Colonial Empires expanded as explorers set sail across the oceans and discovered new shores which were then colonised by further exploratory groups. This is seen by modern progressives as exploitation of the indigenous people. It was racially discriminatory in that the foreigners regarded themselves and their culture as superior to the indigenous culture and suppressed it. Colonies were claimed by, fought over, and added to victorious empires.
Is Israel a modern example of colonialism? It could be argued that the Jewish people invaded Israel and supressed the Arab population causing them to flee as refugees. The high-tech capitalist western style culture of Tel Aviv could be seen as a superior foreign colony which has displaced the indigenous culture.
We would argue that this is a short sighted view of the situation. Firstly the Jewish people are the indigenous people of Israel, not foreigners. For millennia they had been foreign wanderers all over the world. They were always minorities and discriminated against, refugees from Israel. In a final solution, after pogroms and widespread discrimination, the Zionist movement was born to give them a safe home where they could be self-governing. It took the genocide of the Second World War to finally bring that vision to realisation as the UN supported the formation of Israel. This was against the wishes of the then colonial power in Palestine – Britian. It was also against the wishes of the Arabs who had been the majority ethic group in most of the area. The UN, in recognition of this, divided the land, but this was rejected by the Arabs, although accepted by the Jews.
So is today’s Tel-Aviv high-tech capitalist culture a colony? No, no more than Abu Dhabi or other modern Arab cities of the Middle East. It is just a modern city, hated by Marxists, but so are all capitalist economies. It is hated too by Islamic ideologists who see it as an intrusion into the ‘dar al-islam’, the Realm of Islam, much like the now forgotten “Christendom”.
To the Marxists we would say that the Jewish people respect Marx (he was Jewish) and most are familiar with his works. They are, however, pragmatic in that they pursue successful economic strategies while upholding socialist ideals. The Israeli political culture extends from far left to far right, just as do those of all democratic peoples.
We would remind the Islamic ideologists that this ‘dar al-harb’ and ‘dar al-islam’ principle (realm of war and realm of peace) is not Koran or Hadith, but a subsequent (almost a century after) ideological construct adopted during the Islamic colonisation of the known world. This was colonialism at its worst.
The old accusation, addressed below, of discrimination against the Arabs of Israel we also refute. They are 20% of the population with full human rights and representation at all levels.
The refugee issue, also addressed below, ignores the hundreds of thousands of refugee Jews of the 1940’s who are now peacefully domiciled in Israel.
Finally, there is no Colonial Empire behind the Jewish establishment of their multi-ethnic State of Israel who’s Declaration of Independence from Colonial Britain concludes with a clause in Arabic extending full rights to all.
Israel is an Apartheid State?
Apartheid was defined as segregation of people based on their ethnicity. Intermixing of races was prohibited by segregated transport, leisure, townships and all public facilities. Worst of all, one race was deemed superior to others and had greater rights than the others, including even the exclusive right to vote.
The Jewish people of Israel are accused of apartheid. The truth is that 20% of Israel’s population is not Jewish and these people have full democratic human rights. They have their property and heritage in the Holy Land. All of Israel’s laws uphold human rights and an Arab judge sits in their Supreme Court.
There are separate areas based on religious differences and these are maintained voluntarily since both synagogues and mosques require their communities to be within walking distance for prayer times and Shabbat. This is a religious requirement not discriminatory and communities have equal rights.
As in all societies there are poorer and richer neighbourhoods. This also is not apartheid since wealth in Israel is independent of race. Indeed Jews are in themselves of diverse ethnicity.
Zionists steal land from Palestinians?
As above, Israel is a law abiding country with just laws. Theft is illegal anywhere and by anyone, in Israel and Judea/Samaria or by Jew or Arab. Historically, Zionists bought land in the whole area from the Turks and other landowners at inflated prices. Today there is a fatwa against any Muslim selling land to a Jew so that a neutral intermediary has to be used – at a high price. Any Muslim selling land to a Jew anywhere is at risk of death. Many Jews have lost land confiscated in Muslim countries without any compensation.
Zionists are evil capitalists?
There are Zionists with the full spectrum of political views. Karl Marx was Jewish just as much as the Oppenheimers and Rockefellers. There are rich and destitute people in every society. The rich are always more famous. Zionism is simply the belief that Jewish people have the right to self determination in their ancestral homeland. Jews are from Judea.
Israel is killing Babies in The West Bank?
The IDF (Israel Defence Force) is not killing babies in the West Bank or anywhere else. Independent examination of the IDF and its policies by military figures such as Colonel Richard Kemp verify that they are the most humane of all militias with the highest standards for protection of all civilians. It is true that there is a film industry in the PA acting out alleged atrocities for the benefit of the cameras, and Hezbollah and Hamas use children and civilians as human shields.
Palestinians are Humiliated by Searches at Checkpoints?
Just as many people in Israel are searched daily to prevent terrorist activity – in malls, bar mitzvahs, weddings and any social gathering – as are searched at checkpoints in Judea and Samaria.
Palestinians are a separate People Group?
Since the 1970s Palestinian Arabs have cast themselves as a native people in “Palestine” – like the Aborigines in Australia or Native Americans in America. They portray the Jews as European imperialists and colonizers. This is simply untrue; Jews are from Judea and Arabs are from Arabia. There has been a continuous presence of Jews in what is now Israel for thousands of years. The ‘Palestine’ Liberation Organisation’s Yasser Arafat was Egyptian not Palestinian and its name relates to the place not the people.
Until the Jews began returning to the Land of Israel in increasing numbers from the late 19th century to the turn of the 20th, the area called Palestine was a God-forsaken backwash that belonged to the Ottoman Empire, based in Turkey and the only people called ‘Palestinian’ were Jews. Arabs refused the title due to their deep prejudice against Jews. For most of its history, Jerusalem has had a Jewish majority except after massacre or expulsion of its people.
The Two State Solution?
The fact is that when Britain accepted the Mandate for Palestine after the First World War, Palestine included all of today’s Jordan and Israel. Churchill created a ‘two state solution’ by setting up Transjordan as an Arab state on the Eastern side of the Jordan leaving a Jewish state on the west of the Jordan. This was ‘two states’ but it was not a ‘solution’. When the British Mandate (25 years from 1923) ended, in the face of Arab hostility, the UN proposed further division of the remaining land west of the Jordan into two more states. The Jews accepted this but the Arabs rejected it and the Israeli War of Independence followed. Transjordan occupied Judea and Samaria while Egypt occupied Gaza. Between 1948 and 1967 Transjordan changed its name to Jordan and renamed Judea and Samaria as the West Bank. That was two states but still not the solution. What is proposed today is three states and it is doubtful that it will be the solution.