Friday, April 11, 2008

1947 News Clip on Jewish Anti-British Resistance


Peter Drubetskoy said...

How the roles have changed, haven't they! You call it "resistance", they called it "terror", sounds just too familiar. Were you as cautious talking about Palestinian attacks directed at Israeli soldiers only?
The truth is, the oppressor will always be wrong. It will breed the likes of the bastards who beat an Arab in this video, the bastards that delay sick people at checkpoints, till they die etc, not because any one people - Jews or anybody else for that matter - is inherently bad, but because this is in the very nature of oppression. Most IDF soldiers are wonderful people, but the systems does very little to prosecute the few who are not.
What is unique in the situation with Israel is indeed the amazing amount of resources and power spent on suppressing any critical view of Israel trying to arise in the American public discourse. Read, for example, this article about "Shovrim Shtika" exhibit at Harvard. The people like Morton Klein and the likes are the real shame on the Jews people. They embody the exact opposite of all the beautiful traditions of search for truth and social justice that Jews, like few other people, represent. Of course, which the heavy ammunition of being able to summarily label any dissent as "antisemitism" or "self-hate", they seem truly invulnerable, but this won't last for long, I hope...

YMedad said...

Ah, Peter. In the middle East, you have to think and know your history. I see you have left a lot of comments and I don;t have time right now so I'll make this short.

The major difference between the Jews and the Muslims in this 100 year old conflict is that overall and overwhelmingly, it was the Jewish side which sought accommodation and compromise and accepted Partition. But from the beginning, it was the Arabs who slaughtered and killed and maimed and rapined - in 1920 (and earlier), 1921, 1929, 1936-39, et al. But you know all this, right? But you ignore it.

Given this record, where one side tried - willingly or forced, to come to an agreement, we are not the oppressors nor the occupiers. The Arabs had their chance to come to peace terms over 80 years but never desired to do so.

As for the British, they consistently violated the terms of the Mandate as resolved in 1922 and therefore, since they never sought o compromise with the Jews but only cut back immigration certificates, land purchases and even to eradicate the idea of the Jewish National Homeland (the 1939 White Paper), the Irgun and Lechi were most justified in resisting they way they did. The Holocaust, which could have been to a greatextent prevented, is the proof.

Peter Drubetskoy said...

I don't ignore anything I just I don't accept your one-dimensional reading of history. But from the beginning, it was the Arabs who slaughtered and killed and maimed and rapined -
this is indeed what I and all Israelis were taught in the school and are fed all the time by the mainstream media. The truth is however much more complicated. Gush-shalom has a wonderful brochure about this, and checking one by one all the myths that we've been fed, one discovers that the truth is not as pretty as in these myths. It is enough to consider that most of the events of the War of Independence are never even mentioned in the Israeli school or mainstream discourse: Plan Dalet is never mentioned; Deir Yassin (whatever happened there), Lydda, Qibia and other "incidents" (except for Kafr Kassem) are never mentioned; expulsions are never mentioned and the list goes on. The natural question is: if there is nothing to hide, if State of Israel is sure it behaved only morally throughout the conflict, why aren't we told about all these? No, everything is presented in the same black-and-white manner as yours: we're the good ones and they are the bad ones. I stopped buying this. I started suspecting that things are not mentioned in order for the public, for us to internalize the image of the comically bad and bloodthirsty enemy.
That's regarding the history of the conflict, things I never witnessed and need to rely on secondary sources to reach any conclusions. Regarding the more recent event, though, the situation is even worse. The public is so brainwashed that even when we are clearly in the wrong we do not recognize it. I ask myself: how could I listen to a doctor in my reserve battalion tell me how it was so good that we (the IDF) killed some 1000 people in Jenin because this meant 1000 children less, 1000 terrorists less. Forget about him - but I, how come I did not cringe? I, who considers himself an intelligent person, educated and well-read? This was a couple of days after the operation there during Homat Magen and nobody knew how many people were actually killed (no am I sure anybody has the number now) so, he spoke based on rumors, but that's beyond the point, which is that we're losing our own humanity with alarming ease once we start seeing the other as the villain who wants nothing but to eliminate us. This is the process of dehumanization that should be an especially hard sell for Jews, who were targets of such dehumanization for thousands of years.
I ask myself how come every time our shells kill innocent families the first reaction of the public is not to hang our heads in shame but to either totally justify it (there are no innocent civilians, they are all terrorists, we're in a war, they got what they deserved, they should not have let the terrorists get in or near their home* etc) or blame the victims themselves. When the rights groups pleaded with Peretz not to let the safety radius for artillery to go from 300m to 100m (as far as I remember), not to mention to stop the use of artillery altogether, and he did not budge till the shells did fall on a house and killed all its inhabitants - is this not criminal? If I were a Palestinian, would I not consider the strong country and army doing so unto me inhumane terrorists? I sure would...
There are other questions like this...
You say: "The Arabs had their chance to come to peace terms over 80 years but never desired to do so.". This is a sweeping statement about millions of people who for all of these years did not even have a unified representative government. Unlike the Israelis, who, you imply, would have jumped en masse on any peace offer coming from the Arabs. But this is not really true. I distinctly remember that when Barak was proposing his famous "best offer ever" in Camp David there was absolutely no consensus in Israel and people were talking about referendums in the best case and about open civil disobedience in the worst. So, the Palestinian refusal to accept Barak's proposal, which, besides the problems they had with it, did not even seem to have the backing of the Israeli public is seen in a totally different light. And if you're already talking about all the Arabs (a tendency of people denying the Palestinians the right to call themselves a people) then it is actually the Arabs who of lately are coming with peace proposals that Israel just chooses to laugh off and ignore (the Saudi Peace Initiative, ratified by the Arab countries twice). Not that I am trying to absolve the Arabs or the Palestinians from their responsibility for the conflict and its continuation - not at all! - but I am trying to see a little bit of dimensionality where you are painting a flat caricature.
And, in the end of this tirade (too long for a comment on a blog), let me ask you: if you were sure there was a good chance of peace with the Palestinians but for that you would have had to leave your beautiful house in Shiloh - would you?

* Here is just one story
about a family trying to stop the militants from shooting the Qassams, which, of course, does not spare it from our wrath.