advocating the right of return?

Posted: April 2nd, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: The Right, The Settlements, the US and us | Tags: , , , | 29 Comments »

I just ran across this post on site, which demonstrates so much of what is so absurd about the Israeli policy in East Jerusalem. It also teaches something about the people defending these policies.

The article deals with a Synagogue in occupied old Jerusalem and how Jews finally managed to reconstruct it in spite of Palestinian protest. The anonymous author praises the synagogue as “a symbol of return for the Jewish people to Jerusalem”.

Read the core of his argument:

The Hurva Synagogue has been rebuilt in the Old City of Jerusalem. The Old City is part of what is meant by “east Jerusalem” when people claim it belongs to the Palestinians. The Old City was all of Jerusalem until the mid-1800s and it had a Jewish majority at the time. As the population grew and Zionists from Europe funded growth of other neighborhoods, Jerusalem expanded beyond the Old City. However, a Jewish population remained there until 1948, when, in Israel’s War of Independence all of the Jews were evicted by the Jordanians and their allies, the local Arab forces (nee, Palestinians). In that war, Jordan, with its British trained forces, conquered east Jerusalem as well as the area west of the Jordan River which they promptly renamed “West Bank.”

When signing a cease fire agreement with Israel, the Jordanians refused to consider the cease fire lines as borders. Indeed, those borders have never been drawn and in a complex dance, when peace was signed with Jordan, the question of the “West Bank” was still incomplete because in 1988 the Jordanians renounced all rights to the territory. When people demand that Israel go back to 1967 lines, what they mean is that Israel should return to 1949 armistice lines. The problem with those lines, however, is that the Old City, with its Jewish Quarter and the Temple Mount and its Western Wall are on the non-Israel side because they fell into Jordanian hands.


Rebuilding the Hurva Synagogue is a symbol of return for the Jewish people to Jerusalem.

Now, this is the same logic that the supporters of the Jewish settlements in Sheikh Jerrah and Silwan follow: that this land belonged to Jews before 1948, and that by building there unilaterally and ignoring all Palestinian claims, Jews are not colonizing the land, but rather returning to it.

But this is actually the worst arguments Israelis can raise! If it’s in someone’s interest to recognize ownership of land according to the situation prior to 1948, it’s obviously the Palestinians. Palestinians have legitimate claims to houses and land inside Israel, most of them well documented by the British and the Ottomanians. Some families even hold the keys to the houses they abandoned (and in many cases, expelled from) in 1948. And If Israel was to return to the 1947 partition lines rather than the armistice lines, it would actually lose much more land that it would gain.  This is the reason Israel’s first condition is to base all negotiations on the situation in 1949, not 1947.

In their typical rush to defend everything Israel is doing, the Jewish hipsters of Jewlicious are actually backing the most radical Palestinian claim – the one for a full right of return.

In fact, the families being kicked out of their homes in Shikh Jerrah these days are refugees from Jaffa who fled east across the Jordanian border in 1948. I guess they would be happy to follow through with the logic of the author of the post on Jewlicious: the Israelis would get back their houses and synagogues in East Jerusalem, and they would return to their homes by the sea in Jaffa. Since Tel Aviv is a much nicer city than Jerusalem, I think the Palestinians would actually be getting the better side of the deal.

But let’s not get carried away: all the emotional and spiritual talks about the right of return quoted above are meant for Jews, and Jews only. History lessons, morals and even laws tend to go one way in the only democracy in the Middle East.


[As for me, I do think that Israelis should be able to live, visit and pray in old Jerusalem, but changes to the statues quo in the city should be done as part of an agreement with the Palestinians, not by unilateral acts]

29 Comments on “ advocating the right of return?”

  1. 1 Yehuda Lev said at 1:25 am on April 3rd, 2010:

    You raise a good point concerning the lack of full consideration of Jewlicious’ arguments concerning Jerusalem and the “complete” return of the Jewish people to Eretz Israel.

    But you must consider the fact that British and Ottoman records of ownership are in themselves the records of conquerors and occupiers. This must also be coupled with the fact the “Palestinians” are themselves the mixed descendants of conquerors and occupiers. It has the taste of us asking the thief’s son permission to take back what is already ours. Bottom line, we need no such permission. Any other such arguments are a compromise and represent the ghetto character the Jewish people have yet to shake off after 2000 years of exposing our necks to the good mercies of the gentile world.

  2. 2 noam said at 9:52 am on April 3rd, 2010:

    Yehuda: I was raising a point regarding the argument the guy from Jewlicious used, not the basic Jewish claim for the land. I think that his logic was inconsistent, that’s all.

    as for me, I don’t care much whether we or the Palestinians are the true “natives” of the land. each side has it’s own story, and that’s it. the point is what do you do with the Palestinians who are here now, and how do you solve the problem of the West Bank and East Jerusalem.

  3. 3 Yehuda Lev said at 12:29 pm on April 3rd, 2010:

    Noam. I understand your point and agree with it. It is detrimental to use faulty logic in arguments where so much is at stake.

    As for the Palestinians. What do you do with a people dedicated to your destruction and little else?
    We have three options:
    1) Let them kill us
    2) Leave
    3) Fight
    As for me the first two options don’t seem to appealing so I guess I’ll go with the third. But that’s just me.

  4. 4 noam said at 10:31 pm on April 3rd, 2010:

    Yehuda – as you can imagine, I don’t agree with your assumptions regarding the Palestinians, but even if was I follow your logic and say we are forced to fight:

    - how do we know when we’ve won?
    - and then what? you still have millions with no rights in the WB.

  5. 5 Bill said at 4:34 am on April 4th, 2010:


    1. Much of the Palestinian ancestry is Jewish, as Jews converted to Christianity and Islam over the centuries.

    2. The Jews themselves were “conquerors and occupiers” at least according to the Bible, specifically the books of Joshua and Judges.

    3. What is the evidence that Palestinians are “dedicated to your destruction and little else.”?

  6. 6 Yehuda Lev said at 12:13 pm on April 4th, 2010:

    1) No Bill it is not. There is no doubt there is some Jewish blood in the Palestinians since there has been forced conversions, enslavement, and some assimilation by the remnants of the Jewish community that survived the Roman purge as well as the small communities that survived afterward. They are related to us the same way most of the people in this region are related as a people of Semitic origin but there is a significant strain of southern Arabic genetic markers as well as other markers that are not found in the Jewish bloodline. Actually the closest Jewish relatives are the Kurds.
    2) Yep. Bring me a Canaanite and maybe we’ll have a talk.
    3)Where have you been the last sixty years? Where is your evidence that crocodiles eat meat?

    Sorry Noam but I neglected to consider a fourth option:
    4) Conversion and assimilation

  7. 7 Richard Silverstein said at 3:33 pm on April 4th, 2010:

    I have not seen Yehuda Lev in many yrs but the Yehuda I remember did not have views that were so out of touch w. reality as his views are concerning the Palestinians. And so out of touch w. the fact that Israeli attitudes toward Palestinians precisely ape the ones you claim the Palestinians feel toward Israelis.

    As for Jewlicious, Noam you’ve discovered what many of us have known for a long time. That it & its owner, David Abitbol make no pretence of understanding the underlying assumptions of their views.

    And if you continue writing critically about Jewlicious you might suffer the lying, bullying tactics he attempts to use against so many of his persistent critics.

  8. 8 Sarkany said at 1:08 pm on April 8th, 2010:

    Inconclusive, metaphysically-based debates aside, the OPINION expressed in Jewlicious is a popular and valid one per global Jewry. I don’t see how it’s much of a problem. Settlers are determined to engage in endless war, so let them.

  9. 9 Dahlia Parker said at 1:16 am on April 9th, 2010:

    First of all, the post wasn’t even by David Abtitbul. “Jewlicious” is a blog with various posters who have their own view points.

    You all are losing the point, this was supposed to be about the Hurva- which has a long and illutrious Jewish history.

    The fact that people will call anywhere in the old city “East Jerusalem” is just ridiculous. The Hurva is in fact it is right in the center of the Jewish quarter. Besides- the entire city of Jerusalem is part of Israel. full stop. “Occupying” is totally different than annexing. And Jerusalem is annexed at every level.

    When people talk about “Arab” East Jerusalem it is the same as talking about Chinatown in New York. It is consdiered “Chinese” because that is where Chinese people live, it is not a part of China.

    Most of the Arabs in East Jerusalem are Israeli citizens. Which is exactly what they want.

  10. 10 noam said at 1:33 am on April 9th, 2010:

    Dahila: learn the facts. Arabs in East Jerusalem are residents, not citizens. they don’t have full rights. some were even left on the east side of the wall.

    and the fact that Israel chose to annex the land does not mean that the world has to accept that.

    I didn’t say this post was written by DA. as for the “variety” in Jewlicious, it’s a bit like the variety you can find between the Likud and Israel Beitenu. we have yet to find a leftist post there.

  11. 11 Kung Fu Jew 18 said at 7:22 am on April 9th, 2010:

    And Jerusalem is annexed at every level.

    This kind of uneducated statement is what bothers me about Jewlicious’ Israel bloggers. (I’m assuming this Dahlia is the same as their blogger.) Just because one paid attention in day school doesn’t mean there’s nothing new to learn since graduation.

    Yes, that line is Israel’s argument, but there are counterclaims that need to be answered. America could chose to annex part of Antarctica, but other countries would likely contest such a move, no? No country in the world recognizes Israel’s annexation, not even the US. Palestinians fiercely dispute its legality. Thus the negotiations over its future.

    Most of the Arabs in East Jerusalem are Israeli citizens.

    They were made Jerusalem “residents” but not Israeli citizens. Meaning, Israel annexed the land but not the people. Pretty sly if you ask me — and begging for international condemnation.

    Which is exactly what they want.

    Dahlia has had conversations with East Jerusalemites? I’ve lived there. This is not what they want. They want the higher level of public services offered in Jerusalem, but they yet abstain from municipal elections out of protest for their situation. What “exactly” do East Jerusalemites want? I wouldn’t trust Dahlia to know the answer further than I could throw her.

  12. 12 Dahlia Parker said at 7:52 am on April 9th, 2010:

    Noam- OK, I’ll rephrase – East Jersalemites who are citizens wouldn’t want to be anything else, all those who don’t have citizenship would love to get it and those who are left on the eastern side of the wall are pretty pissed off.

    Hey Kung Fu Jew- I am not a blogger at Jewlicious and that is a totally weird thing to assume. As if I am some blogger that will post my views on one of the most popular Jewish blogs but too much of a wimp to leave a freakin’ comment?

    I have lived in Israel for almost 15 years, I never went to day school and I talk with East Jerusalemites all the time and you want to know some thing interesting- I have never met an Arab Israeli that wants to be anything but.

    In fact, I speak with Arabs who are from villiages in “occupied territiories” and hear the same thing over and over again- they don’t care about getting their own state, they regret Oslo because life was better under the Israelis then it is under their corrupt, violent leadership BUT none of them will ever go public with their opinion for fear of being murdered.

    I am acutally unbaised and generally sympathetic to their situation. Their lives suck, the are stuck in a kind of pergatory and they have international pundits who try to make their decisions for them without really listening.

    You all spout all this rhetoric in support of a leadership and the creation of a state which nobody really wants- certainly not the people that it is supposedly being created for.

  13. 13 noam said at 8:09 am on April 9th, 2010:

    Dahila – what would it take you to admit the way things are? ALL east Jerusalem Arabs but few are residents, not citizens, therefore can’t vote in elections, can’t buy homes in Israel, and basically are anything but citizens. would you agree to live like that?

    KFJ is right- Israel did annex the land but not the people. If you live in Israel and still don’t know that, it’s even worse, though you are not the first to make this mistake.

    And what does the “Arabs I meet” argument has to do with that? your point was that Arabs are equal citizens in unified Jerusalem. That was the rational behind your claim that Israel is OK in building in East Jerusalem. our point was that you are simply mistaken – only Jews have full rights in Jerusalem.

    Now, I ask again: what is the justification for unilateral projects taken by Israel in East Jerusalem?

  14. 14 Dahlia Parker said at 8:49 am on April 9th, 2010:

    The point that I am making is that Jerusalem has been annexed and unified and belongs completely to Israel- no matter who is living there and Jerusalem’s status doesn’t change according to the nationality, ethicity or religion of the people who are living there.

    The question is not “would I agree to live like that?” rather ” Why do they agree to live like that?” Try to understand what is important to them- is it the connection to the land or do they simply prefer the benefits of living in an Israeli controlled area even if they don’t have all the rights of citizens? Because they could move, they could go to areas which are almost completely autonomous where they can be a part of the palestinian political system.

    Just to clarify- this is the way I see it: All Palestinians essenitally want to be Israeli ie have the rights and privledges that Israeli citizens have of freedom of speech and movement, universal health care, education and democracy.

    They just don’t want Israel to be “Jewish” but the irony is of course, that it is Jewish values that have lead Israel to be the country it is today in contrast to the monarchies and dictators of the surrounding Arab world.

  15. 15 noam said at 10:14 am on April 9th, 2010:

    Dahila: according to your logic, if Israel decided to annex EJ, than it’s ok. so why not do the same in the rest of the WB, and annex the land but not the people, and declare that everything “belongs completely to Israel- no matter who is living there”?

    As for the Palestinians in East Jerusalem, if I get it right, you give them two options: either live here as second class citizens or leave their homes and go someplace else. now explain me the difference between this and Apartheid/Segregation?

  16. 16 Dahlia Parker said at 11:24 pm on April 9th, 2010:

    Noam- you are finally catching on. I think it is great that Israel annexed Jerusalem and that they should do the same withWest Bank- Judea and Summaria and be done with the pergatory. I mean, what the hell is everybody dragging this out for?

    Palestinians have had a chance (many times over) to form a state and they have chosen war (many times over) so, in my opinion they need to live with the concequences of that… Which is they lost and need to suck it up.

    What exactly do you suggest as international policy for countries that invade other countries, lose and then refuse to establish their own bounderies because they are pissed off about not getting everything they want- that everything just goes back to the way it was before they started- no harm no foul?

    BTW “Apartheid/Segregation” are a series of laws which are put in place to seperate different races ie- black people cannot work at certain jobsm sit on certain benches or drink from the same water fountains as white people. This has nothing in common with the situation in Israel.

    We totally share our water fountains with everyone.

  17. 17 noam said at 12:30 am on April 10th, 2010:

    Dahlia – I won’t argue with you childish view of history (“they attacked us, they had it coming”), but if you think that Israel should annex the entire land and keep the Palestinians without full rights (or force them to leave), that’s the end of the discussion for me. I don’t want to live in a country where some people have everything and others have nothing, even if you think “it’s best for them”. for me, it IS Apartheid, Segregation or whatever other name you want to use, since it’s the legal status that matter, not water fountains. It’s incredibly sad to hear these kind of ideas from Jews, but I’m beginning to get used to it.

  18. 18 ck said at 10:17 am on April 10th, 2010:

    I don’t have too much time to get right in the thick of it but, let’s try to get some facts straight? The Arabs of East Jerusalem were given permanent residency status after 1967. They have the same blue Teudat Zehut (National Identity) cards that I have and qualify for Bituach Leumi and socialized health care. As permanent residents they are all entitled to apply for citizenship and while many do, most don’t, preferring to keep their Jordanian citizenship or in cases where such citizenship has been revoked by the Jordanians – they qualify for an Israeli laissez passer orange travel document that allows them to travel. What rights does a permanent resident of the United States or Canada have? Well, only citizens can vote in national elections. Their status in east Jerusalem is their choice but it seems that more and more are choosing citizenship and all its attendant rights.

    I say “seems” on purpose because I don’t have any figures only observations. I’d be happy if anyone could pull the official stats on the issue.

    As for that Apartheid thing, I disagree of course and we can argue that ad nauseum but I find that those interested in Peace and Justice do their cause a disservice by utilizing provocative, unproductive and inaccurate language.

    The author of the Jewlicious post, TM, replied to your post here, so go for it!

    I’m also surprised to see Richard Silverstein commenting here! I thought he’d be too busy to go to other blogs given the “I broke the Anat Kamm story-Fest” going on at his site. It’s enlightening to see that he hates us so much that he’s taken time off from his undignified schnorring for a Web cam in order to post a comment.

    Hey Richard! How much does a web cam cost? $25? Let me know how much more money you need and I’ll paypal it to you from the proceeds of our Finkelstein ad. While you’re at it, do let me know who exactly are these legions of “persistent critics” against whom I employ bullying tactics. You’re a sad and pathetic old man.

    Noam has nothing to fear from me because he has always conducted himself with dignity and decency and he’s more than capable of defending himself, you self-righteous git.

    Sorry for that Noam. But you did allow a bald faced lie to appear on your site so I felt the need to set the record straight.

  19. 19 noam said at 12:00 pm on April 10th, 2010:

    CK – Did you have to give up your American citizenship (if you have one) to get your blue ID card? So why should the Palestinians? BTW, gaining full citizenship for an Arab is an extremely hard process, especially with the new citizenship order. After all, if the resident status was just one step from citizenship, why wouldn’t the state give East Jerusalem’s Arabs full rights and be done with it? It would have made defending the idea of a unified city much easier, for start. Yet we chose not to make them citizens, and with a reason.

    You are correct in saying that residents are entitled for national security, but the rights that they don’t have don’t end with voting (not a small think by itself). For example, as you might know, most of the land in Israel (about 83%) and almost all the land in Jerusalem is owned by the state. According to Israeli law, only full citizens or Jews can buy a property built on state land. That goes for almost any new apartment in Jerusalem, for example. So a Texas Jew who never set foot in a synagogue or visited Israel can buy an apartment in the city, but our East Jerusalem resident who is a native, possibly form a family living there for six generations – can’t. This is our free, unified, equal, capitol.

    Not that I’m afraid to use the term Apartheid, but on this case, if you follow the debate I had with Dahlia, I made it in reference to her idea of annexing the entire West Bank without giving citizenship to the Palestinians. In that context, I don’t think it’s an exaggeration.

    The only comments I censor are those with extreme curses, incitement and Holocaust denial, so I will leave both Richard and your remarks regarding each other, but it doesn’t make me very happy either. And I do credit Richard for the work he did on the Anat Kamm affair.

  20. 20 ck said at 2:04 pm on April 10th, 2010:

    Sigh. For the record, I was born here in Israel. I’m not American at all. I’m a Canadian citizen, and I grew up there and now I live in Jerusalem, ok?

    Noam, surely you know that forcing the Arab residents of East Jerusalem to become citizens is against International law. That having been said, I don’t know how hard it is for East Jerusalem residents to get the Israeli citizenship that they are entitled to. I’ll ask a few of my friends who are East Jerusalemite Muslims how hard it was for them to get Israeli citizenship. That’s never come up in conversation so far.

    In any case, regardless of International law, most E. Jerusalem Palestinians don’t want Israeli citizenship (though they are very concerned about losing Bituach Leumi and Kupat Cholim in case of internationalization of Jerusalem etc.) and many Israelis aren’t excited by the prospect of their becoming citizens – so the post-1967 situation corresponded to the wishes of all involved. Of course it’s problematic because as long as Israel controls E. Jerusalem, these people who refuse to accept citizenship, will be systematically denied the rights attached to citizenship. But again – that’s their choice.

    I’m betting that if a settlement regarding Jerusalem looks imminent, you’ll see a rush of E. Jerusalemites applying for Israeli citizenship. But that’s pure conjecture.

    Your example of the Texas Jew vs. 6th generation E. Jerusalem Arab is a typically simplistic way of painting the situation as grossly unjust. Really the only argument you have is that non-citizen E. Jerusalem Arabs can’t easily buy property in West Jerusalem, whereas a non-citizen Texas Jew can. But all that hinges on the whole Israel as a Jewish land vs. a land for Jews argument. You and I disagree on that obviously. In the meantime consider the fact that my Jewish friend who lives in E. Jerusalem has to hide the fact that he is in fact a Jew who made aliyah. No one would have rented to him otherwise. And your concern for the 6th generation Palestinians wishing to live in Rechavia is touching, but my family lived in Morocco for a lot longer than that even and yet I have no rights there. Why? Because I am not a citizen. Imagine that. And frankly, I don’t want to be, just like most of the Arab population in E. Jerusalem.

    I see your point re. Apartheid and it’s a valid, though still not altogether accurate description of what would happen if we suddenly annexed the W. Bank and disenfranchised millions of people. Probably the term “mass disenfranchisement” would be more accurate but Apartheid sounds more sexy with its Nelson Mandela, pop culture involvement, African sun, clear cut black and white (literally!) issues etc. The exaggeration involves the absence of a significant racial component in the Israeli case.

    I applaud your decision to have a mostly hands off policy regarding comments on your blog. I’m sorry Richard decided to use that as an opportunity to grind his stupid axe and lie. Now that he’s proclaimed to the world that after years of blogging he chanced upon one story and that makes him a hard hitting investigative something something, he won’t come back here and substantiate his dishonest comments because he’s too busy asking for money to continue to help fund his awesome bloggo-journalism.

    But yeah, watch out Noam! Maybe I’ll call you a bad name!!


    שבועה טוב נועם

  21. 21 Dahlia Parker said at 7:22 am on April 11th, 2010:

    Noam- I know that you have “ended the discussion” but I’m just wondering if it is easier to call me childish than it is to actually answer my question.

    Do you seriously have a solution or do you just like bitching?

  22. 22 noam said at 7:35 am on April 11th, 2010:

    CK – there is something irritating about the claim that “Palestinians don’t want citizenship (or full rights)”, so it’s OK we don’t offer it to them. It’s kind of like the idea Dahlia has, that the Arabs she meets actually prefer the occupation to having their own state. pure colonialist thinking, if you ask me.

    my basic question for you is the one I asked Dahlia: what justify not giving Arabs full rights?

    Dahlia – it’s your lucky day. I don’t just have a solution, I’ve got two!

    1. get out of the WB.

    2. annex the land and make all Palestinian Israeli citizens.

    I leave you to pick.

  23. 23 ck said at 2:42 pm on April 11th, 2010:

    Noam: “there is something irritating about the claim that “Palestinians don’t want citizenship (or full rights)”, so it’s OK we don’t offer it to them.”

    The Arab residents of E. Jerusalem have the option of gaining Israeli citizenship. Are you really suggesting we force it upon them? As for the Arab residents of the unallocated portion of British Mandate Palestine, ie The West Bank, the final disposition of their status depends on the outcome of negotiated settlements. I support a two state solution that grants the Palestinians control over the vast majority of the West Bank. The Arab residents of those parts of the West Bank that will remain under Israeli control will be offered the right to permanent residence and, if they want it, Israeli citizenship.

    Currently E. Jerusalem and West Bank Arabs are treated differently because Israel has annexed Jerusalem but has not annexed the West Bank. Offering Arabs in the West Bank “full rights” meaning Israeli citizenship is, again, illegal under International law and akin to annexing the West Bank absent the final status agreements required by SC242.

    So where’s the problem there? We’re clearly not ever going to go back to the Green line. Who is going to give up French Hill, Mt of Olives, the Kotel, the Jewish Quarter etc. let alone heavily populated places like Ariel and Maaleh Adumim?

  24. 24 Michael LeFavour said at 4:48 pm on April 11th, 2010:

    Yehuda Lev,

    1) Let them kill us
    2) Leave
    3) Fight

    That is not even the basic list. I would have put it as…

    1) Let them kill us
    2) Kill them
    3) Leave
    4) Make them leave
    5) Fight a perpetual war

    1 we can all join hands and sing kumbaya as they slaughter us (“us” being a figure of speech, since I am not an Israeli or even a Jew). 2 is not an option Jews would accept even if the Arabs would kill every last one of you were the arms superiority reversed. 3 destroys the solution to why a Jewish sanctuary is needed as a safe haven from an intolerant world. 4 is the only non-violent option I see, along with defining a so called “Palestinian” refugee as someone that is an actual refugee under internationally accepted norms, which would end the threat of the false claim of a “right (demand) of return”, since there is no such “right” in international law that applies to the Arabs calling themselves Palestinians, (the so called Palestinians have a unique definition of what a refugee is that grows the problem instead of solving it, all I am asking for is that they follow the same rules as all other refugees in human history, stop codling them, it is demeaning). 5 nothing changes, the world hates Israel, the intensity of the live fire conflict rises and falls at the whims of the Arabs, sovereignty remains ambiguous (because Israel allows it to remain ambiguous), and pseudo intellectuals wage an information war against the state labeling Israel as Apartheid, human rights violators, land thieves, war criminals, colonialists, and a host of other peevish empty drivel.


    1) Puerto Rico is part of US territory, but Puerto Ricans living in Puerto Rico are not allowed to vote in US Presidential elections. Do you see the US as Apartheid because of that policy? This is a far cry less than a people having everything while another people have nothing. It is not all or nothing, it can and should be a Jewish sanctuary first and an equal democracy second. The need for that has been written in big letters all over the pages of history. The ink used was Jewish blood. You seem to forget that every time you find an absurd bit of propaganda to print demonising the things Israel is “forced” to do to survive. Or do you believe that Jews are born killers that would as soon join a military as become a scientist? Context and realism is what your web site lacks.

    2) All the negatives you obsess about Israel and its Arab citizens and residents is nothing compared to the quality of life with Israeli Jews giving the liberty they have. In other words, second class status in Israel has been better for Arabs than first class status in any Arab country ever in existence. If it is perfect harmony you demand then the logical starting point is to convince the side that “chooses” to reject the other. If the Arabs did not give Jews a reason to fear and mistrust them, had the Arabs accepted Jews as equals when Jews arrived unarmed, maybe they would have become citizens of Israel from the beginning. The reality is that the Arabs rejected the Jews…bigotry and racism.

    to all,

    Israel did not “annex” anything. Israel extended civil jurisdiction over a small portion of the land that legally and morally belongs to the Jewish people. There was no formal “annexation”, nor is one needed since there is no other sovereign to contest the title over.

  25. 25 noam said at 12:11 am on April 12th, 2010:

    ck- It’s not “forcing” E Jerusalem Arabs to have citizenship, it’s giving them. I still can’t understand why we didn’t do it when we annexed the land. unlike you, I find the fact that we have two classes of citizens, if not more, somewhat troubling.

    MLF – we discussed the Puerto Rico case in length in the past, i still think it’s not valid to this discussion. for start, in the US federal system, Puerto Ricans ran their own life, and this is not the case for Arabs in Israel.

    the thought that we are allowed to discriminate Arabs (citizens and none citizens) because they are still better off than Arabs in Egypt, or blacks in Sudan, or whatever, is morally absurd, and ends up allowing discrimination everywhere.

    Israel did annex E Jerusalem in 1967, and with it a large area surrounding the city (ten times bigger than the old E Jeruslame).

  26. 26 Michael LeFavour said at 5:22 pm on April 12th, 2010:

    We did discuss Puerto Rico once, but I don’t recall how that went.

    I hate using Wikipedia, but 100% accuracy does not matter for what I am about to link to. It is the concept I am trying to throw into the discussion. Here is an entry for “permanent residency”. Tell me what you find offensive in allowing the Arabs to live in Israel under some sort of system like this in light of Puerto Rico.

    I never said it was OK to discriminate against Arabs simply because they are Arabs. That is a straw man argument you made up to avoid my point. I am criticizing your obsession in portraying Israel in a negative light in every article you print. Does Israel do nothing positive for the Arabs calling themselves Palestinians? If not, how is the infant mortality rate in the non-Israeli Arab community half what it is in Turkey? Are the Arabs calling themselves Palestinians so adept at training doctors and building hospitals that they are better at saving infants than a country without a so called “occupation”, a country that would like to become a member of the European Union? Or maybe, just maybe, do Jews have something to do with it? The point I am trying to make is that you are not keeping perspective when you appeal to emotion and want a response of outrage.

    Now the more thoughtful question is, should Israelis discriminate? I am convinced that they absolutely should until such a time as they do not need to. Not being a Jew, or even religious at all, if there were no need for a Jewish state I am not so sure that I would be here trying to reason with you now. I understand and respect that Jews feel a spiritual bond with the land, but if that were all of it, and Jews could live as equals in any country on earth without fear or shame I honestly doubt I would care whether you had a place of your own or not. That is not the case though, so all we can do is look at the past, stay informed of the present and try our best to speculate what the future holds. What we have seen so far is Muslim rejection of Jews, from the past we see a pattern, from the present we see terror, violence, and incitement for more terror and violence. Yes Israel should discriminate, because your survival depends on it.

    As to your link, the article does not make the case that it was an annexation. Israel’s borders have not been defined yet and there is no sovereign to contest Israel’s legal ownership. Jordan consented to Israeli ownership by withdrawing and signing a legally binding peace treaty that determined the international border would be the center of the Jordan river. No annexation is required. All that is necessary is for Israel to extend civil jurisdiction over the land. So if you are claiming an annexation occurred you need to answer two questions…what was Israel’s border before and what is Israel’s border now. Neither can be answered, regardless of what the international community thinks about it. Jew hatred has been too easy throughout history that is part of why I am here trying to create consequences for that hatred.

  27. 27 noam said at 5:59 am on April 13th, 2010:

    MLF – finally, we agree on one thing! I hate to link to Wiki as well, but sometimes I see no other option.

    regarding Puerto Rico: as I told you, in the US federal system, Puerto Ricans ran their own affairs. E Jerusalem is different, for example, the “resident” statue prevents Arabs from buying land, houses or apartments in most parts of the city (they don’t have an Israeli passport either). I explained this in an earlier comment. so there is discrimination.

    Regarding whether E Jerusalem was annexed: the decision on applying full Israeli control and legal system on East of the city (and actually on an area 10 times bigger than the Jordanian East Jerusalem) was taken by Israeli government on June 26 1967, right after the war. here is a link (Hebrew) to an article on the cabinet meeting that led to this decision:

    Israeli Supreme Court later ruled that this decision can be seen as annexing the Eastern City. I haven’t found a link to the decision, but I will try to locate more resources for my next post on this issue.

  28. 28 Michael LeFavour said at 6:44 pm on April 14th, 2010:


    Puerto Ricans are subject to US law. All US states and territories have their own courts and ordinances, but every citizen has personal liberty enshrined in the Constitution. That is the point. Who cares how liberty, freedom, and higher living standards are acquired, as long as the people have them? The Arabs are incapable of providing those luxuries themselves. If you think they can, you are dreaming, and should point to a working model anywhere in the Arab world. My point is that Puerto Ricans, like Arabs, do better than they could on their own for no other reason than because they live under the umbrella of a sophisticated nation that gives them opportunities they are unable to create for themselves.

    The Arabs calling themselves Palestinians have a better quality of life for one reason alone, Israel provides it to them, and this is despite the unending terror they wage against Jewish Israelis. If you want to whine about petty discriminations without keeping the entire picture in focus then the quality of your logic and reasoning will continue to suffer.

    The Arabs were perfectly content to be known as Jordanians for 19 years. The border shifted, but the people stayed to leech from Israeli Jews, because Israeli Jews made it attractive for them to do so, all the while getting away with mass murder and terror that somehow morphed from simple Arab racism and Muslim bigotry to resistance of the so called “occupation”. Give me a break. The conflict has next to nothing to do with land. It is bigotry against the Jewish people at the root of it and it has been so all along.

    If the Arabs became permanent residents Israeli Jews could safeguard the Jewish character of the land, which is beneficial to Arab and Jew alike. Any land that you would give away in your misguided romance with a version of Arab that does not exist would be beneficial to neither. Jews would not be allowed to live their for fear, the Arabs themselves make a mess of anything they touch, and they are incapable of even supporting themselves without begging from the international community. Who cares if they can’t buy houses in a united Jerusalem to push Jews out of their holy city? Who cares if they can’t vote to destroy the wonderful institutions that Jews built? I say allow them to have their higher standard of living and more freedom and personal liberty anywhere in the Arab world and keep them as far away from have authority over non-Muslim’s lives as possible. The historical and current reality is self evident. We have dozens of examples of Muslim dominated countries and not a single one of them is even close to what Israel can provide, and with zero natural resources.

    If you think about it carefully, there is no evidence at all to support the leftist fantasy that the Arabs calling themselves Palestinians are going to produce a civil society where tolerance, plurality, emancipation, and liberty are national aspirations. You are condemning the powerless to tyranny in your callous disregard of reason. Why would you do that? Saying, ‘it will work out fine’ does not cut it, ‘there is a lot of work to do, but we have to give them a chance’ is also foolish. No we do not need to give them a chance, there is no evidence to support the deeply flawed theory that they will be good neighbors, let alone that they will be able to support themselves are moderate as a social construct. None. If you disagree, present it in a post. That might be worthy of discussing instead of whining about the rail system demanding ex-IDF be employed when the lives of innocent Jews depend on the service performed. Who cares? Until the Arabs prove they are trustworthy I wouldn’t care if the rail carrier said no Arabs allowed. You want the clean white linen of civility to be set out no matter what, but get outraged when it is taken back because it was trampled on. Your blog and every premise you make just completely ignores context as if every event you cry over happened in a laboratory dish. What is it you are trying to accomplish? Finger pointing at petty things in light of willful incitement to mass murder and terror from the other side reflects pettiness on you as a writer. There is some sort of verse about pointing to the speck in Israel’s eye when the Arabs you champion have a log in their own. How long will you be ignoring that?

  29. 29 noam said at 4:47 am on April 18th, 2010:

    1. Palestinians don’t have “better quality of life” than other Arabs by any standards, and even if they did, it doesn’t justify not giving them basic human rights.

    one can say that what’s going on in Gaza, WB, is “petty discriminations” only if he never set foot in the area.

    2. Palestinians stayed in their homes after 1967 for that reason exactly: these were their homes.

    3. since you obviously don’t believe in equal rights to people, and hold such racist views on Arabs, the rest of the debate is useless.