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View Diary: Support for Palestinian Statehood delegitimating Israel? (189 comments)

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  •  What I think he meant (2+ / 0-)
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    greatdarkspot, psychodrew

    He was not saying that the two-state solution is out the window. He was saying that one of the Palestinian tactics to improve their negotiating (or non-negotiating) prospects has been to make a conscious effort to delegitimize Israel. What does that mean? It means taking every element of the traditional Zionist justification for having the state of Israel and raising questions in people's minds about whether those elements are correct and really lead to the conclusion that a state of Israel should exist.

    For example, Israel being a place of refuge for Jews, especially following the Holocaust, is a point in favor of Israel. How to delegitimize that? First, talk about the Palestinian Holocaust, so it just seems like there's nothing historically special about anti-Semitism and the threats Jews have faced. The land of Zion as the focus of the Jewish faith, propagandists try to argue that it wasn't, or that Islam has an equal claim. The Jewish people as having ancient roots there, propagandists try to argue that Jews are not the descendants of the ancient Israelites, and that Palestinians are. Israel as a Jewish homeland? Present them as just another group of European colonialists (never mind that they don't have a homeland back in France or England, Israel is the homeland). The Jewish diaspora is matched by the Palestinian diaspora, anti-Semitism is trumped by apartheid. Jews are the new Goliath and Palestinians are David.

    Get the idea? If you wanted to systematically delegitimize an entire nation, this is how you would go about it. Is it conscious? Probably. Is DKos a willing instrument in this effort?  ...

    •  Interesting. (16+ / 0-)

      Dkos is a willing instrument of the all powerful Palestinian propaganda machine? Where do you come up with this stuff?

      As for the rest of what you say, it's quite revealing that you consider Palestinians talking about their diaspora and the suffering in their community as a delegitimizer of Jewish suffering. The Palestinian Diaspora exists, and you can't wish it away.

      Palestinians do not talk about a "Palestinian Holocaust." We have our own word for the tragedy that befell us in 1948: Nakba. Plenty of Palestinians died and were massacred. Plenty of people lost their livelihoods and their homes. There is nothing wrong with wanting to honor their memory and remember the suffering of our parents and grandparents.

      I also find it interesting that while complaining about these alleged Palestinian attempts to delegitimize Jewish claims, you do some delegitimizing of your own:

      The land of Zion as the focus of the Jewish faith, propagandists try to argue that it wasn't, or that Islam has an equal claim.

      Who are you to say how important Jerusalem is to Muslims? Jerusalem is indispensable in Islam and his home to some of the oldest Islamic religious sites in the world. And where do you get the idea that this is only about Muslims? There are Palestinian Christians, for whom Jerusalem is the absolute center of their faith. Palestinians have as much historical and religious claim to Jerusalem as Israel. There's no denying that.

      Sufficiently advanced cluelessness is indistinguishable from malice. -- Clark's Law

      by unspeakable on Wed Jun 23, 2010 at 05:50:10 PM PDT

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      •  I thought the most important religious (1+ / 0-)
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        sites for Islam are Mecca and Medina.  

        •  Yes, they are. (14+ / 0-)

          That doesn't mean that Jerusalem isn't important and essential as well.

          And we're not talking about all Muslims here. The relevant group is Palestinian Muslims. For Palestinians, be they Muslim or Christian, Jerusalem is the center of their daily religious life. You can pretend that's not the case if that's what suits you, but Palestinians aren't going to change to fit someone else's worldview.

          Sufficiently advanced cluelessness is indistinguishable from malice. -- Clark's Law

          by unspeakable on Wed Jun 23, 2010 at 06:09:05 PM PDT

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          •  Essential (0+ / 0-)

            'Essential' is an interesting word to use in this case.  While I would not deny that Jerusalem is important to the Palestinians, that does not make it 'essential'.  Mount Ararat is the most important place for Armenians - and it's denied to them (by Turkey no less).  Not sure if this is still the case, but I know that up until the recent past, they were even denied the right to visit it.  Yet Armenia exists as a nation without their most important piece of land.  Are you saying that they are stronger people than the Palestinians because they have their nation without this 'essential' piece?

            "In his library at Simi Valley, dead Reagan waits dreaming"

            by greatdarkspot on Wed Jun 23, 2010 at 09:03:17 PM PDT

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      •  well (4+ / 0-)

        I don't deny that there are Palestinian refugees and descendants of the Palestinian refugees from the last 62 years, living all over the world. The phrase Diaspora is co-opting what the Jewish people had been called for millenia. Jews were defeated, killed off, and scattered by the Romans, and remained scattered as the Diaspora, for most of that time in a world where they could not find equal status anywhere. This is a basic driver of Jewish history. By saying, by calling the Palestinian refugees the Palestinian Diaspora, what you are doing is equating their experience with the entire history of the Jews for at least the last 2000 years.

        I don't want to start a fight about the importance of Jerusalem to Jews vs. Muslims, but it is important to Jews because it was the center of their nation at the time they developed as a people, and their kings built it. It was important to Islam because Mohammed (who, along with his followers, was well aware of its significance to Jews and Christians) is said to have ridden there one night on a winged horse and ascended to heaven.   OK, so now it's all equal. Jump Ball! as they say in the NBA.

        I have seen the term Palestinian Holocaust used to refer to the Nakba, and alternatively, I  often see it put side by side against the Holocaust. It was certainly a tragedy, but not comparable. Plenty died, and their memory should be honored. But the intent, the mechanisms, the magnitude and the results were not in any way comparable.

        I have seen such a strong pattern of systematically delegitimizing anything Jewish or equating it to something Palestinian, with the same predictable memes, that I do believe it is conscious and that many people who are doing this are just saying "I should delegitimize anything about Israel and/or the Jewish people any chance I get." And yes, they get a lot of chances on DKos.

        •  So, Jews have a trademark (11+ / 0-)

          on the use of the word "diaspora"? Or is that only Palestinians can't use the word to refer to their diaspora? What word would you prefer we use to describe the state of our people?

          You don't want to start a fight about the importance of Jerusalem to Jews vs. Muslims, yet here you are arguing that it's more important to Jews along with some innuendo about the Isra' and Mi'raj, as if the Tanakh is revealed truth. I don't understand why you're framing this as Jew vs. Muslim to begin with. This isn't the Jewish-Muslim conflict. This is the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. For Palestinians, Jerusalem has always played a central role. There is no doubt about that.

          Maybe some people refer to the Nakba as the "Palestinian Holocaust," but some people also refer to Palestinians as Jordanians or quotes around the word Palestinian. I don't really care to compare another tragedy to another, and none of the Palestinians here have ever compared the Holocaust to the Nakba. However, putting aside this point, the Nakba is very important to us and is a formative turning point in our history as Palestinians.

          Your whole point here seems to be that there are people who try to deligitimize Jewish people, their claims, and their rights. Well, yes, there are. But you're acting as if there isn't a similar (and much more mainstream) effort on your side.

          I mean, we can look at Helen Thomas, who lost her job for her offensive remarks and compare that to Mike Huckabee, who despite saying that Palestinians need to be ethnically cleansed from the land has suffered no ill consequences and in fact still has his media job.

          Sufficiently advanced cluelessness is indistinguishable from malice. -- Clark's Law

          by unspeakable on Wed Jun 23, 2010 at 06:27:44 PM PDT

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          •  Yes and no (2+ / 0-)
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            greatdarkspot, Justanothernyer

            I actually think there are some who make similar efforts to delegitimize Palestinians, precisely as you say. Right now, I don't know whether that is mainstream - in the US? there are certainly elements who play that game, not mainstream in the world, and not mainstream at DKos, probably not. Neither direction of delegitimizing is right,  appropriate, or constructive.

            I agree that Jerusalem has been important to Palestinians, obviously, and a decent peace proposal from the Israeli side would have to recognize that. As for the stories of the Tanakh, there are some that are "miracles", some that are legends, and some that are about as close to history as we can get from those times. The existence of Jerusalem and the kings of Israel are generally accepted to be the latter. The Jews were there for many centuries before losing it all. Where I don't want to start an argument is about the question of to whom the Lord promised the place - that's above my paygrade.  

            •  Correction: (7+ / 0-)

              Jerusalem is important to Palestinians. The terms of a conflict resolution must acknowledge that fact using the present tense, not the present perfect.

              And I'd really like an answer to my question regarding "diaspora." As you stated, you believe our use of that word is an attempt to delegitimize Jewish identity, so what word in your opinion should we use instead? And do you also have a problem with others using the word "diaspora"?

              Sufficiently advanced cluelessness is indistinguishable from malice. -- Clark's Law

              by unspeakable on Wed Jun 23, 2010 at 09:15:04 PM PDT

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              •  Is. (0+ / 0-)


                As for a different word than diaspora, in this case it's called for just to avoid the implication that it's trying to delegitimize the Jewish experience. I suggest finding something in Arabic. As for all those wannabe diasporae (is that right?) at Wikipedia, I definitely think there's a big enough difference between the Diaspora (Jews) and the Swiss diaspora to look for a different word. While 9% of Swiss nationals live in other countries, such as Austria, Germany, US and Canada, I gotta think it's in reasonable comfort and they go home when they want. I call them ex-pats.

                •  We have a word for it. (7+ / 0-)

                  But considering that diaspora is a Greek word and not a Hebrew one, I think it's quite presumptuous of anyone to tell Palestinians to use a word from their own language to describe their situation.

                  Sufficiently advanced cluelessness is indistinguishable from malice. -- Clark's Law

                  by unspeakable on Wed Jun 23, 2010 at 09:49:49 PM PDT

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                •  As an American I find this all pretty weird (1+ / 0-)
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                  If you move here, and become an American citizen, you (depending on how you view yourself), and definitely your children and grandchildren who grow up here, are as American as someone who's family came over on the mayflower. Look at our President, a second generation American.  I can be Swiss, Russian, Irish, Chinese, Cuban, etc, come to America, raise my children in America, and my children are as American as the next person.  

                  An ex-pat is a person who lives in a country other than the country of their citizenship.

                  "I object to violence because when it appears to do good, the good is only temporary; the evil it does is permanent."

                  by Futuristic Dreamer on Thu Jun 24, 2010 at 12:13:28 AM PDT

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          •  I think you're mistaken: (2+ / 0-)
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            volleyboy1, canadian gal

            none of the Palestinians here have ever compared the Holocaust to the Nakba.

            Hasn't Simone Daud compared Gaza to the Warsaw Ghetto?

            Consider adopting a homeless pet at (Progressive Animal Welfare Society)

            by hikerbiker on Wed Jun 23, 2010 at 11:54:55 PM PDT

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        •  Oh please. (10+ / 0-)

          There is plenty of room in the world for us to acknowledge the fact that both Jews and Palestinians have narratives of loss and displacement.  Pointing out the Palestinian one doesn't negate the Jewish one in the least bit, and pointing out the Jewish one doesn't negate the Palestinian one in the least bit either.  And lots of people of all ilks get lots of chances on DKos.

          •  It's the wording (3+ / 0-)

            I think it's important for Jews and Israelis to be aware of the losses and displacement the Palestinians have suffered (and vice versa) - that is often glossed over - but I think there are (conscious?) attempts to equate things that are not equal. The choice of wording to imply that the Jews have inflicted exactly what was done to them (e.g., Gaza = Warsaw Ghetto, although people have cut down on using that one) is incorrect, and is meant to be especially delegitimizing.

        •  Very well put!! n/t (1+ / 0-)
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          The few, the proud, the Pro-Israel Kossaks.

          by psychodrew on Wed Jun 23, 2010 at 07:07:33 PM PDT

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      •  Agreed. (4+ / 0-)

        It's like there's only room for one narrative. I just don't understand that logic.

    •  He's Likkud. They oppose a two-state solution. (3+ / 0-)
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      capelza, Terra Mystica, SteveP

      It's not complicated.

      "Israel does not any longer occupy the West Bank or Gaza. They left." Rep. Weiner

      by JesseCW on Wed Jun 23, 2010 at 08:54:10 PM PDT

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      •  It's not as simple as that. (0+ / 0-)

        "In my vision of peace, in this small land of ours, two peoples live freely, side-by-side, in amity and mutual respect, each with its own flag and national anthem." - Benyamin Netanyahu.

        •  It's not as simple as that. (7+ / 0-)

          "It is impossible to expect us to agree in advance to the principle of a Palestinian state without assurances that this state will be demilitarized." - Benyamin Netanyahu

          "Therefore, today we ask our friends in the international community, led by the United States, for what is critical to the security of Israel:  Clear commitments that in a future peace agreement, the territory controlled by the Palestinians will be demilitarized: namely, without an army, without control of its airspace, and with effective security measures to prevent weapons smuggling into the territory – real monitoring, and not what occurs in Gaza today.  And obviously, the Palestinians will not be able to forge military pacts." - Benyamin Netanyahu

        •  How carefully he avoided (3+ / 0-)
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          Terra Mystica, unspeakable, SteveP

          "In free, secure, and independent states"

          "Israel does not any longer occupy the West Bank or Gaza. They left." Rep. Weiner

          by JesseCW on Thu Jun 24, 2010 at 09:00:43 AM PDT

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          •  Just as some leaders of Hamas (1+ / 0-)
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            call Israel the "Zionist Entity" instead of Israel. Imagine that working the other way around..... He avoided it for the same reason they do.

            I wish Benny Net. would wake up before he, Beitanu, and the rest of the lunatics drag the country down.

            "No Groin.... No Krav Maga" - The Simpsons

            by volleyboy1 on Thu Jun 24, 2010 at 10:04:00 AM PDT

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