Comments and the Roar of the Crowd – 4

The latest from my inbox.

1. A handful of readers disagreed with my take on a recent comment by Mahmoud Abbas. The PA chief said:

“In a final resolution, we would not see the presence of a single Israeli – civilian or soldier – on our lands,” Abbas said in a briefing to mostly Egyptian journalists.”

The readers took exception to my use of “Jew-free” and “judenrein.” Those were my words, not Abbas’s. But they certainly were his intent.

From: …
Date: Tue, Jul 30, 2013
Subject: Re: IDNS: Abbas: Palestinian State Will Be Jew-Free

YOU are distorting what Abbas in fact said! He was not pleading for a judenrein Palestine. He was talking about Israelis, not Jews. This means that he has not excluded the possibility that settlers could stay on the West Bank, IF they accept to become Palestinian citizens! This was a position Arafat had and expressed, and it would be surprising, if Abbas deviated from that principle.

The settlers are Israeli citizens. The PA’s not going to offer them Palestinian citizenship. And even in the unlikely event that the PA would offer citizenship to Israeli settlers, settlers won’t won’t want to live under Palestinian jurisdiction.

Abbas knows all this. And unlike Maen Areikat, Abbas is smart enough not to baldly say “Jew-free,” even though everyone knows that’s exactly what he means.

Realistically, which Jews would still be living in Abbas’s Palestinian state?


Alawite symbol2. There’s the possibility of an Alawite “rump state” emerging from the Syrian civil war. I’ve addressed it on a few occasions, but after reading this email, I realize I left a few readers behind:

From: …
Date: Thu, Jul 25, 2013
Subject: Re: IDNS: Assad Seeking Israeli Consent for Alawite State?

What is an Alawite State?

The Alawites are a minority ethnic group in Syria. The Assad family is Alawite and they appointed other Alawites to key military and government positions. The Sunni rebels resent being dominated by the Alawite minority, and now that the country is in civil war, the Alawite community expects a very bloody retribution from the Sunnis.

One of Assad’s fallback options is to create a safe Alawite enclave along the Syrian coast, where most the Alawites live. It would probably have to break away from Syria, and heavily rely on Iranian and Russian patronage. The Assad regime is already ethnically cleansing Sunnis from Alawite areas.

It’s not clear to me whether an Alawite state is in Israel’s interests. For starters, you can read more about the statehood issue at the Voice of America, NPR, and Foreign Policy.


3. This T Dot red alert came our way:

Date: Date: August 4, 2013
Subject: Feedback via the HR Red Alert [#191]

Any response to Siddiqui’s article that appeared in Thursday’s Toronto Star??

People like Dr. Gabor Mate are entitled to their opinions. But I’m not sure they represent the views of Canadian Jews, as Haroon Siddiqui implies. I’ll defer to Canadian activists on this one.

(Image of Abbas via YouTube/Charlie Rose, sword via Wikimedia Commons)