He clearly is someone who can dish out but cannot take criticism. It’s a shame really. On his page, he stated I had some “interesting points.” Perhaps if he had explored those rather than protest his innocence, his response would have likewise been interesting. It also needs to be noted that his comments are welcome in the comments section on my article but I posted a response three times on his, only to have them removed.
I find even the title of his response to be indicative of his half-cocked response. I didn’t actually say that Maroun was biased against Israel. My exact words were “his conclusions reveal that he is not as unbiased as he purports to being.”
However, enough regarding his hissy fit, I will try to deal with his key points as succinctly as I can.
Maroun’s excuse for not having an equivalent quote for a Palestinian leader is very weak. He is willing to show an Israeli leader that he apparently respects in a bad light, but does not wish to highlight the opinion of a Palestinian leader because Arafat “is notorious for lying and saying one thing in Arabic and another in English.” Whether Maroun respects the founding father of the Palestinians or not, who by the way, the majority of Palestinians to this day hold dear, he should still have provided a clear parallel with the objective being to understand the views of the opposing side of Israel. The quote that I gave for Arafat was in English and clearly showcased his views. If he said something worse in Arabic, what difference would it make? The opinion he gave would not have been opposite in Arabic. He would not have said in English “our goal is the end of Israel” and in then in Arabic “I love Israel.” I do wonder why Maroun does not wish to show that the origins of the Palestinian cause (during the 1960s) had the express purpose of wiping out Israel?
“It seems that De Haas is not aware that Jews see themselves not only as a religion and an ethnicity but also as a people. I compare the Jews as a people and a nationalist movement to the Palestinians as a people and a nationalist movement. The comparison is completely appropriate.”
Now has Maroun really thought this through? They are both ‘a people’ but with some very important differences. The Jews are an ethno-religious people whereas the Palestinians are not. The Jews are not just a group of random people joined by a sense of being Jewish – they are a family. When someone takes a DNA test, they are provided with a breakdown of their family history. Jewish is a separate DNA group like Italian, like Western Asian (as Fred I’m guessing would have a degree of), like European etc etc.
Palestinians do not have a connection through DNA. In fact when Palestinians find a small percentage of Jewish DNA (presumably due to a forced conversion at some time) they are overjoyed. Palestinians are not a family group but rather many ethnicities that have come together. It would be like Fred, due to his family living in Canada for 100 years (purely as an example), saying that he has the same heritage with the indigenous people of Canada.
“De Haas takes issue with the fact that I refer to Israel/Palestine as both Jewish land and Palestinian land. She claims that “feeding into the narrative that ‘Palestinians’ are one people who have an ancestral link to “their land” does nothing to defuse the situation.”” Yes and as I have pointed out the Palestinian link to the land is entirely different than the Jewish link.
The Jews have a DNA link, the Palestinians do not. The commonality is residence and if the Palestinians simply accepted that they are welcome citizens of a beautiful land rather than pretending ancient roots, the conflict would be over. The rage that we have witnessed with Palestinian nationalism is due to the fable that the Palestinians have an ancient connection to the land and that Jews (who they say do not) stole this land. Maroun though appearing to show a fair analysis is actually promoting this dangerous view.
Maroun doesn’t seem to grasp the gravity of the problem with his parallel between Jews and Palestinians. He doesn’t seem to understand that he is ignoring all of the other citizens of Israel when he just goes by the term “Jewish.” He likewise is denying the truth about the background of the Palestinians when he ignores that they are also a mixture of people like the Israelis. I repeat what I said in my first letter to Maroun and even if he still doesn’t get it, hopefully the penny drops for others:
Israelis are primarily Jews and many other ethnicities and ethno-religious groups including those who identify as Arabs, Druze, Bedouins, Circassians, Greeks, Armenians, Bosnians etc.
Palestinians are majority Arab with a mixture of ethnicities and ethno-religious groups including Bosnians, Armenians, Turkish, Samaritans etc.
No “Zionist” I have ever spoken with denies that there is a group of people who now identify as Palestinians, but just like Golda Meir, they don’t buy into the false narrative. A truthful analysis of who they are is necessary to move forward.
As I also pointed out, Maroun’s use of the words in his article “their land” suggests that the Palestinians have rightful ownership and then instead of referring to Israel as “Jewish land” he suggested the Jews merely have some “attachment.” If he cannot see the reasons why this and the other issues I raised above are problematic then perhaps he is a lost cause like many are currently suggesting.
I personally would like to see the Palestinians doing what they expect of others. If Palestine is the goal, why not rename Gaza to South Palestine and start the road to real nationhood. As we all know, when Jordan and Egypt had control they could have easily renamed the areas they controlled to Palestine but did not, instead strangely the eastern portion was renamed the West Bank (of Jordan).
I would hope that Maroun appreciates that his change in tune has been noticed by many who previously supported him. Although he may have taken displeasure that he has some critics who have started calling him out for some of his views, he should be happy that discussions are taking place because of this. It is not for the sake of arguing or being right but for a just reasoning that may provide a realistic way forward.