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A united Ireland becomes more likely - what is the significance of Palestine?
The significance of `A united Ireland: could it really happen?` for

By Paul Seligman
Sent from

When the Economist, an establishment magazine if ever there was one, writes
what I`ve said for years, you know it`s not just possible, but will happen.

It reminds me of 1972 when the Sunday Times, under Harold Evans, published
its detailed exposť of the awful discrimination against Catholics in
`Ulster`, the violence of the B-Special, the electoral rigging which
prevented 250, 000 Catholics from voting and so on, which was
never†previously reported in the mainland. It was a clear signal that a
section of the ruling class knew that change was necessary and civil rights
must come.

We often use the example of apartheid South Africa when talking about
Palestine, and it certainly has its uses as a comparison, and as an example
of how a discriminatory ethnic supremacy can change.

But the example of Northern Ireland is also instructive, particularly in
Britain where it is perhaps better known to the younger generation than
apartheid-era South Africa.

For most of my life, it has been commonplace to hear people say `There will
never be peace in Northern Ireland`. `It`s all down to religion`. `The
Unionists/Protestants will never accept a united Ireland`. `The
Catholics/Papists support terrorism`.

Just like the Afrikaaners would never surrender their domination, the blacks
would murder them all ....

And `Palestinians are antisemites/terrorists`. `Israelis and Palestinians
could never live side by side in one state with equal rights`.
`Muslims/Arabs are underdeveloped, Israel is the villa in the jungle`.

It turned out that `never` changed rather quickly in South Africa. Now in
Northern Ireland the descendants of the English colonists and settlers are
increasingly willing to live with the descendants of the indigenous Irish,
just as their co-coreligionists (and Jews) in the South of Ireland have done
for 100 years.

So `Could a United Palestine really happen?` be a headline in our lifetimes.
It could, but the conditions are not yet ripe.

Faced with the constant resistance of the oppressed in South Africa and
their supporters,†a broad consensus arose among most of the international
capitalist class (and some of the local corporations, like Anglo-American)
that change was necessary to remove an obstacle to modern capitalist market
development in Southern Africa. Rather like the end of slavery in USA -
opposition to slavery on moral grounds was important, but Lincoln`s fight
was driven by economics and market unification.†

A United Ireland will be supported by all western Countries, once Britain
allows a border poll, which it is committed to hold when it judges
reunification will be supported in the north.

The opposite is true in Palestine. Here the almost unanimous capitalist
consensus (including most Arab states - dissent bringing retribution from
the West) is that the Zionist colony of Israel must be supported at all

Currently, there is no reason at all for the Israelis to surrender their
supremacy. No price to pay to continue as is, or worse.

This is the role of the international solidarity movement (as well as the
Palestinian resistance): to change public perception and build pressure on
the rulers, politicians and capitalists (BDS and arms trade campaigns for
example). And to make Israelis feel that their system is despised

We face serious odds. but we will not give up.

I rarely email with my thoughts (ramblings?)† in this way, usually sharing
interesting information you may not have seen, or asking for specific
support. I hope you don`t mind.
Paul.For more on Palestine and Human Rights see my Twitter account:


Quoted Economist article

From: The Economist this week
Sent: 13 February 2020
Subject: Could a united Ireland really happen?

Our cover this week looks at the real, and growing, possibility of a united
Ireland. The idea holds a romantic appeal far beyond a small corner of
north-western Europe. The Irish diaspora includes more than 20m Americans.
Parties to ethnic conflicts across the world have long found common cause
with the northís Catholics.

Source of pubs, poets, playwrights and too many Eurovision songs for
anyoneís good, Ireland has soft power to rival a country many times its

For many years, unification was never more than a Republican fantasy. But
something has changed. This week, Sinn Fein, which campaigns for
unification, won the most first-preference votes in the republicís election.
Although Brexit has taken the north out of the EU, it voted to stay.
Northern Irelandís census in 2021 is likely to confirm that for the first
time Catholics, who tend to look to Dublin, outnumber Protestants, who tend
to look to Westminster.
The republic has also become more welcoming as the influence of the Catholic
Church has faded. And the Good Friday agreement, which brought peace to the
north, sets out a path to unification. The island of Ireland needs a plan.

Zanny Minton Beddoes, Editor-in-Chief]

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