One of the most thankless tasks for a Blogger is to write anything about Israel, especially on an American website. It is just not worth it. The vitriol pours forth in “comments”.
Two of the many bad things in the world is Anti-Semitism and …being accused of Anti-Semitism. Of course Europe and the World and Christianity and Islam have a lot to answer for because of historic crimes. But I am a mild mannered type of man with no blood on my hands.
So I wont be lectured to by pro-Israel trolls. Mostly I avoid lectures by not saying anything that could offend.
Western Europe is often accused of being overly anti-Israel. United States is often accused of being overly pro-Israel. But lets set one thing straight. In 1956 at Suez, France and Britain conspired with Israel against Egypt and were told to back down by USA…with a Republican President in the White House.
Well I actually recall the Six Day War of 1967. I was 15 years old. The World was pretty much 100% behind plucky little Israel, the democratic nation surrounded by a sea of undemocratic Arab nations. We were all behind Golda Meir and Moshe Dyan. Of course, it was the time of the Cold War and Arabs hijacking planes, the massacre at the Munich Olympics. It was plainly Good Guys versus Bad Guys.
I think Jordan and Lebanon changed public perceptions in the West. It was the first time anyone had even noticed the Palestinians. And to the surprise of many, the Palestinians had a valid case.
The Israelis had no intent of giving up territory won since 1948. And backed by USA, they had no real incentive to do so. The illegal settlements were built.
An odd thing about Israel is that it is actually very diverse. There are secular Jews and religious Jews…some are so religious that they wont join the Israel Army. Orthodox Jews often hold the balance of power siding with conservatives like Netanyahu.
We have all seen footage of traditional Jews at the Wailing Wall. We have all seen footage of traditionally dressed Jewish men going to synagogues in New York and Golders Green. To Americans and English people who agonise that migrants dont integrate into western society, they must surely seem to prove that point.
But….dare I mention that a powerful play of Israel is the call to the West that it is defending western values. It is a kith and kin “civilisation” argument. We have seen it before …..in South Africa, in USA and here in Norn Iron.
It is simple enough. To “Ulster Unionists”, Belfast is as British as Birmingham, Newtownards is as British as Norwich and Crossmaglen is as British as Cambridge.
White South Africans whether of Dutch or English descent refused to accept they were actually in Africa at all. To them, South Africa was an island somewhere between the Thames Estuary and the Hook of Holland.
Within two miles of my home, Israel and Palestine flags fly from lamposts and trees …our curious proxy war. Israel and British Unionists are the settlers and Irish Nationalists are the displaced colonised.
The Israelis, white South Africans and Ulster Unionists made the deserts, veldts and boglands bloom….a blessing from GOD, the Jewish God, the Dutch Reformed God and the Presbyterian/Anglican God.
Is it any surprise they support each other?a
And USA….well here’s the thing. Texas, Oklahoma and (say) Wyoming vote solidly in support of Israel. But…..New York? What about Bernie Sanders?…..or indeed what about the East End of London?
Why is there a slush fund in the Israeli Embassy in London?
Why is it a “closed” incident that a senior Israeli official at the London Embassy is caught talking about “taking down” Alan Duncan, Britains Deputy Foreign Minister.
The surprising thing is that the talking heads sent out by the Israeli Foreign Ministry to explain the Israeli position on American and British TV News stations are not so diverse. One…Mark Ragev …was a regular sent out by Israeli government to talk about the anti-semite nature of the criticism levelled at Israel. Mr Ragev was born in Australia and educated in Australia and United States. His manner of dress and accent is (for want of a better word) “western”. He is now Israeli ambassador to Britain and the boss of the man who wants to take down Alan Duncan.
But while I see Ragev and the other westernised clones sent out by Israel to defend the Israeli position on Channel Four, BBC, Fux News, CNN and the rest, I dont think I have ever seen a bearded man with ringlets and a fur hat trying to do this. Or indeed a veiled woman.
Statistically there must be a reonable percentage of Orthodox folks in the Israeli Foreign Office but we never seem to see them on the TV News. Would they scare people in Texas, Oklahoma and Wyoming?
The kith and kin strategy is surely dependent on the “identification” factor. And it must be deliberate that these spokespersons are chosen for their photogenic appeal to British and American audiences.
Ulster Unionists cannot accept that Norn Iron is in….Ireland. The Israelis dont really want Americans to think that Israel is in the Middle East. Convincing Americans that Israel is somewhere between New York and Connecticut is part of the Israeli strategy…and they dont seem to mind being anti-semite to make some points.