Ilan Pappe: The History of Israel Reconsidered

Roundup: Talking About History

Professor Ilan Pappe is an Israeli historian and senior lecturer of Political Science at Haifa University. He is the author of numerous books, including A History of Modern Palestine, The Modern Middle East, The Israel/Palestine Question and, most recently, The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine, published in 2006. On March 8, he spoke at a small colloquium in Tokyo organized by the NIHU Program Islamic Area Studies, University of Tokyo Unit, on the path of personal experiences that brought him to write his new book. The following is a transcript of his lecture, tentatively titled "The History of Israel Reconsidered" by organizers of the event.

Ilan Pappe: Thank you for inviting me, it's a pleasure to be here. I hope that you will ask me, afterwards, questions of a more general nature because I'm not sure how much I can cover in 40, 45, 50 minutes. I will be a bit personal, to begin with, and then move to the more general issues. I think it will help to understand what I am doing.

I was born in Israel and I had a very conventional, typical Israeli education, and life, until I finished my B.A. studies at Hebrew University, which was many years ago in the mid-1970s. Like all Israeli Jews, I knew very little on the Palestinian side, and met very few Palestinians. And although I was a very keen student of history, already in high-school ― I knew I would be a historian ― I was very loyal to the narrative that I was taught in school. I had very little doubt that what my teachers taught me in school was the only truth about the past.

My life was changed, in a way ― definitely my professional life, but after that also my private and public life ― when I decided to leave Israel and do my doctoral dissertation outside the country. Because when you go out, you see things that you would find very difficult to see from within. And I chose as a subject for my doctoral thesis the year of 1948, because even without knowing much the past, I understood that this is a formative year. I knew enough to understand that this is a departure point for history, because for one side, the Israelis, 1948 is a miracle, the best year in Jewish history. After two thousand years of exile the Jews finally establish a state, and get independence. And for the Palestinians it was exactly the opposite, the worst year in their history, as they call it the Catastrophe, the Nakba, almost the Holocaust, the worst kind of year that a nation can wish to have. And that intrigued me, the fact that the same year, the same events, are seen so differently, on both sides.

Being outside the country enabled me to have more respect and understanding, I think, to the fact that maybe there is another way of looking at history than what I lived ― not only my own world, my own people's way, my own nation's way. But this was not enough, of course. This was not enough to revisit history, this attitude, this fact that one day you wake up and you say: wait a minute, there's someone else here, maybe they see history differently ― and if you are a genuine intellectual, you should strive to have respect for someone else's point-of-view, not only yours.

I was lucky that the year I decided to study the other side was the year when, according to the Israeli law of classification of documents ― every 30 years the Israeli archives declassify secret material, 30 years for political matters, and 50 years for military matters. When I started in Oxford, in England, in the early 1980s, quite a lot of new material about 1948 was opened. And I started looking at the archives in Israel, in the United Kingdom, in France, in the United States, and also the United Nations opened its archives when I started working on this. They had interesting archives in Geneva, and in New York.

And suddenly I began to see a picture of 1948 that I was not familiar with. It takes historians quite a while to take material and turn it into an article or a book, or a doctoral thesis, in this case. And after two years, I, at least, found that I had a clear picture of what happened in 1948, and that picture challenged, very dramatically, the picture I grew up with. And I was not the only one who went through this experience. Two or three, maybe four, historians ― partly historians, partly journalists, in Israel ― saw the same material and also arrived at similar conclusions: that the way we understood Israel of 1948 was not right, and that the documents showed us a different reality than what we knew. We were called ― the group of people who saw things differently ― we were called the New Historians. And whether it's a good term or not we can discuss later, but it's a fact that they called us the New Historians, this is not to be denied.

Now what did we challenge about 1948? I think that's very important to understand, the old picture, and the new picture, and then we can move on. The old picture was that, in 1948, after 30 years of British rule in Palestine, the Jewish Nation of the Zionist Movement was ready to accept an international offer of peace with the local people of Palestine. And therefore when the United Nations offered to divide Palestine into two states, the Zionist movement said yes, the Arab world and the Palestinians said no; as a result the Arab world went to war in order to destroy the state of Israel, called upon the Palestinian people to leave, to make way for the invading Arab armies; the Jewish leaders asked the Palestinians not to leave, but they left; and as a result the Palestinian refugee problem was created. Israel miraculously won the war, and became a fact. And ever since then the Arab world, and the Palestinians, have not ceased to want to destroy the Jewish state.

This is more or less the version we grew up with. Another mythology was that a major invasion took place in '48, a very strong Arab contingent went into Palestine and a very small Jewish army fought against it. It was a kind of David and Goliath mythology, the Jews being the David, the Arab armies being the Goliath, and again it must be a miracle if David wins against the Goliath.

So this is the picture. What we found challenged most of this mythology. First of all, we found out that the Zionist leadership, the Israeli leadership, regardless of the peace plans of the United Nations, contemplated long before 1948 the dispossession of the Palestinians, the expulsion of the Palestinians. So it was not that as a result of the war that the Palestinians lost their homes. It was as a result of a Jewish, Zionist, Israeli ― call it what you want ― plan that Palestine was ethnically cleansed in 1948 of its original indigenous population.

I must say that not all those who are included in the group of new historians agree with this description. Some would say only half of the Palestinians were expelled, and half ran away. Some would say that it was a result of the war. I have a clear picture in my mind. Of course I don't oblige anyone to accept it, but I am quite confident, as I wrote in my latest book, The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine, that actually already in the 1930s the Israeli ― then it was not Israeli, it was a pre-state leadership ― had contemplated and systematically planned the expulsion of the Palestinians in 1948.

To summarize this point, the old historical Israeli position was: Israel has no responsibility for the Palestinians becoming refugees, the Palestinians are responsible for this because they did not accept the peace plan, and they accepted the Arab call to leave the country. That was the old position. My position, and with this a lot of the New Historians agree, was that Israel is exclusively responsible for the refugee problem, because it planned the expulsion of the Palestinians from their homeland. Therefore it definitely bears the responsibility.

Another point that we discovered is that we checked the military balance on the ground, and we found that this description of an Arab Goliath and a Jewish David also does not stand with the facts. The Arab world talked a lot, still does today, but doesn't do much when it comes to the Palestine question. And therefore they sent a very limited number of soldiers into Israel, and basically for most of the time, the Jewish army had the upper hand in terms of the numbers of soldiers, the level of equipment, and the training experience.

Finally, one of the common Israeli mythologies about 1948 ― and not only about 1948 ― is, that Israel all the time stretches its hand for peace, always offers peace to the Arab world in general, and the Palestinians in particular, and it is the Arab world and the Palestinians who are inflexible and refuse any peace proposal. I think we showed in our work that, at least in 1948, that there was a genuine offer for peace from the world ― or an idea of peace ― after the war ended, and actually the Palestinians and the Arab neighbouring states were willing at least to give a chance for peace, and it was the Israeli government that rejected it. Later, one of the New Historians, Avi Shlaim from Oxford, would write a book that is called the Iron Wall. In this book, he shows that not only in 1948, but since 1948 until today, there were quite a lot of junctures in history where there was a chance for peace, and it failed not because the Arab world refused to exploit the chance, but rather because the Israelis rejected the peace offer.

So revisiting history, for me, starts with 1948. And I will come back again in the end of my talk to 1948 to talk more about my latest book. But I want to explain that in the path from looking back at 1948 and questioning the common historical version and narrative, a group of Israeli scholars, academics, journalists, and so on, were not only content with looking at 1948 but also looked at other periods. We had a very strange time in Israeli academia, which is over now, in the 1990s. In the 1990s, Israeli academics went back to Israeli history, as I said not only to 1948, and looked at very important chapters in Israel's history, critically, and wrote an alternative history to the one that they were taught in schools, or even in universities. I say that it is a very interesting time because it ended in 2000 with the second Palestinian uprising. You won't find many traces of this critical energy today in Israel. Today in Israel these academics either neglect Israel, or left the views and came back to the national narrative. Israel is a very consensual society nowadays. But in the 1990s it was a very interesting time, I'm very happy that I was part of it. I don't regret it, I'm only sorry that it does not continue, and time will tell whether it is the beginning of something new or whether it was an extraordinary chapter and is not going to be repeated.

Now what did these scholars do? They went from the beginning of the Zionist experience to the present time and looked at all kinds of stations. They began with the early Zionist years. The Zionist movement appeared in Europe in the late 19th century. The first Jewish settler in Palestine arrived in 1882. Now the common view in Israel is that these people came to more or less an empty land, and were only part of a national project, that they created a national homeland for the Jews, and for some unexplained reasons, the Arabs didn't like it, and kept attacking the small Jewish community, and this seems to be the fate of Israel, to live in an area of people who cannot accept them. They don't accept them because the attackers of Israel are either Muslims, or Arabs, which should explain a certain political culture that cannot live at peace with neighbours, or whatever the explanations Israelis give for why Arabs and Palestinians keep attacking the Jewish state.

Now the new scholarship decided to look at the movement of Jews from Europe to the Arab world as a colonialist movement. It was not the only place in the world where Europeans, for whatever reasons ― even for good reasons ― moved out from Europe and settled in a non-European world. And they said that Zionism in this respect was not different. The fact that the Jews of course were persecuted in Europe explains why they were looking for a safe haven, this is known and accepted. But the fact that they decided that the only safe haven is a place where already someone else lived turned them into a colonialist project as well. So they introduced the colonialist perspective to the study of early Zionism.

They also looked differently at a very touchy subject, and this is the relationship between the Holocaust and the state of Israel. Very brave scholars showed what we know now is a fact how the Jewish leadership in Palestine was not doing all it could to save Jews in the Holocaust because it was more interested in the fate of the Jews in Palestine itself. And how the Holocaust memory was manipulated in Israel to justify certain attitudes and policies toward the Palestinians. They also note the treatment of Jews who came from Arab countries in the 1950s, they found this Israeli urge to be a part of Europe very damaging in the way they treated Jewish communities who came from Arab countries. And of course it would have helped Israel to integrate in the Middle-East, because they were Arabs as well, but they de-Arabized them, they told them: "You are not Arabs, you are something else." And they accepted it because it was the only ticket to be integrated into Israeli society.

All this revisiting, if you want, of Israeli history goes from 1882 to at least the 1950s. Around 100 to 120 scholars were involved in this in the 1990s. The Israeli public, at first, of course, did not accept these new findings, and was very angry with these scholars, but I think it was the beginning of a good chance of starting to influence Israeli public opinion to the point of even changing some of the textbooks in the educational system.

Then came the second Intifada, and a lot of people felt that Israel is again at war, and when you are at war, you cannot criticize your own side. This is where we are now, and so many of these critical scholars lowered down their criticism, and in fact people like myself ― I can only testify from my own experience ― in one night, changed from heroes to enemies. It is not an easy experience. In the 1990s, my university was very proud that I was a part of it. So the Ministry of Foreign Affairs sent a lot of people to show how pluralistic is this university, they have this guy who is a New Historian, and he can show you how critical he is and that Israel is an open society, the only democracy in the Middle East.

After 2000, I became the enemy of the university. Not only did the foreign office stop sending people to see me, the university was looking for ways of sending me abroad, not bringing people to visit me, and almost succeeded in 2002. There was about to be a big trial ― the trial didn't take place, thank God ― where I was to be accused of all kinds of things that you would think that a democracy doesn't have, accusing lecturers of treason and being not loyal to their country, and so on. I was saying the same things in the 1990s as I was in 2002 ― I didn't change my views, what changed was the political atmosphere in Israel.

I want to go, now, in the last part of my talk, to my new book. After working on this new scholarship I wrote quite a lot of articles and edited a lot of books that summarized this new scholarship that I was talking about, trying to assess its impact. I was also very impressed ― in one of my books I wrote extensively about this ― how it influenced Palestinian scholarship to be more open and critical. It really created something which I call the "Bridging Narrative," a concept that I developed, and I am still developing. It is a historical concept that in fact to create peace you need a bridging narrative. You need both national sides, each has their own historical narrative, but if they want to contribute to peace they have to build a bridge narrative. I founded, together with a Palestinian friend, a group in Ramala, called the Bridging Narrative Historians. We started to work in 1997, still work now, and it's a very good project of building a joint narrative. We looked jointly at history because we believe the future is there if you agree on the past.

After doing that, I felt still very haunted by '48, I felt that the story was not complete. I wrote two books on 1948, and I felt it was not enough. And then came the new archives. In 1998, the Israelis opened the military archives. As I said, they opened political archives after 30 years, but military archives after 1990. And then I felt I had even a more complete picture, not only of '48, but unfortunately, of how '48 lives inside Israel today. And the new documents, I think, show very clearly ― although I knew it before, but the new documents show even more clearly, if you needed more evidence ― that the Zionist movement, from the very beginning, it realized that in the land of Palestine someone else lives. That the only solution would be to get rid of these people.

I'm not saying that they knew exactly how to do it, I'm not sure that they always knew how to do it, but they definitely were convinced that the main objective of the Zionist project ― which was to find a safe place for the Jews on the one hand, and to redefine Judaism as a national movement, not just as a religion ― can not be implemented as long as the land of Palestine was not Jewish. Now some of them thought that a small number of Palestinians can stay, but definitely they cannot be a majority, they cannot even be a very considerable minority. I think this is why '48 provides such a good opportunity for the Zionist leadership to try to change the demographic reality on the ground. And as I tried to show in my book, ever since 1937, under the leadership of the founding father of Zionism, David Ben-Gurion, the plan for ethnic cleansing of Palestine was carefully prepared.

This has a lot of moral implications, not just political ones. Because if I am right ― and I may be wrong, but if I am right ― in applying the term ethnic cleansing to what Israel did in 1948, I am accusing the state of Israel of a crime. In fact in the international legal parlance, ethnic cleansing is a crime against humanity. And if you look at the website of the American State Department, you will see that the American State Department Legal Section says that any group in history, or in the future, that lives in a mixed ethnic group, and plans to get rid of one of the ethnic groups, is committing a crime against humanity. And it doesn't matter ― very interesting ― it doesn't matter whether it does it by peaceful means, or military means. The very idea that you can get rid of people just because they are ethnically different from you, today, definitely, in international law, is considered to be a crime.

It's also interesting that the State Department says that the only solution for victims of an ethnic cleansing crime, who are usually refugees because you expel them, is the return of everyone their homes. Of course, in the State Department list of cases of ethnic crime, Israel does not appear. Everyone else appears, from Biblical times until today, but the one case that does not appear as an ethnic cleansing case is the case of Palestine because this would have committed the State Department to believe in the Palestinian right of return, which they don't want.

There is another implication. I am not a judge, and I don't want to bring people to justice, although in this book, for the first time in my life, I decided not to write a book that says "Israel ethnically cleansed Palestine." I name names, I give names of people. I give the names of the people that decided that 1.3 million Palestinians do not have the right to continue to live where they lived for more than one thousand years. I decided to give the names. I also found the place where the decision was taken.

I think far more important for me is not what happened in 1948. Far more important for me is the fact that the world knew what happened and decided not to do anything, and sent a very wrong message to the state of Israel, that it's okay to get rid of the Palestinians. And I think this is why the ethnic cleansing of Palestine continues today as we speak. Because the message from the international community was that if you want to create a Jewish state by expelling so many Palestinians and destroying so many Palestinian villages and towns, that's okay. This is aright. It's a different lecture, why ― and I'm not going to give it ― why did the world allow Israel in 1948 to do something it would not have allowed anyone else to do. But, as I say, it's a different lecture, I don't want to go into it.

The fact is that the world knew, and absolved Israel. As a result, the Israeli state, the new state of Israel that was founded in 1948, accepted as an ideological infrastructure the idea that to think about an ethnic purity of a state is a just objective. I will explain this. The educational system in Israel, the media in Israel, the political system in Israel, sends us Jews in Israel a very clear message from our very early days until we die. The message is very clear, and you can see that message in the platforms of all the political parties in Israel. Everybody agrees with it, whether they are on the left, or on the right. The message is the following. And to my mind ― I will say the message in a minute ― but I will say that, to my mind, this is a very dangerous message, a very racist message, against which I fight (unsuccessfully).

The message is that personal life ― not collective life, not even political life ― personal life of the Jew in Israel would have been much better had there not been Arabs around. Now that doesn't mean that everybody believes that because of that you go out and start shooting Arabs or even expelling them. You will see the paradox.

Today I gave an interview to a journalist here in Japan, and he told me of someone ― I won't mention the name ― but a very well-known Israeli politician of the left, who said to him: "My dream is to wake up one morning and to see that there are no Arabs in Israel." And he is one of the leading liberal Zionists, he is on the left, very much in the peace camp. This is the result of 1948, the idea that this is legitimate, to educate people that the solution for their problems is the disappearing of someone just because he is an Arab, or a Muslim, and of course the disappearing of someone who is an indigenous population, who is the native of that land, not an immigrant. I mean, you can understand ― maybe not accept but you can understand ― how a society treats immigrants. Sometimes they find that these immigrants come to take my job, you know these politics of racism that are the result of immigration. But we are not even talking about immigrants, we are talking about a country that someone else immigrated into, and turned the local people into immigrants, and said that they have no rights there.

If someone who is from the Israeli peace camp, and very much on the left, has a dream that all the Arabs would disappear from the land of Israel, you can understand what happens if you are not from the left. You don't dream, you start working on this. And you don't have to be on the extreme right for that, you can be in the mainstream. We have to remember that the ethnic cleansing of Palestine in 1948 was committed by the Labor Party, not by the Likud, by the mainstream ideology.

In other words, what we have here is a society that was convinced that its need to have ethnic exclusivity, or at least total majority, in whatever part of Palestine it would consider to be the future Jewish state, that this value, this objective is above everything else in Israel. It's more important than democracy. It's more important than human rights. It's more important than civil rights. Because, for most Jews in Israel, if you don't have a demographic majority, you are going to lose, it's a suicide. And if this is the position, then no wonder people would say that if the Palestinians in Israel would be more than 20%, we will have suicide. You will hear people that will tell you that they are intellectuals, liberals, democrats, humanists, say this.

And if Israel wants to annex ― and it wants to annex ― half of the West Bank, as you know, and half of the West Bank has a lot of Palestinians in it, there is not one person in Israel that thinks that it's wrong to move by force the people that live in one half of the West Bank to the second half of the West Bank. Because otherwise the demographic balance in Israel will change. And it's no wonder that Israelis feel no problem with what they did to the Gaza Strip. Take one million and a half people and lock them in an impossible prison with two gates and one key, that the Israelis have, and think that people can live like this without reaction. In order to delegitimize the right of someone to be in their own homeland, you have to dehumanize them. If they're human beings you won't think about them like this.

I think that as long as this is the ideology of the state of Israel, and it is the ideology of the state of Israel, a lot of the good things in Israel ― and there are many many good things in Israel, it's an impressive project that the Zionist movement did, the way it saved Jews, the way it created a modern society almost out of nothing ― all these amazing achievements will be lost. First of all the Palestinians would lose, that's true. This is true. First of all the Palestinians are going to lose because the Israelis are not going to change ― it doesn't look like they're going to change their policy, and it doesn't look like anyone in the world is going to force them to change their policy. But in the long run, Israel is not alone, and it is a small country in the Arab world and in the Muslim world, and America will not always be there to save it.

In the end of the day if the Israelis ― like South Africa, you cannot be in a neighbourhood and be alien to the neighbours, and say "I don't like you," or "I don't want to be here" ― eventually they would react. It could take one hundred years, two hundred years, I don't know. But the Israelis are miscalculating, I think, history. Only historians understand that sixty years is nothing in history. Look at the Soviet Union. The fact that you are successful for sixty years with the wrong policy does not mean that the next sixty years are going to be the same. They're making a terrible mistake, as the Jewish communities around the world are making a terrible mistake in supporting this policy.

The new book is trying to convince that the most important story about the ethnic cleansing is not only what happened in 1948 but the way that the world reacted to what happened in 1948, sending the wrong message to Israel, that this is fine, you can be part, not only of the world, but you can be part of the Western world. You can be a part of what is called "the group of civilized nations." So don't be surprised, if you go to the occupied territories and you see first-hand how people are being treated there, that the vast majority of the Israelis, firstly don't know what goes on there, secondly when they know what goes on there, don't seem to bother much. Because the same message they got from the world in 1948 is the message they get from the world in 2007. You can take a whole city ― imagine Tokyo ― surround it by an electric gate, and one person would have the key for the only gate to the city. Any other place in the world, if you would hear of a city that is at the mercy of a warden, like a prison, you would be shocked. You would not allow it to continue for one day without protests. In Israel the world accepts it. And this is despite the fact that there are more international journalists per square mile in Israel and Palestine than there are anywhere else in the world. That's a fact. And despite this international media presence, the Israelis have not changed one aspect of their policy of occupation in Palestine.

As I say, unfortunately I don't have time for this, but I think it's a very interesting question: why does the world allow Israel to do what it does? But it's really a different question ― so I think I will stop here, and open up for questions and remarks. Thank you.

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omar ibrahim baker - 10/19/2007

Drunk with their recent successes, arrogantly blind to the facts of history and geography Zionists fail to realize that their cause, of establishing a nation state in an other people's homeland, is irrevocably foredoomed.
They fail to realize that should their nation state, established by usurpation of another people's homeland, survive it would be a hollow achievement that affords them neither the sought after “safe haven” of peace and security nor the hoped for prosperity.
They fail to appreciate that, at best; their success will only heighten and reinforce the walls of their self imposed prison.
For no amount of success will change the fact that their "nation/state" is an unintegrable alien implant in a body that categorically rejects it.
When that realization dawns a majority of them will realize that people like the late Professor Shahak, Professor Chomsky, Alfred Lilienthal, Professor Finkelstein and Professor Ilan Pape , and the other myriads of anti Zionist Jews, are not only men of honour and foresight but equally are men, and women, that are truly concerned about the pernicious nature and designs of Zionism that has led a majority of them into that historical impasse.
They will realize that these men and women are, first and foremost, sincerely and wisely devoted to the best interests of their community.

omar ibrahim baker - 10/19/2007

Mr Mutik seems to have a greater amount of integrity than the average
member of the herd.
No historical pretensions and/or ideological/religious presumptions and no false "civilizing task" ie colonialist task to undertake ; a simple, straightforward search for a shelter away from racist murderous Europeans and refuge denying Americans!

Any place will do!

Well I have "news" for Mr Mutik.

They made a very wrong, possibly fatal, choice by choosing Palestine , forcing their way therein and planning to ethnically cleanse the place from its indigenous inhabitants to have a state as Jewish as France is French, according to Weisman..

For Palestine happens to be the cultural and geographical heartland of the Arab and Moslem worlds and Palestinan Arabs, both Moslems and Christians,Arabs and Moslems in general happen to be extremely strongly attached to their homeland.
They will never yield the place and will go to any effort to maintain its indigenous character; as they did in the past .

Wrong and counter productive choice Mr Mutik.

omar ibrahim baker - 10/19/2007

All that, irrespective of its veracity, does NOT change the fact that you did make the wrong, possibly the fatal , choice Mr Mutik.
It gives me no pleasure to say that but it is a fact of life, of history and of geography.
I would advise you to be searching for an honourable way OUT; as bloodless and painless, for all, as possible for you have boxed yourselves into a hopeless foredoomed situation .

Arab and Moslem capitulation is NOT an option.

I propose you consider the deZionization of Palestine and becoming a confessional community , among others, with your separate cultural heritage, confessional loyalties and religious affiliation, thus becoming integrable and accetable in the region, and renounce the goal of the racist , aggressive and expansionist state, all out to conquer and dominate, that Israel IS now.

The alternatives are extremely bad for all but especially for you; which I do NOT enjoy nor look forward to, Mr Mutik.

omar ibrahim baker - 10/19/2007

Of course Morris was lying and Pappe was telling the truth when he,Pappe, asserts that:

"there is no faulting the Palestinians for regularly assaulting the Zionist enterprise--in 1920, 1921, 1929, 1936-39, 1947-48, the late 1960s and early 1970s, 1987, and 2000--as there can be no criticizing them for rejecting the various compromises offered by the British, the Americans, the Jews, and the world community in 1937, 1947, 1977- 1978, and 2000. The Palestinians are forever victims, the Zionists are forever "brutal colonizers."

I contend that HAD any other people been exposed to the colonialist onslaught of Zionism, or equal, it would have reacted as the Palestinians did; if NOT more violently and negatively.

However I hasten to qualify my statement re Morris, who has a marked fondness for revising his findings and his views based thereon.

It is NOT, only, a question of lying when it comes to Morris.
It IS the question of the collective blindness, induced by their European ordeal, and the total racial/racist disregard of others' rights, being the "chosen people”, that afflicted the many Jews pre 1948 and the boxed in feeling post 1948 and up to this very day..

Pappe, on the other hand, has the humanity, integrity and objectivity to put himself in the Palestinians shoes and guess, anticipate, what his own reaction would have been had he , and his people, been exposed to the equal of the Zionist colonialist assault on the indigenous Palestinian people.

Zionism has always struck me as a the pernicious out put of collective blindness and a misbegotten sense of special rights and privileges that has reached a fever ,pathological, pitch with the abominable Holocaust and infected a whole, bar a few, community.

omar ibrahim baker - 10/19/2007

Mr Green
"First, second, third and nth ( of your earlier post) is a lot of hot air , a feverish reaction and a baseless enumeration that is irrelevant, and of substantially false, allegations .
However assuming the impossible, that your knee jerk reaction is correct:
- What does that have to do with Pappe?
-How does that affect the truthfulness, the veracity of what Pappe has to say?"
You never answered that Mr Green!

omar ibrahim baker - 10/19/2007

Mr Friedman
ONLY If it is true that they make things up then they would be liars and scoundrels; not before no matter what you and the rest of the herd claim.
You will understand that I, or any neutral observer, will NOT take your or yours word for it.

I note that for the second time you admit opposing writers whose books you have NOT read.

omar ibrahim baker - 10/19/2007

Of course Morris was lying and Pappe was telling the truth when he ,Pappe,asserts that:

"there is no faulting the Palestinians for regularly assaulting the Zionist enterprise--in 1920, 1921, 1929, 1936-39, 1947-48, the late 1960s and early 1970s, 1987, and 2000--as there can be no criticizing them for rejecting the various compromises offered by the British, the Americans, the Jews, and the world community in 1937, 1947, 1977- 1978, and 2000. The Palestinians are forever victims, the Zionists are forever "brutal colonizers."

I contend that HAD any other people been exposed to the colonialist onslaught of Zionism it would have reacted as the Palestinians did; if NOT more violently and negatively.

However I hasten to qualify my statement re Morris, who has a marked fondness for revising his findings and his views based thereon.
It is NOT, only, a question of lying when it comes to Morris and his ilk.
It IS the question of the collective blindness, induced by their European ordeal, and the total racial/racist disregard of others' rights, being the "chosen people”, that afflicted the many Jews pre 1948 and the boxed in feeling post 1948 and up to this very day..

Pappe, on the other hand, has the humanity, integrity and objectivity to put himself in the Palestinians shoes and guess, anticipate, what his own reaction would have been had he , and his people, been exposed to the equal of the Zionist colonialist assault on the indigenous Palestinian people.

Zionism has always struck me as a the pernicious out put of collective blindness and a misbegotten sense of special rights and privileges that has reached a fever ,pathological, pitch with the abominable Holocaust and infected a whole, bar a few, community.

omar ibrahim baker - 10/19/2007

Mr Green
That is NOT an answer to the questions addressed particularly to YOU, Mr Green.Namely:
"Mr Green
"First, second, third and nth ( of your earlier post) is a lot of hot air , a feverish reaction and a baseless enumeration that is irrelevant, and of substantially false, allegations .
However assuming the impossible, that your knee jerk reaction is correct:
- What does that have to do with Pappe?
-How does that affect the truthfulness, the veracity of what Pappe has to say?"

You never answered that Mr Green"

-Would you care to answer it now?
-Or would YOU rather stay hidden behind meaningless and irrelevant remarks such as your:
"Pappe's mendacity has been adequately addressed by other posters on this thread and by many reviews."?

The questions being, I repeat:

- What does that (your enumeration of contrived and false allegations against the Arabs and Moslems) have to do with Pappe?
-How does that ( same as above) affect the truthfulness, the veracity of what Pappe has to say?"

It is Pappe the historian that we are discussing here and my questions are pertinent and relevant re Pappe's standing as a historian!

(I believe it is a self inflicted complex to divide the world into "JEW Hater" and others; be that "Jew Lover" and "Jew Indifferent"!
You are NOT the center of the world, the world does NOT revolve around you for people to be classified according to where they stand re you..
That IS Preposterous and Sick!)

omar ibrahim baker - 10/19/2007


omar ibrahim baker - 10/19/2007


omar ibrahim baker - 10/19/2007

The good thing about the last, the preceeding, three posts ( Clarke's, Friedman's and Eckstein's)is the explicit and implicit unmitigated recognition of Israel by all three as a "colonist" entity ie an aggressive retrogressive entity.
Good;we are getting somewhere here.
Israel "colonized" Palestine in the 20 th century.
Good enough for me; for now!

omar ibrahim baker - 10/19/2007

Mr Green
All wars are accompanied by plenty of hot air PR, jingoist declarations and plenty of bluster.
The real mettle, character, intrinsic nature ,designs and ambitions of a warring party are only divulged and disclosed after victory is achieved.
Israel’s designs and ambitions, and thence its intrinsic nature, were clearly enunciated, exposed beyond any doubt, through the policies it implemented after its 1948 and 1967 victories.
These could be summed up as:
1-Its aggressive and expansionist nature through
a- holding on to lands conquered beyond its UN Partition plan land allocation, its presumed legal foundation .
post 1948 and
b-the construction of settlements, on 1967 occupied lands, and the Wall
post 1967.

2- Its racist character of ethnic cleansing of Palestine from Palestinian Arabs in their homeland as evidenced by:
a-Mass massacres of civilians as in Deir Yassin which is the most notorious but definitely NOT the only one
b-Forced eviction of non combatant civilians from their native towns and villages as with Lod and Ramleh, among others
c-The complete, total wiping out of hundreds of Arab villages
d-The denial of the indigenous Palestinian Arabs their Right of Return to their homeland.
All post 1948.

The same Israeli racist ethnic cleansing policies were not only maintained but accelerated post 1967 through:
e- The denial of 1967 refugees,(Al Nazihiin), the right to return to their homes and villages in 1967 occupied territories ie in Gaza and the West Bank.

Israel and Zionism left absolutely no doubt about their intrinsic nature and ambitions with their behavior after they were victorious.

This should be contrasted, juxtaposed, with the innumerable opportunities the Arabs and the Moslems historically had to exterminate all Jews residing in Arab and Moslem lands, and particularly in Palestine, had they had the intention or the nature to do so, for centuries while they WERE victories.

That is the real test of the mettle, the intrinsic nature and character of "nations", "religions" and cultures: how to behave, what to do, after victory is yours .

omar ibrahim baker - 10/19/2007

That is more like you PK.

omar ibrahim baker - 10/19/2007

Mr Green
"I remind you that Jews have been living in Jerusalem continuously since the Mongol withdrawal of 1260 when native Christians and Arab Muslims also returned to the Holy City. Further, Jews had been living in Hebron at least since 1260 [or the end of the Crusader hold on Jerusalem, 1244], if not continuously since First Temple times."(Green post #108345)

So WHAT???

"That some Jews were "always" living in Palestine is undeniable and is a solid confirmation of the openness and tolerance of Moslem/Arab society which accepted them as a confessional minority, among others, in its multi "racial", multicultural and multi confessional but overwhelmingly, intrinsically and predominantly Arab/Moslem society and environment" (Omar post # 108285).

"2- Its (Israel's) racist character of ethnic cleansing of Palestine from Palestinian Arabs in their homeland as evidenced by:
a-Mass massacres of civilians as in Deir Yassin which is the most notorious but definitely NOT the only one
b-Forced eviction of non combatant civilians from their native towns and villages as with Lod and Ramleh, among others
c-The complete, total wiping out of hundreds of Arab villages
d-The denial of the indigenous Palestinian Arabs their Right of Return to their homeland.
All post 1948.

The same Israeli racist ethnic cleansing policies were not only maintained but accelerated post 1967 through:
e- The denial of 1967 refugees,(Al Nazihiin), the right to return to their homes and villages in 1967 occupied territories ie in Gaza and the West Bank.

Israel and Zionism left absolutely no doubt about their intrinsic nature and ambitions with their behavior after they were victorious."

(The main point being:)

This should be contrasted, juxtaposed, with the innumerable opportunities the Arabs and the Moslems historically had to exterminate all Jews residing in Arab and Moslem lands, and particularly in Palestine, had they had the intention or the nature to do so, for centuries while they WERE victorious." (Omar post #108335).

B-Relations with Nazi Germany:

Nazi Germany was NOT the prime enemy of the Arabs at the time.

The prime enemy of the Arabs was, still is, Zionism ie Israel and its imperialist supporters ie G.B in the 1920-1940s and the USA thence!

All kind of people and states had relations and rapport with Nazi Germany during WW II including many, many Jews .

Nazi Polish, and other ?, detention camps ( of Jews) had JEWISH ENFORCERS of nazi rules and discipline,JEWISH GUARDS and JEWISH informers working for the NAZI!


However the point that you consciously persist in avoiding ( you of the many fictious allegations against Arabs and Moslems) is:

"This (Israel's racist nature) should be contrasted, juxtaposed, with the innumerable opportunities the Arabs and the Moslems historically had to exterminate all Jews residing in Arab and Moslem lands, and particularly in Palestine, had they had the intention or the nature to do so, for centuries while they WERE victorious. (But never DID)" (Omar post #108335).

Would you care to comment on that?
I doubt IT.

omar ibrahim baker - 10/19/2007

As usual Prof you are incapable of a correct reading of anything including reading humble me, Omar.

I have absolutely no desire that the Holocaust should NOT be told and taught to all including schoolchildren for what it really is: the maximum manifestation of the ugly, evil and pernicious phenomenon that is racism.

We, Palestinian Arabs, that have suffered, still suffering, from Zionist racism are against ALL forms of racism and as such are strongly against the Holocaust.

An appendix to the teaching of the "morale" of the Holocaust is that its very victims practiced and implemented a racist policy not dissimilar in nature and doctrinaire springboard to the very doctrine that has brutally murdered millions of their own kin, "community"?.

I am ALL for teaching the evils of racism and ALL its manifestations be it in the Holocaust, in South African Apartheid and in its evil output the racially based, the racist doctrine Zionism and its offspring Israel!

Further more I am ALL FOR teaching the Crusades to all as it was: a colonialist conquest by aliens; its real, irrespective of all presumptions, objectives: domination and exploitation of an other people's land and population and how it ended: its total rejection as an alien body by its human and cultural
A fate not dissimilar to all foreign , alien bodies.

omar ibrahim baker - 10/19/2007

Prof and Mr Green
I heartily welcome your total lack of comment re my remarks about racism and construe your loud silence as concurrence with my depiction of this pernicious phenomenon and its manifestations in both the abominable Holocaust and the equally racist Zionist creed and its destructive and aggressive offspring Israel.

omar ibrahim baker - 10/19/2007

In their desperate efforts to justify and rationalize the Zionist colonialist conquest of Palestine (1920-1967 and ongoing) Professor Eckstein and Mr. Green have come up with the ridiculous equation of:

7th Century AD=20th Century AD!

Their rationale (?) being that since the Arabs/Moslems presumably "conquered and colonized " Palestine in the 7th century the Zionist movement is justified in conquering it and colonizing it in the 20th century and both "conquests" are of equivalent moral and ethical status!

What we have here is their utter and conscious disregard of an irrefutable historical fact (from a Professor of History no less) that the Arabs DID migrate into and dwelled with others in greater Syria, which includes Palestine, ages before the advent of Islam establishing several Kingdoms therein ; the Nabatean of Petra fame being the most outstanding.

BUT equally, and much more universally important, we have here their racist/racially driven attempt,( considering their own concept and definition of a nation), to negate human progress and the achievements of humankind in the elapsing 1300 years

These 1300 years being, for the region in question, substantially the peiod in history which witnessed the evolution therein of the universally held common concept of a nation, and of co nationalism, as the main, overriding bond that binds all members of a community,( being all dwellers on one common land and members of one common settled community) into one common “nation” and of “patriotism”..

However assuming that Eckstein/Green et all are correct in their historical hypothesis, they ,never the less, fail to recognize the fundamental achievement of humankind when MANKIND progressed from the era of marauding tribes in search of better pastures etc into the era of settled communities i e nations with all the associated values that came with it..

The importance of this absurd repudiation is that it also negates, and disavows, all the principles and values that emanated from the progress of humankind into the status of settled dwellers in Settled Communities, nations, sharing a common land and a common commitment to its security and prosperity versus their earlier condition as marauding unsettled tribes.

The resultant from the Eckstein and Green denial of these concomitant values and principles can only imply, and confirms, their own:

-Total rejection of and disrespect of other nations' territorial integrity
-Their adoption and glorification of the concept of "aggression" and their subsequent rejection of the concept of “legitimate self defense"
-Their denial and rejection of the concept, and value, of patriotism; the universal attachment to and commitment to the defense of one's "homeland"
-Their unmitigated disparagement and total disrespect for the will of the "nationals",
-Their utter disregard of the right of settled communities, i.e. other nations, the native people of any nation , to decide their own future.

However what makes this denigration of these universal values doubly pernicious is their own unique concept of a nation.
This is exclusively based on the hypothesis of a true, or presumed, common ethnic (blood)/racial provenance as the sole or, at least the overriding, binding force of the members of a community to each other and to the land on which they dwell. .
This disregard, disdain and total rejection of these universally held and deeply cherished values by all nations, peoples and communities of the world coupled with their own unique definition of a nation, of co nationalism, of "patriotism" and its many implications go a long way to explain the quasi universal rejection of those who uphold, and historically upheld, these anti values and the intolerance they were, historically, met with.

The implications and dangers of the bizarre equation that they both uphold coupled with their own unique definition of a “nation” are plain for all ”co nationals” to see.

omar ibrahim baker - 10/19/2007

1-I am truly happy and glad that you deem the whole thing : "...a population transfer typical of late World War II ..." ie none of the mythological non sense associated usually with the "promised land" to "God's chosen people" or " eretz Israel" and similar hot air of the usual Zionist/Jewish type.

We are getting somewhere even with you.

However since it was an involuntary "population transfer" executed, and maintained, under duress against the express will and declared opposition of the Palestinian Arabs we reserve the moral and legal right to remedy the situation and undo it by returning voluntarily, as far as WE are concerned, to our homeland.
I told you so: we are getting somewhere!

2- Like always your reading and comprehension capabilities leave a lot to be desired.
I never, ever, considered ourselves to be "victims".
As far as I am concerned , among many many others ,WE lost a couple of preleminary battles, by historical standards they are skirmishes, in a long long war.

You want to perpetuate the involuntary "population transfer" achieved and maintained under duress and we refuse to accept it and plan to undo it, the "population transfer" that is.

(Do NOT start crying bloody massacre and sinmilar of the usual, your, type.)
OK ?

omar ibrahim baker - 10/19/2007

1-I am truly happy and glad that you deem the whole thing : "...a population transfer typical of late World War II ..." ie none of the mythological non sense associated usually with the "promised land" to "God's chosen people" or " eretz Israel" and similar hot air of the usual Zionist/Jewish type.

omar ibrahim baker - 10/19/2007

"However since it was an involuntary "population transfer" executed, and maintained, under duress against the express will and declared opposition of the Palestinian Arabs we reserve the moral and legal right to remedy the situation and undo it by returning voluntarily, as far as WE are concerned, to our homeland.
I told you so: we are getting somewhere!"(even with you.)

omar ibrahim baker - 10/19/2007

War time activities are ALWAYS accompagnied by civilian population movements to get away as far as possible from harm's way; nothing unusual nor exceptional here.

Nothing exceptional and unusual here EXCEPT Zionist/ISRAELI adamant refusal to allow Palestinian Arab refugees to return to their own native homes and repossess their own legitimate properties after the cessation of war time activities!

This adamant refusal, in force up to this very day, springs from two major basic considerations:
1-Israel's racist ethnic cleansing policy which aims at a Palestinian Arabs "free" Palestine for the "Jewish Homeland",Israel, to be "as Jewish as France is French" according to Weisman
2-Israel's and its driving doctrine, Zionism,intrinsic usurping,marauding and pillaging nature aiming to enjoy the spoils of war , as they did, as they still do.
It is as simple as that .

omar ibrahim baker - 10/19/2007

Mr Green
In your post you try to retread worn out arguments and reiterate plain falsehoods in your ceasless campaign to deceive and misinform with different words though.

For example:

a- Your statement "In the 1930s, the Arab leadership in the Land of Israel, constituted in the Arab Higher Committee [Note: they used the term "Arab,"not "palestinian"],
This statement of yours "Note: they used the term "Arab,"
not "Palestinian" reeks of an inane play on words by attempting to disassociate the Palestinians from their nation and from their co nationals; the Arabs.

. Do I have to retell you the "paradox" of the Texans and the USA?
That should be clear, even to you, by now!
However I deem your reiteration of this phony sentence as a conscious attempt to deceive and misinform the uninitiated.

b- Your statement:
"Of course, when Hitler took power in Germany, the Arab leadership knew very well that he hated Jews. That's why Haj Amin el-Husseini visited the German consulate in Jerusalem shortly after Hitler took power, in order to offer his congratulations."
is another attempt to create guilt by association,where none exists, by implying that the Arabs ,and of course the Palestinians among them, were Nazi or Nazi lovers.
That is a falsehood and a lie.
The truth of the matter is:
1-The fate of the Jews, under Hitler or wherever, was neither our primary concern nor our responsibility.
Particularly that at that very stage the designs and ambitions of the Jewish/Zionist colonialist movement were disclosed and ascertained for what they really were/are beyond any doubt!
All sorts of peoples, institutions and even nations dealt with Nazi Germany including MANY MANY Jews as enforcers of Nazi discipline on their coreligionists, as guards of Jewish concentration camps, as informers on their Jewish brethren etc , etc.
I note your reluctance to touch on that although by any objective standard it is much more note worthy and comment soliciting than any presumed Arab dealings with Germany which was NOT our enemy and actually was the major enemy of our Main enemies namely Zionism and the British Empire!

c-Your statement:
"Hence, the Arabs denied the Jews the right of return to their national home when the Jews most needed a home. How many of the Holocaust victims died because of this Arab-British policy?? The Arabs denied the Jews the right of return, yet now they demand that right for themselves."

Is intrinsically fallacious and deceptive in the following aspects:
1-Considering the relative weight, moral responsibility and resources capability of nations at the time to "save Jews" from Nazi Germany the Palestinians and the Arabs would rank
as, say, number 100 in a descending order of 1 ( the most responsible and capable) to ,say,110 (the least responsible and capable).
Where would you rank the USA, Canada, Australia, and the then Great Britain on this scale I am eager to know!
You are shifting the moral responsibility for the absence of substantial meaningful help and succor, from the Holocaust no less, from your actual malefactors, then benefactors, to your "victims" in a typical amoral business like deal .Not unusual, though!
2- It is a brazen lie to claim “…..when the Jews most needed a home. "
The fact of the matter is that the Jews were after a colony to depopulate then to repopulate on a strict racist/ confessional basis and NOT "a home"; as later events demonstrated beyond any doubt.
3-Your statement:
"The Arabs denied the Jews the right of return" by its reference to the hypothetical "Jewish right of return to Palestine" confirms your belief in and adherence to the inane and retrogressive "Eckstein/Green equation" that poor Eckstein was quick to disavow because of its patent retrogressive and pernicious output and implications.
However you seem to uphold it.

d-Last but not least is the spurious logic entrenched in you claim:
“Exercise of an Arab "return" would exacerbate the danger of another Holocaust of Jews.
Is that NOT the legal and ethical equivalent of :“Returning the stolen money would make the thief poorer?”

omar ibrahim baker - 10/19/2007

omar ibrahim baker - 10/19/2007

Even in the worst, through blindness, of communities and situations men of honour , of courage and conscience do exist in spite of the price they have to pay.

Actually the worst is their surrounding the greater is the need for them to remind all of us that honour , justice and conscience will ultimately prevail.

With people like the late Professor Shahak,Professor Chomsky, Alfred Lilienthal,Professor Finkelstein and Professor Ilan Pape in the foreground of the never ending campaign to unveil the true nature of Zionism and its offspring Israel among the many, less prominent and less outspoken, but no less anti Zionist Jews there will always be serious hope and expectation .

Hope and expectation that the region and the world could/would be spared the calamties to come through the deZionization of Palestine and the full implementation of all the human, civil and national rights of the Palestinian people in their eternal homeland Palestine.

omar ibrahim baker - 10/19/2007

To call men of honour "liars and scoundrels" because of their foresight and courage has been the fate of all pioneers throughout history.
Ultimately it will shown that their devotion to their community far outstrips those whose misguided attachments blinded them to the dictates of reason, honour and justice!

omar ibrahim baker - 10/19/2007

To call men of honour "liars and scoundrels" because of their foresight and courage has been the fate of all pioneers throughout history.

omar ibrahim baker - 10/19/2007

What Pappe did, is presently doing, was, is, to indirectly highlight, and indisputably establish, the colonialist and aggressive nature of the Zionist conquest of Palestine and of the Zionist state before their ultimate reversal and demise.
All other nation's past colonialist conquests could have been, and were at the time, portrayed by some as any thing but.
While France was in Algeria Algeria was "part" of homeland France and France was embarked on a civilizing mission there.
Now that the US is in Iraq it is there to establish democracy etc.
Once they have to, always had to, leave, and before they do in the case of the USA, the real nature and "mission" of their respective conquests were unmasked and universally recognized for what they really are: marauding and pillaging colonialist/imperialist conquests.

Pappe is documenting and establishing the nature and genesis of the Zionist presence in Palestine for what it truly is; a dislocating, dispossessing colonialist conquest.

In a way he is the equivalent, the parallel, of all anti Iraq war Americans of today, all anti Vietnam war of yore in the USA.

As with these it needs an inordinate amount of perspicacity, integrity and courage to do THAT!
Pappe is truly an honourable man of courage and devotion to the best interests of his community and a historian of integrity and foresight.

omar ibrahim baker - 10/19/2007

Mr Friedman
Re post #108166

What else could you ever possibly say Mr Friedman ? Considering!
A show of a minimum , though assuredly feigned re Eckstein , objectivity would look better for you at least.
You are no longer as careful as you used to be.
No more show of "objectivity".
That is good.

omar ibrahim baker - 10/19/2007

Mr Friedman
"What Pappe did, is presently doing, was, is, to indirectly highlight, and indisputably establish, the colonialist and aggressive nature of the Zionist conquest of Palestine ( that you and Eckstein recently, acknowledged, defended and tried to justify)and of the Zionist state..."

I can NOT, nobody can , vouch for the veracity, accuracy and comprehensibility of every single episode, fact or detail included in any historian's chronicle.
Such chronicles are bound, by human nature, to entertain a "disputable", by others, episode, fact or detail here or there!

That applies to Gibbons, Toynbee, Hitti, Zuaiter, Jawad Ali ,Kayyali,Morris( whose reconsiderations deserve special attention) and Pappe.

The thing is:
-What to uncover ,stress and highlight as more telling and significant
-What constant thread (theme, objective, bias, design) , political and or doctrinaire, can be discerned as the underlying, or as often, declared major motive force behind certain events, actions, speeches, declarations, programs, policies etc.

Morris is an avowed Zionist Jew whose Zionist inclination explains his “reconsiderations!”

While Pappe is simply a Jew , as much as Shahak was ,( not necessarily "observant") who had the clear-headedness and personal integrity to see beyond the Zionist creed and had also the courage to tell it as it is and the foresight to warn their own Jewish community of the inherent danger to which Zionism exposes it despite the negative repercussions it was bound to set off against them.

What both, among many others, DID and are doing is:
"to indirectly ( and directly for some) highlight, and indisputably establish, the colonialist and aggressive nature of the Zionist conquest of Palestine and of the Zionist state "
(Post note:
Your Riyadh assumed parallel is irrelevant to what I am talking about when it comes to what historians are doing, consciously, subconsciously and /or unconsciously.
You should know that by now! )

omar ibrahim baker - 10/19/2007

Mr Green
First, second, third and nth is a lot of hot air , a feverish reaction and a baseless enumeration that is irrelevant, and of substantially false, allegations .
However assuming the impossible, that your knee jerk reaction is correct:
- What does that have to do with Pappe?
-How does that affect the truthfulness, the veracity of what Pappe has to say?

We are , here, at the stage where both Friedman and Eckstein conceded the "colonialist" nature of the Zionist conquest of Palestine and Mutik, your redoubtable fighter, conceded the baseless ness of all Zionist claims except the Jewish need for a safe haven.
-Do you , Mr. Green, concede or deny the "colonialist" nature of the Zionist movement?
-If not to which of the many myths( historical, theological, civilizing mission etc )re the foundations of colonialist Zionism do you subscribe, uphold and defend?
(You can keep your list of false allegations to yourself for now.)

Pappe IS extremely relevant to all seekers of facts and objective, unadorned, historical research whether you like or dislike his finding be they "Jew haters", a minority, or "Jew indifferent" , a majority.
Stop crying "wolf" your, and yours, baseless and meaningless accusation of "Jew Hater" will meet with the same fate of the presently universally discarded but endless repetition of "anti Semite" to justify your crimes. and conceal your colonialist nature and ambitions
You can fool all the people for some time, you can fool some people for all time but you can NOT fool all the people all the time!

omar ibrahim baker - 10/19/2007


omar ibrahim baker - 10/19/2007

Mr Green
Colonialism, in the sense I use ( as for French in Algeria, Portuguese in Angola and Anglo/Dutch White in South Africa) and as is universally recognized is the ORGANIZED and coordinated, as distinct from private/personal, forced/conquering movement of aliens into a land, to usurp land, rarely buy it, to cultivate it and dwell on it and , generally, to exploit it and its resources to the predominant interests and benefit of the incoming ALIEN.
ALWAYS, ultimately, against the express will of the indigenous population who always ended up by opposing it.

The underlying objective, irrespective of any pretensions, was/is invariably to DOMINATE the land and its indigenous population.
Mostly such a colonialist move has been initiated and supported by a state; but that is NOT a sine qua non condition! The operative words being "organized and coordinated" .

From the above I would conclude that the fundamental characteristics/components of a colonialist move are:
- The advent of ALIENS as part of an organized and coordinated effort to settle into another people's land against its express will
-The fact that they were uninvited and unwelcome, that they were ultimately met with native resistance i.e. that they ended up by forcing their way.
-The underlying, often declared, intention to dominate the land and its indigenous population and exploit it.

The end result being invariably the subjugation of the land and its native population and its domination and exploitation by aliens.

That succession of acts and motives led to the ugly phenomenon of “colonialism” in modern history which has been universally opposed and denounced as an aggressive act of conquest and exploitation i.e.an act of marauding and pillage .

All three elements and their obnoxious output are present, and in greater abundance, in the Zionist /Jewish colonialist move into Palestine.than in other colonialist conquests.

Zionism as such had an additional highly pernicious, extra evil, anti human, despicable objective namely :the dislocation and dispossessing of the indigenous Palestinian population and the eradication of their nationalist/cultural character and of their homeland ,Palestine, by transforming, and transfiguring, it from an Arab, Moslem and Christian, land into a Jewish homeland.

Hence historically Zionism is much more destructive, despicable and an anti human move ( and as such deserving/demanding of relentless opposition and eradication) than, say, French colonialism of Algeria which never attempted the DISLOCATION of Arab Algerians ( though it attempted their deArabization) and of South African colonialism which only attempted their separation.

You keep claiming, Mr Green, that Jews outnumbered Arabs ( that would be Moslem AND Christian Arabs and not only Moslem Arabs as you perversely imply) in Jerusalem, which I doubt and will NOT take the word of any of "your" authors about it.
However I note that by such a repeated, though bogus, assertion you, wittingly or unwittingly, confirm that they, the Jews, were a minority in PALESTINE which was/is the "enjeu", the bone of contention!
That some Jews were "always" living in Palestine is undeniable and is a solid confirmation of the openness and tolerance of Moslem/Arab society which accepted them as a confessional minority, among others, in its multi "racial", multicultural and multi confessional but overwhelmingly, intrinsically and predominantly Arab/Moslem society and environment.

The course of post fateh, Moslem conquest, history of Palestine presented the Arabs and the Moslems more than one, actually innumerable, occasions to wipe, the Jews, out completely, had it been their intention, but was NEVER attempted because as a "people of the Book" such an act would have been against all the precepts of Islam and of Arab character and nature.
This cardinal historical fact should be juxtaposed with past and present explicit (Deir Yassin plus++)and implicit( Denial of Right of Return)Israeli/Zionist ethnic cleansing efforts and policies.
(Ayna al thara min al thuraya; if you know Arabic.)

Peter K. Clarke - 10/9/2007

The facts of the 2000 negotiations are not the subject of this page, and nobody else is discussing them here either. We have a fair bit of Likudnik crap from Likudnik progaganda websites (cited or not cited) presented with the usual ignorant and biased arrogance from the usual Likudnik dupes. At best their remarks contain deceptively out-of-context and unrepresentative facts. That is the quintessence of the propaganda they have been brainwashed with.

Whatever the definite history of this fairly recent episode, as any freshman history student could explain to you, it is guaranteed that 100% of the blame is not so securely attributable to one side only, that any claim to the contrary is deserving of endless insult and childish screaming.

Peter K. Clarke - 10/9/2007

That must be because Morris lives in a factual field with factual cattle and factually samples their factually profuse fertilizer.

Peter K. Clarke - 10/9/2007

Mr. F.,

Your professional skills are obviously in need of polishing unless someone is paying you to spend hours per day on HNN.

As for the validity of the extreme Israel is always right position, did you ever take a college history course? Even a Prof. Eckstein might have exposed you to the possibility that monocausality is a very rare ocurrence. Reading "books" that are all from one extreme is not the same as opening your mind and studying a subject.

Peter K. Clarke - 10/9/2007

Read it and see the fib that "blew it" means "bears a lion's share of responsibilty"

Peter K. Clarke - 10/9/2007

Clarify irrelevancy to your heart's content.

Is it

Estella Simon?
Euripidies Simon?
Eccentric Simon?
Excessive Simon?
E. Coli Simon?

And why stop there?

Give us your whole irrelevant profile.
What is your favorite crap, excuse me rap "artist"?
What is your zodiac sign?
Mother's maiden name and shoe size?

Peter K. Clarke - 10/9/2007

a few of the 88 times maybe
It's in the HNN archives, and googleable, you can't hide from it.

Peter K. Clarke - 10/9/2007


Are you in fact "in Israel to stay"?
Or in Israel at all?
If not, when is your return migration scheduled?

I don't suppose Mr. Pappe (whose comments are OSTENSIBLY the subject here) considers himself one of "your people." You might try one of the "far-right" "settler" groups, instead

Peter K. Clarke - 10/9/2007

If "Mideast Studies" departments are "dreadful" and overly "political," a proper solution would be to expose and confront such deficiencies with objective and informed analysis, not demagoguery, blacklists, and character assasination.

Kramer (13 articles on HNN) has one point of view on this. Joel Beinin (1 HNN article) represents another.

See for example:

Peter K. Clarke - 10/9/2007

April Fool's Day for me comes once a year

Peter K. Clarke - 10/9/2007

In scores of posts, Mr. Friedman equivocates like a wet noodle on whether the Iraq invasion was wise. His best excuse is that "it's too early to tell."

Yet the professor whom he bows down before here, and whose students are spared such absurdity by his camping out on this site, would have us believe that

"one side was not far more to blame for their failure than the other side was"
on a set of negotiations that occured barely 6 years ago, in a field not his.

Cole and Beinin (among others) who ARE in Mideast history, disagree. I will go with the experts. Elemental historiography encompasses common sense as well as a need for historical perspective.

Peter K. Clarke - 10/9/2007

By way of correction to the prior post, and taking into account the double negative, Mr. Eckstein wants me to believe that one side WAS "far more to blame for their failure than the other side was"

Peter K. Clarke - 10/9/2007

We are all colonialists, because our human ancesters left East Africa and with a "misbegotten sense of special rights and privileges" took over the rest of the world?

At some point a statute of limitations kicks in. At some point, Germany stops paying billions to Israel for the Holocaust. At some point, Israelis in the 21st century are not legitimate subjects of punishment for the sins of their fathers in the 1940s.

Ghandi found a way short of blind retribution. Even the Catholic Irish in Ulster found a sort of way. The Palestinians can't be that much different from the rest.

Peter K. Clarke - 10/9/2007

Mr. Friedman:

I didn't say you defended "Pipes as an historian," I said he was a troublemaker and you defended him. I did not qualify HOW you defended Pipes, and your many defenses of him are similarly unrestrained and unqualified. Indeed, it seems you that have never had any critical to say of this pariah amongst historians.

Your denial of this, now, is massively contradicted by your own track record on HNN.

For example, in the recent discussion about Pipes's debate in London, you said (in comment #105353 on February 13, 2007 at 10:50 AM):


“Dr. Pipes made a dignified presentation… From the transcript, it appears that his presentation was among the best made at the conference - at least of those I read. By contrast, the mayor - a man who might politely be called a demagogue and who has previously had kind words for Islamist cleric Yusuf al-Quaradawi, who, in turn, has kind words for kamikaze human bombers (i.e. terrorists) - spoke as if he were a fairly uniformed layperson...”

I don't suppose you will claim that you WERE defending Pipe's opponent by this remark.

There are tons more of such comments.
Here is just a small selection from that one comment board (of the dozens re Pipes):

Re: let's try that again (#105322)
by N. Friedman on February 12, 2007 at 10:56 AM

“Pipes is not a Muslim hater.”

Re: "Islamophobia" (#105412) by N. Friedman on February 14, 2007 at 9:00 AM

“…there is no evidence that Dr. Pipes hates Muslims or fears them.”

Re: Friedman's obsessions with irrelevancy (#105497)
by N. Friedman on February 14, 2007 at 9:23 PM

“I do not think Pipes is a demagogue. I do not know the depth of his scholarship, having not read any of his books, but he clearly has considerable knowledge.”

Re: Pipe's Utter Nonsense (#105498)
by john charles crocker on February 14, 2007 at 9:30 PM

“The Palestinians are a miserable people, and they deserve to be.”
Available here http://www.wrmea.com/archives/july01/0107057.html
This also seems to me to be a bigoted statement.

Re: Pipe's Utter Nonsense (#105579)
by N. Friedman on February 16, 2007 at 7:06 AM

“…he was not suggesting that Palestinians deserve to be miserable in the sense that such would be his desire”

Re: There is nothing to prove (#105525)
by N. Friedman on February 15, 2007 at 10:03 AM

“I do not think that Dr. Pipes corrals all Muslims into the same category. In fact, he does exactly the opposite…”

Peter K. Clarke - 10/9/2007


Rejoinder to Daniel Pipes: Fighting for Freedom of Speech
By Eric Foner and Glenda Gilmore

Mr. Foner is DeWitt Clinton Professor of History at Columbia University. Ms. Gilmore is Peter V. and C. Vann Woodward Professor of History at Yale University.

"Why do American academics so often despise their own country while finding excuses for repressive and dangerous regimes?" So asks Daniel Pipes, self-appointed arbiter of acceptable speech and founder of Campus Watch, "a project to monitor, assess, and improve Middle East Studies in America."
Pipes recently included us in a list of six "Professors who Hate America." His column, published online at History News Network and in print in the New York Post, the Jerusalem Post, and other newspapers, reached millions of readers. Using us as examples of professors who voice "relentless opposition to their own government," Pipes called for "outsiders (alumni, state legislators, nonuniversity specialists, parents of students and others)" to "take steps to ... establish standards for media statements by faculty."

Were Pipes simply a crackpot who displayed a profound misunderstanding of academic freedom, there would be no cause for alarm. But his screed is symptomatic of a broader trend among conservative commentators, who since September 11 have increasingly equated criticism of the Bush administration with lack of patriotism. William Bennett, in his recent work Why We Fight, claims that scholars with whom he disagrees "sow widespread and debilitating confusion" and "weaken the country's resolve." The American Council of Trustees and Alumni (ACTA), an organization founded in 1995 by Lynne Cheney that calls on those groups to take a more "active" role in determining what happens on campuses, chastised professors who fail to teach the "truth" that civilization itself "is best exemplified in the West and indeed in America." Last year, ACTA posted online the names and affiliations of faculty members who in the wake of September 11 made statements it deemed insufficiently patriotic.

Pipes's call for outsiders to police the statements of faculty conjures up memories of World War I and the McCarthy era, when critics of the government were jailed and institutions of higher learning dismissed antiwar or "subversive" professors. Historians today consider such episodes shameful anomalies in the history of civil liberties in America. But Pipes is calling for a return to those dark days, with Campus Watch, administrators, lawmakers, trustees, and parents dictating what faculty may and may not say in speeches and opinion columns. Moreover, in equating opposition to government policies with hatred of our country, Pipes displays a deep hostility to the essence of a democratic polity: the right to dissent.

What did we say to inspire Pipes to advocate the abrogation of faculty members' right to express their views if they happen to differ with his? Our sin was (independently, in our universities' student newspapers) to oppose the Bush administration's assertion of the right to launch a preemptive war against Iraq. The same position has been voiced by numerous public figures, including members of the first Bush administration, former president Carter, and members of Congress like Senator Robert Byrd (who said that "an unprovoked attack on a sovereign nation" would alter our national character). It is the viewpoint of virtually every country in the world, including most of the longtime allies of the United States. Neither of us offered any "excuse for dangerous and repressive regimes." It is one thing to deem a regime repressive, quite another to believe that the United States has the right to assume the unilateral role of global policeman.

Pipes is disturbed that "professors of linguistics, chemistry, American history, genetics," etc., speak out on foreign policy. Putting aside the fact that "experts" are themselves sharply divided on the proper course to pursue in the Middle East, in a democracy all citizens, including faculty members, have a right to express their opinions on whether to send our sons and daughters, neighbors, friends, and colleagues, to war.

Pipes wants "outsiders" to bring faculty into line with "the rest of the country." Fortunately, the two of us teach at universities whose administrations understand and value academic freedom. There is little chance that Columbia or Yale would allow alumni, parents, or trustees to dictate what opinions are patriotically correct and therefore can be voiced by faculty members. But many institutions are less financially secure and more dependent on the good will of private donors and state legislatures. Their administrators may feel themselves under pressure to bend to demands that would seriously weaken freedom of speech. Faculty around the country should realize that Pipes's assaults are part of a gathering threat to the free exchange of ideas on American college campuses.

Peter K. Clarke - 10/9/2007

Eckstein's fable:

"Arafat bears the lion's share of the responsibility. That is the opinion of...prominent Palestinian intellectual Sari Nusseibeh in his new book Once Upon a Country, reviewed in the New York Times today."



Sympathy for the Other
A Palestinian Life.
By Sari Nusseibeh

Published: April 1, 2007

Arafat, he says, “clearly blew it by not closing some sort of deal at Camp David.”

The futility and the brutality of some of Israel’s actions beyond its borders are abundantly clear…almost the entirety of the Israeli settlement of the West Bank has been a moral and strategic blunder of historic proportions; and whereas it is difficult to gainsay the use of force against terrorists, the sowing of southern Lebanon with cluster bombs in the final hours of last summer’s war was an act of genuine malignity.

Peter K. Clarke - 10/9/2007

Yes, be sure to read it and not Eckstein's lame misrepresentations of it.

Peter K. Clarke - 10/9/2007

If you really want to know, Simon go here:

Re: gone to seed (#108048)
by art eckstein on April 1, 2007 at 10:04 AM

and decide for yourself if the NYT review of Nusseibeh's book says what Eckstein claims it does about Arafat having the main responsibility for the failed peace attempt of 2000.

Peter K. Clarke - 10/9/2007

Peter K. Clarke - 10/9/2007

New York Times, NPR, Economist, etc., not shadowy propaganda websites.

Peter K. Clarke - 10/9/2007

My reply above vanished somehow.

There is no such thing as "correct" on matters of historical interpretation such as the origins of Cold War, or the reasons why Camp David II failed in 2000.

Maybe the reason my above reply disappeared was because I tried to post this full article in it:


Volume 48, Number 13 · August 9, 2001

Camp David: The Tragedy of Errors
By Hussein Agha, Robert Malley

I tried posting the whole article, because the link doesn't work. But, you can get into it via Google. At least that worked for me.

Of the dozens of explanations for why peace talks failed in 2000-01, Malley's seems one of the most complete and objective to me so far.

Peter K. Clarke - 10/9/2007

There were no books on what Clinton, Barak, and Arafat were doing at Camp David when they were doing it. I answered Simon's question honestly, even though he is clueless as to what honesty is. You will not find a book that says Jerusalem was not a sticking point. You can't prove your Likudnik one-sided nonsense, so stop trying to make others prove common sense.

Peter K. Clarke - 10/9/2007

Here is the full thread again, since you had trouble reading it properly the first time. The review itself is available on-line (at least for now). Try doing a search for "lion's share." No hits. Try "responsibility." No hits there either. Eckstein is up to his typical lying, and you are being duped as usual by him.

Re: gone to seed (#108048)
by art eckstein on April 1, 2007 at 10:04 AM

Clarke, that there was a distribution of responsibility for the failure of the Camp David and Taba Talks does not mean that one side was not far more to blame for their failure than the other side was. In this case, Clinton, Ross and even Prince Bandar all point the finger at ARAFAT. Not the Israelis.

This is elementary historiography. That there is a distribution of responsibility does not mean that everyone is EQUALLY to blame. QED.

And since the blame is in fact highly UNEQUAL, you need to take that into very serious account in your moral accounting. End of story.

Re: gone to seed (#108050)
by art eckstein on April 1, 2007 at 10:12 AM

I would add, Clarke, that E. Green has shown pretty well that Pappe is an apologist for the slaughter in the Sudan, re the piece Pappe wrote in 1994, which included denying nationhood to the black non-Muslim inhabitants of the South, who were being massacred and enslaved in a process of Islamicization which Ali Mazrui, for one, contentedly called inevitable.

And THIS is the person who we should take seriously as a critic of Israel delicts, who is so disgusted that he must leave the country. He's an extremist ideologue and a hypocrite regarding human rights violations. Period.

Period (#108061)
by Peter K. Clarke on April 1, 2007 at 11:40 AM

In scores of posts, Mr. Friedman equivocates like a wet noodle on whether the Iraq invasion was wise. His best excuse is that "it's too early to tell."

Yet the professor whom he bows down before here, and whose students are spared such absurdity by his camping out on this site, would have us believe that

"one side was not far more to blame for their failure than the other side was" on a set of negotiations that occured barely 6 years ago, in a field not his.

Cole and Beinin (among others) who ARE in Mideast history, disagree. I will go with the experts. Elemental historiography encompasses common sense as well as a need for historical perspective.

a parenthesis to the period (#108062)
by Peter K. Clarke on April 1, 2007 at 11:43 AM

By way of correction to the prior post, and taking into account the double negative, Mr. Eckstein wants me to believe that one side WAS "far more to blame for their failure than the other side was"

Re: a parenthesis to the period (#108076)

by art eckstein on April 1, 2007 at 1:53 PM

That's exactly what I mean. And Arafat bears the lion's share of the responsibility. That is the opinion of Clinton, Ross, Prince Bandar--and now we see that it is the opinion of the prominent Palestinian intellectual Sari Nusseibeh in his new book Once Upon a Country, reviewed in the New York Times today (Sunday).

Truth v. Fiction (#108092)
by Peter K. Clarke on April 1, 2007 at 3:34 PM

Eckstein's fable:

"Arafat bears the lion's share of the responsibility. That is the opinion of...prominent Palestinian intellectual Sari Nusseibeh in his new book Once Upon a Country, reviewed in the New York Times today."



Sympathy for the Other
A Palestinian Life.
By Sari Nusseibeh

Published: April 1, 2007

Arafat, he says, “clearly blew it by not closing some sort of deal at Camp David.”

Peter K. Clarke - 10/9/2007

In the post above

Peter K. Clarke - 10/9/2007

Neither have you, Friedman. What is else new in your kindergarden sandbox?

Peter K. Clarke - 10/9/2007

Simon: The only thing I have in common with Mr. Duke, other than both of us being primates, like you, is that your paranoia about him causes his name to be randomly interjected into your insult-tirades with others, such as me.

Peter K. Clarke - 10/9/2007

knew more about blood, sweat and tears, than you two do.

Peter K. Clarke - 10/9/2007

You don't "agree with Pipes' approach," you only defend him 88 times on HNN.

Peter K. Clarke - 10/9/2007

This is a sweeping de-mythologizing survey of Israeli history. There are some questionable gaps and imbalances in this, which I will refer to only briefly below (because HNN is loaded already with writers and commmenters whose lives are dedicated to vehemently -often quite rudely and more than often with extreme pigheadedness- arguing the precise opposite of 90+% of what Mr. Pappe says here. It is not my mission, and it would be a hopeless one anyway, to try to do responsibly what they can apparently only do irresponsibly).

The main point that needs to be emphasized is that HNN has finally, for the first time in a long while, featured a writer who is specifically focused on Israeli history, but who is NOT dead-set against compromise with Palestinians, and who is willing to unequivocably denounce the uncivilized and unjustified oppression of Palestinians in the West Bank. And to talk openly about the past history of Israeli responsibility for these intractable problems. The bias on HNN with respect to these historical issues has not been total, but it has been severe. And there is no sign, despite this welcome article, that it has been more than very slightly corrected for. According to the archives, over the past 6 years, Pappe has had a total of six prior articles. Daniel Pipes: 65. Judith Klinghoffer: 35, not counting the weekly blog.

It would be a great leap forward for HNN if it could emblazon near its masthead, and at the top of very comment page, and every comment, these highly apt words of Mr. Pappe:

"If you are a genuine intellectual, you should strive to have respect for someone else's point-of-view, not only yours."

I DO have respect for the views of those who maintain that Israel has always been surrounded by implacable enemies who have shown great reluctance to countenance its existence, and who have acted with almost unbelivable barbarity towards it and its people. I have often taken (much less extreme versions of) such positions myself. What I DO NOT respect is having such views rammed incessantly down my throat, with great one-sidedness, and with tremendous intolerance for dissent. This article goes maybe 5% of the way towards redressing that massive and unsightly bias on HNN and is thus very welcome, as a small but significant step towards fairness.

Thanks editors, for (finally) giving another side of Israeli history a forum.

Now, for the chinks in Mr. Pappe's case:

1) I am not sure what "bridging history" is or purports to be, but ithas to rank well below "True History (bridges or not)" and to do so much more clearly than is apparent in this statement of Pappe.

2) Pappe's remarks go too swiftly over the question of Arab rejection of the UN's 1947-48 partition BEFORE the war. This point is left dangling, and it is not minor. What would have happenened to the "ethnic cleansing project" if the UN partition had been accepted by Arab governments? One cannot be consistent if one blames the Israelis for the ethnic cleansing, on the one hand, but then absolves the Arabs of reponsibility for torpedoeing a key alternative.

3. The world did not "allow Israel in 1948 to do something it would not have allowed anyone else to do." For instance, what the Soviets did to ethnic Germans in Eastern Europe after 1945 was worse, by every credible account. Some of those Germans were bloody-handed Nazis of course, but millions were not, and even Nazis deserve a day in court, not mass expulsion, killing and starvation.

4. Ethnic cleansing is wrong, but so is punishing current generations for the sins of their ancestors. Some kind of statute of limitations has to apply as practical matter to even to the worst crimes. The Great Plains of the USA are not going to be given over wholesale to nomadic Sioux Indians. All Brits of Norman ancestry are not going to be expelled across the English Channel (or North Sea). A right to compensation for expulsion (e.g. as with Palestinians in 1948) is not a right to an eye for an eye.

Peter K. Clarke - 10/9/2007

Not yet. The light weight on one extreme of the long seesaw pressing down just slightly versus the much heavier weight on the other extreme.

Peter K. Clarke - 10/9/2007


As you will see, if you read the review CAREFULLY, that is Nusseibeh (reviewer) being quoted by Wieseltier (author). No doubt Eckstein DID read it carefully, he just likes to twist what he reads. Here at least he is not twisting the words of a fellow-poster, for a change.

MAYBE, Nusseibeh believes that Arafat deserves the lion's share of the blame. I don't believe that to be far-off from a fair assessment myself.

But today's NYT review DOES NOT say that, and Eckstein is wrong to say it does. He is furthermore being misleading, by pretending that this was the bone of contention between us. It wasn't and isn't. My gripe (other than with Eckstein's repeated deceit, week after week) is with the view that only one side is to blame for something as complex and drawn out as Camp David II and its aftermath. Only a propagandist or dupe could truly believe THAT.

Peter K. Clarke - 10/9/2007

I have disagreed with a fair number of other posters on a range of issues over the years on HNN.

"Likud" is shorthand for a viewpoint held by some Israelis that admits no error, rejects all compromise, and rationalizes all manner of uncivilized behavior.

I do not hate Jews and I am not any kind of advocate for any Palestinian group.

I am opposed to bias, and I am particularly opposed to bias cloaked in incessant arrogance and deception. If you think about it, you might guess that that allows for a sizable number of potential opposees. If HNN were running pro-Hamas articles 10-1 versus pro-Nusseibeh (say), instead of approximately zero from either, I would be no less vigorous in my critiques of them, than I am of the polar opposites of Pappes.

Peter K. Clarke - 10/9/2007

And also, as usual in such circles, the real crimes of certain Jews are covered up by blaming anybody and everybody BUT those Jews.

Tit for tat. An eye for an eye. Two wrongs make a right.

Welcome to Barbaria.

Peter K. Clarke - 10/9/2007

Troublemaker is not a "meaningless" word, but it is probably not the best word to describe either of these two men. Nor should the parallel between them be over-emphasized. Pipes certainly seems to be more clever and more successful, for instance. (Based on our good friends at Wikipedia). Pappe talks mainly of the misdeeds of his own, or a closely-related, tribe in the past. Pipe talks mainly of his favorite most-feared "Other" in the present and future. But, by any normal accounting, he and Pappe are both extremists, with extreme agendas, and extreme intolerance of opposing views. One cannot be fairminded and objective and yet support one and denounce the other.

Peter K. Clarke - 10/9/2007

The "sins" are "alleged" but the "standards" are fact? Weird, and anyway not what Mutik was saying at all, i.e. doubly weird.

Peter K. Clarke - 10/9/2007

So why does the US Congress leap to attention like a caught-napping sentry guard, in order to repeat, with thunderous tedium and nearly verbatim, whatever the latest AIPAC position paper tells it to say and think?

Why is the current US president a door mat whenever an incompetent Israel PM needs to clean his dirtied boots?

Why do Israel and Egypt and the PLO get the lion's share of America (admittedly niggardly) foreign aid?

Why does the US issue 10x as many UN vetos on behalf of Israel as any other country?

Some "minor spat." I wonder what you would call a MAJOR spat. The Klingons threatening to unleash a mega hyper to-the-max supernova bomb to obliterate the solar system?

Peter K. Clarke - 10/9/2007

Pipes is careful and clever but his McCarthyesque methods are extreme and God only knows what his true beliefs are.Lewis is approaching the age of senility and is not competent in European history despite his recognized expertise on Turkey and Islam.

Peter K. Clarke - 10/9/2007

While Likudniks bemoan the total barbarity of Arabia and Islamia and the perpetual perfidy of an AntiSemitic world (which Manichean distortions being eternally unquestioned, of course justifies peace-torpedoing and Palestinian-state-inhibiting West Bank settlements forever), the real threat to America grows, with help from the Likudnik-allied chickenhawks' Iraq Fiasco:


New Generation of Qaeda Chiefs Is Seen on Rise


April 2, 2007

WASHINGTON, April 1 — As Al Qaeda rebuilds in Pakistan’s tribal areas, a new generation of leaders has emerged under Osama bin Laden to cement control over the network’s operations, according to American intelligence and counterterrorism officials.

The new leaders rose from within the organization after the death or capture of the operatives that built Al Qaeda before the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, leading to surprise and dismay within United States intelligence agencies about the group’s ability to rebound from an American-led offensive.

It has been known that American officials were focusing on a band of Al Qaeda training camps in Pakistan’s remote mountains, but a clearer picture is emerging about those who are running the camps and thought to be involved in plotting attacks.

American, European and Pakistani authorities have for months been piecing together a picture of the new leadership, based in part on evidence-gathering during terrorism investigations in the past two years. Particularly important have been interrogations of suspects and material evidence connected to a plot British and American investigators said they averted last summer to destroy multiple commercial airlines after takeoff from London.

Intelligence officials also have learned new information about Al Qaeda’s structure through intercepted communications between operatives in Pakistan’s tribal areas, although officials said the group has a complex network of human couriers to evade electronic eavesdropping.

The investigation into the airline plot has led officials to conclude that an Egyptian paramilitary commander called Abu Ubaidah al-Masri was the Qaeda operative in Pakistan orchestrating the attack, officials said.

Mr. Masri, a veteran of the wars in Afghanistan, is believed to travel frequently over the rugged border between Pakistan and Afghanistan. He was long thought to be in charge of militia operations in the Kunar Province of Afghanistan, but he emerged as one of Al Qaeda’s senior operatives after the death of Abu Hamza Rabia, another Egyptian who was killed by a missile strike in Pakistan in 2005.

The evidence officials said was accumulating about Mr. Masri and a handful of other Qaeda figures has led to a reassessment within the American intelligence community about the strength of the group’s core in Pakistan’s tribal areas, and its role in some of the most significant terrorism plots of the past two years, including the airline plot and the suicide attacks in London in July 2005 that killed 56.

Although the core leadership was weakened in the counterterrorism campaign begun after the Sept. 11 attacks, intelligence officials now believe it was not as crippling as once thought.

That reassessment has brought new urgency to joint Pakistani and American intelligence operations in Pakistan and strengthened officials’ belief that dismantling Al Qaeda’s infrastructure there could disrupt nascent large-scale terrorist plots that may already be under way.

In February, the deputy C.I.A. director, Stephen R. Kappes, accompanied Vice President Dick Cheney to Islamabad to present Gen. Pervez Musharraf, Pakistan’s president, with intelligence on Al Qaeda’s growing abilities and to develop a strategy to strike at training camps.

Officials from several American intelligence agencies interviewed for this article agreed to speak only on condition of anonymity because the Qaeda assessments are classified.

Many American officials have said in recent years that the roles of Mr. bin Laden and his lieutenants in Pakistan’s remote mountains have diminished with the growing prominence of the organization’s branch in Iraq, Al Qaeda in Mesopotamia, and with the emergence of regional terrorism networks and so-called home-grown cells.

That view, in part, led the C.I.A. in late 2005 to disband Alec Station, the unit that for a decade was devoted to hunting Mr. bin Laden and his closest advisers, and to reassign analysts within the agency’s Counterterrorist Center to focus on Al Qaeda’s expanding reach.

Officials say they believe that, in contrast with the somewhat hierarchical structure of Al Qaeda in Afghanistan before Sept. 11, the group’s leadership is now more diffuse, with several planning hubs working autonomously and not reliant on constant contact with Mr. bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahri, his deputy.

Much is still not known about the backgrounds of the new Qaeda leaders; some have adopted noms de guerre. Officials and outside analysts said they tend to be in their mid-30s and have years of battlefield experience fighting in places like Afghanistan and Chechnya. They are more diverse than the earlier group of leaders, which was made up largely of battle-hardened Egyptian operatives. American officials said the new cadre includes several Pakistani and North African operatives.

Experts say they still see Al Qaeda in Mesopotamia as largely independent of Al Qaeda’s hub in Pakistan but that they believe the fighting in Iraq will produce future Qaeda leaders.

(Page 2 of 2)

“The jihadis returning from Iraq are far more capable than the mujahedeen who fought the Soviets ever were,” said Robert Richer, who was associate director of operations in 2004 and 2005 for the C.I.A. “They have been fighting the best military in the world, with the best technology and tactics.”

Officials said other operatives believed to be plotting internationally are Khalid Habib, a Moroccan, and Abdul Hadi al-Iraqi. Mr. Iraqi, a Kurd who served in Saddam Hussein’s army, moved to Afghanistan to fight Soviet occupiers. Officials believe that he was dispatched to Iraq by Mr. bin Laden to deal with Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, whose terrorist group allied with Mr. bin Laden. It took the name Al Qaeda in Mesopotamia before Mr. Zarqawi was killed in an American bombing in June of last year. American officials say they believe that Mr. Iraqi is now back operating inside of Pakistan.

American officials say they still know little about how operatives communicate with Mr. bin Laden and Mr. Zawahri.

“There has to be some kind of communication up the line, we just don’t see it,” one senior intelligence official said.

American counterterrorism officials said they did not believe that any one figure had taken over the role once held by Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, the operations chief who was arrested in Pakistan in 2003 and is being held at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba.

During a recent legal hearing, Mr. Mohammed claimed responsibility for planning dozens of attacks over more than a decade.

One reason that Mr. Mohammed proved so valuable to Al Qaeda was his experience as a college student in the United States, which allowed him to train several Sept. 11 hijackers to assimilate into American society.

American officials said the seeming elevation of a California-born operative named Adam Gadahn to a more prominent role might be an effort to replicate Mr. Mohammed’s experience.

Mr. Gadahn has appeared on several Qaeda videos in recent years. The United States offers a $1 million reward for information leading to his capture. But American officials are divided about how important a role he plays, or whether top Qaeda leaders are merely using him for propaganda.

Officials are also divided and somewhat puzzled about Iran’s role in pursuing Qaeda figures.

Intelligence officials say they believe that the Iranian government has in some cases been quite active in the hunt and has put under house arrest a number of top operatives who fled from Afghanistan after the Sept. 11 attacks, including the Egyptian operations chief Saif al-Adel and Saad bin Laden, one of the Qaeda leader’s sons.

But officials say they believe that several other important Qaeda figures may be operating in Iran, including an Egyptian known as Abu Jihad al-Masri and a Libyan explosives expert named Atiyah Abd al-Rahman, who is thought to travel between Iran and Pakistan’s tribal areas.

Top American officials said that, despite the damage to the structure of Al Qaeda after the Sept. 11 attacks, concern is still high that the group is determined to attack globally.

“We have been very concerned that over time the leaders of Al Qaeda would try to rebuild a chain of command and an organizational structure,” said Robert S. Mueller III, director of the F.B.I, in a statement provided for this article.

Mr. Mueller said Al Qaeda was clearly committed to carrying out “major complex operations.” Some experts who have studied the group since its inception said American officials had in the past too readily assumed that Al Qaeda’s decision to wait long periods of time between attacks was a sign of weakness.

“To say that Al Qaeda was out of business simply because they have not attacked in the U.S. is whistling past the graveyard,” said Michael Scheuer, a former head of the bin Laden tracking unit at the C.I.A. “Al Qaeda is still humming along, and with a new generation of leaders.”

Peter K. Clarke - 10/9/2007

Okay, you are retracting your prior deception now, Mr. E (about "blowing it" being identical with taking the "lion's share" of the responsibility), but it was I, not you, who first said that NOT 100-0 does not necessarily mean 50-50. (In other words, you are not now permitted to start a new deception.)

I do not care to quibble, however, about whether 60-40 or 70-30, for example, might be the better number to attribute to Arafat+ vs Barak+ re responsibility for the 2000-01 failure (leaving Clinton out for the moment). Any such numbers could only be ballpark quesses re something not fundamentally quantifiable, and are anyway NOT the point here.

The point is that is time to stop pussyfooting around the massive Likudnik (or whatever you want to call it) falsification of the recent past (e.g. Camp David II), via dozens of bogus front websites, and an ongoing intimidation of the US Congress and US politicians (e.g. Howard Dean) which admits ZERO blame ever for the Israelis and is used to justify unceasing ass-kissing American support for endless oppression, brutality and peace-killing occupation polices by bungling Israeli politicians whether Ex-Labor, Ex-Likud, Religious-Nutcase or whatever. This is a disgusting travesty of history, and HNN is not redeemed by running here, on a rare exceptional basis, an approximately equally absurd (but astronomically less heard from in America) view from the other extreme. The fact that Al Jezzerah et al are worse does not mean that two wrongs make a right, or the America should use barbaric standards from the most backward regions of the world as a guide to the wisdom or morality of its policies.

Peter K. Clarke - 10/9/2007

I did not mean -in the above post- to imply a conflation of Pappe's positions with the extreme Islamist views aired on Al Jezzerah. There are more the two extremes involved here.

Peter K. Clarke - 10/9/2007

more THAN two extremes

Peter K. Clarke - 10/9/2007

Of course it is a blatant distortion, and not the first example of inacceptably shoddy historical mis-inference.

IF in fact "Nusseibeh puts the responsibility for not closing the deal more on Arafat than on anyone else" then that point (tangential to the main discussion) needs to be properly referenced (e.g. to something OUTSIDE yesterday's NYT book review), or presented as a hypothesis, not made as a guess posing as a fact. (History 101 being forgotten by a professor neglecting his duties to go on another wild web broadsiding expedition.)

What Mr. E has said is the functional equivalent of saying:

If one claims that John Kerry "blew" his chances for president in 2004 by having voted for the 2002 blank check Iraq invasion authorization, "THE IMPLICATION IS THAT" Kerry bears "the lion's share of the responsibility" for that invasion, its deceit- and hubris-laden conception, and its blunder-ridden execution.

Peter K. Clarke - 10/9/2007

Admonishing Israelis to own up to the past sins of their leaders, and favoring a peaceful accommodation between them and Arabs hardly amounts to the "oozing of paranoia" you claim to discern in Professor Pappe's remarks, Mr. Kovachev.

The "euphoria" you pretend to find in my prior comment -because I simply expressed the belief that credit should be given when due, for a rare instance of balance- is a similar example of fantasy on your part.

I don't have data to corroborate or rebut your claim that few "'New Historians' want to be in the same room with" Pappe.

It is, however, certainly highly doubtful that many genuine historians, or bonafide defenders of the national security of the USA, would want to be "in the same room" with a Likudnik demagogue such as Daniel Pipes.

But, for true believers in Greater Israel über Alles, even a 10-1 bias (Pipes' frequency to Pappe's frequency on this website) is insufficient. Nothing less than total one-sided extremism will do. Everything that ever went wrong in the Near East in the past sixty years is the fault of the dastardly Arabs or their evil Soviet manipulators. No Israeli or Jew ever did anything wrong, except to fail to brutalize and oppress Arabs more thoroughly and effectively. Anyone suggesting otherwise must be immediately be barraged with a hailfire of verbal abuse, and truth and civility be damned.

I am not a psychologist, but the track record on the HNN comment boards is quite unmistakable as regards which forms of "paranoid" "crankiness" dominate here when it comes to the history of Israel.

Anticipating the usual misattributions and deceptions from the Likudomania herd here, I will hereby rebut in advance any crude attempt to pass me off as a "friend" or "supporter" of Mr. Pappe or his views of Israeli history.

My advocacy is for honesty and consistency. A website that claims to reflect a variety of views on controversial issues needs to follow through and actually provide such diversity. Moving the ratio of Mideast history articles from 90% Liduknik apologia to 85% Liduknik apologia is a step in the right direction, regardless of the degree of validity or nonsense in the incremental 5% adjustment.

Peter K. Clarke - 10/9/2007

Your generalizations do not invalidate the specific problem here.

We have here the same systematic, long-lived, and repeated the -Israeli-gov't-is-always-100%-right-no-matter-what
bias infecting both the articles and the comment posts. The motives undoubtedly vary, but the biases from article-writers and posters are not completely independent of each other. Careless pandering to propaganda in the choice of articles, and the lack of moderation of comments, allowing free rein to propaganda too there, throws a synergistic monkey wrench intothe gears of honest and critical thinking, and civil dialogue.

This is hypocritical, unhistorical, and contradicts the mission statement of the site. In this particular case (Likudnikism is not the only systematic bias found in HNN articles and on its comment boards), the bias is also counterproductive. It produces a blinding holier-than-thou mindset which weakens the true interests of Israel AND the US, and "The West" generally. I am more a historian than a psychologist, and can only explain this as a symptom of one of the all-time most basic of historical errors: thinking that the most searing history within living memory or within recent memorializing is the therefore the most likely future as well.

Peter K. Clarke - 10/9/2007

You are in denial.

Bush's neocon concocted (and incidentally Likudnik supported) Iraq disaster was the fulfillment of Bin Laden's dreams. It will take years if not decades for America to correct for negative repercussions of this massive blunder.

Peter K. Clarke - 10/9/2007

Once again (repeat of #107652 above)

Admonishing Israelis to own up to the past sins of their leaders, and favoring a peaceful accommodation between them and Arabs hardly amounts to the "oozing of paranoia" you claim to discern in Professor Pappe's remarks, MR. KOVACHEV.

Peter K. Clarke - 10/9/2007

Whether or not AIPAC has any actual influence over the US Congress, the fact that that body parrots AIPAC's advocacy re Israel and Palestine in word and deed, and with near unanimous predictability, and spinning nearly every Mideast foreign policy question in its direction, while giving token lip service to the Darfur horrors, reflects indeed, a set or priorities "warped beyond all imagination." Why are you such a diehard supporter of such warping? Could it be an inability to "grow up" and realize, that the government of Israel is not automatically always in the right on everything it does, and that occasionally, say one post per thousand of yours on HNN, you might find the courage and honesty to not reflexively argue, critique, nitpick, childlishly misattribute, scream at, or belittle anyone who ever takes issue with anything Israel ever does ?

Peter K. Clarke - 10/9/2007

...that there is only version of Israel's history.

Peter K. Clarke - 10/9/2007

Mr. F.,

Pappe SEEMS to be a rather disagreeable fellow. (I am relatively confident that nobody will excoriate me here at length for that subjective opinion -based on a bit of googling- as would very likely take place -and has in the past- were I to make such a personal criticism of any of Pappe's intellectual adversaries).

Re the recycled critique by Morris you have dumped above,however: I don't know how anyone here could evaluate whether Pappe might not make exactly the same allegations in reverse where he given the opportunity of rebuttal. Or how any unbiased observer here could then evaluate who is right and who is wrong on each point. It is a case (on this website this week) of bias versus bias. Which is still better than bias of one kind reigning supreme (on this website, most weeks).

Peter K. Clarke - 10/9/2007

Friedman, You are quoting a review by Morris of Pappe's book "A history...One land, two peoples." Morris gives no page numbers for his claims, and even if he were to have done so (not unheard of in book reviews, especially where alleged factual inaccuracies are concerned) the only way to be sure that his points are central to the book or its argument would be to

(your favorite solution):
read the book!

Have you?


Neither have I, but I would not berate you for the next 20 posts if I had.

I do not like what I read about Pappe's "post-modernist" "subjective" empathy. These are warning signs to activate the historical BS detectors.

My sense is that Morris's historical accounts of early modern Israel are probably closer to the truth than Pappe’s even without the lax attention to accuraxy. So why no articles by Morris on HNN?

I am also beginning to suspect that Pappe is a kind of professional troublemaker. Like Daniel Pipes. So, why attack the first troublemaker and defend the second?

Peter K. Clarke - 10/9/2007

The true FACTs are (a) that the review said "blew it" and (b) you claimed that it said to "bearsa lion's share of the responsibility."

I called you on this and you have been stonewalling since, with a now retracted retraction along the way. Pitiful. It is hard to imagine history books being written that way. But it worse has happened in the hands of historians who should have known better.

Peter K. Clarke - 10/9/2007

You have swallowed the AIPAC fish tale on the 2000 negotiations, hook, line and sinker. I was reading the newspapers at the time. The sticking point was Jerusalem. The offers, counteroffers and discussions want back and forth and around in circles for weeks at Camp David. There was compromise and intransegience on both sides. There was no mythical unchanged single Israeli offer, refused again and again by the Palestinians. Sure, Arafat was an obstacle to a settlement. Probably the biggest. But not the only.

Peter K. Clarke - 10/9/2007

and you are posting thousands of comments on the website that does it

Peter K. Clarke - 10/9/2007

The last word is yours, Miss Estella Simon. Quite a nowhere androgynoman I must to be have merited all those points of view, knowing not where they are going to, but at your command, and hurled at my nowhere land.

Peter K. Clarke - 10/9/2007

A more rhetorically agressive dupe joins the thread, having the courage once in hundred times at most to start his own.

AIPAC sure as hell is NOT behind everything, but deceitful Likudnik propagandists are clearly influencing it AND running this fly-by-night propaganda website www.palestinefacts.org/ which is a pseudonym for Israeli Terrorist Settler Cowards, and which Simon considers a source of "facts."

Here by contrast is what the New York Times (not an Arab-run newspaper, and perhaps Simon has heard of it) says in its 2005 Almanac, p. 591:

"The roller-coaster peace talks between the Barak government and Palestinians lasted for a year but broke off bitterly (July 25, 2000); what was seen in the Knesset as excessive concessions, especially on Jerusalem, led to the unravelling of Barak's coalition..."

Peter K. Clarke - 10/9/2007

I have read Foner, and while I disagree with much of his writings, he was clearly spot on in calling Pipes's "Campus Watch" intimidation effort McCarthyist. One indication of this is that Pipes later dropped that particular demagogical trial balloon.

Peter K. Clarke - 10/9/2007

Friedman and Simon: You are guys are so busy falling all over each other, you are missing the big picture.

Theoretically this page is a case where you should be refraining from indulging your penchants for going on wild and barely relevant tangents.

Given your ironclad views of Israel and the Mideast, you ought to be laying into Pappe, what a deceitful Commie liar he is, etc. etc.

Instead tangentialism prevails. In that atmosphere, my dumping the most handy quote on my book shelf re the failed 2000 talks, is little different than Friedman (for example) reposting Prince Bandar for roughly the 188th time as if he were Moses descending with the tablets in hand, rather than one view of dozens.

You avoid Pappe, of course, because he shows the fallacy of thousands of your posts here. He (and much of what has been going in Israel -for at least the past 10-15 years) is NOT about how "everybody hates the Jews", circle the wagons, it's 1943 and we're all going to die. It is about disagreements BETWEEN different Jews, and particularly between Likuniks in Israel (and their US dupes who think they represent ALL Israelis) who paint a consistent black and white picture of 60+ years of repeated atrocities and horrors perpetrated by both sides, on the one hand versus a more sensible and sober set of Israelis who are rarely heard from on HNN, on the other.

It is asinine to the max, to suggest as you folks have done a hundred times and more, that 100% of the problems between Israelis and Palestinians generally, and in the failed 2000 peace talks in particular, are to blamed on one side.

I am not saying it has been 50-50. But it sure as allmighty wasn't and isn't 100-0.

art eckstein - 4/8/2007

Omar writes:

3-Your statement:
"The Arabs denied the Jews the right of return" by its reference to the hypothetical "Jewish right of return to Palestine" confirms your belief in and adherence to the inane and retrogressive "Eckstein/Green equation" that poor Eckstein was quick to disavow because of its patent retrogressive and pernicious output and implications.
However you seem to uphold it.

I don't know what you're talking about, Omar. I never disavowed this. As far as I can see, I never discussed it, since it's not an argument of strong interest to me.

I DO think it IS important that the Koran, as Mr. Greene has repeatedly shown, gives the Holy Land to the Jews--a fact which should determine Muslim understandings of the situation and which shows significant Jewish occupation of the region in the time of the Prophet and about which fact you have never replied to him.

I do think it's relevant also that, as Mr. Greene has pointed out, Jews who had had lived in Hebron for 3,000 years were expelled by al-Husseini in 1929 (the first "ethnic cleansing") and that the same holds for "Arab" East Jerusalem, where ancient Jewish communities were the first to be expelled by Arabs during the 1948 War. I bring these examples up simply to show that the focus you obsessively have on Palestinian suffering is distorted, just as you fail to understand that Israeli attitudes towards repatriation are NOT "exceptional" among states (I've given the specific examples), and that the Israeli attitude towards monetary compensation is better than that of every other state with a similar problem of refugees from 60 years ago (and I've given the specific examples).

These are facts which you seem unable to comprehend or absorb. They ought to lessen your obsessive, violent perceptions of Israel, which includes justification of the strategy of suicide-bombing which is racist and genocidal in principle.

art eckstein - 4/8/2007


In the 1990s, the (unified) German govt officially requested from the govts of Poland, Hungary and Czechoslovakia not repatriation of German refugees (which was clearly impossible) but monetary compensation to German refugees for the property they lost when they fled west in 1945. This property still exists and is now either in private Polish, Hungarian and Czech hands or belongs to the respective governments. The request simply for monetary compensation for refugees for their property was universally refused by the Polish, Hungarian and Czech govts (partly on grounds that public opinion was against it).

Obviously, nothing like this is worth even trying with the Arab govts, to compensate the 900,000 Jews for the property they lost when they were expelled (an expulsion which ignorant Omar still continues to deny!).

Again, Omar knows nothing either of what you have written above, N.F., nor about any of the Germans' failed attempt to get monetary compensation for refugees, and thus sees the Palestinian situation as unique, and the Israelis uniquely evil, when in fact the Palestinians' position is primarily the fault of Arab govts (as even the EU says), as well as of the Palestinians' own hideous political mistakes, and on this issue the Israeli govt's position is far better than that of govts facing similar problems of refugees from 60 years ago.

N. Friedman - 4/8/2007


The issue of the alleged Palestinian right of return came up in Europe in June of 2003. The Council of Europe rejected a request by the Palestinians regarding a "right of return." According to the Council:

The Assembly recognises that there has been a new reality in the Middle East since the Arab-Israeli war of 1948 which created the refugee problems. It calls on all the parties involved in these problems to negotiate and achieve a just settlement based on United Nations Security Council Resolution 242 (1967)...In particular, a large number of refugees who prefer to stay in host countries in the region should be compensated and provided with financial support allowing them to settle permanently....

Parliamentary Assembly, Recommendation 1612 (2003), The situation of Palestinian refugees, June 25, 2003. The circumstances of this rejection were explained at the time in an article entitle "Surprise, Surprise, Surprise," By Amnon Rubinstein (published in Haaretz sometime in late June, 2003):

The Council of Europe, representing 45 countries joined together to protect the values of democracy, the rule of law and human rights, on June 25 delivered the first surprise with a resolution it passed on the issue of Palestinian refugees. An initiative by Arab states seeking support for the Palestinian right of return was rejected and instead a resolution was passed calling for refugees to be settled in the countries where they live, or in other countries, and to grant full compensation and rights to those who remain in Arab countries.

The council did not mention any UN resolutions regarding the right of return, nor any Israeli duty to accept some of the refugees, but there was a demand for European countries to accept some of the refugees.

The council's decision was scarcely reported, but it was a European recognition that what was done in wars 50 years ago cannot be undone. Except for extremist right-wing groups, nobody wants to return Germans who lived for centuries in Poland and Czechoslovakia and were ruthlessly and brutally expelled. Likewise, it seems, there is no room for the Arab demand.

art eckstein - 4/8/2007

Omar, MANY peoples suffered such involuntary transfers in the late and post WWII period--including more Jews from the Middle East than Palestinians! And these people cannot return to their homelands (the Germans to East Prussia and Silesia, Hungary and Czechoslovakia), nor will they ever be compensated for what they lost. Period.

The difference is that Arab govts (unlike the German and Israeli govts) worked to keep the Palestinian diaspora a running sore, kept the Palestinians in refugee camps, and instigated a long-term propaganda of hatred and anti-semitism (see the comments of Nonnie Darwish on the savage anti-semitism--not anti-Zionism--of her upbringing in Gaza in the 1950s). Meanwhile the Jordanian govt, instead of allowing the Palestinians to create an indept state from 1948-1967, as the UN suggested, legally annexed the West Bank (while Egypt ruled Gaza). The fault here, Omar, lies not in exceptional Israeli bad behavior but in exceptional Arab bad behavior. And this Arab bad behavior has now been compounded by the intentional Fatah/Hamas creation of a Palestinian death-cult genocide culture which rejected the peace offer of 2000 (see Sari Nusseibeh's comments, which we have talked about) and which leaves the Israelis with no one to talk to, since what YOU demand, Omar (you among many others), is national suicide as a state.

Again: neither Poland, nor Hungary nor Czechoslovakia has ever compensated the 2 million German refugees, and have explicitly refused to do so (this in the 1990s, Omar). And, of course, no Arab govt has ever compensated their Jewish citizens for the property loss that followed their expulsions in 1948-1960. And some Muslim, Omar, now enjoys every piece of that Jewish property. (As some Muslim now enjoys every piece of the property of the 3 million Christian Greeks expelled from Turkey in 1922, for which no Turkish govt has ever offered compensation.)

art eckstein - 4/8/2007

Omar writes:

"War time activities are ALWAYS accompagnied by civilian population movements to get away as far as possible from harm's way; nothing unusual nor exceptional here."

Omar, I am glad you finally admit that much of the civilian population movement in 1948 was natural fleeing of a war, and not the result of Israeli "ethnic cleansing" or "colonialism." And remember--this was a war that the Arab population and the Arab govts STARTED by rejecting the UN Resolution that created Israel.

Then Omar writes:

"Nothing exceptional and unusual here EXCEPT Zionist/ISRAELI adamant refusal to allow Palestinian Arab refugees to return to their own native homes and repossess their own legitimate properties after the cessation of war time activities!"

There is NOTHING "exceptional" in the Israeli position, Omar. NOTHING.

The Polish, Hungarian and Czech govts REFUSED to repatriate the 2 million Germans expelled or fled in 1945, and (UNLIKE the Israelis) have continued to this day to refuse even to CONSIDER any compensation for the property (including land) that was left behind by the refugees and which is now occupied by Poles, Hungarians and Czechs.

As usual, you know nothing about history. As usual, you speak out of ignorance

Nor are the Israelis compelled to commit national suicide by inviting back within the 1967 borders millions of people who are vowed to destroy the Israeli state and have, since the early 1990s, adopted a wartime tactic of killing any Jews (or anyone who even LOOKS Jewish) who they can find--in short, genocide. You cannot expect any state to do it.

Elliott Aron Green - 4/8/2007

In the 1930s, the Arab leadership in the Land of Israel, constituted in the Arab Higher Committee [Note: they used the term "Arab," not "palestinian"], demanded that Britain stop Jewish immigration into the country, the internationally designated Jewish National Home. The UK agreed to this demand in the 1939 White Paper, effectively locking up millions of Jews in the Nazi domain. Of course, when Hitler took power in Germany, the Arab leadership knew very well that he hated Jews. That's why Haj Amin el-Husseini visited the German consulate in Jerusalem shortly after Hitler took power, in order to offer his congratulations. Hence, the Arabs denied the Jews the right of return to their national home when the Jews most needed a home. How many of the Holocaust victims died because of this Arab-British policy?? The Arabs denied the Jews the right of return, yet now they demand that right for themselves. Exercise of an Arab "return" would exacerbate the danger of another Holocaust of Jews. This time at the hands of "tolerant," "peace-loving" Arabs.
Further, Omar has not responded to the issues of Arabs driving Jews out of their homes in the series of pogroms from 1920 to 1936-38, nor of direct Arab collaboration in the Holocaust, most notably in the person of Haj Amin el-Husseini who spent most of the war years in the Nazi-fascist domain.

Elliott Aron Green - 4/7/2007

Omar, on the subject of Arab population displacements from the Land of Israel in the 1947-1949 war,
1) the war began shortly after the UN General Assembly partition recommendation of 11-29-1947, with Arab attacks on Jewish civilians throughout the country. The first civilians driven out of their homes were Jews driven out of homes and neighborhoods in Jerusalem [Shim`on haTsadiq] and Tel Aviv [south TA] by Arab attacks. These assaults followed a series of "ethnic cleansing" pogroms by Arabs against Jews in 1920, 1921, 1929, & 1936-38, most notably the Hebron massacre of 1929. Meanwhile, let's not forget Palestinian Arab collaboration in the Holocaust.
2) Prof. Ephraim [Efraim?] Karsh wrote a well-documented article on the flight of Arabs from Haifa in 1948. They fled at the behest of ARAB leadership, particularly that of Haj Amin el-Husseini, the chief leader of the Arabs in the country. The Jewish leadership tried to get the Arabs to stay in Haifa. Husseini and his gang, the Arab Higher Committee, wanted to demonstrate that Jews & Arabs could not live together by demanding Arab flight.

Karsh's article appeared in Commentary a few years ago. Maybe `Umar La Habibna will read Karsh's article and give us his rebuttal, if he can.

art eckstein - 4/7/2007

Note, readers--he has no response either to facts or arguments which others bother to present to him, but simply repeats a smug self-satisfied statement from a previous posting.


art eckstein - 4/7/2007

The involuntary transfer executed under duress which you describe, Omar (and you know that significant parts ofof it were NOT under duress but were responses from Arab govts to get out of the way for the 1948 massacre of Jews that never occurred) was not unusual in the late World War II and decolonization period. Hence the Palestinians' original situation was not unusual. Nor was the failure to return any property unusual, or the failure to make compensation unusual--and this includes every single piece of property of the 3 million Greeks expelled by Muslims after 1922, 7 million Hindus expelled by Muslims after 1947, and 900,000 Jews expelled by Muslims after 1948--every single piece of which property is being enjoyed by some Muslim as we speak. ( The last, about the Jews, is a historical fact which you, Omar, have explicitly refused to acknowledge despite the massive evidence; the other catastrophes are evidently of litle interest to you since you have mostly ignored repeated references to them). This sort of thing happened all over the planet in the period under discussion, it was terrible, and (you will note from the above list) Muslims were more perpetrators of this sort of thing than victims.

The Palestinians are unusual among these populations in that they were betrayed by Arab govts who refused to let them settle in new homes and begin new lives (as Greeks, Germans, and Middle Eastern Jews were allowed to do). That is a tragedy, but it is not the fault of the Israelis, but rather of cynical and vicious Arab govts. The Palestinians are also now unusual among these populations in the death-cult culture they have developed into, which has led to their failure to have a contiguous state of their own. The origins of the death-cult psychosis should be sought in the combination of hatred combined with ignorance of which Omar is an unfortunate example.

Elliott Aron Green - 4/7/2007

In his exchange with Omar, Art points out that Omar holds on firmly to groundless claims of Arab and pro-Arab propaganda. When I say pro-Arab, I refer to the pro-Arab ideological atmosphere in much of the British press & media [inc. BBC, guardian, etc.]. In the USA, the pro-Arab claims sometimes emerged from what I L Kenen, the early leader of AIPAC called the "Petro-Diplomatic Complex."

Now, without agreeing with Omar's claims re the 1947-1949 war, I am waiting for his response to my point that Arab pogromists, with encouragement of the local British administration, attacked Jews in Jerusalem in 1920, & in a series of attacks from 1920, 1921, 1929, 1935-38.

It appears that Omar admits Arab collaboration with the Germans in WW2,
This involved collaboration by Haj Amin el-Husseini, British-appointed mufti of Jerusalem, in the Holocaust.
Yet all this is excused by these statements:
"Nazi Germany was NOT the prime enemy of the Arabs at the time.
. . .
"All kind of people and states had relations and rapport with Nazi Germany during WW II including many, many Jews."
Well, maybe we're part of the way there [a very small part].

Also, he says that Jews who came in after 1920 were "colonialists." But the Jews massacred in Jerusalem in 1920 and Hebron in 1929 and Safed in the 1930s were Jews from families living in the Land before 1920. I have already pointed out that Karl Marx asserted a Jewish majority in Jerusalem in 1854 [New York Daily Tribune 4-15-1854]. Marx's source, Cesar Famin, pointed out a Jewish majority in 1853. Chateaubriand [ca. 1811], Famin, Marx all pointed out Arab oppression and persecution of Jews in Jerusalem before Theodore Herzl was born.

art eckstein - 4/7/2007

No, Omar--you are confused. We didn't make that connection between the present and the far past--you did. What occurred in 1948 was a population transfer typical of late World War II and decolonization. In that transfer, 700,000 Palestinians were displaced, and 900,000 Jews from Middle Eastern countries. That is, more Jews were displaced than Palestinians. You REFUSED a week ago, in the face of a massive amount of evidence, to acknowledge that this displacement of Jews, larger than the displacement of Palestinians, was involuntary and often the result of violence, insisting it was voluntary and peaceful, therefore disgracing yourself as someone impervious to evidence.

The Palestinian issue is quite similar to what occurred in Turkey in 1922 (1.3 million Greeks), in Poland in 1945 (2 million Germans), in India in 1946 (14 million Hindus and Muslims), and finally the Middle Eastern Jews (900,000). The difference is that all these populations have adjusted to the unfortunate situation, whereas the Palestinians you represent still want to destroy Israel. They are living in the past, it is a pretty unique situation, and you yourself have emphasized that this uniqueness is the result of Arab/Muslim "nobility."

But the Crusades, and the 7th century Muslim conquest of the Holy Land that preceded them, have NOTHING to do with post-World War II and decolonizaiton population displacements. Our point is not that this situation is SIMILAR to the Crusades. Rather, the problem is that YOU brought up a Muslim-propagandistic version of the Crusades in which the Muslims were pure victims (i.e., just like, in your view, 1948). But this was a version which (a) ignored that the Muslims had conquered the Holy Land by violence in the mid-seventh century and previously it had been Christian and Jewish, i.e., it had not "always" been by rights Muslim, "Muslim lands" sacred from interlopers, and hence the Crusaders were interlopers, and which (b) ignored the fact that the actual population of the Holy Land itself at the time of the Crusades was (by a Muslim account adduced by Mr. Green) possibly majority Christian and not Muslim (and this was certainly true of Jerusalem, which was mostly Jewish and Christian) so that this could hardly be looked upon as Christian aggression against "Muslim" lands. One may also note that one precipitating factor in the Crusades was the destruction of the great church of the Holy Sepulcher by Fatimid Caliph Hakim (ca. 1010)--the type of violent, destructive anti-Christian act which you have consistently denied ever took place under benevolent and peaceful Muslim rule. The first place the Crusaders prayed was at the ruins of this Church, once they'd captured Jerusalem. (Which, this being Medieval period, was done with enormous violence to the civilian population, and was itself thus a disgrace.)

The problem is that you know nothing about history, Omar--except what pathetic propaganda you have ingested. But what is worse, far worse, is starting from that point of ignorance, which might be pardonable, you refuse to learn from the actual facts we give you, attested facts--instead denying their existence and calling us liars. This, I'm sorry to say, is evidence of an irretrievable pre-empirical mind-set on your part.

E. Simon - 4/6/2007

After thoughtfully considering how - if even, whether - to respond to the preceding post, I decided to just let it dangle there as a reminder of how far someone could be willing to go to avoid addressing something directly.

Peter, I'm sure you're an important and valuable person. But we're not talking about you as a person, per se. We're talking about how your overwhelming need to see yourself as an important and valuable person with thoughts and ideas to express on-line is getting in the way of your willingness to consider the facts that are addressed by those thoughts and ideas.

art eckstein - 4/6/2007

Nor, Omar, do I assume from YOUR silence about it that you accept (though it is a fact) the fact of Muslim AGGRESSIVE IMPERIALISM that conquered and then exploited the then-Christian (and partly Jewish) lands of Judaea/Palestine, Syria, Egypt and North Africa.

Nor, Omar, do I assume from your silence about it, that you accept Elliot's and my REAL history of the Crusades (though it IS the real history of the Crusades), as opposed to your self-pitying, Muslim-propagandistic version, in which those conquered territories (still in the 11th century, in the case of the Holy Land, with perhaps a Christian majority population) had somehow always been and rightfully were "Muslim", and thus that the Muslims were somehow innocent victims of Christian aggression, when in fact it was a counter-attack.

art eckstein - 4/6/2007

Nope, Omar: we just got interested in something REAL, namely, Muslim pressure to drop the Holocaust from curricula in Britain.
Aren't you ashamed of that?

art eckstein - 4/6/2007

Thank you, Elliot. Your information makes Omar's propagandistic assertions about the Crusades (and his blindness as to the Arab/Muslim conquest violence which preceeded them, and indeed to the savagery of Arab/Muslim violence in general) as even more lacking in historical substance.

Not a surprise.

Elliott Aron Green - 4/6/2007

Art, I agree that the Arab/Muslim conquests of Syria, Judea, Egypt, Mesopotamia, Persia in the seventh century were violent conquests for the purpose of controlling other peoples' land and population. As to Judea [renamed "Syria Palaestina" by emperor Hadrian in 135 CE after suppression of the Jewish Bar Kokhba rebellion], Prof Moshe Gil writes that on the eve of the Arab conquest, 634-640 CE, Jews were a slight majority in the country. Some others share that position. However, John Wilkinson, who seems to side with the Arabs, claims that the Jewish percentage in the population of Judea ["palaestina"] was much less on the eve of the Arab conquest. He claims that he bases his claim on Michael Avi-Yonah. However, I have not found a basis for Wilkinson's claim in Avi-Yonah, although maybe I should look again. So it is not certain that Christians were a majority in the country in 634 CE.

In any case, al-Muqaddasi, the Arab-Muslim writer from Jerusalem, part of whose family had migrated from Persia, wrote that Christians were a majority in Jerusalem and in the country as a whole in his time, the 10th century.

A. M. Eckstein - 4/6/2007


1. My point, aside from what I said was just a teasing of you, was that the pressure NOT to teach the Holocaust was coming from MUSLIMS in Britain who denied it--and it was pressure SO STRONG that British educators were GIVING IN TO IT for fear of offending Muslim "sensibilities" on this topic.

2. "Further more I am ALL FOR teaching the Crusades to all as it was: a colonialist conquest by aliens; its real, irrespective of all presumptions, objectives: domination and exploitation of an other people's land and population." Omar, what you describe as the Crusades happens also to be a description of the Muslim CONQUEST BY VIOLENCE of Syria, Judaea (Palestine), Egypt--all of which were CHRISTIAN REGIONS POPULATED OVERWHELMINGLY BY CHRISTIANS in the 7th century. In that sense, the Crusades were simply a counter-attack against Muslim aggression, and an attempt to expel what from the Christian point of view was an "alien body" from traditional Christian areas. You find that irrational? Look in the mirror when you talk about "Palestine" then. But looking in the mirror and the violence there is something, I note, that your intense and irrational sense of victimization always prevents you from doing.

A. M. Eckstein - 4/5/2007

Schools drop Holocaust lessons

Jeevan Vasagar
Monday April 2, 2007
The Guardian

Schools have avoided teaching the Holocaust and the Crusades in history lessons because they are concerned about causing offence to Muslim pupils or challenging "charged" versions of history which children have been taught at home, government research has found.
A report for the Department for Education and Skills found that a history department in a northern city had avoided selecting the Holocaust as a GCSE topic for fear of confronting "anti-semitic sentiment and Holocaust denial" among some Muslim pupils.

Another school decided to teach the Holocaust despite anti-semitic sentiment among students, but avoided the Crusades as "their balanced treatment of the topic would have directly challenged what was taught in some local mosques".

The report, Teaching Emotive and Controversial History, also revealed that one school was challenged by Christian parents for teachers' treatment of the Arab-Israeli conflict.

A DfES spokesman said: "It's up to schools to make a judgment on non-compulsory parts of the national curriculum. It is a broad framework and there is scope for schools to make their own decisions."

Teaching of the Holocaust is expected to become compulsory under the new national curriculum from next year.

Now, I'm just teasing Omar with the title of this posting here--but the story is serious, and so is the appeasement of the vilest sort of Muslim anti-semitism by bien-pensant British educators.

Elliott Aron Green - 4/5/2007

Omar, you did not respond to what I said about Arab Nazi-collaboration, about the urging on of the Germans to kill more Jews by the chief Palestinian Arab leader, Haj Amin el-Husseini [British-appointed mufti of Jerusalem], or about Arab expulsions of Jews from their homes starting in 1920.

I remind you that Jews have been living in Jerusalem continuously since the Mongol withdrawal of 1260 when native Christians and Arab Muslims also returned to the Holy City. Further, Jews had been living in Hebron at least since 1260 [or the end of the Crusader hold on Jerusalem, 1244], if not continuously since First Temple times. Yet, Arabs massacred Jews in the Old City of Jerusalem in 1920 and later, and massacred 68 Jews in Hebron in 1929, after which the British, in cooperation with the Arabs, removed the surviving Jews from Hebron.
As to the Right of Return, the Arabs in the country denied the right of the Jews to return to their homeland, although Yusuf Diya al-Khalidi, Walid's great-uncle, had stated that it was the Jews' land, and despite the Land of Israel being the internationally designated Jewish National Home. Since the British acceded to the Arabs' demand on the eve of the Holocaust, keeping Jewish refugees out of their National Home, the Arabs and British become accomplices to the Holocaust.
Now, since the 1947 UN General Assembly partition vote was merely a recommendation, as are all General Assembly resolutions on political issues [UN charter, articles 10-12], and since the Arab side rejected the recommendation, then all of the country remained in its previous legal status as the Jewish National Home. Hence, Judea-Samaria-Gaza were not "occupied" by Israel. Those regions were still juridically part of the Jewish National Home.
Please take note so that these points do not have to be reiterated. Further, there were some points in my previous post that you did not respond to: 1) Amin el-Husseini's collaboration with the Nazis in the Holocaust; 2) Arab expulsions of Jews from their homes in various parts of the country, starting in 1920.

N. Friedman - 4/5/2007


You are not making any sense. All countries hold onto land conquered when they are attacked. I remind you that Arab armies attacked in 1948 in order to prevent the very partition which you now propose makes Israel intrinsically agressive.

Notwithstanding being what you call aggressive, after the Six Day War, Israel returned about 90% of the land captured. That, in exchange for a piece of paper called a peace treaty. So much for your theory.

Now, as for your theory that a state has intrinsic characteristics, clearly one of Israel's characteristics is a willingness to cede land.

N. Friedman - 4/5/2007



Elliott Aron Green - 4/5/2007

Pappe dwells on alleged plans of the Zionist leadership to drive Arabs out of the country. In fact, in the Israeli War of Independence, starting Nov 29-30, 1947, Arab irregular forces began attacks on Jews --Jewish civilians-- shortly after the UN General Assembly's partition recommendation. As a result of these Arab attacks, Jews were driven out of their homes in several neighborhoods in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, for instance, south Tel Aviv and Shim'on haTsadiq [whence Jews were driven out in December 1947]. Arab leaders and spokesmen clearly enunciated threats of driving Jews into the sea and massacring Jews. Azzam Pasha, secretary general of the Arab League, threated the Jews with actions like "the Mongol massacres and the Crusades." In this light, Pappe --in the post above, originally an address to a Japanese audience-- is turning history upside down. It was the Arabs who first and openly declared an intention to expel or slaughter Jews in the country. This had been preceded by expulsions from various areas in the country with British acquiescence or encouragement, starting in 1920, then 1921, 1929, 1936-38. Further, the chief leader of the Palestinian Arabs, Haj Amin el-Husseini had collaborated in and urged on the Germans in the Holocaust. He urged Arabs over Radio Berlin in Arabic to "Kill Jews wherever you find them..." Now, since Pappe does not mention or even allude to these facts in the address quoted above, he is falsifying history. The same can be said about his distortion of "equipment levels" of the Arab and Jewish forces in the war, and about other subjects.

Elliott Aron Green - 4/5/2007

Pappe's mendacity has been adequately addressed by other posters on this thread and by many reviews. He himself stated that the facts were not so important to him.

Could you give us a source for your novel definition of colonialism as not requiring a state or empire? A source published before it became fashionable in some quarters to call Israel "colonialist"?

A. M. Eckstein - 4/4/2007

P.S. "Lion's share of the responsibility" to Arafat does NOT mean that I think, or am saying, that Nusseibeh thinks the Israelis were blameless.


A. M. Eckstein - 4/4/2007

Nusseibeh said that Arafat "blew it" and should have closed the deal with the Israelis.

Even if we didn't know of Nusseibeh's general hostility to Arafat throughout the book, his accusations of incompetence and corruption against Arafat, this statement in and of itself most reasonably means that Nusseibeh gives Arafat the lion's share of responsibility for the failure of Camp David/Tabah. But of course this statement DOES come in the midst of Nusseibeh's general hostility towards Arafat and his administration of the Palestinian cause.


E. Simon - 4/4/2007

I await The Great Pseudonym's instructions on what "blew it" means in relationship to what responsibilities were borne and either successfully or unsuccessfully carried out.

Elliott Aron Green - 4/4/2007

Omar, in response to your message of 4-4-07. I don't time for a full rebuttal but two points will have to suffice for the time being.
First, the Arabs are not indigenous to the Land of Israel. You do know about the Arab conquest of the 7th century, which was acknowledged by Jamal Husseini, an Arab spokesman testifying before the Anglo-American Commission of Inquiry on Palestine in 1946.
Second, I'm glad you mentioned Algeria. Arabs are not the indigenous people there either. There too Jews preceded the Arabs, although the Berbers are the indigenous people. In Algeria too, as elsewhere in Dar al-Islam --the Muslim domain-- Jews were oppressed as dhimmis. As Jews were oppressed, etc., as dhimmis in the Land of Israel. Although Jews were more indigenous to Algeria than the Arabs were, nonetheless, the Arab regime installed in 1962 drove out the indigenous Jews.
Third, your definition of colonialism as not requiring a state and not representing a state is quite novel. Perhaps you could provide citations for your defintions. In any case, the Jews were and are returning to their own land usurped by Arabs in a historical process starting in the 7th century.
4th, Jews have been an absolute majority in Jerusalem since 1853, if not before. Jews had the plurality in Jerusalem since 1839 when Jews fleeing the earthquake-caused devastation in Safed migrated to Jerusalem. Muslims were a minority in Jerusalem throughout the 19th century, and most likely since the Mongol withdrawal in 1260, since Jews and Christians taken together made up a majority [at least from the beginning of the 19th century].
You could try to find a definition of colonialism drawn up BEFORE Arabs and their ideological allies starting applying the label to Zionism. A definition from after that time might be tainted with special ideological custom-tailoring with the purpose of including Zionism, which earlier definitions might not have done.

Elliott Aron Green - 4/4/2007

Omar, the Arab conquests can rightly be considered colonialist. I do not now nor have I ever considered Zionism "colonialist." There is a word game going on here, because the words "colony" and "colonize" and "colonialist" have had several meanings over the ages. Zionists settled on the land, that is, they established farming communities or settlements. This is not the same as colonialism. Colonialism is a practice of states. When the Bilu came to Israel in 1882 to settle on the land, pray tell which colonial power was directing their efforts? The aim of the Bilu was to be loyal Ottoman subjects, although they may have dreamed of a Jewish state in the distant future. The Bilu came from the Russian Empire, an empire which was not kind to Jews, to put things mildly. The Russian empire did not support their Jewish subjects abroad, not in Israel and not elsewhere. Russia wanted the Holy Land as a Russian [and Greek] Orthodox stronghold, not as a Jewish state. The Bilu thought that Jews would be better treated in the Orient. There was no state power, colonial or otherwise, that directed the Bilu. In 1882 there was not even a World Zionist Congress or WZO. These bodies were set up by Herzl and others in 1897. When the Bilu arrived they were subject to Ottoman law, that is, they were subject to Muslim law as modified by the Ottoman reforms [tanzimat].

Jews have lived in Jerusalem continuously since the Mongol withdrawal in 1260, when Muslim authorities invited Jews to settle in Jerusalem and elsewhere in the rather depopulated country. Jews have been the majority in Jerusalem since 1853 at least. Muslims have been only a minority in Jerusalem since the beginning of the 19th century, at least, with Jews and Christians making up a majority when taken together [see population estimates made circa 1806 in Yehoshua Ben-Arieh, Jerusalem in the Nineteenth Century]. This means that it is likely that Muslims were a minority in the city since long before 1800. Hence, we don't know when, if ever, that Muslims were a majority in the city. Jews would have been much more numerous in Jerusalem before 1853 if it were not for the severe oppression and exploitation that Jews were subject to under Muslim rule before the tanzimat.
Jews have lived in Safed continuously since Roman times.

N. Friedman - 4/4/2007


How would you know? You have not studied Israel's history. Professor Morris, among the leading authorities, effectively indicates that Pappe's facts are BS - as in all mixed up, with fundamental errors.

art eckstein - 4/3/2007

In any case, my understanding from what I remember reading in Israeli newspapers is that Israeli public opinion was deeply split on the Iraq invasion in 2002/2003, and that, further, the Israeli intelligence people preferred the U.S. to focus on Iran instead, not Iraq, as the major strategic threat but that they went along with the Bushites in order to get along with them. So "Likudnik support" for the Iraq War, assuming that you actually mean Israelis by this term, Clarke (and who knows?), is not correct.

Elliott Aron Green - 4/3/2007

First of all, Omar, your own Qur'an contains Zionist assertions and predictions.
Secondly, the Arabs are among the great land grabbers of history, along with the British and the Russians. The Land of Israel is one of many countries that the Arabs usurped.
Thirdly, the social system set up by the Arab conquest was a predatory, exploitative, deliberately humiliating, system of oppression of the various native subject peoples conquered by the Arabs. On this you could read and study Bat Ye'or. On the specific subject of Arab/Muslim treatment of Jews you should read Norman Stillman's two books on this subject. Jimmy carter's gross hypocrisy shows up in his accusation of apartheid against Israel, whereas his friends in Saudi Arabia and the Persian Gulf emirates practice to this day extreme discrimination against non-Muslim and non-Arab inhabitants of those countries. The situation in those countries is much in line with traditional Islamic practice towards dhimmis, and much like South African apartheid or jimcrow in the American South [Carter's own American South, although I do not impugn all southerners on this account]. Of course, the traditional Muslim dhimma system has been based on religion, not on skin color or biological race.
Fourthly, as to Israel Shahak, he was a card-carrying Communist. Communists have been hostile to the Jews from the beginning of their cult.
Fifthly, by Lenin's definition of imperialism, finance capital is imperialist by definition. That definition today fits Saudi Arabia and the Persian Gulf emirates with their trillions of dollars worth of assets throughout the world, particularly in Europe and the USA. The fact that the so-called Left is basically not interested in the plight of the foreign workers in those countries shows that today's Left is a fake. Further, the Left's failure to take an interest in those millions of exploited workers shows that the Left today is merely a manipulated body of public opinion.

E. Simon - 4/3/2007

It might surprise you to learn that such a letter actually exists in the alphabet. Whether or not the name "Peter K. Clarke" actually belongs to you, in contrast, is still something you might like to clarify.

My points are pretty much on-target when it comes to addressing the dilemma of a voice that so desperately wants its "less facts, more anti-Israel spin" to be heard, that it will actually invent an on-line persona - against the rules of that site - in order to do so.

Elliott Aron Green - 4/3/2007

Wait a minute, Peter, you posted an article about Pakistan from the NYT, not an article about Iraq. Are you changing the subject? Be that as it may, I happen to believe that Pakistan is a disaster in more ways than one, a disaster created by the UK and fostered by several US administrations as a supposed bulwark against Communism, and against a somewhat pro-Soviet India too, just by the way.

Your argument seems to be --in your post of 9:43 4-2-07-- that Bush weakened the struggle against Bin Laden by going after Saddam Hussein too, spreading his forces too thin. I would say first of all that Bush's real purposes in the Iraq war may be much different from the Iraq-related issues that the overwhelming majority of commentators have been disputing for several years now. In any case, the war did disrupt Saddam Hussein's work on ABC weapons. I am not convinced at all that no evidence was found of such weapons or of research on such weapons after the US-led conquest of Iraq. I believe that much of the research capacity of Iraq in that area --as well as any developed weapons-- was smuggled into Syria, as Israeli prime minister Sharon said in the fall of 2002. There have been a number of reports from the post-war inspectors of findings within Iraq of ABC-related research devices. Also, Syrian exiles have claimed to know the whereabouts of various relevant objects and materials in Syria. Prof Rafael [Raphael??] Israeli of the Truman Institute of the Hebrew University recently published an article in the Israeli bi-monthly Nativ going over the findings of ABC-related objects and materials in Iraq. The big question is why Bush allows people to think that nothing was found. Why is Bush hiding the ABC findings?

N. Friedman - 4/3/2007


The allegations against Pappe are akin to those about your presence in Riyadh. In fact, they are worse.

N. Friedman - 4/3/2007


I have no idea what you are talking about. My only point is that Peter's reading of a book review is incorrect on the point noted by Professor Eckstein. I suggest you read the book review. It would do you some good.

N. Friedman - 4/3/2007


Something can only be shown to be something if the facts support that showing.

Consider: I can say that Omar was in Riyadh on June 1, 2006. Anyone can say that. But, if you were not there, my saying so (or anyone else saying so) does not make it true.

It is the same thing with Pappe. If the facts do not support his position, his saying it is so does not make it so. And, as I noted, there are serious factual problems with his presentation which suggest that he does not follow the facts.

art eckstein - 4/3/2007

Omar, you present no arguments or facts to show that either Friedman or myself is wrong about Sari Nusseibeh's statement about Arafat's major responsibility for the failure at Camp David/Tabah. You simply make accusations. As usual, facts are foreign to you.

E. Simon - 4/2/2007

Well, well, well. I see that when given an inch of generosity with her points, Nanny Pseudo-Clarke runs with them in order to take a mile away from the cause of rational, civilized discourse.

All of The Clarke Pseudonym's empty declarations above can be filled-in with accusations directed right back at her:

We have here the same systematic, long-lived, and repeated the -Peter K. Clarke-is-always-100%-right-no-matter-what
bias infecting...the comment posts...

Careless pandering to propaganda in...the lack of moderation of comments, allowing free rein to propaganda too there, throws a synergistic monkey wrench intothe gears of honest and critical thinking, and civil dialogue....

a blinding holier-than-thou mindset...

In all of Peter Pseudo-Clarke's confused accusations, we see that (s)he doesn't even bother to distinguish between this charge of "Likudnikism" and the fact that within the Government of Israel - you know, the one that all these biased people think is "always-100%-right-no-matter-what" - the Likud party does NOT even participate. It is an opposition party. It was opposed to the withdrawal from the Gaza Strip, which no one here, to my knowledge, "the biased" and "Clarke" included, opposed, so either this, one of arguably the most historically significant actions by the Government of Israel in recent years, is an action with whose ostensible "rightness" one agrees, or failing any ability on the part of "Clarke" to acknowledge that, one is simply a "Likudnik". "Clarke"'s willingness to harbor mutually exclusive charges to throw at others merely underscores his astounding level of ignorance. And of course, it does nothing for civilized discourse, even if it weren't for his frothing-at-the-mouth polemical invective.

What's really funny about all this, is that when proved wrong, it's evident that all he has is horrendously ignorant, misguided political rhetoric. But his willingness to forever inject his posts in such a way as to get the last word, infinitely lengthening threads, despite his ignorance exposed, despite his propensity for contributing rationally unmasked and demolished, continuously, week-after-week, conveys a need to save face. And why a pseudonym would feel a need to save face, demands that one ask how seriously an unknown person - who posts under a false name - will take a reputation - that doesn't even rest on anything remotely related to the courage it would take to be associated with a real identity and a verifiable knowledge base to defend. It demands that one ask how seriously such a person will take a phony reputation that symbolizes nothing more than both the personal and historical fictions he's created. This "Clarke" fake-man ridicules himself to the point where a caricature of a detachable self from which he is not connected in any meaningful way is all that remains. And thus, the fact that he would say that there is any need to take his appeal to any "interests" he proclaims seriously, is in itself laughable.

N. Friedman - 4/2/2007


I view the matter as I see it. When Israel is correct, it deserves to be supported.

I do not balance arguments in order to show a phony equality of fault. That, to me, is a disreputable approach. It is dishonest and stupid.

A. M. Eckstein - 4/2/2007

To be crystal clear for you, Clarke, the phrase "lion's share of the responsibility" for the failure at Camp David/Tabah is MINE, and I did NOT QUOTE Nusseibeh as saying this. But everyone but you believes that this is in fact the correct understanding of what Nusseibeh DID say, that Arafat blew it and should have closed the deal. Clear now? So stop slandering me.

A. M. Eckstein - 4/2/2007

I didn't QUOTE Nusseibeh as saying Arafat "bears a lion's share of responsibility"; but what he DID say indicates--as everyone but YOU seems to see--that this is in fact what Nusseibeh means when he says that Arafat (not Arafat and the Israelis) "blew it...He should have closed the deal.". So it's a distinction without a difference you're drawing, and you should stop slandering me.

N. Friedman - 4/2/2007


No. You are playing games. That Pappe's history is wrong - as many of us contend - does not mean that there is only one possible interpretation. Again, the issue with Pappe is his view, as noted by Benny Morris, that facts take a backseat to interpretation. That sounds like the talk of an ideologue. And, then there is Pappe's recasting of all of Israeli history as noted by Morris. And, then there is Pappe's bizarre interpretation of Israel's war of Independence in which the cat was in the bag so Israel just happened to allow itself to loose a huge number of people for political expediency.

art eckstein - 4/2/2007

Thanks, N.F.

You can count on Clarke continuing to slander me with this, of course, even though now both you and E. Simon agree that I correctly interpret Nusseibeh's statement.

Clarke has no facts. Doesn't both him in argumentation, nor in slandering others.

art eckstein - 4/2/2007

I retract nothing: as E. Simon says, Nusseibeh gives the lion's share of the responsibility for the failure at Camp David to Arafat.

And I do not engage in deception. You just don't like facts, Clarke.

Joseph Mutik - 4/2/2007

Noam Chomsky is a great linguist, Harold Pinter is a great playwright and they'll be remembered for their scientific and literary talents.
Pappe is totally irrelevant and the only way he can make a "name" for himself is by joining the blame the Jews crowd.

Elliott Aron Green - 4/2/2007

Peter, Mazzetti's article from the NYTimes reflects very little on "neocons" or Likudniks. Indeed, the British set up Pakistan as a Muslim religious state back in 1947. Since then Pakistan has been coddled by various US administations. On the Brit and US roles in re Pakistan see a little gem of an article by Carlo Panella in Il Foglio shortly after the 7-7 bombings in London in 2005. Ike's administration was very pro-Paki. Later, it was Zbig Br'ski, jimmy carter's national insecurity advisor who worked with Paki intelligence, the ISI, to encourage Islamist fanatics in Afghanistan to fight the USSR. Zbig was interviewed after 9-11 and could not acknowledge the harm done by helping establish an Islamist stronghold in Afghanistan --whatever good may have been done by bringing down the USSR-- linked to Paki intelligence. Further, the article Peter supplies from the NYT mentions the CIA. It is rather notorious, isn't it, that the CIA is not neocon, that the CIA opposed the Iraq war, rightly or wrongly?? So blame for what Pak's ISI does should go to Washington administrations that fostered the ISI, like Ike and carter's admins. The seeds for the Pak-Afghan problem go back to British policy in 1947 and then were cultivated by Ike's admin. Bush isn't to blame for everything. The problem now is that Bush, by adopting jim baker's fake "realism," is moving back towards Zbig's policies. And that is threatening.

N. Friedman - 4/2/2007


No offense but Art had the matter right. I read the comment and I think Art understood it as intended. You are changing the meaning.

Elliott Aron Green - 4/2/2007

NF, you have presented a nice summary of the meaning of SC res. 242. As we say, from your mouth to God's ear. I hope Peter C will read it too. You point out in conclusion that there is no way now to end the dispute. Meanwhile, what true statesmen, true peacemakers, ought to avoid is giving fanatic Islam a victory, which is one of the reasons --not the only one-- why Sharon's withdrawal of Israel troops from Gaza and the concomitant expulsion of the Jews living there was so wrong. You point out that the EU now pushes the Arab line. Apparently the EU leadership doesn't understand the necessity of depriving fanatic Islam [= jihad] of victories. Or if they do understand, then they are harming their own countries.

E. Simon - 4/1/2007


I agree that this is a perfectly reasonable interpretation of Nusseibeh's comments. Even "blew it" would likely have been put as "they" blew it, or some similar construction, had Nusseibeh thought that it was more important to imply multiple causation as opposed to emphasizing Arafat's final stamp of disapproval.

art eckstein - 4/1/2007

Yes, E. Simon--it's fine to say that "both sides are at fault, share the blame," and Clarke would like to leave it at that. Nevertheless, and this is a point Clarke simply refuses to see, though both sides might share the blame, the share of the blame need not be 50/50. In regard to Camp David/Tabah, neither Clinton nor Ross nor Prince Bandar believe it was 50/50 between Arafat and the Israelis. They place the major blame on Arafat, not the Israelis. (Though obviously that does not mean he has ALL the blame.) Similarly, when Sari Nusseibeh, who dislikes Arafat's regime anyway, is quoted as saying that
Arafat blew it at Camp David "by not closing some sort of deal with the Israelis," I take that to mean that Nusseibeh thinks the Israelis were offering a deal that WAS closeable, and that Arafat refused to close it, to work towards a compromise, and that this is his heavy responsibility. (That doesn't mean Nusseibeh, completely absolves the Israelis either, not at all, anymore than Clinton, Ross, or Bandar do.)

art eckstein - 4/1/2007

To judge from the review, Nusseibeh despises Arafat in general and thinks he was a bad and destructive leader. Then when Nusseibeh is quoted in the review as saying that "Arafat clearly blew it by not closing some sort of deal at Camp David", the implication is that Nusseibeh puts the responsibility for not closing the deal more on Arafat than on anyone else (as Clinton does, Ross does, and Prince Bandar does), i.e., that the Israeli offers offered room for a deal which Arafat--not the Israelis--refused.

I do not think that is a distortion of the quotation.

N. Friedman - 4/1/2007


No offense but I think you have taken an irrational position.

HNN is a conduit for articles. Maybe most are pro-Israeli. I have no idea. What possible difference should that make to your commentary on what other people post in response to articles? I cannot imagine how such is remotely pertinent. I think that is an excuse for you not to take a position.

Moreover, I cannot imagine why you think it important to counter what you believe to be the dominant point of view of articles on this website. Why not argue what you think and defend your own position - using facts and rational argument rather than, as your habit, insult and labels? As I am fond of telling you, read a book on the topic so that you do not have to resort to name calling.

Labeling arguments gets people ticked off. It does not move discussion forward. And, frankly, it is a stupid way to argue - objectively speaking. As one who argues for a living, I can tell you that the only arguments that win over the long term are those which are well ground in fact and logic. Labeling almost never works - even if it sounds good at the time. In the end, it leads to acrimony and undermines one's argument.

Another point: the Likud position - whatever you actually think it is - is either correct or it is not, from a certain point of view. Which is to say, the Likud position either advances Israel position or it does not. The question is not whether a person favors the Likud but whether the Likud position is a good one.

Thus far, you have made no cogent argument that the Likud position is bad for Israel or that the US is not better off supporting the Likud position in Israel. Absent such an argument, what you are doing is labeling and, frankly, labeling is the very thing you dislike about Pipes. So, what is good for the goose ought be good for the gander. On your own argument about what McCarthyism is, you are a McCarthyite.

N. Friedman - 4/1/2007


Jerusalem was a sticking point but, in fact, that issue was solved. See the book by Dennis Ross. Also see comments by Prince Bandar on the topic.

E. Simon - 4/1/2007

Ok. Thanks for your clarification of that quote. But I'm not sure I agree with your gripe either. I could be wrong, but it seems that the arguments each week devolve around responsibility for the conflict itself; I don't recall Camp David II being the repeated theme each week. And I know that for a fact, Professor Eckstein has been very clear that he thinks no side is blameless in that.

It is important to accept that, at the same time, blame can still be apportioned according to different attitudes or approaches, such that, a certain blameworthy attitude or approach of which one side is guilty might be more easily changed than another blameworthy approach or attitude by the other side might be changed. And vice versa. Some changes are more consistently and more painlessly coupled with a productive forward momentum than others, and if anything, any biases I might seem to display are in effort to avoid equivocating over that important consideration. One should also not underestimate the importance of an open attitude and a willingness to consider more numerous options, either, when it comes to evaluating the role of each of two or more parties to a dispute.

N. Friedman - 4/1/2007


Were someone to call you a Nazi, I would defend you and say you are not. That does not mean I agree with anything you write.

The same is so with Pipes. Calling him McCarthyite is, in my book, untrue. So, I defend against that.

E. Simon - 4/1/2007

Your criticisms of the site itself have no place in a post about criticizing others who post responses on it. You might stop confusing the site with the people participating in it. And your "shorthand" shortchanges the distinctions between not admitting error period, and merely not admitting error when you have failed to prove it.

You say you are "opposed to bias". Everyone is biased to they way they are used to seeing things. You might more respectfully explore whatever biases you claim in others, but I can understand why you are so loathe to doing so according to any civilized standards of behavior, given how adamantly you proclaim the assumed supremacy of your own "pro-U.S." bias.

Also, being conversant in a basic understanding of logic is a good tool for being able to perceive bias or a divergent tenor in a discussion without blindly railng on about it to a degree that precludes rationally resolving inevitable differences of opinion. "(C)ompromise" does not require that all participants in a discussion come to share the exact same opinions. Indeed, only someone that "rejects all compromise" first requires that everyone else must assume his own perspective on everything discussed. I understand that it might require some degree of rationalization to accede to that, but such a compromise - I'm sure you'll find - at least allows for a conversation between individuals who aren't ideological clones of each other to proceed constructively.

E. Simon - 4/1/2007

The only time I bring up your David Duke-like tactics is when you're reduced to pejoratively labelling clearly different individuals, with often different positions, "LIKUD", because you can simply lump them together on the basis that they disagree with you - and not even usually on ideology, which is what political parties generally aggregate over - but because they disagree with you on facts and evidence that they are clearly willing to consider and reconsider fairly.

E. Simon - 4/1/2007

Okay, I'll have to read the review again then. But whom are you quoting with this:

Arafat, he says, “clearly blew it by not closing some sort of deal at Camp David.”

E. Simon - 4/1/2007

What a complex article for you to refer to. I've seen it before. And it would indeed be a shame if this "vanished" post you refer to actually had some interpretations of the article in it. What would be particularly interesting, is how Jerusalem was a sticking point in a negotiation when the authors conclude that Barak's willingness to concede so much on that point was just a ruse so that, as the authors speculate, such a move would be defeated by a hypothetical plebiscite afterward. Even if it was a ruse - an assertion that necessitates a popular judgment after that the authors in no way prove was unavoidable, that doesn't mean that Barak could have controlled such a plebiscite in any particular way. Further, he would have looked bad to have then done anything other than to persuade the democracy he led to accept this hypothetical plebiscite's outcome in favor of his negotiated outcome.

But either way, at least we know that Barak outshone Arafat not just in how far he was willing to (or willing to look like he would) go in a negotiated settlement. He was also willing to trust his people's judgment for making an unpopular decision in going that far. I don't think the article EVER redeems or even attempts to redeem Arafat for the cowardice of not doing that.

As a Pseudonym, though, perhaps you could relate.

E. Simon - 4/1/2007

"I answered Simon's question honestly, even though he is clueless as to what honesty is."

Now that's a funny one.

E. Simon - 4/1/2007

Why should he? It's apparent that the quote he provided from the NYT book he applied so far out of context as to make a contortionist jealous, and apparently providing quotes from Newsweek, The Wall Street Journal and MSNBC is obviated by the fact that they later just happened to be quoted, in turn, by the first dozen sites or so off of a GOOGLE search of which he doesn't happen to think too highly. That's different from actually using David Duke's tactics.

N. Friedman - 4/1/2007


Clarke's views regarding boundaries are commonly held. They are basically the view held by all European governments and, at times, by various US administrations.

But, historically and legally speaking, there is no doubt that Israel did not have a recognized boundary with any of its "neighbors." And, there is no doubt that one of the goals of UN 242 (and 338) was (and remains) the creation of secure, recognized boundaries for Israel.

And, given the views stated by those who wrote that SC resolution and those, such as the USSR, which opposed it, there is no doubt that the Armistice line was not intended to be made sacrosanct. Rather, the parties were to negotiate secure, recognized boundaries.

As the British ambassador noted, Israel's position and that of the Arabs were both to be met by the resolution. And, Israel's stated position - as stated by the UK ambassador, Lord Caradon - was that it would only withdraw to a secure, recognized boundary, not to the Armistice line.

The USSR ambassador, in fact, complained that the resolution did not require Israel to return to the Armistice line. He wanted a Chapter 7 resolution that forced Israel to return to the Armistice line.

Quite obviously, if the goals of Israel were to be met - even in the most minimal way - by UN 242, (and, as Lord Caradon said, such, along with Arab concerns, were, in fact, to be met), Israel would not have to withdraw to the Armistice line.

But, that was then and this is now. Now, oil is king, most especially in Europe. So, they push the Arab line - something, as Bat Ye'or shows, is by agreement. The US hopes to have it all ways, siding with both Israel and the concerns of Saudi Arabia.

Either way, nothing is done to end the dispute. There appears not to be a way, just now, to end the dispute. And, so long as Islamism is the thing in the Arab regions, no problems will be solved. Such force is a cancer on the entire region, bad for Arabs, Jews and everyone else.

On the other hand, unless Israel plans forever to rule people who do not want their rule, Israel will have to withdraw at least from some land. That does not mean that now is the time. But, someday when, for example, Islamism dies off as the political cancer it is, such will be a necessity.

E. Simon - 4/1/2007

Or even the post referencing it, apparently.

E. Simon - 4/1/2007

I did read it and conclude that it does agree with Art's interpretation given in the 2:02 PM post of this thread; that Nusseibeh is critical of widespread Palestinian attitudes regarding a political settlement to the dispute. This is what Eckstein is referring to - not Arafat's responsibility in a breakdown of the talks in 2000. His 10:04 AM post in this OTHER THREAD that you bring up doesn't even mention Nusseibeh or his book. A later post around 2:54 PM in THAT same thread mentions Nusseibeh blaming Arafat for the breakdown of the talks, but NOT that such information was conveyed IN THE BOOK. Uncle Sam only knows where you got that interpretation. But no matter, what's the point? You'll just say that I'm a "Likudnik" and therefore, I suppose, not entitled to an interpretation that can be supported by facts or evidence. So I hope you'll forgive me if I conclude that next we'll have to consult reading comprehension experts since you seem to piece written information together in ways that defy comprehension.

N. Friedman - 4/1/2007

Try reading a book, Clarke.

N. Friedman - 4/1/2007


I read the review. Professor Eckstein has correctly described what is said.

N. Friedman - 4/1/2007

Mr. Simon,

You can be sure that Clarke has not read the book.

N. Friedman - 4/1/2007

Mr. Simon,

Maybe we should call him Bill.

N. Friedman - 4/1/2007


Then, show that your position is correct.

Elliott Aron Green - 4/1/2007

Peter C, you are under the misapprehension that the Green Line between pre-1967 Israel and the "West Bank" was a border. It was not a border. The Arabs had refused all along from 1949 to 1967 to make peace at all with Israel in any borders [still their real position] and of course they did not recognize the 1949 armistice lines as borders or boundaries, which they explicitly and frankly stated in the UN before the Six Day War. See link:

Hence, Peter, legally the "West Bank" remained part of the Jewish National Home set up by the San Remo Conference in 1920. It is not "occupied" by Israel.

art eckstein - 4/1/2007

I've already answered Clarke's lies. I don't misrepresent the review.

Nusseibeh bitterly opposes Israeli occupation of the West Bank.

But, equally bitterly, he opposes Arafat's failure at Camp David and Taba, the Second Intifada, Hamas' death-cult, and the "noble" refusal to give up hallucinations of total victory (the hallucination which Omar has) and the "noble" obsession with refighting 1948 (the obsession which Omar has, and which Omar employs to distinguish Arab "nobility" from the acceptance of population transfers by Greeks, Germans, Hindus and Middle Eastern Jews).

art eckstein - 4/1/2007

Nusseibeh opposes the occupation of the West Bank--that is NOT the same as not admitting Arafat's main responsibility for the failure of Camp David and Taba--which he does.

You still cannot read, Clarke.

E. Simon - 4/1/2007

The book or the review?

With what non-facts and non-evidence would you be willing to back up your charge of misrepresentation? Or is this just about more of your typical bomb-throwing and labelling in the name of anything other than intelligent, open discourse?

E. Simon - 4/1/2007

Thanks. Looks like a good review.

art eckstein - 4/1/2007

Clarke, that there was a distribution of responsibility for the failure of the Camp David and Taba Talks does not mean that one side was not far more to blame for their failure than the other side was. In this case, Clinton, Ross and even Prince Bandar all point the finger at ARAFAT. Not the Israelis. Add the Palestinian intellectual Sari Nuseibeh as well now.

This is elementary historiography. That there is a distribution of responsibility does not mean that everyone is EQUALLY to blame. QED.

And since the blame is in fact highly UNEQUAL in distribution, you need to take that into very serious account in your moral accounting. End of story

E. Simon - 4/1/2007

Well, since Peter's not provided an image - (let alone a biography, credentials, a cogent thought, a REAL NAME, etc., etc., etc.,) - I can't be sure how ugly he is. But of course, your story could work for him as an analogy.

Pete kind of reminds me of Bill O'Reilly.

art eckstein - 4/1/2007

Nobody said anything anywhere about Turkish or Polish "colonialism". More fantasy from Omar.

And that's 1.3 MILLION Greeks who in 1922 were expelled from western Turkey by Muslims, Omar.

N. Friedman - 4/1/2007

Mr. Simon,

Here is The New York Times review.

N. Friedman - 4/1/2007

Mr. Simon,

Consider who Peter is in my Churchill story.

E. Simon - 4/1/2007

No one said that the Israelis, or the Russians, Poles, or the early humans who migrated out of Eastern Africa were "aggressive" or "retrogressive". They said that those who accepted them and came to terms with their movements weren't. You miss the point (yet) again.

E. Simon - 4/1/2007

Can you pass along the name of that book? I've followed Nusseibeh to some degree; Clarke would probably be interested to learn about how he generally aligns himself with the more reasonable people within the Israeli peace camp - oh wait, strike that. Didn't mean to mention a FACT!

Apparently Nusseibeh made a statement regarding Umm Nidal lately on al Jazeera that sounds like it's less within the spirit of his general approach, but still - I'd be interested in hearing more about the book.

E. Simon - 4/1/2007

Can someone really be a fool only one day out of the year, when on all the other days of the year he ensures his statements emanate from a "fact-free zone"?

art eckstein - 4/1/2007

Clarke, Omar has made Friedman's point perfectly clear. It may be true that the descendants of the 1.3 Greeks expelled from Turkey in 1922 (Smyrna, for instance, a Greek city dating back 2,800 years, was totally destroyed--except for the small Muslim quarter) don't blow themselves up in cafes in Istanbul to kill any Turk they can find, and the descendants of the 2 million Germans expelled in 1945 by the Russians and the Poles from East Prussia and Silesia (where they'd lived for 1,000 years) aren't blowing up discoteques in Warsaw, and it's true that the descendants of the 900,000 Jews expelled from Arab lands in 1948-1960 aren't blowing up universities in Baghdad (Muslims are doing that)--but that's Omar's point. As he said, Palestinians (and Muslims in general) are "more noble" than these other people and therefore absolutely REFUSE to acccept that tragic populations exchanges happened at the end of WWII and as a result of decolonizaiton. They'd rather engage in a genocidal war. This, to Omar, is "noble." And that attitude of his, Clarke, is the core of the problem of why there hasn't been a political settlement. Sari Nusseibah makes the same point in his new book, about this aspect Arab culture, but his judgment is deeply negative, not positive as Omar's is.

art eckstein - 4/1/2007

That's exactly what I mean. And Arafat bears the lion's share of the responsibility. That is the opinion of Clinton, Ross, Prince Bandar--and now we see that it is the opinion of the prominent Palestinian intellectual Sari Nusseibeh in his new book Once Upon a Country, reviewed in the New York Times today (Sunday).

N. Friedman - 4/1/2007


Again, you assert that Likudnik websites are wrong. Where is your evidence.

So far as I can tell, Peter. You do not know the facts. You are merely a guy who enjoys posting garbage and claiming that people who do take a stand are wrong.

So, if you think that a mistake is made, come back with evidence that shows it to be a mistake.

N. Friedman - 4/1/2007


Note that you have yet to address whether the views I have expressed are correct or incorrect. You have also yet to address whether the views held by the Likud are correct or incorrect. Rather, you have merely posted a rant in which you claim I take the view that Israel is always correct.

That does not cut it.

I repeat:

Frankly, Peter, I do not think you have the background to show me anything about Israel or the Arab regions or Islam. I do not think you have the knowledge. I do not think you have read enough even to have an opinion on the matter. I think you are a big phony.

But: prove me wrong. Argue the facts. Support your facts. Do it just one time. ... if you can. Otherwise, go away.

E. Simon - 4/1/2007

I would note how amazing it is that Clarke's post seems to equivocate between the separate levels of historical complexity encompassed by the outcomes of the Iraq war and the Camp David negotiations, respectively, but then again, we are talking about a pseudo-man whose sense of context (at least when it comes to the Middle East) allows for such a level of ignorance as to locate significant Shiite Muslim sensibilities within The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan.

If he cares so much about his proclaimed country, the U.S., at least he can be grateful that his ignorance is amply doused on the pages of this site - which is apparently uncritically open to accomodating his pseudonymous ramblings - rather than offered at a State Department briefing.

Elliott Aron Green - 4/1/2007

But Omar, even your own Qur'an says that the Land belongs to the Jews [5:20-22]. One hundred years ago nobody spoke of a palestinian people. At the hearings of the 1946 Anglo-American Commission of Inquiry the Arab spokesmen [inc. those of the Arab Higher Committee for "Palestine"] testified that there was no such place as palestine in all history. It was just part of Syria, they said. They themselves did not believe in a "palestinian people." Anyhow, the Arabs are not indigenous to the Land. They came as conquerors, exploiters, oppressors, although at the beginning they were not so oppressive, when they still had to fear uprisings by the conquered peoples. Moreover, Ziya al-Din al-Khalidi [correct name?] admitted in a letter to Rabbi Kahn of France that the Land belonged to the Jews. Jews have always lived in the Land from the start of Muslim/Arab rule, although conditions for them got worse especially after the Crusades. Arab and other Muslim rulers recognized a Jewish right to live in the Land, provided of course that they paid jizya regularly. The Arabs in the Land are historically usurpers. How can you say that Jews coming back to their own land, foretold in the Qur'an, are "colonialists"??

N. Friedman - 4/1/2007


You are correct. The trouble here is that the Arab regions still live in the Middle Ages, drunk on religion. So, problems unfortunately do not get solved.

N. Friedman - 4/1/2007


I am sure that April Fool's Day is the day to celebrate that the rest of society can see the world as you do.

Woman: You're drunk, Mr. Churchill.

Churchill: You're ugly, madam. But, in the morning I shall awaken stone sober.

Do you know which part you play?

N. Friedman - 4/1/2007


I have never advocated for the Iraq war. What you have written is not based on my view.

What I have said is that it is too early to tell where, among mistakes made, it fits. You have opined that it is the worst error in US history. I have said that it is too early to tell.

But, I have said repeatedly, that I think it is a mistake although, as with all things that are ongoing, it is obviously too early to know quite its impact such that there is the possibility that I am wrong. And, in that regard, I noted my opposition to the Vietnam War which, while it seemed a disaster at the time, did not turn out to be quite the disaster it was thought, at the time, to be.

N. Friedman - 4/1/2007


I have not said that there was only one cause. I said that the talks broke down due to Arafat. I think that is well shown.

The dispute obviously has lots of causes.

N. Friedman - 4/1/2007


I have read Beinin. He is rather typical.

In the article you cite, note Beinin's discussion Said. That says it all. Said, who knew exactly nothing about Islam and Islamic history and should never have had any influence at all, much less even the amount that Beinin allows.

I did not say I agree with Pipes' approach. I said it is not McCarthyite. There is a big difference.

E. Simon - 4/1/2007

Next we will hear Clarke rail against economic globalization as being the mortal enemy of his nationalism, had he only the presence of mind to realize that such an idiotic Luddite position is what he's reduced to in proclaiming the personal thoughts of those with dual citizenship/residence conducting transnational business to be a form of treason.

What's been Clarke's contribution to the American economy lately, I wonder?

E. Simon - 4/1/2007

"So, Peter, do you really think that AIPAC is stronger than the oil lobby as represented by jim baker??"

This is an interesting question that you'd think someone as interested as "Clarke" claims to be in "American interests" wouldn't mind addressing. Oh, he'll try every diversionary tactic to avoid addressing it, claim it isn't related to the topic of the page, etc., etc., etc., but obviously with the need he constantly feels to break from the topic to proclaim everyone who exposes his ignorance on page-related matters as a "Likudnik dupe", he could probably clarify the provenance of his own, supposedly countervailing and equally "sinister" influences that he apparently condones, assuming he has a mind keen enough to do so.

But I doubt he does.

E. Simon - 4/1/2007


The person whose discussion you've just tried to hijack probably has combat training and has actually, in all likelihood, been in situations that have involved having to defend his life and those of a close-knit society of which he either was or is a part, directly. I'm sure you wouldn't possibly understand the feelings that come from such obligations, seeing as how the only bravery we have evidence of your exhibitting is to hide behind a pseudonym on a site where you don't do much else than take pot-shots at others' commitment to YOUR nationalism, but your ignorance on everything else doesn't mean that throwing out ""far-right" "settler"" to Mr. Mutik as a pejorative makes it a meaningful statement. All Israelis have some kind of commitment to defending their country from the violence that surrounds them. Apparently that kind of commitment is something that someone as cowardly as yourself has never had to relate to - your rhetorical appeals to mom and apple pie notwithstanding. Actually, on second thought, that's probably exactly the reason why the strongest appeals we hear from you are to nothing more than that.

Joseph Mutik - 4/1/2007

Where is the Arab equivalent of Pappe? There isn't one because freedom of expression isn't a part of Islam but killing is an essential part of it.

Joseph Mutik - 4/1/2007

The old Marxist slogan becomes the new hatred slogan.
Clarke, like it or not I am a business and accounting major with interests on both sides of the pond. Pappe is the living proof of the Israeli strength and freedom of expression. I am also a proud contributor to AIPAC (American Israeli Patriotic Chutzpah).
Omar, dream on, and good luck on your way to your 72 virgins.

E. Simon - 4/1/2007

Maybe it was David Duke - since you always seem to parrot his line.

art eckstein - 4/1/2007

I would add, Clarke, that E. Green has shown pretty well that Pappe is an apologist for the slaughter in the Sudan, re the piece Pappe wrote in 1994, which included denying nationhood to the black non-Muslim inhabitants of the South, who were being massacred and enslaved in a process of Islamicization which Ali Mazrui, for one, contentedly called inevitable.

And THIS is the person who we should take seriously as a critic of Israel delicts, who is so disgusted that he must leave the country. He's an extremist ideologue and a hypocrite regarding human rights violations. Period.

art eckstein - 4/1/2007

Clarke, that there was a distribution of responsibility for the failure of the Camp David and Taba Talks does not mean that one side was not far more to blame for their failure than the other side was. In this case, Clinton, Ross and even Prince Bandar all point the finger at ARAFAT. Not the Israelis.

This is elementary historiography. That there is a distribution of responsibility does not mean that everyone is EQUALLY to blame. QED.

And since the blame is in fact highly UNEQUAL, you need to take that into very serious account in your moral accounting. End of story.

Joseph Mutik - 4/1/2007

Your violent and backward ilk is a herd. Your herd uses killing each other as a way of life. Don't Mr. me, you are the herd that will kill each other for some cartoons in a Danish newspaper. Calling me a member of a herd is disrespectful, so I give it back to you.
My people survived more than 2000 years in harder situations so you may dream but we are in Israel to stay.
You and your herd are "heroes" on hnn.com and in killing innocent Muslims and non-Muslims. The essential violence of Islam isn't enough to frighten the Jewish people, but you can dream if you feel like dreaming!
Members of my family died in the Romanian, German and French holocaust. I am a former IDF soldier and I know very well that your herd will need more than words to fulfill your bloody wet dreams!

Elliott Aron Green - 3/31/2007

Peter C, just because Simon, Friedman, and Eckstein don't repeat "Pappe is a liar" in every post doesn't mean that they accept his claims. I surely consider Pappe a big fraud as do people that I know at Haifa University. Pappe, I reiterate, took the side of the Arab/Muslim govt of Sudan against the Black tribal southern Sudanese. This in a review of a book on Sudan [the review was published in the Jerusalem Post]. I analyze his position in an article that I wrote on Sudan [signed: Elliott A Green, available on the Think-Israel side].
Now, I ask you, Peter, as an American, how you feel about ARAMCO serving for many years as a funnel for US taxpayers' money going to enrich Saudi Arabia? Yes, ARAMCO was allowed by the US Treasury starting in 1951 to use the Foreign Tax Credit fraudulently in order to pay more $$ to the Saudi royals, as well as to help enrich ARAMCO. On this, see John Blair [Control of Oil], James Ridgway [New Energy], Leonard Moseley [Powerplay], Ovid Demaris, etc. Britain and France adopted similar devices for paying for Arab oil.
This fact, among others, should instruct you that ARAMCO and the oil industry in general are a very powerful lobby, unquestionably stronger than the Jewish lobby or AIPAC. Further, the oil industry, for which jim Baker was for long and still is a representative, almost always supported the Arabs against Israel. Now, with its trillions of dollars worth of assets, Saudi Arabia has its own lobby in the USA, and has also been able to buy university departments, journalists, former US diplomats, and high politicians, including at least one ex-president, namely jiminy cricket, who --to be fair-- may have hated the Jews anyhow, and merely told the Arabs to pay him so that he could more effectively advance their hateful, contemptible cause. Jiminy, by the way, operates an outfit called the Carter Center in Atlanta which has received substantial contributions from the Saudi Bin Laden group, the Sheikh of Abu Dhabi, and other democratic luminaries whom we may compare to the magi of the Lux ex Orientis. So, Peter, do you really think that AIPAC is stronger than the oil lobby as represented by jim baker??

N. Friedman - 3/31/2007

Thank you, Art, for the kind words.

E. Simon - 3/31/2007

"But: prove me wrong. Argue the facts. Support your facts. Do it just one time. ... if you can. Otherwise, go away."

Methinks Nanny Pseudo-Clarke needs to spend some more time getting out of the classroom and going out politicking. She is a "REAL AMERICAN", is she not? She might as well learn to politick like one. She sure as heck isn't engaging in intellectual discourse like one.

N. Friedman - 3/31/2007


My main point was that noting the events of the first half of 2000 are irrelevant. What counts is what happened later. That, frankly, is common sense.

In my profession, I do a lot of negotiating, of ordinary agreements but also in settlement of disputes. Often, millions of dollars are involved. When an agreement or settlement fails to occur, all involved ponder why things failed.

In my more than 25 years of practice, I have never heard anyone blame the failure to settle a dispute on the fact that an earlier proposal was not accepted. Rather, one looks at the proposal that brought negotiations to an end.

In the case of the US sponsored negotiations, that means that the important negotiations, if we care to consider why things failed, were those in December 2000. I quoted Dennis Ross' recitation of what was offered, which matches what President Clinton says was offered.

My question to you: why do you point to the earlier proposals when there were later proposals? How can you possibly point to an earlier proposal without being embarrassed? I can only think that you know zero about negotiations or you have an ideological ax to grind.

Turning to Pappe... The problem I have is Pappe's view that the historical record is not the primary thing. While his thoughts may perhaps be interesting and, at times, well written, history writing that does not make the facts primary is more autobiographical than historical.

On my view, when thoughts conflict with the facts, the thoughts ought to bend, not the facts. So an historian who does not bend so that his analysis is in line with the facts is, to me, worthless as historian or even as an observer. Such a person is best described as an ideologue.

Pappe, as even you admit, denies the primacy of facts. If his thoughts are more important than what occurs, how can you trust a word he writes? You explain it to me. I do not get beyond that point with him. Please help me since, to me, analysis must bend to the facts, not the other way around.

Regarding your analysis of "fault," I do not see your point at all. I do not recall quantifying the degree of fault. Did I say it is 100% to 0%? I merely note the obvious: the failure of the talks was due to Arafat. Whether the talks might otherwise have succeeded, I tend to doubt it. I think that a more conciliatory Arafat would have been killed by those who would support the HAMAS - which is no small group among Palestinian Arabs -.

Now, most people do not look to quantify whether fault is 99 to 1 or 51 to 49. It amounts to the same thing, in the big picture. And, most of us - me included - are not even all that concerned about finding "fault." The point is to understand the matter as it is, not to say, well maybe the Israelis might have been more conciliatory so that, say, Arafat would have had an even more difficult time saying "No."

As for your Likud language...

Likudnik seems to be your favorite label that takes the place of addressing arguments. Consider, Peter, that maybe the Likud has it right for Israel's future. I am not saying that the Likud is correct or incorrect. I am saying, instead, that what determines whether the Likud is right is the Likud's analysis, not a label.

So, let us posit that Mr. Simon and I, not to mention Peter K and Professor Eckstein have all fallen for Likudnik rhetoric. While I may think such is nonsense - and it is -, convince me that the Likud is wrong. Convince me that the Likud's analysis is not sound. Convince me that you, Peter Clarke - pseudonym for who knows whom -, are right and the Likud is wrong.

And, since my view is not that of the Likud, convince me that the views I present are wrong. Telling me that I am a dupe for AIPAC or the Likud - groups that, by the way, hold different views and have, at times, similar and rather divergent views - does not cut it. So, show me I am wrong, using facts and arguments.

Frankly, Peter, I do not think you have the background to show me anything about Israel or the Arab regions or Islam. I do not think you have the knowledge. I do not think you have read enough even to have an opinion on the matter. I think you are a big phony.

But: prove me wrong. Argue the facts. Support your facts. Do it just one time. ... if you can. Otherwise, go away.

E. Simon - 3/31/2007

I see that, as usual, when proved wrong you ignore the facts and revert back to changing the subject into being about a much bigger, blander point that I don't recall ever having (or having seen) contested. You can complain a million times about how you haven't read enough posts saying that neither the Government of Israel nor the Palestinians, etc. are "blameless". But if that's the kind of intellectually flat, self-evident truism that you need to post and re-post and re-post, don't complain when any evidence or attempts at more astute interpretations you aspiringly post in support of that idea turn out to be pointed out as erroneous or misguided. Your little [pro-peace and stability/anti-Israeli-and/or-Palestinian intransigence] political rallying speaks to the low level of intellectual quality to which you've restricted yourself in these ensuing debates eons ago.

"Now, now, boys - just get along". Peter, you sound like a kindergarten nanny. That's not where the level of discussion really is, even if - in your "ironclad" way - you can't recognize that. We think our nanny is sweet and caring (at least when not bitching about being getting enough gratitude for being a "REAL AMERICAN"), we just expect that she butt out or LEARN HOW TO HOLD HER OWN when the big boys debate REAL IDEAS. Her treacly politicking is nice and well, it just doesn't do that much in a forum not devoted to politicking.

art eckstein - 3/31/2007

Once more, Clarke avoids discussing the facts on the 2000 peace negotiations, including the stated public opinions of President Clinton and Prince Bandar concerning how Arafat wrecked them. We get a long exposition on this from Friedman and Simon--and Clarke doesn't respond, just changes the subject.

The Sudanese atrocity does put Israeli delicts into perspective: 1,000 Lebanese dead, bad as that is, is not the same as 1,000,000 Sudanese dead. The Arab street responds to the first because this is done by dhimmis, thereby overturning their religious world-view in which only Muslims are entitled to commit violence against Muslims (and, of course, non-Muslims); there is no Arab street response to the second, infinitely worse event--which means that "human rights" was never the issue behind demos in the Arab street at all.

art eckstein - 3/31/2007

Friedman with his logic beats Clarke into little tiny pieces once again. Pappe is a extremist ideologue and Benny Morris,a historian whom I know and trust, says the new book by Pappe is trash.

Clarke, do you think that Morris is LYING when he writes the following?

"In Pappe's account, there is no faulting the Palestinians for regularly assaulting the Zionist enterprise--in 1920, 1921, 1929, 1936-39, 1947-48, the late 1960s and early 1970s, 1987, and 2000--as there can be no criticizing them for rejecting the various compromises offered by the British, the Americans, the Jews, and the world community in 1937, 1947, 1977- 1978, and 2000. The Palestinians are forever victims, the Zionists are forever "brutal colonizers."

But if Morris ISN"T lying about this aspect of the book, that means the book is hugely faulty as a historical analysis.

N. Friedman - 3/31/2007

And I, of course, appreciate what you post.

E. Simon - 3/31/2007

Certainly I appreciate your material.

N. Friedman - 3/31/2007

Mr. Simon,

The issue with Peter C. is that he does not do the fact or book thing. He has certain pre-conceptions and those guide his thinking.

My reason for posting supportive material from well known and reputable scholars, notwithstanding Peter's uninformed view of most of them, is that Peter C. comes off looking like a prejudiced, unread dunce. Such approach not only helps win arguments - since I cited scholars by and large for points that are not really very controversial, except to Peter C. - but, in the end, is much more fun.

E. Simon - 3/31/2007

Didn't know I was so funny. But I'm glad you got a kick out of it.

I just realized Peter's NYT quote is even more disingenuously appropriated than I explained before. If Barak's coalition was to later break up over "excessive" concessions on Jerusalem, this just makes it more likely that those proposed concessions were actually BOTH seriously entertained by him AND that this was a huge political risk to take. The former flies in the face of Peter's assertion that it was a "sticking point" for Barak's (Israeli) negotiators, rather than backing it up. The "evidence" he brings up later from NYT CONTRADICTS his point, rather than supports it.

Regarding the length of these threads, and given how exquisitely Peter hangs himself so often with them, my point is just that I think the challenge at this point should be to do it to him with brevity. It's funnier and allows us to not waste too much time with him. It also makes it clearer to others reading the posts where his confusion lies.

N. Friedman - 3/31/2007


N. Friedman - 3/31/2007


You have no idea what McCarthyism is if you buy into that nonsense. McCarthy was a government official who intimidated people. Pipes is a private citizen who, along with his buddies, uses a website to shine what he thinks is light on scholars who do not agree with his views.

Pipes has no ability to intimidate anyone and none have, in fact, been intimidated. The government does have that ability and, in the McCarthy era, did intimidate people. Pipes has no ability to keep people from getting jobs. The government does and did so during the McCarthy era. Writers who disagree with Pipes continue to publish and say whatever they will. The government, under McCarthy, created an atmosphere where publishing disagreeable views became difficult. Pipes has not tried to do anything of that sort nor, even if he wanted to, could he. So, the McCarthyist rant is a red herring thrown out by losers.

My suggestion is that you think about the matter a bit further. If you do not see the difference between government sponsored intimidation and a writer (or writers) who runs a web site that, in his own view, shines light onto his political opponents errors, you need to think a bit further still.

What people who disagree with Pipes want is that their views be taken as Gospel. The problem, all around, about Middle Eastern studies in the US is that the scholarship is, by and large, dreadful and, by and large, more political than analytical - at least in my ever so humble opinion.

Scholars often do not want light of any sort thrown on them in order to hide poor scholarship. I might suggest you read Martin Kramer's excellent study Ivory Towers on Sand: The Failure of Middle Eastern Studies in America. It is an eyeopener. As Kramer notes - and this book was published back in 2001, which ought to tell you that he is talking about the time even under President Clinton and not in service, as you might suspect, to Bush -, the government, including the Clinton administration, has, for a very long time, not taken US academic Middle Eastern scholarship seriously because the scholarship is largely substandard, political and, whenever it becomes important to predict the impact of this or that trend - which is something important to the government -, the academics have a sub-standard track record. Hence, the government turns to independent scholars and think tanks. This riles the academic establishment but it is, nonetheless, well documented. And this goes back for decades with the academic community walking in near lockstep and, for example, predicting, as was the establishment academic view, that the Islamists were not dangerous to the US and that people like Bernard Lewis who thought the Islamists very dangerous were preaching myths. A good example of this trend is the book The Islamic Threat : Myth or Reality?, by John Esposito. This book did not exactly help Professor Esposito's reputation. It is, however, interesting to read the reviews noted on the above Amazon.com link:

"A scholarly, rational and reasonable treatment of a greatly misunderstood topic."--Paul Magnarella, University of Florida

"A brilliant exposition of the current euphoria over Islamic Fundamentalism and its hype in the West."--Professor Irfan A. Omar, Temple University

"Surely the best current work on this immensely important subject."--John Alden Williams, College of William and Mary

*Praise for the first edition:

"Offers a valuable history of the leading figures and movements in the 20th century Islamic revival, underlining the trend in recent years away from violence and toward parlimentary practices."--The New York Times

"One of America's foremost authorities and interpreters of Islam...offers an informed and reasoned discussion of Islam in politics."--The Wall Street Journal

"Esposito has written that rarest, and most useful, of books: a consideration of 'Islamic Fundamentalism' by someone who knows what he's talking about."--The Village Voice Literary Supplement

Then read what some, albeit not all, readers - not professionals - now think. One reader writes: Esposito, like John Voll of UNH or Abadi at the U.S. Air Force Academy are of the school that it is "bad" to honestly report the violent words and objectives of the Muslim fundamentalists. Another reader notes:

When I was an undergrad not so long ago, I took a class on Middle Eastern politics and history that was co-taught by two professors. One of the professors was a good, solid political science type, and the other was a professor of religion who specialized in Islam (the latter has since moved to Wake Forest and is now quoted extensively in places like Salon).

I don't know which one of them assigned us this book as a text. By the time I was done reading it, I firmly believed that the Islamic threat was "myth," and I stood ready to refute anyone who suggested otherwise.

How utterly, immensely wrong I was. The perceptions that Esposito attempts to refute -- that cultural Islam has a severe and threatening streak of resentment, irredentism, and violence -- have proven themselves absolutely correct. In retrospect, the writing was on the wall. Esposito belongs in the same trash bin as Edward Said, by dint of his refusal to squarely face damning facts about non-Western peoples.

Another reader, who liked the book, wrote (and this is from a 2007 comment, so, I assume, the point is that Esposito bring his book into line with facts):

I do not wish to be unfair to Esposito. He is undoubtedly a leading authority in his field, and attempts to offer an sober analysis of Islamic-Western relations in a time where it has conceivably never been of greater importance. My feeling, and I'm sure that of many others who have read 'The Islamic Threat' is that a fourth edition is sorely needed to correct both sometimes painful editorial clunkiness and, of course, bring his analysis into line with developments since the 1999 edition.

Indeed, it would have been nice if the book had followed the correct line - as Lewis, Kramer, Bat Ye'or, et al., were arguing all along - of facts since the beginning. A last writer notes:

This book, written before 9/11, tries to convince the reader that something like 9/11 will not happen. Well, it did happen.

It is not an accident that Esposito failed to admit that something like 9/11 might be in the works. His purpose was to whitewash Muslim terror. And it is worth noting that such books do no one any good. They certainly do not help Muslims!

I think that is Martin Kramer's point to a T.

E. Simon - 3/31/2007

I don't find any of this controversial; I was familiar with much of it. But why must you keep injecting more facts and narrative into a discussion with Peter? They just confuse him and encourage him to continue lengthening the thread until he no longer recognizes his original point. This should now be a separate thread, as Pseuter's short post (#107972) has already been shown to be either misguided or in error.

N. Friedman - 3/31/2007

Mr. Simon,

The critical meeting was not really the July meeting. It was, rather, the December 2000 meeting. According to Dennis Ross:

To this day, Arafat has never honestly admitted what was offered to the Palestinians—a deal that would have resulted in a Palestinian state, with territory in over 97 percent of the West Bank, Gaza, and Jerusalem; with Arab East Jerusalem as the capital of that state (including the holy place of the Haram al-Sharif, the Noble Sanctuary); with an international presence in place of the Israeli Defense Force in the Jordan Valley; and with the unlimited right of return for Palestinian refugees to their state but not to Israel. Nonetheless, Arafat continues to hide behind the canard that he was offered Bantustans—a reference to the geographically isolated black homelands created by the apartheid-era South African government. Yet with 97 percent of the territory in Palestinian hands, there would have been no cantons. Palestinian areas would not have been isolated or surrounded. There would have been territorial integrity and contiguity in both the West Bank and Gaza, and there would have been independent borders with Egypt and Jordan.

“The offer was never written” is a refrain uttered time and again by apologists for Chairman Arafat as a way of suggesting that no real offer existed and that therefore Arafat did not miss a historic opportunity. Nothing could be more ridiculous or misleading. President Clinton himself presented both sides with his proposal word by word. I stayed behind to be certain both sides had recorded each word accurately. Given Arafat’s negotiating style, Clinton was not about to formalize the proposal, making it easier for Arafat to use the final offer as just a jumping-off point for more ceaseless bargaining in the future.

"Think Again: Yasir Arafat," by Dennis Ross, Foreign Policy July-August 2002. There is no imaginable reason to doubt this first hand account. Every account that takes a different view focuses on the July meeting. But, the above offer was, in fact, presented and Arafat, were he interested in ending the dispute, ought to have jumpted for as Prince Bandar and now Saudi King Abdullah thought appropriate.

Prince Bandar, moreover, has the same basic description as Dennis Ross. On Prince Bandar's description (The Prince, which appeared originally in The NewYorker Magazine but now appears on the website of the Saudi Arabian Embassy to the United States):

But when Dennis Ross showed Bandar the President's talking papers Bandar recognized that in its newest iteration the peace plan was a remarkable development. It gave Arafat almost everything he wanted, including the return of about ninety-seven per cent of the land of the occupied territories; all of Jerusalem except the Jewish and Armenian quarters, with Jews preserving the right to worship at the Temple Mount; and a thirty-billion-dollar compensation fund.


Arafat said later that he had not been offered as much as had been described. When Bandar told all this to the Crown Prince, Abdullah was surprised, particularly about the offer on Jerusalem. A few months later, Abdullah asked Clinton, who was visiting Saudi Arabia, whether Bandar's description of the offer was correct. Clinton confirmed Bandar's details, and said that the failure of these last negotiations had broken his heart. Later still, the Crown Prince told Bandar he was shocked that Arafat had wasted such an opportunity, and that he had lied to him about the American offer. Bandar told associates that it was an open secret within the Arab world that Arafat was not truthful. But Arafat had them trapped: they couldn't separate the cause from the man, because if you attacked the man you attacked the cause. "Clinton, the bastard, really tried his best," Bandar told me last week when we met at his house in McLean. "And Barak's position was so avant-garde that it was equal to Prime Minister Rabin"-Yitzhak Rabin, who was assassinated in November, 1995. "It broke my heart that Arafat did not take that offer."

(Bold text added). And:

But as violence in the Middle East intensified and Barak blamed Arafat for the failure of the peace talks, Bandar began to worry. The Arab world was watching Al Jazeera, the satellite television network, which was constantly showing images of Israeli soldiers and suffering Palestinians. Bandar understood as well as anyone why Bush did not want to get involved. It was a mess, and Bush made it clear that he had no prestige to waste. Bandar was particularly angry with Arafat because if he publicly defended Barak's account it would make him sound like an apologist for Barak and Israel. "I was there. I was a witness. I cannot lie," he said privately.

Peter, the facts do not support you. It is you who follows spin. Prince Bandar and King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, of all people, have no imaginable motives to back up Ehud Barak's view - but they do.

E. Simon - 3/31/2007

I admit it takes a bit longer to find links that could possibly meet a "real American's" approval, since it seems those pesky Jewish, Jewish advocacy and other (incorrectly) politically-inclined sites ran with the quote, but perhaps Pete's aware of a New York-based publication called the Wall Street Journal. Their editorial traces it back to Newsweek, as the subsequent link shows. That pesky Jewish Virtual Library traced it back to MSNBC, but I couldn't find that. Oh well, it's tough being a "real American" these days when all the... well, you know... all those OTHERS are trying to take over our fine country and all its media.



Also, Pete - minor point of logic, which I don't expect you to take note of or anything - despite the fact that it points out a major flaw in your (un-)reasoning, but the quote in your post is not all that meaningful to your original point. The statement doesn't link the breaking off of talks to proposed concessions on Jerusalem. Whether or not Barak's coalition unravelled afterward as a result has no bearing on whether or not he could have delivered a deal at Camp David at THAT time, regardless of whichever point was LATER considered most significant, vis a vis PROPOSED concessions, in leading to his government's end.

Also, Pete - another point of FACT, is that Yitzhak Rabin's widow Leah bitterly chastised Barak over his reported willingness to make concessions when it came to Jerusalem, which she said her late husband would never have done. Yet we all know that you hold Rabin (and sometimes other, much less siginificant figures) up as the model Israeli politician when it comes to "facilitating" peace, so try reconciling those facts. Oh yes, I forgot, facts aren't always so useful to polemicists.

N. Friedman - 3/31/2007


The issue was put on Arafat due to the December 2000 proposal, not the earlier proposal.

Try learning your facts.

E. Simon - 3/30/2007

"President Clinton, and others who participated, put the blame for the failure of hte talks squarely on Arafat and the Palestinian negotiators. In 2001, Clinton told guests at a party at the Manhattan apartment of former UN ambassador Richard Holbrooke that Arafat called to bid him farewell three days before he left office. "You are a great man," Arafat said. "The hell I am," Clinton said he responded. "I'm a colossal failure, and you made me one.""


This quote is well reported. Just google: president clinton arafat camp david colossal failure

Of course, we could always entertain a Clarkian extension of the AIPAC-is-behind-everything thesis, and posit that Clinton was so beholden to Jewish lobbying that he no longer cared about or could see objectively how to establish the MidEast peace-"maker" legacy that he, an essentially fatherless man who looked up to former president Jimmy Carter - whose Mid-East peace-"maker" legacy hinged on occupying the Oval Office during Sadat's sincere overtures to the Israeli people - always seemed to aspire to and work toward.

Also, Jerusalem was only one of several "sticking points". Clarke doesn't go into details about these things because that would require something called "facts" in order to analyze rationally. But I will do that anyway since it makes for cogent and interesting discussion. The others were borders, security and refugees. Of these, I think borders could be most easily resolved, followed by (in no particular order as each involves a very different set of considerations) security arrangements and Jerusalem. Refugees might also have been easily resolved, at least theoretically, and an outline was subsequently proposed that allowed for a "symbolic" number to admitted to a post-peace deal Israel, with other forms of compensation for various numbers of the remainder. I think this would have been feasible, but acceptance of this by at least the Arab populace would have been extremely problematic (cf: Omar Ibrahim Baker any sampling of Arab popular opinion). Even the Saudi proposal rules it out and essentially turns Israel into the predecessor of a SECOND (or THIRD, depending on how intertwined the fates of Gaza and West Bank remain) PALESTINIAN state by way of demographic fiat. Whoever believes in a two-state solution and thinks that this could, under any scenario, be acceptable to Israel, has a lot of explaining to do - not least of all to the vast majority of Palestinians and to the more powerful Arab leaders who in public have overwhelmingly rejected anything else.

Louis Nelson Proyect - 3/30/2007

Fascinating. A defense of the extermination of American Indians. That of course is where Zionism leads to. Filthy, racist, exterminationist arguments on behalf of an immoral state.

N. Friedman - 3/30/2007


A. The issue with Sudan is not spin. The groups that have done most to bring the matter to the forefront, and so far as I know well before 2000, have been Jewish groups. Why? No more genocides. Get it?

B. Aipac is an advocacy group. Why should they act against the group they try to support? Your expectations are stupid. No group ever advocates against its stated mission.

C. There are good reasons to view the current dispute as being one sided. Why? Because the proposal that met Arafat's own redline - as noted by the Saudi Ambassador to the US, by President Clinton and by others - was walked away from. Then Arafat made up a story that nothing was offered. But, the offer was essentially the same offer at Taba, which, once again, Arafat did not accept. And again: it met his position as privately expressed to his own supporters.

But, even if it were all Israel's fault, that does not make the spat more than a spat. The numbers involved are too small to view the matter as anything else.

Which is to say, your AIPAC talk is a delusion.

N. Friedman - 3/30/2007


I am well aware of the various horrors of Sudan. However, the most recent round began in 1983.

Joseph Mutik - 3/30/2007

I am talking about political and historical context and about the proportionality in commenting about Jewish self defense. The context of the foundation of the state of Israel was that hundreds of thousands of Jews, coming from extermination camps, were stranded in transit camps in Europe. They were not good enough to remain in Europe (your ideological friends organized pogroms) and also not good enough for the good old USA or the British empire, so the expulsion of these Jews from Europe was the solution. They arrived in Israel and got into a swim or drown situation. The world was very surprised when the Jews decided to swim and not fulfill the wishes for an ultimate "final solution" they envisioned.
The Jews do not blame "anybody and everybody"! The Jews, who lost half of the European Jewish population in European extermination camps, have the right to ideological self defense. They have the right to remind the world that the 6 million Jewish victims were killed for no other reason than being Jewish. I guess you and your friend Ahmedinejad contest these historic facts.
Proportionality is the word used when Jews defend themselves but what about proportionality of reporting facts. Israel is the place with the highest number of reporters, per capita, in the world (and also per so called "crimes of self defense"). When the real crimes (in numbers and atrocity) take place in Jordan, Sudan, Lebanon, Syria the reporting is more than 10:1 about Israel. Since 1948 the Israeli self defense is called a "crime" when the real crimes, in the area, are forgotten.
Clarke (I don't use Mr. because I expect reciprocity) I don't believe you'll have an epiphany moment and renounce your hate of Jews, I only stated facts.

Elliott Aron Green - 3/30/2007

NF & Peter C,
I'm glad everyone is so interested in the Sudan. For years the massacres were going on and it seemed as if nobody in the outside world was interested. Of course, it simply would not do to talk about the Sudan because the perpetrators were Arab/Muslims and talking about Arab massacres of Blacks might interfere with the sacred anti-Israel cause that has taken up so much of the UN's time over the years.

Just bear in mind that the massacres in southern Sudan [not Darfur] started in 1956, the year of Sudanese independence, with a 11-year semi-truce between 1972 and 1983. I blame the British for giving the country independence as a unitary state under the rule of Muslim Arabs [and Arabized, islamized Africans] rather than making two states or a federated or confederated state. The British knew the history of Muslim Arab slave raids against the south that went on for centuries before Britain took over about 1899.
See link:

N. Friedman - 3/29/2007


Now you are walking into the world of the irrational.

Whatever AIPAC does or does not do, its activities have nothing to do with whether the dispute in Israel is, by world standards, merely a spat or the main issue on Earth. The issue is defined by the dispute, not its outside supporters. Otherwise, you could call blow any dispute out of proportion. Which is exactly what you are doing.

Again: in Sudan, far more than a million people have died in the war that has been going on since 1983. To even imagine a dispute where 4,000 people died is of the same order requires a mind that is warped beyond all imagination.

Grow up, Peter.

N. Friedman - 3/29/2007


Nothing Pipes has done is remotely McCarthyesque. That is nonsense.

Lewis is not senile. His work still is better than most in the field. Surely, even if he were less than his old self, he remains better than most.

And, since you have never read a book in the field, how would you know? Surely not from that great genius Cole.

Lewis' comments seem rather astute. They may differ from your view, but that does not make him any less astute.

Your problem is that those who see the world different from you have something wrong with them.

E. Simon - 3/29/2007

The title on that post alone was witty and funny enough for probably even Peter C. to appreciate it, despite his need to defend Omar's contributions as providing a "balancing" act.

N. Friedman - 3/29/2007


Fair point in principle about standards and sins.

Consider, however, that more people die on any given day in Sudan than have died altogether on both the Israeli and Palestinian Arab side since 2000. So, yes there is subjectivity in noting where Israel's sins rank among those that have occurred in the Middle East. In Europe, the dispute in the Balkans was infinitely worse, by the numbers, than what has occurred between Israelis and Palestinian Arabs.

So, whether or not subjective, sometimes it is pretty fair to note phony allegation for what they are. and, most of what is said about Israel's sins involve distortions and gross exaggerations to the point of lying.

What has occurred since 1983 in Sudan is a horror by world historical standards. What occurred in the Balkans (as an European example) was pretty terrible. What occurred between India and Pakistan over Kashmir is awful. What Assad did in Hama - burying a town alive, killing 20,000 people in a few days, is unspeakable. What has happened between Israelis and Palestinian Arabs is, by any logical comparison with any or all of the above, a minor spat.

N. Friedman - 3/29/2007


I do not think Pipes, if we go by what he pastes on this website, can remotely be termed an extremist. I think he holds views that you do not hold but that, of course, hardly makes Pipes an extremist.

He does choose strong rhetoric to make his points. But, that hardly makes him extreme. As I understand his points, he is less extreme than Bernard Lewis. And, Lewis is no extremist by anyone's standards.

If you want to read what you would surely call extreme - and I do not think it remotely extreme, as now Lewis and Laqueur and Gilbert and Bat Ye'or are all in agreement about this -, read this speech by the every brilliant Bernard Lewis. He speaks of a Muslim invasion of Europe. Lewis takes a more "extreme" view than even Bat Ye'or.

And, Lewis has adopted Bat Ye'or's formula of a "third" wave or, in Bat Ye'or's language, third great Jihad. The evidence for such proposition is overwhelming. It is you who has his head in the sand. And, this has nothing to do with extremism. It is about examining the evidence without political blinders and going where the facts go, not where political correctness resides.

Pipes, by contrast, has not quite reached the view held by Lewis. So, frankly, what you write is nonsense.

N. Friedman - 3/29/2007


It is a perfectly reasonable comment to point out that, by Middle Eastern or European standards, Israel's alleged sins are small potatoes.

N. Friedman - 3/29/2007


The above does not make Pipes a troublemaker. It does not make him a Muslim hater.

I note that publishing articles that note the deficiencies, as he sees it, in other writers is fair game. It is not something I would do but it is hardly disreputable.

And, the McCarthy talk is nuts and is an outrageous accusation that speaks to the accusers, not Pipes. Again, what Pipes did is not politic. But, it is not a dangerous thing of that involves blacklisting people or the use of the government to force one opinion down the throat of the public.

So, your quotes are, to me, offensive and speak to small minded critics who are concerned that the public will look too closely at them. In the world outside of academia, criticism is fair game. And, so is highlighting the views of various people. So, my suggestion to the accusers is that they grow up. It is they, not Pipes, who are saying offensive things that are far outside of the liberal tradition.

N. Friedman - 3/29/2007


I stated the basis where I do not defend Pipes. You then call me to task for where I have defended him. Your point proves nothing.

I reiterate:

So far as I know, Pipes does not hate Muslims. So far as I know, he makes distinctions between radicals and others. Those are facts.

Your argument is that he is a troublemaker. That, to me, is a meaningless statement.

In other words, you are playing games.

Elliott Aron Green - 3/29/2007

Foner and Gilmore do not address the problem of whether academic faculty have the right to belittle and/or harass and/or silence students who dispute their views, students who may supply information contradicting their claims, etc. Is academic freedom solely for the faculty, especially where teaching staff avoid issues that might show their own pet causes unfavorably or simply present falsehood as truth?? Are students allowed to contradict faculty? In fact, cases such as these arose at Foner's Columbia U. What position did Foner take on the abuse of Jewish students in the ME Studies Dept at Columbia??

Elliott Aron Green - 3/29/2007

PK, didn't mean "only this time." Keep it up. Wit nowadays is like petroleum --in short supply.

Peter Kovachev - 3/28/2007


Peter Kovachev - 3/28/2007


Elliott Aron Green - 3/28/2007

In English, being part of a herd suggests that one is a conformist. However, I believe that those of us to whom `Umar applies the term "herd" are not conformists at all, and may indeed be politically incorrect. If we are not PC or maybe anti-PC, then --it would appear-- we are non-conformists, and hence not part of a herd. On the other hand, if `Umar La Habibna continues to call us "herd" then I begin to believe that he sees us as part of the ra`ayah, the dhimmi herd considered rabble by the traditional Shari`ah. And `Umar will defend the shari`ah, won't he?

N. Friedman - 3/28/2007


I write in opposition to the article. I note what other scholars say about his writing including his books. They are not very kind to Pappe. And that includes writers who are sympathetic to Palestinian Arabs. And, if the information I posted is correct, there is good reason to wonder about his writing.

I do not ask you to take my word for anything. I know you will not. However, you might consider doing some actual research so that you do not, as is your habit, embarrass yourself by relying on nonsense sources. That, after all, is what Professor Eckstein has thrown at you time and again. Citing trash sources fools no one here but you.

In any event, whatever Arab case really exists, it is not supported by trash history which claims that facts are unimportant. If a cause requires trash, then it is a very weak case not deserving much support. I know that I would be embarrassed to have my causes supported by trash. It would lead me to doubt my causes.

As for the "herd" rhetoric, facts are true whether one or a multitude believe them. 2 + 2 = 4 no matter if one or a billion believe it. So, what you state is, frankly, an example of logically flawed thinking.

Elliott Aron Green - 3/28/2007

Peter K, your satire hit the bullseye this time. Keep it up.

Peter Kovachev - 3/28/2007

Look what you've done, N, you broke Omar. He can't compute this one without sizzling a few wires. What we need here is a post-modernist, situational ethics philosopher, such as only the finest Middle East, Peace or Womens' studies faculties can produce. Perhaps the labels "liars" and "scoundrels" are relative patriarchal social constructs imposed by imperialist apologists for islamophobic neo-colonialism. Or something like that.

N. Friedman - 3/28/2007


But, the ones who make things up are liars and scoundrels, not pioneers. At least that is true in modern civilization.

Joseph Mutik - 3/28/2007

And for how long would they be alive?
The Arab men of honor could write about Jewish refugees from Arab countries, about more than 20000 Palestinians killed by the Jordanian army in September 1970, about Palestinians killing other Arabs in Lebanon and being killed as revenge (normal in Arab culture).
As usual the real crimes are covered up by blaming the Jews.

N. Friedman - 3/27/2007


People who make up facts are "liars and scoundrels" - whatever their cause. Taqqiyya has no place for honorable people.

N. Friedman - 3/27/2007


I am not a defender of Pipes as an historian. I have not read any of his books. As for Pappe, I have read him but the book I began did not impress me enough to finish it.

N. Friedman - 3/27/2007


This is a history website, not an ethics class. It is enough to get our history close to correct, something about which Pappe seems to be allergic. You might do better to examine Pappe and judge what he has to say. So far as I can tell, his points are mostly nonsense - his politics controlling his "facts."

However, if we are to have confessions of sins, perhaps the Arab side could begin the process. They, after all, might have saved the world a lot of trouble by accepting the 1936 proposal for partition, by accepting the 1947 partition plan, by accepting the results of the war of 1948, by not blocking access to the Sea, as in 1956, by not establishing a blockade, removing the UN force and moving an army to Israel's border in 1967, by accepting the Israeli Egyptian plan for the Palestinian Arab issue in the Egyptian Israeli peace deal and by accepting the Clinton/Barak proposals of December 2000. That would be a start.

And, then there is an apology for driving Jews from their homes in an effort to, in the words of the leader of the Arab armies of 1948, repeat the massacres of the Mongols and drive Jews into the Sea. Etc., etc. And, then there are the remaining 856,000 Jews the Arabs drove from their homes from the 1940's into the 1950's - people who had nothing to do with the Arab Israeli dispute.

The Arab side might also apologize for their conquests, beginning with Persia and historic Israel and surrounding areas and reaching into Spain. They might apologize for sacking Rome. They might apologize for attempting, with the Ottoman Turks, to conquer Vienna, for their inroads into Hungary and Poland, for their conquests in the Russia, etc., etc. They might apologize for the massacre of millions of Hindus from India, etc., etc.

Now, my point is not to get people to apologize. That, to me, is a moronic proposition that comes from people who have no interest in thinking. The point is to show how ridiculous your analysis is - which it is.

Peter Kovachev - 3/27/2007

Very good and sober points, Mr. Seliger.

Peter Kovachev - 3/27/2007

Islamist phantasmagoria can be pretty bizzarre, but pinning one's hopes on liars and scoundrels like Chomsky, Finkelstein and Pappe is truly hilarious. On the other hand, that's a healthier pastime than dreaming about 72 virgins and looking for a the kind of a strap-on that goes "boom."

Elliott Aron Green - 3/27/2007

Thank you for your query, Mr Rodden. The traditional Jewish Hebrew-language name for the country is Land of Israel. I am aware that the State of Israel did not exist in 1920. However, I believe that the proper name for the country is Land of Israel, Israel for short. And that's why the State was named Israel.
By the way, the Arabs did NOT traditionally call the country "Palestine" or Filastin. Indeed, they did not see the country as a separate country but simply an indistinct part of bilad ash-Sham [usually translated as Syria or Greater Syria].
Further, Jews have lived in Jerusalem continuously since the Mongol withdrawal in 1260 CE, despite Arab-Muslim oppression, and have been the majority in Jerusalem since 1853 at least. See my article at link below:

Elliott Aron Green - 3/27/2007

Peter C, I'm not a psychologist. But if you don't want me to call IP paranoid, OK. Instead, let's call him megalomanic or self-glorifying.

N. Friedman - 3/27/2007


No matter what is posted on this site, one can always say "It isn't so." We have Omar to do that, if no one else. But, we are supposedly posting as people reasonably familiar with the historical record. So, what you write is, intellectually speaking, nonsense to the extent that you have done your homework. Why? Because the facts noted in the material I quoted are not controversial.

My goal was only to note serious objections that have been raised regarding Pappe. Note, I have not impugned his personality or his political persuasion. I have merely noted that the most prominent, by far, of historians who have addressed Israel's founding years think that Pappe's scholarship does not make the grade and I have noted points such historians have raised. [Note: and yes, Karsh has written extensively on Israel's origins and is considered, by anyone I know, a leading authority on the subject.]

I note that other historians have had serious questions raised about their scholarship. That can be said not only about Pappe but about the far more important historian Benny Morris. Karsh, in particularly, has taken certain portions of Morris' account as being based on truly loose reading of the record. And, Karsh has been taken to task by others. However, the points thrown at Pappe are not minor and they concern matters about which there is no controversy. And, by Pappe's own words, facts are not central to his interpretation so it is not surprising that careful examination of his facts would find problems.

Again, the points noted by Karsh and Morris are not controversial. And, in one instance, there are entire Pappe arguments, as noted by Karsh, that are predicated on the loony - and that is the correct word - assumption that, notwithstanding all the losses suffered by Jews during WWII, that Jews then came to an agreement to have a phony war which resulted in losses on an extraordinary scale. That notion is so loony as to call Pappe's entire analysis into question.

N. Friedman - 3/27/2007


One problem with your post is that there is no way to know what you mean by Likudnik. So far as I know, most of us do not hold Likudnik positions. In fact, it is not all that clear what you mean by a Likudnik position since that party has held different views at different times.

As for Pappe, his scholarship has been severely criticized by, among others, Benny Morris and and Ephraim Karsh, both of whom stay far closer to the facts. With respect to criticism of Pappe, see Ilan Pappe's New Book Is Appalling, by Benny Morris. This is what Morris writes:

Unfortunately, much of what Pappe tries to sell his readers is complete fabrication. In trying to demonstrate women's growing political involvement (and, incidentally, Israeli beastliness), he tells us at one point that "one third of the overall [Palestinian] casualties [in the intifada of 1987-1991] were women," and that "rural women" took "a central role, boldly confronting the army." Among urban women, the proportion of participants in the intifada was even higher, he says. All of this is pure invention. In fact, women constituted about 5 percent of the Palestinian casualties in the first intifada. According to B'Tselem, the Israeli human rights group, eleven hundred Palestinians died at the hands of Israeli army and security personnel during that uprising, and of these, fifty-six were women. Even a cursory glance at film footage of the intifada's riots shows that there were generally no female participants. Women did make an appearance, in small numbers, when pleading with soldiers not to take away arrested men for questioning or when mourning male casualties lying bloodied in the streets; but the women remained remarkably absent from the front lines of the intifada--as they remained, and still remain, absent from the front lines of the current intifada and from the coffee shops of the West Bank and Gaza and other venues where serious matters in the Arab Middle East are discussed, and sometimes decided. Indeed, the recent surge in Islamic fundamentalism in Palestinian society has restricted women even more firmly to hearth and home than was the case before the 1970s. Arafat, with his good sense for public relations, inducted two women--Hanan Ashrawi and Umm Jihad--into the political elite, and Arafat's Fatah has dispatched a handful of female suicide bombers into Israel's cities, but these are token representations of a gender that is essentially disempowered in Palestinian society....

In Pappe's account, there is no faulting the Palestinians for regularly assaulting the Zionist enterprise--in 1920, 1921, 1929, 1936-39, 1947-48, the late 1960s and early 1970s, 1987, and 2000--as there can be no criticizing them for rejecting the various compromises offered by the British, the Americans, the Jews, and the world community in 1937, 1947, 1977- 1978, and 2000. The Palestinians are forever victims, the Zionists are forever "brutal colonizers." To his credit, Pappe wears his heart on his sleeve. There is no dissembling here. He even tells us in his acknowledgments--as if he cannot wait to inform his readers of his loyalties-- that while his "native tongue is Hebrew," "today [he] converses more and more in Arabic," and his "love of the country [Palestine]" is matched only by his "dislike of the state [Israel]." ...

The multiplicity of mistakes on each page is a product of both Pappe's historical methodology and his political proclivities. He seems to admit as much when he writes early on that

my [pro-Palestinian] bias is apparent despite the desire of my peers that I stick to facts and the 'truth' when reconstructing past realities. I view any such construction as vain and presumptuous. This book is written by one who admits compassion for the colonized not the colonizer; who sympathizes with the occupied not the occupiers; and sides with the workers not the bosses. He feels for women in distress, and has little admiration for men in command.... Mine is a subjective approach....

For those enamored with subjectivity and in thrall to historical relativism, a fact is not a fact and accuracy is unattainable. Why grope for the truth? Narrativity is all. So no reader should be surprised to discover that, according to Pappe, the Stern Gang and the Palmach existed "before the revolt" of 1936 (they were established in 1940-1941); that the Palmach "between 1946 and 1948" fought against the British (in 1947-1948 it did not); that Ben-Gurion in 1929 was chairman of the Jewish Agency Executive (he was chairman from 1935 to 1948); that the Arab Higher Committee was established "by 1934" (it was set up in 1936); that the Arab Legion did not withdraw from Palestine, along with the British, in May, 1948 (most of its units did); that the United Nations' partition proposal of November 29, 1947 had "an equal number of supporters and detractors" (the vote was thirty-three for, thirteen against, and ten abstentions); that the "Jewish forces [were] better equipped" than the invading Arab armies in May, 1948 (they were not, by any stretch of the imagination); that the first truce was "signed" on June 10, 1948 (it was never "signed," and it began on June 11) ....

Brazen inaccuracy similarly marks Pappe's treatment of the Arab Revolt of 1936-1939. Pappe writes that the Arab Higher Committee had tried to "negotiate a principled settlement with the Jewish Agency" (it did not); that in "October 1936" the AHC "declared a general strike" (it was declared in May, 1936 and ended in October); that "in August [1937]" Palestinians assassinated "Major Andrew," the British acting Galilee district commissioner (his name was Lewis Andrews, he was a civilian, and he was assassinated in September); and that "quite a few" of the Palestinian dead in the 1936-1939 rebellion were women (there are no accurate figures, but there can be no doubt that only a handful of the three thousand to six thousand Palestinian dead were women, who generally took no part in the rioting and the fighting).

Pappe writes that "in the 1969 election, the moderate Eshkol could not prevail against the more inflexible Golda Meir" (Eshkol simply died in office, and his party, Mapai, selected Meir as his successor, and later, in the general elections of 1969, the incumbent prime minister Meir, heading the Mapai list, ran against, and beat, a collection of right-wing, religious, and left-wing parties); that there were one million Palestinians living outside Palestine by the end of the 1948 war (the number was no more than three hundred thousand); that "the fida'iyyun [literally, self-sacrificers or guerrillas] ... activities initially consisted of attempts to retrieve lost property" (this was probably true of infiltrating Palestinian refugees, but the fida'iyyun, set up by Egypt only in 1954-1955, from the first were engaged in intelligence and terrorist activities, not in property retrieval); that "Lebanon was destroyed in [Israeli] carpet bombing from the air and shelling from the ground" in 1982 (Lebanon was not destroyed, though several neighborhoods in a number of cities were badly damaged, and there was no "carpet bombing"). Again, the list is endless....

This truly is an appalling book. Anyone interested in the real history of Palestine/Israel and the Palestinian-Israeli conflict would do well to run vigorously in the opposite direction.

I have set the quote in bold text so that it is correctly understood as a quote. Ephraim Karsh, from a different point of view, indicates as follows:

Ilan Pappé has gone so far as to argue that the outcome of the 1947-49 war had been predetermined in the political and diplomatic corridors of power "long before even one shot had been fired." To which, one can only say that the State of Israel paid a high price indeed to effect this predetermined outcome: the war's six thousand fatalities represented 1 percent of Israel's total Jewish population, a higher human toll than that suffered by Great Britain in World War II. Further, Israel's battlefield losses during the war were about the same as those of the Palestinians; and given that its population was roughly half the latter's size, Israel lost proportionately twice the percentage of the Palestinians.


A number of scholars have already done outstanding work showing the faults of the new history. Itamar Rabinovich (of Tel Aviv University, currently Israel's ambassador to the United States) has debunked the claim by Shlaim and Pappé that Israel's recalcitrance explains the failure to make peace at the end of the 1947-49 war. Avraham Sela (of the Hebrew University) has discredited Shlaim's allegation that Israel and Transjordan agreed in advance of that war to limit their war operations so as to avoid an all-out confrontation between their forces. Shabtai Teveth (David Ben-Gurion's foremost biographer) has challenged Morris's account of the birth of the Palestinian refugee problem. Robert Satloff (of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy) has shown, on the basis of his own research in the Jordanian national archives in Amman, the existence of hundreds of relevant government files readily available to foreign scholars, thereby demolishing the new historians' claim that "the archives of the Arab Governments are closed to researchers, and that historians interested in writing about the Israeli-Arab conflict perforce must rely mainly on Israeli and Western archives" -- and with it, the justification for their almost exclusive reliance on Israeli and Western sources.

Rewriting Israel's History, by Ephraim Karsh.

The point of this is that Pappé's errors are not minor ones. As noted by Morris, Pappe "believes that there is no such thing as historical truth, only a collection of narratives as numerous as the participants in any given event or process; and each narrative, each perspective, is as valid and legitimate, as true, as the next." That says it all.

Glenn Rodden - 3/27/2007

Mr. Green: How could Jews be driven out of their homes in Israel in 1920 before Israe existed?

Ralph G Seliger - 3/27/2007

Ilan Pappe's black & white tale is actually at odds with the complexities depicted by most of the New Historians with whom he is (ironically) identified. Take his depiction of conventional Zionist thinking:

“... the old historical Israeli position was: Israel has no responsibility for the Palestinians becoming refugees, the Palestinians are responsible for this because they did not accept the peace plan, and they accepted the Arab call to leave the country. That was the old position. My position, and with this a lot of the New Historians agree, was that Israel is exclusively responsible for the refugee problem, because it planned the expulsion of the Palestinians from their homeland. Therefore it definitely bears the responsibility.”

Other New Historians, like Morris and Segev, would say that both sides bore responsibility for the refugees: the Palestinians for rejecting compromise and going to war in the first place, the Jews for going beyond military operations that were absolutely necessary to safeguard Jewish lives and for not be willing to discuss any solution which might involve the return of at least some refugees. So this notion of Israel's exclusive responsibility for the refugees is utter nonsense.

The "David and Goliath" matter is also more complicated than he suggests. Israel triumphed because its soldiers were well motivated and well led and -- critically -- the Arabs failed to coordinate their attacks effectively. There's little doubt that the Arabs would have won if they had launched a coordinated campaign by their invading armies at the same time that the Palestinian irregulars were still blockading the roads and keeping Jerusalem under siege. But they allowed the Jews to defeat them piecemeal. Pappe does not allow for a dynamic view of the balance of forces, which changed dramatically several times. For example, the Jews were in desperate straights early in '48 and turned things around with a series of concentrated attacks. And the Jews initially were very much on the defensive against the Egyptian army in May and June of '48, because the Jews had no tanks, no combat aircraft and no artillery (other than mortars) -- all of which the Egyptians, Iraqis and Syrians possessed -- until they were massively equipped by arms purchases from abroad in the summer of '48.

What you also get from Pappe are some reductionist flights of fancy. For example, the Jews who massively left Arab lands for Israel are depicted as being “de-Arabized,” convinced by the Zionists that they are not Arabs. Their cultural heritage was, in fact, devalued by the Ashkenazi (European) Jews who were the established majority and formed the political and economic elite when the waves of immigrants arrived from the Arab world. But it was the Arab world itself that treated its Jewish minorities as despised or distrusted “others.” If the Jews had been fully accepted as equals and comfortable in the Arab world, there was no way that they would have consented to being uprooted.

There is also Pappe’s charge that the Jews were only accepting the UN partition plan for tactical reasons, with the intention of embarking upon ethnic cleansing when presented the opportunity. There are some documented quotes that support this view, but this argument ignores the historical words and deeds of the Mufti Hajj Amin al-Husseini (an active ally of Hitler during World War II) and other Palestinian leaders of that era, which substantiate their intention to destroy the Palestinian Jewish community. Zionist attitudes at the time were influenced by the view that the uncompromising anti-Semitism of the Mufti and other Palestinian nationalists presented them with a life or death struggle; the all-out Arab attacks in response to the UN partition vote in November 1947 indicate that they were correct.

But the fact that Ben-Gurion did not press the Jews’ military advantage at the end of the 1948 war to reconquer the Old City of Jerusalem and to move on to conquer all of the West Bank, also undermines Pappe’s judgment. Pappe’s thesis similarly does not compute with Ben-Gurion advising from retirement after the great victory of 1967 that Israel should give up the conquered territories as quickly as possible.

There is probably more here that I could contend with, as well as some with which I can agree, but his overall view is incredibly biased and tendencious. He is simply not a fair-minded scholar.

Peter Kovachev - 3/27/2007

Indeed. Good point. I also noticed that his style is very much in the tradition of conspiracy theorists, like Barry Hamish and others, who always seem to be at the centre of some persecution morality play or another. I fully expected to see the Pappe comparing himself to Galileo, but I guess that one's reserved for pseudo-science cranks.

Peter Kovachev - 3/27/2007

Mr. Green,

Regarding the Soviet pro-Arab propaganda it seems that Peter C confused my post with yours, which given his legendary incompetence with any kind of sources is not surprising.

Having lived on the receiving end of state-sponsored Arabism and "palestinianism" many, many years ago, I of course had no idea about their sources and I find your dissection quite interesting. It makes good sense that the Soviets would have borrowed from British sources, given how creativity wasn't their forte. With the native antisemitism already infecting the Warsaw Pact block, it didn't take much of an effort to convince the captive audience that Jews, now reincarnated under the code-word of "Zionists" are still the designated demons of the world.

The big surprise for me once I made it to the so-called free world, though, was to see this same stale propaganda parrotted by supposed intellectuals in the legendary universities of the West. I was even more astonished to see the same lies being hailed by extremist "New Historians" in Israel, and could not comprehend how the Israeli public could buy into any of this. Of course, back then few were aware of the (still) coordinated, well-funded and massive effort by the EU and the UN to propagate the Arab League's positions. It's in ther face of such bewildering mysteries that the apparently simplistic explanation favoured by some of my friends..."because Eshav hates Yaakov"...appears to be the only one that makes any sense.

Peter Kovachev - 3/27/2007

Re-read my post, Peter C, and take a closer look at Pappe. Regardless of what you think my or anyone else's position is, Pappe is still bad material for your cause not only because he is an unhinged extremist and a fifth columnist, but because he lies, obscures and manufactures evidence. If you are not familiar with his sordid record, then once again, you are displaying your inability to perform basic Internet research. Debating ignoramuses is just as unrewarding as debating outright frauds.

You call for diversity here, but you can't see it because you yourself are a rabid extremist. The differences on Israel, the ME and US politics just between me and and Mr. Friedman, for example, are quite substantial, but to you we're all "Likudniks" to be compared to Nazis. It's at times like these that your antisemitism, which you try so hard to deny and obscure, emerges in its putrid glory.

Elliott Aron Green - 3/27/2007

Now, Peter, I'm insulted that you don't seem to reading my posts. In my prior posts commenting on Pappe's falsifications and self-glorification I did not criticize the Soviet Union, although I did say that Pappe's collaboration with the Israel Communist Party [Hadash] made him seem unreliable as a historian, to me, knowing the record of the Stalin School of Falsification [as Trotsky put it]. The outside power that I did criticize the most was the UK, Britain. I stated frankly that British officials in Israel encouraged Arab violence against Jews starting at least by 1920. So you are mistaken to impute to me the belief or argument that everything is the fault of the Soviets, or even the Soviets and Arabs together. Much as I loathe the Communists, I don't say that. The British role was much more significant. The Communists, however, explicitly declared their movement pro-Muslim shortly after the Bolshevik coup d'etat in the Russian Empire, when Stalin's Commissariat of Nationalisties issued its: Appeal to the Muslim Toilers of Russia and the East. I believe that this manifesto was very significant in directing the worldwide Communist movement toward pro-Muslim, pro-Arab positions on a whole host of issues where Muslims/Arabs were opposed to non-Muslims. Curiously, by taking this pro-Muslim stance, the Soviets converged with the main lines of British policy in places like India, Israel, Sudan, etc. Obviously, this convergence did not occur everywhere in a uniform manner, or at the same time.
As to Pappe, deconstructing his manifold fraud is too tedious when you're busy with other work.

Elliott Aron Green - 3/27/2007

Peter K, speaking of Pappe as paranoid. one does notice that he uses the word "I" very often.

Peter Kovachev - 3/26/2007

What civilization? Where?

E. Simon - 3/26/2007

You mean there's no proof that ancient alien astronauts visited earth millenia ago so as to give rise to human civilization?

Peter Kovachev - 3/26/2007

The trouble with Pappe's "new" history is that it's not really new. Unless warmed-over 60s and 70s commie agitprop can be called "new."

Anyone who's had to suffer through the state-manufactured "palestinianism" stuffed down people's throats behind the old Iron Curtain will recognize it as the primitive old package the KGB cobbled together for the bumbling and incomprehensibly stupid Arab regimes. In their ham-fisted way, they merely took history and turned it on its head. So, landless Ottoman-Syrian migrants became romanticised indigenous people, well-armed massive Arab armies became under-armed and puny, and the documented exhortations by Arab governments for the Arab population to flee temporarily are simply ignored. Nothing new there. Then again, this a-historical "narrative" the old USSR custom-made for their incompetent clients was an improvement on the barbaric declarations and blood-curdling sabre-rattling the Arab regimes tried to pass off as PR.

I note Peter Clark's euphoria; he thinks he's finally got the counter-balance he imagines exists out there. Alas, Pappe is poor material for this. Not only is Pappe a paranoid crank, something that oozes out in every paragraph, but he is a discredited liar and as well. Not even his fellow "New Historians" want to be in the same room with him.

Gee-wiz, HNN, what's next? An article by Erich von Daniken "deconstructing" mainstream archeology?

Elliott Aron Green - 3/26/2007

Peter, now now there, you know that shouldn't be calling me "pigheaded" just because I show that Pappe' is lying. And if I reject 90% or 99% of what he says that is not to my discredit, as long as I can substantiate what I say or show the groundlessness of what he says.
And as for Pappe' respecting the points of view of others, you may not be aware that he took part in an ignoble crusade to shut up another teacher at Haifa Univ, Dr David Bukay, whose viewpoints were politically incorrect, whose viewpoints on Arab-Muslim history contradicted his own. So Pappe's' words that you quote are hypocritical at best.
"If you are a genuine intellectual, you should strive to have respect for someone else's point-of-view, not only yours." I could only agree with this statement if I believed that the other person were knowledgeable and/or honest, even if I didn't agree with him. But since I believe that Pappe' is a conscious liar, I cannot respect his point of view. I cannot respect Pappe' for deliberately disregarding the historical facts that I cited in my first two posts on this thread. The fact that Pappe' worked for the Israel Communist Party in the 1992 elections does not encourage respect either.

Your point is well taken about Germans expelled from Eastern Europe after WW2 and vast German territories annexed to Poland and USSR. You might just as well have added the many millions driven out of their homes in India in order to create "pakistan," a state never before existing, just as "palestine" had never existed as an independent state.

But before dismissing the evidence that I adduce against Pappe', I suggest that you study the mandatory period in the Land of Israel, starting with the British conquest. You could simply read what leading newspapers, even the unreliable NYTimes, reported about events in mandatory palestine, the internationally-designated Jewish National Home. You could also check Richard Meinertzhagen's Middle East Diary which asserts encouragement by British officials to the Jerusalem Arab leadership, particularly Haj Amin el-Husseini, to make a pogrom against the Jews. Which they did in Jerusalem in April 1920. A secret report sent by Meinertzhagen to his superiors in the Foreign Office in London at that time has been published by Isaiah Friedman, et al., in the Arno Press collection of documents on the Arab-Israeli conflict. This report confirms what Meinertzhagen said in his Diary.

Further, Peter, I'd also like you to consider the threats made by Arab leaders after the 11-29-47 UN partition recommendation. Azzam Pasha, secretary general of the Arab League, threatened the Jews with events "like the Mongol massacres and the Crusades." Other Arab leaders and spokesmen threatened massacres of Jews, including a Palestinian Arab spokesman, quoted by Collins & LaPierre, I believe, who threatened to drive the Jews into the sea. Haven't you heard enough Arab bellicosity and rodomontade from Saddam Hussein and arafat and the Hamas spokesmen to convince you that Arabs were making threats of the same sort in 1947-1948?? btw, see Yaakov Meron in Malka Hillel Shulevitz, ed., The Forgotten Millions, for threats made by Arab diplomats at the UN before the 11-29-1947 partition recommendation.

One more point about Pappe'. He is enthralled by an Arab nationalist, Arab chauvinist mind set. Consider his review of a book on Sudan which he published in the Jerusalem Post, and which essentially defends the genocidal govt of Sudan. I discuss this book review in my artice on Sudan at this link:

Joseph Mutik - 3/26/2007

It is true that part of the Palestinians were thrown out by force. So what, in the USA there are big stretches of land legally owned by Indian tribes (native Americans) but inhabited by Americans (in New York state, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, New Mexico, etc.) who don't intend to return them to the right owners. As usual the blame the Jews tactic is used as a cover up for bigger crimes.
What happened in 1948 was that the Jews out of extermination camps and forced into transit camps were thrown out of Europe with the expectation that the Arabs will finish the "final solution" but the Jew had the chutzpah to fight and win. Following 1948 the Arabs forced out most of the Jews from the Arab countries, but of course no on talks about the Jewish refugees.
There isn't one example of coexistence between opposing ethnic groups, in an Islamic country; if a group feels that it has enough power it tries to exterminate the other. That's the Arab/Palestinian plan, endorsed by a money loving historian like Pappe.

Elliott Aron Green - 3/26/2007

Although the Jewish National Home juridically erected by the international community in 1920 at San Remo included all of the mandated territory, officially named "Palestine" at San Remo, the UN General Assembly recommended a partition of this territory on 11-29-1947 in order to ostensibly peacefully settle the conflict between Jews and Arabs. The areas west of the Jordan taken by the British-created kingdom of Transjordan in 1948 were made judenrein. No Jew was allowed to live in the kingdom, later called Jordan. The Jewish population of that area, later called "West Bank," had been about 10,000 up to December 1947. They could not return to their homes nor could any Jews live in the "West Bank," and Jews were the first to be driven out of their homes in that war, although Jewish residents of south Tel Aviv could return after the war. The Arab population of the West Bank could stay in place, likewise the Arabs of the Gaza Strip, whence Jews were driven out in 1929 [from Gaza city] and in 1948 from Kfar Darom. Further, many Arabs remained inside the new state of Israel. Pappe is using the hyperbole typical of Communists, at best.

Since Arabs -with British encouragement/collaboration - were drove Jews out of their homes in successive episodes from 1920 through 1938, Pappe's whole argument is fraudulent.

Elliott Aron Green - 3/26/2007

Pappe is disingenuous here. He doesn't mention that he studied with arch Arab propagandist Albert Hourani at Oxford, nor that he campaigned for the Israel Communist Party in 1992.

More important is that Arabs were driving Jews out of their homes in Israel as early as 1920 [not to go back to the long periods of Muslim rule], with British encouragement. Episodes of massacre, pogrom and expulsion of Jews in Israel took place in 1920, 1929, and 1936-38. Pierre van Paassen and Albert Londres, who witnessed the 1929 events, blamed the British.

In Israel's War of Independence, the first people driven out of their homes were Jews driven out by Arabs. This happened both in certain Jerusalem neighborhoods and in south Tel Aviv. The Jewish neighborhood [or quarter] of Shim`on haTsadiq was made Judenrein by Arab irregular fighters [equivalent to terrorists] in December 1947, with one family remaining into the first ten days of 1948. See my article:

Apparently, the Arab leadership in Israel and/or the local British officials had a policy of driving Jews out of their homes in various places, especially from areas near Jewish holy places and pilgrimage sites, such as the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron, from areas of the Old City of Jerusalem adjacent to the Temple Mount, from Tiberias and Safed which were considered Jewish holy cities along with Hebron and Jerusalem. How is it that Pappe missed not only the Jews driven out of their homes in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv at the beginning of the War of Independence [December 1947-January 1948] but the Jews driven out of their homes in Jerusalem, Hebron, Jaffa, etc., starting in 1920???