Yair Halberstadt

Posts mostly crossposted from my substack.

Wiki Contributions


It seems you've stepped on quite a land mine here, and the following is mostly just vague guesses.

As far as I can make out it dates back to the Ottoman land code of 1858 where for various reasons a lot of land was declared owned by the government, which would collect a tax in lieu of rent.

So in one case the Ottoman empire sold a large tract of land to a Lebanese Effendi, who then sold it to the Yishuv. There was an village on this land which had been settled for some 60+ years, and despite protests to the Ottoman government the villagers were all evicted by the Jewish settlers.

It seems the villagers paid a tithe. I suppose at first they would have paid the tithe to the Ottoman government, which would have seemed normal to them (and more like a tax), then they switched to paying a Lebanese Effendi, which wouldn't have made any difference to them either way. And then suddenly they were sold again, and evicted off their land, which would have felt very wrong given they'd been living there all their life, and viewed it as their land.

My impression reading the book is that whilst the Israelis definitely had ambitions on far more, they were prepared to grudgingly accept the partition plan. They were heavily dependent on international support for their cause and far weaker than the surrounding Arab States so would have had no incentive for war in the founding days of the state if it wasn't forced on them.

Certainly there weren't any concrete plans by the Yishuv or Haganah to take over any land pre the UN partition vote. This is despite the Haganah generally being quite well organised in that way, and having lots of contingency plans prepared. On the other hand that may well have been as a result of uncertainty about what the UN partition plan would mean in concrete terms, especially for the British.

Whether things would have stayed peaceful long term if the Palestinians had accepted partition, or war would have eventually flared up, is anybody's guess. In practice what happened was that the Arabs denounced the partition plan and initiated concrete efforts to undermine it, and Israel accepted it and mostly kept to it till far later in the war.

Another error - whilst chat GPT is correct that 41 is a centred square number, it's formula is wrong.

Demilitarisation would be necessary initially for this to be acceptable to Israel (apart from such small arms as are necessary to maintain law and order, and a coast guard to prevent smuggling), but could be removed long term given continued peace and economic integration.

Also it should be acceptable for Gaza to enter into peace treaties with e.g. Egypt to defend itself from Israeli aggression, and Israel to defend itself against Egyptian aggression.

Finally it should be expected that Gaza will maintain authority over it's airspace and waters.

I think this would count as a protected state instead of a protectorate, since it would be expected that Gaza will be responsible for it's own international relations. It would also be with a view to becoming a full sovereign state over time.

He was responding to the selfish reason - "my children will take care of me in my old age", not the social reason - "my children will be a small part of keeping the economy running in my old age".

In a world where Jews have so little cultural identity that they're happy to relocate Israel to Moldova, Palestinians and Israelis might as well have so little national identity that they're happy to live together in a one state solution.

This hasn't historically always been the case - there was widespread public acceptance of homosexuality in the first 500 years of Islam's existence, with homoerotic poetry being a staple of their culture - see e.g. here.

Judaism also unequivocally rejects homosexuality, yet many modern orthodox synagogues happily have openly gay members of their congregation. So this doesn't seem quite as impossible as you make out.

From what I know, the international peacekeeping force in Lebanon does precisely nothing. They leave whenever there's fighting, and have no interest stopping Hezbollah from rearming. I literally do not know if it would make any difference if they didn't exist at all.

This is to be expected. UNIFIL has no skin in the game, and would take significant risk if they attempted to stop Hezbollah operations.

As Yovel said, wildly off the mark.

Just one minor extra point - the poorer Israeli working class is mostly supportive of Netanyahu. It's the middle and upper classes who oppose him, who they see as corrupt.

Also the youth is generally more right wing in Israel, and the older generation more left wing.

In general you can't copy your model of politics from one country into another and expect it to accurately predict what's going on.

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