Today, I'm Coming Out in Favor of BDS (Boycott, Divestment & Sanctions Against Israel)


Five years ago, I visited the East Jerusalem home of a Palestinian family I’d never met. It was an attempt at dialogue — an attempt, for all of us, to meet with and better understand the other.
We were on opposing sides of an ever-expanding equation, and were supposed to be enemies. This was the working assumption upon which we were simultaneously operating and trying to smash.
That much was clear.
When I crossed the threshold, the matriarch was standing before me, arms crossed, as her older son my age beckoned me to a couch. Porcelain cups of tea steamed on a platter as a clock’s swinging pendulum marked my breaths. Click. Click. Click.
As we sat, and after I ceremoniously burnt my tongue, sipping too eagerly, we began to chat with the help of a translator.
To my great surprise, and to the surprise of my hosts, as we began the delicate task of reconciling a rift none of us had personally created, we agreed on nearly everything: the horror of violence on both sides, the desire for peace, the need for two self-determining states — for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to end.
However, there was one thing we were unable to agree upon, one thing which remained incomprehensibe to this Palestinian family: that there were Israelis and Jews abroad (of which I was one) who sought an end to the conflict and to the occupation of Palestinian territories.
I was an anomaly. An aberration. A (welcomed) freak.

I insisted there were more like me, Jews and Israelis who not only understood the wrongness of the occupation, but who wanted to end it, who wanted peace by ending it.
They were suspicious, the mother shaking her head. The brother laughing it off, as though I had told a joke.
Of course, if I had been in their shoes, I would have laughed as well, witnessing years of ethnic cleansing and settlement construction in their neighborhood of Silwan and watching weekly images on the news of Palestinians being beaten, humiliated, evicted, killed.
I would have laughed as well.


Today, it’s been reported that a judiciary panel, headed by a former Supreme Court justice and appointed by Israel’s Prime Minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, has come to the following conclusion:

There is no Israeli occupation.

Full of delusional legal propositions long-supported by the right-wing settler bloc in Israel, the panel proposes that the State of Israel designate all settlements in the West Bank as legal and relax a slew of measures which would make Jewish settlement more convenient in this land that is not occupied.
While Israel’s Attorney General, Yehuda Weinstein, plans to reject the panel’s findings, the damage has already been done.
See, the panel was hand-picked by Netanyahu and created after intense pressure from settlement leaders, and its conclusion — that Israel is not an occupying force — represents the strengthening of the settlement bloc in Israel. And Netanyahu will almost certainly adopt some of its recommendations.

Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos
See? I told you there’s no occupation. (John Brown)

Troubling? Yes. However, even more troubling is the absolute failure of Israel’s internal mechanisms to solve the crisis of Israel’s occupation. And this report has concretized one simple fact: Israel will never solve it on its own.
Noam Sheizaf, who so often says what I am thinking, only better, writes:

Now that we found out that there is no occupation and there never was, I wonder how the great minds of the Israeli legal community would justify the two separate legal systems Israel has in the West Bank – one for 20 percent of the population (Jews) and one for the other 80 percent. If it’s not occupation, how do we call a situation in which millions of people are deprived of freedom of movement, tried in military tribunals, and don’t even have a recognized nationality or a passport? And don’t say Apartheid, because you’ll be called an anti-Semite.
This absurdity is a good opportunity to give up on the notion that the internal process in Israel will end the occupation. “The internal process” has turned the Israeli legal system into a joke, and resulted in a political system in which all mainstream parties share the same denial of reality. Israelis truly believe that there is no occupation, or that Palestinians could be made citizens of Jordan, while Israel keeps holding the territory they live in (this is the popular idea the right is pushing).


This is what I keep coming back to: Israel’s internal process alone will not end the occupation.
And then I read this week that there are others who are beginning to recognize this fact as well, and are exploring boycott options, such as a small collection of nations otherwise known as Europe:

European governments, including Britain’s, have received legal opinion from a leading international counsel who argues they would be fully within their rights to ban trade with Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank.
The formal opinion from James Crawford, professor of international law at Cambridge University, is likely to inject fresh momentum into campaigns in the United Kingdom and elsewhere for a ban, at a time when some EU member states are examining ways of hardening their position on the imports of settlement produce.

And the Presbyterian Church’s general assembly in the U.S. voted this week to boycott all products made by Israel’s illegal settlements in the Palestinian territories:

The church resolution that passed calls for “the boycott of all Israeli products coming from the occupied Palestinian Territories” and for “all nations” to prohibit settlement imports. The resolution also singled out AHAVA, an Israeli cosmetics company that has a main factory in a West Bank settlement, and the Hadiklaim Israel Date Growers, also made in an illegal settlement. The Palestine-based Boycott National Committee recognized this victory, stating that Palestinian civil society “warmly welcomes the Presbyterian Church (USA)’s resolute vote to boycott all products from Israeli colonial settlements.”


So here I am. Just one writer, one Jew, who thinks about the Palestinian family with which I met — who thinks about them laughing when told that Israelis and Jews want to end the occupation.
I no longer want them to be able to laugh.
And I think about Israel’s inability to stop the occupation on its own, about how the only way to stop it may be for outside pressures to bear down upon the country I love.
Boycotts. Divestments. Sanctions. (BDS)
These are the tools Israel and Israeli propagandists fear greatly, for they are tools with potentially sharp teeth.
And so we come to the confession, to the coming out: as an American Jew invested deeply in Israel’s success and survival — which in turn drives my investment in stopping one of the greatest moral challenges of my generation: the occupation — I have no choice but to formally endorse and embrace BDS.
That’s a difficult statement to make, for in both my personal and professional worlds, making such a statement could bring censure.
To some Jews, I will now (wrongly) be viewed as an enemy, as anti-Semitic, as anti-Israel. Some in my community may, upon reading this, choose to withdraw. It’s happened to others.
As it is, I have long been uncertain about supporting such measures, afraid of the long-term damage a sustained BDS movement might do to Israel, and concerned about the anti-Israel motivations of segments who push to sanction Israel.
However, I know this for a fact: those who claim in Israel that there is no occupation have only one goal in mind: a single-state solution, a Jewishly-controlled Israel stretching from the Mediterranean Sea to the Jordan River.
And it’s an unworkable, unsustainable goal that will be realized — one state — unless outside forces are brought to bear.
And this post serves, minute as it is, as such a force. And if nothing else, perhaps it will inspire others who feel similarly to stand up and be counted.
Follow me on Twitter @David_EHG

0 thoughts on “Today, I'm Coming Out in Favor of BDS (Boycott, Divestment & Sanctions Against Israel)

  1. I would be alive and Gay in Israel with full rights vs dec and Gay in the Arab world.
    I am sure there are programs and micro chips in your PC or MAC that have been manufactured or created in Israel. You can start your boycott by tossing out the computer.
    In the mean time the Syrian army has slaughtered thousands of civilians.You silence has been noted time and time again.
    I want concessions by Israel, but I am unwilling to see Israel make those sacrifices to an Arab world that has zero respect for human rights. How do yo expect Arab governments to behave towards Israel if hey can not behave with humanity to their citizens?

    • When one fights the enemy using the same means as the enemy then one is made into the image of the enemy.
      Thank you for your concern for those suffering in Syria. Every day the tyrannical regime is getting weaker. Now the king has lost the loyalty of the people. Now the army is experiencing detections hour by hour. How Lon will it take? We don’t know. Let us pray that those who take over do not turn into the enemy image they are fighting.
      Meanwhile, in the Holy Land, G-d loves all the people living there. Certainly the Israeli government is failing in making sure that all people have access to land, water, and all that is needed for this life. And Israel rightly fears how life might be with the shoe on the other foot. It is easy to see the enemy’s sins and use them to deny our own.
      We need a new kind of human being. A human that knows the power of enemy making to turn one into the very thing one hates. So the only way to peace is peace. The only way to love is love. And, just as in war, there is costly sacrifice so there is in this way. The difference between the new and the old way= peace multiples peace, war multiplies war. The new human, regardless of faith or ethnic tradition, practices a new way of being human.
      So blessings to you as you pray and work for peace and love among the Syrians.

  2. Don & Tim –
    This “but look over there!” tactic that you constantly use is a failed, reductionist logic (and a logic you don’t even believe).
    Allow me to go ahead and destroy it.
    First, here’s your logical argument:
    Horrible things are happening in Syria. Thus, the author (and anyone else, for that matter) should write and be concerned about Syria instead of those horrible things happening in Israel, since they are of a greater urgency/magnitude.
    If we take this logic as acceptable, then the following would also be true: it would be wrong for anyone to write or be concerned about poverty in America, since there are other countries where poverty rates are far more severe. Or, how about this: it would be wrong for anyone to write or be concerned about the money influencing politics in our democratic America when there are dictators around the world who don’t even allow democracy to begin with.
    It’s a silly, easily-debunked logic that you don’t really believe, Don and Tim. It’s just that you have nothing else to work with. Your goal is to deflect any criticism of Israel, and so your only tactic is to point elsewhere and yell: but look over there!
    I’m doing you a kindness by calling it a logic at all, truth be told.
    Now, I expect you to respond and claim, well, who knows what, typing the words Syria and freedom and such. But I won’t likely be responding, because I’ve already done what I intended: debunked your argument.
    If I see anything intelligent worth responding to, I shall. But I if not, I won’t be commenting again.

    • David,
      Open your eyes and look around the neighborhood in the Middle East. It there even close to an atmosphere conducive to surrendering territory. Every time Israel has surrendered territory to the Palestinians, Israel has gotten misery un return. First it was it was the suicide bombings as soon a set Oslo Accords were signed. Then came the Qassams after Hamas seized power in surrendered Gaza. yes, Israel shut Gaza off, that is because they were a violently hostile neighbor. Now the the stable peace with Egypt is at risk, as Sinai is heating up with an Al Queida presence.
      Now the Abbas has lost focus on any peace process and wants to dig up the Arafat’s rotten corpse to further a conspiracy that he was murdered by Israel. His widow, who robbed the PA treasury blind, wants to further the conspiracy to stir up violence.
      Now look further at Syria. It is unstable and the regime that would sooner kill every non- Alawite rather than give up power. It is far from over. If Assad survives, he will not make a god peace partner.
      Look further. Iran is marching towards a building nuclear weapons, although it is agreed that they have not decided to make the final move. In addition, iran is using Hezbollah and Hamas to destabilized the borders around Israel.
      So what do you want to do? You want to boycotts israel? You are singling Israel out in the region as the demon that is deserving of isolation. it’s become a popular idea among your peers. It is easy to put you thumb on one party rather than examine the whole picture. It is a shallow way of thinking,.
      Yes, the settlements are a barrier, but hardly the only one. I get the feeling that Israelis fear making a move, They fear having a hostile neighbor just a stones throw from Israel’s population center, You realize that between Hezbollah and Hamas, 80% of Israel’s population is within range of missile range at the moment?
      Show me one Palestinian voice committed with peace and I will show you a majority of Israelis wiling to make concessions.
      Since the is not a diversion, I expect a response.

    • I think it is great– your passion for justice for Palestine citizens.
      Also, if Don wants to focus on Syria. That is great, too.
      It is both/and not either/or.
      Why can we not encourage everyone with theirarticular passion.
      I am sorry that I have not been clear. I fully support you in your work, David. You have seen with your own eyes what G-d has called you to confront. I had only hoped that Don would support your passion, if I celebrated his.

    • BDS-it is a must. There is much agony everywhere. All must eventually share it.”
      Doe the mean that BDS should not just focus on Israel, but should be shared everywhere agony is found?

  3. David,
    We cross paths again and i am so pleased about your stand on BDS. As a Presbyterian minister I was present at our General Assembly last week, there when the Committee 15 deliberated for three days on the many overtures related to the Israel-Palestine struggle. The committee in fact voted 36-21 in favor of divestment, having heard from over 40 persons who spoke about their feelings on various issues. Many of these were Jews, on both sides of the issue of divestment. Jewish Voices for Peace were especially noticible and I had a chance to have dinner with some of them and was very impressed with their fervor for divestment.
    It is clear that the votes for divestment have been increasing since 2004 when this issue was first brought to the General Assembly. This time the margin was so close and it tells me that all of the many signs that I see against the Occupation are increasing the prssure on Israel from so many points around the world. in two nights my wife and I will have dinner with a couple who are Jews, he a former law partner of my wife’s deceased husband. We will not be able to discuss the issue of Israel-Palestine for he is a rigid Zionist who refuses to understand that an occupation has been going on that should never taken place to begin with. I am sad that we cannot talk with our Jewish friends and others like them about a topic that is so important to all of us.
    Thanks for your candor on this important matter. I have just enjoyed being in the company of Jews and Palestinians in Pittsburgh who know what is happening there in the unholy holy land. My deepest wish is that peace with justice would come soon. My mind tells me differently. But I still cling to my belief that there should be “no more enemies” as Deb Reich says in her book.
    My sermon with her title went well a month ago even though I was not able to use your wonderful story that I had come across and wrote you about then. I will wait for the book to be published.
    Jim Ray

    • Jim
      I feel sorry for Presbyterian minter who lives by a double standard, You are now part of a pop culture cause, which only shows how intellectually shallow you are,. Sorry but I cannot feel insulted bib =youa stand on BDS as a Jew and one who has served in the Israeli military in the past.
      You pay no price if Israel were too make sacrificed under for pressure. You live in the US, as do I. Even though I am an Israeli citizen, I do not have a voice as long as I am living in the safety of the US.
      I suggest that your chef k for moral compass while you sep away form neutrality and demonize one side.
      What would Jesus say?

      • Standard one: care about Syrian suffering
        Standard two: care about Israeli safety
        Standard three: ignore Palestinian suffering
        What is Jesus saying? You are not caring for everyone. You are ignoring a people losing land, water, and basic resources to a power that is grabbing more, more, more. Therefore, repent!

    • Jim,
      You have some nerve as a Christian to preach human rights to us. You have butchered us for centuries, now you have the Chutzpah to tell us how to defend ourselves? The Nazis murdered ALL Jews just for being Jews, even those who didn’t know they were Jewish.
      There were many Jews like David in Easter Eurpoe before and during the war who thought of themselves as enlightened, as accepted by their neighbors as hunans. Till they were loaded on cattle cars with their shtetl compatriots.
      The only thing that disgusts me more than a self righteous Jew calling to boycott other Jews are Christians like you who pretend that their actions are moral and not the old Jew Hatred.
      You know Jim, my mother went quietly to the cattle cars that led to Auschwitz, she survived, her extended family did not. My generation will not go quietly.

  4. Tim, when one has friends and immediate family living in the line of fire in Israel, they come first in my book. Outside of them,i have very little in the world of worth
    Noe good old David Harris-Gershon misses one simple point, The Palestinians-Israeli conflict is not oppressed vs oppressor. They are 2 people fighting over the same piece of real estate.
    What its Palestinian suffering?
    Well we have Gaza, which is now occupied by Hamas. now on the West Bank, many communities are doing much better, Ramallah is thriving. Jenin is doing much better with Hamas cleared out. but the PA is still incredibly corrupt All that good EU and Us aid goes right into Swiss bank accounts.
    BTW Tim, just an aside.Today’s Jordan was part of the Palestinian Mandate. The majority of Jordan’s population is now Palestinian.So Gershon Harris wants to so called Palestinian states.
    As for Gershon Harris’s credentials as Middle East expert, he has none. he’s not a journalist, political scientist or historian, He is a good writer who is bitter. he ah no balance, he would never criticize for anything. They are blameless.

    • Don,
      I pray right now for your family, living in the line of fire.
      I pray for all the others in the of fire
      I pray that the Way Jesus taught might be practiced
      The first way: flight from violence
      The second way: fight the violence directed at you
      The Jesus Way: the third way: creative, imaginative active nonviolent dismantling of violence
      As long as both sides practice kill them because they will only kill you, the war will never end.
      Fundamentally, both sides operate from the same core faith, a belief in violence as the way to peace. Count me as an atheist to this faith! People from all walks of life seek to convert me to this faith. I refuse. I support the courageous Israelis and Palestinians who refuse to bow down to sacrificial violence of the Other to placate their anger.
      The more we write together here, the more I see you, Don, as beloved of God, even and especially when we disagree

  5. Don, you reveal the very nature of Israel’s current character when you say that outside of “friends and immediate family” you “have very little in the world of worth”. I pray you see that the entire world and all of its inhabitants are your to love and care for as well.

      • Don, your statement was that other than them you “have very little in the world of worth.” My friends and family are very important to me but I find so much more of worth outside of that small circle. But I sense that English may not be your first language so I will give you the benefit of the doubt as to your meaning there. Contrary to your belief, not all “normal” people put friends and family first so unconditionally, Don. Some people like me put right and wrong before family and friends, county, etc. If they do wrong, I still love them, but true love is holding them to standards of decent and moral conduct regardless of my tribal affiliation with them.

  6. You are totally right Don. And you didn’t even mention the fact that the Israelis steal all the groundwater from the Palestinian territories etc. etc. etc.. Israel is mafia. When will the public understand? Are these Russians ‘chosen people’? Hell no! It is just Palestinians being victimized and others taking advantage and filling their pockets.

      • There it is. The “anti-Semite” card. Always at the top of the Zionist deck. If you can believe the messenger is racist, you can de-humanize him so as to insulate yourself from having to listen to him.

        • “Are these Russians ‘chosen people”
          an easy card to play based on his quote. Buy=t thanks for jumping in, I have seen all these claims made over and over again.
          i might suggest that the term Palestinians was not used until the emergence of Zionism as a national renewal movement. many of those so called Palestinians intact moved to the region form other sects of the world as the economy developed under the mandate. I suggest yo look at ak the great area in the conflict before you go on about the”chosen people”

          • Well, first he accuses Israelis, not Semites or Jews. You conflate Judaism with the Israeli state or Zionists. This is a lie.
            Second, your suggestion that “the term Palestinians was not used…” is another facet of the myth of Zionism that flies in the face of basically all of recorded history.
            “The first clear use of the term Palestine to refer to the entire area between Phoenicia and Egypt was in 5th century BC Ancient Greece…. The Hebrew name Peleshet (פלשת Pəlésheth) – usually translated as Philistia in English, is used in the Bible more than 250 times…. During the Byzantine period, the entire region (Syria Palestine, Samaria, and the Galilee) was named Palaestina, subdivided into provinces Palaestina I and II. The Byzantines also renamed an area of land including the Negev, Sinai, and the west coast of the Arabian Peninsula as Palaestina Salutaris, sometimes called Palaestina III.”
            Unfortunately, I don’t expect my arguments to move you as you seem to be a man of belief rather that intellect, but I hope I am wrong.

  7. I’m sorry, I am sure you are showing loose references throughout history, but the only time here was any political entity known as Palestine was under the British Mandate. That does not lend itself to defining the Arabs residing there as Palestinians. You really had to reach into Wikipedia to help you out. Using Wiki does not lend itself to yo being full of inflect.
    So tell us about Palestinians Arabs., please tell us. BTW there has been a continuous Jewish presence in the region for thousands of years.
    I suggest you use a little bit more than a Wikapedia reference:
    BTW, Yasser Arafat was born in ……Cairo

  8. The Wiki article is footnoted 69 times. Would you care to refute those references? And three questions about the “region” with its “continuous Jewish presence”: what was the “region” called before the declaration of the state of Israel? Was it only Jews who have lived there “continuously”? And if not, who were the non-Jews who lived there?
    As to “invented” people, Americans are an invented people. This whole line of logic is specious. It doesnt matter what the non-Jews came from or what they call themselves. Even “Arabs” are equal to Jews…or are they?

  9. Prior to 1948 it was part to the British Mandate of Palestine, which had been partitioned once in 1922, the eastern section becoming the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan Prior to 1917, it was a backwater section of the Ottoman Empire for 500 years and did nt had any political status. People were moving in an out of the region at wil form other parts of the empire and outside the empire. The region pretty much remained province or part of an empire from the time of the fall of the 2nd temple.The name Palestine was hardly continue sly used and it has a loose association with the Phillestines
    So why would Arabs in Palestine suddenly call themselves Palestinians,as if it is some ancient identity they seem to claim/
    One interesting thing I find, the Arabs received 2 states form the Palestinian Mandate, Jordan and their piece if the 1947 part ion. Even with 2 statism they wanted to push the one Jewish state into the sea by invading in the eve of independence. If you do not believe that was the intent when Arab League armies invaded, then you would be denying what has been admitted to by Abbas and a former Black Sept. terrorists
    As for Arab equality, I woud venture to say that those Arabs who remained in Israel after the war became equal citizens with far more civil rights than Arabs i neighboring countries.
    Now I assume you live in the US? if that is the case, you live on stolen property. If your live in western Europe, your country more than likely participated in the rape of much of the developed world.
    Se here is your bottom line, you really think a Jewish state has no place on the ME and you wil push the envelope further and further to prove that point

  10. Well, I guess we could keep talking in circles here forever, but I’ll close with a few last comments.
    Yes Arafat was born in Egypt…to a father from Gaza and a mother from Jerusalem. David Ben Gurion was born in Poland to a mother from Poland and a father from Poland. Golda Meir was born in the Ukraine to Parents from the Ukraine. Etc, etc.
    And it sounds like you acknowledge the existence of Palestinians. That’s a start.
    And yes, I live in the US. I can trace the ownership of my land back to the early 1800s. My house in California is on land that was owned by Mexcan land owners who, despite the transfer of sovereignty from Mexico to US in war, retained legal ownership of their land. So at least back that far the rule of law applied – unfortunately, the same cant be said for Palestinians displace by Israel in war and occupation. If you want to say the Mexicans “stole” it from the Native Americans, then every bit of land in the world is stolen. But based on the rule of law in the modern era, no, I do not live on stolen land.
    And finally, I never said Israel had “no place” in the ME. That’s an outright lie. But maintaining a “Jewish democracy” impossible. It’s like a Christian democracy. Or a Muslim one. You can call them such, but it’s like calling feces “chocolate”.

    • “despite the transfer of sovereignty from Mexico”
      that’s a fact way of saying conquer.
      So you live on land that was conquered, what does it matter when? California was originally conquered by Spain, surrendered to the descendants of Spanish colonial settlers and then conquered by descendants of British colonialism. Somehow I doubt the Mexican owners had much choice but to “sell”. Give em a break.
      Jews legally purchased all the the land under the original partition, al of it. The fact that land was lost after Israeli was invaded is the problem of the invaders. Jews were displaced as well as a result of the conflict. Hebron in 1929, Gush Etzion and the Jewish Quarter of Jerusalem in 1948. All those Jews residing in Arab countries that participated in the invasion by the Arab Legion were forced to leave. If we’re going to worry about about all displaced people, we should look tab Europeans permanently displaced in WW 2 and the Muslims and Hindus permanently displaced baby the part ion of India
      “. And finally, I never said Israel had “no place” in the ME”
      You do imply it by delegitimizing Jewish ties to the region.

      • Don, in every comment you invent false claims to fit your narrative which I must address. My land was part of a rancho granted in 1821. When US forces invaded California in 1846, the owners fled to Mexico and even fought against the American forces (like Palestinians). But the treaty called for the “right of return” for Mexican land-owners and the honoring of land ownership. So they came back and re-asserted and won their claim. The rancho was in its original form through 1872, when it then began to be divided among heirs and sold off gradually as California developed. These facts are so disappointing to you, I know.
        Do you have a source for your claim that “Jews legally purchased all the land under the original partition.” I havent looked too hard here but it looks like British surveys in the mid 40s show they only held 5-7%. Do you mean they did so before or after the partition?
        And yes, let’s treat all displaced persons fairly. You prefer not to, however.
        Finally, I guess it’s your interpretation that I am “delegitimizing Jewish ties in the region”. Not sure when I did that. The historical ties of Jews to the region are self-evident, as are the ties of those who are not Jewish. So what was it? Was it when I counterpointed your Arafat comment? Just thought those facts should be out there. I dont think that delegitimizes them in any way, but you do? Hmm. For that to be true, logic dictates that you must believe that the claim is uniquely Jewish, that Jews have superior standing. To think that, logic dictates that you think non-Jews in the region are untermenschen. But I don’t believe that’s what you really think. Instead I believe you are too caught up in your belief system to understand the implications of what you are saying.
        I actually don’t think any people have any claim on anything other than what has been legally established. Internationally recognized standards and laws are how we who live today in modern societies should be governed. And yes, my country often falls short of that too.

  11. David,
    Your article was heartily endorsed at Mondoweiss, a site where Jews are compared to Nazis and every ugly stereotype about Jews is quoted and affirmed there. So, you are in good company. Since most Jews support Israel, we consider you and the so-called Jews there as KAPOS. תת

  12. You are White, meaning that you are an invasive race in North America.The Mexicans may have returned but it was no longer their sovereign region. Please don’t mince words.
    Do you have a source for your claim that “Jews legally purchased all the land under the original partition.” I havent looked too hard here but it looks like British surveys in the mid 40s show they only held 5-7%. Do you mean they did so before or after the partition?”
    The demarkation line determined by the UN was based on Jewish land ownership and centers of population. The Arab League rejected it.
    “And yes, let’s treat all displaced persons fairly. You prefer not to, however.”
    Where should we start? Tibetans in India and Nepal. Nepalis displaced from Bhutan. What a boat Hindus and Muslims in India Pakistan? Then there are Germans and Poles after WW 2. Oh yes, Jews from iraq, Syria, Egypt, Tunesia, Morocco, Algeria and Yemin.
    Frankly the Palestinians can have much of he West Bank. I really don’t care. It is not out of love for them, because they have blown more than enough opportunities. There was not attempt by the Arab League to create a Palestinian state in the Wets Bank and Gaza prior to 1967. It was not as if Israel would not she signed on, but no one in the Arab world was willing to recognize Israel. So we have a war in 1967, ignited by threats by the Arab world that created the loss of even more land. I don’t get it. Do you?
    They blew it in 2000 under the direction rotting corpse that is soon to be dug up, Arafat walked away from a good deal and sent suicide bombers into Israel. That just about killed the peace movement in Israel. Trust and the Palestinian Authority no longer were linked together.

  13. The Mexican land owners probably didn’t care too much about sovereignty. Most intelligent people don’t, as long as they are treated more or less fairly. The land owners were of this ilk, so they stayed here and prospered. Their hacienda is an historical site (while Palestinian history is sent down the Memory Hole by the Ministry of Truth in Israel ).
    And I see you don’t have a source for your claim re Jewish ownership of “all the land” (your words). You couldn’t possibly because it is yet another work of fiction. Jewish ownership in the Palestine Mandate was roughly 6%. They received roughly 60% of the territory. While the lines were certainly drawn to maximize Jewish population, the “Jewish” state was actually only about 60/40 Jewish while the “Arab” state was 99% non-Jewish. (We pejoratively call that “gerrymandering” in the US). It is mathematically impossible for “all the land” to have been under Jewish ownership. If there was no Jewish ownership of land in the “Arab” state, Jewish ownership of land in the Jewish partition would have been about 10% (6% ownership per 1947 British survey / 60% of territory). Sorry, but these are the the inconvenient truths. But then everyone knows that facts and math are anti-Semitic.
    As for the past machinations of the Arab League, I don’t really care. None of those governments were democracies. None of them represented the people. Israel claims to be a democracy. True democracies in today’s world grant equal rights to all those under their domain. They don’t treat people differently based on race. They don’t force their subjugants to “negotiate” for them before granting what we like to call their “unalienable rights”.
    You ask “where should we start?” As with any problem, we should start with ourselves. Jesus (another well-known anti-Semite) said, “Why do you see the speck in your brother’s eye but not the log in your own eye?” As an American, I include Israel as part of “ourselves” since we give them billions every year (both directly form our government and as tax-exempt donations to the occupation), backstop their security and block any and all attempts by other countries to oppose their policies in the diplomatic arena.

  14. Dio you count Egyp and Pakistan as “ourselves” i since we give the billions?
    There were 3 states carved out of British mandated Palestine, not 2. Include Jordan within current majority Palestinian population as one of them
    “As for the past machinations of the Arab League, I don’t really care. None of those governments were democracies. None of them represented the people”
    The spoke and acted as one voice on behalf of the Palestinians. o cannot in anyway leave them out.
    Palestinians are now “subjugates” to their their foolish leadership,. The have blown so many opportunities.

  15. Your comment re Jordan has nothing to do with the statistics I cited. Those are all ex Jordan. I’m wondering why you include Jordan becuse if we do, dont Jewish percentages fall even further and doesnt that makes your claim about Jewish ownership even more blatantly false?
    The Arab League spoke for the Palestinians like the Kremlin spoke for Eastern Europe. But what happened then is of no consequence now. Those at the vanguard of moral walk with their eyes forward but also understand the lessons of history. True champions of moral conduct embrace the concept of color-blind liberty rather than Jim Crow, apartheid or other race-based constructs (all of which used “security” as justification for subjugating a minority).
    Palestinians are subjugants of Isreal, esp. those in Area C. Israel controls access in and out and movement between towns. Israel holds all the purse strings. The PA is a corrupt and useful tool of Israel. It is limited by what Israel allows it to do.

  16. Jordan was part of the British Mandate until 1922.
    The Arab League spoke for the Palestinians like the Kremlin spoke for Eastern Europe”
    They spoke and caught for the Palestinians in 1948 and a limited extent 1967. They establish policy with regard to Palestinians refugees, keeping tim boxed up in camps all over the region. When Egypt broke ranks with the Arab League it suffered the consequences.
    The Palestinians have written their now state away time and time again. They could have had 97% of the West bank but you know who walked away.
    The PA is hardly a tool of Israel, I but I agree they are corrupt. That is often an argument made by Hamas supporters

  17. Just another FYI, Jews made something of the land that was the the backwater of a rotting Ottoman Empire. Israeli is by far the most advanced state in the Middle East.

  18. Still wainting for one of my claims to be refuted by facts (as i have done with just about all of yours) rather than opinion. Exactly right about Arab League, like how the Kremlin “spoke” for the Eastern Europeans in the Cold War: “established policy”‘ “kept them boxed up”, and brought the hammer to those who opposed the party line. Egypt is like Hungary in ’56 and the Czechs in ’68.
    And in the words of Ronald Reagan, “there you go again.”. Your “97%” claim is yet another bit of propaganda. What was offered was substantially less than that (85% or less), was not contiguous and was totally surrounded by Israeli territory. In other words, the Israelis would still have effective control over Palestine at their whim. I’m not saying the Palestinians should or should not have accepted it, just that what you claim is false.
    And then we have the “making the desert bloom” myth. I’m sure you believe it — in the same way the North Koreans believe crap about their Great Leader. You’ve been brain-washed by a Big Lie. But once again, those pesky British Mandate facts rise up to reveal their anti-Semitic bias.
    “On the eve of the partition resolution…Palestinian Arabs were producing:
    92% of Palestine’s grain
    86% of its grapes
    99% of its olives
    77 % of its vegetables
    95% of its melons
    more than 99% of its tobacco
    and 60% of its bananas.
    Palestine’s agricultural produce at that time had an annual value of approximately 21.8 million pounds sterling; 17.1 million of which was produced by Arab cultivation, and 4.7 million by Jewish cultivation.
    So, who made the desert bloom? The Palestinians made the desert bloom.”

  19. “Still wainting for one of my claims to be refuted by facts (as i have done with just about all of yours) rather than opinion. Exactly right about Arab League, like how the Kremlin “spoke” for the Eastern Europeans in the Cold War: “established policy”‘ “kept them boxed up”, and brought the hammer to those who opposed the party line. Egypt is like Hungary in ’56 and the Czechs in ’68.”
    No, upi are quite wrong.The Arab League was a collection of Arab states much like the OAU, although they have a collective Arab nationalist agenda. The Kremlin was a central authority for the the Warsaw Pact, the Arab League was not.
    “And then we have the “making the desert bloom” myth. I’m sure you believe it”
    Um,, between the Britins Mandate Authoiry and the Yishuv, the region experienced a great deal of development. Malaria was wiped out by the Yishuv in the Hula, Yesrael Valleys and the Sharon Plain. Have you heard of those places? The British built the port of Haifa. Those are facts, not Jewish propaganda. Please who me one thing the Palestinians developed during the period of the Mandate and prior. Give me examples form an objective source.
    You want to have good laugh? if you travel along the road in the Jordan valley from Jericho, you might note green patches on the Jordanian. side. That in part to drip irrigation nd green house agriculture, courtesy of Israel. Have you ever been to Israel?
    That’s a pretty lame website, you ought find a better website. this is pure and honest propaganda Do a better job next time
    I asked once before, have you ever set foot the region? I lived there for 13 years and have been in 3 Arab countries.

  20. Ok, so what your saying is the British made the desert bloom? I don’t in anyway mean to diminish the contribution of Jewish Israelis, but you totally eliminate the contribution of the Palestinians as if they don’t exist. The fact is Britsh, Palestinians and Jews made the desert bloom. Or, as I like to call them in my anti-tribalistic mindset, “people”.
    As for the drip irrigation,it was developed by British, American and German agronomists before the existence of Israel. Please don’t say you are claiming that technology as an invention of Israel. It would be just too Sovietesque.
    As for the “propaganda” website, can you please back up your McCarthyite claim? Every section on the pade is linked to scans of the British Mandate survey. That’s why I cynically referred to the anti-Semitic British Mandate date. Are you calling that data propaganda as well?

  21. Modern drip irrigation was developed in Israel and is its technology is widely distributed around the world.
    Without irrigation, agriculture in that region cannot be widely developed,. It is impossible. I lived on a farm in Israel for 10 years. Right down the road form where I lived, researchers came from much of the world to research Isreali irrigation techniques at Ben Gurion University.
    As for British, the contributed to developing much of the modern infrastructure prior to the partition., which included Haifa’s port. They were not farmers, The Britain’s intent was strategic.
    I am still waiting for what the Palestinians have contributed to the development of the region. I mean really. They had the West Bank and Gaza and what did they do with it? Nothing.
    As for you website, I would carefully examine it. That is a huge piece of propaganda, Try something a little more…..objective. Look hit over. No I will not go though it point by point, because there is a lo of material there.
    The fact is, much of the land prior to the the mandate was owned by absentee Arab landlords. Much of tat land was legally sold to Jews. There were others who cam for abroad to buy land including Armenians and other outsiders. Palestine was not any kind of political entity. It did not exist.

  22. Glad you now see Wikipedia as a credible source. Did you read the article though? Yes Israelis are mentioned, but did you blot out the rest of the article and only see “Israel”??? Your ethnocentricity is exposed by your interpreting the passage belowto mean that “modern drip irrigation was developed in Israel.”. Sure, some Israelis played a role, and the region is obviously a place where its devlopment would occur, but like almost all technology in the world, it has been a step-by-step collaborative basis of “people” around the world.
    “Modern drip irrigation began its development in Afghanistan in 1866 when researchers began experimenting with irrigation using clay pipe to create combination irrigation and drainage systems.[1] In 1913, E. B. House at Colorado State University succeeded in applying water to the root zone of plants without raising the water table. Perforated pipe was introduced in Germany[2] in the 1920s. The usage of plastic to hold and distribute water in drip irrigation was developed in Australia by Hannis Thill.[3] Refinement of this idea (involving a plastic emitter) was furthered in Israel by Simcha Blass and his son Yeshayahu. Instead of releasing water through tiny holes, blocked easily by tiny particles, water was released through larger and longer passageways by using velocity to slow water.”
    As to the website, you ignored my question, so I will reiterate and expound. Can you please back up your McCarthyite claim with data that contradicts what is presented in the story and directly sourced from and linked to the British Mandate survey? Perhaps you can find “propoganda” on the site, but where is it in the data I am referencing. It is very convenient for you to not want to “go through it point by point”. How about just one point of data that is in error? Belief is so much easier than empiricism. It’s also more lazy.
    I don’t care to enter a brand new debate regarding your hasbaric claim that Palestinians contribute “nothing”. But I do wonder why you even ask the question. By doing so, you seem to base their value as human beings and therefore their basic human rights on your perception of their “contribution”. In my world, every person has the same rights regardless of their economic or social contribution.
    And I agree with what you say re land sales. But what does that prove? Does this mean you are endorsing the modern world’s understanding of private property rights? Because if you are, I wholeheartedly agree with you! And there is plenty of Palestinian property in Israel and the West Bank that needs to be returned to its rightful owner. Israel codified the confiscation of property much like the US codified slavery in our bad old days. See the 1948 area of Jurisdiction and Powers Ordinance. See the Absentee Property Law. And the world spoke out against it: See UN GA Resolution 194. See various International Court of Justice rulings.
    The lack of a Palestinian political entity is meaningless. There was no Jewish entity before 1948, yet laws applied to Jews and non-Jews alike.

    • You might want to read over this, it is a little mor academic and far less propagandizing:
      Founding National Myths
      Fabricating Palestinian History
      by David Bukay
      Middle East Quarterly
      Summer 2012, pp. 23-30 (view PDF)
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      The vast literature proving the historic Jewish connection to the Land of Israel has been extensively manipulated and distorted as part of the Palestinian politics of nationalism. Propaganda, indoctrination, and socialization, both domestically and internationally, are essential parts of the strategy and tactics of asserting Palestinian nationhood and statehood. By appropriating to themselves the values, traditions, and historical facts that belong to the Jews, Palestinians have managed to fabricate a “legitimate” history and political traditions out of nothing while denying those of Israel.
      The Palestinian Nation-building Strategy
      A Palestinian flag emblazoned with “Jesus.” Not even Jesus’s origin as a Jew is safe from the Palestinian fabrication of their history. While Jesus was certainly viewed for centuries as a Muslim prophet (along with Abraham and Moses), only recently has he become a model Palestinian shahid, a martyr to their cause.
      Nation-building often involves the invention of foundation myths although these normally require a certain relationship to historic facts, however tenuous. Palestinian leaders, under the leadership of Yasser Arafat and his successors, adopted a different tack: stealing the enemy’s heritage, history, and values, and denying its legitimacy as a people and a state. The Palestinian objectives are to disqualify Israel’s historical standing and to inherit its belongings by delegitimizing and even dehumanizing its national identity and personality.
      Palestinian tactics are simple yet sophisticated: preaching and dispersing lies and distortions of reality. History proves that the bigger the lie and the more common its reiteration, the more it is accepted as authentic and genuine. Moreover, most people are unwilling to accept the idea that an entire national leadership would dare to totally distort and fabricate history in full. Part of the Palestinians’ success in doing so is also due to the fact that most people do not know the history of the Land of Israel and of Jerusalem.
      Usurping the Jewish, Biblical, and Christian Pasts
      Rewriting the history of the Land of Israel by erasing Jewish history and replacing it with a fabricated Palestinian history is a central goal of the Palestinian Authority (PA) and something that the early generations of Palestinian leaders, including the notorious Hajj Amin Husseini, who led the Palestinian Arabs to their 1948 defeat, dared not do. This fictitious history, which ignores all historical documentation and established historical methods, is based on systematic distortions of both ancient and modern history with the aim of denying Israel’s right to exist.
      The Palestinian leaders claim lineage from ancient history, describing the Canaanites as their direct ancestors.[1] In the words of the PA president Mahmoud Abbas: “We said to him [Netanyahu], when he claimed the Jews have a historical right dating back to 3000 years B.C.E., we say that the nation of Palestine upon the land of Canaan had a 7,000-year history. This is the truth that must be said: Netanyahu, you are incidental in history. We are the people of history. We are the owners of history.”[2]
      According to Palestinian Authority historians, the Palestinian people has been living in Palestine for over seven thousand years.[3] Another claim states that Palestinians were in the land since the beginning of creation.[4] According to Sheikh Ikrima Sabri, chairman of the Supreme Islamic Council of the Palestinian Authority, Palestinians have roots in this land originating from earlier than 7500 B.C.E.[5] Arab villages have allegedly existed since the days of the Canaanites.[6] The “Arab” Canaanites supposedly established ports on the coast of Canaan, known today as Palestine, and Jaffa is said to have been one of the cities whose Canaanite origins later invaders failed to erase.[7] Overall, the Palestinian people claim to be rooted in the region for thousands of years and long before Israel.[8]
      According to this argument, some 6,000 years ago, the Palestinians of Canaan created a great civilization that, like the sun, was producing light and shining it on human beings as the Islamic religious basis of the world.[9] Palestinian scholars and media have touted the claim that the Palestinian Arab nation has been rooted in its land for thousands of years since the human settlement of the “Arab-Palestinian-Canaanite” city of Jericho – the oldest city in the history of human civilization. In their claim, the history and heritage of Jericho confirm the Arab-Palestinian-Canaanite narrative concerning the entire Palestinian land, from the sea to the river, and negate the false Zionist narrative. Jericho allegedly proves that the Palestinian nation is the most ancient and earliest of all, whose roots are the most deeply dug into history.[10]
      Palestinians also declared themselves to have been the center of historical events and peoples found in the Bible in the form of the Edomites, Amorites, Midianites, Amalekites, Ibrahim bin Azar (biblical Abraham), and al-Khadir (Prophet Elijah).[11] In the view of the Palestinian ambassador to India, Adli Sadeq, to ignore the existence of the Palestinian people and its rights reflects a logic that mocks intelligence, culture, and the Bible itself, in which Palestine and its people are mentioned more than 250 times.[12] Of course, the term Palestine appears nowhere in the Bible. The assertion that the Palestinians are descended from the biblical Jebusites, who, according to the Bible, were the original inhabitants of Jerusalem, has also been frequently made.[13]
      To claim that Palestinians are the original inhabitants of the Land of Israel not only goes against secular history and scientific knowledge, but it also flies in the face of Islamic religious history. Not only do the Islamic scriptures recognize the unique Jewish claims to the Land of Israel, but there is no reference whatsoever to any Palestinian people dwelling on any land called Filastin during any part of Islamic history until the twentieth century. The term Jund Filastin was used to describe a military district of the Umayyad and Abbasid caliphates and had no ethnic or national significance until the twentieth century.
      The Qur’an declares that the Jews are the chosen people, exalted among the nations of the world.[14] It clearly declares the Jews (Bani Israil) as the only owners of the Land of Israel, which is al-Ard al-Muqaddasah; al-Ard al-Mubarakah; Ard Bani Israil (the sacred land; the blessed land; the land of the People of Israel), and they are not allowed to leave it, for otherwise they will be punished:[15] “It is the promise of God, and God does not go back on his promise.”[16] The Qur’an goes on to acknowledge that the Jewish first and second kingdoms existed but states that they were punished by God.[17] Arab ownership of Palestine is also critically connected to exegesis on the Qur’anic description of Muhammad’s Night Journey from Mecca to the “furthest mosque,” which is juxtaposed with a verse on the destroyed Temple of the Israelites.[18] The existence of that temple, however, though it had been acknowledged by officials of the Islamic religious endowment authority (waqf ) in their publicity materials from the 1920s and 1950s,[19] was famously denied by Arafat in an exchange with U.S. president Bill Clinton.[20]
      Another Palestinian tactic is aimed at co-opting Christianity. For the PA leaders, Jesus is defined as a Palestinian who preached Islam, thus denying not only Jewish history and Christian legitimacy but also strengthening ancient Palestinian history. According to this narrative, Jesus was a Muslim prophet,[21] like all other Jewish-born figures,[22] who was born in Bethlehem, lived in Nazareth, and moved to Jerusalem.[23] Therefore, Jesus the messiah is a Palestinian par excellence, the son of Mary the Palestinian.[24] The Virgin Mary, the woman of love and peace, is of the nation of Palestine, whose roots are grounded in the depths of history.[25] Jesus is a shahid, a holy martyr of Islam, the only Palestinian prophet, and the first Palestinian shahid who was tortured in this land.[26]
      Denying the Jewish Connection
      In the official Palestinian narrative, the Palestinian people are authentic and indigenous while it is the Israelis who are the foreigners, invented, and sown in a land that is not theirs.[27] According to Nabil Alqam, a PA historian, the Israeli state concerns itself with cultural theft and with stealing, distorting, and erasing the Palestinian heritage, which has a historical depth of 4,000 to 5,000 years. The state of Israel attempts to steal Palestinian symbols and to create a fake Israeli identity.[28] In his book, Jerusalem, City of Allah, Yunes Amr, president of the al-Quds Open University, claims to disprove all Israeli connections and the history of the Jewish presence in Palestine, both historically and linguistically, by exposing the falsification of facts and affirming that the Palestinians are Arab Canaanites indigenous to the land.[29]
      Throughout Palestinian media and education, all Israeli cities and areas are featured as Palestinian in origin, including Haifa, Acre, Ashkelon, Jaffa, Safed, Tiberias, Tel Aviv, Nazareth, the Sea of Galilee, Kiryat Shmonah, and the Negev. These are the “Palestinian homeland” or “occupied Palestine.”[30] Instilling these assertions and psychological worldview as facts among youth and in the political arena requires a multilevel process of socialization and indoctrination, beginning with the education system. Reinforcement is constant and all-pervasive: Palestine is continually represented as an area of 27,000 sq km, and an overwhelming Palestinian majority believes this is the truth.[31]
      The Palestinians also portray Israelis of today as having no genetic, religious, cultural, or historical connections to the Jews of the past, who are supposed to have disappeared long ago. Issam Sissalem of the Islamic University in Gaza further claims that the biblical Hebrew tribes were in fact Bedouin. As such they were Arab tribes, and there is no connection between them and today’s Israeli Jews, who are the descendents of Eurasian Khazars who converted to Judaism. The original Hebrew tribes were erased and ceased to exist, leaving no traces.[32] Likewise, Jarir al-Qudwa, once educational advisor to Arafat, holds that the Israelites of the Bible were not only Arab tribes but were among the purest. Fathi Buzia, a PA political commentator, argues that Europe, led by Britain, founded Israel, creating and implanting a thieving, fabricated entity upon the Palestinian land, in order to get rid of Jews at home.[33]
      Israelis are described as religious groups of imposters who were never Jews but part of a Zionist plot to occupy Palestinian lands and steal the Palestinian identity and cultural heritage. This is derided as the greatest crime ever committed against humanity with the aim of the Judaization of Palestine.[34] Even the Hebrew language is said to be stolen from Palestinian Aramaic.[35] The Israeli state creates “false names” for sites to “erase the Palestinian facts.” It steals everything it lays its hands on “by means of terror,” including music, food, clothing, and folk traditions, even falafel and humus.[36] All the territory held by the state of Israel is occupied, and the Palestinians will not compromise on it.[37]
      In the light of this, Palestinian commentators demand that Zionists must acknowledge publicly before the world that Jews have no connection to Palestinian Arab land. Zionist history is nothing more than invention and falsification, constituting a crude form of colonialism.[38] Zionists are trying to create a fake history at the expense of a real Palestinian history so as to steal the history and the culture of the Palestinians.[39]
      The Palestinian “Nation’s” Modern Foundations
      The alleged Zionist process of theft and usurpation is, in fact, precisely the official Palestinian policy toward Jewish history.
      The paradoxical fact is that Palestinian nationalism effectively owes its creation to Zionism, the Jewish national movement.[40] Stimulated partially by the disintegration of the Ottoman Empire and the search for Arab national identities, the main lines of Palestinian nationalism developed during the 1920s and 1930s in reaction to and in contrast with Zionism.
      Though Palestinians claim descent from Canaanites, the fact is that there has never been any historical Palestinian state, nor any indigenous political system and institutions. The Land of Israel witnessed many conquerors over the course of its history, but in the last two thousand years since most of the people of Israel went into exile – albeit not without leaving an uninterrupted presence in the land – it was not the home of any indigenous political entity. Not only has there never been a Palestinian state and a Palestinian people, but there were no other political entities besides those established by invading forces, such as the crusading statelets or district capitals created by Umayyad and Abbasid caliphs.
      Most of the population now known as Palestinian descended from migrants originating from the surrounding Arab countries and from local Bedouins. Many migrated in waves from the middle of the nineteenth century to the middle of the twentieth century. Others were imported by the Ottoman Empire and by the British for infrastructure and agricultural projects, or migrated to the region following Zionist economic success, which produced a staggering population growth.[41] Palestinians are perhaps the newest of all peoples, comprising many scattered groups. In fact, in origin they are more Egyptian, Syrian, Jordanian, Lebanese, and mainly Bedouin, than Palestinian.
      Perhaps the most conspicuous fact regarding the novelty of the Palestinian nation is that when it was within their power, the Arab leaders never seriously sought to create a Palestinian state during the 1940s, and after the establishment of the State of Israel, from 1948 until 1967, when the West Bank and Gaza were under Egyptian and Jordanian direct rule. Moreover, during that time all Arab leaders referred to the Palestinian issue as a refugee problem. They did not call for the creation of a Palestinian state for the Palestinian nation. Even after the 1967 Six-Day War, United Nations Resolution 242 of November 22, 1967, mentions only “refugees,” not even “Arab refugees” – let alone a Palestinian people and a Palestinian state.[42] Calls in earnest for a Palestinian state did not begin in the United Nations or elsewhere until the late 1960s or the early 1970s.[43]
      Even today, as all Arab states pay lip service to the idea of a Palestinian state, and Palestinian leaders are treated as equals by their Arab counterparts, it is far from clear that a Palestinian state is a real priority. If the Palestinians are a people today, they are indeed a new invention. However, do they deserve a state? Establishment of a Palestinian state would rightly open the floodgates for the creation of numerous states based on both new and old national identities. The Kurds and the Berbers, for example, have lived for centuries in the Middle East. They are distinct and ancient peoples that were not invented in the full light of history, but unfortunately, their existence does not translate automatically into statehood. If it did, such a process of granting statehood to all peoples would begin to unravel the fabric of the modern Arab world. Arab leaders, especially under pressure from the Arab upheavals of 2011 show no enthusiasm for this.
      What Do Palestinians Want?
      The important question is what Palestinians really want. What are the Palestinians’ political objectives, and how do they wish to realize them? All their leaders’ declarations and policies clearly show that they have never moderated their primary objective, which is to eliminate the State of Israel. From the Abadan (“never”) rhetoric of the 1920s through 1948 to Arafat’s “phased strategy,” adopted at the June 1974 Palestinian National Congress,[44] Palestinians still lay claim to a land “from the river to the sea.” Palestinians appear unwilling to compromise, to recognize Israel as a Jewish state, or to accept an Israeli state on any territory they call Filastin.
      It is also evident that Palestinian political evolution is closely tied to Israel’s territorial and political development in two continuous phases. The first emerged after Israel’s independence in 1948 and differentiated the Palestinians as a social group of Arab refugees, also called “Palestine Arabs,” and lacking obvious cultural, social, or political characteristics that distinguished them from their Arab kin, who largely reviled them. The second phase developed after the 1967 Six-Day War; Palestinians then became a political group seeking to develop a national identity during the period of global anti-imperial and anti-colonial ferment. But even as a Palestinian national identity has been developed and marketed, it is overwhelmingly founded on the negation of its rival, namely Jewish and Israeli identity, rather than on positive attributes or real history.
      Given this, how have Palestinians been so successful in disseminating their message in the international arena? What brings them the overwhelming political and financial support at the expense of so many nations and other peoples, such as the Kurds and the Berbers, who are denied the chance to establish a state?[45]
      Part of the answer is perhaps the Palestinians’ sophisticated ploy of telling all players what they want to hear. In the international arena, the Palestinians emphasize the ideologies of post-colonialism, post-modernism, and multiculturalism. They depict themselves as the victims of colonial Zionism that has stolen their land and express the wish to establish Palestine as a small or even a multicultural state.[46] In Europe, where there is a high level of guilt and remorse about its own colonialist past, the Palestinians depict Israel as the last remnant of the bygone European colonialist era and directly blame Europe for the creation of the Jewish state.[47] Israel is accused of occupying the land that belongs solely to the Palestinian people, and worse, Israel is accused of perpetuating Nazi methods and committing genocide against the Palestinians.[48] These Palestinian accusations are supported by European intellectuals and leftists who feel remorse about the colonial era and who do not wish to be reminded any further about the Nazi atrocities.
      In the United States, where many feel guilt and remorse over historic racism, the Palestinians depict Israel as a racist state, which treats them in the same way as African Americans were treated.[49] For human rights organizations, Israel is a cruel occupier that violates all human rights and freedoms of the Palestinians.[50] In world public opinion, Israel is depicted as an oppressive society that perpetuates systematic extermination and ethnic cleansing.[51] And to Palestinians and other Muslims, the prospect of a Palestinian state is represented as the creation of another proud Arab or pious Muslim state.
      The question remains why the international community accepts the Palestinians’ claims regarding their fabricated past and the corresponding negation of the Jews. Oil, ignorance, anti-Semitism, and a politically correct unwillingness to offer any challenge to such falsehoods, all play a role. Still, it is difficult to recall a time in modern history when one group of people openly expressed such visceral animosity and hatred and declared its eagerness to eliminate a neighboring state and its people while the international arena ignored and, in fact, enabled and legitimized it.
      Palestinian Arabs, as opposed to Arabic-speaking residents, have not been in the area west of the Jordan River from the Islamic occupation, from the Ottoman Empire, or even from British rule since 1917. No Palestinian state has ever existed, and so, no Palestinian people has ever been robbed of its land. There is no language or dialect known as Palestinian; there is no Palestinian culture distinct from that of surrounding Arab ones; and there has never been a land known as Palestine governed by Palestinians at any time in history. For these reasons, Palestinians have been driven to fabricate a past by denying and expropriating that of Jews and Israel.
      Only after the Palestinian leadership comes to terms with Israel’s legitimacy and recognizes it as a Jewish state can one begin discussing the emergence of a Palestinian state that lives in peace beside the State of Israel.
      David Bukay is a lecturer at the School of Political Science in the University of Haifa.
      [1] All references from Palestinian Authority media are taken from Palestinian Media Watch.
      [2] Palestinian al-Fath TV, May 14, 2011.
      [3] Al-Ayyam (Ramallah), Sept. 11, 2006.
      [4] Palestinian al-Fath TV, July 25, 2004.
      [5] Al-Hayat al-Jadida (Ramallah), July 3, 2010.
      [6] Ibid., Dec. 3, 2010.
      [7] Palestinian al-Fath TV, repeatedly from 2005-07.
      [8] Al-Hayat al-Jadida, Mar. 17, 2009, Dec. 11, 2011.
      [9] Palestinian al-Fath TV, Feb. 20, 2011.
      [10] Al-Hayat al-Jadida, Oct. 21, 2010.
      [11] Ibid., July 8, 2011.
      [12] Ibid., Nov. 18, 2005, Dec. 19, 2011.
      [13] David Wenkel, “Palestinians, Jebusites, and Evangelicals,” Middle East Quarterly, Summer 2007, pp. 49-56.
      [14] Qur: al-Baqarah, 2:47; ad-Dukhan, 44:32.
      [15] Qur: al-Maidah, 5:21; al-A’araf, 7:137; Bani Israil, 17:104.
      [16] Qur: ar-Rum, 30:6.
      [17] Qur: Bani Israil, 17:104-7.
      [18] Ibid., 17: 1, 7.
      [19] Philip Mattar, “The Role of the Mufti of Jerusalem in the Political Struggle over the Western Wall, 1928-1929,” Middle Eastern Studies, Jan. 1983, pp. 104-18; Muhammad Amin al-Husseini, Haqa’ik An Qadiyat Filastin (Cairo: n.p., 1957), pp. 115-9.
      [20] See Yitzhak Reiter, Jerusalem and Its Role in Islamic Solidarity (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2008), pp. 1-2.
      [21] Qur: al-Imran, 3:51-2; an-Nisa, 4:171; al-Maidah, 5:111.
      [22] Qur: al-Baqarah, 2:127-8, 133; al-Imran, 3:84; Yunus, 10:71-2, 84.
      [23] Palestinian al-Fath TV, Apr. 21, 2006; al-Hayat al-Jadida, Mar. 9, Oct. 28, 2006.
      [24] Al-Hayat al-Jadida, Nov. 18, 2005; Palestinian al-Fath TV, May 12, 2009.
      [25] ,com.Palvoice Mar. 17, 2010.
      [26] Al-Hayat al-Jadida, June 24, Dec. 11, 2000, June 17, 2005, Oct. 28, 2006, Apr. 30, Nov. 18, 2008; Palestinian al-Fath TV, June 9, Dec. 24, 2009.
      [27] Al-Hayat al-Jadida, Dec. 11, 2011.
      [28] Palestinian al-Fath TV, Oct. 22, 2009.
      [29] Al-Ayyam, Apr. 7, 2009.
      [30] Palestinian al-Fath TV, Apr. 11, June 14, 24, Sept. 2, Nov. 1, 2011; al-Hayat al-Jadida, Jan. 31, June 17, 20, 2011.
      [31] Palestinian al-Fath TV, May 16, June 11, 25, July 5, Aug. 12, 13, 19, 2010.
      [32] Ibid., July 25, 2004.
      [33] Ibid., June 17, 2009.
      [34] Al-Hayat al-Jadida, Apr. 4, May 26, 2011; Palestinian al-Fath TV, May 23, 2011.
      [35] Palestinian al-Fath TV, Dec. 7, 2010, Feb. 8, July 15, 2011; al-Hayat al-Jadida, May 15, July 1, 2011.
      [36] Al-Hayat al-Jadida, Dec. 16, 2010, Apr. 4, May 16, July 5, Dec. 8, 2011; Palestinian al-Fath TV, Dec. 23, 2010.
      [37] Al-Hayat al-Jadida, Aug. 18, 2011.
      [38] Ibid., May 27, 2011.
      [39] Palestinian al-Fath TV, May 23, 2011.
      [40] Daniel Pipes, “Mirror Image: How the PLO Mimics Zionism,” National Interest, Fall 1994; idem, “Mirror Image: Palestinians Continue to Mimic Zionism,”, Jan. 10, 2008.
      [41] See, for example, Efraim Karsh, Palestine Betrayed (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2010), pp. 2-16; Fred M. Gottheil, “The Smoking Gun: Arab Immigration into Palestine, 1922-1931,” Middle East Quarterly, Winter 2003, pp. 53-64; Arieh L. Avneri, The Claim of Dispossession, Jewish Land Settlement and the Arabs, 1878-1948 (Edison, N.J.: Transaction Publishers, 1982), pp. 162-80.
      [42] U.N .Security Council, “Resolution 242 of November 22, 1967.”
      [43] See, for example, “10 Point Program,” Palestine National Council, Cairo, June 8, 1974.
      [44] “Political Program for the Present Stage Drawn up by the 12th PNC, Cairo, June 9, 1974,” Journal of Palestine Studies, Summer 1974, pp. 224-5.
      [45] James Minehan, Nations without States (Westport: Greenwood Press, 1996), index.
      [46] Hanan Ashrawi, Palestinian legislator, al-Hayat al-Jadidah, Dec. 27, 2011; Issa Karake, minister of prisoners’ affairs, al-Hayat al-Jadidah, Nov. 24, 2011; Bassam Eid, “Can a Bi-National State Be a Solution to the Middle East Conflict,” Palestinian Human Rights Monitoring Group, Jerusalem, 2009.
      [47] Fayez A. Sayegh, “Zionist Colonialism in Palestine,” Research Center Palestine Liberation Organization, Beirut, Sept. 1965; Gilbert Achcar, “The Arab-Israeli War of Narratives,” Open Democracy, London, Apr. 19, 2010.
      [48] See, for example, Marwan Bishara, Palestine/Israel: Peace or Apartheid. Occupation, Terrorism and the Future (London: Zed Press, 2003); Ziyad Abu Ein, Palestinian Authority deputy minister of prisoners’ affairs, interview, Palestinian Fatah TV, Oct. 6, 2011; al-Hayat al-Jadidah, Apr. 17, July 5, Oct. 3, 2011.
      [49] See, for example, Occupation, Colonialism, Apartheid? A re-assessment of Israel’s practices in the occupied Palestinian territories under international law (Cape Town: Human Sciences Research Council of South Africa, 2009); Jamal Dajani, “Israel: Occupation or Apartheid?” The Huffington Post (New York), Feb. 5, 2010; Uri Davis, Israel: An Apartheid State (London: Zed Books, 2002), pp. 55, 61.
      [50] See, for example, “Israel and Occupied Palestinian Territories: The 2011 Report,” Amnesty International, New York, accessed Mar. 12, 2012; “Israel/Occupied Palestinian Territories, Events of 2009,” World Report 2010, Human Rights Watch, New York, accessed Mar. 12, 2012.
      [51] See, for example, Ha’aretz (Tel Aviv), Oct. 31, 2009; Inter Press Service (Rome), Mar. 23, 2011; Asia News (Bangkok), Mar. 22, 2011.
      Related Topics: History, Palestinians | David Bukay | Summer 2012 MEQ
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  23. We are done here. You refuse to recognize the numerous facts I have presented. I guess when confronted with these irrefutable facts, you felt it necessary to deflect. The piece you cite has a litany of referenced claims by the Palestinians and others (some of which I too find objectionable), but when it comes to his counter-argument, there is little if any objective data to support his claims.
    Your idea of what is “academic” is so telling as to you own mindset (which you have already made pretty clear). The above piece is written by a man who has said “There is no condemnation, no regret, no problem of conscience among Arabs and Muslims, anywhere, in any social stratum, of any social position” and “when an Arab or a Muslim opens his remarks with the expression wallahi, he is apparently intending to lie”. Such are the standards for academia in Israel? Racist, pure and simple.
    I wish for you an open heart for all men, not just those of your tribe. Adios.

    • I suggest you look at objective research, not sue propaganda website that serves you purpose. they are not facts, rather quiet a few myth. There is a lot more academic honesty and freedom with Israeli institutes of higher learning then the medieval Arab world. I am just so sorry that you jump o a clearly propaganda website to push an agenda.
      As for racism,you clearly do not have a clue about it. My heart goes out to those Palestinians who have suffered fro Arab tyranny.
      As fo making the desert bloom. Might I suggest a trip to Israel, if you can even find it on the map?

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