Israel and its followers, such as the Labour Party leadership in the UK, wish us to believe that Israel is a fully democratic state, despite the Arabs and Palestinians who reside there or in the occupied territories having no right to a share in that democracy.
The underlying assumption, which the more militant Zionists insist on as the indisputable truth, is that Israeli Jews live according to civilised values, but the Israeli Arabs and the Palestinians do not.
The logical outcome of that perspective is that Israeli Jews need to be defended against the Palestinians by any means available, because the Palestinians, without justification, want simply to destroy Israel.
A patient reading of the websites I list below will surely debunk this simplistic, and ultimately dangerous, view.
Even these few sources indicate very strongly that there are a significant number of Israelis who do not see Palestine as an enemy to Israel but recognise that it is a victim of Israel’s territorial ambitions. It’s clear, too, that Israel does not have universal support from world Jewry.
It also becomes very plain that the Palestinians are a civilised people who do not routinely want Jewish blood, but are simply looking for the day when they can live in peace in their own land and according to their own custom.
Indeed, it may well be that these pages will leave people with the idea that Israel is nothing like the kind of democratic state it claims to be.
My own view is that nobody who believes in the right of all nations to determine for themselves how they are governed should accept that Israel, despite all its claims, shares in this belief.
(N.B. This list is not exhaustive and is subject to revision)
‘1. Days of Palestine’ reports mainly on the ongoing news from Palestine as it relates to the activities of the Israeli armed forces and on the responses to Israel’s policies regarding Palestine.
2. ‘Friends of Berzeit University’ is a Palestinian organisation campaigning for an educational system in Palestine free of disruptive and damaging Israeli pressure.
3. ‘Al Haq’ is a Palestinian human rights organisation which monitors all abuses of human rights in Israel and in Palestine. Its independence is indicated by its willingness to criticise the Palestinian authorities when the occasion arises.
4. ‘Addamir’ is a Palestinian human rights organisation dedicated to protecting the rights of Palestinians in Israeli prisons
5. ‘Bisan’ is a Palestinian organisation dedicated to developing social and educational programmes which aim towards achieving a genuinely fair and free society in Palestine.
6. ‘The Union of Agricultural Workers Committee’ is a Palestinian organisation dedicate to devloping agricultural programmes in Palestine and countering Israel’s attempt to wreck Palestine’s rural economy.
7.’Breaking the Silence’ consists of accounts by Israeli armed forces personnel of what they are ordered to do in Palestinian areas, and what the consequences of obeying those orders are both to them and to the Palestinians they deal with. It is an Israeli organisation.
8. ‘Dissent’ is an Israeli socialist magazine which, while carrying no brief for the Palestinian authorities, is highly critical of Israel’s policies towards Palestine. It is a Jewish publication.
9. ‘B’Tselem’ is an Israeli human rights organisation dedicated to defending the Palestinians’ human rights and exposing examples of those rights being violated by the Israeli government.
It is an Israeli organisation
10. ‘Refuser Solidarity Network’ (RSN) provides support for the Shministim (high school leavers refusing to be conscripted) and others who refuse to serve in the Israeli armed forces as a matter of conscience. It is an Israeli organisation.
11. ‘Physicians for Human Rights’ is a world-wide humanitarian organisation dedicated to tackling issues of public health around the world, especially as those issues are caused by human rights abuses. It opposes Israel’s occupation of Palestine.
12. ‘International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network’ (IJAN) is an international organisation protesting against Israeli Zionism in principle and against Israel’s occupation in practise. It is a Jewish organisation.
13. ‘Lawyers for Palestinian Human Rights’ is a British-based organisation concerned with defending the legal right of Palestinians in the face of Israeli injustices.
14. The ‘Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions’ movement calls for a worldwide boycott of trade and investment with Israel and has the ultimate aim of forcing Israel to end its occupation of Palestine. It is supported by many Jews.
15. ‘Amnesty’ is an international human rights organisation which is highly critical of Israel’s actions in Palestine.
16. The United Nations is the largest and most powerful inter-governmental agency in the world, its main function being to maintain peaceful relationships between nations despite their differences. It has a policy of strengthening human rights and has been a constant critic of Israel’s approach to human rights in Palestine.
17. ‘Jewish Voice for Labour’ is a Jewish socialist affiliate of the UK Labour Party, but is highly critical both of Israel’s occupation of Palestine and of the Labour Party’s current policy of giving Israel its unqualified support.