Key Zionist pioneer renounces Zionism

I’ve never met Dov Yermiya, a Jewish Israeli peace activist who is now 94 years old. But I read of course the book he published in 1983 in which he wrote with anguish about the torture and other gross mistreatment of civilians he witnessed directly during Israel’s invasion of Lebanon the year before.
I have it in my hand now.
I just learned, in this open letter published today by Uri Avnery, that Yermiya, recently renounced the ideology and practice of Zionism with these stirring words:

    I, a 95 year old Sabra (native born Israeli Jew), who has plowed its fields, planted trees, built a house and fathered sons, grandsons and great-grandsons, and also shed his blood in the battle for the founding of the State of Israel,
    Declare herewith that I renounce my belief in the Zionism which has failed, that I shall not be loyal to the Jewish fascist state and its mad visions, that I shall not sing anymore its nationalist anthem, that I shall stand at attention only on the days of mourning for those fallen on both sides in the wars, and that I look with a broken heart at an Israel that is committing suicide and at the three generations of offspring that I have bred and raised in it.
    … for 42 years, Israel turned what should have been Palestine into a giant detention camp, and is holding a whole people captive under an oppressive and cruel regime, with the sole aim of taking away their country, come what may!!!
    The IDF eagerly suppresses their efforts at rebellion, with the active assistance of the settlement thugs, by the brutal means of a sophisticated Apartheid and a choking blockade, inhuman harassment of the sick and of women in labor, the destruction of their economy and the theft of their best land and water.
    Over all this there is waving the black flag of the frightening contempt for the life and blood of the Palestinians. Israel will never be forgiven for the terrible toll of blood spilt, and especially the blood of children, in hair-raising quantities…

Avnery’s response is fascinating. He too is a veteran peace activist, and of about the same generation as Yermiya. But in the letter he is, I think, pleading with Yermiya not to renounce Zionism completely, but rather to reconnect with the “idealistic” Zionism that they both experienced during their youth.
He writes,

    When I think of our youth, yours and mine, one scene is never far from my mind: the 1947 Dalia festival.
    Tens of thousands of young men and women were sitting on the slope of a hill in the natural amphitheater near Kibbutz Dalia on Mount Carmel. Ostensibly it was a festival of folk dancing, but in reality it was much more – a great celebration of the new Hebrew culture which we were then creating in the country, in which folk dancing played an important role. The dancing groups came mainly from the kibbutzim and the youth movements, and the dances were original Hebrew creations, interwoven with Russian, Polish, Yemenite and Hassidic ones. A group of Arabs danced the Debka in ecstasy, dancing and dancing and dancing on.
    In the middle of the event, the loudspeakers announced that members of the UN Commission of Inquiry, which had been sent by the international organization to decide upon the future of the country, were joining us. When we saw them entering the amphitheater, the tens of thousands spontaneously rose to their feet and started to sing the “Hatikva”, the national anthem, with a holy fervor that reverberated from the surrounding mountains.
    We did not know then that within half a year the great Hebrew-Arab war would break out – our War of Independence and their Naqba. I believe that most of the 6000 young people who fell in the war on our side, as well as the thousands that were wounded – like you and me – were present at that moment in Dalia, seeing each other and singing together.
    What state did we think of then? What state did we set out to create?
    What has happened to the Hebrew society, the Hebrew culture, the Hebrew morality that we were so proud of then?

Then, he pleads this:

    You, Dov, have invested in this state much too much to turn your back on it in a gesture of anger and despair. The most hackneyed and worn-out slogan in Israel is also true: “We don’t have another state!”
    Other states in the world have sunk to the depths of depravity and committed unspeakable crimes, far beyond our worst sins, and still brought themselves back to the family of nations and redeemed their souls.
    We and all the members of our generation, who were among those who created this state, bear a heavy responsibility for it. A responsibility to our offspring, to those oppressed by this state, to the entire world. From this responsibility we cannot escape.
    Even at your respectable age, and precisely because of it and because of what you represent, you must be a compass for the young and tell them: This state belongs to you, you can change it, don’t allow the nationalist wreckers to steal it from you!
    True, 61 years ago we had another state in mind. Now, after our state has tumbled to where it is today, we must remember that other state, and remind everybody, every day, what the state should have been like, what it can be like, and not allow our vision to disappear like a dream. Let’s lend our shoulders to every effort to repair and heal!

These are very weighty issues that these two longtime Zionists are debating.
I remember the evening I had back in early March with longtime Jewish-Israeli nonviolence activist Amos Gvirtz. Gvirtz is “only” in his late 60s or early 70s. But like Avnery and Yermiya he grew up in Israel.
He told me in March,

    I became an anti-Zionist after Oslo, when the government expelled the Arabs of Jahhaleenn to make room for the big new settlement area if Maale Adummim… Like the Zionists, I believe we Jews need a state of our own. But unlike the Zionists I don’t think this should be built on the ruins of someone else’s home. So our state need not necessarily be right here.

Gvirtz, too, like Avnery, identified a strong link between the events of 1947-48 and the situation today– though the nature of the link Gvirtz identified was very different from Avnery’s: “The Nakba wasn’t really a single event that happened in 1948, so much as a long-drawn-out process, that continues to this day.” In other words, he was quite unwilling to neatly divide Israeli history, as Avnery still does, between the idealized, pre-lapsarian days of the 1947 Dalia festival and the post-lapsarian era that was inaugurated– in Avnery’s view– only by Israel’s conquest of the West Bank.
Obviously, this is a very weighty issue for Zionists and their supporters to grapple with. Did 1967 mark a notable break between a laudable past and a troublesome present? Or were there indeed, as Gvirtz and many other current non- and anti-Zionists have argued, many elements of continuity from the 1947 period right through to the present?
Anyway, I’d love to see the whole text of the latest Yermiya letter from which Avnery is quoting, if anyone can provide a link to it, preferably in English. The only recent English text that I could find by him online was this letter, published in the Communist weekly Zo Haderekh in June 2008.
In it, Yermiya was returning to Defense Minister Barak the invitation he had been sent to attend a ceremony to honor all veterans of Israel’s 1948 “War of Independence”.
He wrote,

    As a veteran of the 1948 war, who was already wounded in face to face combat two weeks before the Declaration of the State, I feel obliged herewith to return the invitation to you, as Minister of Defence. I do so regretfully but see this as my duty.
    I consider you, Ehud Barak, as one of the top military commanders and prominent political leaders who were responsible for converting the army from “the Israeli Defence Force” to an army of occupation and oppression of the Palestinian people and defender of the criminal settlements in their country.
    40 years of occupation have utterly corrupted the Israeli army and all strata of Israeli society.They are both characterized by the nationalist ‘east wind’ [the east wind brings the chamsin and locusts – C.A.] which blows and kindles conflagrations of endless wars, which threaten our people and land with the third and final destruction. Your share in the responsibility for all this is enormous, and therefore I return your invitation to you, without thanks…

56 thoughts on “Key Zionist pioneer renounces Zionism”

  1. This one story telling what Zionists doing and what they done.
    this is from Iraq in 1949 were was 100,000 Iraqi Jews living in peace between Iraqis till 1948……
    بناءً على قرار المجلس النيابي في جلسته المنعقدة صباح يوم 12-2-1949 بتأليف لجنة تحقيق نيابية في قضية فلسطين، اجتمع مجلس النواب في بنايته مساء يوم 14-2-1949، وتم انتخاب اللجنة المذكورة برئاسة عبدالله الدملوجي، وجميل الأورفه لي نائباً للرئيس، وسعاد عمر مقرراً، وعضوية كل من أحمد العامر، أحمد حافظ، منى سرسم، وعلي كمال.
    اجتمعت اللجنة عدة اجتماعات، واطلعت على جميع ما تيسر لها من الأضابير والوثائق النادرة، والتقارير السرية الخاصة بالقضية. ووالت اللجنة البحث والتحري عن كل قضية أو واقعة تخدم الحقيقة وتساعدها في انجاز مهمتها على الوجه الأحسن. وحيث أن أهم صفحة من صفحات القضية الفلسطينية هي تلك التي تتعلق بالحركات العسكرية وما يتصل بها من البداية إلى النهاية باتفاقيات الهدنة الدائمة، فقد وجهت اللجنة جملة أسئلة إلى وزارة الدفاع، رأت في أجوبتها تفصيلاً للموقف العسكري منذ بدايته.
    حالما أنجزت اللجنة تقريرها، قدمته إلى رئيس مجلس النواب في 4-9-1949، مشفوعاً بالصور لكل ما اطلعت عليه من التقارير والمحاضر والمخابرات وغيرها مما له أهمية خاصة في قضية فلسطين، وذلك في أربع وخمسين صفحة هي أصل التقرير، ومائة وأربع وثمانين صفحة من الملاحق النادرة. بعدها قام المجلس بطبعه في كتاب خاص بعنوان ” تقرير لجنة التحقيق النيابية في قضية فلسطين”، صدر عام 1949 عن مطبعة الحكومة، بغداد.
    الكتاب الآن غير موجود في أي مكان من العالم(؟!)، بدليل ما يقوله المؤرخ الإسرائيلي المعروف بيني موريس في كتابه القيم بعنوان “1948”، والصادر العام الماضي عن مطبعة جامعة ييل الأمريكية. وعلى الرغم من أهمية كتابنا هذا، لم يرد له ذكر في أي من الكتب التي تناولت قضية فلسطين، وهي الآن بالأطنان. والسؤال، لماذا يحجب مثل هذا الكتاب الفذ، ولماذا اختفت نسخه من العالم اليوم، وما هي الجهة المسئولة عن ذلك؟

  2. You wrote: “Did 1967 mark a notable break between a laudable past and a troublesome present?”
    Except for the lack of the occupation, how is Israel “laudable” before 1967? The way it treated its own citizens or how it fought its wars?
    Or was it because of the socialism?

  3. I was trying to characterize the nature of the debate between these two viewpoints inside the Israeli peace camp. Not expressing my own view.
    Fwiw, my view is that prior to 1967 there were significant moral and international-law problems still remaining from the ethnic cleansing the Haganah, Palmach, and infant IDF carried out in 1947-48 (which as Pappe and others have noted started considerably before May 15, 1948.) Those moral and international-legal problems were subsequently compounded by the lengthy military occupations Israel started running in the OPTs, Golan, and Sinai in 1967. (Sinai, they withdrew from in 1981 in return for peace.)

  4. (Sinai, they withdrew from in 1981 in return for peace.)
    Helena, Did Sinai returned with all state’s right to govern their land?
    I doubt it!

  5. “he was quite unwilling to neatly divide Israeli history” you’ve hit it right on !!
    No doubt the Nakba is an ongoing harsh reality of a people, the Palestinians, the conquerors, the Zionists ideology of subjugating and assumption of control of the Arabs and their land will go on, Israelis are a status quo, Zionism is Not, and that is why regime change is essential .

  6. Sultan Abdul-Hamid and the Zionist Colonization of Palestine: A Case Study from Jerusalem.By Dr. Hala Fattah

    There is a certain school of thought among Zionist historians that detects anti-Semitic overtones in every action or utterance of Muslim rulers of the Middle East. Sultan Abdul-Hamid II’s famous refusal to allow Dr. Theodore Herzl, the founder of Political Zionism, to settle Palestine with Jewish colonists is a case in point. Herzl probably thought that he was offering the Sultan a bargain, knowing that the Sultan’s dearest wish was to rescue the empire from the indebtedness it had fallen into as a result of easy European loans.

  7. Big deal, one 94 year old has a change of heart while 100.000 Iranians have a change of heart on their support for the Islamic Revolution.
    94 years of dedication to a cause, hats off to the man, now it is up to the younger ones to carry the burden imposed by history and by the Helenas and Shirins of the world. A badge of honor it is.

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  9. Do pajamas Zionists carrying their burden imposed by history ever actually make Aliyah or do they forever support their cause from the comfort of their bedrooms in New York and California?

  10. Before we get carried away on how great this fellow is, lets ask some hard questions. First, repentance for zionism is a good first step, but is he going to take any steps that actually hurt? will he leave Palestine to live in a more historically appropriate homeland, eg Eastern Europe? Will he forego the health benefits he gets which are due to the economics of zionist occupation and be willing to be an uninsured elderly immigrant? Is he willing to leave friends and family behind? Is he willing to give his property to the Palestinian people in order t oset an example for others? If the answer to any of these questions is no, then this fellow is not worth a column in your blog
    Helena, pls clarify-are you in favor of a 2 state solution or the return of Palestine to its true owners. I need this data to counter my zionist “friends”

  11. Salah,
    Jews were massacred in Iraq during WWII. The events is known as the Farhud.
    Phillips Brooks,
    The right to seek refuge where refuge is made available is a basic – in fact, perhaps the most basic – human right. Ergo, your suggestion that Jews have no right to live in Israel places you in opposition to likely the most basic and important human right that exists.
    Citing to Pappe is not much to go by for your assertions. I recall his position that he is not bound by facts which, to me, means he is a propagandist, not an historian.
    Now, serious histories of Israel’s founding do note that, in fact, there were Arabs who were expelled and those who fled. Your history, though, appears to overlook that the Arab side (a) started the fighting – as shown by Benny Morris, among others – and (b) aimed not only to prevent the establishment of Israel but to drive Jews off – again, Benny Morris and others.
    Further, the Arab side’s leadership as well as a fairly substantial part of the population was bathed in blood, as in they sided with the Nazis. The leader, Amin al-Husseini, made a pact with the Nazis to, in fact, exterminate the Jewish population of Israel, a plan that was implemented but, due to the defeat of the Nazi army, was defeated.
    Which is to say, the Israelis owe nothing to the Palestinian Arabs who sided with the Nazi lover al-Husseini. Rather, Arabs lost their war of extermination and lost their war to ethnically cleanse the country and, as a result, suffered the consequences. The rest, frankly, is simply bad history that negates the negative aspect of the role of Arabs in the dispute.

  12. “The right to seek refuge where refuge is made available”
    Made available by whom?
    There’s no right universal or otherwise to open up someone else’s house to guests.
    Amusing that you posted a critique of Zionism at TPM.
    JMM who calls the founding of Israel “a necessary crime.”
    It surprised me when I found out a while ago that Avnery wants Jews to be able to live by themselves. Israel without Arab’s will be poorer for it, just as Germany is without Jews, and would be without Turks. It’s the same Germanic racialism and more disgusting than ever in the 21st century. And liberals are proud to support the two state solution as if it weren’t racist by definition. Acquiescing to it is something else.
    For adults a bi-national state is the only logical and moral choice. But there are no adults.

  13. I am opposed to a binational state because it legitimizes theft of Palestine by a people with no historic claim to Palestine. Helena, where do you stand?

  14. Salah,Jews were massacred in Iraq during WWII. The events is known as the Farhud.
    Ohhhh ………..yeah bla…bla..bla.
    Go read my post well Jews lived in peace in Iraq as an Iraqi had a first hand experiences with many very closed family friends, also don’t forgot Jews lived in peace in the Islamic world, when they massacred in the western world till the Zionist crated 2000 dream, we knew that.
    I can point you to references who was behind those killing in Iraq but I don’t have it in hand now
    BTW, Welcome back our Hasbara who is neither Israeli Nor Jews” as he told us.

  15. Which is to say, the Israelis owe nothing to the Palestinian Arabs who sided with the Nazi lover al-Husseini.
    N. Friedman, do you think Hitler without the Mufti’s help, the Jews will be not in Holocaust?
    What a lie enough these leis man, Hitler’s hat race list put Arabs just one step-up from Jews.
    So what you say about Italians, they supported Hitler and fought with his all along do you hate them our Hasbara N. Friedman?

  16. “Further, the Arab side’s leadership as well as a fairly substantial part of the population was bathed in blood, as in they sided with the Nazis. The leader, Amin al-Husseini, made a pact with the Nazis to, in fact, exterminate the Jewish population of Israel, a plan that was implemented but, due to the defeat of the Nazi army, was defeated.”
    This is simply cheap propaganda.
    As a matter of fact the links between Zionists and Nazis were much more important than the mufti nonsense. This is unsurprising: not only were Zionists from the same European Culture but those in the Revisionist school were, and remain, fascists.
    Arab culture never produced a real fascist movement for reasons which, again, are fairly obvious.
    As to, who ‘started the fighting,’ the British Mandate authorities, under whose auspices zionism had flourished and who tended to be sympathetic, as ‘progressives’ and colonialists, to the zionists, had no doubt of the source of the waves of terrorism which ended in the nakba.
    Modern Israel is dominated, politically and intellectually, by the descendants of Jabotinsky’s fascism. So, unfortunately, is much of ‘western culture.’
    Seventy years ago we knew better: these are suicidal cults, bloodthirsty and irrational, they destroy the societies which produce them. And much else besides.
    Justice for Palestine is essential not only for the Palestinians and the Israelis but for north America and Europe too. That this is so is particularly evident in the United States where the rule of law and the constitution are almost dissolved, by double standards, impunity and contempt for civil and individual rights. But the same corrosion is occuring in Canada, where the legal system is being colonised by the, sub-intellectual cousins of a, Federalist Society which has cast aside what Madison, Jay and Hamilton wrote in favour of Carl Schmitt’s inspirations. Which is why there is a prison at Guantanamo and why young Mr Khadr is rotting there still.

  17. @bevin,
    You say: “Arab culture never produced a real fascist movement for reasons which, again, are fairly obvious.” While Zionist leaders are of the same European fascist school.
    But how come that every Arab country is a dictatorship and Israel, the state established by the Zionist, gives rights to its minorities that even Arab countries don’t give to their fellow Arab citizens?
    What “fairly obvious” reasons are you referring to? The flourishing democratic countries of the Arab world?
    You complain about American jails while Palestinians are sitting in … wait for it … Palestinian jails just because they belong to a rival faction. No American is in jail because he’s a Republican or Democrat. What powers and rights can Arab citizens exercise to hold their Arab governments accountable? I bet the number of cases Israeli Arabs won against their government in the Israeli Supreme Court is higher than the number of cases Arabs won against their governments in the 20 plus Arab countries.
    But forget all that?

  18. Michael,
    Racist nebbish M.J. Rosenberg is on record arguing that Israel should make a deal now with the dictators and kings because Arab democracy will be bad for the Jews.
    Here: read a book
    You lie like a rug

  19. Seth,
    You assert: “There’s no right universal or otherwise to open up someone else’s house to guests.”
    Throughout the world, the ruler decides who may enter.
    What I write regarding the pact between the Nazis and al-Husseini’s group comes from substantial scholarship. See, Klaus-Michael Mallmann and Martin Cüppers, Halbmond und Hakenkreuz. Das “Dritte Reich”, die Araber und Palästina (trans. Crescent Moon and Swastika: The Third Reich, the Arabs, and Palestine”). Their original research in the German government archives shows, as described (and previously posted by me) by Bernard-Henri Lévy (in Left in Dark Times):
    that there was, stationed in Athens, under the orders of the Obersturmbannführer Walther Rauff the very same man who refined and then developed the use of gas trucks at Auschwitz, a special intervention force, the Einsatzgruppe Ägypten, intended to reach Palestine and liquidate the 500,000 European Jews who had already taken refuge in the Yishuv in the event Rommel won the battle of the desert: this was an Arab unit, and it was al- Husseini who, there again, in his conversations with Eichmann, had put the final touches on the intervention plan, which should indicate his full and entire participation in the Final Solution; and only Montgomery’s victory at El Alameinstymied the project for extermination.
    Moreover, a forthcoming book by Professor Jeffrey Herf, Nazi Propaganda for the Arab World, addresses the jointly written propaganda used by the Nazis and Arabs against Jews in Arab lands is explored in considerable detail. In fact, Herf shows the work of Pro-Nazi Arab including, for example, al-Husseini and Rashid al-Kilani, who collaborated with the Nazis to develop their Middle East propaganda campaign.
    So, please do not tell me nonsense.

  20. “Throughout the world, the ruler decides who may enter.”
    Ah, justice. You and the ghost of Avraham Stern.
    So its not fascism you condemn but Nazis, if the won’t help you.

  21. Seth,
    Let us try a thought experiment. In Europe, there are very large numbers of Muslim immigrants. As you should be well aware, the view of most “indigenous” Europeans is that such should not be occurring (and, in fact, should never have been allowed to occur in any large numbers). Do you share the view of Europe’s majority? Or, do you take the view that objection to the immigration is the product of prejudice and bigotry?
    In the US, there has been widespread immigration of Hispanics – much but not all of which is outside of legal immigration channels but, in fact, it is all out in the open and there is tacit government and, I should add, business approval that supports the immigration. As you may be aware, most Americans object to the immigration. The view of those who advocate for the immigrants is that the objection is the result of prejudice and bigotry. Do you share the view of the majority of US citizens? Or, do you take the view that objection to the immigration is the product of prejudice and bigotry?
    If, as I suspect, you take the latter view, why should we not take the Arab objection to Jewish immigration as having being driven primarily by prejudice and bigotry?

  22. I’ve tried this three times and each time it goes into low comedy.
    Something about Swedish girls not having to go all the way to Greece anymore just to get laid. That’s what Swedish girls tell me.
    Arabs are the new Jews of Europe and you’re Jorg Haider.
    Immigration to Europe is the backlash to the history of political economic and military dominance, just as Latino immigration is to the US is the result of the same in this hemisphere. Except in this country we’re all immigrants. Life’s tough, but we’re all citizens, even the natives. And of course the Mexicans are the natives, especially in California.
    If you want to argue the complexities of the need to regulate immigration so that the community can maintain itself, that’s fine. “No person is illegal” is silliness.
    I’m a leftist conservative: I prefer culture to technocracy. But I defend international culture over fascism. And the “browning of America” is making this place less of a fully armed backwater than it’s been up to now. And Colombian chicks are hot.
    Iran has a democratic culture overseen by a dictatorial elite; Israel is a fascist culture.
    You’re Le Pen and Haider. Liberal Zionists are Le Pen and Haider “Lite”
    Frankly I prefer your honesty.

  23. Seth,
    In other words, you prefer not to address my argument and, instead, to throw out insults.
    In fact, for the record, I have nothing against anyone immigrating where refuge is available. You, on the other hand, have offered the bizzare theory that migration by one group of oppressed people is ok notwithstanding the reason for views of the “indigenous” population but not ok for another group of oppressed people. In other words, your BS comment does not address the point at all.
    Has it not occurred to you that, in fact, deep seated animosity towards Jews qua Jews in particular is a major source of opposition to Jewish migration? There really are facts showing that such is the case. As Bernard-Henri Lévy notes: “Germany, says the Grand Mufti in a statement the authors discovered, is ‘the only country in the world that has not merely fought the Jews at home but have declared war on the entirety of world Jewry; in this war against world Jewry, the Arabs feel profoundly connected to Germany.'” The Grand Mufti mentioned, by the way, is al-Husseini, leader of Palestine’s Arabs. Surely, you do not think that his deep hatred of Jews for being Jews is unique. As Lévy notes, “Arab anti-Semitism was not, as is always said, a circumstantial anti-Semitism, mainly linked to English support for the nascent Israeli state, which the Arabs therefore saw as a colonial creation.” In fact, it has deep roots in the Middle East, as in other parts of the world.

  24. substantial scholarship?
    N. Friedman,
    We waiting to answer us about Italy the Fascists and how they helped Nazi and Hitler?
    Is there substantial scholarship in that matter from those Zionists authors? Middle these authors who wrote as East historian if you examine their sources and you found that some were fabricated for more than 50 years have passed. As may your next author name Dershowitz a real lair?
    Your claims about Nazi connected to Arab are wrong and your logic twisted to justify the “Case for Israel” .
    Come forward and tell us?
    So your propaganda here you come to tell by making Arabs are same as Nazi? Isn’t?
    Did Arab installed and burned Jews as Nazi did N. Friedman?
    Did Arab use the Jews in Egypt, Iraq, Syria and other countries as slave labour as Nazi did N. Friedman??
    in Palestrin, Arab had suffered enough from Hagana and other Zionists gauges in Palestrina’s starting as early as 1900 of killing Arab in Palestine and masseur and burned their farms that well documented and substantial scholarship on were are you your eyes and ears from that?
    Go read Bin Gorgon and other early Israeli leader’s history that had their hand full of blood.

  25. seth your american history is as mangled as salah’s english. mexicans aren’t native to california, they’re native to mexico. The mexicans who colonized parts of california killed off the natives.

  26. Salah,
    Subject, as always, to the possibility of poor choices of words, I said exactly what I intended. You, on the other hand, prefer to change what I wrote.
    The scholarship of Mallmann and Cüppers is seminal on the topic at hand. As is the related scholarship of Professor Herf. Mallmann and Cüppers’ discovery regarding Arab involvement in a plot to kill all of Palestine’s Jews is well established by actual documents including records of where officers were assigned and what they were assigned to do, etc., etc.. Moreover, the same officers were assigned to deal with Jews in Palestine that had been assigned to exterminate Jews elsewhere.
    And, by the way, the documents show that the plan which was in the process of being implemented involved use of the local Arab population – something that those involved indicated could be counted on. Whether, of course, Arabs would have obviously participated will never be known. But, that there was real support for al-Husseini’s views about Jews and their hoped for demise is beyond question.
    Now, the plan was defeated by the British Army. But, that the plan existed and that officers were being moved into the region to carry out the plan is not subject to serious doubt, since such is what the German government archives show.
    Your comment suggesting that scholarship that is Zionist is somehow tainted is a bigoted comment unbecoming of you. A refutation requires that something in the scholarship – again, scholarship by renowned scholars – be shown to be wrong or that the documents be shown not to have been correctly interpreted. However, that has not occurred thus far and, frankly, I doubt it will occur.
    As for Arab participating in the Nazi enterprise, that occurred in North Africa and elsewhere. Not all Arabs sided with the Nazis but a great many did – and not just out of convenience. That is a fact.

  27. NF, your argumentation is bizarre and deeply flawed. But beyond that, your whole argument is majorly off-topic here.
    I guess you just didn’t want to engage with the substance of what Dov Yermiya was writing about.

  28. Helena,
    Where is my argument flawed? Saying something is flawed is not, after all, an argument. And, frankly, I do not think my argument is flawed. I think that citing to people like Pappe for any argument – other than one about those who write propaganda – is flawed because such people claim not to be bound by superficial things like facts. Do you hold his view?
    As for being off topic, I apology. I do, however, note that pretty much none of posters on this page are.

  29. “mexicans aren’t native to california, they’re native to mexico.”
    Indios are native to this continent lo these past 20,000 years, having crossed the Bering Strait and worked their way south.
    Maybe you’re referring to the Spanish, Castellanos, and their descendants in Mexico, who live quite well there and aren’t known to hop trains going north.

  30. I repeat my opposition to any solution that allows israelis to stay in Palestine. That legalizes theft. I also would like to know the opinion of each commenter here whether they favor restoring ALL of Palestine to its true owners, or sharing it with zionist thieves. I would most value Helena;s opinion as well

  31. I have just seen your question Michael. I’m surprised that you do not understand what is behind the war between fatah and hamas. Both the Dahlan coup attempt in Gaza and the Dayton/Israeli security forces in the West Bank are emanations of the fertile brains of zionist sympathisers in the Bush-Obama administration. And emanations too of the bottomless purse of US taxes.
    As for fascism, to understand it, and its critical relationship to capitalist industrial society, one has to study history. There was no basis for a movement whose primary purpose was to suppress socialist and Trade Union movements in Arab societies which had neither, in any strength.
    As to Israel’s ‘granting of rights’ to minorities, the minority to which, I take it you are referring is the remainder of the indigenous population, on suffrance.

  32. s. e.,
    I do believe that the US props up a few Arab dictatorships. But the regimes that it does not prop up aren’t democracies either.
    Can you be specific with one lie I said?
    What you said about MJ Rosenberg’s comment is rather off-topic. IMHO, the Arab dictatorships use their media mouthpieces to blame everything on Israel. Arab democracies would be concerned with their own problems because they would be held accountable by their constituency. The average Arab cares more about their fate at the hand of the dictator above them and their own countries problem, than about the fate of Israel’s existence.
    If the Arab world is not plagued with fascism, than what do you call the score of dictators? Perhaps it is not fascism, but plain ol’ tyranny. But what’s the difference? They are both undemocratic. There is no separation of power. In Israel, the political diversity is so great, so at least 10 parties get seats in the Knesset and no party can create a cabinet on its own.

  33. Phillips Brooks,
    You write: “I repeat my opposition to any solution that allows israelis to stay in Palestine. That legalizes theft.”
    Would you take the same position regarding Europeans and others (other than native Americans) in North and South America? What about Arabs outside of Arabia?
    Your land theft theory pretty much returns most human beings from wherever they live today. Which is to say, it is a nonsense argument.
    My recollection is that Helena favors the two state solution.

  34. What about Arabs outside of Arabia?
    Our “nonsense genius” can give us what this means in land term?

  35. Salah,
    I note that we have strayed, perhaps, beyond Helena’s article. However, since you raise the question, I am responding.
    Arabs expanded out of Arabia many centuries ago. That is a fact. Such expansion occurred as the result, in many instances, of wars of conquest. Innumerable colonists arrived as part of and/or after the conquest and stayed and had off-spring. On Phillips Brooks’ theory, if apply consistently, the offspring should return to Arabia.
    Consider: if Phillips Brooks’ theory is adopted universally, it means the displacement of a large percentage of humanity – likely the vast majority.
    Alternatively, his theory means if a conqueror is really successful in conquering, then no return will be required. Such, however, is an argument for those interested in being intransigent since, historically, the intransigent get their way.
    Most likely, Phillips Brooks made an ad hoc comment that he would only apply to Jews.
    It ought to be obvious, however, that a logically consistent position regarding those who conquer/colonize returning home cannot avoid the problems I have raised.
    In any event, his conception of Israel has no real resemblance to fact.

  36. Obviously N. Friedman doesn’t know much history. The idea of hordes of Arabs coming out of Arabia is just ridiculous. It’s a desert country, remember? Very small population. Nearly all those “Arabs” are native Middle Easterners who turned to speaking Arabic. It’s why Palestinians have a native right to Palestine, and many were there before the Hebrews (though not all)

  37. I believe Helena is more than capable of speaking for herself. Does Palestine belong to the Palestinians or have to be shared with thieves?

  38. Alex_no,
    Clearly, you did not read what I wrote. I said that the offspring of those Arabs who did come as colonists should, on the logic of Phillips Brooks, return to Arabia. That would be the case without regard to whether the number of colonists was huge or not so huge. Which is to say, mine was a comment about the logic of the argument presented by Phillips Brooks.
    As for the number of colonists, it was actually pretty large because, in fact, it was very desirable to leave outside of a desert country. Moreover, such people had lots of kids. And, the colonization of Arabs played a substantial role in disputes in the period when converting to Islam was not as readily accepted as today. So, maybe you read different history books than I do.

  39. N. Friedman,
    Your argument empty forms the factual matters here.
    Yes Arabs they went and open farland not to colonies land and people as other colonies did and doing, they did not slaughtered the native they did not stripe their Human Rights as other colonies done tell let last century they came one by one apologising for their crimes to the native nations. Arab had their massage for them, that massage is Islam.They done and they went home back.
    If some Arabs stayed on that far land they emerged with that native nation, they have been a support part of that nation not a divisive part, they did asked to establish their ” Kingdome “they did not lobbing and asking their Arab nation to come and established their kingdom as the Zion doing in Palestine.
    N. Friedman nonsense beyond the all realities and the historical facts, but not the fabricated history from those your “ substantial scholarship
    “line of credit”

    When Lord Derby asked Sir Lewis Namier, the great historian of Georgian England, why he, as a Jew, didn’t write Jewish history, Namier replied: “There is no modern Jewish history, only a Jewish martyrology, and that is not amusing enough for me.” It might be said that the underlying purpose of the Zionist project – which Namier passionately supported – was to reject Jewish martyrology, and to turn the Jews from passive victims to active makers of their destiny.

    As it happens, Emanuel has something in common with Ehud Olmert and Tzipi Livni: their fathers all served in the Irgun. This was the intransigent Zionist militia – described as terrorists by Isaiah Berlin among others, and as fascists by Albert Einstein among others – which waged a campaign of violence against the British, and the Palestinian Arabs, in the last years of the British Mandate in 1946-48. Its exploits included the bombing of the King David Hotel in Jerusalem, with great loss of life, the hanging of two captured British sergeants in reprisal, and the massacre of villagers at Deir Yassin.

    Behind that brutality lay something else. Men take revenge for small wrongs, Machiavelli said, unable to avenge the larger, and the Irgun was avenging an incomparably and unimaginably greater crime just suffered by the European Jews. The Jews had tried to be nice to the goyim, Zionism said in effect, and see where it had got them. A Jewish state would now be created and guarded with all necessary force, indifferent to what the outside world thought. If need be, Israel will borrow the old chant of the Millwall fans, “No one likes us, we don’t care”– and no more Jewish martyrology.

    Not that Namier was the only Zionist to use “Jewish” in a derisive sense. When someone mentioned Trotsky’s phrase “No war, no peace”, David Ben-Gurion said that it was “some stupid Jewish idea”, and there is a well-known Israeli story about Moshe Dayan, the military hero of the Six Day War. When he taught at the Israeli staff college, Dayan used to expound a problem, ending with the words, “And I want no Jewish solutions here.”

    Geoffrey Wheatcroft: How Israel gets away with murder

  40. One correction here should mentioned. Giving the name “Arab” who carried the Islamic massage, its not truly right. should be call it “Muslims” as the wave of expanding Islam of farland was by Muslims from different ethnics, form Muslim Arab, to Muslim Persian,Muslim Africans,Muslim Turks and some Jews converted to Islam.

  41. Arab had their massage for them, that massage is Islam.They done and they went home back
    Sorry salah, are you saying the islamic conquest of the middle east never happened? or that it consisted of backrubs rather than military campaigns?

  42. Salah,
    I stand by what I said. In fact, you admit what I say and then attempt to justify Arab conquest and colonization by saying, e.g., that there was no slaughtering and that native peoples were treated well. Ergo, Arab imperialism was kindly, on your theory. That, of course, is always company line. In the West, we used to say we brought civilization to those we conquered.
    Even if your view were factual – which is not the case -, it would not undercut my argument. That is why you post a long quote in order to change the subject.
    Newsflash to you, Salah. All conquests are nearly always tough on the conquered. And, the conquered rarely are happy about it. And, those conquered by Arabs left substantial literature expressing their extreme distaste for the conquest, the conquerors and, in fact, for their families’ slaughter and their own mistreatment.
    That is a different thing from arguing – which I do not do – that Arab conquests were worse than those of other conquerors. That is not a rational point because some Arab conquests were very much nastier than others. Instead, I merely note that there was conquest and colonization – as a matter of policy, by the way – and that, if we go by Phillips Brooks’ bizarre argument, the offspring of the colonists should return to where they came from, namely, Arabia.

  43. That is why you post a long quote in order to change the subject.
    N. Friedman,
    I did not changing the subject, in fact that just with Zionist topic, after I put my discussion with your point.
    But its obvious you trying not to respond to that “long quote” as its come from a Jew, reflecting the reality there is no misleading things, isn’t N. Friedman

  44. It’s why Palestinians have a native right to Palestine, and many were there before the Hebrews
    Alastair, how many 3000 year old Palestinians do you know? or are you speaking of their ancestors? We know that Jews and Palestinians share the same ancestors. Their native blood rights are identical (except that most israelis are literally native ie born in the modern state of israel, whereas most palestinians are not.)

  45. Obviously N. Friedman doesn’t know much history.
    That’s OK, what he can’t find in his hasbara literature, he just makes up as he goes along. It doesn’t have to make any sense either factually or logically as long as it sounds good to him.

  46. Shirin,
    I see, Shirin. You think that Arabs did no conquering. That would make them the most bizarre people in the history of the world.
    Actual historians note that the early period of Islam saw Arabs doing a great deal of conquering such that Arabs came to control a substantial swath of land on three continents. And, in the course of such conquests, there was a lot of colonization. And, in time, disputes came into being when many of the conquered decided, for a variety of reasons, to convert to Islam. That conversion was not enough, for a period of time, to grant the converts full rights. And, that led to much talk in the literature regarding those who claimed to be at least “half-Arab,” meaning that there was some Arab lineage such that they demanded full rights.
    Excuse me for making things up, i.e. stating stating facts that can be learned by picking up books and reading them.

  47. Certainly the Muslims did ‘conquering’, and they were Arabs from the peninsula. But they were 2000 men at a time. The Byzantine defence was so poor that they were unable to resist, and the locals were in conflict with Constantinople.
    Even if it were not 2000 men, even if it were 50,000 as the Byzantine chronicles recount, there is little addition to the DNA of the Levant.
    There was a major movement in the 9th century to speak Arabic, rather than the Aramaic dialects previously spoken.
    The Christian Palestinians are the proof, as are the Maronites of Lebanon. Nobody suggests that they came from the Arabian peninsula.
    The idea that these are “Arabs” from the Arabian peninsula is just ridiculous. They are sons of the soil.
    It is just that Israel wants to get rid of them, so any argument will do, whether it is true or not.

  48. In an attempt to return to the topic to renouncing Zionist, let me point out one that just died without renouncing Zionism, and actually being a much admired contributor to many human spheres in Israel. Just read and honor if you will.
    Shavit speaks of Kenan’s contradictions. “He was a complex person,” she says. “On the one hand, a true lover of the Land of Israel, whose flora and fauna he knew inside out. It was very special to hike with him, to experience the land and nature with him. In some ways he was a fanatic about the land and the language. Amos was essentially a man of the Greater Land of Israel [a right-wing movement]. On the other hand, he was one of the first who not only thought about but also worked for an agreement for two states for two peoples. He was a unique combination of being a lover of Israel and Greater Israel, while also belonging to what we call the political left.”
    Uri Avnery, once the editor of the defunct Haolam Hazeh (This World) weekly, describes the political route they shared. “After the Sinai Campaign [of 1956], Amos took part in the Semitic Action group, as a protest against the war. It was the first organization to explicitly propose that a Palestinian state exist side-by-side with the state of Israel. Immediately after the Six-Day War [in 1967], he helped found a movement for an Israeli-Palestinian federation. Later, he was a founder of the Council for Israeli-Palestinian Peace. This is a struggle that lasted dozens of years, and he was always present at every attempt to create an Israeli-Palestinian alliance.”
    Part of the Tel Aviv-born Kenan’s biography appears, in sharp and clear outline, in the book “Unrepentant: four chapters in the life of Amos Kenan” by his wife, writer and scholar Nurith Gertz (in Hebrew, Am Oved 2008). Gertz depicts Kenan’s tortured childhood, the period when he belonged to the prestate underground militia Lehi and his violent struggle for the Israel he so desired. Kenan was a violent, disappointed suitor of Israel.
    “Kenan, like other intriguing and passionate characters, was a tragic figure,” Dankner says. “He was agitated because his past haunted him, as is shown so well in Gertz’s book: his family history and his Lehi past, according to what he said. It weighed on him in many senses. On his general behavior, and perhaps on his ability to create the way he wanted to. He really wanted to be an author, but it didn’t turn out as well as he would have liked.”

  49. Alex_no,
    I do not claim that all people calling themselves Arabs are descended from people from Arabia. My claim is that a substantial number are.
    In any event, conquest allowed for colonization. You note 2,000 attackers but allow for a larger number. By that you refer to actual fighters. But, once land was conquered, it was opened for colonization. And, given the desert nature of Arabia, the prospect of colonizing more fertile land was certainly very enticing. and controlling land conquered required colonization sufficient to control the existing population.
    In any event, the Christian Arabs in historic Palestine come from many places. Some may be of local stock. A great many – perhaps the majority but, perhaps, less – migrated to the region in the not too distant past. The same for a great many Muslims. Of course, some people can trace family roots in the area a long way back. However, it is known that the declining years of the Ottoman Empire resulted in a great migration of people seeking refuge from former European Turkey – a modern phrase my Turkish acquaintances use to describe for Ottoman lands in Europe. A substantial number of Muslims were resettled in the 19th Century in historic Palestine (most especially in what is now Northern Israel). Moreover, Christians migrated there to escape persecution in other parts of the Empire.
    The point I am making is that the argument that assumes humans, other than Jews, to be potted plants is a dumb one. Rather, conquest and colonization and migration are the stuff of history. Some do not like that fact, especially when it is Jews who participate in the mix. But, if we object to those who conquer and colonize, most of humanity would likely have to resettle.

  50. The point I am making is that the argument that assumes humans, other than Jews, to be potted plants is a dumb one.
    Agreed. “Sons of the soil” is a ridiculous expression, only ever used to justify racial exclusion.
    It’s very peculiar how critics of zionism argue so strenuously for “blut und boden” on behalf of Palestinian Arabs.

  51. Christians migrated there to escape persecution in other parts of the Empire.
    This not right this is truly wrong here.
    If they are as per your cfales claims, then better of to tell us where the jews went?
    Jews were in Khyber خيبر when Muslim push them out form the city due to they brook their deal with Muslims not because of they are Jews.
    Under Islamic empire Jews Christians still living between Muslims and these are just false claims.
    Is not some of your ilk talking about
    The same for a great many Muslims. Of course, some people can trace family roots in the area a long way back.
    looks your tone changing here. The history of Arab, they immigrated from Aljazeera (Al_ Hejaz) بــلاد الحجــاز to north to the fertilized Crescent land الهـلال الخصيــب , the area represented today Jordan Syria Iraq…you need to understand that when saying Iraq it’s all area to the Arabian Gulf, and when saying Syria includes Lebanon and Palestine.
    Before Islamic history started, Prophet Muhammad and Arab’s traders their common trade rout was northern. they use to call it بـــلاد الشــامwhich means the region now represent by Syria, Lebanon and Palestine. The fact Jordan was not as good place or area inhabited with high number of resident, Jordan becoming more recognized when the Britt’s promised to reward Sharif Hussein Bin Ali to be a king of Arabia which includes all land from Al_ Hejaz and fertilized Crescent land بـــلاد الشــام“Belad Al-Sham” were Iraq represented all the region to the Arabian peninsula
    The Arab were one nation and they speaks one language, their inherent history one and their blood and tribes goes way back to same root of tribes in Al hujazz,
    The same for a great many Muslims. Of course, some people can trace family roots in the area a long way back.
    looks your tone changing here. The history of Arab, they immigrated from Aljazeera (Al_ Hejaz) الحجــاز بــلاد to north to the fertilized Crescent land الهـلال الخصيــب , the area represented today Jordan Syria Iraq…you need to understand that when saying Iraq it’s all area to the Arabian Gulf, and when saying Syria includes Lebanon and Palestine.
    Before Islamic history started, Prophet Muhammad and Arab’s traders their common trade rout was northern. they use to call it الشــام بـــلاد which means the region now represent by Syria, Lebanon and Palestine. The fact Jordan was not as good place or area inhabited with high number of resident, Jordan becoming more recognized when the Britt’s promised to reward Sharif Hussein Bin Ali to be a king of Arabia which includes all land from Al_ Hejaz and fertilized Crescent land الشــام بـــلاد “Belad Al-Sham” were Iraq represented all the region to the Arabian peninsula
    The Arab were one nation and they speaks one language, their inherent history one and their blood and tribes goes way back to same root of tribes in Al hujazz,
    As for more deep history Keldian, Assyrian, Ashoorian are still ixisited in Iraq north they are mostly Christians and
    Assur (Ashur), Iraq. The first capital of the vast Assyrian Empire, inhabited from the 3rd millennium BC to the 2nd century AD, and the center for worship
    Assur, Ashur, or Assyria, 110 km south of Mosul and 280 km to the north of Baghdad, was the first capital of the vast Assyrian Empire anciently called “The Land of Subarum” which included Iraq, Syria, Anatolia, Iran, Egypt and parts of Arabia.
    Historians believe that Assur was inhabited for the first time in the 3rd millennium BC, and went on as an inhabited city up to the 2nd century AD. It had been a human settlement long before it became a capital, and it was known to have come under the dominion of Uruk (Akkad), of the 3rd Dynasty of Ur, and of the Babylonians in the 31st year of King Hammurabi’s reign.

  52. Salah,
    I have not changed my tone.
    As for Christian migration to the region, there were many from all over the Ottoman Empire.
    As for your discussion regarding Jews in what is now Israel, I never said that the land was only populated by Jews. It was, of course, the dominant group for a considerable period of history, just as it was Christian for another considerable period and then Muslim for still another period. In no period that I know of, though, was there only one group.
    I am aware that Jews are reputed to have once lived in large numbers in Arabia. They were allegedly expelled – what, today, we would call ethnically cleansed – from much of Arabia after Mohamed’s death. This was justified – whatever the real reason for the expulsions may have been – on the theory that there could only be one religion in the Hejaz.
    As for the migration of Arabs, my recollection is that they colonized as far West, along with Berbers, as Spain and Portugal. Arabs certainly colonized outside of Arabia in lands that everyone, today, recognize to be Arab (e.g. into what is now identified as Iraq and Syria). There was also migration to what is now Israel. This is not to say that there was no native population that later came to identify with the Arabs.
    But note: the language of the region was not, as you suggest, only Arabic. The native language, at least outside of Arabia, included Aramaic and Syriac – hence the stir in some quarters regarding Christoph Luxenberg’s book, Die Syro-Aramaische Lesart des Koran. Luxenberg’s thesis is that a number of the interpretative difficulties found in the Koran disappear if certain words are assumed to be in Syriac and not Arabic. That would tend to be consistent with Patricia Crone’s thesis that Islam did not arise in Arabia at all but was developed out of largely Jewish roots in a Jewish/Samaritan setting and then projected, by means of religious symbolism, into Arabia. Whether or not Crone’s thesis is correct, the point here is that your version of events has its origins in the party line, not in historic fact, which is far less clear cut all around. But surely, Arabic was not the language of all, even at the onset of Islam, who came to call themselves Arabs.
    Perhaps, one part of the great genius of Muslim Arab civilization is the ability of the conqueror to convince the conquered to accept the conqueror’s history as being the history of the conquered. That is something that European imperialists were largely unable to accomplish. However, whatever people are convinced of does not change what occurred.

  53. How many WALLS are around the world?
    There is only one group who commits heinous crimes AROUND THE WORLD in the name of their allah.
    There are 56 Islamic States, all are intolerant and oppressive.
    There is only one tiny Jewish DEMOCRATIC State … Israel, where over a MILLION MUSLIMS live as full citizens.
    Islam must reform !

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