Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Ahmad’s Key and Aharon’s Key

The key, as is well-known, is a powerful symbol of the Palestinian resistance, and of the Palestinians' claim that they have a right to return to the land and homes. That key is the house-key that Palestinians took with then into exile and that some of them have kept as a zekher le-hurban, a memorial of the Nakbah. As long as the key is cherished, as long as the memory is left alive, there is hope.

Last week, former Chief Justice Aharon Barak spoke of another key, a key to which he has referred in the past as a "golden key". In explaining how the State of Israel can remain both Jewish and Democratic – albeit, with difficulty, and in constant tension – he described the Law of Return as a "special key to enter this state." Only Jews have the key, but once they have entered, there is, or should be, complete equality between citizens, Jews and Arabs. (I haven't yet seen the speech in English. In Hebrew it is here.)

Two keys, then – Ahmad's key, which opens a house that probably no longer exists; Aharon's key, which opens a state that exists, and that provides access to, among other things, Ahmad's house.

That Aharon's key impairs Ahmad's claims is obvious; there is no need to argue that here. But what I wish to show is that the golden key of the Law of Return seriously impairs, and arguably destroys the claim of equality among Israeli citizens that is supposed to be the backbone of Israeli democracy.

Before I explain myself, I will assume as proven the following assumption: That the Israeli Law of Return (together with the Citizenship Law) has no parallel anywhere else in the world. Don't bother to look for any other country that has the same policies as Israel; there isn't any. If you think otherwise, leave responses here. For starters, no other Western nation state considers people belonging to its religio-ethnic group around the world, as already citizens, or potential citizens, simply lacking a formal bureaucratic act. And, to my knowledge, no other Western state lacks a formal route for naturalization for non-citizens or potential citizens In Israel, non-Jews (with the exception of spouses and certain degrees of relatives), can become citizens only on an individual basis. Only a handful – a handful out of thousands – have done so.

To see how the Law of Return inherently discriminates against Palestinian citizens of Israel (a.k.a., Israeli Arabs), consider the following story.

There is a club with eight members, and the club orders a pizza for dinner. At the last minute, four more non-club members show up. They are admitted to the club and given an equal share of the pizza. Now, the original eight are going to get less. This in itself is not unfair, provided that the eight people, or a majority thereof, vote to allow the others in.

But suppose that of the eight people, six are white, and two are black. Suppose also, that the law prohibits, in effect, blacks from entering, and permits, nay, encourages, as many whites as possible to enter. In that case, the blacks as a group are greatly disadvantaged, not only because they have a smaller overall share in the pizza than the whites, but because they will have less say in all subsequent decisions of the club.

Over the last thirty years of the twentieth century, Israel admitted well over a million former Soviet Union immigrants as citizens (not all of them Jews, but all of them non-Arabs.) That means that during the last thirty years, the number of non-Arabs in the population increased significantly. Had there been no F. S. U. aliyah, the percentage of Arabs in the population would have been around 29% today. Because of the aliyah, it is around 19%, and it has been so since 1948. So aliyah directly disadvantaged Israeli Arabs because their share of the pie (better, of the crumbs), and their political clout shrank.

In fact, since their political clout was lessened, so, too, their ability to increase their share of the pie in the future, at least, theoretically.

Now, some will argue that Israel is a Jewish state, and as such, its Arab minority will inevitably not be equal to the non-Arab majority. Fair enough.

But Aharon Barak claims that Israel can have both the Law of Return AND equality among its citizens, a Jewish and a Democratic state.

This is a myth, and the sooner it is laid to rest, the better. The Law of Return inherently discriminates against a group of people – who happen to be citizens and natives -- on the basis of ethnicity alone.

Say it out loud, and say it often.

71 comments:

Uri said...

very good analysis. let us not forget the flip-side of the law of return: the series of laws promulgated in the late 1940s/early 1950s disenfranchising the majority of the palestinian population, both those who were refugees and some of those who stayed as present absentees/nifkadim nohahim. israel didn't just make all jews presumptive citizens, it also made many recently resident palestinians non-citizens. without such acts, israel would not have been a majority jewish state, and might still not be so today.

LeaNder said...

Actually your Russians remind me of what is called "Russlanddeutsche" (Germans in Russia) over here, there was a slow flow back here after treaties by Willy Brand in late 60s but initially slow, under Kohl in the 90's it developed into a big stream ...

There is no trace of this on the English Wikipedia article, only the general history.

Also the Jewish community is predominantly of Russian origin over here now.

Maybe I shouldn't mention the Germans in this context. But then you asked.

Mike said...

1. How many new olim did establish themselves in Israel, lately ? Not a lot. A few thousands, annually. So, I guess a progressive government could drop the law of return altogether, because practically it doesn’t mean very much anymore. Furthermore, there is no anti-Semitic threat anymore in western countries where the majority of diaspora Jews live. So there is no need anymore for a shelter. And speaking about a shelter, I think Jews can find a better place than Israel.

2. The law of return could be replaced by a general quota of immigrants, Jews and non-Jews, allowed to settle in Israel (as it is the case in the United States).

3. A progressive government in Israel could renounce to the idea of a Jewish state and replace it by a democratic state giving full rights to all citizens living on its soil.

4. The main problem is a demographic one. What if the Israeli Arab population outgrows the Jewish population and the Arabs become a majority inside pre-1967 Israel? This could become a threat (unless we have a long-lasting peace in the region, of course, but I wouldn’t count on it). So to my point of view, Jews must stay as a majority in Israel for the next generations, even if non-Jews should be granted full rights.

5. Arab and Muslim states have also an implicit law of return. I am sure it’s a lot easier for a Muslim to apply as a new immigrant in Syria, Egypt etc. What about them? Shouldn’t they also be required to change their law?

Jerry Haber said...

Lea, I asked that you mention the Germans in the context of my post on The Law of Return II: What Israel Can Learn from the Germans.

Mike,

Agreement on most points. As for the last one, the easiest would be to condition amending the law of return peace upon the establishment of a Palestinian state. Chaim Gans has pointed out that the injustice or illiberality of the Israeli law would be mitigaged if there were a corresponding Palestinian law. I am not so sure about that.

And what if there were peace? There will still be those who will be afraid that war is iminent.

There are good reasons to de-Judaize some of the state instuitions and Israelize them instead. The question is how to get non-Jewish Israelis, especially, Palestinians, to buy into the Jewish state. And, frankly, I don't think that hard.

Why have the Palestinian Israelis been so loyal to the state? The answer is that for all their suffering, and their being excluded, they have achieved an Israeli identity. And that is why they don't want their towns and villages to be part of a Palestinian state.

If Israel takes in a million Palestinians, say, over a period of 10 years, there would obviously be consequences, good and bad, for the State of Israel. But I cannot see a threat to security as one of those consequences, because there won't be a threat, provided that the new citizens are treated with the respect that Israel accords (or should accord) its new citizens. And provided that Israel forges a more enclusive national identity that it presently has.

Michael W. said...

I think your scenario doesn't fit real life. Your scenario tries to make a correlation between an unchecked Jewish immigration to Israel with a decline of Israeli Arab standard of living. But it is rather the opposite. The mass immigration of Jews to Israel has increased the standard of living of Israeli Arabs. So at the end, the size of the pie grows and individually they still get more. The only problem is that the Israeli gov't needs to better allocate state resources, but Israeli Arabs still get more services than any of its Arab neighbors.

And for their political share of the pie, compare it to the share of the pie they would have gotten in Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, and Egypt with what they have in Israel.

LeaNder said...

The Law of Return II: What Israel Can Learn from the Germans.

ooops, that sentence makes me feel really uncomfortable. But if from anything than surely not from this. As you suggest: Israel should accept the past, the Naqba. And it should beware of creating a "prejudice of panic", a counter-myth, to borrow Harrison's term

In the 90's we had a running gag: What about taking back in all the Germans in America and Australia and their offspring? ...

Y. Ben-David said...

Mike apparently has taken on the mantle of being our generation's prophet. He says that today there is "no need for a shelter" since there isn't any more any antisemitism in the countries of the Exile. Thus, he somehow can guarantee that there never will be a threat of genocidal antisemitism in the future. Mike assures us of this. We can safely extrapolate current conditions indefinitely into the future.
On the other hand, there was an article in the Jerusalem Post right after the shooting in the Holocaust Museum in Washington. It was written by a non-Jew whose daughter worked there for a while. He said that there were constant bomb threats and threats made against the workers there. So maybe Mike is wrong even about the current situation of antisemitism in the American Exile.

Jerry Haber said...

Michael,

I am sorry...but where did I talk about the decline of Palestinian Israeli standard of living? The Palestinian Israeli standard of living has nothing to do with it.

Michael, have you been in any Palestinian Israeli towns lately? Would you like to compare them with Jewish towns, even development towns?

Do you know that African Americans, who traditionally have an unemployment rate that is twice the rate of American Whites, have a higher standard of living than most Africans?

So what are they complaining about?


I was talking about allocation of state resources and political clout. It is true, that I assume were the Palestinians 30% or 40% of the population they would have larger political clout and presence than they do today. I freely admit that assumption wrong; look at how the blacks in South Africa had no political power even though they were the majority.

Michael W. said...

Jerry,

Wouldn't state allocation of resources have any impact on the standard of living?

What are you complaining about? The Law of Return? You are the one that made a correlation between Jewish immigration and decrease in Arab "share of the pie". I showed you how you are wrong. Perhaps their percentage of the pizza decreased, but Jewish immigration brought a pizza of their own benefiting everyone.

I have been to an Arab town and it was much dirtier than let say Ashkelon. It was a Bedouin city. But have you ever been to the "projects" in Baltimore? But the poverty has more to do with the huge families as is evident among the ultra-orthodox and the Arab sectors.

And about political clout - so what? You are turning everything to sectarian politics. When was the last time a Jew represented an Arab party? When was the last time an Arab represented a Jewish party? You get my drift. They haven't lost the right to vote. The only political party that was ever banned was a Jewish one.

So let get to the root of what you think of the problem - Jews coming to live in Israel. Do you approve of it, disapprove it, and why?

Y. Ben-David said...

Jerry,
Here you are giving us the usual "Israeli Arabs are suffering terrible discrimination" line. Here is what you said:
--------------------------------
Michael, have you been in any Palestinian Israeli towns lately? Would you like to compare them with Jewish towns, even development towns?
----------------------------------

Ben Dror Yemini dealt at length with these claims in a series of articles in Ma'ariv in 2007.
You are implying that because of the supposedly inherently racist nature of Jews and Israel, Arabs are suffering terribly. The only problem is that it is not true.
Yes, Israeli Arab Muslims have a lower per-capita income that Jews. But the problem with your theory is that Israeli Christian Arabs have income and educational attainments equal to that of Jews. So the problem is NOT ethnic discrimination. It is due to the much lower educational attainments and workforce participation of Israeli Arab Muslim women. That is what makes the difference. And don't forget that Israeli Arabs don't have to serve in the IDF which gives them 3 years to begin to work and make money when Jewish young people are in the Army.
Regarding the dishevelled look of Israeli Arab towns, municipal tax collection (and national tax collection, for that matter) is much lower than in the Jewish sector. This is because throughout the Arab world taxes are NOT viewed as paying money in return for service...it is viewed as paying tribute to the ruler. They use every means is made to avoid paying them. In addition, if your clan controls the municipal government, they are not going to press you very hard to cough up the money.
I recall reading that Arabs, although making up 20% of the population of Israel receive something like 50% of National Insurance payouts, but they pay less than 20% of the taxes (in fact they have a large, untaxed underground economy so you have people who are officially, chronically unemployed, but they live very well on the side). Thus we see that there is a MASSIVE transfer of money from the Jewish sector to the Arab sector.
Sure there is discrimination. Also Arabs have difficulty getting jobs in government companies that requre security clearances. But if you go to Um El Fahem or Rahat, tell my how many Jewish workers the Arab businessmen there hire. How many Arabs in those towns would consider selling apartments to Jews?
The article points out there is far more discrimination against Muslim and Arab immigrants in such "progressive" countries like Britain, Holland, France, Norway, etc, etc (countries that enjoy lecturing us all the time) than there is in Israel.

Enough self-flagellation.

Jerry Haber said...

Y Ben David

A mix of half-truths and irrelevant comment. At a later date I will reply to some of them.

But let me ask you one question. If Arab political parties were in the coalition, do you think that this would materially help the Arab sector?

Why is it that Russian immigrants, fresh off the plane, many of them not being able to read Hebrew, get more government money for their sector, than fourth generation natives?

Just answer me that one question.

Jerry Haber said...

As for education of Arabs in Israel, many Arabs get advanced degrees despite the bad schools they go to. (Explain that one).

Then they don't get jobs because of "security clearance" (i.e, racism against Arab.

Don't talk to me about women staying home. Talk to me about men and women university graduates who don't get jobs because they are not part of the branja.

"Also Arabs have difficulty getting jobs in government companies that requre security clearances"

Are you saying, Y Ben David, every Israeli Arab is potentially a security threat; hence, they should not be hired? That is because he is an Arab?

Any state that is founded on that principle is BY ITS NATURE a racist state.

I know you don't care about that -- but I do.

Y. Ben-David said...

The Ben-Dror Yemini's article clearly stated that Israeli Christian Arabs have the same average income as Jews do. So I don't know what you are talking about when you say that "Arabs with advanced degrees can't get jobs because they don't belong to the branja". That is a problem for Jews as well. The lower per capita income of Israeli Muslim Arabs is largely due to their lifestyle, just like the situation with the Jewish Haredim.

I have to make one thing clear. I DON'T CARE IF ISRAEL IS AN ETHNICALLY/RELIGIOUS BASED STATE. It doesn't bother me, in fact I kind of like it. One Jewish state in the world is not one too many as you and the other 'progressives' think. There are plenty of ethnically/religiously based states in the world (how about Pakistan, for one, a country that used ethnic cleansing to rid itself of its Hindu minority). There are 23 Arab/Muslim states IIRC. If a Palestinian state arises, it will also be ethnically/religious based. Any state that has Sharia Law as part of its constitutional system automatically discriminates against non-Muslims, all Arab/Muslims states have this, to a greater or less degree. You know very well that any Palestinian state would make it very difficult if not impossible for Jews to live there. In fact Israeli Arabs refuse to even consider the idea of living in a Palestinian state. So don't bother me with this "Israel discriminates" guilt trip. If you were showing as a potential Palestinian state that would be run like a secular, Western European country, you might have some room for argument, but that is not the situation. Israel discriminates against its minorities a LOT LESS than ALL the Arab/Muslim countries and a lot less than the Western European countries do to their Muslim groups.

Another "progressive" blogger keeps calling me a "tribalist". Wow, am I supposed to lose sleep over that?

Michael W. said...

Jerry,

Two common indicator for how well off any community is how many children each family has and do the women work? In many third world countries, aide groups are focusing on educating women so they can be more independent and break the cycle of poverty. I've met an Israeli Arab who has 32 brothers and sisters from his dad's 3 wives.

Y Ben David didn't say Arabs shouldn't be hired. He just said anyone who works for the government should get a clearance.

Some acquaintances of mine met a few Israeli Technion students. They said about a third of the medical students are Arab. I bet this institution gets a lot of funding from Jewish donors in the Diaspora. There doesn't seem any discrimination there.

JES said...

First, it's interesting about keys. Did you know that there are hundreds of families in the Maghreb who still hold keys to their "homes" in al-Andalusia following the reconquista? After over 500 years, they must certainly have swollen in number to tens of millions. Do you think that the Spanish should, today, institute a "Right of Return" for these "refugee".


And then you make the specious argument that no other Western state considers members its "religio-ethnic group" to be citizens or potential citizens. Well, this is highly tricky wording, because the Irish, the Greeks and (correct me if I'm wrong Lea) all treat fellow members of their ethnic group, even if they or their parents were not born in the country of "origin", preferentially in terms of obtaining citizenship.

Now, let me counter your challenge with a challenge for you and your readers: Name one other group besides the Palestinian refugees that passes refugee status from generation to generation (i.e. that after 61 years the population has actually grown at a phenomenal rate). Don't bother looking for one because there isn't any!

Now, let me point out the fallacy of your pizza example. It's called the "Image of Limted Good" and you can read about it here. The answer that a real progressive would give is that the either the blacks or the whites (or, preferably both together) would simply order another pizza!

Now, presumably, you came here under the "Law of Return". I have a proposition. Why don't you and I work together for passage of a law in the Knesset. Let's call this the "Law of Selective Rejection of the Law of Return". Under this law, you, or someone else living outside of Israel could go into any consulate and permanently and irrevocably revoke their right of entry into Israel under the Law of Return. Moreover, they would thereby irrevocably revoke the rights of their children, and their childrens' children to claim citizenship under the Law of Return. In exchange, one refugee would be allowed entry with their nuclear family.

JES said...

What are you complaining about? The Law of Return? You are the one that made a correlation between Jewish immigration and decrease in Arab "share of the pie". I showed you how you are wrong. Perhaps their percentage of the pizza decreased, but Jewish immigration brought a pizza of their own benefiting everyone.

Michael, Right On!

Ariram said...

The Council of Europe established a committee of jurists known as the Venice Commission to deal with the relationship between a homeland and its kinsmen living abroad. It found that relationship between a homeland and its diaspora kinsmen do not contravene international law.
Here a few countries with laws similar to our Law of Return:
China - Chinese immigration law gives priority to returning Overseas Chinese, including many whose families lived outside of China for generations.
Bulgaria-According to the Constitution of Bulgaria, Article 25: "A person of Bulgarian origin shall acquire Bulgarian citizenship through a facilitated procedure."
Germany - German law allows persons of German descent living in Eastern Europe to return to Germany and claim German citizenship.
Finland - The Finnish Aliens Act provides for persons who are of Finnish origin to receive permanent residence. This generally means Ingrian Finns from the former Soviet Union, but United States, Canadian or Swedish nationals with Finnish ancestry can also apply.
Ireland-Irish national law provides for Irish citizenship to be acquired on the basis of at least one Irish grandparent. If a person outside of Ireland who is entitled to claim Irish citizenship elects not to, that person may nonetheless pass that right on to her or his own children, even if the basis for the entitlement being passed on is a single Irish grandparent.
Belarus-Citizenship act of the Republic of Belarus (2002) states that permanent residence term requirements may be waived for ethnic Belarusians and descendants of ethnic Belarusians born abroad.
Russia - A law passed by the Russian Federation in March 1999 states that any compatriot who returns to the Federation immediately becomes a Russian citizen, with all the attendant rights and obligations.
Armenia-Article 14 of the Constitution of the Republic of Armenia (1995) provides that "Individuals of Armenian origin shall acquire citizenship of the Republic of Armenia through a simplified procedure." "Armenians living abroad are entitled to the citizenship of the Republic of Armenia".
Poland-"Anyone whose Polish origin has been confirmed in accordance with statute may settle permanently in Poland."
Serbia - Article 23 of the 2004 citizenship law provides that the descendants of emigrants from Serbia, or ethnic Serbs residing abroad, may take up citizenship upon written declaration.
Lithuani-"Every Lithuanian person may settle in Lithuania."
All this means that the Israeli Law of Return, which grants immediate citizenship to any Jew living abroad is in accord with the democratic norms.
As usual, anti-Zionists, "forget" that the term "Jewish" denotes religion AND peoplehood. Show me another people, who lost its territorial base for more than 1900 years, was dispersed all over, lost his common language, but was able to preserve its historical memory, his religion and his strong emotional connection to the land of its origin, and did not disappear from the world scene. And, after all those centuries, was able to restore its independent state in the place of its origin. The religion was the only way to decide who belongs to that people. Give Israel several hundred years of independence and religion will lose its place and it will be like any other country. What is more, the Law of Return does not require that the immigrant be a believer or observe the religious obligations. Otherwise not a single Bulgarian (and many other) Jew would have been allowed to return and become a citizen.
And, you apparently forgot that Israel is the nation-state of the Jewish people. It has the right to decide its immigration policy. And, one defines a Jewish state as one with a Jewish majority.
As for the rights of the Arab minority in Israel. Contrary to you, I believe that it is entitled to unconditioned equality, as is clearly stated in the Israeli Declaration of Independence. And that equality has nothing to do with the size of the minority

Jerry Haber said...

Michael W.

>Wouldn't state allocation of resources have any impact on the standard of living?

It might.

What are you complaining about? The Law of Return? You are the one that made a correlation between Jewish immigration and decrease in Arab "share of the pie". I showed you how you are wrong. Perhaps their percentage of the pizza decreased, but Jewish immigration brought a pizza of their own benefiting everyone.

> Find the contradiction in what you wrote above. And please tell me how the addition of over 1 million Russians helped the Israeli Arabs' standard of living in the last twenty years.

I have been to an Arab town and it was much dirtier than let say Ashkelon. It was a Bedouin city. But have you ever been to the "projects" in Baltimore? But the poverty has more to do with the huge families as is evident among the ultra-orthodox and the Arab sectors.

>If you can bring the services that the Baltimore projects get to the Arab towns here, tfadal. Let's start with adequate plumbing, waste disposal, and room for expansion.

>And about political clout - so what? You are turning everything to sectarian politics. When was the last time a Jew represented an Arab party? When was the last time an Arab represented a Jewish party? You get my drift. They haven't lost the right to vote. The only political party that was ever banned was a Jewish one.

>Sorry, the only political party whose ban was upheld was a Jewish one. And by the way, I was opposed to that banning.

>You don't seem to know much about the Israeli political system. You don't seem to know that EVERYTHING is sectorial. If your party is in the coalition, you get mucho resources. If not, then you don't.

>In sixty years plus of the state, no Arab political party
So let get to the root of what you think of the problem - Jews coming to live in Israel. Do you approve of it, disapprove it, and why?

What does the question have to do with my post?

I have no problem with Jews living in Israel/Palestine. I have a problem with the kind of Jewish state founded in 1948.

Jerry Haber said...

YBD

"I don't know what you are talking about when you say that "Arabs with advanced degrees can't get jobs because they don't belong to the branja".

From Haaretz, March 31, 2008

Educated Arab Israelis unlikely to find jobs

By Yoav Stern

His mother left school when she was 10. His father dropped out in the eighth grade. Now, 29-year-old Arafat Shalata from Sakhnin has had more years of schooling than his parents combined. In this respect, Shalata with a master's degree in a branch of statistics (quality studies) from the University of Haifa is typical of the academic revolution among Israeli Arabs. The official data supports the impression that for them academic studies have become a necessity, though once an unaffordable luxury. The education level in the Arab sector has risen considerably. But don't try to get a job.

In the 1960s, only 50 percent of adult Arab Israelis had more than one year of schooling. By 2005, half of them had more than 11 years of education. The Jewish sector has also seen an impressive, albeit less drastic, increase in education.

In the 1960s, half of all Jewish adults had less than eight years of schooling. By 2005, more than 50 percent of adult Jews had more that 12 years of education

But the formidable leap in education is still awaiting another statistic to catch up - employment of Arab college graduates. Many, including Shalata, are having difficulty finding work in their field. The number of unemployed Arab college graduates is significantly higher in the Arab sector, than the number of unemployed Jewish college graduates in the Jewish sector.

The level of education among the Arab public is 20 years behind the rest of Israel, and is roughly on the same level as Jews enjoyed in the 1980s.

The large gaps in education between Arabs and Jews began showing clearly in 1948, when most Arab college graduates left as refugees. The Arabs who stayed mostly worked in agriculture and belonged to the rural population.

Jerry Haber said...

Sixty years later, the academic revolution seems to have permeated to broad sections of Israel's Arab population. Young Arabs now live in an environment stressing the importance of education. In many homes, degrees are proudly displayed in the living room.

"That which I had been deprived of"

When Shalata's 50-year-old mother left the fifth grade, she did so to take on more duties in her parents' household. "I am giving my children that which I had been deprived of," she says.

Shalata's younger sister is also in school, studying for a bachelor's degree at Safed Academic College. A third sibling works in construction.

Shalata's case is typical of young college graduates his age. After graduating from high school, he got a job in construction for a year, saving up for university. He enrolled in a degree program in statistics that has relatively easy entrance requirements. He did not find a job after graduation so signed up for a master's degree. His grade average increased each academic year. His master's degree, which he completed in 2005, had a high average of 88 out of 100.

Today, Arafat Shalita makes a living by working as a tutor at three academic institutions, putting in four hours a week at each. Yet he earns less NIS 4,000, and any given month faces dismissal for lack of demand. During the summer he joins his father and cousins and works in construction.

Shalata has tried for years to get a job as a statistician without success. But he keeps sending out his CV and applying for government jobs. He is building a home in Sakhnin and plans to marry in a year and half but says he will move to Jerusalem if offered a government job there.

Shalata says he has no regrets about his decision to study. He would do it all over again, he says, but maybe in a different field. "Getting an education is about culture. An educated person knows how to cope with life's problems. He or she can face conflicts and resolve them successfully."

As a statistician, Shalata says, he knows the average retirement age for construction workers is 40 to 45. "And then what would I do?" he asks.

Unemployed college graduates like Shalata, according to the Central Bureau of Statistics, make up 12.5 percent of all Arab college graduates. The figure on the Jewish side in only 3.5 percent. Women fare slightly better. In many cases, Arab graduates are forced to seek jobs as school teachers rather than work in their professional fields.

The desperate need to find a job caught the attention of entrepreneurs who established head-hunter agencies. One of the largest is the Shfaram-based Arabjob. "At first we were making real progress because there was a huge demand," says founder Amir Hasson, noting he recruited 1,400 college graduates on his list of job seekers.

But in 2007 Arabjob succeeded in finding work for only 20 people. He says his candidates had trouble passing evaluation tests. It could be due, he says, to the belief among many Arab job seekers that Jewish bosses won't hire them.

Jerry Haber said...

YBD

I don't know how to answer you because I don't know who you are, Alan Dershowitz or Meir Kahane.

Some times you respond like Dershowitz, i.e., some Israel advocacy type. So you quote articles from a rightwing tabloid that try to say, in effect, that things aren't so bad for the Arabs, that the problems are comparable to other places, and that they are mostly of their own making because of their culture. Oh, and the security business.

That's the boring YBD.

But then at other times you sound much more interesting...like when you entertain the idea that you would support an Israel that is a Jewish Saudia Arabia.

So, for the heck of it, let me give you the following scenarios. Call this "How Much of a Tribalist Are You?" text

Scenario 1

A third intifada arises, at the end of which there is a halakhic revolution. The State of Israel is constituted a medinat halakha. Non-Jews are not allowed to be citizens of the Jewish state, but they are allowed to stay as Resident Aliens. They have certain rights, but they must walk around aware of their lower social status. They are only allowed to serve in menial professions.

In short, it is the Mishneh Torah.

Would you support such a state? Would you leave it and go elsewhere?

Scenario 2

Add to the first scenario laws that govern the segregation of Jews and Arabs. Separate beaches, separate parks, penalties for inter-religious dating, and strong penalties for inter-religious sexual relations..

Would you support such a state? Would you leave it and go elsewhere?

Scenario 3

Following, again, a bloody intifada, it is decided to expel all Arabs, whether they participated in the intifada or not. No Aravim, no piguim.


Would you support such a state? Would you leave it and go elsewhere?

Michael W. said...

Why were you against the ban of kach?

Compared to Lebanon, Israel is hardly sectarian. There are far too many parties and they have switched powers several times. Labor didn't lose power because their voters left the country. Labor lost power because voters favored different parties. That's not sectarian.

Michael W. said...

Jerry,

The 3 scenarios you describe to YBD are never going to happen. They sound like it came out of a mad men. How about give us poll results showing how many Israelis support the measures you described?

Jerry Haber said...

Michael W,

Read the comment above about the problems of educated Arab students getting jobs.

Then read the US State Departments report on Human Rights in Israel.

JES,

I answered your point on the appropriate post. Irish and all. Please read more carefully

And as for the refugee status of the Palestinians, that was determined by the UN. But I make a deal with you. 700,000 were expelled. Let's let 700,000 back. That's pretty generous of me.

Your example from the Hasbara handbook is completely irrelevant. I am not talking about dividing the land. I am talking about dividing the government budget. And that, my friend, is finite.

But...you know the point about the Land is well taken. Since Jews are urban, we will just move all the Jews out of the West Bank, the Galil, and the Negev, into the four major cities of Israel -- and give the land to the Arab Christians and Muslims.

Thank you for that example, JES. You have just passed Hasbara 101.

"Now, presumably, you came here under the "Law of Return". I have a proposition. Why don't you and I work together for passage of a law in the Knesset. Let's call this the "Law of Selective Rejection of the Law of Return". Under this law, you, or someone else living outside of Israel could go into any consulate and permanently and irrevocably revoke their right of entry into Israel under the Law of Return. Moreover, they would thereby irrevocably revoke the rights of their children, and their childrens' children to claim citizenship under the Law of Return. In exchange, one refugee would be allowed entry with their nuclear family."

Interesting proposition. But, unfortunately, it bars entry into Israel of an individual because of a decision of his or her ancestors -- and no liberal could support that.

JES said...

I answered your point on the appropriate post. Irish and all.

No you didn't. You stated why the German law was "problematic" and how Israel might learn from that. Fair enough. But you did not respond to my post (and couldn't have because yours pre-dated it). Again, I was responding to your challenge that there were no Western states that had immigration laws that matched precisely those of your definition. BTW, Germany does have a discriminatory immigration law today; They give preference to Jews from the FSU, irrespective of German "ethnic" background, and they even give them grants (which I believe are higher than those of the Jewish Agency).

As to your "deal" I think you missed the point. (It's all a matter of reading comprehension, isn't it Jerry?) My point was that, out of the hundreds of millions of refugees that have been created since 1948 there is not one case where the number of refugees has actually increased from generation to generation. This is particularly aggregious as there is a great deal of evidence that it was kept that way for political reasons, and it makes no difference that the UN decided that. At any rate, the majority of the other refugee populations do not make it back to their countries of origin and very few of those who do, make it back to their exact locations (your "key" example). Sure it would be "generous" for us to allow 700,000 back in the country. It would also be "generous" for Lebanon to amend its constitution to make 700,000 full, equal citizens. Maybe, you should stop trying to be "generous" for me?

You should read more carefully what I wrote about the "Image of Limited Good" and its relation to the zero-sum game. The "pizza" in your example doesn't represent land (which is finite - I don't know how, apart from draining the Mediterranean we would create more land) but it does represent the government budget which is most defnitiely not finite, and that was my point!

...unfortunately, it bars entry into Israel of an individual because of a decision of his or her ancestors -- and no liberal could support that.

You'll excuse me, but that's an interesting cop-out. No Jerry, this wouldn't bar your grandchildren from entry into Israel in time of need. It would just mean that they would have to go to the back of the line after all the Jews and Palestinians!

Y. Ben-David said...

Jerry, I don't know what happened to you in this thread, but you have become a different person, not the usual calm commentator who uses reasoned arguments. You are lashing out and using ad hominem attacks. The article I quoted from Ma'ariv was full of statistics proving the writer, Ben-Dror Yamini's report. You simply dismiss the whole thing by saying that Ma'ariv is a "right-wing tabloid". Ma'ariv is NOT right wing, and you know that. In my arguments with you "progressives", I almost never use "right-wing" sources because I am familiar with the tactic of refusing to answer the arguments present and simply saying "consider the source!".
So then you bring a nice anecdotal story from Ha'aretz (which I could also say is a very biased Left-wing newspaper) and, which in fact, then points out the same thing Yemini was saying...that things have improved for the Arabs over the years.

Next, you lash out at me, comparing me to Kahane. Yes, I am a "right-wing, pro-settler, anti-Oslo Orthodox/religious" person, but that does not make me a KACH supporter. I have stated before that I am for democratization of Israel and that includes Arab rights. I think KACH should be allowed to run in the elections, and I think also that the requirements for parties to say "they recognize the Jewish nature of the state" should be dropped, and Arab parties should be free to say they want Israel to stop being a Zionist state, as long as they do it peacefully. I think Arutz 7 should be allowed to broadcast, I also think the Reform Movement should also be allowed to set up a radio station if they want, I also support state funding for Reform congregations if they can show they have a kehilla in a particular town (even though I do not pray in Reform synagogues). I think the Islamic movement should be able to have their own radio station as well, as long as they don't preach hate and violence. (Side note, I just read that in Britain they wanted to pass a law banning "hate speech", but they had to put in a special proviso exempting the Qur'an from this!).
I am also willing to consider allowing Jewish marriage ceremonies to be conducted by non-Orthodox officials.
I think police brutality should be investigated fairly, whether it was used against Arabs, Haredim or settler demonstrators. So please don't try to classify me as some sort of fascist.

I think I understand why you feel the way you do. I see it in all the "progressive" bloggers. It is despair. Fifteen years ago when the Olso fiasco was foisted on us, all the "progressives" were saying "the settlers are finished, peace is around the corner". After Sharon destroyed Gush Katif, again we heard "the settlers are finished, their patron has turned on them, Sharon has also destroyed the Likud, it will never be in power again". But now you realize that the settlers are "not finished", that the political Right is not dead, that Jewish stubborness in our love for Eretz Israel and our age-old drive to settle it is still here. Some have given up hope entirely, others like Benny Morris have more or less admitted they were wrong, others put their hopes in Obama, thinking he is some sort of superman who will accomplish what all his predecessors have failed to do. Meanwhile, we, on our side, keep plugging along. I do not accept your doom and gloom predictions, although I am convinced there is no chance of a peace agreement under current circumstance. I do believe that if we maintain Jewish "tsumud" (steadfastness), a practical modus-vivendi can and will be reached some years down the line. As a religious Jew you should be able to understand that.

Jerry Haber said...

Y. Ben David

My apologies for if I went "ad hominem", though asking whether somebody is Dershowitz or Kahane is hardly "ad hominem."

In any event, thank you for clearing up your views.

But you know I was reacting to what you had written. You wrote:

"I have to make one thing clear. I DON'T CARE IF ISRAEL IS AN ETHNICALLY/RELIGIOUS BASED STATE. It doesn't bother me, in fact I kind of like it. One Jewish state in the world is not one too many as you and the other 'progressives' think. There are plenty of ethnically/religiously based states in the world (how about Pakistan, for one, a country that used ethnic cleansing to rid itself of its Hindu minority). There are 23 Arab/Muslim states IIRC. If a Palestinian state arises, it will also be ethnically/religious based. Any state that has Sharia Law as part of its constitutional system automatically discriminates against non-Muslims, all Arab/Muslims states have this, to a greater or less degree"

I inferred from that -- perhaps wrongly -- that you would have no quarrels with Israel becoming a religio-ethnic based state like, say, Saudi Arabia, one ruled by a moderate version of sharia/halakha, suitably modernized.

Now that is where we differ. Because I think that Saudia Arabia and Pakistan, etc., are illiberal states that no Jewish state should even begin to emulate.

I understand you to be saying that you don't want Israel to become like, say, Saudia Arabia, but you could live with it. They have theirs? Why shouldn't we have ours?

That, my friend, is Kahanism. The question is not whether it is a likely scenario or not -- it is not, although the three bills passed recently in the Knesset that have been attacked by all decent human beings (including neocons like Ruth Gavison) show that we are on the slippery slope.

The question, YBD, and you have not answered it yet, is "What are your red lines in loyalty to an ethno-religious based State?" What legislation could Israel pass that you would say to, "Ad Kan!"

This question is not a difficult one. The Right has wrestled with it for years, ever since Oslo.

Once again, I do not have a problem with some sort of ethnic preference in immigration, and I never said I did.

I also understand those who say, point blank, that the State of Israel is so important to them that if it becomes more like Saudi Arabia than, say, Greece or France, they would have no problem with that.

What I don't like is those people who use specious arguments and analogies to claim that Israel is a western style liberal democracy. It is not.

That's all.

And for the record, I think it would be a tragedy for the Palestinian state to go in that route, too. I see no reason why Jews, in principle, cannot be citizens of a Palestinian state. Certainly the Palestinian Authority has never said anything like that.

Jerry Haber said...

YBD,

When you mentioned the Maariv articles, I replied:

"A mix of half-truths and irrelevant comment. At a later date I will reply to some of them."

That later date hasn't come yet, but don't think I was just dimissing you.

Do you plan to reply to the Haaretz article? I mean, you asked me how do I know that educated Israeli Arabs are getting fewer jobs than educated Israeli Jews, and I gave you a direct answer based on an article that you dismiss as "a nice anecdotal story"

What is anecdotal about this:

"Unemployed college graduates like Shalata, according to the Central Bureau of Statistics, make up 12.5 percent of all Arab college graduates. The figure on the Jewish side in only 3.5 percent. Women fare slightly better. In many cases, Arab graduates are forced to seek jobs as school teachers rather than work in their professional fields."

Jerry Haber said...

JES

1) Read the comments to the post, Irish and all. Ireland does not have any *ethnic* preference in immigration or naturalization.

2) What was my definition of an immigration law that the other Western countries did not fit into? Please quote what I said.

3) I answered your comment before your wrote it because somebody else had asked the same question. Had you read the appropriate post, you would have seen that.

4) You write that the State of Israel's budget is "most definitely not finite."

Well, what more can I say to that?

Y. Ben-David said...

Jerry-
I say "the situation of Arabs economically and socially in Israel as a minority is far better than those of the population of the surrounding Arab countries, or as Muslim and Arab minorities in Western Europe".
You say "none of this matters because there is still a difference between Arabs and Jews".
That is all that matters to you. I point out that there is little Arab emigration from Israel to the surrounding Arab states and the Israeli Arabs VEHEMENTLY reject any idea of attaching the territory they live on to the Palestinian authority. They certainly don't want to live under Arab rule. They obviously don't think it is so bad here, even though they are not equal.
This is the end of the discussion. There is no more to say. You set up some value that doesn't exist ANYWHERE in the world (total equality between all people of all genders, races, religions, etc, etc) and put that as the only value, instead of caring about the lives of people here, on earth, on the ground.

Michel said...

About the notion of "Jewish state". When you read, Herzl’s "Der Judenstaat", you keep wondering what this secular Austrian/Hungarian Jew, who first thought of converting all the Jews to Christian faith, had in mind. Did he dream about a Jewish halakhahic state or just a state for the Jews, i.e. a safe heaven where Jews could live in peace. Herzl was a positive mind and his somewhat crazy utopian Altneuland bears clearly a Fourierist influence. His first aim was to find a secular solution to protect the Jews from anti-Semitic outbursts and not to create an ethnocratic state, which was more what the Russian Jews had in mind. I am just a European Jew and I have no advice to offer to the Israelis but I think we should get back to Herzl’s true thinking and basic principle, which was first to protect the Jews. Which drives me to my second point.

In all western countries, Jews rights are fully granted and Jews are protected as any other category of citizens. You may stumble occasionally upon isolated anti-Semitic acts but there is no political nor state anti-Semitism, as it was before the WW II. So when people like Y Ben-David speak about Anti-Semitism in “Exile” (to me “Exile” is my home), they should keep in mind the distinction between isolated acts of anti-Semitism or even ordinary Anti-Jewish opinions and State anti-Semitism, which is the real danger. I recognize that a lot of European Jews are concerned about anti-Semitism but to my opinion, they tend to confound fantasy (fear) and reality. When I hear some of my wealthy friends, living in posh villas with huge lawns, cars, private school for kids etc complaining about anti-Semitism, I feel odd and estranged. What are they talking about? They are living like kings. They are totally secure and accepted. Politicians from all sides are constantly paying respect to the jewish communities in diaspora. Sometimes, I think we should all get once for all a collective therapy to heal from the Shoah trauma which belongs to the past. And also to distance ourselves from the likkudniks and the neo-cons who are playing with our fear for the sake of their interests.

Sorry about my broken English.

JES said...

Your argument on Ireland is weak, because, while in principle, it is easy for a "Fijian" to become a citizen, in practice it is quite difficult. Also, you should look at Greece's citizenship law, in that it not only provides a preference for ethnicity, but it also defines ethnicity as having been baptized in the Greek Orthodox Church. (Being a secular Zionist and having a half-Christian grandchild and a half-Muslim step-daugther, I prefer our "Law of Return"!)

You want me to quote what you wrote:

For starters, no other Western nation state considers people belonging to its religio-ethnic group around the world, as already citizens, or potential citizens....

There you go.

You write that the State of Israel's budget is "most definitely not finite."

Well, what more can I say to that?

Well, you might want to start by re-reading the article and then by saying that you didn't understand. The budget is not finite! The more that society produces the more money is available for that budget. The fact that the budget is not distributed more equally is a separate issue. You might want to take a trip down to Yeruham or Mitzpe Ramon to see how some Jews live (both Sepharadim and Ashkenazim) in this country.

Land, in contrast, is a finite resource and the Palestinians cannot remain in the late 19th or early 20th century in terms of their social structure while continuing to have one of the highest population growth rates in the world. Going back to your pizza example, it's simply not fair to the rest of us who are sharing this country.

JES said...

Unemployed college graduates like Shalata, according to the Central Bureau of Statistics, make up 12.5 percent of all Arab college graduates. The figure on the Jewish side in only 3.5 percent.

With all due respect, Jerry, but there are two factors that are missing in this statistic (one of which was touched upon in Yoav Stern's article).

First is the nature of the Arab extended family, which Stern mentions briefly. That is, that Shalata currently resides in Sakhnin and is building a house there for he and his wife. However, he stated that if he were to be offered a government job, he would move to Jerusalem. On the whole, the Jewish population is much more mobile.

The second factor that is missing from the cold statistic is what are these Arab youth studying? Is there a demand for this (at least in the areas in which they live)? In Shalata's case, he chose statistics because the entry requirements were easy. That's an indication that there isn't much demand for statisticians.

Arabs tend to do extremely well in medicine, for example, where there is a lot of demand in the areas where they tend to live. About six months ago, I was hospitalized briefly while on vacation in the north. Pretty much the entire staff (those who weren't Russian Jews) from the head of the department right down to the orderlies were Arabs.

Jerry Haber said...

"The budget is not finite! The more that society produces the more money is available for that budget. The fact that the budget is not distributed more equally is a separate issue. You might want to take a trip down to Yeruham or Mitzpe Ramon to see how some Jews live (both Sepharadim and Ashkenazim) in this country."

JES, show me a country with an infinite budget, and then we will talk....

What you want to say, I guess, is that a country can print money and go into debt indefinitely. But it can't. Because then its money has no value.

In the same way, every body lives on an infinite amount of land, since we can subdivide the land infinitely...but then what land will we have of value?

My whole point, ribono shel olam, was about the inequity of dividing the budget when the Arabs are never at the coalition table -- and every other sector of Israel's society has been.

Not a single one of you guys have even related to this point, much less answered it.

Doesn't it bother you that Arab political parties are never invited to coalition talks? And don't say, "They wouldn't enter a coalition." That is not at all the point.

"Your argument on Ireland is weak, because, while in principle, it is easy for a "Fijian" to become a citizen, in practice it is quite difficult"

Please explain to me what this is so. Have you looked at the Irish Citizenship Law?

Y. Ben-David said...

Michel-
You made me happy when you pointed out that I used the word "Exile" in reference to the world outside Eretz Israel. As a religious Jew, I believe a Jew's natural place is in Eretz Israel, if he is not there, he is in EXILE, regardless of whether he suffers from antisemitism or not, although history has shown that it is INEVITABLE that living in Exile ultimately leads to the non-Jews trying to vomit the Jews out of their lands. It may take some time, but it is inevitable.

Jerry-your allegation that the Arabs don't get a fair shake from the state's budget because their parties are not part of the coalition is incorrect. The government always recruits votes from the opposition parties in order to pass the budget and this includes the Arabs. They do get goodies from the state. As I pointed out, there is a MASSIVE transfer of money out of Jewish pockets into Arabs one in Israel so please don't make this ridiculous claim that we are "starving them out" or whatever.
And believe me, if they united into one party with 9 seats instead of dividing into 3 each of which has something like 3 seats each, they would get even more, but don't blame the Jews for the endemic Arab disunity.

Jerry Haber said...

"Also, you should look at Greece's citizenship law, in that it not only provides a preference for ethnicity, but it also defines ethnicity as having been baptized in the Greek Orthodox Church. (Being a secular Zionist and having a half-Christian grandchild and a half-Muslim step-daugther, I prefer our "Law of Return"!)"

JES, you are wrong twice, first about Greece, then about Israel's Law of Return. Please read the Greece Law of Citizenship more carefully. Being a member of the Greek Orthodox Church is *not* a sufficient condition for Greek ethnicity, unlike Jews in the Law of Return, where being converted Jewish is. You cannot become an ethnic Greek, or of ethnic Greek descent, by religious conversion.

A Jew according to the law of return, is somebody who is born of a Jew (one Jewish grandfather) or who converts to Judaism, and is not a member of another religion. So Israel recognize Jewish secular atheists as Jews but not Jews for Jesus, even though the latter consider themselves Jews and have not converted to Christianity, and Christians do not consider them Christian.

Of course, if Jews believe that the Lubavicher rebbe is the messiah, that he died and will rise again, that is ok.

And, please tell me the Israeli equivalent of the following:

"If the alien is not an ethnic Greek, a total of ten years of residence in Greece within the last 12 years before the submission of the application for naturalization or five years of residence in Greece after the declaration concerning naturalization. An application for naturalization submitted to the Ministry of the Interior."

Jerry Haber said...

YBD,

In lots of European countries, immigrant are discriminated against by native citizens

In Israel, by contrast, the native citizens are discriminated against by immigrants.

Jerry Haber said...

I meant, of course, one Jewish grandparent

Mike said...

Mike and Michel are the same person.

The truth is that if your compare a modern western democratic State where anybody is basically welcome and an ethnocentric State with specific and narrow rules for immigration, then the latter is something like an anachronism. It is out of sync, at least from a western secular point of view and standards. And this is even more so since the historical cause of the “law of return”, i.e. State and organized anti-Semitism in western countries has disappeared. I often hear pro-Palestinians say: “How come that a half and even fake Jew from Russia is automatically given Israeli citizenship and a Palestinian whose ancestors lived on that land for centuries is not allowed to come back?” I don’t have the answer but I think it's a tough question.

Michael W. said...

Jerry,

You mean one group of indigenous people discriminate against another group of indigenous people?

Jerry Haber said...

YBD

Some corrections, mine and yours

True, the Arab parties, like other oppositions parties, have some political power, particularly for certain votes. I remember when, in the Rabin government, they were part of the Gush ha-Hosem, although they were part of the opposition.

But why won't you just concede that parties within the coalition have much more power, especially through their portfolios. Look, for example, at the Housing Ministry and the Haredim. Look at the Interior and Shas.

Why, after close to 40 comments, YBD, are you ignoring this fundamental fact. Arab political parties are not close to the plate.

You also repeat the mantra that if there were one Arab party with 10 seats, that would make a difference. In fact, it would make no differece. For the Arab political parties almost always vote in a bloc, so their power remains the same. And look how many tiny parties of 1-3 members have been parts of government coalitions. How much financial clout does Kadima wield now, outside of the coalition.

I simply don't think my readers, especially my American readers, realize what an enormous difference it makes for your sector if you are sitting in a coalition or not. But you realize it, YBD. Just concede the point.

We are a nation of Jewish settlers and immigrants, Michael W. The State of Israel is a settler state. Look at the population statistics from the turn of the century and onward; look at them even in 1948.

JES said...

Okay Jerry, let's have a look. First at the Irish code. While citizenship is automatically granted to a person born of an Irish grandparent, "naturalisation to a foreigner as an Irish citizen is a discretionary power held by the Irish Minister for Justice. Naturalisation is granted on a number of criteria including good character, residence in the state and intention to continue residing in the state."

Now, let's look at the Greek case. Here too children of a Greek mother get all sorts of dispensation (even if she is a Greek Cypriot!), yet despite the passage that you quoted, if you go down to Article 8, which reads as follows:

Article 8
1. The naturalization is approved by a decision of the Minister of the Interior, Public Administration and Decentralization, which is published at the Government Gazette.
2. The decision that rejects the application for naturalization does not include a justification. A new application for naturalization is permitted only after one year from the rejection of the previous application.


Now, compare this with with Israeli law:

"Adults may acquire Israeli citizenship through naturalization. To be eligible for naturalization, a person must have resided in Israel for three years out of the previous five years. In addition, the applicant must have a right to reside in Israel on a permanent basis. All naturalization requests are, however, at the discretion of the Minister of the Interior."

So there's your comparison. All three give very generous advantages to members of their own ethnic group while leaving the case for naturalization of a "foreigner" purposely vague and, in the final analyis, up to a government ministry.

In the case of Israel, I'm sure that if you take a look around, you'll see a number of naturalized citizens. These include Vietnamese boat people, Bosnian refugees and, most recently, refugees from Darfur. None of these have converted.

Now, by way of comparison, you might want to take a look at the Palestinian Basic Law. You should see, particularly, Articles 4 and 7. Tell me, Jerry, what kind of a law of citizenship do you think they'll have?

Y. Ben-David said...

Jerry:

You said:
--------------------------------
We are a nation of Jewish settlers and immigrants, Michael W. The State of Israel is a settler state. Look at the population statistics from the turn of the century and onward; look at them even in 1948.
---------------------------------

Yes, and you are one of the settlers. So am I. Israel is a settler state. So is he US, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Mexico, Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Venezuela, Brazil, Guyana, Trinidad, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Pakistan (at least the Mohajirs are), the Palestinians (one of the big clans in Hevron is called Al-Masri which means "the Egyptian"), South Africa (neither the Whites nor the Blacks are indegenous), Lebanon (Fuad Ajami, a Shi'ite from Southern Lebanon points out that his last name means "The Persian" since one of his recent ancestors came from there to Lebanon). Shall I go on?
BTW-Oklahoma was stolen from the Indians population, to whom it had been promised in perpetuity, in 1890, just before Herzl created the Zionist Organization. Do you view Oklahoma as being "reversible"?

Jerry Haber said...

Greece and other countries makes naturalization difficult and lengthy, but there are regular procedures, and people are not screened on ethnic basis. And it is likely that the laws will changed

“One-third of Greeks believe immigrants should be naturalized after five years of residence in Greece, according to findings of a nationwide poll conducted by the Technical University of Crete in November 2003. About 16 percent said it should be after 10 years, and 22 percent said immigrants should never be eligible for Greek citizenship.”

http://livingingreece.gr/2007/03/16/greek-citizenship-citizen-through-naturalization-american-spouse-greece-marriage-work-residence-permit/#ixzz0KDKDYidc&D

Israel, by contrast, has no naturalizatio process, only in extraordinary cases.

Do me a favor, and find out how many non-ethnic Greeks have been naturalized as citizens in the last 10 years and how many people not classified as falling under the law of return have been naturalized in Israel in the last 10 years.

Then we can talk.

Jerry Haber said...

I didn't say that Israel was the only settler state. There is nothing wrong about settler states, YBD. I said that your analogy with how Europeans treat their immigrant minorities was absurd, since those minorities are not NATIVE minorities.

And shavua tov to you, too

JES said...

Thanks Jerry, the article you linked to makes my case:

"Acquiring Greek citizenship is a lengthy and expensive process for non-EU immigrants of no Greek descent. Many applications are initially rejected after taking several years to be reviewed by several government bodies.[emphasis added].... This is true for a non-EU citizen married to a Greek citizen as well, unless bribes are utilized."[emphasis added]

I guess that bribes are part of the formal process for being naturalized?

Seriously though, I don't think that any of the three countries we're arguing (pointlessly) about has a "formal" process for naturalization, because none are really that interested in looking outside the "ethnic group" for additional citizens, considering the problems that other EU members are having with the large segments of their populations from outside their "ethnic groups".

As I said, however, I don't think there's any point to this argument, because nobody really cares or makes an issue of it, except for Jewish liberals like you.

BTW, Jerry, if I may ask of which country (or countries) are you a citizen? (You don't have to answer that if you don't want to.)

Ariram said...

No settlers in any country had any historical connection to the land they settled in. The British did not became a people in North America, or the Spaniards in Mexico. But, the Jews DID become a people in what became later knowמ as Palestine and never lost their emotional attachment to it. I am sure Jerry will call the Ramban, who came to Jerusalem in 1267, a "settler". And all the others who came over the centuries.
Those who deny the historical connection of the Jewish people to the land of its origin, will never understand the raison d'etre of Israel.

Michael W. said...

Israel could be considered a "settler state" like America if the Europeans settlers of America somehow were kicked out of North America more than a thousand years ago and were replaced by American Indians.

Anonymous said...

Jerry,

I read your blog on a regular basis, and I agree with a lot of your points. But when it comes right down to it, do you really think that abandoning the notion of a Jewish state - at least in some minimalist sense - would truly serve the interest of human rights and liberalism? If there were suddenly no Israel (no *Jewish* Israel), don't you think the negative implications for the human rights of Jews around the world - both in terms of human dignity and in terms of potential physical insecurity - would be tremendous?

Even Chaim Gans recognizes the need for a Jewish state to actively maintain a Jewish majority, even if nation states are, ultimately, a "necessary evil"...

Jerry Haber said...

Record number of comments for this post.

JES, briefly:

Unless we know how many people are naturalized by Greece and by Israel, we cannot know for sure what the different cultures are. There is a big similarity between Israel's disinclination to naturalize foreign workers, say, and most European countries. But numbers matter. And I find it interesting that liberals in Greece, Germany, and other European countries want to liberalize immigration laws -- but not in Israel.

So much for naturalization. The bigger question is, of course, Israel's distinction between citizens that are not nationals and citizens that are. That, apparently does not exist in Europe. This is a very important point. It takes for ever to become a German citizen, as thousands of Turks will testify. But once citizenship is acquired, those Turks are now German nationals.

There is nothing comparable in Israel since there is no concept of an Israeli national

If Israel wanted to be more like Greece, it would recognize as citizens ethnic Israelis, i.e., as in Greece, people who are descended from Israeli citizens. So Israelis living abroad for generations could have their descendants recognized as Israelis. That would be a distinct ethnic preference (remember ethnicity is determined in most European countries through citizenship); others, say, Rumanians, would have to go through a different process.

Anyway, JES, if you come upon comparative naturalization statistics, let me know.

Oh, I am an American and an Israeli.

Jerry Haber said...

YBD

I looked at some glatt kosher crap by the Ultra-Right wing Ben Dror Yemini. Look at this statement:

"After all, the Arabs declared a war of annihilation on the state that had just been established and the result was a catastrophe for them. 630,000 Palestinians were forced to leave"

The above is a Naziesque Big Lie, and you know it, since you read Benny Morris's book 1948. And you know when the expulsion of Arabs started.

In fact, you already know tons more than that jerk. Don't waste your time and mine citing him.

Sorry for the vitriol, but I read some of his articles, and he makes Dershowitz, Bard, and Wisse look like apologists for Hamas.

Jerry Haber said...

Hi anonymous,

You may want to read my post, Zionism Without a Jewish State.

I have tried to make clear that while I like Gans's book for many reasons, I don't agree with many of its conclusions.

But the short answer is, no, the State of Israel doesn't need to have an ethnic Jewish majority for Jewish culture to play a large role in it. Of course, it would be odd for the state of Israel to continue supporting Jewish culture if all the Israeli Jews left it. If all the Christians left American, it would be odd to have Santa Clauses in Malls, wouldn't it?

But in my state of Israel, counting heads of any religion would be as taboo (and in bad taste) as in America, where the census doesn't ask that question.

Of course, people say that if Israel amended the law of return in ways that I wanted it amended, and if it became more multi-cultural, then no Jews would want to live here. I find that argument remarkable. I mean millions of Jews live in countries like that. Why would they leave Israel en masse, where Hebrew/Jewish culture is prevalent to go to countries where it is not.

I will explain more about this when I blog about Bernie Avishai's book, the Hebrew Republic. He outlines the sort of state that would make me, more or less, happy. And, by the way (and much to Avishai's regret), his state would be a state in which the Jewish *religion* would flourish.

By the way, Eyal Niv, an important Israeli blogger, has collected of number of classical sources by Zionists who argued against the necessity of having a Jewish majority in a Jewish state.

Stay tuned for that one, too.

Ariram said...

Outrageous comparisons to the Nazis is typical for the anti-Zionist crowd. Here is what Benny Morris said about what happened to the Palestinians in 1948:
"What befell the Palestinians was not "a moral crime," whatever that might mean; it was something the Palestinians brought down upon themselves, with their own decisions and actions, their own historical agency. But they like to deny their historical agency, and many "sympathetic" outsiders like to abet them in this illusion, which is significantly responsible for their continued statelessness."
It appears that Jerry is one of those 'sympathetic" outsiders...

Jerry Haber said...

Jacob,

My point was that many Palestinians fled before the Declaration of the State, and before the Arab states' declared war on Israel. YBD knows that; Morris knows that; and you know that.

I didn't compare anybody to the Nazis -- I said that Dror Yamini used a Naziesque Big Lie.

Morris is entitled to his own opinions about morality, bigot that he is, but I was citing him as an historian. And it is not just him.

Approximately 25% of the Palestinians were expelled or left for fear of getting caught in the fighting before the Arab states declared war on Israel. Sure, they left because there was a civil war going on. But to say that this was a result of the Arabs going to war is bullshit.

But if you insist on quoting Morris, then here is one:

"Above all let me reiterate, the refugee problem was caused by attacks by Jewish forces on Arab villages and towns and by the inhabitants' fears of such attacks, compounded by expulsions, atrocities and rumour of atrocities - and by the crucial Cabinet decision in June 1948 to bar a refugee return"

Benny Morris in 'The War for Palestine' edited by Eugene Rogan and Avi Shlaim, p. 38

Frankly, as I have stated before, if all the Palestinians left voluntarily with the expectation of coming back and occupying all the houses and belongings of the Jews -- they would still have the right to return to the homes.

I never heard anybody saying that Germans and Japanese civilians who left Germany and Japan during the war did not have the right to return to their homes.

So, as I have said, repeatedly, the question whether the Arabs left voluntarily or were forced is entirely irrelevant. As Morris points out what prevented them was the government of Israels decision.

Ibrahim Ibn Yusuf said...

"Here is what Benny Morris said about what happened to the Palestinians in 1948"

If you trust Benny Morris on that, I take it you will also trust his finding that "overall, the Jewish forces—Haganah, IZL, Lehi (Lohamei Herut Yisrael, or Freedom Fighters of Israel, or “Stern Gang,” as the British authorities called them), and IDF—committed far more atrocities in 1948 than did Arab forces." For instance, 250 unarmed people were slaughtered in Lydda, 60 in Balad al-Sheik, 14 at Arab al Mawasa...

Maybe those massacres played some kind of a role in the Arabs' decision to leave?

Y. Ben-David said...

Jerry-
Your attacks on Ben-Dror Yemini are ad hominem and do not address the points he made in the article which is based on clear statistics.

There is an essential paradox in your stand. On the one hand, you demand that Israel essentially become a non-Zionist "state of all its citizens", but then even if that happened, you would still say it is immoral because as you put it so well, "the problem didn't start in 1967, nor in 1947 (UN Partition plan), but in 1917 (Balfour Declaration) and 1897 (Herzl founding World Zionist Organization)". In other words, becoming a "state of all its citizens" would not end the suffering of the Palestinians. Only a FULLY implemented Right of Return can do that (i.e not just a "symbolic recognition of the Right of Return" which people like Yossi Beilin are trying to mislead the Israeli people with by claiming that would satisfy the Palestinians).

Regarding Dr Avishai's "Hebrew Republic", if you have read my comments about it you will note that my position is that such a state would be no different that Rhodesia or the Crusader state, in that it would be unviable and would not survive. Who would be willing to fight for it in the face of the inevitable continuing pressure from the Arab world to eradicate it.?..and such pressure would continue because it, unlike a "Jewish State", the "Hebrew Republic" would essentially be a "missionary state" out to corrupt and subvert the existing Arab/Muslim Middle East since Avishai says it would be a (soulless) secular, "globalized" materialis, consumerist state which would pose a direct threat to the conservative Muslim values of the surrounding Arab societies, encouraging disrespect for elders, disparagement of religion, sexual immorality, homosexuality, etc. The values of the religious Judea/Samaria settlers (whom you say "are not Jews") are far closer to those of the Arabs than Avishai's are. A Jewish state would not try to export its values to the neighbors. Thus, a "Hebrew Republic" would INCREASE Arab/Muslim hostility while decreasing the motivation of the Jewish majority to fight for it (after all, one can have a nice secular, consumerist, materlialist life in the US or EU).

Ariram said...

Jerry,

The irrefutable fact is that the Arabs started military attacks on the Jewish population in Palestine immediately after the UN vote on the 29th of November 1947. The very next day, a civilian bus was ambushed on his way from Petach Tikva to Lydda and five Jews were murdered. Seven others were wounded. That was the beginning of the Israeli War of Independence.
The terror attacks on the Jewish
population went and intensified. Attacks on the roads and on isolated villages became a frequent occurrence. The Arab Liberation Army, under the command of Kaukji, attacked Kfar Szold in the upper Galilee in January 1948. That same month the village of Kfar Etzion was attacked by a group led by Abd el Kader el-Huseini. Later Yehiam and Tirat Tzvi were attacked. The Arabs were able to disrupt the Jewish lines of communications and succeeded in blocking some major axes to Jewish traffic. The Jews responded and an atmosphere of continuous warfare enveloped the country. This caused many thousands of Arabs to flee so as to avoid the battles. By April 1948, a month before Israel's
declaration of independence and before the invasion of the Arab regular armies, some 100,000 Palestinians have left.
As Muhammad Nimr al-Khatib summed up: "The Palestinians had the neighboring Arab states which opened their borders and doors to the refugees, while the Jews had no alternative but to triumph or to die".
Again, had the Palestinian Arabs accepted the partition and had not started the war against the Palestinian Jews, there would have been no refugees, thousands of lives, on both sides, would have been spared and the Palestinian Arab state would have been 61 y old today.
And the Palestinian refugees have no right of return. Just like the millions of refugees from the India-Pakistan conflict or the millions of Eastern European German refugees have no right of return. They are entitled to appropriate compensation and resettlement in the future Palestinian state are any other place.

Jerry Haber said...

Jacob, you are entitled to your opinions.

You think that had the Arabs accepted partition 61 years ago there would be no Arab refugees and a Palestinian state today.

I think that had they done so, there would about the same number of refugees and no Palestinian state today. Because Israel would have found some "security" pretext to invade the state and kick out the Palestinians.

Now, neither of these opinions, yours or mind, are provable. So let's leave the "What ifs" to historians,shall we?

For fairly decent and balanced overviews on the Palestinian Exodus in 1948 and the Causes of the Palestinian Exodus, check out the Wikipedia Entries on these subjects.

And also, the Wikipedia entry on the Palestinian Right of Return.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Palestinian_right_of_return

You may not like them, Jacob; they are balanced.

Mike said...

Y. Ben-David, you sound like you would rather have religious, fondamentalist, theocratic States in the region, both in Israel and in Arab States. You want a more or less ethnical pure Israel to be surrounded by a bunch of non-bellicose Iran's. Now, I begin to understand why you need a Jewish State. You think it will protect you from non-Jewish or secular values. You want to protect religious Jews from the seduction and corruption of secular way of life. But secular values that you call "soulless", are already all over in Israel. They are also gaining ground in some Arab countries. You are swimming against the tide. In any case, you seem to forget that in secular countries as the United States or France, Jews can freely follow their religion and traditions. A democratic secular State means (hopefully) long lasting peace between religous and ethnic communities. Well perhaps, I mistate your position. So let me ask you: do Jews really need a Jewish State to live their judaism and celebrate their culture? Why do Jews need a Jewish State for?

JES said...

Jerry, you may want to start your search here. According to the statistics, 97% of the Greek population are Greek Orthodox, and while Greece does not collect census information on ethnicity, it's a fair bet that over 90% of the population are ethnic Greeks.

I find it interesting that liberals in Greece, Germany, and other European countries want to liberalize immigration laws -- but not in Israel.

Why do you assert that? Aren't you a liberal? I'm sure that there are other liberals who want to "liberalize immigration laws". At the same time, I think that you are over-generalizing about liberals in Greece and other European countries. Would be nice if you could bring in some reliable statistics to back up your argument.

There is nothing comparable in Israel since there is no concept of an Israeli national....

Of course there is. Take a look at your Israeli passport. Open it up. Take a look at the page with your picture at the entry between "Given Name" and "Date of Birth" in English (shem prati and makom layda) in Hebrew. What does that say? Why it says Israeli/yisraeli under the heading "Nationality"/ezrahut. (And if you look at the passport of a non-Jew, it would still say Israeli.)

That would be a distinct ethnic preference (remember ethnicity is determined in most European countries through citizenship)

Completely false. Ethnicity is determined by common culture, language and history, among other things, not through citizenship. In the United States, for example, citizens hale from a variety of ethnic backgrounds and maintain their ethnicity for generations. Thus you can see Mexican Flags on Cinco de Mayo, or Irish parading on St. Paddy's day, or Italians on Columbus Day, as well as African Americans celebrating Martin Luther King Day and Kwaanza.

And just so there's no mistake, I have very good friends in the UK who are ethnically Sicilian, and while they are fully integrated into British society, speak with British accents (Italian as well as English) and carry British passports, they fly the Italian tricolor in their backyard.

JES said...

What you want to say, I guess, is that a country can print money and go into debt indefinitely. But it can't. Because then its money has no value.

Sheesh Jerry. I thought you were a progressive. I'm not talking about printing more money. I'm talking about increasing the working capital of the state - increasing the size of the pie in your pizza analogy.

Anonymous said...

I haven't read Bernie Avishai's book yet, but I'm not convinced. I agree that Jewish culture and religion would probably flourish best in a more liberal state (separation of Church and state is good not just for the state, but for religion itself). But I don't think one can look back at Jewish history, or at the history of humanity in the 20th century, and sensibly argue that Jews do not need *political* self determination. While I would love to see humanity move beyond the nation state, and while demography is an extremely problematic thing for a state to become overly involved in, I just don't see how a convincing argument can be made that the Jews - of all peoples - should be the first nation to give up political independence.

Any one state solution, or any solution allowing a Palestinian majority to be created in Israel, would simply bring the Jews back to the days where they were a tolerated minority and no more, with not a single place on earth to call their own. That would be a human rights disaster.

Obviously not all means are appropriate / moral / democratic to maintain a Jewish majority in Israel, but I don't think it's an illegitimate consideration a priori. Affirmative action also involves a problematic involvement on the part of the state in one's ethnic or racial background, but the justifications - in terms of protecting human rights - outweigh the costs. Context, after all, is everything. And when it comes right down to it, the desire of Jews for a Jewish majority in Israel is far more akin to the desire of a persecuted minority to maintain a safe haven than it is like the desire of a persecuting majority to keep other people down. Jews may be the powerful majority in the tiny microcosmos of Israel/Palestine, but they are ultimately a very much at-risk minority throughout the world.

Think of the difference between the legitimate desire of a minority (say, Palestinians in Israel) to maintain demographic control of their town, and the racist/inappropriate desire of a powerful majority (say, whites in Alabama) to keep the minorities out. If you take a global / historical perspective, there is no question in my mind that the Jewish desire for a Jewish majority in Israel is far more akin to the former, than it is to the latter.

Context, as always, is everything.

Ariram said...

Mike,

The Jews need a Jewish state for the same reason the Bulgarians need a Bulgarian state or the Italians need an Italian state.
It has nothing to do with religion and everything to do with nationhood.

Jerry Haber said...

JES,

Wrong on all counts.

1. "Would be nice if you could bring in some reliable statistics to back up your argument."

Please read what I wrote.

"One-third of Greeks believe immigrants should be naturalized after five years of residence in Greece, according to findings of a nationwide poll conducted by the Technical University of Crete in November 2003. About 16 percent said it should be after 10 years, and 22 percent said immigrants should never be eligible for Greek citizenship.”"

Go find the source. I gave it above.

So...a third of the Greek population wants to do a serious liberalization of the naturalization laws -- all aliens would be naturalized after 5 years.

Can you find a third of Israeli liberals who want to do the same? Do you have any reliable statistics to back up your argument?

2. You make a rather elementary mistake in Hebrew, so now I don't know whether your ignorance of the situation stems from your ignorance of Hebrew (sorry), or your conceptual confusion.

The elementary mistake in Israel is translation "ezrahut" as "nationality". It is "citizenship". The Hebrew for "nationalist" is Le'om.

Now, take out your Teudat Zeut. If it was issued before 2005, you will see under the rubric "Le'om" -- Jewish. There is no mention of Israeli citizenship, nor should there be. The card is proof of citizenship.

For cards issued after 2005, you will find ***** in the Le'eom rubric. Is that because Israel has become more liberal and does not call attention to a person's nationality, i.e., Jewish or Arab. Nope! It is because in 2005, the Minister of Interior, Eli Yishai, refused to follow the High Court's ruling to list Reform converts as Jews. He said that if he had to list the Reform converts, he wouldn't list anybody.

So much for Hebrew. Now get this, JES. There is no such thing as Israeli nationality according to the State of Israel.

There is a court case that is making its way through the courts again by an organization called Ani Yisraeli. The organization wants to be allowed to list "Israeli" under nationality rather than Jewish or Arab. The High Court in the 1970's said that there was no such thing as Israeli nationality, only Jewish nationality.

Here is an article from Haaretz which talks about it:

http://www.haaretz.co.il/hasite/pages/ShArtPE.jhtml?itemNo=429342&contrassID=2&subContrassID=1&sbSubContrassID=0

The headline of the article says, "State's Attorney: Registering One's Nationality as "Israeli" Undermines the Foundations of the State."

NOW, do you understand what the problem is?


3. Because you don't understand the Israeli difference between citizenship and nationality, I don't think you have understood much of what I wrote. I wasn't saying that ethnicity as a social science category is the same thing as citizenship. I am saying ethnicity as a legal category in immigration law is. You become an ethnic Greek ACCORDING TO GREEK LAW by becoming a Greek citizen. Ditto for Ireland. Ditto for Germany.

If you are born a Turk named Ibrahim Youssef, you join the German nation when you become a citizen.

You may say, yeah, but a Turk isn't really an ethnic German. That's fine with me. But German law disagrees with you.

According to Israeli law, you do *not* join the Israel nation when become a citizen because the State of Israel doesn't recognize Israeli nationality!

JES, do you get the distinction?

Ahmad Tibi said it best:

"The State of Israel is both Jewish and Democratic. 'Jewish' for the Arabs, and 'Democratic' for the Jews."

But, then again, it is hard to know what to say to somebody who maintains that state budgets are infinite?


here without your feeling embarrassed, but I will try. First, you don't realize that Israel distinguishes between nationality and citizenship. And the reason you don't is

Jerry Haber said...

Anonymous,

I don't know where to begin with you. I have written so many posts contesting all the points you make...may I suggest that you begin by reading my post "Zionism Without a Jewish State," then buying Bernie Avishai's Hebrew Republic book, and then let's take it from there.

You may want to start by examining a few of your questionable assumptions, e.g.

1. A people can find national self-determination *only* within the framework of a nation state (who says?)

2. All peoples have the right to national independence, and, indeed, have national independence. (That's clearly false.)(

3. A State of Israel which gave up the Law of Return and discriminatory legislation and practices against non-Jews would ipso facto turn into a minority state of Jews. (Why? Couldn't it attract Jews by virtue of it being a good state for Jews and others to live?)

4. Jewish self-determination in a nation-state justifies the systematic discrimination of non-Jews within that state.(That doesn't say much for the Jews as a people.)

The above assumptions, and others, have been examined again and again by a host of liberal nationalist. (You seem to think that this has something to do with post-nationalism. How wrong you are.)

If you are starting out, please get Chaim Gans' book A Just Zionism, and you will begin to understand the problems. Or read some of my back posts.

Best
Jerry

Anonymous said...

Jerry,

I think you misunderstand what I am saying. I am not in any way justifying systematic discrimination against Palestinians, or other non-Jews, in Israel.

All I am saying is that it is not inherently unjust for Jewish Israelis to be concerned with maintaining a Jewish majority in Israel, or for them to create special rules to encourage Jewish immigration. That does not mean Israel can refrain from having any other alternative naturalization procedures, or that it can deny family reunification, as it does under the unconstitutional law currently in force.

But the Law of Return, per se, is not unjust *given the context and history* of the Jewish people as a persecuted minority.

I've read Gans' book, and I think he does a good job of explaining why, despite everything, the desire of Jews for *political* self determination in a nation-state is legitimate in today's world. Again, nation states are not the ideal framework for self-determination (and in that sense I totally agree that self determination need not be realized within the framework of a nation state) - but in today's world, I don't think there is any other realistic solution, that could adequately protect the human rights of Jews.

Michael W. said...

Do Turks born in Germany get citizenship automatically?

Jerry Haber said...

Anonymous

"But the Law of Return, per se, is not unjust *given the context and history* of the Jewish people as a persecuted minority."

Read Gans, pp. 125-129, for a convincing refutation of this view.

Gans does agree that Jewish numerical hegemony can be defended, but he would not do so with the Law of Return as presently conceived, which is an illiberal law that has no peer (again, look at those pages -- I wish I had remembered them before I posted here.)

I hope to return to this when I blog about Avishai's book.

Let me just tell you, without bringing arguments for my claims, that I believe that an Israeli state with a predominant Hebrew/Jewish culture can be achieved without the measures currently in force. And I also believe that such a state is *not* essential for the survival of Jews and or Judaism, but rather is justifiable on its own terms.

Anonymous, get your head out of the 1940's. If Israel is worth preserving, and I think it is, it is worth preserving on its own merits, and for its continuing contributions, not because of the lacrymose view of Jewish history. Jews are doing well in many places around the world, and they are arguably safer in the US than in Israel. Do we need a haven for Jews who are persecuted? Even if we did, that would not be a sufficient reason for a Jewish state. We need a haven for all persecuted people.

Ariram said...

Jerry.

The fact that they started the war is not my opinion. It is an irrefutable fact. That is why Yemini was right and you were wrong to accuse him of lying.
Nobody can deny that the war the Arabs started had a lot to do with the disaster of the Palestinians. Only blind supporters of the Palestinian narrative and blind haters of Zionism and Israel, are unable or unwilling to accept that simple fact.
The Wikipedia is not written by academic experts on the subject. You may end up believing that the Iraqi and Lebanese armies never entered the areas of the proposed Jewish state in 1948.
You also called Benny Morris a bigot.I wonder how would you call those who deny the right of the Jewish people to have their nation-state while not denying that right to any other people?

Jerry Haber said...

If somebody called Jews "barbarians" who "should be put in cages" would you call him a bigot?

http://www.logosjournal.com/morris.htm

And as for your other "points", well, all I can say is, "Have a nice day."

Jerry Haber said...

Folks,

Thank you all for leaving so many comments. But I am closing them for a while, so I can do other things. I assure you that you will opportunities to comment on other posts, and that I will return in later posts to points made here.

Thanks, again
Jerry