How many of you are uncomfortable with the phrase ‘oppression of Palestinians’? In the packed room, just a few heads nodded

Israel/Palestine
on 82 Comments

The opening event at an international literature festival in Ireland this month was on the subject of Israeli theft of Palestinian land, history and identity. The inaugural speaker, British journalist John McCarthy, is famous for being held hostage by Lebanese Shi’a militia between 1986 and 1991, and his new book, You Can’t Hide the Sun: A Journey Through Israel and Palestine, tells the story of the Palestinian citizens of Israel, from the Nakba to the present day. The publication – and book tour – is significant for two reasons: first, BBC broadcaster McCarthy is a ‘national treasure’ of sorts in the UK and Ireland – held alongside Irish hostage Brian Keenan for much of his 5 years in captivity, he is a dignified, modest hero known for his commitment to human rights causes, and writes of his captors, ‘They, too, were underdogs'; second, he is not a public figure of whom it can be said, ‘Well, he would say that wouldn’t he‘ (in the words of one of the book’s detractors, ’he comes across as a perfectly decent and reasonable bloke, without agenda or malice’). The book is a personal, at times highly emotional journey, and McCarthy is careful to add the disclaimer that this is not an academic work. 

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Ben White’s book on the same subject, Palestinians in Israel: Segregation, Discrimination and Democracy, is clear about its findings from the outset, not least because it includes a foreword by outspoken Member of Knesset, Haneen Zoabi. Neither the title nor the cover of McCarthy’s book give much away. Indeed, his narrative of Palestinian dispossession is a nasty surprise for Israeli officials and apologists. In response to a favourable book review in the Irish Examiner this July, Nurit Tinari Modai, Deputy Ambassador and Cultural Officer Embassy of Israel in Ireland, submitted a hasbara letter to the editor that began in a very peeved tone: ‘It is good to see that John McCarthy, who survived five years of brutal captivity in Lebanon at the hands of Islamic terrorists, has not been deterred from returning to the Middle East to expand his knowledge and understanding of that troubled region.’ Another apologist made no pretence of his survival and return being a good thing: ‘With all McCarthy’s shameful disinformation about Israel and Jews, we can only be sorry that he is not still [chained to a radiator in Lebanon]’.

At the 2012 West Cork Literary Festival, John McCarthy was in discussion with the Northern Irish writer Glenn Patterson. At one point Patterson admitted he had approached the book with ‘suspicion’, and addressing the packed auditorium he asked if anyone felt uncomfortable with the phrase ‘oppression of Palestinians’. Turning around, I saw only a few heads nodding. It was an extraordinary moment: the vast majority of people had come to see that this was an accurate and fair statement with which they had no argument. Patterson’s decision to reach out to the minority of Israel apologists at once legitimised their feelings of hostility towards Palestinians as perfectly reasonable, and was an attempt to get them to join him in his conversion by adding the plea: ‘All I can say is read it’. 

For readers of this site, as opposed to the average festival audience member, the learning curve will not be steep, and they may feel Israel gets off relatively lightly; the power of the book lies, however, in the telling of ‘a story that has needed to be told for a long time’, through poignant encounters with individual Palestinians affected by Israel’s ongoing project of ethnic cleansing and Judaisation inside the Green Line.

Existing and new fans of McCarthy’s work accompany him on a journey in which he reflects that,

I grew up with accounts of this period [1948] that portrayed the Jewish people as desperate and ill-prepared, facing a monolithic force of well-armed, modern Arab armies attacking from every direction.

He learns, instead, that in the spring and summer of 1948,

such scenes of civilian flight occurred in many Palestinian towns and villages. In fear of imminent attack from Jewish forces, people raced from their homes, abandoning all their belongings. Crowds trampled over fallen neighbours, the old or sick were left or forgotten and mothers lost their children. Abandoned by the educated and political elite, finding the British unwilling or unable to protect them, unable to protect themselves, the Palestinians had fallen prey to the insidious, creeping terror of voices announcing imminent doom. By mid-May fewer than 4,000 out of 65,000 Palestinians remained in Haifa.

To respond to Nurit Modai‘s skepticism as to why a victim of Islamist violence would write such a book, McCarthy is clear that it is through his kidnap experience that he ‘began to appreciate how much conflict is born out of fear, and a desire to preserve or gain a safe home. I developed an empathy with people who don’t have a voice, who are dispossessed, who are denied freedom’. It was in Lod, several years ago, while visiting a Bedouin family whose neighbourhood had been bulldozed by the local Israeli council, that McCarthy happened upon the story of Palestinians within Israel that needed to be told. The book thus begins:

I CANNOT BELIEVE THAT ANYONE CAN CALL THIS PLACE HOME. What might once have been houses are now piles of shattered concrete, baked by the stifling mid-morning heat … On the ground I feel as though I am walking through the aftermath of battle.

McCarthy’s father had served in the British forces in Mandate Palestine before being demobbed in the spring of 1946. In July of that year the Zionist militia, the Irgun, bombed the British headquarters in Jerusalem, the King David Hotel, killing ninety-two people, a terrorist attack celebrated in Tablet magazine just this week. ‘The Conflict that had dominated my father’s visit to the region had led, though indirectly, to my being chained and blindfolded in Beirut.’ The journalist explains that, in Beirut, ‘in the pathetic hope of learning something, I started talking to the two guards about Palestine and Israel and Britain’s role in their recent history’. One guard gave him a succinct history in broken English: ‘Balfour gave Palestine to the Jews. Britain no good.’

He narrates that in Haifa, Arab resistance was defeated by the five thousand-strong Haganah brigades, noting that the AA Explorer Israel guide makes no reference to the violence of 1948 which saw much of the city’s Arab population fleeing from its port. One interviewee, Abu Adnan, does not remember getting on the boat in Haifa as a child but he woke up in Acre where his family took refuge in a monastery. Less than a month after the fall of Haifa, Acre was conquered by the Jewish forces. Abu Adnan tells McCarthy that since that day he has never felt safe.

McCarthy asks the festival audience a rhetorical question: If I was reduced to a frightened man, chained up underground, what would it be like to live all your life like this? He means this particularly in regard to the Palestinians: an entire people taken hostage.

You can watch the video of John McCarthy at West Cork Literary Festival here.

82 Responses

  1. Avi_G.
    July 21, 2012, 11:53 am

    John McCarthy’s book is extremely valuable in its contribution to the wealth of information available to English speakers and readers about the theft and destruction of an entire people’s culture and country. It is important for the historical record, too.

    And he makes very astute and poignant observations throughout his talk.

    However, I can’t help but notice glimpses of naivete in Mr. McCarthy’s remarks, especially when he answers the first question from the audience and explains that there are many Israeli Jews who are eager to work with Palestinian citizens of Israel to achieve full equality.

    He also attributes too much of the current state of affairs to Netanyahu and his government coalition, which McCarthy rightly notes is a right wing government.

    But that is the naivete which I cannot overlook. It’s quite possible that it is not naivete that is causing this. Several times Mr. McCarthy mentions his sense of romanticism about the region coupled with stories his father who served in the British army toward WWII told him about the region. There is a lot of romance involved in shaping McCarthy’s views about the region. So perhaps his ‘observations’ about the so-called left in Israel are a product of that romance, or as some might call it, hopeless optimism.

    • Blake
      July 21, 2012, 12:19 pm

      Avi, out of curiosity how would you explain yourself?

      • Avi_G.
        July 21, 2012, 2:38 pm

        Hmmmm, well that’s interesting. I simply feel no urge to explain myself.

      • ToivoS
        July 22, 2012, 4:24 am

        Avi good answer. I don’t agree with you but your point was clear to me (I think McCarthy is naive but it is not unreasonable to pose other possibilities. Actually hopeless optimism sounds naive to me.)

      • Mooser
        July 22, 2012, 12:31 pm

        “Hmmmm, well that’s interesting. I simply feel no urge to explain myself.

        Good man! Apologise like crazy if you must, but never explain!

  2. American
    July 21, 2012, 12:08 pm

    “McCarthy’s father had served in the British forces in Mandate Palestine before being demobbed in the spring of 1946. In July of that year the Zionist militia, the Irgun, bombed the British headquarters in Jerusalem, the King David Hotel, killing ninety-two people, a terrorist attack celebrated in Tablet magazine just this week. ‘

    Yes I found that article astounding….

    link to tabletmag.com

    My 91-Year-Old Grandfather Helped Blow Up the King David Hotel on July 22, 1946

    If this had been some old Nazi proudly proclaiming his part in excuting Jews the Nazi Hunters would be at his house already.

    • Keith
      July 21, 2012, 4:56 pm

      AMERICAN- “If this had been some old Nazi proudly proclaiming his part in excuting Jews the Nazi Hunters would be at his house already.”

      Not if Germany had won the war. One of the prerogatives of power is not having to acknowledge wrongdoing or issue apologies. The Tablet article is yet another example, as if one was needed, of contemporary Jewish/Zionist power. And boastful arrogance.

    • Roya
      July 21, 2012, 9:57 pm

      He would have long been locked up in prison never to see the light of day. Ever again.

  3. DICKERSON3870
    July 21, 2012, 2:14 pm

    RE: “his [McCarthy’s] new book, You Can’t Hide the Sun: A Journey Through Israel and Palestine, tells the story of the Palestinian citizens of Israel, from the Nakba to the present day… Ben White’s book on the same subject, “Palestinians in Israel: Segregation, Discrimination and Democracy”, is clear about its findings from the outset. . .” ~ Eleanor Kilroy

    ALSO NOTE: “Moshé Machover: Israelis and Palestinians – conflict and resolution”, Israeli Occupation Archive (IOA), 18 JULY 2012

    On 8 July, at a Marxism 2012 fringe meeting, hosted by the CPGB, Moshé Machover pre-launched his recently published book, “Israelis and Palestinians: Conflict and resolution”.
    A podcast (37:08) of the talk Machover gave at that meeting is available here. – link to cpgb.org.uk
    More on the new book can be found on this IOA page. – link to israeli-occupation.org

    SOURCE – link to israeli-occupation.org

  4. DICKERSON3870
    July 21, 2012, 2:39 pm

    RE: “McCarthy’s father had served in the British forces in Mandate Palestine before being demobbed in the spring of 1946.” ~ Eleanor Kilroy

    FOR THE MILITARY JARGON IMPAIRED, FROM THE FREE DICTIONARY:

    de·mob (d-mb) Chiefly British

    tr.v. de·mobbed, de·mob·bing, de·mobs
    To demobilize (armed forces).
    [I.e. demobbed=demobilized – J.L.D]

    n.
    Demobilization of armed forces.

    SOURCE – link to thefreedictionary.com

  5. Avi_G.
    July 21, 2012, 2:56 pm

    Off topic, but I have nowhere else to post this.

    Israel is at the present in the process of liquidating scientists in Syria as it did in the post-U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003 when it killed scientists and high ranking accomplished pilots, and as it did with Palestinian scholars and academics in the late 1940s.

    The intention is to destroy the intelligentsia, the elite, thus rendering the nation crippled, whether technologically, economically or intellectually.

    According to Ha-Aretz and via Al-Jazeera, reports from Syria indicate that Dr. Najib Zuraib was killed in Damascus with several of his family members.

    • ColinWright
      July 22, 2012, 2:54 am

      The current situation would give Israel a unique opportunity to dispose of anyone they would prefer not to have to deal with in the future.

    • giladg
      July 22, 2012, 3:26 am

      Since you have gone off topic, here is a quick reply. As many officers in the Syrian army and intelligence defect to the opposition, many of these same people and also those who have yet to defect, hold highly sensitive information about how Syria helped Saddam Hussein hide elements of his wmd program. Not wanting this information to leak out, Assad and is loyal henchmen are cleaning shop. I hope Israel is also involved in exactly what Avi_G is saying. It would be stupid not too taking into account the threats against it. One needs to have his head so far dug into the mud not to see this. Those who deal in weapons of mass destruction must know that whether the threat on their lives is from within or from outside, their life expectancy is not long.

      • MRW
        July 22, 2012, 4:50 am

        @July 22, 2012 at 3:26 am

        And then the tooth fairy came and said that because I was really really good, she was going to kill all my enemies for me.

      • homingpigeon
        July 22, 2012, 6:49 am

        “Those who deal in weapons of mass destruction must know that whether the threat on their lives is from within or from outside, their life expectancy is not long.”

        Oh dear are we supposed to start assassinating American, and Israeli nuclear scientists?

      • andrew r
        July 23, 2012, 4:42 am

        “hold highly sensitive information about how Syria helped Saddam Hussein hide elements of his wmd program”

        If I ran a blog, any assertion that Saddam hid weapons of mass destruction in Syria without an attempt at proof would be a bannable offense. This mantra is clearly going to last for decades and will most likely persist among a few cranks after the US empire is defunct.

  6. DICKERSON3870
    July 21, 2012, 3:16 pm

    RE: “One guard gave him [McCarthy] a succinct history in broken English: ‘Balfour gave Palestine to the Jews. Britain no good.’”

    MORE ACCURATELY: The anti-Semitic British oligarch Lord Balfour and his racist brethren gave Palestine to the Jews.

    SEE: “How Britain’s Biggest Racists Created Zionism”, by Mark Burdman

    [EXCERPT] . . . Like Lord Salisbury, Balfour was a public exponent of Zionism — in Balfour’s case starting no later than 1906, when doing so was still a relatively rare public thing for a top-level oligarch. In the 1920s, the aging Balfour was still issuing public appeals for the Zionist cause and helping to motivate various international Zionist pressure groups.
    Simultaneously, his dislike for the Jews was quite unabashed. In 1905, as pogroms mounted in Russia, he proclaimed that “the persecutors have a case.” In 1917, during the peak of Balfour Declaration manipulations, he responded, “Of course, these are the reasons which make you and me such ardent Zionists” when American Zionist Louis Brandeis confided that “every Jew is potentially an intellectual and an idealist and the problem is one of the direction of those qualities” — i.e., into Zionism and not “revolutionary movements.”
    Balfour’s Zionist pontifications were legion: on one occasion, he asserted that the “reconstruction of a Jewish kingdom in Palestine” would be an “interesting experiment” and an “even more interesting end of the world.” On another occasion he intoned, “I am a great believer in separate nationalities” and moaned that the Romans’ destruction of the Second Temple in the first century A.D. was “one of the great wrongs” of history that had to be redressed by “giving the Jews back their ancient home.” . . .

    ENTIRE ARTICLE – link to campaigner-unbound.0catch.com

    P.S. ALSO SEE: “An account of the Guardian’s racist endorsement of the Balfour Declaration, by Nu’man Abd al-Wahid, Mondoweiss, April 30, 2012
    LINK – link to mondoweiss.net

    • DICKERSON3870
      July 21, 2012, 3:51 pm

      P.P.S. FROM WIKIPEDIA [Arthur Balfour]:

      [EXCERPT] Arthur James Balfour, 1st Earl of Balfour, KG, OM, PC, DL (/ˈbælfʊər/; 25 July 1848 – 19 March 1930) was a British Conservative politician and statesman. He served as the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from July 1902 to December 1905, and was later Foreign Secretary in 1916–1919.
      Born in Scotland and educated as a philosopher, Balfour first entered parliament in the 1874 general election. At first seen as something of a dilettante, he attained prominence as Chief Secretary for Ireland from 1887–1891. In this post, he authored the Perpetual Crimes Act (1887) (or Coercion Act) aimed at the prevention of boycotting, intimidation and unlawful assembly in Ireland during the Irish Land War. . .
      • Background and early career
      Arthur Balfour was born at Whittingehame, East Lothian, Scotland, the eldest son of James Maitland Balfour (1820–1856) and Lady Blanche Gascoyne-Cecil (1825-1872). His father was a Scottish MP; his mother, a member of the Cecil family descended from Robert Cecil, 1st Earl of Salisbury, was the daughter of the 2nd Marquess of Salisbury and a sister to the 3rd Marquess, the future Prime Minister. . .
      • Personality
      Balfour was unusual for himself as much as for his politics. He developed a manner well known to his friends, which has been described as the Balfourian manner. Harold Begbie, a journalist of the period, wrote a book called “Mirrors of Downing Street”, in which he criticised Balfour for his manner, personality and self-obsession. Begbie wrote as one who disagreed strongly with Balfour’s political views, but even his one-sided criticisms do not entirely conceal another facet of Balfour’s personality, his shyness and diffidence. The sections of the work dealing with Balfour’s personality have been reproduced below:
      This Balfourian manner, as I understand it, has its roots in an attitude of mind—an attitude of convinced superiority which insists in the first place on complete detachment from the enthusiasms of the human race, and in the second place on keeping the vulgar world at arm’s length.
      It is an attitude of mind which a critic or a cynic might be justified in assuming, for it is the attitude of one who desires rather to observe the world than to shoulder any of its burdens; but it is a posture of exceeding danger to anyone who lacks tenderness or sympathy, whatever his purpose or office may be, for it tends to breed the most dangerous of all intellectual vices, that spirit of self-satisfaction which Dostoievsky declares to be the infallible mark of an inferior mind.
      To Mr. Arthur Balfour this studied attitude of aloofness has been fatal, both to his character and to his career. He has said nothing, written nothing, done nothing, which lives in the heart of his countrymen. To look back upon his record is to see a desert, and a desert with no altar and with no monument, without even one tomb at which a friend might weep. One does not say of him, “He nearly succeeded there”, or “What a tragedy that he turned from this to take up that”; one does not feel for him at any point in his career as one feels for Mr. George Wyndham or even for Lord Randolph Churchill; from its outset until now that career stretches before our eyes in a flat and uneventful plain of successful but inglorious and ineffective self-seeking.
      There is one signal characteristic of the Balfourian manner which is worthy of remark. It is an assumption in general company of a most urbane, nay, even a most cordial spirit. I have heard many people declare at a public reception that he is the most gracious of men, and seen many more retire from shaking his hand with a flush of pride on their faces as though Royalty had stooped to inquire after the measles of their youngest child. Such is ever the effect upon vulgar minds of geniality in superiors: they love to be stooped to from the heights.
      But this heartiness of manner is of the moment only, and for everybody; it manifests itself more personally in the circle of his intimates and is irresistible in week-end parties; but it disappears when Mr. Balfour retires into the shell of his private life and there deals with individuals, particularly with dependants. It has no more to do with his spirit than his tail-coat and his white tie. Its remarkable impression comes from its unexpectedness; its effect is the shock of surprise. In public he is ready to shake the whole world by the hand, almost to pat it on the shoulder; but in private he is careful to see that the world does not enter even the remotest of his lodge gates.
      “The truth about Arthur Balfour,” said George Wyndham, “is this: he knows there’s been one ice-age, and he thinks there’s going to be another.”
      Little as the general public may suspect it, the charming, gracious, and cultured Mr. Balfour is the most egotistical of men, and a man who would make almost any sacrifice to remain in office. It costs him nothing to serve under Mr. Lloyd George; it would have cost him almost his life to be out of office during a period so exciting as that of the Great War. He loves office more than anything this world can offer; neither in philosophy nor music, literature nor science, has he ever been able to find rest for his soul. It is profoundly instructive that a man with a real talent for the noblest of those pursuits which make solitude desirable and retirement an opportunity should be so restless and dissatisfied, even in old age, outside the doors of public life.
      —Begbie, Harold (as ‘A Gentleman with a Duster’): “Mirrors of Downing Street: Some political reflections”, Mills and Boon (1920), p. 76–79 . . .

      SOURCE – link to en.wikipedia.org

    • Exiled At Home
      July 21, 2012, 7:10 pm

      You’d like Tom Segev’s “One Palestine Complete.” He posits the claim that the British supported the Zionist movement as a means of depopulating Europe of Jewish communities.

  7. giladg
    July 21, 2012, 5:08 pm

    The reason, and this is very telling, that McCathy’s Arab friend from Haifa was not told by her parents that she was Palestinian, and that she was first exposed to this term when she was 12, was not because her parents were afraid to tell he this, but because there was little, if not none at all, collective identity as a people called Palestinians. This really started in the 60’s. He parents did not feel that they were Paleatinian then. They may now, if still alive, but back then there was no people called the Palestinians.

    • thankgodimatheist
      July 21, 2012, 11:22 pm

      ” because there was little, if not none at all, collective identity as a people called Palestinians. This really started in the 60′s.”

      You are either ignorant or a liar. I knew many Palestinian refugees in Lebanon well before the 60s and they were called by no other name but Palestinians. The reason why you and other Israelis (like the loathsome Jonah who repeated the same meme) believe otherwise is that it was Israel’s propaganda to deny them the name and substitute “Arabs”. Such a trick was meant to induce the notion that they were not native to Palestine but came from somewhere else in some far land called “Arabia”. An Israeli friend told me that in effect, the word Palestinian unlike in English was not used in Hebrew and didn’t appear until the 60s which explains why most Israelis believed that it’s the Palestinians themselves who started to call themselves Palestinians. Nice try, though!

    • thankgodimatheist
      July 21, 2012, 11:32 pm

      “back then there was no people called the Palestinians.”

      Well, if you repeat a lie long enough…

      • thankgodimatheist
        July 21, 2012, 11:45 pm

        Gilad. Maybe you should sit down with this and learn from one of your own, Miko Peled, son of the general:
        “Now, although Palestine was not a state yet, it would have become one had it not been so thoroughly destroyed. Palestine had bustling cities where commerce and trade were taking place, they had a middle class, they had judges and scholars and a rich political life and indeed they had culture and a unique identity that set them apart from the rest of the Arab world. What the Palestinians did not have, the one thing in which they did not invest was a military. And while they constituted the vast majority of the population, when the Jewish militias attacked, they were helpless.”
        link to thegeneralsson.com

      • giladg
        July 23, 2012, 4:10 am

        1) “busting cities?”. Not according to Mark Twain who visited the region in 1867.

        2) “thoroughly destroyed?”. Are you referring to small villages who’s residents fled and/or were driven out in war? Most of those villages were tiny in regards to regional economics. Also remember that during the Ottoman Period there were no borders in the region as we know them today. Syria, Lebanon, Jordan and Palestine, plus nearly the entire region, was part of the Islamic caliphate. France and Brittan created the borders as we know them today. Then the region was one block, the state of states if you like, with the seat of power in Turkey. The borders did not exist but rather tax regions.

        3) Miko Peled is confused. He has locked onto one aspect of the conflict and won’t let go.

      • Inanna
        July 24, 2012, 1:08 am

        Translation of above comment:

        1) Not only can I not spell, but I have to refer to comments made by someone from 80 years before the period referred to since I have no other evidence to refute the claim that there were bustling cities in Palestine.

        2) It doesn’t really matter that Palestinian life in many cities was destroyed by the expulsions since Jews came in and replaced them and now those cities are really bustling. There can be no bustling there without Jews! And I don’t know anything about Ottoman history in the ME but I’ll just make up whatever in the hope that noone contradicts me.

        3) Miko Peled’s parents lived in Palestine and his father fought to create Israel. He was later a general in the 1967 war who later advocated a two-state solution. As a result he was very confused about the events that led to Israel’s creation and enlargement and the dangers it now faces by not making peace. Anyone who wants to give away one inch of Israeli land is, of course, confused. Only those who wish to keep the whole land (and get rid of the rest of the Palestinians) have clarity.

      • ColinWright
        July 24, 2012, 4:29 am

        “1) Not only can I not spell, but I have to refer to comments made by someone from 80 years before the period referred to since I have no other evidence to refute the claim that there were bustling cities in Palestine…”

        It’s also been pointed out that (as so often) in their frequent use of Mark Twain’s description, the Zionists are taking it out of context and grossly misrepresenting it.

        Twain, in his description, was apparently reacting to the no-doubt excessively rose-colored expectations of the lands of the ancient world that other commentators would have been foisting on the American public.

        So yes, we have the following description of Palestine:

        “… A desolate country whose soil is rich enough, but is given over wholly to weeds… a silent mournful expanse…. a desolation…. we never saw a human being on the whole route…. hardly a tree or shrub anywhere. Even the olive tree and the cactus, those fast friends of a worthless soil, had almost deserted the country.” …

        But on the other hand, here is his description of Greece in the same work (published in 1867):

        “…From Athens all through the islands of the Grecian Archipelago, we saw little but forbidden sea-walls and barren hills, sometimes surmounted by three or four graceful columns of some ancient temples, lonely and deserted—a fitting symbol of desolation that has come upon all Greece in these latter ages. We saw no ploughed fields, very few villages, no trees or grass or vegetation of any kind, scarcely, and hardly ever an isolated house. Greece is a bleak, unsmiling desert, without agriculture, manufactures, or commerce, apparently….”

        Gosh, those improvident Greeks. Obviously, a deserted land, open for settlement by a more energetic, deserving people.

        No place Twain visited in the Levant was going to fare well at the hands of his pen. But his denigration of Palestine has come to be useful for Zionist purposes. Fortunately for the Zionists, Twain isn’t around to render a verdict on them.

      • ColinWright
        July 24, 2012, 4:31 am

        “…Anyone who wants to give away one inch of Israeli land is, of course, confused. Only those who wish to keep the whole land (and get rid of the rest of the Palestinians) have clarity.”

        Well, there you touch on a truth in your sarcasm.

        In a confusing, often ambiguous world, Zionism offers clarity.

        So do most other forms of fanaticism. That’s their appeal.

      • thankgodimatheist
        July 22, 2012, 12:08 am

        If there was “no people called the Palestinians” I wonder why the Palestinians would create a Palestinian National Congress in…1919!!

        “First Palestinian National Congress in Jerusalem sends memoranda to Paris Peace Conference rejecting Balfour Declaration and demanding independence.”
        link to palestineremembered.com

        Also:
        “The first Palestinian Arab congress (al-Muʾtamar al-Arabi al-Filastini) met in Jerusalem from 27 January to 9 February 1919. Organized by local Muslim and Christian associations, its thirty participants framed a national charter that demanded independence for Palestine, denounced the Balfour Declaration (and its promise of a Jewish national home), and rejected British rule over Palestine.”
        Read more: link to answers.com

      • giladg
        July 23, 2012, 12:49 am

        1919 thankgodimatheist telLs us, is when the first Palestinian National Congress was held. This does not condradict what I said. The end of WWI saw the breakup of the Ottoman Empire. One year into the next phase for the Arabs of the region did very little in formulating a national identity called Palestinians. The local Arabs were still in shock and the leadership that emerged started to react to their new British masters, when it became apparent that the intention was to divide Trans Jordan and Palestine into seperate Jewish and Arab countries. During the Ottoman period, the local Arabs felt and knew they were part of the Islamic caliphate that was the Ottoman Empire, and they were quite happy with this setup. There was no collective Arab identity called Palestinians then.
        It was only when they started to understand that the Jews were not going anywhere and that they could not be easily destroyed, did the thing, now called Palestinian, start to evolve and this happened in the 1960’s.

      • ColinWright
        July 24, 2012, 4:33 am

        ” The local Arabs were still in shock and the leadership that emerged started to react to their new British masters, when it became apparent that the intention was to divide Trans Jordan and Palestine into seperate Jewish and Arab countries.”

        That’s cute. There never was any such intention on the part of the British. The only ones who ever saw all of Palestine as intended for the Jews were the Zionists — and even they couldn’t openly admit it until a few years ago.

      • Mooser
        July 22, 2012, 12:37 pm

        ““back then there was no people called the Palestinians.”

        Never could see what on earth that has to do with it. There were people, they lived there. What they called themselves is irelevant to their rights as human beings.
        But if you want to provide ex-post-facto excuses for shuffling all those Jews into European ghettoes, you go right ahead!

    • Avi_G.
      July 22, 2012, 2:10 am

      It’s good that there are racists and propagandists like you who are more than eager to display to the English-speaking/reading world the ugliness of Israeli society and the racist trends that exist in Israeli society by parading those ills so casually, with nonchalance, as though the rest of the world is supposed to accept such moral bankruptcy as normal.

      That is precisely why Israel is seen more and more as a freakish mutation of some failed experiment.

      So when you claim that Palestinians are a new invention, it’s as though you are telling the world, Palestinians don’t exist. They never did. But, remember the Holocaust! And don’t you dare deny it happened. Yes, we Israelis are proud to be hypocrites.

      So, good job, gildag. Keep posting.

    • Dexter
      July 22, 2012, 2:20 am

      The old Zionist canard: there is no such thing as “Palestinians”

      It’s just as easy to say there is no such thing as a Jewish “people”

      • Shmuel
        July 22, 2012, 4:05 am

        It’s just as easy to say there is no such thing as a Jewish “people”

        And just as pointless.

      • Taxi
        July 22, 2012, 10:20 am

        Not really pointless: jews are FOLLOWERS of a religion and they come from the 4 corners of the world so not passable as a singular ‘people’. Palestinians are a nationality therefore a ‘people’. Now if you were to say ‘israelis’, cuz they occupy a chunk of land, they are gathered therefore as a ‘people’ and can be correctly referred to as such.

        It is correct English to refer to israelis as a people and to jews as global ‘followers’ of a religion.

        Muslim and christians are not a ‘people’ either. But global followers of a religion.

        p.s. me not interested if posters here agree or not, me just following the dictums of the English language.

      • Shmuel
        July 22, 2012, 1:03 pm

        Taxi,

        With all due respect to your concern for correct English usage (isn’t that RoHa’s beat?), we’ve been down this path before. Zionism is a criminal, colonialist project whether Jews are a people or not, and the Palestinians have had their land stolen out from under them and their communities and lives destroyed regardless of whether Palestinian national identity is 50, 500 or 5000 years old. I could easily argue either side of either question. Both are a distraction that neither strengthens nor weakens the claims of Zionists or Palestinians.

      • Taxi
        July 22, 2012, 6:35 pm

        Shmuel,
        You’re so cool. I hear ya buddy, I really do. But let’s not dismiss, at least privately, the power of words when it comes to war and peace and perception.

    • Blake
      July 22, 2012, 2:52 am

      Could this “no such thing as a Palestinian” denial be banned please? We all know the only people who claim such an evil thing are the ones squatting in Palestine now with zero intellect who shill for their propaganda squad. One has to be Austrian if one lives in Austria, not German. Same for an American, they are not English. Golda Meir coined it and later admitted to Alan Hart it was the most stupidest thing she had ever said. We all know Palestine history is well chronicled and archived and they have been disproved on countless occasions just to return with that blatant pathological lie.

      • ColinWright
        July 22, 2012, 4:33 am

        Make this “______ is well chronicled and archived and they have been disproved on countless occasions just to return with that blatant pathological lie.” and you’ve got a more generally useful expression.

        In fact, it should cover most claims Zionists make. Make it a shortcut.

      • Roya
        July 22, 2012, 5:55 am

        Could this “no such thing as a Palestinian” denial be banned please?

        I second this motion.

      • Mooser
        July 22, 2012, 12:41 pm

        Fellows, please! Get hold of yourself. You are asking Mondoweiss to discriminate against its own people! After all, isn’t “No Palestinian people” a real Jewish point of view?

    • homingpigeon
      July 22, 2012, 6:45 am

      “back then there was no people called the Palestinians.”

      This is another hasbara diversion that is false on the one hand but on the other is as irrelevant as getting into an argument about who grew eggplants first or who domesticated the donkey first or which ancient Roman was the first to write the word Palestine and when. There were people there with property and an identity connected with the land. It doesn’t matter if they called themselves Palestinians, or Arabs, or Syrians, or Haifawis, or Martians.

    • Roya
      July 22, 2012, 8:21 am

      Gilad, the only people claiming that Palestinians are an invented people these days are those getting spoon-fed money from Sheldon Adelson. Did hasbara central forget to send you the memo or are you Newt Gingrich incognito? If (a), you might want to go through your emails. If (b), who are you planning to dump your new wife for this time?

    • Kris
      July 22, 2012, 10:15 pm

      Not so, Giladg. My parents were Presbyterian missionaries in Beirut and Tripoli in the late 1940s, trying to help the Palestinian refugees who had been driven out of their homes and villages by the vicious Jewish terrorists. These refugees identified themselves as Palestinians, and that is what everyone called them.

      • giladg
        July 23, 2012, 8:45 am

        It is difficult to understand what a Caliphate means to Muslims, never mind what it means to Christians and Jews. During the Ottoman rule there were no borders in the region of the kind you see on maps today. The Ottoman Empire controlled the entire region.
        Of course the refugees in Beirut and Tripoli said they came from the area called Palestine but they had no, or very little, collective identity as Palestinians. Arab life then, which also exists in many parts today, is centered around local loyalties. So many refugees in Lebanon would speak more about the village they came from or the area of their village. This is how it was.
        Kris, you also need to acknowledge than many left their homes on the advice of the Palestinian and Arab leadership that suggested they not remain in the area during war so as not to make the job of the advancing Arab and Muslim armies harder.

      • Roya
        July 23, 2012, 8:44 pm

        Kris, you also need to acknowledge than many left their homes on the advice of the Palestinian and Arab leadership that suggested they not remain in the area during war so as not to make the job of the advancing Arab and Muslim armies harder.

        Gilad, you also need to acknowledge that this is a myth (see this) and that those who left did so on their own will with full intentions of returning.

      • Kris
        July 23, 2012, 9:38 pm

        My parents remember that these people called themselves “Palestinians.” But so what? Even if they had called themselves “mashed potatoes,” they would still have the right to return to the homes they were forced to leave because of violence.

        Giladg, you need to acknowledge that the Age of Colonialism ended long before the Zionists began stealing Palestinian land, and that international law prohibits acquiring land through conquest. Since the issuance of UN Resolution 194 , around 120 resolutions have been issued to stress the Palestinians’ right of return to their homeland. This right includes the return to Palestine which was occupied in 1948 and not only to the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

      • ColinWright
        July 24, 2012, 4:47 am

        I would refute this — but it’s a red herring.

        How does someone’s awareness of a national identity or lack thereof justify expelling them from their homes?

      • jon s
        July 25, 2012, 5:47 am

        Kris,
        When , in your view, did Zionists begin “stealing” Palestinian land?
        It’s funny when anti-Israel posters bring up Resolution 194, which was rejected by th Arab side at the time.
        Any implementation of the right of return can take place in the context of a Palestinian State established in the West Bank and Gaza as part of a 2 state solution. They can’t return to their actual former homes inside Israel (except, perhaps, a small, token number, under special conditions).

    • The Hasbara Buster
      July 23, 2012, 12:48 am

      there was little, if not none at all, collective identity as a people called Palestinians. This really started in the 60′s

      A fairly large contingent of Palestinian Arabs immigrated into Chile in the first two decades of the 20th century, and on 20 August 1920 they founded a soccer club.

      Do you know how it was called?

      Club Deportivo Palestino.

    • jon s
      July 23, 2012, 5:57 am

      giladg,
      The emergence of a distinct Palestinian national identity began way before the 1960s, more like around the early 20th century. See, for example, the founding of the newspaper “Falastin” in Jaffa in 1911.
      I recommend Yehoshua Porath: The Emergence of the Palestinian-Arab National Movement 1918-1929, Am Oved, TelAviv,1976 (first of two volumes)

      • giladg
        July 23, 2012, 9:19 am

        The “Jerusalem Post” (newspaper) used to be called “The Palestine Post”. Did this make the Jews who have lived in the region for the past 3,000 years feel Palestinian? Of course not. And so it was for the Arabs as well.

      • ColinWright
        July 24, 2012, 4:48 am

        It does suggest that the Jews of the time at least knew where they lived.

  8. giladg
    July 21, 2012, 5:15 pm

    McCarthy is unable to say the words “Jewish State” when talking about the 1947 Patition Plan, so he says instead, one state for the Arabs and one state for the Israeli’s. The actual plan speaks about a Jewish state. It seems that everyone has rights in this conflict, except for the Jews. By ignoring what a Jewish state should mean, he can only then go onto making misleading points about the Arab population.

    • ColinWright
      July 22, 2012, 4:31 am

      ” It seems that everyone has rights in this conflict, except for the Jews. “

      Lol. You’re a hoot. Are you some kind of Hezbollah ‘black propaganda’ operative?

      • giladg
        July 23, 2012, 2:12 am

        So tell us Collin, what about the holiest site for the Jews, the Temple Mount? For those who may not be fully in the know, this is the site that Muslims decided to build two mosques on top of. What rights do Jews have here Colin, not Israeli’s, but Jews?
        And whilst you are about it Colin, why don’t you tell us if you think that the modern invented people called the Palestinians, should gain sovereignty over this sight? A people with a national identity of about 50 years compared to the Jewish people with thousands of years.
        Still lol Colin?

      • giladg
        July 23, 2012, 8:54 am

        site not sight

      • ColinWright
        July 24, 2012, 4:49 am

        I’m sorry. Did you say something worth responding to?

        Jews have no national identity. Israel is an artificial construct, maintained only by perpetual antagonism to everyone around them. That’s actually one of the problems the place has. Peace would destroy it.

      • ColinWright
        July 24, 2012, 5:09 am

        I’ll also point out that you’re attempting to employ the same red herring again here.

        How does someone’s national consciousness or lack thereof justify driving them from their home?

  9. giladg
    July 21, 2012, 5:22 pm

    McCathy fails to explain that in 1948 not only did the local Arab population outnumber the Jewish population two to one, but when full on war broke out, the Arab and Muslim countries in the reagion, together with the local Arabs, waged war on the fledgling Jewish State. So they far outnumbered the Jewish forces in numbers far greater than 2-1. Many Holocaust survives, with little training where inducted to fight. I know someone personally who was a sargent in the British army. A week after landing in the country he was promoted to an officer and given command of a company of men, with very little training. And there are many such cases. To call the Jewish army well trained and armed is to expose your ignorance.

    • thankgodimatheist
      July 21, 2012, 11:54 pm

      “waged war on the fledgling Jewish State”
      Oh, dear, dear! Another myth destroyed by ALL Israeli New Historians. You may also want to listen to Shlomo Ben-Ami, (an ex foreign minister under Barak and a historian) as he thinks otherwise; he calls Israel pre and in 1948 as “an emerging super power”:
      in 1948, what was born was a state, but also original superpower in many ways. We have prevailed over the invading Arab armies and the local population, which was practically evicted from Palestine, from the state of Israel, from what became the state of Israel, and this is how the refugee problem was born. Interestingly, the Arabs in 1948 lost a war that was, as far as they were concerned, lost already in 1936-1939, because they have fought against the British mandate and the Israeli or the Jewish Yishuv, the Jewish pre-state, and they were defeated then, so they came to the hour of trial in 1948 already as a defeated nation. That is, the War of 1948 was won already in 1936, and they had no chance to win the war in 1948. They were already a defeated nation when they faced the Israeli superpower that was emerging in that year.”
      link to normanfinkelstein.com

    • Brewer
      July 22, 2012, 12:40 am

      “In the Event of invading [Arab] forces were limited to approximately 30,000 men. The strongest single contingent was the Jordanian* one, already described. Next came Egyptians with 5,500 men, then the Iraqis with 4,500 who ….. were joined by perhaps 3,000 local irregulars. The total was thus around eight rather under strength brigades, some of them definitely of second-and even third-rate quality. To these must be added approximately 2,000 Lebanese (one brigade) and 6,000 Syrians (three brigades). Thus, even though the Arab countries [population] outnumbered
      the Yishuv by better then forty-to-one, in terms of military manpower available for combat in Palestine the two sides were fairly evenly matched. As time went on and both sides sent reinforcements the balance changed in the Jews’ favor; by October they had almost 90,000 men and women under arms, the Arabs only 68,000.”
      (The Sword And The Olive By Martin Van Creveld, p. 77-78)

      “Senior Hagana commanders met with committee [UN Special Committee On Palestine-UNSCOP] members in Jerusalem’s Talpiot quarter in similarly surreptitious circumstances to express confidence that Jewish forces, which they numbered at 90,000, including 35,000 reservists, could overcome any Arab assault should it come to war.”
      Abraham Rabinovich, Jerusalem Post, 11-28-1997

      *Abdullah of Jordan agreed with Ben-Gurion to take and hold only the West Bank.

      • ColinWright
        July 22, 2012, 4:46 am

        Yeah. I would add that Egypt’s army was the only force that seriously threatened Israel — and that only to the extent that no one has ever been able to divine what it intended to do. It probably had no clear idea itself.

        Lebanon and Syria were solely interested in making token gestures to pacify Arabs outraged by the tales the Palestinian refugees were bringing with them, while Transjordan, which had the only militarily competent force in the field, had decidedly limited objectives that both they and the Israelis knew did not include overrunning the territory assigned to the Jewish state. Moreover, the British promptly blockaded their ammunition supply, so they were incapable of mounting any sustained offensive operations anyway — that too, the Israelis would have known. I’ve forgotten the exact details of what the Iraqis did, but they were a pretty flaccid player as well.

        The war, for Israel, was primarily a matter of (1) expanding the expulsion of the Arab population into areas not assigned to the Jewish state, (2) attempting to open the road to Jerusalem via attacks on the Arab Legion, and (3) turning back the Egyptians. After the first cease fire, the Israeli state was in no danger.

        …but this stuff has been accepted fact for at least a decade now. Why do we have to keep repeating it?

      • thankgodimatheist
        July 22, 2012, 10:13 am

        “but this stuff has been accepted fact for at least a decade now. Why do we have to keep repeating it?”
        Because some unscrupulous boneheads like Giladg keep bringing it up.

    • Mooser
      July 22, 2012, 12:46 pm

      “I know someone personally who was a sargent in the British army.”

      And every year on this date he sends you a thank-you card for the King David bombing.

      • Bumblebye
        July 22, 2012, 5:44 pm

        Mooser
        I thought he was referring to a former British army sergeant who’d emigrated to Israel post-wwII! In which case he may have considered such a card.

      • Mooser
        July 22, 2012, 5:56 pm

        Bumblebye, if you want to lower yourself to having a serious conversation with Giladg, and actuially trying to figure out what he’s talking about, be my guest, I can’t stop you. Just don’t get the idea that I will ever join in it. I have a large dog I must clean up after. That’s enough poop to handle. And if I smeared Giladg with it, he’d smell better.

    • pjdude
      July 22, 2012, 3:59 pm

      no its a fact. they had people in there that had decades of training. look at the desertations from the polish 2nd corps. they had trained troops to say others wise is a lie.

  10. peacenow
    July 21, 2012, 6:21 pm

    The current Israeli Government led by Prime Minister Netanyahu leads a government whose polices in the Occupied Palestinian Territories are less than democratic. To reject the United Nations from visiting the West Bank to probe illegal settlements is illogical since Mr Netanyahu claims to support a Palestinian State (but not based on the US President’s 1967 lines).

    Nonetheless, I believe that there is a desire by most people in the world to see a full and comprehensive peace in the Middle East but this vision has been hampered by Prime Minister Mr Netanyahu, who relentlessly is building settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territories.

    To put the conflict into context with respect to international law and the feelings of the world, may I convey the following.

    Last November, there were a further 6 UN Resolutions on Palestine and the Middle East. One resolution on Jerusalem was supported by 166 nations plus the UK. Israel disagreed. In fact, there are over 150 UN Resolutions (including 181 and 194) – all remain unimplemented in full.

    Furthermore the ruling of the International Court of Justice in the Hague pertaining to the ‘security barrier’, which is 3 times the length of the Berlin Wall, has been sadly ignored by Mr Netanyahu. Perhaps if the ‘security barrier’ had to be built at all, it would have been better to have constructed it on the 1967 borders – instead of inside the internationally recognised Palestinian Territories (including East Jerusalem).

    Nonetheless once this ‘separation barrier’ and the settlement enterprise is completed, Palestinian communities will be separated into pockets of territory that lack contiguity, surrounded by settlements only accessible by settler only roads. ‘Natural growth’ settlements too were not acceptable as part of Phase I of the internationally agreed Road Map (2003). Day by day, the ‘security barrier’ and settlements erode the possibility of a two-state solution and the viability to bring about a fully comprehensive peace for Israelis and Palestinians.

    There are 130 nations in the world that recognise Palestine including India, China, Russia, Malaysia, Indonesia and Brazil. More recently Iceland and Thailand have added to that recognition. Lastly UNESCO’s recognition last year of Palestine (supported by France, Spain, Ireland and Norway amongst many European nations) was still a positive step forward and a counter balance to those who deny Israel or Palestine’s right to exist. Dignity and peace is paramount for both peoples and recognition of both states ensures that those in the rejection camps are marginalized even further.

    Resolution 478 (1980) of 20 August 1980 – BINDING

    The Security Council, recalling its resolution 476 (1980); reaffirming again that the acquisition of territory by force is inadmissible; deeply concerned over the enactment of a “basic law” in the Israeli Knesset proclaiming a change in the character and status of the Holy City of Jerusalem, with its implications for peace and security; noting that Israel has not complied with resolution 476 (1980); reaffirming its determination to examine practical ways and means, in accordance with the relevant provisions of the Charter of the United Nations, to secure the full implementation of its resolution 476 (1980), in the event of non-compliance by Israel ; Censures in the strongest terms the enactment by Israel of the “basic law” on Jerusalem and the refusal to comply with relevant Security Council resolutions;

    link to unispal.un.org

    • Exiled At Home
      July 21, 2012, 9:39 pm

      The Two-State “Solution” based on the pre-1967 borders is no solution at all, for it nullifies the legitimate right of return for millions of Palestinian refugees whose homes lie on the Israeli side of the Green Line, it legitimizes Israel’s acquisition of land by military force in the years just prior to its unilateral declaration of independence on foreign lands as well as during the 1948 war, and forever solidifies as acceptable the farce that the state of Israel can be both Jewish and democratic. The idea of an exclusive Jewish state in Palestine is abhorrent given the displacement of millions of indigenous non-Jews necessary for such a state to be realized. The only path to a just resolution is a single state of Palestine, democratic and heterogeneous with equality for all, Muslims, Jews, Christians and all. Zionism must never be cemented as a legitimate or moral cause.

  11. Mooser
    July 22, 2012, 12:48 pm

    I wonder if Giladg understands that a website is rated on the number of hits it gets, not whether those hits consist of bouquets or brickbats? Mondo should really send him a thank-you card.

  12. yourstruly
    July 22, 2012, 3:17 pm

    quite comfortable with the phrase ‘Oppression of Palestinians’, but way beyond uncomfortable (angry, that is) with the words ‘Israeli Democracy’.

  13. yrn
    July 22, 2012, 5:50 pm

    This was published today, by a Palestinian activist and journalist.
    I guess you will find it interesting.

    Despite all odds, the Palestinian cause is gaining
    by Khalid Amayreh
    Saturday, July 21st, 2012
    By Khalid Amayreh in occupied Palestine
    For many decades, secular and quasi-atheistic regimes in the Arab world used the Palestinian cause to consolidate their tyrannical stranglehold on their countries and people. The net result was a gigantic fiasco for the entire Umma in every conceivable field. The indescribably corrupt regimes tormented and terrorized their own citizens, so much so, that the crème de le crème of their societies were forced to emigrate to the West or other countries, fleeing police state terror and repression.
    A few years ago, a citizen of a key Arab capital in the Mashriq (the Asian part of the Arab world) intimated to this writer that his countrymen would even welcome the Israeli army as liberators in light of the reign of tyranny and terror they were facing at the hands of their regime.
    “The terror, repression and corruption permeating through the country defies linguistic description,” he told me.
    I didn’t publish his remarks then, fearing the Israeli hasbara machine would hasten to exploit the unusual temerity of the remarks for propaganda purposes.
    Well, we can’t conceal the truth forever. In the final analysis, these manifestly criminal regimes have decidedly more harm than Israel. Yes, Israel is a racist and criminal enemy, no doubt about this. However, the ignorant and evil regimes which in the name of Arabism and Palestine were effectively repressing, murdering and humiliating their own people were actually a greater and harsher enemy to the people in comparison to Israel.
    An enemy is an enemy and one knows what to expect from one’s enemy. However “national” regimes and governments are supposed to serve and protect the people, create prosperity and welfare as well as maintain citizens’ dignity and human rights and civil liberties.
    But far from doing their minimal duties in this regard, the regimes smashed human rights, decapitated civil liberties, and terrorized ordinary citizens in ways indescribable. Even the most nefarious enemy imagined wouldn’t have caused that much dilapidation in society.
    Therefore, the disintegration of the erstwhile Arab regimes is not and must not be viewed as a negative development for the Palestinian cause. The opposite is true. Yes, maybe the Palestinian cause is losing some media concentration these days as TV viewers are preoccupied with more dramatic events elsewhere. But this is a temporary phenomenon that will disappear soon.
    Hence, the Palestinian cause was betrayed twice, first, knowingly by the tyrannical regimes, and second unknowingly by the thoroughly tormented and repressed masses for which Palestine became the 100th item on their agenda, thanks to unrelenting repression and persecution meted out to them by the regimes.
    Hence we shouldn’t be dithering about the looming demise of some Arab regimes which excelled in making loud but mendacious voices about Palestine, Zionism and imperialism while in truth they were harboring dubious if not criminal agendas against the entire Umma.

    • ColinWright
      July 23, 2012, 3:30 am

      “This was published today, by a Palestinian activist and journalist.
      I guess you will find it interesting…”

      Now that’s funny.

      Khalid Amayreh appears to be — ahem — very hostile towards Israel. I quote from the Wikipedia section on his views:

      “…In 2008, Amayreh stated that “It is well known that Israel, through the numerous Zionist lobbies and pressure groups, more or less controls America’s politics, media and financial institutions…. But America doesn’t lack the brain power to know the facts and find out the truth about the umbilical connection between the Israeli factor and the ravaging financial crisis now facing the US… I am afraid there will be more bad news in this regard if America doesn’t reclaim its liberty from the Zionist Rober [sic] Barons who have come to tightly control the American financial establishment.” This article was picked up by many other blogs, Web sites, and listserves.[6][7] In 2010, Amayreh described Helen Thomas and Fidel Castro as the “elderly targets” of “Zionist supremacists from Tel Aviv to Los Angeles,” supporting calls for Jews to return to Poland and their “native homelands.” [8] In March 2011, he wrote that Israelis are “pathological liars from Eastern Europe” and that Jerusalem has been “violated and raped by Zionist Jews for many years.” He described Zionism as a “genocidal, racist, rapacious, covetous, and of course utterly mendacious… a malignant cancer” and claimed that Israel wishes to erect a “Hebrew empire” encompassing “Palestine, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Kuwait, northern Saudi Arabia, northern Egypt and the islands of Crete and Cyprus.”…”

      And yet, in the ‘article’ yrn has posted, Amayreh expresses only two negative sentiments towards Israel. In fact, he seems to have experienced something of a change of heart:

      “…the ignorant and evil regimes which in the name of Arabism and Palestine were effectively repressing, murdering and humiliating their own people were actually a greater and harsher enemy to the people in comparison to Israel…”

      Where exactly was this article published?

      • ColinWright
        July 23, 2012, 3:41 am

        The original article appears to be here.

        link to palestine-info.co.uk

        Assuming the article is genuine at all, yrn seems to have found the actual conclusion distasteful:

        “…In the final analysis, only free people can liberate Palestine from the claws of Zionism. Dictators, who are so repressive of their own people, will not help the Palestinians in any strategic manner. The opposite is true.

        Charity, after all, begins at home and if a certain regime behaves criminally towards its own citizens, it shouldn’t be expected to behave charitably towards others.

        I have no doubt that the Palestinian cause is on the right historical track. The emancipation of Arabs and Muslims from the forces of dictatorship, tyranny and fascism is the first and indispensable step toward the creation of a genuine Arab Islamist force that would champion the ultimate task of liberating Palestine and defeating Zionism.

        This is not going to be an easy task. But at the very least, for the first time in recent history, the Umma is putting its feet on the right track. “

      • yrn
        July 23, 2012, 2:53 pm

        Where exactly was this article published?

        link to qassam.ps
        Khalid’s article appears on this website كتائب الشهيد عز الدين القسام Al Qassam Brigades The Military wing of Hamas

        Colin writes: Now that’s funny…….
        What’s so funny Colin, your small mind can not accept a real Palestinian view…….. that’s the reality, not the “pseudo intellectual” views, I predicted this is going to be your reaction, for you All Palestinians hate Israel more then anything else……as you do.
        If you call yourself intellectual, go and learn what the Palestinians have to say, not only what your progressive mind thinks thousands of miles away……………..
        sorry to say, bit You are the typical western ignorant.

      • ColinWright
        July 24, 2012, 4:54 am

        You’re topping Gildag.

        I note that your source as well as mine has the original ending. So it was your choice to omit that.

  14. Fredblogs
    July 22, 2012, 6:30 pm

    “They were underdogs too”. Classic Stockholm Syndrome. Sympathy for and identification with his captors. This guys brains have seen more washing than a truckload of dry cleaning.

    • ColinWright
      July 23, 2012, 3:47 am

      And you would know, wouldn’t you? Or do you actually spout this stuff voluntarily?

  15. Kathleen
    July 23, 2012, 12:40 pm

    thanks..will be getting the book. But “For readers of this site, as opposed to the average festival audience member, the learning curve will not be steep, and they may feel Israel gets off relatively lightly; the power of the book lies, however, in the telling of ‘a story that has needed to be told for a long time’, through poignant encounters with individual Palestinians affected by Israel’s ongoing project of ethnic cleansing and Judaisation inside the Green Line.”

    Many have been writing, speaking about, been arrested and imprisoned because of this issue for decades. Edward Said
    link to en.wikipedia.org
    link to youtube.com

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