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Forty years on.
June 5, 2007 9:05 AM   Subscribe

Forty years on. After a quick buildup, the Six Day War started 40 years ago today and reshaped the Middle East. At the time, Israel's quick win looked like a triumph, but after 40 years the war is still being fought and it looks like it may have been a pyrrhic victory.
posted by kirkaracha (157 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite

 
In the Shadow of the Six-Day War
CNN's Mideast 101: The Six Day War
posted by kirkaracha at 9:10 AM on June 5, 2007


There's a lot of apologia about this, but it remains undisputed fact: Israel shot first, occupied a bunch of territory, and refused to give it up.

They've been paying for it ever since.
posted by Malor at 9:10 AM on June 5, 2007


I found this article by Tom Segev in the NY Times fascinating - arguing the Israeli strategists saw months before the war just how disastrous an occupation of the West Bank would be. But in the heat of the moment, riding high from the virtually instant defeat of the Egyptian air force, cooler heads most certainly did NOT prevail...
posted by fingers_of_fire at 9:11 AM on June 5, 2007


Oh, this is bound to go well.

The really terrible thing about all of this is that I have absolutely no idea who to believe about any of it. I have people telling me there never was a Palestine. I have people telling me there was. All of them claim definitive sources.
posted by adipocere at 9:12 AM on June 5, 2007


I sincerely doubt anything is undisputed.
posted by smackfu at 9:12 AM on June 5, 2007


Eschatonilicious
posted by Burhanistan at 9:13 AM on June 5, 2007


Right, Malor. Never mind the endless series of provocative acts on the part of Israel's neighbors - the naval blockade as a result of closing the Straits of Tiran and expelling UN Peacekeepers from the Sinai and moving in tanks and troops, just to name a few. But since Israel shot first, it's all Israel's fault. Must be nice to have such a clear, black and white view of the world - how neo-con of you.

Fer fuck's sake - EVERYONE, on BOTH SIDES, has paid an ENORMOUSLY UNACCEPTABLE PRICE, for 40 years.
posted by fingers_of_fire at 9:15 AM on June 5, 2007 [2 favorites]


people who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it
posted by pyramid termite at 9:15 AM on June 5, 2007


pyramid, haven't you heard? The Crusades were defensive wars waged by stout-hearted Christians against the ravenous Muslim-zombie hordes.

In other news, happy, uh, war anniversary, I guess.
posted by Avenger at 9:21 AM on June 5, 2007


There's something in this post that's like observing someone building a railroad, knowing full well that once it's operational two trains packed with commuters will slam into each other.

On the one hand they're just building a railroad so what's wrong with that, and on the other hand you know it's going to turn out badly.

I fear to watch, yet I cannot turn away!
posted by aramaic at 9:24 AM on June 5, 2007


Eliyahu advocates carpet bombing Gaza
Top Israeli rabbis advocate genocide
try to watch John Pilger's outstanding (somewhat recent, 2002) video on the Palestinian situation. [Caution: powerful, extremely graphic images.]
posted by hortense at 9:27 AM on June 5, 2007


Zionism ain't Judaism, you know.
posted by Burhanistan at 9:32 AM on June 5, 2007


I have people telling me there never was a Palestine. I have people telling me there was. All of them claim definitive sources.

One fact seems certain - there still is not any country called Palestine.
posted by three blind mice at 9:38 AM on June 5, 2007


IIRC, Israel's actions were held to be a pretty good example of "preemptive war" in the face of imminent action-- not to be confused with the preventive war that the US launched against Iraq.
posted by ibmcginty at 9:41 AM on June 5, 2007


The passive voice in my comment was no good-- I should have specified, "among most law professors."
posted by ibmcginty at 9:42 AM on June 5, 2007


The way Israel was founded was wrong. Suicide bombing and terrorism is also wrong. Land rights and citizenship should have nothing to do with one's race or religion.

If the Israelis and Palestinians cannot collectively agree to these basic moral truths, IMO they pretty much deserve what's happened over the past many years.

But maybe they should suffer more equally though, because the Israelis definitely have it a LOT better than the Palestinians.
posted by b_thinky at 9:43 AM on June 5, 2007 [3 favorites]


"The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict"
A Play
by Samuel Becket

Palenstinian: We will drive you into the sea.
Israeli: We will drive YOU into the sea.

(they do not drive each other into the sea)

curtain
posted by gwint at 9:48 AM on June 5, 2007 [82 favorites]


hortense, I write this with all due respect - I'm not trying to troll, I simply want to ask a question. And before I do, I'll clearly state that I'm a (virtually secular) Jew who supports the right of the state of Israel to exist and defend itself - and I also believe that the Palestinians ought to have a homeland, and that it inevitably will come at a cost to Israel, and it SHOULD - Israel should NOT get off scot-free.

So, my question - your links are to extremist Jews and/or Israelis who advocate violence (indeed, extreme violence) as a means for dealing with the Palestinians. It's also not difficult to find similar propaganda on the part of the Palestinians. Why did you choose to only point to Jews who advocate violence? Do you think that the positions expressed in those links are mainstream in Israeli society?

I'm just curious. I suspect that you and I disagree on virtually all of this, and I'm not interested in beating a dead horse, I just want to know where you are coming from. Do you believe that the Israelis are bloodthirsty marauders who won't be satisfied until they've killed every last Palestinian?

(The google video was not available, when I checked. Sorry if I've misinterpreted your intentions...)
posted by fingers_of_fire at 9:49 AM on June 5, 2007 [1 favorite]


you called it a "pyrrhic victory", but isn't that better for israel than the alternative ending?
posted by bruce at 9:51 AM on June 5, 2007



The really terrible thing about all of this is that I have absolutely no idea who to believe about any of it. I have people telling me there never was a Palestine. I have people telling me there was. All of them claim definitive sources.
posted by adipocere at 12:12 PM on June 5


I agree with you that this thread is likely to turn into a mess. Too many second and third generation descendants on all sides trying to make their bona fides by taking up as truth what their forefathers uttered as simply so much disposable political rhetoric.

It is 2007. It doesn't matter what the Bible or the Torah or the Book of Ancient Whatever says about a particular piece of real estate. It doesn't really matter who shot first or why.

What matters is both parties to the conflict are beholden to their most recalcitrant special interests. Israel is beholden to a group of religious zealots and their military-industrial establishment. Palestinians are subject to the whim of a handful of thugs who if they lived in L.A. wouldn't rise above the level of block captain for the Crips, but over there are held up by Israeli, Arab, and US media as religious leaders.

Both sides have their wizened, bearded old men admonishing their followers with upturned finger. Both sides give them far too much respect and credibility. Both sides want to preserve some racially pure status quo. What the hell is a Jewish state if you are an Arab? What is a Palestinian state if you're a Jewish settler. In both cases, the answer is "screwed."

There's a lesson here for the US and Europe, because the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is a microcosm fought in the extreme of the issues our comparatively huge and slow moving country is facing. Protracted concentrated economic power rules in the shadows while the public is distracted by religious and ethnic balkanization.
posted by Pastabagel at 9:51 AM on June 5, 2007 [3 favorites]


Facts are funny things.

"There never was a country named Palestine."

True enough, and there never were countries named:
Syria
Jordan
Iraq
Lebanon
Kuwait
either.

Not until the withdrawing Europeans left "Lines in the Sand"

So many of the truths brandished by both sides fit this kind of bill... True, but, so what?
posted by bornjewish at 9:58 AM on June 5, 2007


It doesn't matter what the Bible or the Torah or the Book of Ancient Whatever says about a particular piece of real estate.

But the problem is that it matters very much to some people. I'm reading T E Lawrence's (a k a Lawrence of Arabia) Seven Pillars of Wisdom about the 1917 Arab revolt. The Middle East was a mess before there was any country called Israel. Even if there was no Israel today, the place would still be a mess. One thing seems clear: the Zionists sold out the survivors of the Holocaust and their children with their dreams. I think few would dispute the fact that the Jews of Europe needed somewhere to go to escape the lingering anti-Semitism in post WW2 Europe. The Zionists used the tremendous tragedy of the European Holocaust to pursue their dream - a nation in the most fucked up place in the world. Today, the Zionists are no nearer their ultimate dream of a Greater Israel living in peace and security and the children of the Holocaust have no assurance that they too will not suffer the same fate. In fact, they've made themselves a one-bomb-target.

Uganda would have been the better choice. If the Israelis made the desert bloom, imagine what they would have done with a piece of fertile Africa...
posted by three blind mice at 10:04 AM on June 5, 2007


I always found the "no Palestine" argument kind of funny. Clearly there were people who weren't Jewish in what is now called Israel, and these people were displaced. Does the fact they may or may not have referred to themselves as Palestinian even matter?
posted by chunking express at 10:05 AM on June 5, 2007


I notice that the use of "the right of Israel to defend itself" tends to be a phrase that goes hand in hand with apologetics for atrocities against the Palestinians. What's the origin of this?
posted by Pope Guilty at 10:09 AM on June 5, 2007


Does the fact they may or may not have referred to themselves as Palestinian even matter?

Yeah, and the early American settlers didn't kill off all the Indians--quite the contrary, there are still billions of 'em, and we're giving 'em all jobs in tech support!

(Sorry. I'll leave you to your serious discussion now.)
posted by saulgoodman at 10:11 AM on June 5, 2007


But the claim "There never was a Palestine" is unclear.

The answer depends on the meaning of the term "was"/"is".

There was a Roman Province by that name.
That name was used by the Byzantines, the Ummayad, Abbassid & Fatimid Caliphates and the Mamluks who ruled it.

The Persians, Crusaders & Ayyubids did not use the name. But they are brief holders of the land.

After the fall of the Mamluks, the name fell out of use. The Ottomans used the Capitals to name their districts.

So there was a "Palestine" (And for quite a bit longer than the state of Israel ever existed, in total) but not an independent nation by that name.
posted by bornjewish at 10:12 AM on June 5, 2007 [1 favorite]


Uganda?

So that they could displace people with no relations who live on top of oil?

How is that more just?

And what is wrong with coming to America?
Or staying in Europe?
With the fall of the Nazis the danger was over.
posted by bornjewish at 10:15 AM on June 5, 2007 [1 favorite]


USS Liberty
posted by hortense at 10:15 AM on June 5, 2007


I confess, I'm 45 and I've been hearing about the Arab-Israeli-Palestinian mess almost daily my whole life. That's really not an exaggeration. It's taken up a remarkable amount of my time and attention. I'm suffering Arab-Israeli-Palestinian fatigue. I hate to say it, but I find myself not caring much any more. I feel guilty about this, and bad for the folks involved, but I just don't want to hear about it anymore.
posted by MarshallPoe at 10:16 AM on June 5, 2007 [3 favorites]


i am jew enough for hitler and i'll say this:

the jewish state has no right to exist.

of course, it survives by military force like every other government except that of Iran in that part of the mid-east:

Israel: apartheid 'democracy' built on massive military buildup.

Jordan: Monarchy built on state security services (see recent "civil war".)

Syria: hereditary dictatorship built on state security services

Egypt: hereditary dictatorship built on state security services

Iraq: vichy government built on massive foreign military presence

Lebanon: what government?

the model for Israel should be South Africa... it's either that or Rhodesia. demography will kick the Zionists asses sooner or later.

i don't know about the rest of them... when the US military economy collapses, egypt (and israel) is going to be a very unhappy place.
posted by geos at 10:22 AM on June 5, 2007 [1 favorite]


I'm shocked to find the Wikipedia Six-Day War page locked from editing.
posted by sidereal at 10:24 AM on June 5, 2007


"Who shot first?" & "We had to or we would be annihilated!"

Menachem Begin, Minister without Portfolio:
"In June l967, we had a choice. The Egyptian Army concentrations in the Sinai approaches do not prove that Nasser was really about to attack us. We must be honest with ourselves. We decided to attack him."
(New York Times, August 21, 1982)

General Mattitiahu Peled, Chief Quartermaster-General's Branch, Israeli Defence Forces, General Staff:
"All those stories about the huge danger we were facing because of our small territorial size, an argument expounded once the war was over, had never been considered our calculations prior to the unleashing of hostilities. While we proceeded towards the full mobilization of our forces, no person in his right mind could believe that all this force was necessary to our defence against the Egyptian threat. To pretend that the Egyptian forces concentrated on our borders were capable of threatening Israel's existence does not only insult the intelligence of any person capable of analyzing this kind of situation, but is primarily an insult to the Israeli army."
(Le Monde, June 3, 1972)

General Ezer Weizman, Chief of Operations, Israeli Defence
Forces, General Staff:
"There was never a danger of extermination. This hypothesis had never been considered in any serious meeting."
(Ha' aretz, March 29, 1972)
posted by bornjewish at 10:24 AM on June 5, 2007 [4 favorites]


And what is wrong with coming to America?
Or staying in Europe?
With the fall of the Nazis the danger was over.

not quite
posted by SBMike at 10:29 AM on June 5, 2007 [1 favorite]


I saw Wacko Ahmedinijad on 60 Minutes the other night. He said the holocaust occurred in Europe, so why not give the Jews their homeland in Europe? This actually makes a lot of sense. You can't just annex a country full of one people and give it to another. For anyone to even excuse it is absurd.

We Americans did the same thing, but I'd like to think we've come a long way as humanity from 1492 to 1947. It really makes no sense.

I don't think we should provide any military or economic aid for the state of Israel. As soon as Israelis learn to compromise, the problem will be solved. They have enough bargaining chips to make the Arabs compromise if they went head to head.
posted by b_thinky at 10:29 AM on June 5, 2007 [1 favorite]


As soon as Israelis learn to compromise, the problem will be solved.

I think that is very naive. There is absolutely a segment of people in the Middle East -- not a majority, no, but a segment -- that will not stop until there is no Israel. That's my 2 cents, anyway.
posted by inigo2 at 10:35 AM on June 5, 2007


b_thinky, if I'm not mistaken, Israel HAS tried to compromise with the Arabs on a number of occasions - most recently Camp David in 2000 - only to be rebuffed without so much as a counter-offer. I think the Arabs are AT LEAST as guilty (if not more) of inflexibility.
posted by fingers_of_fire at 10:35 AM on June 5, 2007


b_thinky, if I'm not mistaken, Israel HAS tried to compromise with the Arabs on a number of occasions - most recently Camp David in 2000 -

If I'm not mistaken, the problem with that is that despite whatever the gov't of Israel may promise, there's absolutely a segment of people in Israel--no, not a majority, but a segment, of the Israeli population that will not stop until they've settled even more new territory in the name of Israel.
posted by saulgoodman at 10:40 AM on June 5, 2007 [1 favorite]


SBMike,
So what? The essential truth is still there. You have presented us with another "true, but, so what?" fact so common to partisans of the two sides here.
posted by bornjewish at 10:46 AM on June 5, 2007


This is a response to the question posed by bornjewish.

I've still got a copy of A History of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict by Mark Tessler from his course at Michigan. It's a history book, it's nearly 1000 pages, footnoted, and it's even-handed. Here's what the book has on Uganda:

"The suggestion that Uganda might be suitable for Jewish colonization was first put forward by Joseph Chamberlain, the British colonial secretary... Herzl, who at the time had been discussing with the British a scheme for Jewish settlement in Sinai, responded positively to Chamberlain's proposal, in part because of a desire to deepen Zionist-British cooperation." Herzl recommended to the 1903 Zionist Congress that a study commission be dispatched to East Africa to look into such an initiative. "At the same time, he stressed that Uganda was being proposed not as an alternative to Palestine but, rather, as a place where Jews who were forced to leave their homes might take immediate and temporary refuge." There the Jews could form viable communities and then be transferred to Zion.

The Zionist congress approved the Uganda proposal, and even got the support of the religious faction, Mizrachi. The most vehement opposition came from the Russian delegates.

"Russian delegates walked out, and when Herzl came to their meeting room to urge their return, he was met with shouts of 'Traitor!' After hours of pleading and repeating that he had no thought of abandoning or changing the Zionist program, the dissidents did eventually return, explaining that their exit had been not a partisan protest against Herzl's leadership but an expression of their profound and unshakable conviction that there could be no separation between Zionism and Eretz Yisrael...

The response to the Uganda scheme removed any ambiguity that might possibly have existed about whether the creation of a Jewish state outside of Palestine would speak to the goals articulated by modern political Zionism. It would not. The history and religion of the Jewish people demanded that their state be located in the land of their ancestors, in the land to which they were bound by a covenant between themselves and their Creator."
posted by MarkO at 10:46 AM on June 5, 2007 [1 favorite]


Dumbfuckery is the only real victor here.
posted by Artw at 10:48 AM on June 5, 2007 [1 favorite]


While we are talking about rebuffing peace deals...

Ben Gurion turned down the Bernadotte plan, then Jewish fanatics shot Bernadotte dead.

Both sides seem intent on wasting chances at peace.
posted by bornjewish at 10:49 AM on June 5, 2007


And what is wrong with coming to America?
Or staying in Europe?
With the fall of the Nazis the danger was over.


It amazes me how people don't know the history of the conflict, and assume that, even with the defeat of Nazism, that the Jews had a viable alternative to trying to establish their own state. Whatever you think about Israeli actions, or the nature of Partition, or whatever, there are some basic facts leading up to the creation of Israel that are important.

After the war, there were still massive anti-Semitic attacks in Eastern Europe, which were responsible for accelerating much of the migration to what would soon be Israel. For example, Kielce pogrom in Poland in 1946 against Jews who were returning to their homes, resulted in 40 Jews killed with tacit government support. Most Jews weren't even allowed to leave the place they were confined by the Nazis, they had to stay in the concentration camps, now turned into Displaced Persons camps. This is what a US governmental report wrote about the DP camps at the end of 1945: "As matters now stand, we appear to be treating the Jews as the Nazis treated them, except that we do not exterminate them. They are ill Concentration Camps in large numbers under our military guard, instead of the SS troops. One is led to wonder whether the German people, seeing this, are not supposing that we are following or at least condoning Nazi policy."

And the Jews had reason to worry about the intentions of the rest of the world. During World War II, Jews were not allowed to leave Europe, and the British turned back ships (see Sturma) heading for Palestine as the result of a deal with the Arab Higher Committee. And America and Europe didn't want them after the war, letting in relatively few displaced Jews.

In fact, this is what President Truman wrote on the resettlement of Jews:
With respect to possible places of resettlement for those who may be stateless or who do not wish to return to their homes, Palestine is definitely and pre-eminently the first choice. Many now have relatives there, while others, having experienced intolerance and persecution in their homelands for years, feel that only in Palestine will they be welcomed and find peace and quiet and be given an opportunity to live and work. In the case of the Polish and the Baltic Jews, the desire to go to Palestine is based in a great majority of the cases on a love for the country and devotion to the Zionist ideal. It is also true however, that there are many who wish to go to Palestine because they realize that their opportunity to be admitted into the United States or into other countries in the Western hemisphere is limited, if not impossible. Whatever the motive which causes them to turn to Palestine, it is undoubtedly true that the great majority of the Jews now in Germany do not wish to return to those countries from which they came.
(And yes, I am aware of the irony of the "peace and quiet" phrasing above). Regardless, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is worth debating, but anyone who thinks that there was, at least to the Jews of Europe, an alternative to setting up their homeland is missing a lot of perspective.
posted by blahblahblah at 10:50 AM on June 5, 2007 [2 favorites]


jimmy carter bribed israel and egypt to make peace at camp david, and it's held up so far. there can't be as many people in gaza and the west bank as there are in egypt, so let's try bribing them too. send a capo over there with a planeload of cash and promises of more aid "this is your last chance, take the money, lay down your arms and you get peace, statehood and reconstruction, don't take it, we sit back and let the jooos annihilate you."

also, seconding marshallpoe above, i'm 52 and oh, so tired of hearing about this (and as a taxpayer, paying for this) and i'm ready to throw up my hands and say ok you crazy guys, kill as many people as you can (both sides) and when you're all done, we'll come in, terraform and repopulate the area.
posted by bruce at 10:51 AM on June 5, 2007


Mark0,

And look at what this tells us.

Today Jews whine "Why can't the Arabs give up on what was once theirs and settle for peace?"

Well, you just posted evidence that the Jews failed to do that in their time. It was "Zion" or riot.

So they are hypocrites to whine about the Arabs.
posted by bornjewish at 10:53 AM on June 5, 2007


Excuse me. "WE are hypocrites..."
posted by bornjewish at 10:54 AM on June 5, 2007


Blah,

The Jews had a viable alternative to trying to establish their own state. Western Europe & the USA.

The fact that many Jews "Felt" that they had no choice is irrelevant. It is as persuasive as muslims "Feeling" that they are justified in targetting civilians.
posted by bornjewish at 10:57 AM on June 5, 2007


i'm ready to throw up my hands and say ok you crazy guys, kill as many people as you can (both sides)

After you've armed one side to the teeth?
posted by dreamsign at 10:58 AM on June 5, 2007


The Jews had a viable alternative to trying to establish their own state. Western Europe & the USA.

bornjewish, enough trolling, we know your stance. If you want to ask questions, at least follow the links.

The United States allowed less than 80,000 Jewish displaced persons into the US before 1952. The rest of the world allowed less than 20,000 Jews in total.
posted by blahblahblah at 11:04 AM on June 5, 2007


Blah,

If you are going to attempt to colonize others by force, you can also attempt other things. Liking walking west into France et al instead of south to boats.

I am aware of the information in the links you gave, but I don't see how that justifies your conclusion.
posted by bornjewish at 11:11 AM on June 5, 2007


The history and religion of the Jewish people demanded that their state be located in the land of their ancestors, in the land to which they were bound by a covenant between themselves and their Creator.

I realize this is a quote from a book, but it is precisely this turn of phrase that complicates things. History and religion cannot make demands. Only living people can make demands.

Furthermore, history does not exist in any real sense. It's a story that is shaped by the teller to suit his present time. Where can I go to find 18th century Vienna?

right to exist.

This is another nonsensical phrase, as is its negative. A right to exist? Does an electron have a right to exist? Does a chicken? Where does this right accrue from, God? The United Nations? And so what if Israel has a right to exist or doesn't? Who defends the rights of nations?

It doesn't matter what the Bible or the Torah or the Book of Ancient Whatever says about a particular piece of real estate.

But the problem is that it matters very much to some people. - three blind mice


This is very true, but those people should be led, not followed, and certainly not pandered to. In retrospect, we in America should have known we were headed for disaster when Bush was asked "Who is your favorite political philosopher?" and he answered "Jesus Christ". Because everyone should know by know he doesn't believe this, but he knew it would be a big hit with precisely the wrong segment of the population.
posted by Pastabagel at 11:14 AM on June 5, 2007


A troll is someone who intentionally posts derogatory or otherwise inflammatory messages about sensitive topics in an established online community such as an online discussion forum to bait users into responding.

I said nothing derogatory nor inflammatory.
I had no intent to bait anyone.
posted by bornjewish at 11:16 AM on June 5, 2007


Rights as a concept only have meaning when they are balanced with an equal measure of duty. If you have a right to speak, you have a duty not to silence others. If you have a right to property, you have a duty not to take what is not yours. If you have a right to exist...
posted by vbfg at 11:22 AM on June 5, 2007


Pbagel,

I agree in spirit, in general.

I take issue with only one thing, the sentence about Bush "Not believing" what he said.

I am of the opinion that Bush is quite honest.
Dumb, ignorant & foolish, but honest.

I think he meant that about Jesus.
posted by bornjewish at 11:29 AM on June 5, 2007


Far be it from me at this post to enter the fray but I would like to note but one thing:
When Palestinian militants attack Israel with rockets, and Israel retaliates, we always hear an outcry about innocent civilians being hurt or killed. Why is it that in the two weeks of the Lebanese army lobbing shells into the Palesinian refugee camp and killing innocent Palestinian refugees, not one outcry about harming innocents? What accounts for this? Where is the Left, in their righteous indignation? Where is the arab media? Are those Palestinians ok to slaughter?

ps: it was the UN that sanctioned the right of the Arabs and the Jews in the region to have a state (2); previous to that, there was ONLY the British Mandate (which the Brits gave up)' previous to that, the land was controlled by the Ottoman Empire. There was NO Jewish state and NO Palestinian state before 1948. (I do not here refer back to the Jews of biblical times but refer only to modern times).
posted by Postroad at 11:31 AM on June 5, 2007


I remember the Six-Day War. My father's unit spent the week hanging out at the Frankfurt airport with their gear loaded on planes. The wives ran two convoys daily from Kaiserslautern to the airport bringing in fresh coffee & baked goodies, cigarettes, comic books, razor blades... Then it was all over. Except, as has been pointed out, it'll never be over.
posted by taosbat at 11:38 AM on June 5, 2007


People seem to be forgetting that Jordan had annexed the West Bank in 1950 (and only gave up the claim in 1988 after the beginning of the start of the first intifada in 1987). When Israel attacked it was not to enslave the Palestinians but to hold land from Jordan which they could then give back in exchange for security concessions.

The Jordanians rather took the opportunity to rid themselves of the Palestinians (who they never really liked) and joined up with the rest of the Arab League to issue the Khartoum Resolution with the three nos: No peace, no negotiation, no Israel.

Instead of having a platform to negotiate with Israel was left holding the West Bank/Gaza with no one willing to talk to them so they could reach a deal.

The Arab governments were no doubt overjoyed. They could wash their hands clean of the Palestinians (except during incidents like Black September, when 8000 Palestinians were killed by the Jordanian Army) while turning them into political pawns to placate any uprisings in their own country.

The fact is that despite the billions of oil wealth that flows through Arab countries in the Mid-East, Palestinian civil society has received more funding from the US/EU than from the Arab states. Why would those government help build hospitals and schools or to help lay the foundation for a viable Palestinian state when it is against their political interest?
posted by PenDevil at 11:40 AM on June 5, 2007 [4 favorites]


If you are going to attempt to colonize others by force, you can also attempt other things. Liking walking west into France et al instead of south to boats.

Jesus fracking...

Walking West to France? From which many of them had been loaded into train cars and shipped to concentration camps? That France?
posted by rtha at 11:55 AM on June 5, 2007


PenD,

Another "True but irrelevant" bit from a partisan of one of the two sides.

Identities like Jordanian, Palestinian, Syrian, etc. are fairly meaningless.

Jews made a large number of Arabs stateless, by force. The Arabs don't like that. And, while looking after their own individual interests first, they do what they can to help their fellow Arabs.

Your claim that Israel took the West Bank "to hold land from Jordan which they could then give back in exchange for security concessions" is unsubstantiated.

It seems to me that they took it because it had "Biblical value". Surely the weak Jordanian state was not a threat to mighty Israel.
posted by bornjewish at 11:55 AM on June 5, 2007


Walking West to France? From which many of them had been loaded into train cars and shipped to concentration camps? That France?

You say it like it wasn't the Germans who ran the camps and rounded up the victims.
posted by Pope Guilty at 12:06 PM on June 5, 2007


Rtha,

Yup France. And eventually on to England, the USA, the Low countries, Spain, etc. That was an option. No matter how you "Feel" about it.

A better option than forcible colonization of land they had no moral claim to, leading to endless violence in a land where no one wants them.

To Palestine? The place that they had been expelled from for cause 2,000 years ago? That Palestine?

The claim of the Jews to the land of Israel cannot be a realistic political claim. If all nations would suddenly claim territories in which their forefathers had lived two thousand years ago, this world would be a madhouse. ... I believe that, politically speaking, there is only one solution for Israel, namely, the unilateral acknowledgement of the obligation of the State towards the Arabs — not to use it as a bargaining point, but to acknowledge the complete moral obligation of the Israeli State to its former inhabitants of Palestine.
Erich Fromm, noted JEWISH thinker
posted by bornjewish at 12:07 PM on June 5, 2007


Metafilter: once it's operational two trains packed with commuters will slam into each other.

Note: The idea of forming a Jewish state somewhere other than Palestine was considered by the leaders of the Zionist movement and ultimately rejected. Going to Uganda was supported by a majority vote at one point, though pursuing that option would have split the Zionist movement.

It's hard to believe that any place on earth could accept the carve-out of a new state and the displacement of the locals without violence ensuing, except possibly Saskatchewan.
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 12:10 PM on June 5, 2007


Several letters have been received by me asking me to declare my views about the Arab-Jew question in Palestine and persecution of the Jews in Germany. It is not without hesitation that I venture to offer my views on this very difficult question. My sympathies are all with the Jews. I have known them intimately in South Africa. Some of them became life-long companions. Through these friends I came to learn much of their age-long persecution. They have been the untouchables of Christianity [...] But my sympathy does not blind me to the requirements of justice. The cry for the national home for the Jews does not make much appeal to me. The sanction for it is sought in the Bible and the tenacity with which the Jews have hankered after return to Palestine. Why should they not, like other peoples of the earth, make that country their home where they are born and where they earn their livelihood? Palestine belongs to the Arabs in the same sense that England belongs to the English or France to the French. It is wrong and inhuman to impose the Jews on the Arabs. What is going on in Palestine today cannot be justified by any moral code of conduct.
Mahatma Gandhi
posted by bornjewish at 12:14 PM on June 5, 2007


MarshallPoe: you shouldn't feel bad about that. It is compassion fatigue, and a very real phenomenon. It doesn't make you a bad person. It just makes you a person.

And blahblahblah: thanks as usual for your worthwhile contributions.

Now excuse me why I go make a username called BornMac and make a bunch of "Apple sucks" posts.
posted by dios at 12:20 PM on June 5, 2007 [1 favorite]


Gandhi was the same imbecile that said the Jews going to the gas chambers should practise non-violent resistence. "Palestine" belongs to the Jews in the same way as....etc etc. After all, there were Jews there before there was a Muslim faith. Why should the white man take over what is now N. America and confine the natives to reservations? In fact the mess we have now in the world began with the breakup of the British Empire:
India b ecame Pakistan/India, and The Brits gave up the Mandate which had controlled the inhabitants of the region.
posted by Postroad at 12:20 PM on June 5, 2007


In fact the mess we have now in the world began with the breakup of the British Empire

I think you meant with the start of the British Empire.
posted by chunking express at 12:26 PM on June 5, 2007


Gandhi was also a racist who slept with underage girls. I don't think I'd point to him as a source of information regarding morality.
posted by Pope Guilty at 12:26 PM on June 5, 2007


That's coincidence resulting from us colonizing only interesting places. Think on, France.
posted by vbfg at 12:28 PM on June 5, 2007


Post,

Imagine if the Jews simply refused to get in the trains, refused to go to the stadiums for "Selections".
No means of sanitary disposal of million of bodies for the Germans. They will need a new plan.

Imbecile indeed!

===

True, there were Jews in the levant before there was a Muslim faith. But not before there were "Semites other than Jews" (Which we now call "Arabs")

Semites other than Jews lived in the Levant for thousands of years before the Davidic state.

And what of Erich Fromm's words? Was he an imbecile too?

===

The colonization of the New world with Indian massacres was a huge crime. So was the creation of Israel.
posted by bornjewish at 12:30 PM on June 5, 2007


Now excuse me why I go make a username called BornMac and make a bunch of "Apple sucks" posts.

Dios wins.
posted by fingers_of_fire at 12:31 PM on June 5, 2007 [2 favorites]


Pope,

On Underage girls:
This is individual morality. Not the wider political morality in which Gandhi is a recognized authority.
See "Bill Clinton" and I don't care about sex flaps.

On Racism:
Some of Gandhi's early South African writings are controversial. As reproduced in "The Collected Works of Mahatma Gandhi," (Vol. 8, p.120), Gandhi wrote in the "Indian Opinion" in 1908 of his time in a South African prison: "Many of the native prisoners are only one degree removed from the animal and often created rows and fought among themselves." Also as reproduced in "The Collected Works of Mahatma Gandhi," (Vol. 2, p.74), Gandhi gave a speech on September 26, 1896 in which he refered to the "raw kaffir, whose occupation is hunting and whose sole ambition is to collect a certain number of cattle to buy a wife with, and then pass his life in indolence and nakedness". The term "Kaffir" is considered a derogatory term today (it is worth noting, however, that during Gandhi's time, the term "Kaffir" had a different connotation than its present-day usage). Remarks such as these led some South Africans to accuse Gandhi of racism.

Two professors of history who specialize in South Africa, Surendra Bhana and Goolam Vahed, examined this controversy in their text, The Making of a Political Reformer: Gandhi in South Africa, 1893–1914. (New Delhi: Manohar, 2005). They focus in Chapter 1, "Gandhi, Africans and Indians in Colonial Natal" on the relationship between the African and Indian communities under "White rule" and policies which enforced segregation (and, they argue, inevitable conflict between these communities). Of this relationship they state that, "the young Gandhi was influenced by segegationist notions prevalent in the 1890s." At the same time, they state, "Gandhi's experiences in jail seemed to make him more sensitive to their plight [...] the later Gandhi mellowed; he seemed much less categorical in his expression of prejudice against Africans, and much more open to seeing points of common cause. His negative views in the Johannesburg jail were reserved for hardened African prisoners rather than African's generally."

Former President of South Africa Nelson Mandela is an advocate of Gandhi despite efforts in 2003 on the part of Gandhi's critics to prevent the unveiling of a statue of Gandhi in Johannesburg. Bhana and Vahed commented on the events surrounding the unveiling in the conclusion to The Making of a Political Reformer: Gandhi in South Africa, 1893–1914. In the section "Gandhi's Legacy to South Africa," they note that "Gandhi inspired succeeding generations of South African activists seeking to end White rule. This legacy connects him to Nelson Mandela [...] in a sense Mandela completed what Gandhi started." They continue by referring to the controversies which arose during the unveiling of the statue of Gandhi. In response to these two perspectives of Gandhi, Bhana and Vahed argue: "Those who seek to appropriate Gandhi for political ends in post- apartheid South Africa do not help their cause much by ignoring certain facts about him; and those who simply call him a racist are equally guilty of distortion." Indeed, Mandela took part in the 29 January - 30 January 2007 conference in New Delhi which marked the 100th anniversary of Gandhi's introduction of satyagraha in South Africa.
posted by bornjewish at 12:40 PM on June 5, 2007


One can not be "Born" an apple computer.

I have not said "Jews suck." Nor do I hold such an opinion.

My opinion is that BOTH SIDES are guilty of hideous crimes which they try to excuse with tales of victimization.

Only the lack of Arab partisans here has stopped me from saying things that could be taken for "Arabs suck."

Do I now have to go on about the barbarisms of the Arabs to confirm my neutrality on this issue?

How about this one: The Muslim civilization, grand as it was, invented NOTHING major. Arabic numerals come from India, for example.
posted by bornjewish at 12:45 PM on June 5, 2007


To Palestine? The place that they had been expelled from for cause 2,000 years ago? That Palestine?

Yeah, that Palestine, which none of the post-Holocaust Jews remembered being expelled from. Unlike France etc., which had not simply expelled them but had actually rounded them up and shipped them off to be killed, a few short years or less before.

Yup France. And eventually on to England, the USA, the Low countries, Spain, etc. That was an option. No matter how you "Feel" about it.

It's not about how I feel about it. It's about how they felt about it, then. They didn't feel safe going back to France or staying in Poland or Germany. They didn't see staying in Germany or going to France or the U.S. as an option (and as others have pointed out, restrictive immigration quotas often made it not an option).

I'm not defending (or advocating) anybody's idea of "right of return" or "historical homelands" or whatever. But your historical ignorance or blindness ("Why didn't they just go back to France?") is weird. Keep in mind that a lot of the Jews who stayed in Europe - who didn't even try to get out, despite pogroms and restrictive laws - stayed because they thought, but I'm German! (French, Polish, etc.). They stayed because it was home and had been for perhaps hundreds of years. "Home" not only kicked them out, it tried to kill them. The ones who survived must have figured, why the hell should I stay?
posted by rtha at 12:46 PM on June 5, 2007 [1 favorite]


Please continue without me.
I will be back tomorrow AM
posted by bornjewish at 12:46 PM on June 5, 2007


Please continue without me.
I will be back tomorrow AM


Quick, everybody HIDE!
posted by gwint at 12:48 PM on June 5, 2007 [1 favorite]


Child rape is "individual morality" that you don't care about? You're not secretly Hakim Bey, are you?

And you don't seriously believe that the Nazis wouldn't have simply shot Jews that "passively resisted", do you?
posted by Pope Guilty at 12:49 PM on June 5, 2007


How about this one: The Muslim civilization, grand as it was, invented NOTHING major. Arabic numerals come from India, for example.

If I wasn't convinced that you're a troll previously, I'm convinced now.
posted by Pope Guilty at 12:50 PM on June 5, 2007


bornjewish: why not just point out that postroad and pope's comments are ad hominem attacks? no need to waste energy fighting obvious logical errors on their own terms...

(as a friend of mine was fond of quoting: never argue with an idiot. he'll drag you down to his level, and then beat you with experience.)
posted by saulgoodman at 12:51 PM on June 5, 2007


Child rape is "individual morality" that you don't care about? You're not secretly Hakim Bey, are you?

my grandmother, in accordance with the customs of her day, married and had her first son at age 13. her first husband was an older, wealthier man, as was fairly common in those days. was he a child raper?

besides, what real evidence is there for these charges about gandhi and underage girls. i've heard them made a few times now, but never seen any specific claims or citations. can you elaborate pope guilty?
posted by saulgoodman at 12:55 PM on June 5, 2007


bornjewish: "And, while looking after their own individual interests first, they do what they can to help their fellow Arabs."

The Arab nations have done jack squat for the Palestinians. Jack. Squat. The amount of funding that from Arab states has been miniscule, barely tens of millions of dollars per year if even that. In 2002 the Arab league got together and pledged $55 million per month. Only Saudi Arabia regularly pays their share and I doubt they still do.

bornjewish: "Your claim that Israel took the West Bank "to hold land from Jordan which they could then give back in exchange for security concessions" is unsubstantiated."

From Chaim Herzog's (who was military commander of the West Bank after the war) memoirs:
On June 19, 1967, the National Unity Government [of Israel] voted unanimously to return the Sinai to Egypt and the Golan Heights to Syria in return for peace agreements. The Golans would have to be demilitarized and special arrangement would be negotiated for the Straits of Tiran. The government also resolved to open negotiations with King Hussein of Jordan regarding the Eastern border.
posted by PenDevil at 1:00 PM on June 5, 2007


I believe Ghandi was great man. What he did worked for dealing with the British. But his statement about the gas chambers was totally wrongheaded. As for Jews resisting going on the trains, as noted above: you should read up on this period. The Jews did not know they were going to camps to be gassed.
It is true that there were Arabs and Jews living in the region side by side for many years. It is also true that the UN accepted the rule over the Mandate and followed what had been suggested: two states for the two peoples. Jews were in the area. Arabs were in the area. There was often friction between each group and friction with the British. But whereas many arabs sided with the Axis, the Jews sided with the Brits (allies) and formed a brigade to fight the axis under Allied control . There were some 750 thousand Jews kicked out of arab lands in which they had lived for years and years. Many or most came to Israel. Those refugess lost everything and got nothing for their losses. They are not asking for and of course would not get a Right of Return or even compensation for what was taken from them.

I believe Israel made a big mistake in allowing taken territories to be used for settlements. I believe too that the arabs made a big mistake in not forming their own state but instead attacking Israel. But that is over and done with and now the two sides need to work something out, somehow.
posted by Postroad at 1:26 PM on June 5, 2007


Are we all really falling into this trap again? Appeals to authority of Jewish thinkers and Ghandi, claims about which "civilization" contributed more etc. Comparisons of the current situation to world war II, that supermassive black hole at the center of the internet into which all political discourse must fall..

It does not matter what happened 40 years ago or 60 years ago or 5000 years ago, because it does not matter what happened a week ago. All these treaties and negotiations about who gets what and conditions for transfer etc mean precisely zero. That's fodder for Fox News and the National Review. That's the stuff Americans are supposed to be talking about so we don't start asking tough questions.

Are there any merits to claims of oppression? Forget for a second whether the violence is the properly response to oppression, just answer the question. Are palestinians in the occupied territories being oppressed. Do they have rights? Do they have due process and equal protection under the law? There are stories in Haaretz from time to time that indicate something of a defacto apartheid system at work in Israel. Is there any truth to this? Are arabs/ non-jews denied equal protection and due process on a frequent basis in some places in Israel in fact? Are there still institutionalized elements in the society that make life more difficult for them, in much the same way that after fighting a civil war, the 13th-15th amendments, and scores of Supreme Court cases, blacks still faced segregation in the South? Please don't respond with "there are more Arabs in the Israeli parliament..." because that statement is light-bendingly moronic. W.E.B. DuBois went to Harvard, but that doesn't mean that blacks had equal opportunity for education in the 19th century.

The Palestinians need to address their institutionalized hatred. Why are Palestinian kids becoming suicide bombers? What is the psychology at work there? Does anyone know? Has anyone studied it objectively? What has permitted a social mechanism to be created and sustained in the occupied territories which is able to identify or select out possible bomber candidates, train them, and dispatch them, without fear or retribution in the community?

Israel cannot be responsible for everything. If psych studies revealed that suicide bombers were horribly abused as children, sexually or physically, would anyone be surprised? Are there systemic dysfunctions in Arab society or Palestinian arab society that are producing sociopaths and psychopaths way out of proportion to the size of the population?

Or is this some taboo we aren't supposed to talk about? Isn't childhood abuse the first thing any competent psychologist checks for when dealing with a suicidal or psychotic patient?

The military prides itself on its ability to break down recruits and build them up as disciplined soldiers. The military does it which extreme physical exertion, structure, and discipline. Why would we expect the apparatus producing suicide bombers to be any different? Except perhaps they seek out kids who are already broken down emotionally by their parents from abuse, and then they build them up to think they will be martyrs.

So many of these rallies in the territories are all-male testosterone-fests. To what extent is sexual repression, and repression of women exacerbating the rage and the mob rule? To paraphrase Orwell, when you're having sex, you aren't thinking about politics.

Are we going to address any of this stuff, or are we going to continue to argue over Biblical maps, trade token dissidents of each ethnicity like baseball cards, and move settlements around like houses on Boardwalk and Park Place? Are we going to grow up and deal with these problems, or are we going to nod and accept the Fox News framing of the conflict. "Homicide bombers" indeed.
posted by Pastabagel at 1:56 PM on June 5, 2007 [2 favorites]


It does not matter what happened 40 years ago or 60 years ago or 5000 years ago, because it does not matter what happened a week ago. All these treaties and negotiations about who gets what and conditions for transfer etc mean precisely zero. That's fodder for Fox News and the National Review. That's the stuff Americans are supposed to be talking about so we don't start asking tough questions.

What privileged nonsense.

Earlier this thread was reminding me of Native land claims and now it does more than ever. "Just get on with it. You're living in the past." Well if I stole your title deed a week ago, Pastabagel, you'd be living in the past, too, right up the courthouse steps.
posted by dreamsign at 2:01 PM on June 5, 2007


Ghandi did not screw young girls. he slept naked bewteen two of them to test his chastity! Putz.
...On the advice of white promoters of Gandhi, black clergy and civil rights leaders traveled to India to seek Gandhi’s advice about solving the problem of segregation and civil rights of blacks. How little did they know that Gandhi regarded the black people slightly above the animal level? Moreover, they were ignorant of the fact that caste system was originally imposed, as racial discrimination (Varna Ashrama Dharma) similar to the Apartheid system, on the black natives of India by their Caucasian conquerors. But later on due to emergence of new racial groups due to miscegenation between the two groups, Varna Ashrama Dharma evolved into caste system tied to hereditary occupations. Untouchabilty is as integral a part of Hindu faith as anti- Semitism of the Nazis. It is noteworthy that not a single black leader met Dr. B. R. Ambedkar – M. A. and Ph.D. degrees from Columbia University, M.Sc. and D.Sc. degrees from London University and Bar-at-Law from Grey’s Inn, London - who was the undisputed leader of the Untouchables at that time. Gandhi propaganda machine manipulated the visit of black leaders, as it did not want them to find truth about Gandhi’s views on the caste system. "I believe in Varnashrama (caste system) which is the law of life. The law of Varna (color and / or caste) is nothing but the law of conservation of energy. Why should my son not be scavenger if I am one? He, Shudra (lowest caste) may not be called a Brahmin (uppermost caste), though he (Shudra) may have all the qualities of a Brahmin in this birth. And it is a good thing for him (Shudra) not to arrogate a Varna (caste) to which he is not born. It is a sign of true humility."

In 1921, Gandhi delivered violent speeches inciting racial hatred against the British. During bloody demonstrations and riots against the visit of Prince of Wales, William Francis Doherty, an American citizen working in Bombay was murdered. Gandhi personally got involved in the cover up of this gruesome murder through bribery and intimidation, as he was concerned that the details of this murder would tarnish Gandhi’s image in the West.

It is a cruel joke and one of the biggest fabrications of the twentieth century that Gandhi won Indian freedom without spilling a drop of blood. The truth is that it was the devastating effect of World War II that forced the British government to dismantle its Colonial Empire. Moreover, it was Gandhi and his Hindu dominated Congress party that engineered the partition of the country on communal lines, as the Muslim dominant states stood in the way of high caste Hindus to set up their Ram Raj (mythical Hindu kingdom) based on caste ideology. Additionally, the Partition of India in 1947 is one of the major upheavals of the twentieth century. In the State of Punjab alone, 11-12 million people lost their homes and hearths where their ancestors had lived for centuries. May be as many as one million people perished in the communal frenzy and thousands of young women were kidnapped while Gandhi was reciting the murderous sermons from his favorite scripture – Bhagvad Gita. He kept insisting up to the last moment that the country would be partitioned only over his dead body!

The ascetic in loincloth used to sleep in buff with naked young girls to perform experiments to test his celibacy. Dr. Sushila Nayar told Ved Mehta that she used to sleep with Gandhi as she regarded him as a Hindu god. The man, who had taken vow of poverty, demanded and got even in jail the same comforts enjoyed by British high officials in India.

The "apostle of peace," who counseled a Jewish delegation" to oppose the evil of Nazism by "soul force" - by committing mass suicide, was all praise for annexing Kashmir by armed aggression.

He told his Sikh followers that rusty sword is useless in the age of Atom Bomb. ...http://www.sikhsundesh.net/gandhi.htm
posted by Postroad at 2:04 PM on June 5, 2007 [1 favorite]


Earlier this thread was reminding me of Native land claims and now it does more than ever. "Just get on with it. You're living in the past." Well if I stole your title deed a week ago, Pastabagel, you'd be living in the past, too, right up the courthouse steps.
posted by dreamsign at 5:01 PM on June 5


The title deed is precisely the instrument that let's me take you to the court in the civil law system. And to follow your analogy, if I do not take action to throw you off my land in 20 years, you get to keep it by adverse possession.

I don't take you to court because I believe we are proper ladies and gentlemen who will defer to the court's enlightened judgment. I take it to court is because the courts will order the police to physically remove you from the land.

There is no title deed for countries. There is no such international system. There is no court that will adjudicate the dispute and no world police to enforce it. Yes, the United States took land away from Native Americans. Yes, it was wrong. No, they aren't getting it back. That's reality. They have land claims, great. Who do they present those claims to? The government that took them in the first place?

There is no international legal authority. The UN is not a world congress, it can't make law. Parties can sign treaties, and they can break them too. It happens all the time.

Arguing about old claims is pointless because it doesn't matter at all if you are right. The only thing that matters is who is sitting on that land now and whether or not you can persuade them or force them to share it or leave it. Furthermore, most of the people alive today were not alive 40 years ago, and fewer still were alive 60 years ago.

I believe that most Israelis would be happy to share the country with Arabs, but I also believe the entrenched power interests are not, even though they are in the minority. I also believe that the palestinian people would rather work and live in Israel than overthrow it and replace it with a country that resembles Jordan.
posted by Pastabagel at 2:30 PM on June 5, 2007


Postroad: I'll have to research those topics for myself some other time. But talk about Gandhi's moral failings (whether real, exaggerated, or bogus) still misses the point. The specific assertion being made is this:

It is wrong and inhuman to impose the Jews on the Arabs. What is going on in Palestine today cannot be justified by any moral code of conduct.

Whether Gandhi said it, or whether Paris Hilton said it, the claim itself deserves consideration. What is the moral justification for the forcible creation of modern Israel? The old "the Jews needed somewhere to go after WWII where they could live in peace without fear of harm" rationale doesn't work, because A) Modern Israel obviously isn't any safer or more peaceful than Europe after the defeat of the Axis was likely to have been, B) one displaced populations' need for a homeland doesn't justify the displacement of another population from their existing homeland to make room for them.

The real problem is the Allies got cock
posted by saulgoodman at 2:46 PM on June 5, 2007 [1 favorite]


oops. that should read "the allies got cocky after WWII"
posted by saulgoodman at 2:47 PM on June 5, 2007


It was better the first way: "The real problem is the Allies got cock."
posted by taosbat at 3:10 PM on June 5, 2007


Dear Saulgoodman--The Jews did not singlehandedly create a state despite what the world (or the cocky Allies thought)...the area was a mess, in turmoil. The United Nations--the world's ruling body-- voted to allow for two states where there had been nothing whatsoever--no country, no state, only peoples living there--both arabs and Jews. They allowed for the two peoples to have two states in an area that was ruled by the British. Now Ghandi or Paris H. might not like this, but then why should what was one country--India--become two countries, India and Pakistan? We can not always do what Ghandi would like us to have done. The American South did not want to belong to the loosely confederated states, and they had the right to leave it...but Lincoln thought and said otherwise and the North imposed its will upon the South. I am and always have been a Yankee, lived up North and still do, but the south did have the right to leave. Our nation took most of Southern Calif and New Mexico and Texas from Mexico and we forced them to take our modest payment so we could keep it forever. Gen Grant as well as Thoreau said this was a bum war and that we were wrong. But so it was and so it now is...
posted by Postroad at 3:24 PM on June 5, 2007


Maimonides!
posted by greatgefilte at 3:45 PM on June 5, 2007 [1 favorite]


Excuse me. "WE are hypocrites..."

No, you got it right the first time.
posted by Krrrlson at 3:56 PM on June 5, 2007


Finally an internet discussion has solved the Israel-Palestine problem.
posted by sien at 4:01 PM on June 5, 2007


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_Mandate_of_Palestine
posted by Postroad at 4:11 PM on June 5, 2007


Pastabagel: I'm way too tired to respond in full (hint to self: I did not post comment in thread that I thought I remembered posting). A lot can be said on the failure to build capacity in international dispute mechanisms, but long argument short, I agree with you that, with this much at stake, no arbiter could resolve this dispute.

Even without, however, it is useless to tell people who each believe that they have a valid claim to forget the claim and try to live with the situation. This reminds me of the reaction of some to Native land claims in British Columbia, never settled, never ceded. "What are we going to give them Vancouver Island? They're living in the past. They should just settle once and for all." Of course had they done that in the past, they would have no claim at all now. (yes that is another case in which a court can rule, however the true claim is to land before the Crown which our courts do not have the power to grant, but here analogy slides into derail so I'll leave it) It's also remarkable that the west could act so definitively not so long ago (in the age of mandate) and today we balk at doing the same... except when we don't (conversations about Iraq). Is it that we no longer believe in paternalistic nation creation, or we just don't like to unravel messes we've gotten ourselves into?

The aforementioned comment I thought I posted was about the two-state solution, which I thought was supposed to be the original idea and Postroad recently mentioned. How was this allowed to fall by the wayside?

And now, sleep. Work. I mean work.
posted by dreamsign at 6:06 PM on June 5, 2007


No, you got it right the first time.


Aaaaaand... "scene."
posted by tkchrist at 6:07 PM on June 5, 2007


What really matters here is that "Six Days" by DJ Shadow (feat. Mos Def) is a really bitchin' tune.
posted by nightchrome at 7:56 PM on June 5, 2007


Fingers-of-fire: So, my question - your links are to extremist Jews and/or Israelis who advocate violence (indeed, extreme violence) as a means for dealing with the Palestinians. It's also not difficult to find similar propaganda on the part of the Palestinians. Why did you choose to only point to Jews who advocate violence? Do you think that the positions expressed in those links are mainstream in Israeli society?
I linked to an article that appeared in the Jerusalem Post! thinking that it is as mainstream the LA Times. my other link was an article by this guy: Ali Abunimah, a writer and commentator on Middle East and Arab-American affairs, lives in Chicago. His articles have appeared in The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, The Chicago Tribune, The Financial Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, The Jordan Times, Lebanon's Daily Star and Ha'aretz, among others. He is frequent guest on local, national and international radio and television, including public radio and television, CNN, MSNBC, Fox, the BBC and many others. Abunimah lectures frequently at colleges in the United States. He was born in the United States and grew up in Europe. Both of his parents are originally from Palestine. He received his BA from Princeton University and MA from the University of Chicago. Abunimah travels often to the Middle East and is a full-time researcher in social policy at the University of Chicago. Recent book contributions include "No Justice, No Peace," in "The Anti-Capitalism Reader," edited by Joel Schalit. New York: Akashic Books, 2002; "The US Media and the New Intifada" (with Hussein Ibish) in "The New Intifada," edited by Roane Carey. New York: Verso Books, 2001; "The Palestinian Right of Return" (with Hussein Ibish), Washington, DC: ADC, 2001; "The Media's Deadly Spin on Iraq" (with Rania Masri) in "Iraq Under Siege" edited by Anthony Arnove. Cambridge, MA: South End Press, 2002 (Updated Edition). who knew he was an extremist?
f-o-f :I am just curious. I suspect that you and I disagree on virtually all of this, and I'm not interested in beating a dead horse, I just want to know where you are coming from. Do you believe that the Israelis are bloodthirsty marauders who won't be satisfied until they've killed every last Palestinian?
I blame the British, for creating an infernal device to insure Armstrong and Vickers shareholders profit for generations. I wish the rabbis would just get it over with and admit that Mohammad was a prophet after all. I believe that every human being is a member of the Adam family.
posted by hortense at 12:10 AM on June 6, 2007


Just goes to show, Hortense, that even the most "Western" of pedigrees can lead one to positions, attitudes, viewpoints that are decidedly "un-Western". The Jerusalem Post is, in my opinion, mainstream - doesn't mean that it doesn't report on fringe people.
posted by fingers_of_fire at 7:18 AM on June 6, 2007


Dear Saulgoodman--The Jews did not singlehandedly create a state despite what the world (or the cocky Allies thought)...

didn't say 'the jews' singlehandedly created israel.

the area was a mess, in turmoil.

yeah, and all those ignorant savages who happened to be living there when the virginia company men first arrived in north america didn't know how to run things properly either.

funny how we didn't seem to dispute the existence of palestine back when this was written:

The Far East has its Mecca, Palestine its Jersualem, France its Lourdes, and Italy its Loretto, but America's only shrines are her altars of patriotism - the first and most potent being Jamestown; the sire of Virginia, and Virginia the mother of this great Republic.
-- from a 1907 Virginia guidebook

posted by saulgoodman at 7:18 AM on June 6, 2007


saulgoodman, my impression has always been that "Palestine" used to refer to a region. I'm sure Mark Twain recounted his visit to "Palestine" in Innocents Abroad. Doesn't mean that there was an internationally recognized state with a central government that oversaw the daily lives of its citizens and conducted affairs with the rest of the international community.

/speculation
posted by fingers_of_fire at 8:00 AM on June 6, 2007


Hi all, I'm back. Lot's of backlog for me to address, please excuse my volume here for a while.
posted by bornjewish at 8:01 AM on June 6, 2007


Pope,

Child rape is "individual morality" that you don't care about?
You say rape. Where is your evidence that it was non-consensual? Just because our society condemns all adult-child relationships does not mean all do. MLK was an adulterer, does that remove his authority on civil rights?

You don't seriously believe that the Nazis wouldn't have simply shot Jews that "passively resisted", do you?
The problem remains. 6 million corpses not close to ovens. Also, the brutality would have been OPEN. Average Germans would have had to look this in the eye. I am not saying it would have solved EVERYTHING, but it would have been better than the "tame cattle act" that occurred.

I "Bornjewish" said: The Muslim civilization, grand as it was, invented NOTHING major. Arabic numerals come from India, for example.
Pope replied: If I wasn't convinced that you're a troll previously, I'm convinced now.
Your feelings are not relevant. Does this claim make you emotional? Why? And can you refute it?

As saulgoodman (at 12:51 PM on June 5) pointed out, all you have here is Ad Hominem attacks. And his request for evidence is pointed as well.
posted by bornjewish at 8:03 AM on June 6, 2007


PenDevil said, at 1:00 PM on June 5 "The Arab nations have done jack squat for the Palestinians. Jack. Squat."
But your next sentence (about Arab funding) belies your claim. ANY funding is over the "Jack Squat" line. And they host them, and they give diplomatic support etc.

Chaim Herzog's words prove Jack Squat about the motivations for occupying the West Bank. Jack. Squat.
posted by bornjewish at 8:05 AM on June 6, 2007


Postroad,

I grew up on the Holocaust. I was born jewish after all. You did not need to know you were going specifically to a "Gas Chamber" to know that the men with guns loading you up weren't there for your health.

Arabs sided with the Axis for the same reason that the Chechens, the Romanians and the Ukrainians did. Hatred and fear of an Allied Power. Britain shafted the Arabs in the period after WWI and ruled over them. Why should they (From a moral standpoint) recognize the right of the UN to grant their land to anybody?

Saphardic Jews were expelled in retaliation for the Arab expulsion from Palestine. If you move UNINVITED into a region where Bears live, you have to expect to have trouble with Bears.

We BOTH believe that Israel made a big mistake in allowing taken territories to be used for settlements. We BOTH believe that the arabs made a big mistake in not forming their own state but instead attacking Israel.
posted by bornjewish at 8:07 AM on June 6, 2007


Pbagel,

Are we all really falling into this trap again? Appeals to authority of Jewish thinkers and Ghandi, claims about which "civilization" contributed more etc.
Not I. I do not present Fromm & Gandhi as "Proof" of their claims, only as proof that the claims of the Zionists are not unassailable, not anti-Semetic. I made the comment about Arab non-inventiveness for one reason only, to show that I was no "Arab Loving Self Hating Jew."

It does not matter what happened 40 years ago or 60 years ago or 5000 years ago, because it does not matter what happened a week ago.
I have to disagree strongly. The truth matters. You have a point in there, a good one, but you are overstating your case. Moreover, as dream sign said at 2:01 PM on June 5: If I stole your title deed a week ago you'd be living in the past, too, right up the courthouse steps.

Are there any merits to claims of oppression? Forget for a second whether the violence is the properly response to oppression, just answer the question.
That depends on your definition of "Merit." Such a claim may have a "Truth Value" that explains (NOT "Excuses"!) latter behavior. I desire to UNDERSTAND behavior and I find that people tend to explain their behavior in terms of "What other people did." Interestingly enough, they tend to explain the behavior of "Others" by means of claims about their "Essential natures." I majored in Psych, I can explain more about this fascinating dichotomy if you like.

Are palestinians in the occupied territories being oppressed.
Yes.

Do they have rights?
Your question is unclear, but: Yes, some, but they should have more.

Do they have due process and equal protection under the law?
No.

There are stories in Haaretz from time to time that indicate something of a defacto apartheid system at work in Israel. Is there any truth to this?
Yes.

Are arabs/ non-jews denied equal protection and due process on a frequent basis in some places in Israel in fact?
Yes.

Are there still institutionalized elements in the society that make life more difficult for them, in much the same way that after fighting a civil war, the 13th-15th amendments, and scores of Supreme Court cases, blacks still faced segregation in the South?
Yes.

Please don't respond with "there are more Arabs in the Israeli parliament..." because that statement is light-bendingly moronic.
Agreed.

The Palestinians need to address their institutionalized hatred.
So do Israelis. Have you seen the experiment where Israeli school kids excuse a massacre if the story is set "Biblically" but condemn the same actions if the setting is "China" or where ever?

Why are Palestinian kids becoming suicide bombers?
Hooboy, big question. Don't lose sight of the opposite question, Why do Zionists (From as early as the 1890's) see Arabs as unworthy of human rights?

"We must expropriate gently, the private property on the estates assigned to us. We shall try to spirit the penniless population across the frontier by denying it employment. Both the process of expropriation and the removal of the poor must be carried out discreetly and circumspectly."
Theodore Herzl, founder of the World Zionist Organization, speaking of the Arabs of Palestine, "Complete Diaries," 6/12/1895 entry.

The sole way for Jews to deal with Arabs in Palestine was through total avoidance of all attempts to arrive at a settlement"
Ze'ev Jabotinsky, 1923 A picture of Jabotinsky graced Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's desk.

"We must use terror, assassination, intimidation, land confiscation, and the cutting of all social services to rid the Galilee of its Arab population."
David Ben-Gurion, May 1948, to the General Staff. From Ben-Gurion, A Biography, by Michael Ben-Zohar, Delacorte, New York 1978


What is the psychology at work there? Does anyone know? Has anyone studied it objectively?
Good questions all.

What has permitted a social mechanism to be created and sustained in the occupied territories which is able to identify or select out possible bomber candidates, train them, and dispatch them, without fear or retribution in the community?
A lot of things, but mostly a 40 year long military occupation.

Israel cannot be responsible for everything.
Of course not. But it is responsible for THE BEGINNING of all this. Just as Arabs have no moral right to justify terror by prior Jewish injustice, so the Jews have no moral right to justify the crime of the creation of Israel by prior Nazi injustice, or a land claim of over 2,000 year vintage.

If psych studies revealed that suicide bombers were horribly abused as children, sexually or physically, would anyone be surprised?
Hmmn. You would need to show that this differed from the majority of the population. I would be surprised if there was a difference between Palestinians and Omanis on this issue.

Are there systemic dysfunctions in Arab society or Palestinian arab society that are producing sociopaths and psychopaths way out of proportion to the size of the population?
Well, there is one obvious systemic dysfunction: Military
Occupation. I would add to that "Religious Fundamentalism" of the kind that is endemic in Red States here as well.


Or is this some taboo we aren't supposed to talk about? Isn't childhood abuse the first thing any competent psychologist checks for when dealing with a suicidal or psychotic patient?
Talk. I would be stunned if Palestinians showed a greatly different pattern of childhood abuses than say Egyptians. I would expect a reasonable increase, due to "Trauma to the society". Just like you see with Vietnam vets, etc. But that is back on the Military Occupation...

The military prides itself on its ability to break down recruits and build them up as disciplined soldiers. The military does it with extreme physical exertion, structure, and discipline. Why would we expect the apparatus producing suicide bombers to be any different?
Because a normal military has open ranges to train on. These suicide bombers are produced clandestinely. Also, you have very different cultures involved. Just speculating.

Except perhaps they seek out kids who are already broken down emotionally by their parents from abuse, and then they build them up to think they will be martyrs.
I think there are enough kids who are already broken down emotionally by the military occupation, by seeing their fathers and brothers killed or arrested, their homes bulldozed, etc.

So many of these rallies in the territories are all-male
testosterone-fests. To what extent is sexual repression, and repression of women exacerbating the rage and the mob rule?
To a real and significant degree. But this is not the origin, because this is present in Egypt as well as Palestine.

Screw Fox News!!!
posted by bornjewish at 8:17 AM on June 6, 2007


Holy crap.
posted by Burhanistan at 8:21 AM on June 6, 2007


The Muslim civilization, grand as it was, invented NOTHING major.

what about optics and the scientific method?

not to mention their major influence on occitan literature ...

also, you should learn that ...

1 many of the wartime french cooperated with the germans in their extermination of french jews, so "walking to france" wasn't such a great sounding option

2 when you've been half starved to death in a concentration camp the last thing you want to do is "walk to france"

3 not all jews were expelled from palestine by the romans 2000 years ago and many of them lived in it throughout the years

4 if you're trying to argue something, it's important to have your facts straight
posted by pyramid termite at 8:25 AM on June 6, 2007


I am schooled!
Let me look at this Ibn al-Haytham bit longer.

Did this "Method" get passed on? Was he ignored until the West picked this up? Did the west invent it separately?

More important, How did I miss this guy for so long?
posted by bornjewish at 8:31 AM on June 6, 2007


But as for your other claims:

1 many of the wartime french cooperated with the germans in their extermination of french jews, so "walking to france" wasn't such a great sounding option.
Setting up camp in the Middle East isn't such a great option either. But BOTH are options. Pretending it wasn't an option is nonsense.

2 when you've been half starved to death in a concentration camp the last thing you want to do is "walk to france."
You will HAVE to walk somewhere. To the boats in the south, to France, to your old homestead now occupied by others, to where ever. No one was giving out rides.

3 not all jews were expelled from palestine by the romans 2000 years ago and many of them lived in it throughout the years.
Yes, a tiny minority.

4 if you're trying to argue something, it's important to have your facts straight.
Mostly, I do. But no one is perfect. What I do have going on is the ability to learn from new evidence.
posted by bornjewish at 8:36 AM on June 6, 2007


OK, I'll bite - bornjewish, regarding Muslim civilization - first, let me pre-emptively apologize if I am confusing Muslim civilization and Arab civilization - that said, if I'm not mistaken, algebra has it's roots (linguistically and otherwise) in Arab civilization. Secondly, personally speaking, I'm a big fan of Muslim architecture, having enjoyed it in Istanbul, Cairo, and Jerusalem. Mosques can be immensely beautiful structures - the calligraphy, even the call-to-prayer. Very serene. Third, sorry to be too lazy to look up the names, but I distinctily remember from the college days a couple of prominent Arab philosophers (even remember that their names begin with "A" - sorry to be incomplete about this). That's just off the top of my head. (Averroes was one of the philosophers, just came to me.) I'm sure there are countless other Arab contributions to the global culture.

But, more than any of this, bj, your comment is irredeemably troll-like because you seem to equate worth as a civilization with invention. That, I have to say, is in my opinion an extremely shallow perspective. For my money, the majority of Muslims are living their lives in meaningful, respectful, righteous ways, without hurting others. That, in and of itself, makes it a worthy civilization.
posted by fingers_of_fire at 8:53 AM on June 6, 2007


Setting up camp in the Middle East isn't such a great option either. But BOTH are options.

the fact is the west cynically sent off the jews to palestine because there was too much bad feeling in europe and america didn't feel like taking them all in at the time

you're deliberately missing my point about france, which was that many of the french had contributed to the holocaust or looked the other way

Yes, a tiny minority.

wrong

In 135, following the fall of a Jewish revolt led by Bar Kokhba in 132–135, the Roman emperor Hadrian expelled most Jews from Judea on the pain of death, leaving large Jewish populations in Samaria and the Galilee ... note that samaria and galilee ARE in palestine

In 352 CE, a Jewish revolt against Byzantine/Roman rule in Tiberias and other parts of the Galilee was brutally suppressed.

funny how a "tiny minority" keeps revolting

In year 438 CE, Empress Eudocia allows Jews to return to Jerusalem to live.

and so on and so forth ... the point being is that jews remained in palestine as a minority all along

how does this justify anything today? ... well, it really doesn't ... but if you're going to talk about this mess it helps not to make ignorant statements

as for me, i think it's pretty much hopeless

on preview

But, more than any of this, bj, your comment is irredeemably troll-like because you seem to equate worth as a civilization with invention.

i note that the reference to literature went right over his head
posted by pyramid termite at 8:57 AM on June 6, 2007


OK Ibn al-Haytham,

Careful reading leaves my original claim still defensible.

My current understanding is:
Ibn al-Haytham did not "Invent" Optics nor the Scientific Method. He was important in their development. Neither subject was "Invented" by a single person or culture.

Ibn al-Haytham built on the Greeks. Bacon, Newton & Kepler built on Ibn al-Haytham.

But this is off course. I only mentioned this invention thing to demonstrate that I was not a "Muslim loving, self hating Jew" who takes the Arab side in all things due to an emotional bias.
posted by bornjewish at 9:01 AM on June 6, 2007


Why didn't you just say that then instead of a long winded rant that is really difficult to read?
posted by Burhanistan at 9:04 AM on June 6, 2007


As for Arab support - or lack thereof - for the Palestinian cause, I confess that I have no numbers to back up my case. Let's suppose that PenDevil's figure of 55 million from Saudi Arabia is accurate. That is, IN CONTEXT, jack squat. Jack. Squat. Remember that this is a country (S.A, that is) that is sitting on the vast majority of the planet's oil wealth. And they bemoan the sad fate that has fallen upon their Palestinain brethren. And, in fact, they use the specter of the evil Zionist entity to rally their citizenry behind their totalitarian leadership. Um, how 'bout building some fucking hospitals in Gaza? How 'bout building some roads, some infrastructure? How 'bout using some of the untold TRILLIONS of oil revenue to relieve some of the suffering of their poor, beleagured Palestinian friends?

The problem is that the dictatorial Arab regimes DEPEND on the suffering of the Palestinians to help support their own power. They don't give a fuck about the Palestinian cause except insofar as it helps them. 55 million from Saudi Arabia, in context, is Jack Squat. How much does the US give Egypt? I always thought it was upwards of $1 Billion with a b.

Cheers,

-fof
posted by fingers_of_fire at 9:04 AM on June 6, 2007


I ignored the reference to literature as not germaine to my claim. Which had nothing to do with "Worth as a civilization."

That is your inference, not my implication.

I only mentioned this invention thing to demonstrate that I was not a "Muslim loving, self hating Jew" who takes the Arab side in all things due to an emotional bias.

NOT, repeat NOT, to denigrate the fabulous Caliphates at Bagdad and Cordoba. Their contributions to "The Arts" was huge, and not even vaguely related to my comment.
posted by bornjewish at 9:05 AM on June 6, 2007


The problem is that the dictatorial Arab regimes DEPEND on the suffering of the Palestinians to help support their own power. They don't give a f*&* about the Palestinian cause except insofar as it helps them.

True enough. The KSA tries to walk a somewhat narrow line between showing a loyal front to the Palestinians but not too much actual support so they can keep all their complex, somewhat under the table, dealings with the Israelis intact.
posted by Burhanistan at 9:10 AM on June 6, 2007


And back to your points termite:

the fact is the west cynically sent off the jews to palestine
The fact is that no one forced the Jews to go to those boats. The fact is that they COULD have walked west instead of south. Your point that French people contributed to the German holocaust was ignored because it does not make walking to France "Not an option." It only makes it an option that Jews didn't like at the time.

A tiny minority, in the Ottoman Levant. I was not speaking of the late Roman period.
posted by bornjewish at 9:11 AM on June 6, 2007


Burhan,

I did "Just say that" when I said it.
The wind is elsewhere in my windy posts.
posted by bornjewish at 9:16 AM on June 6, 2007


I believe that the Saudi attempt to "Keep communications with Israel open" is not "Evidence of disdain for the Palestinians" but rather "Evidence that they believe that communications, not force, is the way to peace in the region."

Both opinions are naught but speculation...

But I think that the weak Saudi military and the strong Saudi economy (Relative to other Arab economies) supports my interpretation.

I gotta go get some work done today!
posted by bornjewish at 9:27 AM on June 6, 2007


I don't think the Saudis have disdain for the Palestinians. I just think they don't care about them at all - unless they can be used as a political tool to help strengthen themselves.
posted by fingers_of_fire at 9:32 AM on June 6, 2007


I ignored the reference to literature as not germaine to my claim.

because you know everything that is germaine to your claim that arabic civilization invented nothing, right?

and literature never involves invention, right?

Their contributions to "The Arts" was huge, and not even vaguely related to my comment.

you were wrong, just admit it

The fact is that no one forced the Jews to go to those boats.

the fact is that for a middle class person typing on a computer in a comfortable home you "know" an awful lot about what a concentration camp survivor's "options" are

here, kid, read some more history ... and note that nowhere does it say that they "walked" to those boats
posted by pyramid termite at 9:39 AM on June 6, 2007


Termite:

Inventions are scientific, not literature, in my usage. You removed the word "Major" from my words. You insist I meant arts and such. Kid, you warp my intentions into your own little horror, you can pretend to yourself that I meant what you want me to mean, but you can't make me believe it.

Literature can be inventive, but it is not what I was speaking of. You can call me a liar or you can accept my meanings for my words.

Did the boats walk to them?
posted by bornjewish at 9:49 AM on June 6, 2007


Also, please note my very first response to your posting...

I am schooled!
Let me look at this Ibn al-Haytham a bit longer.

Hardly the words of one who thinks they know everything.
posted by bornjewish at 9:53 AM on June 6, 2007


Termite:

From your source: In late 1945, the UNRRA conducted several surveys among Jewish refugees, asking them to list their preferred destination for emigration. Among one population of 19,000, 18,700 named "Palestine" as their first choice, and 98% also named "Palestine" as their second choice. At the camp in Fürth, respondents were asked not to list Palestine as both their first and second choice, and 25% of the respondents then wrote "crematorium."

It seems that they were being given choices!
And that, just like some Palestinians, they seemed to prefer death to not getting "their" land back.

Funny how in the case of the Jews this is seen as "Heroic" while in the case of the Arabs it is seen as "Pigheaded."
posted by bornjewish at 10:03 AM on June 6, 2007


I thought you said you had work to do...
posted by Burhanistan at 10:03 AM on June 6, 2007


I know, I know...

BUT... Termite's misreading of my intent bothered me.
posted by bornjewish at 10:24 AM on June 6, 2007


...ignoring the above troll-a-ganza, but returning to the original topic, for those interested:

Olmert and Haniyeh write editorials for the Guardian.

Yediot Aharonot's coverage of the anniversary. Al Jazeerah's coverage. Slate's slant about Egypt.
posted by blahblahblah at 11:29 AM on June 6, 2007


that there was an internationally recognized state with a central government that oversaw the daily lives of its citizens and conducted affairs with the rest of the international community.

well, since there really was no "international community" that went around recognizing states until the UN came along shortly before this whole mess started up (i suppose there was the league of nations before that, but even that only went back another 20 years or so), i guess you're technically right. but forgive me if i don't abandon my view that the whole thing looks suspiciously like a game of high-stakes calvin-ball, with the US in the role of the kid making up the rules as he goes.
posted by saulgoodman at 11:34 AM on June 6, 2007


must...resist...engaging...in...this...ohfuckit.

The fact is that they COULD have walked west instead of south.

But they didn’t, and there are reasons for that.

You’ve said upthread that it doesn’t matter what I or other commenters “feel”, or the Jews at the time “felt”, about European Jews leaving Europe for Palestine. In fact, you said The fact that many Jews "Felt" that they had no choice is irrelevant. – well, no, it isn’t. Given what they’d nearly not lived through, it’s entirely relevant that they didn’t see France/Germany/Poland as options. You seem to “feel” that they should have seen those places as options, regardless of the post-war pogroms and the extremely recent evidence that, hi, France/Germany/Poland didn’t want them.

I reckon if you’re entitled to your “feelings” about what they should have done, then the rest of us are entitled to our (historically based) feelings on why they didn’t just walk West, or stay in Germany or Poland or Hungary or Austria.

From pyramid termite’s link above:
The number of refugees in the Sh'erit ha-Pletah continued to grow as displaced Jews who were in Western Europe at war's end were joined by hundreds of thousands of refugees from Eastern Europe. Many of these had returned to their erstwhile homes to a hostile reception among their non-Jewish neighbors. Vigilantes in Poland held often murderous anti-Jewish riots in Cracow on August 20, 1945, Sosnowiec October 25, Lublin November 19, and most notably in Kielce on July 4, 1946, the Kielce pogrom.

(emphasis mine.)
posted by rtha at 11:35 AM on June 6, 2007


rtha: well, why didn't we allow the refugees to immigrate to the US? we could have handled the population growth in those days.
posted by saulgoodman at 11:40 AM on June 6, 2007


saulgoodman - countries certainly did have agreements and treaties with one another - just because there was no centralized international body like the UN doesn't mean that, in practice, there wasn't an international community. That's what I was referring to when I argued that "Palestine" used to be a region more than a country.

It's also worth noting that, as soon as the UN did come into being, it recognized Israel's existence.
posted by fingers_of_fire at 11:40 AM on June 6, 2007


It's also worth noting that, as soon as the UN did come into being, it recognized Israel's existence.

Well, of course it did! Ha!

Can you definitively say no one ever asked it to recognize Palestine's?
posted by saulgoodman at 11:45 AM on June 6, 2007


nope - not professing to be an expert at all. Although you ask a fascinating question. First of all, my understanding is that it was by no means clear that the UN would recognize Israel. When it did, unsurprisingly the Arab contingents stormed out in protest and vowed to never honor that UN resolution.

But if Palestine, the STATE of Palestine, existed at the time, why didn't some one ask that it be recognized? Indeed, why were there not already Palestinian ambassadors to the UN? Or, if the UN WAS asked to recognize the state of Israel, why didn't it? This was in 1947/8, remember - when Truman's wife wouldn't allow Jews into their home, when Marshall, Truman's sec of state, vowed that if Truman recognized Israel, Marshall would break ranks and contest him in the next election.

The point being that Israel did not have nearly the lobbying influence in Washington that it has today. In fact, systemic anti-semitism was not uncommon.
posted by fingers_of_fire at 11:59 AM on June 6, 2007


er, make that - "Or, if the UN WAS asked to recognize the state of PALESTINE, why didn't it?"

sorry...
posted by fingers_of_fire at 12:00 PM on June 6, 2007


rtha: well, why didn't we allow the refugees to immigrate to the US? we could have handled the population growth in those days.

Because they weren't allowed to due to anti-antisemitism and isolationism from The Aftermath:
...On August 16, Truman announced that he would ask Congress to pass legislation allowing an unspecified number of DPs into the United States. While he thought of permission for 300,000 people, he did not disclose the number publicly. His decision to keep silent on the exact figure was wise. When the American public was asked in late August whether they agreed with Truman's proposal to let more Jews and other European refugees into the United States, 72 percent were against it; 16 percent approved; and 12 percent had no opinion...

...Between this legislation and the Truman directive, less than 100,000 Jews reached the United States. More might have come to the United States had it not been for Patrick McCarran, senior senator from Nevada. As chairman of the Senate judiciary Committee, McCarran successfully delayed DP legislation so that by the time the DP law was ratified and the Jews were permitted to enter the United States, most had already left for Israel and other countries. McCarran opposed this legislation because he was an isolationist, did not like Jews, and did not get along with his fellow Democrat, President Truman...
And, again, this whole line of questioning is rather weird. The Zionist movement started in the 1800s as a reaction to anti-Semitism, not as a religious movement. The Zionists were proven exactly right by the Holocaust - it wasn't just the Nazis who attacked Jews, civilians and neighbors of Jews carried out massacres in Romania (see the Iasi pogrom), Hungary, Poland, and many other locations, often without any Nazi help. The French, Italians, and the Low Countries all cooperated with the Nazis. And after the way NOBODY wanted the refugees.

How can anybody second-guess their decision to migrate to Palestine, where the British had promised them a homeland, and were there was actually a surviving Jewish community. This was not a premeditated colonial act to displace the Palestinians, it was the only option available for many, and the only option that made sense for everyone else, in light of World War II. We can all be frustrated and saddened by the problems of the Middle East, and be angry at any or all the actors for failing to resolve these concerns, but the whole line of "the Jews should have gone somewhere else" involves the strangest failure to read history that I could imagine.
posted by blahblahblah at 12:07 PM on June 6, 2007


blahblahblah: well, i think part of the 'misreading of history' you allude to stems from the fact that discussions of alternate locations for a possible jewish homeland actually took place at the time. I don't think you can really argue that the historical participants in such discussions were misreading history, but feel free to.

This was not a premeditated colonial act to displace the Palestinians, it was the only option available for many, and the only option that made sense for everyone else, in light of World War II.

Then why were people living in the region forced to abandon their homes to make room for the new settlers?
posted by saulgoodman at 12:14 PM on June 6, 2007


rtha,

My feelings are as irrelevant as yours or anybody else's. I do not "Feel" that walking west was an option, I know it was. There was no wall. They had feet. There is no arguing that.

I did not say word one about "What they SHOULD have done." I only pointed out what they COULD have done.

I am not ignoring the fact that France didn't want them, I am only contrasting that with the fact that the Arabs didn't want them either.

In hindsight, it is clear that moving west was the better option for practical reasons. In real time, it was clear that moving west was the more moral option, as it didn't include dispossessing others.
posted by bornjewish at 12:21 PM on June 6, 2007


Blah,

The whole "How dare you second guess..." attitude is the problem here.

No prior victimization gives one the right to victimize othersPERIOD

And don't tell me that the Jewish Leadership didn't know.

Herzl wrote in his diary: "We must expropriate gently the private property on the state assigned to us. We shall try to spirit the penniless population across the border by procuring employment for it in the transit countries, while denying it employment in our country. The property owners will come over to our side. Both the process of expropriation and the removal of the poor must be carried out discretely and circumspectly.

And lastly...
A troll is someone who intentionally posts derogatory or otherwise inflammatory messages about sensitive topics in an established online community such as an online discussion forum to bait users into responding.

I said nothing derogatory nor inflammatory.
I had no intent to bait anyone.
posted by bornjewish at 12:30 PM on June 6, 2007


Then why were people living in the region forced to abandon their homes to make room for the new settlers?

Saul, I think you are confusing timelines:

Before the 1948 War, nobody abandoned any homes. The Jews settled in land they bought - they owned half of the urban land, half the rural built-up land, and a small portion of the rural landscape (less than 10% of the total land). In 1945 there were 1,061,270 Muslims, 553,600 Jews, and 135,550 Christians in Palestine. There was no forced colonization.

In 1948, UN voted to divide the Mandate into Palestine and Israel. On that day, the Arab armies rejected the plan and invaded, ultimately resulting Israel's victory over an expanded amount of territory. During the war, some Palestinians fled, and others were expelled by Israeli forces, sometimes violently. Somewhere from 360,000 to 750,000 Palestinian Arabs became refugees, 758,000-900,000 Jews were later expelled from Arab countries. Thus began the current refugee crisis, which became an outright occupation in 1967.
posted by blahblahblah at 12:38 PM on June 6, 2007


Oh, and bornjewish, part of the reason you are trolling is the inflammatory quotes. You are misquoting Herzl, for example, he actually wrote (omitted bits in italics):

When we occupy the land, we shall bring immediate benefits to the state that receives us. We must expropriate gently the private property on the estates assigned to us. We shall try to spirit the penniless population across the border by procuring employment for it in the transit countries, while denying it any employment in our country. The property owners will come over to our side. Both the process of expropriation and the removal of the poor must be carried out discretely and circumspectly … It goes without saying that we shall respectfully tolerate persons of other faiths and protect their property, their honor, and their freedom with the harshest means of coercion. This is another area in which we shall set the entire world a wonderful example … Should there be many such immovable owners in individual areas [who would not sell their property to us], we shall simply leave them there and develop our commerce in the direction of other areas which belong to us.
posted by blahblahblah at 12:47 PM on June 6, 2007 [1 favorite]


blahblahblah: well, this seems to suggest there's some controversy around the timeline, so I won't argue the point.

tell me what's wrong with this reformulation of it: modern israel could not have existed without displacing large numbers of people and claiming territory to create a nation essentially by UN decree that the locals didn't recognize as legitimate.
posted by saulgoodman at 12:54 PM on June 6, 2007


I am not ignoring the fact that France didn't want them, I am only contrasting that with the fact that the Arabs didn't want them either.

Do you even realize how absurd you sound?

The Arabs had not just spent the previous 10 years stripping them of their rights and property and then killing them. Non-Jewish French people censused and rounded up French (and non-French) Jews for the Nazis. They rounded them up, corralled them in stadiums, put them on trains, and sent them East. They gave lists to the Germans. They took apartments and money and artwork from the people they sent off to be murdered. (No, not all French people, yes, the resistance movement did amazing things, etc.). Would you go back and live among people who had done that to you a year ago?

They COULD have gone to France. They COULD have built boats and set sail for fucking China - they didn't. Why? Because for them it wasn't an option. If you can't wrap your head around that, then I don't know what to tell you.

(blahblahblah - thanks for that.)
posted by rtha at 1:06 PM on June 6, 2007


wait--blahblahblah... you wrote:

Before the 1948 War, nobody abandoned any homes. The Jews settled in land they bought - they owned half of the urban land, half the rural built-up land, and a small portion of the rural landscape (less than 10% of the total land). In 1945 there were 1,061,270 Muslims, 553,600 Jews, and 135,550 Christians in Palestine. There was no forced colonization.

that's all good, but this was before israel was established, right? so i'm not sure how your comment about my timeline being off applies. at this point, the majority of the settlers from europe hadn't arrived in what the UN would later recognize as israel.

In 1948, UN voted to divide the Mandate into Palestine and Israel. On that day, the Arab armies rejected the plan and invaded, ultimately resulting Israel's victory over an expanded amount of territory.

so the UN decreed israel into existence (giving it 54% of the land in the region, generously enough), then with the help of british and UN forces, israel took over a bunch of territory during the completely unexpected 'civil war' that resulted. or am i wrong about the UN support? anyway, somehow in the fog of war, a bunch of new jewish settlers of european descent (who just happened to be holocaust survivors) ended up moving into the new territory, bolstering the jewish population of the newly minted nation of israel.

is that timeline accurate?
posted by saulgoodman at 1:16 PM on June 6, 2007


so the UN decreed israel into existence (giving it 54% of the land in the region, generously enough), then with the help of british and UN forces, israel took over a bunch of territory during the completely unexpected 'civil war' that resulted. or am i wrong about the UN support? anyway, somehow in the fog of war, a bunch of new jewish settlers of european descent (who just happened to be holocaust survivors) ended up moving into the new territory, bolstering the jewish population of the newly minted nation of israel.

is that timeline accurate?


No. Not at all, really.

First, to clarify, there were no nations in the region at the time, so the UN decided to create two. The land that was going to be Israel was 61% Jewish, the Palestinian country was to be 99% Arab. While Israel had slightly more territory (in anticipation of more Jewish immigration), much of it was the Negev desert.

The Arab leadership rejected the plan, and a low-level war started while the British were still in control, in which something like 427 Arabs, 381 Jews, and 46 British were killed in a few months, and then massacres began on both sides. The British did not generally help either the Jews or Arabs, remaining neutral, in fact, they sometimes stood by and refused to help during attacks on civilians. There were no UN forces.

When the British withdrew on May 15, 1948 it ceased to be a civil war. Lebanon, Iraq, Syria, Jordan, and Egypt attacked Israel on the day it declared independence in what the UN Secretary General called "the first armed aggression which the world had seen since the end of the [Second World] War." The British had banned Jewish immigration, so Jews could only enter after May 15, leading to a flood of new Jewish immigrants arriving in the country, eventually bolstering the armed forces of Israel. After losing 1% of its population in the war, Israel won expanding its territory somewhat, causing Arabs to flee, or expelling them, in the fighting. Ben Gurion put the odds of Israel surviving at 50-50 at the time. There was no international conspiracy in support. No foreign troops. No foreign equipment even, except for surplus weapons the Jews bought from Eastern Europe or made themselves.

There did not need to be an Arab rejection of the plan, or an Arab invasion. If they hadn't happened, who knows what the Middle East would look like? There may not have been a 1956, or a 1967, or a 1972, or a 1985, or a 1987, or a 2006...
posted by blahblahblah at 1:45 PM on June 6, 2007


The suggestion of France as a haven for the Jews is pretty funny considering that it was Institutionalized French Anti-semitism that was the impetus for the entire Zionist movement to begin with. The Holocaust validated the need for Jewish soveirgnty, but it wasn't catastrophic fears of annihilation that was on the minds of Herzl and the early Zionists, but rather the mundane day-to-day antisemitism that would allow a clearly innocent Jew to be dragged through the mud and not allow Jews to be full citizens. You may be right that America would have been a better choice for Jewish refugees. Certainly I agree that the US could have and should have done much more to accomodate the refugees. However, it's worth noting that in even in 1945 in America, Jews were far from being full citizens with equal rights. There were many neighborhoods where you couldn't buy a home, universities you couldn't attend, and golf courses and country clubs you couldn't join. Today, American Jews do have full equality and I would say a largely nurturing, safe, and sustainable future here. Back in 1945, as a refugee coming from the nightmare of the Holocaust, why would anybody choose to be a second-class citizen, here or in France?
posted by SBMike at 1:49 PM on June 6, 2007


rtha,

I am aware that to the committed Zionist, I sound absurd.

But the fact that the Arabs had NOT just been abusing them is not a good reason to disposses them.

We all realize that the Jews at that point didn't have any "Good" options, but they chose to commit a crime upon the innocent.

They could have chosen not to.

There did not "Need" to be Zionism or an Israel. If that hadn't happened, we KNOW that there would not have been a 1956, or a 1967, or a 1972, or a 1985, or a 1987, or a 2006...

There was nothing stopping them from walking west. No matter how much they had suffered, this is no licence to cause suffering for others. Heck, they could have treated the Arabs like people and had a part in a binational state.

Let's hear from Martin Buber, the formost Jewish Philosopher of the modern age...

"The first fact is that at the time when we entered into an alliance (an alliance, I admit, that was not well defined) with a European state and we provided that state with a claim to rule over Palestine, we made no attempt to reach an agreement with the Arabs of this land regarding the basis and conditions for the continuation of Jewish settlement.

This negative approach caused those Arabs who thought about and were concerned about the future of their people to see us increasingly not as a group which desired to live in cooperation with their people but as something in the nature of uninvited guests and agents of foreign interests (at the time I explicitly pointed out this fact).

"The second fact is that we took hold of the key economic positions in the country without compensating the Arab population, that is to say without allowing their capital and their labor a share in our economic activity. Paying the large landowners for purchases made or paying compensation to tenants on the land is not the same as compensating a people. As a result, many of the more thoughtful Arabs viewed the advance of Jewish settlement as a kind of plot designed to dispossess future generations of their people of the land necessary for their existence and development. Only by means of a comprehensive and vigorous economic policy aimed at organizing and developing common interests would it have been possible to contend with this view and its inevitable consequences. This we did not do.

"The third fact is that when a possibility arose that the Mandate would soon be terminated, not only did we not propose to the Arab population of the country that a joint Jewish Arab administration be set up in its place, we went ahead and demanded rule over the whole country (the Biltmore program) as a fitting political sequel to the gains we had already made. By this step, we with our own hands provided our enemies in the Arab camp with aid and comfort of the most valuable sort—the support of public opinion—without which the military attack launched against us would not have been possible. For it now appears to the Arab populace that in carrying on the activities we have been engaged in for years, in acquiring land and in working and developing the land, we were systematically laying the ground work for gaining control of the whole country."
posted by bornjewish at 1:58 PM on June 6, 2007


The holocaust didn't validate anything.
No suffering on your part is license to oppress others.
posted by bornjewish at 2:00 PM on June 6, 2007



First, to clarify, there were no nations in the region at the time, so the UN decided to create two.


Look--this seems like a piece of historical revisionism to me, though I'm sure it's technically correct, given the tangled rules of this particular game of calvin-ball. It's pretty clear that whether or not a formally recognized nation named Palestine existed, many people living in the region at the time felt they had a claim to the land, and were pretty satisfied with their land not being arbitrarily split up into two nations until the UN came along and did so. The UN did so at least in part in hopes of establishing a Jewish homeland, which conveniently could also serve as a home to the many displaced refugees fleeing post-holocaust Europe. Please don't tell me that the timing of UN's creation of Israel was just a coincidence, and the fact that the vast majority of the displaced jewish refugees ended up settling there was just another big coincidence, because if you attribute that entire constellation of events to coincidence, I can only assume you're coming to this discussion with such an extraordinarily skeptical concept of causality that it would make leibniz proud.

There did not need to be an Arab rejection of the plan, or an Arab invasion. If they hadn't happened, who knows what the Middle East would look like? There may not have been a 1956, or a 1967, or a 1972, or a 1985, or a 1987, or a 2006...

There need not have been a division of the territory into two states either. Shouldn't the locals who were actually living in the region have been given veto power over those UN plans?

Even putting aside the thornier ethical issues and looking at it from a purely realpolitik perspective, shouldn't it have been fairly obvious how 'the Arabs' were going to react to the plan, and wasn't the whole enterprise just sort of blatantly impractical from the start? It seems pretty obvious to me that any native population in similar circumstances would react the same way to such a plan to divvy up their land. And I'm sure it was pretty obvious to those advancing the plan at the time, too.

Heck, they could have treated the Arabs like people and had a part in a binational state.

Why didn't the UN go this route and establish a single multi-ethnic state?
posted by saulgoodman at 2:27 PM on June 6, 2007


No suffering on your part is license to oppress others.

I agree. How, exactly, is Jewish immigration, in and of itself, oppressive? In the specific cases where settlers kicked somebody out of their home, sure. There were lots that didn't. What of all the settlers that lived on land that was legally bought? What of those that drained swamps and toiled to create productive land where there was none before? What of those that settled in communities that had been Jewish for centuries? The settlers and survivors included many of these people.

Maybe I'm misunderstanding you here. It seems to me that you are attributing a desire to oppress the Palestinians while using the Holocaust as an excuse to the survivors themselves. Do you really mean this, or are you in fact saying that the Zionist leadership cynically used the survivors in order to carry out their plans which required oppressing the Palestinians? There may be some truth to that, but from the way I'm hearing it, your language seems to blame the survivors themselves for selfishly choosing the best (possibly only for all practical purposes) option given to them. I don't doubt that the Zionist leadership used propaganda and even outright lies to encourage immigration. Hell, "a land without people for a people without a land" is a well-known blatant lie that was spread by certain Zionists for just this purpose. If I were a survivor, I'd probably buy that propoganda too. So clarify: is it the settlers you have an issue with or the leadership? If you do think it's the leadership, then say so. That's a discussion worth having. Right now it sounds like you're attributing terrible motives to people who just wanted to live a normal life. I think this is what many are objecting to, and rightly so.
posted by SBMike at 2:54 PM on June 6, 2007


In the specific cases where settlers kicked somebody out of their home, sure. There were lots that didn't.

No-one knows exactly how many Palestinians became refugees during the 1948 Arab-Israeli war, but estimates generally place the number between half a million and a million. These estimates calculate the number by attempting to estimate the number of non-Jews in (what would become) Israel before the start of hostilities, and subtracting the number of non-Jews left in Israel after the end of hostilities. Confounding these estimates is the fact that tens of thousands of non-Jews both left and entered Israel following the cessation of hostilities.

All those people didn't just abandon their homes and property willingly. So is your point that the Palestinians were driven out of the region by Zionist movement leaders and their troops, and not by the settlers themselves, so why blame the settlers for taking control of the property they left behind?
posted by saulgoodman at 3:12 PM on June 6, 2007


Oh my god.

I really really wasn't going to come back to this thread, not even a little, but:

I am aware that to the committed Zionist, I sound absurd.

You think I'm a Zionist? Are you on crack?

Go back and read my comments here. I've said absolutely fucking nothing about whether the Jews moving to Palestine was a good thing or not. I haven't said jack about how it's ok for them to go back because it's a historic homeland. I said it most clearly here.

I have questioned your totally batshit assertions that they "COULD have walked west..." I have questioned why you think someone might want to go back to a place where people had tried to kill them a year or two earlier. When I pointed out that Arabs hadn't tried to kill them in the previous 10 years, I wasn't suggesting that it was therefore ok for them to go to Palestine. I was suggesting that perhaps they wanted to go somewhere where people hadn't recently tried to murder them. The U.S.? Nope. We said "fuck you" and wouldn't let them. Anywhere else in Europe? Like where?

Whoever it was upthread who said they have fatigue around this issue - I'm with you. I usually avoid these posts because the discussion never goes anywhere, but my knowledge of the post-war founding of Israel is dusty and not very detailed, so I figured that I'd drop in and see if anybody had any good links.

My knowledge of how France treated both its "own" Jews and noncitizens seeking refuge is way less dusty - and clearly deeper than yours.
posted by rtha at 3:25 PM on June 6, 2007


I have questioned your totally batshit assertions that they "COULD have walked west..."

I gotta agree with rtha and others up-thread on this specific point: France wouldn't have been a good option.

But then, on the other hand, why not return them to their original homes in Germany with a strong force of US and international troops to protect them for a few years? Well, apart from the survivor's own very reasonable desire not to return to a life surrounded by a population that had recently tried to slaughter them en mass (personally, I might want to go home anyway, but then I'm a homebody), probably more pragmatically, because the US and other UN member nations weren't prepared to make that kind of long-term commitment. Easier to shuffle the survivors off to the now UN recognized nation of Israel and sell their new, very zealous government all the weapons they might need to fight off anyone who took exception to the new arrangement. Besides, the current arrangement also presented certain obvious economic opportunities for the US with its now formidable weapons production capabilities.

Viola! It's a win-win! Except, of course, for the displaced Palestinians--but they weren't making very productive use of all that land anyway... But I'm just hazarding a guess here.
posted by saulgoodman at 5:16 PM on June 6, 2007


There's far too much to scan through here, but has anyone happened to mention the fact that Jews and Arab Muslims got on pretty well in places like Iraq, Iran, etc before the creation of the Zionist state? From twenty feet up you would've had trouble telling them apart. The Jews who opted not to migrate from their ancestral lands were labeled as traitors.
posted by Burhanistan at 5:24 PM on June 6, 2007


(erm, "voilà")
posted by saulgoodman at 5:40 PM on June 6, 2007


History seems to be a bit off here:
saulgoodman: Easier to shuffle the survivors off to the now UN recognized nation of Israel and sell their new, very zealous government all the weapons they might need to fight off anyone who took exception to the new arrangement. Besides, the current arrangement also presented certain obvious economic opportunities for the US with its now formidable weapons production capabilities.

What is with all the conspiracy theories? Again, just wrong. Nobody sold Israel weapons in 1948, there was an embargo, though not against the Arab states. The Israelis bought them off the Czech black market. The US didn't sell Israel weapons until the 1960s. See John F. Kennedy and the Politics of Arms Sales to Israel: "During the challenging 1948-1967 period, the U.S. was extremely reluctant to make arms available to Israel. Since the Israeli government, and particularly Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion, understood well (and presciently) that European suppliers might not prove dependable in the long run, efforts were made to develop sources in the American market. These efforts were stymied at first by various foreign policy considerations and the strong opposition of key elements in the U.S. security and foreign affairs establishment."

Burhanistan ...has anyone happened to mention the fact that Jews and Arab Muslims got on pretty well in places like Iraq, Iran, etc before the creation of the Zionist state? From twenty feet up you would've had trouble telling them apart. The Jews who opted not to migrate from their ancestral lands were labeled as traitors.

With the notable exceptions of pogroms in Iraq and Libya, Jews in Arab lands generally lead more stable existances then in Europe until the 1940s. But "The Jews who opted not to migrate from their ancestral lands were labeled as traitors" is just the opposite of what actually occured. Jews who wanted to stay in Arab countries were forcibly expelled. In the 1950s and 60s, Egypt expelled 25,000 Jews and seized their property, Jews were attacked throughout Yemen and Morocco, forcing them to leave, Iraq and Libya stripped Jews of citizenship and property.

Again, this does not excuse the Israeli occupation or other concerns, but the assumption that Israeli actions, or some Zionist plan, is solely responsible for every ill is misguided.
posted by blahblahblah at 6:11 PM on June 6, 2007 [1 favorite]


bbb: didn't mean to suggest a conspiracy just a touch of opportunism--and i was probably being a little too glib about it--but i should point out, the item you linked to actually does describe a conspiracy that took place during the early days of israel. and the weapons sold (with the help of a former british soldier) were actually european in origin, according to the material you cited. addressing vague concerns about possible conspiracies by pointing out very specific ones probably doesn't help the cause of the "War on Conspiracy Theories" much...

During the chaotic period of the founding of the State of Israel in 1948, Operation Balak was the smuggling of arms purchased in Europe, avoiding various embargoes and boycotts, to the Zionists. Of particular note was the delivery of 23 Czechoslovakia-made Avia S-199 fighters, the post-war version of Messerschmitt Bf 109 produced for the German Luftwaffe.
posted by saulgoodman at 6:47 PM on June 6, 2007


but otherwise i willingly accept your point.
posted by saulgoodman at 6:48 PM on June 6, 2007


The Muslim civilization, grand as it was, invented NOTHING major.

Algebra. pwned

Yes, the United States took land away from Native Americans. Yes, it was wrong. No, they aren't getting it back. That's reality. They have land claims, great. Who do they present those claims to? The government that took them in the first place?

You might look to our neighbor to the north for at least the potential of resolving land disputes. (I may have to rethink that statement if VIA suddenly stops running on the 29th.)

No suffering on your part is license to oppress others.

This is bornjewish's most sensible comment in the entire thread.

There were lots that didn't. What of all the settlers that lived on land that was legally bought?

Legal title to land does not imply the right to form your own nation.
posted by oaf at 4:16 PM on June 13, 2007


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