Where is the Bedouin Intifada?

al arakib aic
The unrecognized Bedouin village of Al Arakib after it was demolished in September 2010 (Photo: Mya Guarnieri)

This article was originally published on February 9, 2012 for the Alternative Information Center.

In 2004, Israeli officials were up in arms about an impending Bedouin Intifada. But the Bedouin didn’t rebel and now, despite plans to expel tens of thousands of Bedouin from their homes in the West Bank and the Negev, things remain relatively quiet. Why?

As Israel steps up its expansionist policies both inside and outside the Green Line, the Bedouin community has come under particularly intense pressure.

Inside of Israel, the state seeks to Judaize the Negev (Naqab) desert. This “development” includes last year’s Prawer plan which recommends that Israel relocate some 30,000-40,000 Bedouin citizens, ripping them from their villages and sticking them in impoverished townships, to clear the area for Jewish-only settlements.

After the Israeli cabinet passed the Prawer plan in September 2011, Adalah Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel likened it to “a declaration of war.”

Al Arakib could be considered an opening battle. The state first demolished the unrecognized village in July 2010—destroying homes and tearing olive trees from the ground to make way for a forest to be planted by the Keren Kayemeth LeIsrael-Jewish National Fund (KKL-JNF). After the Bedouin residents of Al Arakib rebuilt their village, Israeli forces returned and destroyed it again. Since then, Al Arakib has been demolished and rebuilt over 30 times.

Israel’s policies are just as inhumane on the other side of the Green Line, where the so-called “Civil Administration” seeks to remove 27,000 Bedouin from Area C in order to expand illegal Israeli settlements. The Civil Administration’s plans will be carried out over the next three to six years.

The United Nations reports that Israeli forces demolished 44 Palestinian-owned buildings in East Jerusalem and the West Bank last month, including 14 houses. 66 people were displaced, 40 of whom were Bedouin.

Recent years have seen Israel escalate its campaign to push Palestinians and Bedouin out of their homes. According to the UN, nearly 1100 Palestinians and Bedouins were displaced by Israeli house demolitions in 2011—approximately 80 percent more than 2010.

So where is the Bedouin Intifada?

In 2004, the Israeli daily Haaretz called a Bedouin uprising “practically inevitable.” Lurching from one alarmist quote to the next, the article labeled the Bedouin a “ticking bomb,” a “keg of dynamite,” depicting them not as native inhabitants but as criminals who have taken over the Negev.

Amidst the hysteria came a fetishizing remark from Reuven Gal, then-Deputy National Security Advisor for Domestic Policy, who commented that, to the Bedouin, “honor is more precious than money.”

The writer concluded, ominously, “every plan to develop the Negev is likely to face violent opposition because of the Bedouin who live in the area.”

The article drips with racism and colonialism—Israeli plans to displace the Bedouin constitute “development.” Not only are the Bedouin sure to oppose such “progress,” they are likely to be “violent.” And then there are the Orientalist depictions of the Bedouin as reactionary, volatile beings unable to control their impulses, especially when “honor” is at stake.

But it would be wrong to blame the writer and his interviewees alone.

In his book Good Arabs, Hillel Cohen describes an incident that took place in 1950, when the Israeli army’s chief of staff visited a Bedouin tribe, reporter in tow. The journalist recounted a “royal meal,” eaten against the backdrop of “the echoes of gunshots” and “riders’ galloping.” The evening climaxed with a ceremonial “presentation of the sword of the desert.”

Cohen explains that the reporter’s depiction “fit well with that period’s common portrayal of the Bedouin as hospitable noble savages….” An Orientalist view of the Bedouin is deeply rooted and, as the 2004 Haaretz article suggests, persists. So feverish proclamations about a Bedouin Intifada should be taken with a camel-sized grain of salt.

We should also consider the motives behind such “warnings.” As, Jaber Abu Kaf, a representative of the Regional Council for Unrecognized Bedouin Villages told Haaretz in 2004, claims of an imminent Bedouin Intifada “are baseless and are intended to promote a political agenda.”

But, for argument’s sake, let’s say that the Bedouin would like to revolt, violently, against Israel’s discrimination.

Let’s set aside the quiet acts of resistance, the small, silent intifada, already taking place: rebuilding demolished homes; the day-long general strike held in December of 2011; the massive protest outside the Prime Minister’s office on the same December day.

And let’s set aside individual agency and pretend the Bedouin can only react, collectively, to Israeli policies.

So why hasn’t that “ticking bomb” exploded?

The answer lies, in part, in the state’s founding. Before Israel was established in 1948, some 91,000 Bedouin lived in the Negev. After the war, only twelve percent of the original population remained. Many of the Bedouin facing forced transfer from the West Bank today are refugees whose families fled or were driven from the Negev during the nakba.

Shattered and scattered, the Bedouin were subject to additional Israeli efforts to divide and rule. A number of those who had managed to hang on to their land in the Negev were pushed off of it. In some cases, the state appointed local mukhtars, pitting families against one another, and putting weak leaders, or those who would serve Israeli interests, at the head of villages.

Israeli authorities also sowed seeds of disunity by actively encouraging–and rewarding–collaboration. That some took the bait undermines the Orientalist assertion that the Bedouin value honor more than money.

Israel has also fomented poverty in the Bedouin community. In the 1970s, the state built seven townships for the Negev Bedouin that are home today to approximately 80,000 Bedouin. These ghettos have the country’s highest unemployment and school dropout rates as well as the social problems that accompany poverty and hopelessness, including rampant drug abuse.

Those that remained in the desert have not had it much easier. Despite the fact that many Bedouin live in villages that predate the state itself, Israel does not recognize most of these communities. Some 80,000 Bedouin live in the unrecognized villages that lack infrastructure and high schools. Rawia Aburabia, an attorney with the Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI), calls the status of Bedouin education, “catastrophic,” pointing out to a drop out rate that tops 40 percent.

There is also the contentious issue of military service. Some Bedouin tribes serve in the Israeli army; many do not. This creates tension within the community and serves as yet another obstacle to the unity needed for a successful uprising.

With Palestine’s Bedouin divided between Israel and the surrounding countries; split between those who serve in the Israeli army and those who don’t; struggling to survive; lacking leadership and a cohesive national strategy, an organized and sustainable uprising is unlikely. The international community, then, has a responsibility to stop the home demolitions and forced transfers that Palestinians and Bedouin face in the West Bank and inside Israel.

Advocating for outside intervention runs the risk of sounding patronizing, at best, colonial, at worst. That’s the beauty of the boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) movement. The call for BDS comes from Palestinian civil society and is self-empowering.

While some Palestinians don’t consider the Bedouin to be Palestinian—and many Bedouin don’t consider themselves Palestinian, either—BDS is an appropriate response to Israel’s treatment of the Bedouin. They suffer from the same discriminatory policies that plague the Palestinians. And the two communities share common hopes for human and civil rights, to return to their homeland, and to live in freedom, justice, and dignity.

Posted in Activism, Israel/Palestine, Israeli Government, Nakba, Occupation, Settlers/Colonists

{ 80 comments... read them below or add one }

  1. Advocating for outside intervention runs the risk of sounding patronizing, at best, colonial, at worst. That’s the beauty of the boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) movement. The call for BDS comes from Palestinian civil society and is self-empowering.

    yep, the most effective action we can take collectively.

    this report is really sad. sad and infuriating.

  2. ToivoS says:

    There is one fact that those who support the Bedouins must confront. The Bedouins worked as mercenaries for the Zionist forces during the Nakba. They hired themselves out to the Zionists to defeat their Palestinian neighbors. They served as “trackers” that hunted down Palestinians that tried to return to their lands after 1948.

    This is an ugly reality. Today obviously, the Israelis no longer have any use for them and they are trying to drive the Bedouin off their ancestral land. That is only natural, that is what the Zionist do. Before the rest of the Palestinian movement supports Bedouin rights I would expect that they openly engage their fellow citizens and maybe just apologize for collaborating with the Zionists during the beginning.

    • Shmuel says:

      ToivoS,

      Not all Bedouin were or are collaborators, and the question of collaboration itself is a complex one – involving many non-Bedouin Palestinians of all communities. Both the generalisation (“the Bedouins worked …”) and the unequivocal condemnation of collaboration are problematic.

      In any event, the Bedouin suffered the Nakba and ongoing discrimination and ethnic cleansing of Palestine no less (and often more) than other Palestinians. There is absolutely no reason to qualify defence of their human rights in any way.

      • seafoid says:

        “unequivocal condemnation of collaboration are problematic”.

        Can you expand on that, Shmuel? I find collaboration one of the worst aspects of Israel’s divide and conquer strategy.

        I agree with the point about the Bedouin- even if some of “their people” did stuff in 1948, that has no bearing on their rights today. Israel just used them and doesn’t care about them now. Zionism is a brutal ideology.

        • Shmuel says:

          Can you expand on that, Shmuel? I find collaboration one of the worst aspects of Israel’s divide and conquer strategy.

          I have no problem condemning Zionist exploitation of Palestinian collaborators. It is indeed “one of the worst aspects of Israel’s divide and conquer strategy” – destructive to individuals, families and the fabric of Palestinian society. From the perspective of the collaborators themselves however, there have been all kinds – from brutal sadists and greedy bastards to ordinary people trying to survive in difficult circumstances and even heroes (at least in part) forced into collaboration, but willing to take risks to help others. How would any of us act in similar situations?

          Ultimately, this is something Palestinian society must deal with, and it’s not just about Druze, Circassians or Bedouin.

        • Shmuel says:

          In the mid-80s, I once went to visit some friends stationed with the Israeli occupation forces in Khan Yunis. Walking down the main street, at “high noon” – like something out of a bad western – was a Palestinian wearing a hip holster and a huge pistol. My friends said that he was one of the biggest collaborators in the city and a really nasty piece of work. They also said that he was not long for this world (which is why he was allowed to carry a weapon), and that even they would not be sorry to see him go (collaborators are often as despised by their exploiters as by the people they betray).

          Not all collaborators are quite that obvious, and the Israeli occupation would have been far more difficult without a vast network of collaborators – regularly recruited by threats and blackmail, as well as enticements and promises.

        • seafoid says:

          “the Israeli occupation would have been far more difficult without a vast network of collaborators ”

          In what way? It was never a bed of roses. The occupation is vile and the blackmailing of people recruited as collaborators is one of the darkest stains on Zionism. Don’t forget that Palestinian GDP per head is 10% that of Jewish GDP per head. How has collaboration helped anyone other than Israel ? Most of the 14000 Palestinians held in detention without trial are there on the word of collaborators. Cui bono?

        • Shmuel says:

          In what way? It was never a bed of roses.

          Difficult for the Israelis of course. Palestinians have suffered terribly from collaboration. My original point was that the lion’s share of the blame lies with the Israelis, and it is difficult to judge many (although not all) of the Palestinian collaborators. That is what I meant by complexity – from a Palestinian perspective, as from the perspective of any occupied and oppressed population.

        • Blake says:

          Bedouin (nomads) were never part of any census by the Turks or the Brits so their numbers were always estimated only. However, The British Mandate records affirm that 12,600,000 Dunums of Negev land belonged to the Bedouins. (Mandate records 1937. See Penny Maddrell, The Beduin of the Negev, Minority Rights Group, Report no.81 (1990) p.5) and many were ethnically cleansed out.

        • seafoid says:

          I see. Easing the Israeli load of occupation was counterproductive and long term bad for Israelis. They have come to a point now after 43 years of iterations where the occupation demands some very difficult/stupid calls . They are debating launching a war on Iran. The settlers openly discuss ethnic cleansing.

          One point that hasn’t been mentioned much on Mondo is that Israel is going through a house price bubble . Every time I open Ha’aretz I am confronted by ads for apartments in Tel Aviv. They crowed about the bubble in Herzliya.

          link to herzliyaconference.org

          click on “the Herzliya indices” and go to slide 17.

          In the aftermath of a bubble house prices typically lose 70% of the value gained beforehand. That’s the experience of over 30 years of data from the OECD.

          Israel is looking at a very hard landing . When house prices crash the economy is going to have a difficult recession.

      • ToivoS says:

        I feel guilty to even raise this question. There was a time that I was an enthusiastic supporter of Israel. It was in the early 60s that I heard these stories about how great the Bedouin were in their “acceptance” of the only Democracy in the ME and how these great warriors worked with the Israelis. It has since left a bad taste. Now I read these stories about how the Israelis are now ethnically cleansings their former “friends”. Instinctively, I do not feel pity. That is clearly wrong, these people are also victims of the same catastrophe that hit their neighbors, maybe a few decades later, but victims still the same.

        Perhaps this should be a lesson for any non-Jew in the ME who collaborates with the Israelis — better watch out, you might be next.

        There is something else I have noticed. My contacts with Palestinians is fairly minor but I have not yet met any that express sympathy for the Bedouins. I have asked some of my Palestinian acquaintances and they are mostly indifferent. It seems there is a division here.

        • Shmuel says:

          these people are also victims of the same catastrophe that hit their neighbors, maybe a few decades later, but victims still the same.

          The Bedouin were also victims of the “original” Nakba. As Mya Guarnieri writes:

          Before Israel was established in 1948, some 91,000 Bedouin lived in the Negev. After the war, only twelve percent of the original population remained. Many of the Bedouin facing forced transfer from the West Bank today are refugees whose families fled or were driven from the Negev during the nakba.

          .
          Only 12% remained! And those who did were hounded and herded to “liberate” Ben Gurion’s favourite piece of real estate – into ghetto-towns and high-risk areas like Israel’s Ramat Hovav toxic waste dump.

          The Prawer Report (and the ethnic cleansing of the Bedouin in Area C) is merely the latest stage in the Bedouin Nakba, that has been going on since 1948. It is true that some Bedouin clans and individuals have collaborated with the Israelis (Mya explains some of the reasons), but the vast majority of Bedouin have simply been victims of ongoing ethnic cleansing.

          Stories of the “alliance of blood” with the Bedouin, Druze and Circassians are part and parcel of the “only democracy in the Middle East” legend. They are supposed to prove that Israel has never had anything against the non-Jewish inhabitants of the land and that the Nakba was merely the result of a civil war between the Jews and their allies on the one hand, and those who refused to accept their presence in Palestine on the other.

        • I feel guilty to even raise this question.

          what question?

        • Blake says:

          ToivoS: I have a friend, via the internet, in Jericho who is half bedouin and half Palestinian. I don’t think you can generalize. They have different customs and ways of life but the Bedouin and the Palestinians were never enemies as such and lived a peaceful co-existence pre-Zionist “Israel”.

        • LeaNder says:

          an implicit question, Annie, I think.

          Maybe it can be paraphrased thus:
          I respect Shmuel’s position, but from my own times as ardent philo-Zionist I seem to remember the Beduins accepted the Zionist enterprise, so shouldn’t we expect this may have been partially true?

          He is in fact asking how could the standard narrative of the Beduin’s support of the Zionists develop?

        • ToivoS says:

          Shmuel, thanks for that history, I was not aware of this. Of course, as I admitted above, my understanding was based on the Zionist story as it was spread in the US a half century back.

    • Tuyzentfloot says:

      I would like to see old Stasi experts to make a comparative analysis of the police state practices in the DDR and Israel, the way South Africans have done with Apartheid. It’s hard to make a well grounded statement, but I think the case with the Palestinians is much worse. In the DDR there are estimates that 1/7 of the population were informants. Recruiting informants is easy if you need a permit for everything, but collaborating is more than playing informant of course. Working on the wall is also collaborating. I recall that during the intifada there was about one recorded case per day in Gaza of a child being ‘recruited’ as informant by the Shin Bet.

  3. gamal says:

    ah yes as in the “Utes must go” from Dee Browns Bury my heart…collaboration is a complex issue.

  4. Winnica says:

    Here’s another possible answer to the question about the lack of a Bedouin Intifada: Mya’s depiction isn’t true. Or rather, even if most of the facts may be, the larger picture is carefully ommited. The fact that literacy among Israel’s Arabs, Bedouin included, has skyrocketed since 1948, the life expectancy even more so, as well as the wealth per capita. Infant mortality is very low, especially when compared with most Arab societies. Career options are much better than they were in the “good old days”. There has to be a reason that large numbers of Israeli Bedouin men voluntarily serve in the IDF, including many who serve in career capacities.

    • Shmuel says:

      Colonialist rationalisation. The Bedouin are not grateful to their colonial masters and don’t make such comparisons to other Arab countries or to their situation pre-’48 (and to the extent that they do, their conclusions are not necessarily the same as yours). What they do see is that they have the highest unemployment rate in the country, the highest infant mortality rate, and are the victims of repeated forced relocations and land grabs – with the express intention of settling Jews in their place. The level of discontent is extremely high, and service in the army has absolutely nothing to do with any sense of gratitude to the state.

      Mya’s explanations of the current state of Bedouin society in the Naqab are far more realistic than self-congratulatory wishful thinking that the Bedouin ‘have never had it so good’.

    • seafoid says:

      “There has to be a reason that large numbers of Israeli Bedouin men voluntarily serve in the IDF, including many who serve in career capacities.”

      No other jobs. Israeli policy. compare and contrast state spending per head on Jews in the Negev and on Bedouin.

      Winnica- a word of advice from Scotland :

      You cannae polish a turd.

    • winnica, your post reminds me of a conversation i had with a stand with us supporter at an aipac conference. she told me some palestinian prisoners regreted being released from israeli prisons because of the education opportunities offered there. i told her i had been an activist for palestine for years and had never heard of any palestinians regretting being released from israeli prisons. according to her they never had it so good.

      • Djinn says:

        Also sounds a lot like the rednecks around my part of the world who insist that indigenous people are happy their land was colonized because now they have technology and brick houses to live in. Small minded colonial wankers can be found all over the globe unfortunately.

        • Shmuel says:

          Small minded colonial wankers can be found all over the globe unfortunately.

          Of course they’re grateful. Who wouldn’t be? They used to eat with their hands for God’s sake, and no shampoo OR conditioner :-0

    • American says:

      Winnica says:
      Here’s another possible answer to the question about the lack of a Bedouin Intifada: Mya’s depiction isn’t true. Or rather, even if most of the facts may be, the larger picture is carefully ommited. The fact that literacy among Israel’s Arabs, Bedouin included, has skyrocketed since 1948, the life expectancy even more so, as well as the wealth per capita. Infant mortality is very low, especially when compared with most Arab societies. Career options are much better than they were in the “good old days”. There has to be a reason that large numbers of Israeli Bedouin men voluntarily serve in the IDF, including many who serve in career capacities.”"

      So what is your point? Literacy has increased world wide acording to UNESCO. Literacy depends on availability on learning opportunities.
      So are you saying that Jewish Israelis– who got their literacy/educations from “European created institutions” –have made the opportunities they got from others available to Arabs now?
      As far as life expectancy increasing that has to do mostly with money and health care availability.
      Imagine what the life expectancy for non Israeli Arabs would be if we gave them all money and aid we give Israel.
      Israel firster Cong. Ackerman earmarked 10 million for Israel hospitals in 2010 so if you’re trying to claim some kind of superiority for Israelis you would have to give the credit to their agents in the US superior talent for siphoning off US taxpayer money to Israel.

  5. seafoid says:

    I cannot imagine what it must feel like to arrive home and find that your house has been destroyed by Jews who claim they are closer to god than you are.

  6. VAA says:

    Winnicia: “The fact that literacy among Israel’s Arabs, Bedouin included, has skyrocketed since 1948, the life expectancy even more so, as well as the wealth per capita. Infant mortality is very low,”
    I think you’d do well informing yourself a little about Palestine before the arrival of the educated jews of Europe .Palestine before 1948 was and destined to become a leading Arab nation. Rashid Kalidi in his book the Iron cage elaborated on this particular subject and compared the Palestinians societies with the rest of the Arab nations , free and colonised , (from memory) Lebanon came second ,Egypt not far behind. It (Palestine) had the highest number of schools , Doctors ,professional , clinics etc..But especially, an impressive number of newspapers which was used as dipstick to size up the literates , but evidently they were no match to the educated Europeans (Jews) . So when you make such a statement “skyrocketed” surely you’re not implying tat Bedouin and palestinians should be grateful, keep in mind that since the Nakba or Nakaba Israel in the middle east was and still is a pain in the butt. delaying the recovery of the ME nations from 600 years of mostly colonisation /occupation.So yes, had it not been to the zionist claiming a land that a fairy tale in a bible claimed 2000 years ago that it’s theirs and frigging god said so. I think it’s a miraculous con .

    • Blake says:

      Weren’t most of the eastern European Jews illiterate? On arrival in the USA the illiterate eastern European Jews refused to mark their entrance docs with an ‘X’ such was their contempt for Jesus Christ that they used a ‘O’ instead. That too is how that derogatory word for them was coined. Yiddish for circle.

    • Winnica says:

      Here’s an example: the median number of years of education among Jews and Arabs in Israel in 1961 was respectively 8.25 vs 1.5. Which means Khalidi’s thesis is suspect, since in the 13 years between 1948 and 1961 there’s no way Israel could have erased the number of years learned. Had most Palestinians been well educated in 1948, there’s no way they could have become mostly uneducated 13 years later.

      In 2007 the respective numbers were 12.6 for the Jews, and 11.5 for the Arabs. If one assumes the illiterate young adults were still illiterate in old age, the narrowing of the gap is even more impressive.

      I appologize that my source isn’t online, but I’ve copied it from a publication of the Avraham Foundation, a philanthropic group which invests in improving the conditions of Israel’s Arab population.

      Anyway, we’re left with the original question Mya posted: If things are as awful as she says they are, there ought to be a Bedouin Intifada – yet there isn’t. She supplies an answer, and I suggest a more fundamental one: that the methodology commonly used at Mondoweiss of endlessly focusing on the negative while purposefully disregarding the positive is, at the end of the day, not a very useful way of describing reality, as Mya implicitly recognizes. The philosopher Karl Popper wrote about this at length, by the way, and I recommend reading his various books.

      • there’s no way Israel could have erased the number of years learned.

        excuse me? i assume you’re familiar with the great book robbery.

        link to mondoweiss.net

        ethnic cleansing took place. you know what that means i presume. just like in iraq and every other place cultural genocide takes place the intellectuals are targeted.

        • Winnica says:

          Annie -

          If I have, say, 10 years of schooling, I will still have those ten years for the rest of my life no matter what happens to me. So a statistic about how many years of schooling a group has, cannot be reduced by administritive fiat or any other discriminatory measure.

        • tree says:

          If I have, say, 10 years of schooling, I will still have those ten years for the rest of my life no matter what happens to me. So a statistic about how many years of schooling a group has, cannot be reduced by administritive fiat or any other discriminatory measure.

          Since Israel reduced the size of the group quite considerably by “administrative fiat” and “discriminatory measure”(through ethnic cleansing), statistics on the group can likewise be greatly affected.

          You may have 10 years of schooling for the rest of your life, but if you were ethnically cleansed from Israel, your 10 years would no longer be counted in statistics on education levels among Israeli citizens. Get it?

      • American says:

        Winnica,

        Your need to claim Jews or Israelis are innately superior to Arabs and others is actually proving the opposite.
        You’re providing us the negatives you object to.

        Witness the stupidity of this statement:
        “Mya posted: If things are as awful as she says they are, there ought to be a Bedouin Intifada – yet there isn’t”

        Ah yes, the absence of a Bedouin intifada is proof they appreciate Israel.
        The absence of an American intifada against Israel is proof Americans don’t resent Israel. Yea right.

        • Winnica says:

          No, American, that’s actually not what I’m saying. I’m not making any claims about anyone being superior. That’s you, projecting. What I’m saying is that the typical process of reasoning common here at Mondoweiss is profoundly flawed. There is an incessant focus on negative aspects of Israeli society and policies, and a resolute determination never to see any other parts of the picture. Since the reality, however, is far more nuanced and complex than the Mondoweiss community is willing to recognize, there’s a dissonance between the reality and its protrayal here. Every now and then even someone here recognizes this, and is then forced into a convoluted excersie to explain away the disparency.

          Specifically on the matter of Palestinians who are Israeli citizens, or those who are permanent residents in Jerusalem, their lives are far better than the readers of Mondoweiss imagine. They aren’t perfect, and they leave much to desire, but they are vastly better than you’d think. More important, the overall trajectory is positive – again, a fact you’d be very hard pressed to glean were Mondoweiss and its sort your only source of information.

        • the concept what’s going on is ‘nuanced and complex’ is a bunch of hogwash.

          you’re participating in nakba denial.

          Palestinians who are Israeli citizens, or those who are permanent residents in Jerusalem, their lives are far better than the readers of Mondoweiss imagine. They aren’t perfect, and they leave much to desire, but they are vastly better than you’d think. More important, the overall trajectory is positive – again, a fact you’d be very hard pressed to glean were Mondoweiss and its sort your only source of information.

          have you checked out this site? link to shitliberalzionistssay.tumblr.com

          you’re a carbon copy. someone should imitate you for comedic value, like this

          link to mondoweiss.net

        • hey winn, have you forgotten ‘They can colonize our lands, but they can never colonize our minds’

          link to mondoweiss.net

          allison supplied you with links and you didn’t bother responding

          link to mondoweiss.net

        • i’m curious if you have any idea how many residents of jerusalem have had their citizenship revoked over the last decade, since you are waxing about the plus factors of being a palestinian israeli. do you know how many permits the occupation has wrt palestinians, such a variety. over 100 to move around. you call this nuanced? i don’t. i call it ethnic cleansing.

        • seafoid says:

          Winnica

          “Specifically on the matter of Palestinians who are Israeli citizens, or those who are permanent residents in Jerusalem, their lives are far better than the readers of Mondoweiss imagine. They aren’t perfect, and they leave much to desire, but they are vastly better than you’d think”

          Specifics. What do you think readers imagine about the lives of Palestinians in Israel ? how do their lives compare to those of Israeli Jews? Discuss the implications of not serving the army in a militarist society where the education system is built around military service and an air force pilot is more likely to be rewarded with a senior educational post than a qualified teacher.

        • Winnica says:

          Ten of thousands have applied for Israeli citizenship and have gotten it. But I doubt the moderator will allow this to be published – in the past I’ve ben blocked for pointing this out.

          Tens of thousands. How can that be? Why do they want it?

        • homingpigeon says:

          “Ten of thousands have applied for Israeli citizenship and have gotten it. But I doubt the moderator will allow this to be published – in the past I’ve ben blocked for pointing this out.

          Tens of thousands. How can that be? Why do they want it?”

          They are the pioneers of the one country solution.

        • American says:

          “there’s a dissonance between the reality and its protrayal here. ” ..Winnica

          Theres’s no dissonance here. We all have Phd’s in hasbara nuancing.
          The Israeli Arabs are better off than the US Blacks in the days of the KKK. But Israei Arabs are still in practice officially and legally discriminated against by Israel in many areas.
          We recognize this.
          As for your other problem, I’ll have to look up the number of blacks killed by Jim Crowers and compare it to the number of unarmed Palestines shot in the head, imprisoned, killed by Israelis.
          I’ll get back to you when I find a reliable source and you can get some typing practice by nuancing that comparasion.

      • seafoid says:

        “Here’s an example: the median number of years of education among Jews and Arabs in Israel in 1961 was respectively 8.25 vs 1.5.”

        I’ll try to be kind. Can you verify the data ? Education in Israel is run by the state. So if the data is correct Israel spent virtually no money educating its palestinian population between 1948 and 1961 . Why would this be? What info have you go on Israeli spending on education for Palestinians post 1948 ?

      • tree says:

        Here’s an example: the median number of years of education among Jews and Arabs in Israel in 1961 was respectively 8.25 vs 1.5. Which means Khalidi’s thesis is suspect, since in the 13 years between 1948 and 1961 there’s no way Israel could have erased the number of years learned. Had most Palestinians been well educated in 1948, there’s no way they could have become mostly uneducated 13 years later.

        Faulty reasoning on your part. Maybe you could use a few more years of education yourself. ;-)

        The ethnic cleansing of Israel/Palestine left approximately 150,000 Palestinians in Israel, with 750,000 to 900.000 expelled or fled and not allowed to return. Its well known that the larger cities were quite severely hit by the cleansing, and that those with means were often the first to leave. Income is usually directly correlated to education level, and city dwellers tend to be more highly educated than rural dwellers. And oft times the very elderly ones were the only ones allowed to remain. This means that its most likely that the median education level of those who were cleansed was significantly higher than that of those who managed to remain. You are talking about two different samples, Winnica, and assuming that they are one and the same, when they are clearly not.

        • Winnica says:

          Tree -

          I don’t see why disparaging my education is a mode of civil discussion.

          You’re right about the city-dwellers-vs-rural-population. But you miss the point. Prior to 1948 most Palestinians were rural, and the ones who remained in Israel were ususally entire communities, not old people allowed to remain; all of which means, as I originally noted, that Khalidi’s thesis is suspect.

          It’s very likely Israel invested next to nothing in the education of its Arab citizens before 1961. It was swamped by large numbers of destitute refugees from Europe and the Arab world, and was doing its best to successfully move them out of refugee camps, even as its neighbors were doing the opposite with their refugees. By the early 1960s, however, Israel reversed its policy – which means, 50 years ago.

        • tree says:

          I don’t see why disparaging my education is a mode of civil discussion.

          Oh, please. Come off your high horse. You’ve regularly disparaged the comments here and the site itself, so its quite silly of you to suddenly play the oh so injured respectful party when I add a small humorus jab at the faulty reasoning illustrated in your comment.

          There’s quite a few false assumptions you have made in your comments, but first off I’d like to address the figures you give for relative years of schooling for Jewish Israelis versus Palestinian Israelis. The 12.6 year figure seemed incredibly high to me (as did the lesser 11.5, as well) so I looked around and lo and behold your figures are totally off. According to this site, the nation with the highest “average years of schooling of adults” is the United States with 12.0 years. There’s no way that Israel can have a Jewish average of 12.6 and an Arab average of 11.5, as the combined average would still be above the highest US average. (The site uses UNESCO figures, BTW) According to the table, Israel is currently ranked 12th, with an average of 9.6 years, considerable lower than the figure you give for either demographic.

          This lower figure also seriously calls into question your 1961 figures. If in fact the average years of schooling for Israeli Jews was 8.25 in 1961, then the current rate of 9.6 (even if adjusted slightly higher to exclude non-Jewish Israelis who receive inferior educational opportunities), is a mere minor improvement for such a long span of time (over 50 years!). I strongly suspect that you either totally misunderstood the figures you read, or simply misquoted them to make a point that you thought could not be challenged without you providing a cite. Either that, or your source is wildly mistaken, or lying itself.

          I found no mention of an Avraham Foundation in a quick search, but I did find an Abraham Fund, which works to promote equality in Israel. I found no figures on average years of schooling there after a site search. The group itself has much to applaud in its emphasis on promoting and increasing equality within Israel. Too bad it hasn’t been more successful. Its Israeli sites like these which we often use to judge conditions within Israel, and thus it is often from direct Israeli sources that we here develop our negative views of Israel. We don’t make this stuff up. Can you say the same?

        • tree says:

          You’re right about the city-dwellers-vs-rural-population. But you miss the point. Prior to 1948 most Palestinians were rural, and the ones who remained in Israel were ususally entire communities, not old people allowed to remain; all of which means, as I originally noted, that Khalidi’s thesis is suspect.

          I’ll get to Khalidi’s facts, not “thesis”, a bit later, but first off, as I pointed out, the vast majority of Palestinians from the larger cities and towns- Jaffa, Haifa, Tiberias, Lydda, Ramleh and Jerusalem-were ethnically cleansed. Nazareth was the only place that wasn’t ethnically cleansed, because of its importance to Western Christians, and Israel’s fear of their response to the planned ethnic cleansing there. And Nazareth’s population was swelled at that time by refugees from the surrounding countryside. And in the cases of Lydda and Ramleh, it was only the old and infirm that were allowed to stay rather than being death marched to the east. So, again, you are attempting to compare two groups, one much larger and another much smaller and more rural, and blindly assuming a comparable education level. As the Country Studies in the US Library of Congress states in its country study of Jordan,
          “After 1948 this sociocultural system [of Jordan] was inundated by masses of Palestinians, largely sedentary village and town dwellers, many of them literate and well educated. “. link to countrystudies.us

          So I’ve pointed out that your figures are wrong, and your logic is wrong, but I think your most basic fallacy is assuming that the Palestinians were not capable of raising their own education levels independently and thus should be “grateful” to Israeli Jews for whatever education levels they have reached under the discriminatory system in Israel. Its a highly bigoted belief and one not supported by any fact.

          As an example of what is possible, here’s the figures on Jordan, a country with considerable less wealth than Israel, which started off with a literacy rate much lower than that of the European Jews that inhabited Mandate Palestine, and also lower than that of the Palestinians in Mandate Palestine.

          In 1952 the literacy rate was 33%, in 1996 85% in 1996, in 2008, 90%. This means that there was a literacy revolution happening largely until the 1990′s. The main reason for this was the fast development of basic education across Jordan since independence.

          link to i-cias.com

          Khalid in fact points out the large disparity between the education levels between Palestinians and the European Zionist Jews in Mandate Palestine. As I have pointed out before, the Zionists had a selection system in place in Palestine/Israel up until the Israeli “Law of Return” was put in place in 1950. They tended to take the younger, more educated European Jews into Palestine. If they weren’t considered “good human material” or a net asset to the Zionist project, they usually weren’t allowed in by the Zionists, who controlled who received the immigration certificates. given the higher education levels in Europe and the Jewish emphasis on education, this was not surprising. But Palestinians were, within the Middle East, among the most highly educated in an area that lagged considerable behind Europe in schooling and literacy. As Khalidi points out, while the Jews in Mandate Palestine had a 77% rate of children attending schools,

          edit- see post below…

        • tree says:

          Khalidi:

          We have seen that in Palestine by 1947 nearly half the Arab school-aged population was enrolled in schools. In that year, 147,000 of an an estimated Arab school-age population of 330,000 ( or 44,5 percent) were being educated in government and private schools, with 103,000 in the former and the rest in the latter. While these figures may seem modest by recent standards in many countries of universal or near-universal schooling, they represent a significant improvement in little over two decades: just over 20 percent of Arab school-age children were in school in 1922-23. And in the towns in 1945-46, 85 percent of boys and 65 percent of girls were in school. The problem was in the countryside, where, as we have seen, the large majority of the Arab population lived, and where only 65 percent of boys and 10 percent of girls were in school. These very low numbers were in large par t a function of the fact that only 432 of about 800 Arab villages had schools.It is nevertheless striking that by the end of the Palestine Mandate a majority of Arab boys in both city and countryside, and of Arab girls in the cities, was in school.

          Rashid Khalidi, The Iron Cage, pages 24-25.

          I should also note that the 85/65 percentage of Arab boys/girls in school in the towns is comparable to the 77 percent figure for Jewish children in school during the same Mandate Palestine period . The vast majority of Jews in Mandate Palestine were urban dwellers.

        • Tuyzentfloot says:

          Nazareth was the only place that wasn’t ethnically cleansed, because of its importance to Western Christians, and Israel’s fear of their response to the planned ethnic cleansing there.

          I thought that too until I encountered Peretz Kidron’s testimony as the biographer of Ben Dunkelman, the officer in command of capturing Nazareth. Dunkelman simply refused to cleanse the city without written orders and arranged for his replacement to do the same.

        • Shmuel says:

          tree,

          I appreciate your comments, as always, but I find the parameters of the entire discussion (set by Winnica) disturbing. Apart from the straw man about what we “here at Mondoweiss” think about the condition of Palestinians in Israel or occupied Jerusalem and the attempt to downplay apartheid and ethnic cleansing (“aren’t perfect … leave much to be desired … overall trajectory is positive”), I find the “progressive” defence of colonialism utterly repugnant.

        • tree says:

          One more point:

          It’s very likely Israel invested next to nothing in the education of its Arab citizens before 1961. It was swamped by large numbers of destitute refugees from Europe and the Arab world, and was doing its best to successfully move them out of refugee camps, even as its neighbors were doing the opposite with their refugees. By the early 1960s, however, Israel reversed its policy – which means, 50 years ago.

          I don’t think you realize how profoundly insulting this paragraph of yours is, so I will try to explain. You admit it s likely that Israel did nothing for its Arab citizens (then under separate military rule from their fellow Jewish citizens) in terms of education up until 1961. You seek to excuse this by claiming that Israel was too “swamped” helping Jews( most of whom would have resented and rejected the “refugee” label, BTW) instead. But you fail to fully comprehend that the way it was “helping” its newly minted Jewish Israeli citizens was by continually confiscating and/or destroying the property and land of its non-Jewish citizens and those non-Jews it robbed of Israeli citizenship by exclusion and expulsion.. Two things kept Israel afloat in the early days: confiscated wealth from Palestinians, and “reparations” from Germany that rightfully should have gone to the individual Jews affected and not Israel.

          Perhaps a comparative theoretical example would help you to see the ugliness of your excuse. Say perhaps the US decided to allow a large group of African refugees to come to the US and receive instant citizenship. And lets say that the way the US accommodated these new citizens was by expelling Jews, confiscating their property, and putting all US Jews under separate martial law. Could you then perhaps see how someone using the excuse that the US was too busy helping poor destitute refugees to give any consideration to Jewish schooling would be making a very ugly, cynical and racist argument?

          And, as to this part of your statement,
          …was doing its best to successfully move them out of refugee camps, even as its neighbors were doing the opposite with their refugees.

          Israel greatly encouraged excessive Jewish immigration, way beyond its early carrying capacity, and made all incoming Jews instant Israeli citizens and put those it couldn’t house elsewhere in “transit camps”, not “refugee camps”. It didn’t do this out of kindness towards individual Jews, but out of a desire to create and maintain a Jewish majority to keep the Zionist government in power: the very same reason it expelled over three quarters of a million Palestinians. The Palestinian refugees were Israel’s refugees, not its neighboring countries moral responsibility. Israel was and is the country responsible for forcing them into refugee camps.

          By the early 1960s, however, Israel reversed its policy – which means, 50 years ago.

          So you say, but still there is a “separate but not equal” school system in Israel. Fifty years later.

        • tree says:

          Yes, Dunkelman had promised the surrendering town officials that he would not expel them but was ordered to do so by Ben-Gurion, et al. He was replaced for disobeying, but according to Morris, if I remember correctly, the delay in replacing him gave the govenment time to reconsider the Western reaction and decide against enforcing the expulsion order. That’s my recollection, but subject to correction if you have one.

        • tree says:

          Hi Shmuel. I was trying to address that “white man’s burden” thinking implicit in Winnica’s posts in my later comments, or was I too obtuse?

          I was tempted the other day to post the lyrics to “Massa’s in the Cold Cold Ground” in response to one of Winnica’s other posts along the same vein, but decided against it. Maybe that would have been the more pointed response, although I’m not sure he would have gotten that, either.

          link to traditionalmusic.co.uk

        • Shmuel says:

          I was trying to address that “white man’s burden” thinking implicit in Winnica’s posts in my later comments, or was I too obtuse?

          Must have missed it while I was out enjoying all the amazing snow we got yesterday :-)

          Speaking of “The White Man’s Burden”:

          Take up the White Man’s burden -
          And reap his old reward,
          The blame of those ye better,
          The hate of those ye guard –
          The cry of hosts ye humour
          (Ah slowly !) towards the light:-
          “Why brought ye us from bondage,
          “Our loved Egyptian night ?”

          link to kipling.org.uk

        • tree says:

          Must have missed it while I was out enjoying all the amazing snow we got yesterday :-)

          Wow, I hadn’t heard. Must have been beautiful. The world looks so ethereal under a blanket of snow. I hope it hasn’t created any major problems for you.

        • Shmuel says:

          Must have been beautiful.

          It was indeed.

          I hope it hasn’t created any major problems for you.

          Just pure enjoyment (at least until the heating bill comes).

        • Shaktimaan says:

          Tree, you make some salient points, but I would respond by noting that viewing the relationships between Israel’s government, its Jewish citizens and its Arab citizens in the first decade of Israel’s independence strictly through any single lens is apt to offer a distorted image. It seems to be popular to discount the very real impact that the war of independence, subsequent strife, Arab boycotts, etc., had on the nascent state in favor of viewing all social issues as a function of racism.

          I would also take issue with some of your stats. In the early days it was primarily the kibbutzes utilizing new technology, funding from US Jews and reparations that kept Israel afloat. Palestinian refugees’ bank accounts were released to them, not confiscated. And the amount of privately owned land confiscated from Palestinians was small compared with the whole. German reparations to Israel were only a fraction of the entirety of reparations given. Individual reparations were also provided to Holocaust survivors. But the support given to Israel was sensible in light of the large number of refugees Israel took in. These were not merely refugees from the Holocaust who were concentration camp prisoners but victims of subsequent pogroms such as were widespread in Poland following the war.

          But I mostly disagree with your depiction of Israel as being solely responsible for the plight of the Palestinian refugees, particularly those stuck in refugee camps. The situation is far more complex than you care to illustrate. All east Jerusalem and West Bank Palestinians were placed in camps by the Jordanians. As Jordanian citizens, those Palestinians were certainly dependent on Jordan’s government over Israel’s. And any attempt to offer more substantial housing was opposed by the Arab League and the UNRWA as a ploy to deny the Nakba refugee’s their right to return to Israel and claim it as the true Palestine. To forgive the horrific oppression faced by Palestinians in countries like Lebanon by holding Israel up as a solitary culprit ignores any humanitarian responsibility which should be shared by the international community as a whole regarding refugees. Jewish refugees of Arab countries were absorbed by Israel while their land and wealth was left behind. To insist that only one of the countries involved in this conflict bear the brunt of compensating all refugees seems at once unfair. It seems doubly so when we consider that the nation chosen for this dubious honor is the single Jewish state out of two dozen Arab ones who are seen as lacking any complicity themselves.

        • kapok says:

          yeah, civil: velvet gloves for the strangler

        • Palestinian refugees’ bank accounts were released to them, not confiscated….And the amount of privately owned land confiscated from Palestinians was small compared with the whole.

          shak, where do you come up with this stuff? the vast majority of arab jewish immigrants from those countries came after israel had ethnically cleansed palestinians. they tried to bargain with those countries to trade citizens but were refused. iraq was under british jurisdiction during that phase. you can’t swap responsibility like that no matter how much israel keeps trying. that’s not how it works. besides israel needed all those immigrants to hold the land, to fill up all those houses. had there been no israel it is likely none of those jews from arab lands would have been under the kind of strain israel’s founding created in the region.

        • Shaktimaan says:

          had there been no israel it is likely none of those jews from arab lands would have been under the kind of strain israel’s founding created in the region.

          Really? Yeah, had there been no Israel then all of those Arab states would have been able to refrain from massacring them. Clearly the blood is on Israel’s hands. How could they have expected those Arabs hundreds of miles away without any connection to Palestine to handle the strain of Israel without killing their indigenous Jews?

        • tree says:

          I would also take issue with some of your stats. In the early days it was primarily the kibbutzes utilizing new technology, funding from US Jews and reparations that kept Israel afloat. Palestinian refugees’ bank accounts were released to them, not confiscated. And the amount of privately owned land confiscated from Palestinians was small compared with the whole. German reparations to Israel were only a fraction of the entirety of reparations given.

          Ah, another one who “disputes stats” and makes claims without any sources linked. Your claims are wrong. According to Wikipedia, German reparations to Israel were “decisive”, accounting for 87.5% of Israeli state income in 1956. It was the major source of income to the state in those early years.

          Israel’s largest export at that time was oranges, with over half of the crop formerly owned by Palestinians prior to 1948, according to the British Survey of Mandate Palestine. Its third largest export was olives, which were 95% Palestinian prior to 1948. By 1954, 35% of Israeli Jews lived on land and/or property confiscated from Palestinians.

          From “The Case for Palestine: An International Law Perspective”, by John Quigley:

          The provisional government used the Arabs’ land, dwellings, and possessions for its Jewish population, and primarily for recent immigrants. Ben Gurion ordered that abandoned Arab housing be allocated to Jews. By April 1949, he reported to the Knesset, the government had settled 150,000 Jews in Arab housing.

          The government also took housing from Arabs who remained inside the armistice lines. In Haifa in July 1948 the IDF forced out Arab residents of the Carmel ridge area to make room for Jews. It forced Arabs from their homes in Acre into what became an Arab ghetto. Many “internal refugees” tried to return to their homes. Their land, like that of the Arab “external refugees”, was considered “absentee” property and was controlled by the custodian of absentee property, who rented it to Jews-the rent money going to the government.

          …..

          The value of the land taken from the Palestine Arabs was estimated at 100 million Palestinian pounds. It included stone quarries, 10,000 acres of vineyards, 25, 000 acres of citrus groves, 10.000 business establishments, 95 percent of what became Israel’s olive groves, and 50,000 apartments.

          …..

          The government took over fully equipped plants. In Ramleh, it distributed 600 shops to Jewish immigrants. In Lydda it seized 1800 truckloads of property, including a button factory, a carbonated drinks plant, a sausage factory, 7000 retail shops, 500 workshops, and 1000 warehouses. It confiscated cabinetmaking shops, locksmith works, turneries, ironworks, and tinworks, which it then leased and sold to Jews.

          The government sequestered as “enemy property” the bank accounts of expelled Arabs, saying it would release them only if the Arab states made peace with Israel. Under a program worked out by the UN Palestine Conciliation Commission, it returned a small percentage of these funds in the late 1950′s and early 1960s.

        • tree says:

          And the amount of privately owned land confiscated from Palestinians was small compared with the whole.

          No, actually it wasn’t small compared with the whole. According to the official British Survey of Mandate Palestine, issued in 1945, private ownership of land by non-Jewish Palestinians encompassed 24 million dunams (approximately 90% of Mandate Palestine), while Jewish land ownership was only 1.5 million dunams ( approximately 5%).

          Even the Jewish National Fund admitted this in 1949:

          The Jewish National Fund made a study of Jewish villages in Israel in 1949 and stated:(9)

          Of the entire area of the State of Israel only about 300,000- 400,000 dunams – apart from the desolate rocky area of the southern Negev, at present quite unfit for cultivation – are State Domain which the Israel Government took over from the Mandatory regime. The J.N.F. and private Jewish owners possess under two million dunams. Almost all the rest belongs at law to Arab owners, many of whom have left the country. The fate of these Arabs will be settled when the terms of the peace treaties between Israel and her Arab neighbours are finally drawn up. The J.N.F., however, cannot wait until then to obtain the land it requires for its pressing needs. It is, therefore, acquiring part of the land abandoned by the Arab owners, through the Government of Israel, the sovereign authority in Israel.

          link to palestine-encyclopedia.com

          So the British said the majority of land in Mandate Palestine was privately owned by Palestinian Arabs, and so did the JNF at the time. I think your assertion is a new form of Nakba denial going around, attempting to rewrite history and claim that most of the land confiscated was not privately owned, as if that would excuse the ethnic cleansing.

          All Palestinian land owned by the “external refugees” was confiscated, and over 65% of the “internal refugees” land was likewise confiscated by the mid 1950′s, according to Quigley .

          This land and the capital assets of Palestinians seized by Israel in the 1950′s added a significant amount to the Israeli GDP in those early years and beyond.

          As for the kibbutzes, the myth is not reality. They were, for the most part heavily subsidized by the government and benefited greatly from seized fertile Palestinian land, but they were never a large contributor to Israel’s economic success, and were more valuable as a source of myth and pride than income.

          Through market and price controls, the government prevented the modest Arab agriculture that survived the land confiscations from competing with Jewish agriculture. Government purchasing agencies paid more to Jewish farmers than to Arab farmers for similar products.

          A tobacco-purchasing agency (Alei Tabak) was established, owned jointly by the Jewish Agency, the Jewish National Fund, and the government. It was given a monopoly in tobacco purchasing and marketing and bought tobacco from Jewish growers at a price higher than that at which Arab farmers could sell- a lower price set by the government. The agency and Histadrut provided financial assistance to kibbutzim or moshavim, but not to Arab farmers. Arab farmers were, and still are, excluded from membership in kibbutzim and moshavim.

          Quigley, see above.

        • tree says:

          To insist that only one of the countries involved in this conflict bear the brunt of compensating all refugees seems at once unfair.

          Israel is the country that created the refugees in the first place. Do you think that Germany should not have born the brunt of its unholy actions against Jews? Should it not have paid reparations? Many other countries were “involved in the conflict”. Do tell. I think you’ve got separate rules for Israel that you wouldn’t apply elsewhere.

        • tree says:

          There’s an error in formatting on my above post. The first three paragraphs of the second blockquote are my own. The rest, starting with “Through market and price controls,…” is a direct quote from Quigley.

        • Shaktimaan says:

          And what claim of mine was wrong? You never mentioned it.

          BTW, Israel returned around 90% of the blocked bank accounts from Palestinians.

          Israel returned more than 90 percent of Palestinian blocked bank accounts. The process started in 1953 under the UNCCP and was mainly completed by 1959, with the small remainder being paid out during the early 1960s. Similarly, for the most part contents of safe deposit boxes and items held in custody by the banks also were returned. The amounts returned exceeded $10 million ($86 million in 2007 prices).

          link to globalpolitician.com

        • tree says:

          And what claim of mine was wrong? You never mentioned it.

          Ah. so you’re just incredibly dense!! You claimed that Palestinian owned private property was a small part of total land ownership in Mandate Palestine, when in fact, according to both the British government and the JNF, it was almost 90% of all Palestine’s land. You claimed that the kibbutzes, and not the confiscated Palestinian assets were mainly responsible for Israel’s early economy staying afloat, and you originally claimed that Palestinian bank accounts were not confiscated, when in fact they were and it took over 10 years for Israel to complete the release of funds.

          The first release, started in June of 1953, involved only two banks, Barclays and the Ottoman Bank,

          …and would total 50 British pounds per month per account only. The payments only applied to accounts owned by individuals, not companies, partnerships, or other impersonal bodies. …(It) would last for ten months only, meaning that persons holding blocked accounts of more than 500 pounds would have to wait for the future to receive the balance of their funds inasmuch as the Custodian of Absentee Property had taken all balances over 500 pounds from the banks as a type of loan. Additionally, the 50 pound/month payments would be subject to having the same 10 percent compulsory loan to the Israeli government deducted from them just like any other bank account in Israel, but this amount would be refunded to the refugees when the final payment was made on each account.

          A later release, started in 1955 was only secured after Barclay’s Bank agrred to loan the Israeli government 5M pounds, of which 3M was to cover another release of confiscated funds.

          source, Records of Dispossession, Michael Fischbach, pages 198, 203

          Clearly, Israel needed both the confiscated cash, and the confiscated land and capital improvements of the expelled Palestinians, along with the German reparations, to survive economically in the first decade.

        • Tuyzentfloot says:

          (tree): That’s my recollection, but subject to correction if you have one.

          I don’t have additional facts, Benny Morris refers to the information that Kidron provided. It’s just that the interpretation Kidron gives makes more sense. I should say, the emphasis, because there is no big difference. ‘time to reconsider’ is a weak interpretation. The arguments are valid, but they ignore the things had changed between the order and its cancellation: the city had fallen and both the officer in command and his successor required a written order. Kidron’s emphasis is on the latter(see here link to cosmos.ucc.ie for lack of the actual article), saying that Ben Gurion was very careful not to put down criminal orders in writing. Remember that in the case of Lydda and Ramla the order was not even verbal, it was a hand movement. I don’t think that should be interpreted as a sign of callousness. Rather, cautiousness.

        • tree says:

          The arguments are valid, but they ignore the things had changed between the order and its cancellation: the city had fallen and both the officer in command and his successor required a written order.

          i just reviewed my Morris and Palumbo on this. First off, I’m not sure we are really disagreeing much on this. But you are off on your timeline. The city had already fallen a few days before Dunkelman refused the verbal order, not after the refusal. In fact one of his reasons for refusing the order was that in negotiating the surrender of the town with the town leaders, he had promised that no harm would come to the townspeople with their surrender.

          According to both Morris and Palumbo, Ben Gurion and the IDF had already shown a “sensitivity” to how the capture of Nazareth was perceived in the West, by restricting assess of some Israeli soldiers to the town, issuing strong orders against church desecrations, and looting, including a warning that soldiers who looted would be shot. Their IDF and Israeli sources made clear the sensitivity was due to the West’s interest in Nazareth as an important place in Christian belief.

          In any case, according to Morris and Palumbo, within hours after refusing the verbal order, Dunkelman’s Brigade was ordered out of Nazareth, and Dunkelman required the incoming commander to promise not to expel without written orders. Whether the incoming commander would have honored that promise is unknown, since, shortly after that, Ben-Gurion rescinded the orders. I think its safe to say that concern for Western reaction to an expulsion of Nazarenes who had peacefully surrendered was uppermost in the decision to rescind the order. Certainly, without Dunkelman’s refusal, Nazareth would have been ethnically cleansed as well. But Ben-Gurion’s decision to rescind, during the same time period when he ordered the mass expulsion of Lydda and Ramleh (of the same, or larger, size) in the end was decisive. Clearly there were plenty of IDF commanders available who were willing to carry out verbal expulsion orders, Rabin and Allon among them.

  7. seafoid says:

    “This arbitrary administrative detention is legally incompatible with the most basic international standards of human rights, because it is without any specific charge against the prisoner. These arbitrary detentions depend on the military file and “secret evidence” which cannot be seen by the detainee or defense lawyers. This file is prepared by Israel intelligence and is “collected” illegally.”

    Israel is such a joke of a country. The only way to approach it is to suspend one’s critical faculties and enter the world of the absurd.

    All of those nice Jewish boys in the US who go into the law- does any of them understand how Israeli law has been degraded since 1967?

    Do Israelis understand the importance of Magna Carta to the development of Western concepts of law and the state? Do they realise what their country has done to these concepts in the name of YESHA ?

    link to en.wikipedia.org
    Magna Carta is an English charter, originally issued in the year 1215 and reissued later in the 13th century in modified versions. The later versions excluded the most direct challenges to the monarch’s authority that had been present in the 1215 charter. The charter first passed into law in 1225; the 1297 version, with the long title (originally in Latin) The Great Charter of the Liberties of England, and of the Liberties of the Forest, still remains on the statute books of England and Wales.

    The 1215 charter required King John of England to proclaim certain liberties, and accept that his will was not arbitrary, for example by explicitly accepting that no “freeman” (in the sense of non-serf) could be punished except through the law of the land, a right which is still in existence today.

    Magna Carta was the first document forced onto an English King by a group of his subjects, the feudal barons, in an attempt to limit his powers by law and protect their privileges. It was preceded and directly influenced by the Charter of Liberties in 1100, in which King Henry I had specified particular areas wherein his powers would be limited.

    Despite its recognised importance, by the second half of the 19th century nearly all of its clauses had been repealed in their original form. Three clauses remain part of the law of England and Wales, however, and it is generally considered part of the uncodified constitution. Lord Denning described it as “the greatest constitutional document of all times – the foundation of the freedom of the individual against the arbitrary authority of the despot”.[1] In a 2005 speech, Lord Woolf described it as “first of a series of instruments that now are recognised as having a special constitutional status”,[2] the others being the Habeas Corpus Act, the Petition of Right, the Bill of Rights, and the Act of Settlement.

    The charter was an important part of the extensive historical process that led to the rule of constitutional law in the English speaking world, and it was Magna Carta (rather than other early concessions by the monarch) which survived to become a “sacred text”.[3]

  8. Many Bedouin may have once served willingly and voluntarily in the IDF as trackers, but that is now increasingly waning and soldiers even take care to take their military uniforms off before returning to their unrecognised villages in the Negev (sometimes to find bulldozers demolishing their homes – as in the case of a friend of mine).

    In the case of the Jahalin Bedouin, all refugees in the OPT, their mukhtar refused in 1951 to sign off his men to military service in the IDF. For this, five Jahalin were killed, 15 large tents burned down and many flocks confiscated by the military authorities then holding all the Negev under military rule (with no education as part of THAT deal, for many years and no freedom of movement either).

    The Jahalin fled to what was then Jordanian controlled Palestinian territory. As refugees they have no land title in the OPT, since their land deeds are all in the Negev (Tel Arad area). Needless to say, in this lamentation, they cannot return as they are not citizens. Similarly, many of the Gazan population are also Bedouin refugees who chose to flee there in ’48 or early fifties. Others fled to Sinai, or Jordan. The Jahalin are now in the process of fighting the inexorable next round of ethnic cleansing/forced transfer/grave breaches of the Geneva Convention (possibly qualifying as war crimes bearing personal responsibility by every clerk, officer, general or other operative involved). Israel covets its neighbours shacks and the land on which they sit (E-1).

    As to education: quick note. Without electricity and with lesser funding to their schools, those in the unrecognised villages (and even those in the shantytowns called Recognised Town[ships]) do not score as high as other Israelis, and therefore many are forced to seek university education abroad. It has nothing to do with intelligence, but everything to do with racist, discriminatory funding. For more details, go to Dukium’s excellent website and read their shadow reports to CERD, for example. link to dukium.org Or to Adalah.org

    • tree says:

      Thanks, Angela. Great comment.

    • homingpigeon says:

      AngelaJerusalem, a few years ago, well thirty four years ago, I visited “Zbeidat” the name of the tribe and their village in the Jordan Valley, not too far from Jericho. They were Bedu refugees from the Beersheba area. As a community they volunteered their men for service in the Jordanian Army, and in exchange after twenty years of residence on the state land they had settled they were to be given full title. (These former nomads were in transition to sedentary agricultural lifestyle – a common trend). However as the West Bank was captured from the Jordanians in ’67 after they had only been on the land seventeen years they did not receive titles.

      Sure enough, Israeli settlers used the lack of titles as an excuse to confiscate large tracts of their land, pump their well water into the new settlement’s swimming pool, dry up the Zbeidat orchards, and so on. Whatever became of them?

      • @Homingpigeon, to respond to your question: I asked a friend who knows Zbeidat well and this is her response:

        “The village of Zbeidat, located in the Jericho governate, is surrounded by three settlements, one of them an “illegal” settlement, and Road 90. Most of their land has been confiscated by the settlements. So they work as manual labourers for the settlers. That is to say, the women work for the settlers, long days of 12 hours for a very low salary, some women told me that they get only 70 shekels ($20) a day, and no health care or other social benefits.

        Many donors have been active in the village, for example they have been given a water pump to get clean water, but the Israeli authorities do not give them permits to use the waterpump, so people (mostly children) suffer a lot from diseases to do with unhealthy water.

        Because Road 90 is also a settler road, every night from 6 pm until 6 am there is a curfew. The people are not allowed to use this road between those hours. This is one of the most shocking things. If you have to give birth, or have a heart attack between 6 pm and 6 am then you cannot leave the village to go to the hospital. If you enter the road, they shoot at you. One woman told me that her little son was running away from her on the road, she ran after him and there was a shot. The road is only a few metres away from the first houses of the village. There is no health care in the village. The people tried to have a clinic or something like first aid, but the Israeli authorities do not give them any permit.

        The village is filthy, no waste collection, the houses are horrible, no permits for renewing them, a high percentage of the men are unemployed, due to the confiscation of most of their land.

        The closest hospital is Jericho, and as stated, there is nothing that even looks like health care in the village.

        My impression was that the older people are very conservative, they are hard to work with, but the younger people really do want a change. We met some very clever girls, many have an education, but for them it is hard to find a job, as they are not allowed to find a job somewhere else. The boys are leaving the village to find work elsewhere.

        Their situation is rather desperate, and I still feel a lot of regret that we couldn’t work in this village.

        In the Palestinian community, the village is known as “collaborating” with the occupier. And in a way this is true, but this goes for the elderly, they felt that they didn’t have a choice than to co-operate with Israel, but the youth has a different behaviour, they see now that they don’t get anything, and are willing to resist.

        I remember that I asked them about arrests. They told me that every week a couple of times the army invades the village and arrests some boys. They release two and the next night three more are arrested.

        Zbeidat village has a special place in my heart, but I felt that we let them down. And that frustrates me a lot. Because their situation is really desperate, and yes, there are some donors who give them some support, but it is only for a water-pump or for a school. But what can they do with it as Israel doesn’t give them permits to build this.

        They are overflowed by house demolition orders, like everywhere else. Horrible situation.”

  9. Shaktimaan says:

    I can’t help but notice that people seem to hold the disparate viewpoints that Israeli Arabs have a right (or even obligation) to oppose the state of Israel as a colonial enterprise that disenfranchised all non-Jews while also critiquing Israel for treating the non-Jewish Israeli population at all differently. How are these two opposing ideas reconciled?

    For example, equal rights is a laudable goal. But it requires equal responsibilities. Should Israeli-Arabs be required to serve in the IDF or perform comparable civil service such as the Jewish Israelis?

    • How are these two opposing ideas reconciled?

      “Israeli Arabs have a right..to oppose the state of Israel as a colonial enterprise that disenfranchised all non-Jews”
      “critiquing Israel for treating the non-Jewish Israeli population at all differently”

      what opposing views are you referencing? those views do not conflict with eachother.

      equal rights is a laudable goal. But it requires equal responsibilities. Should Israeli-Arabs be required to serve in the IDF or perform comparable civil service such as the Jewish Israelis?

      in a state with equal rights that is a state for all it’s citizens, as opposed to a state defined by only a portion of its citizens(nationals) who are afforded privileges not afforded other citizens (the non nationals), yes. either a draft is mandatory for all equal citizens or it is not.

    • Shmuel says:

      equal rights is a laudable goal. But it requires equal responsibilities. Should Israeli-Arabs be required to serve in the IDF or perform comparable civil service such as the Jewish Israelis?

      Diversionary tactic. Palestinian citizens of Israel are not discriminated against because they do not do national service, and would not be treated equally merely for performing such service.

      • Shaktimaan says:

        Diversionary tactic? Wow. Do you think you could chill out just a little bit and at least attempt to have a civil discussion?

        It was an example of one of the many ways that dealing with the reality of ensuring equality is far more complex than merely paying lip service to it.

        • Shmuel says:

          Do you think you could chill out just a little bit and at least attempt to have a civil discussion?

          LOL. I’m as chill as chill gets, Shaktimaan. “Diversionary tactic” was a fair characterisation of the equal-rights-for-equal-obligations argument you presented. The lack of a draft or national service for Palestinian citizens of Israel has absolutely nothing to do with the discrimination against them, but is a very common rationalisation – distraction from the real issues. Saying that things are complex is another.

  10. homingpigeon says:

    Coming late to the discussion I offer a few observations:

    In the dynamics of colonialism there is a common phenomenon of foreign oppressors making common cause with native groups who are victimized by other native groups. Local group B is oppressing smaller group A and foreign group C joins up with A to dispossess B. This happened with the US Cavalry – when they went in to massacre a particular tribe, they had allied trackers from a tribe that had been dispossessed by the tribe they were about to destroy. The Nationalist Chinese regime and Army, in fleeing the mainland and taking control of Taiwan, and asserting control over the indigenous Taiwanese (who were ethnically Chinese but a distinct community from the mainlanders), made common cause with oppressed non-Chinese aboriginals. The CIA, to make trouble for the Nicaraguan Sandinistas began “supporting” the various marginalized aboriginal tribes of the Miskito coast.

    In the case of Palestine (and pretty much all over the world) there is a natural cultural rift between the Bedu and the peasantry going back to Cain and Abel, manifested most commonly by Bedu goats invading peasant cucumber patches or peasants planting their cucumbers where Bedu graze their goats – depending on your perspective.

    And the urban people would show contempt for both the peasants and the Bedu, not unlike the attitudes of urbane Americans to rural Appalachians.

    These differences, as well as other cultural separations with the Druse and Circassians lent themselves to Zionist manipulations. The people who became “collaborators” had a choice between resisting and being driven out, or accepting the new order. They served it to various degrees, and kept their land as a result – at least until now.

    I would agree with Shmuel that it is a complex human tragedy. It is not helpful to demonize the Bedu of the Negev as traitors.