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How Jews should relate to Palestine

Palestine, from the Mediterranean to the Jordan river, does exist and will continue to exist. And the first people to understand this should be the Jews. For homeland and political sovereignty are two distinct concepts.

By Jeremiah Haber

Palestinian and Jewish men speak at protest against settler violence in Jaffa. December 5, 2008 (Oren Ziv/ Activestills.org)

Yesterday I was speaking with a young graduate student in Islamic studies, an orthodox Jew, who told me that the question arose in one of his courses, “Where is Safed?” to which the professor replied, “In Palestine.”

His story reminded me of the one told by the Palestinian-American, Ahmed Moor, who, when telling a fellow undergrad that he and his family were from Palestine, was met with the reaction, “Palestine doesn’t exist.”

Well, Palestine, from the Mediterranean to the Jordan river, does exist and will continue to exist, even if the State of Israel is recognized by the entire world — including the Palestinians themselves — as a legitimate and sovereign state. And the first people to understand this should be the Jews. For Jews have called the same land that the Palestinians call “Palestine” Eretz Yisrael/the Land of Israel, even when their communities in Palestine were tiny. For homeland and political sovereignty are two distinct concepts.

For the Palestinians, the State of Israel will always be at best a political entity whose founding ideology was foreign to Palestine, whose founders conquered Palestine and expelled most its inhabitants, and who allowed the remaining inhabitants to remain as second-class citizens under a military government while their lands were taken away. Israeli Jews at best will be legitimated as Jews of Palestine. And there is historical precedent. Poland remained Poland for the Poles, despite disappearing after it was partitioned by Austria, Prussia, and Russia. I am not referring merely to the Kingdom of Poland, I am referring to the homeland of the Poles, “the sacred landscape,” to use Meron Benveniste’s term.

People of good will on both sides recognize that their narrative is not shared by the other. But that does not mean that each should be compelled to give up their narrative. As an Israeli Jew, one sympathetic and supportive of the Palestinian cause, I recognize the continuing existence of Palestine, not on some truncated spots of the West Bank and Gaza, but on the entire land of Palestine. LIke Benveniste, I feel saddened by the Israelis who don’t know what they have lost by attempting to wipe this Palestine off the map. Fortunately, that attempt is doomed to fail, as long as Palestine continues to be remembered.

From a purely visceral standpoint, it is sometimes difficult for me to hear references to Palestine, because I was raised to believe that anybody who talked about “Palestine” wanted to drive my people into the sea. That, of course, is rubbish. I don’t think it is wrong or not politically correct to talk about Eretz Yisrael, or to treat it as the promised land of the Jews. That has nothing to do with the regime that governs the Holy Land.

As a religious Jew, I believe that the Jew qua Jew has three homes: the state of which she is a citizen; the Jewish community of which she is a participant, and the land of Israel. Jews do not need political sovereignty in an exclusivist ethnic state in order to feel at home in that land. In fact, increasingly I am feeling less at home in the State of Israel, than in the United States.

But I do feel at home in my home in Jerusalem in Eretz Yisrael, and I would like to be welcomed by Palestinians as a Jews, and, yes, as an Israeli, living in Palestine. In fact, I would like both homelands to be shared homelands.

Recognizing the State of Israel, and recognizing the rights of Israeli citizens of that state, does not mean — should not mean — relinquishing the notion that the State of Israel occupies part of the historic homeland of the Palestinians. As an orthodox Jew I believe that the West Bank is part of Eretz Yisrael, as is southern Lebanon and parts of Syria and Jordan.But that means nothing with regard to the question of the best political regime(s) for Eretz Yisrael and Palestine.

As for the Zionists, despite all their efforts to wipe all traces of Palestine off the map, and to replace it with the State of Israel, they were successful only in getting rid of mandatory Palestine. Palestine as homeland remains as long as the Palestinians and others honor it in their collective memory.

Jeremiah (Jerry) Haber is the nom de plume of an Orthodox Jewish studies and philosophy professor, who divides his time between Israel and the United States. This post was originally published on his blog, The Magnes Zionist, on February 3, 2013.

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  • COMMENTS

    1. sh

      The article I’ve been waiting for.

      “Jews do not need political sovereignty in an exclusivist ethnic state in order to feel at home in that land.”
      Odd though it may seem, that – until I repeatedly got laughed out of town for it by all sorts both Arab and Jew – is what I thought Zionism was.

      Reply to Comment
      • George

        D.Edward Said Said: “You cannot continue to victimize someone else just because you – yourself were a victim once, there has to be a limit”

        great article, your calling for tolerance and accepting each other, and this is what we all have to do!

        Reply to Comment
    2. meron

      I agree, great article

      Reply to Comment
    3. Aaron Gross

      Why does the author use the term from the foreigner’s narrative, “West Bank,” rather than from his own narrative, “Judea and Samaria”?

      Recognizing each other’s national narrative is nice, but national narratives are weapons in this war. Shouldn’t we demand that this recognition be bilateral and simultaneous, as with all disarmament agreements?

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      • directrob

        I think that it is obvious that “Jeremiah Haber” writes for justice and tolerance. He does not fight a war with offensive words.

        Reply to Comment
        • The Trespasser

          Justice and tolerance?

          “Israeli Jews at best will be legitimated as Jews of Palestine.”

          Well, by certain standards it’s highly tolerant – to let Jews live as C-minus class citizens (after women and dogs) in F-minus class Arab state.

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          • directrob

            I think you do not fully understand the article.

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          • The Trespasser

            What I understand perfectly well is someone who writes something like “Jews do not need political sovereignty in an exclusivist ethnic state in order to feel at home in that land.” is a hypocrite, liar and idiot.

            Accordingly, people who support such point of view are hypocrites liars and idiots.

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          • aristeides

            Bull. Jews from Europe were living in Palestine for over a century before Zionism was a glint in Herzl’s eye, and they felt so much at home there they opposed the Zionist takeover of the land.

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          • The Trespasser

            >Jews from Europe were living in Palestine for over a century before Zionism was a glint in Herzl’s eye, and they felt so much at home there they opposed the Zionist takeover of the land.

            Got proof?

            Reply to Comment
          • Nation-states are a relatively modern concept, and the understanding of the land as a Jewish spiritual homeland certainly predates them. It is certainly possible to feel a connection to a place without wanting that connection to take such a highly specific political form. No hypocrisy or lie about that at all. You might see it as idiotic, but then others could easily say the same about the current ethnocratic system that seems to have come with an in-built self-destruct mechanism.

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          • The Trespasser

            Vicky,

            “Feeling at home” and “feeling spiritual connection” is not exactly the same.

            Jews weren’t seeking or even insisting on having any kind of ethnic state until Palestinian Arabs made it clear that Jews have no right to live in Palestine.

            “exclusivist ethnic state” is a necessity simply because Arabs think that Jews have no right to live here and should get back to where they came from or, which is hardly much better, are ready to accept Jews as 4tg class citizens, after women and dogs.

            If people are not able to coexist they should be separated by a border, as I’ve written elsewhere.

            >You might see it as idiotic, but then others could easily say the same about the current ethnocratic system that seems to have come with an in-built self-destruct mechanism.

            There is nothing wrong in calling idiotic what is truly idiotic.

            It’s not a self destruct mechanism though – Israel, being democratic state, has mechanisms to change it’s political system.

            Which is why Jews have to have a Jewish state with Jewish majority, by the way – simply to be able to change the political system once it becomes unsuitable, unless of course you want me to believe that any kind of democracy is possible in Arab countries within next 50 years.

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          • andrew r

            “unless of course you want me to believe that any kind of democracy is possible in Arab countries within next 50 years.”

            Correct me if I’m wrong, but you aren’t concerned about democracy in the Arab countries at all. It doesn’t matter if an Egyptian worker believes in equality of sexes and separation of mosque and state; what you care about is their opposition to Zionism or lack thereof.

            Most of the Buddhist countries in East Asia are dictatorships, but Zionists never smugly compare Israel to China or Cambodia because it wasn’t a Buddhist country they colonized, so they don’t feel compelled to write inane postulates about Cambodians being incapable of democracy and such.

            Reply to Comment
          • The Trespasser

            >Correct me if I’m wrong, but you aren’t concerned about democracy in the Arab countries at all.

            Oh, I am concerned. Neighborhood of religious savage regimes is hardly a convenience, however I don’t see how Arab society could become democratic until they drop/alter Islam, which is not going to happen.

            >It doesn’t matter if an Egyptian worker believes in equality of sexes and separation of mosque and state; what you care about is their opposition to Zionism or lack thereof.

            Opinion of one single secular Egyptian worker is of little concern, given clear anti-democratic and pro-islamic tendencies in Egyptian society.

            >Most of the Buddhist countries in East Asia are dictatorships

            Dude, democracy is the dictatorship of majority by definition.
            China is not Buddhist.
            Cambodia is monarchy, Vietnam is communist as N.Korea is, Japan and S. Korea are democracies, Thailand as well. wtf are you talking about?

            Reply to Comment
          • andrew r

            “I don’t see how Arab society could become democratic until they drop/alter Islam, which is not going to happen.”

            So it’s not that Arabs are incapable of democracy, it’s that they might make choices you don’t agree with.

            There are also pro-democratic and pro-secular tendencies in Egyptian society. Remember, the Muslim Brotherhood had very little role in organizing the actual uprising against Mubarak, but they were able to take power a year later. That’s because there’s a big divide between Egyptian society and the machinery of the state, which the Brotherhood was able to exploit.

            ‘wtf are you talking about?’

            My point is, the fact that a group of neighboring states which share the same religion are dictatorships is not necessarily because of said religion and only an idiot with no real interest in studying the history of these states would make that assessment.

            And it’s doubly ridiculous in the wake of the last few years. If Islam made the Arab states all dictatorships, what caused the mass protesting against the regimes?

            Reply to Comment
          • andrew r

            “So it’s not that Arabs are incapable of democracy, it’s that they might make choices you don’t agree with.”

            Another good indication of this is that you don’t give the Palestinians any credit for trying to create a secular system; when you bring up the Muslim-Christian Associations, it’s only to complain about their stance on Jewish immigration.

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          • Elijah

            Hang on! Is he really wrong? Nation-states may be modern concepts but most previous systems of governance under emperors, monarchs or theocrats were not tolerant or inclusive which is what ‘modern’ societies are supposed to want. Most people want citizenship not subjects and most traditional societies put their tribe or religion first. With modernisation it became more effective to govern and that’s why standardisation (and oppression of those cultural groups that did not conform) occurred at a more intense rate than in pre-modern ones. Palestine is as much a construct as any other nation including modern Israel (historically it referred only to the coastal areas) and owes its extension to Roman imperial policy in the wake of the Jewish revolts and Christianisation. Also you forget that allowing the Palestinians complete rights to Israel will effectively marginalised all non-Muslims as they primarily define themselves as part of the Arab-Muslim world and will inevitably exclude Non-Muslims and non-Arabs with their own attempts at standardisation and the pressures they will bear as a majority group.

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        • Aaron Gross

          I don’t get that – what are the “offensive words”? “Judea and Samaria”? Whether or not you meant that – based on this article, can we at least permit ourselves to respect our own narrative? For Jews to say “Judea and Samaria” and Arabs to say “West Bank,” with mutual respect?

          Also, whether or not he’s using national narratives to fight a war, plenty of other people on both sides are doing so. It’s silly for him to ignore that.

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          • John

            “Judea and Samaria” are not the standard English usage and are in fact confusing to most (non-Jewish) English speakers. Using them in English is equivalent to calling Jerusalem “al Quds” in English – it’s an effort to gain political points by normalizing non-standard usage. “Judea and Samaria” is fine in Hebrew.

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          • directrob

            Aaron, you wrote “narratives are weapons”. Offensive I meant in two ways mostly as in words as “offensive weapons” (Judea and Samaria can be seen as laying a claim on the West Bank) but also as “offensive for others” (the occupied Palestinians).

            Jerry is not part of the war, he does not play the nul sum game, so he has no reason to use Judea or Samaria to explain the biblical extent of Eretz Yisrael. I am sure in a religious context he would not hesitate to use Judea.

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          • Aaron Gross

            “Judea and Samaria” is biblical; it’s Jerry Haber’s narrative. “West Bank” is not Jerry Haber’s narrative.

            I don’t think you understood the article: Palestinians can call the entire territory west of the Jordan “Palestine” without claiming a right to rule over it. Jews can call the territory east of the Green Line “Judea and Samaria” without claiming a right to rule over it. “Judea and Samaria” is English, by the way, not Hebrew. The Hebrew is “yehudah veshomron”.

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          • Joe

            I’m sorry, I don’t understand this reasoning – where in the world does a nation or people name a territory as a homeland but not wish to rule over it?

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          • Aaron Gross

            I said claim a right, not “wish.” Happens all the time. The nation of Israel says that the East Bank is part of its national homeland (which it is), but does not claim any right to rule over it.

            Speaking of terminology, a while ago the Jordanians said they were offended by Israel calling their capital by its biblical name, Rabat Ammon. So Israel called it Amman for a while. Now it’s Rabbat Ammon again.

            Why did “Constantinople” get the works? It’s nobody’s business but the Turks’.

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          • Joe

            I’m sorry, I don’t agree. Describing something as a homeland is the same as saying you think it ought to be yours. Whether or not you think there is any point in attempting to ‘claim a right’ at the present time is irrelevant. Two distinct groups of people claim the whole land of Israel/Palestine, both with good/reasonable/understandable claims. Pretending that is not true is not helping.

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          • Palestinian

            One group lived there and the other came from outside to kill and steal.Mythology isnt a “reasonable” claim.Our case is facts vs myths

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          • Aaron Gross

            There’s something interesting going on in the comments. I’m accepting Jerry Haber’s main argument. I have nothing against Palestinians saying that Jaffa is in Palestine. That’s little ol’ right-wing fascist me.

            My interlocutors on the left do not accept Haber’s argument. They deny the legitimacy of the Jewish narrative’s “Judea and Samaria.” Haber himself uses the Arab rather than the Jewish narrative’s terminology. So it’s interesting that the right (me) is following Haber’s advice, while the left (you guys, including Haber himself) is not.

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          • sh

            It’s a mess. Judea and Samaria is Christian Zionist terminology. Today, it has also become Israeli geography.
            During King David’s time, Jews lived in Yehuda, Shomron and part of the Galil, nekuda. Anyone who accepts today’s Israeli boundaries plus the no-Palestine solution is also accepting the probability of Israel’s expansion
            http://www.mideastweb.org/isrlate.htm
            by the methods previously used.
            The neighbourhood’s worries about Israel today are thus not entirely unfounded.

            Reply to Comment
    4. George Abu Eid

      D.Edward W.Said said: “you cannot continue to victimize someone else just because you-yourself were a victim once, there has to be a limit”

      Great article, you are calling the two nation for tolerance and accepting each other, and i guess that this is the only way to find peace!

      Reply to Comment
    5. Richard Witty

      Jerry advocates consistently for humanizing the other, a clear virtue.

      My vision is for a democratic sovereign Israel to be next to a democratic sovereign Palestine in which ethnic Jews have permission to live in sovereign Palestine and ethnic Palestinians have permission to live in sovereign Israel.

      That is the Fayyad proposal.

      Like the critical monkey wrench in the works of a sovereign Palestine is the state sponsored settlements, the monkey wrench in a democratic Palestine is in the urge to clear the settlements, to forcefully remove the settlers from their physical and sympathetic homeland.

      Which comes first? Which acceptance? The chicken of course, which means the action that we can control, which is how we treat others.

      Living homefully, rather than homelessly.

      Reply to Comment
    6. Sami

      Really really really good article…
      I wish there were more people thinking that way

      Reply to Comment
    7. Zoe

      Well done! Much respect for the call to acknowledge and uphold other narratives … and great use of female pronouns.

      Reply to Comment
    8. Kolumn9

      Palestine is a geographic concept created by the Romans to make the world forget about Israel. It has been picked up as a political concept by a group of people after previous attempts at pan-Arab and pan-Syrian political narratives failed to destroy the Jews coming back to their country. This is the way Jews should relate to Palestine.

      Reply to Comment
      • Richard Witty

        Not live and let live?

        Why?

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      • Amani

        Oh, this is a great history explanation ! You mean that the Romans made such problem to Israeli and Arabs or the Palestinian came from the space?

        The new information that Jews are coming back to their home country from Russia ,France and others!!

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      • Oriol2

        Well, “Palestine” wasn’t a geographical concept created by the Romans. Its history is not clear at all, but its use as a general term for the area between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea was already firmly established in Classical Greece -so it is older than the Hasmonean Kingdom-, and its oldest forms are to be found in Egyptian documents of the 12th. Century BC, even if it is not clear that it refers to the whole of what we today call Palestine.
        But, is it so important? The Jews themselves used different geographical terms in different periods of Antiquity. Nowadays “Palestine” refers to the variant of Arabic culture which appeared in the territory that traditionally received this name -among many others-. “Palestine” exists because “Palestinians” undoubtedly exist (I myself have met many of them). Of course there has never been a Palestinian state, but most of Arab countries are a recent creation, and Palestine also has never belonged to anyone of them, so it seems logical to think that Palestinians have a right to claim that they are a nation.

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      • aristeides

        Of course the world had already forgotten about Israel, a petty kingdom conquered and destroyed by the Assyrians centuries before Rome showed up on the scene.

        But don’t let the facts interfere with your mythologizing.

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        • Oriol2

          I like your reference to “mythologizing”, Aristeides. Actually Israel / Palestine / Canaan has been controlled by foreign powers during most of its history. The biblical narrative from the arrival of ancient Israelites to Canaan to the division of King Solomon’s kingdom is semi-legendary at best, and the only grounds to believe in it are religious (which I don’t share, sorry for that). Then you have the kingdoms of Israel (which didn’t include Jerusalem) and Judah (which didn’t include Jaffa) with competing claims of being the legitimate successors of the semi-legendary United Kingdom of Israel. It is not clear at all that all of their populations followed what we could call the proto-Jewish religions. The period in which these kingdoms existed as independent entities is actually shorter than the existence of an Arabic Palestine. Later we have the conquest by Assyrians and Babylonians, deportations, arrival of new populations, and the ethnogenesis of two non-independent groups -Jews and Samaritans- which also competed in their respective claims of being the true heirs of the semi-legendary United Kingdom, and shared the land with Idumeans e. a. At last in 2d. Century B.C. the Jews created the so-called Hasmonean kingdom, a Jewish kingdom where a large part of the population was not Jewish, and there are even grounds to suspect that part of these Jews where converts. After approximately a century it was occupied by the Romans, it was governed some decades by the Herodian dynasty, which in itself wasn’t Jewish. So much for Israel / Jewish history: practically no period in which they lived exclusively on the land, perhaps a united Kingdom of Israel -which even according to biblical sources existed during one century-, three centuries of independent existence in two different political entities, a short revival in 2nd.-1st. Centuries B.C… By the way, it looks like Israelis like the name “Shomron” for the Northern West Bank. Nothing to object, but I believe there is still a Samaritan ethnic group in existence. Someone has bothered asking them their opinion about what should be made with THEIR country?

          Reply to Comment
          • aristeides

            I often recommend the book Lies My Teacher Told Me to open people’s eyes about US history.

            I think someone should write a companion volume for Israeli apologists – Lies They Teach in Hasbara Class.

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    9. Magnescim

      Very disturbing, mystical thoughts from Professor Manekin. Eventually, I fear, he will try to derive from his mysticism some ‘right’ to Palestine for all Jews, some religious justification for the Law of Return, some claim – yes, claim – to the land occupied for about two millenia by indigenous people, perhaps 5% of them sharing his faith.
      In the Loewenstein/Moor book he embraces the oxymoron ‘Jewish and democratic’.
      Underneath the swollen prose, I fear, is something less than full respect for Palestinians’ Right of Return.
      I hope I am wrong and Professor Manekin can find his way to a simple human-rights, nakba-justice solution to the occupation. It is not the West Bank that is ‘occupied’ – in his possessive mind-set he calls them it Judea and Samaria, of course – but rather the entire land from the Jordan to the Sea.

      Reply to Comment
      • Oriol2

        Why is it so difficult to accept reality? Of course modern Israel was created on Arab land by Jewish settlers. But you cannot deny that:
        1) Jews have had always ties with Palestine. Of course Zionism is a modern invention, but without the previous existence of these ties it wouldn’t have come to exist.
        2) Israel is a land with a distinct culture, a language which is spoken only there, and a Jewish population which has been born there in its majority.
        3) Most of modern urban areas, infrastructures, industry, etc. of Israel have been created by Jews. Of course they were created on stolen land, but right now they maintain a population that amounts to several times the population of the old Arabic Palestine.
        The destruction of the Arabic Palestine was a disaster and a shame, no discussion about that. But it doesn’t exist anymore. Now you have a very complex reality with Jews of many kinds, and Palestinians. The author of the article is basically right: all the people who are there together should find a way to exist together.

        Reply to Comment
        • Magnescim

          Dear Oriol2,
          Thank you for your reply. I sense that we agree on about 100% of the history, and also about the future – I am for one human-rights based democratic state for all who live there and all refugees (or their descendants).
          But I am having a difficult time understanding what seems to be a super-soft Zionist discourse (yours and Manekin’s).
          Please don’t accuse anybody – in this case me – of ‘not accepting reality’. Which part of reality?
          Or is this the key to what you are saying – a sort of nice ‘facts on the ground’ argument? The same as Likud, Labor, Jewish Home and the rest? Palestinians and their supporters (like me) should accept ‘the reality’ that Jews (mostly immigrants) now control the land?
          I would like to nitpick: How can you ask me to ‘accept’ that Jews have always had a tie with Palestine, when I wrote exactly that in my comment?
          What worries me is, you seem to be looking at the land, the buildings, Palestinian urban neighbourhoods, the villages, the wells, that don’t ‘exist anymore’. But the people do.
          It’s pretty simple: Do you support Right of Return, or not?
          Thanks again,

          Reply to Comment
          • XYZ

            I see. Jews should give up their sovereignity to live in a “single, democratic” state. You mean states like Lebanon, Iraq, Syria and Algeria, all of which have had horrific civil wars with tens of thousands of dead, or more. Because of the enmity between Jews and Arabs in this proposed state, we have to assume a bloody civil war would eventually break out here to. How are the Jews to defend thsemselves, pray tell. We have had 2000 years of living as a helpless minority , depending on the “good will” of “progressives” to save us, which usually never came through. Do you really think we are stupid enough to adopt such a suicidal policy?

            Reply to Comment
          • Oriol2

            Dear Magnescim,
            I am sorry if I sounded arrogant, I didn’t mean to. I understand what you say, and I can only answer to you: yes, my point of view is that of an “ultra-soft zionist”, as you call it. I imagine every person has his/her own personal history. I also think that accepting the existence of Israel doesn’t mean only accepting “facts in the ground”, but accepting the existence of a nation that is new, but now undoubtedly exists in a territory which has been deeply transformed and shaped by that same nation.
            One example: it is true that Tel Aviv was founded on purchased land, and, as a such, we cannot say it was constructed on stolen land. But, at the same time, it is obvious that it wasn’t “just” founded on purchased land, because its same foundation was part in a colonial project that entailed dispossession of natives, or, at least, forceful reduction of them to a minority in their own land. Of course. But, at the same time, now you have there a whole metropolitan area that didn’t exist one century ago, and has transformed the land in something completely different, and only since Jews are there. I know it is a delicate matter, but I am nonetheless convinced that that area, for example, has simply ceased to be “Arab Palestine” in the sense that Ramallah still is. I don’t say it is fair, I just say it is irreversible.
            Believe me that I deeply regret and abhor all the things that Zionists have done against Arabs, but at the same time I cannot help but wishing that Jews have their own state, and that Israel keeps existing. I could also tell you that Arabs have been partially guilty for the horrible things that have happened, but I am not sure I should, because, no matter the wrongs that Arabs may have committed, it was the Jews who decided to go to Palestine in the first place, and who began the conflict.
            You ask me for the right of return. Well, I am convinced that the literal return of Palestinians to the territory that now is occupied by Jews is simply impossible, except but destroying those same Jews, and I am not going to defend that. I know it will be very difficult for both sides, but I suppose that the only real solution will be for Israel to symbolically recognize the right of return, and then financially compensate the Palestinians for the inapplicability of that right of return. I am for the creation of an independent state of Palestine, and even for the integration between Israel and Palestine in the long term.

            Reply to Comment
        • KN

          Tel Aviv was NOT created on stolen land, and in fact, pre-dates the founding of the Israeli state by quite some time. The Zionist ideal was Tel Aviv and the kibbutzim, not the Old City or Hebron. Are there places built on top of Arab land? Of course. Is that uniformly true? No, not at all– many areas were settled with full authority of the Sultan or were purchased from the local nobles (who didn’t always care about the peasants living on their land).

          Reply to Comment
          • Leen

            Weirdly, the kibbutzism movement and the Zionist labour movement was built on the notion that Palestinian farmers, based on their ethnic lineage to the old Israelites, would want to incorporate themselves in thsi new Zionis state. This ofcourse did not happen, so they had to redefine what their movement really was about.

            Reply to Comment
    10. Ethan

      Some Jews consider both banks of the river Eretz Israel, will you entertain these sentiments as well? The difference between the Jews and the Palestinians is that the Jews yearned for Eretz Israel for thousands of years, while the so called Palestinians have been there for less than a century. Read “From Time Immemorial” to better understand the conflict. This isn’t a real-estate dispute, it’s something more serious.

      Reply to Comment
      • sh

        Better to understand Peters and Pipes you mean.

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      • aristeides

        A pack of lies, Ethan. Nothing but a pack of lies. And the biggest pack belongs to Peters, that book has been totally discredited.

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    11. XYZ

      Prof. Manekin apparently misses the irony when he states that “he feels at home in Jerusalem in Eretz Israel” and “Jews do not need to have political sovereignity in an exclusivist state” in order to feel at home.
      The irony is that Prof. Manekin was not born in Eretz Israel, he made aliyah from the United States and the ONLY thing that enabled that was the existence of the “exclusivist” Zionist state which gave him the abilty to do that. It must not be forgotten that the British Mandatory regime already in 1939 decided to end all Jewish immigration to Eretz Israel and a successor state that would have had an Arab majority would never countenance any more Jewish immigration.
      Secondly, Jews “felt at home” in Iraq, Poland, Russia, Morocco, and ESPECIALLY Germany before 1933, but something apparently went wrong in those places and the surrounding non-Jewish populations there didn’t have Prof. Manekin’s ‘progressive’ thinking and didn’t view Jews as being equal fellow citizens. It is ridiculous to ignore these historical facts in attempting to dream up scenarios that placate one’s “progressive”-univeralist anti-nationalist fantasies.

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    12. meron

      “the so called Palestinians have been there for less than a century”:
      did you lost your history teacher in high school?
      so when for example the famous jurist al-din al ramli, not by chance born and raised in ramla, wrote in the XVII century “filastin biladuna [palestine our land]” was drunk? put away your dangerous ideologies, history it is not a matter of what you wish for.

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    13. Boxthorn

      Charles Manekin won’t call Charles Manekin Charels Manekin(instead of the phony ‘Jeremiah Haber’) and expects others to call ‘Palestine’ ‘Palestine’?

      Reply to Comment
    14. Shamir Isra

      Viva Palestina. @viva_palestina. OFFICIAL VIVA PALESTINA SITE. A Lifeline from Britain to Gaza. Will soon be a lifeline from the world to Gaza!. Get on board …

      Reply to Comment
    15. ruth

      who care what his name is? are you trying to threaten him? idiot.

      Reply to Comment
      • aristeides

        Of course he is.

        People like Boxthorn are the reason that other employ pseudonyms.

        Reply to Comment
    16. Mikesailor

      One of the strangest things I’ve seen is the logical contortions espoused and adopted by Zionists to justify their theft of another people’s land. If you accept the Jewish narrative, many Jews went into exile after the Roman (Bar Kokhba) revolt. Actually it makes sense that many Jews connected to the revolt left the area rather than face the Romans. The priests and nobles led the way followed by many of the rabbinical class. Yet, many Jews remained and helped to rebuild a society with others who also were there. For there has never been any historical proof that the only inhabitants of the land were Jews, and plenty of evidence to the contrary. And the Jews who ran away did not return for almost two millennia. Not even a visit or acknowledgement of those they left behind. No pilgrimages etc although a Palestinian Talmud was written by rabbis who remained. What did this group of self-imposed exiles expect? That the people remaining on the land would not build, would not intermarry, would not create their own culture as Palestinians? That is the pathetic reasoning of the Zionists: that nothing mattered because some Jews, not even the majority, ran away and did not return to rebuild the country but left others ‘holding the bag’. Then after almost two thousand years the descendants of the original cowards return and steal the fruits of the indigenous peoples; Jewish Christian and Muslim natives’ labor. And they expect to be welcomed, legitimized, and not treated as the thieves they are? Not likely.

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      • Michael W.

        Rambam.

        Boom! Argument destroyed.

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    17. Aaron Gross

      One last comment here, ’cause apparently I still wasn’t clear. Let’s assume Jerry Haber is a perfect angel of love, descended from heaven to bring peace and comfort to our troubled region. The fact is that most others use national narratives very polemically, to legitimate their own political program and to delegitimate their enemy’s. If anyone, including the angelically pure Jerry Haber, ignores that crucial reality of polemics and war, then his recommendations, no matter how well intended, are probably dangerous in the real world.

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