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10 Questions About Gaza – Part 2

This is the second part of a two-part article.

10 Questions About Gaza – Part 2

Part 1, featuring questions 1-5 was published here yesterday, and we would recommend reading it before continuing with Part 2.

6. What is Collective Punishment?

Those who dare to accuse our soldiers of war crimes are people imbued with hypocrisy and lies, who do not have a single drop of morality. The Israel army is the most moral army in the world.”
Benjamin Netanyahu, Prime Minister of Israel, 29 October, 2023

The Israel Minister for Defence, Yoav Gallant, a former commando in Israel’s special forces accused of war crimes committed during the 2008 assault on Gaza, has described the Palestinians imprisoned in the Gaza Strip as ‘human animals’, and the UK and other states of the West have raised no objection to this dehumanising rhetoric. Even before the current crisis and the war crimes it has sanctioned, the Government of Israel, led by the former special forces captain, Benjamin Netanyahu, who has been Prime Minister of Israel for 19 of the last 27 years, was the most Right-wing and religious in Israel’s history. But under the cover of the unlikely attack by Hamas, the three-man War Cabinet — which is completed by Benny Gantz, a former General in the Israel Defense Forces who also has a record of war crimes — and which has complete control over the operations of the Israel Defence Forces, is now waging what Adolf Hitler, when describing the German invasion of the Soviet Union in 1941, called ‘Vernichtungskrieg’ — a war of extermination — against the 2,375,000 ‘human animals’ trapped in Gaza.

How did we get here? How did we get to this moment where the Jews setting policy for the State of Israel, many of whom are sons and daughters of survivors and victims of the Shoah, as well as their Zionist apologists in the UK, are now speaking and behaving exactly like the Nazis that killed so many of their own people, while at the same time describing their victims as themselves ‘Nazis’?

Let’s start with what is called ‘collective punishment’, which is, paradoxically, both a policy of war and a war crime. Under both Article 50 of the Hague Convention and Article 33 of the Geneva Convention (IV), collective punishment is a war crime. This hasn’t, however, stopped it being perpetrated by the signatories to both Conventions, which include Germany, the US, the UK and Israel.

To cite only a handful of examples from the Second World War, in October 1941, in retaliation for insurgent attacks in Serbia that killed 10 German soldiers, the German Army killed 2,794 civilians, mostly boys and men, in the city of Kragujevac.

In June 1942, in retaliation for the assassination of Reich-Protector of Bohemia and Moravia Reinhard Heydrich in Prague by Czech and Slovak soldiers, the German Army killed around 5,000 Czech civilians, including 199 in the nearby town of Lidice, which they then burned to the ground.

In August 1943, in retaliation for armed operations by the Bielski Jewish partisans in the forests of Belorussia, the German Army burned down over 60 villages in Poland and Belarus and killed an estimated 4,280 civilians.

In October 1943, in retaliation for the uprising in the Sobibór concentration camp in German-occupied Poland, during which eleven SS guards were killed, the remaining SS, with the help of German soldiers, shot all 159 of the remaining Jewish prisoners.

In December 1943, in retaliation for resistance from Greek guerrilla fighters, the German army killed the entire male population of the town of Kalavryta, comprising 693 men and boys, and looted and burned over 1,000 homes to the ground.

Finally – although this doesn’t begin to exhaust the crimes of collective punishment committed during the Second World War — in August and September 1944, in retaliation for the Warsaw uprising, the German Airforce dropped over 1,580 tons of bombs on the city, which together with assaults by SS soldiers killed 15,200 Polish civilians, including women and children.

The first principle of collective punishment, therefore, is that is committed as an act of retaliation that is not necessarily inflicted against those who, in the perception of the perpetrators of this crime, initiated the cycle of violence; but may and typically does include people innocent of any violence, and in particular civilians, whose death and suffering is perceived, at least by those inflicting the punishment, as just punishment for the ‘initial’ violence. In many respects, therefore, collective punishment shares many of the characteristics of certain forms of religious sacrifice, in which the victim is a substitute or scapegoat whose death is understood to expiate a crime.

If we imagine this is not relevant to Israel’s response to the Hamas attacks, Netanyahu has called on the Israelis to remember the Biblical story of Amalek, a rival nation to Ancient Israel, which the prophet Samuel tells Saul, the first King of Israel, God has ordered him to destroy.

Now go, attack the Amalekites and totally destroy all that belongs to them. Do not spare them; put to death men and women, children and infants.”
1 Samuel 15:3

We should keep such rhetoric in mind when told by Zionists that Israel represent an outpost of Western humanism and rationality amid the religious fundamentalism and barbarity of the Middle East, a lighthouse of rationality in the dark sea of Islam. But the Jews of Israel and the Arabs of Palestine are both Semitic peoples; and although Benjamin Netanyahu, who spent much of his childhood in the USA, doubtless considers himself at home among the Ministers and arms dealers of the West, he is as ready as Yahya Sinwar, the Qatar-residing leader of Hamas, to appeal to fundamentalist religious dogma to justify his genocidal policies.

The second principle of collective punishment is that the number of deaths inflicted on the victims is many times greater than the deaths the crime was meant to expiate or avenge. This was a formula devised personally by Adolf Hitler, who ordered that, for every German soldier killed, 100 hostages would be killed, and for every soldier wounded 50 hostages killed. Implicit in this calculation is the perception, openly declared by the Third Reich, that the life of a German is worth many times more than the life of a Jew or Slav, and therefore must be — and indeed is justified morally and even legally in being — avenged by the deaths of a far greater number of victims.

And, of course, the crime of collective punishment didn’t stop with the Second World War, just as it isn’t restricted to the ideology of National Socialism. Again, to take only a handful of illustrative examples, between 1952 and 1960, in retaliation for the uprising in Kenya by Mau Mau militants, the British Army killed between 25,000 and 50,000 Kenyans, half of them children, many from being incarcerated in concentration camps.

In November 1956, during the Suez Canal crisis, the Israel Defense Forces occupied the Gaza Strip, where they killed 256 Palestinians in Khan Younis and 111 in Rafah. In total, during the 4-month occupation the IDF killed between 900 and 1,231 people, and an estimated 1 per cent of the Gazan population was either killed, wounded, imprisoned or tortured.

In March 1968, in retaliation for harbouring Viet Cong forces, the US Army killed between 347 and 504 Vietnamese civilians in the village of My Lai, raping women and children and mutilating their corpses.

And in November 2005, in retaliation for the killing of a US soldier in a roadside bomb explosion in Iraq, US marines killed 24 unarmed Iraqi men, women and children in Haditha.

Even before the current attacks on the Gaza Strip and West Bank, since January 2008 alone some 6,621 Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, West Bank and in Israel itself have been killed by the Israel Defence Forces, including 1,490 children and 627 women. 156,230 Palestinians have been wounded, including 69,719 by tear-gas inhalation, 23,950 by rubber bullets, 18,573 by live ammunition, 5,417 by physical assault, 4,918 hit by a tear gas cannister, and 4,652 by air-launched explosions. From the total Palestinian population of roughly 5.8 million in Israel and the Occupied Territories, that’s 1 in 880 that have been killed and an astonishing 1 in 37 that have been wounded or injured. As I wrote earlier, in the Gaza Strip the figures are roughly twice as high, with 1 in 382 of the population killed by the IDF and 1 in 19 injured. And as I said, that was before the current attacks, which have killed more Palestinian civilians than at any time since the Nakba. So what does international law on the rules of war say about this history of terror and murder?

Under Article 51 of the Protocol Additional to the Hague Convention it states: ‘The civilian population as such, as well as individual civilians, shall not be the object of attack. Acts or threats of violence the primary purpose of which is to spread terror among the civilian population are prohibited.’

Under Article 40 of the 1977 Additional Protocol to the Hague Convention it states: ‘It is prohibited to order that there shall be no survivors, to threaten an adversary therewith or to conduct hostilities on this basis.’

Under Article 16 of the Protocol Additional to the Geneva Convention it states: ‘It is prohibited to commit any acts of hostility directed against historic monuments, works of art or places of worship which constitute the cultural or spiritual heritage of peoples.’

And under Article 57 of the Protocol Additional to the Geneva Convention it states: ‘Those who plan or decide upon an attack shall: (iii) refrain from deciding to launch any attack which may be expected to cause incidental loss of civilian life, injury to civilians, damage to civilian objects, or a combination thereof, which would be excessive in relation to the concrete and direct military advantage anticipated.’

According to Euro-Med Human Rights Monitor, in the 49 successive days of attacks on the Gaza Strip between 7 October and the temporary ceasefire on 23 November, the Israel Defence Forces, in retaliation for the killing of a reduced estimate of 1,200 people in Israel by Hamas militants, have killed 20,031 Palestinians in Gaza, including 8,176 children and 4,112 women, and injured 36,350. In addition, they have completely destroyed 59,240 homes and partially destroyed a further 165,300; destroyed 1,040 industrial facilities, damaged or destroyed 266 schools, 140 press headquarters, 124 health facilities and 91 mosques; and displaced 1.73 million people, some three quarters of the population of the Gaza Strip.

This devastation cannot be justified or dismissed as the collateral damage of a war on Hamas, but must be seen for what it is, the intended goal of this collective punishment of the Palestinian people by a military organisation pursuing a programme of genocide. On 11 October, Yoav Gallant told reporters:

We will wipe this thing called Hamas, ISIS-Gaza, off the face of the earth. It will cease to exist.”

7. Is Israel Guilty of Genocide?

In another year there will be nothing there,
And we will safely return to our homes.
Within a year we will annihilate everyone,
And then return to plough our fields.
Song broadcast by Israel Public Broadcasting Corporation (November 2023)

The United Nations’ 1948 Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, which came into effect in 1951, confirms that genocide, under Article I, whether committed in time of peace or war, is a crime under international law which signatory states undertake to prevent and to punish. Under Article II of the Convention, genocide is defined as any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, racial or religious group, as such:

  1. Killing members of the group;
  2. Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group;
  3. Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part;
  4. Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group.

The crime of genocide, moreover, isn’t limited to its immediate perpetrators. Under Article III of the Convention, the following acts shall be punishable:

  1. Genocide;
  2. Conspiracy to commit genocide;
  3. Direct and public incitement to commit genocide;
  4. Attempt to commit genocide;
  5. Complicity in genocide.

Under Article IV of the Convention, persons committing genocide or any of the other acts enumerated in Article III shall be punished, whether they are constitutionally responsible rulers, public officials or private individuals. And under Article V of the Convention, the Contracting Parties undertake to provide effective penalties for persons guilty of genocide or any of the other acts enumerated in Article III.

As of April 2022, 153 states have ratified the United Nations Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, including the United Kingdom, the United States of America, the State of Israel and the State of Palestine.

Between 1 January 2008 and 30 November 2023, the Israel Defence Forces have killed 25,396 Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, including 9,382 of their children, and injured a further 99,348. That’s 1 in 93 of its population killed in 16 years, an appalling 1 in 126 of Gaza’s children, and a barely credible 1 in 24 that have been wounded or injured by attacks by the Israel Army.

In one of the more contemptuous applications of the so-called Rules-Based International Order dictated to the world by the USA, the Israel Defense Forces have designated each and every one the 1.1 million Palestinian civilians who previously lived in the northern part of the Gaza Strip and who do not leave what’s left of their homes, schools, businesses and hospitals as ‘accomplices in a terrorist organisation’ and therefore as a ‘legitimate target’ for their war crimes.

Eighty years ago, on 4 and 6 October, 1943, in the town of Posen in German-occupied Poland, Reichsführer-SS Heinrich Himmler, the architect of the Final Solution, delivered two speeches to an audience of SS officers and Third Reich officials. The transcripts to these speeches were later submitted to the Nuremberg Trials as proof of both the intention and commission of what was later designated as the Holocaust. Among his justifications for the crime of genocide, Himmler said:

Most of you here know what it’s like to see 100 corpses lie next to each other, when there are 500 or 1,000 corpses. To have endured this — except for cases of human weakness — and at the same time to have remained decent has made us hard. This is a glorious chapter in our history that has not and never will be written. We know how difficult it would be for us today if — under bombing raids and the hardships and deprivations of war — we still had secret saboteurs, agitators and instigators among us…We had the moral right, we had the duty to our people, to destroy this people that wanted to destroy us.

We, who are the only people in the world with a decent attitude towards animals, will also assume a decent attitude towards these human animals. But it is a crime against our own blood to worry about them and give them ideals, thereby causing our sons and grandsons to have a more difficult time dealing with them.

We were faced with the question: what about the women and children? I decided to find a clear solution to this problem. I did not consider myself justified in exterminating the men — in other words, killing them or having them killed — and then allowing their children to grow up and avenge themselves on our own sons and grandsons. The difficult decision had to be made to have this people disappear from the earth. For the organisation that had to execute this task, it was the most difficult which we had ever had.

Given that Heinrich Himmler was responsible for the death of more Jews than anyone in a long history of pogroms against their people, I would suggest that, far from representing a homeland for Jews founded on the principles of Zionism, the State of Israel, as many Jews around the world have protested, is not only antithetical to the values of Judaism but, by its criminal actions against the Palestinian people, endangers the lives of Jews both inside and outside its borders.

Indeed, one might speculate that this is one of the aims of Zionism, which depends on opposition to its genocidal policies voiced by peoples around the world to draw Jews to Israel, vote its ideologues and soldiers into power and fund its war machine, Tzahal, which like the Wehrmacht before it must be regarded as a criminal and genocidal organisation.

What many in the West don’t realise is that — with the exemption, until 2014, of the Haredim, who on religious grounds refuse to serve — every Israeli Jewish citizen, male and female, must serve between two and three years in the Israel Defence Forces. A little like the UK soldiers who served in Northern Ireland during its occupation, over this period the citizens of Israel learn to humiliate, herd, brutalise, beat, imprison, torture, shoot, attack, injure, wound, kill and dehumanise the Palestinians who live all their lives under their military power. The Israel Defence Forces, therefore, are not only a criminal organisation guilty of crimes against the Palestinian people; they are also a means of indoctrinating the Israeli people into the brutality, cruelty and criminality required to maintain the illegal occupation of Palestine. Even beyond this process of indoctrination, however, compulsory service in the IDF has made the whole of Israeli society, and almost every one of its Jewish members, complicit in a crime they have committed in common, and for which, therefore, it is impossible for their police forces, judiciary or government to arrest, indict and find them guilty.

Given the unconditional support the State of Israel receives from the West, one can only hope that, when the racist and genocidal ideology of Zionism has been defeated as the ideology of National Socialism was before it, and the Rules-Based International Order that supports, funds and arms it is dismantled as thoroughly as was the military-industrial complex of the Third Reich, equivalent statements to these that have been made by Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Defence Minister Yoav Gallant, Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir, Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich, former Interior Minister Ayelet Shaked and others justifying the war crimes in Gaza — including those Zionists in the Government and Parliament of the UK — will be submitted to a similar legal process, undertaken by the signatory states to the Geneva Convention and the UN Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, to establish whether they, too, are guilty of committing, conspiring, attempting, inciting or complicity in the crime of genocide against the people of Gaza.

8. What is the October Declaration?

If you see images of people chanting “Jihad”, flying flags, chanting “From the river to the sea”, which is a call to arms used by terrorists, celebrating the largest single loss of Jewish life since the Holocaust, glorifying acts of terrorism, I don’t think there’s any other way but to call them hate marches.”
Suella Braverman, former UK Home Secretary (5 November, 2023)

On 23 October, a group calling itself the British Friends of Israel published The October Declaration. It was organised by the journalists Laura Dodsworth, Allison Pearson and Toby Young; Ian Ron and Emma Webb, the President and Director, respectively, of the ludicrously named ‘Free Speech Union’ and ‘Common Sense Society’; Toby Guise, a PR consultant, and the barrister Francis Hoar. The declaration has since been signed by over 81,000 people, including many members of Parliament, UK academia and the British establishment, both Jewish and Gentile. I am not one of them. Instead, I wrote a line-by-line response to the declaration’s deliberately inaccurate and manipulative description of the situation and circumstances in the Gaza Strip and its attempt to suborn the UK Parliament and media to its Zionist agenda. With some additions, I reproduce this response here.

We are a group of concerned British citizens and residents from a wide range of backgrounds and professions who stand in solidarity with British Jews and condemn all forms of antisemitism, whether in Britain or elsewhere.

The ongoing events in Gaza and Israel that have occasioned this declaration cannot and should not be reduced to the accusation of ‘anti-Semitism’ by which the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance and its signatories have attempted to criminalise any criticism of the criminal acts of the State of Israel.

We unequivocally condemn all acts of terrorism against civilians in Israel, especially the massacre on 7 October 2023. 

Although the attacks by Hamas militants on 7 October were acts of terrorism, given the 75 years of the occupation of Palestine and the brutal conditions imposed on the people of Gaza since the 2005 blockade, condemnation of them cannot be ‘unequivocal’ and must, to the contrary, be contextual.

On 7 October 2023 the State of Israel and her citizens, both Jews and non-Jews, were subjected to a brutal terrorist attack, which resulted in the murder, torture, rape and kidnapping of over 1,500 people.

Apart from the unlikely circumstances under which this attack was launched through the most secure border barrier in the world, until these accusations have been verified they must be treated as a product of Israel propaganda, which in the past has been shown to be unreliable. As an example of which, the accusation that Hamas beheaded Israeli babies has been exposed as such, and the cause of the deaths in the Re’im music festival has been partially attributed to the response of the heavily-armed Israel Defense Forces which left the trail of devastation the lightly-armed Hamas militants couldn’t possibly have caused.

More Jews were killed on that day than on any other day since the Holocaust.

Since its founding in 1947, the State of Israel has been justified as compensation for what the West calls the ‘Holocaust’. Even if it were the burden of the Palestinian people to pay the price for the crimes of Europe — which it is not — the attempt to relate these events to the genocide of the Jewish people of Europe is historically inaccurate, emotive and manipulative.

We are aware that Jews are not the only victims of this tragedy. Hamas knew that there would be consequences to 7 October, but the consequences did not weigh with Hamas.

Indeed they must have known, which raises the question of why this attack was launched, to what ends, and with whose collaboration. But equally, the State of Israel also knew there would be consequences for imprisoning 2,375,000 Palestinians in a concentration camp in which 80 per cent are dependent on international assistance for survival, 97 per cent of the drinking water is contaminated, 39 per cent of pregnant women and 50 per cent of children are anaemic, and 17.5 per cent of children suffer from chronic malnutrition.

Its ongoing terrorist operation is calculated to cause maximum fear and distress. The people of Israel have been subjected to a near constant bombardment of rockets from Gaza and Lebanon. Civilians of all kinds — including the elderly, disabled, women, children and babies — have been targeted in a direct breach of the rules of war. 

Even before the current crisis, since 2008 alone, 1 in 382 of the population of Gaza have been killed and 1 in 19 injured in less than 16 years. The siege of Gaza is an ongoing terrorist operation calculated to cause maximum fear and distress in a direct breach of the rules of war laid out in the Hague and Geneva Conventions. Since 7 October, in commission of the war crime of collective punishment, the people of Gaza have been subjected to near constant bombardment for 49 days and nights.

We share the shock and distress of Israelis, British Jews and compassionate people around the world at the unfolding horror and its consequences.

On the contrary, the vast majority of the world, even in Western nations, have come out in vast numbers to protest against the ongoing horror of the genocide being perpetrated by the Israel Defense Forces in the Gaza Strip, and have called for an immediate stop to their war crimes.

We call for all the hostages taken on 7 October to be released immediately. It is an essential step on the path to peace and the cessation of hostilities.

The Emergency Israel Unity Government has not made the return of the hostages taken by Hamas a condition of stopping its attack on the Gaza Strip. On the contrary, the Israel Defense Minister, Yoav Gallant, in violation of Article 40 of the Geneva Convention, has vowed to ‘wipe Gaza off the face of the earth.’

We stand in support of British Jews and condemn acts of antisemitism.

The war crimes of the Israel Defence Forces are not those of a religion or ethnic identity but the direct consequence of the policies of the Government of Israel. Opposition to those policies is, therefore, not a form of anti-Semitism, and condemning it as such is indicative of how the State of Israel, the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance and other Zionist organisation cynically employ the accusation of ‘anti-Semitism’ to silence, censor and criminalise criticism and opposition to the ongoing crimes of the Israel Defence Forces. Such language does not belong in any serious statement about the situation in Gaza.

Following the terrorist attack on Israel, antisemitism is surging in the UK. The Community Security Trust (CST) recorded at least 533 antisemitic incidents across the UK between 7-20 October 2023, representing an increase of 651% compared to the same period in 2022. 

Under the IHRA definition of anti-Semitism adopted by the UK, the categorisation of incidents as ‘anti- Semitic’ has, as consequence, been politicised and rendered almost legally meaningless. It is not anti-Semitic to denounce the perpetrators of war crimes against a people who — if the term is inaccurately extended to a race — are themselves ‘Semitic’, or to be critical of the apartheid State that permits and orders these crimes to be perpetrated against them.

Children have not been spared. Four Jewish schools in Britain felt compelled to close. One school was vandalised. It is abominable that British children should now live in fear just because they are Jews. All children should be able to attend school without fear. 

Given the cynicism with which the Government and State of Israel continues to manipulate perception of what Amnesty International calls its ‘cruel system of domination and crimes against humanity’, the claim that four Jewish schools in the UK have been closed because the schoolchildren ‘live in fear’ must be questioned as much as the UK Government’s declared reasons for closing UK schools under lockdown in order to protect schoolchildren from a disease to which they are statistically immune.

Moreover, to cite the closure of UK schools as some sort of justification for the 266 schools that have been destroyed in the Gaza Strip by IDF air strikes conforms, in its estimation of the relevant worth of the disrupted lives of Jewish children in the UK to the destroyed lives of thousands of Gazan children, to the racist principles of ‘collective punishment’.

British Jews should not live in fear because of actions taken by the state of Israel to defend itself. The British state must do everything in its power to protect them. While we respect the right of all groups to engage in peaceful protest, we urge the police to enforce the law without fear or favour. 

Under new legislation, including the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Act 2022 and the Public Order Act 2023, of which the lawyers who have signed this Declaration will be aware, it is now possible for the police to ban any protest in the UK. Behind its appeal to uphold the law, this is a cynical and undemocratic call to politicise the policing of protest in the UK.

We ask the media, members of all political parties and everyone in public life to call out Hamas for what it is: a terrorist organisation. 

Although long forgotten in the UK, the function of the media in a democracy is to report the news, not to propagate the views of well-connected pressure groups like British Friends of Israel. Equally, Members of Parliament are voted to represent the constituents who voted for them, not to mouth the words of Zionist organisations attempting to influence public opinion in favour of their agenda.

Hamas, whose actions have led directly and indirectly to the tragic deaths of many Palestinian civilians as well as Israelis, is a proscribed terrorist organisation in the UK as well as in many other states. The Home Secretary and the Prime Minister have identified Hamas as a terrorist organisation. Failure to use the correct language — describing Hamas as ‘militants’ or ‘fighters’, for instance — creates the false impression that Hamas and Israel’s armed forces are morally equivalent and is an affront to the group’s victims  — the dead, their families, and those currently being held hostage.

When it comes to the dead and their families, there can be no question of equality between the actions of Hamas and the Israel Defense Forces. Since 7 October, IDF strikes on the Gaza Strip have killed 20,031 Palestinians in Gaza, including 8,176 children and 4,112 women, and injured 36,350. And the vast inequality between the suffering, imprisonment, brutalisation, torture, injury and killing of the Palestinian people and their Israeli occupiers goes back 75 years to the genocide referred to as the Nakba, during which Israeli forces destroyed 531 Palestinian towns and villages and took possession of 774, occupied 77 per cent of Palestine, killed around 15,000 Palestinians in more than 70 separate massacres, and drove 800,000 Palestinians out of a population of 1.4 million from their homeland and into what is now the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.

So no, there is no lack of moral equivalence between the actions of Hamas militants on 7 October and those of the Israel Defence Forces since 1948; but there is a yawning gap between the numbers of their victims, the killed and injured, the imprisoned and tortured, their systematically impoverished, humiliated and brutalised families, and the imprisoned — including hundreds of Palestinian children — held in Israeli jails. Since 1967 alone, 800,000 Palestinians, a fifth of the population, have been arrested and imprisoned by the apartheid State of Israel, which systematically destroys Palestinian homes, agriculture, livestock, olive groves, woodlands and wells.

No one thought this would be necessary in the 21st Century but, sadly, it is.

On the contrary, any observer of the West’s unconditional support for the apartheid State of Israel and its genocidal treatment of the Palestinian people would expect a declaration such as this, which in the context in which it has been made is an apologia for the ongoing ethnic cleansing of the Palestinian people and the illegal annexation of the Gaza Strip, both of which are in violation of the international laws the West purports to uphold.

For all these reasons, I did not sign the October Declaration. It isn’t Jews in London that have been given unlimited and overwhelmingly favourable coverage by the UK media that need protecting, but rather and obviously the tens of thousands of Palestinians being injured and killed in the Gaza Strip. Instead, on the grounds I have laid out here, I appeal to the organisers and signatories of the October Declaration to withdraw its support for the war crimes of the Israel Defense Forces and to replace this deliberately inaccurate account of the situation with one calling for their immediate cessation and for the arrest and trial of its perpetrators under the international laws and conventions to which this country is a legally-bound signatory.

On Tuesday, 24 October, the day after the October Declaration was published, 400 airstrikes launched by the Israel Defence Forces killed a further 756 people in the Gaza Strip, making it — until then — the deadliest 24-hour period since 7 October. This brought the death toll in Gaza to 6,546, including 2,360 children, with 17,439 injured. Terrible as they are, these figures and the crimes they only barely document have long since been surpassed.

9. Whatever Happened to the Freedom Movement?

The word “terrorism” doesn’t come as easily to my mouth as it does to others. It seems to me that the bombing of civilians with helicopter gunships and missiles is a far worse kind of terrorism than the acts of desperate, miserably destitute people with no horizon of hope, which is what Palestinians in the Occupied Territories have been reduced to by the deliberate policy of collective punishment.”
Edward Said, in conversation with Christopher Hitchens (May 2001)

One of the consequences of the militarily impossible attack on the State of Israel and the ongoing genocide in the Gaza Strip is that the growing solidarity between those opposed to the Great Reset of Western capitalism has been shattered down the same old Left/Right fault line. It’s as if we’ve returned to January 2020, reeling from the largest Conservative Government majority since 1987; the Corbyn experiment ruined by the accusation of ‘anti-Semitism’ from both the UK media establishment and his own Party; Left-wing governments in Brazil, Ecuador, Bolivia and across South America overthrown or threatened with military coups by the US Empire; Right-wing governments elected to power in Europe, the Middle East, India and the Americas; protests and uprisings in Hong Kong, Catalonia, Venezuela and Iran reported by the UK media, which rigorously ignored those in France, Algeria, Chile and Palestine; and the UK electorate still moaning about Brexit, promoting a ‘Green’ new deal for capitalism, and completely unaware of the globalist coup that was on the horizon. Four years of lies later and there’s been no advancement in either political consciousness of awareness of the mechanisms of power by which we are governed. We’re back with the same terrorist states triggering the same knee-jerk responses to the same ends; except this time the dividing lines are the old illusory ones: Left = pro-Palestine/Right = pro-Israel.

As a result of this rappel à l’ordre of the old and apparently unshakeable allegiances, many of those who for three years denounced Government lies about COVID-19, opposed censorship and were called ‘anti-Semitic’ for doing so, now believe everything the Government says about what happened on 7 October, want to criminalise protests against the genocide in Gaza as ‘hate crimes’, and denounce anyone calling for a free Palestine as ‘anti-Semitic’. The stupidity with which the Left unthinkingly aligned itself with lockdown restrictions, gene-therapy mandates and environmental fundamentalism has been matched by the stupidity with which the Right has unthinkingly aligned itself with collective punishment, genocide and Zionism. Both sides have reconfirmed that, when our politics and our ethics are determined by what we are shown and what we choose to look at, we are not rational citizens of a democracy but emotionally-manipulated subjects of the spectacle, which reaches its technological apotheosis in war. Just as the so-called ‘war on COVID’ was manufactured to justify the regulations, programmes and now technologies of the Great Reset, so too is the ‘war on anti-Semitism’, that is already being used to justify further restrictions on our freedoms of speech, movement, access, conscience.

As the signatories to the October Declaration have demonstrated, the weakness of those who opposed the illegal lockdown of the UK, the masking of children for two years and experimental gene therapy mandates for care workers on medical or legal grounds, or in defence of their personal freedoms, or merely out of a sense of moral outrage, is that, when confronted with the same tactics and accusations being deployed most immediately to further the geopolitical aspirations of Israel and the USA, they can respond with nothing more than compliance and, in the case of the signatories to the October Declaration, collaboration, whether willingly or unwittingly. All of which raises the question, which many members of what became known as the ‘Freedom Movement’ are asking: in reducing opposition to the war crimes of the State of Israel to ‘anti-Semitism’, in its call to ban protests against those crimes as ‘hate marches’, and in its description of those who resist as ‘terrorists’, is Gaza the new COVID?

To try and answer this, I want to offer some initial thoughts on why the Freedom Movement, in response to the genocide being committed in Gaza, has been betrayed by some of its most prominent spokesmen, and what this tells us about future forms of resistance to the Great Reset.

Firstly, there is no such thing as ‘Freedom’, only the freedoms we defend and try to protect with laws; and the idea that the last 40 years of neoliberalism under which we lived in the UK were ‘free’ shows the political naivety of those who have only recently become aware of the conditions of our freedoms. That’s okay and, indeed, to be welcomed, as never in my lifetime have so many people in the West become aware of how they are governed and by whom. What freedoms we have enjoyed were purchased at the cost of the lack of freedom of a far larger number of people across the world, and in almost every form extended no further than the freedom to believe the lies we were told, to buy what we were sold, and to obey what we were compelled by law to do. In this respect, the inequality in freedoms between Jewish Israelis and Palestinians in Israel and the Occupied Territories is a microcosm of that between the West and much of the rest of the world.

Nonetheless, lockdown and the mandates on masking and gene therapy represented a quantitative leap in the erasure of our freedoms that was genuinely unprecedented, and caused many public figures that were otherwise quite content in their neoliberal paradise to rebel. But this rebellion, first and foremost, was against the restrictions on their freedom to continue to enjoy their status within Western capitalism. And since the unfailingly stupid Left was too busy complying and denouncing any who didn’t as ‘anti-Science’ (etc.), these unlikely figures from the libertarian Right emerged to fill the vacuum in leadership of what became the Freedom Movement, or at least elected themselves to be its spokesmen.

Having no interest in UK society and its media gossip, I myself hadn’t heard of most of these individuals before 2020, but you probably know who I’m referring to: founder of the Academy of Ideas think-tank Claire Fox, formally known as the Baroness of Buckley; the founder of the Free Speech Union Toby Young; the journalists Allison Pearson and Laura Dodsworth; the GB News presenter Mark Dolan; the former actor and founder of the Reclaim political party Laurence Fox; the Spiked editor Tom Slater; the comedian and podcaster Konstantin Kisin; and the radio presenter Julia Hartley-Brewer. Despite themselves being vilified by the UK media for two years and more as ‘anti-vaxxers’ and ‘conspiracy theorists’, none of these rather unlikely spokesmen for freedom hesitated to add their names to the signatories of the October Declaration.

This has caused some surprise and no little despair among members of the Freedom Movement, many of whom have been subjected to renewed accusations of ‘anti-Semitism’ from their former comrades. I haven’t been among them., however. I’m speaking from my own experience of both UK politics and the media when I say that, as politicians and journalists, all these reluctant heroes — as is required by their trade — are liars, careerists and opportunists. I, for one, therefore — and I imagine I’m not alone — wasn’t in the least surprised that, when Gaza offered them the opportunity to returned to the embrace of the Establishment that had bred and raised them to their formerly exalted positions in British Society, they did so like so many prodigal sons and daughters.

However, among those denouncing any and all criticism of Israel as ‘anti-Semitic’, accepting everything the media says as gospel, calling for a police crackdown on protests against the genocide, and demanding new laws to silence dissent — and in every respect, therefore, behaving as the COVID-faithful, environmental fundamentalists, Zelenskyy worshippers and trans ideologues have behaved towards them over the past four years — are some good people.

Among these I include the barrister, Francis Hoar, who has represented many people, including myself, threatened by their opposition to lockdown, and the pathologist, Dr. Clare Craig, author of Expired: Covid the untold story. I know these two to be intelligent and moral people, and yet the former helped draft and organise the October Declaration, and the latter is one of its signatories. This has disturbed, confused and upset me, and for the past two months I’ve been trying to understand how people who, for the past four years, risked their reputations, careers and even their liberty to defend our freedoms, have so readily added their voices to the hatred, barbarity and stupidity of a racist and genocidal ideology. Zionism is an ideology, and as such it is founded not on rational argument or historical facts, some of which I have presented in this article, but on sentimentality towards oneself and hatred of others. Very much, in other words, the way the British were divided by lockdown into the virtuous compliant who obeyed and the diseased non-compliant who were ostracised.

My first question, therefore, is how intelligent people can put their names to such a document, which draws on every racist stereotype, every deep-seated hatred of Arabs and Islam bred into the British psyche and our institutions, and which would not look out of place among the lies and hate published by the UK Government, media, SAGE, MHRA, NHS and other public institutions in order to justify lockdown, mask mandates and the gene therapy programme. Perhaps the most concerning aspect of the October Declaration is not that its signatories are using it to justify the genocide in Gaza; it’s most concerning aspect is that its contents are so utterly stupid, are so obviously lies, and that public figures who present themselves as intellectuals can be so easily manipulated by an ideology made for idiots.

My second question is how, in the face of the documented genocide being committed by Israel in Gaza, moral people can both condone and deny its full extent (quibbling, for instance, over the source and accuracy of the reported death toll, as if 6,000 dead Palestinian children would be acceptable but 8,000 is Hamas propaganda) with the same justifications with which the COVID-compliant both justify and deny the number of ‘vaccine’ deaths.

With the ubiquity of smartphones, even in Gaza, never before, perhaps, have we seen in such detail what genocide means: not in Rwanda, not in Bosnia, not in Cambodia, not in Kenya or in World War Two. Its perpetrators, as I have said, have been dehumanised by 75 years of an increasingly brutal, apartheid and genocidal regime; but what is most confusing and appalling is that its apologists in the UK are so entirely without feeling or compassion for its victims and their suffering.

The short answer to my first question is that, when intelligent people are ‘triggered’ by ideology, they respond just as stupidly, obediently and viciously as the mass of the British population did in the first months of lockdown, when the gene therapy programme was rolled out, or the proxy war in the Ukraine was declared. Where formerly the British declared their ‘vaxxed’ status on their Twitter account and put a Ukrainian flag after their name, those who mocked such servile declarations of obedience haven’t hesitated to swap the once ubiquitous yellow-and-blue flag of the Ukraine for the white-and-blue of the flag of Israel; to declare to some imaginary audience that they ‘stand’ with Israel as dutifully as they did with Ukraine; and to denounce those who don’t as ‘terrorist-apologists’ as unthinkingly as they denounced ‘Putin-apologists’.

Different people, perhaps, but it’s the same slavish obedience to the technologies of their control. The bigger question, therefore, is what is it about this particular ‘crisis’ that has brought so many people, who for the past four years denounced everything the UK Government and media told us as a lie, into sudden and complete compliance with everything the same institutions are telling us now.

There’s a longer answer to this question, which includes the hatred of Islam inculcated by two decades of the so-called ‘War on Terror’, fear of the rising levels of immigration into the UK, and the equation of Muslims with terrorists that has returned with a familiar vengeance and hatred after the latter’s recent equation with ‘anti-vaxxers’.

But I think also that, among Christians — many of whom were repelled by the hatred and fear with which compliance with lockdown was manufactured — there is a sense of guilt and culpability for the Church’s complicity in what it has designated as the ‘Holocaust’. This is a Biblical term that turned the genocide of the Jews perpetrated during the Second World War into a sacrifice, a crime which, unconsciously or not, the Christian Church and most of the West have decided must be expiated by the suffering of Muslims in general and Palestinians in particular. In other words, the emotions being triggered to create allegiance to the UK’s criminal and indefensible support for the apartheid State of Israel and its genocidal attacks on the people of Gaza are a product of decades of indoctrination preparing us for just such a moment.

Part of that indoctrination, and more immediate to our current compliance, is the strategy of identity politics. Many Zionists have pointed to the fact that Israel shares Western policies on LGBT rights, as opposed to the policies of Hamas, which as a fundamentalist Islamic movement opposes those rights and the identities and sexual practices of those demanding them. Perhaps the most obscene demonstration of this apologia for genocide is the photograph of an Israeli soldier in Gaza posing with an LGBT flag in front of a landscape destroyed by 7 weeks of continuous air strikes. ‘Rainbow-washing’, one of my gay, Jewish friends called it. This is part of the facade that Israel presents to the world that it is a shining light of liberal democracy amid the creeping darkness of the Islamic Caliphate, just as Ukraine presents itself as a bastion of democracy defending Europe against Russian aggression. Both claims are lies.

In reality, both Israel and the Ukraine are testing grounds, to which the West has given its approval, funding and military support, for the transformation of the space of the biosecurity state into a digital camp monitored and controlled by Digital Identity, Central Bank Digital Currency and a panopticon of surveillance technology. It’s a testimony to how fully identity politics has substituted itself for the politics of both emancipation and conservation that even those who continue to oppose the technologies, programmes and ideologies of the Global Biosecurity State have been suborned into supporting the wars through which the digital camp is being implemented and trialled.

What does this mean for the ongoing resistance to the Great Reset and the possibility of a future Freedom Movement, whose death, foreshadowed by the proxy-war in the Ukraine, can be precisely dated to 7 October, 2023? I can’t answer this here; but any hopes we have of resistance to the Great Reset must be formed in the context of the failure of the Freedom Movement to form itself into a social force capable of bringing about mass resistance and political change, and of the ease with which the dilettantes by which it was led and allowed to be its spokesmen have been brought to heel.

10. What Can History Teach Us?

Citizens of Israel, we are at war. Not in an operation or in rounds, but at war. I have ordered an extensive mobilization of reserves and that we return fire of a magnitude that the enemy has not known. The enemy will pay an unprecedented price. We are at war and we will win it.”
Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel Prime Minister (7 October, 2023)

A much-needed voice of reason, historical recollection and moral clarity amid the violent and noisy condemnation of Palestinian ‘terrorists’ by UK politicians and political commentators is that of the late Labour MP, Gerald Kaufman, who was raised as an orthodox Jew and Zionist, and who from 1987-1992 was the Shadow Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs.

This didn’t stop him, in a speech delivered to the House of Commons in January 2009, three years after Hamas had been elected to power in Gaza, from saying what today, nearly 15 years later, would be condemned not only by his Party but also by his people as ‘anti-Semitism’:

The present Israeli Government ruthlessly and cynically exploit the continuing guilt among gentiles over the slaughter of Jews in the Holocaust as justification for their murder of Palestinians. The implication is that Jewish lives are precious, but the lives of Palestinians do not count.

On Sky News a few days ago, the spokeswomen for the Israeli army, Major Leibovich, was asked about the Israeli killing of — at that time — eight-hundred Palestinians. The total is now one thousand. She replied instantly: ‘Five hundred of them were militants’. That was the reply of a Nazi. I suppose that Jews fighting for their lives in the Warsaw ghetto could have been dismissed as militants.

The Israeli Foreign Minister, Tzipi Livni, asserts that her Government will have no dealings with Hamas because they’re terrorists. Tzipi Livni’s father was Eitan Livni, chief operations officer of the terrorist Irgun Zvai Leumi who organised the blowing up of the King David Hotel in Jerusalem, in which 91 victims were killed, including 4 Jews. Israel was born out of Jewish terrorism. Jewish terrorists hanged two British sergeants and booby-trapped their corpses. Irgun, together with the terrorist Stern Gang, massacred 254 Palestinians in 1948 in the village of Deir Yassin.

Today, the present Israeli Government indicate that they would be willing, in circumstances acceptable to them, to negotiate with Palestinian President Abbas of Fatah. It’s too late for that. They could have negotiated with Fatah’s previous leader, Yasser Arafat, who was a friend of mine. Instead, they besieged him in a bunker in Ramallah, where I visited him. It’s because of the failings of Fatah since Arafat’s death that Hamas won the Palestinian election in 2006. Hamas is a deeply nasty organisation, but it was democratically elected, and it is the only game in town.

The boycotting of Hamas, including by our own Government, has been a culpable error from which dreadful consequences have followed. The great Israeli Foreign Minister, Abba Eban, with whom I campaigned for peace on many platforms, said you make peace by talking to your enemies. However many Palestinians the Israelis murder in Gaza, they cannot solve this existential problem by military means.

Whenever, and however, the fighting ends, there will still be one-and-a-half million Palestinians in Gaza, and two-an-a-half million more Palestinians in the West Bank, who are treated like dirt by the Israelis, with hundreds of road blocks, and with the ghastly denizens of the illegal Jewish settlements harassing them as well. The time will come, not so long from now, when they will outnumber the Jewish population in Israel.

It’s time for our Government to make clear to the Israeli Government that its conduct and policies are unacceptable, and to impose a total arms ban on Israel. It is time for peace, but real peace, not the solution by conquest which is the Israeli’s real goal, but which is impossible for them to achieve. They’re not simply war criminals, they’re fools.

Israel’s current National Unity Government are fools too; but fools whose war crimes are reverberating around the world, with potentially catastrophic consequences. The First World War, from which the State of Israel was conceived, is a history lesson in how marginal conflicts can draw in the rest of the world.

On 28 June 1914, the heir to the throne of Austria-Hungary was assassinated by a Serbian nationalist. On 23 July, Austria-Hungary issued an ultimatum to Serbia, which included stamping out all forms of Serbian nationalism across the Empire. These were rejected the following day. On 25 July, Austria-Hungary declared war on Serbia, triggering the series of military alliances designed to keep peace in Europe. On 1 August, Germany declared war on Russia and France; and on 4 August, Britain declared war on Germany. By the time, four years later, the First World War was over, few remembered how it had started, only that around 20 million people had lost their lives. It is this that we should have been remembering on Armistice Day, instead of fanning the flames of a war which has no boundaries.

On 26 November 2023, seven weeks since the current crisis unfolded, it was reported that the US aircraft carrier strike group led by USS Dwight D. Eisenhower, which had been sent to the Eastern Mediterranean on the justification of responding to the Hamas attack on 7 October, had passed through the Suez Canal into the Red Sea and was now in the Persian Gulf that borders Iran. Today is 1 December, 2023, and after observing a week-long ceasefire, Israel has renewed its attack on the Gaza Strip.


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