|Ilan Pappe writes Avraham Oz|
|----- Forwarded Message ----|
From: "email@example.com" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
To: Zalman Amit <email@example.com>
Sent: Wednesday, January 2, 2008 9:00:51 PM
Subject: Re: FW: [alef] Ilan Pappe Interviewed in Italy, comments
How can one live with out Alef? Happy new year to everyone and
to Avi Oz in particular for providing us this venue also in 2007.
Exile lands you a lot of free time. And yet, quite reluctantly
one would wish to deal with Zionist mythology in the 21st
century. Thank God, one of the first things you learn in Europe
is that the Zionist narrative has been defeated in the more
sensible parts of the society.
But for general information here is the relevant chronology:
The Palestinians, not the ‘Arabs’, went on three days of strikes
on November 30 1947 and groups of angry youth sporadically
attacked Zionist transport and businesses. This petered out on 4
December. In the next few weeks things returned to normal.
The Zionist ethnic cleansing of Palestine was conceived as a
strategy in February 1947 and began in earnest around 15 February
1948. It peaked in April 1948 with the destruction of
Palestinian urban life and a series of massacres, most notably
Dir Yassin on 9 April.
In between Nov. 1947 and 30 April 1948, the Arab world refused to
take any serious decision. Its leaders decided to allow
volunteers to try and defend the Palestinians from the ethnic
cleansing and promised, but never delivered, a large shipment of
arms. Only on April 30, after already 270,000 Palestinians became
refugees and more than 70 villages and 9 urban neighborhoods were
destroyed by the Zionist forces, did they decide to send troops
into Palestine, but even then confined themselves to the areas
allocated to the Arab state in the UN resolution.
It is indeed amazing how the old Zionist propaganda – which even
the present Zionist historians in Israel do not dare to adhere
to, s can still find its way to Alef. We should move on with our
debates in Alef and leave behind these Zionist lies and
While I am it, I do not agree with Mary that there is a
particular Jewish side to the conflict. A certain group of Jews
employed an array of tactics to justify the colonization of
Palestine (had the British allowed them, they would have
colonized parts of Uganda, Iraq, south Lebanon or Egypt INSTEAD
and would have found biblical justification for this as well).
One of the tactics was to Judaize the colonization project, with
the help of fundamentalist Christian missionaries. This was not
particular to Zionism, the colonization of Ghana was done in a
similar way by the Basel Mission.
I think the main point worth repeating is Edward Said’s
uneasiness with simple equations of Zionism with racism or of
Zionism with Judaism. He did not think Zionism was not racist,
but as he said to many of us, it is too particular
anti-Palestinian, as result of historical and accidental
circumstances, to be confused with Racism. Judaism, Racism,
western civilization were all recruited by a group of ethnic Jews
to justify the dispossession of an indigenous and native ethnic
group of Palestinians. The latter employed modern day nationalism
to carry out an anti-colonialist struggle, before realizing,
hopefully not too late, that they were facing ethnic cleansing
and not a group of colonialist who would one day go back to their
mother country. An inclusive solution that would enable
absorbing the new historical reality in Palestine to be based on
democratic and secular values, which reconciling with the past
with the unconditional return of the refugees, is the only
possible way forward.
I would be the first to concede the last two paragraphs are a
simplified version of an argument that deserves a book.