Making Sense of the Nakba: Ari Shavit, Baruch Marzel, and Zionist Claims to Territory
Zionist claims to rightful rule of most or all of Palestine/the Land of Israel ultimately depend on naturalizing those claims into common sense, for Jews, of course, but also for the international community. Following the 1967 war, Israelis in favor of withdrawing from occupied territories have relied on distinguishing between the justice of the 1949 Armistice Lines, and the process that led to the State of Israel within those lines, versus the injustice of the occupation of territories conquered in 1967 and of their settlement and gradual absorption. But as the truth of the expulsions and forced dispossession of Palestinians in 1948 becomes accepted by wider swaths of both Israeli-Jewish and international public opinion, the traditional narrative distinguishing the justice of 1948 and the injustice of 1967 breaks down. Ari Shavit’s book, My Promised Land, can be understood as a response by Israeli two-staters to accusations of hypocrisy by the extreme right.
Ian S. Lustick is the Bess W. Heyman Professor in the political science department of the University of Pennsylvania. He is the author of Trapped in the War on Terror (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2006); and Unsettled States, Disputed Lands: Britain and Ireland, France and Algeria, Israel and the West Bank-Gaza (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1993).