Talking to Israelis is so useless

Posted: October 13th, 2009 | Author: | Filed under: The Left, The Right, The Settlements | Tags: , , , | 75 Comments »

Being part of the lefty ultra-minority in Israel – and obsessed with politics at the same time – I get mixed up regularly in political debates (fights?) with friends, family members, coworkers, writers and readers of pro-Israeli blogs, and basically, whoever is around. But lately, I have to admit, I’m getting tired of this habit. I feel that no matter what the issue at hand is, Israelis and their supporters fall back to the same argument:

The Palestinians want to destroy us, and therefore, whatever we do to them is justified.

It doesn’t matter that A doesn’t necessarily leads to B (even in war not everything is justified), it doesn’t even matter we are talking about something else completely, say racism towards Arab Israeli citizens or the future of Jerusalem. Whatever I say, wherever we go, we end up at the same station. The Palestinians want to destroy us, and therefore, whatever we do to them is justified.

I try to speak about Gaza, and say, the illegal use of phosphorus bombs against civilians.

“How do you know the IDF did that?” the answer comes. “Don’t say you believe that self-hating Jew, Goldstone?”

-    Well, there are pictures of the bombs exploding, there are people with phosphorus-like burns, and I know that every combat unit in the IDF carries standard phosphorus ammunition, because I’ve been there and I even used it in training.

-    You don’t get it, do you? The Palestinians want to destroy us all. What we did in Gaza was self-defense, like everyone else would have done. We didn’t want to kill those children. We did what’s necessary. It was justified.

And that’s basically it. You can’t ask about war crimes, you can’t discuss the phosphorus. Everything becomes irrelevant.

So I forget about the Goldstone report, just like the Israeli media did, and I try to write about Obama’s effort to re-ignite the peace process, or about the fact that from an Israeli perspective, there is no real alternative to the two-state solution. I ask, for example, why Israel can’t stop building settlements, even for a limited time.

-    Because settlements are not the issue. They are not the obstacle for peace. We can evacuate them whenever we want.

-    If it’s no big deal, what’s preventing us from stopping, even as a favor to Obama?

-    The whole demand is a trick to divert us, and the rest of the world, from the real issue: that the Palestinians want to destroy us. Therefore, building settlements is justified.

-    I fail to see the connection. The Hamas is indeed a problem, but surly, Abu-Mazen… I mean, look at his efforts to keep the West Bank quiet…

-    If everything is quiet, what’s the rush to hand back land?

-    Because if we don’t, we will have another Intifada.

-    And in this case, we will give them nothing! We don’t deal with terrorists!

-    So, when do we get the point where we do give them something?

-    It’s simple: When they don’t want to destroy us anymore.

-    And how do we know that?

-    We can’t. Look at what happened in Gaza. We withdrew and what did we get in return? The Hamas with its rockets. Imagine us withdrawing from the West Bank, and five years later we get the Hamas there as well, 15 minutes from Tel Aviv! You can never trust the Palestinians. All they want is to destroy us.

And so it goes on and on. The Israelis found the perfect argument. It’s the reason and the outcome of everything. It’s the way to understand the past, behave in the present and foresee the future. It’s the full circle, the ying and the yang, and there is no way to break it, since Israelis seem to know what’s in the Palestinians’ hearts. And this is something you can’t debate.

The only possible solution is to surrender. “OK,” I say. “I’ll go along with your logic. We can’t leave the West Bank, and we can’t deport 2 million Palestinians by force…”

-    No way! This is a democracy!

-    Yeh, I know… and the one-state solution is out of the question…

-    Out of the question! We will have an Arab majority! This will be the end of everything!

-    So what do you basically suggest we do?

(Silence, followed by a long speech)

-    Look. What are you getting at? Are you trying to say we don’t want peace? Don’t you remember the Camp David summit? We offered them almost everything, everything! Not to mention Oslo! And Gaza! And Madrid! It’s not that we don’t want peace! We love peace! It’s the first word in Hebrew! Show me another nation where peace means also Hello!

-    Well, in Arabic…

-    …The point is that we want peace. Do you think we enjoy all these wars? Remember what Golda Meir said? “We will forgive the Arabs for what they did to us, but we will never forgive them for what they made us do to them.” Beautiful, isn’t it? Captures the whole thing… I mean, look at the people we are dealing with. This is no Europe. It’s the Middle East. The Arabs, they never accepted us here. Remember the second Intifada? The first Intifada? Lebanon? Yom Kippur war? Remember the PLO convention in 64′? That was before we took the territories! Do you remember the partition offer in 47′? Why didn’t they take it? Did you know the Gran Moufti supported Hitler? Hitler! Remember the riots in 36′? There wasn’t even a state of Israel back then! And what about the pogroms in 29′? The Tel-Chai incident in 1920?

-    I’m trying to think about the future. This leads us nowhere, the Palestinians have their own list of pogroms, lets take the Nakba for instance…

-    The Nakba? What’s that has to do with it? Why are they always so obsessed with the Nakba, those Palestinians? They should look forward, settle the refugees where they are, build their nation… and you, why do you criticize Israel all the time? Can’t you write about them for a change?

-    Like what?

-    For example, about the incitement in the Palestinian society. They really don’t like us, you know.

-    They want to destroy us.

-    I see you are learning something after all.


75 Comments on “Talking to Israelis is so useless”

  1. 1 Dimi said at 1:51 pm on October 13th, 2009:

    chapeau :)

    And as a side note, sooner or later there will be a collective psychological breakthrough, and getting rid of the Palestinians “who want to destroy us” will seem a lot more important than keeping the “democracy.” It’ll be even worse if the Palestinians inside Israel launch a serious campaign for their rights, or if either group of Palestinians is seen as actively plotting with a foreign power to destroy “us”. Balkans, here we come: http://reider.wordpress.com/2009/06/11/blog-on-ethnic-cleansing/

  2. 2 Aviv said at 1:54 pm on October 13th, 2009:

    Well, at least you realize you’re an ultra-leftie.

    Your arguments are more often than not strawmen, from “whatever we do to them is justified” to “Israelis seem to know what’s in the Palestinians’ heart [sic]“.

    But really I just wanted to ask you about terminology – You describe your ideological adversaries as “pro-Israelis” – Even J-Street says it’s pro-Israel. They say Israeli concessions are not only the moral thing to do, but they will do Israel a whole lot of good. Aren’t you pro-Israeli at some level?

  3. 3 noam said at 2:17 pm on October 13th, 2009:

    Aviv – we ultra-lefties have a complicated answer for everything, so here it goes:

    Basically, when I talk about “Israelis”, I mean the political consensus, which is very easy to spot. From what I gather about J-street, they are closer in their views to Meretz, and you know how many people voted for them. So when I refer to someone as pro-Israeli, I mean that he represents the Israeli consensus. J-Street don’t.

    It’s about the same with me. Yes, I want what’s best for this place and the people living in it, so I guess I’m pro-Israeli, but I would like to change the law of return, and I don’t oppose the one-state solution anymore (I used to). People see these views as radical changes to the political structure which is “Israel”, and many would say this is anti-Israeli or post-Zionist thinking. Altogether, these are just labels. I think I know where I stand on the issues, and that’s enough for me.

  4. 4 Aviv said at 2:49 pm on October 13th, 2009:

    Binational states are often very bad marriages. Belgium, Czechoslovakia and Canada come to mind.

    Can you find an example that works? Or do you resort to resort to the radical left’s usual stance – that ersatz-utopia can be socially engineered without regard to the world’s old ways and what people are used to.

  5. 5 Dimi said at 3:07 pm on October 13th, 2009:

    Hey, I would prefer Belgium, Czechoslovakia and Belgium to Algiers any time : )

  6. 6 Shaun said at 6:39 pm on October 13th, 2009:

    Your blog to me typified the almost reflex response you hear re: the Israeli/Palestinian conflict as to the consensus positions Israeli and jewish diaspora supporters have taken. I thought it was spot on.

  7. 7 Mo-ha-med said at 8:23 pm on October 13th, 2009:

    Brilliant, as always.
    Besides the “they want to destroy us” argument, there’s also the “they started it and therefore they had it coming” argument. Very powerful, and its proponents are also usually impervious to logic.

    Regarding binational states – I don’t think Belgium and Canada can be put in the same bag as Czechoslovakia – and each has such different characteristics, and therefore sources of trouble, that they can hardly be compared to one another. A hypothetical binational Israel would probably be even less comparable.

  8. 8 ck said at 9:47 pm on October 13th, 2009:

    Oh noam. You had to cite Jewlicious and then put words in our mouths. I’m sure you feel clever as all heck right now. Any time you want to have an actual dialog, just let me know.

  9. 9 Assaf Oron said at 9:48 pm on October 13th, 2009:

    Right on the money, Noam. You described it precisely.

    I can pinpoint the exact moment when Israelis fell into this endless magnetic thought loop:

    Barak’s “no-partner” speech 9 years ago.

    —————-
    What’s most irritating, is that even Israelis who don’t really care about politics and never take the time to learn anything about the situation (that would be most Israelis) – once they hear you are an “ultra-leftie”, they come and start these tasteless arguments with you, and whatever the social event in which this happens, is now ruined for you.

    Thanks for suggesting some nice comical answers to use next time. I like the one about Arabs also using “peace” for “hello”. It probably drives most Israelis nuts to hear this.

  10. 10 What War Zone??? said at 10:23 pm on October 13th, 2009:

    I talked about this with Lisa once who pointed me to this blog. I think what is difficult for many Israelis (and Jews around the world) is that we feel that the finger is often only or disproportionately pointed at us and for things that other countries are not, and that Israel NEVER gets the benefit of the doubt from the world. I too find myself getting defensive and justifying things as well that I might not in other circumstances. But when you’re getting blamed by the UN as being the world country in the history of the galaxy (I’m going to say that we’re not), it’s really hard not to throw your hands in the air and say “(bleeeeep) you!” Everyone ends up moving everyone to the right because we’re having to be so defensive. So on one hand, yes, you’re right, what Israel does wrong should be talked about but on the other, shouldn’t it not happen in a vacuum without proportionate criticism from the world on the other side?

  11. 11 Brewer said at 10:54 pm on October 13th, 2009:

    I thought the piece well constructed and precise in its description of the circularity and obfuscation that many of us come up against in debating this question.
    Aviv uses the same technique with this:
    “Binational states are often very bad marriages. Belgium, Czechoslovakia and Canada come to mind.”

    There are ethnic tensions in most states but they are contained within a dialogue. We have not seen an overwhelming force in Belgium, Czechoslovakia and Canada

  12. 12 Brewer said at 11:00 pm on October 13th, 2009:

    (….sorry, pressed the wrong button)

    ….used against an indigenous people.

    Israel will begin the slow climb back to the moral high ground when it comes into line with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

  13. 13 Ami Kaufman said at 12:55 am on October 14th, 2009:

    Noam – this is excellent. And I totally identify.
    Mohamed – There’s also the classic “you give them one finger, they take the whole hand” argument. :)

  14. 14 Lisa Goldman said at 12:56 am on October 14th, 2009:

    This entire post rings pitch perfect for me. In fact, I think I’ve had this conversation more times than I care to remember.

  15. 15 ck said at 2:02 am on October 14th, 2009:

    You’ve never had this conversation with me Lisa. All I’ve ever asked for is intellectual honesty and a nuanced and well balanced perspective. Take the White phosphor thing for instance. The way it is presented in the media one can imagine the following conversation:

    Shmulik: Dudes! I just found out that white phosphor used in an urban setting can cause horrific burns to civilians!

    Dudu: No way!!

    Kobi: That’s like, totally awesome! Burning civilian flesh is GREAT! That’ll sure teach those Islamofacist terrorists a thing or two!

    Dudu: Yeah! Let’s do it! Let’s burn those motherfuckers!!

    Shmulik: Alright, let’s do it. Let me know if you see a cowering Palestinian family that we can try it on. Preferably one that includes both infants and old ladies!

    Yup. That’s how it went down right Noam? I mean you know. You worked with White Phosphor!

    Nope. How it went down was it was used out of ignorance. When it was reported in the press, the Army Spokespersons Unit did what it always does – it denied everything because it would take 3 weeks to get permission to admit the fuck up. Will the IDF ever use White Phosphorous in an Urban setting full of civilians again? No. Will anyone ever present this incident clearly and without a bias? Well I think I just did, but that’s about it.

    So yeah. Rah rah rah! We love Tsahal and dead Palestinian babies. With laffa.

  16. 16 Ian said at 2:06 am on October 14th, 2009:

    @Aviv: I have to take exception with your examples of bi-national states as bad marriages. First of all, Czechoslovakia separated into two countries without one shot being fired. Canada is one of the wealthiest, most vibrant and peaceful (internally) democracies in the world. And, as anyone who has ever lived there knows, it is in no danger of breaking up regardless of the separation movement that exists in Quebec. By the way, technically, Canada is a tri-national (franco, anglo, first nations) or even quadra-national (anglo, quebecois, acadian and first nation) state . As for Belgium, you’re right they have a fair amount of internal bickering. But they’re Western Europeans, what do you expect?

    That being said, I don’t think a one-state solution would work here in Israel due to the long history of violence, and the willingness of people on both sides to continue down this path.

  17. 17 Lisa Goldman said at 2:46 am on October 14th, 2009:

    CK, you’re being way too literal in your interpretation. And I’m surprised at how defensive you’re being, too. You’re not really engaging with the content of Noam’s post – just lashing out angrily.

    I never wrote or said that you and I had that type of conversation. But I do think that your group blog includes contributors – perhaps even a majority – who are reflexively apologist of the official Israeli positions and actions.

  18. 18 noam said at 5:03 am on October 14th, 2009:

    Aviv – Regarding the bi-national state: in my opinion, Israel shouldn’t be compared only to Belgium or Canada, but rather to South Africa, since what we have here us one side which dominates the other.

    And yes, it might be a dangerous idea, and so might be the two state solution, but the occupation just can’t go on. There is no magic solution here. Israelis have to understand that something must change, and that there will be a price to pay – and not just in terms of land.

    CK – I didn’t link to your blog just in order to make fun – I did it because I read it and I did have some discussions there. As you probably noticed, yours is one of the few blogs on my blogroll, even though I almost never agree with what you write.

    To the point, I do think that Jewlicious subscribe to the official Israeli position very easily. It supposes to be a group blog, but more often than not, your opinions vary between those found at the right flank of Kadima and the left flank of the Likud. And very often, your bottom line is that the Palestinians want to destroy Israel, and that we are all OK. From some discussions we had I know many of you are very knowledgeable and take the situation seriously, so why the Taglit tour attitude?

    Can you give me an example of critical thinking on Jewlicious about Israel, or the role US Jews play in the political drama here (And no, talking about Hasbara problems is not being critical, nor is saying that in the long run, the settlements are a problem).

    WWZ – first, I don’t think we get all the world’s attention. Amnesty publishes a very detailed report about the entire globe – it’s just that in Israel we read the section about the WB and think that it’s all about us and that everyone are against us.

    Furthermore, I think the world is even too fair with us: if any other western democracy would conquer millions of people for decades without even giving them basic civil rights, what do you think Human Right groups or liberal governments would say or do?

  19. 19 What War Zone??? said at 6:43 am on October 14th, 2009:

    I have to disagree. I would say more venom, hatred, and criticism is directed our way than to any other country in the world as measured by UN activity, rallies, protests, malicious activity against people associated with Israel if only by common religion (how crazy is that? hate Israel, graffiti a synagogue in France?) Horrible stuff is happening around the world and nobody cares. It’s not that we’re not doing bad stuff that warrants criticism but it’s hard to digest when it’s always and only about us, in my humble opinion.

    Benji

  20. 20 Gert said at 7:05 am on October 14th, 2009:

    Excellent post!

    Avi wrote:

    “Can you find an example that works?”

    Well… Belgium! It’s my homeland (although I don’t live there right now), so I should know.

    As regards Czechoslovakia, the Checks were against the separation and the Slovaks are now regretting it!

    Think of a superpower that’s a true melting pot of ‘race’, ‘ethnicity’, creed and colour . Starts with ‘U’…

  21. 21 Assaf Oron said at 9:29 am on October 14th, 2009:

    WWZ –

    I think you are missing the point in this story. This is not about who’s right or who’s wrong.

    It’s about the experience of a group of Israelis who suddenly find themselves in a very small minority with a huge mental gap between them and everyone else. And any “dialogue” about politics with everyone else, takes on the same circular nature.

    You can blame the UN, you can blame whoever you want, but you cannot deny the phenomenon. Unlike the UN, we are *not* outsiders. I for one, have gone through the domestic-Israeli political upheavals and arguments of the 70′s 80′s and 90′s. There was never anything like what we have now.

    Moreover, compared to my other “liberal” (read: Ashkenazi) friends, I was always far more willing to understand the other side’s case – while the other “liberals” were putting labels on them (“dark middle ages”, “arsim”, etc.). Now, it is suddenly *us* who are the “fascists”, the “dogmatic” – and these are the mildest names we are called, just because we fail to have the identical Arab-blaming opinion that 99% of Israeli Jews share now. I miss the days when every 2 Israelis had 3 opinions.

    You can continue to believe that indeed the 99% of you are absolutely right, but you cannot deny the phenomenon or its strangeness.

    CK – I visited your blog, and Noam is perfectly right. I saw there some “Vicki” making fun yesterday of a Turkmen rapper who wrote a song out of Muslim solidarity with Palestinians. Funny, how she failed to notice that she herself butting into Israeli-Palestine out of Jewish solidarity with Israel. It’s no more her business, than it is the Turkmen’s.

    I can accept where the above-mentioned 99% of Israeli Jews are coming from, as much as their closed-loop thinking pisses me off. They are in the thick of it, have been brainwashed in the education system and the military (like I was, so I know what I’m talking about). They have been through the suicide-bombing waves etc.

    But you American Jewish pro-Occupation cheerleaders? You have not excuse. For you these propaganda games are just an indulgent identity fetish.

    Sorry for my rudeness, but I’m Israeli and it comes with the package. According to your fetish, you are supposed to worship my rudeness.

  22. 22 Mo-ha-med said at 6:13 pm on October 14th, 2009:

    Those are the arguments I normally get from Israelis when it comes to discussing, say, an abuse on the part of the Israeli army:

    - “No way we could do it. My son is doing his service these days, and he’s a nice boy”

    - “No way we could do something that bad. We’re the most moral army in the world
    (do you have any idea how many times I heard that one? Last was… hmm, ck’s explanation of white phosphorus, that it must’ve been “used out of ignorance”.)

    - “They fabricated those reports, in their Pallywood. And they probably burned a few people alive, just to try and corroborate their story too”

    - “They don’t care about their own people. You know they make babies to use them as human shields, right?”

    - “They started it so they had it coming. All those civilians are on their conscience, not mine”

    - “Wanna know what they’re capable of doing? Look at Darfur, man. That’s what those Moozlims do, that’s how they are.”

    - “Wanna see real human rights violations? Look at the Congo, man. Compared to that, we’re being nice”.

    Actually, if you’re in a good mood, you can make a drinking game out of it: whenever someone answers with one of those arguments, DRINK!

  23. 23 ck said at 10:47 pm on October 14th, 2009:

    Lisa: I am not remotely angry. Defensive? Yes? Amused? Very! Angry? Not so much. And of course we have contributors whose first instinct is to support the official Israeli line – just as there are many elsewhere whose first instinct is to scoff at anything that is positive about Israel.

    Noam: I appreciate the link and if we don’t already I’ll gladly reciprocate. You rarely if ever agree with me? You don’t like Soulico’s new album? Really?? You don’t think Karawan in Nablus makes the best techina ever? Oh man… OK so all kidding aside, kudos on you figuring out that we are not extreme leftists. Or rightists for that matter. Guilty as charged. But allow me to state for the public record, just so that it is clear – we are not all ok. Israel has some serious problems on every level. We can stand to be a more humane society. We can stand to be a little more democratic and we need to be more respectful of internationally accepted human rights norms. And that’s just for starters. I can go on and on. Also, not all Palestinians want to kill us – that’s a ridiculous statement, one that I would never make.

    But we’re also not totally evil. And there are in fact people out there who hate us by mere dint of the fact that we are Israelis, Zionists and/or Jews. I’m not going to ignore that and pretend it doesn’t happen.

    And Assaf? American Jewish pro-Occupation cheerleaders? I live here. In Israel. As does the vast bulk of my family. You’ll find us everywhere – Abutbul, Aboukasis, Dahan, Edry. Bitton and even Weissler, Schechter and Hertz. Just because you were once a friar and bought everything they sold you then woke up one day to a sudden epiphany does not give you a monopoly on the truth.

    I think the problem is that some people have ideological blinders that allow them to lump everyone they disagree with into a single monolithic entity. If one doesn’t use the phrase “Die Lucky Bush” at least once a day while sipping an espresso at some anarchist collective bar/vegan resto on Rehov Yitzhak Sadeh in Tel Aviv then one is an irredeemable fascist. And of course I recognize that that last sentence was a gross exaggeration but… but it is reflective of a binary mindset that sees the world in black and white and fails to acknowledge the grey areas. And of course the right is often just as guilty of the same failure of imagination and logic.

    So yeah. I’m ready to have a productive conversation any time all y’all are.

    :)

  24. 24 Lisa Goldman said at 11:10 pm on October 14th, 2009:

    CK, with this sentence:

    “If one doesn’t use the phrase “Die Lucky Bush” at least once a day while sipping an espresso at some anarchist collective bar/vegan resto on Rehov Yitzhak Sadeh in Tel Aviv then one is an irredeemable fascist.”

    You have utterly undermined the credibility of this sentence:
    “So yeah. I’m ready to have a productive conversation any time all y’all are.”

    I’m disappointed, man.

  25. 25 ck said at 12:45 am on October 15th, 2009:

    I’m sorry Lisa, but did you read the sentence immediately following the one you quoted? The one where I unequivocally stated that what I had said was “a gross exaggeration?” Am I missing something here? When I use straw men for illustrative purposes, I am at least honest enough to IMMEDIATELY acknowledge that.

    Gross exaggeration. Got it?

    And yeah, still waiting on productive discourse.

  26. 26 Ami Kaufman said at 1:09 am on October 15th, 2009:

    CK – Although you say you’re not angry, I’d have to agree with Lisa – it sure sounds like you are. Maybe you can tone it down a bit, or put up a few more smileys in your comments? It’s almost like I can see the veins bulging out in your temples, dude. :)
    On a more serious note, you say you’re waiting for productive discourse (key word here: “say”). In my view, one example of productive discourse would be to answer a questions that are posed, in this case, the one Noam asked you directly, which for some reason you preferred to ignore:
    “Can you give me an example of critical thinking on Jewlicious about Israel, or the role US Jews play in the political drama here (And no, talking about Hasbara problems is not being critical, nor is saying that in the long run, the settlements are a problem).”

    How ’bout we start the productive discourse from there, and see how it goes?

    And also, could you clarify what you wrote to Assaf about him being a friar? Not sure I understood that sentence. (No need to explain what a friar is, by the way).

    Thanks
    :)

  27. 27 ck said at 2:42 am on October 15th, 2009:

    Ami: It’s been a while since I graduated from Law School but I still remember what a loaded question is. Dude. ;)

    Answering such a question seems more distasteful to me than the question itself. Suffice it to say that other than Jewlicious, 2 of the blogs on this site’s blogroll were designed by me. And even saying that makes me feel all icky. You’re all pretty smart. You know that’s no way to start a productive dialog.

    Besides I’d like to think that the bulk of our posts involve a certain measure of at least an honest attempt at critical thinking.

    As for the Assaf/friar thing, I was merely reflecting his own self description when he stated:

    I can accept where the above-mentioned 99% of Israeli Jews are coming from, as much as their closed-loop thinking pisses me off. They are in the thick of it, have been brainwashed in the education system and the military (like I was, so I know what I’m talking about).

    Please note, I didn’t mean to suggest that he is currently a friar or generally susceptible to friar-like stimulus. I don’t know him. Saying that would be both rude and presumptuous.

  28. 28 Tamar Glezerman said at 3:32 am on October 15th, 2009:

    So accurate and articulate. Thank you.

  29. 29 Ami Kaufman said at 4:16 am on October 15th, 2009:

    CK – Thank G-d I never went to law school. :)
    I don’t think Noam’s question was loaded, actually seems like it was pretty “lightweight’ and simple. Yet even when I re-asked, you still avoid a reply.
    I don’t read Jewlicious (sorry, maybe I will now though, just not too familiar with it), and the reason I re-asked was because I was hoping for a real answer, and not some kind of “ze lo bakavod sheli la’anot al she’elot mefagrot”.
    So, CK, if I may use your own words once again – “I’m still waiting for productive dialogue”.
    Maybe there are no examples to give? That answer is fine with me, by the way, as long as it’s the answer.
    And speaking of “loaded” comments or questions, when you say “we’re all *pretty* smart” it kinda reminds me of when someone says here in Israel “tihiye li bari” when he means exactly the opposite, if ya know what I mean…

    And lastly, I’ve noticed you have a tendency to say sentences that are exxagerated and then say they are purely for illustrative reasons (re: friar and aluf sadeh cafe). That’s like a lawyer (since you studied law, maybe that’s where you learned this habit) telling the jury something he knows they’re not supposed to hear, but the damage is done even if the judge tells them to disregard. Yeah, good luck with that, right?
    So, I’d try to avoid that. I think you can. Cuz honest to G-d, you sound like a pretty smart guy.

  30. 30 ck said at 6:07 am on October 15th, 2009:

    Y’all do tend to project. A lot. BTW Law School was awesome. Practicing law sucked balls. I didn’t call Noam’s question retarded! If I thought it was retarded, I’d say so. I use that word a lot much to the chagrin of my friends in the PC Language Police. I said the question was loaded and kind of insulting. Noam had no qualms linking to my site as an example of, as Assaf very erroneously put it “American Jewish pro-Occupation cheerleaders” but is now asking me to show him how such a designation is incorrect in my case. So no. I’m not going to answer the question. My record, if you bother looking it up, speaks for itself.

    So let me then begin the dialog at least.

    1. Israel used Phosphorous in Gaza and innocent civilians were badly hurt and killed. I don’t believe the Phosphorous was used to intentionally inflict said casualties and Israel fucked up further by not admitting that it had fucked up.

    2. Richard Goldstone is not a liar or a self-hating Jew. Israel fucked up on that too and created a situation whereby the only evidence Goldstone had at his disposal was that provided for by Hamas.

    3. I don’t believe the Palestinians want to destroy us all. Some do, some don’t but such a blanket statement is both ignorant and irrelevant.

    Is that a good starting point? And again, don’t project. When I say you seem like pretty smart people, I mean it. If I thought you were fucking idiots, I’d say that. Assaf himself implied he was a friar for believing the stuff he was taught in school and in the army and there are in fact people right now sipping espressos at an anarchist collective bar/vegan resto on Rehov Yitzhak Sadeh in Tel Aviv calling all IDF soldiers fascists and perpetrators of genocide. Are they representative of people concerned with peace? No.

    So lets go for some nuance here. Now ask me some reasonable questions!

  31. 31 Ami Kaufman said at 6:17 am on October 15th, 2009:

    I didn’t say that you said it was retarded – I’m sorry, but did you not see what I immediately wrote before it? The word “kinda”? :)
    And “don’t project” you ask of me\us? How about you first… jeez….
    Want a reasonable question? Here’s one: Who gave you that fucking crown on your head granting you the right to say who “seems to be pretty smart people” and who’s a “fucking idiot”?
    Talk about high horses…. As I told another commenter here before – watch it, you might fall.

    P.S. Excuse my French, but as you apparently say to Palestinians: You started. :)

  32. 32 Igal said at 6:57 am on October 15th, 2009:

    Sorry, your’e a very smart guy, Noam, but apparently you are not talking with the appropriate counterparts in the pragmatic center, if that’s the argumentation you have been hearing. Suggest you pick on a real life person that matches your intellect and then decide if you want to post the transcript. otherwise, its just demagogy.

    this tendency, common to extreme leftists such as yourself, to leave the home front after failing miserably, and address willing foreign audiences, inciting against the Israeli democratic choices, is downright despicable, violent, andas far as I;m concerned, illegitimate

  33. 33 Sparkle said at 7:24 am on October 15th, 2009:

    Noam, I really identified with your post. The arguments/debates all feel so useless – they never go anywhere.
    If politics are ever as “interesting” in Israel as they are in Canada, I will hop on the next plane. Most of Canada might hate French, but I think I’d rather hear complaints about “useless” classes than about rockets…
    (though I agree it’s unlikely to be a good comparison for a one state solution in Israel)

  34. 34 ck said at 7:29 am on October 15th, 2009:

    Ami: Sometimes the Internet is not so good with the whole effective communication thing. Folks thought I was angry when I wasn’t and now you think I am the self declared arbiter of who is and who isn’t smart. Or anything. Everything I say is my own opinion. If I framed any statement as an absolute statement of truth, let me be the first to say that that wasn’t my intent. I do not believe I have a crown on my head and when I express an opinion about perceived intelligence or stupidity, I am merely relaying exactly that – my opinion.

  35. 35 noam said at 11:50 am on October 15th, 2009:

    CK: I wasn’t trying to challenge you to present examples of leftwing thinking on Jewlicious, I was making an observation, and I stand by it: your site has all the verity of opinions between Kadima and Likud. It’s not even an accusation, it’s just who you are. You are a good at representing typical Israeli thinking; I guess that in another context, you would have seen it as a compliment.

    Your examples of “criticism” of Israel on behalf of you guys just prove my point: where you see minor changes that should be done (be nicer to the Arabs, for example), I see one fundamental issue: the occupation (WWZ – no, I don’t think we are the worst regime in the world or in history. Just bad enough).

    And yes, on Israeli terms, I would be considered radical-left, as Aviv wrote on his comment (though I don’t like the definition. I don’t think I’m a radical person), so I’m a bit offended by the way you described the Tel Aviv leftists (plus, my sister is vegan). I’ll just say this: American-Jews-who-live-in-Jerusalem-and-hate-the-radical-left should be careful with stereotyping people these days, if you know what I mean (if not, I’ll explain by e-mail). This can work both ways.

    (At the same time I’d like to thank you for staying with the debate even though you are almost alone here and attacked from several directions)

    Your point regarding war-crimes as “one-time mistake” is, I think, wrong, but this is a complicated issue and I will try to deal with it on a separate post.

    Finally, and to the point in this post: we discussed Jewlicious at length here, I was accused of misrepresenting the Israeli way of thinking, but I haven’t read one argument explaining why we are still in the WB – and why we keep building settlements – which is not “the Palestinians want to destroy us”. So what’s so wrong with what I’ve written?

    Igal: I would like to answer your last sentence, and the exchange we had regarding it on FB, in a separate post. I’ll try to do it tomorrow.

  36. 36 Michael LeFavour said at 5:47 pm on October 15th, 2009:

    Has it occurred to you that most of what you say is premised on false logic, Noam? Or that it is you that leads the conversation back to the inevitable end?

    Take the hollow premise where you ‘claim’ your opponents justify anything Israel does to the Arabs because of their actions. That is not true. You just don’t accept a cause and effect or removing a catalyst from a science experiment if it undermines your preconceived notion of the way things are.

    Take for example your infatuation with racism. Yet you ignore the very real Arab racism and Islamic supremacist bigotry at the core of the conflict. The Palestine National Charter mentions the Arab race over 30 times. To the PLO the land belongs to the “Arab” people. No similar law can be found anywhere in Israeli law. When does Israel get to stop apologizing, stop forgiving the Arabs, and stop agonizing over every tiny flaw in society? You will not be able to witness a Utopia on earth.

    Everything from your false praise for the racist fist waving at the Olympics to the fabricated racism you concocted when the railroads want veteran soldiers to do the duty of rail watch. All Israelis can be vets, even Arabs. And it is racism that allows them to remain at home when the nation is under attack. Exemption from service fosters an underhanded acceptable form of racism that needs to stop.

    There are problems, but you only point out the ones that weaken the country, who’s side are you on and why? It does not serve Israel’s political aspirations or national security to pander to unreasonable demands, from Arabs, Euros, Asians, or Martians. It is not about racism, as an entity there is none, it is self preservation in the face of real racism, racism you all but ignore, or seem to have damned little outrage over.

    There are enough people that hate Israel, no Israeli has the luxury of dissent based on faulty logic. It will only increase the chance you will all be destroyed and I am desperately trying to prevent that, Noam whether you want my help or not.

    Good luck finding another job.

  37. 37 Michael LeFavour said at 6:01 pm on October 15th, 2009:

    “I haven’t read one argument explaining why we are still in the WB – and why we keep building settlements – which is not “the Palestinians want to destroy us”. So what’s so wrong with what I’ve written?”

    That is not true, you have read an argument, you simply rejected it. Jews are still in Judea and Samaria, West Bank is an ethnic cleansing term utilized to destroy any Jewish connection to the land by racist bigots (that happen to be Arab Muslims in this case, so what? The race of the antagonist does not matter, it is the antagonism you choose to ignore and mislabel the reaction to it Israeli racism), Hadrian tried the same thing when he named the region Palestina and failed, which is at the heart of why Jews are there today. if you don’t believe in it yourself, you must recognize the bond? You must also recognize that the Arabs had no bond until the size of the Jewish community anywhere in the region threatened their hegemony. Jews have a legal right to be there and they are there because of their faith. What is so hard to understand? The land does not belong to another nation and the Jews living there are on public or privately purchased land. The problem is in your mind, where guilt lies in glooming depths, but of what? When can Jews stop being victims? When will it be OK to be Jewish and live on the land of your ancestors? I have yet to be given an argument that both stood the test of logic and of morality why racist bigots should get their way? Maybe you could detail that?

  38. 38 Brewer said at 11:43 pm on October 15th, 2009:

    OK Michael. Let’s start small.
    Tell me what you recommend in the case of Najd.

    In 1945, Palestinian Arabs own 12,669 dunums in Najd and Jews owned 495 dunums.
    The Palestinians were expelled at gunpoint on 13 May 1948 – they and their descendants are now in Gaza and have not been offered compensation for their loss. The town of Sderot has been built on this land.

    How would you deal with this?.

  39. 39 What War Zone??? said at 5:28 am on October 16th, 2009:

    Assaf,
    My point is I don’t think any party (be it the Israelis or a 5 year-old boy) is ever going to take responsibility for their actions unless they think all parties are going to take responsibility for their actions. We can blame the Israelis and Jews for their mindset but can’t somebody blame all the anti-Semitic mobs, countries, dictatorships around the world when they unfairly single out Israel? Isn’t this like simple game theory or something (one party won’t cooperate unless the other one will)? When there are more anti-Israel resolutions from the UN than all over countries in the world combined (if we can agree that it’s preposterous), I am not surprised at Israel’s reaction for saying “oh come ON….SCREW YOU”. Israel’s actions and the beliefs of its supporters aren’t happening in a vacuum. I am in favor of evacuating most of the West Bank but when I see the world being full of caca and some of the most horrible regimes accusing Israel of being the worst human rights violator, my natural reaction is to defend Israel and look like an Arab-blaming right winger. My bottom line: everyone should take responsibility for their actions and beliefs, we shouldn’t just blame Israel.

    Benji

  40. 40 What War Zone??? said at 5:30 am on October 16th, 2009:

    And you’re all invited to my blog. No political talk allowed! Just making fun of Israelis, Arabs, and their ridiculous t-shirts. And bad driving. While praising chumus. We can all agree on this, right?

  41. 41 Awamori said at 12:20 am on October 17th, 2009:

    “Talking to Israelis is so useless”

    Talking to ultra-lefties is even more useless

  42. 42 Richard said at 3:39 am on October 17th, 2009:

    Yes, What War Zone???, we can all agree that whether Jew, Christian or Muslim, the people of this state are awful drivers and even worse dressers. I suppose that is something.

    Michael LeFavour–your argument falls apart completely when you mention faith as a justification for why Jews have the right to this land, even if it was only incidental to your larger argument. I will listen and discuss and debate and try to avoid fruitless argument with any secular zionist I meet, but the second that faith, religion or God is invoked, you’ve lost me, because belief in an invisible man in the sky does not give any person anywhere any right to any land, period.

    Apart from all of that, I too have had this conversation more times than I care to think about, with friends, roommates, coworkers, bosses and so on. I see no straw men constructed in this exchange, simply a condensation of the average Israeli’s views.

    However, to be fair, Arab Israelis also have a fairly circular set of arguments as well, and talking to them is also fairly useless. My most recent argument was with the kid who works at the kiosk near me, who wouldn’t shut up about his great-grandfather’s land that was stolen from his family. He brought everything I said back to it, and when I finally asked, point blank, “Which would you rather have, the Israeli army completely out of the West Bank, with a functioning, independent state in Gaza and the West Bank, or the return of the your great-grandfather’s land to your family?” he responded, “My great-grandfather’s land.” Intransigence and parochial thinking knows no creed.

  43. 43 noam said at 7:28 am on October 17th, 2009:

    Jews have a legal right to be there and they are there because of their faith. What is so hard to understand?

    You are right Michael, this is the one answer that has nothing to do with national security – and for that, it is more honest and clear than what most Israelis say about the WB. But this is also the one that leads the Apartheid, since you obviously are not going to give civil rights to the Palestinians, are you?

  44. 44 Michael LeFavour said at 9:31 am on October 17th, 2009:

    OK Michael. Let’s start small.
    “Tell me what you recommend in the case of Najd.”

    Thank you for the challenge, Brewer. Is Brewer your last name? Mine is LeFavour. I am a non Jewish American, with no party affiliation. I live near the largest Arab community in America and have been involved with the debate only since 2004 when Tali Hatuel, her 4 daughters, and her soon to be delivered son were shot to death by two of the Arabs you are so concerned with, the same Arabs that threw a massive parade in the honor of the two murderers after their crime became public knowledge.

    As to Najd, for the record, I am not currently intimately familiar with the case, but something tells me that you aren’t either. If asked to judge what to do with the case of Najd or Sderot I would first determine if the claim of the Arabs owning 12,669 dunums is true or not. Because what Hadawi and other propagandists forget is that very little mulk land was privately held by the Muslim Arabs. The majority of truly private property was in the cities and held by non-Muslims. The majority of farm land was not private property, (mulk) , it was miri, or land owned by the state, especially farm land, since according to the wisdom of the day, it was against God’s will for man to own land that could feed people. Barring a case by case review of source documents to prove which of the residents were tenants and which, if any, actually owned mulk land, everything that follows is based on speculation as writers like Khalidi and Hadawi know full well.

    Second, I would like to see the context of what happened in 1948. Millions of documents have been declassified since Morris wrote his much referenced work.

    From what we know, the Egyptian Army was on its way outfitted with tanks, a modern air force, artillery, and well supplied infantry. The leadership of Egypt had been threatening genocide and the Holocaust was fresh in everyone’s mind. Meanwhile the world had an arms embargo on the Jewish community and the British were enforcing it with a naval blockade. The dire situation and the impending attack was the backdrop of all actions that were taken. The very next day Israel declared independence and the Arabs did declare war and invade. We can’t take what happened to the 600 or so hostile Arabs of Najd out of the fabric of 1948 reality and examine it in a vacuum. We can’t single out the actions of the Negev commander out of context. The fate of thousands of innocent Jews depended on his decisions and he only had one chance to get it right. Like it or not, the reality of genocide loomed large in the minds of every Jew forced to carry a rifle to defend himself from the unreasonable hatred of his Arab neighbors. A good question to ask is whether any Arab would have become a refugee if the Arabs had accepted the UN Partition plan and peace with the Jews. To me it is a clear question of cause and effect.

    We also know that thousands of trials from 1948 onwards were conducted to determine private ownership. Israel allowed due process in court, which flies in the face of the spurious charges today of a great land grab. The British offered to displace all of the Arab inhabitants in the Jewish state the way it displaced all of the Jewish inhabitants of the east bank, Ben Gurion declined. If Israel is guilty of the crimes it is charged with, why bother with the expense of courts and political debate? Why not just annex all of it without discussion? Would people of your sort treat Israel any differently? I hardly think so. Reactionaries never look at context.

    Third, the premise that Israel is liable for lost property is a faulty premise. Should there be any punishment for Arab aggression? Should the aggressor be allowed to try over and over until it is victorious without risk of losing any land, property, or goods? The simple fact is without the Arab war of annihilation there would be no refugees. Who must ultimately take responsibility for the refugee welfare? There are mechanisms in place that answer these questions and they apply to the hundred million other refugees formed last century, but somehow not to the Arabs calling themselves Palestinians. Have you ever wondered at the insidious nature of this double standard?

    Yes, were it within my power to judge the case I would allow the Arabs to take responsibility for their aggression. To do otherwise is demeaning and it perpetuates an insidious form of acceptable discrimination where the objects of your sympathy can only exist as victims of the Jew. I would also demand compensation from those that started the war, which could be accomplished by simply allowing them to reside where they are without prejudice. I would also remove conflict extending double standards by dismantling UNWRA and dissuade well meaning but illogical policies of Western aid to the most pampered refugees in recorded history. In fact, I would demand that they be allowed to join the rest of the world by eliminating their singular war extending definition of what a refugee is. Hundreds of wars have produced far worse cases, yet somehow we are forced, for political reasons, to entertain the farce that these refugees increase with every generation. It is madness.

    It is also madness to assume that loss of land gives anyone the right to shell civilian population centers without regards to the lives of the innocent. Would Poland accept Germany shelling Polish towns because Germans were uprooted from their homes with no discussion at the end of WWII? No. Somewhere along the line we seem to have lost our moral compass. We understand that some peoples just can’t get along…Turks and Greeks exchanged populations by force, Muslims and Hindus fractured India to form Pakistan, Russians and Finns, but not Muslims and Jews? Why? Why was it the moral thing to do everywhere else, but suddenly not good enough for the Jews who are not the aggressors on any level? Why does aggression and morality get turned on its head in this case? Is it the wider Arab Muslim bigotry and the fact they control a strategic resource that the world feels it necessary to appease the unreasonable demands? Tell me. Make sense of it in the wider context, Brewer. Show me how caving in to demands of bigots is good for the world or for the moral clarity we want to teach our children?

    I feel pity for any Arab in Gaza that may have lost legitimate private property, but I reject the obtuse claim that it is Israel’s fault that precipitated the situation they find themselves in now. To ignore the Family Reunification programs, the challenges in court, and the bending over backwards of Israeli Jews in general to find justice in a bad situation does no good at all. The Arabs must take responsibility for their own actions and the world must allow them to stand on their own two feet. If we continue to prop them up artificially, we will get an artificial result. The bottom line is that the Jewish community did not chose war, it was brought to them on the wings of genocidal threats steeped in religious bigotry, the Arabs that lost their village in Najd lost it to deprive an invading Egyptian army of resources, without having been there myself or having access to the thoughts of the Negev commander that made the decision to destroy it, it is only speculation to determine the wisdom of the action. As a judge I chose to immerse myself as deeply into the fabricate of the time and weigh the back drop of the Holocaust that was less than three years old in the minds of all participants when I second guess decisions that were made in desperation of survival and a looming menace. War is never a neat and tidy thing. I suggest you keep that in mind next time you are pushing for an anti-Israel view from the safety of your desk.

  45. 45 Michael LeFavour said at 10:27 am on October 17th, 2009:

    Richard, an argument does not get discounted in its entirety if there is a flaw in a part of it. That said, you seem to miss the point entirely. The crushing weight of two thousand years of pressure to assimilate, often upon pain of death was recognized as a reason to allow Jewish immigration to a land that, right or wrong, was described as empty by popular writers and widely published journals. Whether you or I believe in an invisible man in the sky is irrelevant. The fact that Jews survived it at all as a distinct people only reinforces the validity of their claim in my eyes. Obviously the world agreed with me when the Mandate for Palestine treaty was discussed, drafted, and ratified.

    The power of imagination gives a variety of philosophical, ethical and political pundits the ability to conceptualize the point of view of others. It makes no difference whether the religion is true or not, but it does help to understand the value others place on things like land and artifacts. My statement simply points to the animus that drove Jews to care about the land enough to desire to live there in the first place. My statement says nothing about the validity of religion or man fleeting attachment to land.

    My statement is also an equal indictment against those who placed no higher value to the land than that of usury. There has never been a national movement to create an Arab Palestine independent of Jewish aspirations. This strikes at the heart of legitimacy. If there are two competing claims, imagination, or ‘empathy’ drives those of us outside of the conflict to weigh the narratives. In that effect I have considered Jewish attachment to the land versus Arab attachment to the land. The Jewish claim has been there for thousands of years unchanged, but powerless to be acted upon until the rise of the telegraph that enabled instant communications to coordinate mass migration amongst scattered peoples. Conversely, the Arab claim is a new claim steeped in religious bigotry and Arab racism. Two concepts empathy dictates unbiased people reject.

    So agree with you 100% that religion does not give any person a right to land. That was not my point. The point is why are they in Judea and Samaria with so much pressure to keep them out. The answer is simple, they have a legal right to be there and they are there because they have a religious connection to the land that overcomes the undeserved stigma that they are made to carry by others that seem to lack the very empathy that is such a strong part of humanity.

  46. 46 Michael LeFavour said at 11:02 am on October 17th, 2009:

    Noam, I even disagree with you in your response to me. It does have everything to do with national security. There is a war being waged against Israel on many fronts. One of them is an information battleground. Jews have a right to live in Judea and Samaria until a border is negotiated, as much of a right as Arabs do. If building a house is an impediment to peace than we must apply it evenly to ALL residents and impose on Arabs not to build homes for their expanding population. Anything less is discrimination, yet you only argue that Jews must capitulate to the idea they are doing something wrong. In fact, you are on the front line waving a banner that Israelis are wrong without considering your actions. Israel is under attack on all fronts, isn’t that enough to satisfy your hatred? It takes no courage or heroics to join a mob and it makes me cry real tears when the Israelis I fight so hard for get swept up in the madness.

    As to Apartheid, that is a red herring and everyone knows it. Unless you are referring to the real Apartheid imposed on Jews in the wider ME? In that aspect Israel is a bantustan where the Jews are boycotted, hated, and confined, upon pain of death. How many Jews live in Jordan? In Saudi Arabia? UAE? In Kuwait? It is projection to claim Israel has Apartheid characteristics or that annexing Judea and Samaria would lead to Apartheid. For starters how do you explain the fifth column Israel allows to exist in its midst?

    My personal answer to the problem is illegal to even discuss in Israel. How does that fit in an Apartheid, ‘Israel is evil’ narrative? It is not immoral to separate people that will never get along as equals. The general position of Islamic is that, if Jews are not subservient to Muslim rule, bowing beneath the weight of legislation designed to humiliate and control them, they must be fought with jihad and cleric sanctioned violence, for they are the murderers of the prophets and the enemies of Islam. If you understand these fundamental truths you understand a choice must be made of which side to move. Since there is only one Jewish sanctuary where Hebrew is the language it is logical that the Arabs must go if that is the only path to peace. However, as repulsive as this sounds to those who are willing to accept perpetual war, perpetual aggression, and perpetual victim hood of the Jewish people I would like to point out that every other route has been tried from offering them more rights than they have anywhere else in the Middle East, more rights than they will have under self rule, and more rights than they deserve in the face of their intransigence to outright bribery and appeasement. Nothing has worked and there is zero evidence to support the blinkered theory that the conflict is about land or that more withdrawals and admission of defeat will bring anything but more violence. Because the conflict has nothing to do with land. It is a war of bigotry and appeasement of bigots. Jews do not deserve to rule Muslims. Full stop. America has political sovereignty over Puerto Rico, America is a beacon of freedom and democracy, but the people of Puerto Rico are not allowed to vote for the American Presidency. Tell me why that would not work with the hostile Arabs and their future descendants in Israel? Tell me why you work to destroy the only Jewish sanctuary in the world in the face of such great proven need? I am desperate to understand.

  47. 47 Mo-ha-med said at 3:34 pm on October 17th, 2009:

    Michael LeFavour:
    “it is logical that the Arabs must go if that is the only path to peace”
    Wow. Great job defending ethnic cleansing.
    Stuff like that is proof that you care little about reality or facts, and prefer to stick to your dogmas. You’re seriously wrecking an interesting conversation with your ideological discourse, Michael. But you are so typical – so, so typical! that you deserve a response.

    So many erroneous arguments that I don’t know where to start. Let’s just randomly pick a couple…

    The Egyptian army, for one. Ah, yes, Britain sending an army from its own colony of Britain to fight its protegés? Sure, armed – by the colonial power – with old, defective weapons. The kind that blows up in your hands when you try to shoot them. Fact. This, for that matter, was later referred to as “the defective weapons deal” and was a direct reason of the Egyptian coup/revolution against the Brits a couple of years later.
    Furthermore, Egypt’s army did not ride into today’s Israel proper, but into Gaza. (same, btw, for the armies coming from the East: they did not get past today’s West Bank. Which also disproves your justification of ”Arabs that lost their village in Najd lost it to deprive an invading Egyptian army of resources” as the never got to current-day Sderot.

    ”There has never been a national movement to create an Arab Palestine independent of Jewish aspirations”. That’s plain dishonest. The Palestinian national movement started to take shape in the 1920s, with the increasing Jewish European immigration to Palestine. The 1936 revolt was symptomatic of it. That this claim was not as ideologically formulated as a “next year in Jerusalem” in no way undermines the right of the Palestinians inhabitants to the land they live on – they were already there. There was simply no need for a ‘national movement’ until Zionist immigration waves began to threaten the Palestinians’ way of life.

    “The crushing weight of two thousand years of pressure to assimilate, often upon pain of death was recognized as a reason to allow Jewish immigration” – recognized? By you, perhaps. By a Zionist British minister of Foreign affairs in 1917, absoutely. By the Arabs living in Palestine -whose opinion is necessarily more relevant than Her Majesty’s government – nope! The Mandate of Palestine is a historical joke, which was drafted by the Brits themselves, and basically enshrined the Balfour declaration in an ‘international’ document (and, League of Nations? So much for ‘international’…). Otherwise, why would it only include a plan for facilitating a Jewish national home, and not an Arab one?

    No similar law can be found anywhere in Israeli law (wrt to supposed exclusively Arab legislation). Hmm, let’s see. Well there was this law from 1951, that we call the Law of Return – you may have heard of it?
    In modern legislation, there are few ‘Jewish only’ legislations. There are, however, plenty of laws that refer to the persons who are eligible for the Law of Return. And those that refer to persons eligible for military duty – both a barely veiled placeholder for ‘Jews’. I suggest you pick up Susan Nathan’s “The other side of Israel” for more on that very topic.

    “If building a house is an impediment to peace than we must apply it evenly to ALL residents and impose on Arabs not to build homes for their expanding population. Anything less is discrimination”

    Oldie but goodie. Alright! By that logic – no discrimination! – since a border is yet to be negotiated, then Arabs – heck, anyone who can prove they have an Arab ancestor! – should be allowed to build their house inside Israel proper. Where’s the Arab Agency? The Arab National Fund? The KKL? (that’s Keren Kayement LeFalasteen :) ) Tel Aviv – heck, Herzeliya Pituach – here I come!

    ”Because the conflict has nothing to do with land.”
    The conflict is all about land. Probably only about land.

  48. 48 Brewer said at 6:30 pm on October 17th, 2009:

    Michael. I am a New Zealander in my sixties with an academic background in History and Philosophy. I am also a former supporter of Israel. I shall try to address your points in the order you have placed them. I am afraid it will not make for a tidy essay but there is a lot of ground to cover.

    MLF:
    “If asked to judge what to do with the case of Najd or Sderot I would first determine if the claim of the Arabs owning 12,669 dunums is true or not.”

    The general claim is upheld by Morris:
    “there were far more Israeli acts of massacre than I had previously thought. To my surprise, there were also many cases of rape. In the months of April-May 1948, units of the Haganah [the pre-state defense force that was the precursor of the IDF] were given operational orders that stated explicitly that they were to uproot the villagers, expel them and destroy the villages themselves.”
    http://www.logosjournal.com/morris.htm

    Avi Shlaim:

    “By the end of 1948 the number of Palestinian refugees had swollen to around 700,000. But the first and largest wave of refugees occurred before the official outbreak of hostilities on 15 May”:

    (The Iron Wall: p.31)

    Ilan Pappe lists village clearances too numerous to repeat here in “The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine” so I shall just quote the endnotes:
    “…from its very inception, a central plank in Israel’s founding ideology was the forcible removal of the indigenous population….”

    No less a person than Moshe Dayan confirmed this:

    “. . . Let us not today fling accusation at the murderers. What cause have we to complain about their fierce hatred to us? For eight years now, they sit in their refugee camps in Gaza, and before their eyes we turn into our homestead the land and villages in which they and their forefathers have lived…..
    …..Jewish villages were built in the place of Arab villages. You do not even know the names of these Arab villages, and I do not blame you because geography books no longer exist, not only do the books not exist, the Arab villages are not there either. Nahlal arose in the place of Mahlul; Kibbutz Gvat in the place of Jibta; Kibbutz Sarid in the place of Huneifis; and Kefar Yehushu’a in the place of Tal al-Shuman. There is not one single place built in this country that did not have a former Arab population.”

    Walid Khalidi’s “All that Remains”, from which I lifted the quote about Najd is considered authoritative by all but the most ardent Zionist but it is not necessary to rely on that one source – the above Historians have made the general situation very clear.

    The question of “title” is a vexed one thanks to the transitional nature of the territory (from the mid 19th to the early 20th century) from feudal and communal ownership to Western style title deeds. Taking advantage of this was common to all colonial enterprise – native Americans, NZ Maori, African tribes possessed no title duly stamped and witnessed in the modern style. Land claims in these instances rely on the oral record, custom and tradition. It is disingenuous, even dishonest, to demand modern, Western style title.

    Fortunately, it is unnecessary to analyse the complex system of land ownership that prevailed under the Ottomans. Whether it was in the hands of absentee landlords or Waqf, Mulk, Miri, Mewat or any of the many classifications not familiar to us, it is very clear that it was not owned by Zionists for their documented purchases amounted to no more than 10% of the territory. I would suggest that in a land ownership dispute where the indigenous population finds itself dispossessed, it is incumbent on the usurper to prove good title.

    And this is the primary point at issue. How much land can the Israelis prove they bought and what mechanism has been instituted to enable them to do so?

    For this reason I ask you to provide some reference supporting this statement:
    “We also know that thousands of trials from 1948 onwards were conducted to determine private ownership. Israel allowed due process in court”

    I am unaware of any court in Israel that hears indigenous land claims.
    What is written in statute however, is the Abandoned Areas Ordinance, 5708-1948. 17th Sivan, 5708 24th June, 1948 (by which Israel seized all lands belonging to those expelled) and the Prevention of Infiltration Law which prevented Palestinians from returning.
    These laws are in direct conflict with United Nations General Assembly Resolution 194 and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

    “According to Flapan[20], “a detailed account of exactly how “abandoned” Arab property assisted in the absorption of the new immigrants was prepared by Joseph Schechtman:

    It is difficult to overestimate the tremendous role this lot of abandoned Arab property has played in the settlement of hundreds of thousands of Jewish immigrants who have reached Israel since the proclamation of the state in May 1948. Forty-seven new rural settlements established on the sites of abandoned Arab villages had by October 1949 already absorbed 25,255 new immigrants. By the spring of 1950 over 1 million dunams had been leased by the custodian to Jewish settlements and individual farmers for the raising of grain crops……
    …How much of Israel’s territory consists of land confiscated with the Absentee Property Law is uncertain and much disputed. Robert Fisk interviewed the Israeli Custodian of Absentee Property, who estimates this could amount to up to 70% of the territory of Israel, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Israeli_land_and_property_laws_relating_to_the_Israeli%E2%80%93Palestinian_conflict#Defence_.28Emergency.29_Regulations_.5B10.5D

    MLF:
    “Second, I would like to see the context of what happened in 1948.”

    I suggest that you read the many volumes written on the subject by Israeli Historians. You will probably find much of interest such as Martin van Creveld’s analysis of the relative forces arraigned in the conflict:

    “”In the Event of invading [Arab] forces were limited to approximately 30,000 men. The strongest single contingent was the Jordanian one*, already described. Next came Egyptians with 5,500 men, then the Iraqis with 4,500 who ….. were joined by perhaps 3,000 local irregulars. The total was thus around eight rather under strength brigades, some of them definitely of second-and even third-rate quality. To these must be added approximately 2,000 Lebanese (one brigade) and 6,000 Syrians (three brigades). Thus, even though the Arab countries [population] outnumbered the Yishuv by better then forty-to-one, in terms of military manpower available for combat in Palestine the two sides were fairly evenly matched. As time went on and both sides sent reinforcements the balance changed in the Jews’ favor; by October they had almost 90,000 men and women under arms, the Arabs only 68,000.” (The Sword And The Olive, p. 77-78)

    * the Jordanian’s had agreed not to invade the area proposed as the Jewish State, an agreement they held to. In the event, no battles were fought on territory proposed as Israeli in the U.N. Plan for partition.

    You will also find that there is no substance to the oft quoted threats of genocide that you cite – British MP Christopher Mayhew offered a large sum of money to anyone who could produce evidence of such a statement both in the Newspaper and in the British Parliament. No-one was ever able to produce anything but mistranslation.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christopher_Mayhew

    MLF:
    “A good question to ask is whether any Arab would have become a refugee if the Arabs had accepted the UN Partition plan and peace with the Jews. To me it is a clear question of cause and effect.”

    The question has already been answered. Between 250,000 and 400,000 refugees had been created before the plan was proposed. This is a very important point as it negates much of what you have asserted regarding “Arab aggression”. The stated aim of the Arab League was to restore order and protect the property and rights of Jews and Palestinians alike. Suggest you read their statement:
    http://www.mideastweb.org/arableague1948.htm
    The disparity in the forces, evidenced by Creveld above, adds credence to the contention that the League’s objective was not a War of annihilation but the re-establishment of order.
    It is worthy of note that the Siege of Jaffa began six moths before the War and that Jaffa was not included in the proposed Jewish State.

    MLF:
    “It is also madness to assume that loss of land gives anyone the right to shell civilian population centers without regards to the lives of the innocent.”

    This is called “resistance to occupation” and the question of innocence is moot. It is a War Crime for an occupying force to settle the territory occupied. In this sense, Israelis who settle on disputed land such as Sderot are complicit. The rockets are little more than a token and exact a toll less than half of one percent of the deaths from road accidents in Israel.
    Here is a link to a critique of Israel’s response to the Goldstone report.

    http://mwcnews.net/content/view/33738/26/

    At the bottom someone has posted the transcript of an Israeli radio (some sort of Rabbinical advice) show. The good Rabbi advises that the risk of traveling in Southern Israel is not sufficient to prevent the caller from going to a wedding there. This indicates that the threat to Israel’s “security” is not sufficient to interrupt the daily lives of it’s citizens.
    Personally, I do not view such resistance as cassus belli. Neither is it madness. The six months truce observed by Hamas prior to brought no relief from blockade or Israeli incursion and ushered in “Cast Lead”. The purpose of resistance is to raise awareness.

    MLF:
    “We understand that some peoples just can’t get along…”

    The instances of partition you cite are invalid in that it none of them were instituted to make way for an immigrant population.

    MLF:
    “The bottom line is that the Jewish community did not chose war”

    Why then was the Yishuv outfitted with 90,000 men at arms by October 1948?
    For decades, the statements of Jabotinsky, Ben Gurion, Begin etc had made Zionist intentions very clear – Jewish State, transfer. These are cassus belli and the likely response was also understood and planned for:

    Here is Ben Gurion in 1937:
    “It is very possible that the Arabs of the neighboring countries will come to their aid against us. But our strength will exceed theirs. Not only because we will be better organized and equipped , but because behind us there stands a still larger force, superior in quality and quantity …. the whole younger generation [ from Europe and America]“.
    …January 1948:
    “The wisdom of Israel is now the wisdom of war, nothing else.”
    …February 1948:
    “The war will GIVE us the land. The concept of ‘ours’ and ‘not ours’ are only concepts for peacetime, and during war they lose all their meaning.”

    MLF:
    “As a judge I chose to immerse myself as deeply into the fabricate of the time and weigh the back drop of the Holocaust..”

    As a Judge you would be disbarred for allowing the crimes of a third, unconnected party to influence your decision. The Holocaust meant nothing to a Palestinian driven from his home– he had not, like most people, even heard of it in 1948.

    I notice, from your subsequent posts that you buy into a number of spurious narratives.

    MLF:
    “The crushing weight of two thousand years of pressure to assimilate”

    There is hardly a race or nationality that has not suffered persecution in similar degree. Search “Hindu, Muslim, Irish, Negro followed by “persecution” for starters.
    In any event, this argument is invalid. Palestinian Muslims and Palestinian Jews had been integrated for centuries and are considered by most geneticists to be the same people:

    “Results of a DNA study by geneticist Ariella Oppenheim appears to match historical accounts that Arab Israelis and Palestinians,[13][14] together as the one same population, represent modern “descendants of a core population that lived in the area since prehistoric times”
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Palestinian_people#DNA_and_genetic_studies

    Muslim Palestinians had nothing to do with European persecution of Jews.

    MLF:
    “There has never been a national movement to create an Arab Palestine”

    Utterly untrue. As early as 1834 Palestinians attempted to throw off Egyptian rule.
    The 1919 King Crane Commission documented huge support for self government:
    “1. The second largest percentage of all, 1,370 (73.5 percent), is for “Absolute Independence,” the second cardinal point of the Damascus program, supported generally by all Moslem delegations. It is certain from the oral statements that accompanied the petitions that the term “Absolute Independence” was seldom used in the sense of an entire freedom from any foreign guidance, such as that of a mandatory under the League of Nations, inasmuch as the request was frequently combined with a choice of mandate, and in all but a few cases with either a choice of mandate or a request for foreign “assistance.” While a few of the Young Arab clubs certainly desired freedom from all foreign control, the great majority asked for independence and defined a mandate to mean only economic and technical assistance, because of a widespread fear that the mandatory arrangement would be used to cloak colonial annexation.”
    http://members.tripod.com/hagia_sophia/alhumayrah_files/king-crane.htm
    By 1935, when The Palestinian Arab Party was established, there were already at least a half-dozen similar parties, all aimed at self-rule.

  49. 49 Michael LeFavour said at 7:41 pm on October 17th, 2009:

    “it is logical that the Arabs must go if that is the only path to peace”
    Wow. Great job defending ethnic cleansing.

    Does ethnic cleansing upset you? Something tells me that it doesn’t quite carry the outrage when it is the Jews that are being cleansed. I could be wrong, and you can show me another forum and another topic where you have argued against the ethnic cleansing of Jews from Yemen, or the Jordanian Citizenship law that bars Jews from becoming members of that oh so lovely bastion of Muslim magnanimity.

    “So many erroneous arguments that I don’t know where to start.”

    Why limit yourself when you feel the need to be embarrassed?

    “The Egyptian army, for one. Ah, yes, Britain sending an army from its own colony of Britain to fight its protegés?”

    Israel was not a protege. The Arabs were the side the British chose in their thirst for oil and appeasement of the racist sensibilities of those in control of it. An Arab army was led by a serving British officer, British pilots were shot down in combat with Israeli pilots, and at the time I was referring to, the Jews had no heavy armaments, the first Czechoslovakian air lift didn’t arrive for two weeks, yet the blockade remained in force to make sure that disparity would remain in the critical hours when Jews faced Arabs driving Matilda and Centurion tanks with nothing but courage and conviction.

    “Sure, armed – by the colonial power – with old, defective weapons.”

    Old defective weapons? You don’t know the first thing about armaments. The best tanks the British had during WWII were the Matilda II, the Churchill VII, or the Comet depending on use. The Matilda that the Egyptians were armed with was a weapon that had fought Panzers and the best the Wehrmacht could throw at it. The lighter MKIVs were also WWII tanks, but not the best available. The Jordanians had Centurions though, which was developed so late in the war it did not even see action. What are you talking about old defective weapons? Through their own incompetence they may have not brought enough supplies, which makes destroying Arab villages all the more important strategically, but they did not suffer from a case of making do with the inadequate unless they failed to maintain their equipment, which is not something the Jews could know about when deciding what to do before they had to fight pitched battles against these weapons, could they? By contrast the Jews had nothing comparable, a few home made armored trucks, crop dusters for an air force, and only one in three of the Haganah even had a rifle, so the argument is mute, much as it strikes a chord of shame in your Arab sense of pride.

    “the defective weapons deal”…was a direct reason of the Egyptian coup/revolution against the Brits a couple of years later.”

    Can you source this? It rings false, though I am only curious to know where you have made whatever argument you have for it.

    “Furthermore, Egypt’s army did not ride into today’s Israel proper, but into Gaza. (same, btw, for the armies coming from the East: they did not get past today’s West Bank. Which also disproves your justification of ”Arabs that lost their village in Najd lost it to deprive an invading Egyptian army of resources” as the never got to current-day Sderot.”

    First, check your sources, you are way off. Egyptians made a bid to attack Tel Aviv in May 29th. Israeli reconnaissance spotted 500 Egyptian vehicles on the coastal road from Gaza. The commander of the force was Mohammed Neguib and he had 2,300 men of the 2nd Brigade, 10 tanks and 6 field guns, along with an unspecified amount of air assets. Egypt brought over 50 warplanes to the battle and found little resistance from the Jews flying their 6 crop dusters. Only one company sized Israeli unit was available to confront the Egyptians, btw and they held. This is also the first engagement of real war planes of the Israeli side recorded. As I mentioned Czechoslovakia airlifted weapons past the British naval blockade, and 4 of the planes were thrown together and pressed into service in defense of the out numbered Jewish defenders. Tel Aviv is far past Sderot if you check your map.

    Further a thousand Egyptians backed up by tanks attacked a lone unit of 140 Jews at Kibbutz Negba, which is north of Sderot and east of Ashkelon, (check your map). The Jews had no tanks at this point in the war, but even outnumbered 7 to 1 and outgunned they fought hand to hand with the tanks that advanced on the town with Molotov cocktails and a few Piats, which are very short range rockets that took nerves of steel to wait until an enemy tank had closed to under a hundred yards to fire. The Egyptians lost 5 tanks in the battle. As you claim they were not supplied very well, this adds more evidence that the Jewish destruction of certain key villages made good military sense. Sderot is not that far from Negba (check you map and your sources, you obviously don’t know half as much as you think you do).

    ”There has never been a national movement to create an Arab Palestine independent of Jewish aspirations”. That’s plain dishonest. The Palestinian national movement started to take shape in the 1920s, with the increasing Jewish European immigration to Palestine. The 1936 revolt was symptomatic of it. That this claim was not as ideologically formulated as a “next year in Jerusalem” in no way undermines the right of the Palestinians inhabitants to the land they live on – they were already there. There was simply no need for a ‘national movement’ until Zionist immigration waves began to threaten the Palestinians’ way of life.”

    First, history did not begin in the 1920s when the Arabs found themselves guided by a man fresh from the Armenian genocide, where he learned the pleasure of killing infidels. I am speaking of Amin Al Husseini, of course. Friend of the Nazis, recruiter of the Bosnian SS all Muslim Hanser Division, a division responsible for most of the atrocities committed against the Jews in its area of operation, but destroyed in short order when it faced armed Russian conscripts. But the key words you let slip says everything I have been saying all along. Thank you for backing me up…”The Palestinian national movement started to take shape in the 1920s, with the increasing JEWISH EUROPEAN immigration to Palestine.” America has an immigration problem, but one thing we don’t do is go on looting and murdering sprees burning illegal aliens out of their homes, which is exactly what Husseini did when he shouted for jihad and murder against the JEWISH EUROPEANS. Against the ARAB MUSLIM HASHEMITES he had nothing to say. I appreciate you reinforcing what I have been saying. It had nothing to do with the land, it had everything to do with them not being Arab Muslims…or you can be the first to explain why the Arab tribes, the Howeitat, the Bani Sakher, and 50 others had no problems accepting Hashemite invasion and colonialism? You like to dive right in and sound clever, why don’t you explain it to us and throw in the reason why the Arabs did not seem to have a nationalist desire for Judea and Samaria for the 19 years Transjordan occupied it by force.

    “recognized? By you, perhaps. By a Zionist British minister of Foreign affairs in 1917, absoutely. By the Arabs living in Palestine -whose opinion is necessarily more relevant than Her Majesty’s government – nope!”

    I wasn’t around back then, but are you aware that the spokesman for the Arabs, Emir Faisel agreed to a Jewish state on both sides of the Jordan before the Mandate was written and put into law? And do you realize that it makes precious little difference now, long after the fact. We can argue the virtue of it until you tun blue, but we can not argue that for some Jew in Poland with nowhere safe to go, this was a legal right to immigrate to the land of her ancestral people. Whether you racist Arabs rejected these gentle immigrants or not is irrelevant. The fact is they had a right to come, conversely, you had no right to attack them. Which is why they armed themselves after your people did.

    “The Mandate of Palestine is a historical joke, which was drafted by the Brits themselves, and basically enshrined the Balfour declaration in an ‘international’ document (and, League of Nations? So much for ‘international’…). Otherwise, why would it only include a plan for facilitating a Jewish national home, and not an Arab one?”

    Because as I said, there is no evidence at all that there was a nationalist movement to compete with Jewish aspirations. The Jews drained the swamps and greened the desert. The Jews built factories. The Jews did the hard work of nation building. The Arabs despite having all the advantages chose hatred and rejection over the mutual benefit Faisel envisioned. Imagine the character of Israel today had no Arab taken up arms to murder his Jewish neighbor with. Imagine how well those so called refugees would be doing if Islam allowed such an alien concept as plurality and fairness. You will have to do much better than pointing to racist violence to support the empty theory that the Arabs had any sort of nationalist movement prior to the Jews. It is a matter of legitimacy. A legitimate Arab movement would have shown itself outside of simple hated and bigotry against Jews and it would be confined to the borders the Jews claim, but it is not. Where some vague Arab nationalism does manifest it is usually at the insistence of a European and it is of a grand and nebulous greater Arabia nature. There is nothing that shows the so called Palestinian people ever cared about their political fate as the entity it is now, but the Jews have. That is the two thousand years of pressure to assimilate that has forged their idea into something that can’t be broken. You hate me for saying that? Too bad. You need to step back and really look at the Arab cause. It is weak and it is predicated on the existence of another people. The best you can ever hope for is to dupe the ignorant or enlist those with a bias against Jews, Israel, or America. Even if you manage to succeed in the genocide against Israel the Arabs so desire, the idea will never die as long as a Jew walks the earth. (Well, not if it is Noam, but you get what I am saying)

    “Well there was this law from 1951, that we call the Law of Return”

    All nations discriminate on who they allow in. You may have heard of the Jordanian law of Citizenship that does not allow Jews to become Jordanians? What do you see that is sinister in allowing Jews to immigrate to a Jewish sanctuary where they do not need to rely on others to keep them safe? Since that reliance on others for safety worked out so well and all.

    “In modern legislation, there are few ‘Jewish only’ legislations.”

    Can you name one? I am told there are Jew only roads all the time, perhaps you could name one of them as well, and site the ordinance.

    “There are, however, plenty of laws that…..refer to persons eligible for military duty”

    Yes, now there is real racism, isn’t it. Being sensitive to the Arabs is actually racism that I wish would stop. If the Arabs do not wish to fight they can move to Jordan where they do not have to put up with the hated Jews of Israel.

    “Alright! By that logic – no discrimination! – since a border is yet to be negotiated, then Arabs – heck, anyone who can prove they have an Arab ancestor! – should be allowed to build their house inside Israel proper. Where’s the Arab Agency? The Arab National Fund? The KKL?”

    I would agree except that it would defeat the purpose of a Jewish sanctuary where Jews do not have to fear genocide. If people such as yourself were no threat to Jews I would say drop all borders and start a ME Union styled after Europe. Since that is not going to happen, as a neutral observer I must decline to support even you moving to Israel if you don’t live there now. Maybe you can work on your leaders if you want more people to accept your good intentions, such as they are.

    “The conflict is all about land. Probably only about land.”

    Then you will have no problem accepting my challenge to show that bigotry has nothing to do with acceptance of the Hashemites and the Transjordanian occupation of Judea and Samaria for 19 years without so much as a single fedayeen raid let alone an intifada to liberate it.

  50. 50 Lisa Goldman said at 1:11 am on October 18th, 2009:

    Dear Michael,

    Please, do us all – including yourself – un petit [le] favour, by limiting the length of your comments.

    Seriously, no-one will read a comment that is 2,177 words long (yes, I checked!) – especially not when it’s a tendentious rant that contributes absolutely nothing to what started out as an intelligent thread.

    Since you are clearly passionate about this issue, you probably do want people to read what your responses. In which case, I strongly advise you to limit yourself to a maximum of 350 words (250 is better).

  51. 51 ck said at 5:43 am on October 18th, 2009:

    I don’t know about that Lisa. I for one am reading with great interest every single word of these comments. And I am learning new stuff too! Clearly there is a rant-like quality to some of what Michael has said, but that aside, he’s done an excellent job refuting some of the assertions made here. I for one can’t wait for the next round – regardless of how many words are used. This ain’t twitter!

  52. 52 Lisa Goldman said at 6:00 am on October 18th, 2009:

    Actually, CK, most of LeFavour’s claims are not supported by facts. But that’s okay, if you’re enjoying them. Why don’t you encourage him to go over to your blog?

  53. 53 Richard said at 7:00 am on October 18th, 2009:

    Of course the conflict is about land (and water). In fact, I would say that a large problem with both the European and American Left, and the larger Arab world in general, is a fundamental inability to understand exactly what that obsession with and connection to the land is; they understand that it exists, but not why. It’s perceived as being religiously based, in a belief that God wants us to have it, but much more than that, the secular majority’s connection to the land is based on NOT wanting to be religious and keep the traditions. Living on the land is seen as a way of ridding yourself of Judaism whiling maintaining an incontrovertibly Jewish identity.

  54. 54 ck said at 7:17 am on October 18th, 2009:

    So wait Lisa, you’re telling me General Neguib was not in fact on his way to Tel Aviv when he and the men of the 2nd division dug in at Ashdod? You’re telling me the Egyptians did not in fact have awesome Matilda tanks? The Jordanian legion wasn’t led by a British officer? British pilots weren’t shot down by the IAF? OK what facts exactly did he get wrong? I just picked a few at random and they seem authoritative. I don’t want to exceed the 350 word limit :) – and this debate is certainly instructive due to the contributions of all the writers.

  55. 55 Lisa Goldman said at 7:38 am on October 18th, 2009:

    CK, you are obfuscating. The thread is no longer about the post; the comments have devolved into one-upmanship and narrative bashing.

    It was fun when there was respect between the commenters, but there isn’t anymore. What a pity.

  56. 56 Brewer said at 12:08 pm on October 18th, 2009:

    -Once again the old “look over there” defence. It is Palestine we’re talking about on this thread.

    MLF:
    “The Arabs were the side the British chose in their thirst for oil”

    -LOL. Perhaps they should have informed Wingate, the loony British Officer who suppressed the Palestinian Nationalism that MLF says didn’t exist:
    “The Revolt resulted in the deaths of 5,000 Palestinians and the wounding of 10,000. In total, 10% of the adult male population was killed, wounded, imprisoned, or exiled.(Khalidi 2001, p. 26) By the time it concluded in March 1939, more than 5,000 Arabs, 400 Jews, and 200 Britons had been killed and at least 15,000 Arabs were wounded.[64] From 1936 to 1945, whilst establishing collaborative security arrangements with the Jewish Agency, the British confiscated 13,200 firearms from Arabs and 521 weapons from Jews”
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_Mandate_of_Palestine#The_Arab_Revolt_.281936.E2.80.931939.29

    Old defective weapons

    -I have heard this story and it is often cited as the motive for Nasser’s coup but I have no definitive reference. Creveld does not agree with MLF’s assessment of the relative strength of the forces however and MLF offers no references to back his thesis.

    MLF:
    “I am speaking of Amin Al Husseini, of course. Friend of the Nazis”

    -Here MLF contradicts his own “British support” and “no Palestinian National movement” arguments and indulges in the common Palestinians = Nazis smear.

    The simple fact is Hussayni, leader of the Palestinian Nationalists fled British repression. Where else was he to go except to the enemy of his enemy?
    No such pressure was on Yitzak Shamir when he offered the Jewish National Military Organization (Lehi/Irgun) to Germany:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lehi_(group)#Contact_with_Nazi_authorities

    Here is a copy of the Emir Faisel/Chaim Weizman agreement:
    http://www.mideastweb.org/feisweiz.htm
    Note the following:

    “In taking such measures the Arab peasant and tenant farmers shall be protected in their rights and shall be assisted in forwarding their economic development.

    Article V
    No regulation or law shall be made prohibiting or interfering in any way with the free exercise of religion; and further, the free exercise and enjoyment of religious profession and worship, without discrimination or preference, shall forever be allowed. No religious test shall ever be required for the exercise of civil or political rights. ”

    -Not difficult to see why the agreement was short-lived.

    MLF:
    “why would it only include a plan for facilitating a Jewish national home”
    -because that is what was intended – not a Jewish State. The Brits made it abundantly clear in the White Paper of 1922:
    “Nor does the special position assigned to the Zionist Organization in Article IV of the Draft Mandate for Palestine imply any such functions. That special position relates to the measures to be taken in Palestine affecting the Jewish population, and contemplates that the organization may assist in the general development of the country, but does not entitle it to share in any degree in its government.”
    http://avalon.law.yale.edu/20th_century/brwh1922.asp

    MLF:
    “there is no evidence at all that there was a nationalist movement”
    -See above.

    MLF:
    “I am told there are Jew only roads all the time, perhaps you could name one of them”
    -I shall let former Israeli Education Minister Shulamit Aloni do it:
    “On one occasion I witnessed such an encounter between a driver and a soldier who was taking down the details before confiscating the vehicle and sending its owner away. “Why?” I asked the soldier. “It’s an order–this is a Jews-only road”, he replied. I inquired as to where was the sign indicating this fact and instructing [other] drivers not to use it. His answer was nothing short of amazing. “It is his responsibility to know it, and besides, what do you want us to do, put up a sign here and let some antisemitic reporter or journalist take a photo so he that can show the world that Apartheid exists here?”"
    http://www.counterpunch.org/aloni01082007.html

    MLF:
    “a Jewish sanctuary where Jews do not have to fear genocide.”

    -Where is it that Jews have to fear Genocide? The U.S.? Australia? Europe? South America? Africa? Palestine?
    There are probably places in the Arab World where Jews are not welcome as a direct result of their treatment of Palestinians. Same goes for most members of the “Coalition of the Willing”. Perfectly understandable under the circumstances.

    PS. Where can I find a list of HTML tags for this format?

  57. 57 Brewer said at 12:54 pm on October 18th, 2009:

    First line above should read:

    MLF:
    “ethnic cleansing of Jews from Yemen etc.”

    -Once again the old “look over there” defence. It is Palestine we’re talking about on this thread.

    (Wish there was a “preview” option!)

  58. 58 noam said at 3:01 am on October 19th, 2009:

    Michael – I can’t discuss a solution which you will not disclose, but I can imagine, from your resoning that it won’t meet the values I believe in.

    The term Apartheid itself is not the issue.

    From what you wrote on comment #46 I gather you think Israel should stay in the West Bank while not giving voting rights or other civil liberties to the Palestinians. Unlike many Israelis, at least you are honest enough and not trying to convince the world that all you want to withdraw while doing the exact opposite.

    To the point: this is where there is no use in reasoning anymore. I simply don’t accept such “solution” – this is not the state I wish to live in. the Palestinians, in ,y view, must have full political rights – in Israel or in a Palestinian state.

    As for Puerto Rico – I don’t know the situation there very well, but still, the citizens there can move to the State and get full rights, no? Also, if I remember correctly they vote in the premieres, and they are certainly not under military rule, so this example is not that relevant, I think.

  59. 59 Raphael said at 8:39 am on October 19th, 2009:

    Michael – I can’t discuss a solution which you will not disclose,

    I think he has disclosed it here pretty clearly- ethnic cleansing. (“It is not immoral to separate people that will never get along as equals.” “you understand a choice must be made of which side to move.” “it is logical that the Arabs must go if that is the only path to peace.”) And he is “desperate to understand” why there are people who have a problem with it, and thinks that such people must have lost their moral clarity and their moral compass.

  60. 60 ck said at 10:15 am on October 19th, 2009:

    Lisa: I eschew obfuscation! Every chance I have! You said most of his facts were wrong – and if they were I would sincerely like to know which. Now your response states the obvious – that we have wandered away from the original point of this post. We have and we haven’t. A whole mess of arguments were attributed to me and at least some of my crew. They were presented in a way that really does not do justice to what I at least, try to do and how I try to communicate.

    For instance, this has come up a few times, the notion that international humanitarian crimes committed by others is irrelevant to our discussion. Obviously I beg to differ.

    The fact that horrible things have happened all over the world does not excuse any act done by or on behalf of Israel that violates international norms of conduct. But the inordinate attention given to allegations of misconduct involving Israel can’t really be ignored either. If those making the allegations are not motivated by purely humanitarian concerns and are instead manifesting a religious or ideological bias against Israel and/or Jews then there’s a bit of a conflict of interest there. People who care about the pursuit of truth and justice have every right and a responsibility to voice skepticism and concern. Furthermore, this creates within Israel a sort of siege mentality whereby the assumption is that all such allegations are lies – which they aren’t necessarily – and it makes it that much more difficult for us as a society to find the moral will to address the very real problems we have.

    The absolute moralists amongst us may assert that all this is irrelevant, but the pragmatists amongst us know that these issues have to at least be acknowledged if any progress is to be made. I’d rather promote the tachlis oriented side of things. So yeah. Sue me.

    Oh yeah. All that and the Palestinians want to destroy us. Go ahead Mo-ha-med – Draynk – (Mazel Tov)!

  61. 61 Assaf Oron said at 6:41 pm on October 19th, 2009:

    WWZ –

    As you write, “My bottom line: everyone should take responsibility for their actions and beliefs, we shouldn’t just blame Israel.”

    This is a fairly representative description of the Israeli mainstream justifications, late 2009 model (a.k.a. “post-Goldstone”).

    Back in 2000-2001 when the circular talk Noam so precisely described had started, the justifications were quite different. Then, everyone was busy being so angry and smart, after discovering that Arafat cheated us.

    But again, you are stepping around the issue. The issue here is not whether some policy can be justified by some people. The issue is that practically *everyone* in Israel has been justifying the policies for the past 9 years. Well, everyone except for the settlers who always push for an even more extreme variant of these policies – and us the “radical leftists”, at the sight of which everyone else goes gaga.

    How come everyone supports the policies and finds justifications under the ground (or on Ari Shavit’s latest piece of shit) for them? Back 10, 20, 30 years ago everyone argued about the policies. Some were for, some were against. So what happened? Have government policies this decade been so perfect? At least by my account as well as by results on the ground, this decade has seen perhaps the worst Israeli policies, not the best. So why is everyone busy shutting up any criticism from the left?

    No, it is not because “the world is against us”. That’s just the latest song we’re singing to ourselves.

    Now, I’m not trying to condescend over you. I don’t have a clear answer to that either. But I think this – the collective shutting of mainstream-Israeli brains – is a huge part of the crisis we are in. So if we find the answer why, perhaps we can solve it faster.

    But the first step is to admit there is a problem here. Can you take this step?

  62. 62 Michael LeFavour said at 1:59 pm on October 20th, 2009:

    Brewer,

    Thanks for sharing a little about yourself. I like to conceptualize the people I respond to and I find that even generalities help color the sterile medium we find ourselves communicating in, don’t you agree? I have a photo of myself and my family on facebook and a tiny bio on an experimental blog that has mostly fallen to the side, but even that is hardly personal. As to addressing my points in a tidy essay, I must say that the shroud you placed between us was so filled with bangles, rattles, beads, and other noise makers I can hardly hear your message. I will accept responsibility for lack of comprehension, but attempt to point to confusion where able. I also apologize for waiting this long to respond, I have much to do and have been focused on keeping the Guantanamo detainees out of my community.

    First of all, I had stated that I would verify the title claims over the 12,669 dunums of Najd. This is a logical starting point, because of the confusion over land tenure. Before you mentioned Khalidi I had pointed out that he is a propagandist (he clearly remains so), he would not want his reader to know that the strong possibility exists that not a single dunum of that figure was private property, which would radically alter the sympathy for the false picture he is painting. If demanding accuracy and rejecting propaganda makes me an “ardent Zionist”, so be it. Peace(War) Now tried the same bit of sophistry (and were subsequently humiliated) recently when they tried to exaggerate the amount of Arab land there was in Judea and Samaria under Israeli control. The question is, why would a historian do the same (I will address this more below)? Suffice for now that there is a difference between being an owner and being a tenant on state lands as most Arab farmers were. Hence my confusion when you added little comment of your own, while quoting five ‘opinions’ unrelated in any way of producing the proof I would start with. Instead of guiding me to a census, surveyor’s report, or the findings of a court you took the opportunity to lay the charges of massacre, rape, ethnic cleansing, and war at the feet solely of the Jews….Without a fig leaf of context, for some reason. History, as you must know, is not created in a vacuum.

    I am in the habit of reading every link that is presented and I must confess I had not seen the interview with Morris, though others have cherry picked the exact same paragraph you used from it to reinforce their own arguments, oddly enough. Reading the entire article now in context, I am prompted to interrupt my response before continuing; I have no idea what Morris has read, I can’t read Hebrew, nor do I have access to what he does. I do know that a number (millions?) of documents have since been released that he did not have access to when he wrote his books and more are being released all the time. What I find interesting about Morris is that he has drawn nearly the same conclusion that I have as to the cause of the conflict. “There is a deep problem in Islam. It’s a world whose values are different. A world in which human life doesn’t have the same value as it does in the West, in which freedom, democracy, openness and creativity are alien. A world that makes those who are not part of the camp of Islam fair game.” While he accepts that Jewish militias are not perfect, he rightly understands that the root cause of the conflict is an ideology of supremacism and intolerance. Land has nothing to do with it. The exercise you and I are engaging in now is simply to satisfy our own Western sensibilities and little else. Your charge is the Jews stole land from natives as an aggression, my counter is they had no choice as a defense.

    I find it perplexing and a bit convenient that you would say that “it is unnecessary to analyze the complex system of land ownership that prevailed under the Ottomans.” The Palestine Order-In-Council of 1922 provided a sort of constitution where guidance over civil matters was given, as to land tenure matters, these were the Ottoman Land Laws in effect from 1914 with little change. I believe by international law the British were bound by them as an administrative body over a territory? Further, the deepest changes to Ottoman civil law had already been instituted under the Ottomans thirty years before the arrival of the British, largely as an attempt to at Islamic reform of shariah law. Btw, this secular intervention was not well received from people long accustomed to superiority over dhimmi peoples. Maybe an argument can be made that the Jewish immigration, well under way by then, was partially the catalyst for the change, but that is not the argument you are making, is it? Despite the fact the British decided to leave every law in place except where a direct religious bias made it incompatible with fairness, what you want us to believe is that sophisticated Jews took advantage of aboriginal peoples. Exploitation seems to be the dirty word under the pile of fluff you carted in. Ignore the Ottoman Land Code because the poor savages never saw it coming, just like the ______(add victim of your choice, Maori, Africans, Indians, et al.). Does that sound about right? Or am I a liar, simply because I want to verify who actually lost private property under the existing definitions and legal terms of the day?

    According to Abu Sitta, Salman (2001): From Refugees to Citizens at Home. London: Palestine Land Society and Palestinian Return Centre, 2001…8% of the land (approx. 1,650 km²) was privately controlled by Jews (you estimated 10%, the figure I understand is 8.6%, but who cares?), 6% (approx. 1,300 km²) was private property held by Arabs, with the remaining 86 percent under the control of the government, which passed to Israel. Kind of changes the narrative when you understand the Arabs did not lose private property and that many of those that didn’t are sitting there in Gaza trying to figure out how to kill more Jews even when they lost nothing. Yes a number of them were working to turn the property they were tenants on into private property, but how many were only doing that because Jews were paying a king’s ransom for land?

    Brewer:
    “And this is the primary point at issue. How much land can the Israelis prove they bought and what mechanism has been instituted to enable them to do so?”

    Is it a primary point? Who but a racist cares about how much one race of people own at any given time in a society? How many Jews would have escaped the ovens of Auschwitz if the British would have left the door to their homeland and salvation open instead of choking immigration to a trickle at the very moment in history when the Jewish people most needed a friend and a place to escape to? What percentage would the Jews have made if the British for political reasons had not decided to renege on its legal and moral responsibility over the Mandate? What would the percentage of Jews have been if the SS St Louis, the Struma, and other ships would been allowed to find safe haven in the Jewish National Home? Isn’t that the ‘primary point’? Finding a home for Jews where they are safe from pogroms, butchery, madness, and now the demonisation from the left leaning intelligentsia? When you point to the racial composition of the territory with a loud ‘ah ha! only 8% of the land was owned by Jews’, it brings tears to my eyes when I think of how many more could have been saved were it not for the repugnant sentiment that says some percentage of a certain race is of any importance…and as if a popular vote mattered to any Arab anywhere in the Middle East at the time anyway? The number of Jews there only mattered to racist bigots, who had no problems with Hashemite invaders riding into Eastern Palestine and setting themselves up as colonialist masters over the Howeitat, the Bani Sakher, and twenty other tribes that lost their freedom in the blink of an eye. No, we only appeal to a Western sense of democracy and fairness, both alien to the Arabs of the day, when it is the Jews. Is it fair to judge by new parameters long after the fact? Is it fair to ignore the fact that the Arabs had the choice to accept the new equality and personal liberty by living as equals with the Jews, or that the Jews had no opinion but to live with whatever decision the Arabs made? Would you accept your fellow New Zealanders murdering Maoris if the Maoris were coming home from a long exile with everything that made them Maori still intact?

    Brewer:
    “I ask you to provide some reference supporting this statement:”
    “We also know that thousands of trials from 1948 onwards were conducted to determine private ownership. Israel allowed due process in court”

    Don’t insult anyone’s intelligence, Brewer. The Arabs are not smiling dolts standing around waiting to be victimized. The moment a rule is in place they take advantage of it just like anyone else. When the transfer of power was handed over only 30% or so of tenure determinations had been completed by the British. Title claims had to be decided for the remaining 70%. No doubt there was a massive attempt at fraud on the part of the Arabs to upgrade the miri land they had lived on and may or may not have been cultivating to milk status, whether through ignorance as you wish us to believe or through willful manipulation of the system in place. Even today there are illegal Arab land grabs going on all over Israel as we speak. At issue is the miri land and how to claim it. Have you never heard of a single court challenge over the path of the security barrier? The recent eviction of Arabs from Jerusalem properties all over the news? Sheikh Jarrah? The circus the ISM and Anarchists have created in Nil’in and Bil’in both tout Israeli court decisions, for example. There is a major land grab happening in the Negev that is being fought in Israeli courts.

    Land Disputes Between the Negev Bedouin and Israel
    Israel Studies – Volume 11, Number 2, Summer 2006

    http://www.globalpolicy.org/component/content/article/189/38340.html

    “Since the beginning of the Israeli occupation more than 200,000 cases have been
    brought before military courts.”

    http://www.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/meast/08/03/israel.evictions/index.html

    “As you know, the Israeli court system is independent and professional,” Regev said, referring to the Supreme Court’s decision that paved the way for the evictions. “Many times it goes on the Palestinian side if they think that’s where the justice is and, in this case, they ruled in favor of the Jewish side.”

    “Arabs who lost property in Israel are eligible to file for compensation from Israel’s Custodian of Absentee Property. As of the end of 1993, a total of 14,692 claims had been filed, claims were settled with respect to more than 200,000 dunums of land, more than 10,000,000 NIS (New Israeli Sheckels) had been paid in compensation, and more than 54,000 dunums of replacement land had been given in compensation. Israel has followed this generous policy despite the fact that not a single penny of compensation has ever been paid to any of the more than 500,000 Jewish refugees from Arab countries, who were forced by the Arab governments to abandon their homes, businesses and savings.”

    - Alexander Safian, PhD, CAMERA (The Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America)

    Are you really going to say, with a straight face, that you are a historian, and are not aware of any court willing to hear Arab land claims? Yes, thousands of cases were filed and judged. My question is if Israel is guilty of simple theft as you and others charge, why do they bother with a process at all?

    Brewer:
    “These laws are in direct conflict with United Nations General Assembly Resolution 194 and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.”

    How so? How are non-binding suggestions of a body that has no legal authority over Israel in conflict with Israeli internal law? And even if it was somehow misconstrued that it did apply, how does the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which was created after the refugees were created have any bearing on their status? Further, I take responsibility for my lack of understanding, but I don’t see anything in either document that creates a conflict in the first place. Perhaps you could spell it out by siting the Israeli ordinance and the relevant portion of the documents you allude to. I am honestly at a loss as to what you are driving at even if it be for argumentative purpose. Can I suggest that Wikipedia is a flawed source for the basis of argument if you wish to be taken seriously?

    Brewer:
    “I suggest that you read the many volumes written on the subject by Israeli Historians. You will probably find much of interest such as Martin van Creveld’s analysis of the relative forces arraigned in the conflict:”

    Nowhere in the force compilation you quote from Crevold does it mention the arms. Crevold is noted for his anti-Jewish position and the manpower you site has zero to do with the overwhelming advantage enjoyed by the Arabs for the first two weeks of total war. Israel defeated all of those Arab nations in 6 days when they were armed with equal weaponry and as I have already mentioned on this forum, outnumbered Jews fought tanks hand to hand with courage and conviction…and held. Jews started winning when arms were smuggled past the British. What soon followed was a revision of reality to save face for the Arabs concerned about honor and shame and a second guessing of every aspect of what Jews were forced to do for survival. You are guilty of downplaying the threat for political purposes only, the charges of Israeli wrong doing are supported in rewriting history to lessen the perceived threat the Jews faced.

    US Secretary of State George C. Marshall, was opposed to the Jewish state, but he was an experienced soldier, he told Moshe Sharrett, Jewish Agency Foreign Secretary on the eve of independence:

    “Believe me, I am talking about things about which I know. You are sitting there in the coastal plains of Palestine, while the Arabs hold the mountain ridges. I know you have some arms and your Haganah, but the Arabs have regular armies. They are well trained and they have heavy arms. How can you hope to hold out?”

    Until later in the war when WWII vets from all over the world volunteered in Israel’s defense (especially the air crews for the planes that were airlifted in) and arms started making it past the British blockade, Israeli Jews were at a disadvantage. Only one in three Haganah had a rifle, and many had never even fired one let alone seen combat, and how many of them even spoke the same language? Yes, 90,000 of them, indeed…by October, after months of one sided disparity of arms when it was most critical, and more importantly when you point out most of the cruelty was done to your poor, poor Arabs. Meanwhile thousands of able bodied men languished in British concentration camps on Cyprus and in Africa that could have helped. So much for the idea that Israel was a British client.

    Other sources paint a far different picture than Crevald: “According to Herzog and Gazit, 2005, in 1947 there were some 45,000 Haganah troops, but of these, only 15,000 could be part of an effective fighting force, the rest being tied to defensive roles. The total armament of the Haganah in 1947 consisted of 900 rifles, 700 light machine guns and 200 medium machine guns with scarce ammunition (“sufficient ammunition for three days fighting”). The Haganah had 11 single engine light civilian aircraft and about 40 pilots, 20 of whom had RAF combat experience. There were about 350 sailors, but no ships. The Irgun and Lehi numbered between 2000 and 4,000 troops, but they had little arms and no real combat training.”

    This has some details of the order of battle with the Arab force listing, but I have not bothered to check every reference, it is missing much about the numbers of aircraft for example. http://balagan.org.uk/war/ai/1948/org_arab.htm Notice Israel faced hundreds of tanks, artillery, and air craft, something Crevald fails to point out in his manipulative numbers game. For the record I am an avid war gamer, though it does not compare to being a historian, I am less concerned about the politics of an event as I am accuracy, so that I can test my own tactics and strategies against the various commanders through the ages, in as much as any situation can be reduced to mathematical odds and values.

    Brewer:
    :the Jordanian’s had agreed not to invade the area proposed as the Jewish State, an agreement they held to. In the event, no battles were fought on territory proposed as Israeli in the U.N. Plan for partition.”

    There is no doubt that the Arabs were fractured and the Jews took advantage of this. Your statement is problematic though since Transjordan had no authority to acquire land by war even though the British, in their anti-Jewish scheming, had given them the green light to do so in February of that year. The army of Transjordan was not there to assist the locals, it was there to capture land, after Golda Meir refused Abdullah’s offer of Jewish autonomy if the Jews would have accepted a total take over by Abdullah. So exactly what was the Arab Legion doing west of the Jordan when it attacked the Jews of Kfar Etzion and allowed them to be massacred by a Muslim mob? If what you say is true and is consistent with the logic you want us to follow, why did they enter and attack the Corpus Separatum of Jerusalem? The Arab Legion invaded the largest Jewish community in the country and immediately turned their guns on the 100,000 Jews living there without provocation. It is ridiculous to state that they arrived with some altruistic purpose when they came to capture land and only fought Jews after stating to the world that they were there to save Palestine. But even aside from that, the proposed boundaries you reference had zero legal meaning since the Arabs had rejected the Partition Plan making the non-binding plan null and void. UN 181 is a fig leaf to hide naked aggression. What you are trying to infer by bringing it up is that the Arabs were just living up to an acceptable agreement, right? Just defending their portion of the pie, which they had refused to accept formally, but all of a sudden on the eve of war found convenient to dredge up. This turns reality on its head. By your telling the Arab Legion just set up defense over its agreed to area and the aggressive Jews attacked. Never mind that the Jews of Kfar Etzion and Jerusalem were already there and that the Arab Legion attacked them illegally without justification.

    Brewer:
    “You will also find that there is no substance to the oft quoted threats of genocide that you cite – British MP Christopher Mayhew offered a large sum of money to anyone who could produce evidence of such a statement both in the Newspaper and in the British Parliament. No-one was ever able to produce anything but mistranslation.”

    Right, of course with a caveat like “whilst reserving for himself the right to be the arbiter of the authenticity of any purported statements as well as their meaning” I am sure he was fair and impartial, if this is actually authentic. Can you source it outside of Wikipedia? I saw it on a Strom Front page, but the transcript of the challenge or a court brief is never provided. Of course, you accept it at face value, obviously because if the Holocaust survivors believed in genocide, it might place context for some of their actions of self preservation and that just won’t do. Maybe you can tell us what Azzam Pasha meant when he stated in English, “This will be a war of extermination and a momentous massacre which will be spoken of like the Mongolian massacres and the Crusades.” Or any of these popular quotes?

    -”I declare a holy war, my Muslim brothers! Murder the Jews! Murder them all!”, Hajj Amin el-Husseini, the mufti of Jerusalem

    -”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 Prime Minister Nuri Said, quoted in Sir Am Nakbah (“The Secret Behind the Disaster”) by Nimr el Hawari, Nazareth, 1952

    -”The Secretary General of the Arab League, Azzam Pasha, assured the Arab peoples that the occupation of Palestine and of Tel Aviv would be as simple as a military promenade. . . . He pointed out that they were already on the frontiers and that all the millions the Jews had spent on land and economic development would be easy booty, for it would be a simple matter to throw Jews into the Mediterranean. . . Brotherly advice was given to the Arabs of Palestine to leave their land, homes, and property and to stay temporarily in neighboring fraternal states, lest the guns of the invading Arab armies mow them down.” Habib Issa, Secretary General of the Arab League (Azzam Pasha’s successor), in the newspaper Al Hoda, June 8, 1951

    Brewer:
    “Between 250,000 and 400,000 refugees had been created before the plan was proposed.”

    Check your time line and your sources, sir. Un 181 was voted into existence as a non-binding resolution on 29 November 1947. The Jews were willing to accept a postage stamp by then, so they were elated, like blacks being emanicpated they thought they would finally be free, but the Arab reaction was to anger. Much like the answer to emancipation in America was met with the rise of the Klu Klux Klan and a campaign of violence against the people they hated. The thought of an uppity Jew drove the Muslims insane with rage, this prompted Hajj Amin el-Husseini, the mufti of Jerusalem to announce, “I declare a holy war, my Muslim brothers! Murder the Jews! Murder them all!”. The first to go were the Arab elites as violence broke out into civil war. The refugees you speak of left from November of 1947 to May of 1948 when the Arab armies ‘officially’ attacked. My original question stands. I wonder how many refugees would have formed if the Arabs would have accepted a land sharing deal? The obvious answer you do not wish to give is none. All refugees were formed asa direct result of Arab aggression. The best you can do is try to rewrite history to try and cover over murder, Islamic bigotry, and intolerance.

    “This is a very important point as it negates much of what you have asserted regarding “Arab aggression”.”

    Maybe it would have, if that were correct. Check your sources. The refugees were formed after Arabs attacked the Jews, not before. The catalyst that brought on the general warfare seems to have been the illegal meddling the UN undertook in trying to change the legal document of the Mandate. Bear in mind those non-genocidal, genocidal threats were issued before the invasion as well, along with a mobilization for war before the British left. Armies don’t just invade at the drop of a hat, it takes time to stage for an attack, and in this case they were waiting for the British to leave.

    Brewer:
    “The stated aim of the Arab League was to restore order and protect the property and rights of Jews and Palestinians alike.”

    Of course you can quote where they specifically mention ‘Jews’?

    Brewer:
    “It is worthy of note that the Siege of Jaffa began six moths before the War and that Jaffa was not included in the proposed Jewish State.”

    It is worthy of note that Jaffa was the scene of Arab rioting and murder in the 20s and 30s, had 31,000 Jewish residents at risk, had erupted in violence after the Partition Plan in November, had a strategic port, and the proposed Jewish state was of no concern since it had been rejected and nullified. Further, check your time line. The Partition Plan was in November, the Irgun struck in April, the War started in May, not sure where you get 6 months out of that? Not sure how you don’t see a hostile population with access to a deep water port non threatening considering the back drop of what was happening in April 1948. It is also worthy of noting some trivia: http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/2014739/posts Ex Nazi Waffen SS members were in Jaffa, Muslims who had swarmed to Israel to wage jihad against the infidel Jews and “who had a good reason to expect to be among the first to occupy and loot Tel Aviv”. Sir, your time line is off, and your understanding of why Jaffa needed to be cleared has no military soundness. While I am prepared to criticize excess as in Deir Yasin, I am not in the habit of dismissing the actions of Jewish commanders without fully understanding exactly what was on their minds. It is ashame the Arabs chose violence over tolerance.

    Brewer:
    MLF:
    “It is also madness to assume that loss of land gives anyone the right to shell civilian population centers without regards to the lives of the innocent.”

    “This is called “resistance to occupation” and the question of innocence is moot.”

    Until this, I assumed you were a rational person, maybe just confused about military tactics or a little heavy handed on your propaganda. Many well meaning people are simply ignorant and there is absolutely no shame if just not knowing everything, but this…this is something entirely different. With a straight face, you can honestly sit behind your computer screen and state that innocence is moot and indiscriminate shelling is “resistance to occupation”? Have you actually thought this through to its logical conclusion, Brewer? If innocence is moot, then let’s just drop the pretenses and agree Israel should bomb the Arabs into the stone age, since as you say innocence is moot. You would never apply a rule to just one side of a conflict would you, Brewer? Or speaking of rules, perhaps you can site for us exactly where the targeting of civilians is permissible? Or where a right to resist even occupation by shelling civilians is permissible in war? No? Then why would you tarnish your name by printing something like this? Do you really have such a deep hatred of Jews that you don’t care if Jewish children are killed? After the many faux appeals to humanity you just made?

    Brewer:
    “It is a War Crime for an occupying force to settle the territory occupied.”

    If Israel was in occupation of another’s land that might hold true, but since the land legally belongs to the Jewish people it doesn’t. Or maybe you can explain how the Arabs suddenly discovered their homeland after 1967?

    Brewer:
    “In this sense, Israelis who settle on disputed land such as Sderot are complicit. The rockets are little more than a token and exact a toll less than half of one percent of the deaths from road accidents in Israel.”

    Are you perverting morality here, by in effect justifying something awful like rape (a crime) on the grounds that it is no more than a token and the toll is less than half of one percent of the pregnancies from accidental pregnancy? Here I will link you to a Catholic talk show that condemns teen pregnancy and premarital sex…Brewer, come on.

    Brewer:
    “Personally, I do not view such resistance as cassus belli.”

    Do you have any philosophical justification for this position? You are a philosopher, right? From where I stand your hideous personal interpretation of the way the world works is filled with a malevolent hatred of Jews and it has colored your words here with something repulsive. You see no innocence in Israel, do not accept Jews fighting back, and feel acts of violence are good for raising awareness. I suppose this means you supported the murder of the Israeli athletes at Munich, the throwing of Leon Klinghoffer over the side of the Achille Lauro, the hijacking of planes, the bombings, the stabbings, the shootings, the grenade attacks…Sbarro, Dolphinarium, legitimate targets. The brutality, murder, and inhumanity… just resistance and good publicity, huh, Brewer?

    In fact, I see no logic in continuing. I should have read your entire response instead of just replying to it as I read it. I don’t feel up to the task and it has been over an hour wasted in this reply already. From your racist insistence on racial percentages, to your racist genetics sophistry, and your clear misunderstanding of what a national movement is. I think much of what you have to say would be better received at Storm Front, Brewer. Good day to you, sir. I am finished, declare victory, Don Quixote, I care less.

  63. 63 Michael LeFavour said at 2:19 pm on October 20th, 2009:

    Ms Goldman,

    I will take your suggestion under advisement, but how would you respond to a historian? Until I read Brewer’s last comments justifying Jew murder I was quite passionate about it. Too, bad you feel je suis plein de la merde, n’est ce pas? Though in plain old English it is quite rude to make charges without setting the record straight, don’t you agree? How will anyone learn, if you don’t bother?

    CK,

    Thank you for your supportive comments. I hope I did not disappoint too badly with this reply. I am not sure I wish to continue though in light of reading the entire rebuttal that I received. Not that I can’t, mind you, it is just that at this point I feel uncomfortable in being polite and out of respect to Noam, who has never once mistreated me I see no purpose outside of the realm of harsh ridicule forthcoming, maybe you disagree?

  64. 64 Michael LeFavour said at 3:29 pm on October 20th, 2009:

    Noam,

    The solution I support is a peaceful transfer of the Arabs to Jordan, which is Arab Palestine by any fair barometer. I would prefer they are paid fairly and go at their own free will, but I reject the status quo. Doing nothing has led to nothing but violence and hatred. Solving the problem is illegal to even discuss in Israel, and to me that is a problem in itself. Before you call me a monster, or a reactionary, a jingoist, or some other label that makes you feel better about yourself, I don’t see any other realistic solution that preserves Jewish safety and a Jewish right of self determination. To me self preservation trumps lofty goals of democracy and equality and though you may laugh at the threat now, I see little evidence that the threat will be so manageable in the future. The Muslims are not sitting around idle. They are building and planning for war while they smile in your face and hope. If they had a weapon that could change the dynamics of the conflict they will use it and sneer at rules of engagement and the self defeating restrictions they laugh at. The longer you fail to act the worse the potential consequences in the future.

    Anyone that thinks it is something the Jews have done or can do that will placate the Arabs are fooling themselves to the point of criminal negligence and are ignoring history. What did the first Muslims do? The ones with the living memory of Islam? They attacked and subjugated. Give back all of Jerusalem, withdraw to the Auschwitz lines, allow their sons and grand sons in, the ones that have grown up hating you, it will change nothing. On top of that offer to become their slaves for the next thousand years in return for one dunum, that will not be enough and they will not give it even then. You are Jews. Prophet killers, doomed to hell, and even subhuman. Nothing you do will help, nothing you do will stop the need to destroy an abomination that turns back centuries of expansion. Do you not see it, Noam? The occupation has nothing to do with the beheading of Buddhist school teachers in Thailand, or of Christian school girls in Indonesia, the occupation has nothing to do with rape, enslavement, or massacre of Animists in Sudan, Hindus in Bangladesh, or Sikhs in India. Non Muslims are persecuted by Muslims where ever they are in the minority. East Timur, Southern Philippines, Egypt, Iran (where is the Baha’i headquarters?), Yemen. You are an enemy because you are infidels, the land is a secondary issue. The PLO wrote in their Charter that they did not want the land that is suddenly a cause to kill for them and their sick minded supporters like Brewer. Again, why did the free tribes accept Hashemite tyranny on the east bank? Why did they accept Hashemite tyranny on the west bank for 19 years? The answer is that they were Muslims and fellow Arabs, period.

    You know the answer to all these questions yet still you insist on giving them rights they would never give you. It makes no sense to me. Not from a military stand point, not from a moral stand point. Regardless of how you disagree with my assessment of the Arabs you so pity, it is my pity for you that drives me to say stop. Stop apologizing for the things that are not your fault. The violence, the death, the killing on both sides continues completely at the will of the Arabs. You either accept perpetual pain and suffering at their choosing or do something about it. Defeat them, Noam, it is the only way to end the war.

    As to Puerto Rico, I never claim to be an expert on every issue I speak of. I do not know the specifics. I could be wrong, and as you say they vote in the primaries but do not have representation in congress. It hardly matters if they are allowed to move to the mainland, they are not a threat to us in any way. They could become the most populous race or religion, but as long as they are not trying to kill us, we allow them to do as they please. The same can not be said of your Arab friends. If it could you would have never seen my name. I am only hear with something to say because I care.

    If I alienate any of your readers it is my own weakness in expressing what I am trying to say. I take responsibility for that. But my motives are pure.

  65. 65 noam said at 4:23 pm on October 20th, 2009:

    Michael, at least you are honest, I’ll give you this. You have reached the right conclusion, and the thing I was trying to say for a long time – that the Israeli Right doesn’t offer any solution but transfer – only empty words.

    In the spirit of honesty, I’ll say this: nothing that you will write or say about “my Arab friends” (sorry, I only have one) will make me support transfer. I would rather see the end of Israel (not the end of Israelis) to this.

  66. 66 Michael LeFavour said at 6:01 pm on October 21st, 2009:

    Noam,

    Yes I am honest. Part of being honest is facing reality. If you could give me an alternative solution that has a chance to survive reality I might be able to support it. Allowing the creation of a terrorist sanctuary so close to the innocent Jews that do not deserve to be harmed is the worst solution I can envision at the moment. Its chances of bringing peace are so far removed from reality that it is madness. There is a great catastrophe hurtling your way, Noam, I am safe and sound here, but my heart goes out to those that you endanger with your suicidal support of a dream.

  67. 67 Raphael said at 10:55 pm on October 21st, 2009:

    I should know better than to try to talk to you, but- do you really think that there’s any bunch of bigots and racists and the like in the world that doesn’t think of itself as the only people who are willing to face reality?

    And speaking of facing reality- doesn’t that include being very alert when you see people completely seriously and non-sarcastically saying something like “my motives are pure”?

  68. 68 Michael LeFavour said at 3:44 pm on October 22nd, 2009:

    Raphael,

    I have always liked the name Raphael.

    I attempted to marry an Arab from Gaza a long time ago…before I knew anything. Before I understood how deep hate can take hold of a human. Genocide, massacre, terrorism…just words. I was so naive then. Sure I was capable of understanding all the things that burden my soul now, but I was busy. Very busy. Her family rejected me without apology, because I am not an Arab myself. Simple honesty without malice. I think they cared for me, but that was just the way it was between us.

    I am not sure exactly why I felt compelled to share that. I suppose I find weakness in those that insinuate I am something that I am not. Labeling me is so much easier than coming to grips with an ugly truth, but I have long since wearied of the game.

    I do not feel racists and bigots are honest, quite the opposite. Racists and bigots are in denial along with the self hating left that projects its flaws onto anyone that confronts the fantasy.

    As to my motives. I have not deviated once in 5 years of speaking. My goal is to prevent the genocide that I sense may come to Israel if racist bigots get their way. To that end I am the antithesis of those that are guided by delusions. Do you have something of substance to challenge me with or are you at peace with yourself now that you have neatly labeled me?

  69. 69 Raphael said at 1:27 am on October 23rd, 2009:

    “Do you have something of substance to challenge me with”

    No, because our main disagreement is about a basic matter of right and wrong, which means that ultimately, I can’t refute your position, and you can’t refute mine. When people disagree on really basic matters of what is right and what is wrong, they can come up with all kinds of arguments- religious, philosophical, legal, practical, based on appeals to common decency, whatever- but if each side simply does not accept the other side’s assumptions, they don’t really have much to say to each other.

    On the specific issue we’re talking about, one either thinks that things like mass murder and robbing large numbers of people of their homes and farms are wrong, or one doesn’t think so. And, well, I think these things are wrong.

    “As to my motives. I have not deviated once in 5 years of speaking. My goal is to prevent the genocide that I sense may come to Israel if racist bigots get their way.”

    I don’t doubt that your motives are pure. That’s my point. How can someone with some awareness of history- and especially someone who apparently likes to see himself as a hard-headed realist- think that the fact that someone’s motives are pure is a good argument for what he wants?

  70. 70 Michael LeFavour said at 2:41 pm on October 23rd, 2009:

    Our basic disagreement is not about right and wrong, our basic disagreement is about reality and context. I am part native American. The dominant narrative is that the evil white man came and stole our land and our lives, but were native Americans killed by Europeans as part of a premeditated genocide? Or were they the unfortunate victims of not having immunity to Small Pox and technological changes? It boils down to how you interpret history. Reality lies somewhere in between and the death toll has context.

    “On the specific issue we’re talking about, one either thinks that things like mass murder and robbing large numbers of people of their homes and farms are wrong, or one doesn’t think so. And, well, I think these things are wrong.”

    First, I challenge you to point to any statement of mine that condones mass murder or even robbing homes. That is a straw man you created in order to make it appear as if you have knocked my argument down. This is a prime example of not facing reality. You had to fabricate something that is not there in order to justify your own position.

    We both agree that taking someone’s home is wrong. I said clearly that restitution should be paid for anyone losing a home, to pretend otherwise is more straw stuffing for an empty argument.

    Where you fail to face reality is that you look at the act of transferring the aggressive Arab population away from the Jews as if it exists in a vacuum. An isolated act of aggression without cause or justification. The reality, on the other hand, is that Arabs have forced the decision, the only question remains is who will have the moral and political courage to carry it out? The alternative is to accept the loss of life of your own innocent. Jew murder. In that sense, you and I are different, because I think it is immoral to accept murder as a price to pay for clinging to a high sounding ideal. I am looking at the entire picture when I correctly conclude that the conflict is not over land, it is a conflict rooted in Islamic bigotry and to a lesser degree Arab racism. Two concepts that will not disappear no matter what you do to appease those that will never see you as an equal.

    Maybe from a tactical point of view this is not the best course of action now, but it is the only strategic and moral solution that makes sense. Whether the Arabs resist is up to them, if they do not, they will be compensated and it will be done peacefully. If they do they can be met with as much force as you seem to accept when stealing homes from Jews.

  71. 71 Brewer said at 11:44 pm on October 23rd, 2009:

    MLF.
    I am happy to continue our debate, point for point but I sense that this would not make us popular with the owners of this blog. Should they wish it, I will but in the meantime, more general points need to be addressed.

    As Raphael has pointed out, as an advocate of transfer, your moral scheme prohibits any appeal to human rights or reason. You further distort discussion by eschewing international convention and law.
    This widens debate to include “first principles” of morality and justice, the acceptance of which is the very foundation of civilised society.
    The involuntary transfer of populations is prohibited by such principles but let us imagine (as you seem to) that it is a necessary solution to this problem of incompatible people.
    Let us accept that transfer is the practical solution.
    The question immediately arises – who should be transferred in this case? Who is the logical candidate – a recent immigrant or a long term resident? Leaving morality aside, it seems to me that, from a practical point of view, the recent immigrant is most suited. If not, I’d be interested in hearing why not.
    Pursuing this line of thought, perhaps we could establish a principle. How about all people not born in the area are transferred? That should ease tensions somewhat.
    Who should be next?

  72. 72 Raphael said at 8:27 am on October 24th, 2009:

    Sigh. I’m not really interested in a lengthy debate with someone who supports mass deportations over whether mass deportations are ok or not. But since you accused me of fabricating stuff-

    “I challenge you to point to any statement of mine that condones mass murder or even robbing homes”

    Every statement in which you support population transfer, and your statements in which you said that you don’t want to “second guess” a specific past mass deportation. Restitution or no restitution (and Israel’s track record of paying restitution to Palestinians who lost access to their farms doesn’t seem to be good), “population transfer” is still simply a nice bureaucratic term for robbing large numbers of people of their homes (and in rural areas, their farms). As for mass murder, well, there’s hardly ever any population transfer that doesn’t involve a fair number of people from the transferred populations getting killed.

    Oh, it’s not that I don’t see the context (allthough I have some disagreements with you over the historical and political background), it’s that I think that some things simply aren’t justified by context. (People who commit or support atrocities almost always say that their atrocities, unlike everyone else’s, are ok because of the context.) So, again, our disagreement is about basic matters of right and wrong, and of what kind of actions can or can’t be justified.

    Oh, and “(…)I am part native American.” Let me guess- Cherokee?

  73. 73 Michael LeFavour said at 12:01 pm on October 25th, 2009:

    Brewer,

    It is a burden for me to check my disdain for you in light of your admissions, Brewer. A person that picks through history with a pair of tweezers and sees shelling of civilian population centers as legitimate resistance and good publicity has nothing of value to share. But in as much as you are not shocked, no…that you welcome a separation between the two peoples, I feel compelled to answer to your one legitimate question of who should leave and who should stay.

    Brewer:
    “The question immediately arises – who should be transferred in this case? Who is the logical candidate – a recent immigrant or a long term resident? Leaving morality aside, it seems to me that, from a practical point of view, the recent immigrant is most suited. If not, I’d be interested in hearing why not.”

    First, I reject the question. Much as you are prone to sift through history and present fake appeals to humanity, you have confined the parameters of your question to just one narrow aspect of a complex variety of factors that must be considered.

    Morality aside indeed. I expected no less from the likes of you, but practicality? How many countries are there where Hebrew is a national language? One. How many are there that speak Arabic? Twenty Two. From a practical point of view, based on language the Arabs will find it easier to adjust to their new homes and society than Jews would.

    How many Jewish countries are there? One. How many Muslim countries are there? Over fifty. From a practical point of view based on religion the Muslims will find it easier to adjust to their new homes and society than Jews would. In addition, there are no places on earth that will bar a Muslim based solely on religion. Conversely, there are vast swathes of land off limits to Jews, something Hitler himself only dreamed of accomplishing.

    How many countries give Jews access to their Holy Places? One. When Transjordan captured part of Eretz Israel it not only ethnically cleansed the land of Jews it denied access to the Holy places. The Holy Places of the Arab Muslims are in Saudi Arabia, not only are they commanded to go there they are not barred from there. Further, the Jews foolishly bar their own people from praying at the site of the Temple. This is an admission that the Al Aqsa’s Mosque has any relevance in Islam when it does not, Jerusalem is not mentioned once in the Quran. From a practical point of view based on access to Holy Places, the Muslims would find it easier to adjust to their new homes and societies.

    How many places on earth can a Jew live where thousands of years spiritual connection to the land have existed? Jews are not asking to be reconstituted to every place they ever lived such as in Mecca and Medina, they are asking to live in a specific place where the connection is so deep it is woven into the very fabric of what makes a Jew. From a practical point of view based on spirituality and deep historical connection to the land moving the Jews makes little sense.

    How would you determine who an immigrant is? Would those Jews that immigrated with the Sultan’s permission under Ottoman control and their families be allowed to stay? Would the ones that immigrated under the Mandate be allowed to stay? Or would your cut off be only Jews that immigrated after Israel took over? What about those that were born in Israel, would they be subject to deportation? And what about the thousands of Arabs that immigrated to take advantage of the higher standard of life and jobs that Jews brought? Do they get deported in your immigration only basis of who should go? And finally, what about the Jews that fled as refugees with nowhere else to go in fear for their lives? Is it practical to send them back to countries they fled from seeking political asylum from? If not, is it practical to subject them to the likely retaliation and acts of revenge the Arabs would exact on them? We haven’t even discussed the descendants of the Jews that were there long before the Arab invasion that swept through 1300 years ago. Will they go too?

    This leads to the logistics of deporting Jews. Since I assume you wish the Jews that immigrated from Europe to be returned to Europe, will this cost be more or less than the cost of a 30 minute bus ride to Jordan? From a practical point of view it will be both quicker and cheaper to move people and belongings by land and the question remains of what to do with the Arab Jews that were political refugees from hostile countries and the existing Jewish community.

    I will surrender that from the point of acceptance, it may be easier for Western countries, that are always ready to bend over backwards and compromise morality to avoid conflict, to accept alien cultured, alien speaking, alien faithed Jews than it would be to get Jordan to accept their Arab brothers, alike in every way down to the minutest detail.

    Which brings us to the practicality of appeasement. Would rewarding Jew hatred and Arab racism further the cause of moderation? Or would it inspire more intolerance and criminal disregard of customary norms of behavior? The tactics you applaud are war crimes along with suicide bombing, hostage taking, and deliberate targeting of civilians. Any Jew your plan leaves behind would be in grave mortal danger, let alone certain humiliating discrimination. That is assuming the Arabs would not deport the remaining Jews on their own once they came to power. Arab Palestine, Jordan, had a Jewish community at one time. How many Jews live there now? From a practical point of view it is in the world’s best interest to oppose racism and bigotry. A crushing defeat over those two evils would send a shock wave throughout the Muslim world that the war is over and that the world community will not accept it ever again. I also concede, from a practical point of view, that as long as a cheap source of energy remains in the hands of racist bigots, it is not practical to ask the Jews to fight the battle…alone, that every last one of us should be ready to fight shoulder to shoulder.

    There is a critical need for a Jewish State because people like you exist, Brewer. From the Roman genocide, to the massacre of the Banu Quraiza and genocide of all the Jewish tribes by Muhammad, to the European pogroms, forced conversions, and the Inquisition, to the dignity theft of the Pact of Umar, to the lies and blood libels, to the unbridled hatred unleashed in the Holocaust, to the rejection of Jews in their own land, to the hangings, lynchings, theft, and murder of Jews in the Arab world like in the Farhud, to the perversion of the Mandate that stripped 76% of the Jewish home away, to the restriction of Jewish immigration to the sliver that remained at a time in history when the Jews needed it most, to the arms embargo, to the blockade, to the internment of desperate refugees, to the attempt at genocide against peaceful immigrants, to the wars that followed, the rejection, the perpetual state of war, the boycott, the endless stream of frivolous resolutions at the UN, and the attacks on reality, the moral perversion, and twisting of logic by so called academics such as yourself. No, sir. There is a need…a quantifiable need, for a sanctuary where Jews can take their fate into their own hands.

    Obviously you care nothing for these people and for that you have my utter contempt. The frightened Jews I understand, they are desperate for peace and confused because they fail to understand they are up against a foreign value system. The Muslims I understand and accept, hating Jews is codified in their holy book, the Quran, and the intolerance is part of their religion. Osama Bin Laden, in that regard, is at least honest, but you are a liar and a fraud selling snake oil using your credentials as a scholar as a magician’s prop. I reject you, Brewer, on a fundamental level and I am not fooled. You are a stooge for bigots and I picture you as a professor in front of my child with horror and anger.

  74. 74 Michael LeFavour said at 1:17 pm on October 25th, 2009:

    Raphael,

    If I had the penchant for avoiding reality I wouldn’t want to speak with someone like me either. I asked you for evidence that I support mass murder. That is a serious charge and I think it is a fair challenge to quantify it in unambiguous terms, you would like the charge clarified if you were the recipient of the slander, wouldn’t you?

    What population transfers are you referring to when you generalize that I am an advocate of, in your words, “mass murder”? Did the transfer of Jews from Gaza recently involve any murder and if there had been a death is it fair to label it murder? This is the most recent example I can think of and your perversion of the word ‘murder’ matters to this discussion. And since I clearly said compensation for homes would be paid, how does that equate to theft? These are two serious charges that you have vilified me with. I think you owe me more than some vague rebuttal.

    I said I would not second guess military commanders making military decisions of necessity because I was not there at the time, and the back drop juxtaposed on their decision was the impending doom approaching and total war for the survival of the Jewish community. Unlike you apparently, I am able to dispel prejudice and consider the whole story before judging the actions of others. You obviously feel you would have decided differently, which leads me compelled to state that I am very glad you were not there else the mere 1% of the population lost may have been much higher. Similar to your perversion of the word murder, is it fair to label military necessity as “theft’? It is plainly clear from my writing I make a distinction and the articles of war support my assertion.

    As to population transfer amounting to theft, again I stated clearly that compensation would be made for those losing private property. The choice is accepting real murder and perpetual war or taking action to end it. As long as the Arabs maintain the idea that they can win or that they can piece meal Israel to death there will be violence. Giving Judea and Samaria away to them on top of Gaza will change nothing. It will only lead to well armed Arabs wishing to kill Jews once they have access to jets, rockets, artillery, and tanks. It is criminal negligence to think otherwise.

    As to my tribe, what does it matter? I am part Kiowa, not Cherokee, but I fail to understand the significance? My grandmother was born on a reservation, which the Kiowa were transfered to without incident, I should add, but only after bloody warfare and many dead on both sides. Do feel pity for me the way you pity your Arabs? We raided caravans, we raided settlers, we raided other Indians that the US considered civilized Indians like the Choctaw, Chickasaw, and a dozen others that were moved to Indian territory. The Kiowa and our Comanche allies didn’t respect borders, we used them as a base to attack others from and as long as the US allowed us to get away with that we did as we pleased without rules of war. Much like Muslims, Kiowa had no concept of civilians that you would find palatable, we went to war with everyone and took what we wanted by force. If you think that is a custom worth preserving we can debate how that will mesh with the modern world, let alone head hunting, cannibalism, ritual torture, human sacrifice and other niceties. So I wonder what your point is? If you think that because I fully look European and my mother was pure, Lilly white Irish that I have no pride in being part Kiowa you are mistaken.

  75. 75 Raphael said at 2:31 am on October 26th, 2009:

    I’m sorry about the Cherokee remark. It was pretty cheap and low. Since you brought up your heritage at this point in the debate, I thought you would belong to the “I’m 1/32 Cherokee, which is highly important for this debate” crowd. Sorry. My bad.

    As for the rest, I thought of some things I might say, but on the whole, I simply think it’s absurd and ridiculous that I should have to explain my opposition to ethnic cleansings to someone who supports ethnic cleansings. Just one small misconception I might clear up: When I think it’s wrong to ethnically cleanse a person, this does not necessarily mean that I “love” or “pity” that person, especially if I’ve never met that person and probably never will.