April 08, 2011

Woops, I meant human rights ABUSES

Darn it. I've had a letter published in today's Guardian but I, not they, made a balls of it and by the time I sent an erratum they'd already gone to print.  The letter was a response to Jonathan Freedland's why-oh-why pick on Israel piece from yesterday.  Here's my letter, fairly hot off the presses:

While Arab regimes are oppressive to maintain the governments in power, Israel's oppression goes to the heart of its existence as a state to which Jews from around the world have more right to live than the native non-Jewish population. This involves the ethnic cleansing of the native Arab population in order to secure and maintain a Jewish majority.
Other states have carried out ethnic cleansing in the past. But Israel owes its ethno-religious majority to a recent, current and ongoing campaign of displacement of the indigenous population. That was true of the US, it was true of Australia. It has been true of many states. But Israel's crimes are more recent and, therefore, its continued existence is predicated on its human rights.
Even hotter off the presses (and more complete) is the correction I sent them:
There are major differences between the State of Israel and other serial human rights abusers that Jonathan Freedland names. Whilst Arab regimes are oppressive to maintain the governments in power, Israel's oppression goes to the heart of its existence as a state to which Jews from around the world have more right to live than the native non-Jewish population.  Freedland must know that this involves the ethnic cleansing of the native Arab population in order to secure and maintain a Jewish majority.  Other states have carried out ethnic cleansing in the past and others will attempt it in the future.  But Israel owes its ethno-religious majority to a recent, current and on-going campaign of displacement of the indigenous population.  That was true of the US, it was true of Australia.  It has been true of many states.  But Israel's crimes are more recent and, therefore, its continued existence is predicated on its human rights abuses.

Ok, they ditched all the stuff about Jonathan Freedland's sad lament for all those victims of human rights abuses outside of Palestine and therefore not Israel's responsibility, but it was me that dropped the word "abuses" from the end.  It was rushed of course, I didn't even separate the paragraphs.  But only the most ludicrous of hasbaranikim would posit that Israel's continued existence is predicated on its human rights.

Sorry about that.

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