2015-10-22

What the Grand Mufti and Hitler Talked About – November 28, 1941

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

by Neil Godfrey

2014-07-26-MuftiandHitlerThe Prime Minister of Israel used the World Zionist Conference to break the news to the world, unknown or suppressed by all historians till now, that it was a Palestinian Arab leader who gave Hitler the idea of exterminating all the Jews.

Here is the record of the Palestinian Grand Mufti’s conversation with Hitler according to the Documents on German Foreign Policy 1918-45, Series D, Vol. XIII, London, 1964, pp. 881 ff. as printed in The Israel-Arab Reader: A Documentary History of the Middle East Conflict: Seventh Revised and Updated E . Penguin Publishing Group. Kindle Edition. (2008-04-29).

I have highlighted sections for easier quick skimming of the main points.

German Chancellor Adolf Hitler and Grand Mufti Haj Amin al-Husseini: Zionism and the Arab Cause

(November 28, 1941)  

Haj Amin al-Husseini, the most influential leader of Palestinian Arabs, lived in Germany during the Second World War. He met Hitler, Ribbentrop and other Nazi leaders on various occasions and attempted to coordinate Nazi and Arab policies in the Middle East.

Record of the Conversation Between the Führer and the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem on November 28, 1941, in the Presence of Reich Foreign Minister and Minister Grobba in Berlin

The Grand Mufti began by thanking the Führer for the great honor he had bestowed by receiving him. He wished to seize the opportunity to convey to the Führer of the Greater German Reich, admired by the entire Arab world, his thanks for the sympathy which he had always shown for the Arab and especially the Palestinian cause, and to which he had given clear expression in his public speeches. The Arab countries were firmly convinced that Germany would win the war and that the Arab cause would then prosper. The Arabs were Germany’s natural friends because they had the same enemies as had Germany, namely the English, the Jews, and the Communists. They were therefore prepared to cooperate with Germany with all their hearts and stood ready to participate in the war, not only negatively by the commission of acts of sabotage and the instigation of revolutions, but also positively by the formation of an Arab Legion. The Arabs could be more useful to Germany as allies than might be apparent at first glance, both for geographical reasons and because of the suffering inflicted upon them by the English and the Jews. Furthermore, they had had close relations with all Moslem nations, of which they could make use in behalf of the common cause. The Arab Legion would be quite easy to raise. An appeal by the Mufti to the Arab countries and the prisoners of Arab, Algerian, Tunisian, and Moroccan nationality in Germany would produce a great number of volunteers eager to fight. Of Germany’s victory the Arab world was firmly convinced, not only because the Reich possessed a large army, brave soldiers, and military leaders of genius, but also because the Almighty could never award the victory to an unjust cause.

In this struggle, the Arabs were striving for the independence and unity of Palestine, Syria, and Iraq. They had the fullest confidence in the Führer and looked to his hand for the balm on their wounds which had been inflicted upon them by the enemies of Germany.

The Mufti then mentioned the letter he had received from Germany, which stated that Germany was holding no Arab territories and understood and recognized the aspirations to independence and freedom of the Arabs, just as she supported the elimination of the Jewish national home.

A public declaration in this sense would be very useful for its propagandistic effect on the Arab peoples at this moment. It would rouse the Arabs from their momentary lethargy and give them new courage. It would also ease the Mufti’s work of secretly organizing the Arabs against the moment when they could strike. At the same time, he could give the assurance that the Arabs would in strict discipline patiently wait for the right moment and only strike upon an order from Berlin.

With regard to the events in Iraq, the Mufti observed that the Arabs in that country certainly had by no means been incited by Germany to attack England, but solely had acted in reaction to a direct English assault upon their honor.

The Turks, he believed, would welcome the establishment of an Arab government in the neighboring territories because they would prefer weaker Arab to strong European governments in the neighboring countries, and, being themselves a nation of 7 million, they had moreover nothing to fear from the 1,700,000 Arabs inhabiting Syria, Transjordan, Iraq, and Palestine.

France likewise would have no objections to the unification plan because she had conceded independence to Syria as early as 1936 and had given her approval to the unification of Iraq and Syria under King Faisal as early as 1933.

In these circumstances he was renewing his request that the Führer make a public declaration so that the Arabs would not lose hope, which is so powerful a force in the life of nations. With such hope in their hearts the Arabs, as he had said, were willing to wait. They were not pressing for immediate realization of their aspirations; they could easily wait half a year or a whole year. But if they were not inspired with such a hope by a declaration of this sort, it could be expected that the English would be the gainers from it.

The Führer replied that Germany’s fundamental attitude on these questions, as the Mufti himself had already stated, was clear. Germany stood for uncompromising war against the Jews. That naturally included active opposition to the Jewish national home in Palestine, which was nothing other than a center, in the form of a state, for the exercise of destructive influence by Jewish interests. Germany was also aware that the assertion that the Jews were carrying out the function of economic pioneers in Palestine was a lie. The work there was done only by the Arabs, not by the Jews. Germany was resolved, step by step, to ask one European nation after the other to solve its Jewish problem, and at the proper time direct a similar appeal to non-European nations as well.

Germany was at the present time engaged in a life and death struggle with two citadels of Jewish power: Great Britain and Soviet Russia. Theoretically there was a difference between England’s capitalism and Soviet Russia’s communism; actually, however, the Jews in both countries were pursuing a common goal. This was the decisive struggle; on the political plane, it presented itself in the main as a conflict between Germany and England, but ideologically it was a battle between National Socialism and the Jews. It went without saying that Germany would furnish positive and practical aid to the Arabs involved in the same struggle, because platonic promises were useless in a war for survival or destruction in which the Jews were able to mobilize all of England’s power for their ends.

The aid to the Arabs would have to be material aid. Of how little help sympathies alone were in such a battle had been demonstrated plainly by the operation in Iraq, where circumstances had not permitted the rendering of really effective, practical aid. In spite of all the sympathies, German aid had not been sufficient and Iraq was overcome by the power of Britain, that is, the guardian of the Jews.

The Mufti could not but be aware, however, that the outcome of the struggle going on at present would also decide the fate of the Arab world. The Führer therefore had to think and speak coolly and deliberately, as a rational man and primarily as a soldier, as the leader of the German and allied armies. Everything of a nature to help in this titanic battle for the common cause, and thus also for the Arabs, would have to be done. Anything, however, that might contribute to weakening the military situation must be put aside, no matter how unpopular this move might be.

Germany was now engaged in very severe battles to force the gateway to the northern Caucasus region. The difficulties were mainly with regard to maintaining the supply, which was most difficult as a result of the destruction of railroads and highways as well as of the oncoming winter. If at such a moment, the Führer were to raise the problem of Syria in a declaration, those elements in France which were under de Gaulle’s influence would receive new strength. They would interpret the Führer’s declaration as an intention to break up France’s colonial empire and appeal to their fellow countrymen that they should rather make common cause with the English to try to save what still could be saved. A German declaration regarding Syria would in France be understood to refer to the French colonies in general, and that would at the present time create new troubles in western Europe, which means that a portion of the German armed forces would be immobilized in the west and no longer be available for the campaign in the east.

The Führer then made the following statement to the Mufti, enjoining him to lock it in the uttermost depths of his heart:

1. He (the Führer) would carry on the battle to the total destruction of the Judeo-Communist empire in Europe.

2. At some moment which was impossible to set exactly today but which in any event was not distant, the German armies would in the course of this struggle reach the southern exit from Caucasia.

3. As soon as this had happened, the Führer would on his own give the Arab world the assurance that its hour of liberation had arrived. Germany’s objective would then be solely the destruction of the Jewish element residing in the Arab sphere under the protection of British power. In that hour the Mufti would be the most authoritative spokesman for the Arab world. It would then be his task to set off the Arab operations which he had secretly prepared. When that time had come, Germany could also be indifferent to French reaction to such a declaration.

Once Germany had forced open the road to Iran and Iraq through Rostov, it would be also the beginning of the end of the British world empire. He (the Führer) hoped that the coming year would make it possible for Germany to thrust open the Caucasian gate to the Middle East. For the good of their common cause, it would be better if the Arab proclamation were put off for a few more months than if Germany were to create difficulties for herself without being able thereby to help the Arabs. He (the Führer) fully appreciated the eagerness of the Arabs for a public declaration of the sort requested by the Grand Mufti. But he would beg him to consider that he (the Führer) himself was the Chief of State of the German Reich for five long years during which he was unable to make to his own homeland the announcement of its liberation. He had to wait with that until the announcement could be made on the basis of a situation brought about by the force of arms that the Anschluss had been carried out.

The moment that Germany’s tank divisions and air squadrons had made their appearance south of the Caucasus, the public appeal requested by the Grand Mufti could go out to the Arab world.

The Grand Mufti replied that it was his view that everything would come to pass just as the Führer had indicated. He was fully reassured and satisfied by the words which he had heard from the Chief of the German State. He asked, however, whether it would not be possible, secretly at least, to enter into an agreement with Germany of the kind he had just outlined for the Führer.

The Führer replied that he had just now given the Grand Mufti precisely that confidential declaration.

The Grand Mufti thanked him for it and stated in conclusion that he was taking his leave from the Führer in full confidence and with reiterated thanks for the interest shown in the Arab cause.

SCHMIDT

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123 Comments

  • Al
    2015-10-22 14:21:42 GMT+0000 - 14:21 | Permalink

    I’m reminded that Sam Harris offered his insights on this. So how much accuracy is there in the following about the Palestinians and Hajj Amin al-Husseini?:

    “The likening of the Israelis to the Nazis is especially egregious, given that the Palestinians distinguished themselves as Nazi collaborators during the war years. Their calculated attacks upon Jews in the 1930s and 1940s led to the deaths of hundreds of the thousands of European Jews who would otherwise have been permitted to immigrate by the British. This result does not appear to have been inadvertent. Hajj Amin al-Husseini, the grand mufti of Jerusalem and the leader of the Palestinians throughout the war years, served as an adviser to the Nazis on the Jewish question, was given a personal tour of Auschwitz by Heinrich Himmler, and aspired to open his own death camp for the Jews in Palestine once the Germans had won the war. These activities were well publicized and merely increased his popularity in the Arab world when, as a war criminal sought by the Allies, he was given asylum in Egypt. As recently as 2002, Yasser Arafat, the head of the Palestinian Authority, referred to Husseini as a “hero.”See Dershowitz, Case for Israel, 56.”

    End of Faith p264

  • proudfootz
    2015-10-22 15:24:42 GMT+0000 - 15:24 | Permalink

    Not sure why The Israeli Prime Minister wants to get Hitler off the hook. By the time of this meeting Hitler’s ‘final solution’ was already under way.

    How else could the Mufti be given a tour of Auschwitz?

    “In her classic history The War Against the Jews, Lucy Davidowicz writes about the preparations among Hitler’s top lieutenants to carry out the genocide: “Sometime during that eventful summer of 1941, perhaps even as early as May, Himmler summoned Höss to Berlin and, in privacy, told him ‘that the Führer had given the order for a Final Solution of the Jewish Question,’ and that ‘we, the SS, must carry out the order.’”

    She adds: “In the late summer of 1941, addressing the assembled men of the Einsatzkommandos at Nikolayev, he [Himmler] ‘repeated to them the liquidation order, and pointed out that the leaders and men who were taking part in the liquidation bore no personal responsibility for the execution of this order. The responsibility was his alone, and the Führer’s.’”

    Davidowicz also explains that “In the summer of 1941, a new enterprise was launched – the construction of the Vernichtungslager – the annihilation camp. Two civilians from Hamburg came to Auschwitz that summer to teach the staff how to handle Zyklon B, and in September, in the notorious Block 11, the first gassings were carried out on 250 patients from the hospital and on 600 Russian prisoners of war, probably ‘Communists’ and Jews …”

    According to Netanyahu’s fabricated – and Holocaust denialist – version of history, none of this could have happened. It was all the Mufti’s idea!”

    https://electronicintifada.net/blogs/ali-abunimah/why-benjamin-netanyahu-trying-whitewash-hitler

    • 2015-10-23 00:31:26 GMT+0000 - 00:31 | Permalink

      Regarding the Vernichtungslager, Robert Faurisson’s Three Letters to Le Monde –

      http://www.ihr.org/jhr/v19/v19n3p40_Faurisson.html

      • David Ashton
        2015-10-23 11:36:15 GMT+0000 - 11:36 | Permalink

        While I said I would no longer comment Vridar when e.g. personally smeared as a troll, I still feel obliged eventually to submit a promised bibliography on Israel, Islam &c. Meanwhile, re Robert Faurisson, see Hitler’s explanation to Horthy in 1943 about the fate of Jews unable to work, alongside the reluctant admission by fellow-“denialist” Carlo Mattogno that many such Jews were, in fact, gassed.

        • 2015-10-23 13:47:21 GMT+0000 - 13:47 | Permalink

          Can you provide a link, please?

          I found the following by Carlo Mattogno –
          Supplementary Response to John C. Zimmerman on his “BODY DISPOSAL AT AUSCHWITZ”
          http://www.vho.org/GB/c/CM/Risposta-new-eng.html

          And this article by another revisionist scholar Jürgen Graf –
          What Happened to the Jews Who Were Deported to Auschwitz But Were Not Registered There?
          http://www.ihr.org/jhr/v19/v19n4p-4_Graf.html

          • David Ashton
            2015-10-23 17:36:44 GMT+0000 - 17:36 | Permalink

            Links for Sonal Panse. Google: (1) The Meeting between Hitler & Horthy on 16/17 April 1943, Axis History Forum, on-line. (2) Carlo Mattogno, Holocaust Handbook “Inside the Gas Chambers” (on-line pdf), esp. pp.53-54 (& Graf, p.20).

  • 2015-10-22 17:06:50 GMT+0000 - 17:06 | Permalink

    ***”See Dershowitz, Case for Israel, 56.”***

    See “Beyond Chutzpah” by Norman Finkelstein. He debunks Dershowitz, who apparently used the Joan Peters book – which many scholars call a worthless forgery – as a source.

    See Appendix II Page 277. You will find it in Google Books –

    https://books.google.co.in/books?id=Xmi2Yw0QzN8C&lpg=PA277&ots=YB2UpNqSZL&dq=Norman%20Finkelstein%20Haj%20Amin%20al-Husseini&pg=PA277#v=onepage&q=Norman%20Finkelstein%20Haj%20Amin%20al-Husseini&f=false

  • Tim Widowfield
    2015-10-22 17:15:06 GMT+0000 - 17:15 | Permalink

    Netanyahu’s attempt to blame the Holocaust on Palestinians and their leadership doesn’t fit with the widespread claim among conservatives that Palestine never existed and that the marginal squatters who merely occupied the land for centuries have no right to it. The doublethink here is remarkable.

    http://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2012/02/there_was_never_a_country_called_palestine.html

    • Bob de Jong
      2015-10-22 20:49:04 GMT+0000 - 20:49 | Permalink

      Tim,

      Your logic appears fuzzy to me. A Grand Mufti is the highest official of religious law and issues legal opinions and edicts.
      In fact, the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem was a position appointed by the British Mandate authorities. So this has nothing to do with Palestinian statehood or nationality.

  • Bob de Jong
    2015-10-22 21:20:26 GMT+0000 - 21:20 | Permalink

    Neil,

    Your opening paragraph puzzles me in a few aspects:

    “to break the news to the world”: Netanyahu didn’t claim to say anything new. In fact, he said exactly the same in his book, “A Durable Peace: Israel and its Place Among the Nations”, published in 2009. And his statement is – critically – discussed at length in “Israel’s Holocaust and the Politics of Nationhood”, by Idith Zertal

    – “unknown or suppressed by all historians till now, that it was a Palestinian Arab leader who gave Hitler the idea of exterminating all the Jews.”. This claim was first made by Ben Gurion in 1947. Published in “The Muslim Fuehrer, Mufti of Jerusalem, by Pearlman the same year, and has been repeated in numerous publications since (e.g. A Genealogy of Evil: Anti-Semitism from Nazism to Islamic Jihad, David Patterson; A Christian View of the War Against Islam, By Richard T. Hise; The Nazi Connection to Islamic Terrorism: Adolf Hitler and Haj Amin Al-Husseini, by Chuck Morse).

    Is there historical truth in the allegation that the Mufti instigated the holocaust with Hitler? The mufti is on record (several radio emission from Berlin a/o) in calling Arabs to ‘kill all Jews in Arab territory”, so the allegation is at least plausible. But is it probable?

    Netanyahu appears to be imprecise in identifying the source for his statements (and is criticised c.q. ridiculed for that). In common with many books on the subject, he refers to the testimony of Dieter Wisliceny at the Nuremberg trials. However, Wisliceny doesn’t discuss the mufti in this testimony. The statement that the mufti proposed the ‘final solution’ is found in a written statement by Endre Steiner at the trial of Eichmann, and Steiner quotes Wisliceny as his source (see Sense and Nonsense: Everything you need to know about the Arab-Israeli confict, By Stuart Arden).

    It seems that this testimony is rather far removed from the events: Wisliceny had been dead for many years when the statement was made by Steiner, and is hearsay at any rate.

    Imho, Netanyahu just repeated claims that go back half a century, and have been contested ever since they were first made.

    • Neil Godfrey
      2015-10-22 22:05:49 GMT+0000 - 22:05 | Permalink

      Thanks. I know the Mufti said some pretty unsavory things but I didn’t know (or didn’t recall) that anyone had claimed he incited Hitler to genocide. I’ll try to check out some of the sources you mention and see what evidence they cite. (But N’s claim certainly was news to most of us if we go by the reactions one reads in fairly mainstream media channels.)

      • Tom
        2015-10-23 11:11:26 GMT+0000 - 11:11 | Permalink

        Melanie Phillips Article.
        Israel’s Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, has ignited a firestorm of criticism, inside Israel and elsewhere, over his observation that the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, Haj Amin al Husseini, had a central role in fomenting the Nazi genocide of the Jews. Netanyahu said:
        “He flew to Berlin. Hitler didn’t want to exterminate the Jews at the time, he wanted to expel the Jews. And Haj Amin al-Husseini went to Hitler and said, “If you expel them, they’ll all come here.” “So what should I do with them?” he asked. He said, ‘Burn them.”
        For this, Netanyahu has been grotesquely accused of exculpating Hitler for the Holocaust and being a “Holocaust denier”.
        The fact is that, although Jews were being murdered in large number before the meeting between al Husseini and Hitler in Berlin on November 28 1941, the precise origins of the decision to liquidate the whole of European Jewry remain a source of controversy. The Wannsee conference in 1942 drew up plans to implement the genocide of the Jews; but leading Nazis referred to a “final solution” for the Jews years before. Some experts think there was no single such decision but an incremental process of extermination.
        However, it certainly is the case that al Husseini was a key supporter of Hitler. The Mufti wanted to liquidate the Jews of the Middle East; Hitler wanted to do so to the Jews of Europe. The Mufti took the opportunity to make common cause with the Nazis long before that meeting in 1941. The claim being made by Israeli historians and others that he only made overtures to them after the genocide was under way is false.
        By 1936, he was courting the Nazis for arms and money. In October 1937, Hitler dispatched his top “expert” on the Jews, Adolf Eichmann, to Palestine in an attempt to meet him. In 1940, al Husseini sent Hitler a nine-page letter detailing his proposed alliance with the Nazis. The Palestine question, he said, united them in their joint hatred of the British and the Jews. He proposed to make Syria, Lebanon, Palestine and Transjordan a single federated state with a Nazi-style system. In return, he wanted Hitler’s help to wipe out all Jews in the Middle East.
        These details are taken from a book published last year, “Nazis, Islamists, and the Making of the Modern Middle East”, by Barry Rubin & Wolfgang G. Schwanitz. Drawing on previously unseen historical records and other sources, this provides a detailed account of the important alliance between Hitler and the Grand Mufti’s Palestine Arabs. In the light of Netanyahu’s remarks and the controversy they have provoked, the following extracts from this book may be of interest.
        “After the [1914-1918] war, the thinking of Hitler and al-Husaini had developed along parallel lines. Both the grand mufti and Hitler developed the idea that only exterminating the Jews would let them achieve their goals.
        “..The alliance between these two forces was logical. Al-Husaini’s 1936–39 Palestinian Arab rebellion received weapons from Berlin and money from Rome. In 1937, he urged Muslims to kill all the Jews living in Muslim lands, calling them “scum and germs.” But al-Husaini’s ambitions went further. He wanted German backing not only to wipe out the Jews in the Middle East but also to make him ruler over all Arabs. In exchange for Berlin’s backing, he pledged to bring the Muslims and Arabs into an alliance with Germany; spread Nazi ideology; promote German trade; and “wage terror,” in his own words, against the British and French.
        “…The Nazis were eager for this partnership. They established special relationships with the Muslim Brotherhood, the Ba’th Party, the Young Egypt movement, and radical factions in Syria, Iraq, and Palestine. Berlin also hoped to build links with the kings of Egypt and Saudi Arabia. In 1939, for example, Hitler met Saudi King Abd al-Aziz Ibn Saud’s envoy, Khalid al-Qarqani, telling him: ‘We view the Arabs with the warmest sympathy for three reasons. First, we do not pursue any territorial aspirations in Arab lands. Second, we have the same enemies. And third, we both fight against the Jews. I will not rest until the very last of them has left Germany.’
        “… But first, Hitler had to decide precisely how ‘the very last’ of the Jews were to leave Germany. As late as 1941, Hitler thought this could happen, in the words of Hermann Göring in July, by ’emigration or evacuation.’ Yet since other countries refused to take many or any Jewish refugees, Palestine was the only possible refuge, as designated by the League of Nations in 1922. If that last safe haven was closed, mass murder would be Hitler’s only alternative. The importance of the Arab-Muslim alliance for Berlin, along with the grand mufti’s urging, ensured that outcome. And al-Husaini would be present at the critical moment Hitler chose it.
        “… Hitler gave al-Husaini a ninety-minute meeting on November 28, 1941. Hitler’s preparatory briefing, written by Grobba, stressed that al-Husaini was in tune with Germany’s ideological and strategic interests… Al-Husaini thanked the German dictator for long supporting the Palestinian Arab cause. The Arabs, he asserted, were Germany’s natural friends, believed it would win the war, and were ready to help. Al-Husaini explained his plan to Hitler. He would recruit an Arab Legion to fight for the Axis; Arab fighters would sabotage Allied facilities while Arab and Muslim leaders would foment revolts to tie up Allied troops and add territory and resources for the Axis. Hitler accepted, saying the alliance would help his life-and-death struggle with the two citadels of Jewish power: Great Britain and Soviet Russia.
        “At that moment, the Third Reich was at the height of its victories. German forces were advancing deep inside the Soviet Union and nearer its border with Iran. General Erwin Rommel was moving into Egypt and many Egyptians thought Cairo might soon fall. When the day of German victory came, Hitler continued, Germany would announce the Arabs’ liberation. The grand mufti would become leader of most Arabs. All Jews in the Middle East would be killed. When al-Husaini asked for a written agreement, Hitler replied that he had just given him his personal promise and that should be sufficient.
        “…Considerations of Muslim and Arab alliances, of course, were by no means the sole factor in a decision that grew from Hitler’s own anti-Semitic obsession. But until that moment the German dictator had left open the chance that expulsion might be an alternative to extermination. When Hitler first told Heydrich to find a ‘final solution,’the dictator had included expelling the Jews as an option. Already, the regime estimated. it had let about 500,000 Jews leave Germany legally during seven years of Nazi rule. Yet if the remaining Jews could only go to Palestine, and since ending that immigration was al-Husaini’s top priority, emigration or expulsion would sabotage the German-Arab alliance.
        “Given the combination of the strategic situation and Hitler’s personal views, choosing to kill the Jews and gain the Arab and Muslim assets necessary for his war effort was an easy decision. Consequently, Hitler ordered the Wannsee Conference to devise a detailed plan for genocide. Since this decision was linked to the alliance with al-Husaini he would be the first non-German informed about the plan, even before it was formally presented at the conference. Adolf Eichmann himself was assigned to this task. Eichmann briefed al-Husaini in the SS headquarters map room, using the presentation prepared for the conference. The grand mufti, Eichmann’s aide recalled, was very impressed, so taken with this blueprint for genocide that al-Husaini asked Eichmann to send an expert—probably Dieter Wisliceny—to Jerusalem to be his own personal adviser for setting up death camps and gas chambers once Germany won the war and he was in power.”
        To conclude: Netanyahu may or may not be correct about the precise sequence of the stages in Hitler’s final formulation of the genocide of the Jews. But that is a highly contested area of study, and to charge him with Holocaust denial is obscene and ridiculous. His broad point about the intimate connection between Hitler and the Arabs of Palestine under the Grand Mufti al Husseini and the convergence of their genocidal plans for the Jews is accurate. The opprobrium raining down on him owes more to ignorance, political opportunism and anti-Israel malice than it does to history.

        • Neil Godfrey
          2015-10-23 11:48:15 GMT+0000 - 11:48 | Permalink

          What’s far more important — what are the sources for this narrative?

          • Tom
            2015-10-23 12:53:23 GMT+0000 - 12:53 | Permalink

            She give this as a reference.
            These details are taken from a book published last year, “Nazis, Islamists, and the Making of the Modern Middle East”, by Barry Rubin & Wolfgang G. Schwanitz. Drawing on previously unseen historical records and other sources, this provides a detailed account of the important alliance between Hitler and the Grand Mufti’s Palestine Arabs. In the light of Netanyahu’s remarks and the controversy they have provoked, the following extracts from this book may be of interest.

            • AU
              2015-10-23 15:25:05 GMT+0000 - 15:25 | Permalink
            • Neil Godfrey
              2015-10-23 17:41:06 GMT+0000 - 17:41 | Permalink

              This leaves me sceptical about the narrative. No primary sources are cited. “Unseen historical records and other sources” is hardly a reassuring citation. And if they existed and truly established the factuality of the narrative one would expect them to be a hot topic among professional historians.

              AU’s link provides further reason to cautious. The narrative is indeed speculative, it seems, and not “history” in the sense of being documented factual reports of what happened.

              What I look for in any historical work is the historian’s clear establishment of what he or she is writing and the primary source documents that are themselves studied and able to support the claims made. Otherwise I never know if I am reading mere fiction and political or entertainment make-believe.

              The timing of Netanyahu’s announcement should also make us cautious. Imagine the response if a Palestinian leader made a public speech to a Western audience in which he referenced the long-known sources clearly establishing links between some members of the Zionist movement and Nazism. Even though the supporting documentation could be cited in this case we would know that such a claim would be motivated by an intent to turn public and political opinion against Israel and towards favouring the Palestinian cause.

              • Tom
                2015-10-24 09:14:30 GMT+0000 - 09:14 | Permalink

                Last year, “Nazis, Islamists, and the Making of the Modern Middle East”, by Barry Rubin & Wolfgang http://www.meforum.org/4814/nazis-islamists-and-the-making-of-the-modern

              • Neil Godfrey
                2015-10-25 01:54:31 GMT+0000 - 01:54 | Permalink

                That appears to be a serious book with sources I’m interested in following up. I am overdue for posting my next instalment on the Zionist sources (diaries and minutes of meeting from the Israeli State Archives) for their plans for the Jewish State and expulsion of the Palestinians. I trust you will equally register the import of those sources, too.

        • AU
          2015-10-23 15:30:48 GMT+0000 - 15:30 | Permalink

          No one in the UK apart from Daily Mail readers take Melanie Philipps seriously.

          Anyway, your defence of Netanyahu isn’t correct, and the below article shows just how ridiculous it is:

          http://www.tabletmag.com/jewish-arts-and-culture/books/161311/nazi-islamists-rubin

          • Tom
            2015-10-23 21:04:21 GMT+0000 - 21:04 | Permalink

            You will not get all your answers from books, their actions speak louder than words, they both Hitler and the Mufti wanted Jews gone from their land, and it is clear today that the Ruling Palestinians still want the same,
            Israel is not perfect but it has shown through actions that they are willing to negotiate, they gave back Gaza, Sinai, it is clear from the actions of PA they have chosen not to pursue peace, by turning down many two state solutions put forward by Israel.
            I cannot use the guide stick of UK readers to judge Melanie Phillips from what I read she is pretty much spot on, but no one is perfect, but I certainly would not disregard her because of UK readers or Newspapers which all seem to have their own agendas.

            • Neil Godfrey
              2015-10-23 21:21:49 GMT+0000 - 21:21 | Permalink

              You seem to rely on “books” and other media for your information as I do, but it is not “books” themselves but the primary sources, the evidence, that gives us our more reliable historical narrative.

              If you want to know their actions then you must rely on books, sources, news media — or else meet the people themselves. I try to base my own views on what I know from primary sources and personal contacts.

              It also helps to understand how the news media works, how they decide what news to present and how to present it.

              Unfortunately your own statement above is indeed taken from books and news media that present only one particular slant on the news and do not tell you much else that is vital for a balanced understanding.

              The primary evidence demonstrates that most Palestinians and even Arab States themselves do not want the Jews out of the Middle East (though they do want them out of the post 1967 conquered territories) and it is equally clear that the supposed return of Gaza had nothing to do with any sort of good-will gesture. If you sought out the facts beyond what you hear in selected mainstream mass media and a few unsourced books you would know these things.

              • Tom
                2015-10-23 21:47:55 GMT+0000 - 21:47 | Permalink

                From your comment I can see you misunderstood what I said I did not mention other Arab nations I only mentioned PA which are the ruling body, I did not mention what the Palestinian people want either.
                So please deal with the facts yourself.
                Of course you need to read all info from all sources.

              • Neil Godfrey
                2015-10-23 22:31:44 GMT+0000 - 22:31 | Permalink

                What is your source for your claim that the “Palestinian Authority” “want the Jews gone from their land” and what do you mean by “their land” — do you mean the post 1967 conquests or do you mean the entirety of the area now ruled by Israel? What is your source for the “actions” of both sides? Do you include in those actions official all the proposals by the PA and specific actions of the PA and all the similar actions and proposals by the Israelis? Or do you rely on just a few general points that fit one side’s narrative?

                I interpreted your reference to “ruling Palestinians” as more than just the PA and implying other Arab states with whom the PA and others “ruling Palestinians” are in fact working together. I thought “ruling Palestinians” included Hamas as well as Abbas.

            • Neil Godfrey
              2015-10-23 22:36:54 GMT+0000 - 22:36 | Permalink

              We need to be careful with books and always ask for the sources the author is relying upon.

              But equally we need to be careful with what we hear, see and read in the news media — and always ask what sources the stories are based on. Very often stories about what this and that governments or ruling authority has done or is doing are based on official sources — that is, official releases that a particular government wants you to read and believe. New media find these press releases very convenient for the costs they save.

              • Tom
                2015-10-24 10:21:56 GMT+0000 - 10:21 | Permalink
              • Neil Godfrey
                2015-10-25 01:22:43 GMT+0000 - 01:22 | Permalink

                So the claims were made on the basis of “affidavits of senior SS prosecution witnesses”. What do we know about these witnesses? Were the affidavits tested in court? What evidence was cited in the affidavits?

                (Again, I am not denying anything — but I determined long ago never to repeat anything as a fact unless I can be sure I have the evidence to establish that it really is a fact. Affidavits alone are not evidence of facts. They need to be examined and tested just like any other historical document.)

      • 2015-10-23 13:03:12 GMT+0000 - 13:03 | Permalink
        • proudfootz
          2015-10-24 03:28:27 GMT+0000 - 03:28 | Permalink

          Yes, one would think the understanding between Zionist leaders and the Nazis of nearly a decade would be worthy of mention in the narrative the Prime Minister is putting forward.

      • Bob de Jong
        2015-10-24 21:17:39 GMT+0000 - 21:17 | Permalink

        Neil, interested in your view on the sources.

        If find that all books and articles are ultimately based on 2 pieces of evidence.

        As part of the legal proceedings at the Nuremberg War Crimes Tribunal, two independent witnesses (Andrej Steiner and Rudolf Kasztner)—both of whom had had personal contact with Dieter Wisliceny during the war—reported to the Tribunal that in wartime conversations with Wisliceny he had said certain things about Husseini’s role in the Final Solution (in which Wisliceny was a highly-placed administrator). The Steiner and Kasztner testimonies are quite similar to each other. They concern statements that Eichmann had made to Wisliceny, who subsequently reported them. Wisliceny confirmed during his trial what they had both stated concerning Husseini’s central and originating role in the extermination program.

        1) Excerpt from Steiner: “The Mufti is one of the originators of the systematic destruction of European Jewry by the Germans, and he has become a permanent colleague, partner and adviser to Eichmann and Himmler in the implementation of this programme.” The Steiner testimony—plus corroboration from Wisliceny—was presented again at the trial of Adolf Eichmann in 1961. http://www.nizkor.org/hweb/people/e/eichmann-adolf/transcripts/Sessions/Session-050-07.html

        2) Excerpt from Kasztner: “The grand mufti played a role in the decision of the Germans to exterminate the European Jews, the importance of which should not be disregarded. He had repeatedly suggested this to Hitler, Ribbentrop and Himmler, the extermination of all European Jewry”. I haven’t found a link to Kasztner’s affidavit (yet), it is quoted in Pearlman, M. (1947). Mufti of Jerusalem: The story of Haj Amin el Husseini. London: V Gollancz. (p.73).

        So Netanyahu apparently based his remarks on evidence admitted in the Nuremberg trials, a firm historical basis. Of course, the embellished the allegations quite a bit, but the core of his speech is based on the above evidence.

        Those many (political) opponents who ridicule Netanyahu’s historical sense, could do with a little refresher themselves……..

        Whether Steiner and Kasztner testimonies accurately reflect the role of the grand mufti, remains debatable: it seems the Nuremberg prosecutors found it insufficient to charge the mufti with war crimes.

        But that the Palestinian mufti made all possible efforts – and succeeded – to convince the Germans not to deport a large number of Jews to Palestine, and to send them to the gas chambers instead, remains undisputed.

        • Neil Godfrey
          2015-10-25 02:32:42 GMT+0000 - 02:32 | Permalink

          Yes, it is Netanyahu’s embellishment and gratuitous timing of his speech that is the scandal. It is a clear attempt to smear the Palestinians and deflect attention from Israeli crimes and responsibility for situation in the West Bank and Gaza. Was it in the same speech he played with mealy mouthed words by disingenuously asserting (and I write what in effect he said in my own words):

          “How dare they say we Israelis are provoking Palestinians by our ‘surge’ in the West Bank settlement program? There’s no surge, honest, last year we only built 15,000 new homes there, a drop in 2000 from the previous year! — see how these Palestinians lie by having you believe they are responding to a “surge” in building illegal settlements on their land!” — & why should we be surprised when even their revered religious leader was in cahoots with Hitler in exterminating all Jews from the face of the earth.

          The Mufti as I’ve said was a completely disreputable figure, but his historical role is not directly relevant to the experiences of today’s Palestinians. The Mufti was not a pope and much less controlled the thinking of all Arab Palestinians who were as divided as the Jews themselves. I am preoccupied now with catching up with other reading, especially related to current Islamism and Islam, and completing my posts on biblical studies and also on the history of the Zionist plans to expel the Palestinians prior to 1948 — which is at the heart of today’s Israel-Palestinian situation.

          Meanwhile I have downloaded the Rubin and Schwanitz book that Tom alerted me to for future reading. One source he points to and that I’d like to follow up is in German — http://www.ghwk.de/wannsee/dokumente-zur-wannsee-konferenz/?lang=de — and I’m still struggling with translating other German books via machine. It does appear from a quick look at Rubin’s and Schwanitz’s work that the Mufti was an influence and supporter in the Holocaust but hardly “responsible” for it.

          His anti-semitism and ideological program appears to have been part of a thread that is alive and well today among Islamists in the Middle East and (from what I read) in worrying concentrations in Western Europe and Britain, too. Of course what people like Netanyahu are doing is playing into Western fears and associating Islamism with Islam — fanning the bigotry of “Islamophobia”.

          • Bob de Jong
            2015-10-25 19:22:38 GMT+0000 - 19:22 | Permalink

            Neil, appreciate that you are busy; so I’ll summarise for you:

            1) Why did Netanyahu now bring up the war crime allegations against the mufti? You can see N’s
            speech here:
            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mZbMf7vDU6g

            This is Netanyahu verbatim:

            ” In 1921 the immigration office in Jaffa was burnt down by marauders……
            “And this attack and other attacks on the Jewish community in 1920, 1921, 1929, were
            instigated by a call of the mufti of Jerusalem, Haj Amin al-Husseini, who was later sought for war crimes in the Nuremberg trials because he had a central role in fomenting the final solution,” the premier said. “He flew to Berlin. Hitler didn’t want to exterminate the Jews at the time, he wanted to expel the Jews. And Haj Amin al-Husseini went to Hitler and said,

            ‘If you expel them, they’ll all come here.’ ‘So what should I do with them?’ he asked. He said, ‘Burn them’. ….This is what the mufti said: the Jews seek to destroy the Al Aqsa mosque. So this lie is
            about a hundred years old.”

            You can see that N is addressing current troubles (stabbings etc.), which he says are motivated by a/o the “Lie that we seek to destroy the Al Aqsa mosque”. This topic leads him into his remarks on the mufti, which – as I see the speech- are ad-libbed at that moment. We ‘westerners’ may find the connection remote, but for Jews and historians the link is clear:
            Al Husseini was chosen to be the grand mufti of Jerusalem by the British colonial power after
            he incited Muslims to kill Jews with a fabricated story of Jews having damaged the Al Aqsa that resulted in the 1929 Hevron massacre of Jews. In N’s view, Abbas just copied the Mufti’s invention to do the same now.

            Did N make up what he accuses the mufti of? As I demonstrated here earlier, the accusation that the mufti played an important role in the final solutions is multiple attested by documents submitted during the Nuremberg trials. Other evidence also shows that the mufti argued strongly against deporting Jew to Palestine on multiple occasions, resulting in sending these Jews to the concentration camps. Therefore, I don’t think Netanyahu fabricated any allegations, but he did combine the various pieces of evidence into the conversation that the mufti had with Hitler. I would call that embellishing the story; show me a politician who doesn’t embellish his stories?

            2) Is “Netanyahu … playing into Western fears and associating Islamism with Islam — fanning the bigotry of “Islamophobia”? On what would you base that assertion? Netanyahu doesn’t mention Islam nor Islamists in his speech about the mufti. It is hardly necessary to recall incidents from more than 50 years ago when the news is overflowing with today’s atrocities by ‘islamists’.

            The mufti does remain a source of inspiration to those who dream of annihilating Israel and
            establishing a purely Muslim Middle East ‘cleansed’ of Jews. But the Middle-East was awash with Nazi-sympathisers, from Nasser and Sadat in Egypt and Assad in Syria unto the present leaders.

            Muslim extremism has a long tradition, no doubt bolstered by the mufti and others. But that’s NOT what makes the pursuit of heroic martyrdom pay off, or what renders the frightened majority in the Arab world so incapable of taming the terrorists—secular and religious—among them.

            Isn’t the problem that the Arab world is ethnically and spiritually divided, dosed with religious fanaticism and blind rage against both Western meddling and its own rulers? In such conditions, the escape route is to forge artificial unity against a common enemy; and who is surprised that ‘the Jews’ are targeted for that role?

            3) Is the mufti’s ‘historical role …not directly relevant to the experiences of today’s Palestinians”? I would say there is an uninterrupted thread from the mufti to the present day. Abbas is a staunch supporter of the mufti: in a 2013 speech he called the mufti “a great man and an example to all Palestinians”. And Abbas uses the same arguments (Jews plan to desecrate the Al Aqsa mosque) as the mufti did in 1929 to incite violence in the streets.

            And there’s another ominous side to Abbas: he admits that the holocaust actually happened,
            but claims that the Jews brought it onto themselves by behaving badly versus the Germans (see his 1982 PhD thesis). The implication being – of course – that Israeli Jews may call the same fate upon themselves by behaving badly in Arab eyes.

            Abbas is a disciple of Yasser Arafat. In 1946, the mufti returned to Palestine as the result of receiving amnesty from the British Mandatory administration. At this time, Yasser Arafat began a personal relationship with the Mufti. Arafat first served the Mufti and his Higher Arab Committee as a courier to the surrounding Arab countries and the Arab League.

            His responsibilities included the collection of donations for the Arab cause. Moreover, he was the mufti’s observer of pro-Palestinian activities on Egyptian campuses. In 1947, Arafat was placed in charge of arms procurement and shipment for the Mufti’s Irregular forces – The Holy Strugglers.

            4) The Rubin and Schwanitz book is indeed informative, but I find them sometimes sloppy with
            their historical evidence (e.g. Steiner’s evidence to the Nuremberg tribunal).
            I wouldn’t expect too much from the Wannsee documents (I read german). The mufti or Palestine are not mentioned anywhere.

            • Neil Godfrey
              2015-10-26 00:38:01 GMT+0000 - 00:38 | Permalink

              I was responding to your request for my views on the sources and those I have not seen. By sources I mean the primary sources on which N’s narrative was based and I thought that’s what you were referring to also. (I have heard N’s speech and read some of the secondary sources that you summarize and refer to.)

              “Embellishment” is normally considered a euphemism for lying. N’s “embellishment” conveyed the message of an innocent flummoxed Hitler not knowing what to do with the Jews if he could not expel them until the Palestinian Arab gave him the idea. That’s the lie. (That politicians embellish facts as part of their job description is not an excuse; it’s one of the reasons people are whipped up to support wars.)

              Interestingly the Mufti was apparently even declared by a German physician to be an Aryan and not a Semitic Arab. I don’t know if we have a record of how the Mufti responded to that diagnosis.

              N’s portrayal and “embellishment” conveyed the message that the Holocaust was the brain-child of the Palestinian leader. N is linking Israel’s current problems with Palestinians directly to the sacred foundation upon which the State of Israel has been built and justified — the Holocaust.

              That is the message.

              15,000 illegal homes on conquered territory are turned into the innocent victims of the lies of those who have massacred Jews and spawned the very idea of the Holocaust for Hitler. The message is that the Zionist project has been the victim all along and remains so today.

              The narrative is of sacred victimization from the beginning right through to today. Only Arab massacres of Jews are mentioned. We don’t even recall the British Mandate rule with the British control over Jewish immigration into Palestine or the illegal Jewish immigration that was being engineered by the Jewish underground — such details are overlooked since they only serve to deflect the focus from the embellished record that it is the Palestinian Arabs who are the historical and contemporary genocidal threat to the Jews in the State of Israel.

              N is seeking to present the victimhood narrative to today’s world by focusing on and even embellishing selected events of the past.

              No side has clean hands in the history of the Israel-Palestine conflict today. The Mufti is one of the stains on Palestinian history as is well-known. That he had genocidal wishes for the Jews is well-known. But he was hardly the inspiration for the Nazi Holocaust as N has claimed in his “embellished” account.

              N has exploited one side’s stains with not only a one-sided narrative that portrays Israel historically as the primary victim in Palestine but with an “embellished” narrative that portrays the current Palestinians as the heirs to the instigators of the event upon which the State of Israel’s existence has been justified.

              • Bob de Jong
                2015-10-27 21:25:54 GMT+0000 - 21:25 | Permalink

                – what is your source for the mufti was “declared by a German physician to be an Aryan and not a Semitic Arab”?

                – “The Mufti is one of the stains on Palestinian history”. A nice euphemism, this stain. Is all this distant history? Note the Charter of the “Islamic Resistance Movement Hamas” (founded in 1988): ““Their (the Zionists’) plan is embodied in the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, and their present conduct is the best proof of what they are saying….“After Palestine, the Zionists aspire to expand from the Nile to the Euphrates. When they will have digested the region they overtook, they will aspire to further expansion”.

                Sounds familiar?

              • Neil Godfrey
                2015-10-28 02:40:15 GMT+0000 - 02:40 | Permalink

                My source is the Rubin and Schwanitz book (Nazis, Islamists, and the Making of the Modern Middle East) — the same work you said earlier was “indeed informative” though sometimes “sloppy” with their evidence. Their sources are Hugh Trevor-Roper’s Hitler’s Table Talk 1941-1944 p. 412 and the Bundesarchiv Lichterfelde, Politisches Archiv, Auswärtiges Amt: F56474, Bericht, 351003–351007.

                Let’s try to keep the viscera to the background and not impute negative attitudes towards my use of the term “stain in history” — a phrase that is found regularly throughout the literature to describe many atrocities.

                You seem not to even want the Mufti’s career relegated to history but think it should be pushed alongside the current players in the conflict today — which is about as useful as the Irish and the Balkan peoples continually firing history at one another. History is important as history and to understand current situations — but it needs to be kept as history.

                I am not sure what the relevance of your other references are — what argument or point are you seeking to make, exactly? Yes, we are all aware of the Hamas Charter and the racism and status of the anti-semitic protocols in the Arab world. We know these things. So what point are you making when you bring them both to the fore here, exactly?

                My point was to try to establish a particular fact of history and to highlight an unfortunate (yes, another euphemism) claim by Netanyahu.

                We also know that Netanyahu’s political party’s charter declares all the “land of Israel” to belong without question and forever to the Jewish people, which, if we take seriously, make a complete mockery of his claims to be sincerely interested in any sorts of negotiations with the Palestinians or their security in the land or of his guarantees for their holy site.

                We also know that various Hamas representatives have over the years made offers to recognize Israel de facto (not de jure) by truces of various durations on the basis of Israel abiding by the pre-1967 borders.

                We have access to many scholarly studies on Hamas and Likud and through these we do have some understanding of why each has failed to change their basic documents and why in the real world what is important is to see what can be done based on the current actions as well as the contemporary words of the key players.

                So pointing to charters and literature on the Hamas side is about as useful as pointing to political party declarations and holy texts on the other.

              • David Ashton
                2015-10-28 00:36:57 GMT+0000 - 00:36 | Permalink

                Points of information, not “trolling”. Dr Walter Gross, head of the Nazi Race Office. Hitler remarked on the Mufti’s “Aryan” features and possible ancestry.

                Cf. also http://themuslim issue.wordpress.com/2015/10/21/when-did-haj-amin-al-husseini-palestine-jihad-f…

            • Bob de Jong
              2015-10-29 21:45:26 GMT+0000 - 21:45 | Permalink

              Thanks for clarifying your remark on the mufti looking Aryan. There are multiple attestations that the mufti had blue eyes, so this might have been the case. It is mentioned in Hitler’s table talk, where Hitler suspects that the mufti had several Aryan ancestors. Also Himmler is reported (during the Nuremberg trials) to have appreciated the mufti’s Aryan eyes. And there is the German doctor who (for unknown reasons) examined the mufti for six hours. The doctor’s conclusion is more based on his opinion that Arabs can’t be as smart and brave as the mufti.

              None of them had a scientific point, since a significant portion of Arabs have blue eyes.

              I think you quote from the 1999 Likud part charter? Obviously, the charter is dated, and – more importantly – doesn’t necessarily represent Israel’s policy. Note that Israel (Ehud Barak) offered in the 2000 negotiations to form a Palestinian state on the West Bank and Gaza. The Palestinians (Yasser Arafat) rejected the offer.

              And this issue is unrelated to the safety of Palestinians in Israel, and the sanctity of their holy sites, such as Al Aqsa Mosque. Are you just repeating anti-Jewish allegations, or do you have sources that show that Israel intends to revoke guarantees for their holy sites?

              I sympathise with your view that party charters (of Likud and Hamas) are not helpful to reach negotiated settlements; indeed, some Hamas leaders have distanced themselves somewhat form the charter. But Hamas leaders continue to spread blatant racist and anti-Jewish (not anti-Zionist) rhetoric. So how should we understand the Hamas current positions?

              Some examples:

              – In an interview on Lebanese television on July 28, 2014, Hamas spokesman Osama Hamdan claimed: “We all remember how the Jews used to slaughter Christians, in order to mix their blood in their holy matzos. This is not a figment of imagination or something taken from a film. It is a fact, acknowledged by their own books and by historical evidence. It happened everywhere, here and there”

              – In an interview with Al-Aqsa TV in September 12, 2012, Marwan Abu Ras, a Hamas MP, stated:” The Jews are behind each and every catastrophe on the face of the Earth. This is not open to debate. This is not a temporal thing, but goes back to days of yore. They concocted so many conspiracies and betrayed rulers and nations so many times that the people harbor hatred towards them…. Throughout history – from Nebuchadnezzar until modern times … They slayed the prophets, and so on…. Any catastrophe on the face of this Earth – the Jews must be behind it”

              – in March 2010, senior Hamas figure al-Zahar stated about Jews that “Wherever you have been you’ve been sent to your destruction. You’ve killed and murdered your prophets and you have always dealt in loan-sharking and destruction. You’ve made a deal with the devil and with destruction itself”

              • Lowen Gartner
                2015-10-29 23:06:50 GMT+0000 - 23:06 | Permalink

                I grew up in Lebanon. There were plenty of blue eyes. My father was dark-skinned and blue-eyed and fluent in Arabic. Many thought he was local rather than Germanic/Norse.

              • George Hall
                2015-10-30 00:13:43 GMT+0000 - 00:13 | Permalink

                And then there’s Yezidis, a minority group in iraq who have blues eyes and even blonde hair.

                And should we also note that red-hair was prevalent in the Middle East at one stage?

                King David may have been a “gingie” in hair coloring from his ancestor Ruth.

              • Neil Godfrey
                2015-10-31 06:10:53 GMT+0000 - 06:10 | Permalink

                I understand the basic message from the selected evidence: Jews are basically good; Palestinians are basically bad. Got it.

              • Neil Godfrey
                2015-10-31 06:15:47 GMT+0000 - 06:15 | Permalink

                There are multiple attestations that the mufti had blue eyes, so this might have been the case.

                This sounds suspiciously like a theologian’s way of doing “historical research”. A thousand attestations can mean nothing if they are related to ideological sources but a single authoritative account of a politically-neutral medical nature, for example, might be all that is sufficient to establish a “fact”.

              • Bob de Jong
                2015-10-31 12:18:40 GMT+0000 - 12:18 | Permalink

                Neil, you said: “Jews are basically good; Palestinians are basically bad. Got it.” Show me where I spoke about ‘Jews’, or about ‘Palestinians’. I haven’t said anything that generalises in that way: I have been very specific about the views I discussed: I named names of leaders, dates and sources of all points of view that I discussed.

              • Bob de Jong
                2015-10-31 12:30:45 GMT+0000 - 12:30 | Permalink

                Referring to your “authoritative account of a politically-neutral medical nature”. I’m not sure if you are being serious or cynical here. Do you object to me looking for another source than Hitler to corroborate the ‘Aryan’ statement, or do you seriously think that Hitler’s doctor was ‘politically-neutral’?

                Complicating factor in this case, is that it is unlikely that any Nazi would call the mufti’s eyes brown, once Hitler had declared them blue.

                I found a few colour pictures of the mufti on the www. In those pictures, his eyes don’t look blue to me, and his beard appears dark. But it is possible, if not likely, that these are originally black & white pictures, that have been coloured in later. All I can say is, that whoever coloured the pictures, didn’t know his eyes were blue.

              • Neil Godfrey
                2015-10-31 14:05:22 GMT+0000 - 14:05 | Permalink

                Hi Bob. I was simply making a point of principle and method. I have no idea what the colour of the Mufti’s eyes were and really don’t care. I was simply trying to say that multiple attestation per se means nothing when establishing authenticity/validity. It’s a term relied upon by theologians in their quest to bring their sacred texts into the realm of terrestrial norms. We only need one Rosetta Stone to make sense of Egyptian hieroglyphics. We only need one fingerprint and one death certificate to . . . . . .

              • Bob de Jong
                2015-11-01 21:28:15 GMT+0000 - 21:28 | Permalink

                Neil, I’m with you that multiple attestation per se doesn’t constitute evidence. The colour of the mufti’s eyes wasn’t on my radar screen either, but since you brought it up, it then caught my attention.

                Rather than criteria of ‘multiple attestation, ‘ embarrassment’ etc., I’m drawn to the ‘hermeneutics of suspicion’. In summary, this means when reading a text to ask oneself: “why does the narrator want me to believe these lies’.

                – applying this to Hitler’s reporting that the mufti had blue eyes, I would say: Hitler was doing business with an Arab, who – according to Nazi race theories – would be inferior to the German race and hence not acceptable as a Nazi ally. But by attributing blue eyes to the mufti, Hitler could argue that the mufti had Germanic ancestors, and was hence not (so) inferior.

                – why did you say that ‘interestingly’ the mufti was considered an Aryan? I can only speculate that these ‘nordic’ origins separate the mufti from today’s Palestinians in a psychological sense. While I have quoted the words of modern Hamas leaders which are not that different from the mufti’s, showing an ideological relationship?

              • Neil Godfrey
                2015-11-01 21:56:26 GMT+0000 - 21:56 | Permalink

                What I found of “interest” was that the Aryan identification suggests the mufti was the play-thing being used by the Nazis — the opposite situation suggested by Netanyahu that Hitler was sitting there all flummoxed not knowing what to do about the Jews until the Mufti put the evil idea into his overly impressionable head.

                I am appalled at any suggestion that Palestinians — the entire people — should be painted with the same brush of Hitler’s wilful genocide. Netanyahu’s speech was a classic case of dehumanizing black propaganda that we more usually associate with war-time. Except that it’s not really a “war” between the two sides.

              • Bob de Jong
                2015-11-02 19:36:47 GMT+0000 - 19:36 | Permalink

                I really don’t understand how “the Aryan identification suggests the mufti was the play-thing being used by the Nazis”.

                Hitler and Himmler spoke about the mufti with respect (I will give references if you will spend the time to verify them). It was this respect that made it convenient to identify an Aryan lineage for the mufti (as explained above).

                If the mufti was indeed the ‘play-thing’ that you postulate, then what did the mufti do that shows him to be a puppet of the Nazi regime? As far as I can see from the sources, he vigorously pursued an Arab agenda, and saw his German friends as useful allies to achieve his own objectives (Palestine independent form Britain and Juden-rein).

                Where do you see me typify “Palestinians — the entire people —”? I took care to quote “modern Hamas leaders”, naming names and dates.

              • Neil Godfrey
                2015-11-02 22:33:28 GMT+0000 - 22:33 | Permalink

                The mufti, as you point out, was dedicated to “an Arab agenda” yet is identified by Nazi leaders as an Aryan. That’s why I remarked that we are not told what the Arab-agenda pursuing mufti thought of that racial diagnosis. Mufti was being taken for a ride and his “Arab-ness” was even denied by those who were humouring him.

                That sounds to me like humiliating treatment of a momentarily slightly useful semite, or one who might be useful to harass the British. I don’t imagine that the mufti wrote back to his fellow Palestinians expressing pride in being identified as an Aryan by his hosts.

                He never got the written assurance he so badly wanted and requested on behalf of the Arab peoples — merely a word in private (as if such a word from Hitler could be trusted by anyone by 1941). Hitler was playing a double-game (as usual). His assurances to the mufti were in private so as not to worry his Vichy French allies about the security of their possessions in the Middle East. And we know Hitler’s views on the Arabs generally.

                Hitler was telling the mufti just enough to keep the Arabs active in troubling the Allies without having to worry about the “details” of Germany’s own hoped-for conquest of the Middle East.

                (I was referring to Netanyahu’s speech and its context, not your post, in my second paragraph.)

  • Tom
    2015-10-22 21:40:31 GMT+0000 - 21:40 | Permalink

    Hitler and the Mufti both had the same goal the annilation of Jews, that is clear from the historical documents.

    • Neil Godfrey
      2015-10-22 22:00:21 GMT+0000 - 22:00 | Permalink

      What historical documents are you referring to exactly? Citations? Links? At least pointers to where I might find them? I’m not doubting. I just want to be able to speak from a knowledge of the evidence.

      • Tom
        2015-10-23 11:25:24 GMT+0000 - 11:25 | Permalink

        Also Bibi quoted Eichmans aid at Nuremberg.
        http://baltimorejewishlife.com/news/news-detail.php?SECTION_ID=37&ARTICLE_ID=65703

        • Neil Godfrey
          2015-10-23 11:54:03 GMT+0000 - 11:54 | Permalink

          Again, assertions without sources are not helpful. A news story with various claims must be based on sources — and the claims within the story need sources — to assure us of reliability. I am not denying anything (I’m well aware of the racism at the time from both sides) but whenever I read historical works I am always wanting to know the sources for the details of any narrative. Worthwhile historians, credible historians, always make these clear. Recall my series on the early Zionist settlement of Palestine and plans to displace the Arabs is all about citing sources. Comments also need sources.

  • 2015-10-22 22:01:16 GMT+0000 - 22:01 | Permalink
  • 2015-10-23 03:29:45 GMT+0000 - 03:29 | Permalink

    Looking over the related Wikipedia page:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amin_al-Husseini

    It seems likely that Netanyahu’s claim that the Grand Mufti gave Hitler the idea for the Holocaust is either lying, repeating false claims or being irresponsible. As a supporter of Israel should I try to qualify/condition/disclaim what Netanyahu said in some way with something like:

    1) At the same time Netanyahu is performing a valuable public service by publicizing that the supreme religious leader of the Palestinians at the start of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict was an important ally of the Nazis

    or

    2) Netanyahu is just trying to defend innocent women and children from being murdered by Palestinians

    ???Naaah. Than I would sound just like you.

    • Neil Godfrey
      2015-10-23 04:32:30 GMT+0000 - 04:32 | Permalink

      I deplore your propensity to see anything I have written as an apology for terrorism and murder. (Never with quotations, I notice — and when asked to provide evidence you always disappear.) Your own ideological mindset seems to make you incapable of clear reading comprehension. I really would sincerely like to see you honestly attempt to paraphrase what you genuinely believe my argument to be in any piece I have written on this topic. That would mean you would have to actually try to grapple with each of my words instead of just blurring them into some vague lie about what you are expecting to read and assuming I believe.

      • 2015-10-27 21:36:49 GMT+0000 - 21:36 | Permalink

        When have you ever unilaterally condemned Palestinian terrorism here. I gave you a list of Palestinian terrorist attacks and your response was to create a permanent link on your home page:

        “Response to ADL propaganda, “Major Attacks Against Israel”

        I’m beginning to give the history of Palestinian opportunities for a two-State solution on my Facebook page:

        “This post summarizes the first opportunity for the Palestinians of a two-State solution and is based solely on the related Wikipedia article:

        1st Opportunity for the Palestinians of a two State solution:

        1) Peel Commission 1937

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peel_Commission

        Britain, which is in control of Palestine at the time, decides that British control of Palestine is unsustainable and recommends partition between Jewish and Palestinian sides. Palestinian areas would be under Jordan’s control. The Peel Plan was the base for all subsequent negotiations of a two State solution.

        2) Jewish reaction = Accepted partition

        3) Palestinian reaction = Rejected and condemned partition. Rejected the idea of any Jewish State and insisted on an independent Palestinian State.

        4) British reaction = Britain followed up with the Woodhead Commision to attempt adjustments to the Peel Plan.”

        The greatest tragedy of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict of the past and future is that the absence of a Jewish State during the Holocaust contributed to the murder of hundreds of thousands if not millions of Jews. While your Grand Mufti and Palestinians were not primarily responsible, they did contribute. There were Palestinians in the Waffen-SS that were involved in Concentration Camps. Don’t remember seeing that covered here.

        After I have (objectively) listed the Palestinian reactions to attempts by Britain and Israel to give them their own State I will create my own blog and give your related posts here the adjectives they deserve.

        • Neil Godfrey
          2015-10-27 21:59:05 GMT+0000 - 21:59 | Permalink

          Joe, you did not respond to my request to actually attempt an honest dialogue by making an effort to paraphrase the point of my posts based on what I actually write and then asking me if your paraphrase/understanding is correct.

          Interesting. You avoid attempting to actually outline my view in order to ensure you do understand the theme of my posts. I think you don’t want to accept what I am actually saying so you try to deflect attention from the challenge of my posts with attacks on my character and/or insults.

          I see no evidence of any interest in a genuine dialogue on your part.

          Your only interest in commenting here appears to be in response to a tribal reflex to accuse me of anti-semitism and of being an apologist for murder and maiming. Nice. Thank you. And you want me to bother with anything you have to say on Facebook?

          You are aware of my own posts on the respective reactions to the Peel and Woodhead Commissions based on documentary evidence in the Israeli State Archives and diaries of leading Zionist pioneers yet you have not attempted to respond constructively to any of those posts.

          No, first brand me a supporter of terror and an anti-semite in order to put beyond the pale anything I might post (especially if I post quotations from Israeli archives) and post yet a zillionth time the politically and ideologically and ethnically correct State filtered view of history.

          You are a good agent for the ADL — on the ball slandering even lil nobodies who dare raise questions about the “official” history of Israel.

          • George Hall
            2015-10-30 00:30:17 GMT+0000 - 00:30 | Permalink

            Why is there a need to accuse someone of being an agent of the ADL?

            Why is there a need to accuse someone of being a “manichean racist?”

            Is it possible to have a discussion or debate that doesn’t degenerate into invective, polemics or brilliant oratorical sarcasm?

            Can you not have a coffee or a beer after a debate with someone here even if you disagree with them? And leave intellectual debate back in the intellectual sphere?

            Don’t worry, Neil, I’d be saying the SAME thing to any one of the opposite political persuassion if I had to.

            I’m not sure what someone politically opposite to you might call me that would be equivalent to “Manichean Racist.”

            My background is one quarter Germanic SLAV, three-quarters Anglo-Celtic. I find it good not to be racist to EITHER part of my heritage. I also have an Italian-Australian partner and my son is now a mixture of Anglo-Celtic, Italian, Germanic Slav.

            Which is why an accusation of racism is hilarious.

            • Neil Godfrey
              2015-10-31 14:15:55 GMT+0000 - 14:15 | Permalink

              Still you fail to respond to my request. Much effort exerted to deflect attention from both my request and your failure to respond, however.

        • Neil Godfrey
          2015-10-28 00:29:17 GMT+0000 - 00:29 | Permalink

          When have you ever unilaterally condemned Palestinian terrorism here. I gave you a list of Palestinian terrorist attacks and your response was to create a permanent link on your home page:

          “Response to ADL propaganda, “Major Attacks Against Israel”

          Joe, kindly read my introduction to my “Response to ADL Propaganda” page and tell me what I have said about Palestinian terrorism there. Quote me. Or do you consider my descriptions of it as “unjustifiable” and “criminal” and that it is “rightly despised” as a failure to condemn it?

          Please tell me where the failure to condemn it (even “unilaterally”!!! as you insist since I have done this all on me ownsome, ya know!) lies in the words “unjustifiable”, “criminal” and “rightly despised”.

          As for your innuendo elsewhere of anti-semitism please tell me where you find such a sentiment in my expression of concern for “the real interests of the Jewish people and even of the state of Israel”.

          You do not take offence because I fail to condemn terrorism since you have seen for yourself from the outset that I do condemn it (even “unilaterally”!). So there is some other reason for taking offence. I suggest you are offended by the questioning of the official Zionist/ADL narrative and that opens up the possibility that the blame for the conflict is not all one-sided — and that condemnation does not belong entirely and exclusively to one side.

          But I’d rather not be in the blaming and condemning game. I’m more interested in something else — on both sides. I’ll let you try to figure out what that interest is from a re-reading of my posts and the ADL page.

          • 2015-10-28 16:31:56 GMT+0000 - 16:31 | Permalink

            When I wrote:

            “When have you ever unilaterally condemned Palestinian terrorism here.”

            I deliberately ended with a period and not a question mark because it is a statement and not a question. Do I really need to explain the definition of “unilaterally” to you (again, not a question). I’m looking for something along the lines of:

            “I unilaterally condemn Palestinian terrorism.” This suggests your inability to say this is caused by something other than bias. You’re like the Phonz who can’t say he was ruhr, he was wrahh, he was wrung.

            Let’s look at your attempted defense that you have unilaterally condemned Palestinian terrorism:

            As I said, your most prominent response to my detailed list of Palestinian terrorism was to create a new link on your home page saying:

            “Response to ADL propaganda, “Major Attacks Against Israel”

            Thus you categorize Palestinian terrorist attacks as “ADL propaganda”. You also use scare quotes “Major Attacks Against Israel” to indicate not only is what’s linked not terrorist attacks, but they claim that they are should be ridiculed.

            On your linked page you write:

            “I certainly agree that all terrorism is unjustifiable”

            Not a unilateral condemnation of Palestinian terrorism. This is followed by:

            “But I also believe that it is important to understand”

            So you understand why the Palestinians use terrorism. There’s a difference between saying something is unjustifiable but understanding why, and condemning something. That difference is that even if you say you do not approve of Palestinian terrorism, you TOLERATE it:

            “I am not justifying terrorism here. But”.

            “will be susceptible to Zionist ADL propaganda”

            “if we can accept both sides of a story, not just one sided and racist propaganda”

            “to allow a Palestinian right of reply to some of the new anti-semitic (anti-arab) propaganda”

            “The ADL list of so-called “Major Terrorist Attacks Against Israel”

            Your tone in total here questions whether the detail Palestinian terrorist attacks listed were really terrorist attacks.

            Your detail responses than try to defend against the claims of Palestinian terrorist attacks:

            “I submit that the first example cited here is a case of death of civilians “in a military context”, from the military forces (such as they are) on one side against the military forces of their occupying enemy.”

            The irony here is that you are tolerating the only thing, terrorism, which has prevented the Palestinians from getting their own State since 1936. The only significant effect of Palestinian terrorism on Israel is that it swings the State farther to the right than Dennis Miller after 911. Despite your posts here, Israel will be fine. They will continue to produce oranges in the desert, hi-tech start ups and Nobel Prizes. The Palestinians will continue to produce terrorism, sowing/reaping and lying (such as Al-Aqsa).

            As to your claim that I have implied that your motivation is anti-semitism, my implication was so [extremistally] subtle that even I was unaware of it. I think your motivation is sympathy for the underdog which is noble (and also a Jewish trait).

            • Neil Godfrey
              2015-10-28 17:02:40 GMT+0000 - 17:02 | Permalink

              Your second last paragraph tells us all exactly where you are coming from, Joe. Palestinians “will continue” one way and Israel another — a clear statement of racialism, a clear statement of an essentialist view of the characters of two distinct races. The problem in your eyes is all about the goodness of Israel and the evil of Palestinians.

              Again, Joe, you avoid responding to my request that you try to actually tell me what my argument is. Can you possibly bring yourself to say that I am really trying to understand the conflict in the same way we understand any other human conflict? No, because to you, as you make clear in the above is that understanding in such terms means “tolerating”. Looking at events from the perspective of a sociologist, a historian, a researcher, is apparently intolerable to you. The many works I have discussed here on terrorism generally are attempts to understand — but your limit of understanding is to suggest that Palestinians are just bad people and Israelis are good and if we don’t unilaterally condemn bad behaviour in this context then we are “tolerating” evil. The point of this blog is to post views and approaches informed by facts and scholarly research — which is fine to some readers so long as the topic is confined to something as irrelevant as biblical studies.

              I recently posted on Jewish terrorism and compared it with the terrorism some readers seem to suggest I am tolerating — Islamic terrorism. No protests there — is that because readers such as yourself believe I am “tolerating” Jewish terrorism?

            • Neil Godfrey
              2015-10-28 21:48:59 GMT+0000 - 21:48 | Permalink

              Afterthought, Joe — What sort of person “tolerates” what he regards as “unjustifiable”, “criminal” and “rightly despised”? I have just finished reading a book on Isis by Michael Wise and Hassan Hassan; previously I read a book on Jewish terrorists by Bruce Hoffman. They also drop hints that they consider their subjects as despicable criminals but their works are all about explaining and understanding their actions. Like doctors who want to understand the causes of diseases. If they find that the patient has been doing something that has brought on that disease or allowed it to worsen then a good piece of advice would not ignore the patient’s role and ability to alleviate the symptoms and quicken a cure — while also administering some treatment to neutralize the virus or whatever the active agent is.

              Have you ever read works by historians, anthropologists, political scientists that take this approach to human conflict situations? Do you think Israel-Palestine is somehow exempt from the sorts of analyses that are applied to any other conflict?

        • Neil Godfrey
          2015-10-28 07:52:11 GMT+0000 - 07:52 | Permalink

          The greatest tragedy of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict of the past and future is that the absence of a Jewish State during the Holocaust contributed to the murder of hundreds of thousands if not millions of Jews. While your Grand Mufti and Palestinians were not primarily responsible, they did contribute. There were Palestinians in the Waffen-SS that were involved in Concentration Camps. Don’t remember seeing that covered here.

          Joe, would you like me to cover the Nazi contacts on both sides of the conflict in a future post? Would you like me to bash the Brits for controlling the gates to Jewish migration to Palestine during the war years, and the extra immigration fed into Palestine illegally by Jewish groups, or do you want everyone to forget that it was the Brits and not the Mufti who decided on immigration quotas?

          Joe, would you like me to post any additional information from the Jewish state archives that sheds light on Zionist plans to dispossess the Palestinians, ideally by voluntary expulsion as a first option but by bloody force if that failed? Or do you want me to keep all of that side of history under the carpet so that only one side gets to play the victim card?

          And Joe, one more detail, I would welcome comments from you that showed some solidarity with other victims of the Holocaust and with victims of other holocausts and genocides today and in history if only to demonstrate that your outrage is on behalf of all of humanity and not restricted to a single tribe.

          • George Hall
            2015-10-28 11:31:52 GMT+0000 - 11:31 | Permalink

            I really hate even getting involved in this topic after the last time there was anything to do with the Israel/Palestinian thing here…

            …but I’ll examine the last paragraph above.

            Most Jews and Israelis that I’m aware of ARE the ones who point out there were other victims of the concentration camps. They point out that ALSO in the camps were Gipsies, Socialists, gays, the disabled, even the elderly of a number of nationalities.

            Most times its Jews and Israelis who point out to me that NOT all Germans were Nazis…and not all Nazis were German.

            Funny how a particular people can have a massive amount of experience with the worst of humanity being thrown at it that has UNIVERSAL application if one merely exercises their minds.

            On more recent genocides…I’m very much aware with the Rwanda situation Israel was one of the first countries to actually do REAL help in the form of mobile field hospitals.

            As they’ve done ALSO in a number of situations.

            But if you’re going to be spouting facts or numbers, or some ideas that might have been tossed around and discussed in an Israeli cabinet meeting but utlimately rejected…could you perhaps research the EXACT proportion of ACTUAL Palestinian Arabs in 1948 as opposed to recent blow-ins from Egypt, Saudi Arabia, heck, other parts of the Middle East?

            And use INDEPENDENT figures, please, not those of any of the above countries.

            It’d be a rare Jew or Israeli who’d have anything against you using TRULY independent data.

            • Neil Godfrey
              2015-10-28 17:04:18 GMT+0000 - 17:04 | Permalink

              I would hate to think I have used rubbery figures that have no basis in independent reality. Please do link to any post where you believe I have done so.

              Or do you consider the official figures of the Ottoman and the British authorities and used by the Yishuv (Jews living in Palestine before the State of Israel) as without warrant?

              • George Hall
                2015-10-28 23:00:46 GMT+0000 - 23:00 | Permalink

                I did NOT say YOU used rubbery figures.

                If I were thinking of rubbery figures at all…I’d be thinking of those who claim that so MANY Palestinians ever came FROM the Palestine region.

                Won’t dispute that there WERE Arabs who lived in that area a while or even back to 1000-1200c.e. In fact, the Grand Mufti Al-Husseini came from one such clan/family.

                However…there ARE independent censuses taken in the mid-late 19th century there which gave figures for that time. Censuses that would COUNTER the claim that there were MANY Palestinian Arabs with a long-term claim.

                However, I wouldn’t classify Yassir Arafat as anything other than what he was…Egyptian.

                But I seriously would have to doubt ANY claim that Palestinians were Canaanites or even Phillistines. After all…Phillistines were actually Greek Sea Peoples, were they not?

                Getting back to the Grand Muft…yes, HE and HIS family could claim a long-term connection at least as far back as 1000c.e. But that’s one family of at least TWO I’ve heard about.

                Unfortunately, his family were very adept at being representatives of the Arab or Turkish empires after 1000a.d. Which means they were NOT part of any resistance to such empires…and which would mean they would have been there really to keep ANYONE from ever having a sovereign state/nation IN that region.

                So…a lot of the Arab world may not LIKE the indpendent sources…but the independent sources show there was NOT as many truly Palestinian inhabitants as claimed and that there WAS an influx of Arab immigrants TO the region AND Circassians too.

                By the way, I’ve never really seen many Jews or Israelis have any real problem WITH independent or even HOSTILE witness testimony.

                They have a confidence that they’ll pass muster under truly independent assessments and they can even show where a hostile testimony proves things too.

                By the same token…in comparing video footage from each side…

                …I note the israeli footage is continuous and unedited for the most part…and shows even the quiet time before anything happens if its CCTV footage.

                But last year I saw one really grossly-edited Hamas bit of propaganda that was SO bad and severely edited that I had to evince surprise that anyone would fall for it.

                For the most recent problems…the most horrifying video I’ve seen is of a street in Jerusalem with a car coming down it…straight into a bus stop…and the driver of it getting out to hack to death a rabbi waiting at that stop.

                This may disappoint some readers, but I sided with the innocent people in that bus stop and the poor victim who was hacked to death. NOT the idiot in the car who carried all that out.

              • Neil Godfrey
                2015-10-29 05:58:39 GMT+0000 - 05:58 | Permalink

                Yes, George, you have made your point many times: you have nothing but good to say about Israel and Israelis and nothing but bad about Palestinians. We know where you are coming from. Yes, we know you concede their are some bad apples among Israelis and there are a few gems (probably, somewhere) among Palestinians but they don’t do squat to change your narrative of good people versus wicked people.

                I do find it surprising, however, that you speak so much about sources that you do not identify or enable us to locate and study. But if the figures support post independence Zionist narrative while the pre-independence official Ottoman and British figures used by the Zionist committees and Yishuv administrators themselves then I’m sure they must be absolutely reliable.

                Will you tell us who these independent sources were and the publications they produced so we can read and study the true facts for ourselves?

            • Neil Godfrey
              2015-10-28 18:19:27 GMT+0000 - 18:19 | Permalink

              Again, the depressing thing about your replies, as with Joe’s, is that they are pushing the line that one race is basically good and clever and the other is basically bad and stupid.

              Understanding in a research sense that we would expect to find in a historical or anthropological etc account is lacking — it is even condemned because such understanding is viewed as “tolerating” criminal behaviour.

              • George Hall
                2015-10-28 23:12:06 GMT+0000 - 23:12 | Permalink

                The only way I can answer this, Neil, is to point out that there are times when, in sorting out something, we have to evaluate who is lying, who is not…who is at least thinking of the other and how they treat the other and who is not.

                For me, the first time I ever went to Israel, that was the approach I took, which was as objective as I could manage it.

                I suppose that approach COULD be applied to the historical topics.

                Should we sometimes look at the fact that the “Good Samaritan” parable was actually PROPAGANDA? As in the message it sent that went: “Samaritans good, Jews bad…” and how that may have impacted eventually into the the idea of “Christians Good and Holy, Jews evil and of the devil?”

                And this is probably a good time to point out that if the origins of Christianity WERE Samaritan/Dosithean Samaritan/Simonian…well, there’s only 700 Samaritans in the entire world now…so it did the Samaritans no real good over the long term.

              • Neil Godfrey
                2015-10-29 06:01:34 GMT+0000 - 06:01 | Permalink

                No doubt if a person genuinely believes he is being completely objective and approaches all people without presuppositions and has lots of anecdotal stories to tell then we can surely rely upon that person to tell us who the good, honest and clever race is and who the wicked, lying and threatening race is. It’s about good verses evil, the good Jews and State of Israel versus the evil “so-called” Palestinians and other Arabs. Scholarly research is nothing but left-wing apologetics for evil.

    • Tim Widowfield
      2015-10-23 05:20:11 GMT+0000 - 05:20 | Permalink

      Joe: “. . . supreme religious leader of the Palestinians . . .”

      Oops. You screwed up. There are no Palestinians in your twisted little world, only murderous Arab squatters illegally taking up space on Israel’s holy land.

      Joe: “. . . Than I would sound just like you.”

      Why do you even come here and read Vridar if you’re going to pop off like that? You’re depraved troll. Go away.

      • 2015-10-24 03:40:41 GMT+0000 - 03:40 | Permalink

        “Oops. You screwed up. There are no Palestinians in your twisted little world, only murderous Arab squatters illegally taking up space on Israel’s holy land.”

        -Come on, Tim, that’s a strawman, and you know it. You should apologize. And I do think Neil’s explanations of Arab attacks on Israelis from several years ago sounded suspiciously like some kind of apology for terrorism.

        • Neil Godfrey
          2015-10-24 06:57:07 GMT+0000 - 06:57 | Permalink

          Explanations for criminal and racist acts and racism sound to you like apologies for criminal and racist acts? Presumably you would shut down sociology, political science, criminal studies, psychology, anthropology and history faculties in universities as purveyors of apologies for all sorts of anti-social behaviour.

          • Al
            2015-10-24 11:00:47 GMT+0000 - 11:00 | Permalink

            It’s also the attitude of Richard Perle, who said that we must decontextualize terrorism, particuarly in the case of the Palestinians.

        • Tim Widowfield
          2015-10-24 19:35:56 GMT+0000 - 19:35 | Permalink

          E. wrote: “You should apologize.”

          That’s not going to happen. I was impolite, and it was intentional.

          I’m going to break with tradition. Normally when one has to choose between ignorance and malice, we’re supposed to choose ignorance. But I don’t think that’s what’s going on here. Otherwise, it wouldn’t keep happening over and over again.

          Trying to find out what puts people over the edge, trying to understand what radicalizes people and then act on it is not an “apology for terrorism.” After 9/11 we heard lots of pre-determined conclusions about why they did it, including the insipid: “They hate us fer our freedom.” This sort of foolishness gets us nowhere, but it does serve the interests of those who desire a permanent state of war and the clash of civilizations.

          We study criminals, sociopaths, psychopaths, terrorists, megalomaniacs, etc. not to absolve them of their guilt, but to find out what makes them tick in the hopes of preventing future occurrences. I can almost forgive the fools and idiots who comment on right-wing sites for not understanding that, but I don’t think you’re that dumb, E. This is not the product of ignorance.

          Instead, I think it’s a deliberate attempt to shut off debate. It says to the world: “Don’t bring up those subjects or we’ll accuse you of sympathizing with terrorists and hating Jews.” I’m glad Neil has always decided to stand up to this sort of bullying.

          I’m amused and a bit disgusted that you think Joe needs an apology for being called out as a troll, while accusing Neil of condoning mass murder gets a free pass.

          • John MacDonald
            2015-10-24 20:17:43 GMT+0000 - 20:17 | Permalink

            Tim said: “This sort of foolishness gets us nowhere, but it does serve the interests of those who desire a permanent state of war and the clash of civilizations.”

            Winston Smith said: [reads from Goldstein’s book] “In accordance to the principles of Doublethink, it does not matter if the war is not real, or when it is, that victory is not possible. The war is not meant to be won. It is meant to be continuous. The essential act of modern warfare is the destruction of the produce of human labor. A hierarchical society is only possible on the basis of poverty and ignorance. In principle, the war effort is always planned to keep society on the brink of starvation. The war is waged by the ruling group against its own subjects. And its object is not victory over Eurasia or Eastasia, but to keep the very structure of society intact.” – adapted from George Orwell’s “1984.”

    • Neil Godfrey
      2015-10-24 08:27:23 GMT+0000 - 08:27 | Permalink

      Given my post on some striking similarities between Jewish and Islamist terrorism I wonder why no-one has accused me of justifying the former: Comparing Jewish and Islamic Terrorism. If those people who interpret my posts on scholarly research into explaining Islamic terrorism as justifications for murder then perhaps they believe the same acts are indeed justified when committed by Zionist extremists.

  • Neil Godfrey
    2015-10-27 19:34:08 GMT+0000 - 19:34 | Permalink

    This is Netanyahu’s horror: “An open unleashing of raw racism that has always been a part of Israeli society” If the Holocaust taught us anything, it is not to remain silent as a government directs hatred at an entire people by CECILIE SURASKY

    Excerpts:

    . . . . Yet, everywhere I traveled, I was confronted with the traces of a truth that I had known but somehow hadn’t fully understood—that Hitler wasn’t only intent on eliminating Jews. Nazism was based on a perverse racial hierarchy that placed Aryans at the top, and Jews, Gypsies and homosexuals at the bottom, and which also marked millions of Slavic “sub-humans” for extermination and enslavement. It was a state-sponsored system that was central to the logic of extermination that led to the Nazi genocide.

    Which is why Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu’s recent comments before the World Zionist Organization claiming that the Palestinian Mufti was the person responsible for the idea of exterminating Jews were so remarkably ahistorical and dangerous.

    Netanyahu’s shameless exploitation of the Shoah to stoke fear of Palestinians doesn’t just create the strange consequence of taking Hitler off the hook for murdering six million Jews. It contributes to state-sponsored demonization and dehumanization of the Palestinian people, a form of incitement that essentially says anything goes when it comes to punishing Palestinians.

    . . . . . .

    But the truth is Israeli governments have always justified all kinds of horrific policies, from stealing land to imprisoning children, by blaming the victim.

    The irony, of course, or perhaps it’s no coincidence, is that for so long, it has been a truism that one is simply forbidden to raise any comparison whatsoever between Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians and the Nazis’ treatment of the Jews. And it’s true, nothing can compare to the enormous killing machine the Nazis created whose only goal was to efficiently murder as many “inferior people” as possible.

    But Nazism was not only the gas chambers of Auschwitz and Treblinka. It was based on a system of biological superiority. And when I first heard older leftist Israeli Jews who had been refugees from Hitler’s policies say they recognized some similarities in modern day Israel, I was too shocked to process it. But over time, for me, those linkages have become inescapable, and I have come to believe that remaining silent about them only increases the likelihood of them worsening.

    For example, do close watchers of the ongoing violence in Israel and the occupied Palestinian territory know that the last year has seen an open unleashing of raw racism that has always been a part of Israeli society? Do Israelis by and large see Arabs and Africans as racially inferior and less human than white Ashkenazi Jews from Europe? Undeniably they do. Does the Israeli government, like the Nazi policy of Liebensraum, also have a policy of making Palestinian land what they call “sterile,” or Palestinian-free, so that Jews can move onto it? Yes they do.

    And does the Israeli government, as the Nazis once did in Warsaw and countless ghettos like it, keep Palestinians in an overcrowded, unhealthy open-air prison where they deliberately limit their caloric intake, and access to food and fuel? Yes, they do. It’s called Gaza.

    In other words, through decades of abuse and the slow ethnic cleansing of simply making life unlivable, there are other ways to try to disappear a people than killing them at once, and Israel has for nearly 70 years been pursuing policies intended to do just that because they believe all of the land where Palestinians have lived for generations belongs to Jews, based on a thousands-year-old claim in the Bible.

    Watching the uncontained rage with which groups of some Israeli Jews kicked and screamed at the Eritrean asylum seeker mistaken for a Palestinian assailant this week, or watching the videos of mobs roaming the streets of the Muslim Quarter chanting “Death to Arabs,” one cannot help but see the patterns of racial superiority and fear playing out in the violence of the mob. This violence directed at the Other, any Other, is what results when the most unimaginable generations-old festering wound of the Holocaust ceases to be healed—picked at over and over again by leaders who draw power from Jewish fear and trauma. . . .

    • Bob de Jong
      2015-11-01 17:24:03 GMT+0000 - 17:24 | Permalink

      CECILIE SURASKY is a founding staff member of JVP, Jewish Voice for Peace. To illustrate its purpose: JVP’s mission statement requires an end to the “Israeli occupation of the West Bank, the Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem” . Note that there is no stipulation on the PA or Hamas, not even that they recognize Israel as the Jewish state.

      n response to the January 2015 Paris terror attacks, including the attack on a kosher market, JVP published a blog post ignoring antisemitism and instead highlighting that “Muslims are at greatly heightened risk fro m the forces of bigotry. This latest backlash occurs in the context of pervasive, systemic, and long-standing anti-Islam bigotry in many countries around the world.”

      The JVP promotes false allegations that the “Al-Aqsa mosque” is under threat “due to the escalation of Israeli settler violence, which is supported by the Israeli police and military” and that Israel “fanned the flames of Palestinian grassroots resistance by stepping up its attacks against al-Aqsa mosque.” In other words, the JVP is a voice for Hamas and Palestinian extremism.

      • Neil Godfrey
        2015-11-01 21:37:34 GMT+0000 - 21:37 | Permalink

        You did not respond to Surasky’s argument but somehow concluded he is a voice for “Hamas and Palestinian extremism”. Yet you did not explain which of his arguments are actually those of extremists.

        I can understand what is meant by Hamas extremism but do not know what extremism you identify with Palestinians as a people. You seem to equate Palestinians with Hamas without explanation.

        Have you sought to understand Surasky’s arguments by engaging with them and knowing what he would say in response to your assertion that he is a megaphone for Hamas?

        I get the impression you do not engage with both sides of the dispute but are predisposed to view the conflict as a struggle between good and evil with one race on the side of each. Such perceptions of any human conflict I think have historically been associated with war-time propaganda and/or outright racism — certainly with a failure to understand the viewpoints of all sides and even a failure to acknowledge one’s own share of responsibility in a conflict situation.

        • Bob de Jong
          2015-11-02 20:15:13 GMT+0000 - 20:15 | Permalink

          The arguments I refer to are in the first paragraph: no recognition of the state Israel, only release control of the west bank, Gaza and Jerusalem. I point you to the speech of Hamas leader Mahmoud Al-Zahhar, Future News TV, June 15, 2010: “We demand the liberation of the West Bank, and the establishment of a state in the West Bank and Gaza, with Jerusalem as its capital – but without recognizing Israel. This is the key – without recognizing the Israeli enemy on a single inch of land. …”.
          Clearly, JVP’s mission is the mission of Hamas, word for word.

          I suppose that I wasn’t clear in my words: with ‘Palestinian extremism’ I meant to describe a position similar to that of the Hamas leadership, but outside Hamas itself. I expected that ‘Palestinian extremism’ would be understood in the same sense as ‘Russian victims’, or ‘American footballers’. These words do not say that the Russian people are victims, or all Americans are footballers.

          I think it is a feature of most (if not all) conflicts, that the affected parties “fail to acknowledge one’s own share of responsibility in a conflict situation”. What is more important in my view, is that all stakeholders recognise their responsibility to resolve the conflict, rather than getting their own way. In each round of peace talks, Israel has offered important concessions to Palestinian leadership; on each occasion, the proposals were rejected because the Palestinian leaders did not get 100% of their demands (in particular control of East Jerusalem).

          • Neil Godfrey
            2015-11-02 23:31:33 GMT+0000 - 23:31 | Permalink

            It was Surasky’s arguments that I excerpted/quoted that you avoided commenting on. You instead sought to undermine Surasky’s credibility by associating his supposed arguments with those of Hamas.

            You do not appear to have grappled with JVP’s arguments, either. You do not seem to be aware of their arguments/reasons for calling for Israeli withdrawal from the occupied territories. It seems enough in your view that Hamas wants the same.

            I thought we’d covered the business about state recognition in earlier comments and Hamas and other Palestinian and Arab state offers to Israel that are routinely dismissed by Israel and mainstream Western media. Other states exist side by side without recognizing one another (e.g. the Chinas). Other agreements are put in place to refrain from military conflict.

            Similarly with the al-Aqsa mosque, and the routine claims of how much land Israel has “given up” or “surrendered” in vain for peace. There are very real arguments behind the critics of Israel on these questions. There really is another side to the Israeli and mainstream English speaking media claims about such questions that seems to be completely ignored — or dismissed as an argument in favour of Israel’s enemies if ever expressed.

            I have generally found that the two sides of the arguments go like this:

            1. Israel speaks of a grand narrative, a mythology if you will, of a struggle between good and evil. A very select few facts are added in support.

            2. The opposing side speaks of daily life of a culturally alien people, personal experiences, realities of the struggles of routine existence, and too many historical details of expulsion and dispossession and restrictions and killings to easily absorb.

            The first narrative ties in well with Western national and cultural mythologies and is easier to relate to. It requires less effort to understand and appreciate. My experience has been that very few supporters of Israel have any clear awareness of the actual case of the Palestinian side. Instead they rely upon the slogans of Hamas and extremists as filtered through Western media and Israeli propaganda as their information sources.

            No, if you study the views of JVP you will see that they are not a voice for Hamas — this is actually an outrageous — even Orwellian — assertion. That Hamas has been able to win a certain measure of popularity among many Palestinians (by no means all and not even a majority) is because, in part, they have many of the same goals as those Palestinians which are none other than the legal situation set out by the United Nations General Assembly 48 years ago and consistently opposed by only two nations on earth.

            I think if you attempted to understand JVP — even meet some of them if possible — you will find that their views are not so simple-minded and suicidal (let alone pro-Hamas) as you seem to assume. There are actually arguments, reasons, information, knowledge, in support of the arguments, and it is not all to be dismissed as merely being a fool for terrorists.

            In other words, the Palestinians really do have a case that is rarely heard or else dismissed. The Palestinian conflict has been dehumanized into some sort of struggle between an unrealistically fundamentally good race against an unrealistically fundamentally evil race.

            • Bob de Jong
              2015-11-03 21:52:31 GMT+0000 - 21:52 | Permalink

              Thanks for your comprehensive reply. I’ve read a fair amount of JVP’s publications etc.; I wouldn’t label myself as a ‘JVP scholar’, but I’m willing to comment on the quoted passage, since you took so much effort for your reply.

              Otherwise, my description of Cecilie Surasky’s background was a logical element of the ‘hermeneutics of suspicion’. To understand a text, it is important to find out what the intentions of the author are, and in which context the text is written. In that light, the great similarity between the JVP’s mission statement and the stated policies of Hamas are striking; I haven’t seen you refute that.

              So here go my comments on Cecilie Surasky’s quotes above:

              – “hadn’t fully understood—that Hitler wasn’t only intent on eliminating Jews”. I’m happy that she (she lists herself as female on the JVP website) find this out now; it has been public knowledge for decades.

              – “that the Palestinian Mufti was the person responsible for the idea of exterminating Jews were so remarkably ahistorical”. In my comments of 22-10-2015 I gave references to the historical source of Netanyahu’s remarks: The statement that the mufti proposed the ‘final solution’ is found in a written statement by Endre Steiner and others. There is no evidence of the mufti’s exact words, but the message relayed by Netanyahu is supported by these historical documents, which one can – of course – dispute or accept. Bu to call Netanyahu’s remarks “remarkably ahistorical” displays ignorance of the written testimonies.

              – “Netanyahu’s shameless…….” This paragraph is a collection of non-sequiturs. Referring to the shady role of the mufti in the 1940’s (which is undisputed) is not the same as “dehumanization of the Palestinian people”. Can’t we talk about Hitler’s crimes without dehumanization of the German people?

              – “But the truth is Israeli governments have always justified all kinds of horrific policies, from stealing land to imprisoning children”. Statements that claim ‘truth’ should be mistrusted, because this masks a lack of supporting evidence. And indeed, no evidence is presented for this statement. Is this statement any better than what she accuses Netanyahu of: “”dehumanization of the ..Israeli… people” ?

              – “perhaps it’s no coincidence, is that …” Again, this intro is usually a signal that evidence is lacking for the subsequent statement. ” And indeed, the comparison between Israel and Nazi Germany IS often made, how outrageous it may be.

              – “when I first heard older leftist Israeli Jews who had been refugees from Hitler’s policies”. This text was written in 2015, so these encounters took place more than 70 years after these refugees fled Hitler. They must have been in their 80’s or 90’s by the time they spoke with Cecilia. This raises concerns with me: there are very few refugees of that age alive (a handful?), and how many of those would describe themselves as “leftist”? Perhaps one or two (if any). Hardly a foundation to base such far reaching conclusions on (that Israel pursue policies of a system of biological superiority).

              – “Israelis by and large see Arabs and Africans as racially inferior …? Undeniably they do.”. Again, the ‘undeniable’ is a clear marker that there is no evidence presented for the statement. This far reaching thesis is just presented as fact, without any basis or source.

              – “the Israeli government, as the Nazis once did in Warsaw and countless ghettos like it, keep Palestinians in an overcrowded, unhealthy open-air prison where they deliberately limit their caloric intake, and access to food and fuel?” This statement betrays that Cecilia has no perception of what conditions were like in the Warsaw ghetto.

              – “In other words..”. What follows is not a rephrasing of what has been argued before, but new wild allegations.

              – “Watching the uncontained rage …”. I can’t make head or tails from this paragraph, sounds like a random sequence of anti-Jewish slants.

              Trust this suffices as far as you like me to engage Cecilia’s text.

              Your comparison of the Israel-Arab conflict with the 2 China’s is interesting. What would happen if Taiwan would only accept a peace treaty if East Beijing becomes their capital?

              “routine claims of how much land Israel has “given up” or “surrendered” in vain for peace.” Not sure where you’re going here. Israel returned the Sinai to Egypt, with good results (peace). Israel returned control of Gaza over to the Palestinians with disappointing results: Hamas terrorism. Israel was willing to return the west bank, but Arafat turned the offer down.

              I don’t recognise either of the 2 ‘sides of the arguments’ in recent statements by leaders of either side. Looks like you are building a straw man argument here.

              If ” same goals as those Palestinians which are none other than the legal situation set out by the United Nations General Assembly 48 years ago” is true, then there is no solution of the conflict in sight. Harking back to borders of 48 (!) years ago would mean suicide for the Israeli state, defenseless against the surrounding states who are keen to wipe it off the map.
              It is time Palestinians set realistic goals for peace, and accept the right of the state of Israel to exist within safe borders.

              “the Palestinians really do have a case that is rarely heard or else dismissed.’ I don’t think this is tenable; Abbas just toured Europe and was received as a statesmen, free to express his views to any audience and press.

              “struggle between an unrealistically fundamentally good race against an unrealistically fundamentally evil race.”. I haven’t heard Israeli leaders speak about a ‘Jewish race”, nor have I heard Palestinian leaders talking about a ‘Palestinian race’. And I’m happy they don’t, since neither description makes sense.

              • Neil Godfrey
                2015-11-04 00:24:20 GMT+0000 - 00:24 | Permalink

                We are talking past each other, as so often happens in this sort of discussion.

                There is overwhelming and abundant evidence for the claims that you question on grounds that the author does not provide evidence. Presumably the author is writing for those who are well aware of this evidence. This is testimony to just how one-sided is the narrative that dominates in the West.

                When a claim is made by either side the preferable approach is to ask and investigate what evidence exists for the claims. I don’t assume either side is simply making up statements out of thin air or with the intent to fabricate a malicious and flagrant lie because the evidence is not given in the same passage. People don’t usually do that — occasionally maybe but not usually. People really believe they have evidence for what they say. So let’s investigate it. No-one expects a full list of supporting footnotes with every statement on every occasion in every piece of writing. Context, audience, occasion, are all important, as we know.

                The idea that Gaza has been “returned to the Palestinians” is like saying a city once occupied has been returned to the inhabitants on the grounds that the occupiers have stepped outside the city walls in order to punitively besiege it instead. Again, the facts of Gazan life and Israel’s punitive and often deadly restrictions are nowhere in sight.

                You appear to be unaware of exactly what Israel was offering regarding the “return” of the West Bank. Again, details, “the facts on the ground” in this case, are essential for any understanding of the conflict. South African Bantustans were a better deal. As is often said (but rarely heard, it seems) the U.S. public were not shown the maps to inform them of exactly what was being offered at the time.

                Though you say Abbas has been free to speak his case in Europe you appear to have no knowledge of that Palestinian case. (But yes, there is a wider public awareness of the Palestinian case among certain European countries than appears to be the situation in the U.S.)

                Your protest over the 1967 borders is a repetition of the Israeli propaganda that is contradicted by the facts of history and by subsequent statements by Israeli leaders. The David and Goliath myth that was headline news at the time, with its biblical allusions, has been with us right through up to today. The continual repetition of this myth appears to assume that “the whole world” would see Israel vulnerable to its enemies — doubly perpetuating the myth itself.

                As for racism, much is made of Arab anti-semitism but Jewish racism is not so well-known. The facts are there. The Israeli leaders who call the Palestinians “cockroaches”, even a “non-people”. We continually read about Israel’s “purity of arms” and good intentions and readiness to punish their own mistakes against Arab perfidy and bloodlust. The myth is of a fundamentally good people defending themselves against a fundamentally bad people. (Yes sometimes Israeli courts really do slap the wrists of soldiers who give Israel a bad reputation, — I am not denying that. Propaganda nearly always points to some detail or half-truth to “verify” its “truth”.)

                I have not cited the facts in this comment because it would take many thousands of words to list them all. They are available to us in a wealth of literature and news sources that are too widely ignored.

                In other posts I have tried to begin at the beginning and expose the myth that Israel was set up as a State intent on peace with the Palestinian Arabs. I have been using the evidence in Israel’s state archives and the diaries and correspondence of those who were the leaders of the Zionist movement and who became the first leaders of the State of Israel. These posts are deplored by many readers. They do indeed blow apart one of the myths many Israelis themselves have come to believe about their history and current situation.

                Too many Israeli leaders have shamefully exploited the Holocaust and cultural/religious biases in the West to cover their crimes against the Palestinian people. Today the Israeli government can even get away with boasting about how much “restraint” it shows by building fewer settlements in the West Bank this year than it did last year — and the reality of such “facts on the ground” (not to mention defiance of international law) for Palestinians fails to register among us as it really should.

                I can well anticipate your replies to many of the above statements. But to do so here would make an already over-long comment even longer. Much comes back to who we choose to listen to, whom we choose to believe, whom we identify with, our own broader cultural and national identities … what information we are prepared to investigate in depth.

              • Neil Godfrey
                2015-11-05 01:21:55 GMT+0000 - 01:21 | Permalink

                Other states that do not recognize Israel today: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_recognition_of_Israel.

                Other states without recognition: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_states_with_limited_recognition

              • Bob de Jong
                2015-11-07 23:35:47 GMT+0000 - 23:35 | Permalink

                I find it rather disconcerting that you defend Cecilia c.s. not giving any evidence for the far reaching claims that she makes, because “presumably the author is writing for those who are well aware of this evidence”.
                On the contrary, her text is clearly polemic and aims to convince the US public that Israel has evil policies. It seems that when it comes to vilifying Israel, it is OK for your just to assume that there is “overwhelming and abundant evidence”. No need to actually mention a snippet of it.
                This reminds me of the same argument that apologists for the historical Jesus make, which goes something like: “only lunatics and persons trying to undermine Christianity dismiss the mountains of evidence for a historical Jesus, which we therefore don’t have to present’.
                Compare this attitude with few quotes of this blogpost alone:

                – “assertions without sources are not helpful. A news story with various claims must be based on sources — and the claims within the story need sources — to assure us of reliability.”
                “- I try to base my own views on what I know from primary sources and personal contacts. ”
                – “What’s far more important — what are the sources for this narrative? ”
                – “This leaves me sceptical about the narrative. No primary sources are cited. ”
                – “You seem to rely on “books” and other media for your information as I do, but it is not “books” themselves but the primary sources, the evidence, that gives us our more reliable historical narrative.
                – “But equally we need to be careful with what we hear, see and read in the news media — and always ask what sources the stories are based on.”

                Apparently, when it comes to statements that don’t fit your view, you do demand sources.

                In Gaza, civil governance has been returned to the Palestinians, and Israel removed its military resources and the Jewish settlers there.
                Please note that prior to 1967, the Gaza strip was occupied by Egypt. The Palestinians now enjoy more sovereignty than they ever had; and they used it to elect Hamas into power in the first (and probably only…..) elections in Gaza.

                Israel closes its borders with Gaza at times in response to Qassam rockets being fired from Gaza, you know that very well. (NB Qassam was an associate of our blue-eyed Mufti). And Egypt closes its border with Gaza to prevent terrorists moving from Gaza into Sinai. Can you imagine any country keeping its borders open under these conditions? If the Palestinians want to keep their borders open, they know what to do.

                What don’t I know about the West Bank? Immediately after the war in June 1967, the Israeli government offered to return the Golan Heights to Syria, the Sinai to Egypt and most of the West Bank to Jordan in exchange for peace. At the Khartoum Summit in September, the Arab parties responded to this overture by declaring “no peace with Israel, no recognition of Israel and no negotiations with Israel”.
                The final communique of the meeting “underscored the Palestinians’ right to regain the whole of Palestine—that is, to destroy the State of Israel.”

                I can’t measure public awareness of the Palestinian case in the US, but it appears significant: the US give the Palestinians financial aid to the sum of more that $300 million per year.
                It also appears that the Palestinians have every opportunity to proclaim their case; the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) has an office in Washington, Abbas addressed the UN etc.

                Your closing remark sounds disturbing: “Much comes back to … … what information we are prepared to investigate in depth.”
                You started this same Comment by stating that “When a claim is made by either side the preferable approach is to ask and investigate what evidence exists for the claims.” The latter approach sounds much healthier in my ears, and should be applied to all claims -including Cecilia’s-.

              • Neil Godfrey
                2015-11-08 02:09:25 GMT+0000 - 02:09 | Permalink

                I have responded in a fresh thread below.

              • Neil Godfrey
                2015-11-10 08:00:27 GMT+0000 - 08:00 | Permalink

                Bob — just a couple of points for now:

                As I understand your point you are saying the Surasky article makes polemical claims about Israel that lack any evidence. One example is –

                “Israelis by and large see Arabs and Africans as racially inferior …? Undeniably they do.”. Again, the ‘undeniable’ is a clear marker that there is no evidence presented for the statement. This far reaching thesis is just presented as fact, without any basis or source.

                I have frequently read direct quotations by Israeli leaders referring to Palestinians in racist language (e.g. they are cockroaches) but I gather you have not read those same works. Similarly I have seen several news clips of horrific racist abuse being leveled by Israelis at black people, and again, I understand you have not seen any of these.

                There are, however UN and other poll survey data that is not difficult to find on the web.

                I don’t think Israelis are necessarily very much more racist than some other peoples — and of course there are no doubt many Israelis who abhor any and all forms of racism. I don’t think we are saying Israelis are any worse than other peoples for the level of racist attitudes and language expressed in the street and in their Parliament, but as with other countries, and especially given the conflict situation of Israel today, then naturally this is something of concern and cannot be ignored.

                Another point you made was about the comparison of the Warsaw ghetto and the Gaza blockade. You quote the offending passage

                – “the Israeli government, as the Nazis once did in Warsaw and countless ghettos like it, keep Palestinians in an overcrowded, unhealthy open-air prison where they deliberately limit their caloric intake, and access to food and fuel?”

                and then you comment:

                This statement betrays that Cecilia has no perception of what conditions were like in the Warsaw ghetto.

                On what basis do you assert that the details the article mentions demonstrate “no perception” of conditions in the Warsaw Ghetto. Overcrowded, unhealthy open-air prison, deliberately limiting calorie intake and access to food and fuel — these are indeed comparable points, are they not?

                We may say one situation is worse than the other but I don’t understand how anyone who familiarizes oneself with the conditions of life in Gaza today can say that there is no valid comparison at all.

                Again, this is not an “anti-Israeli” polemic. I really like a good number of Israelis I have met. The ones I like, however, likewise see comparisons and are pained by what their government is doing with the support of so many of their compatriots. They, like I do, think that such policies and actions are actually damaging Israel as a nation in a host of ways.

                I have not documented all the details of comparisons here because again one can readily find them easily enough with a simple web search. I would be interested to know if you really do not see any basis for comparison at all and what your reasons would be if that’s so.

  • George Hall
    2015-10-29 13:07:15 GMT+0000 - 13:07 | Permalink

    Neil, unfortunately there was the finite point on replying…so I can’t reply at the points you last answered at.

    Confidence in your standpoint.

    Someone who is NOT anti-Semitic never really worries about being accused of it.

    Same as there aren’t that many Jews who would have a problem with genuine, friendly, constructive criticism.

    I’ve seen some great politically-impartial academics and thinkers on occasion. We need more of them. But we also need ones who can keep the balance between abstract and concrete.

    Politically, I’m centrist. It’s the result of experience in my college years with extreme-Left student politics…though I didn’t SUBSCRIBE to it…AND Also from later being married for a few brief years to a Croat Ustasha lady and having to put up with an extreme-Rightist’s narrative. Same thing again. Good direct observation of such politics without really subscribing.

    The problem with BOTH extreme-Left and extreme-Right is that NEITHER is going to be right 100% of the time.

    On sources. I’m sure someone who can find sources NEGATIVE to Israel can ALSO find sources POSITIVE to Israel.

    That WOULD be trying to be impartial and fair. You look at BOTH and weigh them up.

    The sources are there and I’m sure you’re able to find them WITHOUT my help.

    Unless you specifically WANT to only look at the negative sources.

    • Neil Godfrey
      2015-10-29 14:11:53 GMT+0000 - 14:11 | Permalink

      So you don’t know of any sources for population statistics other than those based on the official ones from the Ottoman and British mandate that were used as the basis of Yishuv planning and proposals. Presumably any fabrication will do that serves a manichaean racist narrative.

  • George Hall
    2015-10-29 23:01:28 GMT+0000 - 23:01 | Permalink

    Let’s see…Ottoman and British mandate population statistics come under “hostile or independent witness” sourcing.

    I don’t see the Ottomans as being particularly pro-Jewish. Let’s file that under “hostile witness” sourcing.

    The British Mandate? I don’t particularly see the British as strongly pro-Jewish…but again, in trying to be fair to Jews and Arabs, that’s close enough to being independent to pass muster. perhaps they were being a little TOO fair letting the Grand Mufti get up to so much mischief.

    “Manichean Racist narrative…” Gee, that’s an interesting confluence of terms. How DOES one associate Manicheanism with racism…?

    And it’s weird to even see the word “racism” associated with Israel once the place is TRULY experienced by a visit there a few times and long enough to see one’s nose past one’s navel.

    A place that has Druze, Bedouin, FULL citizens? A place where, as long as they’re not evangelizing to Jews, Christians are actually SAFE? Where a Muslim family has the keys to the Holy Sepulchre to open it each day to avoid problems with the ReLIGIOUS demarcation dispute of 7 Christian denominations?

    A JEWISH nation manages that.

    And…the incident with the poor bloke who was mistaken for a Palestinian attacker aside…you can have Jews of ALL colors and complexions.

    If that is racism…then what is it in countries of the Middle East where NO Christian is an equal citizen with, say, a Muslim majority? Where you have to be a monoculture and if you’re not part of that monoculture, you don’t exist?

    I’d LOVE to see other cultures manage that.

    Same as I’d love to see left-wingers occasionally see a right-winger’s point and a right-winger occasionally see a left-winger’s point.

    But…you are the researcher, Neil. You’ve talked about the academic standards.

    Should you not be examining ALL sides of this?

    Invalidating even information that adequately proves is not as bad as it’s painted doesn’t lend itself to thinking there’s no bias.

    it would be like looking at the BADLY-done Palestinian video footage of that Gaza beach last year and thinking that was REAL.

    It really WAS that bad one didn’t have to be a genius or an academic to think that was more narrative than truth.

    That footage REALLY, REALLY was that bad.

  • Neil Godfrey
    2015-11-08 02:14:29 GMT+0000 - 02:14 | Permalink

    In response to Bob de Jong above….

    On the contrary, her text is clearly polemic and aims to convince the US public that Israel has evil policies. It seems that when it comes to vilifying Israel, it is OK for your just to assume that there is “overwhelming and abundant evidence”. No need to actually mention a snippet of it.

    I don’t think I have written a polemic against Israel here or anywhere. But I have written posts attempting to inform. If I wrote a polemic I would not be expecting to persuade anyone to change their mind about anything. I would be addressing a like-minded audience and writing to condemn.

    This reminds me of the same argument that apologists for the historical Jesus make, which goes something like: “only lunatics and persons trying to undermine Christianity dismiss the mountains of evidence for a historical Jesus, which we therefore don’t have to present’.

    Compare this attitude with few quotes of this blogpost alone:

    – “assertions without sources are not helpful. A news story with various claims must be based on sources — and the claims within the story need sources — to assure us of reliability.”
    “- I try to base my own views on what I know from primary sources and personal contacts. ”
    – “What’s far more important — what are the sources for this narrative? ”
    – “This leaves me sceptical about the narrative. No primary sources are cited. ”
    – “You seem to rely on “books” and other media for your information as I do, but it is not “books” themselves but the primary sources, the evidence, that gives us our more reliable historical narrative.
    – “But equally we need to be careful with what we hear, see and read in the news media — and always ask what sources the stories are based on.”

    I believe my posts on both Christian origins and Israel, Palestine, Terrorism, etc are primarily about evidence and sources. My posts on the Zionist program for the State of Israel are condemned by a few for citing “the wrong sources” but no alternative sources are offered as correctives; my posts on terrorism are condemned by some for using sources to “justify terrorism” and being an apologist for Islam.

    Apparently, when it comes to statements that don’t fit your view, you do demand sources.

    I try to base my understand on sources. If someone presents an alternative understanding, yes, I do like to know the source.

    The Palestinians now enjoy more sovereignty than they ever had; and they used it to elect Hamas into power in the first (and probably only…..) elections in Gaza.

    Yes, they voted for the wrong political party. Israel responded by assassinating and arresting much of the party’s leadership. And much else. There is a long and tragic tale here.

    Israel closes its borders with Gaza at times in response to Qassam rockets being fired from Gaza, you know that very well. . . . If the Palestinians want to keep their borders open, they know what to do.

    The blockade was said at times to be a response to the rockets but that was not how it has always been “justified”. (A blockade cannot stop rockets.) Forbidding chocolate does not stop rockets. Restricting medicines does not stop rockets. Collective punishment upon “the Palestinians” does not stop rockets and is in fact a crime. Collective punishment is not how we would have accepted Britain acting against IRA attacks — but it seems routinely acceptable when it comes to non-whites and non-Europeans, say Arabs.

    What don’t I know about the West Bank? Immediately after the war in June 1967, the Israeli government offered to return the Golan Heights to Syria, the Sinai to Egypt and most of the West Bank to Jordan in exchange for peace. At the Khartoum Summit in September, the Arab parties responded to this overture by declaring “no peace with Israel, no recognition of Israel and no negotiations with Israel”.
    The final communique of the meeting “underscored the Palestinians’ right to regain the whole of Palestine—that is, to destroy the State of Israel.”

    Again, this is a very selective and one-sided use of evidence. There is much more to the story that you may not be aware of. We also need to consider the present state of affairs of course.

    the US give the Palestinians financial aid to the sum of more that $300 million per year.

    It also appears that the Palestinians have every opportunity to proclaim their case; the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) has an office in Washington, Abbas addressed the UN etc.

    According to an online CRS report much of that aid is for PA’s police training and equipment — empowering police control. It’s about control — every dollar has to be approved by the U.S. Contrast the nature of the aid to Israel.

    Palestinians are free to proclaim their case and they do so regularly. (Hamas doesn’t bother or care to address their case to Western audiences, however.) The point is the message portrayed by Western mainstream media and the one-sided view that dominates the discourse among the governments and publics in countries such as the U.S.

    Your closing remark sounds disturbing: “Much comes back to … … what information we are prepared to investigate in depth.”
    You started this same Comment by stating that “When a claim is made by either side the preferable approach is to ask and investigate what evidence exists for the claims.” The latter approach sounds much healthier in my ears, and should be applied to all claims -including Cecilia’s-.


    What is it that you find disturbing? I fail to see how you seem to think I am not interested in basing my views on evidence. I agree with the points being made in the article in question. I don’t mind discussing any of the points or the evidence for any of the claims made in the article. I don’t know what you find disturbing, sorry.

    • Bob de Jong
      2015-11-08 09:59:32 GMT+0000 - 09:59 | Permalink

      Neil, thank you for the reply; it was also my intention to move on to other stuff, but I would like to clear up a misunderstanding first.

      My issue was really that Ceclila a/o makes statements about Israeli policies without substantiation by evidence or sources; and that you seem to condone that lack of sources.

      Pls note that I referred to ‘her text’ (Cecilia), not to any of your original posts on Mysticism and 19/20th century history (of Zionism).

      Indeed, I commend you for naming and researching your sources on other topics, it is one of the reasons I follow your blog. “What is it that you find disturbing?” That you don’t seem to apply the same rigour (of basing opinions on evidence and – original – sources) when discussing the Israeli-Arab conflict.

      “A blockade cannot stop rockets.”. That’s a few steps down form your usual level of argumentation. A blockade CAN stop rockets (and other weapons) being imported into Gaza, that’s the obvious reason for the blockades.

      “every dollar has to be approved by the U.S.”. The reason being that corruption is rampant in the PA, and the US don’t want their financial aid to be converted into Swiss franks.

      • Neil Godfrey
        2015-11-08 12:15:25 GMT+0000 - 12:15 | Permalink

        I happen to believe that Surasky’s assertions can be substantiated with abundant evidence. I am not “condoning” an opinion being spouted without any basis. As I said, I’m happy to discuss the evidence for her claims. (I tend to assume the evidence cannot be anything but widely known but then I’m pulled up by comments such as yours to realize that is not the case.)

        The reason I excerpted sections from the article was to address the black propaganda of Netanyahu’s speech. There are some statements in the excerpts that I understand you find problematic insofar as you think they are wild claims without evidential basis. If so, I’m willing to discuss any such view and evidence I believe underlies the claims.

        I am certainly aware of Israel’s officially stated reasons for the blockade of Gaza. But I don’t know how anyone can explain a ban on chocolate or draconian medical restrictions on the basis rocket imports or how any of this can be used to justify one of the fundamental violations of the Geneva Conventions — and basic human justice — re collective punishment.

        Yes, corruption has been rampant with Al Fatah and that was a major factor in Hamas’s electoral success. But wouldn’t it be more convincing if the close auditing related to humanitarian and cultural benefits in cooperation with where the Palestinians themselves express needs and priorities for aid, as opposed to, say, crates of handcuffs and other police equipment? The auditing is not so much to see the money digress to Swiss banks — the money is usually given to American business interests in Palestine and certain “NGOs” — but to ensure that only specific items are actually funded. The PA has no say in this sort of aid or where it is to be directed. Ditto Egypt — the same restrictions. It’s more a minor means of control than aid. I say minor because relatively speaking the amount is very slight and I forget now if it was the PA or Hamas who said they’d be quite prepared to do without it anyway.

    • Bob de Jong
      2015-11-15 09:06:57 GMT+0000 - 09:06 | Permalink

      Regarding your post of 2015-11-10; We have all seen that Arabs and Palestinians are keen to draw the current Arab-Israel conflict into Nazi-Jew terminology (where Arabs play the role of Jews). I think that approach to the current conflict fails from the start, there is not enough communality to draw upon.

      They go so far as to identify Israel’s leaders as Nazis, and Palestinians as victims of the Warsaw ghetto (or the holocaust in general). This just goes to show that they don’t know what the Nazis did, nor what the Jews in Warsaw suffered. Is it my role to explain 20th history to them? That the Nazis built camps solely for the murder of Jews? That the policy (‘final solution’) of the Nazis was to kill every Jew on ‘German soil’?

      The information is out there for the Arabs & Palestinians to see; if they don’t know it, then they choose to ignore.

      • Neil Godfrey
        2015-11-15 10:57:59 GMT+0000 - 10:57 | Permalink

        So the Arabs and Palestinians are evil? Why else would they be so warped in the way they describe the Israelis?

        I can quote you a Zionist leader criticizing proposed Zionist policies of population deportation to the works of the Nazis; I can quote you President Truman comparing the Israelis with those who treated them so cruelly during the War; I can quote you Jews today who love Israel and want peace comparing their state’s policies with those of the Nazis.

        Now no-one blasts those persons for saying they are over the top because the Israelis have not done everything as bad as the Nazis nor even some of the worst things done by the Nazis. But the Nazis did lots of stuff and even Jews and an American president can draw some parallels with apparent justification.

        But I see no basis for any discussion with one who interprets everything said or done by Palestinians as emanating from an evil intent or wilful ignorance. I think such a dialogue needs to go right back to first principles of human nature — certainly a study in the the history, culture, people of Palestine.

        • Bob de Jong
          2015-11-15 15:23:44 GMT+0000 - 15:23 | Permalink

          Neil, I’ll buy you dinner if you can find one quote in which I call Arabs or Palestinians ‘evil’, or any other derogatory term.

          I pointed out that the analogy between Nazis-Jews and the Arab-Israel conflict lacks substance. That’s all.

          I don’t think Palestinians are ‘warped’ (?) when they use the analogy. On the contrary, it is a smart debating strategy which puts themselves straight into the victim roles, and forces the other side to argue that they are not Nazi’s’ – thus diverting the discussion from the real issue: do Palestinians recognise the right of Jews to live in Israel.

          I know well that the Nazi-Jews analogy has been used by others too; does that make it a valid analogy? The Palestinian mufti compares Jews to apes and pigs (see the video link I posted). This mufti was appointed by the president of the Palestinian Authority, Abbas. Abbas did not distance himself from the mufti’s words, nor did he take any action against the mufti. Does this prove that Jews eat bananas and have curly tails?

          I’m not aware of President Truman comparing Israeli’s with Nazis. Before 1948, Truman tried to promote an Arab-Jewish federation or binational state; this state would fuse into one state after the Arabs and Jews would have settled their differences.

          Truman lobbied strongly for a one-state solution (which was rejected by both Arabs and Zionist), but was forced to settle for partition under political pressure from American Zionists, who threatened to withdraw their support in US elections. The partition of Palestine was second best for Truman, but he was instrumental in creating the state Israel and remained a strong supporter.

          • Neil Godfrey
            2015-11-15 19:05:19 GMT+0000 - 19:05 | Permalink

            Of course you did not call the Palestinians evil. That’s why I phrased the point the way I did — to point out to you the message that comes from everything you have to say about the Palestinians in this struggle.

            To you there is no common human struggle; there is a struggle between one side wearing the white hats and another wearing the black hats, and it has been that way over 100 years now without exception.

            The point I made some time back is that when we find ourselves seeing a historic long-term struggle in these terms then our “bias” antennae ought to start buzzing. We ought to wonder if we are being exposed to the whole story or if we are somehow being selective in reading of the events, or if we are truly understanding the actants as common humans or as something better or worse than common humanity.

            Yes, it is valid to compare, well, comparable actions. Sometimes people compare America to ancient Rome — no-one suggests that they are wrong to do so because the Romans enjoyed gladiatorial contests and the Americans have nothing like that. Of course the comparison is limited to what the point of the comparison is. But you don’t allow this when it comes to Palestinians . . . another indicator that you have a special rule for Palestinians and another for other races.

  • George Hall
    2015-11-08 08:41:59 GMT+0000 - 08:41 | Permalink

    I really hate to keep going on this topic, because it goes round in circles…

    …but it’s time to address something. As far back as I can remember, back to my Swinburne days, 1978, and even seeing it in unions at workplaces I’ve been at…

    Why I don’t really go for research that has an ideological bias. Extreme-Right OR extreme-Left.

    Generally the extreme-Left has had a strong support OF groups like the PLO.

    Now, if you can examine stuff from principles that are truly IMPARTIAL of any political ideology, then fine.

    But when you’re talking in any way, shape or form from a leftist idea of studies…then there will be as much bias as if it came from extreme-Right studies.

    And that is the crucial problem with anti-Semitism…it doesn’t MATTER what Jews do. They’ll be accused of diametrically-opposite things.

    ANY lens on the subject will skew the view. And this IS actually what was wrong with the whole subject of Jews in the first century. The very FIRST lens we’re seeing Jews through is SAMARITAN, if you really think about it.

    “Good Samaritan?” That’s Samaritan propaganda. Samaritan narrative. In a way, the Samaritans were making a claim THEY were the originals and the Jews were the Johnny-come-latelies. And yet that narrative over 2000 years left THEM with near extinction…ironically with hardly a Jew involved.

    A Samaritan bible stops with Joshua. Samaritans make claims that everything revolves around Mt Gerizim. They even shift the burial of Sarah and the patriarchs to SHECHEM instead of Hebron.

    It really IS amazing you don’t see the Palestinian cause borrow from Samaritan narrative.

    So what really is any different these days?

    Do you see ANY difference between an anti-Jewish/Anti-Israel narrative and the narrative of 2000 years ago where the idea was that the Temple at Jerusalem was supposed to have been built by “demons?” Why the INITIAL Christianity veered away from Jesus even being the Son of the God of the Torah? Why the REAL Mark/Simon was so far into “Two Powers of Heaven” that he claimed the God of the Torah was “Jealous” of a HIGHER God?

    Neil, what really has me scratching my head is that you can do great posts on viewpoints that help people understand the narrative that brought about a “Jesus” even though he wasn’t ANY type of messiah OPENLY predicted by the prophets OR Daniel.

    Yet when you look the contemporary situation…you can’t seem to see the same forces at play and that nothing has changed in narratives in 2000 years.

    I’ll be quite fair to you here…I’d reject even an extreme-Right-wing intellectual approach that couldn’t see that Israel is no way as bad as its CRITICS.

    THAT much definitely changed in 2000 years. And they have a better CONSENSUS these days in crunch times.

    You see, you’ve written a lot in such posts as this on how “bad” Israel is. But you’re telling it sometimes from the points of view of people who actually would do WORSE than Israel.

    This is why some of us just want to get a STRONGER idea of WHO is actually TRYING to make nice and who ISN’T.

    SO…my LAST word on this thread (I hope)…when you can tell me why there are NO JEWS AT ALL in either PA-controlled areas OR Gaza…and why there are Muslims, Christians, Druze, Bedouin, Circassians in Israel…then I might start seeing your points.

    Tell me why the Israelis are NOT ethnically-cleansing and why the PA and Hamas ARE.

    And one other thing…you ever thought to try to tell a Hamas person he bull****s? That I’d respect.

    • Neil Godfrey
      2015-11-08 10:21:05 GMT+0000 - 10:21 | Permalink

      I find your incoherent rambling irrelevancies about Samaritans and the need to avoid “ideological bias” unrelated to anything I have written or tried to argue.

      You see, you’ve written a lot in such posts as this on how “bad” Israel is. But you’re telling it sometimes from the points of view of people who actually would do WORSE than Israel.

      Who are the “people” from whose point of view you believe I am writing? The Jewish Voices for Peace? Or are you thinking of Jews for Justice for Palestinians? Or of certain Palestinian and Jewish intellectuals? Are you saying that a Palestinian historian like Masalha would himself do “WORSE than Israel”? Would JVP and JFJFP do “WORSE than Israel”? Would the PA do “WORSE than Israel”? Would Anan Ashwari herself do “WORSE than Israel”?

      Is it not better to give the Palestinian voice as wide a platform as possible so that extremists and terrorists are not the only ones making it heard? Do we really want to restrict the Palestinian voice to terrorists alone?

      • George Hall
        2015-11-08 23:41:54 GMT+0000 - 23:41 | Permalink

        Actually, let’s try a hypothetical. It’s 70 years after the end of the Babylonian Exile. Pretend you’re an intellectual in
        Persia or Babylon and instead of talking about Israelis and Palestinians, we’re debating about the returning Jews and the Samaritans.

        The debate would actually be NO different. In fact, because the Samaritans of that time were a mixture of what might have remained of the Israelites of the old Northern Kingdom mixed with peoples brought into the land during the time the Jews were exiled.

        But…post-that exile…the Samaritans developed their own narrative…essentially making the claim THEY were the original Israelites and by saying that Jerusalem was never in the Pentatauch…and by attaching themselves to Mt Gerizim.

        Tell me how the Palestinian narrative DIFFERS from that?

        THAT is NOT rambling…that’s an OBSERVATION.

        • Neil Godfrey
          2015-11-09 05:40:08 GMT+0000 - 05:40 | Permalink

          George, this is a most embarrassing comment.

          First, it demonstrates that you indeed are viewing, erroneously, the world today through religious constructs. Your ignorance of modern history is embarrassing.

          Second, it demonstrates that you embrace a simplistic apologists’ interpretation of the Bible. The archaeological evidence is against the biblical narrative you follow here.

          Third, the archaeological evidence suggests that the Persians colonized Palestine with relocated (deported) settlers. There is no comparison with anything in modern times.

          Fourth, your comparison of Palestinian Arabs with the religious concept of “lying Samaritans” demonstrates something unsavory, ugly, about the way you view a certain modern people.

          Fifth, IF the biblical scenario you believe in were indeed historical, then the Jews would not be having to expel Palestinian Arabs (your lying Samaritans) to expand their own room for settlement.

          Sixth, you have chosen not to respond to my initial question about your previous comment. I think you ought to apologize for insinuating I and so many others who are opposed to violence and want peace are all speaking on behalf of Hamas.

          • George Hall
            2015-11-11 08:14:32 GMT+0000 - 08:14 | Permalink

            I apologize for thinks I’m clearly wrong on.

            Example…I owe an Orthodox Jewish gentileman back in Israel, who I was talking to in 1992, an apology. I’d won a point in a debate with him when he challenged me to give at least one proof Jesus was at bare minimum a prophet. The point may have been valid UNTIL I recently did further historical checking…whereby I found that the earliest that point could have been a proof was still way AFTER the point when it was already apparent.

            “The Pharisees sit in Moses Seat, Do as they say” was my proof text, based on the idea in 30-33a.d., it was impossible to know the Pharisees would be the surviving stream of four.

            My latest research shows the Catholic or proto-Orthodox writer who wrote that in the late 2nd century ALREADY knew the Pharisee/Rabbinical stream had out-survived three others.

            HIM I owe an apology to.

            And some “gentleman” of the Palestinian persuassion that same year once told me he didn’t respect me if I made a point and just walked away. About the ONLY bit of good advice that bloke gave me.

            I won’t tell you his political persuassion.

            One can be opposed to violence and be a pacifist. I have no problem with that. One can hope for a peace that doesn’t RELY on violence.

            Of course, one can be TOO pacifist and still be walked all over by someone who does NOT think the same way, thereby allowing innocent people behind the pacifist to be affected by the person who is violent and NON-pacifist.

            Sometimes people who consider themselves liberal or left don’t get that.

            As to the Samaritans. It IS their narrative. However, the validity of it over the Jews doesn’t quite get borne out by events down through history. Their own hatred of the Jews would look to have had them side against the Jews quite significantly. Where has that gotten them in the same 2000 year period? Down to 700 people worldwide.

            That is an observation.

            The point I made shows…history really doesn’t have anything new or different in it.

            The trouble with Hamas and a whole heap of other groups of the same type…they love useful idiots and people who are guillable and naive.

            This is why the head of Hamas is now worth $US 1.8 BILLION dollars. He’s taking advantage of donor guillability all the way to the Swiss Bank.

            I also don’t apologize to anyone for breathing.

            And if we were on the subject of requiring apologies…some of the wisecracks I’ve let bounce off my very thick hide over months here have been more below the belt than anything I’ve said. Like “Manichean racist…”

            And yet, I have YET to demand an apology of you, Neil. No, the closest I’ve been to that is merely suggesting you get your head OUT of the books and go take a look ON the GROUND in Israel. And open your mind just a TAD more.

            Other than that, I’m not going to expect or demand an apology from you.

            • Neil Godfrey
              2015-11-11 09:40:01 GMT+0000 - 09:40 | Permalink

              George, I have deleted several of your recent comments because they do not comply with the Vridar comment policy. Coming here to spout absurd theological and racist and any other agendas is not acceptable — especially when they are couched in what appears to be contempt for the wider scholarship and discourse. I’m leaving the fate of your comment on Tim’s post for Tim to decide.

  • Neil Godfrey
    2015-11-08 09:02:13 GMT+0000 - 09:02 | Permalink

    Bob, you wrote:

    It is time Palestinians set realistic goals for peace, and accept the right of the state of Israel to exist within safe borders.

    To which Palestinians are you referring here? The Palestinian Authority? What has been unrealistic about the PA’s terms for peace?

    What borders of the Palestinians have ever been safe and secure at any time in this and the last century? How many areas of Israel have Palestinians cleared of Jewish villages and farms so that Palestinian homes and villas can be built in their place?

    Is there not something incongruous with “demands” that a people who have for decades now been increasingly driven off their land and having their homes demolished to make way for Jewish settlements be the ones to “set realistic goals for peace”?

    What is unrealistic about requiring Israel stop further settlement expansion in illegally occupied territories for talks even to begin?

    I think what would be accepted as “realistic” would be for the Palestinians to accept the continual reduction of their borders, the continual ejection from their lands and homes, the continual occupation by a foreign army, the ongoing siege of an area not occupied, without retaliation of any kind. Once Palestinians learn to be compliant, docile, like good Indians and Aborigines who know they have been absolutely defeated and powerless and are at the whim of the new settlers, and who will stop reacting like barbaric savages against the more civilized setters, then a “realistic” situation will at last have arrived and we will finally have “security” for Israel.

    • George Hall
      2015-11-08 23:49:17 GMT+0000 - 23:49 | Permalink

      I do have to raise ONE point about “Illegally occupied territories.”

      So what were they when Jordan had control?

      Correct me if I’m wrong, but Jordan’s OWN control of The West Bank (historially ALWAYS Judea/Samaria) was ITSELF illegal.

      And correct me if I’m wrong again…but can you tell me if Jordan ANNEXED the West Bank?

      No, last I heard they did NOT.

      And could you PLEASE tell me why the Palestinian flag is JUST a Jordanian flag the star removed?

      Can the Palestinians make up their minds if they are Jordanian, Southern Syrian, Egyptians, or Saudis?

      But they ARE Arabs. No disputing THAT part…

      But if you really wanted to see the Israelis OCCUPY true ARAB land…perhaps they SHOULD give the Saudis a fright and sit in Riyad for a month or two to show them what a REAL Israeli occupation is like.

      I think the whole mess would be over in seconds if the Israelis did that. It would end with the phrase…”You stay out of OUR land of indigenousness, we stay out of YOURS…” Which WOULD be a fair deal.

      • Neil Godfrey
        2015-11-09 04:28:57 GMT+0000 - 04:28 | Permalink

        And you have visited the West Bank and Gaza and you have spoken to the “Arabs” there (since you do not recognize them as Palestinians) — or you know all of this because you visited Israel?

        No Arabs ever had, and no Arabs have, a Palestinian culture in your ill-informed opinion. So the Arabs who farmed the land there should all just move out with their camels and guns and settle somewhere at an oasis in the Arabian desert or around Riyad or if they stay put they should be good children and learn to “share” their best land and dwellings by giving them up as requested to their betters. Right.

        And if only I spoke to Israelis and Hamas (who in your view are presumably Arabs pretending to be Palestinians) I would see all of this for myself.

        Is that your message?

  • Bob de Jong
    2015-11-08 10:12:10 GMT+0000 - 10:12 | Permalink

    This reminds me a bit of children quarrelling: “You started it”, “No, you started it”. We all know that such a quarrel is not resolved by saying that the other side is even worse than you are.

    What I mean by ‘realistic’ is that the Palestinian leadership (PA, Hamas, or whoever) consider an agreement that not only meets their own demands, but is also acceptable to Israel. As said before, Israel has accepted proposals that go a long way to meeting those demands (regarding the west bank and Gaza), and the Palestinians have rejected them every time, because Israel will not hand over control of East Jerusalem. Without this ‘get it all or nothing’ approach of their leadership, the Palestinian people could have lived in peace and prosperity for decades now.

    • Neil Godfrey
      2015-11-08 10:45:14 GMT+0000 - 10:45 | Permalink

      East Jerusalem has been just one detail and yes, it is the Israeli narrative that the those Arabs are nothing better than feral children, spoiled brats who don’t know how well off they could be and how generous their betters have proven to be. This is the media image to which I have been referring.

      So the Palestinians should give up East Jerusalem, and should allow ongoing Jewish settlement expansion and Palestinian dispossessions over ever-increasing areas of the West Bank, and should submit to the ongoing siege of “liberated” Gaza that keeps the inhabitants at subsistence level, and should submit to Israel’s refusal to allow a Palestinian state or the incorporation of the Palestinians in a single state — that is, they should submit to bantuization or being pushed onto reserves —

      — and when they submit to all of this like good children (and not like bad quarrelsome brats) and never think of retaliating like red Indian savages then we will have a realistic peace settlement?

      Arabs!

      • George Hall
        2015-11-09 00:19:04 GMT+0000 - 00:19 | Permalink

        Seriously, Neil, GO TO ISRAEL and take a LOOK at ISRAEL. Without someone in your ear telling you what to think about them.

        And take off any blinkers you have one way OR the other.

        Try some REAL impartiality.

        Oh, and have an argument with anyone from Hamas. Then you can contrast it to an argument with an Israeli.

        • Neil Godfrey
          2015-11-09 04:04:42 GMT+0000 - 04:04 | Permalink

          What’s the point of visiting Palestine if you cannot distinguish between Hamas and Palestinians? If you cannot distinguish between the West Bank and Israel?

          A relevant comment would be to address why East Jerusalem and Jewish settlements and the occupation would matter to Palestinians and to indicate some grasp of the Palestinians as people with a culture and history like any other people — as distinct from talking about them as if they are children who need to learn to share their marbles or other toys.

      • Bob de Jong
        2015-11-09 21:47:56 GMT+0000 - 21:47 | Permalink

        “So the Palestinians should give up East Jerusalem, and should allow ongoing Jewish settlement expansion and Palestinian dispossessions……….. ”

        Your comment reminds of the following words: “Is it in any way just, that the Arabs, who have lived on this land uninterruptedly for 1300 years, and whose lives are rooted in its soil—should be dispossessed by force, should be pushed aside, and should be blackmailed to enable the Zionist Jews to fashion a Jewish National Home on this land? That’s the problem!”

        I’ll let you guess who spoke these words in 1939. (Hint: he was said to have blue eyes).

        • Neil Godfrey
          2015-11-10 00:25:12 GMT+0000 - 00:25 | Permalink

          I believe you are falling into the genetic fallacy here. Even the worst persons can share ideas of justice with the best of persons, surely. Because one person wants to murder to avenge an injustice and another person wants to forgive does not invalidate the common sense of justice/injustice they share.

          I have quoted very much the same sentiments as you quote here by the Mufti — but the persons I quoted were Zionist leaders, Jews, fully comprehending what they were doing and the challenge they were undertaking in their realization that the Arabs would have to be removed — either voluntarily or by force — from Palestine to make way for the Jewish State. A good number Zionist Jews fully agreed with the Mufti’s sentiments you have quoted. It was “a hard choice” but had to be done, some of them argued.

          So what is wrong with those words spoken by the Mufti and Zionist leaders and Palestinians today and Jews for Peace today? Can we deny a cause for justice because some people seek to redress justice by violence? Is there anything just about one race violently dispossessing another from their homes and lands?

          Of course not, but it is very easy to justify if the underdog race (not just the guilty parties) can be dehumanized as the Palestinians most often are in mainstream media and official Israeli statements.

          If we are going to let the argument for justice, the claims for justice, be voiced only by the violent extremists then what hope can we ever have for peace and justice? No, the claim for justice needs to be spoken the most loudly by those who reject violence.

          I think it’s right to worry when we find ourselves looking at one side in a dispute as “childish” or “immature” or “morally bankrupt”. These associations are flags to alert us we may well be failing to fully respect, understand, appreciate the humanity and history and the “just cause” of one side of the dispute — just as we have done of races past.

          • Bob de Jong
            2015-11-10 16:20:42 GMT+0000 - 16:20 | Permalink

            I don’t think I fell in the genetic fallacy; I didn’t claim truth (or falsehood) of the statement basis a – perceived – authority; I just pointed out the similarity in the arguments used.

            I looked all over this blog topic, and actually found not a single occurrence where you specifically quote words attributed to a named person at a given occasion (except for perhaps Netanyahu). I do find that you paraphrase what – in your view – are opinions held by one or the other side, but I don’t consider that kind of ‘evidence’ very persuasive.

            You appear to be very hot on ‘justice’, in an absolute sense. But what is justice, and who decides that? A long debate indeed, and many a war has been fought over it. Claiming to be on the right side of history (with justice and/or the divine powers) tends to polarize conflicts, instead of resolving them. I would prefer that stakeholders went for accommodating each other, and finding practical ways to avoid violence and misery for the population at large.

            • Neil Godfrey
              2015-11-10 18:34:16 GMT+0000 - 18:34 | Permalink

              My quotations of Zionist Jews delivering the very same message are found in my series on Masalha’s Expulsion of the Palestinians — a series of quotations from state archives of Israel, diaries and letters etc of those who were the founding fathers of Israel.

              The genetic fallacy lies in your assigning or implying a reprehensible value to words solely on the basis of their speaker’s character — without due regard for the value or truth of the words in and of themselves.

              Peace and resolution can never be found without justice. Even the truth and reconciliation commissions we have seen from time to time are designed to raise acknowledgement by the perpetrators of harm that they really did do harm to their victims. They are not always punished for their injustice but they at least recognize it and express sorrow and regret and acknowledgement over their past injustices in order for both sides to move on. Acknowledging injustice is fundamental to conflict resolution.

              Australian Aborigines have experienced the same type of injustice as the Palestinians have been and continue to experience and there have been many acts on the part of White Australia to “make amends” by at least acknowledging what happened and our sorrow for it that are appreciated by the descendants of the victims and that help with a larger reconciliation and moving forward.

              No-one is confused over whether what the Australian Aborigines or “New World” Indians or the Armenians or the Jews or the Germans after WW1 or the Gypsies or the Gays or Women or Children in factories have experienced throughout history is “unjust” . . . . — We are able to universally adopt common declarations of human rights and set up international courts to decide disputes because of our common humanity and common sense of decency, right and wrong.

              We also recognize why injustices have happened in the past and why people have treated others in dehumanizing ways. We can look back and see the injustices of racism, of imperialism, etc. And that’s great progress.

              We’re not there yet. But that’s why conversations like these are important.

              • Bob de Jong
                2015-11-12 21:07:46 GMT+0000 - 21:07 | Permalink

                I reread your reproductions of Masalha’s book, but couldn’t find the quote you seem to refer to. But even the quotes that ARE in there have little or no meaning for the current Israel-Arab conflict. These quotes are things said in meetings in the 1920’s and 30’s, they are not policy statements or party manifesto’s. Not even Masalha himself describes how these discussions were translated into alleged military actions in 1948. Masalha’s academic career is built on he premise that the Jews expelled hundreds of thousands of Palestinians in 1947/8. But after all these years of research, several books and publications on that single topic, he is still unable to provide any evidence for what he alleges actually happened. He doesn’t get beyond quoting from memoranda of discussion.

                I’m careful not to commit any fallacies, but just provide background info: Masalha’s publications are supported by The Institute for Palestine Studies (IPS) which was established in Beirut in 1963. My eye was caught by the Institute’s bird logo: its website says that ” bird logo is an abstraction of the sacred bird motif found on Philistine pottery and sea vessels from the 11th or 12th century B.C. It symbolizes the art and culture of ancient Palestine, and is a testament to the Palestinian cultural civilization and presence on this land for thousands of years.” Do you hear the echo’s of the blue-eyed mufti (“the Arabs, who have lived on this land uninterruptedly for 1300 years, and whose lives are rooted in its soil….”?

                Anyway, I’m not interested in the mufti’s character, nor do I have any insight in it; but I do describe what the mufti did and said; I find that horrible; he knowingly sent thousands to the death camps. He evaded being tried for crimes against humanity, and is now revered as a role model by palestinian leaders.

                Whether “Peace and resolution can never be found without justice” seems like a bold hypothesis to me. I think there are ample examples of peace without justice. Israel and Egypt concluded to have peace; where is the justice in that peace? There is peace on Cyprus, even after Turkey invaded half the island; where is justice? There is peace in Northern Island, even though the UK still rules the north. Etc. etc.

                I would settle for peace between Israel and the Arabs; resolution and justice are nice to have’s.

                The Australian Aborigines is a good example of how these conflicts can be resolved: did you see the Australian Aborigines fire rockets at Melbourne, hack Australians waiting for the bus to pieces, or demand half of Sydney (including the Opera house) before they would even consider an agreement? Which is the better way to peace, the Australian Aborigines or the Palestinian way?

              • Neil Godfrey
                2015-11-13 06:36:28 GMT+0000 - 06:36 | Permalink

                I reread your reproductions of Masalha’s book, but couldn’t find the quote you seem to refer to.


                I was trying to point out that Zionist leaders themselves recognized the justice — from the Palestinian perspective — of the cause against them.

                Here’s one I did not include. It’s from Israeli historian Benny Morris. It comes from 1907 and is by Yitzhak Epstein, a Zionist educator, who published “The Hidden Question”

                We have forgotten one small matter. There is in our beloved land an entire nation, which has occupied it for hundreds of years and has never thought to leave it. . . . We are making a great psychological error with regard to a great, assertive and jealous people . . . we forget that the nation that lives in [Palestine] today has a sensitive heart and a loving soul. The Arab, like every man, is tied to his native land with strong bonds.

                Again on 22 April 1937, addressing the supreme policy making body, the Zionist Actions Committee, Shertok said:

                The proposed Jewish state territory would not be continuous; its borders would be twisted and broken: the question of defending the frontier line would pose enormous difficulties . . . . The frontier line would separate villages from their fields. . . . Moreover the Arab reaction would be negative because they would lose everything and gain nothing. . . . In contrast to us they would lose totally that part of Palestine which they consider to be an Arab country and are fighting to keep it such. . . . They would lose the richest part of Palestine; they would lose major Arab assets, the orange plantations, the commercial and industrial centers and the most important sources of revenue for their government which would become impoverished: they would lose most of the coastal area, which would also be a loss to hinterland Arab states . . . . It would mean that they would be driven back (“Zorkim otam“) to the desert. . . . A Jewish territory [state] with fewer Arab subjects would make it easy for us but it would also mean a procrustean bed for us while a plan based on expansion into larger territory would mean more Arab subjects in the Jewish territory.

                For the next 10 years the possibility of transferring the Arab population would not be “practical.” As for the long-term future, I am prepared to see in this a vision, not in a mystical way but in a realistic way, of a population exchange, on a much more important scale and including larger territories. As for now, we must not forget who would have to exchange the land. Those villages which live more than others on irrigation, on orange and fruit plantations, in houses built near water wells and pumping stations, on livestock and property and easy access to markets. Where would they go? What would they receive in return? . . . . This would be such an uprooting, such a shock, the likes of which had never occurred and could drown the whole thing in rivers of blood.

                After the 1936 rebellion, Ben-Gurion, chairman of the Jewish Agency Executive, told his Mapai party (29 September)

                that the indigenous Palestinians were fighting to keep Palestine as an Arab country:

                …the fear is not of losing land, but of losing the homeland of the Arab people, which others want to turn into the homeland of the Jewish people. The Arab is fighting a war that cannot be ignored. He goes out on strike, he is killed, he makes great sacrifices.

                If you cannot see the injustice of wilfully planning to forcibly uproot and deport a whole people from their homeland to make room for another in their place . . . . well, I don’t know what to say.

                But even the quotes that ARE in there have little or no meaning for the current Israel-Arab conflict. These quotes are things said in meetings in the 1920’s and 30’s, they are not policy statements or party manifesto’s. Not even Masalha himself describes how these discussions were translated into alleged military actions in 1948. Masalha’s academic career is built on he premise that the Jews expelled hundreds of thousands of Palestinians in 1947/8. But after all these years of research, several books and publications on that single topic, he is still unable to provide any evidence for what he alleges actually happened. He doesn’t get beyond quoting from memoranda of discussion.

                Yet somehow the Mufti’s words are relevant today?

                I don’t know on what grounds you say Masalha’s academic career is built on the premise of the Jewish expulsion of Arabs. Have you read Masalha’s book? Why do you claim he does not provide any evidence for what actually happened? (He most certainly does. — and he explains the relationship between the ideology and the actions that followed.)

                If what he uncovers in his research is of no relevance to anything that happened then I’m surprised that anyone is upset by my posting about it and even more surprised by the positive peer reviews of Masalha’s research.

                I’m careful not to commit any fallacies, but just provide background info: Masalha’s publications are supported by The Institute for Palestine Studies (IPS) which was established in Beirut in 1963. My eye was caught by the Institute’s bird logo: its website says that ” bird logo is an abstraction of the sacred bird motif found on Philistine pottery and sea vessels from the 11th or 12th century B.C. It symbolizes the art and culture of ancient Palestine, and is a testament to the Palestinian cultural civilization and presence on this land for thousands of years.” Do you hear the echo’s of the blue-eyed mufti (“the Arabs, who have lived on this land uninterruptedly for 1300 years, and whose lives are rooted in its soil….”?

                I try not to fall into logical fallacies, too, but I know I sometimes slip up.

                I really don’t understand what your difficulty is with people — both the good and the bad — expressing pride in their historical heritage.

                Hitler had pride in German history. Should Germans shun all pride in their past that so excited Hitler?

                What, exactly, bothers you about Palestinians expressing pride in their cultural and historical heritage?

                Anyway, I’m not interested in the mufti’s character, nor do I have any insight in it; but I do describe what the mufti did and said; I find that horrible; he knowingly sent thousands to the death camps. He evaded being tried for crimes against humanity, and is now revered as a role model by palestinian leaders.

                I don’t know where your ideas originate. What evidence is there that a Palestinian exile, and one detested by all other Arab governments, “knowingly sent thousands to the death camps”? Just how did he do that, exactly? If he did, how do you explain his escape from justice?

                And who, exactly, “reveres” the mufti as a role model? Which Palestinian leaders, exactly?

                Whether “Peace and resolution can never be found without justice” seems like a bold hypothesis to me. I think there are ample examples of peace without justice. Israel and Egypt concluded to have peace; where is the justice in that peace? There is peace on Cyprus, even after Turkey invaded half the island; where is justice? There is peace in Northern Island, even though the UK still rules the north. Etc. etc.

                Peace and justice — it’s a common truism, hardly a bold hypothesis, a common trait in all cultures, and the basis of our post WW2 human rights declarations and institutions, and all peace studies world-wide. Peace without justice is always a form of oppression, of “peace” by means of one side completely controlling and punishing the other. That’s not peace. As for the examples you mentioned, peace came when justice was met: Sadat himself said so in the wake of the Yom Kippur War; Northern Ireland came to a peace after certain just demands were finally met through British compromise; ditto Cyprus — you have overlooked Truth and Reconciliation Commissions that do not enforce justice but do require a recognition of injustice. That’s the key point.

                I would settle for peace between Israel and the Arabs; resolution and justice are nice to have’s.

                The Australian Aborigines is a good example of how these conflicts can be resolved: did you see the Australian Aborigines fire rockets at Melbourne, hack Australians waiting for the bus to pieces, or demand half of Sydney (including the Opera house) before they would even consider an agreement? Which is the better way to peace, the Australian Aborigines or the Palestinian way?

                Sorry, Bob, your words leave me dismayed. Yes, Israel is demanding the very solution you are saying you would be happy with here — that the Palestinians submit to dispossession and cultural genocide the way other indigenous peoples submitted to imperialist conquerors. The Palestinians should have stopped throwing spears and murdering whites long ago; by now they should all be as tame, confined to the gutters and parks as derelict alcoholics or to the prisons for their dysfunctional lifestyles or out of sight on reserves — no longer tossing rockets and killing whites. That violent protest should have ended long ago.

                Is that your only alternative? That the Palestinians submit and lose everything the way the Australian Aborigines did? So that in 200 years their descendants can feel a sense of justice at last when a future Israeli government makes a formal apology for past injustices?

                Surely not.

  • David Ashton
    2015-11-13 12:58:41 GMT+0000 - 12:58 | Permalink

    The maltreated Native Australians did not build Sydney Opera House, but who built Temple Mount? “EVERY man is tied to his native land” and there is nothing wrong with ALL people “expressing pride in their cultural and historic heritage”. But competition for particular territory in a world of culturally dissimilar peoples, with differential rates of development, reproduction and migration, have been the key problem, and an obstacle to “justice” such a world, including “western” notions of “human rights”.

    “No nation on earth possesses a square yard of ground in virtue of a higher right…The soil on which we live now was not a gift bestowed by Heaven upon our forefathers.” Fairly obvious, some historians might think, at least until its author is revealed (Mein Kampf, Vol.2, ch.14). Beware, however, that any comparison between German National Socialists and Israeli Zionists, especially eastward expansion, is condemned as “antisemitism” of the worst post-WW2 kind; see e.g. Manfred Gerstenfeld, Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, April 1, 2007 (no joke) at
    http://jcpa.org/article/holocaust-inversion-the-portraying-of-israel-and-jews-as-nazis/

    • Bob de Jong
      2015-11-14 14:38:49 GMT+0000 - 14:38 | Permalink

      Neil, thanks for your reply; the quotes from these meetings etc. show how complex the issue was and still is, how may different views wee expressed.
      The risk of selective quoting is that it may appear that some kind of consensus policy was developing (which later came to execution). Your quotes clearly show that there was no such consensus.

      I haven’t seen any indication of ‘planning’ to expel Arabs from Israel; in fact, the predominant mechanism from the 1900’s until 1948 was for Jewish settlers to buy land from Arabs; this was done legally, in public, and for commercial land prices. The Palestinian leadership (such as the Mufti) condemned those who sold land to Jews. Ironically, the blue-eyed Mufti lost a lot of his prestige when it became known that he himself had sold land for good profit……

      OK, let me explain why the Mufti’s words are relevant: it is because the current Palestinian’s leadership use the same words as the mufti did. But note that – when the mufti spoke- the state of Israel did not exist, no Jewish settlements on the west bank were built, and Al Aqsa mosque was under no threat from Jews. This shows that the Palestinian argument is not about restrictions on imports to Gaza, those settlements, or anything else but solely their refusal to accept that Jews live in the area where they also live.

      Masalha’s academic career is entirely focused on the presumed expulsion of Palestinians in 1948. He started his career as Research Fellow at the Institute for Palestine Studies (which is 100% focused on the Arab-Israel conflict). Interestingly, he doesn’t mention this fellowship on his website at St Mary’s. He wrote several books; the titles show that they are all concerned with his one theme: “The Zionist Bible: Biblical Precedent, Colonialism and the Erasure of Memory”, “Ard Akthar wa-Arab Akal”, “The Palestine Nakba: Decolonising History”, “Catastrophe Remembered: Palestine, Israel and the Internal Refugees”, “Imperial Israel and the Palestinians”, “Expulsion of the Palestinians”.

      I haven’t seen anyone being “upset by my posting about it” (Masalha’s book), not more than by other postings…. I also have no problem with Masalha; he appears to be a solid scholar, albeit limited in choice of subjects. What I object to, is the silent hypothesis that his books ‘prove’ that Israel’s leadership planned and executed the expulsion of Palestinians in 1948.

      “pride in historical heritage.” This concept is so often abused to fuel hatred ans racism, that its use should be very carefully scrutinised. And also the Palestinians abuse it to justify their claims, and keeps them from looking for a peace agreement. Much of their pride is justified, but much is not. For instance, their claim to East Jerusalem (which the Palestinians continue to demand as a condition for any agreement). In fact, the population of Jerusalem was predominantly Jewish from the 1800’s on. This only changed through the occupation and annexation of the West Bank (including East Jerusalem) by Jordan, during the period 1948–1967.
      Jews were barred from entering the Old City and other holy sites. The Jewish Quarter and its ancient synagogues were systematically destroyed. Therefore, to portray East Jerusalem as a Palestinian heritage is a travesty of history.

      There is ample evidence (which is also mentioned earlier in this post) that the mufti argued strongly with the Nazi leadership NOT to deport several ‘trainloads’ of Jews (which would have saved their lives), but to send them to concentration camps. And his Nazi friends complied. I also above gave an exact (time and place) quote of Abbas (president of PA) who praised the mufti.

      I think I misunderstood your words about the Australian Aboriginals; to me, you appeared to be giving an example of justice and compassion, but apparently you meant the opposite? This leaves me puzzled why you mentioned them.

      Only accepting peace if it is accompanied by justice, will keep you at war for a long time. If you want to know what a Palestinian leader thinks that ‘justice’ is, then watch this short video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JlCjgBC-LpA

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