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Name: Antony Loewenstein
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Friday, October 28, 2005

Making the right decision

Ilan Pappe, senior lecturer in political science at Haifa University, Counterpunch, October 27:

"No Israeli government in history, backed by the US, has offered equal rights to the Palestinians, either in Israel or in the occupied territories. Israel has always demanded a Jewish majority and exclusivity in the shared land, while allowing, in the latest peace proposal, an impossible Palestinian state over a fragmented 8% of historic Palestine. More generous Israelis offer a few more percent.

"Snippets of Palestinian territory, reminiscent of South African Bantustans - as the failed Oslo accords have proven - is a recipe for more bloodshed. It will drag the United States even more deeply into an endless conflict - one which could be solved today by embracing the very values Americans hold dear: equal rights and justice for all."


Blogger anthony said...

As long as the Palestinian refugees who were expelled by Jewish newcomers in 1948 cannot return home and as long as the military occupation of the territories conquered by Israel in 1967 persists, there will be no lasting solution.

Expelled? Another writer with tunnel vision. David Ben-Gurion invited the ‘expelled’ Arabs to return to their homes and live in the Jewish state. Most left pre-48 because they were told that the Arab nations would finish Hitler’s work, and they would be collateral damage if in the way.

Why should Israel accept the Palestinian ‘refugees’, when there are numerous statements showing that these people are simply meant to out-number Jews in the Jewish state and put a group like Hamas into power?

On another note: did you ever sign the petition to boycott Israeli universities, Antony? Hopefully not, otherwise it would be rather hypocritical of you to promote Pappe’s work.

Friday, October 28, 2005 4:45:00 pm  
Blogger Antony Loewenstein said...

I did not, though I support much of Pappe's work.

Friday, October 28, 2005 4:52:00 pm  
Blogger Ibrahamav said...

Anthony, The Israeli Government acknowledges that most (over 50%) left at the urging of Israeli forces or because they were frightened, not because of the quick massacre promised by Arab armies.

Friday, October 28, 2005 8:37:00 pm  
Blogger anthony said...

“As documented by Professor Efraim Karsh, the vast majority of refugees from the 1948 war were exhorted to do so by their Arab brethren, who urged them to make way for oncoming Arab armies intent on driving the Jews into the sea. Karsh estimates that only 5 to 10 percent were actively expelled by Israelis.”

“None of this is to deny that Israeli forces did on occasion expel Palestinians. But this occurred not within the framework of a premeditated plan but in the heat of battle, and was dictated predominantly by ad-hoc military considerations. Even the largest of these expulsions - during the battle over the town of Lydda in July 1948 - emanated from a string of unexpected developments on the ground and was in no way foreseen in military plans for the capture of the town. Finally, whatever the extent of the Israeli expulsions, they accounted for only a small fraction of the total exodus.”

“The Palestinians left their homes in 1947-49 for a variety of reasons. Thousands of wealthy Arabs left in anticipation of a war, thousands more responded to Arab leaders' calls to get out of the way of the advancing armies, a handful were expelled, but most simply fled to avoid being caught in the cross fire of a battle.”

“We will smash the country with our guns and obliterate every place the Jews seek shelter in. The Arabs should conduct their wives and children to safe areas until the fighting has died down." (Iraqi PM Nuri Said)

I've also read a few journal articles and the odd paragraphy in a couple of books that contradict your statement, Ibrahamav. I'll see if I can rustle them up...

Friday, October 28, 2005 10:41:00 pm  
Blogger leftvegdrunk said...

Anthony, do any of your quotes mention where those in the refugee camps should live? Where are their homes? Where should they go?

Saturday, October 29, 2005 10:32:00 am  
Blogger Glenn Condell said...

'Why should Israel accept the Palestinian ‘refugees’'

Ummm... because Israelis are sitting on their land? Radical thought I know, but if you try, you might be able to imagine how a people dispossessed militarily by another people, might one day want to return to their birthright.

' this occurred not within the framework of a premeditated plan but in the heat of battle'

Complete and utter bullshit. I can give you a week's worth of quotes from BenGurion thru to Sharon that make the premeditated nature of aggression against the native population crystal clear.

There is the simple recognition of the basic need to rid the place of Arabs before a Jewish state could take root; and the corollary realisation that this must be obscured, lied about, denied.

You might also want to quote from sources other than those approved by AIPAC and the Jewish Virtual Library if you want even a veneer of independence. Like I said, I got a million of 'em if you really want to see them, the vast banality and ugliness of Israeli racism on display. But then the thread degenerates into the sort of endless quoting and counterquoting you guys love as it diffuses the facus away from the central issue of Israel's state racism and terror, and the uncomfortable facts of it's creation.

Saturday, October 29, 2005 11:01:00 am  
Blogger Jon said...

anyone who has bothered to read Benny Morris's definitive account of the Palestinian Refugee Problem ("the Origins of the Pal. Ref. Prob. revisited") knows that there were multiple factors that contributed to the Palestinian exodus including expulsions, the war itself, the early exodus of the urban elite etc. No one specific cause can be said to be the sole cause for the exodus. Secondly, Morris concludes that whilst the Yishuv spoke of Transfer prior to the 1948 war, the Pal. refugee problem was not a result of a pre-meditated plan to transfer Palestinians.

Sunday, October 30, 2005 3:49:00 am  
Blogger Ibrahamav said...

Right on Joe.

Additionally, why should Israel give the palestinians any rights? Aren't rights reserved for citizens? The Israeli Arabs have equal rights.

Sunday, October 30, 2005 10:22:00 am  
Blogger anthony said...

“Anthony, do any of your quotes mention where those in the refugee camps should live? Where are their homes? Where should they go?”

You can see exactly what the quotes I gave say or do not say. The sources, however, do mention this. The best result according to the website I gave is for the ‘refugees’ to be absorbed by Arab states. Of course, when a Palestinian state is finally created they wont be refugees but citizens in their own country.

Ah Glenn, nice of you to distort what I said with a half-quote. This is what I said in context:

Why should Israel accept the Palestinian ‘refugees’, when there are numerous statements showing that these people are simply meant to out-number Jews in the Jewish state and put a group like Hamas into power?

I would welcome your quotes Glenn, but I don’t trust you have the ability to give them to me in context. I’ll happily take a recommended reading list from you instead.

The quotes I gave from AIJAC and Jewish Library were not for you- I realise you only accept something if it, firstly, comes from a rabid anti-Zionist magazine or internet site, and, secondly, is outside the mainstream.

I’m not a fan of Benny Morris, I’ve seen numerous academics point out his poor citations and obvious tunnel vision. Although its interesting that since the Intifida he’s has moved to the centre-right. Here’s an example Karsh gives (while Morris was on the 'left'):


Consider, for example, Morris’s charge that Herzl wished to dispossess Palestinian Arabs because of his fear that the Jewish state would lack viability if it were to contain a large, and possibly hostile, Arab minority. Morris’s only ‘evidence’ for this claim is a truncated paragraph from Herzl’s 12 June 1895 diary entry, which had been a feature of Palestinian propaganda for decades prior to its ‘discovery’ by Morris. But this entry is not enough to support such a claim, given the contradictory evidence. There was no trace of such a belief in either Herzl’s famous political treatise The Jewish State (1986) or his 1902 Zionist novel Altneuland (Old-New Land). Nor for that matter is there any allusion to ‘transfer’ in Herzl’s public writings, private correspondence, or his speeches and political and diplomatic discussions. Morris simply discards the canon of Herzl’s life’s work in favour of a single, isolated quote.
But what did Herzl actually write in his diary? Here is the complete text with the passages omitted by Morris in italics:

When we occupy the land, we shall bring immediate benefits to the state that receive us. We must expropriate gently the private property on the estates assigned to us. We shall try to spirit the penniless population across the border by procuring employment for it in the transit countries, while denying it any employment in our country. The property owners will come to our side. Both the process of expropriation and the removal of the poor must be carried out discreetly and circumspectly …

It goes without saying that that we shall respectfully tolerate persons of other faiths and protect their property, their honour, and their freedom with the harshest means of coercion. This is another area in which we shall set the entire world a wonderful example… Should there be many such immovable owners in individual areas [who would not sell their property to us], we shall simply leave them there and develop our commerce in the direction of other areas which belong to us.

Efraim Karsh, 'Resurrecting the Myth: Benny Morris, the Zionist Movement, and the 'Transfer' Idea, in Israel Affairs, vol. 11, no.3 (July 2005), pp.469-490.

Sunday, October 30, 2005 2:02:00 pm  
Blogger Ibrahamav said...

Thank you Anthony. Allway good to read the full account.

Sunday, October 30, 2005 11:53:00 pm  

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