Monday, July 23, 2007

Two sides to every story? Most certainly not...

Apparently Israel has approved a textbook for "Israeli Arab schools" presenting the 'Arab viewpoint'. This includes such phrases as "some of the Palestinians were expelled following the War of Independence and that many Arab-owned lands were confiscated" (As'ad Abu Khalil also made the same emphasis). Of course the book is being criticised by some in Israel as defeatist - shock horror, such a brave step forward by the Israelis. Do they honestly think that by creating such fake controversy around the history book any Palestinian would forget what really happened? Are there really just two sides to this story? Not when you remember that at one point Palestine was mostly Arab and at the next millions of European and North American Jews emigrated there and (with mostly British and Russian arms) proclaimed their independent 'state'. The textbook apparently states that the Arabs rejected a UN partition plan, something Jewish leaders agreed with. This reminds me of the story about Solomon judging between two women and a baby - each claiming it is her own. He ordered that the baby be cut in half for each. The real mother risked losing her baby forever by refusing this option. Solomon recognised her claim to it.

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

Wassim - People are not expected to forget the wrongoing doing that were inflicted upon them, when such wrongdoing took place in a recent time in history. However, time has a strange way of diluting people's passions.

Nonewithstanding this, what do you propose as a solution for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict?

Marwan-

Wassim said...

I've never believed in the two-state solution. The only possible way out of this is a democratic one state solution, an end to apartheid style restrictions and a comprehensive right of return for all Palestinians. If the Israeli's wish to remain in the region, I feel that's the only way they can ever be accepted. The water goes back to it's original course as the saying goes.

Anonymous said...

wassim, your lack of familiarity with israeli reality is fairly pathetic. the number of north american immigrants in israel is a tiny fraction of the population in israel (not including the occupied territories, where they make up a slightly larger, but by no means large, percentage). as to the ethnic makeup of israeli jews, approximately half are of european origin and half of are arab origin. and why does their origin interest you so much? you're beginning to sound like a racist. you're an arab who lives in europe. why is it a problem for you that some europeans live in the middle east?
as to the textbook 'apparently' stating that the arabs rejected the un partition plan, well, that's true. but your glib comparison to the solomon parable is sad. arab leaders rejected the partition because they thought they could get the whole thing by force. why didn't the jordanians or egyptians permit palestinian rule from 1948-1967 when they occupied parts of palestine?
as to the one state solution, forget it. neither the palestinians nor the israelis want any part of it. it's a pipe dream for clueless intellectuals.

Wassim said...

I have to say, do you honestly expect me take seriously any of the points you've just made? Bordering on the absurd, I struggle to take seriously any of the statements you make.

you're an arab who lives in europe. why is it a problem for you that some europeans live in the middle east?

What a ridiculous statement, an Arab that lives in Europe. There is absolutely no comparison between the two cases, I don't recall importing arms, bringing my relatives and then ethnically cleansing Surrey because I believe a tribe of Carthaginians once settled there. Oh, and then calling my struggle a "War of Independence".

"Beginning to sound like a racist"? Your not by any chance trying to lay the groundwork for labelling me an "anti-semite"? Where these people came from has everything to do with it, if they didn't go there we wouldn't have this problem would we?

Also, I fail to see why there is a problem that the Arabs failed any partition plan. Of course they should have rejected it and continued to do so. This is their land and no United Nations was going to be telling them what to do with it. There was a War of Independence in the region, but it was by the Palestinians against the British.

Palestinian one state solution? More people than you imagine are starting to recognise apartheid and racism when they see it. Many people are starting to recognise similarities with South Africa and that a solution would be to dismantle the inherently racist Zionist state apparatus which permeates through Israel at the moment.

Thank you for your comments.

Puppeteer said...

"He ordered that the baby be cut in half for each. The real mother risked losing her baby forever by refusing this option."

The baby is already cut in 4 Bantustans.

Anonymous said...

Ok so let's stay we go away from the two state solution and go for a single state, what does this mean?

What will this state look like?

Anonymous said...

the ethnic cleansing and apartheid accusations amount to nothing, as i've mentioned previously in other comments you haven't addressed. 15-20% of israel's citizens are arabs. they participate actively in israeli society at all levels, from football to politics. their social situation isn't ideal, but that is much the fault of non-palestinian arabs whose consistent attacks on israel make the israeli arab position far more difficult.
there is no doubt among historians that the origins of the jews can be found in what became palestine. it is tragic that europeans were not hospitable to their jewish residents and that the jews decided to return to their place of origin. it may also be said that the arabs of iraq, kuwait, syria, egypt, libya, algeria, tunisia, and yemen were similarly inhospitable and evicted their jews. ironic, that the arabs sent their jewish residents packing to, of all places, palestine. then, from far off, they said, you can't stay there either.

taamarbuuta said...

Well, it's a step in the right direction, but not enough. Saudi Arabia also teaches their own version of world history. Hey, in the US, we don't even learn about the Middle East in school! The state of global education is pathetic.

This next part is more a response to comments than anything else - I am still torn between a one state and two state solution, although I absolutely oppose the Israeli apartheid and believe that Palestinians should have the immediate right to return. But in response to the comment above mine, what gets me is that in 1948, a time when my parents hadn't even been born, the Jews did have few choices. Even Morocco, quite possibly the most historically hospitable country to Jews, didn't allow them to wear shoes outside their houses. Even Morocco handed the Jews over to Vichy France. No, Palestinians shouldn't have to suffer for that, but what were the Jews to have done?

Lirun said...

yeah one nation has said lets let the place thrive even if we cannot have it as we dreamed and felt entitled and the other said - if it cant be all mine lets make it a hell hole.. you match the nation and angle

two sides.. as if you;re interested in two sides.. give me a break..

Wassim said...

Anonymous,
They participate in Israeli society at all levels what can I say to that?

Lirun,
Quite insightful from you, even if by accident. I wouldn't say Israel has managed to make it entirely a hell hole, recently they are starting to realise that the Arabs can fight back and win so they are more careful about where they fire their missiles.

Anonymous said...

what can I say to that?

apparently nothing, as usual.