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July 12th, 2011
Heart of Jenin

–Denver Post

“ A moving…documentary”
–Globe and Mail

When a 12-year-old Palestinian boy was killed in the West Bank city of Jenin by Israeli soldiers who mistook his toy gun for the real thing, it could have been just one more blip on the news: one more war, one more child, one more human tragedy that ripped the heart out of a family and a community, but rippled no further into the world’s consciousness.

But something extraordinary happened that turned Ahmed Khatib’s tragic 2005 death into a gift of hope for six Israelis whose lives were on the line: while overwhelmed with grief, Ahmed’s parents consented to donating their son’s organs. Suddenly, amid the violence and entrenched hatred surrounding an intractable conflict, a simple act of humanity rose above the clamor and captured worldwide attention.

Heart of Jenin tells the story of Ahmed’s tragic death and his father Ismael Khatib’s journey to visit three of the organ recipients two years later. One of Ahmed’s kidneys went to an Orthodox Jewish girl and his other kidney went to a Bedouin boy. While his parents hesitated to donate Ahmed’s heart, it now beats in the chest of a Druze girl.

“I see my son in these children,” Khatib says.

Crossing from northern Israel to the Negev desert and ending up in Jerusalem, Khatib encounters every complexity of the conflict: deep-seated animosity, hardened judgments, and heartfelt generosity. While laying bare the deep divisions between Israelis and Palestinians, Heart of Jenin offers a rare vision of common humanity and hope.

  • jgarbuz

    Let me just make a few brief comments. The German Jews have always been frustrated Germans who just happen to have some Jewish DNA. That’s a personal opinion, that their German and Jewish blood are at war within their own veins. Most German Jewry was liberal, and wanted to be VERY German. To them it was a tragedy to learn that real Germans would never fully and truly accept them; something these German Jews just still can’t get over. But then, Germans don’t accept anyone who doesn’t have German blut. I happened to have been born in a Bavarian DP camp after the war to Polish Jewish survivors. I think the idea of alien Jews trying to insinuate themselves into a host society without raising tacit opposition is ludicrous. They don’t want Jewish or anybody else’s blood in their veins. Period. Jews who try to become part of someone else’s society or culture are just making fools of themselves.

    But yes, after the turn of the century, Jews split into three main groups: materialists who merely wanted to go to America to make money and live well; socialist and communist Jews who wanted to change the world so that they could find acceptance within it; and nationalist (Zionist) Jews who wanted to return and rebuild their OWN country and THEIR OWN society. A fourth group, what I call the Ghetto Jews, just wish to remain in their closed ghetto societies and await the mythical messiah while they do whatever it is they do.

    What the Holocaust did do was teach many Jews that they can expect little to nothing from the kindness of strangers. Had Jews come to Palestine in greater numbers between the wars, and borne the suffering of those hardy few pioneers, there might have been a Jewish state by 1938 and no Holocaust at all. But most chose to remain, trusting in the basic goodness of humanity in the modern 20th century.

    There are many resons for nationalism, or Zionism in our case, though it is very true that the vast majority who came to Israel didn’t do so out of ideological or nationalist reasons, but because they knew they were unwelcome elsewhere and had no place to go. I won’t repeat the historical, legal and moral reasons for why Israel’s existence is right and just, nor apologize for some Jews at least wanting to have THEIR OWN society, rather than simply keep trying to infiltrate or assimilate into someone else’s. You may not agree with this assessment, but I think it fundamentally a truism that “birds of a feather will flock together” whether they like each other or not. That’s my take on it.

  • Jim Donnellan

    What the Holocaust did do is teach many Jews that they can expect little to nothing from the kindness of strangers. Had Jews come to Palestine in greater numbers between the wars, and borne the suffering of those hardy few pioneers, there might have been a Jewish state by 1938 and no Holocaust at all. But most chose to remain, trusting in the basic goodness of humanity in the modern 20th century.
    There are many resons for nationalism, or Zionism in our case, though it is very true that the vast majority who came to Israel didn’t do so out of ideological or nationalist reasons, but because they knew they were unwelcome elsewhere and had no place to go.

    Jim Donnellan:

    While given the history of anti-semitism, no one really questions the desire of Jews to find peace and security in an unfriendly world. The Arabs legitimately ask: if the problem occurred in Europe, why did the Palestinians have to give up their land? All people desire a secure and peaceful world. It seems to me that the Zionists made a crucial decision that has played out as their worst nightmare. They could have chosen the route recommended by Buber, Magnes and others. They chose a watered down version of Jabotinsky instead. While such a decision is human and understandable, it ended up violating the rights of another people, creating a dynamic of attack and counter-attack. The only way to break that cycle is to begin to see from the other person’s perspective and establish a dialogue rooted in an understanding of another’s world view. It is a singularly difficult thing to do, but from what I’ve seen of the Israeli government, it has not shown the slightest willingness to do so.

  • jgarbuz

    Point I. NO ARab had to give up any land from 1882 to 1947, the years of pre-state Zionist settlement, unless he wanted to sell it, which many certainly did. Whatever personal land the Arabs lost in 1948 was due to the act of aggression against the UN-authorized State of Israel. If you have a SHRED of evidence to the contrary, that Arabs had to give up land prior to the war of 1948, I DEFY you to produce it! I have challenged you on this before. Also, the Jews from Arab countries forced to leave, gave up FOUR (4) times as much privately owned real estate as the entire area of Palestine combined!

    Number 2: From 1949-1967, Israel remained with the Armistice lines of 1949 (so-called “67 borders”) despite daily terrorist violations from the Arab areas surrounding them. The second major war again was started by the Arabs when Egypt decided to blockade Israel’s port, and when the Jordanian army shelled West Jerusalem, forcing the IDF to take East Jerusalem and the West Bank to push out the Jordanian army;

    Point 3: As has been REPEATEDLY STATED, the Arabs never had a state in that territory in all of recorded history;

    Point 4: antisemitism is the not the reason for Jewish rights to their ancient homeland. This form of racism, however, which reached the height of horror during the Nazi regime, merely made it clear that Jews cannot count on other states to defend them. To defend yourself, you MUST have a state, a land, and a well trained army. A minority group is inherently defenseless.

    Point 5: The Jews even in Muslim lands were second class citizens, or “dhimma” having to pay special taxes and defer to Muslims in many ways.l Though fewer in frequency, they too were subjected to periodic pogroms and even having to live in Mellahs, or the Moroccan version of ghettos at times.

    The re-establishment of the Jewish State violated nobody’s basic rights. The attack on Israel in 1948 violated the UN Charter and created TWO refugee prolems, but the Jewish one was ignored because those Jews chased out of Muslim lands were painfully absorbed into the Jewish state, and today constitue over 40% of its population. But Arabs still constitue 20% of Israel’s population. So I really don’t know what you are talking about. If Buber and other liberals who would have foresworn any kind of Jewish state, then the Jews would have remained a persecuted minority in yet another Arab state. The Arabs have 21 states; there is where they belong if they don’t like living in the Jewish state.

  • jgarbuz

    Mr. Donnellan, here’s what I think YOUR problem is. I think you said you were born to a German Jewish father, but I assume your mother was not a Jew, and therefore you are not a Jew by Jewish law. But instead of being happy that you are not burdened by being a Jew, you are personally confused in your own identity, and so you take the route of trying to delegitimize Jewish rights to independence and a homeland like any other nation. Am I far from the mark?

  • jgarbuz

    But if you are really so legitimately concerned about the infringement of the rights of the locals, why instead, don’t you support giving the native American “Indian” tribes a mere 10-20% of the vast United States back to the natives so that they could have say a United Tribes of America? I’m prepared to allow 20% of our Jewish homeland to become a Palestinian state, if they recognize the right of the Jewish state and decide to live in permanent peace alongside. Are you prepared to give back 20% of the United States to its native peoples so that they can have an independent homeland of their own?

  • Liz

    Jim Donnellan, thank you for your informed analysis on the history of the region. jgarbuz, you obviously have a huge chip on your shoulder, and this, allied to your fanaticism is disturbing. In many ways your ignorance of historical facts, your sectarianism, and your hatred of those who don’t share your views (“I…would personally hang them (Pappe, Finkelstein) if I could get my hands on them.”) parallel the philosophy of the state you are trying to defend. Your diatribes do absolutely nothing but affirm the illegitimacy of the Israeli position and its complete disregard for human rights and international law.

  • jgarbuz

    Miss Liz accuses me of having a “huge chip on my shoulder” and ignorant of the facts of the case in Arab-Israel conflict. It’s quite ludicrous. I’m willing to bet she has never lived a single day in Israel, nor read the League of Nations Mandate, or has any factual knowledge whatsoever regarding this conflict. But I wish the State of Israel was right wing as I am, but having raised children there, who’ve gone to school there, I know what a left-leaning society it is. Compare Israel’s actions to that the Sri Lankan government which only a few months back totally crushed the Tamil separatist movement with overwhelming force, demolishing their 40 year struggle for a Tamil state in the north, and how “the world” has not said a word about it in the media or elsewhere. The hypocrisy and obvious antisemitism is so blinding that it hardly requires comment. The problem with Israel is that it has been soft and compliant in the face of generations of Islamofascist terror and aggression. Israel is the MOST legal state on earth, even more so than the United States. The League of Nations gave Palestine to the Jewish people, and the United Nations authorized the reestablishment of a Jewish state there. By contrast, the US cannot say that for itself, being purely a settler state, where European settlers with no prior historical or religious connection to this land came and simply took it, marginalizing and virtually destroying the native population, reducing it to a small fraction of its original size., By contrast, the number of so-called Palestinians alive today is 10 times as many as existed a mere 70 years ago. So Miss Liz simply doesn’t what she is talking about at all.

  • Jim Donnellan

    Don’t know how I missed all of these comments, but I did, so I’ll have to gradually work my way through them. For the moment, a couple of comments might suffice.

    As early as 1918 Martin Buber was sufficiently concerned about the stated intent of the Ultra-Zionists that this concern led to the founding of Brit Shalom (Alliance for Peace) in 1925 which later evolved into Ihud.

    He was specifically concerned about their intent of “creating a majority [of Jews} in [Palestine] by all means and as quickly as possible. He felt that their vision would corrupt the soul of the Zionist movement.

  • Jim Donnellan

    Regarding Israel’s intentions:

    1996 campaign:
    “we are here to prevent the establishment of a Palestinian state.”

    Ehud Barak:

    Barak revealed that, were he born a Palestinian, “at the right age, at some stage I would have entered one of the terror organizations and have fought from there, and later certainly have tried to influence from within the political system.”

    Ariel Sharon
    May 25, 2003: Sharon remarked, “You cannot like the word, but what is happening is an occupation-to hold a 3.5 million Palestinians under occupation. I believe that is a terrible thing for Israel and for the Palestinians.” Page 144
    Sharon quickly repudiated these comments, by his own admission due to Rubinstein’s frantic warning about the serious legal consequences that could follow. Given Sharon’s brutish legacy of trying to conquer a “greater Israel” at any cost, it’s hard to imagine that this comment was anything other than a momentary lapse into truth telling rather than a crisis of conscience.

    Ehud Barak:

    the first speech that Barak gave was from the Palestinian point of view a “No! No! No!” speech. “I will not give back Jerusalem. I will not accept any Palestinian refugees. I will not leave the Jordan Valley.

  • Jim Donnellan

    Just in case you missed this above, let me repeat it here. This crisis did not suddenly erupt into a war in 1948 because the Arabs hated Jews. No amount of Zionist far right propaganda can change the reality that this crisis grew slowly and increasingly as the Arabs became aware that the Zionists wanted them out of their homeland.

    The UN action was a response to the reality that Jews and Arabs could not live together in harmony. It sought to respect the rights of both groups by creating a political compromise.

    From the website

    The standard Zionist position is that they showed up in Palestine in the late 19th century to reclaim their ancestral homeland. Jews bought land and started building up the Jewish community there. They were met with increasingly violent opposition from the Palestinian Arabs, presumably stemming from the Arabs’ inherent anti-Semitism. The Zionists were then forced to defend themselves and, in one form or another, this same situation continues up to today.

    The problem with this explanation is that it is simply not true, as the documentary evidence in this booklet will show. What really happened was that the Zionist movement, from the beginning, looked forward to a practically complete dispossession of the indigenous Arab population so that Israel could be a wholly Jewish state, or as much as was possible. Land bought by the Jewish National Fund was held in the name of the Jewish people and could never be sold or even leased back to Arabs (a situation which continues to the present).

    The Arab community, as it became increasingly aware of the Zionists’ intentions, strenuously opposed further Jewish immigration and land buying because it posed a real and imminent danger to the very existence of Arab society in Palestine. Because of this opposition, the entire Zionist project never could have been realized without the military backing of the British. The vast majority of the population of Palestine, by the way, had been Arabic since the seventh century A.D. (Over 1200 years)

  • Jim Donnellan

    Early 20th century history of “Palestine”

    Wasn’t Palestine a wasteland before the Jews started immigrating there?
    “Britain’s high commissioner for Palestine, John Chancellor, recommended total suspension of Jewish immigration and land purchase to protect Arab agriculture. He said ‘all cultivable land was occupied; that no cultivable land now in possession of the indigenous population could be sold to Jews without creating a class of landless Arab cultivators’…The Colonial Office rejected the recommendation.” John Quigley, “Palestine and Israel: A Challenge to Justice.”

    Were the early Zionists planning on living side by side with Arabs?

    In 1919, the American King-Crane Commission spent six weeks in Syria and Palestine, interviewing delegations and reading petitions. Their report stated, “The commissioners began their study of Zionism with minds predisposed in its favor…The fact came out repeatedly in the Commission’s conferences with Jewish representatives that the Zionists looked forward to a practically complete dispossession of the present non-Jewish inhabitants of Palestine, by various forms of purchase…

    “If [the] principle [of self-determination] is to rule, and so the wishes of Palestine’s population are to be decisive as to what is to be done with Palestine, then it is to be remembered that the non-Jewish population of Palestine — nearly nine-tenths of the whole — are emphatically against the entire Zionist program.. To subject a people so minded to unlimited Jewish immigration, and to steady financial and social pressure to surrender the land, would be a gross violation of the principle just quoted…No British officers, consulted by the Commissioners, believed that the Zionist program could be carried out except by force of arms.The officers generally thought that a force of not less than fifty thousand soldiers would be required even to initiate the program. That of itself is evidence of a strong sense of the injustice of the Zionist program…The initial claim, often submitted by Zionist representatives, that they have a ‘right’ to Palestine based on occupation of two thousand years ago, can barely be seriously considered.” Quoted in “The Israel-Arab Reader” ed. Laquer and Rubin.

    Side by side — continued
    “Zionist land policy was incorporated in the Constitution of the Jewish Agency for Palestine…’land is to be acquired as Jewish property and..the title to the lands acquired is to be taken in the name of the Jewish National Fund, to the end that the same shall be held as the inalienable property of the Jewish people.’ The provision goes to stipulate that ‘the Agency shall promote agricultural colonization based on Jewish labor’…The effect of this Zionist colonization policy on the Arabs was that land acquired by Jews became extra-territorialized. It ceased to be land from which the Arabs could ever hope to gain any advantage…

    “The Zionists made no secret of their intentions, for as early as 1921, Dr. Eder, a member of the Zionist Commission, boldly told the Court of Inquiry, ‘there can be only one National Home in Palestine, and that a Jewish one, and no equality in the partnership between Jews and Arabs, but a Jewish preponderance as soon as the numbers of the race are sufficiently increased.’ He then asked that only Jews should be allowed to bear arms.” Sami Hadawi, “Bitter Harvest.”

    Given Arab opposition to them, did the Zionists support steps towards majority rule in Palestine?
    “Clearly, the last thing the Zionists really wanted was that all the inhabitants of Palestine should have an equal say in running the country… [Chaim] Weizmann had impressed on Churchill that representative government would have spelled the end of the [Jewish] National Home in Palestine… [Churchill declared,] ‘The present form of government will continue for many years. Step by step we shall develop representative institutions leading to full self-government, but our children’s children will have passed away before that is accomplished.’” David Hirst, “The Gun and the Olive Branch.”

    Denial of the Arabs’ right to self-determination
    “Even if nobody lost their land, the [Zionist] program was unjust in principle because it denied majority political rights… Zionism, in principle, could not allow the natives to exercise their political rights because it would mean the end of the Zionist enterprise.” Benjamin Beit-Hallahmi, “Original Sins.”

  • JIm Donnellan

    Regarding who started all this: Again, Martin Buber

    In October 1948, in the midst of the first Arab-Israeli war, Buber questioned the credo that, since the Jewish state had been attacked, it was “engaged in a war of defense.” “Who attacked us?” asked Buber, … The aggressors were “those who felt that they had been attacked by us, namely by our peaceful conqest” under an imperioal umbrella, and who “accuse us of being robbers.” Israelis and Zionists countered with the claim, as Buber put it, that “this was our country two thousand years ago and it was there that we created great things.” Though a sworn Zionsit, he found their logic incredible. “Do we genuinely expect this reason to be accepted [by the Arabs] without argument, and would we accept it were we in their place?”

  • jgarbuz

    Again, rhetoric aside and sticking to basic facts. The Ottoman empire sided with Germany in WWI, and was defeated. The League of Nations in 1920 split up all the defeated empires, created new states, and moved people around. One of the least important areas they dealt with was called by the British “Palestine,” even though NO such province existed in the Ottoman empire. In fact, no Arab states existed at all prior to WWI. All were merely part of the Ottoman empire. The total number of inhabitants in Palestine, on BOTH sides of the Jordan river, was under a million. There were 9 million Jews in the world, many of them stateless and still without even basic civil rights. There was no Palestinian state, nor ever had one. The Zionists took the Jewish case to the League of Nations. The Arabs were represented by Feisal, the leader of the Arab revolt. Feisal agreed with Weizmann that if the Arabs get their state with him as head in the Arabs world, then he would agree to the “Zionist programme” of resettling Palestine with Jews for them to have back their homeland. The League judged both cases, and decided in favor of the creation of the Jewish National Home, and to allow Jews to return, buy land, or settle on empty lands, to recreate a Jewish homeland. This became international law. Were the Arabs happy with the idea? No. And yet, there was no reluctance to sell land to the Jews for money. Religiously, the Muslims cannot accept a non-Muslim state to exist in their midst. We see this every day in the news where Muslims violently try to impose sharia everywhere they can.
    Whether or not the Arabs would accept it, is irrelevant to me. The judge ruled in favor of the Jews, and the plaintiff has to accept the decision. You can argue all you want about whether it was right or wrong, and so can Martin Buber. The fact is, the ruling was made, the law was set down, and the Arabs have to abide by it. If the League had ruled against the JEws, we would still be stateless. That is the way the cookie crumbled, and the Arabs have to accept it. If they continue to try to overturn international law by trying to destroy the Jewish state, they can only bring more death and destruction down upon themselves as well. The case was decided; the case is closed. Court dismissed.

  • jgarbuz

    The League of Nations ruled that Palestine belongs to the Jews.The Arabs lost their case in court. Case closed.

  • jgarbuz

    Anyhow, a lot of leftist Jewish philosophers write nonsense. Do I care what Karl Marx wrote? I read the Manifesto and large parts of Das Kapital when I was a kid. He impressed a lot of people, but I knew in time that his arguments were nonsense, just like Martin Buber’s. I just fail to be impressed by the crazy sophistries of most leftist Jews. They usually prove to be wrong in the majority of cases. Now, with Jewish physicists, it’s a different story.

  • Jim Donnellan

    It’s very clear that you think Buber’s perspective is nonsense. He, of course, would return the favor.

    So, let’s try this: Do onto your neighbor as you would have him do onto you.

    Or, your rights end at my doorstep, and mine end at yours.

    The entire colonial mindset is intellectually and morally bankrupt. It cannot legitimize what is morally wrong. Which is Buber’s point.

  • jgarbuz

    Of course Buber is worthless. He was what my departed old mom, a holocaust survivor, would call a “pista philozoph” or worthless philosopher, in Yiddish. My mother from her old shtetl, who never read a book in her life, had more sense than all these “pista” philsophers put together.

    Okay, let’s try this: Do unto your neighbor as he has already done unto you. Muhammad ethnically cleansed Jews out of the Hijaz, and forbade Jews from living in Mecca and Medina (a town they actually founded) and the rest of the Hijaz forever! And Jews in Muslim lands were taxed and often faced discrimination and even pogroms. Islam never apologized to the Jews for this, as the Catholics have for past sins against the Jews, so why not throw the Muslims out of Israel altogether? Or tax them heavily as Jews were in the Muslim lands? The fact is, that Israel is a fully legitimate state, and questioning it’s right to exist is no more credulous than questioning the US’s right to exit. The question at hand is, do the so-called “Palestinians” have a right to a state, and if so, why? Where? And why don’t the Tamils, Kurds, Basques and Lakota Sioux also have the same right to violently resist and fight till they get a state? Their rights and demands for independent states is FAR more historically evident and provable than that of the so-called “Palestinians.” And there is no colonial mindset in Israel. Israel is Jewish land. You cannot colonize what was yours to begin with, but only resettle it.

  • Jim Donnellan

    You seem to be ignoring one simple fact: If the Zionists hadn’t emigrated to Palestine, none of this would have occurred. These folks were living there.

    The issue is not whether at this point Israel has a right to exist, the issue is how one conducts oneself. Israel’s behavior has not conformed to high moral standards. Independent NGO’s have noted human rights violations time after time.

    Now you can ignore that, but there is a price to be paid.

    The facts on the ground have been well documented, even by Benny Morris. He makes no bones about saying that the Arabs had to go in order to create a Jewish state. If this is the moral canon you are advocating, then you have a right to you perspective … and the world community has a right to its.

  • jgarbuz

    You apparently have not read Benny Morris lately. I suggest his most recent book “1948.”
    The native Americans could say if the white people had not emigrated to North America, there would be 75 millions of them in their own country today, with their own president. As for the “world community” it is intimidated and overwhelmed by Arab lies and propaganda. Hitler’s famous dictum, that if you repeat a BIG LIE over and over enough and long enough, that it will be believed has been proved true. The Palestinian mythology has become conventional wisdom, and I put at least half the blame on leftist Jewish “historians” who have so tirelessly blatantly distorted the truth. But then, so many of them once believed in the Marxist blather, they needed some new twisted cause to write about one that one came down in flames. Thankfully, Benny Morris, the original “revisionist historian” has rectified the errors of his earlier ways, which gives at least some hope that the truth will not die.

  • jgarbuz

    If the whites and their slaves had not occupied this continent, the native “Indians” might today number 75 million and have their own country.

    Much of the “world community” was once inspired by fascism and communism, and now is intimidated by Islamofascism. The first died under a hail of bombs, and the other went down under its own weight. As for Benny Morris, apparently you have not read his more recent “1948” where he has moderated his earlier views considerably.

    Hitler’s dictum, that a BIG LIE told often enough and for long enough becomes accepted as truth is being proved correct, unfortunately. The Palestine myth, after 60 years of blatant construction and marketing, has become the common currency of the day. But, fascism eventually came down, as did communism, and I hope the truth will overcome the Islamofascist myths too someday. I can only hope.

  • Liz

    Actually, I have spent more than a single day in Israel and many more in Palestine, jgarbuz. So let’s take a look at this state which you admire so much. You constantly talk about how the UN has validated Israel’s existence, but you conveniently forget to mention that Israel violates all UN resolutions in respect of the Geneva Conventions and International Law. The West Bank is OCCUPIED territory. The apartheid wall is illegal, as are the settlements, the home demolitions, the checkpoints, the targeted killings, the land grabs, the restrictions on movement to name just a few of the transgressions. Then, there’s Gaza. Ever since the settlers left a few years ago, the Israelis like to say that this strip of land is no longer occupied. What is happening now is worse, however, since Gaza has turned into an open air prison where people are trapped and are suffering and dying because of food and medical supply shortages. And that was before the war which caused such a horrific loss of life and during which Israel once again committed war crimes. As Jim Donnellan says, there is a price to be paid for all of this. A militaristic society which blatantly disregards the law (it even discriminates against its own Arab citizens) has no moral standing and has to make the choice between being regarded as a pariah state or one that can hold its head up proudly. Clearly, Israel has chosen the former. This is what you are defending, jgarbuz. And don’t accuse me of being anti-Semitic. It’s so boring. The minute someone criticizes Israel, he or she is accused of being anti Jewish. Yawn!!!

  • Jim Donnellan

    I don’t want to distract from the points Liz makes. Indeed, they should be underscored. Time and again, practicing Jews have made the trip to Israel, only to find that the reality “on the ground”, as Liz illustrates, was quite different from what they had been told.

    With respect to my reference to Benny Morris, I am quite aware that he has altered his views. It was to his most recent views that I was referring, as noted in entry #112 above which cites an interview with him in 2004 that was published in Ha’aretz.

  • jgarbuz

    Of course the West Bank and Gaza are occupied, because Jordan and Egypt, which controlled those places started and then lost a war to Israel in 1967. But neither Jordan nor Egypt wanted those places back. So there is no legal state to negotiate with over those territories. Israel began a negotiating process with the terrorist organization that claimed to represent the people in those territories, the PLO, but as we see to no avail. Now there is another party, Hamas, that claims to represent them. Yes, the land is legally occupied and will remain so until there is someone to negotiate capable of meeting Israel’s terms. Just as Germany and Japan had to meet the terms of the US and its allies, so the party representing the so-called “Palestinians” will have to do the same to end the “occupation.” Now I don’t know how many days you spent in “Palestine” but I spent ten years in Israel. It’s hardly a paradise, nor did I claim it to be. It’s just a state, like Greece or Bulgaria, only it happens to be the only Jewish majority state on the planet. It’s my ancient homeland. Otherwise it wouldn’t mean a thing to me. I don’t even know why so many people are so interested in it. I don’t care what goes on in Ireland or Sri Lanka, but everyone seems to take such personal interest and concern about what goes on in Israel and the legally occupied/disputed lands it took in the defensive war of 1967.

  • jgarbuz

    To Liz,
    Of course you’re an antisemite, and you know it. You don’t care about how many Tamils were killed by the Singhalese army when they crushed the 40-year civil war a few weeks back. I bet you don’t care about the Basques in Spain either. I bet you’ve never been concerned about the condition of many native “Indians” on those reservations here in the US, their unemployment and constant poverty.
    And just the other day I was reading about the conditions in Gaza as they were under the Egyptian administration between 1049 and 1967. Gaza under Israel was PARADISE by comparison, until Hamas took over.
    Nor is Israel a “militarized society.” Quite the contrary. You’ll never see brass bands and goosestepping soldiers in the IDF. It’s a citizen army, where soldiers routinely talk back to their officers, and rarely salute, and try not to march in any kind of pretty formation. The fact that Israel was FORCED to become a Spartan Jewish state goes totally against the grain of most Jews and Israelis. It was the Arabs who forced this on the Jews since their constant terrorism and warfare going back to the 1920s. It’s clear to me you know nothing about Israel, nor ever lived or worked there, and yes I do believe you and your ilk are inspired mostly by genuine antisemitism. That is my impression.

  • Jim Donnellan

    Menachem Begin has called the Six Day War a war of choice. In other words, there were other alternatives and Israel knew that. An analysis of the conflict revealed that Egypt’s deployment was defensive, not offensive. Israel knew it was no contest and took advantage of that fact.

    You refer to the various wars continuously as acts of aggression against an innocent Israel. In each instance, you ignore the relationship between cause and effect, preferring to depict Israel as the innocent victim of circumstances. The reality is that Israel/Zionism created those circumstances.

    You also refer to the League of Nations Mandate (which was based upon the Balfour Declaration) as authorizing a Jewish National Home. What you don’t mention is the third and final White Paper on Palestine which was issued on May 17, 1939. That paper acknowledged the ambiguity in the originals and clarified the intent. Neither the mandate nor the Declaration intended that Palestine “be converted into a Jewish State against the will of the Arab population.” Further more Britain never “contemplated … the disappearance or the subordination of the Arabic population, language or culture in Palestine.” It was never stipulated “that Palestine as a whole should be converted into a Jewish National Home, but that such a Home should be founded in Palestine.” Therefore His Majesty’s Government declared “unequivocally, that it was not part of their policy that Palestine whould become a Jewish State” It would “indeed regard it as contray to their obligations to the Arabs under the Mandate, as well as to the assurances which have been given to the Arab people in the past.”

    So, when Martin Buber talks about the Arabs as the ones who were initially attacked, he was quite correct.

  • jgarbuz

    The White Paper of 1939 was a total reneging by Britain of the League of Nations Mandate, and the cause of the subsequent Jewish revolt against the British adminitration. It’s clear that you’ve never read the League of Nations Mandate. I suggest you “google” and actually read the San Remo text. BTW, the Mandate stipulated that Palestine will have three official languages, Hebrew, English and Arabic. Arabic is still one of Israel’s official languages. Now was the Arab population “subordinated.” Some of them rebelled against the Mandate and the subsequent Arab attack on Israel in 1948 was the cause of the refugee problems. As for the ’67 war, I don’t know what alternatives Israel had. It’s port of Eilat was being illegally blockaded by Egypt – which is a bonafide act of war – and the US reneged on its earlier written promise to open the blockade with a naval flotilla it was supposed to organize. The Mandate did indeed stipulate that ALL of Palestine, west of the Jordan river, be the Jewish National Home, and the very purpose of the Mandate was to encourage Jewish immigration and settlement, to create a Jewish majority homeland where non-Jews would be protected minority citizens with full civil and religious rights. I’d urge you to actually read the document you purport to be elucidating us on.

  • George

    To jgarbuz,
    You are making no sense, picking/choosing/modifying/manipulating parts of the history to support the made up story that you believe in, you are defending an occupier (Israel) who violated the international law and did every thing can be done against humanity. Like it or not, occupation is a crime, occupiers are criminals, it is a theft of land, freedom, dreams, future… it is an open world and people can see for themselves, the time of lies is over.

  • Jim Donnellan


    I believe you are referring to this:

    ART. 6. The Administration of Palestine, while ensuring that the rights and position of other sections of the population are not prejudiced,

    which came from the Balfour Declaration:

    “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.”

    A more complete discussion can be found on the website cited above. The White Paper of 1939 seems to be simply restating the obvious.

  • Jim Donnellan

    The Balfour Declaration (it its entirety):

    Foreign Office
    November 2nd, 1917

    Dear Lord Rothschild,

    I have much pleasure in conveying to you, on behalf of His Majesty’s Government, the following declaration of sympathy with Jewish Zionist aspirations which has been submitted to, and approved by, the Cabinet.

    “His Majesty’s Government view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavours 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.”

    I should be grateful if you would bring this declaration to the knowledge of the Zionist Federation.

    Yours sincerely,
    Arthur James Balfour

  • Jim Donnellan

    Background information on the Balfour Declaration:

    What was the Balfour Declaration?

    The British pledge that formally committed the British to the Zionist cause, was the Balfour Declaration of November 1917, an instrument created after the Husayn-McMahon Correspondence and the Sykes-Picot Agreement.

    Before the emergence of David Lloyd George as prime minister and Arthur James Balfour as foreign secretary in December 1916, the Liberal Herbert Asquith government had viewed a Jewish entity in Palestine as detrimental to British strategic aims in the Middle East. Lloyd George and his Tory supporters, however, saw British control over Palestine as much more attractive than the proposed British-French condominium. Since the time of the Sykes-Picot Agreement, Palestine had taken on increased strategic importance because of its proximity to the Suez Canal, where the British garrison had increased to 300,000 men, and because of a planned British attack on Ottoman Syria originating from Egypt. Lloyd George was determined, as early as March 1917, that Palestine should become British and that he would rely on its conquest by British troops to obtain the abrogation of the Sykes-Picot Agreement.

    In the new British strategic thinking, the Zionists appeared as a potential ally capable of safeguarding British imperial interests in the region. Furthermore, as British war prospects dimmed throughout 1917, the War Cabinet calculated that supporting a Jewish entity in Palestine would mobilize America’s influential Jewish community to support United States intervention in the war and sway the large number of Jewish Bolsheviks who participated in the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution to keep Russia in the war. Fears were also voiced in the Foreign Office that if Britain did not come out in favor of a Jewish entity in Palestine the Germans would preempt them. Finally, both Lloyd George and Balfour were devout Christians who attached great religious significance to the proposed reinstatement of the Jews in their ancient homeland.

    The negotiations for a Jewish entity were carried out by Chiam Weizmann, who greatly impressed Balfour and maintained important links with the British media. In support of the Zionist cause, his protracted and skillful negotiations with the Foreign Office were climaxed on November 2, 1917, by the letter from the foreign secretary to Lord Rothschild, which became known as the Balfour Declaration. This document declared the British government’s “sympathy with Jewish Zionist aspirations,” viewed with favor “the establishment in Palestine of a National Home for the Jewish People,” and announced an intent to facilitate the achievement of this objective. The letter added the provision of “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.”

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