Thursday, July 24, 2008

Crazy Kristoff

Tough Love for Israel is another Nichola Kristoff op-ed that misunderstands Israel, misrepresents its situation and misleads those who wish to support it.

You can comment at his blog and my comment there read thus-

You've written:

True, Jews have deep ties to Hebron, just as Christians do to Jerusalem and Bethlehem, but none of these bonds confer any right to live in these places or even visit them. If Israel were to bar American Christians from Jerusalem, that would not be grounds for the United States to send in paratroopers and establish settlements. And if Israel insists on controlling the West Bank, then it needs to give citizenship to Palestinians there so that they can vote just like the settlers.

Well, first off, using that Christian analogy, you, I must presume, deny that the Jewish religion and Jewish nationalism are one. While Christians might think they have rights (this is a made-up case) to the Temple Mount just because Jesus overturned some tables there, we have rights to Hebron and Shiloh not only because the Biblical history and archeology, too, attest to the Jewish people's presence there - a situation which permitted the entire civilized world 80 years ago this day to authorize, through a Mandate to Gt. Britain, the reconstitution of the Jewish national home in Palestine in a territory, surprise!, that included Judea and Samaria - today's "the territories". And since for over 30 years the Arabs of the area did absolutely little to actually prepare themselves for future statehood but rather attacked, killed, pillaged, raped and robbed Jews, and pressured Gt. Britain to declare Palestine off-limits to Jews just as Hitler went into Poland, Russia, etc. and killed 6 million Jews, potential immigrants, they never achieved any national goal and wouldn't even accept the 1947 Partition which, in addition to giving a Saudi Arabian refugee an eventual kingdom in the eastern portion of Palestine, gave them have of the left-over western section.

As for citizenship, well, I'd be for it if we can wait about 15 years to undo all the hate education instilled in Arab children by the PA's system for the last 15 years, have the Hamas disappear, have the Western world stop rewarding Arab terror by contributing monies to the PA which are promptly stolen and embezeled, and have Jews being allowed to pray on the Temple Mount just like Jews and Muslims can pray in Hebron's Cave of the Patriarchs. That isn't so much to ask of peace-loving people, is it?

Have a say!



My comment is up - #60


Peter said...

Yisrael, nowhere in your comment did you address Kristof’s point, that the specific Jews living in Hebron have really no right under any normal law to be there, nor does it (your comment) qualify as a good propaganda. You just repeat the usual right-wing rant about how Arabs are bloodthirsty rapists while Jews are good.

But I want to address the one point in your comment where you sneakily bring in the Holocaust reference (implicitly conflating Arabs and Nazis?) Explain to me why on earth Arabs should not have opposed to the Jewish immigration to the Palestine? Was it their fault Holocaust was taking place? Would you be willing to open Israel to millions of refugees from Somalia or Rwanda, for example?

As for citizenship, well, we already discussed it and again you never address the issue: there is just no two ways about it – either all the Palestinians become full citizen of Israel (which will probably stop being called that very soon after) or Israel should end the occupation and let them self-govern in a fully independent state. And it is not for you to decide whether their education meets your standard of approval or any other such thing: it’s just none of your business. If the new Palestinian state will go to war with Israel – well, then, go to war. Until then Israel will be the occupier, the usurper and the pillager.

YMedad said...

You ask: "Was it their fault Holocaust was taking place?" In part, sure. Who caused the British to close the gates to Mandate Palestine in 1939, effectively signing the death warrant of European Jews? It was Arab terror which made the British uncomfortable in ruling the area, led by a Mufti who already in the early 1930s was seeking out contacts with the Nazis to kill more Jews better and more effectively. You really don't know your history, do you whoever you are?

And to write "the specific Jews living in Hebron have really no right under any normal law to be there" is a bit abnormal. What Jew doesn't have the right ot live in Hebron? All do. What, you discriminate against Ashkenazi or Bukharian Jews?

Peter said...

"Who caused the British to close the gates to Mandate Palestine in 1939, effectively signing the death warrant of European Jews?"

But why wouldn't have they? Again, would you be willing to open gates of Israel to millions of, say, Tutsis, should they try to arrive in Israel to escape they deaths? I doubt it. You'd shout: let all the other countries have them! Even as we speak there are Sudanese trying to find asylum in Israel and being caught between Egyptians and IDF. Sure, Israel accepted some, but we are talking about millions here. Arabs had no reason to want Jews come to Palestine. Relations were sour from the very beginning, again, perfectly understandably. Undeniably, the Palestinians paid the price for the Holocaust.
But the worst part of your argument is the kettle calling the pot black, really. Guess who said these things:
"[...] we must turn a deaf ear to the pleas and cries emanating from Eastern Europe. Remember this: all the allies have suffered many losses, and if we also do not offer human sacrifices, how can we gain the right to sit at the conference table when the territorial boundaries are reshaped? Accordingly, it is foolhardy and brazen for us to negotiate in terms of money or supplies in exchange for Jewish lives. How dare we ask of the allied powers to barter money for lives while they are sustaining heavy casualties daily? So, insofar as the masses are concerned: RAK B'DAM TIHJE LANU HAAREZ, (Eretz Yisroel will be ours only by paying with blood), but as far as our immediate circle is concerned, ATEM TAJLU." (full story here)
Or this:
"If I am asked, "Could you give from the UJA moneys to rescue Jews, 'I say, NO! and I say again NO!"
Or this:
"I was asked: “Can you bring six million Jews to Palestine?” I replied, “No.” ... From the depths of the tragedy I want to save ... young people [for Palestine]. The old ones will pass. They will bear their fate or they will not. They are dust, economic and moral dust in a cruel world ... Only the branch of the young shall survive. They have to accept it."
Or this:
"If I knew that it would be possible to save all the children in Germany by bringing them over to England and only half of them by transporting them to Eretz Israel, then I opt for the second alternative."
Or this (very relevant regarding immigration):
"It may interest you to know that some weeks ago the representatives of all the leading Jewish organizations met in conference ... It was decided that no Jewish organization would, at this time, sponsor a bill which would in any way alter the immigration laws."
(see here for more.)
You guessed it! The Zionists (not all but some very prominent ones!) These monsters were preventing the Congress from changing immigration laws so that more Jews could escape to the US just because in their deluded minds the Land was more important than human lives and wanted the Holocaust to continue and assume catastrophic proportions so that Israel could be established. So, how dare you blame the Arabs for their perfectly understandable reluctance to let more Jews to take over their land - and I have no illusion that Jews would have behaved any different in those circumstances - when some Zionists themselves were rooting for the spilling of Jewish blood in Europe so that they'd have their dream of Jewish state in Eretz Yisrael, just as before they were rooting for increase of anti-Semitism in Europe so that Jews would be forced to flee to EI.

Peter said...

Re Hebron, The Magnes Zionist says it better than I could ever hope to:
"Jews have a claim to live in Hebron. But the Palestinians have always been a majority in Hebron and in the West Bank, and they have the greater claim to sovereignty over all these areas. If the Jews want to press their claims to live under Palestinian sovereignty, that’s their business. If they are afraid they are going to be massacred, let them leave. But if they press historical claims, then the same should apply to the Palestinians going back to Palestine. (Hence, I am in favor of Jews living in Hebron, and of Palestinians returning to Palestine.)"
But I emphasize, the handful of Jews that now hold hundreds of thousands of Arabs hostages in Hebron lost any moral right to be there (not to mention that they are not the same Jews that were expelled from Hebron in 1929 or 1948).

YMedad said...

While I try to be long-suffering, you seem to really attempt to try my patience: you write "But why wouldn't have they". Now, I presume you aren't stupid so you must know that the British had a legal obligation to reconstitute the Jewish national home and they knew ell that their White Paper was a death warrant. In the series "Pillar of Fire", MacDonald admitted so. As for Magnes, anyone who asked the US President and Sec'y of State in Aprile 1948 to stop all arms getting to the jews so that peace could break out, is stupid, mean and evil and you don't want to be that, do you?

Peter said...

This is so typical of you: ignore my argument and stick to whatever you were saying before.

I was not talking about the British. I was talking about the Palestinians and asked why they should be held to standards other than anybody else in the world when faced with a prospect of millions of refugees flowing into their country (not a legalistic sense of the word, to preempt your protestations). How are they different from the countries participating in the Evian Conference? You ignore this question. (And I believe that your sneaky and nonsensical conflation of the Palestinians and Nazis is nothing but a self-serving justification for atrocities committed against them by the State of Israel.)

Second, I showed how some prominent Zionists were ready, maybe even eager to sacrifice lives of Jews in Europe on the altar of the dream of the Jewish state in EI. You ignored this point too.

When I talk about Hebron you switch to Magnes, why? I was just quoting from a blog of a guy who calls himself “The Magnes Zionist”. Instead of addressing the arguments you bring forth a particular position of Judah Magnes in a particular situation which has nothing to do with the debate.

Debates – big ones and small ones – are never won by underhanded tactics and false arguments and sophistry and demagoguery and smoke-screens that you like to employ so much. If you believe in the rightness of your position you should be able to convey it with convincing, logical arguments.

YMedad said...

I don't like people who quote one item from someone (like Magnes) and then ignore that the person, in this instance, could have prevented the State of Israel from being established (and tried very hard doing so) as well as getting 600,000 Jews killed because of his political ideas which were worth shit. And therefore, I don't like/trust/believe in his ability to be relevant to anything even though he loved Avraham Stern.

Peter said...

Seems to me you confused the guy who calls himself "The Magnes Zionist" and whose real name is Jerry Haber (an American Jew like you, and religious to boot) with Judah Magnes. Regardless of who Judah Magnes was or what his positions were - I know next to nothing about him - not addressing arguments because something else somebody else said doesn't look good or gives credence to your position.
Still not addressing my question on why Arabs should have accepted the Jewish refugees or how to justify Zionists who were ready to sacrifice European Jewry on the altar of Eretz Israel.

YMedad said...

You don't know Judah Magnes? Gosh, with whom am I debating history? Geez. Go to a good library, pick out the official State Dept. book "Foreign Relations, 1948, Vol. V, Part, 2", pgs. 640-648, 894-895 and there you will read of an interesting attempt by former President of the Hebrew University to effectively destroy the state of Israel. Or go here: Journal of Palestine Studies, Vol. 7, No. 4 (Summer, 1978), pp. 115-125 for a summary. Too hard? The go here

Peter said...

Your skills of evasion are admirable. Now you had me - I don't know Judah Magnes! (even though I said I know "next to nothing", which people usually use to indicate that they have some idea, even though they consider it unsatisfactory.) As if the discussion of topics in I-P conflict or whatever is impossible unless both interlocutors know who this or that second- (etc) tier-player person was.
I never mentioned that I was a huge luminary like you are - in fact, I emphasized more than once that I was not and that I came to learn. I practically beg to hear your points - if, as you think, I am such a gullible idiot and an Arab propaganda eater, why, indeed, could I not be just as receptive to your propaganda, I ask? Of course, all in vain, since you are not interested in discussion or even answering simple questions just like in these comments when confronted with uncomfortable facts it is some much easier to close the discussion because somebody doesn't know Judah Magnes, phew!

One way or another, since I do follow your blog anyway, at least for now, would you mind changing the feed settings for the blog and its comments to "Full" as described here, so that it'll be easier for me to follow it in a reader? Thanks in advance.

YMedad said...

"Full" - done.

As for your frustration, try to keep your commenrts shorter and your questions more pointed. I can't reply in essay form.