Tuesday, December 13, 2011

The Invention of the Palestinian People


Newt's reference to the "invention" of the Palestinian people has caused quite a shitstorm, yet almost no one is getting the larger point. Of course, Gingrich is correct when he says that the Palestinian people are an invention. It's a simple fact, politically correct nonsense not withstanding. All peoples are an invention, which is to say that all peoples are a social construction who come to know themselves in time and with a starting point, however vague in our understanding.

The Palestinians are no different in this regard. The Palestinians as a people emerged out of the greater Arab nation in its conflict with the Jews toward the conclusion of the twentieth century.

This should not be the least little bit controversial as it happens to be a fact. The Palestinians are not the remnants of the Canaanites and however much Palestinian leadership likes to make up history, the truth is that the Palestinians are a brand new people. Peoples often emerge as a distinct group in conflict with some other group. The American people emerged as a people in our conflict with the English during the 18th century. The Palestinian people emerged as a people in their conflict with the Jews during the 20th century.

The main difference, and from what I can tell thus far I am the only person to reference this fact, is that the Americans emerged as a people in their struggle to create a state for this nation. In contrast, the Palestinians emerged as a people in their struggle to abort Jewish nationalism. The reason that the Palestinians do not have a state for themselves is because that was never their aspiration, which is why they have turned down offer after offer.

The Palestinians, as a people, were born from their efforts to destroy the Jewish national home.

That's a fact. A sad fact, true, but a fact, nonetheless.

Furthermore, as these self-righteous "progressives" point the trembling finger of blame at Newt Gingrich, calling him a racist, it shows the rest of us just how much their conception of truth is based entirely around politics rather than facts.

There is such a thing as truth and it is not dependent upon one's political views.

The Palestinians were "invented." Get over it.



  1. One was for a positive purpose, the other for a negative one.

    When self-determination is used as a basis to deny self-determination of others, it is illegitimate.

    I find it convincing that this positive-negative dichotomy is also behind much of the action that occurs at the UN, where human rights is used negatively as a sword by abusers. 

  2. "All peoples are an invention, which is to say that all peoples are a social construction who come to know themselves in time and with a starting point, however vague in our understanding."

    Peoples are normally formed through a process of evolution, one so gradual it might take centuries to be perceived. Ethnogenesis happens when a group branches away from its parent bloodline and becomes sufficiently differentiated from it—whether in culture, language or genetics is immaterial—to be considered no longer part of the former whole.

    In modern times, it seems a lot of "peoples" have deviated from that norm and instead have been created by human fiat, usually in response to some external force. Africa had had many real peoples before the European conquest, but the various "nations" of Africa today have nothing to them but the borders drawn by none other than the Western powers. In the Middle East the situation is the same, and the faux-Palestinian "nation" is like the Lebanese "nation" in its members having nothing common except opposition to an enemy.

    The real nations in the Middle East are as follows (most probably a partial list, but still a wide coverage): Arabs, Circasians, Copts, Druze, Kurds, Jews, Persians, Samaritans and Turks. Those are the nations in the ME formed in ethnogenesis as it has always been in human history, while all the rest are anti-colonial or post-colonial creations. It is quite ironic that the Progressives, of all people, effectively advocate the perpetuation of the damages of Western colonialism with their insistence that the contrived nations are real.

    "The Palestinians as a people emerged out of the greater Arab nation in its conflict with the Jews toward the conclusion of the twentieth century."

    They didn't emerge. That's exactly the problem: People are calling for their treatment as a real nation, but they fail to see this "nation" does not pass the requirements of such. No "Palestinian Arab" has branched out of the greater Arabian nation any more than there is a "Baltimorian American" nation. Beyond trivialities, nothing in the way of cultural, linguistic or racial differentiation has yet occurred with the Arabs residing in Palestine.

    "The American people emerged as a people in our conflict with the English during the 17th century."

    The American nation took a long time after 1776 until it really formed national consciousness. In the 18th century there was the proto-concept of a "shining city on a hill," but the whole 19th century had to be spent, with the expansion westward and the Civil War, until there could be something like a stable American national identity. Some historians say (though I don't agree with them) it was only after World War One that American nationalism came to be a serious force.

    "In contrast, the Palestinians emerged as a people in their struggle to abort Jewish nationalism."

    It would be more accurate to say that's been the goal of Islamic and Arab imperialism from the 1890s onward, when Jews from abroad arrived with no intention to live as dhimmi subjects, but rather as free people. As an imperialist goal does not sit well with world opinion, there needed to be some way of inverting the roles of David and Goliath in this conflict. That's where all the talk about a non-Jewish "Palestinian nation living on the land from time immemorial" ultimately comes. It's a PR stratagem, nothing more, nothing less.

  3. Agree with you here.

    In addition, the American nation was evolving well before 1776, forged also by the common experience in living in the colonies, apart from the motherland.

  4. Interesting.

    You have a point about American identity.

    I misspoke when I wrote that American identity emerged in the 17 the century.  I mean the 18th, of course, but you may be correct when you suggest a later solidification of American identity.

    This is the kind of thing that is very much open to interpretation.  As someone who knows a thing or two about American history, I certainly acknowledge that the Civil War shows that American identity was never monolithic and still in dispute many decades after the founding of the state.

    The difference between us, I suppose, is that I am willing to accept Palestinian nationalism, whereas you are not.

    The problem is that it is no longer open to question.  If this were 1967, you might have a case, but that ship has already sailed.

    The Palestinians are a people because they consider themselves to be a people and because the rest of the world does so, as well.  Our concern, it seems to me, is with the peace and well-being of the Jews of the Middle East.  That peace and well-being is challenged by the Palestinians who, for the most part, remain opposed to Jewish sovereignty of Jewish land.

    Thus they need either to be defeated or to agree to a resolution with two states for two peoples.  If they will not agree to the latter than the former option may be the only one viable.

    This is an exceedingly sad situation, but unless they agree to end hostilities the only other option is victory.

  5. "The difference between us, I suppose, is that I am willing to accept Palestinian nationalism, whereas you are not."

    No way I'm accepting an enemy propaganda stratagem that has pulled the rug from the Jewish claim to Palestine ever since Israel's leaders were stupid enough to parrot it themselves. Accepting the faux-Palestinian narrative puts Zionism on a defensive PR position by nature, because you have to defend Israel from the hopelessly bad position of an armed state and nation of immigrants vs. a stateless indigenous people.

    No, but I argue for Israel from a position that is hopelessly bad for the other side: We Jews are the indigenous Palestinians, and our fight is the fight of resistance against the imperialism of 21 Arab states and 57 Muslim ones who want to colonize and steal the small piece of land in the world that's ours. Now that is a position to defend Israel from. But, of course, it requires me to reject the faux-Palestinian nation narrative lock, stock and barrel. I cannot compromise on this, because it undermines my entire argument in Israel's defense. (And, though I'm an Orthodox Jewish believer, I have my reasons not to argue the Jewish claim from the Torah.)

    "If this were 1967, you might have a case, but that ship has already sailed."

    I believe the ship may be starting its voyage back home. Long before Newt's remarks, from the beginning of the 2000s decade, starting with the October 2000 Intifada, there commenced among some (or many... can't say for sure) Israeli Jews a movement of second thoughts about the matter.

    "The Palestinians are a people because they consider themselves to be a people..."

    If every group of people considered themselves a nation and demanded national rights on that basis, the world would become a madhouse. To some extent, that's exactly what happened. Every tiny group in our modern world has some kind of "national" or "ethnic" or "racial" grievance, and the world is in turmoil for it.

    "Our concern, it seems to me, is with the peace and well-being of the Jews of the Middle East."

    If you mean to say PR is not the be-all and end-all of this conflict, then I agree. But I think few can deny that the deterioration in Israel's stature has had nothing to do with morale. I'm not seeking to convince anti-Zionists—I know they're beyond hope. But Jews both in Israel and abroad need to have a strong belief in the rightfulness of Zionism, otherwise we won't be able to steel ourselves for the many hurdles before us. I don't care what reason a Jew has for believing in the Jewish claim to Palestine; but the belief needs to be there, otherwise we might well come to think it isn't worth the effort, and doubt if Uganda or Argentina or Birobidjan weren't better ideas.

    I must apologize for being so opinionated. In my defense, this subject is near and dear to my heart, and the argument I've made above is the one that fills me with conviction the most of them all. If you have different arguments that convince you of the rightness of Zionism, then that's excellent. But I hope you'll understand why I'm so adamant about those points I keep making.

  6. There are lots of documents  from the 18th and 19th century which refer to the "Palestinian people".  There are even New York Times articles going back to the 1910s which refer to the "Palestinian people".

    The notion that the "Palestinian people" came into being in the 1970s (as Newt claims) is not only controversial, it is beyond idiotic.

  7. You are mistaken.

    The majority of Arabs of the mandate did not consider themselves "Palestinian."

    Certainly there are no, or virtually no, documentation prior to the twentieth century that refers to the local Arabs as "Palestinian."

    Please refer us to even a single work of scholarship that lays out "Palestinian" history from any period prior to the twentieth century.

    Who were the great "Palestinian" leaders prior to the 20th century?

    What we know for a fact is that majorities of "Palestinians" only came to see themselves as Palestinians toward the end of the 20th century.

  8.  The notion that Palestinian self-determination is used for a "negative purpose" while Israeli self-determination is used for a "positive purpose" has no basis.

    Both are used for nearly identical purposes.  Both demand a nation for their people, and both believe that will live eternally victimized should their not achieve national aspirations.  The Israeli national narrative is almost entirely based on the notion that they will be victims of an endlessly antisemitic world should Israel cease to exist; whereas the Palestinian one claims that they will be the victims of Israeli AND ARAB injustice (Palestinians are also discriminated against in Arab States) should they fail to achieve their national aspirations.

    The extreme end of both national movement claim that the existence of their nation is not sustainable without the existence of the other.

    Some of the comments by ziontruth are beyond belief to me.  He claims that Palestinian nationalism is invalid because they do not have a distinct culture/language/race. 

    Putting aside the fact that the statement is false, I wonder if he realizes how far this argument deligitimizes the very foundation of Herzl's Zionism?  In Herzl's time there was no such thing as a uniform Jewish culture/language/race/etc.  Jewish people from different countries spoke different languages, ate different foods, listened to different music, etc.  If what ziontruth says is true, then Israel is an illegitimate state. 

    Of course he is wrong, as Karma Fish noted, a people are created through common experiences.  The reason Israel should continue to exist is not because of history or legitimacy, but rather because Israelis do exist and want to continue to exist as Israelis.  Similarly, the Palestinians do exist and want to exist as a nation (they have little choice since no one else is even willing to accept them as citizens).  They should have their own state.

  9. Except that you will find no Jewish leader making a statement like the one from Palestine Liberation Organization executive committee member Zahir
    Muhsein in early 1977. Here's part of what he said:

    "The Palestinian people does not exist. The creation of a
    Palestinian state is only a means for continuing our struggle against
    the state of Israel for our Arab unity. In reality today there is no
    difference between Jordanians, Palestinians, Syrians and Lebanese. Only
    for political and tactical reasons do we speak today about the existence
    of a Palestinian people, since Arab national interests demand that we
    posit the existence of a distinct "Palestinian people" to oppose

    For tactical reasons, Jordan, which is a sovereign state with
    defined borders, cannot raise claims to Haifa and Jaffa, while as a
    Palestinian, I can undoubtedly demand Haifa, Jaffa, Beer-Sheva and
    Jerusalem. However, the moment we reclaim our right to all of Palestine,
    we will not wait even a minute to unite Palestine and Jordan."

    Then there was Arafat himself in 1993:

    "Since we cannot defeat Israel in war, we do this in stages. We take any
    and every territory that we can of Palestine, and establish a
    sovereignty there, and we use it as a springboard to take more. When the
    time comes, we can get the Arab nations to join us for the final blow
    against Israel."

    As such, I suggest again that the Palestinians pursue a negative purpose, not a positive one, when it comes to statehood. When self-determination is for the purpose of denying that to others, then it is illegitimate.

  10. I am 100% correct in saying that the notion that the "Palestinian people" were in vented in 1978 (as Newt claims) is beyond idiotic.  You can confirm this by searching google news archives.

    As I said you can easily find New York Times articles dating back to the 1920s referring to "the Palestinian people"

  11. He did not say that they were invented in 1978.

    The fact is, tho, that the Palestinians did not see themselves as a national group until the near the end of the 20th century.

    If I am mistaken, perhaps you can name for me a Palestinian leader or writer or artist from the 19th century who explicitly thought of himself as a "Palestinian" and his or her people as "Palestinian."

    You won't be able to do so for the simple reason that the Palestinians had yet to see themselves as a people distinct from other Arabs or Muslims.

  12.  First of all, the Arafat quote you posted is fake.  But let's deal with the Muhsein quote, which is real and essentially the same.

    You claim that you will never find a similar idea among the Israelis.  This is absolutely false.  Similar ideas are the basis of Zionism.  It runs right through all of Israel's foundation. Herzl and Ben Gurion were perfectly aware that as a Hungarian and a Pole (respectively) they had no claim to Jerusalem, Haifa, etc. They had to create a new national identity in order to justify this claim.

    Now, could anyone claim that the state of Israel is illegitimate because of this?  I don't think any consistant person would make that argument.  Likewise, I don't think any consistent person would make a similar case against Palestinian nationalism.

    Again, I don't understand criticism of Muhsein's pan-Arabism.  Zionism is pan-Judaism.  How can a Zionist, given the nature of his beliefs, deride pan-Arabism without sounding like a complete racist?

    Pan Arabists believe that there should be a single state representing all Arabs of the world (a very stupid idea given that the only thing that  unites Arabs is their language - it is like trying to turn all of Latin America into one country).  Zionists believed in the same idea for the world's Jewish people (a more practical idea given that there are far less Jewish people than Arabs and the geography of the state was considered negotiable).

    Today, pan-Arabism as an ideology is not even a political force, so bringing up Muhsein quote is a moot point.

  13. If it is so easy, then why not produce some links.

    Then we can determine if they were referring to them as a distinct people.

    Why, if there was such a people in the 1920s, so tied to their homeland, did they not object to Transjordan, or to the occupation of the West Bank or Gaza by their Arab brethren?

  14. I can name them but you would have never heard of them because they were not significant (the Palestinians people were not considered significant at the world stage until their fight against Israel started).

    There is, for example, an article in the New York Times (a very anti-Palestinian article by the way written at a time of widespread extreme stereotypes against Muslims in the NYT).

    The article is entitled "Kemal as He Looks to the Mohammedan World".  It is dated Dec 17, 1922.

    The article discusses a "Palestinian delegation" sent to Britain, lead by someone named Kazim Pasha Hussein.

    It also discusses "a very energetic manifesto addressed to the Palestinian people by
    the Palestinian Committee in Egypt.  The manifesto shows how
    deeply the victory of the Turks has affected the Arabs and how these are
    ready to follow its furthest consequences ..."

    How could the New York Times be discussing a people which would not come to exist some decades later?

  15. Your argument is based in faulty logic anyways.  Just because we cannot name the leaders of a certain people in history does not automatically lead to the notion that they do not exist.

    For example, there are a people in northern Iran called the "Gilaks".  I bet you have never even heard of them and could not name even one of their leaders.  That does not mean they didn't exist.

  16. Fake?  Where's the proof?  Because you say so?

    Whether Pan-Arabism is smart or not, that is what was the driving force, not positive Palestinian self-determination. You admit it.

    Find me something specific where a Zionist leader says they want a state so that they can deny one to the Arabs. The examples you provide, particularly in contrast to the express remarks I have, are utter nonsense, particularly as there was no state even in existence, and already a majority Jewish presence in Jerusalem (if I am not mistaken).

  17. You want me to find links to websites from the 1920s?

    I cited a New York Times article to Karmafish from 1929 below.

  18. And you suggest that this means that the Arabs of the mandate during the early part of the twentieth century considered themselves a distinct people within the greater Arab fold?

    Nah.  Not so much.

    What we do see during the 1920s are the beginnings of Palestinian-Arab nationalism, but that nationalism, that sense of distinct people-hood, did not emerge as dominant among the general population under after the PLO was created in the early-mid 1960s.

    Now, understand that when historians and others scholars suggest that the Palestinians are of recent vintage, this does not mean that they do not exist as a national group with national aspirations currently.

    They do.

    Unfortunately, however, Palestinian national aspirations were created in direct opposition to the ongoing viability of the Jewish national state.

    It did not need to be that way, but that's the way Husseini and Arafat created it.  Palestinian nationalism is infused with genocidal anti-Semitism and a desire to rob Jews of autonomy on ancient Jewish land.

    We are simply not going to allow that to happen.  The Palestinians, if they wish for peace and prosperity for their children and grandchildren need to accept a state for themselves in peace next to the Jewish one, which is something that they have never accepted and still do not.

    It's a shame, but the people who suffer most from Palestinian intransigence and hatred toward Jews are the Palestinians themselves.

  19.  I mistakenly said the article was from 1929 .  It is from 1922.

  20. I'm sorry but that is not how it works.  I don't have to prove your quote is fake.  You have to prove it is real.  We can assume it's fake since it is without context.  Did he say that in a speech? If so, where is the rest of the speech?  If he said it in an article then show me the article.  For now, the only place you will find that quote, is in insane right-wing sites like World Net Daily.  No credible publication would even touch the quote.

    You think Pan-Arabism is the driving force for Palestinian nationalism?  Are you insane?  Pan-Arabists tried to integrate the Palestinians into the countries where they are displaced.  Do you see that happening today?  In fact, the person you quoted (Muhsein) was allied to Syria against the PLO and fought several battles against Yasser Arafat because he considered Arafat's decision of pursuing Palestinian nationalism heretical to his own beliefs of a single long-stretching Arab state.

  21.  As for similar quotes from Israeli leaders, there are plenty of those too.  Here is a few to whet your appetite:

    "We must do everything to ensure they [the Palestinians] never do return
    ... The old will die and the young will forget," David Ben Gurion

    "Jewish villages were built in the place of Arab villages. You do not
    even know the names of these Arab villages, and I do not blame you
    because geography books no longer exist. Not only do the books not
    exist, the Arab villages are not there either. Nahlal arose in the place
    of Mahlul; Kibbutz Gvat in the place of Jibta; Kibbutz Sarid in the
    place of Huneifis; and Kefar Yehushua in the place of Tal al-Shuman.
    There is not a single place built in this country that did not have a
    former Arab population."  Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Dayan

    "We walked outside, Ben-Gurion accompanying us. Allon repeated his
    question, what is to be done with the Palestinian population?'
    Ben-Gurion waved his hand in a gesture which said 'Drive them out!'"  Yazhak Rabin, Israeli Prime Minister

  22. I basically agree with most of what you said.  However I recall distinctly hearing Newt Gingrich say that the Palestinians were invented "in 1978".

  23. Rashid Khalidi, author of Palestinian Identity: The Construction of Modern National Consciousness (1997) dates the emergence of "Palestinian" national identity to the early 20th century.

    The emergence as an idea, but it would be decades before this idea rooted itself firmly in the minds of the local population such that they came to see themselves as a distinct people.

    In the early part of the 20th century the great majority of Arabs of the mandate considered themselves Arabs and Muslims and coming from this or that family, but rarely as "Palestinians," a grouping that was more usually associated with the Jews.

    In any case, what is the point of this conversation?  I mean, what are you hoping to establish?  That the Palestinians are a people?  I have never denied that.

  24. poyani,

    how can you deny the genocidal nature of Palestinian nationalism when they constantly scream "Kill the Jews" from the mosques and when the Hamas charter calls directly for genocide?

  25. I don’t
    believe in the concept of religiously inherited land.  I agree that there was continuous Jewish presence
    in the land.  I just totally disagree
    with the idea that a Latin American convert to Judaism has a “historical claim”
    to any land in the Middle East.


  26. You provide no more context or sourcing for your quotes, do you?

    You were the one that dismissed Muhsein as a pan-Arabist.  Now you say he was against the PLO.  But was he on its Executive Board?

    Personally, I could care about this issue.  I know, however, that the Palestinian approach is a negative one and it entails the destruction of Israel and, for some like Hamas, killing all Jews.

  27. refer to http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2002/aug/07/israel1

  28. The Rabin quote I posted is from Rabin's autobiography.

    I think you are confused about what the PLO's executive board is.  There are lots of conflicting factions on the board which have nothing to do with one-another.  Just because Arafat and Muhsein were on the board does not mean they agreed on anything.  They tried to kill eac-other on numerous occasions.


  29.  Mohsein was the leader of  group known as as sa'iqa.  They, along with many other groups quit the PLO in the 70s.

    They are usually referred to as the "rejectionist front" because they reject a peaceful coexistance with an Israeli state.

  30. poyani,

    I moved the thread over here because it was becoming too tight on right edge of the page.

    You say that you do not believe in religiously inherited land.  I agree and thankfully Jewish claims to that land are not religious, but historic.

    It is, in fact, Jewish land and we Jews are prepared to defend it.

  31. "He claims that Palestinian nationalism is invalid because they do not have a distinct culture/language/race."

    What I said was there is no evidence that the Arab colonists in Palestine are a nation in its own right, because they have nothing positive to show for being a nation in its own right.

    Just one characteristic, just one positive characteristic—as opposed to the negative characteristic of "resistance to Zionism"—would suffice. Whether in cultural, language or race, I don't care. But they don't have even one.

    "In Herzl's time there was no such thing as a uniform Jewish culture/language/race/etc."

    Nonsense. The Jewish nation is real because it has distinctive positive characteristics: A history (almost 3000 years of that), a religion, a language, a culture based on the language and the religion. The faux-Palestinian "nation" lacks all of those.

    "Jewish people from different countries spoke different languages, ate different foods, listened to different music, etc." (Emphasis mine.)

    If you're talking about Herzl's time, then you should note that, although the foods in the various Diasporas were different, they were all prepared according to the requirements of kashrut. There you have it: A positive characteristic.

  32. "If you're talking about Herzl's time, then you should note that,
    although the foods in the various Diasporas were different, they were
    all prepared according to the requirements of kashrut. There you
    have it: A positive characteristic.  "

    That is simply false.  Not all Jewish people in Herzl's time observed Jewish religious practices.  The list of those who didn't observe Jewish religious practices, by the way, includes Herzl himself.

    In fact if you read the history of Zionism you will notice that it was considered heretical (from religious pov) for much of the time prior to the creation of the state of Israel.

  33. Explain the "historic" claim of the people in this article.


    Sounds like a religious claim to me.

  34. They don't "constantly scream 'kill the Jews'".  That is an exaggeration. Some of them do; but most of them don't.  Most of them are normal people trying to get on with their lives.

    FYI - I live in Canada.  There are Canadian members of the JDL who scream "kill the Arabs" and "kill the Muslims" at every opportunity.  Does that mean that there is a "genocidal nature" to Zionism?

  35. Well, we are intent on defending ourselves, poyani.

    That is the land where Jews originally came from and we are, in fact, prepared to defend it to the death.

    If anyone wishes to try to rob the Jews of self-determination and self-defense on historically Jewish land, they are welcome to try.

    In the mean time, we just spent 1,300 years under the boot of Islamic imperialism and 100 years of terror war against us in the Middle East and yet the Jews have not only survived, but have thrived.

    Good for them and good for us.

    I can't even begin to tell you how proud I am of the Jewish people and the Jewish state.

    Israel came from nothing to be the strongest, most prosperous, and most well-educated country in the entire Middle East.

    Y'know, Laurie and are going there in just a few weeks.

    We'll see if the falafel is really all that it is cracked up to be.


  36. "Which language do you think the Jewish people of the 1800s spoke?"

    Various, but that's not the point. All could read Hebrew.

    "Not all Jewish people in Herzl's time observed Jewish religious practices."

    In Herzl's time most of them still did. It was only in the 20th century that religious observers ceased to be the majority.

    "In fact if you read the history of Zionism you will notice that it was considered heretical (from religious pov) for much of the time prior to the creation of the state of Israel."

    Mainly for being secular. However, Zionism itself didn't start secular, the secularists took over in the early 20th century.

    As for the question of permission to renew Jewish sovereignty before the arrival of Mashiah Ben David—while this was widely cited among the Ultra-Orthodox, and still is by the Neturei Karta traitors*, there is a response to it from within the orthodox canon. What I'm saying is Zionism and Judaism aren't inherently opposed as the anti-Zionists would like people to believe.

    *So I name them because they side with those who wish to murder Jews.

  37. Yeah, but there's a difference, poyani, between a tiny organization like the JDL and the Radical Jihad or Political Islamism, or whatever terminology one might want to use.  The JDL is a couple of crazy Jews and their cat, Shlomo.

    Islamism is taking over the entire Middle East.I think, tho, that I simply want to thank you for the fact that, despite very strong disagreement, our conversation remained civil.If you would honestly like to have a longer term conversation with people here, I am more than willing.Although, I do have to say, I will not allow the delegitimization of the Jewish state on this blog.  You may be aware that within the Jewish community there is great wariness about, and disdain for, attempts to separate the Jewish people from our connection to our ancestral homeland.I do not know what your background is, or even if you are someone that I have spoken to in the past, but what I can tell you for sure is that after 2,000 years of diaspora, and 1,300 years of dhimmitude, all culminating in that rockin' good time in Europe in the middle of the last century, Jews are simply never, not ever, going back.

  38. Good comment.

    If only Palestinians could get this through their heads. Then they could go about improving their standards of living, as those who remained Israel surely have.

    Maybe their religious stuff is too strong to let go and accept Israel, not the other way around.

    The Jewish homeland was supposed to be all of Palestine, but the Zionists gave this up in 1925, when Transjordan was formally carved from Mandatory Palestine. They objected, but accepted the verdict by the British. Ironically, there seems to have been no hue and cry from the Palestinian people that they were losing a large chunk of their beloved homeland.

  39. Falafel is weak.  Lacks meat.  I much prefer a nice hearty Jerusalem mix (prepared with liver and heart).

    But that is besides the point.

    I don't believe in the concept of religiously transferred victim-hood and guilt (which really pisses off Catholics to be sure).

    Was there antisemitism and subjugation of Jewish people in Islamic lands?  Absolutely!

    Were the Peruvian Indians mentioned in the article (or any of their ancestors) victims of this subjugation?  Hell no!

    They are converts.  They have no relationship whatsoever to the "Israelites" who lived on the land thousands of years ago.

    In fact, to me, their "claim" sounds identical to those of a Jihadist which claims religious right to the land.

  40.  Many Israelis are complaining that Kach (the Israeli arm of the JDL) is taking over their government.  They are not as marginalized as you think.

    In Canada, our Prime Minister and his cabinet are advised by the JDL on political matters.

  41.  "The Jewish homeland was supposed to be all of Palestine, but the
    Zionists gave this up in 1925, when Transjordan was formally carved from
    Mandatory Palestine."

    Technically there were many different ideas on what the Jewish homeland should have been.

    There was no consensus that it was supposed to be all of Palestine.  There were actually calls for the Jewish homeland to be Palestine (incl Jordan) + Syria + Lebanon + Iraq + Kuwait.

    Check out this article from the New York Times, dated  March 10, 1919, summarizing a meeting of 3500 in Carnegie Hall.


    Note that the speaker refers to Mesopotamia + Palestine + Syria. 
    Palestine as you know was partitioned into Palestine and Jordan.  Syria
    was partitioned in Syria and Lebanon.  Mesopotamia was partitioned into
    Iraq and Kuwait.