Sunday, May 24, 2015

The Nakba: Facts VS Fiction

The times in which we're living impose on us certain game rules, whether we want it or not. One of such rules is "the narrative" and the time imposing it on us is postmodernity. Theoretically, it claims that any perspective on the facts that took place, and on the chronology in which they took place, is viable. At first glance, that seems to be a perfectly legitimate observation. However, practically, it too often means for too many that notions such as facts and chronology become outdated and inconsequential altogether. Not the perspective on the facts changes, but rather facts change to fit one's perspective. Questions like - Who's the aggressor? Who attacked who first? Who started the war? Why was it started? What is the actual chronological order of events? What is the cause and consequence? Who's a terrorist and who's a freedom fighter? - All lose significance.

If any point of view is acceptable, then no one is a liar. If everyone has their own truth, then there's no truth altogether. No facts, no truth - no right or wrong.  Let's keep that on the conscience of the people responsible for killing Truth as a concept, by introducing postmodernity into our lives - the academia.

The Nakba, the "Palestinian" mourning day, commemorated on the Gregorian calendar day of the proclamation of the establishment of Israel, is the ultimate example of a "narrative" gone wild. "The catastrophe", "the disaster" of the "Palestinian" people has all the main characteristics of the typical postmodern moral and historical "relativism"; ignoring history, flipping cause and consequence, blowing events out of every proportion, throwing any context out of the window, applying replacement theory and, of course, singling out and using double standards.

What have become of the Nakba farce today in a nutshell is the following:
Evil Zionist Jews came from Europe in 1948 to a completely foreign to them Palestine, escaping the Holocaust (which is usually denied as well), occupied it, starting a brutal genocide on the innocent, civilian indigenous Palestinian population (that continues to this day!), and establishing the Zionist Israel on the ruins of Palestine. Those who weren't slaughtered, were brutally kicked out of their homes and are refugees to this day (along with all their descendants!) in an evil act of ethnic cleansing. This is to be regarded as the greatest crime in human history, Israel should be perceived as the last colonial project, Zionism should be seen as racism and as an unprecedented evil.

Terrible, isn't it?
From the point of view of the progressive-liberal-postmodern-relativist all that is as legitimate and as tangible as any other telling. If it was indeed so, then Israel would be an incarnation of Satan and all the boycotts, bias and disproportionate obsession would have been justified.
From the point of view of a normal person? Not quite so.

With the Nakba Day "celebrated" just last week, on May 15th, it's crucial to set the record straight and make a decisive stand: lies are no narrative.
Let's debunk the Nakba farce for the lies it's built of:

Myth #1: "Jews came to Israel in 1948! / Israel was only established because of the Holocaust!"
Putting aside ancient history, religion, the Bible AND the Quran, this lie ignores the building of Israel by European Jews for some fifty years before WWII. It ignores the first and the second "Aliyahs" - waves of Jewish repatriation to Israel in 1882-1902 and 1904-1914 respectively, way before WWII or the Holocaust. It ignores the establishment of the Zionist movement - the national movement of the Jewish people - in the 19th century. It further ignores the original repatriation of Yemenite Jews to Israel in the 19th century at the same time of and unrelated to the First Aliyah.

Myth #2: "Jews occupied "Palestine"!"
Never at any given time in history was there an independent state called "Palestine", the Jews could occupy. "Palestine" was only a name given to a geographic area by foreign occupiers; Romans, Turks, Brits. The name comes from a Hebrew word "Plishtim", that means... "invaders" (oopsie!), and was given to a foreign, ancient Greek tribe that invaded the land from the sea. There never was a political entity called "Palestine". There never was any unique "Palestinian" people, separate from the rest of the Middle Eastern Arabs.

Myth #3: ""Palestinians" are an indigenous people to Israel!"
With the establishment of UNRWA some brand new criteria have been established for Arab refugees from British Palestine, different and unique than the criteria for any other refugee in the universe. As opposed to any other refugee in the world, who receives status if he has been driven out of his homeland, the Arab refugee from British Palestine receives status if he's been living in British Palestine for... two years. (Along with his children. And his children's children. And the children of the children...) 
Why was this unique criteria needed? Clearly because the universal standard didn't apply to the Arabs from British Palestine. While the exact numbers are disputed among scholars, obviously a significant enough chunk of what's referred to today as "Palestinians" are in no way indigenous to Israel. Children of foreign workers brought in by the Ottomans, result of migrating tribes, gangs moved in during the Arab revolt. Their claim is in no way more primal, than that of the first and second Aliyahs. Not to mention the historical claim on Israel, unique to the Jews.

Now, if we look at UNRWA's original number of 711,000 refugees (even though today they brazenly claim "about 750,000" on their official website!), we'll discover a surprise as well. Prof. Karsh's meticulous research proved the max. estimation of "Palestinian" Arab refugees can only stand at 609,000. That means some 100,000 neighboring, non-"Palestinian" Arabs jumped on to suck on the global community's generous tit.

Myth #4: "Zionists kicked "Palestinians" out! They started it! "Palestinian" terrorism is only a response to Zionist aggression!"
Here comes that pesky-little-insignificant-outdated nuisance called "chronology".
Five Arab armies attacked the Jews on May, 1948 before they "kicked out" anybody. To what were they "responding" then?
Arabs murdered some 300 Jews during the 1936-1939 Arab revolt. Before the Jews "kicked out" anybody or "occupied" anything. To what were they "responding" then?
Arabs slaughtered 18 Jews in Safed and 67 in Hebron in 1929. To what were they "responding" then?
That list goes on.
Still feel like justifying and rationalizing Islamic terrorism?


Now without even getting into the numbers of the (rather substantial) question of how many Arabs were actually physically expelled by Jews, how many fled on their accord and how many left adhering to the plea from Arab generals to leave (ignoring Jewish leadership pleas to stay and build a life together), so that they could wipe out the Jews quickly and allow them to "come back in two weeks", let's remember a few basic facts:

#1: Arabs were the ones who attacked Jews; five foreign armies, as well as local gangs.
#2. Their directly expressed goal was Jewish extinction and genocide.
#3. They started the war. They planned genocide. They lost. Where's the Nazi "Nakba Day"?


Myth #5: "Zionists have comitted genocide of "Palestinians"! / The Nakba is the "Palestinian" holocaust!"
The Holocaust is not a matter of perspective.
A genocide is not an issue of narrative.
You don't get to call your defeat in 1949 a "Holocaust" just because it's "a Holocaust for you".

The lie of the Israeli perpetrated genocide is a lie of monstrous magnitude, bearing a metaphysical purpose. Its purposes are to prove "Jews are evil after all" - thus exempting Western guilt over the Holocaust, and that "what the Nazis have done to them, they're now doing to the Palestinians", turning Zionism into modern day Nazism and all of Israel into a sort of a Freudian complex. The only conceivable reason for this audacity to bear any succeess whatsoever is to assume Hitler's Big Lie propaganda technique works: "tell a lie so colossal that no one would believe that someone could have the impudence to distort the truth so infamously".

Okay, let's engage in intellectual self abuse: A genocide is the systematic destruction of all or a significant part of a racial, ethnic, religious or national group - courtesy of Wikipedia.
Example #1: During the Armenian genocide, the Turks slaughtered some 1.5 million of the 2 million of Armenians living in the Ottoman empire. That's some 75% of the Armenian population under the Ottoman empire. That's a genocide.
Example #2: During the Holocaust some 6 million of the 9.5 million of European Jews were slaughtered. That's some 63% of the Jewish population. That's a genocide.
Example #3: During the Rwandan Genocide some 500,000 out of the 770,000 Tutsis were slaughtered. That's some 65% of the Tutsi population. That's a genocide.
That list goes on.

Now coming to Israel and the Arabs, out of the 711,000 (UN numbers) displaced "Palestinians" (not out of the entire Arab population of British Palestine, mind you), some 13,000 people were killed. That's some 1.8% of the displaced Arab population. I deliberately used the numbers bearing the seal of the "Palestinian Narrative" approval, even though they're disputed and inflated.
Even their own numbers prove beyond a reasonable doubt there never was a genocide.


Myth #6: "Okay, no genocide, but the Zionists ethnically cleansed Palestine! Secret Zionist documents prove that was their intention all along!"
No matter how much certain progressive-liberal-postmodern-relativist "scholars" will try to twist certain phrases or quotes, take them out of context and detach them from historic perspective, there was a wide consensus of opposition to an expulsion of Arabs across the Jewish political map, left and right.

With that being said, let's also understand "ethnic cleansing" is the postmodern historian's way of demonizing population exchange. In the years after WWII (i.e. the years in question) population exchange with the purpose of creating homogeneous nation states was the international norm, approved and encouraged by the global community in general and specifically in Israel (even by some Arab leaders!). Sure, leaving one's home is always a tragedy, but this was, sadly, happening all over the world and in much (much) higher numbers. All of these exchanges were tragically accompanied by major loss of life as well.

Example #1: 14.5 million were exchanged between India and Pakistan. There was no war. On the contrary it was done to prevent one by uniting the Hindus with the Hindus and the Muslims with the Muslims. Yet both countries were unable at the time to take care of the mass population exchange, and massacres occured on both sides. The exact number of the people killed as a result of the transfer is still disputed, with some estimations going as high as a million dead. Most scholars cite around 500,000.
Example #2: Approximately 12 million of ethnic Germans from all over Europe were driven out of their homes after the Nazi defeat by furious local populations. Even though they were indigenous to their homes, and unrelated in any way to the Nazis. Around 550,000 were killed during the expulsions.
Example #3: The end of WWII has left some significant grudge between the Poles and the Ukrainians as well. 1.5 million were expelled from their homes. As many as 100,000 were killed.
That list goes on.

Population exchange cases worldwide compared.
In blue: the total amount of displaced in each case. In red: those killed during the process.

Some 850,000 Jews (that's 100,000 more than even the current inflated numbers of UNRWA) driven out of Arab lands as a result of the establishment of Israel also come to mind. Those actually were indigenous citizens of their origin countries, living there for centuries. They weren't at war with the Arab population of their countries. They didn't invade the Arabs with five hostile Jewish states. They never swore to drive the Arabs into the sea.
You know, small, insignificant, pesky differences.

Out of all of the millions of refugees the world have seen since WWII only one group keeps its refugee status till today and passes it on to its descendants. Only one has turned their displacement to the core of their national identity. Only one whines and moans till this very day of their "great disaster". Guess which.
By the same token, where's the Indian Nakba Day? Where's the Pakistani Nakba Day? Where's the German?..
That list goes on.


Myth #7: "Zionists are committing genocide of "Palestinians" today!"
Even if you know absolutely nothing about history, international law, politics, the Middle East, the Israeli-Arab conflict or anything else about anything, you still have to be brain-dead to take these accusations seriously.
You cannot have a genocide with a steady growth of population. (You know, as opposed to a sharp decline.)
You cannot have a genocide with a steady growth in life expectancy, higher than that of the world average.
You cannot have a genocide with a steady decline in infant mortality rate, lower than that of the world average.
That list goes on.

Myth #8. "Israel is a colonialist project!"
The Jews didn't come to Israel with the flag of Poland, Russia, Morocco or Yemen. They didn't come to abuse the "riches" and "indigenous population" of Israel for some other homeland. They came to settle in Israel, a persecuted people, leaving everything behind to build a new, Jewish life in their new homeland. To work the land, to build the cities, to develop their own independent, Jewish culture. Zionism is not colonialism, nor is it racism. It's the Civil Rights Movement of the Jewish people.

Coming back to the "narrative era", sure, one man's victory is another man's tragedy. Granted. Even if it's entirely self-inflicted. Granted every loss, every displacement is a tragic event for the people involved. Granted had there never been wars in the world, it'd have been a better place. No question about it. Now, say you've turned this loss into a defining moment in your history, into a cornerstone of your national identity (unprecedented, really). Say, you've turned misery into a career. Say, you've perpetuated the suffering of (the descendants) of your refugees. Say, your national idea is a strikingly negative one, in an absolutely unique way compared to the global practice.

Consider the following, Israel's vice ambassador to Norway, George Deek (who happened to be an Israeli Arab), has brought up this question: Why is the Nakba commemorated on the date of Israel's declaration of independence? Why not, say, this expulsion, or that massacre, or this defeat? What is the Palestinian "catastrophe" all about? Their loss? Their expulsion? Their diaspora? Or is it our victory that is their main cause of mourning?


This is what it's all about. The very essence of the entire conflict. The Palestinians' main problem is not a lack of a country, it's the existence of ours. No other nation got the amount of opportunities the Palestinians did to establish their own state. It's not a matter of territory. As long as a Jewish state exists anywhere within historic Israel, the Palestinian "Nakba" won't end.

Don't let "narratives" brainwash you.
Insist on using your brains at all costs.





2 comments:

  1. Great and well sourced article.

    Two issues:
    1. I agree with Binyamin Arazi's 'new' comment. You could follow Herzel's footsteps, and amend it to "Old and New" (a-la Altneuland).
    2. You may want to fix these errata:
    a. the "Palestinain" mourning day
    b. unrelated to the First Aliyah..
    c. Where's the German?..

    ReplyDelete
  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete