From the www.monabaker.com archive (legacy material)
Anne Gwynne | 14 January 2004
Anne Gwynne writes to The Guardian in response to Jonathan Spyer’s article (14/01/04)
In an article entitled “Israel’s Demographic Time Bomb” by Jonathan Spyer, formerly Adviser to the Government of Ariel Sharon, The Guardian (14/01/04) ran this heading, ‘Jews risk becoming a minority in their own land’ (well, their stolen land – they have no real history here – the Golden Age of Jews lasted only, at most fifty years, under David, from 975 to 925 BC).
The Guardian is one of the two most widely respected English-language newspapers in the world today. That such an article should appear, unchallenged, in Comment and Analysis (p26) was, to say the least, a surprise. An article written by an adviser to a government headed by a war criminal.
What does it tell the reader? That Likud has always rejected any territorial compromise in the remaining tiny part of historical Palestine. You bet it has. Any day one or more of the 50,000 IOF soldiers manning the 850 road blocks in a country half the size of Wales will tell you the truth. ‘This is Israel’ they say ‘and Jordan is Israel too, and so is Lebanon and part of Iraq, Egypt and Syria – it’s ours and we will take it’. ‘It is on our flag, which [they say] is the Nile and the Euphrates [top and bottom] bordering all the land between which is Israel’. With this end in mind it is unsurprising that Likud considers this remaining tiny piece of historical Palestine strategically crucial!
The land of Palestine, says Spyer, is ‘saturated with sites and symbols of - and note this - Jewish historical, cultural and religious importance’. What breathtaking arrogance and exclusivity to ignore the Christian and Islamic, indeed World, Heritage - overlooking its importance to some 3 billion Christians and Muslims. Jews are probably some 0.00000001% of that number – but their interests must be paramount of course. This, Jewish-only claim to the Land of the birth of the two great monotheistic religions, Christianity and Islam, and of Judaism, is in stark contrast to the Palestinian Muslim reverence for the Holy Land which, they say, cannot be owned by any one group since it ‘is for Muslim, Jew and Christian and everyone’ and their doctrine of passing it on to succeeding generations environmentally undamaged and, if possible, improved upon.
And next the reiteration of the song of the perpetual victims – Zionism must continue ‘in the face of violent Arab opposition’. Did I miss something here? Violence? Whose 50,000 soldiers have been brutally and illegally occupying whose Land? Answer – Israel, in violation of over 350 UN Resolutions. Not a misprint. The UN has passed more than 350 Resolutions against Israel, though it failed on some 850 more, vetoed by the USA.
Which army has slaughtered over 3,000 Palestinians, including more than 600 children since September 2000? Again the answer is Israel. Destroyed some 7,000 buildings and homes? Designated every road to be Jewish-only? Injured and disabled some 55,000 innocent people overwhelmingly, with live ammunition? Bombed and rocketed whole populations and areas from the most modern warplanes and attack helicopters of a military which has recently overtaken that of the UK in size and capability? Taken prisoner 25% of a whole population? Killed 190 prisoners through torture? Holds 8,000 prisoners without lawful cause or trial? Regularly snatches patients from Intensive Care Units and flings them into Army vehicles? Has killed nearly 100 ambulance patients, 20 medical staff, injured many hundreds, destroyed 100 ambulances, damaged hundreds more, denies access every day to Ambulances and to Hospitals? Too much to absorb isn’t it? OK, I will halt the list there. The answer in every case is Israel. All of this partial list happened over the last three years – though even bigger massacres, ethnic cleansing and genocide were perpetrated earlier by the Jewish colonial land-grab from the 1940’s onwards.
In contrast to this huge military capacity of the world’s third-largest nuclear power (weapons of Mass Destruction!), I might mention that Palestine has no military and no armed police, no jeeps, aircraft, tanks, or helicopters. Israel commits violence on a huge and unimaginable scale against a civilian population, and a lawful (UN, Human Rights, Geneva Convention etc) Palestinian Resistance of unparalleled courage, dedication, endurance and heroism who have only guns – mostly from Israeli soldiers in exchange for drugs. I often wonder how they explain the loss of Galila’s, Uzi’s and M16’s, bought with our tax-dollars.
It is not the Palestinians who refuse to make peace. Far from it. In 1948 Count Bernadotte formatted a partition agreement which was accepted by the Palestinian leaders and rejected by the state of Israel – Israel then murdered Count Bernadotte for his efforts. In 1976 the Palestinians again accepted the de facto existence of Israel on the Western part of historic Palestine and within the 1967 borders. It was the Israelis who scuppered the deal – remember that they cannot have Jordan without first taking the Land of Palestine. It looks as though Zionism has established itself well and truly on this Palestinian ‘Land of Love and Peace’ (Constitution of Palestine, 1988).
However, the crux of Spyer’s article is the expression of Zionist racist horror at the idea of the Palestinians achieving equality in population and (in Ehud Olmert’s words), ‘demand[ing] “one man, one vote”[!] ‘And then what will we do?’ he asks. Only a few lines earlier Israel was a ‘western and liberal democratic’ state! If it were a democracy that would be the normal voting structure! There are already some 1.5 million Palestinians living in Israel, without any of the human rights which even fledgling democracies deem essential. They ‘are not, and never will become Israeli citizens’. Israel - a democracy? Is there another democracy where every man and woman (except the lunatic fringe) is conscripted into the military for three years, and remain soldiers for the rest of their working life?
Like Benny Morris, in a two page spread also in The Guardian today, Spyer misrepresents the change in thinking away from a two- to a one-state future. This shift is far from being an opportunistic one based on demography – rather it is the tragic realisation that Israel has so destroyed the contiguity of Palestine that an Independent State of Palestine is not now viable, a State to which they have been entitled under International Law since 1947.
The ‘road-map’ is then mentioned, and we read that progress on it would ‘undoubtedly’ be the preferred option for Israel. Not that I have noticed, since the first hudna of 29th June 2003. During that first period, from 29th June to 20th August, throughout which the Palestinian Resistance kept their word and did not break the ceasefire, the IOF slaughtered civilians, made many attempts at targeted assassinations, arrested more than a hundred a week and maimed and demolished ever more vigorously. At the last count they committed more than 1300 breaches of the cease-fire – my print-outs of these weigh an astonishing kilogram! Progress on the ‘road map’ is unlikely, but not because of the Palestinian Authority’s ‘lack of will to confront terror organisations’ (actually resistance organisations, legal under International Law, the Geneva Declaration on Terrorism and UN resolutions - as is the use of armed force to free themselves from a brutal and illegal occupation). Rather, it is simply - and this time the truth is very pure and very simple - because Israel is determined to continue the occupation, take Palestine, and is seemingly happy to brazen-out its world, and historical, record of being in breach of more than 350 UN Resolutions.
So, the reader, having read the distortion of the truth, is told that, unless Israel (the illegal colonial occupier) imposes a unilateral ‘arrangement’ (?) upon the Palestinians, it – Israel –
will be held hostage to the Palestinian Authority. Of all the ill-informed allegations, totally without foundation, which we have been fed in a hundred years of Zionist propaganda, this has to rank near the top (or is it bottom?).
To the Palestinian Authority? Discredited and with very little support, the PA’s police officers and officials have been slaughtered in their hundreds by the IOF, leaving only a tiny, insignificant and utterly inadequate force which is mostly unarmed, and without professional transportation or uniforms. In addition, being non-Jews, the PA police are subject to the same closures and road blocks as every other non-Jew in Palestine. Most days Palestinians cannot pass road blocks to get to work or, if they do take their lives into their hands and trek over the mountains, running the gauntlet of Israeli snipers they, at best must then find lodgings at the place of work, because they will certainly be unable to get there again for days, maybe for weeks.
Remember that Palestine is occupied illegally by highly-trained Israeli troops armed with the latest in weaponry supplied by the US government, ranging from a new delivery of 102 F16 Mk 2 fighter-bombers with an ample supply of 1000 kg bombs, through thousands of 18 inch armoured tanks with an unlimited supply of armour-piercing (!) shells tipped with depleted uranium, backed up with helicopter attack gunships each armed with two rockets, and a whole array of thousands of APC’s, Jeeps, Hummers and supply lines - all manned by some 50,000 soldiers. This disproportionate force has not been able to stop one of the courageous and very, very alone, Palestinian commandos from carrying out successful operations against the Israeli military and against their illegal colonists.
The brilliantly clever zionist propaganda machine was always aware that endless repetition of the mantra of the ‘unwillingness’ of the PA to ‘confront terror organisations’ - that is, to destroy the legal Resistance - would become an integral part of the web of lies and misinformation presented as the truth.
The conclusion Spyer reaches is that Israel must retain the option of imposing some (unspecified, of course) ‘arrangement’ upon the Palestinians if they are forced, by the reality of the situation on the ground, to abandon their heroic 57-year lawful struggle for their Rightful Independent State. After all the terror, brutality, murder and maiming, destruction, dispossession and de-humanisation they have stoically faced, and the sacrifices they have made, surely there are few who can believe the implication here? That they would abandon the Enduring Dream just to be difficult! What could such an ‘arrangement’ be? Israel will not accept a one-state solution because the Palestinians may demand ‘one man, one vote’. Israel also will not accept a two-state solution behind the, internationally recognised, 1967 borders because Palestine will then be between them and their next target, Jordan.
What is left? Transfer? Genocide? Both are on the agenda of a number of Israeli Ministers.
If the Dream is abandoned, this final sacrifice will only happen because of Israel’s destruction of the land with its hundreds of hideous, illegal colonies served by a vast network of despoiling roads (Jewish-only!) combined with the construction of a Wall over 8 meters high and 600 kilometres long, many kilometres inside Palestinian territory and therefore illegal - (had it been inside the 1967 border it would have been merely insane). A Wall which has taken virtually all the remaining rich farmland from Palestine and all its water resources, dispossessing 350,000 farmers. An Apartheid Wall, not to deter commandos but to lock 3.5 million Palestinians inside an enormous prison and to expropriate their resources.
Had this piece appeared in almost any other publication it would not have surprised me - the zionist agenda is usually very clear. But, The Guardian? Together with an even more blatant double-page spread by the discredited zionist, Benny Morris advertising his re-hashed book, gives a sense of betrayal and outrage. Did no one on the editorial staff read these pieces? Or has the editorial policy changed?
I am a but tiny grain of (truthful) sand and yet, whenever I do an interview, the publication feels it obligatory to call the Israeli Embassy or some other Jewish organisation to ask them to put their case for, for example, shooting me, beating me, arresting me, stealing my laptop, deporting me or refusing me entry. A collective, delusional paranoia leads always to the response – ‘we must defend our land’. A clear indication of how much they fear any telling of the truth about their state-sponsored terrorism. And that is why I am shocked and outraged that you saw fit to publish not one but two Zionist propaganda articles on the same day. Perhaps you will not publish this response, but do you not owe your faithful Guardian readers the truth? It certainly makes for a better story than fiction.