Monday, August 22, 2011

So Much Misinformation

A Park Slope blogger wrote a post about the Coop and BDS, this past May, just when we were starting out.  There was one comment that I always wanted to answer.  Here is a guy, who writes like he thinks he knows what he is talking about, but is wrong on every single point.

Why is there so much misinformaton?
As for Israel, regardless of their role as our strongest ally in the middle east, the country does not belong there. 
What are his reasons?
1. What other religion has a country created for it? How would the world react if we carved out a new country for all Muslims or all Christians, etc)
Actually, the "world" reacts just fine.  The Partition of India created Muslim Pakistan.  Lebanon was carved out of the Ottoman Empire to create a Christian enclave, not to mention all the other Arab countries created that are officially Islamic.  Recently Roman Catholic East Timor declared independence from Muslim Indonesia.  South Sudan became independent from Sudan.

It is not religion, but ethnicity, that is the basis for the creation of nation-states.   Jews are a people.  The world acknowledges the right of peoples to protect and develop their unique cultures.  So there are states for Czechs, Slovaks, Serbs, Croatians, Lithuanians, Armenian, Greeks, etc.  And a state for Jews.

We are fine with ethnic nation states.  What we don't like are states that abuse the human and civil rights of their citizens.

2. It was created out of guilt over the Holocaust. (please do not misunderstand my point. i am not agreeing with, justifying or diminishing the Holocaust in ANY WAY. simple stating a fact. the country was carved out by the allies as a safe haven for Jews after the war.)
Actually,  Jews settled in the Land of Israel over 3000 years ago, and established a sovereign nation there.  The nation was defeated by the Romans nearly 2000 years ago.  The area was subsequently ruled as a province of numerous foreign empires.

Jews have lived in the Land of Israel continuously, their population and condition dependent upon the tolerance of the local ruler.  By the second half of the 19th Century, conditions allowed for an increase in Jewish immigration into the Land of Israel.  (The total population estimate at the time was 300,000)

International support for the establishment of a homeland for the Jewish people began long before World War II.  In July 1922, the League of Nations granted Great Britain the Mandate for Palestine/The Land of Israel to facilitate the establishment of a Jewish national homeland in the land of Israel.

In 1947, the UN General Assembly recommended partition into 2 states - 1 Jewish and 1 Arab - as a means of stopping the violence of Arabs against Jews.   By the time of partition, Israel already was a functioning country with a language, culture, agriculture, universities, newspapers and military forces which proved capable of defending against the invading armies of several Arab nations. 
3. When it was carved out, it was created without a single thought to the ethnic groups of people ALREADY LIVING IN THE AREA. I almost always tend to side with Israel against the Palestinians in modern arguments but in this point they are correct. The creation of Israel is a kin to the American government creating states by carving up already existing Native American borders.
Actually, there was quite a lot of thought.  The UN General Assembly partition ceded areas with majority Jewish population for the Jewish State.  There was one exception.  100,000 Jews lived in and around Jerusalem.  They were a majority of the population in Jerusalem and they were 1/6 of the Jewish population of Mandatory Palestine.  This area was designated to be an international zone.  However, the UN and the British provided no protection nor security for this area. 

4. I often hear the argument, "There is no such country as Palestine." Well there was no such country as Israel until we all agreed there would be. Seems to me what is good for one is good for another.
You hear there is no such nation as Palestine.  The Palestinian Arabs are ethnically the same as the Arabs of Syria and Jordan.  Although they have a unique recent history, it is a result of politics, not as a result of an organic cultural development.  They have suffered far more abuse at the hands of their Arab "champions" than as a result of the creation of the State of Israel.

1 comment:

  1. Here is an excellent article in the Huntington Post complements your post.



Comments are moderated. Please don't use profanities. Comments are usually posted within 24 hours, except on weekends. Please be patient.