Sunday, June 9, 2013

The Nakba Stratagem


Every year on Israel’s Independence Day, the anti-Zionists can be relied upon, like clockwork, to trumpet the Nakba in counterpoint. The indispensible refrain is always, “Your celebration is their mourning.”

One of the insidious things about pushing the anti-Zionist narrative is not the narrative itself (already an affront on its own) but the way the Zionist is expected to identify with its sentiments, or else. I have no trouble listening to the arguments of the other side, reading their points of view at length and learning what makes them tick, but what the anti-Zionists demand is that their narrative be accepted on the emotional level as well, that it push our side’s take into the wayside. It is not enough for the Zionist to acknowledge that the Arab word “nakba” means “catastrophe,” signifying how the other side regard the events of 1947–9; what is required of the Zionist is to accept that the events were objectively a catastrophe, to the minds of all human beings, including the Zionists themselves.

Given that the war of 1947–9 was initiated by the Arab colonists in Palestine to prevent the indigenous Palestinians—the Jews—from realizing their national right to a state of their own, and given that the failure of the Jews to repulse Arab aggression would have resulted in genocide, I am naturally disinclined to view the outcome of that war as a catastrophe. Even for the Arab colonists it was not the greatest catastrophe possible, seeing as most of them were able to stay alive by fleeing, and many could even stay where they were. More worthy of righteous indignation would be the treatment of the ex-Palestine colonists by the Arab states in the later years, from the 1950s up to the massacres in Lebanon and Kuwait—shows of “brotherly love” to contrast with Israel’s unaided, single-handed resettlement of the hundreds of thousands of Jews kicked out of the Arab world.

Israel’s War of Independence followed Arab/Islamic lines closely, with an attempt by the local colonists to conquer the land first, and then, failing that, the job was taken over by state armies. Most of the Arabs of 1947 Palestine fled at the exhortation of the Arab states prior to their military invasions, a fact not only borne out by the historical archives, but also corroborated by the recurrence of the pattern. In July 2006, at the beginning of the Second Lebanon War, Hezbollah chief Nasrallah told the Arabs of the Galilee to flee northward to Lebanon and await their return to take the spoils upon his victory. (There were no takers—no one seriously believed Hezbollah would conquer parts of Israel, even if Israel was unable to wipe them out.) And in March 2012, the Nigerian Islamic terrorist organization Boko Haram told the Muslims in Christian-majority Southern Nigeria to flee to the Muslim-majority Northern Nigeria to await an Islamic victory and subsequent return to take the spoils. History repeats itself for anyone who takes the time to learn.

Of course, some of the Arabs did flee because of the war itself. Where an Arab village like Iraq Suweidan stood on the hills near an important supply road, the Jewish resistance fighters had to clear what would otherwise be a choke point for their convoys. We can imagine that, as in a war, asking nicely would not do the trick; those population centers had to be waded into and fought over. At the end of the fighting, the Arabs were allowed to flee—an outcome that did not ensue when the Arabs won, as the massacres of Hebron and Gush Etzyon showed.

The brief survey above shows that the Nakba was largely self-caused, and that, in Middle East standards, the Arab colonists got off pretty lightly for a “catastrophe.” The anti-Zionists would have none of these facts, of course: It takes only a few minutes of reading them to realize that the events of the war of 1947–9 are not the important thing, but the narrative that the Jews were (and still are) the invaders whom the natives had every right to repulse, by any means possible. This narrative takes such high priority that even the fact that the Arab attacks were in flagrant violation of a U.N. decision is ignored—no mean feat, considering the way the anti-Zionists parrot those U.N. decisions that are against Israel as if they were holy writ.

A Counterpoint to the Holocaust

The foremost reason for the anti-Zionists to emphasize the Nakba is as an “answer” to the Holocaust. It seems perverse beyond belief to say it, but sometimes I get the impression the Nakba narrative is a result of Holocaust envy. The term “Nakba Denial” has been coined to be the equivalent of “Holocaust Denial,” and the Nakba is constantly brought up in conjunction with the post-WWII German admission of guilt, contrition and reparations, saying, “What they did in the name of restoring justice, you can do too.” By ignoring the crucial difference between the significance of those two events—the Holocaust and the Nakba—the anti-Zionists employ a ruthless, cynical stratagem calculated to make the Israeli Jews apologize for having their state on Palestine.

When the Germans confessed their guilt after the world war, the consequences of that confession were uncontroversial and did not lead to demands that the German nation could not abide by. It was uncontroversial that Nazi Germany, the episode of the years 1933–45 in German history, was evil and had to be prevented from ever happening again; it was not Germany itself and the German people that had thus been declared illegitimate. The Allied occupation of Germany and Austria was to be temporary; nobody suggested that the war justified rendering the German nation stateless in perpetuity, or that the German nation-state had its Original Sin in its very founding in 1871 or in even earlier events.

In contrast, the equivalence of the Holocaust and the Nakba serves the anti-Zionists in staining Jewish nationalism in its entirety for all time. That war of 1947–9 was the war in which the Jewish state formally came to be; to construe it as Israel’s Original Sin is to condemn the Jewish state for its entire history. It is no wonder, in light of this, that the Israeli Jews could never regard the events of 1947–9 with the same critical eye that many of them have regarded the war of 1967 and its consequences. To assert that things went astray with Israel after 1967 is still within the bounds of the acceptable, since compromising on that point would leave a piece of land for Jewish self-determination; but to “confess” the “sinfulness” of the war of 1947–9 is something that no normal Israeli Jew could do, because therein lies the first step to the loss of the Jewish statehood that had been dreamed of for nearly 2000 years. It is an unconscionable demand for all but a lunatic fringe, a tiny fraction of a percent of Israeli Jews afflicted with acute Stockholm syndrome.

Even Meretz, the left-wing Israeli party long known for its insistence on abandoning the post-1967 territories (read: ethnically cleansing them of Jews) for the sake of peace, are not willing to budge on the Nakba, the “refugees” (the descendants of the Arab colonists who fled Palestine in 1947–9) and the entire “1948 File.” When, in 2008, the anti-Zionist document titled “The Future Vision for the Palestinian Arabs in Israel” was published, with the usual shtick about Israel being a “European colonial project,” Elazar Granot, one of the leaders of Meretz back then, said of it, “I read it and seethed in outrage.” Even they know that there is great peril in opening the file that puts the legitimacy of the entire Jewish state in jeopardy. The only thing they lack is confidence in responding to the Nakba narrative and to the comparisons to the Holocaust, since they have yet to come into terms with the fact that the clash of narratives is not about what happened in the past, but who had and still has the right to this land.

Abandoning the Redress Narrative

As the faux-Palestinian narrative was devised to hide the fact of Arab imperialist aggression against the Jews under the mantle of an imitation of Zionism, so too was the Nakba magnified beyond its true proportions to become a facsimile of the redress narrative, whose central argument is the Holocaust. The argument of Zionism before 1947 had been, “We Jews are stateless, the Arabs have many states; the Arabs’ complaints about dispossession are therefore unfounded.” That argument having worked effectively in convincing the United Nations Special Committee on Palestine, the Arabs realized after the war that they had to mimic it in order to turn the Jewish state from a David standing against the Arab Goliath into a Israeli Goliath oppressing the “Palestinian” David. In like manner, equating the Nakba with the Holocaust would be the response, by mimicry, to the argument often made by Israeli Jews that the Holocaust justifies the existence of the Jewish state.

Whether it is the Holocaust that is brought up or the countless instances of persecution of the Jews before it, the narrative of Israel as redress and sanctuary for the Jews presents a good case but suffers from a fatal flaw: It does not give a reason as to why the nation-state of the Jews must be in Palestine of all places. This has provided the opening for anti-Zionists to deny the Jewish nation’s rights to the land, from a Saudi king saying after WWII that the Jews should be given a state carved out from defeated Germany, through Arafat and Helen Thomas stating the Jews are not entitled to a nation-state at all but should be content being citizens of non-Jewish states, to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad saying that it was unjust for the Arabs in Palestine to have been punished for events (such as the Holocaust which he denies) that they had nothing to do with. (Which is not true, by the way: The Mufti of Jerusalem actively took Nazi Germany’s side, and many Arabs in Mandate Palestine were ready to assist in the extermination of the Jews in a Nazi-ruled Palestine.)

The narrative of Zionism as redress for past wrongs, as the building of a sanctuary for the Jews, still has value in countering ideas that could lead to genocide, not least the Binational Solution where two nations that hate each other are to be forced to live together (the very setting that failed in the years 1920–49). However, it cannot be used as the main justification of Zionism, for it is an argument independent of location. What Zionist Jews need to argue is that Israel is not a redress for past wrongs but the fulfillment of the Jews’ inalienable national rights. Whether through the appeal to international documents such as the San Remo Treaty or to the incontrovertible fact, supported by an objectively real cultural connection to the land, that the Jews are the one and only true Palestinian nation, the argument for the justice of the Jews having their nation-state in Palestine must be based on the recognition that Jews belong to this land, that they are not interlopers as the anti-Zionists have it.

Having shifted the parameters away from redress and into national rights, it becomes much easier to stand for Zionism confidently: Instead of endless discussions about what happened in 1947–9 and the quagmire of being held to impossible gentlemanly standards in the course of an existential struggle, the Zionist can respond in the same token as he or she has been accused. The Jewish return to their land from 1882 onward and the success in resisting Arab imperialist aggression to this day are right and just actions on the part of the indigenous people of Palestine (who are the Jews and none other), while the Arab colonists’ attempts to prevent Jewish return and their waging of a war of aggression against the fledgling Jewish state in 1947–9, contrary to the United Nations decision, are unjust acts of belligerence born of imperialist greed that can never be justified.


  1. btw, Zion, you should know that I sent a snippet from this piece to a number of editors and writers including Norman Podhoretz (Commentary), David Efune (Algemeiner), and Caroline Glick (Jerusalem Post).

  2. Some "Nakba" reality can be found at the following link and in a good talk given by Benny Morris in Oslo several years ago that can be found on Youtube.

    According to Mondoweiss, in Israel they have another word besides "nonsense."

    As to latter issue, I do not see why it must be one or the other. It seems that redress springs from indigenous rights to the land. This is exactly what was recognized by the San Remo Convention when it referred to "the historical connexion of the Jewish people with Palestine and to the grounds for reconstituting their national home in that country."

    Because this right was denied, the remedy was to reconstitute the national home. The events that followed only strengthened the case.

  3. Even so, this issue is in the weeds for most people.

    Pallywood is easier for mass consumption. If they will lie about things like that, why should anything they offer, including the "Nakba," be believed?

  4. That's exactly right, now isn't it?

    For example, we often hear about Jews in Judea and Samaria allegedly ripping out Arab olive groves.

    Is it true?

    Maybe. Maybe not. Maybe somewhat.

    But we also received reports of Arabs ripping up their own olive groves for the purpose of framing the Jews.

    The point being that since Pallywood is a genuine - and genuinely dangerous - phenomenon, how can we trust any claims that derive from local Arab sources?

  5. Mike,

    According to the Hebrew-language series on the history of Zionism in my possession, "The Great Periods in the History of the Land of Israel" (Revivim 1980), the first official salvo in the Arab imperialist war against the Jews' national rights was fired in 1891, when the Arab magnates of Jerusalem sent a request to the Ottoman sultan to put a stop to Jewish aliyah. Requests of this sort were repeated right until WWI. Among them, the one listed in the series that I find most telling is the request that the Ottoman authorities stop the Jews drying the mosquito-ridden swamps in Palestine. Not only did the desert start blooming only when the Jews put their efforts into it, the Arabs also wanted it to stay a desert at first (until in the 1920s Arabs from Egypt and Syria decided to make the most of it and settle in British Mandate Palestine).

    So, even without reference to the issue of indigenous peoples vs. colonists, the Arabs seemed to have forfeited any rights they ever had to the land by being poor tenders of it. Just as in August 2005 the flowering greenhouses were brought back to the desert state of 1882.

    Thanks for passing it on, Mike. I just hope those snippets won't be rejected for being too controversial.


    "Pallywood is easier for mass consumption."

    Agreed, but that's not a problem with the message, that's a problem with distributing it past the media blockade maintained by media outlets largely owned by people with anti-Israel leanings. I concur it's a big issue, but it's outside the scope for most of us. Unfortunately, the Internet is all we have until the government of Israel does its duty of making the hostile media lift their blockade.

    I mentioned the San Remo Convention in this article (second-last paragraph). I have to commend you for making me a little more, uh, pluralistic on the subject. You see, I was so convinced (still am, actually) that my argument of the Jews being the indigenous Palestinians is the cat's meow that I tended to dismiss other arguments for our national rights. Although basing our rights on documents of international law still isn't my favorite method, I've gotten much less monomanic about it. Whatever argument that serves you best in confidently making the case for Jewish national rights is to be pursued, I say now.

    1. Not sure I follow about Pallywood. My point is that it is a great tool to raise the issue of credibility concerning things like the Nakba. It exposes raw the intention and raises the question of what, if anything, can be believed.

      As to San Remo, it supplements and complements the indigenous argument because it is a statement of international law that recognizes the point and takes a concrete step to remedy the wrong of dispossession of the indigenous Jews.

    2. "Not sure I follow about Pallywood."

      Oh, I thought you were referring to the fact that people are much more disposed toward soundbites (as in Pallywood) than long essays (like mine). My mistake.

      "My point is that it is a great tool to raise the issue of credibility concerning things like the Nakba. It exposes raw the intention and raises the question of what, if anything, can be believed."

      Among the points I consider the most efficient in that regard is series of photos from "starved, dying Gaza" showing stalls full of food and people not looking at all malnourished. If you get that message past, that could really make people wonder what else they're lying about.

      "As to San Remo, it supplements and complements the indigenous argument..."

      The good arguments all complement each other. In my response to Mike, I just mentioned another possible argument: That the Jews are worthy of this territory by virtue of making a once-desolate (not totally empty, but in a sorry state) land bloom. The crucial thing with those arguments is not so much that they need to convince others (a little experience with anti-Zionists will tell you nothing could convince them) but that they instill us with the confidence needed to make our stance without squirming or apologizing. The path to Israel's becoming the doormat of the world begins with our stammered apologies.

    3. Jews are also entitled because they have established sovereignty according to the Montevideo Convention on the Rights and Duties of States.

      Long essays are okay. My suggestion would be to alsways try and make it shorter because we have a tendency to be repetitive and sometimes convoluted in making points, trying to understand. What makes sense to us can be confusing to others with less knowledge, background or interest.

    4. Oldschool,

      "Jews are also entitled because they have established sovereignty according to the Montevideo Convention on the Rights and Duties of States."

      Very good. Last night I thought a bit about international law and what's making me so averse to arguments based on it. My conclusion was I dislike international law because it's become an excuse for nations to nose on each other's affairs. Theoretically that could be a good thing, but in the corrupt real world it isn't.

      Recently, Netanyahu went to China to talk about trade relations between the two countries—plain business. He did, but the Chinese also prepared a surprise for him in the form of a blueprint for an Israeli-"Palestinian" peace treaty based on the usual land concessions. I really got mad reading that. What right, I asked, did a country the size of China, with all of its acquisitions made throughout its long history, have to tell the tiny Jewish state to get smaller?

      You could ask the same of Russia or the United States or Britain or France—in fact, most of the busybody states telling Israel to give up land are a mite bigger than Israel. If you put up that question on a forum, people would dutifully rush to tell you this impertinence is justified because "Israeli settlements are in violation of international law." Flat out, the adherence to international law (which in the real world is quite selective) gives the whole world the right to boss Israel about.

      If you can make a proud, confident and unassailable case using international law, then I sincerely congratulate you. The thing is, I don't think I'm capable of it. Those shifty, lawyerly thickets are not for me to wade in—I lose confidence just trying to make sense of those documents. Fortunately, I don't have to. I'm happy as I am with making the argument that the Jews are the only indigenous Palestinians by virtue of their real and unbroken cultural connection to the land, and that's all I need to counter the anti-Israel line without hesitating or apologizing.

      Different strokes for different folks.

      "Long essays are okay. My suggestion would be to alsways try and make it shorter because we have a tendency to be repetitive and sometimes convoluted in making points..."

      I don't know how much I'll be able to shorten my essays (my personal weakness...), but there's a chance I'll be posting on another format, maybe instead of, maybe in addition: The news rewrite. When Mike invited me I told him my writing could get stalled by a periodic lack of ideas; I think that, in those times, if Mike doesn't mind, I could do posts of news items that I will rewrite to excise the anti-Zionist narrative off them—a demonstration, as it were, for how the news would look like if Reuters and AP stopped publishing the write-ups of Arab stringers.

    5. China and the rest can suggest all they like, but sovereign equality of states says that Israel gets to decide for itself, as an exercise of external self-determination.

      As I see it, the arguments you make are wrapped up in international law, even if within the system Israel is seen as the collective Jew.

      International law sets forth the precedents that support Israel's legitimacy as a nation-state, and the law has not been abrogated. It's just that people are as ignorant about the law as they are about the historical facts.

      I understand it can be hard to say complicated things simply, simply because they are complicated. I just think that many cannot grasp too much detail or theory. In this instance, I think you could have made two separate essays, one about the "Nakba" and the other about redress and indigenous rights.

  6. The common myth is that the Arab leadership and people were entirely innocent of helping to perpetuate the Holocaust.

    This is false.

    to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad saying that it was unjust for the Arabs in Palestine to have been punished for events (such as the Holocaust which he denies) that they had nothing to do with. (Which is not true, by the way: The Mufti of Jerusalem actively took Nazi Germany’s side, and many Arabs in Mandate Palestine were ready to assist in the extermination of the Jews in a Nazi-ruled Palestine.)

    I would take it a step further.

    From an historical standpoint, the British cracked down on Jewish immigration to the Land of Israel after their analysis of the Arab Uprisings - murders, rapes, and massacres - from 1936 to 1939, on that land. It was only then that they issued their famous White Paper that kept hundreds of thousands of Jews, if not more, from escaping the death camps to Israel.

    Were it not for vicious, theocratically-based, hatred toward Jews among the larger Arab-Muslim population there would have been no reason for the British to prevent so many Jews from saving themselves from the Nazis.

    But the responsibility for this horrendous atrocity belongs, in large measure, to the Arabs who convinced the Brits to just let us die in Europe.

    And, yet, this too is almost entirely unknown in the west.

    The reason that it is unknown, clearly, is because they simply do not care and because we refuse stand up for ourselves.

    1. Good point, Mike. I knew of this but somehow I never got around to articulating it.

      Still, if you put that issue to the anti-Israel crowd, they'd tell you the land had always belonged to the Arab-speaking "Palestinians" (who in reality had yet to call themselves that name back then), therefore they had the right to block Jewish immigration. (Funny how this very reasoning is the epitome of "Racism!" in those same people's eyes when somebody makes it with regard to the U.S.-Mexico border.)

      And so, it comes back again to the question of the rights to the land. That, in a nutshell, is why I talk of the Holocaust sparingly; because our history of persecution isn't the pivotal issue, but our connection and resultant rights to the land is. Nobody mainstream (in the West, anyhow) denies the Holocaust, while the denial of the Jewish connection and rights to the Land of Israel is rampant and fashionable.

      My goal, whether or not it's attainable, is to make the denial of the Jewish connection to Palestine as shunned and ostracized in the future as Holocaust Denial is now.

  7. btw, Zion,

    did you get my email?

    1. Mike,

      I'm really sorry—as I wrote in the response I finally made to your e-mail, I don't check my inbox frequently enough, and this time I also had an unexpectedly busy day to prevent me from reading the blog until a couple of hours ago.

      So, better late than never, yes, I got your e-mail and responded to it. Mea culpa, I usually forget my e-mail account exists, as I seldom use it.

  8. It is vitally important to understand that the Arabs hurl terms like Nakba around as much for domestic consumption as they to for the benefit of western Universities and CNN. In quite a few significant ways, to them, it actually is a catastrophe. Of course not that Arabs were displaced or fled or any of that. But that they lost, they lost at all, and they lost to Jews. This is akin to telling Catholics that the Pope is really a Muslim woman and everything they've ever been told in their life, about everything is 100% wrong.

    Arab societies are xenophobic and paranoid. They believe at their core that they are superior and that they not only have the divine right to be so but that they ARE. They live in a delusion that they are the masters of the world -today -now. And when reality smacks them down it brings into question everything they are reared from birth to believe. It's not accidental that dhimmis exist in the Arab world - not a simply matter of oppressing people to control them. It's about seeing themselves as superior and needing to oppress other people to drive that point home to themselves.

    This is in part why the Arab world and the Ottomans intentionally avoided the Renaissance, the Enlightenment and the Industrial Revolution. They believed inherently that the Muslim world had NOTHING to learn from anyone else - that even thinking there was anything to be learned was dangerous. Bernard Lewis covers this is "What When Wrong". Edwin Black covers this in part 1 and part 2 of "The Farhud". Even as far back as Rambam he alludes to this in his letters to the Yemenite Jewish community when he stressed dina d'malchuta dina as a practical and pragmatic approach to being a minority inside a largely dull and superstitious nation albeit one with power and great fear.

    The Eastern Arab world never really recovered from Ghengis Khan. Of course few nations did but in the Arabs case they saw themselves as the great overlords of the world and Khan rolled over them killing everyone in his path.

    The Egyptian Muslim world never really recovered from Napoleon. He arrived in Alexandria with a few thousand men and quickly flattened them much like Cortez and Pizarro in the New World. The Turks could internally withstand defeats at Lepanto and Vienna but an attack at THEM on their land, which they lost is unfathomable.

    This is the context of the Nakba. It matters little to them that 650,000 Arabs had to move 20 miles east. What matters to them is that contrary to everything they routinely tell themselves and contrary to what they tell their own people they lost, and loss is a bad loss. Honor bound cultures where you have victory or death are like that. This fundamentally is why 1967 is such a watershed event for them. Their view of redressing that is to literally unwind the clock to go back to a time when they did not lose - before they lost. They will only accept a 'solution' which un-does the creation of Israel because that is an unimaginable and inexplicable loss that must un done because it can never be ignored.

    1. A very sharp analysis of the Arab/Islamic view, Trudy.

      It boggles the mind that, up until 1949, the Arabs themselves put that view out in plain hearing of all others. Back in the 1930s, they had no problem telling non-Arabs of their opposition to the existence of one single Jewish polity in a sea of their Arab political possessions. Ultimately, that was one the things that lost them the support of the UNSCOP members and, consequentially, the United Nations vote on the Partition Plan.

      With the defeat in 1949 came a change of strategy, where the previously bare imperialism that was so natural to them yet repugnant to the West was to be hidden under the mantle of moral discourse—the type of moral-sounding talk about "an oppressed nation struggling for freedom" that had served Hitler, for example, so well in his imperialistic grab of the Sudetenland. The Arab-Soviet propaganda effort has been wildly successful in concealing the truth of Arab/Islamic imperialist aggression.

      The way I see it, we're making the first small pushbacks against that situation, attempts to clear the imperialism-justifying terminology to reveal the truth of the aggression leveled against the one and only Jewish state in the world.

      That jiu jitsu may have gotten us down for a long time—far too long, it must be said—but unlike in the real martial arts, as long as you exist you're not knocked out of the competition.

  9. Nakbah chiz is sooo played. Seriously, Palestinian Sympathy Fatigue takes into account that during the 1948 war and for like years afterward, Western world—including the international Left—expressed zero moral outrage about Palestinian refugees. Noth bout Western race carism or colonialism and bunches via recent history. The fighting in Little Satan and Palestine busted out barely 2 years after the end of the costliest military conflict ever, in which the victorious victors exacted a terrible price on the losing losers.

    11 million Germans living in Central and Ost Europa - all of them civilians - ran off turf that had been Deutsch since Roman times and force-marched to Germany by the juggernaut Red Army, ( w/aid from newly formed Czech and Polish govs) and with the approval of Great Satan and Great Britain. Some historical cats guesstimate as many as 2 million refugees died enroute.

    At the same incredible instant - Great Britain gave up empire to focus on xforming future rock n roll into rock (and later heavy metal) and sweetly divy'd up subcontinental India and created Pakistan. Millions of Hindus and m"Hammedists moved from one joint to the other, and hundreds of thousands died in a guerilla style religious war

    Result? Western World was not particularly concerned with roughly 600K refugees from Arab League launching and losing a war of aggression by their own leaders.

    One LOLable point that Nakbah mourners do NOT dig: Ever note that like the most literate Arabs ever in world history live in the Strip and Wester Bank?

    1. Hi GrEaT sAtAn'S gIrLfRiEnD!


      Please drive safely and be nice to the natives.

      I am outa here, ladies and gents.

      I will see you either later this evening or tomorrow.



    2. btw,

      you guys should check out GrEaT sAtAn'S gIrLfRiEnD! profile.

      I think that I'm in love!

    3. The John Wayne version of The Alamo is one of my favorite films of all time. I haven't seen that remake from a few years ago. Fast Times is of course one of the greatest 80s films.

      Gladiator frustrates the hell out of me. I love the 1992 film, though I haven't seen it in years, and every time I see 'Gladiator' on the channel guide while flipping around on the teevee machine I get all kinds of excited, until I realize it's the 2000 Russell Crowe film. Dashes my hopes every time!

    4. Settle down. It is nice to see new voices, however.

      As one whose handle is a long one, I have to ask her what name she prefers.

      The failure of Palestinians to see that, even as they are belligerents, Israel has improved their lot, far more than under Jordanian occupation or the the love of their Arab brethren.

      At the comparative level, it seems that the Palestinian group that underwent the most significant growth is the one that is under Israeli sovereignty - both the Israeli Arabs who received Israeli citizenship, whose situation is far better, and the Arabs of the territories. Despite the harsh living conditions in Lebanon and Syria, and before that also in Egypt and the Gaza Strip, the Palestinians under Israeli rule, beginning in 1967, have enjoyed a steady rise in their standard of living, in employment, in health services, in life expectancy, in the dramatic drop in infant mortality, and in the enormous growth of higher education.

      For example, in all the territories captured by Israel in 1967, there was not one institution of higher education. In the 1970s, academic institutions began to sprout one after the other, and today there are at least 16 institutions of higher education. The growth in the number of students has continued for three decades, including during the years of the Intifada in the last decade. Within six decades the Palestinians - only those under Israeli rule - have become the most educated group in the Arab world.

      Ben Dror Yemini

      People who will never be satisfied anyway will blow this off because they cannot see the disparate treatment involved or the value of Palestinians having a better life, despite what they say.

      Why others trust the judgment of these people on what is just or other matters leaves me to scratch my head.

    5. GsGf is cool - CoUrTnEy will do in a pinch

      An often under valued Nakbah generator is simply the fact that Little Satan is right smack dab in the middle of the Arab world - and by any measure of measurement - economic, political, social, or cultural - she is success thriving amid misery. Hanging in apparently the only spot ever in the ME with like zero oil (compy speaking), no friendly homies on her borders, a tiny pop and little real estate.

      The hap hap happy fact that (after the show ho's like the Strip, WB and Har Dov Farms included) Little Satan "occupies" less than 1% of the Arab world and less than 1/10th of a % of Ummah turf sweetly captured in desperate counterattacks is a smokescreen - and a pitiful smokescreen at that.

      She magically provides her citizens with a way of life far more better than what is found in either Palestine (your choice Fatah Bank or the Strip's Preacher Command), ye olde Suriya al Kubra, Iran, Lebanon, Jordan, Pyramidland or any Arab Leaguers.

      Unlike her neighbors - Little Satan has military prowess - yet she's unmilitaristc. She accomodated all faiths - yet remains secular. She absorbs refugees from the entire world - creating loyal, productive citizens throughout an Alamo environment that created sustained and maintained a tolerant, egalitarian democracy.

      Dissing Nakbahliciousness is prett easy to do

    6. Yep, but now Israel has natural gas.

      If the world would use what Israel has and has to offer, one could actually say it would actually be a better place.

      The energy wasted in dealing with this whole matter is a sad comment on us all.

      Jew hatred, too, but that is another story, and the Nakba deserves its own attention. Not to mention that the existence of Israel itself is a repudiation of Islam and its imperialism.

      As for the name(s), can't promise on the CaPitALiZaTion.

    7. The truth of the matter is that I do not believe for one minute that GrEaT sAtAn'S gIrLfRiEnD actually has the stuff to really discuss the Arab-Israel conflict with us.

      What I think is that she's mainly attitude - but we will see about substance.

      I would put the contributors on this blog up against any other pro-Israel blog, because I know that you guys are knowledgeable, because I have spoken with you for a long time now.

      But, I have to say, I like this girl's attitude and strength. I like her spirit. And I like the fact that she comes with a bibliography, if you read her profile.


      {That cracks me up, actually. Sam Huntington? Bernard Lewis? Natan Sharansky?}

      What I think is that we need strong and intelligent people to stand with us and no one on this planet is stronger or more intelligent then women who stand with the Jewish people.

      But I also want for this young lady - if young lady she is - to not prove herself to be a flash in the pan.

      We'll see if she has the character to stand up over time.

    8. Belated welcome, Great Satan's Girlfriend! (Yeah, orderly and tidy, that's me—I can't do this studdlycaps thing.)

      Sometimes a short but zany post is better. Heaven knows my long posts are not always what everybody feels like reading at a given moment.

      She says:

      "Ever note that like the most literate Arabs ever in world history live in the Strip and Wester Bank?"

      Yeah, but it's not an effective point, because the anti-Zionists would just dismiss it as "Euro-Zionist colonists bragging about their success in carrying White Man's Burden." It's true the Arabs under Israel's jurisdiction have it better than in their own countries, but that's not where the dispute lies. It's about whether the Jews are interlopers or not on this land, no matter how good the Arabs have it.