This’ll go down like a lead balloon, but it’s what I feel and it bugs me, I said as I posted what was to be my last post to the PDG. There’d been a crazy exchange of views on Palestine and it blew up nastily. I’d made one well received comment a day earlier:
Armoured Dinner Jacket said he wanted Israel removed from the map. Not, I think, to wipe out the inhabitants but simply that the boundaries and structures of an Israeli state were placed on an existing country, already occupied by an eclectic mixture of cultures in relative dynamic harmony.
A similar process occurred in what is now Turkey after the first world war leading to mass migration and horrendous numbers killed or died of starvation whilst fleeing. Prior to this these people had again lived in eclectic dynamic harmony. Nearly a century has passed and maybe the country has got over some of the outcomes of that period, but not all of them.
And then, if you care to, look at the eternal wranglings of two Christian communities attempting to share Northern Ireland. Peace there is very much imposed
In all three examples – and there are so many more – arbitrary divisions and strictures have/had been installed to the advantage of one section of a community, with little or no thought for the other or previous inhabitants. All three examples are based on the blindness of entrenched religious belief. Which is why the subject keeps resurfacing in this group!
But things had got worse. The Western right gunned down it’s left wing and went for the moslem whom they saw as offensive. The latter became heated!
I was answered, but spent some time pondering before dropping my lead balloon:
V, you create odd parallels (Pakistan etc) for quite obviously the land was occupied even if their governance was unclear in the aftermath of the most brutal world war, when over sixty million people were tragically killed, often in horrendous circumstances. Palestinians, with houses, families, shops,farm-holdings, workplaces of appropriate post WW2 nature were all there – it was not an empty lot.
Imagine they’d chosen south western Sweden to colonise and not Palestine.
I agree national-identity-belief is way beyond its use by date. “Country” is becoming outmoded. Nor was it relevant to any of the three areas I discussed, least of all the Jewish refugees/emigrees. You cannot have an identity on land thousands of miles away from your home and place of birth.
“Zionism” was originally the deep desire to establish an exclusively Jewish state within the area then known as Palestine. Zionism was a radical, tiny minority within the “Jewish diaspora”, most of that religion being happy to live wherever they lived, anywhere in the World, as any other religion. As you mentioned above this dates back pre-WWOne.
Now Zionism has evolved to the maintenance and seeming expansion of the country so founded by Zionists in Palestine after the second world war. Maria’s UN references I’m sure are also true.
To be anti-Zionist is not anti semitic – far from it. The trouble comes, of course, from the obvious truism that all today’s Jewish Israelis are de facto Zionists. Cannot avoid it, although many also seem sympathetic to Arabic Palestinians.
If my grandparents had been driven from their homes and killed or rehoused in a ghetto camp, by aggressive guerrilla fighter/invaders, backed by the United Nations pretty much from day one I’d be very unhappy, too. As it is, the situation leaves me deeply uneasy. So many unhappy precedents have been established and I see no simple solutions.
Which I did post. Then left the group because there’s too much right wing trash in it. I don’t put V in there with that. However he later posted this long winded and lame reply, full of the weakest logic you could imagine.
Look, read and groan a s I did:
“you create odd parallels (Pakistan etc) for quite obviously the land was occupied even if their governance was unclear”
Every land is occupied — you wouldn’t demand that turkey vacate their area, would you? Yet there was a state with clear governance in the area where they now live — the Byzantine empire. And when the frankish tribes arrived to the area that is now France, it was peopled by Gauls and other celts, as well as romans. And england is the result of successive invasions by saxons, angles, jutes, danes, normans, etc. So, how far back should we look to determine “possession” of the land? 200 years or 2000? I don’t think in terms of land “belonging” to someone, but if we were to use such concepts, then would be fair to say that it should belong to those people that live there NOW, not a 1000 years ago, not even a 100 years ago, but NOW!
But I must stress that I don’t think in such terms. I don’t accept the concept of “national state” as rational, and when “nation” is equated with “ethnicity”, it gets divisive.
“Imagine they’d chosen south western Sweden to colonise and not Palestine.”
Wouldn’t have been logical, now would it?
By the way, a few hundred years ago, the souther part of sweden belonged to denmark. And as late as 150 years ago there were still some “freedom fighters” (or bandits, to be more precise), that proclaimed allegiance to denmark.
“You cannot have an identity on land thousands of miles away from your home and place of birth.”
Oh, but you can! Having this kind of identity is what allowed jewish people survive without such country for 2000 years.
By the way, if you were to agree that they should be allowed a country of their own, where do YOU think they should have placed their new country?
“Zionism was a radical, tiny minority within the “Jewish diaspora”
Initially, yes. But it was the time when nationalistic ideologies were growing stronger everywhere, and strongest in europe — italy, germany, france, etc. And with growing nationalism, anti-semitism was growing as well (case in point — The Dreyfus Affair).
“Maria’s UN references I’m sure are also true.”
They are. But that doesn’t make them unbiased or fair. If we condemn zionism, then we must condemn the whole idea of “nation state” (which is the dominant state building concept today) as well . And if we allow one instance of this idea, then we must allow others.
“The trouble comes, of course, from the obvious truism that all today’s Jewish Israelis are de facto Zionists.”
Just like most frenchmen support the idea of having an independent sovereign France.
“So, do I bother to answer this? For my own good or maybe to post on blog. Then it would make an interesting unresolved discussion . Yeah, I’ll do that.”
1. OCCUPATION OF THE LAND.
This was an invasion and not an eviction. The end result is the same – a mono-cultural identity – but the Zionists came from all over and bulked up the overwhelming minority population to become the dominant section. So many were driven from their homes to create the new reality. In Turkey the majority population were driven by their government to push out the minorities – Greeks and Armenians chiefly – in an appalling act of barbarism. Harder to reverse but that is where the morality lies, of course.
With all previous invasions, and please let us not return to those barbaric times, the end result was that the invading population was absorbed into the native over time – or vice versa. So Celtic women were wedded to Roman legionaries and William’s Normans were blended in over the next century or two.
As for personal ownership of land, well I’m sure we’d got there by 1947. So the Palestinians owned the properties that they were driven out from by the Zionist terrorists. After all there are huge efforts put into re-finding art treasures that were stolen by the Nazis and returning them to their previous , often Jewish, owners. The land thefts performed by these terrorists were more recent than the Nazi ones and far more blatant.
2. WHAT IF SWEDEN?
“It wouldn’t have been logical” is not an answer. My point was that this alternative would have been an equally aggressive land theft. Obviously Nazi Germany had been into Sweden, just as Palestine was involved in the World War – Palestinians being anti-Nazi, of course. There’s an irony there, too, don’t you think?
With the Danish squabbles that was simply local governance and did not involve mass re-settlements and terrorists driving people from their ancestral homes. Did it?
3.IDENTITY TO LAND
The Jews did not survive for 2000 years only because they dreamed of returning to Palestine. They survived by, well, living wherever they happened to be. As you say elsewhere, if they’d chosen to any of them could in those days have simply travelled there and set up shop in Jerusalem, Gallilee or wherever. They all chose not to – or maybe some did resettle over the centuries. Maybe more left. That detail is lost, I’m sure.
4. NATURE OF ZIONISM
Most Jewish people then as now stayed were they lived. It was the zealot Zionists (If that’s not biblical tortology!) who became the invading terrorists. Yes, there was anti-semitism in Europe, USA and elsewhere – I often feel that Israel was allowed to be created by the Zionists as a kind of conscience payment. But, of course, it was a particular sub-section of the Jewish community which was thus rewarded. The terrorist type.
5. NATION STATE
So the UN is a biased and unfair organisation, is it? Well, yes, I agree, but there is nothing in that which should allow us to condemn nation states per se. Zionist terrorists were not a nation state. They were indeed a bunch of terrorists and were not like, for example, Nelson Mandela’s ANC in that they neither lived in Palestine nor were they an oppressed majority living under hostile colonial settlers from Europe. They were simply members of a globally settled religious orthodoxy. And, of course, in Europe they’d recently gone through the vile Nazi regime’s actions in WW2.
No, a comparison with France does not work. France is multicultural but they all speak French, all live under the same constitutional rights and have not recently had a large part of the population killed or deported to detention camps. Point here is that by settling in the land now called Israel Jewish individuals accept the existence of a Jewish homeland, with Jewish centred constitution, so they become Zionists. Arabic and Christian residents of that land are not then Zionists – although they could be, I suppose! Jewish people elsewhere in the World are quite probably just Jewish people, though a proportion do take up the mantle of Zionism when they “defend the Jewish state”, even if they stay in the Bronx, China, Iran or wherever. Even Sweden. I’m sure.
Point is every other country on Earth has recently evolved its population reasonably gradually. Yeah, loadsa traumas, of course – look at Sri Lanka with Tamil versus Indian National identities. But Israel was in very recent times stolen from its settled, indigenous population. You have to go further back for examples of Zionist style settlement. The USA was one such, I guess, and earlier Mexico by the Spaniards and, of course, Australia by the British. We know them all to have been wrong and would not act in that manner now so why did we allow Israel?