Balfour Declaration, now 100, was ‘gun pointed at heads’ of Palestinians — Khalidi

US Politics
on 85 Comments

Last night at NYU, Rashid Khalidi gave a lecture to mark the 100th anniversary of the Balfour Declaration– “from the standpoint of its victims,” the Palestinians.

For the Palestinians this statement was a gun pointed directly at their heads… The issuance of the Balfour Declaration thus marked the beginning of what I would describe as a century long colonial war in Palestine supported by an array of outside powers which continues to this day.

Let me break out two other bracing statements that Khalidi made in the talk, at the Hagop Kevorkian Center at NYU, one about the state of the Arab world, one about the power of Zionism.

When a questioner from Morocco lamented the “erasure” of the Palestinian story from its central role in Arab memory, the Columbia University history professor said she was right, but he was not sure what claim for primacy Palestinians could make at this time, given the “destruction of four Arab countries”:

The situation that the Arab world is in is one of such absolute agony that I think it is worth questioning to what extent at this moment in time– is there an Arab world? Even in the 30’s you had a certain mass public that resonated to certain things. So when the Palestinians rose up in 1936, you go to the French foreign ministry archives and you have Algerian Muslims trying to contribute to support Palestinians. They weren’t allowed to do so, of course, by French colonial authorities. You have people coming from Lebanon and Syria to  fight with the Palestinians.

So you had a resonance throughout the Arab world of the Palestine case. It’s true in the 40’s and the 50’s and the 60’s; even though the regimes generally tended to do what the great powers wanted. If you look at what’s happening in 47, 48, every Arab government is paying much more attention to the British or the Americans or other external powers than they are to Palestinians– public opinion however is resonating to what is happening in Palestine.

Today the situation of fragmentation of the Arab world, that’s just so much harder. Not just today, but in the last decade or so. It’s not just the Arab uprisings–  And how can you tell a Syrian whose country has been destroyed, and a quarter of its population at least has been made refugees, and they’re trying to deal with this horrific regime, and with an armed opposition that’s made up of people who would probably cut the throats of a quarter to a fifth of the population if they had the power. So you have on the one hand the devil and on the other the deep blue sea.

How do you tell a Syrian agonizing over that situation, Palestine is more important? This is life and death, this is existential, and the same is true with the Iraqis, the same is true for Yemenis, the same is true for Libyans. The question of whether those countries will even exist is on the table.

The question of how many hundreds of thousands of Yemeni children will be permanently damaged by the starvation that’s been inflicted on them by the Saudi blockade and the war? You have to take account of those things if you’re a sentient human being. One could go on and on.

I can’t say as I blame people, frankly.

This is honest and realistic. Even if Israeli-apologists make the same argument.

The other statement Khalidi made that I found compelling was when he said that Palestinians during the Mandate period of the 20s-40s were “in a triple bind, which may have been unique in the history of resistance of indigenous peoples to European colonial settler movements.” The three forces were: the international legitimacy granted Zionism even at a time when colonialism had widely been discredited; the support for Zionists from the British to honor the Balfour Declaration; and the power of the Zionist movement itself.

Rashid Khalidi, Columbia University historian, lecturing at NYU Hagop Kevorkian Center, Sept. 25, 2017.

Khalidi’s description of the Zionist movement was pointed.

“Palestinians… faced an international colonizing movement with a national mission and its own independent sources of finance and support besides those offered by Britain.”

Then quoting Zeev Sternhell’s book, The Founding Myths of Israel, Khalidi said that the Israeli historian deduced that in the 1920s, the “annual inflow of Jewish capital” to Palestine was on average 41.5 percent larger than the Jewish net domestic product in Palestine! And it never went below 30 percent between the wars.

“Think about that, that’s like a river of money into any economy, and it was being invested and intelligently used. You’re talking about extraordinary international support independent of the military diplomatic and other support of the British empire, certainly till 1939.”

I cite this analysis because it supports my own view that the Israel lobby was a real factor in western affairs before the Balfour Declaration. Louis Brandeis converted to Zionism surely because the political power of the nascent Zionist lobby was his means of getting on to the Supreme Court (the case I made here). The Balfour Declaration– which he helped craft and get his friend President Wilson to endorse– is seen by many as an attempt by the western powers to win the support of US Jews to the allied cause in World War I. And the emergence of an international Zionist network was a factor in the global publicizing of the Russian pogroms at the turn of the century.

Khalidi does not generally emphasize the Zionist role in producing the Balfour Declaration and western compliance. It’s not his area of study; he’s more interested in the imperial interests of the Brits, then the Americans. But as he said last night, the Zionists “hopped” from one global sponsor to another “like an orphan searching for a foster parent.” And if there was such a British imperial interest in Palestine, as Khalidi maintained, well, it vanished rather quickly from the White Paper in 1939 to the time a few years later when Britain washed its hands of the mess. The United States is today that global sponsor, but to address the role of the Israel lobby in foreign policy-making in our country is to experience a type of career death.

About Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is Founder and Co-Editor of Mondoweiss.net.

Other posts by .


Posted In:

85 Responses

  1. Boris
    September 26, 2017, 4:15 pm

    Two thoughts:

    1. Khalidi admits it is not Israel against Palestinians, but Israel against the entire Arab ( or maybe even Muslim) world. Kind of changes the David vs. Goliath perspective.

    2. Reminds me of my grandma’s saying – “hope they get enough tsures to forget about Jews”.

  2. Keith
    September 26, 2017, 5:23 pm

    RASHID KHALIDI- “The situation that the Arab world is in is one of such absolute agony that I think it is worth questioning to what extent at this moment in time– is there an Arab world?”

    That is absolutely correct. The empire is on a rampage and has destroyed virtually all opposition or potential opposition to imperial hegemony in the Middle East. This is to a significant degree consistent with the Oded Yinon Plan formulated by Israeli elites for the fragmentation of the surrounding Arab states into small statelets. I link to a translation by Israel Shahak. http://cosmos.ucc.ie/cs1064/jabowen/IPSC/articles/article0005345.html

    • Naftush
      September 27, 2017, 11:28 am

      So it’s once again about the Je… er, the “Israeli elites” and their world-destroying tentacles? And yeah, the ever-reliable Israel Shahak as support. It’s all over, Israel, you’ve been found out… (not).

      • Keith
        September 28, 2017, 1:37 pm

        NAFTUSH- “So it’s once again about the Je… er, the “Israeli elites” and their world-destroying tentacles?”

        The Oded Yinon Plan exists, it is real. Israel’s wars of aggression against its Arab neighbors are also real and consistent with Israel’s desire break apart the neighboring Arab countries. Your comment is shameless pilpul.

  3. Kay24
    September 26, 2017, 5:55 pm

    Off topic but relevant. Saudi Arabia is desperately trying to improve/change it’s horrible image around the world (for many good reasons).

    “Saudi Arabia is lifting its ban on women driving, according to a statement from the state-run press agency.

    Saudi King Salman’s decision was announced by royal decree, the agency said.

    The regulation has been part of the conservative kingdom’s broad restrictions on women’s rights, which include requiring women to secure a male family member’s approval for actions such as working and traveling.

    Female activists have long protested the ban, including by staging demonstrations during which they end up facing arrests and other state restrictions for driving.” Huffpost

    That would be a hard sell until they stop bombing Yemen, and stop conspiring with Israel, to cause mischief around the world. They should also stop trying to radicalize Muslims in other nations, and stop waging proxy wars. I mentioned it was a hard sell.

    • echinococcus
      September 26, 2017, 9:06 pm

      That would be a hard sell until they stop bombing Yemen, and stop conspiring with Israel, to cause mischief around the world. They should also stop trying to radicalize Muslims in other nations, and stop waging proxy wars. I mentioned it was a hard sell.

      If that “would be hard”, it is totally impossible anyway as long as the single party Demolicanorepucrat dictatorship is in power in the US. It’s nice to talk, but who are you supporting in fact?

  4. yonah fredman
    September 26, 2017, 11:02 pm

    I think the name of the center is the hagop kevorkian center for near east studies. (trying to assist someone’s suicide?)

    • echinococcus
      September 27, 2017, 10:02 am

      Congratulations, Reb Fredman.
      Your comment has been selected as the absolute most cretinous of the year, hands down.

    • Mooser
      September 27, 2017, 12:47 pm

      “echin”, he has had a lot of competition lately, and is trying to keep up with our super-Zionists.

  5. Nathan
    September 27, 2017, 8:41 am

    Prof Khalidi speaks of “a triple bind, which may have been unique in the history of resistance of indigenous peoples to European colonial settler movements”. The “triple bind” is then defined in the article as “(1) the international legitimacy granted Zionism even at a time when colonialism had widely been discredited; (2) the support for Zionists from the British to honor the Balfour Declaration; and (3) the power of the Zionist movement itself”.

    In reality, this is merely a rehashing of the excuses that the Palestinians tell us regularly when trying to explain their defeat. It’s always about “forces beyond their control”. Moreover, there is so little self-criticism, and absolutely no willingness to see the world through someone else’s eyes.

    In May 1939, the British decided to accept the Arab (Palestinian) position. Jewish immigration will end (in five years’ time), there will be a Palestinian state (in ten years’ time) with a solid Arab majority, and no land will be sold to Jews (thus preventing the founding of new Jewish settlements). It was a clear political victory of the Palestinians, and a total defeat of the Jews. The British claimed that they had kept their promise in accordance to the Balfour Declaration, but it was clear that the White Paper was the exact opposite of honoring the declaration (2) – and it’s an obvious indication of the weakness of the Zionist Movement (3). You would expect that the Palestinian Arab leadership would be dancing in the streets, declaring “success, success”. Strangely, they rejected the White Paper (they didn’t take “yes” for an answer).

    If one wonders why there was “international legitimacy granted Zionism even at a time when colonialism had widely been discredited (1)”, it is merely an indication of the same intellectual block shared by the entire anti-Zionist camp. It’s an oft-repeated political point of view to claim that “Zionism is colonialism”, but it’s an intellectual failure when you assume that your political view is universally accepted. When one grows up, one finds out that others see the world differently. Those who supported Zionism in the international community were of the opinion that the Jews were returning to their ancient homeland (to their native soil).

    I would humbly suggest to Prof Khalidi to look into the issue of self-criticism. It is not only an issue of historical research. It is also an issue of the “here and now”. The Palestinians’ answer was always “no”, and there was never any proposal on their part for finding a reasonable solution. They insisted on armed resistance, and eventually they pinned their hopes for total victory on the political and military power of the neighboring Arab states. Instead of pretending that they were defeated because of a “triple bind” or because of forces beyond control, they should look into the failed policy of “no, no, no”. And, today as well, there is no proposal that the Palestinians can accept – not even a proposal that they themselves would put into writing (because in the end, as we have seen, they won’t take “yes” for an answer).

    • Talkback
      September 27, 2017, 11:02 am

      Nathan: “In May 1939, the British decided to accept the Arab (Palestinian) position.”

      Nope.In May 1939 the British decided that the first task of their mandate (establishing a national home for Jews) has been achieved – which was a violation of the right to self determination – and that they should enact the second part which is establishing self governing institutions to release Palestine into independence and to allow the majority to decide immigration policy – which is in accordance with the right to self determination. See art. 2 of the mandate.

      Nathan: “It was a clear political victory of the Palestinians, and a total defeat of the Jews.”

      Nope, it was not a political victory but part ot the mandate. And your differentation between Palestinians and Jews is misleading. Every citizen of Palestine was Palestinians, Jews and Nonjews. The only wants who were defeated were the Zionists. And then they started their decade long terrorism campagne.

      Nathan: “The British claimed that they had kept their promise in accordance to the Balfour Declaration, but it was clear that the White Paper was the exact opposite of honoring the declaration”.

      Clear for whom and why? The Nathan just claims clearity, but has no arguments.

      Nathan: “Strangely, they rejected the White Paper (they didn’t take “yes” for an answer).”

      Not strange at all:
      “In May the HNC delegation announced its rejection of the White Paper, with Amin Husseini imposing the decision on the majority of delegates who were in favour of accepting.”
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/London_Conference_(1939)#Outcome

      Nathan:
      “Those who supported Zionism in the international community were of the opinion that the Jews were returning to their ancient homeland (to their native soil).”

      Source? Or is that “clear”, too?

      Nathan: “The Palestinians’ answer was always “no”, and there was never any proposal on their part for finding a reasonable solution.”

      ROFL. Actually they proposed an independent democratic Palestine with minority rights and the Zionist Jews always said “no” to this reasonable solution. Instead the Jewish terrorist and latter went to a full scale war while rejecting truce propolsals to establish their Apartheid Junta and expell the Nonjews to become a majority. That’s your “reasonable solution”.

      Nathan: “And, today as well, there is no proposal that the Palestinians can accept – not even a proposal that they themselves would put into writing (because in the end, as we have seen, they won’t take “yes” for an answer).”

      ROFL. The Palestine Papers show how far they are willing to go, but everytime they swallowed a proposal from their usurper the usurper gave them something bigger to swallow. But let me ask you something. Would Jews accept their own proposals if they were Palestinians? To live in less than 20% of Palestine, etc? Everything that Israel can offer is nothing that it legally owns. And everything they demand from Palestinians is to give up their rights under international law and human rights. And let’s be honest. The facts on the ground clearly show that Israel is not interested in peace, but in as much land with as less Nonjews. Their 1948 aggression has not ended, yet.

      • Nathan
        September 27, 2017, 9:44 pm

        Talkback – I’m not familiar with the initials HNC, but I take it that you mean the Arab High Command in Palestine. I see that you agree that the White Paper of 1939 was rejected by the leadership of the Palestinian Arabs. (Yes, it’s true that the mufti, Haj Amin el-Husseini, imposed his decision on the others. He had such power). The really interesting question is “why”. Why would the White Paper be rejected? Why couldn’t the mufti take a clear “yes” for an answer? I wonder if you can figure it out.

        You asked me if the Jews would accept the proposals if they were Palestinians. Well, obviously, if one is a Palestinian, one is under the impact of their culture – therefore, compromise is out of the question. However, even a real political victory (such as the 1939 White Paper) was unacceptable. Surely, there is room for criticizing the Palestinians for their poor politics. I don’t understand why you feel the need to make excuses for them. I see everywhere that anti-Israel or pro-Palestinian people never criticize the Palestinians. The Palestinians have made some very big mistakes, and it’s perfectly normal to talk about it.

        In the 1920’s, the British High Commissioner in Palestine (Sir Herbert Samuel) raised the suggestion of founding a kind of parliament to represent the residents of the country. The Jews were still quite a small population, and they feared that the parliament would eventually be the sovereign power in the land – with an overwhelming Arab majority. In the end, the idea was dropped, and the British High Commissioner ruled the country by himself. But why was the idea of a parliament dropped? The Arabs adamantly rejected the idea! Again, why can’t the Palestinians take a “yes” for an answer? I wonder if you can figure it out (and I wonder if you are capable of saying: “They made a big mistake”).

      • Talkback
        September 28, 2017, 10:00 pm

        Naftush: “The really interesting question is “why”.”

        To maintain his leadership of the actual rebels in Palestine.

        Naftush: “You asked me if the Jews would accept the proposals if they were Palestinians.”

        Yes, and you didn’t answer the question. Are you going to answer it?

        Naftush: “Well, obviously, if one is a Palestinian, one is under the impact of their culture – therefore, compromise is out of the question.”

        Well, if you need to be racist than I have to change the question Would Jews Jews would accept Israel to be put under a trusteeship that allows unlimited immigration and settling against their consent? Would they allow Israel to be partitioned? And what does your answer say about their culture and if “compromise” is possible?

        Naftush: “In the 1920’s, the British High Commissioner in Palestine (Sir Herbert Samuel) raised the suggestion of founding a kind of parliament to represent the residents of the country. … But why was the idea of a parliament dropped? The Arabs adamantly rejected the idea! ”

        Was this a parliament based on majority ruling and which would have led to the country’s independence and that they could freely choose how many foreigners they allo to immigrate and settle in their Country? When Churchil proposed a representative government for all the people of Palestine, Weizmann opposed him because Jews were a minority.

        You see, Zionist Jews have a problem with democratic principles when they are not a majority. That’s the reason why the expelled Nonjews to become one. Now this obviously can’t be called “democracy” right? The correct legal term is Apartheid as defined in international law.

        “… and the British High Commissioner ruled the country by himself.”

        Yes. The first Jewish King of Palestine after thousands of years. Now its Bibi. No wait, he’s King of the Jews all over the world.

    • Citizen
      September 27, 2017, 11:18 am
    • JeffB
      September 27, 2017, 11:18 am

      @Nathan —

      Excellent points. Regardless of how often it is claimed that Zionism is a colonial movement it consistently ends up responding to various pressures in ways different than colonial movement do. Pulmonary embolism shares some symptomatology with pneumonia that doesn’t mean it respond to the same treatments as pneumonia. Now of course one can redefine colonialism so broadly starting with the term “settler colonialism” so as to have a “colonialism” that acts and behaves nothing like colonialism and thus make the term colonialism meaningless. But ultimately the “triple bind” is the fact that Jewish migration to Palestine are not motivated by either a desire to cease natural resources nor a desire to exploit indigenous labor. The support for it is religious and cultural not economic and political. In other words it isn’t colonialism at all.

      The Palestinian’s problem is their broad support depends on post colonial nations believing they too suffer from colonialism. At the same time their actual opponent isn’t a colonizer, and has a set of motivations entirely unlike those of colonial enterprises.

      • Talkback
        September 27, 2017, 2:38 pm

        JeffB: “Now of course one can redefine colonialism so broadly starting with the term “settler colonialism” so as to have a “colonialism” that acts and behaves nothing like colonialism and thus make the term colonialism meaningless. But ultimately the “triple bind” is the fact that Jewish migration to Palestine are not motivated by either a desire to cease natural resources nor a desire to exploit indigenous labor.”

        Another epic fail JeffB.

        “The LAND is the key resource in settler colonies, whereas natural and human resources are the main motivation behind OTHER forms of colonialism.”
        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Settler_colonialism

      • Annie Robbins
        September 27, 2017, 2:57 pm

        Jewish migration to Palestine are not motivated by either a desire to cease natural resources nor a desire to exploit indigenous labor

        ultimately, blatherings (allegations) about desires and motivations are irrelevant. settler colonialism is not defined by the desires or motivation of the settlers, it’s defined as an act — a function. walks like duck talks like duck — it’s a duck.

      • JeffB
        September 27, 2017, 9:50 pm

        @Annie and Talkback

        Reread the comment. I specifically talked about how exploitation colonialism and “settler colonialism” act nothing alike that they shouldn’t be seen as related. Not that Israel didn’t look like “settler colonialism”. I’m rejecting that “settler colonialism” is properly named.

      • Annie Robbins
        September 27, 2017, 10:28 pm

        no, you reread my comment jeff. you specifically declaring something is meaningless. the only example you proffered was “Jewish migration to Palestine are not motivated by either a desire to cease natural resources nor a desire to exploit indigenous labor.”

        note how, regardless of your hifalutin claims of motivation or “desire” — israel most definitely steals natural resources and exploits labor. and a hell of a lot of other examples of how it perfectly mirrors colonialism. so you can talk til the cows come home. you can “reject” that settler colonialism is properly named. meanwhile, read up on The Palestine Jewish Colonization Association. walks like duck and even called itself a friggin duck until the pr went south and they tried harder to cover up. #FAIL

      • JeffB
        September 28, 2017, 6:57 pm

        @Annie

        note how, regardless of your hifalutin claims of motivation or “desire” — israel most definitely steals natural resources and exploits labor.

        The claim would have to be the purpose of Israel is to steal resources and/or exploit labor. Just to pick the labor example. A society designed to exploit labor wouldn’t build a big wall and a fence to cut the labor off from the internal economy.

      • Talkback
        September 28, 2017, 9:24 pm

        JeffB: “Let’s rewrite that to
        Like accepting the United Nation’s perversion of international law — No.”

        Oh, it’s the UN, 192 of its members and the International Court of Justice that pervert international law and not you. ROFL. Seriously, your delusions are pathological.

        JeffB: “and human rights — yes”

        JeffB, your delusions are incoherent. You should write: “Like accepting the United Nation’s perversion of human rights — No”

        And regarding human rights. When did Israel allow the refugees to return?

        JeffB: “I’m rejecting that “settler colonialism” is properly named.

        At least you finally agree that Zionism is settler colonialism. And it has labor exploiting elements and steals natural resources.

      • Mooser
        September 29, 2017, 12:38 pm

        “A society designed to exploit labor wouldn’t build a big wall and a fence to cut the labor off from the internal economy.”

        Yeah “Jews sui generis“. Let me guess, the Israelis are actually protecting the Palestinians by keeping them behind walls.

        “Jeff b” why don’t you come back when you are ready to discuss Israel and Zionism with people who are not Zionists? The only topic you are prepared to discuss is “Is God’s blessing or sheer Jewish genius and strength responsible for Israel’s amazing success?”

    • Misterioso
      September 27, 2017, 11:31 am

      “Those who supported Zionism in the international community were of the opinion that the Jews were returning to their ancient homeland (to their native soil).”

      To quote the 1919 King-Crane Commission: “…the initial claim, often submitted by Zionist representatives, that they have a `right’ to Palestine, based on an occupation of two thousand years ago, can hardly be seriously considered.” Or as Lord Sydenham declared before the British House of Lords on 21 June 1922: “If we are going to admit claims on conquest thousands of years ago, the whole world will have to be turned upside down.” (Hansard)

      The King Crane Commission noted that the Balfour Declaration did not call for a Jewish state in Palestine and it could not be achieved without denying the “civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities….” The commissioners also found “…that the Zionists looked forward to a practically complete dispossession of the present non-Jewish inhabitants.…” and recommended that “Jewish immigration should be definitely limited”, that “the project for making Palestine a Jewish commonwealth should be given up…” 

      The Balfour Declaration was also opposed by Gertrude Bell, one of the era’s greatest Arabists, a colleague of T.E. Lawrence and a member of British intelligence in Cairo. Realizing what the Balfour Declaration could lead to, she wrote the British cabinet of PM Lloyd George advising it that “an independent Jewish Palestine” was impractical because “[Palestine]…is not Jewish; ” the native population would not “accept Jewish authority…. Jerusalem is equally sacred to three faiths and should not be put under the exclusive control of any one….” (Sanders, The High Walls of Jerusalem, p. 585, quoted by Donald Neff, Fallen Pillars, p. 14)

      By incorporating the Balfour Declaration the 1922 League of Nations British Class A mandate for Palestine did facilitate Jewish immigration to “secure the establishment of the Jewish National Home,” but it did not call for the creation of a sovereign Jewish state or homeland in Palestine or any form of partition. This was made very clear in the Churchill Memorandum (1 July 1922) regarding the British Mandate: “[T]he status of all citizens of Palestine in the eyes of the law shall be Palestinian, and it has never been intended that they, or any section of them, should possess any other juridical status.”

      Furthermore, regarding the British Mandate, as approved by the Council of the League of Nations, the British government declared: “His Majesty’s Government therefore now declare unequivocally that it is not part of their policy that Palestine should become a Jewish State.” (Command Paper, 1922)

      Ben-Gurion, however, had a different outcome in mind: On 12 June 1938, he declared before the meeting of the Jewish Agency Executive: “I support compulsory transfer [of Palestinian Arabs], I don’t see in it anything immoral.” (Protocol of the Meeting of the Jewish Agency Executive with the Political Committee of the Zionist Actions Committee, 12 June 1938.) 

      To make it absolutely clear, in May 1939, the British government issued the MacDonald White Paper, which in accordance with the Mandate, ruled out any possibility of a Jewish state, and declared Great Britain “could not have intended Palestine should be converted into a Jewish state against the will of the Arab population of the country.” It called for a Palestinian state in which Jews and Arabs would govern jointly based on a constitution to be drafted by their representatives and those of Britain. The constitution would safeguard the “Jewish National Home” in Palestine and if good relations developed between Jews and Arabs, the country would be granted independence in ten years. Land sales to Jews were to be restricted and the annual level of Jewish immigration was to be limited to 15,000 for five years, following which, Palestinian Arab acquiescence would be required. While Palestinians were suspicious of its proposals, the Zionists categorically rejected the White Paper as a breach of the Mandate and vowed to prevent its realization. 

      Chaim Weizmann, who became Israel’s first president, supported transfer of the native Palestinian Arabs. During a meeting in 1941 with Ivan Maisky, the Soviet ambassador to London, he stated “…if half a million Arabs could be transferred, two million Jews could be put in their place.  That, of course, would be a first installment; what might happen afterwards was a matter for history.” (“Short Minutes of Meeting Held on Thursday, January 30th, 1941, at 77 Great Russell Street, London W.C.1.,” Chaim Weizmann Archive)

      While speaking before the Jewish Agency Executive on 7 May 1944, Ben-Gurion stated: “The transfer of Arabs is easier than any other transfer.  There are Arab states around [Palestine]…and it is clear that if the Arabs are dispatched [out of Palestine], this will ameliorate their situation, not the contrary.” (Protocol of the Meeting of the Jewish Agency Executive of 7 May 1944.)

      Consistent with the terms of its Class A Mandate and the MacDonald White Paper, Britain abstained on the UNGA vote regarding the recommendatory only Nov. 29/47 Partition Plan.

      (“..because in the end, as we have seen, they won’t take ‘yes’ for an answer”).  Nonsense!!

      In 1988, the PLO recognized Israel as a sovereign state within the borders of the 1947 recommendatory only UNGA Partition Plan, Res. 181.

      By signing the 1993 Oslo Accords, the PLO accepted UNSC Res. 242 and thereby agreed to recognize a sovereign Israel within the 1949 armistice lines, i.e., as of 4 June 1967 – 78% of mandate Palestine.

      The PLO also agreed to the US/EU/UN supported 2002 Arab League Beirut Summit Peace Initiative, which offers Israel full recognition as a sovereign state (per UNSC Res. 242, i.e., within its June 4/67 boundaries with possible minor and mutually agreed land swaps), exchange of ambassadors, trade, tourism, etc., if Israel complies with international law and its previous commitments. Fully aware of Israel’s demographic concerns, the Beirut initiative does not demand the return of all Palestinian refugees. In accordance with Israel’s pledge given to the UNGA in 1949 and by signing the 1949 Lausanne Peace Conference Protocol to abide by UNGA Res. 194 regarding the then 800,000 Palestinian refugees as a precondition for admittance to the UN (after being rejected twice), the Arab League’s Initiative “calls upon Israel to affirm” that it agrees to help pursue the “achievement of a just solution to the Palestinian refugee problem…” 

      Along with all Arab states and the PLO, Hezbollah and Iran have also accepted the Arab League’s 2002 Beirut Summit Peace Initiative. (In its revised Charter, April, 2017, Hamas agreed to a Palestinian state based on the 4 June 1967 borders. Not surprisingly, Israel promptly rejected the Hamas overture instead of using it to open a dialogue.)

      Regrettably, then Israeli PM Ariel Sharon summarily dismissed the Arab League’s peace overture, as did Israel in 2008 and thereafter. 

      As for the much touted 2000 Camp David Summit, working in tandem, Barak and Clinton tried to shove a very bad deal down Arafat’s throat. It could only be rejected. Suffice to quote Shlomo Ben-Ami, then Israel’s foreign minister and lead negotiator at Camp David: “Camp David was not the missed opportunity for the Palestinians, and if I were a Palestinian I would have rejected Camp David, as well.” (National Public Radio, 14 February 2006.)

      The “offer” made in 2008 by then Israeli PM Ehud Olmert was never seen as serious because it lacked cabinet approval, he was under indictment with only a few weeks left in office, had a 6% favorable rating, and, therefore, couldn’t have closed the deal, even if the Palestinians had accepted it. (Olmert was imprisoned.)

      Unfortunately, Israel’s response to every peace overture from the Palestinians and Arab states, has been an escalation of illegal settlement construction in occupied Palestinian and other Arab lands.

      Enough said.

      • JeffB
        September 27, 2017, 12:15 pm

        @Misterioso

        Unfortunately, Israel’s response to every peace overture from the Palestinians and Arab states, has been an escalation of illegal settlement construction in occupied Palestinian and other Arab lands.

        Bull. Bahrain, Morocco, and Oman made overtures that were accepted. Qatar (1996–2009) wanted friendlier relations and got them. Egypt and Jordan of course have relations. And just recently Saudi Arabia and Egypt have invited Israel into a military alliance. Israel has a proven track record of accepting peace overtures with Arab states. That doesn’t mean it accepts every possible offer under all conditions.

      • Talkback
        September 27, 2017, 2:18 pm

        JeffB: “Bull. Bahrain, Morocco, and Oman made overtures that were accepted. Qatar (1996–2009) wanted friendlier relations and got them. Egypt and Jordan of course have relations. And just recently Saudi Arabia and Egypt have invited Israel into a military alliance. Israel has a proven track record of accepting peace overtures with Arab states. ”

        Yes, all the countries it doesn’t occupy in whole or in parts or illegaly annexed some of it. Does it have to do with Israel’s “old age dream” what land it wants to “redeem” by “struggle” according to its declaration that it doesn’t want peace and instead prefers violations of international law and human rights?

        JeffB: “That doesn’t mean it accepts every possible offer under all conditions.”

        Like accepting international law and human rights?

      • just
        September 27, 2017, 5:20 pm

        Such great news, Misterioso!!!

        In other good news:

        “UN Sent Warning Letter to 150 Companies for Doing Business in Israeli Settlements

        Israeli officials say some of the companies responded to the UN human rights commissioner by saying they won’t renew their contracts in Israel …

        The UN’s Human Rights Commissioner began sending letters two weeks ago to 150 companies in Israel and around the world, warning them that they are about to be added to a database of companies doing business in Israeli settlements in the West Bank and in East Jerusalem, senior Israeli officials and Western diplomats involved in the matter told Haaretz.

        The Israeli official, who requested to stay anonymous due to the sensitivity of the issue, noted that the letters, sent by Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, said these firms were doing business in the “occupied Palestinian territories” and could thus find themselves on the UN blacklist for companies acting in violation of “internal law and UN decisions.” The letters, copies of which also reached the Israeli government, request that these firms send the commission clarifications about their business activities in settlements.

        A Western diplomat, who also requested to remain anonymous, noted that of the 150 companies, some 30 were American, and a number are from countries including Germany, South Korea and Norway. The remaining half are Israeli companies.

        The Washington Post reported in August that among the American companies that received letters were Caterpillar, Priceline.com, TripAdvisor and Airbnb. According to the same report, the Trump administration is trying to work with the UN Commission on Human Rights to prevent the list’s publication. Israel’s Channel 2 reported two weeks ago that the list includes some of the biggest companies in Israel, such as Teva, Bank Hapoalim, Bank Leumi, Bezeq, Elbit, Coca-Cola Israel, Africa-Israel, IDB, Egged, Mekorot and Netafim.

        Senior Israeli officials said the Israeli fear of divestment or scaled-down business due to the blacklist is already becoming a reality. They said that the Economy Ministry’s Office of Strategic Affairs has already received information that a number of companies who received the letters have responded to the human rights commissioner by saying they do not intend to renew contracts or sign new ones in Israel.

        “These companies just can’t make the distinction between Israel and the settlements and are ending their operations all together,” the senior Israeli official said. “Foreign companies will not invest in something that reeks of political problems – this could snowball.”

        An inter-ministerial committee comprising the ministries of Foreign Affairs, Strategic Affairs, Justice and Economy is still working to try to prevent the list’s publication. Nonetheless, the assessment among most of those involved in the government’s efforts is that it is inevitable and that the list will likely be made public by the end of December.

        As part of an attempt to minimize its potential damage, Israel is attempting to reach out and hold talks with the foreign companies named on the list, stressing that it is non-binding and insignificant. It also told them it is reaching out to foreign governments to inform them that using the list is tantamount to cooperating with a boycott of Israel. …”

        read more: https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-1.814658

        BDS!

      • Keith
        September 27, 2017, 6:15 pm

        JUST- “UN Sent Warning Letter to 150 Companies for Doing Business in Israeli Settlements”

        It is UN actions such as this that the proposed “Israel Anti-Boycott Act” is designed to prevent.

      • echinococcus
        September 27, 2017, 6:34 pm

        Thank you, Just.

        “These companies just can’t make the distinction between Israel and the settlements and are ending their operations all together,” the senior Israeli official said.

        The Senior Official has yet to learn that no one can make that distinction. His government doesn’t make it either. No one sees any difference except the “liberal” Zionists (and the JVP, to the extent that it is different), and the hypocrite clowns of the EU.

      • catalan
        September 27, 2017, 7:40 pm

        “Senior Israeli officials said the Israeli fear of divestment or scaled-down business due to the blacklist is already becoming a reality.”
        Such wonderful news – BDS works! The grassroots are defeating the elites. All the money of Sheldon Adelson cannot stop common people working towards good.

      • JeffB
        September 27, 2017, 8:17 pm

        @Talkback

        Like accepting international law and human rights?

        Let’s rewrite that to
        Like accepting the United Nation’s perversion of international law — No.
        and human rights — yes

      • Nathan
        September 27, 2017, 10:29 pm

        Misterioso – You have a very nice sense of humor. I enjoyed your bringing as an example of the Palestinians’ saying “yes” that in 1988 they accepted the 1947 Partition Plan. Yes, that was a good one, and I shall use it in the future. Indeed, agreeing to something 41 years later is really an example of positive thinking.

        I also found it humorous (although no quite as funny as in the first paragraph) that the Palestinians agreed to Israel’s sovereignty in 78% of the Mandate’s territory. Yes, indeed, the Palestinians were in control of Palestine – and then, suddenly, in an act of incredible friendship, they decided that Israel could have 78% of the country. Come on, Misterioso. They do not agree to Israel’s sovereignty in any part of the country. They present the reality of a lost cause as if it’s incredible generosity on their part.

        Maybe you should read the new charter of Hamas again. Yes, they agree that a Palestinian be founded on the 1967 borders. And they insist that all of Palestine be liberated from the Zionists. For them, there is no contradiction: A Palestinian state on the 1967 borders tomorrow morning, and at a later time there will be a Palestinian state over the entire territory of the Mandate. In your very special sense of humor, this is another Palestinian “yes”, and Israel should have been impressed.

        Anyway, just for the record, the Palestinians reject the 1947 Partition Plan. Nov 29th is an official day of mourning. The Palestinians do not recognize Israel in any border (May 15 is also a day of mourning). The entire land is regarded to be occupied. Hamas will never agree to live with Jews, period. The Arab Peace Initiative promises Israel “normalization”. Normality in the Arab world is in front of your eyes: It’s called endless conflict.

      • Talkback
        September 28, 2017, 9:30 pm

        Naftush: “The Palestinians do not recognize Israel in any border (May 15 is also a day of mourning). The entire land is regarded to be occupied.”

        In which borders did the state of Israel in 1948 and the State of Palestine in 1988 declare its borders? And which states currently defines the borders of its states to be outside the partition plan borders and what are these borders?

        I dare you to answer these questions.

  6. Matt McLaughlin
    September 27, 2017, 10:48 am

    All the articles written about the BD by both good guys and bad guys jump to the same incorrect assumption: that Zionism was the will
    of the world’s Jews, 1917.

    • JeffB
      September 27, 2017, 11:35 am

      @Matt

      I don’t think anyone argues that Zionism was a majority position in 1917. It likely didn’t become an uncomplicated majority position until 1967. Zionism was a social engineering program for Jews by Jews remaking Judaism. Like any religious reformation it needed to build their consent over time. In 1917 it didn’t have and didn’t need majority support. Though it already was capturing the imagination. The world’s Jews who engaged with Zionism may not have agreed, but they understood the argument. Hitler and the victories in 1948 and 1967 would ultimately win the argument for Zionism.

      • Mooser
        September 27, 2017, 12:03 pm

        “Hitler and the victories in 1948 and 1967 would ultimately win the argument for Zionism.”

        So let’s say a brocha for Hitler, Zionism’s great ally.
        May his like appear again to advance the interests of the Jewish people!

      • JeffB
        September 27, 2017, 12:24 pm

        @Mooser

        I didn’t say that. Losing the Trojan war led the Trojans to found Rome (at least mythically). That doesn’t mean the Romans wanted Troy to be sacked.

      • Mooser
        September 27, 2017, 12:56 pm

        “I didn’t say that”

        Yes, you did. And there’s no taking it back now.

      • John O
        September 27, 2017, 2:30 pm

        @JeffB

        “Losing the Trojan war led the Trojans to found Rome (at least mythically). That doesn’t mean the Romans wanted Troy to be sacked.”

        If the Trojans founded Rome, there must logically have been no Romans around to want Troy to be sacked.

      • Talkback
        September 27, 2017, 2:45 pm

        JeffB: “Like any religious reformation it needed to build their consent over time.”

        Yes, “reforming” Islam into Islamofascism by religious extremists, too.

      • JeffB
        September 27, 2017, 8:08 pm

        @Talkback
        JeffB: “Like any religious reformation it needed to build their consent over time.”
        Yes, “reforming” Islam into Islamofascism by religious extremists, too.

        Yes Qutbism is a reform movement as well. Herzl was obvious rather genteel and far less ambitious than Qutb in terms of changing the world. They both obvious believe in a transformation of political state as a means of inner spiritual transformation. Herzl never heard of the theory of takfir and jahiliyah but had he had those words I suspect his analysis of the state of Judaism might well have used them.

        Herzl much more limited ambition makes it hard to draw any analogy between the two men. Ultimately there just aren’t enough Jews to accomplish something analogous to what Qutb aims for. It is possible to construct a closed Islamic world in a way it simply isn’t possible to do for Jews. And that I think is the biggest problem with the analogy. A billion people can do stuff 10 million can’t.

        And then there is a degree of political radicalism. Herzl is a political moderate. The state Herzl envisions is rather normative. Getting there may not be, but the end goal is normality. Qutb is utopian. I think an analogy where we have Qutb radicalism next to a more moderate version would be Thomas Müntzer relationship to Martin Luther. Herzl is more like Luther (or perhaps even better would be Calvin) Qutb (and his most famous student Bin Ladin) more like Müntzer.

        So while you meant that as a petty insult. Yeah there is something to the comparison but not very much. Too many key differences.

      • Mooser
        September 29, 2017, 12:45 pm

        “Herzl is a political moderate.”

        And what political experience did Herzl have, in which he demonstrated his moderation?
        He was a writer and publicist. He wrote a book.
        Was Herzl ever an Israeli politician? Or any kind, for that matter?

      • JeffB
        September 29, 2017, 3:07 pm

        @Mooser

        JeffB: “Herzl is a political moderate.”

        And what political experience did Herzl have, in which he demonstrated his moderation?
        He was a writer and publicist. He wrote a book.
        Was Herzl ever an Israeli politician? Or any kind, for that matter?

        Yes. President of the World Zionist Organization 1897-1904. He created the governing organization that would guide the Yishuv through its early years. He also y played a diplomatic role representing “the Jews” in world forums. For example he represented the Jews at the meetings on what would become the Hague Convention of 1899.

        I’d call that an NGO but given that WZO -> Yishuv government -> Israel he’s not without reason seen as a founding father. Similar sort of thing to John Carver or William Penn and the USA.

      • Mooser
        September 29, 2017, 4:39 pm

        Herzl never got near Israel, did he? It didn’t exist, and Herzl died in 1904.

      • Keith
        September 29, 2017, 8:14 pm

        MOOSER- “Herzl never got near Israel, did he?”

        Yeah, you have to wonder about these guys that say “next year in Jerusalem” but never actually go.

      • JeffB
        September 30, 2017, 9:51 am

        @Mooser

        Herzl never got near Israel, did he? It didn’t exist, and Herzl died in 1904.

        There was explicitly Zionist settlement starting in 1882. Herzl wasn’t an Israeli politician he was a WZO politician. He has a leader among diaspora Jews to build financial support for Palestinians settlement. He was a political leader among Zionists to help them crystallize their many aims into a more clear cut political program. It took decades of hard work to lay the ground for what would become Israel.

        Kennedy never got to the moon, and never lived to see the moon landing. But he certainly was the politician most responsible for the fact that someone got there.

      • Mooser
        September 30, 2017, 11:48 am

        “Yeah, you have to wonder about these guys that say “next year in Jerusalem” but never actually go.”

        Golly “Keith”, cut the man a little slack. Herzl died in 1904, long before there was an Israel. How could he go there?

      • Mooser
        September 30, 2017, 11:51 am

        “Kennedy never got to the moon…”

        …and you never got out of Yeshiva, due to a desperate pilpul addiction.

      • just
        September 30, 2017, 2:16 pm

        ” “Yeah, you have to wonder about these guys that say “next year in Jerusalem” but never actually go.”

        Golly “Keith”, cut the man a little slack. Herzl died in 1904, long before there was an Israel. How could he go there?”

        lol !

        This brings to mind an excellent article that I read this morning by Michael Schaeffer Omer-Man @ +972:

        “Forget Friedman. The State Dept doesn’t know how much of the West Bank is occupied either

        While disavowing the American ambassador’s erroneous assertion that only 2% of the West Bank is occupied by Israel, the State Department spokesperson isn’t able to answer how much of the territory is actually occupied. (Hint: All of it.)”

        https://972mag.com/forget-friedman-the-state-dept-doesnt-know-how-much-of-the-west-bank-is-occupied-either/129971/

        It includes the video of President Bartlet showing his gift from Charlie of The Map of Palestine from 1709 to folks:

      • eljay
        September 30, 2017, 4:04 pm

        || just: ” “Yeah, you have to wonder about these guys that say “next year in Jerusalem” but never actually go.”

        Golly “Keith”, cut the man a little slack. Herzl died in 1904, long before there was an Israel. How could he go there?” … ||

        Israel may not have been there but as Zionists will tell you the “Land of Israel” – Herzl’s “ancient homeland”, “eternal homeland” and “one true homeland” – was never not there, so he could in fact have gone…sorry, “returned” to it.

      • Keith
        September 30, 2017, 4:14 pm

        MOOSER- “Golly “Keith”, cut the man a little slack. Herzl died in 1904, long before there was an Israel. How could he go there?”

        Jerusalem, Mooser, Jerusalem. Not “next year in Tel Aviv.”

      • yonah fredman
        September 30, 2017, 6:23 pm

        Joe was a truck driver dedicated to the project of building a new community center. Every day he drove his truck to that purpose: sometimes delivering construction materials sometimes delivering food and water to the construction workers and some days he went down to city hall to make sure all the paperwork was in order. When he died before the building was finished he was mourned by all those devoted to the project. No one said, oh he never would have used the building himself, so his contribution was hypocritical.

      • Mooser
        September 30, 2017, 6:32 pm

        “Jerusalem, Mooser, Jerusalem.”

        That’s right, Jerusalem. And/or Jerusalem, as you say.

      • YoniFalic
        September 30, 2017, 6:44 pm

        The ancient Judaic attitude to Eretz Yisrael was more like “It’s a place where important religious events took place, but it’s not a place which I need to visit or where I need to live.”

        Philo seems never to have visited the Jerusalem Temple but was apparently happy to make a pilgrimage to the Temple in Leontopolis.

        The attitude definitely persisted until Zionist indoctrination took hold. Just grab an anthology that contains “Tevye Goes to Palestine” by Sholem Aleichem. Tevye never went.

        Some may quibble that the original Yiddish title uses אֶרֶץ יִשְׂרָאֵל, but I asked my grandfather, and he claimed Palestine was a correct translation because Ost Yiddish speakers accented the last syllable when they meant Land of Israel (a religious term) and accented the first syllable when they meant Palestine/Palestina (a secular term). West Yiddish speakers tended to use Palestina for the secular sense as do older Ost Yiddish texts. In Ost Yiddish אֶרֶץ יִשְׂרָאֵל replaced Palestina when Yiddishists became hostile to daytshmerizms.

      • eljay
        September 30, 2017, 9:46 pm

        || yonah fredman: Joe was a truck driver dedicated to the project of building a new community center … ||

        – primarily of and for people who chose to be truck drivers;
        – in an inhabited quarter of a distant city;
        – at the expense of the long-time residents of that quarter, many of whom would have to be permanently driven from it.

        Joe believed that truck drivers were entitled:
        – to a supremacist “Truck Drivers’ Community Centre”; and
        – to do unto others acts of injustice and immorality they would not have others do unto them.

      • jon s
        October 1, 2017, 7:13 am

        Keith, JeffB, just, eljay, Yonah,
        Sorry to spoil the fun , but Herzl actually did go to Palestine , in 1898.
        He timed the trip to coincide with the state visit of the German Kaiser Wilhelm II, and indeed met with the Kaiser, twice. He visited Jerusalem (and became very sick, with a high fever), and also moshavot of the First Aliyah such as Rishon Lezion and Rehovot.

      • jon s
        October 1, 2017, 7:21 am

        As to Zionist leaders who never even visited the country, I can’t think of any, offhand.

        Maybe Borochov. but he died at age 36.

      • eljay
        October 1, 2017, 8:58 am

        || jon s: Keith, JeffB, just, eljay, Yonah,
        Sorry to spoil the fun , but Herzl actually did go to Palestine , in 1898. … ||

        I get what you’re saying: Establishing a colonialist, (war) criminal and religion-supremacist “Jewish State” in as much as possible of Palestine is overkill when a simple visit to (next year in) Jerusalem will suffice.

        (How did Herzl manage to go to Palestine when, as Zionists insist on telling us, Palestine never existed?)

      • Mooser
        October 1, 2017, 1:04 pm

        “He (Herzl) timed the trip to coincide with the state visit of the German Kaiser Wilhelm II, and indeed met with the Kaiser, twice”

        Ah, I see, one of those religious pilgrimages religious Jews are wont to take.

        And the country Herzl visited to worship the Kaiser was Palestine, not Israel.

      • Mooser
        October 1, 2017, 3:10 pm

        “Joe was a truck driver…/… was hypocritical.”

        Somebody help “Yonah”. He’s suffering an acute pilpul overdose. Deep off in the vial.

      • Keith
        October 1, 2017, 7:22 pm

        JON S- “He timed the trip to coincide with the state visit of the German Kaiser Wilhelm II, and indeed met with the Kaiser, twice.”

        Next year a side trip to Jerusalem! After I meet with the German Kaiser! Twice! After all, since I am going to be in the area anyway. Besides, Jerusalem is such a backwater in 1898, who would actually want to live there? The ocean is soooo much nicer. Next year in Tel Aviv beginning in 1904!

  7. Ossinev
    September 27, 2017, 11:18 am

    @Nathan
    What are / should be the borders of Israel which you propose and which might be said “yes” to by the supposedly eternally negative Palestinians. No wishy washy Yahooisms please – just the straightforward geographic lines you propose for good old eternally positive Israel.

    • Misterioso
      September 27, 2017, 11:46 am

      Bingo!!

    • Nathan
      September 27, 2017, 11:14 pm

      Ossinev – There is no border proposal which the Palestinians might say “yes” to. Your question is not complicated at all. A Palestinian “yes” means that they have given legitimacy to Zionism. In other words, the acceptance of any border means that Israel is a legitimate entity – and the struggle has ended with their defeat. So, there is no border that I could propose AND the Palestinians might say “yes” to. It’s not a territorial conflict. It’s an ideological conflict. In the Palestinian perspective, the Jewish claim to statehood is illegitimate in any border, so the border cannot be defined.

      The Palestinians are capable of signing agreements with Israel. However, they will never sign an agreement that is final (i.e. the conflict is resolved and it’s forever). They can only sign an agreement that leaves the conflict unresolved. Moreover, Palestinian agreements are only about the past. In other words, they recognized Israel (past tense) in the framework of Oslo – but they do not recognize Israel (present tense). They accepted the 1947 Partition Plan, but they don’t accept the Partition Plan. They agreed to negotiate the refugee issue, but they don’t agree to negotiate the refugee issue. I can go on and on, but I hope that you understand that it’s a very different political culture.

      Which border of Israel do you accept?

      • Talkback
        September 28, 2017, 9:10 pm

        @ Naftush

        Your whole comment is debunked by the Palestine Papers. It’s Israel that constantly shifts the paramenters whenever Palestinians agree.

        Naftush: “Moreover, Palestinian agreements are only about the past. In other words, they recognized Israel (past tense) in the framework of Oslo – but they do not recognize Israel (present tense). They accepted the 1947 Partition Plan, but they don’t accept the Partition Plan. They agreed to negotiate the refugee issue, but they don’t agree to negotiate the refugee issue. I can go on and on, but I hope that you understand that it’s a very different political culture.”

        ROFL. Moreover, Israeli agreements are only about the past. In other words, they recognized the framework of Oslo – but they do not recognize it (present tense) and never recognized Palestine. They accepted the 1947 Partition Plan, but they don’t accept the Partition Plan. They agreed to negotiate the refugee issue, but they don’t agree to negotiate the refugee issue. I can go on and on, but I hope that you understand that it’s a very different political culture.

  8. Naftush
    September 27, 2017, 11:37 am

    Prof. Khalidi laments the gun, represented by the Balfour declaration, that was pointed at the heads of the Palestinians; the lack of pre-Israel sympathy for the Palestinians, the uprising engineered in the 1930s by the Palestinians, etc. One thing, however, is missing in all of them: the Palestinians. In those years and later as well, the collectivity that *today* self-identifies as nationally Palestinian was seen, and saw itself, as an Arab population of vague identity: maybe Syrian, maybe local. And when it opted for total war against the Zionists, its ambiguity took a lethal toll on its cause, whereas its adversary had no such issue. Much the same is happening today.

    • Talkback
      September 27, 2017, 2:22 pm

      Naftush: “One thing, however, is missing in all of them: the Palestinians. In those years and later as well, the collectivity that *today* self-identifies as nationally Palestinian was seen, and saw itself, as an Arab population of vague identity: maybe Syrian, maybe local.”

      Still a nation as citizenship unlike Jews.

  9. Misterioso
    September 27, 2017, 11:58 am

    Netanyahu and his cohorts won’t sleep tonight.

    The Palestine Liberation Organization

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

    September 27, 2017

    “Dr. Ashrawi welcomes Interpol’s decision to admit Palestine as a full member and receives New Zealand’s new representative to Palestine

    “’We welcome Interpol’s decision to admit the State of Palestine as a full member in its organization, and extend our gratitude and appreciation to the seventy-five countries that upheld their principles and voted in favor of Palestine becoming a member of Interpol. Such an acceptance sends a clear message to the Israeli government that we are not population centers at its mercy; we believe in a system that is based on the global rule of law and due process, and one which enforces accountability and cooperation at the international level. We will persist in our efforts to seek membership in other multinational agencies and organizations; this is consistent with the Palestinian people’s right to self-determination and statehood.’

    “PLO Executive Committee Member Dr. Hanan Ashrawi made these comments after her meeting with New Zealand Representative to Palestine, Barney Riley, and his team, as well as Palestinian Head of the General Delegation of Palestine to Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific, Izzat Abdulhadi, at the PLO Headquarters in Ramallah.

    “At the start of the meeting, Dr. Ashrawi welcomed Ambassador Riley to Palestine and expressed her appreciation to New Zealand for being one of four countries to sponsor UNSC Resolution 2334 last December and for its continued support of Palestinian self-determination and freedom.

    “Both parties discussed the rapid escalation of Israel’s flagrant violations of international law and conventions.  It is worth noting that Israel is planning to approve hundreds of illegal units in and around Jerusalem in the coming weeks.
       
    “The meeting also focused on the current political, regional and global developments and the prospects for peace and the two-state solution.

    “Dr. Ashrawi also briefed Ambassador Riley on the latest Palestinian moves in the international arena, as well as the internal situation and the serious efforts to end the division and enable the rejuvenation, reformation and revitalization of the Palestinian political system.

    “In the context of reviewing opportunities to strengthen mutual cooperation and coordination, Dr. Ashrawi called on the New Zealand government to recognize Palestine as a demonstration of its firm commitment to the two-state solution and a just peace.”

  10. Ossinev
    September 27, 2017, 1:45 pm

    @Naftush
    “In those years and later as well, the collectivity that *today* self-identifies as nationally Palestinian was seen, and saw itself, as an Arab population of vague identity: maybe Syrian, maybe local.”

    Leaving aside the basic premise of this statement and the unresearched unvalidated assertion as to what Palestinians saw themselves as historically and presently ( documented back up for this would be interesting to know ) isn`t it just possible please please say yes that they like any other native peoples ” saw themselves” first and foremost as the natives of their own land long before during and after the arrival of land grabbing , thieving non natives ?

    • MHughes976
      September 27, 2017, 4:42 pm

      I expect that they saw themselves as human beings and did not think that anyone had the right to exclude them from their homes.

      • JeffB
        September 27, 2017, 8:09 pm

        @MHughes976

        I expect that they saw themselves as human beings and did not think that anyone had the right to exclude them from their homes.

        If only you believed this applied to all human beings.

  11. JeffB
    September 27, 2017, 4:15 pm

    @JeffB

    JeffB: “Losing the Trojan war led the Trojans to found Rome (at least mythically). That doesn’t mean the Romans wanted Troy to be sacked.”

    If the Trojans founded Rome, there must logically have been no Romans around to want Troy to be sacked.

    In the Iliad: : His [Aeneas] fate is to escape to ensure that the great
    line of Dardanus may not unseeded perish from the
    world. Therefore Aeneas and his sons, and theirs,
    will be lords over Trojans born hereafter

    In the myth the Trojans who fled with Aeneas become the Romans in later generations ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aeneid ). There is a brief foreshadowing reference to this in the movie version of the Iliad which was quire creative: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4vWmWQaSGUM . This myth was popular throughout the Hellenistic world. So Pyrrhus of Epirus (Greek general prior to the Roman conquest) calls the Romans the “Trojan colonists”.

    Rome was far greater than Troy. Troy’s destruction (again in the myth) gave birth to Rome. The Romans identified their taking of Alexander’s conquests with a continuation and a vindication of the Trojan war.

    In short. The Romans and everyone around them believed them to be the reincarnation and a continuation of the Trojans.

    • John O
      September 28, 2017, 9:04 am

      @JeffB

      You do know what a myth is, don’t you?

      • JeffB
        September 28, 2017, 10:19 am

        @JohnO

        You do know what a myth is, don’t you?

        Yes, but I don’t know what you are getting at.

      • Mooser
        September 29, 2017, 12:47 pm

        For “Jeff b” a myth is as good as a mile of lorem ipsum.

  12. Ossinev
    September 27, 2017, 5:12 pm

    @nathan
    Still waiting for your confirmation of those positive Israeli borders. Or is all simply a Zionist game – lets call it Jews sans Frontieres ?

    • JeffB
      September 27, 2017, 8:15 pm

      @Ossinev

      I’m going to go for this.

      2 state solution. In terms of the peace process both Barak and Olmart had specific borders. Olmert which works better with more recent growth and the wall has 5.8% of the West Bank in Israel’s hands with about 1.4% of pre-Green line Israel going to Palestine. They get all of Gaza.

      In terms of what’s likely given the refusal to accept Olmert.

      All of Mandate Palestine excluding Gaza and including Golan. Area-A and Area-B likely as autonomous regions. Everything else annexed with full citizenship.

  13. yonah fredman
    September 27, 2017, 5:23 pm

    It seems clear that indeed the Balfour declaration was a body blow to the Palestinian people. England ruled the world still, or thought of itself in global terms and its motives were selfish and manipulative, in Britain’s best interests aside from any influence on us policy regarding entering the war. Someone who is expert in the state department and British policy and world war I and woodrow wilson could enlighten us. I don’t suspect the experts here to enlighten us.

    The tumult of the end of the czarist regime caused sufficient crisis in the czar’s realm to instigate a mass emigration. One out of 3 of the jews in czarist lands left czarist lands, said adios, or azoy, we’re leaving. That tumult earthquake gave birth to zionism. A crisis leads to thought, ideas, responses, reactions. Without the tumult of the earthquake of wholesale emigration, zionism would never have been born. Once the flood was on, came the thoughts of solutions, in response to a society in change a response like zionism was naturally one of them.

    The Netanyahu regime certainly projects apathy at best to the idea of reconciliation. I assume if peter beinart was given the right to negotiate on behalf of israel and khalidi on behalf of the palestinians, that they could construct a positive way forward. I don’t know if that idea is helpful or not, but as long as the long range seeks to avoid a major war such ideas might be useful.

    • Nathan
      September 28, 2017, 11:38 am

      Sorry, Yonah, but you too don’t understand the conflict. Peter Beinart accepts the right of Israel to exist. He has his criticism, of course, but the bottom line is that a peace negotiation will finalize the acceptance of Israel’s right to exist (probably within the Green Line). Prof Khalidi, on the other hand, rejects the legitimacy of Zionism. The Jews are foreigners, and they had no right to found a state in Palestine. So, if Mr Beinart and Prof Khalidi negotiate peace – you can rest assured that they will be unable to reach an agreement. Mr Beinart will not agree to disestablish the State of Israel, and Prof Khalidi will not agree to an end-of-conflict deal that accepts as final and forever the existence of Israel.

      Your belief that Netanyahu is the obstacle to reconciliation is a type of false optimism. The problem, suddenly, becomes “solvable” when you believe that it’s just a matter of replacing Netanyahu with Beinart. It’s an illusion. The issue is the legitimacy of Israel, not the character of its leader. As an avid reader of Mondoweiss, you should already have a clear picture of the pro-Palestinian point of view (albeit as understood by outsiders): It is only possible to negotiate the demise of Israel, not her acceptance.

      • eljay
        September 28, 2017, 12:21 pm

        || Nathan: … Peter Beinart accepts the right of Israel to exist. … ||

        Peter Beinart is a Zionist and, like all Zionists, he wrongly believes that Israel is entitled to exist as a religion-supremacist “Jewish State”.

        || … The issue is the legitimacy of Israel, not the character of its leader. As an avid reader of Mondoweiss, you should already have a clear picture of the pro-Palestinian point of view (albeit as understood by outsiders): It is only possible to negotiate the demise of Israel, not her acceptance. ||

        It is fair and correct to say that all Zionists believe in Jewish supremacism in/and a religion-supremacist “Jewish State” in as much as possible of Palestine.

        It is neither fair nor correct to say that all pro-Palestinians reject Israel and want it gone. Some (like me) believe Israel – which exists – should continue to exist within its / Partition borders as the secular and democratic state of and for all of its Israeli citizens, immigrants, expats and refugees, equally.

        But it’s easy to see how to a Zionist – someone who believes that Israel and religion-supremacist “Jewish State” must be one and the same – the end of the latter necessarily means the end of the former.

      • Mooser
        September 28, 2017, 6:38 pm

        ” It is only possible to negotiate the demise of Israel, not her acceptance.” “Nathan”

        Well, all hail the Zionists, and the position they have put Israel in.
        And they haven’t got another to replace it.

        So there it is “Nathan”. If Zionism negotiates, its attainments are so illusory, it will be negotiating its own demise. A big favor Zionism did for all the Jews who had faith in them.

      • yonah fredman
        September 28, 2017, 9:41 pm

        It is highly conceivable that when the Palestinians get their act together, that is, when Hamas and Fatah join forces and negotiate as one, they will negotiate on the basis of the hudna rather than a peace treaty. Which means that Israel would be giving up territory (security assets to me, plus “land of our fathers” to you) for a cease fire that will be contingent upon Israeli strength. Israel has been forced to be stronger than its neighbors since its birth and into the foreseeable future. When I was young I dreamed of a peace between Israel and her neighbors equal in its amity to the peace between US and Canada rather than the cold peace between Russia and the US. But today I am willing to accept a cold peace rather than true amity. Certainly the deprivation of the rights (democratic voting rights) of the West Bank Palestinians embodied in the checkpoints and the constant harassment by settlers and soldiers is not something that I am calm about seeing it continue and therefore I support a peace of a hudna sort rather than the amity of France and Germany today. In their hearts the Palestinians and Rashid Khalidi would prefer to see a return to the situation of pre 1917 and it is only practicality that would lead them to negotiate a hudna peace rather than a permanent state of war. I think we can be practical and not expect them to become zionists and merely practical men and women wishing to move forward on practical grounds rather than achieving an ideological recognition that I agree is beyond us at this time and for the foreseeable future. (If Israel had never built settlements on the west bank and the occupation had been purely military rather than a settler occupation, then maybe the status quo could have been maintained for quite some time, but the settler occupation has turned the occupation from something justifiable to something that I cannot justify.

      • Mooser
        September 29, 2017, 1:39 pm

        ” but the settler occupation has turned the occupation from something justifiable to something that I cannot justify.” “yonah fredman”

        “Yonah”, I warned you about this. I told you what would happen if you let your very, very suggestible self go on reading “Mondo”.
        You keep this up and you’ll be dahvaning on the davenport with Rabbi Brant Rosen and Mark Ellis.

        However, I hope and trust “Nathan” will recall you to the obligations our identity, nationhood and language require.

      • JeffB
        September 30, 2017, 10:16 am

        @Eljay

        Let me just correct this by saying you don’t actually mean democratic nor secular. You are quite a bit less tolerant than that. What you really mean is Western European style secular and democratic. So for example the types of models that exist in Russia, Ukraine, Iran or Lebanon are intolerable in your view. Your objection is that a population 30% of which came out of deep Eastern Europe and 70% of which came from Arabic countries has no meaningful familiarity with Locke, Mills, Montesquieu and Voltaire’s beliefs about the function and structure of government.

        To which yeah you are absolutely right. There is essentially no one in the Israeli Palestinian conflict from Meretz to Jewish Home and from Hadesh to Hamas on either side that wants the type of government you do. Which is of course a big problem for this government being “democratic”. I’d love you to maybe try and think through how a democratic government functions using a structure and model that has close to 0% support. Assume somehow magically you got what you wanted, how does a democratic government maintain a structure with say 3% (at best) support among the population?

        You are going to have to accept essentially all the people who live in what was formerly Palestine came out of cultures that evolved from the Eastern Roman Empire, not the Western. None of them share your political values. None of them share your political culture. Canadians don’t live there.

      • eljay
        September 30, 2017, 12:56 pm

        || JeffB: @Eljay

        Let me just correct this by saying you don’t actually mean democratic nor secular. … ||

        There’s nothing to correct because I do actually mean secular and democratic.

        || … You are going to have to accept … ||

        I accept and mourn the fact that far too many people like you exist who selectively prefer injustice and immorality to justice, accountability and equality.

  14. James Canning
    September 28, 2017, 7:04 pm

    The catastrophic First World War created the possibility of a Jewish state carved out of Palestine, and the catastrophic Second World War did a great deal to bring about the creation of that Jewish state.

Leave a Reply