Tuesday, February 18, 2014

"The Zionist experiment"

"LET US suppose it is highly probable that the Zionist experiment breaks down, that Englishmen refuse to have their soldiers' lives risked in a quarrel which is not their own and refuse to support out of their inordinate taxation a top-heavy colony which gives them no advantage and concerns them not at all. On the breakdown of that experiment, should it come soon, would there still be the support for its reestablishment that you would have had even ten years ago? There certainly would not. Ten years hence it is probable enough that you would get, not indifference to such re-establishment, but the most active hostility. All over the world the stream has turned in the same direction.

"Unfortunately the effect of that change has been to excite hatred rather than a desire for a settlement and to move men towards blind action rather than towards a reasoned examination of the difficulty. That is why the thing seems to me urgent, although there are still large areas of Western society in which its urgency is masked and half forgotten. When I say "urgent" I mean that this my essay, which is to-day still to the point, and the solution recommended in which is still feasible, may very well, within the lifetime of its writer, become old-fashioned out of all recognition. The peaceful settlement here proposed with deliberate vagueness and softness of outline may seem in a few years as out of date, as unreal through the intervening change, as do to-day the old tags about the purity of parliamentary life and the seriousness of party politics.

"My solution may appear at the end of this generation as mildly inapplicable to the acute situation then arisen between the Jews and ourselves as appear to-day the old debates on the very tentative demand for Home Rule in the '80's. Let us act as soon as possible and settle the thing while there is yet time. For in the swirl and rapids of the modern world, which grow not less as towards a calm, but more intense as towards a cataract, every great debate takes on with every year a stronger form, a nearer approach to conflict; and none more than the immemorial debate, still unconcluded, between Islam and Christendom and the Beni-Israel. But for my part, I say, "Peace be to Israel." "

~Hilaire Belloc: excerpt from The Jews.


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