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Author Topic: Iran PM on Israel founding again, or perils of agreeing with a loathsome racist
lagatta
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posted 02 January 2006 11:08 AM      Profile for lagatta     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Oh dear. Iranian PM Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is at it again, but this time he isn't denying the Nazi genocide (note that he never apologised for his holocaust-denial) but claiming Israel was created to rid Europe of Jews, following in the sorry legacy of the Crusades.

Most problematic because I tend to agree with the anti-semitic bastard about that, and know many legitimate historians who also would. (Not that any of us would view it as the ONLY reason Israel was created - there were great-power strategic considerations, and also a desire on the part of many survivor DPs to go to Palestine, to the Americas or anywhere they thought they could be safe and rebuild their lives).

How does one react when one actually agrees with a reactionary SOB about something? At the same time it goes without saying that one must not caution holocaust denial or minimisation, anti-semitism or any other form of racism. Aieeeee.

quote:
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Iran's president who has said the Holocaust was a myth, now has charged that European countries sought to complete the genocide by establishing a Jewish state in the midst of Muslim countries.
"Don't you think that continuation of genocide by expelling Jews from Europe was one of their aims in creating a regime of occupiers of Al-Quds (Jerusalem)?" Iran's Islamic Republic News agency quoted
Iran PM: Israel created to rid Europe of Jews.

[ 02 January 2006: Message edited by: lagatta ]


From: Se non ora, quando? | Registered: Apr 2002  |  IP: Logged
skdadl
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posted 02 January 2006 11:45 AM      Profile for skdadl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Do you think that Ahmadinejad is digging himself a deeper hole? By which I mean, do you think he keeps coming out with yet another claim because he is flailing to defend himself against reactions to the first?

I honestly can't tell. From what I have read of Ahmadinejad, I didn't think that he cared all that much about the reception of his comments abroad. It may be, though, that he is feeling some pressure from Khamenei, who is not stupid and who does think about international balances.

On the deeper level of the questions you ask, lagatta:

Back in the late eighties, I followed closely for a time a scandal some people will remember, the "outing" of recently deceased Belgian-American literary critic Paul de Man for his wartime writing in two Belgian journals in the first two years or so of the Nazi occupation, one French-language (the majority of his articles) and one Flemish.

De Man was writing as a literary/culture critic (he was for a time the literary/culture editor of the French-language paper), and the articles of his that became controversial contained reflections on the "essence" of being European and the possibility that other peoples, especially writers and artists from other traditions, might be corrupting "essentially" European cultural traditions. At one point, as editor taking direction from a collaborationist senior editor, he had to solicit articles from others on this question, on what European culture was, who should be considered to belong to it, and so forth.

The European essentialism was, IMHO, offensive in and of itself, and in a few passages focused explicitly on European Jews. I don't have the texts any longer, but I believe that de Man himself treated as a positive "solution" to the "problem" the transportation of Jews out of Europe. His language is exceptionally guarded: he makes the ethnic cleansing of Europe sound like a good thing for all concerned, and the transfer of Jews to the other side of the Mediterranean a "natural" development.

In strictly philosophical as well as political terms, the essentialism of those essays was horrifying to many of de Man's North American friends and fans.

As a snapshot of what was, in the thirties and forties, a semi-acceptable and very common way for European elites to think about their own culture, I found the essays interesting. They are bunk, of course (I never admired de Man, but that's another story), but they are evidence. No question: gentile Europeans commonly did think of Jews, Roma, and others as foreigners in their midst, and the establishment of, eg, a Jewish state in Palestine was attractive to them for that reason.

That wasn't the only reason even for Europeans to support the establishment of Israel after the war, but it was and remained a significant thread in European thinking.

[ 02 January 2006: Message edited by: skdadl ]


From: gone | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
ohara
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posted 02 January 2006 12:13 PM      Profile for ohara        Edit/Delete Post
Well there is a few historical issues to contend with. Firstly the creation of a Jewish state pre-dates WW2. Indeed let us recall that the British through the Balfour Declaration promised a Jewish state in the early 1920s.

Secondly Lagatta are you saying you agree with this (borrowing a great term from Scout)asshat that European countries wanted to complete the "genocide" of Jews by getting them out of Europe. In other words you contend that all of Europe was complicit in the attempted murder of Jews as a people?

Thirdly there has been a continual presence of Jews in the Holy land for over 2000 years as there has been a similar presence of Arabs. The dream of the return to Zion did not begin in 1948.


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lagatta
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posted 02 January 2006 12:24 PM      Profile for lagatta     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Ohara, I don't believe in the concept of collective guilt, and in Europe one can find many examples of heroic opposition to fascism and Nazi genocide, and of cowards and "everyday" racists giving tacit or even active support to the genocide.

But I do think the "lethal" strain of anti-semitism was a phenomenon peculiar to Christian Europe (and countries of Christian European heritage - the worst example probably being the horrific anti-semitic pogrom during the Semana tragica in Argentina, January 1919, which also saw many massacres of workers).

Jews have always remained present in Palestine and throughout the Middle East and North Africa, where they played a very important part in the culture. But like Christians, they were a minority. Like any minority, sometimes treated unfairly or even subjected to violence, but in general treated infinitely better than in Christian Europe.


From: Se non ora, quando? | Registered: Apr 2002  |  IP: Logged
DrConway
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posted 02 January 2006 09:34 PM      Profile for DrConway     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
One has to stand in awe of the sheer magnitude of the foot-in-mouth disease that seems to afflict Iranian leaders.
From: You shall not side with the great against the powerless. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Merowe
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posted 02 January 2006 09:47 PM      Profile for Merowe     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Context would be useful; is there a connection between this Iranian fellows current inflamatory remarks and the efforts of various western powers to censure Irans nuclear ambitions?
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al-Qa'bong
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posted 02 January 2006 10:06 PM      Profile for al-Qa'bong   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Indeed let us recall that the British through the Balfour Declaration promised a Jewish state in the early 1920s.

That would be a false memory.

The Balfour Declaration caled for a Jewish "homeland", not a Jewish state, in Palestine.

The English also promised the Arabs an independent state in the Levant for their help in fighting the Turks.

In any case, any such states weren't the property of English to promise to anybody.


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ohara
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posted 02 January 2006 10:59 PM      Profile for ohara        Edit/Delete Post
Well it actually promised to create a Jewish National home.
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Euhemeros
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posted 02 January 2006 11:22 PM      Profile for Euhemeros     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
But I do think the "lethal" strain of anti-semitism was a phenomenon peculiar to Christian Europe

Not necessarily,

http://tinyurl.com/aq73l

But generally, Muslim rulers were far more tolerant of Christianity and Judaism.


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al-Qa'bong
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posted 03 January 2006 12:28 AM      Profile for al-Qa'bong   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by ohara:
Well it actually promised to create a Jewish National home.

Courteous of you to correct yourself.


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al-Qa'bong
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posted 03 January 2006 12:33 AM      Profile for al-Qa'bong   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Oh yeah, the original post!

quote:
How does one react when one actually agrees with a reactionary SOB about something? At the same time it goes without saying that one must not caution holocaust denial or minimisation, anti-semitism or any other form of racism. Aieeeee.

Have you read Céline? He's supposed to be an anti-semite, but his writing is extraordinary - he's one of the giants of 20th century literature.


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ohara
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posted 03 January 2006 01:08 PM      Profile for ohara        Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by al-Qa'bong:

Courteous of you to correct yourself.


Thank you

From: Ottawa | Registered: Jan 2005  |  IP: Logged
ohara
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posted 03 January 2006 01:23 PM      Profile for ohara        Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by al-Qa'bong:
Oh yeah, the original post!

Have you read Céline? He's supposed to be an anti-semite, but his writing is extraordinary - he's one of the giants of 20th century literature.


Louis Ferdinand Celine was an unabashed anti-Semite. He was a Vichy collaborator who wrote awful anti-Semitic propoganda. So he was a good writer, who cares.

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al-Qa'bong
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posted 03 January 2006 02:14 PM      Profile for al-Qa'bong   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
...and now for the less predictable responses...
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josh
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posted 03 January 2006 02:27 PM      Profile for josh     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Well, it's sort of like the argument about Wagner. I believe you can appreciate the music, or art or literature, without condoning the individual's views or actions.
From: the twilight zone between the U.S. and Canada | Registered: Aug 2002  |  IP: Logged
ohara
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posted 03 January 2006 03:00 PM      Profile for ohara        Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by al-Qa'bong:
...and now for the less predictable responses...
Well what exactly do you expect? You don't even seem prepared to admit he was an anti-Semite.

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al-Qa'bong
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posted 03 January 2006 04:20 PM      Profile for al-Qa'bong   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by josh:
Well, it's sort of like the argument about Wagner. I believe you can appreciate the music, or art or literature, without condoning the individual's views or actions.

That's what I think; but what about people like J.J. Rousseau, who was said to be, not an anti-semite, but something of a child-abuser? I still may find his writing positive.

If we scratch the surface of anyone we could probably find something objectionable about him...or her.


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josh
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posted 03 January 2006 04:27 PM      Profile for josh     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Well, it's not all relative. "Something objectionable" can cover anything from moods and personal habits to mass murder. It would be pretty hard to appreciate the artistic product of a Hitler, a Stalin or a Pol Pot. But then you're getting to the extreme end of the spectrum.
From: the twilight zone between the U.S. and Canada | Registered: Aug 2002  |  IP: Logged
al-Qa'bong
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posted 03 January 2006 06:07 PM      Profile for al-Qa'bong   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Well, Hitler was definitely an anti-semite, but Mein Kampf is rather dismal reading.

Sometimes it just works out right.


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DrConway
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posted 03 January 2006 07:13 PM      Profile for DrConway     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Hell, wasn't Swift of Gulliver's Travels fame a rather stodgy old conservative who would have been at home with the likes of Herbert Hoover? His literature is regarded as classic nonetheless.
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ohara
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posted 03 January 2006 08:21 PM      Profile for ohara        Edit/Delete Post
This thread is veering off course
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lagatta
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posted 03 January 2006 08:45 PM      Profile for lagatta     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
ohara, alas Middle East threads have a habit of doing that. As per Céline and Wagner, I think the problem goes beyond the Middle East, but I couldn't see any other forum it would be logical to post it on.

Well, all the stuff the notorious anti-semite Henry Ford wrote on the 'Jewish Question' was crap too, with no redeeming literary merit. Frida Kahlo stuffed his face in it, asking him in a false-naïve voice (being a non-anglophone) if he was Jewish...


From: Se non ora, quando? | Registered: Apr 2002  |  IP: Logged
al-Qa'bong
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posted 03 January 2006 10:44 PM      Profile for al-Qa'bong   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
This could be an appropriate discussion in "Humanities and Science."

The perils of agreeing on some matters with someone whose opinions or actions are generally considered loathsome is something I've wanted to talk about for quite a while anyway.


From: Saskatchistan | Registered: Feb 2003  |  IP: Logged
retread
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posted 03 January 2006 11:31 PM      Profile for retread     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Not sure how you can help agreeing with loathsome people on some things. For instance, if a loathsome racist tells you ice is less dense than water its kind of pointless to disagree on principle.
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al-Qa'bong
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posted 04 January 2006 01:00 AM      Profile for al-Qa'bong   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
But anybody could tell you that ice is less dense than water.

Could anyone else write like Voltaire?


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Cueball
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posted 06 January 2006 06:15 PM      Profile for Cueball   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by al-Qa'bong:

That would be a false memory.

The Balfour Declaration caled for a Jewish "homeland", not a Jewish state, in Palestine.

The English also promised the Arabs an independent state in the Levant for their help in fighting the Turks.

In any case, any such states weren't the property of English to promise to anybody.


Right.

Also, the Balfour amendment reinforces the thesis that the plan to move European Jews to Israel was pan Euro-Christian, and an active policy of government from the Danube to Manchester, prior to WW2.


From: Out from under the bridge and out for a stroll | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged
Ken Burch
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posted 18 January 2006 12:35 AM      Profile for Ken Burch     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Given the boosts that his statements tend to give to the Israeli right, I sometimes wonder if Ahmadinejad is on the Likud payroll.
He definitely gives value for money if he is.

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Cueball
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posted 18 January 2006 03:49 AM      Profile for Cueball   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
If you have a world view in which it doesn't matter whom Israelis vote for since a Zionist will always get in, you can see how the right/;eft paradigm doesn't really come across as relevant. This is also a fact, as is the fact that it is the Israeli Zionist left which has been the party that has historically led the campaign against the Arabs.
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S1m0n
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posted 19 January 2006 05:19 PM      Profile for S1m0n        Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by DrConway:
Hell, wasn't Swift of Gulliver's Travels fame a rather stodgy old conservative who would have been at home with the likes of Herbert Hoover? His literature is regarded as classic nonetheless.

Those are two names--Swift and Hoover--that I would never have attempted to associate.


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Fidel
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posted 19 January 2006 05:55 PM      Profile for Fidel     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
The Pentagon and military industrial complex suck this right up. This is what the people are stuck with because of the hawks and their "domino effect." Sure they need cleaning out over there in Tehran, by way of a giant bottle brush rammed through Washington, Arlington and Langley.

[ 19 January 2006: Message edited by: Fidel ]


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eau
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posted 19 January 2006 08:12 PM      Profile for eau        Edit/Delete Post
Interesting thread. I was amazed recently when I found the English burned Jews en masse in the 12th Century. So in a true historical context its not so off the wall.

The cross of Bury St Edmunds has a controversial history, that comes courtesy of As it Happens.

I have never heard the argument before about the physical position of Israel. A country like Canada or Australia would have made a lot more sense as a home and refuge from the attempted genocide.

I enjoy Babble and it's for precisely the collective ideas that I do.


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Ken Burch
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posted 12 February 2006 04:07 PM      Profile for Ken Burch     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by al-Qa'bong:
Well, Hitler was definitely an anti-semite, but Mein Kampf is rather dismal reading.



As well as being at least partially plagiarized from Henry Ford's THE INTERNATIONAL JEW.

And, to complete the package of artistic excellence, Hitler's paintings(at least the examples I've seen of them)definitely blew chunks.


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al-Qa'bong
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posted 12 February 2006 06:57 PM      Profile for al-Qa'bong   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Are any of Hitler's paintings still out there?

I wonder what they'd cost.


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Boarsbreath
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posted 12 February 2006 07:36 PM      Profile for Boarsbreath   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Well, I'll offer an emphatic answer to lagatta's timely question. Association should not condition your evaluation of a piece of work, whether it's artistic or scholarly -- inspire you to think again, sure, just as events do. But to change your view of work because of your view of the person(a) who produced the work is nonsense. (In principle and in practice, since almost always it's someone you'll never meet, and look how hard it is to really figure people you have met...)

Fear of being thought a fellow-traveller is not worthy.

(Disclosure: Agreeing with me is agreeing with someone who really loves Black Betty AND Flashdance.)


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S1m0n
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posted 12 February 2006 08:28 PM      Profile for S1m0n        Edit/Delete Post
The "delightful" thing about the argument between Iran and Israel is that no matter which side you take, you have to agree with loathsome racists.
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Krago
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posted 13 February 2006 12:18 PM      Profile for Krago     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by S1m0n:
Those are two names--Swift and Hoover--that I would never have attempted to associate.

Aren't they both vacuum cleaners?


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Zaklamont
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posted 21 February 2006 03:22 AM      Profile for Zaklamont        Edit/Delete Post
lagatta, you seem to have the idea that the West sat down one day and quietly decided to set up a State of Israel.

What about the many decades of fighting for the State of Israel by the Jews , in words and in arms, guerrila warfare against the British and all out fighting against the Arabs?

Don't you think any of the above had any kind of influence on the final decision?

Secondly, put aside your former schooling and try to understand that for the Jews, " I sat down and wept by the rivers of Babylon" (from the Old Testament)was not a reggae song but a summons to reclaim their lost homeland, a call that has gone on for centuries and centuries and centuries...but left to dwell in the spiritual world , until reality could make it actually happen.

Give some credit to Jewish historical religious experience for the creation of the the State of Israel.


From: Ottawa Ontario | Registered: Mar 2004  |  IP: Logged
enki
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posted 23 February 2006 09:35 AM      Profile for enki     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Cueball:

Right.

Also, the Balfour amendment reinforces the thesis that the plan to move European Jews to Israel was pan Euro-Christian, and an active policy of government from the Danube to Manchester, prior to WW2.


Active and organized Jewish settlement of Israel occurred prior to the Balfour amendment. You could perhaps make the argument that the European nations supported the notion of Israel in order to remove Jews from Europe, but the conception of Israel as a Jewish homeland still predates Balfour. The initial Zionist conferences occurred in 1897.


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Cueball
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posted 23 February 2006 09:38 AM      Profile for Cueball   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Yes. The idea hade been floating around in British and Zionist circles actually since the middle of the 19th century. The culmination of that phase of the development of Israel was the Balfour Amendment and the consequent partition.
From: Out from under the bridge and out for a stroll | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged
Boom Boom
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posted 23 February 2006 11:01 AM      Profile for Boom Boom     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Judaism 101 on The Promised Land excerpt:

"Jews were exiled from the land of Israel by the Romans in 135 C.E., after they defeated the Jews in a three-year war, and Jews did not have any control over the land again until 1948 C.E."


From: Make the rich pay! | Registered: Dec 2004  |  IP: Logged
Cueball
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posted 23 February 2006 11:05 AM      Profile for Cueball   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
But why that, and not a narrative which includes the Palestinian narrative of the creation of Israel, seperate from the Zionist mythology that only relates to Jewish Zionist? It seem that this exclusion of the "other" history from the Zionist narrative, is very much a part of the problem.

quote:
Similarly, the Palestinian community in Israel, the Israeli Arabs as they are known today, began to demand a re-reading of one of the ugliest chapters in the state’s history. In the wake of the 1948 war, the Palestinian population that remained under Israeli rule was placed under a severe and brutal military regime for nearly two decades (1948-1966). This minority was robbed of every human and civil right and maltreated by local military governors. Awareness of this has cast a shadow over the collective memory of the Israeli left, which was accustomed to reminiscing about the little and beautiful state of pre-1967 Israel.

Israelis who challenged the official version of Israel’s birth and its early years as a young state shared a common experience—their accounts were excluded from the historical Zionist narrative or distorted in the way Israeli history was taught in high schools and universities. They maintain that their history has been at best obfuscated or at worst totally erased from the Israeli national ethos, an ethos reflected in official state ceremonies, canonical literature, poetry and the media.


Illan Pappe -- University of Haifa History Professor

[ 23 February 2006: Message edited by: Cueball ]


From: Out from under the bridge and out for a stroll | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged
Boom Boom
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posted 23 February 2006 11:19 AM      Profile for Boom Boom     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Oh, no argument here. But the thread is about the founding of Israel. I posted an excerpt that gave something of an idea of how long the Jews were exiled from Israel.
From: Make the rich pay! | Registered: Dec 2004  |  IP: Logged
lagatta
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posted 23 February 2006 11:27 AM      Profile for lagatta     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Zaklamont, I don't think I can be accused of subscribing to a conspiracy theory of history where all is determined by a few rich and powerful guys in some boardroom. Indeed Zionist settlers had an impact on the process.

This is raises interesting thoughts on historical-mythological narrative. Myth, in this anthropological or historical sense, does not mean "untruth", it refers to stories human groups tell and tell themselves to justify outlooks and behaviour:

quote:
Secondly, put aside your former schooling and try to understand that for the Jews, " I sat down and wept by the rivers of Babylon" (from the Old Testament)was not a reggae song but a summons to reclaim their lost homeland, a call that has gone on for centuries and centuries and centuries...but left to dwell in the spiritual world , until reality could make it actually happen.

Give some credit to Jewish historical religious experience for the creation of the the State of Israel.


But for most religious Jews, that call meant waiting for the Messiah, or a more spiritual quest for "Lost Jerusalem".

And for many others, "Jerusalem" was closer to the sense of the famous (non-Jewish) hymn Jerusalem; a spur to participation in emancipatory movements. There is not only a Palestinian narrative that was obscured by the Zionist one. There is also an alternative Jewish narrative, in which "Never again" is echoed by the partisans' other slogan "For our freedom and yours".


From: Se non ora, quando? | Registered: Apr 2002  |  IP: Logged
Cueball
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posted 23 February 2006 12:40 PM      Profile for Cueball   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Boom Boom:
Oh, no argument here. But the thread is about the founding of Israel. I posted an excerpt that gave something of an idea of how long the Jews were exiled from Israel.

Yes but that is my point. The founding of Israel is predicated on the marginalization and expulsion of Palestinians. So, focussing on the story as told by Israel is not really telling the story of the founding of Israel.

[ 23 February 2006: Message edited by: Cueball ]


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