21 August 2006
Establishing Israel: some inconvenient facts
One of the great joys of blogging is to take a hand shandyist for war and really go to town on him. My favourite is Gene from Harry's Place who has just posted yet another rant on the alleged links between the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem and the Nazis. The wheeze is to equate Arab determination to remove a certain shitty little country that was established in Arabia in 1948 with anti-Semitism. It's a bit like describing the African countries that opposed Southern Rhodesia as anti-British. Actually, this writer suspects that the average Arab doesn't really give much of a stuff for the average Jew, provided he isn't living in that part of Arabia called Palestine. Anyway, once the rest have either been relocated back to Europe, or reconciled themselves to living in Palestine, Arab rants will probably cease. Just like African rants did, come to think of it.
Getting back to our mate Gene, the problem with his argument - if we may thus dignify it - is that the Grand Mufti's flirtation with Germany did not have all that much of an effect on the war effort. The problem that Gene has is that the Europeans who were colonising Palestine did side with Germany and their actions certainly had a detrimental effect on the war effort.
In 1941, one of the terrorist gangs that fought to create Israel, the National Military Organisation (Irgun or Stern gang as it is more usually called) made the following official offer to the German government:
1. Common interests could exist between the establishment of a new order in Europe in conformity with the German concept, and the true national aspirations of the Jewish people as they are embodied by the NMO.Although Germany never took up the offer, that didn't stop these crusaders from starting their terrorist campaign against the British in Palestine in 1944. That's right folks! The war against Germany did not end until May of 1945, so these gallant boys were ipso facto allies of Germany for almost a year. Their activities included the usual bank robberies, extorsion and the killing of British soldiers and officials. How many troops were diverted from the European Theatre to hold the line in Palestine is a matter of some debate, but the point is that troops had to be kept in that territory.
So what does all this prove? Well, it proves that politics makes strange bedfellows, it proves that people who live in glass houses should not throw stones, and it proves that Gene from Harry's Place is a complete knob. However, we knew that last bit was true all along, didn't we?