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Israel’s mythological borders: an interview with Rachel Havrelock

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Rachel Havrelock is a scholar of the Hebrew Bible and its historical interpretation. She is an associate professor of Jewish Studies and English at the University of Illinois at Chicago and the author of three books as well as the writer/director of the play, From Tel Aviv to Ramallah. Her latest work, River Jordan: The Mythology of a Dividing Line (2011, University of Chicago Press), examines five national myths in the Hebrew Bible and examines which have had political currency and which have been repressed.

While in San Francisco to promote River Jordan, I interviewed Havrelock about the Israel of biblical mythology and its impact on the present day conflict in Israel/Palestine. She argues that while certain interpretations favor expansion and conquest, others may provide an inspiration for coexistence, while colonial ideas of partition and rigid borders need to be thrown out to favor a new post-national model. What follows is an edited transcript of the full interview. To view an eleven minute edited selection of the video click here.

river jordan book
river jordan book

San Francisco, CA. November 22, 201
DZ: What led you to take on the subject of your book, River Jordan?

RH: I initially approached the topic with an interest to how biblical paradigms impacted modernity, or in other words: what is the connection between Biblical Israel and Modern Israel? So I really began almost with the issue of the map. How is it that in both Israeli and Palestinian national traditions that the Jordan is a central border that seems to define the collective, impact national identity in a very dramatic way, and how did this biblical symbol become realized in modernity?… Ultimately what I write about is that those things—the line from one to the other, especially the line from the bible to modernity is not so straight, and rather contested and circuitous.

What did your research on biblical history tell you about the current conflicts over land in this area? What did you discover as you were making your way through this subject?

When we as scholars look at the Bible, we don’t see a uniform document, but instead we have collated traditions and documents and political ideas that come from very different quarters. So some of the sources in the Bible come from really different historical periods, and some of the sources in the Bible come from really different ideological or political schools. So there were about five different “maps” as it were that emerged from the Hebrew Bible. Now there are no cartographic maps—it’s all words. But there are boundary lists, which is the ancient Hebrew way of talking about space and imagining it. So there are these five different maps: one of them reaches all the way to the Euphrates River [in present-day Iraq]; one of them ends at the Jordan River; one of them encompasses both sides of the [Jordan] River Valley; one of them is a very constricted area around Jerusalem; and one of them is a very fluid regional model where national groups or tribal groups aren’t really so discreet, but rather they overlap and have competing claims[…].

So then I started thinking, “How did this Jordan border end up as a contested border between Israelis and Palestinians?” And here the answer is neither the Bible, nor the fact that it is, as many would say, a “natural border.” Right? Many would say: “It’s a river, it’s a natural border. So of course that’s always been the border.” And to begin with, I don’t think that rivers necessarily are borders. I mean, a river can connect people just as much as it can divide them.

The real answer as to how the Jordan comes into Israeli and Palestinian national traditions is through a group called the Palestinian Exploration Fund [PEF]—a group of explorers, erstwhile archaeologists who are also members of the British Royal Engineers. And they were sent [in 1871] by the British military, but also by this subscriber-based organization [the PEF] to produce a map. And the British imagined ousting the Ottoman Empire from the region, and you can’t oust an empire without a map. So the PEF map ultimately went from the Jordan to the Mediterranean Sea, and also adhered to another geographical formula from Dan in the north, to Be’er Sheva in the south. So the PEF map, the twenty-six sheets [of maps], really formed the British idea of what Palestine would look like. And when General Allenby went into battle to fight the Ottomans [in 1917] he had the PEF map and the land that he conquered basically conformed to it. Ultimately this was the British idea, and so in 1922 they created Palestine and Transjordan, and created geographical entities that really correlated with that map[…].

Ultimately it’s neither the Bible, nor Islamic traditions, nor long ethnic ideas that led to these borders, they were British lines on a map to facilitate oil export and administrative units of the British Mandate. And so these borders are the ones that become so contested and so sensitive within the Israeli/Palestinian conflict.

How did these British-drawn borders become such a driving force in the ideology of the Zionist movement?

In the first and second Zionist Congresses there were a lot of motivations, whether it came from pogroms in Eastern Europe, or the Dreyfus Affair—the idea that even in enlightened France Jews were never fully going to be citizens—so the driving force—I mean again it came from many quarters, but the idea was that Europe was going to likely become increasingly dangerous for the Jews. And we have to realize that this is the nineteenth century, so European nationalism is the reigning movement. Everybody in Europe is thinking in terms of national borders, national language, a long ancient history that justified the new national configurations. And of course in a world of nationalism, especially nationalist Europe, the Jews were the odd people out. I mean they couldn’t, for a lot of reasons, quite be nationalized, however much they wanted to be in places like Germany or France. So Jewish nationalism really arises from—initially—from systems of European nationalism.

In the early congresses it was really just “where could the Jews go to?” So there’s the so-called “Uganda Plan,” about settling Jews in [present-day] Kenya [and Uganda]; there was the Argentina plan that led to one sort of cooperative settlement that ultimately faded; there were even some American ideas at that point. And then Theodor Herzl, kind of the initial ideological father of Zionism, realizes that there’s simply no way for world Jewry to get behind political Zionism if the terrain to which they aspired was something that had no connection to Jewish tradition. So ultimately before his death Herzl and the Zionist movement in general decided that they were going to aspire to biblical Israel in some form or another. Going back to the earlier piece, there’s still the question of where biblical Israel is. And from the Bible itself you come up with at least five possibilities that have different political corollaries.

So the Zionists did not draw a map and did not define biblical Israel until 1919 at the point of the Paris Peace Conference. At this point the Zionists drew a map that in the east went almost all they way to the Hijaz Railway [well into present-day Jordan], a railway that the Ottomans had built to bring pilgrims into the Saudi peninsula—it was supposed to take them to Mecca, but it never ended up going all the way to Mecca. So they aspired to that to the East, Be’er Sheva [now in Israeli territory] in the south, the Mediterranean Sea to the west, and the Litani River [in today’s Lebanon] in the north. And they drew this map on the basis of biblical traditions [from one interpretation found in the Book of Joshua] and they submitted this to the British… And so this was the first map. Before this Jewish geographic traditions were really imaginations that facilitated Jewish ritual and Jewish life.

One thing you note in your writing is that various interpretations of the map of Israel have coexisted throughout history.

We tend to think that that people in antiquity knew who they were and where they belonged, but it was a very fluid model. And, in fact, it really seems that the beginnings of ancient Israel was a tribal confederation. And a tribal confederation had groups constantly coming in and moving out… So groups would enter into an alliance and their traditions would become incorporated—whether those were political traditions, cultural traditions, geographical contributions—and sometimes groups would leave… So it’s a constantly morphing idea, it’s not as if there’s this ancient Israel that remains stable throughout time. It was always changing. And so those changing instantiations of Israel are recorded ultimately in the Hebrew Bible in terms of these geographic traditions. People were coming in and out. It was not stable, it wasn’t something that was fixed[…].

Book of Joshua has been the most influential book in the Zionist movement and influenced it in some very militarized ways, so it’s a little ironic. But there also is a very potent geographic tradition in the Book of Joshua. In chapters twelve through twenty-one there are all these regional maps, or boundary lists, if you will. And they talk about the tribes of Israel ultimately settling and living, and they concede to the fact that Israel under Joshua did not expel everyone or exterminate them, but rather that they live alongside them.

And so, we see in these traditions in the Book of Joshua the coexistence of overlapping claims, the simultaneity of different identities and different peoples, and we also really get to a regional model. In chapter fifteen of the Book of Joshua there’s even a verse that says, “Until today the Tribe of Judah and the Jebusites live in Jerusalem.” Jerusalem is divided between them. So there, right in the Bible, is the idea of a shared Jerusalem, which really is much closer to the reality of contemporary Jerusalem and it has biblical precedent. So I would say to those who say, “Wait, Jerusalem must be Judaized. Palestinians must be run out of their neighborhoods,” and the ideas that this has to be done in the name of King David—I would tell them to look closer at the text and see how these traditions of coexistence have as much root in the bible as the military traditions that inspired the early [Zionist] movement and the wars, in many ways.

David Zlutnick

David Zlutnick is a documentary filmmaker living and working in San Francisco. His latest film is Occupation Has No Future: Militarism + Resistance in Israel/Palestine (2010), a feature documentary that studies Israeli militarism, examines the occupation of the Palestinian West Bank, and explores the work of Israelis and Palestinians organizing against militarism and occupation. You can view his work at www.UpheavalProductions.com.

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89 Responses

  1. Richard Witty on December 30, 2011, 2:41 pm

    Insightful inquiry.

    I think similarly.

    The borders of the Hebraic state changed over time, changed geographically, changed in law and credo.

    The period of Zionist reference really isn’t the first migration (Joshua). The Davidic times are the most often cited pride of Zionists, confidently conquered, not yet empire. Solomon created empire and integrated Jerusalem and surrounds far far more than is usually thought of (including idol worshippers).

    The most quoted reference to Israeli jurisdiction relates to the period between the Greeks and Romans, a period of relative stability.

    The promise stated in Torah for collective inheritance varies, as the author states.

    I like that she speaks of the river as a prospective unifying factor, more than a dividing factor, as much as that confuses all efforts at borders.

    The US border with Mexico is similar. The Rio Grande, before it was a border, was a connecting link, not a divide in the slightest.

    • libra on December 30, 2011, 6:15 pm

      RW: “The US border with Mexico is similar. The Rio Grande, before it was a border, was a connecting link, not a divide in the slightest.”

      No Richard, your analogy of the River Jordan to the Rio Grande is topographically incorrect as the State of Jordan would be analogous to Mexico (with Israel/Palestine being analogous to the US).

      A closer (but imperfect) analogy would be the original Mexican state of Texas, lying on one side only of the Rio Grande, being contested by the original Mexican inhabitants and incoming European settlers.

      It’s difficult to conclude from the rambling interview what, if anything, was being proposed. A single state west of the Jordan? A legitimisation of the “transfer” of Palestinians to Jordan (to conform with your analogy and likely, even if subconscious, desire)? Some vague entity gerrymandering itself across the Middle East? Whatever it was, it did not seem very helpful.

    • Charon on January 1, 2012, 5:22 pm

      I’m a spiritual agnostic theist who has spent quite a bit of my free time studying the various world religions and mythologies. I’m not religious, I don’t really favor any religion, nor do I have any religious bias.

      When I think of an empire, I think of Byzantine/Romans, Neo-Assyrians, Achaemenid and Sassanid Persians, the Caliphates, the Ottomans, etc. These all took up quite a bit of territory at various points around the Mediterranean. Ruins, artifacts, artwork, etc. survive as do detailed historical accounts.

      When you say Solomon created empire, what empire would that be? If the biblical kingdom of Israel was in modern day Israel/Palestine, at best it would have to be a tribal kingdom. We have biblical accounts of a grand and glorious kingdom and Romans destroying Jerusalem to a pulp so no evidence remains. If that were the case, archaeologists would be digging up the ruins. Yet everything they dig up refutes this and is consistent with other Levant artifacts from other empires. This area is well documented in recorded history. Egyptians have been recording history for 5,100 years and they don’t say anything about it other than a vague reference to ysri r’s seed being laid to waste on the Merneptah Stele (which is talking about Northern Africa.. and one of the glyphs is damaged, the translator took some reservations).

      Solomon is a complex and interesting person whose history is not limited to the biblical account nor is the biblical account the source. There is a similarly described person in multiple religions/mythologies often with a name phonetically similar to Shlomo. Beta Israel has a different account. British Israelites have their own account. Knights Templar incorporated him into their origin myth and Scottish Rite Freemasonry adopted it. You might brush their beliefs as nonsense, but they would return the favor. Solomon is even described in the bible as being black, but people like to dispute this. I’m sure there was a Solomon and a Solomon’s Temple.. just not in Jerusalem, Israel/Palestine. It could’ve been in Ethiopia, it could’ve been in Scotland, it could’ve been in Lebanon (Baalbek’s Jupiter Temple). And any of these spots could’ve been called “Jerusalem” for all we know. The city in occupied Palestine is very old, but perhaps it was named after the destroyed one in antiquity? Think outside the box, the Zionists are historical revisionists. They’ve applied biblical history to inappropriate places like tombs and ruins. It can be proven that they just made it up in many of these cases. How do you know they aren’t lying about the entire thing?

    • on January 3, 2012, 10:56 pm

      Does Havrelock mention the influence of the British-Jewish owner of Royal Dutch Shell who had a keen interest in oil shipments throughout the region? Or of Israeli relations with Iran that involved Iranian oil flows to Israel at greatly reduced transaction rates?

      Havrelock says, “I would tell them to look closer to the text” of the bible.”

      I would tell them to look closer to the text of the King-Crane Commission; the archive is held at Oberlin College. The King Crane gathered over 1800 survey-reports from all the people in the region –three or four months in the summer of 1919 they visited at least 14 different cities/villages from Constantinople to Beersheba.

      Their findings — or as much of them as has been able to be retrieved in an on-going process of archival research and recovery — are a tad more contemporaneous than the book of Joshua, and represent the voices of the people who actually dwelt in the land in real time, present time, not mythological narrative from an era deep in a shrouded and fictive past — and who, incidentally, did not share Joshua’s homicidal proclivities.

      To highlight points about the King Crane Commission, the British and French refused to participate in the delegation that was formed at the Versailles Peace Conference –they had already promised parts of the land twice — by means of the Balfour, and also the Sykes-Picot agreement. Thus, the commission is named for only the Americans dispatched by Woodrow Wilson.

      As well, despite several urgent messages from the Commission to Wilson about the depth of feeling of the people, Wilson and the Versailles conferees buried the Commission’s findings — they were not made public until 1922, well after the Versailles Treaty had been imposed on both Europeans and Arabs. The only victors were zionists who, Edwin Black writes (in “The Transfer Agreement”) “were triumphant at Versailles.”

      From the Introduction to the King Crane archives:

      Restoring Lost Voices of Self-Determination At the end of World War I, the major powers negotiated the future of the areas under the control of the defeated Central Powers. One of the areas on the chopping block was the Ottoman Empire, long coveted by various empires. President Woodrow Wilson asked then Oberlin College President (1902-1927) Henry Churchill King to co-chair the American Section of the Inter-Allied Commission on Mandates in Turkey, which came to be known as the King-Crane Commission. The Commission, which was originally intended to be international in character, like other fact-finding missions of the Paris Peace Conference, became a solely American enterprise in the face of British and French foot-dragging.

      Between June and August 1919, the members of the King-Crane Commission traveled from Constantinople to Palestine, Lebanon, Syria, and the southern reaches of Turkey. They traveled as far south as Beersheba and as far east as Amman and Aleppo to determine wishes of the region’s inhabitants concerning a post-war settlement. Wilson instructed the Commission to “to acquaint itself as intimately as possible with the sentiments of the people of these regions with regards to the future administration of their affairs.”1

      The division of territory was complicated by conflicting British and French colonial ambitions in the region. While the British had encouraged the Arab Revolt (1916-1918) against Ottoman rule, promising to support the emergence of an independent Arab state through the McMahon-Hussein Correspondence, it made parallel and conflicting agreements with France, particularly the Sykes-Picot agreement of 1916. This largely secret treaty delineated zones of French influence and control in Syria, Lebanon, and southern Anatolia, with the British gaining influence over territory stretching from Palestine to Iraq. British policies complicated matters further with potentially conflicting stances toward Zionism and Arab nationalism.

      The Balfour Declaration of 1917 stated “His Majesty’s Government view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavours to facilitate the achievement of this object, it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of exiting non-Jewish communities in Palestine, or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country.”2 The tensions inherent in the Balfour Declaration presented yet another problem for the post-war settlement—and the fate of Palestine was a central part of the Commission’s work.

      Scope of the Commission

      The geographical scope of the Commission’s inquiry was intended to be vast, encompassing the entirety of the Ottoman Empire, but focusing on the non-Turkish regions of Syria, Palestine, Mesopotamia, Cilicia, and Armenia, which would almost certainly be separated from Turkey. However, given the urgency of the work in the context of the ongoing Paris Peace Conference, the Commissioners decided to limit their fact-finding to Syria and Palestine.”

      In a conference in 2008 titled “The Breakup of American Zionism,” Norman Finkelstein fielded a question from a woman who spoke of the Christian understanding of the biblical mandate — that Jews should return to Israel, ‘their land.’
      Finkelstein braved her emotion and responded that international courts do not make decisions of justice and equity based upon the bible, they rely on political science and international law.

      The trouble is, as an article earlier today stated, Israel has never complied with ‘international law’ and, if Israeli influence over the American political process is an indication, political science exists to be rigged and manipulated.

      Norman

      • Hostage on January 4, 2012, 5:37 am

        While the British had encouraged the Arab Revolt (1916-1918) against Ottoman rule, promising to support the emergence of an independent Arab state through the McMahon-Hussein Correspondence, it made parallel and conflicting agreements with France, particularly the Sykes-Picot agreement of 1916. This largely secret treaty . . .

        That’s a bit of British mythology. There was nothing incompatible about the McMahon-Hussein Correspondence and the Sykes-Picot Agreement. The British and French governments simply decided to ignore both commitments and double-cross the Arabs. They also violated their obligations to the other European signatories of the Reglement Organique of the Lebanon vilayet, dated June 9, 1861 and September 6, 1864.

        Sykes and Picot traveled to Arabia to negotiate the terms of their multilateral agreement with the Hashemites who were included on the basis of commitments in the McMahon-Hussein Correspondence.

        *The Foreign Office and the Arab Bureau at Cairo each said that the proposed demarcation in McMahon’s correspondence was the basis of the direct negotiations that were carried on in the next stage between the Sharif Hussein, Mark Sykes and François Picot. See for example the minutes of Council of Four Conference attended by Lloyd George and Balfour in the Prime Minister’s Flat at 23 Rue Nitot, Paris, on Thursday, March 20, 1919, at 3 p.m. page 1, page 7, and page 8

        *The Sharif Hussein was only willing to accept Syke’s and Picot’s proposal regarding foreign advisors, subject to the understanding that they were to have no executive powers whatsoever. As far as Hussein was concerned, both the British and French had agreed to the renunciation of the ideas of annexation, permanent occupation, or suzerainty of any part of Syria of Palestine. See pdf file page 9 of 21 in:
        Former Reference: GT 6185
        Title: British Commitments to King Husein.
        Author: Political Intelligence Department, Foreign Office
        Date November 1918
        Catalogue reference CAB 24/68
        link to nationalarchives.gov.uk

        *The 3rd paragraph of the Sykes-Picot Agreement required the allies to consult with the Sharif of Mecca on the form of government in the brown area of international administration in Palestine.

        *The Muslim Holy Places in Hebron and elsewhere had been excluded completely from the territory of the brown, “International Enclave”, shown on the map attached to the Sykes-Picot Agreement in accordance with the Government of India’s Proclamation No. 4 to the Arab and Indian Sheikhs and the Sharif of Mecca – and Palestine was included in the area pledged for Arab Independence. See for example paragraph 4 (c) on pp 4 (pdf page 5) and paragraph 6 (a), (d), & (e) on pp 8-9 (pdf page 9-10) CAB 24/72, “The Settlement of Turkey and the Arabian Peninsula” (Former Reference: GT 6506) , 21 November 1918 and the collection of small and large detailed maps of Palestine in CAB 24/72 “Maps illustrating the Settlement of Turkey and the Arabian Peninsula”, (Former Reference: GT 6506A) 21 November 1918.

        Former Reference: GT 6506A
        Title: Maps illustrating the Settlement of Turkey and the Arabian Peninsula.

        Author: Political Intelligence Department, Foreign Office
        Date 21 November 1918
        Catalogue reference CAB 24/72
        link to nationalarchives.gov.uk
        Former Reference: GT 6506
        Title: The Settlement of Turkey and the Arablan Peninsula.
        Author: Political Intelligence Department, Foreign Office
        Date 21 November 1918
        Catalogue reference CAB 24/72

        link to nationalarchives.gov.uk

        *Balfour not only admitted that the commitment to Zionism was of far profounder import than the desires and prejudices of the 700,000 Arabs who now inhabit that ancient land, he bemoaned the fact that the British and French had given unqualified promises of Arab independence in 1915 and 1918 and that there were no territorial reservations regarding Palestine that could help rationalize their subsequent Zionist policies. He also noted that the boundaries of Palestine did not (as yet) include the territory east of the Jordan river and that:

        “In our promises with regard to the frontiers of the new Arab States we do not seem to have been more fortunate than in our promises about their independence. In 1915 it was the Sharif of Mecca to whom the task of delimitation was to have been confided, nor were any restrictions placed upon his discretion in this matter, except certain reservations intended to protect French interests in Western Syria and Cilicia.

        Balfour’s memo made it perfectly clear that the French territorial interests in Western Syria was a separate geographical area from Palestine and Mesopotamia:

        They [Sykes and Picot] started from the view that France had ancient interests and aspirations in Western Syria; that Britain had obvious claims in Baghdad and Southern Mesopotamia; that Palestine had a unique historic position; and that if these three areas were to be separately controlled, it was obviously expedient that none of the vast and vague territory lying between them [i.e. Transjordan], which had no national organisation, should be under any other foreign influences.

        See Nº. 242. Memorandum by Mr. Balfour (Paris) respecting Syria, Palestine, and Mesopotamia’ [132187/2117/44A] link to scribd.com

  2. iamuglow on December 30, 2011, 3:11 pm

    That was horrendous.

    The bit about
    “How did this Jordan border end up as a contested border between Israelis and Palestinians?”

    misses the point completely. It is not contested by the Palestenians, its contested by Israel. Israel has by force made their border the Jordan river…its the fact that they brutalize the millions of Palestenians within that defacto border that is the real problem.

    Somewhere else she says there were a lot of motivations from 19th century Zionist but she only lists ones that paint them as victims escaping Europe. Why is it in restrospect we view other colonial movements as racist and opportunistic…yet we are supposed to view Zionists as somehow innocent? Its all very self serving.

    There is some bit at the end about using ‘Joshua’ from the bible as a source for how to share the land…which is ought to be embarrassing for a professor.

    On top of which she is practically giggling as she outlines how we should get rid of all these pesky borders and make a federation…good lord, I wonder what Israelis would control then compared to 1947 or earlier. I mean what could go wrong with a plan like that? Arabs give up your borders & lets all work together…what could go wrong?

    • Hostage on December 30, 2011, 6:40 pm

      misses the point completely. It is not contested by the Palestenians, its contested by Israel.

      She calls it an administrative border (between the Palestinians on either side during the Mandate era). An international court of arbitration convened by the Council of the League of Nations in accordance with the Treaty of Lausanne to determine shares in the Ottoman Public Debt ruled that Palestine and Transjordan were separate states. The ruling said:

      “The difficulty arises here how one is to regard the Asiatic countries under the British and French mandates. Iraq is a Kingdom in regard to which Great Britain has undertaken responsibilities equivalent to those of a Mandatory Power. Under the British mandate, Palestine and Transjordan have each an entirely separate organisation. We are, therefore, in the presence of three States sufficiently separate to be considered as distinct Parties. France has received a single mandate from the Council of the League of Nations, but in the countries subject to that mandate, one can distinguish two distinct States: Syria and the Lebanon, each State possessing its own constitution and a nationality clearly different from the other.” — See Volume I of the Reports of International Arbitral Awards (United Nations, 1948), “Affaire de la Dette publique ottomane. Bulgarie, Irak, Palestine, Transjordanie, Grèce, Italie et Turquie. Genève, 18 avril 1925″, pages 529-614

      The Palestinian High Court of Justice ruled that the two districts, Palestine and Transjordan, were separate foreign states in a case where a Tranjordanian living in Palestine claimed the right of residency to avoid being deported. So some of the “Palestinians” have also disputed the legality of that boundary. See Jawdat Badawi Sha’ban v. Commissioner for Migration and Statistics (1945) under the heading States as international persons, International Law Reports, By Hersh Lauterpacht, Cambridge University Press, 1994, ISBN 0-521-46357-2, pages 15-17 http://books.google.com/books?id=KILq6sSaQs4C&lpg=PA15&client&pg=PA15#v=onepage&q&f=false

      FYI, Lloyd George consulted a Bible Dictionary and Atlas to establish the boundaries of Palestine pending a determination on the mandates. He not only used the formula “from Dan to Beersheba”, but also relied on the account concerning Joshua and the children of Israel crossing the Jordan to enter the Promised Land.

      • iamuglow on December 31, 2011, 12:28 am

        Thanks for that Hostage. Focusing on the border with Jordan seems to me as libra says above to be another way to argue for “A legitimisation of the “transfer” of Palestinians to Jordan”.

      • eGuard on December 31, 2011, 6:46 am

        Hostage: So some of the “Palestinians” have also disputed the legality of that boundary. Thank you for clarify this, and well sourced as always. So that dispute was sort of settled then in 1945, three years before Israel was created.

        Why does she bring it back into dispute? Why does she say it is disputed in present tense?

      • Hostage on December 31, 2011, 9:45 am

        Why does she bring it back into dispute? Why does she say it is disputed in present tense?

        Because there are still technically Israelis and Palestinians that dispute the final status of the territory. The international boundary between Jordan and Israel is delimited by treaty with reference to the boundary definition under the Mandate – “without prejudice to the status of any territory [e.g. the West Bank, Gaza, and East Jerusalem] that came under Israeli military government control in 1967. Pending a final settlement, the boundary line between Israel and Jordan follows the middle of the main course of the flow of the Jordan and Yarmouk Rivers. But the State of Palestine has been recognized within the 1967 armistice boundaries which included the same territory. So many countries implicitly recognize the mandate era Jordan and Yarmouk River channel as the Palestine-Jordan boundary.

        “Jordan” was originally created as a union between the peoples of Arab Palestine and Transjordan. Unlike Egypt and some of the other Arab League member states, both territories had been liberated from the Ottoman Empire as a result of WWI and were part of the joint British LoN mandate. Jordan and the other Arab League members subsequently recognized the PLO as the sole representative of the Palestinian people residing in the Kingdom, where they still constitute a large segment of the population. When the Union was officially dissolved, King Hussein and PLO Chairman Arafat discussed plans for a formal confederation between the two states, but the idea is no longer on either party’s agenda. Jordan renounced its territorial claims in favor of the PLO, which it recognized as the provisional government of the successor State.

      • eGuard on January 1, 2012, 4:21 pm

        I don’t think this is why she brings it up.

      • LeaNder on January 3, 2012, 11:11 am

        Why does she bring it back into dispute? Why does she say it is disputed in present tense?

        Maybe she was, puzzled if people understand what they talk about in this context? Or wanted to take a closer look herself?

        Maybe you tell me, why I should suspect timing, topic or anything else, and why?

      • Talkback on January 1, 2012, 8:48 am

        Wow, I didn’t know that the “Reports of International Arbitral Awards” was online! Thanks a lot, Hostage!

  3. MHughes976 on December 30, 2011, 6:14 pm

    The British imperial definition of Palestine was surely influenced by the Bible and how the British read it. The story of the conquest by Joshua is indeed quite complex but British schoolboys (I was one once!) saw the image of the Jordan as the special border which was decisively crossed and Canaan, river to sea, as the object of conquest. ‘Bread of Heaven’, one of the most famous Protestant hymns, originally Welsh but very popular in English, has the verse ‘When I tread the verge of Jordan/bid my anxious fears subside!/ Death of death and hell’s destruction/bring me safe to Canaan’s side.’
    On one side of the river the shifting sands of desert, literally, and of mortal life, allegorically – on the other, the land of milk and honey and the joys of paradise. In British Protestant theology not just a natural border but a supernatural one.

  4. eGuard on December 30, 2011, 7:31 pm

    4:51 [to determine borders I propose to look at] who lives there and where they are and what their resources needs are

    Well, associate professor, where people live today is not a good measure is it? Why not look at where they actually came from? And how they obtained that “where”? Ever heard of Nakba? And the “needs” trick was played by Israel to Bill Clinton. We know by now what Israel thinks Palestinians need.

    Why not talk about international rights and human rights. That is the Need.

  5. annie on December 30, 2011, 8:07 pm

    i’m all for exploring different ways to look at things. she’s a charismatic speaker and communicator.

    • Hostage on December 30, 2011, 10:41 pm

      i’m all for exploring different ways to look at things. she’s a charismatic speaker and communicator.

      Well the river or brook of Egypt was taken to be the southern boundary running from the eastern-most branch of the Nile around Pelusium through Beersheba to the Jordan-Dead Sea rift. The Euphrates was the northern boundary in Syria, not the eastern boundary in Iraq. Otherwise poor old Moses died well inside the Promised Land facing Jericho on top of Mt. Nebo in the Land of Moab (and God was mistaken):
      1. And Moses went up from the plains of Moab to Mount Nebo, [to the] top of the summit facing Jericho. And the Lord showed him all the Land: The Gilead until Dan,

      4. And the Lord said to him, “This is the Land I swore to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, saying, ‘I will give it to your offspring.’ I have let you see it with your eyes, but you shall not cross over there.” — Devarim – Deuteronomy – Chapter 34.

      • on January 3, 2012, 11:05 pm

        The city of Ur was on the coast of the Persian Gulf in 3500 BC. Today, its location is 200 miles inland, due to river silting etc.

        It just might be the case that Joshua’s GPS system would not neatly overlay the present size and shape of the rivers and land.

    • eGuard on December 31, 2011, 6:54 am

      Annie, a different ways to look at things?

      So what is new? Israel undeclaring its borders? Israel fluiding out of the Partition Lines before the ’48 war, Israel fluiding into the West Bank, fluiding all over Jerusalem: brilliant new thoughts.

      • annie on December 31, 2011, 3:35 pm

        that wasn’t what i meant. i would have to review the video again today but i thought she was talking about the whole region, not just the WB. i guess what i heard sounded more like a co existence approach as opposed to 2 states.

        Israel fluiding into the West Bank, fluiding all over Jerusalem: brilliant new thoughts.

        no, i was thinking more along the lines of regions, including say the negev and nazareth the fluidity including flows into israel too.

      • Hostage on December 31, 2011, 6:30 pm

        i would have to review the video again today but i thought she was talking about the whole region, not just the WB

        Yes, I didn’t find anything she said to be particularly Zionist. She is debunking the religious mythology Zionists used to support their territorial claims. I’ve discussed many of the same details and the fact that the borders in the region were established and modified as a result of British, French, Turkish, and US oil agreements:
        * http://mondoweiss.net/2011/08/why-israel-and-jeffrey-goldberg-are-championing-the-kurds.html/comment-page-1#comment-355769
        *http://mondoweiss.net/2011/06/britain%E2%80%99s-denial-of-democracy-and-the-ethnic-cleansing-of-palestine.html#comment-331463

      • annie on December 31, 2011, 7:26 pm

        Yes, I didn’t find anything she said to be particularly Zionist.

        well, that’s a relief. no one likes thinking they’ve been snow jobbed. frankly i found your 10:41 comment instructive. not only do i know zilch about religious texts when i do hear them they tend to go in one ear and out the other. as a result i wasn’t in any position to judge the validity of what she was saying in that regard. i guess what i liked most about her (aside from her demeanor which i already mentioned re charisma/communication) was she seemed to be thinking outside the box wrt alternate solutions. at least not in any box i had explored before. we’re so used to a more linear kind of thinking. a or b. one state or 2. if one fails the other is inevitable unless there is ethnic cleansing etc etc etc.

        whereas i think of borders as a completely manmade construct. one that, in a perfect world i would erase. i certainly would not have them be lines. i really wouldn’t have them be straight lines like on a grid (absolutely unnatural). we’ve been trained to think along these patterns but it’s not part of our dna or anything. instead of israel palestine being so behind the curve in terms of catching up with the rest of the world they could (concievably) signify a beginning in terms of visualizing or creating another kind of solution, in a positive way.

        anyway. like i said earlier what i liked most about her was she seems really open, knowledgeable, creative and non judgmental. not a combination one often sees in academia. basically, i liked her. i could listen to her for a long long time. people like her make good teachers because you want to listen to them. however i didn’t know enough history to judge the accuracy of everything she was saying.

  6. Hostage on December 31, 2011, 8:51 am

    Annie, a different ways to look at things? . . . So what is new?

    Looking at who actually lives there. Israeli settlements occupy only 1 percent of the West Bank, not the 42 percent claimed by the settlement blocks.

    • Charon on January 1, 2012, 5:49 pm

      17%-20% of the WB’s population is settlers. That’s around 500k people with about 200k of that living in EJ. Take out EJ, and 10% of the WB’s population is comprised of Israeli settlers.

      300k people is less than 4% of Israel proper’s population. 60% of the occupied WB is controlled exclusively by Israel, is where virtually all (sans Hebron) the settlers live with only 4% of the population being Palestinian. Zionists spin this the other way around and say ‘most of the Palestinians live on Palestinian-administered land.’ So? If Israel will never allow refugees in their borders, they’re going to have to live somewhere. 40% of Palestinians still live in an Israel-controlled area of the WB (with PA administration).

      When you really look at the numbers, the justification to keep these settlements – even the large ‘blocs’ – because they’re established and the ‘reality on the ground has changed’ is ridiculous. There are hardly any Israeli settlers living there. It might be unrealistic to expect Israelis in Israel proper to give back stolen land, but that argument doesn’t work for the WB. It’s occupied Palestinian land and there aren’t many settlers. A lot of the people in Ariel are wary of the future of Ariel. A lot of the Ultra Orthodox claim they would rather die then leave and Israel says it will take decades to remove them. Nonsense! Use military force to get them out of there and throw them into a prison if they fight back. Treat them like the criminals that they are. If Palestinian resistance is terrorism, so is ultra orthodox resistance especially in those outposts that are illegal to begin with.

      It is not irrational to believe all the settlement blocs can be dismantled. Jerusalem is a more sensitive issue as is the refugee right of return. Jerusalem aside, there is no excuse for the Palestinians not to have 100% of the WB. The settlements were created and are still created only to prevent the very thing Israel conned us into believing they would allow.

    • eGuard on January 1, 2012, 7:12 pm

      Hostage: Israeli settlements occupy only 1 percent of the West Bank

      Really? And using only 1% of the aquifier? Occupation only takes 1% of the time of Palestinians at checkpoints? wrt East-Jerusalem, they occupy only 1% of the housing? Without a question mark: I can understand that settlers occupy only 1% of Hebron.

      • annie on January 1, 2012, 8:27 pm

        yes eguard, it is the settlement blocs not the settlements themselves that eat up all the land.

        norm spells it out in of the video

        http://mondoweiss.net/2011/12/two-critiques-of-norman-finkelsteins-recent-appearances.html

      • eGuard on January 1, 2012, 9:15 pm

        Already the area West of the Apartheid Barrier, there is 8.5% of the West Bank (must say, including East-Jerusalem). http://www.btselem.org/separation_barrier/statistics

        And the Apartheid roads only take very little space. good to reduce these figures.

        Finkelstein says (1.46.45): “Those areas constitute 1.5% excuse me [NF] 1.9% of the West Bank”. But these are areas the Palestinians were willing to trade (swap with Israeli areas).

        And exactly what is Hostage trying to convey here? Why is Hostage using this very selective number?

      • Hostage on January 2, 2012, 1:21 am

        And exactly what is Hostage trying to convey here? Why is Hostage using this very selective number?

        Q: What information was Prof. Finklestein conveying? That settlements take-up much less territory (a resource) than the intervening territory between settlements that is claimed by the so-called settlement “blocks”. Prof. Havrelock said lets look at who is actually living there and have a more equitable distribution of the natural resources.

        I didn’t select the numbers or produce either video.

      • eGuard on January 3, 2012, 3:07 pm

        Hostage, I am sorry for distrusting and even smearing you here re “1%” and such. Writing 3rd person is of the same low level and worth and extra sorry. Topping this is being late with this excuse, in internet time this page has died already.

        If I were that right, I could have pointed it another way. Hope this site allows me some other conversation with you.

      • Hostage on January 3, 2012, 3:39 pm

        Hostage, I am sorry

        Don’t worry about it. The comments section is here to cuss and discuss the subject. In fairness, the details of the subject, like pipeline agreements, retained navigation and grazing rights, Ottoman administrative boundaries, & etc. constitute an almost arcane body of knowledge. By the time you know everything you need to know to discuss the subject in sufficient depth of detail, it’s just impossible to summarize it in a few soundbites, like the Professor was forced to do here. I’m looking forward to reading her book.

        Hope this site allows me some other conversation with you.

        Me too.

      • Hostage on January 1, 2012, 9:16 pm

        Really? And using only 1% of the aquifier?

        Yes eGuard I noted that the settlements only occupy 1% percent of the West Bank, not the 42 percent claimed by the settlement blocks. There is a video here where Prof. Norman Finklestein discusses that: http://mondoweiss.net/2011/12/two-critiques-of-norman-finkelsteins-recent-appearances.html

        The problem with all of your comments and questions is that you’ve studiously ignored what Prof Havrelock actually said about the irrelevance of the national myths and those ancient borders. She said that we need to look at who actually lives where and what their actual resource needs are without projecting these national myths and desires on the landscape. The Israelis obviously don’t need swimming pools while the neighbors have to make do with much less.

        The situation is the same elsewhere in the region. 20-inch pipelines from the West Bank are carrying water to Israelis in the Negev, while Bedouin communities there have to make do without any water at all from the national carrier.

        FYI, one aspect of the disputed Jordan river was the allocation of its water between the states of Israel and Jordan. That was addressed in Article 6 et seq of their peace treaty, but the actual needs and rights of the Palestinians who actually live in the Jordan valley remain unaddressed. I believe the Palestinians are still contesting their water rights and that the Prof was addressing that situation. See Articles 6-15 of the Israel-Jordan Treaty here: http://www.kinghussein.gov.jo/peace_6-15.html

        In any event, the checkpoints are a projection of national desires on the landscape and it requires quite a stretch of imagination to suggest Prof. Havrelock was endorsing those.

      • eGuard on January 3, 2012, 10:35 am

        (warning, I am entering the hairsplitting department) So I studiously ignored what Prof Havrelock actually said about the irrelevance of the national myths and those ancient borders?

        I concluded here that if she wants to erase Jordan river border, then the Eastern ex-border is open to cross for Jewish “needs”. (She does not rule out national projections at all, just national states). It was you who concluded “So Jordan and Mesopotamia are no longer relevant”, which is not what I concur with.

        For having to split hairs over such wordings and what she said, I blame her. We are stuck with her weasel talk and cloud reasoning. I pity her students.

  7. eGuard on December 31, 2011, 9:04 am

    In short: it’s all the British’ fault, they “promised a Jewish state” (she didn’t read the 130 words by Balfour; btw this is not in the transcript), 2SS didn’t work because Israeli still live in “fear” of an attack (poor victims; not the Palestinians: they actually live under attacks), earlier borders like partition 1939, 1947, 1967, Green Line did not work (well, maybe that is because Zionists every time already behaved according to this proposal), and Palestinians and Arabs (she doesn’t know the difference. Hey, this is no-border thinking! Out of the box!), in the region Jordan river is an Eastern border (btw not in the transcript), Palestinians and Arabs will get their “needs” and “resources” (must say, that could be an improvement), “Jewish and Arab nationalists” alike were involved in the British Mandate (forget that the Jewish nationalists — sure there must be a name for them –, operated from Europe and were part of that European, imperialistic, colonizing powers).

    Nothing new for Zionists: Lets cross the “Eastern border” Jordan river, up to the oil regions that the British so stupidly did not include in To Be Stolen And Occupied Palestine.

    • eGuard on December 31, 2011, 2:07 pm

      (Actually, I had prepared some twelve timed quotes from the video, two of them not in the transcript, but when I finally submitted them I was logged off and they were lost. I prefer not viewing this video once again. What a Zionist troll she is.)

      • annie on December 31, 2011, 7:32 pm

        bummer eguard..do it again!

      • eGuard on January 1, 2012, 6:40 pm

        You asking, that changes matters. I will post shortly, in a new comment. Conclusions remain: she is a Zionist, and wants to cross Jordan river.

      • annie on January 1, 2012, 8:26 pm

        yes, i am. especially in light of the discussion that has evolved.

    • Charon on January 1, 2012, 5:59 pm

      It’s actually the France’s fault. Napoleon Bonaparte had an earlier and lesser-known proclamation of his own calling for a Jewish homeland in Palestine. He also tried to revive the Sanhedrin. Things got messy for France and Napolean, didn’t work out as planned. The British Balfour Declaration was probably a second attempt by the same hidden-hand PTB who once guided Napolean. It was addressed to a Rothschild. The Rothschilds promised and later designed/donated the Israeli Supreme Court in Jerusalem. Not exactly the Sanhedrin, but hey it’s a court. Maybe it’s just a coincidence and I’m finding patterns where patterns don’t exist. Or maybe, it isn’t a coincidence at all.

      • Hostage on January 1, 2012, 7:18 pm

        The British Balfour Declaration was probably a second attempt by the same hidden-hand PTB who once guided Napolean.

        Actually, Herzl’s abortive attempts to lobby the Sultan and Kaiser Wilhelm for a German Protectorate in Palestine before he finally turned to the British are very well documented, e.g. See Klaus Polkehn, Zionism and the Kaiser’s Germany: Zionist Diplomacy with the Empire of Kaiser Wilhelm, Journal of Palestine Studies, Vol. 4, no. 2, p. 76

  8. Talkback on January 1, 2012, 8:51 am

    Isn’t her solution the same as the minority proposal in 1947?

    • Hostage on January 1, 2012, 10:46 am

      Isn’t her solution the same as the minority proposal in 1947?

      It’s hard to say. I’ve pointed out elsewhere that the minority proposal was based upon the hierarchy and principles of the US federal constitution and the constitutions of the individual states. Ironically enough the representative of the Jewish Agency and US citizen, Abba Hillel Silver, said that proposal would not be suitable for the Jewish people.

      • Talkback on January 2, 2012, 9:43 am

        Any explanations (or link to them) why the would be not suitable?

      • Hostage on January 2, 2012, 1:25 pm

        Any explanations (or link to them) why the would be not suitable?

        The Zionist Organization was opposed to democracy on the grounds that the Jews would be relegated to a permanent minority status by an Arab majority with the necessary votes needed to put a stop to Jewish immigration.

        For example, during the 20th Sitting of the first Knesset Ben Gurion pointed out that a Jewish state in all of Israel without events like Deir Yassin would only be possible by a dictatorship of the minority. He went on to explain that annexing the Triangle and Hebron would (a) add 500,000 to 800,000 Arabs to the population of the State of Israel. He noted that the Arabs would outnumber the Jews and that they would have to be given the vote. The Herut MKs replied that there were millions of Jews elsewhere in the world that would be willing to come. Ben Gurion replied that the new Arab Knesset would adopt laws that would prevent them from coming. See “The Armistice Agreements with the Arab States”, in Netanel Lorch (ed), Major Knesset Debates 1948-1981, Vol. 2, JCPA/University of America Press, 1993, pages 514-515 (pdf file page 94 of 186) http://www.jcpa.org/text/KnessetDebatesVol2.pdf

      • Talkback on January 4, 2012, 11:24 am

        Thanx, the link is VERY helpful! It is very enlighning to see so many Knesset members talking about “the land of Israel” (Palestine).

        So the minority proposal was some kind of binational state and regarding democratic decisions the same as the one state solution?

      • Hostage on January 4, 2012, 3:51 pm

        So the minority proposal was some kind of binational state and regarding democratic decisions the same as the one state solution?

        On September 29, 1947, the representative of the Arab Higher Committee, Jamal Husseini, appeared before the General Assembly Ad Hoc Committee hearing on Palestine. He said:

        “The future constitutional organization of Palestine should be based on the following principles: first, establishment on democratic lines of an Arab State comprising all Palestine; secondly, observance by the said Arab State of Palestine of human rights, fundamental freedoms and equality of all persons before the law; thirdly, protection by the Arab State of the legitimate rights and interests of all minorities; fourthly, guarantee to all of freedom of worship and access to the Holy Places.”

        There were minority proposals from the Second Subcommittee of the UNSCOP, the Second Subcommittee of the General Assembly Ad Hoc Committee, and from the Arab States during the 2nd Special Session of the General Assembly based upon Jewish and Arab cantons in a bi-national state.

        The report of the 2nd Subcommittee of the Ad Hoc Committee is here:
        http://www.un.org/ga/search/view_doc.asp?symbol=A/AC.14/32

        Mr Malik of Lebanon offered the proposal for establishing a single federal union with separate Jewish and Arab states, based upon the model of the US Constitution during the 2nd Special Session:

        “Principle number five: The Constituent Assembly, in defining the powers of the federal state of Palestine, as well as the powers of the judicial and legislative organs, in defining the functions of the cantonal governments, and in defining the relationships between the cantonal governments and the federal state, will be guided by the provisions of the Constitution of the United States of America, as well as the constitutions of the individual states of the United States of America. — Yearbook of the United Nations for 1947-48

        The US representative confirmed the fact that similar proposals had previously been made in the UNSCOP and Ad Hoc Committees and that they were not acceptable. Go figure.

      • Talkback on January 4, 2012, 7:06 pm

        Ok, thanks again!

      • Hostage on January 5, 2012, 12:37 am

        Thanx, the link is VERY helpful! It is very enlighning to see so many Knesset members talking about “the land of Israel” (Palestine).

        It pays to know the documentary history of the Zionists, because most of them don’t. It can save a lot of useless time spent arguing with clueless hasbara bots.

        Here’s the rest: Major Knesset Debates, 1948-1981. Each volume is available in full in pdf format:
        *Volume 1 – People’s Council and Provisional Council of State, 1948-1949
        *Volume 2 – The Constituent Assembly-First Knesset, 1949-1951
        *Volume 3 – Second Knesset, 1951-1955; Third Knesset, 1955-1959
        *Volume 4 – Fourth Knesset, 1959-1961; Fifth Knesset, 1961-1965; Sixth Knesset, 1965-1969
        *Volume 5 – Seventh Knesset, 1969-1973; Eighth Knesset, 1974-1977
        *Volume 6 – Ninth Knesset, 1977-1981

        There are excerpts for 18 key debates on major issues too:
        http://www.jcpa.org/JCPA/Templates/showpage.asp?DBID=1&LNGID=1&TMID=84&FID=452&PID=6734

  9. FreddyV on January 1, 2012, 11:40 am

    Fluid borders?

    This sounds distinctly Zionist.

    The reason Finkelstein doesn’t support a one state solution is because he doesn’t trust Israel to be inclusive and tolerant and play by the rules. I think their track record is more than enough to rouse much more than suspicion. As soon as you have everyone living under one state, wealthy Jews will start purchasing land from far less well off Palestinians. Game over.

    The Religious Zionist ideal of Greater Israel is from the Nile to the Euphrates. Take a look at the map and how much territory this takes in:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greater_Israel

    What happpens when everyone embraces this ‘fluid borders’ idea and wealthy Jews or the JNF starts purchasing land in Lebanon or Jordan?

    I’m not at all educated on this subject, I’m just putting a hypothesis against the idea of fluid borders and thinking the worst and suspecting Prof. Havrelock is batting for the Zionists here.

    • Hostage on January 1, 2012, 2:31 pm

      Fluid borders? . . . This sounds distinctly Zionist.

      Hardly. The example of using rivers to connect the peoples rather than as borders between them is actually a feature of the international treaties which established the Mandate era borders. They incorporated provisions which reflected the nomadic lifestyle of the inhabitants or the region and preserved the historical grazing and fishing rights enjoyed by all of the inhabitants of the region. For example, the 1923 boundary treaty stated that Any existing rights over the use of waters of the Jordan by the inhabitants of Syria shall be maintained unimpaired…. … The inhabitants of Syria and of the Lebanon shall have the same fishing and navigation rights on Lakes Huleh and Tiberias and on the River Jordan between the said lakes as the inhabitants of Palestine, but the Government of Palestine shall be responsible for the policing of the lakes. See Agreement between His Majesty’s Government and the French Government respecting the Boundary Line between Syria and Palestine from the Mediterranean to El Hámmé, Treaty Series No. 13 (1923), Cmd. 1910. Page 7. http://untreaty.un.org/unts/60001_120000/20/29/00039450.pdf

      The 1926 Accord stipulated that “All the inhabitants, whether settled or semi-nomadic, of both territories who, at the date of the signature of this agreement enjoy grazing, watering or cultivation rights, or own land on the one or the other side of the frontier shall continue to exercise their rights as in the past.”

      The UN General Assembly resolution on the Future Government of Palestine incorporated the international frontiers and required the successor states to honor those treaty agreements: Any dispute about the applicability and continued validity of international conventions or treaties signed or adhered to by the mandatory Power on behalf of Palestine shall be referred to the International Court of Justice in accordance with the provisions of the Statute of the Court. But the Zionists adopted a clean slate policy and have never accepted or respected the provisions which guaranteed the fishing, grazing, and navigation rights of the peoples of Lebanon, Syria, and Jordan.

      What happpens when everyone embraces this ‘fluid borders’ idea

      Well its really more like: Why are wealthy Jews allowed to deprive the Arabs of their historical fishing and grazing rights in violation of the existing agreements about abstract, imaginary, and arbitrary lines when, even the authorities that established them never had such an intention in mind?

      • FreddyV on January 1, 2012, 5:02 pm

        Hi Hostage,

        When I commented on fluid borders being a Zionist idea, I was looking to the here and now with it’s present gains and disadvantages. As I said, I’m not educated on this aspect and I appreciate your post.

        Here’s my perspective:

        Yes, fluid borders / one state would be a great utopian ideal, but I don’t feel Israel can be trusted to accommodate the spirit of that structure.

        They’d take it as an ideal opportunity to seize more land. Norman Finkelstein places this as the primary reason against a one state solution. I agree. We’re looking at the Palestinians accepting less than 22% of the land. One state would enable Israelis to purchase land from Palestinians and effectively put us back to the situation in the early 1900’s. Fluid borders would make matters worse and if neighboring nations accepted this ethos (pigs might fly beforehand), Ultra Zionists would take every opportunity to capitalise on it.

      • Charon on January 1, 2012, 6:04 pm

        Unrelated, but I’m guessing such provisions didn’t exist for Kurdistan when it got separated by rivers.

    • Charon on January 1, 2012, 6:35 pm

      I know some religious Zionists still desire all that land based on their interpretation of scripture. Do they know there aren’t enough Jewish people to populate it? It’s a huge chunk of land but it’s mostly desert.

      The official Zionist ‘Greater Israel’ desired by the likes of DBG (the real historical person, not the MW user) included a small amount of territory East of the Jordan River, part of Syria (mostly Golan Heights), most of Sinai, and Southern Lebanon. It is absolutely no coincidence that Israel has occupied (or in Golan’s case still occupies) that very same territory. DBG even predicted that in ’20 years’ they would find a way to attain in. Zionists and Jewish terrorists like Irgun weren’t very happy with Jordan’s independence. That’s the only place they never occupied (they probably tried, probably even had a hand in some of the uprisings blamed on Palestinians).

      Unofficially others have speculated they wanted more. Arafat claimed a Nile-Euphrates map existed in the Knesset and also carried around an Israeli 10 Agorot coin claiming the reverse had a map of the same thing. Saudi Arabia was a concerned the Zionists wanted or would take their land, even Medina. Possibly paranoia. Yet some of the Ultra Orthodox groups today believe it is theirs, you never know.

      The coin thing is allegedly the outline of an actual Jewish coin from antiquity. It doesn’t match up the way Arafat says (I tried it in photoshop) but it does if you turn in 90 degrees align with mountains and Rivers. Interestingly a thousands of years back there was a kingdom with similar borders called Ammuru, home of the Amorites. It’s very difficult to find any history about the place too, but Babylonian sources survive. Hammurabi was an Amorite. Ammuru lost territory and was eventually destroyed, it’s inhabitants fled to the Caucasus Mountains. Gog/Magog and the Gates of Alexander are referring to this. Historic stories of ‘barbaric’ mountain tribes refer to them as Vikings, Scythians, Frisians, Khazars, Mongols, some Turkic Tribes like Tatars, Germanic mountain tribes, etc. I said this a while ago and a Zionist responded with something like “which means it’s our homeland even if you’re an antisemite believing in the 13th tribe thing.” Whatever makes you happy I guess.

      • FreddyV on January 2, 2012, 10:24 am

        Hi Charon,

        ‘I know some religious Zionists still desire all that land based on their interpretation of scripture. Do they know there aren’t enough Jewish people to populate it? It’s a huge chunk of land but it’s mostly desert.’

        I’ve been told that the land as per the Nile to Euphrates model can hold and feed 90 million Jews. The Christian Zionist who told me this did so with a straight face.

        It’s a completely implausible idea unless the birth rate in Israel goes through the roof or the entire region converts to Judaism, which would be a bizarre stepping stone to conversion to Christianity as per Christian Zionist theology. The comment was speculative but deadly serious and this is the most dangerous part.

        I know we’re doing nothing more than entertaining speculation here, but at least we’re based in reality. Fluid borders would give such people a reality to hang their fantasies on and the outcome wouldn’t be good in my opinion.

  10. talknic on January 1, 2012, 1:04 pm

    What a load of olde twaddle. Nothing prior to the Declaration for the Establishment of the State of Israel is actually relevant to the legal status of Israel’s recognized borders.

    On May 14th 1948 the Jewish People’s council drew a line in the sand. Israel was recognized by the International Community before Israel was accepted into the UN, before Israel signed any Armistice Agreements and before Israel ever made any official claim on any of the territory it had acquired by war by the time it signed those armistice agreements. Israel has never legally annexed any territory of the territory it acquired by war. Israel’s borders are still those of May 15th 1948.

    http://wp.me/pDB7k-KL

    Seems some folk will drag out any olde BS and waive it around as though it somehow justifies stealing the rightful territory of the Palestinians. It’s caused by 63 years of being told and believing the propaganda. Generations of people who have been born into and lived their whole lives on a diet of justifications, know only justifications.

    • Hostage on January 1, 2012, 2:48 pm

      Seems some folk will drag out any olde BS and waive it around as though it somehow justifies stealing the rightful territory of the Palestinians.

      See my post above. The text of General Assembly resolution 181(II) incorporated, by reference, the existing international treaties that the mandatory had signed on behalf of Palestine. That included several treaties on boundaries and fishing, grazing, and navigation rights. The mandate era boundaries were also specifically mentioned and retained in the Israel-Jordan peace treaty and Israel-Egypt, Taba, arbitral award.

      • talknic on January 1, 2012, 10:07 pm

        Hostage

        Some pre-exisiting documents are referenced here http://wp.me/pDB7k-Qh

        Also worth mentioning is the fact that UNSC resolutions and Armistice Agreements on the wars differentiate between Israel and Palestine.

        An independent State cannot be in, or part of a non-self governing territory. Israel didn’t exist before Israel was declared. It is not, nor has it ever been a part of or in Palestine. Nor was it a part of the Mandate for Palestine which expired before the Israeli declaration of independence came into effect. The area that became Israel was re-named. Palestine was not.

        As corpus seperatum was never instituted and not declared or recognized as Israeli, it is still a part of Palestine. UNSC Res 470 “….of the Palestinian territories and other Arab territories occupied since 1967, including Jerusalem….”

        No UNSC Resolution or armistice agreement calls for ‘peace in Israel’. They do however, whilst at the same time referencing Israel (and the other relevant States) , call for “peace in Palestine”. The only other (one instance) is a call for “peace in the Middle East”.

      • Hostage on January 2, 2012, 5:02 am

        An independent State cannot be in, or part of a non-self governing territory.

        True enough, but what does independence have to do with statehood? The newly created state of Palestine was described as a Mandated State by the Government of Great Britain in its 1925 petition in the League of Nations Ottoman Public Debt Arbitral case. The ruling confirmed that the joint mandate contained two distinct states, Palestine and Transjordan. That determination was final and legally binding on all of the members of the League and other state parties to the Treaty of Lausanne in accordance with the terms of Article 47 of the treaty. http://wwi.lib.byu.edu/index.php/Treaty_of_Lausanne

        In 1926, the Mixed Courts of Egypt recognized Palestinian nationality and ruled that the former Ottoman territories placed under Mandate had the character of regular States, and that their inhabitants possessed the nationality of those States in accordance with Article 30 of the Treaty of Lausanne. See Case No. 34 Mandated States (Saikaly v. Saikaly) reported in John Fischer Williams and Hersh Lauterpacht (editors), “International Law Reports”, Volume 3, Cambridge University Press, under the heading States as International Persons http://books.google.com/books?id=MFexbdGJeh8C&lpg=PA48&pg=PA48#v=onepage&q&f=false

        Our own State Department Digest of International Law explains that independence is not a requirement of statehood

        “A state in the international sense is generally described as a recognized member of the family of nations, an international person. Authorities differ in respect to the qualifications for such statehood, but there is general agreement on certain basic requirements. Independence is not essential. The requisite personality, in the international sense, is seen when the entity claiming to be a State has in fact its own distinctive association with the members of the international society, as by treaties, which, howsoever concluded in its behalf, mark the existence of definite relationships between itself and other contracting parties” Marjorie M. Whiteman, Digest of International Law, vol. 1 (Washington, DC: U. S. Government Printing Office, 1963) page 223

        The General Assembly resolution of 29 November 1947 partitioned the dependent state of Palestine into two new dependent states, one Arab and one Jewish and stipulated that the independent states would emerge at the end of a transition period – but the territories of the dependent Jewish and Arab states were already in existence and the resolution called for the establishment of the governments of the states by 1 April 1948:

        The period between the adoption by the General Assembly of its recommendation on the question of Palestine and the establishment of the independence of the Arab and Jewish States shall be a transitional period. . . . The mandatory Power shall use its best endeavours to ensure that an area situated in the territory of the Jewish State, including a seaport and hinterland adequate to provide facilities for a substantial immigration, shall be evacuated at the earliest possible date and in any event not later than 1 February 1948.

        Independent Arab and Jewish States and the Special International Regime for the City of Jerusalem, set forth in Part III of this Plan, shall come into existence in Palestine two months after the evacuation of the armed forces of the mandatory Power has been completed but in any case not later than 1 October 1948 . . . The Commission, after consultation with the democratic parties and other public organizations of the Arab and Jewish States, shall select and establish in each State as rapidly as possible a Provisional Council of Government. The activities of both the Arab and Jewish Provisional Councils of Government shall be carried out under the general direction of the Commission. . . . If by 1 April 1948 the Provisional Councils of Government have not entered into the undertaking, the undertaking shall be put into force by the Commission.

        *In none of these instances does the resolution refer to these entities as “proposed” states.
        *Prior to May 14, 1948 the Jewish Agency’s expert on international law, Jacob Robinson, advised the People’s Council of Israel that the Jewish State was already in existence as a result of the 29 November 1947 resolution. See Anis F. Kassim(ed), The Palestine Yearbook of International Law 1987-1988, page 279 http://books.google.com/books?id=DWhgIe3Hq98C&lpg=PA279&ots=gO3tRn1LDY&pg=PA279#v=onepage&q&f=false
        *See Judge Elaraby’s Separate Concurring Opinion in the ICJ Wall case with regard to the significance of the start of the transition period that began on 29 November 1947 with the adoption of resolution 181(II). http://www.icj-cij.org/docket/files/131/1689.pdf

        The Proclamation of the Establishment of the State of Israel was released prior to the midnight expiration of the Mandate. It mentioned that the homeland was located in Palestine and mentioned the UN resolution which called upon them to take such steps during the transitional period as were necessary on their part to establish an independent Jewish state in – wait for it – Palestine:

        On November 29, 1947, the General Assembly of the United Nations adopted a Resolution for the establishment of an independent Jewish State in Palestine, and called upon the inhabitants of the country to take such steps as may be necessary on their part to put the plan into effect. This recognition by the United Nations of the right of the Jewish people to establish their independent State may not be revoked.

        So the provisional government and the dependent Jewish state were both located in Palestine and were expected to assume their share of the public debts and treaty obligations of the mandatory administration in accordance with provisions relating to the change of sovereignty contained in Article 28 of the Mandate and the UN transition plan.

      • Hostage on January 2, 2012, 5:25 am

        P.S. When the Security Council was considering the membership of the State of Israel in December of 1948, the representative of the USSR objected to suggestions that the application be delayed until Israel’s borders could be determined. He said:

        My delegation cannot agree with the assertion that the territory and frontiers of the State of Israel have not been established, are undetermined and vague. It holds the view that the territory of Israel has been defined by an international document, namely, the General Assembly’s resolution of 29 November 1947, which is still in force. Not only does the resolution define precisely the territory of the State of Israel, but it even includes an appended map, which can be seen at any time by any member of the Security Council. The question is therefore beyond dispute.

        –See the minutes of the 384th Session UN Doc. S/PV.384 page 22 of 45

        UN General Assembly Resolution A/RES/48/158D, 20 December 1993. para. 5(c) stipulated that the permanent status negotiations must guarantee “arrangements for peace and security of all States in the region, including those named in resolution 181(II) of 29 November 1947, within secure and internationally recognized boundaries”.

  11. FreddyV on January 1, 2012, 1:44 pm

    ‘What a load of olde twaddle. Nothing prior to the Declaration for the Establishment of the State of Israel is actually relevant to the legal status of Israel’s recognized borders.’

    Try telling an ultra Orthodox Jew or Christian Zionist this.

    They want Israel’s borders to extend from the Nile to the Euphrates as per Biblical promises.

    They don’t give a crap what the law says. Their remit comes from God Almighty. That’s why this issue hasn’t been resolved and never will until religious mania gives way to human dignity.

    I completely agree with your post, but the people in the driving seat (Zionists and Christian Fundies) are the only ones that are going to change things.

    • Charon on January 2, 2012, 3:24 am

      I don’t think it matters if an ultra orthodox Jew or Christian fundie gets upset about it. If they get violent, you throw them in prison. Simple.

      • FreddyV on January 2, 2012, 10:41 am

        I like the way you think Charon.

        I just wish they’d hurry up and start doing that with the settlers. Although I do think that day is coming around soon.

      • Mooser on January 3, 2012, 11:32 am

        “I just wish they’d hurry up and start doing that with the settlers. Although I do think that day is coming around soon”

        Indications seem to be that the settlers, who own the IDF, will start throwing other Israelis in prison before anybody lays a finger on them.

      • Hostage on January 3, 2012, 2:30 pm

        Indications seem to be . . .

        That there will soon be walled Jewish ghettos inside the walled Jewish ghetto. http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4170308,00.html

        Once an Israeli starts talking about separation (hafrada), it’s only a matter of time before those fences and walls start going up in Gaza, the West Bank, and along the borders with Lebanon, Jordan, and Egypt.

  12. piotr on January 1, 2012, 4:26 pm

    “both territories had been liberated from the Ottoman Empire as a result of WWI …”

    I like pieces like that: folks moved from feudal yoke of Caliphate to enlightened British Empire experience — tada! — liberation.

    Anyway, I think that there is a wrong way to read the information so graciously provided by Prof. Havelock and a good way, but one should not doubt that she knows the topic. When Jews refer to their long, historical and uninterrupted bond with the Land they talk about tradition of myths which are quite vague and inconsistent. After all, they are myths! Recreating precisely the location of Israel where it SHOULD BE is as rational as a full and accurate reconstruction of the route of Argo. It was the ship on which Argonauts sailed, and yes, it has some political implication because in some interpretation it proves the soundness of Abhasian tradition as separate nation (hey, they hosted Jason and other Argonauts before anyone heard about Georgians!).

    I think that when a tradition is used politically, one should compare with other similar traditions that could be used in a similar way. Should Ceuta and Gibraltar belong to Greece, the rightful heirs of Hercules, given that these are Pillars of Hercules? Should Greece return the Thracian provinces to Thracians (Bulgarians claim inheritance from the latter, it was a point during both Word Wars.)

    Besides claim if antiquity and Divine bequest there are also claims of Irrevocable Gift of British Empire. Which can be compared with the claim that could be made by South African Whites. The latter had a rock solid unambiguous South African Act that gave South African Parliament the right to organize the land they way it sees fit, Apartheid or no Apartheid. Clearly, Apartheid was fully consistent with Imperial norms, as one can compare it with collonialization in Rhodesia and Kenia. Mind you, at the time there was no contest to the Imperial ownership of South Africa (even if it was still somewhat fresh here and there), while Mandate does not mean ownership.

    But as the claims of antiquity and Divine Bequest are made, say in from of American Congress or United Nations, it is also of interest if these claims have some relationship with the literary tradition. Why some people invoke 3000 years and some 4000 (3500 is strangely unpopular)? Where are the mountains and rivers mentioned in the Bible? Why the Almighty was informing children of Israel using geographic terms that were to be current only hundreds of years afterwards (no problem for the Almighty, of course, but how could Children of Israel understood Him? perhaps they did not?) Where is Wilderness of Zin?

    • eGuard on January 1, 2012, 7:28 pm

      piotr: one should not doubt that she [Havrelock] knows the topic

      I do doubt. She did not even read the Balfour declaration. She mixes up regions, she mixes up powers (British, European, colonial), she forgets Jordan state as being even probably related to the Jordan river border, and in the video she did not bring a single point forward from a non-Jewish (non-Zionist if you like) angle.

      On second thought: I do not doubt. She does not know about the topic. Either by choice, by ignorance, by lack of critical comments, or by something else.

      • Hostage on January 1, 2012, 11:01 pm

        I do doubt. She did not even read the Balfour declaration. She mixes up regions, she mixes up powers (British, European, colonial), she forgets Jordan state as being even probably related to the Jordan river border, and in the video she did not bring a single point forward from a non-Jewish (non-Zionist if you like) angle.

        It seems like you really can’t find anything to bitch about, so you’ll just invent something that she didn’t say.

        The Principal Allied Powers of Europe, Great Britain and France, were awarded the mandates in Ottoman Asia by the League of Nations – and they were given permission to established the borders as they saw fit. So she is correct that the borders of the other states in the region are a European construct.

        Her book on the other hand, is about the Jordan river. That particular boundary was established through a British Memorandum that was approved and annexed to the Mandate by the Council of the League of Nations. It literally was established by the British to divide the mandate into garrisoned and non-garrisoned administrative districts to facilitate the Britsh-Arab division of labor in policing the pipeline and pump station used to deliver oil from Mesopotamia to Palestine and on to Europe. At about 3:40 she explicitly stated that, subsequent to the British deciding on a border at the Jordan river, the Arab and Jewish nationalist camps both mustered all sorts of national and religious arguments to justify their claims to exactly the border the British had established. So Jordan and Mesopotamia are no longer relevant.

        She never said the Balfour Declaration promised a Jewish State as you suggested. Around 6:45 She said that both the borders and partition were British constructs and that the British started bringing in commissions (Peel and Woodhead) that started parceling the land and drawing more artificial lines so that they could maintain these promises for a Jewish State and Palestinian State and that the idea didn’t work in 1938 or 1947. A British Commission did in fact offer to establish a Jewish state. She said that we as Americans wasted the 1990s and 2000s waiting for the two state solution to materialize and it didn’t come into being.

        What she is advocating (at about 5:00 minutes) is totally incompatible with Zionism: Instead of aspiring to a fixed separate Israel and a fixed separate Palestine lets admit its a fluid place with all kinds of population mixtures and that, no matter how violent and brutal, people are living side by side in the same place. She advocates federated regions with full enfranchisement of Palestinians and a system of just distribution of resources. OMG that means Herzl was wrong! Jews don’t need a state of their own and they can co-exist with Gentiles without controlling the purse or becoming bomb throwing Bolshevik revolutionaries!

        she is a Zionist, and wants to cross Jordan river.

        Nonsense. She only mentions the five maps in her book in passing to illustrate that there was no fixed permanent place called Israel in ancient times- and she only does that to say that those old national myths and desires should not be imposed on the modern landscape. She goes on to discuss northern Israel in ancient times as a model, not the East Bank of the Jordan or Mesopotamia. She notes that, in ancient times, various population groups shared the land. If that’s advocating Zionism, I’ll kiss your ass.

      • eGuard on January 3, 2012, 8:00 am

        If only she was as precise and correct as you are.

        Balfour wrote “national home for the jewish people” and about “nothing shall be done which may prejudice the […] rights of existing non-Jewish communities”. This was the British Foreign Secretary writing in 1917. It fully covers her own suggestion to strive for a mixed peoples region. And it is British. Now in her story (British drawn borders are problem borders) this doesn’t add up, and she left it out.

        Peel and Woodward made proposals not promises for two (possible) states, in the 1930s. While she does say, at 6.40, that the British made such “promises” “during WWI” (so I think here you are wrong). I do mind her being this incorrect in a topic she wrote a book about.

        Hostage, So Jordan and Mesopotamia are no longer relevant you conclude in a paragraph, and convincingly. But it is not what she claims. She claims to talk about the “Middle East”, sometimes zooms in into Jordan valley, then flips to the subregion with the “Eastern” border of Jordan river. First of all, her flipping between regions lacks good reasoning. Now, if she wants to erase Jordan river as a border, how can she leave out of view the Eastern side of that border (say the Eastern Jordan valley, in Jordan) ? This is way too sloppy reasoning by the professor. And I am not convinced that her book will be more clear.

        If I understand her well, she wants to get rid of those borders that delimit national projections (Jordan river foremost). Then there are no borders to fight or negotiate about: problem solved! Meanwhile she wants to keep national aspirations and claims on areas. These areas might well be across the Jordan, because that is not a border any more. But not a single word on how these areas (which of course have borders and are based on national principles) are governed. Just live together, as her bible wrote, is all she says.

        The “resource needs” are looked after, there will be “enfranchisement of Palestinians and a system of a just distribution of the resources”. So this is what should convince Arabs and Palestinians to jump in? She only uses a religious bible (her chair) as a base for inter/national law, and from there projects a general ruling on those who do not live with that bible. Apart from rejecting those British borders, and introducing “Palestinians” and “needs” by herself, she does not step out of her religious bookshelf to test or improve her own idea.

        And the easiest chapter she could have written, she forgot. At this moment there is a country that already has multiple people and religions, a country that has declared not its borders. Partly based on laws from the bible she knows so well, including those on nationalistic governed areas within those non-borders. Easily fluiding into neighboring areas, already across Jordan river as she proposes, though not allowing people flowing in the other direction. That country, professor Havrelock, is Israel. Why do you propose a solution that already failed in real life?

      • Hostage on January 3, 2012, 11:18 am

        Balfour wrote “national home for the jewish people” and about “nothing shall be done which may prejudice the […] rights of existing non-Jewish communities”. This was the British Foreign Secretary writing in 1917. It fully covers her own suggestion to strive for a mixed peoples region.

        Hardly, 25 years later the UNSCOP and several British Commissions had concluded that the the term “National Home” had no meaning in international law:

        “The notion of the National Home, which derived from the formulation of Zionist aspirations in the 1897 Basle program has provoked many discussions concerning its meaning, scope and legal character, especially since it has no known legal connotation and there are no precedents in international law for its interpretation. See paragraph 141, of the UNSCOP Report to the General Assembly, A/364, 3 September 1947

        The President of the Privy Council charged with handling the Government’s policy in 1917 had been Lord Curzon. He wrote a memo a few days before the Balfour Declaration was issued explaining that the meaning of that phrase was unknown and subject to several different interpretations:

        I am only interested in the more immediately practical questions :—
        (a.) What is the meaning of the phrase “a National Home for the Jewish Race in Palestine,” and what is the nature of the obligation that we shall assume if we accept this as a principle of British policy ?

        If I seek guidance from the latest collection of circulated papers (The Zionist Movement, G.-164). I find a fundamental disagreement among the authorities quoted there as to the scope and nature of their aim. A ” National Home for the Jewish race or people ” would seem, if the words are to bear their ordinary meaning, to imply a place where the Jews can be reassembled as a nation, and where they will enjoy the privileges of an independent, national existence. Such is clearly the conception of those who, like Sir A. Mond, speak of the creation in Palestine of ” an autonomous Jewish State,” words which appear to contemplate a State, i.e., a political entity, composed of Jews, governed by Jews, and administered mainly in the interests of Jews. Such a State might naturally be expected to have a capital, a form of government, and institutions of its own. It would possess the soil or the greater part of the soil of the country. It would take its place among the smaller nations of the earth. The same conception appears to underlie several other of the phrases employed in these papers, e.g., when we are told that Palestine is to become ” a home for the Jewish nation,” ” a national home for the Jewish race,” ” a Jewish Palestine,” and when we read of ” the resettlement of Palestine as a national centre,” and “the restoration of
        Palestine to the Jewish people.” All these phrases are variants of the same idea, viz., the recreation of Palestine as it was before the days of the dispersion.

        On the other hand, Lord Rothschild, when he speaks of Palestine as ” a home
        where the Jews could speak their own language, have their own education, their own civilisation, and religious institutions under the protection of Allied Governments,” seems to postulate a much less definite form of political existence, one, indeed, which is quite compatible with the existence of an alien (so long as it is not a Turkish) Government.

        At the other extreme the late Lord Cromer, who favoured the Zionist cause,
        explains that the resuscitated Palestine is only to be “the spiritual centre of the Jews” and a reservoir of Jewish culture—aspirations which are wholly different from those which I have just recorded, and which appear to be incompatible with the evolution of a comparatively small and for the most part agricultural or pastoral community.

        I call attention to these contradictions because they suggest some hesitancy in
        espousing a cause whose advocates have such very different ideas of what they mean.

        But I must proceed further to point out that, whichever interpretation we adopt, Palestine would appear to be incapacitated by physical and other conditions from ever becoming in any real sense the national home of the Jewish people. That people numbers, we are told, about 12,000,000, scattered in all parts of the world. Of this total 9 millions are in Europe (including 6 millions in Russia) and 2 millions in North America. The number in the United Kingdom is 245,000 ; the number already in Palestine was, before the war, 125,000. Now what is the capacity as regards population of Palestine within any reasonable period of time?

        http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/documentsonline/details-result.asp?queryType=1&resultcount=1&Edoc_Id=7956494
        Former Reference: GT 2406
        Title: The Future of Palestine.
        Author: Curzon
        Date 26 October 1917
        Catalogue reference CAB 24/30

        The Prof doesn’t even mention the Balfour declaration or attempt to parse it. You’ve repeatedly dragged it into the conversation and ignored the maps in the video and the discussion of northern Israel to go off on a tangent about Jordan and Iraq. She only discusses Palestine and Israel.

        Peel and Woodward made proposals not promises for two (possible) states,

        Weizmann cited assurances from David Lloyd George and Balfour that by using the phrase Jewish national home, they had always meant a State. For example, the Weizmann papers record a meeting in Balfour’s house in London
        on July 22, 1921 in which Lloyd George and Balfour had both agreed ‘that by the Declaration they had always meant an eventual Jewish State’ – and Llloyd George confirmed that. So there were British promises of a State behind the agendas of these Royal Commissions, but there were always key members of the Cabinets who were opposed to the plans.

        The Peel Commission had officially proposed partition. The Zionist Congress turned down the offer, but resolved “to carry on negotiations in order to clarify the exact substance of the British government’s proposal for the foundation of a Jewish state in Palestine.” The so-called Woodhead Commission was officially named the “Palestine Partition Commission” and it was dispatched to consult the wishes of the inhabitants in that connection. It was given an official mandate to examine the Peel Commission plan in detail, in order “to recommend boundaries for the proposed Arab and Jewish areas and the enclaves to be retained permanently or temporarily under British Mandate” So there was every reason to expect there would be a partition.

      • philweiss on January 3, 2012, 11:21 am

        Hostage: Thanks again. We’re fortunate you are spending your mental energies here.. Phil

      • annie on January 3, 2012, 11:59 am

        ditto what phil said. invaluable contributions hostage.

      • Hostage on January 3, 2012, 12:25 pm

        The “resource needs” are looked after, there will be “enfranchisement of Palestinians and a system of a just distribution of the resources”. So this is what should convince Arabs and Palestinians to jump in?

        (sarcasm) No they should reject enfranchisement and a system of a just distribution of the resources and flagellate themselves while watching their neighbors relax around their swimming pools through the separation fence. (/sarcasm)

        She only uses a religious bible (her chair) as a base for inter/national law,

        You keep making that claim, when everyone else here has heard her repeatedly say she wants to toss those religious myths and national aspirations out the window. She only uses the example of ancient northern Israel, also known as Galilee of the Nations or Gentiles to illustrate that during that period there were no borders between the peoples who shared the land. She never suggested that Jews can immigrate to Jordan or Iraq that’s your psychosis. If anything she suggested that we look at who actually lives there.

    • Hostage on January 1, 2012, 7:59 pm

      I like pieces like that: folks moved from feudal yoke of Caliphate to enlightened British Empire experience — tada! — liberation.

      I was actually pointing out that the communities of Arab Palestine and Transjordan had the right of self-determination without interference from the League of Arab States or UN. But since you mention it, the Ottoman’s had no intention of creating provisionally independent states, subject to a short period of tutelage or otherwise.

      The League of Nations adopted several resolutions rejecting territorial aggrandizement and which explained that the mandates were not part of either the French or British Empire. By 1948 all of the mandates in Ottoman Asia were officially terminated.

      Anyway, I think that there is a wrong way to read the information so graciously provided by Prof. Havelock and a good way, but one should not doubt that she knows the topic.

      Obviously, but she is proposing that we no longer project these [Zionist and Arab] national desires and national myths onto the existing landscape.

    • Hostage on January 1, 2012, 8:11 pm

      Where is Wilderness of Zin?

      It’s supposedly the place where Moses behaved badly and God decided that he would not be allowed to enter the Promised Land. It’s northern boundary is the southern “going out” of Eretz Israel. So naturally enough, the Zionists demanded that the whole thing, and the remainder of the Negev south of Beersheba, be added to the territory of the State of Israel. It’s supposedly located a few kilometers from Ben Gurion’s final resting place in Sde Boker.

      • RoHa on January 1, 2012, 9:15 pm

        Hostage, I thought the Wilderness of Zin was a bit to the left of there.

      • Hostage on January 2, 2012, 2:00 am

        Hostage, I thought the Wilderness of Zin was a bit to the left of there.

        Hell if I’d know, but here is a photo which claims it is “A view of Nachal Tzin in the Negev desert (the Tzin river, canyon wadi) as seen from David Ben Gurion tomb in kibbutz Sde Boker, Israel.” http://www.redbubble.com/people/eyalna/works/634252-nahal-zin-sde-boker

      • piotr on January 1, 2012, 9:46 pm

        “So naturally enough …”

        I am not sure if you are joining me in making light on mythology or not. Since the Wilderness of Zin was to the extreme south of Eretz Israel, it stands to reason that the territory to the south of it is not so it is nothing natural about adding Negev to the State of Israel.

        As far as “liberation of Palestine” is concerned, something has to give. Either the British conquered it for the benefit of outsiders to whom they made some promises, or intended to create a temporary regime for the benefit of the inhabitants. In the spirit of compromise they tried both. The plot is quite tangled, so just check where it was not: Iraq. They even used poison gas on the recalcitrant tribesmen to affect their liberation. Sublime Porta was usually more sublime than that.

      • Hostage on January 2, 2012, 1:51 am

        I am not sure if you are joining me in making light on mythology or not.

        Yes.

        it stands to reason that the territory to the south of it is not so it is nothing natural about adding Negev to the State of Israel.

        It stands to reason that if Moses was facing Jericho, on top Mt. Nebo, and gazing out on the entire Promised Land, that the Euphrates river in Iraq was somewhere in the distance behind him. “So naturally enough …” the moniker “Revisionists” was well-deserved.

        As far as “liberation of Palestine” is concerned, something has to give. Either the British conquered it

        The “British” didn’t liberate the portion of Palestine lying east of the Jordan. That territory was liberated by the Arabs themselves. The were fighting under the command of Faisal in accordance with their own unilateral declaration of independence. The British were only the mandatory authority for the League of Nations. The Permanent Mandate Commission of the League of Nations did supervise and condemn the French and British assaults and bombardments of civilian areas. The other member nations of the League pressured the international community to scrap the mandates altogether and they intervened on behalf of the people of the mandates. See for example the use of the compromissory clause in the cases of South West Africa (Ethiopia v. South Africa) joined with South West Africa (Liberia v. South Africa) http://www.icj-cij.org/docket/index.php?p1=3&p2=3&k=f2&case=46

        So Great Britain didn’t have a free hand.

  13. eGuard on January 1, 2012, 6:48 pm

    I have listened to the video, multiple times. I have transcribed major lines of interest below, and added some notes.

    Three general notes:
    – Havrelock mixes up related terms at will, and so useful to her arguments. For example, she states that the British wanted to export oil to Europe. British are not that stupid. But by the process she smears Europe with her British Cause of Evil by Drawing Lines.
    She mixes:

    British — European — colonial
    Arabs — Islamic — Palestinian
    Jewish — Zionist — Israeli
    Jew — Zionist — Israeli
    Middle East — Region (Israel and Occupied Palestine) — Region (Israel, Jordan, Occupied Palestine, Syria) — Region (now including Persian Gulf States/oil)

    – She habitually puts “Arab and Jewish nationalists” together opposite the British/Europeans (see also 1.33).

    – Author/filmer David Zlutnick left out two gaffes I noticed (A gaffe, in politics, is when someone accidentally speaks truth).

    0.24: How did this Jordan River end up as a contested border by Israelis and Palestinians? No State of Jordan involved then in this dispute. So their side of the Jordan border must be undisputed (See also 2.35).

    0.41: The British ousted them [the Ottoman empire] in WWI. Havrelock starts her reading only after WWI (see also 6.55). While in fact, everything she proposes re non-borders and coexistence existed during centuries of Ottoman rule.

    1.01: These nation states that we talk about today (Iraq, Syria, Jordan, Israel, Lebanon) are ultimately products of these European discussions. Agree. Note that Israel is in the list. Israel is a European enterprise.

    1.14: The most important driving force [for the European or British handling of the ME] was the burgeoning oil economy. Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, Israel: no oil. Nowhere does she even hint on why or how their borders, especially the booktitle Jordan river, relate to this oil thing.

    1.33: During this period of time [aftermath of WWI] Jewish as well as Arab nationalists disseminated geographic ideas, political systems, …. Jewish nationalists (aka Zionists) operated from Europe in every sense. The were part of the British/European/colonial powers.

    1.58: When the British drew the lines, including the Eastern [sic] border at the Jordan river. I thought she was talking about the Middle East region. But now she flips back to a subregion for which Jordan river is an Eastern border. What about the subregion for whom it is a Western border? (Gaffe, not in the transcript)

    2.05: Arab as well as Jewish nationalists became very certain about where their desired homeland lay. Yes. Until then Arabs did not know where they were living. The British had to point that out for them.

    2.12: It’s neither the bible, nor Islamic traditions.
    Yes. Since Islamics cannot read or write, they only have tradition, you know.

    2.35: And so these [British drawn] borders became the ones that are so contested and so sensitive within the I/P conflict.
    It was the British who introduced the “contested borders”? What actually are contested borders in I/P: Jordan river (Brit made), partition 1947 (not Brit), Green Line (not Brit), Golan (not Brit), Apartheid Barrier (not Brit), Gaza prison (not Brit)?

    2.50: The Zionists in 1919 drew a map [of biblical Israel] that in the East went to the Hijaz Railway [running North-South Damascus-Medina, approx 10-20 mi (25 km) East of Jordan river].
    I am getting your point.

    3.25: [1921, British draw the Jordan border] and the mainstream Zionist movement drops the East bank tradition.
    And Havrelock wrote this book to recover that area.

    3.57: This imperial construction ultimately determined the national aspirations of Jews (or Israelis) and Palestinians.
    “Jews or Israelis” – just call them Zionists please. It is an insult to Jews, and to Israelis who have Palestinian nationalist aspirations.

    4.35: I propose a regional approach.
    Sometimes she does. Other times, she does local approaches. Or Zionist approaches. Whatever. Best to read as a warning: “Zionists are approaching the whole region”

    4.53: stopping [with old nationalistic approach] and actually looking, who lives there and where they are [sic] and what their resource needs are.
    She introduces “resource needs” (see also 5.45). What, wherefrom is this? Last time “needs” were used, it was by Israel in the Clinton negotiations (Israel liked to talk about Palestinian needs, not Palestinian rights).
    Also, why does she say this? It is wholly out of the context she put up so grandiose. I cannot read anything else but a payoff to peoples she wants to live “peacefully” together “side by side” with Jews. But let’s not pay too much.

    5.00: Instead of aspiring a fixed separate Israel of a fixed separate Palestine [spoken spittingly], let’s admit, it’s a fluid place with all kinds of population mixtures, […] people are living side by side in the same place.
    Population mixtures, sure. Her solution is already practiced by Zionists. And exactly those Zionists, and only they, after centuries of Ottoman coexistence, started the unmixing of people. It’s Nakba, Apartheid, Havrelock.

    5.45: Full enfranchisement of Palestinians and a system of a just distribution of the resources.
    “resources” given to Palestinians. If they ask nice? Oh, by the way, will the Jordanians get anything when you cross the river?

    6.15: Borders are the construct of British Empire to help get oil to Europe.
    Britains getting oil to Europe? Why would they? It should go to Britain. (Interestingly, Britain invaded Iraq in 1914 – 1914 I say — to prevent the Germans from getting the oil. Expect or add the name Churchill when googling)

    6.44: The British during WWI made grand promises to Jewish as well as Arab nationalists.

    6.55: So that they [the British] could maintain these promises for a Jewish state and a Palestinian state.
    A “Jewish state”? Read the 130 words Balfour wrote. Promises for a Palestinian state? This must be why she is laughing and grinning all the interview through. (Gaffe, not in the transcript).

    7.02: Partition didn’t work in 1938, 1947, it brings us to the occupation from the 1967 war.

    7.26: That [1990s-on US investments in I/P] did not relieve the burden of the occupation on the Palestinians, that did nothing to assuage Israeli fear of being under attack.
    Israeli “fear of being under attack”. What a victims they are. Having to invent and keep up a fear – occupying is not that easy.

    7.56: Ancient Israel was very fluid.
    Yes it was.

    8.53: [disavowing] the idea of a discrete land that ends at the Jordan river.
    See the Irgun flag.

    • annie on January 1, 2012, 10:35 pm

      ok. i listened to it again. here are my notes:

      “what i am proposing is no longer projecting these national myths onto the landscape” 4:45…..” looking at who lives there and what their resource needs are.”

      full enfranchisement of palestinians 5:50 system of just distribution…suspend the mythological and scale it back

      at 7:44 the graphic changes while the map changes from the cut out of the WB to a one full state/region. she says “think of something else, we cannot keep recycling this notion which was a bad idea to begin with.

      then at the end when she talks about the “traditions of co existence of’ jerusalem have as much root in the bible as the military movement of the wars.

      ..i like this idea. 10:54 i like her, a lot. i would take a class from her anytime. anytime.

      eguard, i think you have fear which is normal. but i am not hearing any indication she is trying to consolidate the region for israel’s hegemony. it’s just not there. she’s proposing an opening mind approach and, at the end of the video , saying the traditions of co existence are biblically documented.

      • iamuglow on January 2, 2012, 1:26 am

        Annie, those are nice ideas but couldn’t they be achieved within the river to sea boundaries of a 1ss? The more I think of it I think that is the key to understanding where her ideas are coming from…Its a 1ss that assuages the fear of the Israelis.

        Worried about what Israel would look like if millions of refugees returned under the right of return?…solution, expand the Jordan border to incorporate those refugees so they can stay where they are.

        Worried about what a democracy in Israel with a Palestenian majority 1ss? Solution come up with a regional state and gerrymander it so that the greenline Israelis can keep their majority in their area.

        Worried about Israels undefensible borders and peace treaties with its neighbors? Incorporate those neighbors into your regional state.

        This idea of moving the Jordan border or creating a regional state seems to me a solution to an Israeli problem of dealing with the 1ss btwn the river and sea.

        Why would the other states want to give up their borders to make Israelis feel secure? If this benifits the Arabs, have Jordan/Syria/Lebanon ever floated their idea of erasing their border amongst themselves? Is it any more valid for an American to be redrawing the borders of the ME than it was for the British doing it for oil interest?

        A border being on the Jordan river is not the cause of whats happened(ing) to the Palestenians.

    • Hostage on January 2, 2012, 12:50 am

      she states that the British wanted to export oil to Europe. British are not that stupid.

      That’s pretty odd because the British and French were partners in the Turkish Petroleum Company that ran a pipeline from Iraq to the port city of Haifa in Palestine and exported oil to Europe.

      James A. Paul wrote:

      During the Versailles Peace Conference, British Prime Minister David Lloyd George and his French counterpart Georges Clemenceau nearly came to blows over Mesopotamian (Iraqi) oil, according to eyewitness accounts. US President Wooddrow Wilson apparently intervened and only barely restrained them. Finally, in the secret San Remo Agreement of 1920, the two rivals agreed to give Britain political control over all Mespoltamia, in return for France taking over the German quarter share in the Turkish Petroleum Company. See Great Power Conflict over Iraqi Oil: the World War I Era

      http://dspace.cigilibrary.org/jspui/bitstream/123456789/22205/1/Great%20Power%20Conflict%20Over%20Iraqi%20Oil.pdf?1

      The San Remo agreement allowed the British to control all of the territory along the proposed route of the pipeline. So the borders between the French and British mandates were adjusted afterward to permit that. Territory was added to Palestine in the northern Galilee. The San Remo Conference was mainly devoted to the negotiations over the oil fields in Mesopotamia and the route of the pipeline to the Mediterranean, not to the allocation of mandates. Volume 1 of the League of Nations Yearbook reported that:

      “France and Great Britain signed, at Paris on December 23, 1920, a compact, intended to settle finally “the problems raised by the attribution to Great Britain of the mandates for Mesopotamia and Palestine, and by the attribution to France of the mandate over Syria and the Lebanon, all three conferred by the Supreme Council at San Remo. By this treaty a portion of southern Syria, bordering upon Palestine, is transferred from France to Great Britain. One reason for this transfer appears in this paragraph:

      “The French Government consents to the nomination of a special commission, which, after having examined the ground, may readjust the frontier line in the valley of the Yarmuk as far as Nasib in such a manner as to render possible the construction of a British railway and pipe line connecting Palestine with the Hedjaz railway and the valley of the Euphrates, and running entirely within the limits of the areas under the British mandate.

      “The new frontier includes enough of the Syrian mountain country to enable England to give Palestine a water supply. On the other hand France obtains a share of the Mesopotamian oil lands, and a promise from England not to cede or dispose of Cyprus without the consent of France.

      http://books.google.com/books?id=MwOtAAAAMAAJ&pg=PA61#v=onepage&q&f=false

      0.24: How did this Jordan River end up as a contested border by Israelis and Palestinians? No State of Jordan involved then in this dispute. So their side of the Jordan border must be undisputed (See also 2.35).

      In 1923 when the Treaty of Lausanne was signed, the text of Article 25 of the Palestine mandate still read: In the territories lying between the Jordan and the eastern boundary of Palestine as ultimately determined“. So all of the East Bank communities of Transjordan were inside the eastern boundary of a thing called “Palestine”. They and their West Bank brethren had strenuously objected along with the Syrian General Congress to the idea that it was not part of Feisal’s Kingdom of Syria or that it might be included in a Jewish national home. In 1925 a pair of international court decisions ruled that Palestine and Transjordan were separate states. In 1928 a Citizenship Ordinance retroactively made the habitual residents citizens of Transjordan by operation of law, but up until that time they had been considered Palestinians in accordance with the Palestine-Order-In-Council. In modern times the Palestinians, Jordanians, and Israelis have still not agreed on the final status of the water rights or sovereignty over the Jordan valley. So it’s fair to say its was, and still is contested.

      0.41: The British ousted them [the Ottoman empire] in WWI. Havrelock starts her reading only after WWI (see also 6.55). While in fact, everything she proposes re non-borders and coexistence existed during centuries of Ottoman rule.

      The Jordan river and the Dead Sea had been used previously for demarcating the Ottoman era border between the Vilayet of Syria (aka Damascus) and the Sanjak or Mutesarrifiyyet of Jerusalem. The post-war OETAs continued to be defined in terms of the former Ottoman divisions. Lord Curzon’s natural hydraulic boundary had formed the western limits of the Vilayet of Damascus:

      The western boundary of Damascus before the war was a line bisecting the lakes Huleh and Tiberias; following the course of the Jordan, bisecting the Dead Sea: and following the Wadi Araba to the Gulf of Aqaba … Palestine itself west of the Jordan was specifically excluded from these territories by Sir Henry McMahon’s letter of 24th October, lying as it does to the west of the District of Damascus

      See Suzanne Lalonde, Determining Boundaries in a Conflicted World: The Role of Uti Possidetis, McGill-Queen’s Press, 2002, pages 96-97 http://books.google.com/books?id=x7qEqVpq9poC&lpg=PA96&ots=42Rd87vylD&pg=PA96#v=onepage&q&f=false

      I could go on, but you should get the general idea by now.

      • eGuard on January 3, 2012, 9:31 am

        I get the idea by now. I stand corrected (I) that the borders were drawn by oil interests, even in the western part of the ME for the Mosul-Haifa pipeline corridor, and by European powers. The corridor is visible in the maps, the part of Jordan protruding eastwards to Iraq. And I stand corrected (II) that areas East of Jordan river were part of a “Palestine” by British drawn borders, and that Jordan river was used as one in Ottoman times (III).

        This main point stays: Havrelock suggests repeatedly that only the post-WWI, British drawn line in Jordan river is the source of nationalistic ideas. But even right after WWI, Zionism was a force that created nationalism, and it did so from Europe as a colonizing idea. She keeps putting “Jewish and Arab nationalists” together, as if they were on one side of the table opposing WWI Powers. Jewish nationalism came from Europe, not from the Jordan border. It is colonial. Irgun has Jordan river in its flag, both banks and the Mosul-Haifa oil corridor crossing. Jewish nationalism is not born by the Jordan border.

        So she asks: How did this Jordan River end up as a contested border by Israelis and Palestinians. And: And so these [British drawn] borders became the ones that are so contested and so sensitive within the I/P conflict. But no, the prepositions are not correct. Especially Jordan river, her book title, is not. As Hostages details point out, it is contested indeed as a border, but elsewhere in a minor fashion. It is not part of I/P. Actually, she herself says both peoples are on the same side of the river. Why she does not refer to borders like Green Line, Apartheid Wall, Gaza Strip nor West Bank borders as being “contested” and “sensitive” to prove and illustrate her point we do not know.

        Another problem that arises from her approach (and, I might add, by us looking only at the post-WWI documents and negotiations) is that she skips some 90 years of other developments. As if, aside from British drawing their lines and ultimately leaving, nothing happened. No UN 1947 partition, no 1967 war, no Golan Heights, no West Bank, no settlements: nothing else made borders contested or fueled nationalism. And, by referring to biblical times, she skips another few millennia in which nothing happened. So, there is only bible time, Mandate time, Today.

        As I noted elsewhere here, she suggests to drop the borders, but not the nations. Then, its going eastwards (not westwards). And all this on biblical reading.

      • Hostage on January 3, 2012, 1:57 pm

        eGuard, I think you are trying to read things into what she said that simply are not there.

  14. annie on January 1, 2012, 11:20 pm

    i’d like to personally thank David Zlutnick for bringing Rachel Havrelock to my attention.

    more than anything i think we need to look for solutions outside if the ‘regular’ framing we’ve been accustomed to. it isn’t working. we don’t need to stick with it. we have to find trust and be creative with a kind of trust (meaning believing we, the majority in this discourse) in eachother that will allow us to transcend the history of those who came before us. to grasp they failed and passed it on to us. we can either choose to pass this on to our descendants or we can tackle it. now.

    it will take the best of the best of us but we have to start somewhere and i know it is hard to throw out lost causes where lots has been invested. we have to throw out oslo. we have to throw out the 2 state (sorry norm, i love you but i think the recent ej thing makes it very clear what’s going down) and face the future with a new mental approach.

    the leaders here (and i think havrelock is a leader) are thus far unrecognized. think outside the box. in my/our lifetime, let’s solve this because we can do it. build pressure, add brilliant minds, find a way. find. a. way.

  15. Walid on January 2, 2012, 11:58 am

    Since this is about borders,it was announced by Israel that it will be erecting a separation wall between itself and Lebanon at the border between the the Israeli settlement of Metula and Lebanon’s Kfar Kila where Taxi went a few weeks back (at Fatima’s Gate) to symbolically throw stones at the bad guys. Israel didn’t say if the wall would cover the full 50 miles of the border. There’s also talk that Israel wants to put up a wall at its border with Jordan. With the wall on the West Bank, another at Gaza and another being completed at the border with Egypt, it’s no wonder these guys are paranoid.

  16. eGuard on January 3, 2012, 7:11 pm

    A note about the interview/transcript edits by David Zlutnik.

    I’ve seen most of the video multiple times. Read some of her published pages. Only now I’ve read Zlutniks “edited transcription”. To me, his transcription does not sound like her story on the video. Like something in between is missing. Or added.

    Why is the title here changed into Israel’s mythological borders? The book’s title is quite different, and if the title be changed, it should better be about “biblical borders”. Anyway, the book is called River Jordan: The Mythology of a Dividing Line. I think introducing “Israel” into the title does not help the interview as a clarifying intro. It might help sales though.

    She wrote, 2007: “My Home is Over Jordan: River as Border in Israeli and Palestinian National Mythology” — Don’t expect people be allowed to cross Home Over Jordan river westward though. That’s not her thing.

    2009: “Pioneers and Refugees: Arabs and Jews in the Jordan River Valley” — Sounds like another Joan Peters try for “Arabs just migrated there”. Like, a river without people for peoples without a river.

    Anyway, her chapters should be well-versed by now. Enter the interviewer/transcript editor.

    Factually: he does not write about her “Eastern border” gaffe. On video, when talking about the ME region, in her talk and mind Jordan river is about an Eastern border (i.e. the Israeli/West Bank border, but not the State of Jordan border to which it is a Western border). While Jordan valley is about as much as her professoral chair. So far for her “regional” “stateless” thinking. The editor left this out, unchallenged. Also factually, she says Britain “promised” two states “during WWI”, quad non. He left this out unchallenged.

    Rachel Havrelock (RH): How is it that in both Israeli and Palestinian national traditions that the Jordan is a central border that seems to define […]. Huh?

    Allow me to comment. How is it that in both Israeli [who what? Not Jews/Jewish? Palestinians included? Arabs included?] and Palestinian [no Arabs included this time?] national traditions [both Israeli an Palestine national aspirations are only some hundred years old, sure you do not mean say Jewish and Muslim?] that the Jordan is a central border [a “central border”? Is not a “border-border”? Now was it central, or was it a border? For Irgun Jordan river was central and NOT a border. For RH, Jordan river is, by her POV, the “Eastern border”] that seems to define […]. Glad the interviewer clarified this.

    Well again and again and again: this river, being a border or not, did not define any nationality she mentions in her book and will mention in her life. Even to her it is the current EASTERN border of a land she wants to eh see expanded freely. The interviewer should have clarified this. Start asking questions, don’t manipulate the transcription.

    Transcript: RH about European anti-Semitism ca 1900 (pogroms, Dreyfus). Not in the video. Does not support her biblical claims about Jordan river and borders and national aspirations.

    Not transcript, not video: not asked nor written a single word about Palestinian or Arab national aspirations.

    People of Los Angeles, take care. There is something with the bread you are given here.

    • Hostage on January 3, 2012, 7:45 pm

      “My Home is Over Jordan: River as Border in Israeli and Palestinian National Mythology” — Don’t expect people be allowed to cross Home Over Jordan river westward though. That’s not her thing.

      In Israeli mythology the children of Israel entered Eretz Israel by crossing over the Jordan river. In the video she says “We as Americans . . .”, so the title is descriptive of Palestinian and Israeli myths, not her beliefs about reality.

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