Slezak on Ryvchin – Nemesh on Slezak

December 19, 2013 by William Nemes
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J-Wire published an article today by Peter Zlezak on Alex Ryvchin’s take on BDS. Let’s go through Slezak’s errors one by one…writes William Nemesh.

Myth 1: Israel has “left Palestinians only 15% of the West Bank”.

William Nemesh

William Nemesh

Fact:  According to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (August 2009), the territory lying between Israel’s security barrier and the pre-1967 “Green Line” accounts for only 8.5% of the total area of the West Bank (including East Jerusalem). Approximately 85% of Israeli ‘settlers’ live within that 8.5% area, and all authorized settlement construction activity takes place there.

It follows that everything on the other side of the barrier comprising the other 91.5% of the West Bank – including roads and other infrastructure – may well become part of a future state of Palestine, together with a part of Israel’s pre-1967 territory which would be exchanged for the absorbed area, as well as further land not occupied by settlements on the Israeli side of the West Bank barrier. This is in fact what Israel’s Prime Minister, Ehud Olmert, offered the Palestinians in 2008, including a map with a proposed border which would have granted the Palestinians land equivalent to 100% of the West Bank and Gaza.  There has never been a similarly definitive counter-proposal from the Palestinian side.

The sad fact is that after more than 60 years it is the Palestinian side which will not accept the partition principle in all its dimensions, including Israel’s right to exist in peace as the State of the Jewish people, side by side with a Palestinian State.   Although the UN partition resolution in 1947 repeatedly referred to a “Jewish state”, the Palestinian Authority openly refuses to accept Israel as such.  Hamas is even more intransigent. Its leader, Mahmoud al-Zahar, previously announced that the Palestinian UN bid is a ‘scam’ and added, We are not going to recognize Israel. That is very simple. And we are not going to accept Israel as the owner of one square centimeter.’  (See:

http://www.haaretz.com/misc/article-print-page/hamas-leader-palestinian-un-bid-a-scam-1.376004?trailingPath=2.169%2C2.216%2C2.217%2C).

Myth 2: Israel’s “egregious, serial violations of human rights, international law and UN resolutions”.

Fact: Rhiannon was relying on a 2004 B’Tselem Report, written during the Second Intifada. The report was outdated even 9 years ago and is ludicrously out of touch with contemporary realities. A few examples:

  • Rhiannon alleged that 700 km of roads in the West Bank have restrictions on Palestinian use. The current correct figure is 67 km.  She also failed to note that the overwhelming majority of roads in the West Bank are off limits to Israelis in the interests of the Palestinians.
  • Rhiannon also failed to mention the removal by Israel of 98 West Bank road blocks in 2010, nor the reduction of West Bank checkpoints from 40 in July 2008 to just 12 in October 2012 (now used only some of the time), or the fact that the main roads linking Palestinian cities, including Route 60, are freely accessible and free of security controls. In this vein, further reductions were reported earlier this year and are now being implemented:

http://www.jpost.com/Defense/Report-IDF-preparing-to-remove-West-Bank-checkpoints-3202

  • Rhiannon wont’ tell you that a Palestinian civilian can travel from Jenin to Bethlehem without encountering a single military checkpoint:

http://www.idfblog.com/2013/05/06/reality-check-the-truth-behind-crossings-in-judea-and-samaria/ and http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/news/idf-apartheid-comparison-on-road-policies-unfair-1.131104

Her speech focused on demonising Israel rather than on promoting the truth or human rights.

  • Neither Rhiannon nor her apologist, Slezak, mention that BDS leaders like Omar Barghouti, Ali Abuminah and Ronnie Kasrils are all on record as saying that supporting a right of return for Palestinian refugees and their descendants, which is one of the three official goals of the BDS movement which you support, is incompatible with a two State solution. Rhiannon has never publicly reconciled her professed support for a two-State solution, meaning a Jewish State alongside a Palestinian State, with her backing of a global movement that is committed to a ‘right of return’ for Palestinian refugees and their descendants.

Myth 3: ”Ryvchin makes the usual disgraceful conflation of criticism of Israel with anti-Semitism”.

Fact: No, he doesn’t. Instead he accuses Rhiannon of “a near pathological aversion to the Jewish state. As one would expect from Rhiannon, nowhere does she recognise that Israel has a very real and genuine need to defend itself. Nor does she entertain the idea that the Israeli army could have any legitimate defence function whatsoever”. It is telling that Slezak characterises this political criticism as “antisemitism” even though that word appears nowhere in Alexander Ryvchin’s article.  Truly, as we learn in the Tanach: “The wicked flee when no-one pursueth”.

 

Comments

4 Responses to “Slezak on Ryvchin – Nemesh on Slezak”
  1. Otto Waldmann says:

    Onya, William, good Grammar boy stuff !!!

  2. Mona says:

    Why is the right of return incompatible with a 2 state solution? I cannot see any connection between the number of states and compliance with international law on the rights of refugees?

    • Paul says:

      Mona, the international law on the rights of refugees that you quote exists only in your mind and those of your ilk. Jews cannot return to Arab countries from which they were expelled. Sudetenland Germans cannot return to the Czech Republic. Indians cannot return to Pakistan or vice versa. More relevant, however it the court – you know those bodies that administer laws – recently ruled that Greeks cannot return to northern Cyprus from which the invading Turks expelled them. Your point has validity only insofar as that it favours the world’s favourite victims, that concocted folk labelled Palestinian, and the nation that is supposed to readmit the great-great-grandchildren of those who heeded the Arab armies calls and left, is the nation state of the Jewish people.

    • Everett says:

      There are two ways in which the “Right of Return” is intended to produce in the end a one-state-“solution,” Mona. One is a long-term way, the other short-term. Let’s start with the latter, since it is more immediate and blatant. The Palestinians have been deeply and thoroughly indoctrinated with Nazistic images of Jews and Judaism, Zionism and Israel, by their political leaders of every persuasion, by their religious leaders, by their media, by their schoolbooks and children’s songs. It is a cradle-up indoctrination, is totally one-sided and has no liberal or tolerant component, and it has been going on for a long time without let-up. Along with this is an official governmental sponsorship and glorification of terrorism and terrorist activities, such that terrorists get very high honors, with schools, public squares and the like named after them, and if imprisoned in Israel getting annual salaries that make them and their families rich. The Palestinian leadership usually has claimed down through the years, when reproached by Westerners, that they cannot control the terrorism of various groups amongst them (actually, though, they subsidize even now those groups and even direct their activities). OK, now we visualize an influx of 3.5-5 million Palestinians schooled in this violent hatred into Israel under a “Right of Return.” Where are they going to live, if not in the homes they claim to have keys to? And who is going to stop them? How will they be able to endure the humiliating sight of the prosperity and success of those who according to all they have been told “stole” their homes, towns and “Palestine” from them? Keep in mind, too, that the Palestinian leadership in late 1960s and early 70s Jordan, of course emphatically disclaiming any control or responsibility for the terrorist campaign actually being waged, attempted a take-over of that country, including an assassination attempt against then King Hussains, precipitating a horrible civil war which ended only in 1971 when the militants were driven out of Jordan into Lebanon. They then proceeded to cause the Lebanese civil war due to their attacks on Christians there, of course all the while disclaiming any responsibility for or control over the terrorism of their own people. Yasser Arafat did the same from the very start of the Oslo Process, and during the Intifada he coordinated and funded. The Palestinian leadership of those “returning” to Israel would certainly reproduce all that in Israel. The end result would quickly be the mergence of a largely Judenrein “Israel” with “Palestine” next-door. But officially, advocates of the “Right of Return” are very close-lipped about what they expect would happen if their “right” is implemented. Diplomatic silence reigns supreme.

      That is the short-term outlook. Long-term, the advocates of the “Right of Return” explicitly state their expectation that demographically the Jews will be peaceably and benignly swamped and turned into a minority within a generation. That minority, of course, would have lost the right to defend itself, and would have to rely on the tender mercies of the Palestinian majority for any security in their lives — should they survive the initial bloodbath already described. So if the majority Palestinians vote in a generation to merge with the “Palestine” of the West Bank and Gaza that would presumably have been established, who would there be to stop them?

      Get the picture?

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