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Marking the field: Non-Zionism

(Cross-posted with Israel Reconsidered)

I begin my series of debates with Jerusalem Post columnist Larry Derfner. Larry defines himself as a member of the Zionist Left; I do not. In this post I attempt to explain why I would also not describe myself as anti-Zionist – and how anti-Zionism alone cannot be expected to overcome the Zionist insistence on uncontested Jewish-Israeli-only hegemony over Israel-Palestine.

Larry first proposed we take on some significant and pressing current issue, like the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement. While such matters need to and will be addressed in our future debates, I thought it would be prudent to begin by marking out our first and possibly most fundamental line of disagreement: Zionism. Or, in other words, why Larry describes himself as a member of the Zionist left, while I commit to debate him from the non-Zionist perspective; and why, despite sharing many positions with the broad post/anti-Zionist movement and often being described as a member of the same, I insist on describing myself as precisely that – non-Zionist, rather than anti-Zionist.

I should note that throughout this post, by Zionism I mean the kind of Zionism that has dominated Israel since the foundation of the state – the hegemonic-Jewish and democratic, not the bi-national Zionism of Buber and revisionist nationalism of Jabotinsky, both of which are enjoying a recent revival. I suppose some of my positions might come close to at least one shade of either approach; but for the moment, I mean the most common version of Zionism, which today defines Israeli policies, and, consequently, the anti-Zionist opposition.

This Zionism is understood differently by different people. Many Zionists see a simple and linear narrative of exile and return, disregarding or dismissing the damage and suffering caused to non-Jews and Jews in the process; they justify Israel’s current political system in terms of rigid spring-of-nations nationalism, not taking into account that the European ethno-cultural nationalism adapted wholesale by the early hardline Zionist is by now 100 years of political history out of date. They see Zionism as the Jewish liberation movement not from the presence or dominion of Palestinians, but from the presence of the world-at-large, all the non-Jews who did persecute, did not protect from persecution, or potentially can persecute Jews in the future.

To anti-Zionists, first and foremost the Palestinians among them, Zionism is a remarkably heartless venture, an ideological movement that cynically and systematically unleashed itself upon an inhabited land and destroyed, and still destroys, towns, villages, identities and cultures. To reinforce their case as one of absolute morality and to try and confront the fundamental arguments of Zionism, many have insisted that Zionism is  overwhelmingly or totally colonial in ideology and practice, with Jewish history and historical trauma serving as merely ideological fuel for ongoing oppression maintained out of local and/or foreign-imperialist self-interest.

When asked about the future, many anti-Zionists present a curiously frank mirror image of Zionist Israel: A democratic state called Palestine in which the rights of the Jews will “obviously” be preserved.  Most Israeli Jews would be honest enough to know just what such promises are worth, having made and broken them themselves for the past sixty years or so. A broader stratum of the movement sees Zionism as an unjust and unsustainable system of governance operating on ethno-cultural privilege; they argue it should simply be dismantled and replaced with a “secular, democratic state with equal rights to all its citizens.”

But for Israelis, Zionism runs much deeper than system of governance. They know, and they are right, that neither they nor their parents and grandparents would have been here if it wasn’t for the Zionist enterprise. To a non-Israeli and any Israelis who have transcended their Zionist upbringing (not just family, but kindergarden, school, media, army, friends), anti-Zionism may mean opposition to an ideology complicit of ethnic cleansing, military occupation and wanton discrimination; they may (or may not) have nothing against the actual Israeli Jews going on to live here, so long as the latter forsake their claim to hegemony. But to most if not all Israeli ears, anti-Zionism is something monolithic absolute. To them, it sounds not like a proposal for a different and more equitable future, but as mocking, taunting and jarring denial of everything that they are: Their present, their language, their fears and their love for the only land they ever knew; the future they imagine for themselves and for their children, their past, their parents’ love, their grandparents arrival to, adoption of and construction of a new homeland. Tell an Israeli you’re an anti-Zionist, and he’ll hear: “You are a liar; your parents are liars; your grandparents are liars; and I don’t stop you from lying, you’ll produce lying children who’ll continue to lie. I don’t care if you’re afraid – your fear is also a lie; I want you to go away, or at least to shut up and be grateful you’re allowed to stay here, preferably while paying penance for your parents’ and grandparents’ sins.”

The manifold wrongs of Zionism, with the Nakba most prominent among them, urgently and vitally need to be identified, acknowledged and processed; the damage they already caused cannot be changed, but they can be stopped from continuing. The real question now being posed to our generation is how to allow the two national collectives of Israel-Palestine to shift from the pursuit of hegemony over society and territory and toward mutually supportive interdependence. The largest stumbling block for this is the center-Zionist conflation of hegemony and survival, adopted, in a paler and as yet unsuccessful version, by Palestinian nationalism. Its more elaborate version goes: Unless Israeli Jews control every power institution  in Israel – government, major private companies, the military, the land administration, and the courts – they will be immediately or eventually exterminated, politically, culturally and, of course, physically.

This conflation does not account for ways of interaction between two major national collectives in a single territory other than domination or subordination. At its most liberal, this central tenet of modern Zionism offers the Palestinians a constrained territory in which they may be dominant and hegemonic in their own limited space, a kind of a toy Israel; and even that is done with a nod and a wink and unconcealed assurance that the adult Israel will still be the hegemonic player in the contested space. But like any societal dogma, hegemony=survival is too rigid to outlast the relentless flow of history. Times change, politics shift, populations transform, new players come forth and the rules of the game are altered. The strain needed to preserve complete hegemony is already beginning to crack the hegemony itself; and Israelis who bet their survival on hegemony are actually making it into a self-fulfiling prophecy.

Finding a more flexible approach to retaining cultural and political collective rights without complete and utter forceful and unsustainable domination is a long-term Israeli-Jewish interest; but those of who would share this goal for considerations other than Israeli self interest – Palestinian self-interest, for example, or the universal pursuit of justice, equality and so on – must find a language that does not chime in so perfectly with the hegemony=survival, non-hegemony=extinction dichotomy. And I don’t mean it only semantically: The only legitimate alternatives to Jewish-Israeli hegemony in Palestine are such that nevertheless will not allow the physical, cultural or political removal of Israeli Jews from the scene.

This survival-hegemony-non-hegemony-extinction bend is what underpins, for most direct players in the conflict,the equally simplistic and equally false dichotomy of Zionism vs. anti-Zionism. Merely reflecting back an inversion of every Zionist tenet and argument leaves advocates of change playing by the same old Zionist-nationalist rules, and proving the formula they seek to disprove. The change that needs to happen here is too great, and possibilities outside this dichotomy are too vast, for us keep clutching to that old pro/anti see-saw. New approaches must be found – and they cannot be found through mere contrarianism.

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  • COMMENTS

    1. Jeff Kulen-SMith

      Your words are manna for a confusing historical inheritance re zionism, due to a dirth of ignorance and arrogance and indifference in our inherited public schooling from our Western Education upbringing. I’m better informed now. Ta

      Reply to Comment
    2. RichardNYC

      @DR
      “But like any societal dogma, hegemony=survival is too rigid to outlast the relentless flow of history.”

      Tell that to the Arabs. Your piece is just another “no, really, I get it” repackaging of the same old naive, suicidal anti-Zionist garbage that proliferates on this website. So now the word “anti-Zionist” is discredited (rightly), you move onto a new euphemism for an ideology that insists on stripping the Jews of self-determination? You really can’t bury that lead no matter how hard to try. No Israel=No Israel. It doesn’t matter whether you think “Times change, politics shift, populations transform, new players come forth and the rules of the game are altered.” Society’s do not bet their existence on that kind of puerile nonsense.

      Reply to Comment
    3. davel

      Eventually when 972s grow up they will realise how their self-hatred has harmed themselves and their country.Unfortunately we don’t intend to wait around for you to discover this.You know what happens to morons who drill holes in the floor of the lifeboat? That’s right -the other passengers throw them overboard-hope you can swim.

      This user has been banned from +972 for incitement.

      Reply to Comment
    4. miri

      Did I miss something? Did Jabotinsky renounce fascism post mortem?

      Reply to Comment
    5. Saeed Hotary

      Any Jew who occupies any part of historic Palestine is a zionist. Zionism will not be conquered until former zionists exercise their right of return OUT of Palestine. I dont buy this distinction of non zionist vs left zionist. Both you and Larry are not part of the solution as is

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    6. Fay

      Saeed, thank you for your honesty. This is the most convincing response to Dimi’s position.

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    7. max

      Dimi, you’re probably not a disciple of E. Said, or else you wouldn’t talk for Zionists and certainly not for Arab Palestinians.
      As Saeed tells you, your Jewish hair-splitting reasoning is good for Jews. As far as he’s concerned, Anti- non- and Zionists all should move to Minsk.
      In fact, he’s the best advocate for Jewish extreme right wingers.
      Isn’t it great, being able to debate with yourself and ignore your adversaries’ voice?

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    8. Dimi Reider

      Gee, thank goodness we have ethnic-cleanser Saeed Hotary (calling himself after a suicide bomber, no less) to represent all Palestinians and confirm our stereotypes :)
      RichardNYC – Let’s go with your line of reasoning for a minute. No Israel = No Israel = what then?

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    9. As a fellow Jew has already said once: “you are a scoundrel Dimi Reider”

      I used to identify as a non-Zionist too once. I still do sometimes. But I’ve come to see what such a moniker hides.

      You say that the anti-Zionists wish to have a Democratic state called Palestine where the rights of the Jews will “obviously” be maintained. HA! how sly you are to slip that fear back in.

      Any state that will succeed the current Zionist GoI will HAVE to rely on the institutions we already have. These are Israeli institutions, Jewish institutions. These institutions may not be Jewish by name but they are made of Jewish people and will stay such for at least a generation. I’m talking of the army, and the courts of justice, and the bureaucrats of the treasury, municipalities etc.

      So even if we do finally get to have a democratic state here – which one may call Palestine or keep calling Israel or rename it The Democratic Republic of Uganda – it will be under Jewish control simply by virtue of all positions of power being in the hands of Israeli Jews at this point in time.

      Even if we do get a democratic constitution tomorrow, we will not see an overhaul of the bureaucratic syndicates that rule this country. These will stay in predominantly Jewish hands for at least the next generation.

      A democratic Israel (or Palestine) will OBVIOUSLY preserve the rights of the Jews. In all likelihood it will also preserve most of the privileges of the Jews. And you know it.

      Reply to Comment
    10. louis

      A great piece by Dimi, thanks. For more on this issue see my article from Zeek: http://zeek.forward.com/articles/116709/

      Excerpt – This is not a Post/Anti-Zionist editorial. It belongs to no school of thought, nor to the post, progressive, radical, reactionary or settlement-entrenched Zionisms either. Rather, this article begs to be extricated from the discursive trap in which we remain entangled. It is a call for a new Past Zionist discourse. It seems that Zionism, as a word, ideology, theology or movement has emerged as the new battlefield between those who would claim to be better Zionists: the settlers and their supporters, and those who say that a “Zionist is not a settler” and that “we” need to end the Occupation to save ourselves. In the meantime, ultra-right nationalism thrives in Israel’s political system, the domestic human rights movement is under attack, settlement and occupation are ever more engrained as Israel’s civil religion, and Palestinian families are cleared out of East Jerusalem to make way for privileged “Zionists,” the settlers.

      This is not a criticism of those who would anchor their worldview or politics in Zionism. Rather it questions the wisdom and efficacy of such an investment, when what we really need is to focus on democracy, human rights and social justice. Perhaps, at a later point, Zionism can find its place in the discussion, and Judaism can work its way back into democracy. But for now, democracy must be the first priority because that is what is being molested at this time.

      Reply to Comment
    11. Fay

      Dimi I do not believe and did not imply that Saeed represents all Palestinians and resent your besmirching me as you did. The fact remains that he made the comment and by attacking us for our reaction to it you conveniently sidestep the issue.

      Reply to Comment
    12. Dimi Reider

      Fay, as it happens I was responding to Max – if I offended you, I do apologise. As for your comment – yes, there are probably some Palestinians who feel like this particular troll. There are also people like Marzel and Ben Gvir and Benzion Netanyahu. Should we judge all Israelis by the example of these three and their ilk? Should we make our future here dependent on their good grace and ignorance? The same question applies to Palestinian ultra-ultra-nationalists.

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    13. Dimi Reider

      Jesus, Arnon, what’s sly about me using quote marks? Sorry to unravel your unraveling of my scoundrel ways, but that’s called being deliberately sarcastic; and the reason I was being ironic is because Israelis only need to look at their own conduct to know what victors to do a defeated minority even if it’s allowed to remain.
      But this part was discussing the simple, if unlikely, triumph of Palestinian nationalism over Israeli one, in which there’s an actual defeat of Israel and a reversal of fortunes.
      As for your second point, which seems to speak more about the aftermath of a political transformation from “Jewish and democratic” to “a state of all its citizens”- yes, if we equally unlikely go to a one-democratic-liberal-state tomorrow morning, it will still be the same imbalanced, discriminatory Israel in all but name.
      Which is precisely why I prefer a binational power-sharing arrangement, over both a Palestinian “victory” and a move to a single liberal democratic state that won’t address much more than symbols and the vote.
      Louis, thanks for the link :) the more non-dychtomous discourse is developed, the better for us all.

      Reply to Comment
    14. Dimi, the Israelis ARE the victors. Making Israel a democratic state does NOT mean turning it over to non-Israeli non-Jewish hands – which is the implication you made. A democratic Israel is not synonymous with defeat. Making Israel democratic makes US – the citizens of Israel – the victors, not some foreign nationalists – which is to say the Palestinians living in your country.

      As for your second point about YOUR preferred solution as contrasted with mine – good for you, that’s a lovely solution. However, I did not voice ANY preferred solution. I simply stated that democracy in my country does not mean Palestinian nationalistic victory over Jews – which is what you implied and made it sound scary.

      As you can see, I only made ONE point. Thank you for addressing it. And thank you for letting it slip that you don’t consider the vote (for Palestinians, obviously) to be a pressing matter worth addressing.

      I think Ajl was right.

      Reply to Comment
    15. Dimi

      ” And thank you for letting it slip that you don’t consider the vote (for Palestinians, obviously) to be a pressing matter worth addressing.”
      No, what I said is that merely getting the vote wouldn’t be /enough/, because going for one-man-one-vote without collective rights and affirmative action would mean most of the power will still be retained by one group of the population. I also didn’t say that turning Israel over to non Jewish hands would be equivalent with defeat, I said that a defeat would be one of the scenarios through which this could happen (see the proper order of cause and effect here?)

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    16. euroarabe

      Dear Dimi,
      I appreciated your article, but I know a lot of Arab “antizionists” who don’t necessarily advocate a Palestinian version of Israel as the solution to the current situation. In fact, unless they are extreme right wingers, they worry that such a Palestinian state will do to Israelis what was done to them. I am always shocked at the level of compassion and humanising of Israelis that I hear from Palestinians who have lost more than everything at Israeli hands. Even though Israelis (such as the ones who said youre drilling holes in the lifeboat his sympathisers and who probably formulate the majority in Israel) dont necessarily deserve such care from those the very people they are oppressing. After everything that was and is being done to the Palestinians, its only understandable there are those who feel like Saeed Hotary, whom you call an ethnic cleanser. Fantasies of having the brutal occupier leave the homeland they stole is not quite the same as the one that Zionists exercised the last 60 years. They really had 60 years to prove their intentions and failed at every turn. Would you be so forgiving if it happened to you? Israelis should be totally understanding if Palestinians feel like Saeed, but hope for forgiveness.

      And who are those antizionists you are speaking to and getting these ideas about their future state? And why is there only one Arab author contributing to this site?

      N.Zeus

      Reply to Comment
    17. Raed Butrus

      Obviously Saeed Hotary is not his real name, but I share Mr Hotary’s views. I think that people like Mr Reider are actually worse than the settlers, because the settlers are obvious theives, and promote their brute strength, while Mr Reider wants to get the approbation of the world, while still holding on to the theft of pre 1967 Palestine, which is economically the most valuable. If I am not mistaken, Dimi is diminutive for Dmitry, a Russian name. I think you belong in Russia

      Reply to Comment
    18. I often wonder if those that post themes like “send them back to their *homes*” are really likud plants.

      Reply to Comment
    19. Dimi Reider

      Raed – I wanna respond to your comment re me going back to Russia (where I last been at age 6), but I’d like to know a little more about you. Are you Palestinian? First generation immigrant, or 2nd/3rd generation refugee?

      Reply to Comment
    20. No Dimi,
      You have let it be understood that a solution other than your preferred solution would address nothing more than symbols and the vote. Vote being last in that proposition.

      Also, no one (including myself) has said anything about handing over power to non-Jews. You are the ONLY one raising such a possibility. Whether you equate it with defeat or not, matters nothing.

      Even in your last comment you keep the ridiculous spectre of defeat alive as a possible/plausible scenario – albeit one of many. That’s called fear-mongering. For Shame!

      Max Ajl, if you ever read this – I applaud you for your keen eye and judgment of character.

      Reply to Comment
    21. Dimi Reider

      Arnon – yes, for pete’s sake, you’re proposing a simplistic solution that would NOT guarantee Palestinian rights, whereas i’m proposing something that would address symbols, votes AND the actual situation on the ground. So yes, this is the preferred solution, because it gives MORE to everyone. Christ

      Reply to Comment
    22. I did not propose ANY solution in my posts. For civility’s sake, stop claiming otherwise. You’ve been arguing a straw-man.
      I am however glad that at least for pete’s or Christ’s sake, you seem to agree with the rest of my assessment.

      You claim to have a solution – good for you. You also seem to place the vote for Palestinians AFTER symbols and (more importantly) outside your PREFERRED solution. That, in itself, speaks volumes.

      Your solution keeps the nationalistic divide alive, kicking and hurting. Hell, your solution INSTITUTIONALIZES the fucking conflict. Your solution will make the conflict legally intractable along national lines for generations to come. And surprise-surprise – your solution also requires fear-mongering polemics to even sound like it’s any kind of a solution.

      Shape up.

      Reply to Comment
    23. max

      DR “Gee, thank goodness we have ethnic-cleanser Saeed Hotary … to represent all Palestinians and confirm our stereotypes ”
      I dreamed up Saeed; I also dreamed the old Hebronite woman who can’t wait to murder again Jews as she remembers was done; I dreamed the murderers of Juliano Mer-Khamis;
      I dreamed Hamas and its MAJORITY supporters.
      .
      So I tell myself: stop dreaming!

      Reply to Comment
    24. RichardNYC

      @DR
      I think you misunderstood my first comment. My point was that you fail to distinguish yourself from anti-Zionists. ;)

      Reply to Comment
    25. max

      @Richard Witty,
      It’s well known that all Hamas activists and sympathizers are Likudniks.
      In fact, Palestinians all accept Dimi’s view, he’s their spokesman.
      I often wonder if those that post on behalf of Palestinians are deaf or simply believe that Palestinians aren’t to be trusted with their own words and elections

      Reply to Comment
    26. Raed Butrus

      I am a 3rd generation refugee, but regard Jaffa, Palestine as my home. My family owned large amounts of commercially valuable property in Jaffa. When my Right of Return occurs, I want my property back. The world community will soon impose the Right of Return on isreael, so I dont need to negotiate to get less than I would otherwise. In terms of you living in israel since age 6, that is your problem. That means that your family has been trespassing for a long time. Most countries deport illegal immigrants even if they have been in the country for decades. You and your families do not have the permission of the Palestinian people to remain in Palestine. Russia welcomes you home

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    27. RichardNYC

      @Raed Butrus
      Zionism thanks you for validating it! Its really nice for us Zionists that, notwithstanding how bad it makes you look, you prefer delusional threats to reason.

      Reply to Comment
    28. Koshiro

      “When my Right of Return occurs, I want my property back.”
      Personally, I’d call that acceptable. I would also support your right of return to your land.
      But why would Dimi, or anybody else, have to leave? Provided he does not himself occupy others’ property, of course. Then again, even if he is, and the owner consents to a sale or lease, why couldn’t he stay?

      Reply to Comment
    29. Koshiro

      P.S.: I am assuming here that Dimi is not a West Bank settler.

      Reply to Comment
    30. Raed Butrus

      But why would Dimi, or anybody else, have to leave? Provided he does not himself occupy others’ property, of course… excellent question on Koshiros part. Palestine is very small. There is no way to accomodate the Palestinian diaspora and the colonialists both on the same piece of land. If we were given the crumbs of Palestine, we would still not be economically viable and be reminded every day that the zionists stole the most valuable lands of Palestine and got away with it. Needless to say, that wouldnt lead to a nice situation and we would be labelled “terrorists” again. Dimi, you may be a nonzionist, but your career has gone further most likely in Palestine than it would have had your family stayed in Russia. Like it or not, your success is on our backs

      Reply to Comment
    31. Koshiro

      I do not agree with that argument. In the entire former Mandate of Palestine, ~11.5 million people now live. Another ~2.5 million registered refugees live outside of this territory. Even if all of them returned, this would increase the total population density by a mere 22% – a marked increase, but not impossible to deal with.

      Reply to Comment
    32. Michael W.

      Koshiro, 2.5 million refugees? Aren’t there something around 4.5 million refugees?

      Do you know how much capital and resources is needed to build homes for that many people? The intake of nearly 1 million Russians of about 10 years was an extraordinary feat. Now you think we can more than double that? The delusions surrounding this issue never stop to amaze me.

      Reply to Comment
    33. Raed Butrus

      Koshiro, you dont have to accept my argument. It is not your conflict or your land. Why should I accept any increase in population density due to illegal occupants? Why should I accept anything less than what was stolen from me? To make you feel good? There are 6 million illegal immigrants who have overstayed their welcome in Palestine. They need to return home, otherwise there is no end to the conflict. While I dont have statistics, I dont know anyone who feels differently

      Reply to Comment
    34. Koshiro

      “Koshiro, 2.5 million refugees? Aren’t there something around 4.5 million refugees?”
      Yes, but ~2 million of them live in the West Bank and Gaza already, so they are already part of the demographic balance.

      “Do you know how much capital and resources is needed to build homes for that many people.”
      A lot. But other schemes that ask for compensating the refugees instead of allowing them to return would take no less. I wouldn’t worry about that, seriously. If Israel tells the US to cough up the money, the US will comply. Maybe they’ll wring something out of Europe and the Arab states, too.

      Note that I don’t think that all of the refugees would want to return, especially if they are being offered financial compensation. Of the ~2.5 million refugees living outside of Israel, more than 1.5 million have Jordanian citizenship. Even assuming that some of them do want to return, the total migration to Palestine* would maybe be 1.5 million additional people.
      That is a lot, but not an insurmountable difficulty. The refugee problem is usually blown out of proportion for political reasons. It is definitely solveable within the confines of a right of return, both in a two-state solution (without dismantling Israel!) and a one-state solution.

      *In the purely territorial sense of 1947 Mandate Palestine.

      Reply to Comment
    35. Koshiro

      “Why should I accept anything less than what was stolen from me?”
      You shouldn’t and I fully support your right to your personal property, as well as your right of return.
      But that does not mean that you have a right not to have neighbours you don’t like. I recognize – and I’m very well grounded in international law here – individual rights. National, collective rights, not so much.

      Reply to Comment
    36. Michael W.

      Koshiro,

      The Europeans and the Americans have been paying the Palestinians since the creation of the UNRWA. What’s the difference between the West paying them now and paying them after a peace agreement is signed?

      Reply to Comment
    37. Koshiro

      Financing subsistence-level support (which, in case of the Gaza and WB refugees is a courtesy to Israel more than anything) is quite different from compensating people for the loss of their rightful property. The latter is going to expensive.

      P.S.: Just to forestall what you’re bound to bring up – that something you are going to bring up is none of the Palestinians’ business.

      Reply to Comment
    38. Michael W.

      Koshiro, why is it not the Palestinians’ business? What’s the difference between Jewish private property lost in Hebron 1929 and Jewish private property lost in Egypt 1950′s and 60′s?
      -
      It is all the same conflict. The Palestinian Arabs regularly claim that they are part of the greater Arab nation (in order to tap the Arab countries sense of brotherhood to support them financially and politically/diplomatically).
      -
      The biggest chip the Palestinians have is peace and diplomatic relations with the Arab countries (The Saudi Plan). The Arab countries bear responsibility. It was the Palestinians’ Arab bretheren that rejected Partition in 1947, something the Palestinians are now embracing.
      -
      I don’t really expect the Arab countries (and Iran) to compensate the Mizrachim for their property (because they have no leverage). I do expect the Palestinians to get 10′s of billions of dollars. But it doesn’t mean that confiscated Jewish property in the Middle East shouldn’t be discussed within the Israeli-Palestinian conflict discussions.
      -
      Israel is backed by the US. The PA is backed by the Arab League. If the US is expected to pay the Palestinians, why aren’t the Arab countries (and Iran) expected to pay the Mizrachim? The Palestinian RoR is central to the peace talks. Why aren’t the Mizrachim also central?

      Reply to Comment
    39. Raed Butrus

      Koshiro, your arguments are making less and less sense
      You shouldn’t and I fully support your right to your personal property, as well as your right of return….my personal property now contains Tel Avivs David Intercontinental Hotel with lots of people. Since I am the owner, I want these trespassers off my property

      But that does not mean that you have a right not to have neighbours you don’t like…. Koreans might not really want Japanese as neighbors.
      I am not asking to choose my neighbors. I just want trespassers off my property, and so do the millions of other Palestinians who lost property. They dont want zionist trespassers on their lands. Thus, the zionists have to return home

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    40. jojo

      raed, you are like the ultra-nationalists in europe talking about all refugees as “trespassers”, claiming they take “their land” and “their jobs”.
      how do you think “nations” come into existence? do you think france or poland just “belonged” to their “peoples” since time immemorial? the way you talk about this rebuilt “palestinian nation”, from which the jews must be expelled, sounds very much like a kahane-zionist. you don’t seem to get the fact that “nations” and “states” are an artificial thing, created through war and peace. palestine could also exist this way – through peace. but not on account of israel. israel is a nation. you must accept that, even if that’s hard for you. even if dimi goes back to russia, he will be a stranger there. i, for one, have roots in this land for over 90 years. where shall i go to? somewhere i don’t even know it’s name in belarus?
      expelling 5 million people form their country and making them refugees would be a crime. bringing “justice” by causing a greater, newer injustice to a 3rd generation of people makes very little sense.

      you see yourself as palestinian, you want to “return” to palestine? that i can understand. assuming you have no other citizenship, you have my sincere empathy as a stateless person, like most of the jews that emigrated here. and i wish for you that the first palestinian state ever will be established soon. i hope you will emigrate there, and have a great life. but why do you insist on being RACIST and ultra-nationalist?
      look at how most jews today see germans nowadays, and that’s after the greatest genocide in documented history, an event “at least” as traumatic as alnakba. why can’t you demand justice, commemorate and cherish your past and your trauma without resorting to such rhetoric?
      would you agree to locals wherever YOU live referring to YOU the way you do to israelis?
      you are so much in love with victimhood and your dogmatic narrative, that you fail to see that the reality is more complex – just like ultra-nationalists in israel do. most jews that “colonialized” this land, as you say, didn’t come here on an imperialist mission on behalf of an existing jewish empire. they came here as a persecuted people. as refugees.
      the way things turned out was never inevitable. the fact that war broke after the partition was rejected by the arab leadership, and that your ancestors lost land wasn’t inherent to zionism.
      yes, many wrongs were committed by israel, also in 1948. i’m aware of that. many things make me ashamed. i’m sorry about your family’s loss. but you can’t possibly ask me to understand your demand that i become a refugee myself. the fact that you “dont know anyone who feels differently” is very depressing, if it’s true.
      what are you suggesting? you expell me, and after 4 generations my kids will “return” and kick you away? where will that end?
      i can listen to your story, and understand much of your pain. it’s true also, that we speak from different positions. unlike you, i understand all of this. i see that this story isn’t black and white. it isn’t not the nazis vs the jews, or ahmadinejad vs the iranian LGBT community.
      yet you can’t seem to be willing to look past your hatred and demonization of all “zionists”. and that’s a shame.

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    41. Noga

      Michael W.: “It was the Palestinians’ Arab bretheren that rejected Partition in 1947, something the Palestinians are now embracing.”

      Are they? Where have they declared this “embracing”?

      Palestinians still reject the two states for two peoples 1947 UN Resolution. Because embracing it de-facto means they accept that Israel is a Jewish state and RoR is relegated to the attic, forever. Not one Palestinian leader has stated his willingness to accept the premise for Resolution 181.

      __________

      Jojo: “… most jews that “colonialized” this land, as you say, didn’t come here on an imperialist mission on behalf of an existing jewish empire. they came here as a persecuted people. as refugees.”

      From The Peel Commission Report (July 1937):

      “Considering what the possibility of finding a refuge in Palestine means to thousands of suffering Jews, is the loss occasioned by Partition, great as it would be, more than Arab generosity can bear?”

      The first statement was written in 1937, when the world was beginning to get wise to what was being planned for the Jews, but even so, the report can only imagine “thousands” of suffering Jews getting a lease on life if permitted to immigrate to Palestine.

      The Arabs of Palestine, though addressed with the most explicit plea in the report for showing “generosity” to the persecuted Jews of Europe, existentially threatened, did not for a second consider this possibility and continued to mount their pressure on the British to seal the borders. When there was hardly a country in the world open to accept Jewish refugees fleeing from Hitler’s ominous programmes, Mandate Palestine, which had been commissioned by the League of Nations to provide a safe haven for Jews, chose to close ranks with the Arabs and seal the borders, against the Jews.

      The only place that would have welcomed these refugees and could have saved hundreds of thousands, if not millions of lives, joined the rest of the world’s complicity in these crimes.

      Today, the staple Palestinian argument is that they had no responsibility whatsoever for what happened to the Jews. But they did. They bear at least the same responsibility as as every country that ever refused to accept Jews who were looking to get out of Europe.

      The Grand Mufti’s special relationship with Hitler is another aspect of Arab complicity in the annihilation of the Jews:

      “As German political scientist Matthias Kuntzel chronicled in his work … the Muslim Brotherhood, which spawned the PLO’s Fatah as well as al-Qaida, Hamas and the Egyptian Islamic Jihad, owes much of its ideological success and pseudo-philosophical roots to Nazism.”

      “In the 1930s, the mufti of Jerusalem, Amin el-Husseini, rigorously courted the Nazis. When, in 1936, he launched his terror war against the Jewish Yishuv in the British controlled Palestine Mandate, he repeatedly asked the Nazis for financial backing, which began arriving in 1937.” “From 1936-39 Husseini’s terror army murdered 415 Jews. In later years, Husseini noted that were it not for Nazi money, his onslaught would have been defeated in 1937. His movement was imbued with Nazism. His men saluted one another with Nazi salutes and members of his youth movement sported Hitler Youth uniforms.”

      With this history as a model, the Palestinian Foundational documents which call for the destruction of Israel make a lot of sense. They were not conceived out of the blue, a reaction to the Six-Day-War and occupation, but were the natural denouement that began in 1920, premises taken to their logical conclusions.

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