Jewish right of occupation, thread drift continuation

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milo204
Jewish right of occupation, thread drift continuation

I though i'd start this to continue the discussion from here:

http://rabble.ca/babble/introductions/gay-rights-israel

 

There was an interesting debate about immigration as in "we live in canada as a settler poulation, so do the israelis....what's the difference?"

I don't think there is one except the timeline.  We're a few hundred years into this occupation while the israelis are pretty recent occupiers by historical standards.  Actually it seems the israelis are borrowing tactics from us such as reserves/bantustans, negotiations in bad faith, token political positions etc.  

As for the argument jewish people from around the world have not only a right to live in the area, but effectively control it by military force, remove and "delegitimize" the indigenous population, because of a 3000 year old religious connection to the land... 

I just can't agree with that.  i mean, just because your religion says "this is where you came from" doesn't mean you have a right to take that literally and assume because you practice this religion in the modern era that you have some right to takeover the place and kick out whoever is living there now.  Tha tis just such an unethical position. That's why it really bugs me when Israelis rag on the palestinians for rejecting partition. 

I mean, who would accept that unless they were given a chance to have input from the beginning.  you just can't impose something like that from the outside. They basically said accept this or we will impose it..  And with no compensation or intention of ever giving any, for such a grievous action no less of taking people from their land, no one ever anywhere would ever accept that.

Issues Pages: 
Caissa

Coincidentally I have been re-reading Canada and the Birth of Israel by David bercuson. Babble discussions have helped me to read it with a different lens than I did when I originally picked it up in 1985.

6079_Smith_W

Sure there are some tactics and ideologies which are the similar in both cases, as is the overall outcome... but beyond that the two historical situations are very different. Places in Canada which were settled by French, Scottish or English were different, Places which were invaded for business interest, military advantage or settlement were different, and the reactions of the existing nations here were also different.

(edit) and for most of Canada's history, there hasn't been any pressure from outside nations to either condemn colonization, nor to aid or intervene on behalf of the victims. The only thing like a "siege mentality" we ever had here was in relation to the Americans.

Correct me if I am wrong, but I'm not aware of any Israeli equivalent of conversion or residential schools (although our system seemed designed more to kill children than destroy culture in its early years).

I think it makes some sense to look at the similarities, but there are plenty of ways in which the they are not the same.

As for the notion that we had a right to this place, I agree that missionaries in New France saw what they were doing as God's work, but by the late 1800s the Canadians were playing catch up to the Americans, who DID have a political notion of manifest destiny. McDonald didn't even care about the land he ran train tracks through. All he was interested in was putting through a link to the west coast colonies before the Americans did.

There was little difference between that and the fact the French (France, I mean) gave up their empire here and left their colonists defenseless because they were more interested in the spice they could get from a small Caribbean island. Again, something that is a bit more complex than the Israeli-Palestinian situation.

milo204

yeah, the specifics and the motivation are of course different, but in the sense of a the tactics being informed by the north american experience there are similarities, as there is with any colonizing power. such as:

any indigenous resistance, even peaceful, is seen as a violent threat that must be met with force.

"punishing" the civilian population who is seen as an integral part of that resistance.

Confining the indigenous population to small, unviable tracts of land, often in horrible conditions.

Double standard in application of the law so that the indigenous people are always punished to the max extent (especially if their crime was committed against the occupier) while colonizers are often exempt from the law when in regards to the colonized.

Referring to the natives as sub-human, using animal comparisons.  Assuming they are less developed mentally or inferior in some way by nature of their race.

A religious connection which gives the occupier the "god given right" to occupy, or a religious component.  Mainly i think for the civilian population to win their support for atrocities.  

Support from a much larger country who not only finance, but influence public opinion about the colony so that it retains popular support from the outside.  At the same time, they influence public opinion so that the indigenous population is seen as violent savages who are hell bent on killing the poor invaders.

And of course, stalling tactics to convince the indigenous population that if they just negotiate with the colonizer they will be granted their independence, against all odds.  Then they stall while they occupy more and more land.  

And an israeli version of residential schools would be the education system there.  The occupation is whitewashed in israeli textbooks and academia is very pro-occupation, pro state.  

Then again i'm sure these exist wherever there is an occupation, but i think it's a good way to see the conflict for canadians, since more will admit our violence towards FN's then would admit western violence towards palestinians.

NDPP

The Summer Camp of Destruction

http://maxblumenthal.com/2010/07/the-summer-camp-of-destruction-israeli-...

"On July 26, Israeli police demolished 45 buildings in the unrecognized village of al-Arakib, razing the entire village to the ground to make way for a Jewish National Fund forest.."

from Yves Engler's 'Building Apartheid':

"...There was no hint of dual loyalty for Canadians who worked to create a Jewish state. Zionism could be part of 'British Canadian nationalism'. Jewish Zionism should be understood from within the political climate in which it operated. And Canada's political culture clearly fostered Zionist ideals. British imperialism, Christian Zionism and nationalist ideology were all part of this country's political fabric. Additionally, in the early 1900s most Canadians did not find it odd that Europeans would take a 'backward' people's land. This is what settlers did to the indigenous population in Canada. As bearers of 'progress' Zionist pioneers in Palestine were viewed in a similar way to earlier British settlers in North America..." (P.17)

Furthermore the likely 'solution' to the Palestinian 'problem' envisaged by Israel, may well resemble Canada's strategy - create a collaborating class a la Abbas who will then deliver the requisite surrenders with 'consent'.

Stockholm

The other big diference is that as a result of the European colonization of the Americas there is not a single country in the western Hemisphere that isn't ruled by descendants of Europeans with the possible exceptions of Bolivia and Haiti - and its arguable in those cases too. In contrast, Arab Muslims are in complete control of something like 20 countries in the middle. I suppose the analogy of the occupation of the North America with what happened in Israel might work if there had been a Jewish invasion of the entire Arab world that resulted in the entire territory from Morocco to Iraq becoming a Jewish/Israeli empire and with no Arab country being left in existence.

6079_Smith_W

milo204

I don't want to get into splitting hairs about it, because I think we both agree that the elements of oppression, racism and theft of land exist in both cases, and there are plenty of instructive parallels that one can draw, which I think is your main point.

I wouldn't go so far as to say there is no difference other than the timeline, because there are some big ones. My point is not that we have behaved any better or worse than Israelis have. There are some very significant things which are central to the situation there, but which have nothing to do with what has happened here, and vice versa. And don't think those differences take anything away from the valid parallels you are drawing.

(edit)

On second thought, I think that a few of the differences - the fact that Israel is such a big part of the Evangelical apocalypse mythos, for one - are probably a big barrier to people making those connections you are talking about.

No Christians have incorporated the American invasion into their religion quite that way except for the Mormons - and even they aren't trying to destabilize the world to prepare for the return of Jesus because of it. Even the old stories about Puritans and thanksgiving or missionary work in New France don't come close.

 

 

 

6079_Smith_W

@ Stockholm

cross-posted with you.

...except that the Palestinians are a specific people. The fact that the Zionists didn't invade Morocco (thought other Europeans certainly did) doesn't change the fact they were displaced. And actually, the map of the Muslim world from Morocco to India is almost entirely an invention of Europeans at the Paris Peace Conference.

But I do think the political situation in the Middle East generally, and Israel's relations with its neighbours is something for which there is no direct parallel here. I just see it differently than the way you expressed it.

 

milo204

I agree Smith, there are some very big differences between the two.  I only bring it up because it seems a lot of people who have finally come around to seeing what we did to FN's as unacceptable still can't see anything wrong with what Israel is doing to the palestinians.  

Stockholm

6079_Smith_W wrote:

...except that the Palestinians are a specific people. The fact that the Zionists didn't invade Morocco (thought other Europeans certainly did) doesn't change the fact they were displaced. And actually, the map of the Muslim world from Morocco to India is almost entirely an invention of Europeans at the Paris Peace Conference.

I would argue that the Micmac, Cree, Ojibway, Chippewa, Nootka, Salish etc... are all specific peoples as well. In fact more so, since they all speak totally different languages and have cultures that are as different from each other as German culture is different from Korean! I think an anthropologist would have a very hard time finding a similar level of difference between a Palestinian, a Jordanian and a Syrian.

You're quite right though that the current map of the "muslim world" was created largely by Europeans - left to their own devices with no foreign interference, there would probably be one big Muslim Arab country stretching from Morocco to Iraq called Arabia and everyone in it would be Arabian and Egypt, Syria and Iraq etc... would just be provinces that would be considered about as different from each other as Manitoba and Saskatchewan. We know that for about a thousand years "Palestine" was the name of a province of the Ottoman empire that consisted of all of what is now Israel, Jordan, Syria and Lebanon - so how come the people of Jordan and Syria don't call themselves Palestinians as well - instead of identifying with artificial countries created by imperialists. Jordan and Syria exist because a few diplomats in Paris got out an etch-a-sketch.

al-Qa'bong

Holy Orientalism Batman.  We don't expect much from you, Stockholm, but come on! I could pick apart many of the Eurocentric, racist attitudes you just emitted, but this one is so wrong it's incredible to see in writing:

Quote:
We know [sic] that for about a thousand years "Palestine" was the name of a province of the Ottoman empire that consisted of all of what is now Israel, Jordan, Syria and Lebanon - so how come the people of Jordan and Syria don't call themselves Palestinians as well...

 

More accurately, this area was known as Syria, not Palestine. And yes, until the mandates were imposed after the Great War the people there were known as Syrians.

 

By the way, I live on treaty land. Do the Palestinians?

 

 

Quote:
I though i'd start this to continue the discussion from here:

">http://rabble.ca/babble/introductions/gay-rights-israel

 

Was this covered in that thread?

 

Anti-gay protesters: Sick perverts - get out of Jerusalem

 

Quote:

"It is a disease of choice, and a man can change his taste and his ways," Marzel said, adding "when someone has AIDS they tell them not to infect others, so why are these people allowed to march here in Jerusalem and infect us with their disease?"

The parade, which for the first time is expected to march all the way to the Knesset building, marks a year since the deadly shooting at the Tel Aviv Gay youth center, in which two people were killed and 13 were wounded.

6079_Smith_W

@ Stockholm

Yes, I mentioned the many aboriginal nations across Canada as well, in contrast to the situation in Israel/Palestine, where there are primarily just Palestinians, and some Druze (that I am aware of, anyway).

And actually there are Palestinian people living in Jordan and Syria, and elsewhere throughout the world, but I would think they still consider themselves Palestinian, as do the other people living in those countries.

As for one big Muslim empire, I think there is a wider range of cultures, religions, languages and ethnicities across that very large part of the world than you might think. Even among Palestinians - most may be Sunni, but some are Christian as well, and I would expect there are some who are not observant at all. Another small example is the fractures that have opened in Iraq along Kurdish/Shia/Sunni lines now that that artificial country is no longer as stable as it was under Saddam Hussein.

But I don't think milo204 was talking about the wider Middle East and North Africa, but specifically Israel and Palestine. And while I agree that the countries around Israel have an effect on the situation there, their existence doesn't change the fact that Palestinians are being kicked off their land and penned up in ever-shrinking enclosures in horrible conditions.

I don't think I would be too pleased if someone burned me out of my house and told me I was free to move to Florida, and I can't imagine it is that easy for Palestinian refugees to just pack up and go someplace else.

Cueball Cueball's picture

This is an absurd distraction. Of course its great to recognize that Israel is a colonial project, very much the same as the British Imperial project in North America. Indeed, the comparison is bolstered by the fact that the primary sponsor of the European colonization of Palestine was the same empire.

Also, if one were to make a direct comparison between First Nations Canadians, and the Arab-Israelis, one can continue to find parallels, such as the fact that the Arab-Israelis are legally citizens of the colonial state, and accorded the rights of citizens, even if these rights are abridged by administrative measures that skew the system against them, and do not officially recognize their traditional ownership of the land, and award them proper compensation for their loss.

However, there the similarities end, because once one moves beyond the semi-official border of Israel, as defined by the pre-1967 borders, none of the kinds of rights afforded Arab-Israeli's extend to Arabs living in the occupied territories.

Saying the conditions there are in anyway similar is to suggest that First Nations Canadians live under martial law, are not allowed to travel freely, have their homes destroyed so that they can be replaced by the homes of newly immigrated Israelis. They are not part of, and have no say at all in the decision of the government that imposes its laws, and decides their fate.

Indeed, were all Palestinians living under the direct supervision of the laws of the Israeli state afforded the same rights as Arab-Israeli's this would be a non-issue. But to draw a recent comparison to Canadian history, to say that the current situation of FN's Canadians is the same as the 4.1 million Palestinians (4 times the population of recognized FN's people in Canada) living in the occupied territories, would be to say that FN's Canadians live in a permanent state of siege far worse than the Oka crisis.

That would be Canada 100 years ago. To make this comparison, and to suggest that Canadians are hypocritical in denouncing the occupation, or worse, that Canadian colonialism justifies Israeli colonialism is to draw entirely the wrong lesson from history. What was wrong 100 years ago in Canada is still wrong today in Israel, as it is taking place now, in the immediate frame.

While it is the case that Canada is a long way off from compensating its FN's people for policies of the Canadian government in the past, and equalizing its policy in the present, it does accord citizenship, rights, and even recognizes (however reluctantly) that FN's claims are a tangible legal fact, even when it fights those claims tooth and nail. For the majority of Palestinian Arabs living under the boot of the IDF, Israel does no such things.

6079_Smith_W

@ Cueball

I hear you, and I agree with much of of what you say. I assumed we were talking about Canada's entire history, not just the state of affairs today, and about indigenous people generally, not just those who are status. Not being able to vote or leave the reserve without permission were all things that happened here not too long ago, and I doubt we have seen the last forced relocation.

Speaking for myself, I've tried to restrict my thoughts to known events, situations and tactics. As for the question of how bad it is for people, who has it worse, and the relevance of how many people were affected, I'm not going to walk into that minefield, especially since I am neither Native nor Palestinian.

Stockholm

Of course another big difference is that Jews have lived in the region we now refer to as Israel/Palestine for thousands of years and there has been a continual presence there (though at some points in the 17th and 18th centuries it was very small). In contrast, the British and French and Spanish had zero links to the western hemisphere before 1492.

al-Qa'bong

By that logic, there is more legitimacy for a Jewish state in Iraq or Egypt than in Palestine.

Maysie Maysie's picture

Stockholm, I'm astounded by the ignorance and Eurocentrism of your post at #9. Never mind the disrespect and misrepresentation of history. Stop, now.

Ripple

I just read this on my lunch hour ... I don't think it's been posted on babble.

 

Ten reasons why East Jerusalem does not belong to Israel - Israeli hawks say that Jerusalem is theirs because of a long, romantic national history there. Too bad it's made up
By Juan Cole

http://www.salon.com/news/opinion/feature/2010/03/23/jerusalem_israel

Stockholm

al-Qa'bong wrote:

By that logic, there is more legitimacy for a Jewish state in Iraq or Egypt than in Palestine.

I'm not trying to claim "legitimacy" for anyone. The question was about comparisons between Israel and North American in terms of "occupying" land. One of the differences is that there have been Jews in what is now Israel for as long as there have been Palestinians (depending on who you think the Canaanites were the ancestors of) - Europeans on the other hand never had any settlement in North America prior to the 16th century.

I leave it to other to argue about whether or not this confers more or less legitimacy on Israel or Canada or the United States or Mexico.

Stockholm

Maysie wrote:

Stockholm, I'm astounded by the ignorance and Eurocentrism of your post at #9. Never mind the disrespect and misrepresentation of history. Stop, now.

Why don't you tell me exactly what I've said that you think is incorrect and maybe I can learn something from you.

I recognize that I was mistaken about Palestine having been the name of the Ottoman province that consisted of all of what is now Israel, the occupied territories, Jordan Syria and Lebanon. It was actually all called Syria. So we have to assume that were it not for the US and the victorious European powers (ie: US, UK and France etc...) at Versailles in 1919 getting out their etch-a-sketch and creating "mandates" it what was once the province of Syria - who knows what countries would exist there now or what nationalities people there would identify with. Would it all be Syria? Would the people of what is now Israel/Palestine have felt so culturally different from the people in Damascus and Beirut that they would have declared their independance? Who knows? These are the fascinating "what ifs?" of history.

milo204

i think stockholms point is correct, obviously europeans were not "returning" to north america.  I don't think it gives more/less legitimacy to either side, it's just a historical fact.  Whether or not you can lay claim to having been in an area and lived there a few thousand years ago still doesn't give you any right to control/expel everyone else who ALSO lived there at that time or before/after the fact.

i think the central issue is that colonization is colonization regardless of whether you used to live there or not.  

Imagine how stupid it would be if canadians decided to occupy part of europe in two or three thousand years, set up their own country, kick out the actual europeans living there and start launching wars against neighboring countries/refugee camps, etc..  yeah, our distant ancestors used to live there but that doesn't mean we can just barge in and start doing whatever we want against the wishes of the local population.

6079_Smith_W

@ milo204

Agreed, it is a dimension that does not exist in North America (though it does in Greenland, the only place in the world I am aware of where Europeans actually got there first and were later supplanted by Innu).

Well not to get too far off topic, but that occupation of Europe is exactly what happened after world war 2 . What was the Marshall Plan, if not claiming Europe as part of the American Empire, based on the assumption that they were our people? The NATO/Warsaw Pakt occupation of Germany went beyond what was necessary to quell German aggression, and became the front line of the cold war. The allied forces did end the partition of Vienna after a few years, after all, long before the occupation of Berlin and Germany was no longer necessary.

A friend of mine over there told me once that it was completely absurd that West Germany was the only country in the world that had nuclear missiles pointed at itself in the event of an invasion. And I don't know what the stats are currently, but in the late 90s, I remember that over 25 percent of the population of Frankfurt, the financial capital of the American sector, were American citizens.

(edit)

There's also the assumption by West Germans that reunification was a fait accompli after the fall of the Soviet Union, even though East Germany was a very different country.

And the Northern Irish Unionists have long used ancient and medieval settlement as part of the justification for keeping Ulster in the UK. Or there are the South African Boer, who although they were not native, still used oppression by the British as a rallying point for what they saw as their land. There are plenty ot similar examples around the globe.

Again, it is a sort of justification, but it doesn't have any bearing on the injustices that are taking place.

Cueball Cueball's picture

Stockholm wrote:

Maysie wrote:

Stockholm, I'm astounded by the ignorance and Eurocentrism of your post at #9. Never mind the disrespect and misrepresentation of history. Stop, now.

Why don't you tell me exactly what I've said that you think is incorrect and maybe I can learn something from you.

I recognize that I was mistaken about Palestine having been the name of the Ottoman province that consisted of all of what is now Israel, the occupied territories, Jordan Syria and Lebanon. It was actually all called Syria. So we have to assume that were it not for the US and the victorious European powers (ie: US, UK and France etc...) at Versailles in 1919 getting out their etch-a-sketch and creating "mandates" it what was once the province of Syria - who knows what countries would exist there now or what nationalities people there would identify with. Would it all be Syria? Would the people of what is now Israel/Palestine have felt so culturally different from the people in Damascus and Beirut that they would have declared their independance? Who knows? These are the fascinating "what ifs?" of history.

I thought she was talking about how you thought Arabs should be grateful that Europeans settlers didn't occupy and destroy all of Arab civilization, as opposed to what they did in North America, instead they should be thankful that the British merely cut out the heart of its trade economy, while making it impossible for an Arab from Damascus to visit their cousin in Cairo by land.

You think that the subtext of the Arabs being ungrateful for being treated as an homogenous and indistinguishable people who could be shuffled from one place to the next like so much office furniture, without regard to their personal rights, affinities, cultural background, fits in the category of humanitarian ideas I suppose? Obviously the Arabs should be thankful that we did not utterly destroy them in order to give everything from the Nile to the Tigris for the foundation of a Jewish state, as originally conceived of by Theodore Herzl.

What more could any people want?

Stockholm

Re-read my post - no where did I say anything about anyone being "grateful" so why don't you try concentrating on expressing your own views rather than telling lies about other peoples.

Caissa

From Wikipaedia:

Constantinople, Turkey, June 15, 1896; Herzl sees an opportunity. With the assistance of Count Philip Michael Nevlenski, a sympathetic Polish émigré with political contacts in the Ottoman Court, Herzl attempted to meet the Sultan Abdulhamid II. Herzl wanted to present his solution to the Jewish State to the Sultan directly. He failed to obtain an audience with the Sultan. He did succeed in visiting a number of highly placed individuals, including the Grand Vizier who received him as a journalist representing the Neue Freie Presse. Herzl presented his proposal to the Grand Vizier that the Jews would pay the Turkish foreign debt, and attempt to help regulate Turkish finances, if they were given Palestine as a Jewish homeland under Turkish rule. Prior to leaving Constantinople, June 29,1896, Nevlenski obtained for Herzl a symbolic medal of honor.[12] The medal was a public relations affirmation for Herzl, and the Jewish world, of the seriousness of the negotiations, the "Commander's Cross of the Order of the Medjidje".

(Five years later, May 17, 1901, Herzl did meet with Sultan Abdulhamid II[13]. The Sultan, perceiving himself as the titular head of the Islamic world, refused to cede Palestine to Zionists, saying, "if one day the Islamic State falls apart then you can have Palestine for free, but as long as I am alive I would rather have my flesh be cut up than cut out Palestine from the Muslim land.")

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theodor_Herzl

N.Beltov N.Beltov's picture

One lie is as good as another.

Cueball Cueball's picture

Excelent. I am glad that you are reasserting the prime directive, which is that empire (Ottoman or otherwise) has the right to determine the future of peoples over the head of those that live there. Israel as we know, is first and foremost a colonial project. An excelent point to bring up, since we can note that the Israeli "Declaration of Independence" asserts the principles of the right of "self-determination" of peoples. An principle that directly contradicts the "right of imperial conquest".

One could say of the Zionists, that they never miss an opportunity to contradict themselves.

Cueball Cueball's picture

I will be looking forward to the day when those who assert that the edicts of the Sultan support the claim of the Israeli state to exist in the Levant, take the next logical step and also assert that if Ottoman legality is a rightful basis for Israeli claims, then all Ottoman land title deeds held by Palestinians refugees should also be tangible in Israeli law.

Caissa

I asserted nothing, Cueball. I presented information from wiki elaborating on your comments on Herzl. #25 is a personal attack and #27 I lovely followup on it.

Cueball Cueball's picture

Not.

In anycase, if you are into research, you can research Herzl's "suggestion" concerning a Zionist state stretching from the Nile to the Euphrates. Even Daniel Pipes does not dispute it. He dismissed Herzl's comments as clearly having "only limited importance". I have seen the original source quotes, you can look them up at your leisure.

Caissa

I wasn't questioning  your assertion at all, Cueball. Now what was the point of your personal attack on me?

al-Qa'bong

Quote:

I asserted nothing, Cueball. I presented information from wiki elaborating on your comments on Herzl.

What do you mean by "elaborating?" What point were you trying to make with that wiki excerpt? It just seems to hang there.

Caissa

I was giving another example of Herzl's conceptions of a state.

Cueball Cueball's picture

As far as I know, and Pipes agrees, Herzl's concept of a greater Israel from the Nile to the Euphrates was just casual of-the-cuff musing from wild eyed meglomaniac, and he never made that suggestion directly to the Sultan. Regarldess, the features of imperialist ethos, and the racist underpinnings of Zionist ideology are patently clear in his statements.