web analytics

Zionism And Its Impact

By Ann M. Lesch

theodorherzl

Theodor Herzl is considered the founder of the Modern Zionist movement.

In his 1896 book Der Judenstaat, he envisioned the founding of a future independent Jewish state during the 20th century.

The Zionist movement has maintained a striking continuity in its aims and methods over the past century.

From the start, the movement sought to achieve a Jewish majority in Palestine and to establish a Jewish state on as much of the LAND as possible.

The methods included promoting mass Jewish immigration and acquiring tracts of land that would become the inalienable property of the Jewish people.

This policy inevitably prevented the indigenous Arab residents from attaining their national goals and establishing a Palestinian state.

It also necessitated displacing Palestinians from their lands and jobs when their presence conflicted with Zionist interests.

The Zionist movement—and subsequently the state of ISRAEL—failed to develop a positive approach to the Palestinian presence and aspirations.

Although many Israelis recognized the moral dilemma posed by the Palestinians, the majority either tried to ignore the issue or to resolve it by force majeure.

Thus, the Palestine problem festered and grew, instead of being resolved.

HISTORICAL BACKGROUND

Zionism false and failed - Theology in the Vineyard

Zionism false and failed

The Zionist movement arose in late nineteenth-century Europe, influenced by the nationalist ferment sweeping that continent.

Zionism acquired its particular focus from the ancient Jewish longing for the return to Zion and received a strong impetus from the increasingly intolerable conditions facing the large Jewish community in tsarist Russia.

The movement also developed at the time of major European territorial acquisitions in Asia and Africa and benefited from the European powers’ competition for influence in the shrinking Ottoman Empire.

One result of this involvement with European expansionism, however, was that the leaders of the nascent nationalist movements in the Middle East viewed Zionism as an adjunct of European colonialism.

Moreover, Zionist assertions of the contemporary relevance of the Jews’ historical ties to Palestine, coupled with their land purchases and immigration, alarmed the indigenous population of the Ottoman districts that Palestine comprised.

The Jewish community (yishuv) rose from 6 percent of Palestine’s population in 1880 to 10 percent by 1914.

Although the numbers were insignificant, the settlers were outspoken enough to arouse the opposition of Arab leaders and induce them to exert counter pressure on the Ottoman regime to prohibit Jewish immigration and land buying.

As early as 1891, a group of Muslim and Christian notables cabled Istanbul, urging the government to prohibit Jewish immigration and land purchase.

The resulting edicts radically curtailed land purchases in the sanjak (district) of JERUSALEM for the next decade.

When a Zionist Congress resolution in 1905 called for increased colonization, the Ottoman regime suspended all land transfers to Jews in both the sanjak of Jerusalem and the wilayat (province) of Beirut.

After the coup d’etat by the Young Turks in 1908, the Palestinians used their representation in the central parliament and their access to newly opened local newspapers to press their claims and express their concerns.

They were particularly vociferous in opposition to discussions that took place between the financially hard-pressed Ottoman regime and Zionist leaders in 1912-13, which would have let the world Zionist Organization purchase crown land (jiftlik) in the Baysan Valley, along the Jordan River.

The Zionists did not try to quell Palestinian fears, since their concern was to encourage colonization from Europe and to minimize the obstacles in their path.

The only effort to meet to discuss their aspirations occurred in the spring of 1914. Its difficulties illustrated the incompatibility in their aspirations.

The Palestinians wanted the Zionists to present them with a document that would state their precise political ambitions, their willingness to open their schools to Palestinians, and their intentions of learning Arabic and integrating with the local population.

The Zionists rejected this proposal.

THE BRITISH MANDATE

The proclamation of the BALFOUR DECLARATION on November 2, 1917, and the arrival of British troops in Palestine soon after, transformed the political situation.

The declaration gave the Zionist movement its long-sought legal status.

The qualification that: nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of the existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine seemed a relatively insignificant obstacle to the Zionists, especially since it referred only to those communities’: civil and religious rights, not to political or national rights.

The subsequent British occupation gave Britain the ability to carry out that pledge and provide the protection necessary for the Zionists to realize their aims.

In fact, the British had contracted three mutually contradictory promises for the future of Palestine.

The Sykes-Picot Agreement of 1916 with the French and Russian governments proposed that Palestine be placed under international administration.

The HUSAYN-MCMAHON CORRESPONDENCE, 1915-1916, on whose basis the Arab revolt was launched, implied that Palestine would be included in the zone of Arab independence.

In contrast, the Balfour Declaration encouraged the colonization of Palestine by Jews, under British protection.

British officials recognized the irreconcilability of these pledges but hoped that a modus vivendi could be achieved, both between the competing imperial powers, France and Britain, and between the Palestinians and the Jews.

Instead, these contradictions set the stage for the three decades of conflict-ridden British rule in Palestine.

Initially, many British politicians shared the Zionists’ assumption that gradual, regulated Jewish immigration and settlement would lead to a Jewish majority in Palestine, whereupon it would become independent, with legal protection for the Arab minority.

The assumption that this could be accomplished without serious resistance was shattered at the outset of British rule.

Britain thereafter was caught in an increasingly untenable position, unable to persuade either Palestinians or Zionists to alter their demands and forced to station substantial military forces in Palestine to maintain security.

The Palestinians had assumed that they would gain some form of independence when Ottoman rule disintegrated, whether through a separate state or integration with neighboring Arab lands.

These hopes were bolstered by the Arab revolt, the entry of Faysal Ibn Husayn into Damascus in 1918, and the proclamation of Syrian independence in 1920.

Their hopes were dashed, however, when Britain imposed direct colonial rule and elevated the yishuv to a special status.

Moreover, the French ousted Faysal from Damascus in July 1920, and British compensation—in the form of thrones in Transjordan and Iraq for Abdullah and Faysal, respectively—had no positive impact on the Arabs in Palestine.

In fact, the action underlined the different treatment accorded Palestine and its disadvantageous political situation.

These concerns were exacerbated by Jewish immigration: the yishuv comprised 28 percent of the population by 1936 and reached 32 percent by 1947 (click here for Palestine’s population distribution per district in 1946).

The British umbrella was CRITICALLY important to the growth and consolidation of the yishuv, enabling it to root itself firmly despite Palestinian opposition.

Although British support diminished in the late 1930s, the yishuv was strong enough by then to withstand the Palestinians on its own.

After World War II, the Zionist movement also was able to turn to the emerging superpower, the UNITED STATES, for diplomatic support and legitimization.

The Palestinians’ responses to Jewish immigration, land purchases, and political demands were remarkably consistent.

They insisted that Palestine remain an Arab country, with the same right of self-determination and independence as Egypt, Transjordan, and Iraq.

Britain granted those countries independence without a violent struggle since their claims to self-determination were not contested by European settlers.

The Palestinians argued that Palestinian territory COULD NOT AND SHOULD NOT be used to solve the plight of the Jews in Europe, and that Jewish national aspirations should not override their own rights.

Palestinian opposition peaked in the late 1930s: the six-month general strike in 1936 was followed the next year by a widespread rural revolt.

This rebellion welled up from the bottom of Palestinian society—unemployed urban workers, displaced peasants crowded into towns, and debt-ridden villagers.

It was supported by most merchants and professionals in the towns, who feared competition from the yishuv.

Members of the elite families acted as spokesmen before the British administration through the ARAB HIGHER COMMITTEE, which was formed during the 1936 strike.

However, the British banned the committee in October 1937 and arrested its members, on the eve of the revolt.

Only one of the Palestinian political parties was willing to limit its aims and accept the principle of territorial partition: The NATIONAL DEFENSE PARTY, led by RAGHIB AL-NASHASHIBI (mayor of JERUSALEM from 1920 to 1934), was willing to accept partition in 1937 so long as the Palestinians obtained sufficient land and could merge with Transjordan to form a larger political entity.

However, the British PEEL COMMISSION’s plan, announced in July 1937, would have forced the Palestinians to leave the olive- and grain- growing areas of Galilee, the orange groves on the Mediterranean coast, and the urban port cities of HAIFA and ACRE.

That was too great a loss for even the National Defense Party to accept, and so it joined in the general denunciations of partition.

During the PALESTINE MANDATE period the Palestinian community was 70 percent rural, 75 to 80 percent illiterate, and divided internally between town and countryside and between elite families and villagers.

Despite broad support for the national aims, the Palestinians could not achieve the unity and strength necessary to withstand the combined pressure of the British forces and the Zionist movement.

In fact, the political structure was decapitated in the late 1930s when the British banned the Arab Higher Committee and arrested hundreds of local politicians.

When efforts were made in the 1940s to rebuild the political structure, the impetus came largely from outside, from Arab rulers who were disturbed by the deteriorating conditions in Palestine and feared their repercussions on their own newly acquired independence.

The Arab rulers gave priority to their own national considerations and provided limited diplomatic and military support to the Palestinians.

The Palestinian Arabs continued to demand a state that would reflect the Arab majority’s weight—diminished to 68 percent by 1947.

They rejected the UNITED NATIONS (U.N.) partition plan of November 1947, which granted the Jews statehood in 55 percent of Palestine, an area that included as many Arab residents as Jews.

However, the Palestinian Arabs lacked the political strength and military force to back up their claim.

Once Britain withdrew its forces in 1948 and the Jews proclaimed the state of Israel, the Arab rulers used their armed forces to protect those zones that the partition plans had ALLOCATED to the Arab state.

By the time armistice agreements were signed in 1949, the Arab areas had shrunk to only 23 percent of Palestine.

The Egyptian army held the GAZA STRIP, and Transjordanian forces dominated the hills of central Palestine.

At least 726,000 of the 1.3 million Palestinian Arabs fled from the area held by Israel. Emir Abdullah subsequently annexed the zone that his army occupied, renaming it the WEST BANK.

THE ZIONIST MOVEMENT

The dispossession and expulsion of a majority of Palestinians were the result of Zionist policies planned over a thirty-year period. Fundamentally, Zionism focused on two needs:

  1. to attain a Jewish majority in Palestine;
  2. to acquire statehood irrespective of the wishes of the indigenous population. Non-recognition of the political and national rights of the Palestinian people was a KEY Zionist policy.

Chaim Weizmann, president of the World Zionist Organization, placed maximalist demands before the Paris Peace Conference in February 1919.

He stated that he expected 70,000 to 80,000 Jewish immigrants to arrive each year in Palestine.

When they became the majority, they would form an independent government and Palestine and would become: “as Jewish as England is English”.

Weizmann proposed that the boundaries should be the Mediterranean Sea on the west; Sidon, the Litani River, and Mount Hermon on the north; all of Transjordan west of the Hijaz railway on the east; and a line across Sinai from Aqaba to al-Arish on the south. He argued that: “the boundaries above outlined are what we consider essential for the economic foundation of the country.

Palestine must have its natural outlet to the sea and control of its rivers and their headwaters. The boundaries are sketched with the general economic needs and historic traditions of the country in mind.”

Weizmann offered the Arab countries a free zone in Haifa and a joint port at Aqaba.

Weizmann’s policy was basically in accord with that of the leaders of the yishuv, who held a conference in December 1918 in which they formulated their own demands for the peace conference.

The yishuv plan stressed that they must control appointments to the administrative services and that the British must actively assist their program to transform Palestine into a democratic Jewish state in which the Arabs would have minority rights.

Although the peace conference did not explicitly allocate such extensive territories to the Jewish national home and did not support the goal of transforming all of Palestine into a Jewish state, it opened the door to such a possibility.

More important, Weizmann’s presentation stated clearly and forcefully the long-term aims of the movement. These aims were based on certain fundamental tenets of Zionism:

  1. The movement was seen not only as inherently righteous, but also as meeting an overwhelming need among European Jews.

  2. European culture was superior to indigenous Arab culture; the Zionists could help civilize the East.

  3. External support was needed from a major power; relations with the Arab world were a secondary matter.

  4. Arab nationalism was a legitimate political movement, but Palestinian nationalism was either illegitimate or nonexistent.

  5. Finally, if the Palestinians would not reconcile themselves to Zionism, force majeure, not compromise, was the only feasible response.

FIRST

Adherents of Zionism believed that the Jewish people had an inherent and inalienable right to Palestine.

Religious Zionists stated this in biblical terms, referring to the divine promise of the land to the tribes of Israel.

Secular Zionists relied more on the argument that Palestine alone could solve the problem of Jewish dispersion and virulent anti-Semitism.

Weizmann stated in 1930 that the needs of 16 million Jews had to be balanced against those of 1 million Palestinian Arabs: “The Balfour Declaration and the Mandate have definitely lifted [Palestine] out of the context of the Middle East and linked it up with the world-wide Jewish problem….

The rights which the Jewish people has been adjudged in Palestine do not depend on the consent, and cannot be subjected to the will, of the majority of its present inhabitants.”

This perspective took its most extreme form with the Revisionist movement.

Its founder, Vladimir Jabotinsky, was so self-righteous about the Zionist cause that he justified any actions taken against the Arabs in order to realize Zionist goals.

SECOND

Zionists generally felt that European civilization was superior to Arab culture and values.

Theodor Herzl, the founder of the World Zionist Organization, wrote in the Jewish State (1886) that the Jewish community could serve as: “part of a wall of defense for Europe in Asia, an outpost of civilization against barbarism.”

Weizmann also believed that he was engaged in a fight of civilization against the desert.

The Zionists would bring enlightenment and economic development to the backward Arabs.

Similarly, David Ben-Gurion, the leading labor Zionist, could not understand why Arabs rejected his offer to use Jewish finance, scientific knowledge, and technical expertise to modernize the Middle East.

He attributed this rejection to backwardness rather than to the affront that Zionism posed to the Arabs’ pride and to their aspirations for independence.

THIRD

Zionist leaders recognized that they needed an external patron to legitimize their presence in the international arena and to provide them legal and military protection in Palestine.

Great Britain played that role in the 1920s and 1930s, and the United States became the mentor in the mid-1940s.

Zionist leaders realized that they needed to make tactical accommodations to that patron—such as downplaying their public statements about their political aspirations or accepting a state on a limited territory—while continuing to work toward their long-term goals.

The presence and needs of the Arabs were viewed as secondary.

The Zionist leadership never considered allying with the Arab world against the British and Americans.

Rather, Weizmann, in particular, felt that the yishuv should bolster the British Empire and guard its strategic interests in the region.

Later, the leaders of Israel perceived the Jewish state as a strategic asset to the United States in the Middle East.

FOURTH

Zionist politicians accepted the idea of an Arab nation but rejected the concept of a Palestinian nation.

They considered the Arab residents of Palestine as comprising a minute fraction of the land and people of the Arab world, and as lacking any separate identity and aspirations (click here, to read our response to this myth).

Weizmann and Ben-Gurion were willing to negotiate with Arab rulers in order to gain those rulers’ recognition of Jewish statehood in Palestine in return for the Zionists’ recognition of Arab independence elsewhere, but they would not negotiate with the Arab politicians in Palestine for a political settlement in their common homeland.

As early as 1918, Weizmann wrote to a prominent British politician: “The real Arab movement is developing in Damascus and Mecca…the so-called Arab question in Palestine would therefore assume only a purely local character, and in fact is not considered a serious factor.”

In line with that thinking, Weizmann met with Emir Faysal in the same year, in an attempt to win his agreement to Jewish statehood in Palestine in return for Jewish financial support for Faysal as ruler of Syria and Arabia.

Ben-Gurion, Weizmann, and other Zionist leaders met with prominent Arab officials during the 1939 LONDON CONFERENCE, which was convened by Britain to seek a compromise settlement in Palestine.

The Arab diplomats from Egypt, Iraq, and Saudi Arabia criticized the exceptional position that the Balfour Declaration had granted the Jewish community and emphasized the estrangement between the Arab and Jewish residents that large scale Jewish immigration had caused.

In response, Weizmann insisted that Palestine remain open to all Jews who wanted to immigrate, and Ben-Gurion suggested that all of Palestine should become a Jewish state, federated with the surrounding Arab states.

The Arab participants criticized these demands for exacerbating the conflict, rather than contributing to the search for peace.

The Zionists’ premise that Arab statehood could be recognized while ignoring the Palestinians was thus rejected by the Arab rulers themselves.

FIFTH

Finally, Zionist leaders argued that if the Palestinians could not reconcile themselves to Zionism, then force majeure, not a compromise of goals, was the only possible response.

By the early 1920s, after violent Arab protests broke out in Jaffa and Jerusalem, leaders of the yishuv recognized that it might be impossible to bridge the gap between the aims of the two peoples.

Building the national home would lead to an unavoidable clash, since the Arab majority would not agree to become a minority.

In fact, as early as 1919 Ben-Gurion stated bluntly: “Everybody sees a difficulty in the question of relations between Arabs and Jews.

But not everybody sees that there is no solution to this question. No solution!

There is a gulf, and nothing can fill this gulf….I do not know what Arab will agree that Palestine should belong to the Jews….

We, as a nation, want this country to be ours; the Arabs, as a nation, want this country to be theirs.”

As tensions increased in the 1920s and the 1930s Zionist leaders realized that they had to coerce the Arabs to acquiesce to a diminished status. Ben-Gurion stated in 1937, during the Arab revolt:

“This is a national war declared upon us by the Arabs….

This is an active resistance by the Palestinians to what they regard as a usurpation of their homeland by the Jews….

But the fighting is only one aspect of the conflict, which is in its essence a political one. And politically we are the aggressors and they defend themselves.”

This sober conclusion did not lead Ben-Gurion to negotiate with the Palestinian Arabs: instead he became more determined to strengthen the Jewish military forces so that they could compel the Arabs to relinquish their claims.

PRACTICAL ZIONISM

In order to realize the aims of Zionism and build the Jewish national home, the Zionist movement undertook the following practical steps in many different realms:

  1. They built political structures that could assume state functions
  2. Created a military force.

  3. Promoted large-scale immigration.

  4. Acquired land as the inalienable property of the Jewish people

  5. Established and monopolistic concessions. The labor federation, Histadrut, tried to force Jewish enterprises to hire only Jewish labor

  6. Setting up an autonomous Hebrew-language educational system.

These measures created a self-contained national entity on Palestinian soil that was ENTIRELY SEPARATE from the Arab community.

The yishuv established an elected community council, executive body, administrative departments, and religious courts soon after the British assumed control over Palestine.

When the PALESTINE MANDATE was ratified by the League of Nations in 1922, the World Zionist Organization gained the responsibility to advise and cooperate with the British administration not only on economic and social matters affecting the Jewish national home but also on issues involving the general development of the country.

Although the British rejected pressure to give the World Zionist Organization an equal share in administration and control over immigration and land transfers, the yishuv did gain a privileged advisory position.

The Zionists were strongly critical of British efforts to establish a LEGISLATIVE COUNCIL in 1923, 1930, and 1936.

They realized that Palestinians’ demands for a legislature with a Palestinian majority ran counter to their own need to delay establishing representative bodies until the Jewish community was much larger.

In 1923, the Jewish residents did participate in the elections for a Legislative Council, but they were relieved that the Palestinians’ boycott compelled the British to cancel the results.

In 1930 and 1936 the World Zionist Organization vigorously opposed British proposals for a legislature, fearing that, if the Palestinians received the majority status that proportional representation would require, then they would try to block Jewish immigration and the purchase of land by Zionist companies.

Zionist opposition was couched indirectly in the assertion that Palestine was not ripe for self-rule, a code for not until there’s a Jewish majority.

To bolster this position, the yishuv formed defense forces (Haganah) in March 1920.

They were preceded by the establishment of guards (hashomer) in Jewish rural settlements in the 1900s and the formation of a Jewish Legion in World War I.

However, the British disbanded the Jewish Legion and allowed only sealed armories in the settlements and mixed Jewish-British area defense committees.

Despite its illegal status, the Haganah expanded to number 10,000 trained and mobilized men, and 40,000 reservists by 1936.

During the 1937-38 Arab revolt, the Haganah engaged in active defense against Arab insurgents and cooperated with the British to guard railway lines, the oil pipeline to Haifa, and border fences.

This cooperation deepened during World War II, when 18,800 Jewish volunteers joined the British forces.

Haganah’s special Palmach units served as scouts and sappers for the British army in Lebanon in 1941-42. This wartime experience helped to transform the Haganah into a regular fighting force.

When Ben-Gurion became the World Zionist Organization’s secretary of defense in June 1947, he accelerated mobilization as well as arms buying in the United States and Europe.

As a result, mobilization leaped to 30,000 by May 1948, when statehood was proclaimed, and then doubled to 60,000 by mid-July—twice the number serving in the Arab forces arrayed against Israel.

A principal means for building up the national home was the promotion of large-scale immigration from Europe.

Auschwitz - Latest news on Metro UK

Estimates of the Palestinian population demonstrate the dramatic impact of immigration.

The first British census (December 31, 1922) counted 757,182 residents, of whom 83,794 were Jewish.

The second census (December 31, 1931) enumerated 1,035,821, including 174,006 Jews.

Thus, the absolute number of Jews had doubled and the relative number had increased from 11 percent to 17 percent.

Two-thirds of this growth could be attributed to net immigration, and one third to natural increase.

Two-thirds of the yishuv was concentrated in Jerusalem and Jaffa and Tel Aviv, with most of the remainder in the north, including the towns of HAIFA, SAFAD, and Tiberias.

The Mandate specified that the rate of immigration should accord with the economic capacity of the country to absorb the immigrants.

In 1931, the British government reinterpreted this to take into account only the Jewish sector of the economy, excluding the Palestinian sector, which was suffering from heavy unemployment.

As a result, the pace of immigration accelerated in 1932 and peaked in 1935-36.

In other words, the absolute number of Jewish residents doubled in the five years from 1931 to 1936 to 370,000, so that they constituted 28 percent of the total population.

Not until 1939 did the British impose a severe quota on Jewish immigrants.

That restriction was resisted by the yishuv with a sense of desperation, since it blocked access to a key haven for the Jews whom Hitler was persecuting and exterminating in Germany and the rest of Nazi-occupied Europe.

Net immigration was limited during the war years in the 1940s, but the government estimated in 1946 that there were about 583,000 Jews of nearly 1,888,000 residents, or 31 percent of the total Seventy percent of them were urban, and they continued to be overwhelmingly concentrated in Jerusalem (100,000) the Haifa area (119,000), and the JAFFA and RAMLA districts (327,000) (click here for a map illustrating Palestine’s population distribution in 1946).

The remaining 43,000 were largely in Galilee, with a scattering in the Negev and almost none in the central highlands.

The World Zionist Organization purchasing agencies launched large-scale land purchases in order to found rural settlements and stake territorial claims.

In 1920 the Zionists held about 650,000 dunums (one dunum equals approximately one-quarter of an acre).

By 1930, the amount had expanded to 1,164,000 dunums and by 1936 to 1,400,000 dunums.

The major purchasing agent (the Palestine Land Development Company) estimated that, by 1936, 89 percent had been bought from large landowners (primarily absentee owners from Beirut) and only 11 percent from peasants

. By 1947, the yishuv held 1.9 million dunums.

Nevertheless, this represented only 7 percent of the total land surface or 10 to 12 percent of the cultivable land (click here for a map illustrating Palestine’s land ownership distribution in 1946)

According to Article 3 of the Constitution of the Jewish Agency, the land was held by the Jewish National Fund as the inalienable property of the Jewish people; ONLY Jewish labor could be employed in the settlements, Palestinians protested bitterly against this inalienability clause.

The moderate National Defense Party, for example, petitioned the British in 1935 to prevent further land sales, arguing that it was a: life and death [matter] to the Arabs, in that it results in the transfer of their country to other hands and the loss of their nationality.

The placement of Jewish settlements was often based on political considerations. The Palestine Land Development Company had four criteria for land purchase:

  1. The economic suitability of the tract

  2. Its contribution to forming a solid block of Jewish territory.

  3. The prevention of isolation of settlements

  4. The impact of the purchase on the political-territorial claims of the Zionists.

The stockade and watchtower settlements constructed in 1937, for example, were designed to secure control over key parts of Galilee for the yishuv in case the British implemented the PEEL PARTITION PLAN.

Similarly, eleven settlements were hastily erected in the Negev in late 1946 in an attempt to stake a political claim in that entirely Palestinian-populated territory.

In addition to making these land purchases, prominent Jewish businessmen won monopolistic concessions from the British government that gave the Zionist movement an important role in the development of Palestine’s natural resources.

In 1921, Pinhas Rutenberg’s Palestine Electric Company acquired the right to electrify all of Palestine except Jerusalem.

Moshe Novomeysky received the concession to develop the minerals in the Dead Sea in 1927.

And the Palestine Land Development Company gained the concession to drain the Hula marshes, north of the Sea of Galilee, in 1934.

In each case, the concession was contested by other serious non-Jewish claimants; Palestinian politicians argued that the government should retain control itself in order to develop the resources for the benefit of the entire country.

The inalienability clause in the Jewish National Fund contracts included provision that ONLY JEWS could work on Jewish agricultural settlements.

The concepts of manual labor and the return to the soil were key to the Zionist enterprise.

This Jewish labor policy was enforced by the General Foundation of Jewish Labor (Histadrut), founded in 1920 and headed by David Ben-Gurion.

Since some Jewish builders and citrus growers hired Arabs, who worked for lower wages than Jews, the Histadrut launched a campaign in 1933 to remove those Arab workers.

Histadrut organizers picketed citrus groves and evicted Arab workers from construction sites and factories in the cities.

The strident propaganda by the Histradut increased the Arabs’ fears for the future. George Mansur, a Palestinian labor leader, wrote angrily in 1937:

“The Histadrut’s fundamental aim is ‘the conquest of labor’…No matter how many Arab workers are unemployed, they have no right to take any job which a possible immigrant might occupy. No Arab has the right to work in Jewish undertakings.”

Finally, the establishment of an all-Jewish, Hebrew-language educational system was an essential component of building the Jewish national home.

It helped to create a cohesive national ethos and a lingua franca among the diverse immigrants.

However, it also entirely separated Jewish children from Palestinian children, who attended the governmental schools.

The policy widened the linguistic and cultural gap between the two peoples.

In addition, there was a stark contrast in their literacy levels (in 1931):

  • 93 percent of Jewish males (above age seven) were literate

  • 71 percent of Christian males

  • but only 25 percent of Muslim males were literate.

Overall, Palestinian literacy increased from 19 percent in 1931 to 27 percent by 1940, but only 30 percent of Palestinian children could be accommodated in government and private schools.

The practical policies of the Zionist movement created a compact and well-rooted community by the late 1940s.

The yishuv had its own political, educational, economic, and military institutions, parallel to the governmental system. Jews minimized their contact with the Arab community and outnumbered the Arabs in certain key respects.

Jewish urban dwellers, for example, greatly exceeded Arab urbanites, even though Jews constituted but one-third of the population.

Many more Jewish children attended school than did Arab children, and Jewish firms employed seven times as many workers as Arab firms.

Thus the relative weight and autonomy of the yishuv were much greater than sheer numbers would suggest.

The transition to statehood was facilitated by the existence of the proto state institutions and a mobilized, literate public.

But the separation from the Palestinian residents will exacerbated by these autarchic policies.

POLICIES TOWARD THE PALESTINIANS

The main view point within the Zionist movement was that the Arab problem would be solved by first solving the Jewish problem.

In time, the Palestinians would be presented with the fait accompli of a Jewish majority.

Settlements, land purchases, industries, and military forces were developed gradually and systematically so that the yishuv would become too strong to uproot.

In a letter to his son, Weizmann compared the Arabs to the rocks of Judea, obstacles that had to be cleared to make the path smooth.

When the Palestinians mounted violent protests in 1920, 1921, 1929, 1936-39, and the late 1940s, the yishuv sought to curb them by force, rather than seek a political accommodation with the indigenous people.

Any concessions made to the Palestinians by the British government concerning immigration, land sales, or labor were strongly contested by the Zionist leaders.

In fact, in 1936, Ben-Gurion stated that the Palestinians will only acquiesce in a Jewish Eretz Israel after they are in a state of total despair.

Zionists viewed their acceptance of territorial partition as a temporary measure; they did not give up the idea of the Jewish community’s right to all of Palestine.

Weizmann commented in 1937: “In the course of time we shall expand to the whole country…this is only an arrangement for the next 15-30 years.”

Ben-Gurion stated in 1938, “After we become a strong force, as a result of the creation of a state, we shall abolish partition and expand to the whole of Palestine.”

A FEW EFFORTS were made to reduce Arab opposition. For example in the 1920s, Zionist organizations provided financial support to Palestinian political parties, newspapers, and individuals.

This was most evident in the establishment and support of the National Muslim Societies (1921-23) and Agricultural Parties (1924-26).

These parties were expected to be neutral or positive toward the Zionist movement, in return for which they would receive financial subventions and their members would be helped to obtain jobs and loans.

This policy was backed by Weizmann, who commented that: “extremists and moderates alike were susceptible to the influence of money and honors.”

However, Leonard Stein, a member of the London office of the World Zionist Organization, denounced this practice.

He argued that Zionists must seek a permanent modus vivendi with the Palestinians by hiring them in Jewish firms and admitting them to Jewish universities.

He maintained that political parties in which Arab moderates are merely Arab gramophones playing Zionist records would collapse as soon as the Zionist financial support ended.

In any event, the World Zionist Organization terminated the policy by 1927, as it was in the midst of a financial crisis and as most of the leaders felt that the policy was ineffective.

Some Zionist leaders argued that the Arab community had to be involved in the practical efforts of the Zionist movement.

Chaim Kalvarisky, who initiated the policy of buying support, articulated in 1923 the gap between that ideal and the reality: “Some people say…that only by common work in the field of commerce, industry and agriculture mutual understanding between Jews and Arabs will ultimately be attained….

This is, however, merely a theory. In practice we have not done and we are doing nothing for any work in common.

  • How many Arab officials have we installed in our banks? Not even one.

  • How many Arabs have we brought into our schools? Not even one.

  • What commercial houses have we established in company with Arabs? Not even one.”

Two years later, Kalvarisky lamented: “We all admit the importance of drawing closer to the Arabs, but in fact we are growing more distant like a drawn bow.

We have no contact: two separate worlds, each living its own life and fighting the other.”

Some members of the yishuv emphasized the need for political relations with the Palestinian Arabs, to achieve either a peacefully negotiated territorial partition (as Nahum Goldmann sought) or a binational state (as Brit Shalom and Hashomer Ha-tzair proposed).

But few went as far as Dr. Judah L. Magnes, chancellor of The Hebrew University, who argued that Zionism meant merely the creation of a Jewish cultural center in Palestine rather than an independent state.

In any case, the binationalists had little impact politically and were strongly opposed by the leadership of the Zionist movement.

Zionist leaders felt they did not harm the Palestinians by blocking them from working in Jewish settlements and industries or even by undermining their majority status.

The Palestinians were considered a small part of the large Arab nation; their economic and political needs could be met in that wider context, Zionists felt, rather than in Palestine.

They could move elsewhere if they sought land and could merge with Transjordan if they sought political independence.

This thinking led logically to the concept of population TRANSFER. In 1930 Weizmann suggested that the problems of insufficient land resources within Palestine and of the dispossession of peasants could be solved by moving them to Transjordan and Iraq.

He urged the Jewish Agency to provide a loan of £1 million to help move Palestinian farmers to Transjordan.

The issue was discussed at length in the Jewish Agency debates of 1936-37 on partition.

At first, the majority proposed a voluntary transfer of Palestinians from the Jewish state, but later they realized that the Palestinians would never leave voluntarily.

Therefore, key leaders such as Ben-Gurion insisted that compulsory transfer was essential.

The Jewish Agency then voted that the British government should pay for the removal of the Palestinian Arabs from the territory allotted to the Jewish state.

The fighting from 1947 to 1949 resulted in a far larger transfer than had been envisioned in 1937.

It solved the Arab problem by removing most of the Arabs and was the ultimate expression of the policy of force majeure.

CONCLUSION

The land and people of Palestine were transformed during the thirty years of British rule.

The systematic colonization undertaken by the Zionist movement enabled the Jewish community to establish separate and virtually autonomous political, economic, social, cultural, and military institutions.

A state within a state was in place by the time the movement launched its drive for independence.

The legal underpinnings for the autonomous Jewish community were provided by the British Mandate.

The establishment of a Jewish state was first proposed by the British Royal Commission in July 1937 and then endorsed by the UNITED NATIONS in November 1947.

That drive for statehood IGNORED the presence of a Palestinian majority with its own national aspirations

. The right to create a Jewish state—and the overwhelming need for such a state—were perceived as overriding Palestinian counterclaims.

Few members of the yishuv supported the idea of binationalism.

Rather, territorial partition was seen by most Zionist leaders as the way to gain statehood while according certain national rights to the Palestinians.

TRANSFER of Palestinians to neighboring Arab states was also envisaged as a means to ensure the formation of a homogeneous Jewish territory.

The implementation of those approaches led to the formation of independent Israel, at the cost of dismembering the Palestinian community and fostering long-term hostility with the Arab world.

—Ann M. Lesch

U.S. Tech Industry Outsourced to Israel

Several U.S. tech giants including Google, Microsoft and Intel Corporation have filled top positions with former members of Israeli military intelligence and are heavily investing in their Israeli branches while laying off thousands of American employees, all while receiving millions of dollars in U.S. government subsidies funded by American taxpayers.

Start-Up Nation Central, billionaire hedge fund manager Paul Singer’s project to bolster Israel’s tech economy at the expense of American workers, was founded in response to the global Boycott, Divest and Sanctions (BDS) movement that seeks to use nonviolent means to pressure Israel to comply with international law in relation to its treatment of Palestinians:

 

WITH NEARLY 6 MILLION AMERICANS UNEMPLOYED, and regular bouts of layoffs in the U.S. tech industry, major American tech companies like Google, Microsoft and Intel Corporation are nonetheless moving key operations, billions in investments, and thousands of jobs to Israel—a trend that has largely escaped media attention or concern from even “America first” politicians.

The fact that this massive transfer of investment and jobs has been so overlooked is particularly striking given that it is largely the work of a single leading neoconservative Republican donor who has given millions of dollars to President Donald Trump.

Many of the top tech companies continue to shift investment and jobs to Israel at record rates even as they collect sizable U.S. government subsidies for their operations while they move critical aspects of their business abroad.

The trend is particularly troubling in light of the importance of the tech sector to the overall U.S. economy, as it accounts for 7.1 percent of total GDP and 11.6 percent of total private-sector payroll.

Furthermore, many of these companies are hiring, as top managers and executives, the members of controversial Israeli companies known to have spied on American citizens, U.S. companies, and U.S. federal agencies, as well as numerous members of Israeli military intelligence.

This massive transfer of the American tech industry has largely been the work of one leading Republican donor—billionaire hedge fund manager Paul Singer—who also funds the neoconservative think tank American Enterprise Institute (AEI), the Islamophobic and hawkish think tank Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD), the Republican Jewish Coalition (RJC), and also funded the now-defunct Foreign Policy Initiative (FPI).

Singer’s project to bolster Israel’s tech economy at American expense is known as “Start-Up Nation Central,” which he founded in response to the global Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement that seeks to use nonviolent means to pressure Israel to comply with international law in its treatment of Palestinians.

This project is directly linked to Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, who in recent years has publicly mentioned that it has been his “deliberate policy” to have former members of Israel’s “military and intelligence units…merge into companies with local partners and foreign partners” in order to make it all but impossible for major corporations and foreign governments to boycott Israel.

Singer’s nonprofit organization has acted as the vehicle through which Netanyahu’s policy has been realized, via the group’s close connections to the Israeli PM and Singer’s long-time support for Netanyahu and the Likud Party. With deep ties to Netanyahu, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), and controversial tech companies—like Amdocs—that spied on the American government, this Singer-funded organization has formed a nexus of connections between the public and private sectors of both the American and Israeli economies with the single goal of making Israel the new technology superpower, largely at the expense of the American economy and the U.S. government, which currently gives $3.8 billion in annual aid to Israel.

RESEARCHED AND DEVELOPED IN ISRAEL

 

In recent years, the top U.S. tech companies have been shifting many of their most critical operations, particularly research and development, to one country: Israel.

A 2016 report in Business Insider noted that Google, Facebook, Microsoft, Amazon and Apple had all opened up research and development (R&D) centers in recent years, with some of them having as many as three such centers in Israel, a country roughly the size of New Jersey.

Other major tech companies that have also opened key operation and research centers in Israel include SanDisk, Nvidia, PayPal, Palantir and Dell. Forbes noted last year that the world’s top 10 tech companies were now “doing mission-critical work in Israel that’s core to their businesses back at HQ.”

Yet, some of these tech giants, particularly those based in the United States, are heavily investing in their Israeli branches.

For example, Intel Corporation, which is the world’s second largest manufacturer of semiconductor computer chips and is headquartered in California, has long been a major employer in Israel, with over 10,000 employees in the Zionist state.

However, earlier this year, Intel announced that it would be investing $11 billion in a new factory in Israel and would receive around $1 billion in an Israeli government grant for that investment.

Just a matter of months after Intel announced its major new investment in Israel, it announced a new round of layoffs in the United States.

Yet this is just one recent example of what has become a trend for Intel. In 2018, Intel made public its plan to invest $5 billion in one of its Israeli factories and had invested an additional $15 billion in Israeli-created autonomous driving technology a year prior, creating thousands of Intel jobs in Israel.

Notably, over a similar time frame, Intel has cut nearly 12,000 jobs in the United States.

While this great transfer of investment and jobs was undermining the U.S. economy and hurting American workers, particularly in the tech sector, Intel received over $25 million dollars in subsidies from the U.S. government.

A similar phenomenon has been occurring at another U.S.-based tech giant, Microsoft. Beginning in 2014 and continuing into 2018, Microsoft laid off well over 20,000 employees, most of them Americans, in several different rounds of staff cuts.

Over that same time period, Microsoft has been on a hiring spree in Israel, building new campuses and investing billions of dollars annually in its Israel-based research and development center and in other Israeli start-up companies, creating thousands of jobs abroad.

In addition, Microsoft has been pumping millions of dollars into technology programs at Israeli universities and institutes, such as the Technion Institute.

Over this same time frame, Microsoft has received nearly $197 million in subsidies from the state governments of Washington, Iowa and Virginia.

Israeli politicians and tech company executives have attributed this dramatic shift to Israel’s tech prowess and growing reputation as a technological innovation hub, obscuring Singer’s effort in concert with Netanyahu to counter a global movement aimed at boycotting Israel and to make Israel a global “cyber power.”

START-UP NATION CENTRAL AND THE NEOCONS

In 2009, a book titled Start Up Nation: The Story of Israel’s Economic Miracle, written by American neoconservative Dan Senor and Jerusalem Post journalist Saul Singer (unrelated to Paul), quickly rose to the New York Times bestseller list for its depiction of Israel as the tech start-up capital of the world.

The book—published by the Council on Foreign Relations, where Senor was then serving as adjunct senior fellow—asserts that Israel’s success in producing so many start-up companies resulted from the combination of its liberal immigration laws and its “leverage of the business talents of young people with military experience.”

In a post-publication interview with the blog Freakonomics, Senor asserted that service in the Israeli military was crucial to Israel’s tech sector success.

“Certain units have become technology boot camps, where 18- to 22-year-olds get thrown projects and missions that would make the heads spin of their counterparts in universities or the private sector anywhere else in the world,” wrote Senor and Singer.

“The Israelis come out of the military not just with hands-on exposure to next-gen technology, but with training in teamwork, mission orientation, leadership, and a desire to continue serving their country by contributing to its tech sector—a source of pride for just about every Israeli.”

The book, in addition to the many accolades it received from the mainstream press, left a lasting impact on top Republican donor Paul Singer, known for funding the most influential neoconservative think tanks in America, as noted above.

Paul Singer was so inspired by Senor and Singer’s book that he decided to spend $20 million to fund and create an organization with a similar name.

He created Start-Up Nation Central (SUNC) several years after the book’s release in 2009.

To achieve his vision, Singer—who is also a top donor to the Republican Party and Trump—tapped Israeli economist Eugene Kandel, who served as Netanyahu’s national economic adviser and chaired the Israeli National Economic Council from 2009 to 2015.

Senor was likely directly involved in the creation of SUNC, as he was then employed by Paul Singer and, with neoconservatives Bill Kristol and Robert Kagan, co-founded the FPI.

In addition, Dan Senor’s sister, Wendy Singer (unrelated to either Paul or Saul), long-time director of Israel’s AIPAC office, became the organization’s executive director.

SUNC’s management team, in addition to Eugene Kandel and Wendy Singer, includes Guy Hilton as the organization’s general manager.

Hilton is a long-time marketing executive at Israeli telecommunications company Amdocs and is credited with having “transformed” the company’s marketing organization.

Amdocs was once highly controversial in the United States after it was revealed by a 2001 Fox News investigation that numerous federal agencies had investigated the company, which then had contracts with the 25 largest telephone companies in the country, for its alleged role in an aggressive espionage operation that targeted the U.S. government.

Hilton worked at Microsoft prior to joining Amdocs.

Beyond the management team, SUNC’s board of directors includes Paul Singer, Dan Senor and Terry Kassel—who work for Singer at his hedge fund, Elliott Management—and Raphael Ouzan.

An officer in the elite foreign military intelligence unit of Israel, Unit 8200, Ouzan co-founded BillGuard the day after he left that unit, which is often compared to the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA).

Within five months of its founding, BillGuard was backed by funding from PayPal founder Peter Thiel and former CEO of Google, Eric Schmidt.

Ouzan is also connected to U.S. tech companies that have greatly expanded their Israeli branches since SUNC’s founding—such as Microsoft, Google, PayPal and Intel, all of which support Ouzan’s non-profit Israel Tech Challenge.

According to reports from the time published in Haaretz and Bloomberg, SUNC was explicitly founded to serve as “a foreign ministry for Israel’s tech industry” and “to strength Israel’s economy” while also aiming to counter the BDS movement, as well as the growth of illegal Jewish-only settlements in occupied Palestinian territory.

Since its founding, SUNC has sought to transfer tech jobs from foreign companies to Israel by developing connections and influence with foreign governments and companies so that they “deepen their relationship with Israel’s tech industry.”

Although SUNC has since expanded to include other sectors of the Israeli “start-up” economy, its focus has long remained on Israel’s tech, specifically its cybersecurity industry. Foreign investment in this single Israeli industry has grown from $227 million in 2014 to $815 million in 2017.

In addition to its own activities, SUNC appears to be closely linked to a similar organization, sponsored by Coca-Cola and Daimler Mercedes-Benz, called The Bridge, which also seeks to connect Israeli start-up companies with large international corporations.

Indeed, SUNC, according to its website, was actually responsible for Daimler Mercedes Benz’s decision to join The Bridge, thanks to a delegation from the company that SUNC hosted in Israel and the connections made during that visit.

TEAMING UP WITH ISRAEL’S UNIT 8200

Notably, SUNC has deep ties to Israel’s military intelligence Unit 8200 and, true to Start-Up Nation’s praise of IDF service as key to Israel’s success, has been instrumental in connecting Unit 8200 alumni with key roles in foreign companies, particularly American tech companies.

For instance, Maty Zwaig, a former lieutenant colonel in Unit 8200, is SUNC’s current director of human capital programs, and SUNC’s current manager of strategic programs, Tamar Weiss, is also a former member of the unit.

One particularly glaring connection between SUNC and Unit 8200 is Inbal Arieli, who served as SUNC’s vice president of strategic partnerships from 2014 to 2017 and continues to serve as a senior adviser to the organization.

A former lieutenant in Unit 8200, Arieli is the founder and head of the 8200 Entrepreneurship and Innovation Support Program (EISP), which was the first start-up accelerator in Israel aimed at harnessing “the vast network and entrepreneurial DNA of [Unit] 8200 alumni” and is currently one of the top company accelerators in Israel. Arieli was the top executive at 8200 EISP while working at SUNC.

Another key connection between SUNC and Unit 8200 is SUNC’s promotion of Team8, a company-creation platform whose CEO and co-founder is Nadav Zafrir, former commander of Unit 8200. In addition to prominently featuring Team8 and Zafrir on the cybersecurity section of its website, SUNC also sponsored a talk by Zafrir and an Israeli government economist at the World Economic Forum, often referred to as “Davos,” that was attended personally by Paul Singer.

Team8’s investors include Google’s Eric Schmidt, Microsoft, and Walmart—and it recently hired former head of the NSA and U.S. Cyber Command, retired Admiral Mike Rogers. Team8 described the decision to hire Rogers as being “instrumental in helping strategize” Team8’s expansion in the United States. However, Jake Williams, a veteran of NSA’s Tailored Access Operations hacking unit, told CyberScoop:

“Rogers is not being brought into this role because of his technical experience …It’s purely because of his knowledge of classified operations and his ability to influence many in the U.S. government and private-sector contractors.”

In addition to connections to Unit 8200-linked groups like Team8 and 8200 EISP, SUNC also directly collaborates with the IDF in an initiative aimed at preparing young Israeli women to serve in Unit 8200.

That initiative, called the CyberGirlz Club, is jointly funded by Israel’s Defense Ministry, SUNC and the Rashi Foundation, the philanthropic organization set up by the Leven family of Perrier-brand water, which has close ties to the Israeli government and IDF.

“Our aim is to bring the girls to this process already skilled, with the knowledge needed to pass the exams for Unit 8200 and serve in the military as programmers,” Zwaig told Israel National News.

SEEDING AMERICAN TECH

webb2x840

Yaniv Bar (l) and Udi Cohen, former Israeli intelligence officers and founders of the start-up Aclim8, demonstrate their co-developed “COMBAR” all-in-one hiking tool for “weekend warriors,” at their office in the northern Israeli Kibbutz of Maayan Tzvi, May 21, 2018. Israel’s military is an incubator for future high-tech firms started by former soldiers. (JACK GUEZ/AFP/GETTY IMAGES)

The connections between SUNC and Unit 8200 are troubling for more than a few reasons, one being that Unit 8200, often likened to the NSA, closely coordinates with Israel’s intelligence agency, the Mossad, and is responsible for 90 percent of the intelligence material obtained by the Israeli government, according to its former commander Yair Cohen.

“There isn’t a major operation, from the Mossad or any intelligence security agency, that 8200 is not involved in,” Cohen told Forbes in 2016.

An organization founded by an American billionaire is thus actively promoting the presence of former military intelligence officers in foreign companies, specifically American companies, while also promoting the transfer of jobs and investment to that same country.

Particularly troubling is the fact that since SUNC’s founding, the number of former Unit 8200 members in top positions in American tech companies has skyrocketed.

Based on a non-exhaustive analysis conducted by MintPress of over 200 LinkedIn accounts of former Israeli military intelligence and intelligence officers in three major tech companies, numerous former Unit 8200 alumni were found to currently hold top managerial or executive positions in Microsoft, Google and Facebook.

The influence of Unit 8200 on these companies very likely goes deeper than this non-exhaustive analysis revealed, given that many of these companies acquired several Israeli start-ups staffed by Unit 8200 alumni who subsequently went on to found new companies and start-ups shortly after acquisition.

Furthermore, due to the limitations of LinkedIn’s set-up, MintPress was not able to access the complete list of Unit 8200 alumni at these three tech companies, meaning that the eye-opening numbers found were generated by a relatively small sample.

This jump in Unit 8200 members in top positions at tech companies of global importance is actually a policy long promoted by Netanyahu, whose long-time economic adviser is the chief executive at SUNC.

During an interview with Fox News last year, Netanyahu was asked by Fox News host Mark Levin if the large growth seen in recent years in Israel’s technology sector was part of Netanyahu’s plan.

“That’s very much my plan,” Netanyahu responded. “It’s a very deliberate policy.”

He later added that “Israel had technology because the military, especially military intelligence, produced a lot of capabilities.

These incredibly gifted young men and women who come out of the military or the Mossad, they want to start their start-ups.”

Netanyahu further outlined this policy at the 2019 Cybertech conference in Tel Aviv, where he stated that Israel’s emergence as one of the top five “cyber powers” had “required allowing this combination of military intelligence, academia and industry to converge in one place” and that this further required allowing “our graduates of our military and intelligence units to merge into companies with local partners and foreign partners.”

The direct tie-ins of SUNC to Netanyahu and the fact that Paul Singer has also been a long-time political donor and backer of Netanyahu suggest that SUNC is a key part of Netanyahu’s policy of placing former military intelligence and intelligence operatives in strategic positions in major technology companies.

Notably, just as SUNC was founded to counter the BDS movement, Netanyahu has asserted that this policy of ensuring Israel’s role as a “cyber power” is aimed at increasing its diplomatic power and specifically undermining BDS as well as the United Nations, which has repeatedly condemned Israel’s government for war crimes and violations of international law in relation to the Palestinians.

BUILDING THE BI-NATIONAL ­SURVEILLANCE STATE

To sum up, a powerful American billionaire has built an influential organization with deep connections to AIPAC, with an Israeli company that has been repeatedly investigated for spying on the U.S. government (Amdocs), and with the elite Israeli military intelligence Unit 8200 that has used its influential connections to the U.S. government and the private sector to dramatically shift the operations and make-up of major companies in a critical sector of the American economy.

Further consider that U.S. government documents leaked by Edward Snowden have flagged Israel as a “leading threat” to the infrastructure of U.S. financial and banking institutions, which use much of the software produced by these top tech companies, and have also flagged Israel as a top espionage threat.

One U.S. government document cited Israel as the third most aggressive intelligence service against the U.S. behind Russia and China.

Thus, Paul Singer’s pet project in Start-Up Nation Central has undermined not only the U.S. economy but arguably national security as well.

This concern is further exacerbated by the deep ties connecting top tech companies like Microsoft and Google to the U.S. military.

Microsoft and Google are both key military contractors. Microsoft is set to win a lucrative contract for the Pentagon’s cloud management and has partnered with the Department of Defense to produce a “secure” election system known as ElectionGuard that is set to be implemented in some U.S. states for the 2020 general election.

Top U.S. tech companies have filled executive positions with former members of Israeli military intelligence and moved strategic and critical operations to Israel, boosting Israel’s economy at the expense of America’s. SUNC’s role in this marked shift merits the deepest scrutiny.

Arab Jews and Myths of Expulsion and Exchange

By David Green

Quotes one Israeli emigrant from Iraq: “In Baghdad we got along fine with the Arabs. But here we have to fight them.”

During Stanford Professor Joel Beinin’s visit to the Urbana campus of the University of Illinois in March of 2000, I was introduced to the seemingly esoteric topic of the plight of Jews in Arab societies subsequent to the establishment of Israel–specifically regarding his research specialty at that time, the Jews of Egypt.

In Beinin’s outstanding book on this subject, The Dispersion of Egyptian Jewry, he explores the ultimately unsuccessful attempt of 75,000 Egyptian Jews to “maintain their multiple identities and to resist the monism of increasingly obdurate Zionist and Egyptian national discourses.”

Beinin also spoke presciently—6 months before the beginning of the 2nd intifada–of the dire conditions of the Palestinians in the occupied territories, which he described as “worse than horrible.”

Six months after Sharon’s 2000 visit to the Temple Mount, in March of 2001, a political advertisement sponsored by The American Jewish Committee and Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago appeared in the Chicago Tribune titled “The Other Refugees.” It claimed that:

“The Arab onslaught of 1948 and its aftermath tragically produced two—not one—refugee populations, one Jewish and one Arab.

More than 700,000 Jews across the Arab world were forced to flee for their lives, their property ransacked in deadly riots, and their schools, hospitals, synagogues and cemeteries expropriated or destroyed.”

The ad went on to compare the absorption of many of these Jews by Israel to Palestinians who ”have remained quarantined in squalid camps,” concluding that “Palestinian leadership, backed by many in the Arab world, seeks the destruction of Israel through the ‘return’ of the refugees and their millions of descendants.”

This diatribe concluded by claiming that such a return would mean “Israel’s national suicide.”

This bald propaganda has its origins in, among other things, a tendentious revision of the history of Arab Jews, from one of general cooperation with Muslims (also over-simplified) to deep-seated conflict and persecution.

Beinin mentions prominent examples of this revisionism in his book.

In 1974, a Jewish Israeli woman with the pen name of Bat Ye’or (daughter of the Nile) published Les Juifs en Egypte, to which Beinin credits with originating the “neo-lachrymose” view of Arab Jews, often referred to as Sephardic Jews, or more commonly as Mizrahim (Easterners), as they have come to be called in Israel.

Beinin defines two motivations for the popularity of this “normative Zionist interpretation of the history of the Jews of Egypt” and, by generalization, the Jews of other Middle Eastern and North African countries.

First, it served to counter the grievances of Palestinian refugees, by claiming a “fair exchange” between refugee populations.

Second, it provided the Mizrahim in Israel a means with which to redress their mistreatment in Arab countries, and—just as important—to claim a status in Israel comparable to Ashkenazi survivors of European anti-Semitism.

To distance themselves from Arab cultural attachments, Beinin argues, was “the price of admission to Israeli society.”

Beinin quotes one Israeli emigrant from Iraq: “In Baghdad we got along fine with the Arabs. But here we have to fight them.”

While Joan Peters’ notorious From Time Immemorial (1984) was discredited for its fraudulent demographic argument that the Palestinians essentially did not exist, it is rarely noted that Peters also supported the neo-lachrymose narrative of Arab Jewish history.

This narrative has spawned various examples of tendentious scholarship and outright propaganda, some of which appear in Malka Hillel Shulewitz’s The Forgotten Millions: The Modern Jewish Exodus from Jewish Lands (1999).

More important, as Beinin notes, this view was adopted by Martin Gilbert in The Jews of Arab Lands (1976), and Bernard Lewis in The Jews of Islam (1984). In Semites and Anti-Semites (1984), Lewis emphasized, according to Beinin, the “vulgar characteristics of Arab-Jewish relations.”

This discourse suggests at least three areas of inquiry. The first and largest, of course, concerns the actual causes of the emigration of Arab Jews, to Israel and elsewhere.

The second, already suggested, concerns the status of the Mizrahim in Israeli society as an oppressed population. The final topic is that of the purpose of the propaganda itself, in order to explain its relatively recent popular dissemination.

I will briefly address the last topic first by speculating that, to a certain extent, Zionist propagandists have finally given up the ghost and ceased to claim that the nakba can be traced to “Arab broadcasts.”

But while the expulsion of the Palestinian refugees has been at least tacitly acknowledged—if not its willfulness and the extent of its attendant brutality—this has in turn generated an alternative propaganda strategy based on the claim of “population exchange” that was put forward in the AJC/JFMC ad.

It is argued that this exchange has remained incomplete because other Arabs (the same who expelled Jews) “turned their backs on the hundreds of thousands of Palestinians who crossed into Arab lands.”

As Palestinian invocation of the Right of Return has continued throughout this decade, the “population exchange” myth and tactic has become conventional hasbara wisdom, casually and repeatedly invoked, for example, in letters to the New York Times.

Ten years ago, American Jews of Ashkenazi origin generally knew little beyond “Operation Magic Carpet” that brought Jews to Israel from Yemen. Now they “know” more, but their ignorance has been compounded.

It has become “common knowledge” among defenders of Israel that the advent of the Jewish state brought, quid pro quo, the brutal dispossession and expulsion of hundreds of thousands of Arab Jews within a relatively brief period.

There is little knowledge of the details of this expulsion, and for good reason—the claim does not withstand scrutiny.

A discussion of the second topic, that of the status of Arab Jews in Israeli society, may begin with Beinin’s observations quoted above, but centrally refers to the work of Ella Shohat, a Jewish Iraqi emigrant to Israel and then the United States.

In “Sephardim in Israel: Zionism from the Standpoint of its Jewish Victims,” Shohat begins with the observation that:

“Sephardi Jews were first brought to Israel for specific European-Zionist reasons, and once there they were systematically discriminated against by a Zionism which deployed its energies and material resources differentially, to the consistent advantage of European Jews and to the consistent detriment of Oriental Jews.”

In historical discourse, this has meant that by:

“distinguishing the “evil” East (the Moslem Arab) from the “good” East (the Jewish Arab), Israel has taken upon itself to “cleanse” the Sephardim of their Arab-ness and redeem them from their “primal sin” of belonging to the Orient.

Israeli historiography absorbs the Jews of Asia and Africa into the monolithic official memory of European Jews. Sephardi Jews learn virtually nothing of value about their particular history as Jews in the Orient..”

Shohat claims that it is too simple to assert that the “price of admission” for Mizrahim into Israeli society has been to learn to hate Arabs and to simplify their own complicated histories in Arab cultures.

She points out that Arab-hating has ironically become part of the negative stereotype of Mizrahim as defined by “enlightened” European Israelis, including those in Peace Now:

“The Sephardim, when not ignored by the Israeli left, appear only to be scapegoated for everything that is wrong with Israel; “they” are turning Israel into a right-wing and anti-democratic state; “they” support the occupation; “they” are an obstacle to peace.

These prejudices are then disseminated by Israeli “leftist” in international conferences, lectures, and publications.”

The result of this coerced assimilation and continuing prejudice, Shohat concludes, is that “the identity of Arab Jews has been fractured, their life possibilities diminished, their hopes deferred.”

One response has been the emerging notion of Mizrahi identity as a “departure from previous concepts of Jewishness.”

Vital in forming this identity is a more complex historical analysis of the circumstances that led to the emigration of Arab Jews.

Shohat suggests in “The Invention of the Mizrahim” that such an analysis would consider:

“the secret collaboration between Israel and some Arab regimes, with the background orchestration of the British; the impact of this direct or indirect collaboration on both Arab Jews and Palestinians, now cast into antagonistic roles; Zionist attempts to drive a wedge between Jewish and Muslim communities; the Arab nationalism that failed to make a distinction between Jews and Zionists; and Arab Jewish misconceptions about the secular nation-state project of Zionism, which had almost nothing to do with their own religious community identity. Arab Jews left their countries of origin with mingled excitement and terror but, most importantly, full of Zionist-manipulated confusion, misunderstanding, and projections.”

This brings me to a brief overview of the emigration of Jews from various Arab countries: Algeria (1961-2), Egypt (1948-67), Iraq (1950-51), Morocco (1948-87), Syria (1948-56), Tunisia (after 1956), and Yemen (1948-49). My purpose is to refer to some helpful generalizations employed by reliable scholars, and to provide a selective list of references. Even a brief consideration of these points easily dispels the historical assumptions of the “exchange of populations” tactic.

Beyond those mentioned by Shohat, general factors that must be considered in each case include: the changing economic and cultural status of Jews under British and French colonization, especially French (Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia); the political relationship of Jews—religious or Zionist, bourgeois, nationalist, leftist, or Communist–to Arab nationalist movements (Egypt, Iraq, Algeria, Tunisia); the influence of Zionism among Jews, before and after 1948, and the extent of the messianic desire to emigrate to Israel (Morocco, Yemen); the effects of Zionist pressure and provocation with the specific goal of promoting emigration (Iraq, Morocco); the effects of ongoing conflict between Arab states and Israel from 1948 to 1967 (Egypt, Tunisia, Iraq); the consequences of the end of French colonization (Morocco, Tunisia, Algeria); and finally the general economic and social conditions under which Jews lived (Morocco, Egypt, Syria). To all of this must be added, in most cases, the cumulative effects of emigration as it relates to what Michael M. Laskier (discussing Morocco) calls the “self-liquidation” process.

Israeli historian Tom Segev summarizes emigration immediately after the founding of Israel, especially in relation to North Africa:

“Deciding to emigrate to Israel was often a very personal decision. It was based on the particular circumstances of the individual’s life. They were not all poor, or ‘dwellers in dark caves and smoking pits.’ Nor were they always subject to persecution, repression or discrimination in their native lands. They emigrated for a variety of reasons, depending on the country, the time, the community, and the person.”

Segev summarizes the “messianic fervor” that led to “operation Magic Carpet” in Yemen in 1948-49, but also notes that the Jewish Agency emissary in Aden, “asked permission to prepare the Yemenite authorities to expel the remaining Jews from their country.”

Discussions of the rapid emigration of Jews from Iraq in 1951 often focus on allegations of violent Zionist provocation, which are compelling but have not been completely substantiated.

Just as important, the context of these alleged provocations was acutely described by the late Rabbi Elmer Berger in letters he wrote on the basis of interviews with Jewish leaders during a trip to Baghdad in 1955:

“Zionist agents began to appear in Iraq—among the youth—playing on a general uneasiness and indicating that American Jews were putting up large amounts of money to take them to Israel, where everything would be in apple-pie order.

The emigration of children began to tear at the loyalties of families as the adults in a family reluctantly decided to follow their children, the stress and strain of loyalties spread to brothers and sisters . . . Several caches of arms were ‘discovered’ in synagogues . . . What both Jews and the Government had believed to be only a passing phenomenon—emigration—began to assume the proportions of a public issue.”

Similarly, the fate of the Jews of Egypt is often linked to the infamous Lavon affair of 1954, during which Zionist agents attacked American installations. But in a broader context, Beinin writes of:

“more than occasional instances of socially structured discrimination against Jews in Egypt. In the 20th century, they (the Jews) were inextricably linked to processes of colonization and decolonization, the nationalist struggle to expel the British troops who occupied Egypt from 1882-1956, and the intensification of the Arab-Zionist conflict.”

Jews, especially those whose Europeanized culture and bourgeois interests linked them to secular-liberal nationalism, were excluded from narratives of both colonial privilege and Islamic conceptions of the polity, and clearly had no place in the pan-Arab movement led by Nasser and opposed by Israel. They identified with the national narrative of neither Egypt nor Israel, and many of the wealthier moved to Europe.

Israeli scholar Michael M. Laskier concludes his description of Moroccan emigration, which was prohibited by the Moroccan government from 1956 until 1961, with this comparison to Egypt:

“Whereas in Nasser’s Egypt, Jews and other minorities were expelled or encouraged to leave in 1956-57 and subsequently as part of the national homogeneity campaign, Moroccan politicians frequently spoke of national heterogeneity, even though Moroccan Jewry was often portrayed in the local press as being disloyal and was becoming isolated from Moroccan society on various levels. The Jews were prevented from choosing the emigration alternative until 1961, because Moroccan authorities expected them to participate in nation-building, to invest their capital in Morocco and not in Israel.”

The long-term and disrupted emigration of Moroccan Jews stands in stark contrast to the “flash flood” of Algerian Jews, most of who immigrated to France after Algerian independence in 1962. Algerian Jews were more completely assimilated into French colonial culture, but nevertheless historically attached to Muslim society. Andre Chouraqui writes that “heavy pressure was applied (to Jews) from both sides in the hope of gaining both material and moral support; . . . the vast majority of Jews remained passive in the struggle.” Ultimately, FLN (liberation) attacks not specifically directed at Jews spread panic among both the Jewish and Christian elite, and “Jews saw headlong flight as the only escape from anarchy.” Chouraqui concludes that in North Africa,

“neither the westernized elite nor the masses of Moslems, who were almost entirely ignorant of the implications of Zionism, reacted with great feelings against their countries’ Jews. Had it not been for the conflict with the French…the Jews might well have remained in North Africa for centuries in comparative harmony.”

The disintegration of Jewish cultures in Arab societies was a complicated and by no means inevitable process that has been neither properly understood nor appropriately mourned by its victims, other Jewish Israelis, and Jews of European background around the world. Its use as Zionist propaganda by the Ashkenazi elite in Israel and the U.S. reflects various degrees of racism towards Mizrahim, Palestinians, Arabs, and Muslims, and serves to harden the false bipolarity with which Israelis and their American supporters view the world, now through the lenses of “Judeo-Christian” civilization. The specter of the Holocaust has been unfairly transferred to the Arab world, and is used to justify the oppression of the Palestinians and the “war on terrorism.” While Arab Jewish culture has been transformed in the Diaspora, an understanding of their history and demise can begin a process that will allow the Mizrahim to more actively shape a more just Israeli society, and a more peaceful future among Israelis, Palestinians, and other Arabs. In our own country, it can be minimally hoped that debunking mythology about Arab Jews will open some minds to a more fundamental questioning of Zionist conventional wisdom and its relation to American empire.

Oppression And Land Theft Bring Shame To Zionists

The Holocaust and the Nakba: The Jew as the Arab | Palestine | Al Jazeera

Zionist Palestine not Nazi Europe

By 

How can Israelis close their eyes to the violent abuses inflicted by Israel’s military against the Palestinians?

They live in an artificial world of denial — bolstered by a mastery of communications and the dysfunctionality of Palestinian activists — in which abuses against Palestinians such as racism, land theft, physical violence and killings take place every day.

These actions do not even provoke a whimper from the majority of Israel’s Jews.

They have come to accept the fact that their country is one built on the oppression of others, while going to great lengths to separate its viciousness from that which fueled the Holocaust, which brought many of them into the initially welcoming arms of Palestine’s Christians and Muslims.

They may argue that not all Jews in Israel have turned their backs on righteousness. But that was also the response of populations in Germany and in Poland during the Second World War. Not everyone hated Jews, but very few spoke out until it was too late.

That is where Israelis are headed: Toward a fate in which one day they will have to answer for the atrocities that have taken place against Palestinians.

The newly announced investigation by the International Criminal Court in The Hague, which was itself founded on principles defined by the postwar trials of the Nazis, is just the beginning.

Every day, Palestinian lands are being confiscated for the sole purpose of expanding the existing and building new Jewish-only settlements.

The best farmlands are taken from Palestinians with impunity.

Reports frequently make it through the Israeli government-throttled mainstream news media about Palestinians who are attacked, brutalized and killed by Jewish settlers in the occupied West Bank.

And yet Israeli Jews still manage to go about their business in places like West Jerusalem, where they openly refer to the big houses built using Jerusalem stone as “Arab homes.”

There is absolutely no shame, especially as Israeli Jews lead the campaign to recover land and property stolen from them during the Holocaust.

As they do so, land and property is being stolen from the Palestinians in their name. And their major institutions don’t seem to care.

For Palestinians, March is a special month, during which they commemorate “Land Day.”

This commemoration reflects on when — March 30, 1976 — the Israeli government passed a law allowing the expropriation of lands from non-Jews.

Protests by Palestinian citizens of Israel raged from Nazareth to the Negev.

It was the first time that Israel’s non-Jewish population had stood up to the racism on which Israel is based.

B’Tselem, an organization of Israelis of all backgrounds who embrace human rights, this month released a scathing report on how extensive the theft of land is.

It argues: “The fact that the West Bank has not been formally annexed does not stop Israel from treating it as if it were its own territory, particularly when it comes to the massive resources Israel invests in developing settlements and establishing infrastructure to serve their residents.”

The report adds: “This policy has enabled the establishment of more than 280 settlements and outposts now populated by more than 440,000 Israeli citizens (excluding East Jerusalem).

Thanks to this policy, more than 2 million dunams of Palestinian land have been stolen, by official and unofficial means.

The West Bank is crisscrossed with roads linking the settlements to one another and to Israel’s sovereign territory, west of the Green Line; and the area is dotted with Israeli industrial zones.”

These industrial areas produce stolen products that are then disguised and sold to markets around the world — a process that the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement seeks to expose.

Israel may be able to change the face of the West Bank, just as it has meticulously erased much of the Arab identity from areas throughout Israel, but it cannot erase the truth, which will always stand as a testament to its cruelty.

Israelis are accountable for the horrors from their government.

“Israel” Thrives on Palestinian Resources

In Response to answer #6

Historic Palestine has long had an abundance of natural resources, ranging from fresh and ground water, arable land and, more recently, oil and natural gas.

In the seven decades since the establishment of the state of Israel, these resources have been compromised and exploited through a variety of measures.

These include widespread Palestinian dispossession of land in the ongoing Nakba, exploitation of water through failed negotiations, and a finders-keepers approach to gas and oil found in or under occupied land.

Israel Incapable of Telling Truth About Water It Steals From Palestinians

Water is the only issue in which Israel (still) finds it difficult to defend its discriminatory, oppressive and destructive policy with pretexts of security and God

Amira Hass, Haaretz, Jun 21, 2016

Israeli spokespeople have three answers ready to pull out when they respond to questions on the water shortage in West Bank Palestinian towns – which stands out starkly compared to the hydrological smugness of the settlements: 1) The Palestinian water system is old, so it suffers from water loss; 2) the Palestinians steal water from each other, and from the Israelis; and 3) in general, Israel has in its great generosity doubled the amount of water it supplies to the Palestinians, compared to what was called for in the Oslo Accords.

“Supplies,” the spokespeople will write in their responses. They will never say Israel sells the Palestinians 64 million cubic meters of water a year instead of the 31 million cubic meters agreed to in the Oslo Accords. Accords that were signed in 1994, and that were supposed to come to an end in 1999.

They will not say that Israel sells the Palestinians water that it first stole from them.

Bravo for the demagogy. Bravo for the one-eighth portion of truth in the answer. Water is the only issue in which Israel (still) finds it difficult to defend its discriminatory, oppressive and destructive policy with pretexts of security and God. That is why it must blur and distort this basic fact: Israel controls the water sources.

And being in control, it imposes a quota on the amount of water the Palestinians are allowed to produce and consume. On average, the Palestinians consume 73 liters per person per day. Below the recommended minimum.

Israelis consume a daily 180 liters on average, and there are those who say even more. And here, unlike there, you will not find thousands who consume 20 liters a day. In the summer.

True, some Palestinians steal water. Desperate farmers, regular chiselers.

If it was not for the water shortage, it would not happen.

A large part of the thefts are in Area C, under full Israeli control. So please, let the IDF and police find all the criminals.

But to justify the crisis with theft – that is deceit.

With the Oslo Accords, Israel imposed an outrageous, racist, arrogant and brutal division of water sources in the West Bank: 80 percent for Israelis (on both sides of the Green Line), and 20 percent for the Palestinians (from wells drilled before 1967, which the Palestinians continued to operate; from the Mekorot water company; from future wells to be drilled in the eastern basin of the mountain aquifer; from agricultural wells and springs.

Many of the springs, by the way, dried out because of Israeli deep wells, or because the settlers took them over. The ways of theft know no bounds.)

Twenty percent is actually good, because now only about 14 percent of the water from the mountain aquifer is accessible to Palestinians in the West Bank.

Technical reasons, irregularities and human error, insufferable Israeli bureaucratic foot-dragging, whose entire goal is to delay the development of the Palestinian water infrastructure and the upgrading of what now exists; unexpected difficulties in producing water from wells in the allowed places, old wells that have dried out or whose production has fallen, and which Israel does not allow to be replaced by newly-drilled wells – all these explain how we have reached 14 percent instead of what was signed in Oslo, and why Israel sells the Palestinians more water that it committed to back then.

After all, it has been left with more water to produce from this natural resource, which, according to international law, an occupying country is forbidden to use for the purposes of its civilian population.

During the summer, the problem becomes worse, of course.

The heat rises and the Palestinians’ demand for water rises, not just the settlers’.

So in the Salfit district and east of Nablus, Mekorot reduces the amount of water it sells to Palestinians.

The spokespeople will not state it that way.

They will say “regulating,” they will say, too. that in the settlements “there are also complaints about a water shortage” (it seems I missed the report on Arutz 7 about it).

But in Farkha, Salfit and Deir al-Hatab people describe, on the verge of tears, how humiliating it is to live for weeks without running water.

And we have not even spoken about the dozens of Palestinian communities on both sides of the Green Line that Israel, a light unto the nations, refuses to allow to connect to the water infrastructure.

The Zionist Invention of the Mizrahim

Israel invented the word Mizrahim to strip Arab Jews of their histories as they tried to do with Palestinians.

yemeni jews 1949 ap Three Mizrahi Jews reading a copy of the Hebrew Bible at a Jewish refugee camp, March 3, 1949 [AP] Mizrahi Jews (Hebrew: יהודי המִזְרָח

The State of Israel was conceived at the turn of the 20th century in Eastern Europe by a group of elite European Jews who launched a movement called Zionism that sought to establish a physical nation state exclusive to Jews.

It was a typical settler colonial enterprise, complete with the narrative of a divine mandate and a non-existent or savage indigenous population, central to which was the myth that Jews of the world formed a singular people, favored by God, who were returning to their singular place of origin – Palestine – after a three thousand year absence.

Israel’s outrageous fabrications about the immigration of Arab Jews to Israel in the 1940s and 50s are an attempt to mask the injustices meted out to Palestinians

Israeli propaganda about the “expulsion” of Arab Jews from Arab countries in the late 1940s and early 1950s continues without respite.

Earlier this month, Israel’s UN ambassador, Gilad Erdan, informed UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres that he “intends to submit a draft resolution requiring the international body to hold an annual commemoration for the hundreds of thousands of Jews exiled from Arab countries due to the creation of the State of Israel,” according to a report in Ynet. 

The history of Arab Jewish immigration to Israel is not one of expulsion by Arab regimes, but rather one of Israeli criminal actions and conspiracies

Israel’s fabrications about the immigration of Arab Jews to Israel are so outrageous that the country holds a commemoration on 30 November each year.

This date just happens to coincide with the ethnic cleansing by Zionist gangs of Palestine, which began on 30 November 1947, a day after the UN General Assembly adopted the Partition Plan.

The choice of date seeks to implicate Arab Jews in the conquest of Palestine, when most had no role in it.  

Erdan alleges that, after the establishment of the Israeli settler-colony, Arab countries “launched a widespread attack against the State of Israel and the thriving Jewish communities that lived within [the Arab world]”. 

Israeli fabrications, with which Israel always hoped to force Arab countries into paying Israel billions of dollars, have a second important goal: to exonerate Israel from its original sin of expelling Palestinians in 1948 and stealing their land and property. 

Ideological pitfalls

In December 1948, the UN General Assembly mandated that Palestinian refugees be allowed to return home and that they be compensated for the destruction and theft of their property by Israel. Israel not only wants to hold on to all of those lands, but to extort Arab countries to pay out billions more.

There is a further irony to the Israeli ploy: Israel has always insisted that Palestine, and later Israel, is the homeland of world Jewry, while simultaneously claiming that Arab Jews who immigrated to Israel are “refugees”.

The legal and internationally accepted definition of a refugee, however, is of a person who was expelled or fled their homeland, not one who “returns” to their homeland.

President of the Egyptian Jewish Community Magda Shehata Haroun talks during an interview with AFP at the Shaar Hashamayim Synagogue in Cairo, also known as Temple Ismailia or Adly Synagogue in downtown Cairo on October 3, 2016.
President of the Egyptian Jewish Community Magda Shehata Haroun at the Shaar Hashamayim Synagogue in Cairo on 3 October, 2013 (AFP)

These ideological pitfalls aside, the history of Arab Jewish emigration to Israel is not one of expulsion by Arab regimes, but rather one of Israeli criminal actions that forced Jews in Yemen, Iraq, Morocco, Egypt and other countries to leave for Israel.  

In 1949, the Israeli government was working assiduously with British colonial authorities in Aden and with Yemeni officials to airlift Yemeni Jews to Israel. While the League of Arab States had resolved to ban the emigration of Arab Jews to Israel, Yemen’s imam allowed Jews to leave as early as February 1949, with the help of Zionist emissaries and Israeli bribes to provincial Yemeni rulers, according to prominent Israeli historian Tom Segev’s book: 1949: The First Israelis.

Some provincial rulers asked that at least 2,000 Jews remain, as it was the religious duty of Muslims to protect them, but the Zionist emissary insisted that it was a Jewish religious “commandment” for them to go to the “Land of Israel”. The fact that Israel’s prime minister at the time was David Ben Gurion also suggested to many that Israel “was the kingdom of David,” according to Segev and other sources. Tens of thousands of Jews were urged to leave their homes and travel to Israel. 

Institutionalized discrimination

As for the Jews who opted to stay, the Jewish emissary in Aden, Shlomo Schmidt, asked permission to propose that Yemeni authorities expel them, but Yemeni authorities did not. 

Some of the luggage of the departing Jews, including ancient Torah scrolls, jewellery and embroidered garments, which they were encouraged to bring with them, disappeared en route and mysteriously “made their way to antique and souvenir shops in Israel,” according to Segev and other sources.

About 50,000 Yemeni Jews were essentially removed from Yemen by the Israelis in 1949 and 1950 to face institutionalised Ashkenazi discrimination in Israel.

This included the abduction of hundreds of Yemeni children from their parents, who were told the children died; the children were then allegedly handed over for adoption to Ashkenazi couples.

Arab rulers and Israel’s leaders: A long and secret history of cooperation

Read More »

Zionists were also active in bringing about the emigration of Morocco’s Jews to Israel.

Morocco was under French colonial occupation at the time, so the Jewish Agency had to strike an agreement with the French governor of Morocco to bring about the emigration of Moroccan Jews, who had to face horrific conditions on Israeli ships, according to Segev and other sources.

 Some of the 100,000 Jews who left, according to the Jewish Agency emissary, had to be virtually “taken aboard the ships by force”. 

Meanwhile, the Iraqi government of Nuri al-Said, Britain’s strongman in the Arab east, was maligned by Israeli propaganda that it was persecuting Jews, when in fact these were Israeli fabrications.

 Zionist agents had been active in Iraq, smuggling Jews through Iran to Israel, which led to the prosecution of a handful of Zionists. 

Then, attacks on Iraqi Jews began, including at the Masuda Shemtov synagogue in Baghdad, killing four Jews and wounding around a dozen more.

Some Iraqi Jews believed that this was the work of Mossad agents, aiming to scare Jews into leaving the country. Iraqi authorities accused and executed two activists from the Zionist underground.

Amid Israel’s global campaign to pressure Iraq into allowing Jews to leave – which led to Israeli attempts to block a World Bank loan to Iraq, accompanied by American and British pressure – the Iraqi parliament relented and issued a law permitting Jews to leave.

Zionist agents in Iraq telegraphed their handler in Tel Aviv: “We are carrying on our usual activity in order to push the law through faster.”

Iraq’s 120,000 Jews were thus soon transferred to Israel.

Targeting western interests

Among Egypt’s relatively small Jewish community, an even smaller number were Ashkenazi (mostly from Alsace and Russia) who arrived since the 1880s.

The larger community consisted of Sephardi Jews who arrived during the same period from Turkey, Iraq and Syria, in addition to the tiny community of Karaite Jews.

All in all, they numbered fewer than 70,000 people, half of whom did not hold Egyptian nationality

Zionist activism among the small community of Ashkenazi Jews in Egypt led some to go to Palestine before 1948.

However, it was after the establishment of Israel that many of Egypt’s upper-class Jews began to leave to France, not Israel.

Nonetheless, the community remained essentially intact until Israel intervened in 1954, recruiting Egyptian Jews for an Israeli terrorist cell that placed bombs in Egyptian cinemas, the Cairo train station as well as American and British educational institutions and libraries.

The Israelis hoped that by targeting western interests in Egypt, they could sour the then-friendly relations between Egypt’s president and the Americans. 

Egyptian intelligence uncovered the Israeli terrorist ring and tried the accused in open court.

The Israelis mounted an international campaign against Egypt and president Gamal Abdel Nasser, who was dubbed “Hitler on the Nile” by the Israeli and western press, while Israeli agents shot at the Egyptian consulate in New York, according to David Hirst’s book The Gun and the Olive Branch and other sources.

When Israel joined the British-French conspiracy to invade Egypt in 1956, and after its military occupation of the Sinai Peninsula, public rage ensued against the settler-colony.

The Egyptian government detained about 1,000 Jews, half of whom were Egyptian citizens, according to Beinin, and Egypt’s small Jewish community began to leave in droves. On the eve of Israel’s second invasion of Egypt in 1967, only 7,000 Jews remained in the country.

Formal invitations

Despite Israeli culpability in bringing about the exodus of Arab Jews from their countries, the Israeli government continues  to blame it on Arab governments.

As for the property of Arab Jews, indeed, they should be fully entitled to it and/or to compensation – not on account of some fabricated expulsion narrative that serves the interests of the Israeli state, but on account of their actual ownership

Contrary to Israeli propaganda that there was a population swap, it is notable that  while European and Arab Jews who emigrated to Israel were given the stolen land and properties of expelled Palestinians free of charge, according to Israeli historian Benny Morris and other sources, the Palestinians did not receive the property of the Arab Jews who migrated to Israel.

A picture dated before 1937 during the British Mandate in Palestine shows Arabs demonstrating in the Old City of Jerusalem against the Jewish immigration to Palestine.
A picture dated before 1937 during the British Mandate in Palestine shows Arabs demonstrating in the Old City of Jerusalem against the Jewish immigration to Palestine (AFP)

Indeed, the Palestine Liberation Organization, which in 1974 received recognition by the Arab League and the UN as “the sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people,” was very aware of this Israeli strategy.

Understanding that the emigration of Arab Jews to Israel was a boon to the Israeli settler-colony, the PLO demanded, in a much-publicised 1975 memorandum to the Arab governments whose Jewish populations had left to Israel, that they issue formal and public invitations for Arab Jews to return home. 

Notably, none of the governments and regimes in power in 1975 were in office when the Jews left between 1949 and 1967.

Public and open invitations were duly issued by the governments of Morocco, Yemen, Libya, Sudan, Iraq and Egypt for Arab Jews to return home, especially in light of the institutionalized Ashkenazi racist discrimination to which they had been subjected in Israel.

Neither Israel nor its Arab Jewish communities heeded the calls. 

Rewarding crimes

All this aside, there is the matter of Israel’s unceasing attempts to equate the financial losses of Arab Jews with those of Palestinian refugees.

A conservative official Israeli estimate comparing Palestinian property losses to Arab Jewish property losses gave a ratio of 22 to one in favour of Palestinians – despite Israel’s gross overestimation of Arab Jewish losses and even grosser underestimation of Palestinian losses.

How the Arab League helped dissolve the Palestinian question

Read More »

Researchers’ conservative estimates of Palestinian refugee losses amount to more than $300bn in 2008 prices, excluding damages for psychological pain and suffering, which would raise the total substantially.

This excludes the losses in confiscated land and property for Palestinian citizens of Israel since 1948, and the losses incurred by Palestinians in the occupied West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem since 1967. 

Whereas none of the Arab regimes in power when Arab Jews emigrated to Israel exists today, the same Israeli colonial-settler regime that expelled the Palestinian people and engineered the exodus of Arab Jews from their countries remains in power. 

Yet, in his letter, Erdan complains that “it is infuriating to see the UN mark a special day and devote a lot of resources for the issue of ‘Palestinian refugees,’ while abandoning and ignoring hundreds of thousands of Jewish families deported from Arab countries and Iran”.

The irony of Erdan’s letter is that it demands that the Israeli regime be financially and morally rewarded for the crimes it has committed over the last seven decades.

Some Straight Talk from the Peace Movement

A 19 yr-old US-Israeli dual citizen was arrested by Israeli police – in conjunction with an ongoing FBI investigation into the supposed wave of threats made to Jewish communities and institutions in the United States, as well as in several other countries over the past few months. So far, the suspect is said to be behind the majority of the threats – and used cyber-camouflage software to conceal his identity while carrying out his erroneous false flag actions.

September 27, 2022

It has been a normal couple of weeks for reporting on what is going on in Israel, which is to say that the bad things it has been doing have been carefully suppressed by the US government and the media.

The Israelis continue their program to isolate, humiliate and terrify the Palestinians by destroying their civil and human rights organizations while also limiting foreigner access to the remaining Arab inhabited areas on the West Bank.

Israeli Jews now routinely refer to all Palestinians as “terrorists” to justify the harsh measures used to steal their land and homes while also destroying their livelihoods.

The so-called Israel Defense Forces, whose Chief Rabbi Eyal Karim approves of his soldiers raping ‘attracting Gentile women’ as a way to keep up morale, are also continuing to kill Palestinians at an unprecedented rate and have covered-up the murder four months ago of Palestinian-American journalist Shireen Abu Akleh, admitting only that the woman was apparently killed by a soldier who claimed that he thought her to be an armed Arab rioter.

No further action will be taken. A US State Department briefer accepted the verdict saying that the action “underscore[s] the importance of accountability in this case, such as policies and procedures to prevent similar incidents from occurring in the future.”

Actually, the Israeli statement does no such thing as it lacks any accountability.

The White House should have blocked the $3.3 billion gift that Israel gets every year from the US Treasury for starters.

And the shoot-first policies by Israeli soldiers will continue, a position emphasized by Israel’s Prime Minister Yair Lapid, who firmly rejected proposals to change the Army’s current rules of engagement which led to the Akleh killing, saying that he would not allow outsiders to “dictate our open-fire policies.”

When it comes to the exercise of Jewish power in the United States, the word “hypocrisy” should immediately come to mind.

A recent report on extremism in America has been compiled by the indefatigable Anti-Defamation League (ADL) which has a “Center on Extremism” that has examined “more than 38,000 names on leaked Oath Keepers membership lists and identified more than 370 people it believes currently work in law enforcement agencies — including as police chiefs and sheriffs — and more than 100 people who are currently members of the military.

It also identified more than 80 people who were running for or served in public office as of early August… The data raises fresh concerns about the presence of extremists in law enforcement and the military who are tasked with enforcing laws and protecting the US.”

It is not hard to guess what the ADL didn’t look for: radical armed “extremist” Jewish groups fundraising and operating cooperatively in the US and Israel.

Nor did it look at black radical groups like Black Lives Matter and the other organizations that were spawned in the wake of the George Floyd death that have produced chaos in a number of American cities.

Only white conservatives need apply under the standards of “extremism” set by the ADL, which should surprise no one.

The issue of Jewish and Israeli invisibility when they are doing something horrific struck me recently when I attended a peace rally that included a number of speakers over the course of about five hours.

The theme of the gathering was resistance to the warmongering policies that have driven the US government to the verge of nuclear war.

When the event was concluded I observed that Israel or the Jewish/Israeli Lobby had not even been mentioned once, even when describing situations in the Middle East that begged for a comment regarding Israeli complicity and its dominance over US policy in the region.

One particularly delusional speaker, who would benefit from a basic course in Middle Eastern history, actually claimed that the current hostility between Washington and Tehran is the result of the CIA overthrow of Iran’s Prime Minister Mohammed Mossadegh in 1954.

That constitutes a cute evasion of reality but the fact is that US-Iran policy is driven not by lingering concerns over Mossadegh, but rather by Israel and its lobby.

To illustrate the level of Israeli control, President Joe Biden bowed to Israeli pressure and has placed “off the table” any consideration of a new nuclear non-proliferation deal with Iran, even though it would be in America’s interest.

There are no other significant American national interests as Iran does not actually threaten the United States or its economy.

The reality is that the US military is in Syria and Iraq for the same reason, i.e. to provide protection and support for Israel, while it also heavily bribes Israel’s neighbors in Egypt and Jordan to keep the peace with the Jewish state.

It is all a world turned upside down with Israel controlling Washington, as former prime ministers Ariel Sharon and Benjamin Netanyahu have boasted, and part of the control mechanism is to manage the narrative so the American public never really sees what is going on.

But what is really interesting is how so-called peace activists, like at the gathering I attended, toe the line and are terrified of offending Israel or the powerful domestic Jewish groups that use their money and political access to promote the wars in the Middle East as well as against Russia in Ukraine.

Some of them clearly are fearful of being labeled anti-Semites, which is the weapon most frequently used by groups like ADL to ward off criticism of the Jewish state.

Interestingly, one of the speakers at the meeting I attended demonstrated how it is possible to make a point about Israel and the Jewish power behind it without using either the “I” or “J” word.

He observed that the foreign and national security policies of both major US political parties are largely driven by the personal interests of their donors, whom he described as “billionaire oligarchs, some of whom are not even Americans.”

The allusion was pretty clear to most members of the audience.

It sure sounded like arch globalist George Soros, who has used his money to corrupt local and state governments, and, more to the point, Israeli citizens Haim Saban and the recently deceased Sheldon Adelson.

Hollywood denizen Saban, the top single contributor to the Democrats, has said that he is a “one issue guy” and that issue is Israel.

Adelson, who is buried in Israel, contributed $100 million to the Republicans and was the man who in return got President Donald Trump to move the US Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, recognize the incorporation of the Golan Heights into the Israeli state, and have a free hand to suppress the Palestinians.

The good news is, however, that pushback is developing, and it is in part coming from some Jews.

The Jewish peace group Tikkun has recently published a devastating article by Jeffrey Sachs on the Jews who have been activists for Israel who have been agitating for the post 9/11 wars.

It is entitled “Ukraine Is the Latest Neocon Disaster” and describes how “The war in Ukraine is the culmination of a 30-year project of the American neoconservative movement.

The Biden Administration is packed with the same neocons who championed the US wars of choice in Serbia (1999), Afghanistan (2001), Iraq (2003), Syria (2011), Libya (2011), and who did so much to provoke Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

The neocon track record is one of unmitigated disaster, yet Biden has staffed his team with neocons.

As a result, Biden is steering Ukraine, the US, and the European Union towards yet another geopolitical debacle…”

It is actually worse than that as a global nuclear confrontation threatens.

It is time for those in America and Europe who genuinely want peace to begin to be honest about who is pushing for the wars and why.

Euphemisms and evasions to avoid offending the culprits help no one and just empower those who believe themselves “chosen” and would seek to establish the supremacy of one particular ethno-religious state even if it brings disaster to everyone else.

Fmr amb. to Palestine Occupation “access to Saudi airspace: ‘Not significant’

 

Former U.S. ambassador to Israel, David Friedman, contradicted President Biden’s tout that opening airspace over Saudi Arabia to allow for flights to and from Israel is a “big deal,” contrarily remarking that he had flown over Saudi territory many times.

Friedman also told “Fox & Friends Weekend” Sunday that Biden’s Middle East trip was a “huge missed opportunity.”

AMB. DAVID FRIEDMAN: It’s not significant because I’ve flown over Saudi Arabia lots of times already on the way to Abu Dhabi, on the way to Bahrain, on the way to Dubai.

I think most significantly, I don’t think the Saudis themselves view this as significant.

I mean, they’ve made it clear that this has nothing to do with any normalization or reconciliation with Israel.

They’ve walked it back already.

You know, by the time the president was on Air Force One, this was being walked back.

So, no, it’s not significant then… I think we would expect much more in the future with that relationship.

US amb. to “Israel” : The US State Department’s two-state policy is grounded in anti-Semitism “The US State Department – with a hundred-year history of anti-Semitism – promotes the payoff of corrupt Palestinians in exchange for their completely duplicitous agreement to support a two-state solution.” (August 2015)

Forget Liberating Ukraine, We Need To Liberate Our Minds

JONATHAN COOK
JUNE 10TH, 2022

Nothing should better qualify me to write about world affairs at the moment – and Western meddling in Ukraine – than the fact that I have intimately followed the twists and turns of Israeli politics for two decades.

We will turn to the wider picture in a moment. But before that, let us consider developments in Israel, as its “historic,” year-old government – which included for the very first time a party representing a section of Israel’s minority of Palestinian citizens – teeters on the brink of collapse.

Crisis struck, as everyone knew it would sooner or later, because the Israeli parliament had to vote on a major issue relating to the occupation: renewing a temporary law that for decades has regularly extended Israel’s legal system outside its territory, applying it to Jewish settlers living on stolen Palestinian land in the West Bank.

That law lies at the heart of an Israeli political system that the world’s leading human rights groups, both in Israel and abroad, now belatedly admit has always constituted apartheid.

The law ensures that Jewish settlers living in the West Bank in violation of international law receive rights different from, and far superior to, those of the Palestinians that are ruled over by Israel’s occupying military authorities.

The law enshrines the principle of Jim Crow-style inequality, creating two different systems of law in the West Bank: one for Jewish settlers and another for Palestinians. But it does more.

Those superior rights, and their enforcement by Israel’s army, have for decades allowed Jewish settlers to rampage against Palestinian rural communities with absolute impunity and steal their land – to the point that Palestinians are now confined to tiny, choked slivers of their own homeland.

In international law, that process is called “forcible transfer,” or what we would think of as ethnic cleansing.

It’s a major reason that the settlements are a war crime – a fact that the International Criminal Court in the Hague is finding it very hard to ignore.

Israel’s leading politicians and generals would all be tried for war crimes if we lived in a fair, and sane, world.

So what happened when this law came before the parliament for a vote on its renewal?

The “historic” government, supposedly a rainbow coalition of leftwing and rightwing Jewish parties joined by a religiously conservative Palestinian party, split on entirely predictable ethnic lines.

Members of the Palestinian party either voted against the law or absented themselves from the vote.

All the Jewish parties in the government voted for it.

The law failed – and the government is now in trouble – because the rightwing Likud Party of former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu joined the Palestinian parties in voting against the law, in the hope of bringing the government down, even though his legislators are completely committed to the apartheid system it upholds.

UPHOLDING APARTHEID

What is most significant about the vote is that it has revealed something far uglier about Israel’s Jewish tribalism than most Westerners appreciate.

It shows that all of Israel’s Jewish parties – even the “nice ones” that are termed leftwing or liberal – are in essence racist.

Most Westerners understand Zionism to be split into two broad camps: the right, including the far-right, and the liberal-left camp.

Today this so-called liberal-left camp is tiny and represented by the Israeli Labour and Meretz parties.

Israel’s Labour Party is considered so respectable that Britain’s Labour leader, Sir Keir Starmer, publicly celebrated the recent restoration of ties after the Israeli party severed connections during the term of Starmer’s predecessor, Jeremy Corbyn.

 

But note this. Not only have the Labour and Meretz parties been sitting for a year in a government led by Naftali Bennett, whose party represents the illegal settlements, they have just voted for the very apartheid law that ensures the settlers get superior rights over Palestinians, including the right to ethnically cleanse Palestinians from their land.

In the case of the Israeli Labour Party, that is hardly surprising.

Labour founded the first settlements and, apart from a brief period in the late 1990s when it paid lip service to a peace process, always backed to the hilt the apartheid system that enabled the settlements to expand.

None of that ever troubled Britain’s Labour Party, apart from when it was led by Corbyn, a genuinely dedicated anti-racist.

But by contrast to Labour, Meretz is an avowedly anti-occupation party.

That was the very reason it was founded in the early 1990s. Opposition to the occupation and the settlements is supposedly hardwired into its DNA.

So how did it vote for the very apartheid law underpinning the settlements?

UTTER HYPOCRISY

The naïve, or mischievous, will tell you Meretz had no choice because the alternative was Bennett’s government losing the vote – which in fact happened anyway – and reviving the chances of Netanyahu returning to power. Meretz’s hands were supposedly tied.

This argument – of pragmatic necessity – is one we often hear when groups professing to believe one thing act in ways that damage the very thing they say they hold dear.

But Israeli commentator Gideon Levy makes a very telling point that applies far beyond this particular Israeli case.

He notes that Meretz would never have been seen to vote for the apartheid law – whatever the consequences – if the issue had been about transgressing the rights of Israel’s LGBTQ community rather than transgressing Palestinian rights.

Meretz, whose leader is gay, has LGBTQ rights at the top of its agenda.

Levy writes: “Two justice systems in the same territory, one for straight people and another for gay people?

Is there any circumstance in which this would happen? A single political constellation that could bring it about?”

The same could be said of Labour, even if we believe, as Starmer apparently does, that it is a leftwing party.

Its leader, Merav Michaeli, is an ardent feminist.

Would Labour, Levy writes, “ever raise its hand for apartheid laws against [Israeli] women in the West Bank?

Two separate legal systems, one for men and another for women? Never. Absolutely not.”

Levy’s point is that even for the so-called Zionist left, Palestinians are inherently inferior by virtue of the fact that they are Palestinian.

The Palestinian gay community and Palestinian women are just as affected by the Israel’s apartheid law favoring Jewish settlers as Palestinian men are.

So in voting for it, Meretz and Labour showed that they do not care about the rights of Palestinian women or members of the Palestinian LGBTQ community.

Their support for women and the gay community is dependent on the ethnicity of those belonging to these groups.

It should not need highlighting how close such a distinction on racial grounds is to the views espoused by the traditional supporters of Jim Crow in the U.S. or apartheid’s supporters in South Africa.

So what makes Meretz and Labour legislators capable of not just utter hypocrisy but such flagrant racism? The answer is Zionism.

Zionism is a form of ideological tribalism that prioritizes Jewish privilege in the legal, military and political realms.

However leftwing you consider yourself, if you subscribe to Zionism you regard your ethnic tribalism as supremely important – and for that reason alone, you are racist.

You may not be conscious of your racism, you may not wish to be racist, but by default you are.

Ultimately, when push comes to shove, when you perceive your own Jewish tribalism to be under threat from another tribalism, you will revert to type.

Your racism will come to fore, just as surely as Meretz’s just did.

DECEPTIVE SOLIDARITY

But of course, there is nothing exceptional about most Israeli Jews or Israel’s Zionist supporters abroad, whether Jewish or not.

Tribalism is endemic to the way most of us view the world, and rapidly comes to the surface whenever we perceive our tribe to be in danger.

Most of us can quickly become extreme tribalists.

When tribalism relates to more trivial matters, such as supporting a sports team, it mostly manifests in less dangerous forms, such as boorish or aggressive behavior.

But if it relates to an ethnic or national group, it encourages a host of more dangerous behaviors: jingoism, racism, discrimination, segregation and warmongering.

As sensitive as Meretz is to its own tribal identities, whether the Jewish one or a solidarity with the LGBTQ community, its sensitivity to the tribal concerns of others can quickly dissolve when that other identity is presented as threatening.

Which is why Meretz, in prioritizing its Jewish identity, lacks any meaningful solidarity with Palestinians or even the Palestinian LGBTQ community.

Instead, Meretz’s opposition to the occupation and the settlements often appears more rooted in the sentiment that they are bad for Israel and its relations with the West than that they are a crime against Palestinians.

This inconsistency means we can easily be fooled about who our real allies are.

Just because we share a commitment to one thing, such as ending the occupation, it doesn’t necessarily mean we do so for the same reasons – or we attach the same importance to our commitment.

It is easy, for example, for less experienced Palestinian solidarity activists to assume when they hear Meretz politicians that the party will help advance the Palestinian cause.

But failing to understand Meretz’s tribal priorities is a recipe for constant disappointment – and futile activism on behalf of Palestinians.

The Oslo “peace” process remained credible in the West for so long only because Westerners misunderstood how it fitted with the tribal priorities of Israelis.

Most were ready to back peace in the abstract so long as it did not entail any practical loss of their tribal privileges.

Yitzhak Rabin, the West’s Israeli partner in the Oslo process, showed what such tribalism entailed in the wake of a gun rampage by a settler, Baruch Goldstein, in 1994 that killed and wounded more than 100 Palestinians at worship in the Palestinian city of Hebron.

Rather than using the murder spree as the justification to implement his commitment to remove the small colonies of extreme settlers from Hebron, Rabin put Hebron’s Palestinians under curfew for many months.

Those restrictions have never been fully lifted for many of Hebron’s Palestinians and have allowed Jewish settlers to expand their colonies ever since.

Zionist behavioral therapy can end antisemitism

American Jews are actually being trained since childhood to interact with non-Jews in a deceitful and arrogant manner, in coordination with each other, to emotionally destroy non-Jews and Israel critics in addition to wrecking their careers and interfering with their social relationships. This is actually deliberate, wicked, planned behavior motivated by a narcissistic self-righteous fury. …

Regime Policy, not isolated

CNN Report: The number of strike marks on the tree where Shireen was standing proves this wasn’t a random shot, she was targeted”

jpost

Recent events offer two interconnected mysteries.

How could so many people decide Israeli soldiers murdered the journalist Shireen Abu Akleh, when the Palestinian Authority sabotaged the autopsy, leaving it unclear whose bullet actually killed her?

In their own homes

Jew-hatred is highly adaptable

We know that Jew-hatred is the most plastic hatred, forever form-fitted to fit the obsessions of the moment, but this is ridiculous!

Welcome to the ongoing, ever-evolving, Jew-haters’ jamboree.

Here, facts and logic don’t count.

Here, Zionists lurk behind every disaster and evil thought, spreading racism, supremacy, even disease, from COVID-19 to George Floyd’s murder, from Russian invasions to Buffalo massacres.

Still, pity the poor Jew-haters – they know not joy, complexity, subtlety.

These all-or-nothing know-nothing know-it-alls live in a world where, by exaggerating Israel’s evil, they exaggerate Jews’ power, too.

When you deem Zionism Satanic yet Israel keeps thriving, it must be hell on your nerves. [It does but it’s just a matter of time]

 

 Priests stand next to a portrait of Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh, who was killed during an Israeli raid, during a special mass in her memory in the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem, in the West Bank, May 16, 2022. (credit: MUSSA QAWASMA/REUTERS)
Priests stand next to a portrait of Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh, who was killed during an Israeli raid, during a special mass in her memory in the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem, in the West Bank, May 16, 2022. (credit: MUSSA QAWASMA/REUTERS)

Ask the Palestinians how well this Jew-hatred has worked for them.

It’s kept them stateless, powerless, languishing.

All it has gotten them is Hamas oppressors and PA thugs propping up their dictatorships with Jew-hatred, demonizing Israel to justify squelching Palestinian thought, freedom, prosperity and independence.

Who would want to join this bigot’s banquet?

I prefer living in my blue-and-white world, struggling with occasional grays, to living in their bleak black-and-white world, forever calling for my blood and that of my people.

Exploiting trend after trend and any communal or universal setbacks, they blame everything on the Jews, making Israel the world’s Muck Magnet.

It’s Sisyphean. Zionophobes cook up new recipes – accusations – and then bite into them, only to taste the same stale, bitter Jew-hatred, which poisons their souls, not ours.

 

Obviously, people can criticize any country, including Israel.

But these obnoxious obsessions and assaults on truth mock history, sociology and political science, sending us passed psychology into psychopathology.

Zionophobia is riddled with what therapists call “cognitive distortions.”

Psychology of bigotry

Psychologists have long shown how perverse perceptions imprison people in misanthropic misconceptions.

CBT – cognitive behavioral therapy – helps patients reframe their understandings of reality.

Beware mental filters, therapists warn, brain fritzes blocking or shrinking the good, the generous, the comforting, while locking in and overinflating the bad, the negative, the unnerving.

Such reframing, such brain fixes, reprogram what people see to be more accurate and constructive.

Instead, regarding Israel, many prefer de-framing – reframing reality to defame.

Popular anti-Zionist perversions include:

Stretching: Anti-Zionists love “kitchen-sinking,” throwing everything at Israel, including the kitchen sink.

How would one exaggerate this?

As bogeymen rise and fall, fanatics try hogtying Israel to the big crime of the moment or the latest, trendiest ideological sin, like the Great Replacement theory, just as Israel is forever accused of racist, imperialist, colonialist crimes other powers committed, not Israel.

Indicting: Any mistake any Israeli makes, or any crime any Israeli commits, supposedly justifies Israel’s permanent place in the dockets of the UN, the International Criminal Court, and much of the human rights community.

Somehow, mini-Israel looms super-large in the craziest worst-case scenarios of the far Left and the far Right.

Daily random arrests

Catastrophizing: It’s all black-and-white, totally bleak, regarding Israel.

Too many conversations about Israel become no-nuance and complexity-free zones.

Anything Israel does ends up integrated into some systematic conspiracy against the always blameless Palestinians.

A journalist can die accidentally in a firefight, yet anti-Israel congresswomen declare that Israeli snipers targeted her, as though these 20-year-old soldiers fighting for their lives knew who she was – or cared.

Calcifying: For anti-Zionists making up twistory, time stands still, nothing ever changes, progress must be ignored.

It’s too much fun to keep shrieking about “Deir Yasin” and the supposed “Nakba,” as though it’s still 1948.

And it’s too tempting to ignore Israel’s many attempts to make peace with Palestinians, its breakthroughs with Egypt, Jordan, the UAE, Morocco, and the Sudan, let alone countries like Saudi Arabia, which informally cooperate with the “Zionists.”

Spearheading all this Stretching, Indicting, Catastrophizing, and Calcifying, Palestinian extremists try “Siccing” the world on Israel.

For centuries, crying “Sic ’em” unleashed attack dogs, because owners bark orders in short, punchy ways dogs can hear to “seek” particular targets.

Fittingly, “sic” also highlights when someone erred – making SICC the right acronym for this perverse but increasingly respectable pastime which blindly exploits tragic incidents from Jenin to Buffalo.

The solution: Zionist behavioral therapy

IF CBT, cognitive behavioral therapy, cures individuals caught in this perceptual cyclone of negativity, perhaps ZBT – Zionist behavioral therapy – can cure anti-Zionist SICos sucked into this vortex of lies.

Reframing begins with understanding the Zionist trinity: that (one) Jews are a people, with (two) a 3,500-year-old love affair with one piece of land, and (three) the right to establish a state on that homeland.

ZBT emphasizes studying, not stretching or straining; investigating, not indicting; and accepting complexity while viewing everything in proportion, without exaggerating or oversimplifying.

Zionist Criminals who established “Israel” in Palestine for Western imperialists masters.

Going beyond perception into matters of tone and tactics, ZBT also involves talking, not yelling; listening generously, not judging harshly; leaning in, not cutting out.

These approaches are best mastered up close in Israel.

That’s why the tourists crowding Jerusalem’s streets for the first time in two years are so welcome.

But you can reframe with ZBT anywhere, anytime, by opening your mind and maybe even a book, rather than being closed-minded, coldhearted, and so thickheaded and soul-shriveled you see the complex, ultimately redemptive, 3,500-year-old Jewish journey as a one-way march to Zionist villainy.

A year on from Israeli bombing, Gaza families still can’t rebuild

In the blink of an eye, the Adwan family watched their home get destroyed by Israeli air strikes in May 2021. A year on, Israeli restrictions have stopped them from rebuilding

Mon, 2022-05-16 01:28 RAFAH, GAZA STRIP: Abu Ahmed Adwan was five when his family was forcibly displaced during the Nakba in 1948.

They sought refuge in a camp in the city of Rafah, adjacent to the Palestinian-Egyptian border in the far south of the Gaza Strip.

Adwan grew up in the alleys of the Barbara camp, which got its name from the original village that was abandoned by the Adwan family and other families that settled together.

“We were neighbors in Barbara before the Nakba, and here we are in the camp until the return,” Adwan, now in his late 70s, told Arab News.

Today he is the mayor of his village (the chief of the refugee families from the village of Barbara), and despite spending his life as a refugee, he still believes in the right of return.

“We will return one day, and if we pass away, our children and grandchildren will return and rebuild the country.”

Estimates by the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees show that the number of refugees in the Rafah camp grew from 41,000 in 1948 to more than 125,000 today.

Residents in one of the largest camps in the Gaza Strip live in overcrowded houses in narrow streets.

In Gaza, refugees represent more than 70 percent of the population of almost two million people.

Displacement has driven the modern history of the Gaza Strip, a 360-square-kilometer territory on the eastern Mediterranean. The Strip was part of Mandate Palestine’s Gaza subdistrict but became an administrative and political unit after 1948. The Nakba not only established the Gaza Strip’s contemporary borders but also initiated its modern history as the site of continual Israeli displacement policies, which began in the late 1940s and continue to this day.

Adwan uses a large map of the village of Barbara, which tops one of the walls of his meeting hall in his home, to describe the village he visited for the last time about 35 years ago.

He classifies his constant talk of Barbara, and the refugee stories linked to the memory of the Nakba, as a “kind of resistance” in order to keep the memories of past generations alive and encourage the restoration of stolen rights.

He said: “Today’s generation is more aware than their parents and grandfathers than the generation of the Nakba, and the experience of the Nakba in 1948 cannot be repeated again.”

Mohammed Adwan, born in 1970, is a freed prisoner of an Israeli jail.

He said: “The camp is the storehouse of the revolution since the Nakba, and the fathers and grandfathers are its fuel by constantly talking about Palestine with all this nostalgia.”

He added: “We will return sooner or later.” Adwan said that refugee camps play a role in “resisting the occupation, forming the awareness of successive generations and preserving the national memory.”

He added: “It was important to preserve the names of our original towns and villages, by calling them to the refugee camps, as this is a resistance to the factors of time, and the occupation’s efforts to falsify reality and distort Palestinian geography.”

The growing population in the camp led to mixing with city neighborhoods.

Simple houses built from brick and roofed with asbestos have largely disappeared, replaced by concrete houses.

A researcher in refugee affairs, Nader Abu Sharekh, said that stories told in the homes of the camps, generation after generation, have made the Palestinian cause “alive and growing.”

The families of each village and city destroyed in the Nakba gathered in neighborhoods inside the new camps to draft names.

They used original names from their homeland, out of love for the land and adherence to the right of return, and to keep the names and meanings present in memory.

In each camp there are streets bearing the names of original homes.

“In the camp, the events of the Nakba are present, and the right of return is an absolute belief,” Abu Sharekh said.

“In wedding parties, they sing historic songs from before the Nakba like Ataba, Mijna, Dabke and Dahia.

“These traditions remained in circulation, so that the homeland remains a title to joy, and the right of return remains in the refugees’ diaries.”

In the camp, old women still wear traditional dress rich in color.

People have allotted part of their yards to plant something that reminds them of their lost orchards and farms.

Sometimes the space is used to construct a hut or tent.

Some of the refugees still bake using traditional clay ovens modeled on the kind lost in their destroyed towns and villages.

Main category: Middle-EastTags: 74th anniversary of NakbaNakbaPalestiniansBarbara Palestinians commemorate 74th anniversary of Nakba amid outcry over funeral attackPalestinians reminisce about Ramadan before the Nakba