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A tunnel in the service of nationalism

Israeli politicians use problematic archeological findings to drum up support for exclusionary nationalist narratives under East Jerusalem.

By Yonathan Mizrahi

Israeli Culture Minister Miri Regev and Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat in ‘The Pilgrims’ tunnel under East Jerusalem, December 26, 2016. (Regev’s Facebook)

Israeli Culture Minister Miri Regev and Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat in ‘The Pilgrims’ tunnel under East Jerusalem, December 26, 2016. (Regev’s Facebook)

“I didn’t think I would be so excited,” said Culture Minister Miri Regev. “Mr. President Obama, I am standing here on the path that my forefathers walked 2,000 years ago. There is not another nation on earth that has such an attachment to its country. Not the Ukrainians, not the New Zealanders, not the English. There is not a nation on earth that has a connection to its land like the Jewish people do to the Land of Israel.”

Regev said these words in East Jerusalem at the opening ceremony for “Olei Ha’regel” (“The Pilgrims”) in the City of David — a network of tunnels that have been dug over the past few years under the Palestinian village of Silwan. The goal of the ceremony was to mark 50 years since the unification of Jerusalem, to strengthen Jewish settlements in the eastern part of the city and rally its supporters — from under the ground — with political declarations against the Jewish people’s token enemy (in this case, Obama).

From below the ground it is so easy to forget the crowded, derelict village that for years has been struggling for basic rights. The tunnels, which were dug by the Israel Antiquities Authority for settler organization Elad, expose parts of an ancient street that, according to the diggers as well as the politicians who frequently attend ceremonies at the site, dates back to the Second Temple period. During these ceremonies, politicians tend to speak about the right of the Jewish people to its land. The two politicians present at this ceremony — Miri Regev and Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat, who these days is running a campaign to lead the Likud party from the mayor’s office — focused on this historical connection in order to justify the occupation. They argued that the entire world needs to come see the remains of the streets, which are surely enough to prove to whom this country truly belongs.

But the Roman street that was dug was a main road on which many walked — not only Jews. It was a busy place that did not necessarily have much to do with holiness or Judaism — yet these aspects of daily life aren’t good enough for the politicians. The street that was exposed in Silwan is not holy. On the contrary, it is the essence of secularism. Throughout ancient history, main thoroughfares would be lined with both houses of worship as well as regular, non-religious buildings. But those behind the digging, along with the politicians, prefer “Olei Ha’regel,” thus turning an ancient Roman street where people walked freely irrespective of religion, race or sex, into a street for Jews alone. Not only Jews, but pilgrims making their to the Holy Temple. The most religious of the Jewish people.

Few articles have been published on these tunnels, and the fact that they were dug horizontally (rather than vertically from the surface). This type of digging is considered inaccurate and destructive, making it very difficult to understand the various layers and the length at which they were in use. Silwan and Jerusalem’s Old City are the only places in the world that employ this style of digging. Over the past 100 years, archeological digging has been done from the surface into the earth; if digging becomes problematic, it is generally preferable to leave the surface as is. Furthermore, we should take the dating of the street with a grain of salt — it is very possible that it was built after the first century AD.

According to the little we know, the street was built to connect the southern part of the city to the center. In the Roman world, including Jerusalem, there was no differentiation between religions or nations. Anyone who accepted Roman rule could live in their territory and walk their streets.

Thus, the newly exposed street tells us very little about national identity or holiness. But Miri Regev and Elad know that there is no way to get entire segments of Israeli society to support their nationalistic and extremist policies without a story of Jews going to war against a cruel and powerful enemy. The irony is that this street is used to talk about the zealots’ war against the Romans — a war they eventually lost.

The author is an archaeologist and director of Emek Shaveh. This article was first published in Hebrew on Haokets. Read it here.

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    COMMENTS

    1. Carmen

      “I didn’t think I would be so excited,” said Culture Minister Miri Regev. “Mr. President Obama, I am standing here on the path that my forefathers walked 2,000 years ago.”

      That would be impossible to prove so it’s the height of stupidity to make such claims. Hold onto your knickers Regev – that was ancient history. Doesn’t hold any water, especially to someone who has lost the land they’ve lived on for centuries up to the current time. Bitch please.

      Reply to Comment
    2. Itshak Gordin Halevy

      We, Jews, are so proud to renew with our roots. Real Jews are very excited too.. Every day we find vestiges which bind us with the Land of Israel.

      Reply to Comment
      • carmen

        Renew with your roots? If you’re talking about hair color, no problem! However, what you’re talking about is BS and nothing more. You, your swiss miss and offspring, are just off a plane or boat in these parts. You have no continuous presence here, if your ancestors ever were in the first place. You said you live in Maale Adumim. You’re on Palestinian land and need to get out of it. I think your mind is only wired for slogans, propaganda and random biblical verses, but the facts on the ground just don’t go with your alternate reality existence. Maybe you can continue to live there but it will be under Palestinian rule. Get used to being just a regular citizen Itshak.

        Reply to Comment
        • Itshak Gordin Halevy

          You write nonsense only. I do not know whether you are Jewish. In fact you do not understand anything about the Jewish history. We are here to build our country, to re-build our temple and to free Eretz Israel. There has never been and there will never be a “Palestinian ” State. Due to our high birth rate we will be the majority in Judea and Samaria in the next 25 years. I really do not understand what you do in Israel. You are totally marginal. Concerning Maale Adoumim, as you know it will perhaps become a part of Jerusalem and you know what it means..

          Reply to Comment
          • carmen

            Not your kind of jew huh? Marginal? Fine. I don’t like the herd or where it’s going and won’t be on Masada when this blows up, and it most definitely will because Bibi will have it no other way.

            Reply to Comment
          • Itshak Gordin Halevy

            Things are changing. The Jewish people is coming back to its homeland. Israel is a powerful country. There is a new President of the USA and the Arab world is sinking into the chaos. G-d as usual is fighting for us. We have every reason for optimism and confidence of the future of the State of Israel and of the Jewish people.

            Reply to Comment
          • Bruce Gould

            @Itshak, I admire a good religious zealot, really I do, but I’ll do you one better: G-d spoke to me directly, and She said that she’s no longer in the real estate business. She said she used to work at Baird Warner but got out of the field because mediating all the petty disputes of her clients just got too taxing. She’s says she’s hard at work on her new 107-dimensional universe and doesn’t concern herself with human affairs anymore, and She wishes you’d stop using her as a character reference.

            Reply to Comment
          • Itshak Gordin Halevy

            Ha ha, you are the humorist of the blog… Woody Allen style…

            Reply to Comment
          • AJew

            http://m.jpost.com/#article=6017NTRCNDk3NDkzMTY5RkNGMjQ3MEYyQjFFRjQ0NEExRkM=

            “Western progressives define themselves through various fixed positions.

            They are against racism. They are against colonialism. They are against ethnic cleansing. They are against police states. And they are against antisemitism.

            So there is a political agenda that is surely tailor-made for Western liberals and left-wingers to shun and condemn as an utter negation of all they hold dear.

            The goal of the Palestinians is the colonial conquest of another people’s country. That country is the State of Israel, the homeland of the Jewish people whose unique connection goes back to antiquity.

            In the 7th century the Arab world conquered Judea, as the ancient kingdom of the Jewish people had been known. The Jews had previously been driven out of this land by the Romans, who renamed it Palestine in order to conceal its Jewish antecedents.

            The Jews are the only people for whom this was ever their national kingdom. Now the Arabs want again to conquer and colonize the same land, which since 1948 has been restored to the Jewish people.

            They make this abundantly clear. Mahmoud Abbas has explicitly rejected Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state. The Palestinian Authority indoctrinates its children to conquer Israeli cities.

            .
            .
            .
            The Palestine Mandate of 1922 prescribed the “close settlement” by Jews throughout the whole of Palestine, which then consisted of what is now Israel, the territories known as the West Bank, and Gaza.

            That Jewish right to settle all the land has never been abrogated. That means it remains unaltered in international law.

            The term “occupied territories” is legally illiterate, since the “West Bank” never belonged to any sovereign state and only sovereign land can be occupied as defined by international law.”

            Reply to Comment
          • AJew

            “…and won’t be on Masada when this blows”

            Don’t worry deary. There won’t be a Massada this time. And if there would be, it would be far worse for everyone, not just the Jews. But there won’t be a Massada.

            But if there would be JUST a Massada, and if you are Jewish, Carmen, you’d be a target too, no matter how much you side with the enemies of Jews. That’s the nature of Jew haters. They hate Jews whether they are “good Jews”, “bad Jews”, court Jews, or just Jews. They hate us all.

            Reply to Comment
        • AJew

          “Renew with your roots?”

          And yours, Carmen, didn’t you say you are Jewish, on another thread?

          Oh I get it. Just as I suspected at the time. You lied. Not unusual for you is it, deary?

          Reply to Comment
    3. Ben

      Between Swiss Hereditary High Priest Halevy, Spokesman for “G-d,” and AJew, Spokesman for “The Jews,” we got the Swiss tourist, messianic-religious-nationalist and secular-nationalist extremist lines covered. Did I wander into an Arutz Sheva comment board by mistake? But Yonathan Mizrahi exposes well the willful creation of “facts” and distortion of even something as concrete as archeology in the service of crude nationalism. Did you boys even read the article? Doesn’t sound like it.

      Reply to Comment
      • AJew

        Sneer, Benny, sneer. Sneer away. Arutz Sheva may be extremists but you and your lot are lefitst extremists.

        Aaaaand. Whenever you can’t refute facts, you resort to sneering and labeling. No problems, at first it used to be disconcerting. Even annoying. But nowdays I am used to you. The difference between you and me though is that I accept and admit facts about us but put them in context. Aaaand I argue my case with facts. You, Benny on the other hand just dismiss facts that are inconvenient for you.

        No bproblems. I am happy with your approach (now) and mine.

        Reply to Comment
        • Ben

          “The difference between you and me though is that I accept and admit facts about us but put them in context. Aaaand I argue my case with facts. You, Benny on the other hand just dismiss facts that are inconvenient for you.”

          This is no more true than any other matter we disagree on. (Just for example, why the occupation exists and persists, the facts surrounding it, the context, the justifications.) You invent versions of things that serve your purpose. They do not persuade. The Two Year Gustav-Benny War as told by Gustav is no more a true account than The Hundred Years War as told by Gustav. That exhausts my interest in the subject. Buh bye.

          Reply to Comment
          • AJew

            What was I saying? Benny just dismisses things because (he thinks) he just can. Examples from his above post:

            “You invent versions of things that serve your purpose.”

            What things? Be specific Benny. But Benny isn’t “Dismiss” says Benny.

            “They do not persuade.”

            What does not persuade Benny? But Benny doesn’t say what things. “Dismiss” says Benny.

            “The Two Year Gustav-Benny War as told by Gustav is no more a true account than The Hundred Years War as told by Gustav.”

            Which bits of what I said about the 100 year war are not true, Benny? (Never mind about our 2 year war. You never gave me a specific answer to this question in 2 years). “Dismiss” says Benny.

            “That exhausts my interest in the subject. Buh bye.”

            Dismissed” says Benny. Too funny 😂

            Reply to Comment
          • AJew

            “(Just for example, why the occupation exists and persists, the facts surrounding it, the context, the justifications.)”

            This is not an example of a fact Benny. This is an example of a perception.

            You have your perceptions. We have our perceptions. Either your perceptions may be wrong, or our perceptions may be wrong, or both of our perceptions may be wrong.

            Benny does not even know what FACTS are. He confuses PERCEPTIONS with FACTS. Too funny 😛

            Reply to Comment
          • AJew

            Want some examples of facts, Benny? Here is one:

            “…the State of Israel, the homeland of the Jewish people whose unique connection goes back to antiquity.”

            Here is another one:

            “In the 7th century the Arab world conquered Judea, as the ancient kingdom of the Jewish people had been known. The Jews had previously been driven out of this land by the Romans, who renamed it Palestine in order to conceal its Jewish antecedents.”

            And another fact:

            “The Jews are the only people for whom this was ever their national kingdom.”

            And another fact:

            “Mahmoud Abbas has explicitly rejected Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state.”

            And another fact:

            “The Palestine Mandate of 1922 prescribed the “close settlement” by Jews throughout the whole of Palestine, which then consisted of what is now Israel, the territories known as the West Bank, and Gaza.”

            And another:

            “That Jewish right to settle all the land has never been abrogated. That means it remains unaltered in international law.”

            Another fact is that Arabs started the violence while Jewish violence was a response to Arab violence. Note: the Hebron massacre of Jews happened in 1929, before the Haganah, the Irgun or Lehi existed. And those militias came into existence in response to Arab violence.

            Get, it Benny? The above are FACTS! Why are you ignoring facts Benny? And why are you confusing facts with opinions?

            You could however consider allowing facts to influence your opinions.

            Reply to Comment
          • AJew

            Here are some more examples of FACTS, Benny. These facts support your claims, but only up to a point (opinion).

            Arabs too lived here for a long time. Even though their ancestors were invaders who took the land by force from other invaders.

            That is why, many, if not most Israelis are still willing to consider the two state solution (again an opinion backed up by numerous polls).

            However, this will not last forever if the Arabs keep on acting as if they are not willing to give up their zero sum game (again this is an opinion).

            Get the idea, Benny? Facts and opinions. There are many more facts (as opposed to lies and propaganda) as well as opinions. But you wouldn’t know about that, would you Benny? Your world consists of assertions, quoting other’s opinions as if they would be facts as well as talking in generalities, and sneering and labelling those whom you don’t like and who disagree with you.

            You are not a serious interlocutor Benny. You impress only yourself and your own kind.

            Reply to Comment
          • Ben

            Anything but actually pay attention to what Yonathan Mizrahi is saying. Most of these are not facts but tendentious interpretations that show how sunk inside your own echo chamber you are.

            “homeland”

            But that’s the thing. As Noam Scheizaf says:

            ‘…a “Jewish” state – as opposed to a state whose culture is Jewish or is “a national homeland” for Jews – will always be a racist, discriminatory state….A state that sees itself as “a Jewish State” is inherently an exclusive state, because a person cannot become Palestinian-Jewish or Muslim-Jewish….’
            http://972mag.com/why-i-oppose-recognizing-israel-as-a-jewish-state/78751/

            And the Mandate for Palestine actually says this:

            “…in favour of the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, it being clearly understood that nothing should be done which might prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine…” Relevant is what the British, Italian and French governments rejected in earlier drafts, which read: “Recognising, moreover, the historical connection of the Jewish people with Palestine and the claim which this gives them to reconstitute it their national home….”

            Israel inside the 67 lines is a national home for the Jewish people in Palestine. UNSCR 2334 is not invalidated one whit by any of this claptrap about 1922 and a “Jewish right.” And Theodore Meron knew it and told your leaders in writing the truth many years ago.

            “In the 7th century the Arab world conquered….” This always gets trotted out as some bizarre reason why in the 21st century the Palestinians should not have a state and why the Israelis need Ariel. When was the last time you read the Book of Joshua? On the conquest of Canaan and the bloody slaughter of the Canaanites, their women and children by the thousands? Granted, it’s not history, it’s mythology, but the settlers and their army collaborators live by its ethos.

            “Mahmoud Abbas has explicitly rejected Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state.” This is false. Abbas has rejected Israel’s right to be formally recognized by the Palestinians as the “Jewish nation state.” But he has equally said that you have the right to call your state whatever you want. And that he will visit Safed as a tourist. Not as a 7th century invader.

            Reply to Comment
          • AJew

            Ok, Benny, you have quoted Theodor Meron a number of times now. But it seems that Mr Meron revised his original opinion about the “settlements”. Here, read it for yourself:

            http://canadafreepress.com/article/palestine-correcting-canards-concerning-israel-and-vested-jewish-legal-righ

            “Mr Meron changed his opinion on the applicability of the Geneva Convention in 1968 when he co-signed the following advice to Israel’s then Ambassador to the United States – Yitzchak Rabin:

            “to tell the Americans that there are unique aspects to the status of the territories and to our status in the territories. Before the Six-Day War, the Gaza Strip wasn’t Egyptian territory, and the West Bank, too, was territory that had been occupied and annexed by Jordan without international recognition. Given this ambiguous, indeterminate territorial situation, the question of the convention’s applicability is complex and unclear prior to a peace agreement that includes setting secure and recognized borders.”

            That puts the Meron canard to rest. I will deal with your other canards, later.

            Reply to Comment
          • Ben

            This is a sneaky evasion by Singer, it is not honest. Whatever internal diplomatic “advice on what to tell the Americans” that Meron “co-signed” does not represent his actual legal opinion, and Meron made it quite clear, at the time and decades later, what his true legal opinion was, and it crucially hinges on the humanitarian treatment of populations in war, the true purpose and intent of the GC, and not narrow, Israeli-Right-Wing-serving interpretations about state’s rights:

            “It was March 1968. Yaakov Herzog, director-general of the Prime Minister’s Office, received a memo marked “Top Secret” from the Foreign Ministry’s legal adviser, Theodor Meron. As the government’s authority on international law, Meron was responding to questions put to him about the legality of demolishing the homes of terror suspects in East Jerusalem and the West Bank and of deporting residents on security grounds.
            His answer: Both measures violated the 1949 Fourth Geneva Convention on the protection of civilians in war. The government’s justifications of the measures – that they were permitted under British emergency regulations still in force, or that the West Bank wasn’t occupied territory – might have value for hasbara, public diplomacy, but were legally unconvincing…
            The memo is not the first evidence of Meron’s warnings, though. In 2006, I published another of his legal opinions, which I found in the late Prime Minister Levi Eshkol’s declassified office files. Written in mid-September of 1967, about three months after the Six-Day War, it responds to a query from Eshkol’s bureau about the legality of establishing settlements in the West Bank and Golan Heights. He answered, “My conclusion is that civilian settlement in the administered territories contravenes explicit provisions of the Fourth Geneva Convention.”…
            After his 1967 opinion on settlement became public, he told The Independent that he “would have given the same opinion today.” The reason is clear from his 1968 opinion on demolitions, in which he dismissed “narrow, literal” interpretations of the Geneva Convention. The convention, he said, “is a humanitarian convention that aims to protect the rights of a civilian population.”
            read more: http://www.haaretz.com/opinion/.premium-1.657167

            Reply to Comment
          • AJew

            Mahmud Abbas changes his story depending who his audience is. Moreover, he said and the majority of Arabs say the same thing. They say that it is up to each and every refugee (and descendants) to decide whether they take up the choice of “returning” or accepting compensation. He/they say that no Arab leader has the right to tell any individual what choice to make. That might sound good and fair as far as they are concerned. But it isn’t good and fair as far as we are concerned because we already accommodated at least as many Jewish refugees from Arab countries as there were Arab refugees from Palestine. We are just not prepared to accept any option which may result in millions of Palestinian Arabs trying to become Israeli citizens. Why shpuld we? Why should we willingly give up our majority status and have a divided country? We will not.

            Reply to Comment
          • AJew

            “Sheizaf and his Muslim-Jewish trope”

            We filled an entire thread about this. A thread which became extremely boring thanks to your repetitive obduracy. I am not prepared to turn this thread too into a repeat version of it. Here, read that thread instead:

            https://972mag.com/between-hope-and-despair-a-palestinian-womans-journey-to-trumpland/123591/

            “Israel inside the 67 lines is a national home for the Jewish people in Palestine. UNSCR 2334 is not invalidated one whit by any of this claptrap about 1922”

            Oh, but it did. It specifically forbids Jews to live in the West Bank and even in East Jerusalem. East Jerusalem has a suburb known as the Jewish quarter which was continuously inhabited by Jews for thousands of years except between 1948 -1967. Why? Because in 1948, the Arab legion and Palestinian Arab militias ethnically cleansed the entire West Bank from Jews. And whether those who voted for 2334 intended it or not (some did), that resolution forbids Israeli Jews to live even in the Jewish quarter of East Jerusalem. This is a pseudo legal travesty which ignores previous UN resolutions as well ashistory. NOTE: the 1922 League of Nations resolution covered ALL of Palestine, not just Israel within the 1967 boundaries. And that resolution was never rescinded. Now by voting for 2334, the UN contradicts itself.

            Oh and Benny. Jews living in East Jerusalem does not constitute a transgression of Arab rights. Unless those Arabs are allergic to Jews. In which case, they can leave. Jews have lived in East Jerusalem longer than the Arabs who arrived in the seventh century. Hey, unlike your Arab friends (or maybe you are an Arab too, Benny?) Israel has not expelled Arabs enmasse from East Jerusalem. In fact, Israel offered all the Arabs of East Jerusalem citizenship. Many took up the option. Many more are still taking this option. For those who are allergic to Jews, the door is open for them to leave!

            Reply to Comment
          • AJew

            “Mahmoud Abbas has explicitly rejected Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state.” This is false. Abbas has rejected Israel’s right to be formally recognized by the Palestinians as the “Jewish nation state.” But he has equally said that you have the right to call your state whatever you want. And that he will visit Safed as a tourist. Not as a 7th century invader.”

            It is not false.

            Mahmoud Abbas is supposedly the current leader of the Palestinian Arabs (of course Hamas does not think so but let’s not talk about Hamas, eh, Benny? Otherwise your case deteriorates even further.

            Till quite recently, Abbas’s predecessors made no secret of the fact that their ultimate aim is the destruction of the Jewish state. And they didn’t just say it (in their national charter which still says it), they acted on it. In 1947, they rioted and tried to prevent Israel from coming to existence and after they failed, they sponsored terrorism which still has not stopped to this day.

            And today, Abbas refuses to renounce the past Palestinian Arab policies of his predecessor by recognising Israel as the nation state of the Jewish people. This means that their past policies stand as far as Abbas is concerned (again: the PLO charter which advocates Israel’s destruction has not been amended even though Arafat – Abbas’s predecessor promised to amend the charter in a letter to President Bill Clinton during the Oslo process).

            When someone (or some people) do wrong, they need to specifically renounce that wrong to signify that they no longer intend to do that wrong. Get it Benny?

            Reply to Comment
          • Ben

            This tedious eruption of yours is a fountain of distortion, half-truths, and lies. Just seamless propaganda. I don’t have the inclination to wade through it and tediously correct it all. It does show the echo chamber inside of which you live. “It specifically forbids Jews to live in the West Bank and even in East Jerusalem.” A bald lie. Abbas predecessors? You pine for them. You pine for old villians, old history, old propaganda, because the future is not working out for you. “Abbas’s predecessors made no secret of the fact that their ultimate aim is the destruction of the Jewish state.” Naftali Bennet and his colleagues in the Israeli cabinet make no secret of the fact that their ultimate aim is the destruction of any possibility for a Palestinian state. You’ve lost all credibility, Gustav. The jig is up. No one believes a thing you say. 700 olive trees uprooted for a settler only road and all protest is shut down by the army. Stop insulting our intelligence.
            https://972mag.com/watch-soldiers-prevent-palestinians-israelis-from-protesting-together/124246/

            Reply to Comment
          • AJew

            “It specifically forbids Jews to live in the West Bank and even in East Jerusalem.” A bald lie.”

            Benny is in denial again. Here, this is what Resolution 2334 says exactly:

            http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/full-text-of-un-security-council-condemnation-of-israel-resolution-2334/2016/12/24/

            “1. Reaffirms that the establishment by Israel of settlements in the Palestinian territory occupied since 1967, including East Jerusalem, has no legal validity and constitutes a flagrant violation under international law and a major obstacle to the achievement of the two-State solution and a just, lasting and comprehensive peace;”

            Again: This is in direct contradiction to the 1922 League of Nations resolution which said:

            “The Palestine Mandate of 1922 prescribed the “close settlement” by Jews throughout the whole of Palestine, which then consisted of what is now Israel, the territories known as the West Bank, and Gaza.”

            That resolution has not been repealed. So now we have two bonafide resolutions on the books of the UN which contradict each other. That’s how sloppy the UN body is.

            Prediction: Benny will again just come back with a blanket denial. Because Benny is a lazy, sloppy debater himself. Never mind, I am used to Benny now. And real people can see what we are up against with the Benny’s of this world.

            Reply to Comment
          • AJew

            “Abbas predecessors? You pine for them. You pine for old villians, old history, old propaganda, because the future is not working out for you.”

            No, I quoted them in context. I said that their policy was the elimination of the Jewish state. It is therefore, incumbent on their successor, Abbas, to specifically renounce that old policy by now recognising the right of Israel to exist as a Jewish (majority) nation state.

            As I said in my previous post: When someone (or some people) do wrong, they need to specifically renounce that wrong to signify that they no longer intend to do that wrong.

            Nice, though, Benny. Once again your above comment was an attempt to distract and deflect from what we were discussing: Abbas’s refusal to recognise the Jewish nation state.

            You had no answer to what I said, so you attempted to sidetrack the discussion. You did the same with the rest of your post. You launched into one of your well tried vilification, demonisation tirades, didn’t you Benny?

            Reply to Comment
          • Ben

            The sheer incoherence and crudeness really of the bulk of this needs no correction by me. Let it stand. The incoherence, for example, of juxtaposing “specifically forbids Jews…” to the text of 2334 as you have done is by itself enough to make anyone realize what kind of individual we’re dealing with here.
            Now, you and countless special pleaders before you would like to take us down a rabbit hole of misleading accounts of international legal history–in order to rationalize a ruthless, brutal, illegal enterprise (why do +972’s reports never shock and scandalize you?)–but fortunately there are authoritative and sober, well reasoned sources that do clarify these matters usefully. To everyone interested I recommend this:

            The Palestinian Territories and The (Self)legitimizazion of the Settlements
            LORENZO KAMEL, FEB 14 2014

            http://www.e-ir.info/2014/02/14/the-palestinian-territories-and-the-selflegitimizazion-of-the-settlements/

            Reply to Comment
          • AJew

            Benny is side-tracking again 😊

            Reply to Comment
          • AJew

            From Benny’s latest link:

            “…that the Balfour Declaration does “not contemplate that Palestine as a whole should be converted into a Jewish National Home, but that such a Home should be founded ‘in Palestine’”.

            Thank you Benny, nowhere did I suggest that Israel has a claim that “Palestine as a whole” belongs entirely to Jews.

            But you might note too that the Balfour declaration did not specify which bits of Palestine belongs to Jews and which bits belong to Arabs. Ergo, until such time as recognized borders will be negotiated, both Arabs and Jews have the in principle right to settle anywhere within historic Palestine. Unless you are going to make a fool of yourself and suggest that Balfour specified the 1967 boundaries as the only place where Jews can live? Surely, even you would not be that silly, Benny? 😊

            Reply to Comment
          • Ben

            “until such time as recognized borders will be negotiated, both Arabs and Jews have the in principle right to settle anywhere within historic Palestine”

            Oh? Good news. So when will you notify the Palestinians that their refuges may settle anywhere within historic Palestine? They have in principle this right. The agreed upon solution to the refugee crisis is going to be easier than I thought. Thanks for clarifying. Of course, I know that as usual, Jews get rights that Arabs don’t. Like the right to overland contiguity. Got it.

            Anyway you have implicitly admitted that your reading of legal history in regards to the Mandate, the Geneva Conventions, and UN resolutions was misleading and that Theodore Meron was correct.

            Thank you for your contribution.

            Reply to Comment
          • AJew

            “Oh? Good news. So when will you notify the Palestinians that their refuges may settle anywhere within historic Palestine?”

            You really are a sad case, aren’t you Benny?

            Now looky here. This ‘in principle’ right to settle anywhere, for both sides, could have been resolved years ago by both sides accepting the partition and later through negotiations. But the Arabs decided that Jews have no right to settle anywhere in historic Palestine. Moreover, they tried using violence first to prevent, then when that failed, to try to eliminate the Jewish state.

            It was the choice of the Arabs to fight it out. So we too are fighting it out. Fighting it out does not mean that you let the other side get to wherever they want to. Why do you expect Israel to behave like there is peace when the Arabs chose relentless war, Benny? War is ugly Benny. And you can’t allow one side to make war while the other side (us) should act as if there is peace!

            Now Benny. This mess will still ultimately be resolved through negotiations. But each side (us too) will bring to the table all their/our ammunition (political and military) to back up their/our case. You however, want us to go to water and act in the best interests of the Arabs while they make it very clear that they don’t give a flying f…k about our interests. That isn’t going to happen Benny. The Arabs made their choice about how THEY want/ed to solve this mess, we respond in kind. We too will fight tooth and nail for every extra scrap of land that WE can get. Get it, Benny?

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          • AJew

            “Anyway you have implicitly admitted that your reading of legal history in regards to the Mandate blah blah blah”

            Another unfounded ASSERTION by Benny. This is typical of him. This is how Benny debates.

            Right out of the blue, after losing every debating point which he brings up, Benny claims victory. Pathetic. Pitiful in fact.

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          • Ben

            Don’t accept it then. Negotiate a fair two state solution that gives the Palestinians enough that they do not feel robbed of their dignity and will agree to “agreed upon solutions” to the refugee situation. Your defense and security experts know this very well and they know it can be done and you could actually do it quite expeditiously if you had the wanted to. You’ve done harder things. This is all well known. But you have to treat them like human beings. They’re not Jews so it will be difficult for your settlers but they can do it if they try really, really hard and pick their head up out of the Books of Joshua and Deuteronomy for five seconds. Even Itshak G. Halevy might be able to manage it if he is told he has no choice. But he might have to be pulled out of there kicking and screaming. I think your army is up to the job. Itshak G. Halevy versus the Golani Brigage. LoL.

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          • AJew

            “Don’t accept it then.”

            Don’t accept what then, Benny?

            “Negotiate a fair two state solution…”

            Negotiate with whom? Abbas has refused to negotiate for years. He used “the settlements” as an excuse not to negotiate.

            The rest of Benn’s post is full of more vilification and demonisation of Israel which pretends that we Israelis are evil, and the Arabs are models of humanity. All is our fault, nothing is the Arab’s fault according to Benny.

            Benny is boring. He thinks he lives in cartoon land.

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    4. carmen

      “G-d as usual is fighting for us”. Spoken like any other member of the zionist cult, no surprise. What is surprising is your mention of the new u.s. president/king/tyrant. Don’t count your chickens too fast. tRUMP and boobie are cut from the same crazy quilt of despots from the past – Hitler, Mussolini and Stalin, to mention a few, and we know how things went for them. Actually the only thing that really separates bobbie and tRUMP is their hair color. boobie’s penchant for social media and his short, crisp, rambling thoughts are as coherent as tRUMP. This can’t be good for any of us. 🙁

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