Trending Topics:

Roger Cohen scares his readers: ‘the destruction of Israel as a Jewish state’

US Politics
on 68 Comments

Yesterday’s New York Times column by liberal Zionist Roger Cohen (4/20/18 – “The Insanity at the Gaza Fence”) put me in mind of the piece by Ian Lustick we recently read for a discussion held by our Jewish Voice for Peace Western Massachusetts chapter, entitled “Making Sense of the Nakba: Ari Shavit, Baruch Marzel, and Zionist Claims to Territory”.  Lustick is a political scientist at Penn who wrote, among other major works, Arabs in the Jewish State: Israel’s Control of a National Minority, one of the best books I’ve read on the condition of Palestinian citizens of Israel.  In the piece we read, Lustick discusses the dilemma faced by liberal Zionists who argue that the Occupation of the post-1967 territories is wrong, and that the settlement project on the West Bank constitutes ethnic cleansing and land theft. The problem, reflected in the challenge from right-wing settler advocate Baruch Marzel described in the article, is that the very same activities today carried out to promote settlement in the West Bank were carried out to a much higher degree in order to secure the Israeli state back in the so-called War of Independence (or the Nakba, as it is known by Palestinians and their supporters).

In yesterday’s column, Cohen rightly condemns Israel’s actions along the Gaza border in response to the Great March of Return, calling it “insanity.”  He quotes Avi Shlaim’s quip that Israel’s motto seems to be “an eye for an eyelash”.  But then he beautifully displays the liberal Zionist dilemma Lustick was speaking of when he discusses one of the two principal political demands of the Gaza marchers: the Right of Return.  (The other is the end of the siege of Gaza, which Cohen seems to support.)  You see the vast majority of Gazans are refugees or their descendants.  Here is what he has to say:

Increasingly, you may hear “occupation” used as a term to describe Israel’s very existence, rather than the West Bank and Gaza, both occupied during the 1967 Six-Day War…

The suggestion here is clear, that this use of “occupation” is unwarranted and dangerous, giving comfort to what he called earlier “Israel haters and Jew haters”.

He goes on:

The Friday Gaza marches are protests against the 11-year-old blockade of Gaza but also focused on reigniting international interest in Palestinian claims of a right of return to homes they were driven from in 1948. There’s no point mincing words: the right of return is flimsy code for the destruction of Israel as a Jewish state. It’s consistent with the absolutist use of “occupation” as defining Israel itself and with the view that the sea is a pretty good place for Jews to end up.

It’s stomach turning.

Palestinians lost their homes after Arab armies declared war in 1948 on Israel, which had accepted United Nations Resolution 181 of 1947 calling for the establishment of two states of roughly equal size — one Jewish, one Arab — in British Mandate Palestine. The resolution was a compromise in which I still believe, not because it was pretty, but because it was and remains better than other options.

This passage is filled with misleading historical claims, and a big non-sequitur – both trademarks of liberal Zionism.  First the misleading claims.  If Cohen had not just quoted Avi Shlaim’s quip but also read his important work Collusion Across the Jordan: King Abdullah, the Zionist Movement, and the Partition of Palestine, or any of a dozen other books written about 1948, he’d know the following:

–To say “Palestinians lost their homes after Arab armies declared war in 1948 on Israel” is to lose half the story, because from a third to a half of the 750,000 Palestinians driven from their homes in the 1948 war were expelled prior to the declaration of statehood on May 14 and the subsequent Arab army incursion.  Only Arab irregulars had been fighting with the JDF (Jewish Defense Forces, precursor to the IDF, Israel Defense Forces) up to that point.

–Yes, the two proposed states were roughly equal in size – 55% to the Jewish state, and 45% to the Palestinian state – but the population at the time was 67% Palestinian and only 33% Jewish, so the division did not reflect the demographic reality.  Also, Jews only owned about 7% of the land at that point.  More important, the Jewish state, if Palestinians had not been expelled, would have contained a Palestinian minority of about 45% of the population, while the Palestinian state would have contained a very small percentage of Jews.  So these several hundred thousand Palestinians, who had lived on this land for generations upon generations, were suddenly being told they had to give up their sovereignty to, essentially, European colonialists.  Any wonder they rejected it?

–In fact, the strongest and most effective Arab army, the Arab Legion of Transjordan, never attacked Israel within the lines set out for the Jewish state by the UN Partition Resolution of 1947.  All of the fighting between Israel and Transjordan took place in Jerusalem – supposedly made an international city by the Partition Resolution – and the areas that became the West Bank, areas that were allocated to the Palestinian state.  In that area it was Israel that was the invader and Transjordan was trying to protect it (though not for the Palestinian state, alas, but for its own control – hence the “collusion” in the title of Shlaim’s book).

–Finally, what about this line that “the right of return is flimsy code for the destruction of Israel as a Jewish state”? This is just plain scare tactics.  The scare tactics are reflected in the use of the term “destruction” for the dismantling of the Zionist institutions that make Israel a Jewish state, along with the claim that extending the notion of occupation to the Israel of 1948/9 goes along “with the view that the sea is a pretty good place for Jews to end up.”  And then there is the expression of disgust at Palestinian claims to return, when he says “It’s stomach turning”.  Notice, however, that when apartheid South Africa was told by the world that it could no longer maintain its white supremacy regime, no one ever talked about this as the “destruction” of South Africa.

While it’s true that if one state were established that encompassed all Jews and Palestinians between the river and the sea, along with those refugees and descendants who chose to return, Jews would no longer be the majority and it’s hard to see how the Zionist institutions could be maintained along with democratic institutions.  But here is the non-sequitur.  I say, so what?  Even if one believes Jews, as a group, have a compelling need for a state of their own – a view I do not share – that still can’t justify forcibly taking over another people’s land and kicking most of them out, while oppressing those that remain.  The problem with Cohen, and all liberal Zionists, is that they never ask that question that immediately arises when you argue that Jews need a state of their own. So what?  What is supposed to follow from that?

In a recent piece Jonathan Ofir addressed what he called the “Zionist myth” of the Jewish people constituting a nation.  I pretty much agree with everything he had to say.  But again, I want to add one more point.  So what if we were a nation?  Nations, in this ethnic sense, do not have rights to sovereignty, not if you hold basic liberal democratic values.  All the people residing in a given area should constitute the citizenry of the state that governs them, and have full rights of participation in the governing institutions, a point Ofir makes at the end.  It’s time to stop the scare tactics, stop using loaded language about “destruction” and “throwing into the sea” and face the consequences: either defend liberal democracy consistently or admit that one is willing to sacrifice it for ethnic nationalism.  And then, why not occupy the West Bank and Gaza?  As Marzel argues, what’s the difference?

About Joseph Levine

Joseph Levine is Professor of Philosophy at UMass Amherst, member of the Academic Council of JVP, and member of Western Mass chapter of JVP.

Other posts by .


Posted In:

68 Responses

  1. Citizen
    Citizen
    April 22, 2018, 11:23 am

    Anybody here been keeping up what’s been going on in S Africa? A long pattern of grisly murder of white farmer families, and, now too, government legislation to take white farms without compensation.

    https://whisnews21.com/2013/02/01/70000-whites-murdered-in-south-africa-since-1994/

    South Africa votes to seize land from white farmers http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/africa/south-africa-white-farms-land-seizure-anc-race-relations-a8234461.html

    • Emory Riddle
      Emory Riddle
      April 22, 2018, 5:45 pm

      Relevance? We white people — such as the Israeli Jews — need to stock together and defeat the dusky hordes? Is that your message? More concerned about white S Africans losing their farms than the Gazans losing their lives and the people in the West Bank losing their homes?

    • Jasonius Maximus
      Jasonius Maximus
      April 23, 2018, 1:25 pm

      Despite being woefully off topic… make no mistake about it. The ongoing trend of white farm invasions and murders since 1994 in South Africa is a horrific thing. However, the vast majority of rape, violence crime, and gruesome murders in South Africa every single day, is overwhelming enacted on the black population. In fact, the current murder rate of about 50 per day is currently at a historic low that hasn’t been seen since about 1972!

      70,000 farmers killed since 1994 is a disgusting number, but in a country that has seen a murder rate been between 50 and 100 murder per day, the average of less than 8 white farmers per day over the exact same period suddenly seems woefully insignificant in comparison.

      The math speaks for itself, so go sell those fear tactics elsewhere.

      Even if that number was tripled, would that have justified the continuation of Apartheid and the mass oppression and denial of equal rights to the vast majority of the population that isn’t white? Because is sure sounds to me like you’re suggesting that you would prefer the eternal oppression of dark skinned ethnicity majorities, and Apartheid in South Africa (and Israel for that matter) in favor of even the slightest bump in the murder of white South Africans and white Israelis.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        April 23, 2018, 2:15 pm

        Perhaps “Citizen” is only illustrating how a situation in which colonizers once thought to be impregnable can end up on the losing end.

    • echinococcus
      echinococcus
      April 23, 2018, 4:11 pm

      The continuing assaults on white farms should have been forecasted at the time of the regime change compromise in SA –and they were.

      Giving up the armed fight for juridical equality with the colonist population was huge progress, of course. The colonists had been there for several generations, of course. But even with all that, a compromise never fully satisfies the most elementary desire for justice. Land is essential and its full restitution will keep being required, no way out of that. Beautiful liberal minds don’t work the same way as peoples who collectively have had to suffer hell for hundreds of years.

      The parallel applies in full to Palestine.

      • Jasonius Maximus
        Jasonius Maximus
        April 24, 2018, 11:07 am

        Well said!

        When drawing parallels to Israel’s future, the end of the Occupation, the inevitable single democratic state that will eventually emerge, and the end of Apartheid in South Africa, many doomsdayers always point to the high crime rate and murder of whites in post-Apartheid South Africa.

        What they conveniently omit in their gloomy outlook is that the transition from decades of colonial, highly oppressive Apartheid South Africa to a fully inclusive constitutional democracy was a spectacular and historic success story given the history of the continent and extreme transitions of power throughout ALL of human history. No military occupation, no military dictatorship, no bloody civil war, no genocide, no ethnic cleansing, and not a single coup d’etat in the nearly quarter of a century since.

        Yes, South Africa has still has many, many problems and faces many challenges, but most of these that affect the daily lives of its citizens are a direct result of centuries of colonialism, gross inequality, and socio-economic conditions that will take generations to remedy. These are the very same challenges that ultimately face Israel-Palestinian yesterday, today, tomorrow and a 50 years from now. However, both sides would do very well to heed the lesson Apartheid and the transition from Apartheid has to teach. The alternative? Well… see the end of paragraph two above.

  2. John Douglas
    John Douglas
    April 22, 2018, 11:25 am

    Thanks to Joseph Levine for a fine essay. I have one small hesitation.

    Roger Cohen writes, “…“the right of return is flimsy code for the destruction of Israel as a Jewish state”? To which Joseph Levine writes that when the world turned against Apartheid in South Africa, ” … no one ever talked about this as the “destruction” of South Africa.”

    Stating the analogy this way obscures an important point. Cohen didn’t reference “the destruction of Israel”. It’s the destruction of Israel “as a Jewish state,” a state governed by and for a particular ethno/religious group at the expense of another. In fact almost everyone who who opposed South African apartheid, was opposing a state governed by and for a particular racial/cultural group at the expense of another.

  3. John Douglas
    John Douglas
    April 22, 2018, 11:27 am

    Thanks to Joseph Levine for a fine essay. I have one small hesitation.

    Roger Cohen writes, “…“the right of return is flimsy code for the destruction of Israel as a Jewish state”? To which Joseph Levine writes that when the world turned against Apartheid in South Africa, ” … no one ever talked about this as the “destruction” of South Africa.”

    Stating the analogy this way obscures an important point. Cohen didn’t reference “the destruction of Israel”. It’s the destruction of Israel “as a Jewish state,” a state governed by and for a particular ethno/religious group at the expense of another. In fact almost everyone who who opposed South African apartheid, was opposing a state governed by and for a particular racial/cultural group at the expense of another. That was and is the point.

    • echinococcus
      echinococcus
      April 22, 2018, 2:28 pm

      Douglas,

      a state governed by and for a particular racial/cultural group at the expense of another. That was and is the point.

      That seems to be the whole point for “liberals” tout court and also those “liberal” Zionists who haven’t got the message that they are only helping genocide.

      The point, at least for the victims of the Zionist invasion (who, let’s never forget, are the sole owners of the territory Palestine and the sovereignty over it) is justice. Which means the restitution of Palestine to its rightful owners, and a decision by the owners as to the status of the invaders.

      Equal rights etc. as you describe it could be a compromise solution, not the definitive solution. If, that is, the Zionist direction in the USUK and its occupier peons in Palestine showed any signs of being ready to any compromise. Which they have not ever shown even once in over 100 years.

    • RoHa
      RoHa
      April 23, 2018, 1:19 am

      Pssst! Misplaced comma between “apartheid” and “was”.

      • John Douglas
        John Douglas
        April 23, 2018, 2:58 pm

        The eye of an eagle, RoHa. Do you hire out as a line editor?

      • echinococcus
        echinococcus
        April 23, 2018, 5:21 pm

        Douglas,

        Izzat something like line cook?

      • RoHa
        RoHa
        April 23, 2018, 7:05 pm

        No. I’m not strict enough.

  4. wondering jew
    wondering jew
    April 22, 2018, 1:30 pm

    Joseph Levine informs us that before it was the IDF it was the Jewish Defense Forces: “(Jewish Defense Forces, precursor to the IDF, Israel Defense Forces) “.

    Could you please cite some link or book that refers to the Hagana as the Jewish Defense Forces. (Anything is possible, but this seems to be unlikely: The Zionist brigade that was part of the British army was referred to as G’dud Ha’ivri, the Hebrew Brigade, not the Jewish Brigade. The new man that Zionism was creating was a Hebrew man rather than a Jewish man and I find it unlikely that the organization referred to itself as Jewish Defense Forces. It seems likely that you made this up.)

    • oldgeezer
      oldgeezer
      April 22, 2018, 2:05 pm

      @yonah

      Given there were a number of militant groups which were operating at the time, and which were absorbed into the IDF, in part or whole, referring to them collectively as JDF would seem appropriate.

      On June 1, 1948, the soldiers – members of the Haganah, Etzel and Lehi – were sworn in, and formed the Israel Defense Forces. The Haganah provided the new army with the bulk of its army, weapons, armament, and martial values, thus completing the transition from the Haganah to the IDF.

      https://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/the-haganah-museum

    • echinococcus
      echinococcus
      April 22, 2018, 2:14 pm

      Yonah Fredman,

      If you really think that anyone gives a rat’s behind about the exact name –especially the exact name in some invented, abstruse language– of a band of inhuman murderers, think again.

      • April 22, 2018, 3:50 pm

        Hear hear – who gives a crap

      • oldgeezer
        oldgeezer
        April 22, 2018, 3:55 pm

        @ech

        Well said.

        zionists always try to avoid the issues by engaging in minutia

    • wondering jew
      wondering jew
      April 23, 2018, 4:15 pm

      I thought mr. Levine was a journalist writing the first draft of history.

  5. Maghlawatan
    Maghlawatan
    April 22, 2018, 2:05 pm

    Cohen should stop whining and look at the big picture. Gazand are demanding the RoR because Israel has made life in Gaza unbearable. If Israel wanted those people to stay in Gaza maybe bombing the sewage system and the hospitals was stupid.

    Israel is now reaping what it sowed. If isra elis are scared, tough titty.

    • April 22, 2018, 3:52 pm

      Israelis are the victims here – of their own demise.

      • Maghlawatan
        Maghlawatan
        April 22, 2018, 4:48 pm

        Sah kalamak wa sah kalam abuak, ya’ni. I have zero sympathy for Yossi Israeli. Stupid motherfucka.

    • JWalters
      JWalters
      April 23, 2018, 2:41 am

      Excellent point. And to paraphrase Cohen, “Israel’s existence” is a term used to describe an occupation.

      The Palestinians simply want their homes back, they have no interest in driving “the Jews” into the sea.

      A precedent – Jews have been using the courts to recover art (and other property) stolen from their families by the Nazis (even further back time). So why wouldn’t Palestinians have the same “right of recovery”?

  6. Peter in SF
    Peter in SF
    April 22, 2018, 2:26 pm

    A lot of good points here. I think one of them is misdirected:

    The problem with Cohen, and all liberal Zionists, is that they never ask that question that immediately arises when you argue that Jews need a state of their own. So what? What is supposed to follow from that?

    By my reading, Cohen does answer that question, with:


    … United Nations [General Assembly] Resolution 181 of 1947 calling for the establishment of two states of roughly equal size — one Jewish, one Arab — in British Mandate Palestine. The resolution was a compromise in which I still believe, not because it was pretty, but because it was and remains better than other options.

    But if UNGA 181 were put into force, then Israel would have to withdraw not only from all of the West Bank, but also from a third of the land area over which it applies Israeli domestic law. This goes further than the PLO, which concedes all of that land (except for East Jerusalem) to Israel.

    Even more important in responding to Cohen here, the forced exiles of 1948 would be allowed to return to their homes if UNGA 181 were put into force. Note that Cohen states explicitly that he believes that UNGA 181 remains better than other options!

    How about a mass movement to implement UNGA 181? Roger Cohen says he would support that.

    • April 22, 2018, 3:57 pm

      If only Cohen had more force and effect than being a Zionist contributor to a fake news publication.

    • RoHa
      RoHa
      April 23, 2018, 2:55 am

      I don’t understand.

      Levine asks “Jews need a state of their own. So what? What is supposed to follow from that?”

      You say that the answer is the UN resolution. That resolution called for a state, and Cohen says it was the best compromise to the situation.

      How does that answer Levine’s question? What is the chain of reasoning from “Jews need a state” to “resolution and compromise”?

      • Peter in SF
        Peter in SF
        April 23, 2018, 12:17 pm

        RoHa, Cohen asserts that Jews need a state of their own, and then says UNGA 181 was and remains the best option. So OK, that’s not so much an answer to “what is supposed to follow from that?” but to “what is the best way to achieve that?”

  7. eljay
    eljay
    April 22, 2018, 2:30 pm

    The [United Nations Resolution 181 of 1947] was a compromise in which I still believe, not because it was pretty, but because it was and remains better than other options.

    The partitioning of geographic Palestine was an unnecessary “compromise” and is only “better than other options” to a Zionist like Mr. Cohen who – like all Zionists – believes that the religion-based identity of Jewish grants to those who choose to adopt/hold it the right to a religion-supremacist “Jewish State” in as much as possible of Palestine.

    • Peter in SF
      Peter in SF
      April 23, 2018, 12:24 pm

      Do note that if UNGA 181 were put into effect, all 3 demands of the BDS movement would be satisfied. Palestinian citizens of Israel would have equal rights. Military occupation would end. Displaced people would be allowed to return to their homes.

  8. Maghlawatan
    Maghlawatan
    April 22, 2018, 4:49 pm

    I really would love to know what it is that qualifies Israel as a Jewish state. In what way is the IDf Jewish for example? How are the torture centres Jewish? How is bombing refugee camps Jewish?

  9. Maghlawatan
    Maghlawatan
    April 22, 2018, 4:53 pm

    If Israel wanted to be a Jewish state with a Jewish majority what was the point of occupying the West Bank?
    And what the fuck was Israel doing occupying Gaza? With all its refugees. Insane

  10. Maghlawatan
    Maghlawatan
    April 23, 2018, 1:10 am

    What will destroy the Jewish State (Zionist version) is the humanity of the Palestinians. How did Jews come to believe that the people of Gaza were vermin?
    That they didn’t feel like Jews feel? That they didn’t love like Jews love? that they didn’t want the best for their kids like Jews do .

    Etta Ankri is one of the best Israeli singers. She has a Tunisian background.
    She sings a song by Khaled in Algerian arabic about a bint biladi – a local girl
    Gaza is full of them

    Ya shaba ya shaba … ya shaba ya bint bladi
    Ya shaba ya shaba … ya shaba ya bint duwari
    Waye hawajbik makrooneen … aineek naymeen
    Waye o mneen tidhak khayti … wi ybanli el-daw
    Waye eli feek yikfeek … feek da’wat el-waldeen

    Young girl, young girl … my town’s young girl
    Young girl, young girl … my neighborhood’s young girl
    Your eyebrows are coupled … your eyes are sleepy
    Oh brothers, when she smiles … I see the light
    Oh, you have everything … you have your parent’s hopes

    Don’t Palestinians have their parents’ hopes too?
    And forgetting that is what will bring the house down.

  11. RoHa
    RoHa
    April 23, 2018, 2:26 am

    “they never ask that question that immediately arises when you argue that Jews need a state of their own. So what? What is supposed to follow from that?”

    “Nations, in this ethnic sense, do not have rights to sovereignty, not if you hold basic liberal democratic values. All the people residing in a given area should constitute the citizenry of the state that governs them,”

    I would like to think that Levine has been reading and learning from my comments.

    But I think it is simply that these points are so glaringly obvious to anyone with a functioning mind that he cannot help but see them himself.

    • eljay
      eljay
      April 23, 2018, 8:30 am

      || RoHa: … I would like to think that Levine has been reading and learning from my comments.

      But I think it is simply that these points are so glaringly obvious to anyone with a functioning mind that he cannot help but see them himself. ||

      Zionists – like all supremacists – have dysfunctional minds.

  12. tamarque
    tamarque
    April 23, 2018, 9:05 am

    I like this article. It raises the question I always do–what gives a foreign group of people the right to invade and take over another’s land and home Landless ruling elites from Europe (Gt Britain mainly and France) landed in the Americas and assumed it their god given right to take over what they found. Removing, killing Native Americans after being taught by them how to survive in this region and creating genocidal policy and laws is what founded the US. Not surprising it would see the advantage of supporting an aggressive group of white Europeans seeking their own spot of earth as an acceptable project.

    Zionism was always a racist, colonialist ideology as the founders always knew of the Palestinians living in that region. They spoke clearly of the need to remove them. This is the news that must be cried out as most people are ignorant of this. Well, most people are ignorant of history in important ways so never see the forest for the trees.

    More and more detailed exposes of this sort are needed.

  13. gamal
    gamal
    April 23, 2018, 10:13 am

    destruction?

    it does make you think, if Netanyahu is not good enough for Portman does that make him an evil dictator like Assad, but

    “Some quick facts to debunk the incessant propaganda that claims, “Bashar Assad is a brutal dictator.”

    1. “Assad has been the leader of Syria since 2000. For 11 years, there were no protests, rebellions, revolutions or civil wars in Syria. Syria was peaceful, secular and quite prosperous under Assad. Sunnis, Shiites, Jews, Christians and other sects co-existed harmoniously. People had free healthcare and free education, including college. (Muslim Brotherhood and Sunni jihadists have been a source of terrorism for the last 50 years in Syria, but Assad had them under control until 2011)”

    i would recommend this link because Syria which is destroyed, and right next door, actually shares little in comparison with Israel you check yourself here

    https://worldaffairs.blog/2017/07/07/assad-is-not-a-brutal-dictator/

    I think there are 12 points one could compare between the two, and Israel may be confident since they share none of the characteristics that make Middle Eastern states vulnerable to destruction, especially that of being a “good example” see Chomsky et al, a non-sectarian Syria bucked Americas regional model, but as to destruction as the Rastas say “they don’t know from where their judgement is going enter “, i say did some say dysfunctional…

    https://worldaffairs.blog/2017/07/07/assad-is-not-a-brutal-dictator/

    • wondering jew
      wondering jew
      April 23, 2018, 4:17 pm

      Gamal, I’m sure my zionism means my opinions don’t count. But your endorsement of assad rings hollow and raises all sorts of question marks.

      • gamal
        gamal
        April 23, 2018, 5:14 pm

        “rings hollow” let me get that for you

        bir ruh bid dem nafdeek ya Bashar

        bir ruh bid dem nafdeek ya Filastin

        its got a ring awright

    • ritzl
      ritzl
      April 23, 2018, 6:26 pm

      Thanks for the perspective gamal.

      Agree.

    • DaBakr
      DaBakr
      April 25, 2018, 5:24 pm

      What an asinine point to make with 1. Mentioning Jews in Syria living ‘ prosperous lives’ is absurd. Saying that everything had been ‘quiet’ with the Assad’s is like saying there has been no rebellion against Kim Jong il inn North Korea. Why not write how many Palestinians Hafez killed in the 70s both in a massive massacre of many thousands and hundreds of other government approved deaths. Nation’s don’t simply erupt into violent rebellion with no motive. Anyone denying the Assad clans specialty are massacres by bomb, gas or worse is fooling themselves.

  14. zaid
    zaid
    April 23, 2018, 11:16 am

    Great article but it does contain a common factual error.

    “More important, the Jewish state, if Palestinians had not been expelled, would have contained a Palestinian minority of about 45% of the population, ”

    Wrong , Palestinians in the proposed Jewish state were 50% and not 45%.

    The figure of 45% is for settled population only and doesnot include Bedouins .

    Res.18 (known as the partition plan) refers for supplement 11 for population data which shows:

    The Jewish State:
    Jews : 498,000
    Arab : 407,000
    Total : 905,000

    But after stating these numbers the report states:

    “In addition there will be in the Jewish State about 90,000 Bedouins, cultivators and stock owners who seek grazing further afield in dry seasons.”

    “The 1931 census revealed that there were 66,000 nomadic Bedouins; today they are estimated to number 90,000. Little is known demographically about the people and no account is taken of them in the statistics of this chapter, which deal only with the settled population.” Footnote 42

    https://unispal.un.org/DPA/DPR/unispal.nsf/0/07175DE9FA2DE563852568D3006E10F3

  15. Patrick
    Patrick
    April 23, 2018, 12:21 pm

    “Even if one believes Jews, as a group, have a compelling need for a state of their own – a view I do not share – that still can’t justify forcibly taking over another people’s land and kicking most of them out.”

    Actually, to Roger Cohen it is justified. In fact, he wrote the following in a column a few months ago:

    ‘Was this inevitable? Could an ethno-religious Jewish state only find itself in eternal conflict, controlling the lives of Palestinians? Segev thinks it was inevitable. “If I were a Palestinian, I would also fight the Jews,” he said. “That was the price of Zionism.” Hence his book’s title: “A State at All Costs.” Was it worth the price? “I am very much aware how high the price was,” he said.

    I don’t think it was entirely inevitable. Had Rabin lived, there would have been a chance for peace. Had the cultivation of victimhood not proved a fatal Palestinian temptation, a chance could have existed. And what of the price paid? Put a gun to my head, or rather my heart, and I will say as a Jew that, yes, Israel was worth the price.’

    See: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/12/29/opinion/israel-jerusalem-ben-gurion-trump.html

    • pgtl10
      pgtl10
      April 23, 2018, 3:12 pm

      Cultivation of victim hood, a Palestinian temptation?

      It’s thoughts like that which makes racists like Cohen continue their policies. It’s not the perpetrators actions that are the problem but the victims realizing they are a victims.

      • Patrick
        Patrick
        April 23, 2018, 6:33 pm

        I don’t see Roger Cohen as a racist, just someone who can not overcome his innate tribalism, and who knows it. That’s why he says “Put a gun to my head, or rather my heart, …”

        His mention of the cultivation of victimhood by Palestinians is pretty ironic. So Israelis don’t do this??? He then goes on to use the victimhood of the Jews (which is real enough) to justify the price imposed on Palestinians, who, of course, had nothing to do with the crimes against the Jews.

      • ritzl
        ritzl
        April 23, 2018, 6:56 pm

        Thanks pgtl10.

        I just had a Twitter exchange with this thought process. The assertion was that Palestinians, by throwing rocks and burning tires, “were hurting their cause” and thereby enabling the world to justify their oppression. Absolutely ZERO acknowledgement (let alone consideration) of the fact that 19 Palestinian protesters had been murdered on their own land BEFORE a single rock had been thrown.

        The combined underlying assumption and implication was that Palestinians are genetic whiners who are quickly enraged to violence by nothing at all.

        What [self-?]manipulative garbage. Calling it racist almost doesn’t do it justice. It’s a closed-loop, system-of-systems, self-regenerating belief system with oppression and murder as its objectives and expressions.

        And yeah, “It’s thoughts like that which makes racists like Cohen continue their policies.” is spot on. I suspect his fear of a Jewish-Israel sharing power with a bunch of angry whiners is overwhelming – despite the ultimate, all-consuming irony of that notion.

    • RoHa
      RoHa
      April 23, 2018, 6:35 pm

      So Cohen thinks that what Jews want is more important than what non-Jews want.

  16. Maghlawatan
    Maghlawatan
    April 23, 2018, 2:30 pm

    http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/045dca8a-6725-11e3-a5f9-00144feabdc0.html#ixzz2r9BodSVR
    Edmund Dantes | January 11 3:27am | Permalink

    Billions of dollars of US financial aid fuelling the Israeli economy while millions of Americans are turning to food banks. No one in congress will dare say anything to question this.

  17. Maghlawatan
    Maghlawatan
    April 23, 2018, 2:31 pm

    There are two paths to understanding this conflict – Israel’s and those seen by the outside world. Increasingly, they do not cross.

    Hasbara is dead.
    Roger Cohen knows this because he writes about it in the NYT.
    But he can’t tell the full unvarnished truth to Israelis.

  18. James Canning
    James Canning
    April 23, 2018, 3:56 pm

    All Arab countries are willing to accept Israel within its “1967” borders. The primary problem is Israel’s endless occupation of the West Bank. Chances Israel would accept “right of return” are zero.

  19. pabelmont
    pabelmont
    April 23, 2018, 4:00 pm

    These apologists for LZ always need to creep up toward a decent position — in order to preserve credibility with other LZs. Two points: [1] even a democratic Jewish-Palestinian state on all of Mandate Palestine consigns no-one to the sea. — This is projection because Israel has been sinking Gazan fishermen into the sea regularly; and [2] a PRoR need not prevent re-establishment of a Jewish-majority state with “Jewish” institutions, provided that such new state is not only smaller than the present (which is coterminous with Mandatory Palestine) but also smaller than pre-1967 Israel, perhaps the size of the city I live in, New York City (all boroughs). Of course, Israelis will say and will feel that they are “entitled” to (at least) pre-1967 Israeli territory. Well, sorry about that. 1948/Nakba was a war of aggression and occupied the entire territory and expelled all the refugees (as noted above) many before the State of Israel was either declred or attacked by any Arab army (however weak or however collusive). The UNGA proposed two states upon agreement by both sides. And it certainly did not propose or envision, but prohibited, displacement of the inhabitants of the two proposed statlets.

    If LZs persist in saying that Jews are entitled to a Jewish state, please agree with them, but say: “a” JS but not “any” JS, and not so as to importantly displace Palestinians. (Sorry this sounds a bit like Merchant of Venice, but here there was no contract, not even an illegal one!)

  20. wondering jew
    wondering jew
    April 23, 2018, 4:23 pm

    I suggest that those who think their proposal: opening up the gates of Israel to unlimited return of Palestinian exiles, what would that look like. Suggest- use south Africa as your model and follow event by event of deklerk’ s revolution and fill in the Israeli corresponding part. Give some meat and bones to your vision. Unable to imagine an Israeli deklerk? Okay. Just a suggestion.

    • eljay
      eljay
      April 23, 2018, 5:30 pm

      || Yonah Fredman: I suggest that those who think their proposal: opening up the gates of Israel to unlimited return of Palestinian exiles, what would that look like. … ||

      Who are “those” who propose “unlimited return” of Palestinian refugees to Israel?

      • echinococcus
        echinococcus
        April 23, 2018, 7:24 pm

        Who are “those” who propose “unlimited return” of Palestinian refugees to Israel?

        Who? The Palestinian people. “Israel” is on Palestinian territory and Palestine belongs exclusively to Palestinians.

        It’s so nice to see some American liberal “friend” of Palestinian resistance limiting, in advance, the Palestinian freedom of circulation across Palestine. Even if in a highly fictional setting.

    • ritzl
      ritzl
      April 23, 2018, 7:04 pm

      Yonah, that’s such old-think. Israel is moving the “gates” beyond where the exiles currently live.

      It’s not what the Palestinians want, it’s what Israel is doing.

      Done deal.

    • echinococcus
      echinococcus
      April 23, 2018, 7:14 pm

      Reb Fredman,

      I did imagine it and it would be very nice.
      A lot of the invader riffraff will go back to where they came from because they can’t stand the idea. That’s a good first step.

      Unfortunately, this only happens in the wildest science fiction because Zionists will never concede peacefully.

    • Mooser
      Mooser
      April 23, 2018, 7:29 pm

      “Who are “those” who propose “unlimited return” of Palestinian refugees to Israel?

      Well, if Israel has enough room for all the Jews on earth, and nobody has ever suggested limiting that number, and since those Jews aren’t coming, there’s probably room for returning Palestinian refugees.

      • eljay
        eljay
        April 23, 2018, 10:07 pm

        || Mooser: … Well, if Israel has enough room for all the Jews on earth, and nobody has ever suggested limiting that number, and since those Jews aren’t coming, there’s probably room for returning Palestinian refugees. ||

        My guess is that y.f. is less concerned about the lack of room in Israel for unlimited Palestinian refugees than he is about the lack of room in “Jewish State” for unlimited “demographic threat”.

  21. lonely rico
    lonely rico
    April 23, 2018, 4:32 pm

    One Palestinian’s view of the miracle of the birth of the State of Israel.

    Congratulations Israel on your 70th Independence Day/Samia Khoury

    http://reflectionsfrompalestine.blogspot.ca/2018/04/congratulations-israel-on-your-70th.html

    A fine article, culminating in a moving prayer by Rabbi Brant Rosen:

    Le’el she’chafetz teshuvah,
    to the One who desires return:
    Receive with the fulness of your mercy
    the hopes and prayers of those
    who were uprooted, dispossessed
    and expelled from their homes
    during the devastation of the Nakba.
    Sanctify for tov u’veracha,
    for goodness and blessing,
    the memory of those who were killed
    in Lydda, in Haifa, in Beisan, in Deir Yassin
    and so many other villages and cities
    throughout Palestine.
    Grant chesed ve’rachamim,
    kindness and blessing,
    upon the memory of the expelled
    who died from hunger,
    thirst and exhaustion
    along the way.
    Shelter beneath kanfei ha’shechinah,
    the soft wings of your divine presence,
    those who still live under military occupation,
    who dwell in refugee camps,
    those dispersed throughout the world
    still dreaming of return.
    Gather them mei’arbah kanfot ha’aretz
    from the four corners of the earth
    that their right to return to their homes
    be honored at long last.
    Let all who dwell in the land
    live in dignity, equity and hope
    so that they may bequeath to their children
    a future of justice and peace.
    Ve’nomar
    and let us say,
    Amen.
    Le’el she’chafetz teshuvah,
    to the One who desires repentance:
    Inspire us to make a full accounting
    of the wrongdoing that was
    committed in our name.
    Help us to face the terrible truth of the Nakba
    and its ongoing injustice
    that we may finally confess our offenses;
    that we may finally move toward a future
    of reparation and reconciliation.
    Le’el malei rachamim,
    to the One filled with compassion:
    show us how to understand the pain
    that compelled our people to inflict
    such suffering upon another –
    dispossessing families from their homes
    in the vain hope of safety and security
    for our own.
    Osei hashalom,
    Maker of peace,
    guide us all toward a place
    of healing and wholeness
    that the land may be filled
    with the sounds of joy and gladness
    from the river to the sea
    speedily in our day.
    Ve’nomar
    and let us say,
    Amen.

  22. wondering jew
    wondering jew
    April 23, 2018, 4:36 pm

    If one wishes to undo the damage done by the nakba, objectively a worthy goal. If that is your goal all else is pragmatism. Pragmatically the zionist mindset, call it the 81 to 45 mindset, takes the lesson of powerlessness to heart and says a resolute, no. And here comes the post zionist mindset, call it the 48 to 18 mindset and says, Jewish power as in the nakba is the problem, Jewish powerlessness is irrelevant right now in comparison to the globe and the nakba. It may be impossible to communicate across this gap, but if that’s what you are trying to do, then you might say so.

    • Mooser
      Mooser
      April 23, 2018, 5:36 pm

      “yonah” just stick your fingers in your ears and yell “Nyah,nyah,nyah, I can’t hear you!” That works every time.

  23. Scott
    Scott
    April 23, 2018, 6:36 pm

    I’m less bothered by Cohen’s hostility to the right of return (I’m a two state solution guy) than I am by hie unrelenting hostility to the same sort of ethnic nationalism in Hungary and Poland and elsewhere in Europe which he now writes about incessantly. The double standard is ugly, frankly.

  24. Boomer
    Boomer
    April 23, 2018, 8:09 pm

    How strange, yet how common (for Zionists) to assert that Palestinians’ desire to return to their homeland is code for Jew hatred, while ignoring the plain meaning and justice of the term. It’s possible to do that only by ignoring or denying the humanity of the non-Jew.

    Yet the rhetoric–when unchallenged in U.S. media–can be effective. I’m embarrassed to think how old I was before I realized that the feared “end of the Jewish state” merely means the end of Jewish dominance. As if one man one vote were genocide. Some whites in the Jim Crow South felt the same way about the prospect of blacks voting. Of course, before the WWW, the Zionist narrative was rarely contested in U.S. discourse, so my ignorance was more understandable.

  25. Boomer
    Boomer
    April 23, 2018, 8:56 pm

    Cohen’s attitude toward Palestinians’ desire to return to their homeland reminds me of Ehud Barak’s comments, as reported by Benny Morris in the New York Review of Books. As is characteristic, the logic that might better be applied to Zionists is applied to Palestinians. As is characteristic, the mythic right of “return” for European Jews obliterates any right of the actual inhabitants:

    “Barak seems to hold out no chance of success for Israeli–Palestinian negotiations, should they somehow resume, so long as Arafat and like-minded leaders are at the helm on the Arab side. He seems to think in terms of generations and hesitantly predicts that only “eighty years” after 1948 will the Palestinians be historically ready for a compromise. By then, most of the generation that experienced the catastrophe of 1948 at first hand will have died; there will be “very few ‘salmons’ around who still want to return to their birthplaces to die.” (Barak speaks of a “salmon syndrome” among the Palestinians—and says that Israel, to a degree, was willing to accommodate it, through the family reunion scheme, allowing elderly refugees to return to be with their families before they die.) He points to the model of the Soviet Union, which collapsed roughly after eighty years, after the generation that had lived through the revolution had died. He seems to be saying that revolutionary movements’ zealotry and dogmatism die down after the passage of three generations and, in the case of the Palestinians, the disappearance of the generation of the nakba, or catastrophe, of 1948 will facilitate compromise.”

    http://www.nybooks.com/articles/2002/06/13/camp-david-and-after-an-exchange-1-an-interview-wi/

    • Maghlawatan
      Maghlawatan
      April 23, 2018, 11:53 pm

      Gaza now is about unlivability.

      • Boomer
        Boomer
        April 24, 2018, 1:46 pm

        re “Gaza is now about unlivability”

        It does seem so, but it it also seems to be about “unleaveability” for all but a very few.

      • Maghlawatan
        Maghlawatan
        April 24, 2018, 8:01 pm

        Unlive
        Unleave

        And I’ll raise you unleavened bread, which originally came from the exile in the desert near Gaza

  26. edwardccorrigan
    edwardccorrigan
    April 24, 2018, 11:35 pm

    Excellent article by Joseph Levine published in Mondoweiss. There is one important error however. The so-call “Jewish State” had not only a very large Arab minority but it had an actual Arab majority. The Zionists got there so-call slim majority by not counting the Bedouin. Even with the slim Jewish majority with a much higher birthrate the Arabs were going to be the majority very soon. The Zionists solved this demographic problem by massacring the Palestinians and ethnically cleansing them and not allowing them to return to their homes. The Zionists murdered thousands of Palestinians who tried to return to their homes and fields.

    Ed Corrigan

Leave a Reply