Once Again, Palestinians Are Shafted by The British

Once Again, Palestinians Are Shafted by The British Government, Responding to Pressures from pro-Israeli Lobby

[Pro-apartheid, pro-genocide  lobby. Cc]

By Rima 

Najjar Global Research, September 06, 2018   
Region: Middle East & North Africa Theme: Law and Justice, Media Disinformation, Police State & Civil Rights In-depth Report: PALESTINE     

I am appalled and angry at the British government’s adoption of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA)  definition of anti-Semitism following pressure by various Jewish  Zionist groups for the same reason I am against another document the  British government was pressured into adopting – the Balfour Declaration of 1917, “a short letter by Arthur Balfour to arguably one of the most influential Jewish families – the Rothschild’s.”

It is much shorter than the IHRA, and included this sentence in it:
“It being clearly understood that nothing shall be done  which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of non-Jewish  communities [in Palestine].”

As history records, everything possible has been done to “prejudice  the civil and religious rights of non-Jewish communities” in Palestine,  namely Palestinian non-Jewish Arabs, Christian and Muslim, who stand  today without the right of self-determination in their own shrinking homeland, their material dispossession an ongoing Israeli project today.

In the White paper of 1922, while playing off Jew against Arab Palestinian, Winston Churchill  attempted to mollify the latter by stating the Jewish immigration to  Palestine would be controlled, that the rate of Jewish immigration would  be determined by how much the economy of Palestine could absorb, adding,
"it is contemplated that the status of all citizens of  Palestine in the eyes of the law shall be Palestinian, and it has never  been intended that they, or any section of them, should possess any  other juridical status."

From then on, American Jews (in the form of the American Jewish  Committee) joined their counterparts in Britain to do all they could to  stir public opinion to demand a Jewish state in Palestine. For example,  The New York Times described the following scene on Nov. 3 and 24, 1930:
"In Madison Square Garden, twenty-five thousand people –  with another twenty-five thousand outside – heard a roster of famous  Jews, Zionist and non-Zionist, pillory the British Government."

The Zionist forces that have succeeded in forcing both parties in the  British government to adopt a definition of anti-Semitism that equates  anti-Zionism with anti-Semitism are the same forces that influenced the  British government to acquiesce to the dismemberment of Palestine, a Nakba from which we continue to suffer.

As a Palestinian, I categorically reject both campaigns within the  British government, the first to dispossess me, and the second to define  as “anti-Semitism” my inalienable right to resist the Jewish state in  Palestine that has colonized and usurped my homeland by force.

The issue of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of “antisemitism” revolves around whether that definition is in part racist  itself, as the IHRA includes five points specifically focused on Israel  that, in essence, equate anti-Semitism with anti-Zionism.

Many in the media take it for granted that the majority of Jews  worldwide identify with Israel, a settler-colonial state in Palestine  that is the bitter fruit of the Jewish Zionist movement.

Thus, whenever there is an issue having to do with Israel, you see  many references in the media to the opinions and reactions of the  “Jewish community” or “Jews” in the aggregate.

Writing in the Jewish Chronicle, Daniel Sugarman asks:
" ‘What is the IHRA definition of antisemitism? And why has Labour outraged Jews by rejecting it?’

Other articles, such as the Financial Times report (Labour’s Emily Thornberry endorses IHRA definition of anti-Semitism by Henry Mance and Jim Pickard in London, September 2, 2018), or the JP post “Outcry  by UK Jewry as Labour adopts controversial antisemitism guidelines”,  refer to the reaction of “UK Jewry” in the headline or in the body of  the report.

Saying Israel Has No Right to a “Jewish State” Is Not Anti-Semitic 

Indeed, whenever Western governments talk about Israel in terms of protecting it, they mean they are protecting Jews from Palestinian Arabs and other “Arabs” generically.

They mean they are protecting Israel’s “right” to exist as an exclusivist, apartheid Jewish state in Palestine. They mean they are protecting Israel from Palestinian refugees demanding return to their homeland.

The world gets the equation that Jews/Judaism/Zionism = Israel, not simply from Israel itself and its co-option of the Holocaust,  or from Western governments and their guilt over the anti-Semitism they  themselves historically spawned, but also from Zionist thought, which  is Jewish nationalist thought, history and culture.

In the U.S., the board of the Foundation for Jewish Studies,  an independent organization whose mission is “to provide adults with  high quality, in-depth encounters with Jewish thought, history, and  culture”, deals with dissenting Jewish voices in the following way:
"While we strongly support Israel, our programs focus only  on what our mission designates, and what we have offered has been  regarded as at the highest intellectual level… The Foundation does not  support Professor Diner’s personal political statements, but we support  free speech and civil discourse."

Squelching free speech rather than racist practices in Israel is  what’s unacceptable in the statement of the FJS Board above, as it is  often in discussions of BDS speech or attacks on IHRA.

Peter Cohen has this to say about the controversial IHRA points:
"Under the IHRA definition – in which no less than 5 of  the points are specifically focused on Israel – it is “antisemitic,” for  example, to draw “comparisons of contemporary Israeli policy to that of  the Nazis.” Thus, while it is clearly acceptable to compare Hamas to  the Nazis (as Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu has done), Iran to the Nazis (as Netanyahu has also done) and BDS activists to the Nazis (as Israeli Education Minister Naftali Bennett has done),  it is apparently racist to do so in the specific case of Israel.  Presumably this extends to very specific and factually-grounded  comparisons, such as the counting of calories going into Gaza to the  counting of calories in concentration camps by the Nazis, or the Nazi  policy of “concentrating” Jews into ghettos (and later into camps) with  the Israel policy of concentrating Palestinians into sealed Gaza and  West Bank towns that are encircled by a tightening matrix of walls,  settlements, outposts, bypass roads, closed military zones and  checkpoints, or the use of the “Dahiya Doctrine” in the Shujjaiya and Rafah neighborhoods of Gaza in 2014  to the collective punishments used by the Nazis in retaliation for  Resistance attacks. Are such comparisons really more unacceptable than  the practices that elicit them?"

In July 2018, Jewish Voice for Peace spearheaded a joint statement  by a worldwide coalition of Jewish groups condemning “attempts to  stifle criticism of Israel with false accusations of antisemitism.”
"The International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition  of antisemitism, which is increasingly being adopted or considered by  western governments, is worded in such a way as to be easily adopted or  considered by western governments to intentionally equate legitimate  criticisms of Israel and advocacy for Palestinian rights with  antisemitism, as a means to suppress the former."
"This conflation undermines both the Palestinian struggle for freedom,  justice and equality and the global struggle against antisemitism. It  also serves to shield Israel from being held accountable to universal  standards of human rights and international law."

These Jewish voices support “legitimate critiques of unjust Israeli  policies” but still cannot decry and reject as unjust (i.e.,  delegitimize) the very existence of Israel as such.

But the Palestinian “Struggle for freedom, justice and equality” is, in fact, a struggle for decolonization. For us, it’s the existence of Israel, not simply its policies, that must be decried.

There are, of course, Jews who have always opposed the existence of Israel on religious grounds. And, at the beginning, there were also Jews in Israel who opposed it. In the UK when the Balfour Declaration was being cooked up, there were dissenting Jewish voices that got lost.

Today, anti-IHRA Jews in the U.K. have been swept away, once again, by the Zionist juggernaut.
"As Jewish people in Manchester, England, we resent the despicable racism shown towards the Palestinians by Guardian stalwarts such as Jonathan Freedland, Polly Toynbee, Jessica Elgott, Eddie Izzard, Nick Cohen, Marina Hyde and Gaby Hinsliff  among others, all saturating comment sections on mainstream news  websites with attacks designed to bring down the UK Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn, and to protect Israel from accountability."

In commenting on the adoption in full of the IHRA by UK’S Labour Party, Tom Suarez marvels at Zionism’s conditioning of Jews and others to adopt its ideology.
"There is no parallel to this on earth, no other  political entity’s claim of ownership over people by virtue of their  ethnicity. Any such claim would be universally condemned as outrageous,  as abusive, and at best, laughable. But Zionism has conditioned us to  believe one of the most repugnant of classic anti-Semitic tropes, that  of Jews as a tribe, a ‘race’ apart, somehow distinct from the rest of  humanity, and placed a pariah state in the Middle East as the tribal  leader."

But today also, in the wake of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions  movement (BDS), we are beginning to hear Jewish voices, in mainstream  media, pointing to Israel’s illegitimacy. Here is professor of  philosophy Joseph Levine at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst saying just that:
“In fact, I claim you can’t find any genuine argument  [against BDS] that isn’t guilty of breaching the limits of the  reasonable in this way for the alleged right to establish the Jewish  state in Palestine.”

  Note: Much of the above was first published on Quora as answers to two questions.

Rima  is a  Palestinian whose father’s side of the family comes from the forcibly  depopulated village of Lifta on the western outskirts of Jerusalem. She  is an activist, researcher and retired professor of English literature,  Al-Quds University, occupied West Bank. She is a frequent contributor to  Global Research.

The original source of this article is Global Research Copyright © Rima Najjar, Global Research, 2018

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