Einstein’s crime

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Albert Einstein
Albert Einstein

Yesterday Hebrew University unveiled a program to digitize parts of Albert Einstein’s archives. Donald MacIntyre, the Independent’s Jerusalem correspondent, starts his story by telling us how Einstein helped an ex-lover escape Europe. Like many men of power and privilege, Einstein chose to betray his second wife and take on a lover almost half his age. The correspondent did not seek any comments on Einstein’s infidelity. Perhaps this is common knowledge already. Perhaps the Independent has accepted this as expected behavior from the rich and famous.

The focus of the Independent article is a letter that Einstein wrote to a Palestinian newspaper in which he seems to propose a one-state solution and a detailed mechanism for making it work.

By 1930, Einstein was on warm enough terms with the Palestinian editor [Azmi al-Nahashibi of Falastin] to share with Falastin’s readers his chosen peace process – one which firmly excluded politicians. Instead he envisaged a council of two four-strong teams, Jewish and Arab, working in secret, each of a “physician elected by the medical body; a jurist elected by the lawyers; a worker representative elected by the unions; and one clerical man elected by the ecclesiastical body”. Each would undertake not to act out of sectional or national interest but “to take into account… according to their knowledge and conscience the prosperity of the whole inhabitants of the Land.”

When three on each side agreed on a resolution they could make it public. Saying that “aggressive nationalism must be subdued,” he asserts that the council would gradually “lead to a state in which differences will gradually be eliminated and common representation of the interests of the country will be upheld”. Einstein summed up his vision of a future Palestine “only as the scene of peaceful co-operation between the two peoples whose land it is”.

The article did seek quotes from the curator as well as the head of the archive, who comment on Einstein’s Zionism and poo poo his peace plan. The unfortunate  headline exclaims the exact opposite of what is claimed in the body of the article “Even Einstein couldn’t think of a peace plan.” Einstein’s crime is that he did think of a plan; one that put Arabs and Jews on equal footing. Any plan that does not privilege Jews over Arabs could not possibly exist.

“Even,” the first word in the Independent headline, betrays one of the lies of liberal Zionism. There is a conflict in Israel-Palestine not because of the racism inherent in Zionism, but because The Conflict is so complex that nobody, not even the greatest mind of the last century, can ever propose a solution even if he clearly proposes a solution.

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Damn,I always think along the same lines;A Palestinian state for Palestinians,and a Jewish state for Israelis,coexisting on the same land,with Palestinian courts for Palestinians,and Jewish courts for Jews,with joint police patrols,joint army patrols,etc.,with both sides represented and both sides benefiting.Of course its never been done before,and of course complicated,but what other solution is there,other than continuing disaster?

This is like the Daily Show’s take-off of the USA’s anti UNESCO law. “Einstein had no peace plan — except he did!”

As to Einstein, never forget the “Einstein letter” which warned against Israeli terrorism and fascism. Wonder what Hebrew University made of THAT.

There’s also this observation by Einstein — from: In 1950, Einstein published the following statement on the question of Zionism. This speech was originally given to the National Labor Committee for Palestine, in New York, on April 17, 1938 but republished by Einstein after Israel’s creation. I should much rather see reasonable agreement with the Arabs on the basis of living together in peace than the creation of a Jewish state. Apart from the… Read more »

Sad that the Einstein vision did not triumph.

I am sure, Jawad, you are against, forced partitions, cleansing of indigenous people, and racism wherever it happens, yes?!

The Conflict is so complex

it’s complicated!