by Shany Mor
Monday, 15
May 2023
Anniversary
10:00

The UN is distorting the meaning of the Nakba

Its view of the Israel-Palestine conflict is extremely one-sided
by Shany Mor
Palestinians protest in front of a UN office in Gaza on Nakba Day 2019. Credit: Getty

Today the United Nations General Assembly will hold a special event for Nakba Day, including a “special commemorative event” in the General Assembly Hall. Coined by the Syrian intellectual Constantine Zureiq, nakba — Arabic for “disaster” — is the word used to describe the events of 1948, leading up to the creation of the state of Israel, and is synonymous today with perceptions of Israeli cruelty and the fracturing of Palestinian society.

The nakba Zureiq describes in his 1948 book The Meaning of Disaster, however, was the failure of the Arabs to defeat the Jews, far from the misleading potted history the UN’s website provides. “Seven Arab states declare war on Zionism, stop impotent before it, and then turn on their heels,” Zureiq writes. Regarding displaced Palestinian Arabs, it’s notable that his concern is that they might be “forced to return to their homes, there to live under the Zionist shadow”. He laments that “dispersion has become the lot of the Arabs rather than of the Jews”.


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This is no longer how the word nakba is used today. The Arab defeat has been recast as a Palestinian tragedy, the conflict as a one-sided historical crime, and the Jews’ perilous war of survival as a colonialist endeavour of racial supremacy.

The late German historian Wolfgang Schivelbusch explained how a traumatic defeat can come to be reimagined as a great moral victory. The canonical case was the American Confederacy, an act of treason against the United States created for the preservation and further spread of the enslavement of black Americans, which transmogrified into the “Lost Cause” of Southern heritage against a rapacious and exploitative capitalist North. 

The political evolution of the word nakba in the decades following 1948 is the story of how a defeat was refashioned into an injustice. The high point of this process was 50 years later in 1998, when a newly formed Palestinian Authority turned the date most associated with the Nakba, 15th May, into an official national day of commemoration, eagerly adopted by pro-Palestinian partisans.

The transmutation of the Arabs’ failed effort to wipe out the Jewish state into their own cosmic tragedy, together with the adoption of this counter-narrative by intellectuals and self-styled humanitarians in the West, is noteworthy in itself. But for the UN, and the General Assembly specifically, to play along is particularly ironic for a number of reasons.

The Arab war against Israel was a war against a landmark resolution of the UN General Assembly (181) calling for the peaceful partition of British Palestine into an Arab and a Jewish state. For the General Assembly itself to be marking this defeat as a “disaster” to be mourned is curious, to say the least. It was also the first major violation of Article 2 of the United Nations Charter, which forbade the “use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state”. Five of the seven Arab states to which Zureiq refers were UN members at the time. 

In violating the UN Charter and violently seeking to prevent the implementation of Resolution 181, the Arab coalition in 1948 was also attempting to block the first major UN effort at peacemaking in an international conflict. What’s more, in fighting to prevent partition, Arab armies were also violently resisting the UN’s first notable endeavour in decolonisation. The partition resolution, after all, held out the prospect of creating sovereign self-governing nation-states in land vacated by a European imperial power. 

The UN’s commemoration today is for only one aspect of this war, the mass displacement it caused, and for only one side. And here too another irony is buried. 

Displacement in war wasn’t unusual then, just as it isn’t now. In the late 1940s tens of millions were displaced by war, including defeated Germans and hundreds of thousands of Jewish Holocaust survivors in central Europe, but also Hindus and Muslims following the partition of India. None except for Palestinian Arabs had an entire UN agency created for them, dedicated to maintaining their refugee status rather than rehabilitating them. This, though, is precisely what UNRWA does. 

The decision to mark 15th May as Nakba Day shows just how much the mythology of the Arab defeat in 1948 has evolved separately from the obsessive attention to the Palestinian cause at the UN. After all, the UN already sets aside another day every year to commemorate the Palestinian struggle. In 1977, the General Assembly proclaimed 29th November, date of the original partition resolution in 1947, as International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, and it remains one of the organisation’s most notable annual events.

The two dates chosen speak volumes about the tragedy of the Palestinian cause. Accepting partition would have resulted in the first ever Arab state in Palestine 75 years ago. The Arab rejection of partition and subsequent wars against Israel and eventually the entire region were, for the Palestinians, the real disaster.

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Phil Simmons
Phil Simmons
19 days ago

While agreeing with much of the author’s argument, I have to take issue with his description of the territory in question pre-1948 as “British Palestine” and the later, linked assertion that partition was part of “decolonisation.” Palestine and Transjordan were never British colonial possessions, but rather territories mandated to the British government’s control following the collapse of the Ottoman Empire by the League of Nations, pending a decision by the inhabitants as to the kind of independence they wanted. This process was interrupted by the Second World War and complicated by conflict between local Arab and Jewish populations following the withdrawal of Ottoman influence, then further exacerbated by immigration of Holocaust survivors post-1945. The British never wanted this volatile region of the world as part of their already-disintegrating empire, and ended up by relinquishing their Mandate back into the hands of the LoN’s successor, the UN, when it became apparent that they were going to make no further headway in carrying it out. The correct term should therefore be ‘British Mandated Palestine’, and any decolonisation concerned clarified as relating to several hundred years of Ottoman rule, a process the UK government had started on behalf of the LoN but was unable to finish.

Last edited 19 days ago by Phil Simmons
Tom Condray
Tom Condray
19 days ago
Reply to  Phil Simmons

Great explanation, except you left out the Balfour Declaration, and its consequences.

Last edited 19 days ago by leitmotif3
Phil Simmons
Phil Simmons
19 days ago
Reply to  Tom Condray

.

Last edited 19 days ago by Phil Simmons
Phil Simmons
Phil Simmons
19 days ago
Reply to  Tom Condray

That’s true, though my reading suggests that HMG spent the next thirty years after Balfour trying to wriggle out of it. They certainly did their best to stop post-Holocaust immigration.

R Wright
R Wright
19 days ago
Reply to  Phil Simmons

The anger of the locals culminating in the 1930s uprising might have had something to do with that. If they had clamped down far ealier history would have taken a very different path.

Phil Simmons
Phil Simmons
19 days ago
Reply to  R Wright

Which locals? The Jewish or the Arab ones? Strange though it may sound to someone who views these events through black and white lenses, there were plenty of Jews in the old Greater Syria province of the Ottoman Empire, and there was no reason for these to go away when the Turks pulled out and the LoN mandated the British to take over administration of the southern part of the territory. There was also no good reason for Arab landowners to be forbidden to sell their own land to legal Jewish immigrants if they chose to do so.

Paul Nathanson
Paul Nathanson
19 days ago
Reply to  Phil Simmons

That’s an excellent response, Phil. I would add only that the region in question was never part of the British Empire, as you say, but it was part of the Ottoman Empire before World War I. Jews who went to live there took out Ottoman citizenship, learned Turkish and bought land from the owners–who were not the local Arabs but absentee landlords in Constantinople.

UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
19 days ago
Reply to  Phil Simmons

No , moron. The Mandate provided for close Jewish settlement and the creation of a national home for the Jewish people. It wasn’t left up to the “inhabitants” to decide on the type of government. Moreover, the was very little immigration into mandatory Palestine post Holocaust, pre- independence. You’re just another dullard trying to rewrite history. The leader of the Palestinian Arabs , Haj Amin al-Husseini and his fellow travelers were a bunch of Jew hating Nazis. That is the reason they incited the local population to repeatedly attack and murder Jews throughout the mandate period and thereafter.

Phil Simmons
Phil Simmons
18 days ago
Reply to  UnHerd Reader

Before you start calling people ‘morons’ and ‘dullards’ (a) read what they’ve actually written, and (b) be prepared to cite the sources for your assertions. I can give chapter and verse for my statements, all of them reputable historians both Western and Israeli. I bet you can’t. I support Israel and decry the ideologies and methods of its enemies, including the fetishisation of the so-called Nakba, but that doesn’t mean I’m going to ignore documented fact to shore up my position. The activities of Al-Husseini and his followers are among those well-documented facts, which strengthened the need for Jewish self-defence, resistance and independence. The Mandate authority’s inability or unwillingness to deal with attempts to drive Jews off the land is an example of what I described earlier as attempts to ‘wriggle out’ of implementing Balfour.

Last edited 18 days ago by Phil Simmons
Josef O
Josef O
19 days ago

Mystification is a common habit in the Middle East, as time went by being a refugee turned into a job for the generations. The permanent presence of refugees is an element of pressure on Israel and it is one of the tools that are exploited in the fight against the Jewish state. So it also became another layer in the many centuries old antisemitism, the propaganda was positioning itself on a fertile ground of hate. The image of the UN is not in good shape at all, celebrating the Nakba does not help. It is just prejudice and no pride at all.

Last edited 19 days ago by Josef Oskar
David Barnett
David Barnett
19 days ago

The authors point is well made, but the choice of the American Civil War and “Lost Cause” ideology is a poor comparison.
While slavery was a major cause of the secessions, it was not at all the cause of the war. Had slavery been the only issue, the secessions might have been reversed by the proffered Corwin amendment which would have enshrined slavery into the Constitution.
With secession, the slave holders lost the benefit of The Federal Fugitive Slave Act. This was an example of the South not being averse to Federal imperialism as long as the South could direct the Imperial power to its own benefit. The problem was: by 1860 southern domination of Federal politics, which had been receding for years, was at an end.
The other big issue was import tariffs. There was a crisis in 1832 similar to that of 1860-61. It was resolved in a compromise that reduced the hated tariff. 1860-61 saw that compromise dismantled, and this time the high-tariff supporters were not turning back. That is why the attempts to make slavery abolition a non-issue were not sufficient to reverse the secessions.
And no, the secessions were not “treason” but a state’s right, since the federal government was a creature of the states. Indeed, several states reserved the right to withdraw in their resolutions acceding to the 1787 constitution.
The cause of the war was the decision of the Washington government to impose its taxation on the seceded states by force. It is not hard to see why. A free-trading south would have made high tariffs in the north unsustainable (quite apart from the lost revenue from the south).
Taxation, and not slavery, was the cause of the war.

Last edited 19 days ago by David Barnett
Kirk Susong
Kirk Susong
18 days ago
Reply to  David Barnett

Was the ’cause’ of WWI the death of the poor Archduke? There are all kinds of causes – precipitating events, underlying forces, etc.
To be sure, the beliefs of antebellum Southerners have been grossly oversimplified in the past few years – but it’s not historically plausible to suggest that the profound national debate over slavery which divided North and South didn’t play a meaningful role in causing the war. There were lots of political, cultural and economic differences between these two brothers who lived in one family, and they all played a role in causing the war. Different opinions about slavery (not so much about race) is one of the more prominent examples of those differences.

Kirk Susong
Kirk Susong
19 days ago

Thank you for laying this out so clearly. It seems clear that the anti-Semitism of Western Christendom in yesteryear has been transmogrified into anti-Zionism by the contemporary Western secular left. The interesting question is why would this happen – and the answer (I think) is that Jews’ desire to be a separate and holy people, to have a separate cultural identity in the diaspora, has always rankled. So once it was the ghettos, and now it is the Orthodox and settler enclaves in Israel, that are the focus of the animosity. I am no student of this history, but is there another better explanation?

Paul Nathanson
Paul Nathanson
19 days ago
Reply to  Kirk Susong

So you’re blaming the victims, Kirk, instead of the perps? But your question is a useful one, so I’ll try to answer it as briefly as I can.
It’s true that Jews living in Hellenistic and Roman regions were sometimes hated for not assimilating (and disappearing) into local populations, which casts doubt on the Hellenistic and Roman claim to the superiority of their own “universalism.” But the problem became more deeply rooted when the Jewish community and the early Christian one went their separate ways. This was just before 70 AD, when Rome destroyed the Second Temple and exiled its inhabitants for the second time. Christians understood that as a divine curse on Jews for having failed to see the light and become Christians.
I’m not convinced that the motivation for Christian hostility was “merely” due to the belief that Jews were collectively guilty for having killed Jesus (which conveniently excused the Romans). I think that there was a deeper motivation: profound insecurity. Unlike Jewish theology, which does not refer to any interpretation of Christian theology, Christian theology relies heavily on its own interpretation of Jewish theology. This is why Christians needed to prove over and over again to themselves, let alone to Jews, that they were correct about Jesus and therefore that the Jews were wrong. This led to public “disputations,” which Jews could not win without provoking public outrage and sometimes forced conversions. The continued existence of Jews, in short, was inherently threatening to Christians.
Over the centuries, this conflict was exacerbated by political and economic factors. Jews lived as semi-autonomous communities within both Christian and, later on, Islamic states–sometimes flourishing under the protection of ecclesiastical or state rulers (for economic services rendered) and sometimes suffering from expulsion by them or attacks by mobs.
Even though any community that expects to preserve its way of life must distinguish between insiders and outsiders (whether religious, philosophical, ethnic, or linguistic), which remains universally true to this day, that doesn’t necessarily amount to arrogance. Living “apart” as the price of fidelity to their way of life in the face of public suspicion or hostility was an arrangement that Jews generally found not desirable per se but acceptable or at least tolerable, because there was no such thing as a secular state before the Enlightenment in Europe. Like both Christians and Muslims, Jews could not imagine a secular state or the separation of church and state (which protects not only the state from the tyranny of one religion but, in addition, all religions from the tyranny of the state). What Jews wanted most before the nineteenth century, therefore, was to live in tolerant Christian or Islamic states. And, at various times and in various places, they got what they wanted.
Anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism, however, are modern phenomena (although some Christian churches have made striking efforts to repent for their own anti-Jewish traditions and for collaboration with anti-Semitic regimes).
Anti-Semitism is hostility toward Jews as a race, not a religious community. But in one case, that of early modern Spain, religious hostility did turn into something like racial hostility more than four hundred years before the rise of modern racial theories. Spain became a nation-state in the late fifteenth century by insisting on religious unity. As a result, it expelled both Jews and Muslims (Moors) who refused conversion to Catholicism. Many left. Those Jews who converted and stayed on, however, were suspected–often correctly–of continuing to practice their former religion secretly. The Church established an inquisition to root out hidden or secret infidels (who had refused conversion) and heretics (who had converted to Catholicism but in name only). To do this, the Inquisition distinguished between “Old Christians” (who could demonstrate ancient lineage as Catholics and therefore purity of blood (limpieza de sangre), and “New Christians” (who could not and therefore remained under suspicion and liable to persecution). This was incipient racism. Even the sacrament of baptism, in short, could not expunge the taint of foreign blood.
Anti-Zionism, also a modern phenomenon, is hostility toward Jews as supporters or citizens of the one Jewish state. It would be naïve, however, to imagine that it is free from the long traditions of anti-Judaism in both Christianity or Islam Otherwise, after all, why would anyone be so viscerally opposed to Israel, and only Israel, for flaws that are common to all countries? Or, for that matter, refuse to acknowledge beneficial qualities that are not common to all or even many countries?

Last edited 19 days ago by Paul Nathanson
Josef O
Josef O
19 days ago
Reply to  Paul Nathanson

Very well written Paul, if I am allowed to add,Judaism is not a race but a condition of life. And it is a very interesting one otherwise it cannot be explained how Jews survived after all they had to endure during the thousands of years of ( in many cases impossible ) existance.

L Easterbrook
L Easterbrook
18 days ago
Reply to  Josef O

I would say it’s more than a condition of life, it could also be described as an ethno-religion. There are other similar examples in the world; Druze, Armenian Orthordox, but Judaism is probably now one of the oldest ethno-religions.
Of course, other ethnic groups have married into or wholly converted to the religion (Ethiopian Jews for example) but across the majority of Jewish groups is a shared Middle-Eastern origin in terms of genetics.

Paul Nathanson
Paul Nathanson
16 days ago
Reply to  Josef O

Thanks, Josef. For the record, though, I never said that Jews are a race (whatever that means). I said only that nineteenth-century racial theorists in Europe began to think of both Jews and themselves as races (the former inferior, the latter superior). Hence the difference between anti-Judaism and anti-Semitism.

Last edited 16 days ago by Paul Nathanson
Kirk Susong
Kirk Susong
18 days ago
Reply to  Paul Nathanson

Thanks for engaging with my comment. My question was, why would secular Western intellectuals, nominally more concerned with protecting oppressed minorities than anything else, and allegedly no longer motivated by Christian theology, have swung so rapidly from deep sympathy for Jews following the Holocaust to deep antipathy for the state of Israel within just a few decades? Although I appreciate your brief history of 2,000 years of anti-Semitism (much of which, to be honest, I disagree with), I believe you actually begged the question. After your history you say, “It would be naïve, however, to imagine that [anti-Zionism] is free from the long traditions of anti-Judaism in both Christianity or Islam.” But why did the religious revolution of the past 150 years, which allegedly undermined the rationale for anti-Semitism by eliminating Western intellectuals’ religious objections to Judaism, not thereby insulate us against the rise of anti-Zionism? Hence my speculation that the religious rationale for anti-Semitism was never the true motivating cause.
PS. I do not view this as blaming the victim in any way, shape, or form, so not sure why you alleged that.

Last edited 18 days ago by Kirk Susong
Paul Nathanson
Paul Nathanson
16 days ago
Reply to  Kirk Susong

The change from sympathy for Jews to sympathy for Palestinians is not at all hard to explain. Just as theology is central to religion, victimology is central to the ideologies that have emerged from Marxism: feminism, postmodernism and wokism. The central premise of victimology is the profoundly cynical belief that all of history revolves around the pursuit of power, which amounts to inherent conflict between the oppressed and those who oppress them. It was easy to see Jews as victims of Nazi persecution, not so easy to see Jews as victims who could defend themselves successfully against the combined military attacks of many Arab states. And how to classify the Palestinians? It was easy to see them as victims of the Israelis, their direct adversaries, but not so easy see them as victims of the Arab world, which was indirectly responsible for their plight by refusing (except for Jordan) to absorb them and urging them to continue their war against Israel instead of making peace with Israel.
I don’t know what the “religious revolution of the past 150 years” might have been. What I meant was a secular revolution. That delegitimated Christian anti-Judaism (along with Christianity itself and every other religion). But secularization didn’t involve lobotomization. It didn’t eliminate deeply rooted hostility, for example, but merely made it necessary to call that something else. Instead of referring to Jews as religious adversaries, they referred to Jews as racial adversaries. And when it became hard to hate Jews on either discredited religious or discredited racial grounds, it was easy to hate them on political grounds.

Kirk Susong
Kirk Susong
14 days ago
Reply to  Paul Nathanson

You keep begging the question. Why wouldn’t secularization “eliminate deeply rooted hostility” if the hostility arose from Christianity? (By way of comparison, look how quickly sexual mores changed in the West once Christianity lost its cultural ascendency.)
You keep treating anti-Semitism as an almost necessary feature of Western societies. But it is caused by something, and it’s not plausible that the cause was Christianity when it has persisted so strongly among such virulent anti-Christians. So my initial comment was intended as a thought on possible causes.

Paul Nathanson
Paul Nathanson
11 days ago
Reply to  Kirk Susong

Sorry, Kirk, I misunderstood your question. I hope that you’re going to tune in once more for the rest of my explanation.
First, the hostility came not only from Christianity but also from Islam. Neither (for different reasons) set out to eliminate Jews, merely to isolate them socially and politically but also to exploit them economically, usually as money-lenders (which religious law forbade as an occupation for Christians) or traders with international connections (because Jewish communities existed in many foreign countries).
As you say, though, secularization would indeed have eliminated hostility toward Jews if the cause had been purely religious. But it wasn’t purely religious. Complicating matters were the social, economic and political side-effects of segregation, which turned religious outsiders into social and political aliens. This, in turn, made Jews (and other outsiders) obvious targets of popular suspicion and sometimes of envy. Jews became archetypal outsiders. Secularization didn’t mitigate that otherness. Rather, it provided new reasons, supposedly scientific ones, for a hostility that had already been deeply embedded for centuries in popular consciousness through folk culture.

George Scialabba
George Scialabba
19 days ago

The post is fundamentally wrong in its definition of “Nakba.” The author claims it is simply an expression of regret for the failure of the Arab armies to accomplish genocide, to wipe out the Jewish population and its (in fact better-armed and better-organized) military forces. The definition of “Nakba” offered in Wikipedia is more representative and more accurate: “the destruction of Palestinian society and homeland in 1948, and the permanent displacement of a majority of the Palestinian Arabs.[2][3] The term is used to describe both the events of 1948 and the ongoing persecution, displacement, and occupation of the Palestinians.” The tragedy, the “catastrophe,” was the displacement of three-quarters of a million Palestinian civilians — who had not made war on Israel — and Israel’s subsequent appropriation of their land and refusal to let them return — all entirely illegal, as every country in the world except Israel and the US recognizes.

Hazel Gazit
Hazel Gazit
18 days ago

This is a very disingenuous view. The local Arab populations were directed by the incoming invading Arab armies (well armed and well trained – often by the British) to leave their homes temporarily so as not to be caught in the conflict, with the promise that they would return after victory and claim the lands of the Jews who would have been massacred. It is a miracle that Israel, the nascent state with only 600,000 inhabitants, defeated the Arab armies – losing 1% of its population in the process. The Jews under Ben Gurion pleaded with the Arabs not to leave but they chose to do so. You also make the comment that “Palestinian” civilians had not made war on Israel. How then do you explain the massacre of Jews by Arabs in Hebron in 1929, long before the State of Israel was declared? There were no Arab “Palestinians”. Only the Jews referred to themselves as Palestinian (hence, the Palestinian Post newspaper, the Palestinian national football team – all Jews, etc). The first time Arabs were referred to as “Palestinians” was when Egypt’s President Nasser, with help from the Russian KGB, established the “Palestinian Liberation Organization” in 1964. It was during the 1970s that these “Palestinians” began to promote their narrative through murder and assassination.

Peter Joy
Peter Joy
19 days ago

In the cause of balance, perhaps UnHerd can invite one of the four million or so Palestinians living since 1967 under a draconian military occupation of the land of their birth to give a complementary view?

Steve Murray
Steve Murray
19 days ago
Reply to  Peter Joy

On whether the term “nakba” has been misappropriated? It seems the author makes a convincing case that it has. If you mean on other matters within the article, these issues have been discussed virtually non-stop since 1948 and Unherd isn’t required to provide “balance” as a news outlet might be (as if…).

Josef O
Josef O
19 days ago
Reply to  Peter Joy

You simply do not know the geography and history of the area. You have fallen prey to deceitful propaganda.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
19 days ago
Reply to  Josef O

..not just ‘propaganda’ but all those fake videos showing the brutalisation of small children, the demolition of homes, the murder of journalists as well! I think not! Zionists do not deserve to be considered human.. they learned their trade well in the 1940s from the masters but to be fair, they do have the support of so called Christian US and UK. It is shameful.. this Wicked.. Evil.
Satanic regime has any support. I find it mind-boggling!

R Wright
R Wright
19 days ago
Reply to  Peter Joy

Unherd’s readership is composed primarily of evangelicals who adore Israel so I doubt they would see any value in doing so.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
19 days ago
Reply to  R Wright

I’m glad you didn’t append the word Christian! These evil, degenerates are Satanic, utterly devoid of any Christian values.

chris sullivan
chris sullivan
19 days ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

Liam your regular use of the term ‘satanic’ indicates your own catholic ? brainwashing ??. One of the names for satan is ‘the father of lies’ – i would bet my life that there are far more lies issuing from Palestinian sources than Jewish ?? This article addresses some of those untruths – get over it !

Maurice Roumani
Maurice Roumani
15 days ago
Reply to  chris sullivan

Bravo Chris! Rightly so! Thanks.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
19 days ago
Reply to  Peter Joy

Wow.. a rejection of the right of reply! That speaks volumes.. we are indeed living is a post truth era.. propaganda, distortion and downright lies are now the staple diet.. The atrocities committed by degenerate thugs in IDF uniforms, murderous settlers stealing Palestinian land is all swept under the carpet.. and no counter view is permitted; not even on Unherd! A classic example of British fair play? I guess so.. Sad isn’t it?

Maurice Roumani
Maurice Roumani
15 days ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

Your entry Liam does not deserve a reply. It is waste of my precious time!!! You should enlighten yourself with some history books and not propaganda!!

Lewis Lorton
Lewis Lorton
19 days ago
Reply to  Peter Joy

If you are interested in an online longer term and moderated discussion on the topic of how the State of Israel came to the position it is in, I would find a venue.

chris sullivan
chris sullivan
19 days ago
Reply to  Lewis Lorton

yes but that would assume the goal of a genuine enquiry vs a preference for a situation that mirrors one’s own sense of grievance- counselling theory 101