A London interruption

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Yesterday I was at a pub quiz in London, and talking to my friends about how I was going to a launch of a book on Palestine by Bidisha, and a man sitting at the next table with his wife (but who had spent the evening checking me and my friend out and listening to our conversation) piped up:

“I’ve lived in Palestine.”

Oh, where was that? I responded.

“In the historical, biblical land of Israel.”

I warned him that if he was going to defend the idea of Eretz Israel he should not engage with me, but he was looking for a fight and had already started to shake with rage. He and his wife concluded that my citing of international laws made me a “bigot” and “anti-Semite”. Unpleasant experience, but I was struck by how desperate and almost deranged Israel’s apologists have become.

There was a time not that long ago that my friend’s mother – a left-wing artist – would have defended Israel as, simply, a socialist paradise, a humane refuge for Holocaust survivors, a triumph against British imperialism. Now she is regularly incensed by Israel’s transparent attempts to deflect condemnation of its brutality and war crimes. Things truly are unravelling for Israel’s apologists, I believe.

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it is very important that all people speak openly and about the most sensitive topics directly to israelis and zionists – for far too long the cloak of victimhood has cowed far too many into silence – israel and zionism’s crimes are legion and are horrific and must be discussed and challenged so that israel can change and there is a chance for all to live in peace over there – only pressure will compel… Read more »

Good article.

“a triumph against British imperialism”

Does anyone seriously believe this? The British leaving Palestine was a minor side effect of the decision to grant India Independence. If they had chosen otherwise, does anyone seriously think they would have permitted a potentially hostile country to control the approaches to the Suez Canal? Their lifeline to the Crown of Empire? Not likely.

@Phil: You were in London? I would’ve taken you out for a beer! The guy you met would be the exception here. Most people don’t understand the conflict unless they’re Jewish or Christian Zionist and they are a minority here. Other than that it’s rational human beings who have a heart for human rights causes and have learned about this issue and are understandably pro Palestine. I hope it didn’t reflect too deeply on our… Read more »

While you’re in London, take a trip to Beigal Bake (that is the correct spelling!!!!!) at the top end of Brick Lane. Try either one of their filled beigals (yes, that is the correct spelling) or one of their salt beef (corned beef to you) sandwiches on rye with hot English mustard (a truly life-changing experience but I’m not paying your cardiologist’s bill) It says a lot about London, although I haven’t worked quite what… Read more »

BTW, that is the real shame about Israel – the Zionists kissed the British arse while the Palestinians tried to rebel against the British back in 1936ish. If the Zionists had fought alongside the Palestinians against the British imperialist…………………..