Thursday, February 18, 2016

Burning building . . .

The tale of Israel as an emergency creation of Jews jumping out of a burning building, Europe, and landing on the backs of an innocent people, the Palestinians, has made its rounds. First I heard of it was in something by Isaac Deutscher, probably in his "The  Non-Jewish Jew," where he was trying, best as he could, to come to terms with the necessity of a Jewish state. Christopher Hitchens makes use of this parable, with minor modification, in "Hitch-22."

My version is more problematic: yes, the Jews jumped out of a burning Europe and landed on the backs of Palestinians who had no part in creating the inferno. And yes, no question, the Jews continued to beat, belabor and even evict Palestinians, as happens to this day.

What's missing from that account, though, is that the Palestinians from the start wanted nothing more than to push the Jews back into the sea, and have never been able to fully repress that urge.

A piece by Todd Gitlin presents the situation graphically, by means of maps.

Palestinian maps, the ones Palestinian children are bought up on, manage not to include a place called Israel; for them the whole place is labeled Palestine.

Jewish maps, all too many of them, depict an Israel that extends from the Mediterranean to the Jordan, without reference to a green line, on the other side of which is a Palestinian territory known as the West Bank, the basis, should justice someday prevail, for a Palestinian state.

1 comment:

  1. a response to this post at the Augean Stables.