Ethnocracy: The true ‘core of the conflict’

Israel/Palestine
on 84 Comments

Ari Shavit recently offered seven reasons to recognize Israel as a Jewish state in a Haaretz article entitled “The core of the conflict“. There are in fact seven reasons why his thinking forms the primary basis for conflict rather than offer any solution.

Here I address his hyper-nationalistic detritus one point at a time.

An (Exclusivist) National Home

The first argument he makes is that “the supreme goal of Zionism is that in the Land of Israel the people of Israel will have a national home recognized by the law of nations,” and goes on to say that not subscribing to this view entails racism.  For Jews to have a national home recognized in international law, however, has precisely nothing to do with Jews creating a state (conceived through law yet founded through extraordinary violence and extra-judicial, i.e. non-legal, territorial acquisition) that ensures Jewish domination over minority groups.  To wed Jewishness to state structures is only one possible form of creating a national home, and is of a form that does so by creating ethnocratic rule under which non-Jews suffer systematic de jure and de facto discrimination.  Legal systems that have ethnically differentiated rules on marriage, land administration, citizenship, budget allocations—that is racism.  Racism is not opposition to the ethnocracy, as Shavit appears to misunderstand.

Should Jews be able to have a state where they feel at home?  Absolutely.  So should Palestinians.  But the effort to create a Jewish home at the expense of the Palestinian home has established and fueled the conflict for over eighty years.  Shavit fails to characterize what a Palestinian national home means and requires from an accurate historical perspective, and so he is helping to ensure one side of the conflict never feels at home again.

Recognition and Rejectionism

When Jews (or hypocritical US politicians) argue that Jews recognized Palestinians’ right to exist but not the reverse, they are engaged either willfully or inadvertently in an easily disproved lie.  First, there is the historical fact of Jewish rejectionism, which has served to prevent, with other factors, the emergence of a Palestinian national home (see, for example, Avi Shlaim’s Iron Wall for details).  One of the earliest and most important rejections, for example, was of the 1937 Peel Commission Plan, about which the Twentieth Zionist Congress in Zurich stated: “The partition plan proposed by the Peel Commission is not to be accepted,” while also expressing the goal of securing more Palestinian land than the Commission offered.  A year later, Ben-Gurion expounded on this partition idea, which was still being floated on the international stage: “[I am] satisfied with part of the country, but on the basis of the assumption that after we build up a strong force following the establishment of the state—we will abolish the partition of the country and we will expand to the whole Land of Israel.”  Although the Zionist leadership was somewhat divided on this issue (and Ben-Gurion later expressed regret that six million Jews died because the Peel Commission plan was not accepted), those Zionist hardliners who favored rejection of Jewish statehood in the 1930s in favor of (later) extra-judicial territorial land grabs won the debate and thereby dictated subsequent Israeli and Palestinian history.

Another important moment of Jewish rejectionism was the UN Partition Plan (1947), which is of course precisely the type of “law of nations” that Shavit seems to crave (while disregarding it when it suits him, as when he advocated for war crimes in Lebanon 2006 and Gaza 2008/9).  The day after the UN Partition resolution was passed, Menachem Begin (a hardliner and leader of the Irgun, the critically important, pre-state terrorist militia, as well as a future Prime Minister of Israel) said: “The Partition of Palestine is illegal.  It will never be recognized. . . . Jerusalem was and will for ever be our capital.  Eretz Israel will be restored to the people of Israel.  All of it.  And forever.”  Ben-Gurion also made himself unambiguous by arguing that “to partition, according to the Oxford dictionary, means to divide a thing into two parts. Palestine is divided into three parts, and only in a small part are the Jews allowed to live. We are against that.“  Yet as a “moderate” compared to the other hardliners in his coalition, he did express mixed (racist) feelings: “In my heart, there was joy mixed with sadness: joy that the nations at last acknowledged that we are a nation with a state, and sadness that we lost half of the country, Judea and Samaria, and, in addition, that we have 400,000 [Palestinian] Arabs.”

Very concerned about allowing so many Palestinians to remain in their national home, he continued in this vein: “In the area allocated to the Jewish State there are not more than 520,000 Jews and about 350,000 non-Jews, mostly Arabs. Together with the Jews of Jerusalem, the total population of the Jewish State at the time of its establishment, will be about one million, including almost 40% non-Jews.  Such a composition does not provide a stable basis for a Jewish State. This [demographic] fact must be viewed in all its clarity and acuteness.  With such a composition, there cannot even be absolute certainty that control will remain in the hands of the Jewish majority. . . . There can be no stable and strong Jewish state so long as it has a Jewish majority of only 60 percent.” 

This Zionist preoccupation with allowing Palestinians to remain in their homes–with the constant canard of “demographic threat” posed by Palestinian human beings–was later reflected in the 1947/48 expulsion of Palestinians not only from land within the Israel defined by the partition plan, but also from areas the Zionist leadership considered critical to the state and therefore annexed during Israel’s War of Independence, such as Jerusalem and parts of the Galilee and Negev.  “The war will give us the land,” Ben-Gurion explained on Feb. 7th, 1948 before any Palestinian or Arab rejection of anything occurred, “the concept of ‘ours’ and ‘not ours’ are only concepts for peacetime, and during war they lose all their meaning.”  The next day, he characterized the foreseen ethnic cleansing in greater detail to the Mapai Council: “From your entry into Jerusalem, through Lifta, Romema [East Jerusalem Palestinian neighborhood]. . . there are no [Palestinian] Arabs.  One hundred percent Jews.  Since Jerusalem was destroyed by the Romans, it has not been Jewish as it is now.  In many [Palestinian] Arab neighborhoods in the west one sees not a single [Palestinian] Arab.  I do not assume that this will change. . . . What had happened in Jerusalem. . . . is likely to happen in many parts of the country. . .  in the six, eight, or ten months of the campaign there will certainly be great changes in the composition of the population in the country.”

And indeed there were: 416 Palestinian villages expunged of their 800,000 native inhabitants (87% of the Palestinian population).  This ethnic cleansing was subsequently codified in laws that prevented the return of Palestinian refugees to the land stolen from them, such as the Absentee Property Law (1950), which stipulated that land be considered abandoned and subject to Israel’s ownership if the Palestinian owners had been absent for even one day beginning in November 1947, when Jewish militia activity was rapidly increasing and refugees fled under the growing threat of violence.

As for Shavit’s claim that Palestinians still haven’t recognized Israel’s right to exist?  Fabrication.  On December 13th, 1988, for example, PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat made a historic concession to Israel: full recognition of Israel’s right to exist and an offer of peace based on UN Resolution 242 and the pre-June 1967 borders, i.e. the 1949 armistice lines or Green Line.  This was formal recognition of Israel’s right to exist on 78% of historical Palestine; the Palestinians in return accepted a state based on 22% of their national home.

Then, in 1993, prior to signing the Oslo Accords, Arafat sent two official documents to then Israeli PM Rabin, which again recognized Israel’s right to exist and renouncing violence.  In return the Palestinians did not receive recognition of national rights to self-determination, but instead recognition by Israel only of the PLO only as the “legitimate representative of the Palestinian people,” a far lesser concession than a right to exist.

Finally, there is the historic Arab peace initiative of 2002, which Israel has categorically refused to discuss to this day, that has offered Israel not only the right to exist in peace but full normalization with the entire Arab world.  Israel’s response has been entirely absent for nearly a decade.

These are the historical facts of the matter, easily verified by anyone with a modicum of intellectual honesty and curiosity, either internet connection or library access, and motivation beyond Shavit’s narrow, self-serving jingoism.

A Settler’s Reverse Racism

In Shavit’s fantasy, Israel has recognized Palestinian rights while abrogating Jews right in the so-called Land of Israel.  He does not specify what he means by this bizarre assertion, but this unambiguously coded settler talk.  Among the Yesha faithful and their government supporters, impeding the construction of Jewish-only neighborhoods on stolen Palestinian land is tantamount to racism and a denial of historical Jewish rights to the land as decided during biblical times.  This is farce on a level unfit for publishing by any respectable outlet, and it is shocking that a former board member from the Association for Civil Rights in Israel can write such nonsense with a straight face.  And what Palestinian rights has Israel recognized?  I count one and one alone: recognition of the now thoroughly collaborationist PLO as the “true representative” of the Palestinian people sans pretext of democracy.

Jewishness, Ethnocracy, and the Right of Return

The demand for the right to return will be put to an end, Shavit argues.  Indeed!  At least Shavit says something honest!  The problem with this argument, however, is that it is racist to the core, a fundamental tenet of Israel’s ethnocracy that is unique in the world (where else are refugee rights so categorically dismissed while US congresspeople applaud?) as well as extraordinarily dangerous.  The desire to have Israel recognized in its Jewishness over and against the history of Palestinian suffering in their homeland is a ploy to deny Palestinian national claims as much as it is to affirm Jewish ones.

As for Ben-Gurion more than half a century before, like for generations of so-called liberal Israelis, for Moldovan FM Evet Lieberman, for Polish-born Israeli President Szymon Perski (alias Shimon Peres), for the pseudo-intellectuals like Shavit that give all of this abject racism conceptual cover, the Palestinians must be considered as a threat to Jewishness, stripped of rights granted every other group of refugees on earth, expelled from their land and homes and citizenship, and made to accustom themselves to the permanence of colonial servitude.   Ben-Gurion, as usual, was extremely clear about this: “If I was an Arab leader I would never make terms with Israel.  That is natural: we have taken their country. Sure, God promised it to us, but what does that matter to them? Our God is not theirs.  We come from Israel, it’s true, but two thousand years ago, and what is that to them? There has been anti-Semitism the Nazis, Hitler, Auschwitz, but was that their fault?  They only see one thing: we have come here and stolen their country.  Why should they accept that?”

As long as Israel acts to make the wholesale theft complete by abrogating the basic rights of refugees to their national home, there will be no peace.  It is in this sense that the so-called two-state solution fails to provide a resolution to the core issue of the conflict, which is the expulsion of the Palestinians from their homes in 1947/8, 1967, and gradually yet continually, every single day since 1967 as Israel transfers ever-growing number of its citizens onto Palestinian land.

Arab Countries Have Already Recognized Israel

Shavit’s fifth point is about Arab recognition of Israel and, more than anything, reeks of that awkward, unpleasant combination of Israeli arrogance and insecurity.  Has it ever occurred to Shavit the contradiction of claiming that Arab countries don’t consider Israel legitimate without simultaneously discussing the peace treaties with Egypt and Jordan, the dozens of additional peace overtures made by to Israel, most notably the numerous Syrian approaches about the Golan Heights stolen from them through war (contra the approval by international law that Shavit claims to desire) and the Arab peace initiative of 2002?

The essential fact is that Israel could have had this legitimacy that it says it yearns for at dozens of points in the last couple decades, but instead chose a path of continued colonization of the West Bank and the Golan, which was made possible only through violence, the threat of violence, and the unconditional support of the most hypocritical country on earth—the US.

Whose Complex Exactly?

Has Europe not resolved its Jewish complex?  Or has Israel not resolved its Europe complex?  One wonders why, if Europe still feels so ambivalent about the Jews, ever increasing numbers of young Israelis are leaving their “national home” for Berlin, former of the capital of the Third Reich?  One also wonders how Shavit views the fact that it is a punishable crime in Germany to deny the Holocaust, or that Germany in 2003 elevated the status of Judaism in Germany to the same legal position as the Roman Catholic and Evangelical Church. Or that Rabbi Yitzhak Ehrenberg of Berlin’s orthodox community claims that “Orthodox Jewish life is alive in Berlin again.”  Or why so many Israelis have moved to England, where they enjoy disproportionately high standards of living?  Or why France’s highest court ruled in 2009 that France must accept moral responsibility for its role in the deportation of tens of thousands of Jews during WWII?  How in the world do these basic facts square with his insinuation that Europe has not yet accepted Jews “right to live”?  Shavit’s characterization is not only absurd at face value, but also at odds with all the evidence based on the revealed preferences of Jews all over Europe.

Excusing the Inexcusable

The worst argument of them all: “Explicit recognition that Israel is the Jewish people’s home will strengthen our willingness to take risks and leave the territories.”  Shavit has been spending far too much time with the Yesha Council.  For people who know something about the history of colonization of the West Bank and the mutually reinforcing relationship between ideological Zionist freaks, state authority, and military power, it is preposterous to suggest that somehow our own inner discomfort about being seen as the bad guys is associated with our inability to end the colonization project—nonsensical beyond words.  Yet Shavit feels comfortable writing in public that recognizing Israel as the state of one of its ethnic groups is going to provide the moral cover to extend a fake construction freeze, i.e. to comply with Israel’s already existing obligations under the Road Map, not to mention the Fourth Geneva Convention (a.k.a. “the law of nations”) and minimal ethical norms of conduct.

Is it really, truly too difficult for Shavit to wrap his proto-fascist brain around the idea that the theft of so much Palestinian land at the barrel of a gun, that the failure to leave the territories, to end a brutal 43 year military occupation, to cease the ongoing ethnic cleansing of Palestinians from the West Bank and Jerusalem, and moreover to institutionalize permanently all of these atrocities through an ethnocratic regime is the single most important reason why explicit recognition of Israel as the state of its majority group is not forthcoming?  That the only reason the ethnic group that now demands formal recognition as the dominant group is, in fact, the majority only because of all that theft, dispossession, ethnic cleansing, ongoing discrimination?  It is not a particularly esoteric or difficult-to-comprehend point, but what Shavit doesn’t get it: he puts the consequences forward as the causes of Israel’s intransigence.

This mindset is one of the principal driving forces of violence and conflict in Israel/Palestine.

In the Service of Ethnocracy

As a loyal servant to ethnic exclusivism, Shavit is forced into an anti-historical—indeed, anti-intellectual—set of arguments, which could easily be dismissed were it not for the fact that so many Jews assign a smidgen of credibility to them.  The worldview expressed in Shavit’s article, however, is the most succinct encapsulation of everything that is wrong with the Israeli mentality and therefore the Israeli side of the conflict.

It is a pathological worldview that is, at its core, a recipe for endless conflict.

Yaniv Reich is a half-American, half-Israeli writer, who has lived and worked in the US, Israel, and occupied Palestine, among many other places. In addition to his academic research related to international development issues, Reich maintains the Hybrid States blog, which provides critical commentary on Israel/Palestine, and an early version of this post appeared.

84 Responses

  1. bijou
    October 22, 2010, 2:34 pm

    Superb! More like this, please….

  2. bijou
    October 22, 2010, 2:37 pm

    And this image and observation about it seems quite appropriate on this thread.

  3. pabelmont
    October 22, 2010, 3:10 pm

    A Jewish State doesn’t have to be LARGE to be “Jewish”. New York City has the population of Israel and occupies only 305 sq.mi. If Israel were this small — or (say) 600 sq.mi. — instead of 8000 sq.mi (pre-1967 Israel), no-one would any longer be “out to get” this destroyer of Palestine because, at 600 sq mi, it would no longer BE the destroyer of Palestine. It would be more like Monoco in France, the Vatican in Italy. (BTW, 600 sq.mi. is about what Jews owned of Palestinian land in 1948, 6% of Mandatory Palestine, 10,000 sq.mi. Have they bought any more, at arm’s length?).

    Those who assume Israel must be large are assuming too much (and are responsible, because of this unwarranted assumption, for preventing peace.

    Had Israel existed in Palestine for 2000 years, it would be proper for the Palestinians, if they had any claim at all, to claim a SMALL place. But, in fact, Israel is the suppliant (or should by rights be such) and Israel should solve the “Jewish Problem” (which was not before 1900 a “Palestinian Problem” “on the small”.

    Israel came and said, we need something; and therefore we need something BIG; and in 1967 — BIGGER. But it is SMALL that will solve all the problems.

    And, were Israel to become SMALL, I bet a lot of Israelis (peaceniks first, to be sure) would move to Palestine to live in a democratic multi-ethnic state; and as years went by, more would do the same; and at last, the 600 sq mi Israel would be the home to those who feel they MUST live in a “Jewish State”, who, by then, might be rather a small number.

    I don’t like a suppliant with a sword in his hand.

    • potsherd
      October 22, 2010, 4:42 pm

      Very well done pabel. It’s also worth pointing out that this 6% is the amount of Palestinian land to which Jews actually have a right, the land that was purchased legally under the Ottomans. While the consequence of many of these purchases was unjust – Palestinian tenants being forced off the land they had cultivated under absentee landlords – it was legal.

      All the rest was seized by force.

      • eljay
        October 22, 2010, 5:32 pm

        >> Those who assume Israel must be large …

        Israel *must* be large. Gawd said so. And we all know that international law in the 20th and 21st centuries is based on what a particular gawd created by a particular tribe promised his peeps 2,000 or so years in the future.

      • Avi
        October 22, 2010, 8:11 pm

        eljay,

        I wonder how god’s promises square with the Mayan calendar.

      • eljay
        October 23, 2010, 7:27 am

        >> I wonder how god’s promises square with the Mayan calendar.

        I’m thinking that at least one of those gawds was wrong. Heck, maybe even – *gasp!* – both of them were wrong! 8-o

      • talknic
        October 23, 2010, 1:57 am

        potsherd October 22, 2010 at 4:42 pm

        A small but significant point

        “this 6% is the amount of Palestinian land to which Jews actually have a right, the land that was purchased legally”

        As real state.

        ‘real estate’ is not ‘territory’

        ‘territory’ belongs to all it’s citizens, whether the own ‘real estate’, rent ‘real estate’ or are landless bums living under a bridge.

  4. marc b.
    October 22, 2010, 3:24 pm

    why do you classify israel as an ethnocracy and not a theocracy? many of the various groups of jews who have come to israel have no common heritage beyond their ostensible religious identification. it is a religious lithmus test that grants them the right of return.

    • Citizen
      October 22, 2010, 3:54 pm

      Not a religious litmus test. Israel institutionalizes blood line through the mother, especially, and through the family tree–just a tad bit different than the Nuremberg laws did although the ethnic/blood thrust is the same. Further, an ethnic jew who is a proclaimed agonstic or atheist is still a Jew for the purposes of Israeli law, where such a distinction carries much privilege in contrast to non-Jewish Israeli citizens.

      • talknic
        October 23, 2010, 7:23 am

        Citizen

        Converts?

      • Antidote
        October 23, 2010, 2:23 pm

        Converts are what makes it “a tad bit different than the Nuremberg laws” (Avi). No? What else is different?

      • yonira
        October 23, 2010, 2:25 pm

        Citizen,

        You are wrong on so many levels here. First of all Israel doesn’t institutionalize blood line through the mother, any person with 2 Jewish grandparents can immigrate to Israel. The Israeli/Jewish right of return is based almost verbatim on the Nuremberg laws.

        link to en.wikipedia.org

  5. Shmuel
    October 22, 2010, 3:51 pm

    Marc,

    Religion is not the exclusive litmus test, as relation to a Jew, by blood or marriage, affords automatic citizenship and (almost complete) membership in the dominant group. Nor is religious practice or belief a requirement. Furthermore, the political system in Israel is not theocratic, but democratic for the dominant group. On the whole, Jewishness in Israel functions more like an ethnicity than a religion, despite the technical requirements and a few quirks.

    The closest parallels to the Israeli system can be found in ethnocracies or ethnic democracies such as Latvia, Estonia and Slovakia.

    Oren Yiftachel and Sammy Smooha both make very convincing arguments.

    • marc b.
      October 25, 2010, 9:52 am

      thank you for the responses, shmuel and citizen. no retort from me as of yet. i have been trying to tease this issue out for some time and hope to post a thoughtful comment in the near future. let me just say at this point that i see the evolution of israel into a theocracy (of sorts) as an inevitable outgrowth of zionism’s incorporation of the old testament into the foundational mythology of israel, and the continuing use of the old testament as history in israeli schools and elsewhere. ben-gurion claims to have exploited biblical myths as a secular zionist, but i believe that he was either naive or deluded in this regard.

      • Shmuel
        October 25, 2010, 11:15 am

        Marc,

        Shlomo Sand defines the role of religion in secular Zionist thought as “an efficient tool in the hands of the imagined ‘ethnos’,” citing the following passage by Liah Grenfeld:

        … Religion is no longer a revelation of profound inner truth and faith, but an external sign and symbol of collective distinction … What is more important is that when the value of religion stems primarily from this external – material – function, it becomes an ethnic characteristic, an immutable trait of the collective. As such, it reflects necessity rather than personal choice or responsibility. In other words, it is, in the end, a reflection of the race.

        Sand continues:

        In later years, when the socialist ethos and myth of secular Zionism declined and disappeared under the dunes of free market capitalism, many more coats of religious paint were needed to beautify the fictitious ‘ethnos’. But even then, that is in the late 20th century, Israel did not become a more theocratic state … The lack of separation between the Rabbinate and the State of Israel, never stemmed from the real power of faith … This lack of separation is, as noted, a direct product of the inbuilt weakness of an insecure nationalism that, for lack of an alternative, drew most of its images and symbols from traditional religion and its textual corpus …

  6. justicewillprevail
    October 22, 2010, 4:20 pm

    Excellent demolition of the many myths which Israel and its supporters ceaselessly promote. Please keep up the high standard of this site and the quality of the thinking. It is a beacon amidst the appalling racism and ignorance which Israel relies on in order to keep repeating its litany of self-justifying lies. The lobby is disfunctional, and one day US citizens will ask why their tax dollars go to a well-off country which practices ethnic fascism.

  7. mig
    October 22, 2010, 5:00 pm

    Jewish state in 14.5.1948 couldn’t be formed without ethnic cleansing of palestinians. Half of population was palestinians, so it has to do.

    And another thing, The famous Myth of 5 arab armys invading newly formed Istael state. Never happened. Only in two places, two arab armys entered to Israel soil. One was Egyptian army, and in that case they tryied to pass towards to west-bank area mainly. Other was in northern front by Syrian troops, who were trying to enter one village where ethnic cleansing from palestinians was under way exact time. Even then Israeli government respond to UN conform this that arab armys entered only in two places to Israel.

    About 95 % of battles were done in areas that belonged to palestinians. I havent get really any confirmation about my thought to my idea, but indications strongly support that without arab armys interference. Palestinians would be wiped out from Israel totally, only arab armys swift enter prevented that.

    • yonira
      October 22, 2010, 5:38 pm

      Whatever you say Mig, if that was the case, why didn’t the Arab countries just agree on the UN 181? or is that a ‘myth’ too? nothing like re-writing history huh?

      Do you have re-visionist version of 9/11 yet? or is that too soon?

      • talknic
        October 23, 2010, 1:21 am

        yonira

        “why didn’t the Arab countries just agree on the UN 181?”

        They weren’t obliged to. It was non-binding. How could Israel have Declared INDEPENDENCE from Palestine if it DEPENDED on another party agreeing? Is there an article requiring them to co-sign?

        Like many UNGA resolutions, although they might be non-binding, they remind parties of the Law, which is of course binding. The remind and cite binding Conventions, the UN Charter (binding), binding UNSC resolutions.

        Israel was declared “…within frontiers approved by the General Assembly of the United Nations in its Resolution of November 29, 1947, and that a provisional government has been charged to assume the rights and duties of government for preserving law and order within the boundaries of Israel, for defending the state against external aggression, and for discharging the obligations of Israel to the other nations of the world in accordance with international law. The Act of Independence will become effective at one minute after six o’clock on the evening of 14 May 1948, Washington time.” Recognized by the majority of the International Community of Nations, over riding the Arab States legal objections, Israel bound itself to it’s Declared Sovereign boundaries and to uphold International Law.

        or is that a ‘myth’ too? “

        No. However, even had they wanted to declare Sovereign Independence, the Arab States could not have. Jewish forces were already in control of territories slated for the new Arab State. I.e., they were not independent of the control of another someone else. Their declaration would not have been ‘effective’ unless Israel withdrew to it’s own Sovereign territories. Israel has NEVER withdrawn to it’s own Sovereign territories.

        In fact, there has never been a time when there has not been some entity or another in control of some or all of the territories of the non-state entity of Palestine. Contrary to the Hasbara, there has never been an opportunity for the Palestinians to miss. EVER.

        Meanwhile the opportunity for we Jewish folk to live anywhere in Palestine has been missed time after time after time Israel was declared independent of Palestine. May 14th 1948. Israel is no longer a part of Palestine.

        “nothing like re-writing history huh?”

        You’re the one trying

        “Do you have re-visionist version of 9/11 yet? or is that too soon?”

        Never too soon to bring in an irrelevant point .. eh… clever

      • tree
        October 23, 2010, 2:56 am

        Gee, yonira, I thought you claimed to have studied all this. Jordan, with the strongest army, already had a secret deal with Israel not to invade the territory allotted to the Jewish State under the Partition Plan, and the Lebanese and Iraqi armies did little in the war, thus mig is correct in stating that only 2 armies entered the area allotted to the Jewish State. This is all confirmed by Israeli historians, including the fact that the Arab countries weren’t really keen on entering the war, but were forced into it because of the large number of Palestinian refugees. (Nearly half the total Palestinian refugees were created prior to May 1948.) Your problem is you are so wedded to the myths that you can’t recognize the truth when you see it.

      • Shmuel
        October 23, 2010, 3:02 am

        I’ve posted this before, but I guest it needs reposting:

        This myth is dispelled by Rashid Khalidi, in The Iron Cage. He writes that of the seven independent Arab states at the time, Saudi Arabia and Yemen had no regular armies and no means of getting any forces they might have had to Palestine; Lebanese forces never crossed the international border; Iraq and Transjordan “scrupulously refrained from crossing the frontiers of the Jewish state laid down in the United Nations partition plan as per secret Jordanian understandings with both Britain and the Zionist leadership and thus never ‘invaded’ Israel”; and Syria “made only minor inroads across the new Israeli state’s frontiers”. “The only serious and long-standing incursion into the territory of the Jewish state … was that of the Egyptian army. Meanwhile, the fiercest fighting during the 1948 war took place with the Jordanian army during multiple Israeli offensives into areas assigned by the U.N. to the Arab state, or into the U.N. prescribed corpus separatum around Jerusalem”. (Rashid Khalidi, The Iron Cage [Boston: 2006], Introduction, xxxix)

      • Richard Witty
        October 23, 2010, 5:31 am

        This is not a debunking.

        The setting in 1948 was of distrust of the Jordanian army, not validated trust. They established positions that differed from their commitment, even if they made the commitment and only remained n the area that would otherwise have been designated for indigenous Palestinian community.

        That they took those position and DID participate in threatening and actually isolating the corridor between the two largest Jewish communities in the region, required military actions to secure those corridors.

        You speak opportunistically, prejudicially, as does Khalidi IF he inferred that Israel only did wrong, and was not at least partially rationally responding to military and political historical conditions.

        The actions for a greater Israel were very different than the actions for AN Israel. The actions for a greater Israel are opportunistic and ideological. The actions for AN Israel were liberatory actions of self-determination.

      • talknic
        October 23, 2010, 7:35 am

        I’ve posted this before :-)

        “The only serious and long-standing incursion into the territory of the Jewish state … was that of the Egyptian army”

        In respect to “the territory of the Jewish state” I presume this is a reference to the Al Faluja area. , which was NOT within Israel’s declared sovereign territories andlink to wp.me never legally annexed to Israel (see detailed overlay for Google Earth of Israel’s declared sovereignty – load the overlay into Google Earth, then type ‘ Al Faluja Israel ‘ into the search box) [Google Earth is very Israel oriented]

      • Shmuel
        October 23, 2010, 11:42 am

        Talknic,

        The statement wasn’t mine, but Khalidi’s.

        Along the coast, Egyptian forces reached as far north as Isdud, just beyond the area designated for the Arab state. Further to the east, they certainly passed through the part of the Naqab/Negev designated for the Jewish state, en route to Jerusalem, engaging Israeli forces north of Beit Guvrin.

      • NorthOfFortyNine
        October 23, 2010, 7:00 pm

        The setting in 1948 was of distrust of the Jordanian army, not validated trust. They established positions that differed from their commitment, even if they made the commitment and only remained n the area that would otherwise have been designated for indigenous Palestinian community.

        Can’t we ban Witty for his utter contempt for the english language? They are some wondful writers here, both on the front page and in the comments. Mooser, Schmuel, Avi (esp. when he gets uppity!) and of course Phil. It is what makes the site great. Then you see a post by Witty and it’s like scrolling sandpaper over your eyeballs.

        Short of banning, how about exercising moderator discretion according to basic coherency? For example, that graf above should never have graced these pages. Please?

      • talknic
        October 23, 2010, 10:00 pm

        tree

        OK … thx for pointing out the UN document.

        On further digging, this appears to be the source

        I shall re-assess.

        “This seems to indicate that you think that the leaders of Israel were not interested in forming a country that gave preferential treatment to Jews to the detriment of non-Jews.”

        Had I based it on the UN source…..

        Makes one wonder where Snr Bard’s figures came from…

      • thankgodimatheist
        October 23, 2010, 10:19 pm

        “The setting in 1948 was of distrust of the Jordanian army, not validated trust. They established positions that differed from their commitment, even if they made the commitment and only remained n the area that would otherwise have been designated for indigenous Palestinian community.”

        And in plain English this means exactly what?

      • Bumblebye
        October 23, 2010, 10:46 pm

        “Stop picking on my team’s fouls. The ref’s ignored all your team’s fouls! Waaah!!” While football has become England’s religion, Zionism has become Witty & co’s religion. You just can’t argue with religious nuts!

      • talknic
        October 24, 2010, 12:16 am

        Shmuel

        I understand…

        Isdud was within the Arab section according to the partition boundaries declared by Israel

        Once a war has started, enemy forces are permitted to attack military targets within each others territories and encroach upon each others territories for strategic purposes.

        At wars end, territories gained for strategic purposes should be either restored or legally annexed, which requires (under the notion of self determinations) an agreement with the citizens of the territory being annexed.

        BTW Israel’s ‘defensible borders’ routine is twaddlespeil 101. No matter how much territory Israel says it needs, it will always be next to it’s neighbours.

      • talknic
        October 24, 2010, 12:50 am

        Richard Witty

        “The actions for a greater Israel were very different than the actions for AN Israel. The actions for a greater Israel are opportunistic and ideological. The actions for AN Israel were liberatory actions of self-determination.”

        Oh? What territory exactly were they liberating? Prior to ANY war Israel has had, what Israeli territories were being held by the Arab States or the Palestinians?

        Israel has refused to withdraw from “territories occupied” and territories ‘acquired’ by war, claiming them for itself. This IS an action for a Greater Israel. Only Israel can undo this.

        No one is obliged to occupy. If a state does choose to occupy they ARE obliged to protect the occupied and their property and territory. Israel has not. Only Israel can undo this.

        No one is permitted to settle their citizens in illegally ‘acquired’ territory or “territories occupied”. Only Israel can undo this.

        By Israel’s refusal to recognize RoR of Palestine refugees. Israel alone is responsible for the refuge crisis. Only Israel can undo this.

        “That they took those position and DID participate in threatening and actually isolating the corridor between the two largest Jewish communities in the region..”

        That’s war, not illegal.

        “…required military actions to secure those corridors.”

        Legal for the duration of the war. Legal to occupy after the war. Illegal to retain and claim those corridors for one’s own after the war without legal annexation.

      • Richard Witty
        October 24, 2010, 7:18 am

        It means that the Jordanian army took an offensive position, that could have coordinated with Egypt’s and Syria’s offensive actions already, or they could have restrained from military action.

        They decided to expropriate land designated for international jurisdiction, and to isolate the corridor between Tel Aviv and Jerusalem.

        With the threatening published and broadcast comments from all of the Arab League’s governments and actions on the ground, Zionists had good reason to believe that Jordanian army would attack.

        Khalidi’s “they didn’t aggress” is a false assertion, an opportunistic one.

      • Shmuel
        October 24, 2010, 7:41 am

        Talknic,

        I too got your point, but Isdud is further north than al-Falujah (Pelugot in Hebrew) and, at least according to this map (Le Monde diplomatique), Isdud is in the “Jewish state”, distinguished from “Areas conquered by Israel”. It is not particularly important to me to argue this point or defend Khalidi. I was just wondering about Isdud and the areas between the Egyptian frontier and Beit Guvrin.

      • Shingo
        October 24, 2010, 8:34 am

        False as usual Witty,

        “It means that the Jordanian army took an offensive position, that could have coordinated with Egypt’s and Syria’s offensive actions already, or they could have restrained from military action.”‘

        Israel had already cleared and destroyed 500 villages before anyone attacked Israel.

        The only opportunist is you. You really need to read up on your history iof you are to participate in discussions. Until then, you are over your head.

      • talknic
        October 24, 2010, 8:39 am

        Richard Witty

        ” It means that the Jordanian army took an offensive position”

        The response to Jewish forces already OUTSIDE of Israel’s newly declared Sovereign boundaries was not considered ‘offensive’ by the UNSC.

        It is customary for the UNSC to issue condemnation (See UNSC Resolution 660 on the invasion of Kuwait ) . Can you find similar against ANY of the Arab States in respect to the I/P conflict?

        They decided to expropriate land designated for international jurisdiction, and to isolate the corridor between Tel Aviv and Jerusalem

        Jordan acted per the UN charter as did the other Arab States As a Regional Powers they had a duty and a right to protect non-state territories from aggression. Which is why there is no UNSC condemnation.

        The Arab States Declaration on the Invasion of Palestine, outlining the legal case for their actions was accepted by the UNSC.

        There ARE however numerous UNSC resolutions condemning Israel appropriation (illegal annexation) of the territories of the non-state entity of Palestine. Numerous UNSC resolutions against Israel for contravening the Laws of War.

        ” With the threatening published and broadcast comments from all of the Arab League’s governments”

        None of which anyone seems able to find. Surely there must be hard copy of alleged newspaper articles and the British boffins were meticulously recording everything on the airwaves.

        “…and actions on the ground, Zionists had good reason to believe that Jordanian army would attack”

        Indeed. Jewish forces were quite out of bounds by 14th May 1948. What was a preemptive escalation of the civil war under Plan Dalet pre-declaration, became a war waged by a state on a non-state entity the moment Israel’s declaration came into effect.

        Khalidi’s “they didn’t aggress” is a false assertion, an opportunistic one

        Find the UNSC condemnation of the Arab States actions. Find a cease fire, armistice or peace agreement that says ‘in Israel’. Israel was declared independent of Palestine. The ceasefire, armistice and peace agreements say “in Palestine”. Can you tell me why?

      • thankgodimatheist
        October 24, 2010, 9:24 am

        “The actions for AN Israel were liberatory actions”

        Only an Orwellian die hard Zionist like Witty would believe Israel’s war was “liberatory”..
        In another comment he left on an old thread (yesterday) he explicitly expressed sympathy for the settler scum..Yes, “Liberal” zionist Witty!

      • tree
        October 24, 2010, 10:45 am

        Jordan…“DID participate in threatening and actually isolating the corridor between the two largest Jewish communities in the region..”

        That corridor you speak of was inside the territory designated for the Arab State in the UN Partition Plan, just as Deir Yassin (part of that corridor, and attacked prior to Jordan’s entrance into the war in May 1948) was part of that corridor. Jordan was not in violation of its agreement with pre-state Israel in defending that area. Israel, however, was in massive violation of that agreement. If Israel was worried that Jordan would not honor their agreement it was simply because Israel itself had abrogated the agreement. Despite that, Jordan never abrogated the secret agreement with Israel.

        I’m sure you know all this. It simply goes against your fantasy image of Israel and your self-pretense as a humanist to acknowledge it and so you continue, against logic and fact, to insist on myths that have long ago been debunked.

      • tree
        October 24, 2010, 10:50 am

        “..just as Deir Yassin (part of that corridor, and attacked prior to Jordan’s entrance into the war in May 1948) was part of that corridor.”

        Oops. I’m reporting myself to the Department of Redundancy Department post-haste. Can we have an edit function?

      • talknic
        October 24, 2010, 9:34 pm

        Shmuel

        TODAY, Ashdod extends across the boundary.

        At the time of Declaration/War of ’48, Isdud was clearly within the Arab territories.

        I ‘ve meticulously followed the boundaries contained in UNGA Res 181 to the best of my ability .

        link to wp.me load the overlay into Google Earth (UNGA Res 181 text is included )

        Area in question —- link to talknic.files.wordpress.com —- text // From the southern point of intersection the boundary lines run north-westwards between the villages of Gan Yavne and Barqa to the sea at a point half way between Nabi Yunis and Minat El-Qila…..//

      • talknic
        October 25, 2010, 9:22 am

        Shmuel

        The Le Monde diplomatique map shows Ashdod. Ashdod was not established until 1956.

        The Isdud of 1948 was slightly south and inland. It is incorrect to say Ashdod was attacked, when it didn’t exist in 1948

      • Mooser
        October 25, 2010, 11:18 am

        Phil Weiss, I can only conclude, detests Richard Witty, bears him such an active animus that he does Richard as much harm as he can, by allowing Witty to post unimpeded.
        It’s the intellectual equivalent of pointing a blind man in a wheelchair towards the freeway and giving him a push.

    • annie
      October 22, 2010, 6:57 pm

      Half of population was palestinians, so it has to do.

      do some more homework mig.

      • mig
        October 23, 2010, 12:44 pm

        Annie, in area that was going to be Israel state, demographic balance was close to 50-50. As Tree here later shows. Numbers which i found from same source are :

        The Jewish State: Jews 498 000, arabs % others 407 000 + “In addition there will be in the Jewish State about 90,000 (Arab) Bedouins …

        So numbers in becoming jewish state/ Israel were close 50-50. I have studied same source as Tree has ;).

        I didn’t count in here coming arab & jewish state figures, which would been arab majority in overall. Only those in coming jewish state.

        link to unispal.un.org

    • talknic
      October 23, 2010, 1:31 am

      mig

      “Jewish state in 14.5.1948 couldn’t be formed without ethnic cleansing of palestinians. Half of population was palestinians, so it has to do.”

      Actually Israel was guaranteed a Jewish majority. On May 14th 1948 Israel was guaranteed a minority of non-Jewish civilians within it’s Sovereign territory. 538,000 Jews / 397,000 Arabs.

      Of this minority, only some fled the violence of war.

      Simple mathematics tells us that even if all of them had fled, had they returned some weeks later, by August 1948, they could not possibly have been a demographic threat.

      Never the less, in August 1948 Israeli Foreign Minister Moshe Sharett is quoted as saying, “To repatriate those who had fled would be suicidal folly.“

      Of course he was wrong. RoR has inbuilt safe guards for the country of return. They have the right to refuse RoR to folk who do not agree to live in peace.

      Read on…..

      • tree
        October 23, 2010, 3:32 am

        Talknic,

        The population figures given in the Jewish Virtual Library link are inaccurate. (While some of their info is useful and accurate, I would recommend NOT relying on anything written by Mitchell Bard. He is totally unreliable as a source. )

        According to the UN figures, the populations were roughly equal in the proposed Jewish State.

        The rationale for this patchwork territorial division was to ensure that the Jewish State encompassed the maximum number of Jews and reduced to the minimum (estimated about 10,000), those who would be left in the Arab State. But within the boundaries of the Jewish State there would remain a very large number of Palestinian Arabs: 497,000 (including 90,000 Bedouin) against 498,000 Jews. 64/

        link to unispal.un.org
        ( see part two, cited source from that document is the “Official Records of the General Assembly, Second Session, Ad Hoc Committee on the Palestine Question, vol. I, p. 54.”)

        And, of course, Israel took more than its UN allotted territory, thus assuring that, without ethnic cleansing, non-Jewish Palestinians would have overwhelmingly been the natural majority in the “Jewish State”.

        RoR has inbuilt safe guards for the country of return. They have the right to refuse RoR to folk who do not agree to live in peace.

        This seems to indicate that you think that the leaders of Israel were not interested in forming a country that gave preferential treatment to Jews to the detriment of non-Jews. The fact that the Palestinians that returned might not be peaceful was not the major concern. The major concern was that the Palestinians would not willingly vote for their own oppression, and so a preferential Jewish state could never have been formed without the ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians.

      • mig
        October 23, 2010, 12:54 pm

        Talknic :

        “Actually Israel was guaranteed a Jewish majority.”

        ++++ I haven’t really found from UN archives any such of “guarantee”. It would be odd to do so, while resolution called quite opposite :

        Chapter 3: Citizenship, International Conventions and Financial Obligations

        1. Citizenship Palestinian citizens residing in Palestine outside the City of Jerusalem, as well as Arabs and Jews who, not holding Palestinian citizenship, reside in Palestine outside the City of Jerusalem shall, upon the recognition of independence, become citizens of the State in which they are resident and enjoy full civil and political rights. Persons over the age of eighteen years may opt, within one year from the date of recognition of independence of the State in which they reside, for citizenship of the other State, providing that no Arab residing in the area of the proposed Arab State shall have the right to opt for citizenship in the proposed Jewish State and no Jew residing in the proposed Jewish State shall have the right to opt for citizenship in the proposed Arab State. The exercise of this right of option will be taken to include the wives and children under eighteen years of age of persons so opting.

        Arabs residing in the area of the proposed Jewish State and Jews residing in the area of the proposed Arab State who have signed a notice of intention to opt for citizenship of the other State shall be eligible to vote in the elections to the Constituent Assembly of that State, but not in the elections to the Constituent Assembly of the State in which they reside.

        link to domino.un.org

      • potsherd
        October 23, 2010, 2:22 pm

        What this statement doesn’t reveal is the fact that the prosposed borders were carefully gerrymandered so that almost no Jews were living in the territory proposed as the Palestinian state, while there were just about as many Palestinians residing in the proposed Jewish state as in the proposed Palestinian state. Because, of course, it was their country and they were living in it.

        Just about every Jew was guaranteed citizenship in the state of their choice, but not the Arabs. Almost no Jews would have been subject to discriminatation in the Palestinian state, but almost half the Arab population would have been vulnerable in the Jewish state.

      • mig
        October 23, 2010, 2:57 pm

        potsherd :

        “”Just about every Jew was guaranteed citizenship in the state of their choice, but not the Arabs. Almost no Jews would have been subject to discriminatation in the Palestinian state, but almost half the Arab population would have been vulnerable in the Jewish state.””

        ++++ It is now later easy to draw such a conclusion, when that has become reality, but i don’t think that it was the makers of this res. 181 idea after all. It was zionist actors in the ground who make it happen, not the people behind this resolution.

      • talknic
        October 24, 2010, 5:36 am

        mig

        “I haven’t really found from UN archives any such of “guarantee”. ”

        Some things are not conveyed by a single word, but by combination of factors, which, in this instant, amounts to a guarantee.

        The number of Jewish folk and Arabic folk residing in the proposed Jewish state – Jews 498 000 Arabs/others 407 000 and the following “Persons over the age of eighteen years may opt, within one year from the date of recognition of independence of the State in which they reside, for citizenship of the other State, providing that no Arab residing in the area of the proposed Arab State shall have the right to opt for citizenship in the proposed Jewish State and no Jew residing in the proposed Jewish State shall have the right to opt for citizenship in the proposed Arab State. The exercise of this right of option will be taken to include the wives and children under eighteen years of age of persons so opting.”

        “It would be odd to do so, while resolution called quite opposite….”

        See above

      • potsherd
        October 24, 2010, 9:49 pm

        mig, that was how the lines were drawn in the resolution. All the Jews in the Jewish partition, none in the Arab partition. The lines were drawn to follow the pattern of the Jewish population.

      • pjdude
        October 25, 2010, 6:40 am

        yes Israel was insured a jewish majority thanks to gerrymandering

  8. mig
    October 22, 2010, 5:11 pm

    “For Jews to have a national home recognized in international law”

    ++++ Can’t be done. International law doesn’t know such of action. Only thing that int. law does is right of self-determination.

    • RoHa
      October 22, 2010, 8:33 pm

      “Only thing that int. law does is right of self-determination.”

      And that right (which is by no means absolute) is the right of the residents of the territory. There is no such right for “peoples”.

      • mig
        October 23, 2010, 1:26 pm

        Roha :

        “”There is no such right for “peoples”.””

        ++++ Don’t know what you mean with this because that int. law says :

        Article 1

        1. All peoples have the right of self-determination. By virtue of that right they freely determine their political status and freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development.

        2. All peoples may, for their own ends, freely dispose of their natural wealth and resources without prejudice to any obligations arising out of international economic co-operation, based upon the principle of mutual benefit, and international law. In no case may a people be deprived of its own means of subsistence.

        3. The States Parties to the present Covenant, including those having responsibility for the administration of Non-Self-Governing and Trust Territories, shall promote the realization of the right of self-determination, and shall respect that right, in conformity with the provisions of the Charter of the United Nations.

        link to www2.ohchr.org

      • RoHa
        October 23, 2010, 7:26 pm

        That is a legal document referring to legal rights. I am referring to moral rights. A legal right is not necessarily a moral right. However, I see some problems with that document?

        What is the definition of “people”? Do stamp-collectors count as a “people”?

        Well, look at section three.

        “the administration of Non-Self-Governing and Trust Territories, shall promote the realization of the right of self-determination,”

        Pretty strong implication there that it refers to a right of people in a Non-Self-Governing territory to become self governing, and therefore that the right of self-determination is for people in a territory, not any group that calls itself a “people”.

      • mig
        October 24, 2010, 9:18 am

        Roha :

        “”That is a legal document referring to legal rights. I am referring to moral rights. A legal right is not necessarily a moral right. “”

        ++++ Moral right can be tested ( in court ), or right to be given by for example through proclamation, declaration etc.

        “”However, I see some problems with that document?
        What is the definition of “people”? Do stamp-collectors count as a “people”?””

        ++++ I guess there is as much of a interpretations in this as there is those whom you this. Universally :

        People

        The body of persons who compose a community, tribe, nation, or race; an aggregate of individuals forming a whole; a community; a nation.
        Persons, generally; an indefinite number of men and women; folks; population, or part of population; as, country people; — sometimes used as an indefinite subject or verb, like on in French, and man in German; as, people in adversity.
        The mass of comunity as distinguished from a special class; the commonalty; the populace; the vulgar; the common crowd; as, nobles and people.
        One’s ancestors or family; kindred; relations; as, my people were English.
        One’s subjects; fellow citizens; companions; followers.
        To stock with people or inhabitants; to fill as with people; to populate.

        link to yourdictionary.com

        “”Well, look at section three.

        “the administration of Non-Self-Governing and Trust Territories, shall promote the realization of the right of self-determination,”

        Pretty strong implication there that it refers to a right of people in a Non-Self-Governing territory to become self governing, and therefore that the right of self-determination is for people in a territory, not any group that calls itself a “people”.””

        ++++ I don’t understand your meaning in this. This gives right to people in the non-self-governing population in the territory right to self-determination of their business.

        More & backround in here :

        link to un.org

      • talknic
        October 24, 2010, 9:38 pm

        The argument become rather irrelevant from the moment the Jewish People’s Council accepted, without reservation, the boundaries of UNGA Res 181.

      • RoHa
        October 25, 2010, 6:18 am

        “Moral right can be tested ( in court ),”

        Wrong way round. Laws are tested against morality, so that immoral laws can be recognized and rejected. To make law the basis of morality is moral insanity.

        Dictionary definitions are no use in this sort of case, and especially not for so broad ranging a term as “a people”. Without a precise legal definition, the legal meaning of the declaration is too vague to be of any use.

        “This gives right to people in the non-self-governing population in the territory right to self-determination of their business.”

        Exactly. This part suggests that “people” in this context means “residents of a territory”.

  9. wondering jew
    October 22, 2010, 7:12 pm

    Yaniv Reich wants to see a binational state replace the ethnocracy that is Israel. This is the essence of the article and one that can be argued. Unfortunately Yaniv Reich includes in his arguments

    1. a falsehood: He cites a speech David Ben Gurion gave on Feb. 7th, 1948 and then cites that date as one that occurred “before any Palestinian or Arab rejection of anything occurred”. In theory the rejection that occurred at the United Nations General Assembly can be dismissed as mere words and since the Arab armies did not attack until later there was no act of rejection on their part up to that time. But regarding the Palestinians, they followed up the General Assembly recommendation with a campaign of violence that took many lives between the end of November and February 7th and to what is Yaniv Reich referring to with this statement? It is a falsehood.

    2. a vague and lazy statement: “The effort to create a Jewish home at the expense of the Palestinian home has established and fueled the conflict for over eighty years.” Why this number of 80 years? Is Yaniv Reich referring to the beginning of the Zionist movement? Then a figure of over 100 years might have been useful. Is he referring to the Zionist movement only since the Balfour Declaration? This number of 80 years is vague and lazy.

    And if Yaniv Reich wishes to see a peaceful binational state emerge then the effort to create a Jewish home will still have come at the expense of the Palestinians for if only the Jews would never had set their eyes on the idea of a homeland in I/P then the Palestinians would then have had a home without all this trouble, and so the statement betrays not a desire for coexistence, but a desire for the Jews to just pack up their bags and leave. Thus the statement not only reflects historical laziness but also betrays a moral laziness regarding the coexistence that supposedly is being advocated.

    3. vicious- including Shimon Peres’s name before he Hebraicized it, is a tactic of viciousness. I suppose antiZionism requires a hatred for Jews who Hebraicized their names and it is superior to the anti Jewishness of Father Coughlin who used to mock Jews who had changed their names in order to assimilate or pass in America, because passing in America did not involve harming the Palestinians and thus antiZionism is superior to anti Jewishness. But this tactic of mocking Jews who changed their names is the tactic of haters and should be avoided by people who desire their ideas to be dealt with by cool heads rather than with the reactions that hatred inevitably stirs.

    • Bumblebye
      October 24, 2010, 9:41 am

      Yonah, your last point is simply silly – there’s nothing vicious about referring to the prior name of someone who is a historical figure. A student of the region’s history would need to know that historical figure A is one and the same as prominent figure B, just under a different name. If Peres had been the local dog catcher in his dim and distant past there would be little relevance, but he was much more than that!

  10. Avi
    October 22, 2010, 8:03 pm

    Yaniv,

    This is very comprehensive. Nicely done. It’s also useful to have all this information in one article; thank you.

  11. Richard Witty
    October 22, 2010, 8:28 pm

    Similar tensions exist in every national entity, which describes the majority of states in the world in some form or another.

    The remedy for those tensions is not to dismiss the validity of a state that has them, but to reinforce the component of equal due process under the law. To constantly remind.

    Even, “non-nationalist” US, had/has struggles with equal due process under the law.

  12. RoHa
    October 22, 2010, 8:32 pm

    “Should Jews be able to have a state where they feel at home? Absolutely. ”

    And Australian Jews do have a state where they feel at home. It is called Australia.

    • Avi
      October 23, 2010, 12:54 am

      But, RoHa, you must recognize that mythical connection between a Jew in Australia, a Jew on the moon and a Jew in Nepal to the historical and biblical land of Israel.

      Never mind the fact that the Kingdom of Egypt ruled the region as early as 3000 B.C., or the fact that the Assyrian Empire, the Babylonian Empire, the Persian Empire, the Macedonian Empire, the Roman Empire, the Byzantine Empire, the Sassanid Empire, the Muslim Empire, the Seljuk Empire, the Crusader Kingdoms, Saladin’s Empire, the Ottoman Empire, or the British Empire ruled the region throughout history. That land belongs to Jews, especially Jerusalem, because the Kingdom of David lasted some odd 70 years, two millennia ago.

      Now, I wonder, what would happen if every Jew born outside Israel wasn’t brainwashed by his parents, community and role models that Israel is the historical home of the Jewish people? Would that Jewish kid grow up to lead a healthy life and become an active member in his community? Or will he grow up with a chip on his shoulder, crying My people have been persecuted for thousands of years. Why does everyone hate me? And by “My people”, he would certainly be referring to the world’s Jewish community.

      But, let’s not be too harsh, eh? I mean, who doesn’t like feeling chosen and special and have a mysterious and timeless connection to some land thousands of miles away? It’s more fun than playing Cowboys and Indians, no?

      But, that’s too much to ask, you see. Take the unwitty witty, for example. He’s only been to the promised land once at the age of 13 and he hasn’t stopped talking about it since. In fact, despite being born and raised in the United States, he considers Israel his “real” homeland.

      I’m considering starting an international fund to hire psychiatrists and psychologists to treat the world’s Zionist Jews for delusions and out-of- body-experience or something. Who knows, it might help.

      • Richard Witty
        October 23, 2010, 5:22 am

        Avi,
        Is it a lie or an ignorance or your part, that I’ve been twice.

        Its not enough to know the present, and more than enough to simply dismiss.

      • Avi
        October 23, 2010, 11:59 am

        Huh?

      • yonira
        October 23, 2010, 12:22 pm

        How does this mythical connection differ from a Muslim’s mythical connection to the Prophet Muhammed (peace be upon him), to Mecca or to Jerusalem, or a Christian’s mythical connection to the crucifix, Bethlehem, the Galilee or Jerusalem?

        Are these all mythical connections?

      • Richard Witty
        October 23, 2010, 12:47 pm

        I’ve been to Israel twice.

        It is a lie on your part saying that I’ve been there only at 13, or is it ignorance?

      • Bumblebye
        October 23, 2010, 1:23 pm

        Translation –
        A few decades in the bronze age trumps the centuries and millennia that have elapsed since! And, per eljay, remember the holocaust!

      • mig
        October 23, 2010, 1:56 pm

        yonira :

        “”How does this mythical connection differ from a Muslim’s mythical connection to the Prophet Muhammed (peace be upon him), to Mecca or to Jerusalem, or a Christian’s mythical connection to the crucifix, Bethlehem, the Galilee or Jerusalem?

        Are these all mythical connections?””

        ++++ Christians doesn’t call Jerusalem of their own, and their own as whole only and only to them. Or that christians because of their religion & connection to palestine/Israel, need or demand to move living in that area.

        Neither we have heard that every muslim in there world are planning to move to medina or mecca.

      • yonira
        October 23, 2010, 2:12 pm

        Mig,

        what is your point? I am talking about this ‘mythical connection’ Avi keeps talking about, not the fact that Jews live in Israel. He is constantly berating Judaism. The Jewish connection to Israel is just as real as any other religion’s connection to a land or an idea. That is what i was talking about.

      • Avi
        October 23, 2010, 2:40 pm

        Here:

        Post from 2008

        Post from 2009

        Was your second visit a top secret visit about which you’ve never told a soul?

      • Avi
        October 23, 2010, 2:43 pm

        yonira October 23, 2010 at 2:12 pm

        Mig,

        what is your point? I am talking about this ‘mythical connection’ Avi keeps talking about, not the fact that Jews live in Israel. He is constantly berating Judaism. The Jewish connection to Israel is just as real as any other religion’s connection to a land or an idea. That is what i was talking about.

        I’m not berating Judaism. I’m berating Zionist carpetbaggers who care nothing about Humanity and Judaism. They are very much like you. In fact, if you think you’re a representative and a spokesperson for Jews, then you’re an embarrassment.

      • eljay
        October 23, 2010, 2:46 pm

        >> yonira: How does this mythical connection differ from a Muslim’s mythical connection to the Prophet Muhammed (peace be upon him), to Mecca or to Jerusalem, or a Christian’s mythical connection to the crucifix, Bethlehem, the Galilee or Jerusalem?
        >> Are these all mythical connections?

        Yes, they are. But, in the 20th and 21st centuries, no one is using those mythical connections to claim title to land they don’t already own and to continue to steal it. Can you say the same for Zio-supremacists who, not being content with ’48 OR ’67, continue to swallow up “Judea and Samaria”?

        >> And, per eljay, remember the holocaust!

        Who can ever forget to do such a thing! The Holocaust is “the bestest damned genocide ever!” (TM) and, as such, it has the power to make so many things possible.

      • mig
        October 23, 2010, 2:46 pm

        “”what is your point? I am talking about this ‘mythical connection’ Avi keeps talking about, not the fact that Jews live in Israel.””

        ++++ And how majority of them moved to area except because of this ‘mythical connection’.

        “”He is constantly berating Judaism.””

        ++++ In my country, any religious claim can be debated.

        also :

        Vatican synod ends with criticism of Israel

        VATICAN CITY (Reuters) – Israel cannot use the biblical concept of a promised land or a chosen people to justify new settlements in Jerusalem or territorial claims, a Vatican synod on the Middle East said Saturday.

        link to af.reuters.com

        “”The Jewish connection to Israel is just as real as any other religion’s connection to a land or an idea. That is what i was talking about.””

        ++++ Yup, and you of course back up palestinians connection to that land too….if so, good.

      • Danaa
        October 23, 2010, 3:12 pm

        yonira, if the connection to Israel is indeed mythical, A Jew could just make a pilgrimage there, then go back, no? last I heard, muslims don’t stay in mecca for the long haul and christian visitorss to the “Holy land” don’t evict the residents of Nazareth or Jerusalem (maybe they should? since you are comparing…might as well make it apple to apple…..).

      • Richard Witty
        October 23, 2010, 7:44 pm

        “Was your second visit a top secret visit about which you’ve never told a soul?”

        So, the answer is ignorance.

        You don’t need to know my biography, except where you are going to publicly comment on it, then you do need to learn before spouting.

        I was in Israel in 1986, written about at length here, and frankly spent more time in the occupied territories than Phil did, maybe until very recently.

        It was a long time ago, granted.

      • Avi
        October 23, 2010, 11:30 pm

        I’m glad something makes you come out with an honest, from-the-gut, response. Now I know what it is. This time, for a change, you didn’t hide behind your usual nonsensical euphemistic language.

        Needless to say, the fact that you visited twice still doesn’t change a thing regarding my post above. Many people visit countless countries several times in their lifetime, they sure do not share your perspective on “belonging” and “homeland”.

        And you spent time there in 1986? OK. That’s fantastic, but that was 24 years ago and you still think your perspective is relevant to today’s conditions. That’s quite a leap. At least Phil was there last month, not last century.

      • talknic
        October 24, 2010, 6:03 am

        The Palestinians claim to territory is a legal claim, based in law.

        The Arab States likewise, argued on behalf of ALL Palestinians (at the time Jewish and non-Jewish, Christian and non-Christian, Muslim and non Muslim) on the basis of legality under the League of Nations Charter and later the UN Charter.

        Neither Arab States or the Palestinians have laid claim to the territory of Palestine based on religion or religious ties to the land.

        Their legal argument has been maintained from the outset

        The Arab States proposed a united state very much along the lines of the Balfour Declaration (which was not law BTW)

        //“The Governments of the Arab States emphasise, on this occasion, what they have already declared before the London Conference and the United Nations, that the only solution of the Palestine problem is the establishment of a unitary Palestinian State, in accordance with democratic principles, whereby its inhabitants will enjoy complete equality before the law, [and whereby] minorities will be assured of all the guarantees recognised in democratic constitutional countries, and [whereby] the holy places will be preserved and the right of access thereto guaranteed.//

        The only folk spouting on about the Prophet Muhammed and Jerusalem, seem to be those trying to justify Israel’s illegal acquisition of territory and ghastly treatment of the Palestinians.

      • RoHa
        October 23, 2010, 7:17 pm

        “Now, I wonder, what would happen if every Jew born outside Israel wasn’t brainwashed by his parents, community and role models that Israel is the historical home of the Jewish people? Would that Jewish kid grow up to lead a healthy life and become an active member in his community?”

        That is what used to happen with Australian Jews. A lot of them still show a strong preference for living here rather than their “historical home.”

  13. RoHa
    October 22, 2010, 8:40 pm

    “Europe has not yet accepted Jews “right to live””

    But has accepted their right to be leaders of major political parties.

  14. Richard Witty
    October 23, 2010, 5:24 am

    Yaniv is responding to a specific article. That should be the reference of discussion, if you are to approach this accurately, not Yaniv’s.

  15. MHughes976
    October 24, 2010, 9:33 am

    Yaniv Reich takes the view that there has been an 80-year aberration in which Jewish rights were pursued, beyond necessity, in a way that denies Palestinians their right to ‘a home’. But I’m not sure that it was beyond necessity as necessity is defined by Zionism, which thinks it necessary to secure special rights to one group of people and therefore cannot permit equal rights to all people regardless of their membership of that group. There was no aberration, I think, just a logical development.

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