Comments: An Inside View Of The Los Angeles Times

Here we go again; stand by for the race-baiting to begin.

Posted by Sam Thornton at February 15, 2007 03:44 PM

You should provide citations if your arguments are to carry weight with newcomers to the fray. Why, and by whom, is From Time Immemorial considered a fraud, in the somewhat weaselly words, “by essentially everyone on earth?” The majority of reviews at the Amazon link you give, for example, are positive; an instant rebuttal. [I don’t find Amazon reviews a standard of measure, just an example counter to your word choice.]

Posted by Ashley at February 15, 2007 09:31 PM

If you want to get a grasp of how this book was reviewed, you could hardly do better than read the exchange of letters on its reviews in the New York Review of Books, March 27, 1986.

But the fuss about her "scholarship"(or sloppiness therein)again misses the horror of how the "Israeli-Palestinian conflict" came about. After the Holocaust, nobody once again, as at the Evian Conference in 1938, wanted those Jews. Not the Allies, not the neutrals, nobody. At least in numbers that mattered. So the choice was: 1. Send 'em back to the Germans or Austrians, who like to toast them. 2. Or to the Croatians, who like to slit their throats. 3. Or to the Poles, who loved handing them over to the Nazis.
That was no good, at least 'round 1947. So, fuck the Arabs, who didn't want them either.
In a momentary lapse into guilt, the "civilized West" gave the Jews a (ha, ha) haven. But not in their backyard.
And so, now, the fucked over Jews (pre and during Holocaust) are fucking over the Palestinians.
Not our fault those swarthy types can't be rational like us Oxbridge/Yale chaps.
Nobody, well hardly anybody, wants to address that. Wonder why? Peters,Silverstein--a sideshow.

Posted by donescobar at February 15, 2007 09:58 PM

It was hardly a gift from the "civilized west". The Jews fought for every inch of it. That said, censorship strickly over political correctness is a major reason I wrap my fish in in today's newsprint. One would hope for a better tomorrow in which newspapers would be worth the time to read.

Posted by Mike Meyer at February 15, 2007 10:34 PM

It was a gift from the West. They might have fought for it but they would never have made it if it wasn't for US tanks...and after that US planes...and after that 3 to 4 billion US tax dollars every year...and after that a negotiated settlement with Egypt to give them 2 to 3 billion US tax dollars every year...fought for every inch of it my a#$

Posted by goldhorder at February 15, 2007 10:44 PM

Aparently YOUR TAXDOLLARS AND MINE, go to finance anybody and everybody who wants a 2 dollar pistol, a tank. or an airplane. All of Europe, Germany, Japan, South America, Iraq, Iran, India, China, Korea,, if I've missed anybody, don't worry, The State Department hasn't.

Posted by Mike Meyer at February 15, 2007 11:21 PM

The level of control that is now used to filter all discourse about Israel has got to set some kind of record, even for America. And rather than it depending on talking points and hype, it's all about shutting the other guy up.

As for the excerpt, it's a great picture of how control is applied in the press, as an outsider it confirms my worst suspicions.

Posted by Dick Durata at February 16, 2007 12:42 AM

Problem with open discourse about Israel is that it never goes anywhere.
Even if two of us accept that the UN, the "West" et al had no right to "give" the Jews the piece of land they gave them--understanding that the Jews had very good reasons for wanting out of Europe--then what? Nobody came up with an acceptable alternative then, and now it's too late. Expel them, kill them, and then when the slaughter got a touch too Teutonically efficient, oops, let 'em have Zion. Shoulda given 'em Vienna.
So, now to discuss how hardened many Israelis have become to the stuff they're inflicting on others, what could have been expected? The socialist labor-let's share the land with Arabs philosophy among some early Jewish settlers? In whose dreams?
The "Holy Land." No better, no worse than the -ho, ho, ho--"former Yugoslavia." Leftovers from the bloodiest century in history.

Posted by donescobar at February 16, 2007 07:36 AM
Problem with open discourse about Israel is that it never goes anywhere.

I strongly disagree. An real, open discussion between Jewish Israelis and the Arab world would pretty quickly lead them to the conclusion they've both had the crap kicked out of them by the same people. That's why these same people have never been eager for such discussion to occur.

And that was the historic opportunity that was missed when Zionism (understandably, but foolishly) tried to get sponsorship from the British rather than make common cause with nascent Arab nationalism. Emir Faisal wrote to Felix Frankfurter in 1919 saying this:

We know that the Arabs and the Jews are racial relatives...We shall do everything we can, as far as it depends on us, to assist in the acceptance of the Zionist proposals by the Peace Conference, and we shall welcome the Jews with all our hearts on their return home. The Jewish movement is national and not imperialistic, our movement is national and not imperialistic, and in Syria there is a place for both of us. Indeed, I think that neither of us can achieve real success without the other.

Of course, it didn't work out that way. But recovering this history would in itself be a big step forward.

Posted by Jonathan Schwarz at February 16, 2007 08:37 AM

In light of stories appearing now in the NYT about how the Frank family found it impossible to emigrate during the early 1940s to America or Cuba we can more fully appreciate how NIMBYed the arabs were by the West.

There should be no doubts about the reliance of Zionism on Western beneficience.

Without Balfour and delusional British dreams of using the Zionists as a compliant client along with the more maleable Hashemites there would be no Jewish state. Jewish pioneers would have been welcomed in small numbers without Balfour but they would not have been able to establish a Jewish State with British 'divide and conquer' and Zionist skill and diligence in exploiting that opening.

This skill in playing the client state was played against with us against the Arabs in the Truman administration and resulted in some demographic 'improvements' for the nascent Israeli state when Ben Gurion chose ruthlessly chose the path of war in 1948. As the cold war raged, the U.S. became a more devoted patron - ensuring the gains of the 6 day war and reducing the penalty of ignoring Sadat's peace offerings before the 1973 war where Egypt came close to defeating Israel. Without U.S. airlifts and threats to the Soviets to stay out of the conflict, history might have been very different.

Posted by Joe at February 16, 2007 09:30 AM

It isn't going anywhere now because the opportunity you cite, anmong quite a few others, was missed.
"Recovering this history..."

Who's moving in this direction after three wars, two intifadas and much, much blood? Among the Israelis? Among the Palestinians or Arabs? Among the powers that treated the Is and Ps with equal disdain and condescension?

Where do you spot the open discourse? The attempt to see how Zionism and the resistance to it grew into what we face today?

Sure, you and I (we disagree about the possibility of "recovery") would love an opening up of the history of the origins of Zionism,its missteps, of Arab responses, of Western indifference and ignorance, but who except a few scholars and people who care about the lives of peoples in the ME give a shit? Not our politicos, or those in Europe, not assassin Putin, not the elites who are corporatists toadies and uncaring--so, what we get instead is a Holocaust denial conference in Iran, Olmert and doubletalk about peace in Jerusalem, and tiredness of all those "shitty little countries" (paraphrasing the French Foreign Minister on Israel) in the ME. Except, of course, where we need to plunder the resources.

History recovered would make just about everybody look bad.

Posted by donescobar at February 16, 2007 09:47 AM

History recovered allows everybody to stop trying so desperately to make the other guy look worse. That's a very big gain.

At some point, the effort to claim Ultimate Victim status has to stop.

Posted by Aunt Deb at February 16, 2007 10:26 AM

Yeah, when one side becomes the Ultimate Victor.

Posted by donescobar at February 16, 2007 11:01 AM

Donescobar, you're right about the history, but a little too pessimistic about the future. Well, actually, you might very well be right about the future too, judging from the past and present, but thinking about the situation the way Jon S does would increase the odds of peace. Maybe from 10 percent to 20 percent, but I'll take it.

Posted by Donald Johnson at February 16, 2007 11:50 AM

You're right, Donald Johnson, even if my pessimism is well-earned.
Sure, if those in power thought the way Jon S does...but then, they wouldn't be in power.
Am just starting Niall Ferguson's "War of the World." How do you suspect a historian will title a study of 21st century bloodletting?

Posted by donescobar at February 16, 2007 02:01 PM
Sure, if those in power thought the way Jon S does...but then, they wouldn't be in power.

I once got to talk to Phyllis Bennis, and asked her (given her time spent at the UN) what was so great about power -- why will some people do so much to get it, and anything whatsoever in order to keep it.

She said: "I'm not sure, but whatever it is, you and I will NEVER KNOW."

Posted by Jonathan Schwarz at February 16, 2007 02:15 PM

Right, but then look what this saves us from:

"Wer nur fuer eine Minute an die Macht kommt, begeht ein Verbrechen." Luigi Pintor

("Whoever holds power for even one minute, commits a crime.")

Posted by donescobar at February 16, 2007 02:28 PM

I am, myself, a Jew, so one MUST take any comment I might add about Israel with a grain of salt. Three Major Religions and all their offshoots call Israel/Palestine the Holy Land and I can't disagree. I am of the same opinion. Although I'm not a Rich European Banker, none the less, I am a Zionist and desire to see the Jewish people living in Peace in the Holy Land. Since I believe it IS the Holy Land, then it belongs to GOD and not one party or person or group of people or Religion, or political ideology, but to GOD. Everyone else is just a renter whom GOD allows to live there, in that Holy Land. It's a sad state of affairs that the present population can't seem to get along or even act as like human beings toward each other. One could suppose it's too much influence and education from the NAZI's or US. Looks like a toss up from here. I personally suspect, that left to their own devices, things would get a little more livable there in that Holy Place, but the world being what it is it's NOT going to happen any time soon. I've often thought of visiting or maybe migrating, in my old age, to the Holy Land, but in reality I'm probably happier and better off, here, in the middle of frozen, no-where Wyoming, just a few short miles from HELL'S HALF ACRE.

Posted by Mike Meyer at February 16, 2007 05:06 PM

Three Major Religions and all their offshoots call Israel/Palestine the Holy Land and I can't disagree.

Yes, but you may be a CRAZY PERSON.

Posted by Dayv at February 16, 2007 06:25 PM

Dayv: Could be, I certainly have the time and acerage for it. But just to check, you mean Three Major Religions DON'T call Israel/Palestine the Holy Land?

Posted by Mike Meyer at February 16, 2007 07:58 PM

Thank you for the follow up, Jonathan. Much appreciated.

Posted by Ashley at February 16, 2007 09:31 PM