First, find out what isn't true…

November 17, 2010

Mark Twain and Palestine. Have you ever actually read Innocents Abroad? The Israeli narrative only mentions a couple of lines. Why would that be?

Filed under: Israel & the Palestinians — Tags: , , , , , , , — talknic @ 12:21 pm

It’s actually quite simple. If it isn’t the “acknowledged” Sovereign Territory of Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Egypt or Israel,
then it’s the territory of what remains of Palestine since Jordan and Israel declared their Sovereign Independence from Palestine in 1946 & 1948.
“we made the desert bloom” or “Israel is the only democracy in the M East” or Israel treats Gays better than the Arab states or there was no state of Palestine or the number of Jewish Nobel prize winners or Israel’s alleged invention of computer chips or the mobile telephone or most Palestinians would rather live under Israeli rule than Palestinian rule or anything that happened prior to 00:01 May 15th 1948 (ME time), including Mark Twain’s description of Palestine is COMPLETELY IRRELEVANT TO THE LEGAL STATUS OF TERRITORIES and the rights and duties of Statehood. They are all non-arguments. Hasbara nonsense 101.

The argument that Jews made the dessert bloom, has no legal bearing on the matter.  It is completely irrelevant to International Law.

Never the less, let’s have a look at what the Hasbara fails to mention from Twain.

Twain was recovering from cholera during his journey through Palestine, IN THE MIDDLE OF SUMMER… take it from here … for the most part the route he took to Jerusalem, was through barren areas. E.g., Damascus to the Sea of Galilee. Nablus to Jerusalem. Look at Google Earth even today. The dead sea, today. These are the areas Twain is quoted for! IN THE MIDDLE OF SUMMER.

You will not find the following cited by apologists for a Greater Israel.

“The narrow canon in which Nablous, or Shechem, is situated, is under high cultivation, and the soil is exceedingly black and fertile. It is well watered, and its affluent vegetation gains effect by contrast with the barren hills that tower on either side”

“Sometimes, in the glens, we came upon luxuriant orchards of figs, apricots, pomegranates, and such things, but oftener the scenery was rugged, mountainous, verdureless and forbidding”

“We came finally to the noble grove of orange-trees in which the Oriental city of Jaffa lies buried”

“Small shreds and patches of it must be very beautiful in the full flush of spring, however, and all the more beautiful by contrast with the far-reaching desolation that surrounds them on every side”

“Every where about the Mosque of Omar are portions of pillars, curiously wrought altars, and fragments of elegantly carved marble–precious remains of Solomon’s Temple. These have been dug from all depths in the soil and rubbish of Mount Moriah, and the Moslems have always shown a disposition to preserve them with the utmost care. At that portion of the ancient wall of Solomon’s Temple which is called the Jew’s Place of Wailing, and where the Hebrews assemble every Friday to kiss the venerated stones and weep over the fallen greatness of Zion, any one can see a part of the unquestioned and undisputed Temple of Solomon, the same consisting of three or four stones lying one upon the other, each of which is about twice as long as a seven-octave piano, and about as thick as such a piano is high. But, as I have remarked before, it is only a year or two ago that the ancient edict prohibiting Christian rubbish like ourselves to enter the Mosque of Omar and see the costly marbles that once adorned the inner Temple was annulled. The designs wrought upon these fragments are all quaint and peculiar, and so the charm of novelty is added to the deep interest they naturally inspire. One meets with these venerable scraps at every turn, especially in the neighboring Mosque el Aksa, into whose inner walls a very large number of them are carefully built for preservation
Bayard Taylor who wrote of the Jezreel Valley in 1852 “one of the richest districts in the world”
Laurence Oliphant 1887, again of the Valley of Jezreel “…was ‘a huge green lake of waving wheat, with its village-crowned mounds rising from it like islands; and it presents one of the most striking pictures of luxuriant fertility which it is possible to conceive’ “
It’s rather obvious from reading Innocents abroad, Mark Twain did not visit the most fertile areas of Palestine. It’s also rather obvious that Israel’s holey old Hasbara is just cherry picking!

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