General Antisemitism

Rachel Shabi morally absolves the perpetrators who ethnically cleansed Jews from Arab lands


The blog Point of No Return, dedicated to the memory of Jewish refugees from Arab lands, aptly states:

In just 50 years, almost a million Jews, whose communities stretch back up to 3,000 years, have been ‘ethnically cleansed’ from 10 Arab countries. These refugees outnumber the Palestinian refugees two to one, but their narrative has all but been ignored. Unlike Palestinian refugees, they fled not war, but systematic persecution. Seen in this light, Israel, which absorbed most of these Jewish refugees, is the legitimate expression of the self-determination of an oppressed indigenous, Middle Eastern people.

NYT Headline, May 16, 1948

Yes, in a mere fifty years roughly one million Jews were expelled from Arab lands for the sole crime of sharing the religious identity of the resurrected Jewish state.  Thousands of communities were wiped out of existence, as well as the world’s collective imagination – those for whom nobody (and no UN agency) will speak.

And, in less than fifty words ‘Comment is Free’ contributor Rachel Shabi morally absolved Arab rulers who initiated the ethnic cleansing of Jews of the guilt typically assigned to those who commit such reprehensible acts.

Shabi’s latest CiF essay, “Equality must be the legacy of the Arab Spring“, included this moral obfuscation:

 the main reason Arab countries were all but emptied of Jewish communities during the 1940s and 1950s [was that] the ideologies of Zionism and Arab nationalism…yanked at opposing ends of hyphenated Arab-Jewish identities and forced them to fall apart. 

It’s vitally important that you read, and re-read, this passage to fully appreciate the art of Shabi’s moral inversion. 

In a remarkably thrifty polemic apologia for antisemtism, Rachel Shabi distributes guilt for the expulsion of one million innocent Jews evenly between two abstractions: Jewish and Arab “nationalism”.

However, it is simply undeniable that Jews were expelled from their homes by quite particular Arab rulers – those who cynically exploited prevailing antisemitic mores to justify freezing Jews’ bank accounts, confiscating their assets and expropriating their property, revoking their national citizenship, and inciting murderous riots.

It is not an overstatement to compare such measures which stripped Jews of their citizenship to the Reich Citizenship Law of 1935 (Nuremberg laws), and Arabs’ theft of Jewish assets (estimated to be valued at over $100 billion) are similarly analogous to Nazi measures against Jews initiated in the late 1930s.

Further, as Bataween, of  the blog Point of No Return, observed:

From 1949 to 2009, General Assembly resolutions focused much greater attention on the issue of Palestinian refugees – some 20 percent – than on any other Middle East issue. There were never any General Assembly resolutions that specifically addressed the issue of Jewish refugees, nor any resolutions on other topics that even mention Jewish refugees from Arab countries.

As a definitive report, co-authored by Irwin Cotler, concluded about the issue of Jewish refugees, their expulsion was part of an intentional and coordinated effort by Arab rulers:

These massive human rights violations were not events that occurred coincidently or haphazardly; nor were they the result only of state-sanctioned patterns of repression in each of the Arab countries, though this would be bad enough; rather, as the evidence discloses, they were the result of an international criminal conspiracy by the League of Arab States to target and persecute the Jewish populations in their respective countries.

Shabi’s attempt to blame Zionism for this massive crime employs the same moral logic of those who blamed the internment of Japanese Americans during WWII on the military acts of the Empire of Japan.  

Just as Japanese Americans bore absolutely no responsibility for the acts of Japan, Jews in Arab lands could not conceivably be blamed for the creation of Israel – even to those sympathetic towards the Arabs’ fanatical intolerance towards Israel’s existence.

Scholar Manfred Gerstenfeld’s latest book, The Abuse of Holocaust Memory addresses, among other dynamics, the “denial of the Holocaust…the distortion of its memory, justification, deflection, and whitewashing.” 

Similarly, Rachel Shabi’s attempt to deflect moral responsibility for the Jews’ expulsion away from the Arab perpetrators (and blurring the clear causation) is a similarly reprehensible abuse of the memory of the nearly one million Jews, and their descendants, who suffered immeasurably due to an intentional and systemic act of ethnic cleansing.

 

77 replies »

  1. A great film about the ethnic cleansing is The Forgotten Refugees. It is produced by the David Project and was directed by Michael Grynszpan.
    Order it!

  2. Shabi is a bitter woman whose emotional development seems to be arrested. Many of us will have seen children fall down during play and then proceed to blame the pavement for hurting them.

    I know that many Iraqi Jews held positions of comparative importance in Iraq before they were ethnically cleansed or otherwise pressured to leave. Was Shabi’s family among these? I imagine that, coming to the new state of Israel, rough and ready as it was then, must have been a great culture shock for them, but many integrated and contributed much to their new society then and now.

    That is very difficult to do, however, if a new immigrant brings an exaggerated sense of entitlement and, instead of trying to integrate and contribute, instead of realising that his/her own contribution will be judged and he/she treated accordingly, expects all to be provided and respect given instead of earned.

    Shabi is a particularly nasty example of this, who emigrated from Israel and proceeds to drip poison from where she knows she will not be called to account for it by her Israeli neighbours.

    • Shabi’s inability to mention even one positive attribute of Israel is striking considering that it is a country that consistently wins Nobel prizes for exact sciences, that produces a remarkable amount of original research & start-up companies and that has a stable and flourishing economy despite the difficult times and despite a 60+ years boycott on her products by Arab states. You’d think just out of a moral imperative you’d expect her to mention some aspect with approval

      But no. Black night reigns over Israel constantly from all the good she sees. She tries much too hard. The effort is visible, and disfiguring.

  3. Thank goodness Shabi is not a Ugandan Asian otherwise she’d blame India and Indians for Hajji Idi Amin Dad ethnically cleansing Uganda of it’s Indians.

  4. In the interests of symmetry, since symmetry is the premise of this “essay”, from which Israeli-Jewish leader do we think we can we hope to hear the call for the return of the Arabs?

    Mirroring, of course, the call of the Tunisian President Moncef Marzouki for the return of the Tunisian Jews.

    • I suggest you emigrate and report back from the Tunisian paradise. You might want to read what some Tunisians have to say about it first, of course.

      Gosh, even on CiF there are some doubters about the way things are trending there. Unlike Shabi they actually have contact with the country:

      http://www.guardian.co.uk/discussion/comment-permalink/13893093

      fripouille

      27 December 2011 07:24PM
      Response to Pvere, 27 December 2011 07:13PM

      I hate to sound negative for a country that I greatly respect, but I live in Tunisia and I hear what people say from all walks of life. People are starting to suffer badly. For example, a friend who runs a shop catering to tourists has had no customers for six months and the water and electricity was cut off in his apartment three months ago – and he is one of the luckier ones.

      Good evening Pvere, and I live in Lyon France, a city which, as you no doubt know, has a sizeable Tunisian population. Most of the Tunisian opinion I have heard first-hand or seen and read elsewhere agrees with that. Many if not all of them have relatives “au bled” and we do get a good idea of what’s going on.

      Funny thing, one Tunisian guy I know introduced me to a brother of his who came over via Libya in (I think) August to get out of Tunisia in order to work in France. I must admit I was skeptical at first – believing that maybe he was merely profiting from the chaos to get social aid here as some individuals most certainly did – but his story, and in particular his predictions, turned out to be well-founded by all accounts…

      ….He won’t be going back anytime soon and I don’t blame him.

        • It’s easy for a leader to call for people to return, when he knows that virtually none of them will. That is because Tunisian Jews were encouraged to make new lives for themselves, mostly in Israel, where they became full citizens. In contrast, Palestians were ghettoized in the Arab world, to be used as pawns. Instead of being allowed to make new lives, like the 100 million or so other refugees of the wars of the 20th century, their suffering was and continues to be exploited by those who wish to destroy Israel. As in the case of the comment to which I am responding.

          • “That is because Tunisian Jews were encouraged to make new lives for themselves, mostly in…”

            France. Only a minority have ever left for Israel. And, as the rebuff delivered to Silvan Shalom at the beginning of this month indicates, even if things do take a turn for the worse in Tunisia that will continue to be the case.

            “In contrast, Palestians were ghettoized in the Arab world, to be used as pawns. Instead of being allowed to make new lives…”

            There is absolutely no indication that the majority want “new lives” – they want to return, as you well know.

            Whether you agree with that, whether that desire has been instrumentalised or not (and it has), that undoubtedly remains the case.

            • Half the Jewish population of Israel is Mizrachi or Sephardi, so my larger point– that Israel provided a home to the Jewish refugees of the Arab world– still stands.

              No doubt if the Hindus and Sikhs who fled Pakistan, or the Greeks who fled Turkey, or the Turks who fled Greece, or the Germans chased out of Poland and the Sudetenland, if any of these had been penned up in refugee camps for generations, as the Arab world treated the Palestinians, no doubt they too would want to return. But these other refugees were not used as pawns, because the nations from which they fled were not subject to being singled out for obsessive hatred, to be treated as the Jew among nations.

              • “Half the Jewish population of Israel is Mizrachi or Sephardi, so my larger point– that Israel provided a home to the Jewish refugees of the Arab world– still stands.”

                Only with qualification. That qualification being, as I keep having to repeat, that the only Jews (Arab or European) who went en masse to Israel were those that were >forced< to do so.

                That, of course, is an indictment of those who applied that force. But it is also (again as I keep having to repeat) as clear an indication as possible that Zionism is a failure as a Jewish nationalist movement.

                You state that "half the Jewish population of Israel is Mizrachi".

                This article states that those Arab Jews were forced to go to Israel.

                The necessary corollary of those two positions (which I agree are correct) is that Zionism would never ever have succeeded in creating a natural Jewish majority in Palestine.

                Given that this is one of the key aims of Zionism (we can agree on that as well, I'm sure) then we must surely conclude that Zionism is a failure, and has succeeded to the extent that it has, not through its ideological power to win the Jewish masses to a territorial soltution to the Jewish question in Palestine, but by virtue of entirely external circumstances (chiefly, the policy of Nuri as-Said and the British in Iraq).

                As I have said, that is quite the indictment.

                • This is no indictment whatsoever. Herzl conceived Zionism when he saw the rampant antisemitism of the Dreyfus Affair. He predicted an eventual massacre of the Jews of Europe, and he was proven 100% correct on that score.

                  Israel’s first and main purpose has always been to provide a safe haven for the Jews of the world. Zionist theoreticians may have embellished this necessity with utopian conceptions, as all nationalists do. But the reason for Israel’s existence is and always has been to provide self determination for the Jewish people, so that their survival is not dependent on the vagaries of other peoples’ opinions of them. So long as Israel can defend itself, the Zionist dream is alive and well.

                  The fact that Israel is an immensely creative society that is thriving economically is just a bonus.

                  With respect to all your anti-Zionist rhetoric, the dog barks but the caravan moves on.

                  • You say failing to ‘ingather the exiles’ is “no indictment whatsoever” of Zionism.

                    It is a strange world where a movement failing to achieve one of its chief goals is not an indictment of that movement; it is not a world that is subject to any normal political logic that is for sure.

                    “the reason for Israel’s existence is and always has been to provide self determination for the Jewish people”

                    The unfortunate thing being, as this “essay” indicates, that the overwhelming majority of Jewish weren’t and aren’t interested in self-determination as conceived by Zionism and have only immigrated there in large numbers at gun point, or something just short of gun point.

                    • A straw man argument if there ever was one. Declare that in order for Israel to be counted a success, it must attract the overwhelming majority of the world’s Jews without compulsion from the enemies of the Jews! This is the kind of twisted logic, divorced from the realities of the world, that obsessive anti-zionists specialize in.

                    • “A straw man argument if there ever was one. Declare that in order for Israel to be counted a success, it must attract the overwhelming majority of the world’s Jews without compulsion from the enemies of the Jews!”

                      Except, of course, I did not say that. I merely pointed that Zionism has not even attracted >adespitesomething.<

                      We can debate "what" of course but you must admit it is a startling fact.

                    • “A straw man argument if there ever was one. Declare that in order for Israel to be counted a success, it must attract the overwhelming majority of the world’s Jews without compulsion from the enemies of the Jews!”

                      Except, of course, I did not say that. I merely pointed that Zionism has not even attracted a majority of Jews, despite the compulsion of the enemies of the Jews.

                      That must mean something.

                      We can debate “what” of course but you must admit it is a startling fact.

            • “Only a minority have ever left for Israel.”

              Wrong. [You must be ignorant or incompetent or brainwashed or all of these.] From Wiki: “Before 1948, the Jewish population of Tunisia reached a peak of 110,000. From the 1950s, half this number left for Israel and the other half for France.”

              • The fact that “Wiki” has the total number of Tunisian Jews wrong – there were 105,000 Arab Jews in Tunisia in 1948 (source: WOJAC) – does not give me confidence in their breakdown of destinations.

                Would you care to cite their source?

              • I mean, I can cite the statistical abstracts issued by Government of Israel, Immigration to Israel 1948-1972 (Jerusalem, Central Bureau of Statistics 1974) to support my thesis.

                Those abstracts state that of the 105,000 Jews in Tunisia in 1948, 330,000 immigrated to Israel.

                Now, perhaps, in addition to knowing more about Palestinian refugees than Israel’s chief negotiator on Palestinian refugees and knowing more about Jews from Arab Countries than the World Organisation of Jews from Arab Countries, you also know more about the statistics regargin immigration to the State of Israel than the Central Bureau of Statistics of the Government of Israel.

                Perhaps.

                Or perhaps not.

  5. I think that the fact that there were twice as many jewish refugees from Arab lands as Arabs from Israel has only recently begun to be emphasized properly. Lost in the actual numbers of thousands of refugees it was never really pointed out strongly enough that there was a virtual 2:1 relationship between the number of Jewish refugees compared to the Arab refugees.

    We should continue to hammer the additional point, of course, that there are no longer ANY Jewish refugees because they were resettled at enormous expense and with enormous effort – and with no assistance from the UN or an equivalent of UNRWA.

    • And look at what constitutes an Arab refugee:

      UNHRC defining UNWRA:

      Consolidated Registration Instructions

      These define a Palestinian [i.e. Arab] refugee as including people whose normal place of residence was Palestine for a minimum of two years preceding the 1948 conflict and who, as a result of this conflict, lost both their home and means of livelihood and took refuge in 1948 in the areas UNRWA operates.

      [Square brackets enclose my comment]

      Then, uniquely in the history of the world, there are their multitudinous descendants.

    • False in general and false in particular. False in general because there is no symmetry at all between the two processes. False in particular because the numbers you use are completely false:

      There were 856,000 Jews in the Arab states in 1948, falling to 475,050 by 1968 and dwindling thereafter (http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/History/jewref.html).

      According to Walter Eytan there were 800,000 Palestinian refugees in 1950 (quoted in Benny Morris, Birth…Revisited, p602)

      So the measure is, in fact, 2 Palestinian refugees for every Jewish “refugee”.

      Can I also day that it implictly concedes much about the nature of Zionism and the situation of the Arab Jews that they could only be forced to leave the Arab states and go to Israel as refugees.

      • “Can I also day that it implictly concedes much about the nature of Zionism and the situation of the Arab Jews that they could only be forced to leave the Arab states and go to Israel as refugees.”

        Blaming the victim, huh? You sound just like Ron Paul with his line that 9/11 was blowback for American actions abroad, entirely ignoring and exonerating Islamic imperialist aggression.

        I couldn’t care less about a blog poster like you, but the trouble is there are far too many like you in positions of power in the free world. That explains the plight of the free world well.

        • “Blaming the victim, huh?”

          Pardon?

          The Arab Jews could only be induced to emigrate to Israel only after being >forced< out of their homes by reactionary Arab government (albiet most often ones dominated by the British and the French).

          This is an indictment of Zionism, showing that it exerted no particular pull on the mass of Arab Jewry, and an indication of its failure as a Jewish nationalist project then (they came as forced refugees, not as willing olim) and now (even after 60 years the majority of Jews do not live in "the homeland")

          How this is "blaming the victim" I'll never know.

          • “Pardon?”

            Alright, I misunderstood. I thought you were implying (as anti-Zionists often do) that the Jewish State orchestrated the pogroms in the Arab world to get the Jews out. My mistake.

            “The Arab Jews could only be induced to emigrate to Israel only after being >forced< out of their homes by reactionary Arab government … This is an indictment of Zionism, showing that it exerted no particular pull on the mass of Arab Jewry,…"

            Not any indication of the lack of pull of Zionism. This is nothing but the universal fact that people everywhere are reluctant to move out of a still livable (if not comfortable) residence to start all over. Israel could be paved with gold but still not entice, say, the American Jews to leave a place they think poses no danger to their lives. Moving out and starting over is an effort normal people aren't willing to make unless there's some strong negative push in their current location.

            • “I thought you were implying (as anti-Zionists often do) that the Jewish State orchestrated the pogroms in the Arab world to get the Jews out.”

              There is strong evidence to suggest at least some involvement, particularly in Iraq – if you know any Iraqi Jews ask them what they or their parents/grandparents call Mordechai Ben Porat – and there is of course irrefutable evidence to suggest that Operation Susannah was carried out not only with blatant disregard for Egyptian sovereignty, but also with the same for the inevitable effect it would have on the Arab Jews there as well.

              But, whatever the role of the Zionists it certainly does not eliminate entirely the guilt of the likes of Nuri as-Said – or his British paymasters.

              You say that aliyah is

              “an effort normal people aren’t willing to make unless there’s some strong negative push in their current location.”

              And I could not agree more – and just look at the people who are willing to do so for proof!! Nevertheless, as I said, this is still an indication of Zionism’s failure as a Jewish nationalist project.

              • “There is strong evidence to suggest … But, whatever the role of the Zionists…”

                Thanks for a reminder as to why I should never cut anti-Zionists any slack.

                “Nevertheless, as I said, this is still an indication of Zionism’s failure as a Jewish nationalist project.”

                If you totally agree with me on my point, how can you still take the reluctance to make aliyah as a failure of Zionism? You expect Zionism to supernaturally override human beings’ innate reluctance to leave a still livable residence? What is it with anti-Zionists and the ridiculously high expectations they have of the Jewish State and its founding ideology?!

                • “Thanks for a reminder as to why I should never cut anti-Zionists any slack.”

                  I will note there is no attempt to refute.

                  “If you totally agree with me on my point, how can you still take the reluctance to make aliyah as a failure of Zionism?”

                  Because political movements that are the expression of a genuine historical trend inspire the people it is aimed at to devote their lives to the realisation of its goals.

                  That is not “ridiculously high” – it is the same standard I apply to all political movements. Those that fail are not thereby null, but I take it as a good indicator that they are ephemeral rather than historical.

                  And, precisely, Zionism does not inspire the people it is aimed at to devote their lives to the realisation of its goals – never has done, doesn’t now.

                  Prior to WW2, Zionism was a minority trend within Jewish nationalism, which was itself a minority trend within Jewish political thought; it inspired a few tens of thousands from a population of many millions.

                  Post WW2, even in the light of the Nazi holocaust, even in the light of anti-semitic laws enacted by the British-dominated governments of the Arab East and the French-dominated govenrments of the Arab West, the majority of Jews in >every< country avoided Israel like the plague, unless they were shipped there directly (as in the case of Iraq).

                  Think about that: so poor was Zionism's vision, so weak its power that Arab Jews driven from their ancestral home by anti-semitic goverments preferred Europe, still warm from the ovens, to Israel.

                  And that, you would like to tell me, is no indictment. What, pray tell, is an indictment?

          • You will “never know” many things Daniel, including about everything in your post above.

            Your thought processes are becoming unravelled again. Time for a lie down?

            • “Your thought processes are becoming unravelled again.”

              Huh. I don’t see any evidence of that, not that I would be the best judge of course…

              However, I will take the compliment implicit in that statement, i.e. that my thought processes are complex enough to unravel, with thanks.

              If only I could reciprocate.

      • The number of Arabs who became “refugees” is more likely to have been about 450,000.

        UNRWA was established because of the number of scammers who turned up from all over, not just from Mandate Palestine.

        The more time passes the more inflated the Arab figure becomes.

        • “The number of Arabs who became “refugees” is more likely to have been about 450,000.”

          To repeat: 800,000 is the number of Palestinian refugees given by Walter Eytan in 1950. Argue, please, with the ghost of Walter Eytan (assuming you know who he is).

          “The more time passes the more inflated the Arab figure becomes.”

          I was under the impression Eytan was a German, not an Arab??

            • “Oh, and a German is obviously so impartial in matters involving the Jews!”

              What would disbar a German from impartiality?

              What might disbar Eytan from impartiality, of course, is that he was Director General of the Israeli Foreign Ministry from 1948 to 1959.

              Now, of course, you could believe Ariadne on the numbers of Palestinian refugees (qualifications, err… position to know first-hand about the matter, err…) rather than Eytan (see above) but I wouldn’t if I was you!

              • “What would disbar a German from impartiality?”

                Five years after reducing six million Jews to ashes, a German could only be reliably neutral about Jews. Oh, and pigs fly.

                • So, just to clarify, Walter Eytan, the Director General of the Israeli Foreign Ministry from 1948 to 1959, could not be relied upon to be “neutral about Jews”?

                  Wow.

                  Just… wow.

      • Efraim Karsh has an appendix in “Palestine Betrayed” that lists every Arab village in the arewa that became Israel and the numbers that left in 1947-48 and comes out with a maximum of about 600,000 who fled, not 800,000

      • To Daniel:

        Wiki gives 881k Jewish refugees from Arab countres, plus 80-100k from Iran made nearly one million total.
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jewish_exodus_from_Arab_and_Muslim_countries#Jewish_population_in_Arab_countries.2C_1948.E2.80.932008

        As for Palestinian refugees, the American diplomat Ralph Bunche gave the number as 472,000, before the beginning of Arab/UN shenanigans to artificially inflate the number:
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Estimates_of_the_Palestinian_Refugee_flight_of_1948

        Thus there were more than 2 Jewish refugees for every Palestinian refugee.

        • “Wiki gives 881k Jewish refugees from Arab countres…”

          Yes, and the number I gave is from WOJAC.

          Perhaps you know why the the World Organisation of Jews from Arab Countries would underestimate? Perhaps.

          “As for Palestinian refugees, the American diplomat Ralph Bunche gave the number as 472,000…”

          Yes, and the number I gave is from Walter Eytan.

          Perhaps you know why the the one given by the Director General of the Israeli Foreign Ministry, chief negotiator at the Lausanne conference, would underestimate? Perhaps.

          More likely is that >you< are, how shall I put it kindly, less well informed than my sources on both of these counts.

          Frankly, I find your assertions that you know more about Arab Jews than WOJAC and about Palestinian refugees than Israel's chief negotiator regarding them, bizarre and laughable.

  6. Rachel Shabby is being given too much attention,she is a disgrace to anyone who is of Iraqi decent.Most Iraqi Jews have done very well for themselves and their families,were they in Israel,the US,UK,Australia or wherever they moved to from Iraq……..

    Rachel Shabby is an abject failure,most of her friends and associates are of dubious character

    A very Shabby woman……………..

  7. Daniel – what do you know about the aliyah from Yemen in 1881-2?
    What do you know about the Zionist associations which existed in North African Jewish communities in the 1920s & 30s?
    What do you know about the terms and conditions for getting a certificate of permission to move to Mandate Palestine from Arab countries?

    • “Daniel – what do you know about the aliyah from Yemen in 1881-2”

      1. That it had nothing to do with Zionism.

      2. That they died in misery, being lured from their position as skilled artisans in Yemen with messianic babble, and subsequently instrumentalised as beasts of burden, as all Arabs were, by the first Zionists.

      “What do you know about the Zionist associations which existed in North African Jewish communities in the 1920s & 30s?”

      Other than that they were failures…

      “What do you know about the terms and conditions for getting a certificate of permission to move to Mandate Palestine from Arab countries?”

      If you wish me to shed tears over how meanly British ceded Palestinian land then I will not.

      If you wish to make a point regarding the obstruction by the powers that be of willing entrants to Palestine then I will certainly agree and I call for the ending of all such restrictions. Do you?

      • You’re really a lost cause Daniel. You blank out anything inconvenient to your own warped narrative and invent fantasies to suit your obsession.

        You have no wish to learn anything which threatens the stereotypes to which you cling so desperately. You just want to preach rather than to debate and you aren’t even polite or pleasant with it.

        Your hatred and disdain oozes from every word you type. What an incredibly sad picture you paint of yourself.

        My extended family is made up of people who came to Israel from Morocco, Libya, Yemen, Algeria and several other countries – some of them long before Israel existed and long before the qualifying date for subsequent Palestinian refugees. I know why, how and under what circumstances each one of them came here. No amount of Mizrachi/Sepharadi denial on your part can change those facts.

        • “You have no wish to learn anything which threatens the stereotypes to which you cling so desperately. You just want to preach rather than to debate and you aren’t even polite or pleasant with it.”

          That’s rich indeed. Look at the evidence of this thread alone. I have argued and I have cited verifiable sources – and most often Zionist sources – to verify my argument. I have seen no similar response. A shame.

          “Your hatred and disdain oozes from every word you type.”

          Really? Have I resorted to ad hominem argument as both HairShirt and Independent Observer have done? I have ridiculed the latter’s absurd claims to superior knowledge than GOI for example, but I have not insulted or argued against the person.

          I could, very easily of course. I could denounce your opinions as null, given you (if I remember correctly) are a British olah living in Jawlan and therefore have a material interest in the perpetuation of the settlement and occupation of Arab land.

          But I haven’t.

          Likewise I could mock your ‘some of my favourite third cousins twice removed’ attempt to Arabise yourself, but I haven’t.

          So I find it interesting that you would say such things.

          • Daniel, it is partly your assumption that other people know nothing that makes you look so bad. Some things are unforgettable, like what was known in the late 1940s and somehow “isn’t known” now.

            And some of us, on remembering some inconvenient – to you – facts.
            ask the question “Cui bono?” when encountering current widespread lies.

            Something I’ve noticed about Israel- and Jew-haters is that they seize upon an item related to an Israeli politician without the word “diplomacy” entering their heads. Israel, with the worst neighbours in the world, puts tremendous effort and resources and even blood into trying to get along with them.

            And that you see nothing but ill says more about you than it ever could about Israel.

            • “Daniel, it is partly your assumption that other people know nothing that makes you look so bad.”

              On the contrary, the most I have done is ask for people to back their arguments with sources of equal weight as my own.

              To back up my claim regarding the number of Palestinian refugees, I have cited Israel’s chief negotiator on Palestinian refugees; to back up my claim regarding the number of Arab Jews that left the Arab countries I have quoted the World Organisation of Jews from Arab Countries; to back up my claim regarding the number of Arab Jews that emigrated to Israel I have cited the Government of Israel’s own stastics.

              None of you has endeavoured to try, instead you have repeated your arguments by rote, either ignoring the authoritative opinions I have cited, or, as with “Independent Observer”, going so far as to say Eytan was a biased source because he was German!

              I cannot take your claims against my forms of argument seriously in light of these types of responses.

              You talk of

              “encountering current widespread lies.”

              Which is exactly my motivation for responding here. I simply cannot believe that rational, adult, people can believe things that are provably false. My conclusion, reached in order to maintain that you are all indeed rational adults, is that nationalism is a great debilitator of otherwise critical thought.

              • “I cannot take your claims against my forms of argument seriously in light of these types of responses.”

                Don’t worry Daniel I stopped taking you, and your spurious sources, seriously a long time ago. When you leave puberty and become an adult come back then and perhaps then we can have a serious discussion.

                • “Don’t worry Daniel I stopped taking you, and your spurious sources, seriously a long time ago.”

                  The Director General of the Israeli Foreign Ministry = spurious

                  The World Organisation of Jews from Arab Countries = spurious

                  The Government of Israel = spurious

                  I repeat: wow… Just… wow

        • Very true Israelinurse

          Daniel is a very literal thinker who clings on to his own ideas as though he is hanging onto a cliff face and acts as though he believes that countenancing that he may be wrong will send him hurtling into the abyss.

          He’s a poor soul really, albeit a nuisance, and I doubt that he can help himself.

      • “1. That it [the Yemenite aliyah of 1882] had nothing to do with Zionism. 2. That they [the Yemenites] [were] instrumentalised as beasts of burden, as all Arabs were, by the first Zionists.”

        You, sir, are a filthy racist. The fact that your racism is anti-white instead of anti-brown or anti-black makes no difference. Your portrayal of Zionism as a White European Colonial Settler movement is an act of historical denialism far worse than Holocaust Denial (for it denies not what happened 70 years ago but about 3000 years of fully attested Jewish nationalism), and it’s something you Marxists will one day have to atone for.

        • “3000 years of fully attested Jewish nationalism”

          A movement so powerful that in all the centuries of Ottoman rule no mass of Jews from anywhere moved to Palestine despite there being no legal impediment to doing so.

          The history of Jewish nationalism in the Ottoman era: the unmoveable force meets the unstopping object.

          I won’t bother rsponding to the rest of your post, which is palpable nonsense.

          • Daniel, do you think the Romans called Judea Provincia Syria Palaestina because the Jews hadn’t been nationalistic?

            And earlier where did the name “Judea” come from?

            The mountains of Judea are first named in the Book of Joshua, in the account of the conquering of Canaan by the Israelites during the creation of the Land of Israel. From that time to the present, more than 3,000 years, the name Judea has been consistently used to describe the territory from Jerusalem south along the Judean mountain ridge line, extending east from the mountains down to the Dead Sea.

            http://www.palestinefacts.org/pf_early_palestine_judea_samaria.php

            • “Daniel, do you think the Romans called Judea Provincia Syria Palaestina because the Jews hadn’t been nationalistic?”

              Nationalism is a modern concept; projecting it back 3000 years is utterly false. It is just as nonsensical as talking about the workers’ movement 3000 years ago, there wasn’t a working class ergo there was no workers’ movement. Same with nations and national movements.

              “And earlier where did the name “Judea” come from?”

              Is it not the name given by its Hebrew conquerers? You do understand that the name given by conqueror (a) is of no greater wieght than the name given by conqueror (b) don’t you?

              Of course, as Borochov wrote

              “The [Arab] Fellahin in Eretz-Israel are the descendants of remnants of the Hebrew agricultural community,”

              so perhaps there is something to think about in what you are implying, especially as it is a thesis also endorsed at times by Ben-Gurion (The Land of Israel in the Past and the Present, Yad Ben-Zvi, 1980).

              Interesting…

              • Even the smallholder is very proud of his land. A homogeneous community is proud of theirs. We don’t need modern –isms to know what Judea was.

                Otherwise – get off the tramlines, Daniel. Lose the labels, Language doesn’t exist in the straitjacket you want and neither do ideas.

                There was no DNA in Borochov’s time. There are very few Samaritans left.

                • “We don’t need modern -isms to know what Judea was.”

                  And yet you clearly invoke it: implying there was a Jewish nationalist movement in Roman times. There wasn’t. For the very simple reason that nations, being the subject and object of national movements, did not exist.

                  I’m afraid I have lured you with Borochov and the Hebrew-Palestinian thesis.

                  Yours is an atavistic ethno-nationalism cleaving to blood and soil, which seeks to usurp the modern, democratic notion of the self-determination of nations with the decayed notion of historical right defined by blood with which you wish to sanctify the ancient and moth-eaten claim of the Jews to Palestine.

                  Your Zionism is of a distinctly reactionary variety.

                  • Daniel, you make no sense. There was a name, Judea. That’s all.

                    I don’t think you understand nationalism and I think you should pursue some knowledge pre-Gramsci. There was plenty, y’know.

                    • Ariadne it became obvious earlier that little Daniel was giving a classic example of the attitude to nationalism taken from an old pamphlet titled “Marxism and the National Question”.
                      The author of that pamphlet was J.V. Stalin.

    • I will also point out, as an aftertought, that your confining of this issue to the Mandate period is highly dishonest.

      For centuries, the Ottoman Empire ruled the Arab East almost in toto, certainly all of Palestine and almost all the major centres of the Arab Jewish population, e.g. Iraq, Egypt, west Syria, etc.

      At no point, despite there being absolutely no legal impediment to doing so, did we witness mass or even any signficant small migration of Jews to Palestine, other than old men who went to die in Jerusalem for religious reasons.

      It is, as I imply, a strange “national homeland” that exerts so small a pull “her” people.

      • So because Zionism didn’t exist before Zionism existed, it means Israel is not the homeland of the Jewish people! Another logical fallacy.

        Israel was remembered and commemorated in religious culture as the homeland. It took a modern nationalist movement, Zionism, to set the return in motion, as opposed to waiting for the Messiah to do it.

        • “So because Zionism didn’t exist before Zionism existed, it means Israel is not the homeland of the Jewish people!”

          My post was in response to a question from Israelinurse:

          “What do you know about the terms and conditions for getting a certificate of permission to move to Mandate Palestine from Arab countries?”

          The implication of which, in the context of the exhange, I took to be ‘if no such restrictions existed the numbers of Arab Jews emigrating to Palestine would have been much higher’.

          Part of my response was to refute this implication by pointing to the simple fact that under Ottoman rule there were no such restrictions and yet – there were still no mass emigrations despite centuries of free movement for nigh on every Arab Jew.

          E.g. When the Sephardim landed in the eastern Mediterranean in 1492, fleeing European persecution for the safety of the Arab lands, they could have gone to Palestine, but they chose freely to go to Syria.

          Of course, you are free to assert that historical fact has no bearing on the Zionist claim that the State of Israel is the realisation of a longing to return denied for two thousand years, but others are equally free to find that faintly ridiculous.

  8. Interesting to see Benny Morris’s book being cited as a source. This was his own response to the mis-citing of his work by “Israel-haters”. Below is his letter to the ‘Irish Times’ in full as it deals clearly with the incorrect use of the term ‘refugees’.

    February 21, 2008
    Israel and the Palestinians
    Benny Morris

    Madam, – Israel-haters are fond of citing – and more often, mis-citing – my work in support of their arguments. Let me offer some corrections.

    The Palestinian Arabs were not responsible “in some bizarre way” (David Norris, January 31st) for what befell them in 1948. Their responsibility was very direct and simple.

    In defiance of the will of the international community, as embodied in the UN General Assembly Resolution of November 29th, 1947 (No. 181), they launched hostilities against the Jewish community in Palestine in the hope of aborting the emergence of the Jewish state and perhaps destroying that community. But they lost; and one of the results was the displacement of 700,000 of them from their homes.

    It is true, as Erskine Childers pointed out long ago, that there were no Arab radio broadcasts urging the Arabs to flee en masse; indeed, there were broadcasts by several Arab radio stations urging them to stay put. But, on the local level, in dozens of localities around Palestine, Arab leaders advised or ordered the evacuation of women and children or whole communities, as occurred in Haifa in late April, 1948. And Haifa’s Jewish mayor, Shabtai Levy, did, on April 22nd, plead with them to stay, to no avail.

    Most of Palestine’s 700,000 “refugees” fled their homes because of the flail of war (and in the expectation that they would shortly return to their homes on the backs of victorious Arab invaders). But it is also true that there were several dozen sites, including Lydda and Ramla, from which Arab communities were expelled by Jewish troops.

    The displacement of the 700,000 Arabs who became “refugees” – and I put the term in inverted commas, as two-thirds of them were displaced from one part of Palestine to another and not from their country (which is the usual definition of a refugee) – was not a “racist crime” (David Landy, January 24th) but the result of a national conflict and a war, with religious overtones, from the Muslim perspective, launched by the Arabs themselves.

    There was no Zionist “plan” or blanket policy of evicting the Arab population, or of “ethnic cleansing”. Plan Dalet (Plan D), of March 10th, 1948 (it is open and available for all to read in the IDF Archive and in various publications), was the master plan of the Haganah – the Jewish military force that became the Israel Defence Forces (IDF) – to counter the expected pan-Arab assault on the emergent Jewish state. That’s what it explicitly states and that’s what it was. And the invasion of the armies of Egypt, Jordan, Syria and Iraq duly occurred, on May 15th.

    It is true that Plan D gave the regional commanders carte blanche to occupy and garrison or expel and destroy the Arab villages along and behind the front lines and the anticipated Arab armies’ invasion routes. And it is also true that mid-way in the 1948 war the Israeli leaders decided to bar the return of the “refugees” (those “refugees” who had just assaulted the Jewish community), viewing them as a potential fifth column and threat to the Jewish state’s existence. I for one cannot fault their fears or logic.

    The demonisation of Israel is largely based on lies – much as the demonisation of the Jews during the past 2,000 years has been based on lies. And there is a connection between the two.

    I would recommend that the likes of Norris and Landy read some history books and become acquainted with the facts, not recycle shopworn Arab propaganda. They might then learn, for example, that the “Palestine War” of 1948 (the “War of Independence,” as Israelis call it) began in November 1947, not in May 1948. By May 14th close to 2,000 Israelis had died – of the 5,800 dead suffered by Israel in the whole war (ie almost 1 per cent of the Jewish population of Palestine/Israel, which was about 650,000). – Yours, etc,

    Prof Benny Morris, Li-On, Israel.

    • What I always find amusing about MOrris is precisely (and ironically in the context of a reply to this article) is his lack of symmetry.

      The sum total of the calls “in dozens of localities around Palestine, [where] Arab leaders advised or ordered the evacuation of women and children or whole communities, as occurred in Haifa in late April, 1948” is enough to obviate the fact that there was no general call to evacuate.

      The sum total of the equivalent calls in dozens of localities around Palestine, [where] Jewish leaders advised or ordered the expulsion of women and children or whole communities, as occurred in Lydda, Ramle, etc. is not enough to obviate the fact that there was no general call for expulsion.

      Errr… Okay…

  9. Adam rightly takes shabi to task for blaming Jewish and arab nationalism for the exodus of Jews from araab countries. They left because of Nuremberg style laws and insecurity
    They did not leave because the European powers had been meddling .if anything these powers gave Jews and Christians a better degree of security and equal rights. The resurgence of islamism will bring back dhimmi status for Jews. We will see the remaining Jews of djerba leave for Israel and France.
    The Islamist ennahda party is not moderate. It wants sharia law which does not recognise the western concept of citizenship for minorities.

  10. Daniel, I’m a bit late to this one, but if the debate is about the failure of Zionism as a national project for Jews, then its main failure is that it did not exist as a reality ten years sooner. The reason for this may be lost on you as you seem to view the ‘problem’ or failure of Israel entirely in the abstract, a tool for intellectual masturbation. Go to Israel and take a look. If your interest in Israel is based on reason rather than some dark fantasy about the iniquities of Zionism, you will judge it a success rather than a failure.

  11. Gerald

    (December 30, 2011 at 6:06 am)

    Thank you for that. I’ve read Dostoyevsky but know little about hard left things or Communism. I do know that Pinter’s Communism was the basis of his hatred of Israel, What I find difficult to understand is people wanting to have a rootless world population. The Russians I’ve met have been very proud of being Russian. I did see that ziontruth caught on very fast.

    And when we look at what the haters want – anything Arabs want – then we look at the Arabs and see them manufacturing false roots as fast as they can. It’s just another double standard.