Significant departures from the political “truth” associated with the Jerusalem conflict
1. DEBUNKED: East Jerusalem is the Capital of Palestine
Under International Law, and the Corpus Separatum, the City of Jerusalem was to be an independent enclave. It was Jordan which occupied East Jerusalem 1946-1967, forceably removing Jewish communities which had been there for 1000 years. Subsequently Israel occupied Jerusalem 1967-current. See this twitter thread on Jewish East Jerusalem.
The Jewish quarter was destroyed during the Jordanian occupation, including the Hurva synagogue and the adjacent Nachmanides synagogue, built in 1267 and also the Jewish cemetery whose tombstones were used in later constructions. The Tifereth Israel synagogue was also destroyed. The tomb of Simeon the Righteous dating back to 2nd Century CE is right in the middle of what is now Sheik Jarrah. Batn Al-Hawa حي بطن الهوى the largest part of Silwan Jerusalem was established by Yemeni Jews in 1881. Jordan also destroyed the ancient Beth El Yeshiva in the Old City of Jerusalem, established in 1737. Beth El was the most influential of the mystical yehivas, led by Yemeni sage Rabbi Shalom Shar’abi zt”l
More importantly Jordan destroyed the ancient Sephardic Porath Yosef Yeshiva adjacent to the Western Wall, deliberately using explosives to remove all Jewish learning from the old City, exiling hundreds of students. This was not an attack on “Zionism”, but rather on the core of Judaism. Jews were not allowed to pray at the Western Wall in Jerusalem between 1948-1967.
2. DEBUNKED: The Quran bestowed the land upon the Palestinians
Replacement theologians often claim “God is not a real-estate agent” and then in the same breath, ‘Al Aqsa is the third most holy site in Islam“, meaning, Jerusalem is somehow an undisputed asset within the broader Ummah, and the surrounding lands are thus exclusively for the Arabs or Muslims. Aside from the fact that the word, Ummah, means ‘community of many faiths’, the actual whereabouts and history of Al Aqsa is disputed, with some scholars claiming the first Al Aqsa is in Saudi Arabia.
Notably, the Quran does not refer to Palestine, but instead has several passages granting Israel to the Jews, and recognising their association. Al Baqara 2.47 ; Al Maida 5.21; AlAaraf 7.137; Yunus 10.93; Al Israa 17.2-104;Ta Ha 20.80; Al Mumim 40.53; AlDukhan 44.32; Al Jathiya 45.16, all refer to Israel and lead credence to the idea that the Quran itself borrowed heavily from the Old Testament.
A Saudi Arabian lawyer Osama Yamani in 2020 claimed that Al-Aqsa (the Farthest) Mosque, traditionally held to be Islam’s third holiest site after Mecca and Medina, is not in fact, located on the Al-Aqsa compound (Temple Mount) in Jerusalem’s Old City.
Writing in Saudi news outlet Okaz, he maintained that the mosque is actually located in Al Ju’ranah, near Mecca in Saudi Arabia.
3. DEBUNKED: There is a map showing how Israel has displaced Palestinians
The popular ‘meme map’ is demonstrably false since it drops context, confuses demographics with territorial sovereignty and is just plain inaccurate. See a good discussion about this by Elan Journo and Nikos Sotirakopoulus.
There is further dropped context:
Maps of ‘Palestine’ provided by the Ottoman Railroad Company in the 1920s shows both banks of the Jordan, as do Arabic maps produced prior to WW1. While both the Ottomans and the British carved up territory in the Levant according to arbitrary districts, all related to centralisation of colonial power and rule, the area which is currently disputed is better described as “Western Palestine”, and forms some 25 585 km² to 28,000 km² under the British Mandate.
Under Ottoman rule, the territory claimed for the “Palestinian state” was organized into three states, Jerusalem, Gaza and Nablus, all linked to the Damascus Province. ‘Palestine’, in the last period of the Ottoman Empire, was first linked to the state of Sidon, later to Syria and then to Beirut, which was founded in the last period. In 1220 Jacques de Vitry wrote in his History of Jerusalem: “And there are three Palestines, which are parts of Greater Syria.”
The BDS map ignores the 1920 San Remo Conference which partitioned a former empire, and the later division of British Mandate Palestine and French Mandate Syria, which created TransJordan aka Hashemite Palestine and Syria (arguably, Syrian Palestine) with parcels of land going to Syria, Southern Lebanon and Jordan. It must be remembered that the Ottomans, supported Hitler and the Kaiser, and thus Germany in both world wars. Both Saudi Arabia’s Khalid Al Hud Al Gargani and Palestine’s Amin al-Husseini met and canvassed Hitler to deal with the “Jewish Problem”
At 22 145 km², Israel occupies less than 18.45% of the area commonly referred to as The Levant, which covers the eastern shore-land of the Mediterranean, a stretch of land approximately 800 km long and approximately 150 km wide, with total mass of 120 000 km². In contrast the Arab World occupies some 13,132,327 km2
The BDS map cynically ignores the 1949 Armistice line and the displacement of Arab Jews from Arab countries and their loss of land, some 100 000 square km of deeded property confiscated by Arab states. The map thus ignores the reality that part of British Mandate occupied by Jordan and Egypt was ethnically cleansed with no Jewish population left. Jewish inhabitants of communities like Gush Etzion, Hebron and Jewish Quarter of Jerusalem were absorbed by the new State of Israel.
People who bandy around the BDS map invariably fail to compare Greece and Turkey and India/Pakistan, two examples where populations have been separated according to religion and ethnicity and involving population swaps. Sudan was recently partitioned between the north Arab half and the south African half. Ireland remains separated between the Protestant north and Catholic south.
4. DEBUNKED: Palestinians and Jews, each form a distinct race and the conflict is thus like apartheid.
Nations are not races. While ethnicity plays a part, there is no science to back up either claim. Attributing race to Jews in order to make a false comparison with apartheid is racism and anti-Semitism, and meets definitions of anti-Semitism proposed by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA).
A 2020 academic paper on the question Is Replacement Theology Anti-Semitic? begins by defining anti-Semitism as “normally understood as prejudice or hatred against Jewish people as a race” before concluding that since Christianity doesn’t perceive the Jews as a race, Christian theology cannot, by definition be anti-Semitic.
The infamous 1975 UN resolution 3379 ‘equating zionism with racism‘ was overturned by an overwhelming majority of nations in 1991. The same assertion was voted out of the final text of the controversial 2001 Durban Conference on Racism and the text reaffirmed at Durban II. A highly flawed 2017 UN Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) report examining the policies of Israel within the context of a UN definition of apartheid, admits the error of race, proceeds to supply ”reasons for the error of comparison” and states, there is ‘no single, authoritative, global definition of any race’ at the same time that it attributes race characteristics to Jews for the purposes of analysis.
The same category error appears in an equally flawed 2009 local HSRC report written around the time of Durban II. While the policies of Israel may, for its critics, are alleged to be reprehensible and morally indefensible, the root cause is not race, (a loaded term) but rather the confluence of religion and nationality and in particular, religious schism which results in nationality on the basis of religion, a fact common to many Middle Eastern countries.
Subsequent reports (Amnesty, HRW) for the most part, refer to the 1973 United Nations International Convention on the Suppression and Punishment of the Crime of Apartheid which is targeted at crimes against humanity “committed in the context of an institutionalized regime of systematic oppression and domination by one racial group over any other racial group or groups and committed with the intention of maintaining that regime.” [my underline]
Without any sense of irony, the UN and Criminal Court definition is routinely stripped of its meaning, as the term ‘racial group’ is applied to nationality by various NGOs, and subsequently applied willy nilly, to arrive at imposed race definitions from above.
In 2009 Human Rights Watch (HRW) founder Robert Bernstein slammed the organisation’s handling of Israel as a betrayal of its founding values.
Fall 2011, Robbie Sabel writes in vol 23, 3/4 of Jewish Political Studies Review: The comparison of Israel to South Africa under white supremacist rule has been utterly rejected by those with intimate understanding of the old Apartheid system. Israel is a multi-racial and multi-colored society, and the Arab minority actively participates in the political process. Incitement to racism in Israelis a criminal offence, as is discrimination on the basis of race or religion. The accusation is made that the very fact that Israel is considered a Jewish state proves an “Apartheid-like” situation. Yet the accusers have not a word of criticism against the tens of liberal democratic states that have Christian crosses incorporated in their flags, nor against the Muslim states with the half crescent symbol of Islam. For Arab states to denote themselves as Arab Republics is not objectionable.
As early as 2013 black South African politicians have objected to the use of the term as a ‘betrayal of the struggle against apartheid.’ Here is a video.
Law activist Jamie Mithi on August 30, 2018: “The claim Israel is an Apartheid state is intellectually dishonest and an insult to black South Africans.” An explosive interview on ENCA demonstrates the refusal of a television presenter to engage with Mithi and callers to the show “Let’s have it out”.
June 27, 2021, Marcus Montague-Mfuni, Harvard ‘Crimson Diversity and Inclusivity Committee Chair’ and Associate editor, (Social Studies and African and African American Studies), writes opinion piece: Don’t Call What Israel is Doing Apartheid ‘ Apartheid, to the people it has directly affected, refers to something quite distinct and I would like to give those events their own sanctified space in our language.”
February 21, 2022 Amnesty delivers its report, an exercise in ellipsis and paradox.
Institute for Study of Global Antisemitism & Policy (ISGAP) follows with a strong rejection of the biased antisemitic tropes found within latest Amnesty International report”.
“We have propped up the morally and legally corrupt notions that Israel is guilty of apartheid, colonialization and genocide. To what benefit? Africa is now the global eye of terrorism and slavery is rampant in no less than 5 African countries, some of which have had a seat on the UNHRC.” Olga Meshoe-Washington in her address to UN, June 13, 2022.
July 18, 2022 Australian Labour Party leader Anthony Albanese says his party rejects use of term ‘apartheid’ to describe Israel, endorses IHRA definitions of Anti-Semitism.
German Chancellor Scholz rejects use of ‘apartheid’ to describe Israel, August 16, 2022
September 2022 Francesca Albanese, Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian Territory occupied since 1967, issues her report, reiterating the findings of the withdrawn 2018 UN ESCWA report. She claims the definition of apartheid with regards Israel, is “practically and legally correct”.
On January 20, 2023 the European Commission issued a statement that it “considers that it is not appropriate to use the term apartheid in connection with the State of Israel. The Commission uses the non-legally binding working definition of antisemitism of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA definition) as a practical guidance tool and a basis for its work to combat antisemitism. Claiming that the existence of a State of Israel is a racist endeavour is amongst the illustrative examples included under the IHRA definition.”
5. DEBUNKED: Arab Israelis do not possess the vote.
They are allowed to vote in the Knesset, however Arabs living in the area controlled by the Palestinian Authority do not. Elections for the Palestinian National Authority (PNA) were held in Palestinian Autonomous areas from 1994 until their transition into the State of Palestine in 2013. Elections were scheduled to be held in 2009, but was postponed because of the Fatah–Hamas conflict. This is a major and significant human rights issue.
No physical wall was ever built by the apartheid state. Bantustan leaders were puppets of Pretoria at best. None of the bantustans ever waged war against the central government. If the PA is not an apartheid bantustan except in metaphor, what is it? Like South Africa’s North West province, critics may see it as a de facto internal province caught up in armed insurrection against the central government, the Israeli state. A position of statelessness, pacification and occupation.
The same goes for Gaza, arguably, a subsidiary or satellite of both Egypt, Israel and Iran.
How can this be solved? A plurinational, overlapping state solution, and involving neighbours Egypt and Jordan, would do a lot to resolve friction while ensuring independence and the maintenance of human rights. Reasonable accommodation of differences in faith and religious outlook is a prerequisite. Keep an open mind.
6. DEBUNKED: The majority Arab Palestinians were displaced in 1948 by a white minority, and the result is the Nakba or catastrophe.
Focusing on the 700 000 displaced persons, removed from the Jewish side of Palestine under UN mandate, adding them to some 250 000 Arabs who had chosen to move to the Arab Palestine half, and forgetting that some 850,000 Mizrahi Jews were displaced and dispossessed from Arab countries such as Iraq and Yemen, & the MENA region, at the same time during a war by the Arab states, results in Nakba inflation. An inflation which also ignores the return of hundreds of thousands of black Ethiopian Jews, and the plight of Yemeni Jews and other historical communities in the region.
“Jerusalem’s sedentary population numbers about 15,500 souls, of whom 4,000 are Muslims and 8,000 Jews. The Muslims are, of course, the masters in every respect. Nothing equals the misery and the suffering of the Jews of Jerusalem.” Karl Marx, 1854
Forcible transfer of populations was a factor of both the Ottoman and Persian Empires. In 1917 a mass expulsion of the Jews of Jerusalem was ordered by Djemal Pasha, though the outcome was narrowly averted due to the influence of the Prussian government, the eight thousand Jews of Jaffa nevertheless suffered deportation, and their property was seized as the region’s Jewish population was affected by the events of WW1, which included the Armenian Genocide. A report by a United States consul describing the Jaffa deportation was published in the June 3, 1917 edition of The New York Times.
Palestine 1920, an Al-Jazeera documentary unwittingly shows how the creation of a railroad in the 1920s allowed thousands of immigrants from all over the Ottoman Empire to migrate to what was then, a sparsely populated territory.
A 1936 economic review in the Damascus newspaper Al Ayam corroborates this assertion, by complaining about the migration. “Whole villages in the Hauran have been emptied of their people, who are drifting into [Mandate] Palestine. Count De Martel, French High Commissioner for Syria, asserted in the summer of 1934 that even Arab merchants were moving from Damascus to [Mandate] Palestine because of the [Jewish created] prosperity there; and in 1936 the head of the Moslem Youth Association at Beirut, Jamil Bek Bashem wrote that, “There is a penetration into [Mandate] Palestine of an army of Syrian labourers.”
De Haas’s 1934 history of Palestine references as follows: “Today’s Palestinians are immigrants from many nations, Balkans, Greeks, Syrians, Latins, Egyptians, Turks, Armenians, Persians, Kurds, Afghans, Circassians, Bosnians, Algerians, etc etc”.
Robert Kennedy (later assassinated by a Palestinian) was moved to write in the Boston Post, June 3, 1948: “The Jews point with pride to the fact that over 500 000 Arabs, in the 12 years between 1932 and 1944, came into [Jewish] Palestine, to take advantage of living conditions existing in no other Arab state.”
However, records show this migratory process began well before the breakup of Ottoman Syria by the Colonial Powers into the Mandate Palestine and Transjordan sub-regions. British Consul, James Finn, wrote on June 1860:“I learn of the arrival of thousands of the Beni Sukhr Arabs who are never seen this side of the Jordan”.
Focusing on the Nakba renders the history of the region and earlier pogroms against Jews such as the successive Safed pogroms and Hebron Massacre, invisible.
In March 1950, Iraq’s Revocation of Citizenship Bill went into effect. Within two months, the first 10,000 Iraqi Jews fled through Iran to Israel leaving their possessions and assets behind. 120,000 Iraqi Jews found refuge in Israel within a year of their expulsion.
See: Farhud Day, a commemoration of the dispossession of Baghdad Jews.
7. DEBUNKED: Israel is the result of the Balfour Declaration, a colonial enterprise at best.
The country unilaterally declared its independence during the war of 1948, and the situation under Benjamin Netanyahu may be likened to UDI in Rhodesia. However unlike Rhodesia, it is only certain Arab states which refuse to accept the existence of Israel. The internal friction between black Mizrahi and white Ashkenazi and Separdhi Jews bares no similarity to the conflict between the majority Shona and the white regime of Rhodesia’s Ian Smith.
The Belfour view ignores the earlier Sykes–Picot Agreement and the later Weizmann Faisal Agreement and San Remo Conference, and is used to argue the disaster of colonialism, while ignoring the tragedy of the collapse of the Ottoman Empire. It also ignores the role played by Britain in fomenting the Arab Revolt against the Ottoman Empire during WW1.
Significantly, it was King Abdullah of Jordan who proposed that he become ‘King of Palestine’ at the 1948 Jericho conference, a move opposed by Nazi-collaborator, Amin al-Husseini’s All-Palestine government. Fatah later attempted a coup in Jordan, in an event known as Black September (1970) and were thrown out of Jordan, resulting in the fraudulent “Palestine within Palestine” narrative we see today. A narrative which ignores the reality of territory apportioned under Mandate Palestine and the later UN partition plan.
The early Zionist project was undoubtedly couched within the terms of what was then, considered a respectable colonial endeavour (playing up to the colonial authorities). It sought to deal with the problem of Jewish refugees from Czarist Russia, and later the threat presented by the rise of the Nazis. The resulting colonial sheen painted over this picture of stateless Jewish refugees, which was the chief issue at the 1938 Evian Conference, and poses the question of who in reality was the donor nation? At the time no independent Jewish state existed to which Jewish Palestine/ Israel could be considered a colony.
“The British government, in its attitude towards the Jewish population in Palestine, has given ample credence to the suspicion that they are firmly against the establishment of a Jewish state in Palestine.” Robert Kennedy, Dispatches, Boston Globe, June 4, 1948
8. DEBUNKED:You’re waving around the Palestinian Flag …
This flag is in reality the Pan-Arab flag, a flag whose colors are common to Jordan,Western Sahara, Syria’s Ba’ath Party (see Syrian Baath Party Insignia) and the Iraqi 1958 flag, and not merely the flag of one country. In fact this flag wasn’t even around prior to the British Mandate. That honor goes to the 1917 flag of the Arab Revolt reportedly designed by British diplomat Mark Sykes, the so-called Flag of Hejaz, which was deployed to unify Arab revolt against the Ottomans during the war, and whose horizontal colors stood for the Abbasid (black), Umayyad (white) and Rashidun (green) caliphates. It was this flag, also adopted by Hussein ibn Ali al-Hashimi, who in 1918 told Woodrow Wilson that it symbolished Hashemite rule over the Arab World, which evolved into the Pan Arab flags we see today.
An inscription to a Flag in the Royal Collection “This flag was presented to King George V by the King of the Hejaz in 1918. The King of the Hejaz launched the Arab Revolt against Ottoman rule, in alliance with Britain.”
The first Palestinian flag recognised by the international community wasn’t even green and red, it was blue and white with a Magen David, and thus its was Jewish Palestine (Western Palestine) became independent in 1948.
The images below are Larousse Dictionary, Jewish Palestine, Flag of Jordan, Flag of Western Sahara, Syrian Ba’ath Party
9. DEBUNKED: Palestinians are fighting for equality
Persons who identify themselves as Palestinians are not fighting to sing Hatikva alongside other citizens in Israel, nor are the seeking to create the only democratic Arab state in the region, or a country where Jews may live in relative safety. The most common refrain is “From the river to the sea, Palestine must be free“, by which they seek to replace the current state of Israel with an Arab state, like any other, and which would be known as simply, ‘the nation-state of Palestine’. Israel has offered Palestinians a state along the 1967 border at least twice (Barak-Arafat and Olmert-Abbas) and require Palestinian recognition of a Jewish Israel. While Fatah appears to have accepted some form of two-state arrangement by promoting East Jerusalem as the capital of any future arrangement. Hamas are adamant the entire area currently occupied by Israel should be ceded to Arab control and the Jews at best, subjected to dimmitude in which they pay jizyah, a religious tax, and in the worst case scenario, to be forcibly removed from the region. Unlike in South Africa, there is currently no secular Freedom Charter setting out any rights which may be granted under either dispensation. The current internal charter of Fatah proclaims: “Revolution is our path to freedom, independence, and construction“. While Fida’i, the national anthem proposed by Fatah for their state, and adopted by the PA in 1996, openly speaks of ‘sacrifice, revenge and vendetta’.
10. DEBUNKED: Which came first, chicken or the egg?
The first Zionist Congress was held in 1897 some thirty years before the idea of a Palestinian State originated, and it was thus a secondary movement which evolved alongside later ideas to create a separate state besides Transjordan and following the 1948 Jericho conference where King Abdullah’s proposal to become “King of Palestine” was rejected by all-Husseini’s ‘All Palestine’ Government in Gaza.
The Palestinian struggle is thus a lot younger than Zionism, it only got going in the 1960s following the 1931 World Muslim Congress held in Jerusalem where it was first proposed by al-Husseini and even encouraged by the British. Remember, al-Husseini is the man behind the 1929 Hebron Massacre and later 1936-1939 Arab Revolt, arguably the first Intifada, and also the Farhud. He canvassed Hitler to ‘deal with the Zionist Jews’. It is this second movement which seeks to emulate and replace the first, in a strategy which may be termed “Replacement Theology“.
11. DEBUNKED: Hamas and Fatah are the equivalent of the ANC and PAC during the struggle.
“Support for Yasser Arafat and his struggle does not mean that the ANC has ever doubted the right of Israel to exist as a state, legally.” Nelson Mandela, Ted Koppel Show 1990.
While all these parties are for the most part, nationalistic, the ANC is the only secular party which has until now, consistently supported civil rights for all persons in the region. The other parties raising the Pan Arab flag waved around at Pro-Palestine rallies, are mostly theocratic nationalist movements, and only resemble other movements insomuch as Arab autonomy in the region is concerned. Fatah is nominally secular insofar as divergence within Islam is concerned and thus tolerates other groups, (see Dhimmitude). Embarrassingly, Hamas was forced in 2017 to amend its charter advocating death for all Jews, to death for only Zionist Jews, to bring its objectives more in line with the Fatah Movement which supports the borders of 1967. More importantly, the ANC had an end-game strategy involving compromises, no such strategy is evident amongst the Palestinians. It was the National Party which opposed LGBTIQ+ rights, and supported the death penalty, not the ANC. No Gay Pride for Gaza, ditto Palestinian feminist group Aswat, based only in Haifa. There is thus a qualitative difference between these two struggles, one backed by the Freedom Charter, the other by religious texts and history books associated with previous Empires. The result is Injustice v Injustice.
12. DEBUNKED: Israel supported the apartheid regime until the bitter end.
While Israel was slow to act on sanctions against South Africa, and collaborated with the regime on nuclear weapons, it severed such ties in 1987. “There is no room for discrimination, whether it’s called apartheid or any other name“, then foreign minister Shimon Peres said in the New York Times. “We repeat that we express our denunciation of the system of apartheid. The Jewish outlook is that every man was born in the image of God and created equal.” The country also cited US pressure and threat of withdrawal of Aid. The assertion thus ignores the role played by Western countries such as Thatcher’s Britain in supporting apartheid, or the fact that Zionists stood trial in South Africa for opposing apartheid, it also avoids the actual commonality, pariah status, in many ways similar to the position of Taiwan today. In many respects the Palestinian cause shares common ground, not with the South African struggle but rather with the Anglo Boer War, “one of the great liberal and left-wing causes of the late 19th century.” Ignoring obvious chauvinism, Afrikaners were seen “as stout peasant farmers, standing up to the might of British imperialism. Across the world, funds were raised for the Boer cause.”
13. DEBUNKED: The conflict has nothing to do with religion.
The conflict surrounding the final status of Jerusalem has been ongoing for centuries, involves different versions of monotheism dating back to the crusades, and predates the creation of the modern state of Israel. The worst part of it. We must not allow it to become a binary conflict and permanent war around race, ethnicity and religion. Having said that, it would be more accurate to suggest the conflict revolves around two distinct linguistic and ethnic groups, Hebrew versus Arabic, with the result, a competition over linguistic identity.
14. DEBUNKED: Police brutality proves apartheid
Another vector of comparison involves simple illustration of similarities in military hardware and tactics deployed by the apartheid state. Thus crude police brutality in the face of widespread civilian unrest during successive ‘Intifadas’ is used as evidence alone to prove a point by way of analogy and resemblance. The same measures may be seen during the Egyptian uprising and other states such as Syria where revolts have occurred and do not in themselves prove apartheid. PA citizens are not fighting to become Israelis but perversely fomenting insurrection based upon what may be termed ‘replacement theology‘ or simple ‘rejectionism’. The Swiss cheese problem of the West Bank is thus a result of counter-measures to deal with a supersessionist uprising (one which seeks to replace Israel with an Arab State), all in the face of population pressure and a general failure to deal with mutual land issues, resulting in polarisation on either side.
15. DEBUNKED: Zionist negotiations with the Hitler regime proves illegitimacy
A recent development following the collapse of Jeremy Corbyn’s militant Anti-Zionism within the British Labour Party, has been to trot out slurs regarding the deportation of Hungarian Jews, and narrative related to a “program by the Zionist Relief and Rescue Committee referred to as ‘Blood for Goods’ and involving negotiations with the SS to exchange people for military hardware and trucks.” Paul Sanders in ‘The ‘strange Mr Kastner’ – Leadership ethics in Holocaust-era Hungary, in the light of grey zones and dirty hands‘ tackles the existential crisis of the ‘choiceless choices‘ of those accused of ‘dirty hands’. A related meme is the lie that Jews are either responsible for the Holocaust, or complicit in the bombing of Synagogues in Baghdad which lead to the 1941 Farhud.
16. DEBUNKED: There is no path to peace, the only solution is war.
The Abraham Accords are a series of joint normalization agreements initially between Israel, the United Arab Emirates, and Bahrain, beginning September 15, 2020. On 10 December 2020, Morocco agreed to establish diplomatic relations, followed by Sudan ( January 2021), and Chad which opened an embassy January 2023. Removing the objections of 22 Arab States engaged in a war against Israel is thus an important first step in reaching a negotiated solution.
Clearly accepting the rights of both parties within the macro geopolitical context, one that avoids the religious partisanship of those involved in the Jerusalem conflict, is the only way forward.
17. DEBUNKED: We must choose sides, since standing on the fence is tantamount to support for apartheid
During the anti-apartheid struggle where the issues were black and white, standing on the fence was inappropriate. The opposite is true in the Middle East. Declining to support religious conflict, withdrawing from waging war in the name of religion, supporting freedom for all people, defending secularism and seeking to uphold civil rights in our own country, alongside the victories of the non-aligned movement when it comes to the current East-West brinkmanship and Super-power hegemony, is the only peaceful path forward. Nelson Mandela was perhaps the best spokesperson for this position.
Refusing to see the conflict in binary terms, refusing to turn people into heretics, acknowledging the tragedy of injustice vs injustice. Calling for a Secular Freedom Charter, now these are rational interventions on path to peace.
We are all hostages to this ongoing conflict. The time to stand up for secular rights and freedoms, non-alignment and world peace, is now.
[page updated 6/02/24]