Before & After: U.S. Foreign Policy and the September 11th Crisis Paperback – June 1, 2002
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About the Author
- Item Weight : 13.6 ounces
- Paperback : 246 pages
- ISBN-10 : 156656462X
- ISBN-13 : 978-1566564625
- Dimensions : 5.88 x 0.7 x 8.94 inches
- Publisher : Olive Branch Press (June 1, 2002)
- Language: : English
- Best Sellers Rank: #1,744,200 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
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In sum, her book is required reading for anyone wishing to understand the pre-history and after-life of the horrific event and, additionally, the reasons the US will soon invade Iraq.
Well, I do not know how Phyllis Bennis would have felt about fighting against Germany. But I think she is not in favor of fighting against Arab tyranny and terror. And my guess after reading her book is that she wants us to fight, but on the other side, as allies of the Arabs who are fighting a battle against human rights (and especially against human rights for Jews and other minorities) in the region.
Bennis' description of the history of Israel is simply cheap propaganda. She lovingly dwells on King and Crane, who as early as 1919 warned of the "danger" of a Jewish state arising in the Middle East. And she explains that supporting a Jewish state seemed like a good idea to Truman, given that the only losers would be the local Arabs! That sure is a strange way to put it. Would we dismiss the civil rights movement in the United States and the idea of extending human rights to Blacks in the American South by saying that the "only losers" would be the local Whites? I hope not. I think that emancipation and human rights are good for us all. Bennis strikes me as an arbitrary racist for whom Jews deserve nothing and Arabs deserve everything. She constantly portrays Israeli self-defence as unfair. She indicates that she had high hopes for the region when the infamous 2001 Durban racism conference was held (that is a startling confession, as far as I am concerned). But right after that came 9/11, and she seems to feel that this made things worse. It makes me wonder just what she was hoping for.
There's one key statement that Bennis makes that I regard as a trademark of anti-Zionism. And it is that the Jews owned about 6% of some land in 1947. In truth, the Jews really did own plenty of Levantine land at the time of the 1947 United Nations partition. They owned something like 6% of their partition as private property. That is an enormous amount. In the region which was assigned to the Jews, the Jews were just barely a majority of the population. In territory, the Jewish partition was about 55% of what was left of the British Mandate after over three-quarters of it was given to the Arabs to form Jordan.
The Jewish population would have been far bigger had the British not come up with their perfidious White Paper of 1939, which banned most Jewish immigrants. I think it is truly vicious of Bennis to boast that the Jewish population was so small, given that the reason it was so small was that anti-Zionists kept the Jews out, in violation of the Mandate given them by the League of Nations. She's blaming the victims, big-time.
Still, I'm completely fed up with the misuse of the fact that Jews owned around 6% of some land. The implication is that the Arabs owned the other 94%. And that is absolutely false. The majority of the land was State land. And some was "Beduin land," which was not private property. In the Jewish partition, the Jews and Arabs owned similar amounts of land. You ought to look up just how much each side had.
Now, it is not really relevant whether the Jews owned 1% of the land or 99% of it. Their property belongs to them, and they are making good use of that property. If everyone had to bid for all the Middle Eastern land at auction today, the Jews would probably get all of Israel and more, or, if others insisted on outbidding them for Israel, they would probably get far more total land adjacent to Israel. What I find striking is the eagerness of some anti-Zionists to misinform their readers by implying that the Arabs owned 94% of a region that the Jews wound up with the majority of (when in fact saying this would be a blatant lie) and then using this to try to imply that there is something unfair about there being a state in the Middle East that permits Jews to have human rights.
The existence of Jews is not the problem that is causing strife in the Middle East. The main problem is the refusal of some racist and irredentist Arabs to abide human rights and their violent rejection of human rights for their neighbors. Another serious problem is the support these racists are getting from all sorts of people in the media, academia, the religious community, and international organizations. And Bennis is part of that problem.