The declaration of ‘The Jewish Authority in Eretz Yisrael’

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In preparation for the upcoming United Nations vote on Palestinian statehood Jewish settlers in the Samaria region of occupied Palestine declared the establishment of The Jewish Authority in Eretz Yisrael yesterday (Sept 14th) . I don’t think this has been covered by anyone aside from uncomfortably histrionic coverage by al-Jazeera Arabic. I’m not going translate al-Jazeera’s article here. But the flag of this Authority and a video from the inaugural speeches speak conveniently to two points.

The Hebrew writing on the flag  says ‘The Jewish Authority in Eretz Yisrael.’ It is framed around a picture of Ariel the lion of God, a symbol of the tribe of Judah I guess. The notion of  Eretz Yisrael has two meanings, the first is religious. The second is legal and describes the only borders that Israel has explicitly recognized. In 1967 the Knesset extended its jurisdiction to the whole Eretz Yisrael and in 1978 the Israeli Government in a letter from Menachem Begin to the US government defined this legal Eretz Yisrael as the Land of Israel-Palestine Of course, within these borders we have a likely disenfranchised Arab majority.

This video is from yesterday’s launching of the Authority. For me there is little sense in thinking that the colonies that are being built in Palestine are anything other than American colonies. They are generally funded from the US, they are facilitated by support from US congress, they are shielded from international law by the US government, they are increasingly populated by US citizens.  Many on the left in the US would like to see the Palestinian tragedy as simply a foreign policy mistake facilitating occupation and Apartheid in a foreign sovereign state. It is not in my opinion. This is all about American colonialism.

About Simone Daud

A Palestinian academic. A progressive internationalist with a wholly secular outlook. Meticulously pacifist and a militantly anti-reactionary perspective. An interest in progressive advocacy spanning gay rights, refugee rights.
Posted in Israel/Palestine

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

  1. seafoid says:

    Jewish authority in the West Bank is based on political support , economic might and the use of violence. None of these are looking good at the moment.

    Israel itself only came into being via Great Power diplomacy. The Great powers also taketh away.

    I wouldn’t like to be a settler now.

  2. Chaos4700 says:

    Are you sure that isn’t supposed to be Aslan on that flag? Oh good God, but Zionism is really going off the rails into extremist nationalism now. What next, swank little armbands? A globe-spanning quest to find the lost Ark of the Covenant?

    This isn’t just bad news, this is pathetic.

  3. ehrens says:

    I’m not sure the case for American colonialism has been made, but I would agree that Israel is a colonial settler state, possibly the first one in which a variety of Colonial nations decided they could (1) outsource their own settlement efforts and (2) solve their “Jewish problem” all in one fell swoop. In this sense it’s a predecessor of the “Coalition of the Willing.” It was not a miracle that Palestine, Syria, Kashmir, India, and most of the British Empire was lost at exactly the moment that Israel was created. Within short order, the US, which had previously mainly saw its international interests closer to home in Latin and Central America, took on from England’s hands the White Man’s Burden. But the original development of Palestine as a colony was European, not American in origin. Even the number of Russian and Mizrachi olim have eclipsed the Norte Americanos. It’s not all about American colonialism.

    • seafoid says:

      It’s American imperialism. The fifty first state.
      All of those bombs that fall on Gaza are Yank. All of the political support is Yank.

      • Kris says:

        Not the 51st state, since a state would get only two senators, and Israel gets 100.

      • Walid says:

        Yesterday when I suggested that it was America driving the bus and not Israel, I was almost taken out to the woodshed. Today the same thing is being said but it’s being called American imperialism and American colonialism. America doesn’t let anybody do it what it doesn’t let them to, Israel or no Israel, AIPAC payola or no AIPAC payola.

        • Philip Weiss says:

          we try and have diverse opinion on this site, Walid. I am a tail-wags-dog believer. I think that the US establishment has been corrupted on this issue by Israel and its supporters and allows something that most Americanist types — say, Bob Gates, Chuck Hagel, Zbig Brzezinski– regard as lamentable.

        • seafoid says:

          Israel isn’t wagging the US. it’s 2 consenting adults together f3cking the middle East

          link to northernsun.com

          And its time to get the AIPAC whore buttons going

        • Avi says:

          seafoid September 15, 2011 at 11:41 am

          Israel isn’t wagging the US. it’s 2 consenting adults together f3cking the middle East

          What about JFK’s policies concerning the Middle East?

        • Not just JFK, but Carter, Bush Sr., etc. Many US Presidents have attempted to take a more balanced approach, only to be shouted down and intimidated by “our” Israeli-paid for Congress. The root of the problem is Israel, while the solution can be found in the foundation of an independent Washington.

        • Avi says:

          Yes. Bush Sr. Good point.

        • Kathleen says:

          Baker and Bush 41 even attempted to cut aid to Israel based on ever expanding illegal settlements

        • lysias says:

          The method used to end JFK’s Middle East policies was a bit more drastic than just shouting him down.

        • pabelmont says:

          The USA’s political system allows ANYBODY with enough money to spend on politicians to ATTEMPT to get what they want. This includes AIPAC. IF THERE HAD BEEN POWERFUL groups who opposed AIPAC, things might have worked out in the manner of compromise. But enough of the USA’s establishment is either pro-Israel or just-doesn’t-care that AIPAC gets what it pays for. So there is no compromise; AIPAC gets everything it asks for.

          If there were a rich pro-law or pro-justice or pro-human-rights group out there, willing to spend REALLY BIG BUX, then AIPAC could be opposed. Or if there were a large evangelical movement contrary to Israel (as there are pro-guns and anti-abortion). But,sadly, the evangelicals are all or mostly pro-Israel. The SPENDING is pro-Israel.

          “Follow the money” remains a reliable guide to American politics. Banks, Pharma, big Agri, big Israel, big “DEFENSE”, it all works the same way.

        • annie says:

          enough of the USA’s establishment is either pro-Israel or just-doesn’t-care that AIPAC gets what it pays for

          or they might just be afraid. take obama for example. do you think it is a matter of being pro israel or not caring? or loosing his job?

        • pabelmont says:

          Loosing his job. definitely. However, the REASON he has such fear is that there is (at present) no opposition, no counterbalance, to AIPAC in the big-money games.

          Suppose, for instance, that BigInsurance wants anti-global-warming but BigOil does NOT want it. in that case, you have tension and might get to compromise. But there is no counterbalance to BigIsrael.

        • lysias says:

          Big oil used to oppose the Israel lobby. For some reason, it has lost its appetite for doing so.

        • annie says:

          (at present) no opposition, no counterbalance, to AIPAC……BigInsurance wants anti-global-warming but BigOil does NOT want it. in that case, you have tension

          i’ve thought about that alot i’m just not buying it. the truth of the matter is huge lobbies don’t exist where there’s no opposition. there would be no need for aipac whatsoever if the people supported israel like congress does. what would be the point? there’s opposition alright, you can hear us on the internet but our voices are silence in the msm. that doesn’t mean we don’t exist.

          i recall right after obama won the election but before the inauguration he had a WH website up where people could write in with their concerns and then visitors could vote or rate them. the majority of them were i/p related, the ones that got overwhelmingly the most attention and votes were not backing the aipac narrative. so i think there’s pressure all right it’s just not the kind advertised in the op eds. media is important and holding the reigns of media is important too.

        • Simone Daud says:

          Well Walid first we have to agree that it is colonialism and this is an anti-colonialism struggle. Then we identify the interests that drive and protect the colonialism.

          Those that refuse to see it as colonialism on the left essentially view it as a sectarian civil war. A war of ideas within the Jewish community, and a civil war in Palestine.

        • Ellen says:

          Annie, I remember that as well. Before the election, the I/P issue was the most important foreign issue to discussions around his campaign and among the top issues overall. And there were sincere comments about this from thousands. And not backing the AIPAC line.

          And then mysteriously it was crowded out with legalizing marijuana or something like that with more marginal (albeit hopeless) national interest, but an active base.

          And interestingly….I was recently in Kansas. In the middle of the country. What coastals call, fly over. And you know what? Sabra was being pulled from the shelves in a small local store near the MO state line. There was no drama, like in Brooklyn. Just Midwestern pragmatism.

          The owner just removed it and replace it with another brand. Period.

          That said so much.

      • Channeling Chomsky, are you? US complicity should never be confused with dominion. Your comment ignores the considerable influence of the tail that wags the dog. Israeli policies serve misguided Israeli interests, and Israel must take full ownership for occupation and annexation. Let us not absolve Israel aa nothing more than American proxy.

        • annie says:

          full ownership? we’re paying for it. israel can take full ownership once we withdraw all funding and complete cover at the UN.

        • American leadership is guilty of much, of choosing political expedience over justice, of cowering to threats and intimidation and propaganda. However, with all due respect, Annie, ownership lies in the bloody hands of the Israeli leadership. Their country, their occupation, their intransigence, their crimes against humanity.

          Who’s guilty of murder, the shooter or the gun manufacturer?

        • annie says:

          i’m afraid we’re not going to be able to wash the blood off our hands on this one exile. with UN vetoes stacking up and billions invested we’re part owner. that’s my opinion and i’m stickin’ with it.

        • I’m not suggesting that there is not blood on American hands on this one, Annie.

          But, I find it ridiculous to call this “American colonialism.” Neither Israel’s existence, nor its alliance with the US, nor its occupation and successive annexations serve any American interest whatsoever; to pawn this off as an American operation is another Jewish-centric interpretation trying to absolve Israel as nothing more than an American proxy, manipulated by US influence, when the complete reverse is the actual truth.

        • annie says:

          i was responding to your ‘full ownership’ statement. it’s my opinion we’re heavily invested. i do believe it is a colonial venture but “american colonialism” is not my phrasing. I would call it zionist colonialism and leave it at that.

      • Simone Daud says:

        It has always been colonialism in Palestinian leftist literature. In fact, it was identified as colonialism early on by Palestine’s premier political writer/thinker Nichola Jabber (who dies in the 1970′s). I think that much of the Jewish left even anti-Zionists are reluctant to see it as colonialism. There is a tendency to want to view the colonialism in Palestine as a great battle for the Jewish soul, a battle for Jewish humanism. An internal unique battle within their community.

        No this is about Palestine. This is about European style colonialism. Of course, how does the US fit in this. There was a time when I would have agreed about US imperialism. But not now. I view it as American colonialism. Of course, it is driven by a special dynamic within the US, special interests, peculiar ideologies. Of course, it is not universally supported by the US.

        But from a Palestinian perspective, it is US colonialism and dissecting the mechanism of this colonialism is interesting by not a priority.

        We are presently at a point where the influence of the US as an empire has almost disappeared. It simply does not have the cash to bribe those it needs to bribe and to impose hegemony on the Middle East. What it has is colonialism in Palestine, and it is fighting hard to maintain that colonialism.

        Azmi Bishara, the Palestinian analyst a few days back, said that he hopes the US vetos the resolution upgrading the status of the PLO in the UN. The idea is that the anti-colonial struggle in Palestine becomes understood as being a struggle against US colonialism, a fading empire, and not an ethnic or sectarian struggle between Jews and Arabs.

        • Shmuel says:

          I think that much of the Jewish left even anti-Zionists are reluctant to see it as colonialism….

          It’s interesting that the Jewish anti-Zionist left is often criticised for its view of I/P as a colonialist situation – rather than a manifestation of Jewish exceptionalism and/or power – due to its supposed ingrained self-love/obsession and tribal loyalty. Go figure.

        • Hostage says:

          The Zionist Organization was originally chartered as a Colonial Trust and its subsidiaries were the Colonial Bank of Palestine and the Jewish National Fund. It’s difficult to see the enterprise as anything else, since the WZO still has a settlement division that was featured prominently in the Sasson Report.

        • Simone Daud says:

          My views are colored by the history and ignominy of the Jewish left in Israel (the real left not the Avoda, Meretz type). there were some debates on these things from the foundation of Israel. In the end Palestinian intellectuals dominated that debate.

          There is a history associated with the Israeli communist party and the intellectual debates regarding Zionism that saw schisms, splits, and the emergence and dominance of Palestinian intellectuals and their perspective.

          This history, which speaks to much of what we are all interested in desperately needs writing. Some of it has been written in Hebrew, some in Arabic, but it desperately needs a synthesis in English.

        • Shmuel says:

          There is a history associated with the Israeli communist party …

          Thanks. Now I know which “anti-Zionist Jewish left” you meant. I have never quite understood the positions of Jewish communists in Palestine/Israel – why Meir Vilner signed the Declaration of Independence, for example.

          I had the opportunity a couple of years ago to spend some time with some old-time Jewish members of the Party, and was absolutely shocked at their views today. An other old-timer bitterly told me that her comrades had all become Zionists, but I wondered whether their current shift to the right was really all that inconsistent with their original views. I have also wondered about the “two states for two peoples” position (so radical in Israeli Jewish society until the late ’80s) – especially in the context of the Palestinian right of return.

          What is your take on Matzpen? Most of its leading members would have passed your colonialist test (which I really appreciated btw – thanks), no?

        • Simone Daud says:

          “What is your take on Matzpen? ”

          When you see him next tell him to give me back my packet of cigarets.
          Yes I think I know/knew them all.

        • Shmuel says:

          Cigarette thieves too. Figures. Was it Time or Noblesse? I’ll see what I can do.

        • seafoid says:

          “We are presently at a point where the influence of the US as an empire has almost disappeared”

          I was watching this. About halfway through they cover 1967.

          link to youtube.com

          (Nasser was Masri khaaalis . I never heard him speak before). The Americans destroyed him. Now they can’t even protect the Israeli Embassy in umadunya. It is just incredible to think what is happening now.

          I think the Zionists expected Yank hegemony to be eternal.
          The implications of the decline are monumental.
          AIPAC bears a huge part of the responsibility.

    • Hostage says:

      This is just a vain attempt to prolong the so-called disputed status of the territory. The settlers could declare an independent state and enjoy the customary protections against the threat or use of force by the armed forces of Israel. That might delay their removal a bit, but the Yesha Council is comprised of Israeli state officials who can still be prosecuted for their decades-long involvement in the joint criminal enterprise involving the establishment and maintenance of the illegal settlements. Nothing would prevent the Palestinians or other states from freezing their assets and arresting them after the UN vote on recognition.

      I’m not sure the case for American colonialism has been made

      The General Assembly has gone into emergency secession over the Palestine question on many occasions. Those sessions resulted from the use of the US veto to prevent the adoption of sanctions against Israel for both illegal annexation of territory and illegal settlement. Those sanctions would have prevented any further US aid or US arms sales to Israel. In accordance with Article 25 of the Rome Statute, that sort of facilitation amounts to a joint criminal enterprise offense of aiding and abetting.

      The resolution that equated Zionism with racism was withdrawn, but the resolutions that condemned the US for arms sales that facilitate Israeli crimes of aggression have never been withdrawn. For example, UN General Assembly resolution 39/146 equated Israel’s policies and practices with the definition of aggression in resolution 3314 (XXIX) of 14 December 1974. There is no statute of limitations for the crime of aggression. It can lead to arrest and prosecution in any national court that has been given the authority to exercise universal jurisdiction.

      In Regina v Jones the Court noted:

      It was suggested, on behalf of the Crown, that the crime of aggression lacked the certainty of definition required of any criminal offence, particularly a crime of this gravity. This submission was based on the requirement in article 5(2) of the Rome statute that the crime of aggression be the subject of definition before the international court exercised jurisdiction to try persons accused of that offence. This was an argument which found some favour with the Court of Appeal (in para 43 of its judgment). I would not for my part accept it. It is true that some states parties to the Rome statute have sought an extended and more specific definition of aggression. It is also true that there has been protracted discussion of whether a finding of aggression against a state by the Security Council should be a necessary pre-condition of the court’s exercise of jurisdiction to try a national of that state accused of committing the crime. I do not, however, think that either of these points undermines the appellants’ essential proposition that the core elements of the crime of aggression have been understood, at least since 1945, with sufficient clarity to permit the lawful trial (and, on conviction, punishment) of those accused of this most serious crime. It is unhistorical to suppose that the elements of the crime were clear in 1945 but have since become in any way obscure.

      link to publications.parliament.uk

      In any event, the ICC subsequently adopted the General Assembly’s definition of aggression. The General Assembly had condemned aggressive wars in General Assembly Resolutions 2131(xx) of 21 December 1965, 2625(xxv) of 24 October 1970 and 3314 (xxix) of 14 December 1974. The latter contains the definition of an act of aggression in contravention of the UN Charter that was applied to Israel in resolution 39/146:

      “(a) The invasion or attack by the armed forces of a State of the territory of another State, or any military occupation, however temporary, resulting from such invasion or attack . . .”

      So, the General Assembly declared the occupation illegal years ago and has never withdrawn that decision.

      • lysias says:

        With about as much legitimacy as secessionist Rhodesia after the Unilateral Declaration of Independence. Or as Manchukuo.

        • Hostage says:

          With about as much legitimacy as secessionist Rhodesia after the Unilateral Declaration of Independence. Or as Manchukuo.

          Agreed. But according to the General Assembly, even an illegal entity, like the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, can be considered a state for certain purposes and enjoy the customary protection against the threat or use of force contained in the UN Charter – regardless of recognition. See the discussion in Thomas D. Grant, The recognition of states: law and practice in debate and evolution here: link to books.google.com

          The settlers have been planning to declare their independence ever since the Sharon government used the IDF to evacuate the settlements in Gaza and four settlements in the West Bank. I don’t think the tactic will prove to be very successful. The country simply isn’t an economically viable entity without a great deal of support from Israel. Governments and courts would simply sanction both countries.

      • annie says:

        In accordance with Article 25 of the Rome Statute, that sort of facilitation amounts to a joint criminal enterprise offense of aiding and abetting……There is no statute of limitations for the crime of aggression.

      • Simone Daud says:

        These guys are a joke and a source of much humor. Nothing will come out of this particular group.

  4. Potsherd2 says:

    It could be said that the colonialization of E Jerusalem is Moscowitz imperialism. Where else has a single individual, not holding any political office, done so every much damage simply by the expenditure of money?

    • Pamela Olson says:

      Truth in that — but he wouldn’t be able to do it if Israeli “law” didn’t allow — nay demand — it. He’s just a particularly big fat juicy cog in a very destructive machine.

    • Hostage says:

      The 1996 War Crimes Act specifically excluded any Geneva Protocol that the US has not ratified. So, even though the prohibition against establishing illegal settlements in additional Protocol 1 Article 85 has been recognized as a customary norm; a grave breach; and a war crime, individuals like Moscowitz can’t be prosecuted for their active participation here in the US.

      After the vote on recognition, the US might be hard pressed to deny a request for extradition from other signatories to the Geneva conventions, including the Palestinians.

  5. VR says:

    “This is all about American colonialism.”

    Absolutely, America has never stopped wearing its colonial gown. There is really no difference in the majority of governments, as I have said countless times here they for the most part are merely the franchise of the elite. The courts of yore are the same as the halls of Washington in the USA, whether commissions were given to royalty or merely the enriched – methodologies and appearances have merely changed not purpose, direction, and result. The nightmare will never cease until the people understand what they are dealing with and rise up to dismantle the system, it causes misery both foreign and domestic. No empire has stopped of its own accord, it only abated by hitting brick walls, and the people are in the front seat of the car that hits the wall unless they slam on the breaks and change direction.

  6. Dan Crowther says:

    I would agree that the settlements are “American” – but I do think its worth noting that the “Americans” settling in the West Bank dont really identify as “Americans” – at least not primarily; their beliefs transcend any ideas of secular nationalism.

    And most of the “american” support for these “americans” also comes from people who consider themselves a part of a group that supercedes their “americanism”

    Im thinking of the scene from “defamation” at Auschwitz where one of Foxman’s cohorts says something to the effect of “America is like extended family, but Israel is our child – we love America, but we really love Israel”
    ( not a direct quote)

    To me, “America” is the mechanism that allows this colonization of another country by a group of its citizens – because in our system money and persistence can make any idea or movement “american”

    • VR says:

      “And most of the “american” support for these “americans” also comes from people who consider themselves a part of a group that supercedes their “americanism””

      Sure, in earlier times it was converting people to “Christianity,” or too escape “persecution” (by persecuting others), the ideas change – the participants come from American soil (and elsewhere, but that does not negate American primacy in the region) and commit the same never ending atrocities.

    • Antidote says:

      Dan –

      “Americans” settling in the West Bank dont really identify as “Americans” – at least not primarily; their beliefs transcend any ideas of secular nationalism.”

      What part of American nationalism and colonialism is or has been truly secular? How about ‘manifest destiny’? I read somewhere that some Americans clearly saw the face of the devil in the dust clouds of 9/11. Bush declared his ‘crusade’ against evil. The American colonists, too, fought any calamity they encountered as ‘evil’, as a manifestation of the devil who had to be eradicated, incarnated as he or she may be in wild beasts or native Americans. It’s just about always about God-bless-America and a fight against ‘evil’: Hitler = evil, Saddam = Hitler = evil, evil empire, axis of evil, and so on. Great numbers of Americans are not only swallowing it like manna, they demand such language. From a recent Biden speech:

      ——-

      Vice President Joe Biden, in an emotional speech at the Pentagon, hailed the “9/11 generation” as “among the greatest our nation has ever produced.”

      Biden, alongside Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, gathered to recognize the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, while praising the efforts of the military, in particular Americans who joined the fight after that day.

      Those attacks “galvanized an entire new generation, the 9/11 generation,” he said.

      “It was born, it was born, it was born, right here on 9/11,” he added later, his voice escalating.

      The vice president also became fiery when discussing the efforts to fight al Qaeda.

      “We will not stop, you will not stop until al Qaeda is not only disrupted, but completely dismantled and ultimately destroyed,” he said. “They never imagined the SLEEPING GIANT they were about to awaken.”

      “Any time this nation is attacked, it only emboldens us to stand up and fight back,” he added through gritted teeth.

      He singled out the efforts of intelligence officials and special operatives that successfully tracked down and killed Osama bin Laden in May.

      “They were prepared to follow bin Laden to HELL’S GATE if necessary, and they got him,” he said. “My God, do we owe those special ops folks and intelligence guys who got him.”

      ——
      It’s WW II all over again: great generation, sleeping giant, chasing devils all the way to hell’s gate. It was a BIG LIE then, and it is as big a lie now. Nevertheless, many Americans still like to hear it, and react like Pavlov’s dogs: Kill, kill, kill – just not us or our good American sons and daughters.

      “Im thinking of the scene from “defamation” at Auschwitz where one of Foxman’s cohorts says something to the effect of “America is like extended family, but Israel is our child – we love America, but we really love Israel””

      One of the greatest docs ever made. Whose child is Israel? I don’t know, but I’d say this child had many parents, of different faith and ethnic backgrounds, the offspring of a blended, dysfunctional family. I posted a comment here once comparing Israel to a pimple on an ugly face (this was directed at the tail-wags-dog and ‘the Lobby has ruined America, dragged the US into unnecessary wars etc). I wrote: squeezing the pimple won’t make the face look any better. Loud protests and ad hominem attacks followed. I’m not complaining about that. I’m just saying that people may want to develop some better skills to recognize and deal with their own blind spots, prejudices, emotional reactions, nationalist blinders and sensitivities when they approach the I/P conflict, or any other, past and present.

      • Dan Crowther says:

        Antidote –

        You raise alot of good points, thanks for the response – I think what I meant by my original post is that the “american” colonization of Palestine, though being done in large part by Americans, is more of a transnational religion based colonization. They would consider themselves Jews first – citizens of a country second, thats what I meant. Whereas “manifest destiny” and our response to 9/11 was “American” in full. Both of those were based in a unified national language – american jews colonize the west bank as a distinct and separate group from the rest of the population, same with the talibangelicals who go to Africa with a bag of rice and a bible.

        I see “America” in this sense as the mechanism or the fulcrum that allows groups a springboard to carry out these types of “adventures” – I think part of “religious freedom” in the States has meant “we can do whatever the F we want” and there are hundreds of examples of religious groups doing all kinds of crazy stuff – hell, we gave the world mormonism (apologies) and scientology (damn you tom cruise!!) – i dont consider these things to be “American” – even though they could only exist or be created in America.

        What I want to make clear is that in no way am I trying to diminish the US’s role in all of this – or our own history of colonization, ethnic cleansing and mass murder – I hope this makes sense ( my post) – if not, let me know!! haha

        • I am always amazed when some Christians complain about how oppressed they are in this country, and that government should somehow be more “christianized”.

          In the US, religion flourishes moreso than most any other place on the planet.

          And if they want to make it a branch of the state, the risk is run that it will increasingly be viewed then as not much more than another branch of the state, e.g., the post office.

  7. Kathleen says:

    Simone so glad you are at Mondoweiss
    “They are generally funded from the US, they are facilitated by support from US congress, they are shielded from international law by the US government, they are increasingly populated by US citizens.”

    So what do you think of Joseph Massads take that the Palestinians have always had the ability to apply legal means to hold the Israelis accountable for their crimes.
    link to english.aljazeera.net
    State of recognition

    “This logic is faulty, though, because the Palestinians have not historically lacked legal instruments to challenge Israel. On the contrary, international instruments have been activated against Israel since 1948 by the UN’s numerous resolutions in the General Assembly as well as in the Security Council, not to mention the more recent use of the International Court of Justice in the case of the Apartheid Wall. The problem has never been the Palestinians’ ability or inability to marshal international law or legal instruments to their side. Instead, the problem is that the US blocks international law’s jurisdiction from being applied to Israel through its veto power. The US uses threats and protective measures to shield the recalcitrant pariah state from being brought to justice. It has already used its veto power in the UN Security Council 41 times in defense of Israel and against Palestinian rights. How this would change if the PA became a UN member state with observer status is not clear.

    True, the PA could bring more international legal pressure and sanctions to bear on Israel. It could have international bodies adjudicate Israel’s violations of the rights of the Palestinian state. The PA could even make the international mobility of Israeli politicians more perilous as “war criminals”. This would render Israel’s international relations more difficult, but how would this ultimately weaken an Israel that the US would shield completely from such effects as it has always done?”

  8. pabelmont says:

    Simone Daud:

    Has the State of Israel made any comment on this “declaration”? Has the USA? It sounds like no more than (scary) mouthing-off by some settlers, another step in the adjustment of power within Israel.

    And, historically, what step did Israel take which is generally referred to an “annexing” the Golan Heights and some territory in the west Bank which might be called “East Jerusalem”? I have heard that the government took less impressive steps than one might imagine by way of pretending to annex these territories to their (otherwise) un-announced sovereign lands.

    • annie says:

      pabelmont, so far it appears it has been met with silence. perhaps it will be reminiscent of the last story mondoweiss broke about the settler extremists, the jdl recruitments. it took a week for haaretz to cover it.

      tweet it.

    • Abierno says:

      This comment in 9.14 Haaretz, makes it past the censors: A Jewish
      authority has taken shape in the West Bank and its goal is to replace the
      state as a sovreign authority…. An I believe that these same settlers have
      also been recently armed and trained by the IDF. Is severe political
      change coming to Israel? How does Avigdor Lieberman, settlement resident, embed in this equation?

      • annie says:

        I believe that these same settlers have also been recently armed and trained by the IDF

        we’ve had some posts here recently about the state supplying them with ‘anti protest weapons’ or some name like that. and post about them training attack dogs. and we already know many of these settlers are in the idf.

  9. Kathleen says:

    On NPR the other day Hanan Ashwari said
    ASHRAWI: If we get an upgrade in our status to a non-member state, that would, first of all, give us access to all U.N. institutions, organizations and agencies, including, of course, the judicial agencies for legal accountability. ”

    CAN YOU OR ANYONE EXPLAIN HOW THIS UPGRADE WOULD CHANGE THE ABILITY OF THE PALESTINIANS TO HOLD THE ISRAELI’S ACCOUNTABLE FOR THEIR CRIMES ANY DIFFERENTLY THAN THEY HAVE BEFORE? IS JOSEPH MASSAD WRONG THAT THE PALESTINIANS HAVE ALWAYS HAD THAT ABILITY BUT THAT THE U.S’S 40 VETOES HAVE ALWAYS BLOCKED THEIR ABILITY. I was aware that the US had vetoed this effort many times. But do not understand the “upgrade”

    CAN YOU EXPLAIN THE UPGRADE THAT ASHWARI TALKED ABOUT IN THE NPR INTERVIEW?

    link to npr.org
    “KELEMAN: Palestinians say going to the U.N. will give them a stronger hand should negotiations ever resume. But Ambassador Rice told a breakfast organized by the Christian Science Monitor that the Palestinian move is a, quote, “dangerous diversion” with real-world consequences.

    RICE: This is not, you know, one day of hoo-ha and celebration in the General Assembly or the Security Council, and then everybody goes home.

    KELEMAN: Leading members of Congress accuse the Palestinians of trying to delegitimize Israel. Lawmakers are threatening to cut U.S. aid to Palestinians and stop funding U.N. agencies that upgrade the status of Palestinians. A top Palestinian official, Hanan Ashrawi, says that is cause for concern.

    HANAN ASHRAWI: Yeah, we are worried, but we are not as worried as we are about losing the rest of our land and about having Israel destroy the chances of peace by destroying the two-state solution, which is what it’s doing with American cover.

    KELEMAN: She says the U.S. failed to revive serious negotiations with a clear timeframe and goals. So, now the Palestinians are taking what Ashrawi describes as a legal, responsible path at the U.N. One option is to get a General Assembly vote to upgrade the Palestinian status from non-member entity to non-member state, much like the Vatican.

    ASHRAWI: If we get an upgrade in our status to a non-member state, that would, first of all, give us access to all U.N. institutions, organizations and agencies, including, of course, the judicial agencies for legal accountability. ”

    • It’s just what Ashrawi says in the last paragraph.

      Presently, Palestine is not recognized by the UN as a state member, though many nations around the world recognize it as a state. If its application is approved by the GA, it then will be recognized as a state member of the UN, though a nonvoting state, but to become a voting member that apparently also takes Security Council approval.

      A non-voting member of the UN, such as Palestine will become, then has access to all UN organizations, including the International Court.

      • Hostage says:

        A non-voting member of the UN, such as Palestine will become, then has access to all UN organizations, including the International Court.

        Access to the International Court of Justice requires a recommendation and the provision of applicable terms from the UN Security Council in accordance with Articles 4(3) and 35 of the ICJ Statute. link to icj-cij.org

        The Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court is open to accession under the “All States” formula. Any state which has been unequivocally recognized as a state in a UN General Assembly resolution may become a State Party to the Statute.

        The EU vote may be split because Ashton made an unauthorized attempt to demand a guarantee from the Palestinians that they would not prosecute Israelis in the ICC. Recognition customarily includes acceptance that the other state has all of the rights and duties provided under international law. Israel, the US, and the EU are trying to revive the old hierarchy of states and abolish the doctrine of sovereign equality of states that was enshrined in the UN Charter.

        • Simone Daud says:

          Do we agree that the Palestinians will be no worse off from the upgrade?

        • Hostage says:

          Do we agree that the Palestinians will be no worse off from the upgrade?

          Yes, but . . . Haaretz says that Netanyahu is pushing for an “eyewash” upgrade to a newly created status that falls short of statehood. He has apparently enlisted the EU’s Ashton to assist in that effort. The Palestinians would be no worse, or no better off, if they accepted another hortatory resolution. I don’t see why they would do such a thing at this point. They are obviously in a position to discredit the US-led peace process no matter what.

          If they get a General Assembly resolution that upgrades their status to a non-member state, their complaint at the ICC will suddenly have legs. Recognition of statehood under customary international law is retroactive to the first “act of state”, e.g. the 1988 declaration. The PA declaration accepted the Court’s jurisdiction for all crimes committed on the territory of Palestine since the Court came into existence in 2002.
          link to uclalawforum.com

          The ICC Prosecutor already has several reports in hand that cite the 2004 ICJ advisory opinion on the illegality of the settlements and the construction of the Wall. So, he would be hard pressed not to investigate and prosecute the responsible individuals in accordance with the opinion of the ICJ and the other interested state parties. Israel has subsequently ignored para 145(3) of the advisory opinion. See pdf page 125. link to icj-cij.org

          Failure to conduct credible investigations and prosecutions at the national level triggers the ICC’s jurisdiction under Article 17 of the Rome Statute. link to untreaty.un.org

          In the South African model they revoked their apartheid laws formed a single state and convened their own Truth and Reconciliation Commissions before the Rome Statute entered into effect. We certainly aren’t there yet, but I’d be willing to bet that the option has been discussed as a last resort in Jerusalem.

        • eee says:

          Hostage,

          Lebanon and Syria are full member states? Why didn’t they go to the ICC? For every claim the Palestinians can make, Syria can make similar claims and Lebanon has been threatening for years to go to the ICC. So what is stopping them?

          The ability to go to the ICC will not help the Palestinians one bit. I doubt they will even use it because it will strongly backfire.

        • Hostage says:

          eee,

          Israel has stated that it considers the ICC complaint an act of war. There was no ICC before 2002 and there has to be a first time for everything. The Palestinians have already gone to the ICC after Cast Lead. That operation has strongly backfired. As far as I know there is no way to withdraw a complaint regarding crimes within the jurisdiction of the Court, if there is one the Ivory Coast hasn’t found it yet.

          What are you gonna do, take away the Palestinian’s birthdays? They are already pretty accustomed to life in your prison system. Maybe they want an upgrade?

        • “Do we agree that the Palestinians will be no worse off from the upgrade?”
          Jeff Halper has a couple of interesting arguments to make:

  10. seafoid says:

    “The problem has never been the Palestinians’ ability or inability to marshal international law or legal instruments to their side. Instead, the problem is that the US blocks international law’s jurisdiction from being applied to Israel through its veto power”

    The issue was US imperial credibility and the ability of the US as global hegemon to impose its will on the world.

    Lehman Brothers and Iraq changed everything.

    the Wizard of Oz was just a guy behind a screen pulling strings

  11. Kathleen says:

    Simone what do you think about this map? Does it show the illegal settlements accurately?

    link to nytimes.com

    The other day on NPR’s Talk of the Nation Dore Gold (of course) dismissed the argument for land swaps in as is always the case for him in a dismissive an arrogant way. Saying that illegal settlers occupy only 1.9 % of the West Bank
    “GOLD: Well, let me tell you something about the Oslo agreements. And I’m going to share with you a not-well-known secret. There is not a single clause in the Oslo agreement that says the Palestinians must stop building in their villages, or that Israel must stop building inside its settlements. You know, in the WikiLeaks papers and in the Al-Jazeera papers, you have there the statements made by Saeb Erekat saying, you know, Israel, all you have to annex is 1.9 percent of the West Bank because that’s the amount of territory that your settlements take up.

    So if you’re allowing an Israeli to build a house next to his house inside of a settlement you’re not going outside the line of building, you’re talking about a tiny amount of land. It doesn’t compromise anything. This is an overstated subject because the amount of land is simply very, very small. In the meantime, Palestinians are building in their areas as well. And in any case, what will decide.”

      • seafoid says:

        Dore gold is in the “give peace a chance video” explaining that Israel’s right to all of Erez Israel is based on decisions made by the Great Powers in 1917. I’m sure that line went down very well in Cairo on Saturday.

        It would have been different if there actually had been a majority Jewish Population in palestine in 1917 but of course there wasn’t.

        Israel bought a lot of time attaching itself to the US but the ride is coming to an end. Just as the Zionists could manipulate geopolitics so can the Arabs.

        • DBG says:

          LOL, the Arabs can’t manipulate geopolitics. who are you kidding, the only reason they are tolerated at all is because of oil. After 9/11 it will take decades to be in a position to manipulate anything.

          The Arab Spring is beginning to backfire, we are seeing it in Egypt already, Libya will be next.

        • seafoid says:

          DBG

          9/11 cost the US more than $2 trillion. 15% of the budget deficit 2001-11.

          It cost the Arabs nothing.

          The US is broke. Israel is going to take the hits.
          Starting 23 Sept. Saturday was the preview.

        • lysias says:

          Dore gold is in the “give peace a chance video” explaining that Israel’s right to all of Erez Israel is based on decisions made by the Great Powers in 1917.

          Even if you think the Balfour Declaration has any legal force, that’s not what it said. I wonder if Gold has read it.

        • Hostage says:

          I wonder if Gold has read it.

          Of course! Who do you think authored the 1939 White Paper and the 1940 Land Transfer Ordinance? . . .;-)

        • Simone Daud says:

          I’ve always wondered about Gold. How the hell did he rise so high. He is talentless as far as I can tell.

        • Sumud says:

          LOL, the Arabs can’t manipulate geopolitics. who are you kidding, the only reason they are tolerated at all is because of oil.

          Wow, tell us what you really think DBG. Some *very* ugly sentiment there. Just because you have an opinion, doesn’t meant the rest of the world agrees.

        • Chaos4700 says:

          I’m confused as to why DBG’s racist anti-Arab comment got through, but my reply lampooning it didn’t. Then again, I suppose if we banned him whenever he’s racist, we might as well close his account, right?

        • “LOL, the Arabs can’t manipulate geopolitics.”

          I can only explain your nervous laugh by the fact that it’s all about to change. Actually it’s already changing. Just lay back and watch, lol.

      • annie says:

        this was funny

        ELDAR: Well, I’ll pick it up from where my colleague Joel Greenberg left off. I think that the only way to get out of this mess is to resume the negotiations. But unlike what Joel said, the Palestinians are not demanding to get back to the ’67 lines. What they are actually offering is to go back to May 19, 2011, to President Obama’s formula, which he has presented in the State Department, which means that negotiations will be based on the ’67 lines with mutual land swap between the Israelis and the Palestinians.

        And this is not the way that Netanyahu sees this. The thing (technical difficulties) …

        CONAN: And the phone has dropped out between…

        ELDAR: (technical difficulties) political as well as legal claim to those territories, to the West Bank, and of course East Jerusalem, the Old City, is at least as good as the Palestinian. And he wants to start from scratch, just to put aside what was already agreed between Yasser Arafat and Prime Minister Ehud Barat and between President Abbas and former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert.

        You know, they have (technical difficulties) …

        CONAN: And we’re going to try to get this – (technical difficulties) – we’re going to try to get this telephone problem straightened out. We’re going to have to take a short break in just a moment anyway.

  12. American says:

    ” This is American colonialism”

    SD, I am having a hard time figuring out what your agenda or stragety is on insisting this be called American colonialism. I understand that as an Israeli Arab you have your view of the occupation of Palestine. And perhaps you want to give it some larger ideological basis in American or Anglo policy.
    While I totally agree that the US is at core responsible for
    Israel’s occupation of Palestine because of it’s enabling and support it is totally accurate and serves no purpose to label it as something it isn’t.
    I am going to attempt once again to explain with pure pratmatism and well documented evidence, why and how the US got involved and took the position it took with regard to Israel and it’s resulting confiscation of Palestine. And the reason I am posting these many examples is so I can come back to it here on site and not have to draft it again. And I’ll break it up so as to not bother the thread or other posters any more than necessary.

    Let me start with a very general post of Israel account in the WP by Richard Holbrooke who was both a supporter of Israel and a believer that there would ‘always’ be anti semitism and yet at the same time he was a total pragmatist about US policy when it came to other countries.

    This should give you an small idea of how US suport and any allience with Israel was opposed by 99% of Truman’s cabinet and the entire US State Department. It is not a stretch to say no one in the US government at that time was in favor of the US getting entangled with Israel except for Truman’s Jewish advisors and friends and some Jewish congressmen.
    If you ever research the beginning of US involvement, you will understand that the idea of placing Jews in Palestine to ‘colonize it for the US is totally bizaare, irrational and inaccurate.

    By Richard Holbrooke
    Wednesday, May 7, 2008

    In the celebrations next week surrounding Israel’s 60th anniversary, it should not be forgotten that there was an epic struggle in Washington over how to respond to Israel’s declaration of independence on May 14, 1948. It led to the most serious disagreement President Harry Truman ever had with his revered secretary of state, George C. Marshall — and with most of the foreign policy establishment. Twenty years ago, when I was helping Clark Clifford write his memoirs, I reviewed the historical record and interviewed all the living participants in that drama. The battle lines drawn then resonate still.

    The British planned to leave Palestine at midnight on May 14. At that moment, the Jewish Agency, led by David Ben-Gurion, would proclaim the new (and still unnamed) Jewish state. The neighboring Arab states warned that fighting, which had already begun, would erupt into full-scale war at that moment.

    The Jewish Agency proposed partitioning Palestine into two parts — one Jewish, one Arab. But the State and Defense departments backed the British plan to turn Palestine over to the United Nations. In March, Truman privately promised Chaim Weizmann, the future president of Israel, that he would support partition — only to learn the next day that the American ambassador to the United Nations had voted for U.N. trusteeship. Enraged, Truman wrote a private note on his calendar: “The State Dept. pulled the rug from under me today. The first I know about it is what I read in the newspapers! Isn’t that hell? I’m now in the position of a liar and double-crosser. I’ve never felt so low in my life. . . .”

    Truman blamed State Department officials — especially the director of U.N. affairs, Dean Rusk, and the agency’s counselor, Charles Bohlen. But opposition really came from an even more formidable group: the “wise men” who were simultaneously creating the great Truman foreign policy of the late 1940s — among them Marshall, James V. Forrestal, George F. Kennan, Robert Lovett, John J. McCloy, Paul Nitze and Dean Acheson. To overrule State would mean Truman taking on Marshall, whom he regarded as “the greatest living American,” a daunting task for a very unpopular president.

    Beneath the surface lay unspoken but real anti-Semitism on the part of some (but not all) policymakers. The position of those opposing recognition was simple — oil, numbers and history. “There are thirty million Arabs on one side and about 600,000 Jews on the other,” Defense Secretary Forrestal told Clifford. “Why don’t you face up to the realities?”

    On May 12, Truman held a meeting in the Oval Office to decide the issue. Marshall and his universally respected deputy, Robert Lovett, made the case for delaying recognition — and “delay” really meant “deny.” Truman asked his young aide, Clark Clifford, to present the case for immediate recognition. When Clifford finished, Marshall, uncharacteristically, exploded. “I don’t even know why Clifford is here. He is a domestic adviser, and this is a foreign policy matter. The only reason Clifford is here is that he is pressing a political consideration.”

    Marshall then uttered what Clifford would later call “the most remarkable threat I ever heard anyone make directly to a President.” In an unusual top-secret memorandum Marshall wrote for the historical files after the meeting, the great general recorded his own words: “I said bluntly that if the President were to follow Mr. Clifford’s advice and if in the elections I were to vote, I would vote against the President.”

    After this stunning moment, the meeting adjourned in disarray. In the next two days, Clifford looked for ways to get Marshall to accept recognition. Lovett, although still opposed to recognition, finally talked a reluctant Marshall into remaining silent if Truman acted. With only a few hours left until midnight in Tel Aviv, Clifford told the Jewish Agency to request immediate recognition of the new state, which still lacked a name. Truman announced recognition at 6:11 p.m. on May 14 — 11 minutes after Ben-Gurion’s declaration of independence in Tel Aviv. So rapidly was this done that in the official announcement, the typed words “Jewish State” are crossed out, replaced in Clifford’s handwriting with “State of Israel.” Thus the United States became the first nation to recognize Israel, as Truman and Clifford wanted. The secret of the Oval Office confrontation held for years, and a crisis in both domestic politics and foreign policy was narrowly averted. ”

    Clifford insisted to me and others in countless discussions over the next 40 years that politics was not at the root of his position — moral conviction was. Noting sharp divisions within the American Jewish community — the substantial anti-Zionist faction among leading Jews included the publishers of both The Post and the New York Times — Clifford had told Truman in his famous 1947 blueprint for Truman’s presidential campaign that “a continued commitment to liberal political and economic policies” was the key to Jewish support.

    But to this day, many think that Marshall and Lovett were right on the merits and that domestic politics was the real reason for Truman’s decision. Israel, they argue, has been nothing but trouble for the United States.”

    • American says:

      Continued for SD.

      Start with the horse mouth to understand why Truman got behind Israel ‘strictly’ for the Jewish cause and not for US interest and against the advise of every agency in his adm.
      link to trumanlibrary.org

      Among the papers and documents you will see that the vast majority of US officials, military and statesmen argued US interest would be adversely affected.. In other words…AGAINST ANY IDEA THAT THE US INJECT ANY SORT OF AMERICAN OR ISRAELI”‘COLONIALISM” INTO THE ME.

      See for instance the US military objection to the US aligning with Israel because of the problems it would cause with Russia and the Arabs who would lean toward Russia as a result of US support for Israel. US military command even went at that time so far as to predict that
      any display or insertion of US power in behalf of Israel could eventually lead to a world war in the ME.

      link to trumanlibrary.org

      Here you can read thru the letters to and from Truman regarding the US Jews trying to get the US to authorize and support a Jewish army in Palestine. One of the tactics of the US Committee for Jewish Army was the unauthorized and unapproved use the names of senators in newspapers ads as in favor of this, when in reality they had never signed on to this cause —you will see where Truman and others instructed them to remove unauthorized names from any such ads.

      link to trumanlibrary.org

      Actually just use this link to go thru some US Jewish and Truman correspondence in this…there is a lot of it.
      link to trumanlibrary.org

    • American says:

      Last but not least SD.
      The reason I keep debunking the American Colonization theory is because if you do not understand the US dynamics of I/P you have a snowball’s chance in hell of advocating for what will actually reverse and settle it.
      I respect you have your own views as an Israeli Arab but there is nothing ‘intellectual’ about the I/P conflict—-it is a problem, whose beginnings as a zionist project with the naive, at the time complicity of Truman, has to correctly identified and be dealt with with political realism and pragmatism, not as some ideology that it isn’t.

      • MRW says:

        I didn’t go through your links, American. I don’t have time. I thought Truman’s interest was campaign cash. He needed dough. I read that Chaim Weizmann got on his campaign train with $20 million in a suitcase and bought Truman’s approval for all things Israel.

        • American says:

          Campaign cash was…as well as not having an all out attack on him in reelection.
          Hence 1000 and 1 thousand references to …”domestic political considerations” …in the internal debates on Israel.

          Although most statements show Truman was truly sympathetic to the Jews in large part due to his former Jewish partner and friend who made their case to Truman, even though he was exasperated by the zionist demands and tactics.

      • Simone Daud says:

        Who cares about the particular dynamics within the US? Follow the money, the power, the might that maintains the colonialism.

        But do you agree it is colonialism? Let’s begin with that and we can explore the source of the colonialism after.

        • American says:

          “But do you agree it is colonialism? Let’s begin with that and we can explore the source of the colonialism after.”

          I agree Israel is “Colonizing” Palestine. In fact I want to be more acurate —Israel is “Confiscating” Palestine. Tthey intend it to be Israel not just a ‘colony’ of Israel.

    • lysias says:

      Quite a few American politicians of the time were even more committed to establishing a Jewish state than Truman was, and indeed tried to use the issue against him: Henry Wallace, Thomas Dewey, Robert Taft, Eleanor Roosevelt, Paul Douglas, Robert Wagner, Fiorello LaGuardia. Large majorities in Congress adopted resolutions urging Truman to support the establishment of a Jewish state.

    • MRW says:

      So much for that 2,000-year-old biblical deed that everyone was yearning to return to. From Holbrooke’s account:

      The British planned to leave Palestine at midnight on May 14. At that moment, the Jewish Agency, led by David Ben-Gurion, would proclaim the new (and still unnamed) Jewish state.

      And

      Truman announced recognition at 6:11 p.m. on May 14 — 11 minutes after Ben-Gurion’s declaration of independence in Tel Aviv. So rapidly was this done that in the official announcement, the typed words “Jewish State” are crossed out, replaced in Clifford’s handwriting with “State of Israel.”

    • Simone Daud says:

      My agenda? We have our intellectuals.

      The Palestinian cause is owned by the Palestinians. No
      one represents us aside from our own. That is the nature of all
      colonial liberation movements. And advocacy for an end of colonialism
      from within the colonial communities inevitably degenerates into
      pro-colonial advocacy.

      My advice to non-Palestinians who advocate for Palestine is the
      following: Who are the intellectuals that you respect? If the list
      does not include Palestinians, then your advocacy is pro-colonial.
      What Palestinian poetry do you know? If you are not familiar with
      Palestinian poetry, then your advocacy is pro-colonial. Who do you
      debate with? If it is not with Palestinians and against Palestinians,
      then your advocacy is pro-colonial. Who are the Palestinians? If you
      do not see yourself as part of the Palestinian identity, then don’t
      advocate for us because your advocacy is pro-colonial. Separatism,
      sectarianism, are pro-colonial.

      • eee says:

        So Hamas and Fatah are pro-colonial as they advocate separatism?
        And you who is enjoying the privileges of being a citizen of the “colonizing state” are not pro-colonial?

        • annie says:

          you who is enjoying the privileges of being a citizen of the “colonizing state”

          3e, there’s simply no limit to your contortions is there.

      • American says:

        I don’t want to appear to be picking on you SD but this :

        “My advice to non-Palestinians who advocate for Palestine is the
        following: Who are the intellectuals that you respect? If the list
        does not include Palestinians, then your advocacy is pro-colonial.
        What Palestinian poetry do you know? If you are not familiar with
        Palestinian poetry, then your advocacy is pro-colonial. Who do you
        debate with? If it is not with Palestinians and against Palestinians,
        then your advocacy is pro-colonial. Who are the Palestinians? If you
        do not see yourself as part of the Palestinian identity, then don’t
        advocate for us because your advocacy is pro-colonial. Separatism,
        sectarianism, are pro-colonial.”

        Is …er… weird. ….”If you are not familiar with Palestinian poetry, (or intellectuals)then your advocacy is pro-colonial”.
        Poets and poetry is nice, but one has to be familiar with Palestine poetry to advocate for Palestine freedom and statehood or even an end to the Israel occupation or they are ‘pro colonial”?

        And ..”If you do not see yourself as part of the Palestinian identity, then don’t advocate for us because your advocacy is pro-colonial.”
        Huumm…well I don’t see myself as part of the Palestine identity because I’m not Palestine and it would be presumptuous of me to try to claim a identity that doesn’t belong to me. However, I can identify on plain human terms with their situation and advocate for justice for Palestine according to what the themselves want.
        And honestly Palestine needs all the advocates, Palestine or not, it can get in defeating the US-Isr roadblocks. The BDS of Jewish and other groups I think has had an impact on I/P.

        But save me some of whatever you are drinking in the poet and intellectual salons of the Palestine Freedom fight—it would be a pleasant break from haranguing and pressuring my US politicians on Palestine’s behalf. LOL

        • Simone Daud says:

          “Poets and poetry is nice, but one has to be familiar with Palestine poetry to advocate for Palestine freedom and statehood or even an end to the Israel occupation or they are ‘pro colonial”?”

          I don’t get how one can be a participant, not know Palestinian poetry, and not be pro-colonial. Palestinians poetry is not just something that is nice.

          “Huumm…well I don’t see myself as part of the Palestine identity because I’m not Palestine and it would be presumptuous of me to try to claim a identity that doesn’t belong to me. ”

          It is not an identity passed from mother to child or from husband to spouse. It is far broader an identity than that of the refugee falahin. It is a welcoming identity that was shared by the likes of Vittorio Arrigoni; I don’t know many Palestinians who didn’t see him as being Palestinian.

        • Eva Smagacz says:

          Simone,
          You are very mistaken, and somewhat unjust, if you bundle all the personal journeys of outsiders who become involved in advocating for freedom for Palestine, that start from ignorance, as they must, as a priori “pro-colonial”.

          If you used word “Orientalism”, or “Colonial slant”, or “rooted in Colonial thinking”, I would allow some truth in this argument. I would accept “colonial – complicit” label as well.

          But I fail to accept the pro-colonial label, and feel (personally) quite insulted by it.

          I was outraged by what was happening in Palestine from the day I learned about it – thanks to stumbling blindly at Norman Finkelstein writing on the Internet. But I didn’t pay as much attention to the culture of victims as I was to a spectacle of helpless victims turning into rabid oppressors in a matter of two summers.

          I couldn’t get my head round the fact that my family members risked their lives to save people that were capable of so much cold-blooded cruelty to perfect strangers in another land. Did my family had blood of innocent fellahin in Holy Land on their hand by trying to save Polish Jews?

          Are my idealistic uni colleagues who spend nights on a cold floors occupying some poor rector’s offices to protest Apartheid in South Africa and now their blood boils again when they learn about Palestine, deserving pro-colonialist label?

          Taking into account that very few people read poetry, in anglo-saxon coutries “intellectual” is a term of abuse, you are, I think judging people unfairly.

        • American says:

          “I don’t get how one can be a participant, not know Palestinian poetry, and not be pro-colonial. Palestinians poetry is not just something that is nice”

          I have to say SD, again, this is a strange statement to me.
          First ,how are you defining colonialism? As far as I know the universe defines it basically as controlling a country, government or territory and people of a foreign country.
          Why do I have to know Palestine poetry to not be pro colonial?
          Objecting to one country subjugating another people and country is sort of a universal position among decent people, it’s not limited to poets or intellectuals or any one people or group. I can’t speak for everyone interest in or involved in advocating for Palestine’s freedom but I don’t think most of them in the grassroots are doing it so they or some outsiders can then dictate to Palestine what it should be. I think they are just good people upset by injustice and oppression where ever they see it.

          And for the record I’m not anti poetry..lol…once in a blue moon I read one of my favorites, William Wordsworth, for pleasure or inspiration. I’m not anti intellectualism, I just outgrew too much emphasise on it after college because thinking without putting it into action doesn’t seem to accomplish much to me. Admit I don’t know anything about Palestine intellectuals because I haven ‘t spent any time finding them. Probably Edward Said was the last modern intellectual I had great respect for. To be honest though I don’t have much use for a lot of today’s crop of ‘so called’ intellectuals. It seems a lot of them take some past philosopher and try to paraphrase, convolute or interpret them in some way to fit their ideology or pretend it’s their great new original idea. It’s sort of like the pop music industry now with a new remake every year looking for the next big hit.

          Anyway, let’s just say we have a philosophical disagreement about the forces of change. I admire people with litertary talent, particulary because I don’t have any and wish I did, and think poetry and intellectualism can inspire people, but it’s just the cart, it doesn’t go anywhere without the horses. So don’t shoot the horses.

  13. Woody Tanaka says:

    Okay, I don’t get it. Why is the lion carrying a rake?

      • Woody Tanaka says:

        “rake, or menora?”

        Is that what it is supposed to be? I though that menoras were candelabras, and would be roughly as wide as tall and not be, like, on a staff, like this.

        • Kathleen says:

          A Menorah…but have never seen one with a handle like that a Mennorake

        • Elliot says:

          A Menorah…but have never seen one with a handle like that a Mennorake
          The heraldric lion is clearly “statant”:
          link to en.wikipedia.org

          The Menorah is Lubavitch (Chabad):

          link to en.wikipedia.org

          You see them everywhere during Hanuka. It’s a no-frills, mass produced Menorah. Chabad is low church on a budget. Chabad is also vociferously pro-settler.

          I guess this model is easier to carry around with one paw than the ornate Knesset version.

        • eee says:

          Elliot,

          It is time you learned the difference between a menorah and a hanukiah instead of writing nonsense.

          link to en.wikipedia.org

        • “Chabad is also vociferously pro-settler.”

          I could guess as much judging from Witty’s position on the settlements business.

        • Shmuel says:

          I guess this model is easier to carry around with one paw than the ornate Knesset version.

          LOL. Especially when creeping around on “price tag” missions. It’s definitely the arsonist’s candelabrum of choice.

          The font, on the other hand, is pure Israeli officialdom.

        • Shmuel says:

          It is time you learned the difference between a menorah and a hanukiah instead of writing nonsense.

          And it’s time you learned that Israel does not have a monopoly on Jewish culture or language. “Hanukiah” is a Modern Hebrew word, coined to replace the word menorah (or Hanukah menorah), previously used in Hebrew, Yiddish and other languages, to refer to the 9-branched candelabrum (as opposed to the seven-branched candelabrum of the Bible, temple, Jewish symbol, etc.) lit on Hanukah to commemorate the “miracle of the oil” and rededication of the Temple . The connection between the 7 and 9-branched candelabra is clear in Jewish tradition and liturgy (although the Zionists sought to recast Hanukah as a festival of Jewish heroism and prowess in battle), and the word menorah is still used by Jews all over the world to refer to the Hanukah candelabrum, and by Haredim (and even some national religious) in Israel, who refuse to accept the Zionist manipulations of Jewish tradition. Zionists did not invent Judaism.

          And Elliot is right. The menorah the lion is carrying does look like the ubiquitous Lubavitch menorah (minus a couple of branches).

        • eee says:

          Shmuel,

          Hebrew is a living language in only one country, Israel. Very, very few secular anti-Zionists speak Hebrew. Phil and Adam do not speak Hebrew. Zionists did not invent Judaism but they did revitalize Hebrew and “hanukiah” is part of the language. So you better get with the program.

        • Shmuel says:

          3e,

          Elliot’s comment was not written in Israeli Hebrew, but in English. The Hanukah candelabrum is called a menorah by most English speakers. It is not incorrect, but simply based on earlier Hebrew/Yiddish usage. Jewish words have developed in a certain way in Israel (although not universally) and in other ways elsewhere – usually with far deeper roots. Prior to Haviva Ben-Yehuda’s brainwave, the distinction between a “menorah” and a “hanukiah” did not exist. It was accepted for the most part in Israel, but not outside of Israel. Your arrogant correction (“it’s time you learned the difference”) was thus, in itself, incorrect.

        • James North says:

          Shmuel: And, in passing, 3e has given small but telling proof of a point you make regularly: that Israelis presume arrogantly to tell other Jews what Judaism is.

        • Shmuel says:

          It’s the least he could do after I helped him with his arguments last week :-)

          link to mondoweiss.net

    • Woody Tanaka September 15, 2011 at 1:41 pm

      ” Okay, I don’t get it. Why is the lion carrying a rake?”

      My first big laugh of the day. Thanks Woody.

  14. Kathleen says:

    Contact US Ambassador to the UN Susan Rice. Let her know what you think about the US’s upcoming vote against the Palestinians bid.

    link to archive.usun.state.gov

    Call ,email your Reps.

  15. American says:

    I am going to try this once again because it substantiates my position that Israel was not a US colonial enterprise so I see no reason to not let it thru. Maybe it’s Truman’s note (that I considered amusing because of his typically provincial expressions ) about God Almighty the moderator objects to so I took it out. Also I edited out and changed any reference to Jewish groups in these papers to either zionist or Israeli instead so it does not implicate US Jews collectively…so give me a break here.

    Read paragraphs 2,3 and 4 in this memo to Truman from the US State Department that warns Truman of the “Israeli Zionist”, agitating the US Jews for Israel and sets out the dangers for the US if he capitulates to them, warning that if he allows them to dictate US policy on this, it will be just the beginning of more and more demands by Israel.

    link to trumanlibrary.org

    And for intrigue and something strange.
    Secretary George Marshall supposedly received a letter from Truman
    concerning recognition of Israel and instructing him to immediately provide arms support for Israel and that an immediate US ‘loan’ was forthcoming for the support of such.
    Except the letter was never written by Truman or drafted at his instruction. They tracked it down to the papers of Clark Clifford. Clifford finally admitted that it was given to him by Sam Rosenman, a supporter of Israel. Except again the letter was written on the WH stationary with the water mark of official US letters. Clifford then suggested that the letter supposedly from Truman was ‘perfect timing for Truman “reelection”..i.e….political support from the Jews for Truman. Speculation was that David Niles within that office had included it among Truman papers for him to sign and that was why it was drafted on official US stationary.

    link to trumanlibrary.org

    Of interest also is the very detailed report and opinion by Amb Henry Grady to Truman. Details how the Israelis got the parts of Palestine where the most resources were, the best of the cultivated land, already established farms, the deep water ports,most of the coast line and etc.. Recommends that “if we are to put 100,000 and more Jews in Palestine” the best long term plan for stability in the region is to make it neither a Arab or Jewish state…but ‘bi national’.
    Says extreme Israeli nationalism cannot prevail without ongoing wars because the Arabs are neither backward or politically unaware and they emerged from WWI and WWI with nationalist beliefs also in reestablishing Arab countries.
    He also repeats the Anglo-American committee formed on the Israel problem that the US should favor neither Jews nor Palestinians but act even handed to both in trying to find a solution.
    His main conclusion was that had the majority groups advice been accepted then a homeland for Jewish refugees ,without decimating the Palestine’s ,could have been achieved and we would not have seen the bloodshed and the US would not have engendered the hostility of the Arab world against our interest.

    link to trumanlibrary.org

    • Kathleen says:

      “Of interest also is the very detailed report and opinion by Amb Henry Grady to Truman. Details how the Israelis got the parts of Palestine where the most resources were, the best of the cultivated land, already established farms, the deep water ports,most of the coast line and etc.”

      Israel has 3/4 of the coastline. Such a deal. After that UN vote have Zionist ever co-operated with the UN again?

      • American says:

        Nope, as a matter of fact in one of the links, don’t remember which, it went on and on about the fact that Israel right off the bat violated almost every single requirement in Res. 181.

        Interestingly, I read some where on the UN site that most every Res. against Israel by the UN was based on some ongoing violation of 181.

      • Hostage says:

        “Of interest also is the very detailed report and opinion by Amb Henry Grady to Truman.

        Bear in mind that everyone knew in advance that the UN partition plan had included way too much of the revenue generating Arab property in the proposed Jewish state. There are links to the UNSCOP and State Department reports about that situation here: link to mondoweiss.net

        The states created by Resolution 181(II) were independent in name only. The resolution called for an Economic Union and the creation of a commission that would collect 50 percent of the customs revenues and a portion of other taxes from the Jewish state for redistribution to the Arab state. It also allowed the Palestine Commission to implement that plan without obtaining the consent of both parties. When no way could be found to peacefully implement the resolution, the rump state of Palestine had no other choice but to seek economic support from neighboring Transjordan and Egypt to sustain its essential public services.

  16. seafoid says:

    The guy in the video posted by Simone is also on this freak show

    link to unitedwithisrael.org

    The argument is that the great powers in 1919 gave everything to the Jews.
    That is the basis of YESHA.

    I can’t wait until they start evacuating the bums. Especially in Hebron.

    • annie says:

      good catch seafoid. this is a classic example of how you rewrite the narrative if you’ve got tons of cash and backing.

    • Simone Daud says:

      Yes I saw that. In fact all of this is the scholarly output of that Ariel university.

    • Hostage says:

      The argument is that the great powers in 1919 gave everything to the Jews.

      The San Remo resolution granted a mandate to Great Britain, not to Palestine, as claimed in the video. The text of the resolution is available here: link to cfr.org

      Note that the resolution states that Italy reserved its position and didn’t concur. There was no mention of Eretz Israel. The resolution made the Principal Allied Powers responsible for determining the boundaries and made Great Britain responsible for putting into effect the Balfour Declaration:

      “on the understanding that there was inserted in the proces-verbal an undertaking by the Mandatory Power that this would not involve the surrender of the rights hitherto enjoyed by the non-Jewish communities in Palestine.”

      The rights contained in Article 62 of the Treaty of Berlin were the subject of safeguarding clauses regarding the “existing rights” of the non-Jewish communities in the resolution of the San Remo Conference, Article 13 of the Palestine Mandate, and a Chapter in the UN Partition plan. See for example paragraph 129 of the majority opinion in the ICJ Wall case, page159 (pdf file 51 of 139) link to icj-cij.org

      Those rights are still under UN guarantee and are the source of tremendous friction between the UN and Israel. The United Nations and its subsidiary organs say that Israel still has a binding legal obligation that flows from the protections for members of minority and religious groups contained in resolution 181(II) and that the United Nations has a permanent responsibility in the matter. See the “Report Of The Committee On The Exercise Of The Inalienable Rights Of The Palestinian People”, S/12090, 29 May 1976 link to un.org and United Nations General Assembly resolution 57/107 of 3 December 2002.

      Article 62 of the Treaty of Berlin contained a declaration regarding equal rights:

      The Sublime Porte having expressed the intention to maintain the principle of religious liberty, and give it the widest scope, the Contracting Parties take note of this spontaneous declaration. In no part of the Ottoman Empire shall difference of religion be alleged against any person as a ground for exclusion or incapacity in matters relating to the enjoyment of civil or political rights, admission to public employments, functions, and honors, or the exercise of the various professions and industries, in any locality whatsoever.

      So the claim that San Remo deprived the Palestinians of their civil or political rights or gave the Jews any special rights is nonsense.

      • seafoid says:

        This is where Zionism is really lost. You can wheel in legal experts and couch the issue in sophisticated language but the naked racism of the legal stance stands out above everything.

        Israel’s existential crisis is a result of the interaction between the “legal” model built by the settlers/Israeli elite and reality where 3.5 million actual people have no rights whatsoever.

        Israel ‘s current difficulty is a great example of the dangers inherent in legal and statistical modelling.

        The main risks are :

        a) the model doesn’t reflect reality
        b) the parameters used in the model are wrong

  17. annie says:

    simone, thanks.

  18. piotr says:

    Because various interpretations of Balfour declaration are cited by Zionists on regular basis, one should keep reminding that the “legal case” for Apartheid was much better: South Africa Act 1909.

  19. Pamela Olson says:

    LOL! What a clown! Ya Allah, this guy doesn’t have a leg to stand on. Just a sad clown. I’d only feel pity if he wasn’t hurting other people with this dreck.

    • eee says:

      That was also what the Arabs thought of Ben-Gurion on May 14, 1948.

      • Pamela Olson says:

        Wow — you said it (compared Ben-Gurion to this sad clown), not me.

      • Hostage says:

        That was also what the Arabs thought of Ben-Gurion on May 14, 1948.

        On the contrary. They had been suffering regular reprisals and collective punishment from the Haganah and its off-shoots, like the Poum or Palmach ever since the Arab revolt. They knew damned well that he could be a ruthless butcher and that he wanted to drive them off their land.

        For his part, Ben Gurion wrote that most of the Arabs had acquiesced and would not actively oppose partition and that it was simply a first step in redeeming all of Eretz Israel when the Jewish militias became strong enough to subdue the Arab majority. The Arab department had signed non-aggression pacts with the majority of Arab towns and villages of Palestine, although they were planning to remove them after the British withdrawal. Try reading Scars of War Wounds of Peace. Shlomo Ben Ami received a D.Phil. in History from Oxford and he carefully documented all of that in his books and journal articles using Israeli state archival materials.