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Old 03-14-2019, 08:04 AM
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Originally Posted by asahi View Post
I don't have the entire article, but at least one author makes reference to the "making the desert bloom" trope, which proposes the idea that the Palestinians only became interested in what is now Israel once Jewish settlers brought their technical know-how with them.

Shimon Peres is reported to have said in his book:
I'm sure there are some Zionists who believe this (and this quote is different than what you said). But you're still tarring all Zionists, or Zionism in general, as having this belief, and this is false.

As I clearly said in my previous post, I fully acknowledge that there were horrific pogroms and acts of violence against Jews, beginning with the Russian pogroms in around 1882. There was antisemitism in Poland and throughout Europe. There was the Dreyfus Affair in France, which polarized France and arguably, irrevocably destroyed not only the safety of Jews but in many ways signaled a final symbolic end to liberalism on much of the Continent. I'm not for a moment denying any of that.' Indeed, many, many Jewish migrants left because they did not feel safe, and upon reflection, I probably did a poor job emphasizing that part in my previous post.

Nevertheless, it is no less true that there were Jewish nationalists who from the beginning envisioned a Jewish state, and they had to know the kind of unrest that this was going to cause. You cannot expect me to take seriously the notion that you can just organize mass migration to a place with completely different culture and religion and expect there not to be conflict, particularly when the idea all along is to establish a "homeland" with completely different cultural traditions. The Zionists who ended up laying down the ideological and political foundation for modern day Israel did so over the objection of Ottomans, who legally ruled the territory at the time. It's worth noting, however, that the Zionists, who were fleeing anti-Jewish persecution in Europe, stood by Turkey as it massacred Armenians in one of the worst genocides in human history - because they hoped to gain Ottoman agreement to a Jewish state. This is not conspiracy theory, but fact. It's more than ironic considering what happened to Jews 20 years later.
If this is true, it doesn't conflict with what I said.

Here's my main point -- those Jews fleeing Europe were truly desperate people. That truly desperate people sometimes do truly desperate things for their own safety and survival shouldn't be surprising. Some of those truly desperate people had a vision to create a Jewish state. You seem to be saying this like it's a shocking or terrible thing, but it's not. It doesn't justify everything that occurred, but the desire to create a state for a stateless people who have been hounded and brutalized for centuries is a pretty damn reasonable desire.