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Every day is Land Day, on both sides of the Green Line

The word ‘occupation’ evokes the West Bank, but the policies of land expropriation and Judaization were perfected inside Israel long before they were used on Palestinians in the occupied territories.

Israeli police officers stand guard as the home of Hana al-Nakib and her four children is being demolished, in the city of Lod, February 10, 2015. The house was built with the help of family members and neighbours who donated money to help the single mother. The house was built on a family-owned land, but without permission from the Israeli authorities. Palestinian citizens of Israel can hardly attain building permits due to Israel's discriminative criterions. Oren Ziv / Activestills.org

Israeli police officers stand guard as the home of Hana al-Nakib and her four children is being demolished, in the city of Lod, February 10, 2015. The house was built with the help of family members and neighbours who donated money to help the single mother. The house was built on a family-owned land, but without permission from the Israeli authorities. Palestinian citizens of Israel can hardly attain building permits due to Israel’s discriminative criterions. Oren Ziv / Activestills.org

In 2005, Amnon Raz-Karkotzkin, a professor of Jewish history at Ben-Gurion University known to his friends and associates simply as Nono, published a seminal article titled “There is No God, But He Promised Us the Land.” The article, published in Hebrew in Mitaam, an Israeli journal devoted to literature and radical political thought, captured perfectly the spirit of the Zionists who founded the State of Israel. While Judaism may have been the source behind the fervor to re-claim Zion, Nono wrote, those who envisioned and founded the State of Israel only used it inasmuch as it provided them a vehicle for demographic and territorial power in their nascent state.

For instance, the national symbols, created upon the formal establishment of the state, have always been inextricably tied to Judaism. The best example is the national flag, whose double stripes are based on the patterns found on the tallit (Jewish prayer shawl). Turning Jewish symbols into national ones was never very difficult; the difficult part was converting the most valuable resource in the country into a national (read: Jewish) asset. That resource, of course, was land.

From the founding of the state until 1966, approximately 90 percent of Palestinian citizens — those who neither fled nor were expelled during the 1948 war — were placed under a military regime. In the Galilee, the Negev and the Triangle, Palestinian citizens (who were given the right to vote in Israeli elections) were subject to a harsh permit regime, strict curfews and very often coerced collaboration (for more, see Hillel Cohen’s “Good Arabs” and Shira Robinson’s “Citizen Strangers”).

It was during this time that Israel’s secular regime expropriated the land of Palestinians refugees who had fled the country as well as much of the land belonging to those who remained. Passing a swath of legislation in the 1950s under the guise of the Absentee Property Law, the new regime transferred land that had — just years earlier — belonged to Palestinians, to the Israel Land Administration. In fact much of the justifications given by Israeli authorities for building settlements in the West Bank are identical to those given for many of the new towns and cities that were built in the years following the establishment of the state. None of this could have been done without a plan for what the authorities themselves termed Yehud, or Judaization of the land.

By the time military rule over Palestinian citizens was lifted in 1966 (less than a year before the Six Day War and the beginning of the occupation), much of that land had already been Judaized. Kibbutzim, moshavim, development towns and new cities were built atop destroyed Palestinian villages, often in order to prevent the return of Palestinian refugees to their homes and land. Land, not rebuilding the Third Temple, became the national symbol through which Israel’s leaders could redeem their people in their ancient homeland. After all, there is no God, but He promised them the land.

On March 11, 1976, the Israeli government declared its intention to expropriate 20,000 dunams (4,940 acres) of land between the villages of Sakhnin and Arraba, much of it Arab-owned. The Agriculture Ministry openly declared that the primary purpose of the plan was to alter the demographic nature of Galilee in order to create a Jewish majority there. The long-term plan was called Yehud Ha’Galil” (Judaization of the Galilee), which would be enacted through the building of mitzpim — small Jewish settlements consisting of few families — in between Palestinian villages in order to halt Arab territorial contiguity.

What happened on March 30 of that year came to be known as Youm al-Ard, Land Day. Curfews were imposed on the major Arab cities and villages in the Galilee, Palestinians announced a national strike and flooded the streets with protests. They burned tires, threw stones and molotov cocktails. The Israeli army, which was sent to put down the demonstrations with armored vehicles and tanks, killed four Palestinian protesters. The police killed another two. One hundred were wounded, while hundreds of others were arrested.

In retrospect, the protest did little to stop the expropriation plan. The number of mitzpim established reached 26 in 1981 and 52 in 1988. These mitzpim and the development towns of Upper Nazareth, Ma’alot, Migdal Ha’emeq and Carmiel significantly altered the demography of the Galilee, bringing in an influx of Jews to break up the prospect of adjacent Arab localities.

The events of Land Day took place almost nine years after Israel occupied the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. Since then, much focus has been placed on the Israeli government’s settlement policies, its land expropriation, its restrictions on movement, its permit regime, its coercive collaboration, among others. But we must not lose sight of the trajectory: much of what the Israeli government has and continues to do in the occupied territories was done in the pre-1967 years to Palestinian citizens.

The reasons to mark the Land Day are too numerous to list in any one article. But this year, as American liberals search for that disappearing sweet spot between “democratic Israel” and the undemocratic occupation, we ought to remember that the Judaization of Palestinian land is part of the DNA of the Jewish state, on whichever side of the Green Line it happens to operate.

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    1. Pedro X

      Imagine that a revived Jewish state would have Jewish symbols. Imagine that a nascent state would even attempt to enact laws to support its territorial claims to the land. Imagine that the nascent state of Israel would build communities in its own land and seek to settle Jewish refugees from the war of 1948, the displaced Jews of Europe and Arab countries on land within Israel.

      How extraordinary it was that the Jewish state would take over the state lands of Mandate Palestine (70% of the land mass) and make laws for JNF lands such that the state controls 93% of land while less than 7% is owned by private ownership, both Jewish and Arab. How extraordinary it must have been for a state to enact land laws as part of its development. For sure other countries like Canada or the United States never promulgated land laws.

      The writers here on 972mag seem to forget that the Arabs fought an existential war against the Jews to eliminate them from the middle east. There were consequences of fighting a war of intended genocide and losing. The Arabs who remained in Israel like the residents of Japan and Germany remained under military rule. Unlike the Japanese and Germans who accepted defeat and went to rebuild their lives, Arabs sought to undo the Israeli state. Palestinian and Arab leaders promised that Palestinian refugees would come home as conquerors. In the years between 1950 and 1953 Israel endured 64,000 attacks and infiltrations into Israel. Afterwards the attacks continued and Arabs refused to recognize a Jewish state in the middle east.

      No one should be surprised that Israel took steps to protect itself and the land under state ownership.

      Reply to Comment
      • Bruce Gould

        It was non-combatant Palestinian civilians who were ethnically cleansed in 48, 67 and now through home demolitions.

        http://www.economist.com/node/11332217

        ” During the ensuing war, the Palestinians’ initial nakba, more than half the native population of Palestine, some 750,000 people, fled or were driven from the territory that became the Jewish state, whose troops then barred their return and systematically razed 531 of their ancestral villages. The six-day war in June 1967 brought the remaining 22% of historic Palestine under Israeli rule, and pushed out 250,000 more refugees.”

        Reply to Comment
        • Mitch

          “Remaining 22% of Historic Palestine”

          1. What is Historic Palestine? When has Palestine ever existed as a country or nation?

          2. What about Jordan that was part of the British Mandate? Is that not also “Historic Palestine”. Is that not 100%, fully Arab?

          Reply to Comment
        • Whiplash

          Palestinians and their supporters have never been able to accept that the responsibility for the Palestinian Naqba lays with the Palestinian Arabs and Arab brethren. Israel tried to settle the claims of the Jews and Arabs to Mandate Palestine by peaceful means by going through the United Nations. The Jews accepted the partition plan even though it did not give them sovereignty over their eternal capital. The Arabs rejected peace and the partition plan and resorted to armed force to destroy the emerging Jewish state and kill its inhabitants. The Arabs formed the Arab Salvation Army, raised militias in every community, welcomed the thousands of irregular soldiers from Arab states in the form of the Arab Liberation Army and members of the Muslim Brotherhood. They attacked civilian centers of Jewish life from their military bases in their Arab communities which overlooked the roads and Jewish communities. The Arabs cut all supplies and water to Jewish parts of Jerusalem and attempted to stop supplies getting to civilian communities all around the country. Then five Arab armies invaded as soon as the British departed. The Arabs lost their war of destruction. As result the Arab bases supporting their armies and militias were destroyed lest they be left to aid the Arab armies in the rear of Israeli operations.

          The destruction of civilian communities serving as bases or potential bases for military operations was a consequence of the Arabs starting an existential war. If the Arabs had agreed to make peace not one Arab or Jew would have had to leave his or her home. Alas the Arabs chose war and delivered a hammer blow to themselves from which they are yet to recover.

          Reply to Comment
          • andrew r

            Whiplash, your historical survey is a mixture of some facts (There was a siege on Jerusalem through ambush of traffic) and nonsense that has been debunked by Israeli historians. Speaking strictly about the UNSCOP proposed “Jewish state”, that territory was encroached on by a grand total of two Arab states, Egypt and Syria, and even Syria did very little after its initial attacks were repulsed. Transjordan and Iraq did not touch anything outside the UN-proposed “Arab state”. Lebanon at the most occupied a border village called Malikiya, also in the “Arab state”. I’d venture to say Israel was invaded by 0 armies; it was the Yishuv state-within-a-state that invaded the rest of Palestine and created Israel.

            As for the Palestinian Arabs themselves, they were not the encompassing threat you make them out as. Several villages in the areas around Jaffa, Haifa and Jerusalem sought non-belligerency agreements with their neighboring Yishuv settlements or the Haganah directly. That was the case for Deir Yassin, al-Maliha, al-Qastal; Sheikh Muwannis, Arab abu Kishk, Jammasin (Jaffa); Sindiyana, Sabbarin, Furedis (Haifa). Haganah internal orders called for not spreading hostilities in their retaliatory attacks and while it was attempted to make this policy, raids outside that scope like the one on al-Khisas took place anyway. By late March (When virtually no one would make any deals with the Yishuv) Haganah Intel officers Danin and Palmon suggested the Haganah could appear as the aggressors outside Jerusalem. (Morris, Birth… Revisited, 70-79, 90-91, 98-99)

            Also, many of the Palestinians who fled the major cities and villages occupied before mid-May went to other parts Palestine not yet taken by the Yishuv, indicating some level of acceptance for the UN partition (Well, duh, we already know the West Bank and Gaza absorbed around half the refugees to begin with). They could not be sure at that time the regular Arab armies would arrive to rectify the situation. It’s also rather asinine to believe the Yishuv fought off a genocide attempt as more and more Palestinians fled the country. These village militias tended to remain in their villages and simply defend them rather than attempt to staff the ALA and Husseini assaults. Many other villages expelled by the Haganah and the Revisionists had bugger all in the way of arms.

            The actions of the Israelis can’t be compared to that of the Allies in WWII since for all the faults of US and USSR imperialist policy they were not constructing settler-colonial domains in the Axis states. A better comparison would be the US wars with the Cherokee and Seminoles. What you fail to mention is that even Palestinians who remained in the Green Line were still displaced and not allowed to return, a couple of examples including Kfar Birim and Ein Hod. The few who remained in Haifa were forced out of their houses and into a ghetto.

            No Arabs had to be displaced… Yeah, you keep telling yourself that. The new immigrants who arrived during and after 1948 were settled in abandoned houses and new settlements built in and around destroyed Palestinian villages. Even the new olim from the MENA had to be placed in transit camps (A practice not applied to the Europeans, we might note). With a truncated Jewish state limited to the UN boundary and all the Palestinian Arabs remaining in their homes, how many immigrants could the “Jewish state” have taken in? Apparently the Arabs could have put the kibosh on the whole Zionist movement by doing absolutely nothing.

            The Yishuv had a vested interest in the Palestinian refugee crisis and that’s entirely on them.

            Reply to Comment
          • andrew r

            Addendum:

            Transjordan and Iraq did not touch anything outside the UN-proposed “Arab state”.

            Correction: Transjordan and Israel jointly occupied the Corpus Separatum. Still, Transjordan and Iraq did not touch the UN-proposed “Jewish state”.

            It’s also rather asinine to believe the Yishuv fought off a genocide attempt as more and more Palestinians fled the country.

            I’d add to that point it was the Yishuv armed groups that systematically assaulted Palestinian towns and caused the refugee crisis. The sum total of Palestinian attacks between 29 Nov and 15 May do not amount to a genocide attempt while masses of civilians are fleeing the country and it’s the paramilitaries of the other side occupying land. That’s ridiculous.

            Reply to Comment
      • Brian

        Pedro I have never seen you write something completely honest here. Ever. How do you think the world would react if today in 2015 Canada had land laws saying Arabs, Muslims and Christians only, no Jews allowed?–this is the equivalent of what Israel does but in reverse. And no, Germany and Japan were NOT territorially occupied after WWII and the Americans never built American settlements in Japan and Germany to steal the land out from under the Germans and Japanese. You peddle so much lazily Jewish supremacist nonsense here. Sorry, no thanks. All you do is illustrate how venal and dishonest the hard right wing is.

        Reply to Comment
        • Gustav

          The only dishonest person here, is YOU Brian!

          Israeli land laws are not discriminatory. Unless you consider the following rules to be discriminatory. But if you DO, you need to justify why. Not just assert it.

          1. JNF owned lands cannot be sold to anyone whether they are Jews or Arabs. Those lands can however be leased to everyone.

          2. Privetely owned land can be sold by and to anyone be they Arabs or Jews. Both Jews and Arabs have privately owned lands.

          Reply to Comment
          • Gustav

            The present landholding system in Israel can be traced back to the events of nearly a century ago, when the Fifth Zionist Congress meeting in 1901 created a private charitable organization called the Jewish National Fund (JNF) with the intent to purchase land for the resettlement of Jews in their ancient homeland. JNF was/is funded by diaspora Jews for that purpose. Because of that, it chooses not to offer long term leasing of lands to Arabs. But the JNF owns only about 13.5 % of the available land in Israel.

            The rest of the land is either privately owned which as I said, may be bought or sold by both Jews and Arabs. Or land owned by the ILA (the Israel Land Administration). ILA land cannot be sold to either Jews or Arabs. They can only be leased. And they ARE leased, both short term and long term, to Arabs and Jews. Often Arabs get more favorable leasing terms than Jews.

            Now let’s contrast this to Arab practices. The equivalent of the JNF on the Palestinian side, is the WAQF which is a religious organisation. They wouldn’t be caught dead selling anything to Jews.

            And let’s look at the practices of the PA in Judea and Samaria. They forbid the selling of land to Jews on pain of death. Those who have been caught selling privately owned land to Jews have been sentenced to death and they were executed. Want to talk about discrimination, Brian? That is discrimination!

            Reply to Comment
          • Brian

            1.
            http://www.haaretz.com/opinion/.premium-1.550152
            “In order to demonstrate the depth of discrimination we can point out that since the foundation of the state until this day, the two groups – Arabs and Jews – have grown at similar rates (eight to tenfold), but that the state has established 700 (!) new communities for Jews (including new cities) – and not a single one for Arabs, with the exception of permanent towns for Bedouin citizens who were removed from their homes. The result is a very severe housing shortage in the Arab communities and many thousands of house demolition orders in these communities. In addition, tens of thousands of Bedouin Arab citizens in the Negev continue to live in disgraceful conditions in unrecognized communities and they lack the most basic living conditions.”

            http://www.adalah.org/uploads/oldfiles/upfiles/2011/Adalah_The_Inequality_Report_March_2011.pdfYou
            See “Economic Assets: The Land”, pp. 6-7

            2.
            Now, if Palestinians were illegally and forcibly occupying the central coastal plain of Israel and building Arab settlements there all the while pretending to negotiate what part of that usurped land they might someday return, do you think the Israeli government would treat kindly Jews who sold land to Palestinian Arabs? Please.

            Reply to Comment
          • Gustav

            More of the same srom Brian. BS.

            1. He did not show a single discriminatory land law in Israel. All he pointed to is some dubious statistics which even if they would be true they would have more complex explanations rather than the simplistic a priori ‘condemn Israel’ at all cost approach which he and his kind so love to trot out.

            2. Turning things upside down about who is wanting to negotiate and who is attempting to dictate solutions. Simply put. The Palestinian Arabs were the historical aggressors. They started this war against the Jews a century ago. Yet they are trying to dictate capitulation terms which would be suicidal to Israel. Never in the history of mankind has such a thing happened. That the militarily weaker side, who were the aggressors, tries to force their terms on their intended victims whom they previously declared as targets for extermination. This only happens to Jews because many still perceive us to be the ghetto Jews who accept everything that “our lords and masters” used to dictate to us before their periodic pogroms. Please. Brian dear, this is the 21st century and you are not dealing with ghetto Jews.

            Reply to Comment
          • Brian

            1. 700 to 0 = dubious statistics? How so? Gee, you’re not at all biased are you? Unbelievable.

            2. Let me get this straight. You were once ghetto Jews but no more…so…if you occupy others they can’t fight back but if they occupied you you should fight back? Because once having been ghetto dwellers allows you to be overlords now? The tables are turned and its ok for you to rule over a Palestinian ghetto?

            “The Palestinian Arabs were the historical aggressors. They started this war against the Jews a century ago. Yet they are trying to dictate capitulation terms which would be suicidal to Israel.” Total nonsense. You can say this stuff and chant it all day and night if you want but we are not joining this cult.

            Reply to Comment
          • Gustav

            1. “dubious statistics?”

            Yea Brian, dubious one sided statistics. You know, your kind specialize in it. Now read this and contrast it to your simplistic story.

            http://chersonandmolschky.com/2013/08/06/israels-arab-success-stories-apartheid/

            “2. Let me get this straight.”

            You have never got anything straight in your miserable life Brian.

            For your information, when I used the term “Ghetto Jews”, I did not use it as a derogatory term. Ghetto Jews were decent honorable people who had to survive, yes under Arab rule, not just in “civilized Europe”, survive by their wits and by always obeying their “lords and masters”. And even then they often did not survive.

            Court Jews on the other hand are another matter. There WAS nothing honorable about court Jews. There IS nothing honorable about them. Court Jews are the kind if Jews who sell their brothers for thirty pieces of silver and for their own survival. A more modern term for such Jews is “Kapos”.

            Reply to Comment
          • Brian

            This is a non-answer but that’s ok

            Reply to Comment
          • Gustav

            So says the master of non answers. A person who has no answer other than to spend his life endlessly posting his singular one sided Israel bashing messages in magazines like these.

            Reply to Comment
          • Gustav

            BRIAN: “the state has established 700 (!) new communities for Jews (including new cities) – and not a single one for Arabs,”

            Interesting statistics huh? That’s because unlike in South Africa, during the apartheid era, communities are meant to be integrated. Had we been building separate communities for Jews only and Arabs only, Brian would have been jumping up and down, madly waving his arm and with spittle spewing from his mouth, he would be yelling “Apartheid, Apartheid, Apartheid Israel…” come to think of it, that’s what he is doing anyways.

            How can Israel win in the eyes of Israel bashers like Brian? Never mind. Fortunately we don’t care about what the likes of him think of us.

            Reply to Comment
          • Brian

            More Beinart:

            “Bibi has never believed it was the right time to create a Palestinian state — not in 1993, 1998, 2009 or 2015. He acknowledged as much last July when he said “the Israeli people understand now what I always say: that there cannot be a situation, under any agreement, in which we relinquish security control of the territory west of the River Jordan.” What I always say. As Haaretz editor-in-chief Aluf Benn has observed, Netanyahu’s “opposition to a Palestinian state is also a matter of principle, one he has held for many years.”

            Bibi, who often chides the media for its lack of historical memory, is now depending on that lack of memory. Because if more American journalists knew that for decades he’s been making virtually the same argument about the impracticality of a Palestinian state that he’s making now, they’d see that his current public relations blitz is both cynical and absurd. Which, indeed, it is.”

            Reply to Comment
          • Gustav

            More Bibi… Bibi… and more Bibi…

            There you go with your Bibi obsession again Brian. But things happened before Bibi too. Bibi is a reaction to your Saint Palestinian’s war mongering and Hamas. You know…

            Before Bibi there was the war of extermination which your Mufti of Jerusalem waged on us during the Arab revolt of the 1920s and 30s…

            Before Bibi there was the historic rejection of the two state solution followed by their 1948 riot by the SaintPalestinians after the UN resolution which was proposed by the UN…

            Before Bibi there were years of terrorism by Palestinian infiltrators called the Fedayeen…

            Before Bibi there was historic rejection by all Arab states of the right of the Jewish state to exist. They called us a cancer in their midst even before “the occupation” and they pledged to destroy us at their earliest convenience…

            Before Bibi there was the 1967 war which was triggered by Arab aggression and their attempt to strangle Israel…

            Before Bibi there were offers by various Israeli leaders to negotiate a solution base on the formula of land for peace but which were steadfastly rejected by the Saint Palestinians and their assorted Arab allies. You did hear about the three NO’s of Khartoum, Brian? Didn’t you?

            Before Bibi, after many years if war with Egypt, there was a peace deal with Sadat who got assassinated for his troubleand whose peace terms were rejected by the Saint Palestinians…

            Before Bibi there was the disasterous Oslo peace initiative which resulted in more Israeli deaths through Palestinian terrorism than before it. You have heard of the brave face which Rabin tried to put on it, haven’t you, Brian? He said, “We will fight for peace as if there is no terrorism and we will fight terrorism as if there is no peace process”. I wonder why he had to say that Brian? Any ideas…?

            Before Bibi there was Ehud Barak’s peace offer. More concessions than you would care to throw sticks at. But what happened? The Intifada happened and the infamous Durban conference happened. Just not peace…

            Before Bibi there was Ehud Olmert’s even more generous peace offer but what happened? Deadly silence happened. Deadly silence by your hero, Brian, Saint Abbas ignored the offer…

            So please Brian, spare us. Don’t give us your BS about Bibi and pretend that everything is Bibi’s fault!

            Reply to Comment
          • Brian

            Yawn. Another non-answer. Bibi’s dishonesty is transparent. It does take a lot of effort to deflect attention from it.

            Reply to Comment
          • Gustav

            Yawn.

            Bibi’s dishonesty…

            Saint Abbas’s honesty…

            Ignore history…

            Add water and stir ad nauseam.

            That summarises Brian’s approach. Boring.

            Reply to Comment
    2. Pedro X

      Every day is Land day.

      Times of Israel, March 30, 2015:

      “Local politicians, including Fatah’s former Jerusalem affairs minister Hatem Abdul Qader and Legislative Council member Jihad Abu Zneid, sat in the front row, cheering, as the youth behind them chanted: “Hand in hand, we shall protect Jerusalem from Judaization,” “Tomorrow Hamas will arrive and with it suicide attacks,” and “How great are the kidnappers of soldiers and border police.”

      Yes just another land day.

      Reply to Comment
    3. Average American

      The Absentee Property Law is traditional Jewish law straight from the Talmud. Should be no surprise, it is The Jewish State, where all things must be Jewish. Except the law is a trick. Again should be no surprise. The Jews drive out the owners of the land, then oh golly look this land has no one on it, so under Jewish law a Jew can take it. Read some of the Talmud, very revealing.

      Reply to Comment
      • andrew r

        As much as I don’t like Israel, you can’t throw it under the bus and absolve the other settler-colonial states of the same behavior (US, Aus, NZ, ZA). To put Israel as a concrete manifestation of Jewish law is like saying the ISIS caliphate is authentic Islam.

        Reply to Comment
        • Gustav

          Let’s not drop the Arabs from your list, Andrew. The Arab states are at least as much colonialist projects as America, Aust, NZ and ZA.

          Let’s remember that the Arabs started out from the Arabian peninsula and conquered almost the entire world. Then they proceeded to culturally, religiously and linguistically rape whoever was too weak to resist them. And they still haven’t given up on the idea of finishing the job.

          Well, to be fair, not all of them. There are many decent fair minded Arabs (same as amongst the rest of humanity), but unfortunately, right now there are too many other Arabs who still dream of the sixth century and their caliphate.

          Reply to Comment
          • Bryan

            Why speak about about Arab conquest and “cultural, religious and linguistic rape” (whatever that is) Gustav? That was simply the way of the world – repeated by Norsemen, Tartars, Mongols, Seljuks, Turks, Romans, Crusaders, Franks etc. etc. Why single out Arabs? If there is a word of historical truth in the Bible then that is exactly what the Hebrews did, and were very proud of, in coming out of the desert, conquering Canaan, destroying infidels, and establishing an empire that supposedly stretched to the Euphrates. And in many cases these cultures based on rape and pillage, soon produced vibrant civilisations, based on urbanisation, literacy, science, engineering, art, philosophy etc. This is especially true of the Arabs, with medieval Judaism (e.g. Maimonides) flowering because it developed in close symbiosis with Arab culture, and Arabs treating their brothers of the book far, far better than did Christians. What wonders of the world did the ancient Hebrews ever build (apart from supposedly the largest wooden boat ever built)? They had to go to the Phoenicians to build the first temple and to the Romans for the second.

            It would be far more accurate to say that the Romans and Greeks, not the Arabs, “conquered almost the entire world” but these cultures are generally well-regarded, whilst only Arabs are constantly denigrated. Perhaps you have some sort of agenda here – if you repeat half-truths often enough, perhaps those who do not think for themselves will absorb your prejudices and intolerance?

            Reply to Comment
          • Gustav

            Cut the crap Bryan.

            I responded to Andrew’s post because he singled out America, Australia, New Zealand and ZA as colonialist enterprises. I just updated his list. You wanna update it further? Please do so. But don’t go all sensitive on me about singling out the Arabs. They are not little infalliable little pets. They have a history just like the rest of humanity.

            Reply to Comment
          • Ben

            “They have a history just like the rest of humanity.”

            That was exactly Bryan’s point, which you insist on ignoring.

            Reply to Comment
          • Gustav

            And that was exactly my point to Andrew which Bryan and you ignore Ben.

            Reply to Comment
          • Gustav

            Yes sirree Bob. The Arabs are and have been colonizers too.

            Do you get it now, Andrew, Bryan and Ben?

            Reply to Comment
    4. Nathanael

      Apartheid from day one.

      Jewish people around the world should reject the apartheid state of Israel… now quickly becoming the fascist state of Israel. It is absolutely vital for the safety of Jews worldwide that they are *NOT ASSOCIATED* with the crimes of the Israeli government. Just as Muslims worldwide should reject and denounce Saudi Arabia’s dictatorial and criminal government. And just as Christians in the 18th century, in order to remain legitimate, had to disassociate themselves from the horrors of the Papal States.

      Reply to Comment
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