Saturday, January 17, 2009

“They’re not simply war criminals; they’re fools.”

Gerald Kaufman:

My parents came to Britain as refugees from Poland. Most of their families were subsequently murdered by the Nazis in the Holocaust. My grandmother was ill in bed when the Nazis came [...] a German soldier shot her dead in her bed.

Madam Deputy Speaker, my grandmother did not die to provide cover for Israeli soldiers murdering Palestinian grandmothers in Gaza. The present Israeli government - ruthlessly and cynically - exploit the continuing guilt among gentiles over the slaughter of Jews in the Holocaust as justification for their murder of Palestinians. The implication is that Jewish lives are precious, but the lives of Palestinians do not count.
He goes on to ask whether the Jews fighting for their lives in the Warsaw ghetto could have been dismissed as "militants".

As Kaufman rightly states, Israel was born out of terrorism; the Irgun, the Stern Gang and other terrorist organisations were instrumental in the formation of Israel. So it's a bit rich for Livni and others to tell us that Israel can't negotiate with terrorists.

As he states: Hamas may be "a deeply nasty organisation", but it is "the only game in town", as it was democratically elected.

Israel must negotiate with Hamas. Their excuse - that Hamas are terrorists - is undermined by both Hamas' victory in the Palestinian elections and, more importantly, by their own history.


Ingrid said...

Sooo true! I learned all about it in my Middle East history AND politics class (separate classes). The first was taught by a Jewish professor who was not too critical and the 'Jewish terrorism' towards the British in Palestine in the early 20th century was considered something to do with after all, a 'need' for Zionism, a return to their holy land. Never mind that Begin, after he became prime minister of Israel, was still on the terrorist watch list before he was going to visit the UK on official business. He was quickly taken off that list.
What's good for one is never good for the other. However, if you make that argument, in my experience, it often falls on deaf ears. People have already decided who they rather identify with I guess and the truth is often not one of them.

ps..this is a very honest person you just posted on. My father's first wife was Jewish and as my dad wasn't, she did not get deported (back in the Netherlands during the war). After she passed away in the 50s, and remarried my mom in the 60s, he often got disgusted by the Israeli politics and wars then!! He was involved in some underground activity and knew other Jewish friends who had to go into hiding. He felt the same sentiment; people did not die for the Israeli gov't, and by extension and acceptance, the people of Israel, to just be allowed a blanket aggression and murderous activities like that. He felt very strongly about it. Today, there really are not many people who have experienced and/or respect WW2. I'm sure a lot of my dad's friends who died would turn in their graves..

Kel said...

Thank you for those stories Ingrid. It seems quite common that many Jewish people share Kaufman's sentiment.

I have always found, since Thatcher refused to negotiate with the IRA, the whole notion of non-negotiation with terrorists to be stupidity of the highest degree. All Thatcher was saying was that the slaughter must continue, because the IRA were attacking us because there was no political dialogue.

But the Israelis especially have no reason to say that they will not negotiate with terrorists, as they practically invented modern terrorism in order to found their state.