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‘For Palestinians, history is never behind us’: Family memories on Nakba Day

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A heavy silence filled the bare-walled room in East Amman where I sat with three generations of Palestinian refugees. A moment before, we’d sat captivated as Abu Khalid, a broad-shouldered man of eighty-five, shared his tales of growing up on an olive farm outside Jerusalem. As a young boy, he’d tended the groves with his father, mother, and siblings, learning the rich lore of the ancient crops. His now-weathered cheeks stretched into a wide smile as he described the bright, tangy flavor of fresh-pressed oil poured over za’atar herbs and cheese. The grandfather of eighteen swore to us there was nothing more delicious than the fruit of that “holy soil.” “We worked all year on the land, and mashallah the land fed us with life, like a miracle, every season.” Abu Khalid’s tone grew reverent. “We named the trees—we knew each one. Like a part of our family.”

In 1948, Israeli military fire sent his family scrambling to escape. Fleeing the invading forces, they abandoned their farm and their several-dozen, beloved trees.

Abu Khalid’s story halted there.

The past washed into the room with chilling gravity. I watched the man’s wrinkle-wreathed eyes glaze over and sink towards his empty, upturned hands.

I’ve seen that gaze too many times to count. This is the Nakba, I thought.

Each year on May 15, Palestinians observe “Nakba Day”— often at great peril — in memory of the approximately 700,000 Arabs who were displaced by the establishment of the State of Israel. While May 15 is bound to see thousands participate in public demonstrations worldwide, these symbolic actions can only begin to approximate the actual magnitude of the events of 1948. More than a regrettable historical occurrence, the Nakba is, for the approximately 11 million Palestinians around the globe, a catastrophic collective present.

Her eyes

My grandmother, Horea, and her youngest son, Ziyad, Gaza, sometime between 1965 and 1967

I recall the way my own grandmother’s grey eyes would fill abruptly with the same mixture of love, longing, and unspeakable pain that clouded Abu Khalid’s features. She, too, carried a secret world inside her, memories of a vivid and irretrievable youth in southern Palestine before the Year That Changed Everything. Growing up in the rural village of Ibdis, my grandmother spent her days working outdoors alongside her family and neighbors, tending to their fields (barely, lentils, wheat) and gardens (oranges, apricots, mint). In the evenings she’d roll a cigar for her father, the village sheikh, as he received visitors at his diwaniya late into the night. Automobiles were unheard of; mules and camels provided transportation and carried the village goods to nearby cities for trade. Just before The War, the residents of Ibdis installed a well for the community with a pump purchased from their Jewish neighbors. Upon completion of the project, the entire village celebrated in song and dance, overjoyed at this new development, forgetting for a moment the rumors of unrest and violence that were circulating in the summer of 1948.  

A few weeks later, soldiers appeared.

When Zionist forces invaded Ibdis, my grandmother and her three young sons fled their home, never to return. Today, the remains of her town lie half-demolished in an empty field, marked only by a jamayza tree and a few pieces of the village structures — the unused, now crumbling, well, a cemetery, a few fallen stone walls. (The story of my pilgrimage to this village is recorded here.)

Fallen Ibdis (Photo: Sarah Aziza)

My brother Tariq in the rubble of Ibdis, in present-day Israel, 2012 (Photo: Sarah Aziza)

My grandmother never saw the rubbled remains of her childhood home, but spent the next sixty-two years in exile, moved by history and circumstance from Gaza to Egypt to Saudi Arabia, where she died in 2010. Before her passing, she lived to see her sons grow into men, marry, and raise their own families—but no measure of time seemed to dull her memory of, and longing for, her lost world.

My grandmother, Horea Mohamed Yousef Ahmed, circa 1993

My grandmother, Horea Mohamed Yousef Ahmed, circa 1993

My grandmother brought Palestine to life for me and my cousins, a generation of children born far from the soil and sky of Ibdis. As she kneaded dough with her expert hands to make flaky malateet cookies,and ma’amoul cookies, my grandmother recited stanzas from the folksongs and poems of her village (time-locked artifacts, vanishing with her generation). Over her succulent stuffed grape leaves or savory molokhea, she’d re-tell the story of her wedding in Ibdis, of her moment as a bride, proudly mounted on a camel, richly ornamented, young and regal.

Other moments, she’d vanish, the Nakba invading her suddenly and leaving her silent and staring blankly as her tea grew cold. When her thoughts returned to us, she’d often speak in low, mournful tones of some family member or friend who had been lost in one of the wars. May God have mercy she’d murmur in Arabic, over and over. Oh Lord, oh Lord… It was a question. It was a prayer.

For her, Palestine was forever her most beautiful dream and her most searing sorrow, her waking moments always infused with the knowledge of What Was, and What Was Lost.

This is the Nakba.

My father, Ziyad, Deir al Balah refugee camp, Gaza, circa 1963

My father, Ziyad, Deir al Balah refugee camp, Gaza, circa 1963

For Palestinians, history is never behind us. It is as near as the blood in our veins, the dog-eared photos in our closets, the names of vanished villages that dangle at the tips of our tongues. Our lives are marked by this inescapable reckoning with the past.

May 15 will be, in some ways, just another day of this personal reckoning. Even so, the public acknowledgement and mourning of the Nakba could offer a unique platform for dismantling the oppressive legacy of the past. Rather than a one-sided moment of communal Palestinian grief, Nakba Day could be an opportunity for Israel-supporters to recognize their responsibility to engage with this grieving. Rather than ignoring or denying the narrative of their Palestinian counterparts (see “Nakba Day Law”), those who seek peace must recognize that there cannot be healing without acknowledging the true roots of the present conflict—dispossession, abuse, indignity. Though the idea of mainstream Israeli acceptance of the Nakba may sound far-fetched, there are promising signs from organizations like Zochrot, BADIL and the Nakba Education Project.

I am not suggesting a return to some idyllic pre-Nakba past. I recognize the tide of time, and some things are irretrievable. Even so, as a daughter of the diaspora and a bearer of my grandmother’s legacy, I long for resolution wherein human life is dignified above nationalist myth or religious dogma. I pray for a peace between true equals, and end to the cycle of victimization and violence. I dream of a future born of truth-telling done by courageous and humble people, a reckoning with the excruciating past and an acknowledgment of all those—Palestinian, Jew, or otherwise—who have suffered as a result of this enduring “catastrophe.” For those who long for an end to “the conflict”—and indeed, there are some who prefer enmity to equity—the price of selective memory is too high to ignore.

Nakba Day, like all “days of remembrance,” is thus important not simply as an end in itself, but for the difficult and ground-breaking work that faithful reckoning with the past might inspire. May honesty, humility, and imagination lead us forward. 

Sarah Aziza

Sarah Aziza is a Palestinian American writer and activist born in Chicago, IL. She has worked with refugee populations in Algeria, Jordan, South Africa, and the West Bank. She recently relocated from Amman where she spent a year as a Fulbright fellow at UNRWA. In addition to pursuing graduate studies at NYU, Sarah works in education and advocacy among immigrant and undocumented communities in New York City. Her twitter is @SarahAziza1

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103 Responses

  1. just on May 15, 2015, 10:10 am

    Oh, Sarah. Thank you for this. Thank you for your lyrical words and for sharing your beautiful photos. Thank you for sharing your heart.

    It is searingly poignant, and rife with both agonizing pain and hope.

    “I recognize the tide of time, and some things are irretrievable. Even so, as a daughter of the diaspora and a bearer of my grandmother’s legacy, I long for resolution wherein human life is dignified above nationalist myth or religious dogma. I pray for a peace between true equals, and end to the cycle of victimization and violence. I dream of a future born of truth-telling done by courageous and humble people, a reckoning with the excruciating past and an acknowledgment of all those—Palestinian, Jew, or otherwise—who have suffered as a result of this enduring “catastrophe.””

    Insha’Allah.

    • bintbiba on May 15, 2015, 12:59 pm

      Sarah Thank you for your beautiful and poignant story. I am a grandmother …and I was 12-13 years old when we left Jerusalem .

      I have copied and pasted the same paragraph that ‘Just’ beat me to … Which sums up a lot of how most of us feel and wish for. I can only repeat from the heart how you end …. ….

      “May honesty, humility, and imagination lead us forward. ” – See more at: http://mondoweiss.net/2015/05/palestinians-history-memories#sthash.xW9ojkIH.dpuf

  2. msmoore on May 15, 2015, 11:35 am

    My thanks as well.

  3. Jackdaw on May 15, 2015, 12:33 pm

    In July 1948, Ibdis was a battle zone.
    The village billeted two companies of the Egyptian Army as well as a local militia.
    Attacks and counter-attacks and large scale diversionary attacks involving tanks, armor and air support continued until the Israeli Army prevailed.

    If I’m not mistaken, Ibdis was allocated to the Jewish State as part of the November 1947 Partition Plan.

    Facts, are stubborn things.

    • just on May 15, 2015, 1:24 pm

      “Welcome To ‘Ibdis
      District of Gaza
      عبدس – עיבדיס
      Ethnically cleansed 24,416 days ago”

      http://www.palestineremembered.com/Gaza/Ibdis/index.html

    • bintbiba on May 15, 2015, 1:43 pm

      Jackdaw,

      Mighty white of you to invoke the The 1947 Partition Plan … which unceremoniously and unfairly
      blindsided the Palestinians and
      The rest is the ongoing disaster with all its ramifications.

      • Jackdaw on May 15, 2015, 2:47 pm

        @bint

        ‘Blindsided the Palestinians’.

        This was a civil war between Jewish Palestinians and Muslim Palestinians. A civil war, until the Arab States invaded.

        One third of all citizens of 1940’s Mandatory Palestine, 600,000 souls, were Jews.

      • Bumblebye on May 15, 2015, 4:16 pm

        @ThievingCrow
        As you well know, the Arab armies entered the area slated for the *Palestinian* state, to protect people who had no armed forces from marauding invaders whose intent was to steal far more than the allotted partition whose boundaries they had officially “accepted” as their borders. There was very little fighting in areas that were officially part of the newly declared Israel (within the partition borders) except in attempts to prevent ethnic cleansing/massacres.
        That’s why, note, there were no UN resolutions against the Arab armies, while there are against thieving Israel.

      • ziusudra on May 16, 2015, 12:27 am

        Greetings bintbiba,
        Always good to read you.
        We are impatient, but Serendiperty is lounging in the wings, in no hurry to appear, to change the equasion for the benefit of the Falesteeni.
        ziusudra
        PS The Zionists will ne’er have enough rope, but hang they will.

      • talknic on May 16, 2015, 6:37 pm

        @ Jackdaw “This was a civil war between Jewish Palestinians and Muslim Palestinians. A civil war, until the Arab States invaded”

        A) It was a war between Jewish Palestinians and non-Jewish Palestinians. Arab Christians and even Arab atheists were also dispossessed.

        B) The Israeli Govt web site says they invaded “Palestine”

        C) There were Jewish forces in non-Israeli territories the day Israel’s borders were proclaimed. The neighbouring Arab states, as UN Members (except for TransJordan) and regional powers, had right to attempt to expel foreign forces from what remained of Palestine after Israel was proclaimed independent of Palestine.

        D) With Jewish forces already in territories not slated for the Jewish state, at exactly 00:01 May 15th 1948 (ME time) when Israel’s independence came into effect within the “frontiers approved by the General Assembly of the United Nations in its Resolution of November 29, 1947”, the civil war that had been exacerbated by Plan Dalet in the months leading up to the termination of the British Mandate, became an armed invasion by the state of Israel on what remained of Palestine.

        E) No UNSC resolution on the Question of Palestine calls for peace in Israel, they call for “peace in Palestine”. The Israel Government itself on the 22nd May 1948 confirmed the war was fought in territories “outside the State of Israel” … “in Palestine”

        “One third of all citizens of 1940’s Mandatory Palestine, 600,000 souls, were Jews”

        Is that counting the illegal Jewish immigrants too? BTW how many were Jewish Arabs indigenous to the region?

      • echinococcus on May 16, 2015, 7:22 pm

        May I take the liberty to pick a couple nits, talknic, or offer interpretations that are at least equally plausible according to the documentation we all have?

        A) It was a war between Jewish Palestinians and non-Jewish Palestinians.

        Between Zionist colonizers and invaders authorized by the British colonial overlord (or illegally on the land even according to the British colonial overlord) against Palestinians. Palestinian Jews of long date cannot be counted on the aggressor side and, in their majority, opposed the Zionist project so that most of them had already been run out of the country: persecuted by the terrorist Zionist thugs, especially the Jabotinsky fascists, they settled in Cairo, Istanbul, Smyrna, Paris, New York etc. Those of them who converted to Zionism are still spoken of with contempt.

        C) There were Jewish forces in non-Israeli territories the day Israel’s borders were proclaimed. The neighbouring Arab states, as UN Members (except for TransJordan) and regional powers, had right to attempt to expel foreign forces from what remained of Palestine after Israel was proclaimed independent of Palestine.

        There were no Israeli territories, not at least for anyone not recognizing the unilateral proclamation. The GA partition plan was just a failed proposal, accepted by neither the Zionist entity or the local population (and not made executive to this day by the formally required UNSC act.)
        The terrorists’ “proclaiming themselves independent of Palestine” had no legitimacy at all behind it. So the status of any Zionist terrorists anywhere in Palestine, not only outside that proposed without result for partition but also in that proposed for some hypothetical Jewish fraction, was not that of “foreign forces” but terrorist bands, even for those times; their not being supressed by the outgoing mandate holder Great Britain obliged the other UN members present to try to keep order it in its stead.

        …Israel’s independence came into effect within the “frontiers approved by the General Assembly of the United Nations in its Resolution of November 29, 1947”

        Worthless, as that GA resolution not only had no legal teeth, it had not been implemented by any of the parties.

        “One third of all citizens of 1940’s Mandatory Palestine, 600,000 souls, were Jews”
        Is that counting the illegal Jewish immigrants too?

        Is immigration approved/authorized by the colonial authority Great Britain as mandate holder legal according to you? As opposed, I mean, to an Ottoman subject. Makes quite a difference.

      • talknic on May 16, 2015, 9:30 pm

        @ chinococcus

        “May I take the liberty to pick a couple nits, talknic, or offer interpretations that are at least equally plausible according to the documentation we all have?

        //A) It was a war between Jewish Palestinians and non-Jewish Palestinians.//

        “Between Zionist colonizers and invaders authorized by the British colonial overlord (or illegally on the land even according to the British colonial overlord) against Palestinians”

        What you will, it was never the less by definition a civil war, i.e., non Jewish Palestinian against Jewish Palestinian until precisely 00:01 May 15th 1948 (ME time), when it became a war by the State of Israel on what remained of Palestine.

        Under the Mandate for Palestine the British were to control the immigration of Jews according in a manner that did not overburden the country or disadvantage the local non-Jewish population. They made this clear in both the White Papers, reiterating the LoN Mandate for Palestine. There was a huge outcry from the Zionists when the British administration curtailed Jewish immigration to comply with their mandate as administrator under the LoN Mandate for Palestine.

        “Palestinian Jews of long date cannot be counted on the aggressor side and, in their majority, opposed the Zionist project so that most of them had already been run out of the country”

        It wouldn’t surprise me. Best to supply sources

        “There were no Israeli territories, not at least for anyone not recognizing the unilateral proclamation.”

        They were and still are a minority.

        “The GA partition plan was just a failed proposal, accepted by neither the Zionist entity…..”

        Nonsense. Friday, 5 March 1948 Rabbi Silver stated to the UNSC

        “We feel under the obligation to make our position unmistakably clear. As far as the Jewish people are concerned, they have accepted the decision of the United Nations. We regard it as binding, and we are resolved to move forward in the spirit of that decision. “

        “The terrorists’ “proclaiming themselves independent of Palestine” had no legitimacy at all behind it”

        The Zionist Movement and the Jewish People’s Council declared independence according to UNGA res 181 which did not require both parties to agree. Independence by it’s very nature unilateral. “Either” party could declare independence independently of the other and be admitted to the UN if they declared according to UNGA res 181. If they had to agree for independence to take effect, they’d not have been independent. Simple really.

        “So the status of any Zionist terrorists anywhere in Palestine, not only outside that proposed without result for partition but also in that proposed for some hypothetical Jewish fraction, was not that of “foreign forces” but terrorist bands..”

        Then it would have been State terrorism AFTERr Israel was proclaimed.

        “their not being supressed by the outgoing mandate holder Great Britain obliged the other UN members present to try to keep order it in its stead”

        The UK had no mandate after the Mandate for Palestine expired. Of course it was up to the Arab Regional powers to maintain order in non-Israeli territories. That’s why there are no UNSC resolutions against any Arab state for attacking Jewish/Israeli forces in what remained of Palestine after Israel proclaimed its independence effective.

        //Israel’s independence came into effect within the “frontiers approved by the General Assembly of the United Nations in its Resolution of November 29, 1947″//

        “Worthless, as that GA resolution not only had no legal teeth, it had not been implemented by any of the parties.”

        I gave the Israeli Government’s official plea for recognition and how Israel was recognized and admitted to the UN.

        // Is that counting the illegal Jewish immigrants too? //

        “Is immigration approved/authorized by the colonial authority Great Britain as mandate holder legal according to you? As opposed, I mean, to an Ottoman subject. Makes quite a difference”

        There were legal and illegal Jewish immigrants into Palestine during the Mandate. The illegal immigrants did not have approval from the British administration.

        Israel exists, like it or not. In order to exist and become a UN Member state the Jewish Agency agreed to adhere to UNGA res 181 and Israel on admittance to the UN agreed to adhere to International Law as a state and the UN Charter as a UN Member.

        It hasn’t.

      • echinococcus on May 17, 2015, 6:02 pm

        talknic,

        It took a couple of readings to see that where we disagree is in your opinion that, no matter the illegitimacy even by colonialist-accepted formal rules, once an outlaw band calls itself a state and gets saluted by fellow bandits it’s entitled to international recognition and protection. Let’s pass the word to the Caliph al-Baghdadi, who seemed to consider it in the same spirit, when he called his outfit a State.
        A couple minor details, like the worthless statement by the Zionist entity to have accepted a GA proposal when they had not, or the absurdity of citizenship approvals by Great Britain, etc. can be cleared later.

      • talknic on May 18, 2015, 1:56 am

        @ echinococcus “It took a couple of readings to see that where we disagree is in your opinion that, no matter the illegitimacy even by colonialist-accepted formal rules, once an outlaw band calls itself a state and gets saluted by fellow bandits it’s entitled to international recognition and protection”

        You have me wrong there. Israel exists whether we like it or not or whether we consider it to be legitimate or not, whether you and I or anyone else agrees. The majority of UN Nations were not by 1948 colonialists or outlaw bands BTW.

        One can only argue against the State of Israel from the moment it came into existence. Israel drew its line in the sand following the boundaries outlined in UNGA res 181, effective 00:01 May 15th 1948 (ME time). There has never been any agreement under which any further territories have since been legally acquired by, ceded to, or annexed to Israel.

        Nothing that happened prior to 00:01 May 15th 1948, the cherry pickings of Twain said, whether or not Jews “made the desert bloom”, whether there were massacres or whether Jews owned ‘real estate’ pre- Israeli statehood, effects the legal status of Israel’s self proclaimed and Internationally recognized sovereign extent as of 00:01 May 15th 1948.

        I’ve tried to narrow down to the least amount of reading as possible the premise of the obligations undertaken in official statements towards and on behalf of the Jewish state by officials representing the Zionist Federation, the Jewish agency and the State of Israel.
        http://wp.me/pDB7k-Yx
        and
        http://wp.me/pDB7k-Xk

        Statements which in their own words, show consecutive governments and the Hasbara apologists to be either irrelevant nonsense or blatant lies.

        By their own official statements, Israeli sovereignty was limited to the borders described in UNGA res 181. By their own words that Palestine did exist after Israel was proclaimed independent of Palestine and that Israel was operating in and fighting its so called ‘war of Independence’ in non-Israeli territory. Israel was officially independent 00:01 May 15th 1948 (ME time). the 1948 war between Israel and the other regional powers was fought in and over territories “outside the State of Israel” … “in Palestine”

        By their own words that Israel is hugely indebted to: A) the International Comity of Nations, the UN and the people of Palestine for there even being a Jewish state and; B) far from Israel making generous concessions, the Palestinians have been incredibly generous in their offers to cede some
        78% of their rightful territories to Israel for peace
        and; that Israel has offered absolutely nothing towards peace. Not one thing, ever.

        What Israel calls ‘concessions’ are nonsense. Israel has never legally acquired any further territories to those it proclaimed effective 00:01 May 15th 1948 (ME time). The offer to swap non-Israeli territory for non-Israeli territory so Israel can keep non-Israeli territory is NOT a concession. It’s arrogant theft, ignoring the official statements of the Israelis, the Jewish Agency, the Zionist Movement and hundreds of UNSC resolutions affording Israel hundreds of opportunities to comply with the binding Laws and UN charter reaffirmed and emphasized in those resolutions. Laws and UN Charter the Israelis agreed, in their own words, to adhere to.

        The offer to accept absolutely minimal RoR to Israel is NOT a concession, it’s the right of Israel’s non-Jewish Israeli citizens and of Palestinian refugees to return to Palestine is also a right. (Refugees from the 1948 and 1967 wars do not all have a right to return to Israel). Adhering to the law, is not a concession, it’s an obligation.

        Their own words and contrary actions to which the Hasbarristers never have any answers.

      • echinococcus on May 18, 2015, 3:04 am

        Talknic,

        No use prolonging a dialogue of the deaf. I heard you the first time. You are repeating that no matter what, its very existence legitimates the Zionist entity as a state. I’ll repeat again, unheard by you, that whatever you wrote there is fine and dandy but I don’t care about the fact of its existence as it remains totally illegitimate, even according to the colonialists’ own rules; an illegitimate existence only a general agreement by a Palestinian people, reached independently and without blackmail can ever legitimize. As for whatever you write about ridiculous compromises made by Zionists’ puppets in the name of the Palestinian people, they are worthless until then.
        Why is this somehow important? Because what exists can be made to disappear. As you write yourself, the Zionists are not interested in anything but genocide and unencumbered land, so offering x% etc. is pointless.

      • Mooser on May 18, 2015, 11:02 am

        “Echinococcus”, there is something fascinating about “Jackdaw’s” decision that this post was the right place for him to argue the greater imperatives of Zionism over those of “Arabs”.
        He looked at the post, the images, the text, and thought this was the perfect place. Buncha smart ones, those Zionists.

      • talknic on May 20, 2015, 9:19 am

        @ echinococcus ” You are repeating that no matter what, its very existence legitimates the Zionist entity as a state.”

        Not at all. I think the creation of the State of Israel legitimate or not, was a costly and foolish exercise. Had it been attempted today it would likely have failed because there is too much information available via the internet that would show the Zionist Federation scams and lies so easily now proven to be what they were and still are. Not so in 1948.

        Today I can and have at times lobbied almost every politician in Australia with the simple click of a button and lead them to the statements made by the Zionist Federations and Jewish Agency and the Israeli Government. I can show them how Australia recognized Israel, per UNGA res 181, borders and all. I can show the lies and deceit. In 1948 it took phone calls, telegrams, letters and cross referencing took months if not years.

        The LoN Mandate was the closest Palestine ever came to being a democratic state for all it’s citizens equally. It was not enough for the Zionist colonizers who wanted control of the ultimate relic

        Today however, Israel legitimate or not, exists and aside from the Palestinians having been ripped off, walked all over, slaughtered and deprived of their rights, there are now millions of Jewish folk who have, for the most part innocently, been caught up in the Zionist created mess. They’re deprived of key facts and been fed lifetimes of Hasbara bullsh*t, sold land that doesn’t even belong to the state

        They’ve naively created their lives, homes businesses in non-Israeli territory illegally acquired by war from 1948 and 1967.

        I don’t have a home or family or business illegally in territories outside of my state, but I have fought my own way clear of Zionist propaganda and I can attest it was still a traumatic experience to be shown almost everything you believed in was bullsh*t!

        Imagine the quandary innocent Israelis would be in to find they have been ripped off and misled by their own state for 67 years and that their religion and the Holocaust has been used and abused in the Zionist cause, which is nothing more than a self perpetuating money making scam that without the US veto vote in the UNSC would collapse, leaving Israel as a bankrupt failed state owing billions in reparations and billions for the resettlement of unwitting illegal settlers and those who have purposefully broken the law, resulting in millions of dis-illusioned, very angry and scared Israelis.

        If we do not also show compassion for them, we have failed, no matter what the outcome.

        They and the Palestinians deserve justice. The closest we will ever get to justice in this matter will be thru a legal process, that’s why I advocate adherence to the law and the law as a basis for resolving otherwise intractable situations and if Israel must exist, it must exist as it was proclaimed, in compliance with its self imposed legal obligations.

        Israel has never been able to afford the compensations it owes for not adhering to the laws it first broke 00:01 May 15th 1948. Today there are so many illegal ‘facts on the ground’ Israel must strike a plea bargain with the Palestinians, acknowledging the debt and hoping for Palestinian compassion and generosity. It is the only legal way in which Israel can legitimize itself

    • zaid on May 15, 2015, 2:40 pm

      jack

      1-why does zionists believe that if you won a war you are allowed to commit crimes and ethnically cleanse people…..what do you people learn in schools.

      2-the partition plan didnot mention ethnically cleansing non jews from israel or am i missing something

      • Jackdaw on May 15, 2015, 2:55 pm

        Some, not all, Arabs, were ethnically cleansed. The majority fled a war zone, but were denied re-entry to the country after hostilities ceased.

        If you lose a war, do you ethnically cleanse 500,000 Arab Jews who were totally uninvolved in the war? Is that what you people learn in schools?

      • Kris on May 15, 2015, 7:10 pm

        @jackdaw: “If you lose a war, do you ethnically cleanse 500,000 Arab Jews who were totally uninvolved in the war? Is that what you people learn in schools?”

        What are you talking about?

      • zaid on May 16, 2015, 4:30 am

        jack
        whether fled or expelled or went shopping there is no difference, Israel doesn’t have the right to ban them from returning, and morally it is the same as expelling them.

        by the way this shouldn’t be understood as an endorsement for the nonsense that you spewed about Palestinians fleeing and not being expelled.(i said it for the sake of argument).

        regarding the myth of jewish refugees from arab land.
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xlytnFAQfEo

        when you ask an ashkenazi jew why he immigrated to israel he will tell you about how he has been waiting for thousands of years to return to his historic land (alleged) and that zionisim is part of his faith blah blah blah.
        but when you ask the same ashkenzi jew about mizrahi jews return to Israel he will tell you it is because they were expelled………i am confused is there two sets of judaisim…..or do they say it because it is convenient for them .

        anyway as a Palestinian i support he arab jews right of return to arab countries but i doubt that you do support the right of Palestinian to return to Palestine.

        you see the difference in what we both learn in school…..

      • talknic on May 16, 2015, 1:00 pm

        @ Jackdaw

        “Some, not all, Arabs, were ethnically cleansed. “

        Some 20% of non-Jewish Israeli citizens were allowed to stay and of course Jewish Arabs were allowed to stay too. There’s something doesn’t add up tho. Maybe you can help.

        About 20% of the Israeli population was Arab, right?

        It’s odd because by 1950 the population of Israel was about 1,370,000 and there were about 156,000 non-Jewish Arabs in Israel and some 500,000 Arab Jewish refugees from the Arab states.

        That’s about 656,000 Arabs of a population of about 1,370,000. Which is about 47% ……. not including the indigenous Jewish Arabs of Israel BTW

        If we include them, the Arab Israeli population of Israel in 1948 was in excess of 50%. A large number of Israeli Jews today are of Arabic descent. Strands of their DNA is woven deep into our Jewish Israeli fellows. Odd isn’t it that lushious Jewish Israeli wenches are chastised for falling in love with lusty Arab studs

        Simple maths revealed the Jewish state was majority Arab WITHOUT the return of the non-Jewish Israelis who fled the war.

        “The majority fled a war zone, but were denied re-entry to the country after hostilities ceased”

        The operative words are “still denied”! WOW Imagine if the non-Jewish Israeli Arabs were allowed to return. Israel would be a Jewish Arab state.

        Say… what’s wrong with that?

        “If you lose a war, do you ethnically cleanse 500,000 Arab Jews who were totally uninvolved in the war? Is that what you people learn in schools?”

        I learned to look closely at things. Like the Israel’s official plea for recognition and the Arab imbedded in Israel’s Jewish population and what happens when countries are at war. Like …..

        It’s normal for countries at war to expel or intern people who have ties with their enemy even if they’re totally uninvolved in the war.

        Australia, the US expelled and interned their own German and Japanese citizens. It’s also normal to release or allow their return and unfreeze their assets.

        However, when a person takes citizenship in a country other than that of return as Jewish refugees to Israel did, they no longer have refugee status. They’re under the protection of their new state, their old state has no duty to them.

        It’s also normal for countries at war to forbid their citizens entry into hostile territory. Israeli law of 1948 (still in place) prevented Israelis from worshiping in hostile territory under Jordanian annexation. Jordan naturally reciprocated.

        It’s normal if you occupy you either legally annex by agreement or withdraw from territory captured for strategic purposes while at war and allow folk to return to their homes. The US and Australia aren’t illegally settling Iraq or Afghanistan, claiming it for themselves and they’re not preventing refugees from returning to Iraq.

        What did you learn at school, Hasbara?

      • truth2power on May 18, 2015, 3:39 pm

        This is a wonderful, heart-breaking article about the dispossessed of Palestine and the suffering they have and continue to endure. I’m reading the comments, which I cannot fully understand because I am not well enough informed but there is a totally stark illustration of the real truth – just look at the map drawn up in 1948 by the UN, for the two states of Palestine and Israel. Then look at the map for 2015, and the wall and the illegal settlements, as well. If I was Israeli – I would be feeling sick with guilt for being a thief ☹ and no excuse can cover that, can it?

    • ziusudra on May 16, 2015, 12:19 am

      Greetings Jackdaw,
      Your premise of ‘might is right’ cannot be changed or debated. Load on what you can to create your ‘greater Israel’ of which you have practically accomplished. I wish you a long life & sleepless nights after your illusions burst. A Nation in the middle of the fray cannot go unscathed. Zionists don’t read history & the US is unnoticably withering to the east. Empires historically shed their skins of worn out , whining, insatiable Vassals!
      ziusudra

      • Jackdaw on May 16, 2015, 2:00 am

        @ziu

        ” I wish you long life & sleepless nights after your illusions burst”

        My illusions burst a long time ago.

        When are you going to recognize that the Arab world, that part that hasn’t made an accomadation with Israel, is in a ever tightening downward spiral?

        I’m as opposed to a greater Israel as you, so maybe it’s time for Hamas to beat it’s swords into plowshares and accept a negotiated two-State solution.

      • Marnie on May 16, 2015, 2:06 am

        +100

      • talknic on May 16, 2015, 8:45 am

        @ Jackdaw “I’m as opposed to a greater Israel as you”

        I’m happy to hear yourstance. As Israel has already illegally acquired non-Israeli territory for the Greater Israel, it should be returned … right?

        “so maybe it’s time for Hamas to beat it’s swords into plowshares and accept a negotiated two-State solution”

        They publicly announced they would some time ago

      • bintbiba on May 16, 2015, 4:41 pm

        zaid + 1

        Very well said.

      • echinococcus on May 16, 2015, 7:59 pm

        Mr Jackdaw,

        A “negotiated two-state solution” is nothing but a “Greater-Israel solution”. Negotiating is the name for endless delay, and two-state means one state and an impotent, non-sovereign puppet municipal government.

    • Marnie on May 16, 2015, 2:12 am

      Some day you’ll regret the words you write here. You’ll regret your insults, lies and sarcasm you so blithely strew on the precious memories of a people driven from their lands. Shame on you.

      • bintbiba on May 16, 2015, 4:33 pm

        + 1 Marnie….

        You speak as a civilised, moral person , full of human empathy and kindness. As well as from the facts you observe at close quarters.

        Thank you.

        Jackdaw doesn’ t seem to understand that of which you speak.
        Poor diddums…. he sounds like a 12 year old. .

      • Mooser on May 16, 2015, 10:20 pm

        “Poor diddums…. he sounds like a 12 year old.”

        And reasoning and talking on a 12 yr. old level is all that has been required of Zionists, up til now. It has served, and as you notice, Zionists are downright insulted if asked to relate on an adult level.
        At that point they usually retreat into some Jewish-power fantasy (We won it fair and square, cue song: ‘Me’n Jews Against the World’, followed by a post delineating how many Jews are apostates, and just in it for the persecution).

      • echinococcus on May 17, 2015, 12:20 am

        Marnie,

        Some day you’ll regret the words…

        You know them. When do they ever feel shame, guilt, or regret? Only when they lose, when they are made to pay.

    • bryan on May 16, 2015, 6:26 am

      Jackdaw –
      “In July 1948, Ibdis was a battle zone.” According to Walid Khalidi (“All That Remains: The Palestinian Villages Occupied and Depopulated by Israel in 1948”, the first Israeli attack on the village occurred on February 17th 1948 when Israeli forces arrived in three large vehicles, but were repulsed by the local militia. A second Israeli attack was mounted on July 8th (while the first truce was still in effect, though about to expire) and the 626 exclusively Moslem inhabitants were expelled that night or the following morning. Egyptian counterattacks to recapture the village on the 10th and 12th July both failed.

      “If I’m not mistaken, Ibdis was allocated to the Jewish State as part of the November 1947 Partition Plan.” I think you are mistaken, but even had Ibdis been within the area allocated to the Jewish state, that Plan was not a charter for dispossession and ethnic cleansing:

      “The Constituent Assembly of each State shall draft a democratic constitution for its State (*) and choose a provisional government to succeed the Provisional Council of Government appointed by the Commission. The Constitutions of the States shall embody Chapters 1 and 2 of the Declaration provided for in section C below and include, inter alia, provisions for:

      Establishing in each State a legislative body elected by universal suffrage and by secret ballot on the basis of proportional representation, and an executive body responsible to the legislature;

      Settling all international disputes in which the State may be involved by peaceful means in such a manner that international peace and security, and justice, are not endangered; (*)

      Accepting the obligation of the State to refrain in its international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any State, or in any other manner inconsistent with the purpose of the United Nations; (*)

      Guaranteeing to all persons equal and non-discriminatory rights in civil, political, economic and religious matters and the enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms, including freedom of religion, language, speech and publication, education, assembly and association; (*)

      Preserving freedom of transit and visit for all residents and citizens of the other State in Palestine and the City of Jerusalem, subject to considerations of national security, provided that each State shall control residence within its borders. (*)
      …….
      Holy Places and religious buildings or sites shall be preserved. No act shall be permitted which may in an way impair their sacred character. (*)
      …….
      No discrimination of any kind shall be made between the inhabitants on the ground of race, religion, language or sex. (*)
      …….
      No expropriation of land owned by an Arab in the Jewish State (by a Jew in the Arab State) shall be allowed except for public purposes. In all cases of expropriation full compensation as fixed by the Supreme Court shall be said previous to dispossession. (*)

      I have marked with a (*) those commitments accepted by the Yishuv which the Israeli state has failed to honour.

      The one thing you say that is indisputably true is that “facts are stubborn things”.

      • just on May 16, 2015, 9:17 am

        Thank you to bryan, Marnie, ziusudra, talknic, zaid, and Bumblebye…

        Actually, thanks to everyone except “Jackdaw”.

      • Jackdaw on May 16, 2015, 11:50 am

        ‘The Third Battalion of the brigade attacked the village at night, resulting in a ‘long battle” with two companies of the Egyptian Army stationed there. ‘

        How could the Givati brigade ethnically cleanse the village when it was being defended by two companies of the Egyptian Army, and a ‘long battle’ ensued?

        The villagers fled.

      • Jackdaw on May 16, 2015, 1:29 pm

        ‘The conquest and destruction of Beit Daras triggered flight from the neighboring Batani al Sharqi, Ibdis, Julis, and Beit Affa’–Morris, Benny,’ 1948′, page 162.

        http://www.amazon.com/1948-History-First-Arab-Israeli-War/dp/0300151128#reader_0300151128

        Like I said, they fled a battle zone. The village was not ethnically cleansed.

        Why are you people so nasty to me when all I do is speak Truth?

      • just on May 16, 2015, 2:33 pm

        Seems that you’re upset that some “fled” in order to live, Jackdaw. It’s a bit like blaming the victim~ again!!! Perhaps you don’t understand “ethnic cleansing”:

        wiki informs us that:

        “Ethnic cleansing is the systematic forced removal of ethnic or religious groups from a given territory with the intent of making it ethnically or religiously homogeneous. The forces applied may be various forms of forced migration (deportation, population transfer), intimidation, as well as mass murder.”

        Oxford informs us that:

        “ethnic cleansing
        NOUN
        the mass expulsion or killing of members of an unwanted ethnic or religious group in a society.”

        btw, the Givati Brigade is still at it. For instance, in 2014:

        “Israeli commander declares “holy war” on Palestinians

        Givati Brigade commander Ofer Winter (IDF Spokesperson via NRG)
        On the eve of a threatened ground invasion of Gaza, the commander of the Israeli army’s Givati Brigade has told his soldiers that they are engaged in a war to “wipe out” an “enemy who defames” God.

        In a Hebrew language letter to his troops published by Israel’s NRG news website and laden with bibilical references, Colonel Ofer Winter writes, “History has chosen us to be the sharp edge of the bayonet of fighting the terrorist enemy ‘from Gaza’ which curses, defames and abuses the God of Israel’s battles.”

        “We will act together forcefully and with resolve, with initiative and with deceptive tricks and aim for contact with the enemy. We will do everything to live up to the mission and wipe out the enemy and remove the threat from the Nation of Israel,” Winter’s letter adds.

        In Hebrew, the phrase used for “Nation of Israel” refers specifically and only to Jews.

        “In the name of the IDF [Israeli army] fighters and in particular, the fighters and commanders from the Brigade, make the phrase ‘For the Lord your God is he that goeth with you, to fight for you against your enemies, to save you’ come true, and we shall answer: Amen,” he concludes.”…

        http://electronicintifada.net/blogs/ali-abunimah/israeli-commander-declares-holy-war-palestinians

        More:

        …”Winter’s Givati brigade played a key role in the slaughter in Rafah (English edition) in the last week of the war in which 160 Palestinians were killed by vengeful IDF forces seeking vengeance after a Hamas attack that killed an IDF major, sergeant and captured Lt. Hadar Goldin.

        These troops were member of Givati. So when the deputy commander named Eitan came on the scene of that attack he begged Col. Winter to allow him to pursue the Palestinian fighters who’d taken Goldin into the tunnel in which they’d fled.

        Winter permitted him to do so only after exploding a grenade in the tunnel, which would’ve killed Goldin and his captors if they were still there.

        Then Winter and the rest of the IDF proceeded to rampage through Gaza both from air and land. They annihilated any vehicle approaching the hospital in Rafah in case Goldin was being brought for treatment. The attack was relentless and unlike any other previous one in this horrific war. Heavy artillery, air bombardment, striking anything that moved (as Zvi Bar’el wrote in the column I translated yesterday).

        Here is how Haaretz characterized Winter’s “on the ground” interpretation of Hannibal:

        The Givati command headquarters…used the Hannibal procedure to find Goldin. They did so without the immediate authorization of the Gaza Division and Southern Command.

        This was the most aggressive action of its type ever carried out by the IDF, military sources said. In addition to the use of special forces, an armored column moved quickly about one kilometer into Rafah’s built-up area…Israeli air support was also called in.”…

        http://www.richardsilverstein.com/2014/08/07/col-ofer-winter-poster-boy-for-idfs-new-dirty-200/

      • talknic on May 16, 2015, 4:10 pm

        @ Jackdaw

        “How could the Givati brigade ethnically cleanse the village when it was being defended by two companies of the Egyptian Army, and a ‘long battle’ ensued?”

        You win some and you lose some in war. Best not to start them by having forces in other folks’ territories on the day you declare your boundaries because those other folks and their friends have a right to attempt to kick foreign invading forces out and they also have the right once war has started to make incursions into the invading enemy’s territory.

      • Bumblebye on May 16, 2015, 5:40 pm

        Isn’t it about time the carrion bird was warned about persistent Nakba denial? Or preferably, booted! It’s especially offensive at this time – and isn’t allowed wrt site policy. Are mods overworked (asleep at the wheel)?

      • just on May 16, 2015, 5:52 pm

        “Isn’t it about time the carrion bird was warned about persistent Nakba denial?”

        A resounding yes, Bumblebye. (I also appreciated “ThievingCrow”, btw.)

        (where is Annie? She’s gone missing again. :( where’s seafoid? Wherever they are, I hope they’re safe and happy…)

      • talknic on May 16, 2015, 6:03 pm

        @ Jackdaw “Like I said, they fled a battle zone.”

        Best way to prevent yourself being slaughtered when there’s war.

        “The village was not ethnically cleansed.”

        By their being prevented from returning, it was ethnically cleansed of non-Jews.

        “Why are you people so nasty to me when all I do is speak Truth?”

        Your ‘truth’ is little more than typical Hasbara style justification.

      • Bumblebye on May 16, 2015, 6:27 pm

        I hope Annie and seafoid are having happy holidays!

        on the subject of pesky feathered fiends, my neighbor put up a vid of my cat being taunted by another corvid just today (it picks on her wherever she is, even indoors on the windowsill!):

      • just on May 16, 2015, 7:10 pm

        Ooh, Bumblebye~ that’s spectacular!

        Thank your neighbor for me!

      • Mooser on May 16, 2015, 11:31 pm

        “Isn’t it about time the carrion bird was warned about persistent Nakba denial? Or preferably, booted! It’s especially offensive at this time – and isn’t allowed wrt site policy. Are mods overworked (asleep at the wheel)?”

        The Mods, seem to have hardened their attitude to an alarming degree. Before this latest trend, the Moderators made a good-faith effort, simply out of human decency, to keep the Zionist point of view from being represented almost entirely by lunatics. Perhaps that became impossible at some point. After all, has a single Zionist commenter ever protested anything Jeffy, Jackdaw Jon s or Ivriy has said? Well then, they must be representative.
        And unless Mondo wishes to exclude Zionist voices, they are pretty much what you get. And they seem to be crowding Hophmi out, which if true, is pretty funny.

      • RoHa on May 17, 2015, 8:38 am

        I don’t think we can accuse Jackdaw of Nakba denial. He acknowledges explicitly that a lot of Palestinians wre driven out.

        “They weren’t chased out of their village by Jewish bayonets seeking to depopulate. That did happen in Palestine in 1948. It happened a lot. ”

        But I don’t know why he is working so hard to show that a particular group were not driven out. Even if they fled to avoid the fighting, the subsequent refusal to allow tham to return counts as ethnic cleansing.

    • catalan on May 20, 2015, 9:36 am

      “It is the only legal way in which Israel can legitimize itself “- Talknic
      Israel is number 11 in they world happiness index, whether their borders are legitimate or not http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_Happiness_Report. Ahead of the U.S., UK, Belgium, Ireland, and any Arab country (look at how unhappy Qatar is in spite of all their money).
      Clearly, the Israelis are doing something right. What purpose is there for a state than to provide happiness for the citizenry? Personally, I would rather be happy than liked by the United Nations.

      • just on May 20, 2015, 10:31 am

        “Israel is number 11 in they world happiness index”

        Freaky, isn’t it?

        95% of that state cheered the massacre of innocent people in Gaza, and some drank bubbly SodaStream and alcoholic bevvies while watching and celebrating from the Palestinian land that they stole! If all of that makes them happy, it must truly be something to aspire to, eh?

      • eljay on May 20, 2015, 10:42 am

        || catalan: Israel is number 11 in they world happiness index … Clearly, the Israelis are doing something right. ||

        And yet every time Zio-supremacists defend Israel’s decades-long and on-going acts of injustice and immorality, they don’t compare it to the ten happier countries in the world and admit that they are far worse.

        Instead, they compare it to Saudi Arabia, Mali and African “hell-holes” and proudly boast that they are better.

        Clearly, the Israelis are doing something wrong.

      • catalan on May 20, 2015, 10:55 am

        Just,
        Actually the criteria for happiness in the report are real GDP per capita, healthy life expectancy, having someone to count on, perceived freedom to make life choices, freedom from corruption, and generosity.
        Actually, what is noteworthy is the very strong position of the United States, ahead of Germany, France, the UK and many other developed countries. Conclusion – Giles, Keith, Citizen, yourself, and Phil Weiss do not represent the prevailing feelings of Americans. This is one happy place, speaking generally.

  4. Jackdaw on May 16, 2015, 3:42 pm

    ‘Seems that you’re upset that some “fled” in order to live.’

    No. My point is that non-combatants flee war zones. They did in 1948 and they do the same today in Syria and Iraq.
    These villagers fled a war zone. They weren’t chased out of their village by Jewish bayonets seeking to depopulate. That did happen in Palestine in 1948. It happened a lot. It didn’t happen here though. These villagers were not ethnically cleansed, anymore than Syrians fleeing their country for safety aren’t ‘ethnically cleansed’.

    • just on May 16, 2015, 5:58 pm

      “No. My point is that non-combatants flee war zones.”

      As much as I’m sure that you’d love for all Palestinians to flee (be ethnically cleansed) because of Israel’s constant and omnipotent military siege and Occupation of them (Israel’s war against any and all Palestinians), guess what?

      They cannot flee~ they’re imprisoned both from without and within by Israel and the IOF, the Navy, the IAF and by people like you and your brethren..

    • talknic on May 16, 2015, 6:13 pm

      @ Jackdaw does fail 101 again

      ” My point is that non-combatants flee war zones. They did in 1948 and they do the same today in Syria and Iraq.”

      Indeed and they have a right to return

      “These villagers fled a war zone. They weren’t chased out of their village by Jewish bayonets seeking to depopulate. “

      Fear drives people to flee. Fear of death by a peace loving neighbours’ force of arms

      “That did happen in Palestine in 1948. It happened a lot. It didn’t happen here though. These villagers were not ethnically cleansed, anymore than Syrians fleeing their country for safety aren’t ‘ethnically cleansed’.”

      Syrians have a right to return and unlike Arabs fleeing because they’re non-Jews and not allowed to return because they’re non Jews, Syrians are not fleeing because they’re non-Arab and if they’re not allowed to return it isn’t because they’re non-Arabs. Their ethnicity is the same as those they’re fleeing.

    • zaid on May 16, 2015, 6:18 pm

      jack
      whether fled or expelled or went shopping there is no difference, Israel doesn’t have the right to ban them from returning, and morally it is the same as expelling them.

      by the way this shouldn’t be understood as an endorsement for the nonsense that you spewed about Palestinians fleeing and not being expelled.(i said it for the sake of argument).

      if Palestinians stay in their homes, israel kills them and blames them for not leaving to safety (like in gaza). and if they left their homes israel doesn’t allow them to return so what should the Palestinians do in war ………Jack ??????

      • just on May 16, 2015, 7:18 pm

        +1, zaid!

    • Brewer on May 16, 2015, 10:47 pm

      Jack, you are being disingenuous. Sure, civilians flee battle zones. To prohibit their return is a War Crime however and it is ethnic cleansing. You know that.
      The Plan for Partition offers no comfort to the thesis you appear to be propounding here. You may well argue that the plan was legally formed (and I would happily dispute that point) but even if it were so, nowhere in it is there sanction for the alienation of property or the transfer of population. But that is what happened and, as time goes on, more and more evidence emerges that such a transfer, equivalent to ethnic cleansing, was planned. We have the statements and the documents.
      I am surprised to see such a point of view being voiced here. Those old tropes have long been settled. Taking an incident like Ibdis and trying to divorce it from what was a crime of colossal proportions committed against a largely defenceless indigenous populace is just silly. It might work on Zionist-oriented blogs but you are dealing with grown-ups here.

    • bryan on May 17, 2015, 5:45 am

      This is a pretty stupid argument that you have got yourself involved in, Jackdaw. Your point seems to be that war in a nasty business, and often brings atrocities, but many of the exiled Palestinians were simply hapless civilians who chose to flee their homes when they were caught up in the crossfire between opposing armies. Nonsense – the doyen of Zionist history argues vehemently against you.

      Interviewed following the updated second edition of his landmark work “The Birth of the Palestinian Refugee Problem” he says the following: “What the new material [from the IDF archives] shows is that there were far more Israeli acts of massacre than I had previously thought. To my surprise, there were also many cases of rape. In the months of April-May 1948, units of the Haganah [the pre-state defense force that was the precursor of the IDF] were given operational orders that stated explicitly that they were to uproot the villagers, expel them and destroy the villages themselves.”

      …”There was also a great deal of arbitrary killing.”… ” There are cases such as the village of Dawayima [in the Hebron region], in which a column entered the village with all guns blazing and killed anything that moved.” … “In Operation Hiram there was a unusually high concentration of executions of people against a wall or next to a well in an orderly fashion.”

      “That can’t be chance. It’s a pattern. Apparently, various officers who took part in the operation understood that the expulsion order they received permitted them to do these deeds in order to encourage the population to take to the roads. The fact is that no one was punished for these acts of murder. Ben-Gurion silenced the matter. He covered up for the officers who did the massacres.”

      … ” on October 31, 1948, the commander of the Northern Front, Moshe Carmel, issued an order in writing to his units to expedite the removal of the Arab population. Carmel took this action immediately after a visit by Ben-Gurion to the Northern Command in Nazareth. There is no doubt in my mind that this order originated with Ben-Gurion. Just as the expulsion order for the city of Lod, which was signed by Yitzhak Rabin, was issued immediately after Ben-Gurion visited the headquarters of Operation Dani [July 1948].”

      Are you saying that Ben-Gurion was personally responsible for a deliberate and systematic policy of mass expulsion?

      “From April 1948, Ben-Gurion is projecting a message of transfer. There is no explicit order of his in writing, there is no orderly comprehensive policy, but there is an atmosphere of [population] transfer. The transfer idea is in the air. The entire leadership understands that this is the idea. The officer corps understands what is required of them. Under Ben-Gurion, a consensus of transfer is created.”

      Ben-Gurion was a “transferist”?

      “Of course. Ben-Gurion was a transferist. He understood that there could be no Jewish state with a large and hostile Arab minority in its midst. There would be no such state. It would not be able to exist.”

      I don’t hear you condemning him.

      “Ben-Gurion was right. If he had not done what he did, a state would not have come into being. That has to be clear. It is impossible to evade it. Without the uprooting of the Palestinians, a Jewish state would not have arisen here.” (See: http://www.counterpunch.org/2004/01/16/an-interview-with-benny-morris/)

      Be honest Jackdaw – there is a huge difference between “non-combatants flee[ing] zones” (which is not “ethnic cleansing”) and a populace terrified of rape, indiscriminate shooting, massacres, and a consistent campaign to drive them away, and to make any return impossible, by destroying their homes and livelihoods, which can only be described as “ethnic cleansing”. Why are you “evading the issue” as Morris phrases it?

      • just on May 17, 2015, 8:12 am

        Thank you, bryan.

        I’m not sure that Jackdaw can recognize the truth, but that’s not unusual for a committed Zionist.

    • Marnie on May 17, 2015, 6:45 am

      I gave you the benefit of the doubt, but you’re bound and determined to be hateful and evil. Fine. Now I see you for what you are. You better watch what you’re planting; you ready for the harvest? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yqmreq-dV84

      • just on May 17, 2015, 8:49 am

        +1, Marnie!

    • talknic on May 20, 2015, 9:42 am

      @ Jackdaw

      ” My point is that non-combatants flee war zones. They did in 1948 and they do the same today in Syria and Iraq”

      And they have a right to flee under the Laws of War Geneva Convention IV…Section II..Occupied territories..Art49…The Occupying Power shall not detain protected persons in an area particularly exposed to the dangers of war unless the security of the population or imperative military reasons so demand.

      I do hope you’re on the defense team for Israeli War Criminals at the ICC.

      Although Israel leafleted civilians in Gaza, warning them to leave, Israel prevented civilians from fleeing the war zone in Gaza by having Egypt close the crossings between Gaza and Egypt under the 2005 agreements and via the Egypt/Israel peace treaty. Israel is the Occupying Power over Gaza, not Egypt. The Occupying Power decides if borders should be closed to Occupied Territories. The people of Gaza could only flee to somewhere else in the war zone, not even to sea, as Israel controls Palestinian territorial waters.

  5. Kay24 on May 16, 2015, 7:36 pm

    It is sad that only the Israelis are portrayed as “victims” in this tragic situation. The Palestinian side, the factual side, of a people living in the territories for decades, with a wonderful history, and flourishing ,until transgressors were dumped in their midst, without their approval, and that the results have been tragic for them, and causing them losses beyond repair. To hear the narrative in the US media, you would think it was the Israelis who lived there for centuries, had flourishing farms, and living civilized lives, and that it was the Palestinians who took it all away!
    The Israelis are like a toxic fungus spreading into what once belonged to the Palestinians, the farms, the lands, the ancestral homes, the olive trees, even the soil, has been violently taken from them. Still, the world watches and does nothing.

    • Jackdaw on May 17, 2015, 1:55 am

      @Kay

      Toxic fungus?

      In the 1830’s, Palestine was a battlefield as the Egyptian pasha clashed with the Ottomans. Then the Druzim took up arms and clashed in the Galil (killing Jews in Safed, of course).
      Bedouin marauders attacked city dwellers in the region repeatedly in the 1800’s until the Ottoman’s launched ‘bandit suppression’ campaigns to return some order to the region.
      Then there’s the Ottoman’s violent crackdown on nascent Palestine- Arab nationalism in the early part of the 19th century. Then the War for Palestine between the British and Ottoman armies that displaced and killed thousands of Arabs and destroyed whole villages.

      Kay. Did you know that during World War I, Australian and New Zealand soldiers massacred over 100 Arab men from the village of Sarafand? Beat them to death with clubs and knives?

      All this disorder, death and destruction wrought without the’ toxic fungus’. How can that be?

      • Marnie on May 17, 2015, 8:44 am

        You really should change your name from Jackdaw to Hannibal Lecter. Leave the animal kingdom alone. You have all the charm and wit of a serial killer. What unintended irony!

      • Kay24 on May 17, 2015, 11:38 am

        Do you have to go back to the Ottoman era to justify the present day crimes of Israel, the transgressors, who were dumped into Palestinian territories and from that time have made the lives of those indigenous people, a living hell today? Two wrongs do not make a right. It is pathetic that apologists must point to other situation, even today, to make what Israel is doing, look better.

      • Jackdaw on May 17, 2015, 12:24 pm

        @kay

        No. I have to go back to the Ottoman era to show you that life in Palestine was hellish before the Zionists ever stepped foot there.

        Let’s talk about how wonderful life was for Arab women, for landless peasants indentured to the money lenders, for urban laborers unable to organize.
        The effendis had their foot on the neck of the fellahin, and Zionist notions like socialism, emancipation of women, and organized labor were a threat to the effendis who stirred up the masses with religiously tinged Jew hatred.

        Let’s talk about Bedouin brigandry, their unbreakable feudal caste system, and how they bought, sold and kept African slaves well into the twentieth century.

        Your olive grove tending and lemon tree in the courtyard myths don’t square with history.

      • echinococcus on May 17, 2015, 2:29 pm

        “Jackdaw” is of the opinion that poverty and living under a feudal system justifies the genocide of the people living under it.
        Not an original thought. The Nazis had the same.

      • Kay24 on May 17, 2015, 4:02 pm

        So you are merely justifying the atrocities against
        Palestinian Arabs by the Jews, by going far back into the past and trying to convince us here that they should be grateful for the transgressors violence against them, and the continued theft of their lands and resources. Surely you cannot be suggesting that the poor Palestinians must put up with their suffering because of inequalities that go on among their community. No nation is perfect, neither are people, even in the US we find many cases of indiscrimination and inequality, but that is not the point at all, and it is not an excuse to keep an occupation going. That is utter nonsense.
        Israel has been a curse on these people, and instead of being grateful to find a place to call home, after their spell of homelessness and being unwanted around the world, these transgressors have become a bane on their neighbor’s existence, a greedy entity that uses violence, lies, and false cries of victimhood, to keep a brutal occupation going, and steal all it can from helpless victims. It seems that “toxic fungi” has been spreading it’s unwanted poison in territories not entitled to it.

        Now take a look at what goes on in that so called ( democratic) beacon of shining light in the Middle East presently…..

        http://www.telegraph.co.uk/comment/personal-view/3638934/Second-class-citizens-in-their-own-country.html

        http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/news/not-only-the-ultra-orthodox-discriminate-against-women-in-israel-1.403578

        http://mondoweiss.net/2014/03/journalist-blistering-indictment

        The Israeli propaganda machine ought to stop this” look over there, we are better”
        narrative, it is beginning to sound lame.

        Echinococcus is right, it is not an original thought and reminiscent of the nazis.

      • Brewer on May 17, 2015, 6:52 pm

        As a Kiwi I feel great shame at mention of the massacre at Surafend, a drunken rampage by Anzacs and British troops in retaliation for the killing of a soldier. Despite the prior evacuation of women and children, it was a barbaric and criminal act and I believe my countrymen were the principal instigators. Nothing can excuse the act but let us compare the reaction to it by the authorities. Allenby condemned the participants as “cowards and murderers” but the soldiers refused to testify so individual punishments were stymied. The Australian, British and New Zealand governments acknowledged the massacre and it remains a huge stain on our national pride. Compensation (albeit paltry) was paid

        Disgusting but not denied, excused or cloaked in dis-information, activities that you, Jack, are engaged in here and have been the policy of Zionists for nigh on a century.

        This should answer your question:
        “Why are you people so nasty to me when all I do is speak Truth? ”
        “Truth” is not served by pettifogging, diversionary argument and yours place you squarely in the camp of the perpetrators.

      • just on May 17, 2015, 6:58 pm

        Thanks for both of your posts here on this thread, Brewer.

        ““Truth” is not served by pettifogging, diversionary argument and yours place you squarely in the camp of the perpetrators.”

        Very well put!

      • zaid on May 18, 2015, 5:17 am

        jack
        stop making stuff up.
        show us the evidence for the nonsense you write.
        lets start with your claims about palestinian Bedouins….. i am waiting.

        you are so sad

        this is what is happening here:

        1- you give a comment full of lies without evidence ,not to mention it doesn’t make sense.
        2-we respond and correct you factually (historically) and logically /morally.
        3-you change the subject and jump to another issue and repeat point 1 and so on.

        what does the fact that the only way to defend israel is through lies tells you about that entity.

      • Jackdaw on May 18, 2015, 8:59 am

        @zaid

        “lets start with your claims about palestinian Bedouins….. i am waiting”

        http://www.blackpast.org/perspectives/black-diaspora-israel-1965-2011

        I’m here.

      • Jackdaw on May 18, 2015, 10:24 am

        @Marnie

        Maybe we should meet over dinner some time, say fava beans and a Chianti.

      • zaid on May 18, 2015, 2:44 pm

        @jackdaw

        sorry but the blacks of palestine came to palestine hundreds of years in the past when all the world had slaves. and the source you quoted doesnot give details.

        anyway ….what does this have to do with Israel occupying and colonizing palestine.
        how is it relevant.

      • Jackdaw on May 19, 2015, 4:17 am

        @zaid

        Maybe you should have read my link more carefully.

        “Although the countries of origin of the black Bedouin are unknown, their ancestors are most likely from east Africa. Most of the ancestors were probably bought as children either in Egypt or Arabia during the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries and taken to the Negev… Even today, there is opposition to a black Bedouin marrying a ‘peasant’ woman because it represents intermarriage between whites and blacks.

        “Under the British Mandate over Palestine (1917–1948), slavery was legally abolished, but authorities did little to enforce the law. Slavery finally collapsed in the early 1950s under the political and social upheaval brought about by the war of 1948 and the establishment of the State of Israel.”

        So Israel finally emancipated the slaves in 1948. How relevant is this? Depends who you ask.

      • zaid on May 19, 2015, 5:00 am

        the blacks of Palestine were not slaves in the 19th or the 20th century or at least most of them and i personally know a lot of them and they would laugh at you and your article.
        regarding your source ,it is an article which may or may not be accurate.

      • eljay on May 19, 2015, 1:08 pm

        || Jackdaw: @kay No. I have to go back to the Ottoman era to show you that life in Palestine was hellish before the Zionists ever stepped foot there. … ||

        A woman who was abused as a child finds herself trapped in a violently abusive marriage. According to Zio-supremacist “logic”, the solution to this woman’s problems:
        – is not to arrest the spouse and hold him fully accountable for his past and on-going crimes, and to provide to the woman the counselling and financial assistance she needs in order to become a healthy and productive member of society;
        – is to let someone kidnap her, chain her in his basement and self-(self-)determine himself in her as long as he gives her nice clothes, make-up and cable TV (stuff she never had back home).

        Interesting.

      • talknic on May 20, 2015, 10:05 am

        @ Jackdaw

        “In the 1830’s, Palestine was a battlefield as the Egyptian pasha clashed with the Ottomans. Then the Druzim took up arms and clashed in the Galil (killing Jews in Safed, of course) ….. etc etc etc etc …… etc etc etc etc ….. All this disorder, death and destruction wrought without the’ toxic fungus’. How can that be?”

        Simple pal. Israel didn’t exist until 00:01 May 15th 1948 (ME time).

        Now, all those other crimes are in the past, over, finished. International Law since and the UN Charter attempt to ensure those crimes against humanity do not occur again.

        Israel is in breach of those laws and is TODAY creeping deeper and deeper into Palestine, like a fungus https://www.google.com.au/search?q=Armillaria+mellea+kills

    • zaid on May 19, 2015, 5:15 am

      by he way the blacks of palestine are all muslims and in the sharia (law)- which i oppose by the way- muslims cannot be slaves.
      your article is worthless

  6. Brewer on May 17, 2015, 11:21 pm

    @Just.
    Appreciate your generosity but I truly feel that it is thanks to MONDOWEISS and its writers that such as I can now make such comments succinctly without including masses of History in support. It is worthy of note that Jackdaw does concede ethnic cleansing : “That did happen in Palestine in 1948. It happened a lot”
    This I believe marks significant progress attributable to this site, its authors and posters.
    Look past Jack’s pedantry and I think you see a mind approaching that tipping point when the full extent of the Nakba is comprehended and such “counter-truths” are seen as insignificant tropes adding nothing to the narrative. Its a journey we have all made.
    I’d like to mention that I read MW every day but do not post so often due to the enormous up-tick in Historical awareness both on the site and among the general public. You guys are to be congratulated. Us old History-buffs are becoming redundant!

    • Jackdaw on May 18, 2015, 12:22 am

      I am fully aware of the extent of the Nakba, it’s many causes, and why the refugee problem was allowed to fester.

      Brewer. Why not tell the less informed Mondoweiss readers about the settlement of New Zealand by white europeans and the subsequent wars with the native Maoris who were dispossessed? It may be illustrative.

      • Brewer on May 18, 2015, 6:01 pm

        Jack.
        A dissertation covering the entire settlement History of New Zealand is not appropriate for me to give in these pages but it is not difficult to establish the gulf that separates it from the Zionist model. In the first place, the colonisation of New Zealand occurred a full century prior to that of Palestine when such concepts as “Manifest Destiny” were common but in fact it took, and retains, a very different form from that of Palestine in a supposedly more enlightened age. .
        New Zealand has a founding document. The Treaty of Waitangi:
        http://www.nzhistory.net.nz/politics/treaty/read-the-treaty/english-text
        Some relevant clauses:

        HER MAJESTY VICTORIA Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland regarding with Her Royal Favor the Native Chiefs and Tribes of New Zealand and anxious to protect their just Rights and Property and to secure to them the enjoyment of Peace and Good Order….
        ….Her Majesty the Queen of England confirms and guarantees to the Chiefs and Tribes of New Zealand and to the respective families and individuals thereof the full exclusive and undisturbed possession of their Lands and Estates Forests Fisheries and other properties which they may collectively or individually possess so long as it is their wish and desire to retain the same in their possession…
        …..In consideration thereof Her Majesty the Queen of England extends to the Natives of New Zealand Her royal protection and imparts to them all the Rights and Privileges of British Subjects.

        (signed) William Hobson, Lieutenant-Governor.

        Now therefore We the Chiefs of the Confederation of the United Tribes of New Zealand being assembled in Congress at Victoria in Waitangi and We the Separate and Independent Chiefs of New Zealand claiming authority over the Tribes and Territories which are specified after our respective names, having been made fully to understand the Provisions of the foregoing Treaty, accept and enter into the same in the full spirit and meaning thereof in witness of which we have attached our signatures or marks at the places and the dates respectively specified. Done at Waitangi this Sixth day of February in the year of Our Lord one thousand eight hundred and forty.

        This is a living document. The Waitangi Tribunal (Māori: Te Rōpū Whakamana i te Tiriti) is a New Zealand permanent commission of inquiry established under the Treaty of Waitangi Act 1975. It is charged with investigating and making recommendations on claims brought by Māori relating to actions or omissions of the Crown, in the period largely since 1840, that breach the promises made in the Treaty of Waitangi. You can read about settlements made under its auspices here:
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Treaty_of_Waitangi_claims_and_settlements

        Again Jack, you are attempting a diversion. That this is fallacious is easy to demonstrate.
        Suppose the indigenous people of New Zealand had been subject to wholesale slaughter and dispossession. Would that somehow excuse the Nakba?

  7. just on May 18, 2015, 12:16 am

    “Us old History-buffs are becoming redundant!”

    Never! Conscience and knowledge are never redundant. It’s thanks to those among us who are guided by history and reality that we’ve come to this point.

    It is true, though, that in this place called Mondoweiss that was created by great people, that there is truth- telling and discussion available about the ME (and elsewhere) that is unprecedented in my life. It just didn’t happen this way before. It did for me, when I traveled and listened and interacted and studied, but not at my fingertips and at a moment’s notice like it does now. Brewer, I do thank you for participating in this wonderful forum.

  8. just on May 18, 2015, 8:01 am

    What is stunning to me is that Jackdaw completely ignored Sarah’s personal story from the git- go.

    Why are you not able to muster one word of condolence? How anyone can be unmoved by her story and words that includes so much, like the quote below, is beyond my ken.

    “I watched the man’s wrinkle-wreathed eyes glaze over and sink towards his empty, upturned hands.

    I’ve seen that gaze too many times to count. This is the Nakba, I thought.”

    • Jackdaw on May 18, 2015, 9:04 am

      The Arabs and the Turks beat, abused and murdered my ancestors in 19th century Jerusalem.

      I’m not asking anyone to hear their personal stories, and I’m not particularly interested in visiting their former dwellings in the Jewish Quarter.

      Different strokes, I guess.

      • Mooser on May 18, 2015, 11:13 am

        “I’m not asking anyone to hear their personal stories, and I’m not particularly interested in visiting their former dwellings in the Jewish Quarter. “

        You have already forgotten all the heart-rendering stories you posted earlier in the thread? Ah, sweet Ziocaine Syndrome amnesia to the rescue. Some therapists believe it may be a defense against pre-traumatic stress syndrome

      • echinococcus on May 18, 2015, 11:46 am

        “The Arabs and the Turks”, eh? Mistake No. 1.
        As for the place, circumstances and persons involved, you better have people hear it. I recommend copying from the police archives. Why you have to to invariably choose the most unlikely bullshit is beyond me.

      • zaid on May 18, 2015, 2:32 pm

        jack
        if the turks/arabs really didn’t want Jews in Palestine then there would not have been a single Jew in palestine, but that was not the case.
        again ……..stop making stuff up.

      • bryan on May 18, 2015, 2:36 pm

        Despite your relentless focus on your ancestors, Jack, I think you will find that the Scots, the Irish and the Welsh, plus the English peasantry and the British proletariat were pretty badly treated by the English ruling class, not to mention equivalent populations in Europe, America, Africa, Asia, Australasia, etc. In fact its pretty difficult to find anyone in the past, outside of the ruling elites, and often inside the ruling elites, who was not badly treated for much of the time. That’s why the world invented human rights and international law, which now the Israeli state attempts to subvert even more cynically than their allies in the Republican party and the rest of the Western world. But why not find a particularist, rather than a universal, solution to the problem – lets arm ourselves to the teeth, with the help of our foreign “coreligionists” and kill all the b*gg*rs who disagree with us, and then whinge like mad when someone responds to our violence?

      • just on May 18, 2015, 2:49 pm

        +1, bryan!

        Great comment.

      • Brewer on May 18, 2015, 9:04 pm

        Is this the general direction of your argument Jack:
        “The Arabs and the Turks beat, abused and murdered my ancestors in 19th century Jerusalem”

        ….. therefore I am justified in dispossessing and abusing the Palestinian people, some of whom might be their descendants*.

        Put this way I think the fallacy involved becomes rather obvious yet this justification is still the linchpin of Zionist argument, developed ex post facto. You will find no reference to any such grievance in early Zionist literature.

        *The Palestinian people are in the main, the descendants of the populace that have inhabited the area since at least the neolithic age. To characterise them as Arabic and Turkic is deliberately misleading. A great many are descended from Jews who adopted Islam and Christianity during centuries of Ottoman rule.

      • Jackdaw on May 19, 2015, 4:31 am

        Not unlikely bullshit when you consider that Turks and Ottomans lived and in Jerusalem in the 19th century. I did say 19th century didn’t I? No need to consult antique police Ottoman police files. The violence committed against my ancestors is recorded in the histories of the Perushim, written by Arie Morgenstern.

      • Jackdaw on May 19, 2015, 4:36 am

        @zaid

        The 18th century religious Zionists, followers of Rabbi Yehudah he-Hasid, were chased out of Jerusalem by the Arabs and Turks.
        My ancestors, religious Zionists who emigrated to Jerusalem in the early 19th century, were treated badly as well, but were able to eke out an existence because European consuls in Jerusalem gave the Jews european citizenship with all the attendant protections.

        Got it?

      • echinococcus on May 19, 2015, 12:24 pm

        Jackdaw,

        That Turks and Arabs lived in Jerusalem doesn’t cut it; you give away that you’re inventing by ignoring their respective roles. That’s why I am suggesting that you should learn Ottoman Turkish and try to find a record to copy that would make your invention sound plausible, with names and dates, too, given the dearth of material such as you suggest. I am sure that the Propaganda Ministry would oblige with such material without having you go to any trouble but the most elementary one of having to learn anything. Don’t forget to change your handle next time before pretending to be of Ethiopian or Ukrainian origin.

    • zaid on May 19, 2015, 5:12 am

      jack
      nothing happened to your ancestors .stop deluding your self.
      you are suffering a moral dilemma and you want to justify what your cousins are doing to the Palestinians by believing this nonsense.

      sorry but even if what you say were true (it is not) that wont justify the Palestinian ethnic cleansing.

      sorry but Jerusalem and Palestine were always tolerant of others and all the churches / synagogues are a proof of that………even the Armenians were living in Jerusalem without harm despite their issues with the ottoman empire.

      if there were any suffering in Jerusalem it would have been the same suffering that the Muslims and Christians were facing during the end of the ottoman era and not particularly because they were Jews.

      • Jackdaw on May 19, 2015, 11:18 am

        The synagogue of Yehuda ha Hasid, ‘Ha Hurva’ was destroyed by the Arabs twice over, and only recently restored to it’s former glory.

        http://www.haaretz.com/travel-in-israel/religion-relics/.premium-1.608770

      • zaid on May 19, 2015, 12:52 pm

        my points still stands

      • talknic on May 20, 2015, 11:04 am

        @ Jackdaw “The synagogue of Yehuda ha Hasid, ‘Ha Hurva’ was destroyed by the Arabs twice over, and only recently restored to it’s former glory”

        It was being used by Jewish forces and became part of a military target. What structure remained was likely un-safe and subsequently demolished.

  9. Brewer on May 19, 2015, 5:44 pm

    Jack.
    A little reading indicates that the story of Yehudah he-Hasid and his synagogue is more complex than your myopic version:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hurva_Synagogue
    It is an interesting tale involving unpaid debts, lack of building consent (sound familiar?) and War. Close reading indicates plenty of grievance on both sides and some goodwill eg.:

    “The Hurva Synagogue was designed and constructed under the supervision of Assad Effendi, the sultan’s official architect”.

    It is interesting that on this thread, you have pleaded “fog of War” excusing the expulsion of Palestinians on the one hand and cite the destruction of Ha Hurva as cassus belli. What do you make of this:

    “On May 25, 1948, during the battle for the Old City, commander of the Jordanian Arab Legion, Major Abdullah el Tell, wrote to Otto Lehner of the Red Cross to warn that unless the Haganah abandoned its positions in the synagogue and its adjoining courtyard, he would be forced to attack it. Moshe Russnak, commander of the Haganah in the Old City, ignored his request, knowing that if the Hurva fell, the battle for the Jewish Quarter would soon be lost. On May 26, 1948, the Jordanian Arab Legion delivered an ultimatum to the Jews to surrender within 12 hours; otherwise the Hurva would be bombarded.”

    Whatever the rights and wrongs of that situation, invoking it as justification for ethnic cleansing exemplifies primitive tribal violence.

  10. Brewer on May 20, 2015, 12:59 am

    After further reading the situation becomes more interesting:

    “In the year 1700 a company of several hundred Ashkenazi families riding donkeys and dressed in white had appeared at the gates of the city. They were Shabbateans, followers of the false messiah Shabbatai Tzvi, who, in the mid-seventeenth century, had created pandemonium among Jews who had believed him the long-awaited messiah. Even after Shabbatai Tzvi’s conversion to Islam and his death, the controversy over his claims had barely subsided, and the Shabbatean Yehuda He-Hasid (” Judah the Righteous”) and his followers were forced to disguise themselves discreetly as ordinary Jewish pilgrims. They had come to Jerusalem to await their messiah’s promised arrival in the year 1706, the thirtieth anniversary of Shabbatai Tzvi’s death. Spreading baksheesh liberally in every direction, they had won permission to settle in the city and immediately established their center in the heart of the Jewish Quarter in a ruined thirteenth-century synagogue, which they reclaimed and rebuilt at great expense.

    From the beginning things did not go well. Only five days after their arrival, the charismatic Yehuda died, leaving the group leaderless. Soon his followers fell to bickering among themselves, and when the long-awaited date of Shabbatai Tzvi’s arrival came and went without a sign of him, the small community collapsed. A number embraced Islam out of disillusionment; others, including Yehuda He-Hasid’s own niece, were baptized. In the end most of the group returned to Europe.

    The few that remained fell on hard times. The funds they had brought had long since run out and there was no possibility of raising more, either through donations or through gainful employment. Having squandered huge amounts on rebuilding their synagogue and forced to borrow simply to support themselves, they fell deeper and deeper into debt. Finally, in 1721, their Muslim creditors, tired of waiting for their money and seeing their repeated warnings go unheeded, destroyed the synagogue. The Ashkenazim were driven from the city, and after that any European Jew caught in Jerusalem was liable to be held for the outstanding debts. The synagogue and the other buildings that made up the complex, called the Hurva, or “ruin,” remained in Muslim hands, waiting for its future redemption.”

    From Jeff Halper’s Between Redemption and Revival: The Jewish Yishuv of Jerusalem in the Nineteenth Century P. 37-38.

    So this Jack, along with the bombardment of the Synagogue from which the Hagganah were attacking the Jordanians (and were given the opportunity to withdraw) is what inspires a hatred sufficient to justify the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians generations later.

    For the sake of my descendants I earnestly hope I never run afoul of you or your kind.

    • Mooser on May 20, 2015, 4:33 pm

      “For the sake of my descendants I earnestly hope I never run afoul of you or your kind.”

      For the sake not fouling my shoes I will never follow “Jackdaw” through a cow-pasture. He steps in every steaming pile. He sure stepped in it that time.

      • Mooser on May 22, 2015, 1:10 pm

        Yup, that discussion on the “Hurva” which turned out to be a story of religious fanaticism, fraud, war crimes and bad debts, did not draw another response from “Jackdaw”.

        But let me get this straight, Jackdaw’s claim to credibility and authenticity is based on being part of that? Ho-kay!

        “My ancestors, religious Zionists who emigrated to Jerusalem in the early 19th century, were treated badly as well, but were able to eke out an existence because European consuls in Jerusalem gave the Jews european citizenship with all the attendant protections.”

        Gee, isn’t that called “extraterritoriality”? That always makes for good relations with the native peoples.

      • Brewer on May 22, 2015, 10:02 pm

        Mooser.
        This turned out to be another case, the like of which I have become accustomed to. In my experience, if something doesn’t gel with what I have come to learn about pre-Nakba Palestine, there is always a counter-narrative to be found if you dig deep enough.
        Its understandable really. Given that these fundamental religious adherents have a core belief in God-given rights and privileges for their own kind, it is inevitable that they will conflict with the indigenous population. This case is interesting in that it seems they were initially shown cooperation and the proverbial hit the fan when the debts went unpaid. I dare say that the arrogance of the true believers contributed to the growing antipathy as the debts piled up during the twenty years it took before the locals finally said “enough” and (I’m speculating here) reclaimed the building materials.
        Happens every day in the real World. Only through the lens of Zionism can it be viewed as cassus belli.

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