Hezbollah Denounces Sinful Crime of Assassinating Palestinian Mujahid Mazen Faqha

March 25, 2017

Hezbollah flag

In a statement, Hezbollah hostile spirit of the Zionist evident is evident in the crime and stressed the inevitability of the continuation of the fight against the usurper enemy till expelling it from “our occupied land”.

Offering congratulations and condolences to the Palestinians, Hamas movement and the family of the martyr over Faqha’s assassination, Hezbollah called on punishing all the culprits so that no one dares to undermine the resistance and the mujahideen in the context of serving the interests of the Zionist enemy.

Hamas official, Mazen Faqha, who was freed in a 2011 prisoner swap with the Zionist entity, was assassinated on Friday with four bullets being shot to his head.

Faqha was released along with more than 1,000 other Palestinians in exchange for Gilad Shalit, an Israeli occupation soldier Hamas had detained for five years.

Source: Hezbollah Media Relations

Gaza: Freed Detainee Mazen Faqha Assassinated with Four Bullets in his Head

Mazen_Faqha

Hamas official, Mazen Faqha, who was freed in a 2011 prisoner swap with the Zionist entity, was assassinated on Friday with four bullets being shot to his head.

Faqha was released along with more than 1,000 other Palestinians in exchange for Gilad Shalit, an Israeli occupation soldier Hamas had detained for five years.

Iyad al-Bozum, an interior ministry spokesman in the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip, said that gunmen opened fire on Faqha in the Tell al-Hama neighborhood.

“An investigation has been launched,” he said, giving no further details.

Faqha was a senior Hamas official in the Israeli-occupied West Bank but after his release the occupation authorities transferred him to Gaza.

Source: AFP

Related Videos

Related Aricles

Sayyed Nasrallah Urges Syria Militants to Lay Arms: Resistance Axis Victorious

—————————

  

Zeinab Essa

Hezbollah Secretary General His Eminence Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah confirmed that the Resistance’s axis will emerge victorious in the region.Sayyed Nasrallah Urges Syria Militants to Lay Arms: Resistance Axis Victorious

In a speech delivered on the anniversary of Sayyeda Fatima al-Zahra’s [PBUH] birthday, His Eminence denounced the UN body, describing it as a US-“Israeli” tool.

Following the resignation of the head of the United Nation’s West Asia commission over a report accusing “Israel” of imposing an “apartheid regime” on Palestinians, Sayyed Narallah denounced the international body as a “weak” organization.

“This international organization bowed to the US- “Israeli” pressure,” he said, noting that “the UN once again proved that it is incapable of defending any right and preserving any dignity.”

The Resistance Leader further stated: “The world can’t depend on this organization and its decision to grant us back our occupied land in Palestine, Lebanon and the Golan heights, to defend human rights and to protect our women and children.”

He also hailed UN Undersecretary-General and ESCWA Executive Secretary Rima Khalaf’s strong position in announcing the resignation and refusal to withdraw the report.

“I offer my deepest respect for UN official Rima Khalaf who announced her resignation on Friday after a request to withdraw the report,” Sayyed Nasrallah said, saluting her and urging the Arab and Islamic countries to abide by her report.

Praising the martyrdom of the Palestinian martyr Basil al-Araj, Sayyed Nasrallah condoled the martyr’s family, his village and the entire Palestinian people.

“Once again, the Palestinians confirmed their position on the solidity and steadfastness and that’s what we saw in the funeral of the resistance martyr al-Araj,” he added.

Moving to the internal Lebanese front, Sayyed Nasrallah said that “the taxes in Lebanon must be approached away from bidding and settling accounts and lies.”

“The populist approach does not work in the new salary scale because such approach make you win in a place and lose in another,” he warned, declaring that the salary scale was a right and that their attempts to obstruct it.

As His Eminence reiterated that Hezbollah refuses any additional taxes on the poor and families of low income, he revealed that the party will put a comprehensive suggestion on the alternatives.

“We ask results where around 260,000 families [who will be affected by the wage hike] – the poor and families of low income – are treated equally,” he stressed, noting that “we are seeking a courageous stance where unnecessary expenditures are scrapped. Some sectors can bear additional taxes.”

His Eminence went on to say: There are other realistic sources to fund it but those require a serious decision.

He also asked: “What is the problem in taxing the rich, the marine property and large enterprises as all countries do?”

In parallel, Sayyed Nasrallah demanded that all political parties make concessions in order to approve an electoral law.

Warning that the time is up once it came to the electoral law, he cautioned that this is becoming adventurous to all political groups.

“We are presenting to the Lebanese three bad options, vacuum, [conducting elections over the], 1960 [vote law] and a [new] extension,” Sayyed Nasrallah stated, cautioning that Lebanon will reach a political deadlock if no consensus is reached.

He also stressed that the electoral law is a top priority that needs to be tackled directly “even if the salary scale is put aside for a while.”

Sayyed Nasrallah also underscored that “this is a national duty,” urging all political rivals to loosen the grip on their stances.

In addition, Hezbollah’s Secretary General reiterated his party’s support of a proportional vote.

“It’s the most adequate even if it affects Hezbollah’s shares from the parliamentary seat,” he repeated, asking “What is the problem if all of us were [represented] at the Parliament?”

In this context, he called the political parties to have some modesty and return to its real sizes.

Moving to the Syrian front, the Resistance Leader assured that the days of Daesh [Arabic Acronym for the terrorist “ISIS”/”ISIL” group], Fateh al-Sham or the al-Nusra Front, and other terrorist groups fighting to topple the Damascus government are numbered.

6 years of the war on Syria, Sayyed Nasrallah highlighted that “The war on Syria has entered its seventh year and the scheme of all those who conspired against Syria is now facing failure.”

“The takfiri terrorist groups came to Syria with a foolish aim of establishing their own state thinking that they were exploiting the US and Turkey,” he said, expecting that “Daesh is reaching its end in Iraq and has no future in Syria.”

He further viewed that “the money spent on arms during the past six years could have ended famine in Somalia and poverty in Arab countries and accommodate homeless Palestinians.”

To the militants, Sayyed Nasrallah sent a clear message, “As I said 6 years ago, the US-Western powers were drawing on you in order to carry out their schemes in Syria.”

To them, His Eminence said: “Lay down your arms and join the resistance’s front.”
“Isn’t the blood shed so far enough?” he wondered.

“I have repeatedly called on Syria militants not to put trust in [the] West and implement their plots in Syria, because the US and its allies are only using them as cannon fodder and will abandon [them] as soon as they are defeated,” he said.

His Eminence also explained that the defeat of the Daesh in Syria would be tantamount to the fall of “Israeli” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu himself.

In this context, Sayyed Nasrallah clarified that Netanyahu had recently met with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow to express his deep concern over the likely collapse of Daesh in Syria since such a development would mark a great triumph for the Resistance front in the Middle East.

“The axis of the resistance in Lebanon, Syria, Iraq and Yemen will not be defeated but will emerge victorious,” he vowed.

Source: al-Ahed news

18-03-2017 | 20:50

Hezbollah: Bassel Al-A’raj Proved That Actions Speak Louder Than Words

Bassel 3

March 9, 2017

Hezbollah praised the Palestinian martyr Bassel al-A’raj who was killed earlier this week during heroic clash with Israeli occupation forces in the West Bank city of Ramallah.

In a statement released by the Party’s Media Relations Office, Hezbollah congratulated the martyrdom of al-A’raj who “mixed the words with blood and proved that actions speak louder than words in the struggle against the Zionist enemy which has been targeting the Palestinian people in a bid to wipe them off their roots and land.”

“Hezbollah denounces the horrific killing of this hero by occupation soldiers in Bireh town of the West Bank, in which dozens of bullets went into his blessed body,” the statement said, noting that the killing “indicates the level of spite by the Israeli enemy against anyone who raises the banner of resistance.”

Meanwhile, the Lebanese resistance party stressed that al-A’raj’s martyrdom proves that the Palestinian people are sticking to the resistance path, noting that the martyr had contributed to documenting the Israeli crimes against the Palestinians throughout the history.

“As Hezbollah offers its condolences to the martyr’s family and all the Palestinian people as well, it stresses the importance of supporting the resistance in Palestine in all means.”

Source: Hezbollah Media Relations

 

Bassel Al-A’raj: A Beacon for Intellectuals, Revolutionaries

March 10, 2017
Bassel

Marwa Haidar

It’s hard to write about martyrs. You can easily see the faith in their eyes, smiles and words. But really, it’s very hard to change this faith into words written by your own.

Bassel al-A’raj, or the “battling intellectual”, as known on social media, has proven that actions speak more than words.

The 31-year-old Palestinian engaged on Monday (March 6, 2017) in an individual battle with Israeli occupation forces in Ramallah. He heroically fought for two hours, ending his life with martyrdom.

Bassel was well-known for defending the Palestinian cause and the oppressed people across the region. He called the intellectuals in the Arab world to engage in battles in behalf of their beliefs.

In a video, Bassel appears during a lecture saying: “If you want to be an intellectual… You have to be a battling intellectual. If you were not so then your intellect is useless. The battling intellectual is the revolutionary intellectual.”

Imam Hussein’s Words Our Slogan

Talking about revolution, it was clear that Bassel was inspired by Prophet Mohammad (pbuh) and Imam Hussein (a.s.).

In a post on his Facebook account, Bassel wrote:

“My mom had taught me to love the battling prophet more than the peaceful prophet, and if (Prophet) Yusuf was her distinct one, that was because “bravery lies in patience.”

In his post, Bassel recalled the words of Imam Hussein as saying:

“May his words remain our slogan in life and death: “Surely, the imposter – a son of an imposter – has [given us a choice] between death and disgrace. Surely, we will never bend to disgrace. God refuses that for us. So do his Messenger (s), the believers, noble ancestors, purified households, zealous souls, and proud spirits. None would prefer obedience to the wicked over a noble death.”

Go Look for the Answer

In his will, too, Bassel was talking about martyrdom with passion and conviction. He said that the wills of martyrs have bewildered him, stressing that there is nothing more eloquent than martyrs’ deeds.

“If you are reading this, it means that I have died and my soul has ascended to its Creator. I pray to Allah that I meet Him with a guiltless heart, willingly, not reluctantly, full of loyalty and free of any whit of hypocrisy.

How hard it is to write your own will. For years, I have been contemplating wills written by martyrs, they have constantly bewildered me. They were fast, short, and lacking eloquence. They did not satisfy our thirst to find answers about martyrdom. Now I am heading towards death satisfied as I have found my answers. Woe unto me, how dumb I am! Is there anything more eloquent than a martyr’s deed! I should have written this months ago, but what kept me from that was this question that you, the living beings, ask. So why should I answer on your behalf? Go look for the answer yourselves, as for us, the dead ones, we only seek Allah’s mercy.”

Sara Taha Moughnieh contributed to this report

Source: Al-Manar Website

The Palestinians and the “State” Delusion

By: Rashid Shahin

After over 20 years of the futile “negotiations” the whole world (including the Palestinians) agrees that it has been fruitless.  It was aimless negotiations but a waste of time during which the occupation state of Israel has succeeded to shuffle the occupied land upside down and create deep demographic changes through accelerating the settlement that has never been done before.

Despite all the facts on the ground, some still hope to believe in that mirage and works to revive life in the dead body of the Oslo Accord. Still, some Palestinians are looking for an exit of some sort that would save them some self respect, or what has remained from their self respect, to prove that they can get something from a process that has resulted in nothing but more land grab, building settlements for more settlers obsessed with Talmudic heresies.

When talking of negotiations between enemies, it should be agreed upon from the beginning that there is a possibility for each party to recognize the other which  doesn’t exist in the Palestinian-zionist case. The Zionist party and since the very beginning of the struggle doesn’t recognize the existence of the Palestinian people, in the first place which was very clear from their deceptive slogan that was created in the early twentieth century of “a land without people to a people without land”.

bloody

Accordingly, the Palestinian leadership should take this in consideration and understand the fact that the Oslo process will never lead to a durable or comprehensive peace with the Zionists, with a state that was created initially by terrorist groups who committed heinous crimes in documented massacres against the Palestinian people to establish their atrocious states built on Talmudic heresies, on the rubble of the Palestinian people.

Gambling to reach to any peaceful agreement, even at the minimum level, with the Zionist state of gangsters (especially at the deteriorating Arab situation) is more futile than it was at the beginning of the Oslo process in Madrid Peace Conferencesupported by the first Intifada which was continued secretly later on in the suspicious Oslo Agreement.

Trying to copy the Iranian style (of negotiating) and identifying with it can’t work in the Palestinian case and dragging the situation into the Syrian case is a leap into the unknown.

Working at going back to the same futile negotiations again is nothing but a fruitless game that should be stopped especially after the facts on the ground imposed by the Zionist occupation, which is very clear not only to the Palestinian people in the street but also to all the world leaders.

Finally, we think that the status cue is a thousand times better than pursuing the mirage of the endless negotiations, especially it is clearer now (which is a fact that we should admit) that the Zionist occupation state is not intending to reach to a peaceful settlement for the struggle, and it is not ready ( as it has never been  before) to agree that the Palestinians get an independent state with Jerusalem its capital, and needless to mention the Palestinian refugees and the Right of Return.

The utmost reconciliation that the Zionist state might be willing to is to give the Palestinians an “expanded” autonomy, or a state with two different statuses, one to include the West Bank with annexing some of the bordering Palestinian towns that the Zionists want to get rid of, which is a typical racist style. OR, full occupation and annexing the West Bank. Accordingly we call to stop those futile negotiations with the Zionists that will end into nothing for the Palestinians.

 

Elor Azaria and the Myth of Jewish Universal Values

March 04, 2017  /  Gilad Atzmon

Gilad Atzmon interviewed by Alimuddin Usmani for La Pravda and E&R

Alimuddin Usmani: IDF soldier Elor Azaria was convicted of manslaughter for shooting dead a  wounded Palestinian. The case deeply divided Israel. Many Israelis said he was just doing his duty and was scapegoated by the army. On the other hand, a military spokesperson said“This is not the IDF, these are not the values of the IDF and these are not the values of the Jewish people”. Gideon Lévy called the 18 month sentence “a sentence fit for a bicycle thief”.

What are your comments on this case?

Gilad Atzmon: A lot of issues are at stake here. Azaria was obviously a cold-blooded murderer who shot a wounded Palestinian in the head. Basically, he committed an execution in broad daylight.  From an Israeli perspective, Azaria’s main crime was being caught on camera. Yet, the circumstances in which he operated were pretty impossible. These Israeli soldiers are deployed in policing tasks. They, the occupiers, are engaged in conflict with the indigenous people of the land. It is a recipe for disaster. More often than not, Israeli soldiers and police forces end up operating as execution squads. Yet, these vile practices do not necessarily reflect any official military order. Instead, they bring to light the atmosphere within the Israeli street: the PRE-traumatic stress, the impunity to kill, the lack of any ethical sense and so on.

Putting aside Azaria’s brutal act, the court case exposed a deep conflict within Israeli society. Zionism, as we know, promised to make the Jews ‘people like other people.’ Yet, the reality on the ground suggests that Israelis have to spend a lot of time and energy concealing the fact that they actually share very little with other people, if anything at all.

Azaria was found guilty of manslaughter, which is surprising considering the clear evidence of 1st degree murder. Yet he was sentenced to just 18 months in prison.  The explanation of this discrepancy between the court’s verdict and the light sentence can be understood on more than one level.

Military courts, as opposed to civilian courts, are not committed to any notion of ethics but rather to the needs of the military system. For instance, a military court sentencing a soldier to death at daybreak is not guided by the seeking of justice but by the needs of the system. It attempts to deter other soldiers from insubordination, cowardice or defection.    

Similarly, because Israel needs the IDF to sustain the occupation, Israel must make sure that its soldiers are confident that the system will always eventually stand by them even if they are  caught in an unfortunate situation such as shooting a wounded Palestinian in the head.

On the day of the verdict, veteran chief of staff Moshe Yaalon, admitted that his initial and harsh reaction to the Azaria incident was because there was an immediate need to calm the situation on the ground. He basically had to throw something at the Palestinians, hoping to prevent mass protest and possible escalation. But at the end of the day, Israel wants the Palestinians to know that any form of resistance will be met with by radical and unpredictable measures.

This leads us to the notion of Jewish values in general and the IDF’s moral values in particular. As I have said many times before, there are no Jewish universal values. Judaism and Jewish culture are tribally-oriented. Moreover, Judaism is guided by Torah and Mitzvoth (commandments). Accordingly, the Jew is expected to follow rules rather than forming ethical judgments. Haskalah, the Jewish enlightenment, was an attempt to universalize Judaism by mimicking European secular thinking. Thus, those universal values that were introduced by Haskalah are not Jewish, but simply borrowed by the Jews from their host nations.

Zionism was a promise to civilise the Jews by means of ‘homecoming.’ It implicitly accepted that Jews weren’t people like all other people, but it believed they could be. Zionism promised to make the Jews productive, to gravitate towards labour and farming. The IDF was supposed to be a humane and ethical military force.  I grew up with photos of Israeli soldiers giving their own water to Egyptian POWs in the desert (1967). It took a few years before I learned that in fact, the Sinai desert was a slaughter zone for thousands of Egyptian soldiers who were sent to their deaths in the burning sand. It took a few more years before I became aware of the Nakba horror – the brutal ethnic cleansing of the Palestinian population in 1948. Just 3 years after the liberation of Auschwitz the young Israeli army, together with Jewish paramilitary forces, massacred dozens of  Palestinian villages. I assume I don’t have to go into details of current Israeli war crimes.  To sum it up,  the IDF as never been a moral army. IDF moral values are a myth. What we have instead is a growing record of crimes against humanity.  The facade of the military trial was, in practice, an attempt to convey the image of ethical thinking. After all, ‘by way of deception’ must be a kosher procedure.

Alimuddin Usmani: The Jewish Telegraphic Agency wrote that Socialist primary winner in France, Benoit Hamon, had the backing of prominent anti-semites. Before the vote, Dieudonné and Alain Soral called for Manuel Valls to be knocked out of the race and Valls, known for his zealous support of Israel, did indeed receive a slap in the face.

What do these things reveal about the mood of French people?

Gilad Atzmon: It isn’t just France. We detect a global fatigue with Jewish politics and lobbying. We see it in Britain and in the USA – and Jews are the first to notice it. Jewish organisations have long been complaining about the rapid growth in ‘antisemitic’ incidents (whatever that means). Yet, instead of engaging in some elementary self-reflection, asking themselves what is it about them and their behaviour that brings such anger and opposition, these organisations manage to repeat the same mistakes over and over again. Instead of opening the discussion on Israel and Jewish power, they use every means at their disposal to suppress freedom of speech and to silence legitimate criticism of Jewish ID politics, global Zionism and the brutality of the Jewish state.

One would think that, after the Shoah, Jews would learn the necessary lessons and would go out of their way to conceal Jewish arrogance. But In practice, the complete opposite has happened. The Jewish lobbies, both Zionists and ‘antis,’ are more obnoxious and arrogant than ever.

 

Alimuddin Usmani: CRIF defines itself as the political representation and official mouthpiece of the organized Jewish community. In the FAQ on it’s website we find this question : Does CRIF have an influence on French politics? 

And the answer is:

Yes, CRIF influences French politics by defending its vision of what should be the public policy against racism and anti-Semitism, offering its thoughts on the transmission of the memory of the Holocaust, or defending its idea of the peace in the Middle East.

In summary, CRIF acts exactly like any other association concerned by the public interest.   

What do you think of this answer?

Gilad Atzmon: I believe that it is a valid answer as long as French people are willing to accept that one minority group that just happens to be privileged can dominate the discourse on public matters such as racism, French past and foreign affairs. But Jewish history actually teaches us that these celebrations of Jewish power always come to a tragic end.

 

Alimuddin Usmani: On CNN, Bernard-Henri Lévy wrote that the Trump administration has a problem with Jews.

How do you explain that BHL is so worried about Trump?

Gilad Atzmon: It is simple. BHL realises that, considering his intensive bellicosity and war-mongering, he himself is a serious Jewish problem. Zionism was all about a promised land yet global Zionism, for which BHL is a prime conduit, signals the transformation from a ‘promised land’ into a ‘promised planet.’ It is, in fact, immoral interventionists such as BHL who bring disasters on the Jews.

When BHL accuses Trump, the first American Jewish President, of antisemitsm, he may be providing us with a glimpse into his own sense of guilt. It is a last and desperate attempt to prevent the floodlight from exposing the criminal continuum between Israel and the Ziocon wars spreading around our planet.

Alimuddin Usmani: Recently you gave concerts and talks in Czech Republic. You announced that you will be back there in June. What do you like about this country?

Gilad Atzmon: pretty much everything. It is a country that has managed to sustain its culture, its work ethic, its cuisine, its productivity. It is a country that is living in peace with its past and sees a prospect of a future ahead.

Theresa May wants British people to feel ‘pride’ in the Balfour Declaration

Source

By Robert Fisk

Balfour initiated a policy of British support for Israel which continues to this very day, to the detriment of the occupied Palestinians of the West Bank and the five million Palestinian refugees living largely in warrens of poverty around the Middle East, including Israeli-besieged Gaza. Surely we should apologise

Theresa May told us that Britain will celebrate the centenary of the Balfour Declaration this summer with “pride”. This was predictable. A British prime minister who would fawn to the head-chopping Arab autocrats of the Gulf in the hope of selling them more missiles – and then hold the hand of the insane new anti-Muslim president of the United States – was bound, I suppose, to feel “pride” in the most mendacious, deceitful and hypocritical document in modern British history.

As a woman who has set her heart against immigrants, it was also inevitable that May would display her most venal characteristics to foreigners – to wealthy Arab potentates, and to an American president whose momentary love of Britain might produce a life-saving post-Brexit trade agreement. It was to an audience of British lobbyists for Israel a couple of months ago that she expressed her “pride” in a century-old declaration which created millions of refugees. But to burnish the 1917 document which promised Britain’s support for a Jewish homeland in Palestine but which would ultimately create that very refugee population – refugees being the target of her own anti-immigration policies – is little short of iniquitous.

The Balfour Declaration’s intrinsic lie – that while Britain supported a Jewish homeland, nothing would be done “which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine” – is matched today by the equally dishonest response of Balfour’s lamentable successor at the Foreign Office. Boris Johnson wrote quite accurately two years ago that the Balfour Declaration was “bizarre”, a “tragicomically incoherent” document, “an exquisite piece of Foreign Office fudgerama”. But in a subsequent visit to Israel, the profit-hunting Mayor of London suddenly discovered that the Balfour Declaration was “a great thing” that “reflected a great tide of history”. No doubt we shall hear more of this same nonsense from Boris Johnson later this year.

Although the Declaration itself has been parsed, de-semanticised, romanticised, decrypted, decried, cursed and adored for 100 years, its fraud is easy to detect: it made two promises which were fundamentally opposed to each other – and thus one of them, to the Arabs (aka “the existing non-Jewish communities”), would be broken. The descendants of these victims, the Palestinian Arabs, are now threatening to sue the British government over this pernicious piece of paper, a hopeless and childish response to history. The Czechs might equally sue the British for Chamberlain’s Munich agreement, which allowed Hitler to destroy their country. The Palestinians would also like an apology – since the British have always found apologies cheaper than law courts. The British have grown used to apologising – for the British empire, for the slave trade, for the Irish famine. So why not for Balfour? Yes, but…. Theresa May needs the Israelis far more than she needs the Palestinians.

 

Balfour’s 1917 declaration, of course, was an attempt to avoid disaster in the First World War by encouraging the Jews of Russia and America to support the Allies against Germany. Balfour wanted to avoid defeat just as Chamberlain later wanted to avoid war. But – and this is the point – Munich was resolved by the destruction of Hitler. Balfour initiated a policy of British support for Israel which continues to this very day, to the detriment of the occupied Palestinians of the West Bank and the five million Palestinian refugees living largely in warrens of poverty around the Middle East, including Israeli-besieged Gaza.

This is the theme of perhaps the most dramatic centenary account of the Balfour Declaration, to be published this summer by David Cronin (in his book Balfour’s Shadow: A Century of British Support for Zionism and Israel), an Irish journalist and author living in Brussels whose previous investigation of the European Union’s craven support for Israel’s military distinguished him from the work of more emotional (and thus more inaccurate) writers. Cronin has no time for Holocaust deniers or anti-Semites. While rightly dismissing the silly idea that the Palestinian Grand Mufti, Haj Amin al Husseini, inspired the Holocaust of the Jews of Europe, he does not duck Haj Amin’s poisonous alliance with Hitler. Israel’s post-war creation as a nation state, as one Israeli historian observed, may not have been just – but it was legal. And Israel does legally exist within the borders acknowledged by the rest of the world.

There lies the present crisis for us all: for the outrageous right-wing government of Benjamin Netanyahu is speeding on with the mass colonisation of Arab land in territory which is not part of Israel, and on property which has been stolen from its Arab owners. These owners are the descendants of the “non-Jewish communities” whose rights, according to Balfour, should not be “prejudiced” by “the establishment of a national home for the Jewish people” in Palestine. But Balfour’s own prejudice was perfectly clear. The Jewish people would have a “national home” – ie, a nation – in Palestine, while the Arabs, according to his declaration, were mere “communities”. And as Balfour wrote to his successor Curzon two years later, “Zionism … is … of far profounder import than the desires and prejudices [sic] of 700,000 Arabs who now inhabit that ancient land”.

Cronin’s short book, however, shows just how we have connived in this racism ever since. He outlines the mass British repression of Arabs in the 1930s – including extrajudicial executions and torture by the British army – when the Arabs feared, with good reason, that they would ultimately be dispossessed of their lands by Jewish immigrants. As Arthur Wauchope, the Palestine High Commissioner, would write, “the subject that fills the minds of all Arabs today is … the dread that in time to come they will be a subject race living on sufferance in Palestine, with the Jews dominant in every sphere, land, trade and political life”. How right they were.

Even before Britain’s retreat from Palestine, Attlee and his Cabinet colleagues were discussing a plan which would mean the “ethnic cleansing” of tens of thousands of Palestinians from their land. In 1944, a Labour Party statement had talked thus of Jewish immigration: “Let the Arabs be encouraged to move out as the Jews move in.” By 1948, Labour, now in government, was announcing it had no power to prevent money being channelled from London to Jewish groups who would, within a year, accomplish their own “ethnic cleansing”, a phrase in common usage for this period since Israeli historian Illan Pappe (now, predictably, an exile from his own land) included it in the title of his best-known work.

The massacre of hundreds of Palestinian civilians at Deir Yassin was committed while thousands of British troops were still in the country. Cronin’s investigation of Colonial Office files show that the British military lied about the “cleansing” of Haifa, offering no protection to the Arabs, a policy largely followed across Palestine save for the courage of Major Derek Cooper and his soldiers, whose defence of Arab civilians in Jaffa won him the Military Cross (although David Cronin does not mention this). Cooper, whom I got to know when he was caring for wounded Palestinians in Beirut in 1982, never forgave his own government for its dishonesty at the end of the Palestine Mandate.

Cronin’s value, however, lies in his further research into British support for Israel, its constant arms re-supplies to Israel, its 1956 connivance with the Israelis over Suez – during which Israeli troops massacred in the Gaza camp of Khan Younis, according to a UN report, 275 Palestinian civilians, of whom 140 were refugees from the 1948 catastrophe. Many UN-employed Palestinians, an American military officer noted at the time, “are believed to have been executed by the Israelis”. Britain’s subsequent export of submarines and hundreds of Centurion tanks to Israel was shrugged off with the same weasel-like excuses that British governments have ever since used to sell trillions of dollars of weapons to Israelis and Arabs alike: that if Britain didn’t arm them, others would.

In opposition in 1972, Harold Wilson claimed it was “utterly unreal” to call for an Israeli withdrawal from land occupied in the 1967 war, adding that “Israel’s reaction is natural and proper in refusing to accept the Palestinians as a nation”. When the Palestinians first demanded a secular one-state solution to Palestine, they were denounced by a British diplomat (Anthony Parsons) who said that “a multinational, secular state” would be “wholly incompatible with our attitude toward Israel”. Indeed it would. When the PLO opposed Britain’s Falklands conflict, the Foreign Office haughtily admonished the Palestinians – it was “far removed” from their “legitimate concerns”, it noted – although it chose not to reveal that Argentine air force Skyhawk jets supplied by Israel were used to attack UK forces, and that Israel’s military supplies to Argentina continued during the war.

A year later, Margaret Thatcher, according to a note by Douglas Hurd, included “armed action against military targets of the occupying power” as a definition of “terrorism”. So the Palestinians could not even resist their direct occupiers without being criminals.

On an official visit to Israel in 1986, Thatcher said that she regarded discussion of Jerusalem as “internal politics”. In 2001, Tony Blair’s government granted 90 arms exports licences to Israel for “defensive” weapons – including torpedoes, armoured vehicles, bombs and missiles. There is much, much more of this in Cronin’s book, including Blair’s useless and disgraceful period as “peace” envoy to the Middle East and the growing business contracts between British companies and Israeli arms providers – to the extent that the British army ended up deploying Israeli-made drones in the skies of Afghanistan and Iraq.

Outside the EU, Theresa May’s Britain will maintain its close relations with Israel as a priority; hence May’s stated desire less than a month ago to sign a bilateral free trade agreement with Israel. This coincided with an Israeli attack on Gaza and a Knesset vote to confiscate – ie, steal – yet more lands from Palestinians in the West Bank.

From the day that Herbert Samuel, deputy leader of the Liberal Party and former (Jewish) High Commissioner for Palestine, said in the House of Commons in 1930 that Arabs “do migrate easily”, it seems that Britain has faithfully followed Balfour’s policies. More than 750,000 Palestinians were uprooted in their catastrophe, Cronin writes. Generations of dispossessed would grow up in the camps. Today, there are around five million registered Palestinian refugees. Britain was the midwife of that expulsion.

And this summer, we shall again be exhorted by Theresa May to remember the Balfour Declaration with “pride”.

%d bloggers like this: