In the Zionist lexicon, the word massacre can mean just about anything from a scratch on up - so long as we're talking about Israeli Jews. But when it comes to Palestinians, no matter how many are gunned down, shelled or bombed to smithereens by Israeli terrorists, the 'm' word simply does not apply. You may, for example, remember the Israeli government swearing blind that the massacre of Palestinians by Israeli troops in the West Bank city of Jenin in April 2002 was nothing of the sort:
"Had the United Nations investigators who were standing by in Geneva, been allowed to enter Israel to carry out a proper investigation, perhaps the real truth would be a bit clearer. But, there was no independent investigation. Just as in Tiananmen Square, the power of the gun and the tank ensured there was no proper body count or accounting. Just as happened in Tiananmen Square, the uninformed and those with their own agenda, are now claiming there was no massacre. There was a massacre, a considerable number of human beings were indiscriminately and unnecessarily slaughtered. The truth was the other victim." (Correspondents Report - UN report on Jenin massacre flawed, Peter Cave, abc.net.au, 4/8/02)
So why raise the matter of Zionist semantics now?
You can blame serendipity in the form of an opinion piece in The Australian on the occasion of UK Prime Minister David Cameron's visit to the Indian city of Amritsar, and a reference to Amritsar in a near-forgotten set of diaries, both, as it happens, read within 24 hours of each other.
The first, originally published in The Times on the occasion of Cameron's recent visit to the city of Amritsar, part of a current 3-day trip to India, focused on an infamous massacre perpetrated in the city by British colonial troops in 1919. I reproduce it here in full:
"Indians have been waiting almost a century for the British to apologise for the massacre in Amritsar. All the signs are that they will have to be patient for some years yet. The Queen, visiting the Jallianwala Bagh memorial in 1997, spoke of regret and sadness; David Cameron has described it as shameful. But 'sorry' remains elusive because it would acknowledge the moral shortcomings of British efforts to keep its empire together by force.
"Nowhere was this force quite as naked as in Amritsar on an April afternoon in 1919. Revolt had been in the air for months and the British were on edge. When an Anglican woman missionary was attacked in an Amritsar lane, Brigadier General Reginald Dyer ordered Indians using that thoroughfare to crawl on all fours. News that there would be a meeting in the Jallianwala Park convinced him it could lead to insurrection. Dyer arrived with 90 soldiers, most of them Gurkhas, and positioned two armoured cars at the main entrance. About 15,000 people were gathered, tightly packed. He did not order them to disperse and waited barely 30 seconds before ordering the soldiers to fire. There was a howling as some bullets penetrated two people. The firing lasted 10 minutes. According to the British estimate, 379 died; Indians put the figure at close to a thousand. Dyer, asked in a subsequent inquiry why he had not arranged for the wounded to be treated in hospital, replied 'It was not my job'. Instead, the dead lay on the ground through the night, gnawed, reports said, by jackals. Dyer told another inquiry: 'I think it quite possible that I could have dispersed the crowd without firing, but they would have come back again and laughed and I would have made, what I consider, a fool of myself.'
"The massacre sowed decades of resentment. Some 21 years later, an independence activist assassinated Lieutenant Governor Michael Dwyer, who had backed Dyer's order to shoot. The activist was hanged but hailed as a hero by the Nazis. 'Will the historians of the future have to record that it was not the Nazis but the British ruling class which destroyed the British Empire?' wrote the New Statesman in 1940." (Sorry seems to be the hardest word, Roger Boyes, 22/2/13)
So, I'm pretty sure you'd agree. If it's massacre you're talking about, Amritsar 1919 is as good an example as any, right?
The second reference to Amritsar and its massacre came in Baffy: The Diaries of Blanche Dugdale 1936-1947, edited by N.A. Rose, 1973. You may remember the gentile-Zionist ultra, Baffy, niece of Lord Balfour and one of the habitues of London's Zionist Office, featured in my 3 posts The Jeffries-Dugdale Exchange, 6-8/1/13) Here's the Amritsar reference in her diary entry for January 15, 1941 - London:
"Wet snow. Zionist Office. Heard about some progress in the Army negotiations, and most sickening and horrible reports sent by Moshe [Shertok], therefore reliable, about atrocities committed on the refugees who were torn away from Athlit camp and sent to Mauritius. I refused to read the evidence, but Lewis [Namier] said worse than 'Amritsar'." (p 181)
So there you go, according to Lewis Namier, a leading British Zionist official and influential historian, the push and shove entailed in the removal of illegal Jewish refugees in December 1940 from the British prison camp at Athlit, just south of Haifa, to the island of Mauritius, constituted a massacre 'worse than Amritsar'.
One of the key lessons to be learnt from a close study of the history of the Zionist settler-colonial project in Palestine (1917-?) is that you can believe almost nothing that a Zionist ideologue or propagandist says. Given the movement's propensity for bare-faced lies, endless spin and semantic quibbling - one always needs to penetrate the fog of propaganda and observe with clear eyes its actions on the ground.