Over the past two weeks the Mail & Guardian have reignited their anti-Israel hatefest. That may sound harsh and overly critical. They are after all entitled to endorse a certain political slant in their editorials and opinion pieces. But when a newspaper becomes renowned for editorial comments like the one below you know what you are dealing with.
|Finally, let us now be honest. Who on the left did not feel a sense of Schadenfreude at the sight of the World Trade Centre towers crashing to the ground? It is the same instinct that now leads us to quietly celebrate the news of an Israeli casualty. In the end, oppression and its appeasement can bring out the "terrorist" in all of us.|
Last week they ran an article by the Jewish South African Minister of Intelligence and pathological anti-Zionist Ronnie Kasrils entitled The Myths of Zionism. Here are some entertaining excerpts from the Kasrils column.
|At the core of Zionism lies the biblical myth, suggesting that the Jewish people have a God-given right to the land that was known as Canaan. This revered holy book is not, however, based on scientific fact.|
According to Kasrils it is only the Jewish Holy book which suffers this flaw. The Koran and various Hadiths upon which the Muslims stake their claim to Israel are spared this criticism.
|Zionists allege that the Jewish people’s sojourn in Arab lands was pervaded by a hatred of Jews. In fact, Jews flourished and enjoyed considerable periods of peaceful co-existence.|
It is true that there was a period of remarkable co-existence but the Jews had to coexist as second class citizens known as Dhimmis who had to pay a tax called the Jizya which was “protection money” that had to be paid by Dhimmis under Islamic rule.
|Zionists assert that nearly one million Jews were ethnically cleansed from Arab countries in the 20th century. Yet, in the early decades of that century, it was Zionist agents and British officials who aggressively sought to relocate Jews living in Arab countries to the Holy Land, as part of a strategy to increase the numbers of Jews living in Palestine.|
Is Ronnie really suggesting that there can be a moral equivalence here?
Campaigning to allow people to leave a country and move to another land is not the same thing as the confiscation of people’s property and removal by force of those people from that country – merely because they are Jews.
|The 1947 UN Partition Plan, influenced by the then balance of forces and post-Holocaust sentiment, offered the Jewish people 56% of Palestinian land, when they only owned 6,5% at the time. The remaining 43% was allocated to the Palestinians, with an international enclave around Jerusalem.|
According to British statistics in their 1948 survey of Palestine Jews owned 8.6% and Israeli Arabs owned 3.3% of the land.
But the information that Ronnie has concealed is that Jews owned so little because the British owned more than 70% of the land! This land reverted to Israel once the British left. 16.9% of the land was abandoned by Arabs when their armies invaded Israel in 1948.
|The fact that Palestinians have been willing to accept a further reduction of land to 22% of historic Palestine is an exceptional compromise on the part of their leadership.|
Had they really been willing to accept this then today there would be two states, Israel and Palestine, living in peace alongside each other.
“22 Percent of Historic Palestine” is a lie. Historic Palestine comprises all of the British Mandate which includes Jordan.
From Myths and Facts
|Nearly 80 percent of what was the historic land of Palestine and the Jewish National Home, as defined by the League of Nations, was severed by the British in 1921 and allocated to what became Transjordan. Jewish settlement there was barred. The UN partitioned the remaining 20-odd percent of Palestine into two states. With Jordan’s annexation of the West Bank in 1950, and Egypt's control of Gaza, Arabs controlled more than 80 percent of the territory of the Mandate, while the Jewish State held a bare 17.5 percent.|
Ronnie then says,
|Ehud Barak’s supposed “generous offer” at Camp David in January 2001 was much less than this, and loaded with such constraints on Palestinian sovereignty that Yasser Arafat could not accept it. What Barak offered amounted to a non-contiguous Bantustan, with Israel controlling sea, air and borders. It is instructive to note how Barak’s magnanimity was instantly mythologised by Zionist propaganda.|
It never ceases to amaze me how people refuse to accept the word of the then US lead envoy to the Middle East, Dennis Ross. No-one knew the details of the negotiations between the Israelis and Palestinians more intimately than Dennis Ross did.
See the details of what was offered via the maps from Dennis Ross’ book “The Missing Peace” here. The maps show that the territory in the West Bank would be contiguous - there would have been no Bantustans.
Bill Clinton agrees with Ross and has publicly blames Arafat for the failure of the talks. Here's Dennis Ross in an interview in the Weekly Standard
|ROSS: The ideas were presented on December 23 by the president, and they basically said the following: On borders, there would be about a 5 percent annexation in the West Bank for the Israelis and a 2 percent swap. So there would be a net 97 percent of the territory that would go to the Palestinians. On Jerusalem, the Arab neighborhoods of East Jerusalem would become the capitol of the Palestinian state. |
ROSS: ... So the Palestinians would have in the West Bank an area that was contiguous. Those who say there were cantons, completely untrue. It was contiguous.
HUME: Cantons being ghettos, in effect...
HUME: ... that would be cut off from other parts of the Palestinian state.
ROSS: Completely untrue. And to connect Gaza with the West Bank, there would have been an elevated highway, an elevated railroad, to ensure that there would be not just safe passage for the Palestinians, but free passage.
Who are you going to believe – Dennis Ross who was actually there and coordinated almost every single negotiation that has ever taken place between Israelis and Arabs…or Ronnie Kasrils?
|It is also an ongoing myth that the Palestine Liberation Organisation and the Arab states do not accept Israel’s right to exist. In fact, the Palestine National Council voted in 1988 to accept a two-state solution based on the 1947 UN Partition Resolution. It was not the Arabs striving to destroy Israel but Israel that has perpetrated the wars since 1948...|
Who does Kasrils think he is fooling? Take a look the PLO charter.
|Article 1: Palestine is the homeland of the Arab Palestinian people; it is an indivisible part of the Arab homeland, and the Palestinian people are an integral part of the Arab nation.|
Article 9: Armed struggle is the only way to liberate Palestine
Article 15: The liberation of Palestine, from an Arab viewpoint, is a national (qawmi) duty and it attempts to repel the Zionist and imperialist aggression against the Arab homeland, and aims at the elimination of Zionism in Palestine.
Article 19: The partition of Palestine in 1947 and the establishment of the state of Israel are entirely illegal, regardless of the passage of time...
Article 20: The Balfour Declaration, the Mandate for Palestine, and everything that has been based upon them, are deemed null and void. Claims of historical or religious ties of Jews with Palestine are incompatible with the facts of history and the true conception of what constitutes statehood
Article 21: The Arab Palestinian people, expressing themselves by the armed Palestinian revolution, reject all solutions which are substitutes for the total liberation of Palestine and reject all proposals aiming at the liquidation of the Palestinian problem, or its internationalization.
Article 22: Zionism is a political movement organically associated with international imperialism and antagonistic to all action for liberation and to progressive movements in the world. It is racist and fanatic in its nature, aggressive, expansionist, and colonial in its aims, and fascist in its methods.
Article 23: The demand of security and peace, as well as the demand of right and justice, require all states to consider Zionism an illegitimate movement, to outlaw its existence, and to ban its operations
Yes, they did vote to accept a two state solution. But the PLO makes a clear distinction between their covenant and their political programs. The covenant is strategic and the political programs (like the 1988 recognition of Israel) are purely tactical and are implemented in order to achieve the charter.
During Oslo repeated calls were made for the Palestinians to change the charter. In 1996 the PLO voted in favour of making changes to their charter. However the PNC never actually amended the Charter.All they did was approve in principle that changes would be made, without specifying which clauses would be changed, in what manner, or by what date.
So the charter was never changed and remains on their website in its original form. It includes a footnote about the decision that was taken to amend the charter as well as a decision to have the charter redrafted. 10 years after this vote the and the Charter has still not been redrafted.
|Such historians have also exposed the myth that the young state of Israel fought off “overwhelming hordes” of Arab armies in 1948. While the Arab League called for its member countries to send regular army troops into Palestine, only five responded.|
Is he honestly saying that it was easy for the nascent state of Israel to repel only 5 Arab invading states?
|From day one, Israel has been concerned with expansionism at the expense of peaceful coexistence. The so-called “security fence” annexes even more West Bank land, as do the burgeoning settlements and security roads. This will reduce the West Bank and Gaza to 10% of original Palestine, hardly the basis for a two-state solution. The myth of Israel lacking a partner to negotiate peace terms with is plain to see.|
Ronnie is basically claiming that the security barrier is annexing 50% of the West Bank. But an analysis by the Washington Institute for Near East Policy says that the barrier only annexes 5-8% of the West Bank.
Since then more changes to the route have been made which brings the percentage of annexed territory to between 4 and 7%. You can download a copy of the route of the map here (it excludes the latest changes).
If this has angered you, fear not. Ronnie has written this with the best interests of Jews in mind.
|While the history of the Jewish people has involved periods of unspeakable hardship and discrimination, it is in the interests of Jewish people everywhere to understand the great harm to Judaic values and reputation that has been caused by Zionism. The danger of labelling as “anti-Semitic” anyone critical of Israel and Zionism is that the term degenerates into a hollow cliché and will be ignored when the real alarm is sounded.|
And when the real alarm is sounded, who will come to our help if there is no Israel?