“Between the Motion and the Act, Falls the Shadow.”

38
1969

THE GREENS have failed to win parliamentary support for a motion supporting Palestinian statehood. Sponsored by the Greens’ foreign affairs spokesperson, Golriz Ghahraman, the motion reaffirmed “the right of Palestine to self-determination and statehood”, and called upon the government of New Zealand to “recognise the State of Palestine among our community of nations”. Both National and Act were quick to signal their opposition to recognising Palestine as a sovereign state. The right-wing parties’ objections abruptly ended Ghahraman’s initiative. Without securing the unanimous permission of the whole House, her motion could not even be introduced – let alone debated.

The Right’s veto was probably welcomed by the Labour Government. Foreign Minister Nanaia Mahuta hardly needs to be warned by her diplomatic staff at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade that the merest suggestion of New Zealand recognising Palestinian statehood would immediately pitch this country’s relationship with Israel into crisis.

Nor would such recognition be unanimously received by New Zealanders as either justified or wise. Sympathy for the Palestinian civilians caught up in the military exchanges between Hamas and the Israeli Defence Force may be universal, but it should not be construed as support for this country recognising Palestine as a sovereign state. Too many Kiwis have too many questions about what that would amount to in the only place that matters – on the ground – to simply wave Ghahraman’s proposition through the checkpoint of political scrutiny.

Not when so many people on Twitter have read Green MP Ricardo Menendez March’s tweet declaring “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free!” Not when so many television news viewers have seen Ghahraman, herself, protesting against “Israeli aggression” under placards and banners proclaiming exactly the same sentiments.

Surely, the Greens are aware of how Israelis interpret this Palestinian slogan? That if Palestine occupies all of the territory between the River Jordan and the Mediterranean Sea, then the State of Israel must have ceased to exist.

Ghahraman cannot be so naïve as to believe that the so-called “Two State Solution” is about Israel and Palestine occupying the same territory! Not when Israel’s “occupation” of the West Bank of the Jordan River lies at the heart of the conflict. No, to assert that the sovereign state of Palestine will extend “from the river to the sea”, is to declare one’s support for driving the Jews into it.

This is not, of course, what Ghahraman is saying. Announcing her intention of tabling her statehood motion on the Greens’ website, she states: “The path forward from the latest bout of violence must be lasting peace, supported by the international community. Statehood as part of a two state solution would uphold and celebrate the inherent rights and dignity of Palestinians.”

Well, it might, but an awful lot of things would have to happen first.

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For example, Hamas (still designated as a terrorist organisation by the New Zealand government) would have to recognise the State of Israel’s right to exist. Also, the roughly 600,000 Israeli settlers currently living on the West Bank and in East jerusalem would have to abandon their illegal settlements and return to Israel. The Palestinian Authority, which, fearful of a Hamas victory, recently cancelled the elections which threatened to do just that, would have to re-establish democracy on the West Bank and Gaza. (The people of Gaza have not been permitted to cast a vote since they were incautious enough to elect Hamas in 2006.) Similarly, Israeli voters would have to summon up the courage to elect someone other than Benjamin Netanyahu as their prime minister. (Instead of voting over and over and over and over again to make such a transfer of power impossible.) And, last of all, American politicians would have to collectively decide to tell the all-powerful American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) to find someone else to intimidate into backing the State of Israel – no matter what it does.

After making all those things happen, the Two State Solution will be a piece of cake!

Politics, politics, politics: it’s no more avoidable in Israel/Palestine than it is in New Zealand. The tragedy that is unfolding in Gaza, East Jerusalem, and the West Bank is not an accident, it is the culmination of a series of self-interested political moves undertaken by the most ruthless players on both sides of the conflict.

Netanyahu is fighting for his political life – and to stay out of jail. He is willing to do whatever it takes to win the support he needs to stay in office. If that means throwing red meat to the most extreme Zionist parties, then so be it. Raising the tensions between Jews and Arabs in the Holy City makes perfect sense if you’re desperate to prevent your political rivals from enlisting the support of Arab-Israeli parties in a government of national unity.

Likewise, if you are Hamas. Why wouldn’t you take advantage of the rage being stirred up by Netanyahu and his Zionist allies in East Jerusalem and around the Al Aksa Mosque? Why wouldn’t you demonstrate to the Palestinian people who the true defenders of the Motherland are? Especially in the wake of the Palestinian Authority, a body mired in corruption, calling off the scheduled elections. Get those rockets in the air. Bring down the wrath of Israel’s jets. Watch the body-count grow and grow – as it always does.

Suits Netanyahu. Suits Hamas. A government of national unity made up of Jews and Arabs, ready to at least think about peace, serves the interests of neither.

It must be exhilarating to stand shoulder to shoulder with your Green Party comrades on the streets of a New Zealand city, while all around you angry young men and women chant “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free!” So easy to get carried away beneath a forest of red, green, black and white Palestinian flags, your ears ringing with righteous indignation. Why not promise to table a motion seeking Palestinian statehood? What else could you do?

Well, you could listen to a couple of anthems. The first is called Palestine’s Freedom Song,  written and recorded by a pair of young Palestinian sisters brim-full of courage and determination. This is what they sing:

We own this home

We own this land

From the river to the sea

Our motherland

We’ll set it free

We’ve got our stones

And the olive tree

The second is called Hatikvah (The Hope)  and it really is an anthem – the national anthem of the State of Israel. This is what the Israelis sing:

Our hope is not yet lost,
The hope of two thousand years,
To be a free nation in our land,
The land of Zion and Jerusalem.

If Golriz Ghahraman, or anybody else, can think of a way to reconcile the irreconcilable aspirations expressed in these two anthems, then the world would love to hear it. But people of good will have been searching for a very long time – and nobody has found it yet.

38 COMMENTS

  1. It looks like someone needs to get his head out of the IINZ website for a bit! Of course, Israel and Palestine they have a different histories for the ‘freedom’ phrase, arguably one, the other or both can be portrayed as self-serving threats to other. Here is an alternative history that goes back to a time when PLO and Hamas didn’t even exist!
    https://forward.com/opinion/415250/from-the-river-to-the-sea-doesnt-mean-what-you-think-it-means/

    Of course, it suits the Israeli purpose to have high minded people tell others what they the expression means while dog whistling the ‘anti-semite’ label, but what is really meant by freedom for Palestinians? The Zionist Israeli government and IDF are certainly providing an obvious answer!

    As for juxtaposing the two songs, it seems to escaped notice that the two differ in genesis. One is a song born of a short lifetime of being oppressed while the other was Zionist anthem of intent based on a poem written as far back as 1878, seemingly signalling a land-theft intention.

    While it is easy to gloat over the failure of the motion in Parliament, the rejection clearly signals clearly that NZ does not believe in a two state solution where Palestinians can be free of Israeli oppression. The effect is to provide further sustenance for the increasingly right-wing racist pursuit of a Zionist state sans Palestinians.

    • One question is the level of duty The Government has to people outside its jurisdiction, if they wait to long it allows the creation of terrorist organisations like Hamas.

      In truth the debate for us is for the sole of the Greens as an environmental, scientific and deplomatic party.

      Hamas provides an example of an organisation that lacks scientific development. There weapons are on the level of WW1.

      While Isreal provides the example of a lack of diplomacy. There abundance of science and technology is turned onto killing woman and children.

      To establish the conditions for justice and respect for obligations arising from treaties and laws and to promote progress for better standards of living needs to be observed across centuries.

      The Greens want to expand there influence and ideals but reject that sometimes military interventions is required.

      In the end The Greens focus on science and diplomacy makes them ill prepared for what has become. It’s seems the decimation of the Palestinian people and reduction in there boarders just so that the Greens can hold on tightly to there non violent ideology.

      The enlightened Green Party has ultimately lost its sole as the Palestinians continue to suffer overwhelmingly in a final attempt to exert Green Party principles on The New Zealand Parliament.

      Diplomacy ought to win out over apartheid and war. Architects of a post conflict should lean heavily on developing technology for twenty secound century namely artificial intelligence. In essence there is 79 years of eventually that is vague at best and unknown at worst. It’s in this time that the before mentioned treaty between Isrealis and Palestinians occurs.

    • Yes. I had a chuckle at the anthems. Hatikvah of course makes it clear in the first line, which Chris omitted, that it applies only to Jews. Its author died of alcoholism but not before asserting that the Tabernacle carried by the Hebrews during their 40 years in the desert contained an electrical generator, and that King Solomon invented the telephone!
      I don’t think we can seriously deduce a great deal about the eventual fate of a Nation from its patriotic songs.

  2. The author has failed to mention that the Palestinians have been offered their own state 8 times. Eight! All refused. In 2000, Ehud Barak offered Arafat everything he was demanding including a capital in East Jerusalem. Arafat refused to negotiate and kicked off the Second Intifada which cost over 1,000 Israeli lives.
    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2002/may/23/israel3
    The West Bank settlements are vital to Israel because they supply badly needed strategic depth (The Arabs have launched 3 unprovoked invasions, also overlooked by the author.) Israel is only 9 miles wide at the ‘waist’ and hence very vulnerable. Context is everything.

    • In 2006, Shlomo Ben-Ami stated on Democracy Now! that “Camp David was not the missed opportunity for the Palestinians, and if I were a Palestinian I would have rejected Camp David, as well.
      Shlomo Ben-Ami was, at the time, Israel’s Minister of Foreign Relations.

  3. I disagree with so much of what Chis wrote ,,,, that I’ll let this sites Andrews and I’m Rights speak for me ….. The War Piggys will go straight for the Slops ,,,, They are what they eat.

    People of good will don’t have to look for the obvious Answer which is within our very essence ,,, It’s called Humanity…..

    …Looking for a way around the violent powerful pigs who have none ,,,, Is the answer to so much which is wrong and inhumane on our world.

    More Specifically Palestinian doctor Izzeldin Abuelaish ,, who had three daughters killed and mutilated by Israel Tank Shelling ,,,

    And Elhanan Peled ,,, who had her 13 year old daughter murdered in a Palestinian suicide attack .

    They are living examples of how great humans can be ,,, and connected…. and there would be many others like them.

    For a more local example ,,,, I present our Muslims community after the terrorism done against them .,,, a lesson largely lost on us ,,,, as angry pig squeals about Jacinda wearing a Muslim head covering at the service honoring their dead ,,, gave some of us swine fever.

    Finally I’m not sure whether Stuff.co.nz is correct ,,,, or Chris Trotter ,,, But I hope Chris is wrong about NZ being stupid little piggys ,,, in the 5 eye stye.
    https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/125121801/new-zealand-raises-international-law-violations-with-israel-expresses-grave-concern-over-escalating-violence
    “The United States, Canada, and the European Union have designated Hamas a terrorist group. New Zealand has instead designated the military arm of Hamas, Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades as a terrorist entity.”

    “STATEMENT OF CASE TO RENEW THE DESIGNATION OF IZZ AL-DIN AL-QASSAM BRIGADES (IQB)AS A TERRORIST ENTITY https://www.police.govt.nz/sites/default/files/publications/renew-iqb-terrorist-entity-26-september-2019.pdf

    And do I believe Abby Martin quoting a Hamas manisfesto,,, or Chris Trotters / Israels representation of this democratically elected organization — Read with your own eyes https://youtu.be/HnZSaKYmP2s?t=1487

    Despite participating and getting elected in a political process ,,,, Israel and the usa have designated them terrorists ,,,, assassinating their political leaders ,,, with lots of collateral killing ,,, until they learn the Animal Farm democracy that the usa spreads ,,, and their Israel overlords Grant.

    Listen to the humans I say ,,, BBC & CNN Bias EXPOSED On Israel and Palestine https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HM-UqJUPhl8

    A c

  4. Well put aom.

    The Israeli State and Military would not last the year out if two things happened…
    –US turned the money/arms tap off
    –Mid East populations pushed back against their authoritarian leaders
    Now those are not that likely to happen yet, so Israel continues its colonialist project and racist attacks because it can, and because it is well resourced to do so–not because it has one ounce of morality or justification.

    To attack the Palestinians–victim blaming–is as low as it gets. Hamas is not everyone’s cup of the proverbial but they got bloody voted in! How many times has the author here cautioned about criticising ‘aspirational’ working class people that vote against their own interests?

    The people of Gaza surely deserve basic democracy even if the result does not meet the approval of pundits and others.

  5. More apologies for the racist, terrorist, apartheid state of Israel (yes all three adjectives apply) from Chris Trotter.
    The two-state solution is dead, buried under illegal Israeli settlements. The solution is one single secular state where all ethnicities and religions are protected under a democratic constition which guarantees equal rights for everyone.
    The solution is there and the mechanisms to get there – through international law and United Nations resolutions – are there as well – the missing ingredient these past 70 years is the necessary pressure on Israel from countries like New Zealand. When that pressure doesn’t come from governments it has to come in international movements by the people – just as we did in the case of South African apartheid.

    • That’s nice Mr Minto but which one is true???

      Is a two state solution true?

      Or is a one state solution true?

      Or is there a third option?

    • Israel is a Zionist settler state colonised by conquest. It is not a Jewish state; most Jews around the world do not recognise it as their state. Jews as a minority oppressed people have the right to their state, but not at the expense of an existing nation, Palestine. The right to a nation’s self-determination cannot be exercised by destroying another nation’s self-determination. Moreover, this right should be the expressed will of the people, not merely the dream of a small section of ultranationalist Zionists who want their own national territory to advance their economic interests.

      It was this narrow bourgeois nationalist Zionist faction that allowed it to negotiate with the ruling classes in Germany, Britain and the US, and the Stalinist leaders of the USSR, to facilitate the migration of Jews to Palestine before and after WW2. That class ruling solidarity between the Zionists and their powerful allies allowed the Zionists to occupy Palestine without facing any serious opposition to decades of expansion and wars against the oppressed Palestinians.

      The solution can only be the national liberation of Palestine from Zionist colonial rule. This will not result from the intervention of any of the great powers. The US/EU powers and their Russia/ China rivals do not want a fight over Palestine. The US/EU already backs Israel as its gendarme in the Middle East. US allies like Saudi Arabia and Egypt are concerned to keep their own populations under control. Russia and China and their allies Iran and Turkey are concerned to suppress any solidarity from their masses and risk a wider regional revolutionary uprising. Of course the UN is no more that a fake democratic façade for the big powers club.

      So the question is how can the Arab and other masses in the region rise up in support of the Palestinian cause of freedom? Some signs that the Arab masses are capable of winning are the new generations of youths who do not respect the narrow bourgeois politics of their national elites including Hamas and Fatah; Arab Israeli youth behind the 1948 Green Line who are second class citizens are standing up for the cause; the Palestinian diaspora in Syria, Jordan and Lebanon are also in solidarity. All of these state anti-democratic regimes are fragile with weak and divided ruling classes.

      While the Arab Spring has faded and the Syrian revolution left a divided and destroyed nation, the masses are like a smoldering fuse. If the working class supporters of Palestine in the big powers were serious and followed the lead of workers in Italy and elsewhere to ‘black’ the export of munitions to Israel, the international working class could blockade Israel. This in turn would raise the costs of Israel’s Zionist project and further divide the country internally to the point were its international backers collapsed.

      If the Palestinian masses and their Israeli supporters backed by an international workers movement, joined forces to remove their bourgeois nationalist factions, then a liberated Palestinian workers and farmers state could arise, and within a wider union of socialist states in the region freely chose to remove all the old oppressive historic feudal and imperialism borders and realise the hope of a multi-ethnic federation of communes.

    • A singular secular state looks good on paper, but it’s hard to see Israelis accepting that idea. The total Arab population of Israel plus the two Palestinian territories isn’t too far short of the Jewish population of Israel. As Palestinian Arabs have one of the highest birth rates in the world, Israelis probably fear becoming a minority in a single “secular” state – the higher living standards and greater functionality of such a state would also probably attract Arab immigration. One a Muslim majority is established, it’s not too hard to envisage an overturning of the constitution, and free and fair elections in Muslim-majority countries have a habit of producing Islamist governments. Turkey is in theory a secular state, but they’ve had an Islamist government for at least 10 years now.

  6. There is more than one way to interpret “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free!”
    Neither Palestinians nor Jews are going to disappear from the territories that constitute Palestine-Israel, yet clearly the notion of a two-state solution is long dead. Perhaps there may come a realisation that what is needed is a He Puapua, establishing a unitary Palestine-Israel state with joint sovereignty, and equal rights for all who live within it.

    • John Tresize: “….what is needed is a He Puapua….”

      If you think that a He Puapua-style plan would fix what ails that part of the world, you either haven’t read that document, or if you have, you’ve failed to understand the impact of its recommendations.

  7. A few points in no particular order.
    “the merest suggestion of New Zealand recognising Palestinian statehood would immediately pitch this country’s relationship with Israel into crisis.”
    I seem to remember that our relationship with South Africa experienced something of a crisis when we rejected the concept of a race-based State. Is Chris implying that things have changed and our trade and political relationships now take precedence over principle?

    No-one I know in the Palestine support movement thinks of “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free!” as anything but freedom for all of Palestine’s people regardless of ethnic or religious affiliation. This: “from the river to the sea”, is to declare one’s support for driving the Jews into it” is therefore nonsense – a buy-in to an Israeli propaganda theme which has no basis in reality – unless one counts the events in Jaffa, (which was outside the proposed “Jewish State) on 25 April 1948 (before the War began on May 15) when the only instance of “throwing into the sea” quite literally occurred:
    “According to Jewish intelligence officer Slunuel Toledano, “First because the Etzel [Irgun] had been shelling Jaffa for three weeks before the Haganah [regular army] entered, making the Arabs very much afraid; some already began to leave as a result of that shelling by Etzel. [Second,] there were rumors, based on the Etzel reputation, [that] the minute the Jews entered the town, the inhabitants would all be slaughtered.”

    After the conquest, Irgun forces indulged in widespread looting. Reported Jon Kimche, former editor of the Jewish Observer and Middle East Review, the official organ of the Zionist Federation of Britain:

    “For the first time in the still undeclared war, a Jewish force commenced to loot in wholesale fashion.” At first the young Irgunists pillaged only dresses, blouses and ornaments for their girl friends. But this discrimination was soon abandoned. Everything that was movable was carried from Jaffa-furniture, carpets, pictures, crockery and pottery, jewelry and cutlery.

    The occupied parts of Jaffa were stripped, and yet another traditional military characteristic raised its ugly head. Historian Michael Palumbo wrote of Jaffa: “Not content with looting, the Irgun fighters smashed or destroyed everything which they could not carry off, including pianos, lamps and window-panes.” Ben Gurion afterwards admitted that Jews of all classes poured into Jaffa from Tel Aviv to participate in what he called “a shameful and distressing spectacle.”

    When future Israeli Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion learned that Jaffa had fallen, he wrote in his diary: “Jaffa will be a Jewish city. War is war.” To accomplish this, Israel set up a housing committee that was to allocate Palestinian homes and apartments to newly arrived Jewish families on certain dates. But Israelis ignored the dates and occupied the abandoned residences on a first-come, first possess basis. Israeli immigrant chief Giora Yoseftal reported: “Thus the populating of Jaffa was achieved by continuous invasions and counter invasions [of unauthorized immigrants.” Within a short time some Jews had moved into abandoned Palestinian homes in Jaffa. Although no figures appear to be available for Jaffa, Palestinian bank accounts in Haifa containing 1.5 billion Palestinian pounds were seized by Israel.”
    https://www.wrmea.org/1994-april-may/arab-jaffa-seized-before-israel-s-creation-in-1948.html
    https://www.palestineremembered.com/Jaffa/Jaffa/Picture1252.jpg
    Important to remember these events occurred while the U.N. was reconsidering its Partition recommendation, before the Arab League entered the fray and before Israel was declared a State.

    “Surely, the Greens are aware of how Israelis interpret this Palestinian slogan? That if Palestine occupies all of the territory between the River Jordan and the Mediterranean Sea, then the State of Israel must have ceased to exist.”
    For Israelis to interpret in this wise involves ignoring the many times Palestinians including Hamas have emphasised that their objection is not to the State of Israel per se, it is to Israel as a Jewish State. The advent of Mandela did not wipe South Africa off the map.

    One question for New Zealanders is therefore: Which is more important. Upholding the right of refugees to return to their homes (which is enshrined in International Law and the subject of several U.N. resolutions) or “this country’s relationship with Israel” ? I don’t seem to have Chris’ difficulty with that one.

    New Zealanders might also give some thought to:
    Article 1 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), which was ratified by Israel in 1966. It states that “all peoples have the right to self-determination.” It elaborates the right to “freely determine their political status and freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development”.

    The myriad of UN General Assembly resolutions that explicitly recognise the “legitimacy of the people’s struggle for liberation from colonial and foreign domination…by all available means” including 2787 which:
    “Confirms the legality of the peoples’ struggle for self-determination and liberation from colonial and foreign domination and alien subjugation, notably in southern Africa and in particular that of the peoples of Zimbabwe, Namibia, Angola, Mozambique and Guinea (Bissau), as well as of the Palestinian people, by all available means consistent with the Charter of the United Nations”

    The Advisory Opinion of the International Court of Justice stating that the path of the Wall—80 percent of which runs through Palestinian land, well outside of Israel’s internationally recognised borders—is illegal. The ICJ’s report also declared as illegal the building of Israeli settlements inside the Occupied Territories, confirming the applicability of the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949, which states that an occupying power must not move its civilians into the occupied territory.

    I assume that our leaders stand behind these resolutions and Laws which affirm Palestinian’s right to self-determination. Are they not indulging in sophistry when, in effect, saying “we’re not going to say it out loud ’cause it might upset Israel” ?
    If Gideon Levy can say it:
    “On Israel’s 70th birthday, the time has come to recognize that Israel is a binational state under whose control two peoples live, equal in size. It maintains separate governing systems for them: a democratic one for Jews, discrimination for Israeli Arabs, and dictatorship for Palestinians. It’s not an equal democracy for all its subjects, meaning, of course, that it’s not a democracy.

    There’s no such democracy where what’s allowed for one people isn’t for another. Therefore, on its 70th anniversary, Israel being called a democracy when fewer than half its subjects live in freedom is nothing but a propaganda trick that has worked to a greater extent than one would have thought.

    It’s not only Israelis who deny and repress this reality. It’s more convenient for the Western world, too, to look at Israel’s more enlightened side, to ignore its dark side and continue to call it a democracy. After all, in the West, what country hasn’t also had such a colonialist back yard? ”
    ….I can’t see why our Foreign Minister cannot.

    • Brevity is the soul of wit, Brewsie. Nobody reads your eye-wateringly long winded, obsessive diatribes. I sure don’t! Yawn. Not missing anything, of course.

      • Yes but you’re a pig ignorant hate filled moron Gaby. I had absolutely no trouble reading Brewer’s comment . It does contain a great of deal of truth and Historical detail which naturally is most inconvenient for a feeble minded fuckwit like you . Know I shouldn’t engage but you’re are so much fun Gaby, like a brain dead cataract encrusted disease ridden crocodile!It’s too tempting to poke you in the really pain filled parts of your poxy carcass. Chur!

          • “Poor spelling. No knowledge of grammar. Just a foul mouth and an empty head”. Sounds as though you are talking about yourself Gaby, as is frequently evidenced. The big questions though are whether you have done anything about your lack of literacy and comprehension skills, or your inability to concentrate long enough to read more than headlines or tracts longer that three sentences long yet.

            • It’s quite simple really, aom. I’m not a fan of fantasy and fiction in general. All my comments are rooted in undeniable truth. That’s what gets you lot frothing.

  8. Israel and the the whole Zionist expression is nothing more than the last gasp of colonialism. A colonial experiment based on some dubious assumptions at best.

    Or to but it another way, an anachronism of deadly proportions, designed to eliminate the colonized one way or another.

    No wonder national and act rushed to shut down the debate. They still cling to the restoration of the colonizers right to rule over indigenous populations. Look at the last few weeks of judith. Tiresome, two year old’s thinking, one which is lazy, brutish and short sighted.

    How far right Israel has gone, there is no solution. There is no peace movement in Israel, no left, no idea of compromise or finding a political solution. To say the Palestinians must compromise at this point is a bad joke. They already recognized Israel inside the Palestinian authority, and what has happened there – the biggest land grab since 1967. More deportation, more deaths, and more detainment.

    You can’t get political solutions when one side is as dishonest and violent at every turn, as colonizer must be. Politics will not solve this, because the colonizer can’t compromise. That is the inherent flaw inside colonialism, a puissant ideology that it is.

  9. You seem to enjoy asking questions, Brewer, and, like me, you clearly make a study of history.

    So, here are some questions for you about an historical event – The Yom Kippur War of 1973.

    What would have happened if those Syrian armoured columns had broken through the northern Israeli defence line? What if those Egyptian tanks had made it across the Sinai Desert and into southern Judea? What would the world have witnessed then? For the second time in less than 40 years, would it have watched the mass extermination of Jewish men, women and children? And where would the Palestinians have been found as this second holocaust unfolded? Protecting Jewish lives with their own? Or, stripping the dead?

    The Palestinians are not the only people with a working memory.

    • As a student of History Chris, you would know in the 30’s and early 40’s it was the Palestinians who were protecting Jews from the British in Palestine. My guess in the 70’s they would have done the same and helped. Knowing as most Palestinians know, that their neighbor’s to the north and south are not that trustworthy historically. Jordan too, has never really been a friend to Palestine.

      But my main guess, based on the Palestinians I know, they would have not let the Jewish men, women and children fall to a mass extermination by the other Arab nations. They would have intervened.

    • Just a few points Mr. Trotter:

      Generally on TDB, contributors provide (hopefully) informed opinions then leave the commenters in peace to debate the topic. Why do you seem to need more than one bite of the cherry?

      Why have you introduced your list of ‘what if’s’ about a war between armed sovereign states – not the political ramifications regarding NZ that your viewpoint seemed to be addressing . Derailment?

      Why invoke the holocaust? This had absolutely nothing to do with the Palestinians who are paying the price for countries that had every reason to address their own consciences over their pre, and immediately post-WW2 anti-semitic behaviour.

      If you were genuinely interested in the work and understanding of the well informed Brewer, you only had to suggest to Bomber that solicit a contribution!

      This comment of yours disappointingly smacks of disingenuousness.

  10. Israel is a Zionist settler state colonised by conquest. It is not a Jewish state; most Jews around the world do not recognise it as their state. Jews as a minority oppressed people have the right to their state, but not at the expense of an existing nation, Palestine. The right to a nation’s self-determination cannot be exercised be by destroying another nation’s self-determination. Moreover, this right should be the expressed will of the people, not merely the dream of a small section of ultranationalist Zionists who want their own national territory to advance their economic interests.

    It was this narrow bourgeois nationalist Zionist faction that allowed it to negotiate with the ruling classes in Germany, Britain and the US, and the Stalinist leaders of the USSR, to facilitate the migration of Jews to Palestine before and after WW2. That class ruling solidarity between the Zionists and their powerful allies allowed the Zionists to occupy Palestine without facing any serious opposition to decades of expansion and wars against the oppressed Palestinians.

    The solution can only be the national liberation of Palestine from Zionist colonial rule. This will not result from the intervention of any of the great powers. The US/EU powers and their Russia/ China rivals do not want a fight over Palestine. The US/EU already backs Israel as its gendarme in the Middle East. US allies like Saudi Arabia and Egypt are concerned to keep their own populations under control. Russia and China and their allies Iran and Turkey are concerned to suppress any solidarity from their masses and risk a wider regional revolutionary uprising. Of course the UN is no more that a fake democratic façade for the big powers club.

    So the question is how can the Arab and other masses in the region rise up in support of the Palestinian cause of freedom? Some signs that the Arab masses are capable of winning are the new generations of youths who do not respect the narrow bourgeois politics of their national elites including Hamas and Fatah; Arab Israeli youth behind the 1948 Green Line who are second class citizens are standing up for the cause; the Palestinian diaspora in Syria, Jordan and Lebanon are also in solidarity. All of these state anti-democratic regimes are fragile with weak and divided ruling classes.

    While the Arab Spring has faded and the Syrian revolution left a divided and destroyed nation, the masses are like a smoldering fuse. If the working class supporters of Palestine in the big powers were serious and followed the lead of workers in Italy and elsewhere to ‘black’ the export of munitions to Israel, the international working class could blockade Israel. This in turn would raise the costs of Israel’s Zionist project and further divide the country internally to the point were its international backers collapsed.

    If the Palestinian masses and their Israeli supporters backed by an international workers movement, joined forces to remove their bourgeois nationalist factions, then a liberated Palestinian workers and farmers state could arise, and within a wider union of socialist states in the region freely chose to remove all the old oppressive historic feudal and imperialism borders and realise the hope of a multi-ethnic federation of communes.

  11. Yes I am afraid it is the simplest of questions that Gaby cannot answer, sad really, that she could continue to think the might of Israel backed by the military might of the U.S. is okay.

    I have yet to hear her acknowledge that there are 60+ laws specifically for Palestinians living in Israel!

  12. Chris I am totally with you on this. You do need to be an historian to work this region out. What I can’t quite understand is Golriz is a refugee from Iran and yet it is Iran which sponsors Hamas and Hezbollah. I’ll bet Golriz would not return to Iran willingly and yet the Palestinians would set up a similarly repressive regime.

    • So you agree with Chris Trotter’s take on history, that is fine.

      Clearly you have taken a position with regard to Ms. Ghahraman that is coloured by either hypocrisy or prejudice. The fact that the MP is an Iranian refugee doesn’t mean she has to have a human rights lobotomy!

      Regarding your spurious accusation of sponsorship, are you also opposed to the $4.5 billion that the US has handed over to Israel this year that is being used to bomb the hell out of Palestinians?

      • Biden will have to continue the Trump policies which essentially was written by Bibi and received what ever they asked for. In return for generous military aid Israel was able to sign treaties with Saudi Arabia and others. Everyone will just have to lump it and accept it and ask where do we go from here.

  13. History is my game Chris, I don’t have a crystal ball.
    History can give us some clues however although a thorough treatment is not possible in this forum.

    In 1948 the Jordanians had covert diplomatic relations with the Zionists. You will recall Golda Myerson’s exploits on that occasion. Glubb Pasha’s Arab Legion was the best of the Arab forces. During the “War of Independence” Abdullah pledged the Legion to operations only within the area allocated to the Palestinian State under Partition. He kept his word – despite the 24 massacres of civilians carried out by the Hagganah/Irgun/Lehi Morris cites.
    http://www.logosjournal.com/morris.htm
    The Arab League declaration to the U.N. in May 1948 is a document deserving much more attention than it gets:
    http://www.religion-science-peace.org/2012/11/18/arab-league-declaration-on-the-invasion-of-palestine-15-may-1948/
    It states:
    “The Governments of the Arab States hereby confirm at this stage the view that had been repeatedly declared by them on previous occasions, such as the London Conference and before the United Nations mainly, the only fair and just solution to the problem of Palestine is the creation of United State of Palestine based upon the democratic principles which will enable all its inhabitants to enjoy equality before the law, and which would guarantee to all minorities the safeguards provided for in all democratic constitutional States…”
    Were they to succeed and honour this pledge, we may not be here today.

    I cannot speak for the Syrians. They would surely have taken the Golan back which was a very sore point. Moshe Dayan explained the taking of it in 1967:
    “General Dayan told Tal in 1976. “You don’t strike at the enemy because he is a bastard, but because he threatens you. And the Syrians, on the fourth day of the war, were not a threat to us.”
    According to the published notes, Tal began to remonstrate, “But they were sitting on the Golan Heights, and . . . ”
    General Dayan interrupted: “Never mind that. After all, I know how at least 80 percent of the clashes there started. In my opinion, more than 80 percent, but let’s talk about 80 percent. It went this way: We would send a tractor to plow some area where it wasn’t possible to do anything, in the demilitarized area, and knew in advance that the Syrians would start to shoot. If they didn’t shoot, we would tell the tractor to advance farther, until in the end the Syrians would get annoyed and shoot. And then we would use artillery and later the air force also, and that’s how it was.”
    https://archive.nytimes.com/www.nytimes.com/library/world/mideast/051197golan-dayan.html

    I think actions of Anwar Sadat subsequently speak for the Egyptians

    I am assuming from your previous statements that your question is really, “would there have been pogroms, massacres or enforced bathing in the sea”.
    I think it unlikely. Despite the complete revision of Arab-Jewish History that has captured the common imagination since 1948, relations between the two peoples during the millennia of Jewish residence within Arab lands were surprisingly good. Pogroms were rare and not usually race-based. One of the most commonly cited is the Farhud in Baghdad on June 1–2, 1941. This was a riot that took Jewish lives (some sources say that about 180 Jewish Iraqis were killed) during WWII. The probable root cause was a faction of Iraqi Government, determined to throw off the British Colonial yoke, was leaning towards an alliance with Germany, the Jewish organisations wanted to preserve it.
    What is not often reported is that more Iraqis were killed than Jews. The British Ambassador noted that “Iraqi troops killed as many rioters as the rioters killed Jews.” In the aftermath, many Iraqis were exiled as a result, and hundreds were jailed. Eight men, included amongst them Iraqi Army officers and policemen, were legally sentenced to death in consequence of the violence by the newly established pro-British Iraqi government. – mostly from Wikipedia.
    Close reading of many such events reveals similar nuances
    It is worth noting that Sir Sassoon Eskell, a Jew, is today known as the “father of the Iraqi Parliament” having been a senior Minister in Iraq’s government from 1920 till his death in 1932. Throughout the middle ages and on up to the modern age, the History of Arab nations is littered with influential Jewish figures in high positions, Maimonides was an Egyptian Prince for example.

    So no, if I am reading you right, I think that Arab and Misrahim understand each other far better than most Europeans comprehend and I do not think there would have been greater punitive measures taken against Jews in Palestine had the Americans allowed the Arab states to prevail in 1973. There are many accounts of Misrahi Jews sheltering their Palestinian friends and vice versa during the 1948 events. Had justice prevailed for the Palestinian people at any stage, the Arab World would probably have settled down. This, of course, is purely an opinion.

    May I ask you a question?
    In 1948, about 800,000 Palestinian civilians were expelled from their homes at gunpoint amid massacre, rape and slaughter documented by Israeli Historians. In 1967, another 300,000 (lets not quibble about exact figures) were expelled and Israel began what is now a 70 year occupation of the West bank and began transferring its people to settle in that area against the explicit provisions of Geneva IV.
    Prior to 1948, Jews owned about 6% of the land in Palestine. Today they insist they “own” about 80% (in the absence of any legitimate instrument of purchase.
    There is no disputing these facts. There is no disputing the fact that, according to International Law, the refugees from that conflict own their property to this day – legally.
    Do you think that any resolution of these matters is possible without some resolution of these injustices?

    • History is not your brief one iota. You’re a shallow revisionist pushing a narrative with an antisemitic agenda based on easily refuted falsehoods gleaned from anti-Israel leftist sources that is so full of holes a sieve would hold water better. Time to properly educate yourself, that is if you can ever root out the canker of hatred and find something meaningful to live for besides loathing the Jewish people and pretending Arab terrorists matter to you.
      https://www.jns.org/opinion/if-your-friends-sympathize-with-hamas-show-them-this/

      • History is constantly being revised. If we were to accept the History of New Zealand, as written by the colonial powers, we would be terribly misled – do you disagree?
        Your job is to address the points made and mount a rebuttal based on reliable data. This you seem unwilling to do. I remain willing to discuss it point by point if you wish. but rebuttals that begin with “You are”, as my old professor once remarked, indicate a lack of cogent argument.

  14. Defending the Holy Land is the most comprehensive analysis to date of Israel’s national security and foreign policy, from the inception of the State of Israel to the present. Author Zeev Maoz’s unique double perspective, as both an expert on the Israeli security establishment and esteemed scholar of Mideast politics, enables him to describe in harrowing detail the tragic recklessness and self-made traps that pervade the history of Israeli security operations and foreign policy.

    Most of the wars in which Israel was involved, Maoz shows, were entirely avoidable, the result of deliberate Israeli aggression, flawed decision-making, and misguided conflict management strategies. None, with the possible exception of the 1948 War of Independence, were what Israelis call “wars of necessity.” They were all wars of choice—or, worse, folly.

    Demonstrating that Israel’s national security policy rested on the shaky pairing of a trigger-happy approach to the use of force with a hesitant and reactive peace diplomacy, Defending the Holy Land recounts in minute-by-minute detail how the ascendancy of Israel’s security establishment over its foreign policy apparatus led to unnecessary wars and missed opportunities for peace.

    A scathing and brilliant revisionist history, Defending the Holy Land calls for sweeping reform of Israel’s foreign policy and national security establishments. This book will fundamentally transform the way readers think about Israel’s troubled history.

    Zeev Maoz is Professor of Political Science at the University of California, Davis. He is the former head of the Graduate School of Government and Policy and of the Jaffee Center for Strategic Studies at Tel Aviv University, as well as the former academic director of the M.A. Program at the Israeli Defense Forces’ National Defense College.
    https://www.press.umich.edu/166167/defending_the_holy_land

  15. Thank you Brewer for once again providing a comprehensive response, sans Zionist propaganda, to an apparent attempt at derailment. Much appreciated!

  16. Thank you aom. Looks like you are correct about derailment. Then again, maybe he’s too busy to reply.
    Most people who open a History book on Arab/Jewish/Israeli relations are astonished at how quickly their former beliefs are dispelled once their interest is aroused. This is because the picture in the public’s eye is largely a hasbara creation. Israel has had powerful PR in the West. It doesn’t take much research to spot the inconsistencies once you dig deeper than the headlines in the popular press.
    Analysis of the timeline is important. For instance, we used to often get “they ran away from the flail of War”. Then you find that probably 400,000 were evicted before the War began. Game changer.
    When you read of an attack against the Zionists, wind the clock back a little and see what took place before it. This recent conflict is an example. The Zionist line is that Hamas rockets came out of nowhere, unprovoked. That would have been the accepted wisdom before the internet. Its a little harder to control the narrative these days.
    Much Hasbara is based on the antisemitism construct which is exemplified by one of my favourite responses: “I’ve always thought I fought you because you came to my land, killed my father and brothers, took our home and sent me and my mother down the road with just what we could carry. Now you tell me it is because I am antisemitic.”
    Chris seems to have bought into this to some extent, hence the “would it have watched the mass extermination of Jewish men, women and children? ” query. Perhaps I should have simply replied: “You mean like Sabra and Shatila?” and left it at that but my aim is always to inspire the reader to take a closer look, particularly at the History which is, incidentally, still emerging in spite of attempts to block it. Case in point is Tantura and the unfortunate Teddy Katz:
    https://ore.exeter.ac.uk/repository/bitstream/handle/10871/15238/Tantura%20Case%20in%20Israel.pdf
    https://archive.org/details/katz
    I had written Tantura and Katz off as unreliable but it turns out he was correct. Another massacre definitely took place there.
    Looks like this thread is dead. Time for bed.

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