A shame­ful call to deny Jews a fun­da­men­tal right

The Jewish Chronicle - - Comment & Analysis - Daniel John­son

IN A signed ar­ti­cle last week, the Guardian’s for­eign leader writer, David Hearst, looked for­ward to “a one-state so­lu­tion in which Jewish cit­i­zens lose an in-built ma­jor­ity”. While in­sist­ing that such a uni­tary Pales­tinian state would be a sec­u­lar and demo­cratic one, where Jews, Chris­tians and Mus­lims would all be equal, Hearst left no doubt about what kind of con­sum­ma­tion was, in his view, de­voutly to be wished: “The end of Zion­ism, no less.”

won­der whether, when he wrote these sin­is­ter words, Hearst felt even the slight­est pang of con­science. Hav­ing writ­ten lead­ers my­self for The Times and the Tele­graph for two decades, I know the sense of re­spon­si­bil­ity one feels as the rep­re­sen­ta­tive of a great or­gan of the free world.

The Guardian, too, was once such an or­gan. There was a time when the Guardian and its lib­eral Bri­tish read­ers would not have coun­te­nanced such malev­o­lence. That time is past. Other Guardian jour­nal­ists share Hearst’s con­tempt for Is­rael.

Over the years, the Guardian has made it­self into Europe’s prin­ci­pal con­duit for the pro­pa­ganda war against Is­rael. Be­cause it is also the house mag­a­zine of the BBC, it wields in­flu­ence far be­yond its own read­er­ship. Even the blood­bath in Syria can­not dis­tract the pa­per from its ob­ses­sion with Is­rael.

When they call for “the end of Zion­ism”, when they ex­ult at the prospect of the United Na­tions Gen­eral Assem­bly recog­nis­ing Pales­tinian state­hood as if Is­rael did not ex­ist, do writers like Hearst re­call an­other UN res­o­lu­tion some 36 years ago?

In Novem­ber 1975, on the 37th an­niver­sary of Kristall­nacht, the Gen­eral Assem­bly con­demned Zion­ism as “racism”. The then US am­bas­sador, the late Daniel Pa­trick Moyni­han, de­nounced “this in­fa­mous act”. Now the vul­tures are gather­ing again in New York, an­tic­i­pat­ing the UN’s be­trayal of the Bal­four Dec­la­ra­tion. That dec­la­ra­tion, still bind­ing un­der in­ter­na­tional law, en­ti­tled the Jewish peo­ple to re­turn to their an­ces­tral home­land in per­pe­tu­ity. How can that prom­ise be com­pat­i­ble with UN recog­ni­tion of an ir­re­den­tist Pales­tinian regime that in­cludes Ha­mas? Will Barack Obama de­nounce this threat to Is­rael’s le­git­i­macy?

It is largely due to the West’s cow­ardice that the Pales­tini­ans now re­ject the no­tion of a per­ma­nent two-state so­lu­tion: the ma­jor­ity cur­rently sees it as merely a first stage to­wards sup­plant­ing Is­rael. An au­thor­i­ta­tive poll pub­lished last month shows that 84 per cent of Pales­tini­ans agree that “Over time Pales­tini­ans must work to get back all of the land [in Is­rael] for a Pales­tinian state”. Only seven per cent ac­cept that “Is­rael has a right to ex­ist as a home­land for the Jewish peo­ple”. As for Jerusalem: just three per cent of Pales­tini­ans are ready to share the city, while 92 per cent de­mand it ex­clu­sively as the cap­i­tal of a Pales­tinian state. This Arab re­fusal to ac­knowl­edge the Jewish claim to Ju­daism’s holi­est place is en­dorsed by in­ter­na­tional bod­ies such as UNESCO, which has been cam­paign­ing against Is­raeli ar­chae­o­log­i­cal ex­ca­va­tions in Jerusalem since 1974.

UNESCO has lent cre­dence to bo­gus Arab claims that bib­li­cal sites have no con­nec­tion with the an­cient Jews but are ei­ther the work of Mus­lims or “in­dige­nous Canaan­ites”, from whom mod­ern Arab Pales­tini­ans claim de­scent. This week, Jews com­mem­o­rated the de­struc­tion of the Sec­ond Tem­ple by the Ro­mans and the First Tem­ple by the Baby­lo­ni­ans. The Jewish con­nec­tion with Jerusalem is his­tor­i­cally con­tin­u­ous, re­li­giously con­sti­tu­tive and po­lit­i­cally le­git­i­mate. But the link would in­evitably be bro­ken in the Pales­tinian state en­vis­aged by Hearst.

How do we know this? Be­cause no Arab state since 1948 has been tol­er­ant of Jewish mi­nori­ties, let alone granted them equal rights. Gen­er­a­tions of Pales­tini­ans have been in­doc­tri­nated to hate Jews, largely at the ex­pense of Euro­pean tax­pay­ers. Even in the best of all pos­si­ble worlds, a uni­tary Pales­tinian state would treat Jews as for­mer colo­nial oc­cu­piers, be­cause that is how they and their fel­low Mus­lims, en­cour­aged by the Guardian, have de­picted them for gen­er­a­tions.

And what rea­son do Is­raelis have to be Pan­glos­sian? Pales­tinian cel­e­bra­tions in re­sponse to acts of ter­ror, such as the hideous mas­sacre of the Fo­gel fam­ily last March, speak vol­umes. Through the Depart­ment for In­ter­na­tional De­vel­op­ment, Bri­tish tax­pay­ers subsidise the Pales­tinian cult of elim­i­na­tion­ist an­ti­semitism.

Be­sides, no Euro­pean has the right to de­mand that Jews should risk geno­cide twice in a life­time. At his trial 50 years ago, Adolf Eich­mann ex­plained his role in the Holo­caust: “I re­ceived or­ders to pro­ceed… against the guest of the host peo­ple.” Gideon Haus­ner, the pros­e­cu­tor, asked him: “So the ‘guest’ peo­ple is the Jewish Peo­ple and the ‘host’ are the Ger­mans. Right?” Eich­mann an­swered: “Yes.”

Why should Jews alone among the na­tions be forced to live as “guests” at the mercy of “hosts”? David Hearst’s call for the “end of Zion­ism” has an echo of the “Fi­nal So­lu­tion”, die Endlö­sung. It is code for the an­ni­hi­la­tion of Is­rael. The Guardian may gloat over its “so­lu­tion”, but those of us who ad­mire the en­durance of the Jewish peo­ple and the only Jewish state can sim­ply look on in dis­may.

Daniel John­son is the edi­tor of ‘Stand­point’

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