Ari Shavit's Promised Land

Monday, November 18, 2013

Haaretz columnist Ari Shavit looks at Israel's past and present dilemmas in My Promised Land.





Ari Shavit

Comments [43]

Peter Talbot from Harrison NJ

Judiasm is not a tribal affiliation. It is a faith. Palestine was ripped from the indigenous people through trickery and outright violence the same way America ripped land from the Cherokee, the Crow, the Iroquois, etc, etc. And the Israelis made laws with unequal access to condemn the victims just like the Americans did. And they justify their superiority by pointing to their technical prowess in building cities just like the Americans did. And they benefit from the labor of the poor disinherited locals just like the Americans have. And they twist and manufacture history (Canaanite this) in a torrent of palaver to make their passionate racism seem inevitable, just like gringos. No wonder that the Zionists and Americans get along so well from Brooklyn to Tel Aviv.

Since might and right are synonymous to Jgarbuz, there is no need for debate. The Jews will defend their homelands in Israel and America, et al, forever against the depredations and treason of liberals and other enemies of the one true project: a secure paradise on earth away from the authors of the holocaust. And as we all know, security only comes at the price of lost liberty. To be perfectly safe, Israel must become a penitentiary. We're halfway there. It is obvious that Shavit is whistling in the dark in trying to "humanize" the project. Every great Satan believes himself to be righteous. It's in the job description.

Nov. 21 2013 02:25 PM
Matt Helme .

Nov. 20 2013 09:16 AM

I missed the show yesterday and could not join in on the conversation.

However, I totally agree with everything jgarbuz wrote here, could not have said it better.

Nov. 19 2013 11:38 AM
Matt Helme

jg,get out more.

Nov. 18 2013 07:53 PM
jgarbuz from Queens

Sam F.

You want liberal NPR to censor me? Have I said anything untruthful or advocated violence? I'll be more quiet when NPR brings on some right wing Jews, or finally has a discussion about Jews displaced from the Arab countries. Then I'll have less to add.

Nov. 18 2013 02:48 PM
Sam F.

Moderator - why do you let JGarbuz from Queens dominate the comments? Why don't you give him his own show or limit him to a couple of comments?

Nov. 18 2013 02:20 PM
jgarbuz from Queens

To Matte Helm

Oh, baloney. I had an apartment in Beersheba that I sold to a Bedouin. My ex-mother in law delivered some 15,000 bedouin babies in Soroka hosptal, the first hospital the Bedouins ever saw in history. And boy do they use it!

As for Tel Aviv, it was founded by Jews in 1909 because the Arabs wanted no more Jews in Jaffa, so the Jews began to build on uninhabited sand dunes north of Jaffa. I don't know of any Arab born in Tel Aviv or throw out of any apartment there, etc. A citizen of Israel is a citizen of Israel, and a traitor is a traitor be he or she Jew or Arab. Only Arabs do not have to serve in the military, which saves them five years of their lives to do other things.

There is no country in the Middle East where Arabs are better off than in Israel, unless they're a sheikh in an oil kingdom.

Nov. 18 2013 01:53 PM
Matt Helme

I have the right to life and you don't? Explain that to me. Arab woman born and raised in Tel-Aviv can be thrown out of there home and never allowed to go back, while at the same time, you have a bunch of spoiled brat white girls from NYC who get automatic citizenship?

Nov. 18 2013 01:31 PM
jgarbuz from Queens

All the deformations in the Jewish nation, including radical liberalism and other undesirable traits, are due to LANDLESSNESS, caused by foreign occupation of Jewish land causing the Jewish nation to become vagabonds living at the peripheries of other societies, and in some cases keeping themselves apart, and in other cases trying too hard to insinuate themselves into other societies that don't want them. I.e., assimilation versus ghettoization. All because of landlessness. A nation must have a land of its own, or else it cannot defend itself and remains a pathetic, marginalized group secretly or openly despised.
The Jewish state has proved that Jews can be highly effective farmers, soldiers, and workers, once they have reestablished themselves back on their own soil. In other lands, they can be productive but are always considered a nuisance nonetheless not matter what good they may do. Zionism is restoring the Jewish people to their native land.

Nov. 18 2013 01:14 PM

They still don't get to throw people of whatever background off their land and claim it for their own.

By your argument, any jew should be able to visit whatever depredations they wish on non-jews in a Jewish land.

Nov. 18 2013 01:13 PM
jgarbuz from Queens


You are absolutely WRONG. Ireland has a "right of return law" that allows anyone of provable Irish heritage to become a citizen of Ireland. Many countries have "right of return" laws for diasporas of their own kith and kin. I think Arab countries should have the same for Arabs as well. But Israel is a Jewish country, not an Arab one.

Nov. 18 2013 01:04 PM
jgarbuz from Queens

Hebrew is the last remaining Canaanite language. Arabic was imported. The Israelite/Judean culture is the only important one ever produced in that otherwise irrelevant strip of land. A culture that touched on and influenced every major religion and culture within thousands of miles.

Nov. 18 2013 01:01 PM

I doubt an Irish person generations removed gets to claim Irish citizenship, and if he does move back, he sure as hell doesn't get to remove whoever has been living there since so he can claim his tribal portion.

Nov. 18 2013 12:59 PM
RJ from prospect hts

This exchange is emblematic of how horribly sad this conflict in the Middle East is. It is about "land" and not people. About soil and not about life. How many have died because the artificial lines drawn by whomever are considered paramount over life itself. Because some pieces of pottery and grave sites have been found. I am Jewish. My family migrated from the Ukraine and Romania and suffered pogroms and deaths during the Holocaust. I know much about the diaspora. One thing I know about Jews is that we have retained our culture, our languages, and our customs no matter how many pogroms or inquisitions or murderous regimes we suffered. I would rather we remained in a diaspora than become the users of death and oppression that Israel does. Israel is not a state for Jews of the culture I know. It has adopted too many of the tactics and positions of those who have oppressed us for all of our existence. That is not Judaism to me.

Nov. 18 2013 12:57 PM
jgarbuz from Queens


The word "Jew" is a national term, not a religious one. Jew means a person who originated in Judah or Judea as the Romans called it. It is purely a tribal label, like Apache, or Dine, or Navaho, or Sioux, etc. Like every other tribe, Jews had religion that has gone through various changes, from nomadic tents ,to sacrifices in a TEmple, to Rabbinical wordsmanship, etc. But Jews are a tribal nation like the Irish, the Lakotah Sioux, the Han Chinese, et al. Jews are not a universal religious affiliation like Islam or Christianity or Buddhism. Judaism is strictly a narrow tribal religious tradition of a tribe of people called Jews who originated in Judea.

Nov. 18 2013 12:56 PM
Matt Helme

The Ottoman occupation of Palestine was just that, occupation of Palestine. Palestine comes from the Roman occupation, they called it Palastina.

Nov. 18 2013 12:54 PM

"Israel is a JEWISH LAND for 3200 years"

As you've just proved, it is the Jewish claims that are based on religious fanaticism, not the Palestinian claim of actual residence.

Nov. 18 2013 12:50 PM
jgarbuz from Queens

No, a Jew (providing the Rabbinate in Israel recognizes him or her as a legal Jew) comes off the plane from Brooklyn, he or she has RETURNED TO HIS OR HER TRIBAL HOMELAND, just like a Navajo who comes from Brooklyn and returns to his tribal land in New Mexico. Or a Mexican back to Mexico. Or an Irish person back to Ireland.

Nov. 18 2013 12:49 PM
jgarbuz from Queens

Islam began a Jihad against the Jews and the Jewish state, and Islam is going to lose! Allah did not give "Palestine" to the Arabs. It is not mentioned in the Quran. It belongs to the Jewish nation forever and ever and ever and ever till Judgement Day!

Nov. 18 2013 12:46 PM

Lol. People who have lived on the land for generations are "colonists", but someone just off the plane from Brooklyn is a native?

Nov. 18 2013 12:43 PM
jgarbuz from Queens

To Sophia

Show us the Ottoman deeds and titles to "your Palestinian land!" IN 1858 the TUrks who ruled the Middle East for 500 years established a LAND REGISTRY called the "tapu" or "tabu." Show us your deed and title to your land. Jews lived in Muslim countries for over 2000 years. Go live on Jewish properties left behind in Baghadad, Casablanca, Cairo, Tunis, Sana, Yathrib (Medina), et al. Israel is JEWISH LAND for 3,200 years often occupied by invaders, but remaining JEWISH LAND FOREVER!

Nov. 18 2013 12:43 PM
jgarbuz from Queens

What does Lenny mean?ALL THAT IS EVER TALKED ABOUT is the "Palestinian problem." Not one word about the 3 million Israelis who are refugees from the Muslim countries! Not one word! Half of all ISraelis are the offspring of Jews kicked out of Muslim countries, and not one word about it in 65 years, on NPR or anyplace else!

Nov. 18 2013 12:39 PM
Amy from Manhattan

The problem w/the withdrawal from the Gaza Strip was exactly that it *was* unilateral. A "better" kind of unilateralness won't make withdrawal from the West Bank work any better; withdrawal needs to be negotiated btwn. the 2 sides. (I still agree w/a lot of what Mr. Shavit has said on this show.)

Nov. 18 2013 12:39 PM

Palestinians may not have called themselves Palestinians until Israel was formed, but the land they lived on for generations was still their land, and their rights to that land is far less contrived than those of Jews from anywhere else.

Nov. 18 2013 12:38 PM
mark from nyc

Thuis man (as all Zionists) is in denial.

The reason you won't have peace has nothing to do with Israeli policy and decisions, and EVRYTHING to do with the fact that the Israeli state was founded unjustly and unfairly on murder and repression and oppression and outright theft.

It will never have peace because it does not deserve peace.

Stop the denial and obfuscation. Why won't Brian Leherer push him at all? What a fluffer he is

Nov. 18 2013 12:37 PM
jgarbuz from Queens

Israel is Jewish land. The only colonists are the Arabs who occupied Jewish land, bringing the Arabic language and the Arabic religion (Islam) with them. They are imports and not indigenous whatsoever.

Nov. 18 2013 12:35 PM
jgarbuz from Queens

The ONLY purpose for which the "Palestinian" identity was invented for, was to destroy the Jewish state. It has absolutely not a shred of any historical basis.I defy anyone to find me a book written by "Palestinians" prior to the 20th century. It is purely a CONTRIVED identity only to oppose Jewish rights on Jewish soil! Period.

Nov. 18 2013 12:34 PM
Matt Helme

Some folks always have a excuse for colonialism and won't ever come to terms with what they have done.

Nov. 18 2013 12:33 PM
jgarbuz from Queens

You want an "extremist" statement? Here it is. ISRAEL IS JEWISH LAND and should have as many Arabs living in it as there are Jews living in the 21 Arab countries. No more and no less. And as many mosques as there are synagogues in Saudi Arabia!

Nov. 18 2013 12:31 PM
RJ from prospect hts

1) In looking for a safe place for displaced Jews, founders of Israel also considered the so-called open spaces of Uganda. Doesn't that lend some question to the Israeli justification of holding on to its "Holy Land," (which of course is holy to so many).
2) Did Israel's original founders (post WW I) not push people already living on those lands off of it, beginning long before the Holocaust, considering them unproductive and undeserving?
3) Is there no irony to the claim that the US and Israel want democracy in the Palestinian territories but then reject and isolate and deny the democratically elected Gaza government (an election that international groups verified as free and fair)?
4) Despite the massive publicity around every Israeli death (and all are terrible--that is not in question), isn't it true that more Palestinians have been killed in Israeli actions?
5) Were Palestinians--or anyone else--moving into Israeli territory, knocking down homes and building their own, protected by a powerful military--wouldn't Israel react the same as Palestine has?
6) If Israelis were in the same position of the Palestinians--unable to obtain food, medicines, employment, basic supplies; forced into squalid conditions; overshadowed by the massive powers of Israel and the US--would Israeli's not react with every stone and molotov cocktail or other firepower they could create?`

Nov. 18 2013 12:31 PM
jgarbuz from Queens


The purpose of the League of Nations Mandate given to Britain to administer in 1922."Palestine" Mandate was created for the SOLE PURPOSE of creating a "Jewish National HOme"in which millions of Jews were supposed to come and settle, become a solid majority, and reestablish Jewish autonomy. I know every clause of the League of Nations Mandate almost by heart, and you can only bamboozle those who have not read it. The Arabs were given a state in eastern Palestine called "The Emirate of Transjordan" and set up emir Abudullah from Mecca who became king. But then, Jordan was mostly made up a handful of Bedouins. Today Jordan is 70% populated by the descendents of the 1948 and '67 refugees. Jordan IS PALESTINE. If the king were deposed, it would be the Palestinian state! PERIOD.

Nov. 18 2013 12:29 PM
Elaine from Elaine

Is your guest saying that the Palestinians developed their identity in response to the creation of the Jewish state? I would agree. When I was studying there in the 1970's we didn't study the Israeli/Palestinian conflict. Nobody referred to it as that in those days. It was the Israeli/Arab issue.

Also, please Leonard, don't compare the history of the Palestinians similar to that of the Jews. As the daughter of a Holocaust survivor, it's an insult to those survivors and our unique history.

Israel has the most moral army in history. I am not excusing mistakes that any nation can make. But what other army risks the lives of their soldiers to go door to door through booby-trapped homes in Palestinian territory to hunt down terrorists? And what army drops leaflets in civilian areas warning them of an impending attack on a terror cell purposely hiding in civilian areas?

Nov. 18 2013 12:27 PM
bobby g from east village

How much support in Israel for the way Shavit sees the situation?

Nov. 18 2013 12:27 PM

jgarbuz is her/his own worst enemy. It's hard to remain a "friend of Israel" listening to this extremism.

Nov. 18 2013 12:25 PM
Amy from Manhattan

I agree with much of what Mr. Shavit says, but in 1948 Palestinians weren't living in the Ottoman Empire--they were living under the British-administered Palestine Mandate, which did treat them as a single entity. I think that affects the creation of a Palestinian identity.

I also think it doesn't help anything to compare Israel's treatment of Palestinians to worse oppressions. Certainly part of the problem is that Israel & Israelis genuinely feel threatened & that leads to overreaction, but it doesn't excuse the abuses of power against Palestinians both in the occupied territories & within Israel, where many Israeli Arab towns still don't have basic services like clean drinking water & sewer service.

Nov. 18 2013 12:24 PM

What happened to the native people of the Americas and Australia happened long before there was an international agreement and understanding of human rights.

The victimizers do not get to demand that their victims "move on".

Nov. 18 2013 12:24 PM
ivan obregon from nyc

The desire for justice to Palestinians.....does not mean that anyone or everyone is against Israel's right to exist as a culture, nation, or people, but only to deny that perpetuating injustice against others is the same as justice for themselves.

Nov. 18 2013 12:21 PM
jgarbuz from Queens

Jewish LEFTISTS destroyed Russia, helped to cause the rise of Hitler in response to Bolshevism in the East, and today the Liberal Jews are destroying Israel and New York as well! It was Senator Jacob Javits, a LIBERAL JEW, who caused the US to change its immigration laws allowed tens of millions of Third World immigrants, including many, many Muslim Arabs and Palestinians to come here, and now they are trying push the Jews aside! Ha'Aretz is a liberal, neo-bolshevik Jewish RAG and only in Israel can such an enemy rag thrive to this extent. Liberal Jews are worse than Nazis and Islamofascists. They are the enemy WITHIN, the worst enemy of all!

Nov. 18 2013 12:21 PM
hb from Brooklyn, NY

The Palestinians should not get stuck in the mentality of victimhood? huh.

Nov. 18 2013 12:17 PM
jgarbuz from Queens

If Ha'Aretz were in an Arab country, it wouldn't exist. Ha'Aretz is an enemy left wing propaganda rag! TEL AVIV is a settlement! Ramat Gan is a settlement! Rishon LeZion is a settlement. Every Jewish town is a settlement. Israel is either Jewish land, or Arab land. Ha'Aretz has decided that it is Arab land and that Jews are the colonials. Ha'Aretz is part of the problem and never was part of the solution, except from the "Palestinian" Arab POV. This is Jewish liberalism that ruins everything it touches!

And what "plight" of the "Palestinians???" The Arabs were trying to kill the Holocaust survivors in 1948 or drive them into the sea! 856,000 JEWS were EXPELLED FROM ALL ARAB LANDS! What about the nearly 1 MILLION JEWS thrown out of the Arab countries, for Chrissake? Jordan is the Palestinian state. The Arabs have 21 countries! ENOUGH! ENOUGH ARab states, and no more on Jewish land!

Nov. 18 2013 12:16 PM
jf from brkln

counting calories into palestine. cutting their electricity and flooding them with sewage, bombing them, using their children for human shields, stopping their children from going to school. Let them stop their holocaust against the palestinians.

Nov. 18 2013 12:14 PM
genejoke from Brooklyn

Jgarbuz? Hello? Where you at?!

Nov. 18 2013 12:13 PM
mark from nyc

Can someone please address the fundamental injustice of the founding of the ISreali state -- the upheaval and massacre of palestinians form their own homes and land?? why i this never addressed directly? How can there be peace in a stone land???


Nov. 18 2013 12:10 PM

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