BDS is a long term project with radically transformative potential

Israel/PalestineUS Politics
on 103 Comments

I’m grateful to Jerry Haber for taking the time to engage me on the role of ‘liberal’ Zionists in the BDS movement. Sometimes my tone borders on truculence, which is really just impatience. I’m impatient for ‘liberal’ Zionists to discard the ‘Zionist’ and become regular liberals like the rest of us. I think these are people who know better, but cling to notions of racial dominance in an ill-got geographical space for a variety of reasons.

I’ve written before I don’t really believe that liberal Zionists exist. Very quickly; liberal means we’re all equal, and Zionist means we’re not. It’s a contradiction in terms that I believe is irreconcilable. For instance, Avigdor Lieberman would like to see an end to the occupation. Is Avigdor Lieberman a liberal Zionist? Why not? Lieberman talks about ‘population swaps’ whose intent is to preserve the Jewish character of the state. Is that what liberal Zionists find so odious? How do liberal Zionists seek to preserve the Jewish character of the Jewish state if not through supranational gerrymandering or more ethnic cleansing? This is not a rhetorical question. How do liberal Zionists intend to hold on to their Jewish state?

Haber writes that “civil equality of Palestinian Arabs in Israel may entail the end of the Jewish state, but many people, Jews and Palestinians, don’t think that it does.” I’d like to respectfully correct the misconceptions of any Jews and Palestinians who do not think that granting civil equality to Palestinian Israelis means the end of the Jewish state. Today, in the Jewish democracy, 1 out of every 5 citizens is not Jewish. In a truly equal society, any one of those people can hold a senior governmental post. What happens to ‘Jewish self-determination’ when the prime minister of Israel is a woman named Diana Buttu? In America, the proportion of black to non-black people is less than that of Palestinian Israeli to Jewish Israeli. Yet, white Americans and others elected a black man. That’s because the principle of ‘white self-determination’ is a discredited orthodoxy in American civil discourse. That’s because it’s racist.

Furthermore, Haber writes that “Palestinian Israeli leaders… do not oppose the existence of a Jewish ethnic state.” I take issue with this characterization of Palestinian Israeli leaders’ views. Azmi Bishara has repeatedly called for an Israel that does not discriminate or privilege one race over another. MK Ahmed Tibi has also described the Jewish state as “democratic towards Jews, and Jewish towards Arabs.”

But I’m avoiding the meat of the thing; do I want so-called liberal Zionists to join in our BDS efforts? If not, why? The BDS movement seeks to enact “non-violent punitive measures” to induce Israel into:

1. Ending its occupation and colonization of all Arab lands and dismantling the Wall;

2. Recognizing the fundamental rights of the Arab-Palestinian citizens of Israel to full equality; and

3. Respecting, protecting and promoting the rights of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and properties as stipulated in UN resolution 194.

Ok fine. So BDS does mean the end of the Jewish state. But can’t I see the value in reaching across the aisle, so to speak? The movement may be burgeoning but remains too small. Why shouldn’t we indulge in ad hoc partnerships to get things done? Richard Silverstein, Richard Goldstone, and many other self-proclaimed Zionists have done an immeasurably positive amount of work in skinning the Zionist cat (That’s a deliberate analogy. I don’t kid myself about how difficult it must be for a Jewish person to criticize the Zionist state), shouldn’t they be asked to join the BDS movement?

To be sure, I’m not dogmatically against cooperating with people whose views I find objectionable. If it came down to it, I’d be happy to work with the racist up the street to get the city to fix a neighborhood pothole.

Likewise, I’d work with a liberal Zionist to break the Zionist siege of Gaza, whose people really have no use for protracted ideological jockeying. There is an immediacy there that demands action from any quarter.

But I view the BDS movement as a long-term project with radically transformative potential. I believe that the ultimate success of the BDS movement will be coincident with the ultimate success of the Palestinian enfranchisement and equal rights movement. In other words, BDS is not another step on the way to the final showdown; BDS is The Final Showdown.

This belief grows directly from the conviction that nothing resembling the ‘two-state solution’ will ever come into being. Ending the occupation doesn’t mean anything if it doesn’t mean upending the Jewish state itself. That’s because, as Yair Wallach writes, “The occupation appears increasingly as a de-facto permanent feature of the Israeli system of government, rather than as a set of temporary policies and security measures. And inevitably, the occupation involves the disenfranchisement and denial of collective political rights for the Palestinians.”

Therefore the success of the BDS movement is tied directly to our success in humanizing Palestinians and discrediting Zionism as a legitimate way of regarding the world.

With that holistic long-term view of BDS in mind, it becomes easy for me to say to that hypothetical Berkeley student senator, “We’ve waited a long time for our rights, we can wait until you’ve grown sufficiently as a human being to recognize our equal humanity before you cast that vote.” I have a robust faith in the humanity of the Jewish people (and people everywhere). I do not think we will have to wait very long for many of them to unlearn the Zionism which disfigures it.

We Palestinians have compromised on our fundamental rights and humanity repeatedly to gain political favor or a modicum of statehood. The most important lesson we can draw from Oslo is that Zionism does not permit many Zionists to act in good faith. Despite themselves, they are obsessively engaged in counting babies. Take the recent Sheikh Jarrah demonstrations. The Bradley Burstons of the world tell us that they demonstrate to prevent the unthinkable from happening. ‘If Jews have a right to properties they relinquished in 1948 in East Jerusalem, then Palestinians have a right to properties they relinquished in 1948! We cannot set the precedent!!’ Is this liberal Zionism? What’s so liberal about it?

The chief hallmark of intelligence is the capacity to learn from one’s mistakes. We cannot engage in expedient coalition-building now for a few short-term gains. We will end up sacrificing a clear moral compass in the long-run, which is bad for everyone. That’s how we ended up where we are after the Oslo farce.

There is the view that liberal Zionists are fence-sitters – nearly there, but not quite – and we ought to undertake to bring them into the fold. One day, imperceptibly, they will find that they no longer hew to a vision of a racially-pure (or Jewish majority) Israel.

When I was in college in the United States, I was frequently approached by well-intentioned Zionists who would invite me to ‘dialogue’ meetings and the like. I always refused because it was clear that these people sought, on some level, to absolve themselves of their Zionist guilt. It may have been tied to the Nakba, or the occupation, or the realization that I couldn’t participate in studying abroad in Tel Aviv, or any number of things.

Would I be doing these people a favor by joining them in holding hands and ameliorating some of the psychological tension that results when basically good people hold racist views? Or am I permitting them to persist in their destructively dichotomous state of mind by helping them put off the moment of crisis for just a bit longer? Personally, I felt more comfortable confronting their racism head on. Maybe if we apply force to the mind of a liberal Zionist, something will snap: “I can’t believe it. But he’s right. Palestinians are people, too. And they ought to be able to live in Jaffa just like me!”

Truthfully, I don’t know with any certainty how we should approach the fence sitters. It probably has something to do with an individual’s temperament, and whether she responds to blatant contradictions or hand-holding. I do know that I’m temperamentally unsuited to hand-holding.

But I’d like to acknowledge that these people may one day be friends and allies, and eventually, compatriots. So here’s a direct plea:

Discard your Zionism. Learn to animate your humanity with an immutable, plangent belief in the fundamental equality of all people. Learn to see the other as an extension of your human, not Jewish, self. Learn to stop worrying, and love the demographic bomb.

About Ahmed Moor

Ahmed Moor is a Palestinian-American who was born in the Gaza Strip. He is a PD Soros Fellow, co-editor of After Zionism and co-founder and CEO of liwwa.com. Twitter: @ahmedmoor

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103 Responses

  1. Siegfried al-Haq
    April 22, 2010, 11:21 pm

    Ahmed: Great post, as always. However, I’m a little agnostic on this debate — I feel my spectrum of sentiment on this issue spans fully from aspects of Haber’s stances (and I would generalize here since I’ve been reading his site for some time and think he’s one of the best, despite his blog’s name) to the passion of those expressed here. I move between impatience and anger directed at those who try to evoke the supposedly kinder and gentler elements of Zionism (or who are simply too ill informed to know better) so as to justify their continuing identification with the ideology, and with wanting to find a soft-glove way to coax at least some of them along the road to enlightenment.

    In the end, I give credit to Haber’s agenda from a tactical perspective, while reserving the right to make use of the ethical dimensions of Ahmed’s demands. There are (sadly) many more ‘liberal Zionists’ than principled anti-/non-Zionists among the Jewish communities of the world (I’m eliding the anti-Zionist haredim, but few of them are political). Many ‘liberal Zionists’ also include non-Jews who simply have never known of a viable alternative to the Zionist narrative — in fact, I’d say most non-Jewish Americans would fit this description. BDS will truly change the game when it begins to find legitimacy with these kinds of liberal Zionists. In this regard, I believe in the domino theory; from accepting BDS, many will come closer to finding the embrace of Zionism to be stifling. This, to me, is the promise of BDS in the long term.

    • zamaaz
      April 23, 2010, 9:04 am

      [In America, the proportion of black to non-black people is less than that of Palestinian Israeli to Jewish Israeli. Yet, white Americans and others elected a black man. That’s because the principle of ‘white self-determination’ is a discredited orthodoxy in American civil discourse. That’s because it’s racist.]

      Are the black Americans hate, or encouraging ‘to kill’ the White Americans?

    • zamaaz
      April 23, 2010, 9:07 am

      [I take issue with this characterization of Palestinian Israeli leaders’ views. Azmi Bishara has repeatedly called for an Israel that does not discriminate or privilege one race over another.]
      Are the Palestinian Israelis mistreated or deprived by the Israel society under the Israeli government? What are we referring to here the Palestinian Israelis?

      • ayatollah chowmeini
        April 23, 2010, 9:43 am

        Perhaps you’d like to read an article I wrote on the topic for a student paper…

        link to mcgilldaily.com

      • LeaNder
        April 23, 2010, 12:13 pm

        Or you read this. There are “Oriental Jews” and, strictly not and but or, “Arab Israeli”. Obviously the Palestinians don’t accept the narrative that links them to the larger “sea” of Arabs, but they insist on the connection to their land.

      • ayatollah chowmeini
        April 23, 2010, 12:43 pm

        I cannot decipher your comment. Are we even talking about the same thing? I’m speaking of “Israeli-Arab” citizens of Israel, fully recognized citizens of the Zionist state.

    • zamaaz
      April 23, 2010, 9:10 am

      [Haber writes that “civil equality of Palestinian Arabs in Israel may entail the end of the Jewish state, but many people, Jews and Palestinians, don’t think that it does.” ]

      What would happen when time comes some of the Palestinian Arabs would begin to think on the end of Israel Jewish state by virtue of their Islamic faith?

    • zamaaz
      April 23, 2010, 9:15 am

      [To be sure, I’m not dogmatically against cooperating with people whose views I find objectionable. If it came down to it, I’d be happy to work with the racist up the street to get the city to fix a neighborhood pothole.]

      What is the connection between racism and the intense effort to keep Israel safe and protected ‘in pursuit of security’ , just like the walls of Jerusalem?

    • zamaaz
      April 23, 2010, 9:19 am

      [In this regard, I believe in the domino theory; from accepting BDS, many will come closer to finding the embrace of Zionism to be stifling. This, to me, is the promise of BDS in the long term. ]

      Cannot BDS become a ‘Trojan Horse’ that will allow enemies of Israel to infiltrate its own ranks with self-defeating ideas, sow confusion, and finally the destruction of Israel?

      • zamaaz
        April 23, 2010, 9:20 am

        In like manner this presentation was intended to have the same effect? to make the Jews off-guard?

    • zamaaz
      April 23, 2010, 9:27 am

      [1. Ending its occupation and colonization of all Arab lands and dismantling the Wall;
      2. Recognizing the fundamental rights of the Arab-Palestinian citizens of Israel to full equality; and
      3. Respecting, protecting and promoting the rights of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and properties as stipulated in UN resolution 194.]
      NO! As long as there is no concrete guarantee, today and in the future, that the Jews are not be ‘hated down to the bones’ morally, religiously, politically and ethnologically; the present position of Israeli leadership must remain.

      • Chaos4700
        April 23, 2010, 9:28 am

        “Wollt ihr den totalen Krieg?”

      • Citizen
        April 24, 2010, 9:09 am

        So, let’s see, who is it that constantly reveals hatred down to the bone for
        Arabs? Why, it’s the zionists, the trespassers and usurpers on Palestinian land, land owned by Palestinians or rented by Palestinians (sold to, or rented from other Arabs or Turks) by Palestinian families for many centuries before the 2oth century.

  2. Richard Witty
    April 23, 2010, 2:07 am

    “1. Ending its occupation and colonization of all Arab lands and dismantling the Wall;”

    This I DON’T understand. How can a land be democratic and Arab, by your definition. Isn’t that a contradiction in terms?

    Sincerely. And you accuse me of inconsistencies. Either you are a democratic civilist, or you are a nationalist.

    Speak up.

    I think you erred in not dialoging. You can attend a dialog, convey your thinking, listen to others’ thinking, take what is useful and feasible, and leave the rest. You lose no self-dignity nor self-determination by listening to what others seek.

    And, even if your prejudicial picture of Jews assuaging their guilt is accurate, that sounds like a good thing to me, in two respects.

    1. That it is better for people to be free from the dead weight of guilt and shame.
    2. That to get there, they might/will find a consented relationship, rather than postured one.

    I really hope you see the hypocrisy in your advocacy for democratic Arabic nationalism, while demonizing (literally) Jewish nationalism.

    That they both are seeking exclusive control over land, key word is exclusive, rather than what you profess.

    It rationally constructs the fear of Arab dominance, Arab insensitivity to the needs of the Jewish community.

    I think it is a tragedy that your community experienced hardship in and after war, and continue to currently due to a recurring “perfect storm” of multiple conditions.

    Definitely the apartheid-like restrictions on Palestinians are a burden, and difficult to live through, and difficult to accept. And, those conditions need to change. There is no excuse for Israeli expansion.

    There was no Arab utopian time, so the idea of restoration to that is a fantasy, a romance, not a reality. There were always severe internal conflicts, at least over the last century.

    There are other means of affirming your individual and collective identity, that allow good neighborly relations, rather than the either/or formula that you postulated (in the name of democracy).

    • Sumud
      April 23, 2010, 8:17 am

      Who is the “you” you are addressing Richard?

    • Chaos4700
      April 23, 2010, 8:58 am

      So you’re attempting to legitimize “Jewish AND democratic” by making an “Arab AND democratic” straw man, and then setting fire to it?

      Don’t you have more home demolitions to turn a blind eye to elsewhere in the blogosphere? Or are you waiting for the Israeli bulldozers to clear a few more Palestinian farms out of the way first. I suppose a raving pogrom makes for bad traffic, even if you’re the same race/religion/whatever as the people doing it, so you’ll just linger here until “rush hour” dies down.

    • LeaNder
      April 23, 2010, 12:35 pm

      And, even if your prejudicial picture of Jews assuaging their guilt is accurate, that sounds like a good thing to me, in two respects.

      I found that passage startling too. As a juvenile I was full of hate, till I reached the point that I ultimately hated myself. This is an absolute shortcut, obviously. Hate is not a very helpful emotion, if it lasts. And in this passage I saw a huge generalization. If they are Jewish and want to speak with me I already know their intentions without even speaking to them.

      This is part of what I called the circle dance.

      He turns Jewish fears into his hope:

      Today, in the Jewish democracy, 1 out of every 5 citizens is not Jewish. In a truly equal society, any one of those people can hold a senior governmental post. What happens to ‘Jewish self-determination’ when the prime minister of Israel is a woman named Diana Buttu?

      The shift to a black Israeli prime minister is not logical. Or does Ahmed consider Palestinians as blacks?

      Learn to stop worrying, and love the demographic bomb.

      I don’t think it is wise to knit hard-right Israeli fears into a “progressive, human rights, Palestinian dress”. It simply doesn’t work. It actually would push me out of the support circles. That’s what I mean with circle dances. A non-circle dance would not indirectly support the hard-liners. And that was something Jerry Haber tried.

      In a way you declare war again:

      In other words, BDS is not another step on the way to the final showdown; BDS is The Final Showdown.

      Revenge?

      • Citizen
        April 24, 2010, 9:14 am

        Maybe the question is, what impact on others, including “collateral damage,” does assuaging one’s guilt have?

  3. Walid
    April 23, 2010, 2:13 am

    Ahmed, the last time you wrote about liberal Zionists, I said that there was no such animal. Today, you’re saying yes, they do exists and religion has to be simply brought to them to turn them into humans and no, they don’t really exist but don’t know it and they are fence sitters that need to be exorcised of their Zionism. Those that are trying to absolve themselves of the guilt that you mentioned are those that think of themselves as liberal Zionsists. One is or isn’t a Zionist in the same way one is o0r isn’t pregnant. I see that those that are honestly with BDS don’t have a drop of Zionism in their blood. You’re with BDS or you’re against it; there’s no picking and choosing because to do so would put one back to the absolving stuff you talked about.

    • Richard Witty
      April 23, 2010, 2:22 am

      One is Jewish in the same way that one is alive or one is not alive.

      Zionism is the ideology of being Jewish in self-governing community.

      Hence, anti-Zionism is either a statement to Jews “you can’t self govern”, for some reason. There are only two other options to self-governing:

      1. Confident democracy (Not offered by Arabs that still speak in terms of “Arab land” rather than democratic land)
      2. Supression.

      Or, its a statement saying “you shouldn’t exist”.

      Which of those two are you communicating to the Jewish community?

      Concern for individuality vs concern for community is a relative spectrum. That spectrum is NOT defined by off or on as you describe Walid.

      So, one can be individually oriented and be Jewish and not care at all about Jewish community as a self-governing entity to the point that they regard themselves as indifferent to Zionism.

      Or, one can be communally oriented and be Jewish and very much care about Jewish community as self-governing.

      One reason that peoples seek to self-govern is that they do not trust their other governors’ to be sensitive to their needs. It can be a means to an end.

      That so many Palestinian solidarity are utterly insensitive to Jewish needs and sensitivities, and have no desire to be in the slightest, convinces us that Zionism IS needed, that there is no basis to trust Arab elected or militarily conquered dominance.

      BDS for what purpose?

      • Richard Witty
        April 23, 2010, 2:25 am

        Jewish – Off or on, no grey
        Alive – Off or on, no grey
        Patriotic – Grey, relative

        Democratic and alive – Possible, yes (Done, yes)
        Democratic and Jewish – Possible, yes (Partially)
        Democratic and Arab – Possible, yes (Hopefully, partially)

      • sherbrsi
        April 23, 2010, 3:09 am

        and have no desire to be in the slightest, convinces us that Zionism IS needed, that there is no basis to trust Arab elected or militarily conquered dominance.

        At least you are coming forth with your hateful biases and prejudices.

        That’s a great improvement for you Witty.

      • Citizen
        April 23, 2010, 7:47 am

        BDS for the purpose of making the self-governing Jewish community with the 4th strongest military in the world and holding the nuclear bomb, backed every inch by the only superpower in the world, accountable under basic universal rights
        (recognized especially clearly since the Nuremberg Trials) for its on-going seige of Gaza and its 42 year plus occupation over strangers under its control. The very essence of criminal law, whether domestic or international, is that neither the individual or the state
        is entitled by his/her or its sovereign existence to do whatever it wants
        to others in the name of self-governance. To claim otherwise is the sign of sociopathology.

      • pabelmont
        April 23, 2010, 9:35 am

        Witty’s slogan “Zionism is the ideology of being Jewish in self-governing community” misses too much.

        Jews in USA can be Jewish and the USA is a self-governing community. But, of course, although some people think (and not without reason) that Jews (not “the” Jews) control much that happens in America despite being (what is it?) 6% of the population, the USA is not a paarticulary “Jewish country.”

        If Zionism really requires majority-Jewish (or super or super-super majority Jewish) population, then see my comment below.

        If Zionism ALSO requires a huge territory depending on the aggrandizing stories generated in the 7th century BCE and propagandistically claimed to be the history of Jews back to Abraham, then we are in present-day land-grab mode and there is no principled or happy solution (unless based on the “principle” that it is OK, post 1945 creation of the UN, to acquire land by threat or use of force. see my Three-all-too-Human-Evils-Church-Sexual-Abuse-Israel-Palestinian-Abuse-Global-Warming

      • Citizen
        April 24, 2010, 9:18 am

        Today Jewish Americans represent a tad less than 3% of the total US population. This miniscule segment of the population is way over-represented in the US congress compared to any other minorities.

  4. Walid
    April 23, 2010, 2:54 am

    Richard, why is it that I get the feeling that Jews are ashamed to be simply Jews? The way you equate Zionism with the ability or desire of the Jews to govern themselves is almost saying there is something of an impotency of being simply Jews without the Zionist tag. I once asked a Zionist if she would follow the directives of her Judaic faith or of Zionism if they were to be contradictory and she answered back that she would opt to folow the Zionist way. I seem to have more admiration and affection for ordinary Jews and affinitiy to them than you do. How is that?

    • Richard Witty
      April 23, 2010, 5:51 am

      Zionism is nationalism, patriotism. It is both related to and independant of Judaism.

      Sorry for the complexity of that. Its just true, and won’t change.

      Jewish self-governance is important, and will remain so, especially if Arab nationalism that excludes Jews in any way from absolutely confident peer relations is proposed.

      Ahmed takes the mask of niceness from BDS in speaking of Arab lands, rather than democracy.

      • Richard Witty
        April 23, 2010, 5:54 am

        Again,
        The jurisdictions are either

        1. Jewish (right-wing exclusive Zionist)
        2. Jewish/democratic (liberal Zionist in its jurisdiction)
        3. Civil/democratic (Single democratic state, equal rights for all throughout)
        4. Arab/democratic (liberal Palestinian in its jurisdiction)
        5. Arab (right-wing exclusive Palestinian)

      • Citizen
        April 23, 2010, 8:01 am

        Jurisdiction refers to the limits of the powers of a court and assumes
        a duly constituted court with control over the subject matter and
        the parties. What you list, Witty, are five options for prioritization of core principles and values, presumeably backed up by state police and economic power.

      • Chaos4700
        April 23, 2010, 9:01 am

        Why are you advocating against option 3, Witty? Why do you hate American ideals so much? Or are you just convinced that there is no value to them?

      • Citizen
        April 23, 2010, 7:50 am

        You mean Israel is nice under its “Jewish and democratic” umbrella phrase? And with its constant refrain “Jewish land?”

      • Chaos4700
        April 23, 2010, 9:00 am

        Zionism is nationalism, patriotism.

        And if any Arab American stated that about his heritage, you would turn around and call him a traitor to the US. Hypocrite.

    • LeaNder
      April 23, 2010, 1:17 pm

      I have a problem with the self-governing, admittedly. Strictly I can’t see how it is “in reality”, not in aspiration, different from any other government in the West. What is different is the context, it’s history.

      Does Richard know what it means now? The same as then?

      • Citizen
        April 24, 2010, 9:28 am

        The biggest problem with Witty’s use of the term “self-governing” in the context of his comments is that he never concedes there are limits to
        anyone or any state’s independent sovereignty. The usual manifestation of such limits are criminal laws, whether local or international. Do I really need to trot out the Nuremberg Trials? Or the trials of the Imperial Japanese leaders? The 65 year and on-going tracking down of
        former Germans, even down to conscripted camp guards not even German?

  5. Avi
    April 23, 2010, 3:08 am

    If I may add to the great points mentioned by Mr. Moor above, it bears mention that many Jews outside Israel are unaware of the non-traditional ethnic/religious players that exist in the state at the present time. That is to say that in today’s Israel, while there is a 20% Palestinian minority, there are also a few hundred thousand Russian immigrants who are non-Jewish. There are thousands of African refugees (what would be called in the US an “illegal alien”. [I loath that term by the way]) who are neither Jewish, nor Arab.

    In other words, if Zionists outside Israel, or uninformed Zionists inside Israel think that once they removed the Palestinians from Israel, then the state will become a Jewish one, they are sorely mistaken.

    At the moment, Israel is struggling with the reality it is faced with. It is at a point where the government and the people realize that to continue to seek Jewish purity is impractical as much as it is both undemocratic and unsustainable.

    In other words, Zionism is quickly becoming an irrelevant ideology promoted by the dreamers out there.

    As an aside, if anyone thinks that I am deliberately deceiving them or adding my own bias, then they should spend a day or two reading the Israeli press. Truly delve into the subject and seek as many independent sources as you can find. Let me know your conclusions.

    • Richard Witty
      April 23, 2010, 5:56 am

      It is interesting that the Russian immigration may end up being the aspect that compels a single democratic state, moreso than BDS or Palestinian aspirations.

      Do the Palestinians want to be peers in a state with the Russian immigrants?

      • Citizen
        April 23, 2010, 8:50 am

        Due to the Israeli ROR application of the Nazi legal view of who was a Jew to target, “15% of all Russian immigrants during the 1990s came as non-Jews.   In recent years this percentage has risen to 58%.”  More on the contributions of these “non-jewish jews” to Israel:
        link to thejerusalemconnection.us

      • Citizen
        April 23, 2010, 8:51 am

        Of course, there are Christian Palestinians, and they were dispossesed
        in 47-48 too.

      • zamaaz
        April 23, 2010, 9:33 am

        [In other words, Zionism is quickly becoming an irrelevant ideology promoted by the dreamers out there. ]
        Saying this, the pro Palestinian has lost one step forward towards possible accommodation…or peace.

      • Chaos4700
        April 23, 2010, 9:44 am

        Who wants to walk into the hail of cluster bombs, rubber coated steel bullets, tear gas and white phosphorous that the other side is firing?

        How many hospitals can Israel bomb and still be considered to be “accommodating peace,” huh?

      • Avi
        April 23, 2010, 5:15 pm

        Saying this, the pro Palestinian has lost one step forward towards possible accommodation…or peace.

        You seem to confuse pro-Palestinian-ism and universal equality. If the Palestinians were the ones occupying large parts of Israel with a military force, tanks and gunships, I would have sided with Israel. It’s that simple. If you refuse to accept that, then you will most likely refuse to accept that Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait was a crime too.

  6. Walid
    April 23, 2010, 3:37 am

    Avi, those other ones are in most part like the Russians, are pretending at being Jews or as the Africans, are being convinced that they are Jews. For padding the numbers and keeping the cheques flowing, these groups were useful but in time they will become expendable to the religious Jews. Zionism carried Israel for a while but the time is approaching that religion would be replacing it. Israel will be taken over by people like the Kahane Chai group that are now distributing hundreds of effigies of Obama to be burned by the children in the Lag BaOmer bonfires on May 2nd. These crazies should be stripped of their American citizenship.

    • Avi
      April 23, 2010, 7:16 am

      Walid,

      The issues you bring up are equally valid. If Israel remained on its current path, in a decade or two we will see it turn into an increasingly religious Jewish state that which continues to maintain a system of Apartheid. The secularists will also try to push back and maintain the secular character of the state, some might leave, while at the same time the Palestinian population will become the majority between the Jordan river and the sea. In the meantime, it’s important to keep in mind that while all these forces are at play, the question of legitimacy and international acceptance will also play a role. Time will tell, I suppose.

      Thank you for bringing it up. It’s an important point.

    • Citizen
      April 23, 2010, 8:58 am

      The Israelis who immigrated to Israel since the collapse of the USSR comprise about 1 million in Israel today, where you can see Xmas trees and eat pork chops–they like their vodka too. They are a real force, not likely to be easily bent, although they support Israel the state. They also
      constitute the most daring arm of the IDF, though the Haredi don’t want such courageous IDF veterans buried in Jewish cemetaries.

  7. Julian
    April 23, 2010, 5:21 am

    “BDS is a long term project with radically transformative potential”

    He’s right. In the 10 years of BDS the Israeli economy has doubled. In 10 more years BDS will transform Israel into an economic powerhouse.

    • potsherd
      April 23, 2010, 7:25 am

      Keep up the self-delusion, Julian. The Israeli economy is headed for the toilet with or without BDS.

      Israel’s standard of living is not catching up to that of the developed nations of the West, just the opposite, the report states.

      “Despite its high-tech, medicine and higher education, which are at the forefront of human knowledge, since the 1970s the standard of living in Israel has been retreating relative to the leading Western nations, which will only serve to exacerbate emigration.”

      The rates of inequality and poverty in Israel are among the highest in the West, the professor goes on to say. “As long as the country doesn’t take systemic action to reduce inequality and poverty at source, meaning gross income, it will have to keep expanding its social safety net in order to keep more and more families from falling below the poverty line. The sums involved are growing continually, and the state cannot finance them forever.”

      The main reason for the poor performance in all three parameters, the report concludes, is that a growing proportion of Israeli society cannot cope in an open, competitive, advanced economy. Worse, this non-coping segment is growing faster than the segment that can cope and that has to finance the safety net.

      link to haaretz.com

      • Citizen
        April 23, 2010, 9:03 am

        Potsherd, that also describes the USA, but you probably know that.

      • potsherd
        April 23, 2010, 3:08 pm

        The difference is that in the US, under Republican capitalism, the safety net has been withdrawn or shrunk. BYahoo, a Republican at heart, tried to follow this example in formerly-socialist Israel, but with less success. Israel still has national healthcare, while the US has only a scam masquerading as “reform” for which it is very likely that it will not be able to pay.

        I would rather be bankrupt for something than for nothing.

      • Citizen
        April 24, 2010, 9:37 am

        The housing debacle leading to the bailouts pefectly illustrates how the L (everyone gets affordable housing, even if they can’t afford it) and the R (repacking sub-prime mortgages in opaque
        derivative securities), both sides fully released from the confines of the old
        Glass-Steagle Act wall between commerical deposit banks and investment banks, indicates to me nobody in congress represents
        the ever smaller band of Americans who always end up paying the bills.

      • Chaos4700
        April 24, 2010, 9:56 am

        I don’t think the repeal of Glas-Steagle Act can reasonably be construed to represent a left-leaning position — what you’re describing is a centrist populist position, Citizen.

        But then again, very few Representatives and exactly one Senator represent the genuine progressive perspective. (Bernie Sanders, not Russ Feingold, incidentally)

    • Sumud
      April 23, 2010, 8:31 am

      What 10 years?

      The BDS movement was launched less than five years ago, in July 2005 – time for a refresher?

      link to bdsmovement.net

      No surprise the Israeli economy is doing well, as the 4th largest arms exporter – Iraq war has been beneficial in more way than one. Iran, Iran IRAN!

  8. Walid
    April 23, 2010, 5:39 am

    Julian, from the way Israelis and their supporters react to the word, they don’t seem to be aware that Israel is on its way of becoming a powerhouse. I see BDS coming down the tracks and picking up speed and support day by day.

  9. Richard Witty
    April 23, 2010, 5:43 am

    So again, noone is willing to confront the contradiction, the hypocrisy, of calling any Jewish and democratic state (Zionism) as racism, while somehow the assertion of Arab lands (not democratic) is somehow more just, more democratic?

    Either/or WAR, rather than an accomodation.

    • thankgodimatheist
      April 23, 2010, 6:23 am

      I can see that you’ve been hopping up and down over Moor’s “Arab lands” mention but I do not think you got what he meant. Aren’t those lands the ones we keep referring to them as occupied? . In the eventuality of a 2 state-solution wouldn’t it be obligatory for Israel to evacuate them? I know that Ahmad endorses one state solution but one could think that maybe it’s the first (2 state-solution) would come first and for that it’s necessary to cease the occupation. I’m amazed that you couldn’t get such an obvious observation.

      • Richard Witty
        April 23, 2010, 7:57 am

        He can clarify what he meant.

        Your asking me to think wishfully of what he might have meant is not intellectually satisfying.

      • Sumud
        April 23, 2010, 8:55 am

        Those three points are a direct quote from the 2005 BDS call. Ahmed was even good enough to insert a link in his article, for your education:

        link to bdsmovement.net

        I take ‘arab lands’ as a shorthand reference to the Syrian, Lebanese and Palestinian land currently occupied by Israel.

        The fact they are majority arab is an historical fact, unlike Israel, not achieved (at least not recently) by ethnic cleansing and continued defiance of international law. Salam Fayyad has stated jewish settlers are free to remain in the Palestinian state:

        link to haaretz.com

    • Chaos4700
      April 23, 2010, 8:50 am

      No one’s buying your false dichotomies at this point, you Jewish Nazi. You can keep trying to browbeat and intimidate your fellow Jewish people into submission — the way people like Goldstone, Finkelstein and Medea Benjamin are treated — but it only reveals you to be the Goering-in-a-kippah that you are.

      • Citizen
        April 23, 2010, 9:08 am

        Oh come on, Chaos–I don’t think Witty is a womanizer, and that’s not a club foot he’s got, just a regular one bent a bit from keeping latent anti-semites out of his door, or a mirror image maybe from the BDS foot he see’s wedged in his doorway.

      • Chaos4700
        April 23, 2010, 9:25 am

        What a fanatical coward he is, huh? He doesn’t even have to put up with half the humiliation, threat or even violence that the average Palestinian has seen, and Witty still runs around like Chicken Little, afraid that one of us is going to shove him into a crematorium at the first opportunity.

    • pabelmont
      April 23, 2010, 9:48 am

      Witty, the “democratic” is not necessary for a state, whether Jewish or Palestinian. Some people want to live in a democracy (I do, most USers do) but Israel is welcome to be undemocratic if that is what it wants (as, in many respects, it appears to want, like the old restriction on where non-Jews could live or rent or own property to about 7% of the land). I sure hope the Palestinians want “democratic” but some do not, perhaps, (HAMAS as a possible example, but HAMAS did contend in and win an election, a fairly democratic undertaking).

      What I object to in the “democratic Israel” misnomer is that the 1948 expulsion/ethnic cleansing removed so much of the proper citizenry, the proper voters, the proper demographic substance of a “democracy”. See my essay Israel’s right to exist is not a right to be a predominantly Jewish state.

      Would the USA be a “democracy” satisfactory to Witty or to any definition if only white people (whoever they may be and however defined) were allowed to vote? And if 85% of everyone else were send packing at gun-point to Canada and Mexico?

      • Richard Witty
        April 23, 2010, 12:01 pm

        that was 62 years ago.

        Maybe in 1951 (after the laws that prohibited return) you describe Israel as more martial than democratic.

        Now, it is one-person one-vote within the area of its jurisdiction. Allowing settlers to vote that reside in the West Bank is a confusion, clarifyable by permanent consented boundaries.

        Maybe you’re not aware but for years here, I’ve been advocating for the green line as border, with full equal rights for Palestinian Israelis, for the right of displaced Palestinians for their day in court to make land claims, and the right of return based on country of birth.

        Also, was it you that quoted the Fayyad offer. That is another component of my advocacy.

        Each of those features, Israel could live with and still be Israel.

        The hypocritical and ambiguous use of the term “Arab lands”, rather than democracy, and the ambiguous use of the term “right of return” stop everything.

        And everything stopped is an objective and politically strategic disaster for Palestinians.

        Its a bad picture for BDS. The thing that makes it bad is the deferral of BDS advocates to the Palestinian leadership cadre. Some are humane and seeking rights, made permanent by mutually acceptable institutionalization. Some seek the elimination of Israel as Israel, and “restored” Arab dominance over the region and “democracy”.

        It is a critical question and not avoidable. It becomes not merely a present statement of opposition to oppression, but an advocacy for something less just.

      • Chaos4700
        April 23, 2010, 12:04 pm

        Still trying to justify the ethnic cleansing and write it into stone, I see.

        Out of curiosity, are you anywhere near this vocal about “dropping it” when octogenarian Nazi prison guards are put on trial today, as you are for exonerating Israeli crimes against humanity?

      • Chaos4700
        April 23, 2010, 12:13 pm

        Allowing settlers to vote that reside in the West Bank is a confusion, clarifyable by permanent consented boundaries.

        So let me get this straight — if a bunch of American citizens armed themselves, asked the US government to bulldoze homes in British Columbia, expelled the original residents, built condos over their property and then said, “Oh… we should have a vote as to whether we consent to Canadian rule, or the US rule,” you would consider that democracy in action?

      • Citizen
        April 24, 2010, 9:57 am

        Witty: “Now, it is one-person one-vote within the area of its jurisdiction. Allowing settlers to vote that reside in the West Bank is a confusion, clarifyable by permanent consented boundaries.”
        No, it’s not a confusion at all. Israel has no jurisdiction over Palestinians in the West Bank, any more than it has jurisdiction over Palestinians in Gaza. Hence it is logical that Palestinians there do not get to vote on Israel’s actions in any Israeli forum. It is further logical
        that Jewish settlers across the green line should not be able to vote in any Israeli state forum for the same reason. Might does not make right–unless you conflate Goering’s POV with democracy.

    • potsherd
      April 23, 2010, 3:09 pm

      People are ignoring you because your contributions are worthless, as usual.

    • LeaNder
      April 23, 2010, 3:09 pm

      while somehow the assertion of Arab lands (not democratic) is somehow more just, more democratic?

      That’s not what he said. He simply questions your fear of a multi-ethnic population.

      • LeaNder
        April 23, 2010, 3:25 pm

        1. Ending its occupation and colonization of all Arab lands and dismantling the Wall;

        He juxtaposes “your” rights to the land as a gift of G-d to the Jews, … with Western history of colonization. And that’s definitively an historical angle you can’t deny. It’s not the whole story but definitively part of the story.

      • Richard Witty
        April 23, 2010, 3:39 pm

        But, then he’s not talking about liberal Zionists, “gift from G-d”.

        Don’t put up straw targets LeaNder.

      • Citizen
        April 24, 2010, 9:59 am

        What precisely is the “straw dog” you accuse LeaNder of birthing, Witty?

      • Chaos4700
        April 24, 2010, 10:01 am

        Witty’s in parrot mode. He’s been exposed using a straw man, so now to satisfy his ego he needs hurl that accusation elsewhere like a hot potato.

        Like I said elsewhere, Witty’s white phosphorous shotgun approach — open fire on the crowd and see what catches fire.

  10. potsherd
    April 23, 2010, 7:29 am

    The problem I have with long term projects is whether there will be anything left to save when the project would finally be complete. The pace of the colonization is only picking up, the pace of the destruction is accelerating. The longer it takes, the less will remain.

    • Citizen
      April 23, 2010, 9:10 am

      Yep, potsherd, the current Israeli regime is counting on that–why should it deviate from past Israeli regimes?

      • potsherd
        April 23, 2010, 3:11 pm

        My question is why should anti-Zionists employ this method if/when it can not succeed in time?

  11. pabelmont
    April 23, 2010, 9:05 am

    Lieberman believes in population swaps? What about land swaps?

    If he believes in both, then have I ever got the recipe for him!

    Let Israel choose a part of itself–say (only by way of example) 10 or 100 sq. miles of pre-1967 Israeli territory around Tel-Aviv, and collapse the territory of the State of Israel back onto this smaller territory; the rest for the Palestinians. Bring all Israelis, including all settlers into this smaller territory (this is the population swap). allow “return” to Palestinian refugees who [1] came from this smaller territory and [2] agree to live there peacefully; and [3] if all can agree, also be democratic.

    Very many Jews will live here (all 5-6 million Israeli Jews in this smaller place) and very few Palestinian Arabs (because very few “came from” here originally when in 1948/1967 they were exiled to Gaza, West Bank, Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, etc.

    This plan has everything Lieberman could want — except the larger territory that greater Israel (or even pre-1967 Israel) represents.

    Jews who say they ONLY want a safe haven (and do not want to dispossess anyone else) will have it. They will have postage stamps, passports, a government, a generally cohesive [single-ethnic if the vastly mixed collective called Jews can be truly regarded as single-ethnic] and surely majority-Jewish-forever polity.

    And this is remarkably FAIR, being even better than what is proposed these days by Israeli (and USA) officials for the Palestinians.

    Will someone ask Lieberman (either of them, actually) what they think of it?

  12. David Samel
    April 23, 2010, 9:07 am

    At the risk of sounding patronizing, I am deeply impressed with the brilliance and passion of Ahmed Moor’s essay, but as usual, I find it more important to state my slight differences than fawn over his achievement.

    I foresee the type of one-state solution that Ahmed advocates, and agree that the logical outcome of BDS goals will result in that end. How long it will take to get there is anyone’s guess. However, transformation to a state of equal citizens will not occur overnight or even in a single process. There will be partial victories along the way, and one of those steps will be ending the occupation. AM complains that life as a Palestinian minority citizen in a Jewish State is intolerable, and I completely agree. But it seems to me that life under occupation is much, much worse, and that in all probability, there will be an end to occupation before there is an end to a state the confers superior rights on Jewish over non-Jewish citizens. There is a greater urgency to end the occupation, and that is more likely to come about with the participation of a broader coalition of people.

    Ahmed Moor is understandably apprehensive about the possibility that the Palestinian rights movement might be co-opted by those who think alleviation of the worst manifestations of Zionism, such as the occupation, is enough, and that true equality does not have to be achieved. It may be that once the occupation is over, these liberal Zionists will cease their activism and disappoint Moor and myself by concluding that their work is finished. No one can prevent that, but there is every reason to hope that at least some liberal Zionists, working alongside committed non-Zionists, will slowly but surely move in that direction. There will be no pressure on the Moors of this world to abandon the call for full equality.

    I completely understand Ahmed’s impatience with “fence sitters,” and can only say that it is the hardest thing in the world to change one’s fundamental view of the world. Those of us who were taught from childhood about the necessity and nobility of the Jewish State, and its miraculous victory over the forces of evil that sought to desroy it, cannot change our minds overnight. The process may take years or even decades, and requires persuasion and reasoning. No one responds well to accusations of racism, hypocrisy and ignorance. I can tell you that the vast majority of my American Jewish friends and relatives simply do not think about how they have superior rights in a land halfway around the globe over people who have lived there for centuries. You may wonder how this is so, but it is a way of looking at Israel that just does not occur to people. It surely is frustrating to those such as Ahmed Moor who are victims of this form of racism, but winning these people over is a gradual process. AM understandably expresses anger toward people who support a system that discriminates against him, but the best way to get them to change may be to force them to confront their prejudices as they work with victims of that system. Working with them is much, much more likely to change them than shunning them for their stubborn, but all too human, resistance to shedding everything they have been taught.

    In my opinion, the upside of inviting liberal Zionists into the fold is much bigger than any downside. They will join to fight the occupation, and hopefully some, even many, will stay to fight for true equality.

    • Chaos4700
      April 23, 2010, 9:22 am

      It surely is frustrating to those such as Ahmed Moor who are victims of this form of racism, but winning these people over is a gradual process.

      Not to be contradictory for any sake other than expressing my own observations, but the civil rights movement of the 60’s wasn’t a gradual process on the scale you describe. Neither was toppling apartheid through divestment — that happened well within my own lifetime (and I’m among the younger people here, probably).

      With all due respect, just how long are Palestinians supposed to wait for liberal Zionists? It’s been more than sixty years already, and the ethnic cleansing hasn’t been slowing down — lately, it’s been speeding up again, and has been supplemented by the full force of Israeli’s air force and navy as well.

      • David Samel
        April 23, 2010, 9:43 am

        Your question makes me anxious that I did not express myself clearly enough. I was not counseling patience or a slower process to full equality, not in the slightest. This is my opinion on the best way to proceed to that end. How long should Palestinians wait for liberal Zionists to change their minds? What is the alternative? You cannot force people to think like you do. The question is whether there is any value in associating with them today, or whether shunning them completely is the preferable course. I have stated my opinion in favor of the former, and as I said before, I fully understand the impatience with liberal Zionists, but do not see it as constructive toward any end. At the risk of being hypocritical, I would have an enormously difficult time cooperating with people who thought it acceptable to foist second-class citizenship on Jews in the US; in fact, I’d find it impossible. It may sound like I’m asking more of Ahmed, but I really believe that many liberal Zionists simply do not grasp the unfairness of the ideology, and would be susceptible to changing their minds if they did. I just know first-hand how difficult it is to take that leap.

      • Chaos4700
        April 23, 2010, 10:14 am

        This nice and all but we don’t exactly have the choice. It’s liberal Zionists, by and large, that are shunning us. Not vice versa.

      • Richard Witty
        April 23, 2010, 3:38 pm

        David,
        If you felt that in a single state, Jews would be subordinated, treated as less than equals, would you still support it?

      • David Samel
        April 23, 2010, 4:19 pm

        No, I would insist that every citizen be accorded equal rights and status. The problem is that Israel has existed for 62 years, subordinating the minority non-Jewish population, yet you support that arrangement. So I have to ask you: 1) Do you agree that Palestinian citizens of Israel are not treated equally with Jewish citizens? If you disagree and insist that there is equality, then you are ignorant. 2) Assuming you answered question 1 right, why do you support the continued state favoritism of one ethnic group over another?

      • Richard Witty
        April 23, 2010, 6:06 pm

        I’ve not been to Israel for 24 years. But, people that I know fairly well and trust inform that there is discrimmination against Arab Israelis and also against others.

        I believe that that should be reformed within Israel, and maybe is implied by Zionism to some, but is certainly not a necessary characteristic for Israel to be Zionist.

        In other words, its not that Zionism is racism, but the application is discrimminatory.

        The feature of expedited citizenship is not a discrimmination in my book. It is a discrimmination that when Palestine emerges as a recognized state, that they will offer to diaspora Palestinians.

        Do you understand my statement that if 51% rule over 49% that that will be a less democratic outcome than if 80% rule over 20%?

      • Avi
        April 23, 2010, 6:09 pm


        I just know first-hand how difficult it is to take that leap.

        David,

        It seems to me you’re still struggling with aspects of that reality, that “leap”.

        You’ve got a long way to go, but at least you admit that it’s been a challenge.

      • Chaos4700
        April 23, 2010, 6:20 pm

        In other words, its not that Zionism is racism, but the application is discrimminatory.

        The feature of expedited citizenship is not a discrimmination in my book.

        Get that, kids? Racism is not, in fact, racism. You can discriminate based on race and/or religion just as long as you’re “Jewish AND democratic” and intend to employ every tool in the ethnic cleansing toybox to guarantee that Jewish democracy (and JEWS ONLY democracy) is preserved.

      • David Samel
        April 23, 2010, 6:41 pm

        No, Avi, I’m there. It was a challenge. Thanks for your input, though.

      • Avi
        April 23, 2010, 6:44 pm

        No, Avi, I’m there. It was a challenge. Thanks for your input, though.

        Denial is not a river in Egypt, David.

      • Richard Witty
        April 24, 2010, 3:33 am

        Do you understand my statement that if 51% rule over 49% that that will be a less democratic outcome than if 80% rule over 20%?

      • Citizen
        April 24, 2010, 10:13 am

        You are asking more of Ahmed, given the apt analogy you set up–that why it sounds like that to you. That does not mean I disagree with your approach and your rational for it. And yes, judging from the
        “pro-Israel” commenters on this blog site, many liberal (and Not of course) Zionists simply do not grasp the unfairness of their ideology.
        At least triple e spells out the psychological root of that ideology, in comparison to Witty, for example, who tries to hide it.

      • Richard Witty
        April 23, 2010, 3:37 pm

        The civil rights movement in the states was VERY gradual.

        The NAACP started in 1903 by a coalition of Jewish, Black and other leaders. It took 40 years for the first civil rights legislation to pass Congress, and that was only because America needed black labor to conduct the war effort. Lawyers worked tirelessly to move the law incrementally over a very long period of time.

        Your mediocre study of history Chaos, is not limited to Israel/Palestine.

        Again, jurisdictions are chosen. The selection of a two-state solution is currently the more democratic solution, resulting from the optimization of the scope of self-governance.

        The single state with current demographics and political affiliation yeilds 51% ruling over 49%, and as the two communities currently are in a state of profound tension, and as none of the advocates of the single-state are doing anything to change those social relationships, 51/49 yeilds war, brutal war.

        Start doing something besides political posturing. That you are Israeli is saying nothing. There has always been a minority non-Zionist population in Israel. There was a moderate size communist party in Israel (and still is in residue) that FAILED to attract beyond a smaller token of Arab proponents.

        Some Arabs stated at the time that they preferred the Zionists, as the Zionists left them alone if they left the Zionists alone. The communists wanted to impose their values onto those that didn’t want them.

        Also, the South African struggle did not occur over a short period of time, but close to a century before apartheid was lifted.

      • Chaos4700
        April 23, 2010, 6:22 pm

        The NAACP started in 1903 by a coalition of Jewish, Black and other leaders.

        Wow, so now even African American civil rights owes itself to the Jewish nation! No wonder you insist that black people shut up about the whole “apartheid” thing. They owe so much, collectively, of their cause to you, huh?

      • Citizen
        April 24, 2010, 10:24 am

        I actually don’t disagree with what Witty says here. I want to merely point out that after, e.g., the bloody US Civil War (how many whites died?), and WW1 & 2, and in the wake too of the bloom of the US Civil Rights movement in the 1960’s and the internationally-coherced destruction of the apartheid S African regime, any true progressive
        would not be saying today, in effect, “Give Israel more time, reform always takes a lot of time.” The fact is, the Palestinians have waited way more than enough time for a token of justice. That Obama cannot even stick to his Cairo guns on the Israeli settlements without major Jewish American organizational and congressional tar-brushing of even his feeble attempt to so stick, is not acceptable.

    • Citizen
      April 23, 2010, 9:24 am

      DS, I see that getting the average American to connect the dots between
      Shrub’s fraud-based attack on Iraq, the absurd Shrub-Obama Drone War to create democracy, thus winning the hearts & minds of the natives, and the drum roll for attacking Iran because it sits where it does and will have none of some form of a new Shah for itself, is like getting an effective coalition of different flavors of US Jews to install a semblance of Justice, the best root of long-term peace regarding the I-P conflict.
      By that time, regular commenters here have often noted, the original Palestinians dispossessed will all be dead. And if the tac is taken a la Witty, that’s the end of the ROR of Palestininans to their stolen land surrounding the Nakba.

      • David Samel
        April 23, 2010, 9:45 am

        Citizen, I think I answered these things in my response to Chaos above.

      • Citizen
        April 24, 2010, 10:31 am

        I guess then, the answer is, there’s nothing we can do about it unless the US campaign finance laws are changed at the root. This won’t happen because the current system favors incumbent congress members–unless the US masses get more informed on the role of the Israel Lobby, a subject avoided by the US MSM.

  13. David
    April 23, 2010, 11:36 am

    Ahmed, your perspective on BDS is interesting and, in my opinion, justified.

    But to be clear, your linking of BDS with anti-Zionism is not reflective of the actual call for BDS from Palestinian civil society, although there is certainly plenty of room in the BDS movement for people holding your views just as there is for folks who might disagree with you.

    The BDS call (link to bdsmovement.net) is silent–and I believe rightfully so–on the “hot button” issues of “Zionism vs. anti-Zionism” or “one-state vs. two-state.” It’s silent on these because it is a call to ACTION, not to more endless debate about labels.

    Palestinian leaders in the BDS movement, including Omar Barghouti and Rifat Kassis, have repeatedly made it clear that they are calling for action–and that if the action fits within the framework of the BDS call, they welcome it even if it doesn’t fit into an ideological purity. Jewish Voice for Peace hasn’t endorsed the BDS call, but their work on Caterpillar and selective divestment is welcomed by the BNC. Berkeley divestment was supported and commended by the BNC even though it’s a very selective divestment proposal.

    I heard Omar Barghouti speak a little while back in DC, and he framed things in an easy to remember way. He told the audience, “Look, if you don’t agree with a total boycott, fine. Boycott something. An egg. A tomato. I don’t care what it is, but start doing it. Otherwise this is just more talk.”

    You’re welcome to ideological purity, but the BDS movement doesn’t call for it. It calls for action. Berkeley divestment is action.

    link to standwithstudents.org

    • David Samel
      April 23, 2010, 12:45 pm

      Excellent point, David.

      • Citizen
        April 24, 2010, 10:32 am

        Yeah, it really is an excellent point. Thanks, David.

  14. tr
    April 23, 2010, 10:02 pm

    yislam timmak ya ahmed.

    • Citizen
      April 24, 2010, 10:40 am

      Plant a tree for palestine? A pine tree too? No. Just don’t, e.g., buy anything actually made in the OT but stamped made-in-Israel. And tell the store owner or manager why.

  15. Judy
    April 24, 2010, 9:25 am

    Thanks for laying it out so articulately, Ahmed.

    As much as Palestinian supporters would like to believe otherwise, we must accept the reality that the occupation has become a central core of zionism, and that 2-states will never come to be.

    You have given us all much to think about.

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