It’s apartheid in the West Bank, but Obama and liberal Jews are too ‘intimidated’ to say anything — Perlstein in Rolling Stone

Israel/PalestineUS Politics
on 40 Comments

It’s finally happening. The great slumbering and privileged body of integrated American Jews is lifting its head and saying, Wait, you are doing what in my name? Peter Beinart is giving them a doorway. Paul Krugman went through it a week back. Rick Perlstein at Rolling Stone now enters. An accomplished historian/journalist, Perlstein avoided this issue like the plague, he says.

Note in my excerpt his relentless focus on what Zionism has done to Jewish identity, note his focus on Jewish power. Oh and notice the writer who writes about everything admitting that he has been gutless on this question. He was intimidated, he admits. As Obama was intimidated by the lobby. Notice that Perlstein has glommed a statement in Beinart’s book that others have walked past: an Obama official saying it’s “apartheid” in the West Bank.

This is a real challenge to the Tablet Jews, tribal parochial Jews. The integrated Jews are waking up and asking, Where did my identity go?

Oh and notice the specious ’67 history, from a historian.

In the suburban Midwestern Reform Jewish world I was raised in, in the nineteen-seventies and eighties, grown men built plastic scale models of Israeli tanks and F-15 jets and displayed them throughout the house, dangling the warplanes from bedroom ceilings with fishing line. My dad, who had a replica Uzi sub-machine gun on his office wall, wore a tiepin that read, in Hebrew letters, Zachor, which means “remember.” What was meant to be remembered was the “six million,” the number of Jews killed in the Holocaust, a number seared into all of our souls – at home, in Sunday school, at religious services, and at the Jewish Community Center summer camp in the Wisconsin North Woods, where we began each morning by raising the Israeli and American flags side by side.

…The one safe haven: Israel, whose formidable tanks and planes would hold the line against the eliminationist contempt in which most of the world held us. The message provided a kind of quasi-spiritual ballast to our acquisitive upper-middle-class lives; but as an morally precocious little dude I found it all so far from observable reality, it made me want to puke.

All of which background made Peter Beinart’s powerful new book The Crisis of Zionism read like autobiography to me, which felt uncanny, because I thought I had been alone.

…Beinart unearths a story of 1970s politics that was unknown to me – except as I so intimately lived it – showing that at the root of this sense of embattled tribalism was a transformation worked by the leaders of right-leaning American Jewish organizations, who traded in their founding (liberal) aspirations to universal justice for a wagon-circling parochalism.

I knew how the 1967 simultaneous Soviet-backed invasion of Israel by Egypt, Jordan, and Syria, which put Israel’s very survival at stake, profoundly intensified American Jews’ emotional connection to the Jewish state.

But Rick they didn’t invade.

It follows that the actual world we kids inherited, in which Jews now serving on the Supreme Court outnumber Protestants three to zero and a Jew serves as House majority leader and the Jew who used to be the president’s chief of staff runs our third largest city, and in which Israel is a nuclear-armed regional superpower can really be only a mirage…

The deeply unsatisfying tribalism that marred the religious education of my youth laid an unpromising foundation; and though I respect the way in which many people I love have carved deeply satisfying spiritual lives for themselves in Judaism, many in the same independent minyanim movement Beinart so admires, my religious direction tended elsewhere. As for Israel, I don’t think of it much. Even in a career as a political writer given to disputation, the sheer viciousness (which you’ll see from the hate mail this piece produces: I plan to publish it) faced by those who criticize not merely Israel, but certain specific de rigeur formulations about Israel, turned me off the entire subject. Instead, and I’ve never admitted this publicly before, the deeply saturated irrationalism surrounding it as I was growing up was what made me fascinated with political irrationalism as such – and helps explain why I ended up a scholar of the American far-right.

That reflexive intimidation, in the end, is what most fascinates me about The Crisis of Zionism. I’d heard great things from friends about the book — but read almost nothing admiring about it in the public prints. People are cowed at the thought of taking on the shrieking Israel absolutists, the ones who imagine themselves every day saving six million lives and their critics as hastening the slaughter.

And here is his bit on Obama:

Another anonymous source [for Beinart] is a “senior State Department official,” who recently traveled with Secretary Clinton from Jerusalem to Ramallah in the West Bank: “There was a kind of silence and people were careful, but it was like, my God, you crossed that border and it was apartheid.” For the most prominent victim of this climate of intimidation, and the retreat from reason and empirical observation it enforces, is the president whose Chicago home sits across the street from a venerable synagogue where, Beinart argues, he learned from the Jewish community that embraced him a Zionism that was both deeply felt and opposed to settlement growth. But then Barack Obama moved into the White House, where he found it impossible to follow through on his convictions, thanks to “Jewish pressure,” as a revealing headline in Time magazine puts it.

40 Responses

  1. Les
    May 4, 2012, 11:10 am

    Rolling Stone is giving this more serious and more dramatic coverage than the rest of the media. This is good news. Thanks for sharing.

    • Mooser
      May 4, 2012, 1:40 pm

      “Rolling Stone is giving this more serious and more dramatic coverage than the rest of the media. This is good news. Thanks for sharing.”

      Best to be cautious! Rolling Stone may have an axe to grind. After all, did we do Rock and Roll any favors? Many people blame us for Springsteen, you know.

  2. pabelmont
    May 4, 2012, 11:10 am

    “People are cowed at the thought of taking on the shrieking Israel absolutists, the ones who imagine themselves every day saving six million lives and their critics as hastening the slaughter.”

    Do they [the shrieking Israel absolutists] really believe this, or are they (sedulously, of course) trained to act as if they believe it? Or, as more likely, are there a core of trainers, frighteners, who believe in nothing except a political program and see this training as a way to achieve it? What’s certain is that a lot of people stand up and bark when the trainers say “bark”. And, of course, they ARE frightening. Lots of people have lost their jobs, especially in universities, upon orchestrated “barking” (or “braying”) by Israel absolutists. The much-noted pro-Likud uniformity of the USA’s MSM may (in part) be a result of media folks being parties-to/partners-of/co-opted-by this awful training (or, of course, merely but understandably frightened by it).

    People still find time to praise American democracy, but these Israel absolutists certainly spend a lot of time and energy trying to prevent free speech when that speech seems likely to step on their absolutist corns.

  3. Krauss
    May 4, 2012, 11:14 am

    Neither brave nor special. Simply needed to maintain his liberal status.

    And I think this is what we will increasingly see in the coming years. Real liberals simply won’t accept the pseudoliberals like Jeff Goldberg or Alan Dershowitz for much longer.

    Rick senses this and positions himself early on to save his face. But at least he is honest enough to admit that he is a limping coward who shun away from this topic and took on the easiest topic any left-wing journalist can take on: right-wing Christian Republicans.

    Max Blumenthal also took them on, but he understood soon that there is a bigger issue out there that nobody wants to talk about. And it cost him nearly his entire career, but he stood up for his liberal principles, instead of craven careerism like Pearlstein who feeds off left-wing bigotry of Christians evangelical Christians(many are not rabid Jesus freaks, quite a few even leftists). Blumenthal will one day be vindicated and people will be ashamed that they didn’t stand up for him when it was not opportune and when it was convenient and comfortable to stay silent and attack the easiest targets out there. And I don’t want Pearlstein and others who didn’t lift a finger and who cynically positioned themselves very late, to receive the same praise, because they deserve none. They went over to the other side once the shift was already well underway and it was no longer possible to pretend not to see, hear or understand.

    I still maintain that the biggest reason why the topic on Israel has opened as much is because of Walt/Mearsheimer. Even the frantic Zionists at Tablet Magazine admits as much(calling them anti-Semites for the millionth time) in a recent piece.

    Finkelstein also did great, before he snapped and become a centrist ‘liberal’ Zionists who spends his time throwing up all over BDS claiming ‘they want to destroy Israel’ as if he is a right-wing loon.

    Still, he deserves recoginition for his hard-work and the sacrifices he made, just like Walt/Mearsheimer and Blumenthal. And yes, Mr. Weiss himself too. Pearlstein is a poser who understands the gig is up and better pro-actively position yourself to further enhance your career before it becomes too obvious and too transparant.

    • American
      May 4, 2012, 1:01 pm

      “I still maintain that the biggest reason why the topic on Israel has opened as much is because of Walt/Mearsheimer.”

      I think so too. I did a jig on my computer when the article in the London Book Review came out and exchanged some emails with them giving what I believe the is average American’s view or would be if Americans knew enough about the Lobby, and urging them on.
      The zionist played right into the book with their attacks, making it attract even more attention than it would have without the attacks. I gave two copies to my local library and checked later to see if they had been checked out….they had been.
      So there was some interest and knowledge among people even before the book came out or people would have ignored it. The attacks by the zios if anything helped, not hurt.

  4. Talkback
    May 4, 2012, 11:56 am

    Far to many think that Israel was invaded in 1967. I know that after Israel’s attack it immeditately lied to the security council by claiming that it was attacked, but the UN found out, that it wasn’t. After that initial lie Israel started to spin the attack into a “preventiv war”. But Begin (being a prime minister) said in the Knesset that they knew Egypt wasn’t going to attack and that Israel – like in 1956 – had a choice and decided to attack.

    How is it possible that the nutcases still think that Israel was attacked? Or are they deliberately lying?

    • Sumud
      May 5, 2012, 6:29 pm

      How is it possible that the nutcases still think that Israel was attacked? Or are they deliberately lying?

      In denial or deliberately lying, probably a bit of both – depending on how old the hasbarat is.

      I a few years ago arguing on another forum with an IDF vet who was in the 1967 war. Despite being repeatedly pointed at reliable sources – on the record comments of Israeli politicians and military men – demonstrating that 1967 was a war of choice, and it was known that Nasser had no plans or capability of attack, he point blank refused to believe it.

      According to him he was there and Nasser was going to attack and poor Israel had “no choice” but attack first and they narrowly avoided a 2nd holocaust. And of course he was there, as a soldier not general or a politician. Governments lie, and he was unable to cope with the fact his government had lied to him– so he was in denial.

      Pretty sad really. To a much lesser degree (than Palestinians) the ziobots are also victims of and terrorised by their own government.

      It’s not a lot different to the whole Global War on Terror BS that most of us in western countries have been subjected to – it’s a giant racket designed to accrue more money and power for those already in power.

      • Talkback
        May 6, 2012, 6:37 am

        @ Sumud

        “Governments lie, and he was unable to cope with the fact his government had lied to him– so he was in denial.

        Pretty sad really.”

        It is.

  5. Fredblogs
    May 4, 2012, 12:09 pm

    They didn’t physically invade because Israel beat them to the punch.

    When someone pulls a gun on you, and says they are about to shoot you, you don’t have to wait for them to shoot you to shoot them in self-defense.

    • Woody Tanaka
      May 4, 2012, 3:09 pm

      Except, Fredo, that’s a bunch of complete ahistorical nonsense, as even Eban Abba and other Israeli politicians admitted that they knew the Egyptians weren’t going to do anything, but the Israelis wanted a war, so they invaded Egypt, on an excuse about as believable as Hitler’s claim that Poland invaded Germany in 1939, and provoked Syria into a war. No one but the terminally stupid and the hopelessly brain dead believes the “Israel was attacked” lie anymore. (Which is why I’m not really surprised to see you trotting out that broken-down ol’ mare.)

    • David Samel
      May 4, 2012, 3:54 pm

      Fred, while your 1967 history is still warped, your last sentence gives Iran an excellent rationale for attacking Israel.

      • eljay
        May 4, 2012, 4:24 pm

        >> Fred … your last sentence gives Iran an excellent rationale for attacking Israel.

        I’ve said many times that, by the West’s own standards, Iran – which is continually bombarded with existential threats and which is currently being “softened up” by punitive sanctions – has every right to launch “pre-emptive self-defence” attacks on Israel.

        But:
        – “They” do not have the same rights as “we” do.
        – Rather than comprehend the logic, Zio-supremacists quite stupidly bellow “Bring it on!”

      • Fredblogs
        May 4, 2012, 5:24 pm

        They have the same rights as any nation. If they think they are under existential threat, then they can attack. I don’t think it will go well for them if they do, but the right to attack isn’t the right to win.

        However, Israel isn’t threatening Iran as a nation, only their nuclear facilities. In 1967, the Arabs were promising to wipe out Israel and its people.

      • Sumud
        May 5, 2012, 6:35 pm

        However, Israel isn’t threatening Iran as a nation, only their nuclear facilities.

        Your esteemed Prime Minister has twice referred to Iranians as Amalek, links here.

        I interpret that as a genocidal threat against the Iranian people.

      • eljay
        May 5, 2012, 8:01 pm

        >> However, Israel isn’t threatening Iran as a nation …

        The Glorious Jewish State threatens Iran’s sovereignty and energy independence, and it has the conventional and nuclear capabilities necessary to carry out its threats. That’s existential.

        >> In 1967, the Arabs were promising to wipe out Israel and its people.

        You appear to have missed the memo that this is 2012, not 1967. The only significant similarity between the two dates is the Glorious Zio-supremacist Jewish State’s ON-GOING and offensive (i.e., not defensive) campaign of aggression, oppression, theft, colonization, destruction and murder.

    • Talkback
      May 4, 2012, 4:36 pm

      “They didn’t physically invade because Israel beat them to the punch.”

      They didn’t even attack Israel.

      “When someone pulls a gun on you, and says they are about to shoot you, you don’t have to wait for them to shoot you to shoot them in self-defense.”

      Nobody pulled a gun before Israel’s attack. And Begin said Israel had a choice to attack.

      So are you a nutcase or lying?

      • Fredblogs
        May 4, 2012, 5:27 pm

        They massed 100s of thousands of troops on the border and declared their intention to destroy Israel. Israel was under no obligation to let them begin their actual attack before using pre-emptive strikes to prevent them from massacring a large portion of the population. It’s as though the U.S. found out about Pearl Harbor in advance and blew the Japanese fleets out of the water on December 6th, 1941 as they headed into position for the attack. I bet you’d call that an act of aggression against the Japanese.

        As for the Begin quote, I’d have to see what quote you are talking about before I can tell whether it was purely made up or just taken out of context.

      • Shingo
        May 5, 2012, 4:29 am

        They massed 100s of thousands of troops on the border and declared their intention to destroy Israel.

         

        The pre-emotion argument has been used by tyrants since the Romans.  It’s never held up to scrutiny.

        Begin and Rabin both admitted that not only was there no evidence Nasser was going to attack, but that the movement of forces into the Sinai was a defensive maneuver.

        Rabin, who wad Israeli Chief of Staff at the time, told Le Monde on 28 February 1968 that:

        “I do not believe that Nasser wanted war. The two divisions which he sent into Sinai on 14 May would not have been enough to unleash an offensive against Israel. He knew it and we knew it.”

        Mordecai Bentov, a member of the wartime national government said:

        “The entire story of the danger of extermination was invented in every detail and exaggerated a posteriori to justify the annexation of new Arab territory.”

        So all your claims have been completely refuted by Israel’s top brass.  Why you insist on repeating such BS is mind boggling.

         As for the Begin quote, I’d have to see what quote you are talking about before I can tell whether it was purely made up or just taken out of context.

        The context is pretty self explanatory. 

        In 1982 he said : 

        “In June 1967 we had a choice. The Egyptian army concentrations in the Sinai approaches did not prove that Nasser was really about to attack us, We must be honest with ourselves. We decided to attack him.”

      • Talkback
        May 5, 2012, 5:11 am

        “They massed 100s of thousands of troops on the border and declared their intention to destroy Israel.”

        They assembled a force to protect their border which didn’t had invasion size. See the actual massing of troups on the borders on this map:
        link to upload.wikimedia.org

        After Egypt called for a partial withdrawal of border securing UNEF-troops and the UN decided to withdraw all of them Egypt asked to reinstall them as a deescalating measure. But Israel NEVER allowed UNEF-troups on it’s side of the borders, not even after the threats you mention. Guess why.

        And what about Israel shooting down air fighters over Damascus and threating Syria to remove it’s Goverment? On June 9 (Sinai was taken and the USS Liberty was attacked by Israel to hide the movement of its troops from to south to the north), Syria announced its acceptance of a cease-fire. Four hours later Dayan ordered to invade Syria.

        “Israel was under no obligation to let them begin their actual attack before using pre-emptive strikes to prevent them from massacring a large portion of the population”

        Every country is obliged under UN Charter not to start a war with another country. Even the entity of Jewish colonialist which lied to the security council that it was attacked. Btw, its kill ratio was 20:1.

        “As for the Begin quote, I’d have to see what quote you are talking about before I can tell whether it was purely made up or just taken out of context.”

        Oh Fredblogs, don’t ever assume that I make up things the way you do. I can provide sources and links, because I’m not living in a state of constant denial.

        First (prime minister) Begin in his Knesset speech explains the difference between “a war without choice, or a war of one’s choosing” and gives international examples. Then:

        “We had three wars which we fought without alternative. … Our other wars were not without an alternative. In November 1956 we had a choice. … In June 1967 we again had a choice. The Egyptian army concentrations in the Sinai approaches do not prove that Nasser was really about to attack us. We must be honest with ourselves. We decided to attack him.”
        link to mfa.gov.il

      • Fredblogs
        May 6, 2012, 11:21 pm

        Oh, and did I mention Nasser had his forces kick out the U.N. forces that were in the Sinai as a buffer between Israel and Egypt?

      • Shingo
        May 7, 2012, 3:10 am

        Oh, and did I mention Nasser had his forces kick out the U.N.

        No you didn’t, which is just as well as it would also have been BS.

        Nasser officially requested the UN forces to leave, and they were agreeable.

        You also forgot to mention that Israel refused to even allow those forces to reside on the Israelis side of the border.

      • Fredblogs
        May 7, 2012, 1:24 pm

        ROFL. And the Congress unofficially requested the Nixon leave and he was agreeable. The Israelis refused to let them move onto the Israeli side of the border. Since the deal was they were to stay in the huge Sinai, not tiny little Israel. Also, the pre-emptive strikes were made in June, not May 15th. At the time of the strikes Nasser had 7 entire divisions and 8 independent battalions on the border, not 2 divisions.

      • Shingo
        May 7, 2012, 6:31 pm

        And the Congress unofficially requested the Nixon leave and he was agreeable.

        I know you’re trying to be funny, but you come off sounding like an ignoramus. Egypt called for a partial withdrawal of border securing UNEF-troops and it was the UN decided to withdraw all of them Egypt. It then asked to reinstall them as a deescalating measure – there was no requirement that Egypt play host to them. Israel NEVER allowed UNEF-troups on it’s side of the borders, not even after the threats you mention.

        The Israelis refused to let them move onto the Israeli side of the border.

        No Israel never agreed to their presence on the Israeli side of the border at any time. The deal was UN peacekeepers were the mainain the treay from the last time Israel atatcked Egypt. Plancing them in the Sinai was they were to stay in the huge Sinai, not tiny
        little Israel.

        Also, the pre-emptive strikes were made in June, not May 15th.

        Actually, the pre-emptive strikes began after Israel downed a Syrian MIG over Damascus in April of 1967.

        At the time of the strikes Nasser had 7 entire divisions and 8 independent battalions on the border, not 2 divisions.

        *The Egyptians had already provided categorical assurances to Israel through the US Secretary of State and the UN Secretary General that they did not intend to initiate hostilities, and that they were willing to make concessions to avoid a war. see Cashman; Foreign Relations, 1964-1968, Volume XIX, Arab-Israeli Crisis and War, 1967, document 132; and paragragh 9 of the report to the Security Council from the Secretary General of the United Nations, S/7906, 26 May 1967.

        *Dan Kurzman said Rabin was not concerned with the Sinai build-up. see Soldier of peace, page 202

        *Rabin said the IDF GHQ Intelligence assessment was that Israel was facing a repetition of Operation Rotem (see the discussion above), and that Egypt would eventually withdraw. He characterized the Sinai troop build-up and the closure of the Straits as “humiliating pinpricks” that would render the IDF’s long term ”deterrent capacity” worthless. During the meeting in “the Pit”, he and the other military leaders said they were afraid that it would appear that the government had lost confidence in the IDF, and that the significance of the closure of the Straits lay in the effect on Israel’s ”deterrent” capability. see The Rabin Memoirs, page 80-81; Israel in the Middle East: Documents and Readings on Society, Politics, and Foreign Relations, Pre-1948 to the Present, edited by Itamar Rabinovich, Jehuda Reinharz, pages 212-213; and Israel’s Decision To Go To War, June 2, 1967, by Col. Ami Gluska

        *Avi Shlaim said there is general agreement among commentators that Nasser neither wanted nor planned to go to war with Israel. He said the Israeli economy would survive the closure of the Straits, but ”the deterrent image of the IDF” could not. see The Iron Wall, pages 236-237.

        General Matti Peled summed-up the threat in the latter: “We have heard something regarding Tiran, which lost its significance long ago. It was not important to start with and is even less important now.” The entry of an Egyptian force into Sinai was nothing new for the IDF, having been anticipated and planned for in various exercises and war games. The only surprise, he stressed, was Nasser’s audacity, since it was well known that his army was not ready for war.

      • Fredblogs
        May 7, 2012, 8:39 pm

        Right, because “categorical assurances” through the U.N. trump the entire Egyptian Army poised on the border, and Nasser’s saying:

        “We shall not enter Palestine with its soil covered in sand, we shall enter it with its soil saturated in blood”

        “We will not accept any…coexistence with Israel.…Today the issue is not the establishment of peace between the Arab states and Israel….The war with Israel is in effect since 1948”

        “The armies of Egypt, Jordan, Syria and Lebanon are poised on the borders of Israel … to face the challenge, while standing behind us are the armies of Iraq, Algeria, Kuwait, Sudan and the whole Arab nation. This act will astound the world. Today they will know that the Arabs are arranged for battle, the critical hour has arrived. We have reached the stage of serious action and not of more declarations.” – Gamal Abdel Nasser speech

        link to sixdaywar.co.uk

      • Talkback
        May 8, 2012, 10:20 am

        What trumps are the deescalating moves by Egypt and the fact that Israel DID NOTHING to deescalete the situation, but attacked.

      • Fredblogs
        May 8, 2012, 9:08 pm

        @Talkback
        You mean like putting their entire army on the border, blockading Eilat, and not rescinding that? Sorry, the only “de-escalation” they did was to maybe mouth words of peace to the Israelis while openly exhorting their own people and the other Arabs to war.

      • Shingo
        May 9, 2012, 2:05 am

        You mean like putting their entire army on the border, blockading Eilat, and not rescinding that?

        Nope. Nasser had not put his entire army along the border, not even close. And the blockade was over 2 weeks before Israel decided to attack.

        Sorry, the only “de-escalation” they did was to maybe mouth words of peace to the Israelis while openly exhorting their own people and the other Arabs to war.

        Grow up Fred. Israeli leaders openly stated that Nasser was playing domestic politics.

    • Shingo
      May 4, 2012, 6:15 pm

      They didn’t physically invade because Israel beat them to the punch.

      Do you ever take a holiday from lying Fred?

      “Israel was never in real danger and there was no evidence that Egypt had any intention of attacking Israel.”
      General Matti Peled

      :“In June 1967 we had a choice. The Egyptian army concentrations in the Sinai approaches did not prove that Nasser was really about to attack us, We must be honest with ourselves. We decided to attack him.”
      Menachem Begin

    • Dutch
      May 4, 2012, 6:53 pm

      @ Fred. You missed something.

      Miko Peled – The General’s Son

      link to mondoweiss.net

      Watch the interview and read the two chapters of his book.

  6. HarryLaw
    May 4, 2012, 12:42 pm

    Krauss, “Finkelstein also did great, before he snapped and became a centrist ‘Liberal’ Zionist.” In my opinion his centrist Liberal Zionism simply means what the majority of the world also believes ie, that the Israeli state is a fact and that it is a legitimate fact [within its 67 borders] and that any attempt to destroy that state would not garner much support, so he is working within the parameters of what is possible in the real world. He also agrees with targeted BDS, Here I may disagree with him, I personally think BDS should target all of Israel, not to destroy the state but to force it to obey International Law.

    • sardelapasti
      May 5, 2012, 2:31 am

      “…that the Israeli state is a fact and that it is a legitimate fact [within its 67 borders] and that any attempt to destroy that state would not garner much support”…

      The second part of that sentence, i.e, that to receive a maximum of popular support one should keep one’s target’s narrow, is a given. There is no need for the first part, a pseudo-fact. One may consider the Zionist entity an illegal fact to be reversed asap (as I do) and at the same time agree that a broad front needs a very limited target (as I do not, but can understand.) There is absolutely no necessary link between these two positions.

      Attributing some Zionism to Finkelstein only because he recommends narrow initial tactical goals may be a mistake if he has not, until now, endorsed any kind of “legitimacy” for the Zionist state. And stating something in name of “the majority of the world”, when a majority has already expressed itself repeatedly against the imperialist powers’ fake “legitimacy” for the Zionist state is ridiculous.

    • Sumud
      May 5, 2012, 6:53 pm

      He also agrees with targeted BDS, Here I may disagree with him, I personally think BDS should target all of Israel, not to destroy the state but to force it to obey International Law.

      HarryLaw ~ you should go back and read the three specific aims of the BDM Movement. It is a rights-based movement that ask Israel to comply with 3 aspects of international law and has no pre-determined political outcome in mind. The BDS Movement’s aims can be satisfactorily achieved in either a 1 or 2 state outcome.

      The three aims of BDS Movement are – and this is a quote from the 2005 BDS call:

      These non-violent punitive measures should be maintained until Israel meets its obligation to recognize the Palestinian people’s inalienable right to self-determination and fully complies with the precepts of international law by:

      1. Ending its occupation and colonization of all Arab lands and dismantling the Wall
      2. Recognizing the fundamental rights of the Arab-Palestinian citizens of Israel to full equality; and
      3. Respecting, protecting and promoting the rights of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and properties as stipulated in UN resolution 194.

      You see each of the 3 requirements cover a different group of Palestinians; those in the OPTs, those in Israel proper and those who are refugees.

      Ziobots commonly promote – and are very successful at it – that BDS is for a one-state solution. This is not true. They do it for rhetorical reasons – there is simply no way that they can win an argument when it is about whether Palestinians rights have or have not been violated. Switching to an argument about 1 or 2 state simply allows them to muddy the waters and confuse their audience.

      Omar Barghouti of the BDS Movement is for a single state, and so am I. But I used to be closer to Finkelstein in preferring a two-state solution, and I was still pro-BDS.

      I believe that a two-state solution is impossible but I guess NF still thinks it is. He has a point when he says if the IDF was ordered home to Israel the settlers would follow, but I simply can’t see this happening.

      Anyway, another common furphy is that because the third request invokes the right of return (UN 194) that will automatically destroy Israel. This is a fallacy, and the person who explains that best is actually Norman Finkelstein, using his own tenure case as an example:

      Palestinian Right of Return – Norman Finkelstein

  7. American
    May 4, 2012, 12:42 pm

    “It’s finally happening. The great slumbering and privileged body of integrated American Jews is lifting its head and saying, Wait, you are doing what in my name?
    Note in my excerpt his relentless focus on what Zionism has done to Jewish identity, note his focus on Jewish power.”

    Wait, what are they doing in America’s and Americans name?
    How many ask that question? Some ask that question.
    The appeal to Jews on Palestine seems framed this way by a lot of Jewish activist…what they are doing to their Jewishness.
    Sometimes I say o.k., those that do it this way, appealing to a Jew’s notion of himself, or Jewish morality, are trying what they think will work with them.
    So I’d say hey, …if it works, ends Israeli-zionist atrocities …..then use it.
    But I also see, it deliberately by some and inadvertently by others I suppose, reinforces the narcissism and separation that is zionism and tribalism.
    So even if this approach is successful on this issue, particulary if it is successful, it just kicks the can down the road to another chapter.
    MJRosenburg and Atzom, different characters that they are, get this I believe.

  8. piotr
    May 4, 2012, 1:44 pm

    Annals of free thought.

    The speech, [of Mao Zedong] published on February 27, 1957, encouraged people to vent their criticisms as long as they were “constructive” (“among the people”) rather than “hateful and destructive” (“between the enemy and ourselves”). […] In the period from May 1 to June 7, 1957, millions of letters were pouring in to the Premier’s Office and other authorities.
    People spoke out by putting up posters around campuses, rallying in the streets, holding meetings for CPC members, and publishing magazine articles. For example, students at Peking University created a “Democratic Wall” on which they criticized the CPC with posters.[3] “They protested CCP control over intellectuals, the harshness of previous mass campaigns such as that against counterrevolutionaries, the slavish following of Soviet models, the low standards of living in China, the proscription of foreign literature, economic corruption among party cadres, and the fact that ‘Party members [enjoyed] many privileges which make them a race apart'”.

    Of course, intimidation on Communist China was harsher by orders of magnitude, but we still have rowing gangs of intimidators like the black sotnia of Ataman Horowitz. But hopefully their bark is worse then bite.

  9. HarryLaw
    May 5, 2012, 7:26 am

    Sandelpasti, The UN has declared the Israeli state legitimate through UN resolution 181 Nov 1947 Gt Britain, being the mandate power approved the resolution, you may not like it, but you would be in a minority if you tried to reverse it. In fact the Saudi initiative of 2002 offered normal relations with the state of Israel on behalf of all the Islamic states along those 1967 borders.

    • Blake
      May 5, 2012, 8:35 am

      Actually Great Britain abstained and Palestinians never consented to their country being partitioned.

    • Fredblogs
      May 7, 2012, 1:29 pm

      The Saudi initiative proposed normal relations in exchange for what was a coded description of the right of return “an acceptable solution to the refugee problem”. Written with the full knowledge that the only “solution” acceptable to the Palestinians was that they get to move in and take over Israel. It was a Trojan horse, not an olive branch.

  10. HarryLaw
    May 5, 2012, 3:37 pm

    Blake, You are correct, my apologies, but they did encourage their Dominions to support the resolution.

  11. HarryLaw
    May 8, 2012, 9:34 am

    Samud, Thanks for that Finkelstein link, whether one state or two is up to the Palestinians to decide, and you must agree that there is no political party in OPT or anywhere on earth that advocates a single state at this point in time, I agree, the way things are going your solution may be the best to argue for, although I think the Israelis will go for the fried chicken option favoured by a former Israeli Minister, keep all the best bits of OPT and let the Europeans finance the cantons which are left, which is what they are doing now in any case.Ending the occupation and the war crimes is the first priority the other two, important as they are, I think are amenable to negotiation.

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