Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Who is a "Refugee from Palestine"?

Please note the uniqueness of the time period that allows for one to be termed a refugee from Palestine:

Palestine refugees are defined as “persons whose normal place of residence was Palestine during the period 1 June 1946 to 15 May 1948, and who lost both home and means of livelihood as a result of the 1948 conflict.”  

Only two years of residency.

If we recall that during World War II there was a large influx of Arab workers from neighboring countries required for the British economy based on troops and related areas, from clothing, to camps construction, to food, etc. as well as the oil-refineries near Haifa and more,* then we can suspect that many Arabs who had no specific connection to "Palestine", as they were Syrians, Egyptians, Lebanese and TransJordanians and others, became, poof!, "refugees from Palestine".

And if one was a doctor, dentist or engineer, could it be said that the person "lost the means of his livelihood"?

One more point: "Palestine refugees", not "Palestinian refugees".


The Second World War begin in 1939. The Palestinian economy was safe from recession and stimulated to play a major role in the British Middle Eastern military effort. Palestine was developed as a large British base and its people were also moblised to reduce dependence on outside sources of supply and to enhance Palestine’ s industrial base so that it could facilitate British military needs and also provide a whole array of consumer and other goods for a regional market. This was a major encouragement for both the Arab and Jewish sectors of the economy. There was a considerable enhancement in income and a speedy acceleration in the process of social changes....In the industrial sector, the major expansion took place with an enormous increase in capacity and output required to meet demand in three large markets: The British military, Palestine itself and the rest of the Middle East, including Turkey. Unfortunately, the government was unable to retain precise figures to prove this process, but according to one estimate, output in Jewish-owned factories increased by 200 percent between 1939 and 1942 and that in Arab-owned enterprises by 77 percent... between 1939 and 1945, average industrial earnings were estimated to have grown by 200 percent for Arabs and 258 percent for Jews during the same period. Unskilled construction workers increased by 405 percent and 329 percent respectively. Conditions in the rural areas was somewhat better. Prices of locally grown agricultural products were said to have increased seven fold during the war and agricultural wages by the same amount by mid1943. In these circumstances it was not surprising to find that the official government figures indicated that total agricultural income quadrupled between 1939 and 1944/5 (in money terms). It provided the Arab peasant with ‘a large measures of prosperity’ and leading to a dramatic decline in the need to borrow essential items from money lenders in many districts...perhaps the most important developments in the period were the huge mobilization of labor. It took many hundreds of thousands away from their villages on either a daily or a more permanent basis and the stimulus was given to Arab industry. According to Taqqu’s estimate, about one-third of the male Arab work force was employed in wage labor by 1945, most of them by the government and military but with some 13,000 in some aspect of manufacturing.

Sunday, January 13, 2019

Wikipedia, We Have a Problem

See this Wikipedia editor expressing wrong information and probably anti-Semitic, too.

Wikipedia need know that "Palestinian" is not specifically Arab.

Moreover, it did not discriminate based on race, religion or birthplace. 

The nationality law granted citizenship simply on the basis of residency.


One for the Dumb Jews Category


Should we inform her that the only reason a "Palestine" was created by the League of Nations was to reconstitute the historic Jewish national home?


A comment:

Ariel, and if you read the Hebrew word for Palestine on the top right of the passport, you would see, in parentheses, the abbreviation, also in Hebrew, for “the land of Israel” (א״י) as the description for what Palestine was.


Friday, January 11, 2019

On the East Side of the Jordan

Found here:

In "historic Palestine".

And you thought Jabotinsky was, well, extreme.


Tuesday, January 08, 2019

Which "Palestine" Is That, Angela Davis?

Angela Y. Davis published a letter on January 7, 2019 in response to her removal as an awardee of the Fred Shuttlesworth Human Rights Award by the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute Board of Directors.

One small, well, relatively short, phrase caught my eye. It's in this paragraph:

Through my experiences at Elizabeth Irwin High School in New York City and at Brandeis University in the late fifties and early sixties, and my subsequent time in graduate school in Frankfurt, Germany, I learned to be as passionate about opposition to antisemitism as to racism. It was during this period that I was also introduced to the Palestinian cause. I am proud to have worked closely with Jewish organizations and individuals on issues of concern to all of our communities throughout my life. In many ways, this work has been integral to my growing consciousness regarding the importance of protesting the Israeli occupation of Palestine.

My reaction will be short as well:  is that, a la Marc Lamont Hill, all of "historic Palestine"?

Exactly which "Palestine" is being "occupied"?  As a communist, I am sure she might even be upset with any Jewish nationalism.

Notice she mentions Brandeis.  Well, to mark a half century of excellence in and dedication to the Department of African and African-American Studies of Brandeis University which will be held on Feb. 8–9, 2019, one of the speakers is...

...Angela Y. Davis ’65, Distinguished Professor Emerita, UC Santa Cruz. (h/t=JW)

By the way, notice how her rejection is termed divisive here but her remarks and positions are, I would presume, not:

In a statement expressing “dismay”, Birmingham mayor Randall Woodfin said the protests came from the “local Jewish community and some of its allies”. He called it a reactive and divisive decision and offered to facilitate dialogue in response.


I see now that Ms. Davis has said

“The rescinding of this invitation was thus not primarily an attack against me but rather against the spirit of the indivisibility of justice."

So, hey, what about the indivisibility of Eretz-Yisrael?


Monday, January 07, 2019

Library of Congress Errs (UPDATED)

If you read the second half of my previous blog post, you will know that I drew attention to the probability that Rashida Tlaib is definitely not the first "Palestinian" to be elected to Congress.

The first was a Jew, John H. Krebs.

Krebs moved to the Mandate of Palestine in 1933, was educated there and even served in the Hagana before emigrating to the United States to go to university.

In order to enter the United States, he would have had need of a passport.  Since he was born in Germany, and being a Jew, his nationality would have been terminated (and had he remained there, he would have been exterminated).

Logic seems to indicate that he was issued a Palestinian passport.

or, perhaps, a Laissez-passer document.

To be sure, I wrote to the Library of Congress.

The reply, however, was strange:

John Hans Krebs was born in Berlin, Germany, although he did live in Israel from 1933 to 1946 before moving to the United States. Krebs served in the House of Representatives from 1975 to 1979. 

It appears that John Sununu was the first Palestinian-American to serve in Congress. John Sununu is of Lebanese-Palestinian ancestry and was first elected to the House in 1997 and the Senate in 2003. h

Also, Rep. Justin Amash has a Palestinian father. Amash was elected to the House in 2011. 

I responded:

Thank you.

To pursue the issue further, Krebs did NOT live in "Israel" between 1933-1946.The territory at that time was a League of Nations Mandate, assigned to Great Britain for the purpose of reconstituting the historic Jewish national home. Israel came into existence in 1948. Palestine, incidentally, never became an independent geo-political entity.

Like Krebs, Sununu was born outside of Palestine proper, in Havana, Cuba. His father's family had already come to the United States from the Middle East at the turn of the twentieth century. His father, John, was born in Boston. Sununu's mother, Victoria Dada, was born in El Salvador. So there is no direct first or second generation connection with Palestine. In fact, he never, unlike Krebs, ever lived in the area.

As for Amash, he is indeed the son of a Palestinian Christian father whose family immigrated to the United States in 1956 from Bethlehem, I think. Congressman Amash, too, was not born in the territory of Palestine but in Grand Rapids and never lived in the Palestine Mandate which ended in 1948. Between 1948-1967, the former Mandate territory of Palestine outside of the boundaries of Israel, was under the occupation/annexation of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. As I do not know when Attalah Amash was born, if it was post 1948, it was not in Palestine but Jordan.

And I added

I think you are mixing up "ancestry" with actual diplomatic nationality. If that is your standard, though, dozens of Jews who have served in the House of Representatives and the Senate are, in a sense, "Palestinians" as that is where all Jews originated before being dispersed due to the conquest and occupation of Judea.


Thanks to a Twitter ally, I can now display proof of Krebs' Palestinian nationality:



I have received their second reply:
Hello Yisrael Medad
We apologize if we misunderstood your original question. We thought you were attempting to find the first member of Congress with Palestinian ancestry. Since John Krebs wasn't born in the Palestine Mandate and/or present day Israel, we did not understand what you meant by the first "Palestinian" to serve in Congress.

You are correct that Krebs did not live in Israel since Israel did not come into existence until 1948. We inadvertently took the reference to Kreb living Israel from the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress, which mistakenly states that he "moved to Israel in 1933..." ...

That being said, John Krebs does appear to be the first member of Congress to have been raised in the Palestine Mandate and/or the land that is present-day Israel. We looked through the book "The Jews of Capitol Hill: A Compendium of Jewish Congressional Members" by Kurt F. Stone and did not find any other examples.

Please read this from Abu Yehuda, who I credited in my previous post on this, with inside photos of the passport of Krebs.

And someone edited at Wikipedia (for how long I do not know)


Sunday, January 06, 2019

I Am Appreciated

I wrote to a good friend, who doesn't quite share all my politicall views, and mentioned an article I had written.

That, of course, set me off on a search.

And I found this relating to it:

Keeping the Faith: The Case for Gush Emunim, Yisrael Medad, Spring 5737 – An eloquent case for the right-wing Settler movement made in response to a statement by R. Jakobovits.

By the way, "5737" equals 1977.

Thursday, January 03, 2019

Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib Comes From A Settler Family (UPDATED)

I read it here:

Rashida Harbi Elabed — she took the last name of her ex-husband, Fayez Tlaib, when they were married in 1998 and kept it — is and remains a Detroiter. She was born and raised in southwest, where her father, Harbi Elabed, and her mother, Fatima, settled. Harbi Elabed, despite being impoverished at times, made it to Detroit from Jerusalem, via Nicaragua, and worked the line at Ford’s Flat Rock Assembly Plant; Tlaib's mother came from a small village in Palestine. 

And another thing:

She will use Thomas Jefferson’s personal copy of George Sale’s 1734 translation of the Koran into English, a two-volume work that resides in the Library of Congress. “It’s important to me because a lot of Americans have this kind of feeling that Islam is somehow foreign to American history,” said Tlaib

I am not sure what she means by the "beginning".

I do know about the Barbary Pirates who were Muslim. They were

Ottoman and Maghrebi pirates and privateers who operated from North Africa, based primarily in the ports of Salé, Rabat, Algiers, Tunis, and Tripoli. This area was known in Europe as the Barbary Coast

As to their activities, one estimation has it that

Between 1580 and 1680 corsairs were said to have captured about 850,000 people as slaves and from 1530 to 1780 as many as 1,250,000 people were enslaved

As for a connection with Thomas Jefferson, I read that

one cannot get around what Jefferson heard when he went with John Adams to wait upon Tripoli’s ambassador to London in March 1785. When they inquired by what right the Barbary states preyed upon American shipping, enslaving both crews and passengers, America’s two foremost envoys were informed that “it was written in the Koran, that all Nations who should not have acknowledged their authority were sinners, that it was their right and duty to make war upon whoever they could find and to make Slaves of all they could take as prisoners, and that every Mussulman who should be slain in battle was sure to go to Paradise.”

And that

Yusuf Karamanli, the pasha of Tripoli, declared war on the United States in May 1801, in pursuit of his demand for more revenue. This earned him a heavy bombardment of Tripoli and the crippling of one of his most important ships. 

The year 1801 is close to the beginning although that Barbary Coast campaign went on into 1815

I would presume former President Barack Obama pushed that theme:

Here's another fact: Islam has always been part of America. Starting in colonial times, many of the slaves brought here from Africa were Muslim. And even in their bondage, some kept their faith alive. A few even won their freedom and became known to many Americans. And when enshrining the freedom of religion in our Constitution and our Bill of Rights, our Founders meant what they said when they said it applied to all religions.

Back then, Muslims were often called Mahometans. And Thomas Jefferson explained that the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom he wrote was designed to protect all faiths — and I'm quoting Thomas Jefferson now — "the Jew and the Gentile, the Christian and the Mahometan." 

And by the way, the claim that she is the first Palestinian member of Congress is probably wrong.

The first Palestinian to become a Congressman was J.H. Krebs.*

He lived in the Palestine Mandate 1933-1946 and I would presume he had Palestinian citizenship as his previous German citizenship would have been invalidated by the Nazi regime.

He was Jewish.  Even served in the Hagana.

Move over Rashida Tlaib?

* And I asked:

Thank you for submitting your question to Library of Congress - Digital Reference Team
Question ID: 14197950
Your question: Was JH Krebs not the first "Palestinian" to serve in Congress?

You will receive acknowledgment of question receipt and an answer to your question at the e-mail address you provided.

P.S.  From Congressman Krebs' widow, Hannah:

"I have been hunting for John’s passport when he first came to the U.S. from Israel in Nov. 1946 with his passport marked “Palestinian.”  Yes, he was that before the state was founded and probably the first former Palestinian in Congress, by then an American citizen.  Obviously not an Arab Palestinian like Rashida Tlaib."

(thanks to AbuYehudah)


I now see this:

Two more errors on Omar’s list: Tlaib, whom she lists as the first Palestinian American; is preceded by Rep. Justin Amash, R-Mich., and former Sen. John Sununu, R-N.H.


HSBC Locked-in

We read that HSBC

And did you read this?

...we found HSBC listed as a shareholder in all 19 arms companies we looked at, with investments totalling more than $1bn.
HSBC has told us that its shares in arms companies are usually held on behalf of clients. But HSBC refused to categorically state that it does not directly hold shares, and its use of the term "usually" suggests that it does. Even when it comes to holdings on behalf of clients, HSBC still benefits from the transactions being able to freely hold those shares on behalf of clients, while claiming that it has no moral responsibility otherwise.
These excuses don't hold up to scrutiny. 

So, is the bank dealing in some way with cluster bombs?