Friday, June 15, 2012

MJ Rosenberg Comes Out Swinging (Part 1)

After a long (for him) absence from the Huffington Post, "political commentator" MJ Rosenberg is back again to bash the Jews Israel Zionists about the Palestinian refugee issue. As you probably remember some people in the US Congress have recently taken on the problem of ballooning Palestinian fake refugees and the ballooning cost of keeping them all on welfare, and why the USA should have to pay for it. Mr. Rosenberg makes a very small attempt to defend the Palestinians, but as usual turns his guns on his fellow Jews and Israel. No surprise there. The lies come hard and fast, so here we go:
"It is hard to believe, but right-wing Israelis and their allies here are now arguing that the concept of refugee applies only to the first generation, i.e., the people who actually fled or were driven from their homeland, not their descendants. Yes, that formulation would have eliminated any right of Jews to return to Israel in the 19th and 20th centuries, after 95 generations, but nonetheless, in their zeal to be done with Palestinian claims, that is what the right is arguing."
What? Yes this amazing display of ridiculousness is the basis of his entire article. It's almost another great anti-Zionist strawman: No Jews have ever claimed ever that they are refugees and that is why they have a right of return to Israel. As I have said a thousand times before, Jews have a right of return to Israel because Israel decided to give them one. Not because of any international or refugee law. Technically it's not even a right, it's a privilege that Israel can (and did) revoke at any time. And from before Israel, Jews claimed that they had a right to go to and settle the land of Israel not because they are refugees but because they Jews. That's a position you can agree with or disagree with as you choose, but at the very least get their position right.

There were Jewish refugees who immigrated to Israel during the 1940s and 1950s. That's a matter of historical record. But no Jewish person who has immigrated to Israel from America claims they have a right to do because they are a refugee. If anyone reading this knows someone who did, please tell me. I also am reasonably confident that MJ Rosenberg knows people who have "made aliyah" from America, so he must surely be aware of how they do it. So either he has no freaking clue what he is talking about or he is simply making things up in order to justify sticking it to AIPAC yet again. Pick whichever one you like.

He continues:
"They are doing that because the Palestinian refugees' existence, and that of their descendants, are an ugly stain on Israel's birth certificate....If Israel was created at the expense of the Palestinians, then Israel must make amends to them to achieve full legitimacy in the eyes of the world, and in the eyes of many Israelis."
I like the "if" qualifier, as though any of us think he doesn't entirely believe that. The Palestinians are not in refugee camps because of Israel, and everybody who is paying attention knows that. Even if you think that Israel created the refugee problem in the first place (and Rosenberg will try to), it is not Israel's fault that the Arab nations threw the Palestinians in refugee camps, if you can even really call them that, and kept them there forever. There's no "ugly stain" on Israel's existence, except in the minds of its enemies who want to use the Palestinian refugees as a weapon against Israel. I didn't think MJ Rosenberg was one of those people but apparently now, he is. What a surprise.

Anyone now he's going to try and "prove" the Palestinian refugees were created entirely by Israel:
"It could do that by acknowledging the fact that it caused the refugee problem. Even if one accepts the myth (now thoroughly discredited) that the Palestinians fled on their own rather than having been driven out, one cannot argue with the fact that it was the Jewish migration to Palestine that caused them to leave."
It must be nice to be a Huffington Post blogger without a conscience, because then you can construct a fantasy world and then live in it. The only link used the MJ Rosenberg on this issue goes to "The Birth of the Palestinian Refugee Problem," written by historian Benny Morris. And let's see what Benny Morris has to say:
""In defiance of the will of the international community, as embodied in the UN General Assembly resolution of November 29, 1947, (Palestinian Arabs) launched hostilities against the Jewish community in Palestine in the hope of aborting the emergence of the Jewish state and perhaps destroying that community. But they lost; and one of the results was the displacement of 700,000 of them from their homes. 
Most of Palestine's 700,000 "refugees" fled their homes because of the flail of war (and in the expectation that they would shortly return to their homes on the backs of victorious Arab invaders).""
As is very typical among Israel-haters, Benny Morris is a legitimate source when he tells MJ what he wants to hear, and then a "right wing Zionist zealot" when he doesn't. But even if you don't like Benny Morris, just read the testimony of all these people who describe the Arabs fleeing their homes and not being expelled. Hell, Mahmoud Abbas himself admitted that his family "left the Galilee on our own."

So MJ Rosenberg goes mano-e-mano with established history and declares himself to be the winner. Isn't that convenient. But now he has another claim: the refugees weren't created because of the genocidal war that they started intending to push the Jews into the sea! They were created because of Zionism!
"Had Jews not begun immigrating to Palestine in the 19th century and had the Jewish community been limited to the indigenous local population, the Palestinians would have remained in the towns and villages they had inhabited from time immemorial. (This is not to say that Palestinians did not play a role in their own catastrophe by ignoring the handwriting on the wall and rejecting the Palestinian state that the United Nations offered them in 1947. However, from their point of view, without the Jewish migration that began in the 19th century, 100 percent of Palestine would have remained theirs.)"
Wow. That is shocking. I am shocked. MJ Rosenberg actually criticized an Arab nation! It's amazing. Of course, the problem wasn't merely that they rejected the offer made in 1947. It's more the way that they rejected it: i.e. the aforementioned genocidal war. And of course Rosenberg ought to know that a great many Palestinians were not living there "from time immemorial," as they themselves have admitted. Many of them were immigrants too. And finally he has no proof that Jewish immigration would have displaced anyone, probably because he knows it isn't true.

See, it's okay to assign the Palestinians a little bit of responsibility for their own situation. But you have to make it clear that the refugee situation is not only completely Israel's fault, but that Israel had no choice about it. If Israel exists, Palestinian refugees must exist. It doesn't make a lick of sense, but this is the kind of thing that is now considered acceptable on the Huffington Post. And if you don't believe me, read what MJR himself had to say:
"In addition to acknowledging its responsibility for the refugee problem, Israel can eliminate this stain on its birth certificate by agreeing to Palestinian statehood in the West Bank, Gaza and eastern Jerusalem, with all refugees having the right to settle there. Or by giving Palestinians full democratic rights in Israel, the West Bank and Gaza, with the goal being one democratic state for two peoples between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River."
So here's the way MJ Rosenberg (and other Palestinian supporters) operate:

1. Rewrite history to remove any responsibility from anything from the Arabs and place it entirely on the Israelis.
2. Declare that Israel is guilty of unspeakable ills under this brave new version of history.
3. Declare that the only way Israel can absolve themselves of this guilt is by giving in entirely to Arab demands and not expecting anything in return.
4. Rinse and repeat.

Notice how Rosenberg seems to think that a "one state solution" is also a fair one. And another milestone is passed.

This is getting a little long so I'm going to break it into two posts.

1 comment:

  1. International law gave Jews the right to immigrate to Palestine - the League of Nations & UN Mandate was meant to encourage Jewish immigration. Not refugee status, international law. Period. As for MJ Rosenberg, see this op-ed in JPost http://www.jpost.com/Opinion/Op-EdContributors/Article.aspx?id=266301

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