A Response to “The Self Defeating Argument of Zionists”
By Emeka Paul
It was published on the blog page of Times of Israel on 11/08/2017 and written by Fred Maroun. It was supposedly, a pro Israel article.
The article talked of the current argument between Zionists and non Zionists. It said the Zionists are slowly losing public opinion because of some reasons which amongst them include the argument Zionists make.
I am sorry but I could not help feeling so put out by the tone, premises, conclusions and arguments in that article. That article is a veritable example of how Zionists defeat and commit seppukku [(Japanese: harakiri)] of their goal without knowing it. It is a worse example of the kind of mistakes made by those making Israel’s case for long which has emasculated Israel’s position rather than strengthening it in the courts of public opinion.
I felt compelled to address that article on some points there which according to the author, are wrong arguments of the Zionists.
Below are some of those arguments.
“The “Palestinians do not exist” argument.
(This argument is wrong to him because of the following)
“This argument is based on the claim that Palestinian nationalism was created for the single-minded purpose of destroying Israel and that it is not a valid national project. Without debating the validity of such a claim (which I did in a previous article where I described the “Palestinian paradox”), there is no question that Palestinian nationalism exists today and is not going away. Pretending that world opinion can be convinced of the contrary is naïve and comes across as both insensitive towards the plight of Palestinians and delusional.” he opined.
For one, I do not think that those who say that the Palestinians do not exist mean that a group of people calling themselves Palestinians are not existing. They are and saying otherwise is silly.
But it is also not wrong to assert that the genesis of the current people calling themselves Palestinians was done for the destruction of Israel.
That is the truth which anyone in the courts of public opinion cannot reject.
Of course that initial force which created them for destruction of Israel may change in the future or have changed now for genuine national aspirations but their genesis is still what it is.
And I do not think that anyone should have a problem with the Palestinians evolving to looking for genuine nationalism but such movement should not be at the expense of Israel or its lands from the Jordan river to the mediterranean sea.
If the Palestinians are looking for genuine nationhood, they ought to meet Jordan, the other Arab states and UN to find somewhere in the vast Arab lands and carve out for that nationalism. They have zero rights in any and all ways to move for such on the lands of Eretz Israel. There is nothing wrong in stating such and asking for what rights they have to claim otherwise.
If world opinion is wrong, there is nothing bad in standing against it. It is morally wrong and unjust to support a known bad stance because it is a world opinion which should not be questioned. Doing so means that we should not have stopped believing that the earth is the centre of the solar system and Jews cause black death. The majority is not always right and the threat inherent in that world opinion point sounds like scapegoating to me.
It is not a must that Israel should lose its lands or get destroyed so that the plight of the Palestinians should be better. If that world opinion is concerned about the good of the Palestinians and want them to have a nation, they should look at other options that is better than taking away the tiny sliver of lands belonging to the Jewish state of Israel while the Arabs have millions of hectares of land that could be used for such.
Another point he raised is the “The one-state argument” (He explained that)
“This argument claims that Palestine must never be created and that Israel must annex the West Bank and perhaps even Gaza. There are many problems with this argument which I have discussed in previous articles, particularly “The one-state delusion”, but the main problem is that it implies that Israel’s only chance of survival is to deport large numbers of Arabs. In practical terms, there is no other way that Israel could annex large amounts of lands inhabited by Arabs while still surviving as a Jewish state. This implication is not lost on members of the general public who are exposed to this argument, and it leads in their minds to the conclusion that Israel is as unethical as its enemies say it is.”
Yes, Israel found itself in a jam because of mistakes made in the past.
There is nothing wrong in a one state solution.
There already is a two state solution on that historic Palestine called Arab Jordan and Jewish Israel. Another two state solution on the tiny 23 % belonging to the Jews is unjust and justice informs public opinion.
I am of the opinion that Judea Samaria should be taken over completely by Israel. The Palestinians can stay put where they are and have a kind of permanent resident status. if they do not like it and scream apartheid!, then the provisions of international law as stipulated in the Mandate for Palestine document should be applied. Their then prior to 1922 existing communities were given the right to stay and have their civil and religious rights protected. This means that any other non Jew to move into the land amongst them after 1922 are illegal immigrants and since Israel grant citizenship based on the principle of jus sanguinis, their children will inherit their status unless those who have been given citizenship by Israel. Those illegal immigrants amongst them who cannot prove that their family has been on the land prior to 1922 should then be deported back to the nation their parents and grand parents came from while the rest should be given citizenship and their civil and religious rights, protected.
That deportation does not have to be violent. Yes, lives and activities could be disrupted but it will soon wear off and adjustments made. There is also nothing unethical in that regard because most nations deport illegal immigrants not to talk of those living in their nation and calling for their demise.
The problem is that people are afraid of getting “ethnic cleansing” plastered at them for proposing such when it has zero to do with ethnic cleansing.
He also opined that another wrong one is “The Arabs are not indigenous to the Levant” argument”
(He then continued)
“Anti-Zionist arguments that Israel is a European colony have led to the Zionist counter-argument that Jews are indigenous to the Levant (which is obviously true) while Arabs are not, and that therefore Arabs have lesser rights than Jews. Arab friends of Israel are deeply offended by the second part of this argument. By some definitions of the term “indigenous”, there may be a basis for the claim that Jews are more indigenous than Arabs to the Levant, but this has no value beyond academia, and it certainly does not imply any lesser rights for Arabs who have been on that land for generations. Zionists can ill afford to lose the few outspoken Arab friends that they have, especially through an argument that is pointless and that comes across as racist.”
There is nothing wrong in stating that the Jews are indigenous to Eretz Israel.
In all definitions of indigenous, the basics is that when a social unit or other groups gets created, produced or originated from a particular territory, then their members, so long as that unit is concerned, are indigenous to the territory.
Rights of indigenous people to a territory are based on their prior ownership of that land before the existing polity is established. One either have such indigenous rights on that territory by virtue of belonging to the social unit or he does not. There is nothing like one being more indigenous than another.
The Arabs are not indigenous to Eretz Israel and there is nothing wrong in stating that. Support for causes should be based on the truth and justice inherent in that cause and not because you want to patronize the person. That the Arab citizens of Israel and others are not indigenous to the land does not mean that if there be any right accrued to them as citizens, it should be denied them.
The fact that some people lived in a territory for long does not mean they automatically have become owners of it or have their indigenous status there. This is especially so if they were living as tenants to an overlord and never owned the land or created a distinct cohesive peoplehood originating from the area. If that be not the case, then the Pied Noir of Algeria, French in Vietnam, Germans in western Poland, etc should have been indigenous owners of those territories and not have gone back to their nations where they came from when the owners took their lands back at the end of their been occupied and colonized. They lived for a long time in those territories too.
I cannot say that because I am told that I am not indigenous to Israel, it means I have to stop supporting the truth of its case or that saying so means racism. It is just a statement of fact which do not have to bother anyone who wants to stand by the truth.
“Does it matter?”, he wrote and explained his points. I also say, “yes, it matters” .
Yes, pragmatism is good but it has its main application in international relations. The arguments to win the heart and minds of the grassroots have more to do with principles, ideals, sense of right and wrong, justice, truth, morality and fairness rather than pragmatism. One cannot apply diplomatic talks to the grassroots and that is the mistake those making Israel’s case have been doing for decades which that article went far left of.
It matters to make the case that the Jews are the ones with indigenous rights on the land because that is what appeals to the grassroots the anti Zionists are targetting.
It matters to say that Israel own the whole territory and not the Arabs because they are been plastered as colonizers and occupiers from Europe and that appeals to the grassroots.
It matters to assert that there should be no any other two state solution on that land because it is unjust and unfair which are ideals the anti Zionists are peddling to the grassroots.
The difference between the stance of anti Zionists and what Zionists have (which Fred Maroun obviously do not like) is that the Zionists narrative has truth, justice, fairness, global practice, logic and reason inherent in it.
That of anti Zionists have lies, bias, prejudice and double standards. They are made up of spurious comments and narratives that have no depth or solid basis when analyzed. Their only strength lies in their being constantlty harped upon, a population that is ready to act out that narrative been presented and an opponent that is not inclined to face them and challenge such claims. It is a typical example of the big lie phenomenom.
That narrative is what the Zionists are now challenging with the truth. It is not yet too late for such.
And to state that Zionists being judged with a different standard unlike the anti Zionists and it is somehow kosher doesn’t sound fair. It is true that such is obtained but it is wrong and need to be stopped. If we have to stand by the truth and justice of a situation, all parties to the issue must be judged with a single standard. It is wrong to somehow say anti Zionists are right when they scream apartheid! illegal occupation! genocide! at Israel but not right for Zionists to say that there is nothing like that and that if such accusations are actually analyzed, it is the Arabs who did or wanted to do so and that if one disputes such, he should come to the debate floor
Stating otherwise is hypocritical. One is not doing Israel any favours by refusing to counter and debunk all the lies been plastered against Israel and pointing out how the Palestinians are the wrong party.
Making the case for Israel and standing by the truth of its cause is not going to alienate anyone who wants to support the right thing and justice of this conflict. It is this ambiguity, refusal to call a spade a spade, engaging the claims and accusations against Israel and addressing them rather than seeking for solutions everytime someone screams “apartheid!” at Israel which has emasculated its case in the eyes of the grassroots.
You do not come to my house and say you own it and I then say lets find a solution for that. I will first of all make a case that it is not yours but mine.
First of all, deciding who owns what and has which rights should be ascertained before a just solution can be found. Seeking for solutions without addressing the fundamentals cannot be said to be just and fair to anyone.
That is what will appeal to the grassroots and not this acceptsnce of all accusations levelled against Israel and shouting pragmatic solution! The ideals of truth, justice, fairness, morality, right and wrong is what the grassroots look at and not pragmatism. So far, the anti Zionists are exploiting that and winning the grassroots while the Zionists are latching on to diplomatic talks and pragmatism.
Yes, it is true that it is not going to be easy to convince the anti Zionists and make them change their minds. It is true that even Zionists who latch on to the old narrative can feel a sense of trepidation, worry and even attack the change or threaten to switch sides but the truth needs to be out there.
In time and with continuous standing on that truth and refusing to budge, the lies of the anti Zionists will fall apart and that public opinion will swing away from them.
Time is actually on the Zionists side when they decide to stand by the truth.