Monday, December 31, 2012

Talking Point Combat: Origins of Conflict

Today we are discussing one of the most time honored anti-Zionist talking points, time honored because it comes from the playground of all our youths: "Israel started it!". Hard to believe that educated adults use this talking point, but they are Palestinian supporters so how mature can they be. Let's get started.

The Palsbarist argument: Israel started the conflict by invading Palestine and stealing Arab land.

The counter argument: The 1929 Hebron Massacre.
"The Hebron massacre refers to the killing of sixty-seven Jews on 24 August 1929 in Hebron, then part of Mandatory Palestine, by Arabs incited to violence by false rumors that Jews were massacring Arabs in Jerusalem and seizing control of Muslim holy places. This massacre, together with that of Safed, sent shock waves through Jewish communities in Palestine and around the world.
During the massacre, 67 Jews were killed and Jewish homes and synagogues were ransacked; nineteen local Arab families saved 435 Jews by hiding them in their houses at great risk to themselves."
There are several ways to counter the Palsbara argument but I like the Hebron Massacre. When confronted with this talking point, simply present the historical fact of the Hebron Massacre and ask your opponent "why were Palestinians murdering Jews in 1929?" Israel did not exist, there was no occupation, no blockade, no land theft, none of the usual excuses for Palestinian murder. Heck, the Jews murdered in Hebron were non-Zionist Jews! Ask them this simple question and they will likely not know how to react.

If they don't present an answer, I would not explain the real reason (false rumors of Jewish violence on Arabs, etc.). Instead, I would just say "well, something must have caused those Arabs to want to kill Jews, and it isn't any of the usual excuses. Clearly the desire to kill Jews was there long before Israel even existed. Therefore, Israel is not to blame for the conflict, whatever that something is is to blame." I have never heard a satisfactory response to this statement, and I doubt you will either.


  1. Should your interlocutor claim that by 1929 the Jews were already "gobbling up" sic Palestine you might refer them to the following links

  2. I found you guys a few days ago and want to thank you and to wish you happy new year. Though what's happy about it I don't know.

    Let's hope we can have some peace in the world which is becoming an increasing mess.

    This item is a terrific 'keeper' and good points for advocacy..Thank you

  3. If, as they always do, then wax rhapsodic about the "Golden Age of Spain" refer them to this scholarly work by Bat Ye'or
    If they then resort to ad hominem attack on the source; You'll know that you are dealing with what Eric Hoffer describes asa "True Believer"
    immune to rational argument.

  4. “In Palestine as of Right and Not on Sufferance ...”

    “When it is asked what is meant by the development of the Jewish National Home in Palestine, it may be answered that it is not the imposition of a Jewish nationality upon the inhabitants of Palestine as a whole, but the further
    development of the existing Jewish community, with the assistance of Jews in other parts of the world, in order that it may become a centre in which the Jewish people as a whole may take, on grounds of religion and race, an interest
    and a pride. But in order that this community should have the best prospect of free development and provide a full opportunity for the Jewish people to display its capacities, it is essential that it should know that it is in Palestine as of right and not on sufferance.”

    Winston Churchill
    British Secretary of State for the Colonies
    June 1922

  5. It is true that Jews were buying up land from absentee landlords and some tenant farmers consequently became unemployed. It is also true that the Jews massacred in Hebron and Safed were Jews who has resided in those towns for generations and they were not farmers or purchasers of land. Those Jews died because they were Jews and Hajj Amin Husseini was a Jew hater and subsequently a recruiter for Hitler's Waffen SS. Keeping Jews out of the British Mandate before and after WW2, creating a Jew-free Trans-Jordan and failing to prosecute Husseini all failed to buy friends for the perfidious Brits.

  6. Speaking of early Arab riots/attacks on Jewish settlements:

    Very nice, helpful website - also appreciate the links.

    (I post as "Yentyl" on HuffingtonPost)


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