Monday, 3 October 2011

The Civil and Religious Rights of Existing Non-Jewish Communities in Palestine

Not to be prejudiced, according to the Balfour Declaration. The burning of the mosque at Tuba Zangaria, the inhabitants of which are Israeli citizens, certainly looks like the prejudicing of their civil and religious rights to me.

That, undoubtedly, was by supporters of parties within the present governing coalition, a composition remotely resembling which would rightly cause any other state to be treated as a pariah. Is it conceivable that the arsonists acted without the approval, if not on the direct instruction, of senior figures within one or more governing parties?

The Gaza Strip, the West Bank, and for that matter the East Bank, are all one or more other stories. But when it comes to Israel proper, why did we not do for those "existing non-Jewish communities" what we later did for the East African Asians? Is it still too late to do that, not with a view to flying them over here, but in order to create that possibility while making it clear that, while they remained where they were, then they enjoyed the full undertaking that we gave to them?

An undertaking given when they legally owned most of the land, rather than when their villages appeared on no official map, therefore enjoyed no amenities, and could look forward to having their places of worship and de facto community centres (churches as well as mosques) burnt down by the strongest supporters of the Government, if not by actual agents of the parties of government. We promised them that nothing like that would happen. We owe them. We owe them a hell of a lot.

If the Arab labouring class ever were to be evacuated to Britain or anywhere else, then the Israeli economy would simply collapse, as the South African one did when the black working class just stopped working. Let that possibility exist on a permanent basis.

And if we are finally to make good Balfour's promise to defend "the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine", then are we also finally to make good his promise to defend "the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country", now and increasingly no less "prejudiced", and that for the same reason?


  1. Is this excellent proposal in Confessions of an Old Labour High Tory?

  2. Alas not, because I only thought of it today.

    But there will be many more opportunities.