Two Aspects of the Palestine Question

I can understand the Jews demanding, after their experience at Nazi hands, that they should be given some piece of territory somewhere in the world, where they would be masters in their own house and where there would be an asylum for any Jews who, in future might be threatened with a repetition of what the Nazis did.

But, if the Jews had a claim to be given a piece of territory, this should have been done at the expense of the Western nation that had done its worst to exterminate the Jews..

If the creation of a new state of Israel was judged to be a legitimate form of compensation to the surviving Jews, the territory for this state should have been taken from the Europeans, not from the Arabs.

The new Israel should not have been carved out of Arab Palestine; it should have been carved out of Central Europe.

This point seems to me to be simple and obvious. But, once, when I made it in a lecture in a Western country, (not Germany, not Britain), it was received with shouts of laughter.

The people who laughed were not Jews; they were non-Jewish Westerners, and the country was one that has been traditionally opposed to colonialism.

Yet, they laughed because it seemed to them preposterous that a Western nation should be made to pay for its own crimes with its own territory, when the West’s moral debt to the Jews could, so it seemed to these Westerners, be settled by giving the Jews the territory of a non-Western people that committed no crime at all against the Jews.

This laughter shocked me because it revealed to me what seems to me a shocking persistence of the colonialist attitude of mind. A guilty Western people’s territory was to be sacrosanct, because, though guilty, they were Westerners.

An innocent non-Western people’s territory could, it was held, legitimately be given away to the Jews by the victorious Western powers.This amounts to the declaration of the inequality of the Western and the non-Western sections of the human race.

It is a claim that Westerners are privileged, however guilty they may be. It is a denial of those universal human rights that, in truth, are possessed by every man, woman, and child in the world, irrespective of differences in civilization; religion, nationality and race.

Arnold Toynbee, Two Aspects of the Palestine Question, in Arnold Toynbee, Importance of the Arab World (1962).

2 Responses

  1. The arab leaders and quasi states made alliance with Hitler and his objectives. The arabs conquored “their” so called lands from the Romans. The Israelites developed an advanced civilization in these lands while the europeans still lived in caves. Bah to such an ignorant stupid argument. Toynbee wrote histories but what do goyim know about the Jewish people? This blog proves the question.

  2. Oh moshe moshe mushi mutti,

    Your claims are soo sterotype.
    So pro-Israeli that the hatred, racisim, islamofobi and contempt for human rights and dignity is to be flashed in very word of your comment. It was the ZIONIST that made alliance with Hitler/the Nazis as the colonial dream was bigger than saving jewish life from shoah. And yes, that claim is based on fact which yours ofcourse are not.

    Who where the “brillant Israelites” back 2500- 3500 years ago? And are only the Israelites the brilliant ones? How about the arabs 3500 years ago? Oh, ofcourse an Islamofob and hater as you would never even admit that you love hummos or long for a falafel. That is without claiming they are jewish foodculture 3500 years ago which the primitive terrorist arabs have stolen and branded as yours. Just as Palestine.

    Anyway MOSHE, thanx so much because in your hatred and rethoric lies the confirmation of that this blog is right in it´s mission to reflect what this is really about. RACISIM! SHOAH! APARTHEID! ETHNIC CLEANSING! WHITNESSS!

    And it´s not Israel that is the innocent “David” but the big, ugly, agressive, hatful, warloving, violent, human rights breaker, international law violater but mostly the colonialist. ISRAEL IS GOLIAT! And you are a fan of Goliat!

    Again, thanx for adding and confirming the sight and smell of Goliat!


    : a

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