Friday, November 10, 2023

Israel is the West's last settler colony

Map of the Southern Levant in the 9th century BC, with Israel in blue

Mount Zion is a hill in Jerusalem, located just outside the walls of the Old City. The term Mount Zion has been used in the Hebrew Bible first for the City of David and later for the Temple Mount, but its meaning has shifted and it is now used as the name of ancient Jerusalem's Western Hill (Wikipedia).

Theodor Herzl (1860-1904), a Jewish journalist living in Austria-Hungary, founded the Zionist movement in 1896 and he convened the First Zionist Conference in 1897.

In 1902, Arthur James Balfour, succeeded his uncle, Lord Salisbury, as British prime minister. He established a Royal Commission on Alien Immigration (1902–03). Colonial immigration restriction laws played an important role in the formulation and passing of the 1905 Aliens Act.

In London there were immigration restrictions among the Jewish community who did not wish to see Jewish ‘pauper classes’ descend on England.

Herzl asked the colonial secretary, Joseph Chamberlain, to permit Jewish colonisation in British-controlled Egypt near El Arish (the largest settlement of the Sinai Peninsula in the northeastern area by the Mediterranean coast), but he was offered Uganda. The goal was to still to settle in Ottoman Palestine.

SEE here as well: Israel a "brutal colonial power"; local rights group calls it "apartheid"

Following the death of Herzl, Chaim Weizmann, a Russian-born Jewish immigrant to the UK (who later became the first Israeli president) met the prime minister and Weizmann proposed a new "diagnosis and prognosis" of the "Jewish Problem."

The cure was to give the Jews a land of their own. "They would make Palestine as Jewish as England was English."

Balfour joined the War Cabinet in 1916 as foreign secretary and in 1917 the Balfour Declaration in the form of a letter written by Balfour to Lionel Walter Rothschild, in which he expressed the British government's support for a Jewish homeland in Palestine.

In 1887 Balfour began a four-year tenure as Chief Secretary for Ireland and he had opposed Irish Home Rule.

Besides Weizmann, the other leaders of Zionism were planning to expel the indigenous people from Palestine. It would have been emulating Plantations in the 16th and 17th centuries in Ireland, which involved the confiscation of Irish-owned land by the English Crown and colonising this land with planters /settlers from Great Britain. In the 18th century Irish Catholics were subjected to a system of slavery called the Penal Laws.

David Ben-Gurion and Yitzhak Ben Zvi, (later Israel's first prime minister and second president, respectively), in their 1918 book (in Yiddish), 'Eretz* Israel in the Past and in the Present,' published an extensive guide for Jewish colonisation. They wrote that 10 million Jews could be placed in historic Eretz Israel (Palestine) on both sides of the Jordan River.

In their calculations, Palestine was "a country without a people," and the land could be redeemed and populated by industrious Jews.

As of September 14, 2023, Israel’s population stood at 9.795mn with 7.2mn Jews.

*The Promised Land from God for Ancient Israel's territory; encompasses modern-day Israel, Palestine, Lebanon, Jordan, and Syria.

David Ben-Gurion and Yitzhak Ben Zvi, also in the book acknowledged that the contemporary fellahin (peasants) of Palestine were descended from Ancient Jewish and Samaritan farmers.

Roman Emperor Constantine (AD 280– 337) embraced Christianity, a trend that would impact the number of Jews while the Muslim conquest of the Levant in AD 634–638 again would have had Islamic conversions.

Ben-Gurion wrote to his son Amos in 1937: Full Translated letter

"Does the establishment of a Jewish state [in only part of Palestine] advance or retard On July 22, 1946, the Irgun Zvai Le'umi (National Military Organization) a Jewish terrorist organization opposed to Britain's continued rule of Palestine, bombed Jerusalem's King David Hotel. Irgun leader Menachem Begin became Isreali prime minister in 1977.the conversion of this country into a Jewish country? My assumption (which is why I am a fervent proponent of a state, even though it is now linked to partition) is that a Jewish state on only part of the land is not the end but the beginning.... This is because this increase in possession is of consequence not only in itself, but because through it we increase our strength, and every increase in strength helps in the possession of the land as a whole.

The establishment of a state, even if only on a portion of the land, is the maximal reinforcement of our strength at the present time and a powerful boost to our historical endeavors to liberate the entire country.

"...Palestine is grossly under populated. It contains vast colonisation potential which the Arabs neither need nor are qualified (because of their lack of need) to exploit."

The settler-colonists

Patrick Wolfe (1949-2016), an Australian historian in 2006 said in 'Settler Colonialism and the Elimination of the native'

"Despite Zionism's chronic addiction to territorial expansion, Israel's borders do not preclude the option of removal (in this connection, it is hardly surprising that a nation that has driven so many of its original inhabitants into the sand should express an abiding fear of itself being driven into the sea). As the logic of elimination has taken on a variety of forms in other settler-colonial situations, so, in Israel, the continuing tendency to Palestinian expulsion has not been limited to the unelaborated exercise of force."

Kristen Alff, an American historian, said in 2021, 'Property disputes in Israel come with a complicated back story – and tend to end with Palestinian dispossession.'

"The lands that Zionist organizations targeted for purchase were primarily held by companies headed by families living in the companies, whose owners were living in Cairo and Beirut, became major global capitalist enterprises during the 19th century, investing in manufacturing and trade in India, Germany and Britain...The Ottoman state also recognized Palestinian Arab peasants, merchants and Bedouin as owners of olive groves, fruit trees, mills, houses, buildings, and even water and grazing rights on this land...Frustrated by their inability to sell and buy entire villages, the Levantine companies and their Zionist partners took advantage of World War I to dispossess Palestinians of some of their property rights."

The Jewish village of Deiran, on the Philistine Plain, a few miles south of the Jaffa-Jerusalem Road in Palestine. Immediately after its occupation by the Australian Light Horse, Deiran became the headquarters of General Chauvel's Desert Mounted Corps.

In 1917 Australian troops participated in a British push into Palestine that captured Gaza and Jerusalem; by 1918 they had occupied Lebanon and Syria and were riding into Damascus. On October 30, 1918, Turkey sued for peace.

Jewish terrorists

Arabs are often called terrorists but Jewish assassinations, terror attacks and even castration were the hidden actions of Israel's pre-state militia, according to the Haaretz newspaper's Ofer Aderet.

Last August Haaretz reported, "After years of denial, a growing number of people both in Israel and worldwide have begun to understand that yes, there is such a thing as Jewish terrorism, and even as Jewish terrorists."

The Times of Israel newspaper reported on Dec 13, 2022, that Defense Minister Benny Gantz said "classified intel shows pair, suspected of anti-Arab crimes, poses ‘high level of danger’ to public safety; notes 1,000 Palestinians held under similar orders."

Pre-statehood the Haganah (Defense) group operated by the Jewish Agency "boasts of its heroic acts and looks down on similar right-wing groups, its history also includes dark operations it would prefer not to mention. The Zionist military organization represented the majority of the Jews in Palestine from 1920 to 1948. In the spring of 1947, David Ben-Gurion, who would become prime minister on independence took it upon himself to direct the general policy of the Haganah.

The chart shows the spike in terrorism.

The British army occupied Jerusalem on December 9, 1917, and withdrew on May 14, 1948, the day before the Israeli Declaration of Independence. While the Irgun and Stern Zionist terrorist gangs were anti-British. The Haaretz newspaper has confirmed that a plan to enlist the support of the Nazis was raised in 1940 by Avraham Stern, the Lehi/ Stern leader at a meeting with a German official in Beruit. Avraham Stern (1907–42), was killed by the British in 1942.

On July 22, 1946, the Irgun Zvai Le'umi (National Military Organization) bombed Jerusalem's King David Hotel. Ninety-one soldiers and civilians lost their lives and 45 were injured.

On April 9, 1947, a group of Irgun commandos raided the Arab village of Deir Yassin (modern Kefar ShaŹ¾ul), killing about 100 of its inhabitants. There were many more incidents.

Dublin-born Walter Edward Guinness, a member of the Irish brewing family, known as Lord Moyne, served as British Secretary of State for the Colonies and Minister Resident in the Middle East, until he was assassinated in Cairo on November 6, 1944.

The Irish Times stated, “The Cairo Government broadcast a formal statement declaring that the assailants were not Egyptians, and it was learned late last night that the Egyptian Premier has called a meeting of his cabinet.”

The two assassins, Eliahu Bet-Tsouri and Eliahu Hakim, were young men 23 and 17 years of age respectively.

The former terrorist leader of Irgun, Menachem Begin, became Israeli prime minister in 1978. Yitzhak Shamir also of Irgun headed the planning of the assassination of Lord Moyne. Shamir succeeded Begin as Israeli prime minister. The two assassins were hanged.

It was extraordinary that Zionists would massacre British officials and soldiers when there wouldn't have been any homeland without the British and the collapse of the Ottoman Empire.

It was also extraordinary that the two of the 3 leading terrorists who had blood on their hands, could become prime ministers.

Hannah Dailey, University of New Orleans: "Terrorism is in the eye of the beholder. The Lehi’s (Irgun) decision to assassinate Lord Moyne in 1944 has gone from being seen as an extremist terror tactic to both the assassins being honoured in Israel as two of the twelve Jews executed and hung by the British. Following the Moyne assassination in 1944 to the transfer of the assassins’ bodies to Israel in 1975 and their present standing today, these events become a study in the changing perception of what constitutes "terrorism""

The United Nations (UN) in 1949–50 concluded that the real figure for exclusions of Palestinians, called Al-Nakba (catastrophe), was just over 700,000.

The Israeli population was 717,000 and 156,000 non-Jews giving a total of 872,700.

The population of Jews in 1947 was 650,000 and 1,324,000 were mainly Palestinians — data.

Israel did not want to have a lot more Arabs than Jews in the poulation.

God's chosen people

Benjamin Netanyahu tweeted in 2019 "The Palestinians’ connection to the Land of Israel is nothing compared to the 4,000-year connection that the Jewish people have with the land."

Shlomo Sand (born 1946) is an Israeli emeritus professor of history at Tel Aviv University and he debunks the conventional wisdom. He says "Our political culture insists on seeing the Jews as the direct descendants of the ancient Hebrews. But the Jews never existed as a ‘people’ – still less as a nation."

"Every Israeli knows that he or she is the direct and exclusive descendant of a Jewish people which has existed since it received the Torah (scripture) in Sinai. According to this myth, the Jews escaped Egypt and settled in the Promised Land, where they built the glorious kingdom of David and Solomon, which split into the kingdoms of Judah and Israel. They experienced two exiles: after the destruction of the first temple, in the BC 6th century, and of the second temple, in AD 70.

Two thousand years of wandering brought the Jews to Yemen, Morocco, Spain, Germany, Poland and deep into Russia. But, the story goes, they always managed to preserve blood links between their scattered communities. Their uniqueness was never compromised."

Ze'ev Herzog, emeritus of Archaeology and Ancient Near Eastern Culture at Tel Aviv University, with others say the archaeological evidence is conclusive: "The Israelites were never in Egypt, did not wander in the desert, did not conquer the land in a military campaign and did not pass it on to the 12 tribes of Israel. Perhaps even harder to swallow is the fact that the united monarchy of David and Solomon, which is described by the Bible as a regional power, was at most a small tribal kingdom."

On the 10th anniversary of statehood in 1958, Ben-Gurion used a brutal tale of conquest to unite an immigrant population of Jews of different ethnicities and backgrounds, casting modern Israelis and Palestinians as latter-day Israelites and Canaanites.

Joshua (BC 1355-1245) succeeded Moses and led the Israelites in an invasion across the Jordan River. He took the important city of Jericho and then captured other towns until most of Palestine was brought under Israelite control.

In the Torah (Genesis 15:18), God promises Abraham: "To your offspring I assign this land, from the river of Egypt [in the Sinai Peninsula] to the great river, the river Euphrates."

This was the Promised Land and a founding myth over more than 3,000 years.

The kingdoms of Israel and Judah fell in BC 722 and 587/586. Judah was conquered by Babylonia; Jerusalem and the First Temple were destroyed; Alexander the Great reached Jerusalem in 332 BC and Roman general Pompey conquered Palestine in BC 63. The Western Roman Empire collapsed in AD 376. Then there was the rise of Islam.

DNA of most Israelis is European

Dr Michael Avi-Yonah (1904 – 1974) who was an Israeli archaeologist and historian, said Jews constituted 10–15% of Palestine's population by the time of the Persian conquest of Jerusalem in 614, while Moshe Gil (1921-2014), a historian, said that Jews constituted the majority of the population until the 7th-century Muslim conquest in AD 638.

Jews would have converted to Christianity and some members of both groups would have converted to Islam.

From the AD 690s onwards, anti-Jewish persecution by the Christian Byzantine Empire seems to have played a part in forcing large numbers of Jews to flee across the Black Sea to a more friendly state – the Turkic-ruled Khazar Empire with its large Slav and other populations.

According to Israel-born Eran Elhaik, professor at the Department of Biology, Lund University, Sweden, DNA analysis of Ashkenazic Jews found that their maternal line is European. It has also been found that their DNA only has 3% ancient ancestry which links them with the Eastern Mediterranean (Near East) – namely Israel, Lebanon, parts of Syria, and western Jordan. This is the part of the world Jewish people are said to have originally come from – according to the Hebrew Bible/ Old Testament.

But 3% is a minuscule amount, and similar to what modern Europeans as a whole share with Neanderthals. So given that the genetic ancestry link is so low, Ashkenazic Jews’ most recent ancestors must be from elsewhere.

Prof Elhaik said that instead of being primarily the descendants of the 12 tribes of Israel, present-day Jewish populations are primarily the children of a Turkish people who lived in what is now Russia, north of Georgia, east of Ukraine.

This civilisation, the Khazars, converted from tribal religions to Judaism between the 7th and 9th centuries.

Ashkenazi Jews have lived in Northern Europe and particularly in Eastern Europe including Russia. Sephardic Jews lived in Southern Europe.

There is a story that a family or small group of Jews arrived in Germany around AD 800 crossing the Alps at the invitation of Charlemagne, the first Holy Roman emperor, and settled in the German Rhineland.

The Rhineland hypothesis predicted a Middle Eastern ancestry for European Jews and high genetic similarity among European Jews. It has been argued that at the start of the 15th century, 50,000 Jews left German lands for Eastern Europe. This is now rejected.

The DNA results from Norwich and Erfurt both confirm that modern Ashkenazim are descended from a small founding population. That mixture of east and west “is exactly what we get from the genetic results. After first branching out from a single, small founding population into small communities across Europe, including medieval Great Britain, the medieval Ashkenazim apparently mixed back together in places like Erfurt generations later.

"The comparisons suggested the Ashkenazi circa 1350 had a mix of ancestry resembling populations from southern Italy or Sicily today, with components found in modern Eastern Europe and the Middle East mixed in."

Eran Elhaik, with Ranajit Das, Mehdi Pirooznia and Paul Wexler of Tel-Aviv University in recent times argue that the geographical origins of Ashkenazic Jews (AJs) and their native language Yiddish were investigated by applying the Geographic Population Structure (GPS) to a cohort of exclusively Yiddish-speaking and multilingual AJs.

The Origins of Ashkenaz, Ashkenazic Jews, and Yiddish

GPS localised most AJs along major ancient trade routes in northeastern Turkey adjacent to primaeval villages with names that resemble the word “Ashkenaz.” These findings were compatible with the hypothesis of an Irano (Persian)-Turko-Slavic origin for AJs and a Slavic origin for Yiddish

AJs were localised to modern-day Turkey and found to be genetically closest to Turkic, southern Caucasian, and Iranian populations, suggesting a common origin in Iranian “Ashkenaz” lands.

These findings were more compatible with an Irano (Persian)-Turko-Slavic origin for AJs and a Slavic origin for Yiddish than with the Rhineland hypothesis, which lacks historical, genetic, and linguistic support The findings have also highlighted the strong social-cultural and genetic bonds of Ashkenazic and Iranian Judaism and their shared Iranian origins.

The inferred ancestry profile for AJs was 5% Western Europe, 10% Eastern Europe, 30% Levant, and 55% Southern Europe.

The estimated global population is 16.1mnin 2023.


The European Jews were appallingly treated for centuries. For example, Pope Urban II in 1095 called for a Crusade to eject Muslims from the Holy Land. The Pope did not mention Jews but in 1096 crusaders in the Rhineland staged the first pogrom in Western European History

In 1290, the entire Jewish population of England (about 3,000 people) was expelled from the country on the orders of Edward I. Jews did not return to England until the 1650s, when they were invited to resettle by Oliver Cromwell.

The Puritan is the most hated Englishman in Irish history.

Other countries did the same.

The European colonisers of the Americas almost wiped out the native populations.

The first African slaves to be brought to the continental United States were brought by the Spanish in 1526 as part of the first attempt at European settlement.

1619 is the date of the start of organised trade.

In 1517, the Ottoman Turks invaded and occupied Palestine, an occupation that lasted for 402 years (1516-1918), except for the 9 years between 1831 and 1840, when the Egyptian Governor Muhammad Ali sent his troops to capture Palestine under the command of his son Ibrahim Pasha.

In 1517 there were about 5,000 Jews in Palestine.

The creation of Israel was a colonial enterprise of the British Empire. Today only 26% of the Israeli population are foreign-born. It is a fait accompli.

The West Bank of the Jordan River was captured in 1967 during the Six-day War. According to international law, it is Palestinian territory.

As of 2022, there are over 450,000 living in 132 Israeli settlements in the West Bank of the Jordan River. There are about 234,000 Israeli settlers in the mainly Arab East Jerusalem. It was annexed by Israel in 1980.

The Palestinian territories have a population of about 5.5mn including Gaza's at 2.3mn. About 2.5mn Palestinian Arabs (21%) live within Israel. There are 7.1mn Jews (73.5%) and others at 534,000.

The United Nations Human Rights Council in 2022 heard the presentation of a report by the High Commissioner for Human Rights which stated that the current Israeli plan to double the settler population in the occupied Syrian Golan by 2027 was unprecedented and that 700,000 (including settlers in East Jerusalem) Israeli settlers are living illegally in the occupied West Bank.

The International Human Rights Clinic at Harvard University has said — "While the term “apartheid” was originally coined and applied in the context of South Africa, the crime of apartheid is well-recognized in international law and is understood to apply universally — which is to say, outside the context of apartheid South Africa. International law prohibits the crime of apartheid both as a matter of customary international law and treaty law."

The United Nations has recorded 222 settler attacks against Palestinians over the past month. Eight people, including a child, had been killed. Another 64 Palestinians have been injured, more than a quarter by live ammunition.

Israel's National Security Minister, Ben Gvir, is a settler/ planter on the West Bank and he wants it annexed.

A former prime minister has called him a "violent criminal."

“A violent criminal who was convicted of supporting terrorism and didn’t serve a single day in the army isn’t going to send our children into battle,” opposition leader Yair Lapid (a previous prime minister) said at an anti-government rally in December 2022, referring to the Israeli army’s rejection of Ben Gvir from mandatory service. His extremist activism made the future security minister a security risk, the army decided.

Itamar Ben Gvir has given 10,000+ guns to extremist civilians since Oct 7.

Jake Sullivan, the US National Security Adviser, said on October 29, that Netanyahu must “rein in” extremist Jewish settlers in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, where violence against Palestinians has erupted. “It is totally unacceptable to have extremist settler violence against innocent people in the West Bank,” Sullivan said. Earlier in October, President Biden described the settler attacks as “pouring gasoline on the fire” of the conflict.

Israel is classified as a “flawed democracy” by the Economist.

In the November 2022 general election, Netanyahu's Likud won 32 seats in the 120-seat Knesset and another 32 went to mainly hard-right parties.

"The Economist: Part of the motivation for the reforms is personal — Netanyahu is fighting corruption charges and has grown to despise the courts. But Israel’s judicial system also has genuine problems. The country has no formal constitution. Instead, the Knesset has over the years passed “basic laws” that describe institutions and establish rights. In the 1990s, after over 40 years of relative restraint, the Supreme Court suddenly asserted that these laws transcended normal legislation, and arrogated to itself the right to overrule the Knesset if it thought they were contravened. Such judicial activism was not widely envisioned when the basic laws were passed, sometimes with slim majorities. It has fed a sense that the judiciary is a creature of the old left-leaning secular elite, and out of touch with religious and right-wing Israelis."

Earlier in 2023 tens of thousands of opponents of the hard-right protested in massive turnouts.

The Obama administration tried to “force confrontations” with Israel, former prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu says in his autobiography, 'Bibi: My Story.' Netanyahu was out of office for a brief spell in 2021/2022, when the book was published.

In their first meeting in the White House in 2009, US President Barack Obama threatened Netanyahu, the latter alleged.

“You know, people often read me wrong, but I come from Chicago,” Obama said as the meeting was about to end. “I know how to deal with tough rivals.”

Benjamin Netanyahu’s Two Decades of Power, Bluster and Ego — The nation’s current crisis can be traced back, in ways large and small, to the outsize personality of its longest-serving prime minister.

New York Times Published Sept. 27, 2023 Updated Oct. 6, 2023 — This was before the events of October 7 and and their aftermath.

"In 1996, when he first moved into the prime minister’s residence, Netanyahu was 46, broad faced, with appealing asymmetrical eyes (one hooded, the other wide open) — the first head of the country to be born after its founding, in 1948, and one who brought an unapologetic outlook toward Israel’s occupation of the West Bank. Now 73, he is besieged on multiple fronts. He stands trial in three cases of corruption that were rolled into one indictment in 2019 — charges he denies. Though his wife, Sara, is not a defendant, two of the cases feature her. Reports of their dealings, and those of their elder son, Yair, have the trappings of a royal soap opera: a steady supply of Champagne, cigars and expensive jewelry; demands for fawning press coverage; flagrant interference in matters of appointments and policy. These days, his gait is halting; his shoulders are hunched. His eyes sag. Try as his aides might, they have no way to spin this: The man looks exhausted."

An extremist group like Hamas fills a void like what happened in the 30 years of war in Northern Ireland.

Netanyahu doesn't want peace — the position that Israel will maintain indefinite “overall security responsibility” in Gaza once it removes Hamas from power, is a recipe for permanent war.

The Associated Press (AP) noted that after the war in 1967 "The (Israeli) military directly governed the West Bank and Gaza for decades, denying basic rights to millions of Palestinians. Soldiers staffed checkpoints and carried out regular arrest raids targeting militants and other Palestinians opposed to Israeli rule.

Israel also built Jewish settlements in all three areas — West Bank, Gaza and Golan Heights. Palestinians and most of the international community consider these settlements illegal.

After two decades of outright military rule, Palestinians rose up in the first intifada, or uprising, in the late 1980s. That was also when Hamas first emerged as a political movement with an armed wing, challenging the secular Palestine Liberation Organization’s leadership of the national struggle."