Friday, December 23, 2011

MJ Rosenberg Takes Up the Baton

In what will hopefully be the last article about the Newt Gingrich "invented people" kerfuffle, MJ Rosenberg actually tries to argue on the merits! Good for him. Naturally he engages in the usual two step: The Palestinians aren't an invented people but if they are an invented people it doesn't matter because they are a people now and besides the Israelis are an invented people too. Personally if I were him I would take one argument and stick with it but he didn't consult me so there we are. 

He begins his article by discussing how Israel was formed by the hard work of its founders, and he approves of that. For example he says "The singular triumph of the Zionist movement is that it invented a state and a people -- Israel and Israelis -- from scratch." You're not going to find a single Zionist who will argue with that statement, though some would say that Israel was not invented but "recreated," but even the old kingdoms of the Jews weren't really states in the modern sense. Regardless, as I have said before, Zionists don't deny the history of the Jewish state. The Palestinians, on the other hand, do and continue to do so to this day.

After reiterating the history of the Jewish state, we finally get to the Palestinians and the actual point of the article:
"And the Palestinians are every bit as much a nation. If the ultimate definition of authentic nationhood is continuous residence in a land for thousands of years, the Palestinian claim to nationhood is ironclad. They never left Palestine (except for those who either emigrated or became refugees after the establishment of Israel)."
First of all, I'm not sure about that definition, I have never heard that before. I was always taught that nations of people are not dependent upon land or continuous residence. Secondly, the Palestinians themselves admit that they have not lived there for "thousands of years." They arrived 1300 years ago, specifically. And as we will get to in a minute, for 99% of those hundreds of years the Palestinians did not think of themselves as a nation until after their "continuous residence" is over.

Before you accuse me of anything, it's not that I don't consider the Palestinians to be a nation. They are now without a doubt. What I don't like is this attempt to rewrite history, which has been going on for decades and has now increased post-Gingrich.
"[People who say that Palestinians aren't a nation say thatPalestinians never exercised self-determination in Palestine; they were always governed by others from ancient times to the present day. The answer to this is: so what?"
It matters for two reasons Mr. Rosenberg: The first reason is because self-determination is a key aspect of being a nation, which I just said. If the Palestinians did not consider themselves to be a nation for 1360 years, then why should we consider them to be a nation? Unlike the Jews, Palestinians did not think of themselves as Palestinians until very very recently. That's not to say this reason alone is enough to revoke their claim to being a nation, but it's telling about where Palestinians are coming from. The second reason, of course, is that the Palestinians claim that there has "always been" a "country of Palestine" until it was stolen by the Jews. This is a blatant lie that Gingrich was trying to disprove but went about it the completely wrong way. No surprise there.

At this point he tries to crossreference:
"Most nation/states in the world were, for long periods of history, under the domination of others. Did the Polish nation not exist between 1790 through 1918 when it was divided up between Russia and Austria-Hungary and erased from the map?"
I'm not sure actually, maybe? Probably not? This example would only apply to the Jews and not the Palestinian Arabs, since there never was a Palestinian state that then became dominated. His next example is closer to the Palestinians:
"Neither Germany nor Italy existed as national entities until the 19th century. Was there no such thing as Italians or Germans?"
Yes, MJ Rosenberg. That is exactly what that means. Before Germany existed, there were no Germans. Before America existed, there were no Americans. This is how the world works. And it is how it has always worked. No special treatment for the Palestinians. Let's move on, because at this point the lying/half-truths begin:
"Their second argument is that Palestinians never thought of themselves as Palestinians until Jews started moving into their territory. Again, so what?" 
Wow. If they weren't "Palestinians" then they didn't have a country and so Rosenberg is in no position to call Tel Aviv and Ashkelon "their territory." Those two words alone just indicate how far Rosenberg has fallen into the trap of Palestinian misinformation, even for someone who claims to be pro-Israel. He follows this up by saying that when Jews purchased land, Palestinians were the ones "who had to move out," thus reinforcing a myth that every single inch of Israel used to be Palestinian. Which, in turn, bolsters the Palestinians' claims that Israel is "occupied Palestine" and basis of the conflict. Well done MJ Rosenberg.

Now to answer his question about "so what," I'll quote myself:
"The Palestinians have always been of the opinion that "Palestine" from the river to the sea is "their country," which Israel "stole." Hence all the slogans like "Free Palestine," that sound like they are referring to the occupation of the West Bank but really are not. Just because some Palestinians are willing to live with the great crime Israel inflicted on them instead of fighting some more does not mean that they have given up this narrative. The Arab narrative is that the Palestinian people existed, were dealt this tremendous injustice by Israel, and now are trying to reclaim what is theirs. 
"That is why the comment by Newt Gingrich is such a problem for them. It hits their narrative right in the heart. It's hard to sell the Palestinians are a noble nation who were wiped off the map by Israel when you have to admit that the very idea of a Palestinian people was cooked up by Arab League Presidents somewhere in Moscow. And it's even harder to support the Palestinian Arabs' "right of return" to a country that never even existed. What about all the land they claim is theirs and always has been? If the Palestinians are really just a group of Arabs chilling in villages without a country, then what claim do they have to Jerusalem? Or Bethlehem? Or any territory at all?"
No doubt MJ Rosenberg finds these shots on the Palestinian mythology to be unnecessarily provocative and unhelpful to making peace. I say: the Palestinian mythology itself is why there is no peace. Sooner or later for peace to break out, it's going to have to go.


  1. Very well said. Very well said, indeed.

    Unfortunately, it won't stop any of them from continuing the attempt to rewrite history. We can only hope that the truth, will catch on.
    That "the Palestinians", as we know them today, do in fact exist. No one
    denies that. However, their 'history' is almost entirely made up.
    Intentional deception.
    How sad is that?

  2. Newt didn't talk about Palestine being an invented state, which would also be silly
    He talked about them being invented people

    A thouroughly racist position with no defense possible.

    And btw, Newt is racist against jews as well. Its very telling that people who claim to be ISrael supporters all support the most antisemtic american politions. Perhaps you just don't know anything about American politics but the people who call themseles Christian zionists hate your guts and want you to be in a perpetual state of war so that Jesus will come back.

  3. @Anonymous 1:49.

    WTF are you ranting on about. Go learn some real history and then come back. The *fact* remains, that the "Palestinians" of today, are invented, by your good friend Arafat, who deemed those Arabs to be "Palestinians in about 1965. Before then, they were simply Arabs. Period. So Arafat says they are now "Palestinians", coming from a liar that himsself idenitified as Palestinian, told everyone he was, till he got outed. When the truth came out, he was born in Cairo, Egypt and raised there with the exception of a couple of years as a child.

    As for Newt. Who said all Israel supporters, support Newt? Agreeing with something someone says is supporting what they said, not necessarily the person who said it.

    Lastly, "perhaps you just don't know anything about" this subject, hence the deflection. This has nothing to do with Christian zionists, or how they feel, or what they want.

    Do yourself a favor, stop reading all the pro-Palestinian propaganda and go read a real friggin book about real history. Or, you can simply go post your hateful drivel on StormFront.

  4. This is excellent.
    The Young Turks FAIL Badly - Re- Palestinians Are Terrorists (NSFW language)


  5. The Palestinians are exactly as much invented as Israelis. Infact they are less invented. The Israelis are a hodge podge of European immigrants. Thge Palestinians are all basically one group

    "Who said all Israel supporters, support Newt? "
    Nobody did. I said its amusing how so many people who claim to support Israel support the most antisemitc american polticians. My guess is that you simply do not understand american poltics.

    " This has nothing to do with Christian zionists, or how they feel, or what they want.
    Yes it does. That's exactly what this is about. Newt is pandering to racist demographic that hates your guts, and you are cheering for it.

  6. Dear Anonymous,

    two words for you…first word starts with F and ends in uck.
    Second word, Off.
    oh, and here's a hint for you, the first word is not FiretrUCK.

    Don't you have anything better to do than to come and spam the threads here with your lies and propaganda? If you care so much about the Palestinians, go do something constructive to help them.
    Coming here continuously is not helping them.
    Spreading more lies, talking points and propaganda is not helping them.
    Not one bit.

  7. Dear profane racist...
    No thanks

  8. Ignoring the idiot claiming it is somehow "racist" to bring up the uncomfortable fact that the entire palestinian cause can be boiled down to the destruction of israel far more than any legitimate yearning for self determination, great post.

    My only argument is that it would be incorrect to say that there were no "german" or "italian" people before those countries were created; the german and italian speaking peoples had a clear national identity long before those countries were created.

    The palestinians, on the other hand, had no such identity prior to their conception.

  9. You could say israel is based on the destructiuon of palestine then?

    So much so that you won't even recognize them as people, let alone a state
    Considering people were calling it Palestine long before this talk of restablishing Israel happened, the idea that they are based on their opposition to Israel is quite silly. You weren't even around


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