The Oxford Handbook of Intergroup Conflict, 2012
The above is what we Israelis, as this volatile region’s most relentlessly delegitimized group, must keep uppermost in mind every mid-May.
Whereas we celebrate our state’s Independence Day according to the Hebrew calendar, the Gregorian anniversary, May 15, is annually commemorated by Arabs as a day of lamentation for the Nakba. It’s the catastrophe according to their loaded terminology, which renascent Jewish sovereignty supposedly inflicted on the supposedly indigenous people of this land – the Palestinians.
The notion that Israel was born in sin is delegitimization in the most extreme sense.
Israel is painted as a wrong and righting the wrong means eradicating Israel. There’s no getting away from the conclusion to which this representation unavoidably leads. Israel is illegitimate both in its inception and subsequent survival. Peace can be restored only when the illegitimacy is removed.
It’s essential to remember this as we see our Arab neighbors – fellow holders of Israeli citizenship who enjoy all the perks and privileges thereof – bewail the fact that an Israel at all exists. Nakba Day is in fact Delegitimization Day. It lays the ideological groundwork for marking us as “worthy targets of violence.”
The delegitimization rests on two interconnected cornerstones – portraying Israel as the occupier-aggressor and portraying local Arabs as the hapless aboriginals overrun and oppressed by the occupier-aggressor.
Both these premises have become axiomatic among Israel’s own Arabs and are expediently espoused by Israel’s Left, which with shallow self-serving sanctimony owns up to a sad collective guilt.
That’s why ex-education minister (Yuli Tamir of Labor) once proposed including the Nakba in Israel’s school curriculum. That’s why there was no indignation when new MK Zohair Bahloul – an Arab-Israeli sportscaster famous for his extravagantly flowery play-by-play soccer commentary – gave voice to the delegitimization narrative.
In an interview with Channel 20, Bahloul openly declared that the ticket which fielded him in the hope of winning Arab votes – the Zionist Camp, a.k.a. Labor/Kadima – “isn’t Zionist” and that the name was just “a temporary one,” i.e. a ploy.
The Zionist appellation, he expounded, “is spiteful to the Arab sector” because the “Arab public cannot be Zionist.” Asked whether the Jews should again be scattered in the Diaspora, Bahloul said: “One must recognize the fact that the state of Israel was established on the ruins of Palestine and Arabs have aboriginal rights… How can you deny the fact that there were Palestinians here and 500 villages were destroyed?”
Here in a nutshell are the crude Nakba charges against Israel, predicated on the fictional existence of an entity called Palestine, which had predated Israel and which Israel had ruthlessly demolished.
All which inconveniently contradicts these contentions can be dispensed with in the style of Soviet-era loose-leaf encyclopedias, where pages with no-longer approved information were replaced by the latest party line.
Here’s a pertinent case in point. Until not too long ago the official Umm el-Fahm website featured a proud historical retrospective of the major clans that comprise most of this Arab city’s population. Then an unseen hand deleted the file.
The clan summaries were truthful but truth can be all too undesirable in the context of boosting an aboriginal Palestinian identity, especially one that according to PA figurehead Mahmoud Abbas is no less than a whopping 9000-years-old. Such outlandish cock-and-bull stories, needless to stress, are lapped up abroad, especially by Europe’s refined Judeophobes.
The spin about a primal presence in this land is born of the need to cover up the incontestable historical absence of a Palestinian nation. This is achieved by promoting a latter-day fabrication to proclaim precedence over the ancient Jewish link to this land. Thereby, even the Biblical Israelites can be slandered as having been imperialist conquistadors already back then, never mind the simultaneous assertion that no Israelites whatsoever were ever here.
Consistent logic and congruent versions were never prerequisite in the peculiar perspective of Palestinian propaganda.
The Umm el-Fahm clan chronicles had to be sacrificed so as not to sabotage the Canaanite lineage canard. The embarrassing chronicles directly detailed what each and every clan member knows – where the clan drifted from and how recently.
Some members of four clans – Makhajna, Jabarin, Mahamid, and Aghbariya – immigrated here in recent centuries from Syria and the Arabian Peninsula (Yemen and today’s Saudi Arabia) but even the majority of these clans is comprised of far newer-arrivals. A big influx from Egypt and Transjordan was attracted by the economic opportunities that the burgeoning Zionist endeavor created.
This was a severely depopulating land due to appallingly abused environmental infrastructure (with resultant ills like malarial swamps) as well as marauding bands of Beduin bandits who terrorized settled folks. Zionism made this country tolerable again whereupon Arabs came streaming in to avail themselves of Jewish-made prospects.
It’s not just our say-so. On May 17, 1939 U.S. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt noted that “Arab immigration into Palestine since 1921 has vastly exceeded the total Jewish immigration during this whole period.”
Winston Churchill made the identical observation: “Despite the fact that they were never persecuted, masses of Arabs poured into the country and multiplied until the Arab population grew more than what all of world Jewry could add to the Jewish population.”
Occasionally the truth slips out despite the authorized narrative. In March 2012 Hamas’s Interior Minister in Gaza, Fathi Hamad, pleaded for pan-Arab help against the IDF “so that we can continue the Jihad… Praise Allah, we all have Arab roots and every Palestinian in Gaza and all over Palestine can prove their Arab roots, whether they be in Saudi Arabia and Yemen, or anywhere else. We have blood ties.”
Hamad elaborated by personal example: “half my family is Egyptian… There are over 30 clans in the Gaza Strip with the surname Al-Masri [Egyptian]… Half of all Palestinians are Egyptians, and the other half are Saudi. Who are the Palestinians? We have many families called Al-Masri whose roots are Egyptian… We are Egyptians.”
He knows whereof he speaks. Itinerant Arab laborers streamed here from the entire Arabic-speaking realm – from the Maghreb to Mesopotamia. Jews turned the wilderness into a habitable domain. Arabs flocked in to reap the benefits. But nobody objected. Arabs were counted as natives. The UN actually recognized as “Palestinian” any Arab migrants who sojourned here two years prior to 1948.
Most of the Arab population on Israel’s Coastal Plain is originally Egyptian and arrived with British acquiescence. Hence, the recorded Mandate-era population explosion in some Arab villages ranged quite unnaturally from between 200% to a whopping 1,040%, according to Prof. Moshe Brawer’s research into Arab migration into the designated Jewish National Home from Lebanon, Syria, Egypt, etc.
The ruling Brits and world opinion didn’t oppose the Arab influx for “changing facts on the ground,” possibly because liberal Jews didn’t riot.
So why the alacrity of Abbas et al to covet the pedigree of Canaanites or Philistines (whose bloodlines, ironically, were assimilated into that of the Israelite majority still in early biblical days and whose names would never have endured had they not been preserved by Jewish historiography)?
In a rare moment of candor former MK Azmi Bishara (who absconded to avoid trial for treason and espionage during the 2006 war) explained from his Qatari haven that Arab nationalists feel “obligated to nationalize the history of Arab-speaking peoples and to make it into a national history that goes back from before the time of Islam all the way to contemporary times… Acting out of a need to compete with Zionism, the Palestinian national movement has anchored its origins to those of the Canaanites” in order to “achieve its own, unique starting-off point in the past that precedes that of the Hebrew tribes, which Zionism claims as its natural ancestors.”
Translation: If the Jews boast ancient roots, local Arabs will invent even more ancient roots. In the current postmodern ambiance, it’s not like it would be bon ton anywhere to insist on even a modicum of historical accuracy.
If anything, there’s perverse satisfaction in the Europe that largely cleansed itself of Jews, to depict the remnant of the Jewish people as a tyrannical ogre. Hence it’s uncool to recall that Jerusalem Mufti Haj Amin al-Husseini, still revered by Arabs, spent WWII as Hitler’s personal guest in Berlin and avidly collaborated in implementing the “final solution to the Jewish problem.”
Husseini wasn’t the odd-man-out. He gave expression to his people’s overwhelming vehemence. Already in 1937 Josef Goebbels praised Arab “national and racial awareness,” noting that “in Palestine they hoist Nazi flags and deck their homes with swastikas and portraits of Hitler.”
Arabs were among the first to latch onto Nazi ideology. Undisguised fascist parties proliferated – from Syria’s Nationalist-Socialists headed by Anton Saada to Ahmed Hussein’s Young Egypt. Husseini was the kingpin.
During WWII Husseini’s adherents in this country hoarded arms and trained to assist Rommel’s invading Afrika Korps. They harbored German paratroopers, engaged in espionage, disseminated Third Reich propaganda and greeted each other with Nazi salutes, accompanied by Heil Hitlers.
The Arabs (who before Israeli independence fanatically spurned the Palestinian moniker as a British imperialist import – which it indeed was) were victims of their own belligerence. They murdered their own brethren and sabotaged their own economy. In 1936 Husseini, bankrolled by Hitler, instigated a self-inflicted disaster – harbinger of the 1948 Nakba which would follow the onslaught by seven Arab armies on day-old Israel merely three years post-Holocaust.
The ultra-vulnerable Jewish state would be blamed for surviving and would fill its thwarted would-be annihilators with yet more frustration and festering rage. Instead of abating, genocidal hate would only intensify and magnify.
Those belatedly calling themselves Palestinians portray themselves as innocents struck by a monumental calamity and continuously subjugated for no fault of their own. They clamor for another chance, for a return to Square-One, presumably to recoup their losses and continue from where they left off.
*This is the dialectic of delegitimization and the Nakba is its driving force. Time to fearlessly tell it like it is.
They’re a bunch of lying bastsrds Sarah, don’t let ’em get ya down.
That’s my wonderful, time-tested philosophy….
A GREAT Tack dear Sarah !
The Nakba propaganda is pure Antisemitism, like all efforts to delegitimize the Jewish state.
I LOVE your articles…
When Avigdor Lieberman suggested redrawing the boundary so the Arabs in the Little Triangle could be with their brethren in the proposed Palestinian State, they overwhelmingly opposed it. Yet they still call our Independence Day, their Catastrophe. That is what my Aunt would call spitting in your face and then charging you for the drink. The Arabs in the Bank should have civil rights, social rights and legal rights – but no political rights. They simply are not up for it. Not in any Arab dominated land. They are still only at the clan based, mafia style, organization level. Perhaps in a thousand years.
This article is intelligent, well researched, and makes more sense to me than most of the propaganda coming out of Europe and the UK for the past 40 years. Unfortunately, Europeans and Brits get a free pass on most US college campuses just because they are alleged to be more sophisticated and smarter than everyone else on the planet.
If American conservatives should speak out against, or given written protest about, the current liberal thought trends (because historical evidence can be found that refutes the latest Arab/ UK/ European slanders) the “Liberal” default (programmed) knee-jerk reaction is to refuse to accept any of that protest or complaint, without even hearing out to the end, or reading through the entire presentation.
Question: How has it evolved that the Progressive Movement, which gave birth to all of the Liberalism of the 20th Century (the liberalism that helped make a place for dissenters, and even some counter-cultural artists, in an otherwise very conservative, Christian culture), should now have evolved into a Politically Correct, closed minded il-liberal rigidity that denies all opinions and alleged “truths” other than its own?
The only logical answer is this: The Progressive Movement created the subsidiary movement of “Liberalism” to gradually insinuate into the former conservagive American culture a place for respectable dissent. And that sort of dissent would eventially be gradually evolved into any form of ridiculous and outrageous dissent. In the meanwhile, the cultural and social and religious verities that had helped create and maintain the whole culture were gradually made to appear irrelevent. Now that US culture is steeped in post-patriotic, post-western civilization, post-civil, post-pluralism (in ideas and intellectual curiosity) the result is a Leftist tyranny that demands total submission to its current thought trends. Contemporary Leftist thought MUST be the ONLY basis for idea formation, philosophy, and all morality. The old ways were evil, because all American forms of Christianity were evil (due to a long litiney of false and historically incorrect and untrue liberal charges); therefore, that Foundation was “immoral,” and therefore illegitimate, and therefore not worthy to be allowed to receive ANY serious intellectual review or consideration.
By these devices, the Progressive Movement has “progressively”delegitimized the very existance of the United States of America. To be forgiven for existing, a European objective, because USA existance is America’s “Original Sin” (I have copies of articles from the European Herald-Tribune in Jan 1999 and May 1999, which reflectthat attitude, especially by the French), the US has to cpitulate to all European assertions of world authority nd World Trade Authority, and World Climate Authority, and to wubmit to EU control in all matters of politics and economics. And, if the US does that, we will be accepted into a 2nd rate status within the emerging New World Order (centered in the European Union Headquarters in France).
Then, America will be forgiven for having been born a Free State containing Free Men. And then, individual Liberty for the Common Man will have been successfully expunged from the whole world. And Europe (in the name of saving the whole planet climate and economy), will have the world control it had when the European Monarchies said they possessed a “Divine Right” to rule over whomever the chose to rule over. Voila: the rebirth of the once and future “Roman Empire!”
As crazy as most would think this story plot to be, after 40 years accumulative research, that this is the ongoing plot. Eurpoe se es itself as the true and deserved “Center of the Whole World,” to whom the whole world Owes Its Entire Obesiance. They have “the Right” to do this. They are The Ones entitled to be forever in charge of everyone and everything! Just ask the French leaders they aren’t shy about itmwhen talking to each other or to other Europeans.
Point of this aargument: Europe is continuing to seek to do to Israel what they have almost finished doing to America, thanks to the Liberal agenda of the past 100 years, which now has become so il-liberal that everyone MUST obey Leftist dictates without any dissent. The creators of dissent (for themselves to be established in culture) now forbid any dissent from Leftist thinking and ideas. So, it was never about “liberalism,” it was always about overturning a pre-existing culture and they take n arbitray control of that culture. They changed Christian control witb an intolerant atheistic-secular control that is poised to deny any right to any religious comvictions or outward expression (in the name of protectinf whatever minority will serve that purpose).
But notice that all majority rights have been overthrown. Meaning, individual right do not exist if a person does not belong to any officially recognized “minority group.” So now, only government recognized “group rights” exist. That, dear friends, is the essence of Marxism and Communisim. It was gradually put into place in the USA via evolution rather than revolution (the British Fabian Society model for how to evolve a culture into the kind of world European leaders wanted to eventually manage in the foreseeable future). For thkse who don’t know: the Fabian Society sent an emmisary to find a scholar to create an economic/political philosophical structure based upon a synthetic antithesis to the Capitalist/Relublicanform created and estblished by America. Marx was the scholar found abd hired for that purpose. By the time Marx completed the project, he was going insane with raving rating rage at everything good and godly and decent in existing society.
But the Fabians got what they wanted, and tried to implement it in Germany (1848), which failed. But certain immigrants to the US (NYC) liked those ideas and took them back to Russia. The rest is history. But most students world-wide don’t actually know that whole story. And those Fabians started something that appears to be winning the world (though dishonestly). I wonder which part of Hell God assigned them to, foreknowing the vast millions of persons (over 150 million since 1918) that would be destroyed by that movement’s adherents all over the world?
How will all of this end? Is God ignorant of the ways of Man or the ways of Evil? No! Some of the Hebrew prophets gave warnings against future attacks on His People by such hardened, hateful people that inhabit the vafiety of Leftist circles world-wide (not by those political terms, but by the nature of their hatred and hardness against fellow humans). The Book of Revelation (by a first century AD/CE observant Jewish man, who was imprisoned by Greek pagans) which reveals what is claimed to occur in the “last days,” after Gkd had begun to resgore Israel, as He had promised to Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel and others.
And so, Israel has indeed been lartially restored, a project not yet complete. And the world has been hostile to that since before day one of that! So, God has been doing what He had promised to do, and the worldly minded and actual pagans oppose that in their ignorance and prejjdice about Israel and the Gid of Israel. Sorry this wnt so long. All of those issues are intertwined in history.
I am a retired engineer and dta analyst with over 40 years experience. I have researched these matters intently for over 30 years. My off-line computer archives contain over 17,000 legal copies of documents I use for study and personal research, plus papers I write.
Sarah Honig, you and Carolyn Glick are gems. You are both brilliant and logical thinkers. You both express yourselves very well and are gifts of God to the Jewish People and the human race.
All the best to you and Shabbat Shalom!
The original Progressives, in the Theodore Roosevelt era, were sympathetic to the working man but were also White Christian Supremacists best exemplified by the racism, antisemitism and anti-Catholicism of the Ku Klux Klan. They have modified their positions somewhat but not so much as to include Jews.
Re: A delegitimization Called Nakba
A valuable and most insightful analysis from Sarah Honig- as always.
Sadly however all the words and insights in the world will never succeed in changing the mindsets of individuals who are convinced one can easily, via the route of endlessly repeating historical lies long enough, create a Silk Purse out of a Sow’s ear.
Whenever I hear people spouting the tiresome phrase: “Two State Solution” I wonder why not say Ten State solution. That is to say let all those in Israel who feel so oppressed simply return to where they originally came from. Egypt, Syria, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, etc., etc. etc.
Now those are solutions that makes sense- although none of those countries want them.
There, in those countries, Israel’s self declared “oppressed” would learn the real meaning of what it feels like to be oppressed.
And don’t Israel’s self proclaimed “oppressed” know that all too well. Beyond too well.
The State of Israel deserves a dozen Nobel Peace prizes just for managing to summon up the amazing patience and strength to deal with and survive all the Slings and Arrows that have been hurled at it from the hour of its Birth in 1948. Not to mention the previous several thousand years of persecution endured by our Tribe, here, there and everywhere- not to mention- Always and in ALL ways.
My Father, May He Rest in Peace, was born in 1903, in a village in Belarus near Slonim.
I grew up hearing stories of how soldiers would often come rampaging through the streets, long swords in hand, murdering people randomly, lopping off peoples’ arms and heads as though they were just pruning fruit trees.
As he lay dying in Lenox Hill hospital in New York, almost a century later I can still recall his Last words as if it were yesterday.
“We are the Strong”, he said. And then repeated those words one final time.
“We are the Strong”. And then he was gone.
But we as a People are not gone. For we are indeed the Strong, in Spirit and in every other human trait worthy of respect.
That is why Our Tribe has survived to this day despite all the countless attempts to wipe us off the face of the Earth.
“Two State” solution ???
Long ago, in 1947 to be exact, the UN made that exact offer and it was resoundingly refused.
Why do so many of our Tribe hesitate and even shudder at the thought of telling it like it is.
“Nakba”, “Schmakba” !
That and five cents would buy you a cup of coffee in Brooklyn in 1947.
But it is not 1947 any more. That train has left the station. That boat has sailed.
And neither are ever coming back.
The State of Israel has one chief obligation to the citizens of the State of Israel.
Stay Strong and then grow Stronger still. Assume the very worst- and be prepared.
And- most important of all, depend on no one except ourselves.
There was an original two-state solution in the twenties. The British implemented it without intention by dividing the Mandate into TransJordan and Palestine.
Garibaldi used to say : ITALIA FARA DA SE soI say ISRAEL FARA DA SE. No meddling is accepted.
Sorry for all the typos in my previous post of a few minutes ago. My instant spell check went bad and I had to turn ir off. Some of my keys on this tablet put in the letter/ number next to the one I am trying to keystroke. Some keys skip the letter I hit too lightly. Too often I don’t see those until after I make the post, or send the email. I really am a good speller.
I AM MOST EMBARRASSED BY THE ACCIDENTAL MIS-SPELLING OF THE ENGLISH TERM THAT REPRESENTS A HOLY GOD. I feel disgraced and have asked Him to forgive me of this accidental mis-step. He knows my thoughts and heart (Psalm 139), and knows I intended no wrong towards Him or to those who believe in Him. I felt complelled to make this immediate, public appology so others would know I meant no mockery or harm. He is my Lord, the Author of all Salvation. He is the One Who has created all men, established Israel, and has promised to redeem Israel and the whole world from all of the evil that now plagues us all. Amen!
It is sad how many people – especially Israeli Jews – buy into the Palestinian Nakba narrative even though the documentation debunking it is so clear-cut. Newspaper archives, for example, confirm the influx of Arabs from surrounding lands – even describing how illegal immigration was promoted as a counter-Zionist strategy in the lead-up to the “Nakba”! Newspapers also reported exact figures al-Husseini was paid by Hitler for his Nazi activities (many of these articles are compiled on the YouTube channel “MideastWatcher”).
Thank you Sarah.
To fellow readers who are replying here, search for the following. Can We Ban Islam? – Legal Guidelines for the Criminalization of Islam in the United States
The same holds true for Israel.
“Learn about Islam. That is the most important thing for people to do. Learn who it is that you are not.” – Samuel Lurie
Arguments are almost but not quite useless in this matter because it is a POWER STRUGGLE which must and can be won ONLY by violence, in this case by expelling arabs from Western Palestine. Only after such an action will the world be convinced Israel’s political stance must be taken into account not before. However arguments had to be tried first.
Reblogged this on Adara Press.
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