Although something of a misnomer, the term, “beyond the Pale” is often claimed to originate most commonly from the Irish Pale and, despite the flaws in this contention, it is with the Irish Pale and the modern figurative meaning of “beyond the Pale”, that I would like to begin. One reason for this is that even if the term is sometimes literarly translated as quite simply meaning something that is completely unacceptable, it was for the colonial power in Dublin Castle much more than that and for the establishment at Dublin Castle anything beyond the Pale was uncivilised, uncouthed and, really, not worth any great effort as far as the British government was concerned.
As a consequence of what I have just said there was never a real conscious effort on the part of the British to wipe out the Irish and even the Great Famine from 1845-51, which saw the country lose more than half of its population was facilitated, not by a conscious effort on the part of the British extirpate the Irish, but rather by an, at times contempt and at times crass indifference and arrogance, on the part of the colonial master towards the Irish. It was an attitude, which was epitomised by Charles Trevelyan, who was head of the administration for famine relief, when he said, “The judgement of God sent the calamity to teach the Irish a lesson, that calamity must not be too much mitigated. …The real evil with which we have to contend is not the physical evil of the Famine, but the moral evil of the selfish, perverse and turbulent character of the people.”(2) Of course, with attitudes like this par for the course within the British establishment, there was not going to be a lot done to alleviate the consequences of the famine. Nevertheless, we cannot talk about a planned attempt on the part of the British to wipe out these “perverse and turbulent” characters. Not that they weren’t, of course, capable of doing so, for that effort had, been made and was being made on another part of the British Isles. It had begun after the battle of Culloden some hundred years earlier and it was already, in the mid nineteenth century, culminating in the Highland clearances and the extirpation of the Highlanders. One is tempted to say that the British, that is the English and the lowland Scots, solved their “Highland” problem and failed to solve their “Irish problem” because, unlike their Celtic brethern the Irish, while decimated, weren’t quite wiped out.
Now, I am not sure if the Zionist historian, Benny Morris was thinking about Scotland and Ireland when he said to ‘Haaretz’, back in 2002, “I think (Ben Gurion) made a serious historical mistake in 1948. Even though he understood the demographic issue and the need to establish a Jewish state without a large Arab minority, he got cold feet during the war. In the end he faltered … I know that this stuns the Arabs and the liberals and the politically correct types. But my feeling is that this place would be quieter and know less suffering if the matter had been resolved once and for all …. If the end of the story turns out to be a gloomy one for the Jews. It will be because Ben Gurion did not complete the “transfer” (ethnic cleansing) in 1948. Because he left a large and volatile demographic reserve in the West Bank and Gaza and within Israel itself.”(3) This is like some “ewige Gestrige” Nazi thug arguing that we wouldn’t have all sorts of problems, including those in the Middle East, if Hitler had managed to exterminate world Jewry. Benny, I am glad that neither Hitler nor Ben Gurion quite succeeded. There are no superior races, there are no choosen people and genocide and ethnic cleansing Benny ……. well, let us just say that they are, as indeed, the Zionist “Jewish democracy” is, beyond the Pale.
The picture above shows Glencoe, where Thirty-eight MacDonalds from the Clan MacDonald were killed by the guests who had accepted their hospitality, because on they had not been prompt in pledging allegiance to the new king, William of Orange. After their homes had been burned down a more than forty women and children also died of exposure. The pacification and extirpation of the Highlands had begun.
3 Jonathan Cook, ‘Blood and Religion’, London 2006, p107
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