It should also go without saying that radical and bigoted polemicists on the other side of the Arab-Israeli dispute have their own pseudo-scholarship—their own numbing, often anti-Semitic, tracts—which make the case that Israel, and the Jewish people, are alien and have no claim on the land.
David Remnick, Newt, The Jews and an "Invented" People, The New Yorker
It should also go without saying that this sort of nationalistic sloppiness reflects an inability to actually address what Newt said head on. While "Naturally and justifiably, Palestinian politicians rushed forward to cite the underlying racism and destructiveness of Gingrich’s remark," one might have just as naturally expected the Arabs--or Remnick, for that matter--to cite the historical sources that back up the Palestinian claim.
Instead, Remnick creates a straw horse and avoids the facts--attacking Joan Peters' From Time Immemorial, as if that were the only source for questioning the Arab version of Palestinian history.
Far from it.
In The Hundreds Of Thousands Of ARAB Settlers In Palestine Just Prior To 1948, without having to use Peters as a source, I quote other sources--both respected scholars and periodicals of the time--that demonstrate that large numbers of Palestinian Arabs that are very recent arrivals to the land. I link to a blog from Elder of Ziyon which documents there were 100,000 illegal Arab immigrants from 1928-1931 and 25,000 from Syria in 1934.
You see, the criticism of Peters was not that she was wrong--what they faulted her on was the scholarship, not the fact that many Arabs were latecomers to the land.
Remnick is so off that he claims that he refers to scholar Yehoshua Porath as having critiqued Peters, while missing the fact, as pointed out by Erich and Rael Jean Isaac, that:
...there is overwhelming evidence, some of which (for example, in the studies of Fred Gottheil) she uses in her book, of extensive in-migration from the predominantly Arab to the Jewish-settled areas. Scholars, Porath included, do not dispute this (Porath disagrees on the reason for the migration). Such dispute as there is concerns the amount of illicit Arab immigration. The projections do not address this question, but rather confirm the disproportionate growth of areas of Jewish settlement compared with mainly or purely Arab areas within Western Palestine.J Street, for their part, is also incapable of addressing Newt Gingrich.
Instead of presenting facts, J Street resorts to name calling.
Rather that quote competing scholarship, J Street avoids the truth by calling for a petition.
J Street wants to claim that challenging Arab roots is demeaning?
Please forward me the link where J Street challenges Arab claims that deny Jewish roots to the land.
Please forward me the link where J Street shows equal outrage against Arab manipulation of UNESCO to declare Jewish holy sites to be mosques.
Newt Gingrich struck a nerve, challenging the historical connection of Arabs to Palestine.
But those who have responded haven't the nerve to respond with facts.
Technorati Tag: Israel and Palestine and Newt Gingrich.