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Friday, January 04, 2008

My comment on Petra Marquardt Bigman's "A Meeting of Minds," which makes an unconvincing analogy between advocates of one state and Zionist settlers.

As an aid to understanding the issue as an ongoing process for Zionists to attain maximum land with minimum Palestinians, consider instead of the usual malarkey, "The Jews accepted partition; the Palestinians didn't," the actual partition plan (not to mention the ethnic cleansing: "Ben Gurion depopulated 250 villages and expelled half the total refugees before the state of Israel was declared on 15 May 1948 and before any Arab regular soldier came to reverse the ethnic cleansing" http://www.plands.org/articles/16.htm).

The partition plan:

"Partition was seen by the Palestinians as imposing unilateral and intolerable sacrifices on themselves. The reasons for their opposition were the same as in 1937, except that the UN partition plan gave the proposed Jewish state 50 percent more territory than the 1937 plan had. The area of the Jewish state according to the UN plan would actually be larger than that of the proposed Palestinian state (5,500 square miles as compared with 4,500 square miles) at a time when the Jews constituted no more than 35 percent of the population and owned less than 7 percent of the land. Within the proposed Jewish state, Jewish landownership did not in fact exceed 600 square miles out of the total area of 5,500 square miles. Nearly all the citrus land (equally divided in ownership between Jews and Palestinians), 80 percent of the cereal land (entirely Palestinian-owned), and 40 percent of Palestinian industry would fall within the borders of the proposed Jewish state. Jaffa, the Palestinian state's major port on the Mediterranean, would be altogether cut off from its hinterland, and Gaza would lose its traditional links with the wheatlands of the Negev. Hundreds of villages would be separated from communal fields and pastures. The Palestinian state would lose direct access both to the Red Sea and to Syria. The economic union between the two states, on which partition had been postulated, was known beforehand to be impracticable. The patchwork of subunits into which partition would divide the country bore little relationship to the human and social realities on the ground."

Khalidi, Walid. Before Their Diaspora: A Photographic History of the Palestinians 1876-1948.Washington DC: Institute For Palestine Studies, 1991.

Jonathan Cook's latest article, "Ungenerous Occupier, Israel's Camp David Offer Exposed," on what was really offered at Camp David is quite elightening as to Israel's intentions for a viable Palestinian state (not).


Nothing's changed and in light of the evidence the comparison between the state subsidised settlers and the proponents of one-state just doesn't wash. Israel has always coveted the land without its people, and it's doing a bang up job of getting rid of Palestinians in one way or another and settling Palestinian land with Jews.

One state, two state; I personally could care less, as long as our elders from Jaffa and Haifa are as free to return and to walk the streets of their hometowns as the privileged Jewish immigrants from Peru, India, Germany, the UK, et al are.

But Israel also has a myriad of procedures in place to keep those with Palestinian ethnicity, even with American passports, out of Palestine. It was obvious to me when I had to undergo a humiliating three hour interrogation and strip-search at Ben Gurion airport, pretty much the standard procedure for anyone with even a grandfather named Jameel. Think I'm in any hurry to go back?

Posts like this are just buying time until Israel has finished penning in the Palestinians and helping itself to the resources and land it covets for American Jews who want to play cowboy on someone else's property. And they're no different than their predecessors, the ethnic cleansers of 1947-48.

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