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Events in the Middle East

My position on this is, I'm sure, entirely predictable based on my profile, and I doubt that there is much point in my rehearsing my opinions.

However, sniffing around the BBC site, the 'most recommended' comments on their discussion thread came as something of a pleasant surprise. However, I suspect that there is a deliberate attempt to skew the results by readers, unless comment makers have rather different opinions from what the mainstream media would have us believe is received opinion on Israel.

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Blogger phone cam foolery said... 3:49 pm

Would love hear your views as to why it is acceptable for people to move from Europe to Palestine , kick out the locals, heard them into concentration camps, and spend decades persecuting them.
i would also love to read your justification for the deaths of large numbers of innocent Lebanese men women and children in the latest excusrion of the IDF  

Blogger Croydonian said... 2:44 pm

Probably not much point PCF, as we appear to have entrenched positions and this would generate rather more heat than light.

However, here is Article 51 from the UN charter:

"Nothing in the present Charter shall impair the inherent right of individual or collective self-defence if an armed attack occurs against a Member of the United Nations, until the Security Council has taken measures necessary to maintain international peace and security. Measures taken by Members in the exercise of this right of self-defence shall be immediately reported to the Security Council and shall not in any way affect the authority and responsibility of the Security Council under the present Charter to take at any time such action as it deems necessary in order to maintain or restore international peace and security".  

Blogger phone cam foolery said... 10:06 pm

So we can cherry pick the UN edicts that Israel chooses to obey?
Seriously, I would love to know why you support israel.
I have no desire to hurl abuse at you, even if I disagree with you.
I enjoy your writing, find you to be an apparently humane and amusing man, I am just baffled as to why you support that state and the monstrous way it behaves.


Blogger phone cam foolery said... 10:12 pm

if you can be bothered ,
and I understand if you cant  

Blogger Croydonian said... 10:56 pm

I've held fire on this as I like having people here and don't want to fall out with them.

Anyway, you good people give me a lot, so it would be selfish to wuss out when I'm asked to give something back.

My initial parallel is that Jews have been permanently settled in that land for thousands of years, but were expelled by their conquerors. In the same way that if someone squatted my house, either or my descendants would retain the right to regain it.

Rather than the Zionist movement raising an army to retake that land, they bought it, field by field (or more accurately swamp by swamp) from the absentee landlords who held sway under Ottoman dominion who were quite ahppy to charge inflated prices. This buying up of land increased in tempo between the wars, and at the same time there was a considerable influx of arabs from neighbouring areas drawn to the considerable economic activity that Jewish settlement had created in what had been a backwater, even by the standards of the Middle East. It is worth noting that the British authorities, while enthusiastically clamping down on Jewish immigration did nothing of the sort to Arabs arriving by land. I would argue that a people has a right to self determination, and the authorities in Mandate Palestine proposed a division between an Arab state and a Jewish statem with Jerusalem as a n internationalised city. The Zionist movement accepted a deal that fell well short of their aspirations, but considered that something was better than nothing. The postion of the Arabs (many of whom were first ot second generation settlers themselves) and their backers in neighbouring countries were not interested in any sort of partition, but rather decided that when Israel declared its independence (as agreed under UN terms) that would attempt to destroy it, and as the what is now a cliche had it - drive the Jews into the sea. Despite unbelievable odds the State of Israel survived an onslaught from Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq and Saudi Arabia. I'm not going to ignore Deir Yassin just because it is inconvenient to my narrative, and indeed what we might term war crimes war committed on both sides. However, there was no systematic attempt to empty Israel of Arabs, and those Arabs that did leave had been led to believe by their leadership, and that of their allies, that once Israel had been annihilated they could then have the land etc of the expelled.

This, very obviously did not happen, and once the war of independence ground to a halt there were no peace treaties signed, rather an uneasy truce, despite the willingness of Ben Gurion's government to sign them. Meanwhile, Gaza and the West Bank were annexed by Egypt and Jordan respectively, with no serious attempt to create a Palestinian state either then or later. The subsequent wars are well enough known for it not really being worth going over again, but if the neighbouring states had signed a peace, the Israelis would have withdrawn to the '67 Green Line. Just as they withdrew from the Sinai when Sadat was prepared to sign on the line, despite protests from those who had built towns there. One might also add that the government of Ehud Barak offered almost all of what the PLO was demanding, but this was again turned down. One can ask how many defeated enemies have been offered a deal quite so good. I'm sure I can't think of any parallels.

Some near 40 years later, the Israelis have unilaterally withdrawn from Gaza, despite security misgivings, and the West Bank wall / fence can be seen as potentially a parallel for a similar act there.

Whether the present Israeli reaction to missiles and so forth being fired from within Gaza and Lebanon is proportionate is another issue, but I quoted the UN charter to make the point of self -defence being permitted under interantional law.

Above and beyond all of the foregoing, Locke theorised that one gains title to property by adding one's labour to it, and I would strongly recommend looking at the area on Google Earth - the frontiers between pre-67 Israel and the neighbouring sovereign states are extremely obvious.

OK, let the argument commence, but I hope you will all consider that I've upheld my side of the unspoken deal with those who comment here by gving a response. Any typos etc are owed to this having been typed almost as stream of consciousness.  

Anonymous rigger mortice said... 12:02 am

that should be a post in itself instead of part of an argument in the comments thread.

very concise and well reasoned  

Blogger Croydonian said... 12:29 am

Rigger - kind of you to say so. However, I'm quite happy for it to be semi under the wire and for my regulars.  

Blogger phone cam foolery said... 11:32 am

Thanks for taking the time to respond Croydonian, I understand your point of view ,however,I disagree,as do several million people in the middle at the moment. I am not sure my .22 rifle can reach Croydon,I am all out of katyushas and with petrol at a fiver a gallon there is no way I am going to fill up the Apache helicopter, so we can just agree to disagree (+:  

Blogger Croydonian said... 12:06 pm

PCF - sounds like a good deal to me. Mind you, Croydon sounds like Beirut during Diwali (lots of fireworks), so that would probably be your best time for cranking up the Katyusha. But I've got a 0.177 air rilfe and an ice axe.  

Blogger phone cam foolery said... 6:51 pm

And you didnt declare your interest
Your ole dad is a four by two (+:  

Blogger Croydonian said... 7:04 pm

PCF, nope. My father was an Anglican and my mother is Church of Scotland. The nearest I can get to 'minority' genes is a remote Huguenot connection. The old man had a bit of thing for geneology, you see.

However, I do count a goodly number of Jewish people among my closest friends.

Meanwhile, I've responded on Iain's site to you last comment (in a measured and polite fashion, I believe) but he might reckon I've strayed so far from butter that he he won't publish it.  

Anonymous Colin said... 1:58 pm

I just discovered Croydonian's interesting answer to PCF's question why he is supporting Israel and I couldn't agree more with him.

And I would like to add that a lot of people have been displaced or killed by others in recent human history, such as the Armenians and Greeks living in the Ottoman Empire, the Jews living in Germany, the Germans living in Bohemia (formerly part of Austria-Hungary and now part of the Czech republic), the Germans living in the Eastern part of Germany, and the Polish people living in Poland.

But we don't see any reports about Armenians, Greeks, Germans, Polish people or Jews blowing themselves up in restaurants or air planes. Instead they are cooperating to their mutual benefit.

To better understand who is humane and who is evil in this conflict, I would like recommend the video of an interview with Brigitte Gabriel, a journalist in Libanon about her experiences with the inhumanity of Israel's enemies in contrast to the humanity of Israelis.  

Blogger Croydonian said... 2:02 pm

Colin - glad you liked it. I do manage the occasional heavyweight comment / post here.  

Blogger Jeremy Jacobs said... 9:27 am

I can't believe the ignorance of types like PCF. Mind you the neo-Nazi B*P is full of 'em.  

Blogger Croydonian said... 9:51 am

Crikey, you are digging in the archives Jeremy.  

Blogger Jeremy Jacobs said... 9:48 pm

Have you seen the article at Beaman's recently? Ever so good.  

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