Thursday, May 27, 2010

Ilan Pappé joins Nabil Shaath.

Recently I criticized Nabil Shaath's statements in El País. In the same diary, Israeli historian Ilan Pappé joined Shaath in the process of Israel's demonization, writing about the 1948 Palestinian exodus, too. And his criticism is harsher than Shaath's.
Firstly, he writes that the Palestinian Nakba is still happening. In fact, his article is titled 'Nakbah' 2010, while the subtitle is: "The despossession of the Palestinian people initiated with the 1948 killings and expulsions continues today with the siege of Gaza and the 'judaization' of Jerusalem and the West Bank. All is due to a plan of 'ethnic cleansing'".
One of the paragraphs is translated as follows (as accurate as possible, between quotation marks):

"It has to be recognized that our task [to relate the 1948 Palestinian exodus and to try to end the oppression of the Palestinians] is not easy, mainly because of the extraordinary success obtained during that days (1948) through the manoeuvres of despossession carried out by the State of Israel when occupying the 80% of the Palestinian land, achieving the expulsion, in this way, of more than a half of the native population. Due to the magnitude of these drastic operations, those responsible can now allow themselves -and implement- all kind of genocidal policies with the ethnic cleansing as the main objective, substituting in that way the Palestinian population eliminated during the days of the Nakbah."

The article also relates acts of violence and threats against the Palestinians during that days, as well as the threats faced today by the Israeli and the Palestinian Arabs.
One of the most shocking statements is this one: "..., without forgetting as well the Palestinians in the refugee camps in Lebanon and Syria: none of them is safe from the last Zionist push to a project initiated in 1882 and which pretends to subjugate, also through the use of force, the neighboring Arab countries."
Finally, Pappé demands the end of the Nakba and the right of return of every single Palestinian refugee, as a previous step to a just peace accord.

In order to answer Ilan Pappé's statements about the 1948 Palestinian exodus, it would be enough to read again my response to Nabil Shaath (please follow the first link provided in this article).
About Israel's administration of East Jerusalem and the siege of the Gaza Strip, please read here (at point #4) and here, respectively.
Pappé uses the word "genocide". A genocide consists of wiping off the map a racial, national, ethnic or religious group, that is, it consists of exterminating it. Claiming that the Palestinians are being exterminated by Israel doesn't make sense, taking into account that in strict demographic terms, the Palestinian and Israeli Arab populations have been clearly increasing for the last 62 years. For example, there were about 700,000 Palestinian refugees in 1948, but currently there are about 4,700,000 Palestinian refugees. If Israel actually had been committing genocide for the last 62 years, Palestinian and Israeli Arab populations would be decreasing. This was what happened with the Jews in Europe, the Armenians in the Caucasus, the tutsis in Rwanda and the indigenous peoples of North America.
It's also interesting the Pappé-alleged Israeli intention of subjugating its neighboring Arab States. If this is true, why did Israel sign peace treaties with Egypt and Jordan?

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