Where Sullivan gets it wrong: there already is a non-violent Palestinian movement

on 178 Comments

John Mearsheimer’s dynamic speech at the Palestine Center in Washington, D.C. continues to make waves on the blogosphere. Andrew Sullivan notes two responses from Jeffrey Goldberg and Noah Pollak.

But I take issue with Sullivan’s critique of Mearsheimer’s speech. Sullivan is an influential writer read by millions, and I appreciate many of his honest and thoughtful writings on Israel/Palestine, which he has continued to publish despite ridiculous assertions that he is an anti-Semite. So, because of Sullivan’s reach, let’s examine where he falters. His analysis has implications for the discourse surrounding Israel/Palestine, and it’s important to get the facts straight.

Sullivan criticizes Mearsheimer for being “sanguine” about a mass, nonviolent Palestinian movement that will bring about the end of apartheid Israel.

Here’s Sullivan:

With the Likudnik right marginalized, and the ambivalent middle increasingly distressed by a more clearly apartheid system, what will happen? Mearsheimer sees a bi-national democracy achieved through Palestinians winning the international argument that a non-Jewish Israel is preferable to an apartheid Israel. He urges non-violence in such a situation.

This is where he loses me. I suspect he is being far too sanguine about the possibilities of a mature, non-violent Palestinian movement that uses its democratic majority for fruitful and non-violent and non-anti-Semitic ends.

He makes a similar point in a follow-up post:

The obvious and serious flaw in Mearsheimer’s argument, as I noted, is the absence of a deep analysis of Palestinian rejection of a two-state solution and the Palestinian support of those forces that seek to end Israel altogether. He does mention it, but, to my mind, in far too cursory a fashion.

I’m curious to find out what news sources Sullivan reads on Israel/Palestine, and where he got the idea that it’s misguided for Mearsheimer to say that Palestinians should “resist mightily for sure, but their strategy should privilege non-violent resistance.”

I think it’s very clear that this is increasingly the strategy that Palestinians are using. The weekly protests in West Bank villages against the separation wall have now spread to Gaza. The growing boycott, divestment and sanctions movement is Palestinian led and initiated, and has spread to the West. There already is a “mature, non-violent Palestinian movement.” It will continue to grow.

Where are the Palestinians who reject a two-state solution? A recent Jerusalem Media and Communication Centre poll found that 44% of Palestinians still favor the two-state solution, although support for a bi-national state is growing. And support for a bi-national solution does not equal sentiment that is anti-Semitic or people who seek to “end Israel.” It is instead a solution that favors equality for Israelis and Palestinians. 

If we’re speaking of Palestinian politics, Hamas would accept a two-state solution based on the 1967 borders, and has been on record saying that multiple times. The Palestine Liberation Organization and Fatah do, as well. Those are the major forces in Palestinian politics, and they don’t add up to “rejection of a two-state solution.”

178 Responses

  1. bangpound
    May 3, 2010, 10:25 pm

    44% of Palestinians still favor the two-state solution.

    But the poll only surveyed Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza, and most Palestinians do not live in those places.

  2. yonira
    May 3, 2010, 10:58 pm


    It has accepted a Palestinian state on the 1967 borders including East Jerusalem, dismantling settlements, and the right of return based on a long term truce.

    Hamas accepts an Israel w/ an Arab majority, but can’t even offer them full peace in return? How will that work out? Will Hamas declare war on an Israel with an Arab majority after they decide their long term cease fire has ended. It’s pretty irrational to think this is a legitimate solution.

    These fence protests aren’t non-violent either, yes, they are bring rocks to a gun-fight, but it’s still violence. Walking into a no-man zone in Gaza, declared a place where the enemy will shoot to kill if entered, isn’t non-violent either, it is pure provocation.

    • Shingo
      May 4, 2010, 12:28 am

      “These fence protests aren’t non-violent either, yes, they are bring rocks to a gun-fight, but it’s still violence. Walking into a no-man zone in Gaza, declared a place where the enemy will shoot to kill if entered, isn’t non-violent either, it is pure provocation.”

      The fact that the no-man zone in Gaza is Palestinian territory is beside the point of course. Israel still gets to decide who can can;t go there.  So much for the unilateral withdrawl in 2005.  Building settlements is pure provocation too is it not?  Do you support the shooting of ISraeli settlers on the ground that their activitioes are pure provocation?

      The next time you pretend to be opposed to the settlements, don’t blame us for laughing at you.

      • demize
        May 4, 2010, 6:38 pm

        Uhm, that woman who was raped, well she was wearing a really short skirt. She was being “provocative”.

    • potsherd
      May 4, 2010, 7:32 am

      IDF murderer: “But it’s all the Arabs’ fault. They MADE me open fire. They provoked me by violent walking!”

      • Shmuel
        May 4, 2010, 7:39 am

        They provoked me by violent walking!

        As Rachel so succinctly put it, “Palestinian non-violent movement is an oxymoron”: whether walking, smiling or breathing, Palestinians are inherently incapable of non-violence.

  3. Avi
    May 3, 2010, 11:16 pm

    Sullivan seems to be unfamiliar (mildly put) with certain core facts regarding Palestinian resistance.

    The fact is that the Palestinian non-violent movement (within the reality known as the occupied West Bank) dates back to the first Intifada of 1988. Of course, there has been non-violent Palestinian activism as far back as the early part of the 20th century.

    At the same time, Sullivan needs to realize that when one strategy fails, the people using said strategy try alternatives, or more accurately, those who advocate different methods tend to gain more support where the earlier methods failed. That is the very reason why the second Intifada of 2000 was violent as the Oslo accords not only failed to bring about any tangible improvement in the lives of Palestinians under occupation, but the Israeli government’s so-called “offers” indicated an unwillingness to bring about an honest resolution to the conflict. Recall Ehud Barak’s so-called “unprecedented offer” at Camp David in 2000.

    Thus resistance exists in amplitudinal waves, it has it’s ups and downs, one strategy fails and another surfaces, and so on and so forth.

    • Richard Witty
      May 3, 2010, 11:22 pm

      I’m not sure that rock-throwing is non-violent.

      You cannot accurately characterize the second intifada as non-violent. The basis of doubt is more than rational.

      • Avi
        May 3, 2010, 11:27 pm

        You have reading comprehension issues. Read it again.

      • Red
        May 4, 2010, 2:24 am

        Richard, there is a difference between the violence of an oppressor and the violence of an oppressed person resisting the violence of an oppressor.

        If an armed mugger mugged you in the street or an armed burglar broke into your home and you defended yourself, your home, your family from the armed attacker by force, would you define what you did as being “violence”? I very much doubt it. Instead you would probably justifying it saying you were defending yourself from armed attacker who visited violence on you. Well this is exactly what is happening in Palestine. If and when Palestinians use stones at demonstrations its because they are being attacked by armed military thugs, who fire on them without provocation or invade their villages, schools, homes and attack their families.

        I have spent a lot of time in the Occupied Palestinian Territories and have attended many, many of the non-violent demonstrations and almost every time without fail, the Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) carry out unprovoked attacks against the unarmed and non-violent protesters. The IOF then issue outright lies to the media accusing the Palestinians of being violent and attacking them. And then when they on occassion finally get caught in their lies, as they did recently with the killing of the four young boys/men from the villages of Awarta and Iraq Burin, what happens to them? For murdering four people all the commanders of the units and the soliders get is a “you’ve been naughty” citation on their service records and that it…

        There is absolutely NO comparison between the violence carried out by the 4th strongest military force in the world, who is armed to the teeth with the latest weaponry and carries out state sanction terrorism against an entire people and a few rag-tag young boys and men with a handful stones trying to defend their homes, land and villages against such military force.

      • Richard Witty
        May 4, 2010, 5:35 am

        There might not be any comparison, but “non-violent” is not an accurate term.

      • Chaos4700
        May 4, 2010, 6:07 am

        And when has Zionism EVER been non-violent? From davidkas to white phosphorous to settler pogroms to “ambiguous” nukes, Witty, YOUR “jewel” of Zionism has been one non-stop tour de force of violence and militarism.

      • edwin
        May 4, 2010, 6:57 am

        Richard – it is sad that every single Palestinian is not named Gandhi, but that is a fact of life.

        There is something sickening about whining that the Palestinians are throwing stones against a military occupation – let alone one that I believe you have claimed to be apartheid in certain ares.

        Are you happier with the suicide bombings? Is that what you want? Maye it is worth noting the difference, and note that Israel has not become less violent, but more violent.

      • Chaos4700
        May 4, 2010, 7:04 am

        Are you happier with the suicide bombings?

        Actually, yes he is. Because then he has a false pretense to justify the dropping of thousands of tons of bombs on an imprisoned civilian population. Or the construction of concrete walls that encircle their communities and separate villages from each other — and in some cases, from their own farmland — “for the safety of Israelis” whose transfer to the West Bank was illegal in the first place.

        The thought that Witty might actually have to engage Palestinians today as rational human beings, terrifies him. Which is why he refuses to believe that Palestinians are capable of non-violence at all.

        Let alone whether it is morally just to require the Palestinians passively let Israeli bulldozers roll right over them.

      • Shmuel
        May 4, 2010, 7:11 am

        In his famous statement from the dock at the Rivonia trial, Mandela described the progressive escalation of ANC violence, based on the SA regime’s response to various non-violent and then non-lethal (eg. sabotage) protest actions. When non-violence is treated as if it were sabotage, sabotage as if it were guerrilla warfare, guerrilla warfare as if it were terrorism, terrorism as if it were open revolution – combined with the ongoing violence and oppression of occupation and discrimination – the escalation of violence is inevitable, and primary responsibility lies with the intransigent oppressor, not the oppressed.

      • Richard Witty
        May 4, 2010, 7:36 am

        Again, the question isn’t whether violence is just, or effective, but whether the demonstrations are in fact non-violent.

        We can proceed to the next questions if you like.

      • Chaos4700
        May 4, 2010, 7:39 am

        It must be nice to be a Zionist Jew, Witty. Nothing your side does ever qualifies as violence, does it?

      • Shmuel
        May 4, 2010, 7:46 am

        There are many different levels of violence, Richard. All of Israel’s actions toward the Palestinians are unequivocally violent, while the vast majority of Palestinian actions toward the Israeli occupier are non-violent or minimally/symbolically violent.

      • Richard Witty
        May 4, 2010, 7:56 am

        I never use the word “never”, or “all”.

        Its still a question of representation. If they are moderately violent, call them “moderately violent civil disobedience” or “symbolically violent civil disobedience” not “non-violent”.

        If you want to get to discussing the next questions of goal, effectiveness, we can.

      • edwin
        May 4, 2010, 8:29 am

        Using your definitions – there probably never has been a non-violent movement against an occupation anywhere.

      • Shmuel
        May 4, 2010, 8:37 am

        In the same statement from the dock, Mandela described the results (ever greater oppression) of 50 years of non-violent struggle. Complete non-violence is particularly advantageous to the oppressor and apologists for oppressive regimes. If overwhelmingly non-violent struggle can also be dismissed because it is somehow “tainted” with even the slightest hint of violence (that Mandela viewed as inevitable), all the better for the oppressor and the apologist.

      • Julian
        May 4, 2010, 9:01 am

        The thousands of rockets and mortars shot at Israeli civilians is non violent? How about the Passover Massacre and the thousands of suicide bombings are they symbolic?

      • potsherd
        May 4, 2010, 9:05 am

        Julian forgot the pizza parlor. 5 points deducted from his hasbara score.

      • Shmuel
        May 4, 2010, 9:10 am

        The Palestinian struggle against dispossession and occupation has not been entirely non-violent, but it has been predominantly non-violent: strikes, protests, civil disobedience, “sumud” – you name it and the Palestinians have done it. All of these non-violent actions have met with brutal Israeli repression. The rockets and suicide bombings are a relatively recent phenomenon, which in no way represents the totality of Palestinian resistance. It is of course convenient for the occupier and its apologists to create the opposite impression.

      • Mooser
        May 4, 2010, 10:02 am

        “We can proceed to the next questions if you like.”

        Yes, Your Dis-Honor.

      • Red
        May 4, 2010, 10:04 am

        Richard, you are speaking in abstractions. It all well and good for you, someone not living under the brutal heal of a military occupation every single day of your life to philosophise about what is and what isn’t “violence”. The Palestinians ENDURE violence every single day of their lives, it is not an abstraction for them, its a real, every day thing – watching their family members brutally beaten, they chidlren kidnapped in the middle of the night and their loved ones shot or bombed. This is violence that is real, not abstract, and its something you should thank your lucky stars you will probably never have to endure.

        Abstract arguments such as the one you are promoting do nothing except to work to absolve the real agressors and the real perpetrators of violence and state-sanction terrorism by attempting to sheet blame on to their victims (ie. the Palestinians).

        The demonstrations are non-violent and peaceful. Despite this, they are regularly attacked by the Israeli Occupation Forces.

        It should be pointed out that there has been numerous docomented cases of the Israeli secret police also seeding the demonstration with agent provocatuers, who pretend they are Palestinians and throw stones (one such occassion is well documented in the documentary, Bilin Habibti, by Israeli film maker, Shai Carmeli Pollak – the film clearly shows the unmasking of one such undercover agent, who was posing as a Palestinian and start to throw stones. In response to this, a Bilin village leader approach the undercover agent to ask him to stop. The agent provocatuer whose cover is blown, then attacks the non-violent Palestinian activist -along with other under cover cops – and then arrests the Palestinian demonstrators who tried to stop the undercover agents from throwing the stones).

        The violence is at the hands of the Israeli military not at the hands of the Palestinians.

    • VR
      May 3, 2010, 11:47 pm

      Actually the first six months of the second intifada was relatively violence free. What began to happen is that the Israelis considered this a turkey shoot, even at the inaugural of the first wave of non-violent resistance live ammunition was shot into the Palestinians (some say the count was approximately a million rounds). The odds of death began to change, from the usual 2 or 3 Israelis/to 5 Palestinians – it went ostensibly to 0/10, until it could be tolerated no longer. Than the other factors which Avi mentioned set in, bringing about the change to violence.

      • yonira
        May 3, 2010, 11:59 pm

        Actually VR Soon after Mr Sharon left the site, the angry demonstrations outside erupted into violence. Israeli police fired tear gas and rubber-coated metal bullets, while protesters hurled stones and other missiles.
        Police said 25 of their men were hurt by missiles thrown by Palestinians, but only one was taken to hospital.

        link to news.bbc.co.uk

        That is just the tip of the iceberg, October (well within your bogus timeline) was a historically bloody month. Look it up if you are at all interested in historical accuracy.

        If you can claim that hurled stones and other projectiles are non-violent, can i claim that rubber bullets are also non-violent?

      • VR
        May 4, 2010, 12:19 am

        Lets get something straight yonira you Zionist shill, that after the initial provocation (because this was exactly what it was) there was a complete agreement to peaceful protest. So, the bullets the flew, the ones I am talking about, continued to fly in the face of plenty of peaceful resistance. Especially in the first few months, with the incessant Israeli attempt to radicalize peaceful resistance. However, the Israeli occupation has always been violent, and increasingly so – see Operation Cast Lead.

      • Shingo
        May 4, 2010, 12:30 am

        “Actually VR Soon after Mr Sharon left the site, the angry demonstrations outside erupted into violence”

        So pure provocation is fine with you so long as it’s done by Israelis.

        Got it.

      • yonira
        May 4, 2010, 12:30 am

        well it’s went from six months, to a few months. how about October 12th:

        link to en.wikipedia.org

        or better yet September 29th, like i quoted above.

      • yonira
        May 4, 2010, 12:40 am

        you mean this provocation:

        History is a bitch

      • Shingo
        May 4, 2010, 12:52 am

        “you mean this provocation:

        History is a bitch”

        I see you like fiction Yoni.

        You’re citing a book by the Zionist shill, Martijn Indyk?

        Why beat around  the bush?  You should have gone straight to Dennis Ross.

        Just watch Indyk cry like a baby, throw an tantrum and complain about  being sandbagged when asked to debate Frankenstein abotu his book.  Needless to say, Fink exposes this lame propaganda for what it is.

        link to democracynow.org

      • yonira
        May 4, 2010, 12:57 am

        and you are citing an lefty israel hating website. how is it any different?

      • yonira
        May 4, 2010, 12:58 am

        you’re lefty sources are fair game, why can’t mine be? i suppose you didn’t read the footnotes either did you?

      • Shingo
        May 4, 2010, 2:45 am


        Yes lynching is so 20th century.

        White Phosphorous and cluster bombs are so much more refined and poetic aren’t they Yoni?  It stil amazes me how you Zionist wingnuts expect the world to get outraged at the death of one or 2 Israelis, while you flipantly dismiss the massacres that took opalc in Lebanon and Gaza since that incident.

      • tree
        May 4, 2010, 3:39 am

        Yonira, if you want a listing of the IDF’s provocations, you don’t have to go to “lefty Israel hating websites”. You just have to read Israeli papers and listen to quotes from Israeli generals:

        Brig. gen. (Res). Zvi Fogel, who headed the Southern Command staff: “By February 2000, we had taken very serious moves to prepare the army for a confrontation. At that moment, I understood a confrontation was unavoidable. I created all the conditions for it; it was not that we were forced to use force in order to enable a positive outcome to the political negotiations; the preparations we made led to a confrontation.

        “I want to remind you, this was the beginning of 2000, and we were still in the era of joint patrols. You create distress on the other side, which makes him want to break this distress. They called it an intifada. After six weeks of fighting, they had more than 60 dead and we had zero. For them, that was unacceptable.”

        link to haaretz.com

      • lareineblanche
        May 4, 2010, 5:36 am

        What you call “lefty sources” are generally more credible, detailed, and factual. It’s not a question of balancing the “left” against the “right”, it’s simply a question of being honest.

      • Mooser
        May 4, 2010, 10:08 am

        Gosh, every time Yonira says “lefty”, it goes straight to my heart, and gives my kishkas a pinch! Oh, how we admired the Kibbutzniks as the worked the soil to develop the Jewish Socialist paradise! Remember how the children lived seperately from the parents, so they would not develop unhealthy family attachments? Didn’t a few of the Kibbutz even experiment with, shall we say, somewhat more liberal marriage arrangements?
        Ah, but that was a few short years ago, before Israel took a hard right neo-liberal turn. And now Zionist-supporters slag opposition as “lefty”

        So sad! Where is my Jewish-Socialist paradise? It was only a few years ago that the Kibbutz movement showed promise for the oppressed peoples all over the world! Anybody else remember those heady days?

  4. Richard Witty
    May 3, 2010, 11:20 pm

    I have an important criticism with your post Alex.

    That is in the distinction between the term “strategy” (which you used) and “tactic”.

    Hamas for example does not claim to have a long-term non-violent strategy, as in a value and an effort that it is committed to. My sense is that it approaches non-violence as a tactic, a very temporary gambit.

    Others, I’m not sure about.

    To the extent that BDS or non-violent approaches seek the end of Zionism at all, not the transformation of zionism to good, they are in a qualitatively different territory.

    To ignore the importance of that to a popularly and deeply held conviction among Israelis, is to live in an ideological fantasy.

    • Avi
      May 3, 2010, 11:31 pm

      To ignore the importance of that to a popularly and deeply held conviction among Israelis, is to live in an ideological fantasy.

      The only person who lives in a fantasy is you. By your own admission, the last time you acquainted yourself with the realities of Israel and the OPT was back when you were still popping pimples.

      Spare everyone reading this website the patronizing drivel. It’s agonizing to see someone so entrenched in his own delusions.

    • Shingo
      May 4, 2010, 12:32 am

      “Hamas for example does not claim to have a long-term non-violent strategy, as in a value and an effort that it is committed to. My sense is that it approaches non-violence as a tactic, a very temporary gambit.”

      So what is Israel’s long term, non violent stratergy Witty?

      • VR
        May 4, 2010, 1:04 am

        Shingo, the Palestinians are always wrong (according to yonira and RW), because resistance in the face of a terrorist state is wrong. They should not get mad, but must display complete passivity otherwise they can be accused of being “Angry Arabs.”

        The Angry Arabs are like the angry Black man, even during the days of slavery and Jim Crow he was not supposed to get angry or struggle. It is like Malcolm X said – he is just supposed to sing. If he does anything else besides sing a passively take the blows he is guilty. Like Malcolm X’s illustration, when he is being lynched he is supposed to be calm and tell his lynchers that he loves them. In fact, if he can, he should do an entertaining tap dance before he is hanged. Otherwise he will be accused of being angry and violent, any struggle is a mark against him. This is why you have so many numerous recitations of the violence a Palestinian might commit, it is always supposed to be wrong, in the same way it was wrong from the Black man to struggle – forget the context.

      • Shingo
        May 4, 2010, 1:39 am

        Yes I noticed that VR.

        Witty was arguing yesterday that Hamas were to blame for the 3
        2008 Gaza war because they reacted to 6 if their own being killed by Israel’s November 4th raid on Gaza ( even though it was a violation of the ceasefire).

        I asked Witty half a dozen times, if he would have demanded that Israel abstain from responding had Hamas entered Tel Aviv and killed 6 Israelis during a ceasefire.

        Needless to say, Witty dodged my question and refused to give me an answer.

      • Richard Witty
        May 4, 2010, 5:43 am

        The question asked isn’t “should the Palestinian solidarity and cadre be non-violent”, but ARE they?

        And, they are not.

        If its a temporary tactic, then that is what it is, not a fundamental value of their approach, not a long-term strategy.

        “Truth in advertising”

        link to haaretz.com

        A Special Place in Hell / A prayer for the Gazan armed only with a flag
        In a place where war now claims many more civilian victims than military, it’s about time that the unarmed decided to fight back.
        By Bradley Burston

        Bradley expresses his respect for opposition to occupation and the courage of non-violent form of that.

        For two reasons. One, is that it is truly courageous, more courageous than strapping a bomb to one’s waste in one’s “courage”. Two, because it is effective at changing hearts, minds, elections, policies.

      • Chaos4700
        May 4, 2010, 6:15 am

        You constantly crucify the Palestinians as violent savages, you dirty racist, but when your cruel Zionist regime drops bombs on civilians deliberately and without ambiguity, you say that that violence is “self defense.”

        You’re a monstrous hypocrite, Witty. Those war trials are coming. Keep that in mind.

      • Richard Witty
        May 4, 2010, 6:19 am

        You must be a plant.

      • Chaos4700
        May 4, 2010, 6:34 am

        Oh, yes, Witty. I’m part of the vast anti-Semitic conspiracy and I’ve been specifically assigned to track you down, jump out from underneath your bed and “holaccost” you.

        Get over yourself. We can all see that your double standard is motivated by racism. Nobody’s fooled… except maybe your delusional self.

      • Richard Witty
        May 4, 2010, 7:39 am

        You are adept at turning compassionate and committed thinking and action in support of Palestinian civilians from that sentiment and effort.

        I have to fight through your condemnations to keep my memory of seeking good for Palestinians.

        There’s got to be a better way to organize.

      • Chaos4700
        May 4, 2010, 7:45 am

        I have to fight through your condemnations to keep my memory of seeking good for Palestinians.

        That’s the difference between you and me. I do by instinct what you can only accomplish by pretense.

      • Richard Witty
        May 4, 2010, 7:59 am

        Instincts are what reptiles use.

      • Chaos4700
        May 4, 2010, 8:23 am

        Yeah, the Nazis accused people of being base animals, too.

      • sherbrsi
        May 4, 2010, 8:28 am

        Nice to see Witty practicing what he preaches.

        “You win the hearts of people by calling them not reptiles, NOT non-violent maximalist BDS.”

      • LeaNder
        May 4, 2010, 8:36 am

        Instincts are what reptiles use.

        wrong, there is a bigger debate around the issue. Some like to substitute “instinctual drives” with “motivational drives”. What would happen to your goal without motivational drives?

        But I find it interesting you use reptiles. Do you know Edward Albee’s play Seascape?

      • LeaNder
        May 4, 2010, 9:15 am

        Chaos, (why 4700, by the way) I understand your anger, but can’t we give up the Nazi comparison? It is enormously useless. Worse it’s counterproductive.

        Didn’t he lure you into a tit for tat circle? He calls you a plant, you accuse him pretention. in return he calls you a reptile,.out comes the Nazi.

        Concerning your pretention: I have the impression that our suspicion in a way mirrors his high level of suspicion. If someone is so suspicious, he must be …

        What I find much more interesting in the above. Why do you think he suspects you of being a plant? Planted by whom? Why do others suspect him to be one? It would have been more interesting had you addressed that little gem.

      • LeaNder
        May 4, 2010, 9:21 am


        Didn’t he lure you into a tit for tat circle? He calls you a plant, you call him a pretender, in return he calls you a reptile, out comes the Nazi trump.

        I changed that and didn’t pay enough attention.

      • Miss Dee Mena
        May 4, 2010, 11:46 am

        I attend the protests in the West Bank fairly regularly. Not as a participant but as an observer in a professional capacity.

        The vast majority of the protesters are completely non-violent. However, after the Israelis start shooting rubber-coated, marble-sized metal bullets and high-velocity tear canisters, designed to penetrate walls, directly at people when by IDF regulations the gas canisters are meant to be fired in an arc over heads, then some of the youngsters do throw stones back.

        I would therefore characterise the protests as basically non-violent with some retaliatory violence, of a much lower level by a small number of people, against superior and excessive violence employed by the IDF.

        I have also witnessed soldiers firing directly at the backs of retreating protesters who had not been involved in any stone throwing.

      • Mooser
        May 4, 2010, 6:38 pm

        Miss Dee Mena, thanks for commenting. Commenting from people who have participated or observed first-hand the events and situations in Israel-Palestine are always valuable and enlightening.

  5. Avi
    May 3, 2010, 11:26 pm

    In addition,

    The emphasis on anti-Semitism is simply ludicrous. The conflict is neither religious, nor ethnic. One would think Sullivan knew such basic facts. Even Hamas couldn’t care less about Jews in the diaspora or in Israel. All they want is for the Israeli Zionist occupier to acknowledge the crimes committed against Palestinians and allow the Palestinians to have their own independent state.

    In an interview with the BBC from Syria, Khaled Mishal himself stated that the red herring known as the Hamas Charter was written more than 20 years ago and does not reflect the opinions and attitudes of today. It is a matter of principle, however, that Hamas refuses to amend it, much in the same way Palestinian refugees refuse to throw out their keys to homes from which they were evicted more than 60 years ago.

    Surely, Sullivan is not going to demand the victim accept and internalize the crimes of his own victimizer in an effort to appease said victimizer. Or would he? If he did, then Sullivan would be doing so in keeping with a colonial tradition, also known as Chutzpah.

    • Julian
      May 4, 2010, 6:31 am

      It’s hard to believe you are this dumb. To Islamic fundies like Hamas religion is everything. To Hamas all of historic Palestine is an is an Islamic Waqf.

      • Chaos4700
        May 4, 2010, 6:38 am

        You know, over five thousand American soldiers died for a lie propagated by people like you are motivated by nothing more than your hatred of Arabs.

      • potsherd
        May 4, 2010, 7:37 am

        It’s not hard to believe you are this nasty. It’s a typical Zionist trait.

      • MarkF
        May 4, 2010, 8:27 am

        I seem to recall Settlement Fundies taking a bit of a religious bent as well. You know, greater Israel, G-d gave the land to us, this justifies actions in Judea & Samaria, etc. Don’t these folks seem to think that all of historic Palestine is Israel?

      • thankgodimatheist
        May 4, 2010, 8:39 am

        “To Islamic fundies like Hamas religion is everything.”
        Let me borrow your words. It’s hard to believe you are this dumb!

        Facts Jules! Once they had a home and their home you stole! And you’re telling us it’s about religion?
        How crude!

  6. rachel
    May 3, 2010, 11:30 pm

    Palestinian non-violent movement is an oxymoron. That’s Palestinian propaganda for the useful idiots. Bilin is the great weekly theater run by internationalists and Israelis anarchists solely for western consumption. It is totally staged. The real story is in the daily news. Read reports of stabbings, drive by shootings, kidnapping attempts, stonings. etc.

    • Shingo
      May 4, 2010, 12:35 am

      “Read reports of stabbings, drive by shootings, kidnapping attempts, stonings. etc.”

      Yes we know all about the trouble the settlers get up to Rachel, but thanks for the tip!

      • Mooser
        May 4, 2010, 10:18 am

        Rachel’s been reading the Tel-Aviv police blotter in Ha’aretz. Israel is a hell of domestic violence and elder abuse.
        When it’s all over, one truth will be apparent: The Palestinians were the primary victims of Zionism, but Zionism had no problems victimising Jews.
        In order for Zionism to work it requires Palestinian victims, yes. But it also requires victimising Jews, who will be left holding the bag. Zionism will disappear, but Jews will still be around.
        But the funniest thing is how the idea that there is a tribal universalism among Jews, which is, of course, an anti-Semitic canard, has become Zionism’s most precious possession, even though among all the pretenses of Zionism, that is the most ridiculous, and most easily disproven.
        I can just hear it ‘Well, as Zionists, sure, we screwed the Jews, but they wanted us to‘!

      • edwin
        May 4, 2010, 10:27 am

        A Jew mutilates another Jew (and a newborn one to make matters worse), and a third Jew moans…

        …that being Jewish hurts!

        How antisemitic the world is.

        link to thehasbarabuster.blogspot.com

    • Red
      May 4, 2010, 2:35 am

      Rachel have you ever been to Bilin? I somehow doubt it… well I have, many times and I have participated in the non-violent demonstrations many, many times. As I noted in my post in response to Richard Witty, almost every time without fail, the Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) carry out unprovoked attacks against the unarmed and non-violent protesters. The IOF then issue outright lies to the media accusing the Palestinians of being violent and attacking them.

      Secondly, your attitude is utterly condescending and colonialist. The Palestinians are quite capable of leading their own non-violent struggle and they have been doing so since Zionist colonisation first began well over a 100 years ago. The Palestinian struggle for self-determination has been overwhelmingly non-violent. And when it has turned violent it has only been because of the violence perpetrated against them by Zionists. As I noted earlier, there is absolutely no comparison between the violence carried out by an oppressor, who has the fourth strongest military in the world, armed to the teeth with the latest high tech gear and give carte blanc to carryout state sanctioned terrorism and a few rag-tag boys or young men who might throw a few stones to defend their homes, land and villages against said military might.

      And if you want to see the “real” violence in the Occupied West Bank (other than the Israeli military violence) then look to the violence of the illegal Israeli settlers who attack unarmed Palestinian villages, burn their crops, poison their stock and shot at their homes, with impunity as the majority of times the Israel Occupation Forces will either stand by and ignore what the settlers are doing or will intervene and protect the illegal settlers.

      • Richard Witty
        May 4, 2010, 5:50 am

        It is important to oppose the violence and suppression of Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza.

        For those with any compassion, its necessary for us to be more courageous than to react to any that offend us, right or left. We should value compassion for other human beings so determinedly, that we retain our compassion and act for it comprehensively, particularly in support of those that are truly victimized and truly aspiring.

        I find that when I take in too deeply the assaults by the far left and left/right in particular, I tend to react rather than commit to my convictions of compassion.

        You seem to have a compassionate bone. Please remember that so that those that are harmed and denied civil rights have your voice of support in the ways that are honest to you.

      • lareineblanche
        May 4, 2010, 6:05 am

        “I find that when I take in too deeply the assaults”
        Recalling the facts and dispelling the propaganda are not “assaults”, they are a call to order, nothing more.

        “We should value compassion for other human beings so determinedly, that we retain our compassion and act for it comprehensively, particularly in support of those that are truly victimized and truly aspiring.”
        What are you babbling on about again?

      • Chaos4700
        May 4, 2010, 6:16 am

        I think making Rachel out to be compassionate is the best example of Witty’s utter disconnect from reality that I’ve seen in ages.

      • Richard Witty
        May 4, 2010, 6:17 am

        Eyes on the prize.

        If you are sincerely interested in a compelling mass movement for Palestinian benefit, compassion is the driver.

      • Richard Witty
        May 4, 2010, 6:24 am

        Rachel, Cut through the rhetoric to be true to your kindest convictions, and cultivate them.

        It is more patriotic to be humane than it is to rationalize that forced isolation and constant martial law is defense.

      • Chaos4700
        May 4, 2010, 6:36 am

        Considering your idea of compassion is the blame Operation Cast Lead squarely on the six Palestinians that the IDF murdered on November 4th, 2008 and not anyone who actually did those and subsequent murderers?

        Zionist compassion and an empty sack are worth an empty sack.

      • potsherd
        May 4, 2010, 7:38 am

        Zionist kindness – another oxymoron.

      • Mooser
        May 4, 2010, 10:20 am

        Red, this blog is always enhanced when those who have recent experience in the area comment. As this is your first comment I have seen, I thank you for doing so, and hope you will join the others here (which does not include me) who comment from actual experience.

      • James North
        May 4, 2010, 4:57 pm

        I agree with Mooser. Please keep contributing.

    • Chaos4700
      May 4, 2010, 6:11 am

      You might as well substitute “Palestinians” with “Negro” and some other choice cut-and-replaces, and you might as well be a white conservative railing against the non-violent civil rights movement in the 1960’s.

  7. VR
    May 3, 2010, 11:54 pm

    “Read reports of stabbings, drive by shootings, kidnapping attempts, stonings. etc. ”

    Rachel, you are going to have to show me those daily news papers, I must be missing something. Outside of that you must be confusing the settler activity with the Palestinians…

    • VR
      May 4, 2010, 12:02 am

      Or, you must be confusing the IDF reports that when they brutally attack the Palestinians and they try to defend themselves, they (the Palestinians) are almost always “reported” to be “attacking.”

      • yonira
        May 4, 2010, 12:09 am

        LOL, yeah that is exactly what happened. i don’t know if you guys are seriously idiots or you are just so brainwashed by this anarchist, leftist, israel hating movement that it has driven you all apeshit crazy.

        I think i’ve figured out you guys’ definition of violence, it seems like it can only be perpetrated by Israelis. It’s kind of sad you are resorting to the same defense Israel has used “just defending itself.” I guess that is what happens when you drive a dipshit into a corner……

        happy backpedaling VR. hope the anarchy is going well for you.

      • Cliff
        May 4, 2010, 12:21 am

        I guess that is what happens when you drive a dipshit into a corner……

        You’d know by experience.

      • VR
        May 4, 2010, 12:24 am

        No, patently the issue when you post yonira is your inability to judge reality, and that goes from the beginning of the Zionist enterprise to the present day. I would appreciate it if you would stop trying to bill yourself as someone who maintains any balance whatsoever – however, that would require some real honesty.

      • Shingo
        May 4, 2010, 12:38 am

        “It’s kind of sad you are resorting to the same defense Israel has used “just defending itself.””

        You mean sad that anyone but Istaelis get to claim self defense these days Yonira. Not like the good ol days when everyone believed you guys were the vctims.

      • yonira
        May 4, 2010, 12:54 am

        shingo your diversion tactics are getting boring. can you bring anything to the table?

      • yonira
        May 4, 2010, 12:56 am

        holy shit Cliff, i am not gonna be able to sleep after that zinger.

      • Cliff
        May 4, 2010, 1:38 am

        israel hating movement

        LOL, yep that’s it. We arbitrarily hate that racist, pariah State founded on stolen land, which continues to steal land, butcher the Natives and cause war after war.

        Keep dreaming, you freak.

      • Shingo
        May 4, 2010, 1:46 am

        “shingo your diversion tactics are getting boring. can you bring anything to the table?”

        I always do Yonira. In fact, I usually end up roping that table with you, like I did eith regard to your link to Indyk’s book.

      • MRW
        May 4, 2010, 4:15 am

        yonira, you lie.

      • Mooser
        May 4, 2010, 10:23 am

        “anarchist” “lefty”

        It breaks my heart when young upstarts like Yonira reject these hallowed Jewish traditions.

      • edwin
        May 4, 2010, 10:33 am

        It is worse than that – anti-semitism in the US was not just irrational hatred of Jews, but hatred for the very strong “anarchist” and “lefty” traditions within Judaism.

        Talk about hating your past and being a self-hater.

  8. VR
    May 4, 2010, 12:45 am

    Lets move far away from the IP conflict for the moment. What would you say if I were to tell you that the real reason for the destruction of Hiroshima in WW2 was really due to vandalism and looters? I would become the laughing stock of this blog. What if I told you I had proof because I saw looters in the rubble? Would the proof matter any consideration? No.

    All would say that I was completely wrong, because it is a well known fact that an atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima, and if there were any looters it would be in the aftermath of the destruction caused by the bomb. Essentially I would lack the context, the real facts of why the city was destroyed, even though the looters were really present and active.

    That is what you lack yonira, you lack context. Almost every post you give is unhinged from the predominant reality, and that is a murderous colonial settler state occupation. That all of the power resides in the hands of the colonial entourage, the aggression is apparent and it is deep and daily. So all of the nonsense about Israeli self-defense is just that – call it what you like, it is not self-defense in this context. Primarily Israel will never be right for what it is doing, period.

    • yonira
      May 4, 2010, 12:47 am

      but throwing rocks at people w/ guns is self defense? Do you know how fucking ridiculous you sound? Seriously? I am not even going to touch that hiroshima bullshit. LOL did your anarchist buddies slip some PCP in your ditch weed again?

      • VR
        May 4, 2010, 1:07 am

        Baseless ridicule is no argument yonira, but I guess you did not know that, just like you always forget the context of the conflict we are discussing.

      • Cliff
        May 4, 2010, 1:53 am

        awww, poor Israeli soldiers.

        Im sure you’d be consistent, if Jews were in the shoes of the Palestinians, throwing rocks at people w/ guns. Poor poor poor IDF. It’s like 1939 all over again. Desert bloom, only democracy, never again, yada yada yada.

      • Shingo
        May 4, 2010, 1:59 am

        “but throwing rocks at people w/ guns is self defense?”

        So you don’t believe in the right to resist occupation and it’s perfectly reasonable for Israel to declare no go areas inside and already overcrowded open air prison.

        Got it.

        I guess setting fires to farms and bulldozing homes was just done to entertain the locals right Yoni?

      • Mooser
        May 4, 2010, 10:25 am

        “but throwing rocks at people w/ guns is self defense?”

        You are right, Yonira, it’s not even adequate self-defense. Or are you saying thrown stones are more deadly than guns?

      • demize
        May 4, 2010, 7:04 pm

        No that’s called resistance. It may be futile but it takes balls, and its what people do when they still have spirit. Unlike the courage it takes for a heavily armed soldier to fire into the body of an unarmed civilian.

  9. zebra
    May 4, 2010, 1:24 am

    Yonira. Try do read VR:s post with an open mind. You answer suggests that you did not understand what he was trying to say, Your argument about the evilness of the stone-throwing palestinians are weak in the light of the occupation. I am sure you would agree on this if we were talking about other places.

  10. Cliff
    May 4, 2010, 2:01 am

    link to youtube.com

    That’s how I feel about that shitty Levantine country. Not because it’s the Jewish State, not because Jew this and Jew that, but because it’s a racist, apartheid, police State.

  11. thankgodimatheist
    May 4, 2010, 4:03 am

    Soldiers Level A Mosque And Uproot Farmlands Near Rafah

    Israeli soldiers invaded on Tuesday at dawn an area in Rafah, in the southern part of the Gaza Strip, leveled the Al Dahniyya mosque and uprooted farmlands.
    link to imemc.org

    • thankgodimatheist
      May 4, 2010, 4:05 am

      Settlers torch the main mosque of the Al Lubban Al Shariyya village

      The settlers attacked the mosque approximately at 3 A.M., rounded up several copies of the Holy Koran in one place and set them ablaze.

      The fire caused excessive damage to the property of the mosque, including its ceiling, its fans and walls.
      link to imemc.org

      • thankgodimatheist
        May 4, 2010, 4:08 am

        Wrong link for the settlers attack above..Here it is:

        link to imemc.org

      • thankgodimatheist
        May 4, 2010, 4:11 am

        Daraghma added that the mosque is located in the center of the village which is surrounded by three settlements built on %30 of lands stolen from the residents. The village, 22 kilometers south of Nablus, is inhibited by 3000 residents.

        He stated that the village is subject to frequent attacks carried out by the settlers who previously set ablaze farmlands and uprooted trees.

        Local sources reported that the residents woke up on sounds of destruction and sounds of vehicles before they notices the torched mosque.

        Eyewitnesses confirmed seeing several settler vehicles driving in the village and speeding out of it after the mosque was set ablaze.

        The mosque was totally torched, some fifty copies of the Holy Koran were burnt and its walls and ceilings became cracked with significant parts of its ceramics falling down.

        Its 450 square meters of carpet, eight air conditioners and seven fans were burnt too and its electric wiring was fully sabotaged.

        This is the third mosque to be torched by the settlers this year as the settlers torched a mosque in Yasuf village near Salfit and another mosque in Huwwara town, near Nablus.
        link to imemc.org

      • RoHa
        May 4, 2010, 5:16 am

        From Aletho News,

        “East Jerusalem residents of the Beit Safafa neighborhood said Israeli police accompanied a group of settlers into the area Sunday night, where they took over a family home and set up dozens of flags overnight.

        Witnesses described a moderate police presence entering the neighborhood south of the Old City. Officers reportedly entered the home and forced the two elderly residents to evacuate the building, after which at least a dozen settlers moved in.”

        link to alethonews.wordpress.com

      • RoHa
        May 4, 2010, 5:17 am


        link to palsolidarity.org

        “Over 150 people participated in the weekly anti-Wall demonstration organized by the local Popular Committee in Beit Jala on Sunday. The protest march, which set out towards the Wall’s construction site, was attacked with tear-gas and concussion grenades as soon as it reached a razor-wire barricade erected by soldiers on the road leading to village’s lands.”

  12. thankgodimatheist
    May 4, 2010, 4:41 am

    Goldstone forced to attend meeting in order to go to his grandson’s bar mitzvah
    link to imemc.org

    • Shmuel
      May 4, 2010, 4:54 am

      When I first read about this condition, it struck me that Goldstone had essentially agreed to submit to a public scolding, for the sake of his grandson and family. I’m sure he has no illusions about presenting or explaining or discussing his viewpoint at that meeting. He will be treated like a naughty boy summoned to the headmaster’s office for a caning. How humiliating. Who the hell do these people think they are?

      • Chaos4700
        May 4, 2010, 6:09 am

        “Nobody expects the Israeli Inquisition!” I say that as a joke, but is it really all that surreal?

      • Citizen
        May 4, 2010, 7:14 am

        Well, yeah; the irony is they are leaders in the South African Jewish community, taking to task a guy world-famous for his work addressing the activity of the former apartheid regime there and the Irish Troubles.

      • potsherd
        May 4, 2010, 7:44 am

        Self-criticism session.

        He ought to take up Lerner’s invitation.

    • lareineblanche
      May 4, 2010, 5:04 am

      Shameful. Anyone who’s read the report (or even part of it) knows how impartial it is, and even a little lenient towards the IDF and the Israeli government. The crazed reaction is all the more mind-boggling. If the Israeli media were smart they would have played it down, but now the entire community has opened itself up to ridicule with these self-righteous spams.
      The man is really an example to be followed.

      • Citizen
        May 4, 2010, 6:34 am

        What’s really mind-boggling to me is how few US congress members
        bothered to read the full documentation (available to them all in the library of congress reading room) before voting for Bush Jr’s war on
        Iraq, and equally mind-boggling was most of the House signing on to dismissal of the Goldstone Report as a pile of biased rubbish, most apparently, having read at most a short executive summary prepared especially for them. I also have the impression that MSM pundits never read the full Goldstone, about the same size as M & W The Lobby, another tome they never read before spouting off.

        It seems the more serious an issue, the less the US congressional devotion to schooling oneself on the facts.

      • lareineblanche
        May 4, 2010, 6:40 am

        “bothered to read the full documentation”
        -ppppppttttthhhhhhhhh ha ha ha ha
        He who pays the piper calls the tune.

  13. Julian
    May 4, 2010, 5:42 am

    “Olmert’s map proposed that the Palestinians establish their state on 93.5 percent of the West Bank, receiving another 5.8 percent through a land exchange with Israel. The rest would come in a “safe passage” corridor from the West Bank to the Gaza Strip. The map left the settlement blocs in Israel’s control – Ma’aleh Adumim, Ariel and Gush Etzion – proposing in exchange lands in the southern Hebron Hills, the Judean Hills and the Beit She’an Valley. According to the Palestinians, Olmert also proposed dividing the no-man’s-land near Latrun. All told, Abbas was offered an area equal to the whole West Bank – 100 percent. ”
    link to haaretz.com
    Of course Abbas rejected this offer as he will reject every offer that Israel doesn’t commit suicide.

      • Julian
        May 4, 2010, 6:23 am

        Nice trick Shmuel. You give an earlier article by the same author to refute what was found out later.
        Jerusalem was discussed and Olmert came out with a very fair solution.
        “As for Jerusalem, Olmert proposed dividing sovereignty between the Jewish and Arab neighborhoods, and leaving the Old City’s “holy basin” and its surroundings without sovereignty, under the management of an international committee with the participation of Israel, Palestine, the United States, Jordan and Saudi Arabia. ”
        The real point of contention and the reason Abbas rejected peace was the “return” of 5 million Arabs to Israel. It is never going to happen. If that’s the deal breaker there will never be a Palestinian State.

      • Chaos4700
        May 4, 2010, 6:37 am

        “What was found out later?” So basically you’re making up shit after the fact, huh.

      • Shmuel
        May 4, 2010, 6:41 am

        Olmert’s reminiscing a year after the fact, blaming everything on the Palestinians (surprise surprise), substantially confirms the info provided in Benn’s first article, written at the time the proposal was made (August ’08, not September), except for a new version regarding Jerusalem (which version is the truth?).

        Still severely compromised Palestinian contiguity due to the settlement blocs, still no serious proposal regarding refugees, still contingent upon Palestinian regime change, still proposed by a lame duck PM, and still submitted while continuing to expand settlements.

      • Citizen
        May 4, 2010, 6:44 am

        Yep, here’s your earlier reference, again:
        link to haaretz.com

      • Shmuel
        May 4, 2010, 7:00 am

        I’m willing to cut the new trolls some slack for bringing up all the old tired talking points as if they were farm-fresh, but I expect a little more self-restraint from our resident trolls – say a 5-time posting limit on previously debunked propaganda. Then again, trolls will be trolls.

      • Chaos4700
        May 4, 2010, 7:07 am

        Shmuel, Julian is an American neoconservative. Have you ever had the misfortune of interacting directly with an American neoconservative?

        Some of them really do still think there are Iraqi WMDs to be uncovered.

      • Shmuel
        May 4, 2010, 7:25 am


        No, I have not had the pleasure of non-virtual interaction with US neocons, but I have plenty of experience with their Italian and Israeli counterparts. What do you mean WMDs “to be uncovered”? They were uncovered ;-)

      • Chaos4700
        May 4, 2010, 7:43 am

        Over here the story changes from moment to moment to suit the needs of the agenda. For a while those weapons were in Syria. Now there is talk that Ahmedinejad obviously got Iran’s essentially non-existent nuclear weapons capacity from Saddam Hussein, in spite of the fact that anybody with anything more than a Saturday morning cartoon understanding of the Middle East knows that Hussein’s government and that of Iran were bitter enemies, from at least as far back as the US making Iraq’s bombing campaigns in Iran possible.

        I’m hoping maybe you understand why I’m so impatient and bellicose with this sort of stupidity compared to others. I’m surrounded by it on a daily basis.

      • Julian
        May 4, 2010, 7:50 am

        Debunked? Debunked by who Abbas? No. He was interviewed and verified the offer, try again. Even Erekat in Benn’s later article said: “the Palestinians demand full sovereignty over the Temple Mount and are not prepared to hand it over to an international body.”
        Reality is tough. Truth hurts. Palaprop goes down much easier.
        link to washingtonpost.com

      • Shmuel
        May 4, 2010, 7:57 am

        I’m hoping maybe you understand why I’m so impatient and bellicose with this sort of stupidity compared to others. I’m surrounded by it on a daily basis.

        I do understand Chaos, I have merely suggested a different way of dealing with it. Believe me, I’ve encountered the same and worse in my “chequered” past. Or maybe I’m just getting old.

      • NorthOfFortyNine
        May 4, 2010, 8:30 am


        If Olmert’s offer was so good, so akin to the “generally accepted terms of resolution”, namely, withdrawal to ’67 borders, full sovereignty, control of borders and water, etc., etc., then why does the Arab league offer wilt on the tree for close to a decade?

        The only thing one can infer by Israel’s unwillingness to hit this bid is that Israel does not want to confer full sovereignty to a Palestinian state and, correspondingly, Olmert’s offer, which never did see contemporaneous light-of-day, bore little resemblance to the Arab league offer.

        Let’s turn tables: why don’t you urge acceptence of the Arab league offer? What are your issues with it? Everyone knows what the offer entails, for it was spelled out on paper and floated via press release. Why not debate something we have full knowledge of instead of some murky proposal draped in uncertainty and revisionism?

        Your turn. Let’s hear it.

  14. thankgodimatheist
    May 4, 2010, 6:31 am

    “Canned meat and tuna, but not canned fruit
    Mineral water, but not fruit juice
    Sesame paste (tahini) but not jam
    Tea and coffee but not chocolate”
    link to news.bbc.co.uk

  15. thankgodimatheist
    May 4, 2010, 6:41 am

    Rabbi Lerner’s Home in Berkley, Cal. Attacked by Right-Wing Zionists

    “Berkeley police today confirmed that the attack on Rabbi Lerner’s home late Sunday May 2nd or early morning Monday May 3rd was in fact a crime and was being investigated.
    link to desertpeace.wordpress.com

    • Chaos4700
      May 4, 2010, 6:44 am

      And the West Bank settler pogroms come to the United States, now, too.

      • thankgodimatheist
        May 4, 2010, 6:56 am

        Yes and Dershowitz has been stoking the fire against Lerner for quite some time:

        “Dershowitz’ Climate of Incitement: Pro-Israel Hooligans Vandalize Michael Lerner’s Home
        It is absolutely no accident that Alan Dershowitz singled Rabbi Michael Lerner out for special opprobrium in his most recent Jerusalem Post and Huffington Post columns and that local Bay Area Jewish pogromists decided shortly thereafter to “party” at Lerner’s home. They defaced it with the slogans and themes they could’ve learned at Dersh’s knee:
        link to desertpeace.wordpress.com

      • Citizen
        May 4, 2010, 7:23 am

        The cops say it’s not a hate crime, just a crime directed at a guy and his family for political reasons, rather than because of his religion.

    • potsherd
      May 4, 2010, 9:10 am

      And where are the mainstream media on this story?

      If Lerner’s house had been vandalized by Muslims, it would have been all over the headlines as a crime against Jews. But when Jews commit the pogrom …

  16. thankgodimatheist
    May 4, 2010, 8:01 am

    Where’s eee?
    IDF trolls from Kabobfest:

    11 Signs of an IDF Internet Troll
    Immediately after the Israeli assault on Gaza, the Israeli government made a decision to hire Israeli bloggers who speak in tongues. Those bloggers’ job is to log into different news sites and make comments to help improve Israel’s image. I have witness many of their tactic, the often use the same techniques and copy paste the same old crappy talking points memos that have not been updated in ages. Here are few of their lame tactics:
    link to kabobfest.com

    • potsherd
      May 4, 2010, 8:13 am

      Yeah, Julian’s posts sure do improve Israel’s image.

      • thankgodimatheist
        May 4, 2010, 8:28 am

        Why Julian and eee don’t fix their country first?

    • lareineblanche
      May 4, 2010, 8:26 am

      Hmmmmm….. The “war of ideas”.
      This explains a lot (but it’s not really a surprise). Thanks.

      “fancy English to make up for unsound arguments”

      Where’s Witty?

  17. eee
    May 4, 2010, 9:30 am

    Calling Hamas or Fatah non-violent is a joke. They already have killed 1400 of each other in their civil war. One is especially impressed by the unassisted flight lessons given by Hamas to Fatah supporters (they were thrown off high rises in Gaza).
    link to en.wikipedia.org

    And since Hamas and Fatah are the main factions of the Palestinians, what can Israelis expect to happen to them if Palestinians have no problems killing each other? Is this “non-violence” you can believe in?

    • NorthOfFortyNine
      May 4, 2010, 9:34 am


      Whose house are you now squatting in? Do you know their names? Do you know how they’ve spent the last 60 years? What would you tell them if they were to show up at the front door one day?

      Morality begins at home. Literally.

      • eee
        May 4, 2010, 9:45 am

        I am not squatting. I have a deed to my house. If you think my deed is illegal, you are welcome to challenge it in court.

        Yes, morality begins at home, and assuming you are an American, that means you should support uniting Mexico and the US into one country and/or returning huge parts of the US back to native Americans. Or does morality only begin in Israel?

        But why are you changing the subject? We are talking about non-violence, Fatah and Hamas style.

      • lareineblanche
        May 4, 2010, 9:55 am

        Maybe not, but you are definitely squatting this forum.
        What is your goal?

      • eee
        May 4, 2010, 9:57 am

        What is your problem? My comment is directly related to the discussion at hand, non-violence of the Palestinian struggle.

      • NorthOfFortyNine
        May 4, 2010, 12:35 pm

        I am sure you do have a deed to your house. Someone else likely does as well. Who? Who was living on that land in 1946? What were their names? Where are they now? What would you say to them if you bumped into them at Heathrow?

    • lareineblanche
      May 4, 2010, 9:50 am

      “In the April 2008 issue of Vanity Fair the writer David Rose published an article, based on internal US documents, suggesting that the United States collaborated with the Palestinian Authority and Israel to attempt a coup on Hamas, and Hamas pre-empted the coup.”

      We can go with wikipedia all day, eee, but if that’s the extent of your research, we’re not going to get very far…

      He’s just baiting people, N of 49, we’ve seen this argument here before, almost verbatim. It’s a coup monté.

      • eee
        May 4, 2010, 9:55 am

        There is very little evidence to support that it was a coup. But as an Israeli I really don’t care what is the reason Fatah and Hamas choose to kill 1400 of each other and torture each other and throw each other off buildings. What is obvious to anyone willing to open their eyes is that Hamas and Fatah are not about non-violence. Maybe Bargouti is. But he represents a very small percentage of Palestinians while Fatah and Hamas represent over 95%.

    • Shmuel
      May 4, 2010, 9:59 am

      Yes, look how violent these natives are. Not violent enough? Help found a new organisation (Hamas) to challenge the hegemony of an old one (Fatah). The new organisation is too strong? Fund, corrupt, arm and train its main competitor, subvert its electoral victory, oppose efforts to broker national reconciliation, demand its overthrow as a condition for any concession, etc.

      How can they be expected to get along with us, when they can’t even get along with each other? Tsk, tsk.

      As long as we’re discussing SA today, the SA secret police used similar techniques to foment internecine violence among blacks, only to claim that blacks are inherently violent (they kill their own kind!) and unfit to rule.

      • eee
        May 4, 2010, 10:08 am


        Are you saying Hamas and Fatah are not violent?
        Are you saying that Israel forced Hamas and Fatah to fight each other? Torture each other? Throw each other off buildings?

        So do you agree that saying that the Palestinians are non-violent is non-sense?

        Or perhaps you are saying that the Palestinians are easily manipulated to fight each other but inside they are as docile as deer?

        It is really beyond me how you can blame Israel or the US for the fact that the Palestinians are fighting each other. They are not children. They are grown up people responsible for their own actions.

  18. Shmuel
    May 4, 2010, 10:19 am

    Are you saying Hamas and Fatah are not violent?

    Are you saying that Israel forced Hamas and Fatah to fight each other?
    No. Contributed, directly and indirectly.

    So do you agree that saying that the Palestinians are non-violent is non-sense?
    No. The Palestinian struggle against occupation has been primarily non-violent and symbolically violent, not entirely non-violent. It has also included extreme violence – some of it turned inward.

    • eee
      May 4, 2010, 10:30 am

      “Are you saying Hamas and Fatah are not violent?

      But that is the point, Hamas and Fatah represent over 95% of Palestinians. Until these organizations adopt a non-violent struggle, it is nonsense to speak of the Palestinian movement as a non-violent one.

      “No. The Palestinian struggle against occupation has been primarily non-violent and symbolically violent, not entirely non-violent. It has also included extreme violence – some of it turned inward.”

      There have been too many cases of extreme violence over the years to qualify the Palestinian struggle as primarily non-violent. From the massacre of Hebron in 1929 to the 1936-1939 uprising, to the war of 47-48, to the fedayin till 56, to the Palestinian terror in Israel and abroad including the Munich Olympics etc. etc. The list is very long and violent.

      • Richard Witty
        May 5, 2010, 3:07 am

        The times that the Palestinian objection to occupation was conducted entirely non-violently deserves respect.

        Its just obvious that the discipline to retain non-violence is extremely important as what is seen in the press is the most dramatic, not the background discussion, organizing, communications.

        The same applies to the left’s understanding of Zionism, that they only thing that is invoked is the actions of extremists in extreme times, not the 99.8% of Zionist work that was productive, community and institution building.

      • Shingo
        May 5, 2010, 3:17 am

        “Its just obvious that the discipline to retain non-violence is extremely important as what is seen in the press is the most dramatic, not the background discussion, organizing, communications.”

        You mean, the Palestinians should never hurt Israelis, even when being attacked right Witty?

        “The same applies to the left’s understanding of Zionism, that they only thing that is invoked is the actions of extremists in extreme times, not the 99.8% of Zionist work that was productive, community and institution building.”

        Right, so even when Israelis are massacring Palestinians, the left must be sure not to hurt the feelings of Israelis becasue that is unproductive and non conducive to peace. 

        Got it.

        BTW.  99% of Israelis supported the Gaza massacre (yourself included)

      • Richard Witty
        May 5, 2010, 3:23 am

        It depends on what consistent line of reasoning you want to take.

        If you want to call the Palestinian resistance primarily non-violent, then you’d have to describe Zionist development as primarily non-violent.

        You don’t.

      • Richard Witty
        May 5, 2010, 3:26 am

        And, you know well that I supported the Gaza defense, and not the Gaza massacre.

        You just didn’t bother to enter a rational discussion with me of where the line of defense occurs/occurred, nor of Hamas’ contribution to that definition.

      • Shingo
        May 5, 2010, 3:36 am

        “It depends on what consistent line of reasoning you want to take.”

        How about the point I made, that Israel kill on average more people per year than the Palestinians killed in those incidents eee mentioned?
        “If you want to call the Palestinian resistance primarily non-violent, then you’d have to describe Zionist development as primarily non-violent.”

        How do you come to that conclusion Witty?  The  Zionist development has killed tens of thousands of people in Palestinian and Lebanon, not even including the intentional ethnic cleansing and land theft.
        So no, I don’t.

      • Shingo
        May 5, 2010, 3:37 am

        And, you know well that I supported the Gaza defense, and not the Gaza massacre.”

        There was nothing defensive about the Gaza assault, so that leaves only the massacre for you to support. Israel could have avoided the massacre by not violating the ceasefire and by accepting the offer to return to ceasefire in December.
        “You just didn’t bother to enter a rational discussion with me of where the line of defense occurs/occurred, nor of Hamas’ contribution to that definition.”

        I have tried to enter a rational discussion with you, but you’re not capable of entering into an honest one.  You simply return to your lies every time the subject is raised.

      • Richard Witty
        May 5, 2010, 3:41 am

        The shelling of civilians for 9 days before Israeli military actions is compelling.

        You don’t believe that that required a defensive approach? What do you think the responsibility of the IDF is relative to Israeli civilians?

      • Richard Witty
        May 5, 2010, 3:45 am

        EEE’s list was nowhere near complete.

        The list of Palestinian violence is much longer. The question was of the characterization of the resistance, whether it was non-violent as is described, or violent.

        Hopefully, after that is described, the effects of that are also clear, so that effective means to end the occupation are undertaken rather than inneffective, or worse than inneffective.

      • Shingo
        May 5, 2010, 3:56 am

        “The shelling of civilians for 9 days before Israeli military actions is compelling.”

        No it’s not, because that shelling was a desperate response to a murderous attack by Israel, a response that you would have demanded had Hamas killed 6 Israelis during a ceasefire raid.
        “You don’t believe that that required a defensive approach?”

        A defensive approach would be defined by an unprovoked attack, so this is not one of them. A defensive approach would include:

        a) not atacking Gaza in the first place and breaking a 4 month ceasefire
        b) agreeing to a return to ceasefire as Hamas had proposed.

        “What do you think the responsibility of the IDF is relative to Israeli civilians?”

        Not to place them in danger.  That’s what thety did on November 4th 2008.

      • Shingo
        May 5, 2010, 3:57 am

        “EEE’s list was nowhere near complete.”

        Nor is mine,. Which ever way you cut it, Israel leads the Palestinian by a ratio of 10:1 in terms of killing.

        “The question was of the characterization of the resistance, whether it was non-violent as is described, or violent”

        And if you characterize that resistance over 60 years, it is largely non violent, especially compared to Israeli aggression.
        “Hopefully, after that is described, the effects of that are also clear, so that effective means to end the occupation are undertaken rather than inneffective, or worse than inneffective.”

        It has been worse than ineffective.  Israel has seen to that.

      • Shmuel
        May 5, 2010, 4:12 am

        … we felt that without violence there would be no way open to the African people to succeed in their struggle against the principle of white supremacy. All lawful modes of expressing opposition to this principle had been closed by legislation, and we were placed in a position in which we had either to accept a permanent state of inferiority, or to defy the Government. We chose to defy the law. We first broke the law in a way which avoided any recourse to violence; when this form was legislated against, and then the Government resorted to a show of force to crush opposition to its policies, only then did we decide to answer violence with violence.
        – Nelson Mandela, statement from the dock at the Rivonia trial

      • Shingo
        May 5, 2010, 3:23 am

        “There have been too many cases of extreme violence over the years to qualify the Palestinian struggle as primarily non-violent. From the massacre of Hebron in 1929 to the 1936-1939 uprising, to the war of 47-48, to the fedayin till 56, to the Palestinian terror in Israel and abroad including the Munich Olympics etc. etc. The list is very long and violent.”

        You do realize that you are spanning 70 years and no more than a few hundred victims.  Israel kills that many Palestinians on average every year.

  19. Shmuel
    May 4, 2010, 10:50 am

    But that is the point, Hamas and Fatah represent over 95% of Palestinians.

    Representation is not the issue. Apart from the fact that these movements have used both violent and non-violent means of resistance, they are not the be-all-and-end-all of Palestinian society. Both are relatively new on the scene, and the first intifada for example, which was overwhelmingly non-violent (strikes, protests, etc.) and minimally-violent (stones against armour), was organised by the popular committees and not Fatah (Hamas did not even exist yet).

    • eee
      May 4, 2010, 10:55 am

      How is representation not the issue? Currently, now, today, violent movements represent over 95% of the Palestinians. It may change tomorrow, but that is unlikely. Saying that Fatah and Hamas are relatively new is misleading. Fatah exists from 1964. Hamas is an off shoot of the Muslim Brotherhood which has been around since 1928.

      • Shmuel
        May 4, 2010, 11:16 am

        Representation is not the issue because the struggle is not synonymous with either Fatah or Hamas. Fatah exists from ’64, but operated outside of Palestine for a good part of that time. Hamas did not become a significant actor until the late ‘8os. It is too easy to speak only of movements (as opposed to activities) and to define those movements as “violent” or “non-violent”. Both within Israel and in the OT, Palestinians have been largely non-violent in their lives and their resistance, regardless of how you may colour the movements that represent them. As movements, Fatah and Hamas have engaged both in violent and in non-violent actions. Like the ANC, or even the Labour Zionist and Revisionist movements.

      • eee
        May 4, 2010, 11:24 am

        You are wrong on this issue. The SA struggle was considered a non-violent one because the ANC stressed that element in their struggle (while not giving up violent options). Neither Hamas or Fatah have done the same. In fact, they have emphasized the armed struggle.

        When a struggle is violent, it is usually only a very small percentage of the population who is perpetuating this violence. It is the same in the Palestinian case. Using this as a reason to call the struggle non-violent is just wrong especially since there is usually very wide support for a violent struggle among the Palestinian people.

      • Shmuel
        May 4, 2010, 11:39 am

        I did not call the struggle non-violent. I called it predominantly non-violent, because it comprises myriad individual and collective acts of non-violent protest. It is thus incorrect to assert that the Palestinians have “suddenly” discovered non-violence. The concept and movement of “sumud”, for example, fundamental to the Palestinian struggle since 1948, is inherently non-violent.

      • eee
        May 4, 2010, 2:55 pm

        You are missing the point here.
        Is the struggle between Israel and Lebanon predominantly non violent because both on the Lebanese side and Israeli side most people most of the time employed non-violent means in the the struggle? No. You are not applying the common sense meaning of non-violent struggle and trying to mask this by the qualifier “predominantly”. I think it adds nothing. Most struggles are predominantly non-violent. Even WWII. Most Americans and Germans and Japanese and Russians were not in the front but were struggling nevertheless by building and supplying armies and navies, buying war bonds, volunteering etc.

      • Shmuel
        May 4, 2010, 4:07 pm

        No 3e, you are actually the one missing the point, due to your apparent inability to view the occupied through anything but the lens of the occupier. You know nothing of Palestinian civil society, of tax and commercial strikes, of the battle against the ongoing theft of Palestinian land and water on both sides of the “green line”, of the struggle of the “present absentees”, of solidarity with Palestinian political prisoners, of attempts – as acts of protest and defiance – to preserve the traditions and memories of communities destroyed by the occupier, of efforts to tell the Palestinian story and rally international support. There is so much more to the Palestinian struggle against occupation, dispossession and discrimination than bombs and rockets and even children with slingshots. But someone who awaits the “official version” of occupation, as formulated by the IDF Spokesman, would never know it.

      • eee
        May 4, 2010, 4:18 pm


        You are not listening. I am acknowledging that most of the Palestinian struggle is not using violence just as most of the struggle in WWII was not using violence. But that doesn’t mean that the Palestinian struggle is non-violent in the common sense use of the word. WWII was a violent struggle and so is the Palestinian struggle despite the fact that most aspects of both struggles were non-violent.

      • Shmuel
        May 4, 2010, 4:42 pm


        WWII was not a 60-odd-year (or 40, if you prefer) occupation of an infinitely weaker people. There was certainly non-violent resistance in the various occupied countries, but the conflict was primarily between armies – massive armies, the greatest ever assembled in history. It was not called a “world war” for nothing.

        Here we have a people living under occupation of one form or another, for nearly 3 generations, striking, protesting, agitating and doing everything they can to rid themselves of the occupier. That is the struggle, not just something to do while waiting for the tanks and the planes to work things out among themselves. It is a popular struggle, in a way that WWII never was, but various liberation struggles have been.

        I understand your point of view; it used to be mine. Time to try to understand the Palestinian struggle from the perspective of those who are actually engaged in it, rather than those who want to dismiss and denigrate it, and hope to eradicate it some day.

      • Richard Witty
        May 5, 2010, 3:18 am

        My confusion with your comment to understand the Palestinian struggle, is that I don’t believe that you end at “understand”.

        The question is of advocacy, and certainly of effectiveness.

        IF it were confident that the “Palestinian struggle” were limited to even the three definitions articulated by the academic BDS campaign, and clarified (really clarified) to what extent they mean, then there might be a way for a compassionate person to join that advocacy.

        In the current setting though, the BDS movement in particular still remains of vague scope, with its range of means still undefined, and as such represents a high level of risk that in fact and in intention, the movement is actually an effort to remove Israel from the map as Israel.

        Its not incidental. One can be extremely sympathetic with Palestinians’ condition, seek to remove the status of occupation, advocate for the color-blind rule of law for all, and distrust the means by which dissent is conducted.

        Criticizing the methodology of Palestinian historical and some current dissent, is not equivalent to “hoping to eradicate it some day”, as criticizing the methodology of Israeli defense is not equivalent to “hoping to eradicate it some day”.

      • Richard Witty
        May 5, 2010, 3:22 am

        When EEE formerly advocated for “the land is all Israel” makes the discussion more difficult, for me.

        Maybe he meant that Jews should not be excluded institutionally from living where they purchase land (as is the case currently).

        A parallel comment would then be “Palestinians also should not be excluded institutionally”.

        Hence, the need for a two-state approach if Zionism is of any value, which I believe that it is.

      • eee
        May 5, 2010, 9:32 am


        In WWII 95%+ of Americans were not in the front though they were essential in the US winning the war. They contributed to the war effort in non-violent ways. Yet, of course we call WWII a war, and no one thinks of it as non-violent even though most people contributed to the struggle in non-violent ways.

        In the same way, the Palestinian movement cannot be considered non-violent even though, as in all struggles, the means employed were predominantly non-violent.

        By the way, are the Palestinians infinitely weaker than Israel? Perhaps now, but not in 1948 and not when you take into account that the Palestinian effort is part of an Arab effort against Israel. The reason they are weaker though, is that they made many strategic and tactical mistakes.

      • kapok
        May 5, 2010, 10:43 am

        Yeah, like not getting the UN to set aside a prime piece of the Mediterranean littoral for their exclusive use.

  20. thankgodimatheist
    May 5, 2010, 4:27 am

    A good description of eee and his acolytes’ behaviour and tactics in this article in “Dissident Voice”:

    I Was Wrong About Israel
    “There are some supporters of Israel with whom one can at least engage in reasonable dialog. We should do so with as much respect and understanding as possible. Educating the misinformed is the most important work we do. But many pro-Zionist zealots have abandoned rational thought when it comes to Israel. They embrace a type of fanaticism which in essence is a new religion called Israelism. Any lie or any denial of the truth is justified, as long as it is in support of Israel. Defense of the Jewish state takes precedence over even the most basic concepts of human rights and social justice. Israel is a benign, infallible entity and the evil Arabs are to blame for any transgressions which may occur when Israel reluctantly exercises its “right to defend itself.”
    link to dissidentvoice.org

    • thankgodimatheist
      May 5, 2010, 4:28 am

      In my view, these individuals deserve nothing from us but disdain. They should be rebuked and excluded from the conversation. Their sole objective is to derail the discussion whenever possible. We can’t counter their illogical assertions with any rational argument because they are extremists who have moved beyond reason. Hence, my use of terms such as “nut-balls” and “crazies” to refer to them. Okay, perhaps it’s a bit mean spirited, but really now, secret code words?
      link to dissidentvoice.org

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