Saturday, January 03, 2009

Nakba, anyone?

In the current crisis, even those who openly declare sympathy for Gazans and the Palestinian cause often fail to mention the root cause of Palestinian discontent. But the worst offenders are fanatical Right Wing non-Jewish 'Israel Firsters', many European paladins of the anticipated 'Clash of Civilisations', supporters of 'Judeo-Christian values' (a misnomer if there ever was one, if one considers centuries of European Christian-on-Jews persecution), not to mention Far Right American Conservatives ('Meircans', as one of my detractors baptised them on my behalf), the latter who seem to have imbibed the Israel First rhetoric via their mother's milk, together with a good dollop of Arabophobia and Islamophobia.

To all these I'd like to ask two questions:

How would you feel if Israel had been created in your country?

How would you feel if your own people had become displaced in massive numbers, not once in history but twice?

Here are the numbers of Palestinian refugees:
The number of Palestinian refugees by country as of 2005 were as follows:
• Jordan 1,827,877 refugees
• Gaza 986,034 refugees
• West Bank 699,817 refugees
• Syria 432,048 refugees
• Lebanon 404,170 refugees
• Saudi Arabia 240,000 refugees
• Egypt 70,245 refugees

No amount of Palestinian mistakes, bad leadership, missed 'opportunities', terrorism or legitimate resistance, Arab division, Hamas, Fatah, the PLO, rockets fired into Israel or even suicide bombings are ultimately responsible for the successive waves of Palestinian displacement and Israel's 40 years of settling the West Bank. Israel and Israel only is responsible for this.

Still not convinced? Visit the website of B'Tselem, an Israeli Human Rights organisation that archives in great detail Israel's land expropriations and settlements in the West bank, providing also maps and an ongoing chronicle of the situation on the ground.

As regards most Israelis vis-a-vis the Palestinian problem and the settlements, they largely behave as if their nose is bleeding.

As Gideon Levy puts it:

"Israeli society is in a coma." If this were said in a casual tone and in another context, we could see in this expression a tasteless joke about the death agony of Ariel Sharon. But Gideon Levy, who recently granted an interview to Le Devoir, compels us in his direct fashion to tackle grave questions, not at all by weak, facile humor.

A journalist with the daily Ha'aretz for 24 years, Mr. Levy has gradually come to specialize in describing the Israeli occupation of the Palestinians from the viewpoint of the Palestinans. He considers today the impact of his articles on the consciences of his fellow-citizens who, according to him, shut their eyes to the reality of this occupation, trying to act as though the Palestinians do not exist.

"I write less about the Palestinians than about us, the Israelis, what we are doing over there," he explains, "when we consider our motivations. I write about what we make them suffer. I came to this very gradually. I didn't tell myself one day that I would devote myself to this mission. It is by visiting the occupied territories, time after time, that I understood two things: first, that the great drama of Israel is unfolding in its backyard and, second, that very few Israelis are aware of it."

19 Comments:

At 6:11 PM, Blogger Cookie..... said...

Gert, as you know, I'm just an ignorant old retired cop, and cannot possibly parry with you on many levels, but, regarding your second question, Are you talking about Israel?

 
At 7:07 PM, Blogger Gert said...

No, Cookie, I'm talking about the Palestinian people, first wave of displacement in 1948, second wave of displacement in 1967. Further minor displacements continue to this day in various parts, including Jerusalem.

How would you feel if a new state was created in New York state, hostile to you and your fellow citizens and pushing large numbers of your own out of your state, for the benefit of creating theirs?

That is the question I am asking here...

 
At 8:23 PM, Blogger Cookie..... said...

It was a rhetorical question Gert. I knew who you were talking about. Guess it goes WAAAAY back to who got kicked out first.

It's also my understanding that prior to the UN decision (or whatever it was called), and the arrival of the Jews, the entire area was absolutley nothing and completely undeveloped...but, as usual, I could be wrong.

 
At 8:41 PM, Blogger Baconeater said...

The people from 1948 are mostly dead or old by now.
Secondly, there was no country there until 1948.
Look at more like how the United States or Canada began.
Nobody would have had to leave if the Arab nations respected the UN's decision in 1947.

 
At 11:56 PM, Blogger Cookie..... said...

Just another point that you neglected to mention Gert, in 1967 Israel was attacked and invaded by Egypt and others. Through excellent military strategy by Moshe Dyan (not sure of the correct spelling), Israel beat back the invasion and invaders and took those areas as the spoils of war and as future defensive areas, a war BTW they did not start and did not provoke.

The entire world has watched for at least the past 8 months (actually longer) as Hamas has launched missle after missle into Israel, and the Israeli's have displayed, what IMHO is exceptional restraint, attempting in vain to negotiate through diplomacy with Hamas to stop the missle attacks. Why is it that this major point is almost completely lost to so many folks and MSM who want to blame Israel, as well as the US?

Damn, any nation anywhere in the world has the right to live without fear and in peace, and if giving your adversary/antagonist a very bloody nose is what it takes to accomplish this, then so be it.

Don't go all the way back to 1947 and 1967 to find fault. That's written in the stone of history and can't be changed.

 
At 3:56 AM, Blogger Eitan said...

Gert: Just one question: do you still consider yourself to be a "Zionist", and if so would it be a post-modern Zionist?

I'm asking because you consistently try to validate the Palestinian cause of Jihad and anti-Semitism.

 
At 2:18 PM, Blogger Baconeater said...

If Canada Voted In A Party That Had A Goal Of Wiping Out The USA

 
At 3:36 PM, Blogger Gert said...

Cookie:

"the entire area was absolutley nothing and completely undeveloped...but, as usual, I could be wrong."

You are indeed wrong as the vast majority of Israeli historians or historiographers (left or right BTW) will tell you. Read them.

BEAJ:

"Nobody would have had to leave if the Arab nations respected the UN's decision in 1947."

Again, this is nonsense. See said historians. Also what do you think would have happened if Israel would have been created in Canada?

I suggest you read a book about it. But knowing you a bit, with the attention span of a boiled potato, you won't get much further than watching UToob. You're also a racist.

Cookie:

"The entire world has watched for at least the past 8 months (actually longer) as Hamas has launched missle after missle into Israel, and the Israeli's have displayed, what IMHO is exceptional restraint, attempting in vain to negotiate through diplomacy with Hamas to stop the missle attacks."

The truce was broken at low level, several times by both parties. That is quite normal for negotiated truces (as opposed to 'natural truces', obtained through balance of fire power).

Eitan:

"do you still consider yourself to be a "Zionist", and if so would it be a post-modern Zionist?"

Not until Israel finally starts doing the right thing: end the Occupation. When that happens it will have my overwhelming blessing. But not before. Not anymore.

Not quite sure how you have the gall to accuse me of anything when you're the one that calls for the transfer of all 'pseudostinians' from Israel, Gaza and the West bank.

 
At 4:30 PM, Blogger Gert said...

Summarising:

Three commenters so far and not one that dares to answer my two basic questions... Telling, I feel.

 
At 4:50 PM, Blogger Baconeater said...

How would you feel if Israel had been created in your country?
****************
Stupid question (there was no country there before Israel only a non sovereign region). If it was created prior to Canada being a sovereign state, I would have no problem with it. See Quebec.
How do Brazilians feel about the fact that Brazil now has more than 10 million of Arab descent? Demographics change everywhere due to many circumstances.

How would you feel if your own people had become displaced in massive numbers, not once in history but twice?
**********************
What was the cause for this displacement?

Besides, Jews have been displaced over and over again throughout history. I'm not going to lob bombs into various countries over it.

 
At 5:16 PM, Blogger Gert said...

Bacon:

"Stupid question (there was no country there before Israel only a non sovereign region). If it was created prior to Canada being a sovereign state, I would have no problem with it. See Quebec."

Stupid answer: there was no state or country called Israel either, until Western powers forced it upon Palestine.

"How do Brazilians feel about the fact that Brazil now has more than 10 million of Arab descent? Demographics change everywhere due to many circumstances."

These Arabs don't call for a state of their own in Brazil, do they?

"What was the cause for this displacement?"

Read Benny Morris (or most other Israeli/Jewish historians).

"Besides, Jews have been displaced over and over again throughout history. I'm not going to lob bombs into various countries over it."

No, we all know what a peaceful lot you all are.

 
At 5:21 PM, Blogger Gert said...

Bacon:

Loved this too:

"The people from 1948 are mostly dead or old by now."
You're such a sensitive little soul, aren't you? Who gives a crap about the old, eh?

 
At 7:08 PM, Blogger Emmanuel said...

The Nakba is a fact. We Israelis have to accept that our independence was a tragedy for the Palestinians. We can't expect them to forget about it, become Zionists and be happy that Israel was created where their lands used to be and that most of the Palestinians were displaced. That doesn't mean we should be sorry about the Nakba - after all, we aren't sorry Israel exists.

Palestinians need to accept that the Nakba is irreversible. The place Palestinians left six decades ago no longer exists. It is a different country now, not just because it's called Israel.

So where do we go from here?

The only way to address the Nakba is to compensate refugees, resettle them in the Palestinian state and in Arab states. I might even consider a formal Israeli apology.

 
At 7:42 PM, Blogger Baconeater said...

Stupid answer: there was no state or country called Israel either, until Western powers forced it upon Palestine.
********************
Again, Palestine was just a region. It matters not if the Western powers forced a Jewish governed state there.
Just as it didn't matter that it "forced" the creation of many Arab governed states.

"These Arabs don't call for a state of their own in Brazil, do they?"
*****************************
Brazil exists as a state already. There is a difference. But still these 10 million people are living on a lot more land than the Jews were when Israel was created.

"Read Benny Morris (or most other Israeli/Jewish historians)."
*********************
There was much tension on both sides. Yes, there was an element that wanted the Palestinians displaced, but had the aggression not been so severe, there would be no need for it, nor would it have occurred.

You're such a sensitive little soul, aren't you? Who gives a crap about the old, eh?
********************
You are missing my point. If we were having this discussion in another 30 years, almost all would be dead by now, yet the Palestinians will probably still be bitching about Israel as being their land even though they never set foot in there.

Emmanuel, I was pessimistic about the Gaza withdrawal, and basically predicted what is happening today when the withdrawal happened.
I would love to see a two state solution where the Palestinians and the Jews live like the USA and Canada.
But Hamas and the collective Palestinian mentality just won't let it happen.

 
At 7:58 PM, Blogger Gert said...

Bacon, you have quite a gall coming here again. Haven't I been clear?

"Arabs have never been known to build. Even with around half the world's oil, Arab nations are backwards. The average IQ of Arab countries is in the low to mid 80's. The typical Arab culture does not focus on education and humanity but seems to focus on hate and death." is what you wrote over at yours, a culmination of racist claptrap you've indulged in since the time our paths crossed.

As a result I took the decision to throw you off my blogroll, as I told you in your comment section. Why are you still here?

 
At 8:15 PM, Blogger Emmanuel said...

BEAJ:

"Emmanuel, I was pessimistic about the Gaza withdrawal, and basically predicted what is happening today when the withdrawal happened.

I was against the disengagement plan as well and predicted Hamas would take over Gaza. However, the problem was the unilateral nature of the move. I believe that had we officially given Gaza to the Palestinian Authority as part of an interim peace agreement things would look differently today. The withdrawal would have emboldened Fatah instead of Hamas.

I'm not blind to the fact that the Palestinians would rather not have us around, but I am cautiously optimistic about the chances for peace.

 
At 9:44 PM, Blogger Gert said...

Bacon:

You're banned from this blog.

Please don't make me have to use comment moderation to keep you out.

 
At 12:33 AM, Blogger Emmanuel said...

How did I not notice this:

"No, we all know what a peaceful lot you all are."

Who exactly is "you all"? If you were talking about Israel that would be fine (it would piss me off, but still fine). But you weren't. Bacon isn't Israeli. He's Canadian (and they're quite a peaceful lot, so maybe you werent being sarcastic).

You're not a racist, but you slipped here into a distasteful generalization. Everybody slips sometimes.

 
At 9:51 AM, Blogger Gert said...

Emm:

Bacon's own very frequent references to violence to be rained down on this people or that people (Arabs, 'Palis', Iran) has always been disturbing to me. About the war in Iraq he once justified it by saying that "Muslims needed bitchslapping". Not even a qualifier like "Radical Islam", "Islamists", no, just "Muslims" tout court.

B. lost the moral high ground ages ago... I don't ban people easily (this is the first time).

 

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