Peace demands challenging Israel’s exceptionalism

Israel/Palestine
on 120 Comments

Abraham Foxman of the Anti-Defamation League repeats the mantra that by advocating comprehensive Palestinian rights, including full equality for Palestinian citizens of Israel and the UN-sanctioned right of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes from which they were forcibly displaced, the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement is “de-legitimizing” Israel and threatening its very “existence.” This claim is frequently made by Israel lobby groups in an obvious attempt to muddy the waters and to push beyond the pale of legitimate debate the mere statement of facts about and analysis of Israel’s occupation, denial of refugee rights, and institutionalized system of racial discrimination, which basically fits the UN definition of apartheid.

Specifically, what is often objected to is the demand for full equality for Palestinian citizens of Israel. One can only wonder, if equality ends Israel’s “existence,” what does that say about Israel? Did equality destroy South Africa? Did it “delegitimize” whites in the Southern states of the U.S. after segregation was outlawed? The only thing that equality, human rights and justice really destroy is a system of injustice, inequality and racial discrimination.

The “delegitimization” scare tactic, widely promoted by Israel’s well-oiled pressure groups, has not impressed many in the West, in fact, particularly since its most far-reaching claim against BDS is that the movement aims to “supersede the Zionist model with a state that is based on the ‘one person, one vote’ principle” — hardly the most evil or disquieting accusation for anyone even vaguely interested in democracy, a just peace, and equal rights.

In this vein, right after Israel’s occupation of Gaza and the West Bank (including East Jerusalem) in 1967, the great Jewish-American writer I.F. Stone presciently wrote:

“Israel is creating a kind of moral schizophrenia in world Jewry. In the outside world, the welfare of Jewry depends on the maintenance of secular, non-racial, pluralistic societies. In Israel, Jewry finds itself defending a society in which mixed marriages cannot be legalized, in which non-Jews have a lesser status than Jews, and in which the ideal is racist and exclusivist.”

Had he lived long enough, Stone would have seen far more damning evidence of this “schizophrenia” in the everyday discourse of Israel’s apologists in the U.S. With every racist law that passes in the Israeli Knesset, they go into high gear to stifle awareness and any possible denunciation of it in the public arena, leading to an absurd situation where, compared to most U.S. media sources, major Israeli papers have become much more tolerant of opinions that sharply criticize Israeli policies.

The job of defending Israel and guaranteeing the ongoing flow of billions of U.S. taxpayers’ money into its coffers despite its multi-tiered system of oppression has only become more precarious in view of the Arab democratic spring and Israel’s subsequent loss of its most loyal “ally” in the region, the former Egyptian dictator Hosni Mubarak. With Arab publics asserting their rights and insisting on democratic governance, the near future may well witness the rise of freely elected Arab governments, especially in Egypt, that are far more in sync with popular demands for supporting the Palestinian struggle for self-determination. Israel is terrified at this prospect, as it would further undermine its status as a state above the law of nations.

Though it still commands indisputable influence in Congress and a menacing sway that helps it to muzzle debate over Israel’s increasingly indefensible flouting of international law and basic Palestinian rights, the lobby was rocked by recent scandals and allegations of espionage for Israel which have shattered its once invincible image in the American mainstream. An important consequence of this near-fall from grace has been that the myth, long cultivated by the lobby, that U.S. and Israeli interests fully converge is starting to crack.

John Mearsheimer, expert on the Israel lobby, explains, “The combination of Israel’s strategic incompetence and its gradual transformation into an apartheid state creates significant problems for the United States. There is growing recognition in both countries that their interests are diverging ….” The head of the U.S. Central Command, Gen. David Petraeus, and Vice President Biden have both admitted that Israel’s policies towards the Palestinian people are undermining U.S. security. Even the head of Mossad stated before Israel’s parliament last year that “Israel is gradually turning from an asset to the United States to a burden.”

Irrespective of the debate on Israel’s true value to the U.S. establishment, grassroots campaigns for Palestinian rights have been gaining considerable ground in the U.S. since Israel’s war of aggression against the besieged Gaza Strip in 2008-09. Advocating freedom, justice, and equality for all humans, irrespective of identity, the non-violent, Palestinian-led, global BDS movement has grown at an impressive rate, shedding a bright light on the exceptionalism with which Israel is treated in the U.S. The fact that BDS categorically and consistently opposes all forms of racism, including anti-Semitism, has further extended its reach into the Western mainstream.

Despite substantial investments of money and projection of intimidating power, the Israel lobby has largely failed, to date, to quell the spread BDS activism on US campuses and in liberal circles. Realizing this, several lobby groups have resorted to McCarthyesque measures to bully academics and cultural figures into toeing the line set by the lobby regarding Israel, a tactic that has backfired and led to alienating a burgeoning group of Americans, especially younger Jewish Americans.

Having largely lost the battle for hearts and minds at the grassroots level in several key European and other states, and due to a significant rise in negative ratings of Israel in the U.S. public, Israel’s lobby groups in the United States are desperately trying to safeguard Israel’s impunity. Cognizant of the circumstances and dynamics that marked the final stages in the struggle against South African apartheid, Israel is only too well aware of the dire consequences of its militarist, unjust, and patently discriminatory policies being exposed to the U.S. public, its last bastion of popular support around the world. Without challenging Israel’s exceptionalism, however, the prospects for comprehensive and sustainable peace based on justice will remain dim.

This post originally appeared on the Huffington Post.

120 Responses

  1. patm
    May 12, 2011, 11:42 am

    This is an excellent article, Omar Barghouti. Two comments:

    1. It is not just Israel’s exceptionalism that must be challenged. The power of Christian Zionist leaders must be broken. Their deluded followers run into the hundreds of millions around the world, and they are, as I understand it, the chief enablers of Israeli Zionists.

    2. Thank you for putting quotation marks around the word schizophrenia.
    As the mother of a daughter who has struggled all her life with this wretched brain disorder, I deplore the use of this word in any context other than that of mental illness. Its use elsewhere is absurd and offensive.

    • hophmi
      May 12, 2011, 1:08 pm

      “Specifically, what is often objected to is the demand for full equality for Palestinian citizens of Israel.”

      Really? I haven’t heard that objection too often. Most supporters of Israel I know are all for full equality for Palestinian-Israelis.

      “One can only wonder, if equality ends Israel’s “existence,” what does that say about Israel?”

      Well, it says that Israel is a Jewish state, and that the campaign for “equal rights” is really just a way for the Arabs to flood Israel with refugees, establish an Arab majority, take over the country, and force the Jews out. In other words, the same campaign they’ve been fighting for a century.

      “The only thing that equality, human rights and justice really destroy is a system of injustice, inequality and racial discrimination.”

      Yes, but I see no evidence that your values are those of the actual Palestinians on the ground, who are represented in large part by a terrorist organization with the Protocols of the Elders of Zion as part of their charter. This is a disconnect that exists between the Western activists that really run the BDS movement from London and other places and the people on the ground, who view the conflict as a long fight to replace a Jewish state with (yet another) Muslim state.

      “The “delegitimization” scare tactic, widely promoted by Israel’s well-oiled pressure groups, has not impressed many in the West, in fact, particularly since its most far-reaching claim against BDS is that the movement aims to “supersede the Zionist model with a state that is based on the ‘one person, one vote’ principle” — hardly the most evil or disquieting accusation for anyone even vaguely interested in democracy, a just peace, and equal rights.”

      Oh, I think a lot of Western elites understand exactly what delegitimization is. BDS is a campaign that seeks to isolate Israel by replacing negotiations with a worldwide antisemitic boycott of the Jews. They aim to accomplish this by promoting a totally false apartheid analogy, demonizing everything the State of Israel does, and apologizing for everything the Palestinians do. Their ranks constitute an unholy alliance of Islamist terrorist sympathizers with left-wing radicals. And these elites understand that while the Red part of this alliance may look at the flooding of Israel with refugees as “one man, one vote”, the Green part of the alliance looks at it as an opportunity to throw the Jews into the sea by creating another Muslim state.

      They also understand that a fair solution is one that accords sovereignty to both peoples, not just to one, and that there have been many years of negotiations aimed at accomplishing this. And they also look at recent history and understand that sticking two peoples in conflict in one state is a bad idea that has been disastrous in the past.

      “With Arab publics asserting their rights and insisting on democratic governance, the near future may well witness the rise of freely elected Arab governments, especially in Egypt, that are far more in sync with popular demands for supporting the Palestinian struggle for self-determination. Israel is terrified at this prospect, as it would further undermine its status as a state above the law of nations.”

      I don’t think Israel worries all that much. Egyptian cooperation on Gaza is nice, but it’s far from necessary. At the end of the day, Israel is a first-rate military and economic power, and Egypt is a poor country.

      “Though it still commands indisputable influence in Congress and a menacing sway that helps it to muzzle debate over Israel’s increasingly indefensible flouting of international law and basic Palestinian rights, the lobby was rocked by recent scandals and allegations of espionage for Israel which have shattered its once invincible image in the American mainstream.”

      It was? You mean that case that got dismissed and never should have been brought in the first place? Check the vote totals on recent resolutions in Congress on the flotilla and the Goldstone Report. Those who believe in a strong US-Israel relationship are doing just fine.

      “Advocating freedom, justice, and equality for all humans, irrespective of identity, the non-violent, Palestinian-led, global BDS movement has grown at an impressive rate, shedding a bright light on the exceptionalism with which Israel is treated in the U.S.”

      Name one major victory you’ve had in the US. One college that has actually divested. One municipality.

      “The fact that BDS categorically and consistently opposes all forms of racism, including anti-Semitism, has further extended its reach into the Western mainstream.”

      BDS may well have an official policy of opposing antisemitism, but if this site is any measure, it certainly does little to enforce it, and it’s clear that a sizable chunk of BDS people don’t agree with that part of the BDS platform. This very website blames Jews for the Iraq War and argues that Jews have too much economic and political power, echoing classic antisemitic tropes. But you, Omar, the godfather of BDS, publish here nonetheless.

      “Realizing this, several lobby groups have resorted to McCarthyesque measures to bully academics and cultural figures into toeing the line set by the lobby regarding Israel, a tactic that has backfired and led to alienating a burgeoning group of Americans, especially younger Jewish Americans.”

      Jeff Wiesenfeld is not a lobby group. Name one professor that the Israel lobby had “fired.” There are plenty of pro-Palestinian academics on campuses across the country.

      “Having largely lost the battle for hearts and minds at the grassroots level in several key European and other states, and due to a significant rise in negative ratings of Israel in the U.S. public, Israel’s lobby groups in the United States are desperately trying to safeguard Israel’s impunity.”

      Please substantiate your claim that there has been a significant rise in the negative ratings of Israel in the US public. The data I have seen reflects no such thing.

      • annie
        May 12, 2011, 1:26 pm

        BDS is a campaign that seeks to isolate Israel by replacing negotiations with a worldwide antisemitic boycott of the Jews. They aim to accomplish this by promoting a totally false apartheid analogy, demonizing everything the State of Israel does, and apologizing for everything the Palestinians do. Their ranks constitute an unholy alliance of Islamist terrorist sympathizers with left-wing radicals. And these elites understand that while the Red part of this alliance may look at the flooding of Israel with refugees as “one man, one vote”, the Green part of the alliance looks at it as an opportunity to throw the Jews into the sea by creating another Muslim state.

        lol. honestly hophmi, could you possibly be any more of a bloviating drama queen. will someone please pass the smelling salts.

      • hophmi
        May 12, 2011, 2:43 pm

        “lol. honestly hophmi, could you possibly be any more of a bloviating drama queen. will someone please pass the smelling salts.”

        Do you have a response, Annileh? Are you going to claim that there are no antisemitic people in the BDS movement, that most people in it are for two states, and that what the protagonists want is simply to sing kumbaya?

      • Shingo
        May 12, 2011, 5:13 pm

        Are you going to claim that there are no antisemitic people in the BDS movement

        Are you going to show evidence Hophmi?  Are you suggesting there are no fascist, right wing extremists among Israel’s supporters or the Israeli goverent?

        that most people in it are for two states, and that what the protagonists want is simply to sing kumbaya?

        You’ve inherited Robert’s cognitive dissonance Hophmi. You attack any critic of Israel over any suggestion they might not support the 2ss, but remain mum about the fact the the Israeli pm successfully campaigned for election on a platform rejecting it.

        It sounds like you guys are suffering a little “schizophrenia” of your own.

      • annie
        May 12, 2011, 8:48 pm

        Do you have a response, Annileh?

        maybe you missed it because i forgot the question mark.

        could you possibly be any more of a bloviating drama queen?

        will someone please pass hophmi the smelling salts.

        and that is all your hasbarist blathering propaganda deserves.

      • Hostage
        May 12, 2011, 2:19 pm

        Hophmi your comments on this site to the effect that international law and order doesn’t apply to Israel and will play no role in the settlement of the conflict does more than any us could ever do to delegitimize you and your country. Keep up the good work.

        Can you please explain how allowing people to return to their own country of origin and giving them equal rights under the law will “force the Jews out”? According to Oxford-trained Jewish historian and former cabinet official, Sholom Ben Ami, Jews have spent much of the last century organizing and executing plans for wars and the forced removal of the Palestinians – while shreying about their own insecurities. We Americans have no vested interest in underwriting a situation so that Israelis can continue to profit from their own wrongdoing at the expense of Palestinians and our own vital interests.

      • hophmi
        May 12, 2011, 2:47 pm

        “Hophmi your comments on this site to the effect that international law and order doesn’t apply to Israel and will play no role in the settlement of the conflict does more than any us could ever do to delegitimize you and your country. Keep up the good work.”

        They really don’t. They delegitimize you more than me. You demean international law by using it purely for political ends.

        “Can you please explain how allowing people to return to their own country of origin and giving them equal rights under the law will “force the Jews out”? ”

        Can you please explain why you seem to think that Palestinians on the ground think exactly as you do on these matters? Can you not understand why the Jews might not trust people who blow up their buses and rocket their children?

        “According to Oxford-trained Jewish historian and former cabinet official, Sholom Ben Ami, Jews have spent much of the last century organizing and executing plans for wars and the forced removal of the Palestinians – while shreying about their own insecurities. ”

        I think there’s a little more to Ben-Ami’s viewpoint than that.

        “We Americans have no vested interest in underwriting a situation so that Israelis can continue to profit from their own wrongdoing at the expense of Palestinians and our own vital interests.”

        OK, you’re entitled to your opinion. I don’t think the Americans are “underwriting” the situation.

      • MRW
        May 12, 2011, 3:23 pm

        I think this about sums it up for Israel, since it’s been anthropomorphicized into some darling that can’t take criticism. (From Hare’s Psychopathy Checklist)



        glib and superficial charm
        grandiose sense of self-worth

        pathological lying
        
callousness and lack of empathy
        
cunning and manipulative
        
lack of remorse or guilt 

        shallow affect 

        need for stimulation
        
parasitic lifestyle
        
poor behavioral controls
        
sexual promiscuity
        
lack of realistic long-term goals 

        impulsiveness
        
irresponsibility
        
failure to accept responsibility for own actions
        
many short-term marital relationships
        
early behavior problems
        
juvenile delinquency
        
revocation of conditional release 

        criminal versatility

      • Hostage
        May 12, 2011, 5:32 pm

        You demean international law by using it purely for political ends.

        For generations there were no international courts. International law consisted of the rules that the international community of states adopted to govern their mutual relations. In short, customary international law has always been used for political ends. You must have skipped a lot of classes.

        “Can you please explain how allowing people to return to their own country of origin and giving them equal rights under the law will “force the Jews out”? ”

        You deliberately avoided answering that question.

      • Shingo
        May 12, 2011, 5:37 pm

        You demean international law by using it purely for political ends.

        And you demean it more by dismissing it on purely political grounds.

         Can you please explain why you seem to think that Palestinians on the ground think exactly as you do on these matters?

        Aren’t you guys constantly reminding us that 20% of Israel’s population is Palestinian? Are they blowing up any busses lately? 

        ? Can you not understand why the Jews might not trust people who blow up their buses and rocket their children?

        In other words Hophmi, Israeli Jews are afraid that the returning Palestinians might do to them what they did to Palestinians?

      • patm
        May 12, 2011, 5:43 pm

        You’re on to something here, MRW.

      • hophmi
        May 12, 2011, 10:12 pm

        “You deliberately avoided answering that question.”

        I did not. You did not, and have never provided a reasonable basis for your assumption. And it is an assumption. A big one for which you bear no risk.

        “[C]ustomary international law has always been used for political ends.”

        Exactly my point. Which is why it means little when used as a tool by one party to a conflict like this, especially when that party violates it all the time.

      • hophmi
        May 12, 2011, 10:15 pm

        “In other words Hophmi, Israeli Jews are afraid that the returning Palestinians might do to them what they did to Palestinians?”

        And if those fears were legitimate (for purposes of argument, since I don’t accept the assumption underlying your statement), why would people accede to their own ethnic cleansing, and why would you support their cause, if you know this is what they will do?

      • Chaos4700
        May 12, 2011, 10:35 pm

        It’s not theft when one is returning stolen property. More schooling for the very bad lawyer in our midst.

      • VR
        May 12, 2011, 11:01 pm

        Hophmi, is this a joke argument?

        “Exactly my point. Which is why it means little when used as a tool by one party to a conflict like this, especially when that party violates it all the time.”

        lol Is your computer monitor near a mirror? Say that while looking in the mirror.

      • Hostage
        May 13, 2011, 6:05 am

        it means little when used as a tool by one party to a conflict like this

        There is abundant evidence that we are not talking about “one party” when we cite customary international law. There are 169 other states that routinely endorse UN resolutions concerning the right of the refugees to return to Israel; the illegality of the annexation of East Jerusalem; the illegality of Israeli settlements in Arab territories; and the permanent sovereignty of the Palestinian people over their resources and the territory.

      • jonah
        May 15, 2011, 5:14 pm

        “In other words Hophmi, Israeli Jews are afraid that the returning Palestinians might do to them what they did to Palestinians?”

        Old false argument, Shingo. Arab Palestinians and their Arab brothers have tried to do this with the Jews since the early twenties of the past century and never have had anything better in mind up to modern day. So please stop making nonsensical comparisons. Your historical revisionism is a boomerang.

      • Chaos4700
        May 15, 2011, 5:27 pm

        Ah, yes, the old “Arabs are all Nazis with big noses” Zionist canard. How come all Zionist rhetoric sounds like it came from politically incorrect Sunday morning comics pages from forty years ago?

      • pjdude
        May 15, 2011, 8:15 pm

        that’s historical revisionism at its worst.

      • Graber
        May 12, 2011, 2:30 pm

        Evergreen College divested. Hampshire divested. Leviev took major hits.

        In fact, 80% of Israel’s economy has direct or indirect ties with the occupation and/or settlements. So the only way to make sure that the occupation and settlements are no longer profitable for those companies is to say that we won’t buy them as long as they’re profiting that way….

      • hophmi
        May 12, 2011, 2:59 pm

        “Evergreen College divested. Hampshire divested. Leviev took major hits.”

        False. The student bodies voted to divest at two schools that are the most left-wing in the country. Evergreen did not divest. Hampshire divested from a mutual fund that owned stock in Israeli companies and swore up and down that it had nothing whatsoever to do with the student divestment movement.

        Leviev’s hit appears to consist of having a couple of Norwegian companies divest from his company.

        But heretofore, not one college campus has divested, including these two, where getting the students to vote for divestment is like taking candy from a baby.

        These are not major victories, particularly when Israel is acceding to the OECD.

      • eljay
        May 12, 2011, 3:03 pm

        >> BDS is a campaign that seeks to isolate Israel by replacing negotiations with a worldwide antisemitic boycott of the Jews.

        A boycott of Israel, the nation of all Israelis.

      • bindup
        May 12, 2011, 3:07 pm

        They also understand that a fair solution is one that accords sovereignty to both peoples, not just to one, and that there have been many years of negotiations aimed at accomplishing this. And they also look at recent history and understand that sticking two peoples in conflict in one state is a bad idea that has been disastrous in the past.

        Problem is Israel’s settlement policy has made those negotiations a sham. The present situation is disastrous. Omar Barghouti has eloquently laid out the principles that must be satisfied by any political solution: equal rights for all, everywhere. Richard Witty has pointed to another dimension that must be addressed: both peoples must give up the “exceptionalism” of their own suffering insofar as it prevents them from acknowledging that of the other.

        I would add that I think it’s the deeply engrained sense of our own political/religious exceptionalism that makes US opinion so vulnerable to Israel/AIPAC hasbara. We’re used to their sort of “exceptionalism”; we still drink our own brand of that kool-aid everyday for breakfast. So if we’re to break free from hasbara, without reverting to anti-jewish stereotypes, I think we’re going to have to confront that head-on.

      • Thomson Rutherford
        May 12, 2011, 4:42 pm

        bindup writes,
        “I think it’s the deeply engrained sense of our own political/religious exceptionalism that makes US opinion so vulnerable to Israel/AIPAC hasbara. We’re used to their sort of “exceptionalism”; we still drink our own brand of that kool-aid everyday for breakfast. So if we’re to break free from hasbara, without reverting to anti-jewish stereotypes, I think we’re going to have to confront that head-on.”

        I agree with your point and think it’s important. But we still need to combat the hasbara, regardless.

      • justicewillprevail
        May 12, 2011, 3:22 pm

        Wow, your diatribe has merely repeated all the hasbara points people like OB have cogently dismissed. Just repeating them doesn’t make them true. You buy into every cliche and myth, but claiming that equal rights and justice is a dastardly plot to undermine the elitist, segregationist Israel. But apparently those equal rights and justice are essential everywhere else to protect Jews. LOL.

      • lysias
        May 12, 2011, 3:52 pm

        When apartheid ended, did that spell the end of sovereignty for white South Africans?

      • lysias
        May 12, 2011, 3:56 pm

        Have you considered the possibility of an international agreement ending the Israel/Palestine conflict that would establish a single binational state with constitutional guarantees for the rights of both nationalities and that would be guaranteed by the United Nations and various signatory powers, including the United States?

        Just how would a deal like that spell the end of the rights of the Jews in Israel?

      • Shingo
        May 12, 2011, 7:29 pm

        Just how would a deal like that spell the end of the rights of the Jews in Israel?

        Hophmi is clearly conflating Jewish rights with ethic supremacy.

      • Shingo
        May 12, 2011, 7:55 pm

        Really? I haven’t heard that objection too often. Most supporters of Israel I know are all for full equality for Palestinian-Israelis.

        If they are for full equality for Palestinians, then they would have no objection to right of return. After all, FULL equality would also extend to law of return would it not?

        Well, it says that Israel is a Jewish state, and that the campaign for “equal rights” is really just a way for the Arabs to flood Israel with refugees, establish an Arab majority, take over the country, and force the Jews out. In other words, the same campaign they’ve been fighting for a century.

        So what you’re saying is that most supporters of Israel you know are NOT actually for full equality for Palestinians.

        This is a disconnect that exists between the Western activists that really run the BDS movement from London and other places and the people on the ground, who view the conflict as a long fight to replace a Jewish state with (yet another) Muslim state.

        Pure hysteria. There is no evidence of this and ultimately dishonest seeing as you have no idea about what is happening in “other places and the people on the ground”. Just like Witty, uou’re simply making it up.

        Oh, I think a lot of Western elites understand exactly what delegitimization is.

        So do at least half of Israeli displamts, who seem to believe that Israel’s policies are what are leading to Israel’s delegitimization.

        BDS is a campaign that seeks to isolate Israel by replacing negotiations with a worldwide antisemitic boycott of the Jews.

        And now you simply lying. What a pathetic ad hominem Hophmi, even by your standards.

        No one associated with the BDS movement has ever suggested that BDS is a worldwide boycott of “the Jews”.

        Their ranks constitute an unholy alliance of Islamist terrorist sympathizers with left-wing radicals.

        Please provide evidence of this unholy alliance Hophmi. Hot air isn’t doing it for me.

        And these elites understand that while the Red part of this alliance may look at the flooding of Israel with refugees as “one man, one vote”, the Green part of the alliance looks at it as an opportunity to throw the Jews into the sea by creating another Muslim state.

        Netenyahu could not have said it better. I never took you to be a Likudnik Hophmi, but like I always said, Liberal Zionism is an oxymoron,. When it comes down to it, you’re all right wing, racist zealouts.

        But hey, like you said, “ supporters of Israel (you) know are all for full equality for Palestinian-Israelis.”

        Yeah right.

        They also understand that a fair solution is one that accords sovereignty to both peoples, not just to one, and that there have been many years of negotiations aimed at accomplishing this.

        For Christ’s sake Hophmi, take a step back from the edge of the cliff alrady. Who do you think you’re talking to here, a Tea Party rally?

        At the end of the day, Israel is a first-rate military and economic power, and Egypt is a poor country.

        The only economic power that receives the world’s economic and military aid, and the largest to boot.

        It was? You mean that case that got dismissed and never should have been brought in the first place?

        Why should it have never been brought in the first place Hophmi? Are you suggesting that espionage should be legalized?

        This very website blames Jews for the Iraq War and argues that Jews have too much economic and political power, echoing classic antisemitic tropes. But you, Omar, the godfather of BDS, publish here nonetheless.

        wow, Hophmi;s on a roll. He’s accusing everyone here of anti Semitism and criticising Omarfor publishing here, while Hopmi himself is a regula.
        Doesn’t that make you Hophmi, an anti Semite?

        There are plenty of pro-Palestinian academics on campuses across the country.

        Care to name any?

        Please substantiate your claim that there has been a significant rise in the negative ratings of Israel in the US public. The data I have seen reflects no such thing.

        Israel and Iran Share Most Negative Ratings in Global Poll
        link to globescan.com

      • RoHa
        May 12, 2011, 8:48 pm

        “This very website blames Jews for the Iraq War”

        But not all Jews. Only some of them.

        “and argues that Jews have too much economic and political power,”

        But not all Jews. Only some of them.

        “echoing classic antisemitic tropes.”

        If the claims are true, would you still want to supress them because they “echo antisemitic tropes”?

      • Avi
        May 13, 2011, 6:40 am

        hophmi May 12, 2011 at 1:08 pm

        “Specifically, what is often objected to is the demand for full equality for Palestinian citizens of Israel.”

        Really? I haven’t heard that objection too often. Most supporters of Israel I know are all for full equality for Palestinian-Israelis.

        You haven’t heard it because (a) You are habitually tone-deaf. (b) You habitually lie.

        Sixty four percent of Israeli teens aged 15 to 18 say that Arab Israelis do not enjoy full equal rights in Israel, and from that group, 59 percent believe that they should not have full equal rights, according to a special survey prepared for the “Education in the Digital Age” conference held in Haifa on Monday.

        Sources: 1 and 2

        And this one example does not include the fire-to-kill policies that Israeli forces use AGAINST their own non-Jewish citizens.

        In October 2000, Israeli police killed 13 young Palestinians in Israel. They were protesting the institutional discrimination in the state.

        In addition, these examples do not include the persecution of civil rights leaders like Ameer Makhoul for whom Israel custom tailored a cockamamie charge of assisting the enemy.

        Should I continue wiping the floor with the deceitful hypocrite that you are, or have you had enough for one day?

        You should be put on moderation where only the comments that include citations and sources are approved.

        P.S. – I haven’t bothered reading the rest of your comment as I have no time to address the rest of the garbage you have undoubtedly posted.

    • Thomson Rutherford
      May 12, 2011, 3:19 pm

      patm writes,
      “The power of Christian Zionist leaders must be broken. Their deluded followers run into the hundreds of millions around the world, and they are, as I understand it, the chief enablers of Israeli Zionists.”

      You do not understand it.

      In the U.S. the political power of Christian Zionists is miniscule compared to that of Jewish Zionist organizations. I live among, and was raised within, the community of Christian evangelicals from which most Christian Zionism arises, and am well aware of their political concerns and activities. Zionism ranks near the bottom of concern for the overwhelming majority of them (unlike the case of Jewish Zionists). Highly-dedicated Christian Zionists are too few in number, too unorganized, and too kooky in nature to mount effective pressure in Washington or in U.S. media for support of Israel and its fascist government. They are generally held in contempt, not least among their fellow Christians.

      If you want to see real Zionist power in action, watch the annual AIPAC convention, coming soon to a TV near you. Your “chief enablers of Israeli Zionism” will be in full view, with overflowing moneybags under the luxuriously furnished tables.

      • patm
        May 12, 2011, 5:56 pm

        Thomson,

        I recently watched a 3 part interview with Harvard prof Dr Norton Mezvinski who maintains that the Christian Zionist Lobby is more influential than the Jewish Lobby in propping up the apartheid state of Israel.

        For example, he states that it was CZ money that paid for the transfer of Russian Jews in the late 80s and early 90s.

        Here are the videos:
        link to youtube.com
        link to youtube.com

      • American
        May 12, 2011, 9:53 pm

        ROTFLMAO…….Mezvinski wouldn’t be Jewish would he? Your youtubes wouldn’t be by Israel activist would they? Don’t you know that you have to verify anything said by the zionist…the truth, I promise you, is not in them.

        The US taxpayers supplied that money honey.

        PDF] Israel: U.S. Foreign AssistanceFile Format: PDF/Adobe Acrobat – Quick View
        by CR Mark – Cited by 43 – Related articles
        Aug 20, 2003 … U.S. government has waived repayment of aid to Israel that originally was ….. guarantees,$9.2 billion in Soviet Jew resettlement loan …
        opencrs.com/document/IB85066/2003-08-20/download/1005/

        Israel: U.S. Foreign AssistanceFile Format: PDF/Adobe Acrobat – Quick View
        Israel owed the U.S. Government about $10 billion (having paid off the other ….. are for resettling Soviet Jews in Israel. H.R. 4404 passed the House on …
        pdf.usaid.gov/pdf_docs/PCAAA469.pdf

      • patm
        May 13, 2011, 8:07 am

        American, this from Wiki re prof Mezvinsky the 3 CZ videos:

        “Norton Mezvinsky is a historian. He is a Distinguished University Professor, Emeritus, at Connecticut State University and is the President of the International Council for Middle East Studies, a new academic think-tank in Washington, D.C. He has written numerous published books, articles and book reviews that address certain aspects of the Arab-Israeli conflict, Zionism, Judaism and United States history. The book, Jewish Fundamentalism in Israel, which he wrote with the renowned Israeli scholar, Israel Shahak, has been translated and published in four languages in addition to English. His most recent publications are a lengthy biographical essay of David Ben-Gurion in the new, highly praised Encyclopedia of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, published by Lynne Reiner Publishers (2010), and a chapter essay entitled “The Christian Zionist View of Islam” in the new volume, Islam in the Eyes of the West, published by Routledge (2010). Two additional essays of his concerning the Jewish religious Right and Zionism are scheduled for publication in 2011. He is currently writing a book on Christian Zionism. Prof. Mezvinsky has lectured and delivered papers at conferences around the world. Continuing to do so, he has within the past year engaged in speaking tours in Istanbul, Damascus and Beirut as well as Japan. Norton Mezvinsky has been one of the most well-known, outspoken Jewish anti-Zionist advocates for five decades. His recent speech, “The One-State Solution,” is a well thought-out case that is at once academically sound and, of course, controversial.”

      • American
        May 13, 2011, 3:55 pm

        I don’t care who he is…he lied.

        I just gave you the evidence of that and instead of acknowledging it …you give me back?….a bio on another dime a dozen zionist academic…if we had a dime for every zio academic that lied we could pay off the national debt.

        It really boggles my mind how typical it is that when confronted with the PROVEN facts on anything you mumble around like children with undeveloped minds trying to escape a lie you just told.

      • patm
        May 13, 2011, 5:46 pm

        American,

        The pdf url you posted states in its ****Summary*** that:

        “In addition to U.S. assistance, it is estimated that Israel receives about ****$1 billion annually through philanthropy,**** an equal amount through short-and long-term commercial loans, and around $1 billion in Israel Bonds proceeds.” (my *****s)

        The report goes on to say that:

        For FY1994. the United States provided Israel …. ****$80 million in refugee settlement grants, $2 billion in loan guarantees for refugee settlement….****

        Are you telling me that some of the $1 billion raised through philanthropy could not have come from Christian Zionists and could not have been spent on the massive soviet refugee project?

        Also, again, from wiki, “Norton Mezvinsky has been one of the most well-known, outspoken Jewish anti-Zionist advocates for five decades.”

      • Keith
        May 13, 2011, 6:37 pm

        AMERICAN- “I just gave you the evidence of that and instead of acknowledging it …you give me back?….a bio on another dime a dozen zionist academic…if we had a dime for every zio academic that lied we could pay off the national debt.”

        Patm said: “The book, Jewish Fundamentalism in Israel, which he wrote with the renowned Israeli scholar, Israel Shahak ….Norton Mezvinsky has been one of the most well-known, outspoken Jewish anti-Zionist advocates for five decades.”

        Keith says: American, Norton Mezvinsky is not a Zionist propagandist or liar, and you are engaging in proof by labeling. Putting aside the one remark about Christian Zionism and the financing of Jewish immigration to Israel which may refer to NGO aid, Professor Mezvinsky co-authored the book “Jewish Fundamentalism in Israel” with Israel Shahak, which I have read and which is an excellent discussion of the topic. In case you are unfamiliar with Israel Shahak, he is about as anti-Zionist as you can get, and suffered considerable abuse from Zionist Jews as a consequence. In the 3 videos which patm linked, Mezvinsky mentions that Christian Zionism as a POLITICAL phenomenon is quite recent. With the rise of the Christian Right, this is a situation which we need to be aware of as it impacts Israel/Palestine in a negative way. Suggest you keep an open mind on this topic and not label those with different opinions as Zionist hasbarats, a tactic too common on Mondoweiss.

      • American
        May 13, 2011, 6:51 pm

        Pay attention.
        This is what you said:
        “For example, he states that it was CZ money that paid for the transfer of Russian Jews in the late 80s and early 90s”

        As if it was the CZ that paid for Russian jew resettlement.
        I just showed you that US TAXPAYERS…i.e…. the US GOVERNMENT made loans (then forgiven) to Israel for the resettlement of the Russian Jews….and did it twice. Did you not read the bills authorizing this?
        So he lied….understand?

        I don’t know how much private religous fanatics gave to Israel, although I doubt very much it amounted to a billion dollars.

        NOW…if you want to prove something to me..go find a relaible official source…call Mezvinsky and ask him to provide you with data to show that the CZs gave a billion dollars to resettle the Russian Jews. Don’t report back to me that Hagee or Roberston or that nutty Kaye woman said that they gave a billion dollars they raised from their TV sob shows and ads for poor Jews to give to Russian Jews resettlement.

        The days of saying this , that and the other and I heard so and so say this that and the other are over….at least for me…because I have seen enough lies on the zionist and Israel subject to choke a horse.

        Want to make a statement and have it accepted?…be able to prove it and back it up….tell Mezvinsky to prove his claim.
        And I don’t care if he a zionist or a buddhist or what his agenda is in claiming that CZs were the main financiers of the Russian Jewish resettlement..the fact remains it is a lie.

        If he is a Harvard professor and he doesn’t know about the two US government major loans and grants for the immigration of the Russian Jews then he either shouldn’t be at any college or he has an agenda to lie about the facts.

        There are two kinds of stupid in the world…those who think they are smarter than anyone else and everyone will believe whatever they say…..and those who think others are smarter than they are and will accept whatever those they consider smarter say.

      • patm
        May 13, 2011, 7:44 pm

        American: “I don’t know how much private religous fanatics gave to Israel, although I doubt very much it amounted to a billion dollars.”

        Well that’s a start, my friend!

        You say I’ve put too much faith in Mezvinsky because he’s a professor. You appear to have dismissed him because he’s a professor.

        Why don’t we both do some research on the role Christian Zionists have played and continue to play in Israel. I know I’m not letting go of this topic. So stay tuned.

      • American
        May 13, 2011, 9:31 pm

        I am not trying to pick on you..though it may sound like that.
        But I just don’t accept any info, pro or con Israel or the zionist that I can’t verify with some kind of objective source or official record or some kind of proof from somewhere.
        One reason is I don’t want to pick up and repeat info that isn’t true even if’s it’s something I would “like to” believe.
        But yes I dismiss Mezvinsky, not because he is a professor but becuase he has to be a bad one if he “didn’t know’ the facts of the 80’s and particulary the 90’s US 10 billion dollar deal to resettle the Russian Jews and he should have just kept his mouth shut instead of embrassing himself and putting out misleading info.
        If he is anti zionist maybe he has a hard on for the CZ fanatics and /or wants to absolve the Jews from being the major force behind the US Israeli fetish, I don’t know his motive.
        To say some CZ orgs raised money for Jews is one thing but to say the CZ’s financed their immigration to the US and Israel is nonsense.
        If that were the case why did the US need to pony up 1o billion?
        If the CZ’s were taking care of the Russian Jews why the need for the US to extend and renew the SSI benefits edxtended to the 90’s Russian Jews to 2011?
        Why did the Hebrew Immigration Aid Society prevail on congress and not the CZ orgs for continued aid to the immigrants if the CZ were or are the bulk supporters of this?

        “HIAS Urges Congress and Administration Not to Cut Off Elderly and Disabled Refugees from SSI: Exhorts Congress to renew benefit extension – HIAS calls on Congress and the Administration to enact legislation immediately that extends assistance for elderly and disabled refugees, asylees, and other humanitarian immigrants in the United States from the former Soviet Union, Iran and other countries who are dependent on Supplemental Security Income (SSI) to pay for food and shelter.
        And congress did:
        link to govtrack.us

        Post anything you find, I would be interested to see something real on this–but I doubt you find much in outside verified figures on the CZ groups because they are exempt religious groups. But I could be wrong, it’s not something I have spent time on–so happy hunting.

      • American
        May 13, 2011, 11:26 pm

        See my other comments.

        Exactly because I want to keep an open mind I don’t accept misinformation I know to be incorrect.

        I know the statement made was wrong…regardless of who it came from and I supplied the proof that the CZs were not the financiers of the Russian Jewish immigration..as the statement in question implied. I am puzzled why if the professor is an ardent anti zionist he would make the kind of mistatement he made in relation to the Jewish Russian deal.

        I am aware of the CZs but from what I know they are nowhere near the political force of the Israel Lobby and the Jewish orgs.
        If they were they would be dictating the bills in congress not AIPAC.

        As I said to patm if she can find evidence to show that the CZ are anywhere close to the political money force in congress for Israel as the Jewish orgs are I would be interested in seeing it.
        The CZs are religious groups who donate to charities and etc but can’t bundle money for politicial contributions like all the Jewish groups under the AIPAC unbrella can….for that reason alone it is highly improbale that they have the political clout of hundreds of Jewish orgs organized specidically to support Israel do.

        But anyway my original reply was strictly on the statement the professor made…which was not true.

    • Kathleen
      May 13, 2011, 10:27 am

      Cultural, ethnic or religious exclusivity is a mental illness.

  2. James
    May 12, 2011, 11:59 am

    i 2nd patm’s comments… thanks omar.. excellent article… just this morning i read an article that some here might also enjoy reading..
    link to english.aljazeera.net
    Israel’s new laws promote repression
    As Arabs across the region struggle for freedom and democracy, Israeli law seems to be headed in the opposite direction.

  3. seafoid
    May 12, 2011, 12:17 pm

    Omar is Israel’s worst nightmare. A gifted Palestinian who demolishes the hasbara .

    Allah ya’teek al afya ya Umar.

    • Kathleen
      May 13, 2011, 9:59 am

      So many Palestinian peace activist in prison. Wish someone in the know would do a run down of how many Palestinian peace activist have been thrown in prison. Art Gish used to talk about this.

  4. eee
    May 12, 2011, 12:26 pm

    OMAR BARGHOUTI,

    There are elections in Palestine in September. Are you planning to run? Do you think you can get 100 people to vote for you?

    • Kathleen
      May 13, 2011, 10:01 am

      With the pressure and bullying that Rep Ros Lehtinen and other Israeli firsters in our congress have applied on the situation not looking good for any Palestinian leader who bases their stance on facts and justice

  5. Richard Witty
    May 12, 2011, 12:31 pm

    Mr. Barghouti’s assertions about BDS all depend on the clarity of the BDS call and effort.

    The three stated objectives of BDS all make sense, if the green line is the objective. To the extent that a single-state effort in incorporated, it does attempt to de-legitimize Israel and is genuinely a statement of revolution, not a statement of reform, nor peaceful.

    link to liberalzionism.wordpress.com

    I appreciate the principles that underlie non-violent affirmations of law. I wish that Mr. Barghouti though instead emphasized the basis of the sentiment that led to the needed formation of Israel, that the formation of Israel was a liberation for the European Jewish nation, a bootstrapping from real genocide.

    I personally believe that the relevance of Israel as Israel remains, and that there is a path to assertion of healing Palestinians’ lives.

    • pjdude
      May 12, 2011, 4:23 pm

      tell me how can one liberally be fore naked aggression and the theft of property so a religious group and move in and take control?

    • RoHa
      May 12, 2011, 8:56 pm

      “I wish that Mr. Barghouti though instead emphasized the basis of the sentiment that led to the needed formation of Israel, that the formation of Israel was a liberation for the European Jewish nation, a bootstrapping from real genocide.”

      In other words, you want Barghouti to agree that European Jews and their “liberation” are so much more important than Palestinians that the destruction of Palestinian society, the killings and the rapes, and the ethnic cleansing were all justified.

      (Of course, Europeans Jews were and are not a nation, and the Western European ones were liberated by the allied victories of 1945, while the Eastern European ones came under Soviet domination.)

      • Richard Witty
        May 12, 2011, 9:44 pm

        Not more important, but definitely important.

        Two components to the liberation/nakba, not one.

      • RoHa
        May 12, 2011, 10:32 pm

        If you want Barghouti to agree that the formation of Israel was necessary, then you are asking him to agree that Jews are more important than Arabs.

      • Richard Witty
        May 13, 2011, 5:46 am

        My neighbor has experience, and strong motivations.

        I have experience, and strong motivations.

        I respect my neighbor’s experience. I accept my own.

        Even if he is thinking about realizing a single-state, acceptance of the other is a critical component of accomplishing that.

        Again, there are three moral scenarios:

        1. We oppose exceptionalism and dominance
        2. We approve of Palestinian exceptionalism (Jews go “home”, except here.)
        3. We approve of Israeli exceptionalism (Palestinians go “home”, except here.)

        There are two forms to opposing exceptionalism.

        1. In a single state
        2. In a two state

        Both communities currently embody features of exceptionalism (restricted ability to acquire land in Israel without permit, illegal for a Jew to acquire land in Palestine at all).

      • Woody Tanaka
        May 13, 2011, 8:34 am

        Witty, your attempt to concoct a moral equivalence here between the victimizers (the Israelis) and the victims (the Palestinians) is really indicative of disordered thinking.

      • Donald
        May 13, 2011, 12:58 pm

        “Witty, your attempt to concoct a moral equivalence here between the victimizers (the Israelis) and the victims (the Palestinians) is really indicative of disordered thinking.”

        It’s worse than that. He consistently portrays the Palestinians as worse–he did it in the post you responded to. He evidently can’t talk about the conflict without doing this.

      • RoHa
        May 13, 2011, 10:06 pm

        I don’t know what all that drivel was supposed to show, but as long as you keep banging the drum that Israel was necessary, “liberation” for Jews, etc., you are saying that it was justified that Israel be created at the expense of the Palestinians.

        And that is saying that Jews are more important than Palestinians.

      • Richard Witty
        May 14, 2011, 4:10 pm

        The change of condition of European Jewry was unequivocally a liberation.

        To state that the effort to exclude Jewish immigration from Palestine in the 20’s, 30’s, 40’s, late 40’s was progressive, is more evidently collaboration with genocide.

        In any either/or political setting, the juxtaposition that you describe will be one option as to how to approach it.

        It is NOT the humanist approach.

        The humanist approach compels the effort to search and find the manner by which communities can be healthy and co-exist.

        Even if soldidarity call their view progressive.

      • RoHa
        May 14, 2011, 10:33 pm

        “The change of condition of European Jewry was unequivocally a liberation”

        European Jews were as free as their compatriots before Nazism. The only liberation they needed was from their own stupid ideas. After the rise if the Nazis, Europeans Jews who could not escape needed liberation from the Nazis. The Allied armies provided this. Israel was not necessary.

        After WW2, those who went to Australia and the US were free. Western European Jews were as free as their compatriots. Eastern European Jews were as free, and unfree, as their compatriots under Soviet rule

        “The humanist approach compels the effort to search and find the manner by which communities can be healthy and co-exist.”

        But the Zionists did not want to co-exist with the Palestinians. They wanted to take their land. They, like you, thought that what they wanted (and still want) is more important than the rights of the Palestinians.

      • pjdude
        May 14, 2011, 10:35 pm

        it was progressive as they would have been willing to accept those immigrants were it not for zionism making them a threat. guess what their is nothing wrong with trying to prevent your self from being replaced in your own home.

    • Sumud
      May 13, 2011, 10:01 am

      The three stated objectives of BDS all make sense, if the green line is the objective. To the extent that a single-state effort in incorporated, it does attempt to de-legitimize Israel and is genuinely a statement of revolution, not a statement of reform, nor peaceful.

      Yet another attempt by Richard Witty to muddy the waters with regard to BDS. For the nth time Richard: BDS is a rights-based movement, not a one- or two-state movement with a particular political outcome in mind. If Omar Barghouti and Ali Abunimah’s favourite colour is red, that doesn’t mean it is part of the BDS platform. This is pretty basic stuff, and given the number of times it has been explained to you, I can only conclude that you are deliberately seeking to confuse people.

      In the initial sentence I quoted you even acknowledge the three clear and unchanging objectives of the BDS Movement, only to then introduce the idea of the green line being/not-being an additional objective of BDS. Why? The BDS Movement has no opinion on the green line. It is your fantasy that it does. To recap, BDS three goals, as per the 2005 BDS call:

      1. Ending its occupation and colonization of all Arab lands and dismantling the Wall
      2. Recognizing the fundamental rights of the Arab-Palestinian citizens of Israel to full equality; and
      3. Respecting, protecting and promoting the rights of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and properties as stipulated in UN resolution 194.

      Respectively, the three goals of BDS seek justice for:
      1. Palestinians in the OPTs
      2. Palestinians in Israel proper
      3. Palestinians in the diaspora.

      Pretty simple.

    • Sumud
      May 13, 2011, 10:32 am

      I appreciate the principles that underlie non-violent affirmations of law. I wish that Mr. Barghouti though instead emphasized the basis of the sentiment that led to the needed formation of Israel, that the formation of Israel was a liberation for the European Jewish nation, a bootstrapping from real genocide.

      Just so you know Richard, it’s really very tacky that you’re using the holocaust to justify the nakba.

      It’s a cruel tragic fact that the “European Jewish nation”, as you put it, were NOT liberated, they were killed en-masse. Dead people can’t be liberated. You need to get your head around that Richard, because the formation of Israel in 1948 did not help end World War 2, and it did not help save European jews from the Nazis.

      If anything, zionism probably did the opposite: had it not been abundantly clear by the late 1930s that zionists planned to take over Palestine altogether, Palestinians may not have been so hostile to the illegal immigrants coming from Europe. And then there is the ghastly matter of the zionists’ role in ending the jewish boycott of Nazi Germany in 1933, and the ‘what-if’ scenarios if that boycott had successfully bought down Hitler’s regime in the mid-1930s.

      That aside, what aspect of the holocaust required zionists to invade areas set aside by the UN for the Palestinian state? I see nothing, other than greed & hubris.

      • Richard Witty
        May 13, 2011, 3:43 pm

        A rights-intended movement that includes revolution in even prospective agenda is seen.

        Israeli Jews care deeply that they remain Israel and not a single state. The inclusion of single-state advocacy at all (by leaders, even if privately), muddies the waters, makes the rights-based effort suspect, more than suspect.

        The questions remain, whether you want the approach to be only seen as rights-based or not.

        “Justification” applies only to a current action proposed. This is history that is being talked about. It is something that occurred, not something that is advocated.

      • RoHa
        May 13, 2011, 10:16 pm

        “Israeli Jews care deeply that they remain Israel and not a single state.”

        “Caring deeply” about something does not provide moral justification for it.

        I care deeply about my droit de seigneur over all my female students. Astonishingly, no-one else seems to think my caring gives me any rights at all.

        ‘“Justification” applies only to a current action proposed. This is history that is being talked about. It is something that occurred, not something that is advocated.’

        So if I kill you, we no longer ask whether the killing was justified?
        What total nonsense!

        I agree with Woody. Your thinking is disordered, and I would say disordered to the extent that you need professional help.

      • Sumud
        May 14, 2011, 4:29 am

        A rights-intended movement that includes revolution in even prospective agenda is seen.

        What is seen is not necessarily what is. I’d say your vision is clouded somewhat old chap. Again Richard, you are pushing square pegs into round holes. You keep having to use slippery language to infer and insinuate the BDS Movement has a secret agenda with regards to the formation of a single state.

        BDS has no agenda with regards to a political outcome. It is deliberately open-ended in order to foster a broad support base among the different Palestinians constituencies (Palestinian Israelis, Occupied Territory Palestinians and diaspora/refugee Palestinians). The goals of BDS can be achieved via a one- or two-state outcome.

        Since the launch of the BDS call in 2005 I’d say, among supporters of BDS there has been a shift away from supporting two states to a single binational state based on equality for all. This though, is unrelated to the BDS Movement (which never advocates for either position), but a progressive recognition that the steps Israel has taken to ensure a Palestinian state is impossible, have succeeded. The release of the Wikileaks US Embassy cables and Palestine Paper also provided conclusive proof that Palestinians were consistently negotiating seriously, with Israelis repeatedly banking Palestinian concessions and then demanding more, all the while never offering Palestinians anything at all. Then there was the tape that leaked of Netanyahu bragging he deliberately sabotaged the peace process in the late 90s. Summary: Palestinians had (and have) no partner for peace.

        Certainly, two years ago I identified most strongly with two-states as the most achievable outcome, and as a consequence of that new material coming to light I’ve changed my mind altogether. I fully supported BDS when I thought two-states was the most likely and best outcome, and saw no conflict between the two.

        Rathet than just insinuating BDS has a single-state agenda – an easily recognisable fear, uncertainty & doubt tactic – can you provide any concrete proof of this secret agenda? That I’ve seen, Omar Barghouti is careful to delineate between his personal opinions and those he utters as the most well-known face of the Palestinian Boycott National Committee. Ali Abunimah is not even a member of the BNC that I’m aware of.

        As for Israelis jews, perhaps you should reconsider some of the mind-blowingly racist attitudes regularly revealed by Israeli surveys of Israeli public opinion – and then look at who they elect: the murderous Ariel Sharon, the “moderate” Kadima – who visited a bloodbath upon Gaza (which 90% of Israelis supported) and right-wing nutjobs Netanyahu and Avigdor Lieberman.

        If Israel were a bride Richard, I suggest you talk to your shrink, because it seems you haven’t been able to progress beyond the honeymoon period. It’s time!

      • Richard Witty
        May 14, 2011, 4:17 pm

        I am naming the combination of single-state with BDS as an act of war on Israel.

        It is barely non-violent, not quite.

        The only way that you can naively pursue BDS in that manner, is if you honestly believe that revolution is called for, and in the form that Israeli Jews do not have the democratic right to elect a majority government and self-govern.

        You are limiting your thinking only to the criteria that are convenient, and in a manner that willingly oppresses another, in the name of possible liberating one community.

        A proposed oppression in response to a gamble.

        It is a question that needs to be clarified whether the BDS movement is opposed to the occupation of the West Bank, or the “occupation” of Israel. If the occupation of Israel, in any sense, then the movement is at war with Israel, and not in a struggle for dignity or even rights.

        Rights are current rights. (If the form of “rights” are limited to property rights, resolvable by compensation, then wonderful. If the form of return rights are asked to be afforded to those born in the jurisdiction of Israel, then wonderful.)

        Is that what Omar Barghouti is referring? Those limited assertions.

      • Danaa
        May 14, 2011, 4:58 pm

        Witty declare Mondoweis guilty of an “act of war”:
        “I am naming the combination of single-state with BDS as an act of war on Israel.
        It is barely non-violent, not quite.”

        In case you didn’t notice, the majority of posters on this site support wholeheartedly a single democratic state in Israel/palestine for ALL the citizens. That means complete separation of synagog and state, or mosque and state. That means jewish at home is fine, jewish in the street as in preferred state religion – is not. Because anything else is inherently unjust as well as preposterously uncivilized. Naturally, said posters here, myself included, probably Phil and Adam – if they had their way – support a single state “solution” and all efforts that can make that a success.

        BDS is a tool to allow justice to happen, since Israel – and the majority of its so-called “Jewish” residents is a throughly unjust and generally a violent/militaristic/theocratic/medieval/biblical-backward looking society. I think they NEED the Palestinians as equal citizens to help them achieve a measure of civility among themselves and bring them back to the meaning of civilization. This is a medicine you need as well Witty.

        Yet, here you are proclaiming us all as your “enemies” guilty of an “act of war”. What you gonna do – call your tear-gassing, blood-libeling, murderous thug friends from Israel to do away with us all?

        And if you call minimalist BDS an ‘act of war”, what about maximalist BDS? you know – that’s me – I support as complete a boycott of the state of Israel as what South Africa was subjected to – for largely similar reasons. Because, effectively EVERY Israeli is a settler. As are you, Witty. As is the semi-silent majority of American jews (as opposed to jewish Americans – they get a pass, at least from me :)). So does that count as “an act of open hostility”? surely you can’t just let that pass, great warrior that you are….

        So how about some real combat, Witty? a duel at sunset? (I don’t do sunrise)

        PS hope you are in good shape……..I’ll even let you pick your weapon of choice……(hint: don’t pick words – not your strong suite, as you know)

      • Donald
        May 14, 2011, 5:04 pm

        “I am naming the combination of single-state with BDS as an act of war on Israel.”

        This must be another one of those calls for dialogue between Zionists and non-Zionists.

        “It is barely non-violent, not quite.”

        Odd. One would think Richard opposes violence–not at all. He opposes violence from Palestinians, not from Israelis. And he has no objection to blockades either.

      • Bumblebye
        May 14, 2011, 5:05 pm

        RW
        What a stupid naming game. Are not the Occupation, Settlement, endless landtheft, brutality etc, not acts of war by your pet Israel against the Palestinians? Graciously funded by your tax dollars and supported (under some duress) by the generous folk of the USA? And since, in your naming game, onestate/BDS war is not declared by a nation state, should that lead to its supporters being declared “terrorists”, as Israel might dearly wish to do, given that it is planning to bring in laws criminalising BDS supporters? Any way, currently there IS only one state as Israel controls the whole land, with its apartheid laws.

      • Sumud
        May 14, 2011, 8:18 pm

        I am naming the combination of single-state with BDS as an act of war on Israel.

        It is barely non-violent, not quite.

        That is ridiculous Richard. South Africa transitioned out of apartheid without a war and with a minimum of violence. Once again you are trying to smear BDS, which is a completely non-violent form of protest, just about the most gentle sort that you can engage in.

        The only way that you can naively pursue BDS in that manner, is if you honestly believe that revolution is called for, and in the form that Israeli Jews do not have the democratic right to elect a majority government and self-govern.

        I believe Israeli jews should have equal rights to Israeli Palestinians, and West Bank and Gaza Palestinians: one person / one vote. Via the polls they can elect a majority and that is self-governance, in a nutshell.

        …and in a manner that willingly oppresses another, in the name of possible liberating one community.

        And here the jewish supremacist in you bares his teeth. At all costs, jews must remain in control of Palestine – the very concept that they might form part of a bi-national state in mandate Palestine is a form of “oppression”. Yet, as as an American jew you are a less-than-2% portion of the American electorate Richard. I presume you vote. Do you feel “oppressed”? Denied your democratic rights? Hmm, let’s see, Israel is so important to you, you haven’t even been there since 1986…

        As Bumblebye writes above, what about the actual oppression of Palestinians? I know you tend to avoid articles on MW detailing the latest Israeli horrors being visited on Palestinians, but you DO know what is going on there.

        It is a question that needs to be clarified whether the BDS movement is opposed to the occupation of the West Bank, or the “occupation” of Israel.

        The BDS Movement has no opinion on one or two states Richard. I know that, you know that – we all know that. Keep beating that drum though…

      • pjdude
        May 14, 2011, 10:39 pm

        Witty for the last time you dishonest thug taking stolen property away from thieves and returning it to its owners is not oppression it is justice. in your mind jews have a right to theft. your a bigot your your infantile whining about how those poor jews need to be allowed to keep what they stole was old years ago.

      • Richard Witty
        May 14, 2011, 11:50 pm

        You folks obviously are not aware of the significance of applying BDS to the state of Israel as a whole, namely that it is a revolutionary act (especially if not pursued through the path of electoral consent).

        Among many western Jews and Israelis it is experienced as reminiscent in intent to the anti-semitic “preferences” to not do business with Jews.

        Unless you are content to impose your will externally, and reject entirely the democratic majority of Israel, (and then in that sense reject democracy) you will consider those sensitivities, and not resort to even word war.

        The ambiguity of the BDS movement is that profoundly tarnished.

      • Danaa
        May 15, 2011, 2:50 am

        More Witties: “Among many western Jews and Israelis it is experienced as reminiscent in intent to the anti-semitic “preferences” to not do business with Jews.”

        just because it is so “experienced” by certain individuals does not make it so. The “jews” those of us who practice [maximalist] BDS (yes, that’s me, not necessarily anyone else) don’t want to do business with are not just any “jews” but people who may happen to consider themselves Jewish and are also engaged in doing very bad things. They could be little green men for all I care. And their “sensitivity” to some “anti-semitism” that may have happened long ago is no excuse for getting a pass while continuing to do very bad things. If anything Israel is doing its utmost to give credence to actual anti-semites – of which there may indeed be a sprinkling. Though, in truth, there’ s more than a sprinkling of anti-muslim, anti-catholic, anti-irish, anti-New Jersey and anti over-the-top royal English weddings sentiments out there to beat anti-semites hands down..

        As for your silly “sensitivities” you can apply them to those who are the victims, not the perpetrators. The more you defend Israel’s despicable, evil policies, the more I think you might be part of those policies and in agreement with those. Obviously most people here think you are not much more than a not-very-capable apologist for high crimes and misdemeanors, which is why you are held in such contempt.

        And, BTW, the South Africans who were boycotted for similar extreme racism and dispossession/persecution as Israel is now, did not, for some reason whine quite as much about some inherent anti-africanism. Though, to be sure, there was a whole lot of whining.

        Actually, come to think of it, perhaps Israelis are right about one thing – too many american jews are just too wussy to come out and say what they really think. And so they mouth inanities such as “the right to self-govern”.

      • RoHa
        May 15, 2011, 4:04 am

        Don’t bottle it up, Danaa. Say what you really think.

      • MRW
        May 15, 2011, 4:44 am

        Great reply, Danaa. I agree with every bit of it. Any human would.

      • MRW
        May 15, 2011, 5:14 am

        This statement is so nonsensical and lacking in basic logic or intelligence, it’s comical:

        You folks obviously are not aware of the significance of applying BDS to the state of Israel as a whole, namely that it is a revolutionary act (especially if not pursued through the path of electoral consent).

        I mean, really. Electoral consent by the subjects of a boycott?

      • Sumud
        May 15, 2011, 6:11 am

        You folks obviously are not aware of the significance of applying BDS to the state of Israel as a whole, namely that it is a revolutionary act (especially if not pursued through the path of electoral consent).

        How is BDS a revolutionary act Richard? Who are the players in the revolution which you believe BDS is fomenting? Since us ordinary folk are obviously not aware, please enlighten us.

        IMHO BDS is a movement designed to apply pressure on Israel to change it’s policies. BDS has only become necessary because of the continuous American abuse of the Security Council veto to jam the works of the international justice system. The Palestinian people clearly have international law on their side, yet Israel is repeatedly protected from the punitive measures in international law designed to temper the behaviour of rogue states.

        Among many western Jews and Israelis it is experienced as reminiscent in intent to the anti-semitic “preferences” to not do business with Jews.

        That would be because of fear-mongering by people such as yourself. BDS has no interest in boycotting or not boycotting jews, and you damn well know it.

        Unless you are content to impose your will externally, and reject entirely the democratic majority of Israel, (and then in that sense reject democracy)

        You bang on about democracy, as though it is a goal in itself. It is not; where the democratic wishes of the Israeli electorate clash with international law, international law takes precedence. If Germans had voted in a referendum during WW2 to exterminate Europe’s jewish population, obviously that doesn’t mean it is morally and legally OK to attempt to do so.

        you will consider those sensitivities, and not resort to even word war.

        Richard, I’ve got a better idea. Since you’re the one makin’ stuff up to scare people about BDS, how about you consider those sensitivities and finish with trying to paint BDS as something it isn’t.

      • Richard Witty
        May 15, 2011, 7:08 am

        The point of the “sensitivities”, is that the form of resistance adopted is entirely counter-productive and very risky to the well-being of those pretended to be defended.

        Uprising ends up down-pressing, rather than uprising (to use rasta terms). To both communities.

        The assertion that suppression is horrid for Israeli and Jewish sympathetic society is true. But, you ignore what is proposed action by solidarity, that in your angers at reform being stated in different language than you like, invocations of “run them out of town” are proposed plausibly.

        How about accept each other, and DO the things that facilitate that?

        I promise you that is not a “successful” BDS campaign, as that is an effort to isolate as punishment. You might think the punishment is good and right, but it is also entirely counter-productive.

      • Bumblebye
        May 15, 2011, 9:12 am

        RW
        Your so called “democratic majority of Israel” is doctored to exclude the real majority over which Israel rules despotically – the Palestinians. Therefore it is invalid. I will not consider “those sensitivities” and will carry on with the “word war” while you clearly believe anyone not Jewish or Jewish and Israeli has no right to speak out!

      • pjdude
        May 15, 2011, 11:40 am

        No your just apartently to ignorant to understand of what a boycot needs to do to be successful. I gave you the benefit of the doubt and didn’t call you stupid. if the occupation can be sustained trough funds from Israel “proper” than to stop the occupation Israel “proper” must be boycoted. allowing a supply chain to exist lets it continue. naturally you want it to fail so your religion can steal more land and than claim it would be stealing to have it returned. if you want to stop the occupation all sources of funding must be boycotted.

      • Sumud
        May 15, 2011, 4:18 pm

        What about that revolution BDS was supposedly fomenting Richard? I asked you to name the players.

        I can’t see why BDS is “very risky to the well-being of those pretended to be defended.” BDS is intended to raise global awareness of Israel’s oppression of Palestinians. That will lead to increased accountability, not less.

        But, you ignore what is proposed action by solidarity, that in your angers at reform being stated in different language than you like, invocations of “run them out of town” are proposed plausibly.

        I’ve asked you on multiple occasion what alternative actions you propose to resolve the situation in Palestine & Israel. What were your responses? A Christo-esqe project to lay green thread on the green line, and talking. That’s not enough Richard, and you know that.

        How about accept each other, and DO the things that facilitate that?

        How about Israel gets the hell out of Palestine? 20 years after Madrid, via Wikileaks and the Palestine Papers we have absolute proof Palestinians have negotiated seriously (acceptance) and Israelis have not (refusal to accept) during the peace process. An honest appraisal of who has prevented the emergence of a Palestinian state would have you criticising Israel, not Palestinians and their supporters. You’re lecturing the wrong people Richard. Which means what? Possibly, you’re content with the status quo. When you propose solutions that have zero chance of bringing about change that’s what I’m forced to conclude.

        I promise you that is not a “successful” BDS campaign, as that is an effort to isolate as punishment. You might think the punishment is good and right, but it is also entirely counter-productive.

        Entirely counter-productive, why? BDS is a tried-and-true form of non-violent protest. Other methods have been tried and failed.

      • RoHa
        May 15, 2011, 7:50 pm

        “How about accept each other, and DO the things that facilitate that?”

        Israel shows absolutely no interest in accepting Palestinians.

  6. Kathleen
    May 12, 2011, 12:33 pm

    In the same vein:

    Prime Minister Erdogan was just (May 11, 2011)on the Charlie Rose program. Had a great deal to say about the Israeli Palestinian conflict, terrorism etc. Of course Rose tried to skate around the seriousness of the issue. Unable to link. But well worth the listen.

    Prior to this, Erdogan was head of the Islamist Welfare party. While active in the Welfare party, he was elected mayor of Istanbul in. In 2001, Erdogan and others founded the Justice and Development party as the successor to the banned Welfare party. He has moved from the strongly Islamist positions he once espoused to more mainstream conservative positions, and his government has pursued reforms required for Turkey to enter the European Union

    ————————————————————-

    Also a real break through on Morning Joe this morning. Nir Barakat the Mayor of Jerusalem was on a segment titled “A City Divided”. He was hammering away on how Jerusalem should not, can not be divided. As he repeated the standard Zionist lines , God gave us this land, “Hamas are Nazi’s” ,brought up the Holocaust several times Mika Brzesinski and Nora O’Donnell sat rigid not responding as he ranted and ranted. I thought neither one would challenge him at all. But surprise, surprise. Nora responded “you don’t want a deal” Mika brought up the UN agreement and recognition of Palestine. No one was specific about how Jerusalem was divided by the UN’s decision way back when. No one brought up the illegal housing in E Jerusalem. But there was movement . Sam Stein was also on this segment and he did challenge the Mayor of Jerusalem. I think you might be interested. Unable to link

    • MRW
      May 12, 2011, 2:05 pm

      I just watched it. They still have no balls. And if they know history, they should have stated it. Jerusalem has been under Christian, Jewish, and Muslim rule for hundreds and hundreds of years, since Islam was invented.

      Just once I’d like one of those talking heads to challenge these Israeli puppets with the fact that Israel created Hamas in 1988 as a counter to the PLO.

      • Kathleen
        May 13, 2011, 10:28 am

        Both Mika and Nora challenged more than I thought they would. Nora went first and went to the bone “you don’t want a deal”

  7. justicewillprevail
    May 12, 2011, 12:40 pm

    Good piece. I love that IF Stone quote: Jewish people must have secular, pluralistic, democratic, equal right societies, except in Israel where it is an existential danger to their very existence. Therefore, the only logical conclusion is that the welfare of Jews is best served everywhere those societies exist, but NOT in Israel. What a mess they have made of their so-called ideals, enmeshed in contradictions, dependent on crushing another people to bolster their claims to land which they covet but don’t have any right to annex.

  8. eljay
    May 12, 2011, 12:41 pm

    >> Just as in 1948, when the Arab world refused to accept the legitimacy of a Jewish state …

    Neither the Arab world nor anyone else should accept the legitimacy of a supremacist “Jewish state”. A secular, democratic and egalitarian state of Israel merits legitimacy…but only if it halts all ON-GOING aggression, oppression, theft, colonization, destruction and murder, and engages in sincere negotiations for a just and mutually beneficial peace.

    • pjdude
      May 12, 2011, 3:23 pm

      exactly why should people to be expected to recognize as legitmate something that isn’t.

  9. American
    May 12, 2011, 12:42 pm

    How much did they pay him?

    link to washingtonpost.com

    Rabbi says President Obama’s half brother will press for the release of
    convicted Israeli spy

    By Associated Press, Published: May 11

    JERUSALEM — A spokesman for Israeli chief Rabbi Yonah Metzger says President Barack Obama’s half brother has vowed to press for the release of an American convicted of spying for Israel more than two decades ago.

    Spokesman Avi Blumenthal said Wednesday that Metzger met with Mark Ndesandjo last week during a hushed visit to Israel.

    Blumenthal said Ndesandjo, who was born to a Jewish mother, was visiting Israel to “discover his roots.”

    He said Ndesandjo promised to ask Obama to free Jonathan Pollard, in prison since 1985 serving a life sentence for passing secrets to Israel as a
    civilian analyst for the U.S. Navy.

    Pollard’s supporters believe the punishment was too harsh, as the U.S. and Israel share information, and more serious offenders have received lighter sentences.

    • MRW
      May 12, 2011, 2:01 pm

      Pollard’s supporters believe the punishment was too harsh, as the U.S. and Israel share information, and more serious offenders have received lighter sentences.

      What an insult to our justice system that at such a sensitive trial in which Pollard pled (pleaded?) guilty to Conspiracy to Commit Espionage that the US Judge would make a mistake with sentencing.

      Little known fact: Under the sentencing rules then, Pollard is allowed to ask for parole every eight years and has never done it. He gets off in 2015 for good behavior…under the sentencing rules in place in 1986 or whenever he was sentenced. That’s because Dersh got him out of the death sentence with life with the possibility of parole.

      Let him stay in jail until then. He should have been hanged for what he did. The fact that he faced the death penalty then MEANT he was responsible for the death of US agents and assets. Look it up.

      • hophmi
        May 12, 2011, 3:04 pm

        I am no fan of Jonathan Pollard, and the man can rot in jail for all I care, though the idea that he caused the deaths of US agents is a stretch and certainly not established history.

        A lot of the emotion stems from the fact that Pollard signed a plea agreement, which he violated by giving an interview to 60 Minutes. The judge threw out the agreement and threw the book at Pollard. It’ll be moot in 2015, I guess.

        Pollard is not, in any event, a cause the American Jewish Establishment cares about. In America, it is a cause of the hard-right. Most mainstream Jewish leaders wish Pollard would go away.

      • MRW
        May 12, 2011, 5:18 pm

        Hophmi,

        Pollard was going to get the death sentence. Period. That is established fact. That is why Dershowitz was dragged in to work a deal. Read the news reports. Read the court reporting. Read Hersh.

        You do not get the death sentence for Conspiracy to Commit Espionage unless you’ve killed someone. Period.

      • MRW
        May 12, 2011, 5:20 pm

        Hophmi,

        Pollard is an issue with intel agents, the military, and people who understand the case, not the “hard-right,” as you claim. He is an issue for Americans, not dual-loyalists.

      • lysias
        May 12, 2011, 10:25 pm

        Pollard betrayed to the Israelis the U.S. targeting plans for the Soviet Union, which Shamir then gave to the Soviets in return for the Soviets allowing Soviet Jews to emigrate to Israel.

        How can Pollard have thought those targeting plans were of any use to Israel, if not for such a trade (a trade that would have put the U.S. in grave danger if a serious danger of war with the Soviet Union ever occurred (as it certainly had in 1983 while Andropov was General Secretary, just a year before Pollard started working for Naval Intelligence))?

      • Cliff
        May 13, 2011, 7:23 am

        Like who, hophmi? What mainstream Jewish leaders and organizations – MAINSTREAM – have vocally voiced their opposition to Pollard’s release?

        Cough it up.

      • Kathleen
        May 13, 2011, 10:31 am

        If the damage done to US National Security was released Pollard would have probably received a death sentence

        Declassified Statement on Jonathan Pollard by Caspar W. Weinberger

        by Caspar W. Weinberger, October 18, 2010
        Email This | Print This | Share This | Antiwar Forum
        Editor’s note: The following statement (original format [.pdf]) was submitted to the District Court of the District of Columbia on March 3, 1987, by the former secretary of defense one day before Judge Aubry E. Robinson Jr. sentenced Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard to life in prison. Weinberger submitted a 46-page classified declaration (“in camera”) of damage caused by Pollard in January 1987 (upon which this unclassified declaration was based). It has never been fully declassified. Explanatory links provided by Grant F. Smith.

        I am Caspar W. Weinberger, Secretary of Defense. I offer this declaration to supplement my in camera submission, which detailed the nature and extent of the harm defendant has caused to our national security, and to make known to the Court additional facts which have been brought to my attention. I also wish to address the defendant’s self-serving contentions [.pdf] that his espionage activities were intended only to aid Israel, and the suggestion that his actions should be viewed as mere technical violations of laws intended to keep sensitive information from actual or potential enemies.

        It is difficult for me, even in the so-called “year of the spy,” to conceive of a greater harm to national security than that caused by the defendant in view of the breadth, the critical importance to the U.S., and the high sensitivity of the information he sold to Israel. That information was intentionally reserved by the United States for its own use, because to disclose it, to anyone or any nation, would cause the greatest harm to our national security. Our decisions to withhold and preserve certain intelligence information, and the sources and methods of its acquisition, either in total or in part, are taken with great care, as part of a plan for national defense and foreign policy which has been consistently applied throughout many administrations. The defendant took it upon himself unilaterally to reverse those policies. In so doing, he both damaged and destroyed policies and national assets which have taken many years, great effort and enormous national resources to secure. Moreover, in light of the defendant’s continued disclosures of sensitive information for publication by the press, there is ample cause to believe that Pollard will continue to divulge classified national defense information without restraint.

        I respectfully submit that any U.S. citizen, and in particular a trusted government official, who sells U.S. secrets to any foreign nation should not be punished merely as a common criminal. Rather, the punishment imposed should reflect the perfidy of the individual’s actions, the magnitude of the treason committed, and the needs of national security. Here, although the defendant had executed an oath to protect and safeguard classified information, he betrayed the public trust and the security of the United States in exchange for money. I believe these facts should be weighed heavily in fashioning the sentence to be imposed in order to protect the public confidence in our law, and restore the public’s confidence in our ability and commitment to protect U.S. security.

        It is also relevant that Pollard has recently analogized himself to an Israeli pilot shot down behind enemy lines, and has stated his hope that he will yet be able to immigrate to Israel. Whatever else his analogy suggests, it clearly indicates that his loyalty to Israel transcends his loyalty to the United States. Nor, apparently, does any residual loyalty to the United States persuade him that he should protect U.S. national defense information at all. Only a few days ago, on February 15, 1987, the Washington Post published an article about Pollard. That article contained information purporting to reflect U.S. intelligence efforts. While I do not intend publicly to confirm or deny the accuracy of those statements, it is beyond cavil that, if true, such information should never be made publicly available. The defendant initially denied having been the source of the information, but when confronted with a polygraph examination on February 25, he acknowledged that he had either provided or confirmed certain of the information contained in that article by talking to a journalist. I have no way of knowing whether he provided additional information not published in that article, but I believe that there can be no doubt that he can, and will, continue to disclose U.S. secrets without regard to the impact it may have on U.S. national defense or foreign policy. Only a period of incarceration commensurate with the enduring quality of the national defense information he can yet impart, will provide a measure of protection against further damage to the national security.

      • Robert Werdine
        May 14, 2011, 10:00 am

        I agree with both hophimi and the late Cap Weinberger; Jonathan Pollard can rot, and deserves to. It has always been bewildering to me how many Israelis can regard this man as some kind of forlorn, unjustly imprisoned patriot. I saw an interview some time ago with Caroline Glick, who usually has sensible things to say, where she just went on and on about how anti-Israeli forces in the US government and congress were behind his continued imprisonment and what a brave patriot Pollard was. I thought she was nuts. The man is a greedy, ruthlessly self-serving traitor who sold out US national security not out of “patriotism” but to the highest bidder. Let him rot.

      • Woody Tanaka
        May 14, 2011, 10:58 am

        “Caroline Glick, who usually has sensible things to say”

        LMAO. The next sensible thing out of the maw of Glick — the female, Jewish, Julius Streichter — would be the first.

  10. Kathleen
    May 12, 2011, 12:52 pm

    The God gave us this land piece is silly

  11. thetumta
    May 12, 2011, 9:44 pm

    Same thing they were saying in Alabama in 58. “de-legitimizing” Ethnic Supremacy. Good thing Dr. King et. al. were only facing those White Supremacists of the South. In Palestine, they would have been murdered immediately. It took “Israel” to put a good face on my youth?
    Hej!

  12. Jim Haygood
    May 12, 2011, 9:49 pm

    ‘U.S. autoworker John Demjanjuk was convicted of 28,060 counts of acting as an accessory to murder at a Nazi death camp, one for each person who died during the time he was ruled to have been a guard at the Sobibor camp in Nazi-occupied Poland.

    ‘There was no evidence that Demjanjuk committed a specific crime. The prosecution was based on the theory that if Demjanjuk was at the camp, he was a participant in the killing – the first time such a legal argument has been made in German courts.’

    link to latimes.com

    When are such charges — ‘accessory to murder’ — going to be laid against the founders of the state of Israel, based not on any specific evidence, but merely on the fact that they were present when documented atrocities were committed in Palestinian villages?

    Despite the 63 years which have passed, dozens of elderly Israelis must be eligible for a prison term on the same standard used to convict Demjanjuk.

    Let the expatriations to Germany begin! Justice at long last!

    • lysias
      May 12, 2011, 10:18 pm

      At least the judge left Demjanjuk at liberty until his appeals are exhausted. It is extremely unlikely that he will still be alive before his appeals are exhausted.

      However, it is an extremely unfortunate precedent that somebody can be convicted of a crime without a specific crime being proven. Maybe the next time the person convicted under such a theory will be young enough to actually live to have to serve the sentence.

    • MRW
      May 13, 2011, 7:54 am

      That is a disgrace. The ‘if you were in the nabes you musta done it’ charge?

      Shame on Germany. Shame. Israel tossed out the case that he was a guard at Treblinka. Now they say he was a guard at a camp that starts with S. Sobibor? Sobidor? Guards did the killing? Guards issued the orders? Guards could stop it?

      • jon s
        May 13, 2011, 4:22 pm

        MRW, the name of the camp was Sobibor. If he was an SS man in Sobibor, he was a murderer, no need to prove anything more. His lenient sentence is outrageous.

      • Woody Tanaka
        May 13, 2011, 5:25 pm

        “If he was an SS man in Sobibor, he was a murderer, no need to prove anything more.”

        In any civilized legal system, there is a need to prove more: you must prove that he took some criminal act, and he did it with criminal intent.

        The problem in the prosecution in this case is that they essentially did away with the first element. There was no evidence that Demjanjuk committed a criminal act against anyone. He was essentially prosecuted for being stationed at this camp as a guard while these crimes were committed.

        And that’s not even considering the questionable nature of the ID card, and the unavoidable issue of conscription/duress when Demjanjuk is alleged to have become a guard after being a Soviet POW, given the treatment such POWs received. Whether that amounts to legal duress, sufficient to negate the intent necessary to be guilty of a crime, is a signfiicant issue.

      • MRW
        May 13, 2011, 6:33 pm

        “If he was an SS man in Sobibor, he was a murderer, no need to prove anything more.”

        Barbarians, mobs, use that logic. So do anti-semites: ‘If he’s a Jew, he’s X, no need to prove anything more.’

      • eljay
        May 15, 2011, 12:37 am

        >> If he was an SS man in Sobibor, he was a murderer, no need to prove anything more.

        1. *If* he was. An interesting article: The Persecution of John Demjanjuk
        2. According to your co-collectivist, RW, “the PRESENT is what matters”.

      • hophmi
        May 15, 2011, 12:56 am

        Why am not surprised that people here defend Demjanjuk. Typical. This must be more “anti-Zionism.”

      • pjdude
        May 15, 2011, 11:43 am

        they aren’t defending him. they are defending the rule of law. something that as an Israeli you no nothing about since your country is founded on ignoring the rule of law. you want the law to matter you have to defend the equal application of it to the worst of offenders.

  13. wondering jew
    May 12, 2011, 11:07 pm

    The change entailed by the right of return demand is sometimes minimized based upon polling that indicates that most refugees would not return. Nonetheless the principle projects a vision of an entirely changed country in terms of demography. The statement that we will boycott you until you treat humans within your borders in an appropriate manner has an implication of justice in its “demand”. The statement we will boycott you until you change the composition of the humans within your borders has an implication of dictating policy upon a sovereign country. If both are required by “international law” that is something that both demands have in common, but in terms of “change” and “sovereignty”, one cannot compare the two different demands.

    • Cliff
      May 13, 2011, 7:25 am

      Meanwhile, Jews from Brooklyn are colonizing Palestinian lands.

      And you’re suddenly concerned about interpretation of IHL.

    • Sumud
      May 13, 2011, 10:11 am

      The statement we will boycott you until you change the composition of the humans within your borders has an implication of dictating policy upon a sovereign country.

      wondering jew ~ just have a look at the way you conceptualise Palestinian refugees and their ethnic cleansing. Sorry, but they are not outsiders or foreigners to Israel, and they are not the ‘other’, they are by right Israeli citizens.

      • Mooser
        May 13, 2011, 1:29 pm

        You guys be nice to Hophmi. Don’t you know they won’t let him wear the white shoes?

      • hophmi
        May 13, 2011, 4:36 pm

        Eh?

      • Woody Tanaka
        May 13, 2011, 5:30 pm

        Eh?

        You really don’t get the reference?

      • Sumud
        May 14, 2011, 4:04 am

        Woody ~ I think hophmi was querying why Mooser mentioned him, when my original comment (which Mooser responded to) was for wondering jew…

      • pjdude
        May 14, 2011, 10:42 pm

        I wouldn’t really say they by right are Israeli citizens as that in my mind implies that Israel has a right to be created. better to say they had a right to be a citizen of a state that was formed on palestine.

  14. RoHa
    May 12, 2011, 11:29 pm

    ‘Abraham Foxman of the Anti-Defamation League repeats the mantra that by advocating comprehensive Palestinian rights, including full equality for Palestinian citizens of Israel and the UN-sanctioned right of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes from which they were forcibly displaced, the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement is “de-legitimizing” Israel and threatening its very “existence.” ‘

    In other words, Israel’s existence depends on infringing and denying the rights of the Palestinians.

    Well, thanks, Mr. Foxman, but a lot of us have already worked that out.

  15. Kathleen
    May 13, 2011, 10:10 am

    Hope folks spread this amazing piece far and wide as well as call your Reps about this critical issue.

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