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Yes the Palestinians got ‘screwed’ — John Judis defends vernacular at Museum of Jewish Heritage

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John Judis, in lower Manhattan, June 1, 2014

John Judis, in lower Manhattan, June 1, 2014

Back in February the Museum of Jewish Heritage in New York withdrew an invitation to John Judis to speak about his book on Truman and Israel and when the censorship went public the museum announced that it would hold an event after all. And so yesterday afternoon David G. Marwell, the historian who directs the museum, conducted a serious conversation with Judis about his central thesis: that the Zionist lobby twisted Truman’s arm to side with the Jews with the result that the Palestinians were screwed out of any sovereignty on their land. Marwell’s dialogue with Judis was excellent if unfriendly. He began by stating that he regretted the invitation because he feared the event would shed more heat than light, and he built his questions toward his central quarrel with Judis, over the power of the Zionist/Israel lobby.

Here’s some of the back and forth (with the proviso that I left my taperecorder on the hall floor, though I took good notes).

There have been a lot of criticisms of the book, did Judis regret anything he wrote?

“I expected to get a lot of grief for this book… I would write it the same way.”

Was Judis wrong to use the word “screwed”– the Palestinians got “screwed” out of their land — on page 251?

Oh so you know the page, Judis said, “that’s very nice.” And he flashed a big smile, one of many times he showed off his big white chompers to deflect attack.

No he didn’t regret the use of the word. He did so consciously to get attention. The Palestinians had seen their land taken away from them throughout the history of Zionist emigration and notwithstanding Wilson’s declaration of self-determination of peoples, they ended up with no sovereignty on the land they had lived on and were the overwhelming majority on. “The main thing is they were screwed at the end. That is what I believe.” You use “the vernacular” to make a point.

What is the intersection of the subject and the author’s biography? Why did you write the book, what ate at you?

It’s complete and utter mystery to me, Judis said. I’m not a professional Jew, I’ve written six books, I’m nearing the end of my career. It’s not Brazil to me. “There is some special moral bond between me and what happened in that little state that has concerned me and bothered me for 40 years.”

But, said Marwell, with a hint of gotcha, you wrote that “having to be associated with a publication [The New Republic] whose views on that subject I often disagree with led to a buildup of repressed indignation that fueled the years I spent on this book.” Implying that Judis was angry. Judis shrugged. Marty Peretz’s line was that whatever Israel did it had good reason to do. That worked for me during the Rabin years but not during Lebanon or the Second Intifada.

Marwell: Let me summarize the three main points of the book. You say that political Zionism is a “fundamentally unjust cause.”

Well not exactly, Judis interrupted. I say it has a dark side. Two events gave it moral weight. The Holocaust and the denial of Jewish emigration to the west in the 30s. But the dark side to Zionism is that they never acknowledged that this land belonged to others. That great liberal pillar of American political culture, Louis Brandeis, wrote in 1915 that it was perfectly American and multinational for a Jew to be for a Jewish state across the sea, but the contradiction at the heart of Brandeis’s essay was that he could not see a multinational society in Palestine. That’s a big problem.

The thesis of your book is that a Zionist lobby got Truman to do what he didn’t want to do and the pattern continues to this day.

Sure, Judis said.

But you also say that it’s hard to have imagined a different outcome, and if the 1946 Morrrison Grady plan (for a binational state) wasn’t going to work anyway, then in what sense did the lobby constrain policy?

But Truman thought it was going to work, Judis said, and he was overwhelmed.

But if you say it was unworkable then why do you blame the lobby? Marwell said.

It may have been wishful thinking, but that was Truman’s thinking. Truman didn’t think it was fair or moral to have a Jewish state. He failed to prevent it. And even if the outcome was inevitable, there were several “windows,” Judis went on, when things might have been different. He noted the US government’s inability to insist on the return of Palestinian refugees and Obama’s capitulation on settlements in 2011. After the Cairo speech in 2009 Obama told Abe Foxman that he was going to be “evenhanded” in the conflict, which is anathema to the lobby, and sure enough two years later Obama said that he wasn’t going to be evenhanded, he would be on Israel’s side.

Marwell: Why didn’t the lobby if it was so powerful overrule Truman on an “existential” issue, supplying arms to the new state of Israel to take on the invading Arab armies?

Because State insisted on that, Judis said. It was one point on which Truman sided with the State Department.

He hammered his theme: American Zionists were blind to the presence of Arabs in Palestine. If you read the Zionist literature in America over the first half of the century, some of it produced by great liberals, there’s a complete absence of Arabs in it. The leading Jewish Zionist paper, The Maccabean, simply lied about Palestinian numbers, made it seem that there was an overwhelming Jewish majority in the land.

I felt that Marwell demonstrated the blind spot. A historian who heads a museum about the Holocaust, he spoke at some length about the plight of Jewish Displaced Persons in camps between 1945 and 1948, a quarter million at one point. Their homes taken away from them, families murdered. Where could they go? I do not understand how such a concern can be expressed without an acknowledgement that Zionists created a refugee crisis for hundreds of thousands of Palestinians and now their descendants, which has never been considered of any moral urgency in the west for 66 years; and many are still in camps.

But Marwell’s main concern was the lobby.

Isn’t lobbying an inevitable part of American politics?

For better or worse, yes.

But you say that the Jewish community was improper to lobby, as opposed to Aramco or the State Department

Well the oil companies didn’t get what they wanted, Judis said, and neither did the State Department. It wanted access to oil for the next war.

The lobby was the theme of the Q and A too: how preposterous it was to say that the Jewish community could have any influence over political decisions by the US government. Judah Gribetz, a trustee of the museum and former counsel to Democratic governors, challenged Judis in a mocking tone. If the lobby is so powerful, how did it compel the Palestinians to reject partition in ’47 and compel the Jordanians and Egyptians to do nothing to establish a Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza when they controlled those territories for 19 years? Another man asked, Why didn’t the lobby force the US government to prosecute the Grand Mufti for war crimes? That was a British decision, Judis said.

He was affable throughout. When Marwell advised the questioners to stay cool, Judis said, “They can yell at me, I don’t care.”

The questioners spoke of the lobby as a crazy conspiracy theory, and an anti-Semitic one. They represent a community that remembers well how Nazis battened onto ideas of Jewish power. I think Marwell feels the same way. It is why he stated twice at the start that he regretted bringing the discussion to this stage: because Judis is offering a critique of Jewish power. As Jeffrey Goldberg said about Walt and Mearsheimer, the Jewish community went into a defensive crouch instinctively. And we are still at a point where a sober mature Jewish thinker who is troubled by the exercise of Jewish political influence in the U.S. and wants to reform that community, alerting it to its racism, must be spanked publicly.

Happily Judis held his own, more than. He came out of the hall in a good mood and put on his Giants cap and checked the scores. The Giants beat the Cardinals, but the Rangers beat the Nationals. I wish more people could have heard him. But the museum was surely apprehensive about the platform it was giving him. The event was held late on a Sunday afternoon and the ticket price was $20; the result was that fewer than 50 people were in a big hall, a good number of them atherosclerotic. They do say they’re going to put a video of the conversation up on Youtube.

P.S. I got into an argument afterward with Judah Gribetz. I said, OK you’re right, the Palestinians opposed partition. But in 1988 they accepted it and in more than 25 years they’ve only watched more settlements on the 22 percent of their land that was left to them. He said, Land is fungible and they were offered land swaps by Ehud Barak in 2000. That upset me. Is land fungible? No it’s not. I wouldn’t trade my (yes, ethnically cleansed) acreage in Putnam County for an “equivalent” acreage in any other county in America. And Gribetz knows real estate law.

P.P.S. Judis will be speaking at the Palestine Center in D.C. on Thursday at 12:30 PM. Note, during the week. And it looks like it’s free.

Philip Weiss

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

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25 Responses

  1. just on June 2, 2014, 11:44 am

    Super account, and many thanks for it, Phil.

    Judis is obviously firmly grounded in reality– he knows himself and his subject.

    I was reading this about firmly grounded Miko Peled yesterday:

    “Miko Peled, author of The General’s Son: Journey of an Israeli in Palestine and a Coronado resident, was the speaker at the April meeting of the Coronado Roundtable. Mr. Peled, born in Jerusalem in 1961, is the grandson of Zionist leader Dr. Avraham Kalsnelson, a signer of the Israeli Declaration of Independence and the son of a former Israeli general, Matti Peled, who served in the wars of 1948 and 1967.

    The speaker, who prefaced his talk with an acknowledgement that his view was a one-sided one, believes that a two-state solution to the Israel-Palestine question is not feasible. Israel and Palestine are, he believes, a single country which should not be divided. Moreover, he believes the Jews are occupiers. Israel is not a democracy, he asserts, but rather a land colonized by Jewish settlers; the result of a mandate crafted by white, western foreign powers who decided to give the land to Jewish immigrants. He challenged the notion that Israel is a Jewish state, noting that most Jews live elsewhere and only about ten percent of Holocaust survivors settled in Israel.

    In referring to the Israeli Jews as occupiers in Palestine, he likened conditions there to those under apartheid in South Africa. He described the treatment of non-Jews both in Israel proper and the occupied territories as appalling. Israel and the settlements, he said, exist entirely for the benefit of Jews, who live in modern communities while Palestinians live in squalor. There is no integration, he insisted, only segregation.”

    http://www.coronadonewsca.com/news/coronado_island_news/author-miko-peled-addresses-roundtable/article_8eef5722-e817-11e3-ab01-001a4bcf887a.html

  2. Krauss on June 2, 2014, 11:55 am

    Great account of what happened. Judis seems like an awesome person overall.

    We’re starting to reach a place where the public acceptance of the ethnic cleansing is no longer under dispute – unless if your crowd are a bunch of OAPs at a Holocaust Museum – bless their souls.

    The question is what next. Everyone kind of understands that undoing the Native American genocide is too late. I’m using the broader definition of genocide here, including cultural genocide, by trying to destroy their collective identity through force and the passage of time.

    Reparations for slavery is getting new traction in the US discourse, but it has been 150 years after all, and the country is no longer mostly white/black in demographics.

    In Israel/Palestine, however, the Nakba is an ongoing event as Max Blumenthal points out, the displacement is continuous. Furthermore, the same two demographic groups are the same, there hasn’t been any significantly influx of non-Semites – whether Jewish or Arabic – in the past 100 years. Sure, there are some questions about some of the Russian immigrants but they have more or less assimiliated.

    This means that unlike America, Israel is still not at all detached from history. In this sense, it shares the character of Apartheid South Africa much more, where, too, the same two groups dominated and continue to dominate and where the colonial oppression of one group was an ongoing event, not just “mere” discriminiation.

    And all of this is probably one of the reasons why the there is such resistance to admitting the issues that Judis is raising. A white Republican can acknowledge the genocide of Native Americans precisely because he or she knows that they will never be held accountable for it, the population left is too small and by and large assimiliated already.

    That’s not the case for Jewish Israelis – and their Jewish supremacist apologists in the diaspora – whose colonized population still lives in or just outside the country and whose memory has not been shattered and whose will has not been broken.

  3. W.Jones on June 2, 2014, 12:09 pm

    Oh so you know the page, Judis said, “that’s very nice.” And he flashed a big smile, one of many times he showed off his big white chompers to deflect attack.

    The Lord bless him.

    if the 1946 Morrrison Grady plan (for a binational state) wasn’t going to work anyway, then in what sense did the lobby constrain policy?

    But Truman thought it was going to work, Judis said, and he was overwhelmed.

    But if you say it was unworkable then why do you blame the lobby? Marwell said

    Great question. The Israelis would have made a state on the ground, but without the US, pushed by the lobby, the UN might not have backed it. Don’t you think?

    And in turn, that would have made it harder for the State to act in as domineering and repressive a way toward the conquered population. Perhaps it would not have occupied the West Bank, for example, if the State was not recognized, or if the UN required enforcement of human rights conditions before recognizing the state.

  4. Shmuel on June 2, 2014, 12:16 pm

    He said, Land is fungible

    What he meant is that Palestinian land is fungible.

    On the one hand, stressing national sovereignty over specific bonds to specific pieces of land is a projection of modern Jewish nationalism. On the other hand, Uganda was not Palestine and “united Jerusalem” is “the eternal capital of the Jewish people”.

    Either way, Gribetz continues to be “blind to the presence of Arabs in Palestine”, inasmuch as he effectively denies their history and arrogantly denies them agency.

  5. MHughes976 on June 2, 2014, 12:20 pm

    At one point Marwell seems much more forthright. What Judis calls ‘the dark side’ of Zionism is enough to make it fundamentally unjust.

    • seafoid on June 2, 2014, 5:00 pm

      And it takes up so much of the energy of Israeli Jewish society- why, it almost wipes out all the good of the prayers.

  6. HarryLaw on June 2, 2014, 12:42 pm

    Richard Third Act 4 scene2.
    But I am in so far in blood that sin will pluck on sin. Tear-falling pity dwells not in this eye. Modern text. But I’m steeped so deep in blood by now that one sin has to follow the next. I have no tears of pity for anyone. Israel to a tee.

    • RoHa on June 2, 2014, 7:54 pm

      And since a quotation from Cicero turned up on another thread, we can add

      Quo usque tandem abutere, Catilina, patientia nostra? Quam diu etiam furor iste tuus nos eludet? Quem ad finem sese effrenata iactabit audacia?

      Replace Catiline with Israel, and it fits.

    • just on June 3, 2014, 7:56 am

      Yes.

      this also fits Netanyahu (& his ‘unholy’ cabinet):

      “Richard:

      “But then I sigh, and with a piece of scripture, Tell them, that God bids us do good for evil: And thus I clothe my naked villainy With old odd ends, stol’n forth of holy writ, And seem a saint, when most I play the devil.”

      (act 1, scene 3)

  7. W.Jones on June 2, 2014, 12:45 pm

    P.S. I got into an argument afterward with Judah Gribetz. I said, OK you’re right, the Palestinians opposed partition. But in 1988 they accepted it and in more than 25 years they’ve only watched more settlements on the 22 percent of their land that was left to them. He said, Land is fungible and they were offered land swaps by Ehud Barak in 2000. That upset me. Is land fungible? No it’s not. I wouldn’t trade my (yes, ethnically cleansed) acreage in Putnam County for an “equivalent” acreage in any other county in America. And Gribetz knows real estate law.

    True.

  8. Walid on June 2, 2014, 1:08 pm

    The more we find out about what was actually done in the shadows to the Palestinians, the worse the feeling of how they got “screwed” as he put it. Judis asked was how was it that the Egyptians and Jordanians did not help set up a Palestinian state during the 19 years they controlled Gaza and the WB. Not much has since changed in Arab attitudes in wanting to allow an independent Palestinian state.

    Interestingly, in 2008 George Friedman and Peter Zeihan of Stratfor had this to say about the Palestinians’ neighbours and of their little interest in an independent Palestine. Some things changed since then but some didn’t; the thrust of the essay was about the Israel-Syria conflict:

    … Peace with Egypt and Jordan means Israel is secure on its eastern and southern frontiers. Its fundamental problem is counterinsurgency in Gaza and at times in the West Bank. Its ability to impose a military solution to this problem is limited, so it has settled for separating itself from the Palestinians and attempting to break up the Palestinian movement into different factions. The split in the Palestinian community between Fatah in the West Bank and Hamas in Gaza helped this strategy immensely, dividing the Palestinians geographically, ideologically, economically and politically. The deeper the intra-Palestinian conflict is, the less of a strategic threat to Israel the Palestinians can be.

    … At the current time (2008), Israel’s strategic interests are twofold. First, maintain and encourage the incipient civil war between Hamas and Fatah. The key to this is to leverage tensions between neighboring Arab states and the Palestinians. And this is easy. The Hashemite government of Jordan detests the West Bank Palestinians because more than three-quarters of the population of Jordan is Palestinian, but the Hashemite king rather likes being king.

    … Egypt equally hates the Gaza Palestinians as Hamas’ ideological roots lie in the Muslim Brotherhood — a group whose ideology not only contributed to al Qaeda’s formation, but also that of groups who have exhibited a nasty habit of assassinating Egyptian presidents.

    … The Israelis know that any overthrow of the al Assads would probably land Israel with a radical Sunni government on its northeastern frontier. From Israel’s point of view, it is far better to deal with a terrified and insecure Syrian government more concerned with maintaining internal control than a confident and popular Syrian government with the freedom to look outward.

    Just as Syria’s defensive issues vis-à-vis Israel are not what they seem, neither are Syrian tools for dealing with Israel in an offensive manner as robust as most think.

    Syria is not particularly comfortable with the entities that pose the largest security threats to Israel, namely, the main Palestinian factions. Damascus has never been friendly to the secular Fatah movement, with which it fought many battles in Lebanon; nor is it comfortable with the more fundamentalist Sunni Hamas. (Syria massacred its own fundamentalists during the 1980s.) So while the Syrians have dabbled in Palestinian politics, they have never favored a Palestinian state. In fact, it should be recalled that when Syria first invaded Lebanon in 1975, it was against the Palestinians and in support of Lebanese Christians.

    That invasion — as well as most Syrian operations in Lebanon — was not about security, but about money. Lebanon, the descendent of Phoenicia, has always been a vibrant economic region (save when there is war). It is the terminus of trade routes from the east and south and the door to the Mediterranean basin. It is a trading and banking hub, with Beirut in particular as the economic engine of the region. Without Beirut and Lebanon, Syria is an isolated backwater. With it, Damascus is a major player.

    As such, Syria’s closest ties among Israel’s foes are not with the two major indigenous Palestinian factions, but with the Shiite group Hezbollah. The Syrians have a somewhat tighter religious affinity with Hezbollah, as well as a generation of complex business dealings with the group’s leaders. But its support for Hezbollah is multifaceted, and anti-Israeli tendencies are only one aspect of the relationship. And Hezbollah is much more important to Syria as a tool for managing Damascus’ affairs in Lebanon

    http://www.stratfor.com/weekly/shift_toward_israeli_syrian_agreement

    • DaBakr on June 2, 2014, 4:21 pm

      The quoted article above is probably the most honest-or at least unbiased- accounting of this subject at least as far as ‘brief summaries’ go. The details are even more twisted and convoluted (including the covert relationships between Israeli actors with actors in its enemies regimes) but the basic premise is sound.

    • talknic on June 2, 2014, 9:31 pm

      George Friedman and Peter Zeihan’s speculative opinions aren’t news or factual

      “The Hashemite government of Jordan detests the West Bank Palestinians because more than three-quarters of the population of Jordan is Palestinian”

      Cute, but nonsense

      A) Only the people who lived in the region that became TransJordan had an automatic right to Jordanian citizenship, they are ALL Jordanian. Palestine refugees are not automatic citizens of Jordan.
      B) The West Bank Palestinians aren’t in Jordan. Jordan handed responsibility for the West Bank over to the PA when it signed the Peace Treaty with Israel
      C) If Jordan detests them, why has it for 66 years given refuge, fought wars on their behalf?

      “Egypt equally hates the Gaza Palestinians as Hamas’ ideological roots lie in the Muslim Brotherhood — a group whose ideology not only contributed to al Qaeda’s formation, but also that of groups who have exhibited a nasty habit of assassinating Egyptian presidents”

      Equally cute propaganda drivel.

      • Walid on June 2, 2014, 11:26 pm

        “George Friedman and Peter Zeihan’s speculative opinions aren’t news or factual”

        Who is claiming they are? They’re speculative of course, exactly as you called them. What’s your theory about why the Arabs squatted on the WB and in Gaza for 19 years without helping further Palestinian statehood and another 47 years while Israel chewed away at what was left?

      • Hostage on June 3, 2014, 12:47 am

        What’s your theory about why the Arabs squatted on the WB and in Gaza for 19 years without helping further Palestinian statehood and another 47 years while Israel chewed away at what was left?

        Well my theory is that Friedman and Zeihan are spouting some nonsensical propaganda. There were hundreds of thousands of Palestinians squatting on the territory of Transjordan when the union was established, not vice versa. The strength of the entire Arab Legion was only 9,000 personnel and they were busy keeping Ben Gurion from becoming the first Prime Minister of the Arab State.

        Only deliberately dishonest and pretentious Zionists and Husaynis refuse to admit that “Jordan” was the “Arab” or “Palestinian” state during the period of the constitutional union. Half the seats in the parliament were reserved for the elected representatives from the West Bank. Palestinians, like the Nashashibis and Khalidis continued to serve as leaders in the regional and district governments. I pointed out in the past that a Jerusalem-born Khalidi served as Prime Minister and that Ali Abunimah’s father stayed-on after 1988 to serve as an Ambassador and that he headed-up the team that negotiated the peace treaty which normalized relations with Israel.

        As for the notion that “the Hashemite government” of Jordan detests the West Bank Palestinians: The King of Jordan is married to a Palestinian woman whose family is from Tulkarm. The recent treaty between Palestine and Jordan illustrates that the two peoples still have friendly legal and political relations. link to jordantimes.com

  9. amigo on June 2, 2014, 1:54 pm

    I got into a discussion the other night with a company director who had spent some years in Florida and had been to Israel on several occasions.He is now running a company here in Ireland.
    I raised the subject of Bill Gates /G4S and boycotts etc.This fellow tried to convince me that the Palestinians have the best land in that area. I asked if he had seen the 500,000 illegal Settlers with swimming pools filled with water taken from Palestinians. He asked if I had ever been there and when I answered no he refused to discuss the subject further telling me I did not know what I was talking about.
    I tried to ask him if he thought Israel has spent the last 66 years stealing dry arid land while leaving Palestinians the best land.

    He was gone in a flash.

    • Taxi on June 2, 2014, 2:30 pm

      Shoulda told the git that you don’t need to jump into the sea to know that it’s wet.

      • amigo on June 3, 2014, 7:10 am

        Nice one Taxi, will use next time.

  10. Citizen on June 2, 2014, 2:39 pm

    RE: “Why didn’t the lobby if it was so powerful overrule Truman on an “existential” issue, supplying arms to the new state of Israel to take on the invading Arab armies?

    Because State insisted on that, Judis said. It was one point on which Truman sided with the State Department.”

    If memory serves, recent declassification of US Navy documents show that during the time period in question, the US government essentially looked the other way while Zionists smuggled US P-51 fighter planes and cargo/transport planes too, and other very recently surplus arms and war material out of the USA, and this happened across the globe, all the way to Czchechoslovakia, where ME109s were manufactured for the Zionist offense to take over the Mandate land.

    OK, here’s the scoop on this: http://original.antiwar.com/smith-grant/2014/05/29/israels-first-us-espionage-and-smuggling-network/

    The US Military Chaplain’s list of Jews was also stolen and formed a base for recruiting former Jewish US vets to provide experienced troops for the Zionist take over of the Mandate land.

  11. peterfeld on June 2, 2014, 4:06 pm

    The Palestinians were on stellar grounds rejecting partition in 1947 (and 1937).

    • seafoid on June 2, 2014, 5:04 pm

      Israel was and is an imperial project. It was never just . No people would acquiesce in their own dispossession. They always have to be shafted.

      As long as the petrol flows Israel will be.
      But the future is very long and diplomacy will be required.

  12. talknic on June 2, 2014, 9:02 pm

    And Gribetz knows real estate law

    “real estate” is property. Not territory.

    ‘real estate’ exists within the territory of states and non state entities . All territory belongs to its legitimate inhabitants/citizens whether they own real estate, rent real estate or live under a bridge, even if ‘real estate’ in the territory is vacant.

    The Jewish state acquired its ‘territory’ completely gratis and has never legally acquired ANY territory beyond its proclaimed and recognized frontiers.

    E.g., Even tho the US paid the USSR for Alaska, it didn’t become a part of the US until it was legally annexed, by agreement. Alaskan ‘real estate’ remained in the hands of its owners. One might rightly ask what exactly did the US actually purchase from the USSR? The answer it seems, was the right to make an agreement with Alaska’s citizens to become a part of the USA

    ” He said, Land is fungible “

    ‘land’ is not used in any UNSC resolution. ‘land’ is ‘real estate’. Real estate might be a fungible in some states. Territory is not.

    “… they were offered land swaps by Ehud Barak in 2000. “

    No. They were offered ‘territory’ swaps. Problem being Israel was offering Palestinian territory for Palestinian territory so Israel could keep Palestinian territory

  13. rsmatesic on June 2, 2014, 9:22 pm

    Assuming you’ve quoted Gribetz accurately, his desperation is as apparent as his contempt for your intelligence, given the depth he was willing to go in bullshitting you.

    As any first year law student can tell you, the traditional view is that land is NOT fungible, and it is precisely because of this that the law provides for special remedies (i.e., beyond the payment of money) in disputes over land, including, as he well knows, the remedy of “specific performance”.

    In most lawsuits, courts attempts to figure out the dollar value (called “damages”) of the claimed injury. But in a minority of cases the law recognizes that damages alone would be an inadequate remedy, because the injury can’t readily be ascertained or expressed as a dollar value. Breached contracts for the sale of land are a famous example. A jilted buyer who’s awarded specific performance gets a court order that forces the seller to turn over title to the property, in addition to any money the court might also award.

    The point is, Gribetz knows all this, but apparently thought he could pull one over on you. Next time you see him, you might ask him to name the parcels under Israeli control that he doesn’t consider “fungible” (if the question throws him into a stupor, try gently singing “Location, Location, Location”; that should bring him around). And please tell him we look forward to his answer.

  14. Hostage on June 2, 2014, 9:48 pm

    Land is fungible

    Then why didn’t the Zionists accept the Pale of Settlement as their “Eretz Israel” and stop bellyaching?

    his central thesis: that the Zionist lobby twisted Truman’s arm to side with the Jews with the result that the Palestinians were screwed out of any sovereignty on their land. … The Palestinians had seen their land taken away from them throughout the history of Zionist emigration and notwithstanding Wilson’s declaration of self-determination of peoples, they ended up with no sovereignty on the land they had lived on and were the overwhelming majority on.

    That was the Zionist policy from the outset:

    August 1921., SECRET.
    CP. 3213, PALESTINE., MEMORANDUM BY THE SECRETARY OF STATE FOR THE COLONIES.

    The situation in Palestine causes me perplexity and anxiety. The whole country is in a ferment. The Zionist policy is profoundly unpopular with all except the Zionists. Both Arabs and Jews are armed and arming, ready to spring at each other’s throats.

    In the interests of the Zionist policy, all elective institutions have so far been refused to the Arabs, and they naturally contrast their treatment with that of their fellows in Mesopotamia.

    Reference: CAB 24/127/13
    Record Type: Memorandum
    Former Reference: CP 3213
    Title: Palestine.
    Author: Winston S Churchill
    Date: 11 August 1921
    http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/SearchUI/Details?uri=D7737728

    The Chairman of the League of Nations Permanent Mandates Commission advised the representative of Great Britain in 1932 that Article 2 of the Mandate required the development of self-governing institutions for all the inhabitants of Palestine, not just the Zionists, and that the Jewish national home had long-since been established. See the verbatim minutes of the 22nd Session, 6 December 1932 http://unispal.un.org/UNISPAL.NSF/0/B887C0FE3914081705256616005A499B

    The Palestinians were sandbagged by Zionist objections for 25 years. After the demise of the League of Nations, the USA and UK were primarily responsible under the terms of their Anglo-American Palestine Mandate Convention. But the recommendations of the Anglo-American Inquiry and the Grady Morrison plan were rejected by the Zionist Lobby. The partners frankly admitted they had failed to implement Article 2 of the mandate:

    TEXT OF MESSAGE RECEIVED FROM MR. BEVIN DATED FEBRUARY 7TH 1947
    Following is summary of the proposals.
    The document begins by reciting our obligations under the Mandate, and points out that during the last twenty-five years we have done, our best to further the legitimate aspirations of the Jews without prejudicing the interests of the Arabs. We have not however been able to “secure the development of self-governing institutions” in accordance with the Mandate because it has not been possible to find a basis of co-operation acceptable to both Arabs and Jews. A time has come when development in the direction of self-government can no longer be delayed. Forms of government must now be established which have their roots in the people of the country and which offer a prospect of full independence within a reasonably short period.

    — Foreign relations of the United States, 1947. The Near East and Africa, page 1033 http://digicoll.library.wisc.edu/cgi-bin/FRUS/FRUS-idx?type=goto&id=FRUS.FRUS1947v05&isize=M&submit=Go+to+page&page=1033

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