Cutting through the bullshit.

Sunday, 1 April 2007

'A moral issue'

In an interview with the Jerusalem Post’s Herb Keinon and David Horovitz on Thursday, also reported in the NY Times, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert made it absolutely unequivocal that he was not interested in any kind of peaceful settlement with Palestinians.

For 59 years, the Palestinian refugees languishing in squalid refugee camps have been considered an issue that can wait. Their plight has always been relegated to ‘final status negotiations’, left on the back burner, as if this were not a pressing issue – the most pressing issue – for well over four million people.

In answer to the Post’s question, Olmert made it plain that the refugees were entirely off the agenda.

I will not agree to accept any kind of Israeli responsibility for the refugees. Full stop. It's a moral issue. It's a moral issue of the highest standard. I don't think that we should accept any kind of responsibility for the creation of this problem. Full stop.

[I would rule out] ...Any refugee coming to Israel. Full stop. Out of the question.

…Refugees, no way…I'll never accept a solution that is based on their return to Israel, any number.

Of course, the fact is, that it’s not necessary for Israel to ‘accept any kind of responsibility for the creation of this problem’. It doesn’t matter why the refugees left, they are still entitled to return and they are still entitled to resume their property. Taken to its logical conclusion, Israel’s refusal to accept the return of the refugees sets a precedent that in principle, anyone can occupy anyone else’s property when they are absent for any reason. All they need do is claim that it wasn’t their fault that the owners left in the first place. Even if it really was their fault.

Keinon and Horovitz don’t explore the matter any further, but I think we can work out the nature of the ‘moral issue of the highest standard’. First of all, in denying responsibility for their flight in the first place, Olmert, like his predecessors and all apologists for the Jewish state, ‘doth protest too much’. Since the right of return does not depend on any kind of Israeli guilt for the ethnic cleansing, their insistence on denying it suggests that they are in fact guilty, and certainly does nothing to erode the refugees’ rights.

Furthermore, by denoting them ‘refugees’, he explicitly admits that they have a legitimate claim for refuge. Refuge from what? Well, could it be the Plan Dalet ethnic cleansing program on which the Jewish state’s cherished Jewish majority is based? Olmert may say what he likes, but two decades of painstaking scholarship in the Israeli military archives, in Ben Gurion’s obsessive diaries, and elsewhere by Israeli Jewish historians, have revealed that there were not just random massacres and excesses, but a worked out strategy to ‘spirit the penniless [Palestinian] population across the border’, as Theodor Herzl so delicately put it in his diary on 12 June 1895.

The ‘moral issue of the highest standard’ is of course precisely the maintenance of Israel’s Jewish majority. In Zionist parlance morality doesn’t have the universalist connotations we are accustomed to attribute to it. What’s good for the gander may often be the exact opposite of what’s good for the goose. In this case, however, there is a kind of consistency. Jewish refugees from Europe and the Arab countries who have settled in Israel and their descendants do not claim a right to return to their countries of origin. By the same token, on what basis should the Palestinians displaced by Zionist colonisation claim, or wish, to return or to demand restitution of their appropriated property? But wait. Hasn’t Israel been clamouring for decades for restitution of Jewish property and compensation from all kinds of authorities in Europe?

Anyway, that’s not the basis of the argument. For Olmert, it’s not Israel’s fault, so it’s not Israel’s responsibility, and anyway, it’s not convenient for the Jewish state to absorb 4,000,000 Palestinian refugees, or even one. The first argument is not just irrelevant, but false. The second is patently racist. But it should come as no surprise that ‘the international community’ has tolerated this obstructive attitude and copped the cost of looking after Israel’s mess for nearly six decades. After all, it’s more or less the same international community that President George Bush I addressed on 23 September 1991,

Zionism is not a policy; it is the idea that led to the creation of a home for the Jewish people, to the State of Israel. And to equate Zionism with the intolerable sin of racism is to twist history and forget the terrible plight of Jews in World War II and, indeed, throughout history. To equate Zionism with racism is to reject Israel itself, a member of good standing of the United Nations.

This body cannot claim to seek peace and at the same time challenge Israel's right to exist. By repealing this resolution unconditionally, the United Nations will enhance its credibility and serve the cause of peace.

It’s more or less the same international community that accepted Bush’s lame red herring that Jewish suffering somehow justified Jewish racism, his bogus assertion that Israel was ‘a member of good standing’, and his ludicrous allegation that Israel’s ‘right to exist’ is in any way in the interests of peace.

To their everlasting shame, the response was overwhelmingly to resolve, "The general assembly decides to revoke the determination contained in its resolution 3379 (XXX) of 10 November 1975." That was the resolution that, ‘taking note of’ this and that, none of it really relevant, and recognising what is obvious to the most casual observation, ‘Determines that Zionism is a form of racism and racial discrimination.’

With friends like these, it’s beginning to look as if the refugees are on their own.

Returning to the original point, if Olmert will not consider a just resolution for the refugees, including the right of return, there is no prospect of a peaceful outcome.


  1. Only Israel benefits from these endless Middle East wars. Iraq is the beginning. As we commit war-crimes in Baghdad, the US gov't commits treason at home by opening mail, eliminating habeas corpus, using the judiciary to steal private lands, banning books like "America Deceived" from Amazon and Wikipedia, conducting warrantless wiretaps and engaging in illegal wars on behalf of AIPAC. Soon, another US false-flag operation will occur (sinking of an Aircraft Carrier by Mossad) and the US will invade Iran. Then we'll invade Syria, then Saudi Arabia, then Lebanon (again) then ....
    Final link (before Google Books bends to gov't demands and censors the title):
    America Deceived (book)

  2. Thanks for your feedback, Anonymous.

    But I fear you've got the wrong end of the stick. The US had some very specific objectives in invading Iraq. One of these, most obviously, was to gain control over the flow of oil from the country with the probable second largest supply. Controlling their vital energy supplies provides an enviable kind of leverage over America's economic rivals in Japan, China, and Europe, none of which has significant oil deposits of its own.

    Another factor was that, for much the same reason, the US wanted to site major military bases in the heart ofg the oil producing region to protect its interests.

    There were probably other reasons, including the projected Euro oil bourse and the like.

    It's not just wrong to suggest that the US, the single most powerful country in the history of the planet, is doing the bidding of a handful of rabid lobbyists for a country of 7 million in a strategic location on the edge of the oil producing region. It smacks of the old traditional 'the Jews rule the world, control the banks and Hollywood', Protocols style of antisemitism.

    The US government prosecutes policies on behalf of the US ruling class. Some of them are Jews, and some are not. For every Perle, there's a Rumsfeld. For every Wolfowitz, there's a Cheney.

    I develop the argumkent against dog wagging a little more here: