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Remnick says Gingrich has been reading 1984 ‘propaganda tract’ Wiesel, Peretz and Bellow fell for

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This is good. David Remnick at the New Yorker has used the Gingrich moment re Palestinian national identity to recall the controversy over From Time Immemorial, the Joan Peters fabrication of the 1980s. I imagine this is the first time Remnick has treated this important lie; so the piece is a worthy act of the Jewish recovery movement, our discovery of the Nakba 6 decades on. Remnick should have also credited Norman Finkelstein with his brave work on Peters. That was very tactical of Remnick–though he has spent some of his cultural capital by blaming Elie Wiesel, Martin Peretz, Saul Bellow and Lucy Dawidowicz for falling for the lie. Also note the use of the word “colonial.” Henry Siegman also used this word recently.

And, because Gingrich has a little learning and a darkly sophisticated memory for intellectual battle, he catered to his cause by employing the word “invented.” In this context, the word summons a 1984 bestseller that was once totemic on the Jewish right (and still is, for some): “From Time Immemorial: The Origins of the Arab-Jewish Conflict Over Palestine,” by Joan Peters.

Peters, who was not a historian, put forward a purportedly scholarly construction based on the notion, as Golda Meir famously put it, that there is “no such thing as a Palestinian people.” The book, which is an ideological tract disguised as history, made the demographic argument that most people who call themselves Palestinians have short roots in the territory and are Arabs who came from elsewhere. It suggests that the territory that is now Israel was all but “uninhabited” before the Zionist movement began. It was a book that implicitly made the argument that Palestine was a tabula rasa waiting for its Jewish revival; or, as the old slogan had it: “a land without a people for a people without a land.”

The book was not only a commercial success; it also won plaudits from Saul Bellow, Barbara Tuchman, Martin Peretz, Theodore H. White, Lucy Dawidowicz, Arthur Goldberg, and Elie Wiesel. For a time, it was wielded as a means to dismiss Palestinian claims on the land, and a means to be dismissive of Palestinians entirely. The book was thoroughly discredited by an Israeli historian, Yehoshua Porath, and many others who dismantled its pseudo-scholarship. Even some right-wing critics, like Daniel Pipes, who initially reviewed the book positively, later admitted that Peters’s work was shoddy and “ignores inconvenient facts.”

To this day, however, for some people who cannot accept, or even deal rationally with, the claims of Palestinians, “From Time Immemorial” and other such propaganda still have their place. Never mind that Peters fails to use Arab sources and that her work is full of distortions. Hers is a book with clear polemical purpose: to deny Palestinian Arabs an identity and any territorial claim; it makes the case that the Arabs in question should instead live in Jordan. (It should also go without saying that radical and bigoted polemicists on the other side of the Arab-Israeli dispute have their own pseudo-scholarship—their own numbing, often anti-Semitic, tracts—which make the case that Israel, and the Jewish people, are alien and have no claim on the land.)

Those who value books like “From Time Immemorial,” those who talk as Gingrich has, fail to ask how they, as Americans, can dismiss Palestinians as “an invented people” when national self-invention is a reality for Americans and countless others on the globe. Palestinian nationalism may be historically recent and, in some measure, a reaction to Zionism, but that does not discount its legitimacy, its cultural cohesion and meaning, or its claims. There are many recent nationalisms—many nationalisms that grew out of regional conflicts or colonial borders.

The full piece says that the Republicans are after Jewish voters. A synecdoche that is becoming more and more irresponsible.

Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is senior editor of Mondoweiss.net and founded the site in 2005-06.

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41 Responses

  1. Avi_G. on December 12, 2011, 10:29 am

    (It should also go without saying that radical and bigoted polemicists on the other side of the Arab-Israeli dispute have their own pseudo-scholarship—their own numbing, often anti-Semitic, tracts—which make the case that Israel, and the Jewish people, are alien and have no claim on the land.)

    What a loaded and useless statement. To what extent? Be specific, David Remnick. Israelis ARE alien to the land in the sense that most Jews moved to Israel for the Zionist project.

    Besides, how exactly can you claim that there IS in fact a case for THE Jewish people to have claim on the land? By what virtue? By virtue of merely being Jewish?
    If that is the assertion then you are nothing but another ‘liberal’ Zionist.

    So if that’s the level of intellectual honesty one can expect from you, David Remnick, then it’s not far fetched to presume that your entire defense of Palestinians is couched in a convenient exercise to perpetuate the myth created by Zionist colonialism.

    Next time you attempt to make comparisons, make them between apples and apples, not apples and oranges. Your it-goes-both-ways shtick is fundamentally flawed.

    • philweiss on December 12, 2011, 11:04 am

      thanks Avi! and yes he is a liberal Zionist, but he probably imbibed For Time Immemorial himself as a young un

      • Avi_G. on December 12, 2011, 12:28 pm

        Philip Weiss says:
        December 12, 2011 at 11:04 am

        thanks Avi! and yes he is a liberal Zionist, but he probably imbibed For Time Immemorial himself as a young un

        Well, ideology is like a grudge. If one holds on to it long enough, it ends up destroying him/her. Sometimes it’s best to forgive and forget. So perhaps it’s time Remnick moved on by embracing a new paradigm.

  2. Richard Witty on December 12, 2011, 10:33 am

    “Hers is a book with clear polemical purpose: to deny Palestinian Arabs an identity and any territorial claim; it makes the case that the Arabs in question should instead live in Jordan. ”

    This is the important point, the money shot.

    And, it applies to the Gingrich quote, though Gingrich’s objectives are more passively supportive of imagined likud position.

    The history though is somewhere in between the Palestinian assertion of “we were always there” and the Peters/Gingrich assertion “they were never there”.

    The land was not vacant, and it was not fully occupied. There was room, or else the land would be able to hold the numbers even of Palestinians that are there. The population of the land is 10-fold what it was in 1947.

    There was room for immigrants, for natural population growth of both Jewish and Palestinian population.

    Also, the assertions of immigration to the land are largely true. Many Arabs DID migrate to Israel/Palestine as the economic prospects improved, and as the Turkish and then British land registration laws made it more difficult for squatting Arab/Palestinian peasants.

    Also, the assertions of national identity are largely true. Prior, the majority of residents did identify as part of the Arab nation, the Arab world, of which Palestine was a changing jurisdiction.

    The present though is clear. There is a Palestinian people (even if forged in relation to Israel’s formation). And, now with the great work of Abbas and Fayyad and many others, there are now coherent and functional Palestinian national institutions.

    • Mooser on December 12, 2011, 11:20 am

      “There is a Palestinian people (even if forged in relation to Israel’s formation).”

      Aww, isn’t that nice of you, Witty! You know, it’s pretty obvious where Witty is going. All Mondoweiss has to do is let him know that he will be banned, and will have to go back to writing on his own blog, and he’ll be an anti-Zionist before you can shake a schtick.

    • Woody Tanaka on December 12, 2011, 11:20 am

      I have to assume that if Witty were not a Jew, he would find himself, one day, saying, “Of course the Protocols of the Elders of Zion is false. But let’s look at the facts…” and then go one to assert that many of the assertions are, nevertheless, “largely true.”

      Fail.

  3. DanMazella on December 12, 2011, 10:51 am

    Why is Philip silent on the plight of the Coptics? Watch this testimony from a Coptic at the U.S congress.
    If Philip would finally protest Arab aparthied, then the plight of the Copts would get better.
    http://frontpagemag.com/2011/12/12/congress-hears-of-the-plight-of-egypt%e2%80%99s-christians/

    • philweiss on December 12, 2011, 11:02 am

      you’re lying or you’re ill-informed. i visited egypt in october and personally reported on the persecution of the coptics. if you continue to use this site to spread misinformation in an angry way, go away

    • Woody Tanaka on December 12, 2011, 11:23 am

      “Why is Philip silent on the plight of the Coptics?”

      The real question is why does Philip permit reactionary trolls like you?

      • Mooser on December 12, 2011, 12:53 pm

        Wow, if I could only hook up with an Egytian Christian optometrist, we could open a shop with a very euphonious name. Everybody would buy their glasses and contacts there.

      • Woody Tanaka on December 13, 2011, 10:28 am

        LOL. That’s a good one, Mooser. I was going to point out that DanMazella’s love for the Copts is so strong that he never bothered to learn their name. Like being worried about the world’s Jewishes. But it was low hanging fruit…

    • Cliff on December 12, 2011, 1:01 pm

      Dan you are a failure. Get lost ZioTwerp.

    • Charon on December 12, 2011, 2:05 pm

      DanMazella, that’s not even relevant to the discussion or the topic. “why are you blaming X when you could be reporting Y” is an excuse. Egypt is not Israel or Palestine. The world is not a perfect place. The Arab world especially has been held back by Western greed for so long. The West doesn’t want the Arab world to catch up. They like sectarian violence and even covertly promote it, part of the divide and conquer strategy. The West wants Muslims to stick to more dogma than the other two Abrahamic religions (there is still dogma in Orthodox Judaism and Fundamentalist Christianity). The reason there is more dogmatic elements is because of the poorer conditions the people are brought up in. Nobody is doing anything to educate. Instead they support dictatorships. The West is doing nothing about spreading awareness toward female circumcision outside of shock value aimed at Hollywood audiences stateside.

      In India, for example, the British deliberately labeled Hindu artifacts as Muslim. To stir up trouble. There is plenty of evidence (and I mean plenty, not even circumstantial) that the Taj Mahal was formerly a Hindu shrine restored as a Muslim tomb. Yet Western (and Indian) critics go out of their way to smear anybody who writes about it. It’s a career killer. Why would the normally anti-Islam West want to cover this up? Why is it so important? Anyways, thank the British for partition in India and Palestine too. Not that Palestine ever got implemented.

      • MRW on December 12, 2011, 7:51 pm

        “The West doesn’t want the Arab world to catch up.”

        Yet, these western titans don’t know that every time a western male’s wife walks into a gynecologist’s office, it is an Arabic scientist’s tool, the speculum, that gets shoved up his wife’s patootie.

        Christians and Jews did not advance modern medicine. Arabs did.

        Every time you go to the hospital, today, all the basic surgical instruments used on your body today are Arabic. Invented 1,000 years ago.

    • dahoit on December 13, 2011, 11:56 am

      Yeah,like you care about the Copts other than as a hit on the Muslims.And your soldier friends in Egypt attacked the Copts recently for just that purpose so the Muslims could be blamed.Crocodile tears indeed.
      Went to Wikipedia to see religion of Ms.Peters.Non listed.If she isn’t Jewish,the Zios didn’t fall for anything,they grasped it like a 100 dollar bill as it gave them bi-religious support of their crimes.All sane readers of history know there were millions of Palestinians living in Palestine before the Israeli state. And if she is Jewish,just more hasbarite nonsense.
      Serial liars lie serially.

  4. on December 12, 2011, 11:21 am

    Worth reading.
    “………But let me just go on with the Joan Peters story.
    Finkelstein’s very persistent: he took a summer off and sat in the New York Public Library, where he went through every single reference in the book—and he found a record of fraud that you cannot believe. Well, the New York intellectual community is a pretty small place, and pretty soon everybody knew about this, everybody knew the book was a fraud and it was going to be exposed sooner or later. The one journal that was smart enough to react intelligently was the New York Review of Books—they knew that the thing was a sham, but the editor didn’t want to offend his friends, so he just didn’t run a review at all. That was the one journal that didn’t run a review.

    Meanwhile, Finkelstein was being called in by big professors in the field who were telling him, “Look, call off your crusade; you drop this and we’ll take care of you, we’ll make sure you get a job,” all this kind of stuff. But he kept doing it—he kept on and on.
    Every time there was a favorable review, he’d write a letter to the editor which wouldn’t get printed; he was doing whatever he could do. We approached the publishers and asked them if they were going to respond to any of this, and they said no—and they were right. Why should they respond?
    They had the whole system buttoned up, there was never going to be a critical word about this in the United States. But then they made a technical error: they allowed the book to appear in England, where you can’t control the intellectual community quite as easily.

    Well, as soon as I heard that the book was going to come out in England, I immediately sent copies of Finkelstein’s work to a number of British scholars and journalists who are interested in the Middle East—and they were ready.
    As soon as the book appeared, it was just demolished, it was blown out of the water. Every major journal, the Times Literary Supplement, the London Review, the Observer, everybody had a review saying, this doesn’t even reach the level of nonsense, of idiocy. A lot of the criticism USED FINKELSTEIN’S work WITHOUT any acknowledgment, I should say—but about the kindest word anybody said about the book was “ludicrous,” or “preposterous.” …..”

    ……………….”So after the Peters book got blown out of the water in England, the New York Review ASSIGNED it to a good person actually, in fact Israel’s leading specialist on Palestinian nationalism [Yehoshua Porath], someone who knows a lot about the subject.
    And he wrote a review, which they then didn’t publish—it went on for almost a year without the thing being published; nobody knows exactly what was going on, but you can guess that there must have been a lot of pressure not to publish it.
    Eventually it was even written up in the New York Times that this review wasn’t getting published, so finally some version of it did appear. It was critical, it said the book is nonsense and so on, but it cut corners, the guy didn’t say what he knew…. ”

    http://www.chomsky.info/books/power01.htm

  5. Nevada Ned on December 12, 2011, 11:27 am

    It’s an interesting story: the rise and fall of Joan Peters’ from Time Immemorial. The book received hundreds of favorable reviews in the US, and no unfavorable reviews. The promoters of the book were careful to arrange for reviews from known supporters of the Israeli narrative. Norman Finkelstein, then a graduate student at Princeton, spent months compiling a devastating critique of the Peters book. He sent it around to many media outlets, but couldn’t get it published anywhere. Finally, the magazine In These Times (which has a tiny circulation) published it. Alexander Cockburn and Edward Said attacked the book, but that’s about it. Eventually, the NY Review of Books, which had been silent for months, published a critique by an Israeli historian, Porath. After that, Anthony Lewis ran a critical column in the NYTimes, which the NYT published on Thanksgiving day when readership is very low.
    Finkelstein deserves the credit for demolishing the book.
    Those who praised the Peters book held prominent positions in American intellectual life. But none of them has suffered any professional consequences for “Nakba-denial”.
    By the way, don’t think that the endorsers of the Peters book were making an honest mistake. Consider, for example, the historian Jehua Reinharz, who wrote a biography of Chaim Weizmann. Reinharz was fully aware, from reading the papers of Israel’s founding fathers, that the early Zionists knew that Palestine was not “a land without people, for a people without a land.” What happened to Reinharz in the wake of the Peters fiasco? He became President of Brandeis University. He was promoted.
    The Peters book illustrates the toxic intellectual atmosphere that surrounded the Israeli/Palestinian conflict in the 1980’s.
    Worth following up on: The Israeli author Tom Segev remarked somewhere that the Peters book was commissioned by Israeli leader Yitzhak Shamir.

    • Donald on December 12, 2011, 11:55 am

      ” In this context, the word summons a 1984 bestseller that was once totemic on the Jewish right ”

      And center and left. Remnick shows this himself–Barbara Tuchmann was not a rightwinger, for instance. Not even remotely. And as others pointed out, the hero of the story in the US was Finkelstein, but Remnick isn’t going to mention him, unless Finkelstein is one of those anonymous “radicals” he mentions in derogatory fashion at the end.

    • dahoit on December 13, 2011, 12:00 pm

      Looking at her latest pic at Wikipedia she sure seems like she’s living very well,a possible payoff for her lies.

    • Bill on December 14, 2011, 3:32 am

      No, the New York Times ran Anthony Lewis’ piece on a Monday in 1986. It was Colin Campbell’s news piece about the controversy, primarily in the UK and to a much lesser extent in Israel, that ran on the Thanksgiving weekend.

      • Bill on December 14, 2011, 10:52 am

        Unfortunately, I should have said that the NY Times ran Anthony Lewis’ piece on a Monday in January 1986.

  6. Kathleen on December 12, 2011, 11:37 am

    “I imagine this is the first time Remnick has treated this important lie; so the piece is a worthy act of the Jewish recovery movement, our discovery of the Nakba 6 decades on.”
    Getting closer to the truth here.

    Still do not understand putting liberal and Zionist together.

    Gingrich continues to throw grenades into the situation. Wondering if anyone can measure how much money is coming into his campaign from right wing Zionist?

    Phil think you would enjoy the Charlie Rose interview with Simon Sebag Montefiore on his book “Jerusalem: the Biography”

  7. HarryLaw on December 12, 2011, 11:39 am

    I have just discovered the school Newt Gingrich was taught history…. here: http://www.whiteapplewormhole.com/2008/12/little-hodiaki.html

  8. PeaceThroughJustice on December 12, 2011, 11:59 am

    I’ve been interested in whatever happened to Joan Peters next. It’s been hard to find information on where’s she now living or what she’s doing, but I do know that after “From Time Immemorial” the great historian went on to publish “When Mothers Work,” which tells us that “we can love our children without sacrificing ourselves.”

    (This can be found on p. 43 of “Balancing Work & Love: Jewish women facing the family-career challenge,” by Elaine Denholtz.)

  9. seafoid on December 12, 2011, 12:01 pm

    Finklestein’s “Image and Reality..” is the best book on the Peters BS.

  10. on December 12, 2011, 12:02 pm

    ………”Above and beyond Finkelstein’s refutation of Joan Peters’ thesis that most of the Palestinians are descendants of very recent arrivals from Syria and elsewhere, and the mountain of ”evidence” she dredges up in support, his chapter “A Land Without a People” highlights a serious problem: the chorus of enthusiasm, praise and endorsement for the Peters book from such Jewish scholars and literary luminaries as Barbara Tuchman, Bernard Lewis, Saul Bellow and Elie Wiesel, to mention but a few.

    Certainly, one of the highlights of Finkelstein’s numerous accomplishments is his expose’ of the aftermath of Peters’ discrediting. He did a great service to those of us who still care about such things, by bringing to light those who subjugate integrity in the service of ideological propaganda. Sadly, even after Peters’ “evidence” became widely recognized as falsehood, few of the endorsers publicly admitted their mistaken gullibility.

    The profound injustice done the Palestinian people has significant roots in the 1948 war, when a massive exodus from their villages, towns and neighborhoods took place, over a short period of months. The chapter “Born of War, Not by Design” could well be the most instructive for those readers—especially in the U.S.—whose memory does not extend back to that time.

    In this chapter, focus is on the work of Israeli “new” historian Benny Morris. His books chronicle the political, military and also – in my view – significant human events of the 1948 war that set the stage for almost half a century of the most vigorous Zionist “settler colonialism” and expansion. Still ongoing, and entirely at the expense of the Palestinian people, this settler colonialism again has been eloquently described by Israeli Benjamin Beit-Hallahmi in his 1992 book, Original Sins.

    Finkelstein focuses on one aspect of Morris’ historical scholarship. While Morris reveals political and military leaders, he steadfastly – but according to Finkelstein falsely – maintains that “the Arab exodus was not the result of a general, premeditated Yishuv (Jewish) policy” (quoted on p.64 of Image and Reality). The Morris thesis is that the mass exodus of Arabs from their major population centers all over present-day Israel was not the result of a well-formulated plan to get rid of as many Arabs as possible, as quickly as possible. Rather, Morris maintains that Arab flight was a by-product of war. As in all wars “things happen!” Finkelstein shows that Morris’ obfuscation of the widely-known Plan D’s real objective is a falsification of the facts, plain and simple.

    Indeed, in May 1975 edition of a report on “Arab villages destroyed in Israel,” Prof. Israel Shahak states that “the truth about Arab settlements which used to exist in the area of [the present] Israel before 1948 is one of the most guarded secrets of Israeli life”. In the spirit of Palestinian historian and geographer Arif Al-Arif – on whose work the Shahak report on these villages is based – and also in the spirit of Image and Reality, but in contrast to Benny Morris, I am compelled to add, in the words of the Shahak report, that “falsifying facts in this way is a most grave offense in itself and also one of the most important causes for the prevention of any meaningful peace (i.e. not one based only on force and oppression).”

    Of 475 Palestinian villages known to have existed before 1948, 385 have been destroyed, some without so much as a stone to mark their past existence….”
    http://www.washington-report.org/backissues/0896/9608063.htm

  11. MHughes976 on December 12, 2011, 1:15 pm

    The story of Peters and Finkelstein is horrible in itself. This is the real 1984, the western Ministry of Truth. I’m mildly pleased that UK scholarship comes out of all this fairly well.
    On the other hand the rights of the Palestinians of 48 would not have been any less if they all had had grandparents born in Syria or on the moon.

  12. DanMazella on December 12, 2011, 1:36 pm

    It should be noted, this same site promoted the Shlomo Sand lying book ‘The Invention of the Jewish People,’ reviewed by Jack Ross.
    http://mondoweiss.net/2009/10/shlomo-sands-the-invention-of-the-jewish-people-reviewed-by-jack-ross.html

    The wretched scholarship of Sand’s post-Zionist inspired agitprop was condemned by historians and literary critics.

    Leon Wieseltier, literary editor of The New Republic, characterized it as “intellectually worthless”.

    Hillel Halkin called assertions made in the book “the exact opposite of the truth”.

    Yaacov Lozowick’s review deconstructed Sand’s “astonishingly unconvincing scholarship”.

    Jeffrey Goldberg argued that “Sand… is dropping manufactured facts into a world that in many cases is ready, willing, and happy to believe the absolute worst conspiracy theories about Jews and to use those conspiracy theories to justify physically hurting Jews.”

    In a commentary published in Ha’aretz, Israel Bartal, dean of the humanities faculty of the Hebrew University, wrote that Sand’s claims about Zionist and contemporary Israeli historiography are baseless, calling the work “bizarre and incoherent,” and that Sand’s “…treatment of Jewish sources is embarrassing and humiliating.”

    A review by CAMERA noted that “When it comes to undermining the legitimacy of the Jewish state, there is no thesis too absurd to be published, regardless of how preposterous the underlying thesis…Such is the case with The Invention of the Jewish People, a book by Shlomo Sand.”

    Of course, Sand’s book did receive critical acclaim by anti-Zionists ideologically predisposed to such a deconstruction of Jewish identity, and therefore Jewish nationalism.

    • MRW on December 12, 2011, 8:01 pm

      DanMazella,

      Read the archives here. We did a much better job of reviewing Sand’s book than your propeller-head version here. You haven’t been around long enough for any of us to grant you credence on the subject.

    • Mooser on December 12, 2011, 8:15 pm

      Oh look, she’s here, Zionism’s yachneh.

      DanMazella , yachnzol makekhs voxen offen tsung!

  13. lysias on December 12, 2011, 1:51 pm

    Did Peters use the word “invented”? I have a feeling that Gingrich’s use of the word probably reflects the Zionists’ response to Sand’s title The Invention of the Jewish People.

  14. American on December 12, 2011, 1:56 pm

    “their own numbing, often anti-Semitic, tracts—which make the case that Israel, and the Jewish people, are alien and have no claim on the land”

    No doubt there are some anti semitic tracts with that claim…but that claim is closer to the truth. The only Jews who could be considered to have had a claim to the land of Palestine were the ones who were there, who had stayed there, or were there prior to the beginning of the European Jewish immigration into Palestine in the late 1800’s.
    I am so tired of the claim that in a primitive tribal era 3,000 years ago some Jews had a Kingdom in Palestine so that gives all Jews ownership of the land today.
    This is so insane I am just sick of it.
    About all I can muster on this now is to laugh in their face every time they make this claim. That’s all it deserves.

  15. Charon on December 12, 2011, 2:17 pm

    We’re all an invented people, all labels have origins. Statements like Gingrich are deliberately hurtful and misleading. Taking advantage of half-truths and playing on words.

    If they aren’t Palestinian, then what else do you call them? The Zionists and Neocons love to lump all Arabized people into a single category, completely ignoring their history (and pre-Islamic history too). That’s stupid. They want you to think that Palestine was empty except for a few Bedouins who are wanderers. That’s completely BS.

    The name Palestine has been used for thousands of years to identify the region. For 1,400 years, prior to British mandate it was a providence of the Ottoman Empire and connected to Syria (Syria Palestina). It had a regional government. It had currency that said Palestine. Under British mandate it was called Palestine. The British had Palestinian currency. The Jerusalem Post was the Palestinian Post. There is no modern UN state. Big deal. That and Palestinian nationalism are all that hateful argument are based on, nationalism coming after the Zionists began to colonize Palestine. The people were always there and it was always called Palestine.

  16. Cliff on December 12, 2011, 2:30 pm

    The thing that keeps being spewed on various blogs and by various commentators is that the Palestinians are from Jordan or that they Palestinians – by implication – sprung up spontaneously in the 70s out of nowhere and that the Jewish population was the majority for thousands of years.

    These people also say at the very same time, that the ‘Palestinians’ are really Greeks and not ‘the Arabs’.

    So who were those people living in this Israel-Palestine land mass after the end of the Jewish kingdom 3,000 years ago?

    This is accepting the conspiratorial connotation to the ‘invented’ Gingrich line by the way.

    All identities are invented. But Gingrich an other anti-intellectual, ideologues are implying that this amorphous blob known as ‘the Palestinians’ was a scheme to destroy ‘the Jews’.

    Gingrich is saying that these people have no rights (he dismisses the RoR).

    So unless you are ‘recognized’ by a Western country (or just the US), you have no rights.

    Going back 60 years, the Palestinians were the majority population and they owned the most land and property. They were the indigenous population along with a small Jewish population that grew due to rapid immigration. Rapid due to the growing Zionist movement, European antisemitism and the Holocaust. Although the mobilization of the Zionist movement predates the Holocaust.

    In any case, Zionist leaders like Ben-Gurion acknowledged that he and his cohorts were dealing with a competing nationalistic movement. Two competing nationalisms in the same land.

  17. RoHa on December 12, 2011, 8:34 pm

    Remnick wants to get this into a US publication. And he is aiming for the New Yorker, no less.

    Better to get it published, with the main message intact, than insist on a perfect version.

    So it was a good tactical move to emphasise an Israeli historian and keep quiet about the dreaded Finkelstein, and it was a necessary tactical move to put in the bit about the Jewish claims to the land.

    • annie on December 12, 2011, 10:36 pm

      RoHa, Remnick is the editor of the New Yorker so i imagine he could get anything he wanted published there.

      • RoHa on December 12, 2011, 10:40 pm

        In that case, he was probably trying not to lose too many readers or arouse the Ire of Dersh.

  18. Citizen on December 13, 2011, 6:39 am

    RE: “The full piece says that the Republicans are after Jewish voters. A synecdoche that is becoming more and more irresponsible.”

    Important to note in this respect is that a former big time GOP strategist has come out, breaking the taboo, and stated Newt’s engaged in hauling in Jewish cash and that’s why Newt said what he did about the Palestinians:
    http://networkedblogs.com/rsUlf

    Note the profile of fat goyischekopf Newt wearing a kippa, trying to look piously thoughtful. Ever see a fatter case of pure selfishness? What a gigantic waste of a gifted intellect to go for such petty goals. Perfect big customer for Tiffany’s.

    • dahoit on December 13, 2011, 12:08 pm

      Gifted intellect?You mean the time he cried about being on the back of the bus(plane)?
      I have heard this moron spew for years and I’ve never heard intellect,just wacko right wing BS.
      Another fat bastard with a belly bulge.

  19. Nevada Ned on December 13, 2011, 8:37 am

    Two comments:
    First, Gingrich has been supported by right-wing Las Vegas casino mogul Sheldon Adelson, who is also a big supporter of Birthright and of ZOA. Adelson prefers ZOA over AIPAC because AIPAC isn’t right wing enough for him.

    Second, in response to Dan Mazella, there is some scientific evidence (DNA) to support the hypothesis that Israeli Jews and Palestinians have common ancestors. See this article (Hammer et al.) from the Proceeding of the National Academy of Sciences a decade ago.
    http://www.pnas.org/content/97/12/6769.long
    This supports Shlomo Sand’s belief that today’s Palestinians are descended, in part, from ancient Hebrews. I saw Ali Abinumah interviewed on television a while back. He was asked, “does it bother you that you might have Jewish ancestors?” And he said “of course not”.
    My reaction is “so what? Citizenship shouldn’t be based on race.”
    However, the DNA discovery does create problems for the dogmatic Zionists, for whom Jews are unique.
    The New Left Review had a review (by Gabriel Piterberg) of Sand’s book in 2009. (http://www.newleftreview.org/?view=2807) Piterberg thought that in some cases (the Khazar kingdom) the evidence presented by Sands was thin, but Piterberg thought the book overall was credible.
    Of course, if you go back far enough in time, the science says that no group of people is unique. We’re all related.

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