Founder of Zionism's right wing casts long shadow
In a lengthy review of six recent books on Palestine and Israel , Geoffrey Wheatcroft, author of The Controversy of Zion: Jewish Nationalism, the Jewish State, and the Unresolved Jewish Dilemma, points up some surprising facts about current Israeli leaders and their antecedents.
Of particular interest is their connection with Vladimir Jabotinsky. The urbane, literary, charismatic leader of an early break in Zionism that became today's Likud and Kadima parties is the subject of a section in Identity,Ideology, and the Future of Jerusalem.
The books reviewed by Wheatcroft are:
Yakov M. Rabkin
Tuesday's meeting of Abbas and Olmert Seems to Confirm Rumors of Slow Down
Palestinian president denies agreement to forestall discussion of Jerusalem.
President Mahmoud Abbas has denied coming to any agreement with Israeli PM Ehud Olmert to delay discussing Jerusalem in the current round of meetings.
As we have noted many times on this blog, Jerusalem is a major, if not the, sticking point.
I came across the following statement from Israel's long-time UN ambassador, the late Abba Eban. Although it's addressing the idea of the internationalization of the city, it captures the issue well when it comes to the identities and ideologies of Jerusalem's people:
Israeli foreign minister opposes her prime minister's delay of Jerusalem issue
Salam Fayyad claims little progress on the ground in peace process
Speaking in the U.S. at the Aspen Institute, Palestinian prime minister Salam Fayyad said that three months after the Annapolis meetings little has changed on the ground as far as Israel's efforts are concerned.
While, according to Tony Blair, the Palestinians have made progress on security issues, Fayyad said that with respect to road blocks and settlements, "You see no change in the way that Israel operates."
A site in Northern Israel for a new Arab city and more Israeli settlement activity in East Jerusalem
The "Annapolis Process" seems to be foundering in the eyes of both Israeli and Palestinian officials
Israel's vice premier, Haim Ramon and the Palestinian Authority's prime minister, Salam Fayyad have recently expressed their doubts that a final settlement will be reached this year, though a month ago in Ramallah President Bush said he thought it could happen. The sticking point is once again Jerusalem. Acknowledging the current weakness of his party, Ramon said, "Sooner or later, we will deal with Jerusalem and then we will have problems."
AP reports that Palestinian population has grown, but questions East Jerusalem numbers
Quartet Mid-East Envoy Acknowledges Positive Palestinian Actions
Martin Buber and one of the seminal events in the Arab-Israeli conflict in 1948
It was Jewish philosopher Martin Buber who, with three other Jewish thinkers, wrote to Ben-Gurion that the massacre of over 100 men, women and children by Jewish forces at Deir Yassin is "a black stain on the honour of the Jewish nation" and "a warning to our people that no practical military needs may ever justify such acts of murder."
Ben-Gurion never replied despite being sent several copies of the letter.
Two Jewish underground groups are traditionally associated with the events at Deir Yassin: IZL (Irgun Z'vai Leumi) and LHI (Lehame Herut Israel [Stern Group]). But as Israeli historian Benny Morris has pointed out in Righteous Victims (1990, p.207), there was a third supporting group, comprised of Palmach and Haganah elements (there with the approval of the Haganah command in Jerusalem).
Jewish theologian Marc Ellis notes that Martin Buber also wrote in his letter to Ben-Gurion, "The time will come when it will be possible to conceive of some act in Deir Yassin, an act which will symbolize our people's desire for justice and brotherhood with the Arab people."
Speed the day.
Deir Yassin: From Both Sides
In Palestine 60 years ago: Operation Nachshon and the awful events at the Palestinian village of Deir Yassin—a turning point in the First Arab-Israeli War
Deir Yassin Remembered
During the Jewish campaign to open up the corridor between the coast and Jerusalem in April 1948 (Operation Nachshon), the most significant event was the massacre of 100-110 Palestinian villagers at Deir Yassin on the city's western edge on April 9. The attack on the village was carried out by two Jewish underground organizations, IZL (Irgun Z'vai Leumi) and LHI (Lehame Herut Israel [Stern Gang]), with the apparent agreement of the Haganah in Jerusalem. As the attack progressed, it was met with fierce and unexpected resistance. Though the villagers had been friendly toward the Jews, not allowing Palestinian resistance fighters to stay there, they had understandably armed themselves against possible attack.
Now they resisted. The fighting went so badly for the Jewish attackers that they resorted to dynamiting houses, killing men, women and children.
The immediate result of the massacre was to galvanize Arab hatred, but also to create fear to such a degree that a Palestinian refugee exodus was set in motion. It was indeed a turning point that made the Jewish successes in the days ahead much easier. But it also set the pattern for reprisal. On April 13, the Palestinians launched a six hour attack on a ten-vehicle convoy bound for the Hadassah Hospital-Hebrew University campus on Mount Scopus. In a brutal end to the confrontation, two armored buses were torched and more than 70 mostly unarmed Jewish doctors, nurses and lecturers lost their lives.