April 29, 2008

Killed a child lately? Don't worry, Anthony (no job too small) Julius will defend you

All this news of Israel's on going killing of children reminded me of Engage's favourite lawyer, Anthony Julius. When the number of children killed by Israeli soldiers had passed the 500 (or was it 600, 700 or 800? - he didn't say) mark Anthony Julius produced a paper on the medieval blood libel. Completely irrelevant of course. Israel really does kill children as the post below this one makes clear. The medieval blood libel was, er libel, that is to say, not true. The best defence against a libel action is truth of statement, and the statement that Israel kills children is perfectly true and relevant to the way it works in and beyond the occupied territories.

Julius is a British lawyer. I don't know how accurate American courtroom dramas are but we often see American lawyers jumping up and saying "objection irrelevant" and the judge says "sustained". If that happened here Anthony Julius would never get anything done. Another of his papers was about, not the arguments or political positions of various Jewish anti-zionists but their "vanity".

The above paragraphs were just a big intro to something that's got nothing to do with the above title. It's just yet another ludicrous piece of work by Julius, this time distributed by some Christian zionists in the UK called Anglicans for Israel. They've produced a pdf document titled "How did we get here - the restoration of Israel". Here's Julius's introductory blurb:
I am delighted to have been asked to contribute a foreword to this pamphlet, written to celebrate the 60th anniversary of Israel, the Jewish State. There is a long and honourable history of Anglican involvement in the Zionist project. From the 17th to the 20th centuries, English advocates of the Jews' restoration in the Holy Land worked tirelessly to realise Jewish dreams – often, in more practical ways than by the Jews themselves. It became their mission to restore the land to its lawful owners, and thereby assist in fulfilling Biblical prophecy. The pamphlet, in its own sober and factual way, is but the most recent instance of this centuries-long endeavour. I welcome it.
So British imperialism at prayer has been seeking the ethnic cleansing of Palestine, in line with "Jewish dreams" since the 17th century. Hmm, if Jews were dreaming of going to Palestine in the 17th century why did they only go in significant numbers in the late 19th century? Ah, they supported zionism in "more practical ways than....Jews" did. They went to Palestine while Jews dreamt? They stopped Jews getting into Britain or stopped them getting naturalised in Britain? Really, was Julius making a coded reference to Anglican antisemitism? Antisemitism has historically been the best friend of zionism, as Herzl predicted (and practised) at the formal inception of the zionist movement.

And what's all this about "their mission to restore the land to its lawful owners, and thereby assist in fulfilling Biblical prophecy"? Sheesh. Lawful? Does this mean that Jews worldwide are entitled to the ownership of land prophesied in the bible to be under Jewish dominion at some time in the future? Does this mean I am a lawful owner of somewhere, anywhere, between "the river of Egypt to the great river, the Euphrates"? Does it mean that those who are not Jewish but, in spite of Israel's ethnic cleansing, race discrimination and relentless violence, still live in these places are not lawful owners? This is rather scary. Anthony Julius seems to be saying that he believes in biblical prophecy, that is Christian biblical prophecy in this instance and that this prophecy has the status of law. Who's law? Where is it written? Or is this just obscurantist nonsense?

One more question, is Anthony Julius a chancer or a lunatic?

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