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Thursday, 15 June 2017

The Loyalist Zionists Who are Keeping Theresa May on Life Support
 
a marriage made in hell - Loyalism and Conservatism
The links between Ulster Unionism and Zionism have always been close.  The British Mandate in Palestine began in 1920 and it was ratified by the League of Nations in 1922.  The Partition of Ireland began in 1921 and Southern Ireland became independent in 1922.

Both Ulster and Palestine involved British imperialism using a settler population in order to maintain its presence in another peoples’ land.  Ulster had been the subject of the Plantation of Protestant settlers in the 17th century.  Palestine was the subject of Jewish settlement in the 20th century.  As the first Military Governor of Jerusalem, Sir Ronald Storrs(1920-1926), wrote in his autobiography Orientations:
Jackie McDonald - S Belfast UDA Brigade Commander - Arlene Foster met him a few days after a UDA killing
“Enough [Jews] could return, if not to form a Jewish state ... at least to prove that the enterprise was one which blessed him that gave as well as him that took, by forming for England ‘a little loyal Jewish Ulster’ in a sea of potentially hostile Arabism.”
The agreement by the British to support the Zionist colonisation of Palestine was symbolised in the Balfour Declaration whereby the Foreign Secretary, Arthur James Balour wrote a letter of November 2nd 1917 to Lord Rothschild in which Britain promised the land of the Palestinians to the Zionists.  Promises made in the Declaration that ‘nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of the existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine’ was honoured in the breach.
Zionist settlers in Palestine based their claim on the Biblical ‘return’ of the Jews to Palestine just as the Protestant settlers of Ulster believed that in settling the north of Ireland they too were fulfilling god’s mission.
Arlene Foster - DUP leader, blamed for loss of hundreds of millions on energy scheme
It is no accident that when an Israeli propaganda group, Stand by Israel, sent out a Pledge for Israel to candidates in the general election, 5 of the DUP’s candidates - Jeffrey Donaldson, Paul Girvan, Gary Middleton, Ian Paisley, Jim Shannon – signed.  Although the founder of the DUP, Ian Paisley was in habit of making anti-Semitic jokes, he was nonetheless fully signed up to the idea that Israel represented the ‘return’ of the Jews as a precursor of the second coming of Christ.
Theresa May addresses journalists after she returned from the Palace - she managed not to mention the election outcome
Both Israel and Ulster were set up as settler colonial states and both indulged in ethnic cleansing – in Israel’s case of Palestinians and in Ulster it was Catholics who were forced to flee from pogroms in 1921.

Just as Israel is a Jewish supremacist state, Ulster was set up as a Protestant Supremacist state.  In the words of James Craig, the Viscount Craigavon, Ulster’s first Prime Minister, ‘we are a Protestant Parliament and a Protestant State’ which became popularly known as a Protestant Parliament for a Protestant people.’
The Democratic Unionist Party was formed by Ian Paisley in 1971.  Paisley was the founder of the Free Presbyterian Church of Ireland and an anti-Catholic agitator.  From the very start the party was linked with loyalist terror gangs such as the Ulster Defence Association.  This tradition has continued to the present.  Arlene Foster, the present leader of the DUP, met with the leader of the UDA, Jackie MacDonald, just three days after their Southern Antrim brigade murdered a fellow paramilitary.

It is no surprise that Theresa May, whose party has vigorously attacked Jeremy Corbyn for his links with Sinn Fein and the IRA, has no problem with forming an electoral alliance with a party with close links to Protestant death squads.  People forget that whereas the IRA attacked the British army and the Royal Ulster Constabulary (renamed PSNI), all of them armed, the Loyalist death squads of the UDA and the Ulster Volunteer Force attacked Catholic civilians at random.

As was proven by the 1990’s Stevens Inquiries, intelligence information was supplied to these Loyalist death squads by British agents inside these groups.  The army’s Force  Research Unit, a military intelligence unit, ran an agent Brian Nelson inside the UDA and the FRU helped the UDA kill hundreds of innocent Catholics.  Indeed they agreed restriction orders with the RUC in order that these killers wouldn’t be apprehended by the Police.  One particularly notorious murder was that of the Belfast solicitor Patrick Finucane, whose crime in their eyes was defending Republican soldiers.
Former Tory Prime Minister John Major has spoken out against any alliance with the DUP, following on from Ruth Davidson.  Given the present impasse in Belfast between the DUP and Sinn Fein, which has meant that Stormont, the local Assembly hasn’t met for months, the British government going into an effective coalition with the DUP removes any pretence that it is an honest broker.
It is a measure of the desperation of the Witch of Westminster that she should ally with these creatures.  Not only are they anti-gay and anti-abortion but they are also sectarian racists.  Fitting allies for a discredited Prime Minister  May.  May has demonstrated that in order to hold onto  power she will literally ally with the devil.  However I suspect that this alliance, made as it is in hell, will have a rather short lifespan.

Tony Greenstein

London Review of Books
Daniel Finn 12 June 2017

As Britain woke on Friday morning to discover that Theresa May had flushed her Commons majority down the drain, people found themselves having to learn about an unfamiliar party on which May (or her successor) would be relying to get anything done. The titles of the hastily commissioned primers – ‘So, Who Are The DUP?’; ‘Who are the Democratic Unionists and what do they want?’ – told their own story. The Democratic Unionist Party is Northern Ireland’s largest political force and was until recently the principal coalition partner in one of the UK’s devolved governments. But most of the time, what happens in Belfast or Derry is deemed irrelevant to political life on the other side of the Irish Sea.

Superficially, this year’s election campaign was an exception, with events in Northern Ireland discussed more widely than at any time since the Good Friday Agreement. But that was because the Conservatives thought they could damage Jeremy Corbyn by highlighting his relationship with Sinn Féin in the 1980s. The fact that Northern Ireland’s government had collapsed just a few months earlier, however, was barely mentioned; neither Corbyn nor May was asked to spell out in detail what they planned to do about it.

The Westminster arithmetic makes any speedy resolution of the Stormont crisis unlikely. Problems had been accumulating from the first day of the power-sharing arrangement back in 2007, as Ian Paisley, the DUP’s leader since its founding in 1971, had done little to prepare his supporters for a deal with their republican enemies. Paisley’s apparent bonhomie with Sinn Féin’s Martin McGuinness infuriated many DUP activists, and it wasn’t long before Paisley’s deputy Peter Robinson had eased him into early retirement. Robinson was more intransigent than Paisley in his dealings with Sinn Féin, and Robinson’s successor Arlene Foster more intransigent still; the DUP used the requirement for cross-community consent in the Northern Ireland Assembly to block reforms that had already been agreed on in peace talks.

Brexit added another fault line: the DUP campaigned to leave the EU, while the other main parties all plumped for Remain, as did 56 per cent of voters in the region. The referendum exposed a light-minded attitude towards the Good Friday Agreement among Leave-supporting politicians in both London and Belfast: mixed messages about the likelihood of a ‘hard border’ in Ireland betrayed the fact that most Brexiteers hadn’t thought about the question at all before taking the plunge.

The text of the Good Friday Agreement explicitly referred to the Irish and British states as ‘partners in the European Union’, and tacitly assumed that questions of sovereignty would get hazier as European integration progressed; anyone born in Northern Ireland is entitled to an Irish passport, and the only sign of the border in recent years has been the text message from your mobile phone company when the train goes past Dundalk. The prospect of a harder-edged approach to national identity after Brexit seemed to delight the DUP leadership. The party is adamantly opposed to any special status for Northern Ireland when its departure from the EU is finalised – although with an eye to farming interests, it also wants to keep trade flowing across the border. Squaring that circle will be a key issue in the negotiations to come.

The Stormont government collapsed when Arlene Foster refused to take responsibility for mismanaging a renewable heating scheme that may end up costing Northern Ireland half a billion pounds, and Sinn Féin pulled the plug. A snap regional election at the start of this year saw the DUP come perilously close to being overtaken by Sinn Féin, but its performance in the Westminster poll last week was much more assured, adding two seats for a total of 10; Sinn Féin and an independent unionist accounted for the rest of Northern Ireland’s 18 constituencies.

The idea that Theresa May – or any Tory politician – can serve as an impartial mediator while relying on DUP votes at Westminster is a joke in very poor taste. A parliamentary alliance between the Tories and the DUP will reinforce an ideological convergence between the parties. ‘The immense contribution of the security forces during the Troubles,’ the Conservative manifesto said, ‘should never be forgotten. We will reject any attempts to rewrite history which seek to justify or legitimise terrorism.’

Official inquiries have exposed a long record of collusion between state forces and the loyalist paramilitaries who waged a ruthless war on nationalist civilians. The DUP wants to shut down all investigations that bring its fictitious narrative of the ‘Troubles’ into question. DUP leaders always saw the loyalist paramilitaries as allies in the struggle against Irish nationalism, refusing to take responsibility for their actions in public, but privately urging them to keep on killing when the IRA called a ceasefire. Now the party wants the IRA to be held exclusively responsible for the conflict, the state forces exalted, and the loyalists forgotten: anything else would be ‘legitimising terrorism’. The Tories agree (there was hysteria when Corbyn insisted on condemning loyalist bombings as well as IRA ones). And Michael Gove, now back in May’s cabinet, in 2000 denounced the Good Friday Agreement as a ‘moral stain’, a ‘capitulation to violence’ and a ‘denial of our national integrity’. He defended the comments last year.

The DUP may be out of step with Britain’s political mainstream in many respects, but as far as security policy is concerned, it marches in tight formation with some very powerful interests. For those who value civil liberties in both Britain and Northern Ireland, that will pose a grave problem, however long the current arrangement at Westminster lasts.

In a stunning upset, the British electorate moved sharply to the left in Thursday’s general election. The Labour Party, led by Jeremy Corbyn, gained dozens of seats, while Theresa May’s governing Conservatives lost their majority.

When the prime minister called the snap election seven weeks ago, polls suggested she’d win a massive majority.

Even such Labour stalwarts as Guardian pundit Owen Jones predicted that under Corbyn the party would be crushed.

But Corbyn’s ebullient grassroots campaign, built on policies of free university tuition, social justice and more investment in public services, generated enthusiasm that defied virtually all expectations.

May moves right

Diminished and humiliated, May will hang on as prime minister for now. But unable to command a majority in the House of Commons on their own, the Conservatives will rely for support on the 10 lawmakers from the Democratic Unionist Party, a Christian Zionist group in Northern Ireland which pushes extreme pro-Israel policies.

It also staunchly opposes same-sex marriage, a position that might make it more at home in America’s Bible Belt.

This means that while the British electorate embraces more progressive policies, May is likely to hunker down and move even further to the right in defiance of public opinion, including the growing support for Palestinian rights.

Who are the DUP

The Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) was founded in the early 1970s by the late Ian Paisley, a Protestant cleric notorious for his anti-Catholic bigotry.

Paisley’s DUP opposed any change in the status quo of Northern Ireland, an entity created by the British in 1921. As Ireland struggled for its independence, the British imposed partition in order to give Protestants, largely descended from Scottish and English settlers, an artificial majority.

This “Protestant state for a Protestant people” ruled over Irish Catholics with bigotry and an iron fist.
Unionists’ violent rejection of Irish nationalist demands for equality in the late 1960s inaugurated the three-decade low-level civil war known as “The Troubles” in which more than 3,500 people were killed and 50,000 injured – nearly two percent of the Northern Ireland population.

Paisley’s demagoguery and incitement has been blamed for at least some of the deaths in the conflict.
But after almost a lifetime spent opposing accommodation, in 2007 Paisley led the DUP into a power-sharing government with the leaders of Sinn Féin – the party he had just a few years earlier denounced as a “filthy nest of murderous Irish nationalism.”

Islamophobia

Although Paisley underwent some form of transformation, many in his party have not and the DUP leadership is accused of maintaining ties with violent pro-British extremist groups, called loyalists, that carried out hundreds of sectarian murders of Catholics.

Loyalist paramilitaries endorsed DUP candidates in Thursday’s election.

After Ireland’s 1998 peace deal, the Good Friday Agreement, politicians can no longer utter open expressions of anti-Catholic bigotry of the kind in which Paisley routinely indulged.

But some of that bigotry appears to have morphed into Islamophobia. In 2014, an evangelical pastor attacked Muslims as “satanic.” The DUP’s Peter Robinson, first minister of Northern Ireland at the time, defended the comments, before eventually apologizing amid public outrage.

Friends of Israel

The DUP is a staunchly pro-Israel party – Ian Paisley himself launched the group Northern Ireland Friends of Israel in 2009.

Before this election, members of the DUP joined dozens of candidates from other parties signing a so-called “Pledge for Israel.”

The party also has its own DUP Friends of Israel lobby group in the Northern Ireland legislature.
Northern Ireland Friends of Israel co-chair Steven Jaffe explained that the party’s strong support for Israel stems in part from religious beliefs.

“Many DUP [members of Parliament] come from a Bible-believing Protestant background,” he told The Times of Israel in 2014. “They have a very sincere and positive attitude to the biblical roots of the Jewish people’s connection to the land.”

These Christian Zionist beliefs are what motivate many extreme supporters of Israel, such as the powerful US lobby group Christians United for Israel.

Since 2015, CUFI also has a UK branch. The group had been due to celebrate in London 50 years of violent Israeli occupation in the West Bank at a “Night to Honor Israel,” before it was canceled amid what it claimed were security threats.

The “Pledge for Israel” was also emailed by CUFI UK to its supporters just before the election.
Settler-colonialism

The identification also stems from the shared history that Northern Ireland was created through imposed partition, for the benefit of a settler-colonial group, against the wishes and rights of the indigenous population, just like Israel’s 1948 creation in Palestine.

The DUP “identify with Israel fighting for its survival, and they feel the international media is unfairly hostile to Israel just as they believe it was hostile to their own cause,” Jaffe explained.
Veteran Irish journalist Patrick Cockburn shed light on this sense of a common cause between Zionists and pro-British unionists in Northern Ireland, during Israel’s December 2008 to January 2009 invasion of the Gaza Strip, which killed more than 1,400 Palestinians.

Israeli society “reminds me more than ever of the unionists in Northern Ireland in the late 1960s,” he observed. Like Israelis, unionists were a community “with a highly developed siege mentality which led them always to see themselves as victims even when they were killing other people. There were no regrets or even knowledge of what they inflicted on others and therefore any retaliation by the other side appeared as unprovoked aggression inspired by unreasoning hate.”

As The Electronic Intifada’s David Cronin has observed, “the racist discourse of the Protestant establishment in the north of Ireland” is “almost identical to what Israeli politicians say about Arabs.”
Israel’s justice minister Ayelet Shaked, for instance, called Palestinian babies “little snakes.” Paisley once claimed that Catholics “multiply like vermin.”

Exporting repression to Palestine

The overall responsibility for the violence lay with the British state, which propped up the bigoted Northern Ireland regime for decades.

But while the peace process ended the most violent manifestations of British repression, that apparatus of state violence has been rebranded for export to Palestine.

Several veterans of the now disbanded Royal Ulster Constabulary have been employed by the European Union to train Palestinian Authority security forces that work closely with Israel’s military occupation.

This is the same Royal Ulster Constabulary that colluded with loyalist militias on a vast scale in the murder of Catholics, and whose members are now honored by DUP leader Arlene Foster as heroes.
The morning after the vote, it is no wonder that many are describing May’s desperate deal with the DUP to stay in power as the “Bad Friday Agreement.”

In a stunning upset, the British electorate moved sharply to the left in Thursday’s general election. The Labour Party, led by Jeremy Corbyn, gained dozens of seats, while Theresa May’s governing Conservatives lost their majority.

When the prime minister called the snap election seven weeks ago, polls suggested she’d win a massive majority.

Even such Labour stalwarts as Guardian pundit Owen Jones predicted that under Corbyn the party would be crushed.

But Corbyn’s ebullient grassroots campaign, built on policies of free university tuition, social justice and more investment in public services, generated enthusiasm that defied virtually all expectations.
May moves right

Diminished and humiliated, May will hang on as prime minister for now. But unable to command a majority in the House of Commons on their own, the Conservatives will rely for support on the 10 lawmakers from the Democratic Unionist Party, a Christian Zionist group in Northern Ireland which pushes extreme pro-Israel policies.

It also staunchly opposes same-sex marriage, a position that might make it more at home in America’s Bible Belt.

This means that while the British electorate embraces more progressive policies, May is likely to hunker down and move even further to the right in defiance of public opinion, including the growing support for Palestinian rights.

Who are the DUP

The Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) was founded in the early 1970s by the late Ian Paisley, a Protestant cleric notorious for his anti-Catholic bigotry.

Paisley’s DUP opposed any change in the status quo of Northern Ireland, an entity created by the British in 1921. As Ireland struggled for its independence, the British imposed partition in order to give Protestants, largely descended from Scottish and English settlers, an artificial majority.

This “Protestant state for a Protestant people” ruled over Irish Catholics with bigotry and an iron fist.
Unionists’ violent rejection of Irish nationalist demands for equality in the late 1960s inaugurated the three-decade low-level civil war known as “The Troubles” in which more than 3,500 people were killed and 50,000 injured – nearly two percent of the Northern Ireland population.

Paisley’s demagoguery and incitement has been blamed for at least some of the deaths in the conflict.
But after almost a lifetime spent opposing accommodation, in 2007 Paisley led the DUP into a power-sharing government with the leaders of Sinn Féin – the party he had just a few years earlier denounced as a “filthy nest of murderous Irish nationalism.”

Islamophobia

Although Paisley underwent some form of transformation, many in his party have not and the DUP leadership is accused of maintaining ties with violent pro-British extremist groups, called loyalists, that carried out hundreds of sectarian murders of Catholics.

Loyalist paramilitaries endorsed DUP candidates in Thursday’s election.

After Ireland’s 1998 peace deal, the Good Friday Agreement, politicians can no longer utter open expressions of anti-Catholic bigotry of the kind in which Paisley routinely indulged.

But some of that bigotry appears to have morphed into Islamophobia. In 2014, an evangelical pastor attacked Muslims as “satanic.” The DUP’s Peter Robinson, first minister of Northern Ireland at the time, defended the comments, before eventually apologizing amid public outrage.

Friends of Israel

The DUP is a staunchly pro-Israel party – Ian Paisley himself launched the group Northern Ireland Friends of Israel in 2009.

Before this election, members of the DUP joined dozens of candidates from other parties signing a so-called “Pledge for Israel.”

The party also has its own DUP Friends of Israel lobby group in the Northern Ireland legislature.
Northern Ireland Friends of Israel co-chair Steven Jaffe explained that the party’s strong support for Israel stems in part from religious beliefs.

“Many DUP [members of Parliament] come from a Bible-believing Protestant background,” he told The Times of Israel in 2014. “They have a very sincere and positive attitude to the biblical roots of the Jewish people’s connection to the land.”

These Christian Zionist beliefs are what motivate many extreme supporters of Israel, such as the powerful US lobby group Christians United for Israel.

Since 2015, CUFI also has a UK branch. The group had been due to celebrate in London 50 years of violent Israeli occupation in the West Bank at a “Night to Honor Israel,” before it was canceled amid what it claimed were security threats.

The “Pledge for Israel” was also emailed by CUFI UK to its supporters just before the election.

Settler-colonialism

The identification also stems from the shared history that Northern Ireland was created through imposed partition, for the benefit of a settler-colonial group, against the wishes and rights of the indigenous population, just like Israel’s 1948 creation in Palestine.

The DUP “identify with Israel fighting for its survival, and they feel the international media is unfairly hostile to Israel just as they believe it was hostile to their own cause,” Jaffe explained.
Veteran Irish journalist Patrick Cockburn shed light on this sense of a common cause between Zionists and pro-British unionists in Northern Ireland, during Israel’s December 2008 to January 2009 invasion of the Gaza Strip, which killed more than 1,400 Palestinians.

Israeli society “reminds me more than ever of the unionists in Northern Ireland in the late 1960s,” he observed. Like Israelis, unionists were a community “with a highly developed siege mentality which led them always to see themselves as victims even when they were killing other people. There were no regrets or even knowledge of what they inflicted on others and therefore any retaliation by the other side appeared as unprovoked aggression inspired by unreasoning hate.”

As The Electronic Intifada’s David Cronin has observed, “the racist discourse of the Protestant establishment in the north of Ireland” is “almost identical to what Israeli politicians say about Arabs.”
Israel’s justice minister Ayelet Shaked, for instance, called Palestinian babies “little snakes.” Paisley once claimed that Catholics “multiply like vermin.”

Exporting repression to Palestine

The overall responsibility for the violence lay with the British state, which propped up the bigoted Northern Ireland regime for decades.

But while the peace process ended the most violent manifestations of British repression, that apparatus of state violence has been rebranded for export to Palestine.

Several veterans of the now disbanded Royal Ulster Constabulary have been employed by the European Union to train Palestinian Authority security forces that work closely with Israel’s military occupation.

This is the same Royal Ulster Constabulary that colluded with loyalist militias on a vast scale in the murder of Catholics, and whose members are now honored by DUP leader Arlene Foster as heroes.
The morning after the vote, it is no wonder that many are describing May’s desperate deal with the DUP to stay in power as the “Bad Friday Agreement.” 

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