Thursday, May 31, 2012

Zionism as a Colonialist Project

From an article in Dissent  (H-T: Bob):

"Yoav Peled, a professor of political science at Tel Aviv University, recounted the academic debate over whether Zionism should be viewed as a form of colonialism or national liberation. I was impressed at how well he argued his case for Zionism as colonialism, but shocked when in cross-discussion among the panelists he would not transcend his ideological box; tempers flared after he provocatively asserted that the 1967 Six Day War was not defensive on the part of Israel, because it had attacked Egypt first. While narrowly true, Peled ignored critical details that had prompted Israel’s attack: Egypt’s expulsion of UN peacekeepers, its aggressive deployment of a large army along the border, its blockade of Eilat, the mass hysteria of “patriotic” Egyptian mobs calling for war, and its new anti-Israel alliance with Jordan."

British Colonialist Empire:

French Colonialist Empire:

Belgian, German, Spanish, Italian, etc. Colonial Map in Africa:

Arab Colonial Map:

Ottoman Colonial Map:

Israel Colonial Map (Israel = red surrounded by green):


More, later


Later (June 2):

 "Yet Peled’s talking points are worth pondering. He noted that until the First World War, Jewish settlements were referred to as “colonies” (moshavot) and that the Bank Leumi (the “National Bank”) was initially called the “Jewish Colonial Trust.”

The author of the article seems to be impressed by the linguistic "proof" provided by Peled that the project of Zionism was indeed colonialist in essence because the first settlements were called "moshavot" a term translated as "colonies". This is hardly proof of anything but the ignorance of the author of the Hebrew language and the dishonesty of Peled's argument. 

According to the English wikpedia: 

"A moshava (Hebrew: מושבה‎), plural: Moshavot (מושבות) is a form of rural settlement in Israel.
In a moshava, as opposed to communal settlements like the kibbutz and the moshav, all the land and property are privately-owned. The first moshavot, described as "colonies" in professional literature, were established by pioneers of the First Aliyah in Ottoman Palestine.[1] The economy of the early moshavot was based on agriculture.
Petah Tikva, known as the "Mother of the Moshavot" (Em HaMoshavot),[2] was founded in 1878, four years before the First Aliyah, by religious Jews from Jerusalem."

And Wiki in Hebrew has a more detailed entry in which it explains the difference between moshava in its "colonial" sense and "Moshava" as a common and colloquial Hebrew term for a type of agricultural settlement:

 קולוניה (או מושבה בעברית, אשר יש להבדיל בינה לבין "מושבה" ו"מושב" במשמעותן כצורת התיישבות ישראלית) היא חבל ארץ הנמצא תחת שליטת ישות מדינית המרוחקת ממנו גאוגרפית. במשמעותה המודרנית, קולוניה מתאפיינת על פי רוב בשליטת מדינה זרה על חבל הארץ כתוצאה מכיבוש, המלווה ביישוב מתיישבים מארץ האם תוך קיפוח זכויותיהם של ילידיו המקוריים. המונח קולוניה קשור קשר הדוק למונחים קולוניאליזם ואימפריאליזם.

Colony (or "Moshava in Hebrew, to be distinguished from the terms "moshava" and "moshav"  whose meanings designate different types of Israeli settlement)  is a region controlled by a political entity which is geographically far removed from it. In its modern meaning, a colony is characterized mostly by the domination of a foreign country over a region as result of conquest, accompanied by the settlement of citizens of the mother country while disenfranchising the indigenous inhabitants. The term "colony" in this meaning is tightly connected to the terms "colonialism" and "Imperialism".  

The ultimate proof of Peled's either ignorance of Hebrew history, or deliberate tempering with the Hebrew terminology to fit snugly into his ideological theories can be found in the fact that the first Moshava, Petach-Tiqva, was established by religious Jews from Jerusalem, while Palestine was still a part of the Ottoman empire, on swamp land that had been purchased legally by the would be settlers. I was born in Petach-Tiqva and can still remember how my grandmother, who had lived there since 1942, would say she was going to the moshava to do some shopping, meaning she was going what could roughly be compared to today's "downtown". The small wooden shack where she lived with her family was just a few streets away from the main street of the "moshava".

BTW, the term "moshava" is also used in Biology within the phrase "Moshavat Haidakim", meaning a bacterial colony defined as a visible cluster of bacteria growing on the surface of or within a solid medium, presumably cultured from a single cell.

Read the following carefully; there is something there about refugees that very few remember today

 "Originally intending to establish a new settlement in the Achor Valley, near Jericho, the pioneers purchased land in that area. However, Abdülhamid II cancelled the purchase and forbade them from settling there, but they retained the name Petah Tikva as a symbol of their aspirations.

Beit Habeton, 1920-1930
Undaunted, the settlers purchased a modest area (3.40 square kilometers) from the village of Mulabbis (variants: Mlabbes, Um-Labbes), near the source of the Yarkon River. The Sultan allowed the enterprise to proceed, but because their purchase was located in what was a malarial swamp, they had to evacuate when the malaria spread, founding the town of Yehud near the Arabic village Yehudiyya about 20 kilometres (12 mi) to the south.[citation needed] With the financial help of Baron Edmond de Rothschild they were able to drain the swamps sufficiently to be able to move back in 1883, joined by immigrants of the First Aliyah, and later the Second Aliyah.

During the Sinai and Palestine Campaign of World War I, Petah Tikva served as a refugee town for residents of Tel Aviv and Jaffa, following their exile by the Ottoman authorities due to their refusal to serve the Ottoman army to fight the invading British forces. The town suffered heavily as it lay between the Ottoman and British fronts during the war."

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

The Daily Angry

Prof. AbuKhalil is enraged by French racism. His Example? Here it is. Please note  the scientific method and basic logic that characterize this piece of news.

Interesting, too, that this type of  French racism makes it into his "News" service line up but you will not find the slightest hint or bit of information about this type of French racism.

Do you think this absence is due to mere moral lethargy or deliberate neglect required by the parameters of Abukhalil's Arab narrative? 

Monday, May 28, 2012

The Daily Angry

"When people invoke their Zionism advocacy in their writings (like Lewis and Ajami and others) they lose it completely and forget about the scientific method or even basic logic." 

 Thus intones my favourite Arab intellectual, Prof. Abu Khalil, he who is a professor of political science at California State University, Stanislaus and visiting professor at UC, Berkeley:

This high standard for writing, coming from the Angry Arab stupefied me. As a short perusal of his heavily loaded "news" service will show you,  a concern for scientific method or basic logic is not exactly a strong aspect of his writing.

A few examples:

The self proclaimed anarchist's idiosyncrasies

The writer who cannot comprehend what he reads

No such thing as  logic or scientific verification of fact where Israelis are concerned

The basic logic of AbuKhalil's priorities

And the list goes on ...


Update a day later: AbuKhalil's scientific method and basic logic of writing at its most evident:

" I usually avoid mentioning those types: those handful of Arabs who do tours and gigs for Zionist entertainment.  I tell Arabs that they should be ignored.  Of course, Saudi media now take orders from Zionist handlers in the US--yes, I believe that and please call me conspiratorial--I mean that.  So someone called Noona Darwish was on Al-Arabiyya (the news station of King Fahd's brother-in-law) but she was interviewed by one of the few able journalists there, Hasan Mu`awwad.  He grilled her and it was a Zionist fiasco.  Her Arabic is halting, and he would ask her questions about things she said in her books and she would not be able to answer and clearly revealed that she did not write a word that is attributed to her (like the Cicero of Damascus: her English is atrocious but we are led to believe that he writes long articles for the New Republic).  She would make claims about Islam and she would not be able to back them up.  Mu`awwad would ask her for reference and she would hold a book to the camera but would not be able to even read from it or cite what she wants to say from it.  It was rather a comedy.  I don't think that Zionists had this in mind when they put her on the network.  I must say that Mu`awwad seemed very pleased to mock her for the entire show and expose her for what she is.  Ha."

You will note that this "news" item is merely a tirade full of sarcastic commentary and not one verifiable example of the claims being made in this post. You will also note that there is no  link to any source whatsoever.

So here is a link to an article posted on Al-Arabiya News website (it was easy to google once you adjust AbuKhalil's insistence on the phonetic spelling of Arabic names to the way these names are actually spelled in the media; thus Noona Darwish can be found under Nonie Darwish and Al-Arabiya has only one "y" in it)).

When you read the article and the quotes provided by the author of what Darwish said, AbuKhalil's  reluctance to apply the scientific method will become self-explanatory.

Some thoughts about cutlery

Traditionally, good quality cutlery was made from silver, steel, pewter, electroplated nickel silver.

Nowadays, most cutlery is made from stainless steel or from a nickel and copper alloy.

Plastic cutlery is made for disposable use, and is frequently used for camping, excursions, and BBQs, at fast-food or take-away outlets, or provided with airline meals.

I don't like plastic cutlery (does anybody?), though I am obliged to use it when I'm on a trip. Plastic forks and knives can do the job they are meant for but just barely. The knives often don't cut well if the food is slightly harder than an over cooked broccoli flower, and the fork bends out of shape if you try to stick it into something more solid than a slice of cheesecake.

Consequently, plastic cutlery is very easy to dispose of. The value of its service to the hand that uses it is of such transitory and temporary effectiveness that the user never thinks twice before chucking it away. Plastic cutlery, by its very inferior quality and execution of purpose, inspires nothing but a bored and indifferent kind of relationship. As soon as its utility is done, it is garbaged away, together with the remains of the meal it helped to be eaten.

Unlike the stainless steel cutlery. THAT is chosen with greater care and attention to detail and quality. It is used regularly and does the job well, no matter what the density of the food it requires to cut up or scoop. It is washed and dried and placed in a special place. The relationship between the cutlery and the user is long-standing and requires some care and maintenance. No one throws away a piece of real cutlery off-handedly.

Sometimes when I go on picnics I opt for metal cutlery, and never mind the trouble that goes with it. But it is rare that I do so.

Sometimes when at some motel at night I want to eat a yogurt but no utensil in sight, I search high and low for something to use and if by any chance I manage to fish out one small plastic spoon forgotten deep in the bottom of an unused pocket in my suitcase, all of a sudden that plastic spoon takes on the value of a gold plated silver spoon. But, alas, such is the fate of the plastic spoon that its moment of being gloriously valued is all too brief. A blink of an eye (for how long does it take to eat a yogurt?) and it finds itself joining the other rubbish in the bin. For once it has been used, it becomes dis-needed, disposable, discardable.

Such is the nature of plastic cutlery and such is its fate.


My clueless reader may wonder what this rumination about cutlery is all about. He or she might even suspect that cutlery is not my suit. I may look at cutlery but I am in fact speaking of something else. Let me reassure that doubting reader that he or she is absolutely wrong.  This post is a nothing more nor less than what it says.  It's absolutely about how we humans differentiate among relationships and what rational and irrational factors come into our decisions and actions.

I trust this is helpful.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Analogies of an Angry Arab

On a post in his "News" service today, Prof. Abukhalil finally got wise as to whose opinions President Obama finds congenial and enlightening: Fareed Zakaria and Thomas Friedman.

AbuKhalil doesn't like it. So he offers the kind of thoughtful and analytical criticism one certainly expects from a   respectable professor of political science at California State University, Stanislaus and visiting professor at UC, Berkeley:

"This is like seeking neo-Nazis to find out what Jews in a country are thinking..."

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

The radical anarchist


"Anarchism is generally defined as the political philosophy which holds the state to be undesirable, unnecessary, and harmful,[1][2] or alternatively as opposing authority and hierarchical organization in the conduct of human relations.[3][4][5][6][7][8] Proponents of anarchism, known as "anarchists", advocate stateless societies based on non-hierarchical[3][9][10] voluntary associations."




"I don't like flags, and I don't like nationalisms but for Palestine and the Palestinians, everything and anything. "


Imagine, just for the sake of the point I want to make in this post, No'am Chomsky saying something like the quote, with one tiny alteration:

I don't like flags, and I don't like nationalisms but for Israel and the Jews, everything and anything.


BTW, what's an atheist secularist?  



According to the wiki entry " AbuKhalil  ...supports one secular state in historical Palestine

What kind of "one secular state" does the peace-loving, secularist-atheist, radical anarchist envisions?

"Prof. Abukhalil dreams about the day Palestinians take over Israel's institutions, towns, cities, malls, universities, etc etc. Here are some of the fantasies he shares with his readers:

"... once Palestine is liberated, I don't think that Hebrew poet living under a Palestinian flag (and using the renamed George Habash International Airport) should be harassed unless they harm the security of the anti-Zionist state."
" But your delusions are good for us: you won't know what will hit you in the future in response to all the war crimes that you have committed against our people. "

"And once the Palestinian refugees are returned to their homes all over Palestine, I will make sure that you get decent rents in the formerly Palestinian refugee camps because we may be a bit short of space for the occupiers then.

And then there is this:

" (Nothing incenses me or provokes me like watching scenes of "tourist" promotion for the enemy state of Israel: I scream in my inside. The stones are not yours. The flowers are not yours. The beaches are not yours. The clouds are not yours. The blueness of the sky is not yours. All will return to their owners. Then, everything will be more beautiful and more splendid.)"


Abukhalil, let me re-iterate, is not some nutcase who fulminates on street corners, or a wild-eyed Islamist mullah in his Friday sermon. He is a respectable professor of political science at California State University, Stanislaus and visiting professor at UC, Berkeley.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

No such thing as a terrorist against Israelis

Prof. AbuKhalil, who teaches at at State University of California, provides a helpful "news" service in which he promotes every possible lie, fantasy and random wish or thought as "truth".  

Here is the latest example from his ever so feverish and fertile mind:

" In that awful book by Daniel Byman, A High Price: The Triumphs and Failures of Israeli Counterterrorism", the author claims that when Mossad murdered Abu Hasan Salamah with a car bomb in Beirut in 1979, that "four innocent bystanders...also perished in the blast." (p. 54).  In reality, the blast killed 9 people and injured"

Let's look at what Byman writes: "four innocent bystanders...also perished in the blast." (p. 54).  

Abu khalil claims that "In reality, the blast killed 9 people and injured..."

According to this source: "The blast killed Salameh and eight other people."

Who were those 8 others? 

According to this source: 

" Salameh's four bodyguards were killed. Four bystanders were also killed."

So, altogether, nine people were killed. Salameh ( "the chief of operations—code name Abu Hassan—for Black September, the organization responsible for the 1972 Munich massacre and other attacks."), his 4 bodyguards (not "innocent" by any stretch of the imagination) and 4 verifiably innocent bystanders.

So where is the lie that Daniel Byman is accused of writing in his book, and that merits a special entry in the "news" according to Abu Khalil's academically learned opinion? 

Is this the type of analysis you expect from an academic who is supposed to teach young students how to obtain information and check the veracity of what they are being fed? 

Monday, May 07, 2012

The Swollen Envy of a Pygmy Mind

The New York Times featured a nicely admiring article about Israeli Jazz artists performing in New York:

"The proposition that jazz is a global language, spanning continents and cultures, has been a reliable diplomatic device for so many years that it now has the ring of a banality.

Dani Miller
“Jazz became the world’s music long ago,” said Susan E. Rice, the United States ambassador to the United Nations, in that organization’s General Assembly hall on Monday night. “There is by now a rich tradition of Nordic jazz. There’s South Asian jazz, there’s Russian jazz and Chinese jazz.”

Ms. Rice was speaking at a concert to celebrate International Jazz Day, an initiative of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, and if her quick catalog left out Israeli jazz, that was probably just as well: no need to state the obvious. Over the last 15 years, Israel has produced and exported so many serious young musicians that the jazz landscape is hard to picture without their influence, particularly in New York and especially now." (My emphasis)

Let's re-read what the article states: "Over the last 15 years, Israel has produced and exported so many serious young musicians that the jazz landscape is hard to picture without their influence,"

Prof. Abukhalil, ever the vigilant Zionist-hater, expresses a violent displeasure to this rather innocuous and easily verifiable accolade. According to his intelligent interpretation, the article is claiming that Jazz is Israeli. That is, Israel claims to be the originator of Jazz. And Abukhalil will have none of it. What, Jazz is Israeli? Isn't it enough that Israel "stole the Falafil" it now pretends that Jazz is authentic Israeli music?

This is the kind of mind that the State University of California entrusts with teaching its young students. 


Here is another example that highlights the distinguished quality of Abukhalil's thinking. Note how delighted he is by the vulgar humour displayed by some young Arabs: 


I have noticed that many young Arabs write Netanyahu's name in Arabic as:
نتن يا هو
which would read as "filth, o people".

PS Ali tells me:  "Just wanted to tell you that نتن يا هو was first used during the 1996 Zionist attack on Lebanon".
And how ignorant he is when he quotes "Ali" as avowing that this vulgarizing tradition of spelling Netanyahu's name was  begun during Israel's 1996 attack on Lebanon. 

The Prime Minister who presided over "Sour Grapes" was Shimon Peres, not Netanyahu.  So, do you believe "Ali"? Are you impressed by AbuKhalil's  intellectual quality of criticising Israeli policies (or whatever)? Are you moved to mirth by his inclination for low-brow spurts of childish and vulgar animus towards Israel?

If you are still hesitant in making a severe judgment on AbuKhalil's intellectual abilities and general faculties (such as they are), read this comment.
Do you wonder what kind of news, information, understanding or analysis is exactly being purveyed by this person with his incontinent verbal passing of noxious intestinal gas via the anus?
Do you know how easy it is to make fun of As'ad, a name that could be read as an acronym of ass and head?


Update: Another empty braggadoccio from the professor:

"US cash

I am willing to bet my farm (the family sold the farm in Tyre, actually), that there has never been an election in the Middle East since the 1950s in which the US did not intervene in with cash.  Not one."
He is willing to bet a farm he does not own on making some outlandish statement which he has no way of proving, ever. What does it mean when you make a bet on something while your bank account is totally empty? What do we call such persons who do that?  A liar? A coward?  An empty barrel that makes a lot of noise when on a roll? Would he dare bet his academic position on this fulmination?  What do you think?