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The Arabs Next Door

Thousands of Israeli Arabs are moving into Jewish towns seeking affordable housing and better quality of life. A warm welcome rarely awaits them.

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An up-turned car lies in the front garden of a vandalized Arab home in the northern Israeli city of Acre on Oct. 10, 2008, following violent unrest between Israeli Arab and Jewish residents of the mixed city. (David Furst/AFP/Getty Images)

Until a year ago, Tahani Soliman, a 37-year-old Israeli Arab, says she didn’t feel any strong connection to Upper Nazareth, the Central Galilee town where she lives with her husband and two children. Soliman describes the predominantly Jewish suburb of about 40,000, which looks out over the ancient Arab city of Nazareth, as serving as little more than a “hotel” for her family. “There’s no school here for the kids, no after-school activities,” so her son and daughter, 16 and 12, respectively, spend their days in Nazareth, just to the southwest. That’s also where she and her husband, Ratb, operate the print business and school-supplies shop they own. They return home each evening to Upper Nazareth to sleep.

But on March 30, 2011, Soliman had an experience that made her feel she had something at stake in her bedroom community. Every year on March 30, Israel’s Arab citizens and Palestinians commemorate the anniversary of the 1976 protests that resulted in the killing of six Arab citizens by Israeli security forces in the nearby Galilee town of Sakhnin. The original demonstrations—the central event in what was called “Land Day”—were intended to express anger over the state’s expropriation of Arab-owned lands in the region, and they continue to be a vehicle for Arabs’ general frustration over their treatment by the state.

Soliman, who is active in the Arab-Jewish socialist party Hadash, decided to join fellow party members at their 2011 Land Day demonstration. “I had a black-and-white kaffiyeh I wanted to wear”—an article of clothing that she wouldn’t wear publicly in Upper Nazareth, where she says that her family doesn’t speak Arabic in their grocery store for fear of drawing unwanted attention. Because the checkered scarf was damp, she hung it outside to dry. The next thing she knew, “stones were being thrown at my house from all directions.” Nothing was broken, and no one was hurt, but Soliman told me she saw the teenagers who threw the stones, and heard them call out “Death to Arabs.”

Tahani Soliman and her family are among an estimated 7,000 Arabs—the equivalent of about 18 percent of the population—living in Upper Nazareth. I spoke with her about what it’s like to be an Arab in a predominantly Jewish town. Although she initially described it as placid and uneventful, once she told me about the kaffiyeh incident, she began to recall other acts of anti-Arab racism.

There was, for example, the time “someone sprayed the words ‘Kahane was right’ on my neighbors’ house,” a reference to the late American-born rabbi Meir Kahane, who advocated for the expulsion of Arab citizens from the state. “It’s a very lovely house,” she added.

“We didn’t make a big deal about these things,” she said. “The police came, and the slogan was erased, and forgotten.” That was then. Today, Soliman is part of a newly formed group of Arab women in Upper Nazareth who have organized to pressure local government to give them their due.

***

In the Jewish state, Jews and Arabs generally live separately. Even in so-called mixed cities like Haifa, Akko, Jaffa, Lod, Ramle, and Jerusalem—whose heterogeneous populations predate statehood—there are Arab neighborhoods and Jewish ones. It’s unusual to find members of the two communities living on the same block, let alone in the same apartment building.

Most people seem to like it this way. Even for those who consider themselves liberals, their ideal is more often “separate but equal” than equal and integrated. But in recent years, things have been changing, if only because conditions in Arab municipalities are anything but equal to those in Jewish towns.

Prof. Aziz Haidar discovered just to what extent several years ago, when he and his colleagues at the Jerusalem Van Leer Institute began mapping the Arab citizenry of Israel. They started with the raw population statistics compiled by the Central Bureau of Statistics, but when they added up the numbers of Arabs living in all the country’s Arab municipalities and in its mixed cities, “we discovered that there were 60,000 missing,” he said. That is, that the sum they arrived at was 60,000 less than the total number of Israelis classified in their identity cards as Arabs—in 2010, some 1.5 million. “It turned out,” Haidar said, “that they were living in Jewish cities. That was a big surprise.”

Haidar, an Arab born in the Western Galilee town of Majd al-Krum, has become an expert on the phenomenon of Arab internal migration. It’s far more common than most Jewish Israelis are aware of, with significant Arab presence in the “Jewish” towns of Carmiel, Nahariyya, Tzfat, Hadera, Afula, Kfar Sava, Tel Aviv, Netanya, and Givatayim, in addition to Upper Nazareth.

The most basic reason Arabs leave their traditional homes for bigger Jewish cities, Haidar said, is an inability to find affordable housing. In other cases, they move because of a job, something that is becoming more common as Arab young people get university degrees and are unable to find appropriate work in their rural hometowns. The best example of this is the Negev city of Be’er Sheva, where Arabs, both from the Galilee and from the surrounding Bedouin communities, have resettled in the thousands, many of them after attaining degrees at Ben-Gurion University.

Then there is the “quality of life” calculation. Many Arab towns lack community services and infrastructure that are standard in Jewish towns: paved roads and sidewalks, parks and gardens, community centers, as well as banks and police stations. Arab municipal governments are poorly funded and often dysfunctional, if not corrupt and nepotistic.

Haidar said that the prospect of urban anonymity—the ability to live in a place “where you’re able to sit in a café and read the newspaper without anyone recognizing you”—is also a major draw for people who have grown up in communities where your every action is known and scrutinized by your neighbors, many of whom are also members of your clan. For women who don’t want to be saddled with the restrictions of a traditional lifestyle, this can be particularly alluring.

***

When Soliman and her husband, Ratb Gommed, crossed the city line from Arab Nazareth to Upper Nazareth four years ago, they weren’t looking to make a political statement. They would have preferred to remain in Nazareth, Soliman said, but “we wanted privacy, and there were no villas [detached houses] or [semidetached] cottages in Nazareth.” Now, they are looking to move into a larger residence, a private house, but Tahani says she’s no longer interested in returning to Nazareth: “I live in Upper Nazareth,” she explained. “It’s ours too. It’s not a ‘Jewish’ city.”

That last remark isn’t just rhetorical: Soliman explained that her family owned agricultural land in the pre-state village of Jabl Sikh, now the site of the middle-class Upper Nazareth neighborhood of Har Yona. In an ironic twist, Har Yona is where the Soliman-Gommeds’ house is situated.

Upper Nazareth was established by the government of David Ben-Gurion in 1957 to serve as an anchor for Jewish settlement in the Galilee. Bringing more Jews to this verdant and historically rich part of the country has always been a national priority. Upper Nazareth and Ma’alot (on the northern border) were founded in the 1950s, and Carmiel, to the west, a decade later, together with a whole network of gated hilltop communities called mitzpim (lookouts) that accept only Jews as members. Nevertheless, the Galilee remains about 70 percent Arab.

In nearly 64 years of statehood, some 700 communities have been established in Israel, and all but a small handful of them were intended for Jews only. The land for those 700 towns and villages came in large part from the roughly 350 Arab communities that were abandoned during the War of Independence, in 1948-1949, when some 700,000 of the more than 800,000 Arabs living in Mandatory Palestine became refugees.

Today, the 150,000 Arabs who remained in Israel and became citizens have multiplied tenfold to some 1.5 million and constitute 20 percent of the population. Yet the proportion of land owned by Arabs has dropped from over 80 percent to under 5 percent during the same period. So, even if there weren’t middle-class Arabs who aspired to live in predominantly Jewish towns, the shortage of land and housing in all-Arab communities leaves some with little choice.

***

Unlike most phenomena having to do with Arabs and Jews in Israel, the trend of Arab migration has largely taken place under the radar, grabbing headlines only when public figures decide to use the trend to stoke populist fear. In 2010, for example, the chief rabbi of Tzfat issued an open letter to the 30,000 Jews of that northern city instructing them not to rent space in their homes to Arabs. (Tzfat hosts a small college where more than half of the students are Arab; some rent rooms from local residents.) His letter was signed by 18 other local rabbis.

That same year, Oren Milstein, the deputy mayor of Carmiel, was fired by the mayor in the wake of a campaign he initiated to encourage Jewish residents not to sell the homes to Arabs. Milstein had even set up an organization to which locals were encouraged to report anonymously on neighbors who were selling or renting to Arabs.

Shimon Gafsou, the mayor of Upper Nazareth, has also been outspoken about the need he sees to maintain his city’s Jewish character by attracting more Jewish residents. “I am building a neighborhood for Haredim only,” he told me over the phone, and he anticipates drawing 3,000 families, “with lots of children.”

I asked Gafsou he wasn’t concerned about attracting a population group that typically has high unemployment rates, and that, by nature of its highly restrictive way of life, often drives other populations out and property values down. He responded that the ultra-Orthodox he’s building for are a “quality” population of “working religious.”

Gafsou emphasized that Arabs have a legal right to live in his city and acknowledged that when they move there, it’s often because the state has historically “made mistakes, and they couldn’t develop in their own towns.” But tolerating the presence of individual Arab citizens is not the same as recognizing that they have collective needs, and Gafsou minced no words in declaring that “there won’t be an Arabic-language school” in Upper Nazareth so long as he is mayor. “Someone who wants to study in Arabic can go to study in Nazareth,” he said, which is exactly what most of the children from Arab families do, including Soliman’s.

At the same time, Gafsou said that Arabs are welcome to study in Jewish schools: “They don’t have to put a kippah on their head.” But Israel has always had separate schools for Jews and Arabs—not to mention Jewish children from secular and observant backgrounds—and the law mandates that if a certain minimum number of residents demand a particular type of school, the state has to accommodate them. There are already at least three Arabic-language public kindergartens in Upper Nazareth, but so far no primary schools.

City council member Shukri Awawdi says that a primary school for Arab children is a priority for his constituency and that “we’ll apply to the High Court of Justice if we need to. It’s not acceptable that I pay property tax and we don’t have schools. Our parents have become like taxi drivers, driving their kids every day to school and to after-school activities [in Nazareth], when it a basic right to study where you live.”

I asked Gafsou about the huge Israeli flag I saw hanging from a flagpole in the middle of a traffic circle in the Har Yona neighborhood, which is home to many of the city’s Arab families. It might not qualify for the Guinness Book of World Records, but it’s certainly one of the biggest flags I’ve ever seen, and I wondered aloud whether he thought that the people who hung the flag there were really trying to make Arabs feel welcome.

“I put up the flag,” Gafsou told me proudly. “It’s a Jewish town, and people who want to live here have to understand that it will always be Jewish.”

“Did you see the flag?” asked Fidaa Tabuny Abu Dbai, a longtime feminist activist who is leading the group of Arab women, including Soliman, that’s working to force the city to open an Arab grade school. “I think it’s a sign of insecurity. They have a feeling they’re losing control.” She compares Upper Nazareth to cosmopolitan Haifa. “Haifa is 11 percent Arab, but it feels like a mixed city. Upper Nazareth is 18 percent Arab, but it’s a Jewish town. Its streets are named for Jews, its cultural life is Jewish. You don’t feel it’s a place where Arabs live next to Jews.”

***

If most Arabs migrate to Jewish towns seeking a better life, they may well begin to think of their presence in political terms if they encounter hostility once there. Abu Dbai told me that she had previously invested her political energies in other people’s causes and that it is only within the last year or two that she began thinking that the Arabs of Upper Nazareth—where she has lived for a decade—could organize to press for their rights. “We started having conversations, why don’t we have a school? We always said, ‘We’ll live here a while and then we’ll go back.’ But there’s nowhere to go back to.” Abu Dbai said she was instigated by smaller things, too. “When you go down with your girls to the playground,” and the other kids ostracize them, or worse, that can strengthen a family’s resolve to stand its ground.

Consider Zenat and Issam Kadry, a couple I met in Carmiel, the growing middle-class city of 40,000 that was established in the heart of the Arab Galilee in 1964. The pair moved here from the nearby village of Nahef in 1998. Today Issam owns an electrical contracting business with some 30 employees in Carmiel. The family lives in a lovely apartment built along the side of a hill on the city’s northern edge, looking out on the northern Galilee and Lebanon. But since the birth of their twins three years ago, Zenat and Issam have been looking for a bigger place.

Issam is self-assured, and even when is describing a case of petty racism, he seems more amused than irritated. He says, for example, that he has encountered real-estate agents who, when they hear that the Kadry family already lives in Carmiel, have responded by saying, “That’s already better. You won’t upset the balance.” Another agent, he recalls, an Arab woman, instructed him: “Don’t speak loud. I’ll find you something but don’t make a big deal.”

Zenat, 37, for her part, is angered by the way she and her family have been received in Carmiel. She has sent all five of her children to Hebrew-language pre-schools in Carmiel. It’s important to her that they be proficient in Hebrew. Over the years, however, very few Jewish children have been permitted by their parents to visit her kids at home. She’s also a charter member of a Jewish-Arab group that has formed in the town to organize for equal rights for all residents—and one of the first goals of the group is to have the city open up a bilingual Arab-Jewish kindergarten. (Both this group and the group of Arab women in Upper Nazareth are receiving assistance from Shatil, an organization that helps build civil society in Israel.)

At the same time, however, she said that she does not view herself as an Israeli: “I am completely Palestinian,” she told me. Yet she wouldn’t consider leaving Carmiel because “this is my land.” I asked her what she meant by that. Was she referring to the land on which the city was built, because it was expropriated from a number of Arab villages in the area? “My land is all of Palestine,” she responded. Later, when we talked about their search for a new house, she made a point of declaring that when they sell the house in which I’m visiting them, she will consider selling “to Arabs only.” Issam said that she doesn’t mean it; Zenat insisted she was serious—and both were smiling, as if this wasn’t the first time they’d had this argument.

***

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ThorsProvoni says:

Ethnic Ashkenazim do not have a particularly good record of neighborliness.

Often Sefardic Jews, Tatar Jews, and Italian Jews have made more or less the same criticisms as alleged anti-Semites have.

http://books.google.com/books?id=NagdhSUgB9oC

gemel says:

An Arab Israeli has  no problem saying, “that she does not view herself as an Israeli: “I am completely Palestinian,”…“My land is all of Palestine,”and that ” she will consider selling “to Arabs only.” And yet the article’s author  feels justified in criticizing Israel for not  ”recognizing that they (Arabs) have collective needs.” Or criticizing his impression that Israeli Jews have difficulty living with Arab Israelis. Of course, no mention is made of the anti-Jewish rules in the area controlled by the Palestinian Authority, or the anti-Semitism in their schools.  

It seems that there is lots of work on both sides before tolerance, much less respect, is truly nurtured and grows. However, this author seems to have a bias against the Jewish Israelis, and blames them for their individual shortcomings but does not seem to use similar standards to evaluate Israeli Arabs (or Arabs who live in Israel who do not view themselves as Israeli, though they accept and even demand the rewards of such citizenship).

tk_in_TO says:

This us vs. them mentality will be the downfall of the beautiful land of Israel.  It will not be able to withstand all the different pressures being exerted upon it, Israelis and Palestinians, the many different relgious groups and the secular population.  All these people who hold Israel so dear yet they are all contributing like parasites to her death.  If people dont stop being bigoted and intolerant  the country they love will not survive because none of them is strong enough to win supremacy and perhaps that too is a good thing.

Arab Israelis that move into Jewish towns and neighborhoods may indeed sometimes face resentment from their new neighbors, but rarely violence. On the other hand, Jews are not generally welcome move into Arab towns, and can expect to face very violent reactions from locals if they do so. Here are stories about Jews that tried to live Peki’in and Iblin (both Arab towns within Israel proper, both built on ancient Jewish towns), that were driven out by threats and violence:
http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3478336,00.html
http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/1,7340,L-3479291,00.html
http://www.inn.co.il/News/News.aspx/211175 –   (Hebrew, you can try your luck with Google translate)
http://img2.tapuz.co.il/communafiles/44840720.jpg

ThorsProvoni says:

I can understand why native Palestinians might not want to live next door to Zionist invaders. Anyone that serves in the IDF should be presumed a war criminal that has been trained to believe that Jews may plunder and kill non-Jews with impunity. I do not like to live near IDF veterans here in the USA.

ThorsProvoni says:

The starting point for any modus vivendi requires acknowledgement on the part of Jews that Zionism is a thoroughly evil ideology, which is the Jewish equivalent of German Nazism.

Once full restitution is made to Palestinians for Zionist crimes and all Jews that give material aid to Zionist terrorism are imprisoned and fined out of all their assets, it should be possible for non-Jews to live with decent non-Zionist Jews.

“If you want to understand why most Jewish Israelis mistrust the Arab minority you should only take note of what Zenat said at the close of this article i.e.’ All of Palestine is her land.’
The Arab minority in Israel if to be judged by their Knesset members does not really recognize the Jewish state.
Can you then fairly expect the Jewish majority to welcome with open arms a minority which in many ways broadcasts the message that they would have the Jewish state replaced by an Arab one? 

Jojo Lolo says:

Let’s understand: An Israeli Arab who hates is country and fights against it is supposed to be warmly received by the people he hates, and if not, they are racists, but if a Jew wants to live in an Arab town, he will probably be assaulted and that will be his own fault because daring to live with Arabs is a provocation.
Left-wing logic I guess.

“Anyone that serves in the IDF should be presumed a war criminal that has been trained to believe that Jews may plunder and kill non-Jews with impunity. ”

Oh Yes! Especially the ones that were busy saving babies in Haiti!
http://edition.cnn.com/2010/WORLD/americas/01/18/haiti.earthquake/index.html

“I do not like to live near IDF veterans here in the USA.”

I wouldn’t want to live anywhere near you either. ( And I’ve never served in the Israeli army.)

There are NO JEWS in Arab Lands at all by law. The Palestinian Authority has said NO JEWS ALLOWED In a future Palestine. Why on Earth are you putting any moral equivalence to Israel who has Arab minorities with rights to many countries who legally apply discrimination against residential rights at all for Jews. This is never brought up and is a real issue showing that Arab rejection of Jews is always much worse than the opposite.

You are a hypocrite, if the palestinins could kill all the Jews in Israel they would do so without a second thought. If anyone is invading the Middle East it is the unlawful occupation of most of the Middle East by Arabs who have taken over 22 countries so far from Morroco to the Persian Gulf and repress the native inhabitants and repress them as second class citizens. The real damaging occupation is 99% of the Middle East by Arabs. But alas this is never discussed either.

Marina Sapir says:

The author uses the word “racism”, only when he talks about  Jews who do not want to have Arabs around in a Jewish town in Israel. When an Arab does not want to study national language of Israel, does not want to sell the house to a Jew (in Israel) – it is not racism. Arabs can do no wrong, and Jews are always wrong – this is his view. But the Jews do not want to have around Arabs who hate them, participate in hateful demonstrations (Land Day), support Palestinians who want to eliminate all the Jews from the “Palestine”. Author forgot to mention these interesting and relevant facts. 

Marina Sapir says:

The guy is crazy about us, Jews. He can not speak about anything else. The funniest fragment from his activity from his profile:
“All patriotic American Jews have a categorical imperative to oppose treasonous Jewish Zionists and to demand the arrest of criminal Jewish Zionist conspirators.”

This was not meant as a joke!

M__K says:

I was about to share this article as it contains some very important reporting, until this part:

“The land for those 700 towns and villages came in large part from the roughly 350 Arab communities that were abandoned during the War of Independence, in 1948-1949, when some 700,000 of the more than 800,000 Arabs living in Mandatory Palestine became refugees.
Today, the 150,000 Arabs who remained in Israel and became citizens have multiplied tenfold to some 1.5 million and constitute 20 percent of the population. Yet the proportion of land owned by Arabs has dropped from over 80 percent to under 5 percent during the same period.”
Those numbers are simply incorrect.

rocky2345 says:

I think Avigdor Lieberman and Daniel Ayalon are very bad for Israel’s image abroad. It is only a question of time before the country is involved in a major Middle East war. Will the Haredi pray or fight?

herbcaen says:

It sounds like the Sudetenland all over again. Hitler incited the Sudeten Germans to riot, and thus demanded the Sudeten part of Czechoslovakia added to Germany. Similarly, Palestinians living within 1967 Israel are also incited to riot. The same fate awaits both Sudeten Germans and Palestinians. After the next war, in which Nazareth, Umm al Fahm, Sakhnin, and other cities attack Israel, they will receive the same treatment as the Sudeten Germans received after WWII. They will be sent home to Palestine (Jordan)

brian2907 says:

ThorsProvini is clearly deranged and ipso facto none of his imbecilic rants can be taken seriously. Having dismissed his ravings, most people do wish to live among those of a similar background which doesn’t make it right and minority rights must be enforced against unlawful discrimination.

Every single comment here talks as if Palestine did not become a Jewish state through a joint Zionist-British invasion resulting in the forced removal of most Palestinians from the 1949 armistice line (The Green Line).  As if Palestine was not <10% Jewish at the turn of the century with the early leaders making apparent their wish to create a Jewish majority that would achieve political autonomy.  As if Palestinian-Israelis are supposed to love a state that doesn't want them in their own country and treats them like uninvited guests when their lineage there goes back way farther than the colonial-settler group.

ThorsProvoni says:

Occasional Zionist humanitarian efforts have long been a standard diversion from planned or ongoing crimes against humanity. If I am not mistaken, Herzl outlined the strategy in Judenstaat while Jabotinsky warned his American followers to show concern for the sufferings of American blacks even as he sent followers to attack Palestinians and even as he claimed that Jews were the true Aryans.

ThorsProvoni says:

Typical Zionist obfuscation. The Arabic language supplanted Aramaic, Punic, and Egyptian, but very few Arabs ever left Arabia.

In contrast Zionists just continued the sort of Jewish genocidalism that Jewish Soviets expressed in the first few decades of the Soviet Union when Jews were up to their eyeballs in mass murder, ethnic cleansing and genocide well before the Wahnsee Conference.

Central and Eastern Europeans in the 20s and 30s had good reason to hate and to fear Jews.

Jews need to start showing awareness, remorse, contrition, and atonement for Jewish crimes since the Napoleonic Wars.

ThorsProvoni says:

More Jewish Zionist lies. How does one know a Zionist is lying? He is breathing.

ThorsProvoni says:

Racist Jews and their lackeys invariably accuse anyone stating recent Jewish historical facts of derangement.

Fortunately there were more than enough 19th century Jewish dissenters that demanded reform of Jewish behavior for us to know that Jews have simply been out of control for the last 200 years.

ThorsProvoni says:

Racist Slavo-Turkic ethnic Ashkenazim, Jewish Moroccan Arabs, Jewish Iraqi Arabs, or Jewish Yemeni Arabs have no right whatsoever to squat in Stolen or Occupied Palestine.

The International Convention for the Prevention and Punishment of Genocide and Nuremberg Tribunal Case Law obligates the international community to remove or to obliterate the criminal Zionist conglomeration.

ThorsProvoni says:

The above is the usual Jewish Zionist nonsense about the Sudetenland and Czechoslovakia.

Should there ever have been a Czechoslovakia?

Part of the problem of historical discussions in the USA is the almost total lack of historical knowledge or understanding among Americans. WWII came about to a large extent because of the vindictiveness of the victors in WW1. 

Austria-Hungary served two purposes.

1. As a multinational empire, it created a modus vivendi for a very diverse population to live together in a supra-national state when the alternative of ethnonational states guaranteed decades of bloodshed. [It is worth noting that even after the ethnic cleansing of the Bohemian German population, Czechoslovakia still did not make sense and split into the Czech Republic and Slovakia.]

2. Austria-Hungary was a block on Pan-Germanist goals. Once Austria-Hungary was dismantled, pan-Germanism was revitalized especially after the German Empire had been stripped of territories on its Eastern and Western borders that most German citizens viewed as part of core German State.

In addition, the majority of the population of Danzig, the Danzig corridor, and the Sudetenland almost certainly wanted union with Germany. Only with understanding of this context can one possibly have a rational discussion of Munich. In order to have a realistic or realist discussion of foreign policy today, we Americans have to have an open and painful discussion that

1. addresses why Munich is not debated honestly in the USA and

2. investigates Jewish Zionist mendacity on this topic in specific.

Continued US support for Israel is completely incompatible with a realist foreign policy (as the Israel Lobby understands completely — hence the continued attacks on Walt&Mearsheimer), and the US maintains an alliance with the racist murderous genocidal Zionist state purely as a result of domestic political considerations that would vanish rapidly if Americans had a genuine understanding of historic Jewish political economy in Europe and N. America. In other words,

1. patriotic Americans owe Jews nothing,

2. the Jewish-Zionist imperial system, whose public face is the Israel Lobby, has defrauded the USA of at least $10-12 trillion (in other words the entire US debt can be blamed on the Israel Lobby and the organized Jewish community),

3. Jewish-Zionists will continue their ongoing criminal program of marginalizing US citizens of Arab and Muslim heritage in parallel with the ongoing Jewish-Zionist genociding of the native Palestinian population, and

4. the USA simply won’t have a rational foreign policy with regard Iran, Israel, the Arab world, and the Muslim world 

until the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum is demolished and contra-factual Jewish-Zionist mythography about the Holocaust is purged from American discourse. 

If an American really wants to understand the current US foreign policy disaster, he should start with The Holocaust in American Life by Peter Novick and Selling the Holocaust by Tim Cole.

Ezikiel says:

Haters like Thor and Andre can spew their anti-Semitic
invective all day long if they want to. 
What they cannot do, however, is to remake reality in their own twisted
image.  The Jewish state is enlightened,
organized, creative, smart, resourceful, tolerant, liberal and moderate.  Israel’s neighboring states, in a sharp
contrast, are cesspools of backwardness, authoritarianism, intolerance,
religious bigotry, corruption, warlordism and chaos. 
 Compare the societies and
it will be plain to see why Israeli Arabs prefer to be a part of the Jewish
state (even as many of them are trying to undermine it), rather than their own.
 Those who choose to rail against what
is good and just (even if short of perfect), instead of trying to improve what
is seriously ailing (Arab societies), deserve nothing but contempt.

 

 

 

hypnosifl says:

Hmm, I thought your objection was to “Zionism”. What were Jews doing in the 19th century that was “out of control”, specifically? And who specifically were these people who “demanded reform of Jewish behavior”? Richard Wagner and Paul Le Degard, perhaps?

hypnosifl says:

It’s funny how the response to accusations of Israelis being bigoted against Palestianians is just to point out that Palestinians tend to be bigoted against Israelis, as if that justifies anything. Perhaps you should look up the phrase “tu quoque”, and even more importantly, “vicious circle”–each side feels they “have a right to be angry”, and then generalizes their anger in a bigoted way towards all members of “the other side” regardless of whether the others have done anything to them.

Humans are a pretty stupid species in general, but they are never stupider than when acting in the self-righteous “us vs. them” mode.

Thors Provoni is a pseudonym for Joachim Martillo. I have written about him here: http://israelinsider.com/Views1/7057.htm

The fact is that many Jews are realizing the horrors of the last 2000 years from Esau/Edom/Rome and Yishmael/Islam. Their message is “never again”. This does not justify hurting anyone or detroying property, but self defense is allowed.

The faster Israel partions the land on communal lines, the better. In this case, it’s actually best to have as many Jews as possible living in Yehuda and Shomron, because it would justify giving the Palestinians areas where currently Palestinians with yet Israeli passports are living.

fq19 says:

Zionism is a very life-affirming ideology, and inherently good. The problem was that before 1939 TOO FEW Jews were Zionists. This is why they were slaughtered by the Germans, H”YD. And we know that Palestinians and Nazis were allies – The Jerusalem Mufti extra visited Auschwitz and encouraged the Waffen-SS to do its outmost to liquidate as many Jews as possible. He was also the main recruiter-organizer for the Waffen-SS amongst the Bosnian and Albanian Muslims

If the Romans didn’t destroy the 2nd Temple and the 2nd Commonwealth none of the Shoas would have taken place. Zionism is a movement to undo the 20 centuries of suffering. And anyway, most Palestinians were imported by the Turks towards the end of the 19th century and by the Brits during the time of Mandate to counterweight the Jewish Ishuv

Misterjoe says:

The author of the article is David Greene from Haaretz newspaper. Don’t expect any nice words from him. I’m astounded that Haaretz newspaper is still around. Do Jewish people realise that Haaretz  news hurts Israel? Try to not patronise any business that sells Haaretz and tell the store owner why. Who would want to live near people that when or if the opportunity arises, they’ll try to murder Jews? 

herbcaen says:

The Holocaust in American Life by Peter Novick and Selling the Holocaust by Tim Cole…so does this mean the Holocaust occurred?

ThorsProvoni says:

Of course, the mass murder of Jews during WW2 occurred, but it must be put in the context Jewish murderousness and genocidalism, which was as much a part of the international political context in 1932 as it is today.

Thanks to the efforts of the Soviet Jewish elite as well as Jewish revolutionaries throughout Central and Eastern Europe and bloodthirsty Jewish Zionist invaders in Palestine, Jews were up to their eyeballs in mass-murder, ethnic cleansing, and genocide before Hitler took power in Germany.

It is also worth pointing out that at least half of the Jews killed during the Holocaust were not victims of the Germans but of Eastern European and liberated Soviet nationalities that were exacting revenge or afraid of Jews because of Soviet atrocities that were orchestrated by the Soviet Jewish elite.

It is at least as important to study the last 200 years of Jewish crimes as it is to study the Holocaust.

brian2907 says:

Fortunately the Nazis were destroyed so extreme, deranged Jew-haters like ThorsProvini can only scream their lying, racist abuse as they’re powerless to do anything else. So the more he rants the worse he’s suffering from impotent fury (probably in all senses of the word!) Rational people should enjoy his sufferings.

ThorsProvoni says:

This stuff has been well-documented. Pick up a copy of Esau’s Tears by Lindenmann: http://books.google.com/books?id=NagdhSUgB9oC 

Anyway there was a lot of legitimate criticism of Jews starting with the Napoleonic Wars.

Here is the short list of Jewish misbehavior through the 1930s.

Profiteering, kidnapping, smuggling, cheating customers, exploiting peasants, financial fraud, economic manipulation leading to crashes, white slaving, drug dealing, sabotage, targeted assassination, mass murder, ethnic cleansing, subversion, sedition, revolutionary violence, war incitement, Dolschstoss of the German war effort during WW1 (new evidence suggests that the German rightwing accusation was not delusional).

While Zionists are vile Jewish Nazis, who should be considered enemies of the entire human race, most Jewish misbehavior over the last 200 years has not been associated with Zionism.

Nothing has changed over the last 3/4s of a century. Just consider that 90% of those convicted of financial crimes associated with the S&L meltdown were Jewish.

There is reason to believe Jewish malfeasance was even worse in the Wall Street Meltdown but we will probably never know because politically powerful Jews have prevented meaningful prosecutions.

reebism says:

Would the 1947 line have been better? It was offered and rejected. 

I’m serious: I’ve never seen a critique or a defense of the 1947 line from the Arab side, but it would have given the Arabs so much more land. Why was that line rejected? Why should the 1949 line be controversial, when it is the boundary result of a war fought? Half the land was offered to the Arab inhabitants of the state: they did not accept, they fought, they lost, and the line was drawn. (“They” being not Palestinians per se, but Egypt, Jordan, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, and other assorted Arab groups: no purely Palestinian state was formed in the aftermath of ’49, as the Arab nations divided up the land behind the armistice line.)

herbcaen says:

Of course, the mass murder of Jews during WW2 occurred, but it must be put in the context Jewish murderousness and genocidalism… so the Holocaust occurred but it was justified? Is that correct?

It was actually the Haganah that rejected the 1947 partition – the Palestinians simply didn’t have any military power to enforce the partition or abort it.  The Haganah otoh committed military actions outside the partition boundary before any of the Arab states were involved, i.e the raid on Acre in late April, and the Deir Yassin attack that led to the massacre was also aided by Haganah machine gunners. (See ‘Birth Revisited’ by Benny Morris)

But this isn’t merely a complaint about the result of the 1947-48 war; the expulsion of the Palestinians was an implementation of Zionist ideology itself.  It did not happen because the Arabs started the war – rather, because the result led to remaking Palestine as a Jewish state which is what the Yishuv was trying to build in the first place.

It never made sense to form a Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza — the idea was floated around after 1967 to save those areas from Israeli colonization, but before the six-day war any Palestinian entity would have been reliant on the Arab states for defense anyway. 

“Haters like Thor and Andre can spew their anti-Semitic invective all day long if they want to.”

I’d rather not be lumped in with Thors.  I don’t use “Jewish Zionist” as a pejorative, for one.  Zionist strictly means supporting a Jewish state in Palestine through the segregation or removal of the non-Jewish majority.  Using the term for an unrelated topic like Czechoslovakia is bad writing. And using “Jewish” pejoratively is flat-out racist.

The Zionist movement has been trying partition along communal lines since Degania was founded in 1910 (Arguably earlier, but the kibbutzim was the first Zionist project prohibited to anyone not Jewish).  If that’s supposed to bring peace for the settlers, it sure hasn’t worked up to this point.

reebism says:

I’m sorry, this doesn’t actually answer the question I had. In fact, it completely avoids the question I had, except for the last paragraph, which actually flies in the face of the numerous actual historical proposals of the early twentieth century.

Would the 1947 lines have been acceptable to the Palestinian people, who wanted a two-state solution? 
If so, why was it not accepted, and why did they fight until the 1949 lines were drawn?

If not, was there any line that could have been acceptable? Or would anything at all — any state that was not entirely Palestinian — to be acceptable? Why, then, have any separate state from Jordan?

Why is it acceptable, even now, for the Palestinian state to be taken over by Jordan and Egypt and Syria? Looking at maps looks like it was cannibalized. Why doesn’t the West Bank want to rejoin Jordan? Are Palestinian Arabs in Jordan better off than the Palestinians Arabs in the West Bank? Than in Israel?

Part of my questioning is that I feel like Israel gets a bum rap when looking at what happened in the 1940s from modern eyes — people skewer it so critically, but never look at other countries from the same time period. We didn’t think about people then. We thought about countries, and nation-states, and nationalities. But not the people involved. We didn’t think about history the same way we do now: it was then the Great Man style of history. So there’s a disconnect. I have a friend who is part-Palestinian, who is very angry that Israel exists as a state. I told her about the proposal to put the Jewish state in Uganda, and she went, “well, why didn’t they do that, then? Nobody lived there.” “Well, the Ugandans do.” She didn’t have a response. Wherever Israel had been placed, it would have been, today, seen as a created state, an impostor. But all states are created, equally imaginary. All nationalities too, in a way. We just draw attention to this particular confluence. Do we blame the people who did it, or the country? When you care so much about one side and treat them as the victims, you end up disempowering them. 

At the time, nobody took the Palestinians who lived there seriously — or not enough. Nobody really took the Jews seriously, either, to be fair. As a people, as a concept, we were lucky enough to be in the official Western history. Jews are blamed, and scapegoated, and prized for not having folded over and died. We’re not in the Great Man style of History, either, not really: so much irritation at being “given” the land, and not having won it through battle, as countries throughout the ages of created their own boundaries. We should understand each other, as more like than not. 

If it had been left up to the British alone, there would be no Palestinian state, nor no Jewish state. They wouldn’t have cared enough once they got oil rights. It sucks, to realize you have no agency in the thing that marked you. But there really wasn’t much agency to go around.

fq19 says:

Well, compared to Jewish settlers 1939 in Poland, Ukraine, Romania, Hungary, Slovakia, Chechia, Croatia  - want any more examples, Andrew? – those Jewish settlers that settled in Israel definitely had and have MORE peace.

The attempts to separate Jewish and Arab workers in the Ottoman period had nothing to do with peace – for starters, the moshavim and kibbutzim were not open to just anyone fleeing Russia or Romania or any other place.  A moshav employed primarily Arabs, and the Labour Zionist parties (Hapoel Hatzair and Poalei Zion) were trying to remedy that situation by making Jews the exclusive labor force.  As an alternative, the WZO created the kibbutzim so the workers there would not have to compete with non-Jews.  The kibbutzim were highly selective and in no way would have accommodated an extended family.

In any case, it’s a serious misconception to assume the early Zionists were trying to build something that would rescue Europe’s Jews en masse.  Max Nordau in 1920 (See ‘The Transfer Agreement’ by Edwin Black for a cite) suggested that if 600,000 Jews emigrated to Palestine, a 1/3 of them would die from starvation while a 1/3 would simply go back where they came from.  And when the British took Palestine, Weizmann only expected to settle a million Jews there in 20 years (He did inflate that figure during the war, though).

It’s true that the Jews in Palestine survived the war, but that goes for any place not occupied by the Germans.  Had the Germans occupied Palestine, which did almost happen, the Zionist movement wouldn’t even have that much vindication.

fq19 says:

I could easily hazard a guess what Joachim M’s allegiances would have been 1939

fq19 says:

Adolf Hitler felt he was a victim of Weltjudentum too

fq19 says:

It doesn’t matter that the early Zionists in 1919 didn’t appreciate the mortal danger to the extent it would be in Europe of 1939. At some point – almost everyone Jew in Western, Central Europe got massacred and those in Israel survived perfectly fine and now count for 50% of World Jewry and growing. One just has to accept that there is a divine purpose to everything.

fq19 says:

History isn’t a multiverse.

“I’m sorry, this doesn’t actually answer the question I had.”

It actually did.  You just didn’t care for the answer.  What the Palestinians thought of the partition wasn’t relevant at the time.  They simply had no way to defend the borders laid out in the plan.  While the Haganah was able to breach them at will and did so.

“Would the 1947 lines have been acceptable to the Palestinian people, who wanted a two-state solution? 
If so, why was it not accepted, and why did they fight until the 1949 lines were drawn?”

In case you hadn’t noticed, the Palestinians spent most of 1947-48 fleeing their country, not fighting the Yishuv.  The only significant military action from irregulars was the siege on Jerusalem.  Even then, the Yishuv managed several sieges at once, on Jaffa, Haifa and Acre and was able to take several villages before 15 May.  And of course no Zionist settlement was taken by the irregulars.

“But all states are created, equally imaginary. All nationalities too, in a way.”

Arrrgh.  Everything you’ve written in this post is sanitized of the refugee issue, as if it’s just an issue of borders and lines.  Israel’s legitimacy is not accepted outside of pro-Zionist circles because it self-defines as a Jewish state even though most of the people who normally resided there before 1948 were not Jewish.  They are not there now because the territory was invaded by the British who allowed the settler group to form paramilitaries that eventually expelled most of them.

That issue will still linger even if the Palestinians got their own state in Gaza, the West Bank or Jordan.  There’s just no dancing around it.

And that is the context for the Arab League intervention in 1948 – The refugee crisis was a real problem for them and they had to intervene to halt it.  Of course they failed, and I’m not interested in quibbling over whether they should have done so, but they were not just sitting on their thumbs one day going, Jewish state bad, must destroy it. 

 

You give Zionist settlement in Palestine credit retroactively for saving those Jews who survived there, so therefore you have to credit the Arab states who did not hand their Jews over to the Germans – Morocco, Lebanon, Syria, and Iraq under the ‘Golden Square’ (Pro-German group of officers – And because someone will mention the Farhud, it didn’t take place until after the British reoccupied Iraq).

It doesn’t matter that most Jews left the Arab countries after the war.  Jews were spared in any country not occupied by the Germans, the Arab countries included.

reebism says:

No, you didn’t. My question was not what you’re answering. I want to know why the 47 lines were rejected, and you say that there’s no reason why Jews should have been there in the first place, forcing a line. That’s not my question. You give the Palestinians no agency: neither did the British. If the Jews had not been there — and if the internecine British-Jewish-Arab wars hadn’t been so violent — then either Britain would have never given up their foothold in the Middle East, or they would have given it all to the Hashemites in Transjordan. As far as I can tell, there would not have been an independent Palestinian state without the creation of an independent Jewish state at the same time. And if there had been an independent Jewish state established elsewhere, we’d deal with the same issues.

When you refer to me “sanitizing the refugee issue”, it’s because at the time, NOBODY IN POWER GAVE A DAMN ABOUT THEM. Not the Arabs, not the British, not the Jews — at least the Jews could say that they were dealing with their own refugee issue, which people at the time only “cared” about because they were embarrassed they’d spent the last six years ignoring a genocide. Nobody thought of Palestinians as people with agency, or “deserving” of a nation just because they lived there: people barely thought of the Jews in that way. People conceived of these things differently. History was written differently then. I wish I could be sure that our actions now live up to our rhetoric about how history should be written. 

I’m not saying that the way history was written is right, I’m saying that the standards by which you’re judging Israel did not exist at the time — and quite possibly came into existence because of how Israel was created. All states were inherently artificial: the land of Israel was where Jews had been congregating for the past 70 years (relatively unsuccessfully until the 20th century).What’s the reason for Syria and Jordan being separate countries? For Lebanon not being part of Palestine? As far as I can tell, the only difference between them is that when Britain and France carved up the Ottomon Empire, France got Lebanon and Britain Palestine. What’s the reason for Jordan existing? It came into existence via British mandate, the same as Israel. How did Jordan annex the West Bank? Did no one complain about the destruction of the independent Palestinian state when they annexed it? 

Now, what you said about the borders being indefensible is exactly what I’ve heard from available (extremely Zionist) sources my entire life about the ’47 mandate borders of Israel. But they still ratified it, thinking half a loaf is better than none. I’ve looked at the UN Declaration that created both states: none of the surrounding Arab states ratified it. Why not? Because they thought the boundaries were indefensible? Because they were looking out for the best interests of the Palestinian people? Did the Palestinian people have a voice in this? If you have documents, I’d love to see them.I feel like you’re ignoring a lot of inconvenient history here, most of it involving Great Britain — and I’ve researched quite a bit of Great Britain’s political wheelings and dealings, much less of the military. There was no great plan, no understanding of history, no real care taken about the people who lived in the state, whether Arab or Jew. They promised a state in the Balfour Declaration to get support they needed for their own matters, and then tried their best to wriggle out of it. They responded to violent uprisings by both Jews and Arabs by rewarding the instigators with the promise of land. Yes, they trained members of the Haganah during World War II: because they needed foolhardy people to parachute into occupied Europe, and because they may have been afraid the Palestinians would ally with the Nazis. (See Grand Mufti of Jerusalem Haj Amin el-Husseini, though I hardly think he’s representative of all Palestinians.) But mostly, I’m amazed that you and the ultra-rightwing, Zionist rabbis of my youth, who you almost certainly could not know, are repeating the exact same points, word for word, except with “Palestine” subbed in for “Israel”. Why can’t we all get along? It would just involve a bit of white-out. 

ThorsProvoni says:

I only use Jewish Zionist because Jewish Zionists and gentile Zionists generally had different ideologies and goals. Technically speaking, Jewish Zionists are simply Jewish Nazis while gentile Zionists are non-Jewish supporters of Jewish Nazism.

ThorsProvoni says:

Practically my entire Polish family was killed in 1939-1940 in fighting the German invasion of Poland. I have no more tolerance for Zionists (Jewish Nazis) than I have for German Nazis.

fq19 says:

There weren’t that many Poles (non-Jewish) killed 1939-1940, and certainly not family-wise. There were lots of Poles who were murdering Jewish neighbours with German permission during that time. Most Poles who died died a bit later on, particularly in the senseless Warsaw uprising.

JamesPhiladelphia says:

Not a word said about the Jews that were expelled from Arab countries when Israel was created. 700,000 of them, settled in Israel with only their clothes on. Their properties were confiscated by the Arab leaders. Compensation is overdue.

If Israeli Arabs feel they are Palestinian then they have to move to Jordan their true Palestinian land.
They should take with them the self hatred Jews and Haaretz, that are continuously demonizing Israel a free and democratic country. Sedition and treason is unacceptable in a country at war with Iran and it’s proxys Hizbollah and Hamas. And of course the Palestinian Authority.

ThorsProvoni says:

The Alleged Palestinian Genocidal War of 1948

The Zionist leadership was quite aware that without ethnic cleansing, Jews would have been a minority in the Jewish state carved out of Palestine within a decade or maybe even within 5 years. 

Zionists lie when they claim: 

“1948: Palestinian Arabs attack nascent Jewish state; several Arab states eventually join in. Zionists/Israelis win, and approximately 700,000 Palestinians are expelled or flee from the new Jewish state.” 

In point of fact, simultaneously with accepting the November 1947 UN GA Partition Proposal, the Zionist leadership green-lighted the ethnic cleansing of the Palestinian population and put out a false story through Jewish gatekeepers and facilitators in the US and British newspapers. 

From the names of the Zionist military operations, (e.g., biur hametz, burning of the [ritually impure] leaven), I believe mass murder of the native Palestinian population was intended. 

While Palestinians remembering the Special Night Squads of the 30s organized defensively, Palestinian leaders, who were in exile or jail, were in no position to accept or reject the proposal (they did not get their act together until January), and the Palestinian population adopted a wait and see attitude because the Palestinian leadership had already accepted a 55% Palestinian 45% Jewish population ratio as Rafael Medoff, who is admirer of Jabtinsky as well as a modern Jabotinskian Zionist, points out on pp. 93-94 of his book entitled Baksheesh Diplomacy. 

If all 300,000 Jewish DPs had joined the 600,000 Jews already resident, the Palestinian-Jewish division would have been a 57:43 ratio, with which Palestinians had no problem in a single democratic state. 

Palestinians simply could not accept a partition of the country 

1. that divided families and clans,

2. that separated farmers from their lands, and

3. that put so many Palestinians under the control of Zionists, who had a record of violent bloodthirstiness since the 19-naughts.  

The Palestinian position was hardly unreasonable. 

The commonly believed narrative of the Palestinian rejection of the UN Partition Proposal constitutes the Second Great Zionist Fraud.

reebism says:

You’re a troll. Bye!

ThorsProvoni says:

Jews have only existed since the crystallization of Rabbinic and Karaite Judaism in the 10th century.

Generally over the past 1000 years Jews lived under a combination of privileges, exemptions, and restrictions that allowed them to create local, national, and international trade networks. Generally, Jew, who constituted a commercial elite, had higher incomes, more education, and longer lifespans than the non-Jews among whom they lived.

Typically, Jews ran into problems when they started to ignore the restrictions but tried to maintain their privileges and exemptions.

In the modern period when European states dismantled the traditional system of privileges, exemptions, and restrictions, Jews in many regions  became an extremely nasty, angry disenfranchised elite that eventually became extremely dangerous because of more money and more free time than co-resident non-Jews.

By 1932 Jews were up to their eyeballs in mass murder, ethnic cleansing, genocide, white slaving, revolutionary violence, targeted assassination, sabotage, subversion, sedition, espionage, and financial crime both in Europe and in the ME.

Any Jew that whines about 2000 years of Jewish suffering cannot be taken seriously.

It is time for Jews to start showing awareness, remorse, contrition, penitence, and atonement for the last 200 years of Jewish crime.

Jews that fail to do so are simply despicable.

ThorsProvoni says:

Racist Jews and their lackeys cannot deal with the facts even when the information comes from a book written by a Jabotinskian Zionist.

reebism says:

If I actually cared what you think at all, it would hurt that you think I’m a mere lackey.

However, since you’re obviously not interested in anything but beating off to your fantasies of anti-Semitism, I’ve set up a filter to block any future comments from you. Have fun, troll!

ThorsProvoni says:

Masbirim always set up ridiculous straw men.

Far too many Jews have behaved abominably during the 19th, 20th, and 21st century, but this situation hardly justifies mass-murder of Jews either then or now.

Jews should reform their behavior as many if not most Jewish intellectuals of the 19th century demanded.

It is important to be aware of the abominable behavior of far too many Jews then as now because the Holocaust looks a lot different when one is aware that Jews were up to their eyeballs in mass murder, ethnic cleansing, and genocide by the time Hitler took power.

ThorsProvoni says:

The German Nazis targeted families whose members included army officers, intellectuals, political leaders, and partisans.

fq19 says:

They did a bit of Sippenhaft, but in reality most wifes and children survived – particularly if they were blonde and blue eyed. Look at Lidice – the Aryan kids were all taken up for adoption

fq19 says:

and Lidice wasn’t just a bit of low level resistance – they helped to shelter the operatives who liquidated the SS second in command R Heydrich

ThorsProvoni says:

I have the impression that I am dealing here with an anti-Polish bigot.

For the record my father’s family were not ethnic Poles, but I have no doubt that ethnic Poles were targeted for intellectual decapitation from the moment the German army crossed the border.
Careful analysis of the statistics shows that at least 30% of the urban ethnic Polish population died by the end of WW2.

In Christopher Browning’s analysis of the occupation of Poland in The Origins of the Final Solution, Polish Jews simply were not an object of German focus until 1941 because the German Army was far more concerned with neutralizing Polish resistance than with dealing with Polish Jews.

Jews had a fairly large window to flee to Soviet-occupied Poland. Many accounts claimed that non-Communist Jews often returned to German-occupied Poland because conditions were better for them under German than under Soviet rule.

ThorsProvoni says:

I have to point out that Lidice is Czech and not Polish.

German Nazi policy in Czech areas was far different from that in Poland.

To begin with, much of what I write here is drawn from ‘Birth of the Palestinian Refugee Problem Revisited’ (Morris), ‘The Revolt’ (Kanafani) and ‘Palestinian Identity’ (Khalidi).

“I want to know why the 47 lines were rejected, and you say that there’s no reason why Jews should have been there in the first place, forcing a line. That’s not my question. You give the Palestinians no agency: neither did the British.”

The comments about the refugee crisis answered your question well enough; you just don’t seem to make the connection.  Partition as a concept was not acceptable because it was known to the Palestinians that any implementation would result in their removal from the ‘Jewish’ state.

On the issue of agency, you blame me and the British for not granting them any, yet it hasn’t occurred to you that the Yishuv took every advantage of this.  By December of ’47, the Palestinians were at the mercy of whatever solution the Yishuv decided to impose, since only one party had an effective military force.  The Yishuv did not grant them agency to accept or reject partition in any given boundary; it simply conquered what it could and expelled whomever it could.

“I’m not saying that the way history was written is right, I’m saying that the standards by which you’re judging Israel did not exist at the time — and quite possibly came into existence because of how Israel was created.”

Depends on who you ask.  Obviously not among the colonizing powers and their collaborators in the colonized countries.  It’s more than a bit disingenuous to assume anti-colonial views didn’t exist at all.

“How did Jordan annex the West Bank? Did no one complain about the destruction of the independent Palestinian state when they annexed it?”

I’ve been trying to figure out what you’re trying to say for the last three paragraphs.  So if I read you correctly, you are saying it’s unfair to blame the Yishuv for dispossessing the Palestinians because everyone involved screwed them over.  However, Jordan annexing the West Bank is not the same thing as rounding up people and sending them on forced marches, which happened in Lydda.  While Jordan may be guilty of enlarging its territory at the Palestinians’ expense, it limited the scope of Zionist conquest and so the people in Ramallah, Nablus et. al were spared the fate of Haifa, Jaffa and Lydda.

It’s debatable what effect Jordan’s actions in 1948 had on the Palestinians.  It’s unquestionable that Zionist colonization was a disaster for them from start to finish.  So this is yet another attempt to force balance in writing history where it does not exist.  Same goes for Syria and Lebanon – their creation was not as immediately disastrous for their inhabitants as the transformation of Palestine into a Jewish state.  There were certainly people in the region who did not accept the nation-states carved out of their homelands, but only in Palestine was that accompanied by a program of forced removal.

“Now, what you said about the borders being indefensible is exactly what I’ve heard from available (extremely Zionist) sources my entire life about the ’47 mandate borders of Israel. But they still ratified it, thinking half a loaf is better than none.”

That’s not exactly what I said.  Do you know the military situation for the Palestinians in ’47?  A good illustration:  All Yishuv communities were involved in the Haganah; in contrast, many Palestinian communities (Sheikh Muwannis, Deir Yassin, Al Maliha) refused to host irregulars; the mukhtar of Al Maliha even ordered the village militia to fire on any stranger who approached, even if they were Arabs.  There were local militias but no nation-wide paramilitary comparable to the Haganah.  As you can see reading a study on the villages that were depopulated in 1948 (‘Birth’), the villagers were not even able to defend themselves from the Haganah/IDF, and many neighborhoods just fled rather than attempt to fight the Yishuv.  So the notion of the Palestinians defending their share of the partition was a non-starter.  NOT that the borders were indefensible; that they could not defend ANY borders, period.

“I’ve looked at the UN Declaration that created both states: none of the surrounding Arab states ratified it. Why not? Because they thought the boundaries were indefensible? Because they were looking out for the best interests of the Palestinian people?”

Because some of the Arab leaders had a precarious balancing act between serving as colonial stooges (Egypt, Jordan, Iraq) while not getting overthrown in an anti-colonial uprising.  And they saw no choice but to oppose the partition of Palestine, even though they really didn’t.  The rulers of Jordan and Iraq had no serious objection to a Jewish state provided it remained in limited borders and was the last word on the issue.  Obviously they did not care about anything other than their own position.

“There was no great plan, no understanding of history, no real care taken about the people who lived in the state, whether Arab or Jew. They promised a state in the Balfour Declaration to get support they needed for their own matters, and then tried their best to wriggle out of it. They responded to violent uprisings by both Jews and Arabs by rewarding the instigators with the promise of land. Yes, they trained members of the Haganah during World War II: because they needed foolhardy people to parachute into occupied Europe, and because they may have been afraid the Palestinians would ally with the Nazis.”

You could also mention that the British general Orde Wingate formed Special Night Squads out of Haganah officers which killed Arab civilians at random to ‘avenge’ the killing of Jews.  Also that the British Administration granted economic privileges to the Yishuv that weren’t granted to Arabs (tax exemptions for example).  Or that the Brits demolished houses belonging to Arabs (but not Jews) and evicted fellahin from land purchased from a third party by Zionists.  And the RAF was only deployed against Arabs.  British policy in Palestine did not treat the Arabs and Jews with parity as you’re suggesting here. 

Ezikiel says:

Let me point out to you why lumping you together with Thors makes a lot of sense, even though Thor is obviously a lunatic, and you seem to be at least superficially, reasonable. Both you and Thors are versed in piles of historical “facts”, which you must have spent quite a bit of time to amass. All this maze of paranoia obscures for both of you what should be patently clear. After all the wars and the uprooting of populations, the state of Israel still contains within itself a thriving, free, legally equal Arab minority, which elects its members to the parliament, appoints judges, is represented in all walks of life, rich and poor, celebrities and everything else, free to speak its mind, just like the Israeli Jews. In All Arab countries not a single Jewish community is left (and these days Christians and other minorities too are fleeing), and of course any talk about freedom and representation in any of these countries would be laughable. So, I entreat you. Stop before you become like Thors. Take a breath of fresh air and look at what is real. Israel is free, democratic and thriving. It was, and will continue to be free, democratic and thriving with or without Judea and Samaria, Sinai, or the Golan Heights. It’s a beacon of light. Its Arab neighbors foes are quite the opposite. You should choose to support goodness over evil.

“the state of Israel still contains within itself a thriving, free,
legally equal Arab minority, which elects its members to the parliament, appoints judges, is represented in all walks of life, rich and poor, celebrities and everything else, free to speak its mind, just like the Israeli Jews.”

Note how this list does not include building a house or a neighborhood for that matter, because we both know Israeli citizens who are not Jewish don’t have that right without a ridiculous amount of legal struggle (c.f. Adel Kaadan).  Also, you mention judges and parliament, but not ministers.  Likewise, Arab parties can not join in forming the government.

“In All Arab countries not a single Jewish community is left (and these days Christians and other minorities too are fleeing), and of course any talk about freedom and representation in any of these countries would be laughable.”

This is technically inaccurate.  There are Jewish communities in Morocco, Tunisia, Bahrain, Yemen and Syria.  They may be small, but they are there.  Hint:  50% of Jewish Israelis are of Arab background, meaning Israel is an Arab country despite the best efforts of Zionism.  And it’s possible to oppose Zionism and reactionary measures against minorities in Arab countries.  Israel is not a liberal state for minorities; it is a colonial-settler state for the natives and it treats them like natives have always been treated by settlers, minority or not.

yevka says:

The anti-Arab comments of some of the posters on this thread are really appalling.

Ezikiel says:

This is exactly what I’m talking about.  It’s called demagoguery.   A few dozens of Jews left behind from communities that thrived for millennia, means, simply, that the community had been decimated, completely, utterly.  As for Israeli Jews of Arab decent, they can and should decide for themselves if they are Jews or Arabs.  I think you know what their answer would be.   As for Arab ministers, Raleb Majadele, an Arab, was a minister in the Israeli Labor government of a few years ago.  I wish there would be more like him, but the difficulty arises from the Arab members of Parliament – who are under intense pressure not to cooperate with the Jewish State – just as much as from the Jewish ones.   As for Adel Kaadan, his story proves the exact opposite of what you are claiming.  In spite of the tension between the Arab and Jewish communities in Galilee, and in spite of the Kaadan political motives and under-handed way of moving into a Jewish village, the Israeli court ruled in his favor.  That is because, well, Israel is a just and lawful society.  I have lived in Israel for about half of my life.  My father, working in the building business, was often employed by Arab real-estate entrepreneurs, so your contention there about Arabs having difficulties building in Israel has no basis in reality.  Once again, contrast that with Arab states, where a Jew cannot own land, cannot live freely, and obviously cannot be elected to the parliament or as a judge.  Now you can go research why this is “technically” not so, if you want to.  You choose your own friends.  If you want to preach about equal rights, protection of minorities, tolerance, etc, go do it to the Syrian or the Egyptians, or the Lebanese or the Iraqis, or Jordanians, of Palestinians, the Iranians, the Libyans, or the Algerians, or the Saudis.  Tell them to look at Israel and learn to emulate it, instead of hate it.  Once they decide to start, there will be a chance for peace. 

Jojo Lolo says:

It’s funny how you can’t read. Hatred on one side does not justify hatred on the other even if it makes it comprehensible. I don’t know about you, but I don’t think I would welcome as a neighboor someone who actively hates me and wants to destroy my country. 
But the issue here is the double speak and hypocrisy of the left that supports one things when it’s done by Arabs and opposes the exact same things done by Jews.

“A few dozens of Jews left behind from communities that thrived for millennia, means, simply, that the community had been decimated, completely, utterly.”

Morocco and Tunisia have more than a few dozen Jews.  Also, unlike Israel, expatriates from Morocco and Lebanon have the option of returning; Jews from these countries never lost their citizenship or their property.  So you can’t speak about the facts behind Jews leaving these countries as if they’re interchangeable.  The president of Tunisia has also called for Tunisian Jews to return.

“As for Israeli Jews of Arab decent, they can and should decide for themselves if they are Jews or Arabs.  I think you know what their answer would be.”

The whole issue of Jew or Arab was created by Zionist colonization and makes ‘Arab’ a pejorative term the same way antisemitism does with ‘Jew’.  Even though Jews from Arab countries spoke Arabic and mixed with Arabs of other religions, and even in Israel they retain the same customs, food, etc. they had in their home countries.  They are simply discouraged from speaking Arabic. 

Zionism has wavered between looking on Arab Jews as Arab (pejoratively) and accepting them as Jews only after they are de-Arabized.  It’s not that I’m telling them to identify as Arabs; it’s that they had no real choice in the matter if they wanted to be accepted as Israeli by the Ashkenazi establishment.  Jews from Arab countries seem to speak Arabic more readily in the US where there is no such pressure.  See below for an example.

http://english.al-akhbar.com/content/lebanese-jews-new-york-longing-home

“As for Adel Kaadan, his story proves the exact opposite of what you are claiming.  In spite of the tension between the Arab and Jewish
communities in Galilee, and in spite of the Kaadan political motives and under-handed way of moving into a Jewish village, the Israeli court ruled in his favor.”

The case showed how toothless the Israeli high court is when it comes to equality:  “In the ruling, Barak drew heavily on court decisions in the United
States barring discrimination against blacks. Aware of the saliently post-Zionist implications of the judgment, he made a major effort to remain within the state’s ideological consensus: After all he had said
about the principle of equality, he demanded no more than that the state “reconsider” the request by Adal and Iman Kaadan.”

(Google ‘A decade of dreams down the drain’)

And considering it took Kaadan ten years to be able to move into a house, to tell me the system works is rather pathetic.  And what “political motives” are you talking about?  What do you mean “under-handed way of moving into a Jewish village”?  If Israel had equality he wouldn’t have had to petition the court, would he?

“My father, working in the building business, was often employed by Arab real-estate entrepreneurs, so your contention there about Arabs having
difficulties building in Israel has no basis in reality.”

Well, this flies in the face of the frequent demolitions of unrecognized villages such as al-Arakib, the demolition order for Manhash al-Baniyat’s house after he was KIA, and a history of legislation to prevent non-Jews from leasing or developing state-held land.  These real estate entrepreneurs probably had nothing to do with land managed by the ILA, which is 93% of the land in the green line.

“Once again, contrast that with Arab states, where a Jew cannot own land, cannot live freely, and obviously cannot be elected to the parliament
or as a judge.”

Even if that really is the case in all the Arab states, that does not mean Israel should be supported.  The contention that this colonial-settler state should be supported just because other states in the region are not liberal regimes is a slab of bizarre logic, considering Israel was formed through a massive forced removal of the majority of Palestinians and has gone on to invade its neighbors and attack civilian targets.  You can’t call this stuff liberal or tolerant.  Whatever problems are in Lebanon, did they need Israel to bomb their country on top of everything?  There’s a REASON people hate Israel.

Oh, and if you want other states in the region to emulate Israel, please look up photos of what the Israeli Airforce did to Beirut in 1982 and be careful what you wish for.

fq19 says:

Just like ThorsProvoni = Joachim Martello. And by historic comparison, we know where to it can lead…

fq19 says:

Give them time, they’ll do both. It’s just the seculars from Haaretz who are mortally afraid of recruiting Chardal

fq19 says:

Ah, yes, both looking the same and even speaking the same Western branch of the Slavonic languages?

In fact, a lot of Polish orphans (particularly blue eyed blondes) were adopted by childless Germans during the war. They simply became Germans, just like the Wenden, Sorben or the Poles who moved to Western part of the German Reich in the 19th century.

Jojo Lolo says:

Half of the tread has been abducted by antisemites and you complain about fictious “anti-Arab” comments. Yes you are very serious.

ThorsProvoni says:

I am not sure what the issue is.

GermanNazi policy designated a large part of Poland for direct incorporation in the Germanstate with forced Germanization. 

Poles that resistedwere  treated murderously. No comparable policy existed from Czech territories.

The reasoning is obvious. GermanPoles threatened the integrity of the GermanReich straightthroughthe 19th century until the end of WWI.

Czechs never represented a comparable threat, and Prague was the 2nd Habsburg capital.

fq19 says:

This is silly, the Czechs were just as scheduled for complete Germanization. Besides, it was the Czechs (with the help from the Americans) who were responsible for the break-up of the Austro-Hungarian empire, not the Poles, and remember, Adolf Hitler was an Austrian…

hypnosifl says:

It’s funny how you can’t read. Hatred on one side does not justify hatred on the other even if it makes it comprehensible.

You didn’t offer any such qualifications about the wrongness of hatred in your original comment, and what’s more you painted the Palestinian in the story in a nastier light than was really justified by the article, for example describing Israelis as “the people he hates” even though the article said nothing about his having hatred for his Israeli neighbors (there was also your sarcastic comment “if not, they are racists”, suggesting you thought there was really nothing racist about the neighbors not warmly receiving him solely because he’s Palestinian–presumably they wouldn’t have known what his political views are one way or another). So, I think my reading was pretty natural–you were trying to paint the cold treatment of the Palestinians in the story by Israeli neighbors as basically deserved, even if you may not have actually been approving of things like graffiti sprayed on their house.

If there was an article about Palestinian hatred of Jews in the Palestinian territories, and someone wrote “Let’s understand: an Israeli Jew who wants to seize Palestinian land is supposed to be warmly received by the people he hates, and if not, they are anti-semites”, would you give this person the benefit of the doubt and assume they believed “hatred on one side does not justify hatred on the other”?

I don’t know about you, but I don’t think I would welcome as a neighboor someone who actively hates me and wants to destroy my country.

Again, the article presents no evidence that he “actively hates” all Israeli Jews–the bit about not wanting to sell the land to Jews might suggest that, but it might just reflect an opinion that the Palestinian population should not be allowed to dwindle because the area had once belonged to them and they had been wrongly expelled. Also, as I said, I doubt the neighbors who expressed prejudice towards him had first had in-depth conversations about his political views and only then formed a negative opinion.

But the issue here is the double speak and hypocrisy of the left that supports one things when it’s done by Arabs and opposes the exact same things done by Jews.

You present no evidence that the left “supports” this sort of thing when done by Arabs, all you gave was a cartoonish fantasy that left-wingers would respond to an assault on a Jew in an Arab neighborhood by saying it was “his own fault because daring to live with Arabs is a provocation” (I’m sure you could find a small number of idiots on “the left” who would say something like that, but I don’t think it would be anything close to the majority view). Do you have any examples of any prominent left-wingers who have actually responded to a physical assault in this way, or polls suggesting that large numbers think violence against Israelis is justified? For that matter, I’m curious if you can find any left-wingers who say that a Jew “daring to live with Arabs is a provocation” in general, as opposed to saying it’s a provocation (which is not the same as saying it’s OK for arabs to respond with violence!) when Jewish settlers form self-contained Jewish communities (as opposed to living alongside the Arab population) in areas beyond the 1967 line that would be expected to go to Palestine in any future two-state solution.

hypnosifl says:

I suspect that like most anti-semitic propagandists, your “evidence” for this would be purely anecdotal, a litany of cherry-picked individual cases of Jews behaving badly with no attempt to show that they were systematically more likely to be involved in such things than other groups–for example, do you have any statistical evidence that Jewish businessmen were more likely to be involved in financial fraud than businessman of Christian heritage, or Jewish landowners statistically more likely to be involved in “exploiting peasants”? Does the book you cite make such a case? Also, you didn’t answer my question about who, exactly, were the 19th century individuals you cite as having “demanded reform of Jewish behavior”, I’d be surprised if you were referring to anything other than garden-variety anti-semitic propagandists.

Ezikiel says:

The crux of the matter is this.  Zionism is not Colonialism nor is it racist.  The attempt to force your understanding into this pre-determined terminology, where it does not belong, leads to bad analysis.  Unfortunately, you’re not alone in applying Marxist terminology that doesn’t fit, but these accusations: Colonialism, Apartheid, Racism, persist as sad and unjust fallacies, contributing nothing to the debate or its resolution.
Colonialism is what was (and to a large extent still is) practiced by Europeans, in settling and dominating far away lands for material gain.  For the Jews, quite the opposite is true.  They did not attempt to reconstitute Jewish sovereignty in any of the many land in which they had lived; except for the one they consider to be their home, Zion, hence, Zionism.   The attachment of Jews (literally, from Judea) to their homeland is as old as Abraham.  It predates the Ten Commandments and its strength has not diminished.  Abraham was commanded to go to Canaan and worship God there, and not in any other place.  You may find such notions ridiculous, but its definitely not “Colonialism”, and calling it such inevitably leads you to absurdities (such as considering Jews of Arab decent as anything but Jews, and your other funny notions regarding the assimilation of different Jewish communities in Israel).  The same yearning, the same prayers and psalms were recited by Jews in North Africa, Yemen, or Ethiopia, as in Eastern Europe for generation after generation, and attempts to re-establish the Jewish state in Israel were continuous throughout the centuries.

Once you accept that, it’s legitimate to ask whether Israel had used too much force, or too little.  Many agree with you that invading Lebanon was an overreach, many object to dropping a large bomb and killing a family in order to get at a single terrorist, and many also debate whether uprooting thousands of Jewish residents from the villages in the Gaza strip of from Sinai was justified.  The list of possible mistakes, miscalculations and even occasional crimes, is long.  And yet, in the heat of a continuous war of survival with its neighbors, Israel remains free, open and pragmatic, always searching for just and reasonable solutions.   This is why it is successful, and this is also what Israel’s neighbors should try emulate, and Progressives should celebrate.  When you consider the depravity of the Israel’s Arab neighbors in their treatment of their own people, and of their Palestinian brethren, who were not granted sovereignty when under Arab rule, who were killed by the thousands and uprooted from Jordan when they became a problem, who are, to this day not accepted as citizens in either Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt or Saudi Arabia, you will have to conclude that saintliness is not really an option for Israel at this point.  Pacifism is easier to practice from New York, where someone else takes care of security.

Jojo Lolo says:

You obviously have no idea what you are speaking about but this is my fault. I am Israeli, live in Israel, and expect the people here to have the same level of knowledge as any Israeli.
1. The fact that the left opposes Jews living in Arab neighborhood *inside Israel* (nobody spoke about the territories here but you) is not theoretical – they actively fight any attempt by Jews to live or even just demonstrate in Arab areas. The most famous example is the Shimon Hatsadik /”Sheikh Jarrah” issue in Jerusalem. This is an old Jewish neighborhood that was captured by the Arabs in 1948 and its Jewish residents were expelled and replaced by Arabs squatters. After 1967 the former residents started and after decades, won a legal case to have their houses back. And you know what the left is doing ? They demonstrate, every Friday, with the Arabs, against the Jewish legitimate owners of the houses who dared coming back home. And they are very proud of themselves.2. Yes, and Israeli citizen that defines itself not Israeli but Palestinian and thinks the land belongs to him and not the Jews, is not a friend.

3. Because of people like this, Jews tend to not be very happy at the idea of having an Arab neighbor. And this is very sad. The article explains it very well I think. More Arabs in big cities means (in the long term) more westernized, liberal, integrated Arabs. And that’s very good for Israel. And yes Jews have the right to live anywhere in Israel as any citizen.

DrProTruth says:

There was no such place as “Palestine” until AD 135 when the Roman emperor renamed “Israel” after yet another war against the Jewish people. Since the primary citizens of Israel at that time were the Jewish people who still lived there, the first people indigenous to the newly named “Palestine” would naturally be the first so-called “Palestinians”and that would be the Jewish residents still living in “Israel.” In fact, the Jews residing in Palestine were actually called “Palestinian Jews” until the middle of the twentieth century. It wasn’t until the 1967 war that the Arab residents of Palestine started referring to themselves as “Palestinians.” Check your facts and check your history!

Jojo Lolo says:

I forgot another case – in Akko (Acre), in the mainly Arab old city, a Jewish entrepreneur recently opened a beautiful hotel for tourists. The local Arab reacted with anger, even if he provides them with jobs, and denounced a “Judaization” (?) of the Old City. And the left supports them. Now imagine the opposite. Any Jew speaking of “Arabization” would rightly be called a bigot or worse. But the left can do it.

ThorsProvoni says:

I am a Harvard and Yale trained expert in modern Eastern European and Jewish historical political economics. 

I am more or less in the mainstream with regard to the subject except that I have a somewhat more integrative more mathematical approach. (I also have a much more extensive classical background than most scholars of the modern era.)I have heard experts like Stanislawski, Stern, and Baron call common Jewish beliefs about Jewish history at least wrong but in some cases bordering on delusional.

ThorsProvoni says:

Yet another masbir. Greek and Roman texts had been calling the region Greek and Latin variants for a few hundred years.

Akkadian calls the region Pilastu as early as the 9th century, and there are Egyptian texts that refer to the area by a cognate Egyptian word as early as the 11th century.

In any case modern ethnic Ashkenazim are a Slavo-Turkic population with origins in Southern Russia, and modern Jews have no connections whatsoever with the Greco-Roman Judean population that was the ancestor of the modern Palestine population.

Some modern Jews may have connections to Greco-Roman Judaic populations, but such populations had no connection to Palestine.

Jews that refuse to face the facts are incapable of rational discussion or totally delusional.

Zionist settler colonists anywhere in Stolen or Occupied Palestine are racist murderous genocidal invaders, interlopers, and thieves that the international community is obligated to remove or to obliterate.

In order to show how deranged Zionists are, it is worth pointing out that Jabotinsky, whose ideology Netanyahu follows, used to argue that Jews were really Aryans.

ThorsProvoni says:

You are just spewing the usual Schechtman propaganda crap. Yugoslavia was the only front worse than the Soviet Union. The German leadership sent him there from Berlin because it had no interest in him.

In Yugoslavia, the Mufti, who had no knowledge of Serbo-Croatian or Albanian, spent most of his time with N. African forced conscripts sent to Yugoslavia by the Vichy government.

How does one know that a Zionist is lying? By checking whether he is breathing.

ThorsProvoni says:

I have ground through the statistics. The bottom line is: Jews cheat in business and often go to jail.

Anyway, just get the book. It is easily obtainable. Lindemann is a preeminent scholar of Jewish history, but I have to qualify that he white-washes German Jewish and ethnic Ashkenazi behavior.

fq19 says:

Well, then we can assume you personally and physically will try to do what you need to do to prevent lies – wouldn’t you? How would you do it – just with your bare hands or with Zyklon B?

ThorsProvoni says:

Bloodthirsty Jewish Zionists are doing a very good job of disproving common pro-Semitic beliefs.

ThorsProvoni says:

Jews need to face facts.

Just as there are many good reasons why Israel is hated by the peoples of the ME, there were many good reasons why Jews were hated and feared in the 30s.
The time is long overdue for Jews to show awareness, remorse, contrition, penitence, and atonement for centuries of Jewish crime by full restitution to Palestinians and by massive behavior change.

ThorsProvoni says:

Reusing Gentilics or Demonyms to Make Insupportable Claims

Reuse of gentilics or demonyms is hardly unusual in the European context, and Patrick J. Geary summarizes practice in The Myth of Nations, The Medieval Origins of Europe, pp. 118-119. His analysis applies at least as much to the term Jew (יְהוּדִי) as it applies to any European ethnic name.

>>Conclusion: Old Names and New Peoples  

>>The fourth and fifth centuries saw fundamental changes in the European social and political fabric. In the process, great confederations like those of the Goths disappeared, to re-emerge transformed into kingdoms in Italy and Gaul. Others like the Hunnic Empire or the Vandal kingdom seemed to spring from nowhere, only to vanish utterly in a few generations. Still other, previously obscure peoples, such as the Angles and the Franks, emerged to create enduring polities. But whether enduring or ephemeral, the social realities behind these ethnic names underwent rapid and radical transformation in every case. Whatever a Goth was in the third-century kingdom of Cniva, the reality of a Goth in sixthcentury Spain was far different, in language, religion, political and social organization, even ancestry. The Franks defeated by Emperor Julian in the fourth century and those who followed Clovis into battle in the sixth century were likewise almost immeasurably distant from each other in every possible way. The same was true of the Romans, whose transformation was no less dramatic in the same period. With the constant shifting of allegiances, intermarriages, transformations, and appropriations, it appears that all that remained constant were names, and these were vessels that could hold different contents at different times. 

>>Names were renewable resources; they held the potential to convince people of continuity, even if radical discontinuity was the lived reality. Old names, whether of ancient peoples like the Goths or Suebi or of illustrious families such as the Amals, could be reclaimed, applied to new circumstances, and used as rallying cries for new powers. Alternatively, names of small, relatively unimportant groups might be expanded with enormous power. The Franks were the most significant of these. In the third century, they were among the least significant of Rome’s enemies. By the sixth century, the name Frank had eclipsed not only that of Goth, Vandal, and Sueb, but of Roman itself in much of the West.<<

Probably no greater fraud has ever been perpetrated in the history of the human race than Zionism. It has corrupted many American Christians, who now believe that the theft of Palestine from the native population by racist genocidal Eastern Europeans represents a fulfilment of eschatological prophesy even though a more reasonable interpretation would equate the exiled Palestinians, who are the descendants of the ancient Judean population, with the population that needs to return with the coming of the Messiah.

ThorsProvoni says:

Zionism and Standard Colonialist Discourse

Standard colonialist discourse associates settler-colonies with a colonial motherland, which dispatches colonists to regions under imperial control. In the case of Zionism, the British government was not dispatching its own citizens to colonize Palestine and does not fit the role of a traditional colonial motherland. 

Identifying the colonial motherland requires understanding of the politics of historic Poland. The Polish government from the medieval to early modern period treated different ethnic groups functionally in a sort of caste system and gave them full autonomy as long as they fulfilled their designated role.

Polish Armenians had a governing council called the Voit while in principle the Council of the Four Lands, to which the most important Jewish communities (kehillot) sent delegates, ruled Polish Jewry from the 16th until the 18th century when the Jewish Council failed to meet its tax obligations. 

Thus Eastern European Jews or ethnic Ashkenazim had the habit of a sort of virtual state system. After Commonwealth Poland was divided between Prussian, Russia, and Austria, ethnic Ashkenazim developed transnational politics. 

In historic Poland Jews had wealth, power, and status almost comparable to the szlachta (gentry).

In divided Poland, Jews were a marginal population in the hinterlands of great empires.

Jewish disaffection grew, and a small group within the Russian Jewish intelligentsia began to dream of creating its own empire by mobilizing Western European Jewish wealth for a colonial enterprise that would send lower class Russian Jews to Palestine and that Jewish intellectuals would direct from European capitals. 

Even though practically no Western Jews had any interest in immigrating to Palestine and even though working class Russian Jews were much more interested in revolution than in colonialism, Zionist colonialist ideas were far from ridiculous.

There were more Yiddish Jews than there were Danes or Croats while Western European Jewish wealth and effective GDP were far larger than those of Denmark, which was running a fairly respectable colonial empire at the time. 

With or without awareness the Zionist movement was proposing a low budget colonial empire that would be run from a virtual colonial motherland among the Jews of Central and Western Europe.

Ezikiel says:

I wonder what makes a little Nazi like Thors troll a good Jewish publication. Does he hope, in his deranged mind, to “reform” Jews from their evil ways? In any case, he is a sick and dangerous man, and I hope Tablet would edit out his hate speech, and I hope he goes to get help (somewhere other than Tablet). I also regret lumping him together with Andrew, who is just a misguided Lefty, not a raving anti-Semitic lunatic. Sorry Andrew.

Binyamin says:

I have to agree with Ezikiel, even though I’m not a big fan of censoring  commenters (having been deleted a few times by Forward, an ostensively  more ‘liberal’ publication than Tablet, for merely making a few tranchant comments critical of Israel’s subjugation of the Palestinians). 

This Martillo troll spews the same ‘the Jews deserved the Shoah’ vomit on every thread.  You have to wade through his Nazi apologetics to get to the comments that address the article. Ban him.

hypnosifl says:

“I have ground through the statistics. The bottom line is: Jews cheat in business and often go to jail.”

Some Jews do, as do some members of other religions/ethnic groups. When you say “I have ground through the statistics” are you saying the statistics show Jewish businessmen do this significantly more often than non-Jewish businessmen in similar situations? Where would these statistics be found? If you say they’re in Lindemann’s book, can you give a page number? Still waiting to hear some examples of 19th century critics of the Jews, BTW.

Marina Sapir says:

“The International Convention for the Prevention and Punishment of Genocide and Nuremberg Tribunal Case Law obligates the international community to remove or to obliterate the criminal Zionist conglomeration.”
Oy! Oy! Oy! How scary!By the way, I am a  Jewish  Zionist. I am very proud for Israel, for being Jewish. The mad hatred from the scum like you makes me feel even more proud.  

hypnosifl says:

I looked for some info on this case and found this article, among others. It seems that your suggestion about the grievance behind the protests–that the left is protesting the simple fact of Jews moving into an Arab neighborhood–is either grossly ignorant or wildly disengenuous.You neglected to mention that in order for those “former residents” to move in, the Arab residents had to be forcibly evicted! All the articles I looked at suggest that this was the real focus of the protests. Now, you may say that the evictions were just, since the Jewish residents had themselves been evicted from the homes in 1948. Then again, the Palestinians who moved in were not responsible for these evictions, and the article mentions that “nearly all of the Palestinians evicted from their homes in Sheik Jarrah in the last year-and-a-half were originally expelled in 1948 from their homes in the West Jerusalem neighborhood of Talbieh”. If you think it is obviously just that the former Jewish residents (or their descendants) should be allowed to evict the Arab families from the houses in Shimon Hatsadik / Sheikh Jarrah, do you feel equally strongly that these Arab families should be allowed to evict the current (presumably Jewish) residents of their former homes in Talbieh? If not, what is the difference in the two cases?

Anyway, regardless of what you think of the justice of the case, this example obsviously doesn’t support your idea that the left opposes Jews moving into Arab areas as a general rule. If some of the former residents had simply moved back into these homes after buying them from willing Arab sellers, it’s hard to imagine there would be protests. Unless you were completely unaware of these details, I think you are engaging in the type of demonization and caricature that typify the “us vs. them” mode of thinking I mentioned in my first comment, though here it’s directed at “the left” rather than only at Arabs.

Yes, and Israeli citizen that defines itself not Israeli but Palestinian and thinks the land belongs to him and not the Jews, is not a friend.

The us vs. them mode is also rather absolutist, categorizing everyone as “friend” and “enemy” and ignoring all nuance. But if you think about it a moment, you should be able to see there is a definite distinction between someone opposing some ideology or institution which you support (a country, a religion, a sports team), and their being a personal “enemy”  of you or anyone who is on “your side”–the mere fact that this Palestinian may be opposed to the Israeli state doesn’t automatically mean he “hates” all Israeli Jews on a personal level, as you suggested earlier despite the article saying nothing about this. I’m sure if you met a Jewish Israeli who intellectually believed in the superiority of anarchism, and hoped that all states would eventually wither and die, the fact that he opposed the existence of the Israeli state wouldn’t lead you to think he must “hate” you or be your enemy even if he was friendly and nonviolent on a personal level. Here in the U.S., if I met an American Indian who thought the land of the Americas had been wrongly stolen from the Indians and who believed it should still all be theirs, should I conclude from this that he “hates” all non-Indians personally, regardless of how friendly he is towards them in his behavior?

I forgot another case – in Akko (Acre), in the mainly Arab old city, a Jewish entrepreneur recently opened a beautiful hotel for tourists. The local Arab reacted with anger, even if he provides them with jobs, and denounced a “Judaization” (?) of the Old City.

As before, looking into this example it seems like the protests have had something to do with Arab residents being evicted from their homes, though I can’t say for sure since you didn’t mention the name of the hotel or the entrepreneur. For example, this article from Haaretz discusses evictions in Acre, and mentions them being related to a new hotel in this paragraph: 

‘City councillor Ahmed Oudeh ‏(Hadash‏), one of those involved in pitching the protest tent, says the building is located between the Khan al-Umdan complex and the Khan a-Shuna complex and the Turkish baths, near where the city plans to build a tourist center, including a hotel. Leaving the tenants in the building may disrupt these plans. “The residents will be on the alert for any step that could lead to a massive evacuation,” Oudeh says, adding they will fight it.’

This article from a website by an alliance of leftist Jews and Arabs goes into a lot more detail about Arab/Jewish tensions in Acre, and in the section with the title “Gentrification and Dispossession” argues there is an attempt by the mayor and local government to gentrify the area by encouraging more well-off Israeli Jews to come in and replace the existing, mostly poorer residents (either through eviction or just increasing cost of living) rather than to help them live better lives (I think these poorer residents are mostly Arab, but the article suggests that it may also be poorer Jews that the mayor wants to force out in the sentences “The new infrastructure is not intended for Acre’s real, existing residents, Jews and Arabs. It is intended for the new residents who will come – if they come. And in the meanwhile, the welfare system ignores the needs of the inhabitants.”) This section of the article also discusses various strategies used by real estate & development companies to force Arab residents out of their homes, and then it discusses a new hotel being created by a Jewish entrepreneur, saying:

‘For example, Uri Yermias, who owns a famous fish restaurant in Acre, bought a number of houses in the old city and is turning them into boutique hotels. Residents tell of entrepreneurs who make offers they can’t refuse. The market mechanism is at work here – and the market inclines to the benefit of the rich and those close to power. Yermias bought the building where the hotel will be from the development authority – the institution that maintains the “absentee property,” the houses of the Palestinian refugees, and offers them up for sale … amidst all the hardship, he will build himself a “boutique hotel.” This is a pattern of development that undermines the local community. Its negative consequences, writes city planner Dr. Galia Ben-Shitreet, have been pointed out in numerous studies: “The evacuation and uprooting of inhabitants for the purpose of developing tourist sites, the rise in the prices of land, food and fuel for the local population; many of the facilities that serve the tourists, such as golf courses and luxury hotels, are inaccessible to the local population, often out of bounds for the local community.” She also mentions in this context the development of “reality tours,” tours in poor neighborhoods.’

Certainly, a non-leftist might argue that moving tourist industry such as hotels into an area wouldn’t necessarily just force residents by raising prices, instead it might actually help them get better incomes by giving them jobs in tourism-related jobs. But as before, even if you don’t think the leftist position has merit, that doesn’t justify completely distorting what they’re actually protesting and making them out to be bigots who just don’t think Jews should be able to move into Arab neighborhoods.

Obvious troll is obvious.

emunadate says:

It seems from this article that Palestinians do not appreciate, respect and aknowledge the state of Israel. But they are happy to take advantage of the state Israel. Based on this article the Palestinians should live among their own kind.
I thought that the author was leading to the Palestinians integrating well and having a more positive outlook on Jews and Israel, but that is not the case. They take what they can and stab Israel when she turns her back. How does a country have peace with a back stabber? Denise Prager said it well! http://emunadate.blogspot.com/2010/11/blog-post.html

emunadate says:

It sounds like you are spewing the usual propaganda crap.

ysusan says:

Get the hell off of this website you anti-semitic scumbag. Go on the stormfront website. That is where you belong. 

Austrians blamed the Serbs for the breakup of the Hapsburg Empire

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