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Palestinians were right to reject partition

Middle East
on 91 Comments

The Trump presidency has been very good for Israel. Settlement construction is booming, the annexation of occupied East Jerusalem has been legitimized, and even attempting to discuss Israel’s obligations under international law is met with extreme hostility.

Although previous US administrations always provided cover for Israel, they still sometimes managed to slip in an ode to human rights and feigned ‘concern’ regarding Israel’s constant violation of international law. Naturally, this never really changed Israeli policy in any meaningful way. Even the Obama administration, which many absurdly labeled ‘antiIsrael,’ still managed to approve a whopping 38 billion dollar military aid package to Israel.

Yet in today’s international climate, even these empty words or merely acknowledging the rights and dignity of Palestinians are deemed a step too far. Under such circumstances and complete impunity, Israel no longer needs to pretend. Gone are the days of Israel paying even lip service to the ‘peace process’, or pretending that it does not intend to annex and colonize even more occupied Palestinian land.

Israel’s fig leaves are rapidly dropping, alienating even longtime supporters. The silver lining, perhaps, is that it is revealing the cracks and decay in long maintained myths surrounding the colonization of Palestine.

Thanks to the meticulous scholarship, documentation and investigative research carried out by Palestinians and others, many myths have already been dispelled, such as the claim that Palestine was an empty, barren land upon the arrival of the Zionist settlers. Today, no impartial historian can seriously argue such a claim. Yet for the longest time, this falsehood stood tall and fast, it was the accepted ‘truth’ for millions, a crucial baseline for the Israeli narrative. Many more myths still remain in the mainstream to this day.

Unable to find hope looking forward, it is not surprising that, as a form of escapism perhaps, many look back and imagine what could have been. ‘If only something had been done earlier’, they wistfully muse, ‘the two state solution could have been a reality’. Predictably, this is often when the blame game begins.

One of the most salient examples of this, especially around Nakba day discourse, is when Palestinians are held to blame for everything by rejecting partition. To paraphrase, the argument goes:

“Had the Palestinians only accepted the UN partition plan in 1947, they too could have been celebrating their independence alongside Israel.”

This, I argue, is a classic case of victim blaming, and yet another ahistorical myth in need of correcting.

Zionism and colonialism

Sustaining this argument requires some glaring lies of omission and manipulation of facts. I believe it is important to scrutinize this claim, and this can only be done by conveying a historically accurate depiction of the debates and context surrounding partition.

Before we can talk about partition, however, we need to talk about those demanding partition. Based on the Israeli narrative, this would be “the Jewish people”. This is a dishonest assertion and is often uncritically accepted by many.

This line of thought conflates the Jewish people with political Zionism, an ideology finding its origins in Europe in the late 1800s. At the time, the Jewish people were largely uninterested in Zionism. As a matter of fact many groups were fiercely anti-Zionist. The attempt to conflate the two is an attempt to give legitimacy to self-professed settlers from Europe, and portray any criticism of the Zionist project as inherently antisemitic.

Yet in the early days, the Zionist movement was astonishingly honest about its existence as a form of colonialism. The founding fathers of Zionism, such as Herzl, Nordau, Ussishkin and Jabotinsky –among others- employed the same colonial tropes and tactics used by Europeans to legitimize their imperialism. Not only was Zionism colonialism in practice, but Zionists openly referred to it as such; for example, Herzl sought counsel from Cecil Rhodes on how best to proceed with the process of colonization, describing Zionism as ‘something colonial’. To drive this point even further, the first Zionist bank established was named the ‘Jewish Colonial Trust’ and the whole endeavor was supported by the ‘Palestine Jewish Colonization Association’ and the ‘Jewish Agency Colonization Department’.

At the end of the day it was a group of European settlers claiming an already inhabited land for an exclusivist ethnic state, while planning to ‘spirit the penniless population across the border’ through various means. Modern attempts to retroactively whitewash Zionism, and portray it merely as a movement for self determination, cannot escape these facts.

Partition and its discontents

When partition is brought up in the historical sense, it is not surprising that most tend to think of the 1947 UNGA resolution. However, this was not the first partition scheme to be presented. In 1919, for example, the World Zionist Organization put forward a ‘partition’ plan, which included all of historical Palestine, parts of Lebanon, Syria and Transjordan. At the time, the Jewish population of this proposed state would not have even reached 1-2% of the total population.

Naturally, such a proposal did not see the light of day, but it is an indication of the entitlement of the Zionist movement in wanting to establish an ethnic state in an area where they were so utterly outnumbered. To put this into context, even after waves of Jewish immigration to Palestine, and a much smaller area allocated to the Jewish state in the 1947 partition plan, the proposed Jewish state would have had a Jewish majority of only 60%. As even on the eve of the Nakba, the Jewish population in mandatory Palestine was barely a third.

If we consider that most of this population arrived during the 4th and 5th Aliyot (Between 1924-1939), then the majority of those demanding partition of the land had barely been living there for 20 years at the most. To make matters worse, the UN partition plan allotted approximately 56% of the land of mandatory Palestine to the Jewish state.

Why, then, were Palestinians expected to agree to give away most of their land to a minority of recently arrived settlers? Why is the rejection of such a ridiculously unjust proposal framed as irrational or hateful?

Jabotinsky understood clearly what establishing Israel meant for the natives; he did not mince words, in his 1923 essay The Iron Wall he wrote that ‘Every native population in the world resists colonists as long as it has the slightest hope of being able to rid itself of the danger of being colonised’.

What was being asked of Palestinians was nothing short of rubber-stamping their own colonization with approval. Nobody should be expected to agree to that.

The limits of Zionist aspirations

Yet for some, this is not seen as convincing reasoning for the rejection of partition. They acknowledge the obscene injustice of what was being asked of Palestinians, yet they argue that due to the historical persecution of the Jewish people, and fresh off the heels of the Holocaust, creating a Jewish state at the expense of Palestinians was a historic necessity.

While such justifications serve mainly to assuage guilt, I argue that there is also a practical reason for why accepting or rejecting partition was irrelevant to the grand scheme of Zionist colonization of Palestine.

It is often brought up how the Yishuv agreed to the 1947 partition plan, showing good will and a readiness to coexist and live with their Palestinian neighbors. While this may seem true on the surface, a cursory glance at internal Yishuv meetings paints an entirely different picture. Partition as a concept was entirely rejected, and any acceptance in public was tactical in order for the newly created Jewish state to gather its strength before expanding.

While addressing the Zionist Executive, Ben Gurion reemphasized that any acceptance of partition would be tactical and temporary:

After the formation of a large army in the wake of the establishment of the state, we will abolish partition and expand to the whole of Palestine.

This was not a one-time occurrence, and neither was it only espoused by Ben Gurion. Internal debates and letters illustrate this time and time again. Even in letters to his family, Ben Gurion wrote that “A Jewish state is not the end but the beginning” detailing that settling the rest of Palestine depended on creating an “elite army”. As a matter of fact, he was quite explicit: “I don’t regard a state in part of Palestine as the final aim of Zionism, but as a mean toward that aim.”

Chaim Weizmann expected that “partition might be only a temporary arrangement for the next twenty to twenty-five years”.

So even ignoring the moral question of requiring the natives to formally green-light their own colonization, had the Palestinians agreed to partition they most likely still would not have had an independent state today. Despite what was announced in public, internal Zionist discussions make it abundantly clear that this would have never been allowed.

Partition today remains as immoral as it was when first presented, a band-aid solution and a cure for a symptom which overlooks the root cause. Any settlement that is achieved without justice or accountability merely buries the issues in exchange for short-lived quiet; but no matter how long it takes, silenced and ignored grievances will resurface. This becomes exceedingly clear when observing the situation of our brothers and sisters in South Africa today.

The impending demise of the Oslo accords can serve as a catalyst to challenge the fixation on the pre-1967 war borders. Reducing the question of Palestine to partition and occupation overlooks crucial components of the struggle. Many may prefer to ignore said components; however, if true peace and justice are our goal, then they must be discussed and confronted. We must start from the beginning and reject any urges to whitewash history. Only with full accountability for the past can we work towards a  vision for the land between the river and the sea.

About Fathi Nemer

Fathi Nemer is a teaching fellow at the Democracy and Human Rights program at Birzeit University. You can follow him on Twitter @amaninthesun

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91 Responses

  1. DaBakr
    DaBakr
    September 25, 2018, 2:04 am

    The definition of “right” is open to interpretation.

    • Misterioso
      Misterioso
      September 25, 2018, 10:51 am

      @DaBakr

      Sigh.

      Reality:

      THE 1947 PARTITION PLAN AND THE 1947-48 WAR
      Palestinians Arabs, who made up 69% of the population, rejected the Partition Plan (UNGA Res. 181, Nov. 29/47) for entirely justified reasons based on international law. While Jews made up just 31% of the population (90% were of foreign origin, thousands were illegal immigrants) and privately owned only between 6% and 7% of the land, the Partition Plan (recommendatory only, no legal foundation, contrary to the British Class A Mandate and the 1941 Atlantic Charter, never adopted by the UNSC) outrageously recommended they receive 56% of Palestine (including its most fertile areas) in which Palestinians made up 45% of the population. (10% of Palestine’s Jewish population consisted of native Palestinian/Arab Jews who were vehemently anti-Zionist.)

      In 1947, 48% of the total land area of Palestine was privately owned (‘mulk khaas’) by Palestinian Arabs. (As noted above, total Jewish privately owned land was only between 6% and 7%.) About 45% of the total land area was state owned, i.e. by citizens of Palestine and it was comprised of Communal Property (‘mashaa’), Endowment Property, (‘waqf’), and Government Property, (‘miri’.) Importantly, only 30% of the Jewish immigrants had taken out citizenship. (The British Mandate kept an extensive land registry and the UN used the registry during its early deliberations. It has in its archives 453,000 records of individual Palestinian owners defined by name, location & area.)

      Rubbing salt into the wound, the United States quashed a proposal based on international law put forth by Arab delegates at the UN that a referendum be conducted in Palestine to determine the wishes of the majority regarding the Partition Plan. The United States also thwarted their request to have the matter referred to the International Court of Justice.

      Land ownership by Sub-district in all of mandated Palestine, 1947:
      Acre: 87% Palestinian Arab owned, 3% Jewish owned, 10% state owned; Safed: 68% Palestinian Arab owned, 18% Jewish owned, 14% state owned; Haifa: 42% Palestinian Arab owned, 35% Jewish owned, 23% state owned; Nazareth: 52% Palestinian Arab owned, 28% Jewish owned, 20% state owned; Tiberias: 51% Palestinian Arab owned, 38% Jewish owned, 11% state owned; Jenin: 84% Palestinian Arab owned, less than 1% Jewish owned, 16% state owned; Beisan: 44% Palestinian Arab owned, 34% Jewish owned, 22% state owned; Tulkarm: 78% Palestinian Arab owned; 17% Jewish owned, 5% state owned; Nablus: 87% Palestinian Arab owned, less than 1% Jewish owned, 13% state owned; Jaffa: 47% Palestinian Arab owned, 39% Jewish owned, 14% state owned; Ramleh: 77% Palestinian Arab owned, 14% Jewish owned, 9% state owned; Ramallah: 99% Palestinian Arab owned, less than 1% Jewish owned, less than 1% state owned; Jerusalem (West and East): 84% Palestinian Arab owned, 2% Jewish owned, 14% state owned; Gaza: 75% Palestinian Arab owned, 4% Jewish owned, 21% state owned; Hebron: 96% Palestinian Arab owned, less than 1% Jewish owned, 4% state owned; Bersheeba (Negev): 15% Palestinian Arab owned, less than 1% Jewish owned, 85% state owned. (Village Statistics, Jerusalem: Palestine Government, subsequently published as United Nations Map no. 94b, August, 1950)

      The total population of West Jerusalem (the New City) and East Jerusalem (the Old City) and their environs was about 200,000 with a slight Arab majority. (Professor Walid Khalidi, Harvard, “Plan Dalet,” Journal of Palestine Studies, Autumn, 1988, p. 17)

      The total land area of West Jerusalem (the New City) in 1947 was 19,331 dunams (about 4,833 acres) of which 40 per cent was owned by Palestinian Muslims and Christians, 26.12 per cent by Jews and 13.86 per cent by others, including various Christian communities. Government and municipal land made up 2.90 per cent and roads and railways 17.12 per cent.

      East Jerusalem (the Old City) consisted of 800 dunams (about 200 acres) of which only five dunams (just over one acre) were Jewish owned and the remaining 795 dunams were owned by Palestinian Muslims and assorted Christians. (“Assessing Palestinian Property in the City,” by Dalia Habash and Terry Rempel, Jerusalem 1948: The Arab Neighbourhoods and their Fate in the War, edited by Salim Tamari, The Institute of Jerusalem Studies, 1999, map, pp. 184-85)

      In 1947, despite massive immigration of foreign Jews, Palestinian Arab citizens made up at least 69% of the total population and to repeat, privately owned 48% of the land while Jews privately owned only 6-7%. However, the Partition Plan unjustly recommended Palestinians receive only 42% as a state. (The 2% of Palestine comprised of Jerusalem and Bethlehem was to be placed under international control, i.e, a corpus separatum.)

      No wonder Palestinians rejected the Partition Plan. Indeed, it proved so unworkable that when Polish born David Ben-Gurion (nee, David Gruen) et al. declared the “Jewish State” of Israel effective 15 May 1948, after Jewish forces had already dispossessed and expelled 400,000 Palestinians (e.g., 30,000 from West Jerusalem in March and a further 30,000 in May, 60,000 from Haifa in April, 75,000 from Jaffa in late April and early May), the UNGA was in the process of shelving the Partition Plan in favor of a UN Trusteeship.

      When war erupted due to necessary intervention by reluctant outnumbered/outgunned Arab state armies to stem the accelerating expulsion of Palestinians, a US proposed cease-fire was accepted by the Arab League but rejected by Israel.

      During the war Israel seized 78% of Palestine (22% more than the Partition Plan recommended, including large portions of the proposed Palestinian state, e.g., Jaffa and Acre), expelled 400,000 more Palestinians for a total of about 800,000 (according to Walter Eytan, then Director General of the Israeli Foreign Ministry) and went on to destroy over 500 of their towns and villages, including churches, mosques and cemeteries.

      It was only the beginning of the Zionists’ conquest of Palestine and the expulsion of its indigenous inhabitants who as recent extensive, authoritative DNA analysis revealed, along with their ancestors, have lived continuously between the River and the Sea for about 15,000 years. (By June 1967, about one million, 250,000 Palestinians, had been dispossessed and expelled.)

      BTW, the repeated assertion by Israel’s leaders and other Zionists that Palestinians fled their homes and properties in 1948 because they were told to do so by Arab leaders to make way for incoming Arab armies has long-since been debunked. To quote John H. Davis, who served as Commission-General of UNRWA at the time: “An exhaustive examination of the minutes, resolutions, and press releases of the Arab League, of the files of leading Arabic newspapers, of day-to-day monitoring of broadcasts from Arab capitals and secret Arab radio stations, failed to reveal a single reference, direct or indirect, to an order given to the Arabs of Palestine to leave. All the evidence is to the contrary; that the Arab authorities continuously exhorted the Palestinian Arabs not to leave the country…. Panic and bewilderment played decisive parts in the flight. But the extent to which the refugees were savagely driven out by the Israelis as part of a deliberate master-plan has been insufficiently recognized.” (John H. Davis, The Evasive Peace, London: Murray, 1968)

      • JWalters
        JWalters
        September 26, 2018, 4:48 am

        Thanks for the huge amount of detailed information. This is critical in overcoming the relentless disinformation of the Zionists.

      • MHughes976
        MHughes976
        September 27, 2018, 3:45 pm

        People have the right to leave and to return to their homes without anyone’s permission – that is what distinguishes a home from a prison. Moreover it is perfectly reasonable not to stay in a war zone. The fact is that people who had left their homes in all sorts of circumstances were excluded, not allowed to return, which is morally very wrong. It doesn’t matter whether they were exhorted to leave by radio broadcasts.

    • John O
      John O
      September 25, 2018, 2:42 pm

      Are you not content with right being the opposite of wrong? Which nuances would you like to introduce? 3/4 right = 0.6234345567878 wrong?

      • DaBakr
        DaBakr
        September 25, 2018, 7:41 pm

        @j

        Exactly. Bingo. There are many besides Israelis that believe the many decisions to reject any partition are/were wrong, not right. obviously the author above is writing about the hypothetical moral high ground as well as what he believes is the legality of which he obviously believes was right.

    • JWalters
      JWalters
      September 26, 2018, 4:47 am

      No facts or logic, so go vague.

  2. Brewer
    Brewer
    September 25, 2018, 4:35 am

    “the claim that Palestine was an empty, barren land”
    Just one single photograph should have put that silly trope to the lie.
    https://photos.smugmug.com/Gallery-Folder/Commercial/i-D28CBKh/0/220221f3/X2/Printing%20of%20Palestine%201st%20stamps.%20Aug.%2024%2C%201920-X2.jpg

    There is a wonderful collection of them here:
    https://www.palestinephotoproject.org/Gallery-Folder

  3. Brewer
    Brewer
    September 25, 2018, 4:42 am

    “Why, then, were Palestinians expected to agree to give away most of their land to a minority of recently arrived settlers? “

    I do not believe that was ever the plan. Partition dealt only with sovereignty, not individual ownership of land. The land belongs to its pre-partition owners to this day.

    The point is still valid however. Why, then, were Palestinians expected to agree to give away sovereignty over their land to a minority of recently arrived settlers?

    • Nathan
      Nathan
      September 25, 2018, 8:58 pm

      Brewer – The Palestinians had the right to reject the Partition Plan, and in fact they still reject it. It should be noted that the Palestinian rejection of the Partition Plan has been a total political success. Indeed, the plan was foiled. The plan was to found two states in Palestine and a corpus separatum for the Jerusalem area. The Palestinians with the cooperation of the Arab League were able to prevent the realization of the Partition Plan, and they have every reason to be proud of their political maneuvering.

      There is something missing in the article: Criticism. Actually, there rarely is any criticism of Palestinian policy in this website, and it’s quite a shame. Criticism is a good thing, and it’s really the essence of journalism. Here’s my little contribution of criticism: When you insist on fighting for what you perceive to be a just cause, you should actually prepare for the war. It’s not enough to be “right”; you should also try to be clever. Going to war is dangerous business, especially if you are about to lose.

      The analysis of the Arab League in 1947 was that the Jews would soundly defeat the Arab world. It really is an interesting phenomenon that educated adults, kings and prime ministers, insist on going to war when the evaluation is certain defeat. It was believed that not going to war would bring about anger and unrest in Arab societies – and that was more of a concern than losing the war. It’s very strange.

      It’s really not too relevant today to discuss the rejection of the Partition Plan. One understands that the real message here is to repeat all the anti-Israel lines (“colonialism”, “European immigrants”, bla-bla-bla). However, if nevertheless one finds it important to focus again on events of seventy years ago, at least one should try and give just a little bit of criticism and insight. The readers can handle it.

      • RoHa
        RoHa
        September 26, 2018, 12:40 am

        “It really is an interesting phenomenon that educated adults, kings and prime ministers, insist on going to war when the evaluation is certain defeat. ”

        They didn’t have much choice. The Zionists had already started the war.

        “The analysis of the Arab League in 1947 was that the Jews would soundly defeat the Arab world. ”

        It’s nice to see that the old story that “plucky little Israel managed to defend itself against overwhelming Arab hordes” has been dropped.

        “Actually, there rarely is any criticism of Palestinian policy in this website”

        I’m prepared to offer some. The Palestinians should have started violent action against the Zionists right from the start, instead of trying to find a peaceful resolution. But that is with benefit of hindsight.

        The question is, what can they do now to prevent the total destruction that the Zionists plan?

      • JWalters
        JWalters
        September 26, 2018, 4:49 am

        “The plan was to found two states in Palestine and a corpus separatum for the Jerusalem area.”

        Not correct. The Zionist plan was to PRETEND to do that, and then stab the Palestinians in the back at the first opportunity. THAT plan has been carried out to this day.

      • Talkback
        Talkback
        September 26, 2018, 5:04 am

        Nathan: “One understands that the real message here is to repeat all the anti-Israel lines (“colonialism”, “European immigrants”, bla-bla-bla). However, if nevertheless one finds it important to focus again on events of seventy years ago, at least one should try and give just a little bit of criticism and insight.”

        I’m more facinated by the the blatant hypocrisy you are presenting in this two conntected sentences. Should we call your “criticism” ‘anti-Palestinan lines, bla-bla-bla’ in return?

      • Talkback
        Talkback
        September 26, 2018, 5:08 am

        RoHa: “I’m prepared to offer some. The Palestinians should have started violent action against the Zionists right from the start, instead of trying to find a peaceful resolution.”

        I agree. They should have followed Iraq’s resistatance to the mandate. But they also should have attacked only the de facto occupation forces.

      • eljay
        eljay
        September 26, 2018, 7:44 am

        || Nathan: … Here’s my little contribution of criticism: When you insist on fighting for what you perceive to be a just cause, you should actually prepare for the war. It’s not enough to be “right”; you should also try to be clever. Going to war is dangerous business … ||

        And yet you Zionists routinely (and harshly) criticize the Palestinians of Gaza for…
        – building “terror tunnels”;
        – smuggling in weaponry; and
        – fortifying their positions,
        …when they’re simply doing precisely what you say they should be doing. Weird.

      • bcg
        bcg
        September 26, 2018, 11:09 am

        @Nathan – did you read this article?

        “While addressing the Zionist Executive, Ben Gurion reemphasized that any acceptance of partition would be tactical and temporary:
        After the formation of a large army in the wake of the establishment of the state, we will abolish partition and expand to the whole of Palestine.”

  4. Ossinev
    Ossinev
    September 25, 2018, 9:26 am

    “After the formation of a large army in the wake of the establishment of the state, we will abolish partition and expand to the whole of Palestine”

    But in the process of course we must cover our backsides and constantly pretend to be offering “opportunities” for the Palestinians to “miss”.

    Zionism = hypocrisy at its finest and most scientific.

    • Maghlawatan
      Maghlawatan
      September 26, 2018, 2:47 pm

      1967 was really stupid. What OECD country would choose to end up with apartheid? It is like strategizing to get gonorrhea .

  5. eljay
    eljay
    September 25, 2018, 9:46 am

    Zionism: Jewish supremacism in/and a religion-supremacist “Jewish State” in as much as possible of Palestine.

    There’s nothing “moral beacon” or “light unto the nations” about it.

  6. Hostage
    Hostage
    September 25, 2018, 4:34 pm

    Fathi Nemer: To put this into context, even after waves of Jewish immigration to Palestine, and a much smaller area allocated to the Jewish state in the 1947 partition plan, the proposed Jewish state would have had a Jewish majority of only 60%.

    I highly recommend Nur Masalha’s books. But I think he overlooked an important historical episode in this instance.

    The Bedouin population and even some of their towns and villages were noted in the Survey of Palestine that the British Mandatory government provided to the UNSCOP committee. The committee members deliberately excluded them from the total population count without consulting the British government. They did that on the basis of a false racial stereotype (that they were non-resident nomads).

    When the Jewish Agency rejected the UNSCOP proposal and demanded constitutional and territorial revisions to the plan, the General Assembly established two Ad Hoc Subcommittees to work on new proposals. The British government passed a note to both of them explaining that the Bedouins had been settled on the land in the Beersheba region for hundreds of years. The note also explained that an RAF aerial survey had been recently conducted to update the number of Bedouin dwellings and the Bedouin population statistics. It explained that:

    “It will thus be seen that the proposed Jewish State will contain a total population of 1,008,800, consisting of 509,780 Arabs and 499,020 Jews. In other words, at the outset, the Arabs will have a majority in the proposed Jewish State.

    See paragraphs 62-64 on pdf file pages 40-42 of A/AC.14/32, 11 November 1947 @ http://www.un.org/ga/search/view_doc.asp?symbol=A/AC.14/32

    • Talkback
      Talkback
      September 26, 2018, 5:36 am

      Hostage, what do you make of this:
      “The ad hoc committee made a number of boundary changes to the UNSCOP recommendations before they were voted on by the General Assembly.

      The predominantly Arab city of Jaffa, previously located within the Jewish state, was constituted as an enclave of the Arab State. The boundary of the Arab state was modified to include Beersheba and a strip of the Negev desert along the Egyptian border,[49] while a section of the Dead Sea shore and other additions were made to the Jewish State. This move increased the Jewish percentage in the Jewish state from 55% to 61%.”
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_Nations_Partition_Plan_for_Palestine

      Did the state for the Jews included less Arabs than Jews after this boundary changes?

      • Hostage
        Hostage
        September 26, 2018, 4:59 pm

        Talkback: Hostage, what do you make of this:
        “The ad hoc committee made a number of boundary changes to the UNSCOP recommendations before they were voted on by the General Assembly. …

        There were a couple of dozen draft resolutions to amend the UNSCOP plan that were referred to the Ad Hoc sub-committees. Those were the “proposed Jewish state” under discussion in the sub-committee reports, not the rejected UNSCOP plan.

        The US did submit an undated draft resolution A/AC.14/16 to implement the UNSCOP plan without revision. But it wasn’t brought-up for a vote until all of the final reports and recommendations of the sub-committees were submitted.

        Some of those resolutions , like the Jaffa enclave, had already been approved and included in the 1st Ad Hoc sub-committee final report.

        I’m not sure about the inclusion of the undated US draft resolution regarding Beersheba A/AC.14/38. The boundaries were changing almost daily during the Ad Hoc Committee deliberations and no one was keeping detailed records. The 2nd sub-committee certainly knew that the Jewish Agency had made a conditional formal offer (regarding the inclusion of the town of Beersheba in the Arab state) to the 1st Ad Hoc Committee. So it too might have been considered part of the pending proposals regarding the Jewish state.

        In any event, the UN Palestine Commission had the authority to delimit the final frontiers. After the General Assembly adopted the plan of partition, the Commission actually added Arab occupied land to the Jewish state in several instances. Those decisions were made in subsequent meetings and announced in press releases that are still available from the UNISPAL document library.

      • Talkback
        Talkback
        September 27, 2018, 10:33 am

        Thanks Hostage. So we can’t be sure, if Jews were a minority in the proposed State for the Jews´, before they started to expell Nonjews?

      • zaid
        zaid
        September 29, 2018, 1:29 pm

        According to the partition plan itself the Jewish state would have 498,000 Jew and 407,000 Arab.
        But then it states that more than 90,000 Bedouin is not included in the population.
        so it was 50-50 even with the exclusion of the Jaffa enclave.

      • Talkback
        Talkback
        September 30, 2018, 4:37 am

        Zaid, the question is, if excluding the Jaffa enclave, and other areas was before or after the Bedouins were included into the calculation.

      • Hostage
        Hostage
        October 2, 2018, 1:19 pm

        Talkback: So we can’t be sure, if Jews were a minority in the proposed State for the Jews´, before they started to expell Nonjews?

        I wouldn’t go that far. Automatic citizenship was conditioned upon UN recognition of the legitimacy of the respective state’s government, i.e. “Arabs and Jews who, not holding Palestinian citizenship, reside in Palestine outside the City of Jerusalem shall, upon the recognition of independence, become citizens of the State in which they are resident and enjoy full civil and political rights.

        Fully one third of the Jewish residents were still aliens and were not legal citizens of either state before they began expelling the indigenous Arabs. The UN plan called for the establishment of “representative governments”, not Arab-only or Jewish-only ones. UN recognition of Israel’s provisional government was always conditioned upon the assurances its representatives provided that it would implement the provisions of resolutions 181 (II) and194 (III). Those resolutions guaranteed the right of return and the exercise of full civil and political rights hy the former Arab inhabitants.

        FYI, the exact composition of the populations were always subject to change, since Jews in the Arab state and the City of Jerusalem had one year to opt for citizenship in the Jewish state. The Arabs living outside the Arab state had a similar right to opt for citizenship in the Arab state.

    • lyn117
      lyn117
      October 1, 2018, 2:53 pm

      And, prior to 1948, Jews were a decided minority in the territory that became “greenline” Israel.

  7. JWalters
    JWalters
    September 26, 2018, 4:50 am

    Thanks for this excellent survey of fundamental facts that demolish the Zionist lies. This article is an excellent reference to people to link to in the current war of information and disinformation.

  8. Maghlawatan
    Maghlawatan
    September 26, 2018, 6:21 am

    Great article. Zionism was unjust from the get go. It was hardly the Palestinians’ fault the bots had no land. Or that they thought Jerusalem was magical. If a group of militant lesbians took over the Hamptons and kicked out all the weekenders permanently it wouldn’t be right either.

    « At the end of the day it was a group of European settlers claiming an already inhabited land for an exclusivist ethnic state, »

    The core problem. Source of Israel’s misery. War could not fix it. Neither can lies. Israel is now unmanageable.

    Give the Palestinians the Galilee. Or else the vote.

  9. Jackdaw
    Jackdaw
    September 26, 2018, 11:52 am

    The Arabs rejected partition?

    Ha!

    The Arabs violently reacted to the November 1947 UN Resolution vote, starting a war that they would ultimately lose.

    Immediately following that vote, Arab gangs began attacks on Jewish cities; Jerusalem’s City Center on November 30 and the Husseini backed Salameh gangs attack (400 armed men) on Tel Aviv’s suburbs on December 8.

    “They that sow the wind, shall reap the whirlwind”.

    • Talkback
      Talkback
      September 26, 2018, 2:35 pm

      Jews would never react this way, if Israel’s 25% nonjewish population (most of the settlers) would try to create a state within a state after having announcend that they want to take over all of the land and that they see nothing immoral with expelling Jews to become a majority.

    • pjdude
      pjdude
      September 27, 2018, 2:03 am

      wrong it was the zionist forces that started the war. repeating a lie doesn’t make it truth

  10. bcg
    bcg
    September 26, 2018, 11:58 am

    I’m reading the Wikipedia article on the U.N. partition plan – “The British administration was formalized by the League of Nations under the Palestine Mandate in 1923, as part of the Partitioning of the Ottoman Empire following World War I. The Mandate reaffirmed the 1917 British commitment to the Balfour Declaration, for the establishment in Palestine of a “National Home” for the Jewish people, with the prerogative to carry it out.[12][13] A British census of 1918 estimated 700,000 Arabs and 56,000 Jews.”

    This whole thing reeks of colonialism to me….

    • Maximus Decimus Meridius
      Maximus Decimus Meridius
      September 26, 2018, 1:27 pm

      That’s because it WAS colonialism.

      The early Zionists were quite open about the colonial nature of the project. Proud of it, in fact. Remember this was the 19th century and the idea of civilised Europeans taking the lands and resources of the brown peoples was perfectly respectable, even admirable. Oh sure, the benighted locals would protest, but they’d soon learn that resistance was useless. That was just the way of the world when superior peoples had to deal with backward tribes.

      The fatal problems for Zionism were:

      a) Settler colonialism isn’t quite as cool now as it was back then.
      b) The backward tribes did not meekly accept their lot. They’re still there. And they’re not budging.

      And that is why Zionism is doomed.

      • Jackdaw
        Jackdaw
        September 26, 2018, 2:49 pm

        Marxism failed.
        Communism failed.
        Nazism failed.
        Imperialism failed.
        Fascism failed.
        Arab Nationalism failed.
        Colonialism failed.

        Zionism lives.

      • Maghlawatan
        Maghlawatan
        September 26, 2018, 3:58 pm

        Zionism swapped Jewish ethics for torture and brainwashes kids. It’s not worth a ferret’s fart.

      • Maghlawatan
        Maghlawatan
        September 26, 2018, 4:01 pm

        Colonialism needs a good infectious disease to wipe out the locals. Zionism didn’t have one which is why Jews are a minority today in greater Israel. #WTF

      • Talkback
        Talkback
        September 26, 2018, 4:48 pm

        Jackdaw: “Zionism lives.”

        Longer than Apartheid South Africa?

      • Maghlawatan
        Maghlawatan
        September 27, 2018, 10:38 am

        Am apartheid chai

    • Jackdaw
      Jackdaw
      September 26, 2018, 2:46 pm

      The Ottomans and their German allies tried to cripple Great Britain by seizing the Suez Canal. They failed, and Great Britain counter attacked and took control of ‘Palestine’. The rest is history.

      To the victor, go the spoils.

      • Maghlawatan
        Maghlawatan
        September 26, 2018, 4:00 pm

        The Nazis were victorious in Poland in 1939 , Jackdaw and took their spoils. Don’t worship military logic.

      • Talkback
        Talkback
        September 26, 2018, 4:51 pm

        Jackdaw: “To the victor, go the spoils.”

        It is not surprising at all that your understanding of international law is stuck in Nazi times. After 1945 it is inadmissable to aquire territory through war.

      • Jackdaw
        Jackdaw
        September 27, 2018, 1:51 am

        “After 1945 it is inadmissable to aquire territory through war.”

        That’s correct.
        However, Iran has found a loophole. She uses non-State militias like Hezbollah and Hamas to acquire territory. International Law hasn’t yet caught on or caught up.

        “The Law is an ass”–Charles Dickens

      • RoHa
        RoHa
        September 27, 2018, 9:04 am

        How much territory has Iran acquired so far?

      • Talkback
        Talkback
        September 27, 2018, 10:17 am

        Jackdaw: “However, Iran has found a loophole. She uses non-State militias like Hezbollah and Hamas to acquire territory.”

        How much is that compared to the Jewish “non-State militias” landgrab in 1948 and later as state terrorists?

      • Jackdaw
        Jackdaw
        September 27, 2018, 6:03 pm

        “How much territory has Iran acquired so far?”

        Iran has acquired a land bridge that extends through Iraq and Syria and reaches Lebanon’s Mediterranian coast.

      • RoHa
        RoHa
        September 27, 2018, 9:31 pm

        A “land bridge” ? Do you mean a corridor? But, the last time I checked, neither Lebanon, nor Syria, nor Iraq had ceded any territory to Iran, and Iran was neither claiming sovereignty over nor actually controlling any territory in those countries. Iran does have influence in those countries, but so does Russia, Turkey, and the USA.

      • Talkback
        Talkback
        September 28, 2018, 7:19 am

        RoHa: “… the last time I checked, neither Lebanon, nor Syria, nor Iraq had ceded any territory to Iran, and Iran was neither claiming sovereignty over nor actually controlling any territory in those countries. ”

        Jackdaw is terribly confused when it comes to the aquisition of territory and its legallity. It’s pretty much upside down.

        He thinks that Iranians acquire territory when they are invited to stay in or to move through it it while Zionist did not illegaly acquire territory they took through war and expulsion and it is totally legal to violate Syria’s or Lebanon’s borders and airspace. Not to mention half century of illegal occupation and illegal settling. What a mental mess.

  11. Maghlawatan
    Maghlawatan
    September 26, 2018, 3:29 pm

    The Zionists made some stupid miscalculations. They thought the Palestinians were inferior so they thought they could always divide them. They thought the West would always give them a free pass. And they thought paupérisation would drive Palestinians away.

    • Nathan
      Nathan
      September 26, 2018, 9:24 pm

      It’s very interesting, Maghlawatan, that you feel that “the Zionists made some stupid miscalculations”. I suppose that to err is human, but all in all it’s obvious that the Jewish side of this conflict has been VERY successful. This article is about the Palestinian rejection of the Partition Plan. I would have expected to read a comment about the calculations or “stupid miscalculations” of the Palestinian side of the conflict.

      • DaBakr
        DaBakr
        September 26, 2018, 11:17 pm

        @n

        read up on true believers. not the most critical minded thinkers. On MW they only seem to know what they hate: zionism. what they believe in is hard to say. the palestinian arabs in west bank and Gaza know exactly what they believe in. Weiss and company decry tribalism only when it refers to jews that don’t think like him. Not very many. the millions of arab jews pushed out of arab nations put the lie to the conflict being about colonialism. at least they only attack european colonialism. Certainly not Arab conquest and colonization.

        also liked the commenter pontificating about lands acquired post ’45. a case of blindness to anything but Jews and Israel

      • Maghlawatan
        Maghlawatan
        September 27, 2018, 12:02 am

        Nathan

        Israel has the geopolitical equivalent of gonorrhea. Apartheid.
        I look at risk and I don’t speak Hebrew so I don’t consider hasbara to be serious. Israel right now is unmanageable. Maybe you think this is success. I don’t.

      • Talkback
        Talkback
        September 27, 2018, 10:41 am

        Nathan: “I would have expected to read a comment about the calculations or “stupid miscalculations” of the Palestinian side of the conflict.”

        There is nothing stupid to try to defend your country against terrorists that want to take it over and expell you.

  12. just
    just
    September 26, 2018, 3:33 pm

    Zionism IS colonialism and fascism and so much more…

    It’s terminal.

  13. Nathan
    Nathan
    September 26, 2018, 9:16 pm

    On the one hand, Fathi Nemer claims that “many myths have already been dispelled, such as the claim that Palestine was an empty, barren land upon the arrival of the Zionist settlers”. He adds that “for the longest time, this falsehood stood tall and fast, it was the accepted ‘truth’ for millions, a crucial baseline for the Israeli narrative”. Yet, in the very same article, the author tells us that he has read Jabotinsky’s 1923 essay “The Iron Wall”, and he summarizes the article thus: “Jabotinsky understood clearly what establishing Israel meant for the natives; he did not mince words…” In other words, “for the longest time”, the Zionists claimed that the land was empty; yet, in 1923, that “longest time” apparently had already ended because Jabotinsky wasn’t “mincing with words” regarding the inhabitants of the empty land.

    This is the nature of propaganda. You throw in all your gripes in one article, and it doesn’t matter if the gripes are mutually contradictory. There is no reason to bring up these grievances in the first place. After all, the article is about justifying the Palestinian rejection of the 1947 Partition Plan. But if it’s really important to throw in some of the grievances for the sake of convincing the convinced that they should be anti-Israel, then I would suggest avoiding the silliness. If you want to repeat the nonsense of the “empty land”, then leave out Jabotinsky’s essay. If the essay is an important element of anti-Israel propaganda, then spare us the “empty land” business. The two together make it obvious that the article is meant for idiots.

    • DaBakr
      DaBakr
      September 26, 2018, 11:23 pm

      @n

      Omg Nathan. What possibly can you be trying to accomplish here at MW central? can’t you find some other site that you can devote your energy to? can’t you leave these poor people be?

    • Jackdaw
      Jackdaw
      September 27, 2018, 6:30 am

      In 1947 there were 1 million people living here. Now there are 8 million people living here.
      So yeah, the land was empty in 1947.

      • eljay
        eljay
        September 27, 2018, 8:25 am

        || Jackdaw: In 1947 there were 1 million people living here. … So yeah, the land was empty in 1947. ||

        And – just like that! – a Zionist wipes a million people (including Jews) off the map.

        Nazi Party member and known anti-Semite Konrad Lorenz salutes you.

      • Maghlawatan
        Maghlawatan
        September 27, 2018, 9:24 am

        More like 14 m
        with 49% Jewish. The six day war was the longest suicide note in history.

    • Talkback
      Talkback
      September 27, 2018, 10:19 am

      Nathan: “After all, the article is about justifying the Palestinian rejection of the 1947 Partition Plan. But if it’s really important to throw in some of the grievances for the sake of convincing the convinced that they should be anti-Israel, then I would suggest avoiding the silliness.”

      No need to convince someone to become anti-Israel if one considers how Zionist accepted the rejection of partitioning the country by its majority and what they did with the land and its majority.

    • MHughes976
      MHughes976
      September 28, 2018, 6:50 am

      Fathi’s remarks, if taken in their strongest sense, claim that many Zionists in the same breath both denied the presence of the Palestinians and announced that Palestinians would be transferred elsewhere. He adds that many people believed at least one and sometimes both of these propositions. Thus he accuses the Zs of dishonesty and cruelty and their sympathisers of uncritical thinking and self-deception. This accusation is true or false but it is not inconsistent.
      I’m not as anti-colonial as some and I think that contact between Herzl and Rhodes was minimal at most but I’m grateful to Fathi for the reminder of how important British Southern Africa was to the early Zs both as a role model, for all that it was sometimes very cruel, and as a source of money.

    • Talkback
      Talkback
      September 28, 2018, 8:04 am

      Nathan: “The two together make it obvious that the article is meant for idiots.”

      It truly takes an “idiot” to suggest that claim 1.) “Many Zionist myths have been dispelled” would contradict claim 2.) “One Zionist didn’t support one of these myths”.

      Your comment was obviosly meant for idiots. Wasn’t it, DaBakr? LOL.

  14. bcg
    bcg
    September 27, 2018, 11:42 pm

    At the risk of being a little OT, there’s an interesting thing about this discussion I’ve noticed:
    The premise of the article is that the Palestinians were right to reject partition – now, this can be discussed, you can agree or disagree with this, you can look at it from different angles – right morally, right in terms of international law, blablabla.

    But many people here basically simply say that the Palestinians got what they deserved by resisting partition, and might makes right. It’s like a schizophrenic response to the article, you know? – it’s not related to the issues the article raises.

    • Nathan
      Nathan
      September 28, 2018, 9:23 am

      No, bcg, the Palestinians did not get what they deserved by rejecting partition in 1947. The Palestinians succeeded in foiling the Partition Plan. The proposal called for a Jewish state, an Arab state and a separate Jerusalem zone – and in founding these three entities, war would be prevented. The Palestinians opposed the plan, and indeed the Partition Plan was not implemented. This was, therefore, a true Palestinian political success. The Arab state and the separate Jerusalem zone were not established, and war was not prevented. Of course, the Palestinian success was not entirely complete: the Jewish state was nevertheless founded. I suppose achieving three out of four goals is still a very good batting average.

      Nowadays, there are those who wish to remove the two-state solution from the agenda (see Mondoweiss articles in this regard). The political success of 1947 will very likely be repeated, but again it will probably be only a partial success: The Palestinian state will not be founded, and there won’t be a solution to the conflict – but the other state will continue to be. So, it will be a two out of three batting average (still quite satisfactory).

      • Talkback
        Talkback
        September 28, 2018, 4:43 pm

        Nathan: “The proposal called for a Jewish state, an Arab state and a separate Jerusalem zone – and in founding these three entities, war would be prevented.”

        Sure, and if the Zionists Jews would have accepted the Arab rejection of this proposal and instead accepted the independece of the state of Palestine, war would have been prevented, too. But here’s a bit of history for you, Nathan. The US abandoned the partition plan in March 1948 after it saw that it could not be implemented without war. It now became the leading proponent of putting Palestine under UN trusteeship. In April 1948 a security council resolution prohibited the declaration of statehood and at the end of April the US prosposed a truce under the condition that now new states were declared. Guess who violated the Security Council resolution, rejected the truce and chose to go to war?

        …, U.S. officials there faced the Jewish Agency’s rejection of a truce as well as a trusteeship arrangement to replace what the State Department and the White House conceded to be the failure of the partition plan. In evaluating the situation, Robert McClintock, a special assistant to Dean Rusk, then director of the Office of UN Affairs, deliberated over the implications of these developments. It may well be, he speculated, that Washington would soon be confronted with a situation created by Jewish military forces, including the Haganah, the Stern Gang and Irgun, in which it would have to determine whether a “Jewish armed attack on Arab communities in Palestine is legitimate or whether it constitutes such a threat to international peace and security as to call for coercive measures by the Security Council.”15 Washington would face what McClintock called an “anomalous situation,” in which “the Jews will be the actual aggressors against the Arabs. However, the Jews will claim that they are merely defending the boundaries of a state which were traced by the UN and approved, at least in principle, by two-thirds of the UN membership.”
        http://mepc.org/journal/middle-east-policy-archives/us-policy-israel/palestine-1948?print

        But you allready knew that. Because I quoted the same about a month ago after YOU admitted:
        “The people of a country have the right to defend their country against partition, conquest and expulsion and also the right to restore its unity”

        And you also declared that “no one had a right to found another state therein (an illegitimate blow to the territorial integrity of an “existing” state).”

        So let me ask you:

        Why are you unable to admit that war could have been prevented, if the Zionists would have not founded a state within the state of Palestine, but instead you claim that (only) the acceptance of the partition proposal would have prevented the war, allthough you admit that a people of a country have the right to defend their country against partition, conquest and expulsion and also the right to restore its unity?

        Is there any coherence in your arguments?

      • RoHa
        RoHa
        September 28, 2018, 8:33 pm

        “f the Zionists Jews had accepted the Arab rejection of this proposal and instead accepted the independece of the state of Palestine, war would have been prevented, too. ”

        Don’t let Nathan’s Zionist grammar affect you.

      • RoHa
        RoHa
        September 28, 2018, 8:41 pm

        The Palestinians knew that the Partition plan would lead to war, not prevent it. They saw two options.

        1. Partition. A Jewish state is established. The Jewish state then embarks on the conquest of the rest of Palestine. War.

        2. A single democratic state in all Palestine, in which Jews and Arabs are equal citizens. No war.

        The second option was the one they kept proposing, up to and even after the war.

      • Talkback
        Talkback
        September 29, 2018, 1:22 pm

        RoHa: “Don’t let Nathan’s Zionist grammar affect you.”

        Don’t let the Grammar Nazis affect you. English is my third learned language and I really don’t care.

      • Nathan
        Nathan
        September 30, 2018, 10:44 pm

        Talkback – “The proposal called for a Jewish state, an Arab state and a separate Jerusalem zone – and in founding these three entities, war would be prevented.” In this quote from my comment, I am giving you the logic of the UN in proposing partition. Indeed, their intention was to prevent war.

        Another quote of mine that you like to repeat is: “The people of a country have the right to defend their country against partition, conquest and expulsion and also the right to restore its unity”. Yes, people have the right to go to war – but this doesn’t mean that they will be successful in their war. The Palestinians had a right to oppose partition, and they had the right to resort to violence against the Jews. However, they failed in their war effort. You seem to have adopted the Palestinian view that “they were right”, and therefore the Jews shouldn’t have won the war. However, the Jews nevertheless believed that they had the right to found their state and to succeed in their war effort. It’s called “conflict” (i.e. the two sides see things very differently).

        A third quote of mine that you like to repeat is: “No one had a right to found another state therein (an illegitimate blow to the territorial integrity of an ‘existing’ state).” This is a presentation of a Palestinian argument. Obviously, the argument is false. Without getting into the debate if there was or wasn’t a Palestinian state (notice that I wrote ‘existing’ in quotation marks), there are many examples of states being founded within existing states. It’s called “rebellion”. It’s really quite simple: If you fail in your rebellion, you’re a “traitor”, and they might throw you in jail (see for a recent example the leader of Catalunia). The Confederate States of America is an example of a failed rebellion. However, on the other hand, if you succeed in your rebellion, you become a “national hero” or the “father of your country”. So, using your logic (“Palestine was an ‘existing’ state”), the founding of Israel could be defined as a successful rebellion. You should be able to live with that.

      • RoHa
        RoHa
        October 1, 2018, 8:40 am

        “However, the Jews nevertheless believed that they had the right to found their state and to succeed in their war effort.”

        But believing they had such a right does not give them the right.

        “A third quote of mine that you like to repeat is: “No one had a right to found another state therein (an illegitimate blow to the territorial integrity of an ‘existing’ state).” This is a presentation of a Palestinian argument. Obviously, the argument is false. ”

        How so? Yes, there are many examples of states being so founded, but that does not mean that anyone had a right to found those states, even if those responsible are hailed as national heroes afterwards.

        Your attempts to set up some sort of moral equivalence between the Zionists and the Palestinians simply don’t hold water. They are failures.

      • Nathan
        Nathan
        October 1, 2018, 10:00 am

        RoHa – I know that it’s hard for the anti-Israel crowd to understand that there might be another side to a story. I know that it’s pointless to explain to you that there are people out there in this world who sees things differently than you do – but note that there is, indeed, a phenomenon on this planet called “disagreement”. You, for example, think that the Jews had no right to found a state in Palestine, but amazingly the Jews thought that they do have such a right. Call it a “mystery” if that helps you deal with the strange phenomenon of disagreement and conflict.

        Anyway, when a state comes into existence, it exists. Even if RoHa thinks that it shouldn’t have come into existence, that state nevertheless exists. It could be that there will be those who oppose the founding of the state, and they might even go to war in order to end its existence. Listen now to the VERY complicated logic of political science: If the war effort of those opposed to the new state is successful, the new state will cease to exist. However, if the new state is successful in its war, then it exists even if RoHa thinks that this is not right. It could also be that the new state will even be accepted as a member of the UN without having to receive your approval.

      • RoHa
        RoHa
        October 2, 2018, 12:02 am

        I know this is difficult for a Zionist to understand, but

        “Jews think they have a right…”

        does not imply

        “Jews have a right…”

        And probably even harder for you to grasp is that moral disagreements do not imply

        (a) there is right on both sides
        (b) neither side is right or wrong
        (c) there is no right and wrong at all.

        I know that you will keep on repeating your lies and distortions, but the correction is on record.

      • eljay
        eljay
        October 2, 2018, 8:24 am

        || Nathan: … Listen now to the VERY complicated logic of political science: If the war effort of those opposed to the new state is successful, the new state will cease to exist. … ||

        So…if Israel were to be wiped off the map tomorrow:
        – you would not protest the (war) crime and call for justice and accountability; but, rather,
        – you would lecture its Jewish refugees and its supporters throughout the world on the “VERY complicated logic of political science”.

        Huh.

  15. wondering jew
    wondering jew
    September 28, 2018, 2:36 pm

    The “if only the Palestinians had accepted Partition” is a type of alternate history, a form of fiction, not really attached to reality and the speculation of how history might have developed had things been “decided” differently is drawing doodles in the clouds. Zionism’s interaction with Palestinian nationalism and resistance might have been different if the personalities involved had been different, but the post WWI reaction to the presence of the Brits and the French elsewhere in the region clarifies that the path to self determination was not always smooth without revolt. The complicating factor of Jewish nationalism might have been a distant thought when the Turks ruled the region, but the Balfour declaration must have come as a shock, plus the mandate given to the Brits which incorporated the essence of the Balfour declaration, this must have been a shock to the people living in Palestine in 1917-1920.

    The tumult of the life of Jews in Eastern Europe gave an added (possibly essential) push to the revolution in Russia, a mass migration to America and the birth of modern Zionism. Resistance by the Palestinians was logical, but seems to have served them poorly so far. Maybe the world opposition to Netanyahu that the Palestinians consider their claim to a near future success makes the situation seem less bleak than it is. I cannot tell them to stop resisting, for they will not listen, nor will I sound credible. But I will say that opposing a tidal wave is not enough to stop it, and when the tidal wave consists of humans, then mere resistance might not be enough, other strategies of engagement that would be termed normalization, might in fact plant seeds to a better future. But certainly in the age of Netanyahu the resistance movement rather than the engagement movement is the spirit of the moment.

  16. YoniFalic
    YoniFalic
    September 29, 2018, 1:08 am

    I am not sure Palestinians ever actually rejected partition. In November 1947 almost all important Palestinian leaders were either in jail or in exile. Palestinian representatives do not seem to have made an organized response to partition until January 1948 while Zionist forces began genocide operations in December 1947 under the cover of accepting partition.

  17. jon s
    jon s
    September 29, 2018, 2:21 am

    Rejecting partition resulted in tragedy for the Palestinians themselves. Had they not rejected partition no Palestinians would have become refugees. So, according to the “logic” of this essay, the Palestinians were right to cause their own catastrophe.

    • RoHa
      RoHa
      September 29, 2018, 9:46 am

      Accepting partition would also have resulted in tragedy. The Zionists would have driven the Palestinians out of the Jewish state, and then carried on with their plan to conquer the rest of Palestine.

      The catastrophe was caused by the Zionist rejection of a single democratic state and prosecution of their evil plan for a Jewish state.

    • Talkback
      Talkback
      September 29, 2018, 1:25 pm

      jon s: “So, according to the “logic” of this essay, the Palestinians were right to cause their own catastrophe.”

      The usual victim pepretator reversal that’s also know from Holocaust deniers. As if the Palestinians expelled themselves and were not victims of the Zionist ethnic cleansing campagne.

      Did the Jews who didn’t “accept” to leave Nazi Germany in time cause their own “catastrophe”, too?!? Shame on you!

    • jon s
      jon s
      September 29, 2018, 4:22 pm

      Roha,
      You’re ignoring the point that partition meant not only a Jewish state, but also an Arab (Palestinian) state.
      The Palestinian leaders had no intention of co-existing peacefully with the Jews in a secular, democratic state. Their goal was – and is-an Islamic state.

      • RoHa
        RoHa
        September 30, 2018, 1:05 am

        “You’re ignoring the point that partition meant not only a Jewish state, but also an Arab (Palestinian) state.”

        So? The existence of that state would not stop the Zionists from driving out the Palestinians in the Jewish state, and then attacking the Arab state.

        “The Palestinian leaders had no intention of co-existing peacefully with the Jews in a secular, democratic state. ”

        Not a good idea of the Jews to go there, then.

        “Their goal was – and is-an Islamic state.”

        Odd, since so many of them were Christians.

      • Talkback
        Talkback
        September 30, 2018, 4:44 am

        You are lying, jon s. By now you should allready know that the Palestinian and Arab leaders proposed a secular, democratic state with minority rights in 1948. And if the Jews ever wanted to rule out that they are going to live in an “Islamic” state. they shouldn’t have moved to Palestine. But the Arab Palestinan idea was to release Palestine into independence and not to create a Palestinian state in a minor part of it in which Arabs are nationals and the Jews only fake “citizens” like we have the other way around in the Jewish Apartheid state.

      • jon s
        jon s
        October 1, 2018, 5:35 am

        Talkback
        So what was it to be: a secular democratic state or an Islamic state? You seem to be contradicting yourself. Or maybe you’re just not sure.

        A happy Simhat Torah holiday to all those celebrating!

      • RoHa
        RoHa
        October 1, 2018, 8:53 am

        Jon s, are you being deliberately perverse in your reading of Talkback’s comment?

        He is making two, distinct, points.

        The first is that, as a matter of historical fact, the Palestinians offered a secular democratic state.

        The second is that if the Jews had ever feared that the Palestinians would set up an Islamic state, they should not have moved to Palestine.

        There is no contradiction between these points.

      • jon s
        jon s
        October 1, 2018, 3:30 pm

        RoHa,
        OK, I admit that I may have misunderstood Talkback’s comment, and that there’s no contradiction.
        However, the more important point is the assertion that the Palestinians and Arabs were seeking a secular , democratic state, with equal rights for all (including Jews?). That’s pretty far removed from reality.

  18. Nathan
    Nathan
    September 29, 2018, 11:00 am

    Yoni – You’re not sure that the “Palestinians ever actually rejected partition”. That’s really the most interesting comment that I have ever read at Mondoweiss. Let’s analyze the earth-shaking significance of your “not-so-sure” position. Since the Partition Plan calls for the founding of a Jewish state in Palestine (and also an Arab state, of course), you’re not so sure that the Palestinians rejected the idea of a Jewish state. Therefore, it’s not so sure that the Palestinians reject the idea that Palestine is the homeland of the Jews. This means that you’re not sure that they reject the Jewish narrative.

    • Talkback
      Talkback
      September 29, 2018, 1:15 pm

      Nathan: “Since the Partition Plan calls for the founding of a Jewish state in Palestine (and also an Arab state, of course), you’re not so sure that the Palestinians rejected the idea of a Jewish state. Therefore, it’s not so sure that the Palestinians reject the idea that Palestine is the homeland of the Jews.”

      Your view is as twisted as racist, Nathan.

      The Palestinians rejected their state to be partitioned. Period. They only wanted its independece. And of course they rejected the idea that their homeland in which they live should be the exclusive homeland of the Jews wherever they live. Palestine was the homeland of the people of Palestine, its citizens, whether they were Jewish or not. And not the homeland of any foreigner who happened to be Jewish.

      You still can’t formulate a single universal principle that could justify the founding of the state of Israel. You can’t talk about Palestine without differentiating between Jews and Nonjews. Your “Jewish narrative” is nothing else than racism/Jewish exceptionalism.

      • Nathan
        Nathan
        October 1, 2018, 10:42 am

        Talkback – We understand why the Palestinians rejected partition and opposed the founding of a Jewish state. It wasn’t because of the reason that you suggest, but never mind. It’s obvious that at times a people feels that it must go to war – and the Arabs went to war. No one is suggesting that they didn’t have the right to go to war. However, there are no guarantees regarding the result of the war. They couldn’t prevent the rise of Israel, and that’s that. It’s now a fact of life.

        There is no need to justify the founding of Israel. Perhaps there is a reason to debate about events that may or may not occur in the future. There is no point in debating about events that have already occurred. You might want to discuss with your spouse the pro’s and con’s of having a baby, but after the child has already reached the age of 70, you might consider ending the discussion once and for all. It’s a waste of time.

        Anyway, the (universal) phenomenon is that states come into existence whenever there is a (particularistic) public that is determined and successful in founding its state. That’s the way of the world.

      • eljay
        eljay
        October 1, 2018, 12:39 pm

        || Nathan: … You might want to discuss with your spouse the pro’s and con’s of having a baby, but after the child has already reached the age of 70, you might consider ending the discussion once and for all. … ||

        I agree that there’s no point discussing the fact that a woman was gang-raped and a child was born. The problem with you Zionists is that you want to:
        – absolve the rapists of their crimes; and
        – absolve the child – now a man – of the (war) crimes he has been committing deliberately and unapologetically ever since he came into this world.

    • RoHa
      RoHa
      September 29, 2018, 7:35 pm

      Your logic is faulty, again.

      Not rejecting, and even accepting, a Jewish state does not imply accepting the “homeland of the Jews” narrative. The Palestinians could accept a Jewish state for pragmatic reasons* without accepting any of those fairy tales.

      (*”The lying, thieving, murdering buggers are here now, and we can’t get rid of them, so we’ll have to put up with them.”)

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