SIR – History is written by the victors. As soon as it was founded, the Israeli state set about rewriting history to justify its existence, with results such as Golda Meir’s verdict that ‘there were no such things as Palestinians.’
Dr Denis MacEoin’s contribution to that campaign (Southern Star, June 4th) includes the claim that Zionism ‘gladly accepted’ the partition plan set out by the United Nations in 1947. In reality, the Zionist forces moved quickly to ensure the plan became a dead letter, sweeping over the proposed border to evict and (where deemed necessary) massacre the Palestinian population. This has set the pattern of intransigence that Israel has followed ever since.
Dr MacEoin’s claimed credentials as a historian are severely compromised by his affiliation to the Gatestone Institute. This is not (as one might suppose) an academic body, but a propaganda organ founded and funded by an immensely wealthy Jewish heiress who actively supports Israel’s continuing illegal colonisation of the West Bank. It provides a forum for those on the extreme right of American politics – notably militarists and Islamophobes – and habitually denounces any criticism of Israel as inspired by ‘anti-semitism’ or support for terrorism.
Its targets have included the United Nations, the World Council of Churches and Amnesty International, and Dr MacEoin has himself publicly attacked Pope Francis for failing to toe the Gatestone party line. The Norwegian terrorist Anders Breivik, who slaughtered 77 of his compatriots to save them from ‘Islamisation,’ has named several people with links to the Gatestone Institute as among those who inspired his crusade.
As is usual in apologies for Israel, Dr MacEoin presents Israel as a model democracy – implying this justifies the state’s aggression and discriminatory laws. A historical analogy suggests itself.
Britons still congratulate themselves on their ‘Glorious Revolution,’ which supposedly ushered in an era of constitutional government and the rule of law. But that same dispensation crushed Ireland under the monstrous Penal Laws. If Dr MacEoin ever removed his ideological blinkers, he would surely find many parallels between Ireland in 1716 and what remains of Palestine in 2016.