Lebanese & Palestinian Flags proudly fly over Galway City during a recent anti-war protest
Below is the text of a letter that I wrote that appeared in this week's 'Galway Advertiser', one of Ireland's best & most popular weekly newspapers
Time for the Israeli Myth to be Shattered
In light of recent events in Lebanon and Gaza, is it not time now for Europe to finally expose the lie that Israel is a beacon of democracy and freedom in an unstable totalitarian Middle East? In fact it is the very country that has created the regional instability in its never-ending wars of aggression that represents such a growing threat to world peace. Europe has consistently supported or acquiesced in its deliberate humiliation of the Arab peoples. Continuing failure by Israel to implement a string of UN resolutions and to secretively build a large nuclear arsenal has gone unpunished by the European Union.
Israel was created in the aftermath of World War Two largely due to the efforts of a guilt-ridden Europe shocked by the 6million Jews exterminated on its soil in the Holocaust.
Parts of the British-controlled Palestine were to become a homeland for the survivors of the death camps and would go some way in acting as a form of redemption for the thousand years of oppression suffered by Jews at the hands of Christian Europe. But right from its inception it metamorphosed into an expansionist, racist, militaristic state that has taken on so many aspects of the ideology of the Jews’ former Nazi oppressors.
In 1948, its military terrorised hundreds of thousands of the indigenous Palestinian natives to flee from their United Nations-designated lands into neighbouring countries where they and their descendents still live today in squalid refugee camps. These peoples are still denied the right of return. In 1967, the Israelis repeated a similar process by invading the remainder of Palestine.
Armed and financed by the United States, successive governments have encouraged hundreds of thousands of foreigners to colonise the lands of the Arab population. This process followed a similar path to the Nazi policy and plans for Poland in 1939-‘41: the best lands were given to racially or religiously-aligned settlers; the raw materials and main sources of water requisitioned; the natives confined to isolated apartheid-style Bantustans with all borders and main roads through the newly conquered territories controlled by the military. Gaza is no more than a large concentration camp completely surrounded by a perimeter fence with its air and seaways controlled by the Israelis. With the continued construction of a massive wall on Arab lands, the West Bank will soon follow suit. A whole people imprisoned in their own homeland.
Today, the famed biblical Jordan River is reduced to a trickle as the Israelis siphon off its waters to supply its own farms and cities. As with Nazi Poland, the occupying power sees the primary role of the governing councils of these glorified ghettos and camps is to ensure that the inmates do not undertake aggressive actions against the occupier. In classic racist parlance, the Israeli state warns that the whole population will suffer collective punishment for any individual attack on their soldiers or settlers. When the downtrodden rebel, the Israelis immediately implement a draconian 'Iron Fist' policy; until a few years ago, the family homes of young stone throwers were bulldozed to the ground. Today the offices of the democratically elected Palestinian Authority are demolished and its politicians imprisoned. When a Hezbollah unit recently kidnapped two Israeli soldiers and demanded a prisoner swap from some of the over 10,000 Palestinian and Lebanese prisoners held in Israel, the response was to refuse negotiation and to publicly promise to send Lebanon back 20 years in time by a massive bombing campaign with the proviso that Israel considers all inhabitants in south Lebanon to be legitimate targets.
Furthermore, the need for the West to secure cheap oil supplies by invading Iraq, by supporting repressive Arab regimes and by ostracising democratically elected governments in the region has only increased awareness amongst ordinary Arabs that Europe and the United States are the enemy. Anti-western fundamentalism is understandably on the rise. It says a lot that if Osama Bin Laden was allowed to run in a free and fair election tomorrow in his native Saudi Arabia, he would win by a landslide.
The source of the cancer in the Middle East is Israeli expansionism. Europe should at the very least now impose a total economic embargo on the country and demand its compliance with UN Resolution 242 and begin a complete withdrawal to its pre-1967 boundaries.