Diaspora Jews must speak out against the Israeli Law of Return

Unfair

You are born in a country, say the United States. As such, you become a citizen of that country. You are issued a passport from your country of citizenship which allows you to travel to other countries, as a tourist, a foreigner. Of course, you can apply for residency or citizenship in a foreign country based on their immigration laws and, if accepted, you can be issued a second citizenship. Immigration laws are complicated, non-uniform, and, for democratic countries, go out of their way to be non-discriminatory, that is, unless you are Jewish.

If you are Jewish, a very discriminatory law in a foreign country applies to you, without taking your consent and without any formal ties between you and that country. It matters not that you are a citizen of America, Argentina, or Australia; as long as you are Jewish, you have a foreign country that claims to speak for you from the moment of your birth. You could be a sixth generation Alaskan Jew or a tenth generation Brooklyn Jew; it matters not. You, and your entire family for as far back as you can track could know no other place than your hometown in America, and you would still be “represented” by a foreign country, one whose language you don’t even speak. That foreign country is Israel.

Law in the service of discrimination

It goes without saying that for Palestinians, upon whose ruins Israel was established, this Orwellian-perfected, Israeli immigration law, called the Law of Return, is a disgrace and a stain on the quilt of humanity. After all, the Israeli Law of Return only applies to Jews. Those Palestinians who became refugees because of Israel’s creation, or those Palestinians who happened to be abroad when Israel militarily occupied their homes, like my father, or even for the Palestinians living as “residents” in the West Bank and Gaza Strip today, are totally excluded from this right to return home and gain automatic citizenship. Ironically, the word “return” directly applies to Palestinians given they were born here, lived here, tilled the land here, and were the subjects that Israel attempted to ethnically cleanse in order to build a new state—one which gives Jews exclusivity on both sides of the 1949 Armistice Line, referred to as the “Green Line.”

For the most part, world Jewry is silent about this reality of having an Israeli citizenship held in perpetuity for Jews only that awaits them their entire life. All they need to do to claim it is to visit Israel and request it. Partly because of this warped state of affairs, every Jew in the world is coaxed into thinking that they need to bear-hug Israel, regardless of whether Israel is engaged in war crimes or blatant racism.

Amira Hass, the Israeli-Jewish journalist who has been covering this conflict for decades while living amongst Palestinians under occupation, frequently gives public talks. When her audience is Jewish, she religiously starts by stating: “Any Jew in any part of the world is entitled to rights in Eretz-Yisrael/Palestine [from the Mediterranean Sea to the Jordan River] that are being denied, in whole or in part, to every Palestinian.”

Then, Amira goes on to give some concrete examples: only Jews have the right to visit the country (something not self-evident for most Palestinians who were born outside the country, or were born there but live in the Diaspora), only Jews have the right to reside and work anywhere in the country, only Jews have the right for immediate naturalization, only Jews have the right to reside or buy property in Jerusalem (Palestinian residents of the West Bank and Gaza are deprived of this right), the list could go on.

The Palestinian-Israeli “conflict,” as it is so frequently referred to, has many aspects. To understand this seemingly intractable conflict, one cannot detach themselves from a historical understanding of the Middle East, in general, and of the tragedy that befell the Jews (and all of mankind) in Europe ever since WWI. However, no tragedy, no matter how severe, should be used as a pretext to discriminate—not against Muslims and Christians of the land, and not against Jews who are also inherently linked to the same land. Likewise, no democracy, in today’s world, should have the “right” to speak for persons who are not its citizens, live thousands of miles away, and have not given their direct consent to be spoken for or “represented.”

President Obama weighs in

“Put yourself in their [Palestinian] shoes.” This is what President Barack Obama told a group of Israeli students gathered in a conference hall in Jerusalem during his recent visit to Israel and the occupied West Bank. In an Israeli context, this is a bold statement, one they are not used to hearing. The president made several bold statements in that speech, making repeated reference to the need for Palestinians to be free from Israeli military occupation. The students applauded, several times, to these politically loaded overtures from the president.

The right-wing Israeli leadership led by Benjamin Netanyahu, who was not invited to the Jerusalem event, was surely fuming at how President Obama spoke directly to the Israeli public and evoked applause on issues related to the unjust Israeli suppression of Palestinian rights. Encouraging those applauses may have sounded nice to the untrained ear, but one fact remains clear: similar applause would be hard to come by from Jewish communities as represented by leading organizations such as AIPAC and the ADL.

If President Obama was sincere about wanting to see the conflict from a Palestinian perspective, then, instead of praising Israel for being a successful country of immigrants, he would have used his charm and oratory skills to portray to the Israeli public how wrong it is for a Jew born anywhere in the world to have more rights in Palestine/Israel than the Palestinians themselves.

The reality that the state of Israel lacks defined borders, which happens to be one of the key requirements for statehood as defined by international law, clearly articulates the preferential treatment that Israel has been provided by the international community ever since its establishment. When such preferential attitudes become embedded in a nation’s DNA, exclusivity is bound to reign supreme in every sphere of the state. Like in apartheid South Africa, such exclusivity is a recipe that jeopardizes any nation-state project, including Israel’s. Jewish communities around the globe can stop the damage Israel is self-inflicting upon itself.

However, if Diaspora Jews can accept having an Israeli citizenship being held ‘forever’ for them while Palestinians are denied not only citizenship, but basic human rights, then they too are directly partaking in the continued apartheid against Palestinians.

About Sam Bahour

Sam Bahour is a Palestinian-American business development consultant from Youngstown, Ohio, living in the Palestinian city of Al-Bireh in the West Bank. He frequently provides independent commentary on Palestine and serves as a policy advisor of Al-Shabaka, the Palestinian Policy Network. He is co-author of HOMELAND: Oral Histories of Palestine and Palestinians (1994) and blogs at www.epalestine.com.
Posted in Activism, American Jewish Community, Israel/Palestine | Tagged

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

  1. Dan Crowther says:

    “diaspora” implies a single point of origin. in fact “diaspora” implies a moral legitimacy to the “repatriation” of palestine by jews. certainly any “diaspora” deserves to return to their home, yes? How can one object to the law of return but use language like “diaspora”?

    Weird.

    • Emma says:

      Totally agree re offensive use of “diaspora.”

    • NormanF says:

      Diaspora implies the existence of the Jewish homeland.

      In this regard, the Jews are certainly not unique. Thousands of people from different nations have left their homelands to begin lives elsewhere.

      There’s even an Israeli Diaspora. None of which negates the reason for Israel’s existence.

      • seafoid says:

        “There’s even an Israeli Diaspora”

        Their homeland is obviously Galut, Norman. Erez Israel has been polluted by hatred. You know what the Torah says about idol worship, don’t you ?

      • RoHa says:

        “Diaspora implies the existence of the Jewish homeland.”

        But there isn’t a single Jewish homeland. Jews have their homes in many different lands. Australia is the homeland of Australian Jews, Sweden is the homeland of Swedish Jews, Mexico is the homeland of Mexican Jews, and so forth.

        “None of which negates the reason for Israel’s existence.”

        And that reason is …?

      • Ecru says:

        Diaspora implies something more than the existence of a Jewish homeland.

        It also implies that Jews are not from anywhere except that homeland and hence reinforces the old antisemitic opinion that Jews “do not belong.” Through this it also raises doubts as to how loyal Jews can be to any land apart from that “homeland.” Whether those doubts are justified or not (mostly I’d say no with the exception of Zionists) isn’t important, the term still keeps Jews apart.

        Tricky term diaspora.

        • Hostage says:

          It also implies that Jews are not from anywhere except that homeland and hence reinforces the old antisemitic opinion that Jews “do not belong.”

          I don’t think so. The fact that Judaism made huge inroads among pagans proselytes is attested by historians like Philo, Josephus, Juvenal, Cassius Dio, Cicero, Horace, and the Talmudic sages.

          Babylonia competed with Palestine for centuries as the center of the religion. It appears that the majority of Jews lived outside Palestine during the era of the Second Commonwealth, and that back then, there were a number of competing temples beside the one in Jerusalem that served the needs of diaspora Jews.

          Modern genetic studies indicate a great deal of admixture among the members of so-called “diaspora” communities. The term doesn’t indicate any particular homeland for the diaspora communities, unless “former colony” also indicates Americans still have British, French, Portuguese, or Spanish homelands.

        • Ecru says:

          @ Hostage

          I wouldn’t disagree with any of the history but that wasn’t what I was actually on about. The “diaspora” is I think a more modern idea and therefore not really applicable to late antiquity where multiple peoples and multiple faiths lived side by side and where Rome was still sufficiently powerful that fanciful ideas such as the forced expulsion would not gain much traction in public discourse. Also where Jewish communities not only existed throughout the Mediterranean basin but had done so from the Hellenistic period.

          Instead it seems to have grown as a concept linking various local populations during the Medieval period, probably as an attempt to tie together various communities immersed within larger monotheistic dominated polities, e.g. the Byzantine Empire. The problem there being that, during a period where warfare was endemic, ties to other communities could and mainly did bring suspicion down upon the people who had such ties, and also meant that their loyalty had to be brought into question. The idea of a “diaspora” then became another mechanism separating Jews from their neighbours (as if there weren’t enough already) and reinforcing ideas that Jews did not “belong” in the same way others did.

        • Good points, Hostage. The very considerable mixing of “Jewish” genes with “non-Jewish”, over the centuries, is a factor many agressive Zionists like to keep uncer the rug.

    • David Samel says:

      That’s an interesting point, Dan, but I think you’re being unfair to Sam for two reasons. First, while the origin of the word diaspora means people dispersed from a homeland, the phrase Jewish diaspora is now more commonly used just to describe Jews living outside of Israel throughout the world. Second, if the Jews of today really are descendants of people driven out of the Holy Land 2-3000 years ago, they would constitute a diaspora in the original sense of the word, but not a people who would have a legitimate right of return to supplant those who have been living there the past millennium or so. I know there is a lot of controversy over whether that lineage is true, but even if it is assumed, such link does not provide moral grounds for a right of “return” in 2013, or 1948 or 1895 for that matter.

      • Dan Crowther says:

        “First, while the origin of the word diaspora means people dispersed from a homeland, the phrase Jewish diaspora is NOW(emphasis mine) more commonly used just to describe Jews living outside of Israel throughout the world.”
        —————————————————-
        I expect much better from Samel.

        “Second, if the Jews of today really are descendants of people driven out of the Holy Land 2-3000 years ago, they would constitute a diaspora in the original sense of the word, but not a people who would have a legitimate right of return to supplant those who have been living there the past millennium or so.”
        ————————————————-

        Says Who? If we accept the story of the exile, the jews were forcibly moved from their homeland, their religious institutions ands sites destroyed etc etc, and if we accept the exile story and the zionist continuation of it, those jews who were exiled remained a solidified people all the way through the Holocaust, and then they went to Israel.
        A small sliver of land in Palestine seems long overdue for these folks, I’d say, provided we accept all the F’ing nonsense about diaspora’s and so on.

        My reasons for objecting to at will jewish immigration to palestine stems from my knowing most of these cats have ZERO connection to the land, it’s not because the staute of limitations ran out.

        • David Samel says:

          Wow, Dan, we are very far apart on that point. I’m quite surprised that you would concede a right of return of Jews who really could prove their ancestry back to the B.C. era. That’s an awful lot of eggs to place in the Shlomo Sand basket. Through the miracle of comment search, I found what I wrote on the subject three years ago and will just repeat it:

          “If Sand is all wrong, and the Israeli narrative of a worldwide group of Jewish people who share a common ancestry originating in the Holy Land is 100% true, that still provides no justification for the Zionist enterprise of creating a Jewsh State in the 20th century. In order to create their state on their “ancient homeland,” Jews had to dispossess and subjugate non-Jewish people who have lived there for centuries. It was an immoral plan from the start, and it has been carried out immorally as well.

          Placing so much emphasis on Sand’s thesis implies that he has presented a significant reason for opposing Jewish domination over non-Jews in Israel/Palestine. That in turn implicitly concedes that if Sand is wrong, Israel has won a moral victory. Sand’s historical account, even if brilliant, will never be universally accepted, and those who disagree with it can cite their counter-analysis as proof that the Jewish State is a reasonable present-day entity given millenia of Jewish history. The much larger point is that the Zionist scheme was inherently flawed because of the presence of an indigenous population. The deep feelings harbored in the hearts of the Jewish people to return to “their” land should not have trumped the Palestinians’ right to full and equal lives, and that is true regardless of whether those Jewish feelings were grounded in fiction or fact.”

          On the less important semantic point of use of the word “diaspora,” I have used the word regularly without thinking about its implications and did not even notice the issue in Sam Bahour’s use until you pointed it out. As I said, it is an interesting point, but I certainly don’t think Sam meant to imply any genuine lineage nor do I. And at the risk of being called anti-semantic, I do think that even if your comment prompted me to re-think my own use of the word diaspora, it is a minor point in comparison to Sam’s overall essay.

        • Abdul-Rahman says:

          Dr. Shlomo Sand was actually completely validated by the definitive genetic study on the issue.

          Dr. Eran Elhaik “The Missing Link of Jewish European Ancestry: Contrasting the Rhineland and the Khazarian Hypotheses”
          link to gbe.oxfordjournals.org

          link to google.com

          Gene study settles debate over origin of European Jews

          (AFP) – Jan 16, 2013

          Johns Hopkins University geneticist Dr. Eran Elhaik (link to eelhaik.aravindachakravartilab.org) has authored the master study on the issue which has been noted to have either synthesized and/or refuted anything that came before him.

          See this link that mirrors a December 28, 2012 Haaretz article as well link to salem-news.com

          “The Jewish People’s Ultimate Treasure Hunt” by Ofer Aderet
          December 28, 2012

          Dr. Eran Elhaik states to Haaretz: “The various groups of Jews in the world today do not share a common genetic origin. We are talking here about groups that are very heterogeneous and which are connected solely by religion.”

          Of course none of this matters in terms of the international law, which is also clearly on the side of the Palestinians as well.

          link to aljazeera.com “Why Palestinians have a right to return home”

          link to aljazeera.com “UN inquiry says Israel must end settlements”

        • Shingo says:

          A small sliver of land in Palestine seems long overdue for these folks

          Why? When Hertzl first came up with the idea, his ideas were rejected by the majority of Jews in the diaspora and in Palestine. That remained true well into the early 1900s.

        • RoHa says:

          “A small sliver of land in Palestine seems long overdue for these folks, I’d say,”

          Accepting your proviso, on what moral principle do you base your claim that “these folks” have a right to land in Palestine?

        • Dan Crowther says:

          Shingo — IF…..IF! That is my point, if you accept the myths of ancient history and continuity into the present and combine that with the 20th century, yeah, why not a state? I don’t buy the ancient myths, so I don’t agree, but I also stopped using the language of the myths – to include “diaspora”.

          First off, this idea some commenters have, that “diaspora” in the jewish instance does not hold a universally understood unique meaning is absolutely absurd, it hasn’t come to mean anything new, it has and always will refer to the stories of the bible. Hostage’s mental gymnastic’s below once again fail to take reality into account; go ask anyone anywhere what they think is meant by “diaspora jews” and they will tell you: a long time ago, the jews were kicked out of the holy land etc etc……..It’s understood there’s a single point (region) of origin.

          I guess my real message to the folks here is: (1) Let’s be careful with our language (especially in published articles ^^) (2) To Samel and Hostage, most dumb Americans like me, first hear the word “diaspora” hearing about the exile, for years I thought it was “The Diaspora,” I thought it was a specific term for the jewish exile. Pretty sure I’m in the majority. And really, my objection was two fold – the use of the word diaspora and also the emphasis once again on the jewish diaspora to solve the problems in I/P – it was used to heighten jewish voices and also play on jewish tribalism “hey, you’re not alone in the world, you’re part of a group, take some responsibility for those you’ve never met”

        • Hostage says:

          Hostage’s mental gymnastic’s below once again fail to take reality into account;

          The reality is that the majority of ancient Jews were dispersed to multiple locations throughout the 2nd Commonwealth period, long before the Temple was ever destroyed. They recruited or assimilated a mixed multitude to themselves that has always constituted the bulk of the diaspora population. There are no mental gymnastics involved, it is a historical fact. The early Christian accounts take note of their existence and described them as “Parthians, Medes and Elamites; residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya near Cyrene; visitors from Rome (both Jews and converts to Judaism); Cretans and Arabs. See Acts 2:9-11.

        • Donald says:

          “Shingo — IF…..IF! That is my point, if you accept the myths of ancient history and continuity into the present and combine that with the 20th century, yeah, why not a state?”

          You don’t seem to get this–even IF modern Jews are direct descendants of Israeli Jews 2000 years ago, it gives them no right to a state there now. Yeah, yeah, I know you reject the story. The rest of us reject your notion that if the story is true it validates the creation of Israel at the expense of people already living there in the present.

        • tree says:

          Dan,

          I agree with Donald and others here.

          According to the scientific interpretation of my mitochondrial DNA, my ancestors came from Africa, through the Middle East and into the Urals. (BTW, this is from the side of my family which has no known Jewish ancestors.) Do you think that gives me the right to set up a state comprised of people with similar DNA, and displace the people who live there now? I certainly don’t, but that seem to be similar to what you are advocating.

        • Blake says:

          @ David Samel: Indeed, or to have expelled the indigenous people.

      • Ecru says:

        The story of the forced expulsion of Jews from Judaea is a myth. There’s no evidence in the archaeological or historic records for a massive depopulation event in Roman Palestine. It’s simply not there. There IS evidence for lowered population around Jerusalem BUT this is matched by evidence of increased population in neighbouring areas.

        In other words the evidence points to relatively light, geographically limited movement of peoples mainly within a small area, not the forced Diaspora of Jewish folk-lore and Zionist propaganda.

        If you want to see what the Romans could do when they really wanted to be nasty – look for a Dacian.

    • Hostage says:

      “diaspora” implies a single point of origin. in fact “diaspora” implies a moral legitimacy to the “repatriation” of palestine by jews.

      No, the term describes people dispersed by whatever cause to more than one location. In many cases it implies their original country or place of origin was inhospitable, disinteresting, devastated, or unfavorable. People in the military or those suffering from wanderlust frequently employ the old maxim that their hometown was “a nice place to be from”;-) Rabbinical Judaism is a religion that is best suited to those living in a diaspora. Its requirements are not very well suited for governing a modern state or society.

      The concept of exile and wandering, like Jacob’s flight and period of indentured servitude working for Laban, are fundamental components of Judaism. Even during the 2nd Commonwealth, Jewish writers record that the members of various Jewish sects symbolically retired to the wilderness to perform rites of initiation and establish religious communities so that they could remain separate from the “people of the land” or am ha’aretz. The Christian notion that the faithful remnant were “strangers and pilgrims in the Earth” was an idea with Jewish religious origins.

  2. yourstruly says:

    denouncing the law of return isn’t enough. the entire zionist project must be denounced, condemned & rejected. anything less amounts to supporting a colonial enterprise, one that insists it’s acting on behalf of jews everywhere. worse yet, for a jew to look the other way while israel carries out its ethnic cleansing brings to mind the “i had no idea this was happening” uttered by some germans after ww ii. for what’s being done in our names, the path to redemption? that’s easy, it’s supporting justice for palestine.

    • Hostage says:

      denouncing the law of return isn’t enough.

      I tend to agree. The mantra that we need a demilitarized Palestinian state living next door to a fully militarized Israeli state and that the latter must be able to defend itself, by itself is nonsense. The proposition is only promoted to prevent international intervention to protect Palestinians from an aggressive neighbor.

  3. gamal says:

    Ghada karmi and Ellen Siegel held theirs over a period of 30 years,

    link to palestineposterproject.org

  4. NormanF says:

    Israel’s Law Of Return is neither discriminatory nor unique – Germany, Finland, Russia and Italy all have similar laws to encourage ethnic kith and kin to resettle in their homeland no matter how long they have lived abroad or whether they were born elsewhere.

    And from an affirmative action point of view, the law is moral also as it compensates Jews for thousands of years of enforced inequality, discrimination, mistreatment and genocide in the Diaspora. You cannot make the Jew equal by saying here is the starting line and you can go from there. True equality requires substantiative as well as formal equality.

    Both notions express the intention behind the Law Of Return – to give every Jew refuge and a homeland that is always waiting for them. In view of the past Jewish experience in every country in the world closed its doors to Jews fleeing the Holocaust, Arab criticism of the Law Of Return strikes most Jews as as hypocritical, insensitive and bigoted.

    What should be asked is not what Israel hasn’t done for displaced and stateless Arabs but what the Arab World has failed to do for their own ethic kith and kin. If the Arab World had resettled the Arabs Of 48 – there would be no Israeli-Arab conflict today. Its not Israel’s responsibility to solve Arab neglect, indifference and abuse of fellow Arabs residing in their lands.

    • Shingo says:

      Germany, Finland, Russia and Italy all have similar laws to encourage ethnic kith and kin to resettle in their homeland

      That’s because they have ethnic kith and kin. Israel’s Law Of Return applies to those who don’t.

      and from an affirmative action point of view, the law is moral also as it compensates Jews for thousands of years of enforced inequality

      That’s an absurd argument. If it was a case of compensating Jews, then all Jews would exercise it.

      You cannot make the Jew equal by saying here is the starting line and you can go from there.

      But that is exactly what you are suggesting. You are arguing that the starting line is based on Jewish history, not the history of those that were expelled by Israel. You’re clearly not the least bit interested in equality.

      What should be asked is not what Israel hasn’t done for displaced and stateless Arabs but what the Arab World has failed to do for their own ethic kith and kin.

      Actually, both issues are equally legitimate. You can’t seriously suggest that the states that did not take more Jewish refugees bear more responsibility for their plight than Nazi Germany.

      Arab criticism of the Law Of Return strikes most Jews as as hypocritical, insensitive and bigoted.

      Israel’s Law Of Return strikes most humans as hypocritical, insensitive, racist, inhumane and bigoted.

      If the Arab World had resettled the Arabs Of 48 – there would be no Israeli-Arab conflict today.

      Rubbish. That’s a bit like saying that if Jews fleeing Germany had easy passage to other countries, there would have been no Holocaust.

    • seafoid says:

      If I were a diaspora Jew I would want to be as far away as possible from Israel. Not my problem, I would think. I wouldn’t decide to go live in the territories. I wouldn’t want any part in the IDF etc.

      I wouldn’t fancy having someone like Norman “the law is moral also as it compensates Jews for thousands of years of enforced inequality, discrimination, mistreatment and genocide in the Diaspora.” represent me. I would be happy enough in the Diaspora. There are enough intellectual resources there without anyone needing a second hand 4th rate 19th century ideology to make sense of the world.

      Pottery Barn rules. The bots broke it. They pay for it.
      So what if they are self identifying as Jews. It doesn’t mean all Jews are liable for the cleanup costs.

    • Cliff says:

      Israeli bigots think the RoR is bigoted?

      That’s a laugh.

      The Arab world did not terrorize the Arab population of Palestine.

      The Jewish terrorists and the newly formed Israeli army did.

      It is Israel’s responsibility. Jewish agency and terrorism ethnically cleansed the indigenous population – the Palestinians.

      Not ‘the Arabs’.

      The only bigotry here is the notion that Jews have a right based on being Jews to steal Palestinian land from Palestinians whose claim to Israel/Palestine has always been realistic and tangible.

      Yours is abstract and delusion.

      No different from Manifest Destiny and likewise achieved through extreme violence and terror.

    • yourstruly says:

      “Germany, Finland, Russia & Italy have similar laws to encourage ethnic kith & kin to resettle in their homeland.” Except there’s a difference between someone of, say, Russian descent accepting an invitation to return to Russia and someone of Jewish descent colonizing Palestine and cleansing it of its indigenous people, all the while saying, “hey, we ain’t doin nothin bad cause, look here, it’s a land without a people and we’re a people without a land.”

    • RoHa says:

      “Israel’s Law Of Return is neither discriminatory nor unique – Germany, Finland, Russia and Italy all have similar laws to encourage ethnic kith and kin to resettle in their homeland no matter how long they have lived abroad or whether they were born elsewhere.”

      That does not seem to be so.

      The laws of those countries refer to citizenship of ancestors, not ethnicity. For a descendant of a Finn to acquire Finnish citizenship through parentage, that parent must have been a citizen of Finland. Finnish ethnicity is not enough. And the same goes for Germany, Russia, and Italy.

      As far as I can make out (I am not a lawyer) those states will not accept any claims if the child was born after the parent lost the relevant citizenship.

      Italy will not accept claims based on ancestors who died before the Italian state was established.

      The Israeli Law of Return does not require ancestors of Israeli citizenship. There is no requirement to demonstrate that the ancestors were at any time resident in – let alone had any formal legal status in – any part of what is now Israel.
      It only requires Jewish ancestors or conversion to Judaism.

      ” to encourage ethnic kith and kin to to encourage ethnic kith and kin to resettle in their homeland ”

      I see nothing in the laws to suggest that there is any intent to encourage people to ” resettle in their homeland “.

      (Nor do I see how Finland can be the “homeland” of an Australian citizen born and brought up in Australia, even if his ancestors were Finns.)

    • kayq says:

      Norman, we all know that this is false. The idea that had PALESTINIAN refugees settled elsewhere that there’d be no conflict, how about Israel’s agression, the occupation etc? Also yes while Palestinians are ethnically Arab, does not mean that other Arab countries will compensate for their loss of home. Yeah, they’re displaced and stateless, but their homeland will be in Palestine always.
      Also Israel and the Arab countries are both equally to blame.

    • Shmuel says:

      Israel’s Law Of Return is neither discriminatory nor unique – Germany, Finland, Russia and Italy …

      False. The differences between Israel’s immigration policies and those of various European countries have been discussed countless times in this forum. If anyone is interested, they can search the MW archives.

      Not that it will stop this particular piece of dishonest nonsense from being trotted out every time the subject comes up, but here’s something from a recent post by Jerry Haber (Magnes Zionist):

      A case in point is the uncompromising acceptance of the Law of Return, a citizenship eligibility law that is unparalleled in its illiberality because it views members of a religious group as potential returning citizens to a state that never existed, by virtue of their, or their grandparent’s, religious affiliation. Add to this the 1952 Nationality Law, and it turns out that a seventh-generation Palestinian Arab honeymooning in Paris at the time of the declaration of Israel’s independence is legally barred from citizenship unless she performs a religious conversion to Judaism. Any similarities between such laws and laws that “provide preferential immigration policies for a certain ethnic group” are completely coincidental. You don’t become eligible for citizenship anywhere else in the world but Israel solely by virtue of religious conversion.

      link to jeremiahhaber.com

      • seafoid says:

        The law of return is as flaky as Zionist history. There is no legal justification for a land grab on the scale of the foundation of Israel that happens without the consent of the owners of the land. Neither is there any legal justification for Israel’s efforts to keep those people out of the new Jewish Shangri la. It’s all bigoted. It was wrong from the get go.

        The original sin .

    • Sibiriak says:

      NormanF:

      Israel’s Law Of Return is neither discriminatory nor unique – Germany, Finland, Russia and Italy all have similar laws to encourage ethnic kith and kin to resettle in their homeland ….

      In the case of Russia at least, I believe that is false. Russia encourages repatriation, but not on the basis of ethnicity (or religion), as does Israel. It seems you are projecting your own ethno-nationalist mentality onto others.

      See:link to rt.com

      The Russian State Duma has suggested simplifying the granting of Russian citizenship to direct descendants of nationals of the Russian Empire who now live abroad.

      The initiative was put forward by the lower house’s Committee for Nationalities.

      Descendants of the Russian Empire which collapsed after the February 1917 Revolution – are part of “the same nation and civilization,” committee head Gadzhimet Safaraliyev told Izvestia daily.

      The descendants of the Russian Empire include a number of different ethnic/religious groups, needless to say.

    • Hostage says:

      Israel’s Law Of Return is neither discriminatory nor unique – Germany, Finland, Russia and Italy all have similar laws to encourage ethnic kith and kin to resettle in their homeland no matter how long they have lived abroad or whether they were born elsewhere.

      That’s incorrect. The German Constitution simply restored citizenship to Jews and their descendants – if they were deprived of it by the Nazi era Nuremberg Race Laws. Other ethnic Germans (Aussiedlers) still have to apply in order to immigrate. Citizenship is not automatically granted. The German government has adopted policies that actively discourage Aussiedlers from migrating to Germany. There is no right of return to an “ancestral” homeland. See Fewer Ethnic Germans Immigrating to Ancestral Homeland link to migrationinformation.org The Italian immigration law works in the same way. Ethnic Italians are simply allowed to apply for immigration. There is no right of return.

      • Key point surely is that Israel allows “Jews” to return. Does this apply to Episcopalians who are of Jewish descent? Does John Kerry enjoy the right of return to Israel, for exaple?

        • Shmuel says:

          Does John Kerry enjoy the right of return to Israel, for exaple?

          The Law of Return states that:

          4A. (a) The rights of a Jew under this Law and the rights of an oleh under the Nationality Law, 5712-1952***, as well as the rights of an oleh under any other enactment, are also vested in a child and a grandchild of a Jew, the spouse of a Jew, the spouse of a child of a Jew and the spouse of a grandchild of a Jew, except for a person who has been a Jew and has voluntarily changed his religion.

          [...]

          4B. For the purposes of this Law, “Jew” means a person who was born of a Jewish mother or has become converted to Judaism and who is not a member of another religion.”

          Kerry’s “Jewish” ancestors (paternal grandparents) converted to Catholicism, so no citizenship for John, I’m afraid.

        • Hostage says:

          Kerry’s “Jewish” ancestors (paternal grandparents) converted to Catholicism, so no citizenship for John, I’m afraid.

          So long as he himself didn’t opt to convert, he might still be eligible to immigrate under the Law of Return. See for example: Court applies Law of Return to Messianic Jews because of fathers. link to jpost.com

        • Hostage – - Is it fair to say that what was and is imortant, is an agreement by the immigrant to at least pretend to be “Jewish”?

        • Shmuel – - Do I take it you are saying that John Kerry’s children can “return” to Israel, if they pretend to be “Jews”?

        • Sibiriak says:

          …the Law of Return was not a statute designed to make Israel a safe haven for those who were persecuted in the past, present or future because people hated them as Jews. Had the framers of this law wished to do so, they could have placed it on a platform of humanist principle, linking the privilege of asylum to the existence and threat of anti-Semitism.

          But the Law of Return and the associated Law of Citizenship were direct products of an ethnic nationalist worldview, designed to provide a legal basis for the concept that the State of Israel belongs to the Jews of the world.

          As Ben-Gurion declared at the start of the parliamentary debate on the Law of Return: “This is not a Jewish state only because most of its inhabitants are Jews. It is a state for the Jews wherever they may be, and for any Jew who wishes to be here.”60

          Anyone who was included in “the Jewish people”—including such notables as Pierre Mendes-France, the French prime minister in the early 1950s; Bruno Kreisky, the Austrian chancellor in the 1970s; Henry Kissinger, the US secretary of state at that time; or Joe Lieberman, the Democratic candidate for vice president of the United States in 2000—was a potential citizen of the Jewish state, and their right to settle there was guaranteed by the Law of Return.

          A member of the “Jewish nation” might be a full citizen with equal rights in some liberal national democracy, might even be the holder of an elected position in it, but Zionist principle held that such a person was destined, or even obliged, to migrate to Israel and become its citizen.

          Moreover, immigrants could leave Israel immediately after arrival, yet keep their Israeli citizenship for the rest of their lives.

          Shlomo Sand, “The Invention of the Jewish People” (p. 288).

        • Shmuel says:

          Do I take it you are saying that John Kerry’s children can “return” to Israel, if they pretend to be “Jews”?

          John Kerry’s children (to the best of my knowledge), have no Jewish grandparents and so are not entitled to Israeli citizenship according to the Law of Return. As ordinary non-Jews, their chances of naturalisation in Israel are pretty slim – unless they happen to marry Jews (if they marry Palestinian citizens of Israel, they can forget about it entirely).

          What I was saying about John himself is that although his paternal grandparents were born Jews, they converted to Catholicism, and so are not considered “Jews” according to the Israeli Law of Return — hence, no rights for John.

        • Hostage says:

          Hostage – – Is it fair to say that what was and is imortant, is an agreement by the immigrant to at least pretend to be “Jewish”?

          The Knesset has studiously avoided attempts to define that term in order to avoid a breakdown in relations between Israel and non-Orthodox Jewish communities abroad. The State’s rabbinical courts do not use the definition employed by the Ministry of the Interior (the Law of Return) in any event.

          The secular Courts in Israel don’t have the luxury of turning away all of the cases based upon claims that a particular petitioner is, or is not “Jewish” for the purposes of the Law of Return. So much of the legal ground work has been laid down as the result of judge-made law that the Knesset has either overruled or codified at its leisure for its own pragmatic reasons.

          The case involving the children of Messianic Jews, who did not personally “convert to another religion”, and had Jewish grandparents, simply exploited a loophole in the secular law. The Rabbinical Courts still would not accept the idea that members of so-called “Messianic congregations” are practicing Jews. They are considered idolaters who are in need of conversion or a good lynching, depending upon which Orthodox authority you happen to consult.

        • Thanks, Hostage. didn’t hundreds of thousands of Christians, or lapsed Christians, from the former Soviet Union, settle in Israel decades ago?

          Part of the programme was agreeing to pretend to be “Jewish”.

        • Shmel – - Did Elizabeth Taylor and Sammy Davis, Jr. have a “right of return”? They both converted to Judaism.

        • Shmuel says:

          Did Elizabeth Taylor and Sammy Davis, Jr. have a “right of return”? They both converted to Judaism.

          That’s what the law says.

        • Hostage says:

          didn’t hundreds of thousands of Christians, or lapsed Christians, from the former Soviet Union, settle in Israel decades ago?

          You’d have to ask an Israeli commenter about that. The Soviet Union wasn’t known as a hotbed for organized religion of any variety, so I really couldn’t say. There are hundreds of thousands of “Russians” who were either admitted as family members of Jews or as persons who were only considered Jewish for the purposes of the Law of Return. They’ve suffered discrimination and have become quite a social problem. These days the younger social outcasts, who were born in Israel, are probably more of a problem. They can’t be so easily deported. They expect equality or a more multicultural society.

          I’ve commented in the past about more extreme cases like “Russian” neo-Nazis and the fact that some settler communities, including Avigdor Liebermann’s, have adopted rules that prohibit admission to people they consider to be “Russian” residents.
          See:
          *Israel’s nightmare: Homegrown neo-Nazis in the Holy Land
          link to independent.co.uk

          *Lieberman’s settlement bars Russian-Israeli families from buying homes
          Settlers in Nokdim, home to Russian-born FM, fear new residents not classified as Jewish by halakhic law could corrupt local morals.
          link to haaretz.com

    • Keith says:

      NORMANF- “Israel’s Law Of Return is neither discriminatory nor unique….”

      As I’m sure you are aware, Israel’s Law of Return is a code for “non-Jews need not apply.” It is an intellectually dishonest attempt to camouflage Israeli racism behind neutral sounding wording. A little too obvious to openly advertise “Jews only” benefits. Better to say that the laws do not discriminate against Arabs, rather, they merely conform to the Law of Return.

      “You cannot make the Jew equal by saying here is the starting line and you can go from there.”

      Jeez, are you saying that American Jews are a deprived minority, being held down by anti-Semitism? Gag me with a spoon! Any attempt to equalize Jewish wealth and power with that of non-Jews would be instantly labeled anti-Semitism and fought tooth and nail by the Jewish elite. You might care to check out the Forbes Israel thread. This is yet another attempt to claim victim-hood for an extremely privileged and powerful group.

    • RoHa says:

      “to give every Jew refuge and a homeland that is always waiting for them. In view of the past Jewish experience in every country in the world …”

      Even accepting your story of continuous Jewish persecution in every country in the world, it was still wrong to create a “refuge and homeland” by taking over Palestine and driving out the Palestinians. The safety of Jews is not so important that it outweighs the rights of the Palestinians.

      If Jews cannot work out how to live safely in their native lands, that is unfortunate, but that is their problem. It is wrong to try to solve that problem at the expense of the Palestinians.

      • seafoid says:

        To what extent the militarily aggressive shtetl run by the IDF is a “refuge” is open to question.

        Denmark would be several degrees more secure, all things beinq equal

        “Homeland” is a nonsense.

      • Rolla – - One indeed can argue it was wrong to ensure “safety” of “Jews” by taking most of Palestine away from the Palestinians, to create a new country controlled entirely by Jews.

        Surely there is no reason, in terms of “safety”, for continuing occupation of the West Bank by Israel.

      • tokyobk says:

        “If Jews cannot work out how to live safely in their native lands, that is unfortunate, but that is their problem.”

        RoHa Just think about that statement and apply it to any minority or subjugated group including Palestinians. Its a rather despicable sentiment and in fact the essence of know nothing bigotry.

        Louis Farrakhan had a version of that. “Everybody talks about what Hitler did to the Jews but (sic) don’t nobody talk about what the Jews did to Hitler.”

        And PS of course Jews are not persecuted in every country least of all the US where Jews have flourished.

        • RoHa says:

          ‘“If Jews cannot work out how to live safely in their native lands, that is unfortunate, but that is their problem.”

          RoHa Just think about that statement and apply it to any minority or subjugated group including Palestinians’

          I would say as a general principle that minority groups have a responsibility to find a way of getting on with the neighbours. The minority group bears at least as much responsibility for this as the majority group. If the minority group is a group of immigrants, the minority group bears far more responsibility than the majority group.

          Now in some cases the majority have no interest in reaching a fair accomodation with minority groups. In those cases the minority group cannot have a responsibility to do that which cannot be done.

          One set of such cases is situations in which the minority group are the victims of invaders who simply want to take over the land regardless of the natives. The Palestinians, the Maoris, and the Australian Aborigines are in this position.

          “And PS of course Jews are not persecuted in every country least of all the US where Jews have flourished.”

          I would say least of all here in Australia, but Norman F wants to play the “Jews have always been persecuted everywhere” line. I say that if that is true (and we know it isn’t) then it shows that Jews have failed to meet their social responsibilities.

    • Ecru says:

      …the law is moral also as it compensates Jews for thousands of years of enforced inequality…

      And yet another example of how morally bankrupt Zionists are. Making up for Jewish inequality by imposing it on Palestinians.

    • Ellen says:

      Norman,

      ” In view of the past Jewish experience in every country in the world closed its doors to Jews fleeing the Holocaust,…”

      THAT line again. Robots repeat it over and over. Yet is is not so simple.

      The Zionist enterprise had no interest at all in seeing that borders would be open to Jews fleeing the NAZI persecution and the crimes against Jews (and others) resulting from it. The history is complex, but this is for sure: The ZIONIST enterprise (started decades before the rise of the the NAZI party) desperately needed Jews to go to Palestine, and not to the UK, USA, Australia, etc.

  5. David Samel says:

    Thank you, Sam, for that excellent essay. I am somewhat ambivalent about whether Jews have more of an obligation to address Israel/Palestine issues. What if a Jewish person is more interested in Central America, or abortion, or football? Is he/she any more or less to blame for ignoring I/P than anyone else? Why should being Jewish require us to have a special interest in this particular issue?

    However, on the question of right of return, I do think there is an additional burden on Jews. We enjoy, and have the right to insist on, a birthright of full and equal citizenship in the land of our birth, and surely this is something every person on Earth should have. But Israel offers us a second birthright of first-class citizenship in a foreign land. How can we accept that second birthright when it so clearly deprives Palestinians, both citizens and non-citizens of Israel, of their first birthright that we believe should be inalienable to everyone in the world? It is not enough merely to decline to exercise that second birthright, as the vast majority of us will do. I think the situation calls for public renunciation – “no thanks.”

    • yourstruly says:

      not that being jewish requires us to have a special interest in this particular issue, but that it’s in our interest to do so lest we all end up having to take the rap for the foul play of jewish colonizers and their supporters. besides, it just happens to be the right thing to do.

    • American says:

      David Samel says:
      April 23, 2013 at 1:20 pm
      + Show content
      ”Thank you, Sam, for that excellent essay. I am somewhat ambivalent about whether Jews have more of an obligation to address Israel/Palestine issues. What if a Jewish person is more interested in Central America, or abortion, or football? Is he/she any more or less to blame for ignoring I/P than anyone else? Why should being Jewish require us to have a special interest in this particular issue?…David

      Hum, well think about it, why should non Jewish Americans have an interest in this.? Beside the popular notion we don’t like Israel because we’re anti Semites at heart..lol.
      If I am identified as American by the world and if I have to or chose to live here then I ‘m going to have some interest/ self concern about what the hell my country is doing…not even counting any moral feelings/concern I might have about something going on.

      If you are a Jew or think of yourself as a Jew, as you must by the way you posed the question–and are living in this country you have to be literally bunkered in a cave way off the grid or under a rock to not notice what is going on re Isr-USA-I/P. Or to miss the “Jewish’ state, Jewish’ state zio megaphone constantly announcing “Jewish”…state. And the growing resentment/backlash toward it.
      So as a Jew or as an American you should have some interest, self interest at least, as one or both of those.
      As for “more of” a responsibility? I don’t know, I could put it in grammar school yard terms and say well your gang started it so you do…..assuming you even belong to the gang…..or even if you don’t belong to the gang you should tell them to quit using your identity or name for their ‘gang activities’.

      • Ellen says:

        American, come to think about it….why should identity politics have anything to do with this?

        Politics centered around identity is, in the end, nothing more than gang-man stuff. The world is better off without it.

        • American says:

          @ ellen

          I personally don’t think ethnic/religion, etc. ‘identity’ should have anything to do with commonly and majority held moral standards/principles………but unfortunately they do for some.

          When it comes to national identity I think it is somewhat different in the sense that most people are unavoidably dependent on in many ways or at least affected by their nation and it’s governance.

          I am not one who believes you can do away with sovereign nations and have some idyllic nationless citizens of the world type arrangement—it would be a universal mad house.

        • Ellen says:

          Yes, identity as a citizen of a country/state. That is a legal identity we wind up with, usually by fate alone. With passport X I am subject to the laws and rights of country X.

          I meant the use of ethnic identities — distinguished by language, customs, etc. — to separate from the rest, to position over the “others,” for political and social gain. That is gang-man tribalism.

  6. Newclench says:

    Demanding that Jews do anything is morally the same as demanding that Muslims or Arabs do anything.
    Rejecting the law of return
    Rejecting the use of terrorism

    Both suggest a collective responsibility for the sins of individuals and institutions. Both are wrong. At most, it might be legit to direct some attention to Jews who implement the law of return to emigrate to Israel. But why bother? That’s one group unlikely to care what Sam Bahour thinks.

    • Cliff says:

      Jews worldwide are how many?

      Muslims worldwide are how many?

      There is one Jewish State.

      There are many Islamic States.

      There is less hegemony with respect to Islamic populations. Lots of in-fighting.

      There is virtually none within the Jewish community worldwide.

      Certainly no violent conflict. Just a few peace groups against the mass hysteria of Jewish nationalism.

      So no, Clencher, both are not equivalent.

      Zionist Jews – for semantics sake and the sake of nullifying your time-wasting and dishonest argument – do bare responsibility.

      A Jewish State means a Jewish majority and a Jewish majority means discrimination, racism, hate-mongering, and war. War means ethnic cleansing and atrocities.

      This is tribal politics. Jews ethnically cleansed the indigenous population of Palestine to make their Jewish State.

      So if you care about setting things right in a meaningful way you’ll drop the false dichotomy.

      • Newclench says:

        You seem to have conflated individuals and groups. All Jews are no more responsible for anything to any greater degree than all Muslims are responsible for anything.
        Jewish unity is as mythological as Islamic unity (etc. I don’t mean to ‘pick’ on Muslims obviously.

        • Cliff says:

          Nah, I agree with you in principle.

          It’s not ‘all Jews’ because Israel does not represent Jews. But you are making a comparison to a much larger population with completely different political conflicts.

  7. Mike_Konrad says:

    After 2000 years of trouble, where the Jews have been persecuted, I doubt they will ever consent to being a minority population again.

    I do not even say that Jews were always and everywhere innocent in those 2,000 years. For ex: During the Muslim invasion of Spain, the Jews agreed to garrison the cities to assist the Muslim invaders so that the Muslims could make further conquests. This did not endear them to the Spanish.

    That being said, Jews have been persecuted. They will go nuclear before they surrender their Jewish state.

    Right or wrong does not matter here.

    It is NOT going to happen.

    Boycott, discuss, talk. Jaw. Jaw. Jaw. The Jews will not voluntarily dissolve themselves.

    The problem here is that both sides want the other side to dissolve their nation.

    The Jews (Israel is the Jewish state) want the Palestinians to give up claims to Jerusalem, and the coastal areas they once inhabited.

    The Muslims (and over 90% of the Palestinians in the contested area are Muslim) want Israel to become a secular unitary state for both people, which as any fool knows would eventually become an Islamic Republic, by dint of voting – especially after the Right of Return in engaged.

    Some here will bring up the success of South Africa. Well, South Africa is now an economic basketcase.

    Neither side will budge ONE SINGLE INCH!

    The Jews (Israel is the Jewish state) are just more honest about it.

    So all the moralizing here is immaterial. It will go to nuclear war before any of this happens.

    • tree says:

      After 2000 years of trouble, where the Jews have been persecuted, I doubt they will ever consent to being a minority population again.

      There are more Jews who are part of a “minority population”(ie. in the USA) BY CHOICE, than there are Jews who are part of a majority population in Israel. Your logic is flawed.

      • Shmuel says:

        There are more Jews who are part of a “minority population”(ie. in the USA) BY CHOICE, than there are Jews who are part of a majority population in Israel.

        And then there are the hundreds of thousands of Israeli Jews who have emigrated to the US (Germany, UK, Australia, Canada, etc.) and the millions who dream of doing so. Speaking for myself, equality in a democratic state beats majority ethnic/religious privilege any day.

        • Dutch says:

          @ Shmuel

          You just came up with a great idea for a poster campaign in Tel Aviv: Equality in a democratic state beats Israeli ethnic privilege any day.

          Allison — Are you reading this …?

      • goldmarx says:

        Konrad’s logic is sound.

        Being part of a minority population in the Diaspora while there is an Israel to fall back on is a very different context than being part of same with NO Israel.

        • Shingo says:

          Konrad’s logic is sound.

          If you happen to be a right wing Zionist it might seem that way, but no, it’s flawed.

        • Ellen says:

          “Diaspora?” Most all Jews around the world never left Israel, nor their parents, grandparents, great great …..grandparents.

          What Diaspora?????

        • goldmarx says:

          I don’t know about how right wing Zionists approach logic, but as a left-wing Zionist and a BDS supporter, the logic still appears sound.

        • Hostage says:

          What Diaspora?????

          The religious metaphysical one. The whole Garden of Eden; Tower of Babel; Chosen/faithful remnant; Strangers and pilgrims in the Earth; Pie-in-the-sky-in-the-sweet-bye-and-bye (world-to-come) shtick.

      • Mike_Konrad says:

        Mike_Konrad

        After 2000 years of trouble, where the Jews have been persecuted, I doubt they will ever consent to being a minority population again.

        tree
        There are more Jews who are part of a “minority population”(ie. in the USA) BY CHOICE, than there are Jews who are part of a majority population in Israel. Your logic is flawed.

        Nope, my premise is not wrong. The Jews in the Jewish state will go nuclear before they surrender Israel.

        That is all there is to it.

        Even if the Arabs were right – and I only conjecture that for argument’s sake – the Jews will nuke the whole Mideast, and make Israel radioactively unlivable before they surrender it to Palestinian control.

        Unlike the Palestinians, who when they fled in 1948, left good housing stock; the Jews when they leave – as in Yamit, 1982, Egypt 1981, Sharm al Shiek 1981, and Gaza 2005, destroy their housing stock. Scorched earth.

        The Israelis would destroy Israel before they let the Palestinians have it.

        There are enough superreligious Jews to pull it off.

        The Arabs can get nukes, I suppose. But in the end, the best the Palestinians would get is an irradiated Holy Land after a war with Israel. Count on it.

        And count on Israel nuking Poland and Germany before they go down. Again, they have enough fanatics.

        The Palestinians are NOT going back.

        Right or wrong, the Palestinians are NOT going back.

        This is not even a moral issue. You can debate it all you want.

        When Hasbara activists tell me that the Arab states should naturalize the Palestinian refugees, I tell them … right or wrong, it ain’t gonna happen.

        When the pro-Palestinians say that Israel should allow an Arab right of return, I tell them, right or wrong, it ain’t gonna happen.

        The Arabs are NOT going to naturalize the Palestinians. The Israelis are NOT going to allow a right of return.

        That is the rub of the problem.

        I get called an idiot when I say move the Palestinians out of the Mideast; but am I?

        It is apparent that the Israelis will not let them return, and the Arabs will not naturalize them.

        The Mideast (whether Arab or Israeli) refuses to absorb Palestinians.

        Do you want this to go on for another 100 years?

        Because neither Israel nor Arab states will budge.

        They do not care what you think or this site says. Neither will budge.

        I do not say this is moral or not. I say: IT IS WHAT IT IS.

        You will be condemning the Palestinians to centuries of abuse if you do not move them out of the Mideast.

        Now the question becomes … who should pay for that removal? Who should give the Palestinians money to move out of the Mideast?

        The Arabs or Israelis?

        That will be another battle where neither side will budge.

        • Shingo says:

          The Jews in the Jewish state will go nuclear before they surrender Israel.

          No, you’re simply basing your reference because every since Israel was founded, it always help all the cards. It’s easy to talk tough and made brazen statements when you have all the aces up your sleeve. When the tables are tuned, they will resort to self preservation.

          When they US told Israel to get out of the Sianai, they did as they were told. When they were force to the negotaiting table with Egypt, they did as they were told. When they were kicked out of Lebanon TWICE by Hezbollah, they swallowed their pride, tucked their tails between their legs and headed home.

          the Jews will nuke the whole Mideast, and make Israel radioactively unlivable before they surrender it to Palestinian control.

          Rubbish. They will simply pull out their second passports and head to the countries they came from. Why do you think all the Jewish immigrants to Israel still hold on to their foreign passports? Why do you think hundreds of thousands fo them have applied for German passports?

          Simple. Because they all have an exit strategy in the back of their mind. Though they are loathed to admit it, they know deep down that Israel isn’t going to last. That it’s an unsustainable illusion and that the cards will come falling down some day.

          Unlike the Palestinians, who when they fled in 1948, left good housing stock; the Jews when they leave – as in Yamit, 1982, Egypt 1981, Sharm al Shiek 1981, and Gaza 2005, destroy their housing stock. Scorched earth.

          Yes, the Israelis are sore losers and indeed resort to scorched earth, but only from a safe distance. That’s a completely different scenario that then one you are alluding to, whereby such actions could be suicidal.

          But in the end, the best the Palestinians would get is an irradiated Holy Land after a war with Israel. Count on it.

          But that would require a massive evacuation and flight of Israel’s population beforehand. Even the religious nuts are not going to stand their ground and simply pull the pin on their nukes and vaporize themselves.

          It is apparent that the Israelis will not let them return, and the Arabs will not naturalize them.

          You are contradicting yourself. Even if Israeli Jews flee and nuke the place from a safe distance – this will condemn them to shame and hatred throughout the world, so there would be nothing to be gained. The fact is that when Israel collapses/implodes etc, and it will, Israeli Jews are not going to be concerned with what the Arabs will do and who will return. They will all bail and look after their own interests.

          You seem to be convinced that they will all continue to act as collective and immovable force to the very end, but that’s not human nature. Human nature comes down to every man for himself.

          Because neither Israel nor Arab states will budge.

          Again, they used to say that about the US and the USSR. Neither budged, then one of them collapsed from internal decay. That’s what will happen to Israel.

          You will be condemning the Palestinians to centuries of abuse if you do not move them out of the Mideast.

          What are you babbling about? Move them to where? Do you think their plight will be any better elsewhere?

          You say that the Arabs won’t budge, so clearly you are calling for more forced expulsion and ethnic cleansing right?

          Yes, you are indeed a nut.

        • So might is right, you don’t give a monkey’s, and somebody else has to sort out the problems that Israel has created. And your only response is to threaten nuclear war? Lol, so Iran, who hasn’t threatened anybody with nuclear weapons it does not possess, must be bombed, but Israel who does should not? This is nonsense on a stick. Self-aggrandising, selfish claptrap. Laughable.

        • seafoid says:

          “the Jews will nuke the whole Mideast, and make Israel radioactively unlivable before they surrender it to Palestinian control”

          Do they crap in their own kitchens as well?

        • goldmarx says:

          Whereas I endorsed your logic on another post, I differ with you on this one.

          You seem to believe that Israeli acceptance of the Palestinian Right of Return is impossible because it would mean…the end of a Jewish majority state? Acceptance of a principle is just that—a piece of paper. Acceptance is a matter of law, but implementation is a matter of politics. The details would be part of final-status negotiations, which would allow plenty of leeway for the Israeli government to protect the Jewish majority ideal within reason.

        • K Renner says:

          well in Toronto the kitchens of the Palestinians are far cleaner then those of the Israelis.

        • amigo says:

          “The Palestinians are NOT going back.”.

          Of course they are not.

          They are already there.

          It is just a matter of waiting until the crazy Israeli zionists commit hari kari.

        • Obsidian says:

          “…and Gaza 2005, destroy their housing stock. Scorched earth.”

          Gazan Islamists eradicated the ancient Jewish presence in Gaza before the Jews quit Gaza in ’05.

          link to jewishrefugees.blogspot.co.il

        • Shingo says:

          Gazan Islamists eradicated the ancient Jewish presence in Gaza before the Jews quit Gaza in ’05.

          Israel has been eradicating the history of Palestinian presence in Palestine since 1948.

    • Shingo says:

      Well, South Africa is now an economic basketcase.

      So would Israel be were it not for massive support fianncial and diplomatic from the US. As the author of ‘Startup Nation’ conceded, Israel was in an economic black hole before the migration of several thousand Russian-trained scientists and engineers. Russian taxpayers laid out the resources and brainpower to teach and train those people; Israel reaps the benefits.

      If Israel ever has to pay its own way in the world, it will go the way of Greece.

      So all the moralizing here is immaterial. It will go to nuclear war before any of this happens.

      That’s more bluff than reality. Israel’s likes to hold this unspoken threat over the heads of European leaders and Washington that it will go all Massada on them if the country falls. Everyone thought the USSR would end in a nuclear war. In the end, it fizzled out with a simper.

      So will Israle.

      • goldmarx says:

        Israel would have no problem paying its own way if it ended its occupation of the West Bank and stranglehold on the Gaza Strip. All that is subsidized by the American taxpayer.

        • True, Goldmarx. And the US would not have to give Egypt $1 billion in weapons each year either.

        • Shingo says:

          Israel would have no problem paying its own way if it ended its occupation of the West Bank and stranglehold on the Gaza Strip.

          Sadly not true. US policy is to ensure Israel maintains military superiority in the region. This policy would remain in spite of the occupation.

        • goldmarx says:

          Shingo: Regardless of what the US WANTS, I was making a point about Israel’s ability to pay its own way. Now, if Israel doesn’t WANT to pay its own ay, that is a different matter than what I was discussing.

        • goldmarx – - Does Israel actually “need” all the weapons the US taxpayers provide? No. Full stop.

        • You mean, surely, you claim US would want to keep Israel militarily superior in ME, even if Israel gets out of the West Bank and ends blockade of Gaza? But “need” for such fantastically expensive armed forces of Israel, would be much lower. Much lower. Full stop.

        • Shingo says:

          Regardless of what the US WANTS, I was making a point about Israel’s ability to pay its own way.

          Israel uses a tiny fraction if it’s military capability to maintain the occupation, yet it continues to come to the table asking for more aid. It also lobbies fiercely to ensure that weapons sales to Arab states do not challenge Israel’s military superiority.

          Even J Street, who are calling for an end to occupation, are insisting that US military aid to Israel continue and they Israel’s military superiority be maintained.

          So clearly, Israel and her supporters don’t believe Israel can pay it’s way.

        • Shingo says:

          But “need” for such fantastically expensive armed forces of Israel, would be much lower. Much lower. Full stop.

          The question of need with or without occupation is another discussion, but the military power needs to maintain the occupation and blockade is a tiny fraction of Israel’s military capability.

          Israel has always demanded that it’s military superiority in the region be maintained. Ending the occupation would not make one iota of difference to Israel’s expectations and demands.

          Israel’s buggest and mist phoby argument has always been rhat the occupation is nevessary for it’s security. If anything, and based on past events, Israel would demand even more firepower and aid as compensation for withdrawal.

        • goldmarx says:

          Shingo: And if “Israel and her supporters” say something, therefore it must be true? Or only when you find it politically convenient?

        • Shingo says:

          And if “Israel and her supporters” say something, therefore it must be true?

          You already accepted that it’s US policy, so yes it is.

          Or only when you find it politically convenient?

          No factually provable. Sorry to burst your hasbara bubble.

        • goldmarx says:

          Exactly. From 1948 to 1967, Israel got a mere pittance in US aid, there was no Occupation, and its economy was humming.

        • goldmarx says:

          Shingo: What hasbara bubble? I support BDS – does the Israeli government also support BDS?

          Since when does acknowledgement that it is US policy to give aid to Israel imply that I think that aid is necessary for Israel’s survival?

          Where are your facts that “prove” that Israel without the Occupation could not survive without, say, US military aid? Do these “facts” come from the oh-so-reliable J Street?

        • talknic says:

          @ goldmarx

          “From 1948 to 1967, Israel got a mere pittance in US aid, there was no Occupation”

          Uh? The Israel Government at the time said otherwise.

          On May 22, 1948 UNSC S/766 the Provisional Government of Israel answered questions addressed to the “Jewish authorities in Palestine” was transmitted by the acting representative of Israel at the United Nations.

          Question (a): Over which areas of Palestine do you actually exercise control at present over the entire area of the Jewish State as defined in the Resolution of the General Assembly of the 29th November, 1947?

          “In addition, the Provisional Government exercises control over the city of Jaffa; Northwestern Galilee, including Acre, Zib, Base, and the Jewish settlements up to the Lebanese frontier; a strip of territory alongside the road from Hilda to Jerusalem; almost all of new Jerusalem; and of the Jewish quarter within the walls of the Old City of Jerusalem. The above areas, outside the territory of the State of Israel, are under the control of the military authorities of the State of Israel, who are strictly adhering to international regulations in this regard. The Southern Negev is uninhabited desert over which no effective authority has ever existed.” … ” the Government of the State of Israel operates in parts of Palestine outside the territory of the State of Israellink to unispal.un.org

          “international regulations” at the time say;

          Laws and Customs of War on Land (Hague IV); October 18, 1907 Art. 42 SECTION III
          “Territory is considered occupied when it is actually placed under the authority of the hostile army. The occupation extends only to the territory where such authority has been established and can be exercised.” link to avalon.law.yale.edu

          Further to which as recently as 2004

          9th July 2004 International Court of Justice the Court refers to the provisions of the Hague Regulation of 1907, which have become part of customary law, as well as the Fourth Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War of 1949, applicable in those Palestinian territories which before the armed conflict of 1967 lay to the east of the 1949 Armistice demarcation line (or “Green Line”) and were occupied by Israel during that conflict link to icj-cij.org

          3 Jun 1948 in the Knesset

          Report to the Provisional Government of Israel by Prime Minister and Minister of Defence Ben-Gurion 3 Jun 1948
          “The entire expanse of the State of Israel allocated to us under the terms of the UN resolution is in our hands, and we have conquered several important districts outside those boundaries“.
          and;
          “To the greatest possible extent, we will remain constantly on the offensive, which will not be confined to the borders of the Jewish State”. link to mfa.gov.il

          12 Aug 1948

          the Provisional Israeli Government proclaimed Jerusalem Declared Israel-Occupied City- by Israeli Government Proclamation 12 Aug 1948 link to mfa.gov.il

          MORE link to wp.me

          The territory “acquired by war” by Israel by 1949 has yet to be legally annexed to the State of Israel.

          The 31st Aug 1949 Israeli attempt to claim those territories was rebuffed. link to wp.me

          Occupation is from 1948

        • Shingo says:

          From 1948 to 1967, Israel got a mere pittance in US aid, there was no Occupation, and its economy was humming.

          Yawn!!

          As the author of ‘Startup Nation’ conceded, Israel was in an economic black hole before the migration of several thousand Russian-trained scientists and engineers. Russian taxpayers laid out the resources and brainpower to teach and train those people; Israel reaps the benefits.

          If Israel ever has to pay its own way in the world, it will go the way of Greece.

        • Shingo says:

          Since when does acknowledgement that it is US policy to give aid to Israel imply that I think that aid is necessary for Israel’s survival?

          You claimed it was US policy, not Israel’s. I proved you wrong.

          Where are your facts that “prove” that Israel without the Occupation could not survive without, say, US military aid?

          I am sure it could survive…as a 3rd world country.

        • goldmarx says:

          Shingo: You did not prove “me” wrong since I did not say what you claim I said.

          And survival as a third world country is still survival, which verifies my original point!

        • goldmarx says:

          And did the migration of the Russian-trained scientists happen during the Occupation of the West Bank/Gaza, which has consumed massive financial resources? Might that Occupation itself be responsible for the ‘black hole” in the first place?

        • goldmarx says:

          Talknic: Excuse me, but I was referring to the Occupation of the West Bank. THAT is how the term is commonly used.

        • Hostage says:

          Exactly. From 1948 to 1967, Israel got a mere pittance in US aid, there was no Occupation, and its economy was humming.

          No occupation?

          *Hundreds of thousands of European refugees were brought in and many setup shop in homes and farmlands acquired from Palestinians through war.

          *The borders proposed by the UN were enlarged from 14 to 20 million dunams through an armistice occupation regime.

          *Despite all of the ill-gotten gains, the first order of business for the brand new Knesset (sittings 7 and 13) in March 1949 was a 100 million dollar American Credit loan from the Import-Export Bank. The Prime Minister noted that Israel was flat broke and that no one else was offering any credit. See Major Knesset Debates Volume 2 link to jcpa.org

          *The Second Knesset’s first order of business in January of 1952 (sitting 38) was the decision to establish relations with the government of Germany in order to obtain what the members described as “blood money”. Those reparations have amounted to several billions of dollars to date. See Major Knesset Debates Volume 3 link to jcpa.org

          So foreign assistance, conquest, and occupation were hardly non-existent between 1948 and 1967. They were the major sources of the new State’s income and wealth.

        • goldmarx – - You are of course correct, that the “occupation” generally refers to Israel’s continuing occupation of West Bank (and Golan Heights).

        • tree says:

          goldmarx,

          The Israeli economy was not “humming” from 1948 to 1967. In the early years, the Israeli economy was dependent on massive reparations (3 billion marks) from Germany and proceeds from the confiscated land and businesses of the ethnically cleansed Palestinians.

          According to Wikipedia, German reparations to Israel were “decisive”, accounting for 87.5% of Israeli state income in 1956. It was the major source of income to the state in those early years.

          link to en.wikipedia.org

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

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

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

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

          …..

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

          …..

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

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

          The funds of Palestinian companies were never returned. Only those of private individuals were partially returned. And as was learned about 10 years ago or so, the bank accounts of European Holocaust victims were also used by Israeli banks and the government with no attempts to return the funds to their rightful heirs.

          With all these capital assets confiscated from others, Israel cannot realistically claim that “their economy” was humming during this time. It was massively dependent on the capital of others, in this case it was German capital in the form of reparations, and the capital of the ethnically cleansed Palestinians.

          As to the 1960′s, the German reparations ended in 1966. Israel saw one of its worst recessions in 1966.

          1966, the last year before Israel occupied territories, was terrible. Unemployment had reached a record 10%, there was a sharp recession and for the first time in the country’s history, migration from it was higher than that to it (aliya). Although military rule over 400,000 Arabs living inside Israel, in place since the 1948 war, was abolished in 1966, their situation remained tough as their lands were confiscated to build new Jewish towns and villages.

          The 1967 war changed all that. Everyone knows that afterwards Israel was considered a regional, if not an international, military superpower. What is less known is that the war changed economic history. The recession ended, unemployment decreased and the economy began to prosper. In 1967 gross domestic product per capita in Israel was only $1,500. By 2006 GDP per capita was $24,000, putting Israel in 23rd place in the UNDP’s Human Development Report. This is reflected in migration to Israel. More than 1.5 million Jews have arrived in the past 40 years and the population has increased from 2.4 million in 1967 to 5.5 million in 2006. No wonder that many consider the war was a turning point in the “Israeli success story”.

          link to mondediplo.com

          1967 was a boon for two reasons. One, it gave Israel a captive market for its goods in the West Bank and Gaza, and two, it was the start of the burgeoning US aid to Israel.

        • talknic says:

          @ goldmarx The world was once commonly held to be flat.

          “I was referring to the Occupation of the West Bank”

          Never the less, occupied is occupied. There was, in the words of the Israeli government, occupation as far back as 1948 of territory which has yet to be legally annexed to Israel.

        • Shingo says:

          You did not prove “me” wrong since I did not say what you claim I said.

          Of course you did. You claimed that Israel were not interested in maintaining military superiority and that it was US policy in spire of what Israel wanted.

          Clearly you are wrong.

          And survival as a third world country is still survival, which verifies my original point!

          Not really, because if Israel were to become impoverished, the citizens of Israel would abandon the state in droves. The majority have admitted in a poll they would leave if they could secure a better standard of living elsewhere, so the state would certainly implode.

        • Shingo says:

          And did the migration of the Russian-trained scientists happen during the Occupation of the West Bank/Gaza, which has consumed massive financial resources?

          The massive financial resources were provided to Israel by the US and foreign donors, so it’s irrelvant.

          But the point is that you made the false statement that Israel’s economy was going swimmingly You were wrong again.

          Might that Occupation itself be responsible for the ‘black hole” in the first place?

          No, the black hole existed prior to 1967. In fact, prior to ’67, Israel was struggling to even garner international Jewish support. It was the victory in the ’67 war that injected enthusiasm for the state among world Jewery.

        • Shingo says:

          Excuse me, but I was referring to the Occupation of the West Bank. THAT is how the term is commonly used.

          Yes, the Zionists have been successful in erasing the fact that there was one prior to ’67. After all, they are quick to refer to Jordan’s occupation of the West Bank and EJ prior to ’67, while ignoring their own occupation of the territory between the 1948 borders and Armistice line.

        • Israel living in peace with its neighbors would not need the colossaly expensive military establishment it now has.

          I did not mean to suggest the occupation itself was especially expensie. The cost is in continuing hostility of much of the Arab world, due to sustained oppression of the Palestinians. By Israel.

        • Shingo says:

          Israel living in peace with its neighbors would not need the colossaly expensive military establishment it now has

          I already pointed out the flaw in that argument. Israel does not need the army it has even today. It wants it that way because peace or no peace, it wants to wield the biggest stick.

          Look at the end of the Cold War. Logic would have dictated that military spending in the US should have fallen sharply. Even Bush Snr advocated shutting it back massively. Yet it’s exploded.

    • American says:

      Mike_Konrad says:

      ‘Boycott, discuss, talk. Jaw. Jaw. Jaw. The Jews will not voluntarily dissolve themselves.”"

      Probably not voluntarily…much more likely down the road some where Israelis will be involuntarily dispersed by events, contained or otherwise marginalized in the ME and the world.
      If they chose the nuclear option though, then it’s bye- bye forever.

    • Mike_Konrad – - I would say chances are ZERO that Jews would abandon control of Israel. Issue is illegal colonies of Jews in the West Bank.

    • Cliff says:

      There was no Islamic invasion of Spain, Mike.

      There was no Spain. There was no Spain territory. Spain came later. It was Al-Andalus before it was ever Spain.

      Why Phil allows your hate-speech and Holocaust denial type revisionist history vis a vis Muslims, an identifier you keep reiterating since you HATE Muslims, is beyond me. I don’t get how this kind of delusion about Islam is allowed through and through and Jeff Blankforts sensible comments get him banned.

      Phil would ban Israel Shahak before batting an eye at the Mike_Konrads here who rewrite history to serve their agenda.

      How about is Mike, where was Spain during this Islamic conquest? Who ruled Spain?

      Oh was it called Spain? What was the culture of this pre-conquered Spain? We’re they Spanish? What language did they speak?

      • Cliff says:

        The history of Islamic Spain:

        link to youtube.com

        I watched a documentary like this in school in a course called ‘heritage of world cultures’ (an ancient history course, birth of human civ up to the 1600s or so).

        This one is great too:

      • Cliff – - Maybe you prefer Iberia? Most of the Visigothic kingdoms in Iberia were conquered by the Muslim invaders.
        The rulers of Andalusia during the highest point of the Emirate of Cordoba apparently were largely Germanic, in terms of genetic heritage.

        • Cliff says:

          ‘Most of the Visigothic kingdoms’ – lol. There was no plethora of Visigothic kingdoms.

          And ‘by Muslim invaders’? It was more or less one guy and his own splinter group. Not some wholesale invasion by the Islamic Empire.

          There was no Spain. Calling it ‘Iberia’ doesn’t legitimize Mike_Konrad’s assertion that the Islamic ‘Spain’/Al-Andalus was illegitimate.

          That’s the undertone to his comments. That this place was uniquely Christian, emerging from primordial ooze with Bible in hand (oh but they were indeed barbarian hordes attacking the Western frontier of the dying Roman Empire).

          Kind of like how Zionists say the Islamic presence in Israel/Palestine was a perpetual invasion (thus temporary with no legitimacy).

        • Cliff – - You prefer smaller states once part of larger Visigothic kingdom?

          I am curious as to how Konrad would think the Moorish states in Iberia were ‘illegitimate”.

      • Cliff – - Let’s remember that when Columbus discovered the New World, he was working under the flag of Castile (and Aragon), given the fact Isabella of Castile was Queen of both countries, and Ferdinand of Aragon was king of that country. Would you say the royal couple spoke “Spanish” with Columbus? Or would you insist on “Castilian”, when the Queen spoke?

        • Cliff says:

          Irrelevant.

          Those two came AFTER the fall of Islamic ‘Spain’/Al-Andalus.

          Who cares about Castilian blah blah and all that. I asked the only relevant question: Were the Visigoths Spanish? Did they resemble the culture of the conquering pre-Spain Spain Christians who conquered Al-Andalus/Granada/whatever?

          No they didn’t. There was no entity known as ‘Spain’ at the time of the Islamic conquest.

        • Cliff- – Were the Franks French? Same question as were the Visigoths Spanish. Both Franks and Visigoths were Germanic tribes settling in portions of Roman Empire as it collapsed.

          Castile and Aragon completed the conquest of Moorish Spain, by taking Granada.

        • Cliff says:

          Ya.

          That’s besides the point.

          There was no Spain. It was Al-Andalus and Granada. Spain begun with the takedown if Islamic ‘Spain’.

    • eljay says:

      People of the Jewish faith have been persecuted throughout history. Homosexuals have been persecuted throughout history. Women have been persecuted throughout history. None of these groups of people is entitled to an oppressive, colonialist, expansionist and supremacist state. None of these groups is entitled to engage in immoral and unjust behaviour.

      Leave it to Zio-supremacists to advocate for the “right” of people of the Jewish faith:
      - to engage in immoral and unjust behaviour;
      - to have an oppressive, colonialist, expansionist and supremacist state of their own; and
      - to claim victimhood even as they actively terrorize, cleanse, steal, colonize, destroy, hate and kill.

      Aggressor-victimhood is such a tough gig… :-(

  8. The Renegate says:

    Philipp, please tell Sam that all my jewish friends renounced the colonisizer’s citizenship (otherwise hardly they were my friends)

  9. An Israeli citizen who happens to be Christian, or Muslim, apparently is not allowed to be an illegal settler in the West Bank. But a Russian emigre, who may have had a Jewish great grandparent, apparently is welcome to become an illegal settler in the West Bank.

  10. hophmi says:

    Maybe we’ll think about it if Palestinians speak out against Hamas and in favor of the two-state solution.

    • Shingo says:

      Maybe we’ll think about it if Palestinians speak out against Hamas and in favor of the two-state solution.

      You gotta love hophmi’s inversion of reality.

      Hamas support a two-state solution and Likud Rejects it, but he insists that denouncing Hamas – and siding with Likud – will bring one about.

      • Shingo – - I agree with you Hamas is not a preventer of success of “two-state” solution.

      • Cliff says:

        Not to mention hoppy supports Jewish terrorism and thinks Irgun is slandered by the New Historians since they (Irgun) were such a ‘tiny group’ (who were assimilated into the Israeli mainstream, and the Israeli mainstream did plenty of ethnic cleansing and rape and massacre on its own).

        • hophmi says:

          “Hamas support a two-state solution”

          Show me where Hamas has supported two states for two peoples. Saying we’ll take it as a step to a one-state solution does not count.

          “Likud Rejects it”

          Likud is not Israel. Israel supports it, and the Israeli Prime Minister is on record as supporting it.

          “but he insists that denouncing Hamas ”

          I do. And so should you.

          “Not to mention hoppy supports Jewish terrorism”

          Cliff opens his mouth, and therefore, he lies and distorts. I’ve never supported Jewish terrorism; I have argued that by the standards used to define terrorism here, attacking a British Military HQ is hard to define as terrorist. Just by the standards that prevail here.

          ” The archives of the Palestine Post record Jewish militia murders and atrocities commit against Arabs. ”

          No one says they didn’t.

          “Zionism was a racket, run by armed racketeers.”

          Um-hmm, and of course, no Arab disturbed a single hair on a Jew’s head during this time. Maybe you’ve been consulting that book you quoted months ago on Palestinian history, the one that blames the Jews for the Holocaust. I seem to remember that that book took the Jews-bad, Arabs-good view.

          The difference between you and me is that I acknowledge the right of both sides to seek self-determination. I’m looking for a solution where both peoples realize their right to self-determination. You want a solution where one does.

          Hostage is a good name for you; you are held hostage to your extremist viewpoint.

        • Can anyone doubt the Irgun was a terrorist group?

          How many promient supporters of Israel, in the US, have supported Salafist terrorists operating within the Russian Federation?

        • Shingo says:

          Show me where Hamas has supported two states for two peoples.

          What is so moral about two states for two peoples? Wouldn’t that involve ethnic cleansing of Arabs from the Jewish state and ethnic cleansing of Jews from the Palestinian state .

          Saying we’ll take it as a step to a one-state solution does not count.

          Sorry, you must be confusing Hamsa with Ben Gurion. Hams never said that, but BG did.

          Likud is not Israel.

          Hasbara fail! Hamas is not Palestine. Hamas and Likud are elected political parties.

          Israel supports it, and the Israeli Prime Minister is on record as supporting it.

          But the platform of his party does not and neither does any of the coalition members. He also refuses to accept final status talks, which means he does not support it.

          I’ve never supported Jewish terrorism

          But you do support the product of Jewish terrorism – Israel.

        • Sibiriak says:

          hophmi :

          the Israeli Prime Minister is on record as supporting it

          No. He supports limited-sovereignty, shrink-wrapped, non-contiguous Palestinian enclaves, aka bantustans.

        • Hostage says:

          Show me where Hamas has supported two states for two peoples. Saying we’ll take it as a step to a one-state solution does not count.

          Except when Ben Gurion did it eh? He publicly stated that:

          The Jewish people have always regarded, and will continue to regard Palestine as a whole, as a single country which is theirs in a national sense and will become theirs once again. No Jew will accept partition as a just and rightful solution. . . . The proposal of the Royal Commission to set up a Jewish State in a restricted area is to put a drastic limit to the possibilities of a Jewish return, and to condemn the rest of the country to stagnation and desolation. . . . Anything may be imposed on a defenceless Jewish people by the superior forces of the British Empire, just as the Jewish people had in the past to submit to the destruction of their country by the Roman legions, and in our own times, to their persecution by Nazi Germany and other countries.

          But they can never regard the proposal as something which is right and just in itself.

          – –The Jews, David Ben Gurion, The Palestine Post, Thursday, July 15, 1937, Page:5, link to jpress.org.il

          He did the very same thing as Hamas, when he supposedly said he would accepted partition without renouncing Jewish claims to the whole of Palestine on both sides of the Jordan river. Even Zionist historians admit that:

          As a historian of Zionism, Gideon, you must know Ben-Gurion’s words in the 20th Zionist Congress in 1937 (this time in Zurich not in Basel): ‘If I had been faced with the question: a Jewish state in the west of the land of Israel (note the emphasis of the ‘west of the land of Israel’ meaning there is also a ‘east of the land of Israel’) in return to giving up on our historical right to the entire land of Israel I would have postponed the (establishment) of the state’. And he added (as far as I know, to applause from many of the delegates): ‘No Jew is entitled to give up the right of the Jewish nation to the land. It is not in the authority of any Jew or of any Jewish body; it is not even in the authority of the entire nation alive today to give up any part of the land’.

          –– Israel Harel, Jewish Quarterly, Winter 2007, Number 208, link to jewishquarterly.org

          I’ll be glad to educate you on your own movement’s historical position on the issue if you need some more examples.

        • Shingo says:

          Nice one Hostage.

          I am amazed how Hop stepped right into that one.

        • Shingo – - Why would Christians and Muslims have to leave Israel, if Israel ends the occupation of the West Bank?

        • RoHa says:

          “The difference between you and me is that I acknowledge the right of both sides to seek self-determination. I’m looking for a solution where both peoples realize their right to self-determination. ”

          In a single democratic state, all citizens in the area would have as much self-determination as Australians do in Australia.

    • Cliff says:

      why don’t you and your cult speak out against Irgun, et. al.

      oh right, Jewish terrorism isn’t really terrorism to a supporter of Jewish terrorism

      it’s ‘fighting British imperialism’

      • Hostage says:

        oh right, Jewish terrorism isn’t really terrorism to a supporter of Jewish terrorism . . . it’s ‘fighting British imperialism’

        Hophmi forgets that Zionists didn’t always attack “British imperialism” by “the most direct” means possible. The archives of the Palestine Post record Jewish militia murders and atrocities commit against Arabs. They bombed hotels and theaters patronized by Arabs. They rolled barrel bombs down the hillsides into Arab towns and villages. They conducted drive-by shootings and tossed hand grenades into Arab marketplaces and workplaces. They destroyed Arab agricultural products and punished their Jewish brethren for buying any which competed directly against fruits and veggies grown on land owned by the Jewish trusts and harvested by Jewish labor. Zionism was a racket, run by armed racketeers.

        • Bravo, Hostage. Jewish terrorists often tended to focus on committing atrocities against Christians and Muslims. who were long-term historical occupants of the land they wanted to take for their own country.

        • Obsidian says:

          @Hostage

          Let’s not forget massacres.

          “On October 2nd 1938 there occurred a general raid on the Jewish quarter of Tiberias. It was systematically organized and savagely executed. Of the 19 Jews killed, including women and children, all save four were stabbed to death.”

          Actually, a British soldier, Alex Morrison, an eyewitness, recorded in his diary that the Arabs had doused a children’s nursery with gasoline and burned the children to death.— One Palestine, complete: Jews and Arabs under the British Mandate, by Tom Śegev, page 414.

        • Shingo says:

          Let’s not forget massacres.

          Like Lodd, Tantoura, Deir Yassin, Lydda and the half dozen others perpetrated by the Zionists.

        • Cliff says:

          Let’s not forget Israeli and Jewish terrorists campaign of rape and murder.

          After the war, let’s not forget the force-labor camps utilized by the Israeli and Jewish terrorists.

          Let’s not forget the massacres of Palestinians after the war by Israeli and Jewish terrorists.

          Right up until the present.

          Let’s not forget the 20,000 murdered Lebanese and Palestinians at the hands of Israel and Jewish terrorists.

          Let’s not forget Sabra and Shatilla and Gaza 08′ and the Intifadas and all your lies and hasbara b.s. which employ all sorts of logical fallacies and ethnoreligious hypocrisy because you think Jews should be treated special.

        • chocopie says:

          Also Safsaf, October 1948. My dear in-laws, Khalid and Alia, were newlyweds at the time and survived the massacre.

        • Hostage says:

          @Hostage Let’s not forget massacres.

          The US Cavalry and the US Government complained bitterly about the Indian massacres out west, while they and the settlers in “The New Israel” busied themselves with the job of working out their manifest destiny, by dispossessing and exterminating them. Zionist hasbara simply borrows a page from the same shopworn propaganda playbook.

          I’ve pointed out on many occasions that Herbert Samuel had barely arrived in-country before he requested a Collective Punishment Ordinance that could be arbitrarily used against the Palestinian “tribal areas”. By the era of Montgomery and Wingate the RAF or Haganah leveled entire villages in reprisal raids and imprisoned the inhabitants in concentration camps that were infamous for torture and other crimes against humanity. See Matthew Hughes, The Banality of Brutality: British Armed Forces and the Repression of the Arab Revolt in Palestine, 1936 – 39, English Historical Review Vol. CXXIV No. 507, Oxford University Press, 2009, link to ehr.oxfordjournals.org

        • Obsidian says:

          @Hostage

          “..the RAF or Haganah leveled entire villages in reprisal raids and imprisoned the inhabitants..”

          So the RAF or Haganah were on par as far causing destruction? Really.
          Please cite one Arab ‘leveled’ by the Haganah during the Arab Revolt in Palestine.

        • Shingo says:

          Please cite one Arab ‘leveled’ by the Haganah during the Arab Revolt in Palestine.

          The British were doing on their behalf during the Arab Revolt. That’s when the Zionist leadership was introduced to collective punishment and home demolitions.

        • Obsidian says:

          Here’s one you never heard of. Operation Atlas, the joint Nazi-Arab attempt to [attack [original verb censored by editor]] the Jews of Palestine.

          link to nationalarchives.gov.uk

        • Hostage says:

          “..the RAF or Haganah leveled entire villages in reprisal raids and imprisoned the inhabitants..”

          So the RAF or Haganah were on par as far causing destruction? Really.

          Of course not. During the war in 1948, the Hanagah and other Jewish militias carried out the demolition of several hundred villages. They even planted mines in the ruins to prevent the return of any Palestinians who managed to survive. So it holds the record for violence and cruelty, hands down.

          During the Arab Revolt, there was a full partnership between Ord Wingate and the Haganah FOSH in the establishment of the British-Jewish counter-insurgency units that conducted torture, summary executions, and targeted Bedouin encampments and Arab villages like Dabburiya and Hirbat-Lidd for so-called “reprisals” to deter “future terrorists”.

          For example, London School of Economics and the Hebrew University- trained Israeli military historian, Martin van Creveld, wrote that the Haganah field units were trained:

          how to select a location for setting an ambush; and how to achieve surprise by ruses such as putting a cars red tail-lights in front. There were also other lessons, less savoury but necessary, such as how to kill without compunction; how to interrogate prisoners by shooting every tenth man to make the rest talk; and how to deter future terrorists by pushing the heads of captured ones into pools of oil and then freeing them to tell the story.

          – See Dayan, Great Commanders Series, Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 2004, page 46. link to amazon.com

          Oxford-trained historian, Shlomo Ben Ami wrote:

          Either in co-operation with the British or through the independent operations of Wingate’s Special Night Squads and Yitzhak Sadeh’s Field Battalions, let alone through the activities of the Irgun, the Jews started to respond. After the Arab Revolt was quelled — mainly, of course, by the brutal repression of the British — it was a new military offspring of the Haganah, the ‘Poum’, that led what became almost routine reprisals and collective punishments against Arab villages.

          – See Scars of War, Oxford University Press, page 17 link to books.google.com

        • Hostage says:

          Here’s one you never heard of. Operation Atlas, the joint Nazi-Arab attempt to [attack [original verb censored by editor]] the Jews of Palestine.

          For good reason. It only amounted to “a 5-man German-Arab Unit”. Hitler deployed the entire 1st and 2nd Parachute Divisions to support his Italian Allies, but only gave the Mufti two or three commandos to staff a mixed 5 man team.

          They parachuted into Palestine in September 1944 and were captured shortly thereafter. According to the abstract:

          The object of the ‘Commando’ [team], jointly operated by German Intelligence and their protege, the Berlin-based Mufti of Jerusalem, was, through contact with local Palestinians and the supply of cash and arms, to organise local resistance activity, including sabotage. This was to be directed against Jewish rather than British targets.

          I doubt that the editors here prefer the term “attack” to the words “resistance” or “sabotage” that appear in the original source that you cited.

        • Interesting. Perhaps at some time in future, monuments can be erected listing the dead (as far as can be ascertained).

        • Obsidian says:

          @Hostage

          Rank obfuscation.

          You had said, “.. the RAF or Haganah leveled entire villages in reprisal raids and imprisoned the inhabitants in concentration camps..”

          A reprisal raid is not the same as leveling a village and imprisoning the inhabitants in concentration camps. I asked for proof Jews leveled entire villages and you gave no proof.

          You had said RAF “or” Haganah and now you’re back-pedaling with reference to the (very limited) use of FOSH by Wingate, who himself was pulled out of Palestine in the middle of the Arab Revolt.
          The British crushed the Arab Revolt with very little assistance from the Jews and you know it.

          Man up and admit your mistake.

        • Shingo says:

          Here’s one you never heard of. Operation Atlas, the joint Nazi-Arab attempt to [attack [original verb censored by editor]] the Jews of Palestine.

          Seriously Obsidian, you are embarrassing yourself. A 5 man unit was going to single handedly supposed to attack the Jews of Palestine?

          Put the bottle down dude, drop the stick and step away from the dead horse.

        • Obsidian says:

          The five man unit had enough liquid cyanide to kill tens of thousands of Tel Aviv’s Jews, they’re intended target.

          If size matters to you, than take another look at what a 19 man unit did on September 11.

        • Shingo says:

          The five man unit had enough liquid cyanide to kill tens of thousands of Tel Aviv’s Jews, they’re intended target.

          Which is beyond hilarious as they would have had no possible means of distributing or delivering it to that many Jews, let alone carrying it on their persons.

          On the other hand, Jews were repeatedly caught or exposed pouring typhus and dysentery bacteria into water wells or Arab villages to make sure the Arabs couldn’t return to make a fresh life for themselves in these villages.

          Moshe Dayan, a division commander at the time, gave orders in 1948 to remove Arabs from their villages, bulldoze their homes, and render water wells unusable with typhus and dysentery bacteria.

          The Haganah put typhus bacteria into the water going to Acre, the people got sick, and the Jewish forces occupied Acre. This worked so well that they sent a Haganah division dressed as Arabs into Gaza, where there were Egyptian forces, and the Egyptians caught them putting two cans of bacteria, typhus and dysentery, into the water supply in wanton disregard of the civilian population.

        • Obsidian says:

          @Shingo

          “Which is beyond hilarious as they would have had no possible means of distributing or delivering it to that many Jews, let alone carrying it on their persons.”

          Dude.
          Put down the bottle. Sit down at your computer, and Google ‘Operation Atlas’.

          ….O-P-E-R-A-T-I-O-N A-T-L-A-S…

        • Shingo says:

          Rank obfuscation.

          Coming from someone who trying to pretend that a 5 member ever had a chance of posing any kind of threat to the Jewish population of Palestine, when not only were they immediately captured, but all they hoped to do was supply cash and arms, and to organise local resistance activity, including sabotage.

          A reprisal raid is not the same as leveling a village and imprisoning the inhabitants in concentration camps.

          Hasbara fail!

          There is nothing to suggest that a reprisal raid cannot involve the leveling a village and imprisoning the inhabitants in concentration camps.

          I asked for proof Jews leveled entire villages and you gave no proof.

          They did it to 500 villages and towns betwene 1947 and 1948 dufus. That is why those villages no longer exist.

        • Obsidian says:

          No proof whatsoever that Zionists loosed typhoid on Acre.

          To the contrary, contemporary newspapers reported that the chlorination of Acre’s water supply had broken down one month before the outbreak.

          link to google.co.il…1253.16323.0.18435.26.8.8.10.9.0.326.1269.4j0j3j1.8.0…0.0…1ac.1.11.img.9sJUxYzMuuk#imgrc=KMqKu9Aeyg65YM%3A%3BeHMLShwCAOlu0M%3Bhttp%253A%252F%252F3.bp.blogspot.com%252F-Hy90BGnKeZQ%252FUVxmwToVDgI%252FAAAAAAAAW8o%252FekTGoV6codg%252Fs1600%252Ftyphus%252B1.jpg%3Bhttp%253A%252F%252Felderofziyon.blogspot.com%252F2013%252F04%252Fpseudo-academics-to-hold-right-of.html%3B256%3B622

        • Shingo says:

          No proof whatsoever that Zionists loosed typhoid on Acre.

          Of course their is. Egyptians caught them putting two cans of bacteria, typhus and dysentery, into the water supply in wanton disregard of the civilian population. “In war, there is no sentiment,” one of the captured Haganah men was quoted as saying.

          Acre was so situated that it could practically defend itself with one big gun, so the Haganah put bacteria into the spring that fed the town. The spring was called Capri and it ran from the north near a kibbutz.

          The Haganah put typhus bacteria into the water going to Acre, the people got sick, and the Jewish forces occupied Acre. This worked so well that they sent a Haganah division dressed as Arabs into Gaza, where there were Egyptian forces, and the Egyptians caught them putting two cans of bacteria, typhus and dysentery, into the water supply in wanton disregard of the civilian population. “In war, there is no sentiment,” one of the captured Haganah men was quoted as saying.

          To the contrary, contemporary newspapers reported that the chlorination of Acre’s water supply had broken down one month before the outbreak.

          Which has zero relevance to whether the water supply was poisoned by the Hanganah.

      • Great post, Cliff.

    • talknic says:

      “Maybe we’ll think about it if Palestinians speak out against Hamas and in favor of the two-state solution.”

      Start thinkin’ pal!

      BTW .. Is that the same Hamas who were democratically elected under one of the most highly observed elections in modern history? Hamas the democratically elected Government of Palestine who attempted quell an immediate armed uprising by an opposition supported by the US and Israel?

      Hamas who have said they’d accept a two state solution?

      Hamas whose charter contains the following caveat “Article Thirty-One: “As to those who have not borne arms against you on account of religion, nor turned you out of your dwellings, Allah forbiddeth you not to deal kindly with them, and to behave justly towards them; for Allah loveth those who act justly.” (The Tried – verse 8).”

      There are no caveats in the Lukid charter or Deuteronomy 20: which doesn’t even justify wanting or the need to attack. Furthermore, it is contrary to the Laws of War, CG’s, UN Charter in every respect. Yet that’s how the Jewish state has treated non-Israeli territory not belonging to a nearby state.

      Cute …

    • K Renner says:

      ha ha ha ha you must be joking.

      The “two state solution” is a pathetic lie and used as means for your ilk to stall true justice.

  11. AbeBird says:

    Sam Bahour’s non-argument is irrelevant. Each state has its own laws of former residents return. Israel was established to serve and rescue the Jewish people from disappearing in the Diaspora, and as such priorities the citizenship of Jews who chose to make Aliya. Although many non-Jews are register as citizens as well.
    link to en.wikipedia.org .

    • Shingo says:

      Each state has its own laws of former residents return.

      As has been explained to you, Israel’s law is not about former residents but those belonging to a particular faith. No wonder Sam Bahour’s argument went over your head.

      Israel was established to serve and rescue the Jewish people from disappearing in the Diaspora

      If that were true, then it is an anachronism. Not only a fewer and fewer Jews making Alyah, but hundreds of thousands are leaving.

  12. ANTISEMITISM: The belief that there is something wrong with being Jewish.

    ZIONISM: The belief that there is something wrong with NOT being Jewish.

  13. Obsidian says:

    What’s Sam’s legal status in the West Bank? Seven years ago Sam complained that Israel didn’t want to extend his (13 year) tourist visa, but Sam still resides there. Is he illegal? Has Israel renewed his tourist visa (that would be 20 years) or has Israel or the PA changed his tourist status to something else?

    Sam’s mother is Lebanese. Can Sam become a citizen of Lebanon?

    • Shmuel says:

      What’s Sam’s legal status in the West Bank?

      Sam was finally granted Palestinian residency, 15 years after his first application. There are no guarantees for any Palestinians, that they will be allowed to return to their homes after a time abroad, but his status is more secure than before, and now matches that of his wife and daughters. On the other hand, despite his US citizenship, he is now barred from entering Israel or Jerusalem (where some of his business lies).

      link to harvestinghopeamongstolives.blogspot.it

      • Obsidian says:

        I guess Sam was ‘barred from entering Israel’ after he began his divestment campaign against Israel….

        link to huffingtonpost.com

        …..but not before he got his M.B.A from Tel Aviv University.

        link to meretzusa.blogspot.com

        I admire Sam, I just don’t feel very sorry for him. Why should I?

        • Shmuel says:

          I guess Sam was ‘barred from entering Israel’ after he began his divestment campaign against Israel

          Um, no. When he was granted Palestinian residency (by Israel) and, as far as Israel was concerned, became just another Palestinian.

          but not before he got his M.B.A from Tel Aviv University.

          As long as Israeli authorities denied him Palestinian residency (15 years), he was considered a US citizen, and was allowed to go to Tel Aviv.

          I admire Sam, I just don’t feel very sorry for him. Why should I?

          No need to feel sorry for Sam Bahour or any other Palestinian. Respect for their rights and freedoms will do nicely.

        • Cliff says:

          Who cares if you don’t feel sorry for him?

    • Hostage says:

      What’s Sam’s legal status in the West Bank? Seven years ago Sam complained that Israel didn’t want to extend his (13 year) tourist visa, but Sam still resides there. Is he illegal?

      Bear in mind that Israel has stated unequivocally for the public record that the West Bank is not part of its sovereign territory or jurisdiction. See CCPR/C/ISR/2001/2, para 8 or E/1990/6/Add.32, para 6-7

      So a better question is what’s the legal status of an Israeli visa in Palestine?

    • eljay says:

      >> Sam’s mother is Lebanese. Can Sam become a citizen of Lebanon?

      Over half of all Jews in the world are not Israeli. Why can’t they remain citizens of the countries that are their actual homelands?

    • talknic says:

      @Obsidian “What’s Sam’s legal status in the West Bank?”

      8. In its Concluding Observations on Israel’s Initial Report, the Committee questioned Israel’s position regarding the applicability of the Covenant to the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. Israel has consistently maintained that the Covenant does not apply to areas that are not subject to its sovereign territory and jurisdiction. link to unispal.un.org

      Better question: What gives Israel the right to determine his status? It has no valid civil jurisdiction in “territories occupied”

  14. Sam-
    Are you aware of this video made by many Jewish Americans doing precisely that?

  15. joer says:

    I find it extremely irritating and obnoxious when I hear someone say because I am Jewish I must:
    A. Support Israel
    B. Rebuke Israel
    C. accept Jesus
    D. Not eat ham
    …or anything else, when the truth is as a Jew, all I must do is walk around without a foreskin. However, as a human being, just like any other human being, I should think for myself and speak up when I disagree. As it happens, I disagree with Zionism, but my opinion does not have more weight because I’m Jewish.

    • gamal says:

      “all I must do is walk around without a foreskin.”

      tough isnt it, but 5/600 million Muslims walk that way, we stagger around and eat as much ham as we can stomach,

      “but my opinion does not have more weight because I’m Jewish.” yes!! preach it brother.

  16. Warning: this is a technical critique and does not change Sam Bahour’s major argument.

    He wrote: All they need to do to claim it is to visit Israel and request it.

    Meaning: All that nonIsraeli Jews need to do to claim citizenship is to visit Israel and request it.

    No, it’s not quite that simple.

    I did not experience the specific case that Sam Bahour refers to, as in someone who arrives in Israel as a tourist and then wishes to apply for citizenship. I decided to make aliya before I got on the airplane, I went to the Israel consulate’s aliya office in NYC filled out forms, answered questions regarding my fluency in Hebrew and regarding relatives living in Israel and regarding plans for supporting myself once I settle in Israel. I also had to prove that I was Jewish by getting a letter from a rabbi testifying to his knowledge regarding that fact. Then when I arrived in Israel I was immediately (within a few weeks) given a t.z. teudat zehut, (aka hawiye) identity card, but my application for citizenship was still provisional and I was not able to get an Israeli passport until I had lived in Israel for a year and a half and during my first half year in Israel I was not allowed to leave the country without special permission or else it would have disrupted the consecutive residency requirement.

    The requirements are rather lax, but not quite “all I had to do is visit and request it.”

    I see no reason why Jews from abroad (the Diaspora seems to be a term that isn’t acceptable to the crew here, so since it is a recent word I will use the more ancient term- Golus, or exile) should automatically be granted citizenship and not have to wait say five years of residency and be able to pass a test regarding citizenship (the test would emphasize democracy, according to my druthers).

    These would not change Sam Bahour’s major point which is not in regards to the ease with which I can claim citizenship, but with his extreme difficulty (with limit approaching impossibility) in claiming citizenship. This along with the nakba has to do with the demographic question, where Israel wishes to maintain a Jewish majority and minimize the size of the Palestinian/Arab minority. Given the fact that the surrounding countries which have started the journey down the path to a democratic society have yet to show that they will respect the rights of minorities, let alone other democratic values circa 2013, is in fact a valid question. The path to democracy should not involve a suspension of disbelief or closing one’s eyes to reality and the current reality is that Islamism is ascendant, the Muslim Brotherhood is the center and Salafi Islam is the second strongest power in Egypt and to assume that the votes in a Palestine with an Islamic majority would not vote in Hamas (or someone worse) is based upon naivete. And thus the demographic question is a real question.

    When it gets down to the bottom line the question is: what army will control Lydda airport? And there is no way that anyone who cares about the safety of the Jews of israel who would stay in Israel would consider Hamas controlling Lydda airport as anything but a tragedy. (this statement is overly generalized, but 97.1% true).

    Regarding setting policy regarding who is allowed into the West Bank and in and out of the West Bank, there certainly is justice in giving the Palestinians the right to determine who enters and exits rather than Israel, because the West Bank should be held in guardianship for the Palestinians rather than as a half annexed territory (annexed as far as allowing Israelis to move there, but not annexed regarding giving rights to the Palestinians.) I personally would accept a large number of refugees into Israel (if I were Prime Minister and controlled the Knesset and the minds of Israeli Jews) and grant them citizenship and I would hope that work towards assimilation into an Israeli identity which was not Jewish could be achieved over a few generations, so that it would be sufficient to say that an Israeli army controlled Lydda airport rather than stating that a Jewish army must control Lydda airport. Admittedly Israel is not moving in this positive direction and I accept that given the facts on the ground Sam Bahour’s point will fall on receptive ears of those who already opposed Israel before they heard Sam Bahour’s argument.

    • Hostage says:

      (the Diaspora seems to be a term that isn’t acceptable to the crew here, so since it is a recent word I will use the more ancient term- Golus, or exile)

      AJC President Jacob Blaustein obtained Ben-Gurion’s acquiescence to the 1950 “Entente” agreement which stipulated that we aren’t living in the USA as exiles. The objection to the term diaspora arises from the fact that many non-Jewish converts with non-Middle Eastern origins have been assimilated over the centuries.

      The Orthodox conversion authority, the waiting periods, and red tape that you mention or allude to in your comment are relatively recent developments. They were not employed during the periods of Israel’s largest waves of immigration. Under the original laws on nationality and return, it was sufficient for an individual to simply state that he or she was Jewish to the best of his or her knowledge and belief. I believe the adoption of waiting periods and red tape were mainly an attempt to derail or delay the implementation of the 2005 High Court of Justice rulings on foreign (i.e, Reform and Conservative) conversions.

    • Obsidian says:

      @Yonah

      I did arrive in Israel as a tourist and apply for citizenship. It’s a huge pain in the ass. Let me also dispel another myth; that new immigrants are showered with gifts. That may have been the case a long time ago, but not now. They give you a little seed money, but after that, you’re pretty much on par with everyone else here.

  17. Hostage – - Was Caspar Weinberger an “exile”? Is John Kerry an “exile”?

    I think the welcoming of “Jews” to Israel, decades ago, was simply based on the need to have more “Jews” to offset the number of non-Jews in Israel, and of course in the region.

    • Hostage says:

      Hostage – – Was Caspar Weinberger an “exile”? Is John Kerry an “exile”?

      I’ve commented several times on the 1950 “Entente” agreement between AJC President Jacob Blaustein and Prime Minister Ben-Gurion which stipulated that no one is living in the USA as an exile.

      Neither Weinburger nor Kerry personally converted from Judaism to another religion. I don’t know if either man had a grandparent with a ketubah or other bona fides that the Ministry of Interior would be willing to accept. Secretary William Cohen is the product of a Levitically prohibited union. So he would present another interesting case, with additional complicating factors. Mamzers might be able to immigrate, but have difficulty in obtaining agreement on their “Jewish” personal status under various other Israeli laws once they arrive.

    • Hostage says:

      I think the welcoming of “Jews” to Israel, decades ago, was simply based on the need to have more “Jews” to offset the number of non-Jews in Israel, and of course in the region.

      That’s a difference that makes no difference to the national religious Zionists. The mission of redeeming the Land is inseparable from the one to redeem and restore the Jewish people to their proper place in it as well.

      There are many more conundrums than you can imagine involved in the question of who can be considered a Jew, and for which purposes.

      Take for example a hypothetical case of a Jewish mother who dies delivering a newborn. Even if the Jewish father and a new Gentile stepmother agree to raise-up the child in the Jewish faith, and the child regularly attends Jewish schools and religious services, he or she might still be required to “convert” to Orthodox Judaism. According to many Orthodox authorities, that would be necessary before he or she could marry another Jew. They simply don’t see how a Gentile mother can provide an observant household or raise an observant Jew. At one and the same time those same authorities would argue that both the father and child are Jewish, but not necessarily good Jews, simply because they were born of Jewish mothers.

  18. Fascinating post, Hostage. But is someone a “Jew” only because “Orthodox” Jewish officials say so?