Don’t lose heart. This struggle is a long one

Evidently, the Israelis and Americans (and the French and Germans?) have succeeded in pressuring the failing Greek government into preventing the flotilla from sailing. As Medea Benjamin pointed out earlier, this likely has a lot to do with Greece’s sovereign debt crisis.

While many of us feel angry, it’s probably best not to direct our anger at the Greek government. After all, here is a coalition which has surrendered its sovereign decision-making process in order to secure a few more billion stopgap dollars. And for all its troubles – for the hot humiliation of being dictated to – the Papandreou government will likely still be “restructured.” The average Greek deserves our sympathy for the years of economic and social pain they’re in for (probably, the average EU citizen too).

Collectively, it’s important for activists to remember that the flotilla isn’t a goal unto itself. The main objective here is to draw attention to numerous Israeli violations of international law (chiefly, ghettoizing a people through collective punishment for racial difference). The dedicated activists on the Gaza-bound ships are risking their lives to publicize the human rights and needs of the Palestinians in Gaza. That’s where the focus ought to remain.

The main project at hand is working towards a just solution to the conflict, which I believe means overcoming Zionism. All indications suggest that we’re succeeding at an astonishing pace (remember, W&M and Carter’s book were published only five years ago).

The recent Michelle Goldberg review of Lisa Baron’s book is representative of the kind of progress that we’re making. Goldberg (and the post here which highlighted the review) both noted that Baron feels compelled to fellate the Republican Party because she’s a Zionist.

What’s more interesting, however, is that Goldberg (I’m guessing that she’s Jewish, but I may be wrong) locates Zionism as a distant phenomenon, something away from her.

She writes about the “the perversity of the Zionist alliance between hawkish Jews and the Christian right.” Her words and framing suggest that she herself is set apart from Zionism – that it’s something deviant Republicans are into.

I may be taking too much from words that are particularized and non-generalizable; I don’t know Goldberg personally. But she is a writer for the liberal(ish) Daily Beast who locates Zionism distally. More importantly, she doesn’t make any obvious attempt to reclaim Zionism for the left. I believe the trend will continue; Zionism is the hole where Shelly Adelson hunkers down with Rudy Giuliani to scare small children.

But back to the flotilla: It is far from a foregone conclusion that the flotilla has been successfully undermined by Obama and Netanyahu. I’m hopeful that it will still sail.

We must recognize however, that the flotilla may not sail.

It is easy to feel powerless, helpless and small when faced with the combined power of large states and supranational institutions, particularly when they’re subordinated to nefarious personal ambitions and special interests. But this is not the time lose heart.

The Palestinian struggle is a long one. The Palestinian people have experienced heartbreak after setback after shocking disappointment for generations now.

And yet, the struggle continues. Indeed, Palestinian resilience is a hallmark of the struggle. Our struggle will continue for the foreseeable future; this won’t get any easier.

In the nearer term, the Papandreou government will fail. The special-interest automatons occupying the dining rooms of the Four Seasons on both sides of the Atlantic will fail. That’s partly because activists will double, redouble, and treble their efforts. But it’s also because the Obamas of the world are hollow and cynical: shiny trinkets do not comprise a value system. 

We are driven by the unyielding belief in justice, above all. We are unmovable. And we will prevail.

About Ahmed Moor

Ahmed Moor is a Palestinian-American who was born in the Gaza Strip. He is a Soros Fellow, co-editor of After Zionism and co-founder and CEO of liwwa.com. Twitter: @ahmedmoor
Posted in Israel/Palestine

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

  1. annie says:

    thank you very much Ahmed Moor . you took the words right out of my mouth.

  2. American says:

    Here’s my solution to US-Isr-I/P

    link to cracked.com

  3. Citizen says:

    What would it take, and what kind of spectacle to be made, to make the US MSM TV actually spend more than a few seconds breaking news on the subject to the American masses? Blitzer spend 15-20 seconds on the flotilla
    yesterday, with a small photo of the Audacity Of Hope behind him–I saw it at the gym. His brief deadpan words mentioned the words “bockade” and “occupation” if memory serves. But the connective verbal tissue was no more than the rapid clacking of dentures.

    • patm says:

      “But the connective verbal tissue was no more than the rapid clacking of dentures.”

      lol, citizen, you too are a “Swiftian” satirist, I think.

  4. Which struggle Ahmed?

    You are making the struggle for a Palestinian state, a viable one, more and more delayed by support for militancy.

    And, you elect likud.

    Its very sad that you don’t see how much of a mirror image of likud, anti-Israeli solidarity is.

    • I actually wanted to take my comment above, but couldn’t find a way to.

      What do you think of peace? (I’m not asking you about the “peace process” as it exists, but as a substantive goal. Is it a relevant one to you, or are there other terms that more accurately describe your goal?)

      • James says:

        what do you think of a loss or removal of power in order to see real peace? do you think it is possible to have peace when a particular player is so obsessed with holding onto its power to tip the scale in it’s favor? do you think israel could ever be a legitimate player for peace and at the same time justify it’s constant grab for power, politically financially and any other way open to it’s obsession for control? to me, power and peace don’t mix…israel has been much more pre-occupied with amassing power then in peace… i think most folks around the globe see this as well… – would be curious to know your answer witty…

      • Koshiro says:

        I hope there are. “Peace” in this context is an idiotic, meaningless buzzword. Continued subjugation could be framed as “Peace”.
        “Freedom”, now that is a good word. “Justic”, too.

    • Chaos4700 says:

      And, you elect likud.

      Because obviously it makes sense to blame PALESTINIANS for bloodthirsty war-mongers that ISRAELIS elect.

      You know this really puts me in a foul mood on July 4th. That I’m sitting here metaphorically changing diapers on spoiled brats who not only DON’T KNOW how democracy works, they DON’T CARE.

      You say Gazans must suffer for voting Hamas, but Israelis get a free pass for voting Likud. Dick.

      • eljay says:

        >> You say Gazans must suffer for voting Hamas, but Israelis get a free pass for voting Likud.

        It’s all part of his shameful apologetics and hypocrisy. Palestinian militancy elects Likud, but the past “necessary” ethnic cleansing of Palestinians, Israel’s ON-GOING aggression, oppression, theft, colonization, destruction and murder, and its refusal to engage in sincere negotiations for a just and mutually-beneficial peace…are Hamas’ fault.

        >> Dick.

        Very close.

        • Hamas is a major obstacle, with veto power over Palestinian success at sovereignty. I don’t know whose fault.

          Right now it is flirting again with “if we can’t control, then we won’t participate” as somehow a success.

          I don’t see it.

          Success is ONLY, literally ONLY:

          1. Unification
          2. Negotiation with the state of Israel (including recognition of Israel)

          They want to walk away from success, that is their stupidity. Its independent of Israel, those two steps.

        • eljay says:

          >>Success is ONLY, literally ONLY …

          I love how EVERYTHING, literally EVERYTHING depends on Hamas, while Israel is required to do nothing and is absolved from anything it happens to do wrong. You’re hateful, but at least you’re consistently hateful.

        • Chaos4700 says:

          There is no negotiating with Israel, Witty. Israel is run by bloodthirsty murderers.

        • ElJay,
          Everything depends on Hamas, AND everything depends on Israel.

          They both must act for mutual well-being for there to be peace in the region.

          To assume that it is not a “have-to” on the part of Hamas is ignorance, cruel, insensitive ignorance, with only painful consequences to Palestinian and Israeli civilians. The leaderships will claim fame, and get great ego rushes.

          But, the civilians will suffer, as in the case of all wars.

  5. RE: “the Israelis and Americans…have succeeded in pressuring the failing Greek government into preventing the flotilla from sailing…this likely has a lot to do with Greece’s sovereign debt crisis.” – Ahmed Moor

    MY SNARK: And Greece is probably trying to curry favor with its best suppliers of desperately needed tear gas!

    SEE: Greece asks Israel for teargas grenades, Ynet News, 12/14/08

    (excerpts) Greek authorities contacted Israel this weekend with an urgent request for teargas grenades to be used against the wave of riots that broke out in the country last week, Athens police reported on Sunday…
    …Israeli sources said the request was understandable due to the geographical proximity of the two countries and the fact that the Greek government is aware of Israel’s large stock of crowd dispersal means including teargas grenades.

    SOURCE – link to ynet.co.il

    AND SEE: Greece is out of tear gas; turns to allies for more, World Tribune, 12/16/08

    (excerpts) ATHENS — Greece, engulfed by civil unrest, is urgently seeking to procure tear gas from neighboring countries…
    …Israeli officials said the government in Athens has requested that Israeli companies send tear gas grenades to help police battle the massive riots in Athens. They said Greece has already exhausted its tear gas supply.
    Officials said Athens has turned to Israel, Germany and other European Union members for non-lethal, anti-riot equipment. They said Israel has a huge arsenal of tear gas for military and police operations in the West Bank….
    …Greece and Israel have increased their military and security cooperation over the last five years. The two countries have conducted military exercises as well as counter-insurgency training…

    SOURCE – link to worldtribune.com

  6. RE: “the perversity of the Zionist alliance between hawkish Jews and the Christian right.” – Michelle Goldberg

    MY COMMENT: Bingo! A woman after my own heart! Doubtless “the Marquis” would heartily approve.

    P.S. Michele Bachmann’s Holy War, by Matt Taibbi - http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/michele-bachmanns-holy-war-20110622
    Daniel Day Lewis gets baptized in “There will be blood” (VIDEO, 04:36) – link to youtube.com

  7. GuiltyFeat says:

    I think this is the best of all possible outcomes.

    The failed flotilla got plenty of publicity and Israel maintained its blockade without killing anyone. Everyone’s a winner.

    If we can find more ways to highlight the injustice of the Israeli siege of Gaza and protest the subjugation of the Palestinians in Gaza by Israel and by Hamas that do not put people in harm’s way then I think this will contribute to the end of the occupation.

    I think the participants of the failed flotilla should feel proud they they have been part of a truly non-violent protest which garnered many headlines and made Israel look fairly foolish in its desperation to prevent the ships from sailing.

    There was never any question that the flotilla would reach Gaza, I think this outcome has delivered maximum impact with minimum risk.

    • annie says:

      no, the best of possible outcomes would have been breaking the blockade without any casualties.

    • patm says:

      “If we can find more ways to highlight the injustice of the Israeli siege of Gaza and protest the subjugation of the Palestinians in Gaza by Israel and by Hamas that do not put people in harm’s way then I think this will contribute to the end of the occupation.”

      “If we can find…” Give us a break, gf! BTW, when are you going to contribute to Mondoweiss? Is Hasbara Central not keen on ponying up?

    • Chaos4700 says:

      The failed flotilla got plenty of publicity and Israel maintained its blockade without killing anyone. Everyone’s a winner.

      “Yay! Palestinian children are starving and their hospitals are still bombed out ruins! I win!”

  8. yourstruly says:

    the lesson from recent history?

    that eventually all liberation struggles merge

    palestine, just & free?

    their point of convergence

  9. seafoid says:

    I think the struggle is really gaining momentum and what this week has shown is how wicked Zionism is. I will not forget the lies.

    Especially Barak’s. This guy was touted back in 2000 as a mouldbreaker, a new kind of Israeli leader who would break with the past and make brave compromises for peace but from his “there is no humanitarian crisis in Gaza” it is clear that there is no hope of Zionism reforming itself.

    The Israeli response to the flotilla reminds me of how the Israeli state responds to Zochrot marches to destroyed Palestinian villages within Israel or to Nakba day marches in the Galilee. There is only one story.

    This story is wrong. And the world is increasingly unwilling to accept it.

  10. gazacalling says:

    I love the title of this post.

    Seeming failure always helps you to see the big picture. The big picture is, it’s never about you and your short-term desires and goals.

    In the end even the seeming failures work towards the success of a just cause. There is simply no stopping a just cause, when people are willing to work towards it in the right way (which means making sacrifices and suffering defeats without lashing out).

    Keep your heads high, those of you involved in the flotilla! Our thoughts and prayers are with you and those in Gaza!

    • seafoid says:

      Sah kalamak.

      I think this weekend will wake up a lot of US activists to the true nature of Zionism and their own leaders. Human rights are only for rich Westerners who don’t step out of line.

  11. RE: “the Israelis and Americans…have succeeded in pressuring the failing Greek government into preventing the flotilla from sailing…” – Ahmed Moor

    MY COMMENT: Greece, let our people go (G_ddammit)!

    P.S. A HOT AS HELL EARLY SUMMER EVENING’s MUSICAL INTERLUDE [courtesy of the über caring folks at Ziocaine®]:

    When Israel was in Egypt’s land: Let my people go,
    Oppress’d so hard they could not stand, Let my People go.
    Go down, Moses,
    Way down in Egypt’s land,
    Tell old Pharaoh,
    Let my people go.
    ~ the Jubilee Singers, 1872

    Paul Robeson: Let My People Go (VIDEO, 03:02) – link to youtube.com
    Go Down Moseslink to en.wikipedia.org

    • Mndwss says:

      My comment:

      When Israel was in Palestines’s land: Let my people go,
      Embarrassed so hard they could not stand, Let my People go.
      Go down, Obama,
      Way down in Palestines’s land,
      Tell old Yahoo:
      Let your people go.

  12. rob says:

    Thank you for sharing Ahmed, I needed to hear that!

  13. NickJOCW says:

    The flotilla would likely have been stopped anyway and the negative publicity arising from this pre-emptive prohibition is not without some value since it casts light on US/Israeli wheeling dealing which is unattractive to many regardless of the Palestine issue. The Greek government is not popular, to put it mildly, and may shortly fall in which case this policy could well be reversed. Anyway the flotilla can will try again.

    Off subject but you may have noticed appeals in Haaretz for donations for starving Israeli children, and there does appear to be some agricultural vulnerability developing in Israel see here and here.

    This is curious since the area has ever been a breadbasket which is one of the reasons it has been fought over for ever. I have two thoughts on this, that it may help provoke internal Israeli political discontent with the prospect of a more coherent government, but it is also likely to make the Israeli hold on Palestinian land even more tenacious.

    • seafoid says:

      Ha’aretz has been running ads for hungry Israelis kids for a long time.
      Nobody cares- the money goes to the settlers. As long as there are enough Jews it doesn’t matter how the remaining wealth is distributed.

      • Citizen says:

        I guess the Israelis don’t care about those old geezer Jews living hand-to-mouth in Russia, the ones you can see daily in ads on Glen Beck’s show that are targeted to charity-minded conservative Christians.

  14. James says:

    ahmed quote
    “After all, here is a coalition which has surrendered its sovereign decision-making process in order to secure a few more billion stopgap dollars. ”

    and where have we seen this before? basically most so called western democracies are being held hostage to those who hold financial power.. greece is just an extreme example, but by no means alone in having to rely on a power that has nothing to do with democracy or anything fair or just…

    who are these nebulous financiers calling the shots? the question needs to be asked and folks need to wake up to this being the dynamic of our present so called democratic system…

    thanks for the post ahmed..

    • Citizen says:

      James, yes, it would be nice to know who they all are–anybody got a list of the international criminal banksters?

      • James says:

        citizen – the banking system the world has at present is like a house of cards… those who want to knock over a corner of it know in advance what the repercussions will be and how to profit off of it.. that is part of the criminal activity going on in this system we have at present.. of course to change this system would be like trying to get rid of greed on the planet..

        one step at a time, lol…………..

  15. ToivoS says:

    It should be fairly clear that Greece was acting within the European and Nato alliances. Here ability to move freely is extremely constrained especially now with the delicate debt negotiations going on. Of course it was the US that was creating the pressure at the behest of Israel.

    I think people at this site should take a lesson from this episode. Nato and the United States are not our allies in the goal for Palestinian rights. I think it should be clear also that Nato and the US are not to be trusted to back the democratic rights of other ME countries. Finally, hate to belabor this point, but Nato and US is not a force for progress in Libya.

    Perhaps those here who enthusiastically backed the Nato and US war against Libya last winter should think about that and maybe take the advice of Phil’s Arab friend in the post below:

    –You (Mondoweiss) are naive about power.

    • Robert says:

      ToivoS,

      Apropos of nothing at all, the name “ToivoS sounds like the Klingon language, from “Star Trek”. It that right? Rob

      • ToivoS says:

        Toivo is a name that is not common but not that rare either in Finnish and Estonian languages. They have sounds that are alien to Indo-european speakers.

  16. Giulio says:

    I offer that planning should begin for the next flotilla; only this time the cargo should consist only of Heart and Soul and the destination should be Tel Aviv where they have neither. And if there is room enough they should carry thousands of hand-held mirrors so that those living there can get a good look at themselves after they have received a soul. Maybe they’ll like what they see and decide to become humans.

    • Sumud says:

      Guilo ~ very astute. If only humanity could be neatly packaged up and given as a gift; it is sorely needed. [Many] Israelis are their own worst enemy at this point and their actions will contribute to the end of Israel as we know it.

  17. *****Israel to Greece Gas Pipeline and CIA/ Mossad Coup in Greece?*****

    within the talk of Greece doing Israel’s dirty work talk one main issue has been left out a 6 BILLION dollar Gas Pipeline, from the Leviathan field, through Greece.

    link to israeltrade.org.au

    AND,
    “According to Germany’s Bild newspaper, on 29 May 2011:
    The CIA has stated in a recent report that there may soon be a coup in Greece … The CIA and Mossad may want a military government in Athens, in order to promote their agenda.”

    link to translate.google.co.uk

  18. RE: “the Israelis and Americans…have succeeded in pressuring the failing Greek government into preventing the flotilla from sailing…” – Ahmed Moor

    MY COMMENT(S):
    “F” the governments of the United States, Israel and Greece.
    Well, it looks like I’m becoming an anarchist.
    And, at my age*!

    *I guess it was bound to end this way. I can’t even stand my own country. Thanks neocons!
    Neocons Want War and More War, By Robert Parry, Consortiumnews, 07/02/11 – link to consortiumnews.com

    P.S. Happy Independent’s Day!
    Dinah Washington & Max Richter: This bitter earth/On the nature of daylight (VIDEO, 06:13) – link to youtube.com
    This is the piece of music Robbie Robertson selected for the credits at the end of Scorsese’s film “Shutter Island” (2010).

    • P.P.S. SINCE I CAN’T FIND A “F”ING CLIP OF THE MOVIE; FROM WIKIPEDIA:

      Independence Day is a 1983 film directed by Robert Mandel from a script by the novelist Alice Hoffman. It was designed by Stewart Campbell and shot by Charles Rosher. It stars Kathleen Quinlan, David Keith, Cliff DeYoung, Frances Sternhagen and Dianne Wiest.
      The film concerns the small-town youth of a woman artist (Kathleen Quinlan), and her challenge to become ‘what she’s almost sure she could be.’ ” Her desperation takes the form of affectations and pretensions that are a little like those of the young Katharine Hepburn in Alice Adams and the young Margaret Sullavan in The Shop around the Corner, but the Quinlan character has the talent driving her on past all that.” [1] Dianne Wiest plays a battered wife. The film was reviewed favourably by the critic Pauline Kael in her collection State of the Art; “Kathleen Quinlan plays the part of the woman artist with a cool, wire-taut intensity, Robert Mandel keeps the whole cast interacting quietly and satisfyingly, Wiest has hold of an original character and plays her to the scary hilt.” [2]
      References
      1.^ Pauline Kael State of the Art pp281-282
      2.^ Pauline Kael State of the Art ISBN 0-7145-2869-2

      P.P.P.S. I guess I am becoming something akin to Uncle Sam’s battered wife. And I don’t like it one bit! I wish I had stashed some cash in the old cookie jar so as to be able to have my very own independence day! (You have to have seen the film; I’m no “spoiler”.)

  19. braciole says:

    But there are small victories along the way!

    “EDL Jewish division leader Roberta Moore quits”

    “The hardline activist at the forefront of the ‘Jewish Division’ of the extreme right-wing English Defence League has announced that she does not wish to be a part of it any longer because of Nazi elements within it.”

    Who would have thought it? An extreme right-wing group containing Nazis? I don’t believe it!

    The EDL only puts up with Jews and Zionists because they hate Muslims more and they think the Israelis are beating up the Muslims.

    Will this mean that that stupid cow, Pam Geller, will stop supporting the EDL? I don’t know because I can’t bring myself to visit her website.

  20. Sadie Baker says:

    From an interview with anti-war activist Paul Chappell, in The Sun Magazine:

    Think about the civil rights movement. At that time the people who maintained segregation controlled the government, the news media, the universities, the military, and most of the money. What did the activists have? The truth. We now acknowledge that African Americans are not inferior to whites; that racial harmony is possible; that it’s unnatural to keep black and white people separate. It is the same with the women’s suffrage movement: Women were denied the right to vote because they were thought to be intellectually inferior to men. And men controlled the government, the media, the military, and most of the money. But truth was on the side of the women’s movement.
    How will we win? We have the truth.

    • Citizen says:

      Sadie, how does Chappel’s argument jell with the fact that, although Israel is treated as the 51st state (with higher state’s rights & privileges than the other 50), a big boost to African Americans and women’s rights came via the fact both were needed for the US ecnomic military machine in WW2;

      essentially, the black men got drafted into the military and the females got drafted into the work force, and once the war was over it was hard to put that genie back in the box because everyone saw it deserved to stay out of the box.

      In comparison, in Israel, the Palestinians, with minor exceptions (like Bedouin scouts, etc) are not in the military although Israel stays on a military footing, and there’s little evidence Israel needs the Palestinians in their workforce.

    • seafoid says:

      There is the truth. There is also morality. And there is the nature of empire. And the most important point is that Zionism is an abandonment of the values of Judaism.

  21. Sadie Baker says:

    It seems to me it is completely possible to exploit someone’s labor without recognizing their rights. After all, that is what happened to both African Americans and American women for a long, long time.

    The point Chappell is making, and I agree, is that the oppressors always control the levers of power, and yet, they lose. What happened in Greece yesterday is the middle of the story, not the end.

  22. NickJOCW says:

    I have been following threads here and in Foreign Policy for a while now and it is clear to me that there exists no rational justification for Zionism and its actions. I hope you will not consider it out of place if I share some of my thoughts.

    All pro-Zionist arguments tend to be ad hominem like the introduction of Syrian or other oppression to counter criticism of the IDF, or invalid syllogisms like blaming all Palestinians for the actions of a handful of extremists. Other techniques involve selective abstractions from History and their own mythopeic (myth making) literature. By pointing out these errors, as often happens, the original argument insensibly transforms into a debate about debating from which they retreat unscathed leaving the reluctant conclusion they are simply never going to listen. It is totally useless, indeed counter-productive, to reason with the irrational; like trying to extinguish a fire by talking it down. Better to dismiss such arguments curtly: “That is a ridiculous argument, sorry.”

    Personally I cannot foresee a day when US public opinion will support the Palestinian cause against Israel but I can imagine public patience with Israel’s influence on US politics running out, the more so if it is constantly brought forward. Is there anywhere a database of all candidates receiving pro-Israeli funding? I also believe many voters can be roused by reminders of the aid dispensed to Israel. These are astronomical sums that can to converted into ‘hypothetical’ hospitals, scholarships, public works and so on until they become familiar sound bites. Of course accounts of horrors and injustices also play on emotions but they tend to provoke most Americans to sympathy rather than action. Better to touch their pride or their pockets; sorry if that sounds cynical. This may seem a shade distasteful but it is not irrational to employ the irrational rationally.

    The objective must be to get voters questioning the basic US attachment to Israel, quite apart from the question of Palestine, until it begins to worry sensible Israelis (there is evidence it already does) and they increase pressure on their leaders to become rational. Has anyone heard a Zionist defend US aid, or say ‘Thank you’ for that matter? Before Netanyahu’s last address to both houses, Haaretz ran a piece about what he might usefully say. I left a comment suggesting that thanks to the US people might not be a bad idea. My comment earned five thumbs up and seventy-eight down!

    • eee says:

      Nick,

      The rational for Zionism is simple. Enough Jews believe that a Jewish country is important and are willing to die defending it. Why do Jews think a Jewish country is important? For the same mundane reasons that any people think their country is important:
      1) They live there
      2) They have relatives that live there
      3) They feel attached to the history and culture
      4) They feel safer having a country of their own
      5) They feel more empowered having a country of their own

      If the above is “irrational” than almost everybody is irrational. Is there a “rational” reason why Canada and the US should not be one country except that this is what the people want?

      • mig says:

        Nobody has problem with Israel state and self-defence, but when those actions are contradiction with occupation, then you see our comments here. If you dont see difference in that, have a nice day then.

      • Citizen says:

        eee, how do your 5 reasons not make any street gang?
        How does a street gang differ from a social club?
        Is one more or less dangerous to those not in the gang?

      • libra says:

        eee: “5) They feel more empowered having a country of their own”

        eee, you don’t have to be a psychologist, just read a few of your posts, to realise that the “empowering” is what’s important to you. Particularly to be the one with the power to abuse the defenceless for a change. But the Palestinians just won’t go quietly, they have the courage to stand up to your bombs and bullets. And that really enrages you because it reminds you of why you need to feel “empowered” in the first place.

        You’ve really got yourself stuck in a vicious circle where you never have enough power and are always the victim. Until you learn to connect to the “other” as an equal you will always be afraid of him, even if he’s stuck unarmed and half-starved behind a mined fence.

      • NickJOCW says:

        eee, you have just penned a perfect illustration of exactly what I expressed above, let me take you by the hand. ‘Rational’ is an adjective and means ‘based on reason, logical’ but you misuse it as a noun; ‘The rational for Zionism is simple’, you write. That sentence is to all intents and purposes meaningless. If it was a typographical error and you meant ‘rationale’, i.e. fundamental reason, then you are expressing your view on the origin(s) of Jewish attitudes and you may well be right, but that does not make them rational. Consider, a man’s drug addicted mother and drunken father may provide the fundamental reasons why he became an axe murderer. But do they make his actions rational?

        Your ultimate paragraph is ad hominem (see above) since America and Canada are totally irrelevant both to the nature of your argument the situation on the ground in Palestine.

        • eee says:

          Nick,

          You obviously do not understand what reason and logic are. Every logic system is based on axioms or self evident truths that are accepted without proof. Logic and reason does not say anything about whether the axioms are “logical”. But they may be “rational”, meaning in this case something that non-crazy people usually ascent to. What I enumerated are reasons that many people ascent to and believe and they are the axioms that guide their logic.

          One of your axioms for example is that it does not matter what millions of Jews feel because you deny those feelings could be a basis for their actions. You are welcome to your “logic” but it is not rational.

        • Citizen says:

          How reasonable is it to constantly act on one’s feelings?

    • patm says:

      Nick, re 3e above. He’s one of several Israeli government propagandists who are paid to ‘talk back’ on mondo.

      Mondo’s old hands spend a great deal of time refuting ridiculous arguments from hasbarists like 3e – and from volunteer critics – in order to educate the many newcomers who arrive at this site knowing next to nothing about the I/P conflict. It’s not a trivial pursuit.

      The Sept. 2010 Congressional Research Service report on Us Foreign Aid to Israel will go into my Keepers file. It does boggle the mind how much scarce government money is spent on Israel.

      One of Phil and Adam’s main goals is get the US main stream media moving on this story and they are beginning to have some success. But it’s an uphill battle.

      You ask, “Is there anywhere a database of all candidates receiving pro-Israeli funding?” Have a look at the Center for Responsive Politics entry in Wiki. It appears to be compiling data on this subject. The “Israel lobby in the United States” entry in Wiki is another possibility, though there is a “disputed data” alert on it.

    • blargh says:

      NickJOCW, you claim that there is no justification for Zionism. Would a Jewish right to self-determination, the same one that you allot to the Palestinians, be sufficient justification? Why are the Palestinians, legitimately, allowed the right to self-determination, but you would deny Jews the same right?

      • seafoid says:

        The problem with Zionist self determination is :
        1 it isn’t their land. They didn’t live on it and they never paid for it.
        2 they insist on determining the conditions under which the rest of the Middle East can live.

      • Bumblebye says:

        “Americans” are allowed the right to self determination, whatever their religious affiliation. Should “Christians” within America have greater rights over and above those of all others? Or should they be seceding and declaring a new political entity in flyover country? Why should Jews in the middle east allow themselves rights and privileges that lead to oppression and dispossession of non-Jews?

      • blargh says:

        “1 it isn’t their land. They didn’t live on it and they never paid for it.”
        First off, might I suggest Kenneth Stein’s “The Land Question in Palestine 1917-1939″, specifically pages 71-79- it deals with Jewish land purchases from Arabs. Furthermore, the White Paper of 1939, which placed strict restrictions on land transfers from Arabs to Jews, shows that legal transactions were occurring.
        Is living on a piece of land the equivalent of owning land? Then why can’t I take my home, bought and paid for, and the land on which it stands, and secede from the United States? Declare my property an independent state? Because land is controlled by the government. I pay property taxes to the government. There is the rule of law, in democratic countries, that the government can not appropriate or commandeer land that citizens lawfully ‘own,’ but neither can a citizen steal the land from the government.
        In our case, when the Ottoman Empire fell, to whom did the land it owned go to? The Ottoman Empire owned Greater Syria, Arabia, Baghdad, Mosul, Basra, and other provinces (today, the countries of Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, Israel, Saudi Arabia, and Iraq)- to whom did this land go to when the government to which it fell no longer existed in 1919, after WWI?
        “To the victors go the spoils” and the winners of WWI found themselves owning the entire Middle East, which was party of the stipulations of treaties with the Ottoman Empire. In a stunning display of Imperialism under the guise of Benevolence, the winners of WWI decided to create mandates of these newly won territories. These mandates would be, one day, self-governed states, but, said Europe, they were not ready. The reason that these areas were made into mandates and not colonies was because Europe was starting to believe in self-determination, and was willing to (eventually) take the moral high ground over the economic self-interest. While establishing these mandates, they messed up many times in a lot of areas, sometimes because they were blinded by greed, sometimes by accident.
        So, the same principles that gave Egypt, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, and Iraq independence and self-governance also gave it to Palestine, or modern day Israel.
        The area of Greater Syria was given to control of the British. The 1921 Mandate for Palestine, ratified by the League of Nations, said that the area known as Palestine (which is modern day Israel and Jordan) should be developed as a Jewish homeland, and entrusted the duty of building ‘backwards’ Palestine into a self-governing country to the British. Fast forward to 1947, the British decide that the area is ungovernable, dumps the problem into the lap of the UN, and I’m sure you know the story from there.
        There are at this point arguments over the ethics of the UN and the British, but the legality of these actions is not disputed. So: it doesn’t really matter to what extent the Zionists paid for the land (which, Benny Morris records, was very little), because the League of Nations and the United Nations legally gave them these lands out of respect for the principle of self-determination. If you want to revoke the Zionist legal claim to the land of Palestine/Israel, might I suggest you do the same to the Jordanians, Syrians, Lebanese, etc- as they are only governing their respective countries because of the largesse of 20th century Europe, a sad but unfortunately true situation.

        “2 they insist on determining the conditions under which the rest of the Middle East can live.”
        From my side of the street, they are really only dictating, often with force or the threat of force, what happens around their borders, much in the same way any sovereign country does. It is a country’s moral imperative to protect its citizenry, as detailed in Michael Walzer’s “Just and Unjust Wars”.

        ‘“Americans” are allowed the right to self determination, whatever their religious affiliation. Should “Christians” within America have greater rights over and above those of all others? Or should they be seceding and declaring a new political entity in flyover country? Why should Jews in the middle east allow themselves rights and privileges that lead to oppression and dispossession of non-Jews?’

        If self-determination is the collective right of a group of people to chart their own course, what happens if you have a minority living in this group? Is it rational to expect the whole group, exercising their collective right, to excessively stray from their chosen path to accommodate this one person? Most people would say not. So a minority living in a majority does not exercise their right to self-determination, though this certainly does not give the majority the right to oppress the minority.
        So, yes, Christians in America do have greater rights, or at least greater comforts, than religious minorities. Their holidays and day of rest are mandated by the government; applications query about ‘church involvement,’ but not mosque or synagogue volunteering. Atheists need to live with a civic religion rife with references to God.
        So Jews, or Israelis rather, give themselves the same privileges in their own state as Christians get in the US. And this is the way it works in many democratic states, including France, Spain, Italy, Germany, Poland, Japan.

        • RoHa says:

          ” it doesn’t really matter to what extent the Zionists paid for the land (which, Benny Morris records, was very little), because the League of Nations and the United Nations legally gave them these lands”

          No, they didn’t.

          “If self-determination is the collective right of a group of people to chart their own course, what happens if you have a minority living in this group?”

          There is no such right.

          I demonstrate the incoherence of the concept in a series of posts about two-thirds of the way down this page:
          link to mondoweiss.net

          There might be something like that right, but it is the right of all the people living in a particular territory. The minority group must be included.

        • blargh says:

          I read the post. Well-argued, but the very first premise is flawed: “1. The fundamental concept behind the right to self-determination is that persons are entitled to make the decisions – or at least have a say in the decisions – which affect them.” This is not the case- the right to self-determination, in our context, is the right of a nation to chart their own course, not of an individual. Self-determination is a collective, not an individual, right. I, personally, have no right to self-determination; however, as a American I participate in this right. For example, if in the course of the majority of this nation (A) excercising their right to self determination they trample the minority of this nation (B), B’s right to self-determination has not been abrogated. Their individual rights have been violated, not their collective rights.
          Might I suggest the introduction of Allen Buchanan’s excellent essay “Theories of Secession.” He gives a wonderful overview of the right to self-determination within the context of secession; his third argument may also be some use to you.

          Also, convicts, in the US, do not vote. They have been disenfranchised- would this be a violation of their right to self-determination?

          Right’s language is notoriously problematic, and so your whole premise is based upon the acceptance of inherent rights. I could drag you into a rehashing of MacIntryre vs Gewirth’s arguments, but, like MacIntyre and Gewirth, I doubt we’d get anywhere lol.

          Finally, you say explicetly “(Note: I am not concerned wiht legal rights here.) ” I was only dealing with legal rights, not moral or ethical (as I wrote, “the League of Nations and the United Nations *legally* gave them these lands”).

        • RoHa says:

          “the right to self-determination, in our context, is the right of a nation to chart their own course, not of an individual. Self-determination is a collective, not an individual, right. ”

          I agree that it is a collective right, but what is the concept behind the idea of a “nation” having the right to chart its own course, if not the idea of members of the “nation” having a say in the decsions that affect them? (Not that I am convinced that the notion of collective rights is coherent.)

          “For example, if in the course of the majority of this nation (A) excercising their right to self determination they trample the minority of this nation (B), B’s right to self-determination has not been abrogated. Their individual rights have been violated, not their collective rights.”

          Insofar as the minority were consulted, they partook in the exercise of self determination. But that is not the same as the claim of Zionist Jews that they had a right to “self-determination” which applied only to Jews and not to the Arabs in the territory in which both groups lived. It is the claim that “peoples” have the right of self-determination that I am arguing against.

          “I was only dealing with legal rights, not moral or ethical”

          Most of your post seemed to be concerned with moral rights.

        • blargh says:

          Furthermore, following your argument, that self-determination is tied to living in a territory, then there is no right of return. If you argue that one’s right to self-determination is tied ONLY to where one lives, then Palestinians who fled to Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, Egypt, and the rest of the Palestinian Diaspora have no right to return to their native homes. Their self-determination is tied to where they live, and so their new homes, even if their new homes are in squalid, horrible refugee camps in Lebanon, are where their rights to self-determination must be executed.

        • annie says:

          okkkaaay, using your ‘logic’ the only jews who have a ‘right to self determination’ in palestine were the ones who never left.

        • RoHa says:

          “If you argue that one’s right to self-determination is tied ONLY to where one lives, then Palestinians who fled to Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, Egypt, and the rest of the Palestinian Diaspora have no right to return to their native homes. ”

          The right of return is not derived from any right of self determination.

          I deny that the the Palestinians have a right of self-determination qua Palestinians just as I deny that Jews in general or even Israeli Jews in particular have a right of self-determination qua (Israeli) Jews.

          Since I have doubts about collective rights in general, I am not even convinced that there is such a right. However, if there is such a right, it is the right of all the people living in a particular territory.

        • RoHa says:

          “the League of Nations and the United Nations legally gave them these lands”

          The League of Nations documents make it clear that their intention is to make it permissable for Jews to live in Palestine as equal citizens of a unified Palestinian state. They do not give Jews alone soveriegnty over any part of Palestine. They do not intend to set up a Jewish State.

          The UN partition plan was a recommendation, but had no legal force without the consent of all parties. It did not have that consent.

          The UN recognition of Israel was contingent upon Israel permitting the refugees to return to their homes. Israel has never permitted that.

          If you want to discuss the legalisms any further, try your luck with Hostage.

        • blargh says:

          annie: Following this critique and logical extension of RoHa’s argument, then yes: only Jews who are currently living in Israel/Palestine have this right. That is only the logical extension of RoHa’s argument.

          Roha: As much as you assert that you are unconvinced the existence of collective rights, most philosophers and lawmakers would disagree with you. The illegality of genocide and apartheid are based on a people, as a collective, who are being murdered or marginalized- otherwise, it just happens to be the murder or discrimination of a lot of people; when they are viewed as a collective, though, then these crimes attain more heinous attributes.
          Once again, I reference Dr. Allen Buchanan’s article; this url should work: link to jstor.org . Pages 34-41 deal specifically with collective rights, and disagrees with your assertions.

          If you are still uncertain about collective rights, Michael Freeman’s article “The Right to Self-Determination in International Politics: Six Theories in Search of a Policy” (Review of International Studies, Vol. 25, No. 3 (Jul., 1999), pp. 355-370; Stable URL: link to jstor.org ) also deals with collective rights. Ultimately: if you remain unpersuaded as to the existence of collective rights, that is alright, but good luck telling the world to catch on. (Personally, I am unpersuaded as to the existence of inherent human rights, but, says the world and humanists, if Locke wrote of it, it must exist!)

          “Insofar as the minority were consulted, they partook in the exercise of self determination. But that is not the same as the claim of Zionist Jews that they had a right to “self-determination” which applied only to Jews and not to the Arabs in the territory in which both groups lived. It is the claim that “peoples” have the right of self-determination that I am arguing against.”

          “I deny that the the Palestinians have a right of self-determination qua Palestinians just as I deny that Jews in general or even Israeli Jews in particular have a right of self-determination qua (Israeli) Jews.”
          In which case, may I ask, do you support the Palestinian right to return, and, if yes, on what grounds?

          The language to the Balfour Declaration and the Mandate for Palestine, whose language was based upon the Balfour Declaration, has a notorious history. There were numerous drafts floating around, including the Zionist Draft of July, the Balfour Draft, the Milner Draft, the Milner-Amery Draft, and the Final Text. I find your assertion, “”They do not give Jews alone sovereignty over any part of Palestine. They do not intend to set up a Jewish State.”, difficult in light of the fact that the last two drafts *clearly* state “it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine.” (“Palestine and the Arab-Israeli Conflict: A History with Documents” by Charles D. Smith, 7th ed, pp97). Note that political rights are not given to non-Jewish communities, only civil and religious. The Mandate for Palestine has the same language (link to avalon.law.yale.edu). It seems that, according to the original conception (which was, admittedly, racist and unethical), only Jews were to be given political rights in the “national home for the Jews.” That would seem to be a Jewish State, does it not? Granted, the British later backtracked on this in the 1939 White Paper, saying “His Majesty’s Government believe that the framers of the Mandate in which the Balfour Declaration was embodied could not have intended that Palestine should be converted into a Jewish State agains the will of the Arab population of the country” (link to avalon.law.yale.edu)- but the majority plan of the UNSCOP later disagreed with this, so the 1939 White Plan never came to fruition.

          “The UN partition plan was a recommendation, but had no legal force without the consent of all parties. It did not have that consent.
          The UN recognition of Israel was contingent upon Israel permitting the refugees to return to their homes. Israel has never permitted that.”
          Really? I’ve never seen this in primary sources, though often baselessly asserted, and I would be very interested in seeing it- do you have primary sources for that?`

          “Most of your post seemed to be concerned with moral rights.”
          Forgive me for not being clearer in my language, but I did say explicitly, in a passage you quoted, “because the League of Nations and the United Nations legally gave them these lands.”

    • American says:

      I agree totally.

      “It is totally useless, indeed counter-productive, to reason with the irrational; like trying to extinguish a fire by talking it down”

      • eee says:

        Telling Israeli Jews, a large majority of them born in Israel that Israel is not their land is “rational”? I am second generation born in Israel. Both my parents were born here. Do you really want to argue that this is not my land?

        • mig says:

          That is also someone else land….

        • Chaos4700 says:

          Your grandparents to the land from someone else at gunpoint. Inheritance doesn’t make a crime go away.

        • MB. says:

          eee wrote — “Telling Israeli Jews, a large majority of them born in Israel that Israel is not their land is “rational”? I am second generation born in Israel. Both my parents were born here. Do you really want to argue that this is not my land?”

          Your post is utterly vacuous, without reason and without foundation. Lots of white suprmacists were born in Rhodesia, and also their parents were too. It was not their land. Lots of white power Dutch-German Boers were born in South Africa, a land they considered theirs for eternity, a promised gift from God. It was not their land. Lots of Japanese colonists were born in Korea in the Japanese settler period. It was not their land. Many white French people were born in Algeria during the colonial period — it was not their land.

          Need I go on? From reading your posts eee, I can only conclude that either you are a sadist wanting to hang around Mondoweiss, a rabid ‘Israel forever’ supporter trying to ‘tell the truth’ to the de-legitimisers, or, an agent provocateur.

  23. kapok says:

    C Hitchens in full sneer link to slate.com