Rashida Tlaib calls for elimination of Israel, then backs off for appearance’s sake

December 3, 2020 • 11:30 am

Here’s an example of behavior by an elected member of the U.S. Congress, Rashida Tlaib (D-Michigan), which has been completely ignored by “mainstream” media even though it’s surely a story that Americans would want to know. Don’t we need to hear the views of those who represent us in Congress? And surely if a Congresswoman tweeted that she favored the elimination of the Palestinian territories, that would be front-page news in the New York Times and Washington Post. But if a Congressman (Tlaib in this case) promotes the elimination of Israel, well, that’s boring “dog bite man” news for the Woke Media—news not worth reporting.

Yet here’s a tweet that Tlaib issued last Sunday, which parrots a slogan often employed by two groups: anti-Israel Arab governments and organizations, and the Anglophonic Far Left:


The slogan, “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free,” refers to unifying all Palestinian and Israeli territory into one state. Proponents of this insane plan think it will bring peace and comity, which it surely will not. In Israel there are about 6 million Jews and 2 million Arabs, and there is relative harmony for the Arabs, who are longstanding Israeli citizens and even serve in the Knesset, the Israeli parliament. In Gaza there are about 2 million Arabs, and in the West Bank about 2.5 million Arabs. Unifying Israel with the Palestinian Territories, and leaving out for the moment the Israeli Arabs, would result in a 50:50 mixture of Israelis and Palestinian Arabs, many of whom have been brought up thinking that their mission is to kill Jews. That alone would make a unified state untenable.

It gets worse if you accept the Arabs’ and Far-Left’s demand that Arabs also have the “right of return”, which means that every descendant of the 600,000-800,000 Arabs who fled Israel in 1947-1948 to avoid the presumed destruction of Israel—which didn’t happen—would have the right to come back and live in Israel. This is several million people, for those descendants live in Lebanon, Jordan, and Syria, as well as other countries like the U.S. (Rashida Tlaib herself would have the right of return, as well as Linda Sarsour). Presumably many Arabs in the West wouldn’t return to Israel, but surely many in the Middle East would, and that would turn the 50:50 ratio into one that was Arab by a huge majority. Israel would no longer be a Jewish state, but, worse, genocidal killing would ensue.

This is why the slogan “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free”, is both disingenuous (promising as it does ethnic harmony, as with the “dove of peace” in Tlaib’s tweet), and untenable, for it would lead to mass destruction and death. It is also anti-Semitic, for it would lead to the death of Jews and the end of Israel as a Jewish state. But its proponents know this very well, and that’s why they too are both duplicitous and anti-Semitic. (The only tenable solution for comity in the Middle East is a two-state solution, which I favor but which increasingly looks unattainable.)

And that’s presumably why Tlaib took down the tweet above the day after she tweeted it (I have a screenshot above). Tlaib does favor the right of return and a one-state solution (she also favors BDS), but to explicitly say that she favors the elimination of Israel as a Jewish state would be too much for Americans to take.

Although the American “progressive Left” is, by and large, anti-Semitic, they are secretive about it, as was the Labour Party in the UK. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, another “squad member”, also has an anti-Semitic bent, for she’s been a constant critic of Israel but not of the Palestinian Authority (or Hamas), and has waffled on BDS (she voted against a Congressional resolution, sponsored by a Democrat, to condemn the BDS movement, winding up on the losing side of a 398-17 vote). And of course there’s Ilhan “It’s about the Benjamins, Baby” Omar, who is also, I venture to say, anti-Semitic.

Because the progressive Left is anti-Israel and by extension somewhat anti-Semitic, you won’t find anything about Tlaib’s position or tweet in papers like the New York Times or the Washington Post. If you do a Google search for “Rashida Tlaib from the river to the sea” , you’ll find links only to only Jewish and right-wing organizations like Fox News or Elder of Ziyon.

This tacit alliance between “progressive” Jews and the American Right pains me, for Jews have traditionally been Democrats, closer to the Left end of the political spectrum. Further, while I like some of the aims of “progressive Democrats,” I simply can’t be on board with a policy that wants to end the state of Israel and promote carnage. The problem is twofold, and this is the take-home lesson: the American far Left is anti-Israel and flirts with anti-Semitism, and the liberal media in the U.S. is pretty much on that same page.

With news media like that, you’re not going to be reading about any criticisms of Palestine or Palestinians—nor of any of the Squad’s anti-Israel views—in the liberal media. For some years they’ve tacitly ignored the anti-Semitism of the Left. Well, they ignore it at their peril, for it brought down the Labour Party in Britain. Likewise, it could seriously damage the “progressive” Left in America.

61 thoughts on “Rashida Tlaib calls for elimination of Israel, then backs off for appearance’s sake

  1. I find it interesting that 2 million Arabs live in Israel in relatively peace and harmony (which a lot of Americans seem unaware of when calling Israel an “apartheid state”). I wonder how many Jews live in Gaza and the West Bank? Answer: 0. Because they would immediately be murdered. And yet the Palestinians are the “good guys??”

    As has been noted, if Hamas and the PLA laid down their arms and declared peace with Israel, there would be an opening of borders and peace throughout the region. If instead Israel laid down its arms and declared peace, the Israelis would be massacred and a celebration would ensue.

    1. > I find it interesting that 2 million Arabs live in Israel in relatively peace and harmony (which a lot of Americans seem unaware of when calling Israel an “apartheid state”).

      Apartheid South Africa was not different in that respect. Illegal immigration from neighboring countries suggests that blacks felt life there was better than in the black-run alternatives. Which it was. Whites on the other hand would never move to black townships where they expected to get murdered (same for many white Americans, but they rarely say that out loud). They also felt that their whole way of life depended on excluding blacks from political power. Well, where’s the difference? Palestinians feel aggrieved and the only way to appease them is self-immolation.

      > As has been noted, if Hamas and the PLA laid down their arms and declared peace with Israel, there would be an opening of borders and peace throughout the region

      Unless Israelis become suicidally woke, they will never allow immigration to the extent that they become a minority. Palestinians can bet on their birthrate, so why should they give up their claims?

      1. I’m not an expert, but I feel that most Palestinians are kind, reasonable people who would love the chance to just have a normal life, raising their children, going to the beach, enjoying life. But instead they are indoctrinated into a world where they’re taught to hate Israelis, to martyr themselves given the chance, to spend their lives throwing stones at a wall. This condemns them to a horrible life full of suffering and misery because their “country” is run by a terrorist organization that doesn’t care about their lives (and indeed will happily use them as human shields if it helps the PR mission).

        The Palestinians _are_ victims. Not of Israel, but of their own government that uses them as props. My heart breaks for them.

  2. You won’t be surprised to hear that, like a lot of the loud self-labelled “anti-racists”, she believes she can lecture others on racism and bigotry. Rashida is to take part in a panel discussion called…. “Dismantling Antisemitism…Winning Justice” on 15th December.

    Her fellow panellists consist of several fruitbats and antisemites. One (Barbara Ransby) is an admirer of Rasmea Odeh, who masterminded the bombing of a Jerusalem supermarket that killed two students.

    The title of the panel has to a macabre joke.

    1. Is it just the orthodox Israelis who don’t favor it, or is the disfavor broader? If it’s broader, I’d be interested in understanding their arguments against it.

      Personally see it as a win-win. It’s easy to think both Israelis and Palestinians would be far more prosperous right now had they just established borders, maintained them peacefuly, regularized trade etc. I think the failure of (all parties to implement) the two state solution over the past 50 or so years is incredibly regrettable and depressing. A missed opportunity on a geopolitical scale.

      1. It’s far broader now. I’d say most Israelis prefer the status quo (where they have control over the Westbank and have de facto annexed large parts of it) to a two-state solution. They rightly fear that any democratically elected Palestinian government will be extremely hostile to Israel (it will probably be a Hamas government). Israel was not rewarded for vacating the Gaza strip (rockets instead of peace), now they will hold on to the Westbank.
        Also, I am afraid a no longer negligible part of the population is now what elsewhere would be called right wing extremists who believe that all of Judea and Samaria should be rightfully Jewish. They are just the same as the Rashida Tlaibs of this world, just on the other side of the conflict.

        1. Well, meybe many Israelis remember what Itzhak Rabin said in Knesset on October 5, 1995, less then a month before he was assasinated:

          “We view the permanent solution in the framework of State of Israel which will include most of the area of the Land of Israel as it was under the rule of the British Mandate, and alongside it a Palestinian entity which will be a home to most of the Palestinian residents living in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank.

          We would like this to be an entity which is less than a state, and which will independently run the lives of the Palestinians under its authority. The borders of the State of Israel, during the permanent solution, will be beyond the lines which existed before the Six Day War. We will not return to the 4 June 1967 lines.

          And these are the main changes, not all of them, which we envision and want in the permanent solution:

          A. First and foremost, united Jerusalem, which will include both Ma’ale Adumim and Givat Ze’ev — as the capital of Israel, under Israeli sovereignty, while preserving the rights of the members of the other faiths, Christianity and Islam, to freedom of access and freedom of worship in their holy places, according to the customs of their faiths.

          B. The security border of the State of Israel will be located in the Jordan Valley, in the broadest meaning of that term.

          C. Changes which will include the addition of Gush Etzion, Efrat, Beitar and other communities, most of which are in the area east of what was the “Green Line,” prior to the Six Day War.

          D. The establishment of blocs of settlements in Judea and Samaria, like the one in Gush Katif.”

          Please, notice the words “less than a state”.

      1. This is not the map of settlements but of division into Areas A, B and C according to Oslo Accords which were signed by both Israel and PLO, and approved by UN, US and EU. But I don’t think it’s in any way important. What is important and what makes a two state solution unobtainable is the division between Gaza Strip and the West Bank. Those are two areas divided by a big area of another state. It normally doesn’t work. See West and East Pakistan, today Pakistan and Bangladesh. And if just geography was not enough, Hamas and Palestinian Authority rule over two different political entities and ar implacably hostile to each other. What is the worth of Abbas signature on any treaty if he not only is not a ruler over half for the putative future state but he cannot even visit his own house in the Gaza Strip without the risk of being murdered by his adversaries from Hamas? And lets’ say that both this geographical and political division are somehow miraculously solved – what about both Hamas and Palestinian Authority refusal to accept Israel as a Jewish State and to give up the “right of return”? What with all those previous proposals (Olmert’s, Barak’s etc.), very generous proposals for a Palestinian state which Palestinians rejected? The plan “Peace to Prosperity” prosposed a two state solution as well (though less generous) and Palestinians rejected it even before they knew what was in it.

        1. Yes. Maybe I mean a 3-state solution. The point really is that a single state will not work. “2-state solution” is probably just shorthand for that apparent fact.

          As for practicality, I can only recall what I once heard a fine physicist say in a seminar many years ago: “To reject something in physics on the grounds of practicality is sheer defeatism.” The early Jewish settlers obviously thought the same thing about politics, but after a century they managed to forge a state. I think the same thing about the 2- (or 3-) state solution: It may be utterly impractical at the moment, but no other solution will work.

          1. As a matter of fact there are many other possible solutions, some already presented as coherent proposals, some only discussed as a possibility. Two or three states solution in this tiny area doesn’t really make any sense from economical, political and humanitarian point of view. Only from ideological.

            1. I agree — nothing makes sense in this small area. But I have never heard a convincing plan other than complete separation. It is very unfortunate, but Israel/Palestine is not Switzerland. Even Belgium and Canada show stress due to being “binational” states; Czechoslovakia committed mitosis; and Yugoslavia exploded. What hope is there for Israel/Palestine? None, other than divorcing Palestine from Israel and treating them as an independent nation(s). Effecting that divorce in light of the settlements is surely impractical, as my physicist put it, but we should not give in to defeatism.

              1. So if no other plan is convincing for you, why is this plan which didn’t work for so long and in spite of so many attempts to give Palestinian their own state (which they stubbornly refused), is convincing for you? If one a priori rejects all other proposals as “not convincing”, well, they will remain so.

              2. I rejected them a posteriori. I have no illusions that even a 2-state solution will work, only that I see no alternative to complete separation. What is your preferred solution?

              3. Separation (not complete, there are many Arabs who already live in Israel and want to continue doing so) but not in form of a Palestinian state. My absolutely preferable solution seems totally impossible today but in time and with some effort may be possible. How about convincing Arab states to rescind the law they have prohibiting giving their citizenship to Palestinian Arabs (after the decision of Arab League). Give the citizenship to descendants of Palestinian refugees who already were born on their territory. Use UNRWA money to help them absorb these people into their population. Some 40% of Paestinian Arabs in the West Bank and even more in Gaza Streep say in polls that they would like to emigrate. Give these people big financial incentives to do so. People who do not wish to emigrate to another Arab state could emigrate somewhere else, to any country willing to take them. And I can imagine that there will be such countries if such people had a “dowry” of, say, $100,000 each instead of being destitute refugees. These people who do not wish to emigrate and wish to live under Israeli rule should get a period during which they can show that they really do not engage in terrorist activities and they should get Israeli citizenship after that. Of course, what remains is the problem of Palestinians who want to continue the struggle. I don’t have any idea as yet what to do in such situation. But this seems to me to be a humanitarian solution. There would no longer be refugee camps for people living there for generations who never had to flee from anywhere but whose life is horrible and hopeless. However, I understand that many idealist would say that ithis idea is too close to expulsion. It’s not, but idealists are idealists and there is nothing one can do. So there is another idea: Jordan was created from 78% of the Mandate for Palestine which was promised for a Jewish National Home. When it was created it was said that this is a state for Palestinian Arabs and the West Palestine (i.e. country between Jordan River and Mediterranean Sea) was for Jews. However, all the Jews were expelled from East Palestine (to the last one), no Arab was expelled from the West Palestine, on the contrary, there was a huge immigration to this area. Later Jordan occupied Judea and Samaria (renaming it West Bank in 1950). Why not make Jordan responsible for the bulk of population on the West Bank (Areas A and B) where they could regain their Jordanian citizenship and be governed from Amman? There are more proposals but I’ve already written too much. Just another remark: I suspect that if the UN and all well-meniang people in the West started to be interested in somebody else (why not a two state solution for Biafra and NIgeria?) maybe Israelis, Arabs and Palestinians would find a solution themselves.

              4. Cannot really argue with you; that is about what should have happened in 1948, when there were “only” about 1 million refugees (not counting about 1 million Jewish refugees from Muslim countries), or perhaps 1967. It seems wildly impractical now, but of course so does the 2-state solution. I think the UN and the Muslim countries have much to be ashamed of.

  3. I do not buy the arguments of BDs supporters; they are lying when they say their objective is not the elimination of Jews. I still hold out hope for AOC, but the way I see it, the “Squad” are either anti-Semitic and trying to hide it because they know they should be ashamed or they aren’t anti-Semitic but they know that it helps to get ahead in the new Left, so they issue periodic assurances to the faithful, even if they then have to hide them.

    It’s just all so depressing. Either they are hiding their hate or simply pretending and using it as a tool. The brazen cynicism would be appalling in any normal human, but these people are politicians, so it’s no surprise. Par for the course, actually. The fight with them is going to be ugly and will end badly, no matter who prevails.

    1. they are lying when they say their objective is not the elimination of Jews

      I disagree. You re accusing them of wanting genocide and I don’t think there’s any evidence that the is the case.

      I think they genuinely believe that the Palestinians in the area are oppressed by the state of Israel and they want that perceived oppression to end. I think they naively assume that everything will be sweetness and light and everybody will get along. They will be surprised when the Jews in the area are subject to ethnic cleansing but they’ll probably rationalise it by saying “the erstwhile oppressors deserved it”.

      1. Of course, you’re right. Not everyone on board with BDS is lying about their objectives. But if they aren’t lying then they are ignorant of what BDS is really about. There really is no middle ground here. BDS is the Potemkin village of anti-Semitic Left wing propaganda; meant to mislead.

        1. Some so-called “humanists” like “Humanist Chaplain” Ryan J. Bell and Peter “Humanisticus” Ferguson are paid-up supporters of BDS. So is Anarchist/Communist/Socialist, erm ‘Humanist’ Dan Arel. That’s what I mean when I refer to them as #NewRacists.

      2. Hard to imagine how they might feign surprise when Abbas has repeatedly and publicly said Palestine will not allow a single Israeli Jew to live in it. Right now, any Arab selling property to a Jew in the PA territories is subject to the death penalty.

        1. Confirmation bias. Do you think the Trumpers are the only people in the World who can ignore blatant facts? We are all capable of it when reality fails to fit our narrative.

    1. I don’t think it is helpful to call those who defend policies against Israel, as being anti-semitic. Maybe some are – but all of them? The term anti-zionism seems to have merged with anti-semitism. Maybe nowadays, in the real world, being “anti-Israel” (coarse term to make it short) could lead to outcomes that would conform to what any anti-semite would dream of – but I still think the distinction is important (there were/are(?) many anti-zionist Jews).

      There has been lots of talk about polarisation these days (starting in the US), but Israel/Palestine must be one of the most polarised places on Earth. The fact is that if someone proposes a strategy pro-Palestinians it is immediately translated as being anti-Israelis, and vice-versa. Which explains the decades of impasse. Only when dialogue is established, can a solution be found (sorry for the platitude but it’s true). Right now there is no communication, just war (even when in words only). Again: labelling as anti-semitic anyone who may criticise Israel is a (violent) conversation stopper.

      I also see in these pages what looks like a belief on the deeply-entrenched desire of all Palestinians to eliminate Jews.
      1) Is there any have evidence for that, or such claims refer mainly to political actors?
      2) Do you [not anyone in particular, those who agree on this will of Palestinians to eliminate Jews] believe this is some innate instinct, set in stone, or that it can change with circumstances?
      3) Do you [idem] acknowledge some of the factors behind the grievances of Palestinians that ultimately led to this hatred?

      I’m not at all defending the Tweet – the typical mixture of publicity-seeking shallowness and irresponsibility – but commenting on the war-like feel of the exchanges in this subject that just reaffirm that everything will continue the same (unless one party destroys the other…)

      1. Zionism was a national liberation movement of Jews who wanted, after centuries of dispersion and persecution, to have their own state in the place from which their ancestors were expelled. Today it is a movement saying that because Israel now exists it should remain a Jewish state (not in religious sense, like “Islamic state” but as a mixture of Jewish ethnicity, culture and religion with ethnic and religious minorities living there with full citizen rights) and have the right to live in peace and security and be treated like any other state. If you are anti-Zionist or anti-Israel you are anti-Jewish (did you ever hear about anybody being “anti-Libia, anti-China, anti-Venzuela or anti-any other state in the world?)
        I already answered the question about the desire to eliminate Jews, just see my answer to Psi. And it started long before there was any Jewish state. Nevertheless Jews from the beginning tried a dialog with Arabs. Some were willing, but they were killed off by the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, Haj Amin Al-Husseini, exactly like today Hamas is killing and imprisoning anybody who wants peace with Israel. Mahomud Abbas is more civilized and he only imprisons such people but doesn’t kill them. To conduct a dialogue you need two sides. Arab side rejected any dialogues and every Israeli peace proposal one after the other.

        1. “Zionism was a national liberation movement of Jews who wanted, after centuries of dispersion and persecution, to have their own state in the place from which their ancestors were expelled.”
          I believe Zionism wanted a state for Jews to leave in peace. It didn’t need to be necessarily Palestine/Israel. Other options were considered. They were not expelled from the territory by contemporary Palestinians. How far back can one go to reclaim the right to a territory? Palestinians want the right to return from where they were expelled a few decades ago and it has been considered a non-sensical claim by some.

          Of course, Israel is now a fait-accompli and it is absurd to pretend it is not. It is nevertheless important to always acknowledge the impact and trauma its implementation created. Often Palestinians are criticised for their current situation because they fought back early on. We can disagree with their response (in an ideal world, people would warmly receive people in need) but we cannot pretend it wasn’t a likely response.

          “To conduct a dialogue you need two sides. Arab side rejected any dialogues and every Israeli peace proposal one after the other.”
          So you think there is no hope at all? I’m sure dialogue broke from both sides in many instances.
          Certainly, I pity the current Palestinian leadership but I believe most Palestinians just want to have conditions to get on with their lives. Of course the more generations live in the current conditions (and with ever worse leadership and propaganda) the more the hatred will grow and the possibility of dialogue fade. Or. alternatively, a young generation will get so fed up with those in power being part of the problem that quick change will follow [I wish…]

          1. The situation of Jews in Europe was dramatic and these first modern Zionists in the second half of 19th century were discussing possible ways of saving people. In discussions even other places than Israel (ancient), Judea and Samaria were mentioned but immediately rejected. Why? In Jewish culture, religion and everyday life the return to the homeland from which they were expelled for centuries was alive and real. First, for all these centuries there was a Jewish presence in Eretz Ysrael: some Jews managed to stay, some returned as soon as it was possible, were expelled again and return again. The idea of Zionism i.e. “return to Zion” was alive all the time. Phrases “Next year in Jerusalem”, “If I forget thee, Jerusalem may my right hand forget its skills…” etc. were repeated, century after century in every Jewish family from Paris to Timbuktu and from London to Bukhara. There is no other people without a homeland who retained this level of common language (Hebrew, used only in religious setting but known to almost every Jewish male), alphabet, religion, family law, in short: culture. And there was no other place on Earth where Jews were welcomed and not persecuted at one time or another.
            The story of Palestinian Arabs is different. The majority of them escaped from their homes without ever seeing any Jewish soldier: partly because they wanted to avoid the horrors of war, partly because the invading Arab armies urged them to leave the field for them to “push the Jews into the see”. They were promised the return in a week or two and parts of rich war spoils. Of course, there were some Palestinian Arabs who were expelled by Jews but they were in minority. Such refugees have no automatic right of return in any other situation. Is anybody seriously saying that Germans expelled from Eastern Europe after WWII have the right to return? Is anybody saying that refugees from India to Pakistan and from Pakistan to India in the late 1940s and their descendants have the right to return? Even the UN resolution 194 states: “refugees wishing to return to their homes and live at peace with their neighbours should be permitted to do so at the earliest practicable date”. There is no unequivocal “right of return” – only for those wishing to live in peace. After the war not one of Arab leaders was prepared to sign a peace with Israel, on the contrary, they promised that this was just the beginning and that they will destroy Israel. The same atmosphere was in the refugee camps. Jews allowed some of the refugees to return (check the life history of an Israeli diplomat, George Deek) but Arab leaders treated such people as traitors. They were supposed to return only as an army. Now, three, four, five generations later they have equal right to return as I – a “second generation refugee” from Polish city Lwów – have to “return” to the Ukrainian city of Lviv in which I’ve never been.

            You ask about hope: change of the attitude from the Arab side: acceptance that Israel is a Jewish state there to stay. Ending of education of hate. You would be surprised how quickly and warmly Israelis would positively react to such situation. Look at current behavior od Israelis towards Arabs from UAE and Bahrein.

            1. “There is no other people without a homeland who retained this level of common language (Hebrew, used only in religious setting but known to almost every Jewish male)… ”

              Everything you list, with the exception of a script, is also true for Gypsies.

              “Is anybody seriously saying that Germans expelled from Eastern Europe after WWII have the right to return?”

              Indeed. One should accept the outcomes of wars (if only the Arabs would learn it), if one doesn’t it leads to endless instability, strife and bloodshed. But your historical arguments (Jewish homeland) are dangerous. Israel was founded in a time different from ours where nationalism was rife everywhere which led to endless wars and pogroms in the multiethnic areas of Europe. But I hope we have learned a bit since then (the EU is one of the results of learning)
              If everybody could claim a right to return to where some of their forefathers were in antiquity, Germans/Austrians could lay claim to most of eastern Europe. Fortunately, they don’t, despite a strong sentimental bond to the lost “Heimat” in the east.

              I don’t want a return of the now multiplied Palestinian refugees either. But one can’t pretend this is a position somehow historically justified. Its a pragmatic preference that serves Israeli interests and is defensible only for current reasons of security (because Palestinians are hostile).
              As long the law of return in Israel exists for Jews and for non Jews having a Jewish grandparent, it is not defensible on historical rights grounds to prevent Arab refugees to return.
              Israel took in millions of ex-Soviet emigres who mostly came because of better economic prospects and had little attachment to Jewish culture. They had a better historical right than the children of Palestinian refugees who have pictures of their old village on their walls in Lebanon?

              1. You are right that the fate of Roma is somewhat similar to the fate of Jews. There is though one very important (in this context) difference: neither they themselves nor anybody else knows where their original homeland was. However, what is the same, is persecution: a dispersed people without a state are invariably persecuted wherever they are. For Jews there was a solution: Israel. There is no such solution for Roma people.

                You write: “If everybody could claim a right to return to where some of their forefathers were in antiquity, Germans/Austrians could lay claim to most of eastern Europe”. But is there a group of Germans/Austrians who speak a language different from their today’s neighbors, have a different religion, different culture, different script and repeats all the time about their desire to return to the place in Eastern Europe from which their forefathers were forcibly expelled? If there was, they should be allowed to build their own state somewhere in Eastern Europe, especially if they are persecuted in the place they live now.

                The noble idea of a world without borders, without nations and with everybody being brothers and sisters didn’t survive anywhere. Have a look at the former Yugoslavia, at the elegant divorce of Czechs and Slovaks, at the bloodshed in artificially formed states in Africa and the Middle East.

                Now antisemitism is growing all over the world. Jews who want to flee from it (like the French Jews) have now a place to go to. That’s what the Jewish “right of return” means. Nowhere else are they guaranteed that they will not be persecuted as Jews. Palestinian are Arabs. The oldest families of Palestinian Arabs came to Eretz Israel in 7th century as conquerors. If any of their descendants are still present in Israel, they are very few and far between. And, possibly, they still live in Israel. After all, 20% of Israelis are Arabs.

                The bulk of Palestinian Arabs are descendants of Arab immigrants from second half of 19th and first half of 20th centuries when the Arab immigration to this area was greater than Jewish one. They speak Arabic, they share the culture, religion, language, script, cuisine with hundreds of millions of Arabs all around them. If not the political idea of the Arab League in 1940s to make Palestinian Arabs as a weapon of war against Jews they would dissolve in the mass of their brothers a long, long time ago. There is still a chance they can do it. Jews have nowhere else to go.

      2. Again: labelling as anti-semitic anyone who may criticise Israel is a (violent) conversation stopper.

        Has anyone here done that?

  4. The stereotypical woke-Left position is to favor the elimination Israel without saying “elimination of Israel” in so many words. The dishonesty of issuing a call to abolish Israel on Twitter, but then removing the tweet, is par for the course.

    Needless to say, there will not be a single Congressperson, nor more than a whisper in the NYT or the WP, in support of an independent Kurdish state. [One can imagine slogans like “Kurdistan will be free
    from Lake Urmia to the Zagros Mountains”). However, in the early 2000s one Senator favored the idea of Kurdish independence at least in Northern Iraq: his name was Senator Joe Biden.

    1. Yup, the poor bl**dy Kurds, with a claimed homeland that crosses the borders of Turkey, Iraq, Iran, and Syria (and in some versions Armenia) and which it is very difficult to imagine ever coming into existence. As a Brit, I’m acutely aware that the UK played a significant role in drawing up some of those borders and also that the RAF bombed the Kurds in the 1930s on behalf of the puppet regime we installed in Iraq. We also failed to do enough when they suffered under Saddam Hussein. No wonder the Kurds say they have “no friends but the mountains”.

  5. [Living in a European country with no colonial history (well, the Maccabees would not agree!), but a level of diffuse absurd religious antagonism to the Jewish religion, I have to admit to some prejudice in what I write below.]
    I also believe in the two-state solution. I agree that the one-state solution is unthinkable in the current situation. However, I see some kind of double standard in your writing:
    Paraphrasing: ‘The Palestinians were wrong to leave before the “coming catastrophe” – which never happened, and they could have been a happy and prosperous minority (They could have even become MPs!!!). However, the Israelis will become exterminated. They will never become a happy and prosperous minority. For them, the catastrophe will come surely.’
    I am very confused by writing that usually is so logical and moderate, when it automatically equates anti-Israeli feelings with antisemitism. The current Israeli government is actually trying very hard to create the first (e.g. killing foreign scientists, legitimizing war gains, bending over backwards to every ultra-orthodox demand during the pandemic, developing weapons of mass destruction,…), but the moment someone tries to tell something, they are invariably compared to Goebbels.
    Implying that the only thing all Arabs ever think about is killing Jews – generalizations about ethnic and religious groups, is more Goebbels-like, in my opinion.
    Moreover, in a blog that always mocks religious sensitivities (with some exceptions, e.g. you have never mocked the Sikhs … and some others 😉 ), it is a bit strange to read that a modern state **has** to have a specific religious direction.

    (I very carefully read the old article you proposed in a previous post, “to understand the situation in the Middle East”. Sorry, but I found it was a badly written rant about Western powers – meaning colonial powers – having no right to judge, because they have done the same or worse in the past. That is no excuse, IMHO)

    1. Well, we can fix that. It’s not strictly mocking maybe, how about a Sikh joke?

      Mr. Wan, the warden of a Chinese prison proposed releasing four or five members of a feared Sikh prison gang. This outraged a local paper which published an article titled; “Wan to free four, five Sikhs”.

      1. Lol. If it was a Chinese paper (local to a Chinese prison), it would be read “one two flee foul …”, no? (Just to continue being politically incorrect)

        1. Inability to pronounce r’s…isn’t that more of a problem with Japanese speakers than Chinese? Or maybe it’s very hard to generalize as there are so many languages and dialects in east asia.

    2. Just a short comment to your sentence: „Implying that the only thing all Arabs ever think about is killing Jews – generalizations about ethnic and religious groups, is more Goebbels-like, in my opinion.”
      Well, there are some signs that at least leaders (political, religious plus educational elite) are seriously thinking about killing Jews. They say it in their official documents (Hamas’s Karta, Fatah’s Karta); they say it in their politics (“pay for slay” program), in naming streets, squares, schools, sport events after people who murdered Jewish civilians; in school curricula; in state TV and radio programs; in sermons in mosques etc., etc.

      History of Jews in Arab lands is also quite illuminating. Jews were living in Arab lands for millennia, in some of them (Egypt, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, other North African countries, even before there were any Arabs there). Practically, after an orgy of ethnic cleansing and quite a lot of killing, these countries are Judenrein. Oh, and “Mein Kampf” is a constant best seller in Arab countries.

      When the leaders change tune (like now in UAE and Bahrein) people do too.

      1. Yes, indeed. It is the “generalization” part that I find somewhat jarring. I believe you can also find synagogues that preach the killing of Arabs. I have no personal knowledge of them, but at least Israeli people are conscious of them , since they depict them in movies, books and series.
        As regards the Jews in Arab lands, yes, indeed, “people of the book” i.e. we and the Jews, were a **mostly** happy and prosperous minority under Arab and then Turkish multi-ethnic, Islamic empires (in Palestine finally British, non-Islamic). Didn’t the orgy of ethnic cleansing happen after 1948 (and the exodus accelerate after 1967)?

        1. You seem to have fallen victim of the optimistic propaganda. Real history of Jews (and other minorities) in Muslim countries is quite grim. More similar to contemporary fate of Christians in Muslim countries than to the idyll you seem to believe in. That’s true, as the saying goes: “The life for Jews in Muslim countries was never as good as in Europe in good times, but never as bad as in Europe in bad times”.

          1. You continue to ignore key words in my sentences, even when I try to make them **stick out** :).
            I admit being an optimist, both for wanting to have secular states everywhere on Earth in the 21st century, and for trying to compress millennia of history and politics in a blog comment!
            In any case, thank you for the discussion!

        2. You are becoming more and more ridiculous. You might find ONE synagogue that preaches the killing of Arabs (I know of none), but compare the level of calling for murder of Jews by imams, mosques, and Arab State media, which is PERVASIVE.

          Let’s see you, say, name 12 synagogues that regularly preach killing of Arabs, and do it within half an hour. I could do that for mosques and Palestinian and other Arab media easily.

    3. “The current Israeli government is actually trying very hard to create the first… legitimizing war gains… but the moment someone tries to tell something, they are invariably compared to Goebbels.”

      To which “war gains” are you referring?

        1. There were no “war gains” to the 6-day war. Israel merely liberated the land within its legal 1948 borders which Jordan had illegally occupied since its illegal war of aggression against Israel in 1948.

          The 1948 borders of Israel under still-standing valid International law are from river to sea.

          1. oook. Let’s overlook UN resolutions regarding the outcomes of this war for the sake of argument (and pretend UN does not know or respect “still-standing International law”). What about the Golan heights?

    4. First of all, I did not say that all Arabs think about is killing Jews. I’ve amply documented, though, the anti-Semitic training of many Arabs, and the use of Arab state media to demonize Jews and facilitate them.

      I didn’t say that a modern state “has” to have a specific religious direction, but I did say that Israel was founded as a refuge for Jews, and was therefore founded as a religious state. I do object to Arabs flooding the country in a one-state solution and killing all the Jews. I do NOT favor killing and acrimony, which is the inevitable result of a one-state solution. I’d be glad if Israel decided to become secular–which, by the way, it largely is, as Arab citizens are given full rights.

      And you are quite rude as well. Your own article is muddled and ranty; nowhere did I say I like everything the Israeli government does. I find it very odd that you have no bad words for a far more oppressive government–that of the Palestinian territories.

    5. As Sam Harris has pointed out: Why do the Palestinians use human shields but the Israelis do not?

      A: Because the Israelis are doing their best to not kill non-combatants. The Palestinians, on the other hand, gleefully slaughter Israeli civilians when they can get away with it. They celebrate it, compensate the families of those that do so, and name streets and other landmarks after those who do so.

      The Hamas Charter calls for the elimination of the state of Israel.

      There are essentially (if not literally, which may well be true) no Jews living in the Palestinian Territories. Whereas Israel is about 25% Arabs.

      This is a pretty severe dichotomy. What does it tell you about the attitude of the Israelis vs. the attitude of the Palestinians?

      I think only a two-state solution is viable. This was recognized even in 1947.

      1. I agree with almost everything you say; but I do question the received view that the IDF always do their best to avoid non-combatants. On the occasions when they engage militarily in Gaza, they often use artillery and tank fire. Neither of these is capable of avoiding non-combatant casualties in dense urban areas.

  6. … Jews have traditionally been Democrats.

    And this has remained so as Jews climbed the socio-economic ladder, even though the GOP was traditionally the party of the well-to-do — one of the most noble things that can be said of any ethnic group in the United States, you ask me.

    Hell, I recall my dad, who spent years unsuccessfully trying to organize the northeastern Ohio toolmakers (largely made up of his fellow second-generation ethnic Americans) into a functioning union, shaking his head and expressing his frustration to me:

    “Jesus Christ, these people, Kenny — they ever see four figures in their goddamn passbook account at the savings & loan, the first thing they do is re-register as Republicans.”

      1. Yeah, now that I think of it, that’s pretty close.

        On the other hand, I can’t say I have much in common with Bud Fox, the Wall Street hustler played in the film by his son Charlie. Heck, I’ve never even schtupped Daryl Hannah (though I did once run into her lying out in a bikini in Central Park).

        This was around the time she was living on the Upper West Side with JFK, Jr. I think I might’ve still had a shot. What do you think? 🙂

  7. In 2016 Pew Research posted an article entitled “7 key findings about religion and politics in Israel.” Its findings reveal that between Israeli Jews there are deep fractures regarding politics and religion. They remind me of the current situation in the U.S. between those who oppose and support Trump. This finding is particularly disturbing: “Perhaps the strongest indication of the major fractures in Israeli society is that roughly half of Israeli Jews (48%) say Arabs should be transferred or expelled from Israel while a similar share (46%) disagree with this.” I find it hard to believe that Israeli Arabs feel secure living there when almost half the majority wants to expel them.


    Pew posted a related article in 2016 regarding Jews and Arabs in Israel. One finding is that the percentage of orthodox Jews is growing. This doesn’t bode well for the secularization of Israel.


  8. Sometimes I wonder why the world is so silent about East Palestine (i.e. 78% of Mandate Palestine). The west part of former British Mandate is discussed ad nausea everywhere but nothing about the east part. After all, the majority of the population is Palestinians (Bedouins are in the minority) and the ruling family was imported by the British from Arabian Peninsula, from Hijaz. Palestinians are not treated like equal citizens by the ruling family, the country is very religious and not very democratic, there is enormous inequality of wealth, the country has quite poor record when it comes to equality of sexes. Quite a lot to criticize. Can it be that there is a simple and obvious answer? This country is Judenfrei so it’s of no interest to the world.

  9. I think there is a different reason from that proposed by our gracious host why the liberal media don’t call out Tlaib or Omar for their antisemtiism and Hamas-inspired anti-Israel stance. The liberal media had no problem crying antisemitism when Jeremy Corbyn was the culprit (or Norman Finkelstein, for that matter).
    I think the reason for their silence is identity wokism. Tlaib and Omar are Muslim POC and as such are immune to criticism from the left, especially from criticism for positions that are in fact widely shared among POC of similar Muslim background. The woke either cannot deal with the cognitive dissonance of having to admit that “brown” muslim victim ethnics can be antisemitic bigots, or their status as “powerless” visa vis the Israelis automatically gives them the right to be right, so to speak. Within woke ideology, a powerless brownish group can never be racist towards whites/powerful. That’s their ideology. And because this is one of the cases where to admit this openly would discredit the ideology with the wider public, they gloss over these topics.

  10. How can one compromise with someone who wants you and your whole family dead, and all trace of them erased?
    You cannot meet them part way, and let them kill some percentage of your relatives.

    The Palestinians literally teach little kids that they should aspire to “stab a Jew”. There are certainly a very small number of fringe Rabbis and their followers who advocate similar treatment of Arabs, but such views are very rare among Israelis, and more or less mainstream for Palestinians.

  11. I wrote about this exact thing a few months ago for my column:

    -syndicated variously

    It is disheartening. The automatic siding with “The Oppressed” by the hard left is so mistaken and historically ignorant.

    ((D.A.)) B.A. Hon. (psych. & Middle East Politics), J.D. writer and attorney

    showcased here! 🙂

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