What is Left for Palestine?

An entire nation cannot turn the other cheek to a power that is seriously intent on genocide, writes Craig Murray. 

Palestinian journalists filming the destruction left by Israeli bombing in the Gaza Strip, May 14. (Osps7, CC BY-SA 4.0, Wikimedia Commons)

By Craig Murray

Western media and politicians are now firmly coalesced around the Israeli government narrative. Israel is unwillingly fighting a war of self-defense in Gaza after hostilities were commenced by an aggressive Hamas military attack. The storming of Al Aqsa mosque, the shooting at people in prayer, the right-wing mobs attacking East Jerusalem, the Krystallnacht style destruction of Palestinian businesses and lynching of Arab Israelis; none of that ever happened at all. What happened was that Hamas launched a missile war and Israel was obliged, ever so reluctantly, to exercise its right of self-defense, with enormous care not to hit civilians, except that, entirely accidentally, the IDF has killed a couple of hundred civilians including scores of children.

Palestinians die in the passive voice in Western media. The media always says they “have died”; they were never “killed,” and there is virtually never any attribution of the death. By contrast, Israelis are active voice “killed by Hamas” or “killed by missile strikes.” Look out for this journalistic sophistry — once you see it, you can’t unsee it.

The Israeli bombing of civilian neighborhoods in the Gaza Strip, May 14. (Osps7, CC BY-SA 4.0, Wikimedia Commons)

I used to be a firm opponent of missile strikes from Gaza. My view was firstly, that they cannot be militarily targeted so constitute an attack on civilians; secondly that they were a gift to Israeli propaganda; and thirdly that they were militarily ineffective. All of those remain true, and yet my view has changed and I find myself celebrating the fact that Hamas has, against all odds, managed to acquire more and better missiles. Part of that change of view is that I have come to see that there is no such thing as an innocent adult colonizer. But the bigger part is that I cannot see what on earth else the Palestinians are supposed to do.

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Western politicians obviously believe that the Palestinians should accept apartheid quietly, and should have the good grace silently to wither away. The ultra-venal leaders of the majority of Arab states also wish the Palestinians would just die and allow them to enjoy the lavish personal benefits of their new alliances with Israel. It is absolutely plain there is no political process of any kind in train to alleviate the Palestinian plight, that even those “liberal” Western politicians who floated the idea of a “two state solution” meant, at best, internationally recognized apartheid and bantustans. U.S. President Joe Biden manages the remarkable feat of being still more Zionist than Donald Trump. 

Were I a Palestinian, I should undoubtedly have concluded that for an entire nation to turn the other cheek to a power which is seriously intent on genocide, is not a viable policy. Military resistance may seem hopeless, but sometimes to attempt to live with a shout of defiance and an effort to fight is the only dignified option remaining to a human.

It was a beautiful day in Glasgow on Sunday for the Scottish Palestine Solidarity Committee demo, and it was great to be able to meet up again with so many magnificent and public-spirited people. It was an especially young crowd, which was excellent, and I was able to meet many Palestinians who drew comfort from the public support at a traumatic time. 

Watching Mick Napier very much in charge of events, I was struck by the thought that there are so many really excellent and altruistic people who put their heart and entire lives into good causes for very little credit. Mick has been involved with SPSC as long as I can remember, has won important court victories in Scotland against ridiculous definitions of anti-Semitism, and I have seen him at vigils on cold wet nights with a dozen people there. It made me realize how many Mick Napiers I have had the great privilege to know. We must not take the good-hearted for granted.

Craig Murray is an author, broadcaster and human rights activist. He was British ambassador to Uzbekistan from August 2002 to October 2004 and rector of the University of Dundee from 2007 to 2010. His coverage is entirely dependent on reader support. Subscriptions to keep this blog going are gratefully received.

This article is from CraigMurray.org.uk.

The views expressed are solely those of the author and may or may not reflect those of Consortium News.

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5 comments for “What is Left for Palestine?

  1. Billy Gills
    May 22, 2021 at 11:43

    Excellent article Craig.

    I lived for a time in Glasgow while doing a Master’s Degree in Engineering at Strathclyde University (late 1970’s and early 1980’s). I stayed at first in a hall of residence on Sauchiehall Street and then in a university apartment on campus.

    Finally I met Abe and Ruth Sirton, and moved into their apartment in Hyndland. Abe and Ruthie were amazing people, and helped found the Scottish Friends of Palestine. They made a major impact on my life.

    Did you happen to know them -or of them?

  2. brent
    May 20, 2021 at 23:33

    Palestinians can recognize self-determination in two states has been foreclosed by the settlement building so it’s time to return to the original PLO platform of one secular democratic state with equality under the law. Americans will politically support human rights not rockets and rocks.

  3. Joe
    May 20, 2021 at 19:48

    The best the Palestinians can hope for is to go down fighting.

  4. Litchfield
    May 20, 2021 at 16:48

    “It made me realize how many Mick Napiers I have had the great privilege to know. We must not take the good-hearted for granted.”

    That goes also for Craig Murray himself, who has suffered enormously for standing up for Julian Assange and Alex Salmond.

    We see you, Craig, for what you are: a goodhearted, loyal person with an acute sense of justice and who is also extremely articulate. That is why TPTB are going after you—they are determined, quite simply, to shut you up.

  5. May 20, 2021 at 14:37

    Well, my thought is don’t turn the other cheek. As much as I love Jesus, only the meek do this, and the thought they they will inherit the earth is offensive to me just now if you want to know my sentiment. The meek get blown away into dust, and if you study history you’d recognize this right off as sad as it makes me to say it. Maybe, things will get better in the future and it won’t be this way.
    You know join the boycott, that funny enough was named after some Irish farmers who had had enough but “Retired British army captain Charles Boycott had the misfortune to be acting as an agent for an absentee landlord at the time, and when he tried to evict tenant farmers for refusing to pay their rent, he was ostracized by the League and community”. And after that, the boycott commenced.
    Seems to me that history speaks for itself.
    Lets Boycott Israel in all ways and the beauty of it is, things can only get better if we do this.
    Don’t you just love Ireland? God Bless the Irish.

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