“For each Israeli killed, the lives of many times that number of Palestinians are forfeit. A historian friend, himself a Jew and an uncommonly astute observer of the world, said to me a while back: ‘Consciously or unconsciously, Israel has decided that it prefers a state of permanent war to making the concessions to the Palestinians that would be indispensable to any chance of peace’…
Since the assassination of prime minister Yitzhak Rabin by a Jewish fanatic back in 1995, no Jerusalem government has pursued a serious political strategy for peace. The security forces have simply been left to impose varying degrees of repression, while Jewish settlers grab ever-larger areas of the West Bank and Jerusalem. In a remarkable moment of frankness, one former Shin Bet chief said: ‘Occupation has made us a cruel people’…
Israelis, confident that they can defeat any Arab military threat, bolstered by almost unqualified U.S. support, assume that they can persist indefinitely with the creeping annexation of the West Bank, and the subjection of Gaza. Uglinesses have mounted steadily since the early Seventies, when the Israeli Army merely demolished Palestinian orange groves to improve its fields of fire…
I have… watched the soldiers of the Israeli Army that I once loved disport themselves among the Palestinians like other arrogant occupiers through the ages, displaying at best casual rudeness, at worst murderous brutality.
Israel aspires to exploit its military dominance to create irreversible facts on the ground in the West Bank and Jerusalem, heedless of Palestinian rights.
Ahron Bregman, the Israeli whose history of the Occupation I mentioned above, now lives and works in London rather than in his homeland. He ends his book by saying that all successful imperialist powers have sought to persuade subject peoples to work with them, allowing them to gain some advantage despite being conquered.No equivocation here. ‘Israel treats the Palestinians merely as tiresome blots on a landscape.’
Israel… treats the Palestinians merely as tiresome blots on a landscape that many Israelis believe is rightfully Jewish anyway.”
Now let’s take a look at what Sir Max was saying in The Guardian on 11 March 2004:
“It is impossible to doubt that genuine anti-Semitism… is resurgent in Europe and even, in some circles, becoming respectable. A few years ago, my wife and I found ourselves at a dinner party that included several Austrian guests. Mischievously, I asked a female member of the Vienna government sitting opposite me how her country was coping with the Nazi embarrassments of its president, Kurt Waldheim.
She stiffened. ‘President Waldheim is a fine and good man, who has been grossly traduced by a conspiracy of Jews,’ she said severely.
Her husband interjected: ‘My father always told me that most of the things the Jews say about the war are lies.’
Our English host added supportively: ‘Jews cause most of the trouble in the world, what?’
At this point, the Hastingses departed without explanation. In the car, still shaking with rage, my wife said: ‘They weren't just pretending to be anti-Semitic, were they? They were the real thing.’ It is rare to encounter such unashamed malevolence at a modern English dinner table, and thus all the more shocking when it happens.
Before the second world war, such sentiments were commonplace, not least in the ‘Clubland Hero’ thrillers of Buchan, Sapper and Dornford Yates. ‘Bolshevik Jews’ were responsible for many of the villainous conspiracies frustrated by Richard Hannay, Bulldog Drummond and Jonah Mansell, before they gave the culprits a good flogging…
As late as September 1944, a Foreign Office official named Arminius Dew minuted: ‘In my opinion, a disproportionate amount of the time of the Office is wasted on dealing with these wailing Jews’…
Five years ago, when I was editing the Evening Standard, the Board of Deputies of British Jews asked to send a delegation to my office to protest at our coverage of the Middle East. I refused, saying that I would meet at any time to discuss matters pertaining to British Jews, but that Israeli affairs were the province of the Israeli ambassador.
A month or so later, I was lunching with Vere Rothermere, then chairman of the family newspaper company. ‘I had a visit on your account yesterday,’ he said with a quixotic grin. ‘From the Board of Deputies. They said you wouldn't see them. They say you are anti-semitic. They warned me that the Israeli Likud wants to organise a boycott of the Evening Standard.’
I asked how he had responded. ‘I told them that such a boycott would be a very good story for the Standard,’ said Lord Rothermere…
In general, across the British media, managerial attitudes are less robust. Several proprietors are fervent Zionists, while rather more take the cynical view that the Middle East is an intractable issue… Given the ferocity with which some Jewish readers respond to criticism of Israel, many executives perceive sceptical coverage of Israel's excesses as more trouble than it is worth.
In this country, only the Guardian and Independent deal thoroughly with what is taking place, and display real sympathy for the plight of the Palestinians. Elsewhere a lot of space is given to apologias for Israeli conduct, some of which reveal a contempt for Palestinian human rights that invites the most baleful of historical comparisons…
I reply to every reader's letter accusing me of anti-Semitism… Often, they seem to demand that the behaviour of Israel should be judged by a special standard, that allows the likes of Sharon and Netanyahu a special quota of excesses, in compensation for past sufferings.
For many years, Israelis in debating difficulties have played a decisive trump: 'You have no right to criticise our actions, because of the Holocaust.' Ruthless exploitation of the Holocaust card has been successful in deflecting much international criticism…
In much of the world, including Europe, a huge head of steam is building against Israeli behaviour.Knowing what he knows and seeing things as clearly as he does, it makes you wonder why ‘the Hastingses departed without explanation’ back in the day, doesn’t it?
More than a few governments are cooperating less than wholeheartedly with America's war on terror because they are unwilling to be associated with what they see as an unholy alliance of the Sharon and Bush governments. One of Germany's most distinguished postwar leaders expressed to me a few months ago his frustration that, as a German, he is unable to vent his feelings about the wickedness of what is being done in Israel's name…
It is ironic that Israel's domestic critics - former intelligence chiefs and serving fighter pilots - have shown themselves much braver than overseas Jews. If Israel persists with its current policies, and Jewish lobbies around the world continue to express solidarity with repression of the Palestinians, then genuine anti-semitism is bound to increase…
The Israeli government's behaviour to the Palestinians breeds a despair that finds its only outlet in terrorism.”
And why his wife was ‘shaking with rage.’
On 23 April 2000, The Observer provided the explanation:
“Hastings has always been passionately pro-Jewish, long before he married his present wife, Penny, who is Jewish. He often says the world should be run by women and Jews.”Max Hastings is one of many upper-crust commentators who have given Israel and the Jews a thousand light years too much rope over the decades. The Gazans pay the price of this barely explicable naivety.
As, do we.
Hastings’ little episode with the Board of Deputies of British Jews might have alerted him to the paranoid and aggressive nature of Jewish exceptionalism. But such folk really do judge the Jew ‘by a special standard,’ don't they? And so we get the elite representatives of just 0.05 per cent of the British population calling for and helping to shape law that has borne down dramatically on the majority.
Such know-better enablers might sneer at and condemn the warnings implicit in ‘thrillers of Buchan, Sapper and Dornford Yates,’ yet some of these, like Sir Max, are historians. They must have known that ‘Bolshevik Jews’ were actually ‘responsible’ for much that was wrong in the real, as well as the fictitious, world.
And yet the ‘wailing Jews’ were always pandered to.
So they did what they did, they do what they do and they will carry on doing it until they’re stopped. We thank Max Hastings for waking up to the actuality and his current contribution to the debate but, trust me, it won’t ever be a bloke who used to say the world should be ‘run by women (like his wife?) and Jews’ who does the stopping.