Bertrand Russell on Palestine

“The tragedy of the people of Palestine is that their country was “given” by a foreign power to another people for the creation of a new state. The result was that many hundreds of thousands of innocent people were made permanently homeless. With every new conflict their numbers increased. How much longer is the world willing to endure this spectacle of wanton cruelty?

It is abundantly clear that the refugees have every right to the homeland from which they were driven, and the denial of this right is at the heart of the continuing conflict. No people anywhere in the world would accept being expelled en masse from their own country; how can anyone require the people of Palestine to accept a punishment which nobody else would tolerate?

Israel has expanded by force of arms. After every stage in this expansion Israel has appealed to “reason” and has suggested “negotiations.” This is the traditional role of the imperial power, because it wishes to consolidate with the least difficulty what it has already taken by violence. The aggression committed by Israel must be condemned because every expansion is an experiment to discover how much more aggression the world will tolerate.

We are frequently told, “We must sympathize with Israel because of the suffering of the Jews in Europe at the hands of the Nazis.” What Israel is doing today cannot be condoned, and to invoke the horrors of the past to justify those of the present is gross hypocrisy. ”

-Bertrand Russell

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