Thursday, September 16, 2010

Jews are Palestinians are Jews

There's been quite a bit of ridicule of this article in the Guardian which refers to the people who lived in the Holy Land in the days of Jesus as "early Palestinians". CiFWatch was on the story here and here, Daled Amos was on it here, Mellanie Phillips here. Some of them talk about how this is no coincidence, rather the result of the concentrated efforts of Replacement Theology Christian thinkers and Palestinian ideologues. Fair enough.

These days, however, I'm in the middle of Shlomo Sand's The Invention of the Jewish People, which I hope to review in depth sometime. Sand isn't a Christian theologian, nor a Palestinian ideologue. He's a Jewish professor at Tel Aviv University. Yet his book, profoundly wrong as it is, is part of a clear effort to re-write history so that the Jews were not here 2000 years ago, and certainly not 3000. That slip-of-tongue in the Guardian probably wasn't, which is why it slipped past the editor. There are ever more people out there who actually do think Jesus' compatriots were early Palestinians, whatever that might mean.


Lee Ratner said...

Personally, I'm probably going to have to go with the coincidence rather than replacement theology for the articles sloppy writing. Many non-Jews, even those who are very pro-Israel, have a tendency to refer to Eretz Israel as Palestine for any period between the Roman Conquest and 1948 even if it isn't really that accurate. Many even use the term Palestine for any period between the return from the Babylonian Exile and 1948. Usually, they are careful enough to refer to the inhabitants by their specific ethnicity but a sloppy writer will call the inhabitants as Palestinians.

I do agree with you that there is a small but very determined effort among Anti-Semites in academia to get rid of the concept of Jews as an ethnicity and make Jewishness an entirely religious identity. Since it is generally assumed that religious communities are not entitled to self-determination but ethnic communities are, if Jewishness is only a religious identity than Jews do not get self-determination.

Barry Meislin said...

Since it is generally assumed that religious communities are not entitled to self-determination...

Unless, of course, they're Moslem.

Anonymous said...

Jesus' compatriots were early Palestinians, whatever that might mean

to the best of my memory it means that the New Testament needs to be rewritten and if I am not totally mistaken that means the "Old" one has to be adjusted to fit the new "New" one and boy oh boy all those novels. The job Orwell had the Big Brother minions do in 1984 seems fly shit by comparison. What baffles me therefore is that Christians tolerate that BS or do they see some benefit for themselves in it.

and here is a wonderful lecture with a great story teller as lecturer on the Making of the King James Bible - link to the book also below - (especially suitable for Victor who being so good with words himself nevertheless once opted for stuff suitable for our days;-)


Empress Trudy said...

IF it's casual then why is it so specific? "Early Palestinians"? What does that mean? Why not call them Canaanites or Moabites? Early Palestinians would seem, if you took them at their word to indicate some vague period of time at the beginning of Roman rule. Which clearly at the time of 30-100 CE it was not.

Sérgio said...

Don´t forget that humans are early eukaryotes, sort of...

Changing to other "relevant" stuff: did the algerians burn those Mossad-planned Egyptian-printed Korans?

Anonymous said...

Elder of Ziyon has more news on Koran destruction ooops disposal and a first hint, that respectful burning is allowed.

I wonder if discarding would be PC too?

I guess those all-knowing people at the paper had a vague memory that there was a Roman province called Palestine and as Estonia is inhabited by Estonians Palestine must have been inhabited by Palestinians. i.e. whether ill intent or sloppyness those people get paid for what they write and once I get paid I at least feel an obligation to deliver good job for the money.
As to Jounalists last night in a piece about Afghanistan I learned that Jon Boone is the local correspondent for the Economist and the Guardian. It might be interesting to compare their reporting ?!?! ;-)


Sylvia said...


As usual, you've seen through it like an open book.

Indeed, this is a political adaptation of fundamental Islamic dogma for Christian/Western consumption. Muslims believe that every human being is born a Muslim, but it is his or her parents who subsequently make him/her Jewish, Christian, etc. Hence Abraham was a Muslim, Jesus was a Muslim long before the birth of Islam. It was written in the Tora and the New Testament - but these have been corrupted (which is precisely whar Shlomo Sand is saying about Jewish history).

And go "dialogue" with that.This is one of the reasons why interfaith dialogue is going nowhere. Muslims won't bulge from that position.

NormanF said...

The irony is during the British Mandate, the only Palestinians were the Jews. The Arabs rejected any national identification with the country in which they lived. Their sole motive, then as now was opposition to Zionism as a national movement.

Lee Ratner said...

NormanF, you keep bringing this point up like it matters but it really doesn't. Regardless of the level of national consiousness among Arabs living in Eretz Israel before 1948, it shouldn't be any surprise that many of them didn't like hundreds of thousands of Jews coming over in order to set up a state. Anxiety over immigration is pretty common across the world.

Also, there are millions of Arabs that identify as Palestinian now and a good chunk of them live under Israeli rule. This is causing all sorts of problems and whether you like it or not, most of the world seems to think that Israel needs to give up the West Bank and Gaza to the Palestinians. Israel already gave up Gaza, now the Wes Bank remains. Hshem doesn't seem to be doing much to correct this perception of most of the world's goyim.

Anonymous said...

you are interested in goyim perception?
I don't believe it. Are you really once again willing to trust us? That is the victory of hope over experience. It is your task to manipulate us, read the Lee Smith piece on that new book, as it is the task of all less powerful to manipulate the more powerful.

heck, I am just reading Quentin Skinner's short introduction to Macchiavelli - it shows ;-)
great little book btw - quite a writer Mr. Skinner is and he obviously is really interested in his subject - so none of that treating it like a dreary money job, professors so often like to feed to us dumb ones.


here is a piece mostly dealing with Jordan (never mind the title) from 1958 full of predictions but also a description of what was then as perceived by William R. Polk who seems to have had quite a distinguished career since then - enjoy the proof that predictions are hard especially when they deal with the future and as Michael Oren likes to quip he as a historian finds it hard enough to predict the past.


marek said...

I keep on wandering, the fact that this Jewish prof. drawing a salary from a Jewish university and retaining his academic official standing, is a proof of academic freedom gone mad or PC gone mad. Truly disgusting.

Barry Meislin said...


Palestine, is Syria's.

(So is Jordan, by the way. Lebanon? Well, we already know to whom Lebanon belongs.)

As for the West Bank, no point in giving it to Abbas.

Might as well give it directly to Hamas, and avoid a few thousand Palestinian casualties and the need for Hamas to have to toss their brothers off of rooftops and/or shoot 'em.

(Internecine warfare doesn't make for the best press. Not that Hamas cares all that much about that---they're actually pretty certain, history being a pretty good indication, that the media wouldn't bother to report it.)

Plus, they can save their energy for the real battle---the one that Lee has promised us and appears for some reason to be thirsting for....

Oh right, because it's the moral thing to do.

Sérgio said...

This guy is the a typical demopath. He should apply for a professorship at Teehran University or something?

Sérgio said...

I meant this doc Shlomo.

Lee Ratner said...

Barry Meislin, okay and what is your plan when the number of Palestinians and the number of Israeli-Arabs combined outnumber the number of Jews? The day is coming faster than you think and the situation will really get dangerous. What would you do with the West Bank and Gaza and all the Arabs living there? Have Israel rule over them for generations more until they change? Kick them all out and annex the places?

Our esteemed host realizes that there is no realistic way that Israel can hold on to the West Bank in its entirety or even to most of it. The sooner Israel ditches the Palestinians, the better even if it doesn't bring "peace." The Arabs aren't going to change until there is an independent Palestine and increasing hardline attitudes against Jews in general and Israelis in particular is not a good thing. This isn't rocket science.

Barry Meislin said...

Rocket science.


And missile science.

And tunnel science.

And plain old rifle science.

And using-your-own-sense-o-morality-to-destroy-you science.


But when the carnage ends (hopefully) and the smoke clears, we'll at least have the satisfaction (those of us who are left, at least) in knowing that we did the moral thing.

Anonymous said...

do you really believe that the Arabs will change, once there is an independent Palestine?

where do you get your world view from?
or does it stem from a "let Israelis eat cake" attitude?

no trouble maker I have ever come across, especially if he/she had support from a big wig, ever stopped making trouble just because he/she got what she wanted and I found again and again that entities from fire brigade to states behave very much like persons.

Psychos have a term for people who are so needy that no matter what, they can't get satisfied/enough but I can't remember it right now because this one keeps pestering me

or is it that you are so interested in and taken over by goyim perception that you believe them more than those living on the ground in the midst of it?

I don't live in the midst of it, but a look at my little globe always suffices to convince me again, that the military should have the prime voice in what to concede and what not.

BTW the Palestinians are grown up, they can decide in an instant without any help from whomever to become reliable partners, prove it over a number of years (given their previous record I don't consider that an excessive demand) and then come back to the negotiations table cleansed from the aura of slyness that they sport now.

As to your beloved demographics I have read one piece that really living there people are a lot less than those registered as living there. There seems to be a lot of dual residences going on. Again not an indicator of high trustworthiness.


Lee Ratner said...

Barry Meislin, so your solution is literally to wipe them all out and let God sort out the rest? Yeah, like that would work. Luckily, most Israelis really don't want your solution either.

Silke, I believe that the creation of an independent Palestine is a necessity for change in the Arab and Muslim world but not that it would necessarily cause it, not at first. I'm not a dreamer that believes that an independent Palestine would lead to "peace" but I think that holding on to the WB indefinitely is not going to do anything useful but drive the advocates of the single-state solution into prominence. If a single-state solution is ever achieved, its going to end up like Yugoslavia rather than Belgium. Its best to separate from the Palestinians as much as possible.

Anonymous said...

I think you are trying to eat the cake and keep it

on the one hand you bash Barry for a thing he never said on the other hand your proposal is all of a sudden "as much as possible."

Now I guess on "as much as possible" anybody can agree (except the one state solutioners) but your downgrading your higher up quite specific demands to "as much as possible" seems in the light of what you accuse Barry of a wee bit disingenious to say the least.

Either you want Israel to trust the Palestinians with command over that by now well known ridge plus quite a number equally important but not as easily demonstrable vital locations with all the risk that that includes for lives and livelihoods or you have to define what "as much as possible" is supposed to be in your book at lot more closely and based on a lot more knowledge of the issue i.e. you would have to read and listen to a lot more stuff on what the military is about than I have done during the last 4 years and believe me I have imbibed a lot or else you would have to have access to a really knowledgeable source with full permission to disclose all and everything.


Barry Meislin said...

No, it's not what I said, nor is it what I meant.

But one must realize that this is how the virtuous debate with anyone who questions their oh-so-obvious truths.

What is rather ironic, though, now that the topic has been brought up, is that it is precisely the existence of the state of Israel that has prevented Israel's neighbors from slaughtering one another. Ergo....(see below).

(Not that this has worked all the time or across the board, mind you.)

Still, the conclusion ought to be oh-so-obvious (not that anyone will agree to it---in fact most of the virtous will likely interpret this particular irony as, merely, once again Israel (and Jews) trying to extort the world (like they "do" with that "phenomenon" known as anti-Semitism....)

Anonymous said...

as it happened I just stumbled on this remark in Jeffrey Goldberg's 3rd on Cuba:

if you do the same thing for fifty years and it doesn't work, maybe you should do something else.

This seems to be the generally accepted credo of all "modern" persons. But what about Roman Catholics who recently proudly announced in the NYT all the places where they are well represented or even are the majority as in the Supreme Court. Who would have imagined that during the time when they were supposed to change or never make it in the US? Or even more crass: who would have betted on the Orthodox surviving Stalin's and the others onslaught? Today they are seen as the coming if not dominating force. Have they changed to achieve that? Not that I'd have heard.

By these measures the fact that Israel must have done something wrong to not have achieved peace after more than 60 years is an empty argument. They may be as successful by staying the course as by acting as volatile as even the most ardent McKinsey advisor can imagine. My bet is that holding on stubbornly to "Jerusalem is our capital - period" has the greatest odds of success and if it is their capital, then it has to have the best of defenses, from which the whole rest follows. Behind closed doors probably even Christians are more happy with Jerusalem being under the rule of Zionists than any other conceivable one, excepting their own of course ;)
And yes, Barry, you are perfectly right, if they hadn't Israel they would most likely be at eachother's throat. Taking that thread and following it to the end would suggest that once peace would break out and solidify they had no choice but to start going for eachother. Without a "beloved" external enemy they are bound to implode or explode or go up in flames. Cherishing the same hatred is quite a bond.


Anonymous said...

Not sure where you get your demographics from Lee. West Bank and Israel and Golan there are 3 million Arabs and nearly 6 million Jews and the Jewish part is still growing rapidly whilst the Arab bit is slowing down. Of course Israel might be all Haredim before it has issues with the Arab majority.

Also the earliest dates for this are what 20-30 years out? You think Iran and Syria are going to be in the same position in 20 years?


Lee Ratner said...

Silke, yes I agree with Barry Meislin on this. Without Israel, the Middle East would most likely be even more violent. You might think my strategy won't work, but I don't think that the hold on to the West Bank as colony indefinitely strategy is working either.

Basically, I think that Jerusalem should remain one city under Israeli sovereignty. Otherwise, the borders between the West Bank and Israel should match the 1948 borders as closely as possible. There should be no right of Palestinian return into Israel or really any compensation for them. At best, leave the settlements standing so that Palestinians returning to live in the West Bank have housing. That will be the compensation to the Arab refugees.

Hope everybody has an easy fast for Yom Kippur and that Hashem inscribes everybody in the book of life.

Anonymous said...

as usual you avoid the defensible borders issue - as it happens for me that is no. 1 - as long as Israel has neighbours who prefer it judenrein that is an issue that can only be argumented away by people who've never been close to war in a very physical way.

And no I don't buy the current mantra that counterinsurgency is so marvellous that all will be well if it is only followed perfectly enough. A lot of what I hear and read about it reminds me way too much of counsultant BS.


Barry Meislin said...

...The whole (if unsaid) point being that the State of Israel deserves, unreservedly and without qualification---not to mention, immediately---the Nobel Prize for Peace(!)

Actually, it's long overdue.

Time to mobilize the Israel Lobby on this (or, pace Juan Cole, "Israel Lobbies"---we're such a divers group)...and, in fact, unleash the entire Global Zionist Machine (GZM)....