Jeffrey Goldberg vs. The Truth

By now Mondoweiss readers have probably seen Jeffrey Goldberg’s updated post on supporting the boycott of Netanyahu here in the US. It includes this tidbit (emphasis added):

“…all I can say is this: Since 1948, Israel has been a besieged state that nevertheless has, with rare exceptions, defended the right of people to say whatever they have wanted to say. This is why Israel has the freest press in the world, and why Arab members of Knesset can scream down the prime minister and not get shot. Israel’s defense of freedom of speech, even in wartime, is one of the many reasons to be proud of it.

Ok, beyond the weirdness of the sentiment (an elected government official not getting shot in a country’s parliament for opposing occupation, ethnic cleansing, and discrimination is cause for celebration?!), is this inconvenient fact, from Ha’aretz today:

Israeli Arab MK Hanin Zuabi will be stripped of her right to address the Knesset and to participate in committee votes until the end of this parliamentary season, the Knesset Ethics Committee ruled on Monday.
 

The decision to penalize Zuabi, a lawmaker from the Balad party, comes in the wake of her participation in the Gaza-bound flotilla last year. Zuabi, who sailed on the Turkish-flagged Mavi Marmara, had already had certain parliamentary rights revoked by Knesset last July.

The rights previously revoked are “her diplomatic passport, entitlement to financial assistance for legal assistance and the right to visit countries with which Israel does not have diplomatic ties.”

Last week, “Zuabi was being ushered out of the parliamentary session after interrupting Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech and after being called to order three times by Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin.”

It’s true that “being ushered out” is not the same as not getting shot. But it’s also true that physically preventing a Knesset member from voicing her views is certainly not an example of what Goldberg describes as Israel’s defense of “the right of people to say whatever they have wanted to say”.   Apparently, for Goldberg, anything short of murdering a Palestinian in cold-blood is grounds for lauding Israel’s democratic character…unless, of course, you count Palestinians in Gaza, the West Bank, Lebanon, Golan, or the past, of course.

Nima Shirazi is a political commentator from New York City. His analysis of United States foreign policy and Middle East issues is published at WideAsleepInAmerica.com. Follow him on Twitter @WideAsleepNima.

About Nima Shirazi

Nima Shirazi is co-editor of the Iran, Iraq and Turkey pages for the online magazine Muftah. His political analysis can be found on his blog, WideAsleepinAmerica.com, where this post first appeared. Follow him on Twitter @WideAsleepNima.
Posted in Israel/Palestine

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

  1. Cliff says:

    Palestinians lived under martial law until 1966.

    From EI:

    In October 2000, Israeli police used live ammunition against unarmed civilians demonstrating their solidarity with Palestinians in the occupied territories. Thirteen Palestinians, of whom twelve were Israeli citizens, were shot dead. An official commission, headed by Judge Theodor Or, was appointed to look into the events which came to mark a dramatic deterioration in Arab-Jewish relations inside the country. In 2003, the Or Commission confirmed that the police used “excessive” and unjustifiable force, reported that the police viewed the country’s Arab citizens as “enemies” and documented a pattern of “prejudice and neglect” towards them by Israel’s establishment.

    While the Or Commission recommended a number of measures to redress the sharp disparities between Jews and Arabs in the country, families of the victims regarded the report as a whitewash. The Commission failed to examine the forensic evidence in each of the killings, and none of the killers, nor any responsible official, were ever brought to justice. By 2007, according to Elie Rekhess of the Moshe Dayan Center at Tel Aviv University, there remained “yawning” gaps between Jews and Arabs in Israel and “the bottom line” is “that the conclusions and recommendations of the 2003 Or Commission remain conspicuously unimplemented.”

    Goldberg writes for a specific audience. He doesn’t care about being truthful or being honest.

  2. seafoid says:

    Zuabi no longer has “the right to visit countries with which Israel does not have diplomatic ties.”

    What sort of a Jewish democracy is that ?

    “a besieged state that nevertheless has, with rare exceptions, defended the right of people to say whatever they have wanted to say” Except most crucially in 1948 when anyone who spoke Arabic was no longer wanted. Some democracy that is.

  3. eee says:

    What Goldberg says is true. Every democratic parliament has a committee to sanction its members for wrongdoing. Let’s see what happens to a US congress person that joins a Taliban protest in Afghanistan. Or what would have happened to a US congress person if he tried to violate the 10 year sanctions on Iraq.

    As for being thrown out of the Knesset hall, what do you expect to happen if someone does not let others talk? There are similar procedures I am sure in every parliament. You cannot just keep shouting during someone else’s time at the podium. Rivlin has thrown out plenty of non-Arab Knesset members.

    • annie says:

      oh please eee. i saw the video. have you seen the video? because here’s a news flash for you i’ve watched the knesset in action before and nothing NOTHING Zuabi acted or said even compares to some of the yelling i’ve heard there, and those other people didn’t get hauled out. plus, do you remember the video of Zuabi after she came off the mavi marmara? there’s an obvious double standard wrt the way she’s hauled off compared to the chamber when she was speaking (or trying to speak i should say) w/the whole place yelling her down. and none of them got hauled off. so spare us please. TOTAL double standard.

      what hypocrites.

      • eee says:

        Which video? What double standards? Rivlin is an ultra-fair guy. You disrupt other speakers long enough, he throws you out and it does not matter if you are Arab or not. You obviously don’t follow the Knesset closely enough.

        • annie says:

          what video? compare the one above (i edited it to include the video of what just happened) to Knesset Members Attack Haneen Zoabi After Free Gaza . are they getting hauled off? i don’t think so!

        • eee says:

          Of course they are! MK Zooaretz is hauled off at 1:10, don’t you see that? Then MK Rotem is evicted by Rivlin. Next is Berkovich. Another one at 4:00. He threw out a bunch load of MKs for interrupting Zoabi. Rivlin is defending Zoabi and is being very fair.

        • annie says:

          oh, whoops. i must have missed the part where they had their rights to address the Knesset and to participate in committee votes until the end of next parliamentary season. could you link to that please? also “diplomatic passport, entitlement to financial assistance for legal assistance and the right to visit countries with which Israel does not have diplomatic ties.”

          link please. thanks

        • eee says:

          Annie,

          Changing the subject are you? You were talking about getting hauled out and you change the subject when shown to be wrong.

          Hamas is at war with Israel. Zoabi is helping our enemies, why shouldn’t she be sanctioned by the Knesset ethics committee?

        • annie says:

          Hamas is at war with Israel. Zoabi is helping our enemies, why shouldn’t she be sanctioned by the Knesset ethics committee?

          try to keep up eee. this latest scramble didn’t involve hamas. ok you’re right, they did get hauled out but they didn’t get their MK rights taken away for doing it.

        • eee says:

          Annie,

          Zoabi ACTIVELY participated in running an Israeli enforced blockade. She did not get sanctioned for speaking against the blockade, or occupation or whatever. She got the sanctions she deserved for ACTIVELY participating in running a blockade enforced by her own country (a blockade deemed legal by the UN). Any Israeli MK, Arab or Jew, would have been given the same punishment.

        • “Hamas is at war with Israel”

          Than the rocket attacks are “an act of defense”, and the manner of Israel’s incarceration of Palestinians, as well as its targeting of civilian non-combatants, is an international war crime.

          Either way you cut it, eee, Israel is operating outside the realm of international law.

        • Fredblogs says:

          If the rockets were aimed at military targets in Israel, rather than civilian targets, they would be legitimate acts of war, even if they sometimes missed their targets and hit civilians. So long as the military advantage to the Palestinians outweighed the risk to civilians.

          Israel as a matter of policy does not target civilians. Civilians are sometimes killed, as in any war, when an attack on a military target misses, or when the civilian is unavoidably close to the military target.

          On the rare occasions that an Israeli soldier disregards that policy, and targets someone he believes to be a civilian, that is a war crime. Just as all the rockets Hamas targets at Israeli civilian areas are war crimes.

          “Acts of defense” in a war is a vague and not very useful term.

        • Chaos4700 says:

          That’s incidentally why people hate Israel, eee. Because you guys consider it perfectly legal to blow up hospitals and schools and starve children.

        • Hostage says:

          Hamas is at war with Israel. Zoabi is helping our enemies, why shouldn’t she be sanctioned by the Knesset ethics committee?

          Because the laws of naval warfare say that (a) humanitarian aid shipments must be allowed free passage to the coast of the belligerent under blockade; (b) vessels engaged in humanitarian missions, including vessels carrying supplies indispensable to the survival of the civilian population, and vessels engaged in relief actions and rescue operations are exempt from attack; and (c) in case of doubt whether a vessel or aircraft exempt from attack is being used to make an effective contribution to military action, it shall be presumed not to be so used.

          FYI, Hamas is simply Israel’s excuse de jour. Wikileaks revealed that Military Intelligence Director, Amos Yadlin told the US government that Israel would be “happy” if Hamas took over Gaza because the IDF could then deal with Gaza as a hostile state. link to wikileaks.ch

          The closure of Gaza began in 1991, when Israel canceled the general exit permit that allowed most Palestinians to move freely through Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories. It never did comply with the Oslo Accord requirement to treat the West Bank and Gaza as one area for political, economic, legal and other purposes. link to 972mag.com

        • Chaos4700 says:

          Israel attacked EVERY ONE of the hospitals in Gaza, and several UN schools, and caused the destruction of the warehouse containing most of the UN’s aid in 2008. And then on top of that, Fred, we’ve got articles here talking about how Israeli soldiers target, capture and torture children. Children, for God sakes!

          Israel targets civilians. It is a documented fact. The Goldstone Report lays exactly that out and the only thing Goldstone himself has said to mitigate that is, “Well, the Israeli government tells me they don’t target civilians, and I believe them in spite of what the evidence I and my colleagues show.”

        • “If the rockets were aimed at military targets in Israel, rather than civilian targets……”

          BS. These rockets can’t be “aimed”, they are too primitive.

          “Israel as a matter of policy does not target civilians….”

          Unbelievable that you expect people to buy that kind of horseshit, considering the reams of evidence to the contrary. Fisherman, farmers, ambulance drivers, children, all have been victims of Israeli targeting.

        • Fredblogs says:

          Actually it doesn’t. It says that certain vessels aren’t subject to “attack”. However, “attack” doesn’t mean boarding, it means firing on the ship itself. Also ships transporting humanitarian supplies are only exempt when they have been granted safe conduct by agreement between the belligerent parties.

          link to icrc.org

          47. The following classes of enemy vessels are exempt from attack:(c) vessels granted safe conduct by agreement between the belligerent parties including: …(ii) vessels engaged in humanitarian missions, including vessels carrying supplies indispensable to the survival of the civilian population, and vessels engaged in relief actions and rescue operations;

          Now passenger vessels that are carrying civilian passengers only are exempt from attack (but not capture), even without such an agreement. Even then any of the ships exempt from attack lose that exemption unless they “48….(b) submit to identification and inspection when required”.

          No vessel is allowed to go through a blockade based on the unverified word of the people on the vessel.

          Which makes perfect sense if you think about it for a minute. As explained by Gilbert and Sullivan:

          “You make a point of never [attacking] an orphan”
          “Of course, we are orphans ourselves and know what it is [to be an orphan].”
          “Yes, but it has got about and what is the consequence? Everyone we capture _says_ he’s an orphan, and so we have to let them go. One would think that Great Britain’s mercantile navy was recruited solely from her orphan asylums – which we know is not the case” – The Pirates of Penzance.

          No system that relied on taking the unverified word of a possible enemy would work. Funny how people never think about whether their interpretation of the system they think Israel is violating is unworkable. I guess it’s because they want to interpret it so that Israel has broken some arbitrary rule of a game, rather than interpret it in a way that actually functions, since they don’t expect to ever hold anybody other than Israel to the standards they want to hold Israel to. Try this exercise: if the exception you are thinking of defeats the whole purpose of having a rule (e.g., the purpose of having rules for a blockade), your exception probably doesn’t actually exist in the law.

        • Hostage says:

          If the rockets were aimed at military targets in Israel, rather than civilian targets, they would be legitimate acts of war, even if they sometimes missed their targets and hit civilians. So long as the military advantage to the Palestinians outweighed the risk to civilians.

          I’ve discussed this before, but your interpretation is not necessarily accepted by the belligerents in the I-P conflict. For example, when the Bilin villagers leveled charges under Canada’s national ICC-harmonized war crimes statute, the Court dismissed the case and told them to seek a judgment from the Courts in Israel. Israel still permits reprisals against civilians under the Defense Emergency Ordinance (1945), & etc.

          Since 1993, the UN international criminal tribunals and the ICC have ruled that crimes against humanity no longer require a nexus to an armed conflict. However neither the US nor Israel are parties to the 1st Additional Protocol and they don’t accept the competence or jurisdiction of the ICC. Both countries routinely violate Common Article 3 of the 1949 Geneva Convention when they carry-out extrajudicial killings in occupied territories or target families having picnics on the beach, playing a game of soccer, or having a wedding celebration.

          Israel has made contradictory statements regarding the laws of armed conflict that it applies in the Palestinian territories. I’ve long since lost count of the IDF press releases about “reprisals” carried out against Palestinians. Most people forget that reprisals can be carried out by the Palestinians too – under the regulations regarding belligerency attached to the Hague Convention of 1907.

          Here is what the US Commander’s Handbook on the Law of Naval Operations (2007) says about Reprisal (6.2.4):

          A belligerent reprisal is an enforcement measure under the law of armed conflict consisting of an act that would otherwise be unlawful but which is justified as a response to the previous unlawful acts of an enemy. The sole purpose of a reprisal is to induce the enemy to cease its illegal activity and to comply with the law of armed conflict in the future. Reprisals may be taken against enemy armed forces, enemy civilians other than those in occupied territory, and enemy property.

          Unless Sderot is “occupied” by Hamas, its enemy civilians, property, and yellow school buses might be targeted for reprisals according to the rules Israel and some other non-ICC member states have adopted.

          The notion that a Hamas rocket or mortar is always a terror weapon, but that Israeli tanks and Apache attack helicopters used to destroy 28,000 civilian homes aren’t, doesn’t hold much water either. I believe you are correct, but those are the arguments the parties involved will raise.

        • MRW says:

          Israel as a matter of policy does not target civilians. . . .On the rare occasions that an Israeli soldier disregards that policy, and targets someone he believes to be a civilian, that is a war crime. Just as all the rockets Hamas targets at Israeli civilian areas are war crimes.

          Israel, as a matter of policy, broke the cease fire and bombed Gaza and Gazan civilians who were not allowed to leave for three weeks. Gaza has no army, navy, or air force, no military other than local police forces.

          So, cut the propaganda shit. And read our archives before you march in here with this nonsense.

        • mig says:

          eee : Correction, Hamas is NOT in war with Israel. Neither is Israel war with hamas.

        • Shingo says:

          Israel as a matter of policy does not target civilians.

          Yeah right. Mordecai Gur(Israeli politician and the 10th Chief of Staff of the IDF) told Ze’ev Shiff (Israeli journalist and military correspondent for Ha’aretz) that:

          “The Israeli army has always struck civilian populations, purposely and consciously. The army has never distinguished civilian from military targets, but has purposely attacked civilian targets.”

          On the rare occasions that an Israeli soldier disregards that policy, and targets someone he believes to be a civilian, that is a war crime.

          Seeing as 330 children were massacred in Gaza during Cast Lead, it’s obviously not rare.

          Sorry Fred, didn’t mean to wake you.

        • Ellen says:

          Aw, Chaos, chill it with the “hate” word.

          Disgusted, appalled, heartbroken by the crimes and lies by the state, especially one that depends on the good will of all. But not hate.

        • annie says:

          thanks for the link hostage

          Yadlin said Israel would be “happy” if Hamas took over Gaza because the IDF could then deal with Gaza as a hostile state.

          copied straight from the st dept document

        • Fredblogs says:

          I agree with you in part about the reprisals. The problem with casual reprisals is that it is too easy to slide down a slope to massacres and slaughter. Suppose both sides initially follow the rules. No targeting civilians. Then someone on one side accidentally misses a military target and kills civilians. So the other side kills civilians in reprisal for what they think was a deliberate attack, then the first side (which considers the “reprisal” to have been unjustified since they never targeted civilians) reprises back, etc.

          Of course, if you never have reprisals under any circumstance, then there is no incentive for the enemy to play by the rules. Which gives an advantage to immoral factions. The best solution I can think of is the “tit for tat” solution in game theory. You operate under the “no reprisals” rule until it is clear that the enemy is violating the “no targeting civilians” rule. Then after repeated warnings to the other side that the gloves are coming off, you switch to reprisals until they say they will stop targeting civilians if you will. Then you switch back to “no reprisals” for long enough to see if they are keeping their word. Then repeat, warnings for a while then reprisals.

          In practice, if the enemy is the type to target civilians in the first place, you never have to pick a civilian target for reprisals because the enemy doesn’t care about their own civilians either, so you can just bomb the military targets they put in civilian areas. Ratchet up the rheostat on what constitutes “acceptable civilian casualties” to kill a high-level terrorist, that sort of thing.

          Also, show me one instance where the U.S. knowingly targeted a civilian wedding in the last 10 years of warfare. There have been a few mistaken attacks, but none deliberately targeting civilians.

          I’ll take a bet that among the announced “reprisals” by the IDF you “lost track of”, you can’t find many (if any) reprisals against civilians. You will find plenty against Hamas targets and other terror group targets. You will undoubtedly find some that killed civilians, but either few or none that went after purely civilian targets.

          Lets find out; see if you can find any. Checklist. 1) Announced as a “reprisal” by IDS. 2) No military target (military targets include identified terrorists and identified members of terrorist organizations). Let’s limit it to the last 25 years, that is, in this generation. That covers the first intifada, also Oslo and all the time since.

          Let’s make it interesting. For every one you find that matches those, I’ll try to find 5 attacks by Palestinians purely targeted at civilians.

        • Koshiro says:

          You will undoubtedly find some that killed civilians, but either few or none that went after purely civilian targets.

          You fell awfully silent in the other topic where I demonstrated to you that it is tried and true IDF policy not only to shoot civilians, but specifically to kill children for having entered arbitrarily determined free fire zones. Care to explain that one away?

          In any case, Israel uses “targeted killings” against non-combatants all the time. No, it does not matter if they are really, really bad people and deserve to die in your opinion. They are not combatants, killing them is murder, killing other noncombatants in the course of committing these crimes – as it happens all the time – is also murder.

          Operation Cast Lead was started by attacking a graduation ceremony of Gazan police cadets. Police officers are principally non-combatants, especially if they are unarmed and have never taken part in any fighting. Israel also makes no secret out of the fact that it considers “Hamas operatives”, no matter if they currently have a military function or not, to be fair game.

          In short words, Israel goes beyond targeting merely non-combatants. It does not even recognize the concept of a non-combatant. People the IDF wants to target are arbitrarily classified as “terrorists”, others are “civilians”. Of course, according to this definition Israel does not target “civilians”. It still kills them in large numbers, far exceeding the numbers of targetted “terrorists” even by Israeli standards. The reason for this is that while a “civilian” may not “deserve” to die according to Israeli standards, his or her life is still worthless and can be readily done away with for any kind of real or imagined military advantage, especially to avoid even the slightest risk to Israeli soldiers.

          So, in a nutshell:
          a) “Terrorist” = People that the IDF deems worthy of death and
          b) “Civilians” = People that the IDF may let live unless it’s inconvenient.
          Naturally, applying these definitions the IDF only targets terrorists, and never civilians. Also, naturally they do not conform to any standards in international law.

        • Shingo says:

          There have been a few mistaken attacks, but none deliberately targeting civilians.

          Seeing as 90% of the victims of the drone attacks are civilians, that would suggest that civilians are indeed targetted (if indeed only a few were mistakes)

          I’ll take a bet that among the announced “reprisals” by the IDF you “lost track of”, you can’t find many (if any) reprisals against civilians.

          You lose the bet.

          Yitzak Rabin openly admitted that civilians were targeted in Southern Lebanon, to create a flood of refugees moving north and sending a message to the Lebanese government.

          You will find plenty against Hamas targets and other terror group targets..

          You’ll find plenty more civilian casualties from Israeli attacks.

          You will undoubtedly find some that killed civilians, but either few or none that went after purely civilian targets.

          Purely civilian targets is a veryu slippery slope. One coudl argue that there is not such thng in Israel given that military service is mandatory, making most adults legitimate targets.

          I’ll take a bet that among the announced “reprisals” by the IDF you “lost track of”, you can’t find many (if any) reprisals against civilians.

          You lose.

          1. The shelling of the Qana refugee camp
          2. Sabra and Shatilla massacre
          3. Cast Lead – which Wikileaks revealed had nothgni to do with rocket attacks.
          4. The ttack and occupation of Lebanon in 1982 – which again, Israel launched on false pretenses.
          5. The attack on Lebanon in 2006

          Israel even branded their civilain targetting policy, the Dahiya Doctrine.

          Lets find out; see if you can find any. Checklist. 1) Announced as a “reprisal” by IDS. 2) No military target (military targets include identified terrorists and identified members of terrorist organizations).

          Let’s not. Such convenient rules would rule out the occasions where Israel has attacked civilians and then lied about it ie. Qana.

          And let’s also exclude cases where Israel breached or violated a ceasefire – even if it was with identified terrorists and identified members of terrorist organizations.

          Let’s limit it to the last 25 years, that is, in this generation. That covers the first intifada, also Oslo and all the time since.

          Does that also cover the attack and invasion of Lebanon?

        • Hostage says:

          No system that relied on taking the unverified word of a possible enemy would work.

          Well the “system” sure as hell isn’t prescribed by Gilbert and Sullivan. Israel claims it isn’t occupying Gaza, so Article 71 of the 1st Additional Protocol would apply. Personnel participating in relief actions are approved by the Party in whose territory they will carry out their duties.

          OTOH the official commentary on Article 59 of the Fourth Geneva Convention requires the Occupying Power to “unconditionally” receive relief consignments; allow free passage through the blockade; and prohibits attempts to use the measures for verifying and regulating the consignments to render the rule of free passage inoperative. States are merely invited to negotiate special agreements, butArticle 7 agreements can’t ever be used to adversely affect relief operations for the civilian population or their rights under the convention.

          Here is a link to a discussion on the requirement for an international prize court judgment for any seizure or confiscation resulting from a capture. FYI, The Commentary on the San Remo Manual (page 191) says: “In cases of unreasonable diversion, undue delay or unnecessary interference with the ships voyage, compensation should be awarded by the prize court.”

        • Hostage says:

          I agree with you in part about the reprisals. The problem with casual reprisals

          Nope I was just pointing out the problem of a few states that haven’t acceded to the 1st Additional Protocol. They really can’t decide unilaterally what is, or isn’t, binding custom on the subject.

          In 1993 the Security Council adopted a resolution and a statute for the ICTY based upon the proposition that the Geneva Conventions of 1949 reflect customary international law. That was because they had been ratified by 160 countries. The ILC, the ICJ, and the international criminal tribunals accept Additional Protocol 1 as customary law, because it has been ratified by 169 countries.

          The fundamental rule of international humanitarian law is enshrined in articles 51(6) and 52(1) of the Additional Protocol. Those provisions are generally recognized as codifying customary law applicable to both international and non-international armed conflicts.

          *Attacks against the civilian population or civilians by way of reprisals are prohibited.

          *Civilian objects shall not be the object of attack or of reprisals.

          I’ll take a bet that among the announced “reprisals” by the IDF you “lost track of”, you can’t find many (if any) reprisals against civilians

          Stupid hasbarat, when you bulldoze the family home of a terrorist, that is a reprisal against a human. I don’t accept the proposition that the 28,000 homes that sustained serious damage during operation Cast Lead were empty or that the were merely attacks on objects.

          Here are a few examples that were mentioned in the Goldstone report. They have been discussed in hundreds of articles and blogs:
          * On January 13, 2009, Livni said, “We have proven to Hamas that we have changed the equation. Israel is not a country upon which
          you fire missiles and it does not respond. It is a country that when you fire on its citizens it responds by going wild—and this is a good thing.”

          *Vice Prime Minister Eli Yishai, then Minster of Industry, Trade and Labour said on January 6, 2009, “It [should be] possible to destroy Gaza, so they will understand not to mess with us…it is a great opportunity to demolish thousands of houses of all the terrorists, so they will think twice before they launch rockets. I hope the operation will come to an end with great achievements and with the complete destruction of terrorism and Hamas. In my opinion, they should be razed to the ground, so thousands of houses, tunnels, and industries will be demolished….[T]he operation will continue until a total destruction of Hamas.”The report quotes Yishai as saying on February 2, 2009, “Even if the rockets fall in an open air or to the sea, we should hit their infrastructure, and destroy 100 homes for every rocket fired.”

          Also, show me one instance where the U.S. knowingly targeted a civilian wedding in the last 10 years of warfare.

          That wouldn’t change the number of Taliban reprisals for negligent manslaughter.

    • NimaShirazi says:

      eee,

      Oh my god, you’re right. Can you just imagine what might happen if Congressmembers here in the good ol’ U.S. of A. went to Capitol Hill and openly advocated for supporting a designated terrorist organization?! Perish the thought. Oh wait:

      [Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA), Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations] called for the MEK to be removed from the Foreign Terrorist Organization list, which prevents the group from receiving government funding and makes it illegal for MEK to operate in the U.S. “Any group that chooses to use violence to resist doesn’t make them right or wrong,” Rohrabacher stated. “Backing people who fight against tyranny is also something the U.S. should be doing.”

      So, eee, where’s the censure of House members actively supporting terrorists in the halls of Congress?

      Incidentally, I should point out that the Taliban is not designated by the State Department as a terrorist organization.

      Furthermore, the premise of your silly comment is that speaking out against occupation and discrimination is somehow the same as supporting Hamas or Hezbollah. The conflation is absurd, as is one that seeks to equate the BDS movement with armed resistance.

      Beyond this, I wonder if you would condemn members of South Africa’s Tricameral Parliament who spoke out against Apartheid in the 1980′s and supported the efforts of the ANC, which was banned by South Africa in 1960 and was classified as a terrorist organization by the U.S. until 2008.

      Your equivocation is embarrassing.

      • eee says:

        Nima,

        It is you who is equivocating. Let’s see what happens if an active US Congress person goes and actively helps US enemies with which the US is at war. That is the comparison.

        Speaking against occupation is fine. Actively trying to run your own country’s blockade is not. That is a huge difference. And that is the premise of my argument, not your strawman argument.

        • “Speaking against occupation is fine. Actively trying to run your own country’s blockade is not. That is a huge difference. And that is the premise of my argument, not your strawman argument”

          Than I suppose its time to indict a number of high officials connected to Halliburton, Bechtel, and a number of US defense contractors, eh? Can we start with Cheney?

        • NimaShirazi says:

          Did you just call Hedy Epstein, Ray McGovern, Ann Wright, Yonaton Shapira, and Alice Walker “enemies” of the Israeli government and citizenry? How strange, it seems like you did.

          Did you also just change your entire argument to only encompass “running a blockade”, rather than “joining a protest” or “violating sanctions”, as you originally stated? That’s so weird, it really seems like you just did that.

          I suppose it would be inconvenient for me to point out that, in April 2009, U.S. House Representative Barbara Lee led a seven-member strong Congressional delegation to Havana to meet with Cuban President Raul Castro, Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez and parliamentarian Ricardo Alarcon. Let’s all recall that Cuba has been under severe embargo (known as “el bloqueo” in Spanish…I’ll let you figure that one out yourself) for nearly fifty years. And before you start quaking about “enemies”, please consider that the embargo is authorized by the Trading With the Enemy Act.

          Your use of terminology also betrays your incoherence. If Israel is “at war” with Palestinians in Gaza, then clearly the actions of armed resistance to occupation are legitimate acts of international warfare, and not “terrorism”. Thanks for clearing that up. And be sure not to use that term anymore.

          The issue of the blockade’s illegality is also something you seem to gloss over. Kudos.

          I’ll leave you with this:

          Back in December 2008, as your beloved Israel dropped thousands of bombs and white phosphorous on Palestinian civilians in Gaza, Jonathan Schwarz reminded us that “Israel’s original justification for taking over Gaza in 1967 was that Israel was being subject to a blockade.” He explained,

          This is from the official Knesset history of the Six Day War:

          Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser blockaded the Straits of Tiran on May 21st and 22nd to all shipping from and to Eilat; the area was open to Israeli ships under UN supervision since 1957, and Israel repeatedly stated that such a blockade will be considered as casus belli (justification for acts of war).

          Of course, there are many differences between the two situations. Just for instance: (1) Israel could still receive shipments by water via the Mediterranean, and (2) Israelis are human beings, whereas Palestinians are wolves in human form.

          In any case, I expect this provides Gaza residents with quite a chuckle as they ponder whether their wounded children will succumb first to their injuries or to their intestinal parasites caused by contaminated water.

        • eee says:

          Nima,

          You still have not given a comparable example of a US congress person running a blockade imposed by the US. Visiting Cuba is not the same thing. When was the last time Castro shot rockets at the US?

          And yes, the people you mention are our enemies. In my opinion they are aiding and abating Hamas which are our enemies. I really do not care if that makes the rockets Hamas shoots terrorism or warfare. I care that they are pointed at Israel and its people. You can call them what you want.

          And what about the Six Day War? Of course the blockade of the Tiran Straits was an act of war and justified a pre-emptive attack. If you think the Israeli blockade justifies Hamas shooting rockets, just say so or shoot the rockets.

          Do you really want me care about the welfare of the people in Gaza while Hamas rule there? When there is peace I will care. While the people in Gaza are trying to kill me, I don’t really care what the situation of their schools is and how clean their water is.

        • Chaos4700 says:

          And yes, the people you mention are our enemies. In my opinion they are aiding and abating Hamas which are our enemies.

          And so you are going to try to kill them? You’re going to try to kill Hedy Epstein? You consider a HOLOCAUST SURVIVOR your enemy and you’re going to kill an elderly woman?

          You know, that was part of the Nazi’s logic for brutalizing the Dutch during their occupation of Holland. I’m guessing you haven’t actually read The Diary of Anne Frank, have you? That figures. It’s bad enough that you fumbled American history so badly, but now I have to school you on Holocaust history as well? You’re embarrassing, eee.

          Who owns the Straits of Tiran, eee?

        • eee says:

          Chaos,

          There is a step between someone being your enemy and rushing to kill them. I see no need to kill Epstein. But you always see a need to right something even if it is complete nonsense.

        • NimaShirazi says:

          Thank you for this, eee. It’s perfect.

        • Hostage says:

          You still have not given a comparable example of a US congress person running a blockade imposed by the US.

          Neither have you. Israel intercepted and attacked the flotilla outside the published GPS coordinates for its so-called blockade.

          Israel had unilaterally declared the armistice agreements null and void long before 1967. It occupied the DMZs, invaded Jordan (Sammu); and shot down Syrian aircraft over Damascus. So it was still very much at war with the Arab states – a fact Egypt brought-up during the Security Council debates.

          Profs Yoram Dinstein and Ruth Lapidoth of Israel were among the participants from 28 countries that helped draft the San Remo Manual on international law applicable to armed conflicts at sea. Paragraph 102.2 of the official commentary explains that some of the participants argued that the prohibition on starvation has rendered blockades illegal. That should have included the Israelis. In 1967 the Government of Israel claimed that the closure of the Straits of Tiran was illegal. See the page on the telegram from Israeli PM Eshkol to President Johnson

        • mig says:

          There wasnt a blockade of straits. And pre-emptive attack doesnt exist.

        • Citizen says:

          re eee: “Of course the blockade of the Tiran Straits was an act of war and justified a pre-emptive attack.”

          As usual, eee simply declares a matter as “of course,” as if the matter is not/has not been hotly controversial, disputed:
          link to en.wikipedia.org

          This blith assertive pattern demonstrates (1) eee’s ignorance; or (2) lack of concern for truth; and/or (3) complete disrespect for his audience?

        • Shingo says:

          Let’s see what happens if an active US Congress person goes and actively helps US enemies with which the US is at war.

          There are plenty of those. Former Bush attorney general Michael Mukasey appeared before the Oversight and Investigation Subcommittee and called for the US to delist the MEK as a terrorist organization. Mukasey was even photographed prior to the hearing receiving counsel from the leadership of the National Council of Resistance of Iran, the MEK’s political wing, which is also designated as a terrorist organization.

          Former US ambassador to the UN, nutjob extraordinaire, John Bolton, has also endorsed the delisting.

        • Ellen says:

          Do you really want me care about the welfare of the people in Gaza while Hamas rule there? When there is peace I will care. While the people in Gaza are trying to kill me, I don’t really care what the situation of their schools is and how clean their water is.

          Read the demonizing of a people. This is the paranoid and vicious mindset needed for cleansing of the “other,” for Genocide, Holocaust, etc.

          Bad rulers are everywhere. Hamas was created by Israel. No one in Gaza is trying to kill eee. For someone to say they do not care about a population of humanity says it all.

          Feel the Hate.

        • eee says:

          Ellen,

          Give it a rest. 1000 Jews were killed by suicide bombers sent mostly by Hamas. Thousands of rockets were fired from Gaza. They are not only trying to kill me, they are trying to kill my kids also as the list of their targets make clear. When there will be peace there will be caring. I did not see the “greatest US generation” care very much for the suffering of the Japanese civilians during WWII. Why would they? And why would you use a different standard on Israel?

          Hamas was not created by Israel, stop that foolish assertion:
          link to en.wikipedia.org
          In its first 2 years Israel thought it could be an alternative to Fatah and communicated with and perhaps supported them but in 1989 already they attacked Israel and their leader thrown in jail.

        • Mooser says:

          “You consider a HOLOCAUST SURVIVOR your enemy and you’re going to kill an elderly woman?”

          Don’t you get it? To an “atheist Jew” as “eee” describes himself, the only Jews which matter are those in the minyan. Cause God Hisself says so, and what else means more to an atheist?

        • Citizen says:

          eee,

          The Imperial Japanese regime traveled 3,943 miles from their island home across the Pacific Ocean to attack the Americans. In what way have been/are Zionist Jewish- Israel’s attacks on, and oppressive military occupation over, the indigenous Palestinian Arabs the same? Why would anybody conflate the reactive “greatest US generation” with generational predatory, colonizing Zionists land thieves?

          OTOH, Imperial Japan was a brutal colonizer just as Israel has been/is; but they didn’t pick on people in Japan as Israel picked on people in the Palestine Mandate land. The American “greatest generation” fought for the principles that equate with the Palestinian Resistence, not with Zionism’s blood & soil lebensraum philosophy.

        • eee says:

          Citizen,

          The “greatest generation” cheered while Tokyo was fire bombed and 100,000 civilians were killed. The people doing the bombing were heroes.
          link to en.wikipedia.org

          And you think I need to worry about how clean the water in Gaza is while they are trying to kill me? The people of Gaza and their leaders chose violence against Israel. They have only themselves to blame for the results. I am second generation born in Israel. All the crap about colonization etc. etc. is nonsense. Violence begets violence.

        • Citizen says:

          eee,
          Your link provides no support for what you say it asserts, and you were not an American then, nor are you now. Instead the link you provided does say, “In 2007, Japanese Prime Minister Abe Shinzō apologized in print, acknowledging Japan’s bombing of Chinese cities beginning in 1938, killing civilians. He wrote that the Japanese government should have surrendered as soon as losing the war was inevitable, an action that would have prevented Tokyo from being firebombed in March 1945, as well as subsequent bombings of other cities.”

          Also, eee, your reponse commnent does not address my earlier comment at all.

          You can keep repeating “they are trying to kill me” forever. What we on MW do know is what you and your country is doing to the Palestinian people on a daily basis, and has been doing for years.

        • Koshiro says:

          When there will be peace there will be caring.

          Even that is a lie. If it was not a lie, it would still betray a thoroughly callous, sociopathic nature.

          Anf of course the idiotic “they are trying to kill me” victim card. You’re living a good life somewhere in Israel, perhaps on stolen Palestinian land, saver more and secure than in man American cities – but the theoretical idea that someone in Gaza could want to kill you, even though he’ll never get the opportunity to, justifies inflicting suffering on millions of people.

          The total lack of all compassion and proportionality, in addition to your ignorance, is what makes your comments so revolting. Which is not bad, I suppose, and neither is the new boycott law. The more people realize how Israel really works, the better.

    • Hostage says:

      Let’s see what happens to a US congress person that joins a Taliban protest in Afghanistan.

      So I guess you didn’t hear about Senator John Kerry’s role in the Winter Soldier Investigation and his 1971 meet with the Viet Cong and North Vietnamese in Paris? He is currently the Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and was the Democratic nominee for President.

      • Hostage says:

        P.S. Kerry and Reps. Brian Baird of Washington and Keith Ellison of Minnesota met with Hamas leaders in Gaza and accepted a letter from them to President Obama. link to foxnews.com

        • eee says:

          Did any standing US congress person EVER try to actively run a US blockade? That is the right comparison. Not speak against a blockade, actively try to run it.

        • annie says:

          Not speak against a blockade, actively try to run it.

          weren’t you just bitching at me for moving the goal posts?

        • eee says:

          Where did I move the goal posts? Maybe my initial post was not clear enough, but in my answer to Nima I clarified my position.

        • Citizen says:

          Well, eee, to the extent America’s elected political reps suppress criticism of US foreign policy and/or Israel’s policies and/or conduct, they tear up America’s best attempts to be all it can be according to its own cherished values–criticism of the process by which anyone or group get on the US terrorist sh&*t list, off it, is to be supported by patriotic Americans, not under cut. It wouldn’t matter to us Americans what Israel does except US diplomacy and finance allows Israel to do so, hence we Americans are complicit in what Israel does, and also out of pocket for it, and our pocket is getting really thin, you may have heard?

        • Hostage says:

          Did any standing US congress person EVER try to actively run a US blockade?

          Humanitarian aid ships are supposed to be given free passage through blockades, so you’re resorting to exaggeration by calling whatever Israel was doing in international waters a “blockade”. Since the ships were still operating outside of the GPS coordinates contained in Israel’s notice to seamen, they weren’t trying to “actively run a blockade” when they were attacked.

          In May of 1972 President Nixon ordered the mining of Haiphong Harbor as well as other harbors and inland waterways in North Vietnam. The Democrats in Congress responded by cutting off funding for the Vietnam War. A few months later, Senator Edward Brooke (R Mass) an opponent of the Indochina wars and a member of the Foreign Operations Subcommittee of the Senate Appropriations Committee visited Cambodia and Laos and recommended a fact finding mission to North Vietnam to determine its need for rehabilitative aid.

          John Kerry’s testimony to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee made a big splash in the media, but there were also hearings about US businesses that sold strategic technology and materials to the Soviet Union and how those items were used to directly support North Vietnam. This stuff wasn’t a big secret. Readers Digest had articles about it. There were also books, like Antony Sutton, National Suicide: Military aid to the Soviet Union: Arlington House, 1974. Nobody in Congress or the White House ever got into serious trouble for spending Armand Hammer’s campaign contributions.

        • eee says:

          In short, the answer is no, but thanks for the history lesson.

        • mig says:

          And i would add this ( not quite sure if it fits to criteria, but anyway ). US navy made blockade of Nicaraguan port by laying mines ( and also support to anti-forces ). US lost the case in ICJ.

          link to www3.icj-cij.org

        • Hostage says:

          In short, the answer is the Congress defunded the Commander-in-Chief’s blockade and your proposition was unsustainable.

        • Fredblogs says:

          Sorry, no. Humanitarian shipments are subject to search, just like everybody else (paragraph 47 and 48 San Remo, cited in detail in other posts here). Blockaders can stop ships in international waters (paras 146(f) and 14).

          link to icrc.org

          I mean seriously, how many people here can sit down, think about how a blockade works and honestly believe that you have to let anyone through, without searching, just because he says he’s a humanitarian ship?

        • Shingo says:

          Sorry, no. Humanitarian shipments are subject to search, just like everybody else (paragraph 47 and 48 San Remo, cited in detail in other posts here). Blockaders can stop ships in international waters (paras 146(f) and 14).

          Fail.

          Paragraph 149 reads:

          In order to exercise the right of capture referred to in paragraphs 146(a) and 147, the belligerent must have published contraband lists.

          There was no published contraband lists on any of the vessels.

          Do you Hasbrats even read this stuff, or just download it from your Hasbra mother ship?

          I mean seriously, how many people here can sit down, think about how a blockade works and honestly believe that you have to let anyone through, without searching, just because he says he’s a humanitarian ship?

          Please link to any report where Israel requested to search the ships.

          I hope you’re getting paid to make such a fool of yourself.

        • Hostage says:

          Sorry, no. Humanitarian shipments are subject to search, just like everybody else

          Sorry no, Israel has a treaty obligation to facilitate free passage of humanitarian aid shipments by every means at its disposal, unlike everything else.

          Israel complained it was illegal when Egypt was merely spot checking vessels destined for Israel when they passed through its Suez Canal See “Complaint by Israel of Egyptian Restrictions on the Passage of Ships through the Suez Canal” beginning on page 133 of the 1951 UN Yearbook Pt 1 Ch. 3.

          Israel’s blockade became illegal when the ICRC and UNHRC declared that it was being used for collective punishment. Those are the responsible international treaty monitoring bodies.

          Israel only has an inherent right of individual self-defence if an armed attack occurs, and even then, only until the Security Council has taken measures it thinks are necessary to maintain international peace and security. The Council acted on a request from Palestine, Egypt, and Turkey to end the blockade of Gaza when it adopted resolution 1860. Only the US abstained. The Council was acting as a Protecting Power when it recognized the role of the UNRWA in distributing relief consignments. Prior to the first flotilla, the head of UNRWA in Gaza called for states and humanitarian organizations to break the siege of Gaza. After the massacre, the members of the Security Council said that resolution 1860 requires Israel to open the Gaza closure and end the illegal blockade. The members of the UN have agreed to accept and carry-out the decisions of the Security Council.

          Even the United States admitted that Israel had impeded humanitarian aid after Gisha disclosed that Israeli authorities were holding-up every shipment while inspecting for so-called contraband food items. The Washington Post reported:

          President Obama called Wednesday for a “new conceptual framework” to replace Israel’s blockade of the Gaza Strip, saying he thinks the effort should be narrowed to focus only on arms shipments.
          .
          Obama said a new blockade could target the weapons that Israel says are being used against its citizens, “rather than focusing in a blanket way on stopping everything and then, in a piecemeal way, allowing things into Gaza.”

          Israel still hasn’t published the required contraband list.

    • Daniel Rich says:

      Q: Let’s see what happens to a US congress person that joins a Taliban protest in Afghanistan.

      R: Your logic is emotive and the showcase fallacy just that.

      link to rohand.sdsu.edu

      • eee says:

        I am making an argument based on analogy, not emotions. The argument is the following: Would the US congress sanction a member that ran a UN sanctioned blockade? Yes. So why are you criticizing the Israeli parliament for doing the same?

        • Hostage says:

          Would the US congress sanction a member that ran a UN sanctioned blockade?

          Hell no. The US Congress voted to ignore the UN Arms Embargo on Bosnia by a veto-proof margin and then adjourned and went home. Clinton vetoed the measure at the last moment. Before the Congress could take-up the measure again, he ordered airstrikes against the Serbs which triggered negotiations that effectively ended the armed conflict.

          In the Bosnia genocide case, the ICJ responded to a preliminary objection by ruling that the UN Security Council had violated the Bosnians right of self-defense and had inadvertently caused member states to facilitate the Serbian genocide. So Security Council decisions are subject to judicial and Congressional review.

  4. Jethro says:

    The freest press in the world? That’s a laugh. According to Reporters Without Borders, Israel ranks 86th in terms of press freedom, just below Serbia. By the way, the US is 20th.

    link to en.rsf.org

    • annie says:

      maybe he just means ‘free’ in comparison with the way the US media covers israel and/or palestine, which is basically propaganda shoveled from israel’s foreign ministry.

    • Koshiro says:

      The freest press in the world? That’s a laugh.

      That was my reaction as well.
      I have analyzed Goldberg’s writings carefully and come to the following conclusion: He is an idiot. He couldn’t produce an intelligent, thought-provoking piece if his life depended on it.

  5. Ok, beyond the weirdness of the sentiment (an elected government official not getting shot in a country’s parliament for opposing occupation, ethnic cleansing, and discrimination is cause for celebration?!)

    Brilliant. Goldberg has some peculiarly low standards for Israel – any behaviour above consistently murderous is evidence of a healthy democracy

    • Citizen says:

      That’s why across-the-board Israeli supporters think they are “the light to the world.” They raise the banner of the highest standards then seek safety in the lowest possible standards. People are noticing, even some Gentiles.

  6. Dan Crowther says:

    I wonder if those “rare exceptions” means “in a IDF prison” where this clown used to work – and I wonder if this is tacit admission of murder going on there…..in other words, Arabs can talk back in the Knesset and not get shot, but in IDF prisons………

  7. seafoid says:

    This a great comment from the guardian that will resonate in the Israel of the future , especially now that the settlers have gone after all the left wingers

    link to guardian.co.uk

    Mysticnick
    18 July 2011 9:29PM
    “Sorry if I’m a bit behind on this, I haven’t mastered the art of watching telly and posting at the same time. What struck me as much as anything about the Panorama doc was the gargantuan, massively arrogant sheer stupidity of NI (News International) . How in the name of fuck did they think criminality on that scale, with the number of enemies they made, wouldn’t get out? Didn’t one of them pause for a second and think ‘We might scare some people, but we can’t scare all the people all the time’? “

  8. Interesting, this……….

    link to original.antiwar.com

    Excerpt……..

    Charles Boycott, the agent of a British landowner in Ireland, could never have imagined that he would play a role in a country called Israel 130 years after his name had become a worldwide symbol.

    Capt. Boycott evicted Irish tenants, who defaulted on their rent because of desperate economic straits. The Irish reacted with a new weapon: no one would speak with him, work for him, buy from him. His name became synonymous with this kind of nonviolent action.

    End excerpt.

    • NimaShirazi says:

      Unfortunately, in the very same article, Avnery claims:

      …the founders of Israel succeeded in establishing a vibrant democracy that — at least until 1967 — was in no way inferior, and in some ways superior, to the British or American models. We were proud of it, and the world admired it. The appellation “the only democracy in the Middle East” was not a hollow propaganda slogan.

      He seems to have forgotten about the pesky 17 years of martial law thing, of which Cliff was kind enough to remind us, not to mention the Absentees’ Property Law of 1950 and the Jewish National Fund Law of 1953, among others.

      • ToivoS says:

        Yes Avnery carries around the contractions that every progressive Zionist must. But we have to accept him for what he is — a very important dissident that has a unique perspective on the history of Israeli persecution of the Palestinian people, even if he has a few blind spots.

        I would not expect Palestinians to be enamored with him, but Avnery has played an important role in the dialog among Jews.

      • eee says:

        What about the 17 years of martial law? They were completely justified given the fact that the Palestinians and Arabs fought a war with Israel and would not negotiate a peace agreement.

        • Chaos4700 says:

          Israel didn’t exist before 1948. The war in 1948 wasn’t against Israel, it was against a bunch of terrorists and armed insurgents who were killing off and driving away enough of the population to take full military control of land within and beyond the partition.

          Face it, eee. No amount of lying and dodging is going to change your grandparents from armed militants to innocent bystanders.

        • straightline says:

          Try reading this

          link to foreignaffairs.com

          It’s a bit pro-Israel but certainly not as biased as your somewhat distorted version of events.

        • Hostage says:

          They were completely justified given the fact that the Palestinians and Arabs fought a war with Israel and would not negotiate a peace agreement.

          Here we go again:

          *During the hearings on Israel’s membership in the UN, Abba Eban pointed out that the Arab States could not be logically expected to recognize the State of Israel if the United Nations hesitated to do so itself. He said that the Committee should not delay the decisive moment when the Arab world would recognize Israel as a partner in its destiny and in the progress of Asia. See the verbatim minutes in A/AC.24/SR.45, 5 May 1949

          *On the very same day that the UN finally accepted Israel as a UN member state, all of the Arab states signed the Lausanne protocol and accepted the map from UN resolution 181(II) as the basis for negotiation.

          Israel refused to permit any refugees to retun to their homes and demanded that it be ceded the Gaza Strip in addition to the other territory it had seized beyond the partition lines. So frankly, your explanation for imposing martial law is nonsense.

        • eee says:

          Hostage,

          As usual, what you quote is interesting but irrelevant. The Arab countries categorically refused to negotiate anything but cease fire lines. It is true that Israel refused to accept the refugees, exactly for the same reason that martial law was required: Israel had just finished fighting a war with these people and they did not accept it.

        • Citizen says:

          Correction: Israel had just finished a war with the natives and kicked out half of them from their homes by terrorist methods causing them to flee to other lands, which the natives did not accept. After the state of Israel was declared the same jews now under color of statehood doubled those natives it forced to flee. The objective was ethnic cleansing so the new state of Israel would have a Jewish majority on former native land.

        • Hostage says:

          As usual, what you quote is interesting but irrelevant. The Arab countries categorically refused to negotiate anything but cease fire lines.

          The Arab states had already signed the Armistice Agreements at the earlier Conference at Rhodes. It’s hard to have an intelligent conversation with someone that doesn’t even know what the Lausanne Conference and the Lausanne protocol were about. Israel said it had destroyed the refugees homes by war and claimed it didn’t have the money to resettle them. It proposed to the PCC that it be given Gaza in return for granting the Arabs living there citizenship and possibly a cession of a strip of territory in the Negev to Egypt. When Ben Gurion found out that there were actually 300,000 Arabs living there, and not the 200,000 that he had previously thought, Israel added unacceptable conditions. When Egypt learned of the plan it demanded that Israel resettle the refugees without any territorial gains. The conference deadlocked over the issue of refugees, not cease fire lines.

          Israel had just finished fighting a war with these people and they did not accept it.

          No President Truman was unwilling to accept Israel’s position. His attitude on refugees is described in the link above. On territory President Truman told King Abdullah of Transjordan:

          “I desire to recall to Your Majesty that the policy of the United States Government as regards a final territorial settlement in Palestine and as stated in the General Assembly on Nov 30, 1948 by Dr. Philip Jessup, the American representative, is that Israel is entitled to the territory allotted to her by the General Assembly Resolution of November 29, 1947, but that if Israel desires additions, i.e., territory allotted to, the Arabs by the November 29 Resolution, it should offer territorial compensation.

  9. Ah yes, ya just gotta love this high respect the Israelis have for “Democracy”…..

    link to enews.earthlink.net

    Excerpt….

    But his name shows up in a 2008 public notice from the High Rabbinical Court of Jerusalem, placed in religious publications in Israel and abroad announcing a ruling against Briskman in the divorce case.

    The notice forbids community members from doing business with Briskman, allowing him to study in a Jewish seminary or giving him a place to stay. Under the headline “Wanted,” it calls upon the public to notify the court of Briskman’s whereabouts.

    “It is not permitted to extend to him a kindness or favor in any form,” the notice reads.

    End excerpt….

  10. Again, from the article….

    “Under Israeli law, religious officials have full authority over personal status”

    Whats that mean for an Arab living in a “Jewish State”? Can’t be good, can it?

  11. It means, among other things, that Israel has some of the most powerful sharia courts in a non-Islamic country–which makes the endless denunciations of the evils of sharia from Israel’s American supporters particularly amusing.

  12. piotr says:

    The consequences are weird. Basically, marriage and divorce are controlled by the priests of the respective religious denominations. Mixed marriages are not possible, nor marriages of people of no religion. However, there is a recognition of marriages performed abroad.

    I understand that Lebanon and Israel are similar in this respect, and for identical reason: important religious leaders are vehemently opposed to civil marriages.

    As far as “defending the right to say whatever they have wanted to say”, the number of exceptions is rather too large to be called “rare”.

    First, there is military censorship.
    Second, there is security censorship often working as “gag orders”.
    Third, there are “well meaning laws” against “incitement”, which are used to harrass various individuals, both left and right.
    Fourth, the rights to free expression of people under occupation are nil. A quite spectacular violation of that right is indefinite administrative detention for unspecified reasons, but apparently related to expression of political views.

    And now we have a new law which specifically criminalizes the speech of a rather small political minority, and promises of more to come.

    • Hostage says:

      Fourth, the rights to free expression of people under occupation are nil.

      Here is a list of some of the regulations compiled by Luciana Coconi and David Bondia:
      - Military Order Nº 107. Concerning the use of textbooks. Establishes a list of 55 books which cannot be taught in schools. This list includes books on Arabic language, history, geography, sociology and philosophy.
      - Military Order Nº 50 (1967). All written material published in the West Bank, or imported into the West Bank, must be approved by the Israeli military authorities.
      - Military Order Nº 101 (1967). Prohibits publications with any type of political content.
      - Military Order Nº 1079. Prohibits video and audio materials of a political nature.

      The consequences are weird. Basically, marriage and divorce are controlled by the priests of the respective religious denominations.

      You could always go to Turkey for a civil marriage, the Ottomans have moved-on.

      - Military Order Nº 561 (1974). Establishes “Religious Councils” to administrate Jewish settlements in the West Bank.
      - Military Order Nº 783 (1979). Establishes 5 regional “Religious Councils” in the West Bank to cover all the land controlled by Israel in the West Bank.
      - Military Order Nº 892 (1980). Establishes additional “Religious Councils” and Municipal Courts for specific settlements in the West Bank, and states that all of them are constituted and operate in accordance with the regulations established by the Military Area Commander.
      - Military Order Nº 981 (1982). Establishes Rabbinical Courts in the settlements to resolve questions concerning the personal status of settlers (divorce, adoption, inheritance, etc.)

  13. Shmuel says:

    These are what Oren Yiftachel calls “democratic features”, as opposed to “democratic structures”.

    Despite this reality, the dominant view regarding the democratic nature of Israel continues to rule supreme, augmented by the durable operation of many important democratic features (distinct from structures), especially competitive politics and a free press. The Israeli democratic image has also been promoted by academia, the media, political rhetoric and congratulatory self-appraisals. It has had an enormously positive impact on the state’s international status, enabling Israel to maintain a regime which structurally discriminates against non-Jews, but avoids the kind of international pressures and costs suffered by structurally discriminatory regimes such as Turkey, Serbia or Slovakia.

    Of course the “areas under Israeli control” – an integral part of Israel, according to the new, anti-boycott law – lack even “democratic features”, and are closer to a Herrenvolk regime than an ethnocracy.

    • Mooser says:

      “These are what Oren Yiftachel calls “democratic features”, as opposed to “democratic structures”.”

      Well put.