This article about the Balfour Declaration was published in today's Independent, the one which some years ago also published a cartoon of PM Sharon swallowing a Palestinian baby. That cartoon won a prize, in spite of being regarded as one of the most antisemitic examples of journalism in British history. Here is the latest article:
Two points should be made. The article cites Sir Martin Gilbert's view that the Jewish homeland was necessary because of
The precarious nature of Jewish acceptance in otherwise civilised societies
So that's what Sir Martin calls one's rabbi being beaten up in the streets of England's green and promised land, then!
The article also discusses the fact that a large proportion of the Edwardian and Georgian British establishment possessed
an almost mythical belief in the power of Jews to control financial and many other institutions
Did I say Edwardian and Georgian? Plus ca change!:
Meanwhile, on the exact 60th anniversary of the UN agreement to create the State of Israel, we have this from the ever-vigilant Norman Geras:
An unwanted presence
the piece cites Hamas' current views regarding who should live in the Land of Israel, neither Jews, nor Christians - it seems:
Palestine is Arab Islamic land, from the river, to the sea, including Jeursalem ... there is no room for the Jews.
What Hamas has done here, of course (a typically Muslim move - this - ), is to twist the religions out of which it grew, i.e. Judaism and Christianity, for its own WARPED ends: a sort of double replacement theology, then.
So, just as at Christmas Christians commemorate the fact that there was NO ROOM AT THE INN and that therefore their saviour, the JEWISH Jesus, was born in a stable, the Muslims now ruling Gaza would like to think that we JEWS also have no room in their particular sharia-infested inn, and that we are therefore to find a stable of our own - preferably by drowning in the sea, probably.
Talking about which, I was most surprised to find out from school this week that quite a few Christian Arabs in Israel are unaware of the Jewish origins of Joseph, Mary (i.e. Miriam) and Jesus and think they would have worshipped in a church and not (as I pointed out) a SYNAGOGUE. 'What's that?' some of them asked.
But I have the happy solution to this. On Tuesday night it's Chanukah, and I understand from the
Church of England Newspaper and Ruth in The Times
that, for the firs t time in its history,
Westminster Abbey (dating from 1065: home of the greatest dead of England and venue for royal weddings and countless other English national events) will be celebrating our own little Jewish winter holiday of lights
- hopefully with sufganiot, i.e. lovely doughnuts! We''ll be getting some at our choir practice at the Haifa Technion on Tuesday night. Our very serious and painstaking administrator has written to inform us of this goody!
So I have decided to bring my chanukiah to school, to teach the kids what Joseph, Mary and Jesus would have lit in deepest winter, not Christmas trees, but a Chanukiah, in honour of Judaism's escape from pagan Greek tyranny.
And I shall also tell them about the lovely Hadassah-Israel evening we experienced last night in Jerusalem, where in time to Naomi Shemer's beautiful 'Jerusalem of Gold' (sung by the original singer who made it famous) we danced the Hora in celebration of the 60 years since the UN decision to create the State of Israel and the 40 years since the reunification of Jerusalem.
And the Director of the Hadassah Hospital joined in the celebrations at this truly wonderful gala dinner, in aid of stem cell research, in which Israel is a world leader:
Somehow can't imagine Hamas getting into stem cell research, can you?
Happy Chanukah, everyone!