“We Are A People — One People.”

The war in Gaza has divided global opinion; the rights & wrongs of the actions of Hamas and Israel are coming under intense debate & scrutiny, raising further questions on the worth & value of the freedoms and lives of both Israeli’s and Palestinians not just during, but also after the conflict ends.

Peter Winn-Brown

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Black & white image of Jaffa Gate in Jerusalem’s Old City, with people of all cultures milling about, from the beginning of the 20th century
Jaffa Gate in Jerusalem’s Old City, toward the end of the Ottoman Empire’s control over Palestine. Image from +972 magazine.

‘At Basle, I founded the Jewish State. If I said this out loud today, I would be answered by universal laughter. If not in 5 years, certainly in 50, everyone will know it.’

Theordore Herzl, speaking after the First Zionist Congress held in Basle, Switzerland, August, 1897.

Might over right…

Theodore Herzl believed the Jewish Question could only be solved through political discussion by the civilised nations of the world. He said that while ‘might precedes right’ the question of Jewish security and future would not be resolved. And yet, once a Jewish future was established, the Jews themselves undermined their own desire for security by maintaining that which Herzl had identified as the stumbling block to Jewish advancement. ‘Might’ for Israel today, ‘still precedes right.’

And that, for me, is wrong. Whilst for much of the world, that dictum, in respect of Israel alone, still seems perfectly reasonable and acceptable, though why this one nation should be singled out for special treatment and a general relaxation, or some might say, an abdication of the application of international law and human rights abuses has not been adequately explained to me. 🤷

In what today, is a highly pertinent, but also tragically ironic line, Herzl wrote, “…oppression and persecution cannot exterminate us,” insisting that centuries of ‘Jew-baiting’ had merely made Jews stronger.

What, I wonder, would he have made of the apartheid system of oppression and persecution Israel has inflicted on the Palestinians* for so long? Would he have concluded that it would only make them stronger?

I digress…

In the introduction to The Jewish State Herzl makes his desire for human equality clear. He…

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Peter Winn-Brown

The past can illuminate the present if we shine the light of inquiry openly, truthfully, with attention to detail & care for the salient facts.