IKHRAS GUEST CONTRIBUTOR MARLENE NEWESRI is a Justice Activist based in New York. In this special submission to IKHRAS she rejects Palestinian-American Zionist Ray Hanania’s “logic” and takes him to task for the contradictions, racism, and appeasement found in his writings.
In one of Ray Hanania‘s more recent articles, he challenged activists to prove him wrong on his logic for the Palestinians to win freedom. One significant problem is how any activist would be able to accept such a proposal from a person who constantly contradicts himself, as well as accusing others of attacking him when it has been his own conduct to do so as evidenced by his most recent posting using the term “moron” on quite a few occasions.
While it is true that people can change their opinions and attitudes over time and view things from different perspectives, nothing has changed for Mr. Hanania which is apparent in his commentaries and articles.
For instance, although Mr. Hanania has acknowledged that the rights of the Palestinian refugees are supported by “clear and irrefutable laws” (Palestinians must accept reality of the “Right of Return”, April 2005), in that particular article, Mr. Hanania stated:
“The United Nations proposed a partition plan to create a ‘Jewish state’ and an ‘Arab state.’ But, the ‘Jewish state’ had as many non-Jews as Jews. The proposed ‘Arab state’ was overwhelmingly non-Jewish. Israel was faced with a harsh reality. It had to forcibly expel the non-Jews…That population change has stymied all progress toward peace. To remain a Jewish state, Israel cannot take the refugees back. Yet how do you reconcile refugee rights, which are supported by clear and irrefutable international laws?” He went on to say “The problem has also created a powerful movement called “Al-Awda,” which is run by uncompromising ideologues and extremists who use the right of return as a political bludgeon to prevent Palestinian moderates from compromise with Israel.”
If, as Ray concedes, the laws are “irrefutable“, such as UN resolutions affirming the “inalienable” rights of the Palestinian refugees (which have not changed since he wrote this article and are in effect since 1948), then why does he continuously refute them and argue that the Palestinians should give them up?
If this is the inarguable and inalienable right of the Palestinian refugees, then how could Ray ever call member of Al-Awda “extremists” when that organization has always stood for the just rights of the Palestinian refugees. On the other hand, why does Ray encourage clear and irrefutable laws against illegal settlements to be part of any “peace” negotiations?
In essence, Mr. Hanania has unbelievably justified Israel’s dispossession of the Palestinians from their lands and homes because they were not Jews. Notably, he did not state that Israel “forcibly expelled the Palestinians,” but rather that Israel “HAD TO expel the Palestinians.” This surpasses even the Zionist narrative that the Palestinians left on their own volition.
Using the Hanania “logic,” it can also be said that in order to remain an Aryan state, Hitler had to decrease the population of non-Aryans, and those who did not support that “logic” were considered the extremists and enemies.
While I agree with Ikhras that the religious orientations of Ray’s spouse (as well as his son) are irrelevant (although he has made it a part of his comedy act and some of his articles), it most certainly becomes a major issue in the context of the Palestinian refugees, as well as other injustices that the Palestinians are subjected to, including those who are citizens of Israel.
So leaving the laughs aside, the very serious issue that Ray needs to confront is how he rationalizes the fact that because his wife is Jewish, as well as his son, that they both have the automatic “right” under Israel’s Law of “Return” to live anywhere they choose unlike the indigenous Palestinian refugees who do not have that right because they are not Jewish?
It appears that Ray’s “logic” already addressed this issue when he commented on Israel’s new loyalty oath:
“….I don’t mind taking a loyalty oath to Jewish Israel. It’s just all words. I’m married to a Jew, Alison, who one day could “return” to Jerusalem. And even though my father, grandfather and the entire Hanania clan are from Jerusalem, I can’t return except as an immigration petitioning for citizenship.”
In light of Ray’s statement, the issue he should now address is whether he would support any racist laws that would deprive his own wife and child of their rights just because they are Jewish, and would he dare to be so dismissive of that?
It may interest Ray to know that the criteria Israel uses to determine who is Jewish, thus giving the “right” under its Law of “Return” to Ray’s wife and son, is based on the Nazi Nuremberg Laws of 1935 which deprived all Jewish citizens of their rights. In other words, had Ray’s wife and son lived in Germany in 1935 that would have been their fate based strictly on the racist criteria used to determine who was Jewish. However, using basically the same racist formula, Ray’s wife and son have exclusive rights to live on someone else’s land while the indigenous people who are not Jews are robbed of those rights.
Could Ray rationalize the Nuremberg Laws in any shape or form against his own wife and child? If he condemns one, then he cannot possibly support the other, and vice versa. Where are his condemnations and support for a state that is rooted in racism rather than accusing others of racism? And this is what Ray is willing take a loyalty oath to because as he claims, they are only words. Anyone ready to swear loyalty to something which they do not believe in has truly lost their ethics.
So while Ray Hanania is most certainly entitled to his opinion, he is in no position to dare accuse others of hatred or extremism while having the audacity to preach injustice and support for the unconscionable. A sincere advocate of peace is not one who thinks it means succumbing to the dictates of those who think themselves above any law other than their own. In Ray’s case, however, he appears to be more supportive of Israel’s dictates than merely just giving in to them.