Monday, June 23, 2008

The Other Catastrophe

The Jerusalem Post compares the decimation of the Jewish population in the Arab World to the "ethnic cleansing" of Palestinians by Israel. As the author writes, if Israel is to be considered part of the category, it "is perhaps the least efficient "ethnic cleanser" in the history of mankind." The Arab/Palestinian population in what comprised the territorial mandate of Palestine is currently 5 million, from a 1947 level of less than 800,000. The Jewish population in the Arab World, by contrast, crashed from close to 900,000 in 1947 to less than 7,000 as of 2001.


Matt said...

There's a lot in the article that's worthwhile, but I do wish it didn't attempt to minimize the suffering of Palestinians by forcing a comparison with Jewish refugees.

PG said...

I think the idea is not so much to minimize *suffering*, but to argue against the use of terms like "ethnic cleansing" when applied to Israel's treatment of non-Jews. That treatment has been at times spiteful and even inhumane, but it never has worked to cleanse the former Palestine of Palestinians.