Britain should look to its own 'occupied territories' before criticizng Israel
While Britain harumphs about Israel's "occupied territories," preparing , once again, to butt its uh, diplomatic noses into another country's--in this case Israel's--security and internal concerns, Michael Freund, writing in the Jerusalem Post, provides updates on Britain's real occupied territories.
Judea and Samaria are the ancient heartland of the Jewish people, the cradle of our civilization, and Israel has every right - morally, historically, theologically and militarily - to be there.
Freund reminds us that the sun still has not set on the over 500 years of the tragedy of the British Empire.
Indeed, from Europe to South America to the Middle East to the South Pole, there is hardly a corner of the world in which Britain isn't involved in some territorial dispute or another as it obstinately clings to control over disparate chunks of terrain. The most famous of these, of course, are the Falkland Islands in the South Atlantic, which are claimed by Argentina. Although the islands are of little economic value and are home to more penguins than people, Britain fought a brief war with Argentina over them in 1982 which left 900 dead. And just last week, the British sparked a diplomatic row with Buenos Aires by issuing a new constitution for the Falklands, which it said is intended "to protect UK interests."
This prompted Argentine Foreign Minister Jorge Taina to call a press conference at which he denounced the British for attempting to perpetuate "an anachronistic colonial situation."
AND THEY call us stubborn occupiers? Half way around the world lies another fine example of British hypocrisy - the Chagos Archipelago, which London refers to as the British Indian Ocean Territory. Both Mauritius and the Seychelles have strong claims to it as their own, but that didn't stop Britain from forcibly expelling all the inhabitants between 1965 and 1971 to make way for a military base it wanted to lease to the US.
And though the Chagossians, as they are known, have repeatedly won court cases against the British government demanding their "right of return," the Brits will have none of it, and have largely left the islands' former residents to fend for themselves in exile.
As prominent British columnist Matthew Parris put it in the Times of London last week: "The saga is a stinking disgrace, a slur on Britain's good name." Nonetheless, her majesty's government simply refuses to let go.
With variations, similar arguments are applicable to those other European countries -- France, Russia, even Norway -- that are so self righteously indignant. As for the Arab/Moslem countries, their history of brutal conquest continues to this day.
So England, retreat to your island and devote your diplomatic efforts to grant the Welsh and Scots their independence. That's enough for you to handle.