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Author Topic: Benvenisti on Rafah
Mandos
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Babbler # 888

posted 21 May 2004 01:11 AM      Profile for Mandos   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Benvenisti speaks heresy:

quote:
Something basic has gone awry here. If commanders, the sons of the fighters of 1948, send the grandchildren of the fighters for independence to "widen the route" - which means the expulsion of the grandchildren of the refugees of 1948 - on the pretext of existential threat, then there was something defective in the vision of the founding fathers.

If after a half-century their enterprise still faces existential threat, this can only mean that they condemned it to eternal enmity, and there is no community that can for years on end survive a violent war for its existence.

And if this is merely a pretext - and Operation Rainbow in Rafah was an instinctive reaction that evolved into second nature - we must reflect deeply and sadly on our own responsibility for the enterprise that at its start embodied so many exalted ideals.

Is there some "original sin" that lies at the foundation of the Zionist enterprise? Those who initiated the Rafah operation, and those who are executing it, should know that one of the outcomes of their actions will inevitably be the raising of questions about this heresy.


http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/429704.html

It's a Ha'aretz link, so it will likely eventually expire, alas.


From: There, there. | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged
skdadl
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Babbler # 478

posted 21 May 2004 08:57 AM      Profile for skdadl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
That column is especially eloquent about the malign use of "laundered language," and the wilful self-deception of those bent only on achieving or acquiring for themselves. The analysis is as true, of course, of some other cultures as it is of some Israelis.
From: gone | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
josh
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posted 21 May 2004 10:19 AM      Profile for josh     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Once again, Benvenisti hits the mark. He's a modern day Jeremiah.
From: the twilight zone between the U.S. and Canada | Registered: Aug 2002  |  IP: Logged
lagatta
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Babbler # 2534

posted 21 May 2004 11:15 AM      Profile for lagatta     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
That is a beautifully, soberly written article. To continue in the "laundered language" vein, another book by Benvenisti about the process of "renaming and reclaiming" Palestinian lands as Hebrew ones. I MUST find this book in a local library!:
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Sacred Landscape : The Buried History of the Holy Land Since 1948, by Meron Benvenisti () - As a young man Meron Benvenisti often accompanied his father, a distinguished geographer, when the elder Benvenisti traveled through the Holy Land charting a Hebrew map that would rename Palestinian sites and villages with names linked to Israel's ancestral homeland. These experiences in Benvenisti's youth are central to this book, and the story that he tells helps explain how during this century an Arab landscape, physical and human, was transformed into an Israeli, Jewish state. Benvenisti first discusses the process by which new Hebrew nomenclature replaced the Arabic names of more than 9,000 natural features, villages, and ruins in Eretz Israel/Palestine (his name for the Holy Land, thereby defining it as a land of Jews and Arabs). He then explains how the Arab landscape has been transformed through war, destruction, and expulsion into a flourishing Jewish homeland accommodating millions of immigrants. The resulting encounters between two peoples who claim the same land have raised great moral and political dilemmas, which Benvenisti presents with candor and impartiality. Benvenisti points out that five hundred years after the Moors left Spain there are sufficient landmarks remaining to preserve the outlines of Muslim Spain. Even with sustained modern development, the ancient scale is still visible. Yet a Palestinian returning to his ancestral landscape after only fifty years would have difficulty identifying his home. Furthermore, Benvenisti says, the transformation of Arab cultural assets into Jewish holy sites has engendered a struggle over the "signposts of memory" essential to both peoples. Sacred Landscape raises troublesome questions that most writers on the Middle East avoid. The now-buried Palestinian landscape remains a symbol and a battle standard for Palestinians and Israelis. But it is Benvenisti's continuing belief that Eretz Israel/Palestine has enough historical and physical space for the people of both nations and that it can one day be a shared homeland.
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My own personal interests in Italian social history lead me to wonder if the Benvenist family hailed from Italy? It is a common Italian-Jewish name, and ironically I believe it was originally a translation of a Hebrew name. (It means "welcome", or "the welcome ones" in Italian).

From: Se non ora, quando? | Registered: Apr 2002  |  IP: Logged

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