Wednesday, 4 May 2011

Lambcut on the Holocaust

Posted by Lambcut (the Brunette is still away)

With the death of bin Laden, there is a lot of chat on the blogosphere about Muslims and the Middle East. Most of it is horrifyingly misinformed. I commented just now on a post of Cactus Kate’s – “Hone Denigrates Jews”. Kate’s post is not directly related to the bin Laden situation but it threw up Holocaust rhetoric undoubtedly heated by bin Laden’s death. Having spent time and done business in the Middle East, I am familiar with the Levant and Palestinians in particular. I commented as follows in reply to Kate’s outpourings. Busted Blonde and the Brunette will probably have me killed for posting it on Roarprawn, but, here it goes anyway:

No sane person should ever stoop to detract from the sufferings endured during the Holocaust mainly by Jews, but also by gays, gypsies, the disabled and communists. Having said that, no sane person should stoop to detract from the sufferings now being endured by Palestinians. The Palestinians call the events that took place in 1948 the Catastrophe. It’s not comparable on a numeric basis to the Holocaust, but it’s getting pretty bad. Around one million Palestinians were displaced at the time or shortly following the Catastrophe. More than ten thousand Palestinians are currently imprisoned without due process in Israel. Hezbollah has about one prisoner currently – Corporal Gilad Shalit, a combatant. I am not aware that Hamas have any – but I am happy to be corrected especially as to numbers. A significant number of the Palestinians held by Israel are minors. Most by any reckoning are civilians. Around 350,000 Palestinians are living as stateless refugees without full human rights in the Lebanon. They are not able to own land or occupy most professions (ironically, a very similar situation to Jews in Europe until later in the 19th century). Because they only have refugee passports it is very difficult for them to emigrate elsewhere. Most of Palestine has been taken unlawfully beyond the Israeli borders that were established during the ’67 war. 1.6 million Palestinians living in Gaza have been walled off in a ghetto easily comparable to Warsaw. Palestinian deaths attributable to the conflict outnumber Israeli deaths attributable to the conflict around ten to one.

And we in the West, we authored this situation to salve our conscience about the various roles our state’s played in contribution to the Holocaust.


Anonymous said...

And thats where it starts going awry. Here's a question for you - How many Palestinians are living and prospering within Israel?

When answered accurately that starts to cast light on the true reasons for the plight of palestinins - and potentially the solutions.


tina said...

There are about 1.2 million Palestinians living in Israel who are Israeli citizens. Another 200,000 Palestinians live in East Jerusalem and are considered residents of the city.

According to a report released by the Israel Democracy Institute in June 2007, about 56 per cent of the Jews in Israel publicly voice their opposition to full equality for the Arabs.

As many as 78 per cent of them reject the idea Arab parties should join the government or any crucial political decision-making body.

Other Israeli statistics show that half of Israel’s non-Jewish population is defined as "poor".

Among non-Jewish citizens, 51.2 per cent of the families were poor as opposed to 15.4 per cent of the Jewish families in 2006, according to the Central Bureau of Statistics.

As stated by the Law of Return, relatives of Palestinian citizens of Israel abroad cannot return to Israel, while Jews automatically qualify for citizenship.

According to the report 66 per cent of Jews do not trust Palestinian citizens of Israel and 55 per cent of them think that they should leave Israel.

In any event, I don't quite see your point.


Anonymous said...

Your post blames the west and Israel for the poor Palestinians plight.

You do a good job of twisting the stats, but if 50% of palestinians are poor in Israel, 50% must be rich. just like in any country. As for using opinion poll results as fact...

The point is the West and Israel cannot accept all the blame for palestinians being used as pawns by their 'own' people. The likes of Syria, Jordan, Egypt and the Palestinian leadership amongst others have over time used the Palestinian people for their own agenda. How else do you explain the Palestinians in Israel being treated better than those in Lebanon and Jordan?


tina said...

Dear Paranormal,

It does not follow that if 50% of Palestinians are poor then 50% are rich. It is unlikely on the basis of the known facts, or indeed anything I have seen personally, that the 50% of those not below the poverty line, are in fact rich. You can talk like that, but , it's just silly.

It is a very big stretch to say that Palestinians are treated worse in Syria, Lebanon and Jordan than they are in Israel. Syria, Lebanon and Jordan do not hold Palestinians in ghettos. Nor do they attack them with vastly unequal military force. The governments of Syria, Lebanon and Jordan are not without serious fault, but, they do not kill Palestinians at a rate of ten to one. Jordan in particular has been very good to Palestinians since the Catastrophe. As a result of the Catastrophe, currently at least half of Jordan's population is now Palestinian. Syria’s government also is not too bad overall. Lebanon is getting better though it could stand some improvement. Prejudice there is rife – but Oy vey! What do you expect following 25 years of civil war sparked by the Catastrophe?

Yours respectfully

barry said...

Dear Brunette.

I feel a bit upset by your comment ..."we in the west"..

This guy (ie: me) DID NOT have anything to do with this situation in the middle east. Yes - theres a mess there - but the blame lies firmly at the feet of the victors of WW1 and the Britsh administration of the area early last century (and possibly the league of Nations as well). Blaming me for the situation unfortunately does little to progress things.

Frankly - unless the two parties come to grips with reality and recognise that nothing is going to happen until they do this, then nothing will ever happen to progress peace in the area.

Oh - and regarding the holocaust - you are partly right - yes a lots of jews suffered, but I recall that actually many more people of other groups suffered as well. And thats nothing compared to the 20 million that Stalin elliminated - and he elliminated his own people!. The place of the holocaust in history is highly overated. I heard recently that if the american war in independance was fought today with the same proportion of casualties, something like 8 million would die. There are plenty of other examples like this that put the holocaust into its correct place in history. Yes it was bad - but there has been much, much worse - and these other events havent been constantly pushed at the rest of the world as some special thing - they but history.

Peter Vant said...

The Palestinians left their homes in 1947-49 for a variety of reasons. Thousands of wealthy Arabs left in anticipation of a war, thousands more responded to Arab leaders' calls to get out of the way of the advancing armies, a handful were expelled, but most simply fled to avoid being caught in the cross fire of a battle.

Many Arabs claim that 800,000 to 1,000,000 Palestinians became refugees in 1947-49. The last census was taken by the British in 1945. It found approximately 1.2 million permanent Arab residents in all of Palestine. A 1949 Government of Israel census counted 160,000 Arabs living in the country after the war. In 1947, a total of 809,100 Arabs lived in the same area.1 This meant no more than 650,000 Palestinian Arabs could have become refugees. A report by the UN Mediator on Palestine arrived at an even lower figure — 472,000, and calculated that only about 360,000 Arab refugees required aid.2

Although much is heard about the plight of the Palestinian refugees, little is said about the Jews who fled from Arab states. Their situation had long been precarious. During the 1947 UN debates, Arab leaders threatened them. For example, Egypt's delegate told the General Assembly: "The lives of one million Jews in Muslim countries would be jeopardized by partition."3

The number of Jews fleeing Arab countries for Israel in the years following Israel's independence was nearly double the number of Arabs leaving Palestine. Many Jews were allowed to take little more than the shirts on their backs. These refugees had no desire to be repatriated. Little is heard about them because they did not remain refugees for long. Of the 820,000 Jewish refugees between 1948 and 1972, 586,000 were resettled in Israel at great expense, and without any offer of compensation from the Arab governments who confiscated their possessions.3a Israel has consequently maintained that any agreement to compensate the Palestinian refugees must also include Arab compensation for Jewish refugees. To this day, the Arab states have refused to pay any compensation to the hundreds of thousands of Jews who were forced to abandon their property before fleeing those countries. Through November 2003, 101 of the 681 UN resolutions on the Middle East conflict referred directly to Palestinian refugees. Not one mentioned the Jewish refugees from Arab countries.3b

The contrast between the reception of Jewish and Palestinian refugees is even starker when one considers the difference in cultural and geographic dislocation experienced by the two groups. Most Jewish refugees traveled hundreds — and some traveled thousands — of miles to a tiny country whose inhabitants spoke a different language. Most Arab refugees never left Palestine at all; they traveled a few miles to the other side of the truce line, remaining inside the vast Arab nation that they were part of linguistically, culturally and ethnically

tina said...

Hello Peter Vant

Your link shows up thus:

Not Found

The requested URL /jsource/myths/mf1 was not found on this server.

And, let me tell you, on a number of bases, it takes a bit of believing.

Respectfully yours


Peter Vant said...

Hi Brunette,

The link is:

You will find sources for all the figures there. You will also find refutations of some of the other myths you raised in you post, which you never provided sources for. Israel is an open democratic society in the Western tradition of the Enlightenment. None of the other countries around it are. Please be careful to get your facts straight and to know who the good guys are.