In a March 25 letter , Medhat Credi of North Tarrytown again attacked the legitimacy of the state of Israel as a "colonial-settler state." He extensively quotes a French "philosopher" Maxime Rodinson. I imagine the stated eminence of Rodinson lies in the support his ideas give Credi. Otherwise, I know of no one who has ever heard of him!
His letter might have a hair of legitimacy had a pre-existent Jewish state set out to colonize some far-off (or nearby) land, as has been done by just about every other European, Asian and Muslim nation throughout history. Such is not the case here. Zionism-----a nationalistic movement for self-redemption-----is the return of a displaced people to the land of its origins, a land already inhabited by Jews who never left! This area, ancient Palestine, now known as Jordan (70 percent) and Israel (30 percent), always had Jews who inhabited it. The only governments indigenous to the area have been Jewish. All others were conquerors --Greeks, Assyrians, Romans, Turks, English, etc. As Jews returned to Israel, they bought the land, which they then reclaimed from 2,000 years of neglect. They prospered, in spite of great hardships and dangers. As they brought the land back, and increasing numbers of Jews arrived, so too did Arabs flock to this new prosperity. Far more Arabs came than did Jews, in response to this Jewish renaissance.
If Mr. Credi wishes to look at a gross example of colonialism, let him look at the Hashemite kingdom of Transjordan. The British simply lopped off 70 percent of Biblical "Palestine" (Israel) and repaid a political debt to the grandparents of the present King Hussein, and moved the Hashemites from Mecca, Saudi Arabia, to this new sectioned area of Israel, and installed them as rulers, creating this "Hashemite kingdom." Here we have a foreign minority that rules an indigenous majority.
April 20, 1993
For a rebuttal see and