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Jimmy

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  • Washington Actions on Palestine don't Differ from Gingrich's Words
    • This discussion of the expulsion of the refugees has important historical consequences (though as Prof. Cole and others have pointed out, the historical questions have already been resolved to consensus amongst historians, if not partisan internet warriors...). But so far the rights of refugees go, including the Right of Return, it doesn't matter the conditions of leaving. Article 13 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights says, "Everyone has the right to leave any country, including his own, and to return to his country." The conditions of leaving don't matter when it comes to the rights of Palestinian refugees. They have the same right to return even if the partisan internet warriors were right (which again, they are not and there is consensus amongst historians on this).

    • Hi Prof. Cole,

      Terrific piece. I realize you had to condense to save space, but Hashomer ('the watchmen') was founded in 1909, Haganah in 1920 (along with Ta'as which became Israel Military Industries). The significant escalation was in 1936-39 when the British (especially under Wingate) founded the Jewish Supernumerary Police (notrim) and the first counterinsurgency force, the Special Night Squads (Plugot HaLeila HaMeyukhadot). A rise in major attacks on Palestinians also date to this period. 1947 was a major development obviously, with the first air and naval forces, along with the largest scale mobilization of the Haganah (then re-founded as the IDF). But the militancy (in terms of arming the settler society) started a few decades earlier with the Second Aliyah and the rise of the 'pure settlement' ideology and the beginning of what would later be called 'the Iron Wall', a permanent regime of separation between the settlers and the indigenous Palestinian population.

      I would also challenge the notion that "the 1948 war did not necessitate ethnic cleansing." Ethically, of course it did not. There is no justifying it no matter the 'realist' sophisticated musings of Benny Morris and crew. But settler societies are premised on the elimination of the indigenous populace. If not their physical annihilation and dispersal, then in attempts to remove their indigeneity, as in trying to create the category of 'Israeli Arab' or the Stolen Generations in Australia. This is arguably the most significant difference between settler and metropole colonialism which sought to make use of colonized bodies. This is all a little reductive of course, but my two cents on a great article with appreciation for your writing it.

  • It's Official: Tunisia Now Freer than the U.S.

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