Thursday 23 November 2023

The Right Move Against Hamas Was Not To Make One.

“Victorious warriors win first and then go to war, while defeated warriors go to war first and then seek to win.” - Sun Tzu (544 ─ 496BC)

ISRAEL’S LEGAL RIGHT to strike back at Hamas is unchallengeable. No nation, having suffered the sort of horrific attack unleashed upon Israel by Hamas terrorists on 7 October 2023, is ever going to be convicted in an international court of law for defending itself. It is the nature of Israel’s retaliation that is challengeable. In war, doing precisely what your enemy expects you to do is never a good idea. By responding to the 7 October attack in precisely the way Hamas anticipated, Israel has allowed the terrorists’ long-planned (and far more important) propaganda offensive to build and strengthen the pro-Palestinian Cause.

That Benjamin Netanyahu was Israel’s Prime Minister on 7 October was of enormous importance to the success of Hamas’ plans. With the survival of the Likud Party-led Israeli Government in the hands of its much smaller coalition partners – all of them murderously Zionistic – there was no way Netanyahu could have responded to Hamas with anything other than overwhelming military force. The only strategy acceptable to Netanyahu and his allies was the one which called for the utter annihilation of Hamas. If Israel had opted to do something else, then Hamas would have been bitterly disappointed – and thoroughly alarmed.

The massive propaganda effort which sprang into action the moment the Gaza fence came down and Israeli citizens began to die, depended absolutely on the screens of the world fast filling up with gruesome images of Palestinians (their children especially) being killed and maimed by Israeli shells, bombs and missiles. These would be the cue for Palestinian apologists all across the West to start talking about “disproportionate responses”, or, more simply, “genocide”.

Many of these defenders of “Palestine” would be well aware that the charge of disproportionality, when used in such a context, does not mean that one side, having killed roughly as many people as the other, is legally obliged to cease and desist. What must be proportionate, under international law, is the nation state’s response to the initial attack. By this measure, Israel’s response to the horrors of 7 October was unquestionably proportionate.

Those who challenge the assertion, should ask themselves how the United Kingdom, Canada or Australia would respond if thousands of their citizens were raped, tortured, shot, stabbed, and burned alive by enemy forces located within the operational reach of their armed forces. Can there be any doubt that their armies, navies and air forces would have been unleashed upon these enemy forces?

And, if those same enemies attempted to avoid the just retribution that was heading their way by situating their military personnel and resources in or below civilian structures, and by using the bodies of their own citizens as human shields (a war crime, by the way) can there be any doubt that the British, Canadian and Australian forces would not have allowed themselves a moment's hesitation before sending their ordnance to blow every living thing within its range to Kingdom Come?

As it says in the Bible: “He who sows the wind, shall reap the whirlwind.”

But the “useful idiots” who fling a Keffiyeh around their shoulders and recite the annihilationist Palestinian mantra: “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free!”; are not influenced in the slightest by such counterfactuals. They are living proof of the saying that a little knowledge is a dangerous thing; and further, that a little historical knowledge can lead otherwise intelligent and progressive Members of Parliament into some very dark places.

Chloe Swarbrick is a walking testimonial to the extraordinary effectiveness of Palestinian propaganda. On the AM Show of Monday, 20 November 2023, she made reference to the “Nakba” – the catastrophic evacuation of Palestinian cities, towns, villages and farms that accompanied the war between the newborn Israeli state and the armies of the Arab League. (Egypt, Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Iraq, and Saudi Arabia, “assisted” by sundry Palestinian militia.) To hear Chloe tell the story, 700,000 Palestinians were driven from their homes by evil Zionists hellbent on seizing their land and property. The Nakba was ethnic cleansing on a massive and brutal scale.

Except, it wasn’t.

What happened in 1948 was the culmination of nearly thirty years of unrelenting Palestinian resistance to Jewish settlement in Mandatory Palestine. Arabs had been bearing arms against the Jews, and the Jews had been defending themselves, since at least the 1920s. In 1947, organisations representative of the Palestinian Arabs had rejected the United Nations partition plan (which the Jews, albeit reluctantly, had accepted). By 1948, the Palestinian leadership were confident that their Arab brothers would rout the Jewish militias, and that “from the river to the sea” Palestine would be what the Nazis called Judenfrei – free of Jews.

A great many of the Palestinians who evacuated their homes and farms in 1948 did so at the urging of the Palestinian Arab leadership. Let the armies of the Arab League do their work, these leaders advised, claiming that their family’s return would only be a matter of days or weeks. Few of those who decamped on the basis of this advice had the slightest concern about the genocidal catastrophe which, for the second time in less than a decade, was about to overtake the Jewish people.

Chloe Swarbrick should know this, but since her knowledge of the Arab-Israeli conflict appears to have been gleaned from the tendentious accounts of Palestinian nationalists, Islamic fanatics and that great throng of usefully idiotic allies who retail “Free Palestine!” propaganda in the West’s universities and news media, the chances are depressingly high that she does not.

And this is the strategic problem confronting Israel. That the effectiveness of the disinformation from which Palestinian nationalism and religious fanaticism continue to draw their strength depends, almost entirely, on Israel’s willingness to confirm its emotional truth by blowing Palestinians and their defenceless communities to Kingdom Come.

The only winning move for Israel, when subjected to the atrocities of 7 October, was, paradoxically, not to make one. To do nothing. This necessitates imagining an Israel led by a Prime Minister of enormous courage and wisdom – enough to face her people with solemn determination and tell them that, this time, unlike all the other times, the Israeli people will not take the bloody bait laid before them by the jackals of Hamas and their Iranian backers. This time, not a single bullet will fly, not a single bomb will drop. This time the Palestinians of Gaza will be left in peace to contemplate the true nature of the organisation that governs their little strip of hell.

One can only imagine the dismay of Hamas, and all the “Hamas adjacent” politicians, journalists and students who have spent the past six weeks waving Palestinian flags, tearing down the posters of Hamas’ hostages, and telling us what a genocidal, colonialist, monstrosity Israel is, and has always been. Why? Because who, and what, would the world be looking at if there were no babies’ bodies to evoke our horror and disgust? Who would be caught in the media spotlight and forced to answer for their atrocities? Their war crimes? Their unrelenting antisemitism?

Let me give you a hint: it wouldn’t be Israel.

This essay is exclusive to Bowalley Road.


Thomas More said...

The last six weeks have been an extraordinary time, as so many people have fallen into one of two camps, either uncritically pro-Israeli or uncritically pro-Palestinian. I'm sorry to see that Chris has fallen
into one of these camps as well, entirely neglecting
(a) the massacres committed by Zionist forces in 1948 (described by the Israeli historian Benny Morris),
(b) the 56 years of military occupation of the West Bank,
(c) the 18-year blockade of Gaza,
(d) the support given to Hamas by Benjamin Netanyahu in order to
undermine the possibility of a Palestinian state (which you can read about in the Israeli newspapers Haaretz and The Times of Israel), and
(e) the 700,000 Israeli settlers (many of them "Jewish supremacists" as Thomas Friedman calls them) occupying the land that was supposed to
become a Palestinian state (under terms agreed to by the PLO).
I'm not denying the historical facts Chris draws attention to, but they
are not the whole truth. Do we really need another one-sided narrative?
I expected better from someone who has previously been a thoughtful commentator. For a more thoughtful discussion, I'd recommend the interview between Coleman Hughes and Yousef Munayyer

Chris Trotter said...

To: Thomas More.

Telling the whole story of the past is an impossibility, Thomas.

For example, you have neglected to mention the aggressive war planned by President Nasser of Egypt, which Israel pre-empted with the Six Day War of 1967. Ditto, the Yom Kippur War unleashed upon Israel by Egypt and Syria (armed and trained by the USSR) in 1973.

No mention either of the Munich Olympics massacre, or the terror-bombing campaign of Israeli school buses, restaurants and wedding feasts that left hundreds of Israelis dead and maimed, and which led to the erection of the towering concrete walls separating the Jewish and Arab communities.

For as long as I have been writing about domestic and international politics, Thomas, I have attempted to be even-handed, but, as you acknowledge above, the events of 7 October have divided the world into those who think it morally acceptable to "explain" and "contextualise" such barbaric violence, and those who do not. I count myself among the latter.

Sometimes, Thomas, you just have to pick a side - and fight for it.

PaulVD said...

Thank you, Chris, for stating plainly that "... Palestine will be free" means "free of Jews" - nothing more, nothing less.

CXH said...

Doing nothing wasn't really an option. My thoughts would have been to just close the border and shut down any water, food or electricity that crossed it. Wipe their hands of the place and allow the Chloe's of the world to organise replacements via Egypt.

David George said...

Thank you Chris. What if the animosity towards the Israel response isn't based on compassion at all but on something altogether different? It's opposite?

The official response when Manchester girls were blown up in a pop concert was more bag checks and "blame the victims" type warnings about rising "Islamophobia". Did that stop the murder and mayhem? The blood was barely dry on the Israeli children's bedroom walls when the crowds were out celebrating and baying "gas the Jews".

What should the response be when we're confronted with that sort of malevolence, with people that not only don't share your Western liberal values but openly despise them? Would the Islamists be chastened or would they be emboldened by a "turn the other cheek" response? Perhaps the Israelis, confronted with a real existential threat, can see things a lot more clearly than the useful idiots, the apologists for terror that foolishly believe they themselves are safe. No one is safe.

Time to wake up to the reality that Liberalism itself is being blatantly gamed, gamed into it's, and our, demise.

"I'm Afraid Liberal Values Can't Defeat This Threat" - Eric Weinstein. 20 minutes

Tom Hunter said...

It's an interesting argument but given the raw Jew hatred that has erupted in the West - more so than in the Middle East, where the "Palestinians" are not popular - has revealed that the tactic of simply being the victim and waiting for the world to side with you, would not have happened.

Reading The Daily Blog, The Standard, and other such places from overseas shows much denial of the October 7 videos and photos, claims of Mossad false flags, etc, etc. Even amongst those who accept the truth of the horror there are simply shrugs that "occupiers" have no right to self-defence, Hamas as freedom fighters and so forth.

Besides, the Jews themselves spent decades being helpless victims, waiting for the West to save them ("at least bomb the tracks to the camps") and they're done with that. They will fight, kill, be condemned and also die. But it will not be a helpless death and the condemnation comes from people who either hate them or feel nothing for them. Why should any Jew care about the opinions of such people.

And it maybe their nation is ultimately doomed by the raw numbers of 400 million Arabs and 80 million Iranians who want them dead (or could care less if they go somewhere else to live or die) and the equally raw number of probability that says they must win every war from now to eternity. The Jews look at the rest of the world now and say, so be it.

Tom Hunter said...

To understand the change that has occurred on the Left WRT Israel, a change showing so clearly now in the USA with the older Democrats still supporting them while the youngest politicians and many of their voters support Palestine, you might like to read this article, From The River To The Sea, which tracks the changes between the Hamas charter of 1988 and that of 2017.

The 1988 original made it clear and obvious that their roots of belief included not just the same ideas about Jews that the Nazis and other Far Right European anti-semites of the 19th and 20th centuries had but also from Islam itself. It also made no bones about their solution, which was to wage Jihad until every Jew had been purged from ground that Muslim claim as their's forever because they conquered it at some stage.

As you can imagine, that made it difficult or impossible for many Western leftists to side with their cause. You can't go around screaming about Nazis and then find yourself marching with people vomiting up the same theories.

And so the 2017 charter was adopted, with all its subtle language changes:
The 2017 charter became an effective weapon of political warfare by banishing the most disconcerting evidence and then incorporating Islamist themes of the past within the propaganda of the post-Sixties secular global Left, of which anti-Zionism and antagonism toward Israel had become defining features.
It eliminates antisemitic conspiracy theories about Jews causing the French Revolution and World War I, but eagerly embraces the anti-Zionist propaganda of the Soviets and the PLO. According to this language, “Palestine is a land that was seized by a racist, anti-human and colonial Zionist project”

By burying the old bad Far Right language and ideas in favour of modern Far Left language and ideas about colonialism, imperialism, racism, and all the rest, even Hamas could be converted into a group the Far Left could support - and of course that's now bleeding down into the ordinary Left.

“Don’t you see that the whole aim of Newspeak is to narrow the range of thought? In the end we shall make thoughtcrime literally impossible, because there will be no words in which to express it.”

Anonymous said...

Yes, Hamas attacked, but the "self-defence-as-upholding-right-to-exist" applies as much to the Palestinians as it does to Israel. It is a long chain of tit-for-tat violence (on the one hand violence by state forces, on the other violence by non-state forces - a distinction without any real difference, in other words), but starting point one adopts in the causal chain is really determined by one's interest, nothing objective.

But the Jews have a problem: they are losing the PR war. They can claim to be the innocent victim all they like (which necessarily requires forgetting the history of the conflict), but it's pretty hard to sustain this narrative when they have now killed many times the number of Palestinian civilians, mostly children and women, than Israelis who died on 7 October.

Moreover, the younger TikTok generation no longer support Israel/the Jews in the psyoped and unquestioning way the Boomers have. On the one hand, right wing youth tend to doubt the Holocaust narrative, they actually see Hitler as a hero of the European people, and they understand the role Jews have played in subverting the West over the last 200 or so years. On the other hand, left wing youth tend to see Israel in the role of the oppressive colonial power that these same subversive Jewish intellectuals have painted Europeans of the past as being. They see white guys and think they are "White" guys, when they aren't White they are actually Jewish.

If the West can no longer be guilt-tripped and manipulated into unquestioning support for Jews and the Zionist project, then Israel will be hung out to dry and will have to lie in the bed that it has made for itself (to mix metaphors).

new view said...

I accept your analysis Chris. I don't know the complete history but I know some of the history. I have trouble with your solution, not because it would show the world that Hamas is truly evil with Iran pulling the puppet strings, but Israeli leaders along with their citizens know that Hamas can move freely above and below ground plotting their next move with the blessing of half the population of Gaza. They know that not only can Hamas strike to take hostages again at any time, but below ground weapons, ammunition and bombs, even missiles can be quietly amassed waiting for the next opportunity. I don't believe it is a lack of courage that would stop this level of retaliation from Israel, but simply the threat to it's citizens is too great. We know that some Hospital staff in Gaza have been arrested which is shining a light to how thoroughly Hamas have successfully infiltrated society there, so the complicit nature of the Gaza population has given Israel little choice but to try and root Hamas out at what ever the cost. IMO where Israel could make their biggest mistake is if they don't accept an international peace keeping force there.
When people see photo's of bodies of citizens with children that have been killed it ignites and justifies feelings of revulsion. Unfortunately when we see a missile hit an apartment block in the Ukraine and only see one or two bodies we don't see it in the same way as the war in Gaza but to me it is exactly the same but worse. Putin has deliberately aimed his missiles at people, whereas in Gaza Israel have used intel to destroy Hamas strongholds that have been deliberately placed among the people there. I would expect nothing less than the emotional BS dished up from the likes of Chloe.

Tim Frank said...

A good article Chris, it's exactly how I feel. I acknowledge that such a response would be very hard for Israelis. I've visited southern Israel a few times and have experienced the constant rocket fire. You just trust the 'iron dome' system and get on with life, accepting the occasional property damage and death. The people there are constantly on edge. Little wonder that when it really exploded they wanted the constant threat dealt with.
But I don't think this military action will have the desired effect of peaceful existence. Rather, It plays right into the Hamas plan.

The Barron said...

Many threads ago I noted the lack of any attempt to search for solution from Chris. An Anonymous respondent was outraged and decried the idea that when writing on the Palestine situation, there is a need to examine the the long term of the aftermath. I simply repeat my view that anyone joining a cheer squad for either side without any future vision is perpetuating instability and suffering.

Chris has given an opportunity to examine whether this is analysis or a innate North Otago blood lust. Chris writes - right to strike back, retaliation that is challengeable, utter annihilation, unquestionably proportionate, navies and air forces...unleashed, blow every living thing within its range to Kingdom Come...

Apart from the view that, without evidence, Hamas will be annihilated (in fact I am not even sure that Chris is arguing that this is an achievable goal) there seems no outcome other than retribution. Even with in this there is an outright rejection of lex talionis in a land that popularized the eye for an eye legal balance.

In this article, Palestinians as people are invisible. Used as human shields or not, the key is the word 'human', you also find it in the concept of humanitarianism. The dehumanizing of a people, half of which are children, is disturbing. The term 'pro-Palestinian' has within in it a challenge that it is acceptable to be anti-Palestinian. This is a people, one which has the right to live in safety and dignity. I say the same as to the Israeli people.

The Israeli government response has been with little regard to the worth of life of the Palestinians. There is no doubt that Hamas is a terrorist entity and cannot be dealt with by the international community as a legitimate player on the world stage. If regime change is the objective, then you do not obliterate all institutions needed to build a legitimate civil society. Hamas, or the inheritors of that ideology, can only be removed by the Palestinian people having the building blocks of civil society and the aspirations of a safe, fair and just future. Instead, we find this slipping decades from possible fulfillment and the international community increasingly legitimizing Hamas.

The bloodshed is senseless unless seen as a sacrifice towards a future. Conscripts inflicting the death of thousands will bring a trauma into the Israeli - Palestine societies that will damage generations, and those that have watched their families killed and maimed will result in generations of resentment in a land where understanding and dialogue is the only process for a lasting future.

Blood lust should not be a justified geopolitical action.

Brendan McNeill said...


I appreciate your analysis, and your support for Israel at this time, however:

Israel cannot live alongside Hamas anymore than America could live alongside a nuclear armed Cuba, anymore than Russia can live alongside a Ukraine in NATO....

Are you aware that Yehya Sinwar, the Hamas leader in Gaza who planned and led the October 7 massacre of more than 1,000 Jews in Israel was himself released from an Israeli prison as part of a previous hostage swap? The kind of hostage swap that Israel is having to engage in yet again?

Every time Israel is forced by the International community to cease its military operations against Hamas, it lowers the cost of their violence against Israeli citizens. You must know that there can never be peace between Israel and Hamas, a genocidal Jihadist group who belive they are serving god by killing Jews.

There is no two state solution, that only exists in the minds of Western political elites. Hamas do not want a two state solution, they want to eradicate every Jew in Israel and beyond. They have already said they want to commit further October 7 atrocities.

Sadly sometimes war is unavoidable. This is one of those times.

Anonymous said...

Good to see you see the Palestinians as subhuman vermin, fit only for extermination Chris. I thought you were way better than that. Guess I was wrong.


Anonymous said...

@new view, do you belive the Palestinians are vermin?


DS said...

Frankly, the Israel/Palestine conflict is a monstrously complicated thing - far too messy for easy designation of rectitude. But one paragraph jumped out at me:

Those who challenge the assertion, should ask themselves how the United Kingdom, Canada or Australia would respond if thousands of their citizens were raped, tortured, shot, stabbed, and burned alive by enemy forces located within the operational reach of their armed forces. Can there be any doubt that their armies, navies and air forces would have been unleashed upon these enemy forces?

When the IRA was murdering British people in the 1970s and 1980s, I do not recall the British Government carpet-bombing West Belfast or Dublin.

David George said...

Not out to defend the IRA, DS, but I don't believe they were raining thousands of rockets into London or going house to house murdering and torturing children. Not really a reasonable comparison. And where did you get the idea that Gaza was being "carpet bombed"? That is not what Israel has been doing.

Speaking of Ireland, they're getting a wee taste of what Israel has lived with for decades. A brutal knife attack on a teacher and four young children by an Algerian immigrant as they were leaving school, a double murder and a decapitation by one Yousef Palani, the brutal murder of young school teacher Aisling Murphy by Jozef Puska. The Irish people are incensed and had a bit of a riot in protest. But they're the criminals “filled with hate”, the Irish prime minister said as details of the knifeman’s identity emerged.
“Those involved brought shame on Dublin, brought shame on Ireland and brought shame on their families and themselves,” said Leo Varadkar, describing the rioters as “criminals”.

Another one that thinks the correct response to terrorism is to roll over and die. How about no.

Chris Trotter said...

To: The Barron.

Not sure you're reading the post that I wrote, TB.

It's main point was that Israel's retaliation to the 7 October attack by Hamas has been strategically inept. Rather than rain down death on Gaza, I argue that Israel should have held its hand and allowed the eyes of the world to remain fixed on the horrors wrought by the terrorists. As it is, the awful scenes emerging from Israel's war on Hamas have, as intended, distracted international opinion.

Not a conspicuous display of "North Otago blood-lust" (is that even a thing???) in action I would venture to say!

The rest of the post covers what is meant by proportionality in the laws of war, and attempts to set the record straight on the events of 1948.

Strikes me as a display of North Otago reasonableness.

David Stone said...

@ DS
That quote struck me too. But for different reasons. According to the Greyzone quoting Haaretz , There is no evidence that anyone as raped. That any children were murdered ( especially not decapitated ) and that those civilians burned were as a result of hellfire missiles and incendiary shells used by the Israeli army in attacking buildings where Hamas had taken people prisoner. Also as helicopter pilots fired missiles at cars heading for Gaza assumed to be carrying captives of the Hamas invaders.
I suspect that Hamas intended to take prisoners to hold hostage to exchange for Palestinian prisoners held without trial in Israel. And that they did not intend to kill anyone except Israeli armed forces seeking to prevent this operation.
There is no possible solution to this conflict beginning with the Balfour declaration that gave a land to a people who did not live there and ignored the fact that it was already occupied by people who had lived there for hundreds of years. The present population of the total area dominated by Israel now has Israelis as a minority. But that minority rules over the entire population without the majority having any representation. It is a political impracticality a boil on the bum of the Middle East and it will not survive.

The Barron said...

Given the opportunity, the North Otagoites would don their yellow jerseys, ride their pennyfathings, arm up with an arsenal of steampump weapons and try to take Waimate from South Canty.

The Barron said...

Not only was the threat to the north, but those south of the waitaki river were always grateful that the people of Waitati maintained the right to form militia.

David Stone said...

I havn't read it all yet ' It is comprehensive and long; but Wikipedia strongly supports Cloe's version of events rather than Chris's.

Kit Slater said...

Anonymous said “…on the one hand violence by state forces, on the other violence by non-state forces - a distinction without any real difference, in other words”.

The distinction is very real. As a state, Israel claims the monopoly of the legitimate use of physical force within its territory. This the Treaty of Westphalia putting into practice Hobbes’ Leviathan as rephrased by Weber, plus the application of Just War theory.

As a non-state force, Hamas operates on Sunni Islamic principles, its doctrines shaped by the Koran’s Medinan verses. In practice this is what I’ve termed retributive subsidiarity, the very opposite of the state’s monopoly of violence. It is the responsibility of each and every Muslim to “kill the unbelievers who are near them” (Koran 9:123), since “fighting is prescribed for you” (2:216), so “fight with them until there is no more fitna (disorder, unbelief) and religion is all for Allah" (8:39). This goes a long way to explain the chaos and tyranny in Islamic countries, and why Muslims in their millions make for the peace of the West. But they bring their toxic religion and its inherent violence with them.

A hadith of Muhammad (Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim 49) states: “Whoever sees an evil, let him change it with his hand; and if he is not able to do so, then with his tongue; and if he is not able to do so, then with his heart — and that is the weakest of faith.” This is interpreted by many to mean that a Muslim must use the highest level of force available to remove something evil. Dr Mark Durie

David George said...

You know Chris, I don't think the "PR war" was ever going to go Israel's way, regardless of what they did. Tom Hunter explains it well above. Then, bugger me, David Stone comes right out and proves it with his bizarre claims.
What ties the denials and the hate and violence against (even non Israeli) Jews together? Why the obsession with Israel?

It, at least, looks like latent Jew Hatred has found a lovely excuse.

Tom Slater: "The problem is that the anti-Semites we do have clearly feel emboldened at the moment. They act as though they have been given licence. And with some reason. Indeed, our mealy mouthed elites, those with power and influence, have allowed Jew hatred to burst out of the box which any civilised society must keep it in.

Meanwhile, the woke establishment – the columnists and professional activists, the self-appointed keepers of the anti-racist, anti-fascist flame – are happily marching alongside the Islamists and anti-Semites.

Some on the woke left openly celebrated 7 October, welcoming this racist slaughter as an act of ‘resistance’. I’m sure many more felt the same way, but were savvy enough to keep it to themselves."

Chris Trotter said...

To: The Barron.

However did you discover that I was once a Lieutenant-Colonel in The Waitati Militia?

Your military intelligence resource-base is impressive!

Loz said...

All colonial states during expansion create myths that justify the killing, terrorising and ultimately land acquisition of native populations under the justification of self-defence. The story always goes that peaceful and civilised settlers were forced to teach blood thirsty savages a lesson in the only language they understood so their loss of land and brutalisation was really the fault of savages in the first place. Israel's colonial expansion is no different but it's a modern story, so we have an exhaustive record of UN condemnation and ignored resolutions that run counter to this myth.

Choosing a side based on ethnonationalism rather than the Universal Declaration of Human Rights is a betrayal of the "never again" pledge.

Under the Ottoman administration, immigration was restricted to not alter the demographics of the province. The British mandate in Palestine was simply to administer the Arab territory until the region was capable of self-government. However, Britain also adopted the Balfour Declaration in 1917 stating it supported creating a Jewish national state out of the Arab lands.

We have clear population data from Palestine that shows the impact of Britain's colonial policy. The Jewish population was about 5% through the 1800's and just over 10% at the start of the British Mandate. Palestine's population in 1922 was only 700,000 but from then until 1945 nearly half a million Jewish colonists poured in, largely as a result of the horrors in Europe. This immigration and the Balfour policy saw increasing tension between settlers and Arabs from the 1920s and rage at the Balfour Declaration led to a full-scale Arab revolt against British administration from 1936-1939.

Arab nations were bitterly opposed carving up Palestine to create a Jewish state as a betrayal of that Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The Arab statement at the UN contented that "the people who have the greatest interest in the country are its rightful inhabitants” Throughout the whole of Palestine the Jewish population were still a minority, even within the UN proposed borders for an Israel. The initial Jewish proposal to the UN called for the whole of Palestine to be recognised as a Jewish state. Domestically David Ben-Gurion and other Zionist leaders were quite clear on the need to transport the majority Arab population out of Palestine for a Jewish state to become a reality. Obviously, even with apartheid, you couldn't have a Jewish state if the majority population were Arabs. In 1937 he wrote ‘The Arabs will have to go, but one needs an opportune moment for making it happen, such as a war.’ The intention of ethnic cleansing was always clear, but a pretext was needed. The pattern of using a pretext of self-defence to justify territorial expansion was used repeatedly from 1948, 1953, 1967 and right to present day.

That 1947-1948 was a "Nakba", or “catastrophe” for Palestinians is obvious. Suggesting that Ben-Gurion and Jewish paramilitaries weren't pursuing a policy of ethnic cleansing ignores a vast body of evidence. Hundreds of Palestinian villages were destroyed with more than 400,000 fleeing their homes between December 1947 and May 1948. Arab armies did help evacuate terrified civilians in this onslaught. Suggesting that the majority population just wandered off their land to "Let the armies of the Arab League do their work" is an incredible perspective. Israel has been blocking the return of refugees to their homes and refusing to leave occupied territories for decades. all in defiance of the UN, and a demonstration that it considers the refugees it created ineligible for human rights. It's time for that to end.

Brendan McNeill said...

Dear Loz

First on the matter of Israel being a Colonising power. This simply not the case.

The nation of Britain pre-existed as a national entity prior to colonising much of the known world. I still remember those maps on the class room wall with large sections coloured pink, representing the British commonwealth.

Spain was a nation state that became a colonising power. The same with Portugal, France and Germany.

You would have to go back 2000 years for Israel to have been a nation state, and even then they were living under Roman occupation. Since AD 70 there has never been a nation state called Israel. How then could they be a colonising power in the way we understand the meaning of that word; a powerful nation state exploiting the powerless by imposing themselves on a distant and largely defenceless population. The word ‘coloniser’ simply does not apply to Israel. It is a misuse of language to smear them with this derogatory epithet.

Second, the history of Israel’s establishment as a nation in 1948 has been written and re-written many times. The arguments you make are highly contestable especially with respect to Israel’s treatment of those Arabs living in the region at the time. There are a great many Arab families in Israel that have lived there prior to 1948 and are still living there today. Why did some Arab families remain in Israel during the war of 1948, and why did some leave? You need to satisfactorily answer that question for yourself in order to understand the present day situation with the people of Gaza and the West Bank.

Why are the surrounding Arab Muslim nations not re-settling their Arab Muslim brothers and sisters and their families from Gaza and the West Bank? Egypt Jordan, Syria for example refuse to have them. Why? Are they not refugees? Why have they closed their hearts to them?

Again you need to answer that question to better understand the situation in the region.

Kit Slater said...

Loz said, “The British mandate in Palestine was simply to administer the Arab territory until the region was capable of self-government. However, Britain also adopted the Balfour Declaration in 1917 stating it supported creating a Jewish national state out of the Arab lands.”

They weren’t Arab territories or lands.

They were formerly part of the Ottoman Empire which was Turkic, not Arab. The Balfour Declaration does not mention Arabs or their land, simply that “nothing shall…prejudice the…rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine.” Had Palestinian Arabs accepted the conditions proffered throughout the 20th century they would have lived in peace. But as former Foreign Minister Abba Eban said, “The Arabs never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity.”

Arab’s claim to the land is based on their 636CE conquest, they then lost it to the Ottomans in 1517. Jews claimed it back in their 1948 conquest. Of their own land.

People really should get over it.

David George said...

Deliberately ignored by many, including Loz above, is the brutal reality of Islamism, AKA political Islam. I'm sure the Israeli people, including their 650 thousand refugees from Islamic persecution in the ME and North Africa, would regard the idea that Hamas and their ilk (Palestine Islamic Jihad, ISIS, Al Queda, Hezbollah, Yemeni Houthis etc.) are some sort of liberation army as utterly perverse.

They've said what they are and, obviously mean every word of it. And it's not just the Jews they're after. Does anyone seriously believe that the murder and mayhem unleashed by Boko Haram in sub Saharan Africa, or the Islamists blowing British teenagers to bits has anything to do with Israel? With "liberation" generally? Does anyone, Israeli or otherwise, seriously believe that a peaceful co-existence is possible with people demanding a totalitarian global caliphate, one characterised by antidemocracy, homophobia, intolerance, misogyny, and religiously motivated violence and repression?

"Part of the reason for this apologism for Hamas is that far too many in the West seem to think Hamas is fighting for the liberation of Palestine. That it is, in short, a national-liberation movement, in keeping with the tradition of 20th-century anti-colonial struggles. That’s why some self-styled left-wingers have even hailed Hamas as a ‘resistance’ movement in the global struggle against Western imperialism. This profoundly misunderstands the nature of Hamas’s Islamist beliefs, as well as Islamism’s relationship to nationalism."

Ian said...

If we are talking about a proportionate response to the initial Hamas attack, let's look at that initial attack. It was 3000 fighters breaching the fence in various ways and attacking soldiers and civilians mostly with AK47s (859 civilians, at least 278+ soldiers, 57 policemen and 10 Shin Bet members killed) all within a short range of the border. In addition, there was rocket fire of the sort that Israel is familiar with and deals with very well with their Iron Dome. The immediate response by Israel killed 1000 of those 3000 fighters and captured 200 (this immediate response may have also killed some of the Israeli civilians whose deaths have been blamed on Hamas).

Apart from killing their own people, I don't think anyone is claiming this initial response (the Iron Dome and fighting the 3000 terrorists that crossed into Isreal) is disproportionate and it certainly comes under the classification of defensive action.

The bombing since 7 October is a secondary response. And the ground offensive that started a number of days later is a teriary response. These are both attacks and not defensive actions (as were Hama's rockets and their ground offensive on 7 October).

You ask "how the United Kingdom, Canada or Australia would respond if thousands of their citizens were raped, tortured, shot, stabbed, and burned alive by enemy forces located within the operational reach of their armed forces."

For the UK we sort of know the response and it is not entirely obvious.

The response to armed rebellions against colonial rule was often vicious e.g. the Indian Mutiny of 1857 where the British response killed perhaps 800,000 Indians, and of course there was an armed rebellion against the British here in NZ starting in 1842 in which the British/NZ government response reduced the Maori population substantially.

Terrorism inside the UK between the 1960s and 1998 killed about 2000 civilians and 1500 non-civilians and injured over 47,000 people. The British Army was responsible for some of those civilian deaths. But the RAF didn't bomb the Bogside. Nor did they bomb the Republic of Ireland for supporting the IRA and laying claim to Northern Ireland (i.e. part of the UK).

Interestingly many of the convicted terrorists from that time had British wives who were eligible for Irish citizenship but those wives weren't stripped of their UK citizenship. Unlike a more recent British wife of a reputed ISIS terrorist.

One could be forgiven for thinking skin colour played a part in the different UK responses.

Brendan McNeill said...

One of the primary reasons why the world at large is squeamish about Israel’s commitment to eradicating Hamas is that we in the West have embraced a utopian idea that human suffering must be avoided at all cost. That war is never a justifiable response, that all human beings share a common motivation driven by self interest, and if we can just sit down and talk, find out what the other side really wants we can negotiate a political settlement.

This thinking motivated Obama and Kerry to enter into what was and remains a naive and dangerous engagement with Iran, a foolishness that is perpetuated by the Biden administration. What do you offer a group like Hamas (and Iranian leadership for that matter), entities that only desires one thing, your complete annihilation, the slaughter of all Jews everywhere near and far?

This level of posturing by the West can only be perpetrated by a culture in its final death throes, one that agonises over micro-agressions, incorrect pronouns, fat shaming and dead naming. Ours is a culture that has completely lost its way, ashamed of its past, without meaningful hope for the future.

Such a people has no appetite for war or suffering, for us today war is never justified. Jews on the other hand have a long memory. They cannot afford Western pieties.

David George said...

Yes Brendon, you really do have to wonder at the sheer naivety. When people tell you they want a global Islamic state and actively pursue that aim with unimaginable violence and cruelty it pays to believe them. It's a serious problem made far worse by the immigration of actual Jihadis into western countries and the limp wristed response from our governments.

The "radicalised" Algerian immigrant that knifed the teacher and school kids in Ireland was supposed to have been deported twenty years ago, he was even apprehended with a knife in public six months ago. Little wonder the Irish people are furious or that the failure of governments to take the threat seriously and to protect the people is, seeing a transformation of politics in Europe and elsewhere.

On Ireland: "So this is where we are at – our rulers fear our anger over Hamas more than they fear Hamas. They dread the emotions of their own people more than the violence of Islamic extremists. They worry more about our ‘Islamophobia’ than their Islamo-extremism. Hence, we have a Taoiseach who issues furious condemnations of rioting Dubliner ‘plebs’ and then holds back from openly condemning Islamic terrorists. The new elites are so estranged from public life that our feelings horrify them more than other people’s violence. I can think of no better reason to clear them out of office and replace them with people who take our views seriously. And, more importantly, who take seriously the experiences of a nine-year-old girl whose childhood innocence and freeborn liberties were stolen by racist filth."

The tragedy of Sweden:

Ian said...

As it says in the Bible "Now go and attack Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and do not spare them. But kill both man and woman, infant and nursing child, ox and sheep, camel and donkey." [1 Samuel 15:3] Israel's Prime Minister can use the Bible to justify genocide if it is done for religious reasons and Israel's useful American Christian idiots can lap up such Biblical justification for what non-religious people define as a crime against humanity.

Useful idiots in this country can come up with their own Biblical quotes like "He who sows the wind, shall reap the whirlwind" to whitewash the killing of more civilians by the IDF in 6 weeks than Russia and Ukraine managed in 21 months.

As for the "human shields" trope. Where in the Gaza Strip do you expect Hamas to be? And if the boot was on the other foot and the IDF found themselves pushed back against an Israeli city by a superior force would they avoid going inside it because that would be using Israeli civilians as human shields? Of course not.

Chloe's version of the Nakba is much closer to the truth than Chris's version. In Chris's version the Jews just accidentally found their way to Palestine from Europe with no intentions of anything and then defended themselves against Palestinian aggression until they had 78% of Palestine and 90% of the Palestinians living there had voluntarily donated their homes and land and crops and furniture to the Jews and went to live in tents. Hence without any intentions of anything more than defense, the Jews found themselves with a new army and country.

The reality is that it wasn't an accident. The intention of creating a Jewish state and getting rid of (or subjugating) the inconvenient presence of the existing non-Jewish population was always part of the Zionist project. The trick was to do it without seeming to do it (at least as far as the West was concerned - they were never going to be able to hide the truth from the locals). The answer to that is propaganda and the useful idiots who propagate it on Israel's behalf.

Stories like "A great many of the Palestinians who evacuated their homes and farms in 1948 did so at the urging of the Palestinian Arab leadership. Let the armies of the Arab League do their work, these leaders advised, claiming that their family’s return would only be a matter of days or weeks." or that Palestinians left because of foreign radio broadcasts are repeated uncritically and without evidence. In addition to the lack of evidence, both these stories have an element of the fantastical.

Would you leave your house, job, car, furniture, bank account, and pets and leave NZ with a suitcase after watching Joe Biden, Rishi Sunak or Chris Hipkins on TV tell white New Zealanders to leave the country? Why would the Palestinians who left their homes first (many months before any Arab armies entered Palestine) leave from villages near Haifa an area that was never close to the fighting? Why when the invasion was months away did Palestinians always leave in a great hurry, husbands and wives losing contact with each other and with their children, drowning trying to get into overcrowded boats etc?

Interestingly the IDF agrees with Chloe Swarbrick rather than Chris. In an IDF document called "The Emigration of the Arabs of Palestine in the Period 1/12/1947 – 1/6/1948" written in June 1948 (a few weeks after Israel was created and the war started) they identified 11 factors with the most important being direct, hostile Haganah/IDF operations against Arab settlements. Which the document claims accounted for 55% of Palestinians who fled. In that light, the stories of panic among Palestinians as they fled make more sense.

Of course, if the Israelis had no issue with Palestinian civilians they could have implemented UN Resolution 194 of 1948 (or else the Universal Declaration of Human Rights) at any time in the last 75 years and allowed them to return to their homes. But Israel has always refused that.

The Barron said...

I believe that any moral and intelligent person can advocate the delegitimization of Hamas and advocate for the rights of the Palestinian people. It is abhorrent to display rampant Islamophobia. Similarly, criticism of the Israeli government actions under Netanyahu is not a sign of criticism of the right of the Israeli people to a secure state, more so, any response that incorporates anti-Semitism is equally abhorrent. This dichotomization that is forcing people to take irrational prejudice views will continue to hinder any lasting solution.

I tend to support much of Loz's historical narrative, although my understanding was the Balfour Declaration committed to a Jewish 'homeland' rather than nation state. It matters little as the people and state exists, it would be unacceptable not to acknowledge this and recognize that any lasting solution must be with the consent of the people that are in Israel, the Palestinian states and (I believe) those that were displaced in the establishment of the Israeli state. Similarly, it is unacceptable to not hold up the rights for self-determination and governance for the Palestinian people.

I note Brendan's comment "... we in the West have embraced a utopian idea that human suffering must be avoided at all cost." There is a reason that we set up universal human rights and the rights of states to security. We look at the contemporary war in Ukraine and we rightly apply those rights. We look at Rwanda and know the global response should have been better. We apply war crimes to the actions of Hamas, we are obliged to hold the Israeli government to the same standards.

When we cheer for the elimination of Hamas we have to give thought as to whether this is the organization or the ideology. I very much doubt that the Israeli actions are doing anything but hardening the ideology. I have stated previously, that the only way to remove the ideology of Hamas and any successor is to give the Palestinian people the levers of civil society and a future of hope. The destruction of all infrastructure, schools and hospitals sets this back and removes the chance for two people to live in security.

I should note that we should not simplify issues, We should remember from 1991 - 2018 Hanan Ashrawi served as spokesperson and within the leadership of the PLO as a Palestinian Christian. There are many that have reduced ethnic nationalism on both sides to a religious dispute. This hides the nuances on all sides and become self-fulfilling as it legitimizes the extremes of Hamas and some of the fundamentalist parties within the Knesset.

It concerns me that people over 16,000km away take hardline views that undermines the Israeli and Palestinian people that are calling for peace and dialogue.

The Barron said...

Palestinian people are largely ethnically and linguistically Arab. However, all DNA research confirms they are descended in a continuous line from the Iron age people that at one point had identified as Hebrews. 636 AD was an Arab conquest of Palestinian land previously under Byzantium control, it was not a replacement of people. The Palestinians have continously occupied the area as a genetic group, they have had cultural and identity change but have ancestral lineage going back to the Iron age.

Chris Trotter said...

To: The Barron.

Goodness me, TB, that's an awfully long bow you're attempting to draw there.

DNA research? Crikey, next you'll be measuring skulls and grading eye and hair colour!

So many peoples have passed through this part of the Middle East over the course of the past 3,000 years - including Scotsmen on pilgrimages and crusades - that there's almost certainly a little smidgen of "Palestinian Arab" DNA in me!

Not really the point though, is it?

The forces of culture and religion count for much more than genetic inheritance (race?!) when it comes to sorting out what belongs to whom. By that measure, the Jews' claim to indigeneity in the land lying between the river and the sea is both the oldest as well as the most successfully asserted.

Genetic groups don't make nations, TB, nationalists do. And the sad fact of the matter is that the Jews have made a better job of re-establishing the nation of Israel, than the Arabs have of creating a nation called Palestine.

Kit Slater said...

The Barron said, “Palestinian people are…”

No they’re not. In 1947, there were no “Palestinians” with “national aspirations.” There was no mention of them until 1967, when the need for such became apparent. As I said elsewhere on this blog, Zuheir Mohsen, leader of the Palestinian Arab terror group As Saiqa and member of the Palestinian Liberation Organization Executive Committee, famously told a Trouw journalist in July 1977, “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. Yes, the existence of a separate Palestinian identity exists only 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.”
Google’s Ngram Viewer of Palestinian People makes this clear.

Of course, if other Arab states respected Palestinians as human, they would grant them citizenship, as Israel did with every Jew expelled from Muslim nations. There are no Jewish refugees. But Palestinian refugees growed like Topsy, from 1948’s 711,000, almost all of whom are dead, to 5, even 6 million today.

But as Israeli historian Benny Morris was quoted, when recanting his view of Palestinian aspirations, ‘he has since come to rate more highly the importance of Islamism and jihadism as forces driving Palestinian rejectionism of Israeli efforts at peace.’ Those of us who study Islam’s telos know the deeper significance of that statement all too well.

The Barron said...

Strange response. One of your contributors suggested falsely that the Palestinian heritage arrived with the Arab conquest of 636AD. I corrected this with history and science. I guess rejection of the rational is the very point of many of my comments on the issue.

The people descended from the Jewish diaspora, and those that maintained Jewish ethno-religious identity in Palestine rightly claim heritage from the Iron Age people of the area. I merely pointed out that the Palestinians rightly claim that same heritage, but undisrupted occupation. This is uncontroversial in history and science, but is somehow minimalized or denied by many narratives as to the origin of the Palestinian people. Both the mainstream Jewish population (excluding here the Ethiopian Beta Jewish population) and the Palestinians share heritage. I would think showing commonality would be a way forward.

The early Zionists recognized that not everyone in Judea, Galilee and Samaria left in the various diaspora. The people that stayed on the land changed religion and cultural identity many times, as did most people globally. There are those that use Biblical text to inform their approach to the area of Palestine / Israel without acknowledgement that the descendants of the Biblical narratives are both Palestinians and Jewish people.

I take issue with your 'sorting out what belongs to whom' line as this ignores my earlier comment "It matters little as the people and state exists", this is my primary argument that using history, religion or genetics should not deter from the reality that we have two people that must co-exist either in the same space of alongside each other. What we have is people outside of the region playing favourites based on spurious beliefs and unsupported history.

It should be noted that many rights in Israel are determined by perception of heritage. To be an Israeli Jew you must show you have descent from the "12 Tribes of Israel", this is in itself an invented history [see Andrew Tobolowsky: The Myth of the Twelve Tribes of Israel, 2022]. This ends in the ludicrous situation when Rabbinic Councils decide that the Ethiopian Beta are descendants of the Tribe of Dan, have previously rejected the Samaritans right to citizenship and have a view the Palestinians are only of Arab descent [NB: I am not rejecting the case of the Beta Jews to immigration or refugee rights, but only the way it is justified in Israeli law].

Your comment 'the Jews' claim to indigeneity in the land lying between the river and the sea is both the oldest as well as the most successfully asserted', is simply nonsensical. I do not dispute the Jewish heritage in the high country of the Levant. To suggest that those that have been ancestrally outside the area for 2000 years have more indigeneity than those that were continuing to farm on the same land their Iron Age ancestors did until 1948 is only one which can be made in extreme prejudice. My continued point is that such arguments only cloud the situation today and the need for commonality and co-existence. Perpetual war based on myths is not an option.

When you have entrenched views based on perception of heritage, it is a little defensive to be insecure over an accurate counter-narrative. In regard to nationalism, much of it can be based on manufactured tradition. If there is a need for people to co-exist, then some of the false narratives need to be countered, be it in Palestine, Kosovo or the Ukraine.

The Barron said...

I should note Chris, you are following the pattern of rejecting evidence and minimalizing the Palestinians -

and that this is in contrast to the early Zionist histories and narratives -

The Barron said...

Part 1
Kit, you seem to want to impose a limited view of what constitutes a people over time and space. The people that now identify as Palestinians are largely the same people that have been in the high country of the levant since evidence of occupation and settlement. The problem is that people try to turn Biblical stories into history. It is not, it is largely a collection of stories collated in the Hellenistic period and popularized by the Maccabees from certainly post-exilic stories.

I shall walk you through where independent scholars (largely Israeli and Hebrew scholars) believe. What are referred to as Canaanites settled in the lower levant. Several groups of Canaanites settled in the high country in the Iron Age. This eventually led to two 'kingdoms', Israel in the north and Judea in the south. The northern kingdom, Israel was far more significant based around Samaria which eventually fell to the Assyrians, and Samaria remained an Assyrian province. Biblical stories that inferred that Samaria was depopulated is a myth. The southern kingdom of Judea, was reasonably insignificant and eventually fell to the Babylonians. The elites were exiled, until the Persians conquered Babylon and some elites returned.

Throughout this time the Samarians and Judeans were undoubtedly polytheistic. Yahweh was the localized deity of Israel (the northern kingdom) under a pantheon of Gods, right through to the conquest of Alexander and the Hellenistic kingdoms. The Hebrew Bible seems to have been composed during this period, possibly as a reaction to the earlier defeats. Judeans wrote the Hebrew Bible and appropriated the identity of the northern kingdom of Israel. There is no real evidence of the people keeping the Torah until the Maccabean revolt which for the first time united Judea, Samaria and Galilee as one state and seems to have imposed the Torah and Hebrew Bible to the people (it may have been previously held by elites. This was 167BC. This Jewish identity prevailed until 70AD, and it can be argued that it was the dominant ethnic identity until the Romans made Christianity the state religion. It should be noted that during that period there was widespread Hellenization, Mandaeans, Samaritans (Hebrew but not Jewish), Gnostics and various Christian communities.

The Jewish revolts added to an already substantial diaspora, and large Jewish communities were throughout the Roman Empire. They retained cultural and religious identity, which maintained a view of Jerusalem and Israel as a spiritual homeland. Under the cultural and ethnic definitions some have tried to impose, parts of the region were 'Jewish' from 167BC to 70AD, 143 years. But this is a nonsense, shifting ethno-religious identities is simply a sign of cultural development. Those in the diaspora had been in the region since they were Canaanites in the Iron Age.

The Barron said...

Part 2

Meanwhile, while Jerusalem was largely depopulated in the Jewish revolts, most Jewish and Samarian people remained on the land. When Rome adopted Christianity, so did the vast majority in Palestine (noting there have always been those in Palestine tht maintained Jewish or Samaritan identity and religion). With the Arab conquests of the 7th century, the people adopted the Arab culture and the Islamic religion. With the fall of the Ottoman Empire, the same people were still there and most with undisturbed ancestral occupation since they were Canaanite settlers of the Iron Age.

I am reasonably confused by the number of people posting that because of other empirical powers the Palestinians are not a people with continuous occupation. This is a ridiculous view and one which few would apply to Welsh, Ukrainians or Hawaiians. People have dynamic cultures which develop and change. They adopt differing religions and identities. None of this negates the people. No modern nation or people are frozen in time and all that were in the Roman or Alexandrian Empires differ from that time. Many have had invasion and populations that have mixed with the new people, this continues with immigration today. However, the Palestinian people are a group largely the same as their ancestors of the Iron Age, as are the Jewish people.

We have to understand that Arab is a cultural identity outside of Arabia. The Egyptians are culturally Arab, but like the Palestinians there was no depopulation or repopulation. They descend from the builders of the Pyramids. The ancestors of the Palestinians have been in the region of Palestine before the Scots were in Scotland, the Franks in France or Anglo-Saxons in England.

I think one of the most overused, and quite frankly abused, terms used in the current conflict is genocide. However, if we are to look at the UN definition of genocide, we would see that negating and not recognizing and ethnic group and identity falls well within that. I encourage many contributors to understand this when they ignorantly dispel the right of the Palestinians to identity and self-determination. Similarly, there are those that question Jewish self-determination in the region. Surely we can come to the reality that there are two people and that sometime in the future co-existence is required.

The Barron said...

What a wonderfully romantic view you have of the Crusades. I hate to break it to you, but as a Scot descendant you would only have Palestinian DNA if your ancestors brought their rape victims home with them.

Brewer said...

"A great many of the Palestinians who evacuated their homes and farms in 1948 did so at the urging of the Palestinian Arab leadership"
This canard has long been debunked. For openers, between 250,000 (Arab League Declaration May 15 1948) and 400,000 (Rosemarie M. Esber PHD - War and Arab displacement in Mandate Palestine, 29 November 1947 to 15 May 1948 2004, University of London) Palestinians had been expelled before the Arab League entered the fray on 15 May 1948.
Secondly, the BBC monitored radio broadcasts in Arabic during the War. Erskine Childers examined the records and found no evidence of the League promoting evacuation. To the contrary, the League urged the population to stay put.
Haaretz has published first hand accounts of former Irgun fighters describing their actions - entering villages with all guns blazing, killing men and boys and expelling women and children. Those that refused to leave were blown up in their houses. Any Palestinian found attempting to return to their ruined village was shot on sight. This is all on the record along with evidence of intent.
In any event, victims of War have an inalienable right to return to their property no matter what caused them to leave.

Chris Trotter said...

To: The Barron.

My, my, you are veering towards the obsessive now, TB.

FYI the Crusader states endured in the Holy Land for nearly 200 years.

My putative Scottish ancestors would've had plenty of time to secure an Arab bride (the Crusader states and their Arab neighbours interacted surprisingly amicably for most of the period, passing on knowledge and habits still evident in the West today) to father plenty of healthy sons and grandsons who could easily, upon returning to Scotland in the Late-13th Century, have introduced "Arab DNA" to the dreary North.

As for rape victims, I leave the creation of those to Hamas.

Chris Trotter said...

To: Brewer.

Sadly, the history of the State of Israel will remain a bitterly contested narrative for as long as it remains a tale of two nations - each dedicated to the other's destruction.

The history I have read, and listened to, and watched, portrays the Palestinian Arabs as obdurate opponents of Jewish immigration to Palestine, and fanatical opponents of the Zionist project. It identifies the Palestinian Arabs as the first to take up arms, and the first to launch attacks on Jewish settlements - assaults every bit as murderous as Hamas's attack of 7 October 2023.

Every offer of a unitary, secular, state in which Jews and Arabs could live side-by-side was rejected by Palestinian politicians and religious leaders. They also rejected the two-state solution of partition.

When the Jews finally declared their own state, the Arab League attempted to strangle it in its cradle. Israel learned from the lesson, and built an army capable of destroying every Arab army sent against it. In the course of doing so, however, the Zionist project was compromised beyond all moral recall.

And so, Israel and Palestine grapple in the darkness. They do so without hope of either final victory or respite from the ever-increasing brutalisation of their endless struggle.

It has become a tale without heroes - only villains.

Brewer said...

The history of the State of Israel is no longer bitterly contested. The "New Historians" Benny Morris, Ilan Pappe, Avi Shlaim, Simha Flapan and many others have put paid to any controversy. It never was "a tale of two nations". It is a tale of a nation consisting of Palestinians - Muslim, Mizrahim and Christian, all descended from the same stock and cohabiting until the invasion of European Zionists with intent. The History you have read is deficient.
A question for you. Was it the intent of the U.N. Partition resolution to transfer individual property rights to the nascent Jewish State or was it simply sovereignty that was intended?
"Every offer of a unitary, secular, state in which Jews and Arabs could live side-by-side was rejected by Palestinian politicians".
Shlomo Ben Ami, Israel's negotiator does not agree:
"When the Jews finally declared their own state, the Arab League attempted to strangle it in its cradle."
Have you ever read the Arab League Declaration made to the U.N. on 15 May 1948?
An excerpt:
"The Governments of the Arab States emphasise, on this occasion, what they have already declared before the London Conference and the United Nations, that the only solution of the Palestine problem is the establishment of a unitary Palestinian State, in accordance with democratic principles, whereby its inhabitants will enjoy
complete equality before the law, [and whereby] minorities will be assured of all the guarantees recognised in democratic constitutional countries, and [whereby] the holy places will be preserved and the right of access thereto guaranteed.
Eighth: The Arab States most emphatically declare that [their] intervention in Palestine was due only to these considerations and objectives, and that they aim at nothing more than to put an end to the prevailing conditions..."
It is easy to see why the Zionists unilaterally and illegally declared a State is it not? They could not countenance a State for all its people. An apartheid state was intended and is now in place.

Chris Trotter said...

To: Brewer.

Quod Erat Demonstrandum.

Translation: What we set out to establish has been shown.

Anonymous said...

Your writing is tinged with tropes of anti-Arab racism. Your defence of “Israel” and its brutalisation and murderous genocidal rampage is a disgrace.
You blame the victims for the crimes of the oppressor.
You may as well have led with Netanyahu
“We are sons of light, they are sons of darkness’
Then segued into Amalek rhetoric.
A disgusting and disgraceful piece of writing.
Absolutely vile.
You are not left wing at all.

Chris Trotter said...

To: Unknown @ 8:21

As is so often the case with all you anti-Zionists, Unknown, you haven't really bothered to read the post.

My clearly stated argument is that Israel should not have followed the script written for it by Hamas - i.e. it should not have retaliated. That way the world's attention would have remained focused on the terrorists and their Western apologists.

Among the most vociferous of whom are people who dare to call themselves "leftists".

Brewerstroupe said...

Qui prior est tempore potior est jure.
This was a serious question:
"Was it the intent of the U.N. Partition resolution to transfer individual property rights to the nascent Jewish State or was it simply sovereignty that was intended?"
I think I can deduce the answer but wonder if you or others have given any thought to it.

Anonymous said...

I read your article and was responding to the clear intention and statements you made throughout against the Palestinians and their supporters and in favour of Israel.

You repeat many elements of Israeli propaganda.

It is beyond the pale that anyone professing to be left wing would support an ethno-state let alone one led by fascists.

Your concluding statement does not in anyway make a difference.

In the event that you would like to adjust your position go watch any lectures or interviews given by Norman Finkelstein - they are available on YouTube

Kit Slater said...

In The Barron’s Parts 1 and 2, he engages in a form of creative casuistry which leads to what I’ve termed ‘digressive discourse’ – anything to divert attention from the circumstances which shape today’s conditions of, in this case, Israel’s desire to avoid annihilation. Chris’ comments sum up “Palestinian heritage’, rendering Parts 1 and 2 superfluous. The creation of ‘Palestinian land’ and its ‘people’ is an artifice serving far more than a Judenrein state for Arabs, which is a recent confection designed to appeal to the West’s latent anti-Semitism.

Palestinians’ claim to Israel is not based on heritage, DNA, indigeneity, or autochthony; it is based on the Koran.

Studying Islam makes things much clearer. The Koran is the actual and inerrant words of Allah. It is taken literally as gospel – mandated, obligatory – by Muslims, and can be seen in the process of conquest over the last 14 centuries and especially its successes in living memory. The abysmal failure of Westerners to understand Islam, its doctrine of global conquest (21:105) and imposition of its order (sharia law and hisbah – Islam’s moral imperative), will haunt future generations, just as it does for Iranians who thought life would improve after deposing the Shah and the creation of the Islamic State of Iran. Similar actions to Israel’s are taking place in western China, Nagorno-Karabakh, Thailand, Myanmar, the Sahel, Niger, Nigeria, Kenya etc., in terms of national defence but they don’t receive the same measure of rebuke because they’re not Jews. Students of Islam will learn about yaqeen, the commitment and religious certainty required by jihadists such as Hamas to fight with the passion of the deranged. They will discover the role of ribat, frontier posts whence jihad is waged on the infidel, of which Israel is an essential component as can be seen from the way Islam moves its way westward.

The Koran does not mention Palestine, but refers to the Holy Land (5:21) as the land of the Israelites which is subject to conquest. The land then becomes gifted, waqf, to Allah in perpetuity. 26:59 offers the land to the Children of Israel until the Day of Judgment (17:104), and both Iran and Hamas are in a hurry to bring that about. Historically, only Spain has revoked this principle and it’s targeted for reversal.

That Israel’s actions are opposed by the likes of The Barron, Brewer, Anonymous, Ian et al, Muslims in the West and Islam’s useful idiots waving Palestinian, Hamas and Islamic State flags, bodes ill not just for Israel, but the entire non-Islamic world.

Tom Hunter said...

Looks like everybody outside of the Western left hates the "Palestinians":

Sources have reportedly told Haaretz that almost every Arab Leader during “Behind-the-Scenes Talks” with Israeli Officials including several Gulf States have told them not to End the War with Hamas until the Terrorist Organization is Totally Destroyed with many seeing Hamas as a Domestic Enemy.

Given what they've did in every country that did allow Palestinian refugees to enter - Egypt, Jordan, Iraq, Lebanon, Kuwait... constantly aligning with Islamic Jihadist factions to overthrow their governments and assassinate local politicians, it's hardly a surprise to find Arab leaders uninterested in seeing Hamas and company survive.

Tom Hunter said...

Thought you might appreciate this article since I think it captures the dilemma that older Lefties like you find yourself in:

The rise of black nationalist antisemitism in the seventies, which was often explicitly racialist in nature, produced flailing responses. The American Jewish liberal establishment held up faded pictures of Heschel marching with MLK, failing to grasp that this made black nationalists despise MLK rather than like Jews, and prattled about the Jewish contribution to civil rights. The liberal establishment was so committed to a model of top-down persecution that it was unable to defend Jews against antisemitism that appeared to be coming from a minority on the bottom.

When various forms of critical race theory made the formula official that black people and minorities could not be racist toward anyone with more privilege than them, a position that legitimized a general hatred of white people, Asians and Jews, there was little response. The formal understanding that Jews could now be freely hated was ignored by liberal Jews.

Some outnumbered figures launched a struggle for the soul of liberalism, but they had little and fleeting support from an establishment that was still influential enough to make a difference. The liberal Jewish establishment was more interested in being in the vanguard of civil rights than in protecting Jews from the emergence of an ideology that deprived them of their civil rights.

Chris Trotter said...

To: Anonymous @ 12:34

The state of Israel, and the government of Israel, are two, quite separate entities.

Chris Trotter said...

To: Brewerstroupe.

Qui prior est tempore potior est jure.

If he who is first in time has the better claim in law, then Israel wins hands-down!

Brewerstroupe said...

Even if you accept Bible as History Canaanites win hands down.
Was it the intent of the U.N. Partition resolution to transfer individual property rights to the nascent Jewish State or was it simply sovereignty that was intended?

The Barron said...

Kitt. Firstly Chris' comment on Palestinian heritage is straw manning. He decides to focus on the subject of DNA. You had implied the Palestinian people arrived in Palestine in the 7th century AD, I showed that both the heritage of both those that identify as Jewish and those that identify as Palestinian share heritage dating to the Iron Age through shared ancestry. This is confirmed by DNA studies. There is nothing racist about this, all historical Anthropologists trace Polynesian, Native American, European etc. settlement through DNA. Those involved in Jewish studies have used DNA to largely debunk the Khazar theory. The amazing thing about the Iron Age DNA tests is how remarkably uniform it is in relation to the Palestinians and Jewish people of today.

Chris suggested that it is about 'sorting out what belongs to whom' and 'claim to indigeneity'. It has to be noted, I made no such arguments. I provided a historical and scientific counter narrative to the view many have that Jewish heritage is stronger than Palestinian. It is not, but it is still strong. There is a point that the Palestinians have continuous ancestral occupation since he Iron Age, but I highlighted that we must deal with the situation as it is today. There is a measure of misinformation I have corrected.

It would seem, Kit, that you only have a glancing knowledge of the history of the region, and you seem unaware that the Arab siege of Byzantine Jerusalem (636-637AD) is widely seen as a combined Arab - Jewish army, and that Jewish advisors were prominent in the early Arab empire.

A final note is that if there are 'useful idiots' it is those that perpetuate conflict. This is pushing dichotomization into extreme camps. Throughout my correspondence I have condemned Hamas and endorsed delegitimization for their state leadership. I have also condemned the Israeli government response, 6000 children and 4000 women killed shows a level of non-combatant and civilian deaths that must neve be justified, nor can the 1200 Israelis killed or rape as a component of war. Human rights must be universal. It is also my view that the Israeli action is counter-productive is a lasting solution is the aim. This is obvious and the conclusion must be that it is not the aim of the Netanyahu government.

I am 16000km away, I believe that those in the international communities should be advocating only for solutions which give lasting security and the levers of civil society for the people in the region. It is a people that share heritage and history, I make no apology for dispelling propaganda and misconception and showing commonality.

The Barron said...

"First in time"???
You remain religiously intransigent. No matter the scientific and historical evidence that both Palestinians and Hebrews have shared heritage going back to the Iron Age, you continue the view that the Jewish people were there first. Presbyterian indoctrination over the rational enlightenment.

The Palestinians, and some Jewish and Samaritan families, have continous occupation on the land dating from the Iron Age. I don't know how you skip this fact simply because it intrudes your world view.

The situation today, is the situation today. But do not impose pseudo history or latent religious doctrine to negate the Palestinian people.