Why I Favor a Boycott of My Own University





Mr. Pappe is a senior lecturer in the political science department at Haifa University.

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Mr. Pappe presented this appeal to the British Association of University Teachers in support of a resolution to boycott the Israeli universities, Haifa and Bar-Ilan.

I appeal to you today to be part of a historical movement and moment that may bring an end to more than a century of colonization, occupation and dispossession of Palestinians. I appeal to you as an Israeli Jew, who for years wished, and looked, for other ways to bring an end to the evil perpetrated against the Palestinians in the occupied territories, inside Israel and in the refugee camps. I devoted all my adult life, with others, creating a substantial peace movement inside Israel, in which, so we hoped, academia will play a leading role. But after 37 years of endless brutal and callous oppression of the people of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip and after 57 years of colonization and dispossession of the Palestinians as a whole, I think this hope is unrealistic and other means have to be looked at to end a conflict that endangers peace in the world at large.

Violence and armed struggle have also failed, and they can't be easily condoned by people like myself who are basically pacifists at heart. Historical examples, such as in South Africa and Gandhi's movement in India, prove that there are peaceful means for achieving an end to the longest oppression and violation of human rights in the last century. Boycotts and outside pressure have never been attempted in the case of Israel, a state that wishes to be included in the civilized democratic world. Israel has indeed enjoyed such a status since its creation in 1948 and, therefore, succeeded in fending off the many United Nations' resolutions that condemned its policies and, moreover, managed to obtain a preferential status in the European Union. Israeli academia's elevated position in the global scholarly community epitomizes this western support for Israel as the "only democracy" in the Middle East. Shielded by this particular support for academia, and other cultural media, the Israeli army and security services can go on, and will go on, demolishing houses, expelling families, abusing citizens and killing, almost every day, children and women without being accountable regionally and globally for their crimes.

Military and financial support to Israel is significant in enabling the Jewish state to pursue the policies it does. Any possible measure of decreasing such aid is most welcome in the struggle for peace and justice in the Middle East. But the cultural image in Israel feeds the political decision in the west to support unconditionally the Israeli destruction of Palestine and the Palestinians. The message that will be directed specifically against those academic institutes which have been particularly culpable in sustaining the oppression since 1948 and the occupation since 1967, can be a start for a successful campaign for peace (as similar acts at the time had activated the anti-apartheid movement in South Africa).

Calling for a boycott of your own state and academia is not an easy decision for a member of that academia. But I learned how the concerned academic communities, worldwide, could mobilize at the right moment when I was threatened with expulsion by my own university, the University of Haifa, in May 2002. A very precise and focused policy of pressure on the university allowed me, albeit under restriction and systematic harassment, to purse my classes and research, which are aimed at exposing the victimization of the Palestinians throughout the years. This is a particular important avenue, as I am the only one who does it in my own university, and one of the few who does it in the country as a whole, and also because the university has a large community of Palestinian students, who are prevented by draconian regulations from expressing their anger and frustration at what had been, and is, done against their people.

These students have felt totally isolated since the university established close links with the security apparatuses in the country. The fact that the university is closely connected to the security services -- by providing postgraduate degrees -- is by itself not a crime, but as these are the agencies that exercise on a daily basis the occupation in the Palestinian areas, their presence in the campus means academia is significantly involved in perpetuating the evil.

As I learned from my own case, outside pressure is effective in a country where people want to be regarded as part of the civilized world, but their government, with their explicit and implicit help, pursues policies which violate every known human and civil right. Neither the UN, nor the U.S. and European governments, and societies, have sent a message to Israel that these policies are unacceptable and have to be stopped. It is up to the civil societies, through organizations like yours, to send messages to Israeli academics, businessmen, artists, hi-tech industrialists and every other section in that society, that there is a price tag attached to such policies.

I thank you in advance for your support. Should you decide to embark on the bold policy suggested, you empower me and my friends who will, I am convinced of this, be able to build together with our Palestinian comrades a just basis for peace and reconciliation in Palestine.

Related Links

  • Juan Cole: Against the Boycott
  • Statement from Bar-Illam University
  • Statement from the University of Haifa
  • Petition to Oppose the Blacklist of Israeli Academics

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    More Comments:


    omar ibrahim baker - 10/19/2007

    I am still waiting to hear your answer to my questions in post#60798.
    To make it easier on you I repost it hereunder.

    "Professor Applebaum
    Three more questions and a reminder.
    Q1-How far back in history do we , or can we, or should we, go back to establish a "claim" on a homeland?
    Q2-How long does a community have to reside in a certain locality to establish a "valid" claim on it?
    Q3-Is the Jewish claim on Palestine as their "homeland" based on:
    -That they are the actual blood/etnic descendants of the "Jews" that lived in Palestine 2000 years ago ?

    or
    -That the mere fact of being "Jewish", irrespective of blood/ethnicity, makes them the legal "inheritors" of Palestine?

    Reminder; your answers to following, unfortunately unnumbered ,previous questions:
    --Is "displace, dispossess and suplant" an acceptable mode of nation building in the 20th century for "claimants"?
    -What is the "shelf life" of a "homeland" claim and will it ever expire or will it go on until doomsday?

    -Are all 2000 years old claims of universal
    applicability and equal validity or are (they) solely a "Jewish" prerogative" ?"



    omar ibrahim baker - 10/19/2007

    Moshe
    You disappoint me! For a while I thought I had an honourable adversary...it seems I was mistaken!
    Yes you have avoided two points /questions I made re:
    1-Land purchase and 2- applicability of UN resolution to both parties.
    Here are the details:

    In your post #61038 in which you stood for Dr Applebaum you said:
    "The moral and legal justification for the Jews have already been expressed by Ms. Appelbaum, when she wrote:

    “Pre-state, Jews acquired land by purchase. Legal purchase under Ottoman and then under Mandate law.

    Statehood was awarded by the United Nations."

    To which I replied in my post#61091 :

    "As to Dr Applebaum " ..moral and legal justification.."
    -Dr Applebaum(A):“Pre-state, Jews acquired land by purchase. Legal purchase under Ottoman and then under Mandate law. "
    Omar: How much land is the real question?
    The answer lies in this document (C:\My Documents\land ownership in Palestine.htm):"
    ( I also included with my question three very long tables documentimg the amount of land purchased by Jews in Palestine)
    Omar:"Dr Applebaum(B):"Statehood was awarded by the United Nations."

    Re which I addressed to you the following question in the same post:

    "XXX OMAR; So was UNGA resolution #194 re the Right of the Palestinians to REURN to their HOMELAND, are you ready to implement that?"
    You sidestepped both questions:
    -a:How much land did Jewish immigrants buy in Palestine to warrant establishing a "national" claim ?
    -b: Since you base the ligitimacy of israel on a UN resolution are you ready to implement UN resolution #194 re Right of Return of the Palestinians to their homeland ?

    Once again you failed to address the question!

    Of which I reminded you in my post #61179:

    "LAND PURCHASE:
    How much land did they purchase to entitle them to "national" rights;?
    VERY little, I have given you the figures in my previous post but you chose to ignore them because they contradict your allegation."

    However nothing here surprises me ;Zionist and Israeli mouthpieces have always been very agile at sidestepping issues, arguments and questions that they had brought up in the first place if confronted with facts or counter arguments that belie their contentions.
    Which reminds me of the incomparable "liberal" Friedman re his respect for the opinion and will of the majority of the people and the right of "we" ( he failed to say who are the "we" ?) to settle in Iraq!
    Do look up that ; it is truly hilarious!


    omar ibrahim baker - 10/19/2007

    Mr Friedman
    If you fail to appreciate this document in its Historical Context, some 1400 years ago,and judge by "modern standards" then there is little to add!
    By the way why not judge it by the standards of the 22nd or 23 third century;AD of course!


    omar ibrahim baker - 10/19/2007

    Mr Friedman
    You allege that: "you (I/Omar)assert that refugees were voluntarily created in the creation of Pakistan."
    That is a naked ,shameful lie on your part; and not for the first time.
    My very words were, verbatim:
    "....... that INDIA/PAKISTAN was a mutually agreed separation between the two communities with an AGREED exchange of population wherever it was necessary to attain substantial separation."
    If you fail to grasp the difference in meaning between the false allegation and this para then there is little I can do to help you.
    You hereby confirm my earlier contention that a standard Zionist ploy to delude the unsuspecting is to build up an argument, or formulate an opinion as in this very case, attribute it to your adversary then demolish it.
    That is cheap and insulting to the general reader by assuming that he will not verify the veracity of the statement and its attribution.
    TYPICAL!!!


    omar ibrahim baker - 10/19/2007

    Moshe
    You never seize to surprise me.
    A-In your post #61038 in which you stood for Dr Applebaum you adopted Dr Applebaum 's opinion by stating that:
    "The moral and legal justification for the Jews have already been expressed by Ms. Appelbaum, when she wrote:

    “Pre-state, Jews acquired land by purchase. Legal purchase under Ottoman and then under Mandate law."

    Now you say, not for the first time I admit:

    " I have said again and again and again that a “nation claim” is based upon a people occupying territory and can convince others to accept it. "
    Well is it this or or that? Is "The moral and legal justification for the Jews .." that they purchased "land" or " a “nation claim” is based upon a people occupying territory "??
    There is a great deal of difference between the two stands. You have come out in defence of both ; the first by adoption the second by formulation!They are not only incompatible as "legal and moral justification", they are contradictory!

    Purchase is very different from plunder!

    B-In your post #61038 in which you stood for Dr Applebaum you also adopted Dr Applebaum's opinion that:
    "The moral and legal justification for the Jews have already been expressed by Ms. Appelbaum, when she wrote:

    Statehood was awarded by the United Nations."

    Now you state, not for the fist time I must admit:

    "(UN)General Assembly Resolutions are not legally binding, ..etc"

    Once again I say it can not be both!

    Unless of course it is a question of where and when to use either , as I suspect it is the case, which is something I did not expect from you?







    Statehood was awarded by the United Nations."


    omar ibrahim baker - 10/19/2007

    Irfan
    you are a disappointment ; being too clever is not being clever at all!
    Are you going the Ajami way? I hope not.


    omar ibrahim baker - 10/19/2007

    "Boycotts and outside pressure have never been attempted in the case of Israel.(by the WEST).." is true enough. ,


    omar ibrahim baker - 10/19/2007

    "And academics have an obligation to use language and facts accurately."
    Had Diana K. Appelbaum applied that rule to what she writes would she in all seriousness claim: "No people can colonize its own homeland."
    Without going into the well tred road of what is a "homeland" and whose "homeland" is this or that country and irrespective of the valididy of the Jewish claim on Palestine, an uncontestably false one to me, it is based on some 2000 years old history. Nevertheless I hope Appelbaum will answer some questions:
    -Is there or is not there a "statue of limtation" on claims of "homeland" ownership as for the native Indians in the USA or the Arabs in Spain etc.?
    -Is "displace, dispossess and suplant" an acceptable mode of nation building in the 20th century for "claimants"?
    - Is it or is it not an act of "colonization" whenever "claimants" force their way into a land and force their presence on an indigenous population against its express will?
    -What is the "shelf life" of a "homeland" claim and will it ever expire or will it go on until doomsday?

    -Are all 2000 years old claims of universal
    applicability and equal validity or are solel a "Jewish" prerogative" ?

    Hoping to hear from you!


    omar ibrahim baker - 10/19/2007

    Mr Friedman
    "In some cases the answer is yes and in some cases no"; that is not the clear answer to a clear question; the clear question was , post #60901:
    "- Do you contend that any of the indigenous populations of what is now known as the Arab world was DISLOCATED and SUPPLANTED by "Arabs"? If yes,which one and where in history was it chronicled?"

    For the "YES" cases would you care to say "WHERE" and "WHEN" and your historical reference for that!

    I hope you will NOT reply with one of your anti Arab and/or anti Islam diatribes as you have been doing whenever faced with a specific point that you can not counter!

    For NOW just say WHERE and WHEN and your REFERENCE to support your "In some cases the answer is yes" ; then , but in a separate post please, you can rage to your heart's content.


    omar ibrahim baker - 10/19/2007

    Still waiting Dr Applebaum


    omar ibrahim baker - 10/19/2007

    I am surprisingly happy to note that you have nothing of your own to add!


    omar ibrahim baker - 10/19/2007

    I can imagine the burden carried by Professor Pappe and all like-minded decent Jews and Israelis in and outside the pernicious Zionist state of Israel!

    Living and working in a society that elects "..government(s)/(my addition) which builds illegal, immoral and hideously ugly "settlements" on stolen land in order to appease terrorists and fanatics amongst its electoral supporters." can be, truly is, a huge burden...for which I heartily salute him and all like minded anti Zionist Israelis!

    True enough Mr. Clarke:" Take South Africa, for instance. But, I do not recall the thrust of the anti-apartheid movement being directed against universities in Johannesberg or Cape Town." However there is a crucial difference; apartheid was, substantially a lost cause inside and outside Academia from day one all over the world .

    Zionism (and its offspring Zionist Israel) is, unfortunately, not yet universally known for what it truly is for reasons of , at best, ignorance and gullibility and ,at worst, inborn and long held racist/confessional/cultural beliefs of and in "superiority", "special privileges","prerogatives",
    "extra-over (legal) rights" of and for the "chosen people" versus the goyim!

    A severe chock is needed...the boycott is one way of doing it.


    omar ibrahim baker - 10/19/2007

    Professor Applebaum
    Three more questions and a reminder.
    Q1-How far back in history do we , or can we, or should we, go back to establish a "claim" on a homeland?
    Q2-How long does a community have to reside in a certain locality to establish a "valid" claim on it?
    Q3-Is the Jewish claim on Palestine as their "homeland" based on:
    -That they are the actual blood/etnic descendants of the "Jews" that lived in Palestine 2000 years ago ?

    or
    -That the mere fact of being "Jewish", irrespective of blood/ethnicity, makes them the legal "inheritors" of Palestine?

    Reminder; your answers to following, unfortunately unnumbered ,previous questions:
    --Is "displace, dispossess and suplant" an acceptable mode of nation building in the 20th century for "claimants"?
    -What is the "shelf life" of a "homeland" claim and will it ever expire or will it go on until doomsday?

    -Are all 2000 years old claims of universal
    applicability and equal validity or are (they) solely a "Jewish" prerogative" ?



    omar ibrahim baker - 10/19/2007

    Moshe
    I truly enjoy whatever you have to say although I rarely agree with it.
    I do not believe that you can speak for Dr Applebaum for the simple reason that any body who says:
    - For me, the answer is simple: ZERO. That’s right, territory does not “belong” to anyone on this earth and
    - Thus, Jews have no more a territorial claim on the land than black Africans have on..
    Can not possibly represent she who says:" No people can colonize its own homeland."

    So I will discuss what Moshe had to say for Moshe.

    1&2- Your statements (1) and (2) which read:"… That’s right, territory does not “belong” to anyone on this earth." And ". The truth: as long as they can hold it and convince others to accept it" boil down to "the whole world is a free for all in a homesteading (land/TERRITORY distribution/appropriation) operation.
    He who likes or needs a certain territory is welcome to grab it and keep it if he has the wherewithal for that.

    I disagree: A territory belongs to the community, nation, people who dwelled on it AFTER the ELAPSE of the "stronger tribe replaces the weaker tribe " phase in human development and the advent of "settled communities" mode of living ; a step forward in the annals of Human Progress.
    Thus France belongs to the French, Mexico to the Mexicans, India to the Indians and Palestine to the Palestinian people.
    The destructive implications of your opinion are boundless not only as a retrogressive move by humankind but also as a negation of human progress.
    Your stand, whether knowingly or unknowingly, reveals Zionism and Zionist Israel for what it truly is :" a land grab effected and retained through force."

    3-I agree unreservedly with your statements that Israel has no claim on Palestine neither on an "ethnic" nor on a "religion" basis; the good thing about it is that it clears the air from the loads of gibberish that has been spread around by Zionists for so long.
    This leaves us with the real basis of the claim:" We liked it, we needed it so we took it and to hell with its indigenous inhabitants that we DISPLACED and DISPOSSESSED and supplanted with our own people!"
    As such your opinion is an open invitation to war:" if you want it back come and get it the way you lost it…..by force" which is fair enough as long as the law of the jungle prevails.
    However it is here, I believe, that Zionism committed its fatal mistake by failing to anticipate the response to its conquest of Arab/Moslem Palestine: the unmitigated rejection of this alien nation/state of Israel by the 1.5-2.0 billion strong Arab/Moslem community .I believe neither Hertzel nor Ben Gurion foretold that.

    As to Dr Applebaum " ..moral and legal justification.."
    -Dr Applebaum(A):“Pre-state, Jews acquired land by purchase. Legal purchase under Ottoman and then under Mandate law. "
    Omar: How much land is the real question?
    The answer lies in this document (C:\My Documents\land ownership in Palestine.htm):

    "This is clear from the following statistics furnished to the Sub-Committee by the United Kingdom representative, showing the respective percentages of Arab and Jewish ownership of land in the various sub-districts of Palestine.(4)
    Sub-district Percentage of Ownership
    Arabs & Others Jews

    Safad 68 18
    Acre 87 3
    Tiberias 51 38
    Beisan 44 34
    Nazareth 52 28
    Hai fa 42 35
    Jenin 84 Less than 1
    Nablus 76 Less than 1
    Tu l karrn 78 17
    Ramallah 99 Less than 1
    Jerusalem 64 2
    Hebron 96 Less than 1
    Jaffa 47 39
    Ramle 77 14
    Gaza 75 4
    Beersheba 14 Less than 1
    Note: The balance represents waste lands and lands under public ownership, consisting mainly of grazing lands attached to villages.

    It will be seen that there is not a single sub-district in which the percentage of Jewish land ownership exceeds 39 percent, and that in nine of the sixteen sub-districts the percentage of Jewish ownership is less than 5 percent.(5)
    The Survey of Palestine contained information about the years and number of dunums purchased by Jews from 1920-1945 as follows:(6)
    AREAS PURCHASED BY JEWS, 1920-45
    Year Dunums
    Area owned before 1920 (estimated) 650,00

    1920 1,048
    1921 90,785
    1922 39,359
    1923 17,493
    1924 44,765
    1925 176, 124
    1926 38,978
    1927 18,995
    1928 21,515
    1929 64,517
    1930 19,365
    1931 18,585
    1932 18,893
    1933 36,991
    1934 62, 114
    1935 72,905
    1936 18, 146
    1937 29,367
    1938 27,280
    1939 27,973
    1940 22,481
    1941 14,530
    1942 18,810
    1943 18,035
    1944 8,311
    1945 (estimated) 11,000
    Total 1,588,365
    The Survey of Palestine also provides details of the ownership by Arabs and Jews of the citrus groves. The Arabs owned 127,377 dunums of citrus groves. The Jews owned 120.897.(7)


    CITRUS GROVES
    Arab-owned



    Sub-district Percentage of Ownership
    Arabs & Others Jews

    Safad 68 18
    Acre 87 3
    Tiberias 51 38
    Beisan 44 34
    Nazareth 52 28
    Hai fa 42 35
    Jenin 84 Less than 1
    Nablus 76 Less than 1
    Tu l karrn 78 17
    Ramallah 99 Less than 1
    Jerusalem 64 2
    Hebron 96 Less than 1
    Jaffa 47 39
    Ramle 77 14
    Gaza 75 4
    Beersheba 14 Less than 1 "


    Dr Applebaum(B):"Statehood was awarded by the United Nations."

    XXX OMAR; So was UNGA resolution #194 re the Right of the Palestinians to REURN to their HOMELAND, are you ready to implement that?

    Dr Applebaum(C):"Israel has never fought a war of conquest. In 1948 and 1967 Israel was attacked by Arab nations intending to take the land belonging to the Jewish State by conquest. Israel did acquire land in these wars, but the wars were defensive, not, like the Arab land acquisitons, wars of conquest.”

    XXX OMAR: 1948 was the, failed, attempt to repel the onslaught of Zionists conquerors intent on colonizing Palestine and establishing a Jewish nation/state in it against the express will of the overwhelming majority of the indigenous Palestinian people.
    The Arabs fought a legitimate war of defense against alien invaders that migrated into Palestine against the express will of the overwhelming majority of the indigenous Palestinian people.

    In 1967 Israel opened hostilities.

    The very admission and presence of Zionist Jews intent on colonizing Palestine against the express will of the overwhelming majority of the indigenous Palestinian peoplewas, is,an act of aggression and conquest.


    Moshe: Jews did not arrive in an invasion army under the banner of British flags, as so many foolishly believe; they arrived in a long trickle, purchasing land, setting up agricultural community and self-sufficient governments. They committed no crime during this time, and would remain faithful to the law and morality up until the organized campaigns against the British after WWII, and even that was only one group among many and condemned by the mainstream Jewish government of the time.

    Not only was Jewish immigration to Palestine perfectly legal (until the British put a

    XXX OMAR: The Jews came into Palestine intent on colonizing it and establishing a "Jewish Homeland" in collusion with the mandatory power Great Britain against the express will of the overwhelming majority of the indigenous Palestinian people.
    GB sanctioned Jewish migration transformed a, pre WWI, 10% minority into a 38% minority with "national" claims
    At the outset, early 20s,Zionist immigrants and organizations were protected by GB then armed and protected by GB .In the meantime armed Zionist organizations were being formed with the full knowledge and support of GB .At a later stage SOME Zionist organizations disengaged from the mandatory power, while the Jewish Agency and the Haganah retained its link with GB until British withdrawal.
    Britain withdrew from Palestine only after it put in place a sufficient number of ARMED Zionist/Jewish organizations able to resume the Zionist conquest of Palestine on its own.
    The armed Zionist/Jewish presence in Palestine was started and sustained with British support and under its supervision until it attained the level of self sufficiency.
    To pretend otherwise ; that it was done against and despite British knowledge or will, is ridiculous!

    The very existence of the state of Israel is neither LEGAL nor MORAL ; it is the outcome of the collusion between the imperialist state of Great Britain and the racist Zionist movement that led to the conquest of Palestine , the DISPLACEMENT, DISPOSSESSION and SUBJUGATION of the indigenous Palestinian people and to SUPPLANTING them with ALIENS congregated on RACIAL/RACIST/confessional basis.
    It was, is, an act of conquest effected against the opposition and express will of the Palestinian Arab people both Moslems and Christians; the 80% plus majority in the pre British mandate era, that is pre 1922 AD!


    omar ibrahim baker - 10/19/2007

    Moshe
    I know you to be careful with words!
    In this sentence of yours:"80% of the settlers are located along Israel's Green (or Armistice) line"; what do you mean with "along"? Is that EAST( newly occupied) or WEST of the green/armistice line?
    What about the other 20%?
    Another question :X % as measured by what: are of land confiscated? No of "settlers" ?


    omar ibrahim baker - 10/19/2007

    Moshe
    The dictionary you refered me to defines "conquering" as:


    v. con·quered, con·quer·ing, con·quers
    v. tr.

    "To defeat or subdue by force, especially by force of arms. (1)
    To gain or secure control of by or as if by force of arms: scientists battling to conquer disease; a singer who conquered the operatic world. (2)"
    Both apply equally to how Zionism begat Israel in Palestine and controls it....for now!
    I urge you to reread my post on"What did Zionism Achieve?"
    More to come later.


    omar ibrahim baker - 10/19/2007

    Mr Safranski
    "Why woud Israeli conquests be less valid morally than Arab or Muslim conquests by virtue of being more recent ? "
    A truly interesting question!
    The answer is two fold:

    1- It is simply not true, historically, that the "Arabs"
    DISPLACED and supplanted any indigenous population in the countries they overrun in the 7th century. There is absolutely no record, because there was no act, of mass deportation/expulsion of the indigenous inhabitants of Greater Syria, which includes Palestine, Iraq, Egypt, Sudan and North Africa.
    These countries ,along with other countries as for Persia/Iran etc,were overrun and ruled by the "Arabs" but unlike other countries they were willingly Arabized through cultural reciprocated assimilation and the adoption of the Arabic language .The Arabs of today are their descendants whether Moslem, Christian or, the unfortunately dwindling , Jews who have absolutely no pretensions to a common racial/ethnic provenance.
    Arabization was the outcome from a reciprocated cultural assimilation process , a fusion of diverse cultures and "ethnicities", but never the product of a the Displacement of an indigenous population and its Sup plantation by conquerors process.


    2-"At a certain point, we need to develop a statute of limitations for land claims to resolve them with finality."
    True enough and to which I agree whole heartedly!
    The thing to note here is that that " certain point" for the "statute of limitation" was reached and fixed some 300-250 years ago .
    It was substantially reached with the end of the era in which the "displace and supplant" mode of nation building come to its end with the colonization of the Americas and Australia AND the universal acceptance of the principle that sovereignty over a land was solely lodged with/in the people/community dwelling it.
    As such Zionist Israel is a retrogression to the old ,discarded principle of "the stronger tribe supplanting the weaker tribe" in the 20th century; a throw back to the era in which sovereignty was wrestled by armed force and the conqueror imposed his will on the conquered with total disregard to the will and aspirations of the legitimate indigenous population.
    As such Zionist Israel is rejected being the outcome of an act of aggression, a conquest that led the displacement and dispossession of the indigenous Palestinian people and their supplanting by aliens that congregated on a RACIAL/RACIST basis in the 20th century.


    omar ibrahim baker - 10/19/2007

    "I take it that Omar has simply stopped trying... pity."
    To go beyond what was said by both of us would be repeating ourselves and will become a dialogue of the deaf and blind; notwithstanding the cheers of the chorus .
    However I note, and guess others do , your adamant refusal to face and answer specific questions such as re "land ownership/purchase of land" and "recognition by UN versus Right of Return by UN".


    omar ibrahim baker - 10/19/2007

    Ask Irfan he knows!


    omar ibrahim baker - 10/19/2007

    Mr Friedman
    To start with the question was "name , if you can, where and when a community was displaced and supplanted in the Arabization process?"
    1-You can not say this or that "Jewish" community in the Arabian Penninsula " was etc ...in the Arabization process" because they were Arabs to start with and you do not "Arabize" an Arab!
    2-If you are refferring to the Jewish tribes/communities of Bani Al Qinaqa and Bani Al Nazir ,old established Jewish Arab tribes, they were not driven out of the Arabian Penninsula but out of Yathreb, their main town, and travelled to the Yemen, also in the Arabian Penninsula, in which they, and other Arab Jewish tribes,stayed until very recently.
    3- You refer to Christian communities as being equally" displaced...etc" ; would you care to name one!



    omar ibrahim baker - 10/19/2007

    Mr Friedman
    I see your point clearly; it is impossible for racist Zionists to believe that such a thing as "they were willingly Arabized through cultural reciprocated assimilation and the adoption of the Arabic language" is possible at all.
    It has to be done through force with dislocation, dispossession and supplanting as in you favorite model!

    Back to history:

    - Do you contend that any of the indigenous populations of what is now known as the Arab world was DISLOCATED and SUPPLANTED by "Arabs"? If yes,which one and where in history was it chronicled?
    -That " they ( greater Syria including Palestine, Iraq, Egypt, the Sudan and North Africa )were willingly( willingly is the key word here) Arabized through cultural reciprocated assimilation and the adoption of the Arabic language " is borne by the fact that other nations conquered by the Arabs at the same era were NOT Arabized.
    Persia , present day Iran, unwilling to be Arabized, chose to retain its language and culture did so and still do although it was conquered and converted to Islam at the same era.
    Ditto, at a later stage, for Asia minor, Spain, the East (up to India and China)etc.
    Nations unwilling to be Arabized retained their native cultures and languages none was coerced into abandoning its culture or language although they were conquered and converted to Islam.
    Another thing I believe is hard for you to understand and accept is the concept of "reciprocated assimilation" in which cultures and ethnicities willingly merge with each other to produce a new common entity devoid of any racial/ethnic pretensions or superiority complexes.
    You seem to worry too much about your "basic" ethnicity to dissolve. It is not so with us; we do not know, nor do we care, what our "basic/original" ethnicity is or was ; for all that we know any of us Arabs could be of Kurdish,Persian,Turkic,Syrian,"Arab",Assyrian ,Frankish , Kabila,Greek , black African or white Aryan provenance etc etc.
    You should be able to understand that; you live, I presume, in the USA where cultures and ethnicities merged together to produce the nonracial/nonethnic American entity all speaking English.
    They called this new entity after the place, America; we called it after the language of the Book that brought us all together; Arabic.
    Two points :
    1-Your diatribe on Islam, false and bigoted as it is, has nothing to do with the point under discussion.
    2-Am I to construe your failure to respond to my 2nd point re "statute of limitations re land claims" as tacit agreement with it?
    One last, side, point: kindly spare me your friendly advice that or what I should read unless it is a specific work to which you refer me. Advise such as your "Frankly, Omar, you need to do a bit of reading." is really silly and ultimately meaningless
    .


    omar ibrahim baker - 10/19/2007

    Mr Friedman
    Why are you unable to give a straight forward answer to a straight forwar question?
    I repeat my question:
    "- Do you contend that any of the indigenous populations of what is now known as the Arab world was DISLOCATED and SUPPLANTED by "Arabs"? If yes,which one and where in history was it chronicled?"
    Is that very difficult to answer?


    omar ibrahim baker - 10/19/2007

    Re: With respect to Omar and Ms. Applebaum, I will respond (#61108)
    by Adam Moshe on May 20, 2005 at 12:03 PM
    1) “A territory belongs to the community, nation, people who dwelled on it AFTER the ELAPSE of the "stronger tribe replaces the weaker tribe " phase in human development and the advent of "settled communities" mode of living ; a step forward in the annals of Human Progress.”

    One problem with such an analysis: Israel came into being BEFORE any such enlightenment thinking supposedly took over the world. Thus the nations of Pakistan, India, the Check Republic, AND Israel were formed to the detriment of millions of people who became displaced.
    XXXXX
    Moshe;
    You disappoint me !
    I did not think that you of all the people would pretend in any way that the India/Pakistan affair is in any way similar to the usurpation of Palestine by the Zionists.
    I have no doubt that you know that INDIA/PAKISTAN was a mutually agreed separation between the two communities with an AGREED exchange of population wherever it was necessary to attain substantial separation.
    It was not a DISPLACEMENT, DISPOSSESSION and
    SUPPLANTATION by ALIENS as in the case of Zionism and the indigenous Palestinian people.
    Israel came into being in the period 1922-1948; that is NOT before but much " AFTER the ELAPSE of the "stronger tribe replaces the weaker tribe " phase in human development and the advent of "settled communities" mode of living ; a step forward in the annals of Human Progress.”
    However I do note that you agree, with which I have claimed all along, that Zionism did not reach " any such enlightenment thinking " in the 20th century..nor even now in 21st century and as such Zionism is a retrogressive movement and is in denial of human progress.!


    2) “Your stand, whether knowingly or unknowingly, reveals Zionism and Zionist Israel for what it truly is :" a land grab effected and retained through force."
    My stand is an acknowledgement of political reality. You may label me a realist if you like, but it has been the way the world operates for a long time now. Don’t believe me? Ask the Kurds, the Bosques, the Chechens, and so on
    XXX:
    Your reply above is confirmation of my earlier contention that:" Zionist Israel is a land grab effected and retained through force."
    You call it real politic ; I call it the law of the jungle.
    So no Legal nor Moral foundation for Israel.
    3) “This leaves us with the real basis of the claim:" We liked it, we needed it so we took it and to hell with its indigenous inhabitants that we DISPLACED and DISPOSSESSED and supplanted with our own people!"

    As stated before, this was not the way Jews arrived in the region. No one “took it.” They moved there and purchased the land legally and morally, set up self-sufficient communities, and they were able to expand in a defensive war that to this day has not ended. Such expansion did not, by itself, displace Palestinians, at least not nearly as much as those who left of their own accord for various reasons.
    XXX:
    That , to Displace and Dispossess as aliens, is exactly how Zionism arrived in the region:
    ” David Ben-Gurion, eminently a realist, recognized its nature. In internal discussion, he noted that 'in our political argument abroad, we minimize Arab opposition to us,' but he urged, 'let us not ignore the truth among ourselves.' The truth was that 'politically we are the aggressors and they defend themselves... The country is theirs, because they inhabit it, whereas we want to come here and settle down, and in their view we want to take away from them their country, while we are still outside'..”. Noam Chomsky, "The Fateful Triangle."
    Jabotinsky was one of the earliest advocates of using force to curb Palestinian nationalism, which he eloquently articulated in his IRON WALL article that was published in Ha'aretz Daily in 1923. He stated:
    ".... Settlement can thus develop under the protection of a force that is not dependent on the local population, behind an IRON WALL which they will be powerless to break down. ....a voluntary agreement is just not possible. As long as the Arabs preserve a gleam of hope that they will succeed in getting rid of us, nothing in the world can cause them to relinquish this hope, precisely because they are not a rubble but a living people. And a living people will be ready to yield on such fateful issues only when they give up all hope of getting rid of the Alien Settlers. Only then will extremist groups with their slogan 'No, never' lose their influence, and only then their influence be transferred to more moderate groups. And only then will the moderates offer suggestions for compromise. Then only will they begin bargaining with us on practical matters, such as guarantees against PUSHING THEM OUT, and equality of civil, and national rights.
    There is hiding or misunderstanding Zionist intentions and designs from day one!"


    Reading these two luminaries of the Zionist movement the inevitable conclusion is that The Palestinians were displaced by a conscious pre mediated Zionist campaign of massacres and civilian expulsions (Read Benny Norris).
    "Those who left on their accord " are those who chose to distance themselves from war theatres, as all civilians do in time of war, that does not deprive them from their Right to Return to their homeland .

    However one thing I frequently note is your utter neglect of my often repeated phrase that: "The Jews came into Palestine AGAINST the express will and relentless opposition of The Palestinian people".

    That was amply documented in the King-Crane report.

    LAND PURCHASE:
    How much land did they purchase to entitle them to "national" rights;?
    VERY little, I have given you the figures in my previous post but you chose to ignore them because they contradict your allegation!

    4) “As such your opinion is an open invitation to war:" if you want it back come and get it the way you lost it…..by force" which is fair enough as long as the law of the jungle prevails.”

    You forget my answer to how a long a nation must stay in order to be valid. I said, “as long as they can hold it and convince others to accept it.” Unlike Israel, which achieved independence legally and whose borders were formed during a defensive war against an aggressive belligerent, the Palestinians will never convince others to accept a claim on the land if they simply continue murdering innocent civilians.

    Thus if the Palestinians were to read my post carefully, they would recognize that non-violent resistance will give them the legitimacy they seek and force the world to recognize their independence in a war that terrorism, despite its incredible success, never will.


    XXX:
    No I did NOT forget; we are perfectly aware of how our land was usurped and how our people was DISPLACED and DISPOSSESSED and how to regain it.
    The often used argument:"if the Palestinians were to ... recognize that non-violent resistance will give them the legitimacy they seek and force the world to recognize their independence"

    Is not only fallacious but equally misleading and is always made with the full knowledge that it is only a time gaining ploy to confiscate more land and to build more settlements as evidently seen with the WALL.
    Israel still wants the LAND without people!
    Had it not been a new land grab the WALL would have been built on the GREEN line and not to the EAST of it; that would have stopped "terrorism" as effectively.

    5) “the unmitigated rejection of this alien nation/state of Israel by the 1.5-2.0 billion strong Arab/Moslem community .I believe neither Hertzel nor Ben Gurion foretold that.”

    I disagree. It is impossible for me to imagine anyone with a brain believing that these countries would ever accept a Jewish country, NO MATTER HOW IT CAME INTO BEING without doing everything it can to destroy it. Trust me, they knew, they merely believed that they could defend themselves until the Arabs realized that they could not expel the Jews by force, a prediction that proved impressively accurate.
    XXX:
    That is "transported RACISM" on your part;in your effort to deny or at least mitigate the RACIST nature of Zionism you try to transport it and attribute it to us .
    Had Israel been established in the uninhabited parts of, say, Canada or Australia, with, of course ,the consent of the Canadian or Australian people why should we be against it?
    We have nothing against, say, a Christian Italy or a Buddhist China nor would we have anything against a JEWISH state if established without DISPLACING and DISPOSSESSING an indigenous people from his homeland!

    6) “The Jews came into Palestine intent on colonizing it and establishing a "Jewish Homeland" in collusion with the mandatory power Great Britain against the express will of the overwhelming majority of the indigenous Palestinian people.”

    How is it then that you are able to explain Britain’s “White Paper” restrictions on Jewish immigration, maintaining a strict quota that prevented Jews from immigrating?

    Even if this grant alliance was true, should not your wrath be directed against the British then, rather than against the Jews, who can hardly be blamed for accepting British help in moving to Palestine? Remember, no Arabs were displaced during this time, as the land was purchased legally from landowners, not “conquered” by Jews. So long as this is the case, what does it matter than the “indigenous Palestinian people” did not want them there?
    XXX:
    Moshe
    You know perfectly well that the "White Paper" was just one political move, among many, by GB to reduce Arab opposition to Zionist immigration..
    Put bluntly: do you contend that as many Jewish immigrants would have been admitted into Palestine and that Zionist organizations would have attained the degree of armament WITHOUT British tacit and/or overt approval?.
    Do you contend that that was globally achieved AGAINST British will?
    Dare I hope for a YES or NO answer?
    7) “To pretend otherwise ; that it was done against and despite British knowledge or will, is ridiculous!
    The many British soldiers who dies as the result of Jewish attacks, and the countless who were murdered in death camps of Europe because they could not move to Palestine would not agree that this is “ridiculous.”
    http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/myths/mf2.html

    XXX:
    Will you not ever stop milking:" the countless who were murdered in death camps of Europe because they could not move to Palestine" ?
    You know we had nothing to do with it.
    The "the countless who were murdered in death camps of Europe" could have been saved by migrating to the USA, Canada, Australia, etc as temporary havens or long term residences.
    Christian, or rather Judeo/Christian, Europe had much more to do with it and is solely responsible for the abomination that is the Holocaust.
    Do not go on committing more crimes in Palestine against the Palestinian people or justifying your previous crimes in the name of the innocent dead in the Holocaust.
    That is demeaning to their memory and utterly IMMORAL on your part!

    8) “The very existence of the state of Israel is neither LEGAL nor MORAL ; it is the outcome of the collusion between the imperialist state of Great Britain and the racist Zionist movement that led to the conquest of Palestine , the DISPLACEMENT, DISPOSSESSION and SUBJUGATION of the indigenous Palestinian people and to SUPPLANTING them with ALIENS congregated on RACIAL/RACIST/confessional basis.”

    I disagree, and believe that it was both legal AND moral. There is noting racist about Zionism, a point which I have hit home too many times before in our exchanges to go over yet again here. Jews were no more alien than the many Arabs whose arrival was relatively new, and the reality is that most
    XXX;
    Zionist Israel is the most RACIST state in the world today in as much as it GRANTS or WITHHOLDS "rights" on the RACIAL/CONFESSIONAL provenance of the applicant!That is RACIST by any definition of the word!

    9) “It was, is, an act of conquest effected against the opposition and express will of the Palestinian Arab people both Moslems and Christians; the 80% plus majority in the pre British mandate era, that is pre 1922 AD!”

    Perhaps you an I define “conquest” differently. The only dictionary I use defines it as “To defeat or subdue by force, especially by force of arms.”
    http://dictionary.reference.com/search?q=conquering

    Since the Jewish immigrants moved to Palestine legally over the course of many decades, and established their own communities on land that belonged to THEM, there is nothing “forceful” about it. As for the war in 1948, it was Arabs who were engaged in conquest. That they ultimately lost can hardly be blamed on the Jews.
    XXX
    Moshe:They moved in " against the opposition and express will of the Palestinian Arab people both Moslems and Christians; the 80% plus majority in the pre British mandate era, that is pre 1922 AD!”
    To us ,and I believe to most of the world, that makes it ILLEGAL and IMMORAL!
    Do you give any weight to the will of the people at all?, If you do not because they are Palestinian Arabs that is RACIST!

    In want sense did it belong to THEM? Purchase? READ the numbers in my post$# 61091.
    God given or "promised" ?
    Or RACIALLY/EHNICALLY father to (blood) son inheritance?




    Peter K. Clarke - 10/9/2007


    Adam, you are so confused I hardly know where to begin. First of all, the settlements do not do jack to protect Israel; on the contrary they markedly increase the danger to it by diverting massive security resources that could otherwise be used for the benefit of the 90+% of Israelis who are not murderous religious fanatics. Secondly, the reason given in 1967 -and for some years after- for hanging onto the West Bank and Sinai was in order to give Israel defensible borders against a ring of other states hostile to it. There were a lot of comparisons at the time to Czechslovakia after Munich in 1938, and the validity of such parallels was demonstrated a few years later in 1973 when Sadat successfully suprise-attacked, but instead of his tanks rolling into Tel Aviv, they rolled into a huge desert instead and were then outflanked.

    Huge swaths of terrority as buffer zones are now irrelevant to Israel’s security for several reasons; peace treaties with Egypt and Jordan, no more USSR supporting either, Israel having vastly superior military power to its neighbors, being chief among them. That is why none of the brainwashers over at AIPAC seem to give a hoot about Israel having "surrendered" the Sinai or South Lebanon. Why is the West Bank different ? Fanatical Jewish extremism. Face reality. Moslems are not the only religious group with a violent lunatic fringe. This boycott is misguided, stupid, useless, and unfair, but the situation that provoked it is real.

    I would invite you to do your history homework, rather than make such pitiful attempts to regurgitate AIPAC-style propaganda, but I am afraid that while you seem to be well-meaning and intelligent (atypically for HNN) you have a rather hopelessly closed mind when it comes to questions related to Israel. If I were you, I would pick a different subject to dwell upon, one I have at least a ghost of a chance of thinking rationally and objectively about.


    Peter K. Clarke - 10/9/2007


    There is a middle ground between (a) "completely ignoring" Israel's security concerns (which by the way are not advanced in the slightest by plunking a university campus down in Palestinian terrority) and (b) completely ignoring everything BUT Israel's security concerns (approximately the recent position of the U.S. Congress). Rabin saw that middle ground and worked to seize it. Arafat pretended to. What Sharon and Mazen are up to, time will tell.


    Peter K. Clarke - 10/9/2007


    Adam: You asked a few posts back "If I have misinterpreted your statement in any way that is unfair of me, please let me know", so I did. Many, though thankfully not all, of your recent comments directed at me sound as though you think I am some Palestinian flag-waving demonstrater shouting "death to Israel". Whether you can truly admit it to yourself or not, however, it is in fact possible to be highly critical of a regime, as I am of George W. Bush's for example, and yet not wish for the country of that regime to be annihilated. On the other hand, though I don't think this is quite your actual viewpoint, when you go on and on implying that all Palestinians are Israel-hating terrorists, or place 100% of the blame for the failure of the 2000 talks on the Palestinians (as though the end of Clinton's presidency, Sharon's trip to the Temple Mount, Barak's cold demeanor and squandering of his political mandate, and a dozen other relevant factors were of no import at all) you sound like a propagandist, not like even a freshman historian.

    Of course there are murderous terrorists amongst the Palestinians, and they happen to be (for a number of complicated historical reasons) in a larger (though still small) and more influential minority than on the Israeli side. But I haven't talked much about them not because I am some passionate anti-Zionist or anti-Semite, but because they are not the issue on this page. Go to any of the hundreds of other HNN articles (for example one of the 50 or so by Pipes) to see that discussion. The issue here concerns a boycott that is directed (though utterly counterproductively) against Israeli oppression on the West Bank.

    Constantly harping on Palestinian terrorism as if it were the root of all evil in the Mideast is a sign of a closed mind. In the 1940s when Jewish terrorism flourished, one did not hear such a constant haraunging (as today from Pipes etc) from Zionist lobby groups about terrorism as if it were the only problem the world has ever had. Nor do I recall Jewish leaders taking the idiotic position that no progress of any sort would possible in the region until 100% of Jewish terrorism ceased. Of course there are big differences between the Israelis and Palestinians, but there are also quite a lot of similarities. Some one who is not deeply committed to one side or the other is able to see this more clearly. I doubt if your remarks would be so one-sided if we were talking about Hutus and Tutsis.



    Peter K. Clarke - 10/9/2007


    Take South Africa, for instance. But, I do not recall the thrust of the anti-apartheid movement being directed against universities in Johannesberg or Cape Town.

    The issue here should be the untouchable third rail of U.S. taxpayer financing of a government which builds illegal, immoral and hideously ugly "settlements" on stolen land in order to appease terrorists and fanatics amongst its electoral supporters. Academic support for the counterproductive oppression of Palestinians is a triviality by comparison.


    Peter K. Clarke - 10/9/2007


    Adam, I am afraid you are becoming decreasingly good at listening:

    "So long as the Palestinians present a genuine threat to innocent civilians"

    Which Palestinians ? 6 months-olds only or three months-old as well ?
    100% or just 99.9% or 60% in your dubious "poll" which came from where by the way ?

    Someone making such crass, blanket statements over and over and over again about African Americans or Jews in America would risk being called a racist or an anti-Semite. If that is the company you wish to keep, then go on failing to be specific, objective, or rational. Just vent your great fear of the great Palestinian bogeyman.

    Okay, enough venting from me.

    In answer to your qeury:

    Yes, someone " 'constantly harping' on the occupation" would most probably be very closed-minded indeed. When you have found that needle in the HNN haystack, I'll back you up that point. But two closed minds don't have much to say to each other (which incidentally is a major reason why so much of the rest of the world is sick and tired of both Israelis and Palestinians). I guess all that can be said is that ranting with words is better than with suicide bombings of Israeli cafes and blowing up of Palestinian houses with missiles.

    God bless America, anyone ?


    Peter K. Clarke - 10/9/2007


    1. I said that the settlements, by which I meant their architecture and physical scarring of the landscape, were ugly.

    2. Israel's motives in or any other general causes of the 1967 war are not relevant to this discussion. The issue here (the companion article by Schwarz makes this clear) is the support within Israel for keeping the (originally to-be temporarily occupied -for security reasons which have since become irrelevant) West Bank permanently. It was never a legitimate goal of Zionism to take over 100% of Palestine and kick out all the Arabs, but that IS the lunatic vision of the violent and fanatical "settler movement" which would not be getting away with its plans for ethnic cleansing of the West Bank were it not for the idiotic funding from and unthinking support by the U.S. Congress. THAT, not some joke of a West Bank outpost of a third-rate Israeli University, ought to be the focus of Mr. Pappe and his supporters (none of which appear to be represented on this page: maybe he has none), at least in my humble opinion.


    Peter K. Clarke - 10/9/2007


    You make some good points, but get carried away towards the end. Israel has ruled the West Bank for four decades and "equal rights" for all inhabitants there has never been remotely in sight, except for a brief time in the 1990s when it looked as though the Palestinians might be granted a contiguous, viable and independent state, to which they have as much of a right as do the Israelis. The death of Arafat has raised new hopes of peaceful co-existence in the future but to talk, in the present tense, of equal rights for half the population while ignoring the oppresion of the other half stretches credulity to the breaking point.


    Peter K. Clarke - 10/9/2007


    You make some good points, but get carried away towards the end. Israel has ruled the West Bank for four decades and "equal rights" for all inhabitants there has never been remotely in sight, except for a brief time in the 1990s when it looked as though the Palestinians might be granted a contiguous, viable and independent state, to which they have as much of a right as do the Israelis. The death of Arafat has raised new hopes of peaceful co-existence in the future but to talk, in the present tense, of equal rights for half the population while ignoring the oppresion of the other half stretches credulity to the breaking point.


    Peter K. Clarke - 10/9/2007


    Easy for you to say, N. You aren't there getting your house bulldozed because a relative tried to blow something up, or (on the Isreali side) living under constant fear of being blown up. You can comfortably sit in DC knowing that your taxdollars support this madness.

    Of course there is a solution to the dispute. Kindergarteners understand it; It is called sharing. It has been a possibilty since 1948 when the UN partition was proposed and even before. Fanatics (mostly on the Arab side) but also on the Israeli side (e.g. these "settler" nutcases) have torpedoed attempts at compromise, but that does not mean otherwise sensible folks living 8,000 miles away have to incessantly kowtow to their extremism.


    Irfan Khawaja - 8/4/2006

    So Professor Pappe, an Israeli academic, is calling--in an American forum--for a boycott by American academics of Israeli academics.

    It seems to me that the most obvious way for him to express his principles would be to take them seriously enough to put them into practice in his own case. That would mean a moratorium on Professor Pappe's publishing his writings outside of Israel until the end of the Occupation. Maybe he can withdraw his books from foreign publication until then as well.

    Doing so would be pointless, perverse, and quixotic, I suppose, but then, so is his advocacy of a boycott.


    Irfan Khawaja - 8/4/2006

    Well, I suppose you can always trust a non-Arab to go the way of an Ajm, can't you?


    Marc "Adam Moshe" Bacharach - 5/26/2005

    1) “Well is it this or or that? Is "The moral and legal justification for the Jews .." that they purchased "land" or " a “nation claim” is based upon a people occupying territory"??”

    Your question really depends on WHEN we are talking about. If you are talking about Jews settling in the area between the late 19th century and 1948, then the justification for Jews (or anyone else for that matter) is that they purchased the land (whose approximate distributions I posted for your inspection).

    If we are talking about the moral justification for creating a political nation-state in that territory, than the basis of political recognition is as I have said: occupying territory and convincing others to accept it.

    This is as true for Jews in Palestine as it is for anyone anywhere.

    Mexicans can move to the United States legally and buy territory. Their moral justification for being there is such. If, in the future, there are enough Mexican-Americans concentrated in one area and they choose to break off from the United States, it is unlikely that we would allow them, BUT hypothetically speaking if we did allow it, then the new Mexerica would be perfectly legitimate and morally justifiable. I don’t know if that example helps to illustrate my point.

    2) “There is a great deal of difference between the two stands. You have come out in defence of both ; the first by adoption the second by formulation!They are not only incompatible as "legal and moral justification", they are contradictory!”

    There is a great deal of difference between the 2 because they describe 2 different things. The one describes immigration, the other describes statehood. There is nothing contradictory about them, at least I don’t see how, since both did indeed occur. I certainly never said that the Jews “plundered” the land, and occupying territory need not be accompanied by any violence whatsoever, as was the case when Syria and Jordon gained their independence by virtue of being occupied by Syrians and Jordanians.

    What, in your opinion, is the moral basis for a state? What do you believe is the moral basis for immigration?

    3) “B-In your post #61038 in which you stood for Dr Applebaum you also adopted Dr Applebaum's opinion that: "The moral and legal justification for the Jews have already been expressed by Ms. Appelbaum, when she wrote:
    Statehood was awarded by the United Nations."
    Now you state, not for the fist time I must admit:
    "(UN)General Assembly Resolutions are not legally binding, ..etc”

    Omar, you have just made an excellent point, and there is indeed a problem with my statements. The resolution to this contradiction is that I honestly did not really pay enough notice to the statement about the UN “awarding statehood” to Israel, instead focusing my attention on the first part of the statement. I should have been more careful about what I re-post and apologize for the confusion.

    My position is that the UN cannot “award” statehood to any nation, be it Israel, Palestine, etc., and that General Assembly resolutions are not legally binding (this is not my opinion, it is the legal fact). Do you disagree with this?

    4) “Unless of course it is a question of where and when to use either , as I suspect it is the case, which is something I did not expect from you?”

    I can assure you that my positions on this issue have remained consistent, even if my own clumsy cut-and-paste seems to undermine that. However, I have posted a great deal on the HNN articles going back some time now and will gladly compare my statements in any of those past articles with those I make now.


    Marc "Adam Moshe" Bacharach - 5/26/2005

    Omar,
    Am I correct that the questions you continuously accuse me of ignoring are the following:
    -a :How much land did Jewish immigrants buy in Palestine to warrant establishing a "national" claim ?
    -b: Since you base the ligitimacy of israel on a UN resolution are you ready to implement UN resolution #194 re Right of Return of the Palestinians to their homeland ?

    If it is, I must wonder why you did not specifically confront me on this rather than make general accusations. After all, I could bring up all of the rebuttals and statements of my own that you have not even attempted to address, but that would accomplish nothing other than to bring me down to a level of incivility I like to keep myself above.

    I too was mistaken when I thought I was talking to someone who wanted to debate the issue and not score petty “points” about who said what. I assumed based on the post that the questions were rhetorical and not directed at me in any event (you began the statement: “Dr Applebaum:”). It is my humble opinion that you are simply engaging in “point scoring” rather than legitimate concern. After all, you know full well by now that I respond to any post directed at me point by point.

    Now that you have at last revealed to me what you are talking about, I would be more than happy to respond, as I always have been, even though you have chosen to descend into petty insults and frustration over logic.


    “-a :How much land did Jewish immigrants buy in Palestine to warrant establishing a "national" claim ?”

    I have said again and again and again that a “nation claim” is based upon a people occupying territory and can convince others to accept it. How much land did Jewish immigrants purchase?

    By 1947, Jewish holdings in Palestine amounted to about 463,000 acres. Approximately 45,000 of these acres were acquired from the Mandatory Government; 30,000 were bought from various churches and 387,500 were purchased from Arabs. Analyses of land purchases from 1880 to 1948 show that 73% of Jewish plots were purchased from large landowners. Those who sold land included the mayors of Gaza, Jerusalem and Jaffa. As'ad el¬Shuqeiri, a Muslim religious scholar and father of PLO chairman Ahmed Shuqeiri, took Jewish money for his land. Even King Abdullah leased land to the Jews. In fact, many leaders of the Arab nationalist movement, including members of the Muslim Supreme Council, sold land to Jews.

    http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/myths/mf2.html

    -b: Since you base the ligitimacy of israel on a UN resolution are you ready to implement UN resolution #194 re Right of Return of the Palestinians to their homeland ?”

    The question is based on a faulty premise: I do not base the legitimacy of Israel on a UN resolution. I base it on the fact that what the Jews did not purchase legally, they won defensively, have equal rights for its citizens, a free and open democracy, and they have convinced other powers of the earth of its legitimacy.

    Furthermore, even if I did based Israel on the UN, since General Assembly Resolutions are not legally binding, and since the makeup of the GA has changed substantially over time, is there any reason why I cannot pick and chose which UN resolutions I support and which I do not? To suggest that to endorse one is to endorse all is simply a fallacy.

    If you have any other questions for me Omar, do let me know and I will answer them as I have everything else. If, on the other hand, you wish to descend into an anti-Israel, anti-Zionist diatribe, I see no reason to justify such attacks by responding.


    N. Friedman - 5/26/2005

    Adam,

    I could not agree more. Well said.


    Marc "Adam Moshe" Bacharach - 5/25/2005

    Omar,
    Upon re-reading my posts to you, your accusation against me is simply false, and becoming a bit absurd. I have explained the same thing so many times, I would draw it to you if I could!

    You asked me about land ownership, and I have said the following on more than one occasion:

    “As stated before, this was not the way Jews arrived in the region. No one “took it.” They moved there and purchased the land legally and morally, set up self-sufficient communities, and they were able to expand in a defensive war that to this day has not ended. Such expansion did not, by itself, displace Palestinians, at least not nearly as much as those who left of their own accord for various reasons.”

    I added elsewhere:

    “I have made the point so many times, it does not bear repeating, especially since you have failed to respond to it. Perhaps if you could explain WHY or HOW the settlers “Displaced and Dispossessed” the local Arabs, it could better move this discussion along.”

    You asked me about the UN resolutions and I have answered (again) that general assembly resolutions are not legally binding and I do not believe the Palestinians have any natural or moral right to return to a land which many of them have never set foot in and which many who have left voluntarily of their own accord (not to mention the political impossibility of absorbing millions of impoverished and hostile Muslims into a Jewish state).

    In short Omar, I must accuse you of either deliberately evading my posts and hiding under the shield of a false accusation against me, OR simply not reading my posts and thus ignoring my many responses to your questions.

    In any event, you may accuse me of racism, immorality, etc., but do discontinue accusing me of “ignoring” your questions when we both know this to be a lie.


    Marc "Adam Moshe" Bacharach - 5/25/2005

    Omar,
    I understand what you are saying, although I fail to understand how one can read my posts to you and still maintain the illusion that I have been evasive. I have answered every direct question that you have offered me (and many indirect as well).

    By all means, pose a question, and I will do as I have always done: answer it directly and as quikely as I can.


    N. Friedman - 5/24/2005

    Adam,

    Omar will return. He enjoys posting his point of view.

    As for Star Trek, I liked the original series the most. I sometimes liked Voyager (especially after the Borg arrived) and, on occassion, Enterprise. I did not like Next Generation as much because there was never any sense of danger, the aliens were all mental cases (rather than beings who were devious and otherwise had human-like personalities but who dressed, perhaps, in non-human costumes) and too much effort was made to understand the aliens rather than have the sorts of problems which the Captain Kirk, et. al, encountered in the original series.

    Oh well.


    Marc "Adam Moshe" Bacharach - 5/24/2005

    Mr. Friedman,
    I knew I liked you. How can two Star Trek fans possibly be wrong?!?

    I take it that Omar has simply stopped trying... pity.

    (P.S. I really enjoyed Deep Space 9, but could never get into the other series that followed- seems a lack of ideas and originality has caused a pause, but not I hope an end).


    N. Friedman - 5/24/2005

    Adam,

    I watch Star Trek and have since the 1960's. I have watched DS9 although it was, in my view, one of the weaker series. Sad to say that the series appears, at least for a few years, headed for mothballs.

    As for Sisko's statement, you hit the nail on the head.


    Marc "Adam Moshe" Bacharach - 5/23/2005

    Mr. Friedman,
    Thank you very much for the link. I must confess, this information in relatively new to me, although I was familiar with the overall theme.

    Of course, the real problem with Omar's version of history is not that it is (and I use this word respectfully) ignorant of reality, or closed to any alternative, since who amoung us is not to some degree? The problem is that he uses this to justify the current wave of murder and terrorism and descend into pathological hatred of Israel that dehumanizes Israelis and makes it easier to justify the unjustifiable.

    I am reminded of an exchange I recently saw on an old Star Trek episode (I am a bigger geek than I am a Zionist, I know).

    When a terrorist tries to convince Captain Sisko of the righteousness of their cause by pointing out how the refugees whom they act for are victims of the Federation, Sisco replies with the following apt reply:

    "You know what I see out there, mister Eddington? I see victims... but not of Cardassia or the Federation. Victims of you. The Maquis [the terrorist group]. You've sold these people the dream that one day, they can go back to those farms and homes and schools - but you know they never can. And the longer you keep that hope alive, the longer they're going to suffer."

    Now, Star Trek is no Middle East and their terrorists do not murder innocent civilians, but I think the quote applies here as well.


    N. Friedman - 5/22/2005

    Omar,

    Your assertion is nonsensical and meaningless. From the point of view of the refugees, the case of Pakistan and India is a thousand times worse. The difference you cite is trivial in significance. The fact is that more refugees were involuntarily created than in the Arab Israeli dispute. And hundreds of thousands and perhaps a million refugees died.

    None has been allowed to return to the place of origin.

    What is different is that the Palestinians made a conscious decision to make permanent war by using themselves as human pawns. That is a disgusting waste of life.



    N. Friedman - 5/22/2005

    Adam,

    You write:I have never even suggesting that the Holocaust had anything to do with the Palestinians, nor have I ever used it as justification, so I would thank you not to accuse me of any such insinuation. I bring it up only in the context of what the consequences were of the British immigration restrictions on the Jews you claim they were working side by side with.

    You might read the following material I recently found online: http://www.eretzyisroel.org/~jkatz/nazis.html

    In particular, read the sections beginning with "Muftism and Nazism: World War II Collaboration. Documents (examples of original correspondence)" I think it can be reasonably concluded, from this and other material I have read, that the al-Husseini - leader of the Palestinian Arabs - was very much involved with the Nazis and that his relationship with them had substantial support among Palestinian Arabs - which is why he built close relations with the Nazis -. You will note from the document that he did a great deal to cause the deaths of a very large number of people including, most especially, Jews. So it is a mistake to dismiss the role played by Palestinian Arabs (and Arabs more generally) in the demise of Jews during WWII.



    I note that Bernard Lewis in his classic Semites and Anti-Semites notes that the al-Husseini had knowledge of the number of Jews being killed in concentration camps.

    Moreover, Lewis notes that al-Husseini "aimed at much vaster purposes, conceived not so much in pan-Arab as in pan-Islamic terms, for a Holy War of Islam in alliance with Germany against World Jewry, to accomplish the Final Solution of the Jewish problem everywhere."

    In the scheme of things, al-Husseini, acting on behalf of the Palestinian Arabs and with their support, both moral and financial, had a great deal to do with what occurred to the Jews as he advocated for their extermination and evidently had a substantial role in what occurred. Which is to say, I think it can fairly be said that the role of the Palestinian Arabs was somewhat greater than the role of Britain and perhaps more than fascist Italy.


    Marc "Adam Moshe" Bacharach - 5/22/2005

    1) “I did not think that you of all the people would pretend in any way that the India/Pakistan affair is in any way similar to the usurpation of Palestine by the Zionists.
    I have no doubt that you know that INDIA/PAKISTAN was a mutually agreed separation between the two communities with an AGREED exchange of population wherever it was necessary to attain substantial separation.”

    I am afraid, as with the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians, your analysis of the India/Pakistan history does a grave injustice to those people whose suffering you ignore. The various wars between the 2 nations since the 1940’s has created literally millions of refugees.

    As one online encyclopedia says of just the first (but not last) war:

    “The communal strife took more than 500,000 lives; 7.5 million Muslim refugees fled to both parts of Pakistan from India, and 10 million Hindus left Pakistan for India.”
    http://www.encyclopedia.com/html/section/Pakistan_History.asp
    http://www.pakalert.net/articles/war_chronology.asp

    2) “Israel came into being in the period 1922-1948; that is NOT before but much " AFTER the ELAPSE of the "stronger tribe replaces the weaker tribe " phase in human development and the advent of "settled communities" mode of living ; a step forward in the annals of Human Progress.”

    Frankly Omar, I am not aware of ANY such belief among nations today, let alone in the 1940’s. I ask once again, what of the Kurds or the Chechens? What of the Southern Sudanese, who have been the victim of genocide for over 30 years? I don’t know what “human development” you refer to, but I see no such practice by virtually any nation today in 2005 and I certainly don’t recall any existing in 1945 either.

    Zionism therefore, is certainly NOT as you say a “retrogressive movement and is in denial of human progress,” but in fact perfectly consistent with other nationalist movement, and without question more just and humane, particularly compared to the wanton slaughter campaign launched by the Palestinians in their own form of Zionism.

    3) “Your reply above is confirmation of my earlier contention that:" Zionist Israel is a land grab effected and retained through force."
    You call it real politic ; I call it the law of the jungle.”

    I have done my best not to put words in your mouth Omar, or make assumptions that are obviously not true, I would appreciate if you could extend to me the same courtesy. How on earth could my reply be used to “confirm” your contention? I was speaking about ALL societies, including Arab societies. Thus you may be right, but in fairness you would have to add that the Palestinians as well as all other Arab nations “is a land grab effected and retained through force.” Call it what you like, it is still reality.

    3) “This leaves us with the real basis of the claim:" We liked it, we needed it so we took it and to hell with its indigenous inhabitants that we DISPLACED and DISPOSSESSED and supplanted with our own people!"

    As stated before, this was not the way Jews arrived in the region. No one “took it.” They moved there and purchased the land legally and morally, set up self-sufficient communities, and they were able to expand in a defensive war that to this day has not ended. Such expansion did not, by itself, displace Palestinians, at least not nearly as much as those who left of their own accord for various reasons.

    4) “That , to Displace and Dispossess as aliens, is exactly how Zionism arrived in the region.”

    You are factually mistaken and even the quote you provide by Ben-Gurion does not prove your case, nor certainly by one editorial from Jabotinsky which in any event explains a course of action, not describing what is actually happening (I should also note that I question the validity of the quotes themselves). I have made the point so many times, it does not bear repeating, especially since you have failed to respond to it. Perhaps if you could explain WHY or HOW the settlers “Displaced and Dispossessed” the local Arabs, it could better move this discussion along.

    5) “However one thing I frequently note is your utter neglect of my often repeated phrase that: "The Jews came into Palestine AGAINST the express will and relentless opposition of The Palestinian people".

    Not only have I NOT neglected the charge, but you have failed to address my point about why it matters that the Arabs did not want them there?

    6) “How much land did they purchase to entitle them to "national" rights;?
    VERY little, I have given you the figures in my previous post but you chose to ignore them because they contradict your allegation!”

    Omar, thus far I have refrained from pointing out how you have ignored the points that I have made, how you have failed to respond to my posts, and how I have answered your questions, but since you have chosen to make an accusation that I have ignored something YOU said, I might as well respond in kind.

    7) “non-violent resistance… Is not only fallacious but equally misleading and is always made with the full knowledge that it is only a time gaining ploy to confiscate more land and to build more settlements as evidently seen with the WALL.”

    I suppose Omar, we will never really know what would happen if the Palestinians chose to embrace peace rather than death. Perhaps you would be right and Israel would fail to respond (though I doubt it). So long as Palestinians prefer death and murder to peace and statehood, I suppose your guess as to how Israel would respond is just as good as mine.

    8) “Had it not been a new land grab the WALL would have been built on the GREEN line and not to the EAST of it; that would have stopped "terrorism" as effectively.”

    I disagree, and in any event, Hamas also disagrees, as they have said that they will continue the attacks.

    9) “That is "transported RACISM" on your part;in your effort to deny or at least mitigate the RACIST nature of Zionism you try to transport it and attribute it to us.”

    I must confess, you have used the race card so frequently as to make the charge meaningless to me. What I have said is the truth. You may respond to it if you like, but simply denying it does not make it any more untrue. Take a look at a map of what the Peel Commission recommended, or the UN partition plan.

    Take a look at the size of Israel compared to the size of, say, Saudi Arabia. Neither you nor anyone else has any problem with Arabs being slaughtered by other Arabs (do a google search of the city of Hama, in Syria, in which over 20,000 Arabs were murdered by Assad of Syria, to the indifference of the rest of the Arab community). Why do you suppose that is? Why is no sympathy offered to the Sudanese or Kurds who have been massacred in large numbers, let alone “dispossessed”? Rather odd that the only nation who has been repeatedly condemned is also the only Jewish nation on earth, don’t you think?

    http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/myths/mf3.html

    10) “You know perfectly well that the "White Paper" was just one political move, among many, by GB to reduce Arab opposition to Zionist immigration..
    Put bluntly: do you contend that as many Jewish immigrants would have been admitted into Palestine and that Zionist organizations would have attained the degree of armament WITHOUT British tacit and/or overt approval?”

    I would agree and disagree: British support for Zionism early on certainly only helped its cause a great deal, but the immigration restriction was a death sentence to millions not some way of paradoxically “reducing Arab opposition to Zionist immigration.”

    11) “Will you not ever stop milking:" the countless who were murdered in death camps of Europe because they could not move to Palestine" ?
    You know we had nothing to do with it.”

    I have never even suggesting that the Holocaust had anything to do with the Palestinians, nor have I ever used it as justification, so I would thank you not to accuse me of any such insinuation. I bring it up only in the context of what the consequences were of the British immigration restrictions on the Jews you claim they were working side by side with.

    12) “The "the countless who were murdered in death camps of Europe" could have been saved by migrating to the USA, Canada, Australia, etc as temporary havens or long term residences.”

    You are quite correct, and the failure of those nations to accept Jewish refugees will remain as much a stain on their history as with G. Britain.

    13) “Zionist Israel is the most RACIST state in the world today in as much as it GRANTS or WITHHOLDS "rights" on the RACIAL/CONFESSIONAL provenance of the applicant! That is RACIST by any definition of the word!”

    Not so, according to all of the definitions that I have ever heard:
    1. “The belief that race accounts for differences in human character or ability and that a particular race is superior to others.
    2. Discrimination or prejudice based on race.
    http://dictionary.reference.com/search?q=racist

    Since many Israelis are, in fact, of different races and religions, and since they are granted full rights as citizens, this is simply incorrect. Even if Zionism were racism (it is not by the way) to suggest that it is the most in the world is almost too absurd to comment on, particularly when so many in Sudan have been systematically murdered without complaint for being of another creed.

    14) “To us ,and I believe to most of the world, that makes it ILLEGAL and IMMORAL!
    Do you give any weight to the will of the people at all?, If you do not because they are Palestinian Arabs that is RACIST!

    Again Omar, I will thank you at least try and refrain from putting words in my mouth. In point of fact, when someone moves into an area legally and attempts to reside there, toil the land, and make an honest living, they should not be called immoral simply because their neighbors don’t want them there. In American history, THAT is racist! Blacks would move into neighborhoods and the surrounding community did not want them there. By your logic, the tables are turned and the racists are victims, while the black families are the racists!

    15) “In want sense did it belong to THEM? Purchase? READ the numbers in my post$# 61091.”

    I read your post. Was there a point in that? Citing the percentage of ownership says nothing of my claim. Jews bought the land legally and fairly from landowners, your post does nothing to dispute that other than to suggest that BEFORE the purchase, Arabs owned it.

    Please read the following for more information on this myth:
    http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/myths/mf2.html#e

    “It is made quite clear to all, both by the map drawn up by the Simpson Commission and by another compiled by the Peel Commission, that the Arabs are as prodigal in selling their land as they are in useless wailing and weeping”
    -- Transjordan's King Abdullah


    N. Friedman - 5/21/2005

    Mr. Simon,

    You are quite correct. As you can see, if his view is typical of Arabs - which it is -, the Israelis will settle the dispute when pigs fly. What a horror.



    E. Simon - 5/21/2005

    He's arguing for power, not freedom. Twisted by the Dark Side he is.


    N. Friedman - 5/21/2005

    Omar,

    Sorry, here is the citation:

    http://www.zum.de/whkmla/region/india/pakistan19471971.html


    N. Friedman - 5/21/2005

    Omar,

    In fact, the numbers of people displaced and killed in the creation of Pakistan and India makes what happened to the Palestinians seem rather trivial.


    N. Friedman - 5/21/2005

    Omar,

    This is what the Red Cross thought:

    The ICRC since 1945: post-independence violence in India and Pakistan
    How the ICRC tried to protect and assist the victims of the bloodshed that followed Indian independence and the creation of Pakistan, in August 1947: its efforts to assist civilian victims, its work as a neutral intermediary and its visits to prisoners.

    Millions of desperate people were thrown onto the roads in the chaos and violence following Independence – Muslims crossing from Indian to Pakistani Punjab, Sikhs and Hindus going the other way, all of them fleeing massacres.

    Clashes spread to the neighbouring territory of Jammu and Kashmir, where the state's princely ruler had been delaying a decision on whether to become part of India or Pakistan. However, he had to appeal to Delhi for military support when fighters from Azad Kashmir ("Free Kashmir"), backed by Pathan warriors from Pakistan, threatened the capital, Srinagar. The price was allegiance to India.

    In January 1948, the dispute was brought before the United Nations Security Council, which established a commission to mediate between India and Pakistan.

    The violence continued throughout 1948, resulting in the displacement of some two million people – around half the state's population. Many of them died atrociously while hiding in snow-bound mountain passes. As in Punjab, columns of refugees passed each other while seeking safety.


    http://www.icrc.org/Web/Eng/siteeng0.nsf/htmlall/india-pakistan-kashmir-1947?OpenDocument&style=custo_print

    In other words, you are in error.


    N. Friedman - 5/21/2005

    Omar,

    Some more information for you about the "voluntary" refugees from India and Pakistan, none of whom have a right of return:

    On August 1947 PaKiStan became independent - the name consists of P for Punjab, K for Kashmir and S for Sindh. There was another part not mentioned in the name, (East) Bengal, separated from West Pakistan by 1600 km of Indian territory. While the political center - capital Karachi (later Rawalpindi, then Islamabad) and the economic centers (Karachi, Lahore) all are located in the west, the majority of the population lived in East Bengal.
    Immediately after independence, Pakistan had to deal with a massive refugee problem : while 5.3 million Hindus fled from Punjab and Sindh into India, 5.9 million Muslims fled from India into West Pakistan. 3.3 million Hindus fled East Pakistan, 1.3 million Muslims fled from India into East Pakistan.


    Note the word "fled." People do not voluntarily flee.


    N. Friedman - 5/21/2005

    Omar,

    My apology. Here is the article address above quoted:

    http://countrystudies.us/pakistan/14.htm


    N. Friedman - 5/21/2005

    Omar,

    you assert that refugees were voluntarily created in the creation of Pakistan.

    I found this information online. It follows what I have read from other sources. What you are writing is simply not correct. I quote:

    Above all other concerns were the violence and the refugee problem: Muslims were fleeing India; Hindus and Sikhs were fleeing Pakistan. Jinnah's plea to regard religion as a personal matter, not a state matter, was ignored. No one was prepared for the communal rioting and the mass movements of population that followed the June 3, 1947, London announcement of imminent independence and partition. The most conservative estimates of the casualties were 250,000 dead and 12 million to 24 million refugees. The actual boundaries of the two new states were not even known until August 17, when they were announced by a commission headed by a British judge. The boundaries-- unacceptable to both India and Pakistan--have remained.

    Voluntary, my rear end. It is voluntary the way you describe the dhimma as voluntary, which is only from the Muslim, not the victims', point of view. Which is to say, the Muslims of Pakistan voluntarily rid themselves of millions of Hindus.




    E. Simon - 5/21/2005

    Kids are a great marketing group.


    N. Friedman - 5/21/2005

    Omar,

    Jews were not Arabs so your suggestion to the contrary is nonsense.

    With a minor correction - which you are correct about - I stand by my post that Jews were pushed entirely out of what is now Arabia. You are correct that they found a kind of refuge, until the Muslims conquered what is now Yemen which, you are correct, is actually on the edge of the Arabian pennisula. Jews were, in fact, ethnically cleansed from their homes in what Muslims viewed, as a matter of the almighty's will, as Muslim only areas (and, is that not a racist notion, Omar?) and from the lands that are anywhere near including eventually all of the land which, today, is Saudi Arabia. And there were, as I stated, massacres with Jewish women being forced, by the Muslims, to watch as their husbands were butchered. And the women were taken away and forced into Islam and their property was divided up as booty. That, to me, is disgusting. Does that not bother you?

    Jews were, in fact, driven to Yemen. Under Muslim rule, they led lives of terrible oppression of the worst imaginable kind. They, a scholarly people, were reduced to cleaning Muslim latrines and the like. And, to be clear, Muslims forced Yemeni Jews to work on the Jewish Sabbath - which is the Jewish day of non-labor, i.e. rest, and study - presumably so that Jews would feel humiliated and convert. Such is nothing for you to be proud of in your suggestion that I mistate the record. The Yememi experience is one of great injustice that ended only after 1948. Which is to say, the oppression, far worse than anything the Israelis have done and far worse than the oppression in South Africa, lasted for more than a millennium until such people were expelled, had their belongings stolen by the Yemenis and ended up in Israel.

    And the refusal by Arabia to permit non-Muslims to live in certain areas and, more than that, to pray openly to religions other than Islam, is prejudiced and offensive. You claim to be secular. Does this form of religious apartheid, justified by religion, not bother you, even a little bit? Or, is the only oppression you care about is the failure of Arabs to destroy Israel rather than work for a compromise which addresses the needs of all involved?

    And note: it is, in fact, the treatment of Jews by Muslim which is the main justification why Israel is necessary and always was. It is the very argument used, but in reverse, when Arabs claim that they do not want to be ruled by Jews. However, Arab rule has, over the years, been far harsher than Jewish rule has been.

    Where, in the 1,400 years of Muslim rule, have Muslim nations ever treated non-Muslims as real equals? Are Muslims ready, today, to treat Jews as real equals? Would Muslims treat Jews as equals if Israel disapeared? If not, why should Jews care to treat Muslims as equals? And, if not, why should Jews care to address Muslim concerns including those which might, to a disinterested person, appear otherwise legitimate?




    E. Simon - 5/21/2005

    First paragraph in 61160 I'm referring specifically to Jedi use of the force.


    E. Simon - 5/21/2005

    As per your final comment -

    Isn't there a quote in there that would so starkly (as to almost conscionably) resonate with another that was so bandied about in defining the post-9/11 U.S. response? The media version of Bush doctrine has been a _very_ prominent meme.

    I don't know much about Lucas' aims but have read somewhere that he lamented the removal of political themes from American film that occured in the mid-70s.

    With Star Wars "cannon" - yes, there apparently is such a thing - as extensive as it is, I suppose one quickly runs out of names that will appeal to everyone. However, I did think the cultural/linguistic presentations in Phantom Menace to be extremely derivative to the point of occasionally outright stereotypical - especially in the case of the Trade Federation.

    I guess this is the risk when having to imagine multiple, elaborate cultureal motifs de novo. But some aspects I find more engaging. I think in cases his staff can excel at some of this - such as with regards to wardrobe and weaponry.

    Such, as with the acting and dialogue, is known to be vintage Lucas: Great conceptual ideas and cinematography and uneven or flat or derivative filler projects. I don't generally mind this; what the films excel in should rightly be the focus. A genius is entitled to forsake his chores. I did hear that in Episode III, though, the script was at least given an obligatory, if not perfunctory, "polishing" by an accomplished playwright.

    Anyways, look forward to the film and thanks for the comments.


    Marc "Adam Moshe" Bacharach - 5/21/2005

    I agree with the above statements. One can see such blindness in contemporary partisan politics just as with international affairs as well. Very sad.

    Mr. Simon,
    Just saw episode III... very entertaining (although the wooden acting and laughable script don't help... and what's with names like "Naboo" and "Dooku." Couldn't Lucas find another writer than an infant?).

    Most pertinant line that applies to this discussion: "Only Sith talk in absolutes." How right you are, Obi-Wan!

    One final comment on the film: The fact that many accuse Lucas of making similarities with the current administration by showing an evil politician collect more and more power on the basis of a phony war says far more about the state of the nation than it does anything Lucas did.


    E. Simon - 5/21/2005

    I've known many a lawyer who have been intrigued by the marriage of concepts of purpose, proper behavior/chivalry, restraint, physical power, wisdom and universalism evident in the trilogy.

    The Star Wars cannon explains succumbing to the Dark Side by falling prey to base physical passions, of which I would think vengeance would certainly apply...

    Regardless, this one will certainly be the best of this 28-year long cinematic saga.


    E. Simon - 5/21/2005

    "Twisted by the Dark Side young" (...) "has become..."

    Sorry - going to see Episode III today!


    N. Friedman - 5/21/2005

    Mr. Simon,

    Sorry about confusing you with Adam, whom I, as you know, often agree.

    I like your point about creating a "singular over-riding definition of justice within this particular theme." Whether such is fetishism or fanatical aside, Omar's position well explains, since it is rather typical of the view held by Arabs, why there really is no settlement to the Arab Israeli dispute, at least not any time soon. That is a fact - or at least I think it is a fact - which we need to absorb and assume true - and act accordingly - absent a real change of heart on the Arab side.


    E. Simon - 5/21/2005

    Not only is he unwilling to recognize that any cause contrary to those which he espouses could contain any justice, but he believes his cause alone creates a singular over-riding definition of justice within this particular theme. Which is to say, I'm not sure that he would state that the end which he seeks justifies the means - even for the "interested" party or parties, but that he is certainly not interested in or capable of(?) criticizing the means. He also avoids comparing/contrasting the preferred end to other ends.

    Usually such behavior is referred to as "fanaticism," and, depending on the lengths to which it is carried out, typically self-destructive. Based on the tone of the language and writing style employed, one might even go so far as to describe his musing diatribes as "fetishism" - a term whose connotations which might hopefully pique a more critical sense of argumentation. _Might_, but probably _won't_.


    N. Friedman - 5/21/2005

    Adam,

    In my experience, all humans see the world as it effects them. Most humans see their own concerns as universal. A small number recognize that their particular circumstances are just that, particular and not universal.

    Omar appears unwilling to consider, much less recognize, that any cause contrary to those he espouses could have any justice at all to it. Hence, Muslim land was stolen by Israelis and, on his view, the same circumstances apply now as it will 500 years from now. By contrast, Muslim land under Muslim rule is legitimate whether or not that rule is by conquest now or 1,000 years ago.

    It appears to be as simple as that.





    E. Simon - 5/21/2005

    Apparently Omar is unmoved by the tremendous suffering brought on the Palestinians and others by such actions as the numerous attempts at achieving a _conquest_ of Israel - an end which he would appear to tacitly support. Ironically it was the establishment of Israel which allowed for the safe refuge of nearly a million Jews from hostile treatment in the Arab lands whence they came.

    As such, it would appear that he considers himself aloofly above the human dimensions and the enormous human costs associated with his position. Which is to say, it is disingenuous for him to present himself as caring for for any truly human concern in this argument - Jewish or Arab. Which is to say, the conquest for which he pines is solely for the sake of conquest... and for nothing else.


    N. Friedman - 5/21/2005

    What follows is Dennis Ross' version of the same events which, in my last post, were described by Prince Bandar:



    Yes. It is true that Arafat did not “reject” the ideas the Clinton administration offered in December 2000. Instead, he pulled a classic Arafat: He did not say yes or no. He wanted it both ways. He wanted to keep talking as if the Clinton proposal was the opening gambit in a negotiation, but he knew otherwise. Arafat knew Clinton’s plan represented the culmination of the American effort. He also knew these ideas were offered as the best judgment of what each side could live with and that the proposal would be withdrawn if not accepted.

    To this day, Arafat has never honestly admitted what was offered to the Palestinians—a deal that would have resulted in a Palestinian state, with territory in over 97 percent of the West Bank, Gaza, and Jerusalem; with Arab East Jerusalem as the capital of that state (including the holy place of the Haram al-Sharif, the Noble Sanctuary); with an international presence in place of the Israeli Defense Force in the Jordan Valley; and with the unlimited right of return for Palestinian refugees to their state but not to Israel. Nonetheless, Arafat continues to hide behind the canard that he was offered Bantustans—a reference to the geographically isolated black homelands created by the apartheid-era South African government. Yet with 97 percent of the territory in Palestinian hands, there would have been no cantons. Palestinian areas would not have been isolated or surrounded. There would have been territorial integrity and contiguity in both the West Bank and Gaza, and there would have been independent borders with Egypt and Jordan.


    I assume, Omar, that you have family or are part of a family. Surely, you have to realize that whatever was 60 years ago cannot be undone - even if your view of events is right (and I think you have basic facts wrong but let us suppose you are correct) - without creating more tragedy for large numbers of people, the vast, vast majority of whom were not even alive 60 years ago.

    For all of those born after 1948, a compromise is necessary. The world seems to think that a two state solution is the way to go. The Israelis were ready to accept a proposal which, in truth, met the Palestinian leadership's demands. At some point, unless the Palestinian Arabs are moral monsters set on obtaining revenge, the Palestinian Arab side has to accept its own negotiating position as sufficient to settle the dispute. Absent such basis for discussion - meaning, that the negotiations are in good faith - there can only be war. Surely you do not want eternal war.



    N. Friedman - 5/21/2005

    Omar,

    You will note that you responded to me, not to Adam.

    First, 80% refers to people who live just east of the Green line and, in particular, the area where the Green line is only 9 miles from the Mediteranean sea. Leaving such people in place would leave the Palestinian Arabs 97% of the West Bank and the Arab sections of Jerusalem.

    Regarding the 20%, Israel offerred to move such people and, I assume, Israel would - if the Arab side accepted a compromise as a complete end to the dispute (i.e. as in total reconciliation based on whatever compromise the parties placed in an agreement) - , be willing to move such people again.

    Regarding the "refugees," Israel offerred to pay them 30 billion dollars. That is more than any refugees in history, including the many millions of Jewish refugees, have received. It is a generous offer to help people set up a life.

    You might consider that Saudi Prince Bandar, who was involved in negotiations during December of 2000, stated rather unequivically that the Palestinian side should have accepted the offer as it met all of the red line terms allegedly needed, according to Arafat, to settle the dispute. Bandar blaimed the breakdown of talks squarely and only on Arafat and called him a liar and blamed for causing all of the bloodshed thereafter.

    The article in which Bandar's views are stated is titled "The Prince - How the Saudi Ambassador became Washington's indispensable operator," was written by Elsa Walsh and was originally published in The NewYorker on March 24, 2003. It now appears at http://www.saudiembassy.net/StatementLink/03-ST-Bandar-0324-NewYorker.pdf . Please carefully read what follows:

    Clinton, who continued to apply his considerable energy to finding a Middle East solution, came to believe, in December of 2000, that he had finally found a formula for peace; he asked once more for Bandar's help. Bandar's first reaction was not to get involved; the Syrian summit had failed, and talks between Barak and Arafat at Camp David, in July, had collapsed. But when Dennis Ross showed Bandar the President's talking papers Bandar recognized that in its newest iteration the peace plan was a remarkable development. It gave Arafat almost everything he wanted, including the return of about ninety-seven per cent of the land of the occupied territories; all of Jerusalem except the Jewish and Armenian quarters, with Jews preserving the right to worship at the Temple Mount; and a thirty-billion-dollar compensation fund.

    Arafat told Crown Prince Abdullah that he wanted Bandar's help with the negotiations. "There's not much I can do unless Arafat is willing to understand that this is it," Bandar told the Crown Prince.

    On January 2, 2001, Bandar picked up Arafat at Andrews Air Force Base and reviewed the plan with him. Did he think he could get a better deal? Bandar asked. Did he prefer Sharon to Barak? he continued, referring to the upcoming election in Israel. Of course not, Arafat replied. Barak's negotiators were doves, Bandar went on, and said, "Since 1948, every time we've had something on the table we say no. Then we say yes. When we say yes, it's not on the table anymore. Then we have to deal with something less. Isn't it about time we say yes?" Bandar added, "We've always said to the Americans, 'Our red line is Jerusalem. You get us a deal that's O.K. on Jerusalem and we're going, too.' "

    Arafat said that he understood, but still Bandar issued something of an ultimatum: "Let me tell you one more time. You have only two choices. Either you take this deal or we go to war. If you take this deal, we will all throw our weight behind you. If you don't take this deal, do you think anybody will go to war for you?" Arafat was silent. Bandar continued, "Let's start with the big country, Egypt. You think Egypt will go to war with you?" Arafat had had his problems with Egypt, too. No, he said. "I'll prove it to you, just to confirm," Bandar went on. Bandar called the Egyptian Ambassador. Bandar reported that the Egyptian Ambassador, who was to join them shortly, was willing to support the peace process. "Is Jordan going to go to war? Syria go to war? So, Mr. Arafat, what are you losing?"

    When Nabil Fahmy, the Egyptian Ambassador, joined them, at the Ritz-Carlton, Bandar repeated much of his advice. Arafat said that he would accept Clinton's proposal, with one condition: he wanted Saudi Arabia and Egypt to give him political cover and support. Bandar and Fahmy assured him that they would, and Arafat left for the White House.

    Arafat was supposed to return to Bandar's house after his meeting with Clinton and, with the Egyptian Ambassador present, call the Crown Prince and President Mubarak. After three hours, when Arafat still hadn't shown up, the Egyptian Ambassador told Bandar that something must have gone wrong. Bandar, too, was worried and called Arafat's security detail. Arafat had left the White House twenty minutes earlier, he was told, and was back at the Ritz. When Bandar called, Arafat said that he needed to talk to him at once. George Tenet, the C.I.A. director, was on his way to the hotel to discuss the plan, and Arafat was then supposed to return to the White House. Bandar, accompanied by the Egyptian Ambassador, hurried to the Ritz.

    Arafat said that the meeting with Clinton had been "excellent," but Bandar did not believe him; he thought that Arafat's staff looked as if they had just come from a funeral. The Egyptian Ambassador later privately remarked that Arafat looked dead. Bandar asked Arafat if he wanted to talk to the Crown Prince or President Mubarak. No, Arafat replied. He said that he'd had a great time with the President, but the meeting had turned sour when Dennis Ross joined them. Yet, he went on, he and Clinton were in agreement. Bandar, concealing his disbelief, said that was good news. Soon after this exchange, Bandar got a note from a security officer, which said, "Urgent. Call the President." In the corridor, Bandar called the White House and reached Berger.

    "Congratulations," Bandar said, loudly and sarcastically, for he knew by then that the talks had failed. On what? Berger asked. "Arafat is telling me you guys have a deal." Not true, Berger said, adding that he and Clinton had made it clear to Arafat that this was his last chance. Please, Berger said, tell Arafat that this is it. "It's too late," Bandar recalls saying. "That should have happened with the White House, not with me." (A spokesman for Clinton recalled, "At one point, Clinton said, 'It's five minutes to twelve, Mr. Chairman, and you are going to lose the best and maybe the only opportunity that your people will have to solve this problem on satisfactory grounds by not being able to make a decision.' . . . The Israelis accepted. They said they had reservations and Arafat never accepted.")

    Bandar believed that the White House had hurt its cause by not pressing an ultimatum. Arafat, though, was committing a crime against the Palestinians-in fact, against the entire region. If it weren't so serious, Bandar thought, it would be a comedy. He returned to Arafat's room and sat down, trying to remember: "Make your words soft and sweet." Bandar began, "Mr. President, I want to be sure now. You're telling me you struck a deal?" When Arafat said it was so, Bandar, still hiding his fury, offered his congratulations. His wife and children were waiting for him in Aspen, he said, and he wanted to go. Bandar could see the life draining out of Arafat. He started to leave, then turned around. "I hope you remember, sir, what I told you. If we lose this opportunity, it is not going to be a tragedy. This is going to be a crime." When Bandar looked at Arafat's staff, their faces showed incredulity.

    The next evening, a White House spokesman said that Arafat had agreed to accept Clinton's proposals, with reservations, only as the basis for new talks. Arafat said later that he had not been offered as much as had been described. When Bandar told all this to the Crown Prince, Abdullah was surprised, particularly about the offer on Jerusalem. A few months later, Abdullah asked Clinton, who was visiting Saudi Arabia, whether Bandar's description of the offer was correct. Clinton confirmed Bandar's details, and said that the failure of these last negotiations had broken his heart. Later still, the Crown Prince told Bandar he was shocked that Arafat had wasted such an opportunity, and that he had lied to him about the American offer. Bandar told associates that it was an open secret within the Arab world that Arafat was not truthful. But Arafat had them trapped: they couldn't separate the cause from the man, because if you attacked the man you attacked the cause. "Clinton, the bastard, really tried his best," Bandar told me last week when we met at his house in McLean. "And Barak's position was so avant-garde that it was equal to Prime Minister Rabin"-Yitzhak Rabin, who was assassinated in November, 1995. "It broke my heart that Arafat did not take that offer."

    ********************************

    But as violence in the Middle East intensified and Barak blamed Arafat for the failure of the peace talks, Bandar began to worry. The Arab world was watching Al Jazeera, the satellite television network, which was constantly showing images of Israeli soldiers and suffering Palestinians. Bandar understood as well as anyone why Bush did not want to get involved. It was a mess, and Bush made it clear that he had no prestige to waste. Bandar was particularly angry with Arafat because if he publicly defended Barak's account it would make him sound like an apologist for Barak and Israel. "I was there. I was a witness. I cannot lie," he said privately.



    N. Friedman - 5/21/2005

    Omar,

    The issue is, what comes of the Arab opposition to Israel? Has that been good for the Arabs including the Palestinian Arabs or has such opposition merely created unnecessary suffering? And, has such opposition caused substantial damage to Arab countries all over the region which use Israel as an excuse to avoid democratizing, to avoid liberalizing and to avoid building decent societies rather than racist pitholes?


    N. Friedman - 5/21/2005

    Adam,

    As so often is the case, we are in agreement.


    Marc "Adam Moshe" Bacharach - 5/20/2005

    Mr. Friedman,
    You bring up some excellent points. Personally, I am too unfamiliar with Peter’s evidence to speak intelligently on them, although even if her entire thesis is completely wrong, it is of no matter.

    For anyone to suggest that Jews have no right to live in Palestine during the 19th/20th centuries is absurd. If a Mexican comes to the United States, gets his green card, gets a job, buys a house, and becomes an American citizen, what right does anyone have to suggest this is somehow immoral and illegal? If he lives in a community that does not like Hispanic people and thinks he should “go back where he came from,” our sympathy ought to lie with HIM, not with the racists.

    So to with Palestine. Who cares what the Palestinian Arabs wanted. The Jews who immigrated caused no harm to anyone, and lived on land that they purchased and toiled with their own hands.

    Of course, the Palestinians could have set up their own self-sufficient governing bodies, established a principle of independence, and demanded that the country belong to them rather than the British so as to make the claim after WWII, but they didn’t.

    The Palestinians could have set up some kind of fund to purchase available land and thus make it unavailable to Jewish communities, but they didn’t.

    The Palestinians could have accepted the Peel Commission partition plan, which would have given the Palestinians a substantially larger state than they could ever get with the UN, but they didn’t.

    The Palestinians could have then taken the UN partition plan, which would have given them a substantially larger state than they could ever get from Israel, but they didn’t.

    I could go on and on, but I think we get the idea: The problem with the Palestinian Arabs were simply that they did not take advantage of the opportunities that presented themselves.


    “It is hard to see how the Arab world, still less the Arabs of Palestine, will suffer from what is mere recognition of accomplished fact — the presence in Palestine of a compact, well organized, and virtually autonomous Jewish community.”
    — London Times editorial, 1947


    Marc "Adam Moshe" Bacharach - 5/20/2005

    1) “A territory belongs to the community, nation, people who dwelled on it AFTER the ELAPSE of the "stronger tribe replaces the weaker tribe " phase in human development and the advent of "settled communities" mode of living ; a step forward in the annals of Human Progress.”

    One problem with such an analysis: Israel came into being BEFORE any such enlightenment thinking supposedly took over the world. Thus the nations of Pakistan, India, the Check Republic, AND Israel were formed to the detriment of millions of people who became displaced.

    2) “Your stand, whether knowingly or unknowingly, reveals Zionism and Zionist Israel for what it truly is :" a land grab effected and retained through force."

    My stand is an acknowledgement of political reality. You may label me a realist if you like, but it has been the way the world operates for a long time now. Don’t believe me? Ask the Kurds, the Bosques, the Chechens, and so on.

    3) “This leaves us with the real basis of the claim:" We liked it, we needed it so we took it and to hell with its indigenous inhabitants that we DISPLACED and DISPOSSESSED and supplanted with our own people!"

    As stated before, this was not the way Jews arrived in the region. No one “took it.” They moved there and purchased the land legally and morally, set up self-sufficient communities, and they were able to expand in a defensive war that to this day has not ended. Such expansion did not, by itself, displace Palestinians, at least not nearly as much as those who left of their own accord for various reasons.

    4) “As such your opinion is an open invitation to war:" if you want it back come and get it the way you lost it…..by force" which is fair enough as long as the law of the jungle prevails.”

    You forget my answer to how a long a nation must stay in order to be valid. I said, “as long as they can hold it and convince others to accept it.” Unlike Israel, which achieved independence legally and whose borders were formed during a defensive war against an aggressive belligerent, the Palestinians will never convince others to accept a claim on the land if they simply continue murdering innocent civilians.

    Thus if the Palestinians were to read my post carefully, they would recognize that non-violent resistance will give them the legitimacy they seek and force the world to recognize their independence in a war that terrorism, despite its incredible success, never will.

    5) “the unmitigated rejection of this alien nation/state of Israel by the 1.5-2.0 billion strong Arab/Moslem community .I believe neither Hertzel nor Ben Gurion foretold that.”

    I disagree. It is impossible for me to imagine anyone with a brain believing that these countries would ever accept a Jewish country, NO MATTER HOW IT CAME INTO BEING without doing everything it can to destroy it. Trust me, they knew, they merely believed that they could defend themselves until the Arabs realized that they could not expel the Jews by force, a prediction that proved impressively accurate.

    6) “The Jews came into Palestine intent on colonizing it and establishing a "Jewish Homeland" in collusion with the mandatory power Great Britain against the express will of the overwhelming majority of the indigenous Palestinian people.”

    How is it then that you are able to explain Britain’s “White Paper” restrictions on Jewish immigration, maintaining a strict quota that prevented Jews from immigrating?

    Even if this grant alliance was true, should not your wrath be directed against the British then, rather than against the Jews, who can hardly be blamed for accepting British help in moving to Palestine? Remember, no Arabs were displaced during this time, as the land was purchased legally from landowners, not “conquered” by Jews. So long as this is the case, what does it matter than the “indigenous Palestinian people” did not want them there?

    7) “To pretend otherwise ; that it was done against and despite British knowledge or will, is ridiculous!

    The many British soldiers who dies as the result of Jewish attacks, and the countless who were murdered in death camps of Europe because they could not move to Palestine would not agree that this is “ridiculous.”
    http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/myths/mf2.html

    8) “The very existence of the state of Israel is neither LEGAL nor MORAL ; it is the outcome of the collusion between the imperialist state of Great Britain and the racist Zionist movement that led to the conquest of Palestine , the DISPLACEMENT, DISPOSSESSION and SUBJUGATION of the indigenous Palestinian people and to SUPPLANTING them with ALIENS congregated on RACIAL/RACIST/confessional basis.”

    I disagree, and believe that it was both legal AND moral. There is noting racist about Zionism, a point which I have hit home too many times before in our exchanges to go over yet again here. Jews were no more alien than the many Arabs whose arrival was relatively new, and the reality is that most Arabs left Jewish areas of their own free will, neither “displaced,” nor “subjugated.” I would also remind you that between 1948-1967, neither Egypt (who controlled Gaza) nor Jordan (who controlled the West Bank) made ANY attempt to give the Palestinians independence or incorporate them into their own societies (ditto for the numerous other Arab countries that host refugee camps and leave those camps totally dilapidated). Yet you seem to reserve all ill will towards Israel?

    9) “It was, is, an act of conquest effected against the opposition and express will of the Palestinian Arab people both Moslems and Christians; the 80% plus majority in the pre British mandate era, that is pre 1922 AD!”

    Perhaps you an I define “conquest” differently. The only dictionary I use defines it as “To defeat or subdue by force, especially by force of arms.”
    http://dictionary.reference.com/search?q=conquering

    Since the Jewish immigrants moved to Palestine legally over the course of many decades, and established their own communities on land that belonged to THEM, there is nothing “forceful” about it. As for the war in 1948, it was Arabs who were engaged in conquest. That they ultimately lost can hardly be blamed on the Jews.


    N. Friedman - 5/19/2005

    Adam,

    Your point is very, very well taken, as usual.

    I note that such statements are almost certainly made in ernest.

    As for the capacity for achieving that end, there was an article in Scientific American a few years back ("Special Report: Waging a New Kind of War," by Jeffrey Boutwell and Michael T. Klare, Scientific American, June 2000) which chronicled how the proliferation of inexpensive weaponry (e.g. AK-47's) makes it possible for any group to commit heinous acts on a wide scale - killing hundreds of thousands of people -. A friend of mine who reads more history than I have time told me that scholar John Keegan has taken this argument up.



    N. Friedman - 5/19/2005

    Adam,

    A very intelligent post. I might add a few minor points - about which you might disagree in some instances -.

    First, the population of what is now Israel has had substantial flux over the centuries. In the 19th Century, for example, as Muslims from Southern Europe as a result of the turmoil (e.g. in Greece), they were resettled by the Ottoman Empire not only in Asia Minor but also in what is now Israel. Such is documented in some detail in The Decline of Eastern Christianity Under Islam, by Bat Ye'or. In addition, Christians (e.g. Armenians) also fled, under persecution and genocide within the Ottoman Empire, to what is now Israel.

    There have been allegations that Ms. Peter's theory of substantial economic migration of Arabs as a result of Jewish economic activity is fabricated. My take on that is that, logically, what Ms. Peter's notes almost surely is so even if she erred in some of the detail and/or, as some accuse her, created facts.

    The bottom line is that those more exposed to European methods, namely, Jews, were almost surely to be more economically vibrant to the extent of infusing job opportunities for all involved and cash into the economy. One need merely compare Israel's economic development, both before and after the creation of the country, with that of its neighboring countries to know that my point has to be basically the case - although the numbers affected and who migrated for such reasons is, of course, always debatable -. It would be, I suspect, odd if such were not the case since, all over the world, Jews are known for their extraordinary business acumen, to the point of being accused of generating too much wealth and power, except - as some conveniently assert - in historic Palestine where Palestinian Arabs, evidently alone among all the Arab groups of the Middle East, were the real economic engine.

    In any event, there was substantial migration in the region and not just by Jews.

    I tend to agree with you that claims to land - anyone's claim - has meaning only to the group itself.

    I note three points, one of which is implicit in what you write. First, the notion that governance by a group requires historic justification has no historical or moral merit. Such view is applied to one group and one group only, namely, Jews. No one justifies the displacement of millions of Sudetens to create modern Czechoslovakia and Poland or the displacement of millions of Hindus to create Pakistan. It is merely one of the troublesome and unfortunate things that happen - as any Hindu who might try to return to a home in Pakistan or any Sudeten who tries to return to Poland or the Czech Republic knows full well -. Moreover, if moral justification and behavior were the basis for justifying a country's existence, who on earth could possibly justify the continued existence of Germany, Japan and France which, together, have managed to kill more than a hundred million people? So, frankly, the justification argument creates an issue which is not legitimate. Such argument is mere propaganda.

    Second, if we are to speak about legitimacy, quoting to the needs of European Jews is only part of the issue. The real question is the life offered to Jews in the Arab regions. Frankly, Arab have yet to treat non-Muslims as equals anywhere. Historically, non-Muslims were subject to treaties of concession - as in terms of surrender - called dhimma. While religion could still be practiced and economic life could continue (albeit subject to extensive taxes charged to the dhimmi peoples to help Muslims, i.e. the equivalent of war booty and/or the payment of protection money), the various restrictions created a society of subservience. At best - pushing things into a modern setting -, non-Muslims had conceded privileges but never equal rights and certainly no inherent rights. As Bernard Lewis has noted, non-Muslims were viewed and treated with contempt. Bat Ye'or has chronicled the details of how the system worked and why, in particular, Christianity died out in the Muslim regions and how both Jews and Christians were mistreated - while an elite few who served the interests of the Muslim rulers had occassional special privileges -. The bottom line is that Muslims have yet to concede equality to non-Muslims to the extent that a group demanding independence from Muslim rule is perfectly acceptable, morally speaking, because equality was not even a possibility.

    Third and last, the model that could, in the best case scenario, be available for Israel, were it to allow in the children of the refugees, would be what has occurred in Lebanon. That experiment, to the say the least, has yet to yield equality between the religious groups. Such is why there are very carefully delineated rules (i.e. the equivalent of an armistice but in a civil setting) regarding who holds what office in the country. Such occurred after the terrible Jihad that took place in the recent Lebanese civil war, resulting in more than 100,000 Christians killed. And before the civil war, there was a similar arrangement as neither group was able to quite get rid of the other group. On this point, it is worth reading Walid Phares' various articles.


    N. Friedman - 5/19/2005

    Omar,

    The Arabian pennisula was cleansed of all groups other than Muslims or Muslim converts. Jews were massacred in large numbers. Both Jews and Christians were pushed out. Pagans who refused to convert were basically all massacred.

    Such events go back to the beginnings of Islam. Must I provide you sources on this point? Must I also provide you the religious justification for such events? I trust you know the answers. Such is common knowledge. Here is a hint for you: Only one religion is permissible in Arabia and it is not Christianity, Judaism, paganism. It is Islam.


    Marc "Adam Moshe" Bacharach - 5/19/2005

    Omar,
    Although your questions were not directed at me, allow me the opportunity to chime in my own two cents, which disagrees with both you and probably many others.

    1) “How far back in history do we , or can we, or should we, go back to establish a "claim" on a homeland?”

    For me, the answer is simple: ZERO. That’s right, territory does not “belong” to anyone on this earth. It is inhabited by people and often taken over by others. The Plains Indians in American history, for example, claimed that the Mid-West was their ancestral homeland. It was not. Those Indians had been pushed South by other tribes moving in on their territory.

    Thus, Jews have no more a territorial claim on the land than black Africans have on Egypt after being displaced for so long. This is the reality of the situation and to suggest otherwise would throw much of the world in turmoil.

    To the many Jews who may think otherwise, sorry but this analysis is even worse for the Palestinians, since just as Jews have no moral claim to territory after being displaced for so long, the same goes for Palestinians who have never been born on Israeli soil. Those Palestinians who lived in what is now Israel and were evicted have some moral claim on the territory, to be sure (if they could be identified), but their offspring and descendents have no more an ancestral claim than the Jews.

    2) “How long does a community have to reside in a certain locality to establish a "valid" claim on it?”

    Actually, an excellent question Omar. The truth: as long as they can hold it and convince others to accept it. The Soviet Union was not in Eastern Europe for very long before it insisted that it would not leave without force. Was the claim valid? What difference did it make over the next 40 years? American colonists were on the land for centuries before they decided that they, and not their mother country of Britain, had a “valid” claim on it. The Arabs came to Africa by way on conquest and virtually wiped out the indigenous black populations of much of North Africa (similar to what Sudan has been attempting for the past 30 years only without the photographs). Few would argue that their “claim” on the territory is invalid.

    3) “Is the Jewish claim on Palestine as their "homeland" based on: -That they are the actual blood/etnic descendants of the "Jews" that lived in Palestine 2000 years ago ? or -That the mere fact of being "Jewish", irrespective of blood/ethnicity, makes them the legal "inheritors" of Palestine?

    My own opinion, and the opinion of many Jews: neither. The Jewish claim of Palestine as their homeland certainly has its roots in the religion (NOT the genealogy) but that is not the moral or legal justification for their being there: after all, Jews have held that claim throughout their history (Passover Seders even in the Medieval times still ended with the words: “Next year in Jerusalem).

    The moral and legal justification for the Jews have already been expressed by Ms. Appelbaum, when she wrote:

    “Pre-state, Jews acquired land by purchase. Legal purchase under Ottoman and then under Mandate law.

    Statehood was awarded by the United Nations.

    Israel has never fought a war of conquest. In 1948 and 1967 Israel was attacked by Arab nations intending to take the land belonging to the Jewish State by conquest. Israel did acquire land in these wars, but the wars were defensive, not, like the Arab land acquisitons, wars of conquest.”

    I concur 100%. Jews did not arrive in an invasion army under the banner of British flags, as so many foolishly believe; they arrived in a long trickle, purchasing land, setting up agricultural community and self-sufficient governments. They committed no crime during this time, and would remain faithful to the law and morality up until the organized campaigns against the British after WWII, and even that was only one group among many and condemned by the mainstream Jewish government of the time.

    Not only was Jewish immigration to Palestine perfectly legal (until the British put a stop to that, leaving God-knows how many to their deaths in Europe), it was also moral, as the Jews never attempted to hide their nationalistic goals, or “fool” the local Arabs into thinking that they did not intend to stay. Furthermore, Ottoman and British records demonstrate that Jews were not the only new immigrants to the land, but so were thousands of Arabs who immigrated from neighboring territories.


    4) “Is "displace, dispossess and suplant" an acceptable mode of nation building in the 20th century for "claimants"?”

    Fortunately for Israelis, the moral burden on them for their crimes is somewhat sobered (but not ignored and never forgotten) by the following facts:

    - Had the Arabs won, they would have done far worse to the Jews
    - Many Arabs who left did so of their own free will, OR were told lies by their leaders about what would happen to them if they were caught
    - Those Arabs who did not leave were not “displaced or supplanted” but made full citizens of the new state of Israel, even at a time when Jews throughout the region were LOSING their citizenship simply because they were Jews.
    - Even if Israel’s worse critics were correct (they are not, by the way) it would still be considered minor compared to the massive violence and ethnic redistribution that accompanied, say, the creation of Pakistan, the fate of Ethnic Germans in much of Eastern Europe, etc.


    Marc "Adam Moshe" Bacharach - 5/19/2005

    Mr. Friedman,
    I trust I have no monopolized Peter's time and mental capacities that he simply has no energy left after responding to me (just kidding).

    Your posts are what I have come to expect from you: intelligent and thought-provoking.

    I was just reading the NY Times, when I came across this excerpt from the op-ed section that may be relevant to this discussion:

    "Just to restore some proper perspective, let me quote a snippet from a sermon delivered by Sheik Ibrahim Mudeiris, which ran last weekend on the Palestinian Authority's official TV station:

    "The day will come when we will rule America. The day will come when we will rule Britain and the entire world - except for the Jews. The Jews will not enjoy a life of tranquillity under our rule because they are treacherous by nature, as they have been throughout history. The day will come when everything will be relieved of the Jews - even the stones and trees which were harmed by them. Listen to the Prophet Muhammad, who tells you about the evil end that awaits Jews. The stones and trees will want the Muslims to finish off every Jew."

    If such a sermon came from ANY American or European church about Muslims, or Hindus, it would be all over the papers and the public pressure to punish the speaker would be overwhelming. Does anyone remember the scandal over the General who claimed that Christianity was better than Islam? Or Justice Moore, who refused to take down the 10 Commandments off of federal property? Remember Pat Robertson claiming that 9/11 was caused by abortionists and gays? Those stories were huge.

    Yet here we have a state television sermon advocating genocide, and it generates such little concern, I have to stumble across it on some random editorial whose main point is not even about Palestinians! I suspect that its irrelevance stems, not from lack of interest since there is no higher concern for much of the world than the Palestinians, but in fact from the realization that such themes of death and murder are so common on Palestinian television as to become redundant (add to that the reality that people simply will not accept the plain reality of Palestinian media and educational institutions).

    http://www.nytimes.com/2005/05/19/opinion/19brooks.html?


    N. Friedman - 5/19/2005

    Peter,

    Do I no longer get replies from you?


    Marc "Adam Moshe" Bacharach - 5/19/2005

    Peter,
    I took the liberty of tracking down some Palestinian polls, complete with methedology!

    "Support for suicide bombings continued as an adequate response during the current circumstances reaching 68.6 percent as opposed to 66.2 percent last April."

    "41.2 percent of those interviewed said that the aim of the intifada is total liberation of Palestinian land"

    "The majority of those surveyed, 67.1 percent, did not approve ending the intifada in return to ending Jewish settlement. Only 25.1 percent of Palestinians said they approve ending the intifada in return to ending Jewish settlement."

    http://www.jmcc.org/polls/2001/no41.htm

    How much should we make of such polls? Probably not much, but there they are.


    Marc "Adam Moshe" Bacharach - 5/19/2005

    Peter,
    I am not really sure how I have become “decreasingly good at listening” since I have made every attempt to answer your concerns point by point.

    1) “Which Palestinians ? 6 months-olds only or three months-old as well ?”

    Perhaps your question illustrates the problem with negotiating with Palestinians… who are they? We know that when we say, “Israel” or “United States” we are referring to the actions and decisions of its government, mass media, culture, etc. Which Palestinians does the PA represent? An excellent question indeed.

    2) “60% in your dubious "poll" which came from where by the way ?”

    It came from a BBC article, which I cited for you to investigate yourself.

    3) “Someone making such crass, blanket statements over and over and over again about African Americans or Jews in America would risk being called a racist or an anti-Semite.”

    75% of Jews voted for John Kerry in 2004. Blacks voted for Kerry by about 9 to 1. Is that racist or anti-Semitic? You may believe so if you wish. I mention those facts only to underscore my fervent belief that generalization is the essence of political understanding. To me, making statements about ethnicities or nations does not, by itself, constitute racism or discrimination.


    Shawn McHale - 5/18/2005

    I'm not sure if anyone else has noticed the irony that the original post concerned a boycott of a university -- in other words, stifling academic exchange. And the posters are taking advantage of such exchange. . . . but ignoring the boycott question.

    I oppose such boycotts. Utterly. In this case, they strike me as symbolic acts without substance. It's not as if such a boycott is going to seriously impede the advancement of knowledge, or stop Israeli academics from going to other countries like the US on academic exchanges. So why do them? That aside, I see no reason to chill freedom of intellectual exchange.


    Shawn McHale - 5/18/2005

    I'm not sure if anyone else has noticed the irony that the original post concerned a boycott of a university -- in other words, stifling academic exchange. And the posters are taking advantage of such exchange. . . . but ignoring the boycott question.

    I oppose such boycotts. Utterly. In this case, they strike me as symbolic acts without substance. It's not as if such a boycott is going to seriously impede the advancement of knowledge, or stop Israeli academics from going to other countries like the US on academic exchanges. So why do them? That aside, I see no reason to chill freedom of intellectual exchange.


    Shawn McHale - 5/18/2005

    I'm not sure if anyone else has noticed the irony that the original post concerned a boycott of a university -- in other words, stifling academic exchange. And the posters are taking advantage of such exchange. . . . but ignoring the boycott question.

    I oppose such boycotts. Utterly. In this case, they strike me as symbolic acts without substance. It's not as if such a boycott is going to seriously impede the advancement of knowledge, or stop Israeli academics from going to other countries like the US on academic exchanges. So why do them? That aside, I see no reason to chill freedom of intellectual exchange.


    N. Friedman - 5/18/2005

    Omar,

    By the standards of any century, a pact of concession is not a voluntary arrangement. It was not intended to be one either. Whether, by the standards of long ago, such was better than conquering and killing everyone is another story. I am not sure, to be clear, that the dhimma was a major advance but it was better than what often occurred, for example, in Europe. But, by no stretch of the imagination can the dhimma be considered voluntary and the society it created was one of servitude - as judged by the standards of the ancient or the modern world -.

    On the issue of displacing people, it is worth noting that the Arabian penisula was ethnically cleansed and there were large scale massacres. Such go back to the very beginnings of Islam. In particular, Jews were massacred in large numbers and Jews and Christians were expelled. Pagans who refused to convert were also massacred.

    One can find all sorts of rationalizations for such events but, quite clearly, large numbers of people were pushed out of Arabia and massacred in Arabia. So, that is a rather clear example that contradicts your position.

    As for other massacres and deporting of people in large numbers - and in modern times - there are the Armenians who were marched from their homes by Turks, Kurds and Syrian Muslims. More than a million people died in that event and often by means of in person beatings - as bullets were not used in order to save them for other purposes -. In Sudan, a Jihad declared against the Christians and animists resulted in 2 million Christians and animists killed and 4 million people displaced. Christians and animists were intentionally starved to death, children were taken from their parents and, by holding back food, forced to convert to Islam. Others were taken as slaves and sold. In Indonesia, 600,000 Christians were killed in a Jihad and, if I recall correctly, several million people were displaced.


    Whatever can be said about ancient times, the application in modern times of such doctrines can be judged by modern standards. And, it is to be added, such actions have many, many historical precedents in the Muslim regions.

    But note: I am not claiming unique viciousness by Muslims. Historically, the Muslims were exemplery by far from unique in their cruelty. So were the Europeans. I object to the assertion that the Muslims did not do things about which the record is rather clear. And, as I said, there are clear records of such events throughout the history of Islam - just like there is the same sort of records throughout the history of Christiandom.



    Marc "Adam Moshe" Bacharach - 5/18/2005

    Peter,
    I concur completely with Mr. Friedman’s post, and would also respond to some of what you had said:

    1) “Many, though thankfully not all, of your recent comments directed at me sound as though you think I am some Palestinian flag-waving demonstrater shouting "death to Israel".”

    Such was certainly not my intent. I merely wished to express the reason why Israel retains the occupied territories and, by implication, why punishing them for it is not the right way to end the conflict.

    2) “when you go on and on implying that all Palestinians are Israel-hating terrorists…”

    I have great sympathy for the Palestinians, most of whom bear the brunt of their leaders corruption and terrorist attacks against Israel. If I could separate the people from those organizations that act on their behalf, I most certainly would. That being said, it should be noted that over 60% of Palestinians support terrorist attacks against Israeli civilians (how accurate such a poll is, I cannot say). Aside from that is the ideological indoctrination that has been confirmed in numerous studies testifying to the way children are raised and society is structured in such a way that I find it fair to label it a “culture of death.”

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/3256858.stm

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/3898895.stm
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/3685891.stm

    3) “… or place 100% of the blame for the failure of the 2000 talks on the Palestinians”

    The reality of the 2000 talks was the Barak offered Arafat more than any other Israeli leader in history, terms that the Palestinians will likely never see again, and Arafat walked out. Had Arafat made some kind of counter-offer, or explained to the world why this is (for whatever reason) unacceptable, then I would be far more willing to alleviate some of the blame. However, as history stands, Arafat walked out of the negotiations, and turned down an offer of Palestinian independence without a counter-offer.

    Clinton had his problems and Barak had his, but it is difficult to assign them much blame when they were willing to continue negotiating. If this historical reality “sounds like a propagandist,” so be it. The truth should need no one to propagate its validity.

    http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/myths/mf22.html#w

    4) “Constantly harping on Palestinian terrorism as if it were the root of all evil in the Mideast is a sign of a closed mind.”

    Again, if acknowledging the reality on the ground is closed minded, so be it.
    I repeat, Palestinian terrorism is the proverbial elephant in the room that discussions of Israel, including many judging Israel’s actions, do not mention. Because I believe the occupation cannot end so long as the terrorist attacks against Israeli civilians are attempted with such regularity, to me, “harping” on it as you put it, is the natural place of the discussion.

    In a discussion of Social Security, talking about the elderly is legitimate. In a discussion of social welfare programs, talking about the poor is a matter of course. In discussing the conflict in the Middle East, terrorism, truly, is THE issue.

    I am curious as to whether or not you think “constantly harping” on the occupation is equally closed-minded?

    5) “Nor do I recall Jewish leaders taking the idiotic position that no progress of any sort would possible in the region until 100% of Jewish terrorism ceased.”

    The terrorist attacks during that time were aimed against British interests in the region, with the obvious implication that if the British left the region, no further harm would come of them. Although we will never know, one can be almost certain that if Jews were blowing up buses in London, and vowed to continue regardless of whether the British leave, history would not have unfolded as it did because the British never would have left. The international community would have justifiably supported any and all British efforts to quell the threat.

    6) “Of course there are big differences between the Israelis and Palestinians, but there are also quite a lot of similarities. Some one who is not deeply committed to one side or the other is able to see this more clearly.”

    I can see many similarities between the two, as well as between Judaism and Islam in general. Regardless, the fact remains that once the terrorism stops, Israel will have no moral justification for the occupation. So long as the Palestinians present a genuine threat to innocent civilians, no boycott or anything else is going to work.


    N. Friedman - 5/18/2005

    Peter,

    With due respect, the reason that people harp about Palestinian terrorism include, among other things, as follows: (a) it was the catalysts which legitimized the international Jihad (because the war against Israel legitimized the Jihad generally and that, in due course, led to bin Laden and Co.) since the Europeans decided to pay heed to it and (b) because Israel neither can nor should cede land if the terroristic Jihad does not come to an end because to do otherwise will not bring peace but more war.

    That there was once some terrorism by Jews - not, for the most part, aimed at civilians but mostly aimed at British military targets - is irrelevant to the discussion and has nothing to do with the Palestinian terroristic Jihad - a Jihad declared long ago (long before 1967, by the way) and which is directed at destroying Israel and not to creating a Palestinian state to live side by side in peace with Israel.

    The issue is not whether 100% of terrorism ends but whether the Jihad ends. Which is to say, there must be a reconciliation so that the parties can move on. So long as that does not occur, there will be substantial amounts of terror, perhaps interrupted to re-arm, as is occurring at the moment.


    N. Friedman - 5/18/2005

    Peter,

    Lest there be any doubt eliminationist and vileness of the current round of Muslim antisemitism, you should read this gem from a Palestinian Authority payrolled Sheik:

    http://www.memri.org/bin/opener_latest.cgi?ID=SD90805


    Marc "Adam Moshe" Bacharach - 5/18/2005

    I also wanted to add the fact that if the Palestinians were truly interested in independence only and not the total annihilation of Israel, why not concentrate their terrorist attacks to military checkpoints and if terrorism provides no moral problem, why not attack the settlements only? Why continuously attack inside Israel-proper?

    By launching so many attacks on so many innocent people, one cannot help but conclude that it is not the occupation that so vexes Palestinians, but the very existence of Jewish sovereignty in the region. The pathological anti-Semitism preached in schools, mosques, and popular culture is so overwhelming, observers of this culture of death that glorifies murder and so-called “martyrdom” cannot help but view occupation as the only viable alternative until such time as the Palestinians are able to make the conscious decision to accept Israel and learn to live in peace with her.

    As for the settlements, I think they are terrible and would love to see them dismantled and abandoned if for no other reason than they give the impression of territorial expansion. However, that being said, so long as there is no peace deal, and so long as no one is being forced off of their property, Jews have as much a right to live in the vacant land in the territories as Arabs. Israel was created and thrived with a large Arab population, why should a future Palestine be “cleansed” (to use a popular anti-Israel term) of the Jews? That the Israeli government supports such settlements is bad policy and extremely poor public relations. That those settlers have no right to be there is simply groundless.


    Marc "Adam Moshe" Bacharach - 5/18/2005

    I agree with you Peter, there is a middle ground between complete ignorance of Israeli concerns, and focusing solely on it. Sadly, much of the international community that holds Israel in such contempt have sought no such balance. Why, the UN cannot even bring itself to define terrorism, because to many countries fear that any meaningful definition MUST include the Palestinians, and that is not acceptable to them.

    I welcome any rational balance between Israeli security concerns and human rights, but very little has been offered. Even a quick scan of these HNN discussions on this article and others reveals little tolerance for anything Israel does or has done. It seems many people are simply incapable of viewing Israel as anything more than an almost demonic and sadistic country, intent on territorial domination and malicious in every thought and deed.


    Marc "Adam Moshe" Bacharach - 5/18/2005

    1) “the settlements… markedly increase the danger to it by diverting massive security resources that could otherwise be used for the benefit of the 90+% of Israelis who are not murderous religious fanatics.”

    In what way exactly are the settlers “murderous religious fanatics.” Since I have never heard you use such language against actual Islamic fundamentalists who murder innocent men, women, and children, I must ask how this designation is fitting? Is there any evidence to indicate that settlers have murdered innocent Palestinians? I do not deny the charge per se, but I would need to see some evidence because I can issue such a serious charge.

    2) “Huge swaths of terrority as buffer zones are now irrelevant to Israel’s security for several reasons; peace treaties with Egypt and Jordan, no more USSR supporting either, Israel having vastly superior military power to its neighbors, being chief among them.”

    I believe I have identified the problem. You were referring to threats from Egypt and other nations, with the territories as a buffer and I was referring to threats from the Palestinians themselves. The misunderstanding was my own. I apologize.

    That is why I was unsure about your contention that they no longer need the territories for protection. My argument is that an independent Palestinian state would be far more threatening to Israel than the current status quo. Once the terrorism against Israel stops, of course, I can no longer hold that opinion.

    3) “Why is the West Bank different ? Fanatical Jewish extremism. Face reality. Moslems are not the only religious group with a violent lunatic fringe.”

    I would disagree. Those other territories were different because they were under the control of a centralized leadership that promised an end to violent confrontation. The West Bank, by contrast, has no centralized leadership (Arafat repeatedly refused to form any truly unified government, preferring corruption instead), and no one speaks for the Palestinians. Furthermore, the most popular organizations with the West Bank have pledged to destroy Israel and has explicitly stated that the occupation refers the whole territory of Israel.

    4) “I would invite you to do your history homework, rather than make such pitiful attempts to regurgitate AIPAC-style propaganda…”

    I have some advice for you as well, Peter. Insults and petty accusations (AIPAC-style propaganda?) do nothing to advance your point. There is no need for emotion-laden posts. Rather than accuse me of having a closed mind, let us discuss the matter rationally and see if we can’t find where our disagreement lies.

    I would also point out that simply because I disagree with you, it does not mean that I think you are incapable of thinking about the issue rationally, it simply means that we have come to different conclusions. As for objectivity, I commend anyone for trying, but like yourself, I am bias by my background, and experiences.


    N. Friedman - 5/18/2005

    Peter,

    The problem you have failed to grasp is that the territories are not "Palestinian" territories. The land is land to which the Israelis have a perfectly good claim at law and in morality. While Israel might agree to cede the land if it will resolve the dispute, that hardly means that they have no right to place a univerity in the territories or anywhere else.


    N. Friedman - 5/18/2005

    Peter,

    80% of the settlers are located along Israel's Green (or Armistice) line. Israel would not cede the land they are located on even if no one had settled there. Such land was, at the time UN 242 was passed, expected to remain in Israel's hand.

    If you examine Israel's Green line, you will note the shortest distance from that line to the coast is only 9 miles. The bulk of the settlers are on land just beyond that line and effectively resolve the problem caused by Israel's 9 mile belt.

    Such, you will note, is not an AIPAC issue. There is no Israeli government which will agree to Israel's return to the Green line because the 9 mile border is an obvious target for an invasion. And, if you bother to note: the Arab regions are ablaze with the notion of destroying Israel - the same as they have been for the last 57 years (and, if you do not believe me, read Omar's many posts to see the war from the Arab side and you will see that the only resolution that Israel can make is to agree to dismantle itself). So, frankly, the Israelis would have to be morons to agree to such a border. And they will not agree to it because they are not crazy.


    N. Friedman - 5/18/2005

    Mark,

    Regarding Omar's use of ajami:

    The word "'ajam" means "non-Arab" in Arabic as in the sentence "Say: 'there is no God but God,' and you shall prosper, by it you will rule the Arabs and subjegate the non-Arabs ('ajam), and if you believe, you will be kings in Paradise." Ibn Sa'd, I, i, 145:13.

    Omar might perhaps be referring to a non-Muslim.

    Or perhaps Omar was referring to Muslim scholar Fouad Ajami.


    Bob Harper - 5/17/2005

    To Mr. Friedman,

    "I suggest to you that the Muslim regions will not be ready for prime time unless and until they account for their past and face it honestly."

    Amen, I say, and Amen again. Put another way, until they start behaving as adults rather than spoiled children, they will deserve to be dealt with as such.


    N. Friedman - 5/17/2005

    Omar,

    In some cases the answer is yes and in some cases no. More often, the dhimma itself and the culture it create were the cause of the destruction of the various cultures of the Muslim regions. Of course, in some cases - quite a number, by the way - there were massive expulsions (as in Spain). In some cases, there were terrible massacres. In some cases, the oppressiveness of the dhimma led people to convert to advance their family from their state of servitude.

    You might read this article which includes a scholarly article issued by the Catholic Church's expert on Islam.

    http://www.chiesa.espressonline.it/dettaglio.jsp?id=6985&;eng=y


    N. Friedman - 5/17/2005

    Omar,

    Not to be too troublesome but the dhimma was a pact of concession that (a) the Arab side was free to violate (as the more powerful side) but (b) the non-Arab side had to follow on risk of the resumption of the Jihad. The terms of the dhimma varied from place to place but was particularly harsh in the area around what is modern day Israel.

    The dhimma was not entered into voluntarily but, depending on the locations, after fighting or after fear of fighting due to a threat of Jihad by the Muslim conquerors. The harshness of the terms of the dhimma led many dhimmis to convert to Islam. Such was a particular attraction to Jews because Islam is somewhat similar in belief to Judaism and employs similar methods to the interpretation of sacred texts.

    The dhimma, which is modelled on the Byzantine restrictions placed on Jews, were essentially adopted by the Muslim conquerors along with Koranic requirement for non-Muslims to pay the Jizha tax. The Byzantine regulations were particularly restrictive on Jews in their ancestral homes.

    However, the Muslims added an interesting and ironic twist on the matter. They applied the Byzantine restrictions not only on Jews - adopted by the Byzantine empire with reference to its Christian heritage - but also on Christians.

    We previously had this discussion regarding the meaning of voluntariness. On your theory, paying someone else's taxes - which is what the Jihza is all about by coughing up to as much as 50% of one's income - is a voluntary act and on your theory, losing the right to defend oneself when attacked by a Muslim is a volunatry act. And you believe that such is voluntary despite the fact that the reason for entering into the dhimma in the first place was either the fact of a Jihad or the threat of a Jihad.

    I found this copy of the pact of Omar online. The vileness of it - by modern standards - is rather self-evident:

    We heard from 'Abd al-Rahman ibn Ghanam [died 78/697] as follows: When Umar ibn al-Khattab, may God be pleased with him, accorded a peace to the Christians of Syria, we wrote to him as follows:

    In the name of God, the Merciful and Compassionate. This is a letter to the servant of God Umar [ibn al-Khattab], Commander of the Faithful, from the Christians of such-and-such a city. When you came against us, we asked you for safe-conduct (aman) for ourselves, our descendants, our property, and the people of our community, and we undertook the following obligations toward you:

    We shall not build, in our cities or in their neighborhood, new monasteries, Churches, convents, or monks' cells, nor shall we repair, by day or by night, such of them as fall in ruins or are situated in the quarters of the Muslims.

    We shall keep our gates wide open for passersby and travelers. We shall give board and lodging to all Muslims who pass our way for three days.

    We shall not give shelter in our churches or in our dwellings to any spy, nor bide him from the Muslims.

    We shall not teach the Qur'an to our children.

    We shall not manifest our religion publicly nor convert anyone to it. We shall not prevent any of our kin from entering Islam if they wish it.

    We shall show respect toward the Muslims, and we shall rise from our seats when they wish to sit.

    We shall not seek to resemble the Muslims by imitating any of their garments, the qalansuwa, the turban, footwear, or the parting of the hair. We shall not speak as they do, nor shall we adopt their kunyas.

    We shall not mount on saddles, nor shall we gird swords nor bear any kind of arms nor carry them on our- persons.

    We shall not engrave Arabic inscriptions on our seals.

    We shall not sell fermented drinks.

    We shall clip the fronts of our heads.

    We shall always dress in the same way wherever we may be, and we shall bind the zunar round our waists

    We shall not display our crosses or our books in the roads or markets of the Muslims. We shall use only clappers in our churches very softly. We shall not raise our voices when following our dead. We shall not show lights on any of the roads of the Muslims or in their markets. We shall not bury our dead near the Muslims.

    We shall not take slaves who have beenallotted to Muslims.

    We shall not build houses overtopping the houses of the Muslims.

    (When I brought the letter to Umar, may God be pleased with him, he added, "We shall not strike a Muslim.")

    We accept these conditions for ourselves and for the people of our community, and in return we receive safe-conduct.

    If we in any way violate these undertakings for which we ourselves stand surety, we forfeit our covenant [dhimma], and we become liable to the penalties for contumacy and sedition.

    Umar ibn al-Khittab replied: Sign what they ask, but add two clauses and impose them in addition to those which they have undertaken. They are: "They shall not buy anyone made prisoner by the Muslims," and "Whoever strikes a Muslim with deliberate intent shall forfeit the protection of this pact."

    from Al-Turtushi, Siraj al-Muluk, pp. 229-230.



    mark safranski - 5/17/2005

    The Arabs of the 7th and 8th centuries were, in many respects, more enlightened conquerers than those who preceded them or came afterwards. That being said, to talk of willing Arabization is simply ahistorical.

    "...the universal acceptance of the principle that sovereignty over a land was solely lodged with/in the people/community dwelling it."

    The advent of the Westphalian system of international law is no the same thing as Popular Sovereignty.

    Social Contract theory as devised by Hobbes and Locke were not accepted by most powers until well into the 20th century - and is still resisted by governments that rule billions of people even today. In any event, neither principle precluded permanent land cession from one nation-state to another.

    Should the Palestinians have their own nation-state ? Yes. Does the desire of a violent minority of Palestinians to eliminate Israel entirely prevent the establishment of a Palestinian Republic ? Yes again. The belief that Israelis will just pack up and move someplace else is a self-defeating fantasy. If the Palestinians had that kind of strength, Israel would have been long since destroyed.


    mark safranski - 5/17/2005

    Omar,

    You brought it up, so I'm asking you.


    N. Friedman - 5/17/2005

    Omar,

    You claim: they were willingly Arabized through cultural reciprocated assimilation and the adoption of the Arabic language .

    You really believe that. For real. You think that people voluntarily gave up on their culture and adopted the Arab Muslim culture. And you think that happened without massacres. And you think that occurred without forced conversions. And you think that the Jihza tax and the land tax had nothing to do with it. And you think the requirement to wear special clothing had nothing to do with it. And you think that the segregated living neighborhoods had nothing to do with it. And you think that the inability to defend against attacks by Muslims had nothing to do with it. And you think that the inability to offer testimony in court against Muslims had nothing to do with it. And, in the case of historic Palestine, you think the intentionally created famines and deportions and the special "prayer taxes" had nothing to do with things.

    Frankly, Omar, you need to do a bit of reading. Your claims are absurd. The Arab Muslims were conquerors. Maybe no worse than others. But they were conquerors, nonetheless, who put their stamp on everything they conquered and without regard to the wishes of those they conquered. That, after all, is what the dhimma is all about. The word for Muslim rule - other than from the perspective of the Muslim conquerors - is servitude and normal people will do a great deal to avoid servitude.

    Noting the truth, Omar, does not diminish the past grand accomplishments of the Muslims. Terrible behavior by conquerors was the norm of the world and the Arabs and other Muslims have more than their share of it - notwithstanding the effort of Arabs and other Muslims to dissemble about it or rationalize it (the latter being your version of things) -. And the number of massacres committed by Arabs and other Muslims is, even by European standards, rather high. But again, the Arabs and Muslims also had great accomplishments and the past is past.

    I suggest to you that the Muslim regions will not be ready for prime time unless and until they account for their past and face it honestly. That means facing up to the genocide of the Hindus, the genocide of the Armenians, the genocide of the Sudanese Christians, the enslavement of the Greeks, the conquest and near complete destruction of Eastern Christianity more generally, etc., etc. And, I might add, despite these awful events in the history of Islam - and I have only mentioned a few of the many, many "low"lights -, the accomplishments of the Muslims are among the great accomplishments of mankind.






    Marc "Adam Moshe" Bacharach - 5/17/2005

    Peter,
    In one sentence, you have completely dismissed all of Israel’s concerns. You said, in parentheses no less, that the territories were “originally to-be temporarily occupied -for security reasons which have since become irrelevant.” Irrelevant?!? With all respect, I can only imagine 3 people who would call the frequent attacks against Israeli civilians “irrelevant”:
    - Someone who simply is unaware of their existence
    - Someone who does not believe that any Israeli is truly “innocent” and even women and children essentially deserve their fate
    - Someone who supports the attacks as a legitimate, indeed natural, reaction of the Palestinians in the face of occupation

    I tend to give everyone the benefit of the doubt and assume that they fall into the third category. The following, just in case anyone who reads this is in the first, might help to illustrate my point:

    http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/Terrorism/TerrorAttacks.html

    If I have misinterpreted your statement in any way that is unfair of my, please let me know.

    To suggest that terrorism has nothing to do with the continuing occupation is like suggesting that the 9/11 attacks had nothing to do with our invasion of Afghanistan (which, by the way, is the EXACT same logic that Israel has used). End the terrorism, and you end the occupation. Personally, I could not support any occupation in the face of peaceful resistance.

    It is only with the knowledge that Palestinians are raised and trained to dehumanize Jews and Israelis and organizations have pledged to continue murdering innocent people regardless of the occupation that I cannot support Palestinian independence in exchange for nothing.

    As for your “solution” that even children recognize, how can any nation on this planet be asked to put its trust into those who have vowed to murder innocent women and children? I say “trust” because the Palestinians are not asked for anything in return; dismantling terrorist organizations, reforming the education system of Palestinian children which glorifies death, the Palestinians are being asked to do none of those things by anyone outside of Israel and (to our great credit) the US.

    As for compromise, what happened in 2000? One side offered an extremely generous one-in-a-lifetime offer, and the other side walked out on the talks.


    Marc "Adam Moshe" Bacharach - 5/17/2005

    Peter, you are right to say that in the territories, "equal rights" for all inhabitants there has never been remotely in sight,” but of course if they were granted full equal rights, that would essentially mean that Israel would have annexed the territory, something I am certain few would approve of. When I spoke of equal rights, I was referring to citizens of Israel, over 18% of which are non-Jewish.

    You are also right to bring up the high hopes of the 1990’s, but let us not forget that while both sides bear some responsibility for the breakdown of Oslo, the agreement proved that Israel was more than willing to give up the territories if they could be guaranteed security, a reasonable request for any nation. At Oslo, the Palestinians were given civil and political autonomy as the first step towards full independence, complete with an Israeli-funded police force and economic aid. Nothing came of it.

    So long as Israel’s security concerns are completely ignored as an illegitimate issue, there will never be peace, only cries for boycotts and absurd epitaphs leveled against Israel (and Israel alone).


    N. Friedman - 5/17/2005

    Peter,

    What Mr. Pappe ought to consider is that there is no settlement to the dispute. Even Mr. Sharon has come to understand that and is acting accordingly.


    Marc "Adam Moshe" Bacharach - 5/17/2005

    The real problem I have with this boycott is not even that it is directed towards universities (although to attack academic freedom rather than government action is, in my opinion, rather pathetic). The problem I have is not even that it is against Israel (although I would charge that Israel has done nothing more morally or legally wrong than the US, among others). No, my real problem lies in its arbitrariness and fundamental unfairness.

    I have never once in my life heard the threat of economy boycott against Egypt, which is provided over $1.3 Billion a year in military aid, PLUS an additional average of $815 million in economic assistance. Egypt is a country with such a poor human rights record, the organization Human Rights Watch regularly condemns countries just for sending their prisoners there!

    Outside of the Middle East, the largest recipient of American aid is Columbia, who receives billions in aid (mostly military) from American taxpayers. Human Rights Watch had this to say about Columbia, in a statement to the 61st Session of the U.N. Commission on Human Rights:

    “Colombia’s forty-year internal armed conflict continues to be accompanied by widespread violations of human rights and international humanitarian law. Both guerrillas and right-wing paramilitary groups commit serious violations, including massacres, targeted assassinations, and kidnappings.

    "As a result of the conflict, Colombia has one of the largest populations of internally displaced persons in the world. It also has one of the world’s highest numbers of child combatants, with over 11,000 children belonging to guerrilla and paramilitary groups. Human rights defenders, journalists, academics, indigenous leaders, and labor union leaders are frequently targeted for their work.”

    I bring these examples up as only 2 of the many cases in which countries engage in wanton disregard for human rights and yet receive not so much as a frown from the vast majority of organizations (want more examples, there are enough to fill pages).

    Perhaps it is because Israel is a nation of Jews... perhaps it is because it is easier to condemn a nation whose skin is primarily white rather than be accused of imposing our own cultural standards of morality on some other group. I am sure others here have their opinion of why Israel is targeted and I certainly have mine.

    (as a side, Thomas Freidman, acknowledging the blatant unfair discrimination against Israel, blames it on the fact that as Israel represents the fulfillment of biblical prophesy for many in the West, the West holds it to an almost biblical standard. See “From Beirut to Jerusalem”).

    What remains unquestionable is that what was true in the days of Jim Crow are true in this case: when a law applied to everyone is exclusively and repeatedly enforced against a specific target, such a law is racist in practice, if not in intent. Such is the case with this proposed boycott.

    That this is being leveled against a democracy that has equal rights for all its citizens, regardless of race, or religion; a country that has a free press, and an independent judiciary; all of that alone makes this boycott a shame. However, that this attempt, like so many like it, are leveled so frequently against one state, a state whose international attention far exaggerates its size, or intensity of the crimes its worst critics accuse it of, is simply discrimination by any definition of the word.


    mark safranski - 5/17/2005

    Thank you, Mr. Friedman.

    At a certain point, we need to develop a statute of limitations for land claims to rsolve them with finality. Imagine the chaos if all the territorial changes since just WWII were reopened for dispute - much less the last 2000 years. On what universal principal could all parties across the globe agree would be result in just settlements ? None.

    Maximimalist positions are impossible to satisfy anywhere - we will simply have to move toward alternative compensation of the actual injured individuals or their immediate heirs.


    N. Friedman - 5/17/2005

    Mark,

    Well said.


    mark safranski - 5/17/2005

    Hmmm, how long should a people hold land before they have a clear title ? Should Egypt be placed back into the hands of the Copts ? Silesia and East Prussia to Germany ? Texas to Mexico or to the Apaches ?

    Arabs displaced the previous Greco-Roman-Byzantine Christians and Jews in Palestine by force of arms and converted large numbers to Islam by the sword. The Turks later subjugated the Arabs. The Turks were replaced by the British and French Mandates. Israel and Palestine were created by the UN and Israel won the remainder of its territory by force of arms after being attacked by Arab armies.

    Why woud Israeli conquests be less valid morally than Arab or Muslim conquests by virtue of being more recent ?

    If antiquity is the reason to favor the Arabs over the Israelis then why not go further back in time than the 7th century ?

    http://zenpundit.blogspot.com


    N. Friedman - 5/17/2005

    Matt,

    You write: the contention that Jews did not take Arab land in Palestine by conquest is flatly preposterous...

    Land has no label. It was never Arab or Muslim or Jewish. It was simply land in which a variety of people have lived. At present, Jews control the land. Their rule, by historical standards of the region, has been remarkable for its liberalism and tolerance. One need only cross the border into Lebanon, Syria, Jordan or Egypt to understand just how liberal and tolerant Israel is. And, if one needs a serious reminder, check out Saudi Arab or Sudan.

    Here is a question for you, Matt: Greeks basically expelled millions of Muslims from what is now Greece. Muslims had been the dominant group in that area for nearly a millenium. Some Greeks, of course, remained in their ancestral country but large numbers left. Eventually, they pushed the Muslims out. It was a long, long struggle. Greece is as much Muslim land as Israel is Arab land. So, will you agree to call Greece Muslim land?


    N. Friedman - 5/17/2005

    Matt,

    You write: the contention that Jews did not take Arab land in Palestine by conquest is flatly preposterous...

    Land has no label. It was never Arab or Muslim or Jewish. It was simply land in which a variety of people have lived. At present, Jews control the land. Their rule, by historical standards of the region, has been remarkable for its liberalism and tolerance. One need only cross the border into Lebanon, Syria, Jordan or Egypt to understand just how liberal and tolerant Israel is. And, if one needs a serious reminder, check out Saudi Arab or Sudan.

    Here is a question for you, Matt: Greeks basically expelled millions of Muslims from what is now Greece. Muslims had been the dominant group in that area for nearly a millenium. Some Greeks, of course, remained in their ancestral country but large numbers left. Eventually, they pushed the Muslims out. It was a long, long struggle. Greece is as much Muslim land as Israel is Arab land. So, will you agree to call Greece Muslim land?


    N. Friedman - 5/17/2005

    Adam,

    The boycott is the work of foul people. Read this:

    http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?pagename=JPost/JPArticle/ShowFull&;cid=1114913918708&p=1111893688901


    N. Friedman - 5/17/2005

    Peter,

    You are making no sense at all. Jews reclaiming their ancestral homes is not an ugly thing. It may not be a very wise or politic thing but it is surely not an ugly thing.

    And the land was certainly not stolen from Palestinians. It was won fair and square. My recollection is that Samaria, Judea and Gaza came into Jewish lands after the Arab side massed forces on Israel's border, kicked out the UN and closed the straits of Tiran (in violation of the law of the seas).

    What follows is what the BBC thought at the time:

    The attack follows a build-up of Arab military forces along the Israeli border.

    The Arab states had been preparing to go to war against Israel with Egypt, Jordan and Syria being aided by Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Sudan and Algeria.

    On 27 May the President of Egypt, Abdel Nasser, declared: "Our basic objective will be the destruction of Israel. The Arab people want to fight."

    Egypt signed a pact with Jordan at the end of May declaring an attack on one was an attack on both. This was seen by Israel as a clear sign of preparation for all-out war.


    http://news.bbc.co.uk/onthisday/hi/dates/stories/june/5/newsid_2654000/2654251.stm

    As usual, you make assertions without investigating the matter carefully.


    N. Friedman - 5/17/2005

    Matt,

    Your assertions are not correct. David ben Gurion is quoted as saying lots of things. Most of things attributed to him are misquotes and lies made up by pseudo-historians trying to sell books by means of saying things that are contentious.

    It is to be noted that the dispute involving the creation of Israel involved substantial violence by the Arab side. Jews also were involved in violence. People were displaced on both side, not just the Arab side.

    Not much noted is that 100,000 Jews who were displaced during the 1948 war from Jerusalem and 20 other towns and villages in Judea, Samaria and Gaza. Moreover, another 756,000 Jews were displaced from the surrounding Arab countries over the course of years during and immediately following the war.


    The Jews did not expel all of the Arabs. Instead, there was a war and some Arabs (maybe 50,000) were expelled. Many Arabs stayed. Many participated in the Arab war to annihilate the Jews. Many fled to avoid fighting. Wealthy people mostly left before the civil war that began after UN 181 was passed. Many were moved out (e.g. in Haifa) by the British. Many left on the suggestion of Muslim leaders who claimed that Muslims should not live under "Jewish" rule (e.g. Joffa), etc.

    In my view, if the Jews of Israel had, in fact, conspired to drive out the Arabs, they would be no worse than the Greeks. You might consider, for purpose of comparison, the Arab Israelis dispute to the dispute between the Greeks and the Muslims that occurred in the 19th Century. Muslims, who claimed Greece as their home for not quite a millenium, pretty much all fled (or were massacred - and in very large numbers) as the Ottoman Empire contracted. In the 20th Century, nearly all of the remaining Muslims who had lived in Greece were "exchanged" with Christians who lived in what is now Turkey. Millions of people were involved. No one, however, screams that Greece is rightfully Turkish or Muslim. Yet, large numbers of Greeks - just like Jews - no longer resided in Ottoman Greece but returned.


    N. Friedman - 5/17/2005

    Chris,

    You write: Both sides in this matter have lived peaceably in the region for centuries...

    Your statement is simply false. Non-Muslims were treated as contemptible creatures in the Muslim regions and, most particularly, in historic Palestine. Non-Muslims, including Jews, were subjected to deportations, massacres and intentionally created famines; were forced to wear identifying clothing, had to pay a special tax to live in the area (above the Jizha tax charged to all non-Muslims), a land tax, a tax to pray in Jerusalem, could not give testimony in court against a Muslim, etc., etc..

    Whatever the merits of the Arab side in the current dispute, it really takes complete ignorance of the region's history to paint the life of dhimmi as people living "peaceably." It was, instead, a life of servitude or, to borrow a neologism from Bat Ye'or, dhimmitude.


    Matt Duss - 5/16/2005

    Ms. Appelbaum: Zionist terrorist agitation, harassment, and murder of Palestinian Arabs in the years leading up to 1948 is well documented, as is the acknowledgement by Israel's founders, Ben Gurion included, that the creation of the Jewish state necessarily involved the expulsion and immiseration of large numbers of Palestine's indigenous population. UN statehood was largely a response to this agitation. Your contention that armed conquest played no part in the Zionists takeover of Palestine is one that is simply not taken seriously by respectable historians.


    Diana Applebaum - 5/16/2005

    "Jews did not take Arab land in Palestine by conquest"

    Pre-state, Jews acquired land by purchase. Legal purchase under Ottoman and then under Mandate law.

    Statehood was awarded by the United Nations.

    Israel has never fought a war of conquest. In 1948 and 1967 Israel was attacked by Arab nations intending to take the land belonging to the Jewish State by conquest. Israel did acquire land in these wars, but the wars were defensive, not, like the Arab land acquisitons, wars of conquest.


    Matt Duss - 5/16/2005

    I seriously question whether you've accurately characterized the "contemporary scholarly consensus." Even so, your use of the phrase "struggle for dominance with the rival ethnic group," or what most scholars call "war," reveals an attempt to give yourself some wiggle room.

    But even granting your questionable representation
    of archaelogical consensus, the contention that Jews did not take Arab land in Palestine by conquest is flatly preposterous (some did not, but many did), as is the contention that thousands years-old claims on land should supercede the claims of those who've actually been inhabiting that land for the last thousand years.


    Matt Duss - 5/16/2005

    I seriously question whether you've accurately characterized the "contemporary scholarly consensus." Even so, your use of the phrase "struggle for dominance with the rival ethnic group," or what most scholars call "war," reveals an attempt to give yourself some wiggle room.

    But even granting your questionable representation
    of archaelogical consensus, the contention that Jews did not take Arab land in Palestine by conquest is flatly preposterous (some did not, but many did), as is the contention that thousands years-old claims on land should supercede the claims of those who've actually been inhabiting that land for the last thousand years.


    Diana Applebaum - 5/16/2005

    "a war of conquest is exactly how the Kingdom of Israel came into being in the first place"

    Wrong. Unless, of course, you are using the Bible as a history text. I prefer the archaeological record.

    The contemporary scholarly consensus is that the new ethnic group that we call Israelites arose as an innovative self-definition among people long resident in the land. In this interpretation of an extensive archaeological record, the Biblical conquest of the land never occurs. People living in the hills of Judea simply turn into Israelites, much as their Israelite descendents will later become Jews. According to this reading of the archaeological record, the Israelites emerge by about 1200 BCE and struggle for dominance with the rival ethnic group called Canaanites for two centuries or so, at which point the united monarchy emerges with its capital in Jerusalem.


    Matt Duss - 5/16/2005

    Diana K. Appelbaum wrote: "Arabs, by contrast, are in Israel as the result of a sucessful war of conquest. The only title to the land that Muslims have is that they conquered it."

    Of course, a war of conquest is exactly how the Kingdom of Israel came into being in the first place. The only title the Jews have to the land is the entirely metaphysical one that their god, in his capacity as realtor, "promised" it to them. Not exactly a good way of approaching modern political problems, as sane people realize. If there is a just solution to be reached, and I believe there is, it does not lie down this road.

    Quite ironic, Ms. Applebaum, that you insist on the need for honesty, and then proceed to dribble out such historically and biblically ignorant revisionist nonsense.


    Jonathan Dresner - 5/16/2005

    Hmmm. Not boycotts (unless you count the IRC travesty), but plenty of organizations in the West -- including primarily Jewish ones -- have brought outside pressure to bear including deliberate witholding of support; almost sounds boycott-like. But, of course, that's not what he said.


    mark safranski - 5/16/2005

    "Are you going the Ajami way? I hope not."

    What does that mean exactly ?


    Diana Applebaum - 5/16/2005

    We have already established that the claim to a homeland does not expire, we can see it plainly, for example, not only in the claims made by many AmerIndian nations, but in the fact that the Canadian and US governments concede communal rights to organized tribes.

    And, certainly, we see it in the Basque lands, Catalonia, and many other places worldwide.

    The more interesting question whether a legitimate right to sovereignty can be gained by conquest. Certainly there is general agreement that when one nation conquers another, a third nation is justified in working to reverse the conquest. What, however, is the statue of limitations on such a right?

    Please note three facts.

    Israelis arrived legally, some are descended from families that never left the land, some arrived legally in Ottoman times, some in British times, and some after independence - but none came to Israel as a result of a war of conquest. The acquisition of the West Bank was, of course, the result of a defensive - and therefore definitionally just - war.

    Arabs, by contrast, are in Israel as the result of a sucessful war of conquest. The only title to the land that Muslims have is that they conquered it.

    Spain was also conquered by Arabs, who flourished in Andalusia for seven centuries. This brings us back to the quesiton of whether there is a statute of limitations for reversing the status of territories that, like Israel and Andalusia, were acquired in wars of conquest.

    There is a utilitarian argument , of course, but I cannot imagine an ethical argument for the "right" of conquerers to the land they have conquered.


    Marc "Adam Moshe" Bacharach - 5/16/2005

    1) “after 57 years of colonization and dispossession of the Palestinians as a whole…”

    Between 1948 and 1967, the West Bank and Gaza were the property of Jordan and Egypt respectively. Since the vast majority of Palestinians lived under the authority of Arab countries during this almost 20 years period, it is simply unfair to blame their suffering on Israel alone, particularly when no attempt was made during that time to make peace with the Israeli state, which could have paved the way for some kind of repatriation. Sadly however, such time has passed, as no nation on earth could be asked to absorb millions of hostile people bent on its destruction.

    2) “Historical examples… prove that there are peaceful means for achieving an end to the longest oppression and violation of human rights in the last century.”

    Very true, and once the Palestinians adopt such an approach, and Israel can no longer claim that it is operating out of national defense, I would be more than happy to join the struggle and do all that I can.

    3) “Shielded by this particular support for academia, and other cultural media, the Israeli army and security services can go on”

    Wow. Never before in Western history have I ever heard national policy determined by the reputation of their academics. Mr. Pappe severely overestimates his importance, and the importance of the academic community. Israeli military actions are based on many military and political considerations, but I would bet the bank that their actions have absolutely nothing to do with how much support Israeli academics receive.

    The attempt to boycott Israeli universities is not unlike many punitive actions against Israel: bias and hypocritical. Bias in the sense that no similar boycott is being threatened against numerous other human rights violators, including the many throughout Africa, and hypocritical because the target of the attack is the universities, those centers of learning and open dialogue and exchange between Palestinians and Israelis.


    chris l pettit - 5/16/2005

    Does this mean that I have a claim to Africa because that is where the original man comes from? Surely you must be joking...or subscribe to a religious ideological myth misinterpreted and applied to current history that is indefensible when critically examined. Both sides have no right to be claiming the land...or every right if you want to believe their invisible man and mythology.

    israel is a colonial enterprise...read your post WWI history...particularly the Balfour Doctrine, etc.

    Both sides in this matter have lived peaceably in the region for centuries...to emphasize the extremists on both sides is absurd. The past 70 years can be placed in its own microcosm due to its political, cultural and historical uniqueness.

    What this is a perfect example of is why religion and ethnicity should always be trumped by universalism, humanity, and human rights...and why ideologues should not be heard from when we are discussing human rights, peace, international dispute resolution, and international cooperation.

    CP


    N. Friedman - 5/16/2005

    Read this article:

    http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?pagename=JPost/JPArticle/ShowFull&;cid=1116123544422


    Diana Applebaum - 5/16/2005

    "more than a century of colonization"

    No people can colonize its own homeland.

    Nor can we have a productive debate about the Jewish State unless we can be honest about the situation.

    Objectively, what we have in the Middle East is the clash of two land claims. One ethnic group is indigenous to the land, formerly sovereign, and never gave up its claim to the land. Most of its members, however, lived as an ethnic diaspora for almost two thousand years. The other ethnic group arrived as conquerors in the seventh century, and has been the majority group in recent centuries. Though never sovereign, over time they have come to view themselves as indigenous in the land conquered by their forebears. Fair-minded people can differ about which claim is to be preferred. But to state that Israel is a colonial enterprise, as Pappe does, is simply untrue. And academics have an obligation to use language and facts accurately.


    Jonathan Dresner - 5/15/2005

    Aside from my objections to any academic boycott that has no academic foundation, Mr. Pappe makes a statement so boldly wrong that the mind boggles: "Boycotts and outside pressure have never been attempted in the case of Israel..." Aside from the Arab states' boycott of Israel since it's founding (is there any other nation that has had to work so hard to have even coldly neutral relations with its neighbors?) many other countries have been cowed by Arab Oil power into limiting contacts and trade with Israel. Israel has never been free of boycotts and outside pressure.

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