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Israelis and Palestinians need a Nakba debate

Erstwhile negotiator and former Minister Yossi Beilin, in a New York Times op ed, has an idea for breaking the impasse on negotiations for a two-state solution. He suggests that Palestinians recognize Israel as a Jewish state in order to cement the consciousness of each side as the proper home for its people. Then Israel would undertake incentives for settlers to go back behind the Green Line, but those who stay in the West Bank would form the numerical basis for the number of Palestinian refugees who can return to Israel proper. Each side has incentive to keep the other low.

It’s refreshing to see original, outside-the-box thinking. The proposal is not just about policy, but it’s an ambitious attempt to address deep-seated symbolic elements that drive this conflict, by providing mutual affirmation of each side’s identity: Israel as a Jewish state, and the Palestinians as historic inhabitants of modern-day Israel, before their exile. The plan could potentially diminish Israel’s defensiveness as the main party providing hard, empirical concessions (i.e., giving up things it currently has in its control), by proposing mutuality of symbolic concessions.

But the policy itself is problematic. Despite a neat logical structure and putative fairness, one problem that Beilin acknowledges breezily in passing could loom very large on the Palestinian side: Palestinians are autochthonous, their displacement was a historic injustice and return in their view corrects a historic wrong. They are sure to deeply resent or even reject being equated with settlers likely to remain: the core who colonize or steal their land in the present and thus perpetuate wrongs. The policy could put them in a Faustian bind: return to ancestral villages, and they collaborate in continued thievery of their brethren’s land today.

Read: ‘Thanks for doing Zionism’s filthy work’- A response to Ari Shavit

On the Israeli side, Beilin glosses over the wall of resistance his proposal is likely to meet from mainstream Israelis, not only from the right. Many on the center and center left have little love for the kind of settlers who would stay in the West Bank. For them, the livelihood of extremist, even fanatical, settlers hardly justifies accepting the principle of Palestinian return which in itself they experience as an existential threat.

That’s why the refugee issue is one of the most intractable problems for Israelis. I’ve conducted or read surveys testing compromises that involve the return of refugees in numbers akin to those that would presumably emerge from Beilin’s plan: tens of thousands, perhaps, over several years, and numerous other compensation or repatriation options. A majority of Israelis reject those too.

(The following graph was created by Professor Rex Brynan based on PSR/Truman Institute data)

A more extreme approach to resolving the refugee issue is the article by  Ami Asher of Zochrot, published today here on +972 Magazine, a valuable counter-narrative to Ari Shavit’s recent controversial piece in the New Yorker. He says Shavit presents a partial picture about the expulsion of the Palestinians from Lydda/Lod in 1948. But Asher’s additional points don’t significantly change the facts of what happened, which he admits Shavit got mainly right.

The primary difference is Asher’s guilt and Shavit’s self-justification. Shavit concludes that Zionists must cry about the past but soldier on in the present, so to speak. Asher essentially says that to cleanse the “dirty work” of Zionism, Israel must implement full right of return.

But the tortured conscience of Jews is not a sufficient basis on which to determine Palestinian fate.

Asher’s article ends with his call for return, making no case for how this would benefit either side, beyond making (a few) Jews feel better. Will it make life easier for Israeli Jews and Palestinian/Arab citizens? Will it make life better for Palestinians in the West Bank, Gaza or the diaspora, to live in a society still struggling with racism, where Jewish-Arab relations are the deepest divide of all, in which Palestinians are second class citizens economically and sociologically, and in any case the vast majority of refugees will have no original home left to return to – in a country that will never provide an equal platform for their national identity?

Thinking anecdotally about my Palestinian friends and colleagues, I know of some who support sweeping return, some who would rather stay in their third countries, and some who would prefer to keep living among Palestinians in a Palestinian state, if such a thing could be viable. In other words, full right of return to Israel proper isn’t the answer for all Palestinians.

What they do agree on is that Israel must bear responsibility, and acknowledge both historical facts and the theoretical right.

These articles remind Jews (for they are by and primarily for Jews) that there is no easy resolution to the open wound of Palestinian refugee existence in reality and as a national symbol. The attempt to equate this with a Jewish Nakba – the post-1948 expulsion of Jews from Arab countries – is a cheap and fruitless distraction. Jews were expelled and their suffering must not be diminished. But on the level of national myth, they landed in a sovereign recognized state in a way that fulfilled the national destiny Jews had built for themselves. The post-statehood discrimination against Mizrahim fit very well into the narrative created by pre-statehood Ashkenazim. If Israel truly decides this is its top priority, it could demand monetary reparation for lost property. But on the collective symbolic level, persecution, survival and national fulfillment is not the same as three-generation exile and statelessness.

I believe we need two things: the conversation among Jews cannot remain insular. I am already weary anticipating the comments – “just another spoiled Jewish Israeli American talking on behalf of Palestinians.” Anyone is welcome to submit articles or respond, especially if you are one of the many Palestinian voices I (and hopefully other Jews and non-Jews alike) need to hear. And most importantly, there needs to be an open debate among Palestinians about what’s really best for them, as individuals, communities and as a nation, what’s desirable and what’s realistic. That’s something I’d like to hear. And fast – we need solutions as much as debates.

Read more:
For Palestinians, the Nakba is not history
Are Israelis starting to ‘get’ the Nakba?

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  • COMMENTS

    1. JerusalemS

      Can we stop with this nonsense of recognising our responsibility for mistakes the Arab leadership made?

      There’s a huge difference between identifying with the personal struggles and suffering of Palestinian refugees, which I do, and accepting any sort of responsibility or guilt for it.
      The fact that the majority of Palestinans left voluntarily is known, but let’s pretend it’s not, for the sake of argument, and every single Palestinian refugee was kicked out by Jewish soldiers.
      My conscience is perfectly fine with it.

      The Arab leadership invaded a newly founded Israel, and tried to destroy it, and murder the Jews. Openly so, in their statements and actions. It was no a conflict on borders, or who should control Jerusalem, it was an open declaration of a war of annihilation. While Arabs remained on the Jewish controlled side of the border, no Jews remained on the arab controlled side (Gush Etzion, Kfar Darom, Bnei Yehuda and others were all destroyed, with their inhabitants murdered or deported. The people who perpetrated that war (along with civilians who didn’t participate in military action) left or got kicked out.
      Boo-hoo.

      Millions of Germans who launched a war of annihilation on Poles and Czechs got kicked out at the end of the war from land they lived on for millenias (and not centuries, like most Palestinians). There is no right of return for them, nor should they be. The German nation lead a war of annihilation which its population either supported or did not oppose to, and that had consequences.

      Same can be said about Palestinians. Recognise their suffering? sure. My dad was kicked out of Tunisia and his property was stolen, to live in a maabara (refugee camp) in Netanya. I understand the loss. Claim any sort of responsibility for the problem they themselves created? not in a million years, and 2 million whiny Zochrot/972mag whiny articles.

      Reply to Comment
      • Palestinian

        Benny Morris: “That was the situation. That is what Zionism faced. A Jewish state would not have come into being without the uprooting of 700,000 Palestinians. Therefore it was necessary to uproot them. There was no choice but to expel that population. It was necessary to cleanse the hinterland and cleanse the border areas and cleanse the main roads. It was necessary to cleanse the villages from which our convoys and our settlements were fired on”

        If your parents or grandparents chose to leave their homeland ours did not,but were expelled by colonists from Europe.

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        • The Trespasser

          >If your parents or grandparents chose to leave their homeland ours did not,but were expelled by colonists from Europe.

          Arab propaganda bullshit.

          Your parents and grandparents were expelled because they had willingly chosen path of death and destruction.

          Primitive tribesmen thought that it is better to kill all Jews than to let them have some peace on their ancestral lands.

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          • Palestinian

            My parents and grandparents didnt invite barbaric Zionist Jewish colonial white trash to kill and expel them,and steal their land.No

            Reply to Comment
          • zafarov

            @The Trespasser
            Historical Homeland? The Jewish state of Israel is built on stolen land by terrorist settlers, the Khazars, also known as Ashkenazi Jews They are not Semites but East Europeans who converted to Judaism in the 8th Century and have no connection with the Land of Palestine Their claim on this land is based on Biblical myths which describe events which never took place to people who never existed. Israel Finkelstein, chairman of the Archaeology Department at Tel Aviv University, with archaeology historian Neil Asher Silberman, has just published a book called “The Bible Unearthed: Archaeology’s New Vision of Ancient Israel and the Origin of Its Sacred Text.” I quote:
            “The Israelites were never in Egypt, did not wander in the desert, did not conquer the land [of Canaan] in a military campaign and did not pass it on to the twelve tribes of Israel. Perhaps even harder to swallow is the fact that the united kingdom of David and Solomon, described in the Bible as a regional power, was at most a small tribal kingdom. The tales of the patriarchs — Abraham, Isaac and Joseph among others — were the first to go when biblical scholars found those passages rife with anachronisms and other inconsistencies. The story of Exodus, one of the most powerful epics of enslavement, courage and liberation in human history, also slipped from history to legend when archaeologists could no longer ignore the lack of corroborating contemporary Egyptian accounts and the absence of evidence of large encampments in the Sinai Peninsula (“the wilderness” where Moses brought the Israelites after leading them through the parted Red Sea).
            These statements correspond well with what was written by John Rembsburg:”In the 12th chapter of Joshua is given a list of 31 kingdoms which were conquered by Israel. This was in the fifteenth century B.C. From this time forward they are represented as a mighty nation by Bible historians. Rameses III overran Canaan and conquered it between 1280 and 1260 B.C. The Egyptian records give a list of all the tribes inhabiting it. The children of Israel– the Hebrews– were not there. In the 5th century B.C., when Herodotus, the father of History, was collecting materials for his immortal work, he traversed nearly every portion of Western Asia. He describes all its principal peoples and places; but the Jews and Jerusalem are of too little consequence to merit a line from his pen. Not until 332 B.C. do the Jews appear upon the stage of history, and then only as the submissive vassals of a Grecian king.”John E. Rembsburg, The Bible (1901), pg. 263.

            Reply to Comment
          • David

            zafarov, while you busy denying Jewish heritage and connection to the land of Palestine how about some justification for the supposed Palestinian Arab historical/cultural/religious connection with the area of Palestine.

            Reply to Comment
          • zafarov

            @David
            It is the two eminent Israeli scholars, who authored “The Bible Unearthed: Archaeology’s New Vision of Ancient Israel and the Origin of Its Sacred Text.” after diligent and exhaustive study and research, who have unequivocally demonstrated that the historical link is a myth. The Palestinians have lived on that land forever notwithstanding who dominated there.

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        • JohnW

          This is a perfect example of how Palestinian propaganda works. They quote out of context and selectively.

          In this case, our Palestinian chose to quote a private OPINION of Benny Morris who said what HE thought had to happen and he (Palestinian) attempts to prsent it as a fact.

          Nothing can be further from the truth. In the same Wikipedia entry from which our Palestinian took his quote, the following statement is attributed to Benny Morris:

          “Morris wrote in the Irish Times, “There was no Zionist ‘plan’ or blanket policy of evicting the Arab population, or of ‘ethnic cleansing’” and “the demonisation of Israel is largely based on lies—much as the demonisation of the Jews during the past 2,000 years has been based on lies. And there is a connection between the two.”[11] Morris has criticized David Ben-Gurion for not carrying out such a plan, saying “In the end, he faltered… If he had carried out a full expulsion—rather than a partial one—he would have stabilized the State of Israel for generations.”[5]”

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

          The above shows that Palestinian is just attempting to tell fibs about what Benny Morris REALLY says.

          Pathetic. Just pathetic pure unadulterated Palestinian propaganda. Not even sophisticated but crude. Yet people fall for it. Some people at least. The un-intelligent ones and the haters.

          Reply to Comment
          • andrew r

            With all due respect to Morris’ research, his contention that there was no “blanket, national policy” is double talk. The Zionists unquestionably had a policy of creating a Jewish state – nobody is going to dispute that (Although I eagerly await the day when propagandists start claiming that’s the Arabs’ fault as well). Jewish state = expulsion. No ifs or buts about it.

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          • Samuel

            “With all due respect to Morris’ research, his contention that there was no “blanket, national policy” is double talk.”

            With all due respect to your accusation, your contention is double talk.

            How do we know? Easy. Israel today has over 1 million Arab citizens, representing one fifth of Israel’s population. Does that sound like a policy of expulsion?

            Now let’s compare this to the population of Jews in Arab countries. There may be a handful of Jews left living (if any) in Arab countries where once there were a million Jews living. Now there was a real policy of expulsion for you, Andrew. Let’s talk about that, Andrew, shall we?

            Reply to Comment
          • andrew r

            On the other hand, we’re supposed to believe had there been no violence whatsoever from the Arab side, there would have been no attempt by the Zionists to seize their land. That flies in the face of everything they had done in Palestine the 60-odd years preceding 1948. They were trying to settle on land that was already inhabited.

            The fact Israel has 1 million Arabs still in the Green Line is a logistical failure. Anyone who can read knows the Haganah/IDF systematically depopulated Palestine by force so Jews would be the majority population.

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          • Samuel

            “On the other hand, we’re supposed to believe had there been no violence whatsoever from the Arab side”

            You can believe whatever you want to believe Andrew. The fact is that there WAS violence from the Arab side. Unprovoked violence to which the Jews responded. As any other people would respond. There was anti Jewish violence by Arabs even before the 1929 Hebron massacre of Jews by Arabs. Read a bit of history. Not just a one sided narrative that looks at Arab grievances only.

            And your claim that the land was already inhabited is another simplistic misrepresentation. It is more correct to say that the land was partially inhabited. In 1850, there were probably no more than about 450,000 people in ALL of Palestine. Some of those people (admittedly a small minority) were Jews who continuously inhabited the land for nearly 3000 years.

            You know what that translates to? It translates to a sparsely populated land when the first wave of Jewish immigration/return (to Jewish ancestral homeland) commenced around 1850. Just for perspective, the same land now is inhabited about 10 million people. And there are still empty spaces left.

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          • Samuel

            … and seeing that you are playing the “believe” game, you might also answer this question, Andrew:

            What do you think the Arabs would have done to the Jews of Palestine had the Arabs been victorious in 1948?

            I think they would have carried out their loudly spoken threats and would have committed another holocaust against 600,000 Jews some of whom were survivors of the Nazi holocaust.

            What do you think Andrew?

            Reply to Comment
          • andrew r

            “You know what that translates to? It translates to a sparsely populated land when the first wave of Jewish immigration/return (to Jewish ancestral homeland) commenced around 1850.”

            Something doesn’t add up here. Some months back I made this remark: “All the peasants who would have been removed through negotiations would’ve had no say, and most likely those who did the negotiating would’ve been removed afterwards, since they’d no longer be useful.”

            And you responded with: “Ok Andrew the next time you buy a house with tenants in it, I expect you to leave the tenants in the house even if you bought the house for the purpose of living in the house.”

            So instead of suggesting the moshavniks build in that abundant empty space, your first thought was to defend the removal of the peasants from the land they cultivated. This makes me wonder if you really think settlement was viable in the uninhabited areas.

            “What do you think Andrew?”

            Okay, I’ll bite. For logistical reasons alone, the thought of the Palestinians committing a genocide against the Yishuv is ****ing stupid. The only way that could have taken place was by what the Interahamwe did in Rwanda in 1994: Recruit civilians en masse and arm them with machetes. And as we all know, most Palestinians spent 1948 running away.

            The Arab states also could not have been planning a genocide if for no other reason than Transjordan was instructed by the British govt. to observe the UN partition boundaries. The battles between the Haganah and the Arab Legion were fought over Jerusalem, the Latrun Salient and Kfar Etzion. This would also apply to the Iraqis who were under the Arab Legion.

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          • Samuel

            It all adds up Andrew. You just don’t want it to add up. Most of the lands that the Jews of Palestine Purchased were empty lands. One such land was Petach Tikva. Tel Aviv was another one as there were many others. Petach Tikva was purchased at an exhorbitant price because it was malaria infested swamp land. The Jews built it up from nothing and today it is a town of over 200,000 people. Go read up about it.

            As for the few places which did have felahin on the land, I stand by what I wrote to you earlier. Yes, if the absentee owners of the land were willing to sell the land and collect exhorbitant sums of money for the land, then the purchasers, in those cases the Jews, had the right to take posession of the land.

            Or are you saying that the Jews just had to fork out the money and not use the land? Strange logic. A bit like the logic of Europeans who from time to time, in history, decided that they needed Jewish property so they just kicked out the Jews from their countries and not only did they refuse to pay for the assets that they confiscated from the Jews but the Jews were lucky to escape with their lives. Often they did not even manage that.

            Old habits die hard. It seems that many people even today think that when it comes to Jews, we don’t really own whatever we purchase.

            Reply to Comment
          • andrew r

            Instead of tediously going over the Capitulations treaties and Tanzimat reforms, I’ll just go to an elaboration on my argument above.

            “Yes, if the absentee owners of the land were willing to sell the land and collect exhorbitant sums of money for the land, then the purchasers, in those cases the Jews, had the right to take posession of the land.”

            You make a comment like this even as you assert the Arabs’ acceptance of the UN partition would have safeguarded them from expulsion. See, people who study Zionism and don’t have a kneejerk interest in defending it tend to see the evictions following land deals as representative of what the Zionists had planned for Palestine’s Arabs as a whole. It’s kind of hard not to when all of the movement’s most important figures – Herzl, Ruppin, Weizmann, Ben-Gurion – are on record stating emigration of the peasants would be necessary for increased settlement.

            But really, to insist the Arabs should have accepted the partition on one hand, and then get huffy-puffy when the subject of eviction is brought up, is just tying yourself in knots. After buying land and evicting the peasants, we’re supposed to believe (again) 450,000 Arabs on the “Israeli” side of the partition would have remained where they were, safe and sound once the Yishuv had actual military, administrative and police powers over the land, i.e. the power to seize it by force.

            Whatever.

            Reply to Comment
          • Samuel

            Dear Andrew

            I don’t really care what YOU want to believe. Quite clearly you have a very closed mind and you already made up your mind about what you want to believe.

            In order to reinforce your preconceived belief you ignore and misrepresent anything and everything that could potentially change your beliefs. For example:

            1. I said, that most of the lands that Jews bought, if not all, were empty lands.

            2. If they did buy lands with Felahin on it, they had the right to take posession of those lands as all new owners do anywhere in the world except in bizarro land.

            3. Never mind what coulda, shoulda, woulda happened. What ACTUALLY DID happen is that the Arabs attacked the Jews and the Jews defended themselves. No apologies about that.

            4. But if you want to speculate about what coulda, woulda, shoulda happened then you might have the intellectual honesty to consider the fact that the Arabs promised to carry out a bloody massacre of the Palestinian Jews and that they may have just meant it (sarcasm) and that they were not just joking.

            If you consider that to be huffy and puffy of me, that’s your problem, not mine.

            Reply to Comment
        • JerusalemS

          As I’ve mentioned, my parents who lived in Tunisia for centuries were in fact deported, by the people they considered neighbours. Their property was stolen, as they were told to leave without it. It could not be sold because everybody knew the Jews are going to be kicked out and there was no point in buying what will be abandoned.

          Please don’t lecture me about choice.

          And as I mentioned, even if all the Jews who were deported left by choice, and all the arabs would leave by force it would not matter in the slightest. The leaders of the Arab population declared a war of annihilation attempting to kill or deport every single Jew. They lost. Their constituents paid the price. I feel as much responsibility for them as I do for Germans who lost their homes after WW2, literally, none.

          Reply to Comment
          • Deborah

            Most of these comments make it clear why the ONLY thing that could possibly bring peace to this tortured land is the international campaign for Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions of Israeli institutions.

            Reply to Comment
          • IlonJ

            “Most of these comments make it clear why the ONLY thing that could possibly bring peace to this tortured land is the international campaign for Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions of Israeli institutions.”

            Another self important, preachy delusional comment. BDS can only bring an even greater disaster to this tortured land. Jews will not voluntarily walk into gas chambers again.

            Reply to Comment
          • JerusalemS

            Well, if boycott me, I’ll immediately recognise my responsibility towards genocideurs such as the Palestinian Arab militias of 1948 and their constituents.
            Does that logic really work in your mind?

            How sad. You’re trying to force a losing argument with an economic boycott. It will not work, and if anything would probably make Israelis more likely to immediately ignore whatever it is you’re advocating for. But by all means, do try.

            It would be much more intimidating to me if you were teaching Palestinians on the difference between guerrilla and terrorism, so I’d rather you’ll deal with petty stuff like BDS.

            Reply to Comment
          • Palestinian

            Their neighbours remembered after centuries to expel them ? It doesn’t make sense.

            Hundreds of thousands of Palestinians had already been expelled before a single Arab soldier set foot in Palestine.

            Reply to Comment
          • JerusalemS

            That’s quite a creative way of framing it. Arab states didn’t officially exist until 1946 and some until 1947. Arab nationals of those states have immigrated and fought side by side with the Palestinians, before their nations declared independence.

            And to answer your question, there were numerous attempts to kill Jews as well as pogroms in the Maghreb and Iraq, throughout the centuries. Sometimes the government did nothing, sometimes it acted too late. In the 1950s, they encouraged it, and that made all the difference.

            Reply to Comment
          • Palestinian

            Iraq got its independence in 1932 ! Suddenly out of nowhere the non-Jewish Iraqis became anti-Jewish ?!

            You haven’t commented on my second point ..

            Reply to Comment
      • JohnW

        Well said.

        Reply to Comment
        • JohnW

          An idiot’s post got in between Jerusalem’s post and mine.

          Let me make myself perfectly clear. I said: “we’ll said” to Jerusalem.

          Reply to Comment
      • andrew r

        “There’s a huge difference between identifying with the personal struggles and suffering of Palestinian refugees, which I do, and accepting any sort of responsibility or guilt for it.”

        You don’t have to accept responsibility for anything; it’s just that the Zionist movement is objectively responsible for seeking to create a colonial-settler entity that would exclude the natives. Leaders such as Ruppin were proposing schemes to transfer fellahin out of Palestine as early as 1914; and while Herzl wrote in his public works of fiction that Zionist colonization would benefit the Arabs, he was writing in his diary about kicking them out.

        The basic aim of creating a Jewish state entailed violence; do you think they sought an alliance with Great Britain so Hebrew dictionaries could be full of English loan words?

        Reply to Comment
      • David T

        “The fact that the majority of Palestinans left voluntarily is known …”

        The contrary is known today thantky to the opening of Israel’s military archive. Only a few left volunteratily and had the means to do so. The only academic question which remains is, if Israel’s expulsion was systematically planned or not. By the way, refugees who are not allow to return are expelled anyway.

        Reply to Comment
    2. XYZ

      As long as people like those here at 972 keep pushing the Nakba in everyone’s face and leading the Palestinians to think that Israel is going to accept “guilt” for something it has no guilt to accept and that Israel will agree to some sort of even limited “return” (which is unacceptable to the Palestinians who are insisting on an UNLIMITED ROR) then there isn’t going to be peace. Period.

      Reply to Comment
    3. The Trespasser

      Debate? With who? About what?

      Palestinian Arabs had rejected Jews the right to have homeland in Palestine in early 20′s century. 100 years had passed, nothing has changed.

      What is the point of debating with people who are technically incapable to change and advance?

      Reply to Comment
      • David T.

        “Palestinian Arabs had rejected Jews the right to have homeland in Palestine in early 20′s century.”

        What makes Jews so special that others have to grant them a right to a homeland in their country?

        “What is the point of debating with people who are technically incapable to change and advance?”

        Your racist ideocies seem to be not technically limited.

        Reply to Comment
        • Samuel

          “What makes Jews so special that others have to grant them a right to a homeland in their country?”

          Do you realise how ridiculous your question sounds?

          In 1948, there were 600,000 Jews living in Palestine. So why was Palestine more Arab than Jewish? Especially since the well documented historical connection of the Jewish people to the land.

          The UN recognised the right of BOTH people, Arab and Jewish to the land. That’s why they voted to partition the land and to create two new states. One Jewish state and one Arab state.

          The Jews accepted. The Arabs rejected it and attacked the Jews. They also promised to wipe out and/or expel all the Jews from Palestine. Those are facts. Solid facts documented in all respectable history books. There are numerous archived newsreels which back those facts up. Even though biased people like you try to deny or gloss over those facts.

          Reply to Comment
          • David T.

            Let me rephrase my question and add another one.

            Why does the majority of the citizens of a country has to accept if foreigners want to establish a homeland in their country?

            Why does the majority of the citizens of a country has to accept, if a 20% minority of their citizens wants to establish a state of their own in 55% of the country without asking anyone habitually residing in this part?

            (20%, because less than half of the 600,000 Jews in Palestine were citizens of Palestine)

            Reply to Comment
          • Samuel

            “Let me rephrase my question and add another one.”

            You can rephrase your question any whichway you like but your question still does not make sense. Nor does your added question.

            Palestine in 1948 had two peoples inhabiting it. It was never a sovereign country in it’s own right. But when it was granted independence, there were two choices:

            1. To become a single state with both Arabs and Jews as it’s citizens.

            Or

            2. Two independent states, one Jewish one Arab.

            The UN opted for the second option because the Arabs were hostile to the presence of most of Palestine’s Jews. They promised to massacre them and promised expulsion to the rest.

            There were precedents to that decision of partitioning the land. India for one. In India, the Muslim population represented only 12% of the total population (as opposed to Palestine, where Jews represented 33% of the total population). Yet the Muslims of India demanded partition and got their own independent state (Pakistan).
            So, DavidT, what is good for the goose is good for the gander too. If a minority of Muslims in one part of the world can break off from a majority of non Muslims (Hindus) in one part of the world, then it is not unfair to apply the same principle in another part of the world (Palestine). Particularly since in the case of Pakistan, the Muslim state became one additional Muslim state. But in the case of Israel, it is the only Jewish state in the world. So given the history of Jew hatred and persecutions, the Jewish people have every right to have ONE state in the world where Jews are a majority and are therefore masters of our own destiny.

            Hey DavidT, you don’t have to like it. But you DO have to live with it because it is a fact. And we will make sure that it stays a fact.

            Reply to Comment
          • David T.

            “The UN opted for the second option because the Arabs were hostile to the presence of most of Palestine’s Jews.”

            The Arab delegation proposed a unitary democrate state with equality and minority rights.

            “They promised to massacre them and promised expulsion to the rest.”

            Not “they”. Some did. And all in the context of Zionist partitioning Palestine and considering that they even had created a Transfer Commitee which dealt with “transfering” Nonjews out of Palestine.

            But you are still not answering my question:

            “Hey DavidT, …”
            Hey Samuel, you are not answering the questiion.

            Why does the majority of the citizens of a country has to accept if foreigners want to establish a homeland in their country?

            Why does the majority of the citizens of a country has to accept, if a 20% minority of their citizens wants to establish a state of their own in 55% of the country without asking anyone habitually residing in this part?

            Reply to Comment
          • The Trespasser

            >The Arab delegation proposed a unitary democrate state with equality and minority rights.

            “Arab democratic state” is a joke. Even if some delegation ever proposed it, a) they had no mandate from the whole of the Palestinian people, b) after few decades of violence no sane person would believe that two people can coexist peacefully and c) Jews were not looking for minority rights.

            >Why does the majority of the citizens of a country has to accept if foreigners want to establish a homeland in their country?

            The question is irrelevant. There was no country named “Palestine” nor it has citizens.

            >Why does the majority of the citizens of a country has to accept, if a 20% minority of their citizens wants to establish a state of their own in 55% of the country without asking anyone habitually residing in this part?

            1) 55% is fiction. Well over 50% of territory offered for the Jewish state is an inhabitable desert.
            2) By 1948 Jewish population of Palestine was about 800 000, quite a bit more than 20%

            3) Habitual residents were asked, but, being uneducated, bloodthirsty savages, they refused.

            4) They don’t have to accept shit. However, people who reject international law, should not account for its defence.

            Reply to Comment
          • Samuel

            @Trespasser

            This DavidT is a lost cause. He keeps on lying. He ignores everything he is told.

            He keeps on pretending that The Jews were only 20% of the population in 1948.

            He ignores the partition of India precedent where 12% of the population who were Muslims demanded and got the right to independence in the form of Pakistan.

            He PONTIFICTES about international laws but when it comes to Arabs rejecting the UN proposed partitioning of Palestine in 1948, suddenly he does not care about international laws.

            And he is inconsistent. On another blog in which he endlessly argued with me, he claims that Israel’s borders are the ones proposed by the UN partition even though not a single Arab or Muslim country recognised those borders in 1948. But hey, this idiot (DavidT) wanted to prove another point then so it’s ok (or so he thinks).

            I think he (DavidT) is just here to annoy. He hasn’t even got a coherent line of argument. To top it off, he persists with his obnoxious analogy of Israel and Nazi Germany (on yet another blog here). Either he is brain dead or he is a hater. Maybe both?
            :)

            Reply to Comment
          • Samuel

            “Why does the majority of the citizens of a country has to accept if foreigners want to establish a homeland in their country?”

            I answered it already but either you cannot read or you are brain dead. Probably both.

            Palestine was never a sovereign Arab country. It was a colony being granted independence and it had two people’s living it. In such circumstances the majority cannot impose it’s will on the minority who have right to self determination. That is what happened in India/Pakistan. And that is what happened more recently in Kosovo too where the Muslim/Albanians decided to break away from Serbia. The UN had no problems with this in all three cases. You do. That is your problem. But at least be consistent. Stop bringing up “International Laws” all the time selectively as it suits you to bash Israel over the head with because you don’t really seem to believe in “International Laws” you only seem to believe in “pick and choose laws” and BS.

            Reply to Comment
          • DavidT.

            Me: “(20%, because less than half of the 600,000 Jews in Palestine were citizens of Palestine)”
            Samuel: “He keeps on pretending that The Jews were only 20% of the population in 1948.”

            Another lie, because I was refering to Jewish CITIZENS of Palestine.

            “He PONTIFICTES about international laws but when it comes to Arabs rejecting the UN proposed partitioning of Palestine in 1948, suddenly he does not care about international laws.”

            Another lie, because I allready mentioned several times that Resolution 181 was not international law, but only a recommendation which didn’t need to be accepted and wasn’t even by the Security Council who demanded in April 1948 to abstain from state proclamations.

            “… he claims that Israel’s borders are the ones proposed by the UN partition …”

            Another lie, because I proved that this is what Israel claimed in May 1948.

            Me: “Why does the majority of the citizens of a country has to accept if foreigners want to establish a homeland in their country?”
            You: “Palestine was never a sovereign Arab country. It was a colony being granted independence …”

            I was not talking about an Arab country, but about Palestine, which was not a colony being granted independence, but a mandated state provisionally recognized as independent. With your racist Arab/Jews dichotomy you fail to adress the question, about Palestinian’s citizens right to self determination and to handle immigration by majority decision.

            Reply to Comment
          • Samuel

            You: A boring little man David, because we already discussed all this in great detail in other blogs here in + 972. But repetition is your middle name. Ok then, me too …

            Samuel: “He keeps on pretending that The Jews were only 20% of the population in 1948.”

            DAVIDT:”Another lie, because I was refering to Jewish CITIZENS of Palestine.”

            So according to you, refugees are sub humans and their voices do not count nor should their voices be heard?

            Most refugees entered Palestine legally. Some didn’t. At the least, the voices of those refugees who entered legally should be counted. And morally, all the refugees should be counted because they were human too and they should have a say in their own destiny. Unless of course you consider Jews to be sub-human, David?

            SAMUEL:“He PONTIFICTES about international laws but when it comes to Arabs rejecting the UN proposed partitioning of Palestine in 1948, suddenly he does not care about international laws.”

            DAVIDT:”Another lie, because I allready mentioned several times that Resolution 181 was not international law, but only a recommendation which didn’t need to be accepted and wasn’t even by the Security Council who demanded in April 1948 to abstain from state proclamations.”

            Actually I was the one who first said what you said above. And you were the one who pretended that Israel’s borders were set by UNGA resolution 181 as the partition border. I disagreed with you but since you insisted, I pointed out your hypocrisy and said that IF it is law, then your Arab darlings disobeyed the law by rejecting Israel’s right to exist.

            So which is it David?

            1. Is UNGA 181 the law?

            Or

            2. Is UNGA 181 not the law?

            If (1) Then Arabs broke the law. If (2) then Israel’s borders are not yet defined but have to be negotiated, agreed upon as per UN security council resolution 242.

            SAMUEL:“… he claims that Israel’s borders are the ones proposed by the UN partition …”

            DAVIDT:”Another lie, because I proved that this is what Israel claimed in May 1948.”

            You proved nothing except that Israel was willing to accept the borders that UN GA resolution 181 proposed. But once the Arabs rejected those borders, Israel too is no longer bound by those borders. That’s what’s called natural justice.

            Otherwise you reward the agressor party (the Arabs) who made war in order to get ALL of Palestine and to kick the Jews out. Had they succeeded that’s exactly what would have happened.

            But according to you, since they failed, Israel just has to be curteous to them and say: “bad luck Palestinian Arabs, you did not succeed in killing and ethnically cleansing all of us, now here is what you would have got had you not made war on us”.

            David, you resent us because we are not stupid and don’t do what no one else would have done had they been in our shoes.

            DAVIDT: “Why does the majority of the citizens of a country has to accept if foreigners want to establish a homeland in their country?”

            SAMUEL: “Palestine was never a sovereign Arab country. It was a colony being granted independence …”

            Chopping off what I really said, David? Nice try.

            I also said that there were TWO people in Palestine. Arabs and Jews. And the Jews had every right to seek to go their own way to have their own state. Just like the Muslims of India who were 12% of the overall population in 1947 yet sought and got partition out of which Pakistan was born. There is your legal precedent David, that’s how the law works. International law too.

            DAVIDT:”I was not talking about an Arab country, but about Palestine, which was not a colony being granted independence, but a mandated state provisionally recognized as independent.”

            Yes and once again you conveniently forget to mention that part of the mandate which was originally formulated by the League of Nations, was to create a Jewish state.

            DAVIT:”With your racist Arab/Jews dichotomy you fail to adress the question, about Palestinian’s citizens right to self determination and to handle immigration by majority decision.”

            Why exactly is it racist of me to remind you that Palestine had a Jewish population too and that they wanted something else than what the Arab population wanted?

            I think that you are the one who is racist for trying to overlook the national aspirations of the Jewish people, David. You ARE the racist one.

            Reply to Comment
          • David T,

            “So according to you, refugees are sub humans and their voices do not count nor should their voices be heard? — And morally, all the refugees should be counted because they were human too and they should have a say in their own destiny. Unless of course you consider Jews to be sub-human, David?”

            You seem to be very confused, Samuel. Refugees have no NATIONAL rights in the countries they haven’t become citizens of. And it’s obvious that what you call “moral” excludes Palestinian refugees, and with “all refugees” you primarely mean “all Jewish refugees”.

            “… Israel’s borders …”

            This whole issue seems to be very confusing for you, too. 181 was only a recommendation which didn’t set any borders, but Israel still chose to set its borders according to the borders in this recommendation, because it wanted to be recognized, like in this letter to the US: http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/History/epsteinlet.html

            An in its answer to the Security Council on 22 May 1948 (one week after Israel’s proclamation and Arab intervention) Israel described the following territories as “outside the territory of the State of Israel”: The “city of Jaffa; Northwestern Galilee, including Acre, Zib, Base, and the Jewish settlements up to the Lebanese frontier; a strip of territory alongside the road from Hilda to Jerusalem; almost all of new Jerusalem; and of the Jewish quarter within the walls of the Old City of Jerusalem.” http://unispal.un.org/unispal.nsf/9a798adbf322aff38525617b006d88d7/b4085a930e0529c98025649d00410973?OpenDocument

            Palestine on the other hand proclaimed its state within the Green line and that was recognized by the UN. So its fair to say that Israel is also recognized within Green line as the result of a political solution, not necessarely a legal solution.

            And Rostow only overlooked 242 and did not help producing it, like he and many other overlookers claim. That’s what the actual drafter Lord Caradon wrote about 242:
            “… it is very necessary to remember that when we drew up Resolution 242 we all took it for granted that the occupied territory would be restored to Jordan.” “… when we passed the unanimous Resolution in 1967 we all assumed that East Jerusalem would revert to Jordan. East Jerusalem, as a matter of fact, had been occupied in the 1967 conflict and it therefore plainly under the terms of the Resolution came under the requirement for Israeli withdrawal.” “… scores of Israeli settlements have already been established on the West Bank, Gaza and the Golan. The process of colonisation of Arab lands goes rapidly ahead in disregard of objections from nearly every Government in the world, including’ even the American Government. These actions of the Israeli Government are in clear defiance of the Resolution 242.”
            http://www.solvingthemiddle-east.com/index.php/the-west-bank-a-illegal-settlements

            So settlements violate 242 which ask for withdrawal from all territories which were occupied in 1967 and Israel has no legal claim to any territory it occupied in 1967 because the aquisition by war is inadmissable. Of course there’s always room for rationalizing the borders which would serve both sides. But it would be silly to argue, that the wall route would be a more defensable border. To the contrary.

            “Otherwise you reward the agressor party (the Arabs) who made war in order to get ALL of Palestine and to kick the Jews out. ”

            ROFL. It was not the Arabs who had to get any territory of Palestine. They were allready the majority of citizens of this allready existing state and all they asked for was its independence. It was ‘the Jews’ who had to made war, to acquire territory for a not existing state and to kick out Nonjews to become a majority in it (which they even weren’t within the borders recommmended by 181). And by the way. The argument that the agressor party should not be awarded is Hasbara nonsense. The principle is that the acquisition of territory is inadmissable in any case, wether you are agressor or a defender.

            “David, you resent us because we are not stupid and don’t do what no one else would have done had they been in our shoes.”

            Nobody forced you to move to Palestine since 1878. Actually most of the refugees after the Nazi horror wanted to immigrate to the US. So have a guess what Zionists did to prevent this.

            “Chopping off what I really said, David? Nice try.”

            No, that’s what you do without using “…”. I refuted some of the premises of your argument.

            Chopping off what I really said, David? Nice try.

            LOL. You are like a little child Samuel. The moment I accuse you of doing something, you try to accuse me of the same.

            “Yes and once again you conveniently forget to mention that part of the mandate which was originally formulated by the League of Nations, was to create a Jewish state.”

            I allready replied to you that a “national home” is not a state. And there is nothing in the mandate that suggests otherwise, which btw. was not formulated by the LoN, but by Britain, based on a … Zionist draft. LOL.

            “Why exactly is it racist of me to remind you that Palestine had a Jewish population too and that they wanted something else than what the Arab population wanted?”

            You are confused Samuel. Not your reminder was racist, but that you have to differentiate the Palestinians by faith and heritage, because you fail to adress the question, about Palestinian’s citizens right to self determination and to handle immigration by majority decision. You don’t have a problem to claim the same right, if Jews are a majority.

            “I think that you are the one who is racist for trying to overlook the national aspirations of the Jewish people, David. You ARE the racist one.”

            This actually proves that you are the racist, because you say national aspirations “of the Jewish people”. But the “Jewish people” were NOT the people of Palestine in 1948! The “Jewish people” were not the citizens of Palestine. Neither were the “Arab people”. Only the Palestinian people, the people of Palestine, its citizens or habitually residents REGARDLESS OF THEIR FAITH AND HERITAGE had the right to self determination IN Palestine and the right to decide this by majority decision. But you really believe that Jews all over the world and as such had national and political rights in Palestine, even without being its citizen or habitually resident. You even believe that Jewish refugees in Palestine had this right. What’s next? That Jews in America don’t have the right to self determination and to participate in decisions based on majority rules? Or that the Jewish people had a right to create a state anywhere they wanted? Your whole approach to the right of self determination is nothing else but racist. It has NOTHING to do with the right of self determination as understood in international law, and which is a civic, not an ethnic or a religious right.

            Reply to Comment
          • Samuel

            Again with your stupid repetition, David. I have already refuted ALL your arguments above. Here and elsewhere. But seeing that you think that repetition alone is proof, I will repeat my arguments again later. Oh and once again you conveniently left out the partition of India which set a legal precedent for the partitioning of Palestine too. puff …. there goes your whole argument down in smoke.

            India was partitioned base on a religious divide out of which 12% of the Indian population, the Muslims, got their own state, Pakistan.

            Palestine was partitioned, out of which 33% of the population got their own state, Israel.

            See the parallel?

            Get used to it David.

            Reply to Comment
          • Samuel

            DAVIDT:”You seem to be very confused, Samuel. Refugees have no NATIONAL rights in the countries they haven’t become citizens of.”

            They do if they were admitted to the countries legally and were granted citizenship. Oh and Palestine was not a country David, it was a mandate administered by Britain on behalf of the UN. And it still isn’t.

            DAVIDT:”This whole issue seems to be very confusing for you, too. 181 was only a recommendation”

            Actually I was the one who first said what you said above. And you were the one who pretended that Israel’s borders were set by UNGA resolution 181 as the partition border. I disagreed with you but since you insisted, I pointed out your hypocrisy and said that IF it is law, then your Arab darlings disobeyed the law by rejecting Israel’s right to exist.

            So which is it David?

            1. Is UNGA 181 the law?

            Or

            2. Is UNGA 181 not the law?

            If (1) Then Arabs broke the law. If (2) then Israel’s borders are not yet defined but have to be negotiated, agreed upon as per UN security council resolution 242.

            DAVIDT:”An in its answer to the Security Council on 22 May 1948 (one week after Israel’s proclamation and Arab intervention) Israel described the following territories…”

            nothing except that Israel was willing to accept the borders that UN GA resolution 181 proposed. But once the Arabs rejected those borders, Israel too is no longer bound by those borders. That’s what’s called natural justice.

            Otherwise you reward the agressor party (the Arabs) who made war in order to get ALL of Palestine and to kick the Jews out. Had they succeeded that’s exactly what would have happened.

            But according to you, since they failed, Israel just has to be curteous to them and say: “bad luck Palestinian Arabs, you did not succeed in killing and ethnically cleansing all of us, now here is what you would have got had you not made war on us”.

            David, you resent us because we are not stupid and don’t do what no one else would have done had they been in our shoes.

            To be continued …

            Reply to Comment
          • Samuel

            DAVIDT:”And Rostow only overlooked 242 and did not help producing it, like he and many other overlookers claim. That’s what the actual drafter Lord Caradon wrote about 242:”

            Journal of Palestine Studies, “An Interview with Lord Caradon,” Spring – Summer 1976, pgs 144-45:

            “A. I defend the resolution as it stands. What it states, as you know, is first the general principle of inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by war. That means that you can’t justify holding onto territory merely because you conquered it. We could have said: well, you go back to the 1967 line. But I know the 1967 line, and it’s a rotten line. You couldn’t have a worse line for a permanent international boundary. It’s where the troops happened to be on a certain night in 1948. It’s got no relation to the needs of the situation.

            Had we said that you must go back to the 1967 line, which would have resulted if we had specified a retreat from all the occupied territories, we would have been wrong. In New York, what did we know about Tayyibe and Qalqilya? If we had attempted in New York to draw a new line, we would have been rather vague. So what we stated was the principle that you couldn’t hold territory because you conquered it, therefore there must be a withdrawal to – let’s read the words carefully – “secure and recognized boundaries.” They can only be secure if they are recognized. The boundaries have to be agreed; it’s only when you get agreement that you get security. I think that now people begin to realize what we had in mind that security doesn’t come from arms, it doesn’t come from territory, it doesn’t come from geography, it doesn’t come from one side domination the other, it can only come from agreement and mutual respect and understanding.”

            DavidT:”So settlements violate 242 which ask for withdrawal from all territories which were occupied in 1967 and Israel has no legal claim to any territory it occupied in 1967 because the aquisition by war is inadmissable.”

            Well, not according to Rostow nor Lord Carandon whom you tried to quote as your evidence.

            Boo hoo David, keep trying ….

            Reply to Comment
          • Samuel

            DAVIDT:”It was ‘the Jews’ who had to made war, to acquire territory”

            Nope. The Jews agreed to the partition. The Arabs did NOT. And the Arabs attacked innocent Jews. You yourself admitted to this fact in another post. Must have been a rare moment of sanity for you, David.

            DAVIDT:”Nobody forced you to move to Palestine since 1878. Actually most of the refugees after the Nazi horror wanted to immigrate to the US.”

            Actually they did force us. Most Jews wanted to migrate to the US, why didn’t they then David?

            Arab persecution of Jewish minorities resulted in the need for Jews to flee Arab countries. Ditto about European persecution of Jews for 2000 years. And yes, for many Jews Palestine was the ONLY option because even the US did not want to accept Jewish refugees who were fleeing Germany in the 1930s.

            So you see David? The hatred of Jews by people like you contributed to the rise of modern Zionism. For Herzl, the realisation occurred as a result of the Dreyfus affair when France was gripped by a frenzy of Jew hatred. Up till then, Herzl preferred the idea of assimilation. But the Dreyfus affair made him realise that even assimilation will not stop the dreadful virus of anti-smitism and the only way that we Jews will be free is by having our own state in which we are a majority.

            And now we have Israel. Are you going to talk us out of it by boring us with endless accusations, David? Think again, LOL.

            Reply to Comment
          • Samuel

            “btw. was not formulated by the LoN, but by Britain, based on a … Zionist draft. LOL.”

            Once again you are wrong David. Boo hoo …

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_Mandate_for_Palestine_(legal_instrument)

            “This article is about the Mandate instrument passed by the League of Nations granting Britain a mandate over the area currently occupied by Israel, the West Bank, the Gaza Strip and Jordan. For a history of the period, see Mandatory Palestine and Transjordan.”

            Reply to Comment
    4. Tom P.

      “And most importantly, there needs to be an open debate among Palestinians about what’s really best for them, as individuals, communities and as a nation, what’s desirable and what’s realistic. That’s something I’d like to hear”

      what if I said, as a man I keep hearing all this stuff about “equal rights for women.” But they need to have a real debate about what’s desirable and what’s realistic for them. I mean, surely women don’t really mean “equal rights” when they say “equal rights”?

      Reply to Comment
    5. Steve Benassi

      Need Obama UNSC ’67 borders in 2014, and UN/IJC/ICC War Reparations, to be paid by Israel, for the theft of 8000 square miles of Mediterranean land, worth $trillions, in lieu of fractional right of return.

      Reply to Comment
    6. From the piece: “Will [return] make life easier for Israeli Jews and Palestinian/Arab citizens? Will it make life better for Palestinians in the West Bank, Gaza or the diaspora, to live in a society still struggling with racism, where Jewish-Arab relations are the deepest divide of all, in which Palestinians are second class citizens economically and sociologically, and in any case the vast majority of refugees will have no original home left to return to – in a country that will never provide an equal platform for their national identity?”

      Superior questions. I don’t believe the Nakba (which about 50% of the time I probably miswrite as “Nabka”) is composed only of a voluntary exodus, or of individuals all fooled by their “leaders.” The US had its own Nakbas and real redress is impossible; nor is real descendant redress of slavery possible. As I have said before, one can, however, refuse to perpetuate further Nakba, including removal of West Bank Palestinians or Israel Bedouin for settlers. The right of return is impossible politically, socially, and economically; but it links a “nationhood” across the WB, Gaza, and up to third generation exiles elsewhere. It effectively vetoes any negotiated agreement while also acting as a symbolic counter to the Jewish refuge in the Law of Return. It is what you talk about when you know there will only ever be talk.

      Dahlia’s questions, above, show how absurd the right is. On the other hand, I have come to see settler withdrawal as equally absurd, as the new tenders confirm.

      All that’s left is Greater Israel. Which is why advocating not extending the Nakba into the present becomes very important.

      As far as I can tell, rear guard actions are all that is left until Israeli jurisprudence changes.

      Reply to Comment
    7. Tomer

      No recognition of Jewish Nakba = No justice = No Peace
      Feiglin for PM

      Reply to Comment
    8. CigarButNoNice

      I see no debate being proposed here, just a call for Israeli Jews to accept the Arab narrative wholesale, admit their total and deep-seated guilt (“Original Sin,” to quote the Christian religious phraseology usually employed by the “secular” anti-Zionists) and accept with a bowed and penitent head whatever merciful verdict the “wronged party” shall dispense.

      Might as well hold a “Have You Stopped Beating Your Wife” conference and call it a debate.

      Reply to Comment
      • JohnW

        “Might as well hold a “Have You Stopped Beating Your Wife” conference and call it a debate.”

        You hit the nail right on the head cigar. This simple sentence sums up the attitudes of the anti-Zionists on this site.

        Reply to Comment
    9. Reality Check

      972mag consistently promotes the Arab propaganda side of things against Israel.

      Every article, every day.

      Reply to Comment
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