SIR – It’s gratifying to know that The Southern Star’s circulation area extends to the scholarly retreats of Manchester and Buckingham. Your correspondents Joshua Rowe and Professor Geoffrey Alderman (February 7th) unite to persuade us that Britain’s role in the tragedy of Palestine was simply that of altruistic and generous benefactor. The historic reality was quite otherwise.
During the Great War, Britain – as an imperial vulture hovering over the Ottowan Empire’s corpse – promised the Sultan’s Arab subjects freedom in return for military collaboration. In reality, it had already determined, at the urging of the arch-imperalist Lord Kitchener, to seize and retain Palestine because of its strategic importance. After the war, it did just that, enlisting the Zionists and the bumbling League of Nations as accomplices in the swindle.
Professor Alderman’s insistence that ‘Palestine was never a British colony’ is mere casuistry. When, in the 1930s, the Palestinians resisted the double colonisation of their land, the full force of Pax Britannica was inflicted on them.
This included measures such as rounding up all the adult male inhabitants of a village and herding them into a building, which was then dynamited.
There is a clear and inescapable connection between such acts of state terrorism and the recent indiscriminate slaughter of Palestinian civilians in Gaza – a crime which Professor Alderman has publicly applauded.
Whether intentionally or otherwise, the learned Professor confirms Israelis status as the true heir to the European colonial ethos, with all its attendant hypocrisies. And, rather than condemning the ruthless betrayal of Judaism’s moral legacy, he takes refuge in Pharisaic legal niceties.