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Friday, October 20, 2023





In recent years, I've been like a dog with a bone, focusing my attention on the defunding of public education and the creeping fascism in the United States. But lo and behold, a shocking and horrifying event has jolted me out of my tunnel vision: the violent attack by Hamas on the Jewish people. Now, as a pacifist, I reject violence of any kind as a political tool. Whether it's the daily violence in the occupied territories, in the gun culture here in the US or the violent wars and aggression around the world, it's all just a big mess.

We've witnessed the reactive failures of the "eye for an eye" policies as they are practiced across the globe. The knee-jerk reaction of the US to 9/11 led to colossal mistakes in Iraq and Afghanistan. And now, here we are again, jumping to defend the actions of the Israeli government. It seems we never learn from our mistakes or even bother to understand the underlying pressures that led to such events in the first place. 

Now, before you jump to conclusions, let me tell you something: my extended family includes both Jewish and Palestinian members. So you can imagine my concern for the situation in the Holy Land. It's a delicate dance between two sides, with each claiming righteousness and pointing fingers at the other. But let's not forget that there's always more than meets the eye.

Too often, we find the media taking sides and failing to present all the facts. They conveniently report only one version of the story that fits the political narrative supported by their ownership. Dissenting voices are quickly labeled as fascists, communists, apologists, or whatever slur fits the narrative du jour. It's like a game of "Whose Side Are You On?" where everyone is trying to outdo each other in their biased reporting.

So what's a concerned citizen to do in such a situation? Well, I've resorted to channel surfing and doing internet searches to hear an alternate view before accepting what I believe concerning any issue. It's like being a detective, gathering evidence from multiple sources and piecing together the puzzle of truth. And let me tell you, it's quite an enlightening exercise.

Now, I won't bore you with all the nitty-gritty details I've uncovered through my compare and contrast analysis of various sources. But I will give you a taste of what I've learned. So buckle up, because we're about to take a wild ride through the labyrinthine maze of Middle Eastern politics.

First and foremost, let's address the elephant in the room: violence. It's been said that violence begets violence, and boy, does it ever! The cycle of violence in the Middle East seems never-ending, like a bad sitcom that just won't get canceled. We keep whistling past the graveyard, repeating the same mistakes over and over again.

But here's the thing: there's always more to the story than what meets the eye. The media might want you to believe that it's a simple case of good versus evil, but reality is far more complex. The pressures and historical grievances that have led to this point are not easily dismissed or resolved with a catchy headline.

So what's the solution? Well, I wish I had a witty one-liner that could solve all the problems of the Middle East, but alas, I do not. What I can offer is a plea for understanding, empathy, and a willingness to listen to all sides of the story. It's time to break free from our echo chambers and engage in meaningful dialogue.

Now, I know this might sound like wishful thinking in a world where division and polarization reign supreme. But hey, a little optimism never hurt anyone, right? So let's put down our pitchforks and start whistling a different tune – one that promotes peace, understanding, and a genuine desire for change.

In conclusion, my dear readers, let us not be blind followers of any political narrative. Let us instead be curious seekers of truth, willing to challenge our own beliefs and explore alternative perspectives. Only then can we hope to break free from this never-ending cycle of violence and finally lay to rest the ghosts haunting the Holy Land.

Remember, it's not about taking sides; it's about finding common ground and working towards a future where peace and justice prevail. So let's put on our dancing shoes and waltz our way towards a brighter tomorrow. After all, it's much more fun than whistling past graveyards.

The World of Anti-Semitism: How Israel's Critics are Being Labeled Anti-Semitic

Imagine a world where the likes of Einstein, Arendt, and Primo Levi are labeled anti-Semitic. It sounds far-fetched, but it's happening today, and on a global scale. The label is being used by racists and anti-Semites to destroy their political opponents, usually left-wing anti-fascists and anti-racists. This is not a marginal or topical phenomenon. It is part of a real war machinery set up over the last 3-4 years by the political structures of the right, the extreme right and even of social democracy to wipe out their progressive present or future rivals.

The attacks are not just coming from people like Hungary's Prime Minister Viktor Orban, but from a host of distinguished racists and anti-Semites who, with the blessings of a variety of political establishments, use that label to destroy their political opponents. In all these cases, even the slightest criticism of Israel’s policies or the slightest support for the rights of the Palestinian people led to an all-out political and media attack on the ‘culprit’, getting close to a public lynching, accusing him of being anti-Semitic!

Several right-wing governments in the European Union have recently passed laws that forbid or criminalize any criticism of Israel's policies in the name of fighting anti-Semitism. The only criterion for the definition of modern anti-Semitism turns out to be the attitude towards Israel and its governments. This has led to a tragicomic situation where Netanyahu and his supporters honor as “partners of Israel” and “strategic allies” notorious racists and anti-Semites of the far-right while famous anti-racists and anti-fascists – many of whom are actually Jewish – are denounced as “anti-Semites”.

The warnings about the evil consequences of the ‘fascism’ and ‘terrorism’ of Begin and his party, contained in Einstein and Arendt’s open letter, remain extremely relevant 74 years after their publication. Begin’s successors in the Likud Party and in Israel are his flesh and blood, followers of his work, disciples of his teachers, and custodians of the same ideological, political but also organizational heritage. What they are doing today in Israel, the Middle East, and in the entire world is neither the product of improvisation nor an invention of the moment. These are political choices that obey and are governed by the “logic” of a particularly dangerous political current, that of the far-right Revisionism of the Zionist movement, that originated already a century ago.

The glorification of the most brutal violence or the deeply racist hatred for the Palestinians, nurtured by Israeli leaders over the last decades, is not something new. These lessons were first preached by organizations like Betar, Irgun, and Stern. The disreputable “fascists” and “terrorists” of 1948 have been converted into entirely presentable “friends” and allies today. Yesterday’s “fascists” and “terrorists” are today able to impose their authoritarian and undemocratic choices on the majority of western governments and countries!

In conclusion, we must remember Einstein's words when asked for his support by those who represented in the US the organizations that perpetrated the massacre at Deir Yassin: "I cannot participate in any way in endorsing such activities." The world needs more people like Einstein who are willing to stand up for what is right rather than succumbing to political pressure.

When Einstein called “fascists” those who rule Israel for the last 44 years… 

Yom Kippur in British Mandate Palestine and the Irgun - The Jerusalem Post 

1948: N.Y. Times Publishes Letter by Einstein, Other Jews Accusing Menachem Begin of Fascism - Jewish World - 

Letter to the New York Times:

New Palestine Party:

Visit of Menachem Begin and Aims of Political Movement Discussed

To the Editors of the New York Times:

Among the most disturbing political phenomena of our times is the emergence in the newly created state of Israel of the “Freedom Party” (Tnuat Haherut), a political party closely akin in its organization, methods, political philosophy and social appeal to the Nazi and Fascist parties. It was formed out of the membership and following of the former Irgun Zvai Leumi, a terrorist, right-wing, chauvinist organization in Palestine.

The current visit of Menachem Begin, leader of this party, to the United States is obviously calculated to give the impression of American support for his party in the coming Israeli elections, and to cement political ties with conservative Zionist elements in the United States. Several Americans of national repute have lent their names to welcome his visit. It is inconceivable that those who oppose fascism throughout the world, if correctly informed as to Mr. Begin’s political record and perspectives, could add their names and support to the movement he represents.

Before irreparable damage is done by way of financial contributions, public manifestations in Begin’s behalf, and the creation in Palestine of the impression that a large segment of America supports Fascist elements in Israel, the American public must be informed as to the record and objectives of Mr. Begin and his movement.

The public avowals of Begin’s party are no guide whatever to its actual character. Today they speak of freedom, democracy and anti-imperialism, whereas until recently they openly preached the doctrine of the Fascist state. It is in its actions that the terrorist party betrays its real character; from its past actions we can judge what it may be expected to do in the future.

Attack on Arab Village

A shocking example was their behavior in the Arab village of Deir Yassin. This village, off the main roads and surrounded by Jewish lands, had taken no part in the war, and had even fought off Arab bands who wanted to use the village as their base. On April 9 (THE NEW YORK TIMES), terrorist bands attacked this peaceful village, which was not a military objective in the fighting, killed most of its inhabitants 240 men, women, and children and kept a few of them alive to parade as captives through the streets of Jerusalem. Most of the Jewish community was horrified at the deed, and the Jewish Agency sent a telegram of apology to King Abdullah of Trans-Jordan. But the terrorists, far from being ashamed of their act, were proud of this massacre, publicized it widely, and invited all the foreign correspondents present in the country to view the heaped corpses and the general havoc at Deir Yassin.

The Deir Yassin incident exemplifies the character and actions of the Freedom Party.

Within the Jewish community they have preached an admixture of ultranationalism, religious mysticism, and racial superiority. Like other Fascist parties they have been used to break strikes, and have themselves pressed for the destruction of free trade unions. In their stead they have proposed corporate unions on the Italian Fascist model.

During the last years of sporadic anti-British violence, the IZL and Stern groups inaugurated a reign of terror in the Palestine Jewish community. Teachers were beaten up for speaking against them, adults were shot for not letting their children join them. By gangster methods, beatings, window-smashing, and wide-spread robberies, the terrorists intimidated the population and exacted a heavy tribute.

The people of the Freedom Party have had no part in the constructive achievements in Palestine. They have reclaimed no land, built no settlements, and only detracted from the Jewish defense activity. Their much-publicized immigration endeavors were minute, and devoted mainly to bringing in Fascist compatriots.

Discrepancies Seen

The discrepancies between the bold claims now being made by Begin and his party, and their record of past performance in Palestine bear the imprint of no ordinary political party. This is the unmistakable stamp of a Fascist party for whom terrorism (against Jews, Arabs, and British alike), and misrepresentation are means, and a “Leader State” is the goal.

In the light of the foregoing considerations, it is imperative that the truth about Mr. Begin and his movement be made known in this country. It is all the more tragic that the top leadership of American Zionism has refused to campaign against Begin’s efforts, or even to expose to its own constituents the dangers to Israel from support to Begin.

The undersigned therefore take this means of publicly presenting a few salient facts concerning Begin and his party; and of urging all concerned not to support this latest manifestation of fascism.


New York, Dec. 2, 1948


As tensions continue to rise in the Middle East, it seems that Israeli authorities are determined to push forward with their controversial settlement plans. The United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process has reported ongoing settlement activity by Israeli authorities in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including the advancement of plans for 6,300 housing units in Area C and approximately 3,580 housing units in East Jerusalem. This news has been met with outrage from many in the international community, who see these settlements as a violation of international law.

But it's not just the settlements that are causing concern. Violent attacks by extremist Israeli settlers against Palestinian civilians have surged this year, with more than 100 incidents reported each month. This has resulted in the displacement of over 1,100 Palestinians in the occupied West Bank since 2022, a trend that many fear will only continue as Israel's far-right government pushes forward with its plans to double the number of settlers to one million.

Of course, Israel disputes that these settlements are illegal under international law, but most of the world disagrees. And while the Palestinian Authority governs in big Palestinian cities, Israel retains near exclusive control of 60% of the West Bank (known as Area C), presiding over law enforcement, planning and construction. An estimated 370,000 Palestinians live in Area C, which includes Burqa, and half a million Israeli citizens.

It's clear that something needs to be done to resolve this conflict and achieve peace in the region. But what can be done? Some have proposed enhancing efforts to resolve the conflict, while others have called for increased military presence and arrests. There are even those who argue that the rise in settler violence should be considered "nationalist terrorism", and that suspects should be held without charge using "administrative detention".

But let's not forget about the humanitarian situation in the region. The funding gap for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees is alarming, and the exodus of Palestinians from their homes and livelihoods is a cause for concern. The affected villages heavily rely on herding and agriculture, and the violence has led to the loss of grazing lands and financial hardships.

It's a complex situation, to be sure. But perhaps it's time for a new approach. Instead of focusing on military solutions or legal arguments, why not try something different? Maybe it's time for a little bit of humor.

After all, laughter is often said to be the best medicine. Maybe if we can find a way to laugh together, we can find a way to live together. So let's take a look at some of the more absurd aspects of this conflict.

For example, did you know that there is actually a dispute over who invented hummus? That's right, both Israel and Palestine claim to have invented this delicious chickpea dip. It's a bit like arguing over who invented pizza or sushi. It's silly, but it's also kind of funny.

And then there's the fact that both sides have their own national bird. Israel has the hoopoe, while Palestine has the Palestine sunbird. It's like a bizarre version of bird-watching.

Of course, these lighthearted examples don't solve anything. But maybe they can help us remember that we're all human beings, with shared joys and sorrows. Maybe they can help us see each other as people, instead of enemies.

In conclusion, the situation in the Middle East is complex and fraught with tension. But perhaps it's time for a new approach, one that focuses on finding common ground instead of emphasizing our differences. Maybe if we can find a way to laugh together, we can find a way to live together.

Surge in Israeli-Palestinian Violence Must be ‘Wake-up Call’ for Global Community to Redouble Efforts towards Achieving Peace, Delegate Tells Security Council | UN Press

Settlement Expansion in Occupied Palestinian Territory Violates International Law, Must Cease, Many Delegates Tell Security Council | UN Press 

UN reports says West Bank settler violence has displaced over 1,100 Palestinians since last year | PBS NewsHour 

Palestinian fears grow amid rising Israeli settler attacks - BBC News 

Israeli forces say will clamp down on settler ‘terrorism’ | Israel-Palestine conflict News | Al Jazeera 

The Dynamics of Israeli Settler Terrorism and US Options,about%20facing%20any%20legal%20consequences


The history of the Likud party in Israel, based on the web search results I found:

  • - The Likud party is a right-wing Israeli political party that was founded in 1973 by a coalition of parties, mainly Herut and the Liberal Party, that followed the ideology of Revisionist Zionism. Revisionist Zionism was a movement that advocated for a Jewish state on both sides of the Jordan River and opposed the partition of Palestine. Herut was led by Menachem Begin, a former leader of the Irgun, a militant Zionist group that fought against the British Mandate and the Arab states. The Liberal Party was led by Yosef Sapir, a former minister of finance and commerce. The coalition also included smaller parties such as the Free Center, the National List, and the Movement for Greater Israel¹³.
  • - The Likud party first came to power in 1977, in what was known as the "upheaval" or the "revolution". It ended the dominance of the Labor Party, which had ruled Israel since its independence in 1948. Begin became the prime minister and formed a coalition with other right-wing and religious parties. He pursued a hard-line policy toward the Arab world, launching a controversial military operation in Lebanon in 1982 to destroy the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) bases there. He also signed a historic peace treaty with Egypt in 1979, after negotiating with President Anwar Sadat at Camp David under US President Jimmy Carter's mediation. The treaty returned the Sinai Peninsula to Egypt and established diplomatic relations between the two countries. However, it also alienated Israel from other Arab states and caused a rift within Likud¹³.
  • - The Likud party lost power in 1984, after Begin resigned in 1983 following the death of his wife and the Lebanon War. His successor, Yitzhak Shamir, failed to win a majority in the election and had to form a national unity government with the Labor Party, led by Shimon Peres. The two parties alternated the premiership every two years, with Peres serving from 1984 to 1986 and Shamir from 1986 to 1988. The unity government faced economic and security challenges, such as inflation, unemployment, terrorism, and the first intifada (Palestinian uprising) in the occupied territories. It also initiated a secret dialogue with the PLO through intermediaries in Norway¹³.
  • - The Likud party regained power in 1988, after winning more seats than Labor in the election. Shamir formed another coalition with right-wing and religious parties and continued to serve as prime minister until 1992. He opposed any territorial concessions to the Palestinians and rejected their right to self-determination. He also faced international pressure from the US administration of George H.W. Bush, which conditioned loan guarantees for absorbing Jewish immigrants from the former Soviet Union on freezing settlement construction in the West Bank and Gaza. He also participated in the Madrid Conference of 1991, which brought together Israel and its Arab neighbors for the first time to discuss peace prospects¹³.
  • - The Likud party lost power again in 1992, after being defeated by Labor in the election. Labor's leader, Yitzhak Rabin, became the prime minister and embarked on a historic peace process with the Palestinians, known as the Oslo Accords. The accords were signed by Rabin and PLO leader Yasser Arafat in Washington DC in 1993, under US President Bill Clinton's sponsorship. They agreed to mutual recognition between Israel and the PLO and to establish a Palestinian Authority (PA) that would have limited self-rule in Gaza and parts of the West Bank. The accords also envisioned further negotiations on final status issues such as Jerusalem, refugees, borders, and security. However, they also faced fierce opposition from Likud and other right-wing groups, who accused Rabin of betraying Israel's security and sovereignty¹³.
  • - The Likud party returned to power in 1996, after Rabin was assassinated by a Jewish extremist who opposed the Oslo Accords in 1995. Likud's leader, Benjamin Netanyahu, won a narrow victory over Peres in a direct election for prime minister. He formed a coalition with other right-wing and religious parties and adopted a more hawkish stance toward

Bing, 10/20/2023

  • (1) Likud | Party, Policy, History, Members, Meaning, & Facts.
  • (2) Likud - Wikipedia.
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  • (4) What is the Likud, Benjamin Netanyahu’s Party? - Israel Today.
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Benjamin Netanyahu's political history, based on the web search results I found:

Benjamin Netanyahu, also known by his nickname Bibi, is an Israeli politician who has been serving as the prime minister of Israel since December 2022, having previously held the office from 1996 to 1999 and again from 2009 to 2021. He is the chairman of the Likud party, a right-wing nationalist party that advocates for a strong Israel and opposes the creation of a Palestinian state. Netanyahu is the longest-tenured prime minister in the country's history, having served for a total of over 16 years. He was also the first prime minister to be born in Israel after its Declaration of Independence².

Netanyahu was born in Tel Aviv in 1949 to a Jewish family of Polish and Lithuanian origin. His father, Benzion Netanyahu, was a historian and a Zionist activist who supported the Revisionist movement led by Ze'ev Jabotinsky. His mother, Tzila Segal, was a teacher and a social worker. Netanyahu had two brothers, Yonatan and Iddo, both of whom became doctors. Yonatan was killed in 1976 during a commando raid to rescue Israeli hostages in Entebbe, Uganda¹.

Netanyahu grew up in Jerusalem and attended high school there. He also spent some time in the United States, where his father taught at various universities. He graduated from high school in 1967 and joined the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), where he served as a combat soldier and an officer in the elite Sayeret Matkal unit. He participated in several missions and battles during the War of Attrition and the Yom Kippur War. He was wounded twice and received several decorations for his bravery¹.

After his military service, Netanyahu studied architecture and business administration at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), where he earned a bachelor's degree and a master's degree. He also studied political science at Harvard University. During his studies, he became involved in pro-Israel advocacy and activism, especially after the 1972 Munich massacre of Israeli athletes by Palestinian terrorists¹.

In 1976, Netanyahu married his first wife, Miriam Weizmann, a fellow student at MIT. They had a daughter, Noa, but divorced in 1978. In 1981, he married his second wife, Fleur Cates, a British-born convert to Judaism. They divorced in 1988. In 1991, he married his third and current wife, Sara Ben-Artzi, a psychologist. They have two sons, Yair and Avner².

Netanyahu began his diplomatic career in 1982, when he was appointed as the deputy chief of mission at the Israeli embassy in Washington DC. He impressed the American officials and media with his fluent English and eloquent defense of Israel's policies. In 1984, he was appointed as Israel's ambassador to the United Nations (UN), where he confronted the anti-Israel resolutions and rhetoric of many countries. He also forged close ties with the US administration of Ronald Reagan¹.

He made his political debut in 1988, fighting and winning in the parliamentary (Knesset) elections on a ticket of the right-wing Likud party and being named the deputy foreign minister³. He became the party's chairman and the leader of the opposition in 1993⁴. The first sabra (native-born Israeli) to head Likud, he committed himself to upholding the dogmas of the nationalist right⁴.

He became Israel's youngest prime minister in 1996, after defeating Shimon Peres of the Labor Party by a narrow margin. He inherited the Oslo Accords, a peace process initiated by his predecessor Yitzhak Rabin that aimed to establish a Palestinian state alongside Israel. However, Netanyahu was skeptical of the accords and reluctant to implement them fully. He also faced security challenges from Palestinian terrorism and regional instability. He pursued a hard-line policy toward the Palestinians, expanding Jewish settlements in the occupied territories and demanding strict reciprocity for any concessions. He also sought to improve Israel's relations with other countries, especially Jordan and Turkey¹.

He lost the 1999 election to Ehud Barak of the Labor Party, who promised to revive the peace process with the Palestinians and withdraw from Lebanon. Netanyahu resigned from politics and worked as a consultant and a speaker for several years. He also wrote several books on terrorism, security, and leadership¹.

He returned to politics in 2002, when he was appointed as the foreign minister under Ariel Sharon's Likud-led government. He supported Sharon's policy of fighting terrorism and isolating Yasser Arafat's Palestinian Authority (PA). However, he opposed Sharon's plan to unilaterally withdraw from Gaza and dismantle all Jewish settlements there in 2005. He resigned from his post in protest against the plan¹.

He became the leader of the opposition again in 2006, after Sharon left Likud and formed a new centrist party, Kadima. He criticized the government of Ehud Olmert, who succeeded Sharon after he suffered a stroke, for its handling of the 2006 Lebanon War and the corruption scandals that plagued it. He also opposed the Annapolis Conference of 2007, which aimed to restart the peace talks with the Palestinians¹.

He became the prime minister for the second time in 2009, after leading Likud to a near-tie with Kadima in the election. He formed a coalition government with other right-wing and religious parties and was sworn in as prime minister in March 2009. He faced a more hostile US administration under Barack Obama, who pressured him to freeze settlement construction and resume negotiations with the Palestinians. He also faced a more assertive Iran, which pursued its nuclear program and supported Israel's enemies in the region. He adopted a cautious and pragmatic approach toward the peace process, endorsing the two-state solution in principle but insisting on strict security guarantees and recognition of Israel as a Jewish state. He also launched several military operations against Hamas in Gaza, such as Operation Cast Lead in 2008-2009, Operation Pillar of Defense in 2012, and Operation Protective Edge in 2014¹.

He won the 2013 election by a slim margin, forming another coalition government with centrist and religious parties. He continued to face challenges from Iran's nuclear ambitions, Hamas's rocket attacks, and the international isolation of Israel due to its settlement policy. He also clashed with Obama over the Iran nuclear deal of 2015, which he vehemently opposed and tried to sabotage. He delivered a controversial speech to the US Congress in March 2015, warning against the deal and urging the lawmakers to reject it¹.

He won the 2015 election by a wider margin, forming a more right-wing coalition government with nationalist and religious parties. He faced a wave of violence from Palestinian lone-wolf attackers in 2015-2016, which he blamed on incitement by the PA and radical Islamists. He also faced growing criticism from within his own party and coalition over his handling of the security situation and his corruption allegations. He also faced a more friendly US administration under Donald Trump, who recognized Jerusalem as Israel's capital and moved the US embassy there from Tel Aviv in 2017-2018¹.

He lost the 2019 election to Benny Gantz of the Blue and White party, a centrist alliance that challenged Netanyahu's long rule. However, Gantz failed to form a coalition government due to disagreements among his potential partners. A second election was held in September 2019, which resulted in another deadlock between Netanyahu and Gantz. A third election was held in March 2020, which gave Netanyahu a slight edge over Gantz but still not enough to form a majority government. In April 2020, after weeks of negotiations, Netanyahu and Gantz agreed to form a unity government that would rotate the premiership between them. Netanyahu would serve as prime minister for the first 18 months, followed by Gantz for the next 18 months¹.

However, the unity government was short-lived and dysfunctional, as Netanyahu and Gantz clashed over various issues such as the budget, the coronavirus pandemic response, and the annexation of parts of the West Bank. In December 2020, the government collapsed after failing to pass a budget bill, triggering a fourth election in March 2021¹.

Netanyahu faced his toughest challenge yet in the 2021 election, as he faced not only his usual rivals from the center-left but also former allies from the right who broke away from him over his corruption charges and his handling of the pandemic. He also faced an unprecedented trial on charges of bribery, fraud, and breach of trust in three separate cases involving favors to media tycoons and wealthy businessmen in exchange for positive coverage or gifts¹.

Despite these challenges, Netanyahu managed to secure more seats than any other party in the election, but still fell short of a majority. He tried to form a coalition government with his right-wing and religious partners, but failed to secure their support due to their differences over issues such as judicial reform, religious affairs.

Bing, 10/20/2023

  • (1) Benjamin Netanyahu - Wikipedia.
  • (2) Benjamin Netanyahu | Biography, Education, Party, Nickname, & Facts.
  • (3) Benjamin Netanyahu: The Rise And Rise Of The 'King' -
  • (4) Benjamin Netanyahu |
  • (5) Getty Images.

**The Nakba**

The Nakba, meaning "catastrophe" in Arabic, refers to the displacement of over 700,000 Palestinians from their homes in the wake of the 1948 Arab-Israeli War. The war resulted in the establishment of the State of Israel on land that had been part of the British Mandate of Palestine.

The events of the Nakba are deeply contested. Israeli historians tend to focus on the Arab attacks on the newly-formed state, while Palestinian historians emphasize the displacement and dispossession of their people.

**The lead-up to the Nakba**

The roots of the Nakba can be traced back to the early 20th century, when the Zionist movement began to advocate for the establishment of a Jewish homeland in Palestine. The movement gained momentum after World War I, when the British government issued the Balfour Declaration, which expressed support for the creation of a Jewish national home in Palestine.

In the years leading up to the 1948 war, there was growing tension between the Jewish and Arab communities in Palestine. This tension was fueled by a number of factors, including:
  • * The increasing number of Jewish immigrants arriving in Palestine
  • * The Arab fear of Jewish domination
  • * The British government's failure to effectively manage the conflict

**The 1948 war and the Nakba**

The 1948 Arab-Israeli War began on May 15, 1948, the day after the State of Israel was declared. The war lasted for eight months and involved fighting between Israel and the Arab states of Egypt, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, and Iraq.

In the months leading up to the war, hundreds of thousands of Palestinians had fled their homes, fearing violence from both sides. The war itself led to further displacement, as Israeli forces occupied Arab towns and villages.

By the end of the war, over 700,000 Palestinians had been displaced from their homes. The majority of these refugees fled to neighboring Arab countries, where they remain to this day.

**The legacy of the Nakba**

The Nakba is a defining event in Palestinian history. It is a source of deep pain and anger for many Palestinians, who see it as a symbol of their dispossession and exile.

The Nakba is also a major obstacle to peace between Israelis and Palestinians. The Palestinian demand for a right of return for refugees is one of the most sensitive issues in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

**The ongoing Nakba**

Some Palestinians argue that the Nakba is not just a historical event, but an ongoing process. They point to the continued displacement of Palestinians from their homes in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem.

The Israeli government has been accused of carrying out policies that are designed to make it difficult for Palestinians to remain in their homes. These policies include:
  • * The demolition of Palestinian homes
  • * The revocation of Palestinian residency permits
  • * The expansion of Israeli settlements in the West Bank
The Israeli government denies that it is carrying out a policy of dispossession. However, the UN has stated that Israeli policies in the West Bank are "tantamount to forcible transfer."

The Nakba is a complex and emotive issue. It is a source of deep pain and anger for both Israelis and Palestinians. The legacy of the Nakba will continue to shape the Israeli-Palestinian conflict for many years to come.

Photos: UNRWA camp in Gaza stirs painful memories of the Nakba | Israel-Palestine conflict News | Al Jazeera 

**Jewish paramilitary organizations**

Jewish paramilitary organizations have played a significant role in the history of Zionism and the State of Israel. These organizations were formed to protect Jewish communities from attacks and to promote the establishment of a Jewish state.


The Haganah was the largest and most important Jewish paramilitary organization in Palestine. It was founded in 1920 and was initially responsible for defending Jewish settlements from Arab attacks. The Haganah played a major role in the 1948 Arab-Israeli War, and it formed the basis for the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF).


The Irgun was a more militant Jewish paramilitary organization that was founded in 1931. The Irgun carried out a number of attacks against British forces and Arab civilians. The Irgun's most famous attack was the bombing of the King David Hotel in Jerusalem in 1946, which killed 91 people.


Lehi, also known as the Stern Gang, was the most radical Jewish paramilitary organization. Lehi was founded in 1940 and carried out a number of assassinations and bombings against British and Arab targets. Lehi's most famous attack was the assassination of British diplomat Lord Moyne in Cairo in 1944.

**Impact of Jewish paramilitary organizations**

Jewish paramilitary organizations played a significant role in the establishment of the State of Israel. These organizations provided protection for Jewish communities and helped to deter Arab attacks. They also carried out operations that were designed to promote the establishment of a Jewish state.

The activities of Jewish paramilitary organizations have been controversial. Some argue that these organizations were necessary to protect Jewish communities and to achieve the goal of establishing a Jewish state. Others argue that these organizations carried out acts of terrorism that were harmful to both Jews and Arabs.

The legacy of Jewish paramilitary organizations is still debated today. However, there is no doubt that these organizations played a major role in the history of Zionism and the State of Israel.