Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Basic untruths and omissions in the mainstream media aid Palestinianism

A new video by Israel's Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Danny Ayalon, called "Israel Palestinian Conflict: The Truth About the West Bank" makes a number of good points about the basic divergence between simple well established facts on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and how they are reported. This issue has a profound impact on the debate.

The clip alludes to the point that the mainstream media continually forwards certain basic fabrications of the historical record. It is clear these fabrications lend a great deal of legitimacy to Palestinianism.

Worth mentioning as well is the media’s twisted account of the history of the conflict found in virtually every news article on the subject of Jerusalem. Revealingly, the coverage by Associated Press, the BBC, and other mainstream news outlets, commonly include a paragraph on past conflict over Jerusalem. For some reason the failure to even briefly mention Jerusalem’s status before the 1967 Six Day War, when Israel took over the eastern side of the City from Jordan, is consistent. One example is

Israel seized east Jerusalem in the 1967 Six Day War, annexed the ancient city, and established the nation's capital there. The international community, however, does not recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital, and embassies in the country have based themselves in Tel Aviv.
After the British Mandate had ended in 1948, Jordan occupied what is now commonly called "Arab East Jerusalem" in the 1948-49 War. This occurred at a time when Jerusalem had in fact been a Jewish majority city for a long time, due in part to its importance to the Jewish faith. The Jordanians expelled the Jewish populace and handed their land and much of their property over to the Palestinians. Furthermore Israel in actual fact "seized" the city in a defensive war that they fought on three fronts (Syria, Egypt and Jordan). It cannot be a coincidence that the mainstream media in its many reports on Jerusalem fail to mention any of these points in Israel’s favour.

Danny Ayalon adds that the so-called "occupied territory" or "OPT" of the West Bank is in fact a disputed territory similar to other territories like Western Sahara and Kashmir. The West Bank cannot truly be considered occupied, in part because the League of Nations ruling on the area allows Jewish habitation throughout Palestine, and partly because it was not previously under the domain of a legitimate sovereign. Jordan’s annexation of the territory in 1950 was only accepted by two other nations and the State renounced any claim over the area in 1987.

Another interesting point is the fact that the Arab parties in the conflict insisted that the 1949 Armistice line would have no political significance. In effect it does not have the status of being an international border. It is worthwhile to add that today many countries, for example numerous states in South America, affirm recognition of a Palestinian state on those very borders. However, UN Resolution 242 (1967) recognises the present Israeli borders until such time as a peace deal is achieved. It does not call for full withdrawal to the pre-1967 borders despite repeated claims to the contrary. As Eugene Rostow pointed out the wording refers to withdrawal not from "all territories" but unspecified territories whilst ensuring Israeli security.

It is odd that many are hopelessly uninformed about the conflict despite the fact that it features heavily (perhaps excessively) in the media today. Clearly a two-state solution is the desired outcome of a peace process where the Palestinians get the vast majority of the West Bank and all of Gaza, with some land swaps as were agreed by both parties during the previously attempted peace solutions. However, the impact of the all too common propagandistic distortions of the basic historic record by the mainstream media is damaging. It feeds world-wide pro-Palestinianism and Arab/Palestinian militancy. It makes the limited opportunities of securing a just and lasting peace considerably harder.


builder man said...

This is full of lies for simpletons.
Balfour promised a HOMELAND not a state and was very clear about the rights of the indigenous people, the Palestinians, who were never consulted as also promised. The West Bank was Jordanian territory who ceded it to the Palestinians and all the world except Israel knows this.
According to Jewish historian Ron David: 'We stole Palestine, we stole it.' Most people agree.

Anonymous said...

Indeed the pre-existing population was also to be protected but the purpose of the British Mandate was to create a Jewish national home, in other words a Jewish nation.

"Whereas the Principal Allied Powers have also agreed that the Mandatory should be responsible for putting into effect the declaration originally made on November 2nd, 1917, by the Government of His Britannic Majesty, and adopted by the said Powers, in favor of the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, it being clearly understood that nothing should be done which might prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine, or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country; and

Whereas recognition has thereby been given to the historical connection of the Jewish people with Palestine and to the grounds for reconstituting their national home in that country;

The fact that there are Jewish critics of Israel does not make them any more authentic than other non-Jewish critics.

builder man said...

To anonymous. You have assumed a homeland meant a state. It did not and this was made clear by the first High Commissioner of Palestine, Herbert Samuel, who was also Jewish. (You are a very gifted people!) The White Paper of 1922 which clarified the Balfour Declaration by defining
the Jewish national homeland as 'not
the imposition of a Jewish nationality upon the inhabitants of Palestine as a whole, but the further development of the existing Jewish community, with the assistance of Jews in other parts of the world, in order that it may become a centre in which the Jewish people as a whole may take, on grounds of religion and race, an interest and a pride.'
In other words, an extended Jewish
PRESENCE in an Arab Palestine where
a Jewish minority had existed for centuries. Instead you have used wealth and force of arms to impose
an artificial state by disposessing
the indigenous people and sooner or later you will have to account for the crimes you have committed in pursuit of that aim.

Anonymous said...

The Balfour declaration clearly meant a Jewish state since it was based on Zionist ideology. A Jewish homeland means a self-determining Jewish state. There is no ambiguity about this issue in the history books. There were similar mandate determinations for Arabs by the League of Nations in four other mandates – Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, and Trans-Jordan subsequently.

The Mandate statement “Whereas the Principal Allied Powers have also agreed that the Mandatory should be responsible for putting into effect the declaration originally made on November 2nd, 1917, by the Government of His Britannic Majesty, and adopted by the said Powers, in favor of the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people,” is clearly affirming the will to establish a Jewish state. A Jewish national home can be nothing other than that, a nation that is principally Jewish. It was not intended to be a bi-national state but a Jewish state. The freedoms of the existing population was not to be prejudiced against but it was defined as nothing other than a Jewish homeland.

The British ceded 78% to Trans-Jordan as essentially a Palestinian state upon which Jews were excluded from settlement there. The British dragged their feet on the issue but it was widely understood that a Jewish nation was to be established, which resulted in the Arab revolt in 1936, and eventually the British issued the Peel report which stated a small distinctively Jewish state would be established. The UN then followed with the same principle with the UN181 partition plan from 1947.

After Balfour the British tried to back peddle because their interests lay with the Arabs throughout the region rather than a small Jewish populace. Additionally Churchill’s 1922 white paper was motivated by political expediency at home as the avowed Zionist policy of Balfour was unpopular in Britain at the time. To quote a well referenced wiki article

“British public and government opinion became increasingly less favorable to the commitment that had been made to Zionist policy. In February 1922, Winston Churchill telegraphed Herbert Samuel asking for cuts in expenditure and noting:[22]

In both Houses of Parliament there is growing movement of hostility, against Zionist policy in Palestine, which will be stimulated by recent Northcliffe articles. I do not attach undue importance to this movement, but it is increasingly difficult to meet the argument that it is unfair to ask the British taxpayer, already overwhelmed with taxation, to bear the cost of imposing on Palestine an unpopular policy. […]

The records of discussions that led up to the final text of the Balfour Declaration clarifies some details of its wording. The phrase "national home" was intentionally used instead of "state" because of opposition to the Zionist program within the British Cabinet. Both the Zionist Organization and the British government devoted efforts over the following decades, including Winston Churchill's 1922 White Paper, to denying that a state was the intention.[6] However, in private, many British officials agreed with the interpretation of the Zionists that a state would be established when a Jewish majority was achieved.[7]

I suggest your view of the Jewish link to the land is simplistic. Jews lived in that region and nearby Arab lands for a very long time. A Jewish presence existed in Palestine not until 2,000 years ago but until close to the first Millennium, and started to return in the 1600’s. The Jews have as great a claim to being indigenous to Palestine as the Arabs do, for being an indigenous people also includes long-term displacement.

builder man said...

To anonymous. I appreciate your reply. Firstly, in case of any doubt,
I have absolutely no antipathy to the Jewish people. On the contrary, I
regard them as a gifted people who have enriched the whole world in every sphere of human endeavour.
Indigenous means 'people whose members share a cultural identity that has been shaped by their geographical region.'Only a small number of Jews in Israel meet that criteria. Most come from many various and other cultures. In Shlomo Sand's book 'The Invention
of the Jewish People', he proves that most Israelis have no connection with the ancient land of
Israel. This 'invention', given centuries of persecution culminating in the Holocaust, is understandable, but it has been used to subjugate and dispossess another people, the Palestinians.As
I.F.Stone,a Jewish-American journalist, who covered the 1948 conflict as a reporter put it:'It was a moral tragedy that in making a home for the remnants of the Holocaust we were drawn into a war in which we had to make a kindred people homeless, a people who had done us no harm.Had the Arabs won, the guilt would lie on them;we won, so the guilt lies on us.'Really, that says it all. No amount of legal dexterity can justify the way the state of Israel was created, and worse, expanded in the same manner.That's why the impartial see this as a colonial enterprise, unacceptable in the 21st century, and cannot last.For the future, I hope you will heed the words of perhaps the
greatest brain ever to grace this planet - a Jewish brain -Albert Einstein. 'I should much rather see
reasonable agreement with the Arabs
on the basis of living together in
peace than the creation of a Jewish

Anonymous said...

Shlomo Sand’s book is 99% fiction based particularly on a 1970’s far-right theory by Arthur Koestler.
Here is a good article in the Wall Street Journal that illustrates the falsity of the theory which has not stood up to historical scrutiny or genetic studies. Sand actually lied when he asserted that genetic evidence points to the Jews being Khazars. The opposite is the case and more recent studies affirm that as well, as pointed out in this Newsweek article “The DNA of Abraham’s Children”: where samples were taken from a wide range of Jewish peoples from different backgrounds.

The idea that the Jews did not originate in the Middle East means ignoring the masses of historic evidence from archaeology, the well established historic record (such as from the Roman Empire where some three million Jews lived in Palestine in 43AD according to the census of that time, along with the well established understanding that the Jews are a Semitic people, and the linguistic analysis of their culture which is related to the mid-east. It would be the same as claiming that the Irish diaspora had no historic link to Ireland.

Israel is not a colonial enterprise at all. In fact it is the opposite. The Jews were pushed out of the region progressively by pagans with Rome, Christians and then Muslims. The British Empire then tried to prevent the establishment of Israel even after their mandate ended by opposing UN 181.

I have a lot of sympathy with the Palestinians but their intensely violent actions toward Jews in the region before the establishment of Israel made it impossible for there to be anything other than partition of Palestine. I suggest you look, for example, at the repeated massacres of the small Jewish communities of Hebron long before there was any Zionist movement which the Palestinians could resent the Jews for. The reality is that both of these people have competing but legitimate claims. It is the Arab Islamic regimes from the surrounding region that have fuelled conflict where peace might have been possible.

You are fond of quoting Jews which I notice that pro-Palestinians often do but that shouldn’t legitimise support for Palestinianism since Jews the world over have a very broad spectrum of opinions.

Indeed Einstein stated that but in a speech that was actually made in 1938 before the Holocaust, and indeed many would understand a humanist having this approach. What is neglected is that within a relatively short time his views changed and ten years later was openly declaring his support for Israel.

IMO Aristotle, a non-Jewish Macedonian was the greatest brain that ever existed. He single-handedly invented several fields of science and his scientific system was the pre-eminent one until the 1600’s.

builder man said...

To anonymous. I appreciate your reply. When discussing ancient history, the authenticity and neutrality of sources is paramount, and everything else is contentious.
Koestler is not regarded as being far
right by most. Sand's book is a perfectly sound proposition.Factually
it is known that the Khazars converted. If them, why not others? The DNA 'proof', given its sources, is highly questionable. Einstein said
'The Jews are beyond doubt a mixed
race, just as all others.'Ideas of
religious or racial purity belong to Saudi Arabia and the Third Reich
Archaeology is used as a political
tool. Most would prefer the impartial integrity of someone like
Dr. Stavrakopoulov, Senior Lecturer
in the Hebrew Bible at the University of Exeter, who is very sceptical of Biblical claims. Noone
is suggesting that SOME Jews in Israel did not originate in the Middle East but many of their descendants are most likely to be the indigenous people, the Palestinians. To qualify for Irish
citizenship, your parent has to be Irish and they would not normally entertain beyond another generation
after that. To claim a connection after 2000 years they would regard
as ludicrous! The attacks on Jews in the 19th century follow a similar pattern of an ignorant mob
turning on a minority who they regard as 'different.' But in 1909,nearly 30 years after the founding of Zionism, the Jews and the Arabs signed a pact of cooperation. It was only when the Zionist enterprise of colonial domination became more evident that tensions increased.This agenda
was confirmed at a meeting on 5/12/1918 of the Eastern Committee
of the British Cabinet when they
criticised the Zionists for exploiting the Balfour Declaration
by' demanding huge areas of Arab land and even a Jewish State.'So the idea of a State was not inherent in the Declaration. Remember, in 1915, Palestine was promised to the Arabs in return for
their help in defeating the Turks.
Even a great mind like Einstein's is still capable of contradictions.
He obviously felt impelled to support Israel once it was created,
but he was hardly enthusiastic. He
refused the offer of President and made many highly critical statements later in life. In 1946:
'A rigid demand for a Jewish State will only have undesirable results for us.'In 1948 described later PM
Begin as 'fascist'. In 1952 in a private conversation with Dr. Lilienthal: 'had never favoured the
creation of the State of Israel.'In
1955:'We had great hopes for Israel at first. We thought that it might be better than other nations, but it is no better.' In conclusion, as we witness yet more loss of life on both sides, But as usual, mostly Palestinian), what is the way forward? Either Israel accepts the 2 state solution on 67 borders or embraces a greater destiny that is shared with the rest of humanity. A secular, unified state with political parties that represent better ways of doing things rather than tribal or religious sects. I am not Muslim
or Palestinian, but I know (like
Nelson Mandela) injustice when I see it. This conflict is a litmus test of if we can resolve issues by
concentrating on Einstein's values
rather than right wing seperatist idealogies represented by successive Israeli Governments.

Anonymous said...

No offence but its clear we won’t agree on this issue & this isn’t the forum to discuss every topic about it. I’ll just reply to your points as quick as poss. When discussing history, the authenticity & neutrality of sources is vital, which is why Sands book is not legitimate. Sand is known as a very extreme anti-Zionist in the Uni of Tel Aviv so isn’t a neutral source. Koestler is not regarded as far right but the theory he advanced was at the time used by the far-right & is today.

Its wrong to simply dismiss the genetics studies without foundation whilst accepting Sand’s work. Sand’s book is not a sound proposition not only due to numerous genetic studies but due to the well documented history of the region, linguistics & extensive archaeology. Its known that the Khazars converted but they did so for political reasons. The event with the Khazars was noted as being unique. The Jewish faith is known for not prosthelytizing to any great extent. This is partly why there are only around 13 mill Jews in the world today compared to about 1.4 billion Muslims. The Roman census of 43 AD noted a very large populace in Judea of three million, equivalent to a big populace today.

Einstein was a great scientist but not known as being an expert on history, linguistics, archaeology or then non-existent genetics. The Jews are a somewhat mixed race as there are substantive Arab elements but that does not preclude them from their ties to Israel. The Jewish link to Israel is not founded on racial purity but a cultural history. Archaeology can be used as a political tool but it would be impossible for archaeologists to simply invent the huge wealth of archaeological evidence in Israel.

You refer to the impartiality Dr. Stavrakopoulov but she is noted for dismissing vast swathes of archaeological evidence about Israel. Again you accept the findings of those that accept your stance whilst rejecting those that do not. Whilst most don’t to some extent suggest deny that Jews are linked with Israel, they make out that its a weak link, to delegitimise Israel’s existence. This is what Sand does but there is no justification except baselessly exaggerating the influence of the Khazars, which are understood to have eventually assimilated into local populations when they disappeared from history.

I wasn’t talking about the Irish diaspora claiming Irish citizenship. I said “It would be the same as claiming that the Irish diaspora had no historic link to Ireland.” Irish people have a nation & have not experienced nearly as much oppression abroad as the Jews have. Thus no substantive need for a return.

2000 years is wrong. There was a substantive Jewish population in the region until the approach of the first millennium. To imply that attacks on Jews originated in the 19th Century is untrue. Oppression intensified after the first Millennium. It’s also untrue to suggest violence only became widespread after Zionism. Sectarian violence was a problem as elsewhere in the Muslim world, since the 1600’s.

To describe Zionism as an effort at colonial domination shows how extreme your views are. The Jews were a landless people. Establishing a modest homeland can’t be considered colonialism. The idea of a state was central to the Balfour declaration, & after the announcement some saw it as a betrayal of the Arabs & continued to do so for long afterward. The British backtracked. Churchill saw it as politically expedient to declare it didnt mean a homeland but as I noted few believed it at the time. You’re revisiting the previous argument so I refer you to my first two posts. Palestine was only in part promised to the Arabs by a member of government & not in an official government statement.

You’re being selective about Einstein. While at times critical, overall he was quite happy with the state of Israel & fundraised for it. He died when he was to give a speech celebrating Israeli independence'sZionism/08Einstein'sZionism1950-1955.htm

The System Works said...

Sorry to intrude, but I always found the Khazar story a bit exaggerated. Koestler of course had no qualifications or expertise in the area, and neither he an anti-Zionist. He wrote the Thirteenth Tribe for other specific reasons.

One thing never explained by proponents of the theory is why there are no Turkic elements in Yiddish.I believe that would have been the language family of the Khazars. If Khazars made up the bulk of the Ashkenazi population you would expect this to be so. Linguistic evidence supports the traditional theory of Jews moving from western to Eastern Europe (as Yiddish is so heavily German, but also contains some French influence).

The System Works said...

*neither was he anti-Zionist*

builder man said...

To anonymous.Apologies for a long holiday delay when a new book has reinforced the view that the Zionists
were hellbent on a colonialist enterprise. 'A Line in the Sand' by James Barr.A couple of quotes. In 1919, the King and Crane Commission on the future of the region, commentated 'The extreme Zionist program in Palestine would require serious modification to prevent war between the Arabs and the Jews.'This is born out by the subsequent history when Israel has
pursued war to gain territory.'
At that time, a British cardinal visiting Palestine described the Zionists with a mixture of surprise
and distaste, as ,already asserting
themselves in every way, claiming official posts for their nominees
and generally interfering.'They had
no regard at all for the indigenous
people.The book also relates the vicious Jewish extremist terrorist
actions in pursuit of their political objectives. I think you are more knowledgeable than me about Einstein and I accept his support for Israel in his later years, but I am encouraged that his
final days were also spent with his
friend, Bertrand Russell on ideas for World Government. Horrific images from the Holocaust must have affected him, as they should
any decent human being, and it is never easy to detach from the pressures of the tribe in those circumstances; Goldstone is a recent example. You say the Jews are a landless people. So are the
Romanies. Should they have a state of their own? As Mexico becomes more populous can they claim back Texas? etc. etc. All over the world there are groups with more legitimate claims than Israel for other peoples land. If any followed Israel's example, there would be endless wars of sovereignty. But I am more interested in the future with hopefully peace and justice prevailing. For most Palestinians,their land from which they have been expelled is just as precious to their identity. They are only claiming a fraction of what they once possessed, and there
should be a time limit on reclaiming after several centuries.For a final analysis of Israel's motives, I would be interested to know your view of Israel's boundaries. I have found that all the fervently pro-Israel protagonists never answer this question. What is the area (in of Israel?

Anonymous said...

I don’t wish to be rude but quite honestly I don’t care about what one book says by an author I have never heard before. There are hundreds of books to quote from that are anti-Israel. Neither is the opinion of an unnamed bishop worthy of attention. There was a good deal of suspicion about Zionism at the time as well which even features in books like Ulysses. The British had in built resentments against the Jews, even after the Holocaust it was common to hear the sentiment along the lines of “I wish Hitler had finished the job” whilst Mosley’s popularity was growing.

As stated before a landless people cannot be engaged in a colonial enterprise. It is an absurdity on the part of pro-Palestinians to claim that. All I’m interested in now is finding some real solution to the conflict in the form of a two-state solution but quite frankly you seem more interested in deligitimising Israel’s existence itself.

I don’t wish to be unpleasant but your bias is showing when you talk about Einstein. First you quote him as a reverend source because you believe him to have always been anti-Israel. In fact he became a strong supporter for the State, in which case you delegitimise his support as being affected by the Holocaust and tribal pressure.

Goldstone was subjected to criticism by his own people, and rightly so as his report was an absurdity. Nonetheless I find it difficult to believe he would have retracted simply over that criticism, after all most of world opinion was with him on the issue and there are many vocal Jews that remain within the Jewish community.

The Romanies have been persecuted but not on the scale of the Jews who were persecuted on masse and ejected from one part of Europe to the next over a millennia. Genocidal anti-Semitism did not magically disappear after the Holocaust thus the Israeli State should and must exist. This hatred has notably worsened again in recent decades. Violence toward Jews with no tie to Israel went up 3% in the UK during 2009 around the time of Operation Cast Lead. In many parts of Europe anti-Semitic crime has increased, and conspiracy spreads hugely on the Internet.

Mexico is not a legitimate comparison since the Mexican people already have a state, and in any case their people within its borders are largely the same as other Latin American countries. I support Kurdish autonomy which I think is just as important but I don’t think there are any people out there with a more legitimate claim to land than Israel.

It is unfortunate that you only value the Palestinian tie with the land when the Jewish one is considerable, and far more ancient. There was a Jewish majority in Jerusalem by the 19th Century. The Palestinians have repeatedly claimed all of Israel. Of the mandate, 78% was given to Transjordan which is also a de-facto Palestinian state.

There can be no limit on reclaiming land if a people have failed to settle properly elsewhere due to the persecution they were subjected to. You describe me as one of the “fervently pro-Israel protagonists”. Almost all pro-Israeli people out there want to see a two-state solution typically along the lines of Camp David in 2000, whilst pro-Palestinians continually try to deligitmise Israel and increasingly seek a one-state solution which would end Israel’s existence as a Jewish state. This is the same stance as the PLO have.

builder man said...

To anonymous.Thank you for your comments which I DO take seriously as
you are obviously well informed. James Barr is an author and historian
who studied at Lincoln College,Oxford
where he took a First.I am not a Palestinian, nor a Muslim, but I detest injustice wherever it prevails. I support the Iran Liberty Association for instance, so I do not
think I am biased.There is anti-
Semitism in this country but there is
much, much more Islamaphobia. Because I belong to a pro-Palestinian group, occasionly I
am approached by anti-Semites. I give them short shrift.They are the
very opposite of what I, and our group, are about and we have Jewish
groups like Jews for Justice for Palestinians who support us. To label the British as anti-Semitic,
when they were the main agents for the creation and support of Israel,
is ludicrous. There are 500,000 Jews in this country and acts against them are reprehensible but not common.In fact their influence is considerable and far greater than their numbers would suggest. Stories from the Holocaust appear almost daily on TV and radio.But of
course if criticism of Israel is labelled anti-Semitic, then when it
bombs a defenceless populace, you will be able to claim a rise in 'anti-Semitism.' Which brings me to
Goldstone. He did NOT retract the findings of the commission - he couldn't because the other members reiterated their support for them. Under intense pressure on his family in S.Africa, he made a qualifying statement but the findings remain legitimate and correct. I DO value the Jewish inhabitants of Palestine and those born there and their descendants have every right to be there. But the imposition of millions of others against the wishes of the indigenous people cannot be justified. There are problems in the UK with a small number of Moslems who want to create an Islamic State here against our wishes. That is unacceptable to us and fortunately they are only a small minority. If it grew to large
numbers, then we would resist, as the Palestinians have resisted. I do not like religous states, be it Jewish or Islamic, because it marginalises minorities and maintains ideas of orthodoxy and repression.This already happens in many Islamic states and is growing in Israel.The reason Jordan is 50%(not 78%)of Palestinian origin is because their forbears were expelled from Palestine by the Jews in 1948 and 1967. I have in no way retracted my admiration for Einstein because I believe that his
instincts were mainly to support the universality of mankind, (which
is in the best of the Jewish tradition), and had difficulty in resolving dilemmas arising in his world at that time. Israel,Nazism,
the Holocaust, Jewish Nationalism etc.We all struggle with moral dilemmas and how to find practical solutions. So I hope that can be found in the Middle East.But Israel
will have to change and the signs on the street are promising. It's not a question of Israel's legitimacy, but of it acknowledging
the crimes committed in it's creation and providing justice for the Palestinians. One final thought.If my position has the support of Mahatma Ghandi and Nelson Mandela, as it does, then every decent human being should contemplate that.

builder man said...

P.S> Unsurprisingly, given Israel's ludicrous demands, Camp David 2000 was a failure.

Anonymous said...

I will look up James Barr but after spending quite a few years reading about these issues from internationally acknowledged experts like Benny Morris I doubt he can add anything new on a topic that has already been discussed to excess for years in my opinion.

I assume you are English judging by your comments. England is one of the engines of anti-Israeli thought. There is of course Islamophobia but it is roundly tackled by the left and also by the media. Any criticism of Islam is often condemned whether legitimate or not. The Jews do not incite hatred against the British or British culture so the comparison is misleading. Yet by contrast the rising anti-Semitism in your country is not tackled in a significant fashion, in fact it is advanced by the left. One small example is how the head of the Students Union was referred to as a dirty Jew by a crowd of leftist Palestinian supporters some months back and the Guardian ignored it in their report. Indeed the British were the main agents for the creation of Israel but only for a relatively short period of time with the Balfour declaration. After that they did a great deal to scupper its creation, including turning a large number of Holocaust survivors away, except start a Jewish police force after the Arab revolt of 1936.

I never suggested the British are broadly anti-Semitic but there is a definite element. Just the other day John Galliano was given a slap on the wrist. You should read up on the disgusting attitude many British people had toward the Jews after WWII, as if they felt which led the creation of the 49ers. Ireland doesn’t have a great record of tolerance either but at least our history is not swept under the carpet.

I don’t wish to be rude but I’m afraid your bias is evident such as in the way you treated Einstein’s differing stances. The first treated as worthy of raising, the later views dismissed as emotivist and him giving into peer pressure. Standing for the Iran Liberty Association for instance is a good thing but many of those that support Palestinianism intensely do the same. Anti-Semitism is endemic in the pro-Palestinian movement. That is not to say all pro-Palestinians or even a majority are anti-Semitic. I am anxious not to tar everyone with the same brush but neither can I pretend it doesn’t exist. It is also interesting how the pro-Palestinian movement focuses unduly on Jewish critics of Israel, whilst the Neutrai Karta are wheeled out at many debates as somehow being representative of the Jewish faith.

Goldstone did distance himself from quite a number of the findings of the report. I didn’t suggest he voided the report. Every single one of the three other members of the Commission had expressed prejudicial bias before the mission set out. Travers, for example holds deep resentments over the Irish UNIFIL issue in Lebanon It is no wonder they refuted everything he stated. The findings of the report were not legitimate. They made many assertions that could not be verified, relied excessively on witness testimony without querying it, allowed themselves be led by the hand by Hamas in Gaza and even conducted their interviews there in public so there was no chance of any criticism toward Hamas.

Anonymous said...

You should value all the Jewish inhabitants of Israel as you do the Palestinians. I recognise a competing claim to the land so I want a real solution. By contrast you do not recognise the legitimate claim of one indigenous people who were subjected to a millennia of persecution and expulsion elsewhere. They all have rights. The problem is each party accepting the rights of the other. I purpose the pro-Palestinian movement opposes this solution because it puts one set of rights above the other. Around 700,000 Palestinians were displaced after Israel was created. Some no doubt were expelled, others fled. By contrast over 800,000 Jews were expelled from Arab lands who were absorbed into Israel but there is never any mention of them, many of whom are culturally and racially Arabic. These people make up the majority of Jews in Israel today, far from the pro-Palestinian propaganda that Israel is merely made up of European Jews. Are they not entitled to settle there too? In contrast to Israel, the big Arab states did nothing to accept their fellow Arab Palestinians whom they had used as 5th column during the war to destroy Israel. In fact several states had laws explicitly forbidding Palestinians from becoming citizens. They were used as a tool in a pan-Arab movement to extinguish Israel’s existence.

Many pro-Palestinians state that they don’t like religious states. However, the Jewish identity of a Jewish state is cultural even more than religious. There is infinitely more religious plurality than in the surrounding Arab states. Neither is the State socially repressive. Tel Aviv is seem as the Mid-East’s San Francisco. One would imagine such people should be more concerned about Jordan which bans Jews from entry, and other Arab states that ban any dealings between Israeli’s and their own populace.

I was referring to Jordan’s partition in 1922 as representing not 78% of the British Mandated territory. You are creating a false dichotomy by dividing its refugee population. Jordan is not 50% Palestinian. It is 100% so. It contains much of the Arab-Palestinian populace of the Palestine Mandate.

I’m afraid it is a question of Israel's legitimacy because pro-Palestinians keep raising it, whilst voicing supporting Hamas/Hizbullah as with the recent high profile demo in London last month, whilst the peace loving PA/PLO have not given up on their aspirations to destroy Israel as a brief glance at will attest, and continue to incite hatred against the state, and a link to the anti-Semitic abuse I mentioned directed at the president of the student union by the unerringly pro-Palestinian Socialist Workers Party.

Quite a number of other notable people like Sung san suu Kyi have voiced moderate support for Israel. I recall reading in the Times that Ghandi possessed some shocking sentiments about the Holocaust.

Finally, Camp David was an excellent solution to the conflict. Arafat was willing in principle to accept about 91% of the land he had demanded including part of East Jerusalem but walked out as he was not going to get the Temple Mount/Mosque as that was to be governed by both to some extent. He could not accept compromise over the sovereignty of the Haram which Al Jazeera lauded him for in January.

Obviously we cannot agree and the comments section of an article is not the place to debate the entire issue of the conflict so I won’t continue discussion further but I’ll be happy to give you the last word…

builder man said...

To anonymous.Thank you for the last word.Muslims have been killed in this country by Islamaphobia.Thankfully that has not happened to a Jewish person yet.All racism is completely unacceptable, but the figures are clear.There is much more Islamaphobia than anti-Semitism. There ARE Jewish groups who attack our society and they do by the use of their wealth and influence. Our human rights legislation was recently amended to suit Israel by their efforts. That is an attack on our democracy. The Jews in the Arab lands were expelled after the creation of Israel and there is evidence of deliberate actions by Israel's agencies to antagonise and speed up retaliation and expulsion. Of course that is wrong, but those agencies like Mossad are expert at 'dirty tricks.'See the Lavon Affair.Sung san suu Kyi may not be the best person to quote as a supporter of Israel. She is an honorary Elder. The Elders (who include Nelson Mandela) regularly criticise Israel
for human rights abuses and crimes against humanity. The fact is that Israel has few friends in the world and they are mostly right wing thugs like the English Defence
League. Believe me, I meet them on demos so I know what I'm talking about. Israel is a bully and the Palestinians are the victims which is why I support them. I note that you have not answered my question about Israel's boundaries. Surprise! Surprise! A final quote from Nelson Mandela. 'Apartheid is
a crime against humanity. Israel has deprived millions of Palestinians of their liberty and property. It has perpetuated a system of gross racial discrimination and inequality.'