Last night after a meeting to discuss the anti-cuts movement, a few of us went over (including a fair number of the Students for Justice in Palestine) to a pub for a drink. We noticed a couple of young guys speaking Hebrew and after a few funny looks they shortly left, but they left a Scottish guy behind who decided to argue the toss. This was the most ridiculously pro-Israel person I’ve ever met. I didn’t hear most of the conversation because my workmate was also there and wanted a conversation, but there was one point I picked up on and it was the most inane shite ever.
“There’s no such thing as a Palestinian.” That’s what he actually said. Repeatedly. At first I was completely confused, he kept saying “define a Palestinian!” and I said “someone who lives in Palestine?” Then he asked what the difference is between someone from Palestine and someone from Lebanon, and I asked what the difference is between someone from England and someone from France. “A different race” he said. I’m sure I could find someone in France who looked more like him than they looked like me, race has nothing to do with it. But he kept going on and on about all the Arabs being the same (he didn’t recognise Arab Israelis as Israeli and he thought Iranians were Arabs too…) and I just don’t understand what his point was. Even if he was right, did he think that because the Palestinians are the same as the Lebanese, then they should go there and the Israelis can have their land? In that case, if he thinks all the Arabs are the same, what’s to stop Israel going into Lebanon and saying they’re all the same as the Saudis and sending them all packing there? Really, what was his point?
He kept saying that Palestine was created by the British, but when it was pointed out that Israel was also artificially created, he said that Jerusalem was the capital of Israel 2,000 years ago. Now the people who live in Israel now can’t trace their ancestry right back to the Israelites so to claim this is a continuation of the same state is a bit ludicrous, but even if they could, so the hell what? In a similar sort of logic, should be give England to the Italians because the Romans were there 2,000 years ago? Or maybe to Ireland to honour the Celtic history going back even further?
The guy was a moron, and he had the gall to call us closed-minded. One thing that gives me heart is that history will look back and mock these kinds of people, just like those who defended apartheid, and those who opposed the Civil Rights movement.