Raz Dva Tri
The cover of the book is superb. It shows well that the Arabs of the Eastern Palestine (the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan) and the Arabs of the Western Palestine (Arab Authority with the seat in Ramallah) share the same flag and the same national colors. After all, there are East and West Banks in Palestine bisected by the River Jordan.
The author proclaims his intention to "avoid value-laden phrases" but he does not keep his promise and he brings his terminology in sync with his Oxford masters who allow him to reside and write volumes in their midst. His book cannot be considered a serious research project since even the border between Palestine (Transjordan, later Jordan) and the Saudi Arabia in 1948 is not shown correctly.
The author writes a lot about the assassinated Aziz Shehadeh without much investigation in his roots. Mr. Shehadeh was an Anglican; his ancestors converted from the Greek Orthodox faith when the British came to the Middle East. He was not "forced to flee from Jaffa to Ramallah" as Avi Raz wants us to believe. The Shehadeh family owned a great summer home in Ramallah. Aziz could stay in Jaffa in the winter 1948-1949. Yet Mr Shehadeh was an ethnic Greek who aspired to be a leader of Muslim Arabs in the hills of Judea and Samaria. In his post-1967 negotiations with the Palestinian Jews leading the winning State of Israel, he "made it appear as gaining support in his quest towards the independent state on the West Bank." But another prominent Jerusalem family led by Anwar Nuseibeh--a Muslim whose victorious ancestors were close to Prophet Muhammad-- had another opinion. His supporters insisted--according to the book--on the 1947 partition plan (it meant that the State of Israel, as a result of the Six Day war, must cede the territories won in the Independence war in 1948 in Galilee, move from the large tracts of land near Gaza and transfer Beer Sheva to the Arab rule. Jewish Jerusalem must be deep inside the Arab state occupying the entire Judea and Samaria.) Mr. Nuseibeh's faction demanded the return of the Arabs who left the areas of confrontation initiated in 1948 by the British-led Arab Legion based on the East Bank, by the militants based in Lebanon and the local brigands and skirmishers. The Muslim leaders also called for the referendum to approve all the negotiation results. Such a referendum could have sent all the peace plans in a tailspin since the Arab masses got their own sense of justice which has never included the Palestinian Jews. As Albert Camus wrote, there are many truths, not one.
To serve his British colonialist masters well, Avi Raz allows himself leaps in logic.
Since British officers lead the Arab Legion of the Eastern Palestine (Transjordan) in 1948, Mr. Raz is bound to pay great respect to his Oxford bosses providing him his sustenance and the (shameful) sense of self-esteem. He goes as far as claiming that "the 1949 armistice agreement amounts to the recognition of the annexation of the West Bank in the Western Palestine by the Eastern Palestinian Kingdom of Transjordan.
A new Oxonian Avi Raz even invents a new geography--he calls the Golan Heights a "Syrian Plateau." This topology is not found in any atlas except the erroneous book by our Avi.
In his fervor to make his British hosts happy, Mr. Raz repeats-- after Jew-haters-- that "Jewish settlers lived lavishly among 1.4 million destitute Palestinians."
He forgets to say how hard the Gaza Jews worked in agriculture and how well the rich Gaza Arabs lived.
They got dinners from the best Israeli restaurants and brought many fair-skinned Slavic wives from Eastern Europe.
Mr. Raz does not care that the density of the Jewish population in Palestine including Tel Aviv is three times higher than the Arab population. He does not notice that Arabs who are Israeli citizens control more land than Israeli Jews and buy more land from Jews. He forgets to inform us that his beloved Arabs are punished by death if they sell any land to Jews.
Avi Raz claims that "the Israeli volte-face was influenced by Intifada." He conveniently forgets to mention which one--a first one or second one.
Why does Avi Raz hate Jews corralled in Palestine, in their Bantustans?
Why does he want the Jewish revolt in Palestine to be rolled back and suppressed?
Ah, it is easy. The "laurels" of Josephus Flavius are deemed desirable by many people in academia. They want to hover above and, better yet, aside.
In exchange, they get their pounds of sterling instead of shekels.
No wonder, a competing "Josephus Flavius"--Avi Shlaim--praises another Avi.
The ancestors of Avis tried to become free people, they Hebraized their names, and they studied Ivrit.
Their much smarter offspring study the Germanic tongue of the Brits and enjoy the Bodleian Library before their non-kosher lunch with polished anti-Semites. Splendid!