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Criticising Israel? A controversy between two readers of Pajamasmedia.

1. Raj

Criticism of a nation does not automatically mean hatred of its people. Israel as a nation may desire to annex the West Bank and Gaza but if they do they would as a “democracy” have to allow the people there a right to vote which they do not want to do in fear that they would their national character as a jewish state. So this policy of invasive settlements without annexation is simply an effort to discourage the resident population from remaining there. The continuation of this idiotic policy has made not only the region unstable but created a threat to other parts of the world. Anti semitism like any form of racism is abhorrent; Israel was created out of the roots of racism against jews in Europe and elsewhere. This history makes many confuse criticism of a Israeli policies (which often are made with the intention that Israel can improve itself) with anti-semitism. Of course there are others who hide their racism under the banner of anti-zionism – but not all critics are racists.

July 24, 2010 - 3:09 am   Link to this Comment | Reply

2. Menachem Ben Yakov

Raj, your post contains so many distortions of fact I hardly know where to begin.

The history of the Jews and Israel neither began nor ended with the destruction of European Jewry. In fact there are Jewish communities in Israel that have lived on the land continuously for more than 2000 years. And the graves of our ancestors still are Holy places of worship to us and have been continuously for almost 4000 years. In fact the Jewish Tomb of the Patriarchs in Hebron is the oldest public building in continuous use in the entire world. I will speak more of this in a few moments.

From 1400 to 1900 CE the Turks ruled but did not live in what was commonly called territorial Palestine. The Muslim Palestinians ( yes there are Jewish and Christian Palestinians too ) currently control 80% of the territory of Palestine. On that 80% they have three operating governments. One in Jordan, one in the West Bank and one in Gaza.

Despite the fact that Jews have lived in Israel for thousands of years Muslims refuse to recognize any Jewish rights what-so -ever.

The town of Hebron is a case in point. The Jewish neighborhood in Hebron comprises only 3% of the town. In that neighborhood 800 Jews live surrounded by 30,000 Muslims. Hebron and its religious sites have been holy to Jews for 2700 years before Mohammed was even born. Yet the Muslims wish to deny Jewish rights to worship in Hebron. The Israeli army is not called in to harass the muslim population. It is there to prevent a repeat of the the 1929 massacre when the muslims rioted and murdered Jewish men, women and children.

It is time for people to look at the history of Palestine and ask themselves the following- Why do the Palestinians require more than the 80% of Palestine they already control? Why do the Palestinians refuse to recognize Jewish rights to areas that were Jewish before Mohammed was born? Why are the Palestinians so interested in building on top of Christian and Jewish Holy sites? Why have the Palestinians driven the Christian community from Bethlehem? Why do the Palestinians indoctrinate their children to hate rather than live in peace?

As far as muslims living in Israel there is an answer for that as well. There is a realistic solution-

The world community believes in violent population transfer.

Helen Thomas and Hamas both want the Jews out of the Middle East.
Thomas wants the Jews transferred to Poland.
Hamas wants Jews transferred to the middle of the ocean where there there is no tree to hide a Jew if he is chased by murderers.
They are proponents of violent transfer.

Thomas , with her , ” Get the hell out! ” and Hamas with their baby killing.
Different, to be sure, but the intent, identical.
That is true ethnic cleansing .

On the other hand non violent population transfer has been done before.
I am a proponent of non-violent population transfer.

In fact the very first High Commissioner for Refugees of the League of Nations, Fridtjof Nansen , received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1922 for ending a war that seemed intractable by using non violent population transfer..

” In 1919, he ( Nansen ) became president of the Norwegian Union for the League of Nations and at the Peace Conference in Paris was an influential lobbyist for the adoption of the League Covenant and for recognition of the rights of small nations. From 1920 until his death he was a delegate to the League from Norway.? ? In June, 1921, the Council of the League appointed Nansen its first High Commissioner for Refugees. Stateless refugees recieved a ” Nansen Passport ” , a document of identification which was eventually recognized by fifty-two governments. In the nine-year life of this Office, Nansen ministered to hundreds of thousands of refugees – Russian,Turkish, Armenian, Assyrian, Assyro-Chaldean – utilizing the methods that were to become classic: custodial care, repatriation, rehabilitation, resettlement, emigration, integration.? ? In 1922 at the request of the Greek government and with the approval of the League of Nations, Nansen tried to solve the problem of the Greek refugees who poured into their native land from their homes in Asia Minor after the Greek army had been defeated by the Turks. Nansen arranged an exchange of about 1,250,000 Greeks living on Turkish soil for about 500,000 Turks living in Greece, with appropriate indemnification and provisions for giving them the opportunity for a new start in life.” Nobel Prize Website

IN 1922 FRIDTJOF NANSEN WAS AWARDED THE NOBEL PEACE PRIZE .

” We all know from the history books of the exchange of Turks and Greeks, which took place after World War I when, after the war ended, there was a further war between Greece and Turkey, at the end of which, the Greek and Turkish governments agreed on an exchange of populations. And as it appears in the history books, the Greek minority in Turkey was sent to Greece; the Turkish minority in Greece was sent to Turkey. That’s what it says in the history books. But if you look at the treaty in which this agreement was incorporated, it says something different. The parties to be exchanged are defined as Turkish subjects of the Greek Orthodox faith and Greek subjects of the Muslim faith. And if you look more closely at who the people actually were, they were, to a very large extent, Turkish-speaking Orthodox Christians from Turkey and Greek-speaking Muslims from Greece. This was not an exchange of two ethnic minorities. It was a deportation of two religious minorities. ”
Prof. Bernard Lewis, April. 27, 2006 interview, Pew Forum

Ninety-nine and one-half percent of the middle east is muslim. There are enormous swathes of empty land throughout the Arab world. A fraction of the money spent on war would build one thousand Beverly Hills’ for refugees who wanted to move.

There are people all over the world looking for better homes and opportunities. Are the Palestinians all of the same mind? No single Palestinian wants a new villa, a new school for his children, and the money to start a bakery?
There is plenty of money for flagship properties in London. Boutique hotels for the privileged instead of cities for the Palestinians? Why?

What if some Palestinians wish to remain where they are in Israel? They can. Their reason would be their business. No need to justify or argue. You want to stay? Stay

Where people wish to remain they should be able to do so as citizens of Jordan, which already controls seventy-seven percent of territorial Palestine. If Jordan wishes to change its name to Palestine, as the late King Hussein Ibn Talal suggested, that is its right. In any case as long as Israeli laws are not broken there is no reason for Palestinians to move. If, on the other hand, they wish to live in an islamic country under sharia law they are only a twenty mile bus ride from Amman.

Perhaps there are other countries that would allow applications for citizenship. I don’t know.

Muslims all over the world are on the move. Only the Palestinians stay put?
Hamas wants the Palestinians in Gaza to stay put. They are its hostage.

That is why true humanitarian relief for Gaza would be getting the people out, not the concrete in.
When Jordan, which occupies 77% of Palestine, is asked to accept its historical obligations, there will be a real opportunity for peace in the region.

I could go on Raj but I hope my comments opened your eyes. MBY

  • Nimer Haddad: The war of 1948 had catastrophic consequences for nearly 800,000 Palestinians who were driven out of their homes to become refugees. Among them were more than 50,000 Christian Palestinians. Thus, about 35% of all Christian Palestinians living in Palestine lost all their possessions, their lands and homes. About half of them fled to Lebanon. The other half settled on the West Bank and in Jordan. Psychological warfare as well as force was used  to drive out the natives, Christians and Moslems. Our family crossed the borders on foot and reached the Lebanese Village of Alma Alshaab in two hours. My parents took only two suitcases with them and stayed as guests at a relative’s house, Reverend Bulos Haddad. They assumed, like most Palestinian refugees, that fighting would soon be over and they would be allowed to return to their homes.(Olivesforhope, 8.1.2011).