Bernie Sanders’s Palestine problem


I wrote earlier about the large crowd that attended a Bernie Sanders rally in Boston. But now it appears that there was an incident there that highlights the fact that Sanders is a PEP (Progressive Except for Palestine) politician, like a lot of Democrats. His team threatened to have people arrested for merely holding a sign that asked “Will Ya Feel The Bern For Palestine?”, an act reminiscent of what the Bush-Cheney campaign used to do at their events. Here’s the video.

Murtaza Hussain describes what happened at the event.

Among those visitors were a number of young activists from Boston Students for Justice in Palestine, who were curious about Sanders’ position on the occupied territories. They had a sign with them; in a playful nod to one of Sanders’ campaign slogans, it simply asked, “Will Ya Feel The Bern For Palestine?” The activists say they were well-received by other Sanders supporters in the crowd.

But staffers working for a candidate widely viewed as one of the most progressive members of the Senate were apparently not happy. Security was made aware of a threat: Some students who support Sanders were holding a sign with a question on it. A tactic right out of the Bush campaign “playbook” went into action.

“They told us to either put the sign away or leave,” said Sana Hashmani, one of the student activists. “We asked why, and they said that Bernie’s campaign staff had said the sign had to go.”

There had been no signs of trouble previously. The pro-Palestine group was doing nothing unusual — except, perhaps, for daring to question Sanders about territories occupied by Israel, of which Sanders has been a not-entirely-progressive supporter.

Here is the statement from the ejected group Boston Students for Justice in Palestine.

“We, members of Boston Students for Justice in Palestine, attended the Bernie Sanders rally yesterday evening with a sign that read ‘Will Ya ‪#‎feeltheBern‬ 4 Palestine??!’ We were quiet and non-disruptive- not blocking any of the rally screenings or walkways- in the overflow area. We received a warm welcome from all surrounding Bernie supporters and rally participants, many of whom also were carrying signs. Within minutes of arriving, we were approached by police and venue staff and told that the Bernie Sanders’ campaign team asks that we take down our sign. To our knowledge, nobody else who were carrying signs were asked to do the same. We began filming our interaction with police staff were immediately given a verbal trespass order and threatened with arrest.

We understand we may have asked a tough question for Bernie’s campaign. However, what concerns us most about being unwelcome in this political space on the basis of a sign is not what is says about Bernie’s stance on Palestine, but rather, his team’s refusal to entertain diverse viewpoints. Is this how Bernie is going to answer those, supporters and non-supporters alike, who ask challenging questions about his views? Just silencing them? We signed up for a socio-political revolution. These are not actions that reflect the social revolution that Bernie claims to be leading and we must talk about the implications of incidents like this.

We are enthusiastic to begin a dialogue about what it means to strive for basic respect, inclusivity, and elevation of under-represented voices, an endeavor that serves as a hallmark of Bernie’s campaign-that dialogue was silenced yesterday before it even started.”

After video of the incident circulated, the Sanders campaign apologized to the student group, blaming the ejection on a “rogue” low-level staffer who has been excluded from working at future events.

That is a good first step. But this is not the first time that Sanders has shown himself to be an apologist for the Israeli government, providing political cover for their atrocities, and reacted with impatience with those who dare to criticize Israel except within narrow limits. As Hussain reminds us:

To a certain extent, the episode reflects an underlying tension between Sanders’ base of young progressives and his comparatively friendly posture toward Israel. A 2014 Pew Research Center poll found minority and millennial Democrats markedly more critical of Israeli military actions. At a town hall event last August, Sanders lost his temper with supporters who had interrupted him to question him about U.S. support for Israel, telling them to “shut up,” and attempting to change the subject to ISIS. During Israel’s 2014 military campaign against the Gaza Strip a plurality of Democrats described the action as “unjustified,” while Sanders was part of the unanimous Senate consent supporting Israel’s actions. He has continued to defend the “Protective Edge” operation as a legitimate act of self-defense, albeit one in which Israel “overreacted.”

But the ejection of pro-Palestine students from the Sanders rally surfaced a bigger question with a potentially more disturbing answer: Can this candidate, beloved by the left wing, learn to cope more tolerantly with protest and dissent?

Already, Sanders has been criticized for his handling of Black Lives Matter protesters at his events. Boston Students for Justice in Palestine are also worried about a tendency to marginalize, rather than engage, critics.

While I am in general a supporter of Sanders, I hope that, like the Black Lives Matter movement, supporters of justice for Palestine continue to make waves at Sanders’s events and force him to come to terms with one of the most important foreign policy issues he will face as president. He should not be allowed to get away with trying to silence or otherwise marginalize critics of Israeli government actions that suppress the rights of Palestinians and continue the appalling conditions under which they force them to live.

Comments

  1. blarg says

    It is unfortunate that the activists were ejected from the event. But I can see the point of asking to remove or preferably to change the sign. Saying “Will Ya Feel The Bern For Palestine?” can imply Sanders position is pro-Palestine. Since that is not necessarily so (unfortunately or not) it seems reasonable to not have that impression being made and displayed in a way that could give people, and the media, a false understanding of his positions. After all many have pointed to the idiotic signs held by Tea-Party supporters at other candidates rallies and asked why those people were not renounced or asked if that means the candidate tacitly supports those positions.

  2. Chiroptera says

    Mano Singham: While I am in general a supporter of Sanders, I hope that, like the Black Lives Matter movement, supporters of justice for Palestine continue to make waves at Sanders’s events and force him to come to terms with one of the most important foreign policy issues he will face as president.

    We’ll see, but I fear that there is an important distinction between his pro-Israel stance and the Black Lives Matter incident.

    I believe that Sanders was always on the side of social justice for American minorities; he just didn’t understand at the time how people viewed his campaign and how he needed to address these issues. Once it was made clear to him, he was willing to learn and make changes.

    On Israel/Palestine, I suspect that Sanders already pretty much knows as much as he is going to know; his stance isn’t based on being unaware of the issues or not having to deal with them as an elected official from Vermont. So, I fear that his position on Israel/Palestine may be more firmly set.

  3. atheistblog says

    I am a staunch supporter of Sanders, but when looking at his foreign policy and gun controls, I have qualms supporting him.
    He needs to clarify and make a moral judgement whether his state, VT, recreation is so important or human lives of this nation is important, guns should never be a Right. What he is afraid of now, if he loose the nomination, still he wants to keeps his senate seat, that doesn’t sound like a revolutionary, a cunning, calculated politician.

    He is just petty ordinary politician on these two issues. How he use some phrases like there is no magic solution to Israel-Palestian problems and Gun violence is just appalling. There is a solution, first thing to get the solution is recognize what stops the solution to be reached. Israel doesn’t want peace and palestine state, more guns available more violence will be the result, guns should never be a Right. And he want’s those people who raising the issue that more guns in this country means more violence to just shut up, though he doesn’t openly say it, he has nuance way of saying it, “let stop shouting at each other”, like somehow we, those who tell the truth that abundance of guns (and the interpretation of 2nd amendment that guns are a Right, is a root of the problem) are part of the problem.

    After russia bombing, he now want’s to arm the “rebels”, the same position he opposed until now. What a petty politician.

    He needs a Black Lives Matter treatment on both Foreign policy and Gun violence.

  4. Holms says

    He remains the best of mostly bad bunch, but it is sad that he has such a glaring omission on his otherwise progressive platform.

  5. atheistblog says

    @2 Chiroptera says

    Not, matter of fact, his position on Israel/Palestine has actually changed as he entered the national politics. There are videos out there, in which he is speaking against Israel and it’s continuous increasing encroaching settlements. But now, if you ask his position on Israel/Palestine, he will tell you only one thing, Israel is defending itself, we have to support Israel, no magic solution.

    And when it comes to Israel’s talking point that Palestine, Iran has to recognize Israel not as a state,but as Zionist state is just beyond reasonable, Iran – Islamic state is bad, Israel – zionist state is good, how US which proud of it’s 1st amendment can support this ?
    Let be clear about the fact – Israel wants all the palestine land, also slowly get the palestine out of the land or die. US should recognize that Israel is an apartheid state.

  6. says

    At a town hall event last August, Sanders lost his temper with supporters who had interrupted him to question him about U.S. support for Israel, telling them to “shut up,” and attempting to change the subject to ISIS.

    So is this talking about August 2014? I’ll say that I got to see him at a town hall event in May (my privilege living in Iowa) where he was asked a similar question. He seemed to lean toward favoring Israel, but noted that it’s complicated. It wasn’t a really precise answer…but it also wasn’t one that left me with a bad taste in my mouth.

  7. Lesbian Catnip says

    Somewhat related: the Canadian NDP (left ish federal party) kicks out any party members that come in favour of a two state solution.

    Feels like a lot of allegedly progressive leaders are hesitant to point out the parallels between Israel and, say, South Africa apartheid.

  8. Mano Singham says

    Lesbian Catnip,

    What is the stance that the NDP favors? There are many progressives who have given up on the two-state solution and now think only a one-state solution is possible but I suspect that is not what the NDP is advocating.

  9. atheistblog says

    One state solution ? Gosh that means permanent Apartheid state. Israel never wants Palestinian in their land (sic!), 1 state ? oh, I got, it means get the palestinians out of gaza and west bank, then take the whole land, that’s what 1 state means.

  10. Lesbian Catnip says

    Lesbian Catnip,
    What is the stance that the NDP favors? There are many progressives who have given up on the two-state solution and now think only a one-state solution is possible but I suspect that is not what the NDP is advocating.

    The NDP leader, Tom Mulcair, revoked party membership of anyone who voiced support for Palestine, up to and including advocating for two-state solutions. Basically, you can’t be NDP if you think anything but “Israel is right.”

    If someone is running for the NDP in this October election, they either 1) don’t care enough about the issue to give up their party membership; or 2) Actually support Israel.

    I wish from the bottom of my heart my alternatives for Prime Minister weren’t a fascist robot and a wafflehead. I wanted to like the NDP, but Mulcair’s been full steam ahead to the political centre, and this particular foreign affairs issue was one of his attempts to grab up right-wing moderates.

  11. doublereed says

    It’s already one state. It’s not like Palestine has actual sovereignty or something. The Palestinians are just in legal limbo and have no rights, but let’s face it: they’re under the jurisdiction of Israel at this point.

  12. StevoR says

    @ ^ doublereed : Or Hamas or the Palestinian Authority (ex-Fatah / PLO) which govern some areas of Judea and Samaria and all of Gaza. These their so called “leaders” are, in actual fact the ones responsible for tyrannising, oppressing and killing the Palestinians.

    @5. atheistblog :

    Let be clear about the fact – Israel wants all the palestine land, ..

    Well, that would explain why they keep offering huge sections of their already tiny country to the Arabs and Palestinians in peace talks, signed the Oslo accords and once offered them about 95% of what they demanded then. Also explains why they unilaterally left the Gaza Strip handing it over complete with greenhouses built by Jewish settlers who the IDF forcibly evicted from their homes. Greenhouses which the Gazans then looted and destroyed. Oh wait, NO it doesn’t and the actual historical facts totally disprove your extraordinary claim there.

    ..also slowly get the palestine out of the land or die.

    Yes and that would explain why the Palestinian population even inside Israel keeps growing so fast and strongly and why there are millions more of them then there used to be> Oh wait. Again, actually the opposite. If Israel did want to expel or massacre the Palestinians it certainly has the ability to do so but clearly it is far more ethical and restrained than you suggest and does NOT do so despite the appalling behaviour and hatred harboured by the Palestinians against the Israelis.

    US should recognize that Israel is an apartheid state.

    No it shouldn’t because Israel is NOT an apartheid state and that is a racist offensive lie. Words have meanings and apartheid means and was a specific racist system in White South Africa which bears very little if any resemblance to the Israeli nation which for the record includes all races. Jewish people themselves come not just Europe but Ethiopia and Iraq and all around the globe. In many cases because they themselves experienced really apartheid like treatment in their former nations. Do look up The Pale, ghettos, pogroms and Shoah at some stage & actually some some historical truths, ‘k?

    Your historical and political ignorance here is just astounding really albeit common among the Israel-bashing club that seemingly know nothing of either Apartheid or Israel. But then I guess that’s what to expect from someone who openly calls for hate speech against Israel like that’s a good thing. Face it, atheistblog you are an anti-Semite and that makes you a bad person who should be ashamed of yourself.

    @9. Mano Singham :

    Lesbian Catnip, What is the stance that the NDP favors? There are many progressives who have given up on the two-state solution and now think only a one-state solution is possible but I suspect that is not what the NDP is advocating.

    Can’t speak for anyone else but I am one progressive who favours the Eight State Palestinian Emirates solution which I learnt of only a few months ago :

    http://palestinianemirates.com/Summary.html

    I think it is clear that the “Two state solution” proposal has already been repeatedly rejected by the Palestinians themselves and will not happen. Although in a way they already have at least two states the case since they already have Gaza – and Jordan as states created for them. (The latter before the palestinians even called themselves palestinians.)

    The one state solution would be demographic cultural suicide for Israel unless the Palestinians slow their birthrate and shift their culture away from one of monstrous Jew-hatred and the idol worship of homicide-suicide killers and Jihadism.

    The idea of Palestinian city-states and emirates along UAE and Gulf state (eg. Kuwait, Baharain, Abu Dhabi) lines is, I believe, a new, innovative and most of all actually workable solution to the conflict which allows both sides and peoples to win.

    Before any peace can really come though Hamas (the true oppressors and killers of the Palestinians) of course as well as Islamic Jihad and Hezbollah etc .. do need to be either destroyed or altered beyond recognition and the terrorism and anti-Semitic brain-washing of the Palestinians needs to end. The Palestinians need to recognise and finally fully accept the humanity and legitimacy of the Israelis and Jewish people who have always lived in the region and have always held the land of Israel to be their sacred and rightful home. If they palestinains do that then they can be allowed to share that land. Whilst they keep trying to committ yet another genocide against the Jews, they have to be stopped from doing that. No one should expect or demand Israel committs suicide any more than anyone would expect or demand any other nation to do so either.

    Can and does anyone here really disagree with that above last paragraph and if so why please?

  13. StevoR says

    Oh & for those who need a history lesson as some here clearly do :

    A brief but accurate history of The Israeli-Arab-Palestinian issue for y’all :

    1947 The UN divides former mandate into a Jewish state and an Arab one. The Jews accept this , the Arab nations immediately invade and attempt to exterminate the Jews. The Arabs fortunately lose badly. Israel survives winning its War of Independence which the Arabs call the Nakbah or Catastrophe. (They think its literally a “catastrophe” that they failed to massacre millions of people.) Egypt and Jordan then take over the Arab run areas of what is now considered “palestine” without either nation indicating it would grant those “palestinian” areas any independence.

    1967, 1973 Arab armies again attempt to invade and destroy Israel with the publicly declared goal of committing genocide against the Israeli and Jewish peoples. These result again in crushing defeats for the Arab aggressors and they consequently lose the territories of Gaza, the Sinai Peninsula, the Golan Heights, Judea and Samaria. (The latter two areas often incorrectly termed the West Bank i.e. West Jordan. Jordan revoked any claim to these areas in 1988.)

    Following the failure of the Arab military to annihilate Israel, the Arabs inside these “occupied territories” (which generally previously thought of themselves as Arabs and if anything South Syrians) name themselves “Palestinians” and start a campaign of terrorism supported by the USSR and Arab dictatorships. There are several warring groups of these terrorists but they largely come to be represented by Egyptian born terrorist leader Yasser Arafat. The PLO begins by demanding Israel’s extermination and indeed the extermination of Jews worldwide. (See : wikipedia . org / wiki/ Palestinian_National_Covenant – “Events before 1998.” Link broken for avoiding moderation w excessive hyperlink references.)

    The PLO claims to govern the Palestinians but gets driven out of the many Arab nations where they are mainly residing incl. notably Jordan after a failed attempt to take over that nation in 1970 and Lebanon after taking part in a horrific civil war there in the 1980’s. Meanwhile other Palestinians inside Israel attempt a violent uprising (“Intifada”) isolating them from their supposed internationally wandering terrorist leaders.

    Arafat then pretends to try diplomacy and in 1993 the PLO and Israel under Yitzhak Rabin & Shimon Peres sign the Oslo accords. Israel generously offers PLO control over several areas in Judea and Samaria and Gaza and allows Arafat and the PLO to return to these parts of Israel. Unfortunately Arafat has no intention of actually making peace and governing decently and the Palestinians resume violence and terrorism including the start of homicide-suicide bombings by Fatah groups as well as the first Hamas and Islamic Jihad attacks. Arafat is also caught trying to smuggle weapons in from Iran by sea. (See : / wiki / Karine_A_Affair – one proof of Arafat’s bad faith among many other proofs.) Constant peace talks during this period finally conclusively fail in the Camp David 2000 Summit after Israeli PM Ehud :

    ..Barak offered Arafat a Palestinian state in 73 percent of the West Bank and all of the Gaza Strip. The Palestinian percentage of sovereignty would extend to 90 percent over a ten- to twenty-five-year period. Also included in the offer was the return of a small number of refugees and compensation for those not allowed to return. Palestinians would also have “custodianship” over the Temple Mount, sovereignty on all Islamic and Christian holy sites, and 3/4 of Jerusalem’s Old Quarters. Arafat rejected Barak’s offer and refused to make an immediate counter-offer.[85] He told President Clinton that, “the Arab leader who would surrender Jerusalem is not born yet.”

    – Source : wikipedia.org/wiki/Yasser_Arafat#Oslo_Accords

    The Palestinians then start a second even more violent Intifada during which Arafat loses control of much of the territories and is confined to his Ramallah compound. Meanwhile Hamas rises in strength and influence and seriously challenges the corrupt Fatah Arafat faction of Palestinian leadership. Arafat dies in 2004, a failed terrorist and dictator leaving his PLO faction – now called the PA in charge of some areas of Palestinian claimed land.

    Israel then decides to unilaterally leave Gaza in 2005 handing it over to the Gazans complete with greenhouses and other infrastructure constructed by Jewish settlers who the IDF forcibly evicts. (See : http://www.nbcnews.com/id/9331863/ns/world_news-mideast_n_africa/t/looters-strip-gaza-greenhouses/ ) The Palestinians then have a civil war following their 2006 elections where Hamas wins and Fatah refuses to abide by the verdict. Hamas take over Gaza and massacres many Fatah members. Hamas has a charter explicitly denying peace and calling for Israel’s total destruction. Hamas commences firing rockets at Israeli cities and several recurring Gazan wars have since ensued.

    Note that throughout this that Israel has repeatedly signed and kept agreements aimed at swapping land for peace which the Palestinians have either rejected or failed to honour. The Palestinians have repeatedly resorted to violence whereas Israel has voluntarily given up a considerable amount of land – especially remarkable for such a small and beseiged nation! Occassionally, these “land for peace” deals have worked notably with Egypt and the Sinai Peninsula. More often the Israelis have suffered attacks from the land they have chosen to hand over. (Gaza, the PA run areas of Judea and Samaria.)

    The palestinians have indeed rejected many peace plans and deals and the Arabs have also continually refused to accept Israel’s right to exist and live in peace and security as every nation deserves.

    Oh & when the Arabs could have created a Palestinian state by themsleves eg. between 1948-1967 they choose not to do so.

    In addition, the Arabs have also created the Palestinian refugee situation by refusing to resettle Arab refugees who fled in their various wars aimed to destroying the world’s only tiny Jewish nation. This is especially shameful on their part given they encouraged these refugees to leave in the first place with a promise of a quick return once the Jewish people had all been “driven into the sea” i.e. slaughtered. Israel, OTOH, has resettled all its refugees who have fled Islamic & Communist persecution in other lands.

    This is all factual material and undeniable historical reality which should be – but isn’t – widely known and understood.

    Guess now y’all know!

  14. StevoR says

    According to the latest TV news here; there’s now talk of the Palestinians starting yet another violent Intifada too. They’ve called for another “Day of Rage” apparently :

    https://www.rt.com/news/315859-jerusalem-palestinian-fire-clashes/

    I have a question and suggestion for them & their apologists here about that :

    My question is how are we going to be able to tell the difference from them on any other day?

    Seriously, which days haven’t these Palestinians been raging and ranting and chucking stones (plus firebombs) and planning or carrying out acts of terrorism?

    My suggested alternative – why don’t they hold have a ‘Day of Mellowing Out and being Kind and Generous and Fair to Israelis and everyone else’ instead?

    Instead of throwing stones why not try offering the Israelis flowers and acts of human kindness and listening to them and being seriously nice and agreeable and pleasant rather than aggressive and violent and hateful?

    For one thing, it would be a real nice change and we’d have able to tell it apart from them on pretty much every day.

    For another thing, it might actually work at changing attitudes and breaking the cycle of violence. Where have all their violence, hatred, stone throwing, peace-rejecting and wars got them so far? Why do the Palestinians think that what has never worked every other time they’ve tried it will somehow work now? The Palestinians really have been their own worst enemies for all the hatred and violence they’ve brain washed themselves and saturated their culture in. That culture, their tactics really need to change don’t they?

    For a third and final thing, it can’t do any harm can it? Worth a try isn’t it? Flip as it may sound, why not?

  15. Holms says

    1947 The UN divides former mandate into a Jewish state and an Arab one. The Jews accept this , the Arab nations immediately invade and attempt to exterminate the Jews.

    The dishonesty of your continued apologetics is I think best exemplified in the quoted passage, in which you note that the jews accept the division of land, but fail to mention the thoughts of the original arab occupants. Of course the jews accepted it, they were being given someone else’s land for free! Not only do you fail to mention of the thoughts of the arabs, you actually have the dishonesty to characterise their attempts to keep their own lands as an invasion! You utter scum.

  16. lorn says

    Until such time as the Palestinian leaders unequivocally affirm Israel’s right to exist and back it by clear actions I see no reason to listen to anything they might have to say. Anything less and Israel would be simply negotiating the details of its own injury.

    The whole idea of this being about Palestinian land taken from this is a canard. The land has changed hands many times. Sometimes by conquest, sometimes by ethnic or religious drift, sometimes simply because people moved out or died off and others, seeking unoccupied land, and having nowhere better to go, moved in. Often this varied from local to local with the valuable lands, fertile and with water or along a natural trade route, being taken by willful action and less desirable locations handled more passively.

    Likely, if it were not for ethnic Palestinian adoption of Islam, with its assertion that any land once Muslim permanently remains Muslim, there would be far less insistence that the historic transition of land from one to another group should be interrupted. Somehow no other groups have been given similar special consideration. Should we plumb the depths of time and restore Hittite (Syrian) ownership, or Egyptian, or Roman (Italian) to decide on who has the right to stay? In that case the Jews have as good a case as any.

    Of course historic occupation of a piece of land, presuming ownership has little bearing on this case. There are problems with larger and more powerful groups drawing lines but the fact remains that, like it or not, power defines borders. Great Britain, in concert with France, and others, drew lines on the map and said who would live where. The irony is that most of the citizens within these so called artificial nations regularly fight and die to protect these artificial borders, often from the predations of other artificially created nations.

    Within this context, of right of occupation defined as an accommodation of power, the Palestinians are welcome to try to renegotiate the division by force of arms, as they are wont to do. This is the right of all peoples simply because it is impossible to keep them from doing so. Violence is always an alternative and is, in fact, a form of diplomacy and negotiation. As it has been noted: War is diplomacy by other means. As long as the Palestinians negotiate by use of war they will be subject to the harsh realities of such negotiations.

    The fact is that Israel has the power to comprehensively and completely destroy all traces of the Palestinians in their vicinity. If genocide was their goal they could do it and do it so quickly that nobody could stop it from happening. That their reactions to provocations has always been far short of that demonstrates a great deal of forbearance and restraint.

    The only relevant question is when are the Palestinians going to accept the reality that portions of their land are gone and unlikely to be returned and deal creatively with their much more powerful neighbor. The Palestinians, no matter how honor bound and stubborn, cannot expect Israel to enter into serious negotiations with any group that demands Israel cease to exist either by dissolving the status of nation, or removal of lands.

    Until they can accept that Israel as a state and people has a right to exist they will always be at war. There is no room for sympathy in war.

  17. Holms says

    Nice, another apologist asking the oppressed to pipe down and accept their oppression. Bonus points for using ‘it could be worse’ unironically.

  18. patrick2 says

    Palestinians have not rejected a two-state settlement. A two-state settlement based on the 1967 borders and mutual recognition of Israel has been their official position decades now and it hasn’t changed. It’s also the solution most in line with international law and favoured by the entire world, including all Arab states. Israel has been consistent in trying to prevent it, probably in large part to very valuable water reserves in the West Bank.

    Palestinians rejected the 2000 peace proposal for very specific reasons. In large part because movement between Palestinian cities would still be controlled by Israel. Why would any independent country accept those terms?

  19. lorn says

    patrick2 @20:
    “Palestinians have not rejected a two-state settlement. A two-state settlement based on the 1967 borders and mutual recognition of Israel has been their official position decades now and it hasn’t changed. ”

    A … sure. Lots of people say that … and it might be true in some ironic sense. But that is not how the Palestinians talk internationally, among themselves and certainly they haven’t backed it with anything but a vague assent entire absent any necessary change on their part.

    Hamas, which was elected in 2006 and which controls/governs the majority of the Palestinian areas, openly calls for the destruction of Israel and generalized killing of Jews. It has fought and seeks to overthrow the PA run by Abbas, in large part because the PA has negotiated with Israel.

    Read it in their own words:
    http://fas.org/irp/world/para/docs/880818a.htm

    Also “Why would any independent country accept those terms?:

    Because the Palestinians do not have, and may never have, an independent country. You negotiate toward the goal of independence. You don’t assume independence, which you don’t have, as a negotiating stance. And yes, it is humiliating and ‘unfair’. Such are the fortunes of those who use war as a negotiation tactic against a more militarily capable neighbor. When you do sit down and talk you will always negotiate from weakness and have to accept the shorter end of the stick. Barring that, death and destruction rains down upon you and no rational person aware of the realities has pity for your plight.

    So … everything you say is true, except for the Palestinians being willing to chose diplomacy over war. The fact that many in the international community seem to think that Hamas believes otherwise just goes to show you how gullible they are. Of course, what they believe has no bearing because until Hamas changes its stance it will be war, with lulls and cease-fires enforced just long enough for another run of propaganda theater to be staged, more weapons to be smuggled in, and more tunnels to be dug.

  20. Holms says

    And yes, it is humiliating and ‘unfair’. Such are the fortunes of those who use war as a negotiation tactic against a more militarily capable neighbor.

    Are you intentionally neglecting the fact that they did not in fact choose war, but were invaded? I know you’re aware of it because you referenced the Mandate carving the region up, but your argument now seems to be that they can’t claim to be the injured party for some reason.

  21. lorn says

    “Are you intentionally neglecting the fact that they did not in fact choose war, but were invaded? I know you’re aware of it because you referenced the Mandate carving the region up, but your argument now seems to be that they can’t claim to be the injured party for some reason.”

    No I’m not neglecting any of that. Fact being that most of Europe, all of Africa, South America, the Mediterranean basin was not so much invaded as occupied. The difference being that after a couple of generations after an invasion it seems pedantic to be complaining about an invasion after fifty years as if it was just yesterday instead of occupation. The area concerned was occupied by a mix of French, British, and Italian forces. The area declared to be Palestine by the British, with the agreement of the French, was tightly controlled by the British. They did not so much invite and welcome an invasion, although there was some move toward declaration of a Jewish state, as face a mass migration to the area by otherwise disenfranchised and stateless Jews. Calling this an invasion would require you to call the movements of great numbers of Syrian/Somali/ Yemeni/Afghan/Iraqi an invasion. I have no objection to this characterization but I suspect you might not want to associate with those calling it an invasion.

    After 67 years, and several major international efforts to throw back a Jewish invasion, or migration, it seems niggling to speak of invasion. Israel is a fact on the ground. The Palestinians need to deal or accept their suffering. The universe does not care. I do not care. So far the Palestinians have chosen to suffer. So they should delight in their suffering, or make a different choice. Of course, the value of that choice diminishes with time. Having systematically, pragmatically, ideologically, and religiously decided to struggle and suffer the deal offered as an alternative has atrophied. They will get less now than they would have ten, or fifty, years ago. The fortunes of war.

    Bottom line for me is that these issues are usually settled by use or threat of force, and/or mass migrations to put numbers on their side. The British, French, Spanish and Dutch invasion and occupation of North America used force as needed to gain their goal. Fairness and civil rights had precious little to do with any of this.

    A good example of how this works is captured in the experience of the Native Americans who, in part because of a chronic failure to unite the tribes so they couldn’t be played off each other, but mainly because the invaders brought diseases that swept like a scythe across the land, failed to successfully resist the invasion, occupation, domination, and genocide. Force works. But unlike the Palestinians, who had and have a choice between war and diplomacy, the Native American were not given any real choice. Diplomacy was offered when it served the interests of the larger powers but force was used any time it was more convenient. Potential violence under-girds all diplomacy and an equitable deal is only available to sides having similar weight, cultural or economic, or power.

    The alternative that might have given them a better deal would have been to agree to make Any Palestinian state a province of one of the larger local powers. Jordan might have worked but th Palestinians throughly alienated Jordan in their attempt to overthrow the government in 1970. The Jordanians killed more Palestinians in a shorter time than any Israeli action. Estimates vary but 5000 is widely cited. :

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_September_in_Jordan

    Egypt might could have been an option but relations have been strained for decades:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Egypt%E2%80%93Palestine_relations

    Lebanon would seem a good match but, alas, the PLO pretty much shit the bed and alienated everyone in the area, including Syria. The PLO was evacuated from Beirut in 1982.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lebanese_Civil_War

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Siege_of_Beirut

    All of this goes to show just how malignant the Palestinian cause has become. Their prospects were made much worse when Arafat decided that he could win a victory over Israel by tripling their birth rate. Fucking for freedom largely led to massive overcrowding, unemployment, and poverty. Despair makes recruitment of terrorists and suicide bombers easier, and destitute kids are photogenic, so it’s all good. The Palestinians are used as a prod against Israel, as labor and housekeepers in the Gulf states, and as cannon fodder for every force of misfit rebels willing to offer lip service to their cause. None of these erstwhile friends will raise a finger to help solve their real problems. Solving the problem would eliminate them as a useful cause and source of manpower.

    Israeli fights with Palestinians are far more open and honest than the exploitation by the Arab powers. To some extent Palestinian betrayal, largely a result of desperation and a lack of other options, has served to justify Arab duplicity.

    The Palestinians have failed to understand history. They have failed to understand that force has, and possibly always will rule. That when faced with a larger force you, capitulate gracefully, run, or make friends with a countervailing power. Instead they have dug in, fought a perpetually losing battle using ever more desperate measures, tried to compensate with a heightened birth rate so they don’t run out of cannon fodder, refused to negotiate when it was offered, and pissed off all potential allies.

  22. patrick2 says

    “A … sure. Lots of people say that … and it might be true in some ironic sense. But that is not how the Palestinians talk internationally, among themselves and certainly they haven’t backed it with anything but a vague assent entire absent any necessary change on their part.”

    So the answer is, what, indefinite occupation? People under occupation probably won’t talk “among themselves” in reconciliatory ways about the occupying country, especially one they feel has displaced them from most of their original lands, until they feel they have some semblance of justice or self-determination.

    And it’s not true that they have chosen war. Vigilante attacks and rock throwing demos aside, the PA has bent over backwards to accommodate and cooperate with Israel, including before Hamas was elected in Gaza. But the Israeli annexations and settlement building still didn’t stop, and accelerated during the Oslo process. So I don’t think the main obstacle to Israeli compromise is Hamas, but the unconditional support it gets from the US, which means it doesn’t have to give up anything.

  23. StevoR says

    @17. Holms :

    The dishonesty of your continued apologetics is I think best exemplified in the quoted passage, in which you note that the Jews accept the division of land, but fail to mention the thoughts of the original arab occupants.

    Original? Hardly! They are well and truly latecomers. Mostly attracted by the benefits of the (actual) Zionists developing a previously desolate and largely uninhabited wasteland. As Mark Twain, I believe among others, noted in pre- Zionist explorations of that country then part of an overwhelmingly massive Ottoman empire. Most of which now remains Arab. Jordan Syria, Lebanon, Iraq and Arabia were all part of that. Only a tiny fraction is Israel, far less than the original Davidic kingdom, FWIW. But Arabs of course grudge the Jewish people anything even the smallest piece of the land where the Jewish people have always lived and which has always meant far more to them than outsiders and anti-Semites can ever really know or appreciate.

    Of course the jews accepted it, they were being given someone else’s land for free!

    Oh, what surprise Holms has not a single foggy clue again! The Jewish pioneers and early Zionists (actual not prejudicial as it later became) in fact paid exhorbitant sums for most of the land they owned – legally and properly. Then as well as paying very large sums of cash to properly own land the Israelis also had to pay for it many times over in blood and human lives – theirs btw. Make no mistake Israel is the Israelis land earnt, bought and paid for many times over and then some! (Usually even before the first of the Arab invasions and attacks aimed at exterminating them in another Shoah.)

    Not only do you fail to mention of the thoughts of the arabs, you actually have the dishonesty to characterise their attempts to keep their own lands as an invasion! You utter scum.

    Abuse lies and historical inaccuracies and untruths from Holms again. Typical of him.

    You want the thoughts of the Arabs here Holms?

    You really want me to mention what they wanted at the time ? Okay, can do :

    he Arabs not only rejected partition, but attacked Israel from all sides. On the day that Israel declared its independence, the Arab League Secretary, General Azzam Pasha declared “jihad”, a holy war. He said, “This will be a war of extermination and a momentous massacre which will be spoken of like the Mongolian massacres and the Crusades”.1 The Mufti of Jerusalem, Haj Amin Al Husseini stated, “I declare a holy war, my Moslem brothers! Murder the Jews! Murder them all!”

    Source : http://www.eretzyisroel.org/~jkatz/independence.html

    There you go! Happy now? That still what you want and think deserves respect and following?

    As for “Their (Arabs) own land” do go learn some flippin’ history you ignoramus.

    Israel was Jewish long before it was Arab and centuries before Mohammad lived & formed his overgrown cult.

    The fact you seem not to know or appreciate this reality forever discredits you and makes you a virtual laughingstock here among anyone with an actual clue. Are you truly so pig ignorant or brainwashed that you haven’t heard of or have forgotten even the Hasmonean kingdom let alone the one of Kings David and Solomon and Saul?

  24. StevoR says

    Priority in scientific terms the Jewish people have it.

    The Muslims are millennia behind and do NOT.

    (Also, FYI, the Jews never left -there was always some Jewish presence in Israel despite the many attempted genocides throughout the millennia as again a slight bit of historical research will show you if you bother to actually learn which I doubt Holms will in his evident hate for Jews and Israelis.)

    Also going back to the original issue here :

    No serious US politician even semi-serious Far Left ones will ever support the Palestinian cause for the very simple reason that it is a vote loser.

    I think that to the average American (as opposed to the far Left fringe here on FTB) the Palestinians are seen as simply a bunch of terrorist nuts who, to put it politely, should immediately depart whilst simultaneously engaging in coitus.

    The average member of the US public has, I feel sure, even less sympathy for the palestinians than I do.

    Say “Palestinian” in a free word association test and, I bet you, the most commonly associated word you will hear from average folks lips will be “terrorist” with the next maybe being “militant” or even “evil.” The Palestinians may be cause de jour here but to the majority of people in (wider) RL if they are thought of and remembered at all it is with loathing and the memory that they were the ones’ danced in the streets in celebration on 9-11 and, maybe, that cheered on Saddam’s Scud missiles aimed at Israel in the 1991 Kuwait war. (A.k.a. first Saddam war.) The Palestinians (& Arabs generally) are really not popular among majority centre voters. They are not liked and supporting them would be a political kiss of death.

    Hence even those as unelectably far left as Bernie Sanders will find them toxic and they will never get mainstream US political support. Certainly not well into the indefinite future and not while they are governed by the likes of Hamas. And the Palestinians have no one but themselves to blame for this reality either.

    Worst mistake the Palestinians ever made was deciding that terrorism was somehow worth trying back in the 1960’s -70s and ever afterwards.

    Mind you, NOT being terrorists and being (largely) peaceful has’t much helped the Kurds, Tibetans or West Papuans among others who genuinely do deserve a proper state of their own even here among the FTB fringe. Why may I ask is that exactly? Why all the love for the Palestinians and not Tibetans, West Papuans and Kurds here eh?

  25. StevoR says

    Oh & folks here think *I* am tough on Palestinians / Arabs / Muslisms then they should hear whats my brother has to say about them! It makes me look positively Gandhian!;-)

  26. StevoR says

    PS. FWIW also count myself as part of the FTB fringe too and think it is right about an awful lot of things as well.. Not this issue but most others.

  27. StevoR says

    @ 24. patrick2 : “So the answer is, what, indefinite occupation?”

    No. The answer which I’ve already given earlier is the 8 state solution although I’d modify that and make it 7 states with Gaza returning to Egpytian rule. (Quite how you make Egypot accept Gaza back is another question, alot of baksheesh I guess!)

    People under occupation probably won’t talk “among themselves” in reconciliatory ways about the occupying country, especially one they feel has displaced them from most of their original lands, until they feel they have some semblance of justice or self-determination.

    Hence given them their Palestinian emirates under local clan control and sidestepping the so called leadership in Syria / Lebanon / wherever now (i.e. Hams led by Khalid Meshaal.) Also, maybe they need to start. Ignoring reality won’t make it go away. Are the palestinians really going to be *that* stupid? (Okay they do have a history of being that stupid but really .. after the umpteenth time now don’t you think even *they* will finally learn? I hope so! They are human after all and thus theoretically equipped with brains, yeah?)

    And it’s not true that they have chosen war.

    Er, sorry, but it actually really is true that that is what they have chosen. Repeatedly.

    Vigilante attacks and rock throwing demos aside,

    STOP throwing rocks at people with guns you flippin’ idiots!!! How the F do you fools think that is gunna end? Happily for you or something?! For pity sake! Morons!

    / aside?

    (Incidentally rock throwers can kill too. Anyone else remember that obscure lil story of David & Goliath from somewhere? Course that was back in the pre-machine gun days but still. Rocks can cause serious harm and death.)

    ..the PA has bent over backwards to accommodate and cooperate with Israel, including before Hamas was elected in Gaza.

    Which explains why the accpeted the state of their own so generously offered to them in 1947 ..and 2000 and so many other years right? Oh wait.

    But the Israeli annexations and settlement building still didn’t stop, and accelerated during the Oslo process.

    Shock! Horror! Jewish people build Jewish homes on Jewish land! Israelis build homes and towns in Israel! Yeah, that’s the real obstacle to peace. not, y’know, all the terrorism and Jihadism and angry kill-y people over there doing all that angry bomb-y , kill-y shit! Jews build, Arabs destroy. Which one is doing the wrong thing do ya think?

    So I don’t think the main obstacle to Israeli compromise is Hamas, ..

    Oh I do! I really sure do! Because y’know that’d be the reality.

    ..but the unconditional support it gets from the US, which means it doesn’t have to give up anything.

    Um. what?

    Are ya talking bout Hamas there? It gets unconditional US support now?

    Or do you mean to accuse Israel of getting “unconditional” support ” from a US admin that has famously snubbed and rebuked and never been further away from or more hostile to Israel and its duly elected leaders? Because, then, I don’t think so.

  28. Holms says

    lorn, your reasoning is entirely based on giving the winning power utter freedom in their conduct on the way to victory. No criticism for the mistreatment, only criticism for the mistreated to be trodden on with a smile. Fuck you.

    Original? Hardly! They are well and truly latecomers.Original from the perspective of modern history, as they had been the incumbent owners for centuries. Yes the inhabitants were never really powerful enough to contend with their neighbours and gain self determiniation, this however is irrelevant to the fact of land owners holding rights to their land.

    Oh, what surprise Holms has not a single foggy clue again! The Jewish pioneers and early Zionists (actual not prejudicial as it later became) in fact paid exhorbitant sums for most of the land they owned – legally and properly.

    Correct – the early ones did. I note however you remain curiously silent on all the illegal settlements that later became the norm…

    There you go! Happy now? That still what you want and think deserves respect and following?

    Where did I say that they deserve ‘respect and following’?

    As for “Their (Arabs) own land” do go learn some flippin’ history you ignoramus.

    At the time being discussed – the early days of zionism and and onward into the modern era – they did indeed own it, and had done so for millennia. If you really want to go back into the pre-classical history of the land (despite it being completely irrelevant for current or near-current questions of ownership), then yes the land was owned by people before the spread of Arabic peoples. Not the Jewish tribes though, because even they were predated by another people – the Canaanites.

    Oh and are you seriously taking the Biblical account of the Kingdom of David to be historically valid source?? Holy shit.

    P.S. your habit of replying to my posts while referring to me in the third person is incredibly petty. Your choice though I suppose.

  29. Holms says

    Ugh, always preview! The section addressing StevoR, corrected:

    Original? Hardly! They are well and truly latecomers.
    Original from the perspective of modern history, as they had been the incumbent owners for centuries. Yes the inhabitants were never really powerful enough to contend with their neighbours and gain self determiniation, this however is irrelevant to the fact of land owners holding rights to their land.

    Oh, what surprise Holms has not a single foggy clue again! The Jewish pioneers and early Zionists (actual not prejudicial as it later became) in fact paid exhorbitant sums for most of the land they owned – legally and properly.

    Correct – the early ones did. I note however you remain curiously silent on all the illegal settlements that later became the norm…

    There you go! Happy now? That still what you want and think deserves respect and following?

    Where did I say that they deserve ‘respect and following’?

    As for “Their (Arabs) own land” do go learn some flippin’ history you ignoramus.

    At the time being discussed – the early days of zionism and and onward into the modern era – they did indeed own it, and had done so for millennia. If you really want to go back into the pre-classical history of the land (despite it being completely irrelevant for current or near-current questions of ownership), then yes the land was owned by people before the spread of Arabic peoples. Not the Jewish tribes though, because even they were predated by another people – the Canaanites.

    Oh and are you seriously taking the Biblical account of the Kingdom of David to be historically valid source?? Holy shit.

    P.S. your habit of replying to my posts while referring to me in the third person is incredibly petty. Your choice though I suppose.

    As an addendum, I’ll add something that I didn’t catch the first time around to these words of yours:

    Oh, what surprise Holms has not a single foggy clue again! The Jewish pioneers and early Zionists (actual not prejudicial as it later became)…

    The fact that you knew you had to differentiate between prejudicial and non-prejudicial zionism is an implicit acknowledgement right there that the zionism movement fell into prejudice. You’re aware, you’ve most likely been aware all along, that the movement these days is prejudicial. Your choice of word.

  30. lorn says

    Holms @32:
    “lorn, your reasoning is entirely based on giving the winning power utter freedom in their conduct on the way to victory.”

    Correct, except for one word “give”. I do Not give the winning power anything. The fact is, on the ground and in every practical sense, the winning power already has has “utter freedom in their conduct on the way to victory.” This near absolute power is limited entirely by 1) their inherent willingness, for whatever reason, to limit their own excesses, and 2) the willingness of other major powers to pay the price necessary to impose their will.

    Not too long ago the Russians and/or their allies shot down an airliner over the Ukraine. A total of 283 passengers, including 80 children, and 15 crew members were on board. Nothing has been done. No serious war crimes accusations or prosecutions have followed. Those powerful enough to bring those responsible to account have not seen fit to expend the effort required. If you think that Putin will be be frog-walked out of the Kremlin in cuffs anytime in our lifetimes for this you might want to put down the keyboard and get back to playing Pokemon. Nobody wants to go to war over this crime. Losing several thousand people in a war to bring the killers of 283 to justice doesn’t seem like much of a bargain.

    This is the international version of “rights”.

    You have rights only so long, and to the extent, that someone is willing to use force to protect those rights. God does not grant rights. Humans, specifically humans wiling to use force to enforce their preferred international and social norms, grant rights.

    That is the way of the world. Outside the willingness of a government to restrain itself, or be restrained by external forces, there are very few limits on what any nation can do within its sovereign territory.

    ISIS openly and quite publicly using institutionalized rape, slavery, mass murder, and torture. Geeee … why doesn’t somebody do something? Well … they have guns, and money, and thousands of followers willing to commit murder on their behalf. And … what do you know … we left our magic wand in our other pants.

    That all sounds sarcastic but, I assure you, it is really far more real-world than most people are comfortable admitting.

  31. Holms says

    Yes, authoritarian regimes get away with whatever they want whenever they want, and the less powerful are stuck with the bill. This general point about the reality of power is not the thing being criticised so much as your attitude of not criticising, not examining, not arguing for better, not giving a shit. Why do you even participate in these comment threads?

    Why bother commenting on mendacious politics when you can just say ‘fuck it’ and let snakes be snakes? That’s how politics works after all. Why bother criticising the Food Babe’s latest health lies? That’s just the reality of how scammers use lax anti-fraud laws right? Oh and why bother discussing wealth disparity? Billionaires are just going to continue vacuuming up the wealth at the expense of the poor, that’s just the reality of cashed-up lobbying.

    But I see, thanks to the magic of a google search, that you do in fact take part in such criticism on those topics and more… just not on this topic. Just not when it comes to trivial little matters like (alleged) war crimes.

  32. lorn says

    Sitting behind a keyboard and typing angry missives without specifying some practical manner of working the system to institute change seems a waste. For me the first step is to understand and accept things as they are. That is not the same as being happy about it. I work hard to make sure reality doesn’t cause disgust, denial, or lead to vilification of people.

    If you can wrap your head around people being people, and snakes snakes. You might notice ways of making change. Running around in outrage and demanding unspecified and unfocused ‘change’ is foolish.

    People too quickly forget that the concept of durable human rights extended to all and international law as a viable alternative to war is quite new. Laws of war even newer.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geneva_Conventions

    It was ratified in 1949 (after WW2) and signed by 196 countries, but not without reservations on some points by some parties. Which means that of the over 6000 years of warfare and stomping of the weak guy only the last 1% or so has had any concerted effort to exercise restraint. There is, of course, no guarantee any restraints can be enforced.

    But the lawless jungle is not entirely without rules and limits, even as most of those rules are unwritten. Smaller parties can unite. People and nations can cooperate. Violent religions and philosophies can reform. Who knows. Right not there might be a Palestinian Gandhi growing up on the west bank. Radical non-violence would, if they stuck to it long term, force Israel to reformulate their plans.

    People need to make diplomacy more palatable and effective than war. Hopefully without having to resort to war to impose a diplomatic solution. And, of course, nobody is going to seriously agree to any deal that is an existential threat. It remains to be seen how you negotiate with an organization that advocates your destruction by any means necessary. And yes, if Israel has a choice between a perpetually dangerous and painful occupation, and a temporary peace likely to end in their destruction they will take the occupation every time.

  33. StevoR says

    @ ^ Lorn : Exactly.

    As I asked earlier (& got no answer) does anyone seriously expect Israel to commit national and cultural suicide? Would anyone expect any nation to do so?

    The answer is clearly no to both those. The first priority of the Israelis is saving their own people’s lives and providing Israelis with peace,security and ideally prosperity. As long as you have Arab groups like Hamas and Hezbollah that refuse to let Israel be and accept its rights (above) here and keep trying to exterminate it you just won’t have peace. Quite why this is so hard for some folks here to understand really beats me.

  34. StevoR says

    @33. Holms :

    “Original? Hardly! They (Arabs – ed) are well and truly latecomers.” -StevoR

    Original from the perspective of modern history, as they (Arabs) had been the incumbent owners for centuries. Yes the inhabitants were never really powerful enough to contend with their neighbours and gain self determiniation, this however is irrelevant to the fact of land owners holding rights to their land. – Holms

    Land owners like the Jewish residents who actually did own (after paying for) most of the land?

    The Arabs at the time frequently followed the early Zionists in because the Jewish settlers were improving and making liveable land that was previously desert and sparsely populated as contempoary historical accounts such as Mark Twain’s show :

    There is not a solitary village throughout its whole extent-not for thirty miles in either direction. There are two or three small clusters of Bedouin tents, but not a single permanent habitation. One may ride ten miles hereabouts and not see ten human beings … (.. snip .. &) .. .. these unpeopled deserts, these rusty mounds of barrenness, that never, never do shake the glare from their harsh outlines, and fade and faint into vague perspective; that melancholy ruin of Capernaum: this stupid village of Tiberias, slumbering under its six funereal palms…. We reached Tabor safely …. We never saw a human being on the whole route. 24
    Nazareth is forlorn …. Jericho the accursed lies a moldering ruin today, even as Joshua’s miracle left it more than three thousand years ago: Bethlehem and Bethany, in their poverty and their humiliation, have nothing about them now to remind one that they once knew the high honor of the Savior’s presence; the hallowed spot where the shepherds watched their flocks by night, and where the angels sang, “Peace on earth, good will to men,” is untenanted by any living creature… Bethsaida and Chorzin have vanished from the earth, and the “desert places” round about them, where thousands of men once listened to the Savior’s voice and ate the miraculous bread, sleep in the hush of a solitude that is inhabited only by birds of prey and skulking foxes.25 “Palestine sits in sackcloth and ashes…. desolate and unlovely.. . Twain wrote with remone. it is dreamland.”

    Source : http://www.eretzyisroel.org/~peters/depopulated.html

    That’s the historical reality of how “paelstine” was before the first Zionists, the first Jewish settlers arrived.

    Israel was then a desert (& largely deserted ) province of the Ottoman empire then the “sick man of Europe” after having menacing Europe in previous centuries with the threat of Islamic conquest. The inhabitants of the Ottoman empire at the time regarded that “statrapy” as Syrian Arab and had no identity really beyond Arab subjects of the Ottoman Sultan. Like I said before, learn some real history.

    Correct – the early ones (Jewish settlers) did. (Pay a high cost in money and their own sweat, blood and tears and lives.) I note however you remain curiously silent on all the illegal settlements that later became the norm…

    Your idea that these Jewish settlements are “illegal” is contested. As noted earlier Israel made peace with both Egypt and Jordan and those Arab nations consequently then rescinded their claims on the lands they once owned. Having done so with Israel having already returned territories the legal status of these settlements is a bit of a grey & controversial area but to flatly call them all “illegal” would be incorrect. Ultimately it is Israel’s land. De facto most certainly as well, I believe as de jure generally speaking.

    (Just like with former parts of India and Greece now being Pakistani and Turkish according to, well, reality as well as law post the partitions of those regions.)

    If the Palestinians want to create their own country (or emirates) on it they are going to need Israel’s agreement and consent and they do need to keep this in mind. Time they got realistic. They won’t see Jerusalem divided again, nor will they see any state of theirs created if that jeopardises Israel’s survival. Yes, sucks for them and they got a raw deal. But that ain’t Israel’s fault – if they really must blame someone those responsible are Yasser Arafat and the earlier generations of their misled, hateful “leadership” who turned down better statehood offers when they had them. But blame is now really moot. Nor should Israel ever be expected to oblige the Palestinians (or others) at the risk of its own survival.

    Where did I say that they deserve ‘respect and following’?

    Your comment number seventeen stressed that the thoughts of the Arabs at the time be noted. Well, you asked, you said think they matter, so I have obliged you. Those Arab thoughts again were a desire for outright racist genocide, “Murder the Jews! Murder them all!” As The Mufti of Jerusalem, Haj Amin Al Husseini – who was also, incidentally, an WWII Axis ally and friend of a certain infamous Austrian – plainly and concisely said.

    Not sure why you are now confused on this point? Did you originally mean to stress the Arab thoughts at the time and have them overlooked and ignored instead? What do you think we should make of the comments of Haj Amin Al Husseini and others calling for genocide against Shoah (Holocaust) survivors and other innocent Jewish humans at the time? Do you think those Arab thoughts are good and worth following? Have you failed to notice that Hamas, Islamic Jihad and Hezbollah still essentially think the same way?

    At the time being discussed – the early days of zionism and and onward into the modern era – they did indeed own it, and had done so for millennia. If you really want to go back into the pre-classical history of the land (despite it being completely irrelevant for current or near-current questions of ownership), then yes the land was owned by people before the spread of Arabic peoples. Not the Jewish tribes though, because even they were predated by another people – the Canaanites.

    The Canaanites like many of their contemporaries – the Israelites being a notable exception – have since vanished into the mists of time. Mohammad lived around 570 CE and his forces conquered the region later so it would NOT be millennia plural incidentally that Arabs as we know them have even existed at all. Maybe one and half thousand years ish thus possibly singular but not two millenia and plural. The Arabs are, as noted relative (emphasis on “relative”) latecomers. Jewish people have considered Israel their home and special to them for literal millennia -six thousand years or so. As I said, they have priority.

    Oh and are you seriously taking the Biblical account of the Kingdom of David to be historically valid source?? Holy shit.

    I didn’t say Biblical. The Kingdom of David (united monarchy) predates that holy text by many centuries and archaeological evidence does seem to confirm it. I see no reason to refuse to accept that there is at least a strong kernal of truth in a lot of the accounts of the Davidic Kingdoms existence. I note that you ignore here teh unquestioned existence of the Maccabean (Hasmonean) Jewish Kingdom which also long predated any Muslim Arab existence let alone conquest of the region.

    P.S. your habit of replying to my posts while referring to me in the third person is incredibly petty. Your choice though I suppose.

    Huh? I refer to you by name for clarity and not as any form of insult. This how I usually refer to anyone and everyone I reply to. It also helps as a rule in avoiding accidental misgendering of people & allowing quottaions to be celar er in meaning. My style is, of course, my own particular .. oh what’s that word ..idiom! (Apologies to Monty Python! 😉 )

    The fact that you knew you had to differentiate between prejudicial and non-prejudicial zionism is an implicit acknowledgement right there that the zionism movement fell into prejudice. You’re aware, you’ve most likely been aware all along, that the movement these days is prejudicial. Your choice of word.

    I was referring there to the use of the word “Zionist” as derogatory and as delegitimising as in the frequent euphemism of “Zionist entity” by Arabs unwilling to say the name “Israel.” The evolution of the term “Zionist”has caused that term to accrue unwarranted but de facto negative conspiracy theory and prejudicial anti-Semitic connotations. Which does make it awkward when noting the historical Zionist settlers and movement which eventually succeeded in founding and creating Israel.

  35. StevoR says

    My thinking also is people have names (or handles) here why not use them?

    I will admit that I suck at typing and grammar but I certainly don’t see referring to you or anyone by name as insulting or petty. That’s a new one for me. Anyone else have a problem with it btw?

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