Jews as indigenous people
Supporters of Israel should consider making use of the continuity of the Jewish people in the Land of Israel in trying to win sympathy for the Jewish cause. Jews never abandoned or surrendered their homeland but were subject to 2,000 years of continuous exile by the conditions created by foreign rulers. Jews became a minority in their homeland, but this does not diminish their rights at all, as the United Nations has determined that indigenous peoples do not lose their rights, so long as they maintain their continuity and their culture in their homeland.
Ever since the start of the Zionist attempt to establish a Jewish homeland in Israel, the Palestinians have insisted that the Jews have no rights at all in any part of Israel. The Jews should make use of their continuity in their homeland, and the UN declaration concerning the rights of indigenous peoples in their homeland, to prove to the world and to the Palestinians, that Israel could never have been a Palestinian land, as it never ceased being a Jewish possession.
One might consider it absurd to expect that the Palestinians would ever admit that Jewish rights in Israel are superior to theirs. But it seems peace can perhaps come in no other way. And if the rest of the world would become convinced of the Jewish case, then the Palestinians might find they would eventually have to adopt the new consensus position in the world.
* * *
I agree with Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman who advocates informal and formal Jewish education from the earliest age (“Nothing more crucial that Jewish education” (Dec. 1). His commentary is more than food for thought. It requires the same initiative as the present, generous emphasis that is directed at acculturating our students for university, which unintentionally neglects elementary and high school educations, where foundations begin. I took the word “Jews” and turned it into the acronym J.E.W.S., which stands for “Jewish education warrants scholarship.”
* * *
Disagrees with Goldstone
While I generally agree with his views regarding Israel proper, Richard Goldstone’s Oct. 31 New York Times opinion piece reeks with egregious errors in saying that using “apartheid” to describe Israel’s West Bank actions is slanderous (“Apartheid Charge a ‘Slander’: Goldstone,” Nov. 10). He entirely ignores the Jewish settlements, their expansion, and resulting oppression of Palestinians through land seizure, usurping water resources, Israeli-only roads, beatings, checkpoints, special identity cards, and many other apartheid measures, including the creation of bantustan-like West Bank divisions. His view of the “security barrier,” which seriously encroaches on Palestinian land, is also false, as noted in the International Court of Justice’s 2004 report. While not an apartheid state itself, Israel has instituted significant apartheid measures in the West Bank and justly deserves the charge.
* * *
London club to celebrate centenary
Oxford and St. Georges Club members was set up in 1914 as a refuge for Jewish boys and girls in the east end of London whose families had fled the pograms of eastern Europe. To celebrate its centenary, the club is making plans to organize a special function that might bring together many of the thousands of past and present members. A website – at www.ostg100.co.uk – has been created so that a newly formed committee will be able to ascertain the scale of interest that this occasion might attract. The name Oxford and St. Georges signified the club’s founder, Sir Basil Henriques, hopes and ambitions for the Jewish children in the east end of London: “Oxford” for the university he attended and “St. Georges” for the parish where the club was located. Every member of the club was selected by his or her peers and become a proud owner of the club badge.
David Dryer, Chairman, O.St G Centenary Committee