Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Photo: Forcing Palestinians of any age to strip at Israeli checkpoints is a daily occurrence.

The Israel right or wrong discussion continues .... but I suspect this was, and should be, the last of it.

My Israel  right or wrong supporter wrote: there was never such a country as "Palestine."

Can you explain to me then why the UN mandated to divide a country called Palestine if it did not exist? It's all historical record - quite clear - the partition of Palestine, this country you say did not exist. And the Romans referred to Palestine, as did the ancient Egyptians - we're going back 3,000BC and yet you say it did not exist.

Do you think that in this instance the world's historians might just be right and what you have been told is wrong and might be Israeli propaganda? Or do you count your knowledge base as greater and hold that the UN when they partitioned Palestine had it wrong and they were not partitioning Palestine because it did not exist?

You said: The real Palestine, if you look at original sources, is actually another name for the country of Jordan.

No it isn't. Jordan was founded in 1922. The country called Palestine which had existed for millenia was partitioned in 1947. It was called the partition of Palestine by the UN - not the partition of Jordan.

You said: Israel came into being when Israeli Jews declared independence from the United Kingdom, which was controlling the area.

Wrong again. Religions don't get to declare independence because they don't have land rights or homelands. By your criteria the Mexican Catholics in California could declare independence because California was once Mexican. Actually they have a better case than Israelis.

But of course they can't because religions do not constitute a people or a race. There were no Israeli Jews by the way to declare independence. The British were certainly the colonial rulers of Palestine - you are right - and amongst those Palestinians there were followers of Judaism but they were a minority. Many of those Palestinian Jews were happy to remain Palestinian and they most certainly never declared independence - they couldn't.

The foundation of a State called Israel was sourced in the Zionists, an organisation set up by Theodor Herzl in 1893, who made the first call for a theocratic, Jewish state. Many Jews opposed Zionism and the call for a religious State. And some still do.


You said: Israeli Arabs didn't try to form an independent state until much, much later.
I think you mean Palestinians did not try to form an independent state until much later. Actually they had a country they did not have a state. They were independent until the Zionist armies invaded and, just like Germany, which was a country but not a state until the beginning of last century, they had all the rights of a nation. The drive for independence only exists because they are occupied. If Israel did not occupy Palestine beyond the UN mandated borders it would not be an issue. The Palestinians could have their country and decide upon Statehood when they were ready. I am sure you appreciate that the nation State as a concept is historically recent.

There are no Israeli Arabs per se: unless you want to refer to the colonists as Israeli Europeans, which most are, or Israeli Africans, which a few are.

Those Palestinians who were not killed or driven out and who remained in the original area of the UN mandate and the extra land occupied as a part of Israel's war to establish its State were allowed to remain and given Israeli citizenship. They see themselves as Israelis of Palestinian heritage.

You said: Also, expulsion of Palestinians didn't occur until after neighboring Arab states refused to acknowledge Israel as a legitimate state and attacked the newly-formed country.

Now you really do have this completely wrong. The Zionists had terrorist groups operating in British occupied Palestine as early as 1937, ten years before partition. They attacked both Palestinians, non-jewish of course, just Christians and Muslims, and the British.

Thousands of Palestinians were massacred by the invading Zionist armies following partition and hundreds of villages were destroyed. Many of these destroyed villages are now 'recreational areas' or 'forests' established to hide the evidence.

Deir Yassin is the most infamous massacre and tastelessly, Yad Vashem has been build on land which was once a part of the village of Deir yassin.

On April 9, 1948, members of the underground Jewish terrorist group, the Irgun, or IZL, led by Menachem Begin, who was to become the Israeli prime minister in 1977, entered the peaceful Arab village of Deir Yassin, massacred 250 men, women, children and the elderly, and stuffed many of the bodies down wells. There were also reports of rapes and mutilations.


There may be little point in posting this information but I happen to believe countering untruths is important. I think what surprises me is how wrong so much of your information is.

For example, in the decade before partition:

August 20, 1937 - June 29, 1939. During this period, the Zionists carried out a series of attacks against Arab buses, resulting in the death of 24 persons and wounding 25 others.

November 25, 1940. S.S.Patria was blown up by Jewish terrorists in Haifa harbour, killing 268 illegal Jewish immigrants (see below).

November 6, 1944. Zionist terrorists of the Stern Gang assassinated the British Minister Resident in the Middle East, Lord Moyne, in Cairo.

July 22, 1946. Zionist terrorists blew up the King David Hotel in Jerusalem, which housed the central offices of the civilian administration of the government of Palestine, killing or injuring more than 200 persons. The Irgun officially claimed responsibility for the incident, but subsequent evidence indicated that both the Haganah and the Jewish Agency were involved.

October 1, 1946. The British Embassy in Rome was badly damaged by bomb explosions, for which Irgun claimed responsibility.

June 1947. Letters sent to British Cabinet Ministers were found to contain bombs.

And in the years following:

September 3, 1947. A postal bomb addressed to the British War Office exploded in the post office sorting room in London, injuring 2 persons. It was attributed to Irgun or Stern Gangs. (The Sunday Times, Sept. 24, 1972, p.8)

December 11, 1947. Six Arabs were killed and 30 wounded when bombs were thrown from Jewish trucks at Arab buses in Haifa; 12 Arabs were killed and others injured in an attack by armed Zionists on an Arab coastal village near Haifa.

December 13,1947. Zionist terrorists, believed to be members of Irgun Zvai Leumi, killed 18 Arabs and wounded nearly 60 in Jerusalem, Jaffa and Lydda areas. In Jerusalem, bombs were thrown in an Arab market-place near the Damascus Gate; in Jaffa, bombs were thrown into an Arab cafe; in the Arab village of Al Abbasya, near Lydda, 12 Arabs were killed in an attack with mortars and automatic weapons.

December 19, 1947. Haganah terrorists attacked an Arab village near Safad, blowing up two houses, in the ruins of which were found the bodies of 10 Arabs, including 5 children. Haganah admitted responsibility for the attack.

December 29, 1947. Two British constables and 11 Arabs were killed and 32 Arabs injured, at the Damascus Gate in Jerusalem when Irgun members threw a bomb from a taxi.

December 30,1947. A mixed force of the Zionist Palmach and the "Carmel Brigade" attacked the village of Balad al Sheikh, killing more than 60 Arabs.

1947 -- 1948. Over 700,000 Palestinian Arabs were uprooted from their homes and land, and forced to live in refugee camps on Israel's borders. They have been denied the right to return to their homes. They have been refused compensation for their homes, orchards, farms and other property stolen from them by the Israeli government. After their expulsion, the "Israeli Forces" totally obliterated (usually by bulldozing) 385 Arab villages and towns, out of a total of 475. Commonly, Israeli villages were built on the remaining rubble.

January 1, 1948. Haganah terrorists attacked a village on the slopes of Mount Carmel; 17 Arabs were killed and 33 wounded.

You said: #2, Palestinians have the same legal rights IN ISRAEL as do Israeli Jews.

You could not be more wrong.

There are more than 30 laws that discriminate against Palestinian citizens of Israel. directly or indirectly, based solely on their ethnicity, rendering them second or third class citizens in their own homeland.
93% of the land in Israel is owned either by the state or by quasi-governmental agencies, such as the Jewish National Fund, that discriminate against non-Jews. Palestinian citizens of Israel face significant legal obstacles in gaining access to this land for agriculture, residence, or commercial development.

More than seventy Palestinian villages and communities in Israel, some of which pre-date the establishment of the state, are unrecognized by the government, receive no services, and are not even listed on official maps. Many other towns with a majority Palestinian population lack basic services and receive significantly less government funding than do majority-Jewish towns.


You said: what about a speech by Ahmadinejad where he goads the crowd into chanting "Death to Israel" is propaganda being fed to Americans? It seems more like irrefutable fact of Iran's hatred of Israel to me.

I can't see a link to this speech but what I would say is that there are extremists on all sides and at all times. If Ahmadinejad did this it is as bad as Israeli MP's calling Palestinians vermin - or Israeli leaders and rabbis calling 'Death to Arabs.' By all means condemn such things but condemn on all fronts, not selectively.

In 1982, in a speech to the Knesset, Prime Minister Menachem Begin said, “The Palestinians are beasts walking on two legs.”


And Israeli rabbis call for 'death camps for Palestinians.' By the way, this comment was published in the Israeli YNet news as well.


There are Muslim extremists and there are Jewish extremists.

Jewish Extremists Threaten Christians, Muslims at Jerusalem Peace School
Vandals Reportedly Write 'Death to Christians,' 'Holocaust for Arabs' at Two Faith Sites.


You said: I have studied the topic, quite thoroughly actually.

I am sure you have been thorough but from what you say it is clear you have been selective.

You said: I have been interested in the situation in Israel for a long time, and have recently been taking a class about Israel.

I can only ask who is giving this class and who is funding this class and where is this class being given.

You said: I have arrived at my opinion, and I see no reason to change it.

And that is fair enough as long as you can state with certainty that you have accessed information across the spectrum - from that given out by Palestinians to that from Israelis - information from Fundamentalist Christians who support Israel right or wrong to Muslims who support Palestinians right or wrong - and then to historians from around the world, peace and human rights groups from around the world, UN resolutions and reports and well, given the importance of this, as much information as you can get from anywhere.

When you can state you have done this then there is no reason to change your opinion for it is one sourced in balanced and extensive research.

You said: Israel is the freest nation in the Middle East, despite constant threats from tyrannical neighbors.

You are repeating propaganda. And you did not answer me when I asked, how can a nation be a free nation when it holds people under occupation and continues to illegally colonise their land? How can a nation be free when it wants to be a theocracy - a religious nation which gives superior rights to followers of one religion.

You said: If you are protesting because of human rights violations,

No, I protest purely from the point of justice. I oppose Israel's occupation and colonisation of Palestine in the same way I oppose China's occupation and colonisation of Tibet. The difference is that Israel claims to be a democracy and China does not. Therefore Israel is judged by the behaviour of all other democracies and fails badly.

You said: you would probably do well to change your focus to Iran or Pakistan, where women are frequently stoned or burned for crimes against Islamic law, where Christian churches are destroyed and where being Christian is a capital offense.

I also focus on those injustices. I am actually capable of focussing on more than one instance of injustice. Israel is one of the worst but merely one of many.

And you might do well to do what Israel 'right or wrong' supporters refuse to do, compare Israel to other democracies in the world and not to the non-democratic and the worst of tyrannies. No doubt this comparison is never made because you know Israel would look as bad as it really is.

You said: Believe me, Israel is not the problem in the Middle East."

Why would anyone believe you when you make statements which indicate a substantial lack of historical and contemporary knowledge.


Israel has been described as the top threat to world peace, ahead of North Korea, Afghanistan and Iran, by an unpublished European Commission poll of 7,500 Europeans, sparking an international row.

I do believe that this issue is the greatest threat to world peace at this time and needs to be better understood, particularly by Americans who despite their own unemployment and poverty levels pour billions of dollars into Israel to keep it afloat and who are seen, by the world at large, to be a party to Israel's human rights abuses and war crimes.

You can support anyone or anything you like but you have to be sure it is worth it and that you agree with that which you support. Increasingly American Jews do not support Israel and Jews worldwide increasingly see Israel as not just giving Judaism a bad name but as endangering them.

So we can leave it here and agree to disagree. I wish you well in your journey through life, wherever it may take you.


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