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Rewriting injustices: A response to Danny Orbach on Palestinian refugees

An in-depth article on Palestinian refugees and their attitudes toward return and peace had some in the liberal Zionist camp up in arms. In a response published last week, Danny Orbach accused Paula Schmitt of doing a disservice to the refugees by nurturing their ‘disastrous, futile fantasies’ and distorting the events of 1948. Now, Schmitt responds to the allegations.

By Paula Schmitt

Debating Zionists or staunchly religious people is like playing a board game where your pieces must move like chess while your opponent’s pieces can move like checkers. Only one side of this battle follows rules and abides by science and facts – the other side is free to produce the usual unicorns. Logic and reasoning are almost irrelevant. The same Zionist who will passionately defend the right of Jews to return to their allegedly ancestral land will deny that very right to a Palestinian who still holds the key to his house.

Danny Orbach, in a rebuttal to my piece on Palestinian refugees, attempts to discredit my work by bundling me in a group he refers to as “pro-Palestinian activists and journalists.” This is one of those situations in which someone catapults an insult and it arrives as a compliment. Yes, I am pro-Palestinian, and how could I not, full as I am of those unrelenting neurons, synapses and dendrites that work even when I sleep? Reason has an awful way of making itself known, and in this particular case mine is adamant about which side is the injured party and which is the perpetrator. I could almost thank Israel for giving some respite to my Escher-like self-doubt, endlessly spiraling in point and counterpoint. But while I accept the epithet of being pro-Palestine, it would be interesting to know if Orbach refers to journalists who condemned Nazi Germany as “activists and journalists against Nazi Germany,” or if he accuses of similar partisanship those who decry the klepto-theocracy in Saudi Arabia, or if he refers to the thousands of mainstream journalists openly against Iran’s nuclear technology as “anti-Iran.”

Before I continue, here is a caveat for those very good at half-comprehension: I don’t want to equate the previous examples to the no-brainer of the occupation. Being in favor of (or against) Iran’s nuclear technology takes reasoning and an understanding of energy policy, knowledge of how the permanent members of the UN Security Council were chosen, the principles of balance of power and the concept of mutually assured destruction. Being against the Israeli occupation is like being against hunger – in an honest world, that position should require no explanation.

Being against the occupation is tantamount to having other “preconceptions” which Orbach can rightly accuse me of: being pro-human rights, pro-justice, pro-decent wage, anti-racist, anti-slavery, anti-corruption, anti-religion-as-government, anti-oppression. The facts of the Israeli illegal occupation are there for all to see, shot in the back on their way to school, gas-canistered in the face while shielding an olive tree, humiliated in the daily drill of being put in one’s place, the place of being inferior, less human, less chosen, all that piling into a mountain of hatred and resentment that, as my interviews conveyed, will keep on growing in geometrical progression and will only get worse.

But just after suggesting that I am a partisan of the Palestinian cause, he says that my interviews contradict my very position. Well, Orbach, ahlan wa sahlan to honest journalism. You’ve just entered an unstable and confusing world where you will read a journalistic piece that is not a well-woven defense or attack of a theory or position. In fact, it may even contain the very particulars that may contradict the author’s general estimation. And this is not only due to the fact that I was reporting, rather than advocating. It is mostly because I don’t defend ideologies, I defend ideas, and ideas don’t give a hoot about what ideology they are supposed to belong to. A real journalist will have opinions, as being human is one of the minimum requirements for the job. But an honest journalist will never let those opinions taint her reporting. She will – like I did – report even on things that may appear to undermine her own outlook.

Orbach says that “mass return [of Palestinians] may herald bloodshed and constant civil war, detrimental to both sides.” I agree with him here. But while that may be a possibility for Israelis, for Palestinians that is already a reality. Israel lives “peacefully” mostly by applying a cruel, two-pronged strategy: on one hand, it subdues the Palestinian people, making them live a half life as half humans, sometimes having them killed while guaranteeing that the killers – both civilians and military – get out of that small unpleasantness intact. This is a fact well verified by Israelis and Zionist organizations – just ask the ex-IDF soldiers of Breaking the Silence or the people of B’Tselem.

The second prong of Israel’s approach may be even more insidious: Israel scares its own citizens to death, makes them fearful (and thus hateful) of Palestinians in a relentless campaign which includes that almost risible sign at the entrance to many Palestinian villages warning Israelis that going any further “is dangerous to your lives and against Israeli law.” I can testify that I entered those areas several times with Israelis Jews for their first visit and half of them seemed quite relieved they were not eaten by a Palestinian.

When referring to the Nakba, Orbach has the type of argument that is so absurd it precludes an intelligent retort. He had this to say:

And indeed, compared with countries facing similar (and even lesser) threats at the same time, Israel behaved in a surprisingly restrained manner.[…]Think about the Turks and the Greeks, the Germans, the Japanese, the Indians and Pakistanis, Jews in the Arab world and countless other examples. Israel, therefore, was a positive outlier.

Orbach should go tell that to Palestinian refugees.

He also accuses me of describing the events of 1948 in a way that is “distorted beyond recognition” and a repetition of “Palestinian national myths.” Alas, it appears my detractor hasn’t read some respected Jewish Israeli historians like Ilan Pappe (The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine) and Shlomo Sand (The Invention of the Jewish People). Pappe’s work is particular relevant to this discussion because he reveals documents pertaining to Plan Dalet, which presented “a detailed description of the methods to be used to forcibly evict the people: large-scale intimidation; laying siege to and bombarding villages and population centers; setting fire to homes, properties, and goods; expelling residents; demolishing homes; and, finally, planting mines in the rubble to prevent the expelled inhabitants from returning.”

I personally find the discussion about “who started what” rather inane, akin to the dialectical equivalent of “I’m rubber, you’re glue.” Orbach spends most of his piece producing little bits of scattered history, favoring one over another, making use of Mufti Amin Al-Husseini to justify his position while discarding the same mufti whenever he isn’t useful to the argument. Basically, Orbach does what he accuses me of actually not doing: he only picks and chooses the pieces he likes, building his theory on a wobbly platform that he feigns to believe is solid and irrefutable, while probably quite aware it lies on loose debris from history and religious scripture.

History books, like scriptures, often serve to validate what one already believes. They are repeatedly used to justify anything, the imperfect act of exegesis allowing the exegete to draw any theory from them and feel duly footnoted. That’s why the history written by the vanquishers is the source of choice for many Zionists. When trying to make sense of the difference between what happened in the Nabka and how it is now remembered, professor Pappe bemoans what he calls the “deep chasm between reality and the representation. This is most bewildering, and it is difficult to understand how events perpetrated in modern times and witnessed by foreign reporters and UN observers could be systematically denied, not even recognized as historical fact, let alone acknowledged as a crime that needs to be confronted, politically as well as morally.”

Orbach would beg to differ, of course. He says the Nakba “is not the result of Zionist wickedness but a violent defensive reaction [sic] to a tangible threat of dispossession and extermination.” Yet he never considers that such reaction could have been a reaction to yet another reaction, this one to a crime committed thousands of miles away by a people who had absolutely no relation whatsoever with the Palestinians, not in religion, not in ideology and not in race (an important factor for Zionists).

And that is why I think the over-used maxim of “remembering history so history won’t repeat itself” is an awful and often dangerous cliché. It is at the root of Israeli victimization, and at the root of its victimizing, as it will probably be at the root of future tragedies. To quote the main character in my novel Eudemonia, “The saying ‘Let’s remember history so history won’t repeat itself is about the most oxymoronic sophism I’ve ever heard. If anything, it’s the obsessive remembrance of historical tragedies what makes people hate each other for centuries, it turns that hatred into something almost genetic, it transforms revenge into a goal to be pursued generations after the original insult, like an endless reincarnation of bad blood.”

Humanity has been caught for centuries living an endless cycle of historical rectification. But it is easy to manipulate the past, rearrange facts through emphasis and expunction. The present, though, is harder to mold. And it is to the present that we are indebted. A son has no blame or merit for what his father and forefathers have done, and thus should not gloat nor be ashamed. But that son does have responsibility for what he instills in his own children, and those that come after him. We all know what is going on now inside and behind those walls. The rewriting of that injustice is on us.

Read more:
The dreadful and the trivial: A response to Paula Schmitt on Palestinian refugees
Sentenced to life at birth: What do Palestinian refugees want?

Paula Schmitt (@schmittpaula) is a Brazilian journalist, Middle East correspondent, author of the non-fiction, Advertised to Death – Lebanese Poster-Boys, and the novel Eudemonia.

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    COMMENTS

    1. goldmarx

      One of my criticisms of Orbach’s position is that if Schmitt’s revelation that Palestinian refugees say things that are extremist, it’s to Schmitt’s credit that as a journalist she does not suppress inconvenient truths.

      A small bone to pick with Schmitt is that while Ilan Pappe is a well-respected historian (and deservedly), Shlomo Sand is not. He is very much the wackadoo who is attempting to revive the Khazar Hypothesis nonsense. He has no knowledge of the roots of Yiddish, for example, and what passes for his scholarship on such matters has been refuted by others with more than a passing knowledge of the “mame-loshen”.

      Reply to Comment
    2. Danny

      I would add to the last argument made about the remembrance of history that Israel uses the Palestinians as a kind of doppelganger for the most hated idea in the zionist psyche – Nazism. In the mind of a zionist, the Palestinians are nothing short of the ideological heirs of the Nazis – hence the pathetic reference to Mufti Amin Al-Husseini that we see so over-used and abused ad-infinitum by zionist hasbarists today. Generations of Israelis are so used to this outright lie (that the Palestinians are somehow associated with Nazis) that the average Israeli has adopted the most severe and extreme prejudices about the Palestinians and associated opinions about what should be done to them (hint: Adolf Eichmann). And of course, just like it is unthinkable that a Jew would ever make peace with Nazis, it has become nearly unthinkable for a peace with Palestinians.

      Reply to Comment
    3. Ginger Eis

      “He also accuses me of describing the events of 1948 in a way that is “distorted beyond recognition” and a repetition of “Palestinian national myths.” Alas, it appears my detractor hasn’t read some respected Jewish Israeli historians like Ilan Pappe (The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine) and Shlomo Sand (The Invention of the Jewish People) and Shlomo Sand (The Invention of the Jewish People).”

      Ilan Pappe?! This guy – who has been shown time and time again to be a fraud – is the authority you rely on?! And Shlomo Sand?! Geez, you are indeed detrimentally selective and tendentious. Please go home, lady. Stop wasting your time. You have really tried, but mediocrity is not good enough in Israel. Leave academic work to those who have the fortitude to do extensive academic research and the brain power to power rigorous analysis of historical evidence and make verifiable conclusions. Should you want to give it a try again, begin by visiting the archives of the Arab League and Arab countries and unearthing their documentations of what happened from their perspective.

      Reply to Comment
      • goldmarx

        When has Ilan Pappe been shown to be a fraud?

        Reply to Comment
          • bob wisby

            Ginger suggests that…”For further reading google “Ilan Pappe a fraud””. The trouble with this method of research is that it presupposes its result. If you type ‘Jews Control the World’, you land in an online world of antisemitism. If you type ‘Jews Don’t Control World’, you land in a much more acceptable place.

            Reply to Comment
    4. Ginger Eis

      “When referring to the Nakba, Orbach has the type of argument that is so absurd it precludes an intelligent retort. He had this to say: And indeed, compared with countries facing similar (and even lesser) threats at the same time, Israel behaved in a surprisingly restrained manner.[…]Think about the Turks and the Greeks, the Germans, the Japanese, the Indians and Pakistanis, Jews in the Arab world and countless other examples. Israel, therefore, was a positive outlier. Orbach should go tell that to Palestinian refugees.”

      No, ma’am! Orbach made a reasoned moral argument. If Orbach’s argument “is so absurd it precludes an intelligent retort” as you claim, you must say ‘why’. That’s how to debate and convince. You just saying that said argument “is so absurd it precludes an intelligent retort” does not make it so (unless you are the Roman Catholic Pope). You must argue your position. Nor should you call on Palestinians to do your job for you. The academic fight is between you and Orbach. Leave the Palestinians out of it, for they have enough on their plate already.

      Reply to Comment
      • Robert P

        Orbach is saying that Nakba was OK because it is not as bad as what the Nazis did. And you think such an argument really deserves a reply?

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        • Ginger Eis

          No, Robert. According to Ms. Schmitt, Mr. Orbach made this claim: “And indeed, compared with countries facing similar (and even lesser) threats at the same time, Israel behaved in a surprisingly restrained manner.[…]Think about the Turks and the Greeks, the Germans, the Japanese, the Indians and Pakistanis, Jews in the Arab world and countless other examples. Israel, therefore, was a positive outlier”. Orbach’s claim is thus reasoned – regardless of the truth or falsehood thereof. If Ms. Schmitt disagrees with that claim (and she does), she must make counter argument to demonstrate the absurdity of said claim. Ms. Schmitt doesn’t get to say ‘well, that’s absurd’ without telling us why it is absurd. Such attitude just bludgeons the debate to death.

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          • andrew r

            Absolutely, Orbach’s claim is reasonable. The Israelis killed fewer people in implementing their racist state than the Allies did defeating the Fascist powers. 100% incontestable fact. So I would expect Orbach to hold his own affinity group to a similar logic, and admit the segregation of the Russian Jews into the Pale of Settlement was a more positive way of solving the Jewish question than the Nazi Final Solution. Of course he won’t do that, because those few killings, that trifle amount of civilian fatalities inflicted by the Haganah/IDF, was necessary for Israel to exist as a Jewish state. While the killing of one Jewish civilian for any reason is a crime against humanity.

            Sure, the comparison of civilian deaths might be reasonable. The lesson he draws from it is a criminal rationalization.

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          • Kolumn9

            Of course segregation is a more positive way to solve a ‘problem’ than mass genocide. How is this not obvious?

            It is like talking to a child. Line the following up in ascending orders of bad. Someone refusing to play with you. Someone keeping you in your room. Someone piping Zyklon B into your room.

            Would it be safe to assume that all if humanity, other than you, would have no problem with this challenge?

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          • andrew r

            Seeing as most people understand the Zionist movement as a reaction to the suffering in the Pale of Settlement, nobody would seriously write that the Cossacks were a positive outlier. Jews didn’t accept segregation when it was forced on them, and you know Orbach is not going to accept it in retrospect.

            I think all of humanity, other than you, would have no problem reading my post on a syntactical level, not to mention grasping the point.

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          • andrew r

            I have to admit, K9, that my argument could have been phrased much better. The Final Solution did not take place in the same historical era as the pogroms, so that is a slight weakness. That’s my fault.

            Here’s an updated version: No one would seriously write that the segregation of Jews in the Pale of Settlement and the following pogroms were a positive outlier compared to the genocides in the Belgian Congo and German SW Africa and the British repression in India. The same people who justify the nakba on this basis, Orbach included, will agree the persecution of the Russian Jews was criminal regardless of the motivation or whether other persecutions at the time were much worse.

            So ironically, your pathetic attempt at an insult was helpful in making me realize the flaw of my logic. Of course, a child could understand this, because we’re taught the Golden Rule at a young age. It’s when you become an accessory to criminal behavior that silly rationalizations like “positive outlier” start to sound like reasonable arguments.

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          • Kolumn9

            Great, you admit that you were talking out of your ass, but unfortunately you proceed to continue talking out of your ass.

            The weakness of your argument is not chronological, but the fact that it is retarded from the get go. Your argument was that one can’t compare two historical situations and deign one to have been more humane than another. You have already accepted that this is nonsense. Trying to bring historical eras into it actually changes nothing in the underlying case. It is a red herring.

            I can continue to point out logical errors to you, but it doesn’t appear that to be very helpful since you continue to make them.

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          • Kolumn9

            Typical discussion of the historical third-class citizenship of Jews that lived in the Arab world usually consists of positive comparisons to the conditions of their brethren in Europe. So, your argument that such comparisons can’t be made is, frankly, stupid.

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          • andrew r

            Your argument was that one can’t compare two historical situations and deign one to have been more humane than another.

            I’m more interested in why someone would make that comparison, which you could probably glean from sentences like, “Sure, the comparison of civilian deaths might be reasonable. The lesson he draws from it is a criminal rationalization.”

            Trying to bring historical eras into it actually changes nothing in the underlying case.

            It changes how the case is made by acting in line with the original logic. Orbach went, “in the era before, during and after WWII ethnic cleansing, much worse than the Nakba, was the international norm.” Well, in the era before WWI, the norm was colonial expansion which often led to mass killings of the natives. Someone could easily write the pogroms were more humane than what happened to the Bengali, Congolese and Herero, and the only point I can see is to legitimize one state’s colonial expansion, possibly more of the same later.

            I can continue to point out logical errors to you

            One of these errors you have in mind, no doubt, is that the expulsions of the Palestinians and eastern Germans post-WWII were a response to direct aggression against the perpetrators, while the Russian pogroms weren’t. This would be a straw argument in any case, because Orbach legitimized Israeli actions in relation to the “international norm” at the time, while back in the late 19th-early 20th century (and even earlier) no European power needed that excuse to invade a territory and have themselves free rein of the place. So the pogromists certainly didn’t need a concrete threat from the Jews to justify attacking them according to the international norm. The logic of what was acceptable at the time can backfire.

            Typical discussion of the historical third-class citizenship of Jews that lived in the Arab world usually consists of positive comparisons to the conditions of their brethren in Europe.

            And again, if the idea is to show Jews and Arabs can live in peace, I happen to think the argument is asinine, since one group was still in a subordinate position.

            Reply to Comment
    5. mcohen

      the author says

      “Humanity has been caught for centuries living an endless cycle of historical rectification. But it is easy to manipulate the past, rearrange facts through emphasis and expunction.”

      both sides are guilty of manipulating the facts to suit there aims so why not say so instead of only blaiming the “zionists”

      Reply to Comment
    6. Ginger Eis

      “Being against the occupation is tantamount to having other “preconceptions” which Orbach can rightly accuse me of: being pro-human rights, pro-justice, pro-decent wage, anti-racist, anti-slavery, anti-corruption, anti-religion-as-government, anti-oppression. The facts of the Israeli illegal occupation are there for all to see, shot in the back on their way to school, gas-canistered in the face while shielding an olive tree, humiliated in the daily drill of being put in one’s place, the place of being inferior, less human, less chosen, all that piling into a mountain of hatred and resentment that, as my interviews conveyed, will keep on growing in geometrical progression and will only get worse.”

      What a rant! What a vitriol! Indeed, what a delusion of righteousness and grandeur! Pls. Lady Schmitt, stay in Brazil and help rescue the tens of millions of children there who are condemned to abject poverty because of their race/ethnicity. That indeed would be “pro-human rights, pro-justice, anti-racist, anti-slavery, anti-oppression”.

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    7. It’s interesting to read Orbach’s BLACK FLAG AT A CROSSROADS: THE KAFR QASIM POLITICAL TRIAL (1957–58).
      Here he manages to make this nazi-like massacre into a good thing for Israel. Not that there was any intention of addressing the issue at the time, but there was too much international fuzz, so they had too. In spite of a gag order.
      The guy in charge didn’t get punished, the perpatrators got out of jail within one year. But according to Orbach this proves Israel is a functioning democracy, because that exact same thing didn’t happen again. The massacre happened in 1956 and Orbach wrote his article in 2013. Between those dates tens of thousands have died by the hands of the zionists, hundreds of thousands have been displaced and incarcerated. But that exact same thing as in Kafr Qasim didn’t happen again (as far as we know). That’s the logic of Orbach: we can do what we want, just make sure the exact same thing doesn’t happen twice, then we can sell it to the world as proof of our moral standards, our moral learning curve. And we can be proud of ourselves.

      Reply to Comment
      • Ginger Eis

        Yes, we can be proud of ourselves, BUT we are NOT! War is a messy business. When war is forced upon us, we defend yourself in accordance with the kind of high moral standards no other army in the world applies in a defensive/offensive war. Despite our efforts to fight clean battles, isolated tragic events do take place. Upon terminations of said battles, investigations and inquiries are launched to determine what happened. Policy and methods are developed to prevent said tragedies from happening again. But the nature of war is such that you can’t foresee- and plan everything. As such the chance that another isolated tragedy will occur will always exist, albeit heavily reduced. The wars that the enemies have imposed on Israel has cost “tens of thousands of lives” on BOTH sides, you agree. Then, let’s be fair and balanced.

        Reply to Comment
      • It seems you didn’t read the piece too well. My intention was to make a historical argument about a specific event and its future ramifications. True, a point-blank massacre of civilians, not during battle, did not happen again since. That doesn’t mean that Israel didn’t do bad things afterwards – but that is not part of my argument.

        The rest of things you say are also totally distorted. It is enough to read the article, and follow my sources through the footnotes, in order to understand it.

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    8. Vadim

      “Debating Zionists or staunchly religious people is like playing a board game where your pieces must move like chess while your opponent’s pieces can move like checkers”

      Hm. I wonder what will follow this lovely remark? Probably a very balanced article…

      “Alas, it appears my detractor hasn’t read some respected Jewish Israeli historians like Ilan Pappe”

      Ilan Pappe may be a historian, but he is most definitely not very much respected.

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    9. Bar

      “Alas, it appears my detractor hasn’t read some respected Jewish Israeli historians like Ilan Pappe (The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine) and Shlomo Sand”

      I’m sorry, but I stopped reading at that point because everything which preceded this ridiculous assertion was now made clear and everything that follows is entirely predictable.

      And this is a person who claims “Only one side of this battle follows rules and abides by science and facts – the other side is free to produce the usual unicorns.” Yes, the statement is true, only the side which abides by science and facts is the side opposite yours, Ms. Schmitt.

      Reply to Comment
    10. It is a little difficult for me to cope with Paula Schmitt’s diatribe in her response to my article. Nor it is my intention to refute, one by one, the many absurdities, ad-hominem attack and childish outbursts of rage in her piece. However, several issues still have to be addressed:

      1. I see, Paula, that you admit that the “right of return” would herald bloodshed, affecting both sides. So, leaving your flowery rhetoric aside, you admit my point to the full. You see, Paula – that’s how critical reading of texts works. So it’s perfectly okay with you to choose a solution which might escalate the bloodshed in Israel/Palestine, instead of a solution which might decrease it. Nice to hear. As we say in the courtroom, “no further questions.”

      2. You accuse me in holding a religious view, impervious to “scientific facts”, and yet you claim your own views to be infallible. Anti-Zionism, it seems, is akin to a law of nature. You know, kids, the earth is round, water boils at 100 degrees and Israel is a demonic state. It can’t be challenged, neither with facts, evidence or theoretical doubts. Nor could be other ill-defined concepts such as “human rights”, “justice” or “fair wages”. How should we interpret “human rights”? What happens when “rights” collide with other important public interests and values? What is exactly a “fair wage”? What is “justice”? Don’t doubt, don’t ask questions, don’t think. Why? Hell, because Paula and her friends say so. Did anyone say “religion”?

      3. It seems you are not well-versed in 1948 history, and why should you be? You have already the right answers. No need to look at the documents, the facts, or serious historical studies. If you look, you may see, for example, how key people in the Palestinian leadership encouraged the Holocaust while it was happening. Nowhere did I say that all Palestinians were to blame – but a key part of their leadership was, and just that part of the leadership who was at the helm in 1948. And even, leaving that aside, would you admit that the official Palestinian position in 1948 was rejecting any compromise, and that ethnic cleansing of the Jews in Palestine was openly advocated? You did not refute that. And if that was so, the Nakba indeed was an defensive reaction by an ethnic minority whose very existence was in danger. Wait! You didn’t deny that as well. Nor did you deny that in the era before, during and after WWII ethnic cleansing, much worse than the Nakba, was the international norm. You see, Paula, when the curtain of your angry rhetoric is thrust aside for a moment, little else remains. You are very useful for the Israeli Foreign Ministry. Keep on.

      4. Serious journalism, Paula? No. You are not a serious journalist. A serious journalist’s job is to bring several points of view and weave them into a well-balanced narrative. A serious journalist checks his or her history well, not relying on frauds like Shlomo Sand (and see Avshalom Laniado’s trashing of his “arguments” in “Catharsis”). Nor she relies on a “historian” like Ilan Pappe, who supported a clear forgery (the Tantura case) and committed countless distortions in his books – certainly not without reading anyone else. A serious interviewer should challenge his or her interviewees, not to take everything they say face value. A serious journalist, Paula, does not fantasize about committing a mass massacre in a conference he or she are attending. Should I remind you about your “report” from the Hertzeliya conference, and your remark that a proper nail bomb in the coffee room would solve “half of the problems of the Middle East”? A serious journalist is also doing some background check on his or her interviewees. He or she are not likely not claim, for example, that a former head of Mossad, for years a private businessman, is capable of assassinating her – as you did in your blog. In short, I’ll treat you like a serious journalist when you act like one.

      Reply to Comment
      • Tomer

        The fakestines keep saying that one day they will return to Jaffa, Haifa, Lod etc . As long as they keep us this ridiculous, absurd fantasy no peace will come about.

        Paula Scmiditt should be advising them to reanalyse their reality and come up with a different solution to their problems. Otherwise, she is just intensifying the problem rather than diffusing it.

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    11. Ruth

      It’s a bit embarassing for 972 to publish such a piece. The first four paragraphs especially. Danny Orbach, most of your original piece was thoughtful but the responses here in the comments also sink close to Paula Schmitt’s level. Chaval.

      Reply to Comment
      • Ruth,

        I am very sorry to disappoint you,but it is very difficult for me to lead a rational argument with a rival who lacks respect for the most basic rules of civilized debate. Actually, in my original piece, I had much more interesting arguments with a pro-Palestinian commentator named Vicky. You may take a look.

        Reply to Comment
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