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April 16, 2014 / 16 Nisan, 5774
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘1948’

‘I am Refugee’: Israel Launches Int’l Campaign on Expulsion of Jews from Arab Lands

Sunday, September 9th, 2012

Before 1948, there were close to one million Jews living in the Arab world, while today only a few thousand still remain. During the four years following the establishment of the state of Israel, violent anti-Semitic riots broke out across the Middle East and restrictive government measures were put in place, which forced ancient Jewish communities, some thousands of years old, to dissolve. Driven from their homes and properties, 856,000 Jews were expelled from Arab countries and Iran, fleeing mostly to Israel but also to the United States, Europe, Canada, and elsewhere.

The Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) has launched a new campaign to mark this tragedy in cooperation with the World Jewish Congress and the Ministry of Pensioner Affairs. Called ‘I Am a Refugee,’ the international campaign seeks to bring the forgotten and often overlooked stories of Jewish refugees from Arab countries to both Israel and the international community.

The campaign, led by Deputy Foreign Minister, Daniel Ayalon, whose own father’s family was forced to flee Algeria, aims to highlight the injustices that were done to the Jewish refugees, via Facebook and online sources. “The time has come to correct an ongoing historical injustice that has affected half of the population of Israel,” said Deputy FM Ayalon on the MFA website.

Jews living in Libya, Algeria, Tunisia, Iraq, Iran, Morocco, Egypt, Yemen and Syria lost their legal status, properties and homes, which in many cases were seized by the government.  On the I Am a Refugee Facebook campaign page, personal stories, photos, video documentaries, and documents have been uploaded of Jewish life and escape from these different Middle Eastern countries.  In one pre-World War II photo, a class of Jewish youngsters can be seen in a Benghazi synagogue, while another photo depicts a Jewish wedding in Aleppo, Syria in 1914. In others, Iraqi and Kurdish Jewish refugees are seen arriving to Israel in the 1950s, while other photos show life in the Israeli transit camps that absorbed these refugees.  An uploaded video documentary tells the story of a Jewish family’s exodus from Egypt.

According to MFA website, the personal stories that appear on the Facebook page will be presented at a conference in New York when the United National General Assembly convenes at the end of September.

Ayalon has asked Jewish refugees and their families to take an active part of this campaign via Facebook, to “tell the world your personal story, which is an inseparable part of the Jewish people and the story of the re-establishment of the State of Israel.”

This past June, the United Nations marked World Refugee Day, where only one group of refugees—the Jewish refugees from Arab countries– was noticeably absent, according to a recent Huffington Post article written by Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations, Ron Proser. “The historic Jewish presence in the Arab World must be recognized. The grave injustices inflicted upon them must be acknowledged,” Prosor wrote in response to the UN oversight.

The I Am a Refugee campaign aims to open the way to international acknowledgement and recognition of the Jewish refugee issue. This coming Monday, an international conference of jurists and experts on the refugee matter will be held in Jerusalem, to continue to advance this campaign.

Ma’ariv Switches to Internet-Only on Weekdays

Monday, September 3rd, 2012

The Israeli daily Ma’ariv, which has been in existence since 1948, will cease its daily print edition, and will instead provide only internet news during the week.

The weekend Ma’ariv edition will be sold every Friday and on holidays, according to the newspaper’s editor. No exact date for the changes has been announced.

The board of Discount Investment Corporation, owned by Nochi Danker, who also owns Maariv, on Sunday agreed to put more than $3 million into the daily newspaper.

The board of Ma’ariv also ordered the liquidation of the newspaper’s at the printing house in Bat Yam, in a sale expected to take in some $50 million.

The Center of Jewish Culture is Already in Israel

Monday, August 20th, 2012

http://fresnozionism.org/2012/08/the-center-of-jewish-culture-is-already-in-israel/

A particularly pessimistic article about the future of France’s Jews — that is to say, about the lack of one — has prompted me to think about the future of the Jewish people everywhere.

Two major centers of Jewish culture disappeared during the 20th century, in Eastern Europe and the Muslim Middle East. Now there is pressure on what is left of the Jewish populations of Western Europe.

A general explanation for this phenomenon can and does fill books, but a quick summary is that traditional forms of antisemitism that developed in the Christian and Muslim worlds came together and exchanged DNA during the Nazi period, making both strains more virulent. Then, after 1948 and in the cauldron of the Cold War, political anti-Zionism combined with simple Jew-hatred to produce today’s particularly dangerous pathogen, which is as deadly as Nazism and as easily transmissible as left-wing politics.

Jews today are concentrated in Israel and in the US. There’s no need to discuss yet again the external and internal threats Israel faces (although I’m confident that it will prevail in the current confrontation with Iran). What about the Jewish population of the US?

America is different from Europe or the Muslim world. America defines itself as a nation of immigrants, so the Jew is not automatically an ‘other’ as in France, for example. America has an aggressive tradition of institutionalized religious tolerance which is unmatched anywhere else in the world.

The influence of Muslims is less of a problem than in Europe. American Muslims are a much smaller percentage of the population than in Europe, and they tend to be more educated, assimilated and likely to accept Western values.

That is not to say that there isn’t a certain amount of Jew-hatred here, either the more traditional “paleo” kind represented by Pat Buchanan or David Duke, or the so-called “new antisemitism” that hides behind an anti-Zionist political facade. But the great majority of Americans find these attitudes offensive. While ugly stereotypes about Jews are common, they rarely result in overt behavior. All this could change, but not easily and not quickly.

But there are other factors at work that will reduce the importance of American Jews. The Jewish community in the US is shrinking (by 5% since the 1990′s) because of a low birth rate and high degree of intermarriage among secular and Reform or Conservative Jews, who are close to 80% of the total. It is much harder for secular or liberal Jewish families to maintain Jewish cultural identity in the majority non-Jewish US than in Israel.

Orthodox Jews, on the other hand, are increasing numerically and as a percentage of the Jewish population. At least half of those are considered Hareidi (“ultra-Orthodox”), which is the fastest growing subgroup.

I think that these trends will gradually result in less Jewish influence on American culture and politics because of smaller numbers and the tendency of the more observant Jews — especially Hareidim –  to participate less in the public sphere. While I don’t think we will see a surge of antisemitism here, I expect that the Jewish community will become smaller proportionally and less involved in American life and politics.

The center of Jewish culture — spiritual, scientific, entrepreneurial, artistic — is today, as it should be, Israel. This was not the case in 1948 or 1967, but it is true now, and I can only expect it to become more true as time goes by. Which means that the future of the Jewish people depends on the survival and prosperity of the Jewish state.

Cherry Picking Festival

Sunday, June 17th, 2012

The cherry picking festival was held last Friday in Kibbutz Rosh Tzurim, Gush Etzion.

Kibbutz Rosh Tzurim was founded after 1967, on the remains of Kibbutz Ein Tzurim, which was destroyed by the Jordanian Legion in 1948.

Close to ten years ago, the kibbutz went through a privatization process and opened its doors to additional families, first through the rental of available houses, and later with the decision to build an additional neighborhood, Nof Tzurim, on the kibbutz grounds.

Today there are close to one hundred families ranging from young newlyweds, many young families, and even a few retired couples.

The next phase of construction is under way at Rosh Tzurim.

The First Jews at the Kotel Since 1948

Sunday, May 20th, 2012

Following the liberation of East Jerusalem on 7 June 1967, IDF Chief Rabbi Major-General Shlomo Goren, blowing a shofar and carrying a Torah scroll, held the first Jewish prayer session at the Western Wall since 1948.

The event was one of the defining moments of the war.

Happy Jerusalem Day to all our readers!

Anti-Israeli Hacker Group Claims To Release Details of 26,000 Israeli Credit Cards

Thursday, February 2nd, 2012

“Team Poison”, a well-known hacking group, has claimed to have published the details of 26,000 Israeli credit cards on Wednesday night, in yet another skirmish in the ongoing cyber war between pro-Israeli and anti-Israeli hackers.

The group released a statement, which said in part:  “IsraHell has been committing genocide, infanticide, and every day homicide since 1948 and the world and her citizens have been aiding and abetting and financing this! . . . The war has begun”.

Team Poison has infiltrated numerous websites since the group was established in 2009, including that of the United Nations.

The Conversion Of Benny Morris

Wednesday, September 7th, 2011

Benny Morris was one of the original, and in some ways the most destructive,
of Israel’s “ New Historians” – Jewish academics who seek to revise history to make it jibe with Arab propaganda. 
 
Born on an Israeli socialist kibbutz and the son of a diplomat, Morris earned his Ph.D. from Cambridge on Anglo-German relations. He seemed to think this qualified him to be a Middle East historian and Orientalist. 
 
Morris’s main venture into revisionism came with the publication of his book The Birth of the Palestinian Refugee Problem, published by Cambridge University Press in 1988. It was by and large a retelling of the “Arab narrative” concerning the creation of Palestinian refugees.
 
The alternative narrative, also known as the truth, is that any Palestinians who became refugees resembled the ethnic German refugees at the end of World War II – people who had supported the losing side in a genocidal war of aggression or who had fled the battle zones of the victorious armies in a war they themselves started.
 
That book, and a slew of articles expressing a similar theme, made Morris the darling of the campus left in Europe and the U.S.
 
Leftists loved citing Morris to prove how evil Israel is and was. After all, a tenured Israeli academic was saying so. 
 
But then something happened. 
 
Morris suddenly appeared to have second thoughts. He repented, sort of. He repudiated much (but not all) of his earlier anti-Israel radicalism and started espousing pro-Israel views, especially regarding the 1948-9 Israeli war of independence. 
 
Not everyone is convinced Morris has really wised up. (The scholar Efraim Karsh believes Morris is engaging in pragmatic and cynical posturing; Karsh is particularly critical of Morris’s not having renounced outright his earlier histories of the Palestinian refugee issue).
 
I too was initially skeptical of Morris’s “conversion,” but I now feel it to be more or less genuine. I think his first public break with the Israel-bashing left took place in Berkeley in the late 1990s, when I happened to be in town. He was invited to speak in a church, and the place was packed with the usual Berkeley jihadists and anti-Zionists, who expected from Morris a characteristic demonization of Israel. Instead, he spent the entire talk explaining that the Middle East conflict – including any “refugee” problem – was the fault of the Arabs.
 
You can imagine the hysterical reactions in the local Berkeley media. These days the Bay Area has its own specialized anti-Morris hate organizations. 
 
This is all so amusing. The jihadists love citing Morris’s old writings on how Israel is to blame for “Palestinian suffering” – but refuse to listen when Morris himself repudiates those earlier claims.
 
Later, Morris would go on to make statements that were unabashedly Zionist. He went so far as to argue that any expulsions by Israel of any Arabs that took place in 1948 were entirely justified. He partly apologized for his early claims about Palestinian refugees, pleading that he had not had access to the right documents when he wrote his early book. Today he is opposed to the so-called two-state solution, arguing that it is not viable. 
 
As a result of this, Morris has become the Israeli historian leftists and anti-Zionists most love to hate. They have special contempt for him because, after all, he used to be one of them.
 
When Morris was invited a few months back to speak at Cambridge University, the local Israel haters made a fuss, insisting he be disinvited because he is a “racist.” (Anyone who believes Israel has the right to defend itself is considered a “racist” in such circles.) His talk was cancelled. This is academic freedom in Britain.
 
More recently, Morris was invited to speak at the London School of Economics, which, despite its name, is an institution chock full of leftists. On his way to the talk Morris was accosted by a mob of local anti-Israel “activists” and radical Islamists. They pushed and cursed him. They had gathered in the area earlier to hand out fliers accusing him of being an “old racist.” 
 
Morris said he “had the feeling that I was surrounded by Nazis, except that instead of black shirts these were wearing Arab scarves on their heads. They were unambiguously Islamofascists. Some of them screamed in their broken foreign English that the UK should never have allowed me into the country. I am no racist, but that term could be correctly applied to the inciters and critics I ran across at LSE.”
 
Once he reached the hall the lecture proceeded, under heavy security and with police guards, with 300-400 students present.
 
The Jewish Chronicle, the main Jewish weekly in the UK, described how the LSE mob kept attacking Morris as a “racist” and a “social darwinist” and how Morris held his own and made monkeys of those attempting to discredit him during the lecture. In particular, he silenced the trolls by documenting the fact that there was no Israeli policy in 1948-9 to expel Palestinian Arabs.
 
What does the one-time Post-Zionist “New Historian” Morris make of nearly being lynched for his pro-Israel views?
 
I would like to think he is rededicating himself to expunging every last vestige of his old mindset and doing further research to promote the truth – or what some pseudo-academics prefer to call the “Zionist narrative.”
 
 

Steven Plaut is a professor at the University of Haifa.His book “The Scout” is available at Amazon.com.He can be contacted at steveneplaut@yahoo.com.

Why There Cannot Be A ‘Two-State’ Solution In The Middle East

Tuesday, June 7th, 2011

             Mr. President, the “Two-State” approach to peace between Israel and Palestine, strongly reaffirmed in your recent meetings with Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu, accepts the position of an Israeli occupation. Yet even the most cursory look at pertinent world history would reveal several compelling reasons to reject any such position. Organized Arab terrorism against Israel began on the very first hour of Israel’s independence, in May 1948. Indeed, virulent anti-Jewish terrorism in the British Mandate period had even taken place many years before Israel’s statehood.

            What about the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO)?  It was founded in 1964, three years before Israel came to control the West Bank (Judea/Samaria) and Gaza. Mr. President, what was the PLO planning to “liberate” between 1964 and 1967? The answer, of course, must be all of Israel within the green armistice lines of 1949. These are precisely the 1967-borders that you have recently identified as the appropriate starting point for current peace negotiations.
            What should we now know about the PLO? Significantly, it was declared a terrorist organization in a number of U.S. federal court decisions, including Tel-Oren v. Libyan Arab Republic (1984).
             More than five years ago, former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, seeking peace with the always-recalcitrant Palestinians, forcibly expelled over 10,000 Jews from Gaza and northern Samaria. Immediately, Hamas transformed these areas from productive growing and living areas to terrorist rocket launching sites. Today, in obvious synergy with a new regime in Cairo – a military governing council soon to be intimate with powerful elements of the Muslim Brotherhood – Egypt’s newly reopened Rafah border is creating an unobstructed terrorist path directly into Israel.
            Mr. President, why aren’t the Palestinians reasonably expected to cease deliberate and random violence against Israeli civilians before being admitted into the community of nations?  Isn’t it already clear that they seek something other than an “end to occupation?” Isn’t it already very likely that both Fatah and Hamasstill regard all of Israel as “occupied” territory? After all, their official maps, long familiar in Washington, still include all of Israel as part of Palestine.
             Mr. President, without an alleged occupation, there could remain no possible legal or moral justification for Palestinian policies of relentless terror.  Nonetheless, the fact that occupation is a contrived legal fiction has had little or no impact upon your own administration’s position on Palestinian statehood.  Nor, somehow, has it occurred to your administration that both Hamas and Fatah still find their common ideological mentors in Hitler and Goebbels, two figures for whom the prospective rulers of a nascent Palestine are ardent objects of unhidden admiration.
             Mr. President, at its core, your policy toward Israel and Palestine reveals certain incremental bewitchments of language. Over the years, Arab patience in building an expanding Palestinian state upon mountains of Israeli corpses has drawn systematically upon achieving prior linguistic victory.  However untrue, the ritualistic canard of an Israeli occupation has been repeated so often that it is now generally taken as irrefutable fact.
             Mr. President, why is it simply disregarded that Israeli occupation followed the multi-state Arab aggression of 1967?  Egypt, Syria and Jordan (now in the throes of a so-called “Arab Spring”) have never even denied this aggression. And who bothers to recall that these very same Arab states were also the principal aggressors in the explicitly genocidal Arab attacks that began on May 15, 1948, literally moments after the new Jewish state’s UN-backed declaration of independent statehood?
            Mr. President, please recall that a sovereign state of Palestine did not exist before 1967, or before 1948.  Nor did UN Security Council Resolution 242 ever promise a state of Palestine. A state of Palestine has never existed. Never.
            Even as a nonstate legal entity, Palestine ceased to exist in 1948, when Great Britain relinquished its League of Nations mandate.  During the 1948-49 Israeli War of Independence, West Bank and Gaza came under the illegal control of Jordan and Egypt respectively. These Arab conquests did not put an end to an already-existing state or to an ongoing trust territory. What these Arab aggressions did accomplish was the intentional prevention of any Arab state of Palestine. 
              From the Biblical Period (ca. 1350 BCE to 586 BCE) to the British Mandate (1918 – 1948), the land named vengefully by the Romans after the ancient Philistines was controlled only by non-Palestinian elements.  A continuous chain of Jewish possession of the land was legally recognized after World War I. At the San Remo Peace Conference in April 1920, a binding treaty was signed in which Great Britain was given mandatory authority over Palestine. This authority was based on the expectation that Britain would prepare the area to become the “national home for the Jewish People.” Previously, since 1516, the Ottoman Turks had ruled the area cruelly, as an undesirable provincial backwater.
             Palestine, according to the Treaty, comprised territories encompassing what are now the states of Jordan and Israel, including West Bank and Gaza.  Present day Israel, Mr. President, comprises only twenty-two percent of Palestine as defined and ratified at the San Remo Peace Conference.
            In 1922, Great Britain, unilaterally and without any lawful authority, split off seventy-eight percent of the lands promised to the Jews, all of  Palestine east of the Jordan River, and gave it to Abdullah, the non-Palestinian son of the Sharif of Mecca.  Eastern Palestine now took the name “Transjordan,” which it retained until April 1949, when it was renamed as Jordan.  From the moment of its creation, Transjordan was closed to all Jewish migration and settlement, a clear betrayal of the British promise in the Balfour Declaration of 1917, and a patent contravention of its Mandatory obligations under international law.
             On July 20, 1951, a Palestinian Arab assassinated King Abdullah in reprisal for the latter’s hostility to Palestinian aspirations and concerns. Regarding these aspirations, Jordan’s “moderate” King Hussein, nineteen years later, during September 1970, murdered thousands of defenseless Palestinians under his jurisdiction.
            In 1947, several years prior to Abdullah’s killing, the newly formed United Nations, rather than designate the entire land west of the Jordan River as the long-promised Jewish national homeland, enacted a second partition. Ironically, because this second fission again gave complete advantage to Arab interests, Jewish leaders reluctantly accepted the painful and unjust division. The Arab states did not.  On May 15, 1948, exactly twenty-four hours after the State of Israel came into existence, Azzam Pasha, Secretary General of the Arab League, declared to a tiny new country founded upon the still-glowing ashes of Holocaust:  This will be a war of extermination, and a momentous massacre.” 
            This declaration has been at the very heart of all subsequent Arab/Islamist (now including Iranian) orientations toward Israel, including those of “moderate” and U.S.-supported Fatah. Even by the strict legal standards of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, Arab actions and attitudes toward the microscopic Jewish state in their midst have remained authentically genocidal. Jurisprudentially, what they have in mind for Israel is formally called crimes against humanity.
            In 1967, the Jewish state, as a result of its unexpected military victory over Arab aggressor states, gained unintended control over West Bank and Gaza.  Although the inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by war is codified in the UN Charter, there still existed no authoritative sovereign to whom the Territories could possibly be returned.  Israel could hardly have been expected to transfer them back to Jordan and Egypt, which had exercised unauthorized and terribly harsh control since the Arab-initiated war of extermination in 1948-49.  Moreover, the idea of Palestinian “self-determination” had only just begun to emerge after the Six Day War; it had not even been included in UN Security Council Resolution 242, which was adopted on November 22, 1967.
             The Arab states convened a summit in Khartoum in August 1967, concluding:  “No peace with Israel, no recognition of Israel, no negotiations with it….” The Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) had been formed three years earlier, in 1964, before there were any “Israeli Occupied Territories.”
             Mr. President, your proposed “Two-State Solution” derives from a historical and conceptual misunderstanding of Israel and Palestine. Even if Prime Minister Netanyahu were to agree to a complete cessation of all so-called Jewish settlement activity, no quid pro quo of any kind would be forthcoming from any quarter of the Arab/Islamic world.
             For Israel, any Two-State Solution would conclusively codify another Final Solution.

 

LOUIS RENÉ BERES (Ph.D., Princeton, 1971) is the author of many books and articles dealing with military affairs and international law. Born in Zurich, Switzerland, on August 31, 1945, he is Strategic and Military Affairs columnist for The Jewish Press.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/columns/louis-bene-beres/why-there-cannot-be-a-two-state-solution-in-the-middle-east/2011/06/07/

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