‘Flytilla’ protest rocks the Israeli status quo in a sacred place – the airport

A report over the weekend in Maariv said that IDF special forces went on a flight from Geneva in Ben-Gurion Airport to sort the passengers between “pro Palestinian activists” and the rest of the passengers. Eventually, they deported 25 people. This is only one of many events that took place as over 600 peace activists landed in Ben-Gurion airport and declared the true goal of their visit: visit in the West bank, and participating in non-violent activities against the occupation.

Thus, a new frontier between the peace activists and Netanyahu’s government opened, and this one is especially sensitive. Israelis consider the airport as a sacred place – their gate to the free world, an escape from the mess the Palestinians “caused” them. It is also a gate that is closed to Palestinians, and was therefore a source of suffering, both in the concrete and the symbolic level. Now this sacred Israeli temple was violated, and the illusion many Israelis had, of belonging to the international Western community, was exposed as well.

The “flytilla” is another demonstration of the third undeclared intifada – this Intifada is being carried out by Palestinians, Israelis, and international groups, and is using non-violent creative means of resistance to the occupation. It’s goal is to make sure, again – using non-violent means – that convenient escapism will not be an option for Israelis. Based on the Israeli reaction it seems this third Intifada has been a huge success so far. This can be seen in the laws against boycott, and the public attention given to the protests. Most of this attention is so far negative, but there were also few initiatives and calls to end the occupation by powerful groups in the society, that were directly linked to the BDS actions. This raises critical and interesting questions – when will the Israelis say “enough” and cut their losses? And could it be done without a major shift in the U.S. policy toward the conflict?

Elinor Amit is a post doctoral student in the psychology department at Harvard University. She moved to the US from Israel in 2008.

Posted in Israel/Palestine

{ 82 comments... read them below or add one }

  1. Israelis will say “enough” only if we see a major shift in U.S. Jewish money policy.
    Most people I know are quite happy about how Stanley Fischer has so far saved us from the global financial crisis.

    • seafoid says:

      Israelis will say “enough” only when their standard of living is forced to pay the full political cost of their settlers.
      And by then it will be too late for Israel.
      Too many powerful Israelis are happy with the status quo and the settlement project does not have a reverse gear. Ultimately Israel does not share the same values as the rest of the Western world. And that will be the determining factor.

      • Kathleen says:

        Hey Israel receives one sixth of all US foreign aid. Millions in US defense materials for free, interest free loans (that are grants) One special deal after the next

    • Kathleen says:

      US taxpayers can donate money to Israel and it is tax exempt. Such a deal. That special situation does not apply to donations to any other country.
      US taxpayers pay interest on the US aid to Israel that is given to them in one lump sum rather than quarterly the way all other receivers of US aid have it handed to them.

      Also absolutely no oversight on how Israel spends the aid. Illegal settlements etc. One special situation after the next for Israel

  2. piotr says:

    “Based on the Israeli reaction it seems this third Intifada has been a huge success so far.”

    Israeli political machines and ideological framework are build around the concept of “existential danger”, and everything that happens is interpreted in that framework. I think that if peace activist organized “Cafetilla”, say, simultaneous meeting in 100 coffee bars around the world, it would be treated with full gravity — intelligence agents, sabotage of web pages, extending blacklists, threats to journalists, investigations of cooperating Israeli citizens etc. As it would constitute existential danger and harbinger another Holocaust.

    So far, “Third Intifada” is a great success for rightist/authoritarian politicians in Israel who are better at projecting hostility to the perpetrators, and who need to show resolute resistance to all peaceful protests. The hope is that someone, somewhere will notice that this is increasingly ridiculous.

    • richb says:

      The Press Association is reporting the following:

      Twelve British people have been detained in Israel while making an attempt to visit the West Bank town of Bethlehem, according to campaigners.

      The Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign, which was co-ordinating the British arm of the visit, said its chairman Mick Napier, 64, a university teacher, was amongst four Scots arrested at Israel’s Ben Gurion Airport.
      The flight also included five English and three Welsh people.

      The campaign said the specific charges against them is still unclear. Around 700 people from around the world had intended to visit Bethlehem on the invitation of families there.

      Sofiah Macleod, the UK-based contact for the campaign, said: “I spoke to consular staff this morning who told me that the arrest was quite rough. They were all handcuffed and shackled and put into vans after standing around for quite a long time, and you can see from their ages that a lot of them are retired. Otherwise they`re all fine.”

      She said that travel to the West Bank is theoretically open to British passport holders, unlike Gaza which is currently under Israeli blockade.
      Frank Thomas, 66, a retired statistician from Edinburgh; Ian Stewart-Hargreaves, who lives on Isle of Lewis; and Joy Cherkaoui, a community worker from Dumfries and Galloway, were also amongst the Scots.
      The English passengers were John Lynes, 83, a retired university lecturer from East Sussex; Audrey Gray, 77, a retired nurse from West Chiltington; Val Kitchen, 68, from Tonbridge; Anne Gray, 66, a retired academic from London; and Les Levidow, 61, an Open University research fellow who works in Milton Keynes.

      The three Welsh passengers were Pippa Bartolotti, 57, deputy leader of the Wales Green Party; Dee Murphy, 56, from Swansea, founder member of Swansea Palestine Community Link; and Joyce Giblin. The twelfth passenger Fiona Williams has also been identified as British, although her exact nationality is unknown.

      A Foreign Office spokeswoman said: “We have received reports of a number of British nationals being detained at the airport in Tel Aviv. We have a consular team at the airport who are seeking access to them to ensure that we can provide the appropriate assistance.”

      Speaking of consular assistance anybody know what our Embassy is doing? I know of one American whose Twitter feed went dark on July 8 just after getting on the plane.

    • gingershot says:

      I like your the usage of your ‘cafe-tilla’ term – can everything now done internationally to end Israeli Apartheid polices now have a ’tilla appended to the it?

      - just like every American scandal involving government coverup after Watergate has had a ‘gate’ appended to it?

      Your use of the term was pleasing to me and I think it helps conceptually to consider/group all these actions as ‘-tillas’ and expands the creative possiblities of how protest againsts Apartheid can be waged

      I know it sounds a little corny but I still really like it

      • Bumblebye says:

        So there could be a group of religious leaders, of any faith, moved to participate in these actions, and that might be the “G-d-tilla”.

        And such a “G-d-tilla” would be thoroughly monstered by the Israeli govt and media!

  3. sandy says:

    “this Intifada is being carried out by Palestinians, Israelis, and international groups, and is using non-violent creative means of resistance to the occupation.”

    1) There are almost no Palestinians involved in the flo/flytilla, it’s pretty much just foreign Israel-haters pushing their own anti-Israeli agenada.

    2) Does this sound like legitimate peaceful protest to you:

    “Associated Press Television footage showed some foreign activists, along with Palestinians, cutting through the barrier’s barbed wire fence with clippers. Another protester started a small brush fire.”

    ( From link to news.yahoo.com )

    • richb says:

      The English passengers were John Lynes, 83, a retired university lecturer from East Sussex; Audrey Gray, 77, a retired nurse from West Chiltington; Val Kitchen, 68, from Tonbridge; Anne Gray, 66, a retired academic from London; and Les Levidow, 61, an Open University research fellow who works in Milton Keynes.

      Does that sound like terrorists to you?

      • RoHa says:

        “Does that sound like terrorists to you?”

        Aging academics? Terrifying!
        Think of the powers of sarcasm they will have developed.

    • annie says:

      1) There are almost no Palestinians involved in the flo/flytilla

      you do not know what you are talking about sandy. the ‘welcome to palestine campaign’ was initiated by palestinians and hundreds of activists were invited (received invitations) to come to palestine for a week visit at the invitation of palestinians. check the video @ i minute in. it explains who the organizers are and who launched the campaign. (40 plaestinian NGO’s).

      tho your associated press link claims protestors started a fire they don’t provide any evidence. they don’t even disclose the location this protest took place. jpost at least mentions the location of protests in the west bank but mentions nothing about the allegations in the associated press article, nothing in this jpost article either: link to jpost.com

      you’re going to have to try harder.

      • sandy says:

        The AP article I linked does include a photo of protesters at the separation barrier, which shows both that the fence has been cut, as well as a fire.

        When you click the photo, you get a larger version and the following description:

        “Unidentified demonstrators stand next to a small cut section of Israel’s separation barrier fence, at a pro-Palestinian protest attended by Israeli, Palestinian and foreign demonstrators, near the West Bank city of Ramallah Saturday, July 9, 2011. (AP Photo/Majdi Mohammed)”

        The article further refers to “Associated Press Television footage”, however unfortunately it doesn’t give a link.

        • annie says:

          “Unidentified demonstrators stand next to a small cut section of Israel’s separation barrier fence, at a pro-Palestinian protest attended by Israeli, Palestinian and foreign demonstrators, near the West Bank city of Ramallah Saturday, July 9, 2011.

          iow, the photographer didn’t mention anything about that fire being started by the protestors. is ‘a small cut section of Israel’s separation barrier fence’ your idea of ‘violence’ and do you have your heart set on the idea one of the protesters tried to set palestine on fire knowing full well settlers are constantly using that tactic and idf ammunition and tear gas is fully capable of sparking a fire during a dry season?

        • Kris says:

          Cutting the “separation barrier fence,” which has been deliberately sited to steal even more Palestinian land, is not “violent.”

          You should check out the “Today in Palestine” section of this website and look through the entries for any week at random, and you will see accounts of real “violence,” most of it by Israeli occupation troops and fascist Israeli “settlers.”

        • tree says:

          The demonstration apparently took place in Qalandia, which is well outside the green line, and even well outside the expanded borders of annexed east Jerusalem. It is closer to Ramallah than Jerusalem. The fence that was cut was on Palestinian territory and therefore the Palestinians had every right to cut the wires, and doing so, in a normal world, would not be considered “violence”.

          Sandy, if your neighbor put a barbed wire fence in your front yard you would certainly be within your rights to remove it, and anyone judging the situation from the outside would realize that the violence committed was done by your neighbor in placing the fence there in the first place.

          “Welcome to Palestine” participants have Saturday took part in demonstrations in solidarity with Palestinians protesting against Israel’s Annexation Wall in the West Bank city of Qalandya and the village of Nabi Salih. Demonstrators later took part in a act of civil disobedience when international and Palestinian activists cut and broke through the annexation barrier close to Qalandya.

          Members of the “Welcome to Palestine” solidarity programme Saturday took part in protests around the West Bank on Saturday including acts of civil disobedience where demonstrators cut through the Israeli separation barrier in the Occupied Territories.

          Earlier in the day, participants took part in a protest against the encroachment of Israeli settlers on the town of Nabi Saleh. The protest was attacked by the Israeli military forces using tear gas and sound grenades.

          Protesters later broke through the annexation barrier near the West Bank city of Qalandia. The protesters cut the fence using pliers and withdrew after ten minutes after placing Palestinian flags in the area behind the barrier.

          The protesters later stretched the barbed wire used to separate Palestinians from their lands, homes, and family both in the West Bank and Israel across the road used by the Israeli military to patrol the barrier. Around fifty individuals were involved in the action.

          link to imemc.org

        • tree says:

          Wow, they cut a fence on their own land, placed Palestinian flags there and then left 10 minutes later. TERRORISTS!!!1! Scary Arabs!!!! Right ,Sandy?

    • annie says:

      btw, burning the west bank is a settler tactic. you can watch them start a fire right here, from last week.

    • Cliff says:

      sandy, get over yourself. They are pro-Palestinian, not anti-Israel. Israel itself is anti-Israel, by stealing land, resources, and abusing the Palestinians on a daily basis through the occupation.

      The world does not revolve around you, and people are not classified into anti-Israel or not. Get a life.

    • Charon says:

      sandy,

      Pretend the USA invaded Canada, slaughtered and expelled Canadians, and occupied their land for decades. Pretend that Canadians resisted with violence which the USA called terrorism even though the USA’s actions were worse. Pretend the USA created a propaganda campaign to cover up their crimes. Pretend that the USA claimed to be negotiating a ‘peaceful solution’ for years only to be exposed as deliberately stalling it.

      Now pretend that Canadian protesters, despite the violent aggressive USA soldiers/police actions to suppress them, resorted to non-violence. Except for a handful of Canadians which threw Molotov cocktails.

      It would be foolish to point to the Molotov cocktail-throwing protesters and ask “Does that sound like legitimate peaceful protest to you?” Because it is isolated and doesn’t reflect the group as a whole. You’re essentially justifying the Third Reich if you think that way.

      That’s a common Zionist rhetorical trick. You have also created a non-existent strawman to argue about in attempt to hijack conversation. First, you mention that the non-violent activists weren’t Palestinian. Therefore, you are no longer talking about Palestinians. Then you say “does this sound like non-violence to you?” and bring up an unrelated Palestinian incident.

      Make up your mind, you’re going all over the place exposing the delusions of Zionism for all to see.

      The activists were not “Israel-haters” nor did they have an “anti-Israeli agenda”. Maybe an anti-fascism agenda but that is moral and justified. Your rationalization is not.

      • sandy says:

        What you are recounting is the typical Antizionist narrative, and excuse me for the language, but it’s plain bullshit.

        There was no “invasion” of Arab “Palestine”.
        In fact, there never *was* an Arab “Palestine”.

        There just was a patch of land (part of the Ottoman Empire) in the Middle East, which, after the downfall of the Ottoman Empire, was slated to become one or more independent states (for which purpose it was provisionally put under British rule).

        The land was 100% inhabited by immigrants and their descendants:
        – A small number of “Old Jews”, who had immigrated through violent conquest at around 1250 BC
        – A majority of Arabs, who had immigrated through violent conquest during the Middle Ages.
        – A large minority of Jews, who had immigrated legally (according to Ottoman law) starting around 1880 AD.
        – Some more Arabs, who had immigrated legally (according to Ottoman law) following the modern Jewish immigration and the abrupt rise in living standards (nutrition, health care) compared to surrounding Arab nations that came with it.
        – Other small minorities like the Druze, who had immigrated over various periods of time.

        When the Ottoman Empire fell, none of these population groups could assert any political claim of ownership of the whole land, they were *all* legal inhabitants of the land now, and were required to “get along” with each other.
        Which, due to aggression and violence from both Jewish and Arab sides, did unfortunately not work out.

        One needs to remember, though, that the violent aggression from the Jewish side emanated from non-representative splinter groups like the Irgun, while the Arab violence emanated from the supreme Palestinian Arab leader and Grand Mufti Haj Amin al-Husseini himself – a devout fascist who adored Adolf Hitler and collaborated with him during the Holocaust.

        Under al-Husseini, the primary Arab “goal” was to eradicate every single Jew in the Middle East- while the primary Jewish “goal” was to stay alive in be able to live in peace in their homes in the land of Israel.
        One needs to keep this antagonism in mind when looking at what happened from then on.

        So now, two failed extermination wars against Israel and some Intifadas later, here we are.

        This is not to say that individual Jews and Israelis didn’t also commit acts of terrorism and war crimes before and during these wars (both sides did, whereas, again, note that on the Jewish side it was mostly crimes committed by individual soldiers or factions and condemned by “central command”, whereas on the Arab side, it was the “central command” itself who strategically planned and carried out the most barbaric acts, and still does so today).

        To recap: Both Jews and Arabs were legal inhabitants of a land without political ownership (after the downfall of the Ottoman Empire), and between then and now, both sides have committed crimes, whereas only *one* side made it its official and eternal agenda to completely eradicate the other side rather than accept compromises which allow both sides to live in peace.

        Your “Pretend the USA invaded Canada, slaughtered and expelled Canadians” analogy doesn’t fit the reality of the Arab-Israeli conflict at all.

        • Your boilerplate account doesn’t fit the reality either. And it repeats the same old myths and inventions common to the Zionist narrative. None of your selective and misleading story justifies the appropriation of land and housing from the indigenous people who, contrary to your typically inflammatory and false account, had no desire to extinguish anybody. On the contrary it was the Jewish leadership who had a deliberate policy to extinguish Palestinians and Palestine from the map. Expulsion, dispossession, displacement, murder, intimidation – all by people who claimed to have rights according to a mythical story. Palestinians were not ‘immigrants’ except in your imagination. The vast majority of Jews, however, were, but claimed the right to eradicate Palestine.

        • Mooser says:

          Sandy, I was flirting with an anti-Zionist position until your completely original and totally unanswerable logic saved me from myself! WHy, I don’t think any commenter has ever used these arguments before!

          Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, today, and forever!

        • sandy says:

          @justicewillprevail

          “Your boilerplate account doesn’t fit the reality either. And it repeats the same old myths and inventions common to the Zionist narrative. ”

          Care to be more specific?

          “None of your selective and misleading story …”

          Of course it’s selective, it was an answer to Charon’s Antizionist narrative, so I focused on the events and background info on which Charon’s narrative digressed from reality the most.

          Besides, a comprehensive month-by-month historic account of the last 130 years wouldn’t really fit in a blog comment.

          “justifies the appropriation of land and housing from the indigenous people”

          Ah, the Palestinian “displacement” litany, I guess it never gets old…

          Most of the Palestinian “refugees” left nowadays-Israel during the 1948 and 1967 wars – in total around 700,000.

          During the same time, around 1.000.000 Jewish refugees were expelled from surrounding Arab nations. Funny how Antizionists never demand that *these* refugees get a right-of-return or compensation for the land and property they lost.

          But anyways, let’s take a look at the *Palestinian* “refugees” only.

          1) Only a small minority of them were actually driven out of their homes by force or by *real* threats of violence (like ongoing war crimes against Arabs near them etc).

          2) Many more left due to being scared by FALSE RUMORS of large-scale massacres against Arabs.
          Unlike some Antizionists like to claim nowadays, these rumors were not started by Israelis as a tactic to get rid of the Palestinians, but they were actually started by *Palestinian* leaders in order to incite violence against Jews and gain recruits for Arab militias. Well, that plan backfired…

          3) Many Arabs actually left *voluntarily*, in order to get “out of the way” of the Arab artillery and air force planning to raze large parts of Israel to the ground.
          Their leaders told them to leave Israel temporarily, and promised them that they could return to their homes once the Arab forces would win and were finished exterminating all the Jews, so the Arabs could return to a Jew-free paradise.
          Well, the Arab armies *didn’t* win, and those who had left were not allowed back in. They had taken a gamble, and lost. Tough luck. Although they were technically “displaced persons” now (they didn’t have their homes anymore), the term “refugee” doesn’t really fit for them.

          And neither does the term “refugee” fit for their children and grandchildren who are now living in the territories or in Lebanon, Jordan, etc.

          If you really want to help them, tell them that they should start building proper democratic societies in the places they are now so their children can finally live in peace and prosper, rather than inciting them to irrationally hold on to their inherited “refugee status” through false hope of a so-called “right of return” which a) legally doesn’t exist and b) will never become a reality, causing them to teach their children to hate Jews rather than to build prosperous societies, and continue on a strategy of terror which only hurts themselves, as it forces Israel to defend itself through checkpoints/security fences/blockades/etc.

          In case it hasn’t sunk in: The Palestinian “refugees” WON’T be allowed to return to their parent’s homes in Israel, just as the Jewish refugees won’t be allowed to return to the property in the surrounding Arab countries from which their parents were expelled.

          The question is: How many generations of Palestinian children will have to needlessly suffer until their parents, political leaders and their Western so-called-”friends” (who really don’t care for them but rather just hate Israel) accept this fact?

          “who, contrary to your typically inflammatory and false account, had no desire to extinguish anybody.”

          You have obviously never read a speech or letter by Grand Mufti Haj Amin al-Husseini, Palestinian leader of the time.

          He personally met with Adolf Hitler to discuss how a Nazi-style Holocaust could be implemented in the Middle East as well. He sent Palestinian fighters to East Europe, were they learned from and helped SS forces commit the holocaust.
          Joint SS and Palestinian militia forces were already selected, trained and put on hold specifically for the task of eradicating the Jews in Palestine the way they had already done in Eastern Europe, they just waited for the German Wehrmacht to defeat the Allied forces in North Africa and march into Israel, taking out the Hagana, leaving the Jewish civilians defenseless.
          Fortunately this never happened, because the Allied forces defeated the Germans in North Africa so they never reached Israel.

        • Citizen says:

          sandy,
          You really need to get the Zionist sand out of your historical eyes.

          Mondoweiss readers,

          Now that sandy has given us the guiltless Zionist fantasy of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, let’s have a harder look at what Zionism has wrought and the huge problematic legacy of the state of Israel to the world–here’s another jew, the libertarian Murray N Rothbard with a wonderfully factual essay on the subject–and it’s only been made worse by Israel since Rothbard wrote on this subject:
          See: link to lewrockwell.com

          PS: Under Zionist logic, the whites have a right to claim Africa and take it over since they originally lived there–everybody did.

          After WW1, The Brits encouraged the Jews to dredge up old Turkish land titles and buy land on the cheap, unseating the local Arab peasants. During the 25 years before 1939, Jews purchased just six percent of Palestine’s 6.5 million acres or 400 thousand acres.

          The Grand Mufti of Jerusalem spent WW2 in Berlin. He admired Hitler.

          Vladimir Jabotinsky, head of the Zionist-Revisionist movement to agitate for a Jewish state to rule historic ancient Palestine on both sides of the Jordan River, in turn, admired the militarism and the social philosophy of Mussolini’s fascism.

          At New York’s Hotel Biltmore in 1942, Zionism, for the first time, adopted the goal of a Jewish state in Palestine, and nothing less.

          The new and larger influx of Jewish settlers arrived after War II from Europe.
          By 1948, the Arab population in the Mandate area had grown to some 1.35 million, an increase of 60 percent since the 1930s, and up by a factor of seven since the arrival of pioneering Jews from Russia in the 1880s.

          Over 750 thousand Arabs fled the Mandate area in 1947-48, terrorized by militant groups within the Jewish settlers who massacred the natives, e.g., 100 Arab women and children at Deir Yassin on 4-9-1948. (Irgun Zvai Leumi, followers of Jabotinsky did this.)

          All the ’48 fighting took place on Arab territory.

          By Feb. 24, 1949, 600,000 Jews had created a state on land that had originally housed 850,000 Arabs (out of a total Palestinian Arab population of at least 1.2 million).

          Since 1967 500,000 more Jews from around the world have settled on Palestinian Arab land additionally taken by force. E.g., seems they grow them a lot in Brooklyn NY area & Russia.

        • sandy says:

          “Over 750 thousand Arabs fled the Mandate area in 1947-48, terrorized by militant groups within the Jewish settlers who massacred the natives”

          As I explained above, it’s not that simple.

          “e.g., 100 Arab women and children at Deir Yassin on 4-9-1948. (Irgun Zvai Leumi, followers of Jabotinsky did this.)”

          Yes, this was a very grave and sad war crime.
          But it was an isolated incident committed by a small radical faction, and was immediately condemned by the Jewish Agency, the Hagana, and the two chief rabbis of Israel.

          The Arab war crimes of the same period (and later ones), on the other hand, were not condemned by the Arab political and religious leaders – they were applauded by them, and the most serious ones were even *ordered* by them in the first place.

          That’s the little difference you apparently like to forget.

        • annie says:

          and the most serious ones were even *ordered* by them in the first place.

          unlike zionists crimes which are only committed by troops not following orders. gotcha.

          Over 750 thousand Arabs fled the Mandate..100 Arab women and children at Deir Yassin….very grave and sad war crime…. isolated incident committed by a small radical faction

          riiiiight. that small radical faction didn’t begin or end their crimes at deir yassem, you know that right?

        • Shingo says:

          As I explained above, it’s not that simple.

          No, you gave the usual BS Zionist explanation, based on lies. 750,000 Palestinians were delibereately expelled by Israel as part of a planned campaign to ethnically cleased the Israeli partition of Arabs. Without this deliberatel policy, Israel woudl not be a Jewish majority.

          How else was Israel going to achieve a Jewish majority?

          Yes, this was a very grave and sad war crime.
          But it was an isolated incident committed by a small radical faction, and was immediately condemned by the Jewish Agency, the Hagana, and the two chief rabbis of Israel.

          False on all counts.

          a) There were at least a half a dozen such massacres perepetrated by the Zionist militias.
          b) The faction was not small, nor were they radical. They were 10,000 strong and comprised the commado unit of the Haganah.
          c) The Haganah, the main Zionist army, took part in the Seri Yassin massacre.
          d) The massacre of Lyda was actually ordered by Ben-Gurion

          Drop the lies and the BS Sadndy. We see trolsl liek you come acorss this web site every few montsh and reprat the same garbage. Your used and faulty product is not going to sell.

        • Shingo says:

          Sandy,

          Most of the Palestinian “refugees” left nowadays-Israel during the 1948 and 1967 wars – in total around 700,000.

          False. 750,000 were expelled alon ein 1948 and another 200,000 in 1967.

          During the same time, around 1.000.000 Jewish refugees were expelled from surrounding Arab nations. Funny how Antizionists never demand that *these* refugees get a right-of-return or compensation for the land and property they lost.

          False. There was no expuslion from Arab Lands. This BS was invented by Yaakov Meron, head of the Justice Ministry’s Arab legal affairs of the World Organization of Jews from Arab Countries (WOJAC). The trouble is that his claims were rejected overwhelmingly by infuriated by Mizrahi Israelis. As early as 1975, at the time of WOJAC’s formation, Knesset speaker Yisrael Yeshayahu declared:

          “We are not refugees. [Some of us] came to this country before the state was born. We had messianic aspirations.”

          Shlomo Hillel, a government minister and an active Zionist in Iraq, adamantly opposed the analogy:

          “I don’t regard the departure of Jews from Arab lands as that of refugees. They came here because they wanted to, as Zionists.”

          In a Knesset hearing, Ran Cohen stated emphatically:

          “I have this to say: I am not a refugee.” He added: “I came at the behest of Zionism, due to the pull that this land exerts, and due to the idea of redemption. Nobody is going to define me as a refugee.”

          Sorry, but your 1 million refugee figure is pure fiction.

          The only real flight that took place was in Baghdad after Jewish terrorists were caight bombing Jewish targets to frighten the local Jewish populaiton into believeing they were under siege.

          Yes that’s right Sandy, another exaple of jews killing Jews for the benefit of zionism. How sick and derranged is that?

          As for the rest of your lies:

          1) Only a small minority of them were actually driven out of their homes by force or by *real* threats of violence (like ongoing war crimes against Arabs near them etc).

          False. 70% of them were directly expelled.

          The Zioniat forces employed a familiar pattern in carrying out the expulsions. For example, the village of Al Bassa was surrounded from 3 directions, while the northern side was left open, so that the people would clearly understand which direction to flee. The Zionists killed as many as they could to frighten people. As a a result of the siege and the continuing bombardment, thousands of terrified residents fled. Those that couldn’t flee hid in the church and the Zionists took 4 boys an girls aged 14-15 from the church and killed them.

          As Israeli Historian, Theodor Katz revealed, this happened many times. The Israelis would take 10 of the youngsters in the middle of the the village and shot them to instil fear in the rest of the village.

          2) Many more left due to being scared by FALSE RUMORS of large-scale massacres against Arabs.

          The rumors weren’t false.

          Unlike some Antizionists like to claim nowadays, these rumors were not started by Israelis as a tactic to get rid of the Palestinians, but they were actually started by *Palestinian* leaders in order to incite violence against Jews and gain recruits for Arab militias.

          As Benny Morris found, tehre is absolutely not a shred fo evidence that the Arab leaders made any such calls. In fact, they ordered the Palestinians to remain.

          3) Many Arabs actually left *voluntarily*, in order to get “out of the way” of the Arab artillery and air force planning to raze large parts of Israel to the ground.

          Also debunked by Benny Morris.

          Although they were technically “displaced persons” now (they didn’t have their homes anymore), the term “refugee” doesn’t really fit for them.

          Actualy it does. The fact that you don’t like the idea is irrelevant.

          And neither does the term “refugee” fit for their children and grandchildren who are now living in the territories or in Lebanon, Jordan, etc.

          Democracies respect the rule of proprerty right. Their children and grandchildren woudl have inhereted those properties, so their claims are legitimate, unless you’re prepared to concede that Israel is a fascist state that seizes private property.

          The Palestinian “refugees” WON’T be allowed to return to their parent’s homes in Israel, just as the Jewish refugees won’t be allowed to return to the property in the surrounding Arab countries from which their parents were expelled.

          Cut the BS. Jews are allowed to return to most Arab statesm, including Morocco and Egypt. in any case, it’s not up to Isrl to decide if they are allowed to return. As Folke Bernadotte said, the right of return is a human right, a moral law (which is why Isrel killed him) and Israel has no say in the matter, otehr than threatening to kill them.

          The question is: How many generations of Palestinian children will have to needlessly suffer

          For as long as Israle decides they need to.

          “who, contrary to your typically inflammatory and false account, had no desire to extinguish anybody.”

          You have obviously never read a speech or letter by Grand Mufti Haj Amin al-Husseini, Palestinian leader of the time.

          Al-Husseini was exiled by the British in 1937 and never returned to Palestine, so his speech is meaningless.

          Meanwhile, there are 51 documents detailing the effort by the Lehi to make friends with Hitler in their quest to get rid of the British. Yeah, that’s how Isrelis thank those who help them.

    • tommy says:

      Although starting a fire cannot be considered nonviolent, cutting a fence can be. Cutting a fence in no way threatens violence against people and is a very minor destruction of property. Of course, in Israel cutting a fence can and will be punished with immediate extrajudicial execution.

    • MRW says:

      2) Does this sound like legitimate peaceful protest to you:

      Yes.

    • Shingo says:

      Does this sound like legitimate peaceful protest to you:

      Because we all know that barbed wore fences are the international symbol or inclusion and brotherly love, right Sandy?

    • stevieb says:

      OMG not the small brush fire!

      That’s the worst kind, the small ones.

      • Sumud says:

        That’s the worst kind, the small ones.

        The smaller the scarier stevieb ~ how on earth is IDF Spokesperson going to turn a small brush fire into a scary anti-semitic proto-holocaust apocalyptic fire of the sort they need for their daily tweets on how jews are under attack, again…?

      • sandy says:

        Small bush fires can easily become big ones.

    • Kathleen says:

      “Does this sound like legitimate peaceful protest to you” sure does

  4. richb says:

    Here’s also what the foreigners did because they HATE Israel so much. Note: irony alert for the humor impaired.

    • seafoid says:

      The music is so beautiful, rich

      what is it?

      The wall is the ultimate symbol of the failure of Zionism to built itself a future in the Middle East.

  5. eee says:

    So much unconvincing rhetoric. If the flytilla was so successful, when will it be repeated?

    Are we still waiting for the flotilla to sail or has it finally been accepted that it won’t? Can anyone promise me that another flotilla will sail in the future? I would like to hold you accountable.

    • eeek: yawn. Childish, immature and predictable.

      • eee says:

        When actual actions and their result are discussed, this is called: “Childish, immature and predictable”.

        In reality, not assessing truthfully the results of ones action is childish and immature. So would you care to answer the questions? After last year’s flotilla you were all trumpeting about how the next year’s one would be even bigger. In fact, it never sailed.

        You currently argue that the flytilla was successful. In my opinion it was a dismal failure. But actions speak louder than words. If you really believe the flytilla was successful, why aren’t you planning to repeat it soon?

        • annie says:

          eee, my understanding is there are plans for another in the fall.

        • eee says:

          Annie,

          You also predicted the flotilla would sail. So allow me to take your understandings with a huge grain of salt.

        • annie says:

          please link, i’m not recalling making this ‘prediction’. why are you putting so much importance on whether this flotilla or that flotilla sails eee? the movement is strong and growing. furthermore my comment was not a prediction, it is my understanding of their intent via communications i have been a privy to. whether it will be successful at reaching their destination next time around i do not know but whether their activism is in the form of a flotilla or not they will not stop trying to break the blockade until gaza is free, until palestine is free. so toot your horn all you want. day after day, week after week month after month and year after year our movement is growing and the coverage of it is growing. if you do not think we have accomplished anything so be it, i don’t care. i think we have.

        • eee says:

          Annie,

          Which horn am I tooting? I am trying to discuss objectively whether the flotilla and the flytilla were successful and you have become super defensive.

          Last year the flotilla sailed. This year it couldn’t leave port. Israel was helped by both Greece and Turkey. How could anyone realistically look at this and call it progress for you?

        • You can’t possibly expect anyone to take you seriously, despite your jumping up and down, making false accusations, demanding this and that. You betray no understanding of the situation except an immature desire to bait and troll.

        • Citizen says:

          Each time the flotilla gets larger, including a wider group of folks; each time Israel will call in the chips from its Israel First regimes around the world, and when flotilla folks are stopped at their home door before stepping out to a flotilla boat anywhere, more people around the world will see who is running what they thought was their government. As MLK knew so well, it takes lots of time and effort to get Freedom to roll easily–it might get jump-started this time around due to the chain of
          bankrupt countries on the horizon.

        • annie says:

          How could anyone realistically look at this and call it progress for you?

          how can you even ask that question?

          I want you to trust that your actions are making a difference and changing the violence we see here in our land. Your solidarity is helping fuel our nonviolent fight. Palestinians face many kinds of violence and torture. However, being ignored is the worst punishment of all. Those who refuse to hear and see us are just as bad as those who occupy us. Those who stand in solidarity with us send a strong message of humanity and are helping us to overcome our suffering. In the middle of all this crisis, your help puts a smile on our face. From this smile you will always be welcome in our hearts even if you are unable to enter our land.

    • Haytham says:

      eee:

      What you are unable or unwilling to comprehend is that the point of the flotilla was to draw attention to this issue. It turned out to be more of a success because it was so forcefully stopped.

      From my own limited experience, I have noticed that people who otherwise would ignore this issue have been asking, “Wait a minute, so Israel didn’t want to let Americans just sail to Gaza carrying only correspondence? What are they trying to hide?”

      • richb says:

        Exactly. It was the over-the-top rhetoric that pushed me over the edge. Think of the optics for a second. Stopping young, brown, Muslim men is one thing. White Christian Grandmas another. By the way, there’s a term for arresting someone who has a political disagreement with a country, political prisoner. That’s what happened when Laura Ling tried to get into North Korea. In a sense this is worse, though, because at least North Korea was trying to keep people out of their own country.

      • eljay says:

        >> eee:
        >> What you are unable or unwilling to comprehend is that the point of the flotilla was to draw attention to this issue. It turned out to be more of a success because it was so forcefully stopped.

        FWIW, I noticed several articles pertaining to the recent flotilla/flytilla in my local paper, whereas during the first flotilla I may have seen one or two articles at most.

        Moreover – and perhaps more significantly – the recent articles did not have an anti-flotilla (or pro-Israel) slant.

        While this may only be a minor success, it does strike me as a success.

    • seafoid says:

      eee

      I’m putting together a file on the fall of Israel so will you be available for interview the day you are forced to leave?

      • eee says:

        “I’m putting together a file on the fall of Israel so will you be available for interview the day you are forced to leave?”

        Seafoid,

        The only way I am leaving Israel is because someone moves my dead body. But you know that, and you know that millions of other Israelis think like me. If my destiny is to die protecting the Jewish state, so be it. I already had one close call. I would not imagine being willing to sacrifice less than my grandparents or parents.

        So yes, you can interview my dead body. I will change my will to reflect that.

        • seafoid says:

          eee

          When you lose your job due to economic sanctions and you discover what Bibi’s Wisconsin style social welfare looks like, you’ll be glad to find work in Galut.

          It’s much better here, you know.

        • eee says:

          Seafoid,

          You can continue living in your fantasy world. The “smart” Jews went to NY, the “stubborn” ones to Israel. You don’t understand Israel and its Jews if you haven’t realized by now that the only way the vast majority of us are giving up the Jewish state is over our dead bodies.

        • stevieb says:

          It would be really funny watching you being thrown on the back of a boat by some UN blue hats, kicking and screaming like some of those crazy settlers tossed out of Gaza. …

        • mig says:

          “”You don’t understand Israel and its Jews””

          ++++ You got that right eee. We truly dont understand Israel. Reading some news confirms this :

          link to haaretz.com

          link to haaretz.com

          link to haaretz.com

          link to ynetnews.com

          These are picked today posts. Same story goes on every day.

        • seafoid says:

          Mig

          I note from the haaretz and Ynet links that “realty” is top of the ads. Ha’aretz is full of them. Israel gets a feel-good property bubble, the ultimate distraction . Meanwhile the foundations of Israel are undermined daily. Property prices are ultimately subject to political forces and Israel’s political system is in failure. When it all collapses there won’t be anything to stop the market crashing.

        • Mooser says:

          “You don’t understand Israel and its Jews….” (my italics)

          Oh, I see, the Jews belong to Israel, to kill if it’s interests so determine.
          Good to know that the Jews are cannon fodder for Israel.

        • Chaos4700 says:

          The settlers weren’t tossed out of Gaza, eee. They were paid by Israel and the US, and when they didn’t just move back to Israel they were moved to the West Bank — during the year Gaza was evacuated of colonists settlement activity still increased overall.

    • James says:

      israel continues its practice of apartheid… is this a successful or unsuccessful action being continually repeated according to you? the flotilla’s and fly-tillas are definitely a byproduct of israels continued practice of apartheid… successful or not successful? lol….

      • eee says:

        It is amazing how for people that demand accountability from their governments, you cannot bring yourselves to hold your own movement accountable for its failures. Instead, you keep distorting reality. But if that is how you run your show, who am I to complain?

        • who are you to make such idiotic assertions?

        • James says:

          eee – is the zionist movement you are a part of accountable for its abysmal failure? straight question… avoidance of any accountability for where israel finds itself in the international community today is all i see… it is the aparteid pariah state of the 22nd century and zionists like yourself have their head in the sand – ( see sandys comments above for a clear view of this)… oh and think about washing the sand out of your eyes so you can see clearly for a change!

        • richb says:

          What you illustrate is the moral bankruptcy of Zionism by your silly projection. Success as measured above is merely winning rather than fighting for social justice. I recently mentioned Thomas Getman but you may have missed the relationship with Desmond Tutu and South African Apartheid. Before Mandela was out of jail Tutu commissioned Getman to go to Palestine to fight for justice there. What this shows is both men have a long view of history and don’t let the daily ups and downs of tactical politics discourage them. Note this 1998 article:

          link to wrmea.com

          “I’ll never forget it. It hit me in the chest like a bolt,” said Tom Getman, World Vision director in Jerusalem, to an audience at the First Presbyterian Church in Seattle on Oct. 28. Getman was referring to the words spoken to him by Archbishop Desmond Tutu of South Africa sometime in the mid-1970s in Uganda. Tutu had been thanking Getman for all he had done to support South African human rights.

          “We were standing on the beach,” Getman remembered, “and Desmond was thanking me for the solidarity, for the hosting, for the prayers and for the legislation. Then Tutu said: ‘Mandela will be out of jail soon. We’re on our way, liberation is at hand, and if you really want to prove your bona fides, in terms of human rights, turn your eyes to the Palestinians.’”

          Shortly thereafter Tom Getman and his wife Karen began making regular trips to the Middle East and he consequently became World Vision’s director and spokesperson on the big issues facing Christian charitable organizations in Israel.

          Getman is a story teller and made his presentation based on his personal experiences in the Holy Land. “Jewish hope has been dashed because the moral core has been lost,” he said, describing the “deep residue of pain” in Israeli and Palestinian society, which is so apparently sociopathological and so general that “you can actually smell it and feel it,” he said.

          Citing the U.S. tax deductions received by American Jews for giving to Israeli organizations, Getman said, “American Jews must stand up and say something. They must say this is evil, and we must move on.”

          Getman said he once attended a conference at the South African Embassy where the American Jewish Committee was to present South Africa with an award for its progress in the area of human rights. “The irony of it was too amazing to miss,” Getman said.

          With 400 American Jews at the South African Embassy, the ambassador asked if Getman would give him counsel on what he should tell this audience. So after they presented the award to Nelson Mandela for human rights work, the ambassador announced, “As long as there are human rights violations anywhere, none of us is free.”

          He then introduced Tom Getman, “who is living in Palestine/Israel and working on human rights issues.” Getman said that afterward many who were in the audience spoke to him about their discomfort and asked if Getman would consider taking them to see Gaza.

          Getman said it takes courage to stand up for justice, and urged his listeners to believe in “prophetic truth-telling that touches hearts before darkness takes them over.” He told of a trip he made with Rep. Jim McDermott (D-WA) in Israel/Palestine.

          “He was the only congressman who was courageous enough to stay in an East Jerusalem hotel,” Getman related, “and to resist Israeli government officials who sought to take over his schedule.

          It’s a dangerous game to bring in Evangelicals like Tom and me as allies. We tend to think in right and wrong and black and white and unfortunately for you we are very, very patient. Evangelical comes from the Greek word for good news but the good news is more specific. It’s good news for the poor and the imprisoned, the weak and the sick. We point to the book of Ephesians which says that Jesus brought down the “wall of enmity” between Jew and Gentile. We do not look to whether a particular political tactic succeeds or not but what is required of us by our God as put by the prophet Micah:

          He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.

          Now we have people of all faiths and no faith standing up for justice in Palestine. If you think your pitiful peace of Hasbara will discourage us you underestimate our long, even eternal, view of history.

        • Ellen says:

          Thank you richb. We are all here on this together.

        • eee says:

          Richb,

          And you really think Zionist have a short term view of history? You can call what I am saying hasbara or whatever you want but the truth is simple, you count for nothing since you do not vote in Israeli elections and you influence a very small part of the Israeli public. And as for patience, you will certainly need it.

          No need to tell me what evangelicals are, these are the people that are so dogmatic and so sure about their religion that they want to convert others to it. Ain’t that right? I am sure the Palestinians are just waiting for you to blab about how Christ will save them.

        • Chaos4700 says:

          And you really think Zionist have a short term view of history?

          You’d have to. It takes a lot of effort to fabricate that much fake history to justify your Aryan Zionist narrative.

  6. traveller says:

    annie:1
    hasbara:0

  7. sycamore says:

    I wanted to leave this in the article about Facebook, but comments seem to be disabled or something there. Abunimah has a pretty good article on the Shimon Peres Peace Center’s possible hasbara facebook page, and Ethan Bronner’s reporting on it…

    link to electronicintifada.net

    • annie says:

      thanks sycamore, it’s a really good article. here’s a taste of it but it gets better as it grows. i recommend too.

      The Facebook page Bronner profiles is called YaLa-Young Leaders and is founded by Uri Savir, a former Israeli diplomat and head of the Peres Center for Peace. It is supposed to be a forum for interaction and normalization between Israeli and Palestinian youth in particular, and Israeli and Arab youth in general.

      It is endorsed by Israeli President Shimon Peres, Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas, and Tony Blair – figures more likely to repel than attract Palestinian youth.

      But Bronner’s story reads more like a promotional piece than a report. He appears to have relied only on the page’s creators for information, and presented people involved in managing the project as if they were unaffiliated users. Whether he was duped, careless or engaging in advocacy, Bronner’s report raises many questions about his standards of reporting from Palestine.

      Moreover, while falsely presenting the project as popular with Palestinians and Arabs, Bronner ignores the vast body of Palestinian public opinion that opposes such projects for violating the Palestinian civil society call for the academic and cultural boycott of Israel.

      • Haytham says:

        Only by putting/keeping individuals like Ethan Bronner in positions of authority can organizations like the NYT continue their slanted coverage of Israel/Palestine as it becomes more and more difficult for honest people (non-Zionists) to pretend that everything is just great inside of Israel.

        In other words, they need the forever faithful in these positions because those that have not been indoctrinated will be unable or unwilling to continue to mindlessly report such lies and distortions in the long run.

        Who was it that said (please excuse my horrible paraphrasing) that the long arc of history tends to curve towards justice?

  8. Charon says:

    Israel would have the exact same tantrum if hundreds of pro-Palestinian activists traveled to Jordan and entered the West Bank via the Allenby Bridge.

    They would have no leg to stand on either. Bringing international attention to aid and hopefully free Gaza is accompanied by the usual excuses that the neocons consider rational: “Hamas fires rockets”, “We’re at war with Gaza”, “Hamas doesn’t recognize Israel’s right to exist”, “Hamas is a terrorist organization”, “There is no humanitarian crisis”, etc.

    Those excuses don’t work for the occupied West Bank. Now they’re getting further pushed into a corner and I’m convinced they would behave the exact same way if entering via Jordan which is something they can’t call sacred either.

    • Ellen says:

      What will Israel do when that happens. When thousands , many thousands come from all over the globe to visit and be with Palestinian families in solidarity?

      Do not count on governments to do the right thing. They will only when they are pushed and shamed into doing so. History tells us that.

      • Kathleen says:

        amazing to think that Israel is able to block, arrest international visitors to Palestine and the I lobby and Israel have maneuvered around new restrictions for our Reps that allegedly block trips to other countries paid for by lobbyist.

  9. Pixel says:

    Thank you for the post. It’s interesting and important.

  10. Sue Wood says:

    Haytham: it wsas Martin Luther King in his ‘I have a dream’ speech. Now anyone with eyes or ears knows that Palestinians living in the West Bank are also cut off from the outside world: they’re not allowed to receive visitors.

  11. Kathleen says:

    The apartheid state of Israel is becoming more and more exposed