Why I Am Going To Gaza for New Year’s

on 63 Comments

Almost a year ago, on the celebration of Martin Luther King’s birth and just as the Israeli military assault on Gaza was coming to a close, I wrote a piece titled, Israel in Gaza: A Time Comes When Silence is Betrayal. In that piece I spoke of the role of American Jews and of Americans in remaining silent in the face of horrendous human rights violations perpetrated on Palestinians. I acknowledged that: “For too long, and I do not exempt myself, most of us have stood silently by or made only a marginal protests about the massive violations of Palestinian rights carried out by Israel.” I pointed out that for “as long as this silence continues so will the U.S. billions in aid and arms that facilitates the killings of Palestinians.”

Since that time, I and many others, Jews and non-Jews alike, have come some distance toward breaking the silence. We knew while the assault was continuing that we were witnessing massive crimes. We watched as most of the world stood by. Gaza, I think for many of us, demanded that we no longer stand on the sidelines.

I must admit to my shock at reading the Goldstone Report, the report of the UN Fact-Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict. Fact by fact, it documented violations of the laws of war and human rights law that were chilling. The report put the assault in the context of the responsibilities under law of an occupying power which Israel is in the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza. It addressed the annexation of East Jerusalem, the building of the wall, 85% of which is illegally located in occupied territory, the pass laws and the settlements. It addressed the blockade of Gaza which began years before the December 2008 assault and the collective punishment of the Palestinian people. As to the war, the Report concluded that the “military operations were directed by Israel at the people of Gaza as a whole” to “punish them” and “in a deliberate policy of disproportionate force aimed at the civilian population.” Each example was more disturbing than the one before and the cumulative effect was horrifying: deliberate targeting of civilians, the intentional destruction of the infrastructure of Gaza including fuel supplies, the sewer system, the only flour mill and the Palestinian legislative building.

The killing statistics tell us almost all we need to know: over a thousand Palestinians were killed (estimates run from 1,166 to 1,444), most of them civilians; 13 Israelis lost their lives of whom three were civilians. Imagine Gaza as an overcrowded prison, for that is what it is, with no ability for people to hide, escape or defend themselves. Then imagine an assault with impunity from the air, the sea and the land. Gaza was no accident. It was not a mistake. Israeli leaders justified the destruction of civilian objects: “destroy 100 homes for every rocket fired.” The Israeli government claimed that “there is really no distinction to be made between military and civilian objectives as far as government and public administration in Gaza are concerned.” [Goldstone report, paragraph 379]

After the Goldstone report there cannot be, if there ever was, any doubt about the need for investigation and prosecution of the criminality of the military assault on Gaza. Judge Goldstone is one of the most preeminent jurists in the world—he would be in my top three, and I am not sure who the other two are. His credentials are impeccable. A South African courageously opposed to apartheid, a justice of the Constitutional Court of South Africa and the chief prosecutor of the special UN tribunals for Rwanda and the Former Yugoslavia—and a Jew as well. Yet, attack him and his report is exactly what Israel and the United States have done. The U.S. State Department called it “deeply flawed,” but did not elaborate. Israel, which had refused to cooperate in the investigation, said it was appalled and disappointed by the Report, claiming it effectively ignored Israel’s right of self-defense, makes unsubstantiated claims about its intent and challenges Israel’s democratic values and rule of law. Even if Israel was acting in self-defense, although many would dispute this, that right does not grant permission to commit war crimes. And yes, the Report challenges Israel’s commitment to the rule of law: it does not seem to have a commitment when it comes to Palestinians. Despite these protestations, as Shakespeare wrote: “truth will come to light; murder cannot be hid long….but at the length truth will out.” Well it has, but truth still needs a push—a push into action.

That is why I am going to Gaza with the Code Pink Freedom March: because truth needs a push. It’s straightforward. I want to break the blockade. I want to see for myself the damage caused by the weapons bought with my tax dollars. I want it understood that Israel does not kill in my name. I want to follow words with actions.

Michael Ratner is president of the Center for Constitutional Rights.

63 Responses

  1. Cliff
    December 15, 2009, 1:18 am

    Can someone explain why these Jews on the Left only support non-violent resistance to Zionism?

    Usually they are the type who were (cliche) ‘quiet/silent for too long’ or other trite pretentious memes.

    When will these identity games end? I mean, you can’t get a single Jew to sympathize w/ the Palestinians simply because they’re HUMAN BEINGS.

    You know, flesh and blood. I know it must be hard for Jews to fathom being simply human, but they should try it sometime. It might explain the inanely idiotic success-rate of Zionist indoctrination.

    Oh and btw – how is this latest Zionist massacre different from their early ones? If anything, this conflict showcases how utterly cowardly Jews on the Left truly are.

    You know, the Abbie Hoffman street-performers Liberals. All of the, a bunch of goddamn phonies. They’ll go berserk when their identity isn’t involved. But when it is, they have to struggle within and all that claptrap.

    I still think the only true hero for the Palestinians was Rachel Corrie. Who was able to look beyond her own ‘identity’.

    • yonira
      December 15, 2009, 2:19 am

      Damn, that was some of the most racist shit I’ve read on here.

      If/when you become a doctor, will you treat Jews?

      Also, are you stoned or were you stoned when you wrote this? What exactly were you even responding to and what the hell are you talking abouT?

      • Cliff
        December 15, 2009, 3:23 am

        Racist? Jews aren’t a race.

        And I am alluding to Jewish IDENTITY within the framework of IDENTITY politics – which our country (are you American?) facilitates.

        Ratner mentioned MLK JR./the ‘breaking the silence’ meme amongst Jews of conscience/and referred to Code Pink – whom I understand only supports a very limited form of BDS. I was watching a YouTube vid of Bourghotti(sp) on BDS – and he was specifically talking about different levels of support for BDS amongst the ‘pro’-Palestinian camp.

        After Gaza, people like Medea Benjamin and Naomi Klein finally began making meaningful statements on the I-P conflict and in support of the Palestinian people. Klein specifically owned up to her own cowardice and reluctance in speaking out – due to her issues w/ Jewish identity (I don’t think she said this explicitly but it’s obvious).

        I don’t consider Jewishness to be inherent. It’s a political identity in the context I use it in. I don’t know anything about Judaism and I don’t give a shit.

        What I see in Ratner’s too-little-too-late claptrap is the typical stepping-on-eggshells-commentary because it’s ‘the Jews’.

        It’s the same meme over and over. Only a loser – empowered by Zionism – like you, would think Jewishness is racial. And that to criticize the identity politics and emotional blackmail of Jews on the Left to be a racist backlash. I put it in the same category as revolting against the White-Man’s-Burden meme or the revolt against the technocratic WASP class that sent young Americans off to die in Vietnam decades ago (and still does).

        It’s a ‘class’ of people within the framework of political identity. Every group has political capital in our country. It’s not racial, but it can be. I consider Zionist Jews to be European/White anyway. Certainly not an oppressed minority like Blacks.

      • yonira
        December 15, 2009, 3:36 am

        Are you still high Cliff? Judaism is a political identity?

      • MRW
        December 15, 2009, 3:51 am

        Yonira, Cliff wrote Jewishness, not Judaism.

      • Cliff
        December 15, 2009, 3:52 am

        Are you still blind? Are you still illiterate?

        I am not talking about Judaism – not about religion.

        I’m talking about identity politics. Jewishness within that context. A sociological entity. I wouldn’t even say the sum of the parts (religion, ethnicity, culture, location – in this case the U.S.).

        Just think of stereotypes/racial profiling. Both play upon a construct of identity. Both are negative inherently. They can be gratuitous and harmful (think of propaganda films or even the casual manner in which mainstream American films demonize Arabs and Muslims – see ‘Reel Bad Arabs’ by Jack Sheehan) or endearing (think of how minority comedians use race or identity to endear themselves and their group w/ ‘the audience’ as a way of building bridges between 2 communities). They can have a structural/institutional usage (screening young adult Muslim men in airports).

        I mean, in the case of the latter – is it something inherent to the religion? It could be I suppose for the person who wants it to be (those ‘in charge’) – but it could also have a cold/unemotional or logistical purpose.

        In that regard, I wouldn’t think it was a bad thing to screen young adult Muslim men before other profiles. It’s a safety precaution. That doesn’t mean there is no barriers/no limits to what we can do. There should be – it can become gratuitous and oppressive.

        Similarly, when I speak of ‘Jewishness’ and especially Jews on ‘the Left’ – I mean it in a very cynical way.

        This is because I consider myself to be an idealist. I think that is what the Left is about. I see that idealism in intellectuals like Anna Baltzer but she’s also coasting on her Jewishness. You can see it in her lectures/interviews and especially the Q/A. She’s very lazy on a lot of questions (like the exodus of Jews from the Arab world after 1948).

        This identity is put on a pedestal – mostly by Jews – but by the intellectually lazy non-Jews.

        I think I’ve explained the context quite clearly. You would prefer me to hate Jews in a racial sense – because that then justifies Zionism. I certainly think Zionism is garbage. And I think Jewish identity within the framework of identity politics is a joke – it’s like a marketing ploy. A cheap ad. I swear, all those Liberal Jews saying ‘Never again’ is nauseating. You didn’t go through the Holocaust. There are people who are truly suffering NOW and many of them are suffering at the hands of Jews!

      • Cliff
        December 15, 2009, 4:10 am

        And BTW – I consider this rant to be fair.

        I was enticed to write this because of the following excerpt from a letter sent to Norman Finkelstein – written by a Lebanese friend of his:

        Pls don’t misunderstand me Norm …I have not lost hope …I am just disappointed at people …. How difficult is it to recognize what is right and what is wrong ??? How difficult is it to acquire dignity and keep it ??? Or perhaps how naive am I ? The Arabs are dead ….they have no history and no future …they are a bunch of savage tribes fighting each other for nothing …Look at what is happening in Yemen …It is unbelievable and monstreous …I suppose you heard what happened between Egypt and Algeria over a ball …. I am sleepless most of my nights

        Now for a moment, yonira, forgetting we do not get along and never will. Forgetting that we have completely different ideas of justice/right and wrong, etc. – can you grasp what the writer meant by ‘the Arabs are dead, they have no future’?

        It’s not racist. Even when he is referring to ‘them’ as ‘savages’. It’s an expression of sorrow/desperation. Of disappointment and disillusionment.

        When he says that the Arabs have no future, he is referring to what he perceives to be excessive materialism within Lebanese society. The obliviousness to the problems within the society that have everything to do w/ the imperialism of the West and the corruption of the Arab body politic – which in-turn lead to said materialism.

        It’s all related. That loss of dignity.

        So when I was thinking about ‘Jewishness’ within the stated framework, I was ranting about a similar kind of phoniness and materialism.

        Especially, the ‘not-in-my-name’ Jewry. I don’t know what it means anymore. I mean, let’s say you are a religious Jew, yonira – do you think it’s even meaningful? I mean, you don’t dabble in religion. It’s not a hobby. It’s a way of life. So if Jewishness today is mostly defined by Judaism and Zionism – then from my perspective, how can the 2 coexist?

        If – and I always give undeserved credit to the 3 big monotheistic religions reflexively – we assume Judaism is inherently ‘good’ but that a Jewish State would not come into being w/o the expulsion of 800,000 Palestinian Arabs by the Jewish forces in 48′ – which was purposeful and part of the strategy of Zionist colonization and which continues to this very day – then where does that leave the ‘Jewish’ religion?

        Both things are separate. There are people who are religious Jews – however they themselves are not Judaism. They are followers of the religion. I like to think they are defined in a context, by the religion – rather than the religion being defined by them.

        That’s ultimately how I see these Jews on the Left. I see them forming a construct of ‘Jewishness’ – clearly, because they are often called ‘self-hating’ Jews by Jews on the Right.

        So even within the Jewish community there are quite obvious disagreements on Jewishness.

        I’ve heard Dershowitz say Norman Finkelstein is a Jew by ‘accident of birth’ (someone said it at least, but might not have been Dersh).

        Anyway, yada yada yada – you should get the idea by now. Not racial.

      • James Bradley
        December 15, 2009, 5:18 am

        Yonira, Cliff made a very coherent argument, I don’t see what your having a problem with.

      • Chaos4700
        December 15, 2009, 10:15 am

        You answered your own question, Mr. Bradley. Cliff made a very coherent argument — and as a Zionist, Yonira’s only recourse was to distract from that by flinging the “anti-Semitism” label at him. It’s like how a skunk sprays musk on anything that it considers a threat.

      • potsherd
        December 15, 2009, 10:38 am

        Cliff’s point is a very important one. It’s a fact that the responsibility for the crimes in Gaza, as well as the other crimes committed by Israel, has been enabled by the great majority of Diaspora Jews, particularly Jews in the US, who adhere like glue to the AIPAC proposition that it is disloyal to the tribe not to support the “Jewish state” in whatever it does, to offer up any criticism.

        I disagree, however, with his attack on those who belatedly see the truth and move to support Israel’s victims. Just as Jewish support of Israeli crimes is an identity thing, so is Jewish repudiation of them. They are both identity movements. This site is largely an identity movement, and a very important one.

  2. DICKERSON3870
    December 15, 2009, 2:01 am

    MR RATNER: Thank you and the the Center for Constitutional Rights for all the great work you do.
    P.S. That Ellen is a real hoot!

  3. Brewer
    December 15, 2009, 2:37 am

    Time to stand up and be counted unless you want to be associated with this sort of nonsense:

    “WESTPORT – A standing-room only crowd of close to 300 people filled the small sanctuary at The Conservative Synagogue in Westport on Sunday, Dec. 6 to hear Dr. Daniel Gordis, senior vice president of the Jerusalem-based research and educational institute, The Shalem Center, discuss the future of Israel, Zionism and the U.S.-Israel alliance. The author of “Saving Israel: How the Jewish People Can Win A War That May Never End” delivered a message that was a mixture of hope and warning; a message that stressed the key role of American Jewry in ensuring the survival of the Jewish state.

    Here are some of Gordis’ key points:

    1. Israel has survived all conventional military attacks and frustrated their aims, and Israel has reduced terrorism to a minor threat.

    2. There is one potent attack by the Arabs against Israel that is capable of succeeding and against which Israel has no defense:. That is the direct assault that Israel is now under by the Arabs via appeals to the world community. This coordinated effort aims to delegitimize the Jewish state and cause it to be treated as an international pariah, whose products and scholars will be boycotted and ostracized from the international community.

    3. In order to survive this new attack American Jews must fight it in the halls of Congress and on the American campuses. This means getting involved with organizations willing to present Jewish arguments, e.g. the American Israel Political Action Committee (AIPAC).

    4. If Israel were to be destroyed, American Jewry would be reduced to the bleak existence they experienced years ago in Poland or Russia.
    5. Israel cannot accept a nuclear-armed Iran because the basic Zionist ethic was to relieve Jews of existential threats. The Iranian threat could easily have been stopped by Presidents Bush or Obama, via bombings by the United States Air Force. Since, clearly, this didn’t and won’t happen, the Israel Defense Force (IDF) will have to do it. [Gordis noted that his prediction was not based on any special inside information, but on his own analysis of the situation.] In the event of such an attack, it is likely that Hezbollah, Hamas and Iran would retaliate with massive rocket assaults on the Jewish state.

    6. We are at war with Islam and any denials to the contrary may be politically correct, but are wholly inaccurate. Of course, there are Muslims who are not Jihadists, but they represent a small percentage and are irrelevant. Militant Islam is succeeding in Europe, the Middle East and is coming to America.”
    link to jewishledger.com

  4. tree
    December 15, 2009, 3:39 am

    “4. If Israel were to be destroyed, American Jewry would be reduced to the bleak existence they experienced years ago in Poland or Russia.”

    This is off-topic a bit, but has anyone mentioned the revelation about Golda Meir in Haaretz last week?

    In 1958, then-foreign minister Golda Meir raised the possibility of preventing handicapped and sick Polish Jews from immigrating to Israel, a recently discovered Foreign Ministry document has revealed.

    “A proposal was raised in the coordination committee to inform the Polish government that we want to institute selection in aliyah, because we cannot continue accepting sick and handicapped people. Please give your opinion as to whether this can be explained to the Poles without hurting immigration,” read the document, written by Meir to Israel’s ambassador to Poland, Katriel Katz.

    The letter, marked “top secret” and written in April 1958, shortly after Meir became foreign minister, was uncovered by Prof. Szymon Rudnicki, a Polish historian at the University of Warsaw.

    In recent years, Rudnicki has been researching documents shedding light on Israeli-Polish relations between 1945 and 1967.

    The document had not been known to exist before this time, and scholars of the mass immigration from Poland to Israel that took place from 1956 to 1958 were unaware of Israel’s intent to impose a selection process on Jews leaving Poland – survivors of the Holocaust and its death camps.

    The “coordination committee” Meir refers to was a joint panel consisting of representatives of the government and the Jewish Agency.

    link to haaretz.com

    Israel has rarely if ever helped foreign Jews, unless the “help” it provides benefits Israel first. This makes them no different that any other country, but for a country that claims it exists to protect Jews worldwide, it has a piss-poor track record on that account.

    • MRW
      December 15, 2009, 3:55 am

      This was the Zionist position during WWII. The Jewish charities would not help Jews unless they were healthy and able enough to go to Palestine.

      • potsherd
        December 15, 2009, 10:42 am

        Or could bring significant amounts of capital to Palestine.

    • Chaos4700
      December 15, 2009, 10:54 am

      Ooh. You have no idea what a revelation that article is to me. Thank you for sharing it.

  5. Richard Witty
    December 15, 2009, 4:14 am

    What is the goal of the march?

    To bring attention to the condition of Gazans?

    To suggest an alternative?

    To break the possibility of management of borders, by direct action by having white, Jewish, affluent that become human shields that can’t be harmed?

    • Citizen
      December 15, 2009, 6:14 am

      All of the above, Dick, all of the above, and more:
      link to gazafreedommarch.org

      BTW, the march will include international contingents from around the world, not all Jewish, not all white.

      Why not? What has always been the purpose and goal of von-violent protest actions?
      You write as if you never heard of Ghandi or MLK. Why this pose?


      “… because truth needs a push. It’s straightforward. I want to break the blockade. I want to see for myself the damage caused by the weapons bought with my tax dollars. I want it understood that Israel does not kill in my name. I want to follow words with actions.”

      • Richard Witty
        December 15, 2009, 7:27 am

        Its the issue of the borders that will break the non-violent “nature” of the march.

        You may object to restrictions by blockade and to airspace, but the issue of what crosses Israel’s borders (both in an out), IS a definition of a nation’s sovereignty.

        Unless you are proposing that all national sovereignty is invalid, that is a strained position, a careless one.

      • Richard Witty
        December 15, 2009, 7:29 am

        The way that the blockade gets lifted is if Hamas decides to yeild to the Palestinian political sovereignty of the PA, and proceeds to form an actual state.

        It can then participate in coherent elections, but without a militia.

      • Judy
        December 15, 2009, 8:03 am

        So Hamas should yield to the “political sovereignty of the PA”…

        … as opposed to abiding by the internationally monitored results of democratic elections?

        Witty, are you joking?

      • Judy
        December 15, 2009, 8:08 am

        Seriously, at least have the guts to spell out directly what you are suggesting with mild languge:

        *that democratic elections should be overturned because Israel and the West don’t like the outcome;
        *that Israel and the US have the right to “appoint” Palestinian leaders more to their liking, and
        *that Gazans will be held captive in an open-air concentration camp until they submit to the will of the Israel and the US, and ignore the results of their own elections.

        Jesus Christ, no wonder so many Palestinians support Hamas.

      • Donald
        December 15, 2009, 8:21 am

        That’s basically it, I think. Also, and this is crucial, the intense suffering of 1.5 million innocent Palestinians MUST be placed on Hamas, not on Israel or its supporters in the US–Richard cannot compromise on this.

      • Citizen
        December 15, 2009, 8:45 am

        The issue of what crosses the internationally recognized border that existed between Israel and the West Bank until the war of 1967? Since the days of the national sovereignty of Germany under Nazi regime there are internationally
        recognized limits to national sovereignty. That’s the whole point of the march, Dick–to bring violations of international standards to public attention. Wasn’t
        Iraq sovereign? Isn’t Iran? No rogue state ever claims it has or will act other than purely in self-defense. Take a laundry list of the household items stopped from
        crossing either along the green line, or along the fence\wall encroaching into the occupied territories. Crayons? Paper that can bear the pressure of a tiny
        hand pushing the crayons? Sick people needing outside help? A student with a scholarship to a foreign university? Why not just kill the Palestinian babies
        as one Rabbi has justified, because they might grown up to be like their parents? And American tax dollars fund this type of mentality–which is
        straight out of Nazi philosophy.

      • Judy
        December 15, 2009, 8:53 am

        What I find most disturbing is the underlying unspoken racism/bigotry/ethnocentrism that can allow one to posit that Palestinians aren’t entitled to the same basic rights that we as white/american-israeli/judeo-christians are entitled to.

        Free and fair elections were encouraged by the West.
        They were held.
        The results shocked everyone, including Hamas. The people of Palestine had clearly had enough of the corruption and non-leadership of Fatah.
        Hamas immediately reached out to Fatah to work together to form a unity gov’t.

        Rather than work together to ensure a positive outcome, Fatah (at the behest of the west) chose to leave Hamas to hang. Israel and the West chose to ignore the results of the elections, and hamstring Hamas such that they never had a shot at making a go of governing.

        It seems “the West” prefers to see Palestinians in a concentration camp rather than as practitioners of democracy. Zionist supporters can make a million excuses to try to justify this, but the reality is, there are horrible leaders elected in every country, including our own.

        But I want to ask you directly, Richard: why do you deserve to have a vote and have your vote respected (even if your fellow-countrymen choose to re-elect a practitioner of state terror), but not, say, my brother-in-law in Gaza?

      • Richard Witty
        December 15, 2009, 9:30 am

        The critical difference with Hamas was that Hamas announced immediately after winning the legislative elections, that it would renounce treaties signed, and reject enforcing law legally determined by the prior legislature.

        It declared itself a revolutionary entity, continuing to maintain a militia rather than folding its militia into unified police force obeying orders of a monopoly of power. The significance is similar to some of the settlers’ rabbi(s) that urge orthodox Jews to selectively disobey IDF orders.

        Democracy is more than one-person one-vote. It is also continuity of constitutional order, peaceful transfer of responsibility.

        When Hamas determines that the PA is the government of Palestine, and that it can peacefully participate as a political party in the PA, and accept treaties and other agreements that the PA has signed with Israel and the west, then it will conform to that standard of continuity.

        Its certainly difficult. Acknowledging a treaty with Israel is tantamount to recognizing Israel as Israel, and establishing actual diplomatic relations, and abandoning their state of war, deferred or active.

        But, that is the maze that it exists in. There is no “changing the course of the river”. There is only navigating the river that exists.

      • Judy
        December 15, 2009, 10:03 am

        Did Hamas not entreat Fatah to join it in co-governing the people of Palestine?

      • Donald
        December 15, 2009, 10:17 am

        Critically different from what? Israel? Israel hasn’t lived up to its agreements–it’s refreshing when an organization stops pretending a treaty is binding when it isn’t.

        Anyway, you’re dancing around the most important point, which is Israel’s collective punishment of 1.5 million Gazans. If one can do this legitimately to Gaza, one can do it legitimately to Israel. I wouldn’t go along with such draconian sanctions on Israel, because I don’t believe in that sort of brutal assault on an entire population. But you do, if the victims are Arabs. You’d maintain the blockade until Hamas says the words you want them to say. Then we can go another 40 years talking about the peace process.

      • Chaos4700
        December 15, 2009, 10:18 am

        Ahem. Inconvenient factor that Witty likes to ignore.

        The Gaza Bombshell

      • potsherd
        December 15, 2009, 10:45 am

        I see RW is supporting the brutal collective punishment of an entire population to force its elected government to surrender to the corrupt party they voted out of office.

        This is the precise policy of Netanyahu, disguised as “peace,” to force the Palestinians to surrender, disarm, and march like sheep into the prisons prepared for them, under the guns of the quisling Kapos.

      • Donald
        December 15, 2009, 10:50 am

        Yeah, that’s been pointed out before to him and he does ignore it. Facts which don’t fit his agenda don’t exist. Moral values which contradict his agenda don’t exist. Hamas is held to a standard he won’t uphold for Israel, the PA, or the US. Hamas wanted a unity government and they were willing to abide by a truce without recognizing Israel–for Witty and people who think like him , that’s reason enough to incite a civil war and impose a draconian blockade and then blame Hamas for the suffering their own actions have inflicted.

      • potsherd
        December 15, 2009, 10:50 am

        When Fatah determines that the Hamas-controlled PA is the legitimate government of Palestine, and that it can participate as a minority party without its accustomed monopoly of of the spoils, when it accepts that the PA is supposed to serve the interests of the Palestinian people, not serve as a catspaw for the Israeli occuapation, then it will have taken the first step to expiating the crimes it has committed against its own people.

        The river that RW wants it to follow is the course of the sewer leading to the cesspit of surrender and acquiescence to permanent occupation.

      • Judy
        December 15, 2009, 10:53 am

        Yes, Chaos, that little bombshell.

        The coup was all for the good, though, right?

      • aparisian
        December 15, 2009, 12:27 pm

        Yes, eaxctly.
        The US congress (Israël) + the west support dictators like Muburak in Egypt and co because if they ever allow democratic regimes, the outcomes wont be to their liking, They also able to make wars (Iraqi case) to get rid of the bad dictator, it doesn’t matter if they kill hundreds of thousands of civilians in the name of democracy.

      • Chaos4700
        December 15, 2009, 12:40 pm

        It’s bigger than even the Middle East. Just look at Honduras.

      • James North
        December 15, 2009, 12:45 pm

        Richard: Your post is unclear, but you do say (sic): “Its the issue of the borders that will break the non-violent ‘nature’ of the march.” You are implying that the marchers may provoke Israeli violence, and therefore not truly nonviolent.
        Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. already dealt with an earlier version of your argument, in “Letter from a Birmingham Jail” (1963) — which is not addressed to out-and-out racists, but to Southern “moderates” who had called his marches “unwise and untimely.”
        I commend the entire letter to you. One portion is particularly relevant: “Actually, we who engage in non-violent direct action are not the creators of tension. We merely bring to the surface the hidden tension that is already alive.”
        Or: “In your statement, you asserted that our actions, even though peaceful, must be condemned because they precipitate violence. But can this assertion be logically made? Isn’t this like condemning the robbed man because his possession of money precipitated the evil act of robbery?”
        I wish I were attending this Gaza march. I have no doubt that if Dr. King were alive he would be right in the front ranks, despite his 91 years.

      • wondering jew
        December 15, 2009, 1:03 pm

        King would be 81 next January 15th.

      • James North
        December 15, 2009, 1:11 pm

        I’m wrong about his “age.” Thanks for the correction. By the way, what do you think of his reasoning?

      • Chaos4700
        December 15, 2009, 1:13 pm

        Ha! And of course, the only response from the Zionist quarter is a pedantic truism.

      • wondering jew
        December 15, 2009, 1:21 pm

        The aspiration for a color blind society and an ethnic blind society is a worthy aspiration. (My brand of Zionism:) The current Zionist objection to this aspiration is justifiable given practical concerns- that giving up the Jewish nature of the state will result in oppression of Jewish rights rather than an ethnic blind society.

      • Chaos4700
        December 15, 2009, 1:45 pm

        So you’re world view is that it really is the Jews against the rest of the world, WJ? That it’s a zero sum game, if Jews aren’t suffering than someone else must be suffering to guarantee Jewish interests?

        I think you’ve told us all we really need to know about Zionism, actually.

      • Richard Witty
        December 15, 2009, 3:20 pm

        Its breaking the non-violent nature of the march because it is insisting on an impossibility for a state, to relinquish the governance of its borders.

        King and Gandhi non-violent demonstrations addressed the immoral and unnecessary laws inherent in the oppression of Indians and African-Americans.

        Its an imaginative but ultimately misguided effort. If I were the Israeli state I would allow the marchers to cross into Israel and right into a holding pen, and not initiate any violence. But, the individuals that cross will be in a state that they don’t hold Visa’s to, and would have violated international law in an effort to affirm an interpretation of international law.

        Its not a path forward. A path forward is for Hamas to reconcile with the PA, fully, including renouncing its function as militia and including any pretense of sovereignty over any territory, except by CURRENT consented election, as was originally planned for January.

        If national aspiration is its goal, to do so relative to Fatah and the PA, is not a compromise of fundamental principles but a realization.

      • Judy
        December 15, 2009, 3:44 pm

        Richard, are you aware that at this point in time, Abbas’ presidency is illegitimate? His mandate expired last January. He continued in power as a consequence of Israeli war on Gaza.

        – Abbas’ government is illegitimate. It has been designated by the president without previous discussion and approval by the legitimate Palestinian parliament.

        Lastly, why would any Palestinian even both to vote in new elections?

      • Judy
        December 15, 2009, 3:45 pm

        Make that: why would any Palestine bother to vote in new elections? What would be the point?

      • potsherd
        December 15, 2009, 3:50 pm

        Numerous people here have made this point, but RW’s brain is impervious to information.

      • Chaos4700
        December 15, 2009, 4:35 pm

        Its breaking the non-violent nature of the march because it is insisting on an impossibility for a state, to relinquish the governance of its borders.

        Goebbels is calling on the hotline from hell. He’s upset that a Jew has apparently taken up his former occupation.

        You honestly DO NOT CARE about the starving people in Gaza, do you? You will literally SAY ANYTHING to keep them bottled up and dying so that your precious Zionism can turn a buck?

    • Chaos4700
      December 15, 2009, 10:16 am

      Can you read?

      It’s all posted pretty plainly on their web site.

  6. Citizen
    December 15, 2009, 6:52 am

    Some representatives are seeking peer signatures on a letter to Obama and another to Clinton to lift the blockade of Gaza–here’s the letters and contact information to ask your representatives in congress to sign those letters:
    link to endtheoccupation.org

  7. Chu
    December 15, 2009, 11:30 am

    Palestine Will Determine World’s Fate
    “…Palestine is the frontline of the global resistance against the global arrogance and international hegemony. ”

    link to mehrnews.com

    • Chaos4700
      December 15, 2009, 11:38 am

      There aren’t many things I agree with Ahmedinejad on. But this would be one of those few things that I do.

  8. wondering jew
    December 15, 2009, 1:01 pm

    Gaza currently is occupied because Israel controls what enters Gaza not only from Israel but also from the sea. Egypt controls what enters Gaza from the other direction and Israel has an influence on this as well. (If the border with Egypt was open in a usual sense, one wonders what would be then, but…) Because of Israel’s control of the sea entrance to Gaza it therefore has a duty to allow sufficient goods to enter Gaza from Israel.

    The Gazan government, which is there from a combination of two factors: an election and a coup d’etat (that was defensive in nature due to the prospective Fatah coup d’etat, according to the article in Vanity Fair) chooses not to negotiate a peace with Israel based upon itself as sovereign territory until the West Bank is freed from Israeli occupation. It is a self contained territory, but because it is densely populated and considers itself to be one unit with the rest of Palestine (as in the West Bank or as in mandate Palestine after the partition of Jordan into a separate state) , it refuses to negotiate a separate peace.

    • Chaos4700
      December 15, 2009, 1:12 pm

      The same rules don’t apply to Israel, and Israel’s refusal to negotiate, their election of extremists, their attacks on Palestinian civilians, etc?

      So why aren’t Israeli children subject to starvation the way Gazan children are? How do you justify one and not the other?

      • wondering jew
        December 15, 2009, 1:26 pm

        I am in favor of finding a way to stop the siege from the sea by Israel. This may require some third party military force checking that the goods brought in by sea do not include weapons. I am in favor of increasing the amount of goods brought in from Israel to pre (2005) withdrawal levels.

      • Chaos4700
        December 15, 2009, 1:46 pm

        How about some third party military just dealing with the pirates that are interdicting Gaza the way we normally deal with pirates?

      • Chaos4700
        December 15, 2009, 1:51 pm

        Also, by what logic are the Palestinians required to leave themselves defenseless? It isn’t illegal for them to arm themselves. In fact, Operation Cast Lead showed quite handily that the Palestinian people have a very real existential military threat they need to defend themselves against.

      • potsherd
        December 15, 2009, 2:32 pm

        Just so.

        Israel imports weapons to kill Palestinians, why are they prevented from defending themselves?

      • Richard Witty
        December 15, 2009, 3:35 pm

        Maybe, it would be good for Israel to arrange with a non-biased but conscientious third party to conduct that port management.

        The advantage of legitimate commerce flowing through the port would be to demonstrate the tangible benefits of sincere moderation.

      • Chaos4700
        December 15, 2009, 4:51 pm

        Maybe it would be good if we enacted an arms embargo against Israel. They are the ones with the longer, more voluminous history of attacking civilians. And they have an undeclared nuclear arsenal to boot.

    • potsherd
      December 15, 2009, 2:34 pm

      No, WJ, the government in Gaza has often attempted to negotiate with Israel, but Israel refuses to “negotiate with terrorists.”

      • Richard Witty
        December 15, 2009, 3:37 pm

        Thats their choice.

        They started six steps back by the continuity of terror over more than a decade.

      • potsherd
        December 15, 2009, 3:53 pm

        Israel has been engaged in terror against the Palestinians for six decades but hypocrtically refuses to make peace with Hamas.

      • Chaos4700
        December 15, 2009, 4:37 pm

        What about the Zionist terrorism that’s been going on for sixty plus years, Witty?

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