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Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Balfour's Deceit - A G Noorani

A.G. Noorani reviews A History of Modern Palestine by Ilan Pappe, Balfour the Last Grandee by Adams and Murray and Churchill's Promised Land by Michael Palosky. In the concluding paragraphs he writes:

Can a state established by deceit and forcible ouster of the people of the land expect them to accept its legitimacy by mere efflux of time? What are 60 years to an ancient people, the Arabs? International recognition of Israel as a state cannot wipe out the facts of history or erase from the memories of the people it has wronged the brutalities it has perpetrated. International law is based on the states quo. For long it legitimised colonial rule. In law the colony was part of the territory of its overlord. It has nothing to do with morality. Israel simply lacks moral legitimacy. Itself a product of terror, it cannot complain if the people under occupation take to arms.

But will that be of any avail to them? Human blood, whether Jewish or Arab, is priceless. Violence has not accomplished and will not accomplish anything. Fortunately, there is growing acceptance within and outside Israel of the facts of history. The Arabs in Palestine can stir the Israelis’ and the world’s conscience by recourse to a non-violent campaign of revolt till justice is done to them in the light of the realities of today, however painful they are.

More cannot be demanded of the Palestinians. As Thycidides said, “It may be your interest to be our masters, but how can it be ours to be your slaves?”

[click on the heading to read the review]


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