Saturday, March 6, 2010

The right price for peace

"Israeli Jews will never accept a one-state solution." This is a Zionist tenet indefatigably repeated every time someone proposes that equal rights be granted to Jews and Palestinians under a single polity between the Jordan and the Mediterranean.

Let us assume, for the sake of argument, that the statement is accurate. It is also accurate to state that Rosarians (is that the demonym for my city?) are not prepared to pay $7 for an orchid. The result: orchids are not available at Rosario's flower kiosks.

Peace, like flowers, is a commodity. You want to have it, you've got to pay for it. Now it's not that Israeli Jews reject the idea of paying a price altogether. They would be happy to give the Palestinians a collection of cantons with no contiguity, no borders with any country other than Israel, no freedom of movement and no army, very much like Rosarians would be happy to buy orchids for $1.5 apiece. The problem, of course, is that the price of things is not set by the potential buyer; it's set by the market.

I know nothing about the culture of orchids, but I guess they don't grow as easily as roses. It takes more time, space and care to produce them; hence their exorbitant price. Analogously, peace in the Middle East doesn't grow as easily as in, say, Scandinavia. Whatever the wishes of Israeli Jews, you can't have peace without a reasonable measure of justice. Gerrymandering intricate borders around confiscated territories and declaring them your own may be an attractive idea to some, but it is thoroughly unfair to many more, and it is dellusional to believe that it will bring peace just because the people harmed by the scheme are in a weaker position.

There are several conditions for peace in Israel/Palestine to be achieved. Among them:

  • No people should be uprooted from where they were born.
  • Property confiscated should be returned to their owners.
  • People with a legitimate claim to land or houses somewhere should be allowed to move there if they so wish.
  • People should be able to move around with ease.
  • The interests of some citizens shouldn't be prioritized over the interests of other citizens.

These conditions, and other similar ones, can't be met outside of a single-state solution. While the Jewish settlers in the West Bank could in principle be thought of as the fiercest opposers to such a solution, at least some of them are beginning to reconcile with the idea of coexistence with Palestinians. One country with equal rights for all is the right price that needs to be paid --by both sides-- to achieve peace.

To state that Israeli Jews don't want a binational country is, thus, to state the actual problem: they don't want peace. They see that the status quo works very well for them and have no problem keeping it. It hasn't yet sunk in that, just like peace with Egypt brought enormous benefits, so would peace with the Palestinians under a binational state. That more money could be spent in education; that they would spend less time doing military service and reserve duty; that the task of raising the living standards of Palestinians would create a huge boost for the economy as a whole.

If Israeli Jews want orchids, they'll have to pay what orchids are worth. Otherwise, they'll get roses, or, more likely still, thorns.

61 comments:

Anonymous said...

Isn't it obvious that the Jews of Israel prefer supremacy over democracy?

Ernie Halfdram said...

I'm not too sure about your economic analysis there, Ibrahim. If I'm not mistaken, in bourgeois economic 'theory', consumers are the market, or at least significant players in it. If the costs of production, which in voodoo economics actually include profit, are higher than 'the market will bear', then there effectively is no market and the producers will have to cop a loss or cease producing the commodity.

But I have other concerns about this post. Couching 'the conflict' in terms of exchange implies that it is the Palestinians who possess this commodity of peace and are not prepared to exchange it for what Israel has to offer. So it invokes the same inverted perception as the old 'land for peace' trope. Furthermore, even if the analogy were sound, it's not just that Israel is unwilling to pay the price for peace, it is Israel who is the aggressor – they are the ones in a position to 'market' it to the Palestinians, but prefer to stockpile it, if you will, presumably because the Palestinians are not prepared to pay the required price, which is their land, their resources, and their existence as a people, if not their very lives. In terms of the orchid analogy, they're holding out for the $7, and doing so in full cognisance that that is a price that the market will not bear.

If truth be told, I don't think the metaphor is very apt in the first place. Peace is not really a commodity or anything like one, and if it's meaningful, it can't be distinct from justice. An unjust peace is not any kind of peace at all, save the peace of the grave, or peace as in 'peace and quiet' or 'leave me in peace'. As long as injustice persists, there will be resistance that may disturb Israelis' 'peace' in that sense. 'The actual problem' is, as you say 'they don't want peace'. To paraphrase Martí, 'cardo y ortiga cultivan'.

It may indeed be the case that benefits could accrue to the Israeli Jewish economy in an integrated nonsectarian or binational entity, but I think that's a diversion. In any case, wherever there are economic benefits, they always flow to the top – to the bosses and landlords. The real benefit would be to release them from this stupid racist conflict Zionism has made for them and create the conditions that would allow Jewish workers to struggle alongside Palestinian workers for their common interests against their common enemy. In a country where 1/3 of the children live in poverty, that's a struggle well worth undertaking.

Yitzchak Goodman said...

I have a theory that leftists would not support a mere one-state solution either, but the only person I have ever tried it out on is you, Ibrahim. Did you ever answer this question? I have asked it before. What if territory comprising green-line Israel and the West Bank simply becomes a state for those living there now. Gaza's current rule by Hamas is probably irreversible anyway. The new state can vote for whatever immigration policy it wants. People who weren't born there and who don't live there now can't move there so as to radically alter the current demographics of the country unless the new state enacts such a policy--and it probably won't.

Ernie Halfdram said...

You don't say, but I assume you mean that all the residents would have equal voting rights, equal access to land and employment and education and municipal services and so forth, don't you? You exclude people who weren't born there and don't currently live there, but don't articulate a position on those who were born there but remain in exile. What about them? What about their families?

Hamas no more rules Gaza than does the quisling PA the West Bank. One way or the other, excluding Gaza is out of the question.

To cut to the chase, there's no peace without justice and there's no justice without justice for the refugees.

Yitzchak Goodman said...

You don't say, but I assume you mean that all the residents would have equal voting rights, equal access to land and employment and education and municipal services and so forth, don't you?

Let's assume that they they model their constitution on the US one.

You exclude people who weren't born there and don't currently live there, but don't articulate a position on those who were born there but remain in exile. What about them?

I meant that citizenship is available to them.

What about their families?

No automatic citizenship for adults not born there and not living there now. Minor children
become citizens if their parents actually move back.

Hamas no more rules Gaza than does the quisling PA the West Bank. One way or the other, excluding Gaza is out of the question.

Gaza is under a partial blockade, which leftists often construe as continued occupation, but Hamas is in control of the land territory of Gaza. It controls education, it can arrest whomever it wants, etc.
Its removal would involve an invasion and a military defeat.

One way or the other, excluding Gaza is out of the question.

As far as I'm concerned, you just admitted that you don't support any remotely plausible one-state solution under which Jews would, practically-speaking, retain political rights.

To cut to the chase, there's no peace without justice and there's no justice without justice for the refugees.

There is no peace which sane Israelis would be interested in that does not protect their political freedoms. It doesn't sound as if you and they have anything to say to each other.

Yitzchak Goodman said...

Maybe I spoke too soon about Hamas control:

http://www.jpost.com/MiddleEast/Article.aspx?ID=170335

The article doesn't suggest, however, that secular rule is coming back any time soon.

Ibrahim Ibn Yusuf said...

Ernie, the concerns you express in your third paragraph are covered, I believe, in my fourth paragraph. We basically agree that a condition for peace is justice. I provided a short list of justice-related points that can't conceivably be met in any other context than a binational state.

Yitzchak, I don't believe Gaza can be left out of a one-state solution. As for immigration, and as I stated, those with a legitimate claim to land or houses inside the new polity should be allowed to return if they so wish, or compensated if they choose not to. It is quite probable that the 3 M Palestinians who enjoy Jordanian citizenship and don't live in refugee camps would take the money but wouldn't relocate west of the Jordan. It is also probable that the 1.5 M Palestinians who live in refugee camps in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, Saudi Arabia and Egypt would want to return. A special provision could be made that Jews who face persecution or discrimination elsewhere should also be automatically allowed to immigrate (although I don't see why a Jew from Rosario, where the mayor and half the local cabinet are Jewish, should be given that right).

There is no peace which sane Israelis would be interested in that does not protect their political freedoms.

This concern was raised by the Afrikaners before the end of apartheid. They pointed to Mozambique or Congo and said they didn't want to end up in a dictatorship like those.

Just like South African blacks behaved different than other blacks, it is reasonable to assume that Palestinian Arabs would behave different than other Arabs.

Bill said...

As far as a one-state Israel/Palestine modeling its constitution on the US one, speaking as an American, God I hope not.

Yitzchak Goodman said...

Just like South African blacks behaved different than other blacks, it is reasonable to assume that Palestinian Arabs would behave different than other Arabs.

Why? Besides pointing to fearful Afrikaners, you are not even bothering to make a case. Why should drawing a parallel between Palestinians and South African blacks be a better indicator of future Palestinian political behavior than the more obviously relevant indicators: past and present Palestinian political trends and the politics of the actual region we are talking about?
Is this your thinking about this topic really this shallow?

Gert said...

Yitzhak:

"The article doesn't suggest, however, that secular rule is coming back any time soon."

If you're referring to Sharia Law, that was never implemented in Gaza to begin with:

From an eyewitness account in Gaza:

"Hamas did not and could institute any law under the actual situation (Parliament is not fully complete because some Hamas PMs and Fatah PMs live in the West bank and could not participate/vote) but Hamas did discuss Shariah Law in a Parliament session. That cannot not be held against Hamas in the national street since Hamas is known as an Islamic and not a secular movement and that's why it was elected in the first place. But but looking at the real situation on the ground Shariah Law has poor chances to be instituted in Gaza."

Not sure how justice could be done by keeping Gaza out of all this.

Yitzchak Goodman said...

If you're referring to Sharia Law, that was never implemented in Gaza to begin with

I meant rule by a religious movement such as Hamas. I'm aware that there has not been a Taliban-style imposition of Sharia in Gaza.

Not sure how justice could be done by keeping Gaza out of all this.

I think it is disingenuous to speak of a "one-state solution" if all that is meant is the negation of Jewish self-determination. A true "one-state solution," one that is a true alternative to the "two-state solution"--same goals, fewer states--would need to leave Gaza out. And Gaza isn't available anyway. It is in the grips of Islamists, whether Hamas in its current form or whatever emerges from further power struggles.

Gert said...

Yitzchak:

Call me thick as two very short planks but I'm still not following:

"I think it is disingenuous to speak of a "one-state solution" if all that is meant is the negation of Jewish self-determination. A true "one-state solution," one that is a true alternative to the "two-state solution"--same goals, fewer states--would need to leave Gaza out."

Because by counting Gaza in, Jews wouldn't be the majority?

'In the grip of Islamists'? Your crystal ball clearly works better than mine: who says Hamas will win the next election? Or the one after that? Etc?

Anonymous said...

umm sorry to point this out you clearly can't read a map, actually Gaza borders Egypt....it used to be part of Egypt before they tried to invade Israel and same with the west bank, used to be part of Jordan and has a border with Jordan.
Should Jordan have decided to take away the citizenship of Palestinians? Should not that have been left up to the people themselves?

Ibrahim Ibn Yusuf said...

Why? Besides pointing to fearful Afrikaners, you are not even bothering to make a case.

You suggest that the Jews are afraid of losing their political freedoms. I understand (but correct me if I'm wrong) that you mean that Arabs are not known for having created democratic societies elsewhere, and that's why the Jews' fear is reasonable.

I give a counterexample. Black Africans haven't built democratic countries either, and indeed some of their practices while fighting Apartheid (like "necklacing") made hairs stand on end. But when, thanks to BDS, Apartheid fell and the blacks ruled the country, they fully respected the political freedoms that were formerly enjoyed by whites only.

The same will happen in the binational state of Jews and Palestinians.

Yitzchak Goodman said...

Because by counting Gaza in, Jews wouldn't be the majority?

Because Gaza already went its own way. Do you want the Israel that actually exists now to "just be a country for the people that live there" now? No, you want to change the demographics around.

who says Hamas will win the next election?

Who says they are interested in elections that could remove them from power?

Yitzchak Goodman said...

I give a counterexample

I'm asking what your "counterexample" proves. Maybe the Afrikaner's fears were well-founded, in fact, but things worked out anyway. Maybe Israelis have more to fear than the Afrikaners did. Maybe if we study the ANC in great detail we can discover what its latent Democratic tendencies were.

The same will happen in the binational state of Jews and Palestinians

There doesn't seem to be much underlying this conviction of yours. You have been making an argument by analogy. I have been talking about the subject itself.

Ernie Halfdram said...

Don't get me wrong, Ibrahim. I'm pretty confident we agree that there's no such thing as an unjust peace, if peace means anything. The point I was trying to make was that I thought the metaphor you chose was subject to unfortunate and unsavoury interpretation.

I can't agree that a binational state is the only outcome that allows for the four desiderata you list. Obviously, a unified secular state could do the same. Indeed, in principle, even two states could, but neither of them would be a Jewish ethnocracy, which would defeat the purpose of partition.

I also think it's a bit of a distraction to speculate about how many refugees would return. In the absence of an actual settlement setting out their entitlements and how they are to be reintegrated into Palestinian society, it's a vacuous endeavour (http://bureauofcounterpropaganda.blogspot.com/2007/03/who-ordered-herring.html). What's important is that their entitlements are fully preserved and that they get to decide how to exercise them.

Similarly, it is idle, at best, to speculate about how a Palestinian majority might comport itself, particularly in relation to a Jewish minority in some future unified Palestine. It is true, of course, that you couldn't have forecast the behaviour of the ANC in government on the basis of either their rhetoric or their behaviour as a resistance movement. But that was indigenous South Africans, then, and what we are talking about is Palestinians at some point in the future. South Africa is a precedent, but it has no predictive value. In any case, it's not up to us to condition our support on whether we approve of how we expect Palestinians to organise themselves or not. Like any principled antiracist, I support resistance to oppression. I support Palestinian resistance to Israeli oppression and if in some imaginable future Palestinians oppress Jews, I will support Jewish resistance to that. In a binational state, as I understand the term, none of this should even come up, as each 'nation' would enjoy 'national rights' above and beyond its members' 'individual rights'.

It doesn't appear to have occurred to Yitzchak that the whole point of the one state approach is precisely to achieve a goal fundamentally different from that of the two state 'solution', which is to preserve Israel as a racist ethnocracy. Unification at least contains the possibility of justice for the refugees and avoids all the conceptual pitfalls of partition. Of course by arbitrarily excluding Gaza, Yitzchak does manage to circumvent one of the more concrete problems with establishing a Palestinian state – the impossibility of a corridor linking it with the West Bank secure from Israeli interference. He should have a read of 'How many states?' if he wants the details of what kind of conceptual morass you wade into when you support partition of Palestine (http://bureauofcounterpropaganda.blogspot.com/2007/06/how-many-states.html).

Ibrahim Ibn Yusuf said...

I'm asking what your "counterexample" proves.

Probably nothing. On these blogs, we usually present ideas, such as "anti-Zionism is a form of antisemitism," or "a one-state solution would work." We also make analogies to show that our positions make sense. But rarely do we actually prove anything.

You have been making an argument by analogy. I have been talking about the subject itself.

I don't clearly see what you mean by "the subject," but if you mean the subject of this thread, what I was trying to posit is that the wishes of Israeli Jews are basically incompatible with a just peace. They want a complicated geographical arrangement whereby they retain large wedges of land that cut deep into the West Bank. My position is that this would validate land thefts that have been admitted by two different commissions (Sasson and Spiegel) in recent years. It would also make it all but impossible for Palestinians to freely move around within their meager territory. It is difficult to see how this can lead to actual peace.

Gert said...

It strikes me that unwillingness to accept that in a one state "one man, one woman, one vote" situation Jewish political (and other) rights would be respected is almost like saying that undemocratic behaviour by Arabs/Muslims or a tendency to discriminate against Jews are innate Muslim/Arab traits. Similarly Whites in SA also believed Blacks couldn't be trusted with political power (the drivers for oppression of Black/'coloured' South Africans were of course multiple and mainly economic in nature).

The ability to rule democratically in an egalitarian society isn't the prerogative of one group or another.

Hence also Yitzchak's 'Gaza has irretrievably fallen to the Islamists'. Nonsense.

Anonymous said...

wow what a delight to read all these deep thoughts - I'm really grateful that I was sent here - I look forward to finally receiving a real education and learn all those truths which hitherto have been kept from me - I bet it'll make me really happy.
I wonder though how the Jordanians like it that they don't have a border anymore or that they have become part of Israel or whatever else has happened in the evaporating process of their border. If you Mr. Buster don't even get the basic geographics right how trustworthy are you with the rest of your truths?
BTW we have quite a star by the name of Dolly Buster (she's on Wikipedia) - do you happen to be related?

Silke

Ibrahim Ibn Yusuf said...

I'm flattered that you commented, Silke.

As for your objection, unfortunately I'm right and you're wrong. Israel intends to keep a "security zone" along the Jordan River that will effectively cut off the nascent Palestinian state from Jordan and the rest of the world. The only borders allowed will be with Israel.

As for Dolly Buster, we're not related. But you're much prittier than her, I'm told? I'm still waiting for that picture of yours.

Yitzchak Goodman said...

unwillingness to accept that in a one state "one man, one woman, one vote" situation Jewish political (and other) rights would be respected is almost like saying that undemocratic behaviour by Arabs/Muslims or a tendency to discriminate against Jews are innate Muslim/Arab traits.

Is there anyone besides me here who thinks this statement is completely inane? I don't think that non-innateness is very comforting to someone on the receiving end of non-democracy or anti-Jewish discrimination.

Anonymous said...

what a pity you are not related to Dolly Buster - she is a very smart business woman
and as to pictures I don't do pictures on the net and I'm not pretty I'm drop dead gorgeous

your argument about the border to Jordan is as twisted as your writing here which is quite a let-down from what I had every right to expect from you after your performances at Yaacov
go on priding yourself on being "a very bad boy" - giggle giggle giggle what a "linguist" you are - that's how dirty old men used to describe themselves in the old times when they grabbed
Silke

Gert said...

Yitzchak:

Please spare me your feigned indignation and your attempt at playing l'ingenue.

In considerable parts of Zionism the belief that antisemitism in innate to Goys is very vibrant, some would argue it's the main reason for the birth of the Zionist movement and raison d'être of the Jewish state.

Arab resistance to the creation of the Jewish State is also attributed routinely to Arab antisemitism.

In Europe Islamophobia is strongly on the rise. One of the central tenets of the Islamophobes is that 'Islam is incompatible with Western values and Democracy'. A leading British Zionist blog, Harry's Place, recently endorsed Geert Wilders, the Dutch PVV leader who wants to stop Muslim immigration to Holland and the rest of Europe and wants to ban the Qu'ran (on the grounds that it's equivalent to Mein Kampf).

Once Europe was afraid of the Jews, now it would appear we're afraid of Islam and Muslims. Plus ça change...

Gert said...

Silke:

Dearest, haven't you got a nose to powder or a frock to buy? Of someone who can't even fathom Hasbara's tongue in cheek 'About me' blurb not much is to be expected and in true form you are indeed not impressing anyone. Instead you're coming across as embarrassment for the movement you seem to want to represent.

Do you think cheap insults delivered anonymously via the Tinkerwebs actually hurt anyone? Make them change their position or even briefly reflect on it?

Go on, shoo shoo, you've had your 'fun'...

Yitzchak Goodman said...

Once Europe was afraid of the Jews, now it would appear we're afraid of Islam and Muslims. Plus ça change...

Is concern over anti-Semitism in the Arab and Muslim world (and massive demonization and conspiracism concerning Israel and general absence of democracy) realistic or not? Are those things obstacles to success in a "one-state solution"? Those concerns are either realistic or they're not in the sense that the object of the concern is currently real and widespread, right? If you want to say those concerns are not realistic, we can review some of the evidence.

Anonymous said...

Gert
if I obey your shoo-shoo-command Fake Ibrahim will be very very unhappy
- when he is over at Yaacov's he is always very much willing to slug it out with me - hasn't told you or did he and ask you to protect him from vicious teutonic woman??? (no tongue in cheek but honest down to earth truth)
and as to tongue in cheek - there are successful ones and the others - maybe you should learn to differentiate a bit

shoo shoo shoo all I dream about is you
Silke

Gert said...

Yitzchak:

"Is concern over anti-Semitism in the Arab and Muslim world (and massive demonization and conspiracism concerning Israel and general absence of democracy) realistic or not?"

It certainly exists but concerns about it are seriously overblown and calling the Arab world antisemitic is also politically motivated.

And what 'concern'? Western 'concern'? That would be rather rich after having supported a racist ideology for over 60 years.

Israeli 'concern'?

Poll: 46% of high-schoolers don't want equality for Arabs (Ynet News)

US 'concern'? Don't make me laugh...

I'm not sure why these reciprocal attitudes would stand in the way of a one state solution: they are man-made attitudes.

Would a two state solution alleviate the mistrust or make it deteriorate?

Gert said...

Silke:

Tongue in cheek is in the eye of the beholder: Ibrahim's works well for me because I understand it. You don't...

Gert said...

Ibrahim:

It's time to come clean ;-) , compadre! Have you really been commenting at Yacoov 'todo loco' Lozowick's abode again? To what effect?

Here he is: Palestinian 'punishment' for 'not wanting peace' is more settlements:

"The Palestinians want all Israeli settlement activity to cease? That's easy. Agree to make peace with Israel, and there will be no more "illegal" settlements. it's that simple. Really."

That guy's a few sandwiches short of the full picnic...

Ernie Halfdram said...

While I don’t agree with Gert’s original formulation, ‘unwillingness to accept that in a one state "one man, one woman, one vote" situation Jewish political (and other) rights would be respected is almost like saying that undemocratic behaviour by Arabs/Muslims or a tendency to discriminate against Jews are innate Muslim/Arab traits’, at least I know what he’s talking about, since the issue of inanity has come up. It is theoretically possible that such paranoia could arise from some belief about Muslim doctrine or Arab culture.

In fact, however, as Gert later points out, the belief that antiSemitism is an inherent trait hardwired into all Goyim is fundamental to Zionism. Even when couched in terms of culture, it is always obvious that it’s based on what I call a biologisation of the trait. The easiest thing for a lazy racist to do is to ask whether the undemocratic nature of Arab regimes and so forth are grounds for concern. More principled observers might prefer to examine the history of colonialism and imperialism that has afflicted the region and the particular misfortune of sitting on top of an especially highly valued commodity. How oppressed people behave under oppression has proven to be a poor guide to how they are likely to behave under other circumstances. But we’ve already been over that territory and it appears that some prefer to cleave to their racist assumptions.

Anonymous said...

Gert
so you are into astrology and Chinese also - how open-minded you are - now I know why you understand Fake Ibrahim

- I feel truly sorry for you that you had to find out that naughty naughty Ibrahim has been active at Yaacov's - what will you do to him for that? flog him nice and hard?

Silke

Gert said...

Ernie:

A similar belief system is that Democracy is hard-wired into 'Judeo-Christian Civilisation' (you only need to look at Europe's Dark Ages to know how much that is a simplification, if not a downright lie). But it ties in with the highly smug and 'satisfying' US = Good and Wholesome as Apple pie, THEY = Bad to the Bone.

Gert said...

Silke:

"so you are into astrology and Chinese also"

You've definitely got the wrong man...

Anonymous said...

Gert
so now somebody has hijacked your profile - I feel soooo sorry for you - or maybe you had a spell of automatic writing doing it for you

Sternzeichen: Waage
Chinesisches Sternzeichen Büffel

Silke

Anonymous said...

Gert
so now somebody has highjacked your profile or maybe you just suffered from a spell of automatic writing or it is your special kind of tongue in cheek or maybe your ghost writer did it for you - lots and lots of possibilities

Sternzeichen: Waage
Chinesisches Sternzeichen Büffel

Silke

Gert said...

Silke:

I haven't got the foggiest what you're on about. Not that it matters one iota but this is what my profile says:

Gert

• Age: 48
• Gender: Male
• Astrological Sign: Libra
• Zodiac Year: Ox
• Industry: Internet
• Occupation: Director
• Location: Yorkshire : United Kingdom


My interest in astrology is zero. My interest in China or the Chinese is not above average.

I'm so pleased that all this amuses you so. Of all the trolls I've ever come across, you're definitely one of the weirder ones. These are the defenders of Zionism? Good heavens...

Ernie Halfdram said...

Yes, I think that is similar insofar as 'Judeo-Christian civilisation[sic]' is really just a euphemism for 'white people'. But I think there's also a fundamental difference. Although in its most current incarnation of Islamophobia, it does ascribe inherent evil to those who don't enjoy the blessings of 'civilisation', historically, and even now with respect to, say, non Muslim Africans, it's more of a condescending pity - the white man's burden and all that.

As for the us v. them dichotomy, I tend to link that more to nationalism than to racism per se. And this is kind of ubiquitous. Every nation state has a national mythology that attributes uniquely desirable traits to its own nationals, even including immigrants in many cases.

Ernie Halfdram said...

BTW, Gert, I'm not sure why you're bothering to intersect with this Silke. I appreciate that you and Ibrahim have your pet trolls you like to argue with and I've been joining in too from time to time, although I don't think they really have anything to contribute. But when it comes the ones who can't even be bothered presenting a travesty of an argument, wouldn't it be better not to feed them? Certainly, I think that would be a more effective way of encouraging them to go back to their sewers than telling to to 'shoo'.

Anonymous said...

Gert
to the best of my knowledge I have as yet never been a defender of or fighter against any ...ism

Silke

Gert said...

Ernie:

Re your last point: QED.

Nationalism and racism go hand in hand like love and marriage. See also that email I sent you about that Britraeli and his gallicphobia: the latter is imbibed at birth in some British circles. Although it stems from Nationalism, it's indistinguishable from racism, as far as I'm concerned.

Gert said...

'Condescending pity', absolutely: the smugness of the 'conquerer' towards the 'vanquished'... A power relationship.

Ernie Halfdram said...

The reason that guy's Gallophobia appears to be indistinguishable from racism is that it is racism. Racism and nationalism are definitely closely related phenomena and have similar social functions, but are still distinct. One of the things that makes it confusing is that racists can construct races from anything, including nationality, as in this case. Gallophobia is not the same thing as British nationalism. On the one hand, you might find that some Canadians or Spaniards evidence that same Gallophobic attitudes. On the other, British Gallophobes may also be Islamophobes, or antisemites, or what have you.

andrew r said...

Gert: Yaacov's political views can be summarized thus:

1. Social engineering (he would say nation building) is okay if you can kill quantitatively fewer people than the most notorious examples (e.g. Hitler, Stalin).

2. There's no point in challenging those with power unless they happen to be Nazi, communist, or third world despot.

3. Zionists (he would say Jews) never commit cynical, politically-motivated murder. He took this premise too far relating his son's argument that the pregnant woman and boy depicted on the 'one shot, two kills' and 'the smaller the tougher' respectively were not civilians because they were holding rifles.

4. There is no rational reason to be an enemy of Israel and by default you are an ally of reactionary Muslims (he would say, "anti-human Islamists"). Jews who turn against Israel are summarily excommunicated.

5. I-Can't-Believe-It's-Not-Apartheid: This one has to be quoted directly. Contrary to what our enemies incessantly claim, there is no Israeli project of Greater Israel or annexing the West Bank or subjugating the Palestinians or Apartheid or all that chatter. Under the worst of conceivable conditions, Ariel Sharon took a reality that had been developing for some 20 years and brought it to near completion: the Palestinians are over there, we're over here, and we're going to live our lives.

I only read him for the Daf Yomi posts.

Ernie Halfdram said...

Who's Yaacov?

Yitzchak Goodman said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Yitzchak Goodman said...

[Edit of deleted comment to include what I was responding to.]

How oppressed people behave under oppression has proven to be a poor guide to how they are likely to behave under other circumstances.

Really? If, after a settlement is reached, the Palestinians continue to support non-democratic leaders and movements, aren't we going to hear about the "legacy of colonialism" or some such?

andrew r said...

The blogger silke emerged from.

http://yaacovlozowick.blogspot.com

Anonymous said...

andrew r
I'm not a blogger
and yes I'm here because Yaacov "recommended" you - check out his website - it's the top post for a few more days
If I go by that tracking device Fake Ibrahim has I am not the only one who takes "delight" in reading your stuff due to Yaacov's recommendation
Silke

Gert said...

Ernie:

Yes, I agree. Nationalism and racism tend to go hand in hand but they're not exactly the same. I see few Nationalists who aren't racist though: putting Self on a pedestal can only lead to condescension (at 'best') toward Other. This is increasingly what we're seeing in ethnocentric Israel.

Gert said...

andrew r:

I'd summarise Yaacov further:

'Jews (he would definitely use that term) are good, ergo they can't be do anything wrong'.

Anonymous said...

Here are the conditions you outlined for peace to be viable:

1) No people should be uprooted from where they were born.
2) Property confiscated should be returned to their owners.
3) People with a legitimate claim to land or houses somewhere should be allowed to move there if they so wish.
4) People should be able to move around with ease.
5) The interests of some citizens shouldn't be prioritized over the interests of other citizens.

I'm a bit confused regarding these points, and perhaps you can clarify, Ibrahim:

Points 1 and 2 conflict, rather dramatically. Since 1948, millions of Jews have been born in Israel, on land conquered in the war of independence. Your plan would forcibly remove these natives from their homes, in order for millions of people born in Lebanon, Syria, Jordan and Egypt - children and grandchildren and great grandchildren of original Palestinian refugees - to reoccupy these properties, as it were. You would solve one dubious refugee problem by creating many greater numbers of new refugees, millions of them, with no plan for resolving this. Seeing as how they're all to live together in peace henceforth, perhaps you might want to tackle some practical dimensions of your ideas.

Point 3 is quite similar to point 2; I'm not sure what the practical difference is.

Regarding the interests of some citizens being prioritized over the interests of others, point 5, will this include Jewish access to the Temple Mount? As you may know, the Islamic waqf controls the Mount, and every attempt by Jews to pray there for the past several centuries has been met with Muslim Arab violence. Please make sure you first clear this with prominent Muslim Arab leaders who can guarantee the safety of Jews at the Mount.

Ibrahim Ibn Yusuf said...

No; points 1 and 2 don't conflict. If a Jew was born in Israel, he must be allowed to remain in Israel. If he's living in a house that formerly belonged to an Arab, he must give it back to its rightful owners and, if necessary, move, perhaps to a nearby housing project.

Point 3 refers to the right of return, which can be exercised in addition to the property rights the Arabs were stripped from through the Absentee Property Law. However, it is also possible that an Arab who owns land near Haifa should prefer to live in Ramallah.

I'm not very much aware of the situation in the Temple Mount; but of course, in a binational state everyone should have access to it, and if violence occurs, its perpetrators should be jailed.

Anonymous said...

If a Jew was born in Israel, he must be allowed to remain in Israel. If he's living in a house that formerly belonged to an Arab, he must give it back to its rightful owners and, if necessary, move, perhaps to a nearby housing project.

Right, but this is a rather simplistic way of looking at it. Outside of some portions of Jerusalem, Jaffa, Tiberius, Haifa, and overgrown/abandoned Arab villages in the countryside, most Arab homes don't exist as such. They have long been built over with large housing development and condominium projects. This is not a simple a matter as it appears at first glance. If 40 families now live in an apartment building on land that once was property of an Arab family, your solution would evict them all, only to recover a home that no longer exists to tenants that are no longer alive. This is massive dislocation, millions of people will be affected, perhaps a plurality of the population, the vast majority of which were born long after the '48 conflict.

Furthermore, I'm challenging your first two statements.

1) No people should be uprooted from where they were born.

Conflicts directly with...

2) Property confiscated should be returned to their owners.

People born on property confiscated through the Absentee Law will be uprooted, based on what you propose.

Finally, you don't address culpability for the '48 conflict, which (I think) we can all agree lies with the Arab nations that initiated an armed invasion of the nascent State of Israel, precipitation an exodus of refugees (Arabs and Jews, both in Palestine, and throughout the Arab world). Certainly, a just solution would involve reparations from those nations for initiating hostilities.

andrew r said...

'Transfer' had been on the minds of Zionist leaders since day one, regardless of any Arab aggression. To name just one example, Arthur Ruppin suggested in confidential letters purchasing land in Lebanon to transfer fellahin.

Can we agree that Israel, France and Britain are responsible for the expulsion of Egypt's Jews by initiating the Suez war?

andrew r said...

Gert:

To be fair to Yaacov, it would be more precise to say Jews (the term he would use) can do wrong, it's just they can only be evaluated by other Jews.

Ernie Halfdram said...

As I see it, Gert, the pertinent distinction is not between those who harbour racist attitudes and those who don't. We are all imbued with 'the muck of ages' and being a victim of racism provides no insulation. The distinction that strikes me as more significant is between those who practice or justify racism; those who are oblivious to, or tolerate, racism; and those who fight racism.

Ibrahim Ibn Yusuf said...

People born on property confiscated through the Absentee Law will be uprooted, based on what you propose.

No, because I clearly don't mean that people should remain in the same building where they were born (which can likely be a hospital), but, rather, in the same community.

Finally, you don't address culpability for the '48 conflict...

This whole paragraph is vintage hasbara that has been amply debunked.

The "conflict," and the flight of Arab refugees, began months before the first Arab soldier set foot on Palestine. Arabs were driven from Jaffa in April 1948, for instance. As for Jewish "refugees," that's a nonexistent problem that has been invented by Zionism as an eleventh-hour attempt to try and avoid facing responsibility for the creation of the Palestinian refugee problem, which is a real issue.

Anonymous said...

Arabs were driven from Jaffa in April 1948, for instance.

The Arabs were not driven from Jaffa. Jaffa was a Muslim Brotherhood stronghold, and an epicenter of mortar and sniper fire on nearby Jewish communities. It was one of several areas where hostilities erupted after the UN Partition plan was announced.

As for Jewish "refugees," that's a nonexistent problem that has been invented by Zionism as an eleventh-hour attempt to try and avoid facing responsibility for the creation of the Palestinian refugee problem, which is a real issue.

Will denying history help your case, or hurt it? Most Iraqis I've spoken with accept responsibility for the Farhud, which began in 1941, long before Israel was founded.

You should read something credible on the subject, to educate yourself.

andrew r said...

That explains the Deir Yassin massacre. And the forced march from Lydda and Ramle after they were abandoned by the Arab Legion. Also, there were no hostilities from Sheikh Muwannis and the other villages absorbed into Tel Aviv. Huj is one village that was actively friendly to the Yishuv - Haganah men were sheltered there from the British - and it was still depopulated at the end of May.

Don't try telling us the nakba was spontaneous in the face of Arab aggression - and come to that let's not pretend it was some kind of justice for the farhud. It was a pattern of expulsion after the population was pacified. We're not buying it anymore than the first canard about the radio broadcasts ordering the Arabs to leave.

I don't really understand Ibrahim's argument because most Arab regimes, although not Lebanon and Morocco (not sure about Syria), did strip their Jewish expatriates of citizenship and made their departure one way. I think it's fair to call them refugees. The question is whether drawing a permanent frontline between their former homes and embracing anti-Arab racism, which means erasing their Arab identity, is the answer. The linkage of Palestinian and Arab Jewish rights seems like a way to blow off them both. Because the people least interested in either are the ones 'liberating' the Middle East and propping up most of its dictators. We can't wait for the Arab states to be free of occupations and illiberalism before liberating Palestine.

Also, even though I appreciate stories like Treasure of Baghdad's, we need more information than anecdotes to assign culpability and make historical judgements.

Gert said...

Andrew r:

Apart from the fact that most of these early Zionist myths have been effectively debunked, they just never sounded plausible to begin with. Show me for instance one historical case where people where fleeing advancing armies that were supposed to liberate them: you won't find it, it just doesn't happen that way.

My grandfather and his family fled from Antwerp in fear of the advancing Wehrmacht, in an attempt to cross the channel into Britain. They missed the last ferry from Boulogne. Ironically it was German soldiers in France who told them to 'go home to Antwerp'.