Is Peace (in Israel-Palestine) Possible?

On Wednesday 11 April, at SOAS’s Brunei Gallery in London, I made a joint presentation with Professor Ilan Pappe, Israel’s leading and most influential “New” or “Revisionist” historian. His latest book is The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine. The following is the text of my presentation:

I think it can be said without fear of contradiction that Professor Ilan Pappe and Professor Avi Shlaim are universally recognised by those interested in the truth of history as the two leading and most influential “New” or “Revisionist” Jewish historians of our time. Revisionist in this context means honest. I can’t thank Ilan enough for making the time to be with us this evening. Avi would have been with us from Oxford if he had not had an engagement of his own tonight.

When I invited Avi, I e-mailed him the text of the Preface to Volume Two of my book. In his reply he said it was “very good”. I took that to mean – I’m sure Avi won’t mind me saying so in public – that he was endorsing the core messages of the Preface. One of them is my answer to the question – Why, really, is the media so frightened of coming to grips with the truth of history? Before I give you my answer, I think I ought to summarise what that truth is. Telling all of it with global context in my latest book, Zionism: The Real Enemy of the Jews, required two volumes; but I can sum it up in two minutes or thereabouts:

* In the shadow of the obscenity of the Nazi holocaust (a European not an Arab crime) the creation of the Zionist state Israel required the doing of a terrible injustice to the Arabs of Palestine, about three quarters of whom were dispossessed of their land and their rights by, mainly, Zionist terrorism and ethnic cleansing…. (The full and unexpurgated story of the planning and execution of that Zionist crime is the subject of Ilan’s latest book, The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine).

* Since its unilateral declaration of statehood in 1948, Israel’s existence has never, ever, been in danger from any combination of Arab military force or, to put it another way, the prospect of Israeli Jews being “driven in the sea” was never a real one….. Zionism’s assertion to the contrary – the myth upon which the first draft of Judeo-Christian history is constructed – was the cover which allowed Israel to get away where it mattered most, Western Europe and North America, with presenting its aggression as self-defence; and itself as the victim when, actually, it was and is the oppressor.

When we get into discussion, some and perhaps many of you might want to challenge my statement that Israel’s declaration of existence was “unilateral”. The essence of the truth is that the Partition Plan resolution of the UN General Assembly was only a proposal. It did not go to the Security Council for a policy decision because President Truman knew that, if approved, it could only be implemented by force – because of the totality of Arab and other Muslim opposition to it; and he was not prepared to use force. (No doubt Bush and Blair would have!). So the Partition Plan proposal was vitiated, became invalid. And the question of what the hell to do about Palestine was taken back to the General Assembly for more discussion. The option favoured and proposed by the US was temporary UN Trusteeship. It was while the General Assembly was debating what do that Israel unilaterally declared itself to be in existence – actually in defiance of the will of the organised international community, including the Truman administration.

* The truth of the time was that the Zionist state had no right to exist and, more to the point, could have no right to exist unless ….. Unless it was recognised and legitimized by those who were dispossessed of their land and their rights during its creation. In international law only the Palestinians could give Israel the legitimacy it craved. And that legitimacy was the only thing the Zionists could not take from the Palestinians by force.

* As the record of de-classified documentation shows (thanks mainly to Avi Shlaim’s original research for his truth-telling book, The Iron Wall), it was Israel not the Arabs which spurned opportunity after opportunity to make peace – the latest of them being the re-presentation of Saudi Arabia’s initiative. Israel’s often repeated claim that it had “no partner for peace”, and the assertion that it has lived in danger of annihilation, are the main planks of one of the

biggest and most successful propaganda lies in all of human history. Chutzpah, one might say, at its most brilliant and terrifying best.

Page 1 of 7 | Next page