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No hope for Palestine ?

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Manfred Liebig View Drop Down

Joined: 25 January 2013
Location: Germany
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    Posted: 25 January 2013 at 5:31pm
Israel's unabated construction of illegal settlements in the occupied territories of Palestine is the main obstacle to the implementation of the two-state solution. International criticism is ignored in Tel Aviv. Since punitive action against Israel is not taken by the international community, Israel has the green light for new settlements and the support of the majority of its Jewish citizens. Jewish settlements in the land of Palestine proved useful in the past. The Jews eventually got their state, but not all they wanted. "Judea and Samaria" (West Bank) are also part of the "promised land", "our ancestral homeland". "United Jerusalem is our eternal capital." New settlements have a reason, a purpose.
Towards the end of the 19th century only about 24 000 Jews lived in Palestine, then a province of the Ottoman Turkish Empire, although the empire had a Jewish population of about half a million. That was the result of investigations by British officials charged with the administration of Palestine on behalf of the League of Nations (British Mandate) after the collapse of the empire during World War One. In 1882 the Zionist movement sent the first wave of Jewish settlers from Europe to Palestine. The history of Jewish settlements had begun and never stopped. Conflicts and bloody confrontations with the local population followed. In 1896 the Austrian Jew Theodor Herzl, a jurist and journalist, published his book "Der Judenstaat", The Jewish State. Herzl was convinced that his dream of a Jewish state in "the promised land" would become a reality. He wrote: "... when many Jews cooperate simultaneously, it is perfectly reasonable, and the realisation of the plan offers no difficulties worth mentioning."
In his book Herzl outlines in detail how to organise, finance and administer the future state. To the astonishment of the reader, the local people, who lived in that land, Arab Palestinians, are never mentioned in the Jewish State, as if Palestine were a vacant stretch of land waiting to be populated and developed. What would be the fate of these people? What Herzl, president of the first Zionist Congress in Basle, Switzerland (1897), leaves in the dark, is brought to light by the English Zionist Israel Zangwill. The Arabs should be expelled ("transferred") from their homeland.
"We cannot allow the Arabs to block so valuable a piece of historic reconstruction. ...And therefore we must gently persuade them to 'trek'. After all, they have all Arabia with its million square miles. ...There is no particular reason for the Arabs to cling to these few kilometers. 'To fold their tents' and 'silently steal away' is there proverbial habit: let them exemplify it now. " - In: Nur Masalha, Expulsion of the Palestinians: The Concept of "Transfer" in Zionist Political Thought, 1882-1948; Institute of Palestine Studies, 1992, p.14
Ethnic cleansing is racism. But according to biblical geography "the promised land" belongs to "God's chosen people", the Jews.
There is a strong and growing campaign in Israel calling for the annexation of "Judea and Samaria." Religious nationalism is hard to beat.
"What's important is not what the nations say, but what the Jews do." (David Ben Gurion, Israel's first prime minister)
Manfred Liebig

Edited by Manfred Liebig - 27 January 2013 at 4:42am
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