'Israel was created bec[a]use of the Jewish connection to the land and exists in spite of the Holocaust not because of it. The Mandate for Palestine preceded the Holocaust by two decades and the first partition plan, the Peel Commission was from 1937. As long as the arabs are seen as "paying the price" for European antisemitism Israel will never be able to win over public opinion.'An astute comment, and one relevant to the remarks of Yasmin Qureshi, MP for the safe Labour seat of Bolton South East, made during a Commons debate on Palestine last Wednesday:
"What has struck me in all this is that the state of Israel was founded because of what happened to the millions and millions of Jews who suffered genocide.
Their properties, homes and land – everything – were taken away, and they were deprived of rights. Of course, many millions perished.
It is quite strange that some of the people who are running the state of Israel seem to be quite complacent and happy to allow the same to happen in Gaza."Observes the director of Labour Friends of Israel (as reported here):
"In her remarks, she directly links Israeli policies towards the Palestinian people to the Nazis' efforts to exterminate world Jewry.
This is both deeply offensive to the memory of the Holocaust and its millions of victims, but also wilfully ignorant of the actual situation in Gaza.
We would ask Ms Qureshi to apologise for her remarks, and to cease using such upsetting and offensive comparisons."There is, however, a better riposte, and Raheem Kassam of the Henry Jackson Society thinktank wasted no time in making it:
"Pakistani-born Qureshi is a long-standing critic of the State of Israel, which most people know was founded in 1948 not as a direct result of the Holocaust but because of a historic Jewish link to the land. The Balfour Declaration, which established British support for the establishment of the Jewish State in what would soon become the British Mandate of Palestine, was issued in 1917.
But that doesn't stop Qureshi and her fellows from seeking to hinge the entire notion of a Jewish homeland in the Middle East on the events in 1930s Europe. For them, this makes Israel easier to attack, especially using their offensive logic in comparing the situation in Gaza to the systematic slaughter of 6 million Jews across Europe."
'... Qureshi gave the game away early on in the debate on Wednesday, when she rudely interrupted one of her colleagues, James Clappison MP, when he stated: "I do not believe, and will not be persuaded, that the state of Israel has any interest in imposing the present conditions on the people of Gaza for the sake of it."
"Come off it!", she heckled, as if to imply that she does believe that Israel's reaction to Hamas and Islamic Jihad in Gaza is simply "for the sake of it". But Clappison shot back: "Honourable Members need to contain themselves".
He's right. And if they cannot, then their party leadership should certainly do it for them.'Read all of Kassam's article here