Why In The World Does The American Left Give Hamas A Free Pass?

Image courtesy of gazettenet.com

Image courtesy of gazettenet.com

Since the outbreak of the newest episode of violence between Israel and Hamas, I’ve been getting a lot of grief from some people who somehow expect me to take the side against Israel that a lot of the left has as well. I’m sorry, but I obviously didn’t get the memo that just because my beliefs tend to be more on the left side of the spectrum, that automatically means I have to jump on the “Israel is a monster” wagon.

Let’s get this straight right off the bat: I support the right of both Israel and a Palestinian state to exist – and it would be possible if both sides could stop being stubborn and realize a couple of hard facts.

1. Israel is not going to go anywhere, plain and simple. Ever since the Israeli government announced the formation of the State of Israel in 1948, they’ve been under attack from a number of terrorist organizations and Islamic states – and they’re still there. I know a lot of people say that there would be peace if Israel was dissolved, but that’s ridiculous both from a political and a logistical perspective.

2. The Palestinian people aren’t going anywhere either. As much as some rabidly anti-Palestinian individuals in Israel and elsewhere have expressed their support for wiping Gaza and everyone who lives there off the map, that would be a suicidal move by Israel – even if that’s what they actually wanted to do.

While what is happening in Gaza is tragic, would anyone in their right mind really stand by and allow daily rocket fire aimed at civilians to continue? Sure, the Iron Dome stops quite a few of these rockets, but it doesn’t stop all of them. A lot of people say that firing these rockets is an act of defiance against occupation, or a way of protesting the living conditions in Gaza. That’s complete rubbish. Throwing rocks at soldiers or burning tires is protesting, firing rockets at civilian population centers is trying to kill people, regardless of whether they’re shot down or not.

The response by Israel is excessive, that I can agree on. However, if you were dealing with a government (yes, Hamas is the elected government in Gaza) which insists on provoking attacks, wouldn’t you every once in awhile respond in a similar manner? On top of that, Hamas has zero regard for the lives of their own civilians, let alone civilians in Israel. If Hamas actually cared about the people it is supposed to represent, they would be busy using the limited concrete it receives to build infrastructure instead of using tunnels into Israel for launching attacks. If Hamas wanted to make Gaza a better place, they would concentrate on attracting tourism, finance and other investments instead of attacking Israel.

Here’s the thing: Hamas is a fundamentalist Islamic organization, a branch of the Muslim Brotherhood with the destruction of Israel written into their charter. Seriously, how many organizations are founded with the destruction and murder of another group of human beings blatantly outlined in their founding document? Hamas and other fundamentalists like them know that with prosperity and education comes a more secular society, a society in which women have freedoms and groups like Hamas or the Taliban no longer have power. The only way to stay in control is to keep the people poor, uneducated, desperate and willing to die for the promise of a better situation in the afterlife. This is why I have such a hard time understanding why the same people on the left who condemn Christian fundamentalists here in the United States, turn right around and show sympathy for Hamas (which makes Westboro Baptist look like a bunch of tolerant hippies by comparison).

Israel’s mistake is to respond to the provocations but they see no other choice as the residents of Gaza are unable or unwilling to overthrow Hamas which has no interest in peace with their neighbor. Israel may be treating the Palestinian people poorly, and the people cheering the bombing of Gaza are despicable, but let’s stop calling it genocide. If the IDF was actually trying to wipe the people of Gaza off the face of the map, don’t you think they would have done it years ago?

Out of all of this, I feel sorry for the people caught in the crossfire. Sure, the people in both Gaza and in Israel elected the two governments that are now busy blowing each other’s civilians to bits, but the kids don’t deserve it.

Why can’t the side we take be the one of civilians, regardless of the religious or ethnic makeup of the civilian group in question? Why can’t we decide as a people to help only humanitarian ways, when both sides agree to and carry out their half of, a ceasefire? Sometimes the mess is already too great for any one group to clean up, and clearly the mess in Gaza has reached that level. It just makes no sense to me to pick a side when both sides are obviously totally okay with murdering the civilian populaces of their adversary. – James Schlarmann


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  • Political Garbage

    You as always humble me with choosing to quote me, sir.

  • Matthew Reece

    The most promising path to peace is a zero-state solution; in other words, for the lands controlled by both the state of Israel and the Palestinian Authority to become an anarchist zone.

    • Rustbelt Democrat

      Nope. The two-state solution is the most promising path to peace. Reign in the radicals on both sides and build up the moderates.

      • KenBurch

        If you want to get “moderates”(which would actually mean those who are nonviolent, rather than centrists in the American sense, given that radical change will be needed in both Palestine and Israel for peace to ever work)than all the immiseration in both Gaza and the West Bank needs to end.

        Open the border. Let them import all the food and life-necessities they need. Let them have the freedom to travel and direct airline service. Let the NGO’s build solar panels. And stop stealing the land, the water, and the olive groves.

        Palestinian civilians deserve some breathing space. Decades of collective punishment haven’t created any “moderation” among them at all, and never can.

      • Rustbelt Democrat

        Moderate as in those who aren’t radical militants.

      • Matthew Reece

        The best way to reign in the radicals on both sides and build up the moderates is to eliminate both governments, as the radicals on both sides control the governments and use state power to enhance radicalism and deter moderation.

      • Rustbelt Democrat

        A third party must break the cycle. And the only third party with the wherewithal to do so is the US.

      • Rustbelt Democrat

        To help get Middle East peace talks back on track,call your Congresspeople and write a letter to your local newspaper editor in support of these three points (both sides have valid
        claims, the blame game is pointless as both sides are at fault, and a
        two-state solution based on the 1967 borders is the clearest path to
        peace). And consider supporting one of the following organizations
        that is committed to peace and non-violent change for the Palestinian
        and Israeli peoples:

        Jewish Voices for Peace

        J Street

        Americans for Peace Now

        Middle East Nonviolence and Democracy

      • Rustbelt Democrat

        Since site will not let me post the links for those organizations, I suggest you Google them.

    • PhattElvis

      Don’t be ridiculous. What you describe is a prescription for perpetual war.

      • Matthew Reece

        Really? Please explain how you think war as we know it can be waged without the state.

    • KenBurch

      In a sad way, you may be on to something.

      After all, the U.S. currently has a “50 state solution” in place, and some days we don’t seem to have that much peace going).

    • wawoo

      It is an anarchist zone for all practical purposes. You have your dream in front of you and you refuse to recognize it.

      • Matthew Reece

        The last time I checked, there is a recognized state and another group seeking recognition as a state involved in this conflict. By definition, that means there is not anarchism.

  • Pragmatic Progressive

    Thank you for this post. It’s the same with me. Just because my beliefs lean left, doesn’t mean I’m going to jump on the Israel evil bandwagon either!

  • Bo Radley

    No free pass here. It is impossible to negotiate ANYTHING with a group who must hide in schools, hospitals and private homes to ‘wage war.’…much less with a group whose state goal is to wipe Israel…and all Jews…from the earth. Hamas is little more than a dirty collection of sand fleas with big mouths.

    • Jetblakc

      It’s not impossible to negotiate with anyone. History is full of examples of successful negotiations with “savages”. The dehumanization that you trumpet so loudly that is one of the final obstacles to negotiation. People so frequently forget that the end of any and all war is negotiation, regardless of who the adversaries are.

      • Matthew Reece

        “People so frequently forget that the end of any and all war is negotiation, regardless of who the adversaries are.”
        Not so. The other possible end is the complete extermination of one side.

    • KenBurch

      What’s the alternative to trying to negotiate with them, though? It’s not possible to wipe them out militarily(at least not without a massacre that would probably kill hundreds of thousands of Gazans…and, in killing them, provoke the formation of a new and even MORE violent resistance organization pledged to violent retribution)and it’s useless to negotiate a peace deal that somehow doesn’t involve them, because they’d still be there will all the weaponry they currently possess.

      I don’t like Hamas(and Gazans have just as many reasons to regard the IDF as a terrorist group now as Israelis do to feel that way about Hamas)but you have to get “buy-in” from them on any arrangement, or else peace simply never happens.

  • Shirley Allan

    This is so much BS!! They are freedom fighters, fighting against oppression, and occupation. Enough with that Zionist BS talking point.

    • Christian Lefty

      I don’t consider someone who blows up a cafe or a bus to be a freedom fighter.

      • Pragmatic Progressive

        I second that Christian Lefty.

      • Fred Fox River

        How about someone who blows up a home, cafe or bus with a missile launched from a jet? Freedom fighter?

      • Christian Lefty

        Hamas is using their citizens as human shields. They store their weapons in hospitals, schools, private homes. Don’t fall for Hamas dirty strategy.

      • Smalldeer

        Bullshit. Have you seen the size of Gaza? Do you know that there is a wall that surrounds it on three sides and the sea is on the fourth? There is nowhere for them to go, there is nowhere for them to hide. Israel controls EVERYTHING that goes in and out of Gaza. They claim that Gaza uses “humans as shields” to justify killing civilians. So they can say that ALL Palestinians are combatants and they have the right to kill them all.

      • Moderate Lefty

        The wall was not built to oppress anyone, it was built to protect innocent people from death. Now why is that a problem?
        If the Palestinians don’t like the wall, they should stop supporting
        terror coming from their land and take a stand against it from within
        their own people. This includes the rockets that are being fired from
        Gaza.

        The far left media likes to portray Israel as being haters, but they still allow
        Muslims to live and work among them, as long as they are peaceful. If
        the Arabs would give up there JIHAD against Israel, there’d be peace
        there. Israel has bent over backwards and beyond to try and make peace,
        but you can’t have peace with people who’ve sworn to destroy you.

      • Smalldeer

        What a crock of poop. If the wall is not suppose to “suppress” anyone why does Israel control EVERYTHING that goes into and out of Gaza. They control the water, electricity, food, medical supplies, etc. Palestinians can not come and go at will, they are under martial law.

      • Southern Liberal

        That most certainly is NOT BS!

      • Smalldeer

        What did the French resistance fighter or any other country do when occupied? They blew things up.

      • Christian Lefty

        Hamas attacks civilians, not military.

      • Smalldeer

        What would you do if your home/land is being systematically stolen? Your people murdered?

      • Moderate Lefty

        It is a lie that the land was stolen. That is anti-Semitic propaganda.

      • Pragmatic Progressive

        Exactly right Moderate Lefty! Such talk is meant to delegitimize Israel! As a bleeding-heart progressive/liberal, I feel that it is our duty to denounce such hateful talk!

      • Tilghman Lesher

        No, that’s anti-Israel propaganda. I hate that one side tries to conflate anti-Israel with anti-Semitic, because that’s simply false. There are Jews who are against Israel’s murderous actions, and they are certainly are not anti-Semitic.

        However, in the “stolen” range, most of the land of the United States was, in fact, stolen from Native Americans. In _exactly_ the same way, the land upon which the state of Israel was founded was stolen from others. The fact that Britain was the foreign occupier when Israel was formed doesn’t make what they did right. However, just as I’m not going to say that the United States should be dissolved and given back to the native Americans, nor am I going to say that Israel should be dissolved and given to the Palestinians.

      • Moderate Lefty

        Zionism is, at its core, the belief that the Jewish people have a right to self-determine in the Land of Israel. Anti-Zionism is then, strictly speaking, the denial of a right of the Jewish people to self-determine in Israel. That’s how the anti-Zionism by some, but most certainly not all, on the left is anti-Semitic.

      • Tilghman Lesher

        Unfortunately, Zionism has come to mean a lot more, which is to say that they’d like the ability to continue to build settlements on occupied land. Just as there are militants on the Palestinian side, there are militants on the Israeli side, and they are not as congenial as you paint them.

      • wawoo

        Slight modification but still critical, much of the the land of Israel was stolen form the Palestinians is historical fact and though it is to the detriment of Israel it is not anti Israel propaganda.

      • Smalldeer

        In 1947 the United Nations, under considerable Zionist pressure, gave 55% of Palestine to a Jewish state – despite the fact that Jews represented only about 30% of the total population, and owned under 7% of the land.

        If you compare boarders from 1947 to present day boarders, you will see that Israel has continued to confiscated Palestinian land.

        Gaza is a prison, Israel controls everything that goes in to and out of Gaza. They control the water, electricity, food, medical supplies, etc. Explain to me how this is different than what the Nazis did to the Jews.

        Israel claims that Hamas doesn’t want peace, the actual evidence and Israel’s actions shows that it is ISRAEL that doesn’t want peace.

      • Smalldeer

        Malarkey. What do you call building settlements on Palestinian land? Kicking Palestinians out of their homes and moving in settlers? According to International law this is illegal.

      • UU Progressive

        Jews have lived in Judea and Samaria—the West Bank —since ancient times. The only time Jews have been prohibited from living in the territories in recent decades was during Jordan’s rule from 1948 to 1967.
        Numerous legal authorities dispute the charge that settlements are “illegal.” Stephen Schwebel, formerly President of the
        International Court of Justice, notes that a country acting in
        self-defense may seize and occupy territory when necessary to protect
        itself. Schwebel also observes that a state may require, as a condition
        for its withdrawal, security measures designed to ensure its citizens
        are not menaced again from that territory.
        According to Eugene Rostow, a former Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs in the Johnson Administration, Resolution 242 gives Israel a legal right to be in the West Bank. The resolution,
        Rostow noted, “Israel is entitled to administer the territories” it won
        in 1967 until ‘‘a just and lasting peace in the Middle East’’ is achieved. Though critical of Israeli policy, the United States does not consider settlements illegal.

      • Moderate Lefty

        Thank you for the facts about the settlements UU Progressive.

      • Smalldeer

        They attack Israeli civilians? Tell me, how many Israeli civilians have been killed recently? Three. Either Hamas is not very good at it or Israel is lying. I vote that Israel is lying.

      • Christian Lefty

        Yes they do attack civilians. They’ve been aiming their rockets at the Tel Aviv airport, for instance. If Israel did not have their Iron Dome defense system protecting the Israeli citizens from the rocket attacks, then you would see much more carnage on their side.

      • Christian Lefty

        When I asked a moderator on another progressive blog concerning the
        issue of whether or not Israel is getting away with war crimes, here is
        what he said:

        quote –

        I am also tormented by this war, and want it to end, but the security of any nation requires that Israel do what they must do.
        As far as a war crime is concerned, that is a subjective term.
        Certainly, Hamas has committed many war crimes as they have warred on
        Israel over the years. I am not defending the Israeli government,
        believe me, but it is not wise to believe all the hyperbole coming from
        the media, which tends to blame Israel for wanting to survive.

        – unquote

        I think that is wise advice from him.

      • Sandy Greer

        Really? What about the King David Hotel?

      • Christian Lefty

        I condemn that just as much.

  • CJ Mund

    This may seem like a weird analogy, but it works for me. I’m a lefty, liven’ in the red state of AZ. Most of my friends are democrats and we all live in the same geographic location surrounding the Grand Canyon area, (flagstaff, prescott, page, etc.) Most, if not all of my friends hate the Glen Canyon Dam. The same argument I use to talk about the Israel/Gaza issue is the same one I use to talk about the Glen Canyon Dam issue. Listen people, it’s been there since the late 40’s, early 50’s and now that it’s there, we have to learn to live with it. There’s no going back in time to undo what happened. Let’s come together as humans and accept that what’s done is done. People continue to live in the past and talk about the times before Israel or the times before the dam. It’s here! Make peace with it and move the eff on.

  • UU Progressive

    For those here who claim to be concerned over the Palestinian civilians
    caught in the crossfire of this conflict, where is your outcry for the ongoing
    human butchery of civilians in Syria, the persecution of Christians in Egypt,
    Iraq, Iran, Turkey and the Palestinian territories, slavery in Arab Muslim
    Sudan and Saudi Arabia, religious intolerance in Pakistan, and gross human
    rights violations in China, Russia, Africa, Asia, and Latin America?

    • wawoo

      That is called deflection in case you do not know.

      • UU Progressive

        Nope. It is not deflection.

      • wawoo

        Well you clearly failed your logic course.

      • UU Progressive

        I have failed nothing.

      • wawoo

        Gosh, the magic “Guest” up vote;)

      • Former Republican,Now Democrat

        They have just as much right to post their point of view as you do yours and people have just as much right to up vote their viewpoints as they do yours.

  • wawoo

    Until Israel recognizes it is an artificial consruct occupying Palestine there will not be a resolution. And the resolution will mean a Palestianian State with a plurality Jewish population.
    Which means the anger and emnity that Likkud and the even more reactionary Israeli political parties stoke is creating the conditions for their ultimate destruction.
    Answer me this, had you been born in Gaza City what would your attitude toward the Israeli’s be?
    You would be pleased they had removed your parents and grandparents from their lands, taken their property and confined them and you to an open air prrison/reservation thatr offered no prospects at all?
    Now HAMAS does indeed needed to recognize the rights of jewish citizens of the future Palestinain state since that is the only way things will work out.
    though the prospects of a Palestianian Gandhi are slim to none I belive were such a person to arise and then attempt to peacefully repeat an analogue to Gandhi’s march to the sea, 100’s of thousands of Palestinians leaving Gaza peacefully to walk to their ancesroral homes and lands and reclaim them the IDF and radical elements in Israeli society would shoot them down.

    • Blue In A Red State

      Israel is most certainly NOT artificial! Historians have performed archaeological digs in that area and found artifacts that confirm a Jewish presence in that area that dates back thousands of years. Peace will come when Israel’s right to existence there is recognized.

      • UU Progressive

        Exactly right! Encyclopedias and history books confirm that.
        Palestinians must acknowledge the right of Israel to exist and give up the right to return, in exchange for a state established on the 1967 borders with shared access to Jerusalem; the international community helping to provide security to both countries; and significant aid provided to Palestine to allow for the creation of infrastructure, a functioning civil sector, and economic development.

      • wawoo

        A very one sided Zionist view of history omitting what does not support your clearly biased views.
        And are Eastern European Jews whose ancestors never lived in Palestine/Israel except when their ancient forebears transitted the area leaving Africa 80,000 or so years ago, because they are hte descendants of Kazahk’s who converted to Judaism 1200 or so years ago more entitled to an imaginary right of return after their not ancestors were expelled fom Palestine/Israel 1950 years ago as opposed to the right of return of living Palestinians whose parents and grandparents were forcibly removed from their properties and lands 66 years ago?

      • UU Progressive

        Nope. Not biased.

      • wawoo

        And frogs can fly.

      • Former Republican,Now Democrat

        The correct saying is pigs can fly.

      • wawoo

        Here in the South the whole saying re frogs is that if frogs could fly they would not bump their ass.
        Am indeed familiar with the more general porcine reference:)

      • Tilghman Lesher

        In the same way, archaeological digs in the United States have confirmed Native American artifacts that date back thousands of years. We stole the land from the Native Americans. Should the United States be governed primarily by Native American tribes, with white people confined to reservations? Think about your answer, and try again.

      • UU Progressive

        A common misperception is that all the Jews were forced into the Diaspora by the Romans after the destruction of the Second Temple in
        Jerusalem in the year 70 C.E. and then, 1,800 years later, the Jews suddenly returned to Palestine demanding their country back. In reality, the Jewish
        people have maintained ties to their historic homeland for more than 3,700 years.

        The Jewish people base their claim to the Land of Israel on at least four premises: 1) the Jewish people settled and developed the land; 2) the international community granted political sovereignty in Palestine to the Jewish people; 3) the territory was captured in defensive wars and 4) God promised the land to the patriarch Abraham.

        Even after the destruction of the Second Temple in
        Jerusalem, and the beginning of the exile, Jewish life in the Land of Israel continued and often flourished. Large communities were reestablished in
        Jerusalem and Tiberias by the ninth century. In the 11th century, Jewish communities grew in Rafah, Gaza, Ashkelon, Jaffa and Caesarea. The Crusaders
        massacred many Jews during the 12th century, but the community rebounded in the next two centuries as large numbers of rabbis and Jewish pilgrims immigrated to Jerusalem and the Galilee. Prominent rabbis established communities in Safed, Jerusalem and elsewhere during the next 300 years.

        By the early 19th century—years before the birth of the modern Zionist movement—more than 10,000 Jews lived throughout what is today Israel.1 The 78 years of nation-building, beginning in 1870, culminated in the reestablishment of the Jewish State.

        Israel’s international “birth certificate” was validated by the promise of the Bible; uninterrupted Jewish settlement from the time of Joshua onward; the Balfour Declaration of 1917; the League of Nations Mandate, which incorporated the Balfour Declaration; the United Nations partition resolution of 1947; Israel’s admission to the UN in 1949; the recognition of Israel by most other states; and, most of all, the society created by Israel’s people in decades of thriving, dynamic national existence.

      • Tilghman Lesher

        It’s a nice cut-and-paste job, but you really ought to give credit to the original writer. You cannot possibly have typed all of that out in the time in which you responded.

      • Sandy Greer

        It’s all taken, word-for-word, from Jewish Virtual Library. Myths and Facts. We just got quoted the entire Chapter 1: Israel’s Roots.

        Funniest part was seeing all the ‘likes’ appear, soon as the posts were posted.

        And then, Pragmatic Progressives posting a new OP, of thanks. Followed, immediately, by Blue in a Red State, Southern Democrat, Rustbelt Democrat, Moderate Lefty, and Christian Lefty – as ‘backup’ – each with a ‘like’ on their post.

        LMFAO My guess – they are one and the same Troll.
        Let us hope they don’t quote the entire Jewish Virtual Library at us.

        It should be apparent to even Manny (author of this article) Trollery is one of many reasons Lefties can’t jump whole-heartedly on the Zionist Israeli bandwagon!

      • Pragmatic Progressive

        I am not the same poster as those others.

      • wawoo

        Yes none of you are the same.
        Clearly.
        Exact same words just building on the preceeding post of denial.
        And the continuing “miracle” of the “Guest” up vote!
        Revelation!

      • Rustbelt Democrat

        I am not the same poster either. The only thing that we more than likely have in common is that we are more than likely moderate left. And it’s apparently that we are fighting against a bunch of far lefties in this conversation.

      • Southern Liberal

        No. They are probably far right pretending that they are left-wingers.

      • Blue In A Red State

        I am not the same poster as any of the others either.

      • Southern Liberal

        Nor am I the same as any of the others.

      • Christian Lefty

        Not the same either.

      • Moderate Lefty

        Nope. Not the same.

      • UU Progressive

        I would post the link but this site will not let me do so. Probably because I choose to post as a guest.

      • wawoo

        Not so bright one, you know you just gave yourself and your multiple personalities away don’t ya know.
        Your post does not appear as “Guest.”
        It appears as U U Progressive.
        Whoops.

      • UU Progressive

        When I type a post, there is a check box which says: I’d rather post as guest. I fill in that check box in addition to filling in the box for a screen name.

      • wawoo

        Miracle! Another magic “Guest” up vote!

      • Former Republican,Now Democrat

        They have just as much right to post their point of view as you do yours. If people want to up vote them, then they have just as much right to up vote their viewpoints as they do yours.

      • wawoo

        Sacre bleu!Miracle! Another magic “Guest” up vote.

      • UU Progressive

        The term “Palestine” is believed to be derived from the Philistines, an Aegean people who, in the 12th Century B.C.E., settled along the Mediterranean coastal plain of what are now Israel and the Gaza Strip. In the second century C.E., after crushing the last Jewish revolt, the Romans first applied the name Palaestina to Judea (the southern portion of what is now called the West Bank) in an attempt to minimize Jewish identification with the land of Israel. The Arabic word Filastin is derived from this Latin name.

        The Hebrews entered the Land of Israel about 1300 B.C.E., living under a tribal confederation until being united under the first monarch, King Saul. The second king, David, established Jerusalem as the capital around 1000 B.C.E. David’s son, Solomon, built the Temple soon thereafter and consolidated the military, administrative and religious functions of the
        kingdom. The nation was divided under Solomon’s son, with the northern kingdom (Israel) lasting until 722 B.C.E., when the Assyrians destroyed it, and the
        southern kingdom (Judah) surviving until the Babylonian conquest in 586 B.C.E. The Jewish people enjoyed brief periods of sovereignty afterward until most Jews were finally driven from their homeland in 135 C.E.

        Jewish independence in the Land of Israel lasted for more than 400 years. This is much longer than Americans have enjoyed independence in
        what has become known as the United States. 4 In fact, if not for foreign conquerors, Israel would be more than 3,000 years old today.

        Palestine was never an exclusively Arab country, although Arabic gradually became the language of most of the population after the Muslim invasions of the seventh century. No independent Arab or Palestinian state ever existed in Palestine. When the distinguished Arab-American historian, Princeton
        University Prof. Philip Hitti, testified against partition before the Anglo-American Committee in 1946, he said: “There is no such thing as ‘Palestine’ in history, absolutely not.”

        Prior to partition, Palestinian Arabs did not view
        themselves as having a separate identity. When the First Congress of Muslim-Christian Associations met in Jerusalem in February 1919 to choose
        Palestinian representatives for the Paris Peace Conference, the following resolution was adopted:

        We consider Palestine as part of Arab Syria, as it has
        never been separated from it at any time. We are connected with it by national, religious, linguistic, natural, economic and geographical bonds.

        In 1937, a local Arab leader, Auni Bey Abdul-Hadi, told the Peel Commission, which ultimately suggested the partition of Palestine: “There is no such country as Palestine! ‘Palestine’ is a term the Zionists
        invented! There is no Palestine in the Bible. Our country was for centuries part of Syria.” The representative of the Arab Higher Committee to the United Nations echoed this view in a statement to the General Assembly in May 1947, which said Palestine was part of the Province of Syria and the Arabs of
        Palestine did not comprise a separate political entity. A few years later, Ahmed Shuqeiri, later the chairman of the PLO, told the Security Council: “It is common knowledge that Palestine is nothing but southern Syria.”

        Palestinian Arab nationalism is largely a post-World War I phenomenon that did not become a significant political movement until after the 1967 Six-Day War.

      • UU Progressive

        Palestinian claims to be related to the Canaanites are a recent phenomenon and contrary to historical evidence. The Canaanites disappeared from the face of the earth three millennia ago, and no one knows if
        any of their descendants survived or, if they did, who they would be.

        Sherif Hussein, the guardian of the Islamic Holy Places in Arabia, said the Palestinians’ ancestors had only been in the area for 1,000 years. Even the Palestinians themselves have acknowledged their association with the region came long after the Jews. In testimony before the Anglo-American Committee in 1946, for example, they claimed a connection to
        Palestine of more than 1,000 years, dating back no further than the conquest of Muhammad’s followers in the 7th century.10Over the last 2,000 years, there have been massive invasions (e.g., the Crusades) that killed off most of the local people, migrations, the plague, and other manmade or natural disasters. The
        entire local population was replaced many times over. During the British mandate alone, more than 100,000 Arabs emigrated from neighboring countries and
        are today considered Palestinians.

        By contrast, no serious historian questions the more than 3,000-year-old Jewish connection to the Land of Israel, or the modern Jewish people’s relation to the ancient Hebrews.

      • UU Progressive

        In 1917, Britain issued the Balfour Declaration:

        His Majesty’s Government views with favor the
        establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavors to facilitate the achievement of this object, it being
        clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine or the rights
        and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country.

        The Mandate for Palestine included the Balfour
        Declaration. It specifically referred to “the historical connections of the Jewish people with Palestine” and to the moral validity of “reconstituting
        their National Home in that country.” The term “reconstituting” shows recognition of the fact that Palestine had been the Jews’ home. Furthermore, the
        British were instructed to “use their best endeavors to facilitate” Jewish immigration, to encourage settlement on the land and to “secure” the Jewish
        National Home. The word “Arab” does not appear in the Mandatory award.

        The Mandate was formalized by the 52 governments at the League of Nations on July 24, 1922.

      • UU Progressive

        For many centuries, Palestine was a sparsely populated, poorly cultivated and widely-neglected expanse of eroded hills, sandy deserts
        and malarial marshes. As late as 1880, the American consul in Jerusalem reported the area was continuing its historic decline. “The population and wealth of Palestine has not increased during the last forty years,” he said.

        The Report of the Palestine Royal Commission quotes an account of the Maritime Plain in 1913:

        The road leading from Gaza to the north was only a summer track suitable for transport by camels and carts . . . ​no orange groves, orchards or vineyards were to be seen until one reached [the Jewish village of] Yabna [Yavne]. . . . Houses were all of mud. No windows were anywhere to be seen. . . . The ploughs used were of wood. . . . The yields were very poor. . . . The sanitary conditions in the village were horrible. Schools did not exist. . . . The western part, towards the sea, was almost a desert. . . . The villages in this area were few and thinly populated. Many ruins of villages were scattered over the area, as owing to the prevalence of malaria, many villages were deserted by their inhabitants.

        Surprisingly, many people who were not sympathetic to the Zionist cause believed the Jews would improve the condition of Palestinian Arabs. For example, Dawood Barakat, editor of the Egyptian paper Al-Ahram, wrote: “It is absolutely necessary that an entente be made between the Zionists
        and Arabs, because the war of words can only do evil. The Zionists are necessary for the country: The money which they will bring, their knowledge and
        intelligence, and the industriousness which characterizes them will contribute without doubt to the regeneration of the country.”

        Even a leading Arab nationalist believed the return of
        the Jews to their homeland would help resuscitate the country. According to Sherif Hussein, the guardian of the Islamic Holy Places in Arabia:

        The resources of the country are still virgin soil and
        will be developed by the Jewish immigrants. One of the most amazing things until recent times was that the Palestinian used to leave his country,
        wandering over the high seas in every direction. His native soil could not retain a hold on him, though his ancestors had lived on it for 1000 years. At
        the same time we have seen the Jews from foreign countries streaming to Palestine from Russia, Germany, Austria, Spain, America. The cause of causes could not escape those who had a gift of deeper insight. They knew that the
        country was for its original sons (abna’ihi-l-asliyin), for all their differences, a sacred and beloved homeland. The return of these exiles (jaliya) to their homeland will prove materially and spiritually [to be] an experimental school for their brethren who are with them in the fields, factories, trades and in all things connected with toil and labor.

        As Hussein foresaw, the regeneration of Palestine, and the growth of its population, came only after Jews returned in massive numbers.

      • UU Progressive

        In 1975, the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution slandering Zionism by equating it with racism. Zionism is the national liberation movement of the Jewish people, which holds that Jews, like any other nation, are entitled to a homeland.

        History has demonstrated the need to ensure Jewish
        security through a national homeland. Zionism recognizes that Jewishness is defined by shared origin, religion, culture and history. The realization of the Zionist dream is exemplified by nearly six million Jews, from more than 100 countries, who are Israeli citizens.

        Israel’s Law of Return grants automatic citizenship to
        Jews, but non-Jews are also eligible to become citizens under naturalization procedures similar to those in other countries. Israel’s policy is not unique;
        many other countries, including Germany, Greece, Ireland and Finland have special categories of people who are entitled to citizenship.

        More than one million Muslim and Christian Arabs, Druze, Baha’is, Circassians and other ethnic groups also are represented in Israel’s population. The presence in Israel of thousands of Jews from Ethiopia, Yemen and India is the best refutation of the calumny against Zionism. In a series of historic airlifts, labeled Operations Moses (1984), Joshua (1985) and Solomon (1991), Israel rescued more than 20,000 members of the ancient Ethiopian Jewish community.

        Zionism does not discriminate against anyone. Israel’s open and democratic character, and its scrupulous protection of the religious and political rights of Christians and Muslims, rebut the charge of
        exclusivity. Moreover, anyone—Jew or non-Jew, Israeli, American, or Chinese, black, white, or purple—can be a Zionist.

        By contrast, the Arab states define citizenship strictly
        by native parentage. It is almost impossible to become a naturalized citizen in Arab states such as Algeria, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait. Several Arab nations have laws that facilitate the naturalization of foreign Arabs, with the specific exception of Palestinians. Jordan, on the other hand, instituted its own “law of return” in 1954, according citizenship to all former residents of Palestine, except for Jews.

        The 1975 UN resolution was part of the Soviet-Arab Cold War anti-Israel campaign. Almost all the former non-Arab supporters of the resolution have apologized and changed their positions. When the General Assembly voted to repeal the resolution in 1991, only some Arab and Muslim states, as well as Cuba, North Korea and Vietnam were opposed.

      • UU Progressive

        In the late 19th century, the rise of anti-Semitism led
        to a resurgence of pogroms in Russia and Eastern Europe, shattering promises of equality and tolerance. This stimulated Jewish immigration to Palestine from Europe.

        Simultaneously, a wave of Jews immigrated to Palestine from Yemen, Morocco, Iraq and Turkey. These Jews were unaware of Theodor-Herzl’s political Zionism or of European pogroms. They were motivated by the centuries-old dream of the “Return to Zion” and a fear of intolerance. Upon hearing that the gates of Palestine were open, they braved the hardships of travel and went to the Land of Israel.

        The Zionist ideal of a return to Israel has profound
        religious roots. Many Jewish prayers speak of Jerusalem, Zion and the Land of Israel. The injunction not to forget Jerusalem, the site of the Temple, is a
        major tenet of Judaism. The Hebrew language, the Torah, laws in the Talmud, the Jewish calendar and Jewish holidays and festivals all originated in Israel and revolve around its seasons and conditions. Jews pray toward Jerusalem and recite the words “next year in Jerusalem” every Passover. Jewish religion,
        culture and history make clear that it is only in the land of Israel that the Jewish commonwealth can be built.

        In 1897, Jewish leaders formally organized the Zionist
        political movement, calling for the restoration of the Jewish national home in Palestine, where Jews could find sanctuary and self-determination, and work for
        the renascence of their civilization and culture.

      • UU Progressive

        Theodor Herzl sought support from the great powers for the creation of a Jewish homeland. He turned to Great Britain, and met with Joseph Chamberlain, the British colonial secretary and others. The British
        agreed, in principle, to permit Jewish settlement in East Africa.

        At the Sixth Zionist Congress at Basle on August 26,
        1903, Herzl proposed the British Uganda Program as a temporary emergency refuge for Jews in Russia in immediate danger. While Herzl made it clear that this
        program would not affect the ultimate aim of Zionism, a Jewish entity in the Land of Israel, the proposal aroused a storm of protest at the Congress and
        nearly led to a split in the Zionist movement. The Uganda Program, which never had much support, was formally rejected by the Zionist movement at the Seventh Zionist Congress in 1905.

      • UU Progressive

        Emir Faisal, son of Sherif Hussein, the leader of the
        Arab revolt against the Turks, signed an agreement with Chaim Weizmann and other Zionist leaders during the 1919 Paris Peace Conference. It acknowledged the “racial kinship and ancient bonds existing between the Arabs and the Jewish people” and concluded that “the surest means of their national aspirations is through the closest working out the consummation of possible collaboration in the
        development of the Arab states and Palestine.” Furthermore, the agreement looked to the fulfillment of the Balfour Declaration and called for all necessary measures “ . . . ​to encourage and stimulate immigration of Jews into Palestine on a large scale, and as quickly as possible to settle Jewish immigrants upon the land through closer settlement and intensive cultivation of the soil.”

        Faisal had conditioned his acceptance of the Balfour
        Declaration on the fulfillment of British wartime promises of independence to the Arabs. These were not kept.

        Critics dismiss the Weizmann-Faisal agreement because it was never enacted; however, the fact that the leader of the Arab nationalist movement and the Zionist movement could reach an understanding is significant because it demonstrated that Jewish and Arab aspirations were not necessarily mutually exclusive.

      • UU Progressive

        “Colonialism means living by exploiting others,” Yehoshofat Harkabi has written. “But what could be further from colonialism than the idealism of city-dwelling Jews who strive to become farmers and laborers and to live by their own work?”

        Moreover, as British historian Paul Johnson noted, Zionists were hardly tools of imperialists given the powers’ general opposition to their cause. “Everywhere in the West, the foreign offices, defense ministries and big business were against the Zionists.”

        Emir Faisal also saw the Zionist movement as a companion to the Arab nationalist movement, fighting against imperialism, as he explained in a letter to Harvard law professor and future Supreme Court Justice Felix Frankfurter on March 3, 1919, one day after Chaim Weizmann presented the Zionist case to the Paris conference. Faisal wrote:

        The Arabs, especially the educated among us, look with deepest sympathy on the Zionist movement. . . . We will wish the Jews a hearty welcome home. . . . We are working together for a reformed and revised Near East and our two movements complete one another. The Jewish movement is nationalist and not imperialist. And there is room in Syria for us both. Indeed, I think that neither can be a real success without the other (emphasis added).

        In the 1940s, the Jewish underground movements waged an anti–colonial war against the British. The Arabs, meanwhile, were concerned primarily with fighting the Jews rather than expelling the British imperialists.

      • UU Progressive

        The central figure in the Arab nationalist movement at the time of World War I was Hussein ibn ‘Ali, the Sherif of Mecca in 1908. As Sherif, Hussein was responsible for the custody of Islam’s shrines in the Hejaz and was one of the Muslims’ spiritual leaders.

        In July 1915, Hussein sent a letter to Sir Henry MacMahon, the High Commissioner for Egypt, informing him of the terms for Arab participation in the war against the Turks. The letters between Hussein and MacMahon that followed outlined the areas that Britain was prepared to cede to the Arabs in exchange for their help.

        The Hussein-MacMahon correspondence conspicuously fails to mention Palestine. The British argued the omission had been intentional, thereby justifying their refusal to grant the Arabs independence in Palestine after the war. MacMahon explained:

        I feel it my duty to state, and I do so definitely and emphatically, that it was not intended by me in giving this pledge to King Hussein to include Palestine in the area in which Arab independence was promised. I also had every reason to believe at the time that the fact that Palestine was not included in my pledge was well understood by King Hussein.

      • wawoo

        Peace will come when Israeli aparthied ends and the emnities and hates engendered by it begin to subside with HAMAS recognizing the rights of Jews to live in Palestine. With the Palestinians being able to reclaim most of their lands.
        And I suspect a Federation with Jordan may also be part of the answer.

      • UU Progressive

        Even before the State of Israel was established, Jewish leaders consciously sought to avoid the situation that prevailed in South Africa.

        As David Ben-Gurion told Palestinian nationalist Musa Alami in 1934:

        “We do not want to create a situation like that which exists in South Africa, where the whites are the owners and rulers, and the blacks are the workers. If we do not do all kinds of work, easy and hard, skilled and unskilled, if we become merely landlords, then this will not be our homeland.”
        (Shabtai Teveth, Ben-Gurion and the Palestinian Arabs: From Peace to War, London: Oxford University Press, 1985, p. 140).

        Since the UN Conference on Racism in August 2001, anti-Semites have tried to delegitimize Israel by calling it an apartheid state in the hope that this false equation will tarnish Israel’s image and encourage sanctions and divestment of Israel.

        The comparison, however, between Israel and apartheid South Africa is malicious and insults those who suffered under the real apartheid.

        The term apartheid refers to official government policy of racial segregation that was formerly practiced in South Africa. Whites sought to dominate the non-white population, especially the indigenous blacks, and discriminated against people of color in the political, legal and economic sectors:

        Whites and non-whites lived in separate regions of the country;

        Non-whites were prohibited from running businesses or professional practices in white areas without permits;

        Non-whites had separate amenities such as beaches, buses, schools, benches, drinking fountains, restrooms;

        Non-whites received inferior education, medical care and other public services;

        and, non-whites could not vote or become citizens.

        Today, Jews are the majority within Israel, but the non-Jewish minority (Arab, Christians, Bedouin, Druze, Baha’i and others) enjoy full citizenship with voting rights and representation in the government. Israel’s Declaration of Independence even specifically calls upon the Arab inhabitants of Israel to “participate in the upbuilding of the State on the basis of full and equal citizenship and due representation in all its provisional and permanent institutions.” The Arab minority comprises 20% of Israel’s population.

        It is illegal for employers to discriminate on the basis of race and Arab citizens of Israel are represented in all walks of Israeli life. Arabs have served in senior diplomatic and government positions and an Arab – Salim Joubran – currently serves as a justice on the Supreme Court.

        Israeli Arabs have their own political parties and representation in the Knesset; Arabs are also members of the major Israeli political parties.

        In apartheid South Africa, laws dictated where Non-whites could live, work and travel and the government imprisoned, and sometimes killed, those who protested against these policies. By contrast, Israel allows freedom of movement, assembly and speech and some of the government’s harshest critics are Arab Knesset members.

        Arab students and professors study, research and teach freely at Israeli universities. At Haifa University, for example, approximately 20 percent of the students are Arabs.

        Israeli society is not perfect – discrimination and unfairness exist there as it does in every other country. These differences, however, are nothing like the horrors of the apartheid system. Moreover, when inequalities are identified, minorities in Israel have the right to seek redress through the government and the courts, and progress toward equality has been made over the years.

        The situation of Palestinians in the territories is different. Many Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip openly refuse to recognize Israel’s right to exist; by contrast, non-whites never sought the destruction of South Africa, only of the apartheid regime.

        Unlike South Africa, where restrictions were totally racially motivated, Israel’s restrictions in the territories – such as checkpoints and the security fence – was forced by incessant Palestinian terrorism. Israel has consistently demonstrated a willingness, however, to ease restrictions when violence subsides.

        Meanwhile, Palestinians from the territories are allowed to work in Israel and receive similar pay and benefits to their Jewish counterparts. They are allowed to attend schools and universities. Palestinians have been given opportunities to run many of their own affairs. None of this was true for South African blacks.

        Even such, 98% of the Palestinians in the territories are governed by the rules of the Palestinian Authority, which amazingly do not permit their own resident with freedoms of speech, religion, assembly or other rights taken for granted by Westerners and guaranteed in Israel.

        The clearest refutation of the calumny against Israel comes from the Palestinians themselves – when asked what governments they admire most, more than 80 percent of Palestinians consistently choose Israel because they can see up close the thriving democracy in Israel, and the rights the Arab citizens enjoy there.

      • wawoo

        With slavery there were Field Negroes and House Negroes. With Jim Crow there were classes of miscegination. With aparthied in South Africa there were delineations of non white.
        Just because you pretend that is not the same situation you describe and seek to present as a good thing does not make it so.
        And of course the poorest meanest southern white or Afrikaner knew they were absolutelyu better than any colored.
        Just as any Jew in Israel knows they are better than any non Jew.

      • Former Republican,Now Democrat

        South African apartheid very much sounds like what happened in the US.

      • wawoo

        As the South African Aparthied Laws which , if memory serves, were enacted in 1948, were indeed modeled on the various Jim Crow laws and Statutes in force in mainly the American South that is a correct observation.

  • Pragmatic Progressive

    Thank you UU Progressive for providing much needed facts!

    • Christian Lefty

      I second that!

    • Moderate Lefty

      Me too!

    • Rustbelt Democrat

      Me as well!

    • Southern Liberal

      I second that also!

    • Blue In A Red State

      Me too as well!

    • wawoo

      Except UU Progressive is providing very bias and limited facts to support Zionism and deny the rights of very much real and alive Palestinians who have been wronged by Israeli occupation, taking of their lands and possessions,and enforcing an apartied regime on them.

      • Pragmatic Progressive

        The facts are not biased.

      • wawoo

        But the selection of what facts to provide omitting any appropiate context relative to the Palestinians is evidence of pro Zionist bias.

      • Rustbelt Democrat

        @Pragmatic Progressive

        What we are witnessing here is called new anti-Semitism emanating simultaneously from the far-left, radical Islam, and the far-right, and tending to manifest itself as opposition to Zionism and the State of Israel.

      • wawoo

        Well whoever you are you are sure the master Zionist troll having affirmative converstaions with yourself and using exactly the same terms to pretend you are many.
        Being anti Zionist Zealots is not being anti Israel.
        like I said , the only answer which will work is one Palestine with a Jewish plurality likely in federation with Jordan.
        And Likkud and the extremist Zionist elements in Israel will fight with every fiber of their being to prevent any sort of accomodation.
        Thus assuring the destruction of Israel in less than 50 years.

      • Southern Liberal

        To mollify those who claim that anti-Israel sentiments do not amount to anti-Semitism, let me just say that I don’t buy it.

      • Rustbelt Democrat

        I don’t buy it either Southern Liberal

      • UU Progressive

        It’s as the author of this article said, Israel ain’t going anywhere!

  • Former Republican,Now Democrat

    If we don’t do anything about climate change, the situation will only get worse.

  • Sandy Greer

    Why in the world does does Manny give obvious Trollery a pass?

    We have UU Progressive plagiarize (no credit given) the entire first chapter (Israel’s Roots) – word for word – of the Jewish Virtual Library, Myths and Facts:

    jewishvirtuallibrary DOT org/jsource/myths3/MFroots DOT html

    ^^^As proof of – what? – only UU Prog knows. Argumentum Verbosium – plagiarized from a whitewashed source.

    Followed by the OP of Pragmatic Progressive – thanking UU Prog for the ‘facts’. Backed, immediately, by Blue in a Red State, Southern Democrat, Rustbelt Democrat, Moderate Lefty, and Christian Lefty.

    All within minutes of each other. Like Magic, it was. Each denies being the other. Every post with a ‘like’. LMFAO at Magical Trollery.

    Manny wants to know why Lefties give a ‘pass’ to Hamas. Lefties could equally ask why Manny gives a pass to Trollery.

    • Pragmatic Progressive

      I am not the same poster as those others.

    • Rustbelt Democrat

      I am not the same poster either. The only thing that we more than likely have in common is that we are more than likely moderate left.

    • Blue In A Red State

      I am not the same poster as any of the others either.

    • Southern Liberal

      Nor am I the same as any of the others.

    • Christian Lefty

      Not the same either.

    • Moderate Lefty

      Nope. Not the same.

    • UU Progressive

      I’m not the same as those other posters either.

    • Former Republican,Now Democrat

      They have the right to post a different point of view than yours.

    • Princess Leia

      I can testify that those posters are not the same. I’ve met and have become friends with them on various pragmatic progressive blogs – Winning Progressive, The People’s View, The Progressive Professor, Please Cut The C—, Norbrook’s Blog, Smartypants, Wisdom Voices, The Pragmatic Pundit, Blogistan Polytechnic Institute. As Rustbelt Democrat says, we are the moderate left. Although we lean left on social issues (gay rights, universal health care, etc.), on economic and foreign policy, we tend to be in the middle, sometimes slightly to the right.

  • Rational Left

    My opinion on the situation is the same as Allen Clifton’s article about it, written July 19, 2014. I have also gotten to the point where I honestly just don’t care anymore.