The Palestinians may end the occupation any day by ceding Israel to Israel and establishing peace between themselves in the Preoccupied Territories. Decency in governance would follow and the recognition of an authentic Palestinian state would follow on that.
What and who are holding up the Palestinians?
There’s no cliffhanger left in the above question.
Some Palestinian cadre — the middle level of anti-Zionist leaders — know the page but have recovered after the initial shock and picked right up with the broadcasting of the familiar Orwellian catechism — “brutal occupation”, “Zionazis” and all the rest. The language and narratives injected more than 70 years ago into the Soviet influenced portion of Arab culture has amounted to “intellectual poisoning” and is today visible.
All sides need to wrap up WWII, Russia’s historic issues with the Jews, and for the policymakers and scholars allow the truth sink in and live on.
The most basic reminder: Herzl’s launch of Zionism took place before even the start of the 20th Century; Jewish agriculture was capitalized in the region starting with land sales from Arabs to Jews for the development of crops. The effort worked, drew general labor, and enriched the region. Frequently overlooked: the expulsion of more than 800,000 Jews from Arab states after 1948).
Bottom line from long ago: Moscow cooked up programs for Arab dictatorships and for those who were to become the Palestinians. For Moscow, the Soviet Era ended in bankruptcy with an official dissolving on December 25, 1991. Putin’s Russia — often referred to as the “mafia state” — seems a bit surreal in its continuing partnerships with Damascus and Tehran.
Prompt: the host had assigned a loose title about “ethnic cleansing” to historian Benny Morris. “Thought leaders” on the web will either traffic in earnest speech (when earnest) or make themselves worthless with disingenuous and false claims.
Cultures engage in “magical thinking” in their fairy tales, legends, and myths. They are part of the spirit of the place. Engaging in the same in the context of study produces only “revisionism” favorable either to the narcissist in the mirror or the one in power. Differentiation between what is true — and what a joy it would be for Palestinians to know what is true! — and what seems (!) flattering and patronizing plays a major part in the installation and maintenance of the world’s dictatorships. Among the _malign_, the narcissist can never be wrong.
From other and prior portions of the same conversation:
_The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine_ was authored by Ilan Pappe — this represents his reputation today:
” . . . to hate and resist occupation and occupiers . . .” would be to hate and resist Fatah and Hamas who insist on their own power while depriving Palestinians of their vote, their right to assemble in opposition to either, and of their right to speak freely, openly, without fear.
It has happened: the refugees of 1948; the KGB-designed Arafat and PLO and associated Abbas; and Hamas, held to account for rocket fire from Gaza: all — whatever has been the mix — have coexisted with Israel for 70 years.
If not happily, there’s a story there that goes back to the WWII and the character of the Soviet Union then and comes forward to that of the Russian Federation today. Absolute power, corruption on the part of the powerful, the deceptive and disingenuous use of language — such have been the variables that have sustained Palestinian hardship and an angry coexistence with the Jewish neighbor from near the ruins of Ottoman power and Nazi adventure in the middle east. When the phantoms of the Soviet wake up and then decide to go back to sleep forever, then the coexistence will become peaceful, pleasant, productive, rewarding.
I don’t know if there’s a fairy tail ending with “peace and prosperity” for all, but I feel the burden and weight of the “Nakba” should be rightly assigned to the post-WWII role taken up by an historically autocratic, authoritarian, elitist Russia having difficulty shaking off its attachments to “political absolutism” and related egotism, narcissism, and hypersensitivity to civilizational self-concept and image.
Of course Moscow means to look noble and powerful before the world.
Well, here it has its chance to stop covering its yesterdays, which may include immediately two major revolutions and the weathering of three governments within the past 100 years, and shrug away the chaos and dishonesty that have brought a mess to Syria, hardship to Ukraine, and continuous meaningless and needless suffering to the Palestinian main base. BackChannels may well see in its crystal ball — why else publish such a blog? 🙂 — the difficulty of transitioning patronage and power away from corrupt elites in the effort to better and honestly serve the interests of an abused and disenfranchised once refugee population, but where else to go? Let the political criminals and gamblers settle up, reinvest, and move on to the challenges posed by genuinely noble causes and enterprises.
Islam orders the Muslim to be honest to himself and others. This order repeatedly comes in the Noble Qur’an and the sayings of Prophet Muhammad (SAWS). Islam orders the Muslim to tell the truth even if it is against the teller’s interest. Orders him not to cheat or deceive other people. A Muslim is ordered by Allah to be honest in his words and deeds, privately and publicly alike.
Portions of The Other Side have been considered as Holocaust denial by some critics, especially the parts disputing the accepted number of deaths in the Holocaust as well as the accusations that Zionist agitation was the cause of the Holocaust, a charge that Abbas denies.
When Abbas was appointed the Palestinian prime minister in 2003, he wrote that the “Holocaust was a terrible, unforgivable crime against the Jewish nation, a crime against humanity that cannot be accepted by humankind” and that he does not deny it, and said that “When I wrote The Other Side … we were at war with Israel. Today I would not have made such remarks”. More recently, in 2013 he reasserted that part of his thesis that “the Zionist movement had ties with the Nazis”. In 2014, he stated the Holocaust was the “most heinous crime in the modern era”.
Apparently, Mr. Abbas spreads lies when at war with Israel but shrugs through the truth when its suits him.
Or perhaps when it suits his family’s wallet.
These documents, reports from senior Fatah officials and Palestinian social media reveal extensive corruption at the highest levels — the Abbas family and a Palestinian elite manipulating the political and financial systems to benefit themselves at the expense of the people.
The architect of the Holocaust, Nazi mastermind Adolf Eichmann, was one of the first to deny its existence. While escaping the Nuremberg trials and evading international law, Eichmann befriended Nazi supporters in Argentina who published an anti-Semitic magazine titled “Der Weg,” or “The Way.” The magazine aimed to disprove what they called “the falsehood of the 6 million.” The magazine claimed the Holocaust was nothing but a libel, that there were never any gas chambers in Hitler’s Europe and that the Jews collaborated with the Third Reich in order to have another country for themselves after thousands of years in exile. According to Eichmann and the magazine’s publishers, the Jews were willing to sacrifice themselves to gain a national homeland.
Many Arabs were enthralled by this theory, and a young doctoral student by the name of Mahmoud Abbas, now the president of the Palestinian Authority, even wrote a dissertation on the subject titled, “The Other Side: The Secret Relationship between Nazism and Zionism,” which opened the door for several different conspiracies on the subject of the Holocaust to develop.
The Arabs were among the first Holocaust deniers to adopt Eichmann’s theory.
Expect updates to this post as more material comes together on Abbas representative of the end of a long cycle of totalitarian dictatorship — perhaps more gently, “authoritarian governance” — comes into view on the world stage. Today’s political crooks get covered in global media and come to look exactly as they have painted themselves throughout the course of their careers. Mahmoud Abbas? KGB — he has the record of it, and once marked is marked forever with that organization — so whose interests, apart from his own, is he really representing?
Abbas has also made for himself a record as a Holocaust denier although he has backed away from that lunacy — still, one may wonder how many unwarranted words — assertion of fact that just aren’t true — he has still to recover.
Echoing Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal scandalous post-September 11, 2001, remarks, global jihad by groups like Al Qaeda also elicited Western guilt from School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) Dean Vali Nasr. After 9/11, “Islamophobia, in a way, was a policy deliberately pushed from the very top of the U.S. administration” as indicated by President George W. Bush’s use of “Islamo-fascism,” Nasr stated. “Islamophobia was a way of passing the blame back to the Muslims, put Islam itself on trial for its responsibility in promoting terrorism rather than put U.S. foreign policy on trial for creating some of the problems.”
Carter taught Christian students in Plains Georgia that Judaism teaches Jews to feel superior to non-Jews, that Jewish religious practices are tricks to enhance wealth, and that current Israeli policy toward Palestinians is based on these “Jewish” values and practices.
The history of Palestinians was something I was familiar with as well, only because in high school, my friend’s parents were Moroccan Jews with staunch right-wing Zionist views. They’d go on about how Palestinians were worth shit and how they were sucking off the land they stole, and how they were not from Palestine, but Jordan. Truth be told, my friend’s parents’ passion about their ‘homeland’ made me sick. As a black person living in the United States, I could not relate to their love for their proclaimed homeland because I never had one. My ancestors were captured from various regions of Africa and forced onto ships bound for the Americas. Therefore, when questioned about the geographic origins of my ancestors, my answers were as vague as Africa is big.
It appears the young celebrity creating his celebrity flew to Israel on The Carter Center’s dime (“In the weeks preceding my departure from Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport to Tel Aviv, I received travel warnings from The Carter Center, the organization responsible for sponsoring my trip”) with a reactive and retributive attitude forged in self-righteous alienation, never mind that, for example, about 1.7 million Israelis live in the same funky poverty for which he would claim to stand in the interest of social justice.
Our worlds are as small or as large as the information we acquire about them, and they are also as false or honest as the methods we use to comprehend whole issues and the integrity and curiosity with which we pursue them.
I get a little “Jewed out” myself, sometimes, and somewhere between the ever present clouds of the Holocaust and constant distributed cheerleading (deserved) and defense (also deserved) of Israel. Nonetheless, riding beside my own brand of international humanism (thanks, Felix Adler and Abraham Maslow — two more Jews), Judaism itself and its call to conscience (yo, Jimmuh: Jesus was Jewish!) remains for me an integral part of seeking social justice and what is good in living individually and communally.
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Despite months of lobbying by anti-Israel activists and a desperate last minute petition drive, the 141st APHA annual meeting and exposition held in Boston. defeated an anti-Israel resolution by 74 to 36 votes. The resolution was discussed by the association’s Joint Policy Committee. The anti-Israel campaign was led by activists of BDS, the global movement for a campaign of Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions against Israel, which was initiated by Palestinians in 2005 and is coordinated by the Palestinian BDS National Committee established two years later.
The forces of Jew Hate, a term earthier and less sanitized than “anti-Semitism”, have created on-campus and political bubble environments sufficient to enclose the “open-minded”, who may not be as much so as presumed, nor more cagey than vulnerable.
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As I stood in line at JFK waiting to be interrogated by security agents prior to boarding a flight to Tel Aviv last January, I thought of all the reasons why I didn’t belong there. I’m only half Jewish, for starters – and it’s the wrong half. I only know a couple of Hebrew words. I have a lot of what an Un-Jewish Activities Committee might call “Palestinian sympathies.”
Jewish ethnicity and the embrace and expression of faith may vary quite within the Jewish community, but it may not be possible these days to escape the influence of the wisdom of Hillel the Elder, himself quite possibly the elder contemporary of Jesus, from any contemporary stance. One might also go back a little farther in time to “The Akedah” and the undefined test given Abraham, a test either of obedience, which children believe without question, or of conscience, which adults may perceive with penetration – and perceive as Abraham failing (God never speaks to him again; an emissary in the form of an angel has to intercede in the murder; a substitute ram is made to appear for the knife Abraham would have too willingly used on Isaac: had he only spoken up, or, in the modern vernacular, spoken truth to power on behalf of Isaac and Sarah).
Israel provides a broad suite of basic services, including the training of Abbas’s police force, to the generations of refugees who remained on the land after the Arab war of annihilation in 1948. When the hate recedes, when the threat of violence against Jews fades on to the pages of history, the Jews and other Israelis — Christians, Muslims, and others — will prove as helpful as can be, but those days seem always set farther away by smears.
Mr. Carter’s underdog obsession is what motivated him to legitimize Fidel Castro and take his side in a bio-weapons dispute with the United States and to praise North Korean dictator Kim Il Sung with the words: “I find him to be vigorous, intelligent,…and in charge of the decisions about this country.” This is the Korean dictator who, together with the tyrannical son who succeeded him, starved to death about 3 million of their own people. Carter added absurdly, “I don’t see that they [the North Koreans] are an outlaw nation.” He also hailed Marshal Joseph Tito as “a man who believes in human rights,” and said of murderous Romanian dictator Nicolae Ceaușescu, “Our goals are the same: to have a just system of economics and politics . . . We believe in enhancing human rights.” Carter told Haitian dictator Raul Cédras that he was “ashamed of what my country has done to your country,” which made most Americans ashamed of Jimmy Carter.
The unspoken truth is that the Palestinians, the country’s largest ethnic group, have developed a profound hatred of the regime and view the Hashemites as occupiers of eastern Palestine—intruders rather than legitimate rulers. This, in turn, makes a regime change in Jordan more likely than ever. Such a change, however, would not only be confined to the toppling of yet another Arab despot but would also open the door to the only viable peace solution—and one that has effectively existed for quite some time: a Palestinian state in Jordan.
The displaced, whether from the 1948 war launched against Israel or from the latest horrors taking place today in Syria, carry with them their attitudes and beliefs about themselves (“self-concept”) and attitudes toward the greater world around them. That’s something to think about as the Syria fled has been irrevocably altered by the methods of war chosen by the Assad regime — e.g., flying air strikes against whole communities; killing noncombatants (in one parlance) / innocents (in another) without distinction from armed or known challengers; and displacing millions without accommodation.
Whether the Assads stay or go, eventually, and in part or as a whole, the Syria that existed as the enthusiasms of the “Arab Spring” approached is gone: whatever may be there, it’s missing 3.4 million of its citizens, either internally displaced or refugee.