Sunday, November 11, 2012

Palestine on a Platter

No field of study in Israel, it seems, is free of Zionist indoctrination, not even science. The following, copied from an Israeli textbook on microbiology, first appeared on the Angry Arab News Service blog for 7/11/12:

"In 1999, scientists completed sequencing the genome of Clostridium ecetobutylicum, a nonpathogenic bacterial species. Because some other species of Clostridium are major pathogens (one produces the food toxin that causes botulism, and another is responsible for tetanus), the scientists hope their sequencing work will yield insights into what enables some species to become pathogens while others remain harmless. However, C. acetobutylicum's ability to convert starch into the organic solvents acetone and butanol is what has a prominent place in history. In 1900, an outstanding chemist named Chaim Weizmann, a Russian-born Jew, completed his doctorate at the University of Geneva in Switzerland. He also was an active Zionist and advocated the creation of a Jewish homeland in Palestine. In 1904, Weizmann moved to Manchester, England, where he became a research fellow and senior lecturer at Manchester University. During this time, he was elected to the General Zionist Council. Weizmann began working in the laboratory of Professor William Perkin, where he attempted to use microbial fermentation to produce industrially useful substances. He discovered that C. acetobutylicum converted starch to a mixture of ethanol, acetone, and butanol, the latter an important ingredient in rubber manufacture. The fermentation process seemed to have no other commercial value - until World War I broke out in 1914. At that time, the favoured propellant for rifle bullets and artillery projectiles was a material called cordite. To produce it, a mixture of cellulose nitrate and nitroglycerine was combined into a paste using acetone and petroleum jelly. Before 1914, acetone was obtained through the destructive distillation of wood. However, the supply was inadequate for wartime needs, and by 1915 there was a serious shell shortage, mainly due to the lack of acetone for making cordite. After his enquiries to serve the British government were not returned, a friend of Weizmann's went to Lloyd George, who headed the Ministry of Munitions. Lloyd George was told about Weizmann's work and how he could synthesize acetone in a new way. The conversation resulted in a London meeting between Weizmann, Lloyd George and Winston Churchill. After explaining the capabilities of C. acetobutylicum, Weizmann became director of the British admiralty laboratories where he instituted the full-scale production of acetone from corn. Additional distilleries soon were added in Canada and India. The shell shortage ended. After the war ended, now British Prime Minister Lloyd George wished to honor Weizmann for his contributions to the war effort. Weizmann declined any honors but asked for support of a Jewish homeland in Palestine. Discussions with Foreign Minister Earl Balfour led to the Balfour Declaration of 1917, which committed Britain to help establish the Jewish homeland. Weizmann went on to make significant contributions to science - he suggested that other organisms be examined for their ability to produce industrial products and is considered the father of industrial fermentation. Weizmann also laid the foundations for what would become the Weizmann institute of Science, one of Israel's leading scientific research centers. His political career also moved upward - he was elected the first President of Israel in 1949. Chaim Weizmann died in 1952."

Leaving aside the obvious errors of fact in the above text - not least the one about Weizmann receiving his 'honor' after the war - and its various false and misleading impressions - the main one being that Weizmann's contribution to the British war effort was the sole reason for the government of Lloyd George issuing the Balfour Declaration - and focusing just on its propaganda impact on young Israelis, one is left wondering whether Israel's budding scientists ever really see through this blatant attempt at indoctrination to the dubious morality of the text's underlying proposition: namely, that it is somehow OK for one party to reward another by giving him something which clearly belongs to a third.

In that most unlikely event (thinking being akin to hard labour for even the more intellectually astute among us) their thoughts might well tend in the same direction as those of the great JMN Jeffries:

"[T]he price paid is preposterous beyond belief. Reading Mr. Lloyd George's text [a reminiscence in which Lloyd George, in explanation of his motives, makes more of Weizmann's acetone than of  the government's desire to secure the support of influential US Jews in an effort to persuade the US to enter the war] you would imagine that there had been some scaling-down of payment, but what happened was just the contrary. Mr Lloyd George with some artfulness screens with Dr Weizmann's refusal of any honours for himself (to which I render entire homage) his suggestion of colossal honours, if they can be called honours, for a body to which he was attached. Far from scaling down the price paid for the acetone, the Prime Minister by accepting this suggestion consented to give for it a reward beyond all price. A Grand Cross of the Bath or an order of Merit given to Dr Weizmann, however valuable to the recipient, would have cost the State nothing. But, even supposing that Dr Weizmann had 'absolutely saved the British Army,' to confer upon him and upon his in return proprietary rights in a country which was in possession of another race and was secured by treaty to that race, was this reward applicable to the occasion? If land was the only possible recompense, there were the Isle of Wight and the Isle of Man, and other British places in Britain's free gift, ready to be handed over.

"No British commander obtained more than an earldom from the Great War. No commander of any of the belligerent powers on land or on sea, from Foch and Jellicoe downwards, some of whom at least must have saved armies or navies sometime, by the very order of things, no commander of them all received more than title, or decorations, or grant of money. Yet for Dr Weizmann history is turned inside out, geography is suppressed, a people is disenfranchised and an empire is forsworn. All in return for a formula for making propellant-paste, which was valuable for a while and after a while was superseded.

"The thing is outrageous. The whole sum of war-profiteering is a mite in comparison with this. Even if the Palestine prize were not given for acetone, but for the enlistment of Jewish support in the United States and other countries (Mr Lloyd George's alternative essential motive) what then? It would still be outrageous, it would still be the most gigantic and most intolerable 'deal' of the War." (Palestine: The Reality, 1939, pp 195-196)

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