Thursday, August 30, 2007
Szavanna, African Blog Carnival and Misc.....
Saturday, August 25, 2007
Adib S Kawar - Zionist Propaganda = Zionist Lies
The late Palestinian/American Professor Edward Said said in July 2001: “In the style of classical propaganda: To repeat a lie often enough is to believe it, that Israel is victimized by the Palestinians, that it wants peace, and that it is waiting for Palestinians to catch up with its magnanimity and restraint.”
And this is what Steven Plaut, a "professor" at the Graduate School of Business Administration at the University of Haifa, is trying to do in his article submitted by yidwithlid on Thursday, 16 July, 2007. Even though he is supposed to be well aware that the word نكبه in Arabic is pronounced and spelled “Nakbah” Plaut starts for one reason or another writing it as “Naqba” as in his title “Naqba --Shmaqba!!!” probably for some sort of mockery of Arabs and their Arabic language, which is like Hebrew, Semitic in origin, but much more advanced.
Then he proceeds with his article, which is a collection of standard Zionist lies that is common practice in Zionist propaganda, and the deformation of facts, out of which we shall try to correct using mostly Jewish and even Zionist sources, but we hope that he shall not create more lies about those scholars, like he did with Ilan Pappe who realized that he was living on stolen land and thus he left it behind for its own people, Palestinian Arabs. About those people he wrote: “In Israel's War of Independence, some 400,000 or so "Palestinian" Arabs ended up as refugees. The bulk of these "Palestinians" were Arabs whose families had migrated into Western Palestine" tempeted by the influx of Zionist migrants and capital. As "refugees" they fled back to those same neighboring Arab lands.” We wouldn’t have blamed an ordinary and simple Jewish brainwashed imported settler to realize such a deformation of facts, but to have a university professor at a Graduate School promote such a lie and think that people will believe him, as much as he probably believes his own fabrications, is unthinkable.
Plaut will be imitating “Jeha” who, when bothered by kids around him, he told them, “look there is a wedding in that house and they are distributing candy.” When the kids ran to get their share of it, he thought maybe it is true, so he ran behind them to take his share!!!
Palestinian Arabs’ roots go back to the Arab Canaanites who lived in Palestine (Land of Canaan) thousands of years before the first nomadic Hebrew invader set foot on this land. The Yabosites built Jerusalem and made it their capital 1500 years before David invaded it and made it his capital, calling it “The City of David”, which lasted for 70 years, only to be liberated by those who built it. Those people, as we said, had Semitic Arab roots, and when the Arabs came into Palestine they easily adapted themselves and their spoken language became more Arabic. We cannot claim that none of those Arabs who were living in Palestine before 1948 (The so-called Zionist War of Independence launched by imported converted Jews, which are of central Asian roots, and claim that a god promised them this land!!!), did not move into Palestine during the last few centuries, anyhow they are like other Palestinians whose roots go back for thousands of years and are all Arabs, they are one people of the same nation. Messrs Sykes and Pico divided the occupied Arab territories by the Ottoman Turks in order to rule it and endorse Palestine for imperialist reasons to the newly arrived Zionists for reasons that Plaut as a professor should be aware of.
One more very important deformation of facts is his statement, "some 400,000 or so "Palestinian" Arabs ended up as refugees." He should be more careful with his figures as a “professor”, as any respectable source of information, including Zionist sources will tell him; all agree that the number of uprooted Palestinian Arabs in 1948/1949 was from 700,000 to 750,000 which grew to about ten million both in historical Palestine and in the Palestinian diaspora. We are afraid that he thinks that reducing the number of uprooted Palestinians shall reduce the size of the crime against humanity!!! He should well know that whether it is one uprooted citizen from his land and home or tens of millions, a crime is a crime and equally as heinous. The land belongs to its indigenous owners, not to invaders. To create this crime against humanity, hundreds of villages, towns and neighborhoods were demolished to prevent their inhabitants from returning to them. The most conservative number of demolished residential areas is 418 as documented in the book by Dr. Professor Walid Khalidi, an uprooted Palestinian from Jerusalem, “Lest we Forget”. Other sources place the number at about 550 villages…
This is not to mention that more than 300,000 people were uprooted in 1976 from the West Bank, 500,000 from the Golan Heights and not to forget, the Sinai Peninsula. Great was the destruction that Zionist wars brought to these areas. Of course, let us not forget the results of Zionist wars waged on Lebanon and the temporary uprooting of some million people from south Lebanon in 1978, 1982 and 2006, till the Zionist invasion was repelled by the Lebanese resistance. By the way, n the 1982 invasion of Lebanon alone, more then 20,000 Lebanese, Palestinians and Syrians were killed by the invading Zionists.
Ari Shavit asked Benny Morris during his interview: “ Are you saying that Ben-Gurion was personally responsible for a deliberate and systematic policy of mass expulsion?
He replied: “From April 1948, Ben-Gurion is projecting a message of transfer. There is no explicit order of his in writing, there is no orderly comprehensive policy, but there is an atmosphere of [population] transfer. The transfer idea is in the air. The entire leadership understands that this is the idea. The officer corps understands what is required of them. Under Ben-Gurion, a consensus of transfer is created.”
Then Palestinian Arabs did not voluntarily quit their homes and land by order of their leaders and Arab rulers. This was as Morris said, a deliberate policy of the top man in the Zionist invasion…
Then he proceeds to write, “First of all, Israel gained its independence in a war of liberation during 1948 and 1949, in which - despite being poorly equipped and enormously outgunned - Israel defeated the combined military forces of the Palestinians militias and the organized armies of the independent Arab states.” In reply to this lie we refer Steven Plaut to the research work by the writer of these words, “The Balance of Power between Arabs and Zionist in 1948”, noting that much of the facts it includes were taken from Zionist and western sources. And the following is a quotation from it about the number of armed forces under Zionist terrorist organizations:
The report of the Anglo/American Investigation Committee stated that Jews in Palestine had in April 1946, that is, 17 months before the passing of the Partition Plan by the U.N. General Assembly, the following numbers of armed men and women in terrorist organizations:
Irgun: 3,000 – 6,000
This is in addition to the police forces of the colonies and the central police force as stated above.
Definitely these numbers on May 15th should have increased considerably, especially since the Zionist command was waiting for the mandate to end the waging of its war against Palestinian Arabs, the inhabitants and owners of this land.
On the other hand, the number of poorly armed Arabs including regular Arab armies with soldiers who entered Palestine by request of Palestinian Arab citizens, after May 15th 1948, plus armed Palestinians and other Arab forces, including Al-Inqaz army totaled not more than 22,000 fighters.
Confirming the fact that they were poorly equipped, also please refer to Ben-Gurion’s memoirs, which as a Zionist professor, Plaut should have thoroughly read.
Steven Plaut proceeds to write: First of all, “ As in any war, some "Palestinian" Arabs suffered during it. In that war thousands of Jews (often civilians) were murdered by those same Arabs.” (The choice of his wording is the deaths in war as being murdered is unorthodox, casualties among Zionist invaders fell under defensive action). “It was a war that could have been avoided altogether had the Arabs made their peace with the UN Partition Resolution of 1947, which proposed splitting Western Palestine into two states – one Jewish and one Arab – with roughly equal territory. The Jews accepted that Partition Resolution, including its proposal for an Arab Palestinian state; the "Palestinian" Arabs and the Arab states rejected it. The Arab armies then invaded Western Palestine and illegally annexed most of the territories that had been earmarked to form a Palestinian Arab state. They held those territories illegally until they lost them to Israel in six days, when they launched yet another war of aggression in 1967. Israel liberated those territories from their illegal occupiers in 1967 and has held most of them since, while expressing willingness for a territorial compromise in exchange for peace.”
One of the most offensive statements mentioned in the above quote is Western Palestine, which speaks volumes for Zionist colonialist intentions, meaning that in addition to historical Palestine, it wants to colonize what is known as The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan earlier known as Trans Jordan. They occupied and annexed the Golan Heights, and wanted to keep the Sinai Peninsula!!! And Steven Plaut wrote: “It was a war that could have been avoided altogether had the Arabs made their peace with the UN Partition Resolution of 1947.” Of course Zionism, as is well known, did not make peace with this resolution, as Ben-Gurion openly declared and wrote in his memoirs!!! Meaning their acceptance of the partition resolution was temporary. And this fellow, when he says Western Palestine, proves the fallacy of his claim.
In the comment on the above Zionist propaganda, Palestinians, as we said above, are the indigenous population of the land known for ages as Palestine, while Zionist Jews were illegally imported from all corners of the world.
As to the claim that this war could have been avoided, this is a joke for all the reasons in the world over and above the precedent one: First, included in the one third (600,000) of Jews who were residing in Palestine in 1948 there were only 200,000 Jews bearing Palestinian identity cards, while the rest, 400,000, were smuggled into Palestine with the help of British occupation forces known as Mandate Authorities. (Mandate Authorities are supposed to prepare the indigenous population for independence, and they are not there to help Zionist invaders to ethnically cleanse them from their homes and land). As we said, there were in total 600,000 imported Jews, while there were 1,300,000 Palestinian Arabs. The Partition plan which was forced on the UN by American and Zionist extortion on a few countries granted to the more than 2/3 of the existing population 42% of the land, while the less than 1/3 of the existing residents got 55%, the difference was the international Jerusalem area. Very fair arrangement!!! On the other hand, imported Zionists owned 6% of the land of Palestine including large areas that the British occupation authorities leased as public property to Jews for 99 years at nominal prices that were equal to almost nothing. Tell me that this is a fair arrangement. How would a fair outsider, even if he were an ardent Zionist, consider the indigenous population that gives up its ancestral historic land, and leaves it to the diaspora? Benny Morris said in his interview “Survival of the Fittest”: “That was the situation. That is what Zionism faced. A Jewish state would not have come into being without the uprooting of 700,000 Palestinians.” And added blaming Ben-Gurion: “If he was already engaged in expulsion, maybe he should have done a complete job.”
The Zionist claim against Arabs is that “They held those territories illegally,” while the invaders are the legal holders!!!
The “professor” added: “…when they launched yet another war of aggression in 1967. Israel liberated those territories from their illegal occupiers in 1967 and has held most of them since, while expressing willingness for a territorial compromise in exchange for peace.” Peculiar, as he said it was the Arabs that didn’t respect the partition plan, what does he mean by “Israel liberated those territories from their illegal occupiers in 1967”!!! Weren’t the West Bank and the Gaza Strip parts of the Arab state as per the partition plan, not to speak about the difference between the 42% and the 22% left in Arab hands in the Zionist war of aggression, of course not the “war of independence”.
Another joke: “…while expressing willingness for a territorial compromise in exchange for peace.” Since when did the Zionist entity want peace or didn’t put sticks in the wheels of peace? They well know that peace and armament up to the teeth means there will be no more Zionism!!!
Professor Shmaqba adds: “Characterizing any suffering by "Palestinian" Arabs during and subsequent to the 1948-9 war of Israeli independence as a "Naqba" is as mind-numbingly stupid as characterizing the existence of the United States as a catastrophe because of the tragic suffering of the 100,000 or so Tory loyalists forcibly evicted by the United States during its War of Independence”. The existence of the United States was founded with the cost of tens of millions of lives of the indigenous American population, as professor Shmaqba’s colleague in racism Benny Morris said in his above mentioned interview. He added more details, to tell us how what he called “the greatest democracy in the world”, the USA, came into existence after the annihilation of tens of millions of what they call the Red Indians: “There was no reason in the world why it should not have one state. Therefore, from my point of view, the need to establish this state in this place overcame the injustice that was done to the Palestinians by uprooting them.”
Shavit asked: “And morally speaking, you have no problem with that deed?” Then it was not a matter of 100,000 Tories, because both are colonialists, it was the poor “Red Indians” like Palestinian Arabs that should be annihilated up to the last soul, to allow space for the white civilized European (!!!) to colonize. Then it wasn’t a divine promise, it was simply colonialism. Victims of Nazis as per Zionist ideology should create a Palestinian holocaust to avenge Nazi persecution that they suffered by the persecution and annihilation of a third party, Palestinian Arabs!!! This is simple a colonialist/racist way of life.
Morris replied: “That is correct. Even the great American democracy could not have been created without the annihilation of the Indians. There are cases in which the overall, final good justifies harsh and cruel acts that are committed in the course of history.”
Still the writer said: “There is some controversy over how exactly those "Palestinian" Arabs became "refugees." In many cases they were ordered to abandon the war zone by their own leaders, in order to clear the way for invading Arab armies. This has been scrupulously documented by many historians.” (!!!)
Further to the claim that Palestinian Arabs lost the opportunity of having an independent state, we refer the writer to the following article, and the map it contains:
“New UN map charts West Bank reality”
By Sharmila Devi and Harvey Morris in Jerusalem
“Published: June 4 2007 16:51 Last updated: June 4 2007 16:51
“A new map of the West Bank (see above map), 40 years after its conquest by Israel in the Six Day War, gives the most definitive picture so far of a territory in which 2.5m Palestinians are confined to dozens of enclaves separated by Israeli roads, settlements, fences and military zones.
“Produced by the United Nations’s Office for the Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs, it is based on extensive monitoring in the field combined with analysis of satellite imagery. It provides an overall picture officials say is even more comprehensive than charts drawn up by the Israeli military.
“The impact of Israeli civilian and military infrastructure is to render 40 per cent of the territory, which is roughly the size of the US state of Delaware or the English county of Norfolk, off-limits to Palestinians.
"The rest of the territory, including main centres such as Nablus and Jericho, is split into isolated spots. Movement between them is restricted by 450 roadblocks and 70 manned checkpoints.
“The UN mapmakers focused on land set aside for Jewish settlements, roads reserved for settler access, the West Bank separation barrier, closed military areas and nature reserves.
“What remains is an area of habitation remarkably close to territory set aside for the Palestinian population in Israeli security proposals dating back to postwar 1967.
“The process of enclosing the civilian enclaves has accelerated in the years since the outbreak of the Palestinian uprising in 2000, and the reintroduction by Israel of its military rule even in areas previously under Palestinian Authority security control.
“A network of roads designed to ease the movement of Jewish settlers limits access between Palestinian enclaves. A secondary network being built would allow Palestinian limited movement via tunnels, bridges and trenches.
"Diplomats say the effect of the infrastructure changes would be to formalise the de facto cantonisation of the West Bank. Some 450,000 Israelis live in the West Bank and occupied east Jerusalem and settlements have grown by at least 5.5 per cent a year compared with less than 3 per cent among Palestinians.
“The map is one of a number of documents whose publication has coincided with Monday’s anniversary of the 1967 war. Amnesty, the rights group, issued a report that accused Israel of a land grab in the West Bank and called for urgent action to address “widespread human rights abuses committed under the occupation”.
“The Israeli justice ministry branded the report as “one-sided, immoral and riddled with mistakes”.
Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2007”
What other explanation could be given to this Zionist plan other than making life impossible for the indigenous population so as to decide to commit forced “voluntary” transfer. Under such conditions there are no means of life for Palestinian Arabs to live; so they find themselves forced to transfer themselves to some other part of the world to avoid dying from hunger and thirst.
Here is one more lie that I had not come across in other Zionist propaganda claims:
"The Arab states encouraged the Palestine Arabs to leave their homes temporarily in order to be out of the way of the Arab invasion armies." - Falastin (Jordanian newspaper), February 19, 1949.
"The Arab governments told us: Get out so that we can get in. So we got out, but they did not get in." Ad Difaa (Jordanian daily), September 6, 1954.
Other than the claim that: "The Arab states encouraged the Palestine Arabs to leave their homes temporarily in order to be out of the way of the Arab invasion armies.” Which we had already defied, he is calling the Palestinian newspapers Falastin and Ad Difaa Jordanian. Both papers were published in Jaffa Palestine early in the twentieth century!!!
The supposed professor who we see in this article is on the extreme right of the racist Benny Morris said: “In some cases Arabs were evicted by Israel from villages where strategic considerations required this, although generally were moved to other areas inside Israel. In some cases Arab civilians panicked because of the lurid lies being broadcast by Arab propaganda radio stations about the demonic Jews conducting imaginary massacres.”
None of the uprooted Palestinians were relocated in other parts of occupied Palestine of 1948. Those who escaped annihilation were forced out of the occupied areas by force of arms and terror, and had to settle in refugee camps. The Zionist entity in various occasions destroyed Palestinian refugee camps outside Palestine in order that Palestinian refugees would be dislocated, scattered and settled in faraway places among the citizens of the other countries they took refuge in or somewhere else, and thus would not be forming a Palestinian community that would always be reminded about their inalienable right of return.
Steven Plaut comes up with another ruminated Zionist idea: “The Arab world, awash in petrodollars, preferred to keep as many "refugees" on display as possible inside "refugee camps" funded by the United Nations and many gullible others.”
Please see the attached picture of a school allotted for Arabs in occupied Palestine as a government school, which looks like a rusted barrack.
Although Palestinians are Arabs and belong to the same Arab nation that was divided by Sykes and Picot in order to colonize it and create a foreign colonialist state, “Israel” in the heart of the Arab land to divide and rule. But Palestine is still an integral part of the Arab nation and is not for rent or sale.
The “professor” continues with his unfounded creations saying “Israel's creation did however trigger an actual "Naqba," although it was one that hardly interests Islamofascists and their leftist amen choruses. It was the mass wholesale expulsion of around a million Jews from Arab and Moslem countries and the theft of their property. This "Naqba" of Jews living in the Moslem world produced twice as many refugees as the number of Arab refugees who fled after Israel's independence in 1948-49. Jews had been living in those lands for thousands of years.”
We are going only to refer this extra Zionist writer to the article “The Jews of Iraq" by the Iraqi Jew, Naeim Giladi who was brainwashed by Zionist agents in Iraq to become a Zionist, but when he was exported to occupied Palestine he discovered the lies that he was fed with while in his motherland, Iraq.
The lie didn’t stop at this end, Steven Plaut, continues with his creations: “The Jews from Arab countries left behind property worth many times more than anything left behind by "Palestinian refugees." Israel has expressed willingness to discuss compensation for property lost by Arab "refugees" as part of any peace accord, provided that compensation for Jewish refugees from Arab lands is also part of the package. The Arabs have always dismissed that idea out of hand.”
First, Palestinian were robbed of their entire land, including what is over and under it, the toil of hundreds of generations and their past, future and dreams and tens of thousands of their martyred men, women and children, how could the property of 140,000 Iraqi Arab Jews, who were forced by Mossad agents to desert countries, be worth many times what the Palestinians left behind on more than 26,000 square kilometers?
Second, as one reads Naeim Giladi’s article he shall make sure that Iraqi Jews were terrorized by Zionist agents to flee their land on which they lived for over 2700 years and enjoyed the best of life. They were part of the Iraqi demography, economy, culture, politics. On the other hand, Palestinian Arabs were robbed of their land and property (movable and immovable), terrorized, massacred, their villages and towns looted and demolished and whoever remained alive was expelled by the force of arms; so they should sooner or later be compensated for their losses and return to their homes and land.
We advise Steven Plaut to stop ruminating Zionist lies and fabrications; and the sooner the better.
Arab fascism, Islam phobia, Islamofascists, anti-Semitism and so on, it seems that this so-called professor looks into his bathroom mirror and reflects what he sees on Arabs.
Naqba --Shmaqba !!!
Submitted by yidwithlid on Thu, 2007-08-16 10:36. ::
This article was aggregated from Yid With Lid
The Palestinian Arabs have always called the creation of Israel Naqba (Catastrophe) There has been a growing trend amongst Israel haters to use this term for the existence of the Jewish state. In fact one small minded person in the Israel ministry of education decided that Arabic textbooks in Israel should use the term Naqba to describe that Joyous day in 1948.
As the use of the term Naqba grows it as become another tool in the Arabs war to "water down" the Shoah. After all, they claim, we have had our Shoah they have had their Naqba. And those who don't believe they are on the same level are just Naqba deniers. Read this great report from my friend Steven Plaut:
The "Naqba" Offensive By Steven Plaut
Israel’s critics have increasingly adopted the term Naqba (or Nakba), which means "catastrophe" in Arabic, to refer to the Jewish state's creation and existence. The idea is that if "Palestinian Arabs" are thought to have suffered as a result of Israel's creation and gaining of independence, then Israel's very existence must be a disaster, a tragedy, one that must be "corrected" and cured through Israel's annihilation.
The far Left has taken the Orwellian rhetoric one step further. Not only is Israel's very existence a "Naqba" or catastrophe, but anyone denying that it is so must be guilty of "Naqba Denial," a new sin discovered by the Left that is on the same par with Holocaust Denial. Indeed, since very few Jews anywhere outside the Left consider Israel's very existence to be a "Naqba," their collective "guilt" in perpetrating "Naqba Denial" is an easy form of exoneration for Holocaust Deniers. After all, why should people be so upset by Holocaust Deniers when the Jews themselves engage in "Naqba Denial"?
It is not only the Left that repeats this libel. Right-wing journalist Arnaud De Borchgrave has recently joined the campaign as well. Under the title "Embarrassing History", De Borchgrave – UPI's Editor at Large - embarrasses his own reputation by endorsing the "Naqba" pseudo-history of a Stalinist anti-Semite renowned for his academic fraud and fabrication (see below). De Borchgrave, who has a long history of Israel-bashing, in the past claimed that a cabal of "Likudniks" controls Washington.
A quick web search on yahoo.com shows that there are over 46,000 web sites now writing about "Naqba Denial" (often spelled Nakba), with a slightly lower count on Google. Counterpunch, the radical magazine that defended Noam Chomsky's denial of the Khmer Rouge genocide, has been among the leading proponents of the term. 1017 pages at Counterpunch use the Nakba term and 196 use "Nakba denial."
So what are we to make of all this?
First of all, Israel gained its independence in a war of liberation during 1948 and 1949, in which - despite being poorly equipped and enormously outgunned - Israel defeated the combined military forces of the Palestinians militias and the organized armies of the independent Arab states. As in any war, some "Palestinian" Arabs suffered during it. In that war thousands of Jews (often civilians) were murdered by those same Arabs. It was a war that could have been avoided altogether had the Arabs made their peace with the UN Partition Resolution of 1947, which proposed splitting Western Palestine into two states – one Jewish and one Arab – with roughly equal territory. The Jews accepted that Partition Resolution, including its proposal for an Arab Palestinian state; the "Palestinian" Arabs and the Arab states rejected it. The Arab armies then invaded Western Palestine and illegally annexed most of the territories that had been earmarked to form a Palestinian Arab state. They held those territories illegally until they lost them to Israel in six days, when they launched yet another war of aggression in 1967. Israel liberated those territories from their illegal occupiers in 1967 and has held most of them since, while expressing willingness for a territorial compromise in exchange for peace.
Characterizing any suffering by "Palestinian" Arabs during and subsequent to the 1948-9 war of Israeli independence as a "Naqba" is as mind-numbingly stupid as characterizing the existence of the United States as a catastrophe because of the tragic suffering of the 100,000 or so Tory loyalists forcibly evicted by the United States during its War of Independence. Those Tory refugees from the colonies were absorbed by the countries to which they fled, mainly Maritime British Canada. They forfeited all their property left behind in the United States. The American Patriot leaders opposed any sort of compensation or settlement for them, including Benjamin Franklin. They would never be granted any "right of return" to the territories they had left.
Since most nations gain independence in armed struggle of one sort or another, armed struggle in which some civilians inevitably suffer, then by the "logic" of the ranteurs about "Naqba Denial" the existence of all those states should also be deemed catastrophes. But Israel alone is singled out for condemnation.
In Israel's War of Independence, some 400,000 or so "Palestinian" Arabs ended up as refugees. The bulk of these "Palestinians" were Arabs whose families had migrated into Western PalestinePalestine" by the influx of Zionist migrants and capital. As "refugees" they fled back to those same neighboring Arab lands. Their "refugee plight" is supposedly what users of the "Naqba" term mean when they apply it. during the previous 70 years from neighboring Arab territories, during the same era in which the Zionist immigrations took place, and largely motivated by the improving conditions being generated in "
There is some controversy over how exactly those "Palestinian" Arabs became "refugees." In many cases they were ordered to abandon the war zone by their own leaders, in order to clear the way for invading Arab armies. This has been scrupulously documented by many historians, and most recently skillfully so by Efraim Karsh from the University of London. Arab historians themselves have conceded the point:
"Arab residents of Palestine in 1948 were not expelled by Israeli officials or military forces, as many claim, but were actually ordered to leave by local Arab leaders, says Palestinian journalist Mahmud Al-Habbash who writes for the official Palestinian Authority newspaper Al-Hayat Al-Jadida. Al-Habbash writes in his column, "The Pulse of Life," that Arab residents were explicitly instructed by their local Arab leaders to leave their homes when the 'Catastrophe' (the establishment of the State of Israel) occurred in 1948."
Other Arab sources report the same thing:
"The Arab states encouraged the Palestine Arabs to leave their homes temporarily in order to be out of the way of the Arab invasion armies." - Falastin (Jordanian newspaper), February 19, 1949.
"The Arab governments told us: Get out so that we can get in. So we got out, but they did not get in." Ad Difaa (Jordanian daily), September 6, 1954.
"The Arab armies entered Palestine to protect the Palestinians from the Zionist tyranny but, instead, they abandoned them, forced them to emigrate and to leave their homeland." - Abu Mazen, President of the Palestinian Authority, in "What We Have Learned and What We Should Do," published in Falastin el Thawra, the official journal of the PLO, March 1976.
Granting a right to these "refugees" to return to Israel would have made about as much sense as establishing a right to return to America for ethnic Japanese who left the US in 1941 in order to participate in Imperial Japan's wars. In some cases Arabs were evicted by Israel from villages where strategic considerations required this, although generally were moved to other areas inside Israel. In some cases Arab civilians panicked because of the lurid lies being broadcast by Arab propaganda radio stations about the demonic Jews conducting imaginary massacres. And probably the most important factor of all was the simple and understandable desire of many Arabs to get out of the way of the battle zones.
Israel's War of Independence was a battle against Arab aggressors attempting to conduct ethnic cleansing of Jews inside the territories assigned by the UN to Israel. Had they succeeded, a genocidal massacre of those Jews would have taken place. Many of the Jews in question had escaped from or survived the Nazi Holocaust and were themselves refugees. More Jews died in that 1948-49 war for survival than in any of the subsequent Arab-Israeli armed confrontations.
Given the size of the Israeli state that emerged, smaller than New Jersey, the "Palestinian refugees" from that war only had to relocate a few miles away from their previous homes, into Arab states in which they spoke the language and enjoyed a common culture, Arab states who together controlled a land mass nearly twice the size of the United States (including Alaska). These Arab refugees were but a tiny drop in the sea of population relocations that occurred all over the world in the late 1940s, amounting to tens of millions of humans, ranging from the huge population relocations in the Indian subcontinent, to the repatriation of millions of ethnic Germans from countries in which they had lived for a thousand years "back" to Germany, to the mass expulsion of Japanese from mainland Asia. In every other case of refugee populations, the refugees were quickly resettled, rehabilitated, and absorbed, usually inside countries of their ethnic kinsmen, within a short period. The Arab world, awash in petrodollars, preferred to keep as many "refugees" on display as possible inside "refugee camps" funded by the United Nations and many gullible others.
The Arab world, awash in petrodollars, preferred to keep as many "refugees" on display as possible inside "refugee camps" funded by the United Nations and many gullible others.
This was in spite of the fact that they became refugees in the first place as a direct result of the Arab invasion and war of annihilation against Israel in 1948-9, a war in which "Palestinian" Arabs participated en masse. These were in addition to about 57,000 Palestinians from Jordan illegally in Israel, toward whom the Israeli authorities have turned a blind eye (Haaretz, April 4, 2001). All of these were resettled within Israel's pre-1967 "Green Line" borders. Meanwhile, the handing out of free food and money in the UN "refugee camps" to "Palestinian refugees" produced an enormous influx of non-Palestinian Arabs eager to share in the largesse, creating an astronomical and largely illusionary demographic increase in the numbers of "Palestinian Arabs." The bulk of those "Palestinian refugees" never lived in the territories that became Israel.
Now if the "Palestinian Arabs" experienced a small-scale outflow of refugees as a direct result of the attempted genocide against Jews conducted by the Arab armies in 1948-49, this hardly constitutes a historic "Naqba," a word implying something on the same order of magnitude as the Mongol invasions.
Israel's creation did however trigger an actual "Naqba," although it was one that hardly interests Islamofascists and their leftist amen choruses. It was the mass wholesale expulsion of around a million Jews from Arab and Moslem countries and the theft of their property. This "Naqba" of Jews living in the Moslem world produced twice as many refugees as the number of Arab refugees who fled after Israel's independence in 1948-49. Jews had been living in those lands for thousands of years. The Arab regimes responded to Israel's victory in 1948-49 by conducting ethnic cleansing of their own Jewish populations, expelling them and seizing all their property without compensation. Jewish quarters were sacked and looted, cemeteries were desecrated, while synagogues, Jewish shops, schools and houses were ransacked, burned and destroyed. Hundreds of Jews were murdered in anti-Semitic riots and pogroms.
Most of those Jewish refugees were resettled in Israel. The Jews from Arab countries left behind property worth many times more than anything left behind by "Palestinian refugees." Israel has expressed willingmess to discuss compensation for property lost by Arab "refugees" as part of any peace accord, provided that compensation for Jewish refugees from Arab lands is also part of the package. The Arabs have always dismissed that idea out of hand.
Among those promoting the complaint about a "Naqba" inflicted upon "Palestinians" by the Jews are a handful of Israeli pseudo-academics. The most notorious of these Israeli "academics," and the one who has done more than any other anti-Israel Israeli to promote the moral equivalence of "Naqba Denial" with Holocaust Denial, is "New Historian" Ilan Pappe. Nearly all those beating the "Naqba" drum today cite Pappe and his "books" about the supposed "ethnic cleansing" of Arabs by Israel in its war of independence. Pappe was until recently a lecturer in political science at the University of Haifa, and has now moved to an academic propagandist position at the University of Exeter in the UK. The chief executive of the Board of Deputies of British Jews recently said: "After taking full advantage of all the freedoms accorded to him in Israel, a country he has so shamelessly attacked, Pappe has decided to set up shop here. Whilst this provides the opportunity for academics here to challenge him on his revisionist agenda, the uncomfortable fact is that in the lecture theaters and seminar rooms at Exeter, many impressionable young minds will be exposed to his partial and biased views."
Pappe is a notorious fabricator, someone who claims proudly that facts and truth are of no importance. "Indeed the struggle is about ideology, not about facts, Who knows what facts are? We try to convince as many people as we can that our interpretation of the facts is the correct one, and we do it because of ideological reasons, not because we are truthseekers," the French newspaper Le Soir, has cited Pappe as saying. Even other anti-Zionists have repudiated Pappe as a liar and fabricator. He openly calls for Israel to be exterminated and endorses Hamas. He dedicated one of his "books" to the hope that his children can group up in a world in which there is no Israel. He openly endorses Arab terrorism. He considers Noam Chomsky insufficiently anti-Israel.
Pappe, who ran for the parliament in Israel on the slate of the Stalinist communist party and played a central role in fomenting boycotts of Israel in the UK and elsewhere, was the central figure in the now infamous "Tantura Affair." In it, Pappe coached a graduate student of his into inventing a non-existent "massacre" of Arabs by the Hagana Jewish militia (Alexandroni Brigade) in Tantura, south of Haifa, a "massacre" that Pappe claims took place in 1948. Not a shred of evidence for any such "massacre" exists. Arab and other journalists who were present at the time of the battle that took place in Tantura reported no massacre. Arabs living in the town at the time confirmed that a battle occurred, but that after the battle the Jewish militiamen aided and assisted the townspeople, not massacring anyone. The graduate student, sued for libel by the veterans of the Hagana militia, later admitted in court with his lawyer present that the entire massacre was an invention.
No matter – Pappe roams the world and continues to spread the lie about the Tantura "massacre," a lie that has found its way into nearly every anti-Semitic web site on earth and even Neo-Nazi magazines, although even a handful of respectable mainstream journalists rely on him. Pappe has also lied about just about everything else, including about being "persecuted" by his own university. In fact, Pappe was never fired for his fraud and fabrication by the University of Haifa, although he should have been. (Some wags even suggested the University should be boycotted for NOT firing Pappe!) That did not stop Pappe from waving his stigmata as "victim of Zionism" before the European anti-Semites promoting "divestment" from Israel. His recruitment by the University of Exeter proves how indifferent that school is to scholarly standards. The fact that so many of the people shouting about "Naqba Denial" rely upon such a notorious liar states volumes about their real agenda.
Meanwhile, Israel's own daffy Minister of Education, Yuli Tamir (from the Israeli socialist Labor Party and herself a longtime Moonbette member of the Tenured Left at Tel Aviv University), recently issued a ruling under which textbooks in Israeli Arab schools will start referring to Israel's creation as "The Naqba." This is just in case those Arab students are not picking up enough hatred of Jews and Israel on their own at home. The numbers of Israeli Arabs blowing themselves up inside buses to murder Jews will no doubt increase in the future thanks to her. If Israel ever surrenders to terror and capitulates to Arab fascism, future historians may consider that decision a watershed.
"Naqba Denial" is now the leading term of choice being tossed about by those seeking Israel's extermination. Some of those using the term also openly endorse Holocaust Denial. The others would have no problem at all with the Arab world conducting an ethnic cleansing of Israeli Jews of the sort they failed to perpetrate in 1948.
"Naqba Denial" is openly being used as a propaganda ploy to trivialize the Jewish Holocaust in World War II. After all, if the Jews are "denying" the "Naqba" they "inflicted" on the poor "Palestinians" in 1948-9, then why should the world owe the Jews any sympathy for their plight in World War II? (And why stop there – why not declare that those who deny that Ward Churchill is an Indian or that Norman Finkelstein is a scholar are also the moral equivalents of Holocaust Deniers?) And if Israelis deny they inflicted any "Naqba," why should anyone question the right of Holocaust Deniers to peddle their snake oil on campuses? Israel bashers demand that Israel be pressured into atoning for its "role" in the Naqba the same way Germany atoned for the Holocaust, but unlike Germany Israel must do so by forfeiting its national existence.
In sum, those who use the terms "Naqba" and "Naqba Denial" ignore the fact that Arabs living under Israeli rule are treated a thousand times better than are Arabs living under the rule of Arab regimes. These are the same people for whom the only Middle East regime that is not an apartheid state must be demolished and purged for its practicing "apartheid." For them, the only country in the Middle East practicing democracy and respecting human rights must be annihilated.
Steven Plaut is a professor at the Graduate School of the Business Administration at the University of Haifa and is a columnist for the Jewish Press. A collection of his commentaries on the current events in Israel can be found on his "blog" at
I think its time for us Naqba denier to have an educational conference on Naqba. Maybe we can hold it in the Unified Israeli Jerusalem and invite Naqba deniers from all over the world. Maybe Naqba supporters such as Tom Friedman of the NY Times can write columns about how hateful we are being and the Daily Kos can have an anti-Israel field day. Wait that's silly, that kind of reporting is happening anyway, I guess we don't need the conference....Never Mind.
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Adib S Kawar is a member of Tlaxcala.
Thursday, August 23, 2007
Jewish groups want to "Stop the Genocide in Darfur", too bad Israel kicks the refugees out
Well, what happened yesterday in Israel, where some Darfur Refugees took refuge? Israel was sending them packing or putting them behind bars. It's one thing to TALK like a humanitarian enterprise, and another thing entirely to BE one. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is trying to cover up the extremely bad press they are getting, and yes, even if you are a refugee, they are worried about the threat you pose as a security risk, thus:
"...At the same time, we must remember that these asylum-seekers come to Israel from a country with which Israel has no diplomatic relations, a country where there is a significant presence of Al Qa'eda operatives.
Therefore, we must examine each and every one of them and make sure that they do not pose a security threat. Once this is established, Israel is willing to take part in finding a multilateral solution to the problem. Israel cannot be the sole solution to the question of Sudanese asylum-seekers.
We are working together with international organizations and other countries in an attempt to find a longer-term solution and have established an inter-ministerial committee to look into the matter. We call on our friends in the international community to join forces with Israel in providing a solution. Of the 46 infiltrators returned to Egypt on 19 August, 42 were Sudanese nationals, 3 citizens of the Ivory Coast and one a Somali national. They were returned, in accordance with the Olmert-Mubarak agreement, under the supervision of the UN Refugee Agency, and on condition they would not be returned to Sudan."
From The Independent:
Plight of the refugees locked out of the 'promised land'
By Donald Macintyre in Khetziot Prison, Negev Desert
Published: 22 August 2007
When Joseph, a Christian member of the Dinka tribe was 12, he saw his mother killed and his sister raped and shot dead in front of him by pro-Sudanese government militia, who attacked his village in southern Sudan. He himself, he says, was abducted and sold to a businessman in western Sudan - as part of a policy of slavery encouraged by Khartoum as a means of curbing the rebel Sudan People's Liberation Movement. He says he was underfed, regularly beaten, addressed only as "slave" and that his owner tried forcibly to convert him to Islam. After an anti-slavery organisation bought his freedom after two years and took him to Khartoum, he came under the security services' scrutiny for helping forced converts to revert to Christianity. Having fled to Cairo but then arrested and imprisoned twice for SPLM activity he says, in September 2005, he had a fingernail removed and his arms and back burned - and his life threatened - by Egyptian interrogators acting under Sudanese security service supervision.
It's hardly surprising, therefore, that Joseph was highly relieved to cross the border from Egypt into Israel last summer, into the hands of friendly soldiers and police who ensured he had a medical check-up before bringing him to this remote desert jail close to the Egyptian border. Or that he should now be highly alarmed at the prospect of being deported back to Egypt. Joseph, a brave man, has given us his real name, but we have disguised it in deference to the strong wishes of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees which fears for the safety of people like him if they are deported back to Egypt. As it is, he has no doubt about the fate that awaits him in Egypt or Sudan if he is deported from Israel, as under current government policy he may well be. "If they send me back to Egypt I am dead," he said. "They are looking for me."
Joseph is one of around 1,400 Sudanese refugees whose future has prompted growing heart-searching in a country where the ghosts of the Holocaust are inevitably awakened by reports of a 21st-century genocide. Fifty Africans were forcibly sent back across the border to Egypt on Saturday night after arriving in the country earlier in the day. A majority, according to military sources quoted in Haaretz, were from Darfur.
The Association of Civil Rights in Israel strongly condemned the government's decision to deport "African refugees and asylum-seekers ... without following the international recognised procedures for determining whether they are refugees". The government insists it has assurances about the safety of the refugees from President Hosni Mubarak but faith in this was shaken by an Israeli soldier who described on TV seeing Egyptian troops shooting dead four Sudanese refugees trying to escape across the border into Israel at the end of last month.
Ironically, the misfortune of Joseph, who is no longer detained and worked for a spell in a hotel in the coastal Red Sea resort of Eilat, is in one sense that he is not from Darfur. For while saying that it will send back all Africans - including Darfuris - who cross the border illegally from now on whatever their status, it has pledged to absorb the 500 from Darfur who were already in the country. But even that pledge has not been extended to the other Sudanese refugees.
Joseph points out that there has been a fresh spate of killings by government-backed militias in southern Sudan - where the two-year-old peace agreement remains deeply unstable - and adds: "Everyone talks about Darfur but not about the south of Sudan," he says. "But we were the first to be in this war between Muslims and Christians. They are calling it a holy war and say they will go to heaven if they kill us."
Israel's proximity to Sudan's northern neighbour cannot disguise the fact that other Western countries have shown marked resistance to African asylum-seekers. But Israel's own history has inevitably lent an especial resonance to the debate. Professor Yehuda Bauer, one of the country's foremost Holocaust scholars, is scornful of Egyptian assurances and has no doubt that Israel has a duty to absorb all the Sudanese refugees. He strongly agrees that the southern Sudanese are also fleeing genocide and adds: "The numbers are not large and there are 100,000 illegal immigrants from places like Thailand and Romania in Tel Aviv. Recalling periods of rejection of Jewish refugees from Nazism by other European countries, including Britain, he says: "We are shooting ourselves in the foot by doing what others did to us in the past."
Here in Khetziot, where 120 women and children are kept apart from their men, prison warders have made every effort to make the refugees as comfortable as possible in their four-bunk huts. With good health care, the refugees are clearly healthy and relatively relaxed after their previous lives. Prison education staff are trying to work out how to implement a directive that the children need to go to school as long as they are here. But it is still a jail. "I like it in Israel," says Agnes Sampson, 20, another Christian from south Sudan. "But not here. I want to work."Mark Regev, spokesman of the Foreign Ministry, says that it is precisely because of the sensitivities of Israel's own history that it has decided to absorb the 500 Darfuri refugees who are fleeing what is internationally accepted as genocide in Darfur. But defending the decision to send back new refugees after a big increase in the past few weeks, he adds: "Israel is a small country, and it can't be the only answer. We call on other countries to play their part and we are ready to work internationally to help find a solution.
Saturday, August 18, 2007
Diego Traversa - 2007: The Year of the Lion
The events that mark the historical journey of the Israeli State have an odd thirty-year cadence.
* 1917, Balfour Declaration and consequent willingness of English imperialism to concede a “national homeland” for the Jewish people.
* 1947, UN Resolution for the partition of historical Palestine into two entities, one destined to the future Jewish State and the other for the native inhabitants, in other words, the Palestinians.
* 1977, year of the historical shift in Israel: after thirty years of Labor-socialist-progressive dominance, a coalition government led by Menachem Begin’s Likud is installed. Further, there are the signs of the first breakthrough in the resolute Arab refusal to recognise Israel: the historic visit of Sadat to Jerusalem.
Now, if mathematics is not an opinion, this year is the next step in that tradition, thirty years from the latest stage in the development of Zionism in Palestine and, excepting major upheavals, there doesn’t seem to be any earth-shattering political change on the horizon.
Are we really so sure of that?
Allowing for a rapid consideration, it seems to me that the above-mentioned dates brought about one of the most serious miscarriages of justices ever perpetrated in history, and that their succession is nothing more than a catastrophic climax: rather than a “national homeland”, 1917 gave way, through diplomatic means, to a regional homeland that today seems like one of the most tormented on the planet; in 1947 there was the ratification of an absurd imperialist decision to divide a territory exactly with the same gluttony, insensitivity and arrogance that was used every time that Europe was redesigned after very bellicose or political upheaval (Metternich and the Vienna Congress, the Paris Conference, etc.) in which the resident population had absolutely no say in the matter; lastly, in 1977, while in Italy trade union leader Luciano Lama was being kicked out of the Universities by radical students, in Israel the political program of massive settlement building was kicking the Palestinian people out of their homeland, taking from them even what little remained for them in the West Bank, stuffing them into remote reservations, as the Americans did with the natives of that continent, thanks to the criminal policies of Begin who, driven by a Labor idea, set off extensive colonisation campaigns (both secular and religious).
Considering this progression, an initial thought comes to me: if in 2007 some great change should happen, this would certainly be detrimental to the Palestinian people, absolutely not to the Israelis. And, to tell the truth, it seems that it actually has been that way.
One has to be blind to not notice that there has indeed been a radical change.
In 2007, in my humble opinion, there has been perhaps the most extensive and aggressive Zionist propaganda campaign ever made, especially caused by the Israeli fear of seeing Hamas come to power. Not that this in itself says much, seeing as how in Israel there is little difference made between Hamas and Fatah: when there was Arafat, they pitted him against the religious extremists; now that the latter are in (relative) power, they are doing everything they can to support the “moderate” rivals who are more apt to settle with Israel on Israeli terms.
The fact of the matter is that in Israel they have noticed that after forty years of illegal occupation, privation and provocation, of injustice of every imaginable sort, the Palestinian people are still there, ready to express their dignity to exist yet again. In Israel they have noticed that there is a necessity for a strong political instability that will allow the continuation of the Zionist project (that, we must remember, foresees as a minimum requirement a single and homogenous – viable – territorial entity that is destined for Jews that extends from the Mediterranean to the Jordan River, leaving aside the even more ambitious dreams of Jabotinsky and his followers that aspired to the conquest of the ENTIRETY of Palestine, that is, even those parts of land that the English destined to the Hashemites, the philosophy behind the birth of the Revisionist Zionist movement of which Begin, Shamir and Sharon have been the most famous exponents). And to do this, they have used the most terrible means possible, such as withholding funds that are owed to the Palestinians, bringing about commercial blockades, throwing dirt and infamy against a government elected by its people (whether or not it was democratic almost is of little importance: by chance are we as interested in knowing if the Colombians, North Koreans, Saudis, Iranians or Chinese democratically elect their representatives?) Are these the typical means that a democracy employs towards other governments?
It is clear that 2007 might be the next step ahead in favour of Zionism, taking into consideration the extremely great change that has taken place: the fracture of the Palestinian people into two branches, with the consequent exultance of all the philo-Zionists in the world. It is a fact that has actually brought to mind the hypothesis of the so-called “two people, three states” paradigm. A “Three for the price of two” offer that simply seems too good to pass up…
So there it is, 2007 is indeed the year of great news for the tireless Zionists. In that gigantic Middle Eastern melting pot, a new ingredient has been added: virulent Palestinian discord, a factor that can only benefit the treacherous Zionist plans (yes, doubt not, even the Zionists plan away…).
Even so, trying to be optimistic and willing to demonstrate comprehension and solidarity to the long-suffering Palestinian people, we can try to turn the data of the problem in its head.
Yes, because while our politicians yammer on about everything and everybody without in reality understanding anything at all, the more careful observers should not let the slight changes that are taking place escape our attention, verifying that, in reality won’t bring about the success of Zionism, but rather, its unweaving.
Everything, in nature, has a beginning and an end.
If we take into account the three dates previously given, we can even in a poetic way imagine the development of Zionist events in terms of biological development: 1917, conception, 1947, birth, 1977, maturity.
Therefore, could 2007 be the year of aging? (For that of death, it’s a little bit early, but, never say never…)
Who knows, maybe all of these major upheavals are not what they seem to be. Maybe the situation is not all that rosy for the grandchildren of Herzl and his brutal, irrational dream.
There are all the elements there in order to come to such a conclusion.
Let’s start from a simple idea: just as the Zionists, in order to justify (pathetically and arrogantly, for sure) their undertaking, claimed that there was no such thing called Palestine. If we are willing to call a spade a spade, we have even more reason to claim that no such thing as a Jewish State exists, given that constitutional rights acknowledge, as a necessary condition for such a definition, the specification of precise confines. Seeing as how Israel simply does not have definitive confines, it can’t be called a State. Therefore, the Palestinians are totally entitled to carry through their goal, as much as and even more than the Zionists who have sacked their land. Because it’s sacking we’re talking about, despite the improbable justifications and essential propaganda that has been presented as a benevolent Zionist project, dedicated only to guaranteeing a land for a people dispersed throughout the world and desirous only of “normalisation”.
If it is true that before 1948 the Zionists didn’t engage in outright theft, since they bought property from Arab absentee landlords and there they built their various Kibbutz, it is also undeniable that the portion of land inhabited by the Jewish community was little to nothing in comparison to the overwhelming Arab majority, certainly not enough to allow them to claim any kind of national sovereignty. Then, as a matter of coincidence, the “war of liberation” broke out, as the Zionists call it, and they are right about that: because, actually they did “liberate” large areas inhabited by Arabs, “cleansing” them of their Palestinian population. All of this is the contrary of a irredentist war, one that usually breaks out to reclaim a land that is inhabited by a majority of a given ethnic community in order to liberate it from those who they consider to be invaders who have no cultural and historical relationships with it. Curiously, the Zionists had planned it all out rather well; beforehand they “evacuate” a hostile population and after, with the wave of a magic wand, they affirm, “See? Now we are the majority. Give us a State, please…” If that’s not sacking, I don’t know what is…
Further, that supposed Jewish “people”, seeing that it had been so kindly donated a State, does not present all of the characteristics that constitute the primary condition for the demand of self-determination: language, customs, local traditions, culture connected to a specific territory (unless one insists upon stubbornly closing his eyes and claiming that a Yemenite Jew has much in common with a German or Lithuanian one). We’ve heard a lot about Jewish rights to a land based on presumed past connections dating as far back as 2 or even 3 thousand years. This is something that should make anyone having good sense see how illogical it is. It would be like, for instance, tomorrow we Italians wanting to newly conquer Istanbul because it was an antique Roman territory and we decided to even take the name Constantinople out of its dusty chest. How silly and irrational that demand sounds as long as it takes precedence over the objective and evident historical situation. In the case of Israel, going against what the Palestinians (Jews, Christians or Muslims that they might have been… ah, yes, many even can’t think that a Palestinian could have been Jewish!!) have been living for centuries. What seems ridiculous is that while the Jews are working hard to dig deeply in the search for archaeological artefacts that will attest to their millenary connection with the Palestinian territory, the roots of the Palestinians to their land is so very evident that, absurdly, they ignore it or try to diminish it, as if it had no importance at all.
This is just a basis for discussion, just to clarify that the Palestinian cause has to be morally supported against the historical Zionist injustice.
A second point, one might object that the Palestinians have chosen to live side-by-side with Israel in a State of their own.
Here we are faced with a great distortion. The Palestinians have accepted the hypothesis of Two States exactly when the Jews accepted the Partition plan. Practical and tactical decisions, that don’t however substitute the true goals.
Just as how the Jews in 1947 were certain that no matter how things went, they never would have abandoned their dream of creating a single territorial entity for themselves from the Jordan to the Mediterranean (proof of this is the incredible perseverance to not let up on the West Bank, or as they call it, their beloved Judea-Samaria, upon which the State of Palestine is supposed to rise, and is instead dotted by hundreds of colonies full of fanatical religious nuts or by Jewish immigrants attracted to the place by the trick of fiscal facilitation), the same can be said of the Palestinians who, driven by simple necessity, will be forced into accepting the hypothesis of Two States in order to not risk losing that small portion that remains. If the Israelis and the Palestinians really wanted to live in two adjacent States, by now there already would have been these States, one next to the other. But Israel’s aggressive, racist policies based on colonisation, is there for everyone to see and demonstrates the impossibility of such a hypothesis: only egotistical, incompetent politicians, ones who are profiteers, aren’t aware of Israel’s behaviour, in fact, they accuse the Palestinians of being the ones who resort to violence.
Rather, Israel is described always as an absolute good, the only democracy in the Middle East, the light that comes from the European civilisation and illuminates the backward Arab world.
Israel makes concessions that the Arabs refuse; Israel is pacific, the Arabs are blood-thirsty vampires (and God only knows how the most militarised nation on the face of the earth can be the one that tends so strongly towards tranquillity and peace…. It brings to mind the cartoon of a child who asks his father, an army general: ‘Dad, tonight I dreamt of a world without war,’ and the father reprimands him saying, ‘Don’t worry son, it was only a bad dream’…). Israel has free elections, free press, freedom of speech while the Arab States are authoritarian regimes, its press is subservient to power and women can only be out in the streets if they are dressed like black cockroaches.
Yes, these are the stereotypes and the modern vision that everyday we are force-fed, with its scope of merely denigrating, diminishing and humiliating that marvellous (especially regarding its cuisine and legendary hospitality) Arab-Muslim culture for mere geo-political and financial interests.
Being able to tolerate the lies, the distortion and the misrepresentation that politicians, journalists and pseudo-experts propagate day after day is truly a hard task.
This is the point, though.
Politicians think that we are idiots and that we are malleable. Unfortunately for them, they aren’t able to notice (if they ever were in the past) the changes that are just below the surface and are able to be summarised in one simple question: setting aside the moral issue of wanting to give a State to a “people” by taking another people’s territory away from them; are we sure that the solution of Two States in really and truly feasible?
Unfortunately, in their approaching senility (it seems to me that the average age of Italian politicians is over 60 years of age), they haven’t noticed that in the last ten years people don’t refer that often to newspapers (at least here in Italy) or at any rate, in order to satisfy their own thirst for knowledge, they don’t only read the newspapers, but they make continual use of what may be the greatest invention of the century: Internet.
A place that, given the enormous quantity of data, helps to train, understand, illuminate, learn and find explanations. All it takes is a dose of goodwill, without bias or preconceived ideas, and anyone can make a generic and true opinion on any argument.
When I see Italian politicians praise Zionism and Israel to the seventh heavens, saying what they will of the Palestinian question, my blood pressure rises, because I understand just how ignorant and hypocritical they are.
I may not be a refined expert on matters of the Middle East, but I can easily affirm that sometimes I know more about it than all of those arrogant figures who, only for the fact of being in Parliament, think they are telling us what the truth is.
Their complete incapacity and lack of courage in affirming their ideas comes essentially from their ignorance, specifically of Middle Eastern issues (then there are the interests of the Lobbies, but that is another matter).
Do you really think that a Fini, a D’Alema, a Calderoli, and yes, even a Bertinotti or a Napolitano have ever really had the time to investigate just what the Middle East is (not to mention those politicians who probably don’t even know where it is located)? Do they know what Zionism is, with all of its shades and currents? Which politicians can say what the origins of the various Shamirs, Sharons, Begins and Jabotinskys are? What does the original English text (that they don’t even speak) of UN Resolution 242 say, with that slight of hand that specifies an Israeli withdrawal “from territories”, rather than “from the territories”? Can they say what a Fellah is? Do they know when the Arab League was founded? Can they say what happened at Deir Yassin in April 1948?
In other words, what is this “Israeli-Palestinian Question” they talk about as if they are experts?
This issue risks being too involved, but I would merely like to stress that these poor, mad politicians shouldn’t drive us nuts with their absurdities.
In the first place, this issue requires people who are serious and well-informed. In the second place, it’s not necessary to have a bias, to root for one side or the other. Politicians, in dealing with foreign politics and therefore with realities that are meant for others to make the decisions (that is, the populations whose lives are directly affected by a particular reality), have the task and the duty to set themselves apart as objective parties, as intermediaries, and not as supporters of this or that political faction. They should base their politics on an awareness of an objective reality.
Furthermore, as carriers of values and inalienable rights that are inspired by the advanced Western civilisation (especially we Italians, who have to export even wider that power system that the whole world envies, the Mafia), these politicians are called to work for their dissemination in the world, possibly without wars, through cultural and economic exchange. Otherwise, they should stop talking about liberalism and democracy, and they should proudly affirm that war is an honest instrument (rather than speaking hypocritically about humanitarian wars…) and they should be more honest in saying: ‘Ok, we want to settle in that specific area because it’s geo-politically strategic for us.’ They’d even be more respected for it.
It’s a waste of time to try to fool people, intervening in Iraq and in Afghanistan to “export” democracy and freedom and at the same time to forget all the rest. It’s just not believable and this trickery is simply no longer tolerable.
All the more reason that they should start to take into account the fact that thanks to Internet, people are far less apt to have the wool pulled over their eyes to such extreme levels. They can’t keep on defending and covering up their geo-political interests under absurd lies such as the Clash of Civilisations and other such idiocies.
If they really are concerned about politics, the serious kind, they had better start acting so that people are able to find interest in them again, rather than hypocritically wondering about the reasons that the public has lost interest, rightly convinced that current politics is little more than a mere bartering of interests and a tangle of stratagems.
Politicians should come back to seriously dealing with politics and all it implies, in the first place, an awareness that politics is based on compromises made between parties, taking off from a condition of objective reality.
In the case under examination, reality tells us that Zionism, meant as an instrument to give a country to the Jews, has failed, because substantially the Zionist idea was defective to begin with. The Jews already did have a country, just as a Catholic or a Muslim had one. Instead, turning this idea upside down, wanting to avoid the assimilation and disappearance of the Jews, it was decided to give them a State, with all that it has brought about.
It is this starting point that the politicians, in their stubbornness, don’t care to recognise, to admit or that they simply don’t want to understand. But, they repeat ad nauseam, with an emphasis that should make us begin to suspect their motivations, that “Israel has the right to exist.”
In what way and where?
Israel does NOT have a right to exist because it is not the fruit of the history of a people who invoke their self-determination as much as it is the product of the madness of political thinkers. It has no such right because it was born on the stream of antiquated doctrine. The reactionary and nationalistic doctrines that were typical of the late 1800s were its sources, and they certainly did not foresee, as today they would like us to think, of the use of democratic means for their realisation. A realisation that is impossible to bring about with democratic and pacific means. The mediocrity of such thinkers lies precisely in their incapacity to be able to predict what developments could have come about from undertaking such an enterprise. And given their considerations, the difference between what they predicted and what has actually happened is so enormous that one can only draw the logical conclusion and say that Zionism is already dead and buried. The final ending to it was its guaranteeing a safe harbour to Jews, following the tragic events of the Shoah. Well, what has Israel become for the Jews? An enormous armed Jewish ghetto that is supposed to guarantee the future of Judaism. But, ironically, this last Jewish ghetto is the last place on earth in which the Zionist axiom of wanting to give a secure “nation” to the Jews is in total contradiction to reality, seeing as it is the only place in the world where a Jew is not safe, given the surrounding hostility.
This alone is more than sufficient to declare the failure of Zionism, the absolute worthlessness of those thinkers who had conceived it (Hess, Gordon, Herzl, just to cite the most important ones) and the anachronistic nature of Israel, especially if one takes into account that the majority of Jews live outside their “nation”, demonstrating that modern society has overcome all its limits and is able to guarantee coexistence between various religions.
Setting aside for the moment whether or not Israel has the right to exist (considering that for many we are talking about a God-given right!), European politicians and not only them, simply don’t see that many of the interested parties, Jews and Palestinians, are reflecting on the prospective that excludes the creation of what is known as “Two States for two People”. This is the objective reality of the future: the two rights are irreconcilable. The only true, democratic and just solution is one that the United Nations and the international community should support, putting aside strategic interests that induce them to root for one side or the other. A single democratic State, in which the rights of both communities are guaranteed but not allowing that one should predominate over the other. Allowing the right of Jews and Arabs to immigrate within the land, if they so desire, and (considering the Jewish need of safeguarding Judaism) to make the Middle East an example of civilisation, guaranteeing a spiritual centre for Judaism in Eastern land, as was already what the great thinker Ahad Ha-Am had promoted.
It is a sensible and rational project, that could immediately be implemented and one that would put an end to the hostilities once and for all.
One, if I may, I’d like to speak to an important politician and put him face to face with the evidence of reality. If I am allowed to, I’d choose to ask my questions to Blair, because Bush makes me sick just looking at him, and the politicians of my country make me nauseous just by hearing them. I’d like to be able to write him two (thousand) lines like this:
Dear Mr Blair,
You have been recently nominated by the Quartet with the title of “Middle East Peace Envoy”. I wish to give you my most heartfelt compliments, seeing as how now you will be able to present yourself once again like a good guy, after the enormous mud slung against you by the absurd and villainous accusations against you that were painting you as someone responsible for a rather sizeable crime such as the death of hundreds of thousands of people.
The Quartet has given birth to its Fifth Element, the saviour who will prevent the total destruction of the Middle East. If I were you, I wouldn’t let myself be discouraged by doubt and by the poisonous suspicions of those who ask how it is even possible that a warmonger like yourself, responsible, as they say, for the death of so many people can become a pacifist and flower child. To leave these doubts behind, I would advise you to first of all let your hair grow and then open your heart and, especially, to listen to the voice that comes from the Middle East, I am convinced that you, certainly equipped with natural auricular devices that are beyond the ordinary, will be able to fully absolve especially this task.
Listen, Mr Blair, to what the Israelis and Palestinians are invoking. The former are tired, they can’t go on like this any more, despite their doubtless military superiority, they are starting to notice that this situation can’t go on much longer for them. The latter, despite all the privations they are subject to, are ever more determined and steadfast. The more they are forced to endure starvation, the angrier they get (rightly so, I might add). In your view, is it really worth it all to shed more blood? How much longer can people be fooled into believing that Israel has a right to exist? For how much longer do you think that we can tolerate the lie of a democratic Israel, a State that maintains its Jewish ethnic majority must by way of force (and, I repeat, by way of force, inevitably) carry out a precise, structured and clear-cut discrimination against the other main ethnic component? For how much more time will you still think that we can accept the unjust preliminary condition that the Palestinians, if they want peace, have to first recognise the right of the State of Israel to “exist”? Have you ever asked Israel to do as much? To accept a right of existence of the Palestinians in their State? Perhaps you have, and maybe you are even convinced that Israel, righteous Israel, is truly intent on making peace and living a pacific coexistence. In words, maybe, but not in actions.
Actions speak louder than words, dear Mr Blair. And the actions of Israel are of a State that for 40 years has been occupying, after having started a war, the piece of land that was destined to the elusive Palestinian State. And on top of it, they have built hundreds of settlements, demonstrating in action, just how much they are truly inclined towards peace.
Mr Blair, do you really believe that people are so stupid or ignorant to believe that Israel is a democratic and independent State? Aside from the fact that it has no established borders, aside from the fact that it discriminates against a chunk of its own population, aside from the ethnic cleansing enacted since 1948, aside from its formidable military apparatus (the only true institution that is able to form, forge and unite the Israeli people, who otherwise would remain divided by profound cultural differences), aside from the doubt as to how such a warlike nation proposes itself as a guarantor for peace and democracy, I ask you:
Can one define as an independent State an entity that depends exclusively on financial contributions from the Diaspora community, as well as the State money from the American ally, and without which its entire economy would collapse? Can one define as a State a place where only a fourth of its citizens live? I mean to ask: we Italians number 60 million, but I am quite certain that there are not 180 million other Italian citizens living elsewhere… In Israel there are 5 million Jewish citizens, but the majority (a further 13 million), live abroad. Isn’t that a contradiction of sorts? If, as they say, this is a “people” that needs and has the right to a nation, why then aren’t you interceding through your friend Bush, inviting him to grant to the “chosen people” Montana or Nebraska or Florida (there’s enough sun, so that they can get tanned: following that Zionist myth of the “sabra” who is scorched by the hot sun…), seeing as how in America there is a greater number of “co-nationals”? Try to make a similar request towards him and let’s see how Bush responds…. I would bet that he would take you for a madman. Pity that this clearly evident mad idea didn’t seem that way when, on the contrary, having to pay the price were those backward people with brown skin who abstain from pork and usually bow down to the ground in the direction of Mecca while they pray.
Let’s be honest, Mr Blair. Palestine is not America. It hasn’t got its wealth nor its wide open spaces. If we think that, in spite of these things, the Americans had no scruples and they didn’t hesitate for a moment when it came to denying the sharing of the land with the Indians. How can one think that Jews and Arabs will be able to co-exist in two States alongside one another in a small and impoverished region such as Palestine? I’m not saying that a Jew could not, if he so chose, to go live in Palestine, but to then take this as an invitation to take the land from another people to give it to someone coming from abroad is completely unjust. It has been said that the Jews hadn’t robbed anything from the Palestinians. That they bought their country bit by bit and, given the millenary links to the land in question, they would then have put forth the demand of independence. As if buying land in a State is sufficient enough to demand the independence from someone. Without then taking into account that those who requested this, the Jews, were not even all that interested in such a project. Only a few Mitteleuropean Jews supported this idea, while the Jewish communities were not at all interested in founding a State, finding the very idea dangerous and absurd. Then there was Nazism, the cause of which, ignobly, the Zionists have coined the motto “never again” to push the Jewish masses into Palestine, despite the fact that Western societies, after the horror of the Second World War, learned to guarantee the rights of everyone, Jews included. To approve of Zionism means the outright denial that Western societies are able to assure the rights of the various religious communities and that would be a real offence, because this would implicate putting on the same plane democratic societies and authoritarian, illiberal and racist ones. It is nothing less than a moral victory of Nazism, sixty years after the end of the Second World War.
Unless you consider Jews as a people that has a right to a nation like any other people: that is, a “race” having specific physical and cultural characteristics, which is precisely what the Nazis claimed about (against) the Jews. In both cases, we see how the acceptance of Zionism isn’t possible without an inevitable re-evaluation of the Nazi regime (and we don’t aim at that in any way, shape or form). After all, Nazism and Zionism have very much in common, even the close relationship between officials, as was the case of Adolph Eichmann and Rudolph Kastner, the details of which are unknown to the masses (and for some people, they want it to stay that way, because otherwise it would make it quite clear just what Zionism really is).
Mr Blair, in trying to avoid the destruction of what the moral foundations of Zionism might be (a time-consuming question, better left to intellectuals), why don’t we speak a bit more concretely, let’s get “down to earth”, as you might say.
In that you are nominated as the new peace envoy in the Middle East, do you think you could illuminate me on what generic basis we can conceive of a Palestinian State? I’ll give you some advice first: don’t do like all the negotiators have done so far, demonstrating their complete incapacity or bad faith. Take the question head on and tell us how you intend upon resolving the vital issues of the question.
I’ll propose a mathematical model:
“The candidate must resolve the following problem: data X = decades-long existence of the problem of the Palestinian refugees and Y = the stubborn Zionist refusal to share the city of Jerusalem (Capital indivisible by two!), not being able to avoid Z = inevitable exponential expansion of the Jewish colonies and taking into account K = neurotic Zionist psychological state that will not accept living as neighbours next to enemies who are armed to the teeth, please demonstrate how it is possible to come up with an area that is sufficiently large to allow for those that are meant to be (P) = Palestinian institutions, build them a viable State that is not fragmented in Bantustans and then to explain how an Israeli will be able to accept that this will become a normal State like any other, that is, armed, furnished with a regular army, when Israel itself is worried about the existence of the simplest Swiss Army Knife or by homemade Qassam rockets”. In other words: what is the correspondence of P = 700X + Y/2 + Z^n + K?
Mr Blair, I know I’m fooling around a bit, but in reality, there is very little to laugh about. Those who principally have little to be cheerful about are the desperate Palestinian masses, who don’t know where to turn for help.
They are constantly blackmailed, they have to additionally bear the constant burden of being accused of terrorism. That is the usual trick that the politicians and the powerful use when they aren’t able to seriously face these questions. The cowardice and perverse practice of labelling rivals in order to discredit them before anyone can do anything to combat that is shameful. I am sure you know what I’m referring to, seeing as how even you Englishmen have used this tactic in the past, especially against the Irish.
Mr Blair, besides the fact that terrorism derives from Jacobian matrix of the French Revolution, that is, State terrorism, I believe that with this stupid and cowardly method to get rid of one’s adversaries is no longer credible. Especially looking at the disastrous State terrorism campaigns that have been made since 2001 onwards.
To label Hamas as terrorism means supporting the idea that the Palestinian people, as a whole, is a terrorist people, judging by the popular support that the Islamic movement has. How long do you think you can fool people with these word games?
You might remember, Mr Blair that even the IRA had ample popular support: yet, look at what Ireland has become today. Yet, to stay on topic, think of the adoption of “terrorism” by the Jews themselves when they fought your co-nationals in 1948 and expelled them from Palestine. Why do you need to continually belittle the demands of a political entity by tagging them as “terrorists”? Do you seriously think that this lie of yours is believable?
Of course, the methods used by certain groups might be cause of some doubt, but, on the other hand, when two nationalist claims are clashing, it is extremely difficult to imagine that the factions in opposition are able to talk peacefully around a campfire and decide the fate of the territory. If you believe that the use of violence and attacks against civilians are terrorist acts, this is fine. Yet, this does not have a prerogative in any people in particular: in this sense, we are all terrorists, from Hamas to the Irgun, from you Englishmen to the Irishmen, from the Vietnamese to the Americans and their napalm raids.
In this sense, the tale of the Lion and the Hunter by John Henry Newman is very fitting. In case you are unfamiliar with is, let me briefly tell it. Because, honestly, I believe that in the Middle East, history needs to be rewritten, completely and once and for all.
“One day, a man invited a lion to his house and he welcomed him with all the hospitality one reserved for a king. The lion was allowed to move freely anywhere in the magnificent palace full of an infinity of wonderful things to admire. There were large salons, long corridors, all of which were decorated with great luxury. There was a collection of paintings and sculptures, works of great artists. The subjects that were depicted were varied, but the most magnificent one of all was the one that interested the lion the most: it was in fact a painting of the lion himself. While he went from one room to another, the owner of the palace always drew the lion’s attention to the indirect homage that the various groups of statues and paintings made to the importance of the tribe of the lions. Yet, there was an aspect in all of these works to which the guest, though remaining courteously in silence, was not left indifferent. No matter how varied the works were in style from one another, all of them showed a common element: the man always was depicted as victorious and the lion was always defeated.
When the lion finished visiting the palace, his host asked him what he thought of the marvellous things inside. The lion answered by complimenting the wealth of the owner and the artistry of his decorators, but he added: “If the lions were the artists, they would have had a better fate.”
With this tale, Mr Blair, I hope you have been able to see the evident meaning, and considering the times we live in, a meaning that is still valid. Given that you Englishmen are among the main parties responsible for the Middle Eastern disaster, thanks to your centuries-old imperialism, I will close this letter by inviting you to take advantage of the coincidence of the year, 90 years after the Balfour Declaration, history has put the destiny of the tormented Palestinian land into the hands of another Englishman. I fully hope, even if I am not that convinced of it, that you won’t make the same mistakes that your incapable forefather did and finally, once and for all, someone remembers the lions in question: the Palestinians. Their history does not deserve to be so ignobly vilified as it has been for far too long.
Diego Traversa and Mary Rizzo are Members of Tlaxcala