Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Vincent Browne - channeling Ahmadinejad

This may be an exaggeration, but basically there's a column a day damning Israel in the Irish Times. Today's is by Vincent Browne, who starts out negative but eventually gets to the nub of his problem with Israel: it shouldn't exist in the first place.
The UN's role in the Palestinian/Israeli conflict has been inglorious from the outset.

Indeed, it was the UN that played a large part in igniting the conflict at the outset by calling for the partition of Palestine and the creation of Jewish and Arab states, without any regard to the wishes of the people of Palestine.

At the time, Arabs constituted more than two-thirds of the population of 1.78 million.

The state of Israel was declared on May 14th, 1948. There followed a war, during which 700,000 Arabs were driven or fled from their homes.

More than three-quarters of the territory of Palestine was incorporated into the new state of Israel.

The international community was guilt-ridden by the then recent revelation of the Holocaust and its appreciation of its complicity in the pogroms against Jews over the centuries. The infliction of another historic injustice, this time on the Palestinian Arabs, was the means whereby that guilt was idly assuaged.

That monstrous injustice lies at the heart of the conflict in the Middle East since then.

The refusal of the international community to acknowledge the origins of the state of Israel is the obstacle to a resolution of the conflict.

A large proportion of the 1.7 million people trapped and besieged in Gaza are refugees or descendants of refugees from 1948. Is it any wonder Hamas refuses to recognise the state of Israel? Is it any wonder many Palestinians and others in the Middle East are committed to the destruction of a state that was founded on such wrongs?
If you don't believe Israel has a right to exist in the first place then that's that. No point discussing Israel's 'right' to self defense and how they should exercise that right.

I can't claim to be an expert on the founding of Israel, but I believe Israel has a right to exist. I remember reading this years ago and thought it sounded reasonable on Israel's right to exist. Fr. Flannery makes his case better than Browne makes his.