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What the ‘Irish famine’ genocide teaches us about Palestine

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on 49 Comments

A few evenings ago I watched the 2018 film, Black 47. It tells of the Irish Famine through the story of one traumatized Irish returned soldier. The main character, Martin Feeney (played by the young Australian actor James Frecheville), returns to Ireland from India (another British colony) after fighting for the Empire, only to find the devastation brought on Ireland by the British colonizers, enforced by the very same army he fought for.

This film is painfully well made in every way and is not easy to watch, but watching it honors the memory of the victims and ensures we do not forget crimes against humanity. The film’s main story is fictional and so are the characters. But the context in which the story unfolds, the time and events of the Irish Famine, are devastatingly real.

One of the most important messages from this film is that big historical events that affect a lot of people are not some abstract thing that happens ‘out there’ that has nothing to do with us. Everything that happens to human beings is personal both to victims and perpetrators, albeit in different ways. For those looking at significant historical events from outside or from the distance of time, it can be too easy to perceive them in the abstract. In fact, the way history is written and taught makes it too easy for all of us to view things with detachment. This film warns us against that. It makes history personal.

The victims of the famine were people, human beings like us. We don’t have to know them personally to be able to put ourselves in their shoes. What would it be like to be so poor that you have nothing, to have no shoes, no warm clothes, to not be able to feed yourself and your children, to watch your children die of starvation? How frightening and how desperate would this be? We all know what it feels to be afraid. We all know what desperation feels like, even if we have never experienced the particular conditions the film shows.

What would it be like to be stripped to the bare bones of survival because of the deliberate and calculating actions of someone more powerful than you who views you with contempt because of who you are? What would it be like to be treated like you are piece of garbage, a nothing, by someone who is so much more powerful than you that he can do anything he wants to you? It isn’t that hard to imagine and right now this is life and reality for many people around the world, including the Palestinian people. There are degrees of suffering, yes, but in my profession, we do not compare suffering. Every human being’s suffering matters to them and those around them and it should matter to all of us.

The events between 1845 and 1849 that devastated Ireland are called the ‘Irish Famine’. This is a descriptive title, and yes there was a terrible famine. But such a title makes it sound like this was an unavoidable natural disaster, a force of nature, when it was anything but. The so-called ‘Irish Famine’ was really a genocide committed with intent by the colonizing British Empire. It saw millions die of starvation, disease and exposure and millions leave Ireland never to return.

Britain took advantage of a natural disaster that caused a devastating failure of potato crops not only in Ireland but elsewhere in Europe to reduce the population of Ireland and break its resistance to British colonial rule. The potato blight that swept through Ireland left millions starving. The genocide saw the Brits ship food out of Ireland deliberately, while the local people were starving. Starving people were cold-heartedly evicted out of their dwellings into the harsh and cold countryside because they were too poor to pay rent to well-nourished English and English-sponsored landlords who stole and colonized Irish land and lived in comfort and warmth. Millions, entire families, were made homeless for no reason at all and no fault of their own. They were victims of the cruelty of the ruling classes of an Empire that wanted their land. They were thrown out with nothing, starving and barefoot like useless bits of rubbish with nothing to eat, and many died.

Britain felt contempt for the indigenous Irish. It chose not to see them as fellow human beings. Charles Trevelyan, the assistant secretary to the Treasury who was effectively in charge of Famine relief in Ireland said:

“The judgment of God sent the calamity to teach the Irish a lesson, that calamity must not be too much mitigated . . . the real evil with which we have to contend is not the physical evil of the Famine but the moral evil of the selfish, perverse and turbulent character of the people.” (From Tim Pat Coogan. *The Famine Plot: England’s Role in Ireland’s Greatest Tragedy*. 2013)

This quote does not need interpretation. It speaks for itself. Dehumanization is a common tactic all colonizers and settler-colonizers have been using throughout human history. All colonizers and genocidal regimes convince themselves (and all the bystanders out there) that they are not committing any crime, that in killing millions of their fellow human beings they are in fact doing something virtuous, essential and even godly. It is necessary to dehumanize victims so the job of harming, killing and displacing them is not only made easier but is in fact possible at all. Most people would not harm one another when they feel empathy and relate to each other’s experience. Colonizers do a good job convincing large sections of their own population and outsiders to turn off the empathy switch. They would not be able to carry out atrocities otherwise.

Britain managed to reduce the indigenous population of Ireland by half, and even after the worst of it was over, the population of Ireland kept declining. Britain did fail in the end. Ireland eventually freed itself from British colonialism in 1937, just under a century after the famine genocide. The entire journey however took hundreds of years of ongoing resistance to horrible cruelty, brutality, injustice, internal divisions fostered by the colonizers, a civil war and an unbelievable amount of suffering of an untold number of people.

Halving the population of a country that you colonize is one effective way to try to prevent resistance. The British ruling classes wanted Ireland not for natural resources but for strategic advantage. But regardless of the reasons that might lead one group of people to invade the land of another, colonizers and settler-colonizers are always abusive and parasitical opportunists. They invade, they take over, they turn people against one another, they suck the land and its population dry, they steal from and discard the host, or at least try to.

We see one such case unfolding in Palestine right in front of our noses and no one is doing anything about it. Most of the world looks on as it always has done. It views what is being done to the Palestinians either with the indifference of detachment, or with contempt toward the victims fueled by the choice to believe the perpetrators’ (predictable) dehumanizing propaganda. The perpetrator, the exclusively Jewish state of Israel created by the Zionist movement – itself a product of the colonialist mindset of 19th Century Europe – is still, incredibly, perceived as legitimate rather than as the crime that it is. It is as if we have learned absolutely nothing from history.

It took this long for such a painful, uncompromising and realistic film to be made about one of the many crimes of British colonialism in Ireland. I wonder when someone will finally make a film like this about the Nakba.

Avigail Abarbanel

Avigail Abarbanel was born and raised in Israel. She moved to Australia in 1991 and now lives in the north of Scotland. She works as a psychotherapist and clinical supervisor in private practice and is an activist for Palestinian rights. She is the editor of Beyond Tribal Loyalties: Personal Stories of Jewish Peace Activists (Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2012).

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49 Responses

  1. JLewisDickerson on January 15, 2019, 1:08 pm

    Black 47 – Official Trailer – HD – IFC Films

    P.S. IMDb (6.9/10) – https://www.imdb.com/title/tt3208026/

  2. echinococcus on January 15, 2019, 1:47 pm

    Only wanted to say thank you for your clear thinking and for this post about the movie, and more importantly about colonialism, which is at least as “painfully well” written.

    • Avigail on January 15, 2019, 6:26 pm

      @echinococcus- Thank you so much for your kind feedback.

  3. amigo on January 15, 2019, 3:38 pm

    Few British Colonialist figures invoke more disgust among Irish people than Cromwell and Trevelyan.

    Oliver Cromwell is thought by many to be the worst as he oversaw the killing of some 500,000 Irish men , women and children. Cromwell’s criminals murdered people using weapons.

    Charles Trevelyan on the other hand caused the death of some 2 million people whom he allowed to die slowly from hunger and cold all the while overseeing the export of Irish Grain to the UK and beyond. His justification was that the Gov should not interfere with the business of agriculture. The Market forces should deal with it.

    This criminal was awarded a KCB (Knighthood ) for his services to the Crown .

    He takes number one spot as the most vile of all the murderers dispatched to Ireland to “Solve The Irish Question”. Too bad we have no way to update them on the end result of their efforts.

    Must be a lesson here for Zionists criminals .

    • Avigail on January 15, 2019, 6:24 pm

      @Amigo — Oh, there is a lesson alright but I’m not sure it’s the one they choose to learn, sadly…

  4. Danaa on January 15, 2019, 5:24 pm

    Very powerful piece, extremely well written and emotionally honest.

    History as it is taught, does a marvelous job of whitewashing the enormous suffering that afflicted the human race, as the most powerful among them would rise and obliterate the weaker, only to be presented later as a perfectly normal state of affairs.

    Should some more enlightened aliens visit us some day, (aliens as a symbol for ones not subjected to our tales of tortured history as normative) they might well regard our species on the whole as psychotic. Deeply scarred by collective pathology and neurosis – the direct result of the fact that all those now living are the descendants of the survivors of unspeakable brutalities in some forgotten or “repackaged” glorious past, that was anything but glorious for many.

    Of course, my aliens are all trained in psychology, but they have moved beyond the personal and into the collective., recognizing that toxicity can be a collective trait that goes beyond any one individual part thereof.

    What happened in Ireland was not so long ago. On some vast historical tapestry, some would even say that the success of America as a country owes much to the Irish famine that sent over so many good and hard working people. But it takes movies like the one Avigail describes to pull off the veil of historicall “tapestries” to reveal the price paid by a multitude of individuals. Individuals who never got asked whether they wanted to pay the price for some grand historical scheme.

    Perhaps, some day, someone will be brave enough to make a movie about the conquest of Canaan from the Philistines’ or the Amorites’ viewpoint. May be they did not enjoy god’s plans for a land of milk and honey all that much?

    I keep thinking of what we were and are taught in a typical Israeli school where years of reading through the Tanakh are mandatory. It is taught to children before they reach the age of reason so it is accepted as normative, because well, the teacher presents it so. Yet, looking at the countless massacres, misdeeds, tortures and what not, justified by a god for whom cruelty was apparently second nature, it’s hard not to believe that this has hada lasting effect on the psyche of genrations of Israeli children as they grew into adulthood. They have, effectively, accepted cruelty and inhumanity of man to man, as a normal state of affairs, because that’s how they were taught. In their minds, even as they become thinking adults, Israel is justified by whatever it does to the Palestinians, because the lesson of history is that the powerful prevail upon the weak and it is the victors who wrote history. That before we even bring up things like holocaust justifies everything or the fact that the children I speak of, are the ones who grew and are growing secular, meaning they don’t even take “god” all that seriously. Yet still they believe in the biblical god’s word, because, well, it turned out OK for them.

    Funny how the Mongolian conquests of Europe are rarely depicted positively. May be because they were not clever enough to come up with a god – or the “Rule of law” or “manifest destiny” to give “spiritual” purpose to their pillaging? the Mongol hordes did their conquests on the “raw”, justified by the power of the sword alone. They killed left and right because they could. Yet without a “godly” hand to guide them, and intellectual scribners to excuse them, history finds them lacking.

    The british had “Law” on their side. The Jews of Israel have both “god” and “turns about fair play + a little guilt on the side” on theirs.

    But those of us on the sidelines and therefore have the luxury of thinking for ourselves, would do well to always remember the individuals who are caught in the twists of turns of wanton cruelty. glad this movie was made (though i doubt I have the stomach to watch it) and glad Avigail shared with us her impressions and lessons.

    PS Cloud Atlas, a book I read not long ago, expresses well, through fiction rather than wordy missives, the dreariness of the human condition of which I tried to speak, much better than me. I won’t deny the influence, even if all I have are chains of words.

    • Stephen Shenfield on January 15, 2019, 10:13 pm

      In Mongolia Genghis Khan is regarded as a great hero. In the capital Ulanbatar there is a huge statue of him on horseback. He is praised for uniting the warring tribes of the steppe, leading to the flourishing of trade and cultural exchange, and for his tolerance of different religions.

    • annie on January 16, 2019, 12:55 am

      What happened in Ireland was not so long ago. On some vast historical tapestry, some would even say that the success of America as a country owes much to the Irish famine that sent over so many good and hard working people.

      not sure if it’s so much a part of the mythos today but when i was a child (and i can’t really recall if this was specifically taught in schools) i definitely understood that the immigrants arriving on our shores, came out of great misery, hardship and desperation and it was their labor that built this country. like, why else would someone take that long passage (unless they were captured slaves) under duress and leave their home if not for the impossibility of freedom, the insurmountable, of what had happened to them there. and it was this that we had in common.

      now, it seems as tho the messaging is telling us the immigrant is dangerous.

      certainly the irish arrived at the bottom of the heap and faced much discrimination.

      we not only owe much to the Irish famine. we owe much to the oppression of mankind. the suffering we are now inflicting all around the world is being implemented by people whose ancestors took the brunt of it at one time or another. it’s a vicious cycle that mankind has not conquered. and the people we decimated along the way, and those we enslaved, comprise of the moral backbone of our country.

      it’s an amazing life isn’t it.

      Avigail 👍

      • Avigail on January 16, 2019, 2:57 am

        Thanks @Annie! There is always a story when someone leaves their home, the place where they were born and grew up. On the whole, no one would leave their home by choice. I left countries twice and it is a hard process to do that. In my case it was incredibly worthwhile. But it is hard nonetheless. But I left voluntarily. No one drove me out of Israel or Australia. I chose to leave.

        When people are driven out because they are hungry, or slaves or some of what you describe, when they have no choice and have to abandon everything they are attached to just to survive because their home has been made dangerous to them, it is a massive injury that can reverberate for generations. We are a resilient species and we survive a great deal. But it is damaging to be driven out and lose everything only to then be treated as if you did something wrong to be where you are. You are not only a wounded new person in a new society, you are now suffering from some degree of persecution in your new home just because of who you are. That’s why I am so angry when people are ‘anti-refugee’.

        These sentiments are not limited to a particular country, culture or social class. They are common to people all over the world who are very poorly developed and are driven by their fear-based mammal brain (we all have one). They are easily scared and it takes no time at all to convince them that ‘those refugees’ are ‘bad’ or that they ‘are taking their jobs’ or that they are dangerous to their society in some way. The language used around refugees in our own media is often dehumanising and helps promote those same attitudes. You are right that we repeat everything over and over again. It’s really sad. But I am a woman on a mission. I know it’s possible to do better. My very work in psychotherapy proves it and has proven it for 20 solid years of practice. So I know it’s possible for us to transcend that conflicted and miserable nature and be more. I am even optimistic that before the end of my life things will be different. xx

      • Avigail on January 16, 2019, 3:30 am

        @Annie — I meant that no one would leave their home by choice, unless they had a good reason to do so. Too late to edit my response above… 😕

    • gamal on January 16, 2019, 1:06 am

      “Perhaps, some day, someone will be brave enough to make a movie about the conquest of Canaan from the Philistines’ or the Amorites’ viewpoint”

      Perhaps the Sages of Edom could pitch it.

      “They killed left and right because they could. Yet without a “godly” hand to guide them, and intellectual scribners to excuse them, history finds them lacking”

      No one reads JG Bennets The Masters of Wisdom these days, Gurdjieff and Blavatsky not so popular these days, despite the immoderate Calvados consumption, we are a dour species.

      maybe just Obadiah

      “You should not have looked in a gloating way

      On the day of its calamity.

      You should not have taken its wealth

      On the day of its calamity.

      You should not have stood at the crossroads

      To finish off its refugees.

      You should not have incarcerated

      Its survivors on the day of distress.

      For the day of the Lord is close

      On all the nations.

      As you have done,

      It will be done to you.

      Your recompense will be returned upon you”

      • Avigail on January 16, 2019, 2:58 am

        Thank you so much @gamal. I will look them up!!

  5. Avigail on January 15, 2019, 6:23 pm

    @Danaa – Wonderful comment. Thank you!

  6. vacyv on January 15, 2019, 7:14 pm

    A powerful analogy, thank you.

  7. peterkc1 on January 16, 2019, 9:02 am

    The British miniseries ‘The Promise’ caused much angry reaction, mostly because it gives a picture—however incomplete—about al-Nakba & the human stories of Palestinians, then & today. Worth watching.

    • orkassem on January 17, 2019, 10:18 am

      Thank you for telling us about this. I would like to see it.

  8. Boomer on January 16, 2019, 9:06 am

    Thanks, Avigail, I learned a lot from your essay, things good to know albeit tragic and unsettling. As for the Palestinians today, my impression is that most have no place to go, no way of escape, no access to a new land.

  9. wdr on January 16, 2019, 8:52 pm

    This posting is historical nonsense from A to Z. First, the Irish Famine was caused by Potato Blight, a viral disease which was obviously not understood or preventable in the 1840s, in Ireland or anywhere else. Secondly, it struck hard in south west Ireland, where most deaths occurred, because only potatoes were grown- no other crops, no livestock. Where normal non-mono farming occurred, there was no famine- not, for instance, in northern Ireland or Scotland. Thirdly, there were only limited means of dealing with the starving peasantry in Ireland since there was no way of refrigerating food supplies to these people before this food spoiled. The Catholic church in Ireland did nothing either. Fourthly, the Irish Potato Famine has precisely nothing to do
    with the Israel/Palestine conflict. The population of Palestinians, since 1948 or 1967, has grown, not shrunk, and there has been no famine. A comparison between the two is an anti-semitic trope, much like saying that the Jews poison the wells or spread viruses.

    • Avigail on January 17, 2019, 3:02 am

      @wdr— I don’t debate with apologists for crimes against humanity wherever those crimes are committed. You’re either a member of a perpetrator group or otherwise a collaborator or for whatever reason, an apologist for the unacceptable. You don’t offer an honorable example of what humanity can be.

      • gamal on January 17, 2019, 7:10 am

        “Thirdly, there were only limited means of dealing with the starving peasantry in Ireland since there was no way of refrigerating food supplies to these people before this food spoiled. The Catholic church in Ireland did nothing either. Fourthly, the Irish Potato Famine has precisely nothing to do
        with the Israel/Palestine conflict”wdr

        oh god this obvious nonsense, we never meant to conquer an empire, they all died of a cold, they all left voluntarily never mind the genocide look at the cut of my britches…idiotic just so stories, weirdly in the states on the right I see Hitler is being rehabilitated with equally idiotic efforts..

        ” You don’t offer an honorable example of what humanity can be” Avigail and yet again recently one is relieved to only have to type “hahaha Testistify Mama!” its so funny and so so true.

      • DaBakr on January 20, 2019, 4:13 pm

        @a

        So, rather then respond with countering facts you, like a three year old, choose to stick your fingers in your ears and yell, “la la la la la…..”. Very effective way to not deal with many unpleasant factors in life, including your own premise. congratulations on your psychotherapy practice. Can only imagine what you refuse to engage with there and the ethics involved thereof.

    • amigo on January 17, 2019, 7:39 am

      Wdr. you treat stupidity as if it were a virtue.Is it intentional.

      Go hit the books and do a little research.

      The famine happened because Trevelyan was exporting food from Ireland to elsewhere while 2 million people died and another 2 had to leave on the Coffin Ships .half of whom died at sea.Britain as the occupier had the responsibility to feed people in time of need and ensure their security and welfare.
      That is where the connection with Palestine arises.

      You are no better than a Holocaust Denier.
      You give decent Jews a bad name.Seek help.

      • orkassem on January 17, 2019, 8:49 am

        A Jew who understands and recognizes that the oppressed can become the oppressor is not a traitor to her people. The Zionist slogan of “Never again” is hypocritical because Zionist actions in Palestine will ensure that the “again” will happen again, and it is Jews like Avigail who are trying to prevent that.

    • Talkback on January 17, 2019, 5:09 pm

      wdr: “The population of Palestinians, since 1948 or 1967, has grown, not shrunk,…”

      Having more births than deaths doesn’t exclude the possibiliiy that people are killed for genocidal reasons.

      wdr: “A comparison between the two is an anti-semitic trope, …”

      Nope. Jews as such were not defamed.

      wdr: “… much like saying that the Jews poison the wells or spread viruses”

      Soldiers’ testimonies recorded by Breaking the Silence verify Imraizig’s claim. A lieutenant in Civil Administration, who chose to remain anonymous, told BTS: ‘Poisoning wells, that happens [in the South Hebron Hills] plenty.
      https://newint.org/features/web-exclusive/2011/10/20/breaking-the-silence-israeli-soldiers

      Poisoning the Village Wells
      https://www.haaretz.com/1.4715718

      Amnesty: West Bank farms poisoned
      http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/4482211.stm

      Israeli Settlers Poison Olive Trees and Torch Mosques in the Wild West Bank
      https://www.wrmea.org/010-december/israeli-settlers-poison-olive-trees-and-torch-mosques-in-the-wild-west-bank.html

      Farm warfare: How Israel uses chemicals to kill crops in Gaza
      https://www.haaretz.com/misc/article-print-page/.premium-farm-warfare-how-israel-uses-chemicals-to-kill-crops-in-gaza-1.6245475

      Would you like more?

      • Mooser on January 17, 2019, 6:19 pm

        Potato crop failed. There was grain, but that was taken by the English to pay ‘rents’ on land. Very little relief on rents in spite of the famine, rents often extracted by force.

      • pjdude on January 27, 2019, 2:28 am

        also you don’t have to kill a the entirety to destroy a people. if you can break the cultural cohension you can destroy the population as well. look at the sorbs for example

    • Mooser on January 17, 2019, 5:50 pm

      “This posting is historical nonsense from…”

      It never fails: ‘As goes the Right, so goes the all-rightnik.’

  10. orkassem on January 17, 2019, 8:42 am

    As a regular reader of Mondoweiss I know of the atrocities committed by Israel, but now am interested in seeing this movie and learning more about what happened in Ireland, too. Very good article.

    • Avigail on January 17, 2019, 2:25 pm

      @orkassem — I am really glad about this and thanks for commenting. I knew hardly anything about Ireland until about 5 years ago when I met my parter who is from Dublin. I feel very deeply for Ireland and for anyone who is/has been oppressed for that matter.

  11. Ossinev on January 17, 2019, 9:14 am

    @WDR
    “The population of Palestinians, since 1948 or 1967, has grown, not shrunk”. You admit that Palestinians as a people exist = progress but possibly worrying for your superiors
    It has grown despite the best efforts of the foreign colonists and will continue to grow. Incremental Genocide and piecemeal ethnic cleansing is such a drag and simply can`t keep up with natives pesky birth rate.

  12. James Canning on January 17, 2019, 11:44 am

    Ireland was not a colony of the UK in the 1840s, being a constituent part of the country.

    • amigo on January 17, 2019, 1:36 pm

      “Ireland was not a colony of the UK in the 1840s, being a constituent part of the country.”James Canning.

      The 1801 act of Union was a scam pushed by George the Turd and it was always doomed to failure.The Anglican church was to be the Official Church of Ireland and Catholics would be barred from holding office among several other racist bigoted laws.It just shows what the British thought of my ancestors.

      Look at some of the conditions.My ancestors would have been freer as a colonised People.

      “In 1800 the Act of Union was passed by both the Irish and British parliaments despite much opposition. It was signed by George III in August 1800 to become effective on 1 January 1801. Pitt intended to follow the Act of Union with other, more far reaching reforms, including Catholic Emancipation, but was thwarted by George III, who refused to break his Coronation Oath to uphold the Anglican Church. The 1801 Act of Union said that

      Ireland was to be joined to Great Britain into a single kingdom, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.
      the Dublin parliament was abolished. Ireland was to be represented at Westminster by 100 MPs, 4 Lords Spiritual and 28 Lords Temporal (all were Anglicans).
      the Anglican Church was to be recognised as the official Church of Ireland.
      there was to be free trade between Ireland and Britain.
      Ireland was to keep a separate Exchequer and was to be responsible for two-seventeenths of the general expense of the United Kingdom.
      Ireland kept its own Courts of Justice and civil service.
      no Catholics were to be allowed to hold public office.
      there was to be no Catholic Emancipation.

      • echinococcus on January 17, 2019, 3:07 pm

        Thank you, Amigo, for this instructive summary of the 1801 Act of Union. It seems to indicate where the Zionists learned their trade before their later masters came onto the world stage.

    • amigo on January 17, 2019, 1:43 pm

      “Ireland was not a colony of the UK in the 1840s, being a constituent part of the country.” James Canning

      All the more reason for sending relief supplies to Ireland.

      Say Paddy , put in with us and fight our wars with us but don,t expect us to feed you in your hour of need.Paddy. FOAD.

      • Avigail on January 17, 2019, 2:23 pm

        Well said @amigo. Thank you for both comments. ‘Not a colony’ my you-know-what… Annexing/absorbing a colony into the mother ship doesn’t change the historical fact of colonialism and settler-colonialism and in any case, like you said, it makes an even stronger case for looking after the people. But of course that wasn’t ever the intention. Colonisers are anything but benevolent…

      • amigo on January 17, 2019, 4:28 pm

        echi , here is the link to that article.

        http://www.victorianweb.org/history/ireland1.html

  13. James Canning on January 17, 2019, 4:49 pm

    @Avigail, of course the creation of the United Kingdom did not alter the historical fact Ireland had been a colony.

    • Avigail on January 18, 2019, 2:57 am

      @James Canning — I believe it is vital that we don’t get caught up in and focus too much on all the legal structures invented around colonialism. These structures are usually created by the colonisers to serve their own purposes and they are also ways to subdue and punish the colonised for any attempt to rebel.

      Colonialism and settler-colonialism are primarily a house invasion, a brutal act of control, rape, theft and thuggery. They are the cause of incredible harm and suffering to the victims, often for generations. The colonised often also suffer from a lingering sense of injustice usually because the coloniser is much more powerful than their victims. They dictate not only the self-serving ‘legal’ reality but also the entire narrative about the experience.

      Colonialism and settler-colonialism are a crime against humanity. Just like inside our societies house invasions, theft, assault, muggings, coercive control, etc. are criminal acts so should they also be in world affairs unequivocally and without ambiguity.

      • Talkback on January 18, 2019, 3:37 am

        Avigail: “… settler-colonialism are primarily a house invasion …”

        Some Zionists (canaries, jackdaws, etc.) will claim, that Jewish settlers weren’t invading, but invited (by the League of Nation) and into their own house. ROFL.

  14. Avigail on January 18, 2019, 9:09 am

    @Talkback— they might indeed claim that they were invited but it’s important to remember that the Zionist movement intended from the outset to replace the non-Jewish indigenous population with Jews and hoped they would be able to eventually achieved their final goal which was an exclusively Jewish state on all of historic Palestine. The fact that the League of Nations gave its ‘approval’ for this in the aftermath of the Brits withdrawing from the colony is true. It’s also true that none of it would have been possible if the Zionist movement wasn’t created in a very colonial world with a colonial mindset and that it helped make Jewish/Zionist colonialism more ‘legitimate’ and possible. It still however, does not remove the primary responsibility for the crime of settler-colonialism in Palestine from the Zionist movement itself.

    • Talkback on January 18, 2019, 12:19 pm

      Oh, you don’t need to convice me.

      But one small correction. Palestine was never a (British) colony. It was a part of the Ottoman Empire that came under British occupation until the mandate came into effect which created the (mandated) state of Palestine ex tunc.

  15. MHughes976 on January 18, 2019, 5:13 pm

    For diverse views, see see debate between Coogan and Professor Liam Kennedy, Dublin Reviee of Books, Feb. 2013, John Dorney The Irish Story, article on the Famine, timeline by Peter Gray Economic Development of Ireland 1798-1921, Theodore Hoppen ‘Governing Hibernia’, R. Tombs ‘The English and their History’, ch. 13. The full text of Charles Trevelyan’s ‘The Irish Crisis’ is available online.

    • MHughes976 on January 18, 2019, 5:26 pm

      Plus E. Vanhaute ‘Euro Subsistence Crisis 1845-50’ for ‘the hungry forties’.

  16. StanleyHeller on January 21, 2019, 2:51 pm

    Come up to Hamden, CT and visit the Ireland’s Great Hunger Museum for more of the facts https://www.ighm.org/

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