Israel’s Plan to Wipe Arabic Names off the Map

New Battlefront over Road Signs

Thousands of road signs are the latest front in Israel’s battle to erase Arab heritage from much of the Holy Land.

Israel Katz, the transport minister, announced this week that signs on all major roads in Israel, East Jerusalem and possibly parts of the West Bank would be “standardised”, converting English and Arabic place names into straight transliterations of the Hebrew name.

Currently, road signs include the place name as it is traditionally rendered in all three languages.

Under the new scheme, the Arab identity of important Palestinian communities will be obscured: Jerusalem, or “al Quds” in Arabic, will be Hebraised to “Yerushalayim”; Nazareth, or “al Nasra” in Arabic, the city of Jesus’s childhood, will become “Natzrat”; and Jaffa, the port city after which Palestine’s oranges were named, will be “Yafo”.

Arab leaders are concerned that Mr Katz’s plan offers a foretaste of the demand by Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel’s prime minister, that the Palestinians recognise Israel as a Jewish state.

On Wednesday, Mohammed Sabih, a senior official at the Arab League, called the initiative “racist and dangerous”.

“This decision comes in the framework of a series of steps in Israel aimed at implementing the ‘Jewish State’ slogan on the ground.”

Palestinians in Israel and Jerusalem, meanwhile, have responded with alarm to a policy they believe is designed to make them ever less visible.

Ahmed Tibi, an Arab legislator in the Israeli parliament, said: “Minister Katz is mistaken if he thinks that changing a few words can erase the existence of the Arab people or their connection to Israel.”

The transport ministry has made little effort to conceal the political motivation behind its policy of Hebraising road signs.

In announcing the move on Monday, Mr Katz, a hawkish member of Likud, Mr Netanyahu’s right-wing party, said he objected to Palestinians using the names of communities that existed before Israel’s establishment in 1948.

“I will not allow that on our signs,” he said. “This government, and certainly this minister, will not allow anyone to turn Jewish Jerusalem into Palestinian al Quds.”

Other Israeli officials have played down the political significance of Mr Katz’s decision. A transport department spokesman, Yeshaayahu Ronen, said: “The lack of uniform spelling on signs has been a problem for those speaking foreign languages, citizens and tourists alike.”

“That’s ridiculous,” responded Tareq Shehadeh, head of the Nazareth Cultural and Tourism Association. “Does the ministry really think it’s helping tourists by renaming Nazareth, one of the most famous places in the world, ‘Natzrat’, a Hebrew name only Israeli Jews recognise?”

Meron Benvenisti, a former deputy mayor of Jerusalem, said Israel had begun interfering with the Arabic on the signs for East Jerusalem as soon as it occupied the city in 1967. It invented a new word, “Urshalim”, that was supposed to be the Arabic form of the Hebrew word for Jerusalem, “Yerushalayim”.

“I was among those who intervened at the time to get the word ‘al Quds’ placed on signs, too, after ‘Urshalim’ and separated by a hyphen. But over the years ‘al Quds’ was demoted to brackets and nowadays it’s not included on new signs at all.”

He said Mr Katz’s scheme would push this process even further by requiring not only the Arabic equivalent of the Hebrew word for Jerusalem, but the replication of the Hebrew spelling as well. “It’s completely chauvinistic and an insult,” he said.

Meir Margalit, a former Jerusalem councillor, said official policy was to make the Palestinian population in East Jerusalem as invisible as possible, including by ignoring their neighbourhoods on many signs.

The transport ministry’s plans for the West Bank are less clear. In his announcement Mr Katz said Palestinian-controlled areas of the territory would still be free to use proper Arabic place names. But he hinted that signs in the 60 per cent of the West Bank under Israeli military rule would be Hebraised, too.

That could mean Palestinians driving across parts of the West Bank to the Palestinian city of Nablus, for example, will have to look for the Hebrew name “Shechem” spelt out in Arabic.

Mr Benvenisti said that, after Israel’s establishment in 1948, a naming committee was given the task of erasing thousands of Arab place names, including those of hills, valleys and springs, and creating Hebrew names. The country’s first prime minister, David Ben Gurion, told the committee: “We are obliged to remove the Arabic names for reasons of state.”

In addition, the Arabic names of more than 400 Palestinian villages destroyed by Israel during and after the 1948 war were lost as Jewish communities took their place.

Israel’s surviving Palestinian minority, today one-fifth of the population, have had to battle in the courts for the inclusion of Arabic on road signs, despite Arabic being an official language.

Many signs on national highways were provided only in Hebrew and English until the courts in 1999 insisted Arabic be included. Three years later the courts ruled that Arabic must also be included on signs in cities where a significant number of Arabs live.

However, as the political climate has shifted rightward in Israel, there has been a backlash, including an unsuccessful bid by legislators to end Arabic’s status as an official language last year.

Recently the Israeli media revealed that nationalist groups have been spraying over Arabic names on road signs, especially in the Jerusalem area.

Israel has also antagonised Palestinians in both Israel and the West Bank by naming roads after right-wing figures.

The main highway in the Jordan Valley, which runs through Palestinian territory but is used by Israelis to drive between northern Israel and Jerusalem, is named “Gandhi’s Road” – not for the Indian spiritual leader but after the nickname of an Israeli general, Rehavam Zeevi, who called for the expulsion of Palestinians from Greater Israel.

Jonathan Cook, based in Nazareth, Israel is a winner of the Martha Gellhorn Special Prize for Journalism. His latest books are Israel and the Clash of Civilisations: Iraq, Iran and the Plan to Remake the Middle East (Pluto Press) and Disappearing Palestine: Israel's Experiments in Human Despair (Zed Books). Read other articles by Jonathan, or visit Jonathan's website.

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  1. B99 said on July 17th, 2009 at 7:17am #

    It should be understood that propaganda to the contrary, Israel was never intended to be the state of its citizens, so it is not surprising that the Jews are continuing to erase both the history and the geography of Arab Palestine. When accomplished, all that will remain is to evict the actual Arab inhabitants. The Zionist pre-state re-naming committee mentioned in the article had a very real problem in Hebraicizing Israel – there were only Arab names for the many tens of thousands villages, crossroads, and natural features of the landscape. The Hebrew Bible could only provide a small fraction of Hebrew place names; not only an indicator of how scant was the historical Jewish presence in much of Palestine, but how thoroughly Palestinian the country was when the Zionists arrived from afar.

  2. opeluboy said on July 17th, 2009 at 2:43pm #

    I keep thinking these smarmy, arrogant racists can’t do anything to make me loathe them more than I already do, but I am consistently shocked by their almost magical ability to do so.

  3. Mulga Mumblebrain said on July 17th, 2009 at 3:38pm #

    Yes B99, not only was the Zionist project always intensely racist, a typical European colonial enterprise where the indigenous were seen as sub-humans who could simply be swept away to make way for the ubermenschen, but it was complicated by a number of unique features. There was the Judaic religious claim to the ‘land’ (from the Nile to the Euphrates, so a lot of Arab ‘two-legged animals’ will have to ‘go elsewhere’)based on nothing but religious mythology. Indeed despite typically nasty Israeli attempts to rort the archeology, the evidence for Judaic suzerainty over any part of Canaan is pretty thin on the ground, and covers a bare fraction of the history of human occupation. And of course European racism is bound to be somewhat exacerbated by a tribal ideology that sees your group as the supreme beings of the Universe, and where God himself demands the genocide of his, and your, enemies, nearly always those currently occupying the land.
    To make matters worse the Nazi Judeocide intervened, creating a perfectly understandable fear and anger amongst Jews, that has been taken out on the Palestinians, the Shia of South Lebanon and all the other victims of Israeli aggression. Moreover the Judeocide has been used, increasingly cynically and viciously, to justify any Israeli brutality and to demonise anyone who resists Israeli racism as ‘new Nazis’ or ‘new Hitlers’ or the old favourite ‘anti-Semites’. Israeli society, in a familiar process no doubt exacerbated by Palestinian resistance, has marched ever more belligerently to the far Right. Poisonous, evil, outside influences, like that of the apocalyptic Christian Zionist imbeciles of the US, and Israel’s utility as enforcer in a region where US dominance of the hydrocarbon reserves is absolutely essential to the maintenance of the US global Empire, have only worsened things. Israel has become an evil society, like the US, despite the good character of so many of its citizens, because market capitalism, racial supremacism and religious fanaticism all favour and empower the very worst individuals in any polity. The process is self-reinforcing, and is clearly out of control in Israel with Netanyahu displaying the signs of pathological paranoia and figures like Avigdor Lieberman politically dominant.
    We ought to face facts. Israel is a malignant cancer in the region, and the world. It is a centre for criminal behaviour, including drug running and human trafficking. Its state terror gang, Mossad, has operated death-squads around the world, not only killing entire generations of Palestinian leaders, but others who got in Israel’s way. Judaic money power, in the West, utterly dominates politics, the media and the heights of business. And Judaic influence is being wielded to prosecute the most dangerous current global contest, that between the sinking hyperpower, the US, and the rising, China. I know that here, in Australia, the local Judeofascists, who dominate the media, Murdoch’s sewer in particular, have been relentless over the last few years in leading the demonisation of China, over the non-existent ‘genocide’ in Darfur, over China’s non-racist, non-manipulative aid to Africa, over its links to South America, and over its internal affairs, particularly targeting racial and sectarian tensions, an old Israeli tactic seen in Lebanon, Iraq and throughout the Middle East, where fomenting Sunni versus Shia hatred has been a despicable Israeli strategy for years.
    Israel may be a fulminating, metastasising cancer, but excision is not necessarily the best option. I imagine that it is indeed possible for Israel to be reformed, as it is possible to imagine its partner in crime the US being reformed, and that peace and justice might prevail in the world, and not just be the preserve of the racial and cultural elect. It is just that I see the chances, given the vicious cruelty and belligerence of the principal protagonists, as being quite small. In any case soon the ecological collapse, already being seen in the region in water crises, being addressed in typical Israeli style by starving the Palestinians of water to advantage the Judaic Herrenvolk, will make all these questions moot. When we will need to be co-operating to save ourselves, the racial supremacists will be acting as ever, seeking to advantage themselves and harm those they despise.

  4. john andrews said on July 17th, 2009 at 10:28pm #

    The name of this land is Palestine. One day the temporary alternative label that currently exists and is used by some will be removed, together with all the other temporary labels, and their proper names restored.

  5. yuyu said on July 18th, 2009 at 3:14am #

    What this article does not deal is the question “why right now?”.
    The program is totally pigheaded (sorry porkies), even or rather, also by Israeli standards.
    As many, including right wing israelis have pointed out, it’s stupid, as it will lead to utter confusion on the road, due to the differences in names in all three languages on the boards, Arabic, English and Hebrew, in addition to being wasteful in a period of very limited resources. It’s the sort of plan that will not be really carried out, but for a few sign in very centrally located spot “in order to make a point”.
    To me it looks a whole lot more like a populist spin, used in order to prevent our attention going elsewhere, e.g. Israeli navel vessels entering en masse the Mediterranean on their way to where exactly?

  6. B99 said on July 18th, 2009 at 6:27am #

    Yuyu – It is certainly essential to know where the Israeli navy is at all times.

    But the article shows how thoroughly racist Israeli society has become. There was a time when Israeli Jews put up the pretense (and some Israelis were genuine) of a multi-ethnic society. It is this Israel they would show the world. But there was also another theme, one that Zionists brought with them from Europe – that of ultranationalist racism. A major propaganda victory in the effort to cleanse Palestine of all traces of people other than Jews was the renaming of all Arab (and pre-Arab) places. Since that initial effort, there has been a low-level stream of racial nomenclature since then. And today it has once again fully resurfaced. So place name changing is about ethnic cleansing – and that is very important – and not unrelated to where Israel’s navy is.

  7. bozh said on July 18th, 2009 at 10:52am #

    i wonder why americans haven’t changed “cherokee” into cheeryoak?
    chicago into chickegg; seattle into seetell; california, callformia;
    tennesese ten eye see, etc. tnx

  8. Danny Ray said on July 18th, 2009 at 11:15am #


    The reason we do not change indian names to english names is that the indians ( I know I Know, Native american) are gone they are no longer a threat, we can afford to be generous. now that there is no one to owe. BTW California was a spanish place name.

  9. bozh said on July 18th, 2009 at 1:10pm #

    yes, i was aware of that. But i wanted to poke fun at the extreme and newest ‘jewish’ ‘jewishness’.
    by the way i canpoke fun at ‘jews’ bcause i am 000000001% ‘jewish’
    yes, i also knew that california was named and owned by spain. All that in spite of finishing last in my class, having devil of my own, etc.

    poor devil nobody likes her. I am the only one who loves her. And she loves to teach me. She knows so much because gods, not speaking to one another, only have the devil to talk to! And, guess what? Being a female, she blabs. OOPS OOOPS, erase the “female”. tnx

  10. Danny Ray said on July 18th, 2009 at 1:46pm #

    forgive me bozh, I am sometimes confused in here It appears that you and I are the only two with humor.

  11. David said on July 18th, 2009 at 8:14pm #

    More proof that the zionist project in Palestine/Canaan is falling apart.
    Its adherents are becoming increasingly panic stricken. Suddenly, in the space of about one decade, Israel has become a pariah, the world’s most detested state. Jewish emigration from Israel is soaring (seeing the handwriting on the wall, about one million have fled) while immigration is less than a trickle. Meanwhile, the native Palestinian/Canaanite population is increasing day by day and now outnumbers Jews between the Jordan Rive and the Med. Sea. Simply put, Israel is doomed. It could only be thus. Such is the fate of an historical anachronism, a nineteenth century settler colonialist state. How much better we will all be, including Jews everywhere, when the zionist enterprise implodes and becomes a footnote in history.

  12. john andrews said on July 18th, 2009 at 10:55pm #


    This stuff is not new.

    Two and a half years ago a friend of mine who was working in Palestine with the International Women’s Peace Service wrote that the zionists were destroying road signs to Palestinian villages back then.

  13. B99 said on July 19th, 2009 at 5:49am #

    David – All you say is true – if a tad overstated. But it is not certain that Israel is doomed, not as long as those who are fierce in their belief in it have considerable power in and over the US. Of course, as the US superpower status wanes, or as the need for a different relationship with other nations of the Middle East evolves, its supporters in Israel and the US may eventually be rendered moot. What I suspect will happen is the long-term continuance of the Israeli-state but much modified – perhaps like South Africa where minority whites continue to dominate the economy even as the majority blacks dominate governance. Israel will officially be the state of all its citizens, but as we all know, there is plenty of room for racism in that formula.

  14. bozh said on July 19th, 2009 at 6:13am #

    the ‘fatherely advice to pals to leave israel or palestine and “go back from where you came” utterly failed.
    i do not know if this phenomenon can be compared with chechens return from exile to their land in chechnya.
    pals deed apears monumental and great help to other oppressed/captured people.
    down with “jewishness”; it being just another supremacism!

  15. Norris Hall said on July 19th, 2009 at 8:40pm #

    I see no problem in recognizing Israel as a state. But a Jewish state?
    What’s that all about?

    Obama has not choice but to oppose any attempts to promote a religious state.
    Blacks fought long and hard so they could sit at the front of the bus and eat in “whites only” lunch counters, It would be hypocritical to turn around and support the efforts to ethnically purify Israel

    Israels attempt to create a Jewish state sounds no different than the Chinese attempts to populate remote areas of their country with Han ethnic people to the exclusion of ethnic minorities. or the southern whites with their “whites only” policy

    In Arab countries like Saudi Arabia being a Muslim nation has led to a marginalization of people of other religions and bans on religious freedoms

    The United States should always stick up for religious and ethnic equality. It should not support an Israeli government whose goals are to seek advantages for particular race or religion .

  16. B99 said on July 20th, 2009 at 7:11am #

    Norris – Actually, even calling for the recognition of Israel as a pre-condition of negotiations is a wrench in the works designed to forestall said negotiations. Negotiations are themselves defacto recognition – and no state has ever brought up such a silly notion – never mind insisted on it as a pre-condition. For the Palestinians, it means accepting the humilation of their expulsion from their own country – it is to rub their noses in their own ethnic cleansing by the very people who carried it out. And to add ‘recognition as the Jewish state’ is to insure the Palestinians will not do so. There is some shit a self-respecting people will not eat.

  17. bozh said on July 20th, 2009 at 7:24am #

    b99, yes, that’s the point
    and, to boot, even the best ever ‘offer’ by US/isr wld ensure that pals cannot but reject it.
    and, to boot, the worst ever diktat had already been issued. All that is left to decide is, when two sides meet, which side wld use which washroom and other such weightymatters. tnx

  18. naro said on July 21st, 2009 at 7:41am #

    Israel is all about returning of the Jewish people to its ancestral homeland of Israel. The land was destroyed by the Romans and stolen by the Arabs. Israel has reestablished its ancient cities and villages, and will name every city by its historical Hebrew name.
    The Jews are the indigenous people of Israel, and I would be happy for the American Indians to reclaim their American lands and name their towns, villages, rivers and mountains by their historical native names.
    Al Qud is a recent Arafat’s politically inspired idiotic name for Yerushalaim. Such idiotic media manipulations will not be tolerated.
    Long Live Israel Forever!

  19. kalidas said on July 21st, 2009 at 12:55pm #

    There you go again…
    Mistaking Palestine for PALEestine.

    For example, changing ones name from an obviously Polish name like David Gruen to David Ben-Gurion does not a Hebrew make.
    Not even if you close your eyes and wish real hard.

    The vast majority of “Israeli Jews” are indigenous to Poland, Russia and N.Y.C. and I’m pretty sure the indigenous Palestinians would like very much for them to “go home.”

  20. B99 said on July 21st, 2009 at 2:11pm #

    Naro – Ancestral Palestinians lived in Palestine when the Hebrews arrived from elsewhere, when the Jews departed for elsewhere, and when the Zionists shipped in last century. Thus, even if you can make the case that it was the ancestral homeland of Jews – it has been continuously inhabited by Palestinians since the neolithic period (and likely before). The Romans did not destroy Palestine, nor did the Arabs steal it -no more than did Native-Americans steal this continent. As the article explains the Jews have no where sufficient Hebrew names for everything – so they have to Hebraicize Arabic names (the Arabs having named everything), or use names from non-Hebrew ancient cultures like the Philistines and Canaanites – both of whom are Palestinian ancestors.
    Al-Quds has been the name of the city and the DISTRICT since Arabic became the language of the land. Nothing to do with Arafat.

    And remember, if you are pro-native, that means you are pro-Indian AND pro-Canaanite – the indigenous people.

  21. naro said on July 21st, 2009 at 2:28pm #

    Jews throughout the world have maintained their relationship with the land of Israel for two thousand years. Judaism is based on the return to Israel after the exile. The Jews remained Israelis for two thousand years throughout the world. Arabs in Palestine have stolen the Jewish land after the exile by the Romans.
    Some Arabs in Palestine no doubt were of Jewish ancestry and were forcefully converted to Islam in the past. There has been a continuous Jewish presence in Israel for two thousand years.
    Most jews in Israel are of Middle Eastern extraction. Refugees from Arab and Islamic lands.

    Arabs have Arabized the names of many Biblical Jewish sites, which have now been returned to their original Hebrew names.

  22. mebosa ritchie said on July 21st, 2009 at 2:30pm #


    The TA-25 Index climbed for a sixth day, the longest winning streak in more than two months, increasing 3.57, or 0.4 percent, to 893.13 at the close in Tel Aviv. Investors traded about NIS 2.35 billion in shares and convertible securities.

    BioLine Rx advanced 4.6%. The drug developer has completed a Phase I/II clinical trial of its BL-1040 heart device; 27 patients who had suffered acute myocardial infarction were successfully treated at nine sites in Germany and Belgium.

    Clal Finance rose 2.9%. The investment company owned by Nochi Dankner has named Tal Raz as its new chief executive officer.

    Delek Drilling fell 8%, Avner Oil & Gas declined 6%, and Isramco Negev 2 lost 4.5%. Clal Finance Brokerage lowered its ratings on the exploration companies that have a stake in a gas prospect off Israel’s coast.

    Kamada rose 7.1%. The biopharmaceutical company said its manufacturing plant and laboratories have passed a quality inspection by the Mexican Ministry of Health.

  23. Suthiano said on July 21st, 2009 at 2:41pm #

    “Jews throughout the world have maintained their relationship with the land of Israel for two thousand years.”

    Even if that were “true” it wouldn’t be meaningful. Both Christians and (for slightly shorter period) Muslims have done the same. Does this not mean these groups have right to land in “Israel”?

    If the connection was maintained so strongly, how come Jews lost Hebrew and instead spoke Germanic language (Yiddish)?

    Naro, this was written in 1917 by Lord Montague, a Jewish Englishman, as a response to the Balfour Declaration:

    “Zionism has always seemed to me to be a mischievous political creed, untenable by any patriotic citizen of the United Kingdom. If a Jewish Englishman sets his eyes on the Mount of Olives and longs for the day when he will shake British soil from his shoes and go back to agricultural pursuits in Palestine, he has always seemed to me to have acknowledged aims inconsistent with British citizenship and to have admitted that he is unfit for a share in public life in Great Britain, or to be treated as an Englishman.

    I lay down with emphasis four principles:

    1. I assert that there is not a Jewish nation. The members of my
    family, for instance, who have been in this country for
    generations, have no sort or kind of community of view or of
    desire with any Jewish family in any other country beyond the fact
    that they profess to a greater or less degree the same religion.
    It is no more true to say that a Jewish Englishman and a Jewish
    Moor are of the same nation than it is to say that a Christian
    Englishman and a Christian Frenchman are of the same nation: of
    the same race, perhaps, traced back through the centuries –
    through centuries of the history of a peculiarly adaptable race.
    The Prime Minister and M. Briand are, I suppose, related through
    the ages, one as a Welshman and the other as a Breton, but they
    certainly do not belong to the same nation.

    2. When the Jews are told that Palestine is their national home,
    every country will immediately desire to get rid of its Jewish
    citizens, and you will find a population in Palestine driving out
    its present inhabitants, taking all the best in the country, drawn
    from all quarters of the globe, speaking every language on the
    face of the earth, and incapable of communicating with one another
    except by means of an interpreter. I have always understood that
    this was the consequence of the building of the Tower of Babel, if
    ever it was built, and I certainly do not dissent from the view,
    commonly held, as I have always understood, by the Jews before
    Zionism was invented, that to bring the Jews back to form a nation
    in the country from which they were dispersed would require Divine
    leadership. I have never heard it suggested, even by their most
    fervent admirers, that either Mr. Balfour or Lord Rothschild would
    prove to be the Messiah.

    I claim that the lives that British Jews have led, that the aims
    that they have had before them, that the part that they have
    played in our public life and our public institutions, have
    entitled them to be regarded, not as British Jews, but as Jewish
    Britons. I would willingly disfranchise every Zionist. I would be
    almost tempted to proscribe the Zionist organisation as illegal
    and against the national interest. But I would ask of a British
    Government sufficient tolerance to refuse a conclusion which makes
    aliens and foreigners by implication, if not at once by law, of
    all their Jewish fellow-citizens.

    3. I deny that Palestine is to-day associated with the Jews or
    properly to be regarded as a fit place for them to live in. The
    Ten Commandments were delivered to the Jews on Sinai. It is quite
    true that Palestine plays a large part in Jewish history, but so
    it does in modern Mahommendan history, and, after the time of the
    Jews, surely it plays a larger part than any other country in
    Christian history. The Temple may have been in Palestine, but so
    was the Sermon on the Mount and the Crucifixion. I would not deny
    to Jews in Palestine equal rights to colonisation with those who
    profess other religions, but a religious test of citizenship seems
    to me to be the only admitted by those who take a bigoted and
    narrow view of one particular epoch of the history of Palestine,
    and claim for the Jews a position to which they are not entitled.

    If my memory serves me right, there are three times as many Jews
    in the world as could possible get into Palestine if you drove out
    all the population that remains there now. So that only one-third
    will get back at the most, and what will happen to the remainder?…”

    Read it all at ( then come with an intelligent response, or we’ll know you’re just mebosa, laser or some other troll.

  24. Mulga Mumblebrain said on July 21st, 2009 at 9:00pm #

    I see our favourite golem, mebosa has been joined by a new one, naro (as in -minded, clearly). mebosa seems to luxuriate in the greed indices of the Israeli stockmarket. Pretty hard making a quid I guess, when all you have to rely on is your self-confessed magnificence in all things, and several billion in tribute from the US every year, and the misappropriated gelt of thousands of Madoffs throughout the world. Not to forget the slightly shadier earnings from organised crime, arms, drug and human trafficking, blood diamonds etc, etc. I suppose mebosa’s smug triumphalism is partly genuine, the love of money being the root of all evil, and partly to excite a negative reaction from the ‘Jew-haters’ who she sees everywhere. It’s an old Zionist parlour-game-act like a prat, and if you annoy someone enough that they make a disparaging comment, start screeching ‘anti-Semite’. Naro appears to be a standard Zionist supremacist, where the superiority of the Jews and the greater value of their lives, history and mythologies is, well, it’s an article of faith, by definition. Of course, for the 99.85% of the planet’s population not lucky enough to have had an entire Universe created to their glory, these delusions are tolerable, so long as they do not harm others. But, of course, Judaism is, alas, a religion that is, to a marked degree, all about harm to others. The Palestinians, who in any case are identified by many Judeocrazies as Amalek, therefore sentenced by God Himself to extermination, are just the latest in a long line of victims of Judaic rage. Whether the Canaanites, Midianites, Moabites, Jebusites, Philistines, or the first born in Egypt, or the 75,ooo odd ‘followers’ of Haman in Persia, they’ve all been slaughtered with religious zeal. Not to forget that the Jews have themselves been the victims of the murderous impulses of others, too. Isn’t it about time the Jews treated their neighbours as humans, and had that treatment fully reciprocated?

  25. B99 said on July 25th, 2009 at 11:40am #

    Naro – Jews left Palestine in largely numbers to cast their fortunes elsewhere in the empire (and as is typical of empires, one can travel far and wide within them). Having left – the notion of return is mere wist, as it is with any group that immigrates elsewhere. The Jews that toasted, ‘next year in Jerusalem’ were pretty much just toasting, one cannot ascribe any deep longing from that except a longing to escape the Czar’s suffocating oppression. What did Jews do as soon as they could? They immigrated to America. That’s where Jews wanted to go – and did so by voting with their feet. Several million of them while Jews in Palestine left and joined them.

    The establishment of Israel is based in the notion that unassimilable East European Jews could form the physical body of a Jewish State, which head and brain would be the atheist German and Western Jews who wanted to cash in on the notion of colonization – if only they could find a sponsor (they vacillated between Germany and Britain) and a place to colonize (several exotic locales were debated).

    Jews ENTIRELY lost their relationship to the land of Palestine. Jews ABHORRED physical labor, ESPECIALLY farm labor. This is not tendentious, Jewish culture in Europe was urban, the labor was mental (even if it meant incessantly pouring over the Talmud), and physical labor was viewed as unworthy of a Jew. I’m certain there were exceptions – but that was the culture. (That’s why the notion of the ‘muscular Israeli’ had to be created out of whole cloth – after 1948 – from disparate and estranged European Jews – and it is why Ashkenazis needed Mizrahi to man the frontiers and harvest the crops). There was no such thing as an Israeli before 1948 – while Palestinians, Muslim, Christian, secular and Jew – had been living in their country as such for millenia.

    Arabs of course, did not steal Palestine. In fact, Arab peninsula ancestry is a distinct minority in the DNA of Palestinians. Palestinians are of all the peoples who inhabited that country for an eternity – including the Canaanites who pre-date the Hebrews. What Arabs brought with Islam was their culture. Palestinian culture is Arabized, as are many other cultures of the region.

    The continuous presence of Jews in Palestine refers to that tiny group who remained in a few communities such as Tiberias (Teverya). They were of the fabric of that country and lived in relative peace with their neighbors. They were not zionists because they understood that Zion was a state of mind – not a state to be created by European atheists.

    You are essentially wrong on the the Arab re-naming of the geography of that country. It was a special Jewish Zionists committee that was in charge of renaming Israel to Hebrew names. They could not do it, because the Bible only had a limited number of place references. Tens of thousands of names would have to remain Arab because the Jewish presence – as per the Bible – was scant in most of the country . So they Hebraicized Arabic place names and that of their Canaanite/Philistine ancestors.
    Start with Ashdod and Ashkelon.