Friday, December 05, 2008

Guardian discussion centres on refugees

The interesting thing about this article about Obama and Middle East peace on the Guardian website Comment is Free is not the article itself, but that much of the discussion in the comments thread afterwards centres on refugees, with the emphasis on compensation for both Arab and Jewish refugees.(with thanks: Independent Observer). This is not something that would have happened, say, a year ago. Here's a sample exchange:

Professor Geoffrey Alderman: These proposals, apart from being incredibly naive, also seem to me to ignore other imperatives that must be addressed. The first is the compensation payable to Jews forcibly evicted from their homes in Arab countries in the wake of the 1948 re-establishment of the Jewish state. The second is the prevalence of anti-Jewish propaganda in the state-controlled Arab and Islamic media. As part of a comprehensive peace all this propaganda must cease. I assume, incidentally, that when professors Cohen and Gordon refer to each side having control of "its own religious sites" this includes Jewish control of the Temple Mount in Jerusalem and of the Tombs of the Patriarchs in Hebron.

Papalagi: These proposals may be naive but not because of the reasons Geoffrey believes. He speaks about compensation for Jews evicted from Arab countries. This is the new tactic of the rejectionists. Fact is that Israel promoted a campaign to bring those Jews to Israel. Most went voluntariously (sic). There is nothing to compensate.

Papalagi produces the usual canards: the Jewish refugees left at a) Israel's instigation b) of their own free will. An argument also being advanced more and more lately is that, far from helping to bring about reconciliation between two wronged parties, the Jewish refugees are a spanner in the works of a peace deal.

Read article and thread

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Israel is to a certain extent the state created by the Mizrahim in their justifiable and successful bid to secede from the Muslim world which had subjugated them for 14 centuries. Thus, especially important are the italicised portion of AbuSalaam's comments:

AbuSalaam

Zamalek is correct [that most of the one million Mizrahim were indeed ejected from Muslim countries by de jure and de facto intimidation and persecution]. However, the issue of how much "force" was applied to Mizrahi refugees to leave is as irrelevant as how much "force" was applied to Palestinian refugees to leave; 3/4+ million people, in both cases, do not flee their homes if they feel safe.

What IS relevant is that the property lost by Mizrahi refugees is of significant value and size and has not been addressed, likely over-valuing Palestinian losses substantially.

In compensation of such losses, as well as [moral] recompense for 14 centuries of subordination and discrimination, the Arab world OWES the Mizrahim (1) strong moral and financial support of a viable Israel (possibly including the West Bank) and (2) absorption of the Palestinian refugees created by those same Arab states' intransigeance.

AbuSalaam

Arkasha's attempt to de-link Palestinan and Jewish refugees is nonsense.

It is amusing to speculate what would have happened had the Jews taken the Arab approach - namely, the newly-formed Israeli government created (deniable) terror squads of Mizrahi refugees to sow havoc in both Arab countries and the West until the Mizrahim are compensated for their losses.

Unfortunately, Morris is correct. Israel should have forced the issue by expelling Palestinian Arabs to Jordan and Egypt. But, too late now.

Anonymous said...

I believe what AbuSalaam meant was:

"It is amusing to speculate what would have happened had the Jews taken the Arab approach - namely, [had] the newly-formed Israeli government created (deniable) terror squads of Mizrahi refugees to sow havoc in both Arab countries and the West until the Mizrahim are compensated for their losses."

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