It was due to start at 6pm but I arrived at 5.50pm and by then every seat was taken including those in the overflow room. Latecomers were turned away with a copy of the talk, all 22 pages, Professor Nice was about to deliver.
On the tube home I read the Professor’s fantasyland; let’s call it Niceland.
In Niceland everyone is nice, except all Israelis (P.17):
“Widespread discrimination against the Arabs in Israel is revealed by Rabbis, Israeli politicians and pro-Zionist activists. Such unsanctioned/uncontrolled racism and religious intolerance creates an environment that can encourage sectarian violence as well as inspire ‘morale’ of IDF soldiers during military campaigns such as Protective Edge.”
Nice quotes Major General Giora Eiland who, apparently, compared the Palestinians who voted for Hamas to the Germans who voted for Hitler and then Nice continues:
“…these extreme views are widely shared by the defence establishment and by the Israeli public at large”.
But in Niceland Hamas are nice. In Niceland Hamas doesn’t really wish to put Palestinian civilians in danger or use them as human shields. It’s just that they have no choice because Gaza is so small (Page 13):
“…in Gaza, the whole area is a battle zone. In these circumstances, where this is so little tactical depth, the mixing of civilians and fighters means that it is almost impossible for Hamas not to appear to use civilians as a shield.”
Meanwhile, Google’s satellite map shows vast empty spaces in Gaza where Hamas could have taken on the IDF. That’s if Hamas were brave enough.
And in Niceland history can be whatever you want it to be (P. 3):
“Israel as a state was thus imposed on and within Palestine in 1948…an as yet unfinished state project because the territorial ambitions of Israel were not satisfied. Thereafter, claiming to fight for the security of their people and preservation of their land, Israel fought their Arab neighbours, expanding Israel’s borders.”
And in Niceland those fantastical disappearing maps of Palestine used by the Palestine Solidarity Campaign are accurate (P. 5).
And in Niceland Israel never handed back the Sinai and made peace with Jordan (P.6):
“The 1967 war encouraged a revival of the “Greater Israel”, envisaged by the founder of Zionism, Theodore Herzl, as extending “from the Brook of Egypt to the Euphrates””.
In Niceland (P.7) Israeli government policy is “the accelerated Judaization of East Jerusalem“.
In Niceland (P.8) 83% of Gaza’s casualties during Operation Cast Lead were civilians. (B’Tselem puts that figure nearer to 55% while the IDF claims 60% were terrorists)
In Niceland (P.9) “The Israeli authorities knew that the teenagers were killed soon after their abduction but they did not announce the death (sic) until eighteen days later.” So in Niceland there was no possibility last year that those three abducted Israeli teenagers may have been still alive after those shots, which were only heard down a mobile phone, were fired.
In Niceland (P.10) when Israel searched for those Israeli teenagers and “350 Palestinians were arrested…Reluctantly rising up to the challenge, Hamas responded with rockets.”
In Niceland (P.13) “there is no credible tactical, territorial military threat to Israel from Gaza”.
In Niceland (P.12) Sderot is merely a “settlement” which “shows that the Government encourages its people to live under the threat of rockets”.
In Niceland (P.12) “the population density of Gaza City is rated as the fifth highest in the world“. In Wikipedia Gaza City doesn’t even appear in the top 38.
At a war crimes trial in Niceland (P.19) Hamas could defend itself by arguing it fired inaccurate rockets because Gaza is “an imprisoned state/entity…there is other way to defend and advance its citizens’ interest”.
And, finally, in Niceland there’s no Jewish state at all (P.20):
“Should all the walls…be dismantled and the entire land of Palestine administered by outsiders until a single state of equal citizens can exist on the basis that there may yet be scope for true democracy of those peoples in a land they all claim to call home?”
Here is the talk for you to peruse in your own time.
You can complain to the provost of Gresham that such anti-Israel propaganda has no place at Gresham College. His name is Sir Richard Evans firstname.lastname@example.org
Or you can go straight to the author himself email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org
Alternatively you can politely protest such discourse when Professor Nice gives his next lecture which is on November 4th at Gresham College and which will be discussing the Mavi Marmara: Does The Citizen Have The Right To Protest On The High Seas?
It is at 6pm but to be sure of getting a seat you need to be in the queue by 5pm!