‘Beersheba, occupation and the mind of God: a reflection on the centenary of the Beersheba charge‘, Honest History, 8 November 2017
The paper concerns the recent centenary of the Battle of Beersheba and what the author sees as the efforts of the Israeli lobby in Australia to hijack the Anzac tradition to rationalise Zionist policy, propaganda and practice. The paper considers the Whig tradition of history, distinguishes between propaganda and history, and takes a close look at the work of the Australian Christian Zionist author, Kelvin Crombie. The Beersheba charge and the Balfour Declaration (occurring in the same week in 1917) are considered and the lack of centenary commemoration attention to the Palestinians is noted. The article concludes with some remarks about politics and anachronism.
Some of the material in the article appeared on Online Opinion in January 2015. This longer article is based on a presentation at a national conference, ‘Driving global justice for Palestine’, held at the Department of Peace and Conflict Studies, University of Sydney, 29 July 2017.
Further material relevant to the Beersheba century, including an article by historian of World War I, Douglas Newton, and links to work by journalist and author, Paul Daley, author of Beersheba: A Journey through Australia’s Forgotten War, is here. Douglas Newton and Paul Daley are among Honest History’s distinguished supporters and both have chapters in The Honest History Book.
* David Faber is an executive member of the Australian Friends of Palestine, Adjunct Senior Lecturer at the Flinders University of South Australia and practising historian. He is Vice President of the Adelaide Branch of the Australian Society for the Study of Labour History and sits on the Council of the Historical Society of South Australia.