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Holocaust Remembrance Day in Israel: Something’s missing

With Holocaust Remembrance Day upon us once again in Israel, I am republishing a piece I wrote four years ago. I’ve decided not to make any changes because not that much has changed and the spirit of the piece remains true to today. This year, I dedicate it to the people of Syria, may someone or something stop the slaughter and suffering of our neighbors.

As a “second-generation Holocaust survivor,” Yom HaShoah (Holocaust Remembrance Day) has always been of great importance to me; its lessons were etched into my conscience from the earliest times in my childhood memories. The words, “never again,” represent the values I was most deeply instilled with. However, those very values, which I once thought were universal, appear to be lost on so many. Perhaps my understanding of the values and memories of the Holocaust differs from others’: never again – not to anyone, ever.

As a child, I received the same Holocaust education as most other Jews. I heard first-hand memories from my grandmother and less so from my mother – both survivors of Nazi concentration camps. I went on to hear nearly identical stories in Holocaust museums all over the world, one such museum even has an exhibit specifically about my mother. Over several years, I helped my grandmother put her story onto paper and video so they would not be lost once she left this world. The value of those stories remain close to my heart and I am glad that they have been preserved so I might one day pass them on to my own children and grandchildren. The meaning of those stories has helped to shape my morals, values and personal goals. I was taught that they define us Jews as a people.

I was taught that the words “never again” mean never again to anyone. I was taught that the story of survival was about perseverance, not persecution. I was taught that as survivors of one of the most horrific and unimaginable crimes in the history of mankind, the Jewish people were endowed with a special responsibility to prevent such atrocities from ever occurring to any man, anywhere, any time, ever again. However, after living in Israel for almost three years, I am beginning to believe that this education was not universal. Searching through the three major Israeli newspapers on Yom HaShoah, I could not find even one op-ed that even resembled these ideas of using the lessons of our own tragedies to help others. Aside from the almost gratuitous articles about a glitch in the siren sounded in Tel Aviv and technical reporting of the day’s events, it seems that not one Israeli newspaper was willing to take the lessons of the Holocaust out of the context of Jewish suffering and to apply it to all persecuted peoples.

In no way do I intend to trivialize the memory of the 6 million Jews who were slaughtered at the hands of the Nazis. In no way do I intend to lessen the importance of honoring their memory. I am, however, shocked that my Jewish brethren are so afraid of using that memory to make the world a better place for all of mankind. That it is trivial to apply “never again” to the helpless people of Darfur (who are being slaughtered as you read this) sickens me. That we use the imagery and memory of Hitler’s crimes to justify war with Iran would make my grandmother turn over in her grave. That we do not see it as our place in the world to be the most outspoken advocate for all threatened peoples makes me question if we have learned any lessons from our victimhood.

The Holocaust is one of the most defining collective memories of the modern Jewish people, that we do not use it to make the world a better place for all mankind threatens the memory of all those who perished in the camps and of all those who died trying to save us. Yom HaShoah should continue to be a day of mourning, but maybe, it also needs to become a day of action.

Let us stand today to honor the memory of those who suffered and those who perished. Let us stand today to remind the world that we can never again stand idly by while innocent people are slaughtered because of their race, color, religion or any other reason.

Never again means never again.

Related:
Holocaust day: Prove that you are alive 
Remembering, but not understanding, the Holocaust

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  • COMMENTS

    1. XYZ

      There is no universal message in the Shoah. The Shoah only has meaning to Jews. I think it is rather presumptuous to think that non-Jews didn’t know that genocide is bad until the Shoah and that we Jews have some kind of “special responsibility” to teach the rest of the world that lesson.

      The fact is that nobody in the non-Jews world learned any sort of lesson from “never again”. Rwanda, Cambodia, Mao’s liquidation of millions and many other examples all occurred after “never again” became a slogan Even today, do you see anyone getting really agitated at the slaughter in Syria , or the earlier massacres in Algeria, Lebanon or Iraq? What did we hear? “we can’t get involved” or “we support the government doing these things for our own reasons”. A good example is the HADASH party which supports Assad because “he opposes American and Zionist imperialism”.

      The ONLY lesson from the Shoah is for the Jews alone and that is we can only rely on ourselves for our own defense and we must have a sovereign state and an armed force to do this. NO ONE ELSE CAN BE COUNTED ON TO DEFEND US. Period

      Reply to Comment
      • sh

        And we can’t be counted on to defend anyone else either. Goes to show that we’re as base as those you point your finger at.

        I never learned “never again” at my Jewish, religious, diaspora school and assumed Menahem Begin had coined it during the ’70s because I remember a speech in which he said it. Not true I see, after googling it. No. According to the Jewish Virtual Library and other less reputable sources, it was Meir Kahane who coined “never again”, along with “every Jew a .22″. What a pedigree that stupid, empty slogan has!

        Reply to Comment
      • The Holocaust has two lessons for Jews – not to be powerless and not to abuse the powerless. We’ve learned the first lesson brilliantly, the second one hardly at all.

        Reply to Comment
        • Aaron Gross

          Excellent comment. Without falling into the trap of universalist platitudes (ahem), you’ve demolished the self-serving Zionist utilization of the Holocaust. The lesson you read is both particular to the Jewish people and compassionate towards all humanity.

          Your two-sentence comment should stand alone as a post to +972. I’m serious.

          Reply to Comment
        • Charles-Jerusalem

          To Larry Defner,
          I don’t agree with Xyx’s comment but you don’t miss either an occasion:
          The message of the Shoah for me is more or less the same of the one of the Exodus: When a people put its faith in the hands of an other people it may very well end as a slave people or in genocide.

          Reply to Comment
        • Elisabeth

          Although I agree with what you say, it kept bothering me. I know you are talking about ‘peoples’ or ‘ethnic entities’ and so on but there is more to it.
          Is not being powerless a lessen one can learn? And is it a lesson one should learn? First of all, we are all born vulnerable. You may be lucky enough to be born in a family that loves you and has enough resources to feed and care for you, but the majority of people nowadays is still not born in such a situation. And then, you may be teased and humiliated in so many circumstances even if you are well-off, being so young and unexperienced and not able to speak as well as people older than you. Then, even if you live to be an adult, you are always vulnerable throughout your life. Women more so than men, but a Chinese villager who gets employed in an unsafe mine and is killed or injured is also vulnerable, and the list of vulnerable and powerless people goes on and on and on. No matter how macho and succesfull and strong you are now, and no matter how much money you make, one day you will be old and vulnerable again and depend on others. You may reside in an expensive retirement home, but that underpaid worker from the Phillipines may still let you lie in your soiled pajamas for hours before she attends to you.

          So to me the second lesson Larry mentioned is the only one worth learning: Not to abuse the powerless. Treat others as you would want them to treat you. That is the only thing that may lead to you being treated well also by the people that you encounter in your life.

          Reply to Comment
        • Eliza

          Larry Derfner claims that Israel has learned the first lesson, not to be powerless, brilliantly. But is this really true?

          Israel certainly has military hegemony in its region but still relies heavily on the USA for guarantees of protection. How is Israel not behaviouring like the ‘court Jew’ of old in its determination to keep the political elite of the USA on side, even to the point of Obama mouthing those silly words that the USA’s support of Israel was ‘eternal’ and ‘unshakable’.

          Does Israel really understand how power works? Just what is so brilliant re military hegemony given the limitations of military power? What is so smart about keeping the current most powerful nation on a leash given the changes in world power apparent with the rise of BRICS?

          The natural partners for Israel, as a bridge to the Arab world, are the Palestinians. It is the Palestinians who could facilitate Israel being secure within its region rather than Israel putting all of its eggs in one basket and trying to gain its security (via USA guarantees) from its region.

          Yet it is the Palestinians who Israelis abuse. Do you really think that the Palestinians exist just as objects of possible Israeli mercy and kindness if the second lesson of the Holocaust had been learned?

          Just what is so brilliant about a nation which, despite its relative economic might and regional military hegemony, has not had the wherewithall to establish mutually beneficial relations, on terms best suited to it, between itself and its natural ally, the Palestinians?

          Reply to Comment
          • American Me

            “USA guarantees”? As I’ve commented here before, Obama will smile in anyone’s face and then stab them in the back whenever it is advantageous to him.

            Here is another example of a small signal being sent:
            http://www.theblaze.com/blog/2013/04/05/obama-wh-scraps-jewish-heritage-month/

            “The White House is picking winners and losers as it cuts back because of the sequester [financial cutbacks], and a planned reception for American Jews is getting the short end of the stick.”

            He would never have done that before his re-election (in 2012). I have to laugh because in the months before the re-election, I would say to Jews that Obama will stab them in the back. But they thought that they knew better, because their own prejudice wouldn’t let them see correctly.

            Reply to Comment
        • American Me

          Larry’s comment is the best that I’ve seen here. It puts things on a personal. moral level, rather than the usual way of “us versus them”.

          Reply to Comment
    2. Richard Witty

      I was taught that the words “never again” mean never again to anyone.

      Honor one’s own. Honor others.

      Reply to Comment
    3. Philos

      “Holocaust and Martyrs Remembrance Day” in Israel is a bastard remembrance day. I say bastard as in it’s the illegitimate child of legitimate Holocaust remembrance. It’s soaked in nationalist sentimentality with a touching flare of jingoist militarism. All the following are from the night of April 8, 2013:
      .
      Netenyahu: “The murderous hatred that follows our people’s history has not vanished but replaced by a hatred against the Jewish state. What has changed since the Holocaust is our determination and ability to defend ourselves.”
      .
      Peres: “The enlightened world must ask itself how is it that so soon after the crematoriums’ fire was extinguished, after the terrible cost the Allied Forces paid to subdue the Nazi devil, there can still be an Iranian leadership that denies the Holocaust and threatens a with another Holocaust.”
      .
      Gantz: “The State of Israel is the safeguard against the recurrence of this horror, and the IDF is the wall around the national home, the haven for the Jewish people.”
      .
      Admittedly, Gantz’s comment made me chuckle a little bit because it was said without any apparent irony. The IDF is the brick and mortar of the great ghetto walls of Israel. Wonderful. The older I get the more disgusted I become with Holocaust remembrance in this screwed up and traumatized country! I would post the crap that’s appearing in my FB wall but I think I should just forward it to a PhD researching the perpetuation of inter-generational PTSD.

      Reply to Comment
      • Oscar

        Talking of PTSD, Philos is a classic case of a person suffering from Stockholm syndrome.

        He shed all natural tendency to identify with the self. Instead he identifies entirely with those who hate our people. According to Philos, those who hate us can do no wrong and we do EVERYTHING wrong.

        Reply to Comment
        • Philos

          Remembrance ceremony isn’t the time to refer to any enemies or to be exploited for political purposes, which is the entire point of this exercise in Israel. Hence, it’s bastardization from the norm. Consider it in relation to the Remembrance Day for the war dead. No political speeches on that day. Why you mention “enemies” is beyond me other than the usual troll tactic of diverting away from the main points I made. The very fact that the word martyr or “heroism” as the official PMO Facebook page spun it yesterday and today shows the depths of exploitation of the Holocaust. What was exactly heroic about the murder of six million innocent people? These people were martyrs? For what? A state built on their ashes. Martyrs go willingly to their deaths. The victims of the Holocaust were just that; victims. Innocent victims of genocide. The day Israel remembers them as such might be the day the country can mature but I doubt it. The Holocaust is the goose that keeps laying golden eggs. Why would our politicians, bureaucracies, and the IDF stop exploiting for their personal and institutional gain?

          Reply to Comment
          • Oscar

            Listen to yourself Philos. All you do is spew hatred against whatever we do and say. You say …

            “Remembrance ceremony isn’t the time to refer to any enemies”

            Why not for heavens sake? Holocaust day is a day that should help us remember what those who hated us, did to us. And it should also remind us what those who hate us today would do to us if they could and if we let them.

            Why am I bothering to explain this to a person like you with Stocholm Syndrome, I don’t know. Perhaps I am hoping against hope that I might wake you up from your stupor? Even though I know it is a forlorn hope.

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          • Philos

            The Nazis and the Iranians have nothing to do with one another you jackass! To compare is to trivialize the Holocaust. Bringing up the Iranians, or whoever is the contemporaneous boogey man, during what is supposed to be a memorial ceremony is crass, ugly and disgusting. That’s like talking about one’s late father’s debtors who failed to pay their debts to him whilst he was alive during the annual memorial. What would you think if of such a son who would spend his father’s memorial service talking about the debts owed to his father? I’m pretty sure you’d both be disgusted and think that the speaker is emotionally unstable.

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          • Oscar

            “The Nazis and the Iranians have nothing to do with one another you jackass!”

            They have everything to do with one another, moron. And so did Haj Amin Al Husseini’s Palestinian Arabs as well as Nasser, Hamas and Hezbolah.

            They all promised and promise to finish Hitler’s job.

            All you have to do is listen to what they said/say and stop keeping your head in that place where the sun does not shine.

            Reply to Comment
          • Philos

            So many Hitler’s…. This Hitler inflation is having a serious impact on the “value” of the real Hitler in the emotional blackmail market

            Reply to Comment
          • Philos

            The last time I checked Nasser built a death camp called “Al-Auschwitz – Baba-Birkenau”, and the Iranians have held a conference in Wannessfah in which Mahmoud Himmlerjad has ordered a final solution for the Jews. You’re right! I totally didn’t see the parallels between the Nazis and the Palestinians, the Egyptians, the Syrians, the Iraqis, the Iranians and Barack Obama. Phew, I’m glad you cleared up my confusion.

            Reply to Comment
          • Oscar

            “The last time I checked Nasser built a death camp called “Al-Auschwitz – Baba-Birkenau” ….”

            Are you really this dense? Or are you just pretending?

            Haven’t you read what I and others here said? We were saying that the lesson that we Jews learnt out of the Shoah is not to allow a repetition of it.

            Then you come out with your crap that the Arabs and Iranians have not set up death camps.

            Let’s see. Why not? Because they love us so much? No, dopey, they certainly have been talking about exterminating Israel and killing Jews. And not just talked but they actually have been killing us. But no death camps you innocently protest? That’s because we did not let them, get it?

            Do you really doubt that Hamas and Hezbollah would commit major massacres in Israel if they could? If you doubt it, then you better start arguing with them, not with me. Because they constantly publicly threaten to kill as many Jews as they can.

            Reply to Comment
          • andrew r

            “No, dopey, they certainly have been talking about exterminating Israel and killing Jews. And not just talked but they actually have been killing us.”

            This is just more self-serving blather that ignores the big skeleton in the closet of Zionism – It wasn’t going to get anywhere as far as its basic aim without military assault on civilians. Hamas aren’t Nazis; they have a nasty attitude about the people who conquered their country. Israeli soldiers have demonstrated time and again a Palestinian doesn’t need to speak overt antisemitism to be a fair target.

            Reply to Comment
          • Shmuel

            “Hamas aren’t Nazis; they have a nasty attitude about the people who conquered their country”

            Their country? What makes all of historic Palestine solely an Arab country?

            None of you brainiacs have been able or willing to give me an answer to this question even though I asked this several times now.

            Your turn Andrew. Give it a shot.

            Reply to Comment
          • andrew r

            “Their country? What makes all of historic Palestine solely an Arab country?”

            What makes this argument solely a strawman? I didn’t assert Palestine was solely an Arab country. However, the founder of Hamas, Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, was born in Ashkelon. Rantissi was around 2 years old when he was expelled from the village of Yibna. They resorted to political violence because the same had been done to them, not because they were Islamonazis or insert whatever epitaph you like.

            Reply to Comment
          • Shmuel

            “What makes this argument solely a strawman? I didn’t assert Palestine was solely an Arab country.”

            But Hamas do and they always did Andrew. That’s why they (and the forebears of Hamas) attack/attacked the Jews of Palestine and threatened to exterminate us after we established Israel in part of Palestine. They still threaten to do so.

            That’s why we compare them to Nazis.

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          • andrew r

            And firing mortar shells at villages with the express intent of depopulating them makes the Haganah comparable to what, the Berenstain Bears?

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          • Shmuel

            “And firing mortar shells at villages with the express intent of depopulating them makes the Haganah comparable to what, the Berenstain Bears?”

            Firing mortar shells onto snipers nests is allowed. It is called self defense.

            But having manifestos like this in their charter makes Hamas Nazi like.

            “The Day of Judgment will not come about until Muslims fight Jews and kill them. Then, the Jews will hide behind rocks and trees, and the rocks and trees will cry out: ‘O Muslim, there is a Jew hiding behind me, come and kill him.’” Hamas Covenant, Article 7″

            Reply to Comment
          • andrew r

            “Firing mortar shells onto snipers nests is allowed. It is called self defense.”

            My elementary school counselor liked to say a play fight turns into a real fight. That seems to work for playing dumb. My assertion ruled out self-defense, since I added “expressed intent of depopulating them”.

            Reply to Comment
          • Shmuel

            “My elementary school counselor liked to say a play fight turns into a real fight. That seems to work for playing dumb.”

            Yes, I understand what you are trying to say. What the Arabs did was just “a play fight”. They attacked the Jews of Palestine and promised to murder as many Jews as possible. And that was just a “play fight”, right Andrew? But when Israel fought back, it turned into a real fight. Here, read a bit of REAL history about Arab intents:

            http://www.crethiplethi.com/hamas-its-nazi-ideology-and-record/israel/2010/

            “My assertion ruled out self-defense, since I added “expressed intent of depopulating them”.

            We have been through this discussion Andrew but since you want to repeat everything 100 times, I will too.

            Israel had no formal policy of expulsion. How do I know? because Israel today has over 1 million Arab citizens. How would that be so if Israel would have a formal policy of expulsion? only the haters of Israel could explain that. Did Israel deliberately expel some Arabs for military reasons? Yes, of course it did.

            Now let’s turn the discussion back to track, Andrew (seeing that you are dying to side track it).

            The topic is Hamas Nazi like?

            I notice that you did not respond to Kiwi’s very pertinent point in the post below.

            Nor did you respond to my point about what is in Hamas’s charter.

            Why would that be? Because you are just here to brush off whatever the Arabs do and your sole intent is to vilify Israel.

            Sigh …. you are so transparent.

            Reply to Comment
          • andrew r

            “Nor did you respond to my point about what is in Hamas’s charter.”

            And you’ve ignored the litany of remarks I’ve cited showing the Zionist leaders had the intent of expelling the Arabs so they could take their place*. The fact that their success was delayed until ’48 doesn’t change the fact the intent was there.

            * http://972mag.com/a-humane-israel-sets-conditions-for-palestinians-fleeing-syria/63592/

            Zionism envisioned a demographic state that would make dispossessing the current inhabitants a prerequisite for its founding. The nakba is no less a crime against humanity than the deportations in occupied Europe to the ghettos and concentration camps. Yes, even though the IDF stopped short of expelling every last Palestinian. Attacking one civilian for a utopian purpose is no less a crime than attacking every existing person. The armed wings of Zionism and Nazism both attacked civilians for the sake of a racial utopia.

            Reply to Comment
          • Shmuel

            Actually no, Andrew. You are a revisionist historian.

            Israel accepted the two state solution in 1947. The Arabs were the ones to reject it and declared that their intention was to murder or expel all the Jews from Palestine.

            The Jews on the other hand accepted the two state solution in Palestine in 1947. Why? Because the Jews did not want to have a war with the entire Arab world.

            Of course, once the Arabs chose war anyway, the consequences of the war rested on the shoulders of the Arabs.

            A bit like the Germans had to wear the consequences of the war that they started, for example, the fire bombing of Dresden by the Brits. And a bit like the Japanese had to wear your country’s nuclear holocaust of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

            No one calls the Brits and you Americans Nazis for doing that in response to German and Japanese aggression. And Israel’s reaction to Arab aggression was nowhere near as drastic despite the Nazi like manifestos publicly declared by Arab leaders about what they intended to do to the Jews of Palestine. And despite the hundreds of thousands of Jews that the Arabs expelled from their homes in Arab countries.

            Now back to topic. You still did not respond to this manifesto in the Hamas charter:

            “The Day of Judgment will not come about until Muslims fight Jews and kill them. Then, the Jews will hide behind rocks and trees, and the rocks and trees will cry out: ‘O Muslim, there is a Jew hiding behind me, come and kill him.’” Hamas Covenant, Article 7″

            It sure sounds Naziish, doesn’t it Andrew?

            Nor did you respond to Kiwi’s point who used your own argument against you to demonstrate that Hamas is Nazi like because they have been firing rockets for years at Israel’s civilian population in the South, with the specific intent to depopulate Israeli civilians from their homes.

            Reply to Comment
          • andrew r

            The supposed reaction by the Haganah accomplished a political objective, to create a Jewish majority in Palestine, which had been stated by Zionist leaders since 1908. The Allies didn’t accomplish anything at Dresden they were clearly seeking before WWII began.

            Here’s my response to Kiwi’s argument: He seems to think that only Hamas is Nazi-like in firing rockets at civilian targets; the Haganah can get away with it because when Zionists attack civilian structures it can be written off as self-defense. So you have different rules for yourselves vs. your enemies. Nothing to see here.

            Of course speaking of different rules you think Zionist violence is justified in reaction to
            Arab remarks, but not the other way around when Zionists had been declaring their intent to conquer Palestine and “transfer” the Palestinians since before WWI began. “In many parts of the country new settlement will not be possible without transferring the Arab peasantry” – DBG. You can’t feign innocence when there’s a backlog of remarks like this, and trot out the Hamas charter as evidence that only the Arabs have made Nazi-like statements.

            P.S. “And despite the hundreds of thousands of Jews that the Arabs expelled from their homes in Arab countries.”

            Regardless of what you think are the facts of most Jews leaving the Arab states, during 1948 the vast majority of them remained in situ. So this is an anachronistic argument.

            Reply to Comment
          • Shmuel

            “Regardless of what you think are the facts of most Jews leaving the Arab states, during 1948 the vast majority of them remained in situ. So this is an anachronistic argument.”

            Speaking of selective rules, how about your above argument? According to you, Palestinian Arab refugees was a crime but Jewish refugees from Arab countries can just be dismissed. That sounds pretty selective to me.

            And what about your dismissal of Kiwi’s reminder about Hamas firing rockets onto Israeli civilians? You dismiss that too.

            As for me being selective? Not really. You just choose to dismiss my argument which is, read my lips: THE ARABS INITIATED A WAR OF EXTERMINATION AGINST THE JEWS!!!!

            That is not just my claim. It was what the Arabs themselves claimed at the time. And it is a matter of historical record that the Arabs STARTED THE WAR. It is also a matter of historical record that the Jews accepted UN Resolution 181 (the two state solution).

            But since the Arabs committed aggression, the Jews did have to defend themselves. And things have a habit of going badly in any war. So who is to blame for what goes bad? The aggressors of course. Like I said, the Brits, you Americans and your allies killed millions of people in WW2, including civilians. Are you going to tell me that you people didn’t put the responsibility for those deaths on the axis powers? Even if you personally would be stupid enough to do that, Most of your countrymen don’t share your opinion. And rightly so. By the same token, the same logic is applicable in the wars that the Jews did not want and which the Arabs forced on the Jews because they (the Arabs) were intent on finishing Hitler’s job. Hamas still says so openly despite the fact that you are trying every trick to try to shift the blame away from them, Andrew.

            Reply to Comment
          • andrew r

            “According to you, Palestinian Arab refugees was a crime but Jewish refugees from Arab countries can just be dismissed. That sounds pretty selective to me.”

            Although it might be accurate to say the Jews from Arab countries post-WWII were fleeing some level of persecution, none of the Arab countries at the government level initiated a plan of systematic expulsion against their Jewish citizens, or at least there’s no convincing evidence for that. So the circumstances are not interchangeable with Palestine.

            “That is not just my claim. It was what the Arabs themselves claimed at the time.”

            If you’re alluding to the Azzam Pasha quote (“This will be a war of extermination like the Mongols or the Crusades”) that is too vague to be evidence of anything. In fact, it could be he was accusing the Zionists of planning to wage that war, since it would be kind of strange to brag the soldiers were going to behave like historical figures who’ve killed so many of their ancestors. That said there’s no record of the leaders of Jordan, Syria or Egypt planning an extermination.

            While there were two massacres of Jewish civilians during 1948 (Haifa refinery and Hadassah convoy), there was no systematic campaign of massacres on the Arab side. On the IDF side, there was (Dawayima, Safsaf, Ilabun, Hula).

            “And it is a matter of historical record that the Arabs STARTED THE WAR. It is also a matter of historical record that the Jews accepted UN Resolution 181 (the two state solution).”

            And they set out to conquer land outside the partition boundary. Is the distinction between accepting an agreement and honoring it just too fine for you? The international community did not stipulate that in the event of one party attacking it would be a free-for-all for the other party. Since you like citing WWII so much, you might note that not even the Allies systematically depopulated Germany the way the Zionists did Palestine. Attack civilian targets, yes, seek to physically replace most of the population of Germany, no.

            If you really think the Yishuv leaders were a bunch of adolescents and their professed intentions during the preceding 50 years have no bearing on how their actions during 1948 should be evaluated, just say so. As if you haven’t in so many words.

            Reply to Comment
          • Shmuel

            “Although it might be accurate to say the Jews from Arab countries post-WWII were fleeing some level of persecution, none of the Arab countries at the government level initiated a plan of systematic expulsion against their Jewish citizens, or at least there’s no convincing evidence for that. So the circumstances are not interchangeable with Palestine.”

            There WAS systematic expulsion of Jews from Arab countries. But you know what? It isn’t worth arguing with you about it.

            “If you’re alluding to the Azzam Pasha quote (“This will be a war of extermination like the Mongols or the Crusades”) that is too vague to be evidence of anything. In fact, it could be he was accusing the Zionists of planning to wage that war, since it would be kind of strange to brag the soldiers were going to behave like historical figures who’ve killed so many of their ancestors. That said there’s no record of the leaders of Jordan, Syria or Egypt planning an extermination.”

            You are a funny man Andrew. Hamas are still saying that their plan is to destroy Israel and murder as many Jews as they can. It is in their charter. Are you denying that?

            And plenty of previous Arab leaders promised the same thing. Haj Amin Al Husseini was one (he was a trusted confidante of Hitler). Nasser a bit later, was another.

            “While there were two massacres of Jewish civilians during 1948 (Haifa refinery and Hadassah convoy), there was no systematic campaign of massacres on the Arab side. On the IDF side, there was (Dawayima, Safsaf, Ilabun, Hula).”

            More selective history from you Andrew. The Arabs were massacring Jews way before 1947. The Hebron massacre of 1929 for instance. And there were other massacres during the Arab revolt of the 1930s.

            “And they set out to conquer land outside the partition boundary. Is the distinction between accepting an agreement and honoring it just too fine for you? The international community did not stipulate that in the event of one party attacking it would be a free-for-all for the other party.”

            Are you for real? Is thats how others fight wars? Is that how Americans fight wars? They get attacked in their own country and confine warfare to within the territory of their own territories and don’t go on the attack? Not on your nelly Andrew!

            Ah but you might say that once there was an armistice agreement, Israel should have just returned all the conqured land outside the partition plan.

            Not as simple as that my dear fellow. That would not have been enough for the Arabs, they still did not accept Israel’s existence. But more importantly, those borders, like the 1967 borders, were very vulnerable. While that WAS acceptable had the Arabs not initiated a war of aggression, it certainly was NOT acceptable after they did.

            “Since you like citing WWII so much, you might note that not even the Allies systematically depopulated Germany the way the Zionists did Palestine. Attack civilian targets, yes, seek to physically replace most of the population of Germany, no.”

            Well ahhemmm, no, you are not right. After the war, millions of ethnic Germans were expelled by the Poles, the Chechs and the Russians. And it was agreed to by all the allies in Potsdam. Go look it up Andrew.

            Contrast that to what happened in Palestine DURING THE WAR. Yes, some expulsions for military reasons and mass flight due to normal panic induced on the losing side during wars especially since the Arabs promised to massacre all the Jews. They of course had a natural fear that the same would be done to them. But of course those who did not panic and flee were not massacred. Israel today has over 1 million Arab citizens to prove it.

            “If you really think the Yishuv leaders were a bunch of adolescents and their professed intentions during the preceding 50 years have no bearing on how their actions during 1948 should be evaluated, just say so. As if you haven’t in so many words.”

            Like I said to you before Andrew. Unlike the Arabs, the Jews were governed by a democratic system. As you know, in a democracy, the majority rules. Ben Gurion was the first prime Minister of Israel and the name of his party was Mapai. I defy you to show me any evidence that Ben Gurion or Mapai had a policy of expulsion.

            Now back to the topic. The Arabs were ruled by despots. And leaders like Husseini and Nasser (a bit later) advocated not only the expulsion of Jews but the massacre of Jews. Their word was law so the Jews ignored such threats at their own peril.

            Hamas today, still advocate it. You don’t believe me Andrew? Go read what they say or ask them. They will tell you.

            Reply to Comment
          • andrew r

            I’ll respond to this much:

            “Are you for real? Is thats how others fight wars? Is that how Americans fight wars?”

            Does the USA commit aggression outside its borders? Oh yes. Iraq 1991, Afghanistan 2001 and Iraq 2003 were not self-defense. You’re not talking to someone who considers his own country a moral yardstick. And since you’re going to bring up Pearl Harbor in 5… 4… 3… 2… look up the little visit the US navy paid Japan in 1853.

            “Ah but you might say that once there was an armistice agreement, Israel should have just returned all the conqured land outside the partition plan.”

            What I’m actually saying is that the raw intent of the Zionist movement makes that side historically responsible for the conflict. There would have been no violence against the Yishuv during the British Mandate if so many Palestinians were not – accurately as it turned out – convinced they were under a colonial-settler encroachment.

            “Well ahhemmm, no, you are not right. After the war, millions of ethnic Germans were expelled by the Poles, the Chechs and the Russians. And it was agreed to by all the allies in Potsdam. Go look it up Andrew.”

            Let’s try to remember what the argument was: It was justified self-defense to expel the civilians of the aggressor, the model you apply to both Germany and Palestine. (And I might add that’s insane in itself since there was no war machine for the Palestinians to be conscripted into and very few took part in any fighting outside their own villages). The German civilians expelled from Poland, Czechoslovakia and the USSR after the war were attacked indiscriminately and could not have taken part in the aggression in any way. So it wasn’t retaliation that the Allies signed off on; it was straight out racist persecution on punitive grounds. So that is more in line with the Plan Dalet operations and it figures you’d stand behind it.

            Reply to Comment
          • andrew r

            P.S. Don’t bother coming here with a ham-handed reminder that the Reich settled its own Germans in occupied East Europe. In that case expulsions would be justified, but it’s obvious that people unaffiliated with the Reich were expelled systematically. You proposed that civilians of the aggressor power should suffer indiscriminately, not civilians only affiliated through common linguistics.

            Reply to Comment
          • Shmuel

            “P.S. Don’t bother coming here with a ham-handed reminder that the Reich settled its own Germans in occupied East Europe. In that case expulsions would be justified, but it’s obvious that people unaffiliated with the Reich were expelled systematically. You proposed that civilians of the aggressor power should suffer indiscriminately, not civilians only affiliated through common linguistics.”

            Listen to yourself. Your initial claim was that no Germans were expelled. But having confronted with reality you try another spin. Here are the facts though:

            Errr … no, Andrew, you got it wrong again. The Germans that the Poles, the Chechs and the Russians expelled, were ethnic Germans who lived in their homes from which they were expelled for generations. Here check it out:

            “German settlement in the former eastern territories of Germany and pre-war Poland dates back to the medieval Ostsiedlung”

            http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flight_and_expulsion_of_Germans_from_Poland_during_and_after_World_War_II#section_1

            And the same was true in Cheslovakia.

            Reply to Comment
          • Shmuel

            “none of the Arab countries at the government level initiated a plan of systematic expulsion against their Jewish citizens, or at least there’s no convincing evidence for that.”

            Really, Andrew?? Here are a few snippets about how various Jewish communities were treated in Arab countries …

            ” From the onset of the 1948 Arab–Israeli War until the early 1970s, 800,000–1,000,000 Jews left, fled, or were expelled from their homes in Arab countries;”

            “By the Yom Kippur War of 1973, most of the Jewish communities throughout the Arab World, as well as Pakistan and Afghanistan, were practically non-existent.”

            “The reasons for the exodus included push factors, such as persecution, antisemitism, political instability and expulsion”

            “Most Libyan Jews fled to Israel by 1951, while the citizenship of the rest was revoked in 1961, and the community remnants were finally evacuated to Italy following the Six Day War”

            “Almost all of Yemeni and Adeni Jews, were evacuated during 1949–1950 in fear of their security. Iraqi and Kurdish Jews were encouraged to leave in 1950 by the Iraqi Government, which had eventually ordered in 1951 “the expulsion of Jews who refused to sign a statement of anti-Zionism”.[6] The Jews of Egypt began fleeing the country in 1948,[7] and most of the remaining, some 21,000, were expelled in 1956.[8] Algerian Jews were deprived of their citizenship in 1962 and as a result immediately abandoned the country for France and Israel. Moroccan Jews began leaving for Israel as a result of the 1948 pogroms, with most of the community leaving in 1960s. Many Jews were required to sell, abandon, or smuggle their property out of the countries they were fleeing.”

            Reply to Comment
          • Shmuel

            SHMUEL:“Are you for real? Is thats how others fight wars? Is that how Americans fight wars?”

            ANDREW:”Does the USA commit aggression outside its borders? Oh yes. Iraq 1991, Afghanistan 2001 and Iraq 2003 were not self-defense. You’re not talking to someone who considers his own country a moral yardstick.”

            That’s because you are an Arab American aren’t you Andrew? Admit it. You are so obvious. You are obsessed by the Middle East and your alegiance is obviously with the Arabs. Not with America.

            ANDREW: “And since you’re going to bring up Pearl Harbor in 5… 4… 3… 2… look up the little visit the US navy paid Japan in 1853.”

            Ah ok then, America started the war with Japan nearly 100 years before Pearl Harbor, right Andrew? Of course not right. You are some piece of work aren’t you?

            SHMUEL:“Ah but you might say that once there was an armistice agreement, Israel should have just returned all the conqured land outside the partition plan.”

            ANDREW:”What I’m actually saying is that the raw intent of the Zionist movement makes that side historically responsible for the conflict. There would have been no violence against the Yishuv during the British Mandate if so many Palestinians were not – accurately as it turned out – convinced they were under a colonial-settler encroachment.”

            Yea, right, the Arabs attacked the Yishuv because of what Husseini interpreted about what SOME Jews may have wanted. That’s an original excuse. I never heard that one before.

            I repeat my question: show me one instance in whichBen Gurion or Mapai advocated disposessing the Arab population. No? You can’t put up? Then just shut the F….k up!

            SHMUEL:“Well ahhemmm, no, you are not right. After the war, millions of ethnic Germans were expelled by the Poles, the Chechs and the Russians. And it was agreed to by all the allies in Potsdam. Go look it up Andrew.”

            ANDREW:”Let’s try to remember what the argument was: It was justified self-defense to expel the civilians of the aggressor, the model you apply to both Germany and Palestine. (And I might add that’s insane in itself since there was no war machine for the Palestinians to be conscripted into and very few took part in any fighting outside their own villages). The German civilians expelled from Poland, Czechoslovakia and the USSR after the war were attacked indiscriminately and could not have taken part in the aggression in any way. So it wasn’t retaliation that the Allies signed off on; it was straight out racist persecution on punitive grounds. So that is more in line with the Plan Dalet operations and it figures you’d stand behind it.”

            Errr … no, Andrew, you got it wrong again. The Germans that the Poles, the Chechs and the Russians expelled, were ethnic Germans who lived in their homes from which they were expelled for generations. Here check it out:

            “German settlement in the former eastern territories of Germany and pre-war Poland dates back to the medieval Ostsiedlung”

            http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flight_and_expulsion_of_Germans_from_Poland_during_and_after_World_War_II#section_1

            And the same was true in Cheslovakia.

            Reply to Comment
          • Shmuel

            I repeat your original assertion was this:

            “note that not even the Allies systematically depopulated Germany the way the Zionists did Palestine. Attack civilian targets, yes, seek to physically replace most of the population of Germany, no.”

            Then after having been confronted by facts, you changed your spin.

            It is a pleasure To discuss history with you Andrew (NOT), you are like a slippery fish.

            Reply to Comment
          • Shmuel

            “Ben Gurion was in is 80s when Israel was victorious in the 1967 Six-Day War. Ben Gurion made it clear that he thought Israel should keep Jerusalem undivided, but should relinquish the newly gained territories in return for peace.”

            http://judaism.about.com/od/jewishbiographies/a/bengurion.htm

            Reply to Comment
          • andrew r

            “That’s because you are an Arab American aren’t you Andrew?”
            (…)
            “Ah ok then, America started the war with Japan nearly 100 years before Pearl Harbor, right Andrew?”

            Kind of begs the question why you’re not accusing me of being a Japanese-American. Now if I start ragging on the Spanish-American war, are you going to call me a Latino? Are you really this much of a drone?

            “Listen to yourself. Your initial claim was that no Germans were expelled. But having confronted with reality you try another spin. Here are the facts though:”

            You have serious reading comprehension problems going on here. I claimed the Allies did not systematically expel Germans FROM GERMANY.

            Don’t forget that you wrote this:

            “A bit like the Germans had to wear the consequences of the war that they started, for example, the fire bombing of Dresden by the Brits. And a bit like the Japanese had to wear your country’s nuclear holocaust of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

            No one calls the Brits and you Americans Nazis for doing that in response to German and Japanese aggression.”

            I then pointed out that while the Allies did attack civilians within Germany, they did not seek to systematically depopulate the country that started the war. Now, they did allow the countries occupied by Germany to punish their own citizens of German descent, a completely different beast altogether. And it doesn’t bear on my argument that groups of ethnic Germans joined the Nazis — All countries invaded by Germany in the East had collaborators. They were scapegoats.

            “Yea, right, the Arabs attacked the Yishuv because of what Husseini interpreted about what SOME Jews may have wanted. That’s an original excuse. I never heard that one before.”

            Maybe it had something to do with the fact that Palestine was under occupation by an imperialist power which promised to create a homeland in the country for people who did not live there. The Palestinians didn’t need Husseini to fight Zionism.

            “I repeat my question: show me one instance in whichBen Gurion or Mapai advocated disposessing the Arab population. No? You can’t put up? Then just shut the F….k up!”

            Ben-Gurion did not advocate transfer before the 30′s; in fact, he ruled out expulsion in his public statements. Of course, it would have been stupid to advocate military expulsion when the power to carry it out simply wasn’t there, and the fact expulsion was even discussed should tell you something. However, he did work for separation of Jewish and Arab workers, even leading a demonstration in Nes Ziona that forced the planters to employ only Histadrut.

            Now Ruppin was not a Mapai member but he founded the kibbutzim which recruited future members of Mapai. He said this in 1928:

            “Ruppin claimed that there were deep and manifest conflicts of interests between Arabs and Jews, conflicts which would worsen as the Zionists gained more control of the land: “Land is the essential condition for putting down economic roots in Palestine […] wherever we purchase land and settle people on it – its current workers [the Arabs] must of necessity be removed, whether they be owners or tenants […] in future it will be much harder to purchase land, because sparsely settled land is
            no longer available – what is left is land settled with considerable
            density” (ibid.). 283 Ruppin to Kohn [30 May. 1928] in: (Bein 1968, III,
            149-150).
            [Etan Bloom 379]

            And in 1914:

            ““In May 1914, to note one example, 255 he submitted his plan for the transfer of Arabs from Palestine to Syria. In a letter to Dr. Victor
            Jacobson256 he wrote: “We are considering a parallel Arab colonization. Thus, we are planning to buy land in the regions of Homs,257 Aleppo etc. which we will sell under easy terms to those Palestinian fellahin who have been harmed by our land purchases.”258 Ruppin to Jacobson, [12 May 1914],
            pp.1-2, (CZA L2/34ii); extract reprinted in: (Alsberg 1955/6, 206-07).
            [Bloom 363]”

            So the first quote is an indirect admission that dispossession will be necessary for this Zionism thing to work, the second is an open advocacy of bribing Arabs to move out of the country. So it’s clear that among major Zionist figures, the motive for removing the Arabs predated the military dimension of the conflict.

            Reply to Comment
          • Shmuel

            Kind of begs the question why you’re not accusing me of being a Japanese-American. Now if I start ragging on the Spanish-American war, are you going to call me a Latino? Are you really this much of a drone?

            Whoever you are, you are no friend of America. Why don’t you move away from America if you are so unhappy with it?

            Or even better, instead of spending your time fretting about the Middle East, try and fix the wrongs that you perceive with your adopted country (America) first?

            Personally, I know why. Because if you would try, you would make a lot of enemies. Didn’t you say in one of your posts that you would fear assassination if you would stand for public office in America? I wonder why? Of course you didn’t answer that question when you were asked. Clearly you have something to hide.

            “You have serious reading comprehension problems going on here. I claimed the Allies did not systematically expel Germans FROM GERMANY.”

            Expulsions are expulsions Andrew. It doesn’t matter where millions of Germans were expelled from. I made my point.

            ANDREW:”Don’t forget that you wrote this:”

            SHMUEL:“A bit like the Germans had to wear the consequences of the war that they started, for example, the fire bombing of Dresden by the Brits. And a bit like the Japanese had to wear your country’s nuclear holocaust of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.”

            Yes, and I stand by what I wrote.

            “No one calls the Brits and you Americans Nazis for doing that in response to German and Japanese aggression.”

            Indeed no one does. Because they too like Israel were victims of aggression. Everybody suffers in wars. Both aggressors and those who are attacked. The primary blame for the suffering of all belongs to the aggressor/s.

            “I then pointed out that while the Allies did attack civilians within Germany, they did not seek to systematically depopulate the country that started the war.”

            Neither did Israel. You have not produced a shred of evidence that the ruling leader of Israel or his political party had a systematic policy of expulsion.

            “Now, they did allow the countries occupied by Germany to punish their own citizens of German descent, a completely different beast altogether.”

            Not really, expulsion is expulsion. In fact, expulsion AFTER the war is even less excusable than expulsions in the middle of a war due to military considerations. For example, some villages had to be depopulated in the 1947 war because they were located on strategic locations affecting supply routes or on high vantage points which served as ideal snipers nests.

            As for the rest of the populace who fleed in panic, certainly the party that started the war, the Arabs, were to blame.

            “Maybe it had something to do with the fact that Palestine was under occupation by an imperialist power which promised to create a homeland in the country for people who did not live there.”

            Maybe (more like for sure) the Arabs had no right to claim all of Palestine as their own. I thought you already agreed with me about that. You are now obviously backtracking. Like I said, you are like a slippery fish.

            “The Palestinians didn’t need Husseini to fight Zionism.”

            I don’t know, nor care whether they needed him or not but he WAS their leader (FACT) and they listened and obeyed everything that Haj Amin Al Husseini, the Mufti of Jerusalem commanded. Moreover, he was an out and out Nazi and a collaborator for Hitler.

            “Ben-Gurion did not advocate transfer before the 30′s; in fact, he ruled out expulsion in his public statements. Of course, it would have been stupid to advocate military expulsion when the power to carry it out simply wasn’t there, and the fact expulsion was even discussed should tell you something.”

            Then what are you carrying on about?

            “However, he did work for separation of Jewish and Arab workers, even leading a demonstration in Nes Ziona that forced the planters to employ only Histadrut.”

            Whatever. This is totally out of context. It could easily have been because of the incitement of your Mufti and the consequent bad blood between the two peoples. A bit like the separation fence that had to be erected because of the 4 year suicide bombing campaign that the Arabs unleashed against Israeli civilians between 2000 and 2004.

            “Now Ruppin was not a Mapai member but he founded the kibbutzim which recruited future members of Mapai. He said this in 1928:”

            Whatever. Rupin was not in power. Only you so called progressives even seem to know him. The rest of us hardly even heard of him.

            Are you saying that because of what a virtual unknown like him may or may not have advocated, the Arabs had the right to start a war against the Jews?

            It would be funny if what you are saying would not be so pathetic.

            Listen to what Hamas is saying (I gave you many references which you choose to ignore). Are you saying that Israel has the right to start a war against Gaza just because of what they say? Rather than because of what they do?

            No? Well Rupin or whatever his name was had even much less say about what would happen in Isra than the influence that Hamas has amongst Palestinian Arabs. All he had were opinions which contradicted the opinions of elected leaders like Ben Gurion.

            What next? Should the Arabs attack Netherlands because of what Geert Wilders advocates?

            Reply to Comment
          • andrew r

            “Whoever you are, you are no friend of America. Why don’t you move away from America if you are so unhappy with it?”

            Because that won’t fix anything.

            “Or even better, instead of spending your time fretting about the Middle East, try and fix the wrongs that you perceive with your adopted country (America) first?”

            Those two categories aren’t mutually exclusive.

            “Didn’t you say in one of your posts that you would fear assassination if you would stand for public office in America? I wonder why?”

            That was a hyperbolic way of saying there’s no way I can become president. And that remark was limited to that office, not public office in general.

            “Expulsions are expulsions Andrew. It doesn’t matter where millions of Germans were expelled from. I made my point.”

            You sure did. That people unassociated with a regime are fair targets if you can find a way to imagine they are related. That’s what Hitler did with the Jews and the Soviet Union and its what Stalin did with the Volga Germans (Many of whom were in the Red Army).

            “Indeed no one does. Because they too like Israel were victims of aggression. Everybody suffers in wars. Both aggressors and those who are attacked. The primary blame for the suffering of all belongs to the aggressor/s.”

            Now I happen to agree with this. And the primary fault for the suffering in Palestine post-WWI lies with the British occupiers and the Zionists who joined them and took over the occupation.

            “Neither did Israel. You have not produced a shred of evidence that the ruling leader of Israel or his political party had a systematic policy of expulsion.”

            This we’ve gone over before. And what about “his party”? The decisions were taken by the Haganah officers.
            http://972mag.com/eu-diplomats-recommend-sanctions-against-israeli-settlements/66805/

            The bottom-line is, the IDF systematically expelled and destroyed villages. That they didn’t expel all the villages doesn’t mean there was no policy. Again you want to make adult decisions and still be tried in court as a minor.

            “Not really, expulsion is expulsion. In fact, expulsion AFTER the war is even less excusable than expulsions in the middle of a war due to military considerations.”

            1) Germany was eventually allowed to become a whole state again despite its aggression; 2) Palestinians were expelled by Israel after the armistice agreements including the demolition of the Faluja pocket which broke the agreement with Egypt. Not the first time I’ve pointed that out to you.

            “As for the rest of the populace who fleed in panic, certainly the party that started the war, the Arabs, were to blame.”

            Most of the populace that fled in panic did so as a result of Yishuv attacks.

            “Maybe (more like for sure) the Arabs had no right to claim all of Palestine as their own. I thought you already agreed with me about that. You are now obviously backtracking. Like I said, you are like a slippery fish.”

            I agreed with you that Palestine is not soley an Arab country, yes, and I agree “the Arabs” don’t have a right to all of Palestine. Those who lived in Palestine, Arab or not, had the right to defend their country from outside conquest and to prohibit immigration by those whose political leaders made their intentions clear.

            “I don’t know, nor care whether they needed him or not but he WAS their leader (FACT) and they listened and obeyed everything that Haj Amin Al Husseini, the Mufti of Jerusalem commanded.”

            Wrong again. Husseini tried to prohibit flight outside of Palestine and utterly failed. Plus I’ve brought up examples of villages that refused to join the fighting before. This guy did not have the same command over Palestine as Ben-Gurion over the Yishuv.

            “Then what are you carrying on about?”

            Ben-Gurion had advocated separation of Arab and Jewish workers since he first came to Palestine; that was the party program of Poalei Zion (His party which later became Mapai). Really, it’s clear to anyone who’s done their homework that the Palestinian Zionists decided on racial segregation before there was any violence from the Arab side.

            He flip-flopped on the question of transfer, first calling it impractical, then advocating the British carry it out, then commanding the operations first-hand. Which raises the question if he ever had a serious objection to transfer other than it wasn’t possible at the moment. And he was discussing it either way as early as 1916.

            “Whatever. Rupin was not in power. Only you so called progressives even seem to know him. The rest of us hardly even heard of him.”

            Well let’s see, he founded the entire kibbutz system which recruited many of Israel’s most important politicians; created the Palestine Office which became the Jewish Agency; co-founded Tel Aviv. No, I can’t imagine why you should have heard of this guy. Without him, there would have been nothing for Ben-Gurion to become prime minister of.

            “Are you saying that because of what a virtual unknown like him may or may not have advocated, the Arabs had the right to start a war against the Jews?”

            I will say the Zionists started the war by making their intention to create a Jewish state clear. While they may not have fired the first shot personally, they allied themselves with the party directly wielding force in Palestine, before taking to their own operations. They were big boys and knew what they were getting into. That they wanted someone else to do the dirty work, then resorted to it themselves, doesn’t mean they’re blameless for starting the conflict.

            Reply to Comment
          • Shmuel

            “And the primary fault for the suffering in Palestine post-WWI lies with the British occupiers and the Zionists who joined them and took over the occupation.”

            LOL. Took over the occupation? You mean we Jews returned to our ancestral homeland.

            Occupation implies that the whole of historic Palestine, which was sparsely populated in the mid 1800s belonged to someone.

            But how could it? The people who lived there at the time, Arabs and Jews, did not inhabit every square inch of the land. Nor did they have sovereignity over the land. So despite your assertions, our return to our ancestral homeland did not break any legal code nor any moral code.

            “This we’ve gone over before.”

            We sure have gone over this ad nauseum. And just because you repeat yourself endlessly does not make you right.

            “The bottom-line is, the IDF systematically expelled and destroyed villages. That they didn’t expel all the villages doesn’t mean there was no policy.”

            Unless you produce written evidence of a policy you cannot claim that there was evidence of a policy.

            Israel is a democracy. As such, it has maintained an archive of all government documents. People who went through those archives managed to uncover plenty of embarassing actions by various Israeli governments. But NONE of them. I repeat, NONE OF THEM uncovered any evidence that there was a policy of expulsion by Israel in 1947.

            The incidents that you list have other explanations and I gave them to you. So did many others who documented the 1947/48 war which the Arabs initiated. Moreover, the Arabs themselves were not wall flowers. They too have a lot of explaining to do for what they advocated about what they would do to the Jews. And not just advocated but actually DID whenever they had the chance.

            “Again you want to make adult decisions and still be tried in court as a minor.”

            Sounds catchy but it is BS. Physician, heal thyself.

            “1) Germany was eventually allowed to become a whole state again despite its aggression;”

            And???? Israel too has tried to negotiate a solution which would lead to an establishment of an Arab state in part of Palestine. Guess who walked away from it?

            Hamas, wouldn’t even hear of it because they want ALL of Palestine.

            As for Fatah, they have just been playing games for years. They too want what Hamas openly demands. They are just a bit more shy about it when they talk to Westerners.

            “2) Palestinians were expelled by Israel after the armistice agreements including the demolition of the Faluja pocket which broke the agreement with Egypt. Not the first time I’ve pointed that out to you.”

            Out of context assertion. I repeat. Israel has over one million Arab citizens. If it would have had a policy of expulsions, Israel would NOT have ANY Arab citizens.

            Reply to Comment
          • Shmuel

            “Most of the populace that fled in panic did so as a result of Yishuv attacks.”

            Duhhhhh, which were in response to Arab attacks on the Yishuv.

            “I agreed with you that Palestine is not soley an Arab country, yes, and I agree “the Arabs” don’t have a right to all of Palestine.”

            You might but the Arabs (most of them) did not and still don’t agree with either of us. That’s the source of the conflict.

            “Those who lived in Palestine, Arab or not, had the right to defend their country from outside conquest and to prohibit immigration by those whose political leaders made their intentions clear.”

            Look at you. You are all over the place. The Jews who lived in Palestine around the mid 1800s certainly had no objections to fellow Jews returning to our ancestral homeland. That left the Arabs who DID object. But you admitted above that Palestine was/is not a solely Arab country. By what right then did they have the right to use violence to stop immigration (the term return is more apt) of Jews to that very sparsely populated land that the Arabs had no ownership of? Certainly not sole ownership and certainly no legal ownership.

            “Wrong again. Husseini tried to prohibit flight outside of Palestine and utterly failed.”

            And that proves that Husseini was not the recognised leader of Palestinian Arabs? LOL.

            “Plus I’ve brought up examples of villages that refused to join the fighting before. This guy did not have the same command over Palestine as Ben-Gurion over the Yishuv.”

            Did I say that ALL Arabs have ONE and only one opinion? Of course there was dissent. Like there was and still is plenty of dissent amongst Jews. But alas, majority rules. And the majority of Arabs recognised Husseini as their leader and ACTED on his incessant incitement against the Jews.

            “Ben-Gurion had advocated separation … Zionists decided on racial segregation before there was any violence from the Arab side.”

            There was nothing racial about our wish for a majority Jewish state. We still want it today. Get over it. It was and still is a reaction against 2000 years of persecution of Jews whenever and wherever we were a minority. Persecutions in both Europe and Arab/Muslim societies.

            “Well let’s see, he founded the entire kibbutz system which recruited many of Israel’s most important politicians; created the Palestine Office which became the Jewish Agency; co-founded Tel Aviv. No, I can’t imagine why you should have heard of this guy. Without him, there would have been nothing for Ben-Gurion to become prime minister of.”

            Are you this ignorant? There was no such thing as a SINGLE Kibutz movement. There were many different types of Kibutzim, ranging from atheistic ones like Hashomer Hatzair to orthodox Kibutzim as well as everything in between. Nice try though Andrew.

            “I will say the Zionists started the war by making their intention to create a Jewish state clear.”

            So a Jewish state is verboten? I’ll say this then. You have made your intentions clear too. You are an out and out racist. For your information, there are 24 Arab Muslim states. Why don’t you object to them? Only the one Jewish state is a thorn in your side?

            And what about that Anglican state called England? You have no problems with england?

            “While they may not have fired the first shot personally, they allied themselves with the party directly wielding force in Palestine, before taking to their own operations.”

            Indeed the Jews did not fire the first shots. The Arabs did. And that made the Arab side the aggressors.

            “They were big boys and knew what they were getting into.”

            Yes, self determination for the Jewish people.

            “That they wanted someone else to do the dirty work, then resorted to it themselves, doesn’t mean they’re blameless for starting the conflict.”

            First, there was no dirty work. Aspiration for self determination is not dirty.

            Second, we Jews did not want someone else to do it for us. If necessary we were and still are prepared to defend ourselves.

            Third, the Arabs were and still are big boys too. They knew and still know what happens to those who raise arms and commit aggression so they should not complain if the Jews give them what they attempt to dish out to us.

            Reply to Comment
          • Kiwi

            “And firing mortar shells at villages with the express intent of depopulating them”

            Substitute rockets for mortars. Isn’t that what Hamas has been doing to 1 million southern Israelis for years?

            Reply to Comment
          • Philos

            Ah, right, Hamas which at best has an annual budget of $500 million USD is an existential threat to Israel with a defense budget of $10 billion USD. That is 20 times bigger than all of Hamas’, which, as part of their budget includes schools, hospitals, etc. You still want to make comparisons between the Nazis and Hamas or will you just shut the hell up?

            Reply to Comment
          • Oscar

            “Ah, right, Hamas which at best has an annual budget of $500 million USD is an existential threat to Israel”

            They are not an existential threat because normal Israelis (unlike you) are able and willing to stand up to Hamas.

            But Hamas’s goals and aims are the same as the goals and aims of the Nazis. The destruction of the Jewish people.

            “You still want to make comparisons between the Nazis and Hamas or will you just shut the hell up?”

            Yes, funnily enough I do. Because I don’t believe that military might is a pre-requisite to have a Nazi ideology.

            Now are YOU going to shut up, Philos?

            Reply to Comment
          • Shmuel

            “You sure did. That people unassociated with a regime are fair targets if you can find a way to imagine they are related. That’s what Hitler did with the Jews and the Soviet Union and its what Stalin did with the Volga Germans (Many of whom were in the Red Army).”

            Now who is suffering from reading comprehension Andrew?

            Where exactly did you see me say that I condoned the expulsions of millions of ethnic Germans from their homes?

            What you DID see me do is respond to your mistaken assertion that the allies were not involved in expulsions. And based on that you jumped to conclusions. Well, that’s just your problem not mine.

            Reply to Comment
          • andrew r

            “What you DID see me do is respond to your mistaken assertion that the allies were not involved in expulsions.”

            Cripes, even now you’re not getting my original argument correct. I did not assert at any time the Allies were not involved in expulsions: They did not penalize Germany for its aggression by depopulating it. That was a very specific remark in reaction to your train of thought that the expulsions by the Haganah/IDF were justified retaliation against the party that started the war. The Allies did not systematically expel the civilians of the state that started the war. They settled for utterly destroying it, yes, but they eventually allowed Germany to rebuild.

            OTOH, the Zionists systematically destroyed Palestine because they wanted to build their own dwelling on top of it, and to this day what they destroyed remains so.

            Reply to Comment
          • andrew r

            “Out of context assertion. I repeat. Israel has over one million Arab citizens. If it would have had a policy of expulsions, Israel would NOT have ANY Arab citizens.”

            I’ve dealt with this issue as well. There were logistical constraints on Israel expelling every last person – one of them being Jordan’s control of the West Bank, another being Ben-Gurion’s worry about Nazareth. Plus the fact that Druze were often spared. Let me put it this way: Had Israel no policy of expulsion it would not be Israel because it would have over 8-10 million Arab citizens.

            Plus there’s a litany of written evidence. Plan Dalet was a policy. Rabin’s order to expel Lydda and Ramle was a policy. Allon and Carmel’s orders were policy. The order to demolish Beersheba was policy. You have to be dyslexic to think military orders aren’t policy.

            And because I know you’ll come back with the “military necessity” trope, here’s a few remarks from Ben-Gurion:

            7 Feb. 48: “[And] what has happened in Jerusalem . . . could well happen in great parts of the country – if we [the Yishuv] hold fast . . . And if we hold fast, it is very possible that in the coming six or eight or ten months of the war there will take place great
            changes . . . and not all of them to our detriment. Certainly there will be great changes in the composition of the population of the country.16″

            That really sounds like someone who would only commit expulsions out of military necessity, doesn’t it.

            “In a similar vein, he asked Weitz whether the JNF was ready to
            buy ‘from him’ land at P£25 a dunam. Weitz replied: ‘If the land is Arab [-owned] and we will receive the deed of property and possession then we will buy. Then he [i.e., Ben-Gurion] laughed and said: Deed of property – no, possession – yes.’ The next day, Weitz and Granovsky lunched with Ben-Gurion, who restated his
            plan . . . Our army will conquer the Negev, will take the land into its hands and will sell it to the JNF at P£ 20–25 per dunam. And there is a source . . . of millions [of pounds]. Granovsky responded jokingly that we are not living in the Middle Ages and the army does not steal land. After the war the beduins [of the Negev] will return to their place – if they leave
            at all – and will get [back] their land.119
            A week later, Ben-Gurion suggested to Weitz that he divest himself of
            ‘conventional notions . . . In the Negev we will not buy land. We will conquer it. You are forgetting that we are at war.’120″

            Oh, I’m sorry. You were right. The expulsions in the Negev had nothing to do with the desire for land. Of course.

            Reply to Comment
          • Shmuel

            “I’ve dealt with this issue as well. There were logistical constraints on Israel expelling every last person”

            Really? And since 1947, Israel had several other major victories and instead of expulsions, the number of Arab citizens grew to over a million, go figure …

            “one of them being Jordan’s control of the West Bank.

            So? What better place to expel them to? Isn’t that what the Jordanians did to the Jews of Jerusalem and Gush Etzion? They were expelled to Jewish controlled areas.

            “another being Ben-Gurion’s worry about Nazareth.”

            Yeah and the phase of the moon and flying pigs …

            “Plus the fact that Druze were often spared.”

            What have the Druze do with it?

            “Let me put it this way: Had Israel no policy of expulsion it would not be Israel because it would have over 8-10 million Arab citizens.”

            Ummmm No. Had both sides accepted the partition, Israel’s initial population would have been 45% Arab, 55% Jewish. And there would have been an ethnically pure Arab state next door.

            The Jews would have then offered attractive financial incentives to any Arab who would have been willing to relocate to the neighbouring Arab state/s. Those who wanted to could stay. But with further Jewish immigration, the Jews would have maintained their majority.

            “Rabin’s order to expel Lydda and Ramle was a policy.”

            Rabin was a military commander in 1947, not a policy maker.

            “Allon and Carmel’s orders were policy. The order to demolish Beersheba was policy. You have to be dyslexic to think military orders aren’t policy.”

            You have to be corrupt and jaundiced to pretend that the military of a democratic society make policies. Only the government of the day makes policies.

            “And because I know you’ll come back with the “military necessity” trope, here’s a few remarks from Ben-Gurion:

            7 Feb. 48: “[And] what has happened in Jerusalem . . . could well happen in great parts of the country – if we [the Yishuv] hold fast . . . And if we hold fast, it is very possible that in the coming six or eight or ten months of the war there will take place great
            changes . . . and not all of them to our detriment. Certainly there will be great changes in the composition of the population of the country.16″

            That really sounds like someone who would only commit expulsions out of military necessity, doesn’t it.”

            Well, let’s see. What did happen in Jerusalem exactly? The Jordanians and Palestinian militia expelled the Jews of East Jerusalem.

            “In a similar vein, he asked Weitz whether the JNF was ready to
            buy ‘from him’ land at P£25 a dunam. Weitz replied: ‘If the land is Arab [-owned] and we will receive the deed of property and possession then we will buy. Then he [i.e., Ben-Gurion] laughed and said: Deed of property – no, possession – yes.’ The next day, Weitz and Granovsky lunched with Ben-Gurion, who restated his
            plan . . . Our army will conquer the Negev, will take the land into its hands and will sell it to the JNF at P£ 20–25 per dunam. And there is a source . . . of millions [of pounds]. Granovsky responded jokingly that we are not living in the Middle Ages and the army does not steal land. After the war the beduins [of the Negev] will return to their place – if they leave
            at all – and will get [back] their land.119
            A week later, Ben-Gurion suggested to Weitz that he divest himself of
            ‘conventional notions . . . In the Negev we will not buy land. We will conquer it. You are forgetting that we are at war.’120″

            Are you claiming that the Negev was owned by Arabs? The Negev desert? That desolate dust bowl? You are a laugh a minute. And you are grasping at straws to prove an unprovable point. There was no policy of expulsion.

            “Oh, I’m sorry. You were right. The expulsions in the Negev had nothing to do with the desire for land. Of course.”

            Oh, there was desire for land all right. No one disputes that. But it is a matter of public record that Ben Gurion, as the leader of Israel agreed to a compromise. To the partition of Palestine into two states. The Arabs were the ones to reject that compromise and started a war of aggression against the Jews because the Arabs WANTED ALL the land..

            Reply to Comment
          • Shmuel

            “Cripes, even now you’re not getting my original argument correct.”

            That’s because your argument was not an argument.

            You tried to make out that the allies were better than the Jews because they did not depopulate Germany after the war.

            But the Jews did not depopulate Palestine either. Most Arabs fled because they fell victim to scare mongering and propaganda about what the Jews would do to them in retaliation for their aggression.

            The Arabs had somewherd to flee to (neighboring Arab countries). The Germans had nowhere to flee to.

            Reply to Comment
          • andrew r

            “By what right then did they have the right to use violence to stop immigration (the term return is more apt) of Jews to that very sparsely populated land that the Arabs had no ownership of? Certainly not sole ownership and certainly no legal ownership.”

            That last sentence in itself tells me you don’t listen to anything because I already explained that the peasants had the right to their land through usufruct. The Treaty of Lausanne did not abrogate that right. The large urban families also owned most of the land bought by the JNF during the Mandate period, so clearly they saw that as legal ownership, unless you’re admitting I’m right that they only paid for the land at that time because it wasn’t possible to take by force.

            “There was nothing racial about our wish for a majority Jewish state. We still want it today. Get over it. It was and still is a reaction against 2000 years of persecution of Jews whenever and wherever we were a minority. Persecutions in both Europe and Arab/Muslim societies.”

            There’s something racial about racial segregation and that’s what it took to create a Jewish state. The early moshav followed the racist logic of European settler-colonialism by employing a native labor force who were paid less than Europeans; the workers’ parties that became Mapai wanted a Jewish settlement free of Arabs and Ruppin created the kibbutzim as an economic space where Jews wouldn’t have to compete with Arabs in the Yishuv labor market.

            As for persecution, the European Zionist movement did not care about Jews in Arab countries. The first Yemeni Jews to join the Yishuv were brought over solely to replace Arab workers; they had to sleep in barracks away from the moshav they worked at and were barred from the kibbutzim altogether because the staff wanted them to displace Arab workers in the moshavim. Ironically, Zionism had its turn at persecuting other Jews. Repackaging it as a movement to save Middle Eastern Jews doesn’t hold water.

            Now, the last time I argued this point with someone, he was offended because I challenged the ‘ingathering of exiles’ narrative. And it may be true that in principle Zionism was supposed to unite all Jews everywhere. But that’s the thing about reality: it bites. The principle of ingathering didn’t stop the European Zionists from being racist against their fellow Jews already in the region, whom they saw as oriental and Arab.

            “Are you this ignorant? There was no such thing as a SINGLE Kibutz movement.”

            *yawn* I said system, not movement. Ruppin founded Kinneret and Degania within two years. And by the way, much of the kibbutz land was acquired by the PLDC, a JNF subsidiary founded by Ruppin.

            “So a Jewish state is verboten? I’ll say this then. You have made your intentions clear too. You are an out and out racist. For your information, there are 24 Arab Muslim states. Why don’t you object to them? Only the one Jewish state is a thorn in your side?”

            I’ve already answered this ad nauseam. Creating a demographic state where people outside the demographic live would require their removal. Even if the Arab side had accepted partition, Arabs within the truncated Jewish state would still be removed from their homes so the Jewish state could at least have pockets of Arabenrein territory. The fact the Labour movement tried to make the Yishuv colonies Arabenrein shows their intention for when Palestine eventually becomes a Jewish state. Americans in public school usually learn racial segregation is a bad thing; however, Israel’s practice of it is excused in US political culture.

            Now as for the Arab states, if most of the people who should rightfully live there were in forced exile so outsiders could take over, I would object to that as well. It has nothing to do with who’s Arab and who’s Jewish – it’s actions that count. (And don’t bring up the 7th century Arab conquests because those events did not physically replace the people living in the Levant and North African regions — they simply ended up adopting the religion and language of the conquerors. Whatever you might think about that, it was their choice not to resist acculturation; the Crusaders and Zionists gave the Palestinians no choice but to vacate).

            P.S. “You tried to make out that the allies were better than the Jews because they did not depopulate Germany after the war. (…) The Arabs had somewherd to flee to (neighboring Arab countries). The Germans had nowhere to flee to.”

            As much as I hate to keep dragging out this mini-argument, while it may not have been possible to ethnically cleanse Germany through its present-day border, much of Germany could have been depopulated through ghettoization, which of course the Germans did across Eastern Europe. And my point had nothing to do with who’s better — the simple fact is, regardless of who fired the first shot after 29 Nov. 1947, the Zionists were getting what they wanted by ethnically cleansing Palestine and started the military-dimension of the conflict in the first place by joining the British occupation. The conflict is on their heads.

            Reply to Comment
          • Shmuel

            “I already explained that the peasants had the right to their land through usufruct.

            Usur what? Don’t be rude, you can get fruct too.

            The Treaty of Lausanne did not abrogate that right. The large urban families also owned most of the land …

            You mean the Arab absentee landlords don’t you? And even they did not own all the land. The majority of the land was crown land.

            “There’s something racial about racial segregation and that’s what it took to create a Jewish state.”

            There is something racial about persecuting Jewish minorities then objecting to those majorities returning to our ancestral homeland to ensure that we would no longer be minorities and persecuted.

            “As for persecution, the European Zionist movement did not care about Jews in Arab countries.”

            Yes we did.

            “The first Yemeni Jews to join the Yishuv were brought over solely to replace Arab workers”

            In your dreams.

            “they had to sleep in barracks away from the moshav”

            How do you know where they had to sleep? Were you there?

            My grandparents tell me everyone had to rough it in those days. It wasn’t a first world country.

            “they worked at and were barred from the kibbutzim altogether”

            No they were not.

            “Now, the last time I argued this point with someone, he was offended because I challenged the ‘ingathering of exiles’ narrative.”

            What a surprise. Your impertinence is impressive.

            “And it may be true that in principle Zionism was supposed to unite all Jews everywhere. But that’s the thing about reality: it bites. The principle of ingathering didn’t stop the European Zionists from being racist against their fellow Jews already in the region, whom they saw as oriental and Arab.”

            We saw the Arabs as a people who were intent on stopping us from achieving our self determination at all cost. We saw them as a ruthless enemy who is willing to murder us so that they can achieve THEIR nationalist cause at our expense. And as a people who were not willing to compromise by agreeing to the two state solution.

            We still feel that way.

            “*yawn* I said system, not movement.”

            Yawn, System … Movement … who cares? The bottom line is that system was not invented by ONE person.

            “Ruppin founded …”

            Rupin snoopin. He was one person with opinions. And probably not as extreme as you make him out to be either.

            You are spinning the kind of fairy tales that mothers tell their kids when they try to frighten them. Only you are doing it to spread misinformation.

            “I’ve already answered this ad nauseam. Creating a demographic state where people outside the demographic live would require their removal.”

            And I already answered your answer. Voluntary removal by offering financial incentives. That indeed was mooted by Zionist ideology.

            “segregation is a bad thing …”

            Yawn, I repeat, Israel has 1 million Arab citizens, 20% of Israel’s population.

            “Now as for the Arab states, if most of the people who should rightfully live there were in forced exile so outsiders could take over, I would object to that as well.”

            Really? Then tell me, how many Jews live in Arab countries? And what happened to the Jews who lived there. I know you denied state involvement in the expulsion of Jews from Arab countries. But I debunked your denial in detail in an earlier post which you then chose to ignore.

            “(And don’t bring up the 7th century Arab conquests because those events did not physically replace the people living in the Levant and North African regions — they simply ended up adopting the religion and language of the conquerors.”

            I didn’t bring it up. But since you did, then let me correct you.

            Poppy cock, the local population did NOT voluntarily adopt the language and culture of the Arab conquerors. They were COERCED and often FORCED to adopt their language, religion and culture. You want to know what that was? A few words come to mind: Supremacism, fascism, bloody mindedness …

            Whatever you might think about that, it was their choice not to resist acculturation; the Crusaders and Zionists gave the Palestinians no choice but to vacate).

            P.S. “You tried to make out that the allies were better than the Jews because they did not depopulate Germany after the war. (…) The Arabs had somewherd to flee to (neighboring Arab countries). The Germans had nowhere to flee to.”

            As much as I hate to keep dragging out this mini-argument, while it may not have been possible to ethnically cleanse Germany through its present-day border, much of Germany could have been depopulated through ghettoization, which of course the Germans did across Eastern Europe. And my point had nothing to do with who’s better — the simple fact is, regardless of who fired the first shot after 29 Nov. 1947, the Zionists were getting what they wanted by ethnically cleansing Palestine and started the military-dimension of the conflict in the first place by joining the British occupation. The conflict is on their heads.

            Reply to Comment
          • andrew r

            “How do you know where they had to sleep? Were you there?”

            It’s called doing research. Of course, I only read someone else’s, namely Gershon Shafir in “Land, Labor and the Origins of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict”. You can read some of that book on Google if you want, otherwise your silly reaction to the word ‘usufruct’ tells me there’s no point.

            Reply to Comment
          • Shmuel

            “It’s called doing research.”

            No, it is called first making up your mind and then finding someone equally biased who confirms your pre-conceptions.

            “Of course, I only read someone else’s, namely Gershon Shafir”

            Tell us pray, what makes him a greater authority on this subject than others who diametrically disagree with him? The fact that he says something contrary?

            My grand parents were there and they met Yemeni Jews. I have Friends who are of Yemeni background and they certainly don’t back up the claims of this upstart “professor” or whatever he is who is trying to make a name for himself.

            Reply to Comment
          • Shmuel

            You want to talk about Yemenite Jews in Israel, Andrew? Then read this:

            http://www.everyculture.com/Africa-Middle-East/Jews-of-Yemen-The-Yemenite-Jews-in-Israel.html

            It kinda puts the lie to your claim that we Zionists helped them get out from Dhimnihood in Yemen just to exploit them. Doesn’t it Andrew?

            Please don’t answer,that was a rhetorical question. The only time you seem to be able to tell the truth is when your lips don’t move. Errrr, I mean your keyboard …

            Reply to Comment
          • andrew r

            “It kinda puts the lie to your claim that we Zionists helped them get out from Dhimnihood in Yemen just to exploit them.”

            A Wikipedia-style article that cites nothing is nothing. It completely ignores documented facts including letters from Yemenite Jews at the time and comments about them from the business leaders who pushed for their arrival. This is from p. 105 of ‘Land, Labor’ by Shafir:

            “Upon their arrival, Yemenite Jewish immigrants could “choose” to live in either cow-sheds or stables, under the open sky, to erect wooden huts or, if they were lucky, to move into temporary shelters such as cellars, depots, etc. Between 1912 and 1914, the JNF, in cooperation with the PO, financed the construction of more durable homes. These consisted, according to Druyan’s painstaking research, of either tiny single-dwelling houses, some in fact built by the immigrants themselves, or of long wooden barracks, that contained eight to ten rooms. All of these accomodations, Druyan sums up, sufficed for no more than 30% of the Yemenite immigrants in the colonies. The houses were built in separate quarters, at some distance from the existing moshavot: Shaarayim near Rechovot, Machane Yehuda near Petach Tikvah, Nachliel near Hadera, Nachlat Yehuda near Rishon Letzion. (63) These quarters, or shall we call them slums, were built either from the donations of various philanthropic bodies, or with the monies of a special drive for the construction of the Jemenitenhauser. Some of the money collected for the express purpose of building homes for the Yemenite Jewish workers, was diverted to other purposes for both YJ and Ashkenazi workers though, occasionally, Ruppin also spent money on construction prior to its authorization from Cologne. The YJ residents were forced to pay either monthly or yearly rents. (64) When the dimensions of the housing shortage were revealed, the heads of the WZO in Germany refused to spend much of the very limited budgets of their, at the time, objectively poor movement on philanthropic aid. They were willing to spend money on the YJ only commensurate with their “value” for the overall colonization goal of the Zionist movement.”

            By the way, since you know Hebrew you can read the research of Nitza Druyan who is cited by Shafir as the original source of the above, although Shafir went to primary documents himself for the origins of the initiative to bring the Yemenis over.

            “No it wasn’t. They were coerced or forced to shed their identities by supremacist Arab conquerors.”

            My point stands either way – today’s Arabs are not morally accountable for the earlier Arab conquests on the basis they adopted the identity of the conquerors. Hence, you cannot claim on the basis of ancestry that European Jews had the unconditional right to mass immigrate to Eretz Palestina with the predictable result of pushing out the natives. The Palestinians have a concrete ancestral connection to the land that predates the Islamic-era. The Zionists have nothing but liturgical myth which absurdly makes a hypothetical convert more entitled to the land than someone whose grandparent was just there 65 years ago.

            “Returning to our ancestral homeland to achieve self determination in order to escape persecution in exile both in Arab and European lands was not tantamount to joining the British occupation.”

            Forming a unit which attached itself to the British army during WWI, lobbying the Brits for a declaration which essentially made the occupation of Palestine conducted on behalf of the Zionists, staffing auxiliaries of the British military which joined in suppressing the ’36 revolt… that’s what I mean by joining the occupation. The British commander Orde Wingate was called the spiritual father of the IDF by Yigal Allon.

            Not to mention that if Palestine had been granted independence after WWI, there would have been no question of whether the land was owned by the natives because they would have been able to prevent settler-colonial immigration. The British occupation was necessary for the long-term success of the movement and was desired by all major and would-be-major Zionist leaders at the time.

            Reply to Comment
          • Shmuel

            “It completely ignores documented facts”

            BS again. You ignore the fact that I live in Israel and know many Yemenite Jews. They are fully integrated into Israeli society as my reference link outlines.

            And not only Yemenite Jews. There is a lot of intermarriage between Ashkenazim and Mizrahi/Sephardi Jews. Including in my family.

            So you from America can’t tell us what we see on the ground here. And you can’t tell us what our intentions are when we gather our brethern to make Aliya to Israel and re-unite with us. Because we are all one people.

            I tell you who you can convince though. Those who hate us, those who have incentives to wish us harm, those who have the same ideological agenda as you. Us? You can’t convince because you cannot tell us what we are, what we think, what we know is here on the ground and what our motives are. Nice try though Andrew.

            Reply to Comment
          • Shmuel

            ” Yemenite Jewish immigrants could “choose” to live in either cow-sheds or stables”

            Just keep on repeating your mantra. I already answered that one. Israel was not a first world country around that time. The Yemenite newcomers were not the only ones who had to rough it. My Ashkenazi grandparents when they first arrived, lived in tents and they had to put up with wildlife like poisonous snakes visiting the tents from time to time.

            But again, nice try Andrew. Keep up your BS and misinformation campaign.

            Reply to Comment
          • Shmuel

            “My point stands either way – today’s Arabs are not morally accountable for the earlier Arab conquests”

            Yes, I know. According to you and the likes of you the Arabs are never responsible for anything bad that happens.

            Never mind though. In this instance, I wasn’t even the one who brought up the 7th century Arab invasion and conquest of Palestine. You brought it up. I just corrected your absurd claim that the local population just willingly shed their own identities. What a joke …

            By the way. When do you think young Israelis too will be able to say that we, some of us (not me) as seventh generation Israelis are natives and we had nothing to do with what went on, good or bad, back in history? I guess, according to you never, right Andrew? Luckily though, we are not interested in your opinion or those of your like minded friends.

            Go and annoy your fellow Americans about your own history. They will soon put you in your place if you try to tell them what you think they should do about it.

            Reply to Comment
          • Shmuel

            “Orde Wingate was called the spiritual father of the IDF by Yigal Allon”

            May G-D bless his soul. But again you are distorting history.

            Wingate could certainly be described as the father of the IDF. But he acted on his own volition against orders. He was a Christian Zionist.

            http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orde_Wingate

            “However, his deepening direct political involvement with the Zionist cause and an incident where he spoke publicly in favour of the formation of a Jewish state during his leave in Britain, caused his superiors in Palestine to remove him from command.”

            Reply to Comment
          • Shmuel

            Last but not least Andrew, you constantly contradict yourself.

            In one of your first posts, after I pointed out that around the mid 1800s, Palestine was sparsely populated with perhaps no more than 100,000 people in an area that now accommodates over 10 million people [I add the last bit now], you said:

            ” I didn’t assert Palestine was solely an Arab country”

            But now you assert that returning Jews from the mid 1800s onwards can be considered joining the British occupiers.

            I don’t know where to begin to point out your inaccuracies and contradictions.

            First, till 1917, Palestine wasn’t even under British rule. It was under Ottoman rule.

            Second, if Palestine wasn’t an Arab country, AND IT REALLY WASN’T, then how could you consider the returning Jewish exiles as occupiers?

            Third, throughout the long history of negotiations between Arabs, Jews, Brits and the UN, it is a matter of public record that the Jews were willing to compromise. By that I mean, the Jews accepted the two state solution. One Jewish and one Arab state. The Arabs were the ones who kept on saying NO, NO, NO … And more NOs. To this day they claim 100% of Palestine as Arab land.

            Go check it out on any English language Arab forum. They openly make the same claim even today. As does Hamas.

            Reply to Comment
          • Shmuel

            “Whatever you might think about that, it was their choice not to resist acculturation;”

            No it wasn’t. They were coerced or forced to shed their identities by supremacist Arab conquerors.

            “the Crusaders and Zionists gave the Palestinians no choice but to vacate).”

            They had choices. Those who chose to stay stayed. Remember Israel’s 1 million Arab citizens today?

            But yes, those who chose to allow their villages to set up snipers nest were given no choice. Villages situated on militarily strategic locations with the potential to cut off supply lines were vacated. That happens in ALL wars.

            “As much as I hate to keep dragging out this mini-argument, while it may not have been possible to ethnically cleanse Germany through its present-day border, much of Germany could have been depopulated through ghettoization, which of course the Germans did across Eastern Europe.”

            The point that I made was to show you why the Germans did not flee in panic from war, like the Arabs did. I repeat, the Germans had nowhere to flee to. The Arabs had the choice to flee to neighbouring Arab countries.

            “And my point had nothing to do with who’s better — the simple fact is, regardless of who fired the first shot after 29 Nov. 1947 the Zionists were getting what they wanted by ethnically cleansing Palestine”

            Your point was BS. Take Deir Yassin for instance. Yes, it was attacked and yes, Arabs died in the battle. But the Arabs deliberately exaggerated what happened there for political reasons. Watch this BBC video in which some more honest Arabs admit it and calls it a big mistake which caused panic amongst other Arabs:

            http://www.2nd-thoughts.org/deir_yassin.html

            ” and started the military-dimension of the conflict in the first place by joining the British occupation. The conflict is on their heads.”

            You are a racist Andrew. Returning to our ancestral homeland to achieve self determination in order to escape persecution in exile both in Arab and European lands was not tantamount to joining the British occupation.

            In fact, we had to end up fighting the British too because they were pressured by the Arabs to back track on their League of Nations/UN mandated obligations to help establish a Jewish homeland in Palestine.

            Reply to Comment
      • Aaron Gross

        I’m also turned off by the Zionist exploitation of the Shoah, for the same reasons as you are though not to the same degree.

        I identify also with the ultra-Orthodox opponents of Holocaust Rememberance Day, those people who continue going about their business when the sirens sound and the rest of the country stands silent. They don’t glorify violent resistance to the Nazis, they don’t use the Shoah to justify a Jewish state (obviously, because they’re non-Zionists), and they do commemorate the Shoah on the traditionally appropriate date, which is the 9th of Av. I think that’s an important antidote to Holocaust fever.

        Reply to Comment
        • sh

          Haredim commemorate it on the fast of 10 Tevet too.

          Like you and Philos, Israel’s way of remembering holocaust victims has always made me uncomfortable. The choice of inconvenient date in order to be able to add the word gvura (heroism) to the day’s official name; the role of the army in the ceremony; the abusive loading of the memory of the victims with contemporary propaganda and views they did not necessarily hold.

          I’m hoping that one day we’ll be able to remember the holocaust on 27 January along with the rest of the world.

          Haaretz did a piece today that starts “Our accumulated experience should teach us a lesson that is the opposite of ‘A nation that will dwell alone and not reckon with the nations.’”
          http://www.haaretz.com/opinion/not-again-not-alone-1.514185

          Reply to Comment
        • Arieh

          “I’m also turned off by the Zionist exploitation of the Shoah”

          Exploitation? What has exploitation got to do with it?

          They say, those who forget history are doomed to repeat it. In this case, those who forget the lessons of the Shoah, are risking the same thing.

          Reply to Comment
    4. Boxthorn

      The phrase ‘Never Again’ in relation to the Holocaust comes from the JDL:

      en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Never_Again

      While its nice to see so many Kahanists here, I wonder if they should be so vocal.

      Reply to Comment
      • Leen

        I don’t know, but this just disturbed me to no end.
        Shame that this tradegy was bandwageoned by Kahane.

        Reply to Comment
    5. Miki

      I agree very much with the sentiment expressed in the article that “never again” should mean “never again” not for anyone. And while I agree with your references to Iran, Darfur and Syria, why is there no mention of the plight of the Palestinian people? It is the Palestinians who the Israeli state is most responsible for oppressing and have done so for more than 60 years, resulting in the death of tens of thousand of Palestinians and the displacement of millions of Palestinians from their homeland.

      Reply to Comment
    6. Larry,above, seem to say things as well as they can be said:

      “The Holocaust has two lessons for Jews – not to be powerless and not to abuse the powerless.” Whether or not these two are simultaneously satisfiable is the great matter under contention. I suspect the answer will never be definitive.

      Reply to Comment
    7. Aaron Gross

      What does the author have to say to those who don’t agree? Apparently, nothing. It’s several paragraphs of univeralist boilerplate with no acknowledgement that there are hard questions involved, that there might be good reasons to oppose a “never again to anyone” policy. It’s just, “Ain’t it awful that everyone doesn’t think like I do?”

      Reply to Comment
      • The question is not one of universal application (which is literally impossible) but having some who prod us to push the boundaries of application at times. Bill Clinton, not known for his morals, said that the world failure in Rawanda (which could have been retarded if early warnings had been heard) caused him to intervene in Kosovo. One bright flag was ariel photos suggesting mass graves (which were indeed there). Recall how close the US came to a ground invasion there. I believe Kosovo worked. Under what appears to be your logic, we would not have tried. There are guesses and risk, and sometimes action.

        Reply to Comment
    8. Oscar

      Yes I agree, Larry put it well. And the way you put it, Greg, is apt too.

      It reminds me a bit of Asimov’s three laws of robotics, the third of which goes something like this:

      “A robot must protect it’s own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the first and the second laws.”

      But since we Jews are not robots, I would reverse the onus and I learnt the following:

      1. Not to be powerless and at the mercy of others.

      2. Not to abuse the powerless unless this law conflicts with the first law.

      Might seem callous but we learnt the adverse lessons of being dependent on the mercy of others, the hard way.

      Reply to Comment
      • I work on an old system and often don’t get fully loaded extended comments. Yours came through up to your second law; maybe that is the end, maybe not.

        The question of power and abuse are empirical. There is no blank check. Obama has done you a service by flagging some settler behavior; there he, and quite many others, say abuse has begun. It really doesn’t matter if one of these settlers has lost a mother or grandmother in the Holocaust. The abuse at present is real. Nor will preventing this abuse make Israel powerless; rather, in my view, the reverse.

        Reply to Comment
        • Oscar

          @Greg
          You would be 100% correct if the settlers would be the only abusers. But the truth is that the settlers themselves are being abused by Palestinian Arabs. Only recently a father and son were buried because they were murdered by stone throwing Palestinian Arab thugs.

          Reply to Comment
        • Oscar

          @Greg
          You would be 100% correct if the settlers would be the only abusers. But the truth is that the settlers themselves are being abused by Palestinian Arabs. Only recently a father and son were buried because they were murdered by stone throwing Palestinian Arab thugs

          Reply to Comment
    9. Charles-Jerusalem

      I grew up as a European secular boy, definitly not as a jew.
      What I heard from the Shoah when I was high school, is that it was boring, again the same speech year after year. The Shoah was seen as a boring subject at school and children (13-14-15 years old) were rejecting it.
      When I made alya many years after, I discovered a completly diffrent story, I discovered the real damage of the Shoah, I met grand children of death camps survivors bearing the same symptoms than their grand parents who experienced them.
      The victims of the Shoah are not yet all born.
      Then I discovered that full branches of Ashkenazi jewish culture just diseappeared in smoke.
      It let me with an open question: Did we, jewish people really recovered from the Shoah?
      When I made alya, I heard for the first time the siren blowing for all the victims of the Shoah, it was so overwhelming that I litterally froze and had these burning visions. I found myself in tears at the end of the siren.
      Then indeed this sentence came to my mind: never again. Now it makes sense.

      Reply to Comment
      • XYZ

        After World War II, the British had thought the Germans had solved their Palestine problem for them, because they thought the Jewish people were now broken forever because of the Shoah. Much to their surprise the Jewish people rose up, drove them out against their will and then stopped the Arab armies who attacked. Israel has become a flourishing state, in large part because the survivors of the Holocaust and other Jewish refugees from persecution in the Arab countries got together and built a successful state in spite of the searing physical and psychological scars they bore.
        In addition, most of the Jewish religious centers were destroyed and their were only a few survivors, also many badly scarred but they took on themselves to rebuild a flourishing Torah world and culture that many thought was gone for good.
        The generation that came out of the Holocaust and came to Israel or were here and worked to set up the state were certainly our GREATEST GENERATION. We owe it to them to keep on going.

        Reply to Comment
        • I don’t want you to stop. I have repeatedly affirmed by belief in the Declaration of Independence’s surety of free ingress of Jews. But that has nothing to do with the settlers. It is not about stopping, but not abusing.

          Reply to Comment
          • XYZ

            I find it interesting that you automatically interpreted my statement that “we must keep going” as referring specifically to the ” settlers”. That wasn’t actually what I had in mind, I simply meant to keep building up the state and bring in more and more Jews. I do note how “the settlers”, “the settlements” and “the Palestinians” seem to take over the minds of many Jewish and non-Jewsish “progressives” almost to the exclusion of everthing else in their lives and they find it hard to believe that most people in the world don’t think like that.

            Reply to Comment
      • I once talked with a woman who told me she had been raped. As this had happened in my family as well, I said to her something like “rape lasts more than one generation.” I still remember her reply: “You got that right!”

        Let us endeavor not to create new victims as we deal with our own.

        Reply to Comment
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