By Nur Masalha
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Additional info for The Palestine Nakba: Decolonising History, Narrating the Subaltern, Reclaiming Memory
According to American Jewish historian and theoretician of nationalism Hans Kohn, Zionist nationalism ‘had nothing to do with Jewish traditions; it was in many ways opposed to them’ (quoted in Khalidi 2005: 812–13). Zionist nationalism adopted German völkisch theory: people of common descent should seek separation and form one common state. But such ideas of racial nationalism ran counter to those held by liberal nationalism in Western Europe, whereby equal citizenship regardless of religion or ethnicity — not ‘common descent’ — determined the national character of the state.
Benjamin Balint, ‘Confessions of a Polyglot’, Haaretz, 23 November 2008, www. 258033. . For further discussion of the ‘mythological sabra’, see Zerubavel 2002: 115–44. Zionism and European Settler-Colonialism 25 linguistic nationalist’, the most influential lexicographer of the Zionist vernacular also borrowed many words from colloquial Arabic. A newspaper editor, Ben‑Yehuda, who emigrated to Palestine in 1881, became the driving spirit behind this Zionist vernacular revolution (Stavans 2008).
After 1948 James de Rothschild instructed PICA to transfer most of its land in Israel to the Jewish National Fund (Fischbach 2003: 162–4). Edmond-James de Rothschild also supported the removal of Palestinians to Iraq. Following a meeting with de Rothschild in Paris, Vladimir Jabotinsky wrote in a letter to a friend that the Baron ‘is willing to give money to the Arabs in order to enable them to purchase others lands, but on condition that they leave Palestine’. Referring to de Rothschild’s plan, Mapai leader Shabtai Levi, of Haifa, who had been a land purchasing agent of PICA, wrote in his memoirs: He advised me to carry on in similar activities, but it is better, he said, not to transfer the Arabs to Syria and Transjordan, as these are part of the Land of Israel, but to Mesopotamia (Iraq).