More and more ordinary people are now realizing that Britain’s war time leader, Winston Churchill wasn’t the person they were brought up to think he was. There was simply a lot more to him than the person who refused a peace deal with German Nazism and favoured the continuation of the war between 1939-1941 in the hope the United States would soon enter the conflict.
In principle, Churchill was no more committed to empire, ethnic cleansing and genocide than Germany’s Adolf Hitler. Whereas Hitler’s evil manifested itself on the European continent in the 1930s and 1940s, Churchill (and to be fair other European white supremacists and imperialists) justified the same evil in their colonial territories in Africa and Asia. Hitler had briefly established his Empire, the Third Reich, in Europe, whereas Britain and France had established their empires in Africa and Asia.
One of the last territories, Churchill justified ethnic cleansing and genocide in was Palestine. The population of Palestine in 1917 when Britain took hold of the land was over 90% Arab and less than 10% Jewish. Britain committed to the Zionist Jewish leadership to create a Jewish homeland in Palestine in a letter called the Balfour Declaration.
By 1936, the population of Palestine had become a third Zionist Jewish. Britain had allowed the colonization of Palestine without and over the heads of the indigenous Palestinian population. The Palestinians saw the writing on the wall and in 1936 rose up against the might of the British Empire and its Zionist colonial-settler proxy forces. The rebellion lasted three years and it is in this context Churchill spoke these genocidal words at an enquiry into the rebellion in 1937:
“I do not admit that the dog in the manger has the final right to the manger, even though he may have lain there for a very long time…I do not admit, for instance, that a great wrong has been done to the Red Indians of America, or the black people of Australia…I do not think the Red Indians had any right to say, ‘The American Continent belongs to us and we are not going to have any of these European settlers coming in here’. They had not the right, nor had they the power.”
It is quite clear that Churchill reasoned and justified the coming dispossession, murder and ethnic cleansing of the indigenous Palestinian population as no different to what happened to other indigenous peoples in North America and Australia. Is it any surprise that today’s right-wing champions such as Donald Trump, Boris Johnson, the Brexiters, and assorted alt-right groupies see him as their hero?
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