Ben White, he who has no objections to positively citing Holocaust Deniers, is at it again: attacking Israel in an article in the New Statesman. In this latest screed, White repeats the information about “ethnic cleansing” of Palestinians. The truth surrounding such allegations have been dealt with extensively elsewhere, not least by Benny Morris. White is aware of this, but chooses to ignore the fact and propagate the same old distorted narrative. He is also frothing at the mouth because Michael Walzer said:
I think there is a sense in which Israel, I mean green line Israel, is right now politically a state of all its citizens.
White attacks Walzer for presenting no evidence for this assertion and then tries to dismiss it. My interest was piqued by his following words:
there is a distinction in Israel between ‘citizenship’ and ‘nationality’, a difference missed by English speakers, who tend to use the terms interchangeably. Professor David Kretzmer, law scholar at Hebrew University and member of the International Commission of Jurists, has written how this concept of ‘nation’ “strengthens the dichotomy between the state as the political framework for all its citizens and the state as the particularistic nation-state of the Jewish people”.
It just so happens that I have a copy of the relevant and scholarly book: David Kretzmer, The Legal Status of the Arabs in Israel (Westview Press, 1990). If one ignores the comma that White left out from the quote, he has not otherwise misquoted Kretzmer, but what he has done is be deliberately evasive by only quoting half of the sentence. The sentence in full, which can be found on page 44 of the book, is as follows but I emphasize part of the sentence which was left out by White:
Registration of “nation” is irrelevant in determining the rights and obligations of citizens, but strengthens the dichotomy between the state as the political framework for all its citizens, and the state as the particularistic nation-state of the Jewish people.
Moreover, as Kretzmer states on page 43, something White must surely have read:
Israeli law does not make duties or obligations dependent on one’s nation or religion.
Perhaps, next time, Ben White will be more honest in his writings about Israel. I am not holding my breath.