Settlers Call for Palestinian Expulsion, Palestinians Call for Jewish Expulsion
In a game of tit for tat, battling Israeli Jewish and Palestinian groups have called for forced expulsion of their opposite number from their native lands. Aryeh Eldad, a radical settler leader and Israeli MK has published an ad in Haaretz which calls for Jordan’s King Abdullah to accept the millions of Palestinians living within Israel and the Occupied Territories to be expelled to Jordan, their “rightful home” (according to Eldad). Though according to whose ‘right’ it’s not clear.
Likewise, a radical Palestinian group has called for the forced expulsion of all Israeli Jews from their own native land, Israel, to the lands of their forefathers in Europe and the far-flung Jewish Diaspora. This seems only fitting if one side is going to advocate forcibly expelling the other that the opposing side do the same. That way, no one would remain in the land and it could then be settled by a yet a third people (perhaps the Jebusites, Moabites, Emorites or another tribe exterminated by the ancient Israelites during their habitation of the land) looking for a land without a people for a people without a land.
In all seriousness and with sadness, I report that the first paragraph is truthful, while the second is fiction. It is true that some pro-Palestinian activists advocate Jews leaving Israel, but they’re hard to take seriously. However, the settler advocacy for Palestinian expulsion has been seriously advocated by prominent figures in the Israeli political right and center (Benny Morris among them) for decades. As recently as 1989, Bibi Netanyahu himself publicly advocated this view, though he’s much too slick these days to ‘fess up to his original sin. Polls have found that 40% of more of Israelis view transfer as an attractive solution to the “Palestinian problem.” In short, racism is alive and well on the Israeli far-right, which has basically become the Israeli center as the former center has disintegrated.
An interesting sidebar: the Roman destruction of the Second Temple is called the Hurban (a Hebrew term for “destruction” on a cataclysmic scale) because it led to the end of Jewish sovereignty in Israel and the scattering of Jews to the winds in the Diaspora. Similarly, the 1948 Palestinian expulsion from the land is called the Nakba (or “catastrophe”). One of the themes of this blog is to show each people that the other has mirrored their experience, history, and suffering, in an attempt to compel mutual recognition and empathy. Perhaps neither will be able to acknowledge these parallels for some time, but eventually they will. That is why I like Dr. Izzeldin Abuelaish’s characterization of the Israeli Jewish and Palestinian peoples as “conjoined twins who will live together or die together.” We may not be ‘One’ as the old UJA slogan used to hold, but “we are all together” as the Beatles once sang.
28 thoughts on “Settlers Call for Palestinian Expulsion, Palestinians Call for Jewish Expulsion – Tikun Olam תיקון עולם إصلاح العالم”
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Referring to your final paragraph, Richard, it was the Romans who were responsible for the Hurban. Just as it was the Nazis who were responsible for the Holocaust. The Palestinians had nothing to do with either. So for the Israelis to punish the Palestinians with the Nakba and after, is a grossly unjust balance of parallels. For all the tenacity and power of the Israelis at this time, I believe that unless they admit to the in-this-togetherness, it will be the Palestinians who will be still occupying the land when all is said and done.
I don’t think you mean to say that I implied some sort of justification for the Nakba through previous Jewish suffering. That’s not what I believe.
I am saying nothing of the sort. Only pointing out the differences.
Gene – correct, there is no similarity with the Holocaust, but the “hurban” and “nakba” have parallels, no unjust balence here.
The Jews brought upon themselves the “hurban” for two reasons, according to midrash, one for not acting fairly to their fellow Jews “sinat hinam”, and the other for foolishly rebelling against Rome without the approval of the then Jewish official leadership (= terrorist action against the Romans who replied swiftly and ruthlessly).
Similarly the “nakba” – were the Palestinians in the 1920s-1948 to have negotiated with the “yishuv” or accepted the partitian plan instead of taking up arms, that may have changed the picture and the borders radically. But they chose rebellion. Also fair to say that the Palestinians are not exactly showing great love or kinship amongst themselves now or then.
The Israelis never “punished” the Palestinians with the “nakba”. Wars are fought, and sometimes one side wins.
If your scenario will happen, it is interesting that you choose the words “occupying the land” by the Palestinians – occupying, of course being the unjust holding of another’s territory…
“The Israeli never “punished” the Palestinians with the “nakba”. Wars are fought, and sometimes one side wins.”
Once again, no matter how many times you write that, it’s simply not true.
All major Zionists have clearly exposed their plans of future ethnic cleansing, Jabotinsky and Ben Gourion, in the first place. There are so many proofs of that, you don’t even have to read the New Historians, read Ben Gourion himself, and you’ll find it.
By the way, I see no reason for putting quotation marks around Nakba, you do that when you talk about the Holocaust too, or is it to specify the Arab origin of the word ? Like if I wrote “Shoah” ?
I don’t want to diminish Jewish sufferings, but according to Charles Manekin (Jerry Haber), the Jews were not massively expulsed after the destruction of the Temple, and Isreal Belkind, historian and founder of the Bilu-movement, wrote two books in the 1920’s: “The Origins of the Fellaheen” and “The Arabs in Eretz Israel”. According to Belkind, the Palestinians are largely descendants of the Ancient Hebrews; the dispersal of the Jews after the destruction is a historical myth; the peasantry was mostly untouched by the expulsions and migrations. The indigenous Jewish population later converted to Christianity and Islam, or one religion after the other, still, according to Israel Belkind. It’s not my field of study, but I know that many anthropological studies have found cultural and linguistic ‘proofs’ for that thesis: a continuity from the Ancient Hebrews to nowadays Palestinians, of course with many outside inputs.
PS. My comment wasn’t particularly for Shmuel. Only the first part of it 🙂
Modern-day Israelis have adopted the ancient Zealots of Masada as national heroes. But the ancient Jews, like the historian and priest Josephus blamed the destruction of the Temple on their unreasonable hatred and intransigence. Even the father of rabbinical Judaism, Yochanan ben Zakkai, abandoned them in order to make peace with the Romans. A Sanhedrin was established in Yavneh, which had held the status of an imperial estate since the days of Augustus and Herod.
I personally think that the Holocaust and the Nakba differ in scale, but not in kind. The massacres, expulsions, and destruction of hundreds of villages was institutionalized state violence. It was not merely incidental.
First of all, I want to say how much I appreciate your comments, particularly the ones on internatinal law (The Israeli admission to the UN, the concept of ‘continuator state’ etc) that I’ve used on another blog. Do I owe you anything for copyright ? 🙂
I truly think that the Holocaust and the Nakba differ both in scale, AND in kind. Though I have no illusions about the major politicians in Israel, I’m still convinced that there is no hidden agenda of physical extermination – for the time being at least. May our common God prevent that from ever becoming main-stream thinking.
I did by no means try to equate the Holocaust and the Nakba, but I just wanted to point out a bad habit of putting quotation marks around “Nakba” (catastrophy) as though it wasn’t really one. You know like people writing ‘the socalled Jewish people’, ‘the socalled Palestinians’ etc.
Haver – here is another similarity in your comment. Many Palestinians adopt the “massada complex” like the Israelis in the guise of suicide bombing or the concept of “shahid”.
It would be better for both sides if both sides adopted Yohanan ben Zakai tactics and save what is saveable and not go for the whole cake all the time.
The holocaust and nakba different vastly in kind as well as scale. I really can’t believe that only 65 years since the end of WW2 memory is so short. Israel has never had a policy of exterminating the Palestinian race because of the length of their noses or their dress codes or their religion. It has no extermination policy or even tried to pass any law or done any act to systematically kill Palestinians. There have been massacres on both sides as part of a war between two peoples who attack each other. The Jews were never at war with Germany, but were citizens of that country (as well). In fact there is no similarity whatsover between the holocaust and the nakba. Your attempt to parallel the two is grossly offensive to the 6 million Jewish victims and to the many homosexuals, Gypsies, etc. who were killed too.
One can identify with Palestinian suffering without reference to the holocaust. Stop it already!!!!
While I sympathize with some of what you say here, I think the Nakba was ethnic cleansing and a gross violation of international law. It’s not genocide, but it’s part-way down the slippery slope towards it.
The Romans expelled only the ruling elite from every place they conquered, and Israel wasn’t any different in that aspect. the rest of the people, some were opportunist who converted and accepted the religion of the current ruler, and some didn’t. i have never once seen a research that quantified the phenomenon.
as for your claim that Palestinians are descendent of Jews, the most recent one is by Zvi Messini (צבי מסיני).
but proving a genetic line doesn’t means much, those people took upon themselves a different religion (for whatever reason) and culture, and the genetic similarity between those two groups doesn’t mean alot. Genetic similarity exist between all people, and it didn’t prevent a single death.
“As for your claim that Palestinians are descendants of Jews”
Try to read people before quoting them ! I wrote: “ACCORDING to Belkind, the Palestinians are LARGELY descendants of the Ancient Hebrews”.
I didn’t find any Zvi Messini on the net but I do know the works of Tsvi (Zvi) Misinai:
That there’s a historical (‘genetic’) link between the Ancient Hebrews and the Palestinians DOES mean a lot: that the Ancient Hebrews were not massively expulsed – you even write that yourself five lines earlier – and that the Palestinians are not ‘immigrants from Arabia’ as I’ve often heard.
To push it a little further: we have SOME Jews – SOME of them have no ‘genetic’ link with the Ancient Hebrews because descendants of converts – claiming that the Palestinians – with SOME unknown amount of ‘genetic’ link to the Ancient Hebrews – should be transferred elsewhere.
Although you say that people took upon themselves a different religion ‘for whatever reason’, you make clear that you think it was opportunism that made Jews convert to Christianity and/or (later) Islam.
You cannot know this, and apart from that, it conveys contempt for the present-day Palestinians. As if to say: Your ancestors were traitors to the faith, and therefore you have lost your rights to this place.
It makes me think of the poor Bosnian Muslims, who had to deal with the unfair accusation that their ancestors were traitors who sold out to the Turks.
1. The phenomenon was never quantified and no wide spread research was ever conducted.
2. It is well documented that during the Ottoman empire they transferred many Muslims from the Balkan Region to the heart of the Ottoman empire (Greater Syria, Lebanon, and Israel) a great example is the family of MK Zoabi. http://he.wikipedia.org/wiki/%D7%9E%D7%A9%D7%A4%D7%97%D7%AA_%D7%96%D7%95%D7%A2%D7%91%D7%99
3. during the English period many people immigrated to Israel in search of work, the growth ration of the city of Haifa between the years 1917 – 1948 is a great example
We know by now that you have an obsessive fixation on Haneen Zuabi, but everybody who actually know the history of Palestine, know that the Zuabi-family of Nazareth is a native Palestinian family with roots going back to ‘times immemorial’. It would of course be perfect if you could prove that the family was transferred from the Balkan – or even better Turkey – that’ll give you a reason to send her out of the country.
And no ‘wikipedia’ entry – in Hebrew especially – is going to convince me of your lies.
“During the English period many people immigrated to Israel”
Oh my God, Israel didn’t exist during what you call the ‘English period’, but you’re right: lots of European Jews came during the Mandate.
If you’re talking about massive Arab immigration during the Mandate, it’s Zionist propaganda, and has been rejected among many others by Norman Finkielstein who wrote his doctoral thesis on the subject.
The official British Census data for Palestine, the reports made by the Mandatory Administration to the League of Nations, population expert A.M. Carr-Saunders and the Anglo-American Committee ALL concluded that the Arab population growth was attributable to natural growth increase and NOT to any substantial immigration.
I suggest you read Justin McCarthy, a leading American historian and demograph, “The Population of Palestine. Population History and Statistics of the Late Ottoman Period and the Mandate”, Colombia University Press, 1990, but then of course you’d have to leave your main source of information – wikipedia – and read a REAL book !
He states on the growth of Haifa in the period:
“Some areas of Palestine did experience greater population growth than others, but the explanation is simple. Radical economic changes was accuring all over the Mediterranean Bassin. Improved transportation, greater mercantile activity, and greater industry had increased the chances for employment in cities, especially coastal cities …”
And I’m stopping my ‘correspondance’ with you here, because I know you’re going to find some of-the-point ‘argument’ and we’ll monopolize the file once again.
1. my source is regarding the Zoabi Family is actually Prof. Zev Vilnay a famous geographer who’s researcher was never funded by the donation of an Arab country hence less biased.
2. as for the Ottoman transfer of Muslims from the Balkan it is documented in a book you often quote from written by Benny Morris.
3. As for Haifa, you quoted the research but you understood nothing, the Arab growth in Haifa was due to the development of the place by the English, prior the them conquering the city, the place like the rest of the Ottoman empire wasn’t doing so great. After the British took over management, Arabs immigrated from all over to find work.
4. maybe if you’ll spend more time reading read book instead of spewing propaganda, you will actually come across a fact or two.
Of course they punished the Palestinians. They expelled nearly 1 million of them. What is that if not collective punishment & ethnic cleansing, all violations of international law. And btw, neither side wins in wars between Israelis & Palestinians.
Shmuel, you are wrong on several counts about the Nakba, but I know I could never change your convictions and prejudices, so I won’t bother trying.
Please don’t try to put words in my mouth. Americans occupy the United States, the French occupy France. Occupying is NOT unjust holding of another’s territory. It simply means to occupy. If anyone is unjustly holding another’s territory, it is Israel in Palestine.
If I want the perfect example of what real ignorance looks like; I will use your post as that example.
In saying, “Wars are fought, and sometimes one side wins,” you are making the events of 1948 sound like a tsunami or an earthquake – terrible, but morally neutral. That’s never the case in warfare. By 1948 there were internationally accepted codes of conduct on how to behave at war, and in 1949 the Fourth Geneva Convention emerged (enshrining the right of wartime refugees to return to their homes). The yishuv’s forces violated every last one of those principles. On Friday I was talking to an elderly woman who was expelled from Lydda. In her words: “We were driven out with bullets at our backs. People were so afraid and disorientated that they were carrying cushions and they thought the cushions were their babies. They wouldn’t let us stop to drink anything, we had no water. We got so thirsty we had to drink our own urine.”
People died on that road. The sister of the woman I was talking to lost both her children. While Ben-Gurion’s policy was never to extermine Palestinians as a group, the aim was to drive them out – and if deaths occurred as a consequence of that, it didn’t matter. That is ethnic cleansing. It was a terrible crime that was planned and executed by thinking human beings, not some blind inevitability. The perpetrators of the Nakba committed that crime with their eyes open. They knew what they were doing. And I always find it bitterly ironic when people try to hold the Palestinians responsible for the devastation that they suffered because they verbally rejected the terms of partition plan that the yishuv’s militias were all too ready to violate with guns. This is a weak argument logically as well as morally – the yishuv had infinitely more power than the Palestinian community, which lacked a basic organisational structure and was consequently in no position to negotiate with anybody. You make it sound as though this conflict was about two equal powers grappling for land. It has never been like that, ever. The power imbalance was sharp and acute from the beginning. Ben-Gurion knew it and his own writings reveal that he was ready to exploit that to Jewish advantage. Even if that meant committing crimes against humanity.
Also, the Nakba wasn’t a discrete historical event. It’s an ongoing process. Over the past week I have been visiting rural communities in the South Hebron hills – Susya, Tuwani, Umm al-Khair. In Tuwani they have terrible problems with settler violence, which affects the children’s ability to get to school. There is an international team that is based in the village all year round to help keep the villagers safe(r). One of them told me that in response to his recent complaint about assaults on the schoolchildren, the border police explained that the children were ‘provoking’ the settlers by being on the road, leaving the settlers ‘with no choice’ but to respond. There is not really such a gulf between, “We had no choice but to force people out of their homes at gunpoint and let them die of thirst, because Palestinians wouldn’t agree to let 55% of the land be made over to a Jewish state,” and, “We had no choice but to assault a bunch of children, because they won’t give up using the road.” One event gave birth to the other.
Thank you so much for that comment, Vicky. Yes, people died of thirt on the road as they were trying to flee, and others were gunned down by Zionist gangs, and not only Lehi, Stern but also the Hagannah.
Are there anywhere where your oral history testimonies are available ?
Not yet, but they will be soon. I am collecting as many testimonies from Nakba survivors as I can. When they’re done they will go online at Palestine-Family.net, along with a lot of stories and anecdotes from other points in Palestinian history, right up to the present day.
There are several testimonies on there already (not compiled by me, but by other people here). Click on ‘People’ and go to ‘Life stories’.
Whether it was the fault of the Romans, the Nazis, the British, the Ottomans, the Israelites of whatever or whenever, the Palestinians of this time or that, one question still remains. What are we all going to do about the situation as it stands now?
If we are constantly to delve back into history for reasons to justify why things are as they are, such activities can only guarantee that things will stay as they are. That cannot be a satisfactory state of affairs for any of us.
Coupling events of recent record in the ME with those culminating even now in changes of truly momentous proportions, whole nations and entire populations have begun to ascend a mountain where hopes of a better life and a brighter future may yet be found. The path is steep, still has its pitfalls and dangers are all around but the journey must be undertaken if only to make some sense out of all that has gone before.
This much may also hold true for the Israeli-Palestinian struggle and its longstanding tenure on the conscience of humanity. For this, too, there must be an end, something that brings finality to a decades-old dictatorship that was born out of fear, hatred and mistrust and has maintained itself in being through layer upon layer of those ever constant demons.
What the West should do now is to stop playing catch-up all the time and demonstrate to the world (and to ourselves) that we’re not just the same tired old fogies of yesteryear; that we, too, can fashion ideas that are radical, different and dynamic. In doing so, we may still retain some elements of relevancy and purpose in these times of sudden change and rapid development.
It may always be true that, if the mountain will not come to Muhammad, then Muhammad must go to the mountain.
However, on very rare occasions, it can happen that the mountain may be persuaded to meet Mohammad half-way.
It all depends on just how far we are all prepared to go in adapting the topography of the region.
The Cube cannot be solved without a certain perspective and orientation. The different tribes all have various worldviews, mindsets and agendas. Groupthink is a real problem. A divinely mandated person is required to oversee these deliberations. His loyalty is to G-d and his mission above all else. He has significant skills in many areas. The combination of which are quite unique. G-d would not present us with a puzzle that could not be solved. If the best factory in the world was broken how much would you pay a special engineer to fix it ?
‘G-d would not present us with a puzzle that could not be solved. If the best factory in the world was broken how much would you pay a special engineer to fix it ?’
Having been an engineer myself for many, many years, that comment reminds me of just such an occasion.
It happened one day that a large factory, producing some vital component or other on a gigantic, fully automated assembly line, had undergone a complete shutdown and had ceased to function. A fault had developed in the system. The site engineers were unable to locate the problem and so a specialist from the firm supplying the automation was called in. He studied the situation for a short time and then, taking a large hammer from his tool bag, he struck one of the metal pipes in the machine with a single, sharp blow. In doing so, he seemed to dislodge some blockage contained therein and then the whole of this huge complex of an assembly plant immediately returned to normal production as if nothing had happened.
The factory manager was delighted and thanked the specialist profusely. However, when the specialist presented the bill for his services, the manager was not so pleased. ‘How can you charge me such a vast amount of money when you here for only five minutes and all you did was to hit one small pipe?’
The reply was ‘ You’re not paying me for hitting one small pipe. Of all the thousands of small pipes in this machine, you’re paying me to know which one it is I have to hit.’
As far as the Israeli-Palestinian production run is concerned, we seem to have had much the same experience. But breakdowns keep reoccurring even though all the specialists in the world have studied the problem in great detail. And have hit a great many ‘pipes’ in the process. And the bills they have presented have had to be paid in the most expensive coin of all, the lifeblood of thousands of human beings.
I am guessing we really do need to find that one special ‘pipe’ before it all becomes too late. A ‘factory’ that can’t produce the goods has only one future. It gets closed down and its contents are sold off, usually for a tiny fraction of their original price.
That is, always assuming a buyer is on hand to cart the whole lot away.
There should be an annual award given out for the most provocative group statements of the year. Aryeh Eldad and the Palestinian group in question would tie for the current Academy Award in this category. For his information I don’t think the Jews will move all the Palestinians out and the Palestinians will not kick the Jews out. As I informed various settler groups last year on their visit to Melbourne there will not be a Westbankistan next to a Settlertown. The prophecies override narrow political dogma, like a rainbow arches over a battlefield.
If I could ‘like’ this comment, I would. 🙂
Words of truth.
“In all seriousness and with sadness, I report that the first paragraph is truthful, while the second is FICTION”.
NO Palestinian group is calling for the forced expulsion of the Israel Jews (at least not in Richard’s article, in real life, there surely are). Our reputation is bad enough, so I insist: the Palestinian group calling for expulsion was FICTION.
Yes, pls. let’s pay attention to what I wrote. The Palestinian group was a fiction created for dramatic parallel & effect.