Sunday, February 25, 2024

Did the "Zionists" Yield on the Negev in 1947?

From a February 1947 State Department memorandum:

"...In present discussions, Negeb has been divided into two parts. Northern or cultivable part carries already a substantial Arab population, and British hope to develop it further in Arab interest (see 2 above). Jews have themselves stated that uninhabited southern part of Negeb is useless to them. Consequently, Negeb will be left in Arab area."

Wednesday, January 31, 2024

Lesson on 'How to think like Said Arikat'

There is nothing like an extensive example of Said Arikat's questioning at the State Department to exhibit how PPPPs (pro-Palestine propaganda proponents) think and how they insert wrong assumptions, untruths and misrepresentations into their questioning. Mehdi Hasan, of course, is another.

Here is from
the State Department Press Briefing of January 30, 2024 (the boldface I have added):-

MR MILLER: Go ahead, Said.

QUESTION: Thank you. Actually, on both points. But on this particular one, I mean, Israel occupies the whole West Bank. They are under their control. They don’t need to disguise themselves as medics and go into a hospital and kill people, which you called non-civilians. They are actually civilians, but that’s beside the point. So —

MR MILLER: I – so that is very much – but hold on.

QUESTION: Just allow me. Allow me just to follow up.

MR MILLER: No, Said, but before you call someone a civilian that Israel has said is a member of Hamas, I need to put on the record that that is very much a question that’s in dispute.

QUESTION: There are civilian members of Hamas; it’s a political organization. I mean, you may disagree with their politics, but that does not make them militants, right? Or —

MR MILLER: I would very much —


MR MILLER: I would very much disagree with that, Said.

QUESTION: That is —

MR MILLER: They’re a terrorist organization as have been —

QUESTION: Right, but that —

MR MILLER: — have been designated by the United States of America.

QUESTION: Right, but that’s an accusation of the occupier, a military occupier. They are making the accusation. I want to ask you: Is that a conduct befitting a state or a group of gangsters to go in and kill people, assassinate them as they sat in their beds?


QUESTION: Is that the conduct of a state? Will the United States ever do something like this under similar circumstances?

MR MILLER: So, Said, I am going to first of all note for the record, because it is important to note for the record, that Hamas is a brutal terrorist organization that carried out the brutal murder of 1,200 people on October 7th and —

QUESTION: We’re talking about the Bank, the West Bank. We’re talking about the West Bank, not Gaza.

MR MILLER: — and there are members of Hamas – and there are members of Hamas in the West Bank. And in addition to carrying out the brutal murder —


MR MILLER: — of 1,200 people on October 7th, has hid behind civilians in Gaza and been responsible for the death of many, many Palestinian civilians who they use as human shields. So before we talk about the people who died in this operation, I think it’s important to talk about who Hamas is, and it is not just – it is not a political organization, Hamas. It is – or Said. It is a terrorist organization that has carried out terrorist acts to kill civilians and has said it wants to continue to carry out those terrorist acts over and over again, and that context is important because Israel has the right to carry out antiterrorism operations to bring members of Hamas to justice. But as I said, we want them to be carried out in full —

QUESTION: I am asking you —

MR MILLER: Said, let me finish – in full compliance with international humanitarian law.

QUESTION: I’m asking you: Is this a conduct befitting a state that controls every single person in that whole territory?

MR MILLER: We think it is appropriate that they have the ability to bring members of Hamas to justice.

QUESTION: Fair enough, fair enough. That’s your answer.

Sunday, January 21, 2024

Peace Requires Reeducation

Imagine this being proposed after hostilities with Hamas in Gaza, and then extended to the areas of Judea and Samaria to include Fatah:

On September 15, 2045, which is exactly one month after the announcement of the defeat in the war, the Palestinian government through the minister of education issued the ‘Education Policy Guidelines for the Development of New Palestine,’ which contain 11 work guidelines:

1. Education aims to broaden insights and knowledge, improve the ability to think scientifically, foster a spirit of peace-loving, and improve people's morality. 

2. Erasing all subjects related to the military; all teaching and research must be focused on peaceful purposes. 

3. Revised the textbooks so that the contents are in accordance with the new education policy. 

4. The Ministry of Education organized a re-education program for teachers, to understand the new education policy. 

5. Giving special learning opportunities for students who had been deployed to the battlefield or to the factory, which forced them to drop out of school. 

6. Scientific education aimed to train the ability to think scientifically and not just to pursue temporary interests. 

7. To foster high morality and broad-minded people, it was necessary to increase education outside of school for adults and workers, through public facilities such as public libraries and museums, as well as utilizing media such as painting exhibitions, theater shows, publishing popular science books, etc. 

8. Facilitating the formation of local youth groups, as a forum for communication and fostering social solidarity. 

9. Sought interfaith cooperation to foster friendship and world peace. 

10. Facilitating sports competition events to improve physical and spiritual health, as well as fostering the spirit of fair play and friendship among the nation's children and between the people of Palestine and other citizens. 

11. Restructuring the ministry of education to form the directorate of sports and directorate of scientific education.

A great dream, yes. Wild? Improbable?

Well, that text actually exists. But it was dated in the year 1945. And instead of Palestine and Palestinian, it read Japan and Japanese.

Think about that.

Source:  Journal of Strategic and Global Studies | Volume 2, Number 2, July 2019


Wednesday, January 17, 2024

Non-Published Letter to the London Review of Books

Sent on November 20th:

Manal A. Jamal, writing in her blog post, "On Non-Violent Resistance" (LRB, 17 Nov 2023), asserts that "from the beginning, non-violent resistance has been central to the Palestinians’ struggle for freedom.". Unlike clinging to the truth in Orwell's "1984", Professor Jamal would rather we go mad, adopt the process of continuous alteration and cling to the untruth. She purports a fantasy as history.

In 1851, after having purchased property in Jerusalem's Old City so as to rebuild the Hurva Synagogue , which Arab creditors burned down in 1721, Rabbi Avraham Tzoref was axed by an Arab and died three months afterwards on September 16. In August 1890, Yisrael Rozeman was shot and killed while on guard duty in Gedera. Another over two dozen Jews were killed by Arabs on the background of their "resistance" to Jewish settlement all prior to the Balfour Declaration.

During the three decades of British Mandate rule, Arabs violently and murderously rioted against Jews in April 1920, May and November 1921, August 1929 and then April 1936 until May 1939 killing almost 900 Jews in additionn to pillaging, burning homes and agricultural produce as well as raping. More instances of individual murders occurred in between those outbursts. Many instances of mutilation are recorded. Arabs seeking an alternative route of opposition to Zionism were eliminated in dozens of internal assassinations on the orders of the Mufti Amin Al-Husseini.

Mubarak Awad aside, who I met and discussed his politics, there has been no significant non-violent campaign of resistance by any influential Arab personality or organization, official or civil society based in over a century and a half.

Yisrael Medad

Friday, January 12, 2024

Did Israel 'Emerge' in 'Ancient Palestine'?

In a review of Emanuel Pfoh's "The Emergence of Israel in Ancient Palestine: Historical and Anthropological Perspectives" by Jeremy Hutton you can find this theory gaining a grip on the academic discourse - and soon to be mass discourse: increasingly vocal contingent has challenged the critical theory (/theories) of historiography employed by traditional historical-critical approaches to the biblical text...Emanuel Pfoh steps into the gap and offers his own terms for peace with this book...itself is a methodologically and theoretically grounded study of how one might begin to write about “the emergence of Israel in ancient Palestine.”

...The author marshals critical historiographic theory, state formation theory, and other anthropological models in an attempt to deal “specifically with Israel’s origins and the question of statehood in Palestine”.  Throughout this introduction Pfoh positions himself as a proponent of “alternative historical explanations of what happened in Iron Age I Palestine in regard to ‘Israel’ ” (emphasis added). This effort comes as nothing surprising in the field of “biblical historiography” (construed loosely as the total combined subsets of biblical scholars, historians, archaeologists, Egyptologists, and Assyriologists who concern themselves with the reconstruction of the history of an ethnic group in the Southern Levant known as “Israel”)...he seeks “to assess the changing historical nature of the entity called ‘Israel’ as a product of contemporary history-writing” through both a review of the various proposals for understanding Israel’s emergence in Palestine (conquest, pastoral infiltration, etc.) and a sharpening of the “minimalist” critique of traditional biblical historiography....of Israel, Pfoh attempts to justify the critical historians’ foundational premise that “we cannot speak of Israel in history without firm evidence, and we cannot base our image of historical Israel on the biblical Israel that dwells in the Old Testament”...

...we have little or no access into the Bible’s meaningfulness within the original social context of its production. Because the historical narratives’ “intention is not historical,” “one cannot deem [them] historiographic” either...

...Pfoh attempts to deconstruct the putative relationship between the various “Israels” known from the ancient epigraphic texts. Pfoh dismisses as skewed any archaeological interpretations of the data that may be linked to the biblical text (e.g., A. Faust’s connection—hardly new with Faust—between
“the absence of pig bones in the Iron I highlands” and Israelite identity; 165; cf. 166–67).  Instead, Pfoh argues that the name “Israel”—if that is in fact what the Mernepta Stela says—“had survived afterwards in the territory and was adopted—from the ninth century on—by people living in the highlands” (172). Moreover, because “[e]thnic consciousness is… "retrospective” and “historiography … defines and creates ethnicity,” we have no access to the identity of early Judaism’s namesake Israel. There follows an outline of what we can know (from epigraphic remnants) or reconstruct (on the basis of archaeology and social-scientific theory) about the genesis and organization of the earliest known polity in the Iron Age II southern Levant: the Bīt-Humriya. This history, however, is not accessible through the biblical text, since “it is during the later periods of however, is not accessible through the biblical text, since “it is during the later periods of ancient Palestine’s history, the Persian and the Graeco-Roman, that we find the proper context in which biblical Israel was created”.

In his “Concluding Reflections” (188–94), Pfoh wraps up a number of independent lines of argumentation that have been touched upon through the course of the study. In a few pages, Pfoh defends himself (and implicitly his congeners) from charges of anti-Semitism and nihilism. But the more salient threads of this short summary are tied together around the theme of epistemology: comparison of the historical reconstruction and the biblical text proceed “only at the final stage of research, but such an endeavour must never aim to achieve a harmonization or an historical corroboration of ancient mythic images,” since doing so “simply misses the point of the original intention [of the biblical text] because of the mixing of logical categories”. “Mythic traditions are rationally unfalsifiable, they just cannot be tested, not because they may not be confirmed by historical or archaeological data—which they are sometimes!—but because they are
created by a different mentality, by another episteme, which never should be confused or blended with our own”...

Sunday, January 07, 2024

"Disproving", Well, Everything Jewish

Historian and researcher Issam Sakhnin (1938-2019) has had a third edition of his book, “Jerusalem: Hijacked History and Forged Antiquities” published by Al-A’idoun Publishing and Distribution House in Amman. His biography includes that Sakhnini contributed to the establishing of the “Palestinian Research Center” in Beirut in 1965, and served as Deputy Director General of the Center between 1971 and 1978. 

The biography relates he "sought to collect documents related to the Arab-Zionist conflict, prepare field studies and research on the Palestinian issue, and spread knowledge of the Israeli enemy in Palestinian and Arab circles.

One of his books, “The Holy Crime: Genocide from the Ideology of the Hebrew Book to the Zionist Project” (2012), presents a reading of the Zionist project, based on an analysis of its genocidal structure, whether in its origins, purpose, process, or outcomes. The Zionist project is a colonial/settler project based on the doctrine of genocide. Moreover, "the roots of the Jewish faith [are] represented by the blood-soaked God Yahweh, who commands his disciples to shed blood and annihilate other humans and animals as well. He also addresses the Zionist genocide discourse, which borrows the provisions of Jewish law to justify the genocide that it committed, and continues to commit, against the Palestinian Arabs. Ethnic cleansing is an essential feature of the Zionist discourse".

In “Jerusalem has a hijacked history and forged antiquities” Al-Sakhnini "refutes Zionism’s claims". The book, which was published as part of the publications of the Royal Commission for Jerusalem Affairs, Dr. Sakhnin "reveals the distortions, falsifications, and falsifications that befell the history of Jerusalem, beginning with the stories of the Hebrew Bible and continuing with the myths founding the foundation of contemporary Zionist thought."

The book came in four chapters. The first discussed the falsification of the history of Palestine in general, in order to understand the dimensions of the falsification of the history of Jerusalem and the sources and references of this falsification. The second chapter was devoted to researching the myths and legends from which the forged history of Jerusalem was derived and the facts that archeology has revealed that contradict it. These are basically myths. In the third chapter, Sakhnini discussed the issue of the “Temple” as it is in the riddles and riddles that were invented and whose futility modern research shows, and in the fourth chapter he discussed the processes of forging antiquities with the intention of proving the authenticity of stories about the city’s history.

Secretary-General of the Royal Commission for Jerusalem Affairs, Dr. Abdullah Kanaan, wrote an introduction to the book in which he says, “The book by history professor Dr. Issam Sakhnin is a “true scientific and historical treasure.” It embodies the saying, “From your mouth I condemn you.” In this book, Sakhnin refutes the claims of Zionism that aim to Complete control over all aspects of community life in the Holy City and its Islamic sanctities.”

Kanaan continued, “Sakhnini, in this book, exposes and exposes all the Zionist plans and Israel’s policy that aims to Judaize the city of Jerusalem with the aim of imposing “new facts and data,” enabling it to perpetuate its occupation of Jerusalem and perpetuate its usurpation so that it remains a unified and eternal capital of Zionism, in contravention of international law and relevant international legitimacy resolutions. The connection to the Palestinian issue and Jerusalem.

He points out that the issue of Jerusalem, in its past, present and future history, was the focus of attention of the Arab and Islamic nations in particular, and of all those who love peace in the world in general. It was self-evident that the Royal Commission for Jerusalem Affairs would work to direct those with pens, bright minds, and scientific and research abilities and capabilities, towards studying Sources that serve the cause of Jerusalem, and keep it alive in the Arab and Islamic mind and conscience, generation after generation, until it returns to its Arab people, the legitimate owners of the right, as it has always been throughout history.

Kanaan believes that Jerusalem has continued to occupy a prominent place in the mind and conscience of the Arab and Islamic worlds. It was and still is the focus of interest of researchers and historians who have dealt with it through monitoring, research and analysis in all its historical, anthropological, demographic and spiritual dimensions, relying in this on the most important books, references and the results of Arab and foreign archaeological investigations, ancient and modern. .

Dr. Sakhnini, in the introduction to the book, emphasizes that the intention of this book is not to present an ancient history of the city of Jerusalem, as the breadth of this chronological history, with its unparalleled rich diversity, cannot be comprehended in such a book, which is limited in size. Rather, “what we aimed for from this book was to reveal the distortions, falsifications, and falsifications that occurred in the history of Jerusalem, which began with the stories of the Hebrew Bible, and continued with the myths founding the foundations of contemporary Zionist thought.

In this context, a replacement occupation invasion took place on this history, with its temporal and spatial memories, and all the facts witnessed in the city’s past were excluded from it if they contradicted the narratives of those stories and legends, or were forcibly silenced, or were falsified and terribly deviated from their historical meanings.” .

Sakhnini confirms that the focus of the book is “forgery operations,” indicating that it may be in the form of an introduction to rewriting the history of ancient Jerusalem, getting rid of myths and legends, and relying exclusively on what modern sciences provide, especially the sciences of archeology and anthropology, of means by which Access to historical truth. Pointing out that he benefited from the data of archeology and the historical facts it reveals, but without delving into his techniques, in order to destroy all that mythical heritage in which he placed the ancient history of Jerusalem in its chains.

Sakhnini says, “No history has been subjected to falsification as the history of ancient Palestine in general and the history of Jerusalem in particular has been subjected to it,” indicating that “history in one of its meanings is the past, but the past here is not what has passed and gone with its ancient time, but rather it is an extended, untruncated past that flows.” In the present, he creates its content, features, and signs that indicate it, so that the past becomes the present, articulated on its feet and attached to all its aspects.

He points out that Zionism started from this understanding, and its concern was to own and monopolize the past, because whoever owns the past owns the present and the future as well. Palestine's past or ancient history is what is concerned here. That history, as is the objective, scientific view of it, which is consistent with the Arab view, is rich in its ethnic, religious, and cultural diversity, as the Canaanites, Edomites, and ancient Palestinians succeeded in its era.

Sakhnini believes that Zionism has stripped all of that rich past of its historicity, indicating that the history of ancient Palestine, which it wants to be its present and future as well, is the history formulated by “biblical” tales and legends that separated the history of ancient Palestine into stages that are exclusively the stages of the history of the children of Israel in it.

He says that Zionism sought to exclude the name Palestine from geographical-historical memory, and replaced it with the name “Land of Israel.” This was based on the premise that made the name have a political-ideological function whose goal was to show an alleged connection extending throughout history, linking the Jews to this place in their past, present, and future. More than that, this connection in the custom of Zionism, with its contents derived from Jewish theology, is a manifestation of a divine will that willed there to be a predestined relationship between four hypostases: “the God of Israel, the children of Israel, the land of Israel, and the history of the children of Israel.” .

Sakhnini concluded that no history has ever been subjected to the Jewish robberies that the ancient history of Palestine was subjected to, and thus Zionism actively sought to silence it, considering that a necessary condition for owning it, and thus owning the present and the future, and for monopolizing the land that is the geographical framework of that history. In these robberies, Zionism reaped a valuable spoil by granting it a right to present Palestine, based on an alleged history, and in recognition of its possession of the place on which a state was created.