Dr Joseph Alexander Norland, the person who started Israpundit, wrote to Ms Hunt of UCU.
I am writing to you to protest the UCU boycott of Israel. By now, you have probably heard the reasons for objecting to the boycott numerous times. For this reason I will refrain from repeating the reasons and offer instead two personal observations. All the statements in the following paragraphs are substantiated by mountains of evidence, which I will be pleased to forward to you upon request.
Observation #1. In 1938, the government and the people of the UK engaged in a systematic campaign to appease a terrorist bully at the expense of a small, democratic republic. Need I specify that I am referring to Britain’s appeasement of Hitler and the resulting destruction of Czechoslovakia? Need I draw the obvious parallel between this historic record and the British appeasement of Arab terrorists at the expense of the democratic republic of Israel? Since the UCU boycott is part of this anti-Israel campaign of appeasement, I will repeat here what I tell my British acquaintances at every opportunity:
As a consequence of the British appeasement policy, the world was plunged into World War II, which ended with the the Allies’ victory only because North America joined in to rescue Europe. My country, Canada, alone suffered 45,000 fatalities, which is about 1/10th of the price the US had to pay for the British folly. After the war, Canada forgave the war debt incurred by Britain, while the US bailed out Europe with the Marshall Plan. But when the current British campaign of appeasement, including the UCU boycott, leads inevitably to the Jihadist war against Britain herself, things will be different. For, people like me have vowed never again to rescue Europeans from the fruits of their own follies. This time around, people like me will ensure that Europeans alone pay for their folly.
To sum up this point in a concise asyndeton, “you boycott today, you’ll bleed tomorrow alone”. Don’t say that you have not been forewarned.
Observation #2. Given that I am Canadian, you can assume a priori that I had warm feelings towards the country of my founding fathers. And given that I am neither an Israeli citizen nor Jewish, you can also assume a priori that my view were not particularly pro-Israel. These statements applied until July 25, 2000, when the arch-terrorist Arafat rejected the generous peace offer made to him by the (former) Israeli prime minister Barak. At that point, I engaged in an in-depth study of the Arab-Israel conundrum, as a consequence of which Israel gained an ardent supporter for life.
Along my research, I encountered a string of Britons who were sympathetic to the cause of Jewish national revival and/or its political implementation, Zionism. These included George Elliot (of “Daniel Dironda” fame), Lord Balfour, Col Richard Meinertzhagen (who authored “Middle East Diary”), Col John Henry Patterson and Major General Orde Charles Wingate. Unfortunately, this handful of great Britons is dwarfed by the general anti-Semitic, anti-Zionist and anti-Israel streak that has always characterized English/British policy; for every Patterson there are millions of despicable Ernest Bevins, and for every Meinertzhagen, millions of notorious Ken Livingstones. The roots may be traced to the expulsion of the Jews from England in 1290, from which one can surmise that Britain has not changed in 700 years (A propos: I first became aware of “Britain has not changed in 700 years” when I encountered the primitive catalogue system of the libraries of Cambridge University; rather than boycott Israel, the UCU’s efforts would be more useful in reforming this system, but this is a topic for another time). To demonstrate “the general anti-Semitic, anti-Zionist and anti-Israel streak that has always characterized English/British policy”, which I allege, I will provide but two examples.
- Example #1 During WW II, when Europe’s Jews fell victim to the Holocaust, Britain refused to bomb the rail lines leading to the Nazi death camp, even though the allied planes routinely flew over such camps as Auschwitz. The historical record proves that the refusal was deliberate, and thus Britain stands accused of complicity in the Holocaust.Example #2 The League of Nations granted Britain the mandate over Palestine with the express proviso that Palestine be run as a Jewish National Home. From the outset, perfidious Albion set out to sabotage this mandate and undermine the Zionist project, which George Elliot’s “Daniel Dironda” foretold. Thus, the British authorities undermined Jewish immigration to Palestine, culminating in the 1939 White Paper and the 1947 tragedy of the refugee ship “Exodus”. The British also actively fought with the Arabs in an attempt to squelch the nascent Jewish state: one particularly notorious example concerns the British orchestration of a three-car bomb on Ben Yehuda Street, Jerusalem, on February 22, 1948, in which 52 Jewish civilians were murdered.
Sifting through mountains of data, of which the foregoing hardly scratches the surface, my support for the small, beleaguered democracy, Israel, blossomed into the very garden that George Elliot cultivated in her writings. At the same time, my Canadian affection for Britain turned into a decision to boycott all things British. Indeed, even though my close family members reside in the UK, I have vowed never to set foot on that tainted soil again. Whatever becomes of the UCU boycott, my boycott of Britain stands. And, as noted above, when the Jihadists come for you, notwithstanding Britain’s appeasement and the UCU boycott, don’t count on my help, or on my country’s help.
Dr Joseph Alexander Norland
Ottawa, Ont., Canada