Belfast Telegraph

Friday 26 December 2014

Peter Schwartz responds to Brian Eno's open letter on Israel-Gaza crisis

Dear Brian and friends, I am writing to respond to your note about Gaza and how America is responding. It deserves a response.

My feelings and the actual realities are complex on several levels; the realities of the Arab-Israeli history and conflicts, global politics and modern American history/demographics. All three levels interact to create the current situation. And to understand the US posture you have to consider the history. Let me say, that, as you know, I am an immigrant and child of Holocaust survivors. I am culturally Jewish, but with no religious or spiritual inclinations, an atheist. And I believe that creating the Jewish state of Israel was a historic mistake that is likely to destroy the religion behind it. The actions nation states take to assure their survival are usually in contradiction to any moral values that a religion might espouse. And that contradiction is now very evident in Israel’s behaviour. Israel will destroy Judaism.

First, the history has two important intersecting threads, Zionism and the end of the Ottoman Empire. Zionism began near the end of the 19th century as a response to a millennium of anti-Semitism in Eastern Europe. An end to the diaspora and a return to the biblical homeland were seen as the only hope of escaping the persistent repression of places such as Hungary, Ukraine, Russia, etc. The British government with its Balfour declaration (1917) and the League of Nations Palestine Mandate (1922) gave impetus to that hope. And of course, the Second World War and the Holocaust sealed the deal. The murder of six million Jews was seen as sufficient reason to pursue a Jewish state, and the UN granted that wish with the partition of Palestine into Jewish and Arab states in 1947. The seven Arab states declared war and urged the Palestinians to flee. After defeating the Arab armies, Israel made it very hard for them return. Hence we ended up with a large Palestinian refugee population.

Those Arab states themselves were the result of a combination of British/French artistry in drawing the maps of the post-Ottoman world as well as the subsequent tribal military campaigns that left the Saudis in charge of the Arabian peninsula (vast oil wealth soon to be found) and the Hashemites driven up into Transjordan. Other than the war with Israel, the conflicts and rivalries among the various Arab and Persian factions have shaped Middle Eastern and North African politics ever since then.

Over the subsequent decades following the 1948 war, there was a persistent Arab bombing campaign and two more large-scale Arab attacks on Israel, 1967 and 1973. Until the mid-1970s, Israel was seen as having the moral high ground based on the Holocaust and Arab behaviour. But beginning with the Israeli incursion into Lebanon in the early 1980s, that moral position began to erode.

srael’s behaviour in Lebanon was the first major example of aggressive action and attacks against vulnerable populations. Israel began to develop a more right-wing and aggressive political faction of which Netanyahu is the worst current example. The settlements in Arab territory in the West Bank are the direct result of that evolution (and, of course, the mass migration of the 1990s mainly from Russia). Suicide bombings and missile attacks were the Arab response. Walling themselves in was yet another ironic Israeli response. Today’s horrors are a continuing extension of those conflicts following a ceasefire of a few years.

Once Israel declared itself a Jewish state in 1948, the Palestinians had only three options: accept a division of the land into two states, accept being second-class citizens in the Israeli state or perpetual conflict because they could not win. The Arab states chose the third option because it is in their interest to maintain unity against their common enemy, Israel. They could even share a common enemy with the hated Persian Shia in Iran. So rather than helping the Palestinians to develop by investing in education, healthcare, jobs and infrastructure, etc. the Arab states, especially Saudi Arabia, help to keep them poor but well armed. Palestinian refugees would remain a festering sore in the Middle East to remind the world of Israel’s perfidy. And any aid that did come ended up in corrupt pockets, not in helping development.

The obvious counter example was Jordan, which developed itself, with little help from its Arab brethren and eventually made grudging peace with Israel. The difference in Jordan was good Arab leadership that recognised that Israel was not going way and war for ever was not a good development policy.

At the geopolitical level, several threads played out. The UN became a place where the Israel and Arab conflicts became a symbolic pawn in the Cold War, especially in the Security Council with the US on the Israeli side and the USSR on the Arab side (with exceptions, ie the Saudis). That hardened the US position and associated in American minds Israel with our side and the Arabs with the other guys.

Even though I have no support for the Israeli position, I find the opposition to Israel questionable in its failure to be similarly outraged by a vast number of other moral horrors in the recent past and currently active. Just to name a few: Cambodia, Tibet, Sudan, Somalia, Nicaragua, Mexico, Argentina, Liberia, Central African Republic, Uganda, North Korea, Bosnia, Kosovo, Venezuela, Syria, Egypt, Libya, Zimbabwe and, especially right now, Nigeria.

Palestinian relatives of Islamic Jihad militant Shaaban Al-Dahdouh, which was found under the rubble, during funeral in Gaza City, Wednesday, Aug. 6, 2014. (AP Photo/Hatem Moussa)
Palestinian relatives of Islamic Jihad militant Shaaban Al-Dahdouh, which was found under the rubble, during funeral in Gaza City, Wednesday, Aug. 6, 2014. (AP Photo/Hatem Moussa)
Israeli reserve solders gather in a staging area near the Israel-Gaza border, Tuesday, Aug. 5, 2014. (AP Photo/Tsafrir Abayov)
A makeshift tent stands near to the destruction of buildings at a residential neighborhood, in Beit Lahiya, northern Gaza Strip, Thursday, Aug. 7, 2014. (AP Photo/Hatem Moussa)
Palestinians crowd a window for food aid at a United Nations distribution centre in the Shati refugee camp in Gaza City, Wednesday, Aug. 6, 2014. (AP Photo/Hatem Moussa)
A Palestinian woman waits to receive food aid at a United Nations distribution centre in the Shati refugee camp in Gaza City, Wednesday, Aug. 6, 2014. (AP Photo/Hatem Moussa)
A shop owner carries merchandise outside his shop at a market in Gaza City, northern Gaza Strip, Wednesday, Aug. 6, 2014. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)
A Palestinian vendor arranges his merchandise at a market in Gaza City, northern Gaza Strip, Wednesday, Aug. 6, 2014. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)
Catholic Priest Fr Martin Magill and Buddist Frank Liddy use bell to sound a minutes silence as hundreds gather at Belfast City Hall tonight to pray for peace in the Middle East and an end to other global conflicts. Picture date: Wednesday August 6, 2014. Photo credit: Niall Carson/PA
Hundreds gather at Belfast City Hall for a multi-faith service to pray for peace in the Middle East and an end to other global conflicts. Picture date: Wednesday August 6, 2014. Photo: Niall Carson/PA
Displaced Palestinian Sandus Shaladan sits at a U.N. school where her family had sought refuge during the war, in Gaza City, Gaza Strip, Thursday, Aug. 7, 2014.(AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)
A Palestinian boy with a fractured arm from fallen debris caused by an Israeli strike according to the family waits to be checked by Dr. Afif Quneibi, a Palestinian orthopaedic specialist from the West Bank city of Hebron, at the Al Aqsa Martyrs hospital in Deir el-Balah, central Gaza Strip, Wednesday, Aug. 6, 2014. Quneibi is one of the several Palestinian doctors from the West Bank that volunteered and crossed into Gaza to offer their help with the wounded by the war. AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)
Palestinians shop at a market in Gaza City, northern Gaza Strip, Wednesday, Aug. 6, 2014. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)
Volunteer Jenn Byrne takes part in a photocall on Grafron Street, Dublin, where Amnesty International called on the US government to immediately end its ongoing deliveries of large quantities of arms to Israel. The organisation is calling for the imposition of a total arms embargo on all parties to the conflict. Photo: Niall Carson/PA
Backdropped by the damaged minaret of the Al-Azba mosque, Palestinians inspect the damage to the Nada Towers residential neighborhood in the town of Beit Lahiya, northern Gaza Strip, Tuesday, Aug. 5, 2014. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)
Israeli solders pose for a group photo on a tank before they leave a staging area near the Israel-Gaza border, Tuesday, Aug. 5, 2014. (AP Photo/Tsafrir Abayov)
A member of the Shabat family inspects damages upon returning to the family house, destroyed by Israeli strikes in the town of Beit Hanoun, northern Gaza Strip, Tuesday, Aug. 5, 2014. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)
Overview of a tunnel built underground by Hamas militants leading from the Gaza Strip into Southern Israel, seen on August 4, 2014 near the Israeli Gaza border, Israel. (Photo by Ilia Yefimovich/Getty Images)
Reserve soldiers are seen on the top of an armored personnel carrier: Israeli military has announced the withdrawal of all its ground forces to defensive positions
A Palestinian elderly woman walks on the rubble of her destroyed house hit by an Israeli strike in Beit Lahiya, in the northern Gaza Strip, Monday, Aug. 4, 2014. (AP Photo/Adel Hana)
Palestinian medics try to revive Raghad Masoud, 34 months, who was injured in an Israeli strike, at the Kuwaiti hospital at Rafah refugee camp, in southern Gaza Strip, Monday, Aug. 4, 2014. (AP Photo/Khalil Hamra)
Palestinians walk in front of destroyed buildings hit by an Israeli strike in Beit Lahiya, in the northern Gaza Strip, Monday, Aug. 4, 2014. (AP Photo/Adel Hana)
Israelis stand near a flipped bus at the scene of an attack in Jerusalem, Monday, Aug. 4, 2014. (AP Photo/Sebastian Scheiner)
Palestinian mourners carry the bodies of members of the Najam family, killed overnight in an Israeli strike at the family house, during the funeral in Beit Lahiya, Gaza Strip, Monday, Aug, 4, 2014. Seven family members were killed in an Israeli strike on their home Sunday night and many more were wounded, a Palestinian health ministry official said. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)
Palestinians pass parts of a missile which destroyed the house of the Najam family in the Jebaliya refugee camp, Gaza Strip, Monday Aug, 4, 2014. Seven Najam family members were killed in an Israeli missile strike on their home Sunday night and many more were wounded, a health ministry official said. (AP Photo/Dusan Vranic)
Relatives take the bodies of four Palestinians from the hospital for burial, in Beit Lahiya, Gaza Strip, Monday Aug, 4, 2014. The four were killed in an missile strike outside their homes, according to the relatives. (AP Photo/Dusan Vranic)
Pro Palestinian supporters, who preferred to remain unnamed, wave Palestinian flags during a protest in Dealey Plaza, Sunday, Aug. 3, 2014, in Dallas . (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)
A pro Palestine mural in Belfast as Loyalist and Republican groups take rival positions of support for Israel and Palestine during the current flare up in the conflict.
Israeli flags hang alongside Union flags and a UVF flag in Cluan Place, Belfast, as Loyalist and Republican groups take rival positions of support for Israel and Palestine during the current flare up in the conflict
Palestinian Nidal Abu Rjeilah, 30, leans over the blanket-covered corpse of his disabled sister Ghadeer, 17, in the southern Gaza village of Khuzaa on Friday, Aug. 1, 2014. (AP Photo/Khalil Hamra)
Flag of Palestine projected onto the Houses of Parliament, Westminster, central London. Friday August 1, 2014.
Palestinians search for bodies at the rubble of the destroyed house for the Bayoumi family in the Nusseirat refugee camp in the central Gaza Strip on Friday, Aug. 1, 2014. (AP Photo/Adel Hana)
A masked Palestinian kicks a burning tire during clashes following a protest against thewar oin the Gaza Strip, outside Ofer, an Israeli military prison near the West Bank city of Ramallah, Friday, Aug. 1, 2014. (AP Photo/Majdi Mohammed)
A Palestinians inspects the damage amidst rubble from destroyed houses in the heavily bombed town of Beit Hanoun, Gaza Strip, close to the Israeli border, Friday, Aug. 1, 2014. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)
A Palestinian inspects a destroyed house, in the heavily bombed town of Beit Hanoun, Gaza Strip, close to the Israeli border, Friday, Aug. 1, 2014. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)
Israeli reserved soldiers direct a Merkava tank to cross a road in the southern Israel as it advances towards the Israel Gaza border, Friday, Aug. 1, 2014. (AP Photo/Tsafrir Abayov)
Israeli Merkava tanks drive in southern Israel as they advance towards the Israel Gaza border, Friday, Aug. 1, 2014. (AP Photo/Tsafrir Abayov)
Israeli reserved soldiers direct a Merkava tank to cross a road in the southern Israel as it advances towards the Israel Gaza border, Friday, Aug. 1, 2014. (AP Photo/Tsafrir Abayov)
Palestinians rush to inspect the damage of their houses caused by Israeli strikes in the village of Khuzaa, southern Gaza Strip, close to the Israeli border, Friday, Aug. 1, 2014. (AP Photo/Khalil Hamra)
Palestinian children wounded in Israeli shelling are treated in a hospital in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip, Friday, Aug. 1, 2014. (AP Photo/Eyad Baba)
Palestinian onlookers and motorists pause to inspect a bomb from the Israeli military lying unexploded on the main road in Deir el-Balah in the central Gaza Strip, Friday, Aug. 1, 2014. (AP Photo/Adel Hana)
Palestinian worshippers run to take cover when an Israeli strike hit the roof of a building across from Al Qassam mosque, where they were offering Friday prayer in Nusseirat refugee camp in the central Gaza Strip on Friday, Aug. 1, 2014. (AP Photo/Adel Hana)
A Palestinian relative salvages belongings from the rubble of the destroyed house of the Bayoumi family in the Nusseirat refugee camp in the central Gaza Strip on Friday, Aug. 1, 2014. (AP Photo/Adel Hana)
Palestinians carry a lifeless body found under the rubble while people inspect the damage caused by Israeli strikes in the village of Khuzaa, southern Gaza Strip, close to the Israeli border, Friday, Aug. 1, 2014 (AP Photo/Khalil Hamra)
Palestinians run for cover during clashes with Israeli soldiers following a protest against the war in the Gaza Strip, outside Ofer, an Israeli military prison near the West Bank city of Ramallah, Friday, Aug. 1, 2014. (AP Photo/Majdi Mohammed)
A Palestinian inspects a destroyed house in the Bureij refugee camp in the central Gaza Strip on Friday, Aug. 1, 2014. (AP Photo/Adel Hana)
Palestinians inspect the damage of their destroyed houses following Israeli strikes in the village of Khuzaa, southern Gaza Strip, close to the Israeli border, Friday, Aug. 1, 2014. (AP Photo/Khalil Hamra)
Palestinians salvage belongings from the rubble of their destroyed house in the heavily bombed town of Beit Hanoun, Gaza Strip, close to the Israeli border, Friday, Aug. 1, 2014. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)
A Palestinian holds a pet bird he salvaged from the rubble of a destroyed house, in the heavily bombed town of Beit Hanoun, Gaza Strip, close to the Israeli border, Friday, Aug. 1, 2014. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)
Palestinians search the rubble their home in Beit Hanoun, Gaza Strip, Friday, Aug. 1, 2014. (AP Photo/Hatem Moussa)
A medic carries a Palestinian baby injured in Israeli shelling in a hospital in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip, Friday, Aug. 1, 2014. (AP Photo/Eyad Baba)
Palestinian Abir Wahdan, 39, left, and her husband Muhammed, inspect the rubble of what used to be their family house in the heavily bombed town of Beit Hanoun, Gaza Strip, close to the Israeli border, Friday, Aug. 1, 2014. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)
Palestinians carry their belongings after salvaging them from their destroyed houses in the heavily bombed town of Beit Hanoun, Gaza Strip, close to the Israeli border, Friday, Aug. 1, 2014. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)
A Palestinian reacts as he walks in the heavily bombed town of Beit Hanoun, Gaza Strip, close to the Israeli border, Friday, Aug. 1, 2014 (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)
A Palestinian woman stands near the rubble of destroyed houses in the heavily bombed town of Beit Hanoun, Gaza Strip, close to the Israeli border, Friday, Aug. 1, 2014. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)
Jewish protesters take part in a 'Stop the War Coalition' demonstration outside the Israeli Embassy on August 1, 2014 in London, England. (Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images)
Jewish protesters take part in a 'Stop the War Coalition' demonstration outside the Israeli Embassy on August 1, 2014 in London, England. (Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images)
Protesters take part in a 'Stop the War Coalition' demonstration outside the Israeli Embassy on August 1, 2014 in London, England. (Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images)
Palestinian Abdel Aziz Jendiyah, 4, stands in front of a six-story building, destroyed by an Israeli strike, adjacent to his family house, in the Sabra neighborhood of Gaza City, northern Gaza Strip, Thursday, July 31, 2014. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)
A displaced Palestinian boy, still inside a classroom, eats a snack at the Abu Hussein U.N. school in Jebaliya refugee camp, northern Gaza Strip, Wednesday, July 30, 2014. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)
Palestinian women rest at the Abu Hussein U.N. school, in the Jebaliya refugee camp, northern Gaza Strip, Wednesday, July 30, 2014. (AP Photo/Hatem Moussa)
A boy looks through a hole on the wall made by the shelling at the Abu Hussein U.N. school in the Jebaliya refugee camp in the northern Gaza Strip on Wednesday, July 30, 2014. Some 3,300 Gazans seeking shelter from the fighting had been crowded into the U.N. school in Jebaliya refugee camp when it was hit by a series of Israeli artillery shells. (AP Photo/Hatem Moussa)
Palestinian inspect damages of their home which caught on fire following an Israeli strike that hit the next-door Hamas movement's Al-Aqsa satellite TV station in Gaza City, Thursday, July 31, 2014. (AP Photo/Khalil Hamra)
Israeli soldiers stand on top of a tank in a staging area near the Israel Gaza border, Thursday, July 31, 2014. (AP Photo/Tsafrir Abayov)
Smoke rises after an Israeli strike hit the offices of the Hamas movement's Al-Aqsa satellite TV station, in Gaza City, northern Gaza Strip, Thursday, July 31, 2014. (AP Photo/Hatem Moussa)
A man shouts for help after two people were killed in an Israeli air strike on a van in Gaza City on Thursday, July 31, 2014. (AP Photo/Adel Hana)
A Palestinian carries his daughter as they flee, following an Israeli airstrike on an apartment building in Rafah on Thursday, July 31, 2014. A woman was killed, as her husband was wounded in the apartment damaged by the strike, according to Gaza health official Ashraf al-Kidra. (AP Photo/Hatem Ali)
A Palestinian medic shouts for help in front of an apartment building on fire caused by an Israeli strike in Rafah on Thursday, July 31, 2014. A woman was killed, as her husband was wounded in the strike, according to Gaza health official Ashraf al-Kidra. (AP Photo/Hatem Ali)
Palestinian Heygar Jendiyah, left, points to where the family house kitchen once stood, partially destroyed by an Israeli strike earlier during the war, as her children Ranin, 10, center, and Helmi, right, listen, in the Sabra neighborhood of Gaza City, northern Gaza Strip, Thursday, July 31, 2014. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)
Banner hangs from Westminster Bridge, London, by campaigners who are demanding an end to UK arms sales to Israel
A Palestinian stands on the rubble of what used to be the house belonging to Muhammed Jmasy family. Thursday, July 31, 2014. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)
Smoke rises after an Israeli strike hit Gaza City, northern Gaza Strip, Thursday, July 31, 2014. Israel said Thursday it has called up another 16,000 reservists (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)
Smoke rises after an Israeli strike hit Gaza City, northern Gaza Strip, Thursday, July 31, 2014. Israel said Thursday it has called up another 16,000 reservists (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)
An injured Palestinian receives treatment at Nasser hospital following an Israeli airstrike in Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip, Wednesday, July 30, 2014. (AP Photo/Hatem Ali)
Palestinian freelance photographer Motaz Al Salhy, center, accompanied by colleagues, cries as he holds the bloodied helmet of his friend, freelance cameraman Rami Rayan, who was killed while working, in an Israeli strike in Shijaiyah neighborhood outside the morgue of Gaza City's Shifa hospital, on Wednesday, July 30, 2014. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)
Palestinians injured from an Israeli Strike in Shijaiyah neighborhood, wait to receive treatment, at the emergency room of Shifa Hospital, in Gaza City, Wednesday, July 30, 2014. (AP Photo/Khalil Hamra)
Palestinians grieve over the bodies of their relatives killed in an Israeli strike at a U.N. school in the Jebaliya refugee camp, at the Kamal Adwan hospital in Beit Lahiya, northern Gaza Strip, Wednesday, July 30, 2014. (AP Photo/Khalil Hamra)
Palestinians carry a man on a strecher to an ambulance following an Israeli Strike in Shijaiyah neighborhood, eastern Gaza City, Wednesday, July 30, 2014. (AP Photo/Adel Hana)
Palestinians help carry injured men following an Israeli Strike in Shijaiyah neighborhood, eastern Gaza City, Wednesday, July 30, 2014. (AP Photo/Adel Hana)
Palestinians help an injured man following an Israeli Strike in the Shijaiyah neighborhood, eastern Gaza City, Wednesday, July 30, 2014. (AP Photo/Adel Hana)
A Palestinian worker inspects the damage of a destroyed carton factory after it was hit in an Israeli air strike in the Nusseirat refugee camp, in the central Gaza Strip, Tuesday, July 29, 2014. (AP Photo/Adel Hana)
A Palestinian weeps as he attends the bodies of Shaher al-Najar and his brother Bassem, killed in an Israeli strike, at the family house during the funeral in the Jebaliya refugee camp, northern Gaza Strip, Wednesday, July 30, 2014. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)
An Israeli forces flare lights up the sky of eastern Gaza City, early Wednesday, July 30, 2014, amid Israel's heaviest air and artillery assault in more than three weeks of Israel-Hamas fighting. (AP Photo/Khalil Hamra)
Israeli reserve soldiers rest at a stop near the Israel Gaza border after fighting in Khan Younis in the Gaza Strip on Wednesday, July 30, 2014. (AP Photo/Tsafrir Abayov)
Israeli reserve soldiers return to Israel after fighting in Khan Younis in the Gaza Strip, as walking on a road near the Israel Gaza border on Wednesday, July 30, 2014. (AP Photo/Tsafrir Abayov)
Palestinians carry bodies of 10 members of the Al Astal immediate and extended family, killed by an Israeli strike early at their houses, during their funeral in Khan Younis, in the southern Gaza Strip, Wednesday, July 30, 2014. (AP Photo/Eyad Baba)
Palestinians prepare the bodies to pray over white coffin-draped bodies of ten members of the Al Astal immediate and extended family, killed by an Israeli strike early at their houses, during their funeral in Khan Younis, in the southern Gaza Strip, Wednesday, July 30, 2014. (AP Photo/Eyad Baba)
Palestinians inspect damage to adjacent houses from a fallen minaret of the Al-Sousi mosque that was destroyed in an Israel strike, at the Shati refugee camp, in the northern Gaza Strip, Wednesday, July 30, 2014. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)
Palestinian Ismail Radwan, 45, inspects the damage to his family apartment caused by a fallen minaret of the Al-Sousi mosque, that was destroyed in an Israel strike, at Shati refugee camp, in the northern Gaza Strip, Wednesday, July 30, 2014.(AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)
A Palestinian inspects damage to adjacent houses from a fallen minaret of the Al-Sousi mosque that was destroyed in an Israel strike, at the Shati refugee camp, in the northern Gaza Strip, Wednesday, July 30, 2014. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)
Smoke rises from Al Zafer tower apartment damaged by an Israeli strike in Gaza City in the northern Gaza Strip on Wednesday, July 30, 2014. (AP Photo/Adel Hana)
Palestinians help a man wounded as they walk over the rubble of destroyed buildings following an Israeli airstrike in Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip, Wednesday, July 30, 2014. (AP Photo/Eyad Baba)
Palestinians help a woman overcome by emotion during the funeral of Shaher al-Najar, left, and his brother Bassem al-Najar, right, killed in an Israeli strike, at the family house in Jebaliya refugee camp, northern Gaza Strip, Wednesday, July 30, 2014. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)
A Palestinian man grieves the death of his relative following an Israeli strike at a U.N. school in Jebaliya refugee camp, at the Kamal Adwan Hospital in Beit Lahiya, northern Gaza Strip, Wednesday, July 30, 2014. (AP Photo/Khalil Hamra)
Palestinians look at donkeys killed and wounded, by an Israeli strike earlier, at and around the adjacent Abu Hussein U.N. school, seen background, in Jebaliya refugee camp, northern Gaza Strip, Wednesday, July 30, 2014. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)
A Palestinian man shows a pool of blood where Shaher al-Najar and his brother Bassem al-Najar were killed by an Israeli strike, while sleeping at the family house in Jebaliya refugee camp, northern Gaza Strip, Wednesday, July 30, 2014. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)
A Palestinian boy weeps next to the body of Bassem al-Najar, killed in an Israeli strike, at the family house during the funeral in Jebaliya refugee camp, northern Gaza Strip, Wednesday, July 30, 2014. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)
Palestinians cry around the bodies of Shaher al-Najar, left, and his brother Bassem al-Najar, right, killed in an Israeli strike, at the family house during their funeral in Jebaliya refugee camp, northern Gaza Strip, Wednesday, July 30, 2014 (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)
A Palestinian girl carries belongings as she and her family leave the Abu Hussein U.N. school in the Jebaliya refugee camp, northern Gaza Strip, hit by an Israeli strike earlier, on Wednesday, July 30, 2014. (AP Photo/Khalil Hamra)
Smoke rises in the sky following Israeli strikes on eastern Gaza City, early Wednesday, July 30, 2014, amid Israel's heaviest air and artillery assault in more than three weeks of Israel-Hamas fighting. (AP Photo/Khalil Hamra)
A Palestinian man rests after receiving treatment for injuries caused by an Israeli strike at a U.N. school in the Jebaliya refugee camp, at the Kamal Adwan hospital in Beit Lahiya, northern Gaza Strip, Wednesday, July 30, 2014. (AP Photo/Khalil Hamra)
A Palestinian man leaves the Kamal Adwan hospital in Beit Lahiya after receiving treatment for his wounds caused by an Israeli strike at a UN school in Jebaliya refugee camp, northern Gaza Strip, Wednesday, July 30, 2014. (AP Photo/Khalil Hamra)
A Palestinian boy cries while receiving treatment for injuries caused by an Israeli strike at a U.N. school in Jebaliya refugee camp, at the Kamal Adwan hospital in Beit Lahiya, northern Gaza Strip, Wednesday, July 30, 2014. (AP Photo/Khalil Hamra)
Palestinian mourners carry the bloodied bag with the body of their loved one, killed in an Israeli strike in Shijaiyah neighborhood, out of the morgue of Gaza City's Shifa hospital, during the funeral, on Wednesday, July 30, 2014. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)
Injured Palestinians lay on the ground following an Israeli Strike in Shijaiyah neighborhood, eastern Gaza City, Wednesday, July 30, 2014. (AP Photo/Adel Hana)
A South Korean student displays a message during a rally against the Israeli military operations in Gaza and the West Bank and wishes for peace near the Israeli Embassy in Seoul, South Korea, Wednesday, July 30, 2014. (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man)
A mural on the Falls Road, Belfast, calling for the 'Immediate Expulsion of All Israeli Diplomats from Eire' Picture date: Wednesday July 30, 2014.Photo: Brian Lawless/PA
A mural on the Falls Road, Belfast, calling for the 'Immediate Expulsion of All Israeli Diplomats from Eire' Picture date: Wednesday July 30, 2014.Photo: Brian Lawless/PA
Protesters against military action in Gaza during a demonstration in Bristo Square, Edinburgh
A Palestinian relative helps a wounded woman following an Israeli air strike on a building in Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip, Wednesday, July 30, 2014.(AP Photo/Eyad Baba)
Palestinians collect body parts in a classroom at the Abu Hussein U.N. school in Jebaliya refugee camp, northern Gaza Strip, hit by an Israeli strike earlier, on Wednesday, July 30, 2014 (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)
A Palestinian man rushes a child, injured from an Israeli Strike in Shijaiyah neighborhood, to an emergency room at Shifa Hospital, in Gaza City, Wednesday, July 30, 2014. (AP Photo/Khalil Hamra)
Palestinians help carry injured men following an Israeli Strike in Shijaiyah neighborhood, eastern Gaza City, Wednesday, July 30, 2014. (AP Photo/Adel Hana)
Palestinians gather outside a classroom at the Abu Hussein U.N. school in Jebaliya refugee camp, northern Gaza Strip, hit by an Israeli strike earlier, on Wednesday, July 30, 2014 (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)
Palestinians inspect the damage at the Ameen mosque in Gaza City, northern Gaza Strip, destroyed by an Israeli strike, Tuesday, July 29, 2014. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)
Smoke and fire from the explosion of an Israeli strike rise over Gaza City, Tuesday, July 29, 2014. (AP Photo/Hatem Moussa)
A United Nations aid agency car lies destroyed by shrapnel from an Israeli strike in the Jebaliya refugee camp, northern Gaza Strip, Tuesday, July 29, 2014. UN aid agency worker Mounir Haggar and his brother Bassir who were in the car were killed and Mounir's son Ibrahim, 12, was wounded, according to the UN. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)
Palestinians gather around a United Nations aid agency car that was damaged by shrapnel from an Israeli strike, in the Jebaliya refugee camp, northern Gaza Strip, Tuesday, July 29, 2014. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)
Palestinians inspect the damage at the Ameen mosque in Gaza City, northern Gaza Strip, destroyed by an Israeli strike, Tuesday, July 29, 2014. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)
In this image taken from video an explosion hits the media complex that houses the offices of Hamas-run Al Aqsa television and radio in central Gaza City early on Tuesday, July 29, 2014. The building also houses offices of a number of Arab satellite television news channels. (AP Photo/APTN)
Smoke from the explosion of an Israeli strike rises over a UN school at Jebaliya refugee camp, in the northern Gaza Strip, where Palestinian displaced people had found refuge, on Tuesday, July 29, 2014. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)
A Palestinian, relative of a person killed in an Israeli strike in Jebaliya refugee camp, in the northern Gaza Strip, cries as he walks during the funeral in Beit Lahiya, Tuesday, July 29, 2014. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)
An Israeli reserve soldier gives the victory sign before entering the Gaza Strip near the Israel Gaza border, Tuesday, July 29, 2014. (AP Photo/Tsafrir Abayov)
Damaged Hamas prime minister's office is seen following Israeli strikes in Gaza City, in the Gaza Strip, Tuesday, July 29, 2014. (AP Photo/Khalil Hamra)
A Palestinian worker carries a mattress from a destroyed carton factory after it was hit in an Israeli air strike in the Nusseirat refugee camp, in the central Gaza Strip, Tuesday, July 29, 2014. (AP Photo/Adel Hana)
Smoke and fire from the explosion of an Israeli strike rise over Gaza City, Tuesday, July 29, 2014. (AP Photo/Hatem Moussa)
Smoke from the explosion of an Israeli strike rises over Gaza City, Tuesday, July 29, 2014. (AP Photo/Hatem Moussa)
Smoke and flames rise from the Gaza power plant after it was hit by Israeli strikes, in the Nusseirat refugee camp, central Gaza Strip,Tuesday, July 29, 2014. (AP Photo/Adel Hana)
Smoke rises from an Israeli strike in Gaza City, Tuesday, July 29, 2014. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)
Smoke rises from an Israeli strike in Gaza City, Tuesday, July 29, 2014. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)
A Palestinian from a damaged neighbouring apartment building inspects the damage of the offices of the Hamas movement's Al-Aqsa satellite TV station, in Gaza City, northern Gaza Strip, destroyed by an Israeli strike, Tuesday, July 29, 2014. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)
Smoke from the explosion of an Israeli strike rise over Gaza City, Tuesday, July 29, 2014. (AP Photo/Hatem Moussa)
Smoke and flames rise from a burning fuel tank of Gaza's only power plant after it was hit by Israeli strikes in the Nusseirat Refugee Camp, central Gaza Strip,Tuesday, July 29, 2014. (AP Photo/Adel Hana)
A Palestinian from a neighbouring apartment building inspects the damage of the offices of the Hamas movement's Al-Aqsa satellite TV station, in Gaza City, northern Gaza Strip, destroyed by an Israeli strike, Tuesday, July 29, 2014. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)
US Secretary of State John Kerry answers questions about Israel's invasion of Gaza and the current situation in Ukraine following a meeting with Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin at the State Department July 29, 2014 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
Seen from Gaza City, smoke and flames rise from Gaza's electricity distribution company plant after it was hit by Israeli strikes in the Nusseirat refugee camp, central Gaza Strip,Tuesday, July 29, 2014 (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)
Smoke rises from the offices of the Hamas movement's Al-Aqsa satellite TV station, in Gaza City, northern Gaza Strip, shortly after was hit and destroyed by an Israeli strike, Tuesday, July 29, 2014. (AP Photo/Hatem Moussa)
A Palestinian walks on the rubble of the house of the top Hamas leader in Gaza, Ismail Haniyeh, hit by a pre-dawn Israeli strike, in Gaza City, northern Gaza Strip, Tuesday, July 29, 2014 (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)
Israeli forces' flares light up the night sky of Gaza City on early Tuesday, July 29, 2014. A truce between Israel and Hamas militants in Gaza remained elusive as diplomats sought to end the fighting at the start of the Eid al-Fitr holiday, marking the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. (AP Photo/Khalil Hamra)
Smoke raises in the air following Israeli shelling in Gaza City on early Tuesday, July 29, 2014. (AP Photo/Khalil Hamra)
Palestinian relatives comfort each other in front of the morgue of Shifa hospital following an explosion that killed 10 people, nine of them children at a park at Shati refugee camp, in Gaza city, in the northern Gaza Strip, Monday, July 28, 2014 (AP Photo/Adel Hana)
An Israeli reserve soldier makes a wall with the Star of David from cardboard mortar shell boxes near the Israel Gaza border, Monday, July 28, 2014. (AP Photo/Tsafrir Abayov)
Israeli forces' flares light up the night sky of Gaza City on early Tuesday, July 29, 2014. (AP Photo/Khalil Hamra)
Israeli forces' flares light up the night sky of Gaza City on early Tuesday, July 29, 2014. (AP Photo/Khalil Hamra)
Israeli forces flares light up the night sky in the east of Gaza City on Monday, July 28, 2014. (AP Photo/Khalil Hamra)
Israeli soldiers sleep on the top of a tank near the Israel Gaza border, Monday, July 28, 2014. (AP Photo/Tsafrir Abayov)
Palestinian relatives cry when mourners carry out the body of Gamal Ielian, 10, who was killed along with 9 other people, all but one of them children, in an explosion at a park at the Shati refugee camp, in the northern Gaza Strip, Monday, July 28, 2014. (AP Photo/Adel Hana)
Demonstrators show their support during a pro-Israel rally on July 28, 2014 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
A pro-Israeli demonstrator faces a group of Pro-Palestine demonstrators who staged a counter-demonstration across the street from a pro-Israel rally on July 28, 2014 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
People take part in a rally in support of Israel near the United Nations Headquarters on July 28, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)
Used artillery shells litter the ground on the morning of July 28, 2014 near Kafar Azza, Israel. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)
Smoke from an Israeli strike rises over the northern Gaza Strip on Sunday, July 27 (AP Photo/Adel Hana)
A member of the foreign media, left, cries as she embraces her Palestinian news assistant, right, who burst into tears after discovering his family house was destroyed by Israeli strikes in Beit Hanoun, northern Gaza Strip, Saturday, July 26, 2014. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)
A Palestinian doctor treats 3-day-old Shaymaa al-Sheikh Ali at Nasser Hospital in Khan Younis, in the northern Gaza Strip, Sunday, July 27, 2014. (AP Photo/Eyad Baba)
Palestinians carry the coffin of Christian woman Jalila Ayyad, 70, who was killed by an Israeli strike hit that destroyed her house, during her funeral at a church in Gaza City, Sunday, July 27, 2014.(AP Photo/Khalil Hamra)
A female protester against military action in Gaza wears a 'Silence is injustice' sign as she marches through Westminster, central London. Picture date: Saturday July 26, 2014.
Supporters of Israel are reflected in a mirror built on the Old Port during a demonstration in Marseille, southern France, Sunday, July 27, 2014 (AP Photo/Claude Paris)
Smoke from an Israeli strike rises over a building in Gaza City in the northern Gaza Strip on Sunday, July 27, 2014. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)
Israeli left wing activists light candles with shape of the word "Sorry" in Hebrew and place portraits on the ground of Israelis and Palestinians who have been killed in the conflict, during a demonstration against the Gaza war, in Tel Aviv, Israel, Saturday, July 26, 2014. (AP Photo/Dan Balilty)
Supporters of Israel wave flags and shout slogans during a demonstration in Marseille, southern France, Sunday, July 27, 2014. (AP Photo/Claude Paris)
A Palestinian man walks by buildings heavily damaged by Israeli strikes in Beit Hanoun, northern Gaza Strip, Saturday, July 26, 2014. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)
Palestinians walk amid the rubble of houses destroyed by Israeli strikes in Beit Hanoun, northern Gaza Strip, Sunday, July 27, 2014. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)
Damage from Israeli strikes leaves a room in the children's ward scattered with debris, at a hospital in Beit Hanoun, northern Gaza Strip, Sunday, July 27, 2014. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)
Smoke from Israeli strikes rises over Gaza City, in the northern Gaza Strip, Sunday, July 27, 2014. (AP Photo/Adel Hana)
Palestinians inspect the rubble of a destroyed house following an Israeli strike killing Christian woman Jalila Ayyad, 70, in Gaza City on Sunday, July 27, 2014. (AP Photo/Khalil Hamra)
An Israeli tank fires towards Gaza, near the Israel and Gaza border in the morning of Sunday, July 27, 2014. (AP Photo/Tsafrir Abayov)
A Palestinian child who was injured in the war in Gaza gives the victory sign as he is prepared to be moved by ambulance from a hospital in north Sinai to Cairo after crossing the Gaza Egypt border Saturday, in el-Arish, 290 kilometers (180 miles) east of Cairo, Egypt, early Sunday, July 27, 2014.(AP Photo/Muhamed Sabry)
A news cameraman films at a live position as in the background smoke rises from an Israeli strike in Gaza City, Sunday, July 27, 2014. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)
Smoke from Israeli strikes rises over Gaza City, in the northern Gaza Strip, Sunday, July 27, 2014. (AP Photo/Adel Hana)
Smoke from Israeli strikes rises over Gaza City, in the northern Gaza Strip, Sunday, July 27, 2014. (AP Photo/Adel Hana)
Pro-Palestinian protesters run amid tear gas canisters, as clashes erupted at Place de La Republique during a banned demonstration in support of Gaza, in Paris, France, Saturday, July 26, 2014 (AP Photo/Francois Mori )
A Palestinian supporter yells at opposing Israeli supporters as hundreds protest the war between Israel and Hamas members in the Gaza Strip in Toronto on Saturday, July 26, 2014. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Darren Calabrese)
Israeli soldiers pray near the Israeli Gaza border as the 24 hour ceasefire begins on July 27, 2014 on the Israeli/Gaza border, Israel. (Photo by Ilia Yefimovich/Getty Images)
sraeli soldiers pray near the Israeli Gaza border as the 24 hour ceasefire begins on July 27, 2014 on the Israeli/Gaza border, Israel. (Photo by Ilia Yefimovich/Getty Images)
Israeli soldiers pray near the Israeli Gaza border as the 24 hour ceasefire begins on July 27, 2014 on the Israeli/Gaza border, Israel. (Photo by Ilia Yefimovich/Getty Images)
Smoke rises from Gaza Strip after Israeli shelling moment before the 24 hour ceasefire on July 27, 2014 on the Israeli/Gaza border(Photo by Ilia Yefimovich/Getty Images)
Israeli strikes in Gaza are seen after a ceasefire failed on July 27, 2014 near Sderot, Israel. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)
An Israeli tank fires artillery shells after a ceasefire failed on July 27, 2014 near Sderot, Israel (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)
Left wing Israelis take part in a protest against Israel's military operation in the Gaza Strip on July 26, 2014 in Tel Aviv, Israel. (Photo by Lior Mizrahi/Getty Images)
Protesters take part in a 'Stop the War' demonstration march from the Israeli Embassy to the Houses of Parliament on July 26, 2014 in London, England. (Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images)
Protesters take part in a 'Stop the War' demonstration march from the Israeli Embassy to the Houses of Parliament on July 26, 2014 in London, England. (Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images)
Orthodox Jews show their support for peace in Gaza as they attend a 'Stop the War' demonstration in Parliament Square on July 26, 2014 in London, England. (Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images)
Protesters take part in a 'Stop the War' demonstration march from the Israeli Embassy to the Houses of Parliament on July 26, 2014 in London, England. (Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images)
In this Thursday, July 24, 2014 photo, Nema Abu al-Foul, 2 , who was injured while playing with others in front of her family's house in the Al-Sabra neighborhood of Gaza City in an Israeli missile strike on July 19, recovers at Shifa hospital. The strike hit a nearby building, breaking her nose and fracturing her skull, her family said. (AP Photo/Khalil Hamra)
A Palestinian man cries after bringing a child, wounded in an Israeli strike on a compound housing a U.N. school in Beit Hanoun, in the northern Gaza Strip, to the emergency room of the Kamal Adwan hospital in Beit Lahiya, Thursday, July 24, 2014. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)
Palestinians inspect the damage of their destroyed houses during a 12-hour cease-fire in Gaza City's Shijaiyah neighborhood, Saturday, July 26, 2014. (AP Photo/Khalil Hamra)
Smoke rises from a vehicle, destroyed by an Israeli strike, after Palestinian fire fighters put out the fire, in Gaza City, early Saturday, July 26, 2014. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)
Palestinians carry their belongings through rubble of houses destroyed by Israeli strikes, as they visit the area during a 12-hour cease-fire in Beit Hanoun, northern Gaza Strip, Saturday, July 26, 2014. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)
Israeli soldiers seen working on a tank near the Israeli-Gaza border on July 25, 2014 near Israel's border with the Gaza Strip. (Photo by Ilia Yefimovich/Getty Images)
Palestinians sit on debris after seeing their homes destroyed in Israel's military operation on Gaza, during a 12-hour cease-fire in Gaza City's Shijaiyah neighborhood, Saturday, July 26, 2014. (AP Photo/Khalil Hamra)
An Israeli soldier seen carrying tank ammo near the Israeli-Gaza border on July 25, 2014 near Israel's border with the Gaza Strip. (Photo by Ilia Yefimovich/Getty Images)
Israeli soldiers gather by flames created from a Molotov cocktail thrown by Palestinians during clashes in Hawara village near the West Bank city of Nablus on Friday, July 25, 2014. (AP Photo/Nasser Ishtayeh)
A member of the media holds his arm after being injured while covering Palestinian supporters of Hamas clash with Israeli security forces on July 25, 2014 near Ramallah, West Bank. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)
Israeli soldiers seen carrying tank ammo near the Israeli-Gaza border on July 25, 2014 near Israel's border with the Gaza Strip. (Photo by Ilia Yefimovich/Getty Images)
Palestinians on the rubble of a home destroyed by an Israeli strike in Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip, Friday, July 25, 2014. (AP Photo/Hatem Moussa)
Palestinian children carry drinking water to their homes in the Nuseirat refugee camp, central Gaza Strip, Friday, July 25, 2014. (AP Photo/Hatem Moussa)
Palestinian children, wounded in an Israeli strike on a compound housing a U.N. school in Beit Hanoun, in the northern Gaza Strip, are treated as they lay on the floor at the emergency room of the Kamal Adwan hospital in Beit Lahiya, Thursday, July 24, 2014. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)
A woman supporter of Jamaat-e-Islami takes part in a demonstration against the Israeli bombings in the Gaza strip, in Islamabad, Pakistan, Saturday, July 26, 2014. (AP Photo/Anjum Naveed)
A Palestinian woman reacts after seeing her destroyed house during a 12-hour cease-fire in Gaza City's Shijaiyah neighborhood, Saturday, July 26, 2014. (AP Photo/Khalil Hamra)
Palestinian supporters of Hamas take shelter while clashing with Israeli security forces on July 25, 2014 near Ramallah, West Bank. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)
Palestinian supporters of Hamas clash with Israeli security forces on July 25, 2014 near Ramallah, West Bank. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)

Arab Spring, which has become a dark winter for most Arabs and the large-scale slaughter now under way along the borders of Iraq and Syria, are good examples of what they do to themselves. And our nations, the US, the Brits, the Dutch, the Russians and the French have all played their parts in these other moral outrages. The gruesome body count and social destruction left behind dwarf anything that the Israelis have done. The only difference with the Israelis is their claim to a moral high ground, which they long ago left behind in the refugee camps of Lebanon. They are now just a nation, like any other, trying to survive in a hostile sea of hate.

We should be clear that, given the opportunity, the Arabs would drive the Jews into the sea and that was true from day one. There was no way back from war once a religious state was declared. So Israel, once committed to a nation state in that location and granted that right by other nations, has had no choice but to fight. In my view, therefore, neither side has any shred of moral standing left, nor have the nations that supported both sides.

So now let’s at look at why the US behaves as it does with a nearly uncritical support of Israel. You are right to criticise our media in so many ways, but that only makes things worse. It does not really explain why. They are simply doing what they think their audiences want to hear. And they are mostly right.

Part of it has to do with post-war American evolution and perceptions of Israel and the Arabs. When I was a boy in the 1950s, through my teenage years anti-Semitism was still common in America. If you were Jewish you did not go to work for IBM or GE. You did not join the navy. You did not go to Harvard, Princeton or Yale. I could not play tennis at my local country club. I regularly heard derisive, anti-Semitic comments from some of my classmates. But by the mid-1960s along with the civil rights movement, toleration in general increased and anti-Semitism declined, almost vanishing. Support of Israel was part of that tolerance and was seen as a noble response to the Holocaust.

The Arabs were seen as the oppressors and enemies of the US. That perception was given particular impetus by the oil embargo of 1973 and the Iranian revolution, even though it was Persians not Arabs, because Americans don’t see that distinction. (We should never forget that we have a Republican-dominated Congress, half of whom do not own a passport and see ignorance as a virtue.)

The Israelis were seen as innovative and benign, people who made the desert bloom. To this was added the growing and ironic support from the US religious right who saw the route to salvation as the Israeli defeat of the Arabs leading to a second coming of Christ. (Of course, we Jews would have to convert to Christianity to survive the second coming.) The attacks of 9/11 amplified the American antipathy to the Arab world. Seeing the delight throughout the Arab world at the fall of the twin towers did not endear the Arabs to the American people. We can add Saddam, Gaddafi and Osama bin Laden to the pantheon of American villains. The UN is no longer seen as legitimate and almost always acting against US interests.

So my generation and most of today’s American leadership grew up with the Israelis as heroic good guys and Arabs/Persians as greedy bad guys. Those of the younger generation, my son Ben’s age (24), have a much more balanced view. Israel’s behaviour in their youth, the past two decades, has destroyed whatever moral standing the Israelis had with them. In addition, the pro-Israeli lobby in America has been very effective in the political arena and their Arab counterparts have been counterproductive. So our leaders who grew up with noble Israel and evil Arabs and supported by Jewish political contributions are unequivocally pro-Israeli while young people are more divided, as is at least some of the Jewish community. Eventually demography will win out as a new more sceptical generation comes to power, a generation for whom Israel will not carry the same moral weight as it did for their parents.

I don’t think there is any honour to go around here. Israel has lost its way and commits horrors in the interest of its own survival. And the Arabs and Persians perpetuate a conflict-ridden neighbourhood with almost no exceptions, fighting against each other and with hate of Israel the only thing that they share.

It is also worth noting that the largest Muslim populations are not Arab and the largest, Indonesia, is fairly peaceful. So it is not about religion. The Arabs have been engaged in tribal conflicts for centuries that from time to time have been quelled by imperial powers such as the Ottomans and strong men such as Saddam and Ibn Saud. And in those wars they have committed horrors on their own people. Observe the genocidal destruction of Homs by Hafez Assad, just to point to a recent example.

The Zionists brought another tribe to the war. It is a tribe that is also divided, like the Arabs, into factions, some of which are fanatical and war like and others more moderate. The comments about the racism of the Zionists are fair, but the Arab world does not lack for similar attitudes. One need only see how the vast number of South Asian, Philippine and African near-slaves are treated even in the more benign countries such as the UAE.

Given that history and current reality, and even though I believe the creation of Israel was a historic disaster, I am a member of the tribe (perhaps its more pacifist, atheist wing). I find objectionable the unique singling out of Israel for condemnation. So if we are prepared to boycott, condemn and shame the Saudis, the Qataris, the Iranians, the Egyptians, the Syrians, the Russians, the Nigerians, the Taliban, the Venezuelans, the Zimbabweans, the Sudanese, the South Sudanese, the Central African Republicans, and let’s not forget the Americans and the British, all of whom are as guilty as Israel, then I will join the demonstration. (Two small things that might help would be if the rich Arab states provided some funding and development assistance for the Palestinians and if the Palestinian government didn’t steal all the aid.)

We find ourselves at a historic impasse. There is no way back. Israel will do whatever it takes to survive. They will not leave. And the Arab identity has become opposition to Israel. It will be centuries, if ever, before they accept the existence of Israel. So both sides will always rightly feel threatened. There will be no other state there but perpetual tribal war with an occasional truce. And in that perpetual state of tribal war there be ample opportunity for horrors on both sides. We can only hope to lower the level of violence, but true peace will remain elusive.

Brian Eno: Why does America continue its blind support of this one-sided exercise in ethnic cleansing? 

Live video

Live streaming video from Gaza 

Further reading

Britain’s role in arming Israel 

Palestine football legend Ahed Zaqout killed in Gaza 

Moderator of the Presbyterian Church of Ireland in plea for peace

Sinn Fein man sorry for 'shell' Israel call

US gives £134m to restock Iron Dome 

Hamas denies snatching Israeli 'dual citizen' who had lived in the UK  

More carnage as Israel pounds Gaza

US gives £134m to restock Iron Dome

Probe into UK arms sales to Israel 

Russell Brand hammers FOX News anchor Sean Hannity over aggressive 'debate' 

Wonder Woman actress Gal Gadot's pro-IDF stance causes controversy

Israel will destroy tunnels 'with or without ceasefire'

Dress the Israel Gaza situation up all you like, but the truth hurts

Israel's propaganda machine is starting to misfire 

MPs' concern over violence in Gaza 

Israel and Hamas agree 3-day truce 

US resupplies Israel with grenades and mortar rounds from War Reserve Stockpile

Swastikas and 'f*** Gaza' graffiti attack by loyalists on Catholic church sparks anger

Penelope Cruz among Spanish stars to sign open letter condemning Israel for 'genocide'

Israel-Gaza crisis: More reserves to join fighting 

UN accuses Israel of possible war crime after school shelling kills 19

Penelope Cruz among Spanish stars to sign open letter condemning Israel for 'genocide' 

Video: Moment UN spokesman breaks down in flood of tears discussing Israeli attacks on Gaza

At least 109 Palestinians killed and power station shut down as Gaza pulverised by the Israeli military in heaviest day of bombardment yet

China 'hacks data' from Israel's Iron Dome missile shield, says report 

Surgeons deliver baby girl by Caesarean section after mother is killed in air strike 

Israeli bombs blast Hamas media hub

Fury at Sinn Fein 'boycott Israel' call

Obama presses Netanyahu to call ‘immediate and unconditional’ Gaza ceasefire

Unionist Lord Kilclooney under fire as he attacks Israel’s blitz on Gaza  

John Prescott condemns Israel's bombardment of Gaza as a 'war crime' 

Pope Francis issues desperate plea to fighters - 'I ask you with all my heart, stop please' 

The secret report that helps Israelis to hide facts 

Gaza war rages despite truce vows

Israel-Hamas ceasefire: At least 60 bodies found in Gaza after 12-hour truce begins

Robert Fisk: What would we do if it had been 35 Palestinian dead, and 800 Israeli? 

Israeli targeting policy under scrutiny after shellfire hits a mother and child, a school full of refugees and a doctor’s home

Israel may have committed war crimes in Gaza, says UN's human rights chief Navi Pillay

Civilian casualties in Gaza tell stories of death and heartbreak 

Deadly flechette shells used by Israeli military in Gaza 

The myth of Hamas’s human shield 

Israel-Gaza conflict: UN chief Ban Ki-moon pushing for ceasefire

Gaza bloodbath claims 500 Palestinian lives in relentless Israeli onslaught

Israel-Gaza conflict: Gaza suffers its deadliest day after ‘heinous massacre’ in Shuja’iya

Scores dead in Gaza ground battle 

Gaza action 'must be proportionate'

Israel more brutal than Hitler: Turkish PM

Thousands gather for Gaza protest

What if British had treated Northern Irish like Israel treats Palestine?

Israel launches Gaza ground offensive as four more Palestinian children are killed including a five-month-old baby

Response to Gaza 'lily-livered'

Gaza children killed as they played football on the beach

Israeli government insists it does not target civilians – the day after four children are killed by shelling

Israel actions 'disproportionate'

Gaza: Four Palestinian boys killed in Israeli rocket attack on beach

The deep-lying racism fuelling the Israeli onslaught

Alexei Sayle: Israel is Jimmy Savile of nation states

'Sderot cinema’ image shows Israelis with popcorn and hookahs 'cheering as missiles strike Palestinian targets'

Gaza back-story: A future Palestine state will have no borders and be an enclave within Israel, surrounded on all sides by Israeli-held territory

From the archives

Students offered grants if they make pro-Israel Facebook posts and tweets  

Cameraman in Gaza 'killed by deadly flechettes fired from Israeli tank'

Israel 'used white phosphorus deliberately and recklessly'

Kim Sengupta: Claims that Israel is using white phosphorus illegally won't go away

UN: Israelis hit our headquarters in Gaza with 'white phosphorus' shells 

Dime bombs leave Israel's victims with mystery wounds 

Israel accused of Gaza war crimes in Amnesty report

Gaza: Demolished in three weeks. Rebuilding it will take years

 Outrage as Israel bombs UN HQ, hospital, school and media building

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