The Witch Tree

Israel/Palestine
on 64 Comments
witch

My friend, Minnesota novelist Tony Schmitz, was paddling on Superior last week, and his buddy made this shot near Grand Portage. It’s of a famous cedar on the Ojibwe Reservation, known as the Witch Tree. Sacred, over 400 years old, historic, and only 15 feet tall, valiant in the face of storms. Why is it on this site? Well because people have been talking about the ethnic cleansing of Native Americans, in this comment thread… and Noam Chomsky says here that if you’re for the Palestinian right of return you should be for the Native Americans moving back to your property in the U.S., which has always been a perplexing argument for me, certainly I feel the resonance of American ethnic cleansing when I’m in Israel…

About Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is Founder and Co-Editor of Mondoweiss.net.

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64 Responses

  1. Kathleen
    December 5, 2010, 10:48 am

    “and Noam Chomsky says here that if you’re for the Palestinian right of return you should be for the Native Americans moving back to your property in the U.S., which has always been a perplexing argument for me,”

    Chomsky is using a very weak argument that Israeli’s and the I lobby use. Well they did it. Weak. Have you ever heard Chomsky use this weak argument any where else. I have not. When it comes to Israel Chomsky has a blind spot like so many Jews and those intimidated by the I lobby.

    Both cases are huge crimes against humanity. But in the case of the crimes being committed against the Palestinians it is one of the core issues for the anger and hatred towards the U.S. and our unbridled support for Israel no matter what they do. When we hear leader after leader of many middle east countries, middle east analyst Micheal Scheuer, Ray McGovern and many other middle east analyst, finally stated in the 9/11 commission, former President Jimmy Carter, even Former President Bill Clinton that this situation is one of the key issues to resolve if not the key issue to resolve for any kind of peace in the middle east

  2. VR
    December 5, 2010, 11:35 am

    First, Mr. Weiss, if you are going to characterize what Mr. Chomsky says you are going to have to quote him properly. He did not say anything about any population in the US allowing the indigenous to move into their homes, what he did say was that in the Israeli settlements in a two state solution the colonial settlers would have to make a choice of staying in their present homes in a Palestinian state or move.

    Secondly, let me disabuse you of your view (or take the log out of your eye) of what has transpired in the states, and how it is exactly what is taking place between the Palestinians and the Israelis. I brought the subject up in the post about Canada from Mr. Horowitz – “Oh, Canada: Al Jazeera investigates ‘the other special relationship’ ” –

    Begin quote:
    “Let me point out something that is somewhat obvious, but only to those who are aware of some Canadian history. I understand why the narrator posed Canada as that neutral state to the north of the USA, it is a long an arduous road to get an image as a state (but quite easy when the population is ignorant) – and all the narrator was doing was playing on that image.

    For those who are not aware of it, Canada is a colonial settler state, of the virulent type from its beginning. One has to only take a look at what nations quashed the indigenous awareness and reparations activity in the UN, especially when the past and present condition of the indigenous is brought up and what should be done in these settler states.

    “Native leaders said recently that Canada has also expressed opposition to the principle of self-determination, although in the past it had lent its unconditional support for the cause of indigenous peoples.

    “It did a huge flip-flop, which was most unfortunate, after the election of their current conservative government,” Lebsock told IPS. “They are now back squarely in the U.S. camp.” ”

    U.N. Faces Test on Native Rights

    The proposals were not adopted due to the protest of the US, Greenland, Canada, Australia, and Russia – who stepped away.

    It is high time to recognize when push comes to shove settler states stick together, and that they realize that when one is threatened (like Israel) what may be adopted will eventually be put to them. The settler states love each other, and a collective tear forms in their eye for Israel as if it was their own infant (and in many ways it is). No settler state wants to give up their privileges, or have to pay for or release what they consider to be theirs by whatever means (violence). They all think they are privileged above any indigenous people, are higher “civilized” societies, and essentially have a deep undercurrent of racism (initially used by elites to inflame the passions of the participant people, and now ignorantly embraced as fact both consciously and unconsciously).

    Canada did and does the same things the USA does to their indigenous populations –

    UNREPENTANT: CANADA’S GENOCIDE

    One other thing I want you to carefully notice, when Zionists try to influence, where do they go? Do they go to the people, like the BDS movement does? No, they go to the power centers, the citadels of the state (wherever) to bring their case. Essentially recognized states stick together, they know where to go to get their support – where are you going to go, to the same place? The Zionists go to those who have and do commit the same wrongs that they do, it is the statist club.

    What the settler states (further) cannot stand (or any capitalist state for that matter) is the leveling process by which the indigenous live, their communal life – they see it as totally antithetical to the hierarchical and violence ridden system, and it is. Where do you belong?” end quote

    So first quote Mr. Chomsky correctly, and secondly understand the deep currents of settler state activity gong on between the USA, Canada and Europe with Israel.

    • Philip Weiss
      December 5, 2010, 12:17 pm

      vr, my memory is that chomsky said specifically well then native americans should move back to their properties…

      • Mooser
        December 5, 2010, 12:33 pm

        Did it ever occur to you that most Americans do not own any property?

      • Citizen
        December 6, 2010, 4:51 am

        According to Wikipedia more Israelis own their own home than Americans do. The respective figures given are 67% and 71%. These figures do not seem right to me but I’m too tired to do research on it.

      • lareineblanche
        December 5, 2010, 12:40 pm

        He did. His argument is about moral consistency, one of his big issues (along with hypocrisy), and he does have a point. The argument does break down somewhat under scrutiny, though, as there are far less Native Americans left (after what was probably the largest holocaust in recent human history – regardless if it was attributable to disease or open aggression – if I’m not mistaken). And what is happening in Palestine is happening now, not several centuries ago. But there is an argument to be made, it’s not completely irrelevant.

        I think sometimes Chomsky overreaches with regard to American politics, because there is such a huge tendency for massive hypocrisy in US media and intellectual discourse, that he reflexively tends to try to immediately root it out. I agree with him most of the time on this.

      • Sumud
        December 5, 2010, 1:55 pm

        lareineblanche ~ did u watch the whole thing? I only watched the linked clip (2/4) and didn’t hear Chomsky say that..

      • VR
        December 5, 2010, 2:07 pm

        I listened to one and two Sumud, perhaps I should listen to the whole thing. However, if you are going to refer to something and than link it there should be something relevant to the statement in the link (which was 2/4). I’ll listen to it again (2/4), just to be sure.

      • lareineblanche
        December 5, 2010, 2:28 pm

        Here :
        link to youtube.com
        start around 4:40 (and the “Wapanoga Indians returning to Boston” at 6:00)
        Incidentally, to say the he is “against” the RoR is pure propaganda. His position seems to be that you can’t promise or propose something (RoR) without finding a concrete way of actually making it happen, otherwise it’s just sloganeering. That’s quite different. The argument is that the Israelis (in their current configuration and political climate) would threaten nuclear weapons as a deterrent to prevent it. (I don’t necessarily agree with this, but it is not an impossible idea).

        Whether or not his views on this are actually self-fulfilling, therefore actually discouraging the RoR by implying that it’s “impossible” for the moment, is another question altogether.

      • Avi
        December 5, 2010, 5:35 pm

        Actually, Chomsky’s argument is weak because many Palestinians still hold land and property deeds, and the keys to their homes.

      • lareineblanche
        December 5, 2010, 5:53 pm

        Avi :

        Actually, Chomsky’s argument is weak because many Palestinians still hold land and property deeds, and the keys to their homes.

        This begs the question as to what “property” and what a “home” is. Surely, the First Nation people considered where they were living as their “home”, they didn’t need a set of keys to tell them that, but your point is well taken.

        I think the fundamental weakness of the argument is the passage of time. The people dispossessed of their land during the American holocaust are long gone, even though their descendants are still here, while many of those affected by the nakba are still living, and it’s all pretty fresh in everyone’s memory. With the passage of time it will become more and more difficult to justify the ousting of Israeli inhabitants, descendants, who have no direct responsibility for the ethnic cleansing.

        The ethnic cleansing that is ongoing presently is another story.

        Plus, there is international law now, which was nonexistent then.

      • lareineblanche
        December 5, 2010, 6:14 pm

        Avi :
        What I mean by “ousting” is that you imply that a set of keys and a property deed are proof of ownership. Now, that means ownership to a specific building, where, if there are current inhabitants, they must leave to make room for the rightful owners. This is problematic because any Israelis living there also surely have property deeds and keys. Clearly this is not the only criteria of ownership we should be focusing on.

        So, there is the distinction to be made between repatriating Palestinians to a certain territory, and repatriating them to specific buildings.

        The point Chomsky makes is that there is a balance of power here, and a threat of violence (nuclear deterrent) which makes such a thing impossible, even if it is just and desirable. This is curious, because it catches him reasoning in terms of power, something which he has often combated. Pappe makes this point in his recent lecture as well (posted elsewhere here), saying that, if we are to reason in terms of the balance of power only, then there’s no point in us discussing this at all, because Israel (and the US) has such disproportionate military force over the Palestinians.

        It is this acceptance of the framework of power which is surprising for Chomsky, I think.

      • VR
        December 5, 2010, 7:01 pm

        lareineblanche you are right, there is reference to the return of both Palestinians and the Wapanoga in 3/4, but not in 2/4 where Mr. Weiss gave the link. The question is what did he say, and he did not say that either would return in a classic sense, but they have both the legal and moral right to return. Than he works out the scenario within the framework of the two-state solution – just like I said above.

        “…and Noam Chomsky says here that if you’re for the Palestinian right of return you should be for the Native Americans moving back to your property in the U.S….”, Mr. Chomsky does not say this in the context of let it happen, he says this in a working framework of the two-state solution. So I will repeat myself AGAIN –

        “So first quote Mr. Chomsky correctly, and secondly understand the deep currents of settler state activity gong on between the USA, Canada and Europe with Israel.”

        Why I initially mentioned the nature of settler states within the framework of the UN is because of their camaraderie and the common interests about screwing their indigenous people, in the past and today, and how Israel fits into that category. We do not need snide remarks about how we think of the genocide of the US indigenous population when we take trips to Israel. They are inextricably tied together by the nature of what is transpiring between Israel and the US, all of the statements by Chomsky about setting up neocolonial armies in this video Mr. Weiss cited are correct, and this has been done repeatedly by both the US and European interest all over the world. You need to stop trying to dismiss these issues with sarcastic responses – baseless sarcasm is no answer to argument. Denial of US history and what has happened in the ME in the past is no argument, waving off this system here domestically as if what is happening has no connection to what we are talking about is inexcusable.

      • Avi
        December 5, 2010, 7:26 pm

        My point about property deeds was such that Palestinains know exactly, to which land plot, to which building, they have the right to return, whereas Native Americans — especially the descendants who are currently alive — don’t have exact locations, accurate within a foot.

      • Sumud
        December 5, 2010, 10:10 pm

        Thanks lareineblanche ~ so it was in the third clip. I’ll watch the whole lot later on.

      • Sumud
        December 5, 2010, 10:24 pm

        My point about property deeds was such that Palestinains know exactly, to which land plot, to which building, they have the right to return, whereas Native Americans…

        I don’t know about Native Americans but in Australia at least the aboriginal tribes were for the most part nomadic and their concept of property was utterly unlike that of the English colonialists. Property was never a commodity. Rather than ownership it was more of a custodianship, and existed at a tribal rather than individual level:

        ‘Australia Aboriginal Tribes Map’
        link to mappery.com

        Back to Palestine, as you say, Avi title and deed exist.

      • VR
        December 5, 2010, 10:38 pm

        That is correct Avi, the idea is you do not sell the land that you foot lands upon. The indigenous idea is not ownership but partnership with others and the animals that share the land. Here is another example –

        EXAMPLE

        Consider these premises:

        “Premise One: Civilization is not and can never be sustainable. This is especially true for industrial civilization.

        Premise Two: Traditional communities do not often voluntarily give up or sell the resources on which their communities are based until their communities have been destroyed. They also do not willingly allow their landbases to be damaged so that other resources—gold, oil, and so on—can be extracted. It follows that those who want the resources will do what they can to destroy traditional communities.

        Premise Three: Our way of living—industrial civilization—is based on, requires, and would collapse very quickly without persistent and widespread violence.

        Premise Four: Civilization is based on a clearly defined and widely accepted yet often unarticulated hierarchy. Violence done by those higher on the hierarchy to those lower is nearly always invisible, that is, unnoticed. When it is noticed, it is fully rationalized. Violence done by those lower on the hierarchy to those higher is unthinkable, and when it does occur is regarded with shock, horror, and the fetishization of the victims.

        Premise Five: The property of those higher on the hierarchy is more valuable than the lives of those below. It is acceptable for those above to increase the amount of property they control—in everyday language, to make money—by destroying or taking the lives of those below. This is called production. If those below damage the property of those above, those above may kill or otherwise destroy the lives of those below. This is called justice. ”

        If you are a champion of Western “civilization” this is what you are protecting.

      • Philip Weiss
        December 5, 2010, 10:43 pm

        thanks, sorry about that folks!

      • pjdude
        December 6, 2010, 2:19 am

        while you argue that running out the clock allows people to get away with theft and not lefting people return I support the reverse so there won’t be that incentive and in the future the right of return will be granted asap

      • Citizen
        December 6, 2010, 5:04 am

        Nobody has a clue how many natives were living in N America before whitey came. Some authorities argue that most natives died before hardly any whites were here via diseases carried by goods traded at the water’s edge, so to speak, and then retraded, etc among various tribes; the last native alive in a deathly sick village would move on to the next village, spreading diseases further. This does not mean, e.g., the Trail Of Tears was not an example of genocide. Ironically, that particular Indian tribe had assimilated more than any other–reminds me of the fate of the German Jews. Still, that analogy fails in that the American government never had a plan to exterminate the natives (although we all recall the attitude “The only good Indian is a dead Indian). Wasn’t the term “genocide” invented for the Armenians?

      • Citizen
        December 6, 2010, 5:06 am

        Maybe they should expand the definition of genocide to include socio-economic class? Stalin worked to exclude that aspect, shifty guy; Pol Pot’s guys executed, e.g., teachers.

      • Citizen
        December 6, 2010, 5:37 am

        Here’s some more data on scalping and early biological warfare in early N America: Where did scalping originate? link to mohicanpress.com
        link to straightdope.com
        link to dickshovel.com

        How about biological warfare via smallpoxed blankets? Maybe, but not for want. link to straightdope.com

      • Citizen
        December 6, 2010, 5:47 am

        Those premises do seem to be the bedrock for the bottom line. Big business is good, as they say. Trickle, trickle, splash, splash, tell me how long will this thing last?

    • edwin
      December 5, 2010, 5:02 pm

      VR: while mass graves of children have been found from Canada’s residential school system, I believe that we can do somewhat better than the claim of Genocide.

      I believe that Canada’s official policy has been ethnocide, and that Canada’s actions have been in the past, and are currently in line with that policy.

      There may be reasons to make the claim of Genocide under international law (I don’t know), but the goal was/is to assimilate the native population and leave no trace of the native peoples, as oppose to kill them all.

      • Citizen
        December 6, 2010, 5:09 am

        Similar to sending native Americans to school to teach them the white man’s ways? Isn’t that sort of thing an example of Genocide under current international law?

    • Avi
      December 5, 2010, 5:15 pm

      VR,

      If you’re going to correct the quote of what Chomsky had said, why aren’t you posting the entire quote? Why merely paraphrase professor Chomsky’s words?

      • VR
        December 5, 2010, 7:19 pm

        Edwin this is just not true, there have been repeated massacres both in the US and Canada – there has been the spreading of deadly diseases by design of genocide since Europeans hit the shores. Arguing for assimilation is like arguing for the retarded strong character in Mice and Men when it come to the design of the colonists, it is patently false because what transpired has a long long trail of evidence. Here, instead of me arguing about this again, listen to someone else –

        DEMOCRACY

        After you watch the video (a little over 8 minutes) than go to my site and find the definition of “civilization” on my current post.

        LOOK AT US

        Resistance to this will never die as long as humanity survives, and I will oppose it in whatever arena it rears its ugly head. It will either die or I will, I will probably die in the process of trying to destroy it, and that is fine with me. As has been said before – it is a good day to die.

      • Citizen
        December 6, 2010, 5:57 am

        Lots of wise insight in both linked videos, VR. Thanks.

      • VR
        December 5, 2010, 7:22 pm

        Avi, there is no deception in my paraphrase as you intimate. So now what is the real question? Because I am not going to write 20 paragraphs again for what can suffice by accurate and clear paraphrase.

  3. eee
    December 5, 2010, 12:09 pm

    Quit waffling. Is your argument about “justice” or is it a realist one?
    If it is about “justice” kindly return Florida to the Seminoles. New Jersey to the Lenapes and gove the Plain States back to Sitting Bull’s and Geronimo’s descendants.

    • Avi
      December 5, 2010, 5:17 pm

      If justice is somehow anathema to reality, then why do you abide by the laws of the apartheid state in which you live? Of course, I’m assuming that you abide by those laws. After all, given your warped sense of morality and justice in the other thread, it would come as no surprise that you behave within your own society as though you lived in a jungle.

    • Citizen
      December 6, 2010, 6:03 am

      And while you’re at it, give the descendants of the Cannanites back their land–you know, the property Joshua stole?

  4. Mooser
    December 5, 2010, 12:32 pm

    Hey Phil “Ferdinand the Bull” Weiss, you just keep straddling that fence.

    And keep, oh, let’s call it “recycling”, that cake.

  5. Mooser
    December 5, 2010, 12:39 pm

    Tha American Indian was destroyed, there fore the Palestinians must be destroyed! Makes perfect sense! And so natural, so nasty shoprt and brutish.

    So basically, Mr. Weiss’s position can be reduced to this: We can ask Israel nicely to desist, but if they don’t, well, we just gotta forget about it, cause after all, can you bring back the Indians?

    But of course, the Israeli position, since they personally and presently are killing to hold it, is the one that must be respected.

    Poor Phil. Must be a hell of a thing to never grow up.

  6. GalenSword
    December 5, 2010, 1:44 pm

    Chomsky’s argument is ridiculous.

    He says that racist murderous genocidal Jewish Zionists should be able to get away with ethnic cleansing now (Zionist crimes are taking place right before our eyes) because Americans got away with it in the 19th century.

    By the same argument he could assert that Israeli Jewish human traffickers and organ traders should be given a pass because Americans practiced slavery in the 19th century and used black slaves for medical experimentation.

    International legal and ethical standards have evolved. Reading the Nuremberg Trial precedents and the International Convention for the Prevention and Punishment of Genocide together make it very clear that Palestinians have every right to demand relief from Zionist crimes and torts in any form from the enforced sharing of the land to the removal or obliteration of the criminal Zionist conglomeration.

    Both Phil and also Noam Chomsky have to choose between tribalism and basic ethics.

  7. lyn117
    December 5, 2010, 2:18 pm

    1. For better or worse, the Native Americans are full citizens of the U.S. They have full and at least equal rights now, in some cases additional recognition of their aboriginal rights to subsistence hunting and fishing, rights not accorded to regular hunters and fishers. They are not expelled any more, or rounded up into reservations (or bantustans) and kept there.
    2. I don’t want to minimize our crimes against the Native Americans either, and it’s absolutely true that we came and imposed our own system of laws of and private property – and broke every treaty we had with them in order to take their land. Native Americans have every right to move into my house should they purchase it under present laws.
    3. It was an unenlightened time, many people also believed that superior races also had some kind of manifest destiny to rule or something. The establishment of the U.N. brought with it at least an attempt to say that humans have some kind of universal rights and fundamental equality throughout the world, and to abolish war. Zionism has always been diametrically opposed to equal rights and the establishment of Israel was a flagrant violation of those principles. (Ironic as the horrors of the holocaust had given impetus to both the declaration of fundamental rights of man as well as the establishment of Israel).

    • pjdude
      December 6, 2010, 3:39 am

      true. for legal rights(which is what most of us are talking about) if there was no legal recogizition than there is not a whole lot legally that can be done.

      morally they might be the same but legally they aren’t

    • Citizen
      December 6, 2010, 6:10 am

      Lyn117, eee wants to turn back the clock to survival of the fittest. That way what Israel has been doing will be afforded the usual childish excuses, such as “Everybody else is doing it” and “So why pick on me?”

      • Shmuel
        December 6, 2010, 8:09 am

        eee wants to turn back the clock to survival of the fittest

        That is my impression of 3e’s perspective too:

        1. We took what we needed and will do whatever it takes to defend it.
        2. International law is all a matter of national interests (see point 1).
        3. Morality is relative and takes second place (at best) to “real life issues” (again, see point 1).

  8. alec
    December 5, 2010, 2:18 pm

    Phil, you’re right. You and your family and everyone living in the US or Canada owes the North American Indians an enormous debt. Huge territories should be made available to them to live in semi-autonomous lands, along with enormous reparations. That the US won’t do that shows how morally bankrupt you are as a people. Go ask the Philippines about American largesse to indigenous people (cleared the islands of all forests, massacred every independent Filipino at the start of the 1900’s).

    But more importantly two wrongs don’t make a right. That a crime of greater proportion than that of the death camps of the Nazis was enacted by the Americans against the North American Indians hardly makes the Nazis’ death camps forgivable. Nor does it justify in any way the ghettoization and slow genocide Israelis are inflicting on the Palestinians.

    There is no moral quandary here, Phil and I’m surprised that you think there is.

    The American and Canadian colonists’ actions were wrong and evil. The Nazis’ actions were wrong and evil. The Israelis’ actions are wrong and evil.

    • Avi
      December 5, 2010, 5:22 pm

      There is no moral quandary here, Phil and I’m surprised that you think there is.

      The American and Canadian colonists’ actions were wrong and evil. The Nazis’ actions were wrong and evil. The Israelis’ actions are wrong and evil.

      Phil may not realize it, but he has fallen into the trap that Zionist American Jews have set up, namely the notion that might makes right and that moral equivalency is a guiding principle of international law. It isn’t it.

    • edwin
      December 5, 2010, 5:48 pm

      When talking about theft of land in North America, a couple of points should be mentioned.

      1. Canada is making some efforts at returning stolen land. They are making enough effort that some of the non-native population is screaming. Personally, I’d like to see the screaming go up a few notches.

      2. Not all crimes can be undone. Sometimes it is impossible.

      It may be that full RoR for Palestinians to their original homes, or homes of similar quality and location are impossible because the crimes can not be undone. That does not mean that we should ignore the crime – nor does it mean that we should abandon all hope for justice.

  9. lyn117
    December 5, 2010, 3:12 pm

    If I were dwelling in a building built and inhabited by Native Americans which my predecessors had evicted, I think the heirs of those Native Americans would have every right to retake my home. Or even if my predecessors had rebuilt in the place where a Native American had had his permanent dwelling. As it is, the Native Americans in my area had only fairly temporary structures, and a lot of build-up has occurred since. I don’t actually favor the Palestinians returning and re-acquiring e.g., all of that part of Tel-Aviv that used to be surrounding farmland belonging to Palestinian villages. Some adjustments and compensation can be made, for example, some extra rental properties instead of farmland, and only a few of the existing settlers would have to move out.

    • Psychopathic god
      December 5, 2010, 9:39 pm

      my house IS built on land that was dwelt upon by Native Americans. George Washington ordered “Mad” Anthony Wayne to clear the land of Indians to ensure its “security” for white Europeans.

      The land part of a farm for many years, then was acquired and subdivided in the mid-1800s. The first family to live in my house was that of a well-known Jewish person. This Jewish family relocated from Baltimore, where the extended family had been engaged in supplying the US military in the Civil War. The family split over whether they ought to supply both sides of the war; this family felt it was inappropriate to supply both sides, so this family, with one other brother and his family, left Baltimore together and started up a new business further west.

      • Citizen
        December 6, 2010, 6:15 am

        Sherman’s (later retracted under pressure from Lincoln) famous order against Jewish peddlers was directed against Jews simultaneously servicing both the Union and Confederate armies.

      • Citizen
        December 6, 2010, 6:16 am

        Oops, I meant Grant’s (in)famous order.

    • pjdude
      December 6, 2010, 2:27 am

      why not? I favor them getting everything back. anything else in my mind is telling the Israelis and the world that it is ok to break international law and commit genocide and if you just get away with long enough you will be rewarded for it. I know this well cruel but why should the ISraelis get considerations that for the entire history of zionism they denied to the palestinians?

  10. Psychopathic god
    December 5, 2010, 4:50 pm

    when Israelis make the “Native Americans = Palestinians” or, what Israel is doing today is = what America did yesterday, therefore everything is hunky dory” argument, do they forget that the first Americans were both colonizers and COLONIZED: Great Britain sought to “Palestine” the colonies; the colonies resisted the empire. The US fought, and won, its freedom from imperial tyranny. American founders pounded out a Constitution, that demanded statesmanship, intellectual honesty, and compromise.

    What statesmanlike intellectual rigor can Israel offer that is the equal of James Madison? For all his contradictions, does Israel have the great good fortune of the breadth of intellect of a Thomas Jefferson? Americans have been bullied and propagandized into believing that they are the intellectual inferiors of Jewish intellectuals, and that their culture is intellectually inferior. In fact, in the 19th century, the US was the world’s most “intellectually vibrant” place. The United States had the great good fortune to have been birthed on the ideas of the Enlightenment, in contrast to Israel, whose zionist founders sought to build a state on perpetuation of notions of victimhood, guilt, militarization, and mythically-based utopianism.

    If only the Tea Partiers could seek not only to “return” to the principles of the Constitution but to actually understand their intellectual legacy, realize how antipathetic it is to the principles of zionism, and apply American honesty and intellectual rigor to teasing from the contemporary American body politic the unfortunate and overbearing influence of zionism while embracing all peoples with all manner of skills to contribute to an American Renaissance.

    • Citizen
      December 6, 2010, 6:21 am

      The Tea Party people have a large mote in their eyes when it comes to Israel; they are sophisticated enough to see that all politics is local but they don’t see that all foreign policy is domestic too, and none more so key to the well-being of the USA than their own country’s relationship with Israel.

      • Citizen
        December 6, 2010, 6:23 am

        Actually this goes for the American people in general; that’s why the campaigns for last November 2nd did not even mention foreign policy at all–except in a few regions where two Jewish contenders each tried to kiss Israel more than the other–an outsider would’ve thought they were running for the knesset, not the US congress.

  11. eee
    December 5, 2010, 6:36 pm

    Israelis are NOT making the two wrongs make a right argument. They are asking those that support the right of return why not to use the same remedy in the Native American case? If you think that is the just thing to do, why do you not do it first in your own home? And the obvious answer is because it would be ridiculous and cause huge injustice to Americans that have nothing to do with what happened to Native Americans, just like the case of Israel and the right of return.

    From realist point of view, it is not politically viable also. Just as in the case of Israel and the right of return. I am sure we can find an American Abu Sita that can explain how we can fit all the current residents of the Plain States into the Oklahoma pan handle and give the rest of the land back to the Native Americans. After all the Plain States are so sparsely populated. Would anybody take this exercise seriously in the US? Of course not. But you guys are attempting these crazy ideas when it comes to Israel. Wake up.

    • alec
      December 6, 2010, 2:09 am

      So two wrongs do make a right in your world.

      Are those the values you teach your children as well?

      • Citizen
        December 6, 2010, 6:28 am

        What is the percentage of Native Americans in the USA? What is the percentage of Palestinians in Israel and Israeli occupied territories?

    • MRW
      December 6, 2010, 3:25 am

      Hey, Triple Einstein,

      You cannot compare what Israel has done in the last 60 years (Israel is, after all, younger than WWII) with what the USA did 150-200 years ago.

      If you want to talk about an equivalence, discuss the conditions and decisions made in Palestine 150-200 years ago with today, THEN make comparisons with the USA or any other country you want to bring up.

      This is what people do with Canada and Australia: they make comparisons with how the Americans handle that same time period vs today.

      Israel has no standing to put itself in that league. It doesn’t have the history as a governmental body to make those claims.

    • Shingo
      December 6, 2010, 4:00 am

      You’re not a realist eee, you’re a denialist and a pretty sad propagandist who is desperately trying to make a false comparison.

      The US has made pereations to the native Americans and most importantyl,admitted that it’s crimes were abhorent. Unlike the US, a number of the war criminals and terrorist leaders that founded Israel are still alive and stil pushing the lies to cover up their crimes.

      Israel could easily accomodate the refugees. It just doesn’t want to because it’s an apartheid, racist, ethniocetric, facist state that doesn’t want to soil it’s soceity with impure blood. It doesn;t want to because it fears true democracy.

    • Shingo
      December 6, 2010, 4:06 am

      “From realist point of view, it is not politically viable also. Just as in the case of Israel and the right of return.”

      False. Israel accepted this arrangement as a condition of their membership to the UN.

    • Psychopathic god
      December 6, 2010, 7:43 am

      eee gad, what an astonishing argument: Jews stole the land from Canaanites in the first instance.

  12. Linda J
    December 5, 2010, 10:38 pm

    What I typically say when challenged on this issue when I’m vigiling about Palestine is that, yes, Americans perpetrated a genocide here. I would hope that I would have been protesting that one also. But since this one is occurring now, it’s my duty to try and stop it.

    • Philip Weiss
      December 5, 2010, 10:42 pm

      thanks Linda J

    • VR
      December 5, 2010, 10:53 pm

      Here you go Linda J –

      ITY AIN’T OVER

      • Citizen
        December 6, 2010, 6:34 am

        Why not handle two birds of justice at once? Let’s take the billions of US tax dollars going to aid Israel’s contemporary genocide of the Palestinians and divert them to the Native Americans who are still struggling.

  13. Sumud
    December 5, 2010, 10:59 pm

    Israelis are NOT making the two wrongs make a right argument.

    I’m sorry but you are.

    They are asking those that support the right of return why not to use the same remedy in the Native American case? If you think that is the just thing to do, why do you not do it first in your own home?

    Where are the Native American refugee camps eee? Canada? Mexico?

    I don’t know if it’s deliberate but you’re muddying the waters on RoR. The only appropriate parallel between Israel and the US is the internal “displaced persons”, ie. Palestinian Israelis who were ethnically cleansed from their villages and lands in 47/48/49 but managed to remain with Israel. The issue of right of return is about Palestinian refugees who are rightfully citizens of Israel and whose legal return has been prevented by Israel. On that, there’s no parallel and your US/Israel analogy falls apart.

    Also, on RoR there are two distinct issues: the right of return, as per the UN, and how that right is settled in negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians. Using his own tenure case as an example, Norman Finkelstein explains how observing the right (what Palestinians want) doesn’t preclude a settlement where return does not occur (what Israelis want):

    ‘Palestinian Right of Return – Dr. Finkelstein’
    link to youtube.com

    Please watch this eee! I understand your concerns about RoR, but there is a way out of the deadlock.

    The current state of play is that Israel will not recognise the RoR – despite it being an obligation of UN member states, so this is a total non-starter. Were Israel to agree to observe the RoR then the issue of a settlement could be tabled and negotiations began..

    • Shingo
      December 6, 2010, 4:04 am

      Good argument Sumud,

      What eee can’t address is the fact that Israel agreed to the demadns by the UN to allow the ROR (as a condition of their membership to the UN) but reneged on the deal.

      Israel always do that.

      • eljay
        December 6, 2010, 8:09 am

        >> What eee can’t address …

        In his numerous posts, eee has strongly asserted his religion-supremacist views; he has shown disdain for justice by dismissing it as “mumbo-jumbo”; and he has declared that as long as injustice and immorality occur somewhere in this world, he will actively defend and support injustice and immorality in Israel.

        He has proven beyond shadow of a doubt that he has no common sense, that he has no interest in justice and that he is a hateful supremacist.

        I’m absolutely mystified by the fact that he continues to be permitted to post anything on this site.

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