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the traveler

the traveler
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Columbia, Maryland, USA
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November 03
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VP of everything
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I am an avid photographer and traveler living in the Washington DC area. My photo is obviously not me, because I am a white male and not a monk, and is one of my favorite pictures from a trip to Myanmar.

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OCTOBER 30, 2011 2:11PM

Mahmood Abbas is right.

Rate: 7 Flag

"Arab Rejection of ’47 Partition Plan Was Error, Palestinian Leader Says"

By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

"The Palestinian president said Friday that the Arab world had erred in rejecting the United Nations’ 1947 plan to partition Palestine into a Palestinian and a Jewish state. The Palestinian and Arab refusal set off widespread fighting, then Arab militaries attacked Israel after it declared independence the following year, a war the Arab states lost. “It was our mistake,” the Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, above, said in a rare interview on Israeli television. “It was an Arab mistake as a whole.” Referring to Israel, he added, “But do they punish us for this mistake for 64 years?”

 What more is there to say except, in response to his last question, if at anytime during that 64 years, the Palestinian leaders had come to Isrealileaders and sad that they were sorry and they wanted to be friends and decent neighbors and to live together in peace, then the nascent country of Palestine would now be, alongside Israel, a garden spot of technology and culture in the mid-East instead of what it is.

It is the Palestinian leaders that have cheated their people.

And don't argue with me.  Argue with Mahmood Abbas, he said it.

 

 

 

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I see your point, but I think it is a bit oversimplified. Israel had no right to keep bringing more and more immigrants in and settling them on Arab lands, to keep taking more and more.
Kathy,
The question, in part, is where these immigrants have come from.
Here's the other half of the equation you don't hear about.

Since 1948, more Jews have been driven out of Muslim-majority countries than Muslims have left Israel - voluntarily and involuntarily combined. The vast majority have ended up in Israel.

The communities they left ranged in age from fairly old to seriously ancient. The oldest I know of was the Iraqi community, which dated from the Babylonian conquest and the destruction of the First Temple. That Jewish community existed for over 2 1/2 millenia, originating over a millenium before Mohammed was born. As of about a century ago, the population of Baghdad was between a third and half Jewish. The major Talmud originated in what is now Iraq. Prophets preached there and were buried there - Jonah preached in Nineveh, now called Mosul, and is buried in Iraq.

You don't hear a word about repatriation or reparations to these Jewish populations, only to the Palestinian population. Please keep in mind that I am not talking about European Jews here, I'm talking about Middle Eastern Jews. I have only visited Israel once, in about 1980, but at the time, before the final waves of Soviet immigration, the majority of Israel's population was not European but Middle Eastern Jews, also known as Sephardim. That is when, incidentally, Israel turned Right and brought in Likud to replace Labor.

The Palestinian population isn't all ancestrally Palestinian. Once Jews started showing up in a very sparsely populated region, Arabs from Syria started migrating there in search of employment. Now these populations are being treated like they've been there for thousands of years.

That being said, I don't agree with the settlements either. However, Abbas' comment is disingenuous in more ways than what I've already listed.

From 1948 to 1967, Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza, the vast majority of whom ended up there by leaving what was becoming Israel at the request of neighboring Arab governments who wanted them out of the way during the war in 1948 and expected to return them when they threw the Jews into the sea (sorry about the length of this sentence), were forced to live in refugee camps. Why? Why didn't the surrounding Arab countries (or any others) integrate them? Israel had nothing to do with them for nineteen years. The Palestinians who remained in Israel became Israeli citizens. (Some were forced out by Jewish forces in 1948, most were not.) So, we can subtract 19 from 64 right away.

What changed in 1967 was that the Egyptian government sealed off the mouth of the Gulf of Aqaba. At the top of this gulf is the Israeli city of Eilat, the only port Israel had that led to the Indian Ocean rather than the Mediterranean. The only other way Israeli shipping could get to the Indian Ocean was either around all of Africa or through the Suez Canal - fat chance of that happening. This was an act of war. Arab armies were also mobilizing at the time. So, Israel attacked pre-emptively. They had to; if they'd waited, their survival would have been in serious doubt. The distance from the Golan Heights (Israeli-Syrian border) to the Mediterranean is less than twenty miles - Israel could be divided quickly. Also understand that if the Arabs lose a war to Israel (which has happened a couple of times), the civilian populations of those countries are not physically threatened in the aftermath. If the victory goes the other way, the story is completely different.

This war put the West Bank, Gaza, and the Sinai Peninsula in Israel's hands, along with the Palestinian populations in the camps there. Without Egypt's actions in 1967, none of this would have occurred. Egypt eventually decided on peace with Israel. Israel promptly gave them the Sinai Peninsula back which, incidentally, included an active oil well. Israel gives up land for peace, as long as the other party is serious about peace. Israel pulled out of Gaza unilaterally, arresting their own settlers who were refusing to leave. The political party that dominates Gaza, Hamas, still has as part of its charter the goal of the conquest of Israel. The only concessions they've offered in any negotiations have been truces, not a change of this fact. In other words, they want independence and territorial concessions in exchange for something they can renege on at the drop of a hat. If they'd ever said "We will let you exist if..." this would have been settled.

I'm not saying Israel is blameless, but let's please stay realistic about what exactly the Israelis face, who owes what to whom, etc.

Starting with the fact that most of the land Jews occupied in Palestine prior to independence was purchased, not conquered. And that Jewish populations were forcibly ejected from areas in Palestine, including the part of Jerusalem known for obvious reasons as the Jewish Quarter, by Arabs. Not only were the Palestinians not 100% native, the Jewish population was not 100% immigrant.
Kosh, no offense intended, but if Abbas is disingenuous, he still takes second place to this arrogant one who continually posts singular head in the sand hasbara (israeli propaganda).

This traveler says: "What more is there to say except, in response to his last question, if at anytime during that 64 years, the Palestinian leaders had come to Isrealileaders (sic) and sad (sic) that they were sorry and they wanted to be friends and decent neighbors and to live together in peace, then the nascent country of Palestine would now be, alongside Israel, a garden spot of technology and culture in the mid-East instead of what it is."

And don't tell me not to argue with you and go to Abbas, when it is YOU who either don't have a concern for accuracy in history or more likely just love to post these screeds that advance your agenda.

YOU are a liar, and this is far from the first time.

When I printed the following to his fellow hasbara comrade, barbara joanne, her reply was a weak, meek, I never trusted Arafat anyway.

This traveler is FACT, something that you always find repugnant in discussions on this subject:


"LETTER FROM YASSER ARAFAT TO PRIME MINISTER RABIN:

September 9, 1993
Yitzhak Rabin

Prime Minister of Israel

Mr. Prime Minister,
The signing of the Declaration of Principles marks a new era in the history of the Middle East. In firm conviction thereof, I would like to confirm the following PLO commitments:

The PLO recognizes the right of the State of Israel to exist in peace and security.

The PLO accepts United Nations Security Council Resolutions 242 and 338.

The PLO commits itself to the Middle East peace process, and to a peaceful resolution of the conflict between the two sides and declares that all outstanding issues relating to permanent status will be resolved through negotiations.

The PLO considers that the signing of the Declaration of Principles constitutes a historic event, inaugurating a new epoch of peaceful coexistence, free from violence and all other acts which endanger peace and stability. Accordingly, the PLO renounces the use of terrorism and other acts of violence and will assume responsibility over all PLO elements and personnel in order to assure their compliance, prevent violations and discipline violators

In view of the promise of a new era and the signing of the Declaration of Principles and based on Palestinian acceptance of Security Council Resolutions 242 and 338, the PLO affirms that those articles of the Palestinian Covenant which deny Israel's right to exist, and the provisions of the Covenant which are inconsistent with the commitments of this letter are now inoperative and no longer valid. Consequently, the PLO undertakes to submit to the Palestinian National Council for formal approval the necessary changes in regard to the Palestinian Covenant.

Sincerely,
Yasser Arafat

Chairman

The Palestine Liberation Organization"

http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/Peace/recogn.html

And as you might note, the source is a well-respected jewish organization.

What's your excuse for printing such a misleading screed?
I don't have any doubt that if Rabin hadn't been murdered, we'd have seen the culmination of the process within a few years of when this was written. Arafat wrote this because he trusted Rabin. He should have - Rabin was Israel's version of Nixon in China. It took someone with serious military credentials to handle this kind of negotiation because someone who didn't wouldn't have had enough credibility with the Israeli Right to force through what he needed done at home. The military Right he could handle; in the end, it was the religious Right that killed him. It's the only time I've ever seen a rabbinic Fatwa, which the Rabin assassination absolutely was.

The other problem was the schism in the PLO because of how corrupt Fatah was while Arafat was alive, particularly late in his life. By the time Fatah got around to reforming, Hamas was already a factor, and Hamas certainly didn't agree with Arafat on this issue. (Though I'm not sure it can be verified, there was some conjecture that Arafat's worrying about his own safety had something to do with why he didn't go further with Ehud Barak's Camp David offer.) That's part of the problem at the moment - neither side of this conflict has a handle on their extremist wing. Right now, that's more of a problem on the Israeli side, because I think Netanyahu is far more sympathetic to Israeli extremists than Abbas is to Palestinian.
To comment a little further:

While the Arafat letter is certainly an effective answer to the "if at any time during the 64 years" comment, Traveler's statement that "It is the Palestinian leaders that have cheated their people" has more than a kernel of truth to it. I'm not going to argue that it is Only the Palestinian leaders that have cheated their people, but they've certainly been participants, starting with Arafat and continuing with the Hamas leadership. The current Israeli leadership has a hand in it, as have the Egyptian and Jordanian governments from 1948 to 1967, which refused to integrate refugees because they were more valuable as political pawns, and those regional governments who donated $25k to the families of suicide bombers, proving that Palestinians were worth more to them dead than alive. The Israelis haven't been angels in this but there are an awful lot of players involved here with filthy hands.
Kosh, I respect all the points You've made, but as You well know, I am a stickler when it comes to FACTS, and this guy has done this kind of thing repeatedly.

If he had left the first part of the blog post as is, I'd have chosen not to waste my time on this cretin, but when he says:

""What more is there to say except, in response to his last question, if at anytime during that 64 years, the Palestinian leaders had come to Isrealileaders (sic) and sad (sic) that they were sorry and they wanted to be friends and decent neighbors and to live together in peace, then the nascent country of Palestine would now be, alongside Israel, a garden spot of technology and culture in the mid-East instead of what it is,"

THAT statement, pure and simple, is a f*cking lie and I hate liars.
One last thing, Kosh, You of all people know full-well that I sometimes make mistakes, but I don't lie.

You have on at least one occasion caught me making a mistake in regards to an argument with another blogger. I acknowledged my mistake and apologized to You.

Let's see how this Neanderthal responds to his LIE.
Mark,

OS swallowed an extensive comment and I don't have the time to recreate it.

However, if you persist in name called, direct or indirect, I will delete those and all your comments.
you printed a lie - the evidence is clear and incontrovertible. Acknowledge your responsibility or edit it your post or I'll just reprint the whole discourse on my blog.
Mark,

I printed an opinion- mine- which you have somehow mis-characterized as a lie.

You replied with a quote of Yassar Arafat's letter promising to take an action on the PLO principles- which seems in retrospect to have had the same effect as Stalin's non-aggression pact with Hitler. The leader(s) of the Palestinians didn't make peace beyond that letter and Arafat was not able to bring his side to any agreement.

Abbas seems to see the history quite clearly, that many people would have been much better off if the Palestinians would have agreed to the terms 64 years ago.

I agree.

You want to argue over some past issues that don't seem to matter now except to be able to ascribe blame - and on which we will never agree.

If you want to reprint all this, fine. Why would I care?
I caution you again - insults or defamatory statements and you and your words are gone from here.


"What more is there to say except, in response to his last question, if at anytime during that 64 years, the Palestinian leaders had come to Isrealileaders and sad that they were sorry and they wanted to be friends and decent neighbors and to live together in peace, then the nascent country of Palestine would now be, alongside Israel, a garden spot of technology and culture in the mid-East instead of what it is.

It is the Palestinian leaders that have cheated their people."
you say: ""What more is there to say except, in response to his last question, if at anytime during that 64 years, the Palestinian leaders had come to Isrealileaders and sad that they were sorry and they wanted to be friends and decent neighbors and to live together in peace, then the nascent country of Palestine would now be, alongside Israel, a garden spot of technology and culture in the mid-East instead of what it is."

The jewishvirtuallibrary says Arafat did just that.

Who's lying, you or the jewish virtual library?
A single letter from one of the Palestinian leaders - after 40 odd years of wars and terrorist activity - with no follow up or any change in behavior is certainly not evidence of a desire for peace or a wish to be a good neighbor.

Your are infatuated with the desire to assign blame only to the Israelis and a total unwillingness to see the Palestinians as having any blame is indicative of some serious problems in your reasoning capacity.

I won't respond to you again and, if you persist, will just delete any objectionable comments. I will happily leave anything you write that demonstrates your peculiar capacities.
I'm glad you're here. Thanks for this.
Not to mess up your site - and apologies - but with Mark, well???? He once did a blog on me, asked me to respond to a graph in the blog, and then when I responded to most of the blog (although not the graph) he deleted all but one of my comments. Traveler, you have all my sympathy! Again, thanks for this.
You mentioned that you read Mark'd blog.
Are you a researcher for the next edition of DSM?
The sad fact is that no land should belong to anyone based upon blood, religion, or colour. That is Nazi, Aryan, apartheid-speak and I don't want that language to exist in the 21st century. Our children deserve better. We should learn from the past and apply the lessons to the future.
Lucian - a nation was formed there. There is an ethnic group called Jews. They built a nation. The United Nations offered the ethnic group called Palestinians their own nation. They didn't take up the offer. Palestinians CAN live in Israel and many do. Those who fled that fledgling nation are not being allowed free return. Just as those Jews who fled Arab nations are not allowed free return there. Other ethnic groups DO live in Israel and it is not a nation founded on blood in the manner in which you speak. You have drunk the university BS and it makes you look foolish. And by the way, it is an insult to the memory and the reality of millions upon millions of people (Jew and non-Jew alike) to do the Nazi/Israel comparison. Give it a rest. There are some who lost people fighting the Nazis (I'm one) who deeply resent that our support of Israel is compared to the support of Nazism. Shame on you.
"The sad fact is that no land should belong to anyone based upon blood, religion, or colour. That is Nazi, Aryan, apartheid-speak and I don't want that language to exist in the 21st century. Our children deserve better. We should learn from the past and apply the lessons to the future."

It isn't a 'fact' and, to be honest I don't know what that means in real terms.
I am not going to engage with you Babs. You are far too biased and ignorant. Nothing you say will take the pain away from those engaged in this endless cycle of violence. There has to be another way of thinking. By the way, an ethnic group is a racist construct of white anthropologists. But you subscribe to their views so I will cease this meaningless diatribe which has nothing to do with the truth that a drop of blood should not separate men or women. That is Nazi thinking, you cannot deny it.
Lucian Quincy Senna,

You should really be addressing this to the governments of the Arab States and the Palestinian leaders who, for the most part, have made their countries Judenrein and declare in print that Jews will not be allowed to live in any Palestinian state.

It is even more fitting that they speak first since they freely asked to join the Nazis prior to WWII in order to have a mechanism to wipe out all the Jews they could get to.

Nazi, Aryan, apartheid-speak indeed.
Lucian Quincy Senna,

Sorry I forgot to mention that Muslims, Christians, Bahais, etc can worship freely in their own houses of worship in Israel but the Arab countries not only forbid this but have razed synagogues and churches.


Please explain that strange situation without resorting to calling names or using ambiguous categorizations that mean nothing.
Please explain that for me.
Lucien has babs pegged right, but why limit it to her. the prophet is equally complicit.

babs has the hubris to say shame on You, yet not the time to spell Your name right.

Claims to be a teacher.

Come to my blog post of today, and examine the FACTS, You two comrades-in-arms.
Obviously, the traveler has never been in Morocco where I lived for more than three years.


There remain to this day dozens of synagogues, there:

http://www.kosherdelight.com/MoroccoSynagogues.htm
Morocco, due to its relatively enlightened King, was for a long time the single bright spot in the Arab World. One of my wife's best friends is a refugee from Morocco. In 1948 there were quarter of a million Jews, now they are perhaps 5000.

And what about Jews in Saudi Arabia, Syria, Lebanon etc.
What about the 800,000 to one million Jews expelled from the Mid-East countries?

Mark, the only reason I would read your blog is for the unusual sight of a man shitting on his own head and believing it is perfume.
and you are fact-averse.
Just had a commenter make the point that she feels it important to see both sides. Used you as an example of the diametric opposite.
Got yourself some free publicity: "G-d, the ugly old man has appeared. One of MANY differences between us is that you don't consider sh*tting to be an obscenity and I do, thus the use of the asterisk.

I invite ANYONE/EVERYONE to take the Neanderthal up on his invitation and visit his blog post and watch how he wiggles and squirms his way out of a lie concerning Arafat's peace overture:

http://open.salon.com/blog/the_traveler/2011/10/30/mahmood_abbas_is_right

Also, note the sounds of silence from the cretin regarding the substance of the post.
Lucian - I understand that calling people ignorant is what you were taught it school, but sorry, it doesn't fly with me.

There would be NO "cycle of violence" - a term invented by the left - if the Palestinians would get their act together, cease acts of terror and try to build a state that allowed for the existence of Israel.

I am not crazy either about the term "ethnic" groups, but I think it IS fair to point out that we live in the real world where most people do use such terms. What I was trying to say was that Jews are not building Israel based on "blood". Let's put it this way - Jews have been - as an ethnic group and/or religion - the subject of terrible persecution for most of their existence. In the latter half of the 19th century an effort arose to create for them a homeland. Whether that was good or bad, it happened. And, after the Holocaust, that homeland did come about. It is a homeland for the Jews - rather as Italy hosts, for the most part, people who are called Italians. It is a fact. It is there. It ain't going away. Other peoples (you may call them what you like) are also living there. What is denied is a right to return that would abrogate the land being a land for the Jews.

And your anger - wow, just cause I didn't jump up and down over your poem about America? Take a pill.

And your equating Israelis with Nazis IS offensive, is shameful, and, to use one of the younger leftist's favorite words, is definitely "ignorant".
Oy.

Only just this (kind of "off") moment found this post because of a link from Traveler's comment to a different post. My first meeting with Traveler (whom I wanted to reach just because it's getting late at night and I was looking for someone who's still "up" where I live). Kosh and Mark are both of them very very special friends of mine. Barbara, I didn't know you before, either.

I am not Jewish and I am not Arab. My personal and cultural sympathies are a bit skewed by my own experiences but I hope I haven't passed premature judgment on this longstanding issue, with study of which I've occupied an enormous length of time if never any very telling action.

But my reason of "oy":

Why, why, why, Open Salon friends (and yes I consider every OS-er a "friend" by definition of how a community is defined and OS is a "virtual" community) -- why do "we" [?} keep degenerating (sp?) into personal attack modes here? Sure I understand that feelings are strong over issues we all care about. But to resolve any of these issues, what does the virulence of tone here contribute?

Oh well; gotta go to bed, I guess. I hope no one takes offense at this comment. I'll come back tomorrow to see.
Sorry Mark, but if I spell Lucien's name wrong, it is an honest error. You (and she also) continually call me a nickname to be rude and, since it is not an error (unless we're talking real typing problems) well, frankly then I don't think you have much to go after me for. I apologize for mistyping Lucien's name, but she does not seem aware of the fact that the nation she compares to Nazi Germany still has lots of people with numbers branded on their skin and I do think it is a bit more shameful to compare Israel to the Nazis than to misspell someone's name. It is also ironic, the Nazi comparison, in that the most Nazi-like propaganda you can find in the Middle East, and it really does sadden me to say it, is to be found in many of the Arab states.

And Lucien, saying you won't engage is really, in my view, just another way of admitting you can't debate.

And your sudden sensitivity to people speaking of ethnic groups, coming after you once sending me a message about my talking about race and class (which by the way I had not done), does strike me as less than credible.