In an opinion piece in yesterday's Sydney Morning Herald, former Labor foreign ministers, Bob Carr and Gareth Evans, slammed "Australia's new policy of refusing to describe East Jerusalem as 'occupied'":
"If East Jerusalem is not to be referred to as 'occupied', why not Nablus or Bethlehem? If the Australian government can say 'occupied East Jerusalem' is fraught with 'pejorative implications' what is to stop Ms Bishop applying this to the occupied West Bank as a whole?" (East Jerusalem stance will not aid peace process)
Point well taken, but perhaps it's time to broaden the discussion:
If East Jerusalem is to be referred to as occupied (which, if course, it certainly is), why not West Jerusalem?
If Nablus and Bethlehem are to be referred to as occupied (which, of course, they certainly are), why not Jaffa and Haifa?
The simple fact of the matter is that today's 'Israel' - taken by brute force force and ethnic cleansing in 1948 - is just as much occupied Palestine as the West Bank and the Gaza Strip - taken by brute force and ethnic cleansing in 1967.
Do Carr and Evans need to consult the shades of the Zionist architects of Israeli-occupied Palestine - from the River to the Sea - to understand the bleeding obvious? Namely, that every inch of Palestine is stolen land? That just about every Jewish Israeli is either a settler or the son and daughter of a settler or the grandson or granddaughter of a settler? That yesterday's kibbutzim and moshavim are today's West Bank settlements? That Israel is because Palestine isn't?
So be it then:
David Ben-Gurion: "If I was an Arab leader, I should never make terms with Israel. That is natural; we have taken their country. Sure, God promised it to us, but what does that matter to them? Our God is not theirs. We come from Israel, it's true, but that was two thousand years ago, and what is that to them? There has been antisemitism, the Nazis, Hitler, Auschwitz, but was that their fault? They only see one thing: we have come and stolen their country. Why should they accept that?"
Vladimir Jabotinsky: "Any native people... views their country as their national home, of which they will always be the complete masters. They will not voluntarily allow, not only a new master, but even a new partner. And so it is for the Arabs... They look upon Palestine with the same instinctive love and true fervour that any Aztec looked upon his Mexico or any Sioux looked upon the prairie..."
Moshe Dayan: "Let us not today fling accusations at the murderers. Who are we that we should argue against their hatred? For eight years now they sit in their refugee camps in Gaza, and before their very eyes, we turn into our homestead the land and the villages in which they and their forefathers have lived. We are a generation of settlers, and without the steel helmet and the cannon we cannot plant a tree and build a home... Jewish villages were built in the place of Arab villages. You don't even know the names of these Arab villages, and I don't blame you, because these geography books no longer exist. Not only do the books not exist, the Arab villages are not there either. Nahalal arose in the place of Mahlul, Gvat in the place of Jibta, Sarid in the place of Haneifa, and Kfar-Yehoshua in the place of Tel-Shaman. There is not one single place in this country that did not have a former Arab population."
Carr and Evans also wrote:
"Israeli realists know indefinite occupation of the West Bank will degrade their own country, maintaining its Jewish identity only at the price of compromising its democracy."
Can they tell us how maintaining the "Jewish identity" of Israel - at the expense of the non-Jewish Palestinians - is not as racist a project as that of White South Africans maintaining the White identity of South Africa - at the expense of non-White South Africans?
Maybe they need to sit down and listen, really listen, to the unashamedly Zionist, and hence unashamedly racist, Israeli mayor of Upper Nazareth, Shimon Gapso:
"I'm not afraid to say it out loud... Upper Nazareth is a Jewish city and it's important that it remain so. If that makes me a racist, then I'm a proud offshoot of a glorious dynasty of 'racists' that started with the 'Covenant of the Pieces' [that God made with Abraham, recounted in Genesis 15:1-15] and the explicitly racist promise: 'To your seed have I given this land' [Genesis 15:38]...
"The racist Theodor Herzl wrote Der Judenstaat (The Jewish State, not The State of All Its Citizens). Lord Balfour recommended the establishment of a national home for the Jewish people. David Ben-Gurion, Chaim Arlosoroff, Moshe Sharett and other racists established the Jewish Agency, and the racist UN decided to establish a Jewish state - in other words, a state for Jews. The racist Ben-Gurion announced the establishment of the Jewish State in the Land of Israel, and during the War of Independence even made sure to bring in hundreds of thousands of Jews and drive out hundreds of thousands of Arabs who had been living here - all to enable it to be founded with the desired racist character.
"Since then, racially pure kibbutzim without a single Arab member and an army that protects a certain racial strain have been established, as have political parties that proudly bear racist names such as Habayit Hayehudi - 'The Jewish Home'. Even our racist national anthem ignores the existence of the Arab minority - in other words, the people Ben-Gurion did not manage to expel in the 1948 war. If not for all that 'racism' it's doubtful we could live here, and doubtful we could live at all.
"In these times of hypocrisy and bleeding-heart sanctimoniousness, of the proliferation of flaky types who are disconnected from reality, in the relative security that causes us to forget the dangers we face, we can sit in north Tel Aviv and cry 'racism' to seem enlightened and good-hearted in our own eyes. We can be shocked at a mayor who prefers that his city, which is right next to the largest Arab city in Israel, retain a Jewish majority and not be swallowed up in the Arab area that surrounds it. There will not be a single Jew in the future Palestinian state, but that's all right. That isn't racism." ('If you think I'm a racist, then Israel is a racist state', Haaretz, 7/8/13)