David Singer’s Reply to Peter Slezak

November 16, 2010 by David Singer
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Peter – I gave you five specific cases of Arab lies and propaganda that you propagated in your article – which I claimed were factually false or misleading. The veracity of these five matters relied on by you are critical to a proper understanding of the conflict, the reasons that have failed to see it resolved for the last 130 years and that are preventing it being concluded at the present time.You have not in your latest letter above sought to deny my claim that they are false and misleading for the reasons I fully detailed.

You, as an intellectual, surely understand that people formulate views on the basis of facts presented to them in material they read.  If people are fooled into believing facts that are demonstrably false or misleading then this will have a major bearing on how they view any particular issue.

Your intellectual reputation and that of the other intellectuals you name – who apparently according to you are sprouting the same five pieces of Arab propaganda – is now on public display and you cannot run away those five specific claims you have made.

I challenge you to specifically rebut my claims in relation to the five specific examples given by me.

You further ask – as if almost admitting your five statements were incorrect:

“Even if, for the sake of argument, we fully grant the history lessons of Gold and Singer, how can this justify the cruelty, crimes and collective punishment today against the Palestinian people?

Peter – Cruelty, crimes and collective punishment have not been the exclusive preserve of the Palestinian Arabs. Jews have also been – and continue to be – victims of this long running conflict that has defied any settlement for the last 130 years and has caused misery and suffering on both sides.

Jews being blown up on buses or in discotheques or pizza bars cannot be justified either. Jews being slaughtered in the Hebron massacre in 1929 or during the Arab Revolt in 1936 is apparently to be overlooked – not to mention the many wars since 1948 that have seen Jews give their lives to preserve their very existence. Having thousands of rockets indiscriminately fired into Jewish civilian population centres for years on end seems to not concern you. Drive by murders of pregnant Jewish women and Jewish children becoming orphans supposedly evokes no sympathy from you.

I feel the Jewish pain as I feel the Arab pain. This conflict is not a one sided affair. It needs to be resolved in the interests of both Jews and Arabs.

We would not be having this argument today – and the Palestinian Arabs would have had their own Jew free independent state long ago – and in an area far greater than they are currently demanding – had they:

1. Accepted the Peel Commission proposals in 1937

2. Accepted the UN Partition Plan in 1947

3. Not sent six Arab armies to invade Palestine to wipe out the nascent Jewish State in 1948

4. Not voted to unify the West Bank and the East Bank in a renamed state called Jordan in 1950

5. Created an independent state between Jordan and Israel at any time between 1948-1967 when what they are supposedly fighting for today  – and more – could have been created by the Arab League at the stroke of a pen in those 19 years whilst not one Jew was living in the West Bank or Gaza.

6. Refused to negotiate with Israel between 1967-1993.

7. Rejected offers made by Israel in 2001 and 2008.

Their refusal to do a deal on so many occasions has been driven by their unyielding opposition to accept that the Jewish people have the right to self- determination in a State where they comprise a majority of the population.

57 such Moslem countries exist today pursuant to that principle– 21 of which happen to be Arab. Why do the Arabs continue to deny the Jews the same right in their ancestral, biblical and internationally recognized homeland?

The Arabs must accept the consequences of their actions.  Their decisions to oppose Jewish self-determination have come at a very heavy price in terms of continued suffering for themselves – which could have been eliminated had they adopted a more reasoned and compromising approach.

Blaming their continuing victimhood solely on the Jews – and having Jews argue in that manner based on false and misleading Arab propaganda – is your perfect entitlement to propagate if you desire.

It is certainly not my viewpoint.

When I see these false Arab claims repeated ad nauseam  – especially by Jewish intellectuals – then I will not remain silent.

So Peter  – if you are prepared to reply to this letter I would ask that you don’t go off on a tangent once again.

I have made five detailed challenges to the credibility of five specific statements made by you.

Five responses are required.

Please let me have them.

If you wish to specifically rebut the new facts I have presented in this letter feel free to do so and I will answer them.

David SInger

Comments

5 Responses to “David Singer’s Reply to Peter Slezak”
  1. david singer says:

    #Stewart Mills

    If Jordan and Egypt don’t come to the negotiating table then I fear the only outcome will be another war. The two-state solution is dead and buried.

    You seem to have read extensively on the conflict.

    Why don’t you therefore respond to the 5 specific statements by Peter Slezak and the 12 specific statements by Marty Morrison that I challenged as being factually inaccurate or misleading and deceptive?

    You would appear to have the necessary knowledge to do so.

  2. David, you are chasing windmills if you think Palestinian sovereignty will be shared by Jordan and Egypt. I have responded to your claims in a 44 page document and your misuse of the Mandate for Palestine and UN Charter.

    Again, I repeat my respect for your desire to see peace but please read the Hussein-McMahon letters, the King-Krane Commission, the British White Papers of 1922 and 1939, the UN Security Council deliberation on Res 181 in March 1948, Uri Avnery’s writing on the flaws of Clinton-Barak 2000 negotiations. There is much we can learn from each other. There are two narrratives that need to be understood. The Holocaust must never be forgotten. But one crime does not justify forcing Palestinians to suffer from European actions. Jewish Arab refugee flight occurred as Sir Isaac Isaacs and Edwin Montagu predicted if a Jewish State was forcibly created (with the help of a little bit of Mossad prodding).

    To understand the events of 1937 you need to get in the mindset of a Palestinian Arab. It is a perfectly, logical and rational response to resist being dominated by another, i.e. Palestinian Arabs resisting British rule and any question of making a Jewish state. Just as it is perfectly rational and logical to desire freedom for the Jewish people. The question is, how to effect such an outcome that responds fairly to both competing views. Palestinian Arabs as the ethnic majority with immediate connection with the land for millenia had a far superior claim to European Jews seeking refuge from European violence and discrimination (the King Krane Commission reports this). Rabbi Michael Lerner suggests that Palestinian Arabs could have done more. But although morally preferable legally did they have to? No.

    Please, try to step outside the conflict for a moment and see it through another’s eyes.

    To date I have not seen you do this.

  3. david singer says:

    # Stewart Mills

    I have been actively promoting a resolution to the Jewish-Arab conflict for the last 30 years involving the division of sovereignty of the West Bank and Gaza between Israel, Jordan and Egypt. These two areas comprise about 6% of the Mandate for Palestine where sovereignty for the last 62 years still remains unallocated between the two successor states to the Mandate – Jordan and Israel.

    Had my proposal been accepted in 1980 hundreds of thousands of Jews and Arabs would have been spared the death, injury and trauma that has since occurred. You don’t need to question my commitment to end the suffering on both sides of this wretched conflict.

    I have long argued that the two-state solution will not work because the Arab demands in relation to the West Bank and Gaza have remained unyielding and unchanged since June 1967. My viewpoint has I believe been justified by the inability to reach such a two state resolution after 17 years of trying especially after involving the good offices of America, Russia, the European Union and the United Nations since 2003.

    The two state solution could have been achieved in 1937, 1947 or by the stroke of an Arab League pen at any time between 1948-1967 – without Israel having been involved at all during those 19 years. It could have happened in 2001 or 2008 when Israel’s offers to cede its territorial claims in over 90% of the West Bank and Gaza were rejected The death and suffering is therefore bound to continue for both Arabs and Jews until some alternative compromise such as my solution is adopted.

    I am keenly aware that the conflict is deliberately being manipulated and perpetuated with the aim of delegitimizing the rights of the Jewish people to reconstitute the Jewish National Home in any part of former Palestine pursuant to the international legitimacy conferred on them by article 6 of the Mandate and article 80 of the UN Charter. The Arabs have never recognized the validity of the Mandate or anything that flowed from it. That is their entitlement but they have suffered and will continue to suffer greatly for persisting with their dream of eliminating the Jewish State.

    Their continuing campaign to do so has been fueled by statements disseminated by Arab propagandists and repeated by others who have unwittingly accepted such facts as being correct without taking the time to check their veracity.

    I pointed out 5 such statements made by Peter Slezak and 12 by Marty Morrison.

    Both are well intended and eminent persons whose repetition of these facts has the capacity to influence others into believing they are true. I asked them to revisit these statements and either justify them or withdraw them.

    They have done neither.

    Maybe as their professed supporter you can get them to do so. They simply cannot remain silent.

  4. David, I have read your responses to Marty Morrison’s recent trip to Palestine and your response to Peter Slezak. You may be aware that I write in support of Marty and Peter. I am grateful for their ability to empathise with the other and speak out in the face of the inevitable vilification that follows. I for one give thanks for you David that you care and look to a future of peace for Palestinians and Israelis. I just would ask for some more examples where you could show your acknowledgment of the pain and suffering of Palestinian people.

    The following blog (and the google doc linked to it) provides an alternative view to what you have raised on this and other sites:

    http://israelandpalestinediary.blogspot.com/2010/12/finding-common-narrative-for-palestine.html

    David, what wisdom can we find from the following teaching in the Torah?
    “Do not mistreat an alien or oppress him, for you were aliens in Egypt. Ex 22:21
    “The alien living with you must be treated as one of your native-born. Love him as yourself, for you were aliens in Egypt. I am the LORD your God”. Lev 19:34

    How does that relate to the situation of Palestinians [Falastins/Philistines] today?

  5. (the other) Peter Slezak to Peter Slezak

    I have read the recent “discussions” between David Singer, Alan Gold and yourself in J wire with great interest. In our free society, you are at liberty to espouse your opinions as distasteful as they may be to members of the community at large. Equally however, when erudite, incisive and factual argument is directed toward you, you are indignant and trot out the “the usual” poor, wronged oppressed Palestinian minority.

    Surely the time has come to either put up or shut up.

    Dr Peter Slezak

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