Friday, June 15, 2012

MJ Rosenberg Comes Out Swinging (Part 2)

This is a continuation of the latest piece by "political commentator" MJ Rosenberg in which he tries desperately to cling to the refugee weapon.

Having attempted to rewrite the history of the Arab-Israeli conflict, he is now ready to talk about the news of the day: a Senate amendment saying that it is time the USA kept track of who are Palestinian refugees and where their money is going. Now watch MJ's cognitive dissonance here:
"The "hook" that enables Congress to get involved in refugee counting is the funding the United States provides to the United Nation and to UNRWA. The U.S. has every right to know if it is being ripped off. However, that was not the real intention of Kirk or the people who devised the amendment for him -- an Israeli Knesset member and two lobbyists here who work on behalf of right-wing Israeli causes."
Oh, okay. So it's a good amendment introduced for the wrong reasons. The eeevil Israelis are behind it! Unfortunately for Mr. Rosenberg the Senate passed it unanimously. So unless he would like to try and make a case that the Jews Israel controls the US Senate, it looks like history is repeating itself: Israeli interests and American interests in this particular case are aligned. But there's no time to focus on this amendment, because he has to get back into the question of "who is a refugee?"

You see, Daniel Pipes (according to Rosenberg) has pointed out that in 50 years all the original Palestinian refugees will be dead and that will "solve" the refugee issue. And if the Palestinians were any other people, that wouldn't be a controversial statement. There are no refugees from World War 2 remaining, nor should there be. But Rosenberg considers this to be "diabolical," because "The stain on Israel's birth certificate will be removed and no one will be able to call on Israel to do anything for the refugees because there won't be any." Wow how terrible. Israel isn't hurt, and that's something MJ Rosenberg just can't handle.

Quick! Let's bring up "World War 11," as Rosenberg calls it:
"In fact, the argument that the only refugees are people who themselves were driven out and not their descendants is ridiculous. My wife's family was driven out of Poland by the Germans during World War 11 [sic]. Not only did her parents receive reparations from the Germans, she (and, after her, our children) are able to claim the property left behind in Poland. Thousands of young Israelisclaim German citizenship on the basis that their parents, grandparents or great-grandparents were Germans until the Holocaust. Even Israel's most famous prisoner of war, young Gilad Shalit, is acitizen of France through ancestry, which is why the French government fought so hard for his release."
I'm sure this argument sounded really good in Mr. Rosenberg's head. But here in the real world, there's a bit of a problem.

You see, Gilad Shalit, Israeli-Germans, and I'm even pretty sure MJR's wife do not and have never considered themselves to be "refugees." If you asked Gilad Shalit if he was a refugee he would probably laugh at you. The reason why the Germans gave reparations to all of those people is because the Germans chose to give reparations of their own free will. Ditto with their decision to offer Israelis German citizenship. The decision was theirs alone, not because some whiny blogger on the Huffington Post demanded that they do it. If Mr. Rosenberg would like to prove that Germany is obligated to give citizenship to Israelis ad infinitum not because they are Jews but because they are "refugees," (after proving that most of Israel is made up of refugees) then he is welcome to try but I for one don't think that he can do it.

So yeah, maybe that talking point should have stayed at home, because it really doesn't have any relevance to the question of what Palestinians are and what (if anything) to which they are entitled.
"Refugee status does not end with the generation that fled or was expelled just as suffering the loss of one's homeland does not end after the original refugees die. The loss is forever. After all, refugees are not simply immigrants who left their homeland to seek a better life. They were forced out or fled."
However, one cannot be born a refugee. A refugee is someone who "owing to a well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group, or political opinion, is outside the country of his nationality, and is unable to or, owing to such fear, is unwilling to avail himself of the protection of that country." 

So here's the problem: What is the "country of his nationality" in this particular case? Is it Israel? Then why are they calling themselves Palestinians? Is it "Palestine?" Then why are the people in Ramallah and Gaza City considered to be "refugees," even though they live in "Palestine" and hold Palestinian citizenship? 

Furthermore, every person born in a country is entitled to citizenship there. That's a law. Therefore every Palestinian child should get citizenship in the country where they are born and therefore stop being a refugee. If the Arab countries choose to break this law in order to use the Palestinian refugees as a weapon, that is a stain in their consciences and not Israel. 

Hang on, Rosenberg isn't finished yet:
"That is why, in the end, the Kirk amendment will have no effect. International law cannot be created to affect only one people."
Apparently it can, if that one people is the Palestinian people.

So Rosenberg finishes by rehashing the earlier strawman that Jews are claiming a fictional right of return to Israel (and that fictional right of return is the legal basis for Zionism and Israel). But hey, let's toss in a little extra nugget. Rosenberg noticed that people on the thread were disputing the claim that the Palestinians were expelled so he had this to say:

Ah so yet again, Benny Morris is fine when he tells Rosenberg what he wants to hear but not so much when he doesn't. Nor does an anecdotal experience by Yitzhak Rabin mean much of anything, especially given his reliance on Benny Morris above. And the Palestinians think they have more of a right to live in Israel then Jews do, so that's a weak talking point as well.

Still, I see the reliance on Holocaust exploitation hasn't ended. Stay classy, MJ.

1 comment:

  1. OT, but as I tried to reply to a comment by Mr. "Justice for ALL", "dougsabbag", I found that he has been banned.

    Just a heads up. I'm sure he'll be back shortly.


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