Friday, September 26, 2014

Awake, England! 2

"I've seen the vultures, filthy, stealthily approaching a dead donkey. They need not feed on donkey flesh today.

"How you love those humble folk, native Christians and native Moslems! How you love persecuted Jews! You and other nations proved that at Evian les Bains*, didn't you? You say 'all the nations did.' Yes, but under your sole control is the sovereign remedy proposed at Evian, to wit, that the victims of European meanness be sent to Palestine. In other words that the Holy Land of Christians, Moslems and Jews be liquidated to make a graveyard of all three.

"What of the world's pious pilgrims who would fain go annually to the one country of peace and sacred memories. Do you remember the stream? Why did you launch the devastating 'experiment'? Why do you continue it? Are you mystified by the changes in Palestine since 1916-17? Can you not detect each step that has led to the present ruin? Would you dare ask your neighbors? Will you ever find a more dependable friend or ally than the Arab, any Arab? Remember your vast Arabic learning, memories, scholarly works, statesmen, many highly trained Christian orientalists to this very hour? Do you remember and will you use?

"As the season of 'grapes' returns to Palestine, August and later, season of gladness, will you be treading the wine-press over there or what representatives of yours will be treading? Who will be under your feet? What color will your feet be?

"Have you assayed the necessity for all this? Have you reckoned with the end? Will you be proud of the result? Who as effectively as yourself has chastised the Holy Land and its rightful people? If you import another people there by any specious title will you chastise them the same way in the interests of PEACE: YOU, CAESAR: WHAT OF THE PAX BRITTANICA, LATELY, NOW? PEACE!

"Is it Palestine you dearly love, or Mosul, or India, or Suez, and even they, why do you love them so? Are you truly loving and loyal to England? You emancipator of the blacks! And your pride, the not-nice manner in which you bandy the word 'native'. Was that the reason for championing wholesale immigration of aliens with shreds of title 2000 years old!

"Are Palestinians bad people? Do you really think that these despoiled peasants are terrorists? Do you remember any terrors visited upon them since 1914? Do you remember the exultation with which they welcomed you and your message of fairness, of peace, of reverence in 1917? Some of your dead would remember and do. Are there not sufficient living living who remember, who worship, who understand?

"Besides the Palestine of place, there is the Palestine of dream with which all mortals may rightfully be concerned. When outsiders come to grips with the Palestine of place then strange iniquities ensue. Test this as you will at any time in the experiences of the past.

"What of the incongruity of the Foreign Office meddling with the Palestine of place, or the Colonial Office, or any bureau and I except none: then begins misery and mockery. The heart of the meddler becomes dry and hard; the very health of the native custodian of that soil goes glimmering to a sickness worse than the enterics of which we have knowledge.

"Where else in this troubled world are the faiths of mankind so inextricably bound? Where else is there so providential an opportunity for non-aggression? for noblesse oblige? Let the chaffering in Palestine real estate cease. Let the western bribery of the impecunious farmer of that country stop forthwith! Decency commands it.

"Holy cities, material shrines, are notoriously offensive when venal considerations obtain. Outsiders beware! When your patient dreams go on to the registry of real estate titles and you seek to close your fist over a parcel of ground for selfish gratification you have seared your soul beyond hope of sweetness or idealism.

"The sword may be offensive but the pen of the realist has been even more terrible a horror in Palestine, the Holy Land. Look at it today! Let those who know tell you how it was in the yesterday before the World War! What human would say that today could compare with yesterday? The Turk was a dreamer, a poet, a philosopher, a saint compared with certain so-called statesmen, certain political meddlers of the past twenty years. Read the travel literature of fifty or a hundred years preceding 1917, and con the reiteration of peccadilloes, amusing contretemps, despised chicaneries along the tourist routes, guides, shrines, pretense and crass materialism and then compare the atrocities of the last few years in European mal-administration in Palestine. The pre-war trivialities are as the errant ways of sparrows compared with the work of tigers, hyenas, and vultures." (Palestine Today, pp 14-22)

[*See my 2/8/13 post Misrepresenting the Evian Conference of 1938.]

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