Conflict about politics, not religion

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I am a member of Jewish Voice for Peace ( and I am writing regarding the July 25 Telegram column by Brian Jones entitled “Love your children, don’t condemn them to perpetual war.”

Mr. Jones, the conflict in Gaza is a political one — not a religious, or (as you hint) a clash-of-civilizations issue. Please also realise: not all Jews are Zionists.

 The issue is commonly cloaked as religious/ethnic, but that is merely tactical, to cloud it and chill criticism of Israeli policy. I recommend you watch “Miko Peled: The General’s Son — Geneva” on YouTube. This very well-connected Israeli speaks kindly yet incisively, despatching key myths that help sustain the conflict.

 You wrote “anti-Semitic attitudes ... disgusting ...”  Indeed, I recently flagged numerous anti-semitic and anti-arab/muslim/

immigrant posts on one site.  But the problem is that your article is no less biased, against Arabs.

On one thing, you are correct: “Palestinians are indeed an oppressed, subjugated people.”

Strangely, you then drop the ball and say it is all their fault.

You disregard the grand scale of Israel’s human rights violations. The UN Universal Declaration on Human Rights (UDHR) is binding on all members of the UN. Israel is a member of the UN, as are the U.S.A. and Canada.

UN members are obliged not only to avoid violating it, but to take steps to halt violations by others. Human rights are not private, but everybody’s responsibility to maintain, because within them is held the seed and hope of civilization and, indeed, democracy into the future.

Human rights thus need to be the first thing you look at, not the last, not the forgotten.

Otherwise, you have swallowed simplified distortions from the Zionist playbook, and you thus facilitate continued conflict rather than promoting peace.  You paint Arabs as violent, hating (too intolerant to have a Pride Week); but even if true, how could that justify bombing them to bits?

Instead of “let’s focus on Hamas and its supporters,” why not focus on human rights while they are being abused in a massive slaughter?

You cannot say it is the dead children’s — more than 200 so far — own fault because they support Hamas.

Why not challenge Israel: if its objectives are tunnels and weapons caches, and we know they routinely search house-to-house in the West Bank, why not do that? What other objective requires bombing?  

The obvious objective is not military but political to satisfy Israeli right-wing extremists: punishment, death and destruction. (And possibly the further shrinkage of Gaza, which already is 25 per cent smaller than St. John’s!)  

Hence the Israeli euphemism “mowing the grass” for intermittently attacking Gaza. A routine.

Your “focus” is ridiculous given the events of the past weeks. You have swallowed the Netanyahu and right-wing line, hook and sinker.

Right wings anywhere are the same: they all need enemies. If they didn’t have Hamas, Iran or rockets, they’d have to find them or make them.

 You finish with a Golda Meir quote to nail Arabs as over-hating and under-loving.

Golda? ... hardly impartial! ... and in any case that was not likely what she actually meant if you consider the context.

Remarkably, it seems to me that Palestinians generally evidence much less hate for the Israelis than vice versa.  

Golda, I suggest, was merely saying that it would take generations (operative word: “when”) for the Palestinians’ memory of dispossession to fade (there are many quotes around this issue).

This conflict is about land, pure and simple. The Palestinians had it, the Zionists wanted it, took it (1947-8: Zionist militias forcibly expel 700,000 Palestinians who are instantly dispossessed refugees, their property taken; 1967, Six Day war), and are still taking more on a daily basis, while they kill civilians and children on a daily basis.

Israel has for decades controlled the narrative and portrayed itself as a victim (“rockets,” “terror,” but remember the King David Hotel?) to help sustain the anger and hate necessary to quench conscience. It is getting tougher to claim victimhood when you out-kill, out-maim, out-dispossess your adversary by 50 (or more) to 1, when the U.S.A. gives you $3 billion per year in weapons and unlimited UN Security Council vetoes.

 You fail to note that Israel’s politics have never sincerely supported peace. The Oslo agreement, for example, was supposed to be about handing back control over the West Bank, which had been taken in 1967, to the Palestinians; but Oslo was perverted into tightening Israel’s grasp, not releasing it.

The “Peace Process” was a sham, and it will be until the “honest brokers” face facts beyond those in the Zionist script.

Ironically your title urges “don’t condemn them to perpetual war” — but ‘managed conflict,” a.k.a. perpetual war, is actually Israel’s schtick; for Zionists to say this to Palestinians would be psychological projection.

Again, not all Jewish people are Zionists, and many resent, reject and refute the continual claims of Zionists to represent all Jews.

Please remember that next time.  

(Editor’s note, this letter was submitted July 30)

Dr. K.N.I. Bell

St. John’s

Organizations: UN, Hamas, U.S.A. UN Security Council

Geographic location: Israel, Gaza, Geneva West Bank Canada Oslo Iran

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Recent comments

  • Empress State
    August 08, 2014 - 14:08

    The "Us-Against-Them groupthink matrix" is a regular feature of U.S. politics, and is generally used to disguise the fact that the most important decisions already have been made -- it's OK for a U.S. president to start a new war anytime he wants, it's OK for the government to spy on everyone and assemble massive dossiers, it's OK to give massive amounts of tax money to Israel,  it's OK  to give away tax money to support specific private enterprises, and so on. These are policy positions that most Democrats and Republicans agree on, regardless of their supposedly important partisan differences. I'll also add that much of the U.S. political system is driven by classifying foreigners are "enemies." Politicians from both parties are forever reminding us that they want to take away our jobs through trade, they want to swarm across the borders to live next to us, they want to commit acts of terrorism against us, they want to force us to do something about global warming, and on and on and on.