at the Sydney 'Israel out of Lebanon & Gaza' march, on 22 July.
More pictures of the march.
Joadja and I went in to the city for the big demonstration against the
Israeli attacks on Gaza and Lebanon. It was the biggest demonstration
Sydney had seen since before the invasion of Iraq.
One mans freedom fighter is anothers terrorist
By a strange coincidence, today is the 60th anniversary of the
bombing of the King David hotel in Jerusalem, Old Possum remarked,
as we waited at Town Hall Square for the march to kick off. While
their air force is unleashing hell in Lebanon, Israelis are dancing
on the graves of 92 people killed by the Irgun terrorist organization
on 22 July 1946.
I read in the Times On Line that the British Government
has objected to the Zionists celebrating the event and putting a plaque
at the spot, I said. They had a conference to mark the anniversary
and tied themselves in semantic knots trying to find a difference between
resistance and terror. In the end, they decided
they had been freedom fighters while the Arabs were always
Whats the story of the bombing? Joadja asked.
Possum leaned on his walking stick and raised his voice a decibel or
two above the din: The Hotel was the headquarters for the secretariat
of the British Mandate in Palestine. The military command was also based
there. The Irgun team entered the hotel posing as Arabs delivering milk.
The explosive charges were in milk churns, set to go off after half
an hour. A warning call was made to the hotel and to the nearby French
consulate, but it was never acted on by the British, probably because
their guards detected the bombers and there was a running gunfight with
them as they were leaving, during which the terrorists set off an explosive
device in the street outside the hotel.
The warning call spoke only of an explosive device,
so in the confusion, the authorities probably thought the attack had
been foiled. Then the real bomb went off, destroying a whole wing of
the hotel. As British military engineers rushed there with heavy lifting
gear to rescue survivors they were impeded by Zionist roadblocks and
stoned and booed by crowds of Jews. As well as Britons, Arabs, Armenians,
Greeks and 15 Jews were killed.
Some historians date the beginning of modern terrorism from the
Who ordered the bombing?
The story goes that David Ben Gurion, the chief Zionist honcho
originally suggested it, but he got cold feet. Moshe Sneh, the leader
of Haganah, the Zionist military command, decided to go ahead and told
Menachem Begin to carry it out.
So what was it supposed to achieve? The British Mandate had already
encouraged hundreds of thousands of Jews to settle in Palestine.
Yeah, after driving the Turks out in World War I, the British
government decided unilaterally, to establish what it called a National
Home for the Jewish people in Palestine, over which they had gained
a League of Nations mandate to shepherd the country towards self-government.
Of course there was a slippery little formulation about it being clearly
understood that the decision wouldnt prejudice the civil
and religious rights of the original non-Jewish communities, who werent
consulted about the idea. Somehow, the hapless British officials and
soldiers trying to make the Mandate work were supposed to reconcile
the hopes and rights of the native Palestinians with the implacable
thrusting ambition of the Zionist immigrants.
But in the ten years before the hotel bombing, around 378,000
Jews had migrated to Palestine. In 1946, the native Palestinian population
was about 1.3 million. Over that short period Jewish immigrants suddenly
made up something like a third of the population! Compare that to Australia.
Our population isnt yet 21 million. Over recent years the migrant
intake has been less than half a per cent of the existing population
in any year! The redneck nutters would really have something to screech
about if Australia had copped the massive influx the Palestinians faced.
An equivalent rate of immigration would be six million people coming
here since 1996.
But none of this satisfied the Zionists. By that stage they were
hell-bent on driving the natives out of the place and setting up an
exclusively Jewish state. And thats what they preceded to do.
The King David Hotel bombing was about clearing the Mandate out of the
way. The British public was outraged, but the politicians realised theyd
created a monster they couldnt control and they decided it was
time to go.
In April 1948, Begins Irgun, another Zionist group, the
Stern Gang and members of the mainstream Haganah, followed up the hotel
bombing by massacring 254 Palestinians from the village of Deir Yassin.
The aim was to terrorise Palestinians into flight. And that worked too.
By the time it was over theyd depopulated over 400 towns and villages
and driven 700,000 people from their lands and businesses.
So now, any Jew, born anywhere in the world, has the right
to return to Israel, but no Palestinian does.