John Hilley Endorses “a Jew”

Scottish blogger, John Hilley, works with the Glasgow Palestinian Human Rights Campaign. He is disappointed that UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon appears to have decided against a former investigation into Operation Cast Lead in December 2008 and January 2009. I will take Hilley’s word for it, even though the Google News feed he provides has only one related hit (to an Al-Jaz online video); and judicious news-scouring and Googling on my part has yet to find more substantial confirmation.

It’s also interesting to note that Hilley’s search criteria were “spain prosecution Israel”. It stretches credibility a bit in my mind to imagine that the British judiciary has authority over any events within a certain 20% of the former Mandate area some 60 years after being persuaded to leave. As far as I am aware, however, the last time there was any administrative link between it and what is now Spain, my forbearers were concerned about Viking attack. (If there are any western Scandinavians reading, I have never come to terms with the pain felt by my great-great-great-[…]-great-grandmother as she saw her menfolk killed and was married off to one of your lot.)

Leaving aside the precise nature of the authority wielded by an organization which is not super-democratic, and international treaties and pacts which rely on participation, *and* Hilley’s presuming that Operation Cast Lead was a “criminal attack” before any investigation, one comment jumped out at me. Well, a lot of comments jumped out at me, but two words were particularly obvious.

Hilley introduces Richard Goldstone as a man running another UN body which, Hilley tells the reader, is already authorized to conduct the investigation Ban has apparently frustrated (if both are true, this would giving rise to questions about consistency and internal checking in a non-democratic organizations which we should apparently allow to conduct international diplomacy).  Goldstone has done commendable work in assisting the deconstruction of the former Apartheid system… oh, okay, the one in South Africa, as if I needed to specify… and in post-Milosevic Kosova, but what Hilley thinks is of particular note is his status as “a Jew”.

I have no doubt Hilley considers himself to be opposed to antisemitism – as does the luminary on the Edinburgh-scene, John Wight, who has used phrases such as “international jewry” and has difficulties recognizing and repudiating white supremacist Holocaust Denial material when he sees it – and haven’t yet looked through all his blog dedicated to “politically mindfulness”.  Yet, I am immediately sceptical about a mindset which, presumably, dismisses Jewish supporters of certain Israeli policies whilst assuming other individuals have an especial cache due to their being a Jew. Cake and eating spring to mind.

I note, also, that Hilley believes it was “the Palestinians who came to pay the price for those mass Nazi crimes” (there I was thinking it was the Jews of Europe, and millions of others: the ones who died, like).  In the same link, he can be seen revealing that he knows what Jews of yesteryear thought when he says “the Nazi Holocaust had led Jews to flee what they believed to be their true homelands in Europe for a place they never really wanted to inhabit”. Never listened to the words in a Seder, then, John?

He also quotes, with approval, Azzam Tamini who is a former director of the Salafist Muslim Association of Britain and has previously expressed a desire to self-detonate amongst Israeli civilians if only he were given a visa. Here Tamini can be seen in full rant mode:

Hilley tells the reader that “what he [Tamini] wants, primarily, like most other Palestinians across the diaspora and in the refugee camps, is the right to return to his family’s home”. As far as I am aware, Tamimi was born in 1955 in Hebron and, when he was seven, his family moved to Kuwait. That is, five years before the territory fell to Israeli control.

When I was 11, my family was required to move to a grotty wee housing estate from a wonderfully spacious three storey house. I liked that house. I had my own bedroom. We grew potatoes in the garden.  We had a real WWII air-raid shelter in the garden. But I haven’t spent the subsequent years and decades as a professional activist campaigning to evict the current residents.

Hilley goes on, “at the very least, he wants acknowledgement of this basic issue of Palestinian suffering”. Has anyone noticed how this appears daily in our media? Yes.  Good.  Let’s move onto his quoting Hamas bureau chief, Khaled Meshaal:

We are being punished simply for resisting oppression and striving for justice. Those who threaten to impose sanctions on our people are the same powers that initiated our suffering and continue to support our oppressors almost unconditionally. We, the victims, are being penalised while our oppressors are pampered. The US and EU could have used the success of Hamas to open a new chapter in their relations with the Palestinians, the Arabs and the Muslims and to understand better a movement that has so far been seen largely through the eyes of the Zionist occupiers of our land.

Hilley implies that a return to the 1967 boundaries would bring an end to conflict. But lookie here! Being asked the same question by Tim Sebastian for BBC Hard Talk in 2004, Meshaal was reported as saying:

We consider this positive step but we have the right in all Palestine.

Ah, yes, and end to conflict.

Also, the accompanying photograph on Hilley’s articles appears to be a Darfuri family who’re experiencing genocide, of the true sulpher-smelling variety.  Some oversight?

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