Guardian

Wakey, Wakey Seth!


In his CiF piece of January 20th Seth Freedman bemoans yet again what he terms ‘occupation tourism’ and specifically that of the International Solidarity Movement. The latter seemed none too pleased by Freedman’s article and posted the following rebuttal on CiF.

ISMLondonUK

21 Jan 2010, 12:36PM

“In Palestine, solidarity not tourism”

Rebuttal statement on behalf of ISM London

By Pete Jones

As volunteers with the International Solidarity Movement, London we were disappointed to read Seth Freedman?s highly misleading description of the non-violent protests by the Palestinians of Bil?in, and the ISM’s support for them (“Palestine’s occupation tourism”, Comment is Free, 20th January).

Blaming the victim, Freedman bizarrely berates Palestinian participants in the unarmed weekly protests against the Israel occupation army for ?aggression?. This reverses reality. It is the Israeli army that invades the village at night, the Israeli army and settlers that are occupying over 50% of the village’s land. Israel is the aggressor.

As someone who lived in Bil?in for almost two months and participated in a number of demonstrations, I witnessed the leaders of the Popular Committee regularly calling for stones not to be thrown during demonstrations. These calls are made both during the march if the youth (shabab in Arabic) are seen preparing to throw a stone, and in announcements during the week. There is plenty of video footage of Bil?in demonstration organisers asking shabab not to throw stones.

The ability of the leaders of the Popular Committee to make such calls may have been diminished recently — considering the fact that two of them, Abdullah Abu Rahmeh and Adeeb Abu Rahmeh were kidnapped by the Israeli army and are still being held prisoner, and a third, Mohammed Katib has been banned, by Israel, from the village during demonstrations.

It is true that these efforts are not always successful and some hot-headed youth end up throwing stones at the soldiers after the main demonstration, usually after they have been attacked with rubber-coated bullets and tear gas (which sometimes result in death, such as in the case of the late Basem Abu Rahmeh, a peaceful Palestinian protestor murdered by an Israeli soldier in April of last year). Freedman does not live in Bil?in and does not have to live with the regular night-time raids of the Israeli army, in which teenagers as young as 13 are seized, and therefore has no right to dictate the method of resistance to the Palestinians.

Israeli occupation forces have even gone to the extent of infiltrating stone-throwing “mistarvim” (Israeli forces disguised as Arabs) into the protest (see “Gandhi Redux” in Haaretz, 6th September 2005).

Freedman’s claim that ISMers are ?occupation tourists? is also false. In fact the ISM has had an ongoing presence in Bil?in since the villagers’ struggle began in 2005. It is telling when Freedman claims that “activists and NGO workers who have been operating in the region for years can be relied upon to update the watching world on the state of play in the village [without the need for ISMers]” and yet does not name a single one of these mysterious NGOs or activist organisations. The reality is that the ISM has an ongoing and long-term presence in the village. Volunteers often live in an apartment, many staying for months and forging long-term friendships with the people of Bil?in.

ISM volunteers are obliged to attend an intensive training course before they are permitted to work with the organisation. This training ensures ISM activists know the principles which guide the organisation?s work: non-violent action only, Palestinian-led action only and group action only. Freedman seems to scoff at the idea that ISM?s work should be Palestinian-led.

No ISM activist has the authority to tell a Palestinian how to run their resistance. We are not in Palestine to teach non-violence — in fact the Palestinians’ own long tradition of non-violent resistance has a lot to teach us all, from the protests and strikes against the British occupation in the 1930s onwards.

Freedman’s description of this central principle as an attempt to “absolve” ourselves “of any responsibility for the aggression emanating from the Palestinian side” is a typically orientalist attitude based on the false assumption that we westerners know what’s best for the Palestinians and should lead them.

On the contrary we in ISM view our role as witnessing the occupation so that we can raise awareness in our home countries while at the same time making the environment a little safer in Palestine. As a former Israeli solider, Freedman might know that the Israeli army has different rules of engagement at Palestinian protests when internationals or Israelis are involved in them. Live ammunition is not supposed to be used when they are present, but is allowed when Palestinians are alone.

Freedman has written some excellent CiF articles about the Israeli occupation of Palestine in the past, but shifting away from a colonialist point of view is often a long and difficult process. We wish him a speedy progression.

Oh dear; not pleasant. Not very historically accurate either on the subject of ‘the Palestinians’ own long tradition of ‘non-violent resistance’ . Mind you, they’re pretty busy bees down at ISM London, so accuracy will obviously be doomed to taking a back seat. Keep the last sentence of that rebuttal in mind – we’ll come back to that rather condescending and patronising statement later.

Freedman’s article produced some interesting comments below the line. There were those who simultaneously played down violence on the part of the ISM, whilst exaggerating IDF reactions, provoking some of Freedman’s famous ‘fire fighter’ tactics.

IllegalCombatAnt

20 Jan 2010, 10:59AM

Let?s hope those tourists give a wide berth to any Israeli army bulldozers in the vicinity ? a smart move as Rachel Corrie will confirm (that is, if she hadn?t callously been crushed to death by one)

Sorcey

20 Jan 2010, 10:34AM

Despite billing the march as “nonviolent resistance”, the organisers do nothing to ensure the event lives up to such criteria, and by taking no action hand to the army on a plate the perfect excuse to fight fire with fire.

Since when does the IDF need an excuse to fire on unarmed demonstrators? Do you think that, in the absence of stone throwing, the IDF wouldn’t start lobbing tear gas the moment they saw the protest march approach?

To pretend the IDF don’t have orders to disperse non-violent protesters as violently as they do stone-throwing ones is to pretend that the IDF isn’t there to entrench and expand the occupation. And that does a great disservice to the IDF’s code of conduct and ethics – they will fire on anyone Palestinian, at any time, for any reason. No matter how small, innocent, or otherwise undeserving…

sethfreedman

20 Jan 2010, 10:53AM

Contributor

sorcey – “they will fire on anyone… at any time, for any reason. No matter how small, innocent, or otherwise undeserving…”

pathetic comment. think you’re getting the idf confused with suicide bombers.

Freedman also reacted to suggestions that ISM violence is somehow justified.

FalseConsciousness

20 Jan 2010, 10:25AM

Groups such as International Solidarity Movementattempt to absolve themselves of any responsibility for the aggression emanating from the Palestinian side, declaring that since the resistance is “Palestinian-led”, they are not going to tell the locals what they can and can’t do in the name of fighting the occupation.

Considering that ISM has had many of its members murdered and seriously injured by IDF thugs, I doubt they’re likely to make a big deal out of some rocks thrown at the tanks of a brutal occupying force. You can’t seriously expect total nonviolence,Seth. There will always be a few people who can’t control their justifiable rage.

boblondon

20 Jan 2010, 11:06AM

Plus, is throwing rocks at an occupation army really so bad? If I were Palestinian, having a foreign army telling me what to do as they steal my land, throwing rocks would probably be the least I would do!

[recreated from sethfreedman 20 Jan 11.16 am post]

sethfreedman

20 Jan 2010, 11:16AM

Contributor

boblondon – “Plus, is throwing rocks at an occupation army really so bad? If I were Palestinian, having a foreign army telling me what to do as they steal my land, throwing rocks would probably be the least I would do!”

true colours shining through bright as day. another wannabe warrior straight out of ism special forces.

as for the futility of throwing rocks at heavily armed soldiers, i’ve written about the issue here – for all that ism/etc think they’re helping the palestinians by encouraging the violence or saying nothing in opposition to it, they’re doing the exact opposite

finally, the quotes below may be of interest to anyone wondering what ism/psc are all about (the ‘now not an option’ line being of particular interest)

http://www.leedspsc.org.uk/?page_id=22

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Do we condemn the suicide bombers?

Yes, we condemn ALL violence on all sides, but PSC seeks to understand causes and means of prevention. For example, Palestinians do not have the sophisticated weaponry of the occupying forces. Suicide bombing is their only weapon, it is a last resort of a desperate people who see no alternative way of defending their homeland. Extreme injustice breeds extreme responses.

2. Does PSC recognise the State of Israel?

Yes we recognize A State of Israel with the borders that existed before the 1967 six day war. The continuous extension of those borders by war and occupation have been condemned by numerous UN Security council resolutions (beginning with number 242 in November 1967). Individuals can comment on the right or otherwise of the land grab which created the state of Israel in the first place and its biblical justification, but we must emphasize that PSC, like Arafat, accepts the inevitable presence of the Israelis and that pushing them all in to the Mediterranean is now not an option.

In fact, Freedman seemed altogether unimpressed by ‘boblondon’ the apparent ISM volunteer:

sethfreedman

20 Jan 2010, 12:11PM

Contributor

boblondon – “And it certainly isnt my place as an outsider to critice the tactics of those living under occupation”

and then:

“That would be different, as they would have no right to do that, either morally or under international law”

your second comment seems to contradict your first. what gives you the right to criticise some tactics and not others? the great bible of international law? your own sense of right and wrong? or what?

boblondon – “Im a bit unsure about how you would go about stopping a gunman in the first place though”

well, you and the other ism sas try and stop idf soldiers firing at palestinian protesters by providing an international presence alongside the palestinians, don’t you? so would you go and stand alongside an israeli civilian to try to prevent a palestinian gunman shooting at them?

sethfreedman

20 Jan 2010, 12:47PM

Contributor

boblondon – “As for stopping it, aside from the sheer ridiculousness of the logistics involved in International supporters of Palestine taking up posts everwhere in Israel in the (these days) unlikely event of an attack by a Palestinian gunmen, Israeli receives plenty of International solidarity, you yourself only came to the region as a international volunteer with the Israeli army. Why should pro-palestine activists spend their time doing solidarity work with Israelis when there is far too much to do in palestine already?”

great obfuscation – yes or no would have done nicely though. not that i really expected you to be so candid – similar happened last time i posed an ismer that kind of question:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2008/mar/26/afourletterword

In among, we saw the usual type of CiF comments, ranging from the ever-popular ‘Giyus’ conspiracy theories to Nazi analogy.

joem

20 Jan 2010, 10:30AM

And almost as soon as the blog appears – 5 pro-Israeli comments agreeing with it with high recommendations. Israeli Internet Defense Force (IIDF) at work?

You need to make it a bit less obvious lads (or is there just one of you?)

Ercla

20 Jan 2010, 10:48AM

I like the way everytime there’s an article against the illigal occupation of Palestine CIF becomes submerged by comments of pro-israelis.

On top of it all, every article that may bring some criticism to Israel is often only commentable for 24h.

? Comments on this article will remain open for 24 hours from the time of publication but may be closed overnight

Go figure.

TwoSwords

20 Jan 2010, 5:51PM

GarryG

Spoken like a true Nazi.

Racial property rights uber alles eh?

The land “belongs” to your “race” doesn’t it.

Blood and soil eh?

Fiver says this post gets removed.

Fortunately, it was.

What I can’t work out is why Freedman seems to be surprised by this form of ‘tourism’ and why he cannot apparently see it for what it actually is; radical chic political activism at its worst. The ISM was founded in 2001 by Ghassan Andoni, Neta Golan, Huwaida Arraf, George Rishmawi and Adam Shapiro. With close links to the PFLP of George Habash, this is no ‘peace movement’, as repeated statements by its leaders and its founding charter testify. The ISM is heavily involved in the ‘Free Gaza’ movement and in 2007 three of its British activists were caught uprooting thousands of dollars worth of vines in Dolev.

Ghassan Andoni was also a co-founder in 1984 of the Alternative Information Centre, together with Michael Warschawski, former leader of ‘Matzpen’, aka The Anti-Zionist Revolutionary Communist League, who was jailed in the 1990s for publishing a PFLP pamphlet. The AIC, posing as an NGO and funded by several European bodies including Christian Aid and the Irish government, has a virulently anti-Israeli agenda including activism in the BDS movement. Warschawski is quoted as saying “one has to unequivocally reject the very idea (and existence) of a Jewish state, whatever will be its borders.” (The Haifa Conference for the Right of Return, June 2008). Readers will not be surprised by the fact that occasional CiF contributor Neve Gordon is among the AIC’s stable of writers.

The same Ghassan Andoni, together with fellow ISM founder George Rishmawi, also founded The Alternative Tourism Group in 1995. Many ISM volunteers use this company’s services to get to Israel and as one can discern from its web site, this is no ordinary tour company. It will come as no surprise either that the BBC has used its services.

The political gains of such tourist programmes, which have clearly tapped into the current fashion in the West for holiday destinations guaranteed to impress one’s ethically-minded ‘progressive’ friends, are not lost upon the organisers of such projects. Although later denied by the ATG, among those who claimed to have used its services were the bombers of Mike’s Place in Tel Aviv who also met with ISM activists and attended a memorial for Rachel Corrie in Gaza just days before their murderous attack.

Freedman bemoans the frivolity of these ‘occupation tourists’ and states that they should undergo ‘full and proper preparatory training beforehand’. Judging from the experiences of one man who did just that, he would be better advised to wake up and smell the coffee as regards the true nature of the ISM and its affiliates. The very fact that they claim to have refused his application for membership on the grounds that he served in the IDF should tell him all he needs to know about them, their aims and their ideology. An organisation formed by a cocktail of Trotskyite die-hards mixed with sympathisers of a Marxist/Leninist terrorist group with a one-state agenda is not going to further peace of any description in the Middle East, but its ‘as far on the radical Left as it is possible to be’ ideology certainly explains that rather nasty jibe above.

“Freedman has written some excellent CiF articles about the Israeli occupation of Palestine in the past, but shifting away from a colonialist point of view is often a long and difficult process. We wish him a speedy progression. “

79 replies »

  1. @Kev

    “As for the previous posts regarding Lehi collaboration with the Nazis and further posts about the PFLP.”

    What! – not even referred to by my moniker….I feel so…. undermenchen.

    “One must distinguish between a tactical relationship with reactionaries and a strategic alliance with reactionaries based on political solidarity and identity of aims and ideas.”

    “Must”?? One “might” consider the distinction you allege for all kinds of reasons – You indulge in whataboutery (I’ve never acted as an apologist for the Stern gang) but more telling is that you try to forge such a distinction in regard to the PFLP because you seek to minimise the ideological linkage between the nazi and Arab terror groups, be them Marxist Pan-Arabists or Islamist.

    “Precislely, the Lehi sought a strategic alliance with the Nazis on the basis of the latter (“the establishment of the historic Jewish state on a national and totalitarian basis, bound by a treaty with the German Reich”); the PFLP entered into a tactical relationship with Genoud on the basis of the former (they bought arms from him).”

    Arms is not all that Genoud provided for the PFLP – Genoud, Goebbels executer, no less – acted as their negotiator during the Lufthansa hijacking, then sourced and bank-rolled the legal defence for the captured PFLP terrorists, just as he had for Eichmann and Barbie. Genoud was the banker for the Third Reich, after the war he was ODESSA’s bag-man. Now, the period in which he acted for the PFLP was not in, nor in the lead up to, or even just after the second World War – the Lufthansa hijacking, for instance, was in 1973! Seems to me, for Genoud and his co-travellers, in this case, the PFLP, WW II was certainly not over for the Jews, be them Israeli or, as you say, : “citizens of the states to which they belong, ” going about their business beit boarding an aircraft or taking a cruise. A “tactical relationship” – Purely business ?? Their business being international terrorism and the murder of Jews.
    Ironically, though it will be lost on you, you expose how warped you are, how brittle is your own propaganda – i.e. The PFLP did not separate the “Zionists” from the rest of the passengers on board Lufthansa, they separated the Jews.
    ____________

    To the rest of you, Shabbat Shalom.

  2. Hi David,

    thanks for replying.

    ‘I can’t see how you are clarifying your ideas here at all.’

    Et tu quoque.

    ‘I asked if you meant that “Palestinian nationalism in toto is “Muslim or Christian” *because* it is not “Jewish”?” You have denied this but not elaborated on what you *do* mean. Let me ask then: If Palestinian nationalism is not “Muslim or Christian” in toto because it is not-Jewish in what way *is* it “Muslim or Christian” in toto?’

    What do you mean by ‘in toto’? Did I say, ‘in toto’?

    ‘You write that secular Palestinian nationalism is “Usually Islamic or Muslim and Christian informed or shaped.” Again, no explanation of what you mean. Presumably in lieu of an explanation you cite the PLO charter which you claim is “both Arab and Islamic nationalist in part” Arab nationalist certainly but where is the “Islamic nationalist” content, i.e. some claim that Palestine belongs to the umma for example. Islam, or Muslims, are not mentioned even once, as a religious or as a national grouping. Religion in general is mentioned only twice: “Article 16: The liberation of Palestine, from a spiritual point of view, will provide the Holy Land with an atmosphere of safety and tranquility, which in turn will safeguard the country’s religious sanctuaries and guarantee freedom of worship and of visit to all, without discrimination of race, color, language, or religion. Accordingly, the people of Palestine look to all spiritual forces in the world for support.” and “Article 20: The Balfour Declaration, the Mandate for Palestine, and everything that has been based upon them, are deemed null and void. Claims of historical or religious ties of Jews with Palestine are incompatible with the facts of history and the true conception of what constitutes statehood. Judaism, being a religion, is not an independent nationality. Nor do Jews constitute a single nation with an identity of its own; they are citizens of the states to which they belong.” I cannot find any Islamic content at all, nevermind any Islamic *nationalist* content such as you claim; if I have missed something of substance please feel free to point it out.’

    Easy: only Christians and Muslims are considered Arab, even as Arab nationalism was an Arab Christian and Muslim invention.

    But, then, the first Palestinian or Palestinian Arab national or nationalist institutions were the Muslim-Christian Associations, even as the first Palestinian national/nationalist writers were Palestinian Arab Christians and Muslims.

    ‘These aside, you claim that secular Palestinian nationalism “is historically discriminatory against Jewish national claims” Yes, I have stated that above: “most Palestinian nationalism is anti-Jewish *nationalism*” As I have pointed out, however, this is by no means the same as being anti-Jewish per se you assert that it is without explanation (again).’

    It is discriminatory against Jews as a people, including a religious people. It wanted to keep Jews to a tiny minority in the land. It turns out it routinely denies any Jewish temple stood on the Haram, for one thing. But, then, Palestinian Muslims and Christians historically routinely abused and discriminated against Palestinian religious Jews. The first target of Palestinian Muslim nationalists from the 1920s were religious Jews. The rebels from 1936 did not distinguish either. Nor did Palestinian and other Arab Muslim nationalists from 1947.

    The PLO would only allow Jews resident before 1917 to abide in the land.

    The charter classifies Palestinians as ‘Arab nationals’, and only considers Jews resident ‘before the Zionist invasion’, usually interpreted as 1917, as ‘Palestinian’.

    Throughout the charter, it is clear that the Palestinian nation = the Palestinian Arab nation, which doesn’t include Jews, even Palestinian Jews.

    ‘Jewish nationalism is a political position that can be opposed for any number of reasons only *one* of which is anti-semitism. The one is by no means proof or even indication of the other.’

    It can be, though.

    ‘To say otherwise is ludicrous if only, but not exclusively, for the simple reason that Jewish nationalism has been a minority position *amongst Jews* throughout history.’

    It depends what you mean. They certainly regarded themselves as people dispossessed of temple, city and land, and in exile. But, then, so did Palestinian Muslims and Christians, historically.

    ‘You further collapse Hebrew nationalism into the category of Jewish nationalism. This is illegitimate.’

    I disagree. I think it is a species of cultural Jewish nationalism.

    ‘The shared premise of *all* Jewish nationalism is that the Jews *as a whole* constitute a nation. The central contention of Hebrew nationalism is precisely a *denial* of this coupled with the positive claim that the Hebrews (Palestine- or Israel-born) Jews, constitute an independent nation: “Anyone who is not a son of this land, the land of the Hebrews, cannot be a Hebrew, is not a Hebrew and never was a Hebrew.
    Anyone who comes from the diaspora is a Jew, not a Hebrew, and can be nothing but a Jew. Good or bad, proud or humble, but a Jew.
    The Jew and the Hebrew can never be identical. He who is a Hebrew cannot be a Jew and he who is a Jew cannot be a Hebrew.” Consequently, after defining *the Hebrews* as a genuine national entity it ascribes to the Jews as a whole a religious, non-national, identity: “A son of a nation cannot belong to a religious community which considers that nation to be a religious community.” (First Canaanite Manifesto) What kind of Jewish nationalism is this! No, there is no such thing as a Jewish nationalism that denies the existence of the Jews as a nation; Hebrew nationalism is radically *opposed* to Jewish nationalism; they are entirely *contradictory*.’

    But Hebrew is still a Jewish cultural artifact, and Hebrew nationalism is ergo a form of cultural Jewish nationalism. The chief ethnic marker of Arab nationality is, I think, Arabic.

    ‘By way of denying my claim that Islamic nationalism and Jewish nationalism are both absurd because they are both the “nationalism” of non-national entities (world Muslims and world Jewry respectively), you say “Not really. In Islamic tradition Jews are a people dispossessed of temple, city and land for their rejection of Jesus and the prophets.” Pardon, but this is no counter at all!’

    I disagree.

    ‘There is a lot of argument by assertion in your posts – and very little in the way of assertive argument!’

    I disagree.

    ‘We can broadly agree, however, on the contemporary function of Islamism in the Arab world: “Islamism is a form of imperial Islamic reaction” This is an old analysis, however. The classical account is L. Lakhdar, “Why the reversion to Islamic archaism?”. I recommend it to you.’

    Thank you.

  3. Claims of historical or religious ties of Jews with Palestine are incompatible with the facts of history’

    That’s discriminatory, for a start.

    ‘and the true conception of what constitutes statehood. Judaism, being a religion, is not an independent nationality. Nor do Jews constitute a single nation with an identity of its own; they are citizens of the states to which they belong.’

    Is also discriminatory, because it discriminates against the reality that Jews were regarded as an ethno-national group, dispossessed of temple, city and land, for most of Christian and Islamic history, and especially in European and Arab Christendom and Islam in the 19th and 20th centuries, in no small part thanks to the first Palestinian national leader, Haj Amin Al Husseini.

  4. Zkharya,

    I am using in toto in the ordinary, legal, sense. i.e. to mean “in entirety”.

    You seemed to be claiming above that even secular Palestinian nationalism is “Muslim or Christian” (in some undefined way). If that is your claim then you are saying Palestinian nationalism in toto (all of it, in religious and secular form) is “Muslim or Christian”.

    This seems an odd claim to me.

    Anyway, you claim that the PLO Charter

    “classifies Palestinians as ‘Arab nationals’, and only considers Jews resident ‘before the Zionist invasion’, usually interpreted as 1917, as ‘Palestinian’.

    Throughout the charter, it is clear that the Palestinian nation = the Palestinian Arab nation, which doesn’t include Jews, even Palestinian Jews.”

    This is not a position found in the PLO Charter. In fact, exactly the opposite is claimed. If the

    “[Pre-Balfour] Jews…will be considered Palestinians.” (Article 6)

    and

    “the Palestinian people are an integral part of the Arab nation” (Article 1)

    Then there is the compound claim arising from this:

    ‘The pre-Balfour Jews, as part of the Palestinian people, are an integral part of the Arab nation.’

    That is inescapable surely? I don’t see how one can reach a different conclusion about the text.

    I think part of the problem is that you seem to universalize pre-modern, ethnic, conceptions of nationality. Modern nationalism, modern, accepted, definitions of what or who constitutes a nation. The distinction between citizen and national is, by and large, dead. They are the same thing these days.

    You may regard that as unjust or whatever but that is not really the point.

    Re: Hebrew nationalism.

    It is, of course, not *just* a cultural movement. Originating as such it drew the *political* conclusion from the creation of a separate Hebrew culture that there is a Hebrew *nation* entirely separate from the Jews (who they define solely as a religious community).

    The distinction between Hebrew and Jew is not cultural, rooted in being Hebrew-speaking, but being born in Palestine/Israel. That is the point of rupture between Jew and Hebrew and *as such* it is the point of rupture between Hebrew and Jewish nationalism.

  5. I can only answer briefly, now, but:

    ‘‘The pre-Balfour Jews, as part of the Palestinian people, are an integral part of the Arab nation.’

    is not in the charter I read.

    pre-Balfour Jews can be Palestinian. But that’s it. All reference to the Palestinians as a nation are as an Arab nation. And the tenor of the piece is clearly Arab nationalist.

    Anyhow, you elide or evade, ‘Claims of historical or religious ties of Jews with Palestine are incompatible with the facts of history’, which is clearly alienating to the vast number of primarily orthodox or ultra-orthodox Jews which ‘pre-Balfour Jews’ would include. As well as the fact that these were the first target of Palestinian Arab Muslims nationalists (and their national leader), in the ’20s etc.

  6. ‘I am using in toto in the ordinary, legal, sense. i.e. to mean “in entirety”.
    You seemed to be claiming above that even secular Palestinian nationalism is “Muslim or Christian” (in some undefined way).’

    Largely culturarl religiously, actually, chiefly in the imperious, or imperialist overruling of Jewish ties and claims, in favour of Muslim and Christian ones.

    Also, Uri Davis had to convert to marry a Muslim woman. His Fatah had not set up a secular state, nor is there any evidence it would do so.

    ‘If that is your claim then you are saying Palestinian nationalism in toto (all of it, in religious and secular form) is “Muslim or Christian”. This seems an odd claim to me.’

    Why ‘in toto’, I do not see.

  7. ‘I think part of the problem is that you seem to universalize pre-modern, ethnic, conceptions of nationality. Modern nationalism, modern, accepted, definitions of what or who constitutes a nation. The distinction between citizen and national is, by and large, dead. They are the same thing these days.’

    Not for Palestinian nationalists, which elide Jewish claims for Muslim and Christian, and see the Palestinian nation in Arab nationalist terms.

    ‘You may regard that as unjust or whatever but that is not really the point.’

    What does this even mean?

    ‘Re: Hebrew nationalism. It is, of course, not *just* a cultural movement. Originating as such it drew the *political* conclusion from the creation of a separate Hebrew culture that there is a Hebrew *nation* entirely separate from the Jews (who they define solely as a religious community).’

    Yeah, but, as I said, Hebrew is etc.

    ‘The distinction between Hebrew and Jew is not cultural, rooted in being Hebrew-speaking, but being born in Palestine/Israel. That is the point of rupture between Jew and Hebrew and *as such* it is the point of rupture between Hebrew and Jewish nationalism.’

    But a Hebrew speaking culture is a Zionist creation.

  8. Also, there is a problem about pre-Balfour Jews as ‘Arabs’. Most did not speak Arabic, significantly, if at all, least of the religious Jews, who chiefly spoke Yiddish or Ladino (or Hebrew).

    But my charter doesn’t refer to them as Arabs at all.

  9. The distinction between citizen and national is, by and large, dead.

    Pure and utter balderdash. Dozens of countries (includng most European countries) determine citizenship by nationality (ethnicity).

  10. Reza Khan,

    Have you actually read the article you have cited?

    First paragraph:

    “Jus sanguinis (Latin: right of blood) is a social policy by which nationality or citizenship is not determined by place of birth, but by having an ancestor who is a national or citizen of the state. It contrasts with jus soli (Latin for “right of soil”).”

    “An ancestor who is a national or citizen of the state”. Nothing to do with “ethnicity” in the slightest!

    But, let us entertain the argument and look at a few of those that *do* mention “the ethnic X”. What do they mean by the “ethnic X”, what confers “ethnic X-ness”?

    The “ethnic German” is any resident or descendant of any resident of Germany in its 1937 borders. It applies to Slavs, Jews, etc.

    The “ethnic Hungarian” is he for whom “at least one of whose relatives in ascendant line was a Hungarian citizen”.

    Magyar, Slav, Turk, Persian, African or Jew the “ethnic Hungarian” or the “ethnic German” is he who is descended from *the citizen*.

    That is the same for the Greek, the Spaniard, Italian, Turk, Finn or whoever.

    For all modern, progressive, forms of nationality and citizenship, if they are not conferred jus soli, are conferred by jus sanguinis descent from, or legal relation, to *the citizen*.

    In other words, in modern jus sanguinis citizenship confers “ethnicity” and not the other way around.

    There is not a trace of all this hocus pocus of blut ergo boden.

    Try harder, please.

  11. ‘‘I am using in toto in the ordinary, legal, sense. i.e. to mean “in entirety”. You seemed to be claiming above that even secular Palestinian nationalism is “Muslim or Christian” (in some undefined way).’

    It is fairly uncontroversial that Arab nationalism was

    a) devised by Christians and Muslims

    b) was fairly infused with anti-Jewish and antisemitic prejudice

    c) while in theory, in some of its formulators, allowed for Jews to be Arab nationals, was extremely problematic about this in practise, in no small part for the reasons given.

    This is manifestly obvious in the evolution of the sub-species of Arab or Syrian nationalism, Palestinian Arab nationalism.

    A common Palestinian Arab nationalist assertion is that Jews do not respect Jesus or Muhammed, and will disrespect Christian and Muslims sites. There was a Muslim-Christian alliance or bond that did not extend to Jews in anything like the same way, for all kinds of historical and religious reasons.

    As I said, the earliest Palestinian national institutions, are the Muslim-Christian Associations.

    Also, as I said, pre-Balfour Palestinian Jews were not as a rule Arabic speakers, nor considered themselves as Arab (nor, by and large, were regarded as such).

  12. Zkharya,

    “I can only answer briefly, now, but:
    ‘‘The pre-Balfour Jews, as part of the Palestinian people, are an integral part of the Arab nation.’
    is not in the charter I read.
    pre-Balfour Jews can be Palestinian. But that’s it. All reference to the Palestinians as a nation are as an Arab nation. And the tenor of the piece is clearly Arab nationalist.”

    No, it is not in mine either. As I said it is a *compound* of the clauses contained in articles 1 and 6:

    If
    A: The Palestinian people is an integral part of the Arab nation
    And if
    B: The Pre-Balfour Jews are Palestinians
    Then
    C: The Pre-Balfour Jews are an integral part of the Arab nation

    C is the *only possible* logical conclusion from A and B when they are taken together (as they are and were and ought to be).

    The inference from this (also read together with article 20 which states that “Jews [do not] constitute a single nation with an identity of its own; they are citizens of the states to which they belong”) is that the Charter regards the pre-Balfour Jews as *both* Arabs in general *and* Palestinian citizens in particular *irrespective* of their ethnicity, religious practice or language.

    Whether this claim re Arab Jews is true or not is not the point here: the Charter *at the very least* directly implies that pre-Balfour Palestinian Jews are Arabs of the Jewish faith in exactly the same manner as Palestinian Muslims are Arabs of the Islamic faith, Palestinian Christians are Arabs of the Christian faith, etc. etc.

    I think this largely answers your point that

    “Palestinian nationalists…see the Palestinian nation in Arab nationalist terms.”

    They do – but, in the Charter at least, there is nothing that excludes Jews (or Christians or Muslims) per se from the Arab nation. This is entirely inevitable as, contrary to your claims, the Charter works with secular and non-ethic definition of Palestinian-ness and Arab-ness.

    I do agree, however, that denying “the religious ties of Jews with Palestine” would be alienating to (most but by no means all) pre-Balfour Jews; that does not, however, alter the substance of the above which is more concerned with denying the (false) national conclusions drawn by Zionists from these (real) religious ties.

    Again, re: Hebrew nationalism

    You state that
    “a Hebrew speaking culture is a Zionist creation”

    Of course. But Hebrew nationalism is seeking a break, a rupture, from that Zionist foundation. America started as an English colony after all…

  13. Zkharya,

    I agree that the question of Arab Jews is problematic (and it is not a thesis I subscribe to) but the fact that the question was elaborated *at all* coupled with the fact that is was answered *positively*, i.e. it sought to fully integrate those it regarded as Palestinian/Arab Jews into the Arab nation, shows the extent to which secular Palestinian nationalism has/had outgrown and shed its Muslim and Christian origins.

    How you think it can show the opposite is really beyond me.

    Look, I am not seeking to defend the practice or theory of secular Palestinian nationalism as presented by the Charter – all forms fail to answer the fundamental problem: even if the Jews are not a nation, the Israeli-Jews (or Hebrews, or Yeshuvites, or whatever name you want to give) *are* and their *national* as well as civil and religious rights must be recognised within any solution – but if it is to be overcome *positively* one has to engage with the propositions it *actually* makes.

  14. ‘No, it is not in mine either.’

    i.e. it doesn’t exist.

    ‘As I said it is a *compound* of the clauses contained in articles 1 and 6: If
    A: The Palestinian people is an integral part of the Arab nation And if B: The Pre-Balfour Jews are Palestinians Then C: The Pre-Balfour Jews are an integral part of the Arab nation C is the *only possible* logical conclusion from A and B when they are taken together (as they are and were and ought to be).’

    Another possible logical conclusion is that your compound doesn’t exist and is merely your interpretation.

    Pre-Balfour Jews are not defined or qualified as ‘Arab’. They are not ‘considered’ as ‘Arab’. They are not even ‘considered as Palestinians’. They merely ‘will be considered as Palestinian’.

    ‘The inference from this (also read together with article 20 which states that “Jews [do not] constitute a single nation with an identity of its own; they are citizens of the states to which they belong”) is that the Charter regards the pre-Balfour Jews as *both* Arabs in general *and* Palestinian citizens in particular *irrespective* of their ethnicity, religious practice or language.’

    No. That is your inference. In any case, denying Jews any ties, religious or historical, is de facto discriminatory and exclusive.

    ‘Whether this claim re Arab Jews is true or not is not the point here: the Charter *at the very least* directly implies that pre-Balfour Palestinian Jews are Arabs of the Jewish faith’

    Complete invention. It is nowhere in the charter.

    ‘in exactly the same manner as Palestinian Muslims are Arabs of the Islamic faith, Palestinian Christians are Arabs of the Christian faith, etc. etc.’

    None of which appear explicitly in the charter. Because ‘Arab’ here means ‘Christian’ or ‘Muslim’. Not ‘Jew’.

    ‘I think this largely answers your point that“Palestinian nationalists…see the Palestinian nation in Arab nationalist terms.” They do – but, in the Charter at least, there is nothing that excludes Jews (or Christians or Muslims) per se from the Arab nation.’

    It doesn’t include them either. Nor did it, historically.

    ‘This is entirely inevitable as, contrary to your claims, the Charter works with secular and non-ethic definition of Palestinian-ness and Arab-ness.’

    It is ethnic: it refers to Arab nationalism and nation, implying Arabic speaking Christians and Muslims, is did Arab nationalism did historically.

    Also, the charter does not consider pre-Balfour Jews as Palestinian. It says they ‘will be considered’, not that they are, or were, so considered.

    ‘I do agree, however, that denying “the religious ties of Jews with Palestine” would be alienating to (most but by no means all) pre-Balfour Jews;’

    Thank you.

    ‘that does not, however, alter the substance of the above which is more concerned with denying the (false) national conclusions drawn by Zionists from these (real) religious ties.’

    It has more to do with denying Jewish national claims in favour of Palestinian Muslim and Christian ones.

    ‘Again, re: Hebrew nationalism You state that “a Hebrew speaking culture is a Zionist creation”’ ‘Of course. But Hebrew nationalism is seeking a break, a rupture, from that Zionist foundation.’

    And from most Hebrew speaking Jews i.e. most Hebrew speakers i.e. from the community without which there would be no Hebrew speaking culture because there would be no Jewish state to establish or nurture it.

    ‘America started as an English colony after all…’

    Americans weren’t English nationalists in England, resurrecting a living Hebrew language and culture.

    ‘ I agree that the question of Arab Jews is problematic (and it is not a thesis I subscribe to) but the fact that the question was elaborated *at all* coupled with the fact that is was answered *positively*, i.e. it sought to fully integrate those it regarded as Palestinian/Arab Jews into the Arab nation, shows the extent to which secular Palestinian nationalism has/had outgrown and shed its Muslim and Christian origins.’

    No. It implicitly overrides both Jewish religious and Jewish national claims in favour of Palestinian Muslim and Christians ones.

    ‘How you think it can show the opposite is really beyond me. Look, I am not seeking to defend the practice or theory of secular Palestinian nationalism as presented by the Charter – all forms fail to answer the fundamental problem:’

    You mean it fails to live up to your ideals. No doubt.

    ‘even if the Jews are not a nation, the Israeli-Jews (or Hebrews, or Yeshuvites, or whatever name you want to give) *are* and their *national* as well as civil and religious rights must be recognised within any solution – but if it is to be overcome *positively* one has to engage with the propositions it *actually* makes.’

    Of whom are we talking now? And which propositions? Your ideal ones?

  15. Zkhraya,

    Let me express this in a brief syllogism:

    Major premise: The Palestinians are Arabs (Article 1)
    Minor premise: The pre-Balfour Jews are Palestinians (Article 6)
    Conclusion: The pre-Balfour Jews are Arabs

    There is *no* other conclusion to be drawn from the Charter. Can you really, honestly, not see this? I really fear for your logical capacities if you cannot.

    In any case, it is *precisely* this conclusion that actually did inform Fatah’s programme for a Democratic Secular State and *continues* to inform the PFLP’s programme.

    It is because they did (or do) theorise the national question in Palestine in this way that they can uphold the democratic credentials of a non-binational one-state solution. They could not do so otherwise.

    I do not agree that this conclusion is actually correct but it *is* the formulation that secular Palestinian nationalism has operated with since the Charter. That has to be accepted before we can move on to an honest critique and hope to overcome it positively.

    You state my claim that “the Charter at the very least directly implies that pre-Balfour Palestinian Jews are ‘Arabs of the Jewish faith’” is

    “a complete invention. It is nowhere in the Charter.”

    As I clearly said, it is *directly implied* by what *is* in the Charter and I have shown why above.

    You have no problem with this methodology of inferences, I know, because a great deal of what you say the Charter ‘means’, i.e.

    “‘Arab’ here means ‘Christian’ or ‘Muslim’. Not ‘Jew’.”

    are not in the Charter either are they? You continue to draw these inferences without explaining where you draw them from. No reasonable interpretation of the Charter supports that inference.

    In fact, as I have shown above – the most reasonable and logical interpretation supports the inference that the Charter regards the Palestinian Jews as Arabs (as did Fatah in the Democratic Secular State programme, etc. etc)

    You say that even if the Charter does not exclude Palestinian Jews from the Arab nation it

    “doesn’t include them either.”

    You appear to want to say that Article 6, which asserts that the pre-Balfour Jews will be considered Palestinians, does not *thereby* qualify them as Arabs *despite* the fact that Article 1 states that the Palestinian people are an integral part of the Arab nation.

    You further say that the Charter’s definition of an Arab

    “is ethnic: it refers to Arab nationalism and nation, implying Arabic speaking Christians and Muslims”

    What support do you have for this interpretation? It is certainly nor Article 1 of the Charter which is *the* claim about the particular Palestinian people and its relation to the wider Arab nation:

    “Palestine is the homeland of the Arab Palestinian people; it is an indivisible part of the Arab homeland, and the Palestinian people are an integral part of the Arab nation.”

    So, looking at the actual text, where are the qualifications you claim? True, Article 1 does not mention Palestinian Jews specifically but (and this is important because, per Article 20, the Charter considers the Jews to be a religious community) *it does not mention any other religious community either!*

    *Instead* it explicitly makes a universal claim that “the (note: singular, definitive article) Palestinian people are an integral part of the Arab nation (note: no qualification of religion, ethnicity or language)”.

    Re, re, re: Hebrew nationalism

    You state that because it is seeking a break from Hebrew nation from its Zionist foundations is is therefore seeking to break

    “from most Hebrew speaking Jews”

    On the contrary, it is trying to win them over. In that it is not different from any other political position, internationalism, Zionism, whatever. Your further claim that

    “there would be no Hebrew speaking culture because there would be no Jewish state to establish or nurture it”

    Shows precisely where your political sympathies lie and what drives all this tortuous illogical and misrepresentation. Zionism gave birth to the Hebrew nation, it is time to break the apron strings that are strangling it.

  16. ‘Let me express this in a brief syllogism: Major premise: The Palestinians are Arabs (Article 1)’

    No. Reference to Arab Palestinian people. Art. 3, Palestinian Arab people.

    ‘Minor premise: The pre-Balfour Jews are Palestinians (Article 6)’

    ‘WILL be considered Palestinians’

    ‘Conclusion: The pre-Balfour Jews are Arabs There is *no* other conclusion to be drawn from the Charter.’

    Rubbish, of course there is. Jews are not regarded as properly Arabs or part of the Arab nation.

    ‘Can you really, honestly, not see this? I really fear for your logical capacities if you cannot.’

    And I you.

    ‘In any case, it is *precisely* this conclusion that actually did inform Fatah’s programme for a Democratic Secular State and *continues* to inform the PFLP’s programme.’

    Which was profoundly culturally Islamic and Christian informed, both as to nationalism and prejudices.

    ‘It is because they did (or do) theorise the national question in Palestine in this way that they can uphold the democratic credentials of a non-binational one-state solution. They could not do so otherwise. I do not agree that this conclusion is actually correct but it *is* the formulation that secular Palestinian nationalism has operated with since the Charter. That has to be accepted before we can move on to an honest critique and hope to overcome it positively. You state my claim that “the Charter at the very least directly implies that pre-Balfour Palestinian Jews are ‘Arabs of the Jewish faith’” is “a complete invention. It is nowhere in the Charter.”

    Yes.

    ‘As I clearly said, it is *directly implied* by what *is* in the Charter and I have shown why above.’

    No it isn’t.

    ‘You have no problem with this methodology of inferences, I know, because a great deal of what you say the Charter ‘means’, i.e. “‘Arab’ here means ‘Christian’ or ‘Muslim’. Not ‘Jew’.” are not in the Charter either are they?’

    They don’t explicitly have to be. They are the invisible subjective majority, in whom the actual Palestinian Arab people consists.

    ‘You continue to draw these inferences without explaining where you draw them from. No reasonable interpretation of the Charter supports that inference.’

    Rubbish.

    ‘In fact, as I have shown above – the most reasonable and logical interpretation supports the inference that the Charter regards the Palestinian Jews as Arabs (as did Fatah in the Democratic Secular State programme, etc. etc)’

    I disagree.

    ‘You say that even if the Charter does not exclude Palestinian Jews from the Arab nation it
    “doesn’t include them either.” You appear to want to say that Article 6, which asserts that the pre-Balfour Jews will be considered Palestinians, does not *thereby* qualify them as Arabs *despite* the fact that Article 1 states that the Palestinian people are an integral part of the Arab nation.’

    The Palestinian Arab people.

    ‘You further say that the Charter’s definition of an Arab “is ethnic: it refers to Arab nationalism and nation, implying Arabic speaking Christians and Muslims” What support do you have for this interpretation?’

    The history of Arab nationalism?

    ‘It is certainly nor Article 1 of the Charter which is *the* claim about the particular Palestinian people and its relation to the wider Arab nation: “Palestine is the homeland of the Arab Palestinian people; it is an indivisible part of the Arab homeland, and the Palestinian people are an integral part of the Arab nation.”

    And only Palestinian Christians and Muslims thought themselves Arab.

    ‘So, looking at the actual text, where are the qualifications you claim? True, Article 1 does not mention Palestinian Jews specifically but (and this is important because, per Article 20, the Charter considers the Jews to be a religious community) *it does not mention any other religious community either!*’

    It doesn’t have to: they are the invisible subjective majority.

    ‘*Instead* it explicitly makes a universal claim that “the (note: singular, definitive article) Palestinian people’

    Palestinian Arab people

    ‘are an integral part of the Arab nation (note: no qualification of religion, ethnicity or language)”.

    It doesn’t have to: they are the invisible subjective majority.

    Re, re, re: Hebrew nationalism You state that because it is seeking a break from Hebrew nation from its Zionist foundations is is therefore seeking to break “from most Hebrew speaking Jews” On the contrary, it is trying to win them over.’

    And failing with no chance of success.

    ‘In that it is not different from any other political position, internationalism, Zionism, whatever.’

    Without a nation it is not a nationalism.

    ‘Your further claim that “there would be no Hebrew speaking culture because there would be no Jewish state to establish or nurture it” Shows precisely where your political sympathies lie and what drives all this tortuous illogical and misrepresentation.’

    No. It’s just true. Without a Jewish national core, no Hebrew culture would last long.

    ‘Zionism gave birth to the Hebrew nation, it is time to break the apron strings that are strangling it.’

    If there is no non-Jewish Hebrew nation, it can’t die.

  17. Also

    ‘will be considered Palestinians’

    i.e. are not Palestinians, nor will be Palestinians.

    But, will be considered. Pre-Balfour Jews will be Palestinians subjectively, not objectively.

  18. Zhkarya,

    “Without a nation it is not a nationalism”

    I’m stifling a laugh here, believe me.

    So the Israeli-Jews, an historically constituted, stable community of people, formed on the basis of a common language, territory, economic life, and psychological make-up manifested in a common culture are *not* a nation but world Jewry, having none of this, *is*?

    You cannot see the wood for the trees, my friend!!

    Whilst this exegesis has been interesting, it has proven fruitless as you are unwilling to engage with the ideas as they are actually set out by the Palestinians:

    http://www.iris.org.il/plochart.htm

    You seem to prefer to tell me, yourself and the world what they “actually” mean rather than simply reading, accepting and drawing logical inferences. I can only guess at your motives for such an attitude and marvel at your perversity of your attributing your own views to others even in the face of clear denying evidence, e.g. you say

    “Jews are not regarded as properly Arabs or part of the Arab nation.”

    Which is your opinion and you then attribute this to secular Arab nationalism despite it holding precisely the opposite opinion about Arab Jews:

    http://www.zionism-israel.com/dic/Secular_Democratic_State.htm

    Let us end this here; you truly, truly, cannot be reasoned with.

  19. “Without a nation it is not a nationalism” I’m stifling a laugh here, believe me. So the Israeli-Jews, an historically constituted, stable community of people, formed on the basis of a common language, territory, economic life, and psychological make-up manifested in a common culture’

    And the fact that Jews have been regarded as ethno-national group dispossessed of Jerusalem and the land of Israel for most of the last 2000 years.

    ‘are *not* a nation’

    Israeli Jews are a nation. But they aren’t, by and large, Hebrew non-Jewish/non-Jewish Hebrew nationalists, nor do they comprise, by and large, on their own view, a Hebrew non-Jewish/non-Jewish Hebrew nation.

    ‘but world Jewry, having none of this, *is*?’

    Who spoke of ‘world Jewry’?

    Jews have been regarded as an ethno-national group for most of Palestinian Christian and Islamic history.

    ‘You cannot see the wood for the trees, my friend!!’

    I beg to differ.

    ‘Whilst this exegesis has been interesting, it has proven fruitless as you are unwilling to engage with the ideas as they are actually set out by the Palestinians: http://www.iris.org.il/plochart.htm’

    I beg to differ, and that was exactly the source I was using.

    ‘You seem to prefer to tell me, yourself and the world what they “actually” mean rather than simply reading, accepting and drawing logical inferences.’

    But drawing inferences is precisely ‘to tell me, yourself and the world what they “actually” mean’.

    And I beg to differ.

    ‘I can only guess at your motives for such an attitude and marvel at your perversity of your attributing your own views to others even in the face of clear denying evidence, e.g. you say“Jews are not regarded as properly Arabs or part of the Arab nation.”’

    But they aren’t, in the charter. They MAY, in future, subjectively, ‘be considered as Palestinians’ (needless to say, in 1968, most Jews present in Palestine before 1917 are very old or dead). But they aren’t considered or described as part of ‘the Arab Palestinian people’, or ‘Palestinian Arab people’, never mind as ‘Arab’ or ‘Palestinian Arab’, even subjectively.

    And they aren’t described as objectively ‘Palestinian’, anywhere.

    ‘Which is your opinion’

    No, it’s what it says.

    ‘and you then attribute this to secular Arab nationalism’

    Highly culturally Christian and Islamic influenced ‘secular Arab nationalism’.

    ‘despite it holding precisely the opposite opinion about Arab Jews:
    http://www.zionism-israel.com/dic/Secular_Democratic_State.htm’

    Which is an Israeli, Zionist Jewish source, and not the charter itself.

    ‘Let us end this here; you truly, truly, cannot be reasoned with.’

    You mean I disagree with you? Sure.

  20. Zkharya,

    The Charter says they “will be considered Palestinians.”

    http://www.iris.org.il/plochart.htm

    This exchange is becoming more than faintly ludicrous.

    There is *nothing* in the Charter that says the PLO excludes Jews per se from being Arabs or from full citizenship to Palestine. There is much implicit evidence, in fact, that the opposite is true (see above and passim).

    Then, of course, there is the explicit evidence of all the programmatic documents for the Democratic Secular State which are founded on the denial of any national problem by declaring at least some Jews to be Arab Jews.

    All of this amply demonstrates – and *has* demonstrated to Zionists who can read http://www.zionism-israel.com/dic/Secular_Democratic_State.htm – that secular Palestinian nationalism drew exactly the same conclusions from the Charter as I have.

    The DFLP, for example, theorised the Jews and Arabs of Palestine as “one people”. Fatah calling (from 1969 on) for the “establishment of a secular, democratic, state in Palestine for Muslims, Christians and Jews”.

    I could quote thousands upon thousands of other similar statements, or entire books on the subject, but I really feel that there is no point.

    You want to pretend that all this doesn’t exist. Presumeably so you can carry on fighting your phony war against the Arab nationalism that exists only in your mind. Back in the real world, however, more serious people are working to overcome the *actual* theoretical and political problems suffered by Arab nationalism.

  21. Hi David,

    you decided you would resume the exchange after all. I’m pleased.

    ‘Zkharya, The Charter says they “will be considered Palestinians.” http://www.iris.org.il/plochart.htm This exchange is becoming more than faintly ludicrous.’

    I don’t think your returning after saying you would not is ludicrous. It merely means you changed your mind.

    ‘There is *nothing* in the Charter that says the PLO excludes Jews per se from being Arabs’

    Except that ‘Arab’ clearly does not objectively or presently include ‘Jew’, pre-Balfour or otherwise.

    ‘or from full citizenship to Palestine.’

    Exclude, no. Just that there is clear difference between Palestinian Muslims and Christians who comprise the Palestinian Arab people, and pre-Balfour Jews who MAY ‘be considered as Palestinians’, in the future i.e. as subjective, rather than objective, Palestinians.

    ‘There is much implicit evidence, in fact, that the opposite is true (see above and passim).’

    Well, if you mean what I write immediately above, I agree.

    ‘Then, of course, there is the explicit evidence of all the programmatic documents for the Democratic Secular State which are founded on the denial of any national problem by declaring at least some Jews to be Arab Jews.’

    Yes, the Jews from Arab lands who were regarded as insufficiently Arab by those lands, and about whose effective expulsion the PLO was also in denial i.e. was discriminating against reality, again.

    ‘All of this amply demonstrates – and *has* demonstrated to Zionists who can read http://www.zionism-israel.com/dic/Secular_Democratic_State.htm – that secular Palestinian nationalism drew exactly the same conclusions from the Charter as I have.’

    As I said, secular Palestinian nationalism was still highly influenced by cultural Christian and Islamic Arab nationalism, replete with prejudice against Jews, and de facto assertion of the supremacy of Islamic and Christian claims.

    ‘The DFLP, for example, theorised the Jews and Arabs of Palestine as “one people”.’

    Maybe. So what? That still wouldn’t rule out discrimination against those same Jews, either.

    ‘Fatah calling (from 1969 on) for the “establishment of a secular, democratic, state in Palestine for Muslims, Christians and Jews”.’

    And their secular Palestinian nationalism was still highly influenced by cultural Christian and Islamic Arab nationalism, replete with prejudice against Jews, and de facto assertion of the supremacy of Islamic and Christian claims.

    ‘I could quote thousands upon thousands of other similar statements, or entire books on the subject,’

    No doubt. That still wouldn’t mean I was wrong. There are not a few authors who agree with me.

    ‘but I really feel that there is no point.’

    You said that last time.

    ‘You want to pretend that all this doesn’t exist.’

    Au contraire, you want to pretend that secular Palestinian nationalism was not still highly influenced by cultural Christian and Islamic Arab nationalism, replete with prejudice against Jews, and de facto assertion of the supremacy of Islamic and Christian claims.

    ‘Presumeably so you can carry on fighting your phony war against the Arab nationalism that exists only in your mind.’

    Au contraire, you want to carry on fighting your phoney war against the reality of the secular Palestinian nationalism that was still highly influenced by cultural Christian and Islamic Arab nationalism, replete with prejudice against Jews, and de facto assertion of the supremacy of Islamic and Christian claims.

    ‘Back in the real world, however, more serious people are working to overcome the *actual* theoretical and political problems suffered by Arab nationalism.’

    Not if they are in denial about those problems, as you are.

  22. Zkharya,

    You ask for evidence, you are given it. You answer:

    “Maybe. So what?”

    Your assertions (not arguments, assertions) fly in the face of all accepted reality. Maybe you understand Arab nationalism better I. That is possible.

    But you also seem to think you understand it better than even the Arab nationalists themselves. That is not.

    By all means, say you don’t believe them when they say they want “the establishment of a secular, democratic, state in Palestine for Muslims, Christians and Jews” or when the say they regard Jews and Arabs as “one people”. But there is no point in denying that this is what they have said.

    PLO, Fatah, DFLP, PFLP, they have all said it and the rejectionists continue to say it.

    Denying this reality, rather than disputing the actual content, *is* ludicrous.

  23. ‘You ask for evidence,’

    Did I?

    ‘you are given it.’

    And I address it.

    ‘ You answer: “Maybe. So what?”’

    You adduce just one alleged assertion by the DFLP. One assertion doth not a discourse make.

    ‘Your assertions (not arguments, assertions)’

    Et tu quoque.

    ‘fly in the face of all accepted reality.’

    Accepted or not, I disagree.

    ‘Maybe you understand Arab nationalism better I. That is possible.’

    Yes, believe it or not, it is.

    ‘But you also seem to think you understand it better than even the Arab nationalists themselves.’

    Uhuh? Might I observe that you seem to think you understand Jewish nationalim better than Jewish nationalists themselves?

    ‘That is not.’

    Not according to your criteria.

    ‘By all means, say you don’t believe them when they say they want “the establishment of a secular, democratic, state in Palestine for Muslims, Christians and Jews”’

    Well, I think secular Palestinian nationalism was, and is, still highly influenced by cultural Christian and Islamic Arab nationalism, replete with prejudice against Jews, and de facto assertion of the supremacy of Islamic and Christian claims.

    ‘or when the say they regard Jews and Arabs as “one people”.’

    As I said, one assertion doth not a discourse make.

    ‘But there is no point in denying that this is what they have said.’

    Nor did I, except, once again, I do not think the actual quote you offered is extant.

    ‘PLO, Fatah, DFLP, PFLP, they have all said it and the rejectionists continue to say it.’

    Even if that were true, secular Palestinian nationalism was and is still highly influenced by cultural Christian and Islamic Arab nationalism, replete with prejudice against Jews, and de facto assertion of the supremacy of Islamic and Christian claims.

    ‘Denying this reality, rather than disputing the actual content, *is* ludicrous.’

    What reality, am I denying? Actual quotes? No, I am not. And might I observe, it is you in this exchange that has record of presenting your interpretations as quotations? But if by ‘content’, you mean your interpretations as to the meanings in a or the overall discourse, that is precisely what I dispute.

  24. Zkharya,

    I’m tired of this.

    “It is you in this exchange that has record of presenting your interpretations as quotations”

    No, I don’t.

    This ” is a quotation mark, it marks a quotation; this ‘ is not and, erm, it *doesn’t* mark a quotation. If you do not understand this distinction – or it’s another “accepted reality” you don’t recognise or another example of Muslim and Christian discourse that Jews are excluded from – then that is hardly my fault.

  25. ‘I’m tired of this.’

    Clearly not.

    ‘“It is you in this exchange that has record of presenting your interpretations as quotations”No, I don’t.’

    Yeah, you have.

    ‘This ” is a quotation mark, it marks a quotation; this ‘ is not and, erm, it *doesn’t* mark a quotation.’

    Oh, ok, I confess I didn’t know the distinction. I thought they were both quotation marks, one set for direct speech or quotations, the other for indirect. I confess I am lazy about the difference, but I don’t generally use either except for actual quotations.

    ‘If you do not understand this distinction’

    And I’m not sure I do, at least as you understand it.

    ‘ – or it’s another “accepted reality”’

    Why the quotation marks, as though you were quoting me? You are quoting yourself. Why, were you merely alledging “accepted reality”?

    ‘you don’t recognise or another example of Muslim and Christian discourse that Jews are excluded from’

    It depends what you mean by ‘excluded from’. I think I do.

    ‘– then that is hardly my fault.’

    No was I assigning blame or responsibility. Clearly you are.