Paul Eisen

Paul Eisen

Monday, 26 November 2012

A Goy’s View of Israel by Scarlet Wilde

The continual wars in the Middle East were an ongoing background noise as I grew up. Whenever I asked someone “Why?” I was always told “It’s complicated.”
Watching the mini war over the past few days, I got pretty confused. There was so much disinformation around. And my birth country, England, were taking a somewhat one-sided view. So much for the impartiality of the BBC.
It felt like watching two boys fighting in a playground and then having the big boy, that started it all, say things like:
“He started it.”
“He broke his own nose”
“He had an army with him – that’s why I had to use a knife”
“The reason why his baby sister died was his fault. He held her up in the way of my fist.”
“Actually. Come to think of it. He killed the baby himself. He had a gun.”
…and then have all the teachers believe him and do nothing about it.
Twitter (long may it remain free speech!) was interesting because it showed you what people were thinking on the ground in the heat of all the bombings, the rockets, the mayhem. I even-handedly followed both Jew and Muslim, left-wing and right-wing, official and unofficial and tried to find the truth. In 180 characters and a bunch of short films.
It just felt so…UNFAIR.


It’s rather like the Irish Situation

It reminded me of something much closer to home. Ireland.
That was another conflict I grew up with, but this time, with some inside information. I was visiting my Grandmother in Dublin when the bombs from the UDA went off in the city in 1974 (and in my father’s home town, Monaghan) killing lots of Irish civilians going about their shopping.

I wondered why, when I got back to England, it wasn’t publicised.

I couldn’t understand why one country could be divided with such hatred and why every single night there was someone being killed on the news. Later still, I had a Saturday job when the IRA bomb hit Harrods…

I had uncles on both sides. Some serving in the British Army and some…well…with other sympathies. My father, was studiously neutral, even though families he knew were killed in Monaghan. He wasn’t so neutral when he was picked up and interviewed by the Police in England during the seventies. Just for being Irish. They spat at him, allegedly.

Now I’ve grown up, I’ve had the chance to look into things myself. I’ve seen the gun-towers and the big walls in Northern Ireland, I’ve seen Mountjoy Prison and the bullet holes in the wall where they executed “The Volunteers”. I’ve seen the films – Sunday Bloody Sunday, The wind that shakes the barley, In the Name of the Father, Michael Collins, H3.

I’ve had a certain “look” in an Irish bar when my English accent rang out, subdued by my cousin saying “It’s all right, she’s Irish.” It wasn’t a nice feeling.
’ve come down on the side that Ireland should be Irish and Catholic or Protestant, if people claim themselves to be Irish, they need to cede with the majority and just get on with it, peacefully. If they want to be English/British – they should be suitably accommodated over here.


Which bit is supposed to be Israel?

In Israel, it looks like the Brits made a mistake again. The partition of Palestine to give the persecuted Jews a homeland was partly to appease America and I am sure that the intent was a noble one, particularly given what those poor people went through in the Holocaust. What I don’t understand, however, is how this could happen:
It would be like the (imported) Protestant Orangemen being”given” Northern Ireland by the Brits and then fighting their way through the Republic to squish the native Irish into a two small blobs of land in the stony, infertile West, let’s use The Burren, as an example.


I’ve got a lot of “Why’s” at the moment – I don’t know enough about the subject, but, not to be disingenuous, there are some big questions here:

WHY was Israel allowed to make such a massive land-grab and displace so many Palestinians?
IS Israel’s actual aim to claim the whole area as Israel? If so, why isn’t anyone admitting this?
WHY is the rest of the world so scared of pissing off Israel?
WHY haven’t the other Arab countries done more to help out the Palestinians?
WHY have both sides been allowed (by the UN and others) to become so damn radical and unreasonable?
WHY is America so closely tied to Israel, no matter what party is in power?
WHERE have the displaced Palestinians gone? Do they want to come back?
HOW much of this conflict is responsible for the rise in Muslim terror organisations throughout the world?
WHAT’S with the so called Christian-Zionists in America? Are they some weird hybrid religion?
WHY do the hard-line Zionists think that if anyone disagrees with them they are automatically anti-Semitic?
I could go on….and I need to do some even handed reading about the history behind all this.


Is it an unfair fight – or am I very wrong?

But back to the Irish analogy, say the Orange men had backing from a global super-power, like the US, owing to a high proportion of Protestant Diaspora being in positions of power in America and they bombed the F*** out of the remaining Irish on a daily basis and stopped them getting food, medical supplies etc. What would we think? What would we do?
I’d think it was an unfair fight. I’d be pretty incensed about it and I would fight tooth and nail to reclaim the country for the Irish. I’d certainly fund any resistance. It just would NOT BE FAIR!
To me, Israel seems like my analogous Orange-men. Am I completely and utterly wrong?

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