I have been off this board for several weeks because: 1) I am preparing to return to the USA because it is getting to be so dangerous in Lebanon and, what with Syria reeling, Iran is sure to do whatever is in its power to divert attention to Israel. It will not be long now before the Syrian troops, Hezbollah and Hamas and, perhaps, the Muslim Brotherhood and the Salafists in Egypt will join in an enterprise to attack the State of Israel. The outcome will be a catastrophe for our people. Devastation will reign. 2) Due to my own views, I am facing personal danger in the land of my birth. 3) As to mepeace, I have awaited intelligent and balanced responses to my original comments but have been disappointed. 4) I have also used the time to continue doing research and conversing with my many friends, acquaintances and business associates in the Mideast. Following are my own comments:
In spite of what is referred to as the "Arab Spring" in Libya, Egypt, Bahrain and now Syria, it appears that the ugly but stable dictatorships of one man or family is being replaced by Islamic organizations whose cruelty and their hatred of the West as well as Israel is implacable. Mepeace members, being "liberal" in their orientation and unfamiliar with the the actual living conditions of the Mideast, appear to be unaware of what these events portend and how they will affect the average citizen within their borders. What mepeace members do not realize is that the particular Islamic perspective taken on by such entities takes on the worst aspects of the Koran to justify militant Jihad. The major aspect of their "philosophies" is to destroy not only Israel but western democracies as well. Death, as opposed to life, is celebrated. One can see this clearly in the once dynamic city of Beirut. My associates tell me that Alexandria in Egypt, a once liberal city which gladly harbored people of many different ethnic origins, is now poor, lifeless and smitten with threats against any creative endeavor. Those associates are also preparing to leave.
Mideastern countries, influenced by the Nazi regime, have taken on their methods of propaganda, threats and early education, especially against Jews but Christians as well. The Jew is depicted much as he was depicted in the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, rapacious, dirty, disloyal, stingy and a drinker of childrens' blood, etc. These characteristics are taught not only in schools but in mosques as well. They are bred in deeply and the mostly illiterate masses believe these attributes unquestioningly. Few members on this forum read Arabic. I would suggest you turn to MEMRI for educating yourselves about the real Arab response to the modern world. A while back, the Haj al-Husseini, former Arab leader of Jerusalem, was mentioned. He spent the war years as a friend of Hitler's. There was an agreement to exterminate all the Jews in the Mideast after Europe capitulated to the Third Reich. This did not occur but the Haj brought with him German soldiers and military experts to fight the Jews of the region. Much more, he brought the philosophy, strategies and political methods of the Nazi regime. It has been very effective in its evil influence on the Arab peoples.
I'd also like to make some responses to members' commentaries. Starting off with Stewart, I am appalled that he so blithly dismisses the criticism that he focuses only on Israel to the exclusion of the enormous problems of the Mideast including, but not limited to, the Palestinian people under the stranglehold of Hamas and formerly under Yasser Arafat as well as the Lebanese under Hezbollah. Stewart, like most people who pretend to have a "liberal" orientation, sees nothing but the supposed inequities and "crimes" expedited by the State of Israel. His rationale lacks even a smidgen of self-reflection. How can someone put himself up as a "peacekeeper" when his orientation is so distorted? He speaks of his sympathy for the Palestinian people who have been effected by the (very disputable) crime of colonialism much as his own country (Australia) originated. Of course, the English had no presence in Australia. Jews always had a presence in what the Romans termed the region of Palestine. Furthermore, and most important, historical events and incredible myths regarding the land of Judea, Samaria and the rest of the nation always permeated Jewish memory. It can be found in the Bible (Torah). It is one of the forceful ingredients which binds all Jewish people in association with one another. There is nothing, absolutely nothing, similar to the English invasion of foreign lands nor with the Arab peoples who populate, or once populated, the region of Palestine. The Jewish religion is land based much as the myths and stories of American Indians binds them to the lands of the Americas. In my mind, Stewart belongs on an antiJewish website. He does, and continues to do, mepeace a dishonor.
As to Sussan, she shows up so consistently on mepeace with her narrow interpretations in spite of so many responses that it's beyond my ability to influence anything she may write. For the record, her interpretations of the "Nakba" is preposterous and comes right out of the worst anti-Israeli propaganda possible. For the record, evidence can be found that Jewish administrators tried to convince Arabs from fleeing but to practically no effect. Those who remained, of course, are now full-fledged citizens of the State of Israel. By contrast, those Arabs who did flee are not full-fledged citizens of their new countries with the exception of Jordan and now, recently, my own country, Lebanon. On the other hand, Arab countries advised that Arabs flee only to return and confiscate Jewish property after the war was won. You may find some of these newspaper advertisements in the website, "Stand By Us". Arabs fled out of fear that Jews would do to them what Arabs would have done to Jews had Jews lost the war (see Hebron Massacre 1929). First the business classes, the professionals and administrators left, then the Arab peasants and small tradesmen stampeded. It's true, of course, that Israeli soldiers moved some Arabs for strategic reasons and I don't doubt that some atrocities also occurred (see Benny Morris' account although as a historian he has proved to be quite inaccurate). It was Ben Gurion's intent to allow all Arabs to remain (see the full notes in his comments in the JAE) but to populate the new state with Jews so that they would become the majority. contrast this with the 900,000 Sephardic Jews who had to leave their homes in North Africa and the Mideast for fear of being slaughtered, miserable and propertyless, settling in Israel. Within ten years, they were integrated. Golda Meir was quoted as saying: "We were almost too successful". she meant that the refugees could not be held up as sacrifices much as Arab refugees have been. It is obvious that it has been to the advantage of Arab regimes to keep refugees in camps, in squalor. Why? In order to divert the attention of the international community away from their own injustices and corruption in order to "blame the Jews". Sussan fits with their ideology. Besides, the funding of Palestinian refugees has been a good source of income for these corrupt regimes.
As to Basil, in his softsoaping way, he, too, distorts facts in order to blame Jews (Israel), all the while pretending that he is a "peacemaker". He isn't. I might remind him that Jews always populated the region of Palestine. When, in 1880, they began moving to the region in force, it was barely populated. Not only Mark Twain but other writers expressed how desolate it was. I admit, from my readings, that there was one commercially pulsating area, Jaffa, where oranges and lemons were grown in abundance and exported. Jews bought land from absentee landlords. They worked the land, the swamps and deserts. Many died, became sick, some gave up, but they persisted. By 1920, they had become 10% of the population. The Ottoman Empire did not even characterize Palestine as an independent region; it was administered in part from Syria, in part from Jerusalem. In another forum, the population growth of Palestine was measured on a graph. As the Jewish population increased, so did the Arab. Why? It was due to Jewish achievements, the provision of work and a better life. People emigrated into the region from Syria, Egypt, Turkey, Kurdistan and Iraq but also non-Muslims from Greece. There was never a "Palestinian" nation, however. The only myth and historical event which binds the non-Jewish people of this region together is the "Naqba" and it is largely falsified. Were there to have been a genuine "Palestinian" people, folks like Bastian would have returned to build the nation. Unlike Jews, who possess a strong strong bond, they don't. So Bastian keeps sniping at the Jewish presence from his home in Virginia. He will never return. Neither will his children. He calls himself a "peacekeeper"; I call him a "sniper".
When will mepeace live up to its declarations as a community which actually proposes solutions to situations which will, inevitably, involve war and horrible sacrifice? I am desolate. Mepeace will not do this. It is frequented by people who very politely (and not so politely) despise the State of Israel and, as with so many other detractors, despise Jews. These people use this website to perpetrate their ugly attitudes. I suppose that after this diatribe, I will be dropped from membership. There have been others who have criticized the ruling cliques here only not to be heard from again. I, myself, would like to see established a new organization if mepeace cannot be re-invigorated, one that truly seeks peaceful resolutions to serious problems by confronting the real and genuine evil which exists, and has existed for decades, in the mideastern world. I am, frankly, tired of the Israeli demonisers and Jew haters which appear on this forum under the guise of liberals. As to hatred, I'm afraid I've been confronting enough of this in Lebanon and in my various forays into other mideastern countries.
My apologies: I meant Basil where I placed "Bastian".
Neri Bar-On. I am simply flabbergasted at the reply that you gave Ghazi. What do you mean to say? Are you saying that anyone can denigrate the positions and the Politics of a sovereign Democratic State while invoking the greatest catastrophe for the Jewish people and yet not be made to account for it? Comparing Naqba , and even elevating it as a greater catastrophe, is not just false but immoral as well and anyone who allows it and does not speak up is complicit. This is a criminal offense in some countries. So why do you not speak plainly to Ghazi and tell him why you allow this to happen.
The greatest catastrophe for the Jewish people has come and gone, and there are none who do not know about it.
The Jews survived and have thrived ever since, and we all wish them well - provided they are not exploiting others in an unacceptable way.
This is not the case for Palestinians, who previously had substantial territory that was theirs, both in name and deed.
This is not the case for Palestinians, who previously had substantial territory that was theirs, both in name and deed.
What was the name of this territory and who was the Last head of state, the currency it used,when was it established?
IS THERE NO LIMIT TO YOUR FANTASY LAND PROPAGANDA?
Who was the last Israeli Head of State, prior to the 20th Century ?
Shekels, BTW originated in Babylon.
Are you claiming that there was a Palestinain State, Country or Entity even or are you claiing that there was no Jewish Entity.
Jews, as you well know had a kingdome for over a thoudannd years in what was know as The land of Israel. They were thrown out by the Romans but still managed to keep and continious presence in the Holy Land. Jews have pray 3 times a day for 2,000 years to return to that same peace of land whose capital is Jerusalem.
Palestine is the name given by the Romans to teh Jewis peice of land to wipe its memory off teh map. Names after Phillistines who were invaders from Greece and lived in teh Gaza area. In 194 the Partition Plan passed by the UNGA called to split Palestine into a Jewish and Arab state. Not a Palestinian state becase Jews were also Palestinans. As a matter of fact %90 of all orginizations with teh name Palestine in teh early 1900 (until 1948) were Jewish orginizations. Like teh Palestine Post, which became the Jerusalem Post. Point is simple stop making up facts.
As for your shekel comment, The shekel is mentioned in teh old testimant as the form of money that Jews had to contribute. This is about 3500 -4000 years ago.... Ar you saying that the term shekel was taken from a Babalonian word about 4000 years ago? SO what? It was the ancient Jewish form of money. I have no idea where you got this fact from (you tend not to ever have sources) or WHAT IS YOUR POINT?
Babylonians called their coins shekels. Jews used the same word when they started minting coins; and the Israelis of today are using this same Babylonian word for their coinage. The word has migrated to the Hebrew language, and also the English language, and probably many other languages as well.
Romans called the place Palestine, because Philistines were the dominant group in the area.
The Romans were always vastly more powerful than the Jews. They had no need to play any linguistic games when it came to naming Palestine.
As for the name ‘Palestine’, everyone called the place Palestine. No one called the place Israel.
The Romans, who fought the Jewish people who remained in place for many years in fierce struggles, renamed the area "Palestine" in order to erase the names "Judea" (Yehuda) and "Samaria" (Shomrun) from Jewish memory. (see the historian "Josephus"). By the time that the Romans overran the ancient lands, the country once known as "Philastenia" (approximately where Gaza is today) had already passed through time. It was never the "dominant power" of the region. You're historical fantasies are becoming increasingly absurd, Sussan. Are you alright?
It was the JEWS who fought the Romans, not the Romans fighting the Jews. Jews were also fighting amongst themselves, in Jerusalem, at that time.
A place name does not stick for 2000 years unless it is a suitable name.
Quoted from Zuhair Muhsin, PLO leader and executive committee member, in a 31 March 1977 interview with the Dutch newspaper Trouw:
The Palestinian people does not exist. The creation of a Palestinian state is only a means for continuing our struggle against the state of Israel for our Arab unity. In reality today there is no difference between Jordanians, Palestinians, Syrians, and Lebanese. Only for political and tactical reasons do we speak today about the existence of a Palestinian people, since Arab national interests demand that we posit the existence of a distinct Palestinian people" to oppose Zionism.
For tactical reasons, Jordan, which is a sovereign state with defined borders, cannot raise claims to Haifa and Jaffa, while as a Palestinian, I can undoubtedly demand Haifa, Jaffa, Beer-Sheva and Jerusalem. However, the moment we reclaim our right to all of Palestine, we will not wait even a minute to unite Palestine and Jordan.
The Palestinian people are a scattered diaspora.
It does not matter what you call the Arabs who live in Gaza and the West Bank, or in the refugee camps, or even those Arabs who still live within Israel. They exist. They will either become a full-fledged part of Israel, OR they will become a Palestinian people, in a Palestinian State.
Unless Israel abandons all the settlements, and returns to the 67 borders, there will NOT be a 2 State Solution.
The choice is yours.
We don’t mind which way you go.