Melanie, together with David t, feels that:
anyone who regards the restoration of the Jews to their rightful ancestral home as a ‘catastrophe’ for the people who tried to destroy it at its rebirth and haven’t stopped trying ever since can hardly be regarded as a reliable source on anything at all.Whereas anyone who thinks that white men and women and Asians and Ethiopians who happen to be Jewish have more right to live in Israel than people who are not Jewish but who actually come from there, and this on the grounds that it is the ancestral homeland of this white woman, her white informant (he allows himself to be photographed from the back) and a whole load of other people who cannot possibly have come from the same place 2,000 years ago, share a common ancestry. Don't get me wrong, I don't think ethnicity has any bearing on people's basic human rights. But how on earth can anyone suggest that the ethnic cleansing of possibly 800,000 people from a land their own ancestors had inhabited for at least 1,000 years would be seen as anything other than a catastrophe by the victims? But this is Melanie Phillips's view. Let's be kind and say it's her honest view.
Perhaps I'm being unfair on David t. He doesn't actually say that the ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians isn't a catastrophe. He may even grant the Palestinians the right to view their own dispossession as they wish. After all, the Jewish identity is based largely, though not entirely, on the commitment of Jews to our own mythology. Surely the Palestinians feelings about their own reality is equal to or even superior to that when it comes to the right to live between the River Jordan and the Mediterranean Sea. His issue is with someone who takes the view that it is appropriate for any exhibition marking the 60th anniversary of the declaration of the existence of the State of Israel to also consider the catastrophe that befell the Palestinians and the role of the British mandate in that catastrophe. Oh, and the fact that it's publicly funded.
I've mentioned before that I have been hopelessly naive about Harry's Place. I thought they at least pretended to be left wing. Maybe I confused them with Engage or the Alliance for Workers Liberty.
Anyway, my previous post was on what I think is a witch-hunt by David t, trying, in spite of a sarcastic denial, to have the "public funding" of this proposed exhibition pulled. Please check it out because David t, the courageous scourge of.... erm, scourge of, er.. well, scourge of certain things that he doesn't like, came here to comment on just about anything but the post in which he tries to mobilise opinion against Judy Price and her role as an Arts Council funded curator of an exhibition that might exhibit the birth of Israel in a way that portrays the role of the British and the impact on the Palestinians. I also mentioned the fact that Engage has linked to the Harry's Place post as if to suggest, given Engage's stated mission, ie, the card that it plays, that Judy Price is antisemitic.
I have to admit that I was a little anxious at first. I thought that the Harry's Place post might be picked up by some quiet zionist who might then whisper a word in the collective ear of the Arts Council, but a zionist megaphone, and a raving lunatic one at that, has got hold of it. Does Melanie Phillips really read Harry's Place on the off chance that she might find something of interest? Or does a certain UCU activist list member keep her in the loop? Never mind. David t can congratulate himself on being picked up by a mainstreamer, albeit a nutty one, but I don't think anyone at the Arts Council is going to be swayed by Mad Mel Phlips. But who knows...?