Guardian

The use of ‘AsAJews’ like Antony Lerman to legitimize ‘one-state solution’ proposals is shameful


“abusive references to ‘Zionism’ … go far beyond direct reference to Israel. An ideology of national self-determination, applicable in one tiny part of the world, has become a universally applied epithet, a fundamental evil responsible for most of the world’s problems…. The ways in which Zionism is referred to are so far-fetched and have such little bearing on the real world that what is needed is a correct meaning and use of the word…. The distortion of Zionism is deliberate and calculated and not just a product of sloppy thinking.” – Antony LermanResearch Report No. 20, “The Abuse of Zionism,” published by the Institute of Jewish Affairs in December 1981.

“the…Community Security Trust reports a dramatic increase in anti-Semitic incidents since the beginning of the Gaza war. This is not a new phenomenon. For some decades, incidents have increased at times of high tension or violence in Israel-Palestine. Jewish leaders and commentators are indignant at the implication that Jews worldwide are responsible for Israel’s actions. Don’t conflate Jews and Israel, they say. But matters are far more complicated. Most Jews support Israel; they feel it’s part of their identity; official Jewish bodies defend Israel when it’s criticised….But we can’t have it both ways. If you’re close to Israel, you can’t just own your connection with the country when all is quiet; you have to own it when what Israel does provokes outrage. The consequence of this is recognising that by provoking outrage, which is then used to target Jews, Israel bears responsibility for that anti-Jewish hostility.” Antony Lerman, ‘Must Jews always see themselves as victims‘, Independent, March 2009.

How Antony Lerman was transformed from an outspoken critic of those who demonize Israel to a proponent of the hideous logic that Israel is responsible for antisemitism is a vexing question.

While a conclusive answer would be difficult to ascertain, it is clear that his comment in 2009 was not a one-off.

In September 2008 Lerman attacked the widely accepted Fundamental Rights Agency Working Definition of Antisemitism (accepted by the US State Department and the UK Parliamentary Committee on Antisemitism). He wrote that the working definition “puts out of bounds the perfectly legitimate discussion of whether increased anti-Semitism is a result of Israel’s actions.”

In 2006 Lerman attacked the Board of Deputies (The representative organisation of British Jewry) for lodging a complaint against then London Mayor Ken Livingstone for telling a Jewish reporter that he could have been a guard in a concentration camp.

On June 25th, 2010 – on the pages of CiF – Lerman accused Israeli leaders of “taking Jews back to the perceived ghetto mentality of diaspora Jews that Zionism was meant to eradicate.”

So Lerman’s recent return to ‘Comment is Free’, after a two-year absence, represented a  reprise of his Guardian role ‘AsAJew’ to decry the “abuse” which “dissident Jews” like himself are subjected to by the Jewish establishment, (Abuse of dissenting Jews is shameful, August 20th).

Lerman begins by arguing that “[Israeli] governments have taken support [for Israel by diaspora Jews] for granted for decades” and then explains why many, like himself, feel disconnected from the Jewish state:

“[Israelis] should stop accusing [diaspora Jews] of disloyalty, succumbing to “Jewish self-hatred”, and being “fellow travelers” of antisemites…[those] Jewish critics with radical ideas for resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict…

Of course, the radical idea he’s referring to – and for which he has advocated before – is what is known as a ‘one-state solution’: the end of the world’s only Jewish state.

Jews who oppose Israel’s existence as a Jewish state within any borders are, per Lerman, “subjected to a process of vilification, demonisation and marginalisation.” Lerman then argues that “The Jewish establishment in the UK…is highly experienced at such [exclusion].”

While Lerman does concede that, of late,  opportunities for expressing dissent appear to have grown, he nonetheless warns:

“… right-wing Zionists staged a media-savvy fightback, using the usual accusations of disloyalty and “giving succour to our enemies”, especially targeting liberal Zionist Jewish critics.”

Who are these “right-wing Zionists” with their media-savvy silencing tactics?  Lerman explains:

“The latest charge is ‘Jew-washing, Jews using their Jewishness to give token cover for [boycotting Israel] and even antisemitism” – a calumny, itself redolent of antisemitism, promoted by the Israel-based, rightwing NGO Monitor. Spearheading this crusade is an assortment of columnists, bloggers and thinktankers of an aggressive and apocalyptic mindset who smear their targets to the edge of actionable defamation.” [emphasis added]

It is not at all surprising that Lerman would decry the term ‘Jew-washing’ because the term – referring to the cynical use of token Jews to legitimize antisemitism and the demonization of Israel – is exactly what the Guardian does by using commentators like him to impute liberalism to such inherently illiberal views.

Lerman not only seeks the end of Jewish national sovereignty, but feels entitled to do so without any corresponding critical scrutiny or public opprobrium.  He not only believes that the first sovereign Jewish state in 2000 years needs to be radically reconstituted into an Arab/Muslim state – with Jews, once again, the minority at the mercy of a hostile majority – but wants respect from Zionist Jews and even the very Israelis whose state he believes is illegitimate. 

Lerman ends thus:

“…the tectonic plates of Jewish diaspora awareness of Israel’s self-destructive path are definitely shifting…the Jewish diaspora’s…quest for serious, open and civil debate among Jews about what is really best for Israel must continue.”

Indeed, in an essay at Ha’aretz in 2008, Lerman bizarrely suggests that “advocacy of a one-state solution for the Israel-Palestine conflict” is not “prima facie anti-Zionist”.

This argument is not only morally obscene, but also fundamentally illogical.

A one-state solution is, by definition, anti-Zionist, as Zionism merely refers to support for the existence of a Jewish state.

As Gerald Steinberg and Yitzhak Santis argued in their essay on ‘Jew-washing’:

“While the term “Jew-washing” is an ugly expression, the practice is not only much uglier, but extremely dangerous to real Jewish lives.”

Those arguing for a one-state solution are legitimizing the logic of ethnic cleansing. They are saying, in effect, that the Arabs were right in emphatically opposing Israel’s existence, and that Jews were wrong to demand sovereignty in their ancient homeland.  

Lerman’s logic suggests that the Arabs (both state and non-state actors) who sought Israel’s destruction in 1948, and in subsequent wars throughout the Jewish state’s first 64 years, were justified and that Jews who have insisted on arduously protecting political freedom, based on legal and moral right, as well as a keen understanding of Jewish history, have been on the wrong side of history.

While Lerman has the right to advocate policies which, by definition, endanger six million Jews – only with breathtaking hubris can he believe that he can do so while enjoying moral impunity.

94 replies »

  1. “Must Jews always see themselves as victims.”

    It seems that Anthony Lerman falls into that category.

  2. We should point out the following:

    1. We could historically point to numerous Zionists who were wary of Jewish domination of Palestine, (e.g. Einstein – AsAJew? Self hating?)

    2. We can point to Zionist support for a single state (Brit Shalom, Hashomer Hatzair).

    While Lerman has the right to advocate policies which, by definition, endanger six million Jews – only with breathtaking hubris can he believe that he can do so while enjoying moral impunity.

    The suggestion that independent thought endangers the existence of the state of Israel would set off alarm bells in the head of anyone not suffering from nationalism. It’s a ridiculous proposition.

    Underlying this very silly article is the myth of Israel’s “right to exist”. A right claimed by only Israel, recognition of which is demanded from only Palestinians. A right which Adam has defended strenuously, attempting to erect firm barriers to the limits of acceptable debate.

    • So what?

      And by your argument that Israel’s right to exist is a myth, you are also undermining the right to exist free from aggression of every state and country on earth.

      Israel claims the right only because others, helped along by useful idiots like you, question it and try to undermine it. Israel’s existence would be accepted naturally if they did not.

      You are selective and ignorant, and you present no surprises.

      • And by your argument that Israel’s right to exist is a myth, you are also undermining the right to exist free from aggression of every state and country on earth.

        Does the USSR have a right to exist? What about the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia?

        States just exists as a matter of fact. Rights don’t come into it.

        • Avram: “States just exists as a matter of fact. Rights don’t come into it.”

          When your pseudo intellectual bullshit slips you make perfect sense. Who needs Jordan? A colonial bribe to keep the descendents of the house of Saud happy? Under your arbitrary arrogance we can start re-drawing the map straight away. Confiscating real-estate in the name of natural justice doesn’t just have to apply to the Jews does it ‘Avram’? That, after all, would be discriminatory and damn right anti-Semitic, and God forbid, you are a paragon of descent, progressive fair play in this sea of Zionist ‘criminality’.

          • “Who needs Jordan?”

            Jordan exists as a matter of fact, not because it has a right to exist. Same with Israel.

            Does the Soviet Union have a right to exist? What about the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia?

            “Under your arbitrary arrogance we can start re-drawing the map straight away. ”

            You’re failing to understand. States do not have a right to exist. They are (often transient) manifestations of people, politics and power.

    • “Underlying this very silly article is the myth of Israel’s “right to exist”. A right claimed by only Israel, recognition of which is demanded from only Palestinians.”

      So, according to you Israel’s right to exist is a myth? Is the right to exist of other states only a myth in your opinion?
      When you say “A right claimed only by Israel” do you mean that of all existing states only Israel asserts such a right, e.g., America doesn’t assert a right to exist? I think America’s right to exist is implicit, and that if you asked Americans about this they’d make it quite explicit. Or are you saying that only Israel among the world’s states asserts the notion that Israel has a right to exist? Where are you getting this ludicrous notion from?
      Israel was accepted as a UN member state. Without even going any further than that, it’s right to exist is affirmed. The condition of its legitimacy be accepted by its “peace partners,” is due to the fact of their repeated declarations to destroy it.
      Have you been smoking “critical theory” again?

      • “So, according to you Israel’s right to exist is a myth?”

        Yes.

        “Is the right to exist of other states only a myth in your opinion?”

        No other state on Earth claims recognition of this non-existent right. Only Israel. No state on Earth has a right to exist. They simply exist.

        “When you say “A right claimed only by Israel” do you mean that of all existing states only Israel asserts such a right, e.g., America doesn’t assert a right to exist?”

        No, it doesn’t. It simply exists. Again, does the Soviet Union have a right to exist? What about the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia?

        “Israel was accepted as a UN member state. Without even going any further than that, it’s right to exist is affirmed.”

        The Soviet Union was a UN member state. Does it have a right to exist? If so, where is it?

        Lazy thinking my friend.

    • The suggestion is, if you follow it through, ever-so-slightly racist.

      The argument is that Jewish people can only achieve self determination if they are numerically preponderant. Now, either Adam is arguing that whilst a Jewish majority would grant self determination to a non-Jewish minority, a non-Jewish minority would not grant self determination to a Jewish minority.

      Problematic, yes?

      Jews, like Catholics, like Buddhists, like atheists do NOT have a right to a European style nation state in which they are numerically supreme. What they have is a right to self determination.

      • The Israelis have the right to the state that they want. Just as any other state does. There is no precedent in the history of the world in which any sovereign nation was morally forced to absorb millions of vicious hostiles within its borders.

        Every country has an immigration policy, determining who it wants and who it doesn’t. Israel has citizens of skins of very different hues, different coloured eyes hair and stature. Israel has decided it wants to be Jewish. So Jewish people fit the profile. That’s Israel’s right. Too bad if you don’t agree, even if you and Lerman lived in Israel and voted you would each only have one vote. Which you haven’t.

        Jews have no right to decide. That’s correct. But Israelis do.

        • The Israelis have the right to the state that they want.

          Indeed. And to the indigenous peoples have a right to a state that they want? Who is standing in the way of that?

          There is no precedent in the history of the world in which any sovereign nation was morally forced to absorb millions of vicious hostiles within its borders.

          Interesting argument considering how Israel was formed.

          Every country has an immigration policy, determining who it wants and who it doesn’t.

          Indeed. Do you think that the best way to have solved the crisis of European Jewish refugees after WWII was to create another refugee crisis in Palestine?

          Israel has decided it wants to be Jewish. So Jewish people fit the profile.

          That’s only a problem when it is predicated upon ethnic cleansing the indigenous peoples.

          • ‘Avram’ I suspect if we knew a little more about you your inane ranting would make more sense. Like which conspiracy theories you subscribe too, and whether your knowledge of history is derived from people who can spell.

          • Ethnic cleansing again?
            Population shifts happen in wars.
            Most weren’t put on trains and kicked out.

            If anything the Arab armies and irregulars as well as the Arab scare propaganda backed fire and while most Arab people fled in panic intending to return after the Jews were oust, their invading armies lost.

            • So ridiculously detached from the historical record it barely warrants a response.

              There are so many examples of recent conflicts involving displacement during war where the right of return has been critical to solving the conflict.

              Israel is the exception. As always.

              • Avram: “Israel is the exception. As always.”

                Well, it is full of Jews, and for the sake of humanity, we don’t want ‘exceptions’ like that, do we ‘Avram’?

              • Israel is not the exception. How many Germans have the right of return to East Prussia, where they had lived for centuries? Not all of those displaced Germans were Nazis, yet after WW II they were driven out of their homes and no one seems to think they are entitled to get them back. Why cannot the Finns get Zyborg back from Russia, which the Finns lost when Russia, then known as the USSR, invaded Finland in 1939? Why should Israel be the only country that has to give back to displaced people when most other countries have NOT done so?

        • There is no precedent in the history of the world in which any sovereign nation was morally forced to absorb millions of vicious hostiles within its borders.

          Eh?

          Exactly which “millions of vicious hostiles” are you talking about here?
          And in what sense “forced to absorb”?

      • You know little about Islam/ism do you Avram?

        The difficulty lies in Islam’s insistence (which you well know but dare not admit here) on its supremacy. Oh, and it also hates Jews. Only if Jews had numerical preponderance as you call it could they be safe in a one state solution. That would never happen because among the central tenets of Islam is its hatred of Jews and the right to persecute them because they are Jews

        And if I were do say, a propos Saudi Arabia and Pakistan, that Muslims/Islamists do not have the right to any Muslim state (never in any dream could either become a European style nation state) I take it that you would agree with me.

    • A one state solution (which Lerman supports), if it ever came into being, would necessarily endanger the millions of Jewish inhabitants, as they would be at the mercy of an Arab/Muslim government. As history, especially Middle East history, demonstrates, Arab and Muslim gov’ts see their Jewish minorities as, at best, expendable. The expulsion of Jews from Arab lands after WWII is a perfect example.

      • And yet, prior to Zionism, Jews lived as a minority in Palestine in quiet, if imperfect coexistence.

          • I’m not aware of any recorded violent incidents involving the indigenous Jewish minority in recent Palestine before the existence of Zionism.

            And the indigenous Arabs have suffered rapes, beatings, thefts and murder at the hands of their colonial masters. What of it?

              • Thanks for the list Commentry101. I have archived it. There are quite a few depraved commenters who have made a statement similar to that of Avram, (I’m not aware of any recorded violent incidents involving the indigenous Jewish minority in recent Palestine before the existence of Zionism. And the indigenous Arabs have suffered rapes, beatings, thefts and murder at the hands of their colonial masters. What of it?).

                Your list thoroughly debunks that.

                If you had posted the list on CiF, it would undoubtedly have been deleted. (Probably for ‘relevance’. (Cough. Cough again)).

                • Thanks NobblyStick,
                  And it’s unfortunate that one can’t outsource, on the Internet, Lewis’ seminal work on the “Jews of Islam”.
                  “Avram”-‘s problem(among others), is his inability to see Jews as an ethnicity, thereby distinct from any other.
                  Such a categorization warrants(unlike his examples of Buddhists and Catholics), a Jewish right for self-determination, due to the emergence of peoplehood(and this claim, in Jews as a first, is established by Genetic evidence as well).
                  There are however, back to the main point, many examples of Jewish subjugation in the greater Islamic/Christian world.(Someone mentioned “Jizya”… that was a major part of it).
                  There was never “Coexistence”, in its strictest sense — there was gnawing, grinding ‘tolerance’. Frequently, when even that thread would wear thin, it would explode in rage.
                  Then subside for a while, ebb, until it once again, some frothing rage started to accumulate.
                  Jews cannot be safe, sadly, without a place of their own; this is true whether their overlords are Christian or Muslim, alike.

      • And you’re also quite happy for Israel’s indigenous minority to live “at the mercy” of an ultra-nationalist Jewish government.

        • ‘Indigenous minority’ is a pejorative joke. Most Jews are genetically indigenous to Israel even though their immediate ancestors might have been born elsewhere. Eucalyptus trees grown in Israel are still indigenous to Australia.

          If the non-Jews felt unhappy about being at the mercy of Israel’s government they would take the opportunity of polls and surveys asking them which regime they prefer to indicate a home-grown Palestinian citizenship, not moving an inch from where they are living. They wouldn’t vote for Israeli citizenship as they do.

          • ‘Indigenous minority’ is a pejorative joke.

            Would you argue we’re all indigenous to Africa? Or would you customise the term to mean what you want it to mean?

            • That wasn’t proven yet but it is a likely theory.
              Many arabs migrated to Ottoman Palestine and to the British manadated Palestine after the Zionist project began.

              In fact the British placed quotas on Jewish immigrating via sea but not on Arab which migrated through the unsupervised land borders.

            • Jews are indigenous to Israel. You may indeed be indigenous to Africa. You and your wishes are, once again, irrelevant to this thread.

        • I am happy for the non Jewish large minority in Israel to live equaly.
          There is still much to be done, as is the case in most countries, but Israel is in a better place in that respect than many countries which you and most Anti Zionists do not attack.

          • For what it’s worth, I agree with you. As a society, I think Israel is the most progressive in the Middle East. I would much rather be an Arab in Israel than a Jew in Iraq, Gaza or Saudi Arabia.

              • Kind of my point.

                And I think the number of Jews in Iraq could be counted on one hand. Possibly two.

                • The ones that identify themselves as Jews… God knows how many are hiding it.
                  But as you said, you agree wit this sad state of affair.

      • From what I’ve read, Lerman appears to prefer the two-state solution. He’s certainly more supportive of it than e.g. Netanyahu.

        Are you saying that the anti-two-state-solution Likud “advocate policies which endanger six million Jews”?

  3. I, too, am teased by Lerman’s rocketing from one end of the spectrum (support for Israel when he was a youth leader in a Zionist youth movement – that reminding the readership of that got me banned from CiF – to the opposite polarity).

    It can be explained by a sort of narcissistic rage, against a group which has failed to give him the recognition he believes that he deserves.

    Your article shows a series of confrontations with, one presumes, more powerful people than he (which also implies Oedipal rage) and he made things worse for himself when he lost.

    He is still at the bottom of the heap, but CiF gives him an outlet for his rantings.

    As it does for Islamist terrorists.

  4. “I must remind Lerman. First, the Arabs have 22 states and Israel 1 tiny state. In most of the Arab countries, Jews are barred from living there.

    2nd, the 1 state solution was tried by a Kurd named Saladin.
    Saladin won the wars but opposed a state for his people the Kurds, cause he wanted a 1 state solution with the Arabs, Turks and Iranians.
    How did that work out for the Kurds?
    Today the Arabs have 22 countries, Iran and Turkey are 2 large countries and the Kurds have nothing.
    There was a play written by a Kurdish writer a few years ago called “The Trial of Saladin.” In it Saladin is brought back from death to appear in a Kurdish court. Realising what the Arabs, Turks and Persians did to his people, he apologises to the Kurdish nation and commits suicide knowing he was responsible for all the Kurdish suffering by opposing a Kurdish state.
    So i blame Saladin for all the Kurdish suffering.
    Everything bad that happened to the Kurds is cause he didn’t want a state for his people.

  5. If Antony Lerman and Avhraham Burg want a 1 state solution, whats stopping them from moving to Gaza or Syria where they can live under the Arabs. Ofcourse they would never do that, cause they want Jews to live under Sharia law.
    Lerman and Burg longs for the days of Auschwitz, the Chmielnicki massacres, the pogroms of the Russian pale of settlement, the Farhoud of Bagdad in 1941, the Hebron massacre in 29, the White paper in 39, the Inquisition, and other high points of civilization where Jews are victims.
    They long for Jewish victimization so they can feel good among European and Islamic antisemites.

    • Lerman’s reference to Avram Burg as a “prominent Israeli” is absurd.

      Burg is only prominent in the same way as Lerman is – despised by those who even know his name, and because he is such as poor version of his father.

  6. Lerman uses CiF as a pathetic attempt to “get back” at the community that spurned him.

    ” And I became a target for such treatment myself when I was appointed head of the influential Jewish Policy Research (JPR) thinktank for a second time in 2005, an experience I recall in my book The Making and Unmaking of a Zionist.”

    He has never forgiven the fact that he was kicked out of the JPR by the community for his bias against Israel. Apparently he is the only person on the planet who does not understand that a Jewish research group supported by the pro-Zionist British Jewish community and specially several large donors, of whom Lord Kalms was considered to be the main contributor, cannot be headed by a director committed to the destruction of Israel!

    He then wrote several articles for the Guardian in which he bitterly referenced the issue and attacked the Bord of Deputies (as he does again in his latest article). I commented then in a couple of articles for CiFWatch that he was using CiF as a platform to parade his grievances and the G. actually stopped using him – I rather wondered if due to threats of legal action by those Lerman referenced by name, but of course we will never know.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2009/nov/20/c4-dispatches-israel-lobby-antisemitism

    These same businessmen and entrepreneurs who support and drive the Israel lobby organisations are sought after to chair major Jewish charitable institutions. They’re not kept hidden in boxes. They’re lionised. We should have the guts and the confidence to allow the robust but fair discussion of their involvement in politics. Peter Oborne investigated Lord Ashcroft. Why shouldn’t he do the same with Lord Kalms?

    He and the tiny group IJV, denied access to the G. as their platform, then tried to launch a widely unread newsletter. It attempted to reprint every scurrilous article that could be written about Israel that they could find and add a few of their own written mainly by Lerman. Like Lerman himself, it was a failure.

    And, of course, this recent article was an opportunity for him to use the Guardian as a platform to try to drum up sales of his equally widely unread book!!

  7. We had the wholly sickening experience of another self righteous ‘ as a Jew ‘ Loewenstein who was speaking for a one state solution at Soas last night .
    Jonathan Hoffman asked the natural question how this would be implemented given the fact that 6 million or so Israelis are hardly likely to vote themselves into a Palestinian state . An absurd supposition .
    The reality is that such a cataclysmic outcome could only result from existential war resulting in unprecedented bloodshed .
    Hoffman asked just how many lives were considered expendable in the pursuit of this theoretical outcome . A million , two , three ?
    Loewenstein was caught unprepared and when pushed stated six million accompanied by a smirk .
    This is what it comes down to when the thin veneer of humanitarian concern for Palestinians is peeled back .
    Loewenstein and his ilk are no different from the Stalinists who were prepared to murder millions in the pursuit of their political objectives ie Communism . The theoreticians of the bds are exactly the same . The cause is everything . The human suffering is an unfortunate but necessary by product of the cause .
    On a lighter theme , I was pleased to see the hapless Frank ‘ Borat ,’ yes he of the iconic Norman Finklestein interview , presiding over matters . I thought he had been dispatched to a Gulag in Siberia for reprogramming .
    Well done Frank . It must have been quite an ordeal putting yourself in the spotlight last night . At least no one gave you a revolver to do the honourable thing !

    • With the two-state solution rendered unobtainable by Israeli intransigence, land thefts, demolitions etc, the one-state solution will obviously gain currency. What’s the alternative? Status quo?

      Everyone’s favourite settler colonial state can’t go on denying Palestinians their right to self determination for ever.

      • Nonsense !
        The two state solution has always been possible .
        It was possible between 1948 and http://www.thejc.com/users/jonathan-hoffman1967 when there was no occupation and no settlements . It was not Israeli intransigence but Arab murderous intent to wipe out Israel which failed the Palestinian people and prevented the two state solution .
        Nothing has changed since 67 except that the Palestinians caught a cold and took ten steps back . Now they want to return to the original starting blocks as if nothing has happened .
        Well that’s simply not the case . We are all responsible for our actions . The Palestinians no less so . It’s called cause and effect . Things have moved on and the Palestinians have to deal with the current hand they’ve been dealt by their Arab overlords and double dealing thieves such as Arafat .
        I’m minded of the ultimate optimist playing blackjack and calling for another card on 19 . Then when he strikes out , he demands his stake back . Life doesn’t work that way except in the minds of Palestinians and their ersatz supporters .

        • In case you need reminding, the indigenous Arabs of Palestine did not ask to be conquered by European colonisers. Nor did they ask for Israel to start a war with its Arab neighbours.

          They did not ask to be occupied, they did not ask to live under an Israeli boot.

          Blaming the victims is a particularly nasty brand of dishonesty.

          • Nor did they ask for Israel to start a war with its Arab neighbours.

            Did they ask said Arab neighbours.to start the 1948 war? Because that’s what the latter did.

            • If Arabs in Israel unilaterally declared Tel Aviv to be an independent Arab state and started cleaning the indigenous Jews – would the IDF go in?

              If they did, would they be attempting to destroy the new state?

        • “Avram” is of course, avoiding the principle argument.
          There had been a golden opportunity to establish Pal. statehood, within the 1967 lines, in the inter-bellum period.
          In fact, as it is evident today, Palestinians differ from the Jordanian Hashemites, and therefore, would have appreciate freedom from their yoke too.
          The fact that it was not done, if anything, shows that the Arab betrayal of their supposed Brethren, is among the reasons by Palestinian statehood didn’t materialize when there was an excellent offing for it.

      • Let Jordan and Egypt move in to fill the vacum and give the Palestinians a cultural autonomy…

        That’s what would have happened anyway had the 1948 war ended in a different way.

        Maybe replace jordan with syria but all the same.

      • Avram at 08.48
        “The argument is that Jewish people can only achieve self determination if they are numerically preponderant.”

        Avram at 10.39
        “Everyone’s favourite settler colonial state can’t go on denying Palestinians their right to self determination for ever.”

        Do you think that the Palestinians – or any people, for that matter – can achieve self- determination without insisting on numerical preponderance? If so, perhaps you would care to list just one country in the world where this has taken place.

        • ?????

          You are unwittingly making a very good argument for anarchism. I salute you.

          Question – have Jews in the US achieved self determination?

          Well then.

            • You are arguing against democracy. I don’t think that’s a challenge you can maintain. Your assertion is that the state of Israel is (by your definition) denying its minorities the right to self determination.

              Have a think and try again.

              • Many years ago I asked Zaidan Atche, then a former MK for Shinui, whether the Druze and Arab population of the Galil would ever secede from Israel. He told me that would never happen because none wished to renounce the political and socio-economic gains accruing from being Israeli citizens. Even when our execrable foreign minister talked about redrawing the Green Line so that Umm-el-Faham would be included in the Palestinian Authority, the Israeli Arab leadership, with huge public support, rushed to denounce it as “transfer” and reiterated their resolve to stay Israelis.

                I think the question of self-determination by Israeli Arabs was answered long ago.

                • So in one breath you argue that self determination is only obtainable with numerical preponderance, in the next breath you tell me that Israel’s minorities have obtained self determination.

                  Now, I agree that they have. But that negates the idea that Jews require a state in which they are numerically preponderant to obtain self determination.

      • “Everyone’s favourite settler colonial state can’t go on denying Palestinians their right to self determination for ever.”

        Yes, “Avram.” Each and every Palestinian should petition the Jordanians to incorporate the areas in which they live into the kingdom, as was the case before 1967, and demand they’re rights as equal citizens, as well as in every other Arab state in which they live, and stop the nonsense of having their own separate state. After all, as you yourself have pointed out, self-determination does not depend on having a state where you are the majority and is even slightly racist too, no? Israel, to its credit has already granted those Arabs and minorities living within its borders those equal rights of self-determination you so self-righteously espouse.

  8. the alternative is for the Palestinians to square their shoulders and approach things honestly, make an offer, accept that Israel has a right to exist and that so do they and stop their nonsense.

    There would be no refugee problem, no settlements, no quarrel if they had acted like people who want their children to have a home and a future instead of denying the Israelis theirs

    • “the alternative is for the Palestinians to…make an offer”

      Like the Saudi Plan? Is there a single instance of Israel “offering” the Palestinians their legal entitlements? No.

      “accept that Israel has a right to exist”

      Back to that canard. Sigh.

  9. The Palestinians were never conquered unless you are referring to land seized and annexed by Trans Jordan in 1948 .
    Had the Palestinians accepted partition and declared a nation state instead of declaring war , we would not be where we are today .

    • You think they should have accepted the generous offer of the imperial power to have 55% of their homeland including 85% of their agricultural land handed over to European immigrants?

      Interesting.

  10. Earth to Avram, no such state called Palestine existed in history.
    We all know about the Barak and Olmert offers, but the Pals cant accept any offer where their would be a Jewish state not controlled by the fascist Arabs.

  11. FATHI HAMMAD” admits Palestinians are an invented people and are really Arabs from other Arab countries.
    Hamas official reveals where Palestinians came from.
    HIS VIDEO IS ON YOUTUBE.
    Hamas Minister of the Interior Fathi Hammad Slams Egypt over Fuel Shortage in Gaza Strip, and Says:
    “Half of the Palestinians Are Egyptians and the Other Half Are Saudis”
    Al-Hekma TV (Egypt) – March 23, 2012

    • Whatever the origins of Palestinians, and as any person with even a smattering of knowledge will know, they are a mixed bag from Syria, Egypt and Sudan as well as the long-time residents of the Holy Land with whom they assimilated, over the past hundred years or so, they have developed a feeling of being a people separate from other Arab nations. It is no more than just to acknowledge this fact. It doesn’t detract anything substantial from Israel’s claims.

  12. A photo of Lerman should go on the pirate flag instead of the traditional skull and crossbones. Land ahoy, matey!