Know More About Palestine

Monday Jan. 25, 2010 6:28 PM (EST+7)
A Jewish American’s evolving view of Israel

Read more: Israel, Nakba, Nekba, Palestine, Jewish, Jewish American, Zionism

Steve Feldman describes the evolution in his perspective of Israel, from a narrative instilled in his youth to the enlightenment of deep study into the history of the conflict with the Palestinians.

...I had always felt weak in my understanding of how Israel was created in 1948. The details we were taught were rather sketchy. I found United Nations data that said about 700,000 Palestinians became refugees in the fighting of 1948. That seemed odd. If Jews had come to a land of empty swamps and deserts as I had been taught, how did so many Palestinian men, women and children become refugees? The part of the story that said Jews had come to an empty land seemed like it couldn't be true... 

...The facts of the Israeli-Palestine conflict looked differently with a perspective enlightened by knowing that the Palestinians had been forced out. Jews did buy some land, but it was only a few percent of what they took. The 10 (or 100) to 1 ratio in killing Arabs to Jews didn't look so civilized anymore. I no longer take any pride when seeing the massive destruction Israel inflicts on Palestinians or neighboring countries. One might still wonder if the Jews had resorted to these actions only in response to Arab attacks, but as early as 1919, before Arab riots in Palestine, Ben Gurion made clear that European Jews emigrating to Palestine intended to displace the Palestinians. Morris quotes Ben Gurion as saying, There is a gulf, and nothing can bridge it ... I do not know what Arab will agree that Palestine should belong to the Jews. ... We, as a nation, want this country to be ours ... 

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