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Susie Linfield on How to Think About the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

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Posted on Jun 5, 2009
book cover

By Susie Linfield

(Page 4)

The “right of return” is a phrase that has always baffled me. For if return is indeed a right for Palestinians, surely it must be upheld for others, too. And so, I wonder, what of the hundreds of thousands of Israeli Jews who left, or were expelled from, the Muslim countries of the Middle East and North Africa, where they had lived for centuries? Some of them, and their descendants, might want to go “home”: Isn’t that their right? Will Yemen, Syria, Iraq, Iran, Egypt, Lebanon, Algeria and Morocco welcome them back, usher them into their former homes, restore their businesses and professions? Think, if only for a minute, of the havoc that would ensue. With the “return” of so many “refugees,” both to Israel and the surrounding states, what would happen to the millions who would, of necessity, subsequently be displaced? Why would this not create new generations of refugees or at least masses of enraged, displaced people? How would this grand, mad population transfer take place? What relation does any of this have to justice, and why would it not result in social catastrophe and ruin on a massive scale?

 

book cover

 

One State, Two States

 

By Benny Morris

 

Yale University Press, 256 pages

 

Buy the book

 

Indeed, if each Palestinian has the right of return, so must every other displaced person on Earth. What, then, of the hundreds of thousands of Bosnians, Croats and Serbs who lost their homes (and much more) in the bitter Balkan wars of the 1990s? Should the Dayton Accords—which were, truth to tell, grievously unfair to the Bosnians, and which rewarded the murderous ethnic cleansing of the Serbs—be revoked, and each person of each nationality “restored” to her former home? Why would this one-state solution not be a prescription for another round of vicious wars, if not another round of genocide?

And if return equals justice, let’s take it further; post-World War II history is replete with states that came into being at the cost of immense violence and immense dislocation, and that have made some of their neighbors quite unhappy. Why not retract the division of the subcontinent—which resulted in massive expulsions, population transfers and an estimated million deaths—and impose a one-state “solution” on Pakistan and India? (And while we are at it, shouldn’t we force Bangladesh—which dismembered Pakistan when it unilaterally declared independence—to reunite with its former brethren? Over 8 million refugees resulted from that astonishingly short, pitiless war.) How far back should the clock be turned? Should the Sudeten Germans be returned to Czechoslovakia (a country that no longer exists)? Should the Treaty of Trianon, which robbed Hungary of two-thirds of its land and population, be revoked?

These examples are absurd, but only because they illustrate the essential bankruptcy of the concept of restoration, which obsessively revisits, and tries to re-create, a presumably edenic past rather than accept the far more difficult task of building a viable future. Indeed, the idea that justice lies not in creating history but in un-making it—which is the key idea behind the “right of return”—is the very definition of reaction, which is precisely why it is never advocated as a solution for anyone but the Palestinians, and why it is a sterling example of bad faith. In most circumstances, this attempt to vanquish history is commonly called revanchism, and is usually associated with ultranationalism and fascism. (See, for instance, the German right in the interwar years and, more recently, the Serbs during the breakup of Yugoslavia.) It usually leads to the most vicious, most unyielding politics, and it usually leads to war. It elides—in the case of the Palestinians as much as any other—the problem of forging a workable, good-enough, resilient solution for the future rather than seeking to eradicate the humiliations of the past through presumably glorious, and apparently unending, battles of redemption. It seeks ultimate justice: which may seem, at first glance, a beautiful thing but which usually turns out to be an ugly thing.

* * *


What are the prospects for a (real) two-state solution? “Very bleak,” Morris writes, “primarily because the Palestinian Arabs, in the deepest fibers of their being, oppose such an outcome.” In addition, Morris casts doubt on the viability of a Gaza-West Bank state, even on the off chance that it comes to be. Its minute size, Morris writes, would “leave the Arabs, all Arabs, with a deep sense of injustice, affront, and humiliation and a legitimate perception that a state consisting of the Gaza Strip and the West Bank (and perhaps large parts of East Jerusalem) … is simply not viable, politically or economically.” Ever the realist, Morris points out that such a small, fragile state would have tremendous problems meeting the needs of its own population, much less absorbing the millions of impoverished, often uneducated Palestinians who live in the grim refugee camps and refugee “suburbs” outside Palestine proper, at least some of whom would want to emigrate. In fact, an independent Gaza-West Bank might be the perfect recipe for a failed state. “And yet the two-state idea,” Morris writes, “remains the only sound moral and political basis for a solution offering a modicum of justice and, hence, a chance for peace, for both peoples.”


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PatrickHenry's avatar

By PatrickHenry, November 2, 2009 at 5:09 pm Link to this comment

By firefly, November 2 at 8:02 pm #

I agree wholeheartedly.

I can support a democratic, pluristic Israel, however a jews only homeland is apartheid as any other “#### only” nation state and thats plain wrong in my view.

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By firefly, November 2, 2009 at 12:02 pm Link to this comment

Firstly, I’d like know what defines a homeland?

To dispute the concept of a Palestinian homeland, is to suggest that there was absolutely no-one living on the land before the Israelis came from far and wide (mostly Europe where they had been for generations) to set up their “Jewish’ homeland. This is based on the premise that some irrational God gave the land to a chosen category of human being rather than to nomadic sheep herders who had been there for generations, but somehow aren’t entitled to be there because they aren’t Jewish.

Which brings me to my second point.

Countries like Iran and Saudi Arabia that declare an exclusive Islamic state where non-Muslims are seen as second class citizens are generally viewed with aversion by democratic countries. 

However, the age of exclusivity and elitism has past and in most modern societies, are a harsh reminder of the days of apartheid, or slavery or classism. Most people in the west now accept the world as a multicultural, multi-religious global entity, with all people sharing universal rights as laid down in the declaration of Human Rights.

So, I wonder, on what basis do Jews deserve an exclusive land?

Do Jews view themselves as a separate species? No. They are human beings; flesh and blood like all other human beings. They are not better, or more exceptional, they have not been granted a special status over other people and therefore should not be entitled to a land that is exclusively theirs. I just don’t agree with it. If an exclusively Jewish homeland is acceptable, then by the same token, why shouldn’t America claim to be an exclusively white Christian homeland, or Zimbabwe and South Africa an exclusively black homeland, or China an exclusively non-religious, Communist homeland, etc etc.

Most people would know the answers to those questions. You get my point?

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By firefly, November 2, 2009 at 11:56 am Link to this comment

Firstly, I’d like know what defines a homeland?

To dispute the concept of a Palestinian homeland, is to suggest that there was absolutely no-one living on the land before the Israelis came from far and wide (mostly Europe where they had been for generations) to set up their “Jewish’ homeland. This is based on the premise that some irrational God gave the land to a chosen category of human being rather than to Palestinian sheep herders who had been there for generations, but somehow aren’t therefore entitled to be there.

Which brings me to my second point.

Countries like Iran and Saudi Arabia that declare an exclusive Islamic state where non-Muslims are seen as second class citizens are generally viewed with aversion by democratic countries. 

However, the age of exclusivity and elitism has past and in most modern societies, are a harsh reminder of the days of apartheid, or slavery or classism. Most people in the west now accept the world as a multicultural, multi-religious global entity, with all people sharing universal rights as laid down in the declaration of Human Rights.

So, I wonder, on what basis do Jews deserve an exclusive land?

Do Jews view themselves as a separate species? No. They are human beings; flesh and blood like all other human beings. They are not better, or more exceptional, they have not been granted a special status over other people and therefore should not be entitled to a land that is exclusively theirs. I just don’t agree with it. If an exclusively Jewish homeland is acceptable, then by the same token, why shouldn’t America claim to be an exclusively white Christian homeland, or Zimbabwe and South Africa an exclusively black homeland, or China an exclusively non-religious, Communist homeland, etc etc.

Most people would know the answers to those questions. You get my point?

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By stcfarms, August 9, 2009 at 3:45 pm Link to this comment

Inherit The Wind,


Let’s kick the Europeans and Africans and Asians out of North America and give it back to the Indians.


A better solution would be to return all of the land held by the federal, state and local governments and corporations and let all Americans keep up to 10 acres each (taken from corporate land, not from national parks!). Half of my relatives are French and it would be a pain in the ass to have to visit them there.

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By Apostolos, July 8, 2009 at 3:07 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Nazionism is like a cancer that can’t be cured. The invadors of Palestine will not be satisfied until the have eliminated the indigenous people of an established country. Benji has claimed that the growing population needs an expansion of the settlements for natural growth. Has he ever seen the skyscrapers and high towered condos in the US? Why not add floors to the existing illegal homes? Our President Obama has insisted that the expansion of settlements must cease but he was spate on and told him, in so many words, that to mind his own business. This comes from a government that has been given over a trillion dollars in military aid since the early fifties - and that does not count the economic assistance..

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By Inherit The Wind, June 14, 2009 at 11:09 am Link to this comment

Anarcissie, June 12 at 12:34 am #

ItW, I believe you are guilty of excessive irony.  Please try to control yourself.
*****************************

Moi?
Ironic?

Why, that would be like Limbaugh (Mr. Bouncy) making sense!

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Anarcissie's avatar

By Anarcissie, June 11, 2009 at 9:34 pm Link to this comment

ItW, I believe you are guilty of excessive irony.  Please try to control yourself.

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PatrickHenry's avatar

By PatrickHenry, June 11, 2009 at 1:52 pm Link to this comment

By Inherit The Wind, June 11 at 12:06 pm #

When you state “lets kick the”...etc) you must have been impling yourself and anyone else who would be stupid enough to follow you.

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By Inherit The Wind, June 11, 2009 at 5:06 am Link to this comment

PatrickHenry, June 10 at 5:32 pm #

By Inherit The Wind, June 10 at 1:21 pm #

You had better hope they don’t kick back.
**************************************

You got that wrong—what else is new?

YOU better hope they don’t kick back!

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By ardee, June 11, 2009 at 4:09 am Link to this comment

Inherit The Wind, June 10 at 1:21 pm

Please cease and desist from posting common sense and the realities of the situation forthwith!

Do you not understand by now that we are obligated to post emotionalism, knee jerk reaction and the minutiae rather than see the overall picture?

Why do you continue to fly in the face of convention and let yourself be on the bottom of the hill like this? Do you not understand what flows down that hill?

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PatrickHenry's avatar

By PatrickHenry, June 10, 2009 at 2:32 pm Link to this comment

By Inherit The Wind, June 10 at 1:21 pm #

You had better hope they don’t kick back.

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By Inherit The Wind, June 10, 2009 at 10:21 am Link to this comment

Let’s kick the Russians out of Eestern Poland and give it back to the Poles.
Let’s kick the Poles out of East Prussia and Danzig (now called Gdansk) and give it back to the Germans.
After all that all happened just after WWII too.

But let’s not stop there.

Let’s kick all the Prostestant Northern Irish out of Ireland and send them back to Scotland.

Let’s kick the Europeans and Africans and Asians out of North America and give it back to the Indians.

Let’s kick the Spanish out of Central America and give it back to the Mayans.

Let’s kick the Turks out of Europe and Asia Minor and send them back to Central Asia.

Let’s kick the Spanish and Portugese out of Iberia and give it back to the Moors.

Let’s kick the Norse out of Iceland and give it back to the seals and marmots.

Or is it only Jews that should be kicked out?

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Anarcissie's avatar

By Anarcissie, June 9, 2009 at 4:33 pm Link to this comment

If there is a coherent theory about who has a right to which land, I haven’t seen it, except of course for the religious theories, which are popular with more than one party.  In all other cases the theory seems to be that land may be taken by force, and then suddenly it can’t be taken by force any more.

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PatrickHenry's avatar

By PatrickHenry, June 9, 2009 at 3:45 pm Link to this comment

No justice no peace.

http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1091253.html

Read some of the comments.

The Israelis are trying to rid Palestine one Palestinian at a time and have been doing so for along time.

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By ardee, June 9, 2009 at 2:32 pm Link to this comment

“The Palestinians are more native to Palestine (now Israel) than most of the Jews now living there.”

In my opinion this is a thoughtless phrase that resolves nothing and adds only fuel to the fire. Considering that Israel was created in 1948 how many still living were born or once resided in “Palestine”?

Further the question is not which people have the greater right to that region, both claim ancestral rights going back thousands of years.

No, sorry, the question is how to stop the bloodshed and the eternal violence, how to bring peace and equity to both sides of this damned struggle.

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By PatrickHenry, June 9, 2009 at 2:12 pm Link to this comment

By Howard, June 9 at 3:12 pm #

Egyptian stock sounds like your making a soup.

The Palestinians are more native to Palestine (now Israel) than most of the jews now living there.

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By KDelphi, June 9, 2009 at 12:52 pm Link to this comment

Howard—“egyptian ‘stock’”???

What “stock”
are you?

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By Howard, June 9, 2009 at 12:12 pm Link to this comment

Let Jordan and Egypt absorb the Pal’s.  They are mainly egyptian stock, anyway. Jordan is 45% palestenian already.  Maybe Syria will take some.  And Lebanon.

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By Jaded Prole, June 9, 2009 at 4:30 am Link to this comment

Unfortunately it appears that Morris has been sucked into the racism and xenophobia of larger Israeli society. How can such different peoples cohabit a single country!? South Africa might be a good example. I’ve yet to hear an argument against the one state solution that the Boers did not make in supporting apartheid. Israel has done everything in its considerable power to make a two-state solution an impossibility on the ground. Had Israel offered the PLO ALL of the west bank up to the green line as a completely independent state they would have accepted it but no one will accept a partitioned bantustan run by the IDF with its finances controlled by Israel.

It is Israel that is the problem and, having the power, it is Israel that can create a solution. If Israelis are unable to be anything but arrogant, racist militants who are incapable of living with their neighbors than the Zionist experiment is an utter failure.

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By Chris Horton, June 8, 2009 at 10:21 pm Link to this comment

I read as far as ” ... it cloaks the suggested extermination of an extant country ...” and then skipped the rest of what was sure to be insufferable drivel.

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By P. T., June 8, 2009 at 5:27 pm Link to this comment

A factor that mainstream media largely ignore, for obvious reasons, is the role public policy plays in determining incomes.  To wit:  U.S. manufacturing workers are placed in competition with third-world workers via trade agreements.  On the other hand, workers in the professions are, to a significant extent, shielded from competition by restrictions on immigration.  The limits placed during the Clinton administration on the number of foreign doctors allowed in the country is a case in point.

The effect is to redistribute income upward.

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By Inherit The Wind, June 8, 2009 at 11:54 am Link to this comment

Did any of you geniuses calling me names actually READ Kristoff’s article and the stats it quotes?

At least KDelphi did—you have my thanks.  I think you might have expressed Kristoff’s point better than I did.  Yes, it’s NURTURE over Nature.  The point Kristoff was making was that a genetic basis for these groups being more prosperous does NOT exist.  Jews and Asians and West Indians aren’t smarter—they just have cultural traditions that are taught from an early age that instill discipline and a hunger for learning.

It’s not genetics—it’s teaching handed down from generations.  I don’t believe any race or ethnic is or CAN be genetically superior to another, and especially not in intelligence.

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By P. T., June 8, 2009 at 8:44 am Link to this comment

The Zionist expansionists need not worry.  Any pressures on Israel to conform to the Road Map will be “largely symbolic,” so the New York Times reported (Helene Cooper, June 1).

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By tropicgirl, June 8, 2009 at 7:27 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

ITW writes of “3 groups that do better EVEN WHEN THEY HAVE LOWER IQs than their WASPy lazier counterparts.”...

However, from my observation, these three groups suffer more neurotic, psychological problems than others. Its all in what you think success is.

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Ed Harges's avatar

By Ed Harges, June 8, 2009 at 6:40 am Link to this comment

ITW writes of “3 groups that do better EVEN WHEN THEY HAVE LOWER IQs than their WASPy lazier counterparts.”

Gee, not prejudiced much, eh ITW?

It’s nice to know that if I go to a job interview conducted by a “liberal” Jew like ITW, then as soon as I walk in the door, ITW has me labeled “lazy WASP”.

And also: to the extent that members of these 3 groups “do better” even when stupider, I wonder what role nepotism, as well as hatred of “WASPs”, may have to do with that? When members of these groups get into positions of power, do they use that power to take revenge on the “WASPs” whom they have always resented? Do they consciously seek to promote members of their own group, and to dilute the power of the WASP group?

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By P. T., June 7, 2009 at 8:28 pm Link to this comment

What is a WASP anyway?  Pretty broad category.  On average, white Baptists are going to have quite different incomes than white Episcopalians or Presbyterians.  However, I do not think Baptists are any lazier.

This is all beside the point anyway.  The point is the tail (Israel) cannot be allowed to wag the dog (the U.S.).

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By P. T., June 7, 2009 at 8:08 pm Link to this comment

“He points out 3 groups that do better EVEN WHEN THEY HAVE LOWER IQs than their WASPy lazier counterparts.”


No, no, no.  The way to make the big bucks is to be a capitalist so you can live off of other people’s work.

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By KDelphi, June 7, 2009 at 8:04 pm Link to this comment

Nick Kristoff’s column doesnt exactly say that…

He talks alot about environment and the value of nurture over nature.

It seems that he thinks that it is more of a cvultural phenomenon, as indicated by his quoting the book “Intelligence and how to Get It”

“It’s that the most decisive weapons in the war on poverty aren’t transfer payments but education, education, education. For at-risk households, that starts with social workers making visits to encourage such basic practices as talking to children. One study found that a child of professionals (disproportionately white) has heard about 30 million words spoken by age 3; a black child raised on welfare has heard only 10 million words, leaving that child at a disadvantage in school..”

Id have to see the book but ,thats rather a sweeping statement—what is a “black child raised on welfare”?? He also doesnt state whether he includes Jews as
“whites”...but, its just an op-ed, I never read him.

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/06/07/opinion/07kristof.html?em

Id be the last one to stick up for WASPS, who have certainly been the source of as much agony as Jews…I’m not pleasing anyone here, am I? OH, well, not my problem…

Psychologists have known for a very long time that IQ tests are more a function of class than of innate intelligence…they are really just not sure what iQ Tests measure, other than being middle class and good at test-taking. How well you do on an IQ tests correlates about .71 with how well you will do on future tests, and, thats about it.

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By Ilene, June 7, 2009 at 7:46 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I’m with Patrick Henry, the only solution to this problem is to isolate the pariah state in the same manner as was done to South Africa.  Really surprised Truthdig published this tripe defending the apartheid state.

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By Inherit The Wind, June 7, 2009 at 7:39 pm Link to this comment

Perhaps you anti-semitic idiots should read today’s op-ed by Nick Kristoff.  He points out 3 groups that do better EVEN WHEN THEY HAVE LOWER IQs than their WASPy lazier counterparts.

The 3 groups?

Jews (Naturally…)
Asian-Americans (No, they are NOT the “Lost Tribes” of Israel)
West-Indies Blacks, who do significantly better than other Black Americans, on average.

Anybody whose kids go to school with Asian kids know they work far harder than most of their non-Asian classmates and, for the same level of intelligence, do better.  Lots of people curse them for it, but it’s no different than cursing “those smart Jews”.  I say: If you can out-compete your European-descended peers, all power to you!

As people move up, certain businesses change.  Computer shops and on-line dealers were all once Asian.  Now many are Russian-owned.  Even diners here in NJ are now mainly Russian-owned as the Greeks have moved up and out of that business.

But when you hit the top professions, why move out?

But, naturally, the anti-semites (usually those who can’t keep up, or have to work harder to stay up) look for ANY reason other than the obvious one: The Jews, the Asians and the West Indians simply work harder on average.

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By KDelphi, June 7, 2009 at 7:29 pm Link to this comment

Just saw Benny Morris on Fareed Zakaira—-he’s crazy.

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By P. T., June 7, 2009 at 6:24 pm Link to this comment

Professor Marc Lynch, of George Washington University, on the Bolton/Morris/Linfield/neocon Zombie Idea


Bolton’s Zombie Idea
Mon, 01/05/2009 - 11:05am

John Bolton proposes in today’s Washington Post giving up on Palestinian governance and a two-state solution, instead opting for a “three-state approach” in which “Gaza is returned to Egyptian control and the West Bank in some configuration reverts to Jordanian sovereignty.”

If a zombie can be defined as a “reanimated corpse,” then Bolton’s proposal certainly fits the bill. This concept reappears like clockwork whenever there’s an Israeli-Palestinian crisis. Some see it as a magic bullet to negate Palestinian nationalism or at least redirect Palestinian ire towards their new/old Arab rulers. Others just can’t imagine the emergence of any Palestinian leadership they find acceptable (probably a safe bet) and prefer the predictable dictatorships to the East and South. Most recently, in October, Israeli Maj. Gen. (Ret.) Giora Eiland’s Washington Institute for Near East Policy paper proposed a “trilateral” solution (more discussion here).

Variants on this idea pop up so routinely, in fact, that it might be more concerning if the dog didn’t bark. So thanks to Bolton for that. But it’s still a terrible idea. Leaving aside all the practical impediments, who wants it (other than Bolton and his pals)?

(Continued below)

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By P. T., June 7, 2009 at 6:21 pm Link to this comment

(Continued from above)

Not Jordanians.  Since severing ties with the West Bank in 1988, Jordan settled on a consensus position for dealing with contentious issues of Jordanian-Palestinian relations:  “Jordan is Jordan and Palestine is Palestine”. There is no Jordan option because Jordanians of all stripes deeply oppose it and the Hashemites see no benefit in it. King Abdullah has stated repeatedly that “the Jordan option is out of the question.” 
Not Egyptians.  The Mubarak regime has been doing everything possible to separate from Gaza, not to return to it.  As Steve Cook recently pointed out, there is no upside for the Egyptian regime in this crisis. Why would a sclerotic regime obsessed with the “threat” of the Muslim Brotherhood at home and consumed with a difficult transition from an aging President take on responsibility for an enraged and devasted Gaza population which blames Egypt for enforcing the blockade on behalf of Israel? 
Not Palestinians. It’s true that a lot of Palestinians are deeply frustrated with both Fatah and Hamas, and despair of their political institutions.  But that does not mean that they are ready to abandon their national identity or will willingly accede to Egyptian or Jordanian rule. In a public opinion survey in September, two-thirds of Palestinians opposed reunification with Jordan… and it’s probably better not to ask Gazans what they think about Egypt these days. 
Bolton acknowledges that neither the Egyptians nor Jordanians are interested, but the opposition of foreigners has rarely been a problem for Bolton (or for neo-conservatives in general, whose misreading of the importance of foreign public opinion has always been one of the more deadly of their numerous Achilles heels). Bolton dismissively suggests that Egypt and Jordan can be persuaded with the offer of “financial and political support from the Arab League and the West.”  That rather understates the intense regime survival fears in both countries… and resonates rather too well with the popular Arab complaint that their governments prostitute themselves to the West. 

Watching the walking dead can be fun in George Romero movies or in the Marvel Zombies comic books, but it’s less amusing in the midst of a major regional crisis.. especially if it offers any kind of guide to the thinking of the Israeli leadership, the Likud opposition, or to the remnants of the Bush administration. The Jordan option, the Egypt-Gaza option, the “three-state solution”—these are fantasies which have little to do with the real problems on the ground or feasible solutions to this intractable conflict. Can we just let this idea finally rest in its grave so that more serious options can be considered instead.. and perhaps even liberate some valuable Washington Post op-ed page real-estate?

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PatrickHenry's avatar

By PatrickHenry, June 7, 2009 at 5:26 pm Link to this comment

Actually alot of American jews attend marva’s in Israel as out of country reserves.  They come from affluent communities whose parents Lobby “for” Israel and are agents of influence for that country in the arts and media, print and otherwise.

Thousand of years of being denied the right to own anything, hardly.  The natural avenue for building wealth are building assets, banks and usuary which have gone on for centuries within worldwide jewry.

http://www.jewishwealth.org/

Check out the website and imagine if any WASP’s sit on those boards.  Jews have been in usuary and banking, trading and retailing since before there were WASP’s.

It was estimated that in the mid-1800’s the Rothchild banking cartel contolled over half the currency in Europe.  The Oppenheimers of Debeers fame have done well in controlling the diamond monoply to this day, however their grip is loosening.

I hope the 12 rabbis of the kaballah bestow brains.

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By ardee, June 7, 2009 at 4:23 pm Link to this comment

Folktruther, June 7 at 5:29 pm #

It is becoming clearer that the major roadblock to Mideast peace are American Jews supported by the American ruling class.
...............................

While I understand that AIPAC casts a long shadow I believe you exaggerate greatly as to the influence of American Jews over Israeli policies. It was not America who elected Netanyahu thus supporting his expansionist policies, nor was it their influence that led to Israel’s invasion of Lebanon, the brutality of the actions in Gaza or much of the history of Israeli callousness towards those refugees they themselves created in ‘48.

Perhaps right wing Christians see the increasing strife in the Middle East as the advancement of the end times but Jews may send money or write their Congressmen, but they do not cause the actions of the IDF or our own State Dept..

As to your earlier screed:
“Jews consist of only two percent of the American population but they are largely in business and the professional claaases, as well as being perhaps a fourth of the ruling class.  their voting power is insignificant, but their money, media and management power is grossly out of porportion to their numbers.”

I will not make the obvious charge you might expect, or possibly even deserve, but I will say you simply fail miserably to understand the history of the Jew that leads them to such careers. Thousands of years of being denied the right to own property has created a natural avenue to business management and the arts.

Where you get your estimates of how many Jews are in the “ruling class” is not known to me but I do know that Jews are not allowed even yet in the clubs or boardrooms of those who make the decisions that make our politicians obey. No, sorry, but this nation is ruled solely by the white Anglo Saxon Protestants,and always has been.

I would explain further but I am late for an appointment with one of the Twelve Rabbis who secretly rule the world…and you dont want to keep them waiting, trust me.

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By KDelphi, June 7, 2009 at 4:19 pm Link to this comment

I cannot read all of these posts, but it seems to me that the writer falls all over herself, admittedly coming up with hugely absurd comparisons ,like “how far should we turn the clock back”. Of course, no one can answer that question. The Palestinians would probably like to turn it back to before 1930…the Zionist Israelis, apparently to —what—-0 BC?

The crux of the matter, it seems to me, is that Palestinians have nowwhere to live, and, it has been that way for generations. I have no idea how to achieve the “goal”, or, from this article, even what the goal IS.

It is disengenuous to say, “doesnt everyone have the right of return”—although I did learn something from this article, it was so slanted as to almost make it useless…

Can someone explain to me what this “Jordanian” “solution” is?? I dont get it.

If “no one on the Left” will “consider it anymore”, maybe its wrong…

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By sharonsj, June 7, 2009 at 3:37 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

When Palestinians call for a two state solution, they don’t really mean it.  They could have had a state decades ago but Arafat always screwed it up because he never wanted two states.  He wanted one state in which there were either no Jews or the Jews were subordinate to Muslims.

Meanwhile, no one ever says a word about Jewish refugees.  I don’t mean the people who fled the Holocaust, I mean the Jews who fled when five Arab countries attacked Israel in 1948.  There were just as many Jewish refugees as Palestinians, but you don’t hear about them because they were welcomed into Israel while the Palestinians were used as pawns by their so-called brethren and thrown into camps.

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PatrickHenry's avatar

By PatrickHenry, June 7, 2009 at 3:35 pm Link to this comment

There is a movement, I encourage everyone (including the zealots) to participate.

www dot bdsmovement dot net

For some reason “Truthdig” has blacklisted this site.

I find it harmless considering the sites they do allow. http://www.masada2000.org

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By Folktruther, June 7, 2009 at 2:29 pm Link to this comment

It is becoming clearer that the major roadblock to Mideast peace are American Jews supported by the American ruling class.  Sepharad, Inherit and the Zionist lemmings on TC are actually to the left of the young Jewish Ziofascists being indoctrinated by Aipac, etc.  Of course TC Zionists support them in practice, and ziofascists like Benny Morris, so it is largely a distinction without a difference.

As is the policies of Obama and Bush.  Obama is pursing the Bushite Roadmap to Peace, and arguing about the marginal issue of expanding settlements when they are already an half million settlers on Palestine land.  And an Israel wall to implement apartheid.

Consequently it is necessary to hold the American power structure responsible publically for Palestinian oppression, since in fact they are.  These young Jewish louts are in Jerusulem only with the support of US power, and support war, racism and ethnic cleansing with US backing.  Israel encourages them and bars people like Finklestein only with US tacit support.  So the world boycott, etc of Isarael should emphasize US power in supporting Israeli oppression.

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By omop, June 7, 2009 at 11:02 am Link to this comment

Thanks PH.

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By omop, June 7, 2009 at 9:55 am Link to this comment

To Fadel.

That footage has already been blocked.

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By omop, June 7, 2009 at 9:36 am Link to this comment

Israelis/zionists are trapped in a “Dorian Gray World” **

** Google, The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde.

Their future lies in 3 and only 3 worlds.

  a) Comply with all the UN Resolutions that created it and the Palestenian State.

  b) Continue what its has been doing for the past 60 years and expect hostilities with increasing potentials for a military defeat within the next 5/10 years.

  c) Re-invent itself with the Palestenians as a non-jewish state.

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By Fadel Abdallah, June 7, 2009 at 7:19 am Link to this comment

Interesting footage from Israel; a must see by everyone, including Obama! There is a possibility that this footage has already been blocked!

http://ww3zionism.blogspot.com/2009/06/jews-respond -to-obama-speaking-to-arabs.html

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By Folktruther, June 7, 2009 at 1:36 am Link to this comment

Damn ritht, Virgina.

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By Virginia777, June 6, 2009 at 7:01 pm Link to this comment

any “man” who calls another Race “wild animals” that have to be “locked in a cage”,

and advocates for bombs to be dropped on Iran, (bombs that he claims will “stave off war”)

deserves any and all criticism he (or his books) gets.

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By Inherit The Wind, June 6, 2009 at 5:17 pm Link to this comment

When you burn someone in effigy it’s fun to stab the dummy and make loud boasts about how brave and righteous you are…

So all of sit there and tap away, not one actually CONSIDERING the points made because it’s some much easier to attack the man rather than the ideas expressed.

Red meat for “The Contingent”.  Useless thread.  TD is getting just like one of Fecal’s extremist web sites.

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By dojero, June 6, 2009 at 2:28 pm Link to this comment

Richard_east, we are agreed that the world is god-crazy and so unlikely to be able to resolve its problems. 

Folktruther, I’m not sure we agree.  I don’t believe that Jews have undue influence in the US or elsewhere, and I’d caution that we need to distinguish between Jewish people and Zionists.  Judaism is a religion and I cannot support any religion because they are all based on the fallacy of a belief in a god (or gods).  But I don’t assume that any such erroneous belief carries with it inherently bad political or social values.  Zionism is a political movement that insists that Jews are entitled to a state located in what they believe is the land designated in their bible as the promised land.  That seems to me unsupportable.

The guilt that the Western societies of the United States and Europe have over the Nazi extermination of the European Jews blinds them to the irrationality of the Zionist thesis.  That guilt is, of course, amplified by the fact that antisemitism was rampant in the victors in WWII; better to put the remaining Jews in Israel than allow them to stay in Europe or the US. 

To return to the richard_east theme, I don’t believe that any religion is entitled to a state of its own.  I don’t think that Muslim nations have any inherent right to exist, nor Jewish states, nor Catholic states (see Vatican City). 

This article on Truthdig depends on the contrary thesis: that somehow the Zionist state is sanctimonious.

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By carl moore, June 6, 2009 at 2:00 pm Link to this comment

”I have been assured by a very knowing American of my acquaintance in London, that a young healthy child well nursed is at a year old a most delicious, nourishing, and wholesome food, whether stewed, roasted, baked, or boiled ...”

    Netanyahu quoting from Jonathan Swift’s “A Modest Proposal” as a method for
how to deal with Palestinians after implementation of the two-steak resolution.

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By Virginia777, June 6, 2009 at 12:37 pm Link to this comment

I will NEVER forgive the New York Times for publishing Benny Morris’s inflammatory, warmongering editorial - bluntly demanding that the U.S. start bombing Iran! - this link works to Morris’ editorial “Using Bombs to stave off war”:

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/18/opinion/18iht-edmorris.1.14607303.html

Here again is Benny Morris, from a 2004 interview: [Referring to Sharon’s Security Wall]

“Something like a cage has to be built for them. I know that sounds terrible. It is really cruel. But there is no choice. There is a wild animal there that has to be locked up in one way or another.”.

http://www.counterpunch.org/shavit01162004.html

See also Justin Raimondo’s excellent piece on Morris’ editorial here:

A Brazen Evil
from Antiwar.com
http://www.antiwar.com/justin/?articleid=13168

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By omop, June 6, 2009 at 9:27 am Link to this comment

How about Americans especially, thinking about the Israeli-Palestenian Conflict along these lines.

Arming both sides with an equal amount of military hardware and training so that by early 2012 they would be ready. Any American sympathetic to the Israeli side can volunteer and any non American sympathetic to the Palestenian side may be allowed to also volunteer.

All those in favor of this kind of fair and somewhat more democratic way of thinking raise your hand. All those in favor of thinking otherwise think Benny.

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By Robert, June 6, 2009 at 9:14 am Link to this comment

June 5 -7, 2009

Don’t Carp, Organize

Our Convoy to Gaza

By GEORGE GALLOWAY

“Where is the ummah; where is this Arab world they tell us about in school.”

“Those words will forever remain etched on my brain. They were spoken by a 10 year old girl in a bombed out ruin in Gaza in March. She had lost her almost her entire family in the 22-day Israeli bombardment earlier this year. The second time she spoke, it was to the back of my head. I had to turn away; what answer could you give her?

While Hugo Chavez expelled the Israeli ambassador to Venezuela, the leaders of the Arab League, with a handful of exceptions, spent those murderous weeks in December and January scarcely summoning even the synthetic indignation that has so often attended previous bloody episodes in the Palestinian tragedy.

But that was not so of public opinion, not only in the Muslim world, but mobilized on the streets of Western capitals. In Britain, over 100,000 people took to the streets and night after night we blockaded the Israeli embassy. Above all, the Gaza onslaught produced in the US an unprecedented outpouring. There have, for sure, been protests before, but this has turned out to be more than an ephemeral release of impotent rage. Something is changing.

That has become more and more apparent to me over the last two months as I’ve spoken on Palestine at packed meetings and fundraisers across the US.  The opinion polls in January showed a plurality of Americans against the Israeli onslaught. It may not have been a surprise to those of us who witnessed Ariel Sharon’s leveling of Beirut in the late summer of 1982, but the sight of white phosphorous – which forms a gaseous cloud – being used against civilians in Gaza stunned the senses of millions or people who had up to that point been led to believe that it was somehow the Palestinians who were occupying Israeli land rather than the other way round.

Seasoned activists in the Palestinian cause confirm that there is now a window of opportunity to take this case beyond the ghetto and into the mainstream of political life – in the US and in Britain, which between them bear the heaviest responsibility for the suffering in Palestine: the US as the cashier for Israeli colonization; Britain, as the author of the tragedy in 1917, when a leader of one people, British foreign secretary Arthur Balfour (an anti-Semite), gave to the purported leaders of another people, the Zionist movement, the land belonging to a third people, the Palestinians. And all without asking any of the people, which even by the standards of British imperialism is quite a triumph.

How then to bring to the cause of Palestine the kind of political movement that helped shatter apartheid, between the hammer of the ANC resistance and the anvil of international solidarity? This is the question that has led to me flitting backwards and forwards across the Atlantic, between lectures and fundraisers here, and the unfolding of an extraordinary political crisis at home. It was the question we asked ourselves as we marched past the Israeli embassy on those cold days in January.”

http://www.counterpunch.org/galloway06052009.html

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By Folktruther, June 6, 2009 at 8:52 am Link to this comment

It is true, as Dojero says, that truthdig publishes another rightwing review of a right wing war monger as they continue to do on a supposedly Progressive website.  And as Rcih East says,it doesn’t make any moral or leagal sense

But it makes financial and political sense.  Jews consist of only two percent of the American population but they are largely in business and the professional claaases, as well as being perhaps a fourth of the ruling class.  their voting power is insignificant, but their money, media and management power is grossly out of porportion to their numbers.

So the ruling class uses Zionism the way it uses right wing Christianity, to support neoliberal policies.  this is doen by both the Gops and Dems, who agree on financial policies but argue about cultural and identity policies.

More important, the truth media helps promote this truth consensus and is itself influenced by it.  Including Truthdig. You will notice the Zionist ads every once in while on truthdig and, more important, its attempt to stay in the center of the power truth conensus, which is far to the right of a people truth consensus. Media must serve the interests of power, which uses and identifies with Zionism, while appealing to the values of the truthers of the population.  So truthdig panders to right wing interests to produce specialized pieces that serve the population occasionally.

That is why it is essential for the population to develop its own media and legitimate its own truth consensns.  The population will always be divided and confused by the mainstream truth, including the Progressive truth.  That is its historical function.

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By PatrickHenry, June 6, 2009 at 7:03 am Link to this comment

I don’t have time enough to read good books yet alone bad ones.

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By richard east, June 6, 2009 at 6:50 am Link to this comment

dojero-I’m as dumbfounded by Zionism as you are (it’s true that it doesn’t make any sense whatsoever from a legal or moral viewpoint).

“People do not get to establish states because they have an imagined (biblical) imperative.”

-In an ideal world, yes. In the real, God-crazy world, it has already happened.

But “the Lord works in mysterious ways,” right?

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By dojero, June 6, 2009 at 6:03 am Link to this comment

Many here have rightly challenged Truthdig for publishing a right-wing review of a right-wing warmonger on its website.  But this isn’t the first time TD has done this kind of thing.  Perhaps it is to incite.  Perhaps it is because they seem to think that if a writer has even the remotest liberal credentials, his or her work should appear on the site.

The problem is that this kind of tripe and propaganda can be found all over the web.  Readers of TD look for something better.  If TD can’t deliver, then perhaps we should look somewhere else.

One small comment I haven’t seen yet: why do Zionists get a free pass on the very concept of a partitioned people?  The Arab people lived in Palestine.  The number of Zionists was minimal.  The West decided that Zionism was a good thing only after the Nazis exterminated the Jews.  Zionism NEVER made any sense from a legal or moral standpoint.  People do not get to establish states because they have an imagined (biblical) imperative.

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By prole, June 6, 2009 at 4:08 am Link to this comment

You don’t have to be an anarchist - although it would be a good idea - to view nation states in concept as problmatic. Add to that, the unusual aggression of particular ones such as Israel and the U.S., and yes, “democracy, secularism, equality and justice” does not seem such an unsavory option at all. “But if you believe that an end to the decades of horrific bloodshed in Israel-Palestine can’t possibly be accomplished by wiping out an established” population of Palestine, i.e. ‘ethnic cleansing’ as many in the Jewish state have advocated, then “the one-state strategy is no strategy at all”. “Enter the historian Benny Morris” who himself publicaly lamented the “‘non-completion’ of the expulsions of Arabs” during the Nakba. Which is why.“Morris’ political trajectory is important because it is shared by so many Israeli leftist” militants, as well as a few rancid book reviews. Morris “believes in truth” - ergo, anyone who disagrees with him disagrees with “the truth” as handed down to Morris from Yahweh himself on Mt.Sinai. Another in a long line of old-fashioned truth-telling Jewish historians from the author of Genesis to Joan Peters. Linfield is right - albeit with unconcious irony - that “anyone who talks of “the secular, educated, mini-skirted women of Tel Aviv and the masked men of Gaza ... is either extremely deluded or playing a very cruel game” i.e. she herself For this is the kind of derogatory imagery used to portray Jews as progressive and enlightened and Arabs as suspicious and sinister. Perhaps we should ask how Palestinian Christian and Muslim women would get along with the Tel Aviv pimps in Israel, one of the world’s leading centers of ‘white slavery’. Worse still, she avers, “since such a state would, inevitably and fairly quickly, become demographically dominated by Palestinian Arabs, why would anyone imagine that the rights, the freedoms and the cultural integrity of the Jewish minority in this ‘binationa’ society would be protected?” Once again, we’re to assume, according to Linfield’s leftism, that Arabs can’t be trusted and that a binational state would automatically mean that Jews would be treated badly. Or worse. that they might be treated as badly themselves as they have treated Arab citizens of the Jewish state. These are the kinds of crude stereotypes that gives the game away in Linfield’s none-too-subtle anti-Arab backlash. The rest follows in a steady train, e.g..“the destruction of Israel, far more than the building of a Palestinian state, has been the holy grail”, “[in 2000], when Israel (and the United States) offered it, the Palestinians turned it down” etc., etc. Then too if there is an “essential bankruptcy of the concept of restoration” than why did the ‘free world’ go to war over Kuwait? But if Linfield is so anxious in “forging a workable, good-enough, resilient solution for the future rather than seeking to eradicate the humiliations of the past through presumably glorious, and apparently unending, battles of redemption” then maybe we can at last tear down all those tacky Shoa memorials and discard all the rest of the tiresome Holacaust industry bric-a-brac. “How, then, to merge moral imperative with political, economic and social reality? Why dust off the old ‘transfer’ proposal and herd Palestinians off to ‘Transjordan’ - in cattle cars presumably. Still if it “is impossible to imagine any leftist writing such a book today” like ‘This Is Israel’ that was “a celebration of the founding of the new state”, then we’re at last making some small progress. The same could be said about Morris’ book, only someone as confused as Linfield could possibly imagine it to be ‘leftist’. “As a description of the larger conflict her [review] is, to be blunt, utter hogwash, and anyone who is genuinely interested in solving the suffering and statelessness of the Palestinians would best ignore this kind of” stupidity.

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By SINGLE PAYER, June 5, 2009 at 8:14 pm Link to this comment

REF: POPPYCOCK AND BS


Resist all this bs and the “news” distraction about mesmerizing tripe.

It’s the economy, stupid. The nation has been robbed, everything has been transferred to the banksters and they remain in power.

But for the distractions and lies of mainstream media, these SOBs would already be indicted and awaiting sentencing.

Wait, do nothing, don’t work, don’t give them anything. Don’t buy, don’t feed the beast. Month my month they will grow desperate. Those with nothing can wait. Just wait and they will come to justice and be hanged. Time is not on the side of these gangsters.

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By geronimo, June 5, 2009 at 7:57 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

One more Zionist apologist trying to justify the existence of the Zionist entity, Israel.  But no matter how favorably reviewers treat this latest apologia, the settler-state (not its people) is doomed, the reason being that old fashioned colonialism (as per the genocide of Native Americans) has fallen our of favor.  How to resolve the conflict?  One way is for Jewish colonizer and colonized Palestinians to sit down together and work things out on the basis of one equals one, with liberty and justice for all, with those Zionists who refuse to deal, being able to immigrate to any country in the world that will accept them, paid for by Israel’s stanchest supporters, the U.S.A. and Great Britain with contributions from Saudi Arabia and the other oil states.  But wouldn’t such an outcome be unfair to the Jewish settlers?  Unfair?  What’s unfair is having European settlers barge into the Palestinian homeland, uninvited, after which they proceed to take over and expell most of the natives, not to mention turning Gaza into the Warsaw Ghetto.

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By Ed Harges, June 5, 2009 at 6:03 pm Link to this comment

re: By Virginia777, June 5 at 8:39 pm:

Thanks, Virginia, you sharpie, for reminding us how Morris arrogantly ordered America, from the NY Times op-ed page, to go to war against Iran for Israel.

Benny Morris has done exactly one good thing in his otherwise obnoxious little life: he helped to write an honest historical record of Israel’s violent ethnic cleansing of Palestine, debunking a lot of pretty Zionist myths about how Israel came into being.

But he also has made it clear that he thinks this ethnic cleansing was a good thing, because Jews were doing it, and they’re special - unlike bad ethnic cleansers such as the Nazis or the Serbian ethnic nationalists.

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By Virginia777, June 5, 2009 at 5:39 pm Link to this comment

here is Benny Morris from the New York Times:

Using Bombs to Stave Off War

“ISRAEL will almost surely attack Iran’s nuclear sites in the next four to seven months — and the leaders in Washington and even Tehran should hope that the attack will be successful enough to cause at least a significant delay in the Iranian production schedule, if not complete destruction, of that country’s nuclear program.”

“Which leaves the world with only one option if it wishes to halt Iran’s march toward nuclear weaponry: the military option, meaning an aerial assault by either the United States or Israel.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/18/opinion/18morris.html?_r=4&partner=rssnyt&emc=rss&pagewanted=print&oref=slogin&oref=slogin

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By Virginia777, June 5, 2009 at 5:04 pm Link to this comment

Benny Morris??

NO THANKS, I’ll pass on his book

he’s a warmonger

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By Sallyport, June 5, 2009 at 4:48 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Why is it that, Israel ALWAYS balks over the necessity for whoever is representing Palestine to acknowledge Israel’s right to exist, while never offering such an assurance to the Palestinians ?  And why do we keep falling for it?  (Rhetorical question, of course.)

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By richard east, June 5, 2009 at 4:28 pm Link to this comment

Like other truthdiggers, I am quite surprised this review was posted on this site.

I think WriterOnTheStorm hit the nail on the head with:

“I’m not quite sure if TD posted this review as a provocation to stir legitimate debate, or if it’s simply one of those red meat pieces designed to increase the site’s ad revenue.”

As for the two-state solution, it’s quite obvious where Israel stands on the issue: ship them to Jordan!

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By Ed Harges, June 5, 2009 at 4:05 pm Link to this comment

hippie4ever writes:

”...this “two state solution” is very close historically to the orginal proposal of 1948. Had they only accepted it (meaning the Arabs) back then, imagine the carnage prevented.”

Hippie4ever, two quick responses:

(1) Propagandized Americans are not aware, but the Arabs have always been aware, that Israel never intended to stay inside the 1948 borders, but was viciously, ruthlessly expansionist from the beginning, and so there would have been lots more war and bloodshed in any case.

(2) And besides, Americans would never accept being dispossessed by a bunch of ethnic nationalist fanatics in this manner, even if the invaders promised to stay inside the new borders, and so we have no business wishing that Arabs had been so accepting.

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By hippie4ever, June 5, 2009 at 2:54 pm Link to this comment

Firefly, the irony is that this “two state solution” is very close historically to the orginal proposal of 1948. Had they only accepted it (meaning the Arabs) back then, imagine the carnage prevented. Everyone would be better off than today, even the fascist Israelis in their Med villas.

Of course the Palestinians were unhappy being thrown out of their country by the Zionists. This attitude of displacing entire nations, by the way, echoes the American experience. Ask any native American; it isn’t a happy tale full of justice or democracy.

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By Ed Harges, June 5, 2009 at 1:33 pm Link to this comment

Linfield writes that the one-state solution “...cloaks the suggested extermination of an extant country, which would ordinarily be regarded as a fairly unsavory project, in attractive words like democracy…”

Oh please, that is just garbage. The end of apartheid in South Africa didn’t “exterminate” South Africa.

And besides, Linfield’s use of the word “exterminate” is calculated to push our buttons, to suggest that advocates for a one-state solution are calling for a mass murder of human beings.

And by the way, Benny Morris openly approves of violent ethnic cleansing through forced expulsion, terrorism, and murder. He’s a racist creep, and so is Linfield.

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By tropicgirl, June 5, 2009 at 12:54 pm Link to this comment

To Firefly—

Just a bit of an explanation here…

The two state solution will never happen. The time is long past to have accomplished that, but the Israelis have made that impossible.

This has painted Israel into a corner. Because what we have here, is a so-called civilized country stealing the land of another country and removing those inhabitants to an area with a designation of another state. So now, it is basically a sort of two state solution with one state under seige by the other.

The reason why there must be a ONE state solution is this:

1.  That is what originally existed until the invasion of the Israelis.

2.  In reality, that is what makes sense.

3.  The Israelis will have to accept Palestinian freedom to travel and to return (because it is ONE state, ONE citizenship).

4.  The Palestinians MUST be granted full rights of citizenship. Otherwise it is apartheid. Which is what it, basically is, today. THIS INCLUDES THE RIGHT TO RUN FOR POLITICAL OFFICE.

5.  It is impossible to the civilized world to accept apartheid in another supposedly “civilized” country. And now, because of South AFrica, we have mechanisms to break it down.

6.  The Palestinians would ultimately be in the majority, which in reality, they already are. They are having children at the rate of sound while Israel is literally “petering out” (no pun intended).

7.  Palestine would then emerge as the majority government and that will be the end of Israel as a state.

This is the alternative to which we have come. NO THINKING PERSON WHO HAS BEEN PAYING ATTENTION WANTS A TWO STATE SOLUTION ANYMORE. THAT MAY HAVE WORKED BACK IN THE 40’S BUT NOT TODAY.

If you don’t hear this from your Palestinian news sources then you should question the sources. Anyone who really wants a solution has come to this conclusion. There is NO MORE appetite for a two state solution and Israel never had that intention.

8.  Then I’d like to see Israel threaten the Muslim world with an A-bomb. That would be interesting.

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By firefly, June 5, 2009 at 12:02 pm Link to this comment

Why is it that all the arguments against a two state solution come from Israel who say that it is the Palestinians (Arabs) who are fundamentally against it. And yet, publically at least, all Palestinian leaders, commentators, writers etc, consistently claim that that is what they wish for. I’ve never actually heard a Palestinian say that they do not want the two-state solution.

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By WriterOnTheStorm, June 5, 2009 at 11:54 am Link to this comment

I’m not quite sure if TD posted this review as a provocation to stir legitimate debate, or if it’s simply one of those red meat pieces designed to increase the site’s ad revenue. Be that as it may, the one-state, two-state debate (sounds like a Dr Seuss title) in an interesting one.

Some of the arguments used to make Morris’ case are princely in their hypocrisy and lack of integrity. Take the attack on the Palestinian right of return as an example. Do Linfield and Morris really want to pretend that centuries-dead descendants, and living Palestinians should be entitled the same moral rights and considerations? And how can they ignore the cold fact the entire Zionist re-conquest of Canaan is predicated on the very same moral entitlement they seek to deny in others through violence if necessary? Indeed, the pretense that a Jewish Israel was ever something other than a homeland taken from others by blunt force is a perverse denial of history. Go ask the Amalekites. If you can find one.

Another weak argument is that the one-state solution can’t work because the Palestinians would impose Sharia law. This is yet another manifestation of the old canard that Israelis make decisions based on rationality, while the Palestinians are fanatical horde of religious monsters. But the truth is that Israel has plenty of religious monsters of its own. The Shas party yearns to impose halakha on the entire country. And the sad irony is that halakha and sharia have much more commonality than difference - at least to this outlier’s eye.

The curdled pragmatism of the two-staters leaves me unmoved. I’m an atheist, in America I live surrounded by people whose religious ideas I find silly and abhorrent. But do I dream of pushing the creationists into the sea? No. I treat them with the same respect that I would want them to extend to me. We make it work. If this is good enough for me, why should it not suffice for others? In truth I’m not interested in how hard a single-state is for the Israelis or the Palestinians. Things are tough all over. I care more about what kind of political philosophy my government supports. I care about avoiding more September-elevens. I care about the principals of tolerance and humanism. A single secular democracy is the way to go. Supporting anything less is a step back toward the primordial sludge.

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By Jack, June 5, 2009 at 11:11 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

It is amazing to think that anyone would publish an article by and author so blissfully unaware of the reality of the Middle-East. Jordan will never accept jurisdiction over the two and a half million Palestinains now in the West Bank and certainly not accept the other four million of the diaspora. Case closed.
  That leaves the two state solution and the one state solution. The one state solution is clearly the end of the Zionist enterprise and Israel will never accept it. A real two state solution would still be a ticking demographic time bomb for Israel. Immediately upon accepting the Palestinian diaspora in the new state, there would be twice as many Palestinians living on less than 20% of the land compared to less than half as many Jews living on the other 80+ % of the land. And, as Benny Morris points out, there would be real questions about the economic and political viability of such a small, crowded entity, especially since Israel has already claimed most of the water and useful land.
  Unlike Susie, the Israelis have recognized that their only feasible option for the short term is apartheid since transfer (ethnic cleansing) is not politically feasible at this time. That is the solution they have settled on and continue to push through their actions on the ground. The Israeli vision of two states seems to be that Israel controls all of the land and that Palestinians politically belong to a “Palestinian State”. This allows them to vote for a meaningless Palestinian “government” and forbids them from any say in the real government of Israel which would continue to exercise all real control.
    There is no real solution; the issue can only be temporarily managed. The apartheid solution kicks the problem down the road for perhaps another 20 to fifty years. Eventually, there will be another military conflict and many more years of the losing side calling for justice. If this is the holy land, God certainly is a practical joker.

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By Fadel Abdallah, June 5, 2009 at 11:01 am Link to this comment

It seems that this lengthy book review by Susie Linfield about Denny Morris’s is going to generate more than just one comment from me as I make the time to read it thoroughly.

First, the reviewer states, “Morris is an old-fashioned historian: He believes in truth, and he believes in documents.” It goes without saying that every writer, commentator or scholar lays the claim that he / she is believing in the relative truth of what they say and thus goes selectively about quoting the documents that support his / her relative view. This I call “half truths”, and in my book “half truths” are by default the half-sister of falsehoods. This certainly applies to both Morris and his reviewer.

On several occasions before I have warned about the myth of so-called left-wing Zionism as being more benign and peaceful than right-wing Zionism as being more fascist and fanatic. Minor differences might exist between left-wing and right-wing Israeli internal politics related to social, economic and other internal issues. However, when it comes to the external politics of colonialism, occupation, and racism one cannot tell the difference, except, of course, at the level of rhetoric!

As I repeated several times on these threads, most of Israeli wars of terror, expansion, and colonialism were initiated and carried out by the so-called left Labor-controlled governments. And unless people with very short memories consider the latest Israeli terrorism in Gaza as forgotten ancient history, this war of terror was initiated by the so-called reformed Kadima with strong backing and major roles played by the so-called leftist foreign minister and the leftist minister of war (i.e. defense). Does any body remember whom I am referring to here?! This is just a little quiz!

Morris might be relatively labeled as a leftist, but he, like most Israelis, is a mentally sick Zionist who embraced Zionism as a higher level of religion over traditional Judaism. We have two notorious posters on TD that belong to the same category! Can any one guess who are they?!

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By Folktruther, June 5, 2009 at 10:55 am Link to this comment

this is a racist Zionist defense to the increasing left articulation against Zionist war and ethnic cleansing.  It seems to imply the old racist argument of shoving Palestinians into Jordan and anexing Palestine. 

It is conceivable, however, that the Palestians could overthrow the Western puppet-king of Jordan as US power decays, and create one Palestinian state which included the Gaza, the West Bank and Jordan. And this could include some of the Jewish settlers, devoid of Zionist aspirations.  According to Pfaff in his current article, a third of these are orthodox American Jews, promoting US imperialism as well as a racist Zionism.

It is therefore conceivable that a two state solution might work out historically, although not of course on Zionist terms. The traditional American Zionist media, which includes truthdig, prevents the mainstream discussion of this, and other, historical possiblities.

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By P. T., June 5, 2009 at 10:49 am Link to this comment

Israel would accept removing the settlers from the occupied territories before it would accept a one-state solution.  And the Palestinians also prefer a two-state solution.

Compensation could be offered to Palestinians who had their property confiscated (in lieu of a right of return), as with Jews who had their property confiscated by Germany.  Jews forced from Arab countries would be entitled to the same.

All the solutions are bad and difficult solutions.  And Israel does not believe it has to choose—that it can continue as it has been.  Israel does not believe it has painted itself into a corner.

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By hippie4ever, June 5, 2009 at 10:40 am Link to this comment

I had to wipe my screen clean after reading this drivel. Another apologist stance attempting to obscure the historical record, and all thanks to . Imperialism always prefers a one-state solution: see how well it worked for the British in India? Oh, now there are three nations and remaining territorial disputes? Whoops!

And all thanks to “Morris” who “is an old-fashioned historian: He believes in truth, and he believes in documents.” I’m so impressed.

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By Anarcissie, June 5, 2009 at 10:13 am Link to this comment

PSmith:
‘“ONE STATE - NIR ROSEN”
How long will that take?’

It already exists—the Settlers and their enablers have ensured that.  Now the question is how long it will take people to understand that it exists, and determine what kind of state it will be.  I doubt if the South African model will prove any more viable in Palestine than it did in South Africa, but that seems to be the next move.

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By P. T., June 5, 2009 at 8:50 am Link to this comment

What Benny Morris and Susie Linfield seem to be up to is figuring out a way for Israel to keep the land and water stolen in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.  They want the land and settlements but not the Palestinians.  The solution:  Take those parts of the West Bank that Israel doesn’t want and turn them over to a U.S. client—the Jordanian monarch.  The Israeli right-wing has long been attracted to some variation of that plan:  the so-called Jordanian Option.  It would moot the issue of the Palestinians being left with non-viable, non-contiguous, small pieces of land and preclude self-determination.

Now, what reasonable indigenous Palestinian could oppose that?  Such a deal!

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By Anarcissie, June 5, 2009 at 7:34 am Link to this comment

Inherit The Wind:
‘As usual, “TC” will ignore the facts cited, misinterpret the analysis based on those facts, and heap insults on the author, the reviewer and anyone who dares defend either. ...’

I have to suspect any author who ritually flogs the Serbs in best mainstream-media-and-politics practice as being some sort of shill, although possibly a victim rather than a conscious promoter of the necessary lies.

Beyond that, though, while I think Benny Morris may have made some valid points, the inescapable problem for the Israelis is that they have won, and they have what is in fact a single state in Palestine, called Israel.  Victory is a trap, and often a fatal one.  The sort of tribalism which is intrinsic to all national states, and is particularly acute in the founding of new ones, is bound to excite violent responses of the same type among all upon whom it impinges.  Unfortunately, the situation has been greatly exacerbated by the Israelis’ yielding to the temptation offered by the American empire to be America’s junkyard dog in the Middle East, because this posture precludes the only possible route to long-term survival of the Israeli project, which does not lie in kicking the Arabs around forever.

But why go on?  Back to your ritual denunciations.

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By tropicgirl, June 5, 2009 at 6:32 am Link to this comment

Oh, and it is way too late for a two state solution.  Waaay too late.

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By tropicgirl, June 5, 2009 at 6:31 am Link to this comment

Benny Morris is a sick man. He has to resist the draft to obtain his “impeccable liberal credentials”.

From Benny… “the fatal inability to forge any sort of national unity or create any national institutions; the lack of military prowess and, even, military willingness; and the incompetence and sheer opportunism of the surrounding Arab states…

Your speaking about Palestinians that had their land, food, water, self-respect, homes, children, fathers, brothers, mothers destroyed by Israel. What the F do you think happens to a people you destroy? And you fault them for not being “statesmen?”

You are a very sick man, Benny.

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By omop, June 5, 2009 at 6:19 am Link to this comment

The “Israeli-Palestenian Conflict” per se is basically a conflict between a certain group of people who have been [excuse my french] shafted by another group of people and driven off their homes and land they lived on for centuries.

And were replaced by peoples from a variety of countries who claimed a God given grant to it. ( The inference being that their God promised the land to one of Adam and Eve’s many descendants.

If this conflict were to be legally and ethically resolved. The one side claiming a “grant from God” as their right would lose since “hearsay” cannot be legally binding. The only way that it can be enforced is by ‘Force’.

Mr. Benny Morris’s “chutzpah” to “grant Palestenian’s lands and homes” to others (Jordan and Egypt) and keep their homes and lands for the descednats of Adam and Eve are attempts at playing the “God” card.

In time and with added more “chutzpah” the logic would be that every peson of the Jewish faith is an Israeli no matter where they were born or live with attendant questionable loyalties.

One could ascribe a Hitlerian-like stigma reminiscent of “Duetchland uber alles” or in the extreme a copy cat ” aryan complex” based on the mythology of “God’s chosen people”.

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By JP, June 5, 2009 at 5:12 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I am very surprise of the level of knowledge that Susie Linfield has about the Israel Palestinian conflict, it is really low to say the least.

This is really a low point in the normal high standards of truthdig.

As another commentator point out before, “pathetic”.

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By ardee, June 5, 2009 at 4:54 am Link to this comment

This article is a blatant apology for the inexcusible actions of the new Jewish State towards those who occupied that territory. It also contains a blatant fraud when it states that the expulsion of over 700,000 Arab residents was an “unfortunate result of war”.

In the late 1930’s David Ben Gurion and eleven other future leaders of the coming State of Israel lived in a house in Haifa and planned for the future with regard to governance. Ben Gurion himself stated that expulsion of a million Arabs was going to be necessary to prevent the overwhelming of the emigrating Jews in a democratic state.

That they failed to achieve their goal by a quarter million is not the point; the real point being that there is much propaganda generated by Israeli apologists, this article being one such.

I understand that a two state solution is a political necessity, caused by the hatred and violence of both sides for a very long time. But a single state solution, which would be possible if the Israeli govt was a true democracy and fairly represented the entirety of that community, would be so very beneficial to both Arab and Jew, Israelis all.

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By Bubba, June 5, 2009 at 4:35 am Link to this comment

Zionist/Israeli apologetics don’t work any more.  They’ve not been working for some time.  Especially Benny’s.  Come into present time, Susie.

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By Inherit The Wind, June 5, 2009 at 4:32 am Link to this comment

As usual, “TC” will ignore the facts cited, misinterpret the analysis based on those facts, and heap insults on the author, the reviewer and anyone who dares defend either.

In fact “TC” are the very deluded Lefists Morris and the reviewer denounce, so OF COURSE they’ll strike back in anger and personal attacks.

What else is new?

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By Herman Edward Schmidt, June 5, 2009 at 4:19 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

By the reasoning of the reviewer and Mr. Morris, injustice cannot be addressed because the consequences are too dire. In this kind of thinking, there is the fear of the jailer of the consequences once the prisoners are set free. That fear is irrational if it is heartfelt, but in fact it is not. It is just another roadblock thrown up by the Israeli Jews and their fellow travelers to reaching any solution that requires the Jews to give up their priviledges as masters of another group of people and dominion over Palestine. It is clear at this point in time the Jews in Israel and those who support them are unwilling to concede anything and a solution must be imposed on them. Given their power in the West and their zeal, that is no small task. It is foolhardy to try to persuade them that a solution which equalizes the rights and privileges of both Jews and Palestinians is in their own interest, which it is.

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By thebeerdoctor, June 5, 2009 at 3:27 am Link to this comment

The analysis in this book review is utterly pathetic.

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By doublestandards/glasshouses, June 5, 2009 at 3:02 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Oh the “fog” of war.  It worked for McNamara.

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By P. T., June 5, 2009 at 2:17 am Link to this comment

The book review is disingenuous.  The Zionists never abandoned their expansionist plans, and the Arabs knew (and know) it.  Expansion and ethnic cleansing continue no matter what political party is in power in Israel.

The right of return of the ethnically cleansed, indigenous Palestinian people is grounded in international law.  It is odd to see Jews who have never before set foot in Palestine claim a right of return that they oppose for the indigenous people—talk about bad faith!

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By Allan Siegel, June 5, 2009 at 12:40 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Is this supposed to be a book review or a polemic? Or a mash-up of both? Either way it is so sloppy, so careless in the way it skips back and forth between its paean to Morris and Linfield’s skewed sense of history that one wonders really why this is here.The problem with such reviews is that they act more like a garbage compactor pressing together events and people in what appears to be some chronological logic. Like most forms of compression, what results is various types of distortion and misplaced conclusions. The fact of the matter is that a two-state vs. one-state solution is not at all a superficial debate and is part of an ongoing process to resolve the conflict. And, in her glib manner, Ms. Linfield’s understanding of the creation of the Warsaw Ghetto and its liquidation is pitiful.

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