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To such an Israel I shall be a traitor

By: Rechavia Berman

Demonstrators holding up a blood-stained Israeli flag, in a protest following the death of Bil'in's Jawaher Abu-Rahmah (photo: Lisa Goldman)

I have a little something (little for a certified graphomaniac, of course) to say about the contemptible inquiry committee passed yesterday in Israel’s Knesset by MK Faina Kirshenbaum (Kremlin agent Evet Lieberman’s doll). But before I begin, a technical note:

The shameful step taken by Israel’s laughingstock of a parliament yesterday is, at least for now, political circus and nothing more. This “Inquiry Committee” has no real authority. It has no power of summons and no power to punish. One may comfortably ignore any summons from it and one may, like the wonderful Mikhael Manekin, accept the summons in order to spit its foul temerity right back in its face. But to repeat the main issue of this note, the headline reads: The Gestapo is not yet at the door. That may yet happen, and this pathetic circus may be the high water mark after which the slime will recede. Now, having said that, let us for a moment address the issue as though Michael Ben Ari’s fantasy has any actual teeth, and respond as follows:

If being an Israeli means to forever rule another people, steal its land, deny it basic rights and trample upon its dignity, then yes – such an Israel I shall betray.

If being an Israeli means to strive for ethnic cleansing as a means of escaping the tightening death trap of occupation, then yes – such an Israel I shall betray.

If being an Israeli means to steel the lands and crops of dirt-poor subsistence farmers, while ignoring one’s own Supreme Court, to suppress with beastly brutality non-violent demonstrations held with almost unimaginable restraint in the face of ongoing slaughter, and then lie about it when the slaughter happens, then yes – such an Israel I shall betray.

If being an Israeli means dismantling all facets of civil society, education, infrastructures, healthcare, all the while subsidizing a primitive culture of sloth that even the greatest rabbis of history would retch to behold, leaving the people of said culture trapped in a lack of self-sufficiency, captive to the rule of rabid rabbis, then yes – such an Israel I shall betray.

If being an Israeli means sending brave men and women to combat a wildfire without basic gear, leaving the poor periphery to ignorance and neglect, all the while spending vast fortunes on apartheid settlements in the occupied territories in the name of the Jehovah cult’s ideology, then yes – such an Israel I shall betray.

If being an Israeli means leaving 20 percent of the population in an ever-worsening state of second class citizenship, forbid them to import schoolbooks in their own language, speak their ostensibly official language in mixed schools, spread irrational fear of them “stealing our women”, condition their employment as teachers to their own children upon approval of the Shin Bet-Stasi, not building a single new settlement for them or approving zoning plans and then conducting a smear campaign about their “illegal construction”, or launching a reprehensible witch hunt when they choose not to build illegally and come to live in “our” towns, then yes – such an Israel I shall betray.

If being an Israeli means signing a “blood alliance” with the Druze minority, and then letting the sewage run free in their villages, discriminate against them in any setting out of uniform, form a unit with an overwhelming Druze majority and after fifty years feel oh-so-enlightened because we deigned to appoint a Druze as its commander, bar it from any career opportunity outside their pale of settlement except that of jack-booted thugs to do our dirty work for us, then yes – such an Israel I shall betray.

If being an Israeli means accepting a parliament in which a party, whose head undermines our legitimacy every time he opens his filthy mouth, launches a witch hunt against perfectly transparent “funding sources” of organizations who save what’s left of out tattered international respect, while the same kangaroo parliament refuses to investigate clear debacles by it inhabitants, let alone reach personal conclusions following fiascoes that have levied a toll in blood, then yes – such an Israel I shall betray.

If being an Israeli means subscribing to the superiority of the Jew by virtue of birth as such and placing at the heart of the collective identity the persecution, victimization and woe-is-me attitude in a manner that Hitler himself would have viewed as a historical victory and vindication, then yes – such an Israel I shall betray.

If being an Israeli means treating the persecuted and the sanctuary seeker the same way we cried foul over when directed at us back when we were in their shoes, then yes – such an Israel I shall betray.

If being an Israeli means calling yourself “the state of the Jews” while actively discriminating against the denominations of Judaism to which the absolute majority of the world’s Jews subscribe, rendering them invisible and illegitimate, then yes, indeed – such an Israel I shall betray.

I shall betray it openly and without a shred of guilt. I shall advertise its shame the world over, and take the largest hatchet I can find to its false pretense of legitimacy. I shall hand over the names of its criminals – from general and minister to corporal and private, to anyone who will bring them to justice. I shall make sure you cannot set foot anywhere a civilized person would want to go. I shall do all this and more, and you can investigate me to your putrid hearts’ content.

I shall betray such an Israel because I am loyal to a very different Israel. An Israel of a people proud and unafraid. An Israel that shall accord full and true equality to all its citizens. An Israel that does not wish to rule another people for decades in the name of its traumas and fears, and definitely does not wish to use these fears as an excuse to steal that people’s land and colonize it. An Israel guided by the morals of the prophets and not by the racism of the Talmud. An Israel of “Blessed be my people Assyria, blessed be my people Egypt”, and not of “You are called man and they are not called man.” And I know I will not be alone in this betrayal, because as the Reverend Martin Luther Ling Jr. said: “The arc of history is long, but it bends toward justice.”

Now, can I get an Amen?

Rechavia Berman is an Israeli journalist and Blogger. This post originally appeared in Hebrew on Rechavia’s blog

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    COMMENTS

    1. Since the link to my Hebrew blog above leads back here, the above will take you there. http://www.kedem.info. Thanks for reading!

      Reply to Comment
    2. maayan

      eze shtuyot

      Reply to Comment
    3. Thanks for your article! I agree with every word you said. And yes, you’re not alone! We are not many, but we are here!

      Reply to Comment
    4. Alex

      Kol hakavod!

      Reply to Comment
    5. Ali

      !كامل إحتراماتي
      !כל הכבוד
      Well said!

      Reply to Comment
    6. Rechavia,you should be awarded a medal for being the first on +972 (as far as i know) to leave Maayan speechless !

      Great Article 🙂

      Reply to Comment
    7. rbmeritt

      Thank you,G-d,there is a House of David in Israel.

      Reply to Comment
    8. Rechavia:

      Bravo!

      Reply to Comment
    9. maayan

      There was just too much to dispute. It’s still shtuyot.

      Reply to Comment
    10. anti-israeli

      Excellent post, and of course, “being an Israeli” means precisely those contemptible things you’ve outlined and are rightly opposed to.

      Reply to Comment
    11. Anti-Israeli: If editing your comments for’cesspool’ style remarks becomes too time consuming – and it looks as though that could happen quite soon – we will simply ban your IP address in order to prevent you from commenting.

      Reply to Comment
    12. To stand “pround and unafraid” is very, very difficult. You face some of the fundamental weapons of our human past, and have only your breath as sheild. Yet we know that those old weapons can fall. Stay together. An American bystander.

      Reply to Comment
    13. Amen

      Reply to Comment
    14. Maayan, give it a try anyway, let’s see whatcha come up with.

      Everybody – thank you kindly.

      Ali – respect back at you. Kamel Acher Mani? Sorry, trying to improve my meager Arabic… (used babylon to see what that meant) did I at least transliterate that right?

      Reply to Comment
    15. maayan

      Okay, let’s take this as an example: “If being an Israeli means to strive for ethnic cleansing as a means of escaping the tightening death trap of occupation.”

      What ethnic cleansing are you talking about? The kind that has at least trebled Palestinian population since 1967? The kind that enables Erakat to list 11 million Palestinians in the world, 9 times the number of Palestinians counted in 1948/49 by the overgenerous UNRWA? The kind that gives the Palestinians (I’m talking Gaza and Judea and Samaria here, because in Israel the number for Israeli-Arabs is higher) higher longevity than most Arab countries? The kind that lets any person with eyes in his head see the non-stop construction and growth of Palestinian areas like Shuafat and Issawiya? The kind that gives the Palestinians a government with such gravitas that the international community gives them more credence than Israel’s leaders (even though their leader is a Holocaust denier as well as a Jewish history denier)?

      What death trap of occupation? The Israeli government supports the PA government and ensures its survival by acting primarily against Hamas operatives. The current Likudnik Israeli PM has offered a two-state resolution to the Arab-Israeli conflict. A couple of Likud MK’s recently espoused the position that Judea and Samaria should be annexed, which would mean the end of occupation as well. And to remind you, Israel left Gaza and its million plus Palestinians. They are living under the dictatorship of the party they elected, but not under Israeli occupation. I recently had a conversation with an Israeli evacuee from Gaza and he told me he felt like they uprooted him and his family (עקרו) “akru oti” and now he believes that the same will be done in Judea and Samaria.

      All of that is also to say that the Israel you’re living in and want to be a traitor to has offered the Palestinians two serious peace deals in the past 9 years and 3 offers in the past decade. The last offer, to remind you, included Israel giving up sovereignty over the Holy Basin in favor of internationalization of these sites. That offer included eastern Jerusalem as the Palestinian capital.

      That’s the kind of Israel I belong to. The kind of Israel that has had two recent PM’s, one of them a lifelong Likudnik and heir to Ariel Sharon, offer a peace agreement that showed the Palestinians that unlike them, Israel respects their right to a state and to control their holy places.

      Reply to Comment
    16. Louis Frankenthaler

      Amen!!

      Reply to Comment
    17. Amen! Oh hang on I’m not an Israeli. Well I will be a traitor anyway!

      Reply to Comment
    18. Phil

      Amen

      Reply to Comment
    19. maayan's good friend

      Did your site ban Maayan?

      Reply to Comment
    20. ALI

      MAAYAN

      you need to go back to school. Ethnic cleansing is defined, according to the united Nations resolution 780

      “is a purposeful policy designed by one ethnic or religious group to remove BY VIOLENT and TERROR-INSPIRING means the civilian population of another ethnic or religious group from certain geographic areas”

      do you want to tell me that what the hell does your trolling prattling narischkeit above has to do with this definition?. No one is disputing that Palestinians have a “longer” life in Israel (although I don’t know what the point is, considering their lives are Miserable in Israel). No one is disputing that their population has increased. WHAT WE ARE DISPUTING IS THE LAND THEFT, COMMITTED BY ETHNIC CLEANSING.

      “The Israeli government supports the PA government and ensures its survival by acting primarily against Hamas operatives”

      and guess what? they also armed, and supported Hamas too, once upon a time against Fatah, when it was convenient for them.

      “And to remind you, Israel left Gaza and its million plus Palestinians. They are living under the dictatorship of the party they elected, but not under Israeli occupation.”

      No, Israel left Gaza as an open Air prison, and maintained a siege where 2.5 million people are held captives without adequate water treatments, and food.

      as for the peace deals, show me the details, and I’ll tell you if they are fair or not. it’s not enough to give deals, where Israeli maximalism is the point, but fairness is what counts, no matter how many offers you give.

      Reply to Comment
    21. ALI

      Hi Rechavia

      it’s (kamil-Ihtiramati) – Very close!

      I guess it can be written something like this in Hebrew.

      כאמל אחתראמאתי

      Reply to Comment
    22. maayan

      Ali, I’m very familiar with ethnic cleansing. It happened to half of my family who had to leave their Arab country to move to Israel. The other half, from Europe, was murdered en masse and only a couple of members of a family counting dozens actually survived.
      Their story differs greatly from what happened to the Palestinians. Unlike, say, a large portion of the Arab population of 1948 which was involved in the attempt to ethnically cleanse the Jews of mandatory Palestine and had leadership which colluded with the Nazis in their successful endeavor to ethnically cleanse Jews, both in Europe and with future intentions in Palestine, my families played no role whatsoever in any wars within their respective societies.
      You see, Ali, in 1948, the side which launched a war on the basis of a “purposeful policy designed…to remove BY VIOLENT and TERROR-INSPIRING means the civilian population of another ethnic or religious group from certain geographic areas” were the Arabs. Actually, they started in 1920, repeated in 1929, 1936-1939, began again in 1947 and continued in 1948. If you meant that the Jews had done this, then re-read your history. A large proportion of the Arab villages that emptied of their own volition or with the pressure of Jewish militias or the early IDF, were attacked in this way to establish the possibility of defending the Yishuv against the coming attack of the Arab states. It was war and this was strategic, not related at all to the notion of ethnic cleansing. The Yishuv and then Israel were doing what they needed to do to survive. The key lessons about keeping a population out and preventing their return were provided by the Jordanians and their new subjects, the Palestinians, who made sure not a single Jew remained in any area they conquered. It’s just that they lost the war and their campaign to rid Mandatory Palestine of Jews ended with Jewish victory.

      “trolling”
      “prattling”
      “narischkeit”
      Is that what it’s called when somebody disagrees with you and bases their history on historians such as Benny Morris, Ephraim Karsh and Avi Shlaim, among others?
      “their lives are Miserable in Israel”
      Indeed. That’s why in survey after survey a large majority expresses a desire to continue to live in Israel while rejecting the possibility of joining a new Palestine.
      “WHAT WE ARE DISPUTING IS THE LAND THEFT, COMMITTED BY ETHNIC CLEANSING”
      You do recall that the Jews agreed to divide the land with the Arabs in 1937 and 1947, right? This is after the British gave over 3/4 of Ottoman Palestine to the Hashemites who have more Palestinian subjects than any other group in their kingdom. You do recall that the Arabs launched a war of land theft and ethnic cleansing, right? After all, it’s not as if the land in east Jerusalem, the Old City and Gush Etzion hadn’t been PURCHASED or OWNED by Jews, not to mention lands lost in Hebron in 1929. You do recall that Jews were buying land legally in order to build their homes and buildings in Mandatory Palestine, paying exorbitant prices, often to families that are prominent in the Palestinian struggle, such as the Husseinis? You do recall that actual Arab ownership of land inside today’s Israel and Judea and Samaria constituted less than a third of the total area, far from all of it?
      If the Arabs had not been so intent on stealing Jewish land, on killing Jews and on greedily keeping all of the land even after they were asked to merely give up about 11-12 percent of all of what had been the Ottoman province of Palestine, there would have been two states side by side a long time ago.

      If Israel once acted against Fatah, it was because of their terrorism. Their support of Fatah today in the face of Hamas is a stupid tactic that has already cost them plenty. So we agree on this point. Israel should let the Palestinians fight it out among themselves.

      “Israel left Gaza as an open Air prison”
      Give me a break. An Arab country that was previously happy to occupy Gaza rests on one side of Gaza. They constitute half of the “prison” and the reason is they are extremely scared of the Muslim Brotherhood which is a mother movement to Hamas. Why should Israel be any less concerned? Israel has every right to close its borders, especially after the incessant attempts at terror attacks that took place when crossings were open. The rocket attacks only ensured the closures would remain.
      As for the “siege” with “inadequate water, treatments, and food,” it’s all bullshit. There is plenty of what Gazans need in Gaza except for construction materials and jobs. They elected a government which has ensured this would be the case and now they are paying for their folly. Your defense of their attacks on Israel are silly. The Palestinians in Gaza could have made peace with Israel when it left Gaza. They could have given us a model for peace and co-existence. Instead they have undermined any possibility that trust could exist if Israel were to unilaterally leave Judea and Samaria.

      “peace deal details”
      Uh, let’s see: eastern Jerusalem would become East Jerusalem and capital of a new Palestinian state; reparations in the tens of billions to the Palestinians; limited return of original Palestinian refugees based on absorption percentages of other countries; 96% of Judea and Samaria, including complete contiguity; one deal with 1:1 land exchange for missing 4%; one deal with less; both deals with tunnel or some other connection between Gaza and Judea and Samaria; 100% of Gaza; Airport; Port; one deal with shared sovereignty over holy sites and division of Old City so Jewish Quarter and half Armenian Quarter are in Israeli hands, the rest in Palestinian control; other deal where Holy Basin has international designation and protection of 5 armies including the Saudis.
      Is this fair? You betcha. Is this maximal? No, not at all. Not even close. Maybe what was offered at Camp David was “maximal,” but Taba and Olmert offers are both extremely fair and reasonable offers. Unless, of course, you consider the negation of a Jewish state as reasonable.

      Reply to Comment
    23. directrob

      “The arc of history is long, but it bends toward justice.”

      Yes you are right but, sadly this last point might be incorrect.

      Reply to Comment
    24. @rechavia – you were so close to getting that medal!
      @maayan- you’ve been copy-pasting your version of history into virtually every talk-back on 972, not even having the decency to realize how offensive you can be to some readers when explaining to us why it was actually the Jews that were cleansed in 1948.
      can’t you just open a blog and rant there like the rest of us?

      Reply to Comment
    25. maayan

      I can’t win. I tell you it’s nonsense in 2 words, and you make fun of me. Rechavia challenges me and I take him up on his challenge and he doesn’t bother responding. Ali responds instead with remarks and when I respond to them one by one, you moan that I’m ranting and repeating myself.

      Reply to Comment
    26. maayan

      By the way, I didn’t ever say that the Jews were the only party cleansed in 1948. I also didn’t deny that Jews forced out Palestinians from villages. I believe, however, and I will continue to repeat this, that the idea that one side can begin a war of ethnic cleansing and then complain that the other side “stole” lands because they won this war (without much choice, I might add, since they literally had nowhere to run) is to misrepresent the history of this conflict. Along the same lines, the denial of the place of Jewish refugees from ARAB LANDS in this equation must also be considered but is almost entirely absent from the discussion about what happened.

      Also, I don’t copy-paste. I write from scratch every time.

      Reply to Comment
    27. lorenzo

      I fully disagree with most of the opinions expressed by Maayan, but I have to admit that, contrary to most of the people that usually share that kind of positions, he is at least polite and not offensive.

      Few points that Mayaan omitted:

      1) The comparison between Israel and “the second half of the prison” doesn’t work. In the Gaza Strip there are thousands of thousands of refugees expelled from Al Jura, Naj (today or haner, sderot, ashkelon)…ect…and not from Banha or Ismailia. Moreover the legal currency in the Gaza Strip is the shekel. Moreover who register the population in the Gaza Strip is the Israeli government. Moreover who control the coast of the strip, preventing Palestinians from fishing/natural gas resourses/commerce is the Israeli navy. Moreover..

      2) The big majority of the Jews that arrived in Israel from the Arab States (by the way, I am sure that you Naemi Giladi; I am not saying that “cruel zionism” is the only and complete explanation, but it is part of it) were easily absorbed because they stole the houses of thousand of palestinians that were obliged to leave. I am sure that you know Musrara in Jerusalem. It is just an example, but it explains quite well why they were so easily absorbed and why the “madbarot” didn’t last long.

      3) it’s a bit unfair to accuse the palestinians, considering the price that they have paid (not only but expecially for Israeli responsabilities), of any possible ethnic cleansing. But what I believe is even more unfair is to claim that the Palestinian leadership was colluted with the Nazi. Ok, I know, you allude to Hajj Amin al-Husayni. I could write hours about him: he was nothing more than a British creation. So it was the charge of “Grand Muftì of Jerusalem and the region of Palestine”. So it was the “Supreme Council of the Sharia”, that gave him most of his power.

      4) “Jordan=Palestine” is an old and flawed theory. The Palestinians (that’s their name, i.e. the name that you can also read on Filasteeen, al Munadi, Al-Karmel in the 20s) were suppose to give up 56 percent of their land, being the 9/10 of the population living there in the first years of the XX century. BTW, I am sure that you that there was not even one Arab state in the League of Nations when they decided to create the Mandate that you mentioned. Jan Christian Smuts, the mastermind of that decision, was a christian zionist. Yes, exactly like Herbert Samuel, Lloyd George, Arthur Balfour, Robert Cecil, Leo Amery and the other “statesman” that took their decision on the skin of the Palestinian People.

      5) The percentage of land that, until 1948, the Jews were able to buy was the 6% of the total. Don’t forget that until mid-1850s most of the land was considered some type of state land (“emiri”, “musha'”, “waqf”) and so for this it was not fully recorded as could be expected by our (mine) Western standards.

      Palestinians have their important responsabilities, but only the day in which person like you will fully acknoledge the price that the Palestinians paid for the legitimate Jews aspirations, we will be able to “go beyond”. The attempt of +972 goes in that direction.

      Layla tov

      Reply to Comment
    28. @Maayan: I don’t mean to be offensive. I apologize.

      In this case, though, Rechavia is presenting an opinion piece about he feels concerning recent events in a country he’s a citizen of.
      There are other people that feel the same way and identify with it.
      Calling it “shtuyot” wont change how we feel about these events.
      An 80 year historical narrative also won’t change the way we feel about these events.
      Bringing up the 80 year long historic analysis will not seem relevant to people reading about a 66 year old man shot in his sleep, about physicians for human rights being interrogated, or about kids being arrested.

      Reply to Comment
    29. Samira Ben

      I say AMEN for such powerful article! May God bless you Rechavia!

      Samira from Belgium

      Reply to Comment
    30. anti-Israel

      Hi Lisa

      I’ve made worthwhile contributions to the discussion and have scrupulously avoided profanity in my posts. I’m not going to self-censor my remarks however, simply because someone belonging to a country that is daily beating innocent people to a bloody pulp feels that their overly sensitive nerves are being trampled on. If that means banning my ip address, then I guess you’ll have to do so. You seem to have no problem posting comments routinely labeling me “a scumbag” etc, so it seems there may a double standard at work. For what it’s worth, I’ve elsewhere stated that I find this group of Israelis remarkably refreshing and think that you are providing a valuable counterweight to the overwhelming majority of your countrymen, the bulk of whom belong in prison, in my view.

      Reply to Comment
    31. maayan

      Anti-Israel, you are a scumbag and deserve to be known as such. Considering that you have no problem calling Israelis Nazis, calling you a scumbag is too good for you.

      Reply to Comment
    32. Anti Israeli – So, we’re remarkably refreshing Nazis? Thanks.
      You are the epitome of the most primitive bigotry. Inshallah all your your children will marry Kahanists. I’ll pray for that tonight.

      Reply to Comment
    33. maayan

      Lorenzo,
      1.
      If the Egyptians want to permit Palestinian to move in and out of Gaza, bring in goods, et cetera, they can. If they don’t, it’s because of internal reasons, but you can’t say that Israel is the jailer when another country controls border points. If there are vestiges of Israel’s previous presence there, it may be that it is convenient for the Palestinians to keep these elements present (for example, the population registry ensures the PA passes sufficient funds to Gaza). However, to suggest that Israel is a jailer because of these is also false. Likewise with the blockade. Every country can determine what goods come in through its territory into any other territory, and Israel recognizes that it’s at war with Gaza and places restrictions on both goods and possible war materiel.
      2.
      I don’t disagree with you that thousands of Jewish refugees from Arab lands were absorbed into old Arab houses and properties. That is entirely correct. I recently visited Ein Karem and Ein Hod, and both represent such places, although the Jews who live there are not necessarily from Arab lands.
      However, hundreds of thousands of Jewish refugees arrived from Arab lands, not just thousands, and they arrived in large measure because of anti-Jewish activities in those countries. Read Benny Morris’ 1948.
      Israel itself explained that it was having an extremely challenging situation in absorbing these refugees at the UN where around 1950 it offered to repatriate 100,000 Palestinians. After the Arab states refused, demanding that all Palestinian refugees return, Israel withdrew the offer and explained that the situation was changing rapidly because the young state was absorbing large numbers of Jewish refugees from Arab countries. One note on the subject suggests an average of a thousand a day.
      3.
      I don’t know what you want me to say to the suggestion that it’s unfair to say the Palestinians were not involved in ethnic cleansing of Jews. They were involved in what happened in 1929 Hebron. They were involved in smaller raids on young Jewish yishuvim in the decades prior to 1948. They were involved in 1948 in the fight for eastern Jerusalem and particularly the Old City which ended with the eviction of every last Jew. There were also irregular forces involved in Gush Etzion fighting. Jordan used “irregular” forces, which meant Palestinians, to support their fighting, and the Higher Arab Council (Palestinians) participated in the meetings of the Arab states in their preparations and decisions to make war on the Jews.
      As for al Husseini, he was receiving 50,000 marks a month (a field marshall earned 25,000 marks in a year) from the Nazis. The deal they struck with him was to help them exterminate the Jews of Palestine. Here is the link and you can see the record on page 19: http://www.archives.gov/iwg/reports/hitlers-shadow.pdf.
      I suggest anybody who wants to make analogies between Nazi Germany and Israel take a little while to read that report.
      Anyway, Husseini was indeed as close to a leader as the Palestinians had at the time. He was able to put fighting forces together, was considered the de facto leader of the Palestinian Arabs by the Arab states who involved him in their planning for the 1948 war and he also dictated a great deal of what happened in Jerusalem prior to 1948. It’s not an accident that his family member, Yasser Arafat, became leader of the Palestinians.
      4.
      Regarding Jordan, I think we are not talking about the same thing, so I’ll explain myself. Of the territory known as Palestine in Ottoman days, this area was considered a southern end of the Syrian province. The area included present day Jordan, Israel, Gaza and Judea and Samaria. The League of Nations provided that the British could do what they liked to the part of Palestine east of the Jordan River. This is about 77% of Palestine and it became TransJordan, and after 1948 when the Jordanians assumed they would keep the area they named “West Bank,” it became Jordan.
      That means that the Yishuv and the Arabs of Palestine who weren’t in Transjordan were battling over only 23% of Palestine. The Peel Commission in 1937 and UNGA resolution 181 essentially divided this land. This means that at most the Jews would have received 11-12% of Ottoman Palestine. The Arabs would have had either two entities comprising the other 88-89%, or one entity if Jordan absorbed them (not something the commission proposing 181 anticipated).
      Yes, it’s true that the Jews were offered 56% of the 23% of Palestine that hadn’t been made into Jordan, but please remember that over half of this area given to the Jews was the Negev. In other words, the Palestinians were offered much more arable land than the Jews.
      5.
      You are a little off. The Jews were actually able to buy about 7.5% of the land which constituted about 20% of the arable land available. Even if you take public lands under Ottoman rule as Palestinian, you still remain at under 50% of land-holdings in Israel. The key, however, is to understand that until the war, the Jews were legally purchasing land to build their state. The sellers were often Palestinian families. If the buying stopped in 1948, it wasn’t because this was “stolen land” but because an existential war had been fought and won, with the Jews having lost over 1% of their population.
      6.
      You write: “Palestinians have their important responsibilities, but only the day in which person like you will fully acknowledge the price that the Palestinians paid for the legitimate Jews aspirations, we will be able to “go beyond”.”
      I’m not sure what you mean.
      I’m not sure what you mean by a person “like you.”
      Do you want me to acknowledge that there was a great deal of Palestinian suffering? Of course there was. I know that when I speak of broad historical strokes, there are real people and families involved, some of whom had nothing to do with the fighting or violence but who suffered the loss of their homes and communities. It saddens me greatly.
      Other than Jordan, other Arab countries were reluctant to absorb Palestinians into their society which means that in some cases, even 3rd generation is still considered “Palestinian” even if they were born in Lebanon. This is tragic and makes me understand both Palestinian frustration and anger. These things are absolutely true and the pain the Palestinian nation is real.

      If, however, you mean that I should “accept responsibility” for what happened to many Palestinians because I am Israeli or support Israel, then I beg to differ. There was a war of existence here and it was launched against the Jewish side which had expressed a willingness to compromise over land and even establish an entity that would have had 40% of its population as Arab Palestinians. The initial part of the war, in 1947, showed great Palestinian Arab successes and when the Arab states joined the fighting in 1948, Israel again suffered great losses. That it was able to turn things around meant victory, but also meant great cost in lives. And then the state was built with many Jewish refugees, a large proportion of whom came from the countries that had launched war against Israel.
      I don’t see room for taking responsibility there. I can sympathize, offer peace and a Palestinian state and seek to help this young Palestinian state get on its feet. However, accepting the accusation that Israel “stole lands” or created this situation are ideas that I have to reject because they do not represent the truth.

      Reply to Comment
    34. sinjim

      To Ami and Lisa

      I understand that you’re offended by “anti-Israel” for what s/he has said. But I must say that I don’t understand why you are threatening to ban him for saying something that s/he can never achieve, while allowing the justification of past and ongoing Palestinian dispossession and death by “Maayan.”

      What “Maayan” supports is actually happening. If you’re going to allow him/her to spew filth, you must allow “anti-Israel’s” filth as well. If you are offended by “anti-Israel” saying Israelis are monsters who should be put in jail, surely you can understand what it’s like reading someone justify over and over again the suffering and loss of my grandparents and so many of my relatives.

      Reply to Comment
    35. maayan

      Interesting comment, Sinjim. I hope Ami and Lisa are able to explain the difference.

      Reply to Comment
    36. Sure Maayan, I can explain the difference. Anti Israel is bigot. And Maayan is too, though he/she won’t admit it. The difference: Maayan is fairly articulate and polite. with feet fairly firm on the ground. Anti Israel doesn’t know what planet he’s on.

      Reply to Comment
    37. maayan

      An articulate, polite bigot?

      I’m not a bigot.

      I’ll tell you what, Ami. Show me where in the writings I’ve put on your site I have shown bigotry. Make your case and I will stop posting here permanently (that way, those of your friends who seem intent on ensuring that actual history be forgotten can have their way and you can come off looking like “good” Israelis).

      Reply to Comment
    38. Make my case? What, do I work for you? You actually think I’m going to do archive work now? For you??!! Hilarious…
      I could care less if you stop commenting here or not. Say whatever you want, comment on any post. It’s a free blogosphere. Which is why I’m stickin’ to my earlier comment.

      Reply to Comment
    39. maayan

      Translation of Ami’s comments: You, Maayan, are a bigot because you disagree with my views. I can’t prove you’re a bigot but if I call you a bigot, then others will dismiss what you write out of hand.

      Hey, I like this approach. Let’s try it.

      Ami, you’re an antisemitic murderer of peace.

      Reply to Comment
    40. Yeah yeah, I’m a self hating Jew, ant-semite blah blah blah.
      Boring…
      Jeez, I hope “translation” isn’t your day job.
      I knew it was just a matter of time till you showed your true colors Maayan. Glad I got it out for all to see. Have a good one 😉

      Reply to Comment
    41. maayan

      You call me a bigot, can’t back it up in any way and when I show you what it feels like, you get offended?

      Ami, I don’t think you’re an antisemite. I merely wanted to prove my point. Point proven. Killer of peace? That’s a different issue.

      Reply to Comment
    42. Sinjim and Anti-Israeli: we do not negotiate comment policy with our readers. We set it, and you can choose to abide by our rules or not. If you choose not to, then we’ll ban you. That’s it. We have made it clear that we find certain language offensive. You both seem like intelligent people, so I am sure you understand me.

      Reply to Comment
    43. Ha! Offended? Who said I was offended? As if bigots like you even tingle my little pinky.
      You actually think you duped me? La-la land comes to mind.
      Keep digging that hole, Maayan… it’s such a wonderful sight. With each comment it just gets better and better for me. Best show in town, honestly 🙂

      Reply to Comment
    44. @Maayan: in that long history, you forgot to mention the part where Irwin Moskowitz buys out East Jerusalem, saves the Jews and is awarded 3 stones from the Kotel in recognition.

      Reply to Comment
    45. maayan

      Ami, I haven’t dug any hole for myself and you accused somebody of bigotry without an ounce of proof. That you’re proud of this surprises me.

      Tahel/Ilan (I don’t know which is your first name), Irwin Moskowitz can’t buy out eastern Jerusalem and even if he buys some building here or there, there have now been two peace offers which would have ensured Palestinian control over the Arab parts of Jerusalem.

      Reply to Comment
    46. Yes, I’m actually quite proud I don’t have to go comment searching for you, Maayan. Glad you’re surprised – I aim to please. 🙂

      Reply to Comment
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