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Thursday, May 3, 2007

The One State Final Solution to the Judenfrage - is it a serious subject for debate??

Dan Fleshler (Realistic Dove) is doing a fine job trying to defend Zionism against extreme leftists. It is a worthy attempt, and Dan has interesting things to say, but sometimes it is easy to get caught up in assuming the correctness or legitimacy of the arguments of the other side, when that is not warranted, and this can lead to an ideological and moral dead end.

Here, for example, he has entered the debate over the so called "one state solution" using Uri Avnery's article to bolster his case. But Avnery himself accepts some unacceptable allegations as a starting point.

Once you have accepted the outrageous idea that Jews have no national rights in Palestine, that is, the illegitimacy of Zionism, as Avnery has done, your arguments must be based on compromise, or on vindicating the idea that "might makes right." This is an untenable moral stance. Along with this, Avnery accepts the historical distortions of Ilan Pappe, and takes for granted that they are right. If these are Fleshler's "Zionist" arguments, we do not need any anti-Zionist ones.

Avnery wrote, and Realistic Dove quoted:

There is no doubt that the real disease is not the 40-year long occupation. The occupation is a symptom of a more profound disease, which is connected with the official ideology of the state. The aim of ethnic cleansing and the establishment of a Jewish State from the sea to the river is dear to the hearts of many Israelis, and perhaps Rabbi Meir Kahane was right when he asserted that this is everybody's unspoken desire.

The above is a pack of lies without foundation. The "real disease" is contained in people who spread such falsehoods. The official ideology of Zionism never aimed for "ethnic cleansing" nor for establishment of "a Jewish State from the sea to the river," but only for establishment of a Jewish national home in the land of Israel (somewhere in the land of Israel) secured in international law. Weizmann, Ben Gurion and others held out the hand of security and cooperation to the Arabs of Palestine, even though many were convinced it would not be accepted. Herzl envisioned his Jewish state as a multicultural pluralistic democracy, as he tried to bring to life in his novel, Altneuland (you can read the entire book on line and see for yourself that the above is a pack of lies).

It is hard to understand how a Zionist can legitimize statements such as the above. Kahane and his friends constitute a small and shameful minority who were never part of the Zionist majority. Avnery knows it is so. He knows that the War of Independence had to be fought because it was imposed on us, and that as it was a civil war, it was a war of "us or them." He wrote this in the introduction to his book, "Samson's Foxes" when it was reissued. He fought in that war on the side of the Zionists, whom he now disowns.

The only side that adopted "Ethnic Cleansing" as its official ideology was the Arabs of Palestine. They were led by the Grand Mufti Hajj Amin Al Husseini , a Nazi, who told the British that his solution for the "Jewish problem" in Palestine was the same as the one adopted in Europe, that is, annihilation. He intended to build a death camp near Nablus in order to carry out his "solution." This was the one state solution that he advocated. At various times, the Arabs of Palestine and their Arab allies took steps to implement this solution. The The Ethnic Cleansing of Jerusalem in 1948 was a harbinger of what the "one state solution" advocated by the Arab League and the Mufti had in store for the Jews.

The "Secular Democratic State" program of the PLO (circa 1968) was not much better. It advocated "emigration" of all Jews who arrived after 1917. The rest would in theory be given "equal rights" in a "secular democratic state." Of course, there is no such state in the Middle East, and there could not be such a state today. Perhaps in 500 years it would be possible.

The Mufti is dead, but his repugnant ideology lives on in the Hamas. A Hamas ideologue explained the humanitarian and altruistic nature of the Hamas program: murdering Jews benefits the people of the world:

There is no other choice but to use restraint regarding the condemnation, the attaching of the label of terror [to "resistance"], and the assembling of conferences [for] condemnation [of the attacks]. [This] so that everyone will know, that we did this only because our lord commanded so, "I did it not of my own accord" [*] and so that people will know that the extermination of Jews is good for the inhabitants of the worlds on a land, to which Allah gave his blessing for the sake of the inhabitants of the worlds. [Emphasis added]

That is the real essential ideology of the "One State Solution" and those who subscribe to it are supporting genocide. If you like murdering Jews, you will love the one state solution. In one interpretation, the Jews will lose the right to self determination, but Israel will be just another country where Jews can live, perhaps like America, or more likely like pre-war Poland or Germany - an uncertain home. Even that is unlikely. In a more likely one state scenario, Jews would have to live as second class citizens in an Arab state that would be like Egypt or Syria. It is not likely that many Jews would remain in Israel even if they were not expelled. In the event that Hamas or a similar movement controls the state, the Jews would be murdered, because that is the commandment of Allah, according to them, and it benefits the world.

We should not have to explain to anyone why genocide is wrong, whether it is physically murdering a people, as threatened above, or denying the Jews the right to self self-determination. People who advocate this solution knowing and understanding the consequences, are accomplices in consipiracy to commit genocide. Others who go along with unwittingly it are their dupes.

Avnery's conclusion, which Realistic Dove seems to support, is that while Zionism is evil and the Jews really have no national rights at all in Israel, it is just a bad idea:

But beneath the surface, in the depths of national consciousness, we are succeeding. The question is how to turn the hidden success into an open political fact. In other words: how to change the policy of the Israeli government.

The idea of the "One-State Solution" will harm this effort very much..

It. diverts the effort from a solution that has now, after many years, a broad public basis, in favor of a solution that has no chance at all.

There is no doubt that 99.99% of Jewish Israelis want the State of Israel to exist as a state with a robust Jewish majority, whatever its borders.

The belief that a world-wide boycott could change this is a complete illusion. Immediately after his lecture, my colleague Adam Keller asked the professor a simple question: "The entire world has imposed a blockade on the Palestinian people. But in spite of the terrible misery of the Palestinians, they have not been brought to their knees. Why do you think that a boycott would break the Israeli public, which is far stronger economically, so that they would give up the Jewish character of the state?" (There was no answer.)

Avnery's objection to the plan for destroying Jewish self determination is not that it is wicked and opposed to international law, and that it will probably result in mass murder. Rather, his only objection is that it has no chance of succeeding. In his book, murder would be OK if you could get away with it. Avnery has set himself up to be the O.J. Simpson of anti-Zionist ideology.

The real reason that Jews and Arab Palestinians must support a two state solution, is that the world recognizes the right of national self determination as Jus Cogens, a right that is "powerful" and takes precedence over all other rights. It is enshrined in the UN charter and in international law. The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. Article I, Part I, opens the convention with the following declaration:

1. All peoples have the right of self-determination. By virtue of that right they freely determine their political status and freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development.

That is international law. Anyone who opposes a Jewish state or a Palestinian state, if that is the will of those peoples, is opposed to international law.

We Jews cannot deny to the Arab Palestinians what we demand for ourselves, and the Arabs of Palestine cannot deny to us what they assert for themselves. The reason that the One State "solution," whether it is Kahane's or Pappe's is wrong, is that it automatically denies the legal and moral principle on which it purports to be based, because it denies the same right to the other side. It doesn't matter if it is "good for the Jewish Palestinians" or "Bad for the Arab Palestinians" by some cynical pragmatic calculus of "what can we get away with?"

Uri Avnery and Ilan Pappe and to Dan Fleshler must understand that we Zionists believe we are here by right, and not on sufferance. This right is anchored in international law, and is justified both by recent history and past history. We created a viable state out of some inchoate dominions that were the armpit of the Ottoman Turkish Empire. "Palestine" as a viable entity would not exist without the construction of the Zionists. The Jews are the only people who ever established sovereign domain over this territory in all of history.

When Mr Arafat's father was living in Egypt, my grandmothers were born in Jerusalem, and when Izz-e-din el Qassam was a boy in Syria, my mother was born in Hebron, and they became "Palestinians" when British rule became a fact in this area. They were more Palestinian than Mr. Arafat or Mr el Qassam.

By what right does Avnery or Pappe or Fleshler deny to me and to other Israelis the right to live as free people in the land that we built, and that our ancestors built? The evidence of the national ties of the Jews to this land in history is overwhelming. Every objective person, except some Arab propagandists, admit that the Jews were once a sovereign nation in this land, and that we are the only living heirs of the ancient Jewish people. The culture tie of the Jews to the land over 2,000 years is disputed only by degenerate malefactors, the sort of people who accept the Protocols of the Elders of Zion as factual. Those "liberals" (allies of the Mufti and David Duke) who oppose Zionism, claim that they are opposed to imperialism and racism. Yet they insist that the Arab imperialist conquest of the land, and the Ottoman Turkish imperialist racist conquest of the land, and the racist apartheid regime imposed by them, entirely annul the historic rights of the Jewish people to the land! Why? Because the apartheid regime of the Ottomans and the local Arabs prevented Jews from settling here in large numbers for most of Ottoman rule, and made it difficult for Jews to buy land. Therefore, the Arabs of "Palestine" - an entity that did not exist before 1917, remained a majority, a status that was enforced by racist apartheid laws of immigration and settlement.

The vicissitudes of history have established another people in this land as well, the Arabs of Palestine. The rise of Jewish nationalism was met by the parallel rise of Arab nationalism. Whether it is right or wrong in the cosmic conception of justice, the Jewish people cannot claim exclusive rights over the land. In the kingdom of heaven, there might be different laws and different justice. On Earth, we must accept the law of nations. The world recognizes the rights of the Arabs of Palestine to a state of their own, and we Jews must accept that as well as we accept international law. But at the same time, we can demand of the Arabs of Palestine, and of Mr. Pappe and Mr Avnery, that they too must accept international law, even if they exclude themselves from the Jewish nation.

Ami Isseroff

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  • Ami,

    First of all, it's Dan 'Fleshler" not Flashler. More importantly, in no way did I convey that I accepted any or all of what Avnery had to say. On the contrary, if you look at my post, I wrote 'Avnery is way to the left of me. He's so far to the left that he is on the Palestinan right."

    How you could also put me in the same sentence with Avnery and Pappe, based on everything else I have written or advocated, is beyond me.

    If one wants to protect Israel from its ideological assailants, one has to argue with people on the basis of where they stand and what they believe. One has to try to move them one step at a time, and not expect that they will take great leaps forward and embrace Zionist ideology.

    In this case, I was simply trying to show that someone who accepts many of the premises endorsed by the anti-Zionist left thinks the 1-state idea and a boycott of Israel are misguided.

    It is more important, tactically to diffuse support for both of these ideas than to trot out all of the rather predictable arguments you just provided. There is a time and place to make such arguments --most of which I agree with-- but they are not going to persuade real people who have real objections to the existence of the Jewish state. They are growing in numbers. I think it is much more important to point out that Uri Avnery disagrees with them than that Dan Fleshler or Ami Isseroff disagree with them. And arguing with Avnery, in that context, defeats a much larger and more important purpose.

    By Blogger Dan Fleshler, At May 4, 2007 12:44:00 AM GMT+00:00  

  • Dear Dan,
    You wrote:
    First of all, it's Dan 'Fleshler" not Flashler

    My bad. "Fleshler, Fleshler, Fleshler..."

    Abject apologies for some brain-damaged prose. There were many other errors that were and are being corrected in that article. However, I cannot see any error in the logcial premises.

    You wrote:"More importantly, in no way did I convey that I accepted any or all of what Avnery had to say."

    As I wrote, you are doing a fine job in a very difficult place. But it is easy to make errors (as my typography and editing demonstrate!).

    We cannot know what you are thinking. All I or the reader can know is what it says right there in the your article:
    So it is worth reading a persuasive essay on his website, which explains why efforts to push for a one-state solution or all-out boycotts of Israel are not only doomed to failure; these efforts do more harm than good to the victims of Israel’s occupation.

    Avnery is way to the left of me; he is so far to the left he is on the Palestinian right. So please read carefully, International Solidarity Movement admirers, Jews Against the Occupation, fans of Phil Weiss and others who refuse to endorse a 2-state solution. You might not take left-wing, pro-Israel types like me seriously. Surely you need to take Uri Avnery seriously.

    (Emphasis is mine). What I understood:
    "Persuasive" - the arguments are good. If somone writes "Goebbels wrote a very persuasive explanation of why it is impractical to implement the endlossung das judenfrage at present" what do you understand? What sort of person would write that?
    Avnery wrote a "persuasive" article on why it is impractical to wipe out the Jewish state, and you wrote that it is a "persuasive" "explanation."

    "Explains why" - This was not qualified with "from his point of view" or in any other way. The inference is that you think the explanation is correct.

    "Not only doomed to failure..." - your imprimatur on the idea that such efforts are legitimate and moral. It is like saying it would be ok to commit murder, if only the police wouldn't get you.

    The fact that you wrote that he is way to the left of you, and then seem to agree with his "persuasive explanation" makes it worse, not better. It turns his drivel into objective truth that is accepted by leftists and rightists alike: Israel is an illegitimate state, Zionism is an illegitimate movement, wiping out Israel is a legitimate goal, but the only reason not to do it is that it is impractical and bad for the Arabs of Palestine. Since the goal of wiping out Israel is accepted, it follows that after there are two states, and the goal of wiping out Israel becomes practical, it can be implemented then.

    You certainly did not mean to say all of that. I know your motives are the best. But that is what must be logically inferred. Just as I spelled your name wrong unintentionally, you created a logical framework unintentionally.

    If one wants to protect Israel from its ideological assailants, one will inevitably become steeped in their slogans, their logic, their logic and assumptions along the way. It is very important to be on guard against implying that we accept any of those assumptions or slogans.

    If you did not mean the things that you implied, you should make it clear in a subsequent post, in language that is acceptable to your audience.


    By Blogger News Service, At May 4, 2007 12:31:00 PM GMT+00:00  

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