The establishment of the state of Israel in Palestine in 1948 was a very bad idea.
Because its establishment involved violence against and the ethnic cleansing of the Palestinian people and Arabs who lived in the territories that Israel was based in.
This in turn set off seventy years of violence, loathing and hatred between the Palestinians who live in and around Israel, and the Jewish people who live in Israel.
The history of Israel is rather like the history of Northern Ireland – transplanting a whole group of people into a territory previously peopled by someone else is clearly a recipe for hundreds of years of violence, murder and ethnic cleansing.
Some people argue that the establishment of Israel was necessary to ensure the safety of Jewish people across the world.
This idea was developed in response to the holocaust.
But two things.
First, establishing Israel as a state has not made Jewish people safe. The state of Israel has constantly come under attack.
And of course this new Jewish state was not just designed and supported to be a so-called safe place for Jewish people. It was, from the outset, an American-British colony intended to give the west a very clear stake and base in the Middle East.
It was also a Christian wet dream. In the Bible it talks about the end of the world coming when Israel turns to Jesus and the Christian faith, which first requires that Israel exists. In some sense then, the creation of Israel was as much to do with Christian desires and fantasies as Jewish ones.
Second, whilst the existence of Israel could potentially give people living in a country like Nazi Germany somewhere to flee to, its existence cannot stop a country like Nazi Germany stopping all the Jewish people living within its borders from leaving and then killing them en masse.
Third, whilst the ‘global community’ or some elements of it may feel that the Jews deserved their own state after the Holocaust, there is no justification for imposing that state on a people who don’t want to give it, i.e. the Palestinians.
Instead clearly, the land for the Jewish state should have been taken at the expense of the people who were responsible for the holocaust, i.e. Germany. Or from the people who so want a Jewish state, that they are willing to sacrifice some of their own land to give it, e.g. the United States of America or the United Kingdom.
But no-one in Europe or the United States cared about giving Jewish people their own home so much that they were willing to give up their own land to do it.
Better and easier to pick up on a weak and subjugated people, who historically had not been in control of the land that they and their ancestors had lived on for centuries. The Palestinians had experienced hundreds of years of Ottoman and then British control before the UN, backed by the US and UK, decided that the Palestinians would be the ones sacrificing their land, homes and livelihoods for the new Jewish state.
In some respects, post-world war II, post-holocaust, the western world has ensured that the Palestinians have displaced the Jews as the whipping-boys of the world, and they’ve done this by prostrating the Palestinians through the establishment and enactments of the Israeli state. Now, in 2023, after years and years of Israel ethnically cleansing Palestinian territories, and now whilst Israel bombs Gaza to smithereens, western state apparatuses and politicians have begun to outlaw support for Palestinian nationhood and humanitarian concerns for Palestinian people.
Israel was a bad idea, but it’s here now. The answer is how do you make the best of a really shit situation? The answer to this question is not at all clear.