Israeli textbooks portray Palestinians as ‘terrorists, refugees, and primitive farmers’

This insightful research by respected Israeli scholar Nurit Peled-Elhanan will confirm what Palestinian researchers have always known: Israel’s prevailing culture of racism, fundamentalism, support for war crimes, and apartheid against Palestinians is mainly a product of an educational system that indoctrinates Jewish-Israeli students with militant colonial values and extreme racism that turn them into “monsters” once in uniform.

Guardian: Academic claims Israeli school textbooks contain biasNurit Peled-Elhanan of Hebrew University says textbooks depict Palestinians as ‘terrorists, refugees and primitive farmers


“Peled-Elhanan, a professor of language and education at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, has studied the content of Israeli school books for the past five years, and her account, Palestine in Israeli School Books: Ideology and Propaganda in Education, is to be published in the UK this month. She describes what she found as racism– but, more than that, a racism that prepares young Israelis for their compulsory military service.

“People don’t really know what their children are reading in textbooks,” she said. “One question that bothers many people is how do you explain the cruel behaviour of Israeli soldiers towards Palestinians, an indifference to human suffering, the inflicting of suffering. People ask how can these nice Jewish boys and girls become monsters once they put on a uniform. I think the major reason for that is education. So I wanted to see how school books represent Palestinians.”

In “hundreds and hundreds” of books, she claims she did not find one photograph that depicted an Arab as a “normal person”. The most important finding in the books she studied – all authorised by the ministry of education – concerned the historical narrative of events in 1948, the year in which Israel fought a war to establish itself as an independent state, and hundreds of thousands of Palestinians fled the ensuing conflict.

The killing of Palestinians is depicted as something that was necessary for the survival of the nascent Jewish state, she claims.”

Those who see this as an aberration of Zionism seem to lack sufficient understanding of what Zionism really is and the central role it plays as a patently racist ideology in justifying ethnic cleansing and racist domination over Palestinians.

One should not wonder then why, at the height of the Israeli massacre in Gaza  2008-09, a Tel Aviv University poll (reported in the Jerusalem Post,  Jan. ’09) of Jewish-Israeli opinion showed a shocking 94% support for the assault, despite full knowledge of the enormous suffering this Israeli aggression had inflicted upon the 1.5 million Palestinians incarcerated in the Gaza “prison camp” and of the massive destruction of their civilian infrastructure.

As in every other colonial system, only sustained and effective pressure from within as well as from without can put an end to this downward spiral of criminality, impunity and unspoken racism. More BDS is needed to end Israeli occupation, colonialism and apartheid. Other than the obvious benefits to indigenous Palestinians, suffering more than six decades of this three-tiered system of Israeli oppression, an end to this system of oppression may well transform most Israelis from colonial “monsters” into normal humans.
 

(ed note: Nurit Peled-Elhanan is author of  Palestine in Israeli School Books: Ideology and Propaganda in Education. International publisher I.B.TAURIS description: “She analyzes the presentation of images, maps, layouts and use of language in History, Geography and Civic Studies textbooks, and reveals how the books might be seen to marginalize Palestinians, legitimize Israeli military action and reinforce Jewish-Israeli territorial identity. This book provides a fresh scholarly contribution to the Israeli-Palestinian debate, and will be relevant to the fields of Middle East Studies and Politics more widely.”)

Posted in Israel/Palestine

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

  1. But of course. This makes the transition from little adolescent bigots to full fledged teenage “Netanyahu Youth”, goosestepping their way into performing evictions all that much easier.

    Ya gotta start ‘em young to nurture the proper mindset and hatred. Flooding your neighbor’s property with your raw sewage, and shitting in thier homes and appliances is not a behaviour that comes naturally. It takes special training to create the model Israeli citizen .

  2. annie says:

    this sounds like a ground breaking study. hats off to Nurit Peled-Elhanan and thank you very much Omar Barghouti for bringing us this important info and for everything else you do.

    • Keith says:

      ANNIE- While the study is certainly a welcome confirmation of known existing conditions, I don’t know that I would characterize it as ground breaking. Much of what is confirmed is fairly well known even if denied by Mondo Zionists. In his 2004 book “Towards an Open Tomb,” Michel Warschawski notes:

      “When he formed his new government Ariel Sharon was prepared to let the Labor Party have foreign affairs and defense, but not education. He gave this ministry to Limor Livnat, one of the leaders of Likud’s right wing.

      In the space of a few months Livnat carried out a thorough housecleaning of the school system. Under the motto, ‘More Zionism, more Bible,’ she reorganized the curriculum and scrubbed all ‘defeatist’ odors out of the manuals for history and civics instruction. In particular she banned the history books that the Rabin government had introduced a decade earlier, in which the ‘new historians’ influence was detectable, and eliminated the courses on peace and democracy.”

      The goal was the ‘reeducation of Israeli society, which (had) acquired a taste for peace, security, prosperity, and the beginnings of normality during the last two decades.’ Therefore, Israeli society was re-indoctrinated with the fighting spirit of Zionism circa 1948 to maintain its status as a warfare state, the Middle East Sparta. This is, of course, consistent with the roots of “blood and soil” Zionism.

  3. Chaos4700 says:

    Remind us again how Israelis keep shrieking at us about Palestinian textbooks? Whereas most of what they’ve pushed on us about “Arab anti-Semitism at the root” has been discredited as fraudulent. That Palestinian textbooks actually do reference the Holocaust?

    And yet again, we find out that something that Israelis accuse Palestinians of doing, THEY THEMSELVES ARE THE ONES ACTUALLY DOING IT.

    • davidsc says:

      Second time -
      The Palestinians are gracious enough to actually admit that there was a Holocaust. We are certainly making amazing progress since Mahmoud Abbas finished his Ph.D on Holocaust Denial. Palestinian atlases don’t show Israel on their maps. Is this wishful thinking?

      • annie says:

        david, perhaps you re unaware the holocaust/school flap began a month after israel’s education ministry decided to ban any teaching of the nakba from israel school curriculum. and about those maps..have you ever been to isreal? there are state issued maps all over the place, in hostels and bus terminals..no mention of palestine or the territories. you really should try educating yourself on the topic before you make these arguments.

        • davidsc says:

          The Palestinians paint the Nakba like the Holocaust which is deeply offensive to a country that went through the worst human Holocaust in history. At an education conference recently Israel’s Minister of Education Gideon Saar addressed the question (Hebrew) of teaching the Palestinian narrative in Israeli schools. He asserted (predictably) that Israel’s Ministry of Education will never permit the instruction of the Nakba or anything related to the Palestinian narrative in Israeli schools since “Israeli independence shall not be treated like the Holocaust.” The problem is that the Arab-Palestinian narrative is so abusive and hateful that the Nakba has become tainted and representative of evil intent. How can maps mention Palestine when it doesn’t exist as a national entity yet?
          annie, your response to my statements is so typical. No refutation of what I say – just the utterance of something else to override or counteract my assertions. Are you telling me that it doesn’t matter that Abbas, the Palestinian leader was a Holocaust denier and maybe still is at heart.

        • annie says:

          david, go back and read it: i definitely refuted what you said.

          meanwhile repeating goi propaganda is not a ‘proof’ of anything.

          The Palestinians paint the Nakba like the Holocaust which is deeply offensive

          they don’t paint it like anything except what it is. and you should be offended, the ethnic cleansing of palestine was horrendously grotesque. do you seriously value the your family, home and land so little you think another loosing the same thing amounts to nothing? GET A GRIP.

        • annie says:

          david, speaking of racism have you heard israel’s justice minister explain why Africans can’t become Jews (pardon me for the OT nature of this video).

          don’t miss the clapping at the end of the video. i guess they liked his speech. these are the people that ‘share our values’/not.

        • Mooser says:

          “to a country that went through the worst human Holocaust in history”

          Which “country” was that, David? Surely you are not disputing the right of nations to adjust their own internal majority and borders to suit their cultural, demographic and political interests? I mean, that would be, like, anti-Israel, you big ol’ delegitimisiser, you!

        • eljay says:

          >> The Palestinians paint the Nakba like the Holocaust which is deeply offensive to a country that went through the worst human Holocaust in history.

          I don’t recall reading anywhere that the Palestinian portrayal of the Nakba is offensive to Poland…or to Germany…or to any of the countries that actually “went through” the Holocaust.

        • annie says:

          sure ya did eljay, you just read it from david:

          Israel’s Ministry of Education will never permit the instruction of the Nakba or anything related to the Palestinian narrative in Israeli schools since “Israeli independence shall not be treated like the Holocaust.” The problem is that the Arab-Palestinian narrative is so abusive and hateful that the Nakba has become tainted and representative of evil intent.

          israel’s ed minister said it, isn’t that enough proof for anyone?

          edit, it never amazes me how much the hasbarists like to go after the ‘intent’. palestinians telling their own history has ‘evil intent’. it is ‘abusive and hateful’. can you imagine if someone accused jews of being ‘hateful’ with ‘evil intent’ by passing on what happened to them during the holocaust? up is down and down is up.

        • davidsc says:

          This current conflict has nothing to do with Poland or Germany, so somebody else borrowing the concept of the Holocaust for their own purposes doesn’t really concern them. On the other hand vicious delegitimisers of Israel, who include many who dogmatise in mondoweiss, twist the Holocaust from being something the Jews experienced to something they are perpetrating. Now that is when we enter the realm of obscenity.

        • laplandian says:

          “The Palestinians paint the Nakba like the Holocaust which is deeply offensive to a country that went through the worst human Holocaust in history.”

          What country? You mean Russia, Germany or Poland, perhaps? It appears that you wrongly conflate the people, the country and the state. Israel did not go through the Holocaust; it was created as the aftermath of the Holocaust. It was the European Jews who went through the Holocaust in their home countries.

        • laplandian says:

          Sorry Eljay,

          I didn’t notice you post and basically repeated the same exact thing below.

      • Chaos4700 says:

        We are certainly making amazing progress since Mahmoud Abbas finished his Ph.D on Holocaust Denial.

        The Palestinians paint the Nakba like the Holocaust which is deeply offensive to a country that went through the worst human Holocaust in history.

        So which is it? Are Palestinians and their leadership Holocaust deniers? Or are they wrongly sympathizing with what Jews suffered under the Holocaust? You can’t have it both ways.

        • mig says:

          And from some strange reason, Israel is very much interested talking ( as been before ) to Mr. Abbas. Holocaust denier or not. So maybe that holocaust denial isnt so bad after all…..

        • davidsc says:

          To say that the Nakba compares to the gravity of the Holocaust is a total nonsense and I can well appreciate is very offensive to many Israelis, who moreover get labelled as Nazis into the bargain which compounds the insult. There have been many refugee problems that have faced the world but why is the Palestinian problem unique? Why is a de facto exchange of Arab and Jewish populations treated differently from all other population exchanges? Virtually all mass movements of refugees — even those which went one way and were not reciprocal, as are population exchanges — have been solved by resettlement or absorption of the refugees in either the original host country or another designated area, Greece and Turkey, India and Pakistan, Germany etc
          And so much for the feeble twisted logic of your response. I can have it both ways because Abbas is a Holocaust denier and Palestinians have defiled the memory of The Holocaust and in doing so have succeeded in inventing their own brand of ‘genocide by stealth’.
          What does ‘From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free’ mean if not the annihilation of Israel?
          And mig, Israel must really be seeking peace if is prepared to talk to two-faced miscreants like Arafat and Abbas.

        • Chaos4700 says:

          So basically, what your opinion adds up to, is that Jewish lives matter more than everyone else’s. Ethnic cleansing against Jews is a crime of the greatest magnitude and NOTHING compares to it, yet the lives of Palestinians is supposed to mean nothing when they stand in the way of the Jewish colonial enterprise.

          You aren’t honoring the memory of the Holocaust, sir — you are profiting off of the wrongful deaths of your ancestors and using that as an excuse to commit the same quality of crime that was committed against them. YOU and your family have had their rightful property (in EUROPE) returned to you by international law. You’re going to tell us that Arab populations don’t qualify for international human rights?

          If refugees are supposed to assimilate into the places they move to then why is there an Israel at all? According to you, all Israelis should be Palestinians right now.

          Your double standard is abhorrent and your racism against Arabs is getting harder to disguise with every response you make here.

        • davidsc says:

          Chaos4700, you seem to be totally blinded by propaganda and ignorant to boot. To say “YOU and your family have had their rightful property (in EUROPE) returned to you by international law” is a completely base false argument. My parents walked away from the Holocaust with nothing, eventually getting some pittance money from restitution measures. And the 800,000 Jewish refugees that fled rampant persecution and anti-semitism in 1948 from Arab countries all round the Middle East got on with their lives. The Palestinians have been used as pawns by the Arab nations who have always treated them as second-rate citizens. I have never denied that the Palestinians have experienced a tragedy, but their leaders and Arab brethren are mainly responsible.
          How in heaven’s name do you construe that Israelis should be assimilated with Palestinians. Are Greek and Turkey one state?

  4. ToivoS says:

    Omar you are one impressive spokesman for the Palestinians. I heard you here in the US and I do believe you should do more speaking tours. You speak our language eloquently and your arguments are convincing. Of course this assumes that the US can be diverted from its proZionist course and maybe that is a hopeless goal. But if there is any chance you are the type of voice we need to move our debate.

    • annie says:

      toivos, not sure if you or others noticed Omar’s named mentioned in the wapo article (a must read) phil linked to today in DC Jewish Community Center axes Theater J’s ‘peace cafe’ collaboration with Muslim.

      Theater J, coming off the most highly attended season in its history, interprets in a broad way its mission as a Jewish theater, staging works by Neil Simon as well as Sholom Aleichem. Over the years, too, Roth has built up through his “Voices From a Changing Middle East” festivals a repertory of plays, mostly by Israeli dramatists, that provide dissenting perspectives on flammable topics such as the West Bank settlements. As for the Peace Cafes, Roth says that the events may on rare occasions have been booked imprudently. One recent example, he says, occurred in a short-lived program — developed by Shallal at Busboys and Poets in the aftermath of the problems with the Peace Cafe — that invited Omar Barghouti, a Palestinian architect of the Israeli boycott effort.

      Omar’s got’em quaking in their boots.

  5. Ellen says:

    The killing of Palestinians is depicted as something that was necessary for the survival of the nascent Jewish state, she claims. “It’s not that the massacres are denied, they are represented in Israeli school books as something that in the long run was good for the Jewish state.

    Chilling as that is, it is the exact sentiment of some posters here. That massacres and terrorism against Palestinians were –even against early Zionist who did not go along, (i.e. Jacob DeHaan) — was necessary.

    (DeHaan, a gifted thinker and writer, and early Zionist was murdered in 1924 as he became more and more disillusioned with Zionism and sent critical reports to Europe. It is speculated that he was also about to disclose massive embezzlement of funds sent to Zionist organizations in the early days, and that Haganah had this threat to the future Zionist Jewish state removed. Like the fate of so many.)

    How do we say “Banality of Evil?”

    Or time for Truth and Reconciliation?

    • CigarGod says:

      Thanks for that post.
      We need much more discussion, and a full spectrum understanding of those times.

      • Keith says:

        CIGARGOD- I agree completely! The history of Zionism is sordid- very sordid- and needs to be constantly exposed to the light. It never was about saving Jews, rather, it always was about “blood and soil” nationalism and Jewish tribal solidarity.

  6. ToivoS says:

    Omar’s got’em quaking in their boots.

    As they should, he is one impressive dude.

  7. “is mainly a product of an educational system that indoctrinates Jewish-Israeli students with militant colonial values and extreme racism that turn them into “monsters” once in uniform”

    “Monsters”. Palestinians are also called monsters, in false and exagerated generalization.

    Is that your improvement?

    Palestinians deserve respect, existential and earned. Jewish Israelis (Zionists) deserve respect, existential and earned.

    In that way, relations can change. Calling Israeli youth monsters as a generalization, is a way to reinforce the mutually abusive relationship, not change it.

    • eGuard says:

      Palestinians [and] Jewish Israelis (Zionists) deserve respect.

      That only leaves non-Zionist Jewish-Israelis to hate. And, clearly out of your mental view, the rest of the world.

    • annie says:

      Jewish Israelis (Zionists) deserve respect

      not in my book

      • Why do say that Annie?

        There is so much that Zionists have accomplished (including the systems that benefit all, including Palestinians).

        If you don’t offer respect where you have the opportunity to, even where uncomfortable, then the basis of any good won’t have the oxygen that it needs.

        • Name a single thing that zionism has ‘accomplished’ for Palestinians. Apparently you were unable to read or comprehend the excellent post about the damage zionism has done to judaism, let alone everybody else. Where is your respect for others, when you fail to acknowledge a single fact or argument, but just repeat ad nauseam your banal meaningless verbiage? And spare us the faux disingenousness – if you don’t understand the answer to your question, then you haven’t read or understood a thing about Israel on this site. But I am not surprised, as you have no interest in doing so. You don’t know the meaning of the word ‘respect’.

        • Which are you speaking of “prevail”?

          Israeli Palestinians (as I was)?

          Courts, police, bus systems, schools, health clinics, social welfare systems, roads, electrical infrastructure, airports, passports, Israeli civic life.

          For the West Bank Palestinians, similar until 1993, then assistance at independently controlled infrastructure. All hell broke loose when Netanyahu became prime minister in the late 90′s, then Sharon, then the second intifada.

          Relative to Gazan Palestinians, no help whatsoever. They are currently enemies, ruled by Hamas.

        • Good grief, you really don’t have a clue. There is the colonialist mentality, assuming that all Palestinians, including current Israeli Palestinians, didn’t already have all those so-called ‘benefits’ you have so generously provided. In fact, they had far better provision, instead of the discriminated system they now have. What patronising, ignorant, self-serving nonsense you serve up, a classic colonialist boasting of the ‘civilisation’ they have brought to the natives, whilst remaining proudly ignorant of the civilisation they already had, one far superior for them than the current one. Israeli civic life? Are you serious? That’s a benefit? What planet are you on? And what on earth are you talking about an ‘independently controlled infrastructure’ – do you mean a Kafkaesque system of harassment at checkpoints, removal of land and water resources, economic sabotage, apartheid and daily oppression?
          Thankyou for exposing your utterly ridiculous idea of what Palestinian lives are like. No doubt the Palestinians should be grateful to their jailers and torturers for destroying their lives and prospects.

        • eljay says:

          >> Good grief, you really don’t have a clue.

          Actually, he does have a clue. He just chooses to bury the facts and the truth deep beneath layers of immorality, injustice, Zio-supremacism (perhaps that’s a bit redundant), hypocrisy and pro-Israel apologetics.

        • Mooser says:

          “Courts, police, bus systems, schools, health clinics, social welfare systems, roads, electrical infrastructure, airports, passports, Israeli civic life.”

          This is unbelievable! So you are taking the position that the Palestinians are incapable of doing these things for themselves? So incapable, in fact, that the price of ethnic cleansing, statelessness, occupation and dispossession was a small price to pay for these civilising benefits?

          You know what, Witty? You should be banned, for your own good. I don’t know why Phil allows you, the nephew of his mother’s best friend, to make an ugly fool of himself this way. You can’t tell the difference between decency and dementia.

          That comment of yours was simply and completely unforgivable. And it shows that you are, in fact, just trolling, jealously hatred and envy, envy, envy, oozing from every pore.

          Witty, if nothing that’s been said about the Palestinians, the Gazans, whatever, that has been printed at this website is true, why are you here?

        • The question was by Annie,

          “Why should I respect them?”

          Because they have accomplished a functioning state, with comprehensive services to minorities. (Even if there is a need for reform.)

          There is still the basis of appreciation.

          Prevail,
          Please ask one question at a time. Don’t shift between Israeli Palestinians and West Bank Palestinians if you want an actual answer.

        • Cliff says:

          Who cares? The Palestinians are fully capable of the same accomplishments.

          Your latest B.S. is simply another rendition of ‘made the desert bloom.’

          Go ahead and lecture Palestinians and their supporters to stop their activism for a moment and appreciate Israeli ingenuity.

          Laughable, but then again you are a clown.

        • eljay says:

          >> Prevail,
          >> Please ask one question at a time. Don’t shift between Israeli Palestinians and West Bank Palestinians if you want an actual answer.

          justicewillprevail, I’m sure you already know this, but shifting or not shifting will not affect the answers – or non-answers – RW chooses to supply to your questions.

          Hell, you can even ask him clear, straightforward ‘yes or no’ questions and he can’t even provide ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answers! Check this out:

          —————————————–
          Question 1: Do you condemn as unjust – and not merely as “currently not necessary” – the past ethnic cleansing of Palestinians?
          - Yes, I condemn as unjust the past ethnic cleansing of Palestinians.
          - No, I do not condemn as unjust the past ethnic cleansing of Palestinians.

          Question 2: Are you saying that you no longer support the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians, either on its own or as part of “whatever it took to create the state of Israel”?
          - Yes, I no longer support, in any way, the past ethnic cleansing of Palestinians.
          - No, I still support the past ethnic cleansing of Palestinians in the following way / for the following reasons: [insert details here].

          >> RW’s reply: “The answer to questions 1 and 2 are ‘I don’t know’.”

          Question 3: Are you now able to consistently say that ethnic cleansing is never (anywhere and any time) necessary?
          - Yes, I am able to consistently say that ethnic cleansing is never (anywhere and any time) necessary.
          - No, I still cannot consistently say that ethnic cleansing is never (anywhere and any time) necessary.

          RW’s reply: “The answer to question 3 is that I cannot see any situation in which mass forced removal of a population (ethnic cleansing) can be considered just.”
          —————————————–

          See? Straightforward questions, each requiring nothing more than a simple ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answer, no shifting involved…and yet still he couldn’t provide a simple, direct answer. Don’t get your hopes up. ;-)

        • Mooser says:

          Richard, you are a perfect example of the anality of evil.

        • annie says:

          Why do say that Annie?

          well, christian zionists have accomplished a lot too. look at hagee. they build churches and do tons of stuff. and congress, they’ve done a lot. do all these people deserve my respect? what about the chinese? the russians? they have schools and post offices too.

          you’re diverting, you do not want to talk about the topic at hand you want to mine zionist history for the good things and lecture me about who deserves respect. they had schools in south africa during apartheid too witty. and roads and grocery stores. what about saddam? he had the best educational system in the middle east. just tell me you don’t care about the massacre of kurds because of the educational system. he deserves respect, right? look at all he built. plus look at all the financial support he got from us and others (kuwait) for fighting iran. so where’s the respect? while we didn’t have to pay anybody back for fighting the gulf war (hell no, they paid us) kuwait was slant drilling and wanted iraq to repay the money they gave iraq to fight iran. wtf , saddam built schools and all those things you listed off. but you know what. if we imposed the same kind of sanctions on israel we imposed on iraq they’d look as bad as iraq looked when we invaded and so i ask you..does saddam deserve respect?

          Courts, police, bus systems, schools, health clinics, social welfare systems, roads, electrical infrastructure, airports, passports, Israeli civic life.

          and all apartheid for only 1/2 the people who the zionist government rules over. no thank you. they had that stuff in apartheid SA and iraq, so do you respect them for that even tho they committed gross injustice to the people under the rule of their government?

          you want us to ignore ethnic cleansing, apartheid, occupation, oh look:

          Rights group calls for release of Al-Bireh mayor’s daughter

          BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — A Palestinian prisoners’ rights group on Tuesday called for the release of Bushra Al-Tawil, the daughter of the mayor of Al-Bireh, who has been held by Israeli authorities for a month without charge.

          Israeli forces arrested Al-Tawil, 18, on July 6, 2011 after a raid on her family home in Al-Bireh.

          No explanation was given for her arrest, and more than a month later she has not been charged with any crime, human rights network for Palestinian prisoners UFree said.

          “UFree believes that she was targeted for arrest by Israeli occupation forces because her father, Mr Jamal Al-Tawil is an elected mayor for Al-Bireh city in the West Bank.

          “Family members of elected officials have been vulnerable to arrest due to the Israeli occupation policy of targeting families of elected Palestinian politicians as a means of applying political pressure,” a statement said.

          Bushra’s mother, Muthanna Al-Tawil, was previously held in administrative detention for a full year, Ufree said.

          Jamal Al-Tawil, the mayor of Al-Bireh, was detained by Israeli forces for several months under administrative detention during the first Intifada without being charged.

          “UFree calls for the immediate expedition of Ms Al-Tawil’s case and compensation for the psychological trauma they have been subject to throughout the ordeal.”

          Israeli courts have been delaying her case from being heard, Ufree added.

          Administrative detention entails being detained without a trial or any charge.

          Israel has held thousands of Palestinians in administrative detention in the past and the practice has been widely condemned by human rights groups

          that’s zionism witty. do not ask me to respect it when they have to stomp all over other people’s lives and families for their comforts. courts? WHAT COURT FOR BUSHRA AL-TAWIL?
          WHAT COURT FOR BUSHRA AL-TAWIL?
          WHAT COURT FOR BUSHRA AL-TAWIL?
          WHAT COURT FOR BUSHRA AL-TAWIL?
          WHAT COURT FOR BUSHRA AL-TAWIL?

          RESPECT?

          FU

        • annie says:

          what if this was your young beautiful daughter witty?

          WHAT IF THIS WAS YOUR DAUGHTER?

          would you respect the system that held her indefinitely without charges? because they had courts and schools and bus systems? what if it was your son languishing in jail. tortured as so many palestinian CHILDREN have been tortured. would you respect them?

          WOULD YOU?

          let’s take a look at the accomplishments of the government who committed arguably the worst crime in the history of mankind. did they have courts? police? bus systems? schools? health clinics? social welfare systems? roads? electrical infrastructure? airports? passports? civic life? what about opera? did they have opera?

          wouldn’t a reasonable person ask what else they had? what other kind of derogatory infrastructure they had? or was it worth it richard? did they deserve respect?

          and what about all those people who just closed their eyes? the citizens of that state committing crime after crime day in and day out one person after another suffering?
          families ripped apart and people dying. they just shut their eyes. the whole world just shut their eyes. (but it didn’t go on for decades). how long before you say enough richard. how long before you stop excusing crimes against humanity and how long before you stop respecting those who carry it out in your name? because when i read your words that’s who you remind me of, those who closed their eyes and did, essentially, nothing but ask us to see the humanity in the criminals..

          how long richard?

        • lyn117 says:

          “Courts, police, bus systems, schools, health clinics, social welfare systems, roads, electrical infrastructure, airports, passports, Israeli civic life.”

          Right
          Courts:
          useful to Palestinians for approving land confiscation by the Israeli government, not to mention military courts which are useful for preventing access to lawyers by Palestinian detainees, accepting without question testimony from Israeli soldiers against Palestinians, accepting confessions obtained by torture. All of the above applied to Israeli Palestinians pre-1966. Approving land confiscation and other forms of discrimination applies post-1966 to Palestinian citizens of Israel.
          Police: Do you mean the border police, useful for shooting Palestinian kids for sport?
          bus systems: Were you aware that Palestine had buses before Israel existed?
          schools: Were you aware that many of the 500+ villages Israel razed had schools?
          health clinics: They had these in Palestine before Israel too.
          social welfare systems: Yeah, I suppose you’re claiming these were an Israeli invention too.

          As far as Gaza, you neglected to mention the million refugees Israel has supplied that land. I could go on, but next time you beg for understanding as one human to another, please try to understand some of our feelings of nausea at your claims.

        • Koshiro says:

          Because they have accomplished a functioning state, with comprehensive services to minorities. (Even if there is a need for reform.)

          The British Raj in India, Japanese-ruled Taiwan and French Algeria, to name just a few examples, all were more “beneficial” colonial regimes than Israel is.

          What Israel does is squeeze taxes out of the Palestinians and give them crumbs – or as the case may be, nothing at all – in return. In the case of the West Bank, it just lets external donor nations and the UN shoulder all the financial burden.

          Israel spends six times as much money per capita on Jewish pupils as compared to Arab pupils. 40 times as much per capita on development of health care facilities. “Comprehensive services”? What a joke.

        • Annie,
          The topic at hand is the nature of the relationship between Israel and Palestine, and Israelis and Palestinians.

          I continually observe that the either/or which side are you on theme results in a digging in, a strengthening of all the walls, rather than a relaxation.

          I think you are failing at all objectives by that mode.

          I think you are failing at improving the lives of Palestinians. I think you are failing at creating a setting in which people can live without war the next day.

          Likud is failing at it as well. But, it would be useful to acknowledge that resistance also has not improved the lives of Palestinians on the West Bank and Gaza. Maybe its a “yet”, as I describe the peace process as a “yet”.

          I don’t think so. The tone is too insulting and crudely so.

          I get that one theme of the article was to “balance” the accusation that Palestinians are teaching their children hate. “See, everybody is doing it.”

          I don’t equate patriotism with hating. It probably extends there.

          ALL children are taught myths rather than complete history. Its part of growing up to realize that change happened through struggle.

          I’d MUCH RATHER take a constructive dissenting approach, say of informing fully and respectfully, rather than wasting the time in this endless blame before getting to actually working.

        • You don’t have a constructive, dissenting approach. You have a negative, ignorant, dismissive approach which is disrespectful in that you fail to understand or engage with the evidence and arguments and continually misrepresent people here. You have no understanding of Israel/Palestine apart from a fictional version which you have constructed to suit yourself. You refuse to learn from people far better informed than you, and who have far greater understanding, patronising them instead with your vague platitudes and condescending tone. You are the one wasting time on endless repetition of your feeble, inadequate understanding, despite the copious evidence presented to you. You troll threads with garbled, irrelevant statements and award yourself some kind of superior status, based on your inability to constructively engage with people here, preferring to issue pompous windbaggery and then leave the thread, only to pop up on others with the same, repetitious, inaccurate tedium.

        • Sumud says:

          You refuse to learn from people far better informed than you, and who have far greater understanding, patronising them instead with your vague platitudes and condescending tone.

          Motherhood statement: a “feel good” platitude, usually by a politician, about a worthy concept that few people would disagree with, without any specified plans for realisation. For example, “Our country must contribute to world peace.”

          A more perfect description of Richard’s tactic could not exist, IMHO, especially the section I have bolded. He likes to blame Likud and Hamas – and everybody else except zionists – but in reality every Israeli government has pursued the same policy since 1948, and in particular since Oslo in 1993. First the apparently successful attempt by Israel to expand beyond their own stated borders (those of the UN Partition Plan) between 1948 and 1967, and emboldened by that, the final capture of 100% of mandate Palestine in 1967.

          I see 1967 as Israel’s ‘great gamble’. It might not have appeared so in 1967, but the stakes zionists played for have turned out to be ‘all or nothing’. The settlement project has been so wildly successful that I can’t see an independent Palestinian state ever coming into existence side by side with Israel. There will be celebrations in Palestine in about a month with their bid for full membership at the UN, and then when Israel continues the occupation apace Palestinians will birth their own version of the Arab Spring, demand the PA be dismantled and start campaigning en-masse against Israeli apartheid and for one-person / one-vote.

        • Erasmus says:

          re Mooser comment:
          “You know what, Witty? You should be banned, for your own good. I don’t know why Phil allows you,…
          N e i t h e r d o I !! My patience to be exposed to RW’s never ending garbage and verbal diarrhea has indeed run out since long.
          With due respect to diversity of opinions, not even the argument that Witty’s written bullsugar might serve as a catalyst for refuting / clarifying comments by others commentators ( and thus make an unintended “positive” contribution to a debating website like this one ) can imho serve as a valid argument of not banning him. He has been given this forum for too long a time already.
          RW’s notorious crap comments including the (then unavoidable) respective volume of clarifying replies by other contributors consumes an unjustifiable volume and space here.
          It is annoying – very annoying; it is, resp. he is / has become nothing else than a formidable pain –everywhere.
          Phil, I plea for mercy! Why is RW still here??
          For heavens, my nerves’and all our good’s sake –
          I herewith also plea for RW’s removal from this website.

    • Chaos4700 says:

      Witty do you NOT CARE that the next generation of Zionist Jews are being indoctrinated TO HATE? To hate at genocidal intensities?

      • Mooser says:

        “Witty do you NOT CARE that the next generation of Zionist Jews are being indoctrinated TO HATE? To hate at genocidal intensities?”

        Say what? I can’t hear you, I’m “holding my nose”!

      • Bumblebye says:

        Witty spends too much time with, or on sites, that seduce him with fluffy (non-existent) zionism, vampires who suck whatever facts he may have found on MW out of his mind and replace them with refreshed hasbara lies. Simply pathetic.

    • “Calling Israeli youth monsters as a generalization, is a way to reinforce the mutually abusive relationship, not change it”

      Yet, you have no comment when reference is made Jewish Israeli teenagers tasked to perform evictions, clearing out family possessions and furniture, while the Bedouin families are held at gunpoint.

      Bottom line, Israel is nurturing hatred and racism, purposely, methodically, and with an end game in mind. And legislating bias and hate. State sponsored hatred is one thing. But it is past that point. It is becoming become state MANDATED hatred.

      Now, you tell us how that is different than what Nazi Germany became.

      • Mooser says:

        “Calling Israeli youth monsters as a generalization, is a way to reinforce the mutually abusive relationship, not change it.”

        Yes, many many witnesses have reported soldiers and enraged settlers attacking Palestinians and yelling “I saw what they said about me in the comments in Mondoweiss. Well, guess what Arab motherf–ker, it’s payback time!”

        Again, I can do shorter Witty (a half-Witty, if you will) in one sentence ‘Keep your mouth shut, Mondoweiss, or the Palestinians get it in the neck

    • Mooser says:

      “Is that your improvement?”

      Wow, a commenter at Mondoweiss, with the handle “Pissed Off American”, now controls the thought processes of Palestinians! Jeez, I’ve been commenting here much longer than he has, but nobody has given me omniscience.

      But, of course, Witty’s axiom is undeniably true. If a commenter on a blog says something irate, it justifies anything the Israeli do. Anybody can see that.

      • “Wow, a commenter at Mondoweiss, with the handle “Pissed Off American”, now controls the thought processes of Palestinians! Jeez, I’ve been commenting here much longer than he has, but nobody has given me omniscience”

        Wooooosh!!!!! Call me dense, but, uh, that one went straight over my head. Wanna explain it to me????

    • annie says:

      mutually abusive relationship sounds like code for ‘we are equal in our abuse’. but guess what, we aren’t!

      • Annie,
        An insult is disproportionate to a civilian.

        A rock is disproportionate to a civilian.

        A gun is disproportionate to a civilian.

        A rocket is disproportionate to a civilian.

        A nail-studded bomb is disproportionate to a civilian.

        Each partisan side desires to force the other.

        Time to move to respecting the other.

        • James North says:

          Richard Witty said, ‘I’m rather proud of my little multi-verse haiku above.
          ‘(I just hope noone (sic) notices that I continue to avoid commenting on the original post, in which an Israeli professor finds pervasive racism in Israeli textbooks.)
          ‘I would rather stay vague — and indulge my creativity. “Holes” rather than “wholes” didn’t catch on, but I’ll keep trying.’

        • eljay says:

          >> Time to move to respecting the other.

          So…when is Israel going to start respecting Palestinians and – at the very least, at the bare f*cking minimum! – halt its ON-GOING campaign of aggression, oppression, theft, colonization, destruction and murder?

        • If you actually try person by person, rather than ranting at persons, you’d have some success at all aspects of improvement for Palestinian condition.

        • Richard Witty is disproportionate to reason.

          Richard Witty is disproportionate to history.

          Richard Witty is disproportionate to facts.

          Richard Witty is disproportionate to Palestine.

          Richard Witty is disproportionate to humanity.

        • eljay says:

          >> If you actually try person by person, rather than ranting at persons, you’d have some success at all aspects of improvement for Palestinian condition.

          That’s it? That’s your answer? Pathetic. But not surprising.

        • tree says:

          If you actually try person by person, rather than ranting at persons, you’d have some success at all aspects of improvement for Palestinian condition.

          Because that policy has worked SO well here for Witty, he’s decided to share it all with the rest of us lesser beings. Oh wait… it hasn’t worked for Witty, has it? Another case of do as I say not as I do. He never tires.

        • Mooser says:

          James North, don’t, I beg you, miss Mr Witty’s comments on how the Zionists have “benefited” the Palestinians.

        • Cliff says:

          Richard Witty supports ethnic cleansing of Palestinians.

          Richard Witty equates the removal of illegal Jewish colonists to the Nakba.

          Richard Witty characterizes the Nakba as ‘academic’ while emphasizing the hypothetical plight of Jewish colonists.

          You get no respect because you deserve none. Your rhetoric is an on-going joke here. People treat you – rightfully so – as a punching bag.

          You are only tolerated here because Phil is a nice guy. You were effectively banned (post count limitation, which means you cannot SPAM your pathology) at Tikkun Olam.

          Richard Silverstein is a Zionist and an honorable person. It speaks volumes that you were reprimanded for your thread-jacking there.

        • Cliff,
          It would serve your argument much more if you accurately represented my views.

          I regard the nakba as substantive and sadly slowly continuing, which needs to change for all concerned.

          I regard the only way to stop the nakba is by reconciliation, by peace. I find that insulting resistance makes the relationship between Palestinians and Israelis worse, which makes the nakba continue and in worse form.

          War is the LEAST progressive setting.

        • eljay says:

          >> Cliff,
          >> It would serve your argument much more if you accurately represented my views.

          He did accurately represent your views:
          ————————
          >> RW: You’re talking about an academic speculation about an event [the Nakba] that occurred 6 years before my birth.

          >> RW: But, the remedy of forced removal of a population, in the present (not in some academic 1948) is a wrong, if not overtly fascist.

          >> RW: I cannot consistently say that “ethnic cleansing is never necessary”.

          >> RW: If I was an adult in 1948, I probably would have supported whatever it took to create the state of Israel, and held my nose at actions that I could not possibly do myself.

          >> Chaos4700: … Then why was it necessary for Jewish immigrants to ethnically cleanse massive swaths of the Palestinian country side? …
          >> RW: Currently its not necessary. …

          ————————

          >> I regard the nakba as substantive and sadly slowly continuing, which needs to change for all concerned.

          Yes, you’re so troubled by your view of the Nakba as “sadly slowly continuing” that you continue to place the emphasis for change NOT on Israel – even though it is engaged in an ON-GOING, offensive (i.e., not defensive) campaign of aggression, oppression, theft, colonization, destruction and murder that it has the power to halt immediately and completely – but on the Palestinian victims of Israeli oppression.

          You’re a real “humanist”, complete with crocodile tears.

        • Sumud says:

          I regard the only way to stop the nakba is by reconciliation, by peace.

          War is the LEAST progressive setting.

          Smoke and mirrors Richard, until you’re willing to confront your own well documented advocacy of the Nakba, and your own well documented stance that Israeli jews should have the perpetual right to ethnically cleanse Palestinian Israelis, at whim.

          The reason your credibility has plummeted, and you personally are subject to ridicule on MW is that you seem to think it reasonable on the one hand to endorse Avigdor Lieberman’s grotesque policies, and then preach to and lecture us about war and peace.

          Sorry, but I imagine very few if any of MW’s hundreds of thousands of readers are taken in by your schmaltz. It’s not nearly as difficult as you seem to think to join up the dots and understand your views on Israel and Palestine.

          And by the way, have you managed to find that link yet? You know, the one you claim to have been quoting over a month ago when you stated that the BDS Movement had “revised” their 2005 BDS call in the past year to include “militant warring language”?

          I thought I’d leave it for a few weeks before asking you again, that way you would have plenty of time to locate this mysterious link and prove that you are not so desperate to discredit BDS that you actually resort to fabricating entire texts.

          Ready to apologise to Omar Barghouti of the Palestinian BNC yet for defaming him and his colleagues? Ready to apologise to Phil and Adam for using their blog as a platform to spout information you know to be false? Or have you found that elusive link…?

        • James North says:

          Richard Witty said, ‘Oops, Sumud is back. I thought I’d given him the slip. He keeps asking me to substantiate my slur about BDS “revising” its language.
          ‘Of course I have no proof. I made the whole thing up, as I often do here.
          ‘I’ll just continue to hide from Sumud. Then, at 11 a.m. or so, right after Phil and Adam put up a bunch of new posts, I’ll jump right in and threadjack. That way, I’ll continue to get the attention I crave, and maybe Sumud will go away.’

        • Sumud says:

          That way, I’ll continue to get the attention I crave, and maybe Sumud will go away.

          The only way to make this issue go away Richard is to tell the truth. Either you have the proof to back up your claim, or you admit it was a lie and apologise.

          The men in my family have a habit of living into their nineties. If I’m not mistaken you’re about 20 years older than me. I expect I/P will be resolved long before either of us expire, but if not, know that I will not drop the issue until you have provided an adequate explanation. It was a very serious accusation to have made.

        • Shmuel says:

          Sumud,

          Don’t you know that Israelis always act in good faith (whether serving in an administrative capacity in the IDF, or buying a house on a settlement, or defending civilians against rocket attacks), and Palestinians are always intentionally vague, militant and maximalist? Even if BDS didn’t actually alter its statement, it’s just the kind of thing that Palestinians and all the angry, hateful, vengeful solidarity-showing dissenters like you and me would do if they had half the chance. Same difference, eh?

          Cheers on your family longevity, but good luck trying to get Witty to provide an adequate explanation for anything. He’s too busy craving reliable information about Palestinian life experiences he can identify with (like how much Israel has improved their lives, how they believe only elderly refugees should be granted the right of return, and how they fear dissent, resistance and solidarity).

        • Cliff says:

          I have quoted you. Others have quoted you.

          You are a liar and a troll.

          It is now up to the audience to decide whether you support ethnic cleansing when politically advantageous.

          I am not here to debate you, because your comment history is damning enough.

    • libra says:

      “…that turn them into “monsters” once in uniform”

      Richard, I’m surprised that you, of all people, seem to be having a problem with this statement. For I remember you telling us about the incident when (in what must surely count as one of the greatest failures of US military intelligence) an army recruiting officer came knocking chez Witty to enquire whether Witty Jr. might be interested in serving his country.

      If I recall correctly you likened this putative press-ganging to an act of pedophilia, presumably because of some very negative impact of putting a youth in uniform. Do you think that teenagers in the IDF would be immune to such an effect? Or is there some intrinsic difference in the morality of the IDF versus the US Army?

      • Mooser says:

        Not for Richard’s son and heir to be a dough-boy! No sir. Why, if he just puts in a little more davahning, he will qualify for the “ultra-religious” in Israel, and be supported for life.

    • tree says:

      Calling Israeli youth monsters as a generalization, is a way to reinforce the mutually abusive relationship, not change it.

      Of course no one said that, except for you, Richard. As usual you misunderstand both the quote and the meaning of “humanization”. This is is the quote from Peled-Elhanan, which Barghouti is referring to when he put the term “monsters” in quotes:

      “People don’t really know what their children are reading in textbooks,” she said. “One question that bothers many people is how do you explain the cruel behaviour of Israeli soldiers towards Palestinians, an indifference to human suffering, the inflicting of suffering. People ask how can these nice Jewish boys and girls become monsters once they put on a uniform. I think the major reason for that is education. So I wanted to see how school books represent Palestinians.”

      Humanization is not simply excusing every cruel act that is done, but is a process of understanding why those acts get done, so as to end the abuse and cruelty. You posit that if the Palestinians simply accept what is done to them that the Israeli abuse will end. That is not the way things work in the real world. One must understand why people do bad things so that you can prevent these bad things from continuing, but that does not mean accepting heinous behavior. Humans are perfectly capable of acting heinously. Getting them to stop doing so requires understanding why they do so, and that is exactly what Peled-Elhanan is attempting to do with her study of Israeli textbooks: understand how otherwise nice Israeli people can do such heinous things. THAT is the essence of humanization. Humanization is not apologetics nor acceptance of cruel behavior, however much you may wish it to be, Richard.

    • Chaos4700 says:

      You haven’t actually addressed the Israeli textbooks yet, which is funny because when there are (false) accusations of that sort of thing in Palestinian textbooks you are all up and down about how that needs to not just be condemned, but sanctioned and punished by force of arms.

      Can we assume you tacitly support Israeli curriculum? I could use a clarification, here.

  8. RobertB says:

    Chris Hedges, one of America’s best journalist, speaks on the Gaza massacre…a must watch video!

    “Part of Chris Hedges speech at the protest Gaza Massacre. He was former Middle East Bureau Chief for New York Times. ”

  9. CigarGod says:

    In “hundreds and hundreds” of books, she claims she did not find one photograph that depicted an Arab as a “normal person”.

    I just read this to my zionist sister and her response was:
    “Well, they aren’t normal people”.

    • Chaos4700 says:

      I am greatly worried that the next holocaust that might happen really will be Israel slaughtering Arabs wholesale. Look where Nazi Germany went in a matter of little more than a decade. Israel has been preaching this hateful ideology for over six decades and it’s begun to infect Europe (and has DEFINITELY infected the United States).

      • annie says:

        when they begin announcing their slaughters months in advance claiming it is the cause of their victims normal people should take pause and consider those implications.

        • annie says:

          btw, what i meant by claiming it is the cause of their victims:

          Israel is already planning its response, starting with a seminar Tuesday for all levels of the military command structure on dealing with riots and protests, military officials said.

          Military officials said the army is bringing in large quantities of non-lethal crowd control equipment to deal with potential mass protests. The officials, speaking on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue, said the military is preparing for a full range of possibilities, including riots, attacks, marches and demonstrations.

          They said all routine training exercises set for September have been canceled to make soldiers available for duty in the West Bank, and reservists will be called up to replace the regular soldiers at the borders.

          Israel rarely mobilizes reservists unless a combat situation is facing the country, illustrating the seriousness of the perceived threat.

          whatever happens they will blame palestinians.

      • Mooser says:

        “I am greatly worried that the next holocaust that might happen really will be Israel slaughtering Arabs wholesale.”

        And it’ll be your fault! Yours alone, Chaos! If you hadn’t said that, they would’na done it! Just ask Witty! They were all about to settle everything till you said that!

      • American says:

        I share your concern Chaos. We are watching the uber zios at work worldwide and as we saw in Norway it’s grown to alarming proportions. The following is an example of their work in the US.
        How long until we have, not just protest aimed at Muslims, but violence.

        link to npr.org

        Who’s Behind The Movement To Ban Shariah Law?
        August 9, 2011

        Audio for this story from Fresh Air from WHYY will be available at approx. 5:00 p.m. ET

        Protestors outside the White House rally against Shariah law. More than two dozen states have recently proposed legislation to ban Shariah law in their courtrooms.

        Protestors outside the White House rally against Shariah law. More than two dozen states have recently proposed legislation to ban Shariah law in their courtrooms.
        August 9, 2011
        In the past year, more than two dozen states have considered legislation that would prevent the use of Shariah, the Islamic code that guides Muslim beliefs and actions, in courtrooms. Several prominent Republicans, including Sarah Palin, Newt Gingrich and Michele Bachmann have all recently warned about the threat of Shariah law. In Tennessee, lawmakers recently debated whether to classify suspected Islamic terrorist groups as “Shariah organizations.”

        On today’s Fresh Air, New York Times investigative reporter Andrea Elliott joins Terry Gross for a conversation about the state-level movement to ban Shariah law. Elliott recently profiled David Yerushalmi, the Brooklyn lawyer who started the anti-Shariah movement and who she says, “has come to exercise a striking influence over American public discourse about Shariah.”

        “What was intriguing to me was how this man, who was really a fringe figure, came to cultivate allies and influence people at such high levels — former military and intelligence officials, leaders of national organizations, presidential candidates — how did he make that leap?” says Elliott. “And I think part of the answer is, in person he comes across not as the erratic character as some might suspect but as a sophisticated man who is convinced by his idea and has an endless appetite for defending those ideas.”

        One of the people Yerushalmi first connected with was Frank Gaffney, the president of the conservative think tank Center for Security Policy in Washington D.C. In 2010, Gaffney — who once suggested that President Obama might be a secret Muslim — wrote an op-ed suggesting that then-Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan should be investigated because of her support for Shariah law.

        “Gaffney really became [Yerushalmi's] bridge to a whole network of think-tanks and government officials, including Jim Woosley, a former director of the C.I.A,” says Elliott. “I would say Gaffney catapulted Yerushalmi onto a new platform of influence and their aim seems to have been to get people in circles of influence to understand Shariah in this totally new frame, as a totalitarian threat akin to what the United States faced during the Cold War.”

        Enacting Legislation At The State Level

        In 2008, Gaffney and Yerushalmi set up meetings with high-level officials at the Treasury Department. The two men argued that the Islamic financial industry lacked transparency. But the briefings went nowhere, says Elliott, and they began looking for other avenues — just as the Tea Party movement was taking off.

        The New York Times
        New York Times investigative reporter Andrea Elliott won the 2007 Pulitzer Prize for her series “An Imam in America.”

        The New York Times New York Times investigative reporter Andrea Elliott won the 2007 Pulitzer Prize for her series “An Imam in America.”
        “Yerushalmi saw an opening there, in that people were calling for smaller government and greater state autonomy,” says Elliott. “So he started to focus on state legislatures and began drafting the model legislation that would later sweep across the country.”

        By the summer of 2010, anti-Islamic laws were being introduced in several state legislatures. Louisiana, Arizona, Oklahoma and Tennessee have all passed versions of a bill restricting judges from consulting Shariah or broader categories of religious, foreign or international laws.

        “It’s hard to say what the legal impact of these laws will be because the establishment clause of the Constitution prevents from the government from favoring or targeting one religion,” says Elliott. “The Oklahoma amendment which singles out Shariah has been temporarily blocked by a federal judge pending the outcome of a lawsuit that argues that it infringes on religious freedom. But the three other laws that have passed are worded neutrally enough that they could withstand Constitutional scrutiny.”

        ——————————————————————————–

        More On ‘Shariah Law’
        A Hearing To Ask: Are Muslims Being Radicalized?

        March 8, 2011
        Oklahoma’s Anti-Shariah Law Put On Hold, For Now

        Nov. 8, 2010
        Religious Laws Long Recognized By U.S. Courts

        Sept. 8, 2010
        Interview Highlights
        On what Shariah law is

        “Shariah literally means the way to the watering hole and is more commonly referred to as ‘the way.’ It is, most simply put, the law that guides Islamic beliefs and actions. But when Westerners think of a legal code, they tend to think of a fixed set of laws and Shariah is a lot more fluid than that, in part because there’s no governing authoring in Islam. So while Islam’s four major schools of law agree on many basic areas of Shariah, there are many areas that lack consensus and there’s really a whole spectrum around the world in ways Muslims observe Shariah law. One of the key points is missing in this debate is that Muslims living in non-Muslim countries like the United States, there is broad agreement that Shariah requires them to abide by the laws of the land in exchange for the right to worship freely.”

        On creating a debate about Shariah

        “[Yerushalmi] really set out on what might seem like an impossible mission, which was to make this very arcane and complex subject of Shariah a focus of national scrutiny. This was a word that was not even part of our vernacular a few years ago. … A lot of people would argue that what has come of this is not really a substantive debate about Shariah as much as a shouting match. It’s a shouting match that involves really simple messages on both sides — ‘Shariah is bad’ or ‘Shariah is a non-issue.’ But the leaders of this campaign really talk about it in a most preemptive way than a prescriptive way. What they say they’re doing is trying to prevent Shariah from having the kind of influence seen in Europe, particularly in England, where the Muslim community is far less integrated and where there are Shariah tribunals.”

        • American says:

          BTW.. here is Yerushalmi explaining why Jewish law is o.k. in the US but Shariah law isn’t.

        • Woody Tanaka says:

          Wow, and this person called Yerushalmi claims to be a lawyer??

          (To steal from Aaron Sorkin) I guess he was absent the day they taught law at law school. If he’d been paying attention, he would know that it did not matter what a religious doctrine said, the government cannot ban it because it disagrees with the content of that doctrine. And short of actual, armed insurrection aiming at overthrow of the government, there is nothing the government legally can do to impede the dissemination and practice of it (and even then, it couldn’t ban it.)

          And another point. This person says that Jewish law doesn’t impose itself on otheres. I’m no expert, so someone here might advise me, but I thought I remembered that the so-called Noahide laws are, under Jewish law, binding on non-Jews, whether they want to follow them or not. (I, for one, find idolotry MUCH less egregious than monotheism, for example. And blasphemy isn’t even a thing. It’s the label that the squares attach to people having a good time.)

        • MRW says:

          It isn’t the fact that Yerushalmi is a Brooklyn lawyer, it’s the fact that he’s Jewish. That’s how he should be identified: “Jewish lawyer David Yerushalmi.”

          And if there are screams of anti-semitism because someone impugned his religion, then it does open that can of worms, doesn’t it. Otherwise, the hatred and racism doesn’t get identified properly.

          Yerushalmi gets an extraordinary pass by identifying him geographically. He’s a right-wing Jewish extremist. Period.

        • MRW says:

          The antidote to this:

          Anti-Muslim crusaders make millions spreading fear
          link to tennessean.com

          a major investigative report done by the Religion editor. From page 5, Part I, in the online copy:

          Inaccurate information
          The message anti-Islam authors and groups disseminate isn’t always accurate.

          Brannon Wheeler, history professor and director of the Center for Middle East and Islamic Studies at the United States Naval Academy, said critics of Islam mistakenly assume that Shariah law is a set of fixed principles that apply to every Muslim, everywhere.

          That’s not the case, he said, making clear that he speaks as an expert and not for the Navy or the Naval Academy.

          While French, for example, has put together his Sharia Law for Non-Muslims, no similar book exists for Muslims.

          “There’s no text that is entitled The Shariah,” Wheeler said. “It’s not a code of law. It’s not like you could go to the library and get the 12 volumes of Shariah law.”

          Instead, Shariah is flexible, and applies differently in different contexts. It comes from clerics’ and scholars’ interpretations of the Quran and other holy books.

          Wheeler also had harsh words for Gaffney’s report, which claims Shariah is an imminent threat to America.

          “He makes the Shariah look absurd and insidious by trolling through and finding outrageous rulings and then making them universal for all time,” Wheeler said. “It’s ridiculous.”

          Wheeler also responded to another criticism of Islam — that it allows Muslims to lie to non-Muslims. Critics of the local mosque often say that’s why Muslims can’t be trusted when they say they’re peaceful.

          Wheeler said the term applies only to Shia Muslims, the smaller of the two majors sects of Islam, during times of persecution.

          “It’s an escape clause,” he said. “You are not required to tell the truth about your religion if someone is going to kill you. It’s not to be understood as lying.”

          Middle Tennessee’s Muslims are Sunnis, the larger sect. They find the constant barrage of mistruths about their faith baffling.

        • annie says:

          that video is horrendous american.

  10. Kathleen says:

    And of course in the US MSM if there is ever a mention of this phenomena it is always about how Palestinians and Muslims allegedly teach hate in their mosques

  11. mtorres says:

    As a corollary to this story’s reference to the 97% of Jewish-Israeli’s who supported the attack on Gaza in 2008/09, I have to share an epiphany I had while in Palestine last year.

    We were constantly told, mostly by progressive Jewish-Israelis, that “the people don’t know” what is happening in Palestine. That they “don’t know” about the cruelties of the occupation, the savagery of the soldiers. They “don’t know” how children are tormented, false arrests made routinely, how soldiers torment people at checkpoints. About the brutality and savagery of the Jewish settlers, and how those settlers are able to commit almost any crime they wish against Palestinians without risk of arrest or legal action against them.

    Then I thought about the Israeli policy that most Jewish-Israelis (“ordinary people”) must serve the nation in some way, and that is most often the Army, with the Israeli Occupation Forces. And that most of that army service is done in the “Occupied Territories”. ALL those soldiers either participate in these cruelties, or listen to their comrades talking about them – and a good listen to Breaking the Silence soldiers will confirm this. Aaron, from BtS, said to us “you cannot serve in the Occupied Territories and be a good person.”

    So take this the next step: All of those soldiers return home to their lives, their jobs. They’re teachers, waiters, lawyers, truck drivers, doctors, students, shop keepers…. These “ordinary people” go about their lives until the next year when they have to serve again.

    While they are in Israel, they are indeed “ordinary people”. And they DO know what is going on in Palestine, for nearly every one of them has either participated in that criminal behavior, or watched it happen and said nothing. Some of them speak out after their term of service is done, but most of them just keep going home, to continue their lives as “ordinary people”, leaving behind them devastated lives, injured people, crippled, tormented children. They ALL know!! And they support those cruelties, the savagery, as you saw by the polls during operation Cast Lead.

    Let’s not fool ourselves – “ordinary” Jewish-Israelis know very well what is being done in their name, and most of them are just fine with it.

    • Shmuel says:

      Good observations, mtorres. Jewish Israelis do know what is being done in their name – some of it directly by them and their friends. What they fail to do is to process and frame that knowledge in an honest and ethical fashion. In that sense, you might say that many do not know what they know. The justifications and rationalisations are built in well before any kind of awareness actually sets in, as demonstrated by Prof. Peled-Elhanan’s research. This mindset is cultivated from earliest childhood, and constantly reinforced during military service – both directly and indirectly.

      I will give you an example. I met my daughter’s former baby-sitter, after his first tour of duty on the Gaza border. He is a really sweet boy, and terrific with kids (my daughter adored him). Knowing him and a bit about his family, I’m sure he also considers himself a leftist (and may even have spoken to BtS during or after his service). At the time, he told me that he had been shelling Gaza from his tank, and was extremely proud that he had been able to “kill terrorists and defend my home and my family”. I hadn’t said anything, hadn’t criticised, hadn’t questioned, but he felt the need to tell me (and himself) that all of the people he had been shooting at from miles away had been “terrorists” and that he was engaged in a very personal and direct form of self-defence. I could hear his “education officer” speaking through him, suppressing his doubts and his questions even before they arose. So did he know or didn’t he? Does he know now? Does he think he is the only one to have such doubts? Does he think that what he saw was the norm or an “exception”? Does he still have faith in Israeli institutions in general and the IDF (the “people’s army”) in particular?

      I agree with Omar Barghouti that BDS has the potential to help ordinary Jewish Israelis – beginning with those who already have an inkling of the real significance of the knowledge they possess – to overcome their conditioning, the framing and rationalisations that prevent them from knowing what they know. They need to be told, especially by those they respect academically, culturally, spiritually, morally and even economically, how things look from the outside, to those who have not been conditioned to accept and excuse.

      • mtorres says:

        That’s a very interesting observation, Shmuel. In some ways it is a mirror of the way Americans view our own crimes in the world. We’ve also been taught since grade school that we are the best, the strongest, kindest etc. etc. and only do things for the good of the world.

        A difference is that we don’t live nearly as close to our government’s crimes as do the people in Israel, and nowhere near the same proportion participates in them. None of which relieves our (American) responsibility for them. I find myself with little patience with Americans who choose mindlessly to continue to believe their myths.

        Your words give me pause. I’m still struggling with my feelings about the complicity of Jewish-Israelis. I have no patience for them either.

        Thanks for your insight…I think.

        • Shmuel says:

          Americans are taught that “they hate us for our freedom” or “our way of life”. Israelis are taught that “they hate us for being born” or “for no other reason than the fact that we are Jews” (sounds better in Hebrew). The bottom line is that the myths and rationalisations work. It is incredibly easy to fool oneself – especially in a group, and the group is far more powerful, cohesive and all-pervasive in Israel than in the US.

          I don’t think Omar Barghouti has any more patience than you do with Israelis who continue to believe their myths, but he recognises the importance of understanding what motivates them, in order to change their minds – because that is the surest route to Palestinian liberation, and a viable future that will necessarily include Israeli Jews. Contrary to the Palestine-Papered PNA and liberal Zionists however, he does not view human rights and the principle of equality as negotiable commodities.

        • MRW says:

          Exactly, Shmuel. It’s no different here. As mtorres says, it’s difficult for Americans to appreciate the utter degradation and devastation they are causing in the two current wars, that they ignore, that they are paying for and tacitly approve of. The SEALS that just died are giving some a renewed focus, however.

          But I disagree with mtorres about living close to our government’s crimes. The Israeli-Boeing project on the Mexican border is one, which started before the Juarez drug wars. It was started to reduce the Latino vote count, no matter what anybody tells you, and deflect what the powers-that-be had done to send the angry mob’s jobs to China and India.

          Be that as it may, something has happened to me lately, which is not getting me any friends in my neck of the woods, and certainly not on a number of boards I comment on. I’ve lost all patience with the immorality of what we (here in the US) have become and accept. Not that I had much patience before, but now it’s visceral. And I ain’t honoring any of the former taboos I used to tippy-toe around, although the visceral component, oddly, makes me less loquacious..

        • MRW says:

          Americans are taught

          No. We accept. We don’t think. We have lost the group capacity to reason, and individual desire to want to or know the difference.

        • Mooser says:

          “No. We accept. We don’t think. We have lost the group capacity to reason, and individual desire to want to or know the difference.”

          MRW, if I may: I often say that Americans are immersed in a melodramatic fictional world the way earlier Western centuries were immersed in the Scriptures. Scratch almost any “reasoning” having to do with violence, war or sex, and you will find a TV show or movie at the bottom. This is the bulk of the information, by any measure, we absorb, and it affects profoundly the way we see reality. And it also provides the commonality of information and ‘experience’, the assumptions we have in common. That is what I often say.
          One of the best places to see it in action is in the nostalgia of conservatives; they are nostalgic and insist we return to a reality that exists nowhere except a melange of cinema.
          If you really want to see it in action, discuss guns with men who have never handled a gun or been shot at or made the decision to shoot at any body else. Yet, they are confident they know all about it. Wait, aren’t you a women? You must have noticed that an awful lot of the common knowledge that men have about women comes straight out of media, and not reality.
          But it shows up most plainly in anything having to do with violence and guns.

        • MRW says:

          Mooser:

          I often say that Americans are immersed in a melodramatic fictional world the way earlier Western centuries were immersed in the Scriptures. . . .find a TV show or movie at the bottom.

          So do I. I say exactly the same thing about the melodrama. And it not even the pejorative; I’m talking about theatrical form. The melodramatic cast of mind always views itself as 100% whole, and that everything that happens to it is because someone did it to us outside of this wholeness, in spite of whole goodness. (“You either with us or against us.” Good and evil. Always a victim of others when it’s bad; proof of one’s superiority when it’s good; no sense or acknowledgment of one’s participation in what happens. Comedy is usually melodramatic, although truly great comedy can include the other.)

          There is no dividedness, no self-awareness, no sense of responsibility, or sense that our actions, thoughts or words contributed to our demise (the beginning of the tragic cast of mind). Societies that are not mature cannot handle great tragic literature, they’ll bomb; their stories, their history are melodramatic until a profound change and growth in consciousness takes place. Until then, they remain small-minded.

          My name is Martin, BTW. ;-) Marty to you.

        • annie says:

          ;)

          to me too?

        • MRW says:

          Sure, annie. ;-)

          Mooser, there was a guy in your neck of the woods, Robert Bechtold Heilman, taught in the English Dept at the Univ of Washington. Best friend of Robert Penn Warren. He wrote about this: Tragedy and Melodrama, can’t remember the subhead. The man (his writings) changed my life; he was brilliant.

      • Mooser says:

        “At the time, he told me that he had been shelling Gaza from his tank,”

        Gee Shmuel, what do you think the ratio is between soldiers who shoot tank guns from afar and those who do the up close and personal occupation chores, checkpoints, demolitions, raids?

        Wouldn’t you say it is at least ten-to-one? That is, for every soldier who is somehow able to shoot and not see, wouldn’t you say there’s at least ten soldiers who have been right there and looked into the eyes of the people they terrorise?
        I’m sorry, but I wonder how much can be extropalated from it

        • Shmuel says:

          Mooser,

          Members of the Tank Corps also do stints of “routine security duty” in the West Bank, manning checkpoints, etc. So anyone who serves in a combat unit gets to know the reality of occupation, “up close and personal”. Even “jobniks” (non-combat soldiers) encounter this reality in a variety of ways during their service, and hear about their friends’ experiences in the OPT. The testimonies published by Breaking the Silence can’t possibly come as news to anyone who has served in the IDF, in any capacity.

          The story that David Grossman tells in Until the End of the Land, about an incident in which a soldier was involved, the way in which it was discussed in the family, etc. is fairly typical. Grossman provides the necessary framing of course (there is a trial, it was an accident, etc.) but does manage to offer some insight into the way in which so many Israelis – particularly soldiers and ex-soldiers relate to such incidents and the context in which they occur.

          Although I’m sure your mother warned you about extrapolating, my point about shooting without seeing but being certain that the targets are terrorists indicates rationalisation and faith in one’s commanders and the system as a whole. I think the same basic principle works for many of the up-close-and-personal crimes.

        • Mooser says:

          Thank you, Shmuel, very much, for the response, and the additional explanation.

    • Most serve in administrative roles. Few serve in the occupied territories.

      • James North says:

        Richard Witty said, ‘Look at me; I’m batting .1000 these days!

        Most serve in administrative roles. Few serve in the occupied territories.

        ‘Shmuel gives us a powerful, first-hand look at how a young Israeli soldier perceives reality, and then explains how “BDS has the potential to help ordinary Jewish Israelis” see more clearly.
        ‘I haven’t been to Israel/Palestine since 1986. Nor have I displayed any special insight into IP today; I don’t speak modern Hebrew, for instance. I read Haaretz in English just like everybody else.
        ‘But that doesn’t stop me from ignoring Shmuel’s testimony, and making flat statements about what Israel is like today. What’s that old Yiddish word that describes what I keep doing?’

        • “And that most of that army service is done in the “Occupied Territories”. ”

          Not true. Shmuel’s post was not up when I responded. More harrassment from Mr “shoot first” James North.

          “A difference is that we don’t live nearly as close to our government’s crimes as do the people in Israel, and nowhere near the same proportion participates in them. ” is an important point, but only applied to condemn Israel. The reality is that the enemy is close, as a threat and as a target, not just as a target as you inferred.

          In adopting BDS (especially stated in vague terms, relative to those that aren’t yet converted), he does not seek to understand the motivation of Israelis.

          There is no possibility of masses of Israelis declaring, “we will not purchase from our neighbors”.

          The problem with all myths, those that one adopts and those that one condemns, is that there is some truth in them.

          The only way to counter a partially true myth is to honor the element of truth in it. The conclusion derived usually is not as abusive as a disciplined solidarity view, but humanizes the other.

          The Zionist myth is not “all bullshit”, as the Palestinian myth is not “all bullshit”. The partisan forms of the myths are mutually exclusive though.

        • Cliff says:

          Another useless, empty comment by Dick, in which he does not explain anything.

          Instead he speaks in platitudes and folksy conjecture.

        • Mooser says:

          “There is no possibility of masses of Israelis declaring, “we will not purchase from our neighbors”.

          First of alkl Richard, who are you quo… oh never mind. Anyway, if Israelis won’t support BDS, that only leaves the entire rest of the world. Seems like enough scope.
          Of course very few Israeli will engage in boycotting themselves. So what?

        • Its a simple theme.

          Respect yourself. Respect others.

          Both likud and solidarity ignore the other.

        • Mooser says:

          “What’s that old Yiddish word that describes what I keep doing?”

          “Es vet helfen vi a toiten bahnkes”

        • Mooser says:

          “More harrassment from Mr “shoot first” James North.”

          Are you documenting Mr. North’s “harrassment”(sic) for a court case? Say, maybe you could get an anti-”harrassment”(sic) order.
          I mean, if he scares you that much. Here’s a tip for you: judges look more favorably on a petition if you can correctly spell what you contend.

          And why is “shoot first” in qu…. Oh, never mind.

        • Mooser says:

          “Instead he speaks in platitudes and folksy conjecture.”

          To be blunt, Cliff, I think you owe both platitudes and folksy conjecture an apology.

        • Mooser says:

          “Both likud and solidarity (sic) ignore the other.”

          And just who is “solidarity”? I mean, it’s nice you “don’t forget Poland”

        • lyn117 says:

          Agreed. The zionist myth is only 99% bullshit. What’s the Palestinian myth again?

      • Chaos4700 says:

        Oh that makes me feel better! Kind of like how most Nazis weren’t manning the ovens and such. Most of them were dealing with mountains of the reich’s paperwork!

        Your apologism has reached a hideous new low, Witty. Are you going to talk about the Israeli text books at all? Or are you just here to justify the Nakba again?

      • MRW says:

        Most serve in administrative roles. Few serve in the occupied territories.

        The majority of Israel’s military serves in administrative roles?

        DDIQ

    • Mooser says:

      Israeli are indeed Supermenschens! They can perform the duties of occupation, and cover their mouth, hold their nose, and shut their eyes. (And do this all while keeping their best foot forward and their shoulder to the better wheel and their nose to the grindstone. Maybe I don’t give them enough credit.)
      American Army medical personnel take note; this might be an effective way to avoid PTSD.

    • American says:

      How could they not know?
      Look at the IDF refusnicks for example, those who refuse to serve in the occupation of Palestine—they got plently of press in Israel so I fail to see how the ordinary Israeli who reads any paper at all can be ignorant of what is going on. And we are talking about a country smaller than New Jersey..
      it’ s not like in the US where someone in SC might not be paying attention to what is happening in Rhode island.

      • Mooser says:

        Leads one to wonder how the Israelis select who gets to sit in a tank miles away and shoot and congratualte themselves, and who gets to do the up close and personal work.

        I wonder if there is any method to it, or whether it’s just the luck of the draw, who gets which assignment?

      • MRW says:

        we are talking about a country smaller than New Jersey at war with people in Camden and Newark.