torsdag, december 17, 2009

Anti-israeliska myter om "judisk kolonisation"

En spridd och populär myt, som inte minst
marknadsförs av israelfientliga politiker och
"vetenskapsmän", är att judarna är nykomna
invandrare i Israel som tränger ut en arabisk
ursprungsbefolkning. Den kompletteras ofta
med myten att judarna härstammar från de
turkiska khazarerna....
Sanningen är att judarna bevisligen här-
stammar från området för dagens Israel,
medan de arabiska bosättarna till stor
del är avkomlingar till invandrare från
Irak och Syrien under mellankrigstiden.....
En läsvärd artikel som publicerats i bl a

In much discourse about the Middle East, there is a
widespread myth that Jews are interlopers from
Europe and the US – white westerners who came
to ‘colonise’ and ’steal land’ from the ‘native’
Palestinian people to whom it rightfully belongs.
This myth, drawing on Marxist terminology, gained
increasing legitimacy after 1967 when Israel annexed
East Jerusalem and ‘conquered’ the West Bank.
The notion of ‘occupation’ and the use of the word
‘settlers’ reinforce the concept of Israeli ‘colonisation’
of ‘Arab’ land.
Aside from assuming that the Palestinians must be

the true natives because they look authentically
‘brown’, the colonialism myth supports another myth:
Jews are not a people, deserving of the right to self-
determination, but a religion.
Thus anti-Zionists habitually talk about of US citizens
of the Jewish faith, Germans of the Jewish faith and
even Arabs of the Jewish faith. At the time of the
French Revolution, Clermont-Tonnerre said of the
emancipation of Jews: “We must refuse everything
to the Jews as a nation and accord everything to Jews
as individuals.”
The Jewish community would somehow disappear,
leaving only French citizens of Jewish religion or
Lately, the notion that Jews are not one people but a

motley collection of converts has been given a boost by
Tel Aviv Professor Shlomo Sand, whose bestselling book,
The Invention of the Jewish People, is now out in English.
Sand’s theories build on the work of Arthur Koestler,
who popularised the idea that Ashkenazi Jews are
descended from the Turkic tribe, the Khazars.
Both men undermine the legitimacy of Israel by inferring
that Jews have no link to Palestine.
Genetic studies, however, discredit Koestler’s theory:
they find that Jews from East and West have more
in common with each other, and are genetically closer
to non-Jews of Middle eastern origin – the Kurds in
particular – than they are to the non-Jewish populations
they lived amongst.
Last June
President Obama articulated another myth:
Israel was created as a penance for the Holocaust in
Europe. This myth obscures the truth that every
Arab state is equally a creation of western colonialism.
It also ignores the fact that the institutions of a Jewish
state-in-waiting were established decades before Ben
Gurion read out Israel’s declaration of independence.
We often hear or read about Israel being populated

by pork-munching non-Jewish Russians and settlers
from Brooklyn. But these groups are marginal.
We almost never hear that 40 percent of Israel’s
Jews trace their ancestry from Muslim and Arab
lands. The vast majority of these Jews merely moved
from one corner of the ‘Arab’ world to that Middle
Eastern coastal sliver known as Israel.
Until their expulsion 50 years ago, Jews had been

settled in Iraq, for example, since the Babylonians
exiled Jews from Jerusalem almost 3,000 years ago.
In the early 20th century, Baghdad was the most
Jewish city in the world, after Salonica and Jerusalem.
The Jews can be said to have as legitimate a claim on
Baghdad as Palestinians on Jerusalem.
The Arabs are relative newcomers to the region; the

‘Arab’ world is a misnomer. By the time the Arabs
had conquered land largely inhabited by Jews and
Christians in the 7th century, the Jews had been
settled there for 1,000 years. People in the West
tend to apply a common misconception to all Jews,
borrowing the Christian notion that Jews have been
punished to wander from land to land with no
country to call their own.
But not only have Jews always lived in Palestine,
there was continuity of Jewish settlement in the
Middle East and North Africa for 2,000 years.
If only native inhabitants are titled to political rights,
the Jews are as indigenous as any people living in
the Middle East can be.
That Jewish presence came to an end in the last 50

years. The Arab League determined to wreak
revenge on defenceless Jewish citizens in Arab
lands if the partition of Palestine went ahead.
On the day when five Arab armies invaded the
new Jewish state, the Arab League secretary,
Azzam Pasha announced :”This will be a war of
extermination and a momentous massacre which
will be spoken of like the Mongolian massacres and
the Crusades”.
The Arab governments actually declared two wars

in 1948. The military war against the fledgling
Jewish state of Israel they lost, but they declared a
second war, against a million Jewish citizens. This
war they won easily, through a policy of intimidation,
repression, persecution and sporadic outbreaks of
violence. The result is that only 4,500 Jews are left
in Arab countries.
Jews ‘stealing Arab land’ is an offensive inversion

of reality. Jews in 10 Arab countries were stripped
of their rights and in most cases dispossessed of
their property. The World Organisation of Jews
from Arab Countries estimates that Jews in Arab
countries lost many more billions of assets than
the Palestinians, and four times as much land as
the size of Israel itself.
Seen in these terms, Arab antisemitism created

Israel no less than the Holocaust. The Arabs owe the
Jews big-time. It’s time the world stopped viewing
the conflict through a distorted, Eurocentric lens.