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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.

  • Kathy Abourezk

    Your introduction to this story is very misleading. Israeli soldiers routinely make so-called “mistakes” when it comes to Palestinian children. Frankly, the number of their so-called “mistakes” paints a very different picture indeed and when one views these numbers the reality hits that there is no way all the deaths of these innocents can be mistakes.

    Next, to suggest that the mistake of a Palestinian child’s death would make even a blip on the news is insulting. A Palestinian child’s life is not worthy of such attention because such attention would surly reveal the truth that all these deaths were indeed no “mistake” but are rather the result of calculated modern day ethnic cleansing.

    Ahmed Khatib’s death is indeed tragic, but your portrayal of his death is nothing short of a travesty. I applaud the Khatib’s and my heart goes out to them.

  • Eleanor Cusick

    I was sorry to read Kathy Abourezk’s comment on the written introduction above concerning the film. I doubt this film was made to intensify the hatred regarding the never ending fighting, shootings on the Israeli side and suicide murders on the Palestinian side. I think it was made to show that a Palestinian father gave life to other children in the area, including a Jewish child, by donating his son’s organs. Perhaps this is one Palestinian father who would like to live in peace no matter who the ruler of the small strip of land is. Grown-ups have made it impossible for a small child to play with a toy gun out in the street–this is the work of the adult world and the result was the death of a small boy. Three children got to live because one boy was killed. One of the children was Jewish. I say to Ms. Abourezk that she should not worry because the way it continues to go over there in the middle east, the Jewish child will no doubt grow up to one day get shot at by a Palestinian. Nobody plays nice in the sandbox that is he middle east. It’s really time to stop listening to all your leaders on both sides and put down the guns, let the hatred stop, and let children be born to grow up and die in bed when they are old. No piece of land is worth fighting for till the end of time. People on both sides just want to live. Isn’t amazing that in America Jews and Muslims can live side by side in total peace? What if all your leaders said “shoot” but none of you did? What would they do then? They’d be stumped and you and yours would be alive. Oh, I forgot, that’s too simple. Let’s continue the way it is and watch thousands more die over the next 60 years. That’s a good way to make worthwhile the Palestinian father’s generous donation of his dead son’s organs. Prove to him he let his dead child be cut up and dissected for naught.

  • Kathy Abourezk

    Ms Cusick, your disappointment is understandable as is my disappointment in the fact that the truth about Palestinian children deaths is not being made public. Perhaps these figures and facts will cushion your disappointment over my comments:

    The Impact of the Conflict
    on Children
    123 Israeli children have been killed by Palestinians and 1,487 Palestinian children have been killed by Israelis since September 29, 2000.

    Chart showing that about 12 times more Palestinian children have been killed than Israeli children.
    Click chart to enlarge. Source: Remember These Children.

    “The majority of these [Palestinian] children were killed and injured while going about normal daily activities, such as going to school, playing, shopping, or simply being in their homes. Sixty-four percent of children killed during the first six months of 2003 died as a result of Israeli air and ground attacks, or from indiscriminate fire from Israeli soldiers.”

    - Catherine Cook

    Source: Remember These Children, a coalition of groups calling for an end to the killing of children and a fair resolution of the conflict, reports that 1,056 Palestinian children and 123 Israeli children were killed between Sep 29, 2000 and early December 2008. (View the complete list of the victims, which was last updated on February 3, 2009.) The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs reports that at least 431 Palestinian children (and no Israeli children) were killed during Israel’s Dec 27, 2008 – Jan 18, 2009 assault on the Gaza strip. This number does not include any killings of Palestinian children in the West Bank, which may have taken place since the beginning of 2009.

  • Sims

    Really looking forward to this. We tend to only hear about the mistrust between groups in the middle east and overlook some narritives that exists where people on both side are working hard to bring humanity back together.

  • mike

    The Impact of the Conflict
    on Children
    123 Israeli children have been killed by Palestinians and 1,487 Palestinian children have been killed by Israelis since September 29, 2000.

    qft, plus the US is paying for this, Israel is the largest recipient of military spending in the world

  • sukarno Soh

    It breaks my heart everytime I read such stories. Why can’t there be peace for the sake of future generations.

  • inquiringmind

    It seems that there’s not much to say when the numbers to the talking. Thank you Kathy and Mike – yes, the US is paying for the slaughter and are using Israel as their foot soldier in the middle east. I’m looking forward to seeing this film.. thanks PBS for airing.

  • wanda

    No question about the numbers or the toll on kids. However I agree with Sims — any thing which features a story of individuals & groups trying to relate across these terrible divides is important. And having it on national TV is great! This is as much a “war” of images as anything else, and we need a lot more media showing the many efforts in the Middle East and elsewhere to generate tolerance.

  • Chuck Renaud

    Israel is turning into a 21st Century version of South Africa under apartheid. These “mistakes” by Israeli Solders is a constant and horrific. The continued support of the USA is despicable. The generosity of Ahmed’s parents show what “chosen people” should rise to.

  • Simon Weiner

    I feel so sad for Kathy Abourezk – she is obviously seething with the hatred that has poisoned many generations of Palestinians and Arabs – face it – if their leaders would put their energy into peace – democracy – education – they too could have a normal life – not this life full of hate, revenge and the 1000 year grudge. Such a pity -

  • Audrey

    This is a hit piece on the Israelis. These ‘Palestinians’ have been infected for years by hatred for the Jewish people (primarily by leaders like the late Yasser Arafat). The ‘Palestinian’ ‘leaders’ are to blame, as well as the Arab world for their situation. Their ‘brethren’ have an over-abundance of land but refuse to share it with them.

    And your ‘coverage’ of the situation is biased against the tiny Jewish State…it’s a propaganda piece…nice job of equity…

  • red sea rose

    The Wide Angle version of Heart Of Jenin is not the same as the film I saw in December ‘08 at the Dubai International Film Festival. It’s worth your while to find the original cut as the American version is missing a lot of content. Also, there is no voiceover in the original, perhaps because everyone but Americans has a basic grasp of the conflict.

    The American film had been gutted, sanitized and simplified. What a shame!

  • Mona

    While I see the points that are made. This story has NOTHING to do with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. It is about a father who lost a son and needs a connection to those who have the pieces! It isn’t the people who created the hate, it is all of their “leaders”.

    The same story is told here in the USA, maybe not death from a soldier, but many children die everyday at the hands of guns, gangs, drinking and driving.
    War or no war, this story is about a father who set out mission to find his son in these three children…

  • Haiba

    What amazes me here is that the journalist was streching hard at the end with Aron Brown to rationalise the unbelievable extremism and ungratefulness of the Orthodox jew whose daughter has received the organ and his one-sidedness is obvious when He said “palestinians killed by the Israeli army and Israelis killed by Palestinians terrorists”. Gideon, U are worse than the Orthodox!

  • JGarbuz

    All those who have never actually lived and worked there have so much to say. I lived in Israel for ten years in the 1980s, and worked outside of Sderot, a town of 20,000 Jews whose parents left or were pushed out of the Arab countries after 1948. But this fact is never mentioned. My ex-mother in law personally delivered 10,000 Bedouin babies in Beersheba, but no “Wide Angle@ documentary about her. Before the first intifada in 1988, my ex-father in law would bring his car in to be repaired in Gaza all the time. Gazan day laborers and workers came to Israel work every day, and many got a quite decent salary. It was the first intifada that really changed things for the worse. There’s acts of kindness, as well as tragedies on both sides. Two different peoples cannot claim one postage-sized country and expect a love fest. Where the American “INdians?” When do they get a state? Plenty of room in the US. It’s not tiny Israel.

  • Chet Roman

    The documentary starts with a Zionist lie: the West Bank is “disputed” territory. The international community recognizes the West Bank as “occupied” territory, only Zionists call it “disputed”.

    It’s a shame that you begin what seems to be a heartwarming story that crosses political boundaries with Israeli propaganda. Even the map of Israel seemed to include the West Bank.

  • CTC

    It is a touching story. But, the story would not be there to tell without the unnecessary murder of an innocent child. Israel created the intifadas. Israel created Hamas. Israel’s state sponsored terrorism bulldozed that neighborhood in Jenin. Perhaps, it was not given enough time to be registered in the minds of the viewers. It’s a common occurence in the history of the Israel. Along with bulldozing orchards and polluting wells. Destroying livlihoods, homes, and hope. In a perfect world Zionism would not exist, and all lands would still be in the hands of the people born on them. Since this is not possible, the Israelis should retreat behind the Green Line. All incentives for emigration should cease. In the meantime, the IAEA should send teams in to dismantle Israel’s nuclear missiles in the Negev. I don’t know how Israel can be seen as a foot soldier. What wars have Israelis fought in besides their own aggressions against their neighbors. Zionists hold positions of power in our government and media.

  • Rena

    This story is told in an incredibly slanted way against Israel and is full of historical errors. Although the Palestinian father is an incredibly generous and kind man, and the Orthodox Jewish father is a real jerk, that doesn’t mean that one can extrapolate that into the story of the Israelis and the Palestinians. Palestine was divided and the Arabs were given land-it’s now called Jordan. They were also offered more than half of the rest of Palestine, but rejected it and instead chose to attack the one day old Jewish state. Israel has been attacked with help from outside (Syria and Iran)and within-from the Palestinians in the West Bank, and now, in Gaza, where Israel withdrew of its own accord. The so called “occupied lands” were only “occupied” because yet again, Israel was attacked and had to defend herself. In doing so, Israel gained the land she was attacked from.

    In the documentary, the journalist from the Economist (no surprise there; the Economist is notoriously anti-Israel) says that Palestinians have been identifying themselves as such since the 19th century. That is false. They were just tribes living under Ottoman rule, and didn’t start calling themselves “Palestinians” until 1967. Jews have always called Israel home.

  • Pablo

    All you have to do is look at a map and see the expansion of Jewish settlements on land that belonged to Palestinians. People in the States get pissed about hispanics coming into this country. Think long and hard and be honest. If Mexicans did to Americans what Israelis do to Palestinians, there would be lakes of blood as the outcome. JGarbuz is right. Like what happened to the American Indians and otheres, history is filled with things like this. It’ll probably keep on happening. Makes one feel hopeless. I for one, am angered by the reporting on these issues and how one sided it is. For those who would respond that I’m anti this or that. Get real, it’s simple. One group is taking land from another group by force. Brute force. Brutal force. You can try to rationalize and sugarcoat it all you want but the core is rotten. Truth is truth.

  • Melody Smith

    I was impressed with the father of this Ahmed Khatib. I felt so bad about the limited gift of backpacks — is there any way that we could send school supplies as a donation in the name of the son who died? Since 9/11, it has been hard to send donations to such causes because of a few organizations mismanaging funds. Why punish the children because of the illegal dealings of a few organization leaders?

    And I didn’t see Kathy Abourezk’s comments as offensive — she is simply pointing out some statistics most of us ignore. I will say that I did see the Orthodox Jewish dad, Mr. Levinson, DID move a tiny bit. He is a pretty rigid guy, just like many other strict religioius folks.

    Did I miss something or did we never get to know what was in the present from the Levinsons?

  • bill ramsdell

    So thought provoking. Only PBS could do this type of documentary. I am so delighted to see Aaron Brown again. I have missed his thoughtful approach to the news and commentary.

  • Doron L

    The story of a Palestinian child whose organs saved three Israeli children – one Druze, one Beduin, and one Jewish, ought to have been heartwarming.

    Instead it was turned into subtle anti-Israel propaganda. We were told that the West Bank was occupied by Israel in the 1967 war, but not that the war was instigated by Egypt’s President Nasser, as a promise to destroy Israel.

    There was not a mention that the transplants into all three children (two Muslim, one Jewish) were done in Israeli hospitals – indeed, there was no attempt to present anything showing Israeli Jews in a positive light in the whole documentary. Instead every attempt was made to focus on Jewish racism.

    The journalist at the end, Gideon Lichfield, pretended to be even-handed, but instead presented a pro-Palestinian perspective. He talked of Israeli governments being unable to make bold strokes: when has a Palestinian leader ever made compromises on any concrete issue?

    When will Wide Angle ever tell the other side?

    (1) The bottom line remains the same as when the Arab world rejected a two-state solution, and invaded Israel in 1948: Arab refusal to accept Jewish self determination in any shape or form: Jews may only be dhimmis in the Middle East.

    (2) Of the Jewish refugees from Arab lands, whose descendants make up half of Israel’s populace? When will you compare how Israel uplifted Jews expelled from Arab countries, while Arab regimes continue to manipulate descendants of Arab refugees?

    (3) Of the intense anti-Jewish incitement that is everywhere prevalent in Palestinian schools and media, and in the broader Arab world?

    (4) That if the Dalai Lama was Israel’s Prime Minister, there were no Jews on the West Bank, and Israel consisted of just Tel-Aviv, there would still be no peace, because the Arab world does not want it.

    (5) Israeli withdrawals such as in Gaza, have led only to more attacks, and more extremism.

    (6) Israel is a tiny country, surrounded by hostile countries many times her size.

  • Andrew

    I missed the screening tonight, but will catch it next week, when it is on at 3AM.
    But I have to agree with “red sea rose”. I saw this film at the Toronto International Film Festival, and it was 90 rivetting minutes long. You didn’t want it to end.
    I don’t know how they could edit this film down to 45 or so minutes. (the ending commentary of this show, is not part of the film)
    I’ll tune in to watch this, but i will also be looking for the original cut.
    Well worth seeing in its entirety.


  • Aaron

    I agree with Mona completely- this movie wasn’t about the conflict at all. It’s sad to me that people are so ready to hate that they will seize on a story like this, that happens to take place in a conflict zone, and occurred because of that conflict, and use it as a platform for their own political agenda. I think your hearts are in the right place, people, but if you moderate yourselves, and try to see the other sides’ story, as is mentioned in the movie, you might come closer to finding a solution. I also agree with JGarbuz- it seems that most of the extremists who shout the loudest have the least to do personally with the conflict at all. Having lived in Israel myself and worked alongside Jews and Arabs, I can attest to the fact that the great majority of the people most closely affected by this conflict are very pragmatic and even-handed about it, way more so than most Americans and Europeans, who’ve never been to the region, are. When you’re there you forget your past perceptions and see that life is taking place all around you, that nothing is black and white, and everything has nuance. These people who have never experienced life in Israel or Palestine first hand, but have such strong opinions about it, tend to dehumanize both sides in forwarding their agendas. One side becomes angels and the other devils. That isn’t fair to anyone, and ultimately does more harm than good. Humans are so complex, and I think that is what this movie is about.

  • abbie

    Huh? Rena, you need to go back to school and retake history. This is NOT how it happened. How sad that you tell this story. I am Jewish (I also have a Masters degree in Middle Eastern history), and I applaud this story. My heart goes out to all of the families on each side. I wish for peace for all. This story is about a father’s unselfishness. My heart goes out to Ahmed Khatib’s family. His mother and father are very special people. I am glad that I was able to watch this touching story.

  • Pablo

    Where did these people go? How come nobody reports on this? I’d like to be enlightened.

  • william pierce

    Zionism is a carbon copy of Nazism in method and methodology. Nazi’s ethnically cleans Jews first through financial strain, then concentration camps and finally death camps. Zionist began this colony with the slaughter of 500 Christians and Muslim towns beginning with Dar Yasin on April 7th, 1947. The Jewish foreigners had as much right to do this as Mexicans would have if they did this in Texas tomorrow. They did it to make Jews the majority. Since then, they have used financial strains to continue this injustice. The Apartheid Wall turned 700 Christian and Muslim (Gentile) towns and cities into concentration camps and Gaza into a 1.5 million Gentile death camp. To deny this Holocaust is participation in it.

  • william pierce

    What is the difference between ethnically cleansing Palestinian Christians and Muslims from Palestine to make it a Jewish majority state and what the Nazi’s did.

  • Aaron

    Pablo, that’s some fine propaganda you’ve found there: “Ethnically cleansed Jaffa”? Ever been to Jaffa, Pablo? It’s pretty much a completely Arab city. What are you trying to prove with this link, anyhow, despite it’s fallacies? Anyone who has done any research and has a brain knows that both sides have committed atrocities: that’s what happens in a conflict.

  • Jgarbuz

    The thing that has to be understood is, that this has been so far a nearly 100 year war. It didn’t begin in 1967 or even 1948. It goes back to at least 1920, and even back to the 1880s. There are a lot of memories and a very different recollection and narratives on each side of the divide. But one thing that remains constant: each side believe that it is completely right, and each can “prove” it. The one thing I am also equally sure of is that the Jewish side has tended to be more forthcoming with compromises throughout the history of the conflict, whereas the Arab side – this poignant little human interest story notwitstanding – has tended to be uncomprimising and tended towards violence, which has always led to a very strong reaction from the Israeli side. Only when the Arab side has felt weak has it used the “victimhood” angle. But when it has felt strong, it has been blood-curdling in its use of invective, threats and violence. And this “kiss one day, kill the next” history on the Arab side has made Israeli Jews extremely sceptical and wary of it. It’s not racism; it is fear. Now the Arabs are cowed by Israel’s strength, and so they appeal to the crowd as the poor underdogs. The instant they think they have the upper hand for a moment, they will revert back to the bravado, threats and overt violence. Unfortunately, that is the way it has been, and I just hope the tiger can change his stripes. Churchill used to say about the Germans, that they are either at your throat or at your feet. Alas, I believe that is a characterization of historical Arab behavior.

  • Pablo

    Aaron, read my comment! PLEASE report on these things. One finds all kinds of “hidden history”. Put daylight on it so ‘regular’ people can find out what is truth and what isn’t. The point is anybody who sees these images *should* develop questions immediately. Questions that need answers. That’s why I’m so skeptical of the reporting I see. It feels like somethings are hidden from me. And I don’t like this. Yes, both sides commit atrocities as I’ve already said; it happens throughout history. But that can be found with simple common sense. But since I bring up the reporting that usually feels one sided, I ask to have stuff like this explained and reported. I’m tired of fluff pieces that the usual ‘news’ gives us and the oft-repeated liners.

  • Pablo

    Aaron, btw, you used a perfect word. Propoganda. Yes, it’s ALL propaganda.

  • Aaron

    Pablo, there are plenty of books out there written by people who claim they are reporting the facts, and if you’re really interested, then it’s your responsibility to read through them and, based on your wisdom and intelligence, decide who is telling the whole story, and who has an ideological axe to grind. After reading enough accounts of this conflict, and encountering a lot of the same information over and over again, you get to have a feel for it. I would also add that, when it comes to the Israeli-Palestinian/Arab conflict, very often a person’s prejudices can unduly influence their reading of the situation, much more so than with other conflicts. It’s always a challenge but please try to question your own truths as you investigate, whatever they are.

  • Aaron

    Also, if you’ve got the time and money, take a trip there. See it for yourself. Have and open mind, and, as I suggested already, question your truths.

  • Pablo

    Aaron, thank you for the civilized response. But what you say is disheartening. I’m a software developer. I spend most of my time either trying to be an involved father or trying to keep up with the ever changing computer world. I don’t have the time to dedicate to this as you seem to allude to. It’d be a wonderful world if I did have that kind of time. But that leads me to a point. I can’t expect myself and other ‘regular joes’ to find the time needed to understand such a complex issue just as I don’t expect my users to fully understand a linux computer. I rely on reporters to do much of the ‘heavy lifting’ sort-of-speak just as my customers expect me… well, you get the point. I have questions and don’t have the time to research the answers and I look around me and see many people that don’t even have the questions I do. They get their 30 minutes of news from TV and accept it as all that’s happening in the world and nothing more.

  • Yara

    Dear people
    I don’t write as an Israeli, I write to you as a human being. We, all of us, are looking at numbers, groups, dates, blaming, patronizing – our heart is in war.
    when I saw the show tonight. I saw a father who lost his son. I felt his pain, his agony, hoping that the heart he gave would continue living with the little girl. Please. This is the story. And this is a lesson, for two fathers who come from two different sides of a conflict.
    Khatib- Thank you for showing another way to me, to us, to everyone. I hope peace will be part of our co-existence, and whenever I will be tempted to be walking with a heart in war, I will remember you and so many other brave people from both sides whose stories we rarely hear.

  • leroy

    Here is an example why iseral and palestine (as a matter of fact, the entire world) should live in peace. only good could come from good. that father is a GOOD MAN: see how many lives he affected by doing a good thing (in spite of his pain?)he is a MAN at peace with himself. imagine a whole nation, a whole world – at peace with itself. how much more good will we benefit? why is the human heart so dumb that we so often seek to be distructive to one another? are we a really civilized world? have we not learned from our own history as a human race? this is another example set before us, but it will be ignored again as so many other signs GOD has shown us. we will be the source/cause of our own distruction because we’ve closed our eyes and hardened our hearts to GOD’S teachings.

  • Jgarbuz

    There’s an old saying, “Liars figure, but figures don’t lie.” The number of Jews living in Arab and Muslim countries before 1948 was approximately 1 million. The number of Jews who live in Arab and Muslim countries today is less than 50,000. A drop of 95%. The number of Palestinian ARabs who lived in Mandatory Palestine in 1947 was about 1.2 million. The number living in the same region today (Israel, West Bank and Gaza) is about 5.5 million. And another 5 million live in Jordan and countries. So, if one goes purely by the numbers, who was “ethnically cleansed” out of where?

  • M. Goldstein

    This is a response to the comments above:
    I don’t know where you get your facts about the victims of this conflict on either side. Everyone can put up a website with an official sounding name, and make accusations that look like facts. Arab refugee kids are trained from childhood to hate & fight the infidels to death (like other extreme Muslims sects).
    These Arab refugee (who started calling themselves Palestinians in 1967) are unfortunately used as pawns by Arab governments. When Jews were persecuted in Arab countries (especially after Israel was declared a state by the UN) and had to flee to Israel without any of their possessions, their government helped them with the little resources they had in 1948. Arab governments, in contrast, did not extend their petro dollars to help their brothers.
    How many of you, story tellers, actually speak Arabic and have witnessed those stories you tell ?
    Sounds to me like those accusing Israel and the US are either people of Arab origin who hate like their relatives in the Middle East, or people who read the first groups blood libels and have a tendency to dig dirt & hate.
    Also, Israel is NOT the largest recipient of military spending in the world – it is Egypt.
    I urge you to suspend your beliefs, long enough to go and visit Israel to get to know its people and get the real facts – then make up your mind!
    Israel is not perfect, but it’s not evil like some would like you to believe.

  • Karla

    I use to be sympathetic with the Israeli cause, but as I grew older, attended collage, starting reading more and more about the conflict, I soon realized that the only reason I had felt this way was a direct result of having been exposed to Zionist propaganda through American mainstream media. I know a lot of people willdisagree with me, but unfortunately it is sad reality. Most Americans, are not provided with enough historical context to even began to understand the conflict (and most don’t really care for that matter), yet when it comes to media coverage, most are presented with a typical western perspective where Israelis (really the Israeli army) are the “innocent” victims of Palestinian tyranny.

  • Heather

    Interesting story. As anyone who has an interest in the Middle East, I have yet to find any story which one side would feel wasn’t slanted against them or for the other side.
    But what caught my attention in this story was something different. If I give a donation of any type, I don’t typically go to the recipient and say, “thank me for my donation.” If thanks were to be given, the organization/person I donated to would come to me.
    Mr. Khatib is an incredible man and strong of heart. To have made these trips twice outside of Jenin, cross checking points (a very difficult task- probably would have been impossible without yellow license plates of family members), to visit children is only reopening his wounds. The parents whose children receieved the donations- had they not attempted to meet with the family? I know it would be difficult and perhaps they did but it was not in the film, but why aren’t all the recipients seeking out the family to thank them and give them an update on the children that Ahmed and his family saved? Mr Khatib is not only a kind hearted man but in my mind a very patient one as well to subject himself to such struggles.

  • Lorenzo

    I am neither Jew nor Muslim and so my perpective of this documentary’s moral was Khatib’s love of his son and how he wanted to have his son’s memory continue honorably. Khabid chose to continue life to those childeren that needed help with the donated organs. I saw the irony of the powerful decision of a common man doing the uncommonly decent thing in allowing the organ donations to save lives. I could see in Khabib’s eyes the love for the childeren that had received his son’s organs. Khabib was looking for a piece of his son in the childeren, even the beautiful Jewish girl. I felt the rigidness in the Jewish father and yet I saw Khatib relinquish his hatred while he planted a seed of peace in the Orthodox Jew’s heart. God’s mercy and love lives in all people that chose to show kindness, especially to our enemy. Khatib’s cousin summed it up that we all have the same blood. We must all believe in humliity and forgiveness in these times of wars and rumors of wars. This is coming from a man that has seen and studied many wars. Grace, peace and mercy.

  • lakshwadeep

    Oh God/Allah/YHWH!

    What makes me even more sad than learning about Ahmed’s death is how many of the posters here have completely relegated his story and his gift of life to obscurity, while going off on their own personal diatribes about the arab-Israeli conflict.

    I really appreciated this film, even if it wasn’t “original” for those who are more active in finding independent films. The story was not about which side in the conflict is superior in terms of justification; instead, the story shows a third door where a Palestinian and Israeli meet and view each other as living, breathing human beings with an intrinsic value to their life. Children really aren’t part of the conflict, yet this film shows how much they are affected by the actions of “adults”. The Druze girl, Samah, said it best when she said that Jews, Muslims, Christians, and Druze lived in peace in her neighborhood. This struck a chord for me since my parents come from Kerala in the SW tip of India, where there is a large percentage of Muslims and Christians (and previously some Jews) relative to Hindus, all living in much more secure peace than in northern Indian/Pakistani areas.

    As for Pablo (and other impassioned debaters), learning more about the conflict is not always going to mean you will find “truth” any more than the person who watches for 30 minutes a day. I have learned from being a biochemistry student that there is like a bell curve graph in the general populace about their understanding of chemistry. One axis is the difference between the person’s perceived and actual understanding of chemical concepts (”hubris”), and on the other axis is the person’s education in the subject. For those who are very uneducated or very educated, they exhibit little “hubris” about their understanding of chemistry (each recognizes their shortcomings/strengths). Those in the middle have a much higher hubris because they know about the possibility of “truths”, but often rely on “half-truths” to guide their application of their understanding of the subject. IMO, this is can happen with discussion of historical and other complicated topics. The plight of the palestinians or the Israelis is not something that can be quickly explained in mathematical certainty, and so it requires a healthy amount of skepticism to wade through our hubris and find what really is going on.

  • Nila Atkins

    I would like to say thank you for depicting the two sides in this story with sensitivity and respect. I can only imgaine how hard it must have been for Ahmed’s parents to donate his organs. But he made the
    unselfish decison to do so, thus saving three other children’s lives.

    I am also glad that the parent’s were all able to meet and put aside whatever differences there may have been.

    There is hope that both sides can live in peace and it gives me hope as well. Thank you for showing programs like this. I hope that you will continue to do so in the future.

  • Judith goldstein

    Amen to M. Goldstein’s comment. Both my children have moved to Jerusalem & I will join them soon. When you spend time in Israel, whatever your religion or background, you feel the unbelievable presence of something that cannot be put into words. “Completeness” is the closest I can come. It’s not easy to live in Israel but it is “alive” in a way that most Americans, in their complacency, could never imagine.

    Blessings to all the unselfish human beings who are capable of great acts of courage
    and dignity. And thanks to Wide Angle for bringing this particular story to public television.

    J. Goldstein

  • Donna

    I was very disappointed in the program Heart of Jenin. It didn’t show the brutality of the Israeli Occupation. It didn’t show the overwhelming numbers of innocent Palestinian children, women and men killed by Israeli soldiers and colonists. I lived in Occupied Palestine, aka Israel from 1981 – 1997 and saw the expansion of the colonies, the continuous confiscation of Palsestinian land, the continuous demoliishing of Palestinian houses. Palestinian life is not values in any way shape or form by the Israeli government.

    Yet I met many Palestinians who welcomed me warmly into their homes. The Palestinian people constantly practice nonviolent direct action resistance to the Israeli Occupation. I was in Gaza Strip 23rd August thru 22nd December 2008. The situation in Gaza was a huge open-air prison, worse than a super max prison in the US.A. No building supplies, very little food and water, totally locked in, before the great massacre occurred.

    The Khatib family are an excellent example of Palestinians. Ismael Khatibhas a humoungous heart. He wants justice for himself and for the children and for all the people of Palestine. I thought he was very respectful to the Jewish man who told him to leave so he could have an easier life. How horrible disrespectful that was. So very typical of Zionists to expect the Palestinians to make all the compromises and sacrifice.

    I cried for the Khatib family, their incredible sacrifice was treated so disrespectfully by the producers.

  • J. Day

    The journalist who was interviewed at the end of the film
    showed his ignorance in his attempted explanation of the
    hypocrisy of the Jewish “religious” father who was willing to
    accept the organ to save his daughter’s life but couldn’t force
    himself to be cordial to the dead child’s father. The journalist
    said that Israel is a much older country than Palestine. I think
    not. The country of Palestine was well-established when Jesus
    of Nazareth was living. I agree with Karla and also the people
    who pointed out that many times more Palestinian children are
    killed than Israeli children. Children!

  • Husker

    M Goldstien I’m not sure where your getting your facts, but Israel is by far the leading for US Foreign Military Financing. In 2006 Israel received $2,257,200,000 from the US. I do agree that Egypt also receives a massive amount of miltary aid from the US which totaled $1,287,000,000 it pales in comparison to Israels financial aid given by US taxpayers. BTW these are the published figures from the Defence Security Cooperation Agency, US Department of Defence.

  • Anton Grambihler

    Israel was created by a terrorist uprising and has never abided by the United Nations resolution which authorized the taking of land from the Palestine People and giving it to the Terrorists. Israel does not have a signed Constitution. In addition this land called Israel illegally invaded its neighbors and illegally occupies this land and continues to destroy Palestine Homes and builds illegal settlements. Israel treats the Palestine People inhumanely and calls them Terrorists when they try to get their land back from the illegal Israeli Invasion. Why has the United States blocked the investigations of possible massacres of the Palestine People by Israel?

    Israel has not signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT or NNPT). Israel has unregulated Nuclear Weapons. The United States provided Israel with missiles to deliver the Israeli Nuclear Bombs. The United States and Israel threaten Iran with sanctions and possible bombings. I wonder why Iran might want Nuclear Bombs. Why is it wrong for North Korea and Iran to maybe supply weapons to the Palestine Freedom fighters trying to get their land back from the illegal Israeli invasion and occupation, while it is considered OK for the United States a member of the NPT to provide missiles to Israel, a non-member of the NPT, for the delivery of Israeli Nuclear bombs?

    Israel Bombed the United States in 1967 and it was covered up. Israel has killed United States Citizens and not been held accountable. Israel has Kidnapped American Citizens and President Obama has not spoken out about it, but he did speak out about recent internal affairs of Iran.

    Why is the United States helping fund the rampant racism which allows the Genocide of the Palestine People and denies their right of return for the creation of a Jewish Homeland? Did the United States learn nothing about what happens when land is taken from one people and given to another? Do they not recall what happened when land was taken from Czechoslovakia and given to the Nazis, and the Genocides committed by the Nazis? How many people must die before this Israeli Genocide is called a Holocaust?

    Where is the News Media that is suppose to keep the Citizens informed?

    If the 100% citizens were informed, do you think they would have supported taking land from the Palestine People and giving it to Terrorists? Do you think that they support funding the continued Racism and Genocide being committed by these Terrorists?

  • Jgarbuz

    After the Ottoman empire was defeated in WWI, there were 700,000 people in what the British called Palestine mostly Muslim Arabs, some Jews and Christians. There were also some 9 million Jews in the world, many of them stateless or in dire circumstances. In 1920 the Council of the League of Nations at the San Remo conferences recognized, decided and ruled that Palestine was historically the “Jewish National Home” and in 1922 gave the Mandate to Britain over Palestine to administer the rebirth of the Jewish National Home and authorized all Jews the legal right to return and resettle “wastelands” and “state lands,” as well as lands purchased from local landowners. From that day in 1920 the war between Jews and Arabs in Palestine began. But the Jews did get the cover of international law to immigrate and begin rebuilding their homeland.

  • Jgarbuz

    To the previous posters, first the giving away of Judah and Samaria to the Arabs, when they already have 21 Arab states covering 3 million square miles, is indeed akin to the Sudetenland issue of 1938 where Neville Chamberlain of Britain tried to appease Hitler with Czech soil that happened to have many ethnic Germans living on it. After WWII, those ethnic Germans were expelled from Czechoslovakia to defeated Germany. The pressure to appease the Arabs by giving away Judah and Samaria to the insatiable Arabs is indeed a blow designed to bring Israel down too.
    As for US aid to Israel, in 1948 the US gave no arms to Israel, and the Jews were lucky to get arms from Czechoslovakia thanks to Stalin, which saved them from collapse and destruction at the hands of the Arab armies. The largest recipients of US aid from 1948-1967 were Turkey and Iran. It was only during the Cold War after Israel had defeated the Soviet-backed Arabs that Israel became a major recipient of US arms, to serve as a bulwark against Soviet inroads. But later on the US began to give as much aid to the Arabs as it does to Israel, and actually sells them more arms in dollar terms. The US sells or gives away $7-$8 billion in US arms annually, of which about $2.5B goes to Israel and the rest ($5B) goes to Arab countries, such as Egypt, the Palestinians, Saudi Arabia and the UAE. In dollar terms the US sells or gives the Arab states about twice as much arms as it does to Israel.

  • Jgarbuz

    Also, regarding the NPT, no one was required to sign the treaty. India, Pakistan and Israel chose not sign the treaty, each for its own reasons. Nations that signed the treaty were either under the US nuclear umbrealla through alliance (which Israel was not), or the Soviet nuclear umbrella, or they had no indigenous technical knowledge or nuclear materiel, and hence signed the treaty in order to get the right to purchase nuclear knowledge and technology in the commercial marketplace. Since the US nuclear program was made up mostly of Jewish scientists in the first instance, Israel already had all the knowledge it needed very early on. When Eisenhower refused to give Ben Gurion a treaty of alliance, Israel and France got together to establish BOTH of their own nuclear programs in the late 1950s. Also, Israel’s Jericho missiles were originally of French design. but have been improved upon. The US has never sold LONG RANGE missiles to ISrael, but only the short range Lance a long time ago. Israel has designed and built its own missiles for very many decades.

  • NSMurphy

    I watched this with rapt attention last night and want to thank the staff of Wide Angle for airing it. While one story like this alone cannot fix the the injustices, suffering, and long-held hostilities of this region, I think it is a profound statement about the power of human connection in the quest for peace and reconciliation. For more remarkable stories that have led to unlikely allegiances in securing peace throughout this and other troubled regions of the world, I would highly recommend the book No Enemy to Conquer: Forgiveness in an Unforgiving World by Michael Henderson.

  • Muriel Forbes

    I am neither Jew nor Arab; yet, I was moved to tears about the trajexdy of this child’s death and the courage of his family to do something great with this boy’s life. It must be our prayers that there is a workable resolution to the issues that divide such great people. As a black person watching the piece, I understood some of the stench and humilation of the people trying to visit the very people that were helped by this brave act. Let us all pray for peace.

  • sandy hickey

    As a donor mom who lost a child who became an organ donor, I sincerely hope the donor family doesn’t see some of these comments. This family gave the ‘gift of life’ – Blessings to all the unselfish human beings who can honor their loved one during such tragic grief but giving to others in need. Organ donation is a beautiful thing.

  • usunar

    It was very interesting yesterday to watch. At one point Jewish father “suggests” the Palestinian father to go abroad (for example to Turkey or other places), and his response was “why does not he go abroad”. I believe this is one of the key points of all disagreement. Israel has been using any excuses to destroy the infrastructure and trying to construct living prison for Palestinians to force them out, but Palestinians are still resisting to survive. Produces were very successful to show the contradiction even by simple way of life. Israelis constructed artificial living place so that they can live “peacefully” while very closeby Israeli soldiers keep bombing to destroy infrastructure. Even they can see dusts of the explosions while they swim and enjoy the sea, everyday life.

    The producer should discuss about these issues at the end of the program, but they preferred to be very neutral of course.

    I hope Palestinians will be free soon.

  • Jgarbuz

    Well, one million Jewish children were killed in WWII, and one of them was my 4 year old half brother. Not even a grave to visit much less organs to donate. And at least 500 Jewish children (some say thousands) could have been saved by evacuation to Palestine, but were blocked by the first Palestinian leader, the Grean Mufti of Jerusalem, who was Hitler’s guest in Berlin during WWII. Be it as it may, 2 million Jews have come from the Arab countries, Europe, Russia, and even Africa, mostly penniless to be resettled in the Jewish state. I don’t see the big deal why if the orthodox Jew suggested to the father from Jenin that he might thing of resettling in another Arab or Muslim country as being such a big deal? There are 21 Arab countries, amongst the 57 Muslims countries! There are no other Jewish countries outside of tiny Israel. There are a quarter million Jewish Israelis who left Israel for the US and other places too. So why is the suggestion that he leave for Turkey or someplace so outrageous? My family was from Poland. They were wiped out, and I live in America today, not in Germany where I was born, nor in Poland where my parents had their roots for 6 centuries. Why is the orthodox Jew portrayed as such an ogre, like Shylock?
    The ARabs don’t want the Jews there. They have fought a 100-years war and have not won. But they demand to be treated like victors. Israel was attacked, and Israel won and had to occupy Judah and Samaria because of terrorism and because it is disputed ancient Hebrew lands. But Netanyahu has offered them a demilitarized state next door if they promise to live in peace alongside Israel. It’s up to the Arabs to decide if they want peace and quiet, or not.

  • Jgarbuz

    To the poster who stated that Palestine was well established when Jesus was still alive, I want to point out that Jesus was a JUDEAN, not an Arab, and one who could undoubtedly speak Hebrew and Aramaic, but probably not Arabic a foreign language only brought in 600 years later with the Arab conquest. And the name “Syria-Palestina” was imposed on the region by the Emperor Hadrian in place of the name Judea over 100 years after Jesus’s execution when the last Jewish revolt by Bar-Kochba was put down in 132AD at a cost of at least 580,000 Jewish lives, according to the Roman historian Cassius Deo. The Talmud claims well over 1 million.

  • Mark Chase

    What is most important here, with “Heart of Jenin”, is not politics or settlement issues; rather peace through understanding. The gift of life, in this case human organs, causes one to appreciate the tender nature of this precious gift. If Palestinians and Israeli’s would stop and appreciate, there would be less time for violence.

    I take no sides here but the gift that Khatib’s son, Ahmed provided, speaks volumes for international goodwill..What a moving story to see love rather then hate. There will probably always be hate, stupidity and ignorance but through one selfless act, we can change one person’s world.

  • Kay L. Rees

    As a mother, I, like the Druze mother whose daughter received Ahmed’s heart, would want to kiss the hand of Ismael Khatib. The reserved attitude of the Jewish father whose daughter received a kidney is totally alien to my sense of parenthood. The documentary did not reveal what the Jewish family’s gift to Mr. Khatib was, but the Druze family showed true gratitude with its contribution of bookbags for the 200 Palestinian school children served by Mr. Khatib’s children’s center. This contribution can never equal Ismael Khatib’s selfless gesture but it, at least, was an actual manifestation of the family’s gratitude on a scale both personal and beyond.

  • D. Israel

    It seems both extremist dislike this film, at least they could finally agree on something.

    I have no idea why anyone would want to live there. What ever happened to worshiping a god and not the ground he walks on? If god created the heaven and the earth, what makes this place any more special? Other than the “promised land”.

    I have yet to ask my Orthodox cousins, since I don’t want to offend them.

  • Guy Gottlieb

    A touching story, to those that take the side that this paints a dismal picture on Israel , you are missing the point. This is not a propaganda film. Rather a heartwarming story of a Man( and his family) who paid the ultimate price( losing their Son) to give life unselfishly to others. My blessings and best wishes to the Khatib Family, they are of amazing Moral strength to have done what they did to save other Children. ( An Israeli)


    My ex-mother in law delivered some 10,000 Bedouin babies in Soroka hospital in Beersheba. There were no hospitals till the Jews came back to Beersheba. The net effect of this film is yet once again to paint the Arab as so good and compassionate, and the Jew so cold and borderline evil. The fact are, the father admitted he was a member of the “resistance” who had done a number of stints in Israeli jails, like the one my ex-wife used be a social worker in (Ayalon, Ramle prison.) Who knows if the operations he had been involved in hadn’t killed Israelis beforehand? Maybe his sudden bout of “compassion” was due to it somehow? The facts are, Jewish-built hospitals employing many Arab doctors and nurses help Arabs every single day of the week, both Israeli-Arab citizens and West Bank and Gaza Arabs. Even terrorists are treated in the Jewish hospitals every day. And even in this little docudrama, most of the recipients were either Arabs or Druze. Only one Jews was involved, but that is where the emphasis was placed. Just another anti-Israel “hit@ piece.

  • jgarbuz

    To D. Israel who wonders why anyone would want to live there. Well, having lived there for ten years, I can assure it’s no easy life. On the other hand, why did Abraham leave his wealthy house to follow God into the desert at all? The stated reason was because God promised him a land, and to make of him nations. Without getting a piece of land as a reward, what reason would Abraham have to leave his comfortable, middle class lifestyle in urban Ur, where his father Terach was a prosperous idol manufacturer and wholesaler? The land was the point! The reward for following God into a rough nomadic desert life into a strange poor land.

  • owldog

    Excellent. This shows how this land should be shared by both people. The conversation afterwards was good too. We need a one-State solution, a secular State where Jews, Palestinians and everybody else can share this land. My favorite part was when the remorseful Jewish man (trying to be helpful) suggests the Palestinian go to Turkey for a job. He remarked to his Uncle wryly in Arabic, “He can go too.”

    It could have been an old rerun of “all in the family”

  • Bette Lee

    I feel very sad that after 60 years of war, occupation, loss and suffering, the same propaganda, ignorance of historical facts and outright lies continue to obscure the reality of what really happened to the Palestinians. In the US, the mainstream media is predominantly pro-Israel, so we are continually exposed to the Israeli narrative, which portrays most Palestinians as “terrorists” who perpetuate the violence and don’t want peace, while they are portrayed as the “peacemakers” and the “victims.”
    I am neither Jewish nor Arab, just a human being who believes in justice and peace. All conflicts, especially this one, occur in historical contexts, but unfortunately it’s often omitted, as in this documentary, “The Heart of Jenin.” And due to our historical ignorance, we don’t realize that central to this conflict is the issue of justice.
    We need to educate ourselves; one valuable resource is a book by Ilan Pappe, “The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine.” Pappe is a renowned Israeli historian who was born in Israel, taught at Haifa University, and is now the Chair in History at the University of Exeter. Based on his research, he describes that in 1948, half of Palestine’s native population, 800,000 people were forcibly removed from their lands and homes by the Zionist Israeli government, and half of its towns and villages were destroyed. Palestinians have been living on their land for hundreds of years – this land did not belong to the Israelis, as many erroneously believe. Many Palestinians were killed by the Israeli army without any cause or provocation. Palestinians call this tragedy the Nakba Pappe calls it a “crime against humanity”) which was condemned by the United Nations. The United Nations passed Resolution 194 which called for the unconditional return of the Palestinian refugees to their homes. To this day, Israel has refused to comply.
    Pappe documents that the policies of the founders/leaders of the Zionists are fundamentally racist. As early as the 1920s, the Zionists already had plans to colonize Palestine, and create a “Jewish state.” They were the early architects of the colonization of Palestine. To this day, the Israelis are still building settlements on land that belongs to the Palestinians. Their actions have been condemned by the world; recently, President Obama requested Netanyahu to stop the building of more settlements on land belonging to the Palestinians, but so far Netanyahu has refused to cooperate. No real peace can occur if the Israelis continue to illegally occupy and build their settlements.
    Although the “Heart of Jenin” focused on the compassion of Ahmed’s father, it did not ask the larger question why so many Palestinian children, like Ahmed, are killed by Israeli soldiers. There is ample documentation by human rights groups as well as the confessions of Israeli soldiers that many of these deaths were not accidental. As we know, an effective strategy is to demonize one’s “enemy” in order to justisy inflicting atrocities on them. A recent example that come to mind are American soldiers trained to view Iraqis as “towelheads,” “sand niggers,” and “terrorists” to justify their torture, as the scandal at Abu Ghraib revealed. Too often, the Palestinians have been depicted as sub-human, or crazy terrorists, and not as people who have real grievances. In reality, they are people who have suffered greatly under Israeli occupation: the daily humiliations and harassment at the draconian check points by Israeli soldiers, the building of the “wall” which separate many Palestinian farmers from their lands, making it impossible for them to tend to their crops and make a living, the harassment of Israeli settlers, the confiscation/destruction of their lands and homes, etc. Yet when the Palestinians rose up to resist, the Israelis claim to be “victims.” I ask you: How can the perpetrators of injustice and atrocities also claim to be the “victim”?
    For any real peace to work in Palestine, we must first address the horrendous injustice that the Palestinians have suffered for over 60 years. There can be no peace without justice.

  • jgarbuz

    In 1920 the League of Nations RULED that Palestine is the Jewish National Home, and authorized Jewish resettlement of Palestine. The 22 Articles of the League of Nations Mandate of 1922 can be “Googled” and downloaded and read. Or just Google “San Remo text 1922.” There is no need to believe anyone; just read the ruling of the League of Nations for yourself.
    There was no secret “plot” to colonize Palestine. It was openly AUTHORIZED by the international community in 1922.

  • jgarbuz

    I believe in the 22-state solution: 21 states for the Arabs, and 1 state for the Jews. Good boundaries make for good neighbors.

  • jgarbuz

    Some Excerpts from the LEague of Nations Mandate (1922)

    “The Mandatory [Britain] shall be responsible for placing the country under such political, administrative and economic conditions as will secure the establishment of the Jewish national home, as laid down in the preamble, and the development of self-governing institutions, and also for safeguarding the civil and religious rights of all the inhabitants of Palestine, irrespective of race and religion.”

    ARTICLE 3.

    “The Mandatory shall, so far as circumstances permit, encourage local autonomy.

    ARTICLE 4.

    “An appropriate Jewish agency shall be recognized as a public body for the purpose of advising and cooperating with the Administration of Palestine in such economic, social and other matters as may affect the establishment of the Jewish national home and the interests of the Jewish population in Palestine, and, subject always to the control of the Administration, to assist and take part in the development of the country.”

    “The Zionist Organization, so long as its organization and constitution are in the opinion of the Mandatory appropriate, shall he recognized as such agency. It shall take steps in consultation with His Britannic Majesty’s Government to secure the cooperation of all Jews who are willing to assist in the establishment of the Jewish national home.”

    ARTICLE 6.

    “The Administration of Palestine [Britain], while ensuring that the rights and position of other sections of the population are not prejudiced, shall facilitate Jewish immigration under suitable conditions and shall encourage, in co-operation with the Jewish agency referred to in Article 4, close settlement by Jews on the land, including State lands and waste lands not required for public purposes.”

  • owldog

    Jesus was called the Nazarene, from Nazareth in the Galilee region. It looks like present day Jenin is about ten miles or so south of Nazareth in what was ancient Galilee, but close enough to ancient Samaria that we could have a very close modern literal version of the “good Samaritan” parable that Christ told. Even then Jews and Samaritans were not known to get along well. That was the irony of the story.

    The point of the parable being: it is NOT how you ethnically identify yourself, your race, your religion, that is important. What God cares about is what is in your heart. That’s what is important.

  • owldog

    Maybe the solution is a United States of Israel, with freedom and justice for all people, regardless of …

  • jgarbuz

    Well, who were the “Samaritans?” The capital of the northern Kingdom of Israel was Samaria (Shomron, in Hebrew. In 722 BC the Assyrians finally destroyed the kingdom and took its 10 tribes into captivitiy and dispersed them well into the then Assyrian empire. The Hebrew population was replaced by people from what is today called Kurdistan. This people brought into displace the 10 lost tribes came to be called “Samaritans” and of course were hated by the Hebrews.
    A few centuries later when the southern kingdom of Judah was then in turn conquered by the Babylonian empire, many of the Jews were taken to Babylon. When the Persians conquered Babylon, Cyrus and Darius allowed many Jews to return to Judah and rebuild the temple. But the Samaritans, like the Palestinians today, made life miserable for the returning Jews. Later in Hasmonean times, many were forcibly converted to Judaism, but were never considered trustworthy, always shifting allegiances back and forth. And so a “good Samaritan,” like a good Palestinian today, is something the Jews are suspicious of. Are they sincere, or is just a trick, a tactic to gain trust? Jews have a 3000 year history and there are good reasons for us be distrustful knowing our ancient history and even being betrayed by so-called “friends” in more recent times.

  • owldog

    RE: jgarbuz Says:


    Thanks for the history lesson, but I think you missed the point. Besides, everybody gets betrayed, mostly by their friends, even more so by “their own kind.” The days of ethnic divisions and parochialism is leaving us.

    Without the “promised land” of that true secular democracy (the first state to give Jews equality) the USA (and other post-WWII secular democracies,) “The Jewish State” would probably be overrun and destroyed by now, were it now for the Jet fighters and other “Iron Wall” hardware. It’s time the proverbial student [Israel] started emulating the master [The USA] and stop romancing the past, it is a form of self-betrayal.

    “The Jewish State” can exist as a small province in the United States of Israel, as the Vatican exists in Italy. The past is in the past, not in the future

  • Anna

    I am Jewish and work for a Jewish charity in New York. I am very critical of Israel, but I don’t talk
    about it at the office, and as far as I know there are
    only a few people who know–much less share–my point of view.

    One of the people who does know is a friend who is mostly progressive but very pro-Israel. I have talked to her very delicately about the subject,
    but until today it was clear that she really wasn’t aware of any side except “they throw rockets at Jews.” Today she came to me and whispered to me that she had watched a program on PBS last night about a Palestinian boy and his heart and now she understood what I have been telling her about Israel. She was very moved by this story and was tearing up as she told me about it. So congrats on a really great piece.

  • owldog

    Jesus’ parable of the good Samaritan:

    “A [Jewish] man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he fell into the hands of robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead with no clothes. A [Jewish] priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, and he passed by on the other side. So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, he too passed by on the other side. But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, took him to an inn and looked after him. The next day he took out two silver coins and gave them to the innkeeper. ‘Look after him,’ he said, ‘and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.’ “Which of these three do you think was a neighbour to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?” The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.” Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.” Luke, chapter 10, verses 25-37

  • Elliot Saint

    I know I will be crucified for this, but the media in this country is staffed by many people of Jewish faith and nobody but nobody can tell you that somehow that doesn’t make it biased against Palestinians. The story is never set straight. The killings of Palestinians is never showed on TV the killings of Palestinian citizens as 3rd rate citizens in their own country is never showed here, ever!

  • Gus Hagelberg

    There is also a website available ( with background information on the movie “Heart of Jenin” and with information about the related project “Cinema Jenin”.

  • Jgarbuz

    Thanks for the history lesson, but I think you missed the point. Besides, everybody gets betrayed, mostly by their friends, even more so by “their own kind.”
    My reply. That is only too true. I lived in Irael for ten years, and guess why I live back here in America. You are right that nobody can do you in like your own kind. Still..

    The days of ethnic divisions and parochialism is leaving us.
    Me: Sounds good. Wish it were true. We could all sing Kumbaya.
    Without the “promised land” of that true secular democracy (the first state to give Jews equality) the USA (and other post-WWII secular democracies,) “The Jewish State” would probably be overrun and destroyed by now, were it now for the Jet fighters and other “Iron Wall” hardware. It’s time the proverbial student [Israel] started emulating the master [The USA] and stop romancing the past, it is a form of self-betrayal.
    Me: Methinks you have VASTLY overexagerrated the role of US aid to Israel in its own defense. IN 1948, it was Stalin that sent Czech arms which saved the Jews from slaughter, and not the US. The US did give humanitarian aid for the refugees. In 1956 and ‘67 it was French jets and British tanks that won the day back then. You really need to get a more intenstive education in the actual US-Israel relationship since 1948. It’s not as “buddy buddy” as the politicians and media have long tried to portray.

    “The Jewish State” can exist as a small province in the United States of Israel, as the Vatican exists in Italy. The past is in the past, not in the future
    Me: You really thinks so, huh? Without the US ISrael is sunk huh? Jeez. we shall kneel or kowtow before the Stars and Stripes like the Muslims do in mosques. I don’t thnk so my friend. Typical American arrogance. Life isn’t as simple as that.

  • Liz

    Well, it was good to see the presenter get so excited about telling this human interest story, and I was deeply moved by the dignity and courage of Ismael Khatib after his son’s death. Now, wouldn’t it be wonderful if the story of Palestine and what is happening there would engender the same amount of interest and get the coverage it deserves instead of the public being subjected to the Israeli narrative that is spewed out almost daily by the mainstream American media. So Ahmed Khatib was killed “accidentally” and the West Bank is “disputed” territory!! The bias against reporting the facts about Palestine in this country is appalling. When Israel barred international media during the onslaught on Gaza, the American media gave carte blanche to Israeli spokespeople as they spun their propaganda with little or no independent verification. Now that their lies have been exposed by Amnesty International, among others, where is the outcry? Where are the programs devoted to the fact that Israel deliberately targeted and killed children? Where are the programs relaying what is happening in Gaza six months after the slaughter has ended and where people are still living in the most dire of circumstances? Where are the programs telling the American public about the effects of the apartheid wall on the West Bank, the water shortages, the deaths and disruptions at checkpoints, the daily humiliations, to name but a few of the injustices that Palestinians suffer at the hands of the Israelis. A great deal has been made of the “historic” speech by President Obama at Cairo. Why on earth would Palestinians have any confidence in what was said since it is just the same story that they have been listening to for years from American presidents? Let’s have action, not rhetoric. However, given the alacrity with which Obama raced to reassure AIPAC on the morning after he secured the Democratic party nomination and the deafening silence on his part during the slaughter in Gaza, I’m not holding my breath. Unfortunately, many more children like Ahmed Khatib will die as this unjust situation, funded by the American taxpayer, is allowed to continue.

  • owldog

    Truth hurts. The right wing wants a “two state solution” because they know it will never happen with ~400,000 orthodox fundamentalist living there – or maybe they want to do to the West Bank, what they did to Gaza, if the “right people” are not elected.

    The ONE-State “solution” really drives them bananas, because they know that’s when their power will diminish – they’ll scream holocaust/nazi/hitler till the cows come home.

    Nonetheless, regardless of what that corrupt self-serving stooge, Abbas says, 2/3rds of the West Bank indigenous Palestinians would prefer to be part of a secular Israel with human rights and priveleges of citizenship for all, regardless of blood or religion.

    It’s progress. You can’t stop it.

  • owldog

    sorry – forgot the reference. That 2/3rds of Palestinians prefering to be a part of a restructured secular Israel is according to a recent poll at Birzeit University, in the West Bank – according to the book “Palestine Inside Out” 2008, Saree Makdisi, p.282

  • owldog

    07/10/2009 :: 09:19:33 PM
    Jgarbuz Says:

    Me: You really thinks so, huh? Without the US ISrael is sunk huh? Jeez. we shall kneel or kowtow before the Stars and Stripes like the Muslims do in mosques. I don’t thnk so my friend. Typical American arrogance. Life isn’t as simple as that.

    I agree. It ain’t so simple. I know about the Czech arms. I read the corrected true version of Israel, “Iron Wall” by Avi Shlaim.

    But there were several more wars, notably 1967, and 1973, where superior American Jets and training made the difference. You can be proud as punch, but Israel has behaved no better than any other cruel arrogant regime in the latter half of 20th century to the present. God is not on her side, unless you think of God like this:

    “The Commander-in-Chief answers him while chasing a fly
    Saying, “Death to all those who would whimper and cry”
    And dropping a bar bell he points to the sky
    Saying, “The sun’s not yellow it’s chicken” -Bob Dylan, Tombstone Blues

  • owldog

    07/10/2009 :: 09:19:33 PM
    Jgarbuz Says:

    …. In 1956 and ‘67 it was French jets and British tanks that won the day back then.

    O.K. This supports the point, as well. Are these not also secular democracies? Don’t forget the U.S. was once like Israel as well, with the native Americans and African Americans. It’s not arrogance, it’s experience. But even when the U.S. wasn’t a true, de facto democracy for all, the U.S. was always, from its inception, the first country in centuries to accord Jews equal treatment, probably because of its ephasis on religious freedom. Historically, European anti-semitism was purely religious, and not based on blood or genetics.

  • Ahmed

    The film shows Israel wants peace and Palestine wants peace. In reality, Israel wants the peace that give Palestinians nothing, and wonder how come they’re not accepting it? What’s important than peace? Justice!

  • Joan

    Asking the Orthodox parents if they’d want their children to have Arab friends showed either ignorance or bias. Like the Amish, the Orthodox don’t want their children mixing with anyone not Orthodox, whether they be Muslims, Christians, or secular Jews. But they worded the question to make it look like they only didn’t want their kids to have Arab friends.

  • mskjs

    Who cares about who did what and when- if anyone is going to truly look at this situation (Israel/Palestine) and look past the American media and find out what is really going on over there, than the bottom line is that Palestinians are severely oppressed….. these people can not even travel outside there own lands, they don’t even have true passports.. but I don’t think this is the forum to discuss this… What should be addressed here is the immense sadness that emulates from this story and the fact that this little boy died and gave life to other children without regard to race/religion …. I found it absolutely sickening when Menuha’s father and mother stated they would not want their children around palestinians because they are bad influences.. meanwhile a palestinian boy gave them the gift of life…truly sad when people can not keep their minds open and evolve, even after something as amazing as what they received… Breaks my heart..

    (fyi- my opening line stating “who cares” was not to diminish anything but I just feel there are so many comments listed here about who caused it or who’s at fault…I’m all for a good debate on this but not here….. BTW: I am a true American but I definitely do NOT support our ongoing support of Israel in regards to this occupation…. )

  • owldog

    RE: 07/12/2009 :: 01:47:28 PM
    Joan Says:


    You cannot compare the peaceful cultural isolation the Amish wish to endure, with the Zionist supremacy of the Orthodox fundamentalist Zionists in Israel.

    The Amish never aspired to embrace an “Iron Wall” military dogma to displace and ethnically cleanse another culture and occupy their land and homes, as a mandate from God. This is what created the modern “Jewish State” as it were.

  • owldog

    07/10/2009 :: 10:24:23 PM
    Liz Says:

    …So Ahmed Khatib was killed “accidentally” and the West Bank is “disputed” territory!! The bias against reporting the facts about Palestine in this country is appalling…


    Let us not forget, even as Obama reminded us, that the Palestinians [but never the Israelis] must always be told (in the American Media) that they must first “renounce violence” before progress can be made…

    While the death ratio of Palestinians killed is many times higher than Israelis killed. In last Gaza conflict, about 100 to 1.

    Silly, isn’t it?

  • Abdallah

    The ADL (Anti-Defamation League) has accused this documentary of being Anti-Semitic!!!!.
    With ignorant people like the ADL and AIPAC there will never be PEACE between the Palestinian and Israel, oh ya: make sure to thank the supporter of such racist organizations.

  • Jay Campbell

    It is obvious from the comments that hatred is alive and well but facts are still being ignored. Those who hate Israel will find any way to demonize them or anyone who says that there has to be a way to peace.
    I notice that no one of these haters mentioned that the Human Shield tactic of terrorists and their supporters automatically cause an increase in deaths of innocents like children. Why dont they question why this has been happening? I suspect because their hatred prevents them from acknowledging the truth – Terrorists (and these refer to Palestinians not to Israelis) jeopardize their own children and women when they use their home as a command post, when they fire rockets surrounded by children, when they walk down the street with rifle in hand and encourage children to surround them and when they use children as weapons carriers. This tactic is sickening. It invites the deaths of innocent for political and propaganda gain. No civilized nation or people has ever in the history of the world, ever used Human Shields like this.
    And Israeli bashers blame Israel for the deaths of innocent children.

  • Jay Campbell

    J. Day’ comments stating that the country of Palestine was well-established when Jesus of Nazareth was living is a fabulous example of either pure ignorance or outright TAQIYYA (the art of deceiving according to the Koran). The Romans called the area Palestina after the ancient Philistines who occupied the area centuries before. These ancient people were not Arabs and were not the forefathers of todays Palestinians. The term “Palestinian” Arabs as an independent people came into existence in 1965 courtesy of Arafat. There was never a Palestinian state, people, government, culture, language or anything that might imply a nation. Jesus walked on the grounds of the Temple on the Temple Mount, events that Arafat and todays many Palestinians deny occurred because that might mean that they acknowledge the Jewish history of the land going back 4,000 years.
    I wish people would educated themselves/and or stop their falsehoods.

  • owldog

    07/14/2009 :: 10:52:32 AM
    Jay Campbell Says:

    “I notice that no one of these haters mentioned that the Human Shield tactic of terrorists and their supporters.”

    “collateral damage” (civilians predictably killed when Israelis strike a target) are not intentional “human sheilds.”

    However, a common practice in the IDF is to force Palestinian Arabs, at gunpoint, to rush into a suspected gunman’s dwelling before the IDF soldiers do. What do you call that?

  • Bob Smith

    I see revisionist history is in full swing on this thread and, no doubt, beyond it. BUT this comment by Jay Campbell really took me by surprise – “The term “Palestinian” Arabs as an independent people came into existence in 1965 courtesy of Arafat. There was never a Palestinian state, people, government, culture, language or anything that might imply a nation.”

    Educate yourself J. Campbell. PALESTINE and the term Palestinians existed soon after the Jews left, in mass exodus, biblical Israel after the Roman occupation. I have documents showing the Ottoman’s empire’s occupation of Palestine with Palestine printed all over them. The British, well before Arafat was even born, called her and her people Palestine and Palestinians. The crusaders referred to her as Palestine-check any reputable history book. I agree people really do need to educate themselves – let’s start with you and please your attempts to cloud the issues are so extreme, desperate and reaching that they merely result in an annoying case of nausea.

  • Akbar Moobin

    The reason there’s no peace in the region is because of **** like Mr. Levinson, who can’t look beyond race or religion! Crazy Muslims want to kill Jews, but I guess one crazy Muslim decided to give his dead son, who was murdered by your army one of his organs to your daughter so she could live!

  • jgarbuz

    To Bob Smith.

    I defy you or anyone else to produce a Turkish Ottoman map with the name “Palestine” in Turkish, Arabic or any other language in it. The fact is, the 400 year Ottoman empire had NO Vilayet or Sanjak called “Palestine.” The name itself was used by the British and other Europeans, along with “Holy Land,” and hence can be found on their maps, but not on any Ottoman Turkish maps. The region itself was administratively divided among a number of Vilayets and Sanjaks by the Ottoman Turks, and remained so until 1918. Between 1918 and 1948, when someone said “Palestinian” they were referring only to Jews living in Mandatory Palestine. In fact the Jewish paper Jerusalem Post used to be called the “Palestine Post.” Only after the Jews began to refer to themselves as Israelis, then the Arab began to identify themselves as Palestinians.

  • jgarbuz

    To Owldog;

    I call it SMART! If the Arabs can use their own people and children as shields, I have no problem with the IDF using them as well.

  • Jim Donnellan

    According to Wikipedia:

    British Mandate of Palestine

    Palestine and Transjordan under the British MandateBetween 1922 and 1948, the term Palestine referred to the portion of the British Mandate of Palestine lying to the west of the Jordan River; that is, all of what is now Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza Strip. During the period of the British Mandate of Palestine, the term “Palestinian” referred to all people residing there, regardless of religion, and those granted citizenship by the Mandatory authorities were granted “Palestinian citizenship”.[7] The term was used without any ethnic connotations. For example, the The Jerusalem Post, an Israeli newspaper, was called The Palestine Post from its founding in 1932 until 1950.

  • Rafi

    It’s amazing how some people can see such an inspiring movie and immediately go about spewing hate to others (in this case, Israel). A sign of a twisted and hateful mind if there ever was one. There are good people at each side of the fence, and there is more than one Israeli (Israeli Jew, there are also Israeli arabs) who donated the organs of his loved ones who were butchered in terror acts to anyone who needed them, including palestinians. To have people who make hateful propaganda out of stories like these is regrettable.

  • Bette Lee

    In response to Jay Campbell’s unsubstantiated charge that Palestinian “terrorists” use women and children as “human shields,” and his self-righteous claim that “No civilized nation or people has ever in the history of the world, ever used Human Shields like this,” he is wrong. According to a Reuters report published July 15 (yesterday), 30 Israeli soldiers, who took part in the recent invasion of Gaza, testified that they were ordered to use Palestinian civilians as human shields by forcing them to enter suspect buildings ahead of the troops. They also charged that hundreds of houses and mosques were destroyed indiscriminately for no military purpose, that the Israeli army fired phosphorus in populated areas, and that their commanders encouraged them to “shoot first and worry later” about civilians. They testified that “whole areas including gardens, olive and orange groves” were destroyed. A soldier was quoted, “We didn’t see a single house that was intact…that was not hit. The entire infrastructure, tracks, fields, roads, was in total ruin.” Their testimonies support similar charges made by Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and UN agencies that “Israeli forces inflicted civilian deaths and destruction on an unjustifiable scale.” Predictably, Israeli politicians and military officials have refuted the charges.

    The testimonies were published by “Breaking the Silence,” an organization of veteran Israeli soldiers, to document and expose the widespread abuse and war crimes inflicted on Palestinian civilians by the Israeli military, including looting and indiscriminate destruction of Palestinian property. The organization has interviewed hundreds of Israeli soldiers in order to hold the Israeli military accountable for its unjustifiable actions. The identities of the soldiers are kept confidential in order to protect them and to encourage them to speak out. Check out their website (google it) and see it for yourselves.

    The soldiers also chose to remain anonymous because they fear being punished by the Israeli army (IDF), which forbids soldiers from speaking to the media. Predictably, the IDF refutes the charges.

  • Jim Donnellan

    Bette Lee, thank you for your post. The reality of Israel’s past and present must be told. It has too long been hidden from view behind a fog of misleading PR from its government and from AIPAC. My fear is that unless the reality is not dealt with soon, it will lead to a backlash of anti-semitism that we have not seen for a long, long time.

    Thanks again for your contribution.

  • jgarbuz

    In war you do shoot first and ask questions later. It is certainly what American and other troops did in its wars. It was Hamas who chose war, not Israel. Those who choose war must take the responsibility for civilian deaths. It was Israel that was attacked by the Arabs in 1948, not the other way around. And throughout the decades since, it has been the Arab state or the terrorist groups they have harbored that have started all the incidents that led to bloodshed. As for antisemitism, like any form of racism, it has existed for many centuries and will always continue to exist. Racists and antisemites don’t need must justification to unleash their biases. Israel has a legal right to exist, going back to the League of Nations’ Mandate, and the later UN General Assembly Partition Plan, and no state or terrorist group has the right to attack and expect to be handled gently in return. Those who attack Israel and expect to be handled with kid’s gloves in return must think that Israel is made up of celestian angels. Israel is a real country that will vigorously defend itself and bring the war to its enemies who refuse to make peace.

  • Jim Donnellan

    Re: first shots

    Henry Siegman, director of the US Middle East Project in New York, is a visiting research professor at SOAS, University of London and is a former national director of the American Jewish Congress and of the Synagogue Council of America seems to hold a different view.

    From a recent article entitled “Israel’s Lies” he notes

    “Western governments and most of the Western media have accepted a number of Israeli claims justifying the military assault on Gaza: that Hamas consistently violated the six-month truce that Israel observed and then refused to extend it; that Israel therefore had no choice but to destroy Hamas’s capacity to launch missiles into Israeli towns; that Hamas is a terrorist organisation, part of a global jihadi network; and that Israel has acted not only in its own defence but on behalf of an international struggle by Western democracies against this network.

    He continues on:

    “Middle East peacemaking has been smothered in deceptive euphemisms, so let me state bluntly that each of these claims is a lie. Israel, not Hamas, violated the truce: Hamas undertook to stop firing rockets into Israel; in return, Israel was to ease its throttlehold on Gaza. In fact, during the truce, it tightened it further. This was confirmed not only by every neutral international observer and NGO on the scene but by Brigadier General (Res.) Shmuel Zakai, a former commander of the IDF’s Gaza Division. In an interview in Ha’aretz on 22 December, he accused Israel’s government of having made a ‘central error’ during the tahdiyeh, the six-month period of relative truce, by failing ‘to take advantage of the calm to improve, rather than markedly worsen, the economic plight of the Palestinians of the Strip . . . When you create a tahdiyeh, and the economic pressure on the Strip continues,’ General Zakai said, ‘it is obvious that Hamas will try to reach an improved tahdiyeh, and that their way to achieve this is resumed Qassam fire . . . You cannot just land blows, leave the Palestinians in Gaza in the economic distress they’re in, and expect that Hamas will just sit around and do nothing.’”

    “The truce, which began in June last year and was due for renewal in December, required both parties to refrain from violent action against the other. Hamas had to cease its rocket assaults and prevent the firing of rockets by other groups such as Islamic Jihad (even Israel’s intelligence agencies acknowledged this had been implemented with surprising effectiveness), and Israel had to put a stop to its targeted assassinations and military incursions. This understanding was seriously violated on 4 November, when the IDF entered Gaza and killed six members of Hamas. Hamas responded by launching Qassam rockets and Grad missiles. Even so, it offered to extend the truce, but only on condition that Israel ended its blockade. Israel refused. It could have met its obligation to protect its citizens by agreeing to ease the blockade, but it didn’t even try.”

    You can find the rest of the article in the London Review of Books, January 2009.

  • Jim Donnellan

    re: jgarbuz’s shoot first perspecitve




    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)

    In short, Zionism was based on a faulty, colonialist world view that the rights of the indigenous inhabitants didn’t matter. The Arabs’ opposition to Zionism wasn’t based on anti-Semitism but rather on a totally reasonable fear of the dispossession of their people.

    One further point: being Jewish ourselves, the position we present here is critical of Zionism but is in no way anti-Semitic. We do not believe that the Jews acted worse than any other group might have acted in their situation. The Zionists (who were a distinct minority of the Jewish people until after WWII) had an understandable desire to establish a place where Jews could be masters of their own fate, given the bleak history of Jewish oppression. Especially as the danger to European Jewry crystalized in the late 1930’s and after, the actions of the Zionists were propelled by real desperation.

    But so were the actions of the Arabs. The mythic “land without people for a people without land” was already home to 700,000 Palestinians in 1919. This is the root of the problem, as we shall see.

  • jgarbuz

    The contention by Arab propagandists and their fellow travellers that it was ALWAYS the intention of the Zionist Jews to steal or “dispossess” the existing non-Jewish inhabitants of their private property is easily disproved. The fact is, that in Tel Aviv alone today (a city built on empty beach sand dunes north of Jaffa starting in 1909) has more Jews living in it than were the total numbers of all Arabs living in all of Mandatory Palestine after WWI. The fact is, that at the turn of the last century, there were only about half a million non-Jewish inhabitants, but their numbers rose rapidly rising to improved health and economic conditions due precisely to the immigration of Jewish capital and people.

    But the intention to create a Jewish-majority homeland was no mystery to anyone. It was openly declared by the Zionist immigrants, and was validated by the Council of the League of Nations which issued the Mandate for the very purpose of creation of such a Jewish National Home. It was no secret plan. It was quite open and became international law with the issuance of the LoN’s Mandate in 1922. However, Eastern Palestine became what is today the Kingdom of Jordan as Jews were not permitted to settle east of the river.

    But it is also true that the British Mandate was rejected by the local Arabs, and in particular it was the Grand Mufti, Haj Amin el Husseini, who began riots and disturbances as soon as the

    As for “land without a people for a people without a land,” that was obviously an exaggerated piece of propaganda, but the simple fact is, that there is no piece of land on earth capable of supporting life that doesn’t have at least SOME people subsisting on it. And I believe that even if Antarctica had been given to the Jews, the penguins would have created a Penguin Liberation Orgnization.

    The fact remains, never in history had the Arabs had an independent state or kingdom in Palestine, nor was Jerusalem ever one of their capitals or seats of one of their caliphates. It’s not even mentioned in the Koran.

    The League of Nations did take into consideration if the 644,000 non-Jewish local people (Arabs are not “indigenous” to Palestine), but also took into consideration the needs of close to 9 million displaced Jews, many of them still not having full basic civil rights in the many host countries they were forced to live in absent a homeland. It was the national rights of 644,000 locals versus millions of Jews displaced from their historic homeland by European and Asian conquerors. I think the decision of the League was just, to return sovereignty over that tiny strip of land to the Jewish nation forced into bitter exile and dispersion.

  • Jim Donnellan

    The perspective on Martin Buber suggests that maybe there are different points of view on this matter. Since he was there, and is widely respected for the integrity he brings to the subject, perhaps his views should be more prominently represented in the current Zionist version of how this conflict came to be:

    Buber was critical of the excessive individualism of capitalist countries and the excessive authoritarianism of communist nations. Buber became a Zionist in 1898, believing that European anti-Semitism made it necessary for Jews to have their own homeland. He soon became disenchanted with Theodore Herzl’s brand of nationalistic political Zionism. Instead, he favored the form of Zionism developed by Ahad Ha’am, based on the fundamental moral and spiritual values of Judaism. Zionism was to be no less than a Jewish path to bring about tikkun olam — redemption of the world– through establishment of truth and justice in all of the institutions and activities of the Jewish settlement in Palestine. In this way Zionism could contribute to human civilization as a whole and avoid self-centered nationalism. Thus, it becomes clear why Buber became an early advocate for Jewish-Arab cooperation. How could the Jewish people establish a state that did not provide justice and security for all of its inhabitants, Jews and non-Jews? He hoped for deep and continuing solidarity of genuine interests between the two peoples. When friction did arise, he wrote that the Arab question would be the moral litmus test of Zionism. In 1921 he proposed a federation of Middle Eastern states to link the Jewish community with its Arab neighbors.

    Buber was still living in Germany in 1925 when a number of his followers in Palestine started an organization called Brit Shalom (A Covenant of Peace). The founders of Brit Shalom based their ideology on Buber’s writings, advocating a democratic bi-national state in which Jews and Arabs would be completely equal. Buber became the leading Zionist leader in Germany in the 1930’s. When Hitler came into power, Buber traveled to different Jewish communities and worked to strengthen the people’s spirits. In 1938 he finally came to Palestine, where he became a professor at the Hebrew University. He and his comrades, including Rabbi Judah Magnes, worked with moderate Arabs to try to forge links between the two peoples. They tried to influence the direction of Zionism, but very unfortunately they never received a fair hearing. Had Buber’s views been taken seriously, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict might have been averted.

    In 1939 Mohandas Gandhi published an article stating that it was wrong and inhumane to impose Jews on the Middle East, which belonged to the Arabs. He wrote that Jews should stay in Europe and do non-violent civil disobedience with Nazis! Buber believed Gandhi was totally off the mark. In a letter to Gandhi he wrote: “We considered it a fundamental point that in this case two vital claims are opposed to each other, two claims of a different nature and a different origin which cannot objectively be pitted against one another and between which no objective decision can be made as to which is just, which unjust. We considered and still consider it our duty to understand and to honor the claim which is opposed to us and to endeavor to reconcile both claims. We could not and cannot renounce the Jewish claim; something even higher than the life of our people is bound up with this land, namely its work, its divine mission. But we have been and are still convinced that it must be possible to find some compromise between this claim and the other, for we love this land and we believe in its future; since such love and such faith are surely present on the other side as well, a union in the common service of the land must be within the range of possibility. Where there is faith and love, a solution may be found even to what appears to be a tragic opposition.”

    Following the war for independence in 1948, Buber told Ben Gurion that he believed that one of the most important priorities of the new state of Israel should be to solve the refugee problem. Ben Gurion refused to listen. Throughout the remainder of his life, Buber worked to defend the civil rights of Israeli Arabs, and he urged Jews and Arabs to engage in genuine dialogue. He continued to try to influence public policy in this arena until his death in 1965.

  • Jim Donnellan

    Buber: on dialogue

    2. On Dialogue
    During the First World War it became clear to me that a process was going on which before then I had only surmised. This was the growing difficulty of genuine dialogue, and most especially of genuine dialogue between people of different kinds and convictions. Direct, frank dialogue is becoming ever more difficult and more rare; the abysses between human beings threaten ever more pitilessly to become unbridgeable. I began to understand at that time . . . that this is the central question for the fate of humanity. Since then I have continually pointed out that the future of our humanity depends upon a rebirth of dialogue. I know three kinds [of dialogue]. There is genuine dialogue — no matter whether spoken or silent — where each of the participants really has in mind the other or others in their present and particular being and turns to them with the intention of establishing a living mutual relation between himself and them. There is technical dialogue, which is prompted solely by the need for objective understanding. And there is monologue disguised as dialogue, [i.e.,] . . . a debate in which the speaker’s thoughts are not expressed in the way in which they existed in the speaker’s mind but instead are so pointed that they may strike home in the sharpest way; [in this monologue/debate disguised as dialogue] the people who are being spoken to are not regarded as being present as persons . . . Now, let us take two societies opposed to one another. Let them sit together and come to a compromise. I do not think that a compromise must be as negative as that compromise we call coexistence. It must be something positive, a kind of cooperation in solving the enormous problems that face humanity today. The way to reach that point would be for the two opposing sides to talk as good merchants. Let them make a list, so to speak, of those interests which are common and those which are antagonistic. If. . . they find that the common interests are really bigger, against all appearances, than the opposing interests, then they must try to reach an understanding to overcome the problems they have in common. . . . I do not see that any of the politicians have ever tried this. I believe, despite all, that the peoples in this hour can enter into dialogue, into a genuine dialogue with one another. In a genuine dialogue each of the partners, even when he stands in opposition to the other, heeds, affirms, and confirms his opponent as an existing other. Only so can conflict certainly not be eliminated from the world, but be humanly arbitrated and led toward its overcoming.

  • jgarbuz

    Every compromise offered to the Arabs, from the Peel Partition Plan of 1937, through the UN Partition Plan of 1947, through the offer of land for peace in 1967, to the offer made by Barak at Camp David in 2000, has been shot down by the Arabs using one excuse or another. The fact is, the Palestinians were never a nation, and the only thing that unites them is their determination to eventually destroy Israel by one means or another. They will never be satisfied with a state NEXT to Israel, but only by the eventual destruction or dissolution of the Jewish state. So I don’t think Israel should concede anything to them ever again, and they must either accept Israeli peace terms, or remain under occupation forever if necessary.

  • jgarbuz

    Where is the Arab Buber or Ghandi or Martin Luther King? The fact is, that violence is ALWAYS the first preference for the Arabs, and they engage in peace talks only when they feel weak in order to buy time. Even Sadat first tried violence in 1973, but when that too failed, finally threw in the towel and went for peace talks knowing he would never get back the Sinai from Israel otherwise.

  • Jim Donnellan

    re: Where is the Arab Buber or Ghandi or Martin Luther King?

    Ask Uri Avnery and Uri Savir: Both can point to specific individuals who were willing to risk life and limb – and did – in the interest of a two state solution and peace. In the case of Avnery, he worked with, in succession, PLO representatives in London (1975-80) and directly with Yasser Arafat in the early eighties and beyond. Two of the three, Said Hammami and Issam Sartawi, perhaps all three, were assassinated for their willingness to enter into dialogue. Avnery himself was almost assassinated outside of his Israel appartment by a knife wielding assailant who missed his heart by four inches. Arafat came out publicly in favor of the two state solution. When Avnery urged Rabin – in the mid 1980’s – to meet with Arafat he refused … emphatically. His reasoning: he knew that such a meeting would lead to a two state solution which from his perspective was unthinkable. Therefore he was unwilling to even consider such a meeting.

    Roughly a decade later he had a change of heart; it cost him his life.

    Uri Savir (Pease First) speaks highly of Abu Ala, his PLO counterpart at Oslo. So highly, that he waxes eloquent about how much this friendship has meant to him and how it has impacted his thinking.

    Arafat was not the goat of Camp David. Reports by those close to the action were not complimentary to Barak. His generous offer came well after the start of the negotiations and was delivered to Clinton. He refused to speak directly to Arafat about anything substantive during the Camp David meetings and was so rude at times that it was embarrassingly awkward for all who witnessed such behavior. While, from the Israeli perspective, his offer did indeed represent a significant step forward; from a Palestinian perspective it was not a proposal but rather a set of talking points that they did indeed pursue. Arafat indicated almost immediately his willingness to pursue Barak’s offer and did so in writing to Clinton. It was Barak who eventually broke off the negotiations because he knew he would lose the election and because he did not trust Arafat. One does not engender trust and good will by not speaking to the other party!

  • Jim Donnellan

    Re: every compromise …

    Perhaps we should look at the problem through the eyes of Ben Gurion, quoted below:

    The Israel Lobby
    By John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt
    London Review of Books
    Vol. 28 No. 6 dated 23 March 2006

    This was well understood by Israel’s early leaders. David Ben-Gurion told Nahum Goldmann, the president of the World Jewish Congress:
    If I were an Arab leader I would never make terms with Israel. That is natural: we have taken their country . . . We come from Israel, but two thousand years ago, and what is that to them? There has been anti-semitism, the Nazis, Hitler, Auschwitz, but was that their fault? They only see one thing: we have come here and stolen their country. Why should they accept that?

    Since then, Israeli leaders have repeatedly sought to deny the Palestinians’ national ambitions. When she was prime minister, Golda Meir famously remarked that ‘there is no such thing as a Palestinian.’ Pressure from extremist violence and Palestinian population growth has forced subsequent Israeli leaders to disengage from the Gaza Strip and consider other territorial compromises, but not even Yitzhak Rabin was willing to offer the Palestinians a viable state. Ehud Barak’s purportedly generous offer at Camp David would have given them only a disarmed set of Bantustans under de facto Israeli control. The tragic history of the Jewish people does not obligate the US to help Israel today no matter what it does.

  • jgarbuz

    First of all, I think Ben Gurion’s statement was misunderstood. If I were an Arab leader, I wouldn’t make peace with Israel either. Why should they? There are 21 Arab states, and 57 Muslim countries, outnumbering Jews by well over 50 to 1. The demographics, and hence time, appears on their side, as they see it. However Ben Gurion did say “We (the Jews) came from Israel” but goes on with “what is that to them?” So there is no burning need to compromise on the Arab side. Nonetheless, Ben Gurion was a socialist, and early on they gained control over the Zionist movement, pushing aside Jabotinsky, Menachem Begin and the nationalists. The socialists and communists always were inherently anti-nationalist “one worlders.” Anyhow, I see more reason to give the Tamils, the Kurds, and even the Lakota Sioux a state than to the so-called “Palestinians” who were never a sovereign people, but nothing more than a collection of diverse tribes and clans, many of them Circassians and Bosnians and others who had been brought into the area over the prior centuries. They were not indigenous peoples like the native American “Indians.” The Singhalese in Sri Lanka finally crushed the 40 year Tamil effort for statehood recently, and it is already forgotten. The so-called “Palestinians” have no interest in a state NEXT to Israel, but only a base from which to eventually takeover Israel. I don’t really see where the “Palestinians” deserve more than a set of Bantustans or reservations, as have the Navajo, Lakota Sioux, and other indigenous nations of North America. However, even Netanyahu has gone so far as to make the most generous offer of a demilitarized state next to Israel, if they choose to live in peace. If not, I don’t see why the occupation can’t continue ad infinitum, just like the occupation of the soil of the Kurds, Tamils and indigenous natives of the Americas.

  • Jim Donnellan

    Your view reflects a stereotype that paints the Arabs as bad and the Israeli’s as good. Such a view reflects the once held beliefs embodied in films about the cowbows and Indians. Way too simplistic.

    Consider Seigman again:

    Israel’s government would like the world to believe that Hamas launched its Qassam rockets because that is what terrorists do and Hamas is a generic terrorist group. In fact, Hamas is no more a ‘terror organisation’ (Israel’s preferred term) than the Zionist movement was during its struggle for a Jewish homeland. In the late 1930s and 1940s, parties within the Zionist movement resorted to terrorist activities for strategic reasons. According to Benny Morris, it was the Irgun that first targeted civilians. He writes in Righteous Victims that an upsurge of Arab terrorism in 1937 ‘triggered a wave of Irgun bombings against Arab crowds and buses, introducing a new dimension to the conflict’. He also documents atrocities committed during the 1948-49 war by the IDF, admitting in a 2004 interview, published in Ha’aretz, that material released by Israel’s Ministry of Defence showed that ‘there were far more Israeli acts of massacre than I had previously thought . . . In the months of April-May 1948, units of the Haganah were given operational orders that stated explicitly that they were to uproot the villagers, expel them, and destroy the villages themselves.’ In a number of Palestinian villages and towns the IDF carried out organised executions of civilians. Asked by Ha’aretz whether he condemned the ethnic cleansing, Morris replied that he did not:
    “A Jewish state would not have come into being without the uprooting of 700,000 Palestinians. Therefore it was necessary to uproot them. There was no choice but to expel that population. It was necessary to cleanse the hinterland and cleanse the border areas and cleanse the main roads. It was necessary to cleanse the villages from which our convoys and our settlements were fired on.”
    In other words, when Jews target and kill innocent civilians to advance their national struggle, they are patriots. When their adversaries do so, they are terrorists.

    Israel’s lies
    London Review of Books v31no2 (29 January 2009) Western governments and most of the Western media have accepted a number of Israeli claims

  • jgarbuz

    I don’t know who Siegman is, and don’t care. The UN General Assembly authorized a JEWISH STATE BEFORE the exodus of Arabs happened, in November 1947. Right after the vote itself right inside the UN chambers, the Arab states openly and loudly stated that they would not accept the results of the vote, and would go to war to destroy the newly-authorized Jewish state. Within days, Arab riots, terror and truck bombings against Jewish establishments began, which then unleashed vigorous retaliatory attacks by Jewish militant groups responding in kind. The two refugee problems – one being of Arabs fleeing the fighting in Palestine, and the other being Jews fleeing the Arab countries – were both caused by the Arab refusal to accede to the UN compromise voted upon in November 1947. Once the Arabs had openly stated they intended to NOT accept the UNGAR 181 and crush the Jews, it became necessary for the Jews to take the high ground and neutralize those Arab villages blocking the way to Jerusalem which had come under attack from those same Arab villages. People can come to whatever conclusions they want, but the facts remain facts. Those facts are: (1) no private property was ever taken from Arab owners during the entire history of pre-state Zionist Jewish settlement, from 1882-November 1947; (2) the Arab leaders rejected all compromise solutions, and always chose violence over compromise; (3) both the League of Nations and the UN authorized Jewish settlement and a Jewish National Home, and finally a Jewish state. The Arabs always opposed any Jewish claims with violence first, and the Jews having to defend themselves. And that can be factually ascertained by anyone choosing to look hard at the facts. And with this, I will bid you adieu. I am not going to exchange any further polemics with you. The facts are plain and speak for themseleves, that the Jewish claim is historical, legal, moral and authorized by two international ruling bodies. My last comment is to say, that the Arab states violated the UN Charter when they formally attacked Israel on May 14th, 1948, and the UN did nothing to stop or condemn the illegal attack on the very state whose existence they had authorized by 2/3rds vote. But the following year, when North Korea attacked the South, the UN sent an army and 38,000 American GIs lost their lives defending South Korean soil.

  • Jim Donnellan

    Some might consider the fact that Henry Siegman was the Executive Director of the American Jewish Congress from 1978-1994 significant.

    The fact that he frequently appeared on Charlie Rose to comment on Israel related topics and contributed to the International Herald Tribune, the Financial Times, the Los Angeles Times, The New York Review of Books, The New York Times and other publications might also be relevant.

    The point is this: he is no slouch and his opinion differs dramatically from yours. What you consider facts are not contextually complete. They leave out cause and effect and stereotypically place the Palestinians in a most negative light. This is the stuff of cowboys and Indians; it wasn’t true then and it is not true now.

  • Jim Donnellan

    One final comment on why the Palestinian exodus occurred:

    Commentary: Embarassing History

    Arnaud de Borchgrave
    United Press International
    August 6, 2007

    Ilan Pappe, an Israeli historian and Haifa University lecturer, whose ninth book is titled “The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine,” documents how Israel was born with lands forcibly seized from its Palestinian inhabitants who had lived there for hundreds of years.

    During the British mandate (1920-1948), Zionist leaders concluded Palestinians, who owned 90 percent of the land (with 5.8 percent owned by Jews), would have to be forcibly expelled to make a Jewish state possible. Pappe quotes David Ben-Gurion, Israel’s first prime minister, addressing the Jewish Agency Executive in June 1938, as saying, “I am for compulsory transfer. I do not see anything immoral in it.”

    Pappe outlines Plan D (Dalet in Hebrew), which followed earlier plans A, B and C, and included forcible expulsion of some 800,000 Palestinians from both urban and rural areas with the objective of creating by any means necessary an exclusive Jewish state without an Arab presence. The methods ranged from a campaign of disinformation — “get out immediately because the Jews are on their way to kill you” — to Jewish militia attacks to terrorize the Palestinians.

    The first Jewish militia attacks, says Pappe, began before the May 1948 end of the British mandate. In December 1947 two villages in the central plain — Deir Ayyub and Beit Affa — were raided, and their panicked Palestinian inhabitants fled. Jewish leaders gave the order to drive out as many Palestinians as possible on March 10, 1948. The terror campaign ended six months later. Pappe writes 531 Palestinian villages were destroyed, and 11 urban neighborhoods in cities were emptied of their Palestinian inhabitants.

    There is no doubt in Pappe’s mind that Plan D “was a clear-cut case of an ethnic cleansing operation, regarded under international law today as a crime against humanity.”

  • jgarbuz

    First of all, regarding this business of “cowboys and indians,” I have considered myself living on “Indian” land since 1956, when Cochise became my TV Apache hero. Second, the AJC was always antizionist and assimilationist, as indeed were most American and German Jews until after WWII. Point 3, it is ludicrous to say that “Palestinians” owned over 90% of the land, when in fact it was 67% desert, wastelands, state lands and Waqf (Muslim trust) lands, and in fact, the League of Nations mandate stipulated that all wastelands and state lands were under Jewish sovereignty, so even if Jews didn’t own one inch of private property in Palestine, the bulk of the country was still part of the Jewish National Home as stipulated in the League of Nations’ Mandate. So regarding actual Jewish land ownership, it is irrelevant because what we are talking about is SOVEREIGNTY not land ownership. For example, if Jews owned 100% of the land in Ireland, it would still be sovereign Irish land. But in fact, when we speak of 7% of the land owned by the Jewish National Fund, or by private Jewish owners, it should be understood that it is 7/33 not 7/100, because only 33% was habitable and cultivable land. So in fact, Jews already actually owned 22% of the habitable and cultivable land. And easily could have bought more, but for the fact that the British put impediments on Arab land sales to Jews, as well as the rise of the Nazis which wiped out Eastern European Jewry, who were the major contributors for the project of land purchases. But the fact is, that not one inch of privately owned land was taken by force, until the Arabs rejected the Partition and the terrorist attacks began. Plan D was a military plan. The Haganah, like all militaries, have various plans. But it came about only after the Arabs rejected all compromises and the UN Partition plan and made it clear they were out to destroy the Jewish national home. The operation may have forced out some 50,000 – 100,000 Arabs, but the vast majority had already fled of their own accord beforehand. It should be recalled that 145,000 Arabs remained and did not flee, mostly in the Galilee and Negev, and today constitute over 1.2 million Arab citizens of Israel. By contrast, only a few thousand Jews, out of 1 million, can still be found in the Arab countries. There are today over 5.4 million Arabs living west of the Jordan river, or nearly 5 times as many as did in 1947. So the Arab population in what was Mandatory Palestine has actually increased by some 400%. An additional 5 million live in Jordan, Lebanon and elsewhere. When you consider that the Jewish population in the Arab countries was reduced by over 95%, yet the Palestinian population in the West Bank, Gaza and Israel is today nearly 5 times as large as it was in 1947, you have to seriously ask, who did the ethnic cleansing?

  • jgarbuz

    You mentioned the American Jewish Congress. In fact, American Jews had next to nothing to do with Zionism in general, and purchasing land in Palestine in particular. Most of the money that went to buying land from the Arabs in the 1920s and ’30s came from average and even poor Polish and Eastern European Jews who every Friday eve just before the sabbath would put a zloty or a few kopecks into a blue box from the Keren Kayemet, or Jewish National Fund. From these pennies, nickels and dimes contributed by millions of Jews who were soon to be slaughtered like sheep within a few years, came the monies to purchase 22% of the habitable land in western Palestine. That land of the JNF is sacred, tribal land, purchased by sweat and blood and farmed by young Jewish pioneers who came to a hostile nearly waterless and treeless land, with no gold, silver, oil or anything of intrinsic value, to farm it and love it and fight for it and die for it. The truth is, most of the Arabs fled very quickly, assured by the Arab state propaganda that they were only going on a brief vacation, and that they would soon be back to loot the properties of the dead Jews who would be overrun by the mighty Arab armies. So, I have NO PITY for the so-called “Palestinians” in the slightest. Most of their suffering have been inflicted by the Arab states who encouraged them to get out of the way, and promised them a quick victory where even the lands purchased by the JEws would be theirs again.
    To me Pappe and Finkelstein and their ilk, are criminal traitors to the blood, sweat and tears by which our tiny homeland was regained in part. I would personally hang them if I could get my hands on them.

  • Jim Donnellan

    You are still leaving out the Palestinian perspective; the picture you paint reflects only one point of view. Until yoy walk a mile in their shoes, you will not be able to understand or solve this problem. No one owns the whole truth. We only see slices of reality. As the poem about the Six Blind men and the elephant suggests, we are all blind. Therefore we must piece together the different perceptions of the problem in order to approximate reality. Our understanding may never be complete, but such a process greatly enhances the prospects for dialogue and maybe in this case peace.

  • jgarbuz

    I lived in Israel for ten years, and worked outside of Sderot, less than a mile from Gaza, and my ex-father used to bring his car to be repaired for half price in Gaza, and my ex-mother in law delivered 10,000 Bedouin babies in Soroka hospital in Beersheba. Gazans routinely used to come into work in Israel daily, and got free health care and reasonably decent wages, certainly higher than they can make in their own territories. So I think I had at least a closer view, though most of it was before the first intifada, which I lived through in Israel, not to mention the Scud attack by Saddam in early 1991.
    Okay, so the Palestinians lost land in 1948. But so did my parents in Poland. So did 1 million Jews from the Arab countries. In addition, most of my family was murdered, whereas the Palestinians left with most of their sizeable families intact. I mean, when you compare the plight of the Palestinians to say the plight of the Tamils in northern Sri Lanka, it pales by comparison. Okay, so they lost land. Big deal. The overwhelming majority of them left of their volition in 1948, and expected to return after an Arab victory over the Jews. Something that unexpectedly didn’t happen. I’ve been prepared to allow them to have a small homeland of their own, provided it is demilitarized and friendly towards Israel, which after all is the victor, not the vanquished. This is the first time in history where the vanquished demand to impose their terms on the victor! It’s absurd and utterly unreasonable, and could never do it without superpower pressure on Israel from the US and others. Nobody set out to exterminate the Arabs in Palestine, or even to dispossess them by force. Even those who toyed with the idea of transfer to Jordan were prepared to buy them land there for them and and pay them to go. My understanding is complete, because I have studied this matter pretty close for most of my 62 years on earth. I’m not claiming Israel’s actions to have been perfect or angelic by any stretch of the imagination, but to demonize it so deeply smacks more of a different agenda than just merely trying to resolve what otherwise would be a minor territorial dispute. Has anyone heard from the Tamils a few weeks after the Singhalese Sri Lankan crushed them and their 40 year struggle for a homeland? It’s already forgotten. But this “Palestinian” thing has been schlepping on for decade after decade after decade, mainly due to a non-stop Arab propaganda war aided and abetted by misguided Jewish leftists who renegade writers who distort history against their own. Peace can only come when the right of the Jewish state is fully recognized and that is up the 56 Muslim countries to decide. Israel cannot make peace in the face of a wall of opposition to its very existence.

  • Jim Donnellan

    Your comments ignore one fundamental reality. This was not a land that belonged to the Zionists to begin with and as a consequence the process of gradually increasing presence with the goal Of a Jewish National Home that excludes the Arabs creates a moral dilemma that in this postcolonial age begs to be addressed. While such behavior as a sordid history quite apart from Israel does not justify its recurrence here, whether the behavior is that of the Israeli government or some other national entity.

    Even those who feel that Israel does not have a right to exist from a moral perspective, do not suggest turning back the clock. What they look for is a more enlightened stance on the part of the Israeli government that seeks to invoke what Martin Buber and others encouraged from the early days of the Zionist presence In the Palestine Mandate. There is was a philosophy of cooperation and reconciliation. They recognized that they were the minority viewpoint and that the dominant view was polar opposite to the one that they advocated.

    There is no whitewashing this reality as AIPAC and others have tried to do. Israel’s behavior does not reflect the best of the Jewish culture. If it did, there would be no argument. It is dominant in every respect in this region. It can leverage its power for good. It has not, except in rare instances.

    You may have seen Avraham Berg’s “The Holocaust Is over, We Must Rise from Its Ashes”.

    In Chapter 4 he makes an interesting reference to Rabbi Morgenstern:

    “One of American Jewry’s most enlightened speakers was Rabbi Julian Morgenstern, who presided over the Hebrew Union College of New York from 1922 to 1947. He was born in St. Francisville, Illinois, in 1881, the year of the worst pogroms in Russia and Ukraine, called “Storms of the Negev.” Those massacres unleashed the enormous waves of immigrants from the Pale to the shores of America, as well as the first emigrations to Israel.

    Not coincidentally, Morgenstern was the son of Jewish immigrants from Germany. One must ask, how did German Jews lay the foundations of American Jewish autonomy when so many of them, my father included, emigrated to the Land of Israel? Similarly, how did the Jews of the Pale lay the foundations of the Jewish state when their majority emigrated to North America? Since then the small divide between the two Jewries — Israeli and American, Eastern and Western European — has deepened.

    Morgenstern was a biblical scholar of the Reform persuasion and his research is a modern critical study. In 1915 he published his controversial thesis, The Foundations of Israel’s History. He believed that the Reform movement’s foremost duty is to reinterpret and rewrite the early history of the people of Israel. In his view, ancient Israel was one nation among other nations and civilizations of the ancient world, not a separatist, isolationist nation, as it is today. Even in the face of fierce resistance from his colleagues in the Reform leadership, his view prevailed and became central to the movement. Morgenstern was both a Jew and an American; a faithful Jew who did not make opportunistic compromises to smooth his way into the bosom of the non-Jewish world, yet he defined himself as an American for all matters. He was unwilling to isolate himself inside the Jewish ghetto of the mind. In his early work, Morgenstern viewed Zionism as an ideology of identity by negation. The Zionist reaction to assimilation, including the retreat to the Middle East, seemed to him an admission of defeat and acceptance of anti-Semitic values. Zionism was escaping Judeophobia instead of repairing Judeophobic societies and the world, so as to prevent future anti-Semitism. It was treason and dereliction of duty, in violation of the universal tenets of Jewish values of identity and inclusion.”

    And while Rabbi Morgenstern changed his views on the issue of a Jewish state, succumbing to the overwhelming impact of the Holocaust, his spirit and the distinctions that he made remain quite powerful and relevant.

  • 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.”

  • jgarbuz

    The Balfour Declaration was merely a statement of British post-war policy in Palestine, and yes it was to gain Jewish influence around the world, particularly in America, and so forth, to assist it in its war effort. Be it as it may, what is far more significant was its adoption by the Council of the League of Nations which made it international law!
    You omitted some information in your post:

    Article 2.
    “The Mandatory shall be responsible for placing the country under such political, administrative and economic conditions as will secure the establishment of the Jewish national home, as laid down in the preamble, and the development of SELF-GOVERNING, and also for safeguarding the civil and religious rights of all the inhabitants of Palestine, irrespective of race and religion. ”

    Article 6.
    “The Administration of Palestine, while ensuring that the rights and position of other sections of the population are not prejudiced, shall FACILITATE Jewish immigration under suitable conditions and shall ENCOURAGE, in co-operation with the Jewish agency referred to in Article 4, close SETTLEMENT by Jews on the land, including State lands and waste lands not required for public purposes. ”

    Please, don’t be like your Arab friends, and do try to tell the WHOLE truth, not half-truths, if I dare say so.

  • Jim Donnellan

    I see the words but I am most interested in how you interpret them. It appears that that is the crux of the problem which the British sought to correct in the White paper.

    RE: Please, don’t be like your Arab friends, and do try to tell the WHOLE truth, not half-truths, if I dare say so.

    I didn’t realize that Martin Buber was Arab

  • jgarbuz

    Yes, you see the words, but don’t care. The Council of the League of Nations was like the UN Security Council today. Britain was not eager for the LoNs, but it was President Wilson of the US who pushed the idea of a League of Nations. The MacDonald White Paper of 1939 was a flagrant violation of the League of Nations Mandate over Palestine which Britain had NO right to unilaterally amend. It intended to make Palestine another Arab state with a Jewish minority. Britain was the ADMINISTRATOR of the Mandate, not the colonial ruler of Palestine. So the Jewish revolt that followed was quite appropriate. Even Churchill after the war condemned the Bevin policy of keeping Palestine closed to Jewish immigration even from the DP camps (one of which I was born in. We were waiting to go to Palestine, but Truman decided to let 50,000 Jews into America from the camps, and we were among them. My uncle was on the Exodus and put into the detention camp in Cyprus.) Anyhow, under the pressure of the Jewish insurgency and US pressure to boot, the Brits finally threw in the towel and withdrew their 100,000 tommies from Palestine.

    As for Buber and all leftist Jewish renegade, I’ve already expressed what I think of them, and what I would do to them. The same thing Ahmadinejad does to his opposition in Teheran.

  • Jim Donnellan

    Why do you ignore the clear statement in the Balfour Declaration upon which the League of Nation position was based? Wilson’s position was in harmony with the spirit of Balfour. As was Buber, Magnes, etc.

    You also fail to address why anyone could or would give/abandon the rights of an indigenous population to another group for political purposes.

    Also, I was asking you to clarify the difference that you saw between the two documents (Balfour and League of Nations) and why that mattered. I’m not sure I understand why you say the MacDonald White Paper was a flagrant violation and why that would justify the behavior of Irgun et al, culminating in its bombing of the King David Hotel in Jerusalem July 22, 1946.

  • jgarbuz

    First of all, the Palestinians are absolutely no more indigenous than the Jews. Even the Canaanites were not indigenous, though Hebrew is the only Canaanite language in existence today. Anyhow, I thought I explained myself very well. I don’t see the point in constant repetitiveness. The Balfour declaration was a British policy statement; the Mandate was League of Nations law. As for the actions of the Jewish insurgencies, I’m not going to rationalize or justify every action taken by the underground groups. Does everyone rationalize the actions of the Mao Mao in Kenya? Violence begets violence. The British violated international law, and so they begot violence in return. And when the Arabs attacked Israel, they got violence in return.

  • Jim Donnellan

    Speaking of violations of international law:

    Israel evicts Palestinians from Jerusalem homes
    By Charly Wegman (AFP) – 11 hours ago
    JERUSALEM — Club-wielding Israeli riot police evicted two Palestinian families from their homes in occupied east Jerusalem on Sunday, defying international protests over Jewish settlement activity in the area.
    Clashes erupted after police moved in at dawn around the homes in the upmarket Arab district of Sheikh Jarrah following an Israeli court decision ordering the eviction of the 53 Palestinians, including 19 minors.
    “I was born in this house and so were my children,” said Maher Hanoun, whose family was evicted along with the neighbouring Ghawi household. “Now we are on the streets. We have become refugees.”
    The Supreme Court ordered the evictions following an appeal by the Nahalat Shimon International settler group which claimed Jewish settlers have title deeds for the properties, despite UN and Palestinian denials.
    Jerusalem authorities have also given permission for the construction of about 20 homes in Sheikh Jarrah, in defiance of global calls for a halt to all settlement activity in occupied east Jerusalem and the West Bank.
    Sheikh Jarrah is one of the most sensitive neighbourhoods closest to the so-called Green Line separating east and west Jerusalem, with the fate of the city one of the thorniest issues in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
    As some settlers carried boxes containing the belongings of the expelled families to a truck, others moved into the houses holding drills, shovels and ladders.
    Police clashed with protesters and detained around 10 people.
    “We are all afraid of being kicked out,” said Amal Kassem, a Sheikh Jarrah resident for more than five decades.
    She said Jewish settlers were holding “fake title deeds” to homes which the Palestinians obtained in line with a deal struck between Jordan and the UN agency for refugees in 1956, when Jordan had jurisdiction over the area.
    Senior Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erakat expressed outrage.
    “Israel is once again showing its utter failure to respect international law,” he told reporters.
    “New settlers from abroad are accommodating themselves and their belongings in the Palestinian houses and 19 newly homeless children will have nowhere to sleep.”
    The evictions also drew strong words from Israel’s closest ally, the United States, which in recent months has placed increasing pressure on the Jewish state to halt settlement construction.
    “The eviction of families and demolition of homes in east Jerusalem is not in keeping with Israeli obligations,” said a senior US diplomat, who described the events as “provocative.”
    “Unilateral actions taken by either party cannot pre-judge the outcome of negotiations and will not be recognised by the international community,” he told AFP, speaking on condition of anonymity.
    The United Nations too condemned the actions.
    “I deplore the totally unacceptable actions by Israel in which Israeli security forces evicted Palestinian refugee families … to allow settlers to take possession of their properties,” said Richard Miron of the UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process.
    The British consulate, which is in Sheikh Jarrah along with several other foreign missions, echoed the view.
    “The Israelis’ claim that the imposition of extremist Jewish settlers into this ancient Arab neighbourhood is a matter for the courts or the municipality is unacceptable,” it said in a statement.
    “These actions are incompatible with the Israeli-professed desire for peace. We urge Israel not to allow the extremists to set the agenda.”
    Israel captured east Jerusalem in the 1967 Six-Day War and later annexed it in a move not recognised by the international community.
    It sees all of Jerusalem as its “eternal, undivided” capital and does not consider construction in east Jerusalem to be settlement activity.
    The Palestinians want to make the east — home to some 200,000 Jewish Israelis and 268,000 Palestinians — the capital of their future state.
    Copyright © 2009 AFP. All rights reserved.

  • Jim Donnellan

    The Zionist mission prejudiced the local population, which is what even the League of Nations charter stipulated against. (”while ensuring that the rights and position of other sections of the population are not prejudiced”)

    I don’t know why you pretend this was not a factor. To deny that there was an indigenous population – and that they had lived there for centuries – boggles the mind.

  • Jim Donnellan

    People in glass houses should not throw stones:

    From the Israeli Law Resource center:

    Israeli Violations of International Law :

    1. ILLEGAL ACQUISITION OF LAND BY FORCE: Israel annexes land occupied by force during 1948 war (lands external to those given by the UN partition plan) (laws & principles violated, international response).
    2. FORBIDDING CIVILIANS THE RIGHT TO RETURN TO THEIR HOMES FOLLOWING THE END OF ARMED CONFLICT: Israeli government enacts laws, and employs its military to keep aproximately 750,000 Palestinian Arab civilians from returning to their homes following the end of fighting both in 1948 and in the occupied territories in 1967. Israel then violates UN resolutions ordering them to respect Palestinian’s right to return to their homes (laws & principles violated, international response).
    3. ILLEGAL POPULATION TRANSFER: Israel settles Israeli citizens in hundreds of Israeli settlements on occupied land not originally given to them in the UN Partition Plan (laws & principles violated, international response).
    5. DESTRUCTION OF HOLY PLACES, AND INTERFERING WITH MINISTERS OF RELIGION PERFORMING THEIR RELIGIOUS DUTIES: Israeli forces have destroyed Muslim holy places, and interfered with the religious work of Muslim Imams (ministers) (laws & principles violated, international response).
    7. ILLEGAL PRACTICE OF COLLECTIVE PUNISHMENT: Israel repeatedly practices collective punishment against Palestinian acts of rebellion wherein an entire community is punished for the actions of a few (laws & principles violated, international response).
    *NOTE: Despite its unfairness to the Palestinian people, the UN Partition Plan itself cannot be listed as a violation of international law because it was adopted by the UN General Assembly according to correct UN procedures. This plan was unfair to the Palestinian people because it gave more than 1/2 of their land (55%) away to a foreign party (the Zionist groups from Europe), who were a minority in the area at the time (16% of the population), and who owned at that time only about 6% of the land, and it was imposed on them against their will.

    ISRAELI STATEHOOD (1948-present)*
    7. ILLEGAL PRACTICE OF COLLECTIVE PUNISHMENT: Israel repeatedly practices collective punishment against Palestinian acts of rebellion wherein an entire community is punished for the actions of a few (laws & principles violated, international response).
    12. PRACTICE OF RACISM: One of the primary purposes that the European Zionist organizations had for starting the State of Israel was to create a Jewish State, where the Jewish people could find sanctuary, control things, and prosper. This understandably has led to the passage of laws which give special favor throughout Israeli society to the Jewish people over all other people, and especially the native Palestinian Arab people. But giving special favor to one group of people above all other groups based on a criteria like what religion they are is, by definition, a form of racism. And, even though the leaders of the Zionist organizations thought such a policy was absolutely necessary to protect the Jewish people, it is still racism – a philosophy and practice which inevitably leads to terrible injustice and conflict (as we have seen throughout the history of Zionism in Palestine), and which thus must be condemned and prevented no matter what (laws & principles violated, international response).
    13. PRACTICE OF APARTHEID: The State of Israel has a formal system of legalized discrimination against Palestinian Arabs which technically fits the official UN definition of Apartheid (laws & principles violated, international response).
    17. VIOLATION OF ARAB FAMILY UNITY: In 2003, the Israeli legislature (Knesset) passed legislation that forbade spouses of Arab-Israeli citizens who are in the occupied territories from joining their families in Israel (with exceptions). The overt rationale is security concerns. The hidden reason for this legislation is to help maintain the Jewish demographic majority (laws & principles violated, international response).
    ISRAELI OCCUPATION (1967-present)*
    8. ILLEGAL MILITARY OCCUPATION: The current Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories is illegal. Military actions and occupations are considered legal only if they are based on self-defense (as Israel claims) or are designed to benefit the native population of the occupied areas, but it is now clear that Israel’s occupation is illegal because Israeli implementation of it clearly is about:
    (1) Acquisition of land into Israel by force, and
    (2) Economic exploitation of the occupied areas via building up de facto Annexation on occupied lands –
    (A) Extensive modification of local laws, and
    (B) Building Israeli settlements on occupied lands (illegal population transfer),
    (C) Building separation barrier not on border but through Palestinian communities displacing over 200,000 Palestinian civilians separating them from their families, work, schools, hospitals, etc.
    (3) Inhumane suppression of rebellion is implemented through –
    (A) Practice of Collective Punishment, and
    (B) Extensive violations of Palestinian Human Rights.
    All 7 of these policy actions are illegal according to international law (see details below), which thus makes the occupation itself illegal. Press HERE for more details and quotes from the law concerning the legality of Israel’s occupation.
    1. ILLEGAL ACQUISITION OF LAND BY FORCE: Israel annexes land taken by force during the 1967 war (East Jerusalem and Golan Heights) (laws & principles violated, international response).
    2. FORBIDDING CIVILIANS THE RIGHT TO RETURN TO THEIR HOMES FOLLOWING THE END OF ARMED CONFLICT: Israeli government enacts laws, and employs its military to keep Palestinian Arab civilians from returning to their homes following the end of fighting in the occupied territories in 1967. Israel then violates UN resolutions ordering them to respect Palestinian’s right to return to their homes (laws & principles violated, international response).
    3. ILLEGAL POPULATION TRANSFER: Israel settles Israeli citizens in hundreds of Israeli settlements on occupied Palestinian land (laws & principles violated, international response).
    4. ILLEGAL MODIFICATION OF LOCAL LAW: Israel radically modifies local law following 1967 occupation beyond what is allowable under international law (violating Palestinian human rights and to the benefit of Israel’s economy and the Israeli settlements on occupied Palestinian lands, and actually creating de facto annexation of much of the occupied territories) (laws & principles violated, international response).
    6. ILLEGAL DE FACTO ANNEXATION: Israel creates de facto annexation of much of Palestinian territories occupied during 1967 war (as it radically alters local laws in order to apply Israeli law to the Israeli settlements on occupied Palestinian lands, and in violation of Palestinian rights of self-determination largely to the benefit of the Israeli economy) (laws & principles violated, international response).
    7. ILLEGAL PRACTICE OF COLLECTIVE PUNISHMENT: Israel repeatedly practices collective punishment against Palestinian acts of rebellion wherein an entire community is punished for the actions of a few (laws & principles violated, international response).
    9. VIOLATIONS OF RIGHT TO SELF-DETERMINATION: Israel significantly violates the inalienable rights of self-determination of the Palestinian people (when it expropriated significant amounts of Palestinian land from Palestinians to build Israeli settlements, separation barriers, highways, and other structures which benefit Israeli citizens and businesses, but which also severely interfere with Palestinians’ ability to work and do business, go to school, access medical facilities, and visit with members of their own families) (laws & principles violated, international response).
    15. GENOCIDE: Although numbers of massacres and other lethal methodologies have been documented throughout the history of the Zionists and the State of Israel, evidence suggests that the overall intention of the Zionists and the government of Israel was to drive the Palestinian Arab people out of the area rather than to destroy them as is required by the definition of Genocide. On the other hand, there is some evidence that Israel intended to destroy the society and culture and economy of those Arabs that refused to leave, which under the modern definition, this would be considered to be Genocide. (laws & principles violated, international response).
    10. VIOLATIONS OF HUMAN RIGHTS: Israel has significantly violated the human rights of the Palestinian people within Israel with its legalized Apartheid system of discrimination, and in the occupied territories with its system of political oppression, economic exploitation, and inhumane law enforcement practices primarily in response to the Palestinian rebellion against the above oppression and exploitation (laws & principles violated, international response).
    11. VIOLATIONS OF UN RESOLUTIONS: Israel has violated 28 resolutions of the United Nations Security Council (which are legally binding on member-nations), and almost 100 resolutions of the United Nations General Assembly (which are not binding, but represent the will and understanding of the international community). And Israel is now in violation of the advisory opinion of the International Court of Justice of 2004, condemning the separation wall Israel is building throughout the occupied West Bank (laws & principles violated, international response).
    16. PRACTICE OF ETHNIC CLEANSING: The Zionist organizations, before the creation of the State of Israel, and then the Israeli government itself, have practiced many different forms of Ethnic Cleansing since the Zionist first came to Palestine in the early 1900’s. The overt claim they rationalize this with is security concerns, but the greater long term reason is concern about maintaining a majority Jewish population so that they can maintain a democratic form of government which they dominate. Ethnic Cleansing is considered to be a severe breach of international law (laws & principles violated, international response).
    Any comments, suggestions, or questons are most welcomed. Please contact us at

    (C) Israel Law Resource Center, February, 2007.

  • jgarbuz

    Mr.Donnellan you certainly are verbose and trying hard to “shout us down” with a quantity of verbiage to disguise the paucity of hard facts. But I will remain brief, because the truth doesn’t require a stream of heady verbiage.
    Regarding East Jerusalem, over 5,000 were forced by Arab terror to leave their homes in the late 1930s, and the final 2,000 were expelled by the Jordanian army in 1948. Fifty eight out of 59 synagogues were subsequently destroyed by the Arabs. It should be mentioned that Jerusalem has had a Jewish majority since the late 1840s, and was never an Arab capital.
    The High Court in Israel has gone over the case of those Arabs occupying Jewish homes and decided that they be returned to those who had bonafide deed and title to them and evict the generational squatters.

    But in general, it was the Jews who introduced labor unions and health services, which were in many cases open to Arab labor as well, even though they suppressed the wages of Jewish workers in the early years of Jewish settlement.
    Regarding UN resolutions, I once again repeat, the UN authorized the right of the Jewish state to exist, but instead of recognizing it in 1948 the Arab states violated the UN Charter by attacking Israel while the UN itself sat by and did nothing to condemn or repel the Arab assault. And when the Arabs felt exhausted, only then it promulgated ceasefires. This was a pattern that repeated itself over and over again. When Israel is attacked, the UN does nothing. When Israel hits back, and the other side is hurt, suddenly it passes a plethora of Arab-inspired resolutions and ceasefires.

  • jgarbuz

    From the international law website you cited from, they stated the following principles regarding occupations:

    Major Legal Principle [Israel presumbly] Violated -

    1.Military Action and Occupation are Only Legal when They are Purely Defensive.

    Okay, in 1948 and again in 1967, it was the Arabs who started both wars, so Israel fought and won defensive wars;

    2. Occupation Must Never Lead To Sovereignty over Occupied or Conquered Lands of the Enemy People or Nation.

    Okay, it was Jordan who occupied and annexed it and called it the West Bank in 1950. It was Jordan who gave it that name, as opposed to its East Bank of the Jordan river. So it was teh Kingdom of Jordan, not Israel, that violated this precept. Israel has not yet officially annexed any part of the West Bank.

    4. The Occupant is Required to not Significantly Change Local Laws Unless Required For Its Own Security Or To Benefit The Local Population.

    Whose laws? Jordanian law? Ottoman Law? Whose laws has Israel changed?

    7. The Occupant is Required to Respect the Human Rights of the Native People except where it Significantly Jeopardizes its own Safety.

    And how has Israel violated this precept? In what way?

  • Jim Donnellan

    >We are only talking about East Jerusalem. From wikipedia:

    The population of East Jerusalem as of 2006 was 428,304, comprising 59.5% of Jerusalem’s residents. Of these, 181,457 (42%) are Jews, (comprising 39% of the Jewish population of Jerusalem), 229,004 (53%) are Muslim (comprising 99% of the Muslim population of Jerusalem) and 13,638 (3%) are Christian (comprising 92% of the Christian population of Jerusalem).[8] The size of the Palestinians population living in East Jerusalem is controversial because of political implications. In 2008, the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics reported the number of Palestinians living in East Jerusalem as 208,000 according to a recently completed census.[9]

    >With respect to International Law, Wikipedia notes:

    Since June 28 1967, East Jerusalem has been under the law, jurisdiction, and administration of the State of Israel.[11] The right of Israel to declare sovereignty over the entirety of Jerusalem is not recognized by the international community, which regarded the move as de facto annexation [12] and deemed Israeli jurisdiction invalid in a subsequent non-binding United Nations General Assembly resolution.[13] However in a reply to the resolution, Israel denied that these measures constitute annexation.[14]

    In the 1980 Basic Law, or “Jerusalem Law” Israel declared Jerusalem “complete and united”, to be “the capital of Israel”. The new law left the bounds of Jerusalem unspecified.[15] In response, the UN Security Council unanimously adopted the non-binding Resolution 478 (the U.S. abstained), declaring the law to be “null and void” and a violation of international law. Nevertheless, in 1988, Jordan, while rejecting Israeli sovereignty over East Jerusalem, withdrew all its claims to the West Bank (including East Jerusalem).

    The Israeli-Palestinian Declaration of Principles, signed September 13, 1993, deferred the settlement of the permanent status of Jerusalem to the final stages of negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians. The Palestinian National Authority views the future permanent status of East Jerusalem as the capital of the Palestinian state.[16] The possibility of a Palestinian capital in East Jerusalem was considered by Israel for the first time in the Taba Summit in 2001,[17] though these negotiations ended without an agreement and this possibility has not been considered by Israel since.

    > You seem to cherry pick your facts and international laws, favoring those that you like and of course relegating to the wastebin those that you do not.

  • Jim Donnellan

    Let me see if I understand what you are saying:

    Israelis has been the innocent victims of Arab abuse and disdain since the first Zionists arrived in Israel. Israeli’s have done nothing wrong and therefore these unwarranted attacks cannot be justified.

    Is that correct?

  • jgarbuz

    The TOTAL population of Jerusalem is 748,000 souls. According to your figures about 250,000 “Palestinians” are residents of East Jerusalem, that is, in the parts of Jerusalem captured by Jordan in the 1948 Arab-Israeli War. Upon its capture, the Jordanians immediately expelled all the Jewish residents of the Jewish Quarter. All the main synagogues were destroyed, and the Jewish Quarter was bulldozed.[citation needed] The ancient Jewish cemetery on Mount of Olives was desecrated, and the tombstones there were used for construction and paving roads[citation needed]. Jordan also destroyed the Jewish villages of Atarot and Neve Yaakov just north of Jerusalem (their sites became Jerusalem neighborhoods after 1967). Now for 19 years after the city was divided into West and East by barbed wire, no Jews at all were allowed to live in the Jordanian part of the city. Nor were Jews allowed to come and worship at the Wailing Warll. Nor did it become the capital of a Palestinian state. Between 1948 and 1967, Jordan illegally occupied the entire west bank and the eastern part of Jerusalem, and yet they created no state for the Palestinians, all of whom were given Jordanian passports. So, the city was reunited when Israel captured it and drove the Jordanian army out. IT was not part of any state, and so Israel had every right to reunite and annex the eastern part of the city. Since the international community did nothing to stop the Jordanian aggression in 1967, when the Jordanians entered the war and fired thousands of shells into West Jerusalem and other Israeli towns thereby forcing the IDF to take it, the international community has no say on what Israel does with it.

    And yes, your last statement is perfectly correct.

  • jgarbuz

    From WIkipedia: Occupation of the West Bank by Jordan

    “Rather than attempting to establish an independent Palestinian state for its West Bank subjects, Jordan formally annexed East Jerusalem and the West Bank on April 24, 1950, giving all resident Palestinians automatic Jordanian citizenship. (They had already received the right to claim Jordanian citizenship in December 1949.) Only the United Kingdom formally recognized the annexation of the West Bank, de facto in the case of East Jerusalem.[1] Pakistan is often claimed to have recognized Jordan’s annexation too, but this is dubious.[2][3]“

  • jgarbuz

    From same article in Wikipedia

    Six Day War
    “Following the outbreak of the Six Day War in June 1967, Israel warned King Hussein not to join Egyptian president Gamal Abdul Nasser in opening a new front against Israel in the West Bank. Nevertheless, in accordance with its mutual defence treaty with Egypt, Jordan initiated artillery fire on Israeli positions in West Jerusalem. The Israel Defence Forces counter-attacked and heavy urban fighting ensued.
    The Israel Defense Force completely pushed the Jordanian army out of the West Bank and East Jerusalem. The formerly Jordanian-controlled West Bank and East Jerusalem with its one million Palestinian population came under Israeli military occupation. About 300,000 Palestinian refugees fled to Jordan.”

  • Jim the Donnellan

    Perhaps, then, since the Zionists did nothing wrong, you can explain their purpose in Palestine – what they ultimately wanted to achieve and how they sought to achieve it.

  • jgarbuz

    The purpose of the Zionist movement, validated by the League of Nations Mandate, was to create a Jewish-majority state in the Land of Israel which would also fully respect the civil and religious rights of all non-Jewish minority citizens. The method would be to increase Jewish immigration and settlement on “wastelands” and state lands, as stipulated in the LoN Mandate, and to purchase privately owned lands as well for Jewish re-settlement. There was no need to have to remove or relocate anyone as long as there was no violent resistance to the Jewish immigration and League of Nations Mandate. The fact is, that Tel Aviv alone, built on empty sand dunes along the coast today houses more Jews than the entire Arab population of Palestine after WWI. So the idea that Arabs HAD to be displaced does not hold water. However, the sudden rapid rise of the Arab population due to influx of health services and economic opportunities brought in by the Jews and the British administration, along with the beginning of terrorism and incitement soon changed the mood among the more right wing elements in the Zionist movement. But, otherwise, had there been no resistance, there is no reason why the whole thing couldn’t gone forward smoothly and peacefully.

  • Jim the Donnellan

    How do you explain, then, the Arab reaction? How did they feel about all this?

  • jgarbuz

    Most people probably don’t like others moving into their neighborhood. Especially when they know they’ve been living in what had been his neighborhood before.
    The Arabs knew it was Jewish land, but the had only known the local handful of wary hassidic Jews they could harrass at will in Jerusalem or Hebron. These secular Russian Jews who were relatively confident, literate, compartively well off, and prepared to defend themselves were a whole new breed they had no concept about.

  • Jim Donnellan

    Can you explain the meaning of your statement: “Especially when they know they’ve been living in what had been his neighborhood before.”

    I’m not sure I understand how what may have been true hundreds of years ago is relevant to today.

  • jgarbuz

    Everything that happened hundreds and thousands of years go is relevant today. If there was no Kingdom of Judah, or Tribes of Israel, why would any Jew go there?
    If it isn’t the tribal lands of the Jewish nation, why would someone go to some tiny shitass little country, to spend a lot of his life in the army and pay 60% in taxes, and have a tough life? If you’re not a nationalist Zionist or religious in some way, you’d have to be totally out of your mind to go live there. And yes, the ARABS KNOW it was once JEWISH LAND! They all KNOW it! To believe they don’t know it is nonsense! Centuries ago, they walled up one of the gates of Jerusalem, and put a Muslim cemetary in front of it, so that the Messiah would not be able to come in,through a cemetary and a wall. Of course they know it is ancient Jewish land!

  • Jim Donnellan

    So, why bother going there then? What’s the point?

    What is the basis for reclaiming the land the Jews once abandoned?

    And what

  • Jim Donnellan

    NB: ignore the “And what” it’s a typo.

  • jgarbuz

    You ask what’s the point of a nation having their own homeland? Why have the Lakota Sioux declared independence in the MidWest back in 2007 and issuing their own passports? The simple reason is when you are a minority nation living in a country where you have no sovereignty, you are under the control of the powers that be. Have native Americans had a president yet? Look, if the Holocaust did not persuade many if not most Jews that they needed to have their OWN land back, and not have to depend on the kindness of strangers to defend their basic right to life and liberty and even basic survival. Most American people didn’t give a shit what was happening to the Jews in Germany in the 1930s, and the US didn’t even enter the war till it was attacked. Anyhow, the Jews never abandoned their homeland. There was never a day when there wasn’t at least some Jews who remained in the homeland even under the rule of others. Jews were essentially forced out of their homeland. THe proof is all the Hebrew-named cities in Israel, such as Hebron, Beersheva and Bethlehem. Almost every day the proof of ancient Hebrew settlement emerges in Israel. This is not a foreign land for the Jewish people. This is the birthplace of the Jewish nation.

  • jgarbuz

    In the previous post I meant to say, if the Holocaust did not persuade many if not most Jews that they needed to have their OWN land back, and not have to depend on the kindness of strangers to defend their basic right to life and liberty and even basic survival I don’t know what will.

  • Jim Donnellan

    I understand, I think, the Jewish identification with the land, but I am not clear at all on the rationale f6r the claim to the land. You say that the land belongs to the Jews – I don’t understand that.

  • jgarbuz

    What part of “it’s Jewish land” don’t you understand? Do you understand what Navajo land is? Or Irish land? Or Swedish land? Or are those concepts hard to grasp as well? If so, I’ll try to explain it as best I can. What we mean when we refer to a land belonging to a people, we are invoking the concept of “sovereignty.” It does not necessarily mean land ownership. To, say, the Navajo nation, it won’t matter who legally under US law OWNS a piece of real estate on their ancient tribal lands, it will ALWAYS be their ancient tribal soil. It is embedded in their culture and national psyche as a people for centuries. Adopted children look for their lost parents, and lost peoples look for their ancient soil. In my opinion, it’s instinctive. The fact that my immediate ancestors lived in Poland for centuries means NOTHING to me. I have never gone to find her town or where my grandmother lived, etc. I frankly don’t understand those Jews who do that. It’s not to say you can’t love an adopted land, just as you can love adopted parents. But, IMO, it’s never quite the same thing. But that’s just my take on it.

  • Jim Donnellan

    What you call sovereignty, I call identification. A piece of dirt – sorry, but that’s all it is – may conjure up memories and traditions and experiences, but it is only the occasion for those feelings or sentiments or beliefs. Who inhabits the land is irrelevant. So, if Ireland falls into the sea, or is vacated by the Irish for whatever, the blarney stone and the pub will live on… endlessly. They will remain a part of their oral and written history, practices and traditions, but if the Italians were to move in tomorrow, they might develop a new set of traditions and experiences that lead to a close identification with that space (or dirt as it were). And in fact that’s what they’ve (the Irish and the Italians) done in the US. The Irish and Italian mafias are alive and well.

    A number of different religions owe their origins to this area. I find it ironic that it has been the scene for so much bloodshed, but that’s beside the point. The best parts of those traditions have nothing to do with the dirt – that part is simply history. The spiritual essence of those religions matters much more deeply and has nothing to do with the location. So the best aspects of the Kabbalah, Jewish culture, etc. have nothing to do with Israel. Indeed many Jews don’t even buy the biblical version of their history. Herzl, reportedly was an atheist and considered other sites for the Jewish homeland (Uganda?, others?) and found the practices of the Hasids abhorrent.

    So to answer your question, there’s quite a bit I don’t understand about why this place, at this time, and in this manner Israel has become an almost fanatical obsession for Jews.

  • jgarbuz

    Let’s not discuss religion, because every tribe has its religion, and the Jews were no exception. It is JEWISH LAND not because of religion but because it’s Jewish land. And there has been plenty of bloodshed everywhere outside of Israel too. And I do not agree that if the Arabs took over Ireland, that all Irish Americans will accept it quietly and shrug their shoulders and just drown it in drink. The Irish were quite involved when Ireland was fighting for independence from Britain after WWI, and still fighting to get Northern Ireland back as well. Should we abandon Saint Patrick’s day? I wish we could remove religion from this thing, but unfortunately, the Muslims can’t. Jewish nationalism, called Zionism, is just like any other nationalism. And I don’t understand your references to religious or mystical books, or mafias, or any of that stuff. Religion is just part of a people’s culture. But many people do get some hope out of it, and so it plays a useful purpose for many. And the League of Nations did not refer to the Bible but stated that the Jews have a “historical connexion” to that land, and it was on that basis that they authorized the Jewish National Home. BTW, do you consider yourself part of any nationality?

  • jgarbuz

    And I can’t understand the obsession of you and millions like yourself who question the right of the Jewish state to exist. I don’t question Ireland’s right to exist. I don’t even question the United State’s right to exist, even though immigration and its established was NOT authorized by the League of Nations or the UN. People just came and took the land as if they had some innate right to it. But I guess what is permitted to everyone else is not permitted to the Jews.

  • jgarbuz

    Irish War of Independence
    From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    Michael Collins
    Richard Mulcahy
    Cathal Brugha

    “The Irish War of Independence (Irish: Cogadh na Saoirse, also known as the Anglo-Irish War or Tan War[4]) was a guerrilla war mounted against the British government in Ireland by the Irish Republican Army (IRA). It began in January 1919, following the Irish Republic’s declaration of independence, and ended with a truce in July 1921. The subsequent negotiations led to the Anglo-Irish Treaty, which ended British rule in most of Ireland and established the Irish Free State. However, six northern counties would remain under British rule.
    The IRA that fought in this conflict is often referred to as the Old IRA to distinguish it from later organisations that used the same name.”

  • Liz

    Since you are talking about Ireland, here’s the connection. What Israel has done, and continues to do to the Palestinians is the same as what the British did during the Plantations in the 16th and 17th centuries when Irish land was confiscated and given to English and Scottish settlers. You also claim that Jews have the right to a country like everyone else. Since when did religion become a nationality? Israel must be the only place in the world where every nationality acquires citizenship based on religion. I think I’ll head off tomorrow to the region and demand land since Jesus was born there. That’s how absurd your claim is.

  • jgarbuz

    First of all, Jews are a nation, named after Judah, one of the last surviving tribes of Israel. That the Jewish nation has an ancient tribal religion should come as no surprise, as every tribe had its own religion at one time. The Arabs had 300 idols that used to be erected in Mecca prior to the advent of Muhammad’s religion. Each Arab tribe had its own gods. In fact, there is no mention of the world “Judaism” in the Bible. The Hebrews did not impose their religion on others, except during the Hasmonean era, when there were some forced conversions of non-Jewish peoples. Herod was the grandson of Edomites forcibly converted to the religion of the Jews, and while he was a great builder, he was considered an illegitimate Roman puppet by the Jewish masses. He had no Davidic lineage. The Christian bible claims Jesus did.
    As for the Jewish return to their homeland, and the return of public lands and wastelands to Jewish sovereignty, that was sanctioned under international law by the Council of the LEague of Nations as I continue to repeatedly reiterate. And if your mother was a Jew, you do have that right under our tribal laws, not to demand land, but to live on our tribal lands – provided you have not repudiated Jewish law by leaving the tribe. I personally support the Republican claim over northern Ireland as I do not believe Britain has any legal claim over any Irish soil. Just as I don’t accept any Arab legal claims over any Jewish soil.

  • jgarbuz

    Not that I am advocating forcible expulsion of non-Irish peoples from northern Ireland, but only that northern Ireland be returned to Irish sovereignty, just as Judah and Samaria should rightfully be returned to Jewish sovereignty, without necessarily expelling the non-Jewish populations there either.

  • jgarbuz

    Actually, for most of the history of the Jewish exile and diaspora, Jews were treated as an alien nation almost everywhere, and were not permitted to own land or have citizenship. It was only in 1859 in Britain that a non-Christians, i.e., Rothschild, a Jew, was finally permitted to be seated in the House of Commons despite having won 3 elections in his district. Karl Marx’s parents got baptized to be able to get jobs in the German civil service. So for most of history, in most countries, Jews were not citizens. In Muslim countries they were dhimmis, or second class citizens with restricted rights. It was only after Napoleonic wars that democratization began and Jews were allowed to leave the ghettos and join the general society to a limited extent. And that led to a new form of restriction -antisemitism- which based the later restrictions not on religious mumbo jumbo, but on alleged racial and ethnic grounds even when many Jews had undergone baptism, as was the case in Germany.

  • Jim Donnellan

    I believe the time limit for reclaiming land, under international law, is 50 years. Which means, of course, that the reclaiming of Israel was several centuries late.

  • jgarbuz

    Making up your own international law now, Mr. Donnellan?
    But if you are right, then 2009 is 60 years after 1949, which means the Palestinian case is closed. They tried, many times, and lost. How many do-overs do you get?

  • Liz

    If you are trying, jgarbuz, to say that there are similarities between the Irish struggle for independence and the Israeli claim, you are completely off track. Irish people have CONTINUOUSLY populated Ireland for thousands of years. And if you think that Irish people feel sympathetic toward Israel, you again are away off track. There is little support for occupied lands among most Irish people. It has always interested me how the loyalists in the north of Ireland have aligned themselves with regimes such as the apartheid system in South Africa and with Israel. And what’s this nonsense about AIPAC objecting to the former Irish president Mary Robinson receiving the Presidential Medal of Freedom? The arrogance of this organization is amazing, but unfortunately they have a huge influence on American politics. On another issue, you say you want the West Bank to be returned to Jewish sovereignty “without necessarily expelling the non-Jewish populations there either.” Well, that’s exactly what has been happening to the non-Jewish population there ever since Israel occupied this part of Palestine.

  • jgarbuz

    Sorry, I meant Israel first denounced SA apartheid in 1958, not 1950. That was a typo. So tell me Liz, do welcome O’bama as a full blooded Irishman?

  • jgarbuz

    When are the Scots-Irish going to apologize for occupying northern Ireland, and then going on to exterminate American indians in America?

  • jgarbuz

    Just facts. The Arab population of Palestine in 1947: 1.4 million on both sides of the Jordan river. The number today: 5.5 million in Israel, West Bank and Gaza, and another 5.5 million in Jordan, Lebanon and elsewhere. Total: 11 million Palestinians. What genocide? Fact: Number of Jews in ARab countries in 1947: 1 million. Number of Jews in Arab countries today: 8,000. Liars can figure, but figures don’t like. It was the Arabs, not the Jews, who conducted ethnic cleansing.

  • jgarbuz

    I meant, figures don’t lie. Anyhow, Irish are no moral position to criticize Israel or Jews. DO I need to go into details?

  • Jim Donnellan

    jgarbuz Says:

    Making up your own international law now, Mr. Donnellan?

    Jim Donnellan says:

  • Jim Donnellan

    jgarbuz says:

    It is JEWISH LAND not because of religion but because it’s Jewish land.

    Jim Donnellan says:

    I can’t agree with this statement; the Arabs certainly don’t agree with it. This is equivalent to saying the land is mine because I say it is mine.

    Just for kicks, don’t you think you should provide some proof? Nothing you have offered so far demonstrates that your statement is true.

  • Jim Donnellan

    jgarbuz says:

    And I do not agree that if the Arabs took over Ireland, that all Irish Americans will accept it quietly and shrug their shoulders and just drown it in drink.

    Jim Donnellan says:

    On this point we agree. I never mentioned anything about Arabs taking over Ireland – I referenced them vacating it.

    On the other hand, now that you have suggested it, I quite agree that if the Arabs did try to take over Ireland, the Irish would resist. That is exactly what the Arabs did in Palestine. They saw what was happening and resisted. They have every right to do so. It has always been Israel’s intent to reclaim the biblical Israel – Natanyahu even included TransJorddan at one point. Nothing in its behavior has ever suggested otherwise

  • Jim Donnellan

    jgarbuz Says:

    And I can’t understand the obsession of you and millions like yourself who question the right of the Jewish state to exist.

    Jim Donnellan

    The existence of a Jewish state is a fact; what I question is it’s morality. It is behaving badly. It’s intent was always to drive the Arabs out of the land; they are continuing on that path with all due speed. The world condemns the behavior of Israel – both through international organizations, ngo’s, etc. Israel is digging itself into a hole. As this plays out, even AIPAC won’t be able to save it as AIPAC has become morally and intellecually bankrupt and the world now knows it. Israel will lose financial support from the US if it continues to violate basic human rights.

    It had a choice during the early days of the Zionists; from the behavior I see, it chose the political path, not the moral one. That was the opinion of Buber, Haam, Magnes et al; I see nothing that suggests otherwise. It has become its worst enemy. No one need say or do anything; it will self-destruct unless it changes course.

    Jewish land or Arab land; League of Nations, UN, or whatever: it won’t matter.

  • jgarbuz

    Well, I’ve pretty much said all I can say without getting increasingly repetitious and boring myself to death. My deceased mother, a Holocaust survivor, who was saved by true Christians who were prepared to lay down their lives to save 4 Jews on their farm, pretty much said all there was to say. Antisemitism is in the blood. There’s no cure. The only good Christian is a true Christian. The rest are phonies. If Jesus were alive, he would say ISRAEL IS JEWISH LAND. Anyhow, please don’t bother to reply. I’m leaving this board, except to say in Hebrew “Ahm Yisrael Chai” – The Nation of Israel LIVES. That’s all that matters. Bye.

  • Jim Donnellan

    jgarbuz says:

    If Jesus were alive, he would say ISRAEL IS JEWISH LAND.

    Jim Donnellan says:

    I think your mother got it wrong: Christ said, Render on to Ceasar what is Caesar’s. He never confused spirituality with land or possessions.

  • Fredr

    Whats even sadder is than the Israelis that took organs will grow to lord over and possibly kill Palestinian children in their own land.

  • Victoria

    I was appalled by te Levinsons’!!! If they felt that way why did they not take their daughter and go home until a Jew died for her kidney??? Mrs. Levinson is british by orgin, she had no gratitude to Mrs. Kaitab??? She could not have hugged the woman and said, Thank you for my daughter’s life. Kissed her hand! Held Mrs. Kaitab and wept with her over her son dying!!!!!! They should have taken their daughter home and let the next child on te list have the kidney!!!! Horrid Horrid People! Even two years later still ungratiful for the two years of health the Kaitab faily gave their child!!!! In one year I burried both my adult sons, I would have if some one cold have saved them, been on my knees Phasing these people to God and the World, for their Kindness!

    I am going to go back and watch the story again and look at the children center in Jenin, aned write to Mr.Kaitab in care of the center in Jenin. To thank him to pass on a blessing from a greiving Mother, myself. And to apologize to him for the levinson ignorance. How could anyone from The USA Born and Raised or From England be so ignorant! It truly is embarassing!

  • compare new-mexico public schools

    Making up your own international law now, Mr. Donnellan?
    But if you are right, then 2009 is 60 years after 1949, which means the Palestinian case is closed. They tried, many times, and lost. How many do-overs do you get?

  • Nico

    I just saw this film in full on a European internet station (1:36). I was actually very worried about what it was about…and not certain if I could cope with images of the Jenin massacre. Maybe everyone here who thinks they have an idea of the reality of Palestinian refugees’ history – past and present – may understand better when photographs of Sabra massacre are seen.
    It’s also important to read (and re-read) the second paragraph of “Background”. Ariel Sharon permitted the entrance of the SLA into the refugee camp.

    The history is tragic and complex. Massacring unarmed women, children, grandparents, fathers, etc. in a refugee camp has absolutely nothing to do with redefining, and re-inventing a religious state.

    This was a good documentary. Yet, heart wrenching.

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