Pogroms 2021 and Inconvenient Facts

 

With stories of Russian and eastern European pogroms stored in our memory banks, who thought we’d be talking about pogroms in 2021? Like many people, I know that the situation in the Middle East is extremely complex; efforts to oversimplify the issues can distort the facts beyond recognition. But I feel compelled to highlight some key facts that are actually facts, not propaganda. I make no secret of my support of Israel: I’ve lived there, visited there, have friends there, and I can assure you that none of them are terrorists, nor do they wish for anything other than peace. Whether peace can ever be achieved is another story.

What are the facts that I would like to highlight? There are many of them, but I’m choosing to focus on those that I think are central to the conflict between the Israelis and the Palestinians.

This time is different: pogroms—this is the term that has been used of late, and in spite of the ugliness it suggests, it’s accurate: Jews are being attacked in their neighborhoods, as are their homes, synagogues, and businesses:

Arab citizens of Israel went on a rampage against their Jewish neighbors in the cities of Lod (or Lydda) and Ramle on Tuesday night, setting synagogues on fire, attacking stores, and forcing authorities to evacuate Jewish residents.

The attack, which is being called a ‘pogrom’ (mob violence against Jews) is one of the worst experienced in the region since the 1930s, in the days before Israeli statehood, when Palestinian Arab leader incited locals to attack Jewish communities.

[Italics are mine.]

Not only are Israeli Arabs attacking Jews, but Israeli Jews are responding with violence as well.

Palestinians are not being evicted from homes they own in East Jerusalem—these properties are owned by the Jews and were rented to the Arabs:

In 1875, the chief rabbis of Jerusalem purchased buildings in the neighborhood and registered their purchase with the Ottoman—and later, British—authorities. In 1948, with the Jordanian conquest of the neighborhood, the buildings were listed under Jordan’s ‘Register of Enemy Property’ and leased to local Arabs. After Israel liberated and unified Jerusalem in 1967, the Jewish landowners registered their buildings again with the Israel Land Authority and began a process that has dragged on ever since of attempting to restore sovereign control over their properties. The Arab tenants, for their part, recognized the Israeli Jewish ownership of the buildings in a 1982 lawsuit. But in the ensuing 39 years, they have appealed every court ruling requiring them to vacate the premises.

Only ownership of a home entitles a person to reside in the home; rental agreements are not equivalent to ownership.

As long as Hamas is in charge, Israel’s existence is in jeopardy— Hamas is dedicated to killing the Jews :

Israel will exist and will continue to exist until Islam will obliterate it, just as it obliterated others before it. (Preamble)

Hamas has never shown any interest in modifying its mission, nor any desire to negotiate peace. They see their only option as killing the Jews in Israel.

The Biden Administration has repeatedly supported the Palestinian cause—

The Biden administration is on their [the Palestinian] side. Not only did President Joe Biden restore U.S. funding to the PA despite its funding of terrorism. Over the past month of escalating Palestinian violence against Jews in Jerusalem and other cities around Israel, the Biden administration has embraced the Fatah narrative that Israel is ‘provoking’ the Palestinians to attack Jews because Israel deployed police to the Temple Mount to restore the peace after the Palestinians attacked Jews. The Biden administration has also adopted Fatah’s anti-Semitic claim that Jews have no right to assert their property rights in Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood of Jerusalem because they are Jews.

Biden and his administration have repeatedly said that Israel has the right to defend itself. Is that supposed to show support for our strongest ally in the Middle East? What does Biden expect them to do?

The Jews have always had a continuous presence in Israel—the people were conquered, with efforts to drive them out over the centuries, but they have never deserted the land:

Nevertheless, even the meagre surviving sources name forty-three Jewish communities in Palestine in the sixth century: twelve towns on the coast, in the Negev, and east of the Jordan, and thirty-one villages in Galilee and in the Jordan valley.

The Jews’ thoughts at every opportunity turned to the hope of national restoration. In the year 351, they launched yet another revolt, provoking heavy retribution. When, in 438, the Empress Eudocia removed the ban on Jews’ praying at the Temple site, the heads of the Community in Galilee issued a call ‘to the great and mighty people of the Jews’ which began: ‘Know that the end of the exile of our people has come.’

There never was a Palestinian state—the idea of a Palestinian state is a fairly modern fiction created for the benefit of the political Left:

An uncomfortable fact for those who advance the claim that the Palestinians are the indigenous people of the area is that they have no history: there was never a state of Palestine, never a King or President of Palestine, never (until quite recently) a Palestinian flag, and nothing that distinguishes the Palestinians culturally, linguistically, or otherwise from the other Arabs of the region.

Although not everyone will agree that these are the most important facts regarding the Middle East situation, they are certainly key points. People love to root for the underdog, however, and now that Israel can take care of its own business, they are considered to be the aggressors and the Palestinians the victims. Until a much clearer and objective understanding of the situation can be presented, Israel’s existence will be threatened.

You may have already heard some of the information I have presented here; you can now check the data behind it and check out some of the footnotes in the articles I referenced.

Israel has the right to exist on its own terms.

*     *     *

Do not think that I favor disregarding completely the needs of the Palestinians. I do think, however, that if a resolution is ever attempted, it must be done with the facts—not propaganda, not lies, not invented histories. Although the mainstream media thinks it is a party to these negotiations, it is not.

There are issues that cannot be resolved, but there are enough of them to motivate potentially both sides to act in good faith.

If good faith is even possible.

Published in Foreign Policy
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  1. Rodin Member
    Rodin
    @Rodin

    With Hamas the notion of a two-state solution is ludicrous. Those who believe otherwise are either ill-informed or willfully blind. The best hope for regional Arabs is a one-state solution (Israel) with safeguards for individuals as in the US Bill of Rights. 

    • #1
  2. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Rodin (View Comment):

    With Hamas the notion of a two-state solution is ludicrous. Those who believe otherwise are either ill-informed or willfully blind. The best hope for regional Arabs is a one-state solution (Israel) with safeguards for individuals as in the US Bill of Rights.

    I completely agree. For multiple reasons, a Palestinian state would be a disaster. They are not competent to have their own government; they will still want to destroy Israel; and Israel has already demonstrated to Arab communities that they are fair. 

    • #2
  3. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    “Palestine” goes back further than that. It is how Rome started referring to the region after the second Jewish revolt in 15 AD. (I think they called it “Syria Palestina.”)

    I say again, the second Jewish revolt. Hadrian decided that the problem with Judea was the Jews, so he tried to get rid of the religion and the region. And the Jews; he killed a lot of Jews too.

    • #3
  4. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Percival (View Comment):

    “Palestine” goes back further than that. It is how Rome started referring to the region after the second Jewish revolt in 15 AD. (I think they called it “Syria Palestina.”)

    I say again, the second Jewish revolt. Hadrian decided that the problem with Judea was the Jews, so he tried to get rid of the religion and the region. And the Jews; he killed a lot of Jews too.

    I don’t think I listed a time when the name Palestine first was used (although I saw it in the information I read). My point was that it was never a state entity, but rather a portion of that area. And yes, those darn Jews kept pushing back. And the numbers went down significantly (through killing). But not because they all left!

    Thanks, @percival. Your knowledge of history is awesome.

    • #4
  5. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    Percival (View Comment):

    “Palestine” goes back further than that. It is how Rome started referring to the region after the second Jewish revolt in 15 AD. (I think they called it “Syria Palestina.”)

    I say again, the second Jewish revolt. Hadrian decided that the problem with Judea was the Jews, so he tried to get rid of the religion and the region. And the Jews; he killed a lot of Jews too.

    I don’t think I listed a time when the name Palestine first was used (although I saw it in the information I read). My point was that it was never a state entity, but rather a portion of that area. And yes, those darn Jews kept pushing back. And the numbers went down significantly (through killing). But not because they all left!

    Thanks, @ percival. Your knowledge of history is awesome.

    No, you didn’t, but I’ve seen a lot of people claiming that it is very recent. It isn’t, particularly, but the goal back then was the same as the goal is now.

    • #5
  6. Clifford A. Brown Contributor
    Clifford A. Brown
    @CliffordBrown

    Gee, but we were assured that Biden was friendly to the Jews. As evidence the Jerusalem Post pointed in January to “All the Jews Joe Biden has tapped for top roles in his administration.”

    • #6
  7. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Clifford A. Brown (View Comment):

    Gee, but we were assured that Biden was friendly to the Jews. As evidence the Jerusalem Post pointed in January to “All the Jews Joe Biden has tapped for top roles in his administration.”

    Yeah. A Lefty Jew is barely a Jew. And for them to be willing to be a part of the Democrats probably makes them self-hating Jews as well. Sigh.

    • #7
  8. Zafar Member
    Zafar
    @Zafar

    Behind a pay wall, but from Ha’aretz (emphasis added):

    It’s tempting to believe the main cause of these incidents is the violation of the status of Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Israeli airstrikes in the Gaza Strip (which of course had a direct affect on the situation). But the causes of this violence have long been simmering beneath the surface – in fact, since Israel’s establishment.

    The “mixed cities” are ones into which the state threw displaced persons from other cities after the 1948 war, after expropriating their homes using the Absentee Property Law. These internal refugees were placed in homes whose ownership had been transferred to the Amidar and Halamish public housing companies. The new ownership did not change the fact that these homes had been taken from other refugees, or that living in them were refugees and their descendants, who could be removed at any time by these companies, which could sell the home on the open market without regard for their fate or property rights.

    That may have been why evicting people in Sheikh Jarrah was like salt on an open wound.  One of many double standards when it comes to justice.

    And from another article:

    “The religious sites are not really important to me. I don’t feel any attachment to them. As far as I’m concerned, they’re walls,” said S., a 33-year-old woman from Jaffa who came out to protest. “But they symbolize our last shred of dignity, a shred of our tradition and identity and our story. When it is touched that intensely, especially on the holidays, I understand to what it can lead religious people.”

    • #8
  9. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Zafar (View Comment):

    Behind a pay wall, but from Ha’aretz (emphasis added):

    It’s tempting to believe the main cause of these incidents is the violation of the status of Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Israeli airstrikes in the Gaza Strip (which of course had a direct affect on the situation). But the causes of this violence have long been simmering beneath the surface – in fact, since Israel’s establishment.

    The “mixed cities” are ones into which the state threw displaced persons from other cities after the 1948 war, after expropriating their homes using the Absentee Property Law. These internal refugees were placed in homes whose ownership had been transferred to the Amidar and Halamish public housing companies. The new ownership did not change the fact that these homes had been taken from other refugees, or that living in them were refugees and their descendants, who could be removed at any time by these companies, which could sell the home on the open market without regard for their fate or property rights.

    That may have been why evicting people in Sheikh Jarrah was like salt on an open wound. One of many double standards when it comes to justice.

    And from another article:

    “The religious sites are not really important to me. I don’t feel any attachment to them. As far as I’m concerned, they’re walls,” said S., a 33-year-old woman from Jaffa who came out to protest. “But they symbolize our last shred of dignity, a shred of our tradition and identity and our story. When it is touched that intensely, especially on the holidays, I understand to what it can lead religious people.”

    @zafar, using that article to make your point wasn’t a good idea. For one (if I’m not mistaken), the Times of Israel is the Leftist rag of Israel (similar to the NYT or WaPo here). Second, I notice that the sentence you put in bold didn’t highlight the word “threw”–does that sound like journalism to you?–that they threw them into those cities? I know about this controversy–the question of whether they fled and abandoned their homes, or whether they were driven out. But I’m getting more and more selective about the veracity of some reports. And this one carries little weight. 

    Also, that the woman doesn’t care about the religious sites, but somehow gives them great weight? Sorry. I won’t go there.

    • #9
  10. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Has anyone noticed that the world is demanding that Netanyahu call for a cease fire, and are condemning him for refusing, while no one seriously expects Hamas to agree to a cease fire? Netanyahu knows he has to push ahead; a cease fire will only allow Hamas to rearm; they’ve already stated that Iran is supplying them with arms.

    • #10
  11. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    From today’s the Federalist

    As is typical for the “Squad,” reality is rather different.

    When the Jordanian Army occupied Judea and Samaria in 1948, it forced all Jews from their homes at gunpoint. That is how the Shimon HaTzaddik neighborhood, named after the holy Jewish teacher buried there 1,800 years ago, became “the predominantly Palestinian East Jerusalem neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah”: via antisemitic violence and ethnic cleansing. The Squad omits all of this, claiming instead that it is a “violation of international law” for Jewish property owners to go to court to reclaim property (purchased in 1875) from those who squatted on it after the Jewish owners were expelled.

    • #11
  12. Zafar Member
    Zafar
    @Zafar

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    Has anyone noticed that the world is demanding that Netanyahu call for a cease fire, and are condemning him for refusing, while no one seriously expects Hamas to agree to a cease fire? Netanyahu knows he has to push ahead; a cease fire will only allow Hamas to rearm; they’ve already stated that Iran is supplying them with arms.

    Hamas has repeatedly asked for a cease fire. Netanyahu’s Govt has refused.

    It’s a political decision. 

    • #12
  13. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Zafar (View Comment):

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    Has anyone noticed that the world is demanding that Netanyahu call for a cease fire, and are condemning him for refusing, while no one seriously expects Hamas to agree to a cease fire? Netanyahu knows he has to push ahead; a cease fire will only allow Hamas to rearm; they’ve already stated that Iran is supplying them with arms.

    Hamas has repeatedly asked for a cease fire. Netanyahu’s Govt has refused.

    It’s a political decision.

    It is a political decision–and Netanyahu doesn’t want to make it easier for Hamas to re-arm. Not this time.

    • #13
  14. Zafar Member
    Zafar
    @Zafar

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):
    @zafar, using that article to make your point wasn’t a good idea. For one (if I’m not mistaken), the Times of Israel is the Leftist rag of Israel (similar to the NYT or WaPo here). Second, I notice that the sentence you put in bold didn’t highlight the word “threw”–does that sound like journalism to you?–that they threw them into those cities? I know about this controversy–the question of whether they fled and abandoned their homes, or whether they were driven out.

    Should I limit my references to sources like [CoC] Jihadwatch?  Seriously?

    You don’t like the term ‘thrown’. Fair enough. What about the Absentees’ Property Law? Why the double standard? What’s moral about that?

    • #14
  15. Zafar Member
    Zafar
    @Zafar

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):
    It is a political decision–and Netanyahu doesn’t want to make it easier for Hamas to re-arm. Not this time.

    In an interview with the Ynet website on May 5, 2019, a close associate of the prime minister, Maj. Gen. (res.) Gershon Hacohen, said that “the truth must be stated: Netanyahu’s strategy is to prevent a two-state option, so he has made Hamas his closest partner. Overtly, Hamas is the enemy. Covertly, it’s an ally.”

    • #15
  16. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Zafar (View Comment):

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):
    @ zafar, using that article to make your point wasn’t a good idea. For one (if I’m not mistaken), the Times of Israel is the Leftist rag of Israel (similar to the NYT or WaPo here). Second, I notice that the sentence you put in bold didn’t highlight the word “threw”–does that sound like journalism to you?–that they threw them into those cities? I know about this controversy–the question of whether they fled and abandoned their homes, or whether they were driven out.

    Should I limit my references to sources like [CoC] Jihadwatch? Seriously?

    You don’t like the term ‘thrown’. Fair enough. What about the Absentees’ Property Law? Why the double standard? What’s moral about that?

    Jihad Watch definitely has a position. But what I quoted happens to be true, like it or not. I’m not going to study the Absentee’s Property Law. 

    • #16
  17. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Zafar (View Comment):

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):
    It is a political decision–and Netanyahu doesn’t want to make it easier for Hamas to re-arm. Not this time.

    In an interview with the Ynet website on May 5, 2019, a close associate of the prime minister, Maj. Gen. (res.) Gershon Hacohen, said that “the truth must be stated: Netanyahu’s strategy is to prevent a two-state option, so he has made Hamas his closest partner. Overtly, Hamas is the enemy. Covertly, it’s an ally.”

    He’s entitled to his opinion.

    Zafar, I have made a good faith effort to debate you. Whenever we do this, we get nowhere. I’m sorry, but I don’t have the energy to go back and forth with you, particularly since it will only illustrate how far apart we are. So I can’t stop you from commenting, but I won’t be responding.

    • #17
  18. Zafar Member
    Zafar
    @Zafar

    You know what? I like you anyway. Peace. 

    • #18
  19. Joseph Eagar Member
    Joseph Eagar
    @JosephEagar

    Zafar (View Comment):

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):
    It is a political decision–and Netanyahu doesn’t want to make it easier for Hamas to re-arm. Not this time.

    In an interview with the Ynet website on May 5, 2019, a close associate of the prime minister, Maj. Gen. (res.) Gershon Hacohen, said that “the truth must be stated: Netanyahu’s strategy is to prevent a two-state option, so he has made Hamas his closest partner. Overtly, Hamas is the enemy. Covertly, it’s an ally.”

    I’ve wondered this myself.  That article is behind a paywall, but is there any evidence for it? I mean, the timing is just so shockingly good for Netanyahu.  

     

    • #19
  20. Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… Member
    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio…
    @ArizonaPatriot

    Susan, I question the use of the word pogrom in these circumstances.  I think that there is a difference between terrorism and a pogrom, and I think that the difference is that a pogrom involves either open or tacit approval of government officials.  It doesn’t seem that this is the case with the current terrorism in Israel.  Correct me if I’m wrong about that, as I don’t know all of the details.

    • #20
  21. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):

    Susan, I question the use of the word pogrom in these circumstances. I think that there is a difference between terrorism and a pogrom, and I think that the difference is that a pogrom involves either open or tacit approval of government officials. It doesn’t seem that this is the case with the current terrorism in Israel. Correct me if I’m wrong about that, as I don’t know all of the details.

    A fair question, Jerry. You’re not wrong, but the “open or tacit approval” by the government isn’t always involved. Here’s one site that describes several types over the years.

    • #21