Middle East: Scholars

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Supporting Israel

  • Peter Osborne of The Telegraph: Conservative Friends of Israel draws large numbers, with over 1/3 of the party's MPs attending a 'lunch' in 2014. There is no equivalent for Palestine.
  • Genesis 17:8 of the NIV Bible: 'The whole land of Canaan, where you now reside as a foreigner, I will give as an everlasting possession to you and your descendants after you; and I will be their God.'
  • Jews during the Passover Seder: close with the words 'Next year in Jerusalem.' These same words are invoked to conclude the holiest day of the Jewish year, Yom Kippur.
  • Benjamin Nehantayu on American-Israeli relations: 'And by the way, a piece of news, Israel is the one country in which everyone is pro-American, opposition and coalition alike. And I represent the entire people of Israel who say, 'Thank you, America.' And we're friends of America, and we're the only reliable allies of America in the Middle East.'
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Supporting Palestine

  • Nicholas Soames, grandson of Winston Churchill, Israeli PM's political hero: spoke eloquently in favour of Palestinian statehood.
  • Andy Slaughter of the Labour party: compared the West Bank occupation to Apartheid in South Africa.
  • Mahatma Gandhi: 'Palestine belongs to the Arabs in the same sense that England belongs to the English or France to the French. It is wrong and in-human to impose the Jews on the Arabs.'
  • Malcolm X: 'In short, the Zionist argument to justify Israel's present occupation of Arab Palestine has no intelligent or legal basis in history.'
  • Nelson Mandela: 'We know too well that our freedom is incomplete without the freedom of the Palestinians.'
  • Yasser Arafat, leader of Palestine until his death in 2004: 'We plan to eliminate the state of Israel and establish a purely Palestinian state. We will make lifeunbearable for Jews by psychological warfare and population explosion. We Palestinians will take over everything, including all of Jerusalem.'
  • Lady Warsi in her resignation letter: government policy on Palestine is 'morally indefensible, is not in Britain's national interest and will have a long term effect on our reputation internationally and domestically.'
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General Opinions

  • Martin Asser: 'The Arab-Israeli dispute is a conflict about land - and maybe just as crucially the water which flows through that land.'
  • Mat Hill of the Telegraph: 'the peace process is a chimera.'
  • The Churchill White Paper (1922): (1) creating a wholly Jewish Palestine is 'impracticable and [we] have no such aim in view'.                                                                                                                (2) '…do not contemplate that Palestine as a whole should converted into a Jewish National Home, but that such a Home should be founded in Palestine.'                                                                                                                                                (3) 'when asked what is meant by the development of the Jewish National Home in Palestine, it may be answered that it is not an imposition of a Jewish Nationality upon the inhabitants of Palestine as a whole, but the further development of the existing Jewish community.'
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