Munayyer: Liberal Zionist sympathy for Palestinians generally ends at the green line. This is moral and intellectual cowardice.

Israel/Palestine
on 44 Comments

Yousef Munayyer, Zion Square’s sole Palestinian regular contributor, has responded to Peter Beinart’s settlement boycott op-ed in his first post for the Newsweek/Daily Beast blog. In it, Munayyer takes on “the increased volume voices described as ‘Liberal Zionists’ have garnered in the discourse on Israel/Palestine,” and specifically the contradictions inherent in the idea of liberal Zionism itself.

After discussing how liberal Zionists set up a false dichotomy between Israel and settlements, and fail to adequately address Israeli colonialism, Munayyer continues:

The third and perhaps the biggest problem with the “Liberal Zionist” narrative is that they erase the Nakba from the history of Israel/Palestine. The Nakba (the depopulation of Palestine of the majority of its native inhabitants) continues to be at the foundation of the Israeli/Palestinian dynamic. Zionism necessitates a Jewish majority, which it achieved in 1948 through a series of events (including mass expulsion and the flight of civilians from hostilities), and perpetuated by systematically denying the human right of Palestinian refugees to return. It should come as no surprise that even while “Liberal Zionists” are willing to condemn many of the human rights abuses inherent in the occupation of the West Bank and Gaza, the rights of refugees go ignored.

Any sympathies “Liberal Zionists” have for Palestinian rights generally stops at the green line. This is moral and intellectual cowardice. With the Palestinian question and Palestinian rights answered within the confines of green line, “Liberal Zionists” put off confronting the fundamental challenge that liberalism presents to Zionism.

You see, liberalism and Zionism are by nature incompatible and those calling themselves “Liberal Zionists” misunderstand one or both of the concepts. Liberalism is by nature an inclusivist ideology; Zionism, by contrast is an exclusivist ideology. While liberalism is associated with equal rights regardless to ethnicity or creed, human rights, and free elections, Zionism requires maintaining a Jewish majority over territory even at the expense of the non-Jewish native inhabitants of the land.

For many Americans who have Zionist and liberal inclinations, confronting this reality is both difficult and necessary. Yet “Liberal Zionists” choose instead to create and focus on illusions to avoid making the decisions, imposed on them by Zionism’s colonialist reality, that make them cringe.

The use of myths to obfuscate the inconvenient truths of Zionism’s illiberal agenda is not new. Early leaders of the Israeli left advanced the notion of a “land without a people”: David Ben Gurion, for example, described pre-colonization Palestine as “in a virtual state of anarchy… primitive, neglected, and derelict,” willfully ignoring the land’s native Palestinians.

The fact that Beinart’s call for a boycott of Israeli settlement products is on the Op-Ed pages of The New York Times is indicative of a changing discourse—and this is a good thing. Nonetheless, the discourse clearly has a long way to go. “Liberal Zionists” may find safety and comfort in putting off confronting the irreconcilability of liberalism and Zionism for another generation, but they aren’t doing the Palestinians or themselves any favors.

Great post. And although I find it incredibly hard to fathom that Newsweek is hosting a website on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict where only one of the ten regular columnists are Palestinian, I think it’s great Munayyer is in there. I look forward to what’s to come.

44 Responses

  1. LeaNder
    March 20, 2012, 1:38 pm

    indeed, a breeze of fresh air. Good man, good voice, indeed. A little of the much missing rationality.

    I liked this, since we keep hearing the slogan: Palestinian maximalist demands. It’s always only their demands that are maximalist:

    what “Liberal Zionists” are effectively saying is that there is no Palestinian minimum (or Zionist maximum) they would not accept

    • ritzl
      March 20, 2012, 4:58 pm

      Not that any moral rationality is missing, but YM and The Palestine Center also provide long-absent facts to present a ground-level rationality to the discussion.

      His/their work on documenting the level, location, and severity of settler attacks against Palestinians in ongoing pursuit of Palestinian resources gives his observations added and, imho, irrefutable weight. The counters are just assertions.

  2. Annie Robbins
    March 20, 2012, 2:16 pm

    excellent excellent excellent! he nails it

    You see, liberalism and Zionism are by nature incompatible and those calling themselves “Liberal Zionists” misunderstand one or both of the concepts. Liberalism is by nature an inclusivist ideology; Zionism, by contrast is an exclusivist ideology. While liberalism is associated with equal rights regardless to ethnicity or creed, human rights, and free elections, Zionism requires maintaining a Jewish majority over territory even at the expense of the non-Jewish native inhabitants of the land.

    For many Americans who have Zionist and liberal inclinations, confronting this reality is both difficult and necessary. Yet “Liberal Zionists” choose instead to create and focus on illusions to avoid making the decisions, imposed on them by Zionism’s colonialist reality, that make them cringe.

    • Scott
      March 20, 2012, 6:38 pm

      This is the question, isn’t it Annie. Are liberalism and Zionism incompatible? I’m not sure it’s so cut and dried. In his book Beinart has a few paragraphs on how different ideologies can be in tension with one another, without one or the other being wrong. Most Western democracies are a little bit nationalistic in an ethnocentric sense, and a little bit liberal. The US, at the time of WASP hegemony, was too. (Now I’m not sure how to characterize it). Beinart notes that Israel, during the early Oslo period, did take measures towards improving the lives of Israeli citizen Palestinians–increased educational, political, integration possibilities. All this has now stopped of course, but am reluctant to argue that liberalism and Zionism are irremediably incompatible.

  3. Fredblogs
    March 20, 2012, 2:49 pm

    Very generous of American Jews to be willing to hand over all of Israel to the Palestinians. When you give everything you own to the descendants of the Native Americans and shuffle off back to Europe, then you can talk about moral cowardice of the Israelis who don’t want to give back their whole country to the Palestinians. It’s called “population exchange”. It happens all the time. Hindus in Pakistan left for India and Muslims from India left for Pakistan. Jews from all over the Middle East went to Israel and Palestinians should be allowed to go to the countries of their ancestors, all over the Middle East.

    • Shingo
      March 20, 2012, 5:29 pm

      It’s called “population exchange”. It happens all the time

      The term “population exchange” is one of those sleazy terms the Zionists invented in the 1970′s. It tries to imply that there was an consensual and mutually beneficial arrangement, when the Nakba clearly was anything but.

      Then again, I guess one could describe rape as the exchange of bodily fluids.

    • ritzl
      March 20, 2012, 5:43 pm

      For the sake of argument lets assume that ’67 Israel exists and is never going away, and that the RoR will be an ongoing compensation tussle.

      Just relinquish the parts that are outside the ’67 borders. Do it now!

      Simple, isn’t it? Why all the ongoing expansion and assimilation?

      Israel is the last “Western” colonization project. It was undertaken post-WWII when colonization (and its outcomes) was a known wrong. The point of the NA analogies is that most of the world recognized (a couple decades later) that colonization and ethnic cleansing were known wrongs and largely recognized that fact (see: Japanese internment compensation; casinos). In Israel, they’re part of an accepted, ongoing process despite a century, +/-, of universally negative outcomes and moral lessons learned.

      The moral cowardice and intellectual dishonesty are [mostly, at this point, imo] about the ongoing expansion. Israel wants to emulate 19th C. Europe and the US, instead of learning from that experience. In that context, who really cares about your plaintive pleas and false analogies? It’s flat wrong. End the assimilation!

      But you can’t can you? You depend on it. It’s how Israelis flush their toilets. Admit it. You need to Occupy because Israel can’t stand on its own. Say that to yourself again, slowly. That must be a crushing self-awareness issue.

      • Fredblogs
        March 20, 2012, 6:48 pm

        What good would relinquishing the land outside the 1967 borders do? They experimented with that in Gaza and got rockets fired at them for their troubles. Giving up land for peace would be fine. Giving up land so that a hostile Palestine could fire rockets from the West Bank as well as Gaza would not be fine.
        “I’ve got a boot on your neck and before I take it off, you are going to have to agree not to attack me once you are up”
        “No deal, I will attack you as soon as you let me up”
        “Then the boot stays on your neck”
        “No fair”
        “Tough”

        As for East Jerusalem, the holiest site in Judaism is there and the last time (1948) Arabs promised to let Israelis visit it in exchange for peace (armistice terms), that turned out to be a lie (no Israelis allowed 1948-1967). So they’re not going to give it back to the Arabs again.

        As to the expansion, I disagree with expanding the settlements, but the Palestinians haven’t given the Israelis any real reason not to do it, since they refuse peace regardless on any terms that include the continuing existence of Israel (as a Jewish majority state). If there was a realistic hope for peace in the absence of settlement expansion, then that would be a powerful argument for those opposed to settlement expansion to use against settlement expansion. But there is no realistic hope for peace, whether the settlements expand or not.

      • Shingo
        March 20, 2012, 10:14 pm

        They experimented with that in Gaza and got rockets fired at them for their troubles.

        Teh trouble with that experiment, was that it included firing 7,700 shells into Gaza as they withdrew – and then once they were out, they strangled the place.

        Giving up land so that a hostile Palestine could fire rockets from the West Bank as well as Gaza would not be fine.

        It woudl if Israel actually gave back the land (it would not be giving it up seing as it does not belong to them) and didn’t then set about turning the place into a concentration camp.

        As for East Jerusalem, the holiest site in Judaism is there and the last time (1948) Arabs promised to let Israelis visit it in exchange for peace (armistice terms), that turned out to be a lie (no Israelis allowed 1948-1967).

        That’s because Isral villated the terms of the Armistice.

        As to the expansion, I disagree with expanding the settlements, but the Palestinians haven’t given the Israelis any real reason not to do it, since they refuse peace regardless on any terms that include the continuing existence of Israel (as a Jewish majority state).

        Tell me Fred, should I be able to rape your daugher and steal from your bank account until you give me a reason not to? I do love the amorality of your Likudniks. You mug someone and rob them, then use their reaction to justify doing it again.

      • Fredblogs
        March 22, 2012, 11:51 am

        Sorry, wrong political party. I’m a Democrat. There’s an old saying that if people acted like governments you’d call the cops. In international relations, there are no cops. So each country has to protect its citizens the best it can. Allowing a hostile country to set up on your borders is not protecting your citizens, whether the leaders of the hostile country think they have a legitimate grievance or not. The problem is that you are expecting Israel to act as though you are right about things that they disagree with you about, and act against their own interests.

        I think the Palestinians would be better off if they made peace with Israel, even if that means giving up on taking East Jerusalem (not to mention the rest of Israel). Will they be better off 20 years from now if they keep fighting? I don’t think so. They would have been better off if they had accepted the partition in 1948, or if the Arab countries that controlled the West Bank and Gaza from 1948-1967 had given them the land for a country of their own instead of attacking Israel (first act of war in 1967 – blockading Eilat). Or any of the deals offered since then. Instead they keep fighting. 4 generations caught in what are basically those Chinese finger cuffs, the ones where the harder you pull the harder they clamp down and the only way out is to stop fighting.

        I would like the Palestinians to be sensible about what their interests are. If they want a state, the price is that they have to make peace with Israel. If they’d rather keep fighting a losing battle instead of making peace and having a country of their own, they will not get a country.

      • Shingo
        March 22, 2012, 3:54 pm

        Allowing a hostile country to set up on your borders is not protecting your citizens, whether the leaders of the hostile country think they have a legitimate grievance or not.

        Yet you blame the Palestinians for not accepting the Jewish from being created with the borders of their own territory.

        What a hypocrite you are!

        I think the Palestinians would be better off if they made peace with Israel, even if that means giving up on taking East Jerusalem

        What do you mean making peace wit Israel? How do they make peace with Israel when Israel won’t make peace with them?

        They would have been better off if they had accepted the partition in 1948

        They did accept it. It wasn’t the Palestinisbs that rejected 181. Even so, Ben Gurion said the partition was only temporary and that Israel were going to reclaim all of Pslestine, so what difference would it have made?

        first act of war in 1967 – blockading Eilat

        No it wasn’t . No one agreed with Israel’s argument that it was, and the blockade was over 2 weeks before Israel attacked Egypt.

        I would like the Palestinians to be sensible about what their interests are. If they want a state, the price is peace with Israel

        False. Israel has made it clear it does not want peace if it means giving back the West Bank. After all, 22 Arab states have offered to make peace with Israel along the 1967 borders, yet Israel has rejected the offer.

        If Israel is not interested in making peace with the Arab League, why would they make peace with the Palestinisns?

      • Hostage
        March 22, 2012, 7:33 pm

        In international relations, there are no cops.

        The United Nations have been prosecuting war crimes, crimes against humanity, and crimes of aggression through ad hoc and permanent international criminal tribunals ever since WWII, e.g. Nuremberg, ICTY, ICTR, ICC, & etc. Israeli cabinet members and the IDF general staff have been dodging arrest warrants issued in other countries for several years now.

    • Shingo
      March 20, 2012, 5:46 pm

      BTW Fred,

      Palestinian’s ancestors came from Palestine, just like your ancestors came from Eastern Europe.

      • Fredblogs
        March 20, 2012, 6:37 pm

        Very apt analogy. DNA testing proves that while the recent ancestors of the Ashkenazim were from Europe, their ancient ancestors were from the Middle East. Similarly, while some of the recent ancestors of the Palestinians were from what is now Israel, their ancient ancestors were from other parts of the Middle East. Racially, the Palestinians and most Jews are the same.

      • RoHa
        March 20, 2012, 10:55 pm

        So which ancestral land are people supposed to return to? That of their recent ancestors, or that of their very ancient ancestors? If the latter, we’ll all be going to Kenya.

      • Mooser
        March 20, 2012, 11:19 pm

        “That of their recent ancestors, or that of their very ancient ancestors? If the latter, we’ll all be going to Kenya.”

        Wow, when you look at it that way, Barack Obama could run for office in any state in the world! (joke! yes, not a very good one, but a joke!)

      • Mooser
        March 21, 2012, 2:15 am

        “Racially”

        Hey what can we say, it’s just that good ol’ racial science, huh? Would you mind telling us how DNA relates to race Fredblogs? Can you give us a scientific, coherent definition of a “race”. And BTW, what does “race” (that sturdy scientific concept) have to do with Zionism anyhow?

        Whoopee! Fredblogs is here, and the 18th and 19th Centuries are in full swing!

      • Eva Smagacz
        March 21, 2012, 10:02 am

        Hi, Fred,

        My maternal mitochondrial RNA is indicating that I originated in Africa. Can Poles move to Africa en-masse?

        “Similarly, while some of the recent ancestors of the Palestinians were from what is now Israel, their ancient ancestors were from other parts of the Middle East.”

        This is utter rubbish. Palestinian ancient ancestors are from other parts of middle east because that was migration pattern of all humans (including those who would later become Jews) populating Middle East! Duh.

      • Hostage
        March 21, 2012, 5:04 pm

        My maternal mitochondrial RNA is indicating that I originated in Africa. . . . . “Similarly, while some of the recent ancestors of the Palestinians were from what is now Israel, their ancient ancestors were from other parts of the Middle East.”

        Of course the scriptures relate that Moses married an Ethiopian (Cushite) woman, although Rashi and other commentators have engaged in lengthy and doubtful attempts to establish that he did not. Joseph married an Egyptian, and Solomon married Pharaoh’s daughter. So the daughters of some of the leading Israelite tribes and families would have passed down African MtDNA to their off-spring. Apparently there are quite a few modern genetic researchers who aren’t familiar with these bible stories, since they attempt to establish that African mitochondrial DNA influences in the Southern Arabian population are a characteristic that can be used to distinguish so-called Jews from so-called Arabs.

    • Mooser
      March 20, 2012, 5:49 pm

      “When you give everything you own to the descendants of the Native Americans and shuffle off back to Europe, then you can talk about moral cowardice of the Israelis who don’t want to give back their whole country to the Palestinians.”

      Sorry, chump. but we can talk about or do any goddam thing we think will be of benefit. Got any way to stop us? Maybe we think a great, practically irremediable crime was committed in America, and we would rather not see it repeated?

      Or are you saying that because the history of the world included horrible massacres and die-offs of one type or another, the Nazis had the moral upper-hand in killing off the Jews? I mean, given all the atrocities in world history, where did anybody get the standing to criticise Hitler? I’m sure lots of people would find that logic appealing.

    • Cliff
      March 20, 2012, 6:13 pm

      Fredblogs said:

      It’s called “population exchange”. It happens all the time. Hindus in Pakistan left for India and Muslims from India left for Pakistan. Jews from all over the Middle East went to Israel and Palestinians should be allowed to go to the countries of their ancestors, all over the Middle East.

      No it’s called ethnic cleansing. The Palestinians didn’t ‘exchange’ anything with the Israelis (except their own lives, so the Israelis wouldn’t kill them).

      And ‘Jews from all over the Middle East’ have nothing to do w/ the Nakba. The Palestinians didn’t ‘exchange’ populations w/ these ME Jews.

      And the Palestinians’ ancestral home is Palestine. You want to kick them out of their homes and off their land, then lecture them on their homeland being in Saudi Arabia or elsewhere.

      Zionists ethnically cleansed the Palestinian people. Not anyone else. People like you are quick to disassociate Israel from it’s crimes or downplaying Israeli criminality by talking about the crimes of other countries or in this case, excusing the crimes altogether by explaining the banality of evil inherent to said crimes.

      ‘Oh it happens, that’s life.’

      Yes, it’s convenient to use this excuse when you’re the one doing the ethnic cleansing. The Zionist colonial project is not over. It has not ended. It is not simply Israel’s Original Sin. It is on-going.

      So when we talk about the Nakba and the ‘Jewish’ character of Israel – we aren’t talking about ancient history.

      Hypocrites like yourself, Fredblogs, are hell-bent on making the Palestinians forget their history or their culture and to deny them their PHYSICAL TIES (not religious, not cultural, not abstract) to their HISTORIC HOMELAND.

      Get it through your skull – Zionism is pure sophistry. The only way it succeeded was through superior violence and through cruelty. That and the fact that your nemesis, the Palestinian people, were virtually defenseless.

    • eljay
      March 20, 2012, 6:49 pm

      >> It’s called “population exchange”. It happens all the time. Hindus in Pakistan left for India and Muslims from India left for Pakistan.

      So why do Jewish citizens of the Jewish state get all uppity about the possibility of being “population exchanged”? Surely all that happens is that they leave and re-settle somewhere else (ethnic cleansing optional), the Palestinians leave wherever they are and re-settle in Palestine and everything’s just peachy.

      Or…is “population exchange” another one of those things that’s only acceptable when it happens to non-Jews (including non-Jewish citizens of the Jewish state)?

    • Mooser
      March 20, 2012, 7:24 pm

      “It’s called “population exchange”. It happens all the time.”

      Yes, don’t you remember how greatly the Jews benefited from “population exchange” in Europe?
      Freddie, why are you unable to grasp that you cannot posit yourself as history’s victims, or indeed, deserving of any consideration whatsoever, when you are willing and eager to use the same tactics against others that were used against you?
      Oh never mind, I know the answer. All those expulsions, pogroms and Holocausts you whine about really weren’t that bad, were they? Certainly not bad enough for you to eschew them, huh? In fact, they weren’t even bad enough for Israel to achieve a consensus that they will not consider and use them.

      • Fredblogs
        March 20, 2012, 8:59 pm

        Population Exchange isn’t so bad. What you are talking about is plain old mass murder and genocide. If the Israelis had exterminated the Palestinians, that would have been comparable to the pogroms and exterminations you are citing. Instead, in a war the Arabs started, which killed 1% of the Jewish population, the Arabs were kicked out. The Jews were kicked out of the rest of the Middle East and moved to Israel. It’s not their fault the Arab countries had no sympathy for their fellow Arabs who got kicked out of Israel like the Israelis had sympathy for the Jews who got kicked out of the Arab nations. Why should the Jews have to cover the costs of both the Jews kicked out by Arabs and the Arabs kicked out by Jews? Show some reciprocity.

      • Cliff
        March 20, 2012, 9:57 pm

        Fredblogs said:

        Why should the Jews have to cover the costs of both the Jews kicked out by Arabs and the Arabs kicked out by Jews? Show some reciprocity.

        Why should the Palestinians have to cover the cost for the crimes ‘the Jews’ committed against them? Why should the Palestinians cover the cost for the crimes ‘the Arabs’ committed against ‘the Jews’?

        Your idiotic no-true-Scotsman variant is designed to absolve Israel of it’s actions.

        And ‘the Arabs’ did not start the 1948 war. And even if ‘the Arabs’ started that war, it does not justify the opportunistic ethnic cleansing of the indigenous non-Jewish population that took place.

      • Shingo
        March 20, 2012, 10:08 pm

        Population Exchange isn’t so bad.

        Just so long as you’re not the side losing half their land to the colonialists supremacists who are there to steal it from you.

        Instead, in a war the Arabs started, which killed 1% of the Jewish population, the Arabs were kicked out.

        No, it was a war that the Israelis started 5 months before any Arab armies arrived, when they began expelling Palestinians.

        The Jews were kicked out of the rest of the Middle East and moved to Israel.

        False. With a few exceptions, by their onw admission, they moved to Israel for messianic reason.

        Why should the Jews have to cover the costs of both the Jews kicked out by Arabs and the Arabs kicked out by Jews?

        Becasue:

        a) Israel needed massive immigration of the Jews from Arab states to become viable
        b) they also had to expell teh Arabs from Palestine for Israel to become viable.

      • Woody Tanaka
        March 20, 2012, 10:30 pm

        “Population Exchange isn’t so bad.”

        That’s what the Germans said to the Jews of Western Europe as they shuffled them off the Lodz and Warsaw to make way for the members of the Master Race who were returning to the Reich. Sure, things got a bit out of hand later. If they just holed those Jews up in the ghettos, that would have been a-okay.

        “Why should the Jews have to cover the costs of both the Jews kicked out by Arabs and the Arabs kicked out by Jews?”

        Any Jew who can show that he was kicked out of an Arab country (as opposed to volunteering to move the Israel. Being an Israel-Firster is neither new nor limited to Americans) should seek compensation from those countries. But regardless of what happened to them, that doesn’t absolve the Israelis of their crime against the Palestinians, whose land they stole.

      • Without Walls
        March 20, 2012, 11:49 pm

        “Population exchange isn’t so bad”

        link to jewishvirtuallibrary.org

        link to eric-brothers.suite101.com

    • AJM
      March 20, 2012, 8:21 pm

      Except there aren’t sizeable Native American populations, who within living memory, were cleansed from America and are living in camps in Mexico and Canada, dreaming of a return. And who is asking Israelis to hand over everything they own? Only to return what they have stolen. ‘Jews from all over the middle east’ settled Israel? Talk about rewriting history. They were encouraged (to put it kindly) to join their saviours only after Europeans, predominately, had started the colonisation project. Palestinians ancestral land is… Palestine. 21% of today’s Israelis are immigrants from Europe and the Americas; 70% are up to third generation, born & bred Israelis – Olim. There are no records of significant Arab immigration into Palestine, so I suppose they must have arrived from out of space.

      • Without Walls
        March 20, 2012, 11:52 pm

        it’s not ahistoric to think of the migration of Hispanics and Latinos into US as a “return.” And see how the American “settlers” do carp about that intrusion on their Albion seed world.

    • Talkback
      March 21, 2012, 5:35 am

      Fredblogs: “It’s called “population exchange”. It happens all the time.”

      So you you don’t have a problem, if Jewish immigrants and Palestinians refugees would swap.

      Fredblogs: “But there is no realistic hope for peace, whether the settlements expand or not.”

      Funny that the United Nations allready in the 70s considered settlements to be the major obstacle to peace.

      • Fredblogs
        March 22, 2012, 10:55 am

        The U.N. is made up of every country in the world. Largely dominated by dictatorships, including most Muslim and Arab countries. The ones that aren’t dictatorships, Muslim, or Arab countries are mostly hostile to Israel out of fear of terrorism and oil embargoes. Bashing Israel in the U.N. is a cheap way for them to suck up to the oil rich Muslim/Arab countries like Saudi Arabia.

        The U.N. has been unremittingly hostile to Israel for at least the past 40 years.

      • Hostage
        March 22, 2012, 7:24 pm

        The U.N. is made up of every country in the world.

        There has never been a time when one or more permanent member of the Security Council hasn’t abused the veto to block the membership of widely recognized countries. That’s why the international community started opening UN treaties for signature by member states of any UN specialized agency, like UNESCO. That practice has passed into customary and conventional law and is known as the “Vienna Formula”, which was codified in Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties and the “Summary Of Practice Of The Secretary-General As Depositary Of Multilateral Treaties”.
        link to untreaty.un.org

        The U.N. has been unremittingly hostile to Israel for at least the past 40 years.

        Even states that are governed by liberal democracies have been unremittingly hostile to Israel for 40 to 60 years and have repeatedly condemned its flagrant violations of international laws and norms that are recognized by all “civilized peoples”.

  4. ritzl
    March 20, 2012, 3:07 pm

    How long Munnayer is associated with this effort and/or how long Newsweek remains associated with it will be a significant gauge of how much this debate is opening up. However incrementally.

  5. Hostage
    March 20, 2012, 10:14 pm

    “It’s called “population exchange”. It happens all the time.”

    It’s actually a very serious war crime and a crime against humanity. FYI Alexander Orakhelashvili and Judge Elihu Lauterpact have both explained that the UN Security Council is unconditionally bound by peremptory norms of international law. Orakhelashvili said

    Resolution 242 called for ‘a just settlement of the refugee problem’ in Palestine. ‘Just settlement’ can only refer to a settlement guaranteeing the return of displaced Palestinians, and other interpretations of this notion may be hazardous. The Council must be presumed not to have adopted decisions validating mass deportation or displacement. More so, as such expulsion or deportation is a crime against humanity or an exceptionally serious war crime (Articles 7.1(d) and 8.2(e) ICC Statute)

    — EJIL (2005), Vol. 16 No. 1, 59–88 link to papers.ssrn.com

    Because the population that loses the war of extermination they started (the Arabs in this case) don’t get first choice of which land they keep.

    Wrong again. The International Court of Justice advised in 2004 that the principles as to the use of force incorporated in the Charter reflect customary international law. The Court cited the Declaration On Principles Of International Law Friendly Relations And Co-Operation Among States In Accordance With The Charter Of The United Nations, which states “No territorial acquisition resulting from the threat or use of force shall be recognized as legal.” and its corollary entailing the illegality of territorial acquisition resulting from the threat or use of force.

    In any event, there has never been any evidence provided that the “Arabs” were responsible for starting any wars for the purposes of extermination or otherwise.

    • Mooser
      March 20, 2012, 11:06 pm

      You know, I hate to bring this up, but I might be a lot more sympathetic, as a Jew to Zionism if somebody could give me one goddamed example of Jews benefiting by following those who declare themselves “Jewish leaders”? Can anybody give me one example of a time and place where “Jewish leaders” were able to formulate a modus vivaldi with Gentiles which resulted in a more than four season’s (sorry) worth of peace and acceptance for the Jews? And didn’t end in a mess? And if it did end in a mess, one example of when these “Jewish leaders” warned us in time and had a proactive strategy for avoiding the worst consequences? I know this is a pretty nebulous group of questions, but does anybody get my drift? Only in a place where “Jewish leaders” are not permitted to act as intermediaries between the Jewish community and Gentiles, and each Jew stands or falls according to the rule of law, as imperfect as it is, do Jews find peace.
      So does anybody wanna tell me why I should greet anybody or any organisation which claims to be a “Jewish leader” with anything but a derisive laugh and a quick foot in their ass?
      Yes, I understand that under terrible conditions of societal collapse into warring or competing ethnicity’s, a guy could be forced, if he wants to live, into an accommodation with ethnic leaders, but if a person is not faced with those exigencies, what on earth is the track record of Judaism as a political entity, that I should give it my loyalty and sacrifice for it. I just don’t get it. And would it be asking too much if the examples of the advantages of “Jewish leadership” weren’t from the Torah or apocryphal materials? Look, I love Judaism as much as the next guy, but what on earth is supposed to make me believe that Judaism is a good basis for a state? Did I miss something? Or are these questions I am not supposed to ask?

      • Mooser
        March 21, 2012, 2:02 am

        That Judaism and Jews were subject to terrible persecution, culminating in the inhuman atrocities of the Holocaust, which left Judaism shattered and depleted, I could never deny. That’s a fact.
        But on what basis am I supposed to assume that forming a Jewish State will be an answer to that? There’s a logical leap there I can’t make. And some assumptions about how Jews relate to each other which could be shot full of holes by the facts and BTW, are basically anti-Semitic. And given that the process of making this Jewish state puts us back in the power of the very same people (basically, religious charlatans or gangsters, and capitalists allied with them or a combination thereof) who so miserably failed at leading the Jews to that point, why on earth should I put my trust in them?
        Maybe my problem is that since I wasn’t being chased down by the Cossacks or the Nazis, I assumed Zionism was just for those who were, and I never gave Zionists a chance (out of earshot of Gentiles, of course, so we can have a frank discussion) to explain all the advantages which could accrue to an American Jew who decided they were American-Israeli or Israeli-American, as circumstances require. It’s true, tho, I never even looked at the prospectus. Maybe I am too stupid to be a Jew. Hmmm, maybe when my exasperated Mom would shout at me: “Son? The way you act you’re no son of mine!” there was less hyperbole in it than I realised.

    • Mooser
      March 20, 2012, 11:14 pm

      “It’s actually a very serious war crime and a crime against humanity.”

      Oh Hostage, you can’t expect Fredblogs to know anything like that. After all, since the Jews have never, ever been a victim of that kind of thing, why would he even know it exists, much less that it was illegal? You know how it is, Hostage, when you have been at the very throbbing cynosure of the world’s affections, when your people treated as visiting princes everywhere you go, when countries line up and beg you to move there, well, harsh things like “population exchange” just isn’t something you can take seriously.
      I know! Maybe Fredblogs could ask somebody Jewish to explain it to him!

      • Hostage
        March 21, 2012, 1:12 am

        we’ll all be going to Kenya. . . . Maybe Fredblogs could ask somebody Jewish to explain it to him!

        Okay. (sarcasim) Kenya was indeed a part of our ancient homeland in East Africa, but the Zionist Organization declined a generous offer of territory there – despite Herzl’s strenuous objections: link to mondoweiss.net

        British High Commissioner McMahon had another look around Egypt and determined that life actually began in the seas.

        This is the only possible explanation for the curious reservation about the “portions of Syria lying to the west of the district of Aleppo” (aka the Mediterranean Sea). It was withheld from the territory that was promised to the Sharif of Mecca in McMahon’s correspondence. I firmly believe that is where he intended to put both the French and the restored Jewish national home. The Zionists have misunderstood the motivation of the parties who endeavored to drive them into sea and have forgotten that popular wisdom summed-up by Fredblogs, “population transfer happens all the time”. (/sarcasim).

    • Fredblogs
      March 22, 2012, 10:59 am

      Tell it to Pakistan. And India. And Turkey (Cyprus). Tell it to every country that kicked out their long-time resident German populations after WWII. Not the Germans that came in with the Nazis, the ethnic Germans whose ancestors had been there for centuries. Funny how taking territory from the losers of a war was legitimate right up until the day some Jews did it. Wait, even after, just as long as it was Turks and not Jews doing it.

      • Shingo
        March 22, 2012, 4:20 pm

        Funny how taking territory from the losers of a war was legitimate right up until the day some Jews did it.

        How’s the fact that the world went to war to put and end to it, costing the lives of tens of millions, supposed tp be funny?

        Are you a psychopath?

      • Woody Tanaka
        March 22, 2012, 5:06 pm

        “Funny how taking territory from the losers of a war was legitimate right up until the day some Jews did it. ”

        Yeah, that’s why no one ever mentions the time when the Germans “transferred” all those Jews to the East. The whole world thought that was okey-dokey…

      • Hostage
        March 22, 2012, 7:11 pm

        Funny how taking territory from the losers of a war was legitimate right up until the day some Jews did it.

        The British partition of India did not call for any forced population transfers. FYI, there are a series of General Assembly and Security Council resolutions on the India-Pakistan and Cyprus Questions which prohibit the acquisition of territories by war and which call for accession of territories through the democratic method of free and impartial plebiscites, e.g. Security Council resolution 47 (April 1948). link to un.org

        Since you are obviously aware that population transfers are illegal, it appears that you’ve been consciously engaging in Nakba denial and extolling the virtue of war crimes and crimes against humanity in pursuit of military conquest and territorial aggrandizement.

        Unlike some of the others here, I really don’t object to the comment policy which prohibits comments like that. I’m just wondering how long it will take for the moderators here to stop approving them.

  6. aiman
    March 21, 2012, 10:44 am

    This is all good, but like other critiques of Zionism it paints a too rosy picture of liberalism. It is fair to say that Zionism is entirely compatible with the liberal establishment. Yes equality and Zionism are incompatible, but liberalism for the last century has not been on the side of equality. Liberalism is not what it is made out in dominant discourse. Liberals overwhelmingly belong to a class of privilege. What Beinart should have asked in his 2010 essay is: Is Zionism or even liberalism compatible with egalitarianism? No. Liberalism is certainly an improvement over Zionism, but it falls short when contrasted with the real equality as enshrined in egalitarianism.

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