If I had devoted as much time and energy to something useful I'd probably be fluent in about five or six languages
Of all the campaigns and wars I studied, one conflict struck a particular chord in my impressionable, totally fucking naive teenage brain...
The story of the plucky state of Israel...
- The three million against the two hundred million.
- A handful of desperate refugees, armed with nothing but some rusty WW2 surplus, living with the constant threat of being wiped off the face of the Earth by the Communist-armed Arab hordes
- A nation of citizen-soldiers who just wanted to grow oranges but who, in a stroke of righteous irony, reluctantly mastered the techniques of Nazi blitzkrieg to save themselves from ultimate annihilation
From an indoctrinated teenage war geek's point of view, the Six Day War was an impressive and inspirational feat of arms
Especially when you remember how those pesky Arabs were preparing to douse Israel with rockets armed with poison gas
I totally bought it 100%. Hook, Line and Sinker. The whole myth
And why shouldn't I?
I didn't know any Muslims or Arabs and the Jews I knew seemed alright to me
And all the books, films and television I saw told the same story
But when I got a little older I started asking myself some questions the books, the films and the television didn't seem to cover...
- What had the Arabs to do with the Jewish Holocaust?
- What right did the Israelis have to Palestine in the first place?
- Why was it that Jews, of all people, thought that recreating Lidice or Oradour-sur-Glane in Palestine was the way to go about solving anything?
- Wasn't the expression 'Never Again?' supposed to apply to everyone?
It also started to become clear, as I did some more grown-up study, that the Israelis weren't quite as outgunned as I was told they were, quite the opposite
And then I found out about stuff like the King David Hotel Bombing, the attack on the USS Liberty, the Lavon Affair, the Balfour Declaration and all the other staples of Anti-Zionist lore
Much of that anti-Zionist lore stands up to critical scrutiny a lot better than any of the Zionist bollocks I was fed as a kid
I still feel, years later, like a complete dick for believing so much propaganda
The news, after the shooting of Jean Charles de Menezes, that the executioners had been trained by Israelis was just the icing on the cake.
After all, the Israelis have had sixty years of solid experience of really getting to the heart of what it takes to prevent terrorism. Anyone who doesn't want London to have that carefree, at ease with itself, Tel Aviv vibe just has to be bonkers
Short of some kind of Apocalypse, the state of Israel is not going away (and yes there are some loonytunes Christian Zionist whackjobs who are banking on just that eventuality)
But, personally speaking, I don't want to see any Apocalypses or the annihilation of nations.
Some small, tiny little, tweaks to the way the Israeli state goes about doing things; such as losing the racist apartheid shit and not bombing the crap out of people as part of some deranged, futile exercise in collective punishment, would be just fucking peachy though