31 July 2012
One must wonder if the Conversation has any criteria at all for accepting articles. If A one-state solution is the only way forward for Israel and Palestine by Anthony Loewenstein 30 July 2012 is any example the claim of this journal to Academic rigour, journalistic flair is just false advertising. This was my comment. Please blast him in your comments. I may expand this into a full article.
It’s difficult to take Loewenstein seriously when virtually every line contains a demonstrable error of fact. The comments section is too short for a complete fisking but a few glaring ones need to be mentioned.
Mitt Romney didn’t declare Jerusalem the capital of Israel. The Congress and Senate of the United States and plain common sense did that for him. The Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995 (Passed 93-5 in the Senate and 374-37 in the 104th Congress of the USA) declared US recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and demanded the US Embassy be moved there.
As for common sense, every dictionary in the world defines capital as the seat of government and administrative centre of a country. The Israeli parliament, every ministry and the head of state are in Jerusalem and nowhere else. That makes Jerusalem as much the capital of Israel as Canberra is of Australia, no matter what Mitt Romney or Anthony Loewenstein might think.
Nor is Israel SELF described as the only democracy in the Middle East. It is so described by the Economist Intelligence Unit Democracy Index, Freedom House, the CIA World Factbook, every credible encyclopedia and even the never friendly BBC.
At no point is the Levy Report’s legal reasoning actually challenged. As Loewenstein doesn’t actually mention any of this we know he totally and imperiously rejects the conclusion without paying any attention to the argument.
Did the Research Assistant at UoT actually take the time to read it? It certainly doesn’t seem so. If he had he would have seen one thing, for certain. It doesn’t cite God-given rights as part of the argument. However, it does cite International Law and precedent.
These are clumsy errors of fact, part of an ideological rant but the delusion that a Jewish minority and Arab majority will live together in one democratic state shows an amazing ignorance of the region he is moralising about. The basic documents of Hamas, who won Palestine’s only election declare it an Islamic obligation for even the stones and the trees to assist in killing Jews. Does that sound promising?
Whatever differences there are in public opinion one thing is clear. Both sides of the Palestinian political debate, the Islamists i.e. Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad and the Nationalists i.e. FATAH and what remains of the PLO say openly, unambiguously, consistently and officially that Palestine is Arab and Muslim. There is no place for the Jews.
Will Loewenstein be campaigning for Australia to admit Jewish refugees from the former democratic state of Israel should its government be suicidal enough to do anything he suggests? I doubt it but, no doubt, from his ivory tower in Broadway he will edit a book about it. Don’t buy it.
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