I must take issue with Malcolm Hey’s views on Donald Trump and Jerusalem (Letters, December 16). In 1917 the Balfour Declaration showed the British government’s support for creating a Jewish state in Palestine. The Palestinians living there were never consulted or given a choice.
The Zionist project was not about any genuine concern for the very real anti-Semitism Jewish people faced. It was about Britain’s control in the Middle East region and access to oil. The role of Jewish settlers in Palestine was to safeguard the interests of British, and later US, imperialism.
Horror at Nazi Holocaust was used to argue that Jews could never live safely with non-Jews and so justify the creation of Israel.
The response of many others to the Holocaust, including many Jews, was ‘never again’. That is to learn the lessons of how Hitler came to power and organise to prevent Nazis from ever establishing themselves and gaining respectability.
These lessons are very important today as Islamophobia and anti-Semitism is helping the far right grow in Europe and the US.
When Israel was created in 1948, what is known as the Nakba (Catastrophe) saw 850,000 Palestinians forced to leave their homes in pre-planned ethnic cleansing. Half the Palestinian towns and villages were wiped out leaving only rubble and stones. The Israeli state has continued this process with illegal settlements, land grabs and the systematic oppression of the Palestinians.
It comes as no surprise that although many of Donald Trump’s far right backers are openly anti-Semitic, he supports Israel by declaring Jerusalem the capital. Israel has occupied western Jerusalem since it was split in 1949.
In 1967 it invaded and occupied the eastern half of the city.
Trump’s comments are a green light for Israel to take what is left of Palestinian land and treat the Palestinian people with brutality when they resist this aggression.
There are many people around the world who support the Palestinian cause, including the right of refugees to return and to be subject to the same laws and protections as Jewish people.
If the US and Britain were to stop funding and arming the Israeli state, it could open up the possibility of creating a land where Jews and Palestinians can live together in peace and are treated as equals.
The Palestine Solidarity Campaign has called a March for Palestine on Saturday, January 13 meeting at Portsmouth Guildhall Square at 11.30 am.
We need to show the Palestinian people Donald Trump does not speak for us and that we will continue to campaign until Palestine is free.