May 24, 2007

Right of Return upheld

How can I ignore this story in the Times? A British court has ruled that the people of the Chagos Islands (Diego Garcia) should be allowed to return to the homes they were expelled from about 40 years ago:
Three judges said that the Government’s treatment of them was “a repugnant abuse of power” as families and wellwishers packed the Court of Appeal to hear the news they had awaited for 40 years.
The "repugnant abuse of power" involved the removal of the people en masse from their homes to make way for this:
Diego Garcia is now home to nearly 4,000 American military and civilian personnel and some of the most lethal weaponry in the US armoury. The nearest locals are 1,000 miles away.

B52 bombers line the apron alongside the 4,000-yard runway. Recently the Americans added four hangars for B2 Stealth bombers, their only deployment outside mainland America. During the Afghan campaign in 2001, more bombs were dropped from aircraft based on Diego Garcia than any other American facility. The bombers went into action against Iraq in 2003.
This raises an exciting prospect. If America has to abandon a military camp so that the natives can return perhaps a court could persuade it to abandon the same kind of place, Israel, for the same kind of reason, the return of the native Palestinians.

This is of course a very important decision and it seems the only possible conclusion the court could have come to, though previous courts have came to very different conclusions and there might an appeal in the offing but the parallels between this case and the case of the Palestinians are obvious for all to see. Still I bet if these islanders do return to their homes there will be zionists who argue that the right of Jews to Palestine is comparable to the rights of the Chagossians. I say this because I remember the Guardian running a letter along exactly those lines:
The name "Palestine" existed long before there were any Arabs in the area, and Jewish settlement long predates the arrival of the Arabs. "Palestine" was originally the coastal land of the Philistines, who were Greek in origin. Jews were the main occupants of the central area from about 1300BC right up to the time of the Arab conquest in the seventh century AD. Jews continued to form part of the population throughout the Middle Ages, though much depleted by Christian Crusader massacres. They maintained considerable numbers up to modern times. As a perennial element in the population they are at least as entitled to political independence as any other element, and have special rights as aboriginals.
That was Hyam Maccoby who I think was Deborah Maccoby's dad. I tried phoning her to get confirmation but she's at lunch.

But anyway, whoever he was, his letter and the fact that Guardian published it go to show the absurd lengths that zionists will go to to stake their bogus claim to Palestine.

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