The Iron Wall

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The Iron Wall

Post by wm » 01 May 2023 17:32

“The Iron Wall” by Vladimir Ze’ev Jabotisnky (November 4, 1923)
Voluntary Agreement Not Possible
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There can be no voluntary agreement between ourselves and the Palestine Arabs. Not now, nor in the prospective future. I say this with such conviction, not because I want to hurt the moderate Zionists. I do not believe that they will be hurt. Except for those who were born blind, they realised long ago that it is utterly impossible to obtain the voluntary consent of the Palestine Arabs for converting "Palestine" from an Arab country into a country with a Jewish majority.
My readers have a general idea of the history of colonisation in other countries. I suggest that they consider all the precedents with which they are acquainted, and see whether there is one solitary instance of any colonisation being carried on with the consent of the native population. There is no such precedent.
The native populations, civilised or uncivilised, have always stubbornly resisted the colonists, irrespective of whether they were civilised or savage.
And it made no difference whatever whether the colonists behaved decently or not. The companions of Cortez and Pizzaro or ( as some people will remind us ) our own ancestors under Joshua Ben Nun, behaved like brigands; but the Pilgrim Fathers, the first real pioneers of North America, were people of the highest morality, who did not want to do harm to anyone, least of all to the Red Indians, and they honestly believed that there was room enough in the prairies both for the Paleface and the Redskin. Yet the native population fought with the same ferocity against the good colonists as against the bad.
Every native population, civilised or not, regards its lands as its national home, of which it is the sole master, and it wants to retain that mastery always; it will refuse to admit not only new masters but, even new partners or collaborators.
Arabs Not Fools
----------------
This is equally true of the Arabs. Our Peace-mongers are trying to persuade us that the Arabs are either fools, whom we can deceive by masking our real aims, or that they are corrupt and can be bribed to abandon to us their claim to priority in Palestine, in return for cultural and economic advantages. I repudiate this conception of the Palestinian Arabs. Culturally they are five hundred years behind us, they have neither our endurance nor our determination, but they are just as good psychologists as we are, and their minds have been sharpened like ours by centuries of fine-spun logomachy. We may tell them whatever we like about the innocence of our aims, watering them down and sweetening them with honeyed words to make them palatable, but they know what we want, as well as we know what they do not want. They feel at least the same instinctive jealous love of Palestine, as the old Aztecs felt for ancient Mexico and the Sioux for their rolling Prairies.
To imagine, as our Arabophiles do, that they will voluntarily consent to the realization of Zionism, in return for the moral and material conveniences which the Jewish colonist brings with him, is a childish notion, which has at the bottom a kind of contempt for the Arab people; it means that they despise the Arab race, which they regard as a corrupt mob that can be bought and sold, and are willing to give up their fatherland for a good railway system.
All Natives Resist Colonists
---------------------------
There is no justification for such a belief. It may be that some individual Arabs take bribes. But that does not mean that the Arab people of Palestine as a whole will sell that fervent patriotism that they guard so jealously, and which even the Papuans will never sell. Every native population in the world resists colonists as long as it has the slightest hope of being able to rid itself of the danger of being colonized.
That is what the Arabs in Palestine are doing, and what they will persist in doing as long as there remains a solitary spark of hope that they will be able to prevent the transformation of "Palestine" into the "Land of Israel."
The Iron Wall
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We cannot offer any adequate compensation to the Palestinian Arabs in return for Palestine. And therefore, there is no likelihood of any voluntary agreement being reached. So that all those who regard such an agreement as a condition sine qua non for Zionism may as well say "non" and withdraw from Zionism.
Zionist colonization must either stop or else proceed regardless of the native population. Which means that it can proceed and develop only under the protection of a power that is independent of the native population – behind an iron wall, which the native population cannot breach.
That is our Arab policy; not what we should be, but what it actually is, whether we admit it or not. What need, otherwise, of the Balfour Declaration? Or of the Mandate? Their value to us is that outside Power has undertaken to create in the country such conditions of administration and security that if the native population should desire to hinder our work, they will find it impossible.
And we are all of us , without any exception, demanding day after day that this outside Power, should carry out this task vigorously and with determination.
In this matter, there is no difference between our "militarists" and our "vegetarians". Except that the first prefer that the iron wall should consist of Jewish soldiers, and the others are content that they should be British.
We all demand that there should be an iron wall. Yet we keep spoiling our own case, by talking about "agreement" which means telling the Mandatory Government that the important thing is not the iron wall, but discussions. Empty rhetoric of this kind is dangerous. And that is why it is not only a pleasure but a duty to discredit it and to demonstrate that it is both fantastic and dishonest.

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Re: The Iron Wall

Post by wm » 01 May 2023 17:40

Rabbi Meir Kahane (1984)
As long as an Arab singing the national anthem would have to sing "the Jewish soul yearns," he cannot be equal to Jews;
as long as Independence Day represents the defeat of the Arabs, he cannot celebrate it;
as long as a Jew might be prepared to allow an Arab to become a general in the army but not the chief of staff, let alone prime minister, the Arab cannot feel at home;
as long as the Law of Return applies only to Jews, the Arab cannot feel that the State of Israel is his;
as long as a Jewish Knesset member does not accept the Arab's right to be a majority here, you are surely holding him in contempt when you try to convince him that he is a citizen with equal rights.

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Re: The Iron Wall

Post by Princess Perfume » 01 May 2023 21:17

Arieh Avneri, an Israeli journalist, has thoroughly researched the history of Zionist land purchase before (and during) the Mandate. He shows that the narrative of "Palestinian dispossession" is false. Zionist land purchases were of two types. 1. Unproductive land, mainly in the coastal strip between Gaza and Akko, which was mostly swamp or sand dunes. Jewish settlements in these areas did not displace anyone. 2. Productive land, mostly in Galilee, mostly bought from absentee landowners. Here there were sometimes Arab tenants. These were (legally) evicted as Jewish labour was brought in. They were compensated either with land elsewhere or with cash - usually the equivalent of 10 to 20 years' income as tenant farmers. Relations between Jewish settlements and their Arab neighbours were generally good, but deteriorated as Arab nationalism became a force after about 1910. This all shows that the popular Arab/leftist narrative about Zionist settlers driving out the Palestinians and seizing their land has little basis in fact. Neither the Ottomans before 1918 nor the British after 1918 would have allowed this.

On the other hand, Rashid Khalidi (a Palestinian academic living in the US) and Neville Mandell (apparently British - his book was originally an Oxford doctoral thesis) examine the history of Arab responses to the Zionist project and the emergence of Palestinian national identity. They show that the popular Israeli narrative that there was "no such thing as a Palestinian" before 1918, or 1948, or 1967, needs to be seriously qualified. Study of the Arabic-language press by these writers shows that there was a local Palestinian identity among the literate Arab elite as early as 1900. It formed mainly as a response to Zionism, but also as a reaction against the failure of the (Turkish) Ottoman state to prevent Zionist settlement in Palestine. Of course it took much longer to filter down to the illiterate majority. In the period after 1914, Palestinian nationalism was eclipsed by the doctrines of pan-Syrianism and later pan-Arabism, but re-emerged after the failure of the Greater Syria project and the establishment of the Mandate.

Khalidi also tries to make a case that there was widespread Arab peasant resistance to Zionist land purchase before 1914, but not very successfully. He relies on only a few instances of conflict to support his claim, but Avneri's more thorough research shows that these cases were not typical. In most cases the Arab tenants were happy to take the cash compensation and escape from the poverty of peasant life. In fact some Arab peasants offered land for sale which they didn't actually own, knowing that the Zionists would pay anyway. (It's ironic here that the al-Khalidis were one of the leading Arab landowning families who sold a lot of their land to the Zionists.)

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Re: The Iron Wall

Post by wm » 01 May 2023 23:33

Why was Arab nationalism responsible but not Jewish nationalism? It looks like victim blaming.

Pre-ww1, the number of Jews in Palestine was negligible, so no wonder there was no opposition. End even then, they were protected by the capitulations, i.e., they were excluded from Ottoman jurisdiction.

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Re: The Iron Wall

Post by Princess Perfume » 02 May 2023 00:29

Palestinian victimhood is a bogus narrative and is PLO/Fatah/Hamas/alphabet soup propaganda. I expect more.

Although it is ridiculous and offensive to tell a sovereign state such as Israel where its capital city should be.

Professor Ben Saul arrives at the same conclusion, but by a very different route, and he commits several historical howlers on the way. We should expect better from the Challis Professor of International Law - a post once held by the great Professor Julius Stone, a leading Australian Zionist.

Saul says that the reason Jerusalem cannot be the capital of Israel is because the 1948 UN Partition Plan, which proposed the creation of Jewish and Arab states in the territory of Mandate Palestine, reserved Jerusalem and Bethlehem as a "corpus separatum" (separated body) to remain under UN jurisdiction. Apparently, Saul thinks that the Partition Plan is still leading a ghostly legal existence somewhere.
But this is nonsense. The Partition Plan was just that - a plan. It could not be implemented without the agreement of both sides. The Jews accepted it, but the Arab states and the Palestinian Arab leadership rejected it outright. Therefore it lapsed, and its provisions are as defunct as those of the Treaty of Versailles.

Second, Saul says "The plan was supported by many Zionists, but opposed by most Arabs, since it unfairly allocated a disproportionate share of land to Jews relative to their share of the population." This is untrue on three counts.

* First, the plan was not accepted by "many Zionists" (a deliberately vague term), but by the Jewish National Council, the elected leadership body of the Jewish community in Mandate Palestine. The Plan had the support of the overwhelming majority of Jews, both in Palestine and in the Diaspora. Had the Arabs accepted it, there would have been a Palestinian state these last 73 years.

* Second, and more importantly, the Arab side did not reject the Plan because of the proposed distribution of land, but because they opposed the whole principle of partition and the creation of any kind of sovereign Jewish entity in Palestine. That is why they refused to participate in the work
of the United Nations Special Committee on Palestine (UNSCOP), which devised the plan.

* Thirdly, it is untrue that the Plan "unfairly allocated a disproportionate share of land to Jews." It is true that the land area allocated to the Jewish state was larger (though not much larger) than that allocated to the Arab state. But that was because the Jewish state included most of the Negev, which was then a desert. In fact the Plan allocated to each community the lands where most of its population actually lived.*

Saul next says: "Zionists relied on the plan for legitimacy when declaring Israel to be an independent state in 1948, a unilateral move not envisaged by the UN. But Israel refused to accept the plan for Jerusalem. The “plan” has underpinned the idea of a two-state solution ever since." This is also nonsense.

In drafting the Declaration of Independence, the Jewish leadership specifically rejected the idea that it was bound by the failed Partition Plan. David Ben-Gurion said: "We accepted the UN Resolution, but the Arabs did not. They are preparing to make war on us. If we defeat them and capture western Galilee or territory on both sides of the road to Jerusalem, these areas will become part of the state. Why should we obligate ourselves to accept boundaries that in any case the Arabs don't accept?" The Declaration itself says that Israel is being established, first, "by virtue of our natural and historic right," and, only secondarily, "on the strength of the resolution of the United Nations General Assembly."

Having rejected the Partition Plan, the Palestinian Arab leadership and five Arab states then waged an explicitly genocidal war against the new State of Israel. They were defeated, and Israel took possession of the land west of the 1949 ceasefire lines, including western Jerusalem. The idea that Israel should have refrained from entering Jerusalem because the failed Partition Plan had reserved it for UN jurisdiction, when the Arab armies were bent on killing the Jews or driving them out of Israel altogether, is frankly ridiculous. The losses that the Palestinians suffered in 1949, and in 1967, and in every contest with Israel since, have been inflicted on them by the folly of their own leadership.

It is also untrue that the many "two-state solutions" proposed since 1967 have been underpinned (whatever that means) by the 1948 Partition Plan.

No-one has ever seriously proposed that the Israelis and the Palestinians should return to the borders proposed by the Plan (which were in any case never delineated in detail). That boat sailed in 1949. Any two-state solution will have to be based on demographic reality, which is that a future Palestinian state can consist only of those areas where Palestinians are now a majority of the population: most of Judaea and Samaria, the Gaza strip and eastern Jerusalem.

Even that will be extremely difficult to achieve given continued Palestinian rejectionism, the growing Jewish population of Judaea and Samaria, and the extreme reluctance of most Israelis to contemplate a renewed partition of Jerusalem.

Nevertheless, that was in fact the plan which Prime Minister Olmert offered to Mahmoud Abbas in 2008, only to have Abbas literally walk out on the discussion. Once again, as in 1936, 1948, 1967 and 2000, the Palestinian leadership betrayed their own people by rejecting the best offer they were ever likely to get. I will be very surprised if any Israel government is ever again willing to put any part of Jerusalem on the negotiating table.

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Re: The Iron Wall

Post by wm » 02 May 2023 03:24

As far as I know, the story was quite simple.
The British offered Palestine, (the territory that was theirs by the right of conquest) to the Jews, expecting World Jewry's support in their war with Germany.
Then Britain legalized the entire affair through The League of Nations (at that time, basically a bunch of British and French puppets).
The natives had nothing to say in that; they were supposed to like it in silence. The only players were Britain and the Zionist Organization (which was granted a semi-official status of the Jewish government by the League.)
The rest was, as Mr. Jabotinsky said, "all natives resist colonists."

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Re: The Iron Wall

Post by Princess Perfume » 02 May 2023 10:16

wm wrote:
02 May 2023 03:24
As far as I know, the story was quite simple.
The British offered Palestine, (the territory that was theirs by the right of conquest) to the Jews, expecting World Jewry's support in their war with Germany.
Then Britain legalized the entire affair through The League of Nations (at that time, basically a bunch of British and French puppets).
The natives had nothing to say in that; they were supposed to like it in silence. The only players were Britain and the Zionist Organization (which was granted a semi-official status of the Jewish government by the League.)
The rest was, as Mr. Jabotinsky said, "all natives resist colonists."
As i said in the other thread, western leftists/Arabs are too emotionally invested in their false narrative to engage with the facts (the openly genocidal statements of the Arab League in 1948, not creating a Palestinian state in the WB and Gaza when it would have been possible in 1949-67, the conspicuous lack of UN resolutions in that period against Egypt and Jordan for "occupying Palestinian land").

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Re: The Iron Wall

Post by Peter89 » 02 May 2023 10:38

One does not need to be a leftist or an Arab to see the problems with this. We either approve the right of conquest, in which case moral categories are incomprehensible, or we approve the right of self-determination / the autochtone rights, in which case the Palestinians' right to form their own country was denied to them, the ethnic makeup of their ancient land was deliberately changed and now they have to live under Israeli oppression. If we approve the right of conquest, however, it is really hard to see Palestinian insurgents as terrorists. In this sense, they are guerilla fighters rather.
"Everything remained theory and hypothesis. On paper, in his plans, in his head, he juggled with Geschwaders and Divisions, while in reality there were really only makeshift squadrons at his disposal."

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Re: The Iron Wall

Post by Princess Perfume » 02 May 2023 10:52

the openly genocidal statements of the Arab League in 1948, eleven Israeli athletes in Munich, the murder of the helpless wheelchair using Leon Klinghoffer etc. - I will never have any sympathy for the eternally un democratically elected, self-appointed and Muslim chauvinist Palestinian leadership. And, neither should you.

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Re: The Iron Wall

Post by Peter89 » 02 May 2023 11:39

Princess Perfume wrote:
02 May 2023 10:52
the openly genocidal statements of the Arab League in 1948, eleven Israeli athletes in Munich, the murder of the helpless wheelchair using Leon Klinghoffer etc. - I will never have any sympathy for the eternally un democratically elected, self-appointed and Muslim chauvinist Palestinian leadership. And, neither should you.
I hope you realize it's not about sympathy.
"Everything remained theory and hypothesis. On paper, in his plans, in his head, he juggled with Geschwaders and Divisions, while in reality there were really only makeshift squadrons at his disposal."

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Re: The Iron Wall

Post by wm » 02 May 2023 14:07

Well, it's hard to believe that Theodor Herzl (the father of modern Zionism) devised his plan of colonization of Palestine - later so ruthlessly implemented by the Zionist Organization (and even more ruthless splinter groups - Betar, Irgun, Lehi) - because of Mr. Klinghoffer.
Herzl's plan (and the Zionist Organization) predated even the Balfour Declaration by more than twenty years.

Israel is a legal country today, so everything else is just water under the bridge - subjectively judged according to one of many moral systems.
But the notions of victim and aggressor were objective even then, and the fact is the Palestinians were the victims.

It's easy to poison the well with statements made during a desperate fight for survival. For example, there were numerous declarations in the underground newspapers in occupied Poland that no German would ever return to Germany alive.
Give us leave to break Your commandment,
When we wade toward Warsaw across
The Tatra Mountains of dead Germans,
The Baltic of enemy’s damned blood.
One only might mention that Irgun and Lehi were terrorist organizations too. That Lehi offered an anti-British alliance to the Nazis, that they literally planned for a Nazi Israel.

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Re: The Iron Wall

Post by Gooner1 » 02 May 2023 14:12

Size of Israel - 22,145 sq km

Size of Arab countries - 13,132,327 sq km

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Re: The Iron Wall

Post by Princess Perfume » 02 May 2023 23:14

At this point in the discussion the point is always raised that hostility to Israel, and even the assertion that Israel has no right to exist – in other words anti-Zionism – is not the same thing as anti-Semitism, which is hostility to Jews as Jews, not to Israel as a state. Are there not Jews who hold anti-Zionist views (it is said), and does this not prove that anti-Zionism is not the same as anti-Semitism?

As a proposition in logic, that is undeniable. There are many Jews who reject Zionism, although they are a small proportion of all the Jews in the world. They include both leftist secular intellectuals such as Shlomo Sand and Noam Chomsky, and some ultra-Orthodox sects such as Satmar, which reject secular Zionism as blasphemous. Therefore it cannot be asserted that to be an anti-Zionist is also, automatically, to be an anti-Semite.

But in practice this argument doesn’t really stand up to scrutiny. For the great majority of the world’s Jews, now and throughout history, identification with the Land of Israel as the historic homeland of the Jewish people, and the belief that the Jews should and will return there, has been and is still central to their identity as Jews, and this is true of both religious and secular Jews. To deny the legitimacy of that identity and that aspiration is in effect an attack on the Jewish people, and is experienced as such by the great majority of Jews.

In practice, most of those who most vocally espouse anti-Zionism, whether from a Muslim background or from a secular leftist background, also explicitly or implicitly espouse one or more of the traditional tropes of anti-Semitic rhetoric. The most powerful of these are that the Jews are uniquely powerful and influential, that they work together as a secret international cabal, that they control the world financial system and the world media, and that they use their power to manipulate governments for their own benefit.

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Re: The Iron Wall

Post by Princess Perfume » 02 May 2023 23:21

And don’t forget that the Palestinian Arabs voided the 1947 UN Partition Plan by embarking on their war of wanna-be
genocide against the Jewish community of the British Mandate. Lest anyone be inclined to challenge this assertion, we refer them to the words of the Arab League Secretary General Azzam Pasha as published just a few weeks before the UN partition vote in the Egyptian newspaper Akhbar al-Yom.

The creation of a Jewish state, warned Pasha, ‘will lead to a war of extermination and momentous massacre that will be spoken of like the Mongolian massacres and the Crusades.’ If there’s a singular salient lesson to be learned from 20th century Jewish history, it’s that if people say they intend to kill you, it’s wise to take them seriously.

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Re: The Iron Wall

Post by Peter89 » 03 May 2023 11:27

What is being a Jew, one might ask. It is hardly related to genetics anymore. It is also not a language. It is also not a common history of a certain group of people. It is also not a religious group with a unified system of dogmas. It is also not a way of life or a spiritual practice. Yet, it can be either or all of the above.

Being a Jew is very hard to define. Most of the Jews are living on some level of assimilation. In fact, most of their lives are not related to Israel as much as to their home country; ie they are not foreigners or aliens at home. They are at home already. Being a Jew nowadays is mostly a cultural affiliation, very similar to that of Christianity.

The holy book of the Christians also have some claims on Jerusalem, Betlehem, etc. It does not mean that there should be a Christian state there, oppressing Muslims and Jews.

The existence of Israel is not the result of the Tora. It is the result of a political movement and the British meddling in the local affairs of the Middle East.
"Everything remained theory and hypothesis. On paper, in his plans, in his head, he juggled with Geschwaders and Divisions, while in reality there were really only makeshift squadrons at his disposal."

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