Our demands (designing placards for a demonstration)

Israel/Palestine
on 230 Comments

I’m nearing the end of my vacation from work (I’m a graphic designer) and an article MJ Rosenberg wrote (“Congress to Palestinians: Drop Dead”) has stuck in my head. He wrote something along the lines of: Do the standing ovations afforded to Netanyahu at his recent speech before Congress mean that Congress agrees with his policies?

Well, it made me wonder do Americans agree with Israel’s policies? In particular, those policies that discriminate. I don’t know if this has been done before, but I imagined a rally of white pro-Palestinian Americans holding up the attached placards (but with absolutely no Palestinian paraphernalia in site).

wedemand1wedemand1wedemand2wedemand3

I think such a rally would be good to educate Americans. The campaign’s message deliberately avoids mentioning Palestinians and refers to Israelis as friends (the logo reinforces this message) in order to confuse Zionists: Is this a pro-Palestinian rally? Is it a pro-Israeli rally? At the same time, the in-your-face headlines educate Americans in bite-sized chunks (less is more). Shock and awe people, shock and awe.

I would be over the moon to get feedback from readers. And I’d die and go to heaven if a rally actually materialises from this!

About Lizzy Ratner

Lizzy Ratner is a journalist in New York City. She is a co-editor with Adam Horowitz and Philip Weiss of The Goldstone Report: The Legacy of the Landmark Investigation of the Gaza Conflict.

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230 Responses

  1. Chaos4700
    June 11, 2011, 10:08 am

    Wow. “Edgy” doesn’t even begin to cover it. I think it’s brilliant and you’ve nailed the exact message that needs to be driven home to Americans who blindly support Israel.

    • israeli
      June 11, 2011, 6:16 pm

      amm..I must be discriminated-against, because I’m an Israeli and I don’t enjoy any of this “rights”. I have Arab-neighbors, as well as Arab woman as my Arabic-teacher, as well as Arab history-professor who teaches me in the university, as well as Arab students in my class. none of the live within “ghettos” or “walls”, and I travel the same roads as they do.
      so, we have two options here. on the one hand, it’s possible that I live in some sort of matrix, and all the Arabs I meet in my life are kind of 3-D invented characters. on the other hand, it’s possible the writing on your posters is a lie.
      I don’t know what about you, but its seems to me the second option is more likely.

      • mok
        June 11, 2011, 6:59 pm

        I’m sorry you feel that way. But you seem to be of the belief that because you see the Arabs around you as your equals, all Israelis see Arabs as their equals. You need to take a trip to the West Bank or Gaza. Better yet, visit Sheikh Jarrah on a Friday and ask the Israelis demonstrating there what the reality is. Or, you can continue living inside your bubble.

        The messages in the campaign are not lies, they are the truth condensed in to as few words as possible.

      • israeli
        June 12, 2011, 8:23 am

        It doesn’t matter to this issue how Jews in Israel see Arabs, the country is build that way that even a Jew that “doesn’t see Arabs as his equals” will have Arab neighbors, or Arab teacher (its mandatory to learn Arabic in middle-school), or an Arab professor. Hell, even in the big settlement blocks there are Arab-Israeli residents! (the prices are low, so some moved there).
        The realty is way, way more complicated than what shown in this poster’s.
        this poster’s ignoring this reality, and misinform Americans. you may recognize some of what I’m talking about, but an ordinary American would probably don’t. so why do you want to misinform him? you take a debatable “truth” about certain places, and making it to a complete lie when you generalize it about every place

      • Chaos4700
        June 12, 2011, 11:26 am

        Which is why the Knesset is voting to expunge Arab geographic names from the official Israeli record, right? You really think we’re all stupid enough to fall for your crap, huh?

      • israeli
        June 12, 2011, 3:30 pm

        The Knesset is voting about a lot of things..lol. the ugly things never pass. they either de-uglyfied by the legal advisors of the Knesset, or they don’t pass at all. thus which would pass even thus two obstacles would be cancel by the supreme curt.

        oh, and the Knesset is the one that decided not only to preserve the Arab names of most places in the first place(BTW,most of the time they derive from older Jewish names), but further more decided that Arabic would be official language and all the road signs would have the Arab names in Arabic to each place in israel.

      • Hostage
        June 12, 2011, 5:44 pm

        thus which would pass even thus two obstacles would be cancel by the supreme curt.

        oh, and the Knesset is the one that decided not only to preserve the Arab names of most places in the first place(BTW,most of the time they derive from older Jewish names), but further more decided that Arabic would be official language and all the road signs would have the Arab names in Arabic to each place in israel.

        That’s a load of B.S. Arabic was an official language of the British Mandatory government. The Mandate-era ordinances were simply retained by the Transition Law, 5709-1949.

        The Knesset has never hesitated to overturn Supreme Court rulings. The Supreme Court can’t overturn anything the Knesset decides is “a law befitting Jewish values”. That includes anything remotely related to “security” or “communal rights”. Article 8 and 10 of the Basic Law: Human Dignity and Liberty deliberately created constitutional loopholes for that sort of thing:
        “Violation of rights: 8. There shall be no violation of rights under this Basic Law except by a law befitting the values of the State of Israel, enacted for a proper purpose, and to an extent no greater than is required.”

        None of the discriminatory laws enacted prior to the adoption of the Basic Law were effected. They can be retained and amended forever:
        “Validity of laws: 10. This Basic Law shall not affect the validity of any law (din) in force prior to the commencement of the Basic Law.”

      • israeli
        June 13, 2011, 7:40 am

        I’m sorry, but what you write has no connection to the legal realty in Israel. the supreme court has no limit to intervene in laws that “befitting Jewish values”. the supreme court do have the authority to overthrew any law of the Knesset, as it did a lot of times in the past. the law of “human dignity and liberty” was interpreted by the supreme court of Israel not the way you did, but as de-facto permission to the supreme court to cancel any law that hurt human rights. they since acted accordingly, and cancel a number of laws. probably more than any other supreme court in the world.

      • Hostage
        June 13, 2011, 10:20 am

        I’m sorry, but what you write has no connection to the legal realty in Israel.

        There isn’t any doubt that the Knesset can overrule a Supreme Court decision regarding the Basic Law: Human Dignity and Liberty. I’m repeating published information from Prof. Nahum Rakover, former Deputy Attorney-General in Jewish Law Department of Israel Ministry of Justice and former Advisor to the Knesset on Jewish Law; and Prof. Yoram Dinstein, President, Rector and Dean of Law at Tel Aviv University. See:

        *Rakover:“Modern Applications of Jewish Law,” 1992, and “Jewish Law and Israeli Law: On the Process of Integration”, 1998;

        *Dinstein, “Israel Yearbook on Human Rights, Volume 25; Volume 1995”, pages 210-212.

        For example, Dinstein noted that the so-called “Womens Equal Rights Law” of 1951 specifically excluded marriage and divorce laws from its guarantees of “equality”. He says the exclusion of equality for women in the Framework Law laid the ground rules for the subsequent subordination of equality to religious values in the entire Israeli legal system. Every subsequent attempt to adopt a bill of rights has foundered on that point, i.e. deference to religious institutions over the principle of equality. Dinstein says the Basic Law: Human Rights and Dignity Law was adopted to avoid the difficulty of giving priority to equality; that unlike the right to an occupation, the principles of human dignity and liberty are not expressly entrenched and can be reversed by ordinary legislation. Furthermore he notes it will not override existing statutory or judge made laws.

        The Supreme Court spent years on the Kaadan case and handed down a number of rulings because the ILA and JNF policies were incompatible with the Basic Law we are discussing here. Nonetheless, the Court’s landmark rulings were subsequently gutted by the bureaucrats in the ministries and the Knesset, i.e. bills were adopted to allow small communities in Israel to set up admission committees to decide who may or may not move into the community and the JNF gets compensated from State lands in the event an Arab successfully bids on tenders.

        In 2002 the Supreme Court cited this same Basic Law and ordered the Interior Ministry to register persons who had undergone Reform and Conservative conversions within Israel and abroad as having the personal status of Jews. But to date, Reform and Conservative conversions done within Israel do not result in a personal status that enables marriage or eligibility for the Law of Return – because the implied recognition under the Chief Rabbinate of Israel Law, 5740-1980 and Article 10 of the Basic Law: Human Dignity and Liberty have been employed to preempt the application of the principle of equality. MK David Rotem of Yisrael Beitenu has proposed an amendment to the Chief Rabbinate of Israel Law (the so-called “Conversion Bill”) that would make the recognition of Orthodox authorities permanent and de jure. All of that has been done to get around the Supreme Court ruling.

      • israeli
        June 13, 2011, 7:08 pm

        your sources are old and that’s the problem. they are from 1992-1998, but the law of “human dignity and liberty” made a HUGE transformation because of the interpretation that the supreme court under Aaron Barak (1995-2006) gave it. they interpreted the “human dignity” part of it to be actually ALL human rights, including thus not mention in the law, and they gave the law a kind of a constitutional status.
        the Kaadan case exactly show my point. after they ruled that ruling, the current law that was established was accepted only because the legal advisors to the Knesset intervene and made it totally different – not only it doesn’t allow to exclude Arabs, it specifically forbid it and makes it into a crime.

      • Hostage
        June 14, 2011, 5:14 am

        your sources are old and that’s the problem. …the Kaadan case exactly show my point.

        No it doesn’t. Articles 8 and 10 of the Basic Law always have, and always will, deprive the Supreme Court of jurisdiction. That is what their intended purpose was from the very beginning.

        According to the 2007 filing in HCJ 8036/07, Fatina Ebriq Zubeidat, et al. v. The Israel Land Administration, et al. , the ILA guidance to the admissions committees on “social suitability” criteria was the direct result of the Supreme Court decision in HCJ 6698/95, Ka’adan v. The Israel Land Administration, et al., P.D. 54(1) 258, delivered March 2000.

        In May of 2010 an amended petition was filed on behalf of the original Arab Zubeidat family – and new petitioners including Mizrahi Jewish groups, and gays challenging their rejection after the ILA decision permitted admissions committees to use the criterion of “social suitability”.

        12 years after Kaadan originally went to court, the family finally moved into their home in Katzir. That same month the Knesset moved to enshrine in law the right of these associations, comprising nearly 70 per cent of all communities in Israel, to reject members of any group they want to exclude using “social suitability” as an excuse. A new petition was filed the next day asking the Supreme Court to rule the Admissions Committee Law unconstitutional. The petition includes affidavits from residents of villages that already have acceptance committees. In one, a resident of the expansion zone at Kibbutz Ma’ayan Baruch in the Upper Galilee described how acceptance committee members explained that the selection process was frequently a cover-up, and its actual purpose was to prevent the sale of property to Arabs and ultra-Orthodox Jews as a means of bypassing the court ruling that forbids discrimination. See the March 2011 Jpost article NGOs to petition against ‘racist laws’

        Adel Kaadan told YNet that “It’s completely clear to me that despite the petition we filed with the High Court of Justice, had I arrived at an admission committee today we would not have been accepted”. See Arab MKs: Bill approving admission committees racist. Here is a link to a 2011 Haaertz Editorial which says the “Admission-Committees Law encourages the instigators of racism”.

        So, the Supreme Court has known about the “social suitability” excuse since 2007 and they’ve had affidavits in hand all along showing that it is a blank check to exclude Arabs and get around the 2000 Kaadan ruling.

        P.S. The only HUGE transformation that occurred under Barak’s Supreme Court was the okay for the Citizenship and Entry into Israel Law (temporary provision) 5763 – 2003; and the okay for illegal construction of barriers in the West Bank and Gaza.

      • Taxi
        June 11, 2011, 7:29 pm

        Wow isreali – so many Arabs in your life – must make you a mindblowingly respectable and reliable expert.

      • Koshiro
        June 12, 2011, 7:14 am

        You can move to the “territories” at any time and enjoy these “privileges”.
        That you currently choose not to do so is a different matter, but ultimately irrelevant.

  2. Bumblebye
    June 11, 2011, 10:09 am

    How about
    “Civil Rights for Minorities Hurts White Americans!”

  3. justicewillprevail
    June 11, 2011, 10:32 am

    Excellent. Gets the point across succinctly and powerfully. I would love to see some of these, the impact they would have on (deliberately) uninformed Americans, and the contortions the Zealots like Dersh would have to perform in order to try rebutting them. Funny, on point, and cuts out all the usual flim flam, gets to the heart of the matter about the discrimination and apartheid which American taxes are supporting.

  4. Taxi
    June 11, 2011, 10:32 am

    A lateral-thinking campaign like THAT would indeed be “shock and awe” to the average two-dimensional American cognitive faculty. Your audience, Mo, may need a website address on the poster to refer to – a place where their ‘confusion’ can be ironed out. Where they will understand that the placard-holding white protesters are NOT kkk but peace activists for the holy lands: educators and uncensored truth-tellers of our foreign policy.

    I hope this protest takes place. The protesters should be both peaceful and SILENT. No chanting. This gives the pedestrian brain apt opportunity to dwell on deciphering the messages on the banners instead of being distracted by the usually colorful live-theater of street protesters.

    Bravo on the concept and the graphics Mo. Very powerful stuff.

    There is no successful revolution without iconic graphics and symbols.

    The world needs to be deluged with graphics and images of Palestinian suffering. The world needs to know as much as you and I know.

  5. bob
    June 11, 2011, 10:38 am

    Clever.

    You might want to play up on the distinct break of advocating for open immigration in the U.S. and advocating for an ethnic state in Israel.

    Graham
    … the driving force at the core of the movement, reaching back to the 1920s, were Jewish organizations long active in opposing racial and ethnic quotas. These included the American Jewish Congress, the American Jewish Committee, the Anti-Defamation League of B’nai B’rith, and the American Federation of Jews from Eastern Europe. Jewish members of the Congress, particularly representatives from New York and Chicago, had maintained steady but largely ineffective pressure against the national origins quotas since the 1920s…. Following the shock of the Holocaust, Jewish leaders had been especially active in Washington in furthering immigration reform. To the public, the most visible evidence of the immigration reform drive was played by Jewish legislative leaders, such as Representative Celler and Senator Jacob Javits of New York. Less visible, but equally important, were the efforts of key advisers on presidential and agency staffs. These included senior policy advisers such as Julius Edelson and Harry Rosenfield in the Truman administration, Maxwell Rabb in the Eisenhower White House, and presidential aide Myer Feldman, assistant secretary of state Abba Schwartz, and deputy attorney general Norbert Schlei in the Kennedy-Johnson administration.

    In other words, “The more diverse American society is the safer [Jews] are.” Compare that to the many statements and laws creating and advocating an ethnic state in Israel.

    • bob
      June 11, 2011, 11:31 am

      • We demand a White, Christian State – with land swaps – for security reasons
      • We demand that the Blacks and Indians recognize the White States right to exist

      • Pamela Olson
        June 11, 2011, 12:37 pm

        We demand that all Natives as well as non-white-Christians and non-white-Christian immigrants recognize the right of the United States to exist as a white Christian nation!

        Anyone who doesn’t recognize this right is essentially declaring war on the United States of America and wishes to destroy all things Christian and white because of irrational hatred!

      • bob
        June 11, 2011, 12:49 pm

        This has legs. It turns so many canards on their head.

      • American
        June 11, 2011, 1:13 pm

        That’s a good one.

      • bob
        June 11, 2011, 3:03 pm

        • We demand an end to the horrors of intermarriage and their effects on the rapidly diminishing white population
        Where The White Women At?
        We demand the same rights as our Israeli friends enjoy.

  6. Shingo
    June 11, 2011, 10:41 am

    These are brilliant. Great job.

  7. David Samel
    June 11, 2011, 10:46 am

    Brilliant idea – I love it. I’ve always thought that the best strategy is to stress how Israel’s discriminatory policies would be so unacceptable if tried here in the US. This is an exceedingly clever and effective way to do that.

    One suggestion: Change Christians to Whites. As written, the sign might be confusing, since there is no dichotomy between Christians and Blacks. And while your intent was to contrast Christians with (Israeli) Jews, “Whites” is actually more analogous. Israeli discrimination in favor of Jews is not really religious as much as it is based on ethnicity and ancestry. Even atheist Jews are warmly invited to join in the fun of special privilege.

    • bob
      June 11, 2011, 11:09 am

      Good point. Identity shifted amongst those in Europe from “Christian” to “White” during the Early Modern period, in large part due to colonization and the Trans Atlantic slave trade. A new form of identity was needed to separate themselves from the ethnic other. Of course, there was a considerable amount of bleed over when dealing with, say, piracy and wars with the Maghreb. Here the language of “Christendom” rather than “White” was maintained. Its a good concept to be used for this developing meme.

      Still, its also powerful to use the entirety of this concept when trying to create an analog for the stickier term of “Jewish State,” which contains both religious and ethnic components. Atheist, but Jewish by birth, and the small amount who make it through the very rigid process of an Orthodox conversion.

      The analog cant be perfect, and it will engender an argument that “White” isn’t exactly the same. That is fine. its almost ridiculous to argue against the hypocrisy that’s exposed with these signs with a discussion that a “Jewish State” doesn’t mean a perfectly ethnic state as a small amount of people might make it through a very rigorous conversion process, and always be forced to be Orthodox rather than have the option of choosing other forms of Judaism or Atheism like one born from a Jewish mother can.

      • bob
        June 11, 2011, 11:20 am

        Though, to counterpoint myself, there was a strong movement to maintain this Christian identity in groups like the Klu Klux Klan. They would use the term White and Christian grouped or, sometimes, interchangeably.

        Interesting. This might be a case of “what looks better.”

    • LeaNder
      June 11, 2011, 6:28 pm

      David, I somehow don’t agree. But that may have to do with the fact that I studied the deliberate ideological merging of “white” and “Christian” or “Judeo-Christian” tradition in the US. And I discovered it over here on the extreme right too.

  8. clenchner
    June 11, 2011, 11:05 am

    Keep trying!
    and
    I don’t think you should use the opposition of Christian and Black. They aren’t at all in the same category, and your language suggests that ‘Black’ = ‘not Christian.’

    • annie
      June 11, 2011, 11:17 am

      and your language suggests that ‘Black’ = ‘not Christian.’

      nah, i think it is an appropriate analogy for a country that makes it’s ethiopian jews convert. there are a lot of contradictions in apartheid states.

      • Hostage
        June 12, 2011, 3:49 am

        i think it is an appropriate analogy for a country that makes it’s ethiopian jews convert. there are a lot of contradictions in apartheid states.

        Realities must be faced Annie;-) Ovadia Yosef advised us that the floods of hurricane Katrina were meant by God to punish the “Kushites” living in the lower 9th Ward. Ovadia Yosef was the Sephardic Chief Rabbi who ruled the Ethiopians were Jews, over the initial objections of Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi Shlomo Goren. They eventually agreed on the need of conversion, presumably as a precaution against the very sort of tragedy that befell New Orleans. Nonetheless, the welcoming committee for new immigrants would probably be well advised to direct Ethiopians to the bottom lands below the hillside high water mark in the community of Har Nof (scenic mountain) where Ovadia Yosef lives. In Israel the jury is always out on the validity of the Rabbinate’s conversions (they can’t seem to do anything right).

    • Chaos4700
      June 11, 2011, 11:50 am

      Would you like to explain that to the KKK?

    • LeaNder
      June 11, 2011, 6:13 pm

      clencher, in early Mondoweiss times we had someone here, who signed Ed, his name was Chris Moore, a Libertarian, who kept babbling about Christian America. I remember him well, since I clashed with him frequently.

      The hard right seems to favor a combination of race and religion. Sometimes it’s called Judeo-Christian America, e.g. by David Yerushalmi’s SANE site, unfortunately I can’t cite the whole passage, since he closed down for the public.

      But there is still part of his originally longer quote containing”Judeo-Christian”, which has gone but this little piece of it has survived:

      [2] From SANE’s Mission Statement:

      America was the handiwork of faithful Christians, mostly men, and almost entirely white, who ventured from Europe to create a nation in their image of a country existing as free men under G-d. This constellation of forces existed no where else in the world and resulted in a unique people and nation.

      He even got the attention of the ADL.

      That’s just the gist. This matter really startled me a couple of year back, since it felt eerily similar to an older “world view war”, in which race, religion and politics were heavily entangled too. …

      These hard right Arabophobes surely use white and Judeo-Christian and somehow interchangeably. It would be interesting to know, how big their support statistically would be in the States. The more you move to the right the more religion and race seems to merge.

      But to take another of our special Arabophobes, David Horowitz, if you take a closer look you will discover an anti-black strain and a certain degree of ideological amalgamation with “white supremacist” thought, as the late UBM/David Mills expertly researched. I loved his series of articles on the topic.

      So, no, I am not sure, if I would support the exchange of white for Christian. On the hard right these two things seem to merge.

    • Uwe
      June 12, 2011, 4:31 am

      I think the opposition being used is far more correct than you would think.

      Israel discriminates between Jews coming from the outside palestine and the natives, Israel community practices discriminates against mizrahi jews, there are palestinian jews, there are the mizrahi jews, and most importantly, many palestinians are decendents of palestinian jews (take the families of nablus city as a great example; some of which were jews and some were samaritan and they are being equally discriminated against).

      So the comparison is much more valid than you think. you probably will not find an exact example for the same kind of discrimination; but if you think comparing Black to Christian is like comparing apples to oranges, this is again exactly what israel is doing. putting christian vs. jews is actually much less corresponding example to what actually the case is in palestine/Israel.

  9. Bumblebye
    June 11, 2011, 11:05 am

    I’d put the integrated flag logo as a ‘sidebar’ & slightly increase the size of the ‘for security reasons’ excuse. It’d make it a little clearer to the target audience, you need to sway more of the electorate as well as those already elected.

    • RoHa
      June 11, 2011, 8:55 pm

      I think the idea is good, but I too think the design need work. As it stands, the link between the demand and “the same rights as our Israeli friends” isn’t clear. They look like two separate posters to me.

      • James
        June 12, 2011, 3:12 am

        i agree bumblebye and roha..

  10. annie
    June 11, 2011, 11:09 am

    I’d die and go to heaven if a rally actually materialises from this!

    you can make it happen MO, just do it. one thing i learned traveling in israel w/the pro’s @ code pink it they throw up ‘actions’ in moments. contact a students for justice in palestine chapter or gather a bunch of your friends. if you aren’t white show up in white face.

    video it, we will post it here. got for it, great idea! it might be awesome doing it in the inner city. of maybe outside the jerusalem fund gallery, they are having an exhibit right now called ‘breaching the wall”.

    plus, you could make bumper stickers with those slogans!

  11. tree
    June 11, 2011, 11:10 am

    We demand Christians only roads so we don’t have to drive amongst blacks for security reasons

    is confusing race with religion. Most US blacks are Christians. I think it would be much more edgy and apropos to say “We demand Christians only roads so we don’t have to drive amongst Jews”. It makes the contrast definitely stark, between acceptance of such religious bias in Israel and the US.

    It also reminds me of a short snippet I had the displeasure of hearing from Bill O’Reilly. When a self identified Jewish caller complained about O’Reilly’s trumped up “War on Christmas” a few years ago, O’Reilly mentioned that the caller had a country that he could go to (Israel) that observed all the Jewish holidays so it wasn’t necessary for the US to acknowledge Hanukkah and the like. Despite the obnoxiousness of O’Reilly’s statement, I couldn’t help feeling a twinge of schadenfreude at those US Jews who insist on religious pluralism here while excusing the lack of it in Israel.

    • annie
      June 11, 2011, 11:19 am

      i don’t agree bringing ‘jews’ into the dialogue is helpful. it sucks up too much of the energy. this ad campaign connects our civil rights movement to israel’s apartheid. that’s what americans need a dose of in order to relate.

      • tree
        June 11, 2011, 12:08 pm

        But yet it shows EXACTLY how divergent the Israeli case and the US cases are. After all, if, as Netanyahu says, we “share values” with Israel, then demanding a Christian State would be right in line with Israel’s values. Bringing “Jews” into the dialogue is exactly what is needed to contrast what is unacceptable in the US, but totally acceptable and endorsed when done in Israel by Jews.

      • annie
        June 11, 2011, 12:15 pm

        you have a point tree. i think the resistance and reaction to a full frontal assault will be such people will be less receptive to it, that’s all.

      • tree
        June 11, 2011, 12:46 pm

        I think you run the risk of pointlessly offending blacks and NOT clarifying the position if you use “Christians and blacks”. I think a full frontal assault is what is needed. Why is it OK for Israel to do exactly what would be rightly and roundly condemned if it was done by Christians in the US? That is what must be faced, and pussy-footing around the question doesn’t help. My two-cents.

      • andrew r
        June 11, 2011, 5:58 pm

        I agree with Clencher and Tree on this. Counterposing Christian and Black is a bit too sophisticated for its own good. How many people are going to know off the bat that Ethiopian Jews have to convert to their own religion? Or see it as a parody of southern racism?

        I’d rather hold a placard with a less obscure message: “Religious Segregation – It’s good enough for our friend Israel.” Or, “Jews can live here after they go to court. That’s how Israel works with Arabs.”

      • James
        June 12, 2011, 3:14 am

        i am with andrew r in agreeing with clencher and tree here… my 2c.. the less blur the better…

    • zafarz
      June 12, 2011, 7:26 am

      I agree with ‘tree’. I would modify it further: “We demand Christians only roads so we don’t have to drive amongst Jews, Muslims and Non White Immigrants”
      link to bit.ly

  12. American
    June 11, 2011, 11:19 am

    Outstanding!

    Another thing I would like to see is giant billboards on highways into
    DC saying “You Are Now Entering Israeli Occupied Territory” and signs at
    airports and train stations saying ‘Welcome to Greater Israel All Non Jews Proceed to the Checkpoint’

  13. annie
    June 11, 2011, 11:24 am

    the only thing i would change would be to incorporate some turquoise into the graphic. possible in the place of the white stripes of the flag or one of the white stripes. messing w/our colors people will really notice. red white blue and turquoise. or red turquoise white and blue

    • MRW
      June 11, 2011, 1:57 pm

      These are the official pantone colors for the flag, which it appears Mo’s colors are closer to:
      Blue PMS 282 and Red PMS 193 (US)

      But……..
      PMS 288 C is used as well — a lighter, brighter blue — and can make it more ‘flaggy’ for most Americans. Especially during the summertime.

      I wouldn’t gink this strong message up with two different blues. Too much information.

  14. es1982
    June 11, 2011, 11:25 am

    If you care about accuracy, then you’re missing one word: “We demand the same rights our Israeli settler friends enjoy”. The vast majority of Israelis – those who don’t live or spend any time in the West Bank – don’t have Jewish-only roads or Jewish-only neighborhoods, where Arabs cannot drive or live, and don’t have walls separating them from Arabs.

    I’m not saying there is no discrimination inside Israel, but from these three signs, it seems like your point is the occupied area, not Israel proper.

    • annie
      June 11, 2011, 11:33 am

      maybe you are unfamiliar w/the new laws pertaining to neighborhood committees. they definitely are not exclusively for settlements.

      • es1982
        June 11, 2011, 12:05 pm

        I’m familiar with the law and oppose it. However, it is limited to small communities (not neighborhoods) with up to 400 families, and explicitly states that applicants can’t be rejected based on ethnicity or religion. It doesn’t apply to cities and towns, where most Israelis live. I do fear it may be used as an excuse to reject Arabs (though not for security reasons, like Mo’s signs say), but in practice, Arabs almost never move to these places anyway. Gay couples and single mothers are much more likely to be hurt by the new law than Arabs.

      • annie
        June 11, 2011, 12:34 pm

        you should get your message straight. first you tell me it is totally different then you say it’s limited to small communities. i already told you i could care less.

        it seems like your point is the occupied area, not Israel proper.

        there is no israel proper and until they have borders there won’t be. i totally get the point, you want us to make a distinction between israelis and israeli settlers. let me know when they have different governments because the US has a relationship w/the same government who builds settlements for those settlers. the same government those settlers vote for. there is no distinction between the israel that shares our values and the settlers government. they are one in the same.

      • Woody Tanaka
        June 13, 2011, 8:00 am

        “However, it is limited to small communities”

        So what?? Is it okay for me to be antisemitic, if I’m only antisemitic in small towns??

        “explicitly states that applicants can’t be rejected based on ethnicity or religion. ”

        How about “nationality”? Is it perfectly legal to discriminate based on “nationality”???

      • es1982
        June 13, 2011, 9:13 am

        So what?? Is it okay for me to be antisemitic, if I’m only antisemitic in small towns??

        Like I said, I oppose this law, which means I don’t think it is okay. My point wasn’t that it is legitimate to discriminate on a small scale, but that the law does not apply to the vast majority of localities in Israel, meaning that discrimination in Israel is not the same at all as it is in the West Bank.

        How about “nationality”? Is it perfectly legal to discriminate based on “nationality”???

        No, that’s also illegal, according to this law. Here are all the factors that the law says cannot be used to reject a person: race, religion, sex, nationality, disability, marital status, age, parenthood, sexual orientation, country of origin, political views and political party affiliation.

      • Woody Tanaka
        June 13, 2011, 9:20 am

        ” My point wasn’t that it is legitimate to discriminate on a small scale, but that the law does not apply to the vast majority of localities in Israel, meaning that discrimination in Israel is not the same at all as it is in the West Bank.”

        Okay, fair enough.

        “No, that’s also illegal, according to this law. Here are all the factors that the law says cannot be used to reject a person: race, religion, sex, nationality, disability, marital status, age, parenthood, sexual orientation, country of origin, political views and political party affiliation.”

        If that is enforced, then that is a good thing. My question then is, what, exactly, is this law designed to actually do??

      • Chaos4700
        June 13, 2011, 9:28 am

        And the Israeli Supreme Court will get RIGHT on upholding that law, I’m sure. And if they do, I’m sure the Israeli government will enforce those rulings and not, oh you know, continue building walls on Palestinian land in flagrant violation of their own court’s rulings.

      • es1982
        June 13, 2011, 10:21 am

        If that is enforced, then that is a good thing. My question then is, what, exactly, is this law designed to actually do??

        Good question. This law doesn’t make much sense and is full of contradictions. It seems to be designed to allow people to live with neighbors “like them” in homogenous communities. The factors the law does allow are economic ability (wouldn’t the ability to buy a house be enough?), whether or not the person’s center of life will be in the community (I can understand if they don’t want a house staying empty most of the year, but I’m not even sure that’s what this clause means), and whether the person will fit with the social and cultural fabric of the community. What the hell that means, I have no idea. It is just so broad. The committee can’t say the person doesn’t fit the social or cultural fabric of the community because he is an Arab, a Muslim, a Communist or whatever else they can’t use as a factor. So what else does that leave? People who are loud or seem deranged don’t fit the cultural and social fabric of the community, maybe?

      • Hostage
        June 13, 2011, 11:11 am

        Here are all the factors that the law says cannot be used to reject a person: race, religion, sex, nationality, disability, marital status, age, parenthood, sexual orientation, country of origin, political views and political party affiliation.

        The respondents in the Kaadan case spent almost a decade arguing that the applicants were “culturally incompatible”. So, I would suppose that criteria was deliberately omitted from the legislation to permit the rejection of Arabs, Haredim, so-called “Ethopians”, so-called “Russians”, or any other undesirable characteristic. We all know that thousands of demonstrators poured into the streets of Jerusalem and overturned a Court decision on school integration, because Sephardic girls are not as “religiously committed” as the Ashkenazi girls in the West Bank Jewish settlement Beit Yaakov School for Girls. The excuse of cultural incompatibility works the same in Israel or the West Bank. See for example “Lieberman’s settlement bars Russian-Israeli families from buying homes”. Apparently settlers in Nokdim fear that new residents not classified as Jewish by halakhic law could “corrupt local morals”. Isn’t the halaka the same in Israel?

      • es1982
        June 13, 2011, 1:26 pm

        We all know that thousands of demonstrators poured into the streets of Jerusalem and overturned a Court decision on school integration, because Sephardic girls are not as “religiously committed” as the Ashkenazi girls in the West Bank Jewish settlement Beit Yaakov School for Girls.

        That was a case within the ultra-orthodox sect, which largely doesn’t even recognize the Israeli courts’ authority over them. Most Israelis found the discrimination disgusting. And the court decision wasn’t exactly overturned. There was some weird compromise that still did not allow discrimination, but that the ultra-Orthodx parents and rabbis could live with. Even this compromise wasn’t reached because of any demonstration, but because the ultra-orthodox parents listened to their rabbi and went to jail for contempt of court en masse. I doubt the residents of the small communities that the new law addresses would be willing to go to jail.

        Apparently settlers in Nokdim fear that new residents not classified as Jewish by halakhic law could “corrupt local morals”. Isn’t the halaka the same in Israel?

        Halakha isn’t the law of the land in Israel. Besides, religion is one of the factors the law forbids to take into consideration.

        But again, it is a weird, contradictory law. Only time will tell how it will be applied.

      • Woody Tanaka
        June 13, 2011, 1:44 pm

        “Good question. This law doesn’t make much sense and is full of contradictions.”

        I agree. And that makes my spidey-sense tingle, because legislatures who promulgate laws which grant power to one group over others without any clear boundaries or rationales are, in my opinion, trying to do pretty devious things.

      • Hostage
        June 14, 2011, 8:29 pm

        the court decision wasn’t exactly overturned. …Even this compromise wasn’t reached because of any demonstration, but because the ultra-orthodox parents listened to their rabbi and went to jail for contempt of court en masse.

        The Court found all of the parents in contempt and ordered them jailed, but only the fathers showed-up. The mothers didn’t go to jail and the state authorities backed-off in the midst of the demonstrations and didn’t arrest them.

        Halakha isn’t the law of the land in Israel.

        Sure it is. Under the laws of Israel and the Oslo agreements the “in personam” jurisdiction of the State is directed towards its Jewish citizens based upon the personal status determined by the rabbinical courts – with the exception of changes that occur while they are abroad (Population Registration Law, 5725 – 1965). Even the regular courts are supposed to respect it. For example, Foundations of Law, 5740—1980 provides that where the court, faced with a legal question requiring decision, finds no answer to it in statute law or case-law or by analogy, it shall decide it in the light of the principles of “Israel’s heritage”. The Knesset deliberately avoids religious questions or uses undefined terms like “proper convert”, & etc. See
        Gidon Sapir, “How Should a Court Deal with a Primary Question that the Legislature Seeks to Avoid? The Israeli Controversy over Who Is a Jew as an Illustration”

        Besides, religion is one of the factors the law forbids to take into consideration.

        The law you are referring to codified the right of the admission committees in Israel to reject applicants on the grounds of “cultural incompatibility”. The Supreme Court has affidavits in hand which explain that admission committees use that justification to get around the court’s rulings.

        There are political parties, associations, and companies that confer superior rights on “persons of Jewish race or descendency”, e.g. Jewish National Fund, Memorandum of Association, art. 3 (c). The State has used the Courts and legislation to close down political parties, associations, and companies that advocate for, or confer special rights on non-Jews, e.g. Yardor v. CEC 1965; Bill for Protecting the Values of the State of Israel (“Jewish and Democratic State Bill” 2009) , the amendment to the Citizenship Law (1952) imposing loyalty oaths; & etc.

    • annie
      June 11, 2011, 11:38 am

      The vast majority of Israelis – those who don’t live or spend any time in the West Bank – don’t have Jewish-only roads or Jewish-only neighborhoods

      i could care less. i’m sick of the bs about the vast majority. israelis need to all start owning what’s happening in their name and not pretend to be divorced from it because it is happening in the west bank. who’s protecting the settlers in hebron? thousands of idf. this is the face of israel, own it.

      • es1982
        June 11, 2011, 12:09 pm

        I’m not absolving myself of responsibility. Israelis inside Israel should be held accountable for what happens in the West Bank. That doesn’t change the fact that inside Israel, the situation is totally different.

      • annie
        June 11, 2011, 12:11 pm

        research ‘neighborhood committees’. inside israel it is not totally different.

      • tree
        June 11, 2011, 12:38 pm

        … inside Israel, the situation is totally different.

        Only different by degree. From Adalah’s 2011 Inequality Report:

        • In continuation of a pattern that was established with the founding of the state in 1948, Palestinian citizens of Israel continue to be deprived of access and use of the land under long-standing and more recent land laws and policies. Furthermore, new measures—including a new land reform law from 2009 and an amendment to the Land Ordinance from February 2010—aim at confirming state ownership of land confiscated from Palestinians in
        perpetuity and blocking Palestinian restitution claims.
        • Admissions committees operate in around 700 agricultural and community towns and filter out Arab applicants, on the basis of their “social unsuitability”, from future residency in these towns. The operation of admissions committees contributes to the institutionalization of racially segregated towns and villages throughout the state and perpetuates unequal access to the land.
        • The Jewish National Fund (JNF)—a body with quasi-state authority that operates solely for the interests of the Jewish people and controls 13% of the land in the state—continues to wield decisive influence over land policy in Israel, having been allocated six of a total of 13 members of the newly-established Land Authority Council.
        • Arab towns and villages in Israel suffer from severe overcrowding, with Arab municipalities exercising jurisdiction over only 2.5% of the total area of the state. Since 1948, the State of Israel has established approximately 600 Jewish municipalities, whereas no new Arab village, town or city has ever been built.
        • While the Arab Bedouin population in the Naqab stands at around 170,000 persons, or 14% of the total population in the Naqab, the combined areas of the government-planned and newly-recognized Arab Bedouin towns and villages in the Naqab account for just 0.9% of the land in the district.
        • Israel is currently intensifying its efforts to forcibly evacuate the unrecognized villages in the Naqab (referred to as “illegal clusters”), including by demolishing entire villages, as recently witnessed in the repeated demolition of the village of Al-Araqib. In pursuing this policy, the state has rejected the option of affording recognition to these villages, many of which predate the establishment of Israel. Between 75,000 and 90,000 Arab Bedouin live in the unrecognized villages in in the Naqab, whom the state characterizes as “trespassers on state land”.

        And see my comment below on the situation in Lod.

      • es1982
        June 11, 2011, 1:00 pm

        I wasn’t aware of the wall in Lod. I also don’t dispute the fact that there is serious discrimination. As for Adallah’s report: some of it is true, some isn’t. For instance, it isn’t true that no Arab municipalities have been formed since 1948 (unless they don’t count Bedouins as Arabs, for some reason). Also, there is now an effort to solve the problem of the unrecognized villages in the Negev.

      • tree
        June 11, 2011, 10:42 pm

        For instance, it isn’t true that no Arab municipalities have been formed since 1948 (unless they don’t count Bedouins as Arabs, for some reason).

        Leave it to a Jewish Israeli to claim that the forced relocation of the Bedouins in the Negev is a positive move, rather than the truth, which is that the Israeli government-planned townships for Bedouins are part of the Israeli plan to confiscate Bedouin land for Jewish use.
        From Human Rights Watch:Off the Map:Land and Housing Rights Violations in Israel’s Unrecognized Bedouin Villages:

        Tens of thousands of Palestinian Arab Bedouin, the indigenous inhabitants of the Negev region, live in informal shanty towns, or “unrecognized villages,” in the south of Israel. Discriminatory land and planning policies have made it virtually impossible for Bedouin to build legally where they live, and also exclude them from the state’s development plans for the region. The state implements forced evictions, home demolitions, and other punitive measures disproportionately against Bedouin as compared with actions taken regarding structures owned by Jewish Israelis that do not conform to planning law.

        ….

        Since the 1970s Israeli authorities have demolished thousands of Bedouin homes in the unrecognized villages, many of them comprising no more than tents or shacks. In the past year alone Israeli officials have demolished hundreds of structures, and placed warnings of intended demolition on hundreds more. Israeli officials contend that they are merely enforcing zoning and building codes, but the state systematically demolishes Bedouin homes while overlooking or retroactively legalizing illegal construction by Jewish citizens. According to Ministry of Interior records, in January 2005 all 242 outstanding judicial demolition orders in the southern region of Israel were against Bedouin structures. Israel denies security of land tenure to the Bedouin and then exploits this insecurity to destroy their homes.

        Planning officials carry out “administrative” home demolitions without any judicial oversight. Even in cases where, by law, officials must obtain a judicial warrant for demolition, judges issue the warrants during court proceedings without the presence of the Bedouin home owner, who is almost never identified or notified of the proceedings. In recent years, most Bedouin have given up any attempt to appeal home demolition orders in court since historically no Israeli judge has overturned a home demolition order in the unrecognized villages. Bedouin and their lawyers claim that they have no effective right to appeal: bringing such court cases is costly and futile, they say, and judges may add criminal charges for building or maintaining an “illegal” dwelling that can have consequences such as jail time or a hefty fine for the homeowner. Some Bedouin have demolished their own homes in an attempt to avoid such charges and to salvage as much as possible from their homes.

        Israel’s systematic violation of Bedouin land and housing rights appears to be increasing. Ministry of Interior records show that governmental demolitions in the Negev region more than doubled from 143 in 2005 to 367 in 2006. On May 8, 2007, Israeli authorities demolished 30 structures in the unrecognized village of Twayil Abu Jarwal, the largest single demolition to date and the sixth time homes in this village were demolished in the past year. In some villages, Israeli authorities have delivered warning notices or demolition orders to entire neighborhoods or the whole village, such as in al-Sira, next to the Nevatim air base, where on September 7, 2006, officials distributed six judicial demolition orders, and demolition warnings to the rest of the village. In July 2007 all the homes with warnings received demolition orders.

        Israeli officials insist that Bedouin can relocate to seven existing government-planned townships. But in fact alternative housing there is not readily available, and these towns are currently ill-equipped to handle a further influx of residents. Most Bedouin reject the idea of relocating to the townships, where poverty and crime rates are high, basic socioeconomic infrastructure is lacking, and they cannot continue traditional means of livelihood such as herding and grazing. Most important, the state requires Bedouin who move to the townships to renounce their ancestral land claims, which is unthinkable for most Bedouin who have such claims to land. This land has often been passed down from parent to child over several generations. In recent years the government and planning authorities have officially recognized six Bedouin villages that were previously unrecognized, and established three new villages/townships. However, these communities are suffering from bureaucratic foot dragging, poor financing, and borders that do not provide sufficient agricultural land for villagers’ livelihoods or land reserves to allow the next generation to remain in the villages. Planning authorities continue to demolish the existing Bedouin homes that, unfortunately for their owners, fall outside the new officially (and arbitrarily) drawn village borders. In addition, the government has offered no housing solution to tens of thousands of Bedouin in the 39 remaining unrecognized villages.

        Its clear to anyone who isn’t in an advanced state of denial that the Israeli government townships are not intended to help Bedouins, or increase the available space for coming generations of Bedouins, but are rather one element in the forced removal of the Bedouin citizens of Israel from their land.

        Also, there is now an effort to solve the problem of the unrecognized villages in the Negev.

        The “problem” of the unrecognized villages is that Israel blatantly refuses to recognize their existence and has done so for over 60 years. It doesn’t take “effort”. It just takes a sense of justice and equality, which is lacking in Israel when it comes to the treatment of non-Jewish Arabs.

        The state’s motives for these discriminatory, exclusionary and punitive policies can be elicited from policy documents and official rhetoric. The state appears intent on maximizing its control over Negev land and increasing the Jewish population in the area for strategic, economic and demographic reasons. For example, while promoting the building of new Jewish towns in the Negev in 2003 government officials stated that their aim was “creating a buffer between the Bedouin communities,” “preventing a Bedouin takeover,” and ensuring the security of the (Jewish) residents of the Negev. [2] The government has been able to exploit Jewish Israelis’ suspicion of and prejudice against the Bedouin population to engender support for these policies. The state and the media often perpetuate images of the Bedouin as criminals, trespassers, and a potential third column, who should be controlled, cracked down upon and forced off the land of the unrecognized villages which they are deemed to have “stolen” from the state. In December 2000 Ariel Sharon, then leader of the Likud party, wrote “The Bedouin are grabbing new territory. They are gnawing away at the country’s land reserves.” [3]

      • RoHa
        June 12, 2011, 12:38 am

        “Also, there is now an effort to solve the problem of the unrecognized villages in the Negev.”

        So far, the effort has involved bulldozers and fanatical high-schoolers.

        When does the solution become Final?

      • Shmuel
        June 12, 2011, 3:05 am

        Also, there is now an effort to solve the problem of the unrecognized villages in the Negev.

        Yes, by forcibly relocating 30,000 people (40% of the population of the “unrecognised” villages)!

        link to haaretz.com

        link to adalah.org

        The discrimination against the bedouin in the Negev is systematic, to benefit ethnocratic Israel’s charter ethnic group:

        link to hrw.org

      • Chaos4700
        June 12, 2011, 11:28 am

        I wasn’t aware of the wall in Lod.

        So basically, we are better informed than you are. Even though you are an Israeli living RIGHT THERE.

    • Chaos4700
      June 11, 2011, 11:51 am

      You could turn around and become a settler right this minute, if you wanted. You have that “right” care of your government.

      That you don’t utilize it doesn’t negate its presence.

      • eGuard
        June 11, 2011, 4:04 pm

        This is why es1982 is wrong.

    • tree
      June 11, 2011, 12:27 pm

      Come on, es1982, most of us here know that there are numerous Jewish-only neighborhoods within the Green Line.

      …and don’t have walls separating them from Arabs.

      Yeah, right.

      From Wikipedia:

      Within the city of Lod, a three meter-high wall has been erected to separate Jewish districts from Arab ones. Arab suburbs have been restricted from growing, while the Israeli government has encouraged building in Jewish areas. Some municipal services, such as street lighting and rubbish collection, are only provided to Jewish areas.[40]

      Here’s the source, if you want to read it:

      link to economist.com

      And Lod (in Israel proper) is not alone in this.

    • robin
      June 11, 2011, 2:42 pm

      The vast majority of Israelis – those who don’t live or spend any time in the West Bank – don’t have Jewish-only roads or Jewish-only neighborhoods, where Arabs cannot drive or live, and don’t have walls separating them from Arabs.

      This rationalization is plainly not true. Whether they drive on them or not, all Jewish Israelis have access to the settler roads. Only Palestinians don’t. It is ethnic privilege and not settler (Israel makes no such distinction) privilege. And the only Jewish Israelis who don’t live behind “walls separating them from Arabs” are those settlers living in outposts beyond the Wall.

      • Miura
        June 11, 2011, 3:27 pm

        Israel “proper” turns out to be more welcoming for, say, Russian speakers than Arabic speakers as this account of life in Upper Nazareth shows:

        In Upper Nazareth
        by Ilan Pappe

        London Review of Books
        10 September 2009

        Officially, no Palestinians live in the ‘Jewish’ city of Upper Nazareth. The city’s elegant website appears only in Hebrew and in Russian. When I was there recently, I called a spokesperson to ask about numbers but he wouldn’t give me a straight answer. ‘I am standing in front of a house with “There is no power but in God” written in Quranic Arabic over the door,’ I said. ‘And I know there are two Palestinians on your city council.’ ‘We still do not have enough information about the numbers,’ was the reply.

        In fact, according to the Arab Association for Human Rights, 20 per cent of the city’s population are Palestinians. Most of them moved from the crowded city of old Nazareth at the bottom of the hill and from the villages surrounding it. Some of them had to pay as much as £500,000 for a house, three times the market value. The people selling up are Russian immigrants gravitating towards Tel Aviv. There are no Palestinian schools or kindergartens, so the roads between Nazareth and Upper Nazareth are overcrowded in rush hour. But the non-existent 20 per cent are represented on the council and, Israel being Israel, the two Palestinian councillors are in a weird coalition with the ultra-right-wing party of Avigdor Liberman. The mayor needed their support in order to defeat the Labour Party. They demanded, and received, a promise that an Arab school would be built in Upper Nazareth. The mayor is nonetheless committed to the ‘Judaisation’–i.e. the de-Arabisation–of his city, and Liberman declared in August that stopping the immigration of Arabs into Nazareth, as he calls it, is a national priority.

        The city was built in the 1950s. David Ben-Gurion was outraged by the presence of so many Arabs in the Galilee when he toured the region in 1953, a few days before he retired for a year and half from his premiership. He appointed the director general of the Ministry of Defence, Shimon Peres, to ‘Judaise’ the Galilee using emergency regulations that allowed the army to confiscate land from the Palestinians. Upper Nazareth opened in 1957, and senior army officers were billeted there.

        The area covered by Upper Nazareth has quadrupled since its creation. Each expansion was on land expropriated from Arabs. Its 50,000 inhabitants live in a dynamic urban space that keeps expanding and developing. The 70,000 Palestinians of old Nazareth live in a city half the size that is not allowed to expand by a single square metre; indeed, one of its western hilltops was recently requisitioned for Upper Nazareth.

        The villages around Nazareth were first targeted by Yitzhak Rabin’s 1976 plan of Judaisation, Yehud Ha-Galil. In greater Nazareth the main tactic was to disrupt the natural geographical continuity between Palestinian villages by driving Jewish wedges between them. The Jews came, but the Palestinians did not leave, so a second wave of Judaisation began in 2001, under Peres and Ariel Sharon. This wasn’t very successful either; Jews preferred to live in Tel Aviv.

        The present attempt is motivated by the failure of the previous policies to make the Galilee in general, and Nazareth in particular, Jewish. People and economies move in mysterious ways: well-off Palestinians began buying houses in the citadel that was built to evict them. Benjamin Netanyahu regards this as a grave threat to Israel’s national security. Local politicians are even blunter. ‘If we lose the Jewish majority in the Galilee this is the end of the Jewish state,’ Motti Dotan, a member of the Labour Party, said recently. ‘I would like to imagine a Galilee without Arabs: no thefts, no crimes . . . we will have normal life.’ The racist mood in Israel absolves the government from any inhibitions that may have restricted its actions in the past.

        Now ecologists, industrialists and academics have been drafted in. The Jewish National Fund is behind the initiative, along with the Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel. The aim of diminishing the Palestinian presence in the Galilee is also fully endorsed by the prestigious union of Israeli wine producers, which has adopted a plan prepared by leading academics from the Israel Institute of Technology. Published in 2003, the plan calls for the Jewish ‘takeover’ of the Galilee. ‘It is either them or us,’ it begins. ‘The land problems in the Galilee proved that any territory not taken by Zionist elements is going to be coveted by non-Zionists.’

        The gist of what they propose is to seize strategically important land by force and hold onto it until Jews settle on it. The director general of AMPA, an electrical manufacturer, recently said that his company now not only makes refrigerators but is also actively supporting the ‘Judaisation of the Galilee’ by building new communities in the area for AMPA’s veterans. ‘We are not ashamed to say that our plans have a Zionist element.’

        The Palestinian village of Ayn Mahil, east of Nazareth and adjacent to Upper Nazareth, is now accessible only by one road, and it goes through a Jewish religious neighbourhood in Upper Nazareth: on the Day of Atonement, the people of Ayn Mahil cannot leave or enter their village. They will soon be encircled by a new town called Shacharit (which means ‘dawn’ in Hebrew but is also the name of the first Jewish prayer of the day). Ten thousand ultra-Orthodox Jews will be settled there and the hope is that they will rectify the ‘unfavourable’ demographic balance, as well as cut Ayn Mahil off from the greater Nazareth area. The village’s ancient olive groves have been uprooted in preparation for the building work. A new road network will ensure that other villages are separated from each other and from Nazareth.

        Under emergency powers granted to him as minister of national infrastructure in the 1990s, Sharon ordered the building of a new heavy industrial site, Ziporit, on land expropriated from the Palestinians and close to several villages. Ziporit includes a glass factory and an aluminium works; according to international law, neither can be built near where people live. The closest of the villages is Mashad: since the opening of the site the number of deaths from cancer there has risen by 40 per cent.

        Ilan Pappe is chair of the department of history at the University of Exeter and the author of The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine.

      • clenchner
        June 11, 2011, 5:40 pm

        I love it that Nazereth Illit is becoming a mixed city. This is a perfect response. We’ll see more of that in the coming decades, no matter what laws are passed.

      • Avi
        June 11, 2011, 6:18 pm

        clenchner June 11, 2011 at 5:40 pm

        I love it that Nazereth Illit is becoming a mixed city. This is a perfect response. We’ll see more of that in the coming decades, no matter what laws are passed.

        Readers should know that commenter clenchner (whoever he/she is) runs interference for Israel’s discriminatory policies and racism by littering this website with meaningless platitudes, out of touch with the reality on the ground.

        Consider, for example, the fact that Upper Nazareth’s current mayor, Shimon Gaspo, has recently:

        Gapso told the paper that if he had been present during the October 2000 clashes between Israeli Arabs and police, more Arabs would have been killed.

        And

        He also said his city would never become a mixed Arab-Jewish city, although 16 percent of its residents were Arab, and that a mosque would never go up in his city.

        link to haaretz.com

      • tree
        June 11, 2011, 11:37 pm

        For anyone interested, Dan Rabinowitz, an Israeli sociologist, wrote a book called “Overlooking Nazareth: The Ethnography of Exclusion in Galilee” in 1997 which covers Nazaret Illit and the reasons for the movement of Palestinians into the Jewish town created from the land of the city of Nazareth. Essentially, the Jews who were urged, or forced, to move there (many of them Russian) didn’t see it as a great place to be (too far from Tel Aviv, too little government interest in their welfare, too many Arabs in the area). So apartments went unsold, and even though there were informal bans on selling to Arabs, the only ones who wanted to buy were the Palestinians from Nazareth, who, because Israel restricted the natural growth of the Arab town of Nazareth, needed some place to live. So the economic needs of Jewish sellers overcame the restrictions on sale. Not exactly a shining example of multiculturalism.

        And then there was October 8, 2000:

        Nazareth-Ilit, a recently-built Jewish township, looks down over the old Arab city of Nazareth. From there, on the evening of Saturday 7 October, a large gang of Jewish hoodlums set about the Arab inhabitants of Nazareth’s poorest district. The following night – Yom Kippur, the Jews’ holiest day when all physical activity is forbidden – hundreds of thugs, again from Nazareth-Ilit, joined by others from Tiberias, came down and set the district on fire. The residents tried to defend themselves, hoping the police would arrive. In vain. According to the mayor, Ramzi Jeraysi, the thugs were protected, at least for a while, by the security forces who fired at the Arab inhabitants, at first using tear gas, then plastic and metal bullets. That night two Arabs were killed and a number of others seriously wounded. Twice, the mayor telephoned Ben Ami, as minister in charge of the police, asking him to order them to stop shooting. But Ben Ami would not admit that his men were using metal bullets. “But the medical reports show that our people were killed with metal bullets,” says Jeraysi. “Yet the police used velvet gloves with the Jewish hoodlums.”

        Because of Yom Kippur, the Israeli media did not report the Nazareth pogrom until the evening of 11 October. The prime minister and his minister for police avoided making any distinction between the Jewish perpetrators and their Arab victims. But the head of the committee of ministers responsible for the Arab population, former general Matan Vilnai, remarked crudely: “Jewish hoodlums attacked Arabs in Nazareth in the same way that antisemites used to attack Jews in Europe.” Moshe Negbi, legal columnist for the daily Yediot Aharonot, commented: “This week’s pogroms have reinforced the feeling that ours is a racist police force, only concerned with protecting Jews: where the Arab rioters were concerned, it just shot to kill”.

        link to dayan.org

        Another account of the same incident here:

        Wissam Yazbak, at rest in a Nazareth cemetery, cannot tell the story of what happened to him nearly three years ago, on the night of 8 October 2000. That evening a mob of several hundred Israeli Jews from the neighbouring town of Nazareth Ilit marched on the eastern quarter of Nazareth, many armed with guns and chanting “Death to the Arabs”. As the mob attacked the first Arab homes, Nazareth’s mosques called on local residents to defend their town. In the pressure cooker atmosphere of the first days of the Intifada, when communal war between Israel’s Jews and Arabs was in the air, the residents made their way uphill from the centre of town to the road that separates the Jewish and Arab Nazareths.

        The police were on the scene before there was time for the two sides to clash, with officers separating the armed Jews who wanted to invade Nazareth from the unarmed Arab youths who were there to protect their homes. The police, standing between the two sides, were far from neutral, however. They stood with their backs to the Jewish mob and had their guns trained on the Arab crowd. After a lengthy stand-off, police commanders and local Arab leaders persuaded the Arab youths to leave the site first. Yazbak was among a group of young men who formed a human chain, with their backs to the police, to push the crowds downhill. Seconds later, after what witnesses described as a burst of automatic gunfire, Yazbak lay dead and a handful of other youngsters were fighting for their lives. All had been hit in the back.

        No investigation was launched into Yazbak’s death. His body was sent from the English Hospital in Nazareth, where surgeon Dr Nakleh Bishara says he felt a bullet lodged at the back of Yazbak’s brain, to Ramban Hospital in Haifa. The bullet felt by Dr Bishara should have spoken for 25-year-old Yazbak. It should have told anyone who cared to investigate that the round was fired by a policeman, not by an Arab gunman as the police argued for many months. It should also have proved that the police were using live ammunition, a claim made by Arab protesters at the time but angrily denied by both the police and the government. And most importantly of all it should have helped identify the policeman who killed Wissam Yazbak in cold blood. Although the bullet was removed at Ramban and passed on to the Justice Ministry’s Mahash unit, which investigates alleged abuses by the police, it lay in their offices unexamined. Instead Mahash hurried to corroborate the police account: Yazbak had been killed by Arab gunfire and therefore there was no reason for the unit to investigate.

        It was a colossal lie, one of many that served to cover up what one police sniper would later term in official evidence a “shoot to kill” policy by the police in handling protests in the country’s north in October 2000 in support of the Palestinian Intifada. Yazbak was one of 13 Arab citizens killed in four days of clashes with the police in the Galilee; hundreds more were injured. But even in Yazbak’s case it will apparently never be known who pulled the trigger. Most of the other forensic loose ends in the official account of what happened in the first week of October 2000 will also never be sorted. That is clear after the Or Commission of Inquiry into the 13 deaths published its 800-page report last week, three years after the events it describes. Justice Theodor Or’s long deliberations possibly reflected his fears of unleashing yet more ethnic anger.

        This is the incident that current Nazaret Illit mayor , Shimon Gaspo, was referring to when he “told the paper that if he had been present during the October 2000 clashes between Israeli Arabs and police, more Arabs would have been killed. ” Thanks, Avi, for that quote. Quite chilling.

      • James
        June 12, 2011, 3:31 am

        reading the info here on nazarath oct 2000 is shocking.. thanks for the education here.. i hope the jewish and israeli posters read these posts and offer some sort of response to explain any what sure looks like a clear case of discrimination towards the arab and palestinian people.. this is shocking…

      • es1982
        June 11, 2011, 4:13 pm

        Palestinian Israelis have access to those roads, too. If you’re a citizen of Israel, you can drive on the Israeli-only (not Jewish-only) roads in the West Bank, regardless of religion or ethnic group. Does this make it okay? No, there shouldn’t be separate roads for Israelis and non-Israelis at all, but if you’re going to get technical (that I can go on those roads if I want) I’ll get technical too.

        And about the wall – it may separate me from the Palestinians on the West Bank, it doesn’t separate me from Arabs inside Israel, nor should it.

      • robin
        June 11, 2011, 4:35 pm

        And who gets to be an Israeli citizen, es1982? All Jews, and only token Palestinians. It’s their land too. That’s why it’s apartheid, even without the systemic discrimination against the token Palestinian citizens of Israel.

      • tree
        June 12, 2011, 12:35 am

        Palestinian Israelis have access to those roads, too. If you’re a citizen of Israel, you can drive on the Israeli-only (not Jewish-only) roads in the West Bank, regardless of religion or ethnic group.

        Ever heard of this saying, from Anatole France?

        “The law, in its majestic equality, forbids the rich as well as the poor to sleep under bridges, to beg in the streets, and to steal bread.”

        The settler roads in the West Bank only go to the Jewish-only settlements. They don’t go to Palestinian towns and neighborhoods in the West Bank. Palestinian citizens of Israel can’t visit their relatives in the West Bank on those roads. They can only go to Jewish only settlements, which, as non-Jews, they are not welcome to live in. So they don’t use those roads. Ah, “the law in all its majestic equality…”

      • Woody Tanaka
        June 13, 2011, 8:03 am

        I’m sorry, did the Jews build these walls in Lod or in Łódź?

        Inquiring minds want to know…

    • Koshiro
      June 12, 2011, 7:08 am

      All Jewish Israelis (and only Jewish Israelis) can choose to move to a settlement. Ergo, all Jewish Israelis have these privileges even if they do not need them in their current circumstances.

  15. Oscar
    June 11, 2011, 11:38 am

    Perfect. Keep them just as they are. The absurdity of the statement makes it even more powerful. Would JVP post these? How about a Facebook page?

    • MRW
      June 11, 2011, 1:16 pm

      I agree with Oscar. Keep them as they are. You need the absurdity. The lack of logic.

      Whoever said increase the point size for FOR SECURITY PURPOSES is right, ‘tho.

  16. bijou
    June 11, 2011, 12:01 pm

    This is brilliant. I would also suggest thinking about some kind of messaging that relates to “demographic danger.” Israelis constantly think in these terms. A cursory google search will reveal plenty of statements by Israeli officials about “the growing Arab demographic threat” and “the cancer in the heart of the state.”

    • annie
      June 11, 2011, 12:04 pm

      good idea, something about minorities becoming demographic threats.

      • MRW
        June 11, 2011, 1:19 pm

        “Open Borders Threaten Jewish Clout”
        Stephen Steinlight
        The Forward
        June 16, 2006
        link to forward.com

  17. Jeff Klein
    June 11, 2011, 12:21 pm

    It’s not true that segregation of Arab communities exists only in the West Bank! Inside 1948 Israel, Arab and Jewish areas are almost totally separate, including some urban ghettos of the US type in the few so-called “mixed cities” and exclusively Arab and Jewish towns in the center and north of the country. And Arab towns are discriminated against in zoning for residential housing (which is why they are very crowded and house plots there are prohibitively expensive); they also receive markedly fewer services and financing from the state. Apartheid is not just in the Occupied territories.

    • es1982
      June 11, 2011, 12:38 pm

      It is true that Arab towns suffer discrimination in funding, housing, education and other areas. This must be changed, and I don’t excuse the current deplorable situation.

      It is also true that most areas in Israel have either a Jewish or Arab population, but Jews and Arabs are free to move to each other’s areas. Why they don’t do this is a question for sociologists, economists and geographers.

      There is serious discrimination in Israel, however it does not amount to apartheid. Not even close.

      • annie
        June 11, 2011, 12:43 pm

        shorter 1982

        it does not amount to apartheid. Not even close. I don’t excuse the current deplorable situation…

        yeah you do excuse the current deplorable situation. listen to yourself.

      • patm
        June 11, 2011, 12:55 pm

        You gotta admit it, annie. She’s working hard for her pay check from Hasbara Central.

      • es1982
        June 11, 2011, 1:03 pm

        No, I don’t. Saying it isn’t apartheid isn’t excusing it.

      • Chaos4700
        June 11, 2011, 4:13 pm

        Good point, es. Actually what it’s doing is spouting propaganda for it by telling an overt lie. If you were excusing it, you’d be calling it what it was.

      • Jeff Klein
        June 11, 2011, 12:56 pm

        It’s not remotely true that Arabs are free to live in most “Jewish” areas — and the restrictions are not just informal discrimination but also legal and institutional. There are a tiny number of exceptions, but that doesn’t change the pattern. Jews, of course, are free to live anywhere in 1948 Israel, but obviously choose not to live in Arab towns — which are poorer and suffer from under-financing and sub-par infrastructure and schools — or when they do it is usually part of a process of gentrification and removal of the Arab population, as in Jaffa. The few Jews who live in Arab towns are mostly women in mixed marriages with Arabs. You can say this isn’t Apartheid, but what is it then?

      • Jeff Klein
        June 11, 2011, 12:57 pm

        And in Lydda/Lod the Jewish residents demanded — and got! — a wall built to separate them from a nearby Arab neighborhood. . .

      • MRW
        June 11, 2011, 1:22 pm

        Tony Karon is South African. He lived in South Africa. He lived on a kibbutz.

        He and his fellow SAers in Israel said what Israel is doing is worse than apartheid.

        Look him up. Better yet, go try to convince him.

      • es1982
        June 11, 2011, 2:15 pm

        He and his fellow SAers in Israel said what Israel is doing is worse than apartheid.

        You’re making it sound like there is a concensus among South Africans in Israel about this issue. I haven’t conducted a poll, but I am confident most South Africans who were anti-Apartheid activists and are familiar with the I/P situation, would say this is not Apartheid.

        Also, does Karon call only what’s happening in the West Bank Apartheid, or the situation in Israel proper (pre-1967 borders)?

      • MRW
        June 11, 2011, 2:46 pm

        es1982,

        Look it up. You can be confident all you want about “most South Africans who were anti-Apartheid activists and are familiar with the I/P situation, would say this is not Apartheid.”

        That’s not what Tony Karon wrote. If you’re interested, do the research.

      • MRW
        June 11, 2011, 3:12 pm

        Tony Karon

        Indeed, Jimmy Carter wasn’t the first person to raise the idea in my head that what Israel had created in the West Bank and Gaza is an apartheid situation. Back in January of 1979, when he was still in the White House, I was in Israel, living and working on Kibbutz Yizreel for about six weeks, fervently committed to making aliyah myself. Yizreel, in the Jezreel Valley, was home to a number of graduates of South African Habonim. And I vividly remember a discussion they started with us one afternoon, about the policy of building Israeli settlements in the West Bank that the new Likud government was encouraging. The South African-Israelis saw the continued occupation of the West Bank and Gaza as a disaster for Israel and for their own progressive version of Zionism. And they recognized that the settlements were a calculated strategy by Begin and Sharon to create “facts on the ground” that would make handing it back impossible. “And so,” one summarized, “you have a situation where Israel now has control over more than 3 million Palestinians. If it annexes the West Bank, they become citizens of Israel, and Israel quickly loses its Jewish majority. So that’s not an option. But the settlement policy makes it more and more difficult for Israel to envisage letting go of the territories. So what are you left with? An apartheid situation.” Of course. To anyone who had lived in South Africa, it was blindingly obvious.

      • mudder
        June 11, 2011, 3:26 pm

        es1982,
        Please ask South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu if he thinks Israel practices Apartheid.

        Or let me help–BBC News: Tutu condemns Israeli ‘apartheid’

        link to news.bbc.co.uk

      • eGuard
        June 11, 2011, 4:11 pm

        es1982, please explain: what according to you lies between the discrimination and apartheid?

      • es1982
        June 11, 2011, 4:59 pm

        Discrimination is everywhere in the world. There’s discrimination in the United States, in the UK, in France etc. – but there’s no apartheid there, nor would you call it apartheid.

        The question of where the line is drawn between regular discrimination and apartheid could be the subjects of whole books and college courses. I won’t come up with it right now. However, here are some of the factors that show there is no apartheid inside Israel:

        * Palestinians are free to participate in elections, both as voters and as candidates. There are Arab members of the Knesset, including a Deputy Speaker. If it weren’t for Arabs boycotting elections, they could have had about 25 Knesset members and been a force to be reckoned with, instead of just having about 10 seats in every Knesset. Despite attempts by right wingers to bar Arab parties from running, they never succeeded.

        * Palestinian citizens of Israel are free to study at any Israeli university or college, and study whatever field they choose. There are Palestinian citizens of Israel with PhDs, and they are also employed by Israeli universities as lecturers and professors.

        * Palestinian citizens of Israel enjoy full freedom of movement, like any other Israeli.

        * Arab Israelis have freedom of speech and freedom of assembly.

        * There’s no ban on mixed marriage between Arabs and Jews. Yes, because only religious marriages (no civil marriage) can be performed in Israel, a mixed couple must marry abroad for it to be recognized as a regular marriage. Common-law marriage, however, is recognized between any two people. This is also the situation for other groups that can’t (or don’t want to) get married with an orthodox rabbi, but that isn’t aimed particularly at Arabs. It’s a general problem of orthodox influence that must be fixed by instituting civil marriage.

        * Arabs receive the same social security and unemployment benefits as Jews. If they have a lot of children, they get paid quite a large amount by the state every month.

      • Avi
        June 11, 2011, 7:46 pm

        * Palestinian citizens of Israel are free to study at any Israeli university or college, and study whatever field they choose. There are Palestinian citizens of Israel with PhDs, and they are also employed by Israeli universities as lecturers and professors.

        False. The Palestinian citizens of Israel cannot choose their field of study, however qualified — or overqualified — they may be.

        First, there is a category of fields from which Arabs are prohibited. Namely, these fields include advanced Chemistry, Physics, and Geology. A student friend who worked at the admissions department at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem explained that these fields are ‘sensitive’ to ‘state security’. As such, Palestinians from Israel cannot get into those fields of study without personal connections.

        Second, another category of exclusion has to do with the medical field where Palestinian students who wish to study medicine — despite their qualifications or high grades — are limited to a quota. Each semester for example, the university would limit that quota to 3 or 5 Palestinian students from Israel.

      • eGuard
        June 11, 2011, 9:06 pm

        Is not an answer to my question.

      • Woody Tanaka
        June 13, 2011, 8:08 am

        “Palestinian citizens of Israel enjoy full freedom of movement, like any other Israeli.”

        So if I’m a 27-year old male Muslim, I can visit the al-Aqsa Mosque on any Friday for prayers, at my discretion? That kind of “full freedom of movement”?

      • es1982
        June 13, 2011, 9:30 am

        So if I’m a 27-year old male Muslim, I can visit the al-Aqsa Mosque on any Friday for prayers, at my discretion? That kind of “full freedom of movement”?

        Haram el-Sharif/Temple Mount is a special case: no non-Muslims can enter at all. So, on Fridays without age restrictions, a 27 year-old Muslim male Israeli citizen would have more access to the area than a Christian Israeli or Jewish Israeli of the same age, or of any age.

      • Woody Tanaka
        June 13, 2011, 10:57 am

        “Haram el-Sharif/Temple Mount is a special case: no non-Muslims can enter at all.”

        What about Sharon, when he instigated the al-Aqsa Intafada?

        “So, on Fridays without age restrictions, a 27 year-old Muslim male Israeli citizen would have more access to the area than a Christian Israeli or Jewish Israeli of the same age, or of any age.”

        My point was simply that this “full freedom” isn’t really “full” is it? And if the Israelis can unilaterally restrict the movement of a person in this instance, what would prevent them from doing likewise in other situations, for so-called “security” reasons, as was regularly done in Israel in years past and is currently done in the occupied West Bank?

      • es1982
        June 13, 2011, 12:57 pm

        What about Sharon, when he instigated the al-Aqsa Intafada?

        I believe the rule barring non-Muslims wasn’t in place at the time. I do remember that Ehud Barak, who was then both PM and Minister of Defense, had the option of barring Sharon from entering, and decided against it for some reason.

        I think the number 1 powder keg of the Middle East (the area of the Western Wall and the Al-Aqsa Mosque) is quite an extreme case. I’m not aware of any place within the green line where people’s freedom of movement has been restricted based on ethnicity, nationality, religion or any other basis since the end of martial law in 1966.

      • Shmuel
        June 11, 2011, 5:43 pm

        There is serious discrimination in Israel, however it does not amount to apartheid. Not even close.

        Discrimination in Israel amounts to apartheid not because it is as onerous for Palestinians as apartheid was for non-whites in SA, but because it occurs within the framework of an ethnocratic system, in which there is a dominant, “charter” ethnic group. This is as true within the green line as it is in the WB or E. Jerusalem.

      • VR
        June 11, 2011, 6:03 pm

        I have posted this link before, if you want to know what is happening to the Palestinian Arabs inside of Israel –

        THE ARAB ASSOCIATION FOR HUMAN RIGHTS: ASSOCIATION IN SERVICE OF THE ARAB PALESTINIAN MINORITY INSIDE OF ISRAEL

        “(Haifa and Nazareth, Israel) In 2005, the EU and Israel committed to engage in a bilateral political dialogue and to cooperate to “promote and protect rights of minorities, including enhancing political, economic, social and cultural opportunities for all citizens and lawful residents.”

        Five years later, however, the situation of the Palestinian Arab minority in Israel has further deteriorated with a flood of discriminatory legislation that targets their basic citizenship rights, rampant anti-Arab racism throughout the country, and attacks, including criminal indictments, against Arab political leaders for their legitimate political activities.”

        This above article highlights in the inaction of the EU, but the site is littered with articles that show the Apartheid practices.

      • tree
        June 11, 2011, 11:55 pm

        It is also true that most areas in Israel have either a Jewish or Arab population, but Jews and Arabs are free to move to each other’s areas.

        From March 2010
        Arab family denied right to rent home

        The Zakai and Tarabin families should be a picture of happy coexistence across the ethnic divide, a model for others to emulate in Israel.

        But Natalie and Weisman Zakai say the past three years – since the Jewish couple offered to rent their home to Bedouin friends, Ahmed and Khalas Tarabin – have been a living hell.

        “I have always loved Israel,” said Mrs Zakai, 43. “But to see the depth of the racism of our neighbours has made me question why we live in this country.”

        Three of the couple’s six dogs have been mysteriously poisoned; Mrs Zakai’s car has been sprayed with the words ”Arab lover” and the windows smashed; her three children in school are regularly taunted and bullied by other pupils; and a collection of vintage cars in the family’s yard has been set on fire in what police say was an arson attack.

        To add to these indignities, the Zakais have spent three years and thousands of dollars battling through the courts against the elected officials of their community of Nevatim, in Israel’s southern Negev desert, who have said they are determined to keep the Tarabins from moving in.

        Last week the Zakais’ legal struggle looked like it had run out of steam. The supreme court told the two families the Tarabins should submit to a vetting committee of local officials to assess their suitability – a requirement that has never been made before by the Negev community in the case of a family seeking to rent a home.

        “The decision of the committee is a foregone conclusion,” Mr Tarabin said.

        Chances for Jews and Arabs to live together – outside of a handful of cities – are all but impossible because Israel’s rural communities are strictly segregated, said Alaa Mahajneh, a lawyer representing the Zakais.

        Israel has nationalised 93 per cent of the country’s territory, confining most of its 1.3 million Arab citizens, one-fifth of the population, to 120 or so communities that existed at the time of the state’s creation in 1948.

        Meanwhile, more than 700 rural communities, including Nevatim, have remained exclusively Jewish by requiring that anyone who wants to buy a home applies to local vetting committees, which have been used to weed out Arab applicants.

        more at link

        So, by Israeli governmental decree, Arab citizens of Israel are NOT free to move into Jewish only areas.

        Why they don’t do this is a question for sociologists, economists and geographers.

        No, one only need look at the long standing actions of the Israeli government to easily determine why “they don’t do this”.

    • Pamela Olson
      June 11, 2011, 12:45 pm

      I second that. Look up “Nazareth Illit” if you don’t believe us:

      link to australiansforpalestine.com

      (Links to a story by Ilan Pappe that originally appeared in the London Review of Books called “In Upper Nazareth.” Damning stuff.)

    • Bumblebye
      June 11, 2011, 12:52 pm

      And then there’s the constant destruction of the Bedouin towns in the Negev. Is it really so different in Israel ‘proper’? Or does es1982 go around with blinders on?

  18. mok
    June 11, 2011, 1:04 pm

    Hi guys,

    Thanks for your feedback and encouragement.

    Even though I live in the UK, I pay a lot of attention to what is happening in the US with regards to Israel/Palestine. Two things I find frustrating about the US are the silence/ignorance of ordinary Americans about the “special relationship” and the casual hypocricy of the American Jewish community. Hence, my idea for this campaign.

    The question this campaign seeks to address is: Would Americans agree with the special relationship if they knew what they were giving Israel free reign over (apartheid)? Answer: Definately not.

    I think the campaign could work well as posters, put up in public locations and on University campuses. It could also work well as a social media campaign through Twitter and Facebook.

    I chose to use “Christians” instead of “Whites” because Zionists tend to frame Israel/Palestine as an Arabs against the Jews struggle. As most Christians in America are white, and as most Israelis are also white, the campaign’s message automatically implies that the demands are being made by whites but keeps the message within a religious frame.

    I don’t agree that the campaign should seek to distinguish between settlers and Israelis because they are both represented by and representatives of Israel. Who is the Prime Minister of the Israelis? Netanyahu. Who is the Prime Minister of the settlers? Netanyahu. If you are an Israeli who hates the settlements, do something about them! As Annie put it so eloquently, “this is the face of Israel, own it.”

    Overall, I believe pro-Palestinian activists the world over should give up demanding equal rights for Palestinians because whilst we all want this, it has been tried for too long and we have very little in terms of victories to show for it. Instead, I feel the best way is to flip the equal rights issue on its head and for all of us non-Jews to demand the exact same freedoms that Jews in Israel enjoy. The beauty of this is that such demands are untenable in the west and could cause embarassment for those that defend these freedoms for Israelis. The end result could be serious doubts amongst ordinary people, especially Americans, about their country’s relationship with and support for Israel.

    I have tried to keep the campaign humurous and serious at the same time. It is meant to shock, because the situation for Palestinians – all Palestinians – is, unfortunately, shocking. Americans need to see this campaign. If it takes a Brit to get the message across, I will happily do whatever I can.

    • Bumblebye
      June 11, 2011, 2:46 pm

      I do think a faux anti-Civil Rights movement would work better than the usage of faux Christian Supremacist imagery, in part because it would likely backfire badly as there are real ‘Christian Supremacists’ pushing for – or insisting that – the historical record somehow already proving that there should be no separation between Church (preferably their own brand) & State. There’s also the fact that most of the non-white population of the US is at least nominally christian of one kind or another.

    • bob
      June 11, 2011, 2:54 pm

      The U.S. government defines “White” as “having origins in any of the original peoples of Europe, the Middle East, or North Africa.” This is used by all of your government forms, the census, police organizations, applications, etc. Thats right, if you put your national origin down as Iranian or Egyptian or Moroccan, you are white as per U.S. government standards.

      The development of white as a term and the move from Christian as a term is extremely relevant here, at least for proper effect. Judaism has both religious and ethnic elements, and this can be missed. See link to mondoweiss.net

      • Taxi
        June 11, 2011, 3:31 pm

        bob,

        There are five races on planet earth: African, Chinese, Mongolian, Native American Indian and Caucasian. Aryans AND Semites are considered Caucasian: the Aryans being the lighter-skinned (pink) in the spectrum and Semites being varying shades of olive.

        In our modern times we find multitudes of variations of the above mixed DNA’s.

      • bob
        June 11, 2011, 4:10 pm

        Well, the whole concept is heavily criticized. However, thats how the entirety of the U.S. government words it. Thus, its easily the most used classification system by most Americans. Its importance warrants a place here.

      • Taxi
        June 11, 2011, 4:45 pm

        I agree with what you say, but still, don’t we want to be accurate with such a ‘delicate’ matter as race in our country? I just think it’s weird when governmental official forms ask you to tick under ‘Other’ for race classification. Like, which ‘Other’ – there is no ‘Other’ race. There are simply, scientifically speaking, only five races (and variations of combinations of these five). So many badly educated bureaucrats design these documents and thus keep people in ‘official’ ignorance. If one is of mixed race, then there should be a box to tick on official forms that simply say ‘Mixed’. Unless the form is for statistical reasons, there is no need to elaborate or give any further information on what the ‘mixture’ is – right to privacy etc.

        And I think some, shall we say ‘minorities’, take advantage of bureaucratic and civilian ignorance of the sciences and demand a separate racial category all to themselves. Now that is downright cynical and wrong in every sense of the word.

      • Koshiro
        June 11, 2011, 6:36 pm

        I don’t mean to offend, but… no actually I do mean to offend a little: The whole “race” thing is BS. Nonsense. Weapons-grade balonium.
        The idea that there is a fixed number of “pure” races and that people who do not fit into their standards are “mixed” has been scientifically discarded decades ago. There are no “pure colors”, there is just an infinite variety of shades.

        “Race” is entirely a social construct. Read up on the history of scientific racism if you want to know more.

        P.S.: I have written the above under the assumption you were serious. If you were speaking in jest, disregard this – I’ll attribute the misunderstanding to my being tired.

      • bob
        June 11, 2011, 7:38 pm

        The whole “race” thing is BS.

        True. Thats been established as far back as the 1920’s. The U.S. govt line is an arbitrary one as well. Its also the one thrust upon you the most.

      • VR
        June 11, 2011, 8:07 pm

        I am afraid the American background is very racist from its origins, and specifically from the slave trade and originally trying to perpetuate it in its documents, but also for “conquering” the land and genocide upon the indigenous population. In fact, all one has to do is see the various documents, and the discussions about “white” as opposed to others to not miss the point. Of course, one has to keep in mind the elite use of racism in order to understand the course of any colonialism. Whether one note the racism in the domestic arena, and it does not take much extrapolation to see it in “the white mans burden.”

        Every state constitution in the US spoke of the privilege of “white males,” as opposed to others. Take as one example the Constitution Of The State Of California –

        “Article II.

        Right of Suffrage.

        Sec. 1. Every white male citizen of the United States..”

        Or Arkansas –

        “Arkansas: The citizens of this State shall have the right to keep and bear arms for their common defense. Art. II, § 5 (enacted 1868, art. I, § 5).
        1836: “That the free white men of this State shall have a right to keep and to bear arms for their common defence.” Art. II, § 21.”

        If you think the original state constitutions were bad, look at the study about the definitions in Washington. I can develop more for you later if you want to see more.

      • Taxi
        June 11, 2011, 8:21 pm

        Koshiro,

        Your “infinite variety of shades” are actually finite: immense in variety but nevertheless finite. Now all your many shades are all traceable to the five DNA racial structures. There ain’t nothing wrong in knowing or saying this.

        The roots of today’s multi-ethnic humanity stems from the five races. This is just a statement of fact, not a slogan aimed at offending.

        Also, “Race” is not a social construct. It is fundamentally biology.

      • Koshiro
        June 12, 2011, 7:04 am

        “Now all your many shades are all traceable to the five DNA racial structures. There ain’t nothing wrong in knowing or saying this.”
        Au contraire. There is everything wrong with it. It’s pseudoscientific nonsense, as thoroughly discredited as the geocentric model of the universe.

    • clenchner
      June 11, 2011, 5:52 pm

      Are most Israelis white?
      That depends. In the US, immigrants from Iran and the Arab world are generally not seen as white. A majority of the Jewish population in Israel is descended, in whole or in part, from populations that are native to the Middle East – Arabs, Persians, Turks, etc.
      If you think of Arabs as ‘white’ than yes, most Israelis are white. If you think of Arabs as ‘not white’ then no, most Israelis are not white.

      • Avi
        June 11, 2011, 6:59 pm

        clenchner June 11, 2011 at 5:52 pm

        Are most Israelis white?
        That depends. In the US, immigrants from Iran and the Arab world are generally not seen as white. A majority of the Jewish population in Israel is descended, in whole or in part, from populations that are native to the Middle East – Arabs, Persians, Turks, etc.
        If you think of Arabs as ‘white’ than yes, most Israelis are white. If you think of Arabs as ‘not white’ then no, most Israelis are not white.

        Note to readers:

        The commenter above hides behind semantics and superficial definitions to obscure the racist nature of mainstream Israeli culture and society.

        Specifically, the phrase “if you think of Arabs as white” is meaningless. Why? In Israeli society, European and North American Jews are considered white. In Israeli society, Jews from North Africa and the Middle East are considered brown, non-white.

        And although the majority of Israelis are not Ashkenazi, meaning they are not white, the centers of power in the state are held by white Jews. Non-White Jews are marginalized.

  19. American
    June 11, 2011, 1:22 pm

    Hummmm….looking at this twice I am not so sure Christians and Blacks should used.

    Both Christians and Black’s might take offense at their being used and start a whole flap about it and take away from the real message.

    Maybe go with Americans or Protestants or Gentiles or something like that and Jews or Zionist Jews……yea that will piss the zios and some Jews off but then they will be pissed off anyway….. that way the battle stays between us and them…….and doesn’t invite attacks on the ad from Blacks and Christians.

    • MRW
      June 11, 2011, 2:07 pm

      American, Mo is right. Shock value. When you start splitting the meaning, you fall down the same hole that has perpetuated it for 60 years.

      The point is: is the Christians/Blacks issue the same as the Jews/Arabs issue?

      • American
        June 11, 2011, 2:52 pm

        I am all for shock and awe on this…..but my concern is it will get sidetracked if the “public’ reaction ‘focuses’ on the Black and Christian example and as always there are always those (helped on by the zios) who will try to distort the motivation for using the christian -black example…and they of course will be heard in the public ‘media’ whereas those who used the example in good faith won’t have a venue to explain the example..
        So it could boomarang is all I am saying.
        It only takes one or two zio propagandist or christian zio fanatic to start a phony tirade to distract the public from the real meaning.

      • MRW
        June 11, 2011, 5:14 pm

        It will happen anyway. I think the worse thing is to make it about us.

  20. Matthew Taylor
    June 11, 2011, 1:27 pm

    love it! very clever

  21. MRW
    June 11, 2011, 1:28 pm

    Brilliant.

    Where could we get these printed cheaply on 8.5 x 11 permanent adhesive labels?
    Telephone poles at lights come to mind.

    QR Codes, too.
    Stick those on car bumpers for fun stuck in traffic in urban areas.

  22. Donald
    June 11, 2011, 1:33 pm

    I think this poster is just a disaster waiting to happen. To begin with, there is tree’s point that many or most blacks are Christian, so it confuses the issue. Then I predict a great many blacks would be offended by it for that reason. Then you get placed on the defensive for being insensitive.

    Also, the poster assumes that the average American will understand what the point is supposed to be, which I consider wildly implausible. People here (including me) are always comparing Israel to the Jim Crow south (or to sundown towns in the north, or at least we should) or to apartheid South Africa, so we immediately get it, but the average American reading this would be thoroughly confused. Who is the intended audience for this? It would only work on people who already understand what the point is supposed to be.

    “Edgy” is overrated, in my opinion. It’s always risky in the sense that it might backfire. Leave that sort of thing to individual comics like the late George Carlin. Just make the case as clearly and simply as possible that Israel resembles apartheid South Africa or the Jim Crow south and save the edginess for the time when the vast majority of Americans could be expected to get the point as quickly as a Mondoweiss reader.

    • MRW
      June 11, 2011, 2:08 pm

      Then you get placed on the defensive for being insensitive.

      No, we don’t. We blame a Brit. ;-)

    • emi
      June 11, 2011, 3:18 pm

      I’m with you, Donald. Mo, I think your idea is quite clever, but the Palestine solidarity movement here in the US has not done the best job of building relationships with communities of color, and especially Black folks. Black folks doing political work are natural allies in this struggle and there are many many phenom Black organizers doing powerful Pal solidarity work, but we (and by we I mean mostly white activists) have not done our own work of creating spaces that are comfortable or accessible to Black activists and other people of color, or of prioritizing their insights, experience, or leadership in most of the organizing happening here. This campaign could be seen to use the symbol of African Americans’ oppression while actually silencing them yet again.

      • GuiltyFeat
        June 11, 2011, 5:04 pm

        @emi

        I’m not sure that referring to the African-American community as “Black folks” is going to help you build the relationships you’re looking for.

      • emi
        June 11, 2011, 5:34 pm

        @ guilty, I don’t know what experiences have led you to that conclusion, but my own experience living/working/organizing in New Orleans (where our Pal solidarity organizing is actually pretty racially diverse, incidentally) as well as collaborating with people/organizations of color in US cities in the North, South, East and West would not support your idea.

        Perhaps by doing the work of building organizing community across racial lines, we can better address questions about how to identify various groups.

      • Bumblebye
        June 11, 2011, 5:55 pm

        I dunno, it may inspire a “Not on Our Dime” anti-military (etc) aid campaign against Israeli apartheid.

    • Keith
      June 11, 2011, 4:54 pm

      DONALD- “I think this poster is just a disaster waiting to happen.”

      You speak for me, partner. A general rule of thumb is to avoid written sarcasm and parody whenever possible due to the misunderstandings which will inevitably result. Besides, I think that there are sufficient people who don’t have a clue as to what is going on that straight forward information can be of educational benefit. How about a poster which says: “Israel Segregation is: Jewish only neighborhoods with the right to refuse Arabs”? Folks carrying the signs will need specific examples to back up the claim when challenged.

    • mudder
      June 11, 2011, 8:36 pm

      Donald–I agree 100%. There is a level of irony here that would fly over the heads of most Americans. But the humor is excellent for mondoweiss readers.

    • James
      June 12, 2011, 3:45 am

      i also agree with donald…

      • libra
        June 12, 2011, 8:31 am

        I completely agree with Donald on all his points. Though I think he underplays just how big a disaster this could be. In a street setting, posters like this could provoke (or be used as an excuse to deliberately provoke) violence. Then the likes of the Dersh really would have a field day (and all the media attention).

  23. MRW
    June 11, 2011, 1:33 pm

    Also, fix this punctuation, and make type larger:

    “ON GHETTO” OR “HOOD” LAND. FOR SECURITY REASONS.

    should read:

    ON “GHETTO” OR “HOOD” LAND. FOR SECURITY REASONS.

  24. MRW
    June 11, 2011, 1:38 pm

    [Gilding the lily?]

    WE DEMAND THE SAME RIGHTS
    $US LET OUR ISRAELI FRIENDS ENJOY

    Which would also work with:

    WE DEMAND THE SAME RIGHTS
    $CAN LET OUR ISRAELI FRIENDS ENJOY

  25. MRW
    June 11, 2011, 1:42 pm

    Can you imagine amending this for Europe and using MUSLIMS instead of BLACKS in the placard?

    Shades of 1933.

  26. jonah
    June 11, 2011, 2:28 pm

    Little but essential flaw of this wishful campaign:

    Black people in the US are not willing to kill white christian people, and they are not willing to destroy the state in which they live.

    • Bumblebye
      June 11, 2011, 2:57 pm

      Ya mean like ‘the Jews’ did, destroying the state, killing and expelling its indigenous people, in order to create Israel? In which they continue to kill non Jews, dispossess them, etc,etc, in order to destroy their state and create Eretz Israel?

    • bob
      June 11, 2011, 3:00 pm

      It used to be a widespread belief and a trope used by whites to promote ethnic unity in the face of external aggressors. See birth of a nation for a little detail here.

    • robin
      June 11, 2011, 3:00 pm

      Really jonah? Some Americans will tell you different, and certainly many of them would have a few decades ago.

      Racist oppression always has its rationalizations. They are just never valid.

      But I like where you are going with this. Maybe you should express these sentiments in a placard of your own. Arabs: worse than Blacks!

    • David Samel
      June 11, 2011, 3:01 pm

      Little but essential flaw in your analogy, jonah. Black people in the US are guaranteed equal rights under the law, and while they still live with the consequences of racism, overt racism is widely considered disgraceful and in many cases illegal as well. Moreover, there were terrible, violent riots in the 1960’s which did not “delegitimize” the claim for equal rights, just as the Nat Turner rebellion did not delegitimize the anti-slavery movement. I don’t know if you realize it, but your position necessarily implies that Jewish only roads, and Jewish only neighborhoods, and walls between communities IS perfectly fine with you, because of the security situation. Do you really want to take this position, or do you think you are not doing so?

      • jonah
        June 11, 2011, 4:58 pm

        What Jewish only neighborhoods are you referring to, David? Can you provide some hard evidence?
        Don’t have Arabs in Israel the same rights as Jews, can’t they go to vote for their candidates and elect them in the Knesset? Don’t they enjoy advantages such as free school education, free health insurance, financial support for children under the age of 16, financial support for divorced or widowed ladies, financial support for handicapped & Senior citizens, as the Jews do? Why even Israelistamps are written in Arabic alongside Hebrew?
        And if all this is false, why the majority of Israeli Arabs want to stay under Israel control even after a final agreement on the establishment of a Palestinian state?
        link to ynetnews.com
        link to voices.washingtonpost.com

        Nevertheless, their political representatives in Israel take a stand close to that of the PLO or even Hamas, insisting on arguments that I do not need to repeat here because it’s well known. Quite schizophrenic, isn’t it? (Or simply disingenuous?)

        On the other hand, what about racism in Arab countries, where neither Jews nor Christians can live free from persecution, discrimination and ban, if ever they are allowed to live there. And what about a possible Palestinian state? Would it be really different from the rest of Arab misery with regard to religious and ethnic tollerance, political stability and freedom? Would not bet.

      • Robert Werdine
        June 11, 2011, 6:18 pm

        Well Jonah, the fact of the matter is nobody wants to talk about Arab racism–that’s a distraction.

        Nobody wants to talk about furies wreaking havoc both in and from the region come not from Israel, but from culturally and politically dysfunctional societies long wedded to a centuries-old pathology of violence, oppression, corruption, and intolerance.

        Nobody wants to talk about the fact that Hamas, like every other totalitarian regime in history, recognize no law but force and fraud and murder to achieve their barely concealed goals, and mock and deride the ethnic, religious, and cultural pluralism of Israel and the West.

        No one wants to talk about Hamas’ brutally medieval drive to “Islamicise” Gaza, where it forces women to wear the hijab and men to grow beards. Where it burnt down the last beer factory in Gaza and banned the sale of alcoholic drinks. Where bands of youths calling themselves “Brigades of Enforcing the Good and Combating Evil” raid homes in search of alcohol, Western music and videos, unIslamic T-shirts and other “sinful items”. Where young men and women found together in public, or even in private cars, are stopped and interrogated to make sure unmarried couples do not violate Sharia rules.

        Nobody wants to talk about the Hamas media indoctrination where children are fed a diet of pure hate of Israel and Jews on a daily basis. Where they are taught to worship and pursue Jihad through violence, murder, and martyrdom. Where they are taught the use of weapons. Nobody wants to discuss this violently poisonous, criminally negligent brainwashing of youth for hatred and mass murder that is tantamount to a kind of mass child abuse.

        These, Jonah, are tiresome distractions. Better to focus on BDS.

      • mudder
        June 11, 2011, 9:09 pm

        Jonah,
        “On the other hand, what about racism in Arab countries, where neither Jews nor Christians can live free from persecution, discrimination and ban, if ever they are allowed to live there. ”

        The moral failures of others is never atonement for one’s own sins.

      • Avi
        June 12, 2011, 3:17 am

        jonah June 11, 2011 at 4:58 pm

        On the other hand, what about racism in Arab countries, where neither Jews nor Christians can live free from persecution, discrimination and ban, if ever they are allowed to live there. And what about a possible Palestinian state?

        That’s a bizarre statement to make in light of the fact that Christians and Muslims and Jews have lived in the Middle East for centuries and got along just fine if it were not for Crusaders from Europe or Zionists from, you guessed it, Europe.

        And then you’ll cite Egypt, neglecting to mention that the Israeli-supported dictatorial government of Mubarak fommented conflict beween Copts and Muslims. You will also cite Lebanon, claiming that Muslims massacred Christians there, but somehow neglect to mention that an Israeli-backed Christian militia killed thousands of Muslims. You will also cite Iraq, neglecting to mention that an invasion of western powers destroyed whatever social fabric held the country together.

        I won’t write in length about your repeated vilification of more than 300,000,000 Arabs — from more than 20 different countries, from the Atlantic to the Persian Gulf — when you lump them all together as you forget that Arab Muslims and Christians alike, live to this day, side by side in many parts of the Middle East.

        It is however rather instructive that you suddenly care about Christians being persecuted.

        But you and I both know that you do so because your audience is — for the most part — an American Christian audience. It’s a golden opportunity for you to vilify Muslims, yet again.

        That the Israel lobby uses the “Judeo-Christian” line to create a fictitious connection between Israel and the US is no coincidence.

        P.S. – Did you know that unlike Judaism, Islam allows for the mixed marriage of a Muslim and a non-Muslim?

        You did not know that, did you?

        Well, now you do.

      • jonah
        June 12, 2011, 9:04 am

        Hallo Robert, my answer to you was censored …. probably too tough for the sensible anti-Zionist ears … Anyway, I totally agree with you: the unbalance between the continuous bashing of Israel and the silence on the evil forces at work in the Arab world is symptomatic for the bias of the anti-Israel movement.

        Avi,
        “That’s a bizarre statement to make in light of the fact that Christians and Muslims and Jews have lived in the Middle East for centuries and got along just fine if it were not for Crusaders from Europe or Zionists from, you guessed it, Europe. ”

        False, there were repeated persecutions of Jews in the Arab-Islamic world throughout the centuries, even tough to a less extent than in Europe. link to jewishvirtuallibrary.org

        “But you and I both know that you do so because your audience is — for the most part — an American Christian audience. It’s a golden opportunity for you to vilify Muslims, yet again. ”

        I have no intention at all to vilify Muslims, but – unlike you – I acknowledge the fact that Israel must face hostile forces in the Arab world which seek her destruction and therefore can not afford to be complacent. Ask yourself if you, in your heart, actually do not support those forces.

      • Avi
        June 12, 2011, 4:22 pm

        jonah June 12, 2011 at 9:04 am

        False, there were repeated persecutions of Jews in the Arab-Islamic world throughout the centuries, even tough to a less extent than in Europe. link to jewishvirtuallibrary.org

        Why is it that Israel’s defenders are habitually intellectually lazy?

        Using Orientalist sources to support such claims is ludicrous, especially when the racist Islamophobe Bernard Lewis is cited.

      • Robert Werdine
        June 12, 2011, 6:53 pm

        Goodness, it seems that we have here a disciple of Edward Said.

        “Orientalist sources?” Oh, please.

        So Bernard Lewis is a “racist Islamophobe” is he?

        I challenge you to prove that assertion. What have you read by Lewis that could possibly support this slander? Better dust off your copy of “Orientalism.”

      • Hostage
        June 12, 2011, 8:22 pm

        So Bernard Lewis is a “racist Islamophobe” is he?

        Surely. Lewis says that Arabs aren’t ready for democracy or free and fair elections, because the “religious parties” have an advantage and it can only lead to disastrous results.

        Lewis makes the absolutely ludicrous claim that “The language of Western democracy is for the most part newly translated and not intelligible to the great masses.” In fact, western missionaries, educators, and Arab scholars have been translating and publishing western literature throughout the regions of modern day Syria, Lebanon, and Palestine since the late 18th century and the overwhelming majority of the region are literate (83-93 percent). The American University of Beirut was founded in 1866 and the American University of Cairo was founded a year after the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, in 1919.

        Dr Hassan A El-Najjar has noted that:

        The UN educational program was so successful that the Palestinian level of higher education in the 1970s was among the highest in the world. The ratio of Palestinian college students to the general Palestinian population was 20/1000 in 1977. Among the refugee segment of the population, it was even higher reaching about 47/1000 in 1986. For other leading societies, the ratio was 30/1000 for the U.S., 18/1000 for USSR, 9/1000 for France, 8/1000 for England, and 4/1000 for the Arab states as a whole. –See Hassan A El-Najjar, “The Gulf War”, Amazone Press, 2001

      • Avi
        June 12, 2011, 9:28 pm

        Robert Werdine June 12, 2011 at 6:53 pm

        Goodness, it seems that we have here a disciple of Edward Said.

        “Orientalist sources?” Oh, please.

        So Bernard Lewis is a “racist Islamophobe” is he?

        I challenge you to prove that assertion. What have you read by Lewis that could possibly support this slander? Better dust off your copy of “Orientalism.”

        Note to readers:

        The commenter above has been shown in the past to be a liar. He also pretends to be an Arab, a demonstrably fraudulent claim.

        In light of these facts, it comes as no surprise that he would be unfamiliar with an Orientalist like Bernard Lewis.

      • James North
        June 12, 2011, 9:43 pm

        Hostage: I don’t thank you enough for your calm, fact-filled posts. But I particularly liked this one, which shows some of Lewis’s true colors.

      • Hostage
        June 12, 2011, 10:55 pm

        Thank you James. One of the things I’ve enjoyed the most about this site are the many fact-filled articles that you’ve authored. But I must confess that I’ve also enjoyed your skillful translations of Richard Witty’s posts too. The language that he employs has heretofore been, for the most part, completely unintelligible to the great western masses. ;-)

      • Avi
        June 13, 2011, 2:07 am

        Hostage,

        Normally I wouldn’t dignify werdine with a serious response.

        Nonetheless, as I’ve said in the past, thank you for your contribution.

        P.S. – Watch out for that guy, James North, he likes irritable oysters ;)

      • Hostage
        June 13, 2011, 3:47 am

        Normally I wouldn’t dignify werdine with a serious response.

        I know how you feel. In an earlier post I had pointed out to Robert that Zionist historian Walter Laqueur had written that Bernard Lewis was the main culprit who had misled the American public about the nature of Islam and the threat to Americans from terrorism in essays like “The Roots of Muslim Rage”. See Walter Laqueur, “No end to war: terrorism in the twenty-first century”, Continuum International Publishing Group, 2004, page 134.

        Of course, uber-Zionist “historian” Michael Oren has written “Power, Faith, and Fantasy: America in the Middle East, 1776 to the Present” and it is full of accounts that discredit the claim made by Lewis that the language of western democracy is newly translated and not intelligible to the great masses. Oren relates that:

        “As a graduate student twenty years ago, I was shocked when my professor of modern Arab history mentioned an episode that occurred in the late 1860s in Egypt. A group of Civil War veterans, Confederate and Union officers, were sent by General Sherman, the Chief of the U.S. Army, to Egypt to help modernize the Egyptian army. While there, these officers proceeded to build a school system to teach democracy and literacy to Egyptian kids. Now, I found this just fascinating.

        So, it was just too tempting not to feed the trolls one more time. I promise I’ll try to cutback and let Werdine irritate the oysters.

      • Avi
        June 13, 2011, 5:18 am

        I promise I’ll try to cutback and let Werdine irritate the oysters.

        Hostage,

        I mean this, do NOT cutback on your posting here. You are an invaluable member of this community. I should have better phrased my previous comment to you.

      • Hostage
        June 13, 2011, 5:58 am

        I promise I’ll try to cutback and let Werdine irritate the oysters.

        Only means I’ll try to chime-in after someone else goes first |:>)

      • jonah
        June 13, 2011, 11:09 am

        Avi –
        Again you prove to be short-sighted. You cling to the argument that Lewis is an alleged Islamophobe (your inference , poorly supported by the arguments of Hostage, and I mean this literally) for the purpose of denying the fact that throughout history within the Islamic world there has been repeatedly persecution of the Jews (see your statement above).
        How can you be so clouded by your beliefs? Why so impudently deny historical evidence? Or can you prove that Lewis and many other scholars are wrong? Of course not. The intellectual attitude (dishonesty) displayed on this site is simply appalling.

        I suggest you some basic education to get your facts straight:
        link to middleeastfacts.com or maybe this for summer reading:
        link to amazon.com

        Furthermore, it doesn’t surprise me that you and Hostage are just so eager to target a professor emeritus as Lewis is, since he dares to criticize your pretended myth of the “Golden Age” for Jews under Islamic rule in the Middle Age:
        “The claim to tolerance, now much heard from Muslim apologists and more especially from apologists for Islam, is also new. It is only very recently that some defenders of Islam have begun to assert that their society in the past accorded equal status to non-Muslims. No such claim is made by spokesmen for resurgent Islam, and historically there is no doubt that they are right. Traditional Islamic societies neither accorded such equality nor pretended that they were so doing. Indeed, in the old order, this would have been regarded not as a merit but as a dereliction of duty. How could one accord the same treatment to those who follow the true faith and those who willfully reject it? This would be a theological as well as a logical absurdity. (Chapter 1, page 4 of his book “The Jews in Islam”)

        The historical revisionism in which you are engaged appears to be inscribed in the very unfortunate tradition that it clumsly attempts to conceal.

      • jonah
        June 13, 2011, 11:16 am

        … clumsily …

      • Robert Werdine
        June 13, 2011, 3:56 pm

        Hostage and Avi,

        RW: “So Bernard Lewis is a “racist Islamophobe” is he?

        Hostage: “Surely. Lewis says that Arabs aren’t ready for democracy or free and fair elections, because the “religious parties” have an advantage and it can only lead to disastrous results.

        Lewis makes the absolutely ludicrous claim that “The language of Western democracy is for the most part newly translated and not intelligible to the great masses.” In fact, western missionaries, educators, and Arab scholars have been translating and publishing western literature throughout the regions of modern day Syria, Lebanon, and Palestine since the late 18th century and the overwhelming majority of the region are literate (83-93 percent). The American University of Beirut was founded in 1866 and the American University of Cairo was founded a year after the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, in 1919. “

        The above seems to demonstrate the Hostage method of obfuscation: make a spurious assertion, or twist a quote out of context, advance a specious argument on it, and then make an utterly irrelevant citation (or a flurry of citations) supposedly in support of the specious argument:

        ” In fact, western missionaries, educators, and Arab scholars have been translating and publishing western literature throughout the regions of modern day Syria, Lebanon, and Palestine since the late 18th century and the overwhelming majority of the region are literate (83-93 percent). The American University of Beirut was founded in 1866 and the American University of Cairo was founded a year after the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, in 1919. “

        I’m missing something here. Did Lewis somewhere deny any of this? What in the world has this to do with anything? Lewis was not even commenting, disparagingly or otherwise, on the level of education in the Arab world, or what curricula involved study of the West; he was discussing, generally, the unfamiliarity with the practice of Western-style democracy in the Arab-Muslim world.

        But were his statements racist or Islamophobic, as you suggest?

        Let’s try the whole quote, shall we?

        “We, in the Western world particularly, tend to think of democracy in our own terms – that’s natural and normal – to mean periodic elections in our style. But I think it’s a great mistake to try and think of the Middle East in those terms and that can only lead to disastrous results, as you’ve already seen in various places. They are simply not ready for free and fair elections…

        If there’s a genuinely free election – assuming that such a thing could happen – the religious parties have an immediate advantage. First, they have a network of communication through the preacher and the mosque which no other political tendency can hope to equal. Second, they use familiar language. The language of Western democracy is for the most part newly translated and not intelligible to the great masses.

        In genuinely fair and free elections, [the Muslim parties] are very likely to win and I think that would be a disaster. A much better course would be a gradual development of democracy, not through general elections, but rather through local self-governing institutions. For that, there is a real tradition in the region.”

        Lewis was merely emphasizing here, among other things, a crucial cultural difference in approach to governance between the particulars of Western-style democracy and the mores of social and political authority as it has existed, and exists, today in the Arab world.

        Lewis’ belief that elections should not be held too soon in societies unused to self-governance is surely prudent, in a Burkean sense. His fears about the superior political organization of the Muslim are also well founded; I, for one, would shudder to see happen to Egypt what happened to Gaza, and Lewis is absolutely correct that it would be a disaster for everyone; you may feel differently. In any event, Lewis nowhere singles out Arabs or Muslims as being either incapable or unworthy of democracy on the basis of their race and/or religion, and never has. Quite the contrary.

        Said Lewis in the same interview:

        “There are other trends within the Islamic world which look back to their own glorious paths and think in other terms. There is a great deal of talk nowadays about consultation. That is very much part of the tradition.

        The sort of authoritarian, even dictatorial regimes, that rule most of the countries in the modern Islamic Middle East, are a modern creation. They are a result of modernization. The pre-modern regimes were much more open, much more tolerant. You can see this from a number of contemporary descriptions. And the memory of that is still living.”

        “If you look at the history of the Middle East in the Islamic period, and if you look at their own political literature, it is totally against authoritarian or absolutist rule. The word they always insist on is consultation. This is not just a matter of theory. There’s a remarkable passage, for example, in the report of a French ambassador to the sultan of Turkey a few years before the French Revolution.

        The French ambassador was instructed by his government to press the Turkish government in certain negotiations and was making very slow progress. Paris said angrily, “Why don’t you do something?”

        The ambassador replied that “you must understand that here things are not as they are in France, where the king is sole master and does as he pleases. Here, the sultan has to consult with the holders of high office. He has to consult with the retired former holders of high office. He has to consult with the merchants, the craft guilds and all sorts of other groups.”

        This is absolutely true. It’s an extraordinarily revealing and informative passage and the point comes up again and again through the 19th and 20th centuries.

        You have this traditional system of consultation with groups which are not democratic as we use that word in the Western world, but which have a source of authority other than the state – authority which derives from within the group, whether it be the landed gentry or the civil service, or the scribes or whatever. That’s very important. And that form of consultation could be a much better basis for the development of free and civilized government.”

        Question: “And therefore, for an anxious West which is trying to work out what signals it should be sending and what processes it should be encouraging, what opportunity does America and the free world have to influence this process?”

        ”I’d rather take it from the other side and say what signals you should not be sending. And that is not pressing for elections. This idea that a general election, Western-style, is a solution to all these problems, seems to me a dangerous fallacy which can only lead to disaster. I think we should let them do it their way by consultative groups. There are various kinds. There are all sorts of possibilities. It’s happening now in Iraq, for example.”

        Here is what Lewis had to say about the role of women:

        “There’s one other group of people that I think one should bear in mind when considering the future of the Middle East, and that is women. The case has been made, and I think there is some force in it, that the main reason for the relative backwardness of the Islamic world compared to the West is the treatment of women. As far as I know, it was first made by a Turkish writer called Namik Kemal in about 1880. At that time an agonizing debate had been going on for more than a century: What went wrong? Why did we fall behind the West?

        He said, “The answer is very clear. We fell behind the West because of the way we treat our women. By the way we treat our women we deprive ourselves of the talents and services of half the population. And we submit the early education of the other half to ignorant and downtrodden mothers.”

        It goes further than that. A child who grows up in a traditional Muslim household is accustomed to authoritarian, autocratic rule from the start. I think the position of women is of crucial importance.

        That is why I am looking with great interest at Tunisia. Tunisia is the one Arab country that has really done something about women. In Tunisia there is compulsory education for girls, from primary school, right through. In Tunisia, women are to be found in the professions. There are doctors, lawyers, journalists, politicians and so on. Women play a significant part in public life in Tunisia. I think that is going to have an enormous impact. It’s already having this in Tunisia and you can see that in various ways. But this will certainly spread to other parts of the world.

        Elsewhere, the question of women and the role of the women is of crucial importance for the future of the Muslim world in general.”

        There is, in all of the above statements, the expert observations of a man who has read all and seen all, and a scholar of profound, deep-searching erudition, and tolerant open-mindedness. These views make a mockery of your reprehensible attempts to paint Lewis as a “racist Islamophobe,” an assertion positively slanderous in the sheer depravity of its falsehood.

        Many people on the left and elsewhere made similar prudent, sensible criticisms of over-optimistic neo-con strategies to turn Iraq into a Jeffersonian democracy overnight, too. Were they all “racist Islamophobes” too?

        Lewis’ skepticism and caution about the too-sudden transition to democracy and Western-style elections in the Arab spring is, in fact, reminiscent of Edmund Burke’s views on the French Revolution, at a similar stage. In a letter to a Frenchman in October of 1789, Burke expressed his solid conviction that liberty was the birthright of all peoples:

        “You hope, sir, that I think the French deserving of liberty. I certainly do. I certainly think that all men who desire it, deserve it. It is not the reward of our merit, or the acquisition of our industry. It is our inheritance. It is the birthright of our species. We cannot forfeit our right to it, but by what forfeits our title to the privileges of our kind. I mean the abuse, or oblivion, of our rational faculties, and a ferocious indocility which makes us prompt to wrong and violence, destroys our social nature, and transforms us into something little better than the description of wild beasts. To men so degraded, a state of strong constraint is a sort of necessary substitute for freedom; since, bad as it is s it may deliver them in some measure from the worst of all slavery, that is, the despotism of their own blind and brutal passions.”

        Burke then went on to explain that liberty is a responsibility, and must never be confused with unrestrained license:

        “You have kindly said, that you began to love freedom from your intercourse with me. Permit me then to continue our conversation, and to tell you what the freedom is that I love, and that to which I think all men entitled. This is the more necessary, because, of all the loose terms in the world, liberty is the most indefinite. It is not solitary, unconnected, individual, selfish liberty, as if every man was to regulate the whole of his conduct by his own will. The liberty I mean is social freedom. It is that state of things in which liberty is secured by the equality of restraint. A constitution of things in which the liberty of no one man, and no body of men, and no number of men, can find means to trespass on the liberty of any person, or any description of persons, in the society. This kind of liberty is, indeed, but another name for justice; ascertained by wise laws, and secured by well-constructed institutions. I am sure that liberty, so
        incorporated, and in a manner identified with justice, must be infinitely dear to every one who is capable of conceiving what it is. But whenever a separation is made between liberty and justice, neither is, in my opinion, safe, I do not believe that men ever did submit, certain I am that they never ought to have submitted, to the arbitrary pleasure of one man; but, under circumstances in which the arbitrary pleasure of many persons in the community pressed with an intolerable hardship upon the just and eqnal rights of their fellows, such a choice might be made, as among evils. The moment will is set above reason and justice, in any community, a great question may arise in sober minds, in what part or portion of the community that dangerous dominion of will may be the least mischievously placed.”

        Presciently forecasting the catastrophe and chaos that would soon engulf all of France, Burke explained that the unrestrained passions of the mob, given free reign, are a worse tyrant than any king:

        “But if (for in my present want of information I must only speak hypothetically, ) neither your great assemblies, nor your judicatures, nor your municipalities, act, and forbear to act, in the particulars, upon the principles, and in the spirit that I have stated, I must delay my congratulations on your acquisition of liberty. You may have made a revolution, but not a reformation. You may have subverted monarchy, but not recovered freedom.

        You are now to live in a new order of things, under a plan of government of which no man can speak from experience. Your talents, your public spirit, and your fortune, give you fair pretensions to a considerable share in it. Your settlement may be at hand; but that it is still at some distance, is more likely. The French may be yet to go through more transmigrations. They may pass, as one of our poets says, ‘through many varieties of untried being,” before their state obtains its final form. In that progress through chaos and darkness, you will find it necessary (at all times it is more or less so) to fix rules to keep your life and conduct in some steady course. You have theories enough concerning the rights of men ; it may not be amiss to add a small degree of attention to their nature and disposition. It is with man in the concrete; it is with common human life, and human actions, you are to be concerned.

        Never wholly separate in your mind the merits of any political question, from the men who are concerned in it. You will be told, that if a measure is good, what have you to do with the character and views of those who bring it forward. But designing men never separate their plans from their interests ; and, if you assist them in their schemes, you will find the pretended good, in the end, thrown aside or perverted, and the interested object alone compassed, and that, perhaps, through your means. The power of bad men is no indifferent thing.”

        Indeed. What both Lewis and Burke were both saying is rather simple: that liberty and freedom are the birthright of all peoples, but that democracy must never succumb to mass demagoguery or mob rule, and that liberty unrestrained is a vice to all. Supporters and proponents of democracy in the Arab world ignore this timeless wisdom at their peril.

        Hostage: “In an earlier post I had pointed out to Robert that Zionist historian Walter Laqueur had written that Bernard Lewis was the main culprit who had misled the American public about the nature of Islam and the threat to Americans from terrorism in essays like “The Roots of Muslim Rage”. See Walter Laqueur, “No end to war: terrorism in the twenty-first century”, Continuum International Publishing Group, 2004, page 134.”

        Yes, you did indeed point that out to me, and it was hilarious. So it was all a lie, this business of militant Islam and its dangers, just some sordid rumor spread by one man. Who knew?

        Please. In any event it may have slipped your notice that Laqueur did not himself characterize Lewis as the “main culprit who misled the American public about Islam.” In a discussion of post-colonial and post-Orientalist academics (Edward Said, John Esposito) and their views on militant Islam and terrorism, Laqueur was discussing the writings and views of John Esposito, and was describing Esposito’s view (and the views of other post-Orientalists) of Lewis a s the “main culprit who misled the American public about Islam”; Laqueur did not make this preposterous mischaracterization of Lewis himself.

        Laqueur also describes Said’s rabid and unbalanced slander on Lewis:

        “[Said] had likewise been provoked by Lewis, and had attacked him in terms seldom found in academic discourse. Lewis was [according to Said] not only strident and reductionist, his practices were fraudulent, bogus, anti-human, and arrogant, and his thesis was devoid of historical truth, and indeed rational argument.”

        Laqueur praises the prescience of Lewis’ scholarship on the subject of militant Islam, and excoriates the likes of Said and Esposito for downplaying and dismissing it in the years before 9/11:

        “It was indeed difficult to deny that the post-Orientalists had erred, not just by suggestio falsi, but also by repressio veri.”

        “So, it was just too tempting not to feed the trolls one more time. I promise I’ll try to cutback and let Werdine irritate the oysters.”

        Hah! Please don’t do me favors!

        Well, Hostage and Avi, your attempts to smear Bernard Lewis as a “racist Islamophobe” has come to naught, irreparably and irredeemably. Nice chatting with you boys, as always.

      • Hostage
        June 14, 2011, 8:54 am

        “It was indeed difficult to deny that the post-Orientalists had erred, not just by suggestio falsi, but also by repressio veri.”

        FYI, Laquer was discussing Martin Kramer’s view that post-Oriental post colonial scholars were weaned on the certainty of change from below and that they suppressed the fact that nothing had unfolded according to their theory and expectations. “Wisdom is proved right by all her children” and the events of the Arab Spring 2011 demonstrate plenty of changes initiated from below.

        I’m missing something here. Did Lewis somewhere deny any of this?

        Yes he did. I quoted him verbatim, you did not. He claimed that:

        If there’s a genuinely free election – assuming that such a thing could happen – the religious parties have an immediate advantage. First, they have a network of communication through the preacher and the mosque which no other political tendency can hope to equal. Second, they use familiar language. The language of Western democracy is for the most part newly translated and not intelligible to the great masses.

        Try reading the article next time.

        BTW we get it. You don’t realize how racist and condescending Bernard Lewis sounds when he drones-on about Egyptians and most of the other states in the region being somehow unprepared for democracy or free and fair elections. Throughout the JPost article Lewis makes constant references to the Ottoman period and talks as if the Egyptians just emerged from Turkish domination. He obviously can’t bring himself to honestly discuss the fact that Egypt was a British Protectorate from 1882–1922 with mixed British-Egyptian Courts; a British legal system; and a constitutional Monarchy or Republic ever since 1923 with a parliamentary representative system. The Egyptians understand “democracy” and “free and fair elections”, that’s why they finally got fed-up, poured into the streets, and demanded an end to the oppressive US-Mubarak regime.

        Many people on the left and elsewhere made similar prudent, sensible criticisms of over-optimistic neo-con strategies to turn Iraq into a Jeffersonian democracy overnight, too. Were they all “racist Islamophobes” too?

        Yes. Your posts always sound like the Arabs are the modern-day equivalent of Rudyard Kipling’s “The White Man’s Burden: :The United States and the Philippine Islands”. Civilized people in Spain and the United States justified their imperialism as a noble cause on the same grounds that Bernard Lewis deployed in the Jpost interview. It didn’t occur to them that some of the leaders of the Philippine revolution, like José Rizal, had two earned doctorates from European universities and was conversant in twenty two languages. There was nothing prudent or wise about anyone who suggested that the people of Iraq couldn’t manage their own damned affairs. The United States had the three-fifths compromise on slavery under Jefferson. There was no “Jeffersonian democracy” here, until long after the 14th and 19th Amendments to the US Constitution were adopted. In the meantime, Americans exercised their 2nd Amendment rights and killed one another and a lot of outsiders who interfered with their right to self-government.

        In 1919 Senator William E. Borah delivered one of the “Classic Speeches” about the proposed League of Nations system of Mandates and the fact that the great powers had done nothing but oppress other peoples and had robbed the Egyptians of their birthright. He suggested the lack of justice and freedom were the greatest problem, not the task of imposing the US model of government or ridding other countries of ignorance:

        Is the method such as to address itself to a government “conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal”? When this league, this combination, is formed four great powers representing the dominant people will rule one-half of the inhabitants of the globe as subject peoples—rule by force, and we shall be a party to the rule of force. There is no other way by which you can keep people in subjection. You must either give them independence, recognize their rights as nations to live their own life and to set up their own form of government, or you must deny them these things by force. That is the scheme, the method proposed by the league. It proposes no other. We will in time become inured to its inhuman precepts and its soulless methods, strange as this doctrine now seems to a free people. If we stay with our contract, we will come in time to declare with our associates that force—force, the creed of the Prussian military oligarchy—is after all the true foundation upon which must rest all stable governments. Korea, despoiled and bleeding at every pore; India, sweltering in ignorance and burdened with inhuman taxes after more than a hundred years of dominant rule; Egypt, trapped and robbed of her birthright; Ireland, with seven hundred years of sacrifice for independence—this is the task, this is the atmosphere, and this is the creed in and under which we are to keep alive our belief in the moral purposes and self-governing capacity of the people, a belief without which the Republic must disintegrate and die. The maxim of liberty will soon give way to the rule of blood and iron. We have been pleading here for our Constitution. Conform this league, it has been said, to the technical terms of our charter, and all will be well. But I declare to you that we must go further and conform to those sentiments and passions for justice and freedom which are essential to the existence of democracy.

      • Robert Werdine
        June 15, 2011, 3:18 pm

        RW: “It was indeed difficult to deny that the post-Orientalists had erred, not just by suggestio falsi, but also by repressio veri.”

        Hostage: “FYI, Laquer was discussing Martin Kramer’s view that post-Oriental post colonial scholars were weaned on the certainty of change from below and that they suppressed the fact that nothing had unfolded according to their theory and expectations.”

        Yes, I know that. The point I was making was that Laqueur did not himself characterize Lewis “the main culprit who had misled the American public about the nature of Islam and the threat to Americans from terrorism in essays like “The Roots of Muslim Rage” as you asserted that he did; Laqueur was describing the views of Esposito on Lewis, not his own. Your citation was therefore incorrect, and misleading.

        RW: “I’m missing something here. Did Lewis somewhere deny any of this?”

        Hostage: “Yes he did. I quoted him verbatim, you did not. He claimed that:

        ‘If there’s a genuinely free election – assuming that such a thing could happen – the religious parties have an immediate advantage. First, they have a network of communication through the preacher and the mosque which no other political tendency can hope to equal. Second, they use familiar language. The language of Western democracy is for the most part newly translated and not intelligible to the great masses.’

        Try reading the article next time.”

        Why don’t you? In the first place, a look at my post will reveal the following quote, verbatim:

        “If there’s a genuinely free election – assuming that such a thing could happen – the religious parties have an immediate advantage. First, they have a network of communication through the preacher and the mosque which no other political tendency can hope to equal. Second, they use familiar language. The language of Western democracy is for the most part newly translated and not intelligible to the great masses.”

        See the similarity? Isn’t it remarkable? I also quoted the preceding and succeeding paragraphs to put Lewis’ remarks in context, which you signally failed to do, lest it spoil your slander of Lewis as a “racist Islamophobe.”

        Secondly, my statement, which you quoted, was in reference to your assertion:

        “In fact, western missionaries, educators, and Arab scholars have been translating and publishing western literature throughout the regions of modern day Syria, Lebanon, and Palestine since the late 18th century and the overwhelming majority of the region are literate (83-93 percent). The American University of Beirut was founded in 1866 and the American University of Cairo was founded a year after the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, in 1919.”

        As I said before, Lewis was not even commenting, disparagingly or otherwise, on the level of education in the Arab world, or what curricula involved study of the West; he was discussing, generally, the unfamiliarity with the practice of Western-style democracy in the Arab-Muslim world. There is no discussion of any educational matters in the interview, and you have adduced not a shred of evidence that he said anything disparaging about the level of, and tradition of, education in the Arab world, let alone that he said anything racist or Islamophobic.

        Said you: “BTW we get it. You don’t realize how racist and condescending Bernard Lewis sounds when he drones-on about Egyptians and most of the other states in the region being somehow unprepared for democracy or free and fair elections. Throughout the JPost article Lewis makes constant references to the Ottoman period and talks as if the Egyptians just emerged from Turkish domination. He obviously can’t bring himself to honestly discuss the fact that Egypt was a British Protectorate from 1882–1922 with mixed British-Egyptian Courts; a British legal system; and a constitutional Monarchy or Republic ever since 1923 with a parliamentary representative system.”

        And a defacto dictatorship since 1953.

        But well put. Edward Said couldn’t have said it better himself.

        In any event, this is pretty thin gruel. It essentially amounts to this: Bernard Lewis is a racist Islamophobe because he has a condescending tone, and didn’t digress at length on the influence of British political institutions upon Egyptian ones, though, as with education, this particular topic was not even under discussion. Lewis also did not discuss the influence of, say, British military doctrine and training on Jordanian tactics in the 1948 War, but that is not evidence that he denies it, or that he “can’t bring himself to honestly discuss” it. To people who are not paranoid, it does not follow that whatever might not be mentioned is necessarily being denied.

        RW: “Many people on the left and elsewhere made similar prudent, sensible criticisms of over-optimistic neo-con strategies to turn Iraq into a Jeffersonian democracy overnight, too. Were they all “racist Islamophobes” too?”

        Hostage: “Yes. Your posts always sound like the Arabs are the modern-day equivalent of Rudyard Kipling’s “The White Man’s Burden: :The United States and the Philippine Islands.”

        Goodness, I am grieved. Now I “sound” racist.

        Hostage, instead of all these rhetorical and argumentative gymnastics, why don’t you just admit the truth: that there is not a shred of evidence that Bernard Lewis is either a racist, or an Islamophobe. It is devoid of any foundation whatever, and a slander. That would certainly be preferable to the tangle of obfuscation, misquotation, and incoherence we have here.

        Why not just say: I disagree with Bernard Lewis on this or that, and here’s why. But no. Clearly that will not do. It only serves to illustrate a grim but unremarkable truth about today’s political discourse: That it is never enough to merely disagree with someone’s views and politics. That it is necessary to deligitimize and even destroy them as moral beings, leaving nothing but a crude, slanderous caricature of hate in place of what might have been an honest, but strong disagreement.

        It also serves to underscore how cynically and dishonestly the subject of race is used and abused here. What better way to shut down any rational discussion of an author’s work or views than to wave the bloody shirt of “racism.” That will do the trick. Every time. It sucks all of the air out of the discussion and instantly focuses odium on the those who are so accused; it sticks, it stinks, and it works. The accused, now wrongfooted, will then protest their innocence, to skeptical and doubtful notice, while their accuser retains the initiative and the momentum from attention to the charge. Everyone may not know what Bernard Lewis has to say about this or that, but everyone knows what a racist is.

        And what a racist is not: Bernard Lewis.

      • Cliff
        June 15, 2011, 4:29 pm

        Jesus, stop flooding the blog with your naval contemplation wederdine/lefavour.

        Hostage cites sources, while you windbag it up with lame jabs (something you did against talknic too) .

        Get a life.

      • Robert Werdine
        June 15, 2011, 6:45 pm

        Ah, Cliff. Still spewing your hilarious slander of me as Michael Lefavour, I see.

        Yes, Hostage does cite sources, and often does so misleadingly. His misquote of Walter Laqueur referring to Bernard Lewis as “the main culprit who had misled the American public about the nature of Islam and the threat to Americans from terrorism” is a case in point. Aside from the absurdity of any one man whom most Americans have never even heard of accomplishing this epic act of “misleading,” what, exactly was misleading, or how it could be done, Laqueur, in fact, was here describing historian John Esposito’s view of Lewis, not his own. Hostage has done this before.

        If I have made any factual assertions in response to either Hostage or Talknic that you feel were not supported by evidence I hope you will take the opportunity to hold me accountable and set me straight. What could these be? Please tell me.

        Hostage and Avi unjustly smeared Bernard Lewis as a “racist Islamophobe.” They did not, I think, make their case. If you feel they were right, maybe you can take a crack at it.

        Instead of engaging in these “lame jabs” yourself, make an argument, if you can.

      • Taxi
        June 15, 2011, 7:18 pm

        How’s the view from Bint J’bail werdine you long-winded be-esser?

        And by the way, are you related to the stupid isreali spy just arrested in Egypt? Cuz you’re both like on the same level of skill: amateur.

      • Robert Werdine
        June 15, 2011, 8:18 pm

        Goodness, another sharp and wounding riposte from the gang who can’t shoot straight. Or argue facts and evidence with a modicum of thoughtfulness or cohesion.

        “How’s the view from Bint J’bail werdine you long-winded be-esser?”

        How’s the view from that open sewer that seems to be your natural habitat?

        “And by the way, are you related to the stupid isreali spy just arrested in Egypt?”

        Yes. We’re all on the hasbara family plan. Covers all benefits, too.

        “Cuz you’re both like on the same level of skill: amateur.”

        (Note to self: Have failed to please. Must keep trying to do better)

      • Taxi
        June 15, 2011, 10:38 pm

        The only open sewer around here is your mouth werdine.

        You’ll never get respect from me settler dude and I for one am still waiting for your apology and fess-up ’bout lying through your tobacco teeth ’bout being a shia from Bint J’bail, South Lebanon.

        You’ll never live down the reputation of being a smarmy pathological liar.

      • Cliff
        June 16, 2011, 5:53 am

        Robert Werdine/Michael LeFavour:

        blah blah blah blah blah

        —-

        LeFavour, if you were going to spam this blog with your long-winded nonsense that mainly consists of (as I previously said) lame, smug insults then you could have just directed us to your old blog.

        You picked the wrong persona to carry on with. Seriously, you’re no different from the last time.

        What makes you even more ridiculous this time is that you’ve switched from pretending to be Native American, to pretending to be Arab.

        I mean, it’s hilarious that a rabid ZioBot would come here spouting textbook hasbara BS as if the commentators here haven’t refuted it all before – but to do it while telling us all that you’re an Arab who went from Chomsky to Efraim Karsh???

        Get lost, clown.

      • Hostage
        June 17, 2011, 5:19 am

        Hostage does cite sources, and often does so misleadingly. His misquote of Walter Laqueur referring to Bernard Lewis as “the main culprit who had misled the American public about the nature of Islam and the threat to Americans from terrorism” is a case in point. Aside from the absurdity of any one man whom most Americans have never even heard of accomplishing this epic act of “misleading,” what, exactly was misleading, or how it could be done, Laqueur, in fact, was here describing historian John Esposito’s view of Lewis, not his own.

        B.S. Robert you’ve repeated a fabricated story several times now that I “misquoted” Walter Laqueur. Now you are arguing against another claim made by Walter Laqueur in the very same passage. He was discussing the “Intelligence Failure” and explained that the Bernard Lewis essay “The Roots of Muslim Rage” was widely read when it was published a decade earlier. So, I guess it’s time to take you down a notch or two and get back to the analysis and the actual text in question.

        I said that “Walter Laqueur had written that Bernard Lewis was the main culprit who had misled the American public about the nature of Islam and the threat to Americans from terrorism in essays like “The Roots of Muslim Rage”.” You can verify that fact right here.

        In the opening sentences, Laqueur is comparing the views of the post-Orientalists against the views of the Orientalists in his own words, not those of Esposito. IMO Laqueur attempts to give Lewis way too much credit for identifying the nature of the threat posed by terrorists, while dismissing Lewis’s idea that they are really Islamic fundamentalists.

        You left out Laqueur’s description of Lewis as the symbol of of everything that was reactionary and hateful in old Orientalism (page 136). BTW, the schtick about the post-Orientalists erring, not just by suggestio falsi, but also by repressio veri has always struck me as overcompensation on Laqueur’s part. He has been billed over the years as an expert of sorts on terrorism. His “A History of Terrorism”, Transaction Publishers, 1977, only mentioned Islam in connection with the 1896 Armenian massacre following the seizure of the Ottoman Bank. His “Postmodern Terrorism: New Rules For An Old Game,” Foreign Affairs – September/October 1996 and his “The New Terrorism: Fanaticism and the Arms of Mass Destruction”, Oxford University Press, 2000 did not mention Al Qaeda, or Bin Laden. He said that most Islamic fundamentalists were not terrorists; that radical Islam was mainly a threat to other Muslims; that the days of aircraft hijackings were over; and that individuals like the Unibomber were the new threat, not guerrilla groups operating from remote areas like Afghanistan and the Philippines. He also noted that factions within the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas had started pursuing their goals through non-violent political means. He published two post 9/11 books on terrorism in 2004. including “No End to war: terrorism in the 21st Century.

        I think Laqueur is overreaching quite a bit by trying to find fault in others, like Esposito and Mamoun Fandy who actually did write about Bin Laden, i.e. “if bin Laden is to kill others, it will not be for Islam and Jahad, but for air time on global television screens.” Fandy also cited Bin Laden’s CNN (Fatwa) interview and the fact that Bin Laden did not have a solid base of support in Saudi Arabia or from the Taliban. The latter raised the possibility of extradicting Bin Laden on several occasions, but Clinton launched air strikes against the pharmaceutical plant in Sudan and the training camps in Afghanistan during the Lewinsky scandal and Bush launched a full invasion.

        In earlier chapters, and in the one under discussion here, Laqueur himself had dismissed the notion that the ideological motivation of the majority of the terrorists was Islamic fundamentalism or a clash with Islamic civilization. He noted that: (a) even an incomplete survey of suicide terrorism shows that many, perhaps most, suicide attacks were carried out by groups that were secular (<a href="link to books.google.com
        "page 84); The so-called “Islamic groups” that carried out the most successful and high profile attacks were certainly radicals, but they were sectarians rather than true fundamentalists (page 110); So-called “Islamism” is a retrograde reading of Islam, i.e. against the mainstream (page 135).

        IMO the notion that any terrorist leader with an extensive porn collection and key followers who frequent strip bars, buy lap dances, drink alcohol, and use drugs do not represent “The Return of Islam” or the “Islamic civilization” that Bernard Lewis has written about.

        Laqueur noted that:

        The post-Orientalist students were genuinely worried [i.e. not suggestio falsi] about those who were misleading, deliberately or not, public opinion about the real essence of Islam. The main culprit was the British historian Bernard Lewis, who had settled in the United States and whose essay “The Roots of Muslim Rage” was widely read when it was published a decade earlier. lt was Lewis’s contention that the struggle between Islam and the West —having lasted fourteen centuries, after a long series of jihads and crusades, attacks and counterattacks — was again seized by an intense and violent resentment of the West.[34]

        He did not quote Esposito or attribute the remarks about Lewis in the second and third sentences to Esposito. The related footnote, 34, does not cite any works authored by Esposito. It does not logically follow then that Laqueur derived the description of “Lewis’s contention” from Esposito either, since the very next sentence explains that Esposito doesn’t dispute the roots as discussed by Lewis who actually was cited. In the remainder of the paragraph whenever Laqueur discusses Esposito’s views he says so, e.g. “Esposito did not dispute”, “as Esposito saw it”, “Esposito believed “.

        In my discussion of the JPost article I restated Lewis’s position verbatim, i.e. that Egypt wasn’t ready for free and fair elections and that it would be a disaster if the religious parties won. Your reply was twaddle about “mores of social and political authority” that was NOT mentioned in the article:

        “Lewis was merely emphasizing here, among other things, a crucial cultural difference in approach to governance between the particulars of Western-style democracy and the mores of social and political authority as it has existed, and exists, today in the Arab world.

        Lewis’ belief that elections should not be held too soon in societies unused to self-governance is surely prudent, in a Burkean sense. His fears about the superior political organization of the Muslim are also well founded”.

      • Robert Werdine
        June 18, 2011, 4:28 pm

        Hostage,

        I can hardly believe this, but it seems you’re at it again.

        Said you: “I said that “Walter Laqueur had written that Bernard Lewis was the main culprit who had misled the American public about the nature of Islam and the threat to Americans from terrorism in essays like “The Roots of Muslim Rage”.” You can verify that fact right here.”

        I know that, and did not dispute what you “said.” I disputed your false attribution of the notion that Bernard Lewis was the “main culprit who had misled the American public about the nature of Islam and the threat to Americans from terrorism in essays like ‘The Roots of Muslim Rage’ to Walter Laqueur when, in fact, Laqueur was here describing the view of Esposito and other post-Orientalists of Lewis, and not his own view. That is what I took issue with, and still do.

        Once, and for all: Walter Laqueur does not believe that Bernard Lewis is or was “the main culprit who had misled the American public about the nature of Islam and the threat to Americans from terrorism in essays like ‘The Roots of Muslim Rage’” and there is no evidence that he does. He in fact praises the prescience of Lewis’ scholarship and writings. That Esposito or Said might say such a thing about Lewis is hardly shocking, but that Laqueur would make such a preposterous characterization himself sounded incredible to me, and I was right.

        Said you: “In the opening sentences, Laqueur is comparing the views of the post-Orientalists against the views of the Orientalists in his own words, not those of Esposito.”

        That is true. So what? I did not say that Laqueur was quoting Esposito and the others; he was describing their views. To describe is not to quote. Here is what I said:

        “In a discussion of post-colonial and post-Orientalist academics (Edward Said, John Esposito) and their views on militant Islam and terrorism, Laqueur was discussing the writings and views of John Esposito, and was describing Esposito’s view (and the views of other post-Orientalists) of Lewis a s the “main culprit who misled the American public about Islam”; Laqueur did not make this preposterous mischaracterization of Lewis himself.”

        Here is the full quote from Laqueur:

        “The post-Orientalist students were genuinely worried about those who were misleading, deliberately or not, public opinion about the real essence of Islam. The main culprit was the British historian Bernard Lewis, who had settled in the United States and whose essay “The Roots of Muslim Rage” was widely read when it was published a decade earlier. lt was Lewis’s contention that the struggle between Islam and the West —having lasted fourteen centuries, after a long series of jihads and crusades, attacks and counterattacks — was again seized by an intense and violent resentment of the West. Esposito did not dispute the roots as discussed by Lewis (of Islamic countries falling behind) but he thought it false and irresponsible to generalize; after all no one would dare talk about Jewish or Christian rage. Readers of Lewis, as Esposito saw it, would logically conclude that Muslims have a historical propensity to violence against and hatred for the west, or else that Muslims are emotional, irrational, and prone to war.”

        There you have it. Laqueur is describing the post-Orientalist views of Lewis, not his own. No one reading the above paragraph, if they are intellectually honest, could conclude anything less.

        You have engaged in this misattribution before. On May 6, 2011:

        “John Esposito has written that the threat from Islam is largely a figment of the imagination and both he and Walter Laqueur wrote that Bernard Lewis was the main culprit who had misled the American public about the nature of Islam and the threat to Americans from terrorism in essays like The Roots of Muslim Rage.”

        Now, anyone reading the above statement cannot possibly fail to notice that you are attributing identical sentiments to both Esposito and Laqueur alike: “[B]oth he and Walter Laqueur wrote that Bernard Lewis was the main culprit who had misled the American public about the nature of Islam and the threat to Americans from terrorism…”

        Now, you could have written that “Walter Laqueur has described how Esposito and other post-Orientalists have characterized Brenard Lewis as the main culprit who had misled the American public about the nature of Islam and the threat to Americans from terrorism in essays like ‘The Roots of Muslim Rage,’” but, of course, that would have involved not enlisting a prominent and highly respected historian like Walter Laqueur in support of your slander of Bernard Lewis, who is not characterized by Laqueur himself as the “the main culprit who had misled the American public about the nature of Islam and the threat to Americans from terrorism,” and who is not, at long last, a “racist Islamophobe.”

        Deal with it, and move on.

      • David Samel
        June 18, 2011, 7:37 pm

        Robert, I don’t have a great interest in whether Laqueur believed bad things about Lewis, but I did get a good laugh when I read your appeal to intellectual honesty. You don’t have a trace of honesty yourself, intellectual or otherwise, and you go to any lengths to justify Israeli mass murder, even against the people who supposedly are your mother’s countrymen. You’re more articulate and sophisticated than Richard Witty, but in my opinion, far more of a lying creep.

      • Robert Werdine
        June 19, 2011, 6:40 pm

        I really need to get a manager to process all the fan mail I get here.

        Ah, David Samel, for the defense!

        Very decent of you to intervene on Hostage’s behalf, and drop me yet another post bristling with the usual invective and slander.

        “You don’t have a trace of honesty yourself, intellectual or otherwise, and you go to any lengths to justify Israeli mass murder, even against the people who supposedly are your mother’s countrymen.”

        Sounds like we have a dissatisfied customer here.

        You know, David, Will Rogers once said of Calvin Coolidge that “he doesn’t say much, and when he does, he doesn’t say much.”

        Well, that is how I feel when I read these periodic tantrums of yours: you don’t say much, and when you do, you don’t say much.

        Blah, blah, blah. Same old invective laced tripe. Your accusations of “dishonesty” are, frankly, laughable. They essentially boil down to my refusal to share your Hamas useful idiocy, your fondness for ludicrous conspiracy theories (the Liberty attack), or your cartoonish, one-sided reading of the history of the I/P conflict, i.e., that Israel is a racist, colonial, apartheid state who murdered, oppressed, and ethnic-cleansed its way to statehood and the Arabs are only victims of Israel’s depredations. History in general is rarely so black and white, and the history of the Arab-Israeli conflict is no exception.

        All you have to offer is the usual histrionic name-calling that is your substitute for argument.

        Of course, I’m more than happy, as always, to address these “lies,” whatever they are, or wherever they may be. Did I “lie” about the Liberty attack, for example? By all means, try me.

      • David Samel
        June 20, 2011, 8:33 am

        Robert, you complain about my “histrionic name-calling”? The fact is, I have repeatedly accused you of specific instances of dishonesty and apology for mass murder, which you have been unable or unwilling to answer. For example, in a thread a while back, I said

        I know how you feel about Israel’s slaughter of people: Qibya unfortunately “lapsed” into a massacre; the Liberty was a mistake; the deliberate attacks on civilians in your mother’s homeland in 1982 had a death toll under 20,000 and there were other bad guys doing bad things; the death of 118 Lebanese civilians in 1993 could not have been deliberate because Israel could have killed more; Qana 1996 was another accident (damn, I hate it when that happens – I was trying to blow up something else!). Once you excuse every single Israeli crime, I guess Hamas’s record is worse. Since you equally hate Hamas and Fatah and think their representation of Palestinians is a catastrophe (is that the real nakhba, in your view?), maybe you should choose their leaders. After all, you have Arab street cred.

        You know, while I have your attention, Robert, I never pointed out to you that when you defended Qibya by quoting Ben-Gurion’s explanation for the “lapsed” massacre, you picked the very same quote where he lied to the world, claiming it was the act of villagers rather than the IDF. How fitting that you found it credible, decades after the truth came out.

        Your response: “Ouch.” And please, don’t unleash your multi-volume treatise on the Liberty again; we know you think all the sailors who disagree with your conclusion are deranged conspiracy theorists. Got it. Israel’s 1982 invasion and slaughter, Rabin’s 1993 bombing of civilian areas of Southern Lebanon, Qibya – your defense of these incidents is disgraceful.

        Your back story is full of holes. Sure, it is conceivable that an Arab-American could decide that Israel’s not such a bad country after all, just as there surely were some Black Americans who thought the same about apartheid South Africa . Odd, very rare, bordering on genuine self-hatred, but not impossible. But you have become obsessed with defending Israel, taking many hours out of your work day just to author innumerable voluminous comments in defense of your hero country, not to mention the even greater time it would have taken to conduct such research. Sure, those who accuse you of being a paid hasbarist cannot prove it, but that does not mean you are not. It certainly is more believable than the Arab-American brainwashed in his youth by Chomsky and Said until he saw Arafat “screaming” for Jewish blood (a charge you were completely unable to substantiate). Your lies about history have been exposed, so why should anyone believe your implausible (that word is not strong enough) account of your personal history?

      • Robert Werdine
        June 21, 2011, 3:06 pm

        David,

        Said you:

        “Sure, those who accuse you of being a paid hasbarist cannot prove it, but that does not mean you are not. It certainly is more believable than the Arab-American brainwashed in his youth by Chomsky and Said until he saw Arafat “screaming” for Jewish blood (a charge you were completely unable to substantiate). Your lies about history have been exposed, so why should anyone believe your implausible (that word is not strong enough) account of your personal history?”

        So I was “completely unable to substantiate” my charge, was I?

        So my “lies about history have been exposed.”

        Have they, now?

        I have been looking at a colloquy of ours that occurred sometime early last May. When you asked me in an April 28 post as to how I came by my views on the I/P conflict, one of the statements I made in reply was:

        “I began to see Israel making withdrawals and concessions, Arafat making none in return, and raising his price for peace with every Israeli concession he pocketed. I saw him talking peace with Western audiences and, sometimes within the same day, making blood-curdling speeches against the “Zionist enemy” to Arab ones.”

        In an April 8 post I had made similar remarks:

        “I began to change my view of Israel in the Oslo years as I saw Arafat pocketing numerous Israeli concessions, making none in return, talking peace with gullible western audiences, and screaming violent death-to-Israel speeches to Arab ones, sometimes in the same day. His inexplicable rejection of the offer of a state in over 95% of the West bank, all of Gaza, and a capitol in East Jerusalem (including sovereignty over the Temple Mount) destroyed my belief in the good faith of Palestinian leaders. It has never since recovered.”

        In the first place, as can be seen, I did not use the specific term “screaming for Jewish blood” as you state in you recent post. Secondly, I said I saw him making “blood curdling” and “screaming violent death-to-Israel” speeches, which were general characterizations, and not direct quotes.

        And they were true. Anyone reading the above two statements can see that I was speaking generally here about the tenor of the speeches that Arafat was making to Arab audiences during this period, which contained much violent, confrontational, and warlike imagery toward Israel, while he was supposedly making peace with them. This was not inaccurate. The first one I saw/heard on the news in May of 1994 when they showed a smiling photo op between Arafat and then-Israeli president Ezer Weizman in South Africa, where both were attending Nelson Mandela’s inauguration as president. Then they played a recording of Arafat speaking at a mosque in Johannesburg, in English, about how he would treat the Oslo accords the same way that the Prophet Muhammad did the Hudaibiya agreement, i.e., as an agreement to be broken when it was found to be convenient to do so. I remember being astonished that he could make such friendly conversation with Weizman in one moment—a portrait of peacemakers exchanging pleasantries—and then turn around in the same day and make a speech about how he would ignore the peace when it became convenient. I also saw excerpts of some of Arafat’s anti-Israel/Jihad speeches on MEMRI and on the news over the years, and especially around the time of that absurd tunnel incident that occurred in Jerusalem in the fall of 1996.

        At the same time, I read in a variety of print media, some mainstream, but mostly Israeli English language and Jewish conservative media, many quotations of Arafat’s anti-Israel speeches. They were all easily accessible, as they are today.

        In a May 1 post you said to me: “You claim that Arafat would give screaming speeches in Arabic calling for the violent death of Israel. Do you speak Arabic and did you make your own translation of his speeches, or were you relying on someone else’s claims, such as CAMERA or MEMRI? Can you direct us to any videotape of these screaming speeches calling for violent death?”

        On May 3, I replied: “I do not speak Arabic, though I know a few words. I did not rely solely on MEMRI and read these statements in a variety of English-version ME and Western media over the years.” I then quoted a few statements, and pointed out that even Bill Clinton, speaking to the Palestinian leadership in December 1998, found it necessary to speak of the need to “end the practice of speaking peace in one place and preaching hatred in another.”

        As far as answering your question, I thought this would do, since it honestly never occurred to me that there was ever any serious debate about the wealth of violent anti-Israel statements made by Arafat and other Palestinian leaders to Arab/Muslim audiences during the Oslo period. As I was not even aware that this was even in dispute, I did not expect this to be a point of contention in our discussion.

        It was thus with no small astonishment that I read your reply:

        “For example, I asked you to support your claim that Arafat gave screaming speeches in Arabic calling for the violent death of Israel. I didn’t make this language up, because you claimed, weeks ago, that you began to change your mind on I/P when you “saw Arafat pocketing numerous Israeli concessions, making none in return, talking peace with gullible western audiences, and screaming violent death-to-Israel speeches to Arab ones, sometimes in the same day.” Yet now, you don’t even try to substantiate your claim of “screaming violent death-to-Israel speeches,” implicitly conceding that you simply lied about this. You do not even supply links to the much milder statements you claim were made, apparently ashamed that you relied on hopelessly biased sources for those milder quotes as well. Not only that, but these mythical, illusory “screaming/violent/death” speeches were supposedly what caused you to turn your sympathy from Palestinians to Israel.”

        The above statement is a perfect snapshot of hostile paranoia, arrogantly baseless presumption, misinformation, and palpably false slander that would be hard to beat. I actually had to read it twice to make sure that what I was reading was true: you were calling me a liar. Not disagreed with me on this or that, but that I had lied, and about something so demonstrably and verifiably true, no less. I read and re-read innuendo-laced statements like “implicitly conceding that you simply lied” “apparently ashamed that you relied on hopelessly biased sources” etc. I wondered to myself: is he serious?

        Rallying to document the obvious and the available, I then did an internet search for various anti-Israel statements by Arafat and other PA leaders, focusing on the first three years of Oslo, 1993-1996. A few of Arafat’s greatest hits:

        Here is Arafat asserting that the Oslo Accord is part of the PLO’s 1974 phased plan for Israel’s destruction: “[the agreement] will be a basis for an independent Palestinian state in accordance with the Palestinian National Council resolution issued in 1974 … The PNC resolution issued in 1974 calls for the establishment of a national authority on any part of Palestinian soil from which Israel withdraws or which is liberated.” (Radio Monte Carlo, Sept. 1, 1993)

        Arafat in a radio address: “It is a revolution until victory, until victory, until victory.” (Algiers, Voice of Palestine, Dec. 31, 1993)

        Arafat during a speech in Gaza: “The heroic intifada, which has entered its seventh year, is an extension of the 29-year old Palestinian revolution and will go on relentlessly … It is continuing, continuing, continuing.” (Associated Press, Jan. 7, 1994)

        Arafat in a letter to Hamas spiritual leader Sheikh Yassin and Hamas terrorist Sheikh Hunamn, who killed 14 Israelis in an attack on Bus 405 in 1989: “My brother, Sheikh Yassin, my brother the holy Sheikh Abdelhadi Hunam, I recognize your participation in the struggle to free Palestine. Because of you, Palestine is free.” (Ha’aretz, Oct. 5, 1994)

        Arafat in a speech on the 30th anniversary of Fatah’s founding: “We are going to continue the Palestinian revolution until the last martyr to create a Palestinian state.” (AFP, Jan. 1, 1995) He further stated, “We are all seekers of martyrdom…I say to the martyrs who died, to the martyrs who are still alive, we hold to the oath, we hold to the commitment to continue the revolution…” (Palestinian TV, Jan. 1, 1995)

        Arafat in a speech in Gaza: “The soul and the blood we shall sacrifice for thee Palestine.” (Jerusalem Post, Aug. 3, 1995)

        Arafat in a speech at Gaza’s Al-Azhar University on June 19: “The commitment still stands and the oath is still valid: that we will continue this long jihad, this difficult jihad…via deaths, via sacrifices.”(Jerusalem Post, Aug. 3, 1995)

        Arafat in a speech in Gaza in Jan. 1995: “All of us are willing to be martyrs along the way, until our flag flies over Jerusalem, the capital of Palestine. Let no one think that they can scare us with weapons, for we have mightier weapons the weapon of faith, the weapon of martyrdom, the weapon of jihad.” (Parade Magazine, New York Newsday, June 25, 1995)

        Arafat in a radio address: “The struggle will continue until all of Palestine is liberated.” (Voice of Palestine, Nov. 11, 1995)

        Arafat to a rally in Gaza: “We are committed to all martyrs who died for the cause of Jerusalem starting with Ahmed Musa until the last martyr Yahya Ayash.” (Jerusalem Post, July 28, 1996) Musa was the first member of Fatah to be killed in 1965, and Ayash, known as “the Engineer”, was the mastermind behind a series of Hamas suicide bombing attacks prior to his death in January 1996.

        Arafat to Palestinian security forces in Gaza on September 24: “They will fight for Allah, and they will kill and be killed, and this is a solemn oath…Our blood is cheap compared with the cause which has brought us together and which at moments separated us, but shortly we will meet again in heaven…Palestine is our land and Jerusalem is our capital” (Ma’ariv, Oct. 4, 1996)

        Arafat in an October 21 speech at the Dehaishe refugee camp: “We know only one word: jihad, jihad, jihad. When we stopped the intifada, we did not stop the jihad for the establishment of a Palestinian state whose capital is Jerusalem. And we are now entering the phase of the great jihad prior to the establishment of an independent Palestinian state whose capital is Jerusalem…. We are in a conflict with the Zionist movement and the Balfour Declaration and all imperialist activities” (Yediot Aharonot, Oct. 23, 1996).

        Notice that Arafat spoke explicitly of implementing the infamous “Phased Plan” but a few weeks before his famous handshake with Rabin on the WH lawn. On other occasions:

        “We are going to continue the Palestinian revolution until the last martyr to create a Palestinian state.”

        “We are all seekers of martyrdom…I say to the martyrs who died, to the martyrs who are still alive, we hold to the oath, we hold to the commitment to continue the revolution…”

        “The soul and the blood we shall sacrifice for thee Palestine.”

        “[W]e will continue this long jihad, this difficult jihad…via deaths, via sacrifices.”

        “The struggle will continue until all of Palestine is liberated.”

        “They will fight for Allah, and they will kill and be killed, and this is a solemn oath…Our blood is cheap compared with the cause which has brought us together and which at moments separated us, but shortly we will meet again in heaven…Palestine is our land and Jerusalem is our capital”

        Continue to the last martyr. We are all seekers of martyrdom. Soul and blood we shall sacrifice. This long, difficult jihad, via deaths, via sacrifices. Until all of Palestine is liberated. Kill and be killed. Our blood is cheap. Palestine is our land. Continue, continue, continue the Intifada. Victory, victory, victory. Jihad, jihad, jihad.

        Note the violently activist language here: Martyrdom, jihad, intifada, blood, death, sacrifice, struggle, victory, kill and be killed.

        That anyone who could read these statements—the few among many—and could somehow dispute my characterization of them as “blood curdling” and “screaming violent death-to-Israel” speeches is more than just incredible. It is blatantly and brazenly dishonest.

        Your assertions that I “simply lied,” that I was “apparently ashamed” that I “relied on hopelessly biased sources,” and that these statements by Arafat were “mythical” and “illusory” were thus exposed, in exhaustive detail, as the baseless, discredited falsehoods that they were, and are.

        Yet, to my further astonishment, instead of simply admitting, at the very least, that you were mistaken, you proceeded to perpetuate your previous charge in a reply that outdid its predecessor in evasion, obfuscation, and slander:

        “As to the Arafat speeches, you have claimed that this list which you accessed today from God knows whatever website convinced you to dramatically change your mind in the 1990′s, from thinking that Israel was the most evil nation on Earth to becoming one of its most ardent defenders. Your original description of “screaming violent death-to-Israel speeches” that caused a life-changing experience is unquestionably a lie. Why did you use such hysterical language, when you didn’t see or hear a single such bloodcurdling speech?”

        What is breathtaking about this reply is the shameless, barefaced mendacity of it. First of all, you simply pretend that I did not inventory a virtual laundry list of hostile, militant, and blood curdling quotes from Arafat and his cronies about Israel, and you did not even attempt here to dispute the authenticity of the quotes I cited (and sourced), and instead lazily dismissed them as “this list which you accessed today from God knows whatever website”—another baseless and verifiably false assertion, as they are literally splattered all over the net.

        Also, in asserting that my “original description of ‘screaming violent death-to-Israel speeches’ that caused a life-changing experience is unquestionably a lie” you are simply here engaging in one of your now-customary misrepresentations—even giving Hostage a run for his money. I never, ever stated that Arafat’s speeches alone “caused a life-changing experience” for my viewpoint, or that they were the sole reason for my change of heart about the I/P conflict. And I am neither misquoting or quoting you out of context here; these assertions of yours above are clear and unequivocal. They are also provably false.

        On April 8 I stated: “For a long time I, like many in my family, blamed Israel as the obstacle to peace. Though I was only 13 at the time, I thought Israel was the most evil nation in the world after the Sabra and Shatilla massacre in 1983. As a teenager I read Edward Said, Robert Fisk, and Norm Finkelstein. Said’s “Orientalism” about bias toward Arabs in western society, and Fisk’s “Pity the Nation” about the war in Lebanon were particularly influential on me during those years.

        I began to change my view of Israel in the Oslo years as I saw Arafat pocketing numerous Israeli concessions, making none in return, talking peace with gullible western audiences, and screaming violent death-to-Israel speeches to Arab ones, sometimes in the same day. His inexplicable rejection of the offer of a state in over 95% of the West bank, all of Gaza, and a capitol in East Jerusalem (including sovereignty over the Temple Mount) destroyed my belief in the good faith of Palestinian leaders. It has never since recovered.”

        I reiterated similar sentiments in my April 28 response to you: “I began to read serious scholars of the issue, like Bernard Lewis, Walter Laqueur, Fouad Ajami, Efraim Karsh, Joseph Esposito, Karen Armstrong, and Benny Morris. “The Seige” by Irish Historian/diplomat Conor Cruise O’Brien, was also an influence. At the same time (1990’s), under the Oslo Accords, I began to see Israel making withdrawals and concessions, Arafat making none in return, and raising his price for peace with every Israeli concession he pocketed. I saw him talking peace with Western audiences and, sometimes within the same day, making blood-curdling speeches against the “Zionist enemy” to Arab ones. Also, many Palestinians living in our local Arab community were telling me stories from relatives living in the West Bank about how unbearable life was becoming under Arafat. The unpopular Israeli occupation gave way to the terrorism, corruption, oppression, and human rights abuses of Arafat and Hamas.
        However, it took Arafat’s rejection of a Palestinian state in 2000/2001 to make me realize the true cause of the conflict: the continued rejection by the Arabs of any sovereign, independent Jewish entity on any of the land between the Jordan river and the sea, historically known as Palestine. I saw how this Arab rejectionism ran like a black, sinister thread through the whole conflict.”

        Now, to your paranoid mind, this is all obviously just subterfuge to throw off the scent of my pursuers here on Mondoweiss like yourself, who are wise to my fraud; to give a seemingly plausible explanation of how my viewpoint evolved so as to hide my true Zionist/Hasbara bromides, which, apparently, I have always held. I seem also to have overplayed my hand with that business about being a Lebanese Arab and a Shiite Muslim, which I apparently threw in for good measure. I should have known better.

        After all, don’t we all know that there is something in Arab blood that would recoil at such sympathy and fairness to Israel? Who could ever read Chomsky or Said with any skepticism or disillusionment? Who, after reading them, would ever need to read anything or anyone else? Who could ever think Arafat was a lying, dissembling, maximalist rejectionist terrorist who never had any intention of making peace with Israel, and who never abandoned his ambition to destroy it? Who indeed?

        In any event, for those who are not delusionally paranoid, here is the truth: my change of heart occurred over many years, and gradually. It was not any one, single thing that did the trick and suddenly freed me from the shackles of my illusions, like some prisoner sprung from the dark bowels of a penitentiary into the full light of day. There were a variety of influences, cumulating over the years, as I said. I always thought Arafat a bad leader, two-faced, dishonest, corrupt, and hypocritical, and though I was certainly troubled by his behavior and corrupt leadership, I tended, at the time, to think that he was, in his inflammatory speeches, just playing to his base, so to speak, like any other cynical politician. I knew he was a canny negotiator, and used high pressure tactics to squeeze Israel for concessions. I must admit I was simply not prescient enough to foresee that he would pocket a slew of concessions and withdrawals, and stiff Israel when the time came to make the final peace. Like many, I simply believed what I wanted to believe, and disregarded the rest.

        However, at the time, I was even more disturbed by Netanyahu’s obstructionism and settlement building, and his attempts to sabotage the peace process, in which he obviously did not believe in. I remember thinking: if only the Israelis would just end the occupation then Arafat would be able to make the peace. I was relieved when Netanyahu was defeated by Barak in 1999, and I was sure that the peace process would soon be back on track. I was sure that there would be a Palestinian state within a few years, since the Israelis would now make the necessary concessions.

        It certainly seemed to be a general consensus at this time that the sun was finally setting on this long, bitter conflict. It was the year 2000 that was the turning point for me. In the spring/summer of that year, Barak had offered almost the entire Golan to Syria, withdrew from Lebanon, and offered the Palestinians a state in over 90% of the WB, all of Gaza, and East Jerusalem as a capitol. Assad rejected the Golan offer, Hezbollah was merely emboldened by the Lebanon withdrawal, Arafat rejected the Camp David offer of statehood without even making a counter-offer, and launched the second intifada in response. All of this merely indicated to me (and many others) that the Lebanon withdrawal and the far-ranging concessions offered to Assad and Arafat were viewed not as concessions to be reciprocated, but signs of weakness to be exploited. So occurred my disillusionment with Palestinian/Arab goodwill, which the rejection of the even more generous offer contained in the Clinton Parameters of December 2000, and the violent reaction to the 2005 Gaza withdrawal, did little to dispel.

        Well, that’s my story, and I’m sticking to it.

        In any event, for the last time: I did not “lie” about Arafat’s anti-Israel speeches, and your continuing, spurious contention that I did brings discredit and ridicule on you, and exposes the bankruptcy of your whole line of argument, which is to engage in drive-by smears that slander, impugn, and mischaracterize, and either ignore or deviously circumvent, inconvenient facts and evidence.

        As to my “lies about history” being exposed, well, life’s brevity forbids me from addressing every charge of historical dishonesty that you have laid at my door, so I will just focus on one here: the Qibya incident.

        In answer to your question:

        “In my opinion, there are innumerable instances of Israel’s deliberate targeting of civilians: the 1947-8 massacres, Qibya, the bombing of refugee camps in 1972 in response to Munich, the invasions and bombings of Lebanon in 1978, 1982, 1993, 1996, 2006, and of course Gaza, to give a short highlight list. Do you agree that any of these event involved intentional murder of civilians? Or was official Israel policy blameless in them all, with perhaps a few isolated instances of misconduct by rogue soldiers?”

        I wrote in reply concerning the Qibya massacre:

        In the Qybia incident, what began as a retaliatory raid obviously lapsed into a massacre of civilians, Sharon’s attempts to assert otherwise notwithstanding. David Ben Gurion, however, put the tragedy into context in a speech to the nation:

        “The [Jewish] border settlers in Israel, mostly refugees, people from Arab countries and survivors from the Nazi concentration camps, have, for years, been the target of (…) murderous attacks and had shown a great restraint. Rightfully, they have demanded that their government protect their lives and the Israeli government gave them weapons and trained them to protect themselves. But the armed forces from Transjordan did not stop their criminal acts, until [the people in] some of the border settlements lost their patience and after the murder of a mother and her two children in Yahud, they attacked, last week, the village of Kibya across the border, that was one of the main centers of the murderers’ gangs. Every one of us regrets and suffers when blood is shed anywhere and nobody regrets more than the Israeli government the fact that innocent people were killed in the retaliation act in Kibya. But all the responsibility rests with the government of Transjordan that for many years tolerated and thus encouraged attacks of murder and robbery by armed powers in its country against the citizens of Israel.”

        What I wrote was true. It was a retaliatory raid, and there is no evidence that innocent civilians were deliberately targeted in the planning and the outset of the raid, though, as with any reprisal, they unquestioningly wanted to impart some pain to deter future attacks by causing as much destruction as possible. It was not an unprovoked attack; it was a reprisal, and a reprisal that occurred in response to a terrorist attack which killed a woman and her two children near Lod, one of literally hundreds of such attacks against Israel over the last several years.

        Now, short of suffering such attacks in passive silence and inaction, a policy of reprisal is not only legitimate, but necessary. A peacetime reprisal serves a function in the form of a warning: you attack us, we attack you, so don’t attack us again, lest we attack you again. A reprisal is morally illegitimate, however, if it deliberately targets innocent civilians, even if it is in response to a deliberate terrorist attack, as this was. Of course a reprisal can lapse into an act of murder if civilians are deliberately targeted in the course of the raid, as surely happened here. The distinction is crucial, even if it does not absolve Sharon and the IDF from responsibility, which it does not. While there is no evidence to show a planned attempt to murder civilians, certainly insufficient care was shown by Unit 101 in emptying all of the civilian houses before destroying them, and it is not unreasonable to conclude it was deliberate, as it probably was. Planned or not, it was indisputably a massacre, and it was wrong, as the murder of civilians always is. Simply put: a policy of reprisal in response to terrorist attacks is legitimate and necessary, but nothing can ever justify the deliberate murder of civilians.

        It is hardly surprising that Ben Gurion denied responsibility for the raid; governments lie like anyone else when confronted with disasters and embarrassments of their own making, and while Israel is no different form any other government in this regard, they are a good deal more honest about such things than their neighbors. Except for the bit about armed civilian settlers who “lost their patience” and carried out the raid on their own initiative, Ben Gurion basically spoke the truth here, appropriately condemned the civilian deaths, and expressed sorrow and regret for them. Israel had nothing to gain from the slaughter of innocent civilians but more international condemnation and diplomatic isolation, both of which were hardly in short supply at the time.

        As with the matter of the Arafat quotes, I had no idea that my answer, which made no effort to deny that a massacre had occurred, and which sought to put the raid in a bit of context, would incur such offense. I was wrong.

        Said you:

        “And this says nothing about your despicable defense of Israel’s “retaliatory” action against innocent villagers in Qibya, indiscriminately slaughtering about 70 people for the “offense” of being Arab.”

        I was, once again, astounded by this hostile and accusatory response, replete with all of your now-customary hyperbole, misinformation, and mischaracterizationI responded:

        “The raid was one of many responses to a whole slew of fedayeen terror attacks that had been aimed at Israeli civilians for some years. That is a piece of context that you deemed irrelevant to mention, as usual, and your assertion that it was for the “offense” of being Arab is both baseless and risible. In any event, it was indisputably a massacre, something which, your “devious and dishonest” attempts to mischaracterize my assertion notwithstanding, I made absolutely no attempt to deny.”

        This was the truth, and nothing but. In the first place, I had made no attempt to “defend” anything. Secondly, your assertion that the raid was carried out against the villagers of Qibya for the “offense of being Arab” is a complete fabrication. Reading your response, one would think that the Israelis just woke up one fine day, sallied across the border, and slaughtered scores of Arab villagers just because they were Arabs, and just for the fun of it.

        Please. The fedayeen attacks on Israel from Jordan and elsewhere in the preceding several years were indiscriminate acts of terror, and the dynamic of the border conflict in this period was clear: Arab terrorists were attacking Israel, and Israel was responding, and not the other way around. Between June 1949 and October 1954, Israel accused Jordan of violating the armistice agreement 1,612 times, killing at least 124 Israelis, wounding hundreds more. A policy of reprisal was just, necessary, and appropriate, but what happened at Qibya was not, and I never said it was. I sought not to defend or justify what happened, merely to explain it in context, while you sought to mislead and obscure, as usual.

        As with the Arafat quotes, I will leave it to readers to decide whether it is you or I who is treating the truth as something less than a close relative here. In any event, I do not take kindly to being called a liar, especially when my accuser provably and indisputably is.

      • Donald
        June 21, 2011, 3:33 pm

        Werdine must get paid by the word.

        According to Benny Morris, there were somewhere between 2700 and 5000 “infilitrators” killed by Israel in the late 40’s and early 50’s, most of them unarmed. It’s against that backdrop that the Qibya massacre occurred. It wasn’t anything out of the ordinary.

        On Camp David, mainstream sources (including Deborah Sontag at the NYT and Robert Malley in the New York Review and even George Mitchell, but in his case I’m only citing it secondhand) adequately refute the falsehood that the evil conniving Arafat was singlehandedly responsible for starting the Second Intifada. There was blame on all sides. Certainly the offer at Camp David was portrayed as generous in the US, but only someone who thinks it is generous to return part of what was stolen would take that seriously.

        I don’t know if Werdine is lying about his history–it’s the sort of conversion story one associates with David Horowitz or the sort of people you’d find at “Commentary”. They supposedly start out far left, find out that some of the people they considered the good guys were really not so nice after all, and then they switch to far right demonizing instead. In Werdine’s case he finds out that Arafat was even worse than he knew. Is any of this serious? It might be of interest from a psychological standpoint, but substantively it’s just another example of a rather boring and dreary genre. Obviously Werdine thinks it is compelling.

      • David Samel
        June 21, 2011, 4:33 pm

        Robert Werdine – I see you took another couple of days off from your day job. Oh well…

        You did say that you would welcome challenges, but when I asked about how you could defend all of those instances of Israeli massacres of civilians, you decide to answer only one – Qibya. I guess having devoted 4 billion words on Arafat, you were spent. As for Qibya, your position is at best hopelessly confused and at worst (infinitely more likely) morally reprehensible.

        You go to great lengths to say that Qibya began as a legitimate “retaliatory raid”; “it was a reprisal, and a reprisal that occurred in response to a terrorist attack which killed a woman and her two children”: “a policy of reprisal is not only legitimate, but necessary.” Yet you claim to understand that “A reprisal is morally illegitimate, however, if it deliberately targets innocent civilians, even if it is in response to a deliberate terrorist attack.”

        Are you serious? What was the original plan? To capture or kill those responsible for killing the woman and her children? NO! It was to kill “Arab” civilians because “Arabs” were suspected of the terrorist act. What do you think the plan was? To force civilians to leave their houses, and then bomb the empty houses? Indeed that is precisely what you think: “While there is no evidence to show a planned attempt to murder civilians, certainly insufficient care was shown by Unit 101 in emptying all of the civilian houses before destroying them.” Insufficient care? Whoops – we blew up the houses in the middle of the night, and forgot to empty them of people first. Is this the kind of fairy-tale “legitimate reprisal” you had in mind? Punishing innocent Arab civilians by destroying their homes without killing them?

        Then you say: “there is no evidence that innocent civilians were deliberately targeted in the planning and the outset of the raid, though, as with any reprisal, they unquestioningly wanted to impart some pain to deter future attacks by causing as much destruction as possible.” Impart some pain??? How, pray tell? By killing civilians. Are you really unaware of how stupid you sound? Werdine: “It’s never OK to kill civilians but it is OK to carry out reprisal raids and impart some pain.” What do you call it when “Arabs” decide to impart some pain on Israeli or US civilians, even if it is in retaliation or reprisal for some Israeli or US attack? You call it TERRORISM! Why is this any different? And “there is no evidence that innocent civilians were deliberately targeted in the planning and the outset of the raid”? This is just typical of you. WTF do you think the original plan was? What else could it have been but to kill civilians? This was not a case of “legitimate reprisal” going south. The “reprisal” was intended to be lethal, and directed at civilians. Do you really not understand this? And you say that I “sought to mislead and obscure”! Then you defend Ben-Gurion’s lies. Big surprise.

        Robert, your defense of Qibya (not a complete defense, I admit, but clearly a partial one, which you deny) is consistent with your defense of all of the other Israeli massacres of civilians you chose not to answer right now. Previously you have responded to these other incidents with equally vicious disregard for the lives of ordinary Arab civilians, and disgracefully absolving those who so clearly, openly, and brazenly took those lives. To you, Arabs are much more killable than Israelis; Israeli killings are almost always justifiable homicide (Qibya justified only in planning but not in its execution); and Arab killings are part of a plan of global genocide. Your whole attitude is not only racist to the core, it is barbaric. Sad, Robert, very sad.

      • Hostage
        June 21, 2011, 9:27 pm

        He in fact praises the prescience of Lewis’ scholarship and writings. … …a prominent and highly respected historian like Walter Laqueur in support of your slander of Bernard Lewis

        Uh huh. I thought I made it perfectly clear that on the subject of terrorism Walter Laqueur is a quackademic who predicted just before 9/11 that there was no danger from aircraft hijackings or guerrilla groups operating in remote places like Afghanistan or the Philippines. Even if I gave credence to the ludicrous assertion that professors of comparative literature or history are somehow responsible for the failures of the US intelligence agencies, it would still be Laqueur himself who should be writing a mea culpa. There isn’t a single mention of Al-Qaeda in his 1996 article or 2000 book on terrorism.

        He in fact praises the prescience of Lewis’ scholarship and writings.

        I’ve already given you links to Laqueur’s comments in regard to the fact that the majority of suicide bombers are secularists, not Islamist and that the radicals are NOT fundamentalists. He also admits that the post-Orientalists are correct that a dialogue with Muslims is necessary to avoid the possibility of a clash of civilizations. All of that is diametrically opposed to Lewis’s published views.

        The only time that Laqueur comes close to praising Lewis is when he stretches the truth beyond the breaking point and falsely claims that not one of the members of the Post-Orientalist fraternity had thought it necessary to draw attention to Bin Laden’s 1998 fatwa, and makes the inexplicable claim that there was one notable exception, Bernard Lewis, the symbol of all that was reactionary and hateful in Old Orientalism.

        In fact, all that Lewis did in the Foreign Affairs article was repeat the details of the fatwa from the published account of post-Orientalist Abdel Bari Atwan in his London-based al-Quds al-Arabi newspaper – minus Atwan’s and Bin Laden’s explanations to CNN that the motivation was US policy on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the continued presence of US Armed Forces in Saudi Arabia, not Muslim hatred for the West. That is the sort of craptastic analysis you get from Laqueur.

        Atwan has a a review posted on one of his websites that ridicules Bernard Lewis and the Neocon commentators on Fox News. Atwan is a Palestinian born in Gaza. He explains that the only essential factor necessary to bring about suicide attacks in our times is an occupation force. He notes the Tamil Tigers and the Viet Cong weren’t Muslims after all. He cites the example of a Palestinian father of a suicide bomber who explained that his son “wasn’t a radical, he was radicalized by the anger and humiliation – we are all living in a jail”. When Bush said that Bin Laden hated Americans for their freedoms, Atwan reported that Bin Laden advised Bush to go ask the people of Sweden why Al Qeada wasn”t attacking them. Atwan also reported that after the Madrid bombings, the new government in Spain pulled its troops out of Iraq and Bin Laden publicly announced that Spain and its citizens would no longer be targeted by Al Qeada. See for example pages 108, 112, and 122 of The Secret History of al Qaeda, Saqi books, 2nd ed 2006.

        Laqueur frequently lets ideology get in the way of his scholarship. His 1977 book whitewashed the terrorist activities of the Haganah and described it as a “non-terrorist organization. He claimed that a disproportionate number of Oriental Jews were members of the Irgun and Stern Gang. His 2004 book on terrorist documents made no mention of the Haganah either. With the declassification of materials in state archives, Sharret’s diary, and other revelations, Laqueur’s contemporaries including Simha Flapan, Tom Segev, and Avi Shlaim reported that: The Haganah orderd the assasination of Jacob DeHaan; relayed Ben Gurion’s instructions to bomb the King David Hotel; planted bombs in the SS Patria and the Semiramis Hotel that killed hundreds of innocent civilians; conducted mortar attacks on the civilians gathered at the port of Haifa that literally drove the Arabs into the sea; provided covering fire in support of the Irgun and Lehi forces at Deir Yassin; and conducted many massacres on their own during the sieges of places like Ramle and Lod that were located beyond the borders of the Jewish state.

        Laqueur’s latest stroke of genius is an admission that the US has to pull out of Afghanistan after wasting 1.2 trillion, but that the Obama administration should try to turn the situation there over to the Russians, India, or China. Let’s face it, the Russians wouldn’t touch Afghanistan again with a barge pole. The Pakistanis are almost willing to go nuclear over Kashmir. They would never tolerate India getting involved in Afghanistan too.

        In any event Lewis comments about the Egyptians not being ready for elections were racist and Islamophobic B.S. – just like Kramer’s unguarded comments about pro-natal subsidies and a surplus of angry young men. I suggest you learn to deal with it you jerk.

      • Robert Werdine
        June 22, 2011, 6:01 pm

        I think what we have here is a classic case of displacement: Hostage falsely smears Bernard Lewis as a “racist Islamophobe,” a charge he is completely unable to substantiate, falsely enlists Walter Laqueur in his slander of Bernard Lewis, and now Walter Laqueur must bear the full brunt of Hostage’s displeasure and odium. Beautiful.

        So Walter Laqueur is a very, very bad historian and a bad psychic. Well, then. One wonders why he was (falsely) enlisted by Hostage in the first place.

        “In any event Lewis comments about the Egyptians not being ready for elections were racist and Islamophobic B.S. – just like Kramer’s unguarded comments about pro-natal subsidies and a surplus of angry young men. I suggest you learn to deal with it you jerk.”

        Goodness. Another devastating and deeply, deeply wounding riposte. I’m sure that Hostage will not fail to alert us when evidence of Lewis’ racism and Islamophobia are discovered so that the Professor can, finally, be exposed to the public for what he really is, and properly brought to book.

      • Robert Werdine
        June 23, 2011, 9:51 am

        David,

        Jonathan Swift once said that you cannot reason a man out of something that he did not reason himself into.

        Indeed. It is beginning to dawn on me that arguing facts and evidence with you is like arguing with a hot-tempered adolescent.

        Your ability to discover “lies” and harvest offense and the most hysterical outrage from the most unpromising material is a sight to behold.

        One might have thought that when person number one accuses person number two of lying about statements made by a certain leader, and when person number two produces irrefutable evidence to disprove the charge, that person number one, if he is too arrogant to apologize or admit error, would at least have the decency (and the honesty) to cease making the charge and not continue pretending that person number two did not refute it in exhaustive detail.

        One might also have thought that when person number one and person number two both agree that a massacre has occurred, that innocent people were killed, and that there was no justification for their deaths, that person number one would not find occasion to accuse person number two of attempting to “defend” the massacre that he, along with person number one, has openly and candidly acknowledged to have been indefensible.

        Wrong on both counts.

        Your latest reply was thus in your best paranoid tradition; your perfidious signature habits of slander, mischaracterization, and misinformation were all scrupulously observed.

        Since it is, I admit, rather awkward for me to defend a massacre whose occurrence and justification I never defended in the first place, I hope I can be excused for not attempting to do so here.

      • Taxi
        June 23, 2011, 11:07 am

        Werdine,

        Have you noticed that the MORE you write the LESS people believe you?

        I never in my life met ANYONE who uses so MANY words yet says absolutely sweet ef ay!

        Seriously man, your posts ALL read like a suburban yellow pages: mind-numbingly irrelevant.

        Evidently the phrase ‘succinct arguer’ would be impossible to pin on you. The hyper-intellectual/sensual realm and practice of poetry must be completely alien to you. You know, Werdine, sometimes I even truly wonder if man or machine posted your exceptionally lengthy non-explanations.

        You sure are ‘unique’ – yeah for the total absence of ‘one-liners’ in your posts buddy.

        It’s gotta be in all that Bin J’bail water you’ve been drinking, right?

      • Robert Werdine
        June 23, 2011, 12:31 pm

        Taxi,

        Here is a nice one-liner for you:

        I promise to do better, if only to gain your high esteem and approval, which are ever so important to me.

      • Taxi
        June 23, 2011, 1:21 pm

        Yeah but can you respond to Hostage or Shingo with a one-liner? Win an argument with a single line?

        That’s your challenge buddy.

      • David Samel
        June 23, 2011, 4:08 pm

        Uh oh, somebody seems to be losing his smarmy sense of humor. No more “Another devastating riposte. Ouch.” Now it’s cranky accusations of paranoia, perfidy, slander.

        As for the Arafat quotes, which you have repeated in toto several times on this site, you think you have produced irrefutable evidence of “screaming violent death-to-Israel speeches” and “blood-curdling speeches “ No you haven’t. Some of the quotes may not even be genuine, as others, particularly, Shingo, answered you previously; they come from unverifiable sources. Many of them appear to call for the end of Israel as a Jewish State (quite different from what you described). And none of them are “screaming.” That was your word, and indeed I accused you of lying when you used it and claiming the influence of such screaming on your evolving political philosophy. If you went way overboard in describing Arafat’s speeches, don’t blame me for holding you to your own words.

        Do you want real blood-curdling? Try this little sample:

        * In the late 1970’s, Israeli military analyst Zeev Schiff reported on Chief of Staff Mordechai Gur’s speech, who stated that “In South Lebanon we struck the civilian population consciously, because they deserved it…the importance of Gur’s remarks is the admission that the Israeli Army has always struck civilian populations, purposely and consciously…the Army, he said, has never distinguished civilian [from military] targets… [but] purposely attacked civilian targets even when Israeli settlements had not been struck.”

        * In July 1993, Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin explicitly told of his plan to attack civilian areas in Southern Lebanon to frighten them into fleeing to Beirut to pressure their government to end attacks on Israel. “We will not permit a situation where there is no calm and security in Israel, while there is calm and security in southern Lebanon.” “If there will be no quiet and safety for the northern settlements, there will be no quiet and safety for south Lebanon residents north of the security zone.”

        * The Dahiya Doctrine: After the 2006 Lebanon attack, Gadi Eisenkot, the head of Israel’s northern command, warned: “What happened in the Dahiya quarter of Beirut in 2006 will happen in every village from which Israel is fired on. We will apply disproportionate force on it and cause great damage and destruction there. From our standpoint, these are not civilian villages, they are military bases. This is not a recommendation. This is a plan.” [That's one way to ensure that all the victims are military, not civilian: declare all civilians to be legitimate military targets."]

        * 2008-2009 attack on Gaza: The commanding officer in Israel’s south, Yoav Galant, said that the objective of the offensive was to “send Gaza decades into the past.”

        * Gabriel Siboni, a colonel in the reserves, published an article in Tel Aviv University’s Institute of National Security Studies two months before the assault on Gaza. He said that the goal of military action was to use “disproportionate force,” thereby “inflicting damage and meting out punishment to an extent that will demand long and expensive reconstruction processes.”

        * Rabbi Manis Friedman of the Bais Chana Institute of Jewish Studies in St. Paul, MN: “The only way to fight a moral war is the Jewish way: Destroy their holy sites. Kill men, women and children (and cattle).” [You gotta love inclusion of livestock. Of course, in Gaza, the Israelis slaughtered tens of thousands of chickens.]

        Of course, none of these statements would curdle your blood, because explicit calls for the death of Arabs fly under your radar, while a call for the transformation of a state that privileges Jews around the world over native Arab inhabitants is treated as a prelude to genocide.

        As for Qibya, now that you’ve finally decided that it was an indefensible massacre, I’m glad to hear it and no, don’t defend it. But perhaps you might want to explain why you did defend it, at least partially, when you a) quoted Ben-Gurion’s explanation for the massacre; in which he lied about the IDF role; b) said that there was no evidence that the original plan was to kill people; c) indicated that the original plan was to empty the village’s houses of people before blowing them up; and d) that the original plan was for a legitimate “reprisal” and what exactly a legitimate reprisal would have entailed. Stop pretending that we both had similar views on Qibya; you alone offered these “defenses,” and yes that is what they were. It’s quite obvious that you were unable to respond to my critique, and thus chose not to do so, pretending that you always found the operation to be inexcusable and indefensible.

        While you’re at it, you may want to explain why you defend, and not just partially, many other Israeli acts that slaughtered Arab civilians. Just to make it easy, take two incidents that took place in your mother’s homeland: the 1982 and 1993 attacks. To remind you (and I love using the new commenter profile feature), you said of 1982:

        The Lebanon war was a catastrophe for all concerned and I hardly think the Israelis murdered 20,000 people in cold blood. You seem to be overlooking the fact that Arafat and the PLO, and all the other assorted Phalangist and Syrian-backed groups made Lebanon into a seething cauldron of inter-warring factions. Over the years there were a lot of very, very, bad actors who have passed through the revolving door of the Land of the Cedars, David, and I hardly think the Israelis were the worst of them.

        How many of your mother’s countrymen do you think were murdered in cold blood by the Israelis, and how many did they kill accidentally? Were Israel’s acts of murder against Lebanese civilians justified because it was a “seething cauldron”? What does that even mean – Lebanese were accustomed to being killed, so the Israeli crimes were less criminal?

        As to 1993, you came out with this gem: Of the some 300,000 civilians who were temporarily (and deliberately, by Israel) dislocated, 118 were killed. If civilians had been deliberately targeted, there would certainly have been many more killed given the firepower the IDF had at their disposal.
        Right, Robert. You admit that 300,000 were deliberately dislocated. How do you get so many people to flee? By dropping bombs on uninhabited areas? No, that won’t do the trick. You have to kill some people to get a lot more to flee. Just how you claim that 118 people were accidentally killed is beyond me.

        Your defenses of these barbaric actions are truly inane, but part of a consistent pattern of whitewashing Israeli crimes (or in the case of Qibya, only a partial whitewash).

        But don’t feel pressured to respond at all. Personally I would not feel offended or slighted if you slunk off into the night never to be heard from again.

        Robert, your problem is that you started commenting on mondoweiss expecting people to be wowed by your vast storehouse of knowledge and your articulate presentation. Yet we all saw right through you. As you like to say, “deal with it, and move on. See ya!”

      • Hostage
        June 25, 2011, 12:59 pm

        Hostage will not fail to alert us when evidence of Lewis’ racism and Islamophobia are discovered

        I’ve already done that, but if you’d like some more evidence here we go:

        Karl Rove and other White House officials reported that Lewis advocated the invasion of Iraq by arguing that the only thing that matters to the people in that part of the world is resolute will and force and that the United States needn’t proceed gingerly for fear of inflaming the “Arab street,” as long as it is prepared to be strong. So behind closed doors Lewis repeats the standard hasbara talking point that the only thing Arabs or Muslims understand is force.

        Many people on the left and elsewhere made similar prudent, sensible criticisms of over-optimistic neo-con strategies to turn Iraq into a Jeffersonian democracy overnight, too. Were they all “racist Islamophobes” too?

        Yes. You are employing the hasbara tactic of appealing to the existence of other people who harbor racist or Islamophobic views. FYI, Lewis was the source of the “Arc of Crisis” neocon policies which paid lip service to spreading democracy as an excuse to intervene militarily in other peoples affairs. The Wall Street Journal said:

        Call it the Lewis Doctrine. Though never debated in Congress or sanctified by presidential decree, Mr. Lewis’s diagnosis of the Muslim world’s malaise, and his call for a U.S. military invasion to seed democracy in the Mideast, have helped define the boldest shift in U.S. foreign policy in 50 years. The occupation of Iraq is putting the doctrine to the test.

        In 2003 Mr. Lewis was writing propaganda pieces for the Wall Street Journal claiming that the problems in Afghanistan were manageable and that America could avoid a charge of Imperialism by supporting Ahmad Chalabi and the Iraqi National Congress as the government of Iraq. In 2004 when Laqueur’s book was going to press, there were warrants for Chalabi’s arrest and the Senate Intelligence Committee was finishing-up Phase I of its 2003 investigation into the role Douglas Feith, Richard Perle, Paul Wolfowitz, Elliott Abrams, and Bernard Lewis played in creating and supporting the myth of the so-called “Iraqi National Congress” and the trumped-up evidence for Sadaam’s weapons of mass destruction. During the Clinton and Bush administrations Lewis personally escorted his friend Ahmed Chalabi around Washington campaigning for an invasion of Iraq and making dire warnings about WMDs. In fact, Chalabi and his Congress were entirely the creation of a media strategy company doing contract work for the government. Rendon Group received close to $200 million from the Pentagon and CIA starting in 1992. Lewis and his friends in the Committee on the Present Danger, like R. James Woolsey claimed that Iraq had the largest stockpile of biological and chemical weapons in the world (e.g. Laqueur, 2000, page 259 and Woolsey’s endorsement). After the 1998 Embassy bombings Lewis had signed a (link to web.archive.org) letter from the so-called “Committee for Peace and Security in the Gulf” warning about Sadaam’s WMDs and calling for the invasion of Iraq and US recognition of the Iraqi National Congress as the legitimate representative of Iraqi people. In 2003 the Telegraph noted that only eight days after the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, Lewis was briefing Richard Perle’s Defense Policy Board, sitting next to his friend Ahmed Chalabi, the leader of the Iraqi National Congress. At that key meeting of the highly influential board, the two called for an invasion of Iraq. The Times also noted that Chalabi had been installed in Baghdad as provisional prime minister and that Lewis’s latest book, The Crisis of Islam, “earned Lewis places on the big US talk shows despite being attacked in academic journals as “tending to caricature Muslims as poor losers, helpless and enraged”.”

        Another sign of Lewis’s bigotry was when he denounced Pope John Paul II’s 2000 apology for the Crusades as political correctness run amok. Years later a commentator noted Lewis’s dismal track record and said it would be eons before anyone trusted him or his followers again:

        Were you to start counting the ironies here, where would you stop? Here was a Jewish scholar criticizing the pope for apologizing to Muslims for a holy war against Muslims, which was also a massacre of the Jews. Here were the theorists of the invasion of Iraq, many of them also Jewish, applauding the notion that the Crusades were not so terrible and embracing a time horizon that makes it impossible to judge them wrong. And here was the clubhouse of the neocons throwing itself a lavish ‘do, when the biggest question in American politics is how to escape the hole they’ve dug. Reality seemed to have taken up residence elsewhere for the evening.

        One wonders why he was (falsely) enlisted by Hostage in the first place.

        Werdine, I quoted what Laqueur had written verbatim, because even he had acknowledged that the Post-Orientalists had a genuine reason to be concerned about those people who, deliberately or not, misrepresented the true nature of Islam. Laqueur was not quoting Esposito or Goytisolo when he described Lewis as the main culprit or when he said Lewis is the symbol of all that is reactionary and hateful in the old Orientalism. Laqueur himself wrote that the terrorists are radicals NOT Islamic fundamentalists as Lewis claims and that the majority of suicide bombers are secular.

        So Walter Laqueur is a very, very bad historian and a bad psychic.

        Walter Laqueur, his employers, and a lot of publishers claim that he is an expert on terrorism, defense, and security. He devoted an entire chapter to criticizing novelists, journalists, and professors of comparative literature for not being psychic or experts on terrorism and complained because one of them called Lewis a propagandist – despite the fact that it had already been established that Lewis was a key participant in the weapons of mass destruction and Iraqi National Congress scams. That propaganda campaign ultimately resulted in the unnecessary deaths of hundreds of thousands of innocent people and the displacement of millions of refugees. So yeah, Laqueur is a very crappy historian and is one of the few Georgetown globalists who wasn’t writing about the real intelligence failure of 2003.

        Another problem with Laqueur’s analysis is pretty obvious: he suppressed the information about the warnings from Mamoun Fandy and Abdel Bari Atwan – and discredits what Bin Laden himself had to say. All of them discussed the role US policy toward Israel plays in motivating terror attacks. You have to hear that from people like General Patreaus who testified that the I-P conflict is one of the “root causes of instability” and “obstacles to security” in the region.

      • Robert Werdine
        June 26, 2011, 1:44 pm

        David,

        My most humble apologies for the delay in my response; life before blogging, you know.

        Now, to the business at hand!

        Said you: “As for the Arafat quotes, which you have repeated in toto several times on this site, you think you have produced irrefutable evidence of “screaming violent death-to-Israel speeches” and “blood-curdling speeches “ No you haven’t. Some of the quotes may not even be genuine, as others, particularly, Shingo, answered you previously; they come from unverifiable sources.”

        I can hardly believe that you have raised this thoroughly discredited canard, yet again. But you have.

        “[M]ay not even be genuine?”

        “[U]nverifiable sources?”

        Well, here are the veriafiable sources I cited: Ma’ariv, Yediot Ahronot, Ha’aretz, Palestinian TV, Jerusalem Post, Cairo Radio, Voice of Palestine, AP, NY Times, among many, many others. Were the quotes all fabricated by all of these publications and media on multiple occasions? Please. Also, why do you think Bill Clinton felt the need to speak to the PA in 1998 about the need to “end the practice of speaking peace in one place and preaching hatred in another?” Because he was misinformed? No, because he saw and heard such statements from Arafat and his other PA cronies with quite disturbing regularity, that’s why.

        “Many of them appear to call for the end of Israel as a Jewish State (quite different from what you described).”

        You have to be joking. Are you serious? I am unsure whether this is disingenuousness, denial, or just plain naïve, useful idiocy on your part. Arafat was not merely taking issue with Israel as a Jewish state, but with its existence, as he always had. He repeatedly denied any genuine Jewish ancestral connection to Israel or Jerusalem. Like Nasser, Assad, his predecessor Haj Amin al Husseini, and so many other leaders of his time, he regarded the very existence of Israel as a crime, as a shame that had to be wiped clean, so that the injustice and humiliation of 1948 would be removed forever. (Google is your friend: look up “shame society”). However long it took, whatever it took, whether it be accomplished in his lifetime or not, he never, ever, wavered in his determination to destroy the “Zionist entity.”

        As promised in his May 1994 speech in Johannesburg, he would treat Oslo as the Prophet Mohammed treated the Hudaibiya agreement with the Quraish tribe, i.e., as an agreement to be broken when it was found to be convenient to do so. And he was as good as his word. He would use the peace process as merely jihad by other means: he would lie, and cheat, and sign agreements, break them, suffer no consequences, pocket concessions, and lie and cheat some more for even bigger concessions. After all, why shouldn’t he have? What was Israel going to do, complain to the UN? What was Clinton going to do, cancel the peace process and scratch his legacy as a “peacemaker?” Please. Arafat smelled Israel’s weaknesses and Clinton’s vanity, sized up the situation with his usual shrewdness, and played it to his advantage like the master Machiavelian that he was. He understood the corrupt dynamic of Oslo: that when he dug in his heels and threatened to derail the peace process, that the Americans and the UN would lean on Israel to mollify and appease him with concessions. And it worked like a charm, every time.

        People must ultimately be judged by their actions, not their words. But when their actions are underscored by their words, and vice-versa, with remarkable consistency over a period of several decades, then a connection between a person’s words and actions can plausibly be established. As I’ve said before, there is, in all of Arafat’s Oslo-period statements, a blood-chilling consistency with all of his pre-Oslo statements about destroying Israel, and I cannot think of anything whatsoever in Arafat’s subsequent behavior until his death that shows them to be in any way exaggerated or insincere. They were all frighteningly and bloodily vindicated in his violent refusal of a state in 2000/2001 and his sponsorship of the second intifada. If you feel that you can make the case that I am wrong about all of this, have at it.

        “And none of them are “screaming.” That was your word, and indeed I accused you of lying when you used it and claiming the influence of such screaming on your evolving political philosophy. If you went way overboard in describing Arafat’s speeches, don’t blame me for holding you to your own words.”

        This just gets better and better. So now it was Arafat’s tone of voice that was supposed to have aided and abetted my conversion? Priceless! I said I saw him making “blood curdling” and “screaming violent death-to-Israel” speeches, which were general characterizations describing the content and the tenor of the speeches and statements, and were both completely and substantively accurate. Arafat’s speaking style before Arab/Palestinian audiences were often in the best melodramatic, Nasserist tradition. Gaddafi and others did so too, though no one could ever hold a candle to the master himself. Nasser could have read the phone book to the Cairo crowds and elicited rapturous applause. Arafat too partook of this style, emphasizing themes of war, jihad, struggle, martyrdom, honor, and victory, not peace and conciliation, and, yes, he often did this to the accompaniment of a lot of yelling and screaming to make his point. Do you imagine that Arafat delivered such applause-yielding zingers as “it is a revolution until victory, until victory, until victory” and “we know only one word: jihad, jihad, jihad” in a calm, placid monotone? Who in the world would want to listen to such a speech?

        David, the simple truth is that I have made my case on this matter both exhaustively and repeatedly, and you have not come even close to making your case that I have not. Your continuing slander against me concerning my “lies” about Arafat’s anti-Israel statements and speeches in the face of literally overwhelming evidence to the contrary not only brings discredit on you, but is pathetic, and actually embarrassing to witness. You should have the decency to cease and desist, and just pack it in for your own sake.

        Said you: “Stop pretending that we both had similar views on Qibya; you alone offered these “defenses,” and yes that is what they were. It’s quite obvious that you were unable to respond to my critique, and thus chose not to do so, pretending that you always found the operation to be inexcusable and indefensible.”

        I did not “pretend” anything, did not defend what happened at Qibya, and the notion that I was “unable to respond to [your] critique” is the height of your conceit.

        As for Qibya, I did not “finally” decide that it was a massacre, and that it was indefensible; I have always thought so, and said as much. In my first (May 3) reply I acknowledged a massacre of civilians, and made no attempt to defend it. I did not intend, in that post, to do an extended analysis of the Qibya massacre establishing all of the facts involved and leading up to the massacre, so I merely cited Ben Gurion’s speech which, with the exception of the lying bit about armed civilian settlers who “lost their patience” and carried out the raid on their own initiative, generally placed the incident in the proper context of the larger border conflict, in which Arab fedayeen were committing acts of terrorism, Israelis were responding, and in which he appropriately condemned the civilian deaths, and expressed sorrow and regret for them. I felt this context was important, as it always is in understanding how and why things happen. That is all.

        (I was also nearing the end of writing a very lengthy post, and decided to shift the burden of explaining the context to Ben Gurion, to save myself the effort)

        You have accused me, or, rather, slandered me, with the charge of whitewashing Israeli atrocities and holding Arab blood cheap. I cannot, in all good conscience, accuse anyone, including you, of holding anyone else’s blood cheap without irrefutable evidence to prove the charge, but, leaving aside the loathsome, despicable falsehood lurking behind your charge, I actually think it far more plausible to argue that it is you who whitewashes, ignores, or downplays the crimes of the Arabs/Palestinians against Israel, while isolating out of context, emphasizing, and giving prominence to what are crimes (and what are often not crimes) committed by Israel. There does not seem to be much to indicate that you believe that Hamas, for example, bears any responsibility whatever for the Gaza conflict of the past six years, that has brought such suffering to the Palestinians, and whose murderous actions have, and have alone, provoked Israel’s countermeasures. Indeed, as long as I have commented on this blog, I have not only yet to read a single post by you condemning Hamas’ rejectionism, their brutal oppression of, and crimes against, Palestinians, or their atrocities against Israelis, but you have actually defended and even praised Hamas.

        In an April 29 post you said:

        “Pamela – you make a great point about Hamas’s popularity, one that is often missed. Hamas offers a real alternative to the corruption of Fatah, though it is almost exclusively linked to violence and rejectionism in the US. Of course, Israeli voters regularly vote for politicians whose record of violence and rejectionism dwarfs that of Hamas.”

        This is the whole post, in context. Your assertion that Hamas is “almost exclusively linked to violence and rejectionism in the US” is certainly correct. It is also correct, however, that the reason for this “link” is the fact that Hamas is almost exclusively devoted to violence and rejectionism, as are any Islamic Salafist terrorist group, and that they would be derelict in their duty as terrorists if they were not. I could be wrong, of course, but it sounds to me that you seem to think that Hamas is somehow getting an undeserved bad rap here in the states.

        In any event, your comment here reveals a willingness to play down, or at least ignore, the murderousness of Hamas, who has much Palestinian and Israeli blood on their hands, to say the least. Your approach to history, and to the I/P conflict in general then, seems to be largely concerned with combing history of the conflict for dirt on Israel, while ignoring the intransigence, crimes, and atrocities of the Arabs/Palestinians to load into your prosecutor’s brief for indicting Israel, who is, without exception, always guilty whenever they are accused. Your viewpoint is, as I have said before, ideologically partisan, rigidly dogmatic, and thus thoroughly politicized: Israel is a racist, colonial, apartheid state who murdered, oppressed, and ethnic-cleansed its way to statehood, the Arabs/Palestinians are only victims of Israel’s brutal crimes and depredations, and anyone who argues differently is a pro-Zionist/hasbara propagandist attempting to justify racism, genocide, ethnic cleansing, land theft, dispossession, apartheid etc., etc., etc., etc., etc. This doesn’t seem to leave much room for genuine debate, since people who disagree with you are obviously either dishonest, ignorant of the facts as you see them to be, or just plain evil.

        It is no wonder, then, that my explanation of the context behind the Qibya massacre uncorked such a flood of hyperbolic slander and invective from you that I initially found so shocking and bewildering. Any attempt to explain and contextualize the events behind and leading to the massacre was bound to be read as a “defense” to your narrow, dogmatic, and politicized viewpoint. My approach to attempting to understand the events behind, and leading up to, the Qibya massacre, for example, is consistent with my approach to studying history in general. To my mind, if not to your politicized mind, to understand is not to vindicate, and to explain is not to excuse, defend or justify.

        Wars involve killing. An accidental slaughter, a deliberate massacre, or any other atrocity or mass killing that occurs in the context of a war, which involves violence and killing, is at least more intelligible, if not excusable, than a random or unprovoked act of murder or terrorism in peacetime. For example, the Germans accidentally bombed Rotterdam in 1940, after Holland had already surrendered. It is inconceivable, not to mention inexcusable, that any such accident would or could happen in peacetime. The border war following the 1949 armistice was a brutal, often confusing conflict involving fighting, and other acts of violence between soldiers and soldiers, soldiers against civilians, civilians against civilians, and terrorists against both civilians and soldiers. Atrocities were committed by both sides but the dynamic of the conflict was always clear: Arab terrorists were attacking Israel, and Israel was responding, and not the other way around.

        Now, does any of this excuse the crime that was committed at Qibya. No, it does not, but the war, the atmosphere of vigilante violence and chaos on the porous borders, and the general brutalization that war engenders upon those who fight it, certainly renders what led to the massacre to be more intelligible and understandable, if not excusable, otherwise the massacre would be utterly inexplicable. At least some of the soldiers who carried out the raid obviously wanted revenge, and were out for blood. This does go to some extent to mitigate the circumstances that led to the raid, but not what happened during the raid, which was criminal.

        Said you: “What was the original plan? To capture or kill those responsible for killing the woman and her children? NO! It was to kill “Arab” civilians because “Arabs” were suspected of the terrorist act. What do you think the plan was? To force civilians to leave their houses, and then bomb the empty houses?… Is this the kind of fairy-tale “legitimate reprisal” you had in mind? Punishing innocent Arab civilians by destroying their homes without killing them?“

        I am inclined to attribute this to your obvious unfamiliarity with military matters, and what seems to be an equal unfamiliarity with the role of reprisals in the history of conflict. But the answer to your question is, yes, exactly, and I think an argument can be made to support the contention that the murder of Qibya’s civilians was not planned.

        Unit 101, a company-sized commando force created to counter fedayeen border terrorism, attacked Qibya in a three pronged assault punctuated by artillery fire and Bangalore torpedoes to sever the barbed wire surrounding the village. As the IDF approached the village, they saw large numbers of villagers fleeing, encountered resistance, and exchanged fire with Jordanian soldiers, killing 12. The soldiers of Unit 101 then set about demolishing homes and buildings.

        Shimon Kahaner, one of the fighters in Unit 101, says: “Qibya was a case when things went differently than planned. What happened there is that once the village was taken over, many of the men ran away. They let the women and the children in the homes. We didn’t employ the method which we adopted later of checking the houses before exploding them. Once our troops saw that the men left, they called people out and when they stopped coming out, the houses were blown up and apparently there were women and children in some of them.”

        The best then, that could be argued was that the soldiers of Unit 101 failed to empty all of the 45 houses before destroying them, but evidence and testimony seems to indicate that almost no care was shown in emptying them, that some of the civilians stayed inside their homes to escape the fighting, and that at least some of the attacking soldiers knew this.

        None of this is provable, of course. But it can be reasonably inferred from the circumstances. Here’s why: After the Jordanian soldiers were killed, the IDF were no longer encountering resistance, and they had mined the roads surrounding Qibya, thus effectively isolating the village from the intervention of the Jordanian military. They thus had an opportunity to inspect each of the 45 houses and buildings before demolishing them. Bullet shots found on the doors of demolished buildings also indicate shooting at the houses. Why would soldiers be shooting at houses they thought to be empty? It is thus reasonable to assume that they deliberately did not take care to empty each dwelling, even if it is impossible to prove it.

        Did the IDF intend to murder civilians at the outset of the raid? This is far from clear. Sharon’s diary reads that “The orders were utterly clear: Qibya was to be an example for everyone” and Benny Morris has uncovered an order from Sharon urging “maximal killing and damage to property.” Sharon, of course, has argued that the “maximal killing” referred to soldiers and not civilians, which is possible since it is unlikely that he or anyone else would incriminate themselves with written orders if they did intend to deliberately murder civilians; Morris disputes this. But written orders mentioning “killing” and even “killing civilians” can always be explained away, however feebly or disingenuously: politicians and military leaders usually shroud themselves in self-exculpating memoranda to protect themselves that can be cited, and commanders and soldiers denying receiving, knowing about, or even being given such orders, are a regular feature at court-martial hearings.

        So that does not resolve the matter. And while it may not conclusively incriminate Sharon or anyone else involved in the planning of the raid, it does not vindicate them, either. It is entirely possible that they received verbal orders to deliberately kill civilians. It cannot be proven, but it cannot be ruled out.

        The orders sanctioning the raid are thus unhelpful in conclusively determining guilt on this matter. The answer, I believe, lies in the operation itself. If the IDF really meant to murder the civilians of Qibya from the outset of the raid, how many, exactly, did they mean to kill? A few? Tens? Hundreds? Was there a specific number? How and why was the number determined in the planning? Was it arbitrary? How many had to die in this raid to emphasize Israel’s displeasure at the fedayeen border killings? Did they debate it? Some arguing for more, some for less, and then someone arguing for a compromise figure that would please everyone? If the deliberate killing of civilians was indeed determined in the planning of the raid, such debates would have occurred among the operations staffs so that Unit 101 could be so ordered.

        Did they plan to murder them in the manner that they were in fact killed, to be blown up in buildings detonated by hand-placed explosives and gunfire? Why was this specific method determined upon in the planning? Why then was there even a raid at all in the first place, if the sole object was to murder civilians? If this was indeed the intent, then a lengthy, well concentrated artillery barrage, supplemented by carpet bombing from the air, would have razed the village in a matter of minutes, and ensured that the living and the dead of Qibya would have found a common grave beneath mounds of rubble without ever putting a single Israeli soldier in harms way.

        That they sent a company-sized commando unit in a raid into enemy territory thus indicates that they had a very specific errand for them to perform, and it was most likely to demolish homes and buildings on as great a scale as possible to put pressure on the Jordanian government to crackdown on fedayeen activity and deter further attacks. It is of the most basic and most elementary practice inherent in any military doctrine by any army in history, that soldiers are never put in harms way to execute a mission that can be accomplished by other means. That the IDF, whose training, leadership, and doctrinal sophistication is superior to any fighting force of the twentieth century save the German Wehrmacht of WWII, would send a whole company sized commando unit behind enemy lines to accomplish what artillery and air power could easily accomplish alone, and far more swiftly and economically—the razing of Qibya and the murder of its inhabitants—is both implausible, and a military and operational absurdity. Small scale special forces raids are traditionally used to accomplish specifically targeted tasks: sabotage or assassination, that are unable to be performed by any other means. Unit 101 was no different.

        It is for all of these reasons that I believe that the deliberate murder of Qibya’s civilians was not planned from the outset, and that it was one of many operations that simply went rogue in the hands of its participants. Also, the sort of reprisal raid conducted by the Israelis where they “imparted pain” in the form of destroying houses, buildings, and other infrastructure without killing civilians had been done both before and after Qibya, though as with Qibya, things did not always turn out that way (Samu in 1966, for example). On December 26, 1968, Palestinian terrorists machine gunned an Israeli airliner preparing for takeoff at Athens Airport. Some 50 people were aboard, and though only one was killed, the terrorists sprayed the plane’s windows at sea level indiscriminately in an attempt to kill as many as possible.

        It was found that the terrorists were members of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, headquartered in Beirut. Having repeatedly warned the Lebanese that they could not “escape responsibility” for their support and sponsorship of the PFLP, the Israelis two days later conducted a reprisal raid against Beirut Airport in which commandos destroyed 13 Lebanese airliners and where they, according to the Israelis, “at great risk to themselves…exercised the strictest precautions to prevent civilian casualties. The planes were emptied of passengers and ground crew, and people in the vicinity were led away to safety.” No one was killed.

        But none of this answers the question: are such reprisals morally defensible? Yes, I would argue, if two things are observed: first, that every personal, political, and diplomatic resource that can bring an end to attacks and terrorist attacks be explored and exhausted, and secondly, in the event that there is no other alternative or option to force, that the reprisal always respect the rules of non-combatant immunity to the greatest possible extent. The need for, and the right to, such coercive action especially applies to reprisals against non-state actors, who cannot be apprehended and brought to justice by the nation so attacked. If the host nation, in this case Jordan, either could not or would not control those within its borders committing violent acts, what, then, is to be done by the nation suffering the consequences of this failure? Nothing?

        After the 1949 armistice the Israelis were experiencing a virtual epidemic of infiltration, theft, sabotage, terrorism, and murder ringing at all points around their long, porous borders. With the UN oscillating between impotence and indifference on the matter, and short of invading Jordan and Egypt, what, in the event, were the Israelis to do? Call the police?

        Israeli policymakers undoubtedly, and understandably, saw that they had no alternative but to respond in some way. Even Foreign Ministry diplomat Walter Eytan, a known critic of reprisals commented, “it is doubtful whether any other government would, or could have acted otherwise.”

        Zaki Shalom concludes that reprisals were an inevitable result of Israel’s geographic and diplomatic situation:

        “In Israel’s particular situation of a long, meandering border, lack of strategic depth, an exposed and ‘fragile’ population, especially in frontier settlements, severe cutbacks in manpower and financial resources, and the ethos of national defense within the norms of a moral and legal framework, it appears that the retaliation policy adopted was the only realistic solution.”

        Similarly, Abba Eban noted sarcastically:

        “Whether there really would have been any less tension if Israel had fatalistically sat back and let its citizens be killed without response is moot. Since no experiment in national masochism has ever been tried by any country, we shall never know the answer.”

        As I said before, short of suffering such attacks in passive silence and inaction, a policy of reprisal is not only legitimate, but necessary. A nation is not merely empowered, but obligated, to resist by any and all appropriate measures, including force, an attack on their people from without or from within. The principle of self-defense is deeply rooted in doctrines that, since antiquity, have been among the pillars of international relations.

        In an earlier post, I wrote:

        “The Lebanon war was a catastrophe for all concerned and I hardly think the Israelis murdered 20,000 people in cold blood. You seem to be overlooking the fact that Arafat and the PLO, and all the other assorted Phalangist and Syrian-backed groups made Lebanon into a seething cauldron of inter-warring factions. Over the years there were a lot of very, very, bad actors who have passed through the revolving door of the Land of the Cedars, David, and I hardly think the Israelis were the worst of them.”

        To which you answered:

        “How many of your mother’s countrymen do you think were murdered in cold blood by the Israelis, and how many did they kill accidentally? Were Israel’s acts of murder against Lebanese civilians justified because it was a “seething cauldron”? What does that even mean – Lebanese were accustomed to being killed, so the Israeli crimes were less criminal?”

        It is eloquent testimony to your hostility and paranoia that you could somehow extrapolate something this hysterically preposterous from the perfectly truthful statement I made. It is also obvious that someone making this statement knows next to nothing about the Lebanese Civil War, or Lebanon itself.
        No one did more to upset Lebanon’s fragile sectarian balance than did Arafat and the PLO, who transferred to Lebanon all of the death, destruction, and chaos that they had previously been conferring upon Jordan, (from whom they had been violently ejected in 1970), and whose attacks on northern Israel, like Hamas and Hezbollah attacks later on, brought conflict and chaos to southern Lebanon, my mother’s ancestral homeland. (Arafat would later confer similar blessings upon the West Bank, Gaza, and Israel later on). I can assure you, David, I have heard ample first hand testimony over the years about the behavior of the PLO, the Syrians, the Israelis, the Druze, Maronites and Phalangists in Bint J’Bail and elsewhere, and though there is little love lost on the Israelis there, it simply pales in contrast to the reactions to the horrors inflicted by those among the other rogues gallery of actors.

        The Israeli involvement in Lebanon actually played a marginal role in the Lebanese war compared with the conflict raging between the other factions: between Sunni and Shi’a, both against Christians, the Druze against the Phalangists, the Maronites and the Phalangists and the inter-rivalry of their various militias, the PLO against the Phalangists, the Syrians against the PLO, the rivalries and turf wars between the various groups within the PLO—quite a “seething cauldron” wouldn’t you say? Thus, the conflicts, mini-conflicts and turf struggles that destroyed and destabilized Lebanon had actually very little to do with Israel, and predated their involvement. In Lebanon, every man’s hand was raised against the other, and all against the stranger. Some 130,000-250,000 people were killed, hundreds of thousands dislocated and dispossessed, and more than a million people wounded in this civil war, minus any Israeli involvement. What I said, therefore, was true: Over the years there were a lot of very, very, bad actors who have passed through the revolving door of the Land of the Cedars, and I hardly think the Israelis were the worst of them. Not by a long shot.

      • Taxi
        June 26, 2011, 4:21 pm

        Nobody missed you werdine so don’t worry ’bout your proverbial “delay”.

        And WTF?! A few days ago you agreed to practice the art of one-liners and just look at you now: good grief you’re a hopeless case of loquacious tedium repeating itself ad nauseum and blindly spinning on a pinhead of an argument. This is a serious pathology you realize, psychologically attributed to lack of intimacy in a person’s life. Meaning? People who talk THAT much are usually not getting any – if you knowadamean.

        Man the amount of words you use per day must be in the trillions! I imagine you even talk while you sleep werdine – and we’re not talking a phrase here and a phrase there – no – we’re talking endless non-stop yakking even while you sleep. You just never stop talking do you? Not even when there’s no one in the room eh?

        Werdine, I’ll repeat: your challenge is to win an argument using a single sentence. Just win ONE single argument using ONE single statement and I’ll shut up about it.

        Try it, you might like it. A lot of us here certainly will.

      • David Samel
        June 26, 2011, 6:12 pm

        Werdine, my God, are you full of shit! I have absolutely no intention of spending more time debating with you on this, and no, it’s not because you are so convincing and irrefutable. It’s because you are so utterly demented. Your analysis of Qibya is a masterpiece of sorts, and that is not a compliment. It should be its own chapter in an abnormal psych textbook. If an Israeli spokesperson said 2+2=5, you’d believe it. Why, I don’t have the slightest idea. You remain an apologist for Israeli mass murder of Arab civilians, and your ability to spew billions of words to tie the English language and logic itself into knots that cannot be untangled does not change that.

      • Robert Werdine
        June 27, 2011, 4:04 pm

        David,

        Thank you for your reply. Pleasure chatting with you, as always!

    • Chaos4700
      June 11, 2011, 4:14 pm

      Gee, like I said to clencher up there — tell that to the KKK.

  27. David Samel
    June 11, 2011, 2:39 pm

    Mo, I understand your reasoning about using Christians and Blacks, though I still feel that Whites and Blacks is a much better choice for all the reasons discussed above. Donald is the only one who throws out a caution sign, and he is quite perceptive and smart (i.e. I almost always agree with him). While I still love the idea, Donald gives food for thought. In my experience of using sarcasm and parody on this website, someone (or more than one) often misinterprets it as serious, no matter how apparent I think the joke is. It obviously would be a disaster if even a few people somehow got the message that pro-Palestinian activists were actually calling for overt discrimination against African-Americans. Don’t underestimate this possibility, no matter how silly it seems to mw readers.

    Also, while you have thought of some great examples, there are others as well, such as We demand separate and grossly unequal schooling, or a ban on intermarriage. I’ll leave the cleverness in language up to you.

    Also I don’t agree with your assessment that “pro-Palestinian activists the world over should give up demanding equal rights for Palestinians because whilst we all want this, it has been tried for too long and we have very little in terms of victories to show for it.” I’m not sure it’s been tried enough and framed that way. In any event, I see your idea as a brilliant way of demanding equal rights by, as you say, “flip[ping] the equal rights issue on its head.” It’s just two sides of the same coin.

    • MRW
      June 11, 2011, 2:53 pm

      David Samel,

      And I usually agree with you, but the ‘religion-versus’ issue is absolutely germane here. (Forget all the michegas about Jews are a race, and those permutations.) Not dealing with it because it might offend would be dishonest. Netanyahu stood at the UN in Sept 2010 and declared that Israel is a Jewish State.

      It shouldn’t be watered down so that Americans find it palatable to consider. Or argue the Black/White issue again. Our racism is not the ultimate point of this placard. It’s that we have abhored racism for the past 40+ years here in the US, but clap like seals for it and throw tax dollars at it overseas…because the Holocaust pepper seasons it.

      If you’re gonna’ shock, be over the top.

  28. eGuard
    June 11, 2011, 3:56 pm

    The payoff “for security reasons” made me smile.

  29. Toma
    June 11, 2011, 4:35 pm

    This would be clever if there wasn’t still such rampant segregation in the US. The failure of your ads is that they reflect the actuall sentinments of many “white” americans. You buy into the classic fallacy that the civil rights movement accomplished something. Take a look at the demographic of US prisons and you graphics wont be so pithy. That and go to Camden, NJ.

  30. American
    June 11, 2011, 5:09 pm

    Try this.

    If Israel Is Jewish State Why Can’t America Be A Christian State.
    We Demand the Same Right.

    LOL…the right wingers would love that and the lefties would wet their pants.

    If Israel Can Have Jews Only Roads Why Can’t America Have Christians Only Roads.

    If Israel Can Have Checkpoints for All Arabs Why Can’t America have Checkpoints for All Non Whites.
    We Demand the Same Security.

    If Israel Can Outlaw Mixed Marriages Why Can’t America Outlaw Mixed Marriages.

    If Israel Can Kill Protesters On their Boarder why Can’t We Kill Mexicans On Our Boarder.
    We Demand the Same Right.

    • MRW
      June 11, 2011, 5:19 pm

      Because those If…Why’s sanction Israel’s choices. It’s the wrong way around. And it doesn’t have the tongue-in-cheek of the “We Demand.”

      • American
        June 11, 2011, 6:03 pm

        I don’t know…I think all Non whites and those in mixed marriages and Mexicans would get just the right message and view of Israel.

      • mok
        June 11, 2011, 6:12 pm

        I agree, “If Israel…Why can’t we?” seems weak. But, that doesn’t mean American’s message can’t work. And he/she makes the Christians/Blacks and Whites/Blacks doubts of the current campaign a non-issue:

        “Israel Has Jews Only Roads. We Demand Christians Only Roads.”
        “Israel Has Checkpoints for Arabs. We Demand Checkpoints for Ethnics.”
        “Israel Has Outlawed (is this accurate?) Mixed Marriages. We Demand America Outlaw Mixed Marriages.”
        “Israel Kills Protesters On Its Borders. We Demand America Kill Mexicans On Its Borders.”

      • MRW
        June 12, 2011, 1:00 pm

        Yeah, Mo & American,

        I can go with Mo’s suggestions on your ideas, American. I mean, this puts it into the world of surreal. Funny. True. Disturbing. Over the top. But these would definitely start conversations at the dinner table here in this country.

    • RoHa
      June 12, 2011, 12:40 am

      Much better. It makes the analogy clear.

  31. MRW
    June 11, 2011, 5:16 pm

    I’d like a US Black member of this group to comment on all our US White surmisals about them here.

    • Donald
      June 13, 2011, 8:29 am

      I ‘d like to see a large number of American blacks commenting on this–all it takes, though, is a fair-sized minority of blacks to be offended by it to make the campaign backfire. It then becomes about the real or alleged insensitivity of the poster and the Israeli-Palestinian cause recedes into the background.

      That’s how controversy often works in the US when dealing with a super-sensitive topic like Israeli racism. People who don’t want that issue raised will do anything and everything in their power to shoot the messenger, to make the issue the alleged insensitivity of the messenger. Any weakness in the presentation will be seized upon and that becomes the controversy, rather than the original issue. Most people in the mainstream press are either willing accomplices in this process or else they are simply too stupid and lazy to see what is going on. That’s why I think “edginess” is something to be avoided if you are trying to reach the mainstream. (The possible exception being if you are a comic or satirist like George Carlin, when maybe you can afford to be edgy because people expect it of you.)

  32. mok
    June 11, 2011, 5:55 pm

    A lot of great discussion here.

    Would the main message of this campaign be safer if “Christians” was substituted with say “Privileged” and “Blacks” with “Minorities”?

    So, the ads would read:

    “We Demand”

    “Privileged only neighbourhoods with the right to refuse minorities”
    “Privileged only highways so we don’t have to drive amongst minorities”
    “Walls around “ghettos” and “hoods” so the privileged don’t have to look at minorities”

    “We dictate who is privileged, for security reasons”

    “We demand the same privileges our Israeli friends enjoy”

    The shock element is watered down, but the message seems safer. Does it still have an impact?

    • libra
      June 12, 2011, 9:46 am

      mok: I think it’s good that you’ve listened to the people the comments. You’ve certainly taken on board comments on the original wording.

      But the wording was only the most obvious problem. Your whole idea was to 1. shock with a discriminatory statement; 2. say it’s just like our friend Israel does; leaving as implicit 3. this is going on against Palestinians. Sadly, in road-testing the idea at Mondoweiss you are preaching to the converted who make this three-step connection in a nano-second, irony and all. But as Donald pointed out in his astute comments, the idea is too indirect for someone ignorant of what is going on in IP.

      So toning down the language doesn’t really help. Inevitably, to avoid all offence, you end up with politically-correct euphemisms that, as you suspect, drain it of impact. And with respect to occupied territories become hopelessly misleading, demoting the Palestinians to a “minority” within their own land. Only Zionists would agree with that.

      If you want to address the ignorance of most Americans, they need to see images (not graphics) of how the Palestinians are being treated. In that sense, the idea of leaving the Palestinians unmentioned is a mistake. In my view a fundamental mistake, the Palestinians should be at the front and centre of any non-violent movement for a just peace settlement in IP.

      I think a different approach could be taken to confront Jewish-American supporters of Israel. They do have a good idea of what is going on (however much they may be in denial) and would not tolerate anything like such treatment to themselves in the US, or other Jews anywhere else in the world. Thinking creatively about any such campaign (and the supporting graphics) could be worthwhile.

      An effective campaign would create an exaggerated reaction that the media could not ignore, allowing this hypocrisy to be brought to the attention of ordinary Americans. A small example of this approach was the bus advertisement campaign for peaceful coexistence in IP. The resulting effort to ban them that created more attention that the advertisements themselves.

      • MRW
        June 12, 2011, 1:18 pm

        Libra said what I attempted to with too many off-the-cuff posts:
        “So toning down the language doesn’t really help. Inevitably, to avoid all offence, you end up with politically-correct euphemisms that, as you suspect, drain it of impact.”

        I would change the shade of blue. I think annie (way up above in the responses) is 100% right about the appeal to our flag, but I would not introduce two blues: instead, marry the deep ultramarine and turquoise. Two blues imply a difference (in national perspectives) and that’s not what you’re saying.

        And while Libra is 100% right about images, these placards you propose are aimed at demonstration goers, not subway/bus riders. And they are sharply designed, which appeals to people like me. ;-) Because I like the snark slapped up against the truth.

      • James
        June 12, 2011, 1:22 pm

        libra, i have to agree with your overview on all of this and the suggestions in mo’s post… mo is preaching to the choir here… mrw is right to ask for a black person to give some feedback on this just for starters… i do agree with donald’s observations and think this tactic will not ultimately succeed… thanks for your comments….

        i think making a parallel with what is going on in israel right now and the american civil rights movement is a good one that has legs.. however i am not sure how it is best packaged and this attempt doesn’t look like anywhere near the best………..

    • MRW
      June 12, 2011, 1:01 pm

      “Privileged”

      Nah.

  33. American
    June 11, 2011, 5:58 pm

    If the US Congress Can Represent Israel Why Can’t they Represent Americans.
    We Demand the Same Representation.

    If America Can Have a Taxpayer Funded Government Department Against Anti Semitism Why Can’t We Have a Taxpayer funded Government Office Against Anti Christians.
    We Demand Our Own Government Department to Protect Christians

    Since Israelis Can Kill Americans Without Being Prosecuted Why Can’t I Kill an Israeli.
    I demand the Same right.

    If Jews in Israel Can Keep Muslims Out of Their Neighborhoods Why Can’t I Keep Blacks Out of My Neighborhood.
    We Demand the Same Right to Segregate.

    If Israel Can Confiscate Palestine Homes Why Can’t I Annex My Neighbors Property to My Backyard.
    I Demand the Same Right for Security Purposes.

    If Israel Can Take 90% of Palestine’s Water Why Can’t America Take 90% of Canada’s Water.
    We Should Be Entitled Too.

    If Israel Could Take the Palestines Land Because Jews lived there 3000 Years Ago Does That Mean the Indians Can Take America Away From Us Now.
    We Demand 3 Billion A Year to Prevent This Threat

    I have to quit I am gettingt addicted to this.

  34. LeaNder
    June 11, 2011, 6:41 pm

    Maybe the trick would be to double quote black: “Black”.

    David Ignatiev: How the Irish Became White

    • MRW
      June 12, 2011, 1:29 pm

      LeaNder…Ignatiev’s book on the Irish is a disgrace; he packs in all the old British hatreds and biases about the Irish and then attempts to democratize them for an American audience. If you look at the NYT morgue for 1850, you’ll see it in the Classifieds: “Irish need not apply.” They were the white slaves and would have remained so but for their skin color. They fucked their way into society.

      A better book is: “How the Irish Invented Slang: The Secret Language of the Crossroads (Counterpunch) (English and Irish Edition) by Daniel Cassidy.”

      When the Brits brought over their people to populate the South, the designation was: Brit to rule, Scots to run the banks, Irish to clean the toilets and houses.

  35. bijou
    June 11, 2011, 7:24 pm

    No Representation without Taxation.
    Tax Israel Now!

  36. bijou
    June 11, 2011, 7:27 pm

    Land Swaps for Security:
    Southern Texas to Mexico in 2012.
    Americans for the Israeli Way.

    • mudder
      June 11, 2011, 9:33 pm

      I’d be happy to swap all of Texas for Cancun or Cozumel. And I’d give em Oklahoma as a tip.

  37. bijou
    June 11, 2011, 7:31 pm

    I also recommend using the contruct “non-…” to define the “other” the way Israel does.

    “Checkpoints for non-Whites”
    “Demographic danger: Non-Whites reaching critical threshold of US population”

  38. bijou
    June 11, 2011, 7:33 pm

    Also I think there can be two distinct campaigns – one is to prevail upon Congress to act in a certain way – whether (a) to force Israel to shoulder the responsibilities of tax-paying Americans, or (b) to offer the American public the largesse afforded to Israelis by Congress.

    The other is to target the US public directly with messages demanding LIMITATIONS on fundamental rights to enshrine privilege. This campaign would serve to highlight what type of “democracy” Israel really is.

    Of course both campaigns would be directed at the voters, but there could be separate sets of “addressees,” if you will.

    • Walid
      June 12, 2011, 2:31 am

      I agree with Donald that such a campaign would backfire; Derhowitz would have a field day with it demonstrating that the true racists are the Palestinians behind it. Blacks in the US that are still waging their own battles for equality would find being used to make a point very offensive. The objective of highlighting Israel’s ugly “shared values” to the American public is great, but I’d keep the Christian and Blacks thing out of it.

  39. mymarkx
    June 12, 2011, 8:16 am

    I tried those arguments on people who self-identify as Progressive Democrats and peace activists, but are basically Zionists. They just went blank and refused to respond at all. Between American exceptionalism and Jewish exceptionalism, they cannot make the connections between what they claim to support and what they actually support, or what they find acceptable when Israel does it to Palestinians but would not find acceptable if the US did it to them.

    In order to depart from Torah and treat their neighbors in ways that they themselves would consider hateful if done to them, but still call themselves Jews, Zionist Israeli and U.S. Jews had to become schizoid. First they redefined “neighbor” to mean “a Jew who lives near you” so that they could discriminate against non-Jewish neighbors, and then they redefined “Jew” to mean somebody who supports Israel’s violations of Torah.

    When confronted with the fact that their positions lack logic, schizoids don’t reconsider their positions, they just stop talking to you. At least that’s been my experience.

    • VR
      June 12, 2011, 10:25 am

      “When confronted with the fact that their positions lack logic, schizoids don’t reconsider their positions, they just stop talking to you. At least that’s been my experience.”

      Yes, exactly mymarkx, that is my experience also (not only in that particular context) in the past and recent context. Self-deception is extremely hard to overcome, especially if it is profitable or what they consider safe.

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