Whats her point?
melanie (melanie phillips of Daily mail and Guardian fame),
In your recent post you proclaim that "These occupations are not illegal." How would you descibe them, when even an Israeli Prime Minister is willing to accept that Israelis have taken the Palestinians country?
David Ben Gurion (the first Israeli Prime Minister): "If I were an Arab leader, I would never sign an agreement with Israel. It is normal; we have taken their country. It is true God promised it to us, but how could that interest them? Our God is not theirs. There has been Anti-Semitism, the Nazis, Hitler, Auschwitz, but was that their fault ? They see but one thing: we have come and we have stolen their country. Why would they accept that?" (Quoted by Nahum Goldmann in Le Paraddoxe Juif (The Jewish Paradox), pp121)
Ben Gurion also warned in 1948 : "We must do everything to insure they ( the Palestinians) never do return." Assuring his fellow Zionists that Palestinians will never come back to their homes. "The old will die and the young will forget."
Without seeing the context for these quotes I cannot comment. I expect, however, that Ben Gurion was referring to what the Arabs themselves thought. As for never returning, he was after all talking about people who had tried to kill Jews and destroy Israel against the will of the world. As for your fuirst sentence, I'm afraid this shows your ignorance. It was not the Palestinians' country. At that stage there were no Palestinians, merely Arabs who lived in Palestine and who thought of themselves as part of the wider Arab nation. It did not belong to them at all. It had been run by Britain since 1920 when the League of Nations had given it a mandate to administer Palestine and set up within it a Jewish national home.
It is not my intention to discuss semantics, but if you re-read my original e-mail you will notice my referral to Palestine as a country is not based on my own 'ignorance' but on the words used by then Prime Minister Ben Gurion. When you write "administer Palestine and set up within it a Jewish home", what is this 'Palestine' if not a country? Asserting Palestinians were not Palastinians "merely Arabs who lived in Palestine" is a basic fallacy, was it simply the League of Nations grant of mandate that created Palestinians, using the same logic I could derive the fact that there is no such thing as Iraqis, Sudanese, Iranians etc. I don't dispute the fact that some Palestinians have killed Israeli people, but you know this is far more complex than this acerate condensation of the conflict. In reference to belonging, this is a nonsensical term in this context, do you consider the present israeli inhabitants owners of Israel? If so, where is their 'reciept'?
Dear oh dear. Do learn some elementary history. Ben Gurion referred to it as Palestine because... that's what it was called at that time. It had never been a sovereign country, but was a benighted and largely abandoned part of the Ottoman empire. The Arabs who lived there were not 'Palestinians' any more than the Jews who lived there -- and who had equal claim to the term, not least because the Jews were there first. The point is that although there was a place called for temporary adminstrative purposes Palestine, the Arabs who lived there did not have any ethnic affiliation to the place, no distinctive culture or language or history belonging to 'Palestine' because they were part instead of a fluid and mobile Arab body and moved in and out. If they thought of themselves as anything more particular it tended to be 'southern Syrians' or Egyptians.
This correspondence is now closed.