H. E. Ron Prosor, the Israeli Ambassador to the United Kingdom, wrote a spirited article for CiF to mark Israel’s 62nd Independence Day celebrations in which he laid out the most basic yet all too frequently ignored fact about the Middle East conflict: that peace will continue to be elusive until Israel’s neighbours recognise her right to exist in the region as the world’s only Jewish state. As so often happens on CiF, this confrontation with the truth sent many a commentator into apoplexies of antisemitic ranting in which everything from conspiracy theories and Nazi analogy, through apartheid comparisons and the ‘chosen people’ trope, to accusations of ‘land grabbing’ and ‘ethnic cleansing’ appeared. Here is just a small selection of the many examples.
20 Apr 2010, 5:25PM
The main premise of this article is Bull. The idea that Jews could not survive let alone prosper at the whim of majority cultures is demonstrably false! How many of the wealthiest and most influential people of the UK,US etc are Jews? A very large number. In fact rthe number of Jews that are part of the ruling elite in many western countries is far out of proportion to their population. Isreal is indeed in a tough neighborhood but it is one of their own choosing. Palestinians were there when the Zionist movement began, do they have no rights to the land?
20 Apr 2010, 10:12AM
Strange to see so many of our Nazi friendly posters – like the anti-democrat, pro-Nazi revisionist and Waffen SS supporter, MassacresAndMurders – supporting Israel.
The British political party most supportive of Israel is …. the BNP Nazis.
What do you think about that, Ron? Your parents may have fled Nazi persecution, but now Israel is in alliance with them, since they share the same racist view of Arabs and Muslims. You use them to target hate at Arabs, and they use you to legitimise their racist hatreds.
20 Apr 2010, 8:54AM
my father and grandfather were forced to flee Nazi Germany to strive for freedom in their homeland
Two wrongs do not a right make. You make their striving for freedom sound so innocent. The creation of the state of Israel wasn’t innocent, was it ? Maintaining a state of Israel is not innocent, is it ?
Why do I say this ?
Deir Yassin 1948
Khan Yunis 1956
Sabra and Shatila, 1970’s and 1980s
All those villages razed in 1948
All those people driven into refugee camps in 1948
The children of all those refugees, still living in refugee camps sixty years later, still demonised.
How much blood has been spilt to create a “nation state of the Jewish people” on someone else’s land ?
This post is dedicated to all the innocents killed in the name of nation building for a chosen people.
20 Apr 2010, 10:31AM
Ridiculous censorship in this place. No wonder the Jews have an image problem if they stop historical debate about their lack of difference to others. God’s chosen eh?
20 Apr 2010, 10:45AM
“Israel’s raison d’etre is to be the “state for the Jews”.”
Hence Israel is racist and illegitimate.
If Israel’s raison d’etre was Israelis regardless of race or religion (and it just happened that most Israelis were jewish) there would be no problem with the place.
Till that day your country is illegitimate and this piece is a cynical attempt to claim that other Middle Eastern countries should rubber stamp Israeli racism.
20 Apr 2010, 11:35AM
Israel is faced by a choice between democracy and racism. It has chosen racism and must live with the consequences. That the democratic quandary is a result of Israel’s decision to expand by conquest is just a nice irony.
The author argues that:
“History demonstrated that Jews could not survive, let alone flourish, at the whims of majority cultures.”
What history actually demonstrates is that, when they are in the majority, Jews treat their subject minorities badly and thereby destroy any case for moral or even intellectual Jewish exceptionalism.
20 Apr 2010, 8:40AM
The comments from the Zios miss the point.
Prosor claims that peace in inhibited by outside forces.
Rubbish of course.
Israel is engaged in lebensraum, which dictates that ethnic cleansing must persist.
Prosor’s piece should never have been published.
A mountebank should never been given free publicity.
20 Apr 2010, 10:19AM
Israel was created by ethnically cleansing Palestine.
The creation of Israel caused a catastrophe – a tragedy for the indigenous people of Palestine. Loss of homes, loss of communities, loss of life, separation of families, abject poverty, refugee slum camps, oppression, apartheid.
And after 62 years, the tragedy is still here today.
Just remember please that Gaza is the place of refuge for the inhabitants of 247 villages which were entirely depopulated in 1948. And Gaza represents only 1% of Palestine’s historic landmass.
But then it seems utterly amazing that you expect Palestinians to give up their rights and recognise the Jewish character of Israel.
Why on earth should they?
20 Apr 2010, 1:18PM
I am suprised this propaganda passed the editor.
Israel uses chemical weapons on civilians sheltering in a UN hospital.
Hate crimes committed by Jews against non-jews in Israel are commonplace and go unpunished.
They killed Rachel Corrie and Tom Hurndall.
Boycott every company that does business with this vile aparthied state.
20 Apr 2010, 2:05PM
Why should anyone recognize Israel’s Jewish character?.
Does Israel recognize what’s happened to the Palestinians along the line you write about “mob violence, massacres and Arab state policy”, translating into ” military violence, massacres and Israeli state policy”.
Native American Indians have no chance of reclaiming a homeland in the 200-year old USA. The Jews have no right to reclaim a Palestine they’d abandoned after 2,000 years.
You talk about “land for peace”. The land is not yours to give. You were given half of Palestine for the establishment of Israel. You’ve tried over Israel’s lifetime to steal the other half from the Palestinians. You are in contravention of international law, refusing to comply with a host of UN resolutions on the matter.
After 60 years, time seems to be running out.
Through all the twists and turns, Israel has given a slew of excuses for not settling with UN demands. Have the land grabbing and Jewish settlements turn out to be a phyrric victory?
Well, let the Palestinians go to the world community (especially the West that brought them the calamity) and ask for restoration, if not their national rights, but at least their human rights.
No Palestinian state? No apartheid state either. Go the South African way. One man one vote, or divest-boycott-sanction.
20 Apr 2010, 2:24PM
I repeat petty,envious,and downright silly.
Well, certainly not “envious”. Who wants to live in a religious, militaristic apartheid state which is always at war out of choice, and that excels at wall building and repression – except other religious zealots?
Let’s take a look at an unexceptional day in what so many would have us believe is an ‘apartheid state’. Last week I went to Haifa to arrange customs clearance from the port for my shipping container. On the way I stopped for morning coffee in Magd el Krum – an Arab village which suffered some 43 attacks by Hizbollah missiles during the second Lebanon war resulting in the deaths of two of its residents. The coffee was delicious and the apples I bought definitely lived up to the recommendations of the lovely young lady behind the counter. Upon arriving at the customs offices in Haifa an Arab lorry driver enquired if I needed haulage, but as I had already arranged transport, I declined his services. After waiting in line it transpired that I needed my old Israeli passports as well as my current one in order to release the shipment. Rather stupidly, I had made the mistake of packing them in the container, so in order to get round this problem I had to go to the court in Haifa to find a lawyer/notary. There I engaged the services of an Arab lawyer from the city of Um el Fahm who is a member of a prominent family from the area and a distant relative of an exceptional surgeon with whom I had the pleasure of working many years ago. Quickly and efficiently, he helped me solve my problem and I returned to the customs offices to complete the process.
As I was leaving Haifa I got stuck in a traffic jam caused by a parade of Arab Catholic Scouts who seemed to be celebrating a religious holiday outside their church in the downtown part of the city with banners, drums and a very large painting of the virgin and child tied to the top of a 4×4 jeep. Whilst waiting for the traffic to clear, I enjoyed a lovely view of the Baha’i gardens up on the hillside of Mount Carmel above me. On the drive home, I debated whether to stop for a late lunch at an Arab restaurant at Golani junction or pop in to visit old friends in the village of Tur’an, but it was getting late and these are friends whose hospitality invariably includes hours of eating the most delicious delicacies, so I left that for another day. Near Upper Tiberias I came across a young Arab woman who works on our kibbutz standing at the bus stop, but as she was going in the opposite direction, I could not offer her a lift and a wave had to suffice.
Of course these are the banal realities of day to day Israeli life which will never reach the pages of the Guardian and even if they did, commentators such as those above would doubtless engage in the mental contortions necessary to ignore the fact that people of different ethnic backgrounds and religions in Israel not only work, study and do business together, but also often have social ties with years of standing. Actually, as far as multicultural societies go, Israel in my experience far surpasses the UK in its success, but such is the level of bigotry among so many foreign commentators and activists that the simple facts about the good aspects of Muslim/Jewish/Druze/Christian/Baha’i co-existence in Israel are unpalatable to them, just as the home truths on a political level as set out by Ambassador Proser are. Peace in this troubled region will not come about by screaming ‘apartheid’ or ‘ethnic cleansing’ and pointing fingers of blame: it will come through mutual respect and recognition of and by all parties on both a personal and a national level and as Ambassador Prosor so rightly points out, the first step has to be the recognition of the rights of Jews to their own self determination in the region.