Israelipalestinaconflictprogressivezperspective jan12-120312161141-phpapp02


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Israelipalestinaconflictprogressivezperspective jan12-120312161141-phpapp02

  1. 1. A History of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict from a Progressive Zionist Perspective By Rabbi Maurice Harris
  2. 2. The Guiding Values of Progressive Zionism          National liberation of the Jewish people / self-determination Freedom from anti-Semitism / existential security for Jews Manifesting the best of Jewish values, beliefs, and culture as a nation – what Rabbi Kaplan called “ethical nationhood” Justice / Tzedek Peace / Shalom Democracy Human rights Respect for the equality of all the religions and peoples of the Middle East Balancing Jewish rights with the rights of the Palestinians & other non-Jewish stakeholders (Druze, Bedouin, Baha’i, Christians, Samaritans, etc.)
  3. 3. The Guiding Values of Progressive Zionism  Hillel’s ethic:
  4. 4. The Guiding Values of Progressive Zionism  Opposed to Cosmic War ideologies  Jihadism  Religious Messianic Zionism  Christian Zionism (see Reza Aslan’s How to Win a Cosmic War)
  5. 5. Sub-topics: Your Interests 1. The Occupation and its impacts 2. Anti-Semitism in the Arab world, Anti-Arab/Islamic bigotry in Jewish & Christian worlds, & the dangers of Cosmic War 3. The Shoah and its impacts 4. Denial of the Other’s basic identity or claim by both sides 5. Propaganda from both sides, & recognizing it 6. Understanding Israeli feelings of vulnerability and risk 7. Understanding Palestinian feelings of vulnerability and risk 8. The “One-state-solution” – Right Wing Jewish/Christian version 9. The “One-state-solution” – Palestinian justice version
  7. 7. • 1200 years of Israelite / Jewish civilization • Birthplace of the Hebrew Bible and much of the Christian scriptures • Birthplace of rabbinic Judaism and of Christianity • A civilization of reference for Islam • Strategic hinge: meeting place of 3 continents • Israelite independence always precarious
  8. 8. Bunting Map – 1581, Magdeburg Jerusalem is the center
  11. 11. Islamic empire 750 CE
  13. 13. First Crusade
  15. 15. Some Context        Pogroms Blood Libels Dhimmi status for Jews in Muslim lands Dreyfus Affair New Racial Anti-Semitism Enlightenment ideals: democracy, selfdetermination, nationalism Disregard for desires of Arabs living in Ottoman controlled Palestine
  17. 17. The Balfour Declaration "His Majesty's Government view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavours to facilitate the achievement of this object, it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine, or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country.“ - 1917
  18. 18. San Remo & the League of Nations’ Awarding to Great Britain of a Mandate for Palestine Whereas the Principal Allied Powers have agreed, for the purpose of giving effect to the provisions of Article 22 of the Covenant of the League of Nations, to entrust to a Mandatory selected by the said Powers the administration of the territory of Palestine, which formerly belonged to the Turkish Empire, within such boundaries as may be fixed by them; and Whereas the Principal Allied Powers have also agreed that the Mandatory should be responsible for putting into effect the declaration originally made on November 2nd, 1917, by the Government of His Britannic Majesty, and adopted by the said Powers, in favour of the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, it being clearly understood that nothing should be done which might prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine, or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country; and . . . (continued)
  19. 19. Whereas recognition has thereby been given to the historical connexion of the Jewish people with Palestine and to the grounds for reconstituting their national home in that country;
  20. 20. British backtracking… Jewish immigration restricted During W.W. II 1939 White Paper
  21. 21. Illegal Immigration (aliyah bet)
  23. 23. European Broken Promises Stirrings of Arab Nationalism and Desire for Independence
  24. 24. Colonialism w/o consulting the native peoples
  25. 25. Perception of Zionists as Aiming to Dispossess “We must expropriate gently the private property [and] spirit the penniless population across the border.” -Theodore Herzl’s diary, 1895 “The Arabs will have to go.” -Ben Gurion in letter to his son, 1937
  26. 26. Popular Arab protest of British immigration policy re Jews & British agreement to a Jewish homeland
  28. 28. Surrounded by enemy armies with the ability to retreat into their home countries to refuel, rest, rearm, replenish.
  29. 29. Jews expelled in conquered areas, in a few cases massacred Jews expelled from Old City Jerusalem Synagogues Destroyed Gush Etzion Massacre – May 13, 1948 (image is actually a burial of IDF troops who had been part of a convoy to G.E.)
  30. 30. 1949 Armistice Lines
  32. 32. Lydda Massive forced march Many deaths on the road
  33. 33. Deir Yassin & Al Dawayima Massacres carried out by Jewish forces. Rumors spread and Ignited further Palestinian exodus.
  34. 34. From a pro-Palestinian web site: The massacre in Deir Yassin was part of an official Zionist strategy to frighten Palestinians out of their land and into neighboring countries. Yosef Weitz, member of the Jewish Agency’s Transfer Committee declared that “between ourselves it must be clear that there is no room for both people together in this country… we shall not achieve our goal with the Arabs in this small country. The only solution is a Palestine without the Arabs and there is no other way than to transfer Arabs from here to the neighboring countries, to transfer all of them, not one village not one tribe should be left”.
  35. 35. So What’s the Truth about 1948?
  36. 36. Standard pro-Palestinian Take (Pappe, Said & others)      Deliberate and massive ethnic cleansing by Israel (Plan Dalet) Western colonial powers never consulted the actual inhabitants of Palestine and didn’t respect their clear wishes re Jewish immigration & creation of Jewish state. Zionist militias used terrorism often and did some shocking and shameful things to civilians. UN law conditions Israel’s existence on the pre-existing Arab residents’ rights not being violated, including their absolute right of return. Israel – morally and legally illegitimate
  37. 37. Standard pro-Palestinian take   Israel was born in “Original Sin.” This sin is so great that justice demands transformation of Israel into a secular, binational state, combined with full right of return for all Palestinian refugees. Loss of Jewish collective sovereignty as a result is a reasonable outcome and not the problem of Palestinian Arabs who did not perpetrate the Holocaust and should not have been forced to give up their lands and homes to make room for a Jewish state. The occupation of Palestinian territories that begin following the 1967 war is a moral outrage of its own, but it is not the primary problem. 1948 is the primary problem.
  38. 38. Standard pro-Israel take       International community had determined that Jews had a legit claim and should have homeland in part of Palestine. Arabs rejected all reasonable international proposals for partition & walked out on negotiations. In the aftermath of the Shoah, Jews were desperate and had few viable good options other than Zionism. Flight of Arabs from Palestine wouldn’t have happened if Arab countries hadn’t attacked new State of Israel. Few Arabs were literally expelled by force or with intent to do ethnic cleansing. Just before the ‘48 war, some Arab leaders claimed they were going to dispossess or exterminate the Jews, and Jews had good reason to think they meant it.
  39. 39. Standard pro-Israel take    Arabs were not the perpetrators of the Holocaust, but antiSemitic propaganda similar to the kind found in Nazi Germany was popular in the Arab world, and key Arab leaders formed alliances with the Nazi regime. Palestinian Arab militia groups used terrorism often and did shocking and shameful things to civilians. Jews living in Arab lands were suffering inequality and discrimination. Israel’s creation gave them a refuge and their first experience of self-determination and sovereignty. Anti-Jewish persecution following 1948 drove most of these Jews out of their homes and lands, and to some degree their refugee experience should ‘cancel out’ the moral claim of Palestinian refugees.
  40. 40. Morris, Avineri & Co.     International community had determined that Jews had a legit claim and should have homeland in part of Palestine. Arabs rejected all international proposals for partition & walked out on negotiations. In parts of the territory during the war, the Israeli forces did engage in deliberate and forcible ethnic cleansing. There wasn’t a coordinated master plan for the ethnic cleansing of Palestine, but there was an atmosphere supportive of such actions by regional army commanders. Plan Dalet wasn’t an “ethnic-cleansing-of-Palestine” plan; rather, it was a military plan for solidifying territorial gains and defending against future invasion.
  41. 41. Morris, Avineri & Co.    Arab forces engaged in ethnic cleansing in areas where Jews lived in the Jerusalem area. Israel refused to re-admit Palestinian refugees following the war. (Avineri: I received orders to shoot on sight Arab civilians attempting to return to their homes in Israel.) Israeli leaders were pleased with the drop in the Arab population and had no intention of allowing the refugees back, despite the argument that this may violate the UN’s terms of Israel’s existence. Arab leaders were unwilling to consider a peace agreement that would include recognizing Israel, with refugees part of the negotiation.
  42. 42. Morris, Avineri & Co.   Palestinian Arab militia groups used terrorism often and did shocking and shameful things to civilians. Right-wing Zionist militias used terrorism often and did some shocking and shameful things. Morris: there were more massacres & expulsions committed by IDF than by Arabs.
  43. 43. The UN and Israel’s Legal Legitimacy as a State
  44. 44. Progressive Zionist Takes on 1948 The war can be described as “Arab-Jewish fighting over the same piece of land and for demographic superiority.” – Shlomo Ben Ami The Jewish claim for self-determination and sovereignty in some part of British Mandate Palestine was and is legitimate, and as a matter of human rights it should be given its due. The Palestinian Arab claim to self-determination and sovereignty in Palestine is also legitimate and should be given its due. Compromise and partition, with honesty about the past and mutually agreed upon compensation for losses, all form parts of a just solution. As Jews we can’t deny the wrongs committed by our side. Admitting to those wrongs does not mean giving up our homeland.
  46. 46. Case Study: The Farhud
  49. 49. Checkpoints / roadblocks
  50. 50. Checkpoints / roadblocks
  51. 51. Home demolitions
  52. 52. Settlements
  53. 53. Settlements
  54. 54. Unequal Use of Resources •Israel‘s gov’t has supplied 440,000 Israeli settlers and Israel proper with 87 percent of the water from the West Bank’s eastern aquifer, leaving 2.5 million Palestinians to survive on the remaining 13 percent.
  55. 55. Not discussed enough… ANTI-SEMITISM IN THE ARAB AND ISLAMIC WORLD
  56. 56. Case in point: Use of TV to reinforce anti-Jewish stereotypes Hamas TV
  57. 57. Case in point: Use of TV to reinforce anti-Jewish stereotypes Egyptian TV
  59. 59. Rabbi Ovadia Yosef
  60. 60. Arab-hating web sites & media Note: radio caller at 2:20
  61. 61. A Lens for Viewing the Conflict: THE ABRAHAMIC RELIGIONS & COSMIC WAR
  62. 62. Abrahamic Religious Messianism and the conflict   When all of Eretz Yisrael is resettled by its rightful Jewish owners, Hashemwilling, moshiach will be sent.  The blood of our martyrs will be celebrated, and when the 12th Imam reappears, Allah will set right all of the injustices, beginning with Palestine. Scripture is clear that one of the events God has planned is the return of the Jews to the Holy Land. These events will precede the Second Coming of Christ.
  63. 63. A Lens for Viewing the Conflict: THE SHOAH AND ISRAELI EXPERIENCE
  64. 64. Two iconic images (credit to Rabbi Daniel Gordis)
  65. 65. The Mufti Haj Amin Al Husseini
  66. 66. Exterminationist rhetoric
  67. 67. Rubbing salt in Jewish wounds Using German hijackers - Entebbe Murdering Jews in Germany
  68. 68. Holocaust denial In his doctoral thesis and book, Abbas describes the Nazi Holocaust as "the Zionist fantasy, the fantastic lie that six million Jews were killed.”
  69. 69. The sealed room / gas chamber connection
  70. 70. The sealed room / gas chamber connection Hamas & Hezbollah rocket fire into Israeli civilian centers restimulates Shoah-related trauma for Israelis.
  73. 73. (Yes, but She’s A Progressive Zionist!)
  74. 74. Radical Messianic Zionism Until 1967 religious Zionists in Israel were marginalized both by the secular majority, and by the more visibly religious groups that seemed to offer a more authentic, uncompromising brand of religion. The Six-Day War of June 1967 resulted in the the capture of East Jerusalem and other territories of the Biblical Land of Israel. The long-range fate of these territories, and their Arab inhabitants, became a major controversy of Israeli policy makers. From a purely secular perspective, the choice was between the military security that was offered by the expanded borders and the relative demographic stability that would be achieved by excluding their large Arab population from the domain of a Jewish state.
  75. 75. A religious claim provided strong justification for those who wished to hold on to the occupied territories: If the State of Israel was viewed as the unfolding of a Messianic scenario, then the miraculous victory of the Six-Day War was an essential stage in that process. The territories belong to the Jewish people (i.e., the State of Israel) by Divine decree and they may not be handed over to foreign hands. The issue of territories, viewed in an eschatological context, became the defining feature for broad segments of religious Zionism in the post-1967 era. Under the spiritual leadership of Zvi Yehudah Kook, with its centre in the yeshivah founded by the elder Kook, Jerusalem's "Merkaz Harav," thousands of modern young religious Jews campaigned actively against any territorial compromise, and established numerous settlements throughout Judea and Samaria.
  76. 76. Many of these settlements, though originally founded illegally, were subsequently granted official recognition by the Israeli government, especially under right-wing regimes. The most powerful political voice of the movement against territorial compromise became "Gush Emunim" (the Bloc of the Faithful).
  77. 77. Christian Zionism Theology of Christian Zionism The actual theology of Christian Zionism, also known as Biblical Zionism, supports the right of the Jewish people to return to their homeland on scriptural grounds. The biblical foundation for Christian Zionism is found in God's Covenant with Abraham. It was in this covenant that God chose Abraham to birth a nation through which He could redeem the world, and to do this He bequeathed them a land on which to exist as this chosen nation. Christian Zionism is confirmed throughout the Hebrew Scriptures. The major and minor prophets consistently confirmed this national calling on Israel, promised her future restoration to the land after a period of exile, and spoke of her spiritual renewal and redemption bringing light to the world.
  78. 78. Christian Zionism differs with Replacement Theology which teaches that the special relationship that Israel had with her God in terms of her national destiny and her national homeland has been lost because of her rejection of Jesus as Messiah, and therefore the Church has become the new Israel. The Church has then inherited all the blessings promised to Israel but the judgments and curses still conveniently remain over the Jewish people. Instead, Christian Zionism teaches from the scriptures that God's covenant with Abraham is still valid today. There remains a national destiny over the Jewish people and her national homeland is her everlasting possession in fulfillment of God's plans and purposes for her. The New Testament scriptures not only affirm the Abrahamic covenant, but they confirm the historical mission of Israel and that Israel's gifts and calling are irrevocable. Thus, Christian Zionism is not based on prophecy or end-time events. Most Christian Zionists would agree, however, that Israel's reemergence on the world's scene, in fulfillment of God's promises to her, indicate that other biblically-predicted events will follow. Rev. Malcolm Hedding Vice-Chairman of the Board, International Christian Embassy Jerusalem
  81. 81. The Geneva Initiative  The Geneva Accord principles: • End of conflict. End of all claims. • Mutual recognition of Israeli and Palestinian right to two separate states. • A final, agreed upon border. • A comprehensive solution to the refugee problem.
  82. 82. •Large settlement blocks and most of the settlers are annexed to Israel, as part of a 1:1 land swap. •Recognition of the Jewish neighborhoods in Jerusalem as the Israeli capital and recognition of the Arab neighborhoods of Jerusalem as the Palestinian capital. •A demilitarized Palestinian state. Israeli army presence in strategic locations in Palestine for initial time period. •A comprehensive and complete Palestinian commitment to fighting terrorism and incitement. •An international verification group to oversee implementation.
  83. 83.
  84. 84. FAQs on Geneva Initiative: 1)On the refugee issue, if large numbers of Palestinian refugees indicate that they want to choose Israel as the country they move to, how will Israel be able to maintain its Jewish demographic majority? 2) If this agreement were implemented, would Palestinian refugees be able to take legal action to make claims on property and possessions lost in 1948-49? 3)What happens if militant groups or extremists take over Palestine and use it as a base for firing rockets or launching terrorist attacks against Israelis? 4)Is the G.I. well-known among Israelis and Palestinians, and how much support does it have? Would other Arab countries sign peace treaties with Israel if Israel and the P.A. accepted this accord?
  85. 85. Former PM Ehud Olmert "If the day comes when the two-state solution collapses, and we face a South African-style struggle for equal voting rights (for the Palestinians in the territories), then, as soon as that happens, the State of Israel is finished." "Forty years after the Six Day War ended, we keep finding excuses not to act. This isn't doing Israel any good. The international community is starting to view Israel as a future binational state. We can prove that we have been more creative than the other side through the years, and that they have been more obstinate, but as usual, we will win the debate by losing sight of what's really important.
  86. 86. "We can always find very good reasons for not doing things now, and for why we would be better off postponing everything to a later date," continued Olmert. "We refuse to face reality. Time is not on Israel's side, not because our cause isn't just, but because time has its own repercussions. "I admit - this hasn't always been my position. In the past I've said - and I said it to (former Labor Prime Minister Ehud) Barak at the time - that what he agreed to in Camp David (in 2000) was wrong. "I used to believe that everything from the Jordan Riverbank to the Mediterranean Sea was ours. After all, dig anywhere and you'll find Jewish history. But eventually, after great internal conflict, I've realized we have to share this land with the people who dwell here - that is if we don't want to be a binational state," said Olmert.
  87. 87. Israel, Olmert noted, is the most powerful nation in the region. "No other nation is as strong and no other nation in the Middle East can rival us. The strategic threats we face have nothing to do with where we draw our borders.” "We can argue about every single detail, but when we finally hash out an agreement we may find we no longer have the international community's backing, or a partner for that matter. We'll be left with nothing but the feeling that once again, as for the past 40 years, we were right. "I'm not kidding myself," he added. "I know the change I'm talking about won't rid us of all the threats. We'll still be facing Palestinian threats across the security fence, since they have no real security establishment, but we can deal with all of that and we would be better off dealing with it than cementing the notion of a binational state in the international community's mind."
  88. 88. Israeli Military & Security Experts Supporting P.Z. • Maj Gen (Ret.) Avraham Adan| former Commander of the Armored Corps • Maj Gen (Ret.) Shlomo Gazit | former Head of Military Intelligence, Chairman of the Jewish Agency and President of Ben Gurion University • Maj Gen (Ret.) Amos Lapidot | former Commander of Israeli Air Force • Brig Gen (Ret.) Menachem Aviram | former Commander of Paratroopers Brigade and of the IDF Command and Staff College • Avner Azulai | former senior Mosad official • Brig Gen (Ret.) Asher Levy | Deputy Commander of the Southern Front • Maj Gen (Ret) Zeev Livneh | established the Home Front Command • Maj Gen (Ret.) Aviezer Yaari | former Commander of Military Colleges • Brig Gen (Ret.) Giora Ram | former Deputy Commander of the Israeli Air Force • Maj Gen (Ret.) Dr. Elad Peled | former Commander of National Security College and Director General of the Ministry of Education
  89. 89. “We, the citizens of Israel, call on the public to support the recognition of a democratic Palestinian state as a condition for ending the conflict, and reaching agreed borders on the basis of the 1967 borders. Recognition of such a Palestinian state is vital for Israel’s existence. It is the only way to guarantee the resolution of the conflict by negotiations, to prevent the eruption of another round of massive violence and end the risky isolation of Israel in the world. The successful implementation of the agreements requires two leaderships, Israeli and Palestinian, which recognize each other, choose peace and are fully committed to it. This is the only policy that leaves Israel’s fate and security in its own hands. Any other policy contradicts the promise of Zionism and the welfare of the Jewish people.”
  90. 90. The Question isn’t, “Do you support Israel?” The Question is: “What kind of Israel do you support? Which Israeli movements do you support?”
  91. 91. Progressive Zionism is for Americans who want to support and stand with:
  92. 92. Organizations that are PZ oriented • • • • • • • Shalom Achshav / Peace Now (and Americans for Peace Now) J Street Rabbis for Human Rights New Israel Fund B’Tselem Tikkun Magazine The Religious Action Committee of Reform Judaism
  94. 94. Anti-Palestinian version:  “Palestinians aren’t a real people / nation.” “Like a mantra, Arabs, the UN, its organs and now the International Court of Justice have claimed repeatedly that the Palestinians are a native people – so much so that almost everyone takes it for granted. The problem is that a stateless Palestinian people is a fabrication. The word ‘Palestine’ is not even Arabic. In a report by His Majesty’s Government in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland to the Council of the League of Nations on the administration of Palestine and Trans-Jordan for the year 1938, the British made it clear: Palestine is not a State but is the name of a geographical area.” -Eli Hertz, Myths and Facts, 2006
  95. 95. Anti-Zionist version:  PLO Charter: Article 20: The Balfour Declaration, the Mandate for Palestine, and everything that has been based upon them, are deemed null and void. Claims of historical or religious ties of Jews with Palestine are incompatible with the facts of history and the true conception of what constitutes statehood. Judaism, being a religion, is not an independent nationality. Nor do Jews constitute a single nation with an identity of its own; they are citizens of the states to which they belong. 1998: Revision? • • • • Jews as invasive species in the land Jews as colonizing evil aliens (Avatar) Jews as foreign infection in the land Denial of existence of Ancient Israel
  97. 97. Propaganda with Maps
  98. 98. Propaganda with Maps
  99. 99. Propaganda litmus tests for presentations on Israel/Palestine: Does it show real empathy for people on both sides? Does it acknowledge the reasonable fears and concerns of both peoples?  Does it demonize one side with the goal of generating feelings of disgust for the other side?  If it is primarily sympathetic to one side, does it acknowledge moral wrongdoing on both sides and express regret for wrongs committed by the side that is being supported?  Does it minimize the grievances of one side, or even deny that these grievances are real?  • “There was no nakba – that’s just a ploy to delegitimize Israel” • “You Jews always bring up the Mufti, like he had much influence at all…”
  101. 101. Understanding how Israelis feel: VULNERABILITY AND RISK
  102. 102. In the shadow of the rockets
  103. 103. Islamic Extremism & Threats to World Jewry
  104. 104. Islamic Extremism & Threats to World Jewry January 12, 2012 Palestinian-Lebanese Historian: The Protocols of the Elders of Zion Are an Exact Reflection of Judaism and the Zionist Idea On December 27, 2011, the PalestinianLebanese historian Bayan Nuwayhed Al-Hout published an article in the Lebanese daily Al-Akhbar, which dealt, among other things, with The Protocols of the Elders of Zion and their connection to Judaism, the Zionist movement and the state of Israel.
  105. 105. Book Review: Arabs and the Holocaust (Part 3) By As'ad AbuKhalil - Fri, 2011-12-16 03:15- ANGRY CORNER Achcar should not have cited the writings of Bayan Nuwayhed Al-Hout on any matter (p. 152) for she, unfortunately, has approvingly cited the notorious Protocols of the Elders of Zion (her father was a major promoter of the Protocols) in her book: “Filastin: Al-Qadiyyah.Ash- Sha`b. Al-Hadarah.” Achcar should not have missed that.
  106. 106. Understanding how Palestinians feel: VULNERABILITY AND RISK
  107. 107. Dispossession
  108. 108. Dispossession
  109. 109. Dispossession: East Jerusalem    Two sets of laws re the right to build on your own property or expand property ownership Ambiguous citizenship status for Palestinians The Sheikh Jarrah crisis & other similar problems
  110. 110. Dispossession The Security Barrier
  111. 111. Things that erode trust: PUSHING THE OTHER SIDE’S BUTTONS