believe they have won a victory (surely only the sort of victory that the ‘Black Knight’ in the Monty Python sketch might get excited about!!) the reality is very different. Once again, with all the flowery Arab rhetoric stripped away, the real victor is Israel. Fact:… All of the Hamas conditions for a cease-fire were rejected, and the organisation sued for a truce without any of its demands being met.

The way the war was fought by Israel has given pause to Hamas and the heads of the more powerful Hezbollah about engaging soon in another military clash with Israel. As Gaza-Palestinians reflect on the damage to their lives and property resulting from the Hamas decision to launch rockets from the Strip’s most populated areas, they might just think about conveying the message to their government that they want to avoid making any more sacrifices.

The Hamas leadership will certainly be shaken to see their rockets rendered largely impotent by Israel’s Iron Dome anti-missile system (the system that some western observers said that Israel ought to give Gaza too !!! What planet do they live on??). Shaken too they will be by the destruction of the attack tunnels in which they invested massively, and used cement and other materials that would have been better utilised by the civilian population. In addition several of their most senior figures were killed in targeted attacks after Israeli intelligence penetrated their inner sanctum.

Israel’s willingness to carry out a sustained, punishing air and ground war, at great cost in casualties and to the international image of the country, will have underscored to both the Hamas and Hezbollah that when kidnapping and targeting civilian populations is employed, Israel will act.

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Palestine: Endless tale of stupid leadership, national victimhood, and fighting the wrong war

Stupid leaders fighting the wrong war – that is the story of Palestine, especially of Hamas-led Gaza-Palestine. They believe that they are fighting a paper tiger which will crumple and burn in the face of Palestinian will. They project a flowery and over-bold rhetoric grounded in Arab culture and in the national strategy founded by Yasser Arafat (the Egyptian). The Palestinian national narrative has also been offered succour by those elements of the European liberal left stuck in an odd and old 1970s groove – particularly odd when, with reference to Hamas, we are talking about an entirely malevolent organisation which, if it were part of European politics, would be recognised as neo-Nazi in orientation.

The European support and succour has its roots in 1967. By then, the USA had begun to take Israel seriously after the 1967 Six Day War victory, and to regard the tiny country as a substantial ally. At this time too, the USA had become deeply embroiled in its escalation of the Vietnam War. And so it was that in the eyes of liberals and the left, Israel – after briefly enjoying the status of victim triumphant – began to be viewed through a new frame of reference. The newer liberal and left both in the UK and wider Europe identified with the emerging Palestinian national movement and with the continuing anti-colonial struggle and there was seen a deepening hostility towards Israel, now always to be viewed as a lynchpin ally of the USA. Today in the 21st century there isn’t a UK university campus that does not have a strident pro-Palestine solidarity committee, its members richly swathed in Palestinian scarves often expressing a hatred towards Israel and its Jewish character that would have made Goebbels proud.

Back to Gaza-Palestine and Hama though… As far as Palestine is concerned, we are talking about the classical anti-colonial strategy, but this is very much the ‘wrong war’ that Hamas is fighting.

To explain…: Exploitative colonial power invades, and the anti-colonialist movement tries to make the cost of staying far exceed any benefit to the presence. A crucial part of the struggle is brutality and terrorism, and the willingness of members of the movement to die… the message being that the colonial civilians are not safe and that the terrorists are not deterred even by the possibility of their own death. Basically, in almost every instance during the 20th century, when a colonialist power has faced escalating brutality and terrorism, the benefits gained from their presence have very soon lost any attraction and the emasculated power has returned home.

Among Palestinian leaderships, parallels between themselves and the experience of anti-colonialism in North Africa, especially in Algeria, are frequently drawn. Indeed, on 14 July 2014 in an interview on the Hamas-affiliated Al-Aqsa TV (and reported in a piece by the Israeli journalist Haviv Rettig Gur) a Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said: ‘We are paying a price, but remember our brothers in Algeria, who had at least a million and [a] half martyrs […] In 1945, in a single day in Algeria, 45,000 Algerians died’.

The reference to Algeria is, of course, revealing. Although the Algerian anti-colonial struggle was expensive in terms of life and limb, it did result in liberation from France – the colonial power. For Hamas, a terrorist organisation engaged in brutal and pointless killing, it sees itself as bravely fighting the good fight, and bearing the great cost, to bring about the ejection of the opponent.

However, there is a huge flaw in this strategy, and the Palestinian apologists in the European left (stuck in their 1970s rut) just don’t see the flaw either. It is this…: An anti-colonial strategy only works if the colonialist believes he IS one in the first place, if he has a separate homeland to which to return. It is all about psychology… and frankly it is all about sociology too. To explain the sociological dimension a bit further…: Israel is not… and Israelis are not… a colonising power. The Jews of Israel have a shared sense of national history and identity, a narrative of ancient belonging in the land and a language spoken nowhere else. Today, Israel has 8,000,000 citizens living in some 76 cities connected by 18,000 kilometres of road network and a massive and highly sophisticated 21st century infrastructure. Israel and Israeli Jews are a civilisation, simply put.

So… the big flaw in Hamas and overall Palestinian anti-colonial strategy… unlike the French in Algeria and Vietnam, or the Dutch in the East Indies, the British in Kenya and Aden and Cyprus, or the Indonesians in East Timor, Israelis have nowhere else to go.

And… this leads us to the inevitable conclusion, which is this…: When an anti-colonial strategy (the ill-thought-out and misplaced Palestinian one) is used against an indigenous national identity (Israel and Israelis), and uses suicide bombers, rockets and mortars to try and kill innocent people who have nowhere else to go, the response is not so much flight and escape, but war.

That, dear reader, is what the war in Gaza-Palestine is all about: Wrong strategy. Wrong strategy from failed leaderships.

[Reference made to piece by Haviv Rettig Gur, in Times of Israel, ‘The tragic self-delusion behind the Hamas war’, 17 July 2014. Online]

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