106 British Jews will not be celebrating Israel’s 60th anniversary. In a letter to the Guardian, they explain that they
…cannot celebrate the birthday of a state founded on terrorism, massacres and the dispossession of another people from their land. We cannot celebrate the birthday of a state that even now engages in ethnic cleansing, that violates international law, that is inflicting a monstrous collective punishment on the civilian population of Gaza and that continues to deny to Palestinians their human rights and national aspirations.
It’s interesting that this statement could easily apply, mutatis mutandum, to the state of ‘Palestine’ that they wish to see established. But with respect to Israel their facts, both historical and present, are wrong — there was no plan for “the expulsion of the indigenous population outside the borders of the state” — and what is happening in Gaza today is just the opposite of “collective punishment”, it is the schoolyard trick of hitting someone and then falling down and claiming that he hit you.
So as a result I am declaring a reality inversion alert on these Jews who care so much about human rights that they reject those of the Jewish people.
But here is the most telling part of their letter:
As Edward Said emphasised, what the Holocaust is to the Jews, the Naqba is to the Palestinians.
Do they just mean that the Palestinians make as a big a deal of the events of 1948 as the Jews do of the Holocaust? If they mean this, then I agree with them and it proves that the Palestinians are too self-absorbed to have a grasp of history.
But if it means that the naqba was a tragedy on the same scale as the Holocaust, then even if we accept every exaggeration and outright falsehood that they believe about 1948 — the number of refugees, deliberate expulsion, massacres, etc. — even so, the statement is an abomination, a denigration of the Holocaust in which 6 million were brutally mudered.
So we see that the 106 British Jews have something in common with the Palestinians that they admire: for both groups, the human rights of Jews are as nothing against those of Arabs.