OK, are we all back and seated?
Now, before anyone gets the idea from all this that I lean toward one side or the other, let me assure you that nothing could be further from the truth. Obviously, both sides have their points of view, but you don’t want to get too tied up in it all because if you start listening too closely to them it begins to sound like one of those family discussions which go something like this:
“Mu-u-u-u-um, Johnny just pulled my hair!”
” I did not, you dirty liar!”
“Yes, you did!”
“But you hit me first.”
“No, you hit me first!”
…and so on and so on, until Mum calls Dad to settle the argument, and Dad tells them both to go to their rooms, and everyone ends up in tears, and even Mum and Dad are mad at each other, and Dad doesn’t get any sex that night. That’s what’s called the Law of Unintended Consequences, and it’s all down to Robert Merton for introducing the idea into modern social thought, as there was no such thing before he came along.
Anyway, just to demonstrate how fair-minded and balanced I am on the issue, I’m going to come right out and say upfront that Israel has quite a strong claim to the land they now call theirs. That claim comes about in two ways, mainly. The first is through the legal concept of adverse possession, which means that whoever has the biggest guns and keeps them there the longest, wins. The Israelis are putting a lot of hopes on this argument to carry the day.
The second, and even more compelling, argument is that the land, after all, was given to them by God Himself. You have to admit that it’s pretty hard to contest the point when the other side’s lawyer has a title signed personally by Jehovah. (Or more properly, “Yahweh”, or more properly still, the tetragrammaton “yhwh”…. STOP RIGHT THERE!!! If you’re a religious Jewish Person, don’t try to read that out loud, for God’s sake!
Because, if you are a religious Jewish Person, you don’t EVER read that name out loud. It’s known to bring bad luck. Which brings to mind Oscar Wilde and his “love that dare not speak its name”, and while we’re at it, Prince’s unpronounceable adopted name, which didn’t do his career much good either. Unfortunately for Oscar, someone did have a name for it and dared to speak it, and it earned him a holiday in Reading for his trouble. At least Prince eventually had the good sense to start using his real name again so that people could talk about him. Maybe yhwh (I warned you not to say it out loud!) will also one day come to realise that if you really want your brand to go viral, then you have to give your followers some way of referring to you that will not bring them seven years of drought and a plague of locusts.
Anyway, as I was saying: the Zionists have their legal title and the Palestinians haven’t yet come up with anything signed by Allah – not even a baseball card.
But of course I’m being a bit flippant here. We all know that whether you worship God or Jehovah or yhwh (shhhh!) or Allah or Krishna or The Magic Stinky Weed, they’re all simply different names for the same One and Universal Life Force. All of us know that, deep down, even though it has always been a bit of a giggle to put a skewer through someone and barbecue him for using the wrong name.
All of us know that, that is, except for Richard Dawkins and a few other cranks who like to think of themselves as scientific rationalists, and who hold that it’s crazy to think that just because there’s no evidence for God, it doesn’t mean she’s not there. As much as I’d like to side with them on the point, they’re on pretty thin ice with this claim, because in fact, the evidence is all around us. If there’s no God, how come there are so many churches everywhere, hey? And how did all those miracles happen in the Bible 2000 years and more ago? They didn’t happen all by themselves, you know. And how come Jonah was swallowed by a whale but didn’t die, hey?
Ha! Gotcha there, Richard D, don’t I?
But we’re straying off the point, so let’s leave a more thorough discussion of religion for another blog. There’s already so much to occupy us here just settling the Middle East problem.
So where was I? Yes, back to Jehovah and Allah being one and the same. Where does that leave us with our competing land claims?
Well, no contest there, because as we all know, the Jewish people are God’s Chosen Ones. And how do we know that? Because the Bible says so. (Sing to the tune “…Yes, Jesus loves me, cuz the Bible tells me so…”)
Yes, right there in Deuteronomy, it says: “For you are a people holy to the Lord your God. The Lord your God has chosen you out of all the peoples on the face of the earth to be his people, his treasured possession.”
So there you have it in black and white. That settles the point, just as it settles how we know that “This Land Is My Land, This Land Is My Land…”. Sorry, I get carried away with these catchy tunes.
Yes, so that sort of leaves the Palos out in the cold, doesn’t it? I mean, if God (or whatever alias he’s using this week) has personally chosen you, and given you this land, and made it all official like, then that sort of settles the question, doesn’t it?
Now that we’re on the subject of the Chosen People, I should mention that there’s a dispute over rights to that, too. (Man, there’s nothing like That Old Time Religion to bring out the best in people, is there?) Mainstream Christians apparently believe that those who accept Jesus as their saviour are chosen too, and the Seventh Day Adventists have views on the subject, and the Rastafarians think that the blacks are the chosen race, and they can’t all be right except for black Seventh Day Adventists who convert to Judaism, and I’m not sure I’ve met many of them.
But that’s easy to sort out. They’re all Johnny Come Latelies when it comes to being the Chosen Ones, because the Jewish People thought of it first, or at least were evidently the first to write it down, and so the copyright is theirs and everyone else just has to suck it up, see? When you have both the legal property title and the copyright from God the Mother Almighty, that just has to trump the game, and no two ways about it.
So you Palestinians, you’ll just have to go out and live in the Arabian Empty Quarter, or the Phiilipines or somewhere. I’m sorry about that, but we have it on the very best authority that the land you’ve been calling home since, well, forever, really belongs to someone else. It’s a sort of trespass situation and you’ve been squatting there illegally since Day 1, it would seem, so you’ll just have to bloody well toodle off, and be quick about it. The Jewish People need it for artillery practice, and anyway you haven’t done anything with it except plant olive trees and let your donkeys shit all over the place, while you squat round in your funny clothes drinking sweet tea and smoking those hubbly bubblies which have who knows what in them, probably some of that Lebanese Black from the Bekaa Valley.