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You stole the home of a people and you’re not even willing to say ‘sorry’

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The following is an exchange from a panel that took place in December 2018 in Tel Aviv, in Hebrew, for an audience of mostly Israeli Jews. The panel’s title was “Do Good Fences Make Good Neighbors?” – or as some panelists bluntly put it, are “divorce” and “separation” the appropriate metaphors for thinking about the future of Israel-Palestine? The panelists were Yael Barda, a sociologist and activist from Hebrew University, Jafar Farah, a Palestinian civil rights activist and founder of Mossawa center, and Shaqued Morag, Executive Director of the Israeli NGO Peace Now. The moderator was Israeli journalist Meron Rapaport.

The discussion lasted nearly two hours and touched on many issues, but one exchange in particular stood out. At one point, an Israeli man in the audience made a comment that’s familiar from dominant discourses on Israel-Palestine. The man’s narrative – about Palestinians rejecting the U.N. Partition Plan, and Jews’ right to the land based on a two-thousand-year history – represents a generic Zionist Israeli perspective.

Jafar Farah, the only Palestinian panelist, delivered a piercing, comprehensive, and inspiring response. The exchange, translated from Hebrew and lightly edited, is below.

The power of Farah’s answer stems not only from its substance but from Farah’s insistence to deliver it, unflinchingly, in an otherwise hostile Israeli-Jewish setting. Farah’s commentary was, of course, about Palestine and its history, how that history is being erased by the State of Israel, and about the reckoning and rebuilding that needs to happen in a settler-colonialist society. Yet Farah’s answer goes beyond the familiar axes of Israel-Palestine. He expresses concern not only for Palestinians, but for the broader region and the world. He reminds the Israeli Jew who addressed him that he’s not alone in this world; that it’s not only his own safety, comfort and future that matter.

Farah’s remarks struck me as essential reading. They begin at the 1:22:52 mark in the video below.

Israeli audience member: If I may, I’d like to express a slightly more right-wing perspective. If I speak nonsense, please stop me. But I’m hearing very left-wing views here and I’m more of a centrist. And I don’t live in Israel, in fact, I’m just visiting, and a friend brought me here tonight. But what I’m hearing from this Palestinian fellow here [panelist Jafar Farah], and others here, is that it’s as if suddenly Israel just wanted to settle here.

You [Farah] said, “Did God give this land to the Jewish people?” No, that’s not it. It’s history. Jews have lived here for years and years, they were also expelled from here at various points. For two thousand years they’ve yearned to return here, just like the Palestinians – so it’s not like it was all Palestine and the Palestinians were expelled. That’s one. And two, there was the [U.N.] Partition Plan. It was you who rejected that, not Israel. And what followed was a consequence of that. The refugee problem was a result of that too. Third, when I look at things – you know, I am also against settlements and various provocations – I am for two states. My fear, and the fear of many Israelis, is something you must understand. You’ve got to see where they’re coming from. They believe

Farah: From the Germans, they fear the Germans.

Audience member: No, no, excuse me, that’s not nice what you just said. I know this cliché. The fear comes from your side, from the Palestinian side, when you say you haven’t given up on the dream of having a whole Palestine. Why don’t you come to me one day and say, “Look, we’ve given up on Palestine, let’s make two states.” There’s a history here, you know, the fear is not out of the blue. Forgive me from straying from tonight’s main line but that’s my opinion…

Look, I don’t live here, but I love it here. I visit here every two years or so and I read Yedioth Aharonoth [Israeli newspaper] everyday, even more than newspapers where I live, so I’m connected to this place from the depths of my soul. My parents came here from Poland and they were the families that were expelled from here two thousand years ago, and you know they too deserve a place…And I’m for two separate states and the folks from Peace Now are also for that. It’s going to be too difficult to have a confederation or something like that. Maybe someday, when the two states get used to one another, we can think of doing something together. But for now, let’s work on two separate states like the original Partition Plan. If you call it “transfer,” then I’m against that.

Farah: So you’re saying no one stole anything from anyone, then. If you insist that God promised you the land, then take it [laughs]. You insist that the economic situation is good because you worked hard, not because you’ve exploited the Palestinians for 60-70 years, and you haven’t taken other people’s houses [laughs]. I wonder, you know, why you don’t want to talk about the history. And I’m happy to talk about history and about the Shoah…

Whoever is capable, after 80 years, of rebuilding a new way of life with the Germans, after all that they’ve done to him, it’s time for that person to wake up and say, we have no choice – maybe with the Germans you have a choice, because you live here – but we [Palestinians] are the only neighbors you’ve got. Not the Germans, despite your insistence to sing in the Eurovision. And I say this out of anger because I’m sick of hearing [what we’ve just heard].

[Addressing audience member] In the last three thousand years, I didn’t expel you from here, I’m not responsible for this. It’s a chutzpah to lay the blame for that on me. My parents lived in Haifa and one day woke up and found that rather than 70,000 Palestinians they were merely 2,000. They try every day to rebuild themselves and deal with the trauma you’ve created for us. And yes, you have no right to expel another people because God promised you something.

[Audience member interjects]

Don’t interrupt me, I listened to you politely, now let me tell you the truth, a little bit in your face. Because I’m sick of this fake talk about wanting “peace.” I’m not the Nazi who murdered Jews. And I have no reason to defend the Nazis. The issues you have with the Nazis you’ve got to take up with the Nazis. I am not responsible for what the Nazis did and I’m not willing to let Ahmadinejad take advantage of me as he tells the world he’s protecting the Palestinian people. He is not…There was not one Arab leader in the last 100 years who used us and was truly committed to the Palestinian cause.

Our attempt to build a future together must be based on truth. Whoever took the water of the Palestinian people, our houses in Jaffa, he who expelled us and took our homes for himself – he shouldn’t talk about an economic “gap” – he created the gap. You are the second and third generations of people who took homes from people who were expelled from those homes. Let’s talk about how to build a future based on the fact that after everything that’s happened to me, I’m still willing to recognize your right to self-determination. I recognize that need, and the history, including what the Nazis did. And I’m willing to say, come, let’s do this based on the truth of the current situation – a situation you’ve partly created. And in part it was created by the Zionist movement that exploited you, and sent you here, and placed you in development towns [referring mainly to Arab and North African Jews] to serve as shield against Palestinians so they won’t “infiltrate” their own homeland.

Let’s talk truthfully. My mother’s family from Eilaboun that was expelled to Lebanon are not “infiltrators” in their homeland. Someone who’s an “infiltrator” after 3,000 years shouldn’t call himself “oleh chadash” [Zionist/Israeli government term for recent Jewish migrant to Israel]. Let’s be real.

Let’s stop with all this arrogance about how much you’ve built here, and the greatness of the “Jewish Brain” – this arrogance is irritating. What we’ve been through – and the state the Palestinian people are in today – is partly a result of our homeland being stolen, and the massive annihilation of our people. So, let’s build a future that’s not based on lies, but on my willingness to recognize your need for self-determination and your recognition of mine. I’m not talking about rights here, but about recognizing each other’s needs.

The Palestinian people have a need for self-determination, including self-determination vis-à-vis the Lebanese and the Syrians and others. I don’t want to be a resident guest in Lebanon or Syria or any other place. The need for self-determination of the Palestinian people, as a people of their own and not as Arab people, not as guests in Iraq but in their homeland, is a need that must be fulfilled. How do we do this? It’s always described, including by our friends in the so-called “Peacenik Camp,” as “mission impossible.” No, it’s not impossible. There were terrible tragedies in Europe and look, Europe is rebuilding itself. They did terrible things to each other in Europe, far more terrible than what was done here in the last 80 years. But they sat together and talked eye-to-eye. And they’re trying to rebuild, even though it’s not perfect.

Now in South Africa the white people screwed over the Black people and they must pay their debt, and they haven’t. But to come and say there’s this or that gap [between Israeli Jews and Palestinians, or white and Black South Africans] – that gap was created by someone.

As Jews, you’re not planning to go anywhere, and I’m not interested in you going anywhere (like the United States). Stay here. Look, I don’t work for El-Al. I won’t fly you out of here. I also don’t profile you when you fly El-Al. But I’m sick of you profiling me! You do it as if it was your father’s homeland, the homeland that God promised you, and I’m just a piece of trash that needs to put up with it.

You don’t have ownership of this place. There’s my ownership of this homeland and I’m willing to compromise and share it with you. I’m willing to do that. But the question is: are you willing to honor the fact that I’m willing to give up my historical rights – rights that were stolen, not 3,000 years ago but 70 years ago – and build a future based on respect for each other’s needs? You want your linguistic rights, fine, I want my linguistic rights too…

Let’s talk about a future where we do something about the settlers. And don’t speak of Palestinians and settlers like they’re symmetrical [a reference to a comment panelist Yael Barda made earlier in the panel]. They’re not the same. The settlers are part of the occupation agenda, which must end. And it’s time that Tel-Aviv and Haifa and Netanya and all the cities that talk about “social justice” make the link between social justice and the occupation. It’s not only what happened in the past, it’s what’s happening today. Today, Haifa is paying the price of maintaining Ofra and other settlements. That’s what a real Left would talk about. Real Left is not about just recognizing the Palestinian people [but also making these connections].

When I hear talk about us being part of a weak and problematic Middle East, a rough region, I feel that as a democratic Arab I have a contribution to make to the entire Arab sphere. I want the entire Arab sphere to change for the better. You only want Israel to change for the better – and if possible, maybe improve the Palestinians’ situation too because if things are bad for them it’ll be bad for you.

Things are bad in this region and in the world more broadly. A refugee flees from Africa to Israel – why do you expel him? A victim of expulsion? You yourself a victim of expulsion, and you do this [expel] and then moralize against us? When an African refugee flees and comes here, what security threat does he possibly pose to you? He’s expelled, he’s humiliated, he’s treated the way that Jews were historically treated.

And then you moralize to us: “We’ll give you a state, two states and separation.” That hasn’t work and it won’t work, because we’ll be in Jaffa and Haifa and whenever we see you on the bus, we’ll remind you that we’re Arabs and Palestinians – and you’ll have to come to terms with us, not the Germans. With us. We must accept you and you must accept us. It’s a mental process.

I understand the fear. But I am the one who should be scared! I’m the one who was expelled from here! I’m the one who doesn’t have nuclear weapons and F-16s. I’m the one who should be scared, not you! So please don’t tell me about fear. I am the one who’s scared of you because of all your weapons and your capacity to oppress me, to trample all over me, to throw me out and to tell me I don’t even have a right as a refugee to return after 70 years – but you, as refugee after 3,000 years, you have a right to return. Enough! Why do you have a right to return after 3,000 but the Palestinian refugee can’t return even after 20 years?

Audience member: The Partition Plan…

Farah: I don’t want the Partition Plan! If someone came into your home and split it up, would you accept it? It’s natural that Palestinians in ’48 rejected the plan, it’s so natural. Are you willing today to go for a solution that realizes both of our needs for self-determination or not? Do you want to continue this war for generations, go ahead. What can I say.

Audience member: That’s what you understood…

Farah: Yes, that’s what I understood from you. You live in the U.S. and come tell me “oh, 3,000 years ago”… I’m the one who’s scared. You’re the one with the F-16s. I don’t have F-16s. I can be arrested and have my leg broken while you sit at home.

Audience member: What you represent is extremism. I spoke moderately, and you speak in extremist terms. The way you speak is what scares me. That’s exactly it. Do you understand why I’m scared? It’s the way you say it.

Farah: Yes. You should be scared. You stole the home of a people, you stole people’s houses, and you’re not willing…

Audience member: Stop, stop it, come on…

Farah: …and you’re not even willing to say “sorry,” “I’m sorry I did that.”

Audience member: You’re talking nonsense, I don’t want to hear it anymore. Real nonsense.

[moderator breaks up exchange]

Yarden Katz

Yarden Katz is a fellow in the Department of Systems Biology at Harvard Medical School.

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33 Responses

  1. smithgp on August 9, 2019, 1:44 pm

    Righteous anger at a stiff-necked enemy of justice and equality!

  2. Brewer on August 9, 2019, 5:49 pm

    “I don’t want the Partition Plan! If someone came into your home and split it up, would you accept it? It’s natural that Palestinians in ’48 rejected the plan, it’s so natural.”

    It is also a right.
    The Plan for Partition was a proposal of the UNGA, nothing more. It was perfectly proper for either side to reject or accept it. It was also predictable that the indigenous, more numerous people would reject the allocation of a smaller share of the territory than that offered to the interlopers.
    Furthermore, the Zionist “acceptance” was known to be a ruse* and known to be rejected by some factions, including the powerful Begin gang.

    What is rarely discussed is what partition actually meant. My understanding is that the division was purely one of sovereignty. If transfer of land ownership were intended, there would surely have been provision made for a process whereby this could fairly be achieved.
    The whole “Palestinians rejected Partition” argument is a crock.

    *As has been proven innumerable times since.

    • Misterioso on August 10, 2019, 10:01 am

      @Brewer, et al

      For the record:

      To be brief:
      On 29 November 1947, recommendatory only (i.e., no legal status, contrary to the terms of the British Class A Mandate and the Atlantic Charter, never adopted by the UNSC and grossly unfair to the native Palestinian Arabs) the Partition Plan (Res. 181) was passed by the UNGA.

      Despite massive Jewish immigration during the British Mandate, Jews comprised just 31% of the population & privately owned only 6 to 7% of the land. Outrageously, the Partition Plan recommended Jews receive 56% of Palestine as a state!! (Native Arab Palestinian Jews comprised 10% of the Jewish population and were vehemently opposed to Zionism.)

      48% of the total land area of mandated Palestine was privately owned (‘mulk khaas’) by Palestinian Arabs. (To repeat, total Jewish privately owned land was between 6% and 7%.) About 45% of the total land area was state owned (i.e., by its citizens)* and it was comprised of Communal Property (‘mashaa’), Endowment Property, (‘waqf’), and Government Property, (‘miri’.) 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. *Only 30% of the Jewish immigrants had taken out citizenship & tens of thousands were illegals.

      Land ownership in all of mandated Palestine on Nov. 29, 1947: By Sub district – Acre: 87% Palestinian owned, 3% Jewish owned, 10% state owned; Safed: 68% Palestinian owned, 18% Jewish owned, 14% state owned; Haifa: 42% Palestinian owned, 35% Jewish owned, 23% state owned; Nazareth: 52% Palestinian owned, 28% Jewish owned, 20% state owned; Tiberias: 51% Palestinian owned, 38% Jewish owned, 11% state owned; Jenin: 84% Palestinian owned, less than 1% Jewish owned, 16% state owned; Beisnan: 44% Palestinian owned, 34% Jewish owned, 22% state owned; Tulkarm: 78% PalestinIan owned; 17% Jewish owned, 5% state owned; Nablus: 87% Palestinian owned, less than 1% Jewish owned, 13% state owned; Jaffa: 47% Palestinian owned, 39% Jewish owned, 14% state owned; Ramleh: 77% Palestinian owned, 14% Jewish owned, 9% state owned; Ramallah: 99% Palestinian owned, less than 1% Jewish owned, less than 1% state owned; Jerusalem (West and East): 84% Palestinian owned, 2% Jewish owned, 14% state owned; Gaza: 75% Palestinian owned, 4% Jewish owned, 21% state owned; Hebron: 96% Palestinian owned, less than 1% Jewish owned, 4% state owned; Bersheeba: 15% Palestinian owned, less than 1% Jewish owned, 85% state owned. (Village Statitistics, Jerusalem: Palestine Government, 1945; subsequently published as United Nations Map no. 94b, August, 1950)

      Regarding land ownership in West and East Jerusalem in 1947: The total land area of West Jerusalem (the New City) 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 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 five dunams (just over one acre) were Jewish owned and the remaining 795 dunams were owned by Palestinian Muslims and Christians. (“Assessing Palestinian Property in the City,” by Dalia Habash and Terry Rempel, Jerusalem 1948: The Arab Neighbourhoods and their Fate in the War, 1999, pp. 184-85)

      Re: UNGA Resolution 181, the Partition Plan;
      Although the Philippines initially opposed Res. 181 and Liberia and Haiti wanted to abstain, the United States and the Zionists pressured these countries to vote in favour, thereby gaining the necessary two-thirds approval. “Under threat of a Jewish boycott of Firestone rubber and tire products, Harvey Firestone told Liberia that he would recommend suspension of plans for the expansion of development there if Liberia voted against partition.” (Michael Cohen, Palestine and the Great Powers, 1945-1948, 1982)

      These bullying tactics were aptly described by James Forrestal, then U.S. Secretary of Defence: “The methods that had been used…to bring coercion and duress on other nations in the General Assembly bordered closely onto scandal.” (Millis, Walter, ed., The Forrestal Diaries, New York: the Viking Press, 1951)

      • Truthbug on August 11, 2019, 5:57 pm

        Mysterioso, many thanks.

  3. pgtl10 on August 9, 2019, 6:07 pm

    Audience lives in the US and expects native Palestinians to accept his demands.

    Gets afriad when he realizes natives aren’t servants and calls them extremists.

  4. seancbreathnach on August 9, 2019, 6:15 pm

    Thank you for this. A powerful defense of Palestinians.

  5. seancbreathnach on August 9, 2019, 6:32 pm

    I just googled Jafar Farah and sadly found out that an Israeli Policeman was Indicted for Fracturing Prominent Arab Activist’s Leg While in Detention.

    https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-israeli-policeman-indicted-for-fracturing-prominent-arab-activist-s-leg-in-detention-1.7314727

  6. Bumblebye on August 9, 2019, 10:37 pm

    “If someone came into your home and split it up…” .
    On the very individual scale, no, i did not accept it. I have just spent the last ten months battling to force the management of the flats where i live to take down the fences they bunged up to placate a new tenant. Denying half of us the use of a supposedly communal garden whilst still taking the service charge for its maintenance. The tenants who ‘lost’ are now creating a hostile environment – i can’t imagine the personal costs of all kinds to people attempting to oppose israeli occupation and theft for sixty times as long!

  7. RoHa on August 10, 2019, 3:19 am

    Rejecting the partition plan was not only natural and within the rights of the Palestinians, it was the right and decent thing to do.

    The best, and the most moral, option for Palestine, then and now, is a single democratic state. That is what the Palestinians chose. That is what the partition denied.

    • RoHa on August 10, 2019, 7:28 pm

      I want to emphasise my point here.

      The Palestinians did not just have a right to reject partition.

      It was their duty.

      Regardless of what some UN members may have believed, partition was morally wrong.

      Everyone, Palestinian or not, had a moral obligation to reject it.

      So let’s stop saying it was natural and understandable for the Palestinians to reject partition, and start praising them for standing up for justice.

      • Nathan on August 11, 2019, 7:40 pm

        Yes, RoHa, it certainly was the right of the Palestinians to reject the Partition Plan. Since it was merely a suggestion, its rejection by the Arab side meant that the Partition Plan was not to be. So, here we have an excellent example of a very successful Palestinians ploy: They opposed the Partition Plan, and indeed the proposal was not implemented.

      • RoHa on August 12, 2019, 12:15 am

        Not just the Partition Plan, but any partition.

        I’m glad that you agree that the Zionists were not acting in accord with UN decisions when they seized a chunk of Palestine.

        Do you also agree that partition was wrong, and so the Zionist acts were wrong?

      • eljay on August 12, 2019, 9:01 am

        || Nathan: Yes, RoHa, it certainly was the right of the Palestinians to reject the Partition Plan. Since it was merely a suggestion, its rejection by the Arab side meant that the Partition Plan was not to be. So, here we have an excellent example of a very successful Palestinians ploy: They opposed the Partition Plan, and indeed the proposal was not implemented. ||

        This is what you appear to be saying:
        – Third Party “merely suggests” that what rightfully belongs to Party A should be partitioned between Parties A and B.
        – Party A rejects the suggestion of a partition.
        – Party B is therefore entitled to steal and claim for himself as much as possible of what rightfully belongs to Party A.

        Not only is that morally reprehensible, but since there’s no reason to believe that Party A could not comprise Jews, I continue to wonder: Why do you Zionists insist on hating Jews so much?!

      • Mooser on August 12, 2019, 1:29 pm

        ” Why do you Zionists insist on hating Jews so much?!”

        Must be how the Fates their gifts allot.

      • Nathan on August 12, 2019, 9:59 pm

        Since you ask, RoHa, if partition is wrong, it’s obvious that you don’t really understand the Partition Plan. It was proposal, a suggestion. No one forced partition on the public. It was an idea to work out a deal that could prevent war. The Arab side rejected the proposal, and therefore it was never implemented. It’s really a mystery why you feel that the issue of dividing the land has to be discussed. It’s really the same as any peace treaty. If everyone agrees, then the treaty shall go into affect. If there isn’t a common agreement, the conflict goes on. That’s the situation: there is no agreement, so the conflict continues. For the Arab side of the conflict, this is what they want. They believe that ultimately they shall be victorious, so they do not accept any finality in the here and now (be it one state or two states).

        Anyway, you should note that the whole world is partitioned between the various groups. So, if you were wondering if partition is wrong in principal, then the answer is “no”. It’s the way of politics for eons and eons.

      • Talkback on August 13, 2019, 4:39 am

        Nathan: “No one forced partition on the public. It was an idea to work out a deal that could prevent war.”

        What war? The total take over of Palestine by Zionists? It was only their interest to go to war. No war, no conquest of territory. The Palestinians only demand was to release their country into independence after mandate. So why would that lead to war? Except to a war against supremacist colonists, illegal aliens and refugees who can’t except that they are a minority most of them not even being citizens of Palestine?

        Nathan: “It’s really a mystery why you feel that the issue of dividing the land has to be discussed. It’s really the same as any peace treaty. If everyone agrees, then the treaty shall go into affect. If there isn’t a common agreement, the conflict goes on.”

        Again, whose confict? Why should it lead to a conflict, if a majority doesn’t accept their country to be devided by colonists, refugees and illegal aliens? Does any country needs to subjugate to terrorism and separatism?

        Nathan: “That’s the situation: there is no agreement, so the conflict continues.”

        Again, why? Who wanted this conflict? Who rejected a truce and declared statehood despite Sec Res 46 and its call to abstain from such actions?

        Nathan: “For the Arab side of the conflict, this is what they want.”

        Now you are trolling, aren’t you? Does Israel want a conflict, if its Nonjews want partition and Israel rejects? Your world is up side down as usual. In your world seperatists are looking for peace and those who want to keep their country together don’t. Don ‘t you realize how corrupted your moral is?

        Nathan: “They believe that ultimately they shall be victorious, so they do not accept any finality in the here and now (be it one state or two states).”

        Again, upside down. It is Israel that is illegaly annexing, occupying and settling in occupied territories, not the Palestinians. It is Israel that does not want to finalize its settler colonialism. You know it, but you prefert to tell lies.

        Nathan: “So, if you were wondering if partition is wrong in principal, then the answer is “no”. It’s the way of politics for eons and eons.”

        Partition by settler colonist through war and expulsion and without the consent of the native population is not the politics “for eons and eons”. And it isn’t recognized to be politics after 1945 and post colonial times at all. It’s Israel Apartheid politics.

      • RoHa on August 14, 2019, 1:01 am

        Another failure in moral reasoning from Nathan. Not surprising, but still depressing.

        I’ll spell it out for you.

        1. The Zionist intention was to set up a religion/ethnic supremacist state in Palestine.
        2. It is immoral to set up such a state.
        3. The Partition Plan would have assisted in setting up such a state.
        4. Therefore, the Partition plan was an immoral suggestion.
        5. Everyone has a duty to reject immoral suggestions.
        6. Therefore it was the duty of the Palestinians to reject the Partition Plan.
        7. Any other form of partition of Palestine between Zionists and non-Zionists would likewise assist in setting up the Zionist state.
        8. So any such partition would be an immoral act.
        (The actual partition was carried out by the immoral means of war and ethnic cleansing.)

        Now you may want to respond that the choice was between either (a) accepting an immoral plan or (b) the greater immorality of war, and therefore the duty of the Palestinians was to accept the plan.

        Three responses.

        1. That was not the only choice. The Zionists could have accepted the Palestinian idea of a single democratic state for all.

        2. If performing a duty will lead another party to commit an immoral act, you are not thereby relieved of your duty. Responsibilty for the choice of wrongdoing lies on the other party. If it is not inevitable that the other party will choose wrongdoing, then there is certainly no excuse for failure to perform your duty.

        3. Highly unlikely that the Zionists would have suddenly discovered decency (contrary to 1) and the war could well have been close to inevitable. But the Zionists had already stated that any partition would only be temporary, and they would move to take the whole country. This would mean either another war or the complete dispossession of the Palestinians. Since both of these outcomes are immoral, accepting partition would be a failure of duty for no good reason.

        “So, if you were wondering if partition is wrong in principal, then the answer is “no”. It’s the way of politics for eons and eons.”

        Being the way of politics for eons and eons does not preclude a practice from being wrong in principle.

        For my part, I do not say partition is always wrong. I would have to look at each case.

        (Mind you, some partitions of the twentieth century do not seem good advertisements for the practice. India, Korea, Vietnam, and Yugoslavia make dubious precedents.)

  8. eljay on August 10, 2019, 9:28 am

    Farah speaks truth and extends an olive branch. “Audience member” – a.k.a. Boris’ “strong fighting Jew” (who could very well be jon s) – says that Farah is “talking nonsense” and scaring him.  :-(

    Zionist hypocrites like “Audience member” / jon s (which is to say, all Zionists) have no interest in justice, accountability and equality in I-P. All they want is for Israel:
    – to remain a religion-supremacist “Jewish State”;
    – to keep as much as possible of what it has stolen, occupied and colonized;
    – to be absolved of its obligations under international law; and
    – to be absolved of responsibility and accountability for past and on-going (war) crimes committed.

    • Marnie on August 11, 2019, 11:52 pm

      “You’re scaring me”. Says the american jew visiting every 2 years and reads Yediot Aranot? Who can’t listen for 20 minutes to the truth without attempting to shut it down with his ‘fear’? Who has the power here? Who has the WMDs? And who has only the truth on their side, that must be heard all over the world but especially heard in ‘israel’.

      “You don’t have ownership of this place. There’s my ownership of this homeland and I’m willing to compromise and share it with you. I’m willing to do that. But the question is: are you willing to honor the fact that I’m willing to give up my historical rights – rights that were stolen, not 3,000 years ago but 70 years ago – and build a future based on respect for each other’s needs? You want your linguistic rights, fine, I want my linguistic rights too…” #PALESTINEWILLBEFREE
      Maybe some day Jews will free themselves of this original sin of their forefathers, the mass murderers, rapists and thieves whom airports, schools, streets and parks have been named after. But first you have to acknowledge the sins committed in your name and be pissed about it! We’re all prisoners of someone else’s master plan. Break those bonds and set yourself free FFS.

  9. CigarGod on August 10, 2019, 9:39 am

    Yep.
    Israeli Jews are now best friends with Germans…employing many of the same arguments and practices that were used against them.

  10. eljay on August 10, 2019, 9:46 am

    Farah: … I listened to you politely, now let me tell you the truth, a little bit in your face. Because I’m sick of this fake talk about wanting “peace.” I’m not the Nazi who murdered Jews. And I have no reason to defend the Nazis. The issues you have with the Nazis you’ve got to take up with the Nazis. I am not responsible for what the Nazis did …

    Our attempt to build a future together must be based on truth. … Let’s talk about how to build a future based on the fact that after everything that’s happened to me, I’m still willing to recognize your right to self-determination. I recognize that need, and the history, including what the Nazis did. And I’m willing to say, come, let’s do this based on the truth of the current situation – a situation you’ve partly created. And in part it was created by the Zionist movement that exploited you … to serve as shield against Palestinians so they won’t “infiltrate” their own homeland. …

    Let’s stop with all this arrogance about how much you’ve built here, and the greatness of the “Jewish Brain” – this arrogance is irritating. … So, let’s build a future that’s not based on lies, but on my willingness to recognize your need for self-determination and your recognition of mine. I’m not talking about rights here, but about recognizing each other’s needs. …

    As Jews, you’re not planning to go anywhere, and I’m not interested in you going anywhere (like the United States). Stay here. …

    You don’t have ownership of this place. There’s my ownership of this homeland and I’m willing to compromise and share it with you. I’m willing to do that. But the question is: are you willing to honor the fact that I’m willing to give up my historical rights – rights that were stolen, not 3,000 years ago but 70 years ago – and build a future based on respect for each other’s needs? You want your linguistic rights, fine, I want my linguistic rights too …

    Are you willing today to go for a solution that realizes both of our needs for self-determination or not? …

    Audience member: What you represent is extremism. I spoke moderately, and you speak in extremist terms. The way you speak is what scares me. That’s exactly it. Do you understand why I’m scared? It’s the way you say it. … You’re talking nonsense, I don’t want to hear it anymore. Real nonsense.

  11. Vera Gottlieb on August 10, 2019, 10:13 am

    Then behave like you come from a 2000-year land history…instead of behaving as if you just exited some caves.

  12. wondering jew on August 10, 2019, 2:23 pm

    Farah has a very clear voice and I am grateful to have heard him on this video. Those who don’t understand Hebrew and only have your transcript are missing something. The type of openness and honesty that he is seeking is not on the horizon and thus in this way his words are depressing. But his honesty and openness are refreshing.

    It seems clear to me that any peace treaty that Israel will sign will seek to call it the end of the conflict and Farah says no, it will not be the end and so his honesty reveals an underlying cause for the current logjam.

    • eljay on August 10, 2019, 5:35 pm

      || wondering jew: … It seems clear to me that any peace treaty that Israel will sign will seek to call it the end of the conflict and Farah says no, it will not be the end and so his honesty reveals an underlying cause for the current logjam. ||

      If “any peace treaty that Israel will sign will seek to call it the end” includes wording that allows Israel…
      – to remain a religion-supremacist “Jewish State”;
      – to keep as much as possible of what it has stolen, occupied and colonized;
      – to be absolved of its obligations under international law; and
      – to be absolved of responsibility and accountability for past and on-going (war) crimes committed,
      …Farah is right to say “no, it will not be the end”.

      Farah’s honesty isn’t the problem. The “underlying cause for the current logjam” continues to be Zionism and the insistence of Zionists on their “right:
      – to be supremacists;
      – to have as large as possible a supremacist state;
      – to do “necessary evil” unto others;
      – to be absolved of obligations under international law; and
      – to be absolved of responsibility and accountability for past and on-going (war) crimes committed.

    • Brewer on August 10, 2019, 11:40 pm

      WJ.
      “any peace treaty that Israel will sign will seek to call it the end of the conflict and Farah says no, it will not be the end and so his honesty reveals an underlying cause for the current logjam.”

      Israel has no intention of ending the conflict and has carefully maintained the logjam throughout its existence – as has been admitted by such as Ben Ami.

    • Marnie on August 13, 2019, 3:04 am

      @Yonah –

      ‘Those who don’t understand Hebrew and only have your transcript are missing something’. Maybe you should tell that to the hebrew speakers in his audience who had so much trouble listening to everything he said, understanding every word? WTF.

      I can’t imagine what we’re missing as he didn’t speak in his mother tongue, but forced to learn and to speak the lying, thieving tongue of the oppressor.

  13. Talkback on August 11, 2019, 5:57 am

    Let’s remind everyone that the partition plan was put on ice, because of the violence on the ground. The US changed its position and became the leading proponent of putting Palestine under UN trusteeship. The Security Council releaed Sec Res 46 in April 1948 which asked all parties to abstain from declaring statehood:

    “Calls upon all persons and organizations in Palestine, and especially upon the Arab Higher Committee and the Jewish Agency, to take immediately, without prejudice to their rights, claims, or positions, and as a contribution to the well-being and permanent interests of Palestine, the following measures: […]

    (d) Refrain, pending further consideration of the future Government of Palestine by the General Assembly, from any political activity which might prejudice the rights, claims, or position of either community;”
    https://unispal.un.org/DPA/DPR/unispal.nsf/0/9612B691FC54F280852560BA006DA8C

    That’s one of the reasons why the Palestinians didn’t declare statehood not even in the whole of Palestine.

    • Nathan on August 11, 2019, 7:53 pm

      Well, actually, Talkback, the Palestinians did declare statehood in 1948, and a government was set up (the all-Palestine government) and it was headed by Hajj Amin al-Husseini. I believe that the entire Arab world recognize this government with the exception of Jordan. Anyway, there is a Wikipedia article about the all-Palestine government, so you can read some of the details there. Nasser closed it down in 1959 (the government sat in Gaza which was under Egyptian rule).

      • Talkback on August 13, 2019, 5:16 am

        It was the Arab League which declared this statehood and it did so after Israel declared statehood and after 1st October as envisaged in the partition plan. So don’t tell us that the Jews accepted the partition plan, because they violated it many times. They declared statehood before 1st October (2 months after British withdrawal) and they did not transfer nationality to all of its habitual residents, but only to those it didn’t keep expelled. And then came the cold annexation of every territory beyond partition borders, including West-Jerusalem before 1967.

      • Nathan on August 14, 2019, 9:51 pm

        Gee, Talkback, I didn’t utter a word about the Jews’ having accepting partition. The Jews’ acceptance or rejection of partition is really irrelevant. The Partition Plan was a proposal. The one side (i.e. the Arabs) rejected it altogether – so, it is really silly that you think that the Jews had to respect it. Actually, your grievances are identical to that of the Arabs: They feel that they were right in rejecting the Partition Plan, but they have a belly-full of gripes about its non-fulfilment. You might find it interesting to read the op-ed of Mahmoud Abbas in the NY Times (in Nov 2012, I believe). There he mentions that the Partition Plan of 1947 “promised” two states, but the Palestinians didn’t get theirs. In the case of Dr Abbas, he “forgot” to mention that he rejects partition entirely, whereas at least you are honest enough to admit that you reject partition (but criticize Israel for not abiding by the plan which you entirely reject).

        Anyway, the Jews declared statehood in May instead of October, as you remind us. My first instinctive reaction was “who cares”. But my second reaction was to wonder if you (Talkback) would approve of founding Israel if she had been founded in October (in accordance to the Partition Plan which you totally reject). The answer is obviously “no”, so why on earth do you bring up the issue in the first place? There is no policy that Israel could promote AND also win your approval. No matter what she might do, it will be illegitimate in your eyes – even if she would have been founded within the Partition Plan borders on Oct. 1, giving citizenship, etc.

      • eljay on August 15, 2019, 7:23 am

        || Nathan: … the Jews declared statehood in May instead of October … ||

        “The Jews” didn’t declare statehood* – Israel did.

        Israel also:
        – proclaimed itself a religion-supremacist state;
        – embarked on a decades-long and on-going campaign of (war) crimes and theft, military occupation and colonization of territory outside of its / Partition borders (the borders it accepted and within which it (not “the Jews”) was recognized as a state).
        ________________________________
        (*Unless you anti-Semitically conflate Israel with all Jews. Which you Zionists routinely do.)

      • Talkback on August 15, 2019, 1:16 pm

        Nathan: “The Jews’ acceptance or rejection of partition is really irrelevant.”

        Not at all. That was the reason why Israel was recognized and gained UN membership.

        Nathan: “… so, it is really silly that you think that the Jews had to respect it.”

        Don’t confuse me with someone who thinks that “the Jews” would respect the UN charter, UN resolutions, international law or any human rights. It’s obvious that war and expulsion is their choice.

        Nathan: “Actually, your grievances are identical to that of the Arabs: They feel that they were right in rejecting the Partition Plan.”

        I have no grievances at all. You are trying to make a case for Israel and continously fail. And of course the majority of the REAL citizens of Palestine had the right to reject this proposal through majority ruling. That’s called democracy. You know, the concept you only accept if Jews are a majority through maintaining and expulsion.

        Nathan: “My first instinctive reaction was “who cares”.”

        Yeah, the Nathan who needed to refer to the partition plan recognizes another argumentative failure.

        Nathan: ” But my second reaction was to wonder if you (Talkback) would approve of founding Israel if she had been founded in October (in accordance to the Partition Plan which you totally reject).”

        Nope. Because I reject the partition of the state of Palestine (under mandate) as much as you would reject the partition of Israel. That’s called a universal principle. Something you fail to deliver when you want to make a case for Israel.

        Nathan: ” There is no policy that Israel could promote AND also win your approval.”

        Indeed. I reject setter colonialism and Apartheid. You don’t.

        Nathan: “… so why on earth do you bring up the issue in the first place?”

        I was responding to the article in a “moderate” way.

        Nathan: “– even if she would have been founded within the Partition Plan borders on Oct. 1, giving citizenship, etc.”

        What didn’t you understand about Sec Res 46? And please, we all know that Israel existing only within partition borders giving citizenship to all Nonjews has NEVER been the plan of the Jewish agency. Does that remotely sound similar to its proposal to put Palestine under Jewish mandate and postpone independence until a Jewish majority was achieved and to use violence against the Nonjews to enfore this proposal? Nope. It sounds similar to what actually happened on the ground. Jewish control through war and expulsion.

  14. Truthbug on August 11, 2019, 6:17 pm

    Since we humans cannot live without a set of “working beliefs,” let me propose the following, most basic belief I think the vast majority of humans will/do agree to: We are all first human, then secondarily Jew, Muslim, White, Black, Chinese,… whatever. Or, to simplify, We are all first human, then whatever. I’d even go so far to say that the statement is more than a belief, but a fact, the only basic fact we humans can resort to in solving conflict, and all successful legal systems must rely on such a fact.

    From my own observations of human history, it seems that whenever somebody loses sight of this basic truth, there’s trouble, killing, mayhem, etc. In fact, I submit that at the root of the vast majority of conflicts in the world, at least one of the conflicted parties has lost sight of that truth.

    In the conflict at hand, I’d say that the Zionists are not acting in conformity to that fact, whereas the Palestinians have a greater stake in acting in a conformal way to that fact. When Farah says, “Are you willing today to go for a solution that realizes both of our needs for self-determination or not?,” he is leaning on that fact. If you read between the lines of the Audience Member, you get the idea he cannot see to the depth that fact requires.

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