Chas Freeman: Kerry’s talks leave out 4 of 5 Palestinians

Israel/Palestine
on 160 Comments

At the American Conservative, Scott McConnell has published a piece offering William Pfaff’s argument that the greatest effect the US could have on the Arab spring would be to take action now to bring about partition, and a viable Palestinian state. But this is certainly not where John Kerry’s negotiations are headed. 

McConnell cites the report from Sam Bahour, based on documents purportedly leaked to an Arab newspaper, indicating what the Palestinian Authority has agreed to already. The leak asserts, McConnell says,

that in order to sit down for talks, the PA has already agreed to accept Israel’s territorial grabs around Jerusalem, and the seizure of the water reserves under the Israeli side of the ‘separation wall’ and beneath the large settlements planned and sited so as to deny a Palestinian state’s contiguity. Many Palestinians would call the enclaves they would receive around the large Israeli settlements and connecting infrastructure “bantustans” and they would be right.

Perhaps this kind of negotiating result is inevitable between a party as weak as the Palestinian Authority and as strong as Israel. But it doesn’t guarantee peace so much as oppression of the Palestinians under a modified guise.

McConnell then quotes former ambassador Chas Freeman’s incisive take on Sam Bahour’s report. Here it is:

It seems to me that the structure of these talks (even if it is not built on the preposterously one-sided formulas cited in Sam’s report) overlooks and violates a basic maxim of diplomacy.  An agreement that excludes and fails to address the interests of those with the capacity to wreck it is no agreement at all.

All Palestine has now been divided into four parts.  The Palestinian Arab citizens of Israel are ignored by both the Israeli authorities and forgotten by the international community.  The other three parts of Palestine are the West Bank, Gaza, and the Diaspora Palestinians driven from their homes into residence in refugee camps and foreign countries.

Of these three parts, the Palestinian Authority, which the United States has appointed to represent Palestinian interests in negotiations with Israel, and which is now talking to the government of Israel under U.S. auspices is the weakest.  It lacks a popular mandate, is dependent on foreign subsidies and tax revenue collected by Israel, relies on Israel’s staunchest foreign backer to extract Israeli concessions that will permit self-determination by Palestinians, polices the Jewish state’s occupation of the West Bank and isolation of Gaza, and whines ineffectually as Israel’s colonial enterprise consumes its territory and displaces its people.  The PA cannot speak for Palestinians in Gaza or in the Diaspora, neither of whom would be bound by any agreement it might reach with Israel.

In January 2006, Hamas gained a popular mandate to govern all of Palestine beyond the 1967 borders of Israel.  It is now besieged in Gaza by both Israel and Arab opponents of Islamist democracy.  Neither Hamas nor Gazan Palestinians are represented in the so-called “peace process.”  Neither will have a stake in making anything that might emerge from it work. 

The 7 million Palestinians who live outside their homeland have not been represented in discussions of its future since the Oslo accords created the PA.  Revanchism on their part would not be cured by a deal between Israel and the PA.

I don’t see how the “peace process’ Kerry has contrived is a path to peace even for the fifth or so of the Palestinians (those on the West Bank) whose future it purports to address.  A peace that proposes to exclude about four-fifths of Palestinians is a fatally flawed diplomatic fraud — not, of course, the first one in this arena.

160 Responses

  1. ckg
    August 23, 2013, 12:02 pm

    I think Freeman is very, very confused. The PLO, not the PA, is negotiating with the government of Israel. The PLO is the sole legitimate legal representative of the Palestinian people, including those in Gaza, the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and the Diaspora. Hamas’ de facto rule in Gaza and its victory in 2006 PA elections do not change that fact.

    • Talkback
      August 23, 2013, 3:59 pm

      ckg says: “I think Freeman is very, very confused.- The PLO, not the PA, is negotiating with the government of Israel.”

      No, the PA is. Read news.

    • Shingo
      August 24, 2013, 4:11 am

      The PLO is the sole legitimate legal representative of the Palestinian people, including those in Gaza, the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and the Diaspora.

      False. They are the only representatives that the US and it’s allies will recognize. In fact, Hamaswon the last elections.

      • Hostage
        August 25, 2013, 8:18 pm

        In fact, Hamaswon the last elections.

        Abbas got 60 percent of the vote for President. The fact is that Hamas got less than 50 percent of the popular vote in the election for the PLC and couldn’t form a governing coalition with the other parties after more than a year and half of negotiations.

        The 2003 Palestinian Basic Law was promulgated by the PLO Central Committee. The preamble stipulated that the role of the PLO in representing the Palestinian people was not affected by its contents. So, under the terms of the 1988 Declaration on the Provisional Government the PLO Executive Committee was still entrusted with the powers and responsibilities of the provisional Government. In any event, Hamas had consistently rejected the validity of the 2003 Basic law prior to the elections and advocated that it be scrapped and replaced with a constitutional system based on Islamic law. It’s small wonder that they couldn’t attract coalition partners to implement their political platform.

        FYI, neither side treated the 2003 law as anything other than an interim measure. The USA viewed President Arafat as an obstacle to a final settlement after Camp David and the Second Intifada. It made the creation of a constitutional position for an “empowered Prime Minister” part of the Road Map process of “Palestinian Institution-building” and a condition for continued foreign assistance and economic cooperation:

        Palestinian Institution-building
        Immediate action on credible process to produce draft constitution for Palestinian statehood. As rapidly as possible, constitutional committee circulates draft Palestinian constitution, based on strong parliamentary democracy and cabinet with empowered prime minister, for public comment/debate. Constitutional committee proposes draft document for submission after elections for approval by appropriate Palestinian institutions.
        Appointment of interim prime minister or cabinet with empowered executive authority/decision-making body.

        — A Performance-Based Road Map To A Permanent Two-State Solution To The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict link to electronicintifada.net

        Arafat should have insisted that the United States go first and appoint its own “empowered Prime Minister” to take-over the reigns of government from President Bush Jr. and Vice President Cheney;-)

        That was the first time that the international community had ever advanced the notion that the PA was anything more than a local municipal government created by Israel and the PLO to look after a very short and limited list of strictly domestic housekeeping functions. If you read the 1988 Declaration of the State of Palestine it specifically stipulated that the PLO Executive Committee and Central Committees would establish the governments and that no proposed government could take office without the adoption of a PLO motion of confidence. link to unispal.un.org

        Most countries only give the winners a few weeks after the elections to forge agreements with the other parties and form a governing coalition. Hamas and Haniyeh got a year and half from Abbas, during a time when he ignored demands from US Secretary Rice that he step-in and remove Haniyeh.

        The PLO has long since absorbed the PA into the provisional government and redesignated the whole enterprise as the “Government of the State of Palestine”. If you are still complaining about the PA fulfiling the dead letter of the US-mandated basic law, you’re either beating a dead horse or you are an Israeli.

  2. David Doppler
    August 23, 2013, 12:17 pm

    Tells it like it is. Disqualified him from service.

  3. Citizen
    August 23, 2013, 1:26 pm

    Yeah, he’s right. That’s why the Israel Lobby got him booted out of any position of actual influence.

  4. American
    August 23, 2013, 1:26 pm

    Evidently the talks are not under ‘US auspices’.

    Palestinians: Israel Pushed US Team Out of Negotiations
    Promised US Mediation Not Happening at All
    by Jason Ditz, August 22, 2013

    A team of US mediators were expected to be a key portion of the Israel-Palestinian peace talks, but so far they haven’t participated in a single meeting, [says the Jerusalem Post] according to Palestinian officials familiar with the situation.

    PLO official Hanan Ashrawi says that the US team was cut out of the talks because of Israeli demands. Ashrawi says that she believes the US was removed to allow Israel to be even harsher with their negotiating terms.[says the TimesofIsrael]
    Israeli officials declined comment on the matter, noting that they had promised US officials not to discuss any of the details of the peace process. The US has likewise declined comment so far.”……..
    >>>>>>>>

    me oh my, the answer to everything, everywhere these days is ‘scapegoating’…even Abbas is catching on.

  5. American
    August 23, 2013, 1:53 pm

    My thought is …if Abbas is going to take part in the peace talk charade then someone on the Palestine side should make him hire some world renown international law attorney expert from a neutral country to be Palestine’s lead negotiator in these ‘talks’ with Isr.
    Abbas does not appear to be up to the job.

    • American
      August 23, 2013, 2:04 pm

      Does anyone have a e mail address for Hamas? I woud like to contact and suggest they call a HUGE press conference to demand a neutral Internatonal Law expert be included in any Palestine talks wth Israel or US.
      Seems like an excellent idea to me.

      • seafoid
        August 23, 2013, 2:11 pm

        It is not as if israel is going to offer the palestinians anything anyway. Bibi does the dance of the seven security veils and thinks we are interested in him shaking his self important ass.

      • Annie Robbins
        August 23, 2013, 2:14 pm

        they are on twitter.

        @IsmailHaniyyeh
        @AlqassamBrigade

      • American
        August 23, 2013, 4:32 pm

        o.k. thanks….meant to set up a twitter acct some tme ago and then forgot it…so now will do…..soon as I set up a fake address and identity so I wont have to move to Russia….lol.
        Although Russia is a drop dead beautiful country…was there in the 70’s…and all that first class vodka…huum…not such a bad exile after all..

      • HarryLaw
        August 23, 2013, 2:22 pm

        American, is the prosecutor at the ICC neutral enough for you? ICC prosecutor Fatou Bensouda said recently.. “now that the UN General Assembly had made its determination that Palestine is a state, “the ball is now in the court of Palestine”, “Palestine has to come back” and “we are waiting for them”. Abbas is far too busy giving away the farm to be concerned with international law, he “will not demand in the future to return to Jaffa, Acre or Haifa,” Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas told a group of left-wing MKs who visited his Ramallah office on Thursday. link to timesofisrael.com

      • American
        August 23, 2013, 4:21 pm

        @ Harry Law…

        “Abbas is far too busy giving away the farm to be concerned with international law”

        Appears so…thats why suggested Hamas pipe up wth this demand to show up Abbas and stir the pot a bit.

      • Kathleen
        August 24, 2013, 11:35 am

        Awhile back Abbas looked as if he was serious about international law.

      • Blank State
        August 24, 2013, 10:37 pm

        Amazing. I know damned good and well that you have been paying attention these last coupla decades, American.

        So, your idea of “contacting Hamas” is surreal. Are you a sado-masochist? You WANT the full brunt of our government’s attention, complete with the latest fascist additions, courtesy of the NSA?

        Please, keep us posted whats like to be on the no-fly list.

      • Djinn
        August 25, 2013, 3:27 pm

        He could just ask an Australian to do it for him, no issue with talking to or meeting the political wing at least in my neck of the woods. That alone certainly won’t get you much attention from any Australian “security” agency.

      • HarryLaw
        August 23, 2013, 2:44 pm

        American, “Does anyone have a e mail address for Hamas? I would like to contact and suggest they call a HUGE press conference to demand a neutral Internatonal Law expert be included in any Palestine talks wth Israel or US”. Careful, Hamas are a US listed terrorist organization, according to Chomsky and Hedges the NDAA could be interpreted by the Government in a way that authorizes them to label activists who merely give advice to such groups as covered persons, I would miss your valuable contributions to this site.

  6. fnlevit
    August 23, 2013, 2:22 pm

    The fact that Hamas is not participating and is ON RECORD against any agreement with Israel (the most they are willing to talk is chudna ) is a major negative which makes even most positive ourcome problematic.

    Concerning Palestinian “diaspora” – this must be settled together with what is lately called “forgotten refugees” – close to 1.000.000 Jews who were expelled fom Arab countries in (roughly) 1948-1970 as a result of the same hostilities betweem Israel and Arab states which created the Palestinian refugee problem. Close to 700.000 were absorbed in Israel.

    For those who is unfamiliar just type “forgotten refugees” in Google and get tens of links. Here is one
    link to jpost.com
    In 1948, Middle East and North African countries had considerable Jewish populations: Morocco (250,000), Algeria (140,000), Iraq (140,000), Iran (120,000), Egypt (75,000), Tunisia (50,000), Yemen (50,000), Libya (35,000), and Syria (20,000). Today, the indigenous Jews of those countries are virtually extinct.

    In most cases, the Jewish population had lived there for millennia – long before Muslims conquered those territories

    Moderator – the forgotten refugees issue is an important component of the Middle East conflict which does not seem to be sufficiently discussed on these site. Please post this comment to correct this garing omission.

    • seafoid
      August 23, 2013, 2:50 pm

      “The fact that Hamas is not participating and is ON RECORD against any agreement with Israel (the most they are willing to talk is chudna ) is a major negative which makes even most positive ourcome problematic”

      Never mind that Israel is trying to exterminate Hamas.

      link to nybooks.com

      “Judt’s Zionist teachers…would have said: “Even if the gentiles like you and treat you as one of their own, you will not like yourself. Indeed you will like yourself even less for just that reason.” As a result, you turn to a paranoid kind of Jewishness, living vicariously, as it were, with the ghosts of Nazi mass murder and the specters of Arab terror”

      And ON RECORD . WTF?.
      Israel is on broken record about wanting peace since 1948. Never ever lifted a finger.

    • a blah chick
      August 23, 2013, 7:18 pm

      “Today, the indigenous Jews of those countries are virtually extinct..”

      No thanks to Israel’s Zionist agents who actively sought to get these people moving out of the countries of their birth and into Israel so they could man the factory jobs and the military and make little Jewish babies to keep the Ashkenazi elite in power. From responses I have seen on the internet many of them don’t like being called refugees and view their arrival in Israel as their part in the great Zionist enterprise.

      But let’s assume that they are or were in the same boat as their Palestinian counterparts you no doubt would want to see them compensated along with the Palestinians, correct?

    • Talkback
      August 23, 2013, 8:04 pm

      fnlevit says: “Concerning Palestinian “diaspora” – this must be settled together with what is lately called “forgotten refugees” – close to 1.000.000 Jews who were expelled fom Arab countries in (roughly) 1948-1970 as a result of the same hostilities betweem Israel and Arab states which created the Palestinian refugee problem.”

      I’m sure you support the right to return for Jews and Palestinian refugees. So how many Israeli Jews consider themselves to be refugees and want to exercise their right to return?

      • Citizen
        August 24, 2013, 2:45 am

        @ Talkback
        Yes, that is the question. Many of the Jewish Arab “forgotten refugees” were not forgotten refugees at all; they were volunteer believers in Zionism. In contrast, no Palestinian Arab left Palestine except they were scared for their life; they always planned to return, and do so to this day.

        As the years went by, some of the Arab states put pressure on their Jewish population to leave as it became increasingly obvious Israel was not going to allow all its Palestinian refugees of ’47-’49 to return, nor would Israel quit settling the OT from ’67 on. Many of the Jewish Arabs immigrated to America, Europe, and S America.

      • fnlevit
        August 24, 2013, 4:25 pm

        I want to answer your questions but moderators block my answers. Look how many are “awaiting moderation”. Just my answers to your inquisitive questions. This blog is not about honest discussions. It is about former USSR “Pravda” style editing – only negative about Israel nothing else allowed…

      • Annie Robbins
        August 25, 2013, 2:45 pm

        fnlevit, try making your point sans using the term nakba out of context. we delete nakba and holocaust denial here. point scoring false equivalence arguments utilizing the palestinian term of nakba won’t serve you in getting your comments cleared. now that i know you’re a professor i just assumed you might have figured that out on your own. try seeing the patterns of what does and does not clear. i won’t be repeating that.

        ps, take a new fresh look at the thread, lots of comments just got cleared, iow, you are not special. lots of commenter just got their comments cleared. quit whining, we are backed up hundreds of comments this morning.

      • Djinn
        August 25, 2013, 3:10 pm

        The very least he could do is donate some $ if he’s going to get all whiney and demanding. Maybe if he’s ponies up enough Mondo could pay for a mod all of his own ; )

      • Ellen
        August 25, 2013, 3:29 pm

        Annie, By the tone of Professor fnlevit’s whining posts and demands over the past days, it seems he feels a narcissistic entitlement: That ONLY Prof fnlevit is being singled out for moderation, and the no matter what he writes, Mondoweiss is obligated to publish.

        I think I am speaking for lots of regular posterd to say that some of my posts have been deleted, some may not have passed moderation, or have taken a very long time to be posted. For varied reasons. But so what! We are guests here. Posting is a priveledge.

      • just
        August 25, 2013, 4:42 pm

        ” We are guests here. Posting is a priveledge.”

        Exactly correct, Ellen.

      • Hostage
        August 25, 2013, 7:02 pm

        It is about former USSR “Pravda” style editing – only negative about Israel nothing else allowed…

        It’s even more frustrating when you subscribe to comments and get an inbox full of off-topic Zionist hasbara that no one can respond to in any way, because comments on the article have already been closed.

      • Woody Tanaka
        August 25, 2013, 7:19 pm

        ” This blog is not about honest discussions. It is about former USSR “Pravda” style editing – only negative about Israel nothing else allowed…”

        Then please, you ingrate, leave. You do no one any favors by spamming the sight with your filthy zio lies and propaganda.

      • Shingo
        August 25, 2013, 7:52 pm

        Yes I have experienced great frustration with that too Hostage.

        I know it’s not intentional, but the hasbrats have a back of skipping in the final word before comments are closed. On a few occasions, the comments were closed just before I hit send.

    • Citizen
      August 23, 2013, 9:12 pm

      @ fnlevit

      From Wikipedia:

      “The reasons for the exodus included push factors, such as persecution, antisemitism, political instability and expulsion; together with pull factors, such as the desire to fulfill Zionist yearnings or find a better economic status and secured home in Europe or the Americas. A significant proportion of Jews left due to political insecurity and the rise of Arab nationalism, and later also due to policies of some Arab governments, who sought to present the expulsion of Jews as a crowd-driven retaliatory act for the exodus of Arab refugees from Mandatory Palestine.”

      The ’47-’48 Nakba was all violent Jewish Zionist push, no pull. And the post-48 part of the Jewish Exodus from Arab countries was due to Arab countries’ symmetrical reaction. So your comment amounts to apples to oranges.

    • RoHa
      August 23, 2013, 11:33 pm

      “Concerning Palestinian “diaspora” – this must be settled together with what is lately called “forgotten refugees” – close to 1.000.000 Jews who were expelled fom Arab countries…”

      Are you suggesting a Right of Return for them? Fine. Let Israel accept the Right of Return for the Palestinians and then press for a Right of Return for the Arab Jews.

      Are you suggesting compensation for them? Fine. Let Israel pay compensation to the Palestinians and then press for compensation for the Arab Jews.

      • fnlevit
        August 26, 2013, 6:19 am

        One should solve conflicts with realistic solutions. Jews returning to their properties in the Arab countries is not realistic. Palestinians returning to Israel is not realistic too. I think Norman Finkelstein explained this to you. compensations is realistic. A German colleague of mine once said – ifPalestinian refugees will be given right to return can you imagine what would happen in Europe where 12 mln Germans were displaced and millions of Greeks in Turkey and recently in Cyprus and Tatars from Crimea, etc

      • Talkback
        August 26, 2013, 2:08 pm

        fnlevit says: “A German colleague of mine once said – ifPalestinian refugees will be given right to return can you imagine what would happen in Europe where 12 mln Germans were displaced and millions of Greeks in Turkey and recently in Cyprus and Tatars from Crimea, etc”

        Yeah fnlevit, imagine Jewish refugees were allowed to “return” to historic Palestine, can you imagine what would happen to it?

      • James Canning
        August 26, 2013, 2:22 pm

        I was suggesting that with the passage of time, maybe many many decades, some Jews may choose to relocate in Arab countries, and such relocation would be allowed. These Jews may well not descend from Jews who formerly lived in those Arab countries.

      • Walid
        August 27, 2013, 8:55 am

        “… I was suggesting that with the passage of time, maybe many many decades, some Jews may choose to relocate in Arab countries, and such relocation would be allowed.”

        Interesting essay on the subject in Jazeera, especially about the issue of the expelled Egyptian Jews that is being discussed at length here. Jews have been invited to return since 40 years, but the Zionist enterprise would not allow any to return because it would jeopardize its offsetting bogus claim against the Palestinians that were expelled in 48 and 67:

        The current (January 2013) propaganda war in Egypt about the Palestinians and about Egyptian Jews, which was provoked by the recent pronouncements of Issam al-Aryan, a senior leader of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood, is nothing but a distraction from the real problems that the country faces with the increasing incompetence of the Morsi government and the opportunism of his vocal opposition.

        If this propaganda war did not have major implications with regards to Israel and US plans to undermine the Egyptian uprising and to control its outcome so as to serve US and Israeli interests, it would be nothing but a storm in a teacup. That it has many regional and international implications is what produces the ongoing media frenzy in the country and internationally.

        The statements made by al-Aryan calling on Egyptian Jews in Israel to return home, however, are hardly novel. Indeed Egypt had already done so under Anwar Sadat’s rule back in 1975 at the urging of the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO).

        In 1975, and based on its understanding that the departure of Arab Jews to go to Israel under the Arab anciens regimes was a boon to the Zionist colonisation of Palestine, the PLO undertook to call for the repatriation of Arab Jews and demanded that the current Arab leaders (none of whom had been in power when Arab Jews left their countries in the 1950s and 1960s) issue an open invitation to them.

        Morocco, Yemen, Libya, Sudan, Iraq and Egypt responded to the PLO call and issued an open invitation to Arab Jews to return home. Despite these efforts, neither Israel nor its Arab Jewish communities heeded the call.

        link to aljazeera.com

      • James Canning
        August 27, 2013, 1:50 pm

        More stupidity from some Zionists? I think Arab countries and Israel would benefit from relocation of Jews to Arab countries that could use the talents of these potential immigrants.

        Egypt in particular.

    • lyn117
      August 24, 2013, 12:48 am

      Morocco did NOT expel its Jews.

      The Algerian Jews were able to become full French citizens under French colonial rule, unlike the Algerian Muslims. Algeria only became independent in 1963. If you want to blame the exodus of Jews from Algeria on someone, it would have to be the French. The same is likely true for Tunisia.

      Neither Iraq nor Syria expelled their Jews. To the contrary, they passed laws forbidding them to leave, in particular for Israel.

      Most of the Lebanese Jews left because Israel was bombing the place.

      Egypt, I believe, did expell its Jews.

      • Annie Robbins
        August 24, 2013, 2:03 am

        lyn,i think they were expelled from egypt after the lavon affair, the Israeli covert operation. israeli spies/terrorists targeted American libraries in Cairo and Alexandria. interestingly the 1950–51 Baghdad bombings (“bombing of Jewish targets in Baghdad” began with a bomb exploding in the American Library “wounding some of the Jewish intellectuals using the facilities.[10]” link to en.wikipedia.org

        who cause the fitna that got the iraqi jews to israel? i recommend reading Naeim giladi.

      • tokyobk
        August 24, 2013, 2:56 am

        Even if this were true Annie, its about as relevant a pretext as Arab army leaders supposedly telling Palestinians to leave their homes so they could fight the Jews.

        You either contextualize expulsions or you condemn them.

      • Walid
        August 24, 2013, 3:56 am

        Annie, if this is about actual expulsions, just about the only place it happened in substantial numbers was in Egypt and in 4 major waves; there was the 1948, the “Lavon” you mentioned, the ’56 Suez and 1967. In mostly all other countries, Jews left voluntarily for various reasons.

        About Lynn’s Tunisians, at independence from France in 1956 (which is 8 years after 1948), the country’s 100,000 Jews were offered either French citizenship or an Israeli one and half of the 75,000 that opted to leave chose to go to France.

        As to Lebanon, in case fnlevit doesn’t know where to start looking for the answer, it was the only country whose Jewish population actually increased after the creation of Israel and it continued to grow until the civil war of 1975 (that’s 27 years after 1948) when most left for better economic opportunies elsewhere, just like most of the Lebanese that were able to leave.

        So if bad marks should be directed to the ones that unjustly expelled Jews, they should go to Egypt.

      • Cliff
        August 24, 2013, 5:51 am

        Tokyobk,

        Were they expelled or did they leave and go to Israel?

        Were some expelled and did some leave and go to Israel?

        There’s always context.

        If they were expelled, they were expelled. Context matters but the end result is that they were expelled and that should be addressed legally/morally/etc.

        Same for Israel/Palestine.

        The difference is that with Israel/Palestine, the Palestinian people did not expel those Jews.

        Zionist Jews owe their existence to the expulsion of the indigenous Palestinian population.

        Zionist Jews owe their existence to the CONTINUED expulsion of the indigenous Palestinian population.

        The same can not be said of the Arab countries that either expelled their Jewish populations or were subject to a Jewish exodus (an environment of violence and hostility but also of the existence of a Jewish State with a Jewish majority after the 48′ War that was also coaxing Jews to immigrate).

        Why don’t you first ask whether Jews were ethnically cleansed wholesale or if they left because Israel was ‘the Jewish State’?

      • Hostage
        August 24, 2013, 6:54 am

        Even if this were true Annie, its about as relevant a pretext as Arab army leaders supposedly telling Palestinians to leave their homes so they could fight the Jews.

        You either contextualize expulsions or you condemn them.

        There’s no doubt that the Egyptians were aware of the Lavon Affair, in which a group of Jews residing in Egypt in 1954 were working as a fifth column for the State of Israel. They not only conducted black flag operations against US and other western targets, they were also instructed to forward information to Israel regarding targets in the Canal Zone in preparation for a war.

        As a result of that, and the subsequent British, French, and Israeli invasion during the Suez Crisis of 1956, the Egyptian Government adopted policies to deport non-Egyptians. It’s a little known fact that that included the majority of the Jewish community of Egypt. So lets put that in perspective.

        15,000 of the former 75,ooo Jews were still living in Egypt after the country supposedly expelled them all, according to the Zionist accounts. Unlike the Palestinians, the majority of Jews who were expelled from Egypt were protégés of western consulates or citizens of western countries who were not Egyptian citizens. They were the beneficiaries of the colonial era regime of capitulations or stateless persons.

        Michael M. Laskier explained that in “Egyptian Jewry under the Nasser regime, 1956-70.”:

        Perhaps a quarter of the the Jewish population held Greek, French, Austro-Hungarian (until 1917), British and Italian citizenship; another quarter of the Jewish population – or perhaps less – had managed to obtain Egyptian citizenship through the 1929 Egyptian Citizenship Laws. The rest were stateless. Holders of foreign passports benefited from the Capitulations system and Mixed Tribunals which provided that no foreign citizen or Egyptian-born foreign national was to be subject to the jurisdiction of Muslim courts.

        Egypt became independent from Britain in 1922, which led to changes in the status of the foreign and ethnic minorities. Though the British continued to exercise considerable political, military and economic influence – as they had since occupying the country in 1882 – a series of new regulations restricted the benefits enjoyed by these minorities. Their status was further diminished as a result of the Anglo-Egyptian Treaty of 26 August 1936. This pact broadened Egyptian independence, the British giving Egypt more freedom to conduct diplomatic affairs, though they retained a British garrison in the Suez Canal Zone. The Jews and the other minorities lost more status and influence in Egyptian society as a consequence of the Montreux Convention of 1937 which abolished the Capitulations in Egypt and authorized the closing of the Mixed Tribunals after a transition period of twelve years (in October 1949). Those Jews who now sought to obtain Egyptian nationality on the basis of the above-mentioned 1929 Law, usually received a negative response from the Egyptian authorities.

        link to hsje.org

        The State Department reports of the era say that there was continuing pressure from the Jews of Africa, and pressure on the Jews in Egypt, to immigrate to Israel – and that Israeli officials were less enthusiastic about receiving them, than the Jews of Eastern Europe. Many were in dire economic conditions and were worried about their status, due to the end of the Capitulations and the waning influence of the French, British, and other colonial powers, e.g.
        link to digicoll.library.wisc.edu

        After the Suez Crisis the State Department asked Nasser why he was expelling the Jews?:

        Nasser replied at loss understand why so much agitation. He had looked into matter and found that British and French Jews being asked leave not as Jews but as persons British and French nationality. Also some 250 stateless Jews were being expelled on individual cases as is but others allowed remain.

        link to digicoll.library.wisc.edu

        The State Department observed:

        Should also be emphasized that, unfortunate as have been developments affecting Jewish community in Egypt, action taken by GOE in respect Jews has been similar in spirit to that taken against British and French and little indication of anti-Semitism per se. However, dispassionate character of action does not of course
        constitute justification.

        In this telegram, the Embassy in Cairo noted that although official sanction had been given to the concept that all Jews regardless of nationality were identified with Israeli aggressors, other public statements by Egyptian officials had clearly rejected
        the policy of all-out anti-Jewish activities, and street violence (such as had occurred in 1947, 1948, 1949, and 1952) had been avoided. The Egyptian Government, however, clearly wished all non-Egyptian Jews to leave the country and had taken various official measures to achieve that end.

        link to digicoll.library.wisc.edu

        There’s also no doubt that Israel had a self-ordained mission to “ingather the exiles” and bring a majority of the Jews of the world to live in Israel. In that connection, Israel also conducted black flag operations against Jews in order to instigate mass migration and flight from countries, including Iraq. We’ve discussed the declassified documentary record of conversations where Ambassador Teddy Kolleck admitted that Israel was behind the exodus from Iraq, and other countries.
        * link to mondoweiss.net
        * link to mondoweiss.net

      • seanmcbride
        August 24, 2013, 9:41 am

        Hostage,

        You should organize all your research materials and documentation into a carefully organized and searchable wiki. It would be an invaluable resource.

        You may know more about the deep background of Israeli politics than any other human being on the planet.

      • Kathleen
        August 24, 2013, 11:42 am

        Thanks

      • Citizen
        August 24, 2013, 12:09 pm

        @ Hostage

        The exodus of Iraqi jews exhibited the push for various reasons, such as those you mention, as well as for others Arab state reasons, such as fear of communism and of jews being a 5th column, and the pull of Zionism, as it did, to my knowledge, in all the Arab states at the times in question. This article points out why it is very misleading to equate the Palestinians getting kicked out of their homes by the Zionists, never to return to this day, and the later exodus of the Arab Jews, of which about two-thirds went to Israel, many inspired by Zionism: link to mefacts.org

        The article clearly shows why bringing up the “forgotten (Arabic Jewish) refugees” has little to do with innocent Palestinian refugees who, of course, had nothing to do with the Jewish exodus from Arab countries that came later. In short, in terms of justice for the Palestinian people it’s a red herring.

      • Annie Robbins
        August 25, 2013, 2:24 pm

        thank you walid, very informative.

      • Djinn
        August 25, 2013, 3:43 pm

        Tokyobk has anyone who posts here ever suggested that expulsion of Jews from Egypt was acceptable? Do you really think the insertion of this topic into any discussion of Palestinian refugees is anything other than a deflection? Why should the ethnic cleansing by one nation (even if you totally ignore the information provided here by Hostage) be brought up to justify/excuse that of another? Did the Palestinians expelled since 48 have ANYTHING to do with the decisions of the Egyptian government? This is apologia 101 and it stinks.

      • Hostage
        August 25, 2013, 9:35 pm

        Tokyobk has anyone who posts here ever suggested that expulsion of Jews from Egypt was acceptable?

        The problem of enormous ex-patriot communities comprised of individuals who deliberately avoided the acquisition of citizenship for legal and economic reasons was not unique to Egypt. The problems caused by resident westerners or their consular protégés have been discussed in comments here about books, journal articles, and the Foreign Relations of the United States, e.g. See:
        * Leland J. Gordon, “The Turkish American Controversy over Nationality”,
        The American Journal of International Law, Vol. 25, No. 4 (Oct., 1931), pp. 658-669 link to jstor.org
        * Ruth Kark, American Consuls in the Holy Land: 1832-1914, Wayne State University Press, 1994
        * The case of Abraham Chaikin, Ramleh, Palestine, in Papers relating to the foreign relations of the United States, 1921, Great Britain, page 121 link to digicoll.library.wisc.edu
        * The demand from the Ottoman governor of Palestine that all of the western consuls expel their Jewish subjects, in Index to the executive documents of the House of Representatives for the second session of the fiftieth Congress, 1888-’90, page 1560, link to digicoll.library.wisc.edu

        By way of analogy, Israel doesn’t suggest that the expulsion of the Templars by the British administration of Palestine was unacceptable. After all, the Jewish State inherited quite a bit of expropriated Templar property.

        Although the Templars were members of the non-Jewish communities of Palestine, their expulsion after the outbreak of the war was not considered an example of ethnic cleansing or illegal deportation. The Templars maintained ties to Germany, e.g. their colonial Bank was a formal partner of the Third Reich in the Haavara Agreement, and the Templars were simply viewed as enemy German civilians.

        The same principle applied to the large non-Egyptian ex-patriot communities of Jews in Egypt after the Lavon Affair and Suez Crisis.

      • jon s
        August 24, 2013, 5:33 am

        Iraq effectually forced the Jews to leave:
        – the 1941 pogrom, known as the the “farhud” traumatized the community.
        – Iraq’s intervention in the 1948 war brought anti-Jewish incitement to a fever-pitch.
        -The Iraqi regime took steps to make life in Iraq impossible for the Jewish community: they were dismissed from the civil service , boycotted economically, bank accounts were frozen , access to public facilities, including schools and hospitals – denied. Then the regime declared that the Jews could leave, within a one – year deadline, while relinquishing their property. In this situation the Jews scarcely needed “encouragement” (in the form of bombings ) to leave. It was pretty clear that they had to.
        -Initially the Iraqi goverment demanded that the flights evacuating the Jews touch down in Cyprus , in order to maintain the fiction that they are not enabling immigration to Israel. In the later stages the pretense was dropped and flights arrived directly from Iraq to Israel.

      • Annie Robbins
        August 25, 2013, 2:33 pm

        jon, you’re ignore all zionist agency in iraq during this period. why? you must know baghdad was a zionist hub between europe and israel. there’s been a lot of history written about iraqi jews, including of course history written by iraqi jews from this period, it doesn’t match with your black and white framing which doesn’t include israel trying to ‘trade’ iraqi jews for palestinians they were trying to displace.

      • Hostage
        August 25, 2013, 6:44 pm

        Iraq effectually forced the Jews to leave: . . . -The Iraqi regime took steps to make life in Iraq impossible for the Jewish community

        I agree. Iraqi officials, like Prime Minister Nuri al-Said, had spent decades negotiating hair-brained Zionist proposals for population swaps that were only designed to enrich the co-conspirators, while impoverishing the targeted populations. See for example Rafael Medoff, “Baksheesh Diplomacy: Secret Negotiations between American Jewish Leaders and Arab Officials on the Eve of World War II”, Lexington Books, 2001.

        Most of the victims originally satisfied the criteria to be considered refugees, until they accepted citizenship in Israel, i.e.:

        owing to well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion, is outside the country of his nationality and is unable or, owing to such fear, is unwilling to avail himself of the protection of that country;

        That doesn’t apply to the thousands of alien Jews who intentionally lived abroad in ex-pat communities in order to exploit the political and economic advantages of the Ottoman system of Capitulations. The Russell Tribunal has pointed out that Israeli settlers are still doing the same thing today, when they take up residence in the occupied territories. They enjoy economic and political benefits derived from the dual legal system Israel has created for them.

        If by some miracle, the Palestinians could rid themselves of those foreign Jews, they would not suddenly become refugees, no matter how much economic loss they had suffered, because Palestine was never their country of nationality. The same thing applies to most of the Jews who were expelled from Egypt.

      • Shingo
        August 25, 2013, 7:37 pm

        Iraq effectually forced the Jews to leave:

        Actually it was the Zionists and the British who forced the Jews to leave.

        The Zionist terror gangs were setting off bombs against Jewish targets to incite panic that Jews were being targetted.

        The 1941 “farhud” was the work of the British, who deliberately incited chaos to ensure their continued presence in Iraq. The Iraqi leadership wanted to expel the British.

        Prior to those events, Iraqi Jews were highly regarded and enjoyed privilege.

        Shlomo Hillel, a government minister and an active Zionist in Iraq who was responsible for flying Jews from Iraq to Israel adamantly rejected the notion that the Jews were expelled:

        “I don’t regard the departure of Jews from Arab lands as that of refugees. They came here because they wanted to, as Zionists”.

      • RoHa
        August 25, 2013, 10:27 pm

        “That doesn’t apply to the thousands of alien Jews who intentionally lived abroad in ex-pat communities in order to exploit the political and economic advantages of the Ottoman system of Capitulations.”

        I’m a bit confused here, Hostage. I can see a number of possible groups.

        (a) Native Jews who were citizens of Arab countries.

        (b) Native Jews who could have been but refused to be citizens of Arab countries.

        (c) Native Jews who were denied citizenship of Arab countries by the Arab authorities. (I have heard claims of such denial.)

        (d) Immigrant Jews who were citizens of Arab countries.

        (e) Immigrant Jews who refused to be citizens of Arab countries.

        (f) Immigrant Jews who were denied citizenship of Arab countries.

        (Where “Native” means “born in the country”, and includes children of immigrants.)

        It seems pretty clear that you are not referring to groups a and d, but which of the others (or some that I have not thought of) are you referring to?

      • Hostage
        August 27, 2013, 8:50 am

        I’m a bit confused here, Hostage. I can see a number of possible groups.

        I’ve cited and discussed a reliable published source on the details of the Egyptian Nationality Decrees in a comment here: link to mondoweiss.net

        Remember that there were Mixed Courts until 1949 that determined the nationality of Non-Muslims in accordance with the terms of the Decrees.

      • Tuyzentfloot
        August 24, 2013, 7:03 am

        Morocco did NOT expel its Jews.

        In fact Moroccan economy was doing badly at the time and everyone left, including the Jews. Many Moroccans came to Belgium and France.

        I don’t think ‘The Jews left Iraq against the will of the Iraqis’ would describe the situation very well. It was more muddled and corrupt.

        One description that I never see mentioned in this context is that 1948 was a postwar situation. That means much better than during the war but generally still not safe and stable and suitable for migrating.

      • Walid
        August 24, 2013, 1:04 pm

        “Most of the Lebanese Jews left because Israel was bombing the place.”

        Not exactly; if about actual expulsions, just about the only place it happened in substantial numbers was in Egypt and in 4 major waves; there was the 1948, the “Lavon” that was mentioned, the ’56 Suez and 1967. In mostly all other countries, Jews left voluntarily for various reasons.

        About the Tunisians, at independence from France in 1956 (which is 8 years after 1948), the country’s 100,000 Jews were offered either French citizenship or an Israeli one and half of the 75,000 that opted to leave chose to go to France.

        As to Lebanon, for fnlevit’s benefit, it was the only country whose Jewish population actually increased after the creation of Israel and it continued to grow until the civil war of 1975 (that’s 27 years after 1948) when most left for better economic opportunies elsewhere, just like most of the Lebanese that were able to leave. By 1982, about 10% of the few remaining Jews left after the Israeli Navy’s shelling of the Magen Avraham Synagogue’s roof.

      • MHughes976
        August 25, 2013, 3:54 pm

        There still is a small Jewish population in Morocco, I understand, and the King makes a point of his relationship with Andre Azoulay, a major international businessman of Sephardic background who has retained his Moroccan citizenship.

    • seafoid
      August 24, 2013, 1:00 am

      @Fnlevit

      “chudna”

      Loving it. The Chamas are that crowd in Gaza, aren’t they?
      And when you get really excited about Israel does it make you feel chorny?
      And hasbara is really chopeless.

      • Citizen
        August 24, 2013, 2:47 am

        @ seafoid
        LOL

      • bintbiba
        August 24, 2013, 7:57 am

        ha ha …loving it, seafoid!

      • thankgodimatheist
        August 25, 2013, 8:54 am

        “ha ha”
        I’m sure you meant cha cha, bintbiba.

      • homingpigeon
        August 25, 2013, 12:05 pm

        cha cha

      • fnlevit
        August 24, 2013, 9:05 am

        Thanks for correcting my grammar mistakes – I do feel embarassed. Working in three languages and knowing to some extent three more is not always good for orthography especially when typing fast.

      • Ellen
        August 25, 2013, 3:44 pm

        Professor fnlevit, “Working in three languages, ….and knowing to some extent three more…”

        Prof., you are chuge genius.

      • just
        August 25, 2013, 4:45 pm

        And fnlevit is certainly chumble as well.

    • Shingo
      August 24, 2013, 4:45 am

      The fact that Hamas is not participating and is ON RECORD against any agreement with Israel

      False. They are in the record as accepting any discussion made by the majority of Palestinians.

      this must be settled together with what is lately called “forgotten refugees” – close to 1.000.000 Jews who were expelled fom Arab countries in (roughly) 1948-1970 as a result of the same hostilities betweem Israel and Arab states which created the Palestinian refugee problem.

      False again. They are not forgotten refugees because the vast majority were never refugees – the migrated to Israel of their own accord, lured there by promises of a better life. It’s only when they arrived that they unfortunately discovered that they would be exploited for cheap labor and treated as second class citizens.

      Anyway, they all became citizens if their new adopted countries – be it Israel or elsewhere.

      And were are not or unfamiliar with the so called “refugees”. every Israeli apologist that comes to this web site recycles that trope and we’ve debunked it every time.

      In 1948, Middle East and North African countries had considerable Jewish populations

      They did, but they chose to leave when they were lured to migrate to Israel. Many regretted moving to Israel when they arrived and realize they had been tricked and deceived.

      They expected to be treated as equals and ended up being in the receiving end of the worst kind of descrimination.

      Today, the indigenous Jews of those countries are virtually extinct.

      Rubbish. Extinct suggests they were killed off. They and they progeny live in Israel and other countries.

      The so called Jewish refugees from Arab lands has been flogged to death and was largely invented by Zionist propagandists in the 70s as part of a campaign to reframe the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians as a populations transfer.

      Not even the Mizrahi, the Jews who were supposed to be the victims of the expulsion, consider themselves refugees – so you’re campaign is dead on arrival.

    • talknic
      August 24, 2013, 6:27 am

      fnlevit “Concerning Palestinian “diaspora” – this must be settled together with what is lately called “forgotten refugees” “

      You’re spouting nonsense

      A) The Palestinians didn’t expel ANYONE from the Arab States. The two issues, if they existed today, which they don’t (see B) , are separate and not the responsibility of the Palestinians.

      B) What forgotten refugees? They were cared for by UNRWA in Israel til 1952 until Israel voluntarily took over the responsibility

      C) They became citizens of states other than the state/s of return. Not forgotten. Simply no longer refugees. The Palestinians have chosen to retain their RoR.

      D) It is quite normal to expel or inter possible allies of one’s enemies during war. The US, UK, Australia etc interred or expelled Japanese and Germans during WW2. Israel expelled non-Jews from the territory that became Israel AND unlike the US, UK, Australia etc, Israel expelled non-Jews from territory “outside the State of Israel”http://wp.me/pDB7k-Xk and unlike the US, UK Australia et al, Israel razed their homes and villages

      E) The US, UK, Australia etc allowed their return and or disinterment after hostilities, unlike Israel who hasn’t allowed any return, not even to non-Israeli territory under Israeli occupation.

      “In most cases, the Jewish population had lived there for millennia – long before Muslims conquered those territories”

      NO ONE LIVES FOR MILLENNIA! RoR only applies to the LIVING!

    • eGuard
      August 24, 2013, 7:10 am

      fnlevit: Today, the indigenous Jews of those countries are virtually extinct.

      Extinct? Did I miss a holocaust?

    • eljay
      August 24, 2013, 9:19 am

      Concerning Palestinian “diaspora” – this must be settled together with what is lately called “forgotten refugees” …

      Settled, yes. Refugees from “Arab countries” must be permitted to return to their homes and lands, and to live in their homelands as equal citizens. Those who cannot or choose not to return must be offered fair compensation in lieu.

      Settled together, no. Using the unjust or immoral actions of others to justify your own unjust and immoral actions is a piss-poor way to delay or avoid responsibility.

      Seeing as how that suggestion was made by a Zio-supremacist, I’m not surprised.

    • talknic
      August 24, 2013, 11:08 am

      @fnlevit The fact that Hamas is not participating”

      I can’t believe how ignorant some folk are of the process, especially as the Jewish state followed a clear process in order to be declared, recognized etc.

      Hamas is a political party. Political parties are elected (or not) to administer territories on behalf of a people and/or state. They can and do change. Look to Israel and the process. Neither Jewish Agency was or the Jewish People’s Council was a political party. AFTER statehood was declared a provisional Government administered the state until a political party was elected to administer the state.

      Statehood is negotiated and declared by a non-political party representative of all the citizens of a territory regardless of their political persuasions.

      (Hamas) ” is ON RECORD against any agreement with Israel …”

      Irrelevant. See above

      • Citizen
        August 24, 2013, 12:19 pm

        @ talknic
        “Statehood is negotiated and declared by a non-political party representative of all the citizens of a territory regardless of their political persuasions.”

        So, you’re saying the Palestinians were represented by the state that declared itself the Jewish state of Israel in 1948? Or what? I can’t make any sense out of what you say.

      • talknic
        August 24, 2013, 4:12 pm

        @Citizen “So, you’re saying the Palestinians were represented by the state that declared itself the Jewish state of Israel in 1948? “

        LOL… No.. Israel was an example of the process right under the nose of our Hasbara bearing friend. The Jewish Agency and the Jewish People’s Council were examples of the types of bodies who negotiate and/or declare statehood or independent statehood on behalf of all the people of the territory being negotiated for or declared.

        The PLO as its name suggests is an Organization and the PA is an Authority. Hamas and Fatah are political parties. Political parties come and go and have a variety of mandates reflected in their election platforms and are elected to administrate existing entities/states. They do not declare or negotiate for Independent statehood.

      • Citizen
        August 25, 2013, 9:17 am

        @ talknic
        I was focusing on your “of all the citizens of a territory.” I guess you mean, in Israel’s case, the Palestinians left within the partition boundaries were not considered citizens (by whom?) at the time Israel declared itself a state?

      • talknic
        August 26, 2013, 1:21 pm

        @ Citizen

        You’re completely on the wrong track as to what I mean.

        ” in Israel’s case, the Palestinians left within the partition boundaries were not considered citizens (by whom?) at the time Israel declared itself a state?”

        Those who were not dispossessed are Israelis and have no RoR because they weren’t dispossessed.

        Those who were dispossessed from the territory that became Israel before being give a chance to decide whether they wanted to be Israeli citizens or not, have RoR. Those who were citizens of Israel post May 14th 1948 and who were dispossessed have RoR. Israel doesn’t represent any of them, the PLO does, even though they’re not citizens of Palestine. However the PLO can only fight for the concept of RoR to be recognized, because RoR is an individual choice.

        The PLO also represents all other Palestinian refugees with RoR to Palestinian territory, which the Occupying Power doesn’t allow

      • Walid
        August 27, 2013, 12:14 am

        “… Those who were not dispossessed are Israelis and have no RoR because they weren’t dispossessed. ”

        What about those Palestinians that opted to stay and became Israeli citizens but have had their 100 villages declared “unrecognized” or illegal in the Negev and Galilee by the 1965 Israeli Planing and Construction Law?

      • talknic
        August 27, 2013, 11:36 am

        Walid “What about those Palestinians that opted to stay and became Israeli citizens but have had their 100 villages declared “unrecognized” or illegal in the Negev and Galilee by the 1965 Israeli Planing and Construction Law?”

        Dispossessed of property (real estate), not from the territory of their State. Disapprove as we may and unfair as it may be , it’s an internal Israeli issue.

      • ritzl
        August 24, 2013, 4:35 pm

        @talknic Didn’t Hamas say, multiple times, publicly, that it would abide by an agreement with Israel, subject to a referendum?

        If I remember that correctly, that is the opposite of the claim that they are “on record against” anything. Ambivalent, maybe, but not against.

        This link is about a statement from Hanniyeh, but I believe that Meshaal said the same thing in the Charlie Rose interview.

        link to ynetnews.com

      • James Canning
        August 25, 2013, 2:32 pm

        Indeed, some ambiguity emanates from Hamas as to what it will accept. But if Palestinians accept deal with Israel, Hamas would be olbliged to as a matter of course.

    • James Canning
      August 24, 2013, 2:11 pm

      fnlevit – – Let’s hope that over time, Jews can return to most Arab countries. Over time. After Israel ends the occupation.

    • Djinn
      August 25, 2013, 3:32 pm

      Not forgotten you whiney self important eejit, mentioned AD NASEUM by the Apartheid apologists here as if the actions of other nations in any way excuse or justify the ethnic cleansing actions of Israel. Oddly neither they you you ever mention the effect that Israeli false flag ops had on the feelings of safety of those Jews in those countries. Why is that? And why do you think “quick look over there” is a winning tactic? For a “professor” you seem to have serious issues with logic.

      • MHughes976
        August 25, 2013, 3:46 pm

        It’s ‘ad nauseam’, think of nausea, the feeling you get when contemplating massive oppression and illogical justification.

      • Djinn
        August 25, 2013, 4:07 pm

        Typo, trust me with my stomach I know how to spell nausea

  7. gingershot
    August 23, 2013, 4:43 pm

    Abbas seems to exist to disenfranchise as many Palestinians as possible – perhaps that’s why he was chosen/permitted to succeed Arafat. He seems to stick up for Palestine only when continuing to not do so will get him removed from power.

    Speaking of Arafat – the labs testing him for Polonium were supposed to have finished all their tests by a (revised) date of June 2013, and have their reports done presumably within 1 or 2 months. Which is now. What’s up with this, I wonder?
    ==

    “I don’t see how the “peace process’ Kerry has contrived is a path to peace even for the fifth or so of the Palestinians (those on the West Bank) whose future it purports to address”

    Freeman is as usual, brilliant, and cuts right to the quick of the matter

    • piotr
      August 25, 2013, 11:25 pm

      Abbas seems to exist to -> Abbas is on American payroll to

  8. Walid
    August 23, 2013, 5:03 pm

    JPost left out the 20,000 or so Arab Jews in Lebanon.

    You should look into why the JPost would do that, fnlevit.

    • Sibiriak
      August 25, 2013, 5:41 am

      Walid:

      JPost left out the 20,000 or so Arab Jews in Lebanon.

      Could you be so kind as to briefly tell me why?

      • Walid
        August 25, 2013, 4:42 pm

        “Could you be so kind as to briefly tell me why?”

        Sibiriak, I mentioned it twice in posts above (posted same message twice because I was wondering why it was taking 30 or 40 hours to see my post up).

        In a nutshell, the non- persecution of Jews in Lebanon blows a hole in the Zionist hasbara on how the Jews were expelled from every single Arab country. After Israel was created in 1948, the number of Jews arriving in Lebanon from other Arab countries actually increased and it continued growing slowly for the next 27 years until the civil war caused many Lebanese including Jews to seek a better life elsewhere.

        Other than for Egypt that unjustly took it out on its Jewish collectivity by expelling larges masses of them and conficating their property everytime Israel did something nasty to it, Jews in other Arab countries had been living in relatively good conditions until the Zionist enterprise decided to yank them out to fill the void created by their expulsion of the Palestinians. Large numbers of Iraqi Jews were coerced to leave by the Zionists that had help from corrupt Iraqi officials that benefitted by their departure and the abandoning of their properties. But in Iraq as in other countries, if you look into the actual dates of exodus from various countries, you’d see that these did not happen either before 1948 or immediately after it. In Iraq, it took something like 4 or 5 years, in Tunisia, Libya and so on, it took between 6 to 8 years. In Lebanon, the number of Jews in Lebanon continued to grow for 27 years after the creation of Israel. BTW, the rights of the Jews of Lebanon is enshrined in the constitution although they are referred to as “Isralites”. There was talk about 5 years ago to change it to “Jews” or “Hebrews” to distance their name from the word “Israel”.

      • Sibiriak
        August 25, 2013, 10:35 pm

        Walid:

        In a nutshell, the non- persecution of Jews in Lebanon blows a hole in the Zionist hasbara on how the Jews were expelled from every single Arab country.

        Thanks for responding. Your insights are much appreciated. According to Wikipedia:

        This “Lebanese difference” derives from three components.

        More positive Lebanese relationships with European colonizers during the French Mandate than experienced by other Arab states.

        Lebanese Jews never became interested in Zionism, making the “threat” of Zionism less prominent in Lebanon.

        Finally the Maronite Christian community within Lebanon, which allowed for a positive cultivation of a relationship with Zionism.

        link to en.wikipedia.org

        Would you agree?

      • Walid
        August 26, 2013, 12:49 am

        “Would you agree?”

        Yes, Sibiriak. Right about Lebanese Jews not wanting to go along with the Zionist enterprise to the point when war broke out in 1948, it was said that some even contributed cash to the war effort against the Zionists. And when they decided to leave for varrying reasons over the years, it was to go to Europe and the Americas and very few headed for Israel. The same situation happened in Tunisia when the majority of Jews opted for other countries rather than for Israel.

        Yes about the close Lebanese relationship with the European colonizers, but this applied mostly to the Christian population of the country which constituted its majority until recently. Its roots go back to 1438 when the Lebanese Maronite Christians acknowledged the supremacy of the Pope. There was also the special relationship between the Christians and France in the 17th century that had “letters of protection” with both Louis XIV and Louis XV, that caused France to intercede with the Ottomans to save them in 1840 and 1860. At Lebanon’s independence from France after WW II, the Christians agreed to a national pact whereby they would drop their reliance on the French for protection in exchange for the Muslims dropping their aspirations to join the pan-Arab movement that was then underway.

        Yes to the special relationship between the Christians and the Zionists. It goes back to the days of Weizmann and Ben-Gurion that pushed for an independent Lebanese Christian state that would act as a buffer between the Zionists that were planning to take over all of nothern Galilee up to the Litani River in Lebanon and the Muslim population of Lebanon. This effort continued during Lebanon’s civil war of 1975-1989 with the Christians receiving arms and training from Israel and an aborted peace treaty with Israel spearheaded by the Christians in the 80s and the 1982 Sabra-Chatila Israeli/ Phalangist massacre.

  9. southernobserver
    August 23, 2013, 6:30 pm

    A very clear analysis from Mr Freeman, thank you.

    I suggest that we should use one small amendment. Bantustans’ is inaccurate. The south african bantustans were large, and in many ways self sufficient in resources, although with no external control. The right term for Israel’s proposed solution is prison farm.

    Fnlevit. Use search. The jewish migration to israel has been discussed repeatedly.
    In brief.
    1. Curiously, Iran still has a very large Jewish population. Extinct? Other states have been trying to encourage remigration back.
    2. it is nothing to do with the palestinians. They are not algerians, moroccons etc, and they did nothing to cause or facilitate the migration. the completely innocent and highly traumatised victims cannot be asked to pay for the crimes of others
    3. the bulk was simple voluntary migration at the behest of israel. Israel cannot demand/encourage/wheedle for jews migrate to it and then object that their campaign was successful.
    4. at least some the terror attacks in those countries was instigated by israel under false flags. given how secret such attacks must be, the existence of some well proven crimes, strongly infers that there were many more.
    5. to the limited extent that were were some real outrages, protoisrael started ethnic expulsions, deliberately, brutally and thoroughly, long before there was any popular reaction elsewhere. both were absolutely wrong, but the instigator bears the primary guilt.

    • fnlevit
      August 24, 2013, 9:09 am

      All you say developed symmetrically. This was Jewish Naqba or immense size.

      • Shingo
        August 25, 2013, 7:43 pm

        All you say developed symmetrically. This was Jewish Naqba or immense size.

        False, it took place over 30 years and as Walid has explained, it was certainly no Jewish Nakba.

    • Kathleen
      August 24, 2013, 11:46 am

      Archbishop Tutu has stated that the situation in the occupied territories as” worse than the “bantustans” of apartheid South Africa.”

  10. gingershot
    August 23, 2013, 7:11 pm

    Robert Fisk: “Any other ‘statesman’ who negotiated peace like John Kerry would be treated as a thief”

    “This is preposterous. Kerry must know – as the UN and the EU know – that there is not the slightest chance of “Palestine” existing as a state because the Israelis have already stolen too much land on the West Bank. Anyone who drives around the occupied territories realises at once (unless they are politically blind) that there is as much chance of building a state in the West Bank – whose map of colonies and non-colonised districts looks like the smashed windscreen of a car – as there is waiting for the return of the Ottoman Empire”

    link to mycatbirdseat.com

  11. pabelmont
    August 23, 2013, 7:47 pm

    Good fr Freeman!

    The talks are hopeless and will remain so until MANY LARGE COUNTRIES India, Brazil, EU, Turkey, some such, SPEAK UP.

    International law is a fiction as long as the nations do not speak up and support it. It must rise from its grave adn the gravediggers Israel and USA will do everything to prevent that happening. Once the nations DO speal up, the first business should not be “peace” but removal of all settlers and settlements, because “law” does not mandate “peace” but does mandate (or could be so construed) removal of all settlers and destruction/dismantlement of all settlement buildings and the wall.

    WAIT AND HOPE. “Dum spiro spero” : while I breathe I hope. link to en.wikipedia.org

    • James Canning
      August 24, 2013, 2:10 pm

      We need most countries around the planet to make clear Israel cannot keep the West Bank.

      No matter how many fanatical or opportunist Jews illegally settle in the WB.

  12. Hostage
    August 24, 2013, 12:49 am

    Chas Freeman: Kerry’s talks leave out 4 of 5 Palestinians

    That isn’t all they’re leaving out. According to PLO Secretary Abed Rabbo and Palestine’s official news agency, WAFA, the Americans have not participated in any of the three meetings so far: “due to an Israeli stance and demand,” adding that “this is one sign of how and where the talks are heading if the US is not able now to assert itself in the peace process.” link to english.wafa.ps

    • Walid
      August 24, 2013, 3:08 am

      This is a diversion by Abed Rabbo, the ones leaving out 4 of 5 Palestinians are not Kerry and his people but Abbas and the gang of which Abed Rabbo and Erekat are part. Without airing the dirty laundry of Jazeera’s Palestine Papers and what the PA had already conceded to Israel, McConnel and/or Bahour said

      “…that in order to sit down for talks, the PA has already agreed to accept Israel’s territorial grabs around Jerusalem, and the seizure of the water reserves under the Israeli side of the ‘separation wall’ and beneath the large settlements planned and sited so as to deny a Palestinian state’s contiguity.”

      Getting back to the Oslo failure of 1994, Adam Hanieh wrote that Edward Said commented that its signing displayed “the degrading spectacle of Yasser Arafat thanking everyone for the suspension of most of his people’s rights, and the fatuous solemnity of Bill Clinton’s performance, like a twentieth-century Roman emperor shepherding two vassal kings through rituals of reconciliation and obeisance.” Describing the agreement as “an instrument of Palestinian surrender, a Palestinian Versailles,” Said noted that the PLO would become “Israel’s enforcer,” helping Israel to deepen its economic and political domination of Palestinian areas and consolidating a “state of permanent dependency.”

      full Hanieh essay on the Oslo failure and the Palestinian participation in it:
      link to globalresearch.ca

      • Hostage
        August 25, 2013, 5:19 pm

        Without airing the dirty laundry of Jazeera’s Palestine Papers and what the PA had already conceded to Israel, McConnel and/or Bahour said

        I’ve pointed-out several times that the Palestine Papers revealed that Abbas is going to submit any settlement to a national referendum, including the Palestinians in the diaspora. So how can we ignore that evidence and listen to someone else put words in his mouth and claim he is leaving most Palestinians out?

        Everyone belabors the idea that this private discussion between Abbas and the PLO Negotiation Support Unit somehow conceded the right of return, without pointing out that he actually said it would have to be decided by the national referendum and that compensation would be required for everyone in any event. Polls show that 9 out of 10 refugees don’t want to return to Israel, but want to be compensated for their loss and suffering:

        Sharif Hamadeh: asked about the remaining elements of the refugee issue, and whether a referendum will be held that includes Palestinian refugees in the diaspora.
        AM [Abu Mazen]: The referendum would be on the whole agreement. Given that the issues relate to all Palestinians, not only those in the West Bank and Gaza, it should be for all Palestinians. On numbers of refugees, it is illogical to ask Israel to take 5 million, or indeed 1 million – that would mean the end of Israel. They said 5000 over 5 years. This is even less than family reunification and is not acceptable. There also has to be compensation, which should come from the the Absentee Property fund. We would like you to follow up and ask about this fund and get as much information as possible. And there needs to be compensation to host countries.

        link to static.guim.co.uk
        See page 3 @ link to theguardian.com

      • Walid
        August 25, 2013, 5:56 pm

        “And there needs to be compensation to host countries.”

        This is “sales talk”. Lebanon has had a standing $20 billion US/Saudi offer to absorb its 450,000 or so Palestinian Sunni refugee population since about 15 years and can never accept the offer because of the demographic imbalance it would create. It has already naturalized about 100,000 Shia and Christian Palestinians to solve its own balancing problems. Canada and Australia had agreed to each take in 20,000 refugees conditional upon cherry-picking them. What would happen if the diaspora accepts a final deal but Lebanon refuses to go along with it? I remember from way back that Israel in addition to refusing to allow back any great numbers of returnees was putting limitations on how many returnees would be allowed back into an independent West Bank and Gaza because of the demographics and water problems that would be created by the millions that would return.

      • James Canning
        August 25, 2013, 7:26 pm

        @Walid – – Lebanon is a special case, no doubt. One wonders how many Palestinians would settle in the West Bank (and Gaza).

      • Walid
        August 26, 2013, 1:28 am

        James, if given the chance, in view of the squalid living conditions they have been living under in Lebanon’s 12 camps and the restrictions imposed on them on matters of employment, probably 99.99% would jump on the occasion of living as a free people in either Gaza or the West Bank. But as I said before, there is no chance that Israel would allow a significant number of refugees to enter and live in an independent Palestinian state. Israel and its settlements are currently stealing 55% of the water they are consuming. Imagine what an influx of about 2 million Palestinians would do to the area’s already problematic water situation.

      • James Canning
        August 26, 2013, 7:07 pm

        @Walid – – Independent Palestine would have to tell Israel to scr*w itself if it does not like Palestinians settling in Palestine.

    • Shingo
      August 24, 2013, 4:53 am

      “this is one sign of how and where the talks are heading if the US is not able now to assert itself in the peace process.”

      I can’t wait for Indyk’s spin on this and how he will blame the Palestinians for the innevitable failure of the negotiations.

  13. seafoid
    August 24, 2013, 2:29 am

    link to nybooks.com

    “what the ancient Israelites called hochma—the science of the heart, the capacity to see and feel and then to act as if the future depended on us.”

    How come modern Jewish Israelis have zero hochma?

    • fnlevit
      August 24, 2013, 9:11 am

      May be it is exactly our hochma but you cant undestand what we are doing in our hochma.

      • seafoid
        August 25, 2013, 3:36 pm

        But no idea of the future impact of deluded policies

  14. NickJOCW
    August 24, 2013, 11:18 am

    The problem I see is that however acute the analysis of what is going on, nothing so far has made any progress is arresting Israeli depredations and insults to international law. These ‘negotiations’ are no more negotiations than the sphinx is an elephant. The fact is that the US is buying time in the ME just as it is in many other areas where its influence is waning while Israel is flooding the Holy Land with immigrant Jews. Nothing else is happening.

    Indulge me while I tell you a story. Sixty years ago I was a private soldier in the British army and offered an opportunity to be assessed for a commission. It involved a fairly lengthy and often baffling series of tests. One was to move a heavy barrel from the top of one twelve foot wooden tower to the top of another, fifteen feet away with only a length of rope and five men and the restriction that the barrel was at no time to touch the ground. I tried one way which didn’t work, then another which I realised was not going to either and I had just embarked on a third when time ran out. Later, at an interview when I learned I had been accepted I asked about that test which it seemed to me I had botched hopelessly and was told with a smile that no one did it, they were looking for one’s recognition that a plan was no longer going to work and the manner in which one then dropped it to embark on another.

    Is it not time for Palestinians to reject negotiation and unite in a demand that Israel which governs and controls the whole area anyway provide equal rights to all its citizens.

    • ritzl
      August 24, 2013, 4:41 pm

      @NickJOCW they were looking for one’s recognition that a plan was no longer going to work and the manner in which one then dropped it to embark on another.

      Or non-recognition, as the case may be. It’s SO tough to make those calls when you’re right in the middle of the task.

      Great anecdote. Very pertinent. And you bet that the ptb in this situation (US/Israel) are making the same observations of the Palestinians recognition or non-recognition of the impossibility of their situation.

    • Sibiriak
      August 25, 2013, 5:50 am

      NickJOCW:

      Is it not time for Palestinians to reject negotiation and unite in a demand that Israel which governs and controls the whole area anyway provide equal rights to all its citizens.

      Sure, that’s perhaps better than the current strategy, but it does nothing to change the power asymmetry which is at the heart of the problem.

      Palestinians are not citizens of Israel. So, its difficult for them to demand equal rights as citizens of a single state.

      And if the Palestinians refuse to negotiate, they can take the blame; Israel can either continue with the status quo or attempt at some point to unilaterally determine its borders and leave the Palestinians with “equal rights” in the remaining enclaves which become their “state”.

      Then what happens?

  15. James Canning
    August 24, 2013, 2:08 pm

    Is John Kerry hoping to protect domestic political interests of the Democrats, by scr*wing the Palestinians?

  16. irishmoses
    August 24, 2013, 5:24 pm

    Maybe the US is staying out of the negotiations out of embarrassment at the likely outcome. If the US doesn’t actively participate it can’t be blamed for being a less than honest mediator, nor can it be blamed for an unfair outcome.
    Judging from the Wikileaks transcripts of the prior Livni-Olmert “negotiations”, it is no loss for the Palestinians to have the US not participate. The idea that a US presence in the negotiations would help keep the Israelis in line is ludicrous.

    • Annie Robbins
      August 25, 2013, 2:21 pm

      irishmoses, i think they are probably staying out because israel doesn’t want them there. they want their alone w/palestinians. that would be my guess. if israel wanted the US in the room, don’t you think they would be there?

      • irishmoses
        August 25, 2013, 3:49 pm

        Annie said:
        ***”irishmoses, i think they are probably staying out because israel doesn’t want them there. they want their alone w/palestinians. that would be my guess. if israel wanted the US in the room, don’t you think they would be there?”***

        It’s hard to know what’s going on but after all the effort Kerry has put into this effort, I doubt the Israelis could keep the US out of the negotiations. I suspect something else is going on like maybe the US is pissed off at Israeli settlement actions and is refusing to act as Israel’s rubber stamp mediator to punish the Israelis.

        I think it is important to keep in mind that the US has put on a truly massive effort to get negotiations going. It seems to be our number one foreign policy priority. I suspect Obama and Kerry see how much influence the US has lost in the Arab and Muslim world because of our complicity in the I-P mess and really see a settlement as crucial to US vital interests. Remember, Obama and Clinton declared resolving the I-P conflict to be a vital US national security interest at the very beginning of his administration. That makes it a truly vital issue for the US.

        The real question is if it is such vital issue to US security, how far is the Obama administration willing to go to resolve it. Does Obama have the guts to walk away from Israel if it remains intransigent? Refusing to participate in the negotiations may be a warning shot over Israel’s bow.

        Judging from the Wikileaks transcripts, I can’t see how the Israelis would not want the US to be involved to help strong arm the Palestinians as was happening during the Livni/Olmert negotiations.

        I suspect a lot more is going on behind the scenes than we are aware of.

      • MHughes976
        August 25, 2013, 4:41 pm

        ‘Direct negotiation between the parties’ is an article of faith, so Kerry would not be keen to sit in the room where the so-called negotiations are proceeding, at least until it can look that he’s been called in by both sides. I think it’s possible that IrishM’s right to suggest that the Israelis are not making the call at the moment because Kerry is declining to coordinate a position with them before the talks. He doesn’t want to be called Israel’s lawyer.

  17. seafoid
    August 25, 2013, 9:06 am

    “Toward an open tomb” looks like a good read

    link to monthlyreview.org

    “Warschawski describes the atrocities of the occupation—from the sack of Ramallah to the massacre in Jenin, the razing of houses and refugee camps, shooting at ambulances and hospitals, the use of Palestinian civilians as human shields—showing how each of these pushes back the boundaries of what was previously thinkable. He documents the resulting shifts in Israeli political thought, citing Ariel Sharon, army officers and even rabbis who begin by describing Palestinians as Nazis and end by relying on the German army’s tactics for subjugating the Warsaw ghetto. Toward an Open Tomb then seeks to explain the forces within Israeli society and culture that are leading to this self-defeating result.

    Warschawski has the keen eye of an Israeli insider. He develops a powerful critique of Israeli policies with a persuasive power drawn from his own Jewish origins and his deepening devotion to what he regards as the best Jewish traditions.”

    • just
      August 25, 2013, 9:24 am

      It certainly does. This author appears to have his feet on the ground and his eyes wide open. I look forward to reading this book.

      (I hope he stays safe– the Israelis have already jailed him once!)

  18. miriam6
    August 26, 2013, 3:35 am

    How odd and telling that the ONE most important fact largely left to one side here on this thread is the fact that the Arab states before, during and after the creation of the state of Israel had a RESPONSIBILTY and DUTY to protect it’s Jewish citizens and honour their rights as citizens of those Arab countries.

    1) Expulsion by any other name is just as illegal.

    Massad emphasizes “the fact that Arab Jews were not expelled from any Arab country.” True, no Arab country explicitly issued a decree along the lines of “All Jews are herewith banned, never to return, upon penalty of death.” Since the Israeli government never issued a formal declaration of expulsion, does that mean the Palestinians were never expelled?
    Expulsion can occur under coercive circumstances. Governments can “encourage” people to leave by freezing their bank accounts, forbidding them from most forms of employment, banning them from education institutions, etc. Expulsion from society precedes expulsion beyond the state’s geographic borders.
    In the course of my research on Arab Jewish identity, moreover, I did meet Egyptian Jews who were, even according to Massad’s definition, expelled. They were told they had 24 hours to leave the country and leave they did. So yes, Arab Jews were expelled.

    Not only were they expelled, but their expulsion was recognized by Palestinian leadership. While Massad broadcasts the PLO’s past proposal for Arab countries to welcome home their Arab Jews, he neglects to mention that at least one PLO member dared to criticize Arab states for uprooting their Jewish communities.

    In May 1975 in An-Nahar, for example, PLO member Sabri Jiryis lambasted Arab countries for expelling the Jews “in a most ugly fashion, and after confiscating their possessions or taking control thereof at the lowest price.” Foretelling the current campaign, Jiryis added that “clearly, Israel will raise the question in all serious negotiations that may in time be conducted over the rights of the Palestinians.”

    2) Lynching is not “harassment.”

    In Egypt, Jews were harassed, attacked without recourse to justice and were even made to disappear, as archives from the International Committee of the Red Cross indicate.

    3) States are responsible for protecting their citizens.

    Nowhere does Massad seriously raise the question of responsibility of Arab states for protecting their citizens. Yes, he brings up Nassar and faults him for not doing enough, but excuses him on the grounds that “this is not the same as expelling a population or deporting it.” Yet by the time Nasser assumed power, most of the Yemeni and Iraqi Jews, and many Moroccan, Syrian and Egyptian Jews, had already left/been forced to leave (depending on whom you ask). Massad avoids accounting for the failure of Arab governments to protect their populations—whether dhimmis or citizens—even though the Arab League had forewarned the United Nations that they would not be held responsible for protecting Arab Jews following the creation of Israel

    4) Most Egyptian Jews were stateless as a result of Egyptian law.

    First, the figures: As a result of Egypt’s 1929 Nationality Law, more than 90% of Egyptian Jews were denied citizenship, regardless of how many generations they had lived in Egypt. In the 1940s, roughly one quarter of Jews held foreign passports, less than one quarter held Egyptian citizenship and the remainder were stateless. Given Massad’s passion for the plight of the Palestinians, many of whom are stateless themselves, his insistence on citizenship as the key marker of legitimacy for Egyptian Jewish identity is ironic.

    link to blogs.timesofisrael.com

    • Shingo
      August 26, 2013, 5:22 pm

      How odd and telling that the ONE most important fact largely left to one side here on this thread is the fact that the Arab states before, during and after the creation of the state of Israel had a RESPONSIBILTY and DUTY to protect it’s Jewish citizens and honour their rights as citizens of those Arab countries.

      How odd and far mire telling that the ONE most important fact largely left to one side here by Miriam is the fact that the the creation of the Jewish National Hime, before, during and after the creation of the state of Israel stipulated that the rights of non Jews in Palestine were to be preserved and not compromised in any way, even though:

      1. the Zionist openly argued for the removal if of non Jews from Palestine and declared their intent to do so from the late 1800s.

      2. Chaim Weizmann admitted that non Jews would be adversely affected by mass Jewish immigration.

      3. The Zionists were expelling Palestinians 6 months before Israel was even declared.

      4. To this day, Israel has failed to
      honour the rights of non Jewish citizens of Israel.

      1) Expulsion by any other name is just as illegal.

      Israel did it first and has been doing it for 65 years, but trust Miriam to ignore that elephant in the room.

      Since the Israeli government never issued a formal declaration of expulsion, does that mean the Palestinians were never expelled?

      No, but unlike the Arab states in question, only Israel rejects the ROR of those who were expelled. And unlike the Arab states, Israel’s founders planned to expel the Arabs since Herzl.

      While Massad broadcasts the PLO’s past proposal for Arab countries to welcome home their Arab Jews, he neglects to mention that at least one PLO member dared to criticize Arab states for uprooting their Jewish communities.

      Seriously Miriam. All that proves is that Israelis are less honest about their crimes.

      Instead, we have former Israeli generals who boast about the role they played in destroying Arab villages and proud of it – expressing no remorse whatsoever.

      2) Lynching is not “harassment.”

      Agreed. Of course you’ll say nothing of lynchings of Arabs in Jerusalem or the West Bank.

      For 65 year Israel , Arabs have been harassed, attacked without recourse to justice and were even made to disappear, as we seem happen every day.

      But Miriam could care less.

      3) States are responsible for protecting their citizens.

      Not only that, but occupying powers are responsible for protecting the rights of those under occupation.

      Israel fails in both regards.

      4) Most Egyptian Jews were stateless as a result of Egyptian law.

      All Palestinians in the OT and refugees are stateless because of Israeli law.

      You really are a complete fraud and total joke Miriam.

      Are you still denying you’re a Zionist?

      • miriam6
        August 26, 2013, 10:34 pm

        Shingo@;

        1) Expulsion by any other name is just as illegal. Israel did it first and has been doing it for 65 years, but trust Miriam to ignore that elephant in the room.

        However, – it is the case that Egypt did it’s level best to reduce it’s Jewish population to a status almost akin to that of statelessness by introducing it’s reactionary, draconian 1929 Nationality Law , – a law which stripped 90% of Egyptian Jewry of their citizenship, and , by the 1940’s had left about one quarter of Egyptian Jews holding foreign passports, less than one quarter holding Egyptian citizenship and the remainder were left stateless.

        In other words, – as early as 1929 , – Egypt was already busy creating the conditions of insecurity for Egyptian Jews under which it could later expel many thousands of it’s Jewish citizens ( and find it’s modern day apologists for it’s shameful actions too).

        link to blogs.timesofisrael.com

        While Massad broadcasts the PLO’s past proposal for Arab countries to welcome home their Arab Jews, he neglects to mention that at least one PLO member dared to criticize Arab states for uprooting their Jewish communities. Seriously Miriam.

        All that proves is that Israelis are less honest about their crimes.

        Dear me , silly Shingo, you have just stepped in a very large cow-pat.

        For one thing Jiryis’s statement of fact , shows an Arab admitting the culpability of Arab states for their shameful disregard and abuse of the rights of Mizrahi Jews.

        Also, in fact 1987 saw the emergence of a loose grouping of Israeli historians claiming fresh thinking about the creation of the State of Israel and creation with it of the stateless condition of many Palestinians.

        Historians such as Tom Segev, Avi Shlaim,Illan Pappe ,Benny Morris, Baruch Kimmerling,Hillel Cohen ,Benjamin Beit Hallahmi and researchers such as Uri Millstein and Yosi Amitai are all adherents to the New Historian groupings

        Simha Flapan , born in 1911 was retrospectively included within that group


        The New Historians (Hebrew: ההיסטוריונים החדשים‎, HaHistoryonim HaHadashim) are a loosely-defined group of Israeli historians who have challenged traditional versions of Israeli history, including Israel’s role in the Palestinian Exodus in 1948 and Arab willingness to discuss peace.
        The term was coined in 1988 by Benny Morris, one of the leading New Historians. According to Ethan Bronner of The New York Times, the New Historians have sought to advance the peace process in the region.[1]

        The official version said that the Palestinians fled their homes of their own free will; the New Historians said that the refugees were chased out or expelled

        link to en.wiki.org

        link to jewishvirtuallibrary.org

        These ‘New’ historians used as source material documents declassified by the Israeli Government about thirty years ago

        That , coupled with the fact that much of the supposedly fresh evidence unearthed by the ‘ New Historians ‘ had in fact been in the public domain for decades BEFORE hand , just illustrates that contrary to what you allege , plenty of Israelis’ have been perfectly honest about their country’s history

        BTW explain to me exactly HOW re- stating true historical facts constitutes some sort of a fraud? ( according to you..)

        Does the documented historical fact that Egypt stripped 90% of it’s Jewish population of their citizenship in 1929 , automatically become untrue when a Zionist states it?

        If you think so , you really are a very odd boy.

      • Shingo
        August 27, 2013, 6:34 am

        However, – it is the case that Egypt did it’s level best to reduce it’s Jewish population to a status almost akin to that of statelessness by introducing it’s reactionary, draconian 1929 Nationality Law , – a law which stripped 90% of Egyptian Jewry of their citizenship, and , by the 1940′s had left about one quarter of Egyptian Jews holding foreign passports, less than one quarter holding Egyptian citizenship and the remainder were left stateless.

        That’s hilarious coming from a defender of a state that insist on calling itself a Jewish state and who’s leader wants to introduce blood testing to verify genetic lineage.

        In any case, you are lying about the Nationality Law. First of all, it was introduced in 1950 (not 1929), so it was 2 years after Israel had expelled 800,000 Palestinians . link to hsje.org

        Secondly, it disenfranchised Zionists, who by definition, had no intentions of being citizens of Egypt anyway. The law explicitly cited those under the jurisdiction of a foreign state.

        Zamkanei ‘s piece is a pathetic piece of propaganda. She claims that Egyptian Jews were denied citizenship, regardless of how many generations they had lived in Egypt, which is false. The nationality law stipulated a specific window that considered those who were in Egypt prior to 1900 as Egyptians.

        And like so many Israeli propagandists, she also frames this law as being specifically targeted at Jews.

        Egyptian Jews were denied citizenship, regardless of how many generations they had lived in Egypt

        Stop lying Miriam. Some were denied, not the entire population of Jews.

        For one thing Jiryis’s statement of fact , shows an Arab admitting the culpability of Arab states for their shameful disregard and abuse of the rights of Mizrahi Jews.

        Again, it demonstrates a level of honesty not found in Israel’s ruling classes, who have gone out of their way to cover up their own crimes.

        Also, in fact 1987 saw the emergence of a loose grouping of Israeli historians claiming fresh thinking about the creation of the State of Israel and creation with it of the stateless condition of many Palestinians.

        Indeed, and we have seen Pappe exiled to Britain and Morris walk back his original research, at one point blaming Ben Gurion for not going far enough and finishing the job of expelling the Palestinians.

        That looks like one almighty a very large cow-pat that you’re stepping on Miriam.

        These ‘New’ historians used as source material documents declassified by the Israeli Government about thirty years ago

        Actually, it was temporarily declassified by the Israeli Government, only to be reclassified before Morris been able to fully investigate them.
        The information that was already in the public domain existed almost entirely in the form of testimony of former Haggadah troops, who either remained nameless, lied, or denied their testimony when they were pressured by the powers that be.

        You really should try your hand at comedy silly girl.

      • Hostage
        August 27, 2013, 8:14 am

        However, – it is the case that Egypt did it’s level best to reduce it’s Jewish population to a status almost akin to that of statelessness

        Nice try, but it’s not true. The 1926 Egyptian Law defined an Ottoman as a subject of the Porte on the eve of the 1923 Treaty of Lausanne (article 1). By law, any Ottoman subjects living in Egypt on or after 5 November 1914, up to the time the 1926 Decree came into force, was considered an Egyptian National de plein droit. See Gianluca Paolo Parolin, Citizenship in the Arab World: Kin, Religion and Nation-state, Amsterdam University Press, 2009, page 80 link to books.google.com

        Article 7 of the 1929 Egyptian Citizenship Law allowed persons born in Egypt who permanently resided in the country to claim Egyptian citizenship at the age of majority. The subsequent laws adopted after the Mixed Courts were abolished in 1949, didn’t even deprive Zionists of the citizenship unless they were convicted of treason. See Gianluca Paolo Parolin, Citizenship in the Arab World: Kin, Religion and Nation-state, Amsterdam University Press, 2009, page 81, link to books.google.com

        That means the large number of Jews who held foreign passports and the stateless Jews had not been 1) habitual inhabitants before 1926, 2) Ottoman subjects before 1923, or 3) born in Egypt.

      • Shingo
        August 27, 2013, 8:31 am

        You are amazing Hostage.

      • miriam6
        August 27, 2013, 7:19 pm

        Hostage @ said:

        Nice try, but it’s not true. The 1926 Egyptian Law defined an Ottoman as a subject of the Porte on the eve of the 1923 Treaty of Lausanne (article 1). By law, any Ottoman subjects living in Egypt on or after 5 November 1914, up to the time the 1926 Decree came into force, was considered an Egyptian National de plein droit. See Gianluca Paolo Parolin, Citizenship in the Arab World: Kin, Religion and Nation-state, Amsterdam University Press, 2009, page 80 link to books.google.com

        In theory this was the case.

        In practice, non-Muslims from other Ottoman provinces (Jews, Greeks, Armenians and Syrians) were denied Egyptian nationality.

        An increasingly racial concept of Egyptian-ness began to be applied from the 1880s onwards.

        Hostage said: Article 7 of the 1929 Egyptian Citizenship Law allowed persons born in Egypt who permanently resided in the country to claim Egyptian citizenship at the age of majority.

        But Article 6 gave preference to Arab Muslims.

        (Shimon Shamir, ‘the Evolution of the Egyptian Nationality Laws and their application to the Jews in the Monarchic period’, in his book ‘Jews of Egypt’) One would have expected that 40,000 eligible Jews would have acquired Egyptian nationality, but only 5,000 actually did.

        It was not compulsory, and some did not actually bother to apply.

        But the main explanation is that most Jews ‘found it exceedingly difficult to do so after the convention of Montreux in 1937 when Egyptianisation intensified ‘(Laskier, Jews of Egypt, p9).

        Furthermore, the poorer classes could not afford the fee of five Egyptian pounds. Those who did opt for Egyptian nationality during the 1930s and 1940s encountered innumerable obstacles in connection with the Nationality Law of 1929.

        It was difficult to prove that their families had resided in Egypt since 1848 due to the absence of proper registration.

        Paradoxically, the most Egyptian of Egyptian Jews had the greatest trouble establishing their status ( p.63, The denationalisation of the Jews of Egypt by Ruth Toledano Attias in S Trigano ‘ s “La Fin du judaisme en terres d’Islam”).

        Hostage said: The subsequent laws adopted after the Mixed Courts were abolished in 1949, didn’t even deprive Zionists of the citizenship unless they were convicted of treason. See Gianluca Paolo Parolin, Citizenship in the Arab World: Kin, Religion and Nation-state, Amsterdam University Press, 2009, page 81, link to books.google.com

        Hostage said: That means the large number of Jews who held foreign passports and the stateless Jews had not been 1) habitual inhabitants before 1926, 2) Ottoman subjects before 1923, or 3) born in Egypt.

        Only some 25 percent of Jews held foreign passports which were not easy to come by if you were poor or lower class. Some 75 percent of Jews were either native to Egypt or had moved there from other parts of the Ottoman empire.


        However, Jews whose parents or who themselves were born in Egypt had to prove that they had not held any foreign nationality since 1848, which was impossible for many. A large number therefore became “stateless”.

        Nationality became a “racial” issue as intended by article 10, paragraph IV of the law.

        Are considered Egyptians: “children born in Egypt of a foreign father himself born in Egypt, if this foreigner is attached by race to the majority of the population of an Arabic-speaking or Muslim country”.

        This had severe consequences and explains the successive waves of emigration, particularly after the introduction of legislation imposing quotas and preferences for Egyptian nationals.

        link to nebidaniel.org


        State Sanctioned Persecution of Jews in Egypt

        From Research conducted at the UNHCR Archives in Geneva

        By Stanley A. Urman

        These two nationality laws made it very easy for Egypt to take away the citizenship of any Egyptian Jew.

        Provision both in the 1956 and 1958 laws permitted the government to take away citizenship of persons absent from UAR territory for more than six consecutive months.

        That this provision is aimed exclusively at Jews is shown by the fact that the lists of denaturalized persons published time and again by the Official Journal contains Jewish names only, despite the fact that there were many non-Jewish Egyptians who stayed abroad for over six months…


        Cont..

        link to justiceforjews.vcom

    • Woody Tanaka
      August 26, 2013, 6:30 pm

      “How odd and telling that the ONE most important fact largely left to one side here on this thread is the fact that the Arab states before, during and after the creation of the state of Israel had a RESPONSIBILTY and DUTY to protect it’s Jewish citizens and honour their rights as citizens of those Arab countries.”

      Oh, nonsense. What people here are doing is not buying into the BS that accompanies this point by the zionists. When it is brought up by a zionist, you can bet dollars to donuts that it will be either:

      1) an exercise in Nakba denial;
      2) a (very racist) argument that no compensation is owed the Palestinians from the zionist apartheid state;
      3) a plea that Arab state being co-conspirators in the attempted genocide by assimilation of the Palestinian diaspora;
      4) an exercise in “whataboutery” in order to lessen or excuse the crimes committed against the Palestinians;
      5) an exercise in excusing people who willingly turned their backs on their homelands in favor of an alien polity in order to become participants in the zionist takeover of Palestine and become oppressors of Palestinians and thieves of their land, by falsely protraying them as “refugees”; or
      6) some equally nonsensical argument.

      • Eurosabra
        August 27, 2013, 6:33 pm

        Effects of the removal of Jews of Arab Lands to Israel:
        1)Consolidation of the State of Israel by increasing its Jewish population from 600,000 to 1m in the space of a few years.
        2)Providing the IDF with the manpower to defend Israel in the Six Day War of 1967 as the 1948-49 “classes” of Iraqi and Moroccan-Jewish young men came of age in the State of Israel.
        3)Removal of (most) the Jewish component of the Iraqi, Egyptian, Algerian, Tunisian, and Moroccan Communist Parties and the reality of the larger community’s Likud/SHAS/Israel Beiteinu reconstitution as a reaction to oppressive anti-Arab-Jewish Pan-Arab-Socialist Nasserist parties and Ashkenazi-Socialist MAPAI.
        4)DFLP/PFLP convincing border/development town Mizrahim that the conflict was a total war of annihilation aimed at them by constant, relatively large-scale mass casualty attacks against civilians in the 1970s and 80s.
        Truly the gift that keeps on giving.

    • Hostage
      August 26, 2013, 6:37 pm

      How odd and telling that the ONE most important fact largely left to one side here on this thread is the fact that the Arab states before, during and after the creation of the state of Israel had a RESPONSIBILTY and DUTY to protect it’s Jewish citizens and honour their rights as citizens of those Arab countries.

      Even Jewish scholars admit that three-quarters of Jews living in Egypt were never citizens. FYI, the Survey of Palestine conducted for the Anglo-American Commission of Inquiry in 1946 reported that one-third of the Jews living in Palestine were not citizens either.

      Israel retained the Mandate era citizenship laws under the Transition Act and retroactively denationalized Palestinian citizens of the territory it controlled a couple of years later in violation of the UN minority rights agreement.

      Dr. Mallison cited the legal obligations regarding minorities contained in the partition plan and noted that

      “In most civilized legal systems it is recognized that legal rights may only be exercised conditioned upon compliance with legal duties. The refusal of the State of Israel to comply with the nondiscriminatory requirements of the Palestine partition resolution, its main claim to title, puts in serious jeopardy its claim to legal title to the limited territory allocated to it by the resolution.”

      See Mallison’s testimony during the Senate hearings on “The Colonization Of The West Bank Territories By Israel”, page 50 link to loc.gov

      • miriam6
        August 26, 2013, 8:36 pm

        Hostage;

        Even Jewish scholars admit that three-quarters of Jews living in Egypt were never citizens.

        You are making an entirely disingenuous claim here.

        Those Egyptian Jews were ROBBED of their citizenship as a DIRECT result of the imposition of Egypt’s reactionary 1929 Nationality L aw , which STRIPPED 90% of Egyptian Jews of their right of citizenship , regardless of how many generations they had lived in Egypt

        As Shayna Zamkanei states in her article that meant that:


        In the 1940s, roughly one quarter of Jews held foreign passports, less than one quarter held Egyptian citizenship and the remainder were stateless.

        link to blogs.timesofisrael.com

        Furthermore, later Egyptian governments showed their unjustified malice towards it’s OWN citizens, purely because they were Jewish, by expelling YET MORE Egyptians Jews from their homeland , Egypt.

        Regardless of the existence of Israel , governments in Egypt had a duty to enforce the rights that Egypt’s Jews were entitled to, as had other Arab states ;

        In 1956, the Egyptian government used the Sinai Campaign as a pretext for expelling almost 25,000 Egyptian Jews and confiscating their property.
        Approximately 1,000 more Jews were sent to prisons and detention camps.
        On November 23, 1956, a proclamation signed by the Minister of Religious Affairs, and read aloud in mosques throughout Egypt, declared that “all Jews are Zionists and enemies of the state,” and promised that they would be soon expelled.
        Thousands of Jews were ordered to leave the country.
        They were allowed to take only one suitcase and a small sum of cash, and forced to sign declarations “donating” their property to the Egyptian government.
        Foreign observers reported that members of Jewish families were taken hostage, apparently to insure that those forced to leave did not speak out against the Egyptian government.

        link to jewishvirtuallibrary.org

        How odd that such an ardent supporter of the rights of STATELESS Palestinians as you would so arduously seek to whitewash and absolve the historical guilt the Egyptian state and many other Arab states bear for the plight of their Jews.

        Unfortunately you have overlooked the point that Zamkanei makes in her article critiquing Joseph Massad’s whitewashing of Mizrahi/Arab Jewish history , that , seeking to undermine the rights of Mizrahi /Arab Jews also undermines the rights of Palestinians;

        Sadly, Massad’s article suffers from gross historical oversights. His emphasis on linking state responsibility with citizenship ironically legitimizes Israel’s negligent treatment of stateless Palestinians…

        Given Massad’s passion for the plight of the Palestinians, many of whom are stateless themselves, his insistence on citizenship as the key marker of legitimacy for Egyptian Jewish identity is ironic.

        link to blogs.timesofisrael.com

      • Shingo
        August 27, 2013, 6:40 am

        Those Egyptian Jews were ROBBED of their citizenship as a DIRECT result of the imposition of Egypt’s reactionary 1929 Nationality L aw , which STRIPPED 90% of Egyptian Jews of their right of citizenship , regardless of how many generations they had lived in Egypt

        They were not robbed of their citizenship since the very notion of citizenship was an entirely new concept in Egypt, coming so soon after the fall of the Ottoman Empire. The purpose of the Nationality Law was to be able to define what it meant to be Egyptian. Many states even to this day, especially Israel, do not allow applicants for citizenship to hold foreign passports or duel citizenship.

        Furthermore, later Egyptian governments showed their unjustified malice towards it’s OWN citizens, purely because they were Jewish, by expelling YET MORE Egyptians Jews from their homeland , Egypt.

        It’s not Malice when you have a 5th column in your state pledging allegiance to a foreign state and participating in black operations to incite wide scale violence.

      • Hostage
        August 27, 2013, 8:29 am

        Even Jewish scholars admit that three-quarters of Jews living in Egypt were never citizens.

        You are making an entirely disingenuous claim here.

        No I’m not. You mischaracterized the effects of the 1929 Nationality Law. See the information and the citations here: link to mondoweiss.net

        The conditions of the Jews living in Egypt didn’t deteriorate until after the State of Israel had driven three-quarters of the Palestinian population into exile.

      • tree
        August 27, 2013, 4:49 pm

        Those Egyptian Jews were ROBBED of their citizenship as a DIRECT result of the imposition of Egypt’s reactionary 1929 Nationality L aw , which STRIPPED 90% of Egyptian Jews of their right of citizenship , regardless of how many generations they had lived in Egypt.

        Miriam, if I may jump in here, let me point out that your knowledge of Egyptian history is entirely deficient and this is but one example of your lack of knowledge. There was NO Egyptian citizenship as such prior to the 1929 law, so no one was stripped of a citizenship they never had. With the semi-independence of Egypt in 1922 (I say semi since Britain still carried official influence there after “independence” was declared), an Egyptian nationality needed to be created. You strongly imply something that is entirely false, that the 1929 Nationality Law was an overt attempt by the Egyptian government to deprive Jews of their Egyptian Nationality, something that no one, regardless of their religious affiliation possessed up until that law.

        Quoting from Joel Beinin’s “The Dispersion of Egyptian Jewry”:

        At the turn of the twentieth century, autochthonous Jews who would be entitled to Egyptian citizenship by the 1929 nationality law and its successors made up at least half of the Jewish community.[21] But in 1948, only 5,000–10,000 of Egypt’s 75,000–80,000 Jews held Egyptian citizenship. Some 40,000 were stateless, and 30,000 were foreign nationals.[22] Many of the 10,000 poor, Arabic-speaking residents of the Rabbanite and Karaite Jewish quarters (harat al-yahud and harat al-yahud al-qara’in) in the Gamaliyya district of Cairo or the 15,000 residents of the port district (harat al-liman) of Alexandria were among the stateless.[23] Jews with foreign citizenship typically bought it from European consular representatives seeking local proteges as commercial agents or levers to intervene in Egyptian affairs during the colonial era. At that time, the category of Egyptian citizen did not exist. Egypt was a province of the Ottoman Empire, and its residents were the subjects (reaya) of the sultan/caliph. Jews who obtained foreign citizenship did not usually regard this as impugning their identity as Egyptians; most other Egyptians felt otherwise.

        Establishing citizenship, like many other transactions between the Egyptian state and its subjects, was a cumbersome procedure. Until the enactment of the Company Law of 1947 requiring firms to employ fixed quotas of Egyptians, those who did not travel abroad had no need for a certificate of citizenship and rarely bothered to obtain it. Chief Rabbi Nahum encouraged eligible Jews to apply for Egyptian citizenship during the 1930s and 1940s, but despite the nominally liberal language of the law, their applications were often subjected to bureaucratic delay and rejection.[24] Such practices were not directed specifically at Jews. Members of the other non-Muslim, mutamassir communities long resident in Egypt-Syrian Christians, Greeks, Italians, Armenians—were similarly treated.

        Joel Beinin, “The Dispersion of Egyptian Jewry:Culture, Politics, and the Formation of a Modern Diaspora ” 1998

        available on the web in large part here:

        link to jewishmanuscripts.com

        I would recommend this as an informative read on the situation of Egyptian Jews in the later half of the 20th century, where it is obvious that they suffered from the negative effects of the extreme hostilities between Israel and Egypt that existed at that time, and also from the Egyptian backlash against foreign nationals there, who were enjoying beneficial treatment by way of their foreign citizenship (nearly half of all Egyptian Jews held foreign nationality, prior to the 1929 Nationality Law). To blame the Egyptian Jews treatment on simple classic longstanding Egyptian anti-semitism is to be entirely disingenuous as to the causitive factors.

        Beinin is objective and faults Egyptian governments and society where it rightly deserves reprobation but also faults Israeli governments, and Western Jewish organizations for their egregious faults as well. Of particular interest you might want to note the totally offensive and untrue accounts of the American Jewish Committee at the time comparing conditions in Egypt to Nazism, and also of note is the national cultural discourse in Israel, which, while treating Egyptian and other Mizrahi Jews as second class citizens from inferior cultures, encouraged these Jews to seek acceptance into Israel culture through mirroring their tales of persecution under Islamic rule to fit the Ashkenazim discourse of Jewish persecution under European Christian rule:

        Palestinian Arab claims of dispossession by Israel, relegated to the bottom of the international agenda since the mid-1950s, began to receive considerable international attention once again after the 1967 war. The neo-lachrymose interpretation of Jewish Arab history distracted attention from Palestinian claims by constructing a narrative focusing on the eternal suffering of Jews under Muslim rule. Some adherents of this approach suggested that even if it were true that the Palestinian Arabs had been dispossessed, a roughly equivalent number of Middle Eastern Jews had fled their homes and lost their property. Consequently, the Palestinians had no valid claim against Israel.[27]

        Middle Eastern Jews living in Israel (commonly agglomerated as Mizrahim, or Orientals, sing. Mizrahi) generally shared the objective of reinforcing the Zionist case against the Arab world, but they also had their own agenda. A narrative emphasizing the unrelenting suffering of Jews in the Arab world established the claim of these Jews to a status in Israeli society comparable to the Ashkenazi survivers of the mass murder of European Jewry. Affirming their victimization in the Arab world allowed Mizrahim to distance themselves from any Arab cultural attachments, which are widely regarded in Israel as symptoms of backwardness. Sometimes the transformation of attitudes toward the Arab world was quite self-consciously understood as the price of admission to Israeli society. For example, at a demonstration protesting a racist assault on Palestinian Arabs living in the Ramat Amidar neighborhood of Ramat Gan (colloquially known as Ramat Baghdad because of its high concentration of Iraqi Jews), one woman spontaneously remarked to me, “In Baghdad we got along fine with the Arabs. But here we have to fight them.” [28]

        The neo-lachrymose interpretation of Jewish Arab history also allowed Mizrahim to claim a role as active members of the Zionist movement and thereby assert their full participation in the mainstream of Jewish national history as presented in the Zionist narrative. Until the 1970s, the dominant school in Israeli and Jewish history portrayed Zionism as the achievement of Ashkenazi Jewry. Minimal participation in the Zionist movement was considered yet another expression of the backwardness of Mizrahim. But if Mizrahim had their own long history of diasporic oppression, this could logically be linked to a claim to have independently arrived at the Zionist solution to the Jewish problem. Asserting that Zionism was not merely a narrative about the crisis of European Jews and its resolution and that there had also been an independent Middle Eastern Zionist movement provided Mizrahim in Israel with a lever to reverse the negative evaluations of their history and culture that predominated during the years of MAPAI (Israeli Workers’ Party, subsequently the Labor Party) rule and buttressed their claims to equal status with Ashkenazim.

        see above link

        Israel, despite its propaganda that it alone ensures the safety of Jews everywhere, was and is a major factor in endangering Jews. Claiming as it does to represent all Jews everywhere, and insisting that all Jews are, or should be, of one nation, with overriding allegiance to Israel is a surefire prescription for getting certain non-Jewish elements to believe this Israeli bullcrap and falsely conclude on that basis that Jews are in fact a foreign element in the countries in which they live (outside of Israel, of course). In other words, Israel spreads anti-semitism and negative stereotypes about Jews and then lambasts any non-Jew that takes them at their word as an anti-semite.

        In the case of the Egyptian Jews, Israel endangered them by committing belligerent, violent acts against both the Palestinians and against Egypt itself (bombing Cairo in 1948, terrorism in Egypt in 1954, violent attacks on Egyptian controlled Gaza in 1955, and aggressive war against Egypt, pre-planned with Britain and France in 1956) in the name of all Jews. It also caused suspicion to be cast on the loyalty of Egyptian Jews by recruiting some of those Jews to commit acts of treason against Egypt, and further compounded the problem by refusing for over 10 years to admit that it had done so, blatantly lying that Egypt had falsely arrested and tried the culprits “simply because they were Jews” when Israel knew it was promulgating a lie that was bound to further frighten Egyptian Jews. This is not to diminish the responsibility of the Egyptian government for its own actions, but to properly acknowledge that Israel did and does little to nothing to protect foreign Jews except to encourage them to come to Israel, which is primarily in the interest of Israel itself. It has shown repeatedly it has no problem whatsoever placing Jews in harm’s way if it is in its own governmental interest.

      • tree
        August 27, 2013, 5:51 pm

        While recommending Beinin’s “The Dispersion of Egyptian Jewry” for an accurate account of what happened there, I would also recommend two books on the case of the Iraqi Jews, Abbas Shiblak’s “The Lure of Zion”, written in 1986, but still available from used booksellers, and Orit Bashkin’s “The New Babylonians: A History of Jews in Modern Iraq”, written in 2012. Both point the finger at both the Iraqi government and the Israeli one, and Bashkin, Israeli born and now a professor at the U of Chicago, makes this point with which I agree:

        The emigration of Iraqi Jews was a result of many misunderstandings, vicious circles, bad calculations on the part of the Iraqi political elites, and Israeli and Iraqi moves that turned Iraqi Jews into mere pawns. Yet I feel that the term “ethnic cleansing”, used by some scholars and especially by so-called pundits in the popular media today, is inappropriate for this context. The Iraqi state was interested in avoiding riots in Jewish neighborhoods. When the denationalization law was passed, leaders such as Tawfiq Suwaydi and Salih Jabr hoped that the majority of Jews would stay in Iraq. After 1951, the remaining Jewish community was able to recover to some degree. Thus, despite the tragic nature of the events, a term taken from civil wars in Yugoslavia, Rwanda, and Palestine should not be applied to this case. I used the word “tragic” in the last sentence to characterize the departure of Iraqi Jews, as this was indeed a devastating tragedy. A community that had existed for over twenty-five hundred years was all of a sudden displaced. Wealthy and middle-class Iraqi Jews, who became penniless because of the freezing of their assets, endured horrendous living conditions in Israeli transit camps.

        I would add, though, that the freezing of Iraqi Jewish assets occurred only towards the end of the Iraqi Jewish exodus, and many were able to retain at least some of their wealth when leaving the country,through legal or illegal means, and that Jews that did not wish to voluntarily renounce their Iraqi citizenship did not have their assets frozen.

        Still, looking at Iraq today, it seems apparent to me that, given the promise Iraq showed in the early to mid 20th century, its destruction, facilitated by gross interference by Israel, the US and Britain, is truly a profound tragedy, not only of course for all the individuals involved but also for the Iraqi culture. And I mean that for ALL Iraqis. We, as US citizens, owe them a profound apology.

        On a further book note, I would also recommend any book by Rabbi Elmer Berger, who wrote contemporaneously of the situation, having visited various Middle Eastern countries during the 1950’s, and also would recommend Marion Woolfson’s book from the 80s, “Prophets in Babylon: Jews in Arab Lands”. Also, Tom Segev goes into the machinations of the Israeli government and its agents in trying to procure, by hook or crook, more Jews for Israel in his book “1949: The First Israelis”, particularly chapter 4.

        For an example I have quoted from in the past:

        A Zionist agent in Vienna objected to the order to help Jews escape from the Soviet sector of the city even if they did not intend to go to Israel. “If the political situation causes them distress and makes them want to leave Vienna, then it is our business to get them to go to Israel, and not to alleviate it by helping them to move to the refugee camps in the American sector.” Others agreed. Foreign Minister Sharett gave his Cabinet colleagues part of a letter he received from Dr. Shmuel Eliashiv, Israeli Ambassador to Czechoslovakia, which said: “It turns out that a good many of the people who have been taken out of here across the border by a variety of means have remained in Vienna and do not intend to proceed to Israel. This has been the cause of much embarrassment and has resulted in difficulties to our people in Vienna and we’ve been asked to stop the operation we have been carrying on so far. We do not intend to follow this advice, but the situation calls for some thought. Of course, if we could obtain mass emigration, we would be able to send the people directly to the port, so they would not be able to stop en route. That is what has been done and is being done in Poland. But [here] the question arises. is our great expenditure of energy and nerve in recent times worth it, for people who only wish to make use of us for their personal interests, and who can only be brought to Israel by force? Obviously I am not ready to reach negative conclusions now, but we find little encouragement in our work under these circumstances.” It appears that this Israeli diplomat did not feel that Israel had a human, Jewish Zionist duty to save Jews in distress irrespective of their final destination, but only insofar as the operation promoted the interests of Israel and served its purposes. At the same time, there were some who thought that steps should be taken to worsen the situation of Jews in their various countries. Itzhak Ben-Menahem, nicknamed “Gulliver”, in years to come, a hero of various military operations inside Arab states wrote:

        “Mass immigration will pour in only as a result of distress. This is a bitter truth, whether we like it or not. We must consider the possibility of initiating the distress, of bringing about in the Diaspora. …For Jews have to be made to leave their places of residence. As the poet said, He will not waken unless roused by the whip, he will not rise unless forced by plunder.”

        Such ideas were not alien to the people entrusted with the immigration. Itzhak Refael reported:” Conditions in Libya today are not bad. There is a danger that this source of immigration will come to an end.” The Chairman of the Zionist Executive said at one of its meetings: “Even Jews who don’t wish to leave [their homes] must be forced to come…”

        quote from page 109-110

      • tree
        August 27, 2013, 5:58 pm

        And one further recommendation is for Rachel Shabi’s book, “We Look Like the Enemy: The Hidden Story of Israel’s Jews from Arab Lands”, which deals more with Mizrahi Jews in Israel and the accepted cultural discourse. Still a very illuminating read.

      • Bataween
        August 28, 2013, 2:58 am

        Orit Bashkin’s ‘misunderstandings’ theory is laughable. Did freezing bank accounts, travel bans, extortion, arrests for ‘Zionism’, sackings and the rule that any Jew had to partner a Muslim in business have to do with preventing riots? No these were Nuremberg-style laws that paved the way for a deliberate policy of ethnic cleansing. No misunderstanding there.

        Riots were undoubtedly a danger, but Orit and Abbas Shiblak both play down the effect of the 1941 Farhud in which almost 200 Jews were murdered. It was not so much that riots could break out at any moment but the fact that the Jews could not trust the Iraqi forces of law and order to protect them from riots, viz the numbers of police who joined the rioters and looters in 1941.

    • Hostage
      August 26, 2013, 6:49 pm

      Since the Israeli government never issued a formal declaration of expulsion, does that mean the Palestinians were never expelled?

      Correction, the government of Israel promulgated laws that denationalized many of the lawful citizens of Palestine. No cause action was ever supplied, apart from the fact that they had become war refugees. They were subsequently treated as illegal infiltrators under Israeli law when they tried to return to their homes.

      P.S. The government of Israel’s declassified operations plans reveal that it did order reprisals against Palestinian villages that defended themselves during probes and preemptive attacks launched by the Jewish militias/IDF, including orders to drive the inhabitants beyond the borders of the Hebrew state. link to jewishvirtuallibrary.org

    • talknic
      August 26, 2013, 9:06 pm

      miriam6 ” the ONE most important fact largely left to one side here on this thread is the fact that the Arab states before, during and after the creation of the state of Israel had a RESPONSIBILTY and DUTY to protect it’s Jewish citizens and honour their rights as citizens of those Arab countries”

      Your argument is nonsense. It’s NORMAL to protect the majority from possible allies of one’s enemies. The US, UK, Australia & their allies interred and expelled citizens and non citizens with Japanese and German heritage suspected of supporting Japan and Germany during WW2.

      Israel did the same 1948-1949 / 1967 etc But unlike the US, UK, Australia et al, Israel also cleansed areas of non-Jews “outside the State of Israel” link to pages.citebite.com and has never allowed their return

      • eljay
        August 26, 2013, 9:22 pm

        >> How odd and telling that the ONE most important fact largely left to one side here on this thread is the fact that the Arab states before, during and after the creation of the state of Israel had a RESPONSIBILTY and DUTY to protect it’s Jewish citizens and honour their rights as citizens of those Arab countries.

        What’s really telling, but not odd at all, is that miriam6eee raises this issue in order to justify:
        – Jewish terrorism in Palestine;
        – the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians from their homes and lands;
        – the creation of an oppressive, colonialist, expansionist and supremacist “Jewish State” in Palestine;
        – the “Jewish State’s” 60+ years, ON-GOING and offensive (i.e., not defensive) campaign of aggression, oppression, theft, colonization, destruction, torture and murder;
        – the “Jewish State’s” refusal to be held – or to have any of its citizens held – accountable for past and on-going (war) crimes;
        – the “Jewish State’s” refusal to honour its obligations under international law; and
        – the “Jewish State’s” refusal to enter into sincere negotiations for a just and mutually-beneficial peace.

      • miriam6
        August 27, 2013, 2:09 am

        Silly Eljay

        I don’t normally have cause to respond to your comments as they are so mind-bendingly dull and repetitive and devoid of content of any interest to me , but I am making an exception on this occasion because you falsely accuse me and slander me of supporting Israeli actions and policies I do not support

        I don’t raise the issue of Mizrahi Jews in order to justify ANY Israeli actions or policies you mention.

        I mention the Mizrahi Jews because the subject tends to get little attention on this site.

        More Mizrahi /Sephardi voices need to be heard on this website
        and not just the occasional piece by David Shasha who is regarded as something of a maverick figure by others in his community

        Generally if they ( the Mizrahim ) are mentioned on this site it is in a patronising, dismissive manner

        Mizrahi Jews are frequently caught in the crossfire between Zionist Jews and anti Zionist Jews and anti Zionist Arabs alike

        Implying that support for the rights and the right of the story of the Mizrahi Jews to be heard somehow means the negation of the rights of the Palestinian people is just plain disingenuous and idiotic.

        Equally disingenuous is the notion that support of the Mizrahim means support of repression of the Palestinians

        I don’t intend to reply to any of your future comments aimed at me , no matter how vitriolic and unpleasant they are , because you are a dishonest, self-righteous , and sanctimonious bore.

      • Sibiriak
        August 27, 2013, 6:06 am

        Miriam6:

        Mizrahi Jews are frequently caught in the crossfire between Zionist Jews and anti Zionist Jews and anti Zionist Arabs alike

        Are Mizrahi Jews generally not Zionist Jews?

      • Shingo
        August 27, 2013, 6:07 am

        I don’t normally have cause to respond to your comments as they are so mind-bendingly dull and repetitive and devoid of content of any interest to me

        That’s funny coming from you Miriam , seeing as your posts are best described as mind-bendingly dull and repetitive and devoid, though they are insufferably verbose yet devoid of relevant content.

        I mention the Mizrahi Jews because the subject tends to get little attention on this site.

        No Miriam, it doesn’t get little attention it’s just that you demonstrate suich ignorance of the topic.

        It’s hilarious listening to you pleading for more Mizrahi /Sephardi voices to be heard on this website, when the Mizrahi community have been the most adamant in rejecting the notion that they are refugees.
        The reference to Jewish refugees from Arab states infuriated many Mizrahi Israelis who defined themselves as Zionists. As early as 1975, at the time of WOJAC’s formation, Knesset speaker Yisrael Yeshayahu declared: “We are not refugees. [Some of us] came to this country before the state was born. We had messianic aspirations.”
        Shlomo Hillel, a government minister and an active Zionist in Iraq, adamantly opposed the analogy: “I don’t regard the departure of Jews from Arab lands as that of refugees. They came here because they wanted to, as Zionists.”
        In a Knesset hearing, Ran Cohen stated emphatically: “I have this to say: I am not a refugee.” He added: “I came at the behest of Zionism, due to the pull that this land exerts, and due to the idea of redemption. Nobody is going to define me as a refugee.”
        So if anyone is patronizing the Mizrahim , it is you.

        Implying that support for the rights and the right of the story of the Mizrahi Jews to be heard somehow means the negation of the rights of the Palestinian people is just plain disingenuous and idiotic.

        It might be idiotic, but it is the argument frequently employed by your fellow travellers who insist that the only ethnic cleansing that took place happened to Jews,

      • eljay
        August 27, 2013, 7:18 am

        >> I don’t intend to reply to any of your future comments aimed at me , no matter how vitriolic and unpleasant they are , because you are a dishonest, self-righteous , and sanctimonious bore.

        You say you won’t, but I know you will because, secretly, you like me. ;-)

      • eljay
        August 27, 2013, 7:41 am

        >> I don’t raise the issue of Mizrahi Jews in order to justify ANY Israeli actions or policies you mention.

        No, of course you don’t. But it’s a shame you won’t reply to me anymore, because I would very much like to have you on record unequivocally condemning the following:
        – Past and on-going Jewish terrorism in Palestine.
        – The ethnic cleansing of Palestinians from their homes and lands.
        – The creation of a necessarily and fundamentally religion-supremacist “Jewish State” in Palestine.
        – The “Jewish State’s” 60+ years, ON-GOING and offensive (i.e., not defensive) campaign of aggression, oppression, theft, colonization, destruction, torture and murder.
        – The “Jewish State’s” refusal to be held – or to have any of its citizens held – accountable for past and on-going (war) crimes.
        – The “Jewish State’s” refusal to honour its obligations under international law.
        – The “Jewish State’s” refusal to enter into sincere negotiations for a just and mutually-beneficial peace.

      • Hostage
        August 27, 2013, 2:13 pm

        Are Mizrahi Jews generally not Zionist Jews?

        Of course they were. I’ve noted in the past that:
        *That members of the notable families of the Sephardic Jewish community in Jerusalem stepped-in and served as purchasing agents for the colonial companies and colonial societies when the Ottoman central government prohibited land sales to foreign Jews or those who were not Ottoman subjects. See Salim Tamari, Ishaq al-Shami and the Predicament of the Arab Jew in Palestine, Jerusalem Quarterly, August 2004, pdf page 3 of 17. link to jerusalemquarterly.org

        * Zionist historian Walter Laqueur noted that “Among the Irgun and the Stern Gang there were many youngsters from the Oriental Jewish community, which was not widely represented in the non-terrorist Hagana.” See A history of terrorism, Transaction Publishers, 1977, page 122 link to books.google.com

        * One area of the Hagana where they were over-represented was in the Palmach’s corps of assassins. Jewish undercover units, called “The Arabists of the Palmach” or Mista’arvim [literally, “Arab-pretenders”]. They were known to have been in operation in Palestine and neighboring Arab countries as early as 1942. — See Targeting To Kill: Israel’s Undercover Units, Elia Zureik and Anita Vitullo, The Palestine Human Rights Information Center (PHRIC)
        *link to thejerusalemfund.org
        *link to palmach.org.il
        and Zvika Dror, The ’Arabists’ of the Palmach (Hakibbutz Hameuchad Publishing House, 1986)

        The Jewish Agency had permanent offices in the major cities of Egypt, including Cairo and Alexandria. During the mandate era, members of the Egyptian Jewish communities participated in the Kibbutz movement, the Jewish underground, helped facilitate illegal immigration to Israel after the 1939 White Paper Policy was adopted, participated in all of the Zionist-affilated sports and youth movements, and were represented in the Zionist Congresses. Egypt was used by Ashkenazim members of terror groups as well. I’ve noted elsewhere that J. Bowyer Bell cited a meeting in Alexandria in July 1937 between Jabotinsky and Irgun commander Col. Robert Bitker and chief of staff Moshe Rosenberg. See Terror Out of Zion, Transaction Publishers, 1977, pages 35-36.

      • Donald
        August 26, 2013, 11:04 pm

        “It’s NORMAL to protect the majority from possible allies of one’s enemies. The US, UK, Australia & their allies interred and expelled citizens and non citizens with Japanese and German heritage suspected of supporting Japan and Germany during WW2.”

        What the US did to Japanese Americans was shameful. I’m less familiar with what other countries did or for that matter, what we did to the German-Americans.

        ” Arab states before, during and after the creation of the state of Israel had a RESPONSIBILTY and DUTY to protect it’s Jewish citizens and honour their rights as citizens of those Arab countries.”

        I agree. I don’t know how many Jews were expelled or fled due to persecution and how many left voluntarily, but it’s clear at least some were expelled or fled from persecution. (Hostage’s post about Egypt is interesting, as all of his posts are, but AFAIK it doesn’t change the fact that at least some Jews were expelled from some countries.)

        It’s an Israeli argument made sometimes that somehow the mistreatment of Jews by some Arabs justifies the mistreatment of Palestinians by Israelis. They even try to equate the numbers or claim that more Jews were expelled. It’s not an argument that makes any sense.

      • Bataween
        August 28, 2013, 3:06 am

        But the Jews were citizens of Iraq – they happened to be a different religion. They were not allies of Israel, in fact went to great lengths to distance themselves from Zionism. Does that justify a policy of abuse and state-sanctioned robbery?

    • Annie Robbins
      August 27, 2013, 9:15 am

      miriam, i was curious about this alleged quote from PLO member Sabri Jiryis in your times of israel article so i googled around a little bit. i’m afraid it’s been skewered a bit. in this propaganda article by Ya’akov Meron in the Middle East Quarterly September 1995, pp. 47-55, he blockquotes directly from An-Nahar. it appears the quote was completely taken out of context:

      link to meforum.org

      (my bold)

      Sabri Jiryis, director of the Institute of Palestine Studies in Beirut, enumerated in 1975 the factors leading to the establishment of the State of Israel. The Arab states had much to do with this, for they expelled the Jews “in a most ugly fashion, and after confiscating their possessions or taking control thereof at the lowest price.” These Jews then

      Participated in the reinforcement of Israel, its strengthening and fortification to the degree we see it as present. . . . There is no need to say that the problem of those Jews and their passage to Israel is not merely theoretical, at least from the viewpoint of the Palestinian problem. Clearly, Israel will raise the question in all serious negotiation that may in time be conducted over the rights of the Palestinians. . . . Israel’s arguments take approximately the following form: “It is true that we Israelis brought about the exodus of the Arabs from their land in the war of 1948 . . . and that we took control of their property. In return however you Arabs caused the expulsion of a like number of Jews from Arab countries since 1948 until today. Most of these went to Israel after you seized control of their property in one way or another. What happened, therefore, is merely a kind of ‘population and property transfer,’ the consequences of which both sides have to bear. Thus Israel gathers in the Jews from Arab countries and the Arab countries are obliged in turn to settle the Palestinians within their own borders and work towards a solution of the problem”. Israel will undoubtedly advance these claims in the first real debate over the Palestinian problem.45

      iow, when Sabri Jiryis says “Israel’s arguments take approximately the following form” he is predicting what israel’s arguments will be. and note the creative use of the quotemarks by Meron. i’m afraid you have been snookered. but jiryis was right when he said “Israel will undoubtedly advance these claims in the first real debate over the Palestinian problem.45 ” and they have been advancing it ever since.

      we’ve documented this campaign by the israel government, recently revived by Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon’s latest hasbara campaign ‘Justice for Jewish refugees from Arab countries‘.

      link to mondoweiss.net

      We demand the establishment of an investigative committee to examine: 1) if and by what means negotiations were carried out in 1950 between Israeli Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion and Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri as-Said, and if Ben-Gurion informed as-Said that he is authorized to take possession of the property and assets of Iraqi Jewry if he agreed to send them to Israel; 2) who ordered the bombing of the Masouda Shem-Tov synagogue in Baghdad, and if the Israeli Mossad and/or its operatives were involved. If it is determined that Ben-Gurion did, in fact, carry out negotiations over the fate of Iraqi Jewish property and assets in 1950, and directed the Mossad to bomb the community’s synagogue in order to hasten our flight from Iraq, we will file a suit in an international court demanding half of the sum total of compensation for our refugee status from the Iraqi government and half from the Israeli government.

      ….The Ramat Gan Committee of Baghdadi Jews

      These “Jewish refugees from Arab countries” are Mizrahi, Arab Jews who now compromise 50% of Israel’s population. Barak Ravid at Haaretz states the intent of the “refugees” campaign:

      It is in Israel’s interest to create a connection between the issues of the Jewish and Palestinian refugees, the document said, so Israel should present them as a single issue in all negotiations. “It’s necessary to instill the duality of the term refugee into international discourse. Linking these issues will serve Israel in the negotiations.”

      Specifically, it said, such linkage would deter excessive claims on behalf of the Palestinian refugees, or at least moderate them.

      Lara Friedman’s Exploiting Jews from Arab Countries and Ben White’s A new hasbara campaign: Countering the ‘Arab Narrative’ both provide excellent overviews of the campaign. It began in earnest in 1975, with the founding of the World Organization of Jews from Arab Countries (WOJAC)–”as a deterrent to block claims harbored by the Palestinian national movement”.

      Yehouda Shenhav explains how the term “Jewish refugee”, pertaining to Mizrahi Jews, first originated in an article titled, Hitching a ride on the magic carpet:

      • Sibiriak
        August 27, 2013, 9:39 am

        Annie, where does the quotation in this sentence come from?

        …they expelled the Jews “in a most ugly fashion, and after confiscating their possessions or taking control thereof at the lowest price.”

      • Annie Robbins
        August 27, 2013, 9:59 am

        sibirak, the quote probably comes from the very same article 1975 An-Nahar article, with careful excision from the very same quote (probably where he cuts it with “…..”) for example, here’s where Meron quotes directly from Sabri Jiryis, director of the Institute of Palestine Studies in Beirut:

        (my bold)

        Israel’s arguments take approximately the following form: “It is true that we Israelis brought about the exodus of the Arabs from their land in the war of 1948 . . . and that we took control of their property. In return however you Arabs caused the expulsion of a like number of Jews from Arab countries since 1948 until today. Most of these went to Israel after you seized control of their property in one way or another. What happened, therefore, is merely a kind of ‘population and property transfer,’ the consequences of which both sides have to bear. Thus Israel gathers in the Jews from Arab countries and the Arab countries are obliged in turn to settle the Palestinians within their own borders and work towards a solution of the problem”. Israel will undoubtedly advance these claims in the first real debate over the Palestinian problem.45

        for example, it probably read like this:

        Israel’s arguments take approximately the following form: “It is true that we Israelis brought about the exodus of the Arabs from their land in the war of 1948 in a most ugly fashion, and after confiscating their possessions or taking control thereof at the lowest price,and that we took control of their property. In return however you Arabs caused the expulsion of a like number of Jews from Arab countries since 1948 until today.

      • Sibiriak
        August 27, 2013, 10:08 am

        Annie, thanks. I get it now. Good work! This Ya’akov Meron is one slippery, dishonest fellow, it seems.

      • Annie Robbins
        August 27, 2013, 11:55 am

        you’re welcome sibiriak. this hasbara campaign of israel’s to conflate palestinian refugees w/that of arab jews has very deep roots that have been nurtured and watered for a long long time. and contrary to miriam’s ridiculous assertions that it has been ignored on this site, it has not, which a simple google search will prove. anyway, here’s a link i’ve posted many times on MW over the years, one of my favorites by Yehuda Shenhav, Department of Sociology and Anthropology Tel Aviv University ( also taught in several universities in the United States, such as the University of Wisconsin–Madison, Stanford University, Princeton University and Columbia University.) explaining the history

        What do Palestinians and Arab-Jews Have in Common?
        Nationalism and Ethnicity Examined Through the Compensation Question

        link to prrn.mcgill.ca

        ABSTRACT: This article focuses on the immigration of Iraqi Jews to Israel in the early 1950s and examines the manner in which the Israeli State has used this immigration to offset the claims of the Palestinian national movement. It also sheds light on actions taken by WOJAC (World Organization of Jews from Arab Countries) to further Israel’s national interests, as well as on how these interests were challenged and re-formulated by WOJAC’s non-Israeli members. The history of WOJAC serves as an example of the anomalous relationship between nationality and ethnicity in the Zionist context. Lastly, this article underscores the conspicuous compartmentalization of “the Palestinian question” and the “Mizrahi question” within Israeli political and intellectual discourse.

        it was not necessarily a deliberate scheme. However, when implemented as a raison d’état it enabled the Israeli government to “legitimately” absolve itself of responsibility for compensating the Palestinian refugees (4). Moreover, Israel’s nationalization of the identity and property of Iraq’s Jews in its relentless drive to articulate Jewish nationalism served as a bargaining policy with which to deny Palestinian nationality. This article confirms that the Jews of Iraq became an instrument in a decision-making process from which they were excluded and which rested on basic assumptions they did not necessarily share. Furthermore, I draw on another source of archival data in order to document how WOJAC responded to the theory employed by the Israeli State. WOJAC strove to facilitate the linkage between the property of Iraqi Jews and the property of the Palestinian refugees. But, as it turned out, the organization’s non-Israeli members challenged these assumptions and developed a form of resistance against them.

        Police Minister Behor Shitrit was the first, in March 1949, to raise the question of the “situation of Iraq’s Jews” in the cabinet.(8) Shitrit said he was worried about the situation of the Jews in Iraq after Zionism had been outlawed; at one stage, he proposed that the property of Israeli Arabs be held hostage for Jewish property in Iraq. This idea, however, was rejected out of hand by the Israeli Foreign Ministry. (Segev, 1984: 96) In September 1949, Shitrit again raised what he called “the problem of the Jews in the Arab lands” in the cabinet. He asked whether the Foreign Ministry had taken steps to assist them: “… I would like to know if there is any way to abet their rescue…if it is possible to arrive at some agreement on a ‘transfer’ [emphasis added] in terms of both property and people, and to take up the matter with the UN institutions and inform the world…”(9) In this discussion, Sharett for the first time spoke about Jewish property in the Arab countries. He cited the absence of a peace treaty with Iraq as the reason for his negative attitude toward possible cooperation with the government in Baghdad

      • Annie Robbins
        August 27, 2013, 9:45 am

        miriam, and for the icing on the cake, Yehouda Shenhav, who is an israeli/iraqi jew, cites (my above 9:15 am comment) none other than Ya’akov Meron , the same author who skewered the quote in the Middle East Quarterly September 1995, pp. 47-55, source of the times of israel hasbara you cite. here’s shenhav link to haaretz.com :

        The WOJAC figure who came up with the idea of “Jewish refugees” was Yaakov Meron, head of the Justice Ministry’s Arab legal affairs department. Meron propounded the most radical thesis ever devised concerning the history of Jews in Arab lands. He claimed Jews were expelled from Arab countries under policies enacted in concert with Palestinian leaders – and he termed these policies “ethnic cleansing.” … Meron claimed that Zionism had relied on romantic, borrowed phrases (“Magic Carpet,” “Operation Ezra and Nehemiah”) in the description of Mizrahi immigration waves to conceal the “fact” that Jewish migration was the result of “Arab expulsion policy.” In a bid to complete the analogy drawn between Palestinians and Mizrahi Jews, WOJAC publicists claimed that the Mizrahi immigrants lived in refugee camps in Israel during the 1950s (i.e., ma’abarot or transit camps), just like the Palestinian refugees.

        The organization’s claims infuriated many Mizrahi Israelis who defined themselves as Zionists. As early as 1975, at the time of WOJAC’s formation, Knesset speaker Yisrael Yeshayahu declared: “We are not refugees. [Some of us] came to this country before the state was born. We had messianic aspirations.”

        iow, you can spout this nonsense/hasbara from the gov of israel all you want miriam, but nobody’s buying it. least of all iraqi jews, and they should know.

      • Bataween
        August 27, 2013, 7:17 pm

        Well I’m an Iraqi Jew and I can tell you that we were ethnically cleansed by the Iraqis. Our human rights were abused, we were arrested, tortured and executed and finally robbed as we ran for the exit.
        Your denial that we were refugees and attempts to blame Israel are despicable.

      • Philip Weiss
        September 3, 2013, 12:40 pm

        Do two wrongs make a right? You shd have the right to return to your home

      • miriam6
        August 28, 2013, 1:04 am

        Annie Robbins said:

        miriam, i was curious about this alleged quote from PLO member Sabri Jiryis in your times of israel article so i googled around a little bit. i’m afraid it’s been skewered a bit. in this propaganda article by Ya’akov Meron in the Middle East Quarterly September 1995, pp. 47-55, he blockquotes directly from An-Nahar. it appears the quote was completely taken out of context:

        Your link to the ME Forum shows that whilst you seem to be correct that the quote is skewed by being taken context, – it is still apparent that in the wider context ,- Ya’akov Meron ‘s words still reflect an acknowledgement of the guilt and brutality of Arab countries in driving out the Mizrahim.

        According to your ME Forum link it Ya’akov Meron says that the Arab states were responsible for driving out the Arab Jews

        The argument presented by Shayna Zamkanei’s Times of Israel article containing Jiryis’s quote is correct I believe. I would doubt that Jiryis meant to agree with an argument quite like Meron’s.

        I don’t particularly agree with Meron’s claim that recognition of the Mizrahim as refugees cancels out Palestinian refugee claims on Israel, however.

        Nevertheless , I think the idea that a full RoR for the Palestinians can ever possibly be accepted by Israel is a non-starter.

        Compromise is necessary on both sides regarding their respective refugees

      • Bataween
        August 28, 2013, 3:10 am

        Rebuttal to Lara Friedman: link to thedailybeast.com

      • Shingo
        August 28, 2013, 3:55 am

        Rebuttal to Lara Friedman:

        Hasbara BS. The claims that Israel discouraged the Jews from seeing themselves as refugees, when in fact the Mizrahi themselves reject the label, as it trivializes the Zionist roots of many who migrated for messianic reasons.

  19. miriam6
    August 27, 2013, 10:13 pm

    Annie Robbins ;

    iow, you can spout this nonsense/hasbara from the gov of israel all you want miriam, but nobody’s buying it. least of all iraqi jews, and they should know.

    Really?

    Are you seriously denying the evidence of Jewish persecution at the hands of the Iraqi government of the time?

    Worst still , are you actually attempting to justify it or attempting to whitewash this history?

    Iraqi Jews are well aware of their persecution at the hands of the Iraqi state and other Iraqis;

    In June 1941, the Mufti-inspired, pro-Nazi coup of Rashid Ali sparked rioting and a pogrom in Baghdad.
    Armed mobs, with the complicity of the police and the army, murdered 180 Jews and wounded almost 1,000…

    Cont..

    link to jewishvirtuallibrary.org


    State Sanctioned Persecution of Jews In Iraq
    From Research conducted at the UNHCR Archives in Geneva
    By Stanley A. Urman

    Beginning in 1948, Iraqi authorities took discriminatory measure against their Jewish citizens by enacting a number of legislative and other decrees. Law No. 1 of 1950, entitled “Supplement to Ordinance Canceling Iraqi Nationality”, in fact deprived Jews of their Iraqi nationality. Section 1 stipulated that “the Council of Ministers may cancel the Iraqi nationality of the Iraqi Jew who willingly desires to leave Iraq for good pending putting his signature on a special form in the presence of an official whom the Minister of Interior designates” (official Iraqi English translation)…

    link to jcrc.org

    iow, you can spout this nonsense/hasbara from the gov of israel

    Are you seriously attempting to suggest that the claims of Mizrahi Jews to be considered refugees is all a fabrication of the Israeli government?

    Why, You must have lost your mind

    This is evidently a tactic favoured by you and the editorial policy at Mondoweiss..

    To deny and dismiss the existence of the persecution and expulsion of many Jews from Arab lands as a fabrication of the Israeli government and to suggest , quite wrongly that Mizrahim/ Mizrahi organisations are mere mindless dupes of the Israeli government and have no independent interest in pursuing justice for themselves and their communities unless bidden to by the Israeli government is quite WRONG

    David Shasha , whose most recent article out of a grand total of four on your website , – slandered organisations working for the cause of Mizrahi Jews as working hand in glove with Zionist organisations and of having the support of the Israeli government – is further example of Mondoweiss’s deployment of this tactic to imply that the Mizrahim campaign to seek acknowledgement and proper redress for the suffering of Mizrahim at the hands of Arab governments is all orchestrated by Israel

    Of course Israel is greatly supportive of the Arab Jewish groups that do its bidding:

    link to mondoweiss.net

    I drew Shasha’s article , plus Shasha’s slander of her organisation on the Mondoweiss site , to the attention of Lyn Julius the co-founder of Harif.org , – just one of the three organisations slandered by Shasha in his article , and she e-mailed me her reply in which she categorically dismissed Shasha’s allegations of Israeli /Zionist support – – and his smear of her organisation Harif.org.

    Robbins you can spout your nonsense denying the persecution, displacement ,expulsion of Mizrahi Jews all you wish but that will not obliterate the existence of organisations which are dedicated to the fight for garnering support for the Mizrahi cause.

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